Reader Mailbag: Training Camp Questions and Observations

With eight training camp practices in the books, the New York Giants are slowly but surely rounding into the team envisioned by head coach Pat Shurmur.

There is still a lot more work to be done, and with that a lot of questions from the readers which you’ll find below in our su[per-sized mailbag. So let’s get right down to business in getting your questions answered.

Pat Says: I wouldn’t call it irritation. I actually understand why Shurmur doesn’t want to discuss injuries in detail now. First, he doesn’t have to give details. Second, why tip-off the rest of the league about what your needs might be should a player become free on the waiver wire? With McAdoo, he simply didn’t like talking to the media. Period. Shurmur at least tries. HE doesn’t necessarily give you a lot but he makes an effort to answer those questions that are harmless.

Pat Says: Nope, I don’t see it happening. And quite honestly I’d be surprised if Jerry makes the roster given how stacked they are at guard and Jerry’s cap hit. I think they tried Jerry at tackle because they were short a guy after waiving Jarron Jones. They probably needed the new guy they picked up to get acclimated to the team because after a couple of days, Jerry went back to right guard with the 2s and 3s.

Pat Says: To be determined. Thus far, Adams has worked mostly with the second team offense. I have seen some flashes here and there, but what I really want to see is how far he’s come as a blocker.

Pat Says: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. If you’re speaking about in pass blocking, let’s give credit to Olivier Vernon, who is a very good defender. With that said, I’d like to see Solder split a few of his one-on-ones with Vernon in pass rushing. As for his run blocking, I think Solder has been solid.

Keep in mind that this is a controlled environment; when it comes to offensive and defensive lines, you really need to see them perform in a game.

Pat Says: What’s up Gerardo? My big concern is that I’m not confident that the officials even know how to govern this rule. In our meeting with the officials the other day, there were some questions asked of referee Jerome Boger and at times he even sounded uncertain. So I’m very curious to see how this helmet rule is enforced and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have concerns about it.

Pat Says: Hey Eric. I think even if Lauletta falls flat on his face (which I’d be surprised to see happen) they’re keeping three quarterbacks no matter what.

Pat Says: Let’s be clear about something here, Rob. There is using a pure fullback and there is lining someone up in the fullback spot. Have the Giants used Shane Smith, their lone pure fullback a lot? Not as much as I recall in past summers. Have they put a tight end in the fullback spot? Yes.

I still believe that they’re going to consolidate the personnel and have a tight end (Rhett Ellison) fill the role. I like Shane Smith, but unless there are injuries, I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to keep him on the team.

Pat Says: Great question but I don’t have the answer now because to really tell, I’d have to be able to stand in the end zone watching the blocking.

Unfortunately, we are limited as to where we can stand during camp practices for safety reasons, So I really need to see film to give you an answer. Do check with me after a couple of games in and we’ll see if they have shown anything at that point that I can pick up on film.

Pat Says: Hey Donovan. I guess the obvious ones for the Giants are Beckham for MVP, Barkley for OROY, and Hill for DROY. Most Improved Player? I’m going to go with Eli Apple–really like how he’s been doing his thing in the spring and summer.

Pat Says: What’s going on J.J.? I think that if both sides wanted to reunite, it would have been done already. And I think it speaks volumes as to the Giants’ intentions given that they have guys banged up at cornerback and have lost Sam Beal, yet they haven’t reached out to Rodgers-Cromartie (at least not that anyone is aware) yet.

Pat Says: I love how Saquon runs, Fred. He’s quick footed, he has good vision and he squares his shoulders. What I’d like to see him do better is be patient though—he always seems to look for the home run ball. Sometimes you just have to take what the defense gives you.

Pat Says: Hey Carlos, first a clarification. Reese didn’t “release” Robbie Gould. Gould was a UFA who signed with the 49ers.

Second, Rosas does have competition—Marshall Koehn. And even if both don’t work out, it’s fairly easy to replace a kicker since they’re not tied into a scheme.

Rosas has looked good in camp, but there haven’t really been many pressure situations for him yet. Not to sound like a broken record here, but let’s see how these guys fare in a game.

Pat Says: Wow, good question, Pete. I’m not sure anyone has really jumped into the lead and separated from the pack, but if I had to guess now, I’d say keep an eye on Amba Etta Tawo and Hunter Sharp to potentially nab roster spots.

Pat Says: Hey No. 1. Is this different from the prior regimes? No. Coaches like guys who are versatile. Now with that said, when you start trying guys at positions that maybe aren’t their best fit, that could be a sign that they’re not wild about what they have already at that position.  And I get the impression that no one has really separated himself at free safety or slot cornerback just yet.

Pat Says: Hey Joe, the obvious answer is the Jaguars’ left tackle is. 🙂 Okay, seriously, I suspect Kareem Martin will be OV’s bookend int he base defense, but for all we know, maybe James Bettcher will open in the nickel or with a different formation in which Vernon doesn’t have a bookend.

Pat Says: Hey “NE.” I like how Eli Apple has been playing this spring and summer. He’s less grabby and he does a great job staying with receivers deep down the field. I’m not sure how bad his knee injury is or if it will affect him, but I have really liked what I’ve seen from Apple. I guess the cherry on the cake would be for him to come up with more picks, so we’ll see if that happens.

Pat Says: Hiya Mike. When it comes to blocking in the pit, you really need to see that in a game. With that said, asking  Evan Engram to block defensive ends is NOT the best use of his talent. Let him get in the way to slow a guy down, but don’t expect him to be the second coming of Howard Cross during a key running play.

Regarding Chad Wheeler, he busts his tail, but I have to confess that I’ve never been blown away by his play. To my eyes, he seems too skinny to anchor at right tackle. Then again I tend to use Kareem McKenzie and Sean Locklear as my prototype as to what an offensive tackle should look like build wise.

Pat Says: Thanks for the question, Jennifer. This offense is so multiple with so many nooks and crannies, it’s hard to say who will benefit the most.  It really depends on the personnel package, the down and distance and where they are in the game.

Also it depends on who has the most favorable match up–maybe a key defensive starter is missing for the other team and Shurmur will hone in on that match up. Let’s just hope that everyone on the Giants stays healthy because this offense is going to be sick if it all comes together.