Monday, June 16, 2014
W2W4: Giants minicamp
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
The New York Giants begin the final phase of their offseason program Tuesday with the start of a three-day minicamp in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This will be the last time they're all on the field together until they start training camp July 22. Here's a look at what we'll be watching during these final three days of June practice:
The Giants are looking for Eli Manning and the offense to make progress in learning Ben McAdoo's system.
Progress with the new offense: It's clear by now that quarterback Eli Manning is healed from his April ankle surgery and practicing as he normally would practice this time of year. That means that the Giants should be making as-planned progress in new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense. That progress has been somewhat haphazard to this point, as it's reasonable to expect. While the passing game concepts might be simpler under McAdoo than they were previously, the run-game concepts appear to be more complex. What little we got to see of the new offense in organized team activities (OTAs) looked disorganized and confused. Again, that's all understandable, and I would expect to see more of the same this week. But Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff want to see progress -- want to see things begin to look smoother. And while there will still be no pads or contact at this point in the offseason program, the expanded practice time should allow for some visible progress.
Middle linebacker: With Jon Beason out with a foot injury, who will take over his responsibilities in the middle of the front seven? Has Mark Herzlich advanced enough since last September to handle it? Can Jameel McClain move inside to a larger role than the one for which he was signed? Is rookie Devon Kennard a legitimate candidate? Much of what the Giants do on defense relies on Beason's ability to get and keep things organized. How organized will it look without him?
The offensive line: Who's getting more first-team snaps at center, J.D. Walton or Weston Richburg? Can Chris Snee practice every day, or are his surgically repaired hips slowing him down? And who's getting the left tackle reps with Will Beatty out? The offensive line remains the biggest issue this team faces in 2014, and the sooner things start to look settled there, the better.
Odell Beckham Jr.: The Giants' first-round pick missed a chunk of OTA time due to a hamstring injury, and it's unclear whether he'll participate this week. I still don't think we'll be able to make any judgments about the speedy wide receiver until we see him against real competition and can tell how he's going to react to physical press coverage. But just getting him on the field with the rest of the offense would be a benefit, if only to keep everyone else in their proper positions and working on plays that involve Beckham's downfield speed.
Tight ends: They're going to need one. Is Adrien Robinson looking like a real candidate? Is Daniel Fells? Are there different roles possible for guys like Kellen Davis and Larry Donnell as blockers? The Giants' weakest position group bears watching until we get a better handle on the ways in which its members can be expected to contribute.