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Coaches Corner: Spotlighting the Top 5 performances (Good/Bad) after week 1

By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG

The New York Giants have completed their 1st full week of training camp and I wanted to touch on a few highlights/moments of a few players having good and bad training camps thus far. GM Joe Schoen and HC Brian Daboll are maintaining a steady course approach taking it day by day and not trying to get too far ahead of themselves. Steady progress is theme, which has been HC Brian Daboll statement throughout the 1st week of training camp. With that in mind, let’s take a look at my top 5 players/positions who have had a solid week in training camp and the Top 5 players/positions who have not:

Top 5 who have a solid first week at training camp

  • Lawrence Williams (DE): Thus far, Williams looks to be on a mission as he has dominated in one on one drills against whoever the offensive lineman is. Williams is coming off the last two seasons where he has collected 11.5 and 6.5 sacks and looks to recapture more of his 2020 totals. By all accounts in week 1 of training camp, Williams is on his way.
  • Pass Rush: This is a collective selection as it wouldn’t be fair to exclude any of the Giants pass rushers after week one. Thibodeaux, Ojulari were expected to provide a solid pass rush in training camp. However, Quincey Roche, Jihad Ward, Elerson Smith and even Oshane Ximines have all looked good in DC Wink Martindale’s defensive system.
  • Joshua Ezeudu (OL): Ezeudu was the Giants 1st of two picks in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL draft and thus far, Ezeudu hasn’t disappointed anyone. Ezeudu versatility and the ability to play both tackle and guard has served him well thus far and there have been rumblings that it’s only a matter of time that he secures the LG position over Shane Lemieux.
  • Wide Receivers: This group has been led by rookie Wan’dale Robinson and 2nd year player Kadarius Toney have been lights out from the very start of training camp. Kenny Golladay had a slow start, but finished very strong and looks to be the wide receiver the Giants expected when they signed him.
  • Saquan Barkley (RB): This has been good for the New York Giants having a healthy Saquan Barkley back. By all accounts, Barkley seems to be fitting into the new offensive system that really enhances his talents. Expect Barkley to be utilized like he did in his rookie season with more emphasis in the passing game. Of course, the million dollar question will be if Barkley can stay healthy for a full season.

Top 5 who have not had a solid first week at training camp

  • Evan Neal (RT): As expected, Neal is adjusting to the speed of the NFL and although he has struggled more than we would like to see, I don’t view this as a major concern. Andrew Thomas went through this as a rookie and it’s all part of the learning process. I believe Neal will adapt by game 4 of the season if not sooner.
  • Daniel Jones (QB): Jones has had a hot and cold 1st week of training camp and it’s expected that the biggest reason is the fact he’s learning an entirely new system for the 3rd time in his 4-year career. We all know that this is Jones make or break year for him and am I certainly going to be rooting for him to succeed.
  • Center: The Giants have been experimenting with a few offensive linemen filling in at center while Jon Feliciano was injured when training camp started. Thus far, the three offensive linemen have been Jamil Douglas who failed right from the start. Then there’s Ben Bredeson who has had his moments but still not projecting a vote of confidence. Then lastly Shane Lemieux has taken some snaps and as expected is not taking it by the horn with any high level of efficiency. Hopefully, the return of Feliciano will erase many doubts at the center position.
  • Cornerbacks: After the first week I still have some reservations regarding this group as the top 2 projected starters (Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson) haven’t exactly shined. The decision to release James Bradberry for cap reasons is understood, but if these two players can’t establish themselves as reliable corners, it’s going to be a long season for the Giants secondary.
  • Inside Linebacker: Although Blake Martinez has looked solid in training camp, we need to understand that the Giants employ two ILB in many of their defensive schemes and at this point, no one among the three hopeful candidates (Tae Crowder, Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers) have fully established themselves to secure that spot. The Giants are fully aware the importance of a healthy Blake Martinez means to this defense and aren’t forgetful of his loss to the defensive last season when he suffered that season ending injury and how it affected all overall defensive performance.

Excluded from the top 5 players/positions that have had a solid training camp is CB/Slot Darnay Holmes who has had three interceptions and one forced fumble already in the scrimmages. Holmes is off to a solid start solidify the starting slot position for the Giants. Keep in mind that this is only week 1 and we still have more time for the team to keep improving as they inch closer to their season opener against the Tennessee Titans. Keep an eye out for my next training camp update as I keep you informed with the New York Giants training camp highlights.