Daniel Jones threw touchdown passes to receivers Von’Dale Robinson and Kenny Golladay on Saturday, and head coach Brian Daboll said it’s too early to make any determinations about the Giants’ fourth practice of training camp.
“We’re on day three without pads,” Daboll said. “So we’ve got a lot of time to evaluate here … There’s an old ball coach who was pretty successful who used (to say), ‘Let’s not be instant evaluators.’ Three days of training, we’ll give these guys a little bit of time here.”
Dabol’s message was clear: He views these early practices as situational tests to build the foundation for what the Giants will put on the field in Week 1 at Tennessee.
He doesn’t expect it to be perfect, so he doesn’t overreact to the slow start of the offense. It seems like the goal is still to give Jones the best opportunity to succeed when the lights get bright against the Titans and beyond.
“So many different things happened yesterday, like a lot of really good things: hot events, breaking routes,” Dabol said. “Were there any misunderstandings? Undoubtedly. For some of these guys, this is the first time in this offense that they’ve worked out with Daniel. This is their third practice. So we’re kind of day by day. Get better every day, stay positive and fix what you need to fix.”
It’s only fair to Jones that the Giants stay patient, too.
He has a new offensive line, a new playbook, and has failed to throw to most of his top receivers in live drills all spring. Even on Saturday, Kadarius Toney’s workload was reduced after three full practices to open camp.
Toney, who had an offseason knee procedure, did not run any routes in 11-on-11 drills.
Still, Dabol’s urgency is sure to increase as the Giants approach their first practice on the field on Monday.
For the second straight day, the first-year coach was animated by a replacement problem, this time on defense. He got mad at Oshan Ximines for running into Jones on an early pass that created dangerous traffic at the quarterback’s feet.
The offensive line struggled mightily with center John Feliciano sidelined for the second straight day with what Daboll called “heat and hydration.”
With Jamil Douglas replacing Feliciano, Daboll even tried moving left guard Shane Lemieux to center for a few snaps, while rookie Josh Ezeoudu connected at left guard.
That led to the first real dust-up of Giants training camp as Lemieux, defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams and right guard Mark Glowinski gathered near the goal line.
– Yes, – Lemieux said with a grin. “I played in the center. It was hot. We compete.”
The defense continued to make impressive inferences. Rookie safety Dane Belton made a leaping interception of Jones in the end zone on a pass intended for David Sills, and cornerback Darney Holmes stripped Saquon Barkley for a fumble that Julian Love returned for a TD. Barkley also had a fumble early in camp that officials generously called incomplete after Blake Martinez and Jihad Ward picked it off.. Rookie Cor’Dale Fleet didn’t take 11-on-11 reps after practicing the first three days. Like Toney, it appeared to be part of a plan to temporarily reduce his workload … Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones was sidelined for the second straight day along with Feliciano … Everyone else practiced. Inside linebacker Darian Beavers, who was rested Friday, took tough snaps next to Tae Crowder and gave Martinez an easier day.. The Giants tried running back Devon Booker on Friday. They cut him in March and saved $2.1 million in salary cap space, but Booker was their best running back last season and they still need a quarterback who can pass defenses on this roster.