Quick Notes and Observations from the New York Giants' OTA Practice

Patricia TrainaFeatured Columnist IVMay 29, 2014

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, center, looks to pass during an NFL football organized team activity, Thursday, May 29, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

On Thursday, the New York Giants opened their doors to the media, allowing reporters to view the team’s second OTA practice of the spring. 

The thing about OTAs is that they're so early in the process that it’s hard to really gauge too much—certainly with no pads and no live contact, any observations made about the offensive and defensive lines are pointless, for example.

Still, there are things that one can glean from watching these workouts. Below is a rundown of some key points.

Moving forward, if there is something specific you want to know about, let me know through the comments. (The next scheduled media access day is Thursday, June 5.)


Injury Update

This really doesn’t come as a great surprise, but left tackle Will Beatty (leg) and receiver Mario Manningham (knee) are not going to work this spring, as both are recovering from their respective injuries.

Head coach Tom Coughlin, when asked about those two, said he anticipated having them by the fall. That was either a Freudian slip or a hint of what’s to come, which is both players beginning summer training camp (currently projected to start on July 20, but not official just yet) on the PUP list.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Another player who is going to be holding his breath in hopes that he can avoid the PUP list is running back David Wilson.

Wilson told reporters that he’ll be visiting the doctor on June 4 to have another MRI on his surgically repaired neck.

If Wilson doesn’t get that clearance? “I’ll probably start kicking field goals,” he said with a chuckle.

Rounding out the rest of the Giants’ injury report for Day 2 of OTAs, offensive lineman John Jerry won’t work this spring after undergoing a knee scope.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

In addition, offensive lineman Eric Herman worked with a trainer on the side. Per Art Stapleton of The Record, Herman underwent a procedure on his hip earlier this offseason, so the second-year offensive lineman will probably not be ready to go until training camp.

Quarterback Eli Manning (ankle), and safety Stevie Brown (knee) were both active in this practice. Both reported afterward of "feeling good." There is optimism, which is good news. 


The Fast-Paced New Offense Is as Advertised

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

It’s still very, very early in the process, and certainly, you can’t tell as much as you’d like when the players are in shorts.

However, one thing that was very apparent is that new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s pledge to expedite things on offense is definitely coming to fruition.

There were a number of passing plays in which the quarterbacks took three-step drops, throwing the ball on crossing patterns and slants and letting the receivers (or in some cases the tight ends) take it and run with it, quite often with success.

There were also some deep throws requiring deeper drops, but for the most part, the focus really does seem to be on getting that short, quick passing game up to snuff in a hurry.

Overall, Coughlin said he was pleased.

"We sailed through phase two pretty well, just working on opposite fields, but as far as understanding what was wanted and communicating on offense, I felt that was good," he said.

"It’s now the execution. It comes a little bit slower obviously, when you put somebody over there on defense. Both sides of the ball are making a lot of adjustments and it’s a good thing and we’re obviously into special teams as well."


Ryan Nassib Is Currently the Backup to Eli Manning

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

After trading up in the 2013 draft to get quarterback Ryan Nassib, he’s going to get plenty of opportunities to not only win the backup job to Manning, but to also convince the coaching staff that it doesn’t need to keep a third quarterback on the roster.

Indeed, Nassib took the bulk of the snaps after Manning. However, I didn’t think Nassib threw the ball particularly well today.

Nassib’s problem seems to be a lack of touch. He was whipping balls to receivers on short passes, and the longer passes he attempted were off-target.

Nassib was also the only quarterback who was picked off by the defense today, the theft coming at the hands of cornerback Charles James, who came up with a pick-six.

Again, it’s very early in the process and one shaky showing doesn’t necessarily mean that Nassib isn’t going to cut it as a backup.

Coughlin, when asked how Nassib is doing, said, “He’s worked hard, he’s worked very hard. He’s studied hard. He can direct traffic out there. He just needs to get the execution where we need it to be.”


Tight Ends

Mel Evans/Associated Press

There wasn't too much from the tight ends today—again, we’ll need to see what they do once the pads go on before determining how they’re doing as blockers.  

I thought Adrien Robinson looked comfortable in the passing game, especially when he made a sliding reception on an off-target pass.  

Xavier Grimble ran an incorrect route, resulting in an incomplete pass. Afterward, he heard about it from new tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride.


Patricia Traina is the senior editor for Inside Football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. For more on the Giants' OTAs and Giants news, follow me on Twitter, @Patricia_Traina.