The New York Giants held their Friday practice outside in full pads. It was a shortened session because of the number of players who were not working out with the rest of the team.
Saquon Barkley showed why he was Offensive Rookie of the Year. He demonstrated his speed by cutting through the middle and zooming through the secondary for a long touchdown run…on his very first carry of the team portion of the session. He also showed off his ability to be a downfield target in the passing game. Although he dropped a pass from Eli Manning, Barkley continues to impress with his multi-faceted game.
Tight end Evan Engram and safety Jabrill Peppers went at hard and heavy. These two have battled throughout training camp and Friday was no exception. On a play action pass to the right, Engram dips across the field away from Manning to try and make a huge play in an open space. Manning completed the pass but Peppers was right there to stop the completion from turning into a huge gain. Peppers wasn’t fooled by the play fake in the least.
Sterling Shepard began the week with a yellow jersey indicating non-contact. As the week wore on, he has been able to increase his workload. On Friday, he practiced without the yellow jersey. Manning hit Shepard on a play where he used the hard count to lead linebacker Alec Ogletree to show he was going to blitz.
Speaking of No. 10, Manning looked very sharp on Friday. Aside from overthrowing Cody Latimer in the post, he had very few incompletions or miscues. His zip and accuracy were on full display as he connected with Latimer, Golden Tate, and Bennie Fowler on hitch and come-back routes. Manning also threw a touchdown to tight end Rhett Ellison on a slant.
The team was still buzzing over Daniel Jones’ touchdown to Paul Perkins on Thursday. He was solid on Friday but he didn’t have a SportsCenter highlight moment like he did the previous day. He also had passes broken up by safety Michael Thomas and cornerback DeAndre Baker during the blitz drills.
Rookie tight end C.J. Conrad impressed when he took reps with the first team. He caught a Mannng bullet pass early in the session. Although he had a couple of drops when Jones was behind center, Conrad redeemed himself with a pair of touchdowns from Kyle Lauletta.
The third- and fourth-string players struggled mightily on Friday. They were mostly shut down during 11-on-11 drills. Lucky for them, the Giants cut back on reps because of a lack of healthy players.
Rookie Corey Ballentine shined early in training at corner. On Friday, he demonstrated his speed and elusiveness returning kickoffs. Ballentine will benefit from showing off his goods on special teams as it adds another dimension to his game.
Rookie linebacker Oshane Ximines and offensive lineman Chad Wheeler did not practice Friday. Instead they worked off to the side. Linebacker B.J. Goodson (hamstring) did individual drills but didn’t participate in 11-on-11.
Offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), linebacker Markus Golden (load management), cornerback Grant Haley (shoulder), defensive lineman Alex Jenkins, wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), and cornerback Harvé Toliver (ankle) did not practice.