The change in leadership of the New York Giants means changes in some of the ways the team operates. That change was visible Monday with the presence of quarterbacks and select veterans along with rookies for the first day of training camp.
“Done this in the past,” head coach Pat Shurmur said at the end of mandatory mini-camp last month. “It is a great way for the rookies to get a lot more reps. It is a good way for the quarterbacks to get going. Those can be a very productive two days.”
Rookies arriving a few days early to get reacquainted with the coaching staff and overall way of doing things is nothing new. The couple of extra days allows them to prepare accordingly so that by the time the vets arrive, the rookies are at least somewhat used to the practice schedule.
Now the quarterbacks are in camp early as well. This change of rhythm isn’t just an advantage for the rookies alone. As Shurmur said at the end of mini-camp, it’s a great opportunity for the quarterbacks to get a head start.
This is a new coaching staff after all. In addition, Eli Manning is entering his 15th season so two additional days of reps won’t hurt. The Giants also have two young quarterbacks in Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta, each vying for the chance to be Manning’s backup.
Webb hasn’t had many opportunities for a coaching staff to evaluate him besides a few snaps last preseason. When Manning was benched for one game last season, former head coach Ben McAdoo elected to start Geno Smith instead of Webb, a 2017 third-round selection. Lauletta, a 2018 fourth-round pick out of Richmond, is coming into camp trying to garner some attention of his own. Both players are on equal footing because they are both learning a new offense.
Change isn’t always easy, especially for veterans like Manning. But after the tumultuous season that was 2017, a little change might be just what is needed.