Shurmur Turns His Eye Toward the Giants’ Youth

If the future is all about the youth, then there’s probably no better time to learn what you have than the present.

So believes New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who in the team’s seventh OTA (out of 10) managed to get more of his younger and lesser known players involved in the action.

“We had a real big personnel meeting last Thursday where we kind of just sat down and just talked organizationally about all the players,” Shurmur said after practice.

“I just felt like it was time to get a real good look at what we have with some of the younger players as we move forward.”

Among those who received extended looks include offensive linemen Jon Halapio, who worked primarily at center with the starting offensive line; rookie guard Will Hernandez, who had been splitting time between he first and second-string lines; defensive linemen B.J. Hill and Robert Thomas; and receiver Travis Rudolph.

Shurmur said he was generally pleased with what he’s seen thus far from the team as it continues to churn through its spring football practices. But the decision to place the spotlight on the younger guys who don’t have as much experience is one that should help Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman in their evaluations as they continue to tinker with the 90-man training camp roster.

“We’re seeing a lot good things from our front line guys, but we felt like today was a good day to see what some of the younger, fresher legged guys could do and then we gave them 14 plays there and we did it in a setting where it was basically a scrimmage so we could see how they would function getting in and out of the huddle, how they would line up on plays that weren’t scripted, and it will be a good tool for us to evaluate some of the young guys,” Shurmur said.

Shurmur didn’t offer up an opinion on every young player who received snaps, but one guy, Halapio, did draw some positive reviews.

“He has done a very good job,” Shurmur said. “Pio is very smart. He’s got good instincts, he snaps the ball well, which is a really refreshing thing for a center. That was supposed to be humorous (laughs).

“But no, he does all of those things well and he’s very competitive and he knows how to play the game.”

Shurmur downplayed Halapio’s getting all the first-team reps Monday ahead of presumed incumbent Brett Jones

“They’re just in there competing,” he said. “I wouldn’t over evaluate who is getting the first team reps, but I think if you’re talking about Pio specifically, he has really sort of opened his eyes that he has a chance to play.”