EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — While wearing full pads at training camp practice for the first time this summer, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones targeted high-priced wideout Kenny Golladay on a crossing route in team drills on Monday.
Golladay was Jones’ intended target, but the ball was flung well behind the receiver, far out of his reach. The sideline had a better shot at catching the ball than Golladay.
New York Giants training camp: Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay not in sync
The connection between Jones and Golladay — or lack thereof — has been a storyline since Golladay signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Giants last offseason. While Jones and Golladay have been together for over a year, they don’t look to be any more comfortable with each other than they were last season.
Golladay, initially billed and paid like a game-changing wideout, produced 521 yards and no touchdowns in 14 games during his first year in the Meadowlands.
Jones and Golladay’s lack of cohesion was put on display a couple of times to start the week. After missing Golladay on the crosser earlier in the session, Jones targeted the wideout on a fourth-and-goal play in the red zone. Jones tried to connect with Golladay on a fade route, but the ball went well over the wide receiver’s 6’4″ frame and out of bounds.
Jones didn’t just struggle with Golladay. The QB had a stretch of eight straight incompletions, as defenders tightly covered his weapons, and he missed the mark on a few throws. Jones also didn’t really test the defense much throughout the day, preferring to stick to the short and intermediate range throughout the workout.
All that said, Jones wasn’t a disaster in practice. He had a couple of really impressive throws, including an opening toss to rookie wideout Wan’Dale Robinson, who caught the ball on a well-placed throw over the middle and had plenty of room to run after the completion.
Jones is learning a new offense, and during the early days of camp, the defense will typically have a leg up on the offense. While Jones’ lack of cohesion with Golladay and his lack of enthusiasm for the deep ball were curious, he didn’t throw any picks or make any big blunders during the practice session.
Giants running backs look the part
While the passing game struggled, the added focus on the running game in the first padded practice helped increase the offense’s performance. Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, and Antonio Williams all had their moments during team drills.
Breida broke off a couple of big runs early in the session, showing strong burst and vision through the trenches. Williams, meanwhile, displayed quick feet as he bobbed and weaved through bodies for chunks of yardage.
During red-zone drills, Barkley had an impressive run that nearly went for a touchdown, as he shimmied through defenders after an initial cut that made him look like the Barkley of old.
The Giants have a nice rotation in the backfield, which also includes Gary Brightwell. It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka plan to split up the duties at the position.
Jon Feliciano remained out of practice on Monday. Daboll said he expects him back at some point this week.
“He’s working through some things. So, he’ll be [back] hopefully tomorrow. But maybe the next day,” Daboll said. “He’s taking care of himself. They’re working with him. He’ll be okay.”
Safety Dane Belton, a fourth-round pick in April, was seen on the sideline wearing a sling on his left arm. The rookie from Iowa had practiced throughout last week.
Offensive tackle Matt Peart remained on the physically unable to perform list, but he did work with a trainer on a side field throughout practice. Center Nick Gates and wideout Sterling Shepard remained on the PUP list as well while pass rusher Azeez Ojulari remained on the non-football injury list.
Kayvon Thibodeaux looks like the real deal
It was a strong practice for rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux. The fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft was on fire off the edge, routinely getting pressure in team drills. He also fared well in his one-on-one matchups as well.
Thibodeaux’s best moment came during one-on-one rush drills, as he used his speed and power to blow past backup right tackle Matt Gono, who held his own against other edge rushers in the workout.
During team drills, Thibodeaux blew up a passing play by flushing Jones out of the pocket. Jones was forced to roll out to the sideline and toss the ball to a receiver who didn’t make the catch and was out of bounds anyway.
Thibodeaux could make a big difference for Wink Martindale’s defense, as his mix of versatility and motor is an uncanny combination.
Play of the day
During team drills, backup QB Tyrod Taylor targeted wideout CJ Board in tight coverage over the middle. Cornerback Michael Jacquet, listed as 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds, was in great position to break up the pass, but Board dove forward to make an acrobatic catch. The Giants fans, who turned up in droves, gave the play a quality ovation.
Quick hits from Giants camp
- Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger had a nice catch-and-run play off a pass from Taylor. Bellinger was activated off the physically unable to perform list last week after dealing with a quad injury.
- Daboll said before practice that the team wouldn’t tackle to the ground until later in camp.
- Taylor didn’t do anything earth-shattering as a passer on Monday, but he did connect on an impressive throw to WR Richie James on a crossing route early in team drills. He also used his mobility to run for a touchdown in red-zone drills.
- Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Williams had their way with offensive linemen during one-on-one drills.
- The starting offensive line looked like this: Andrew Thomas (LT), Joshua Ezeudu (LG), Shane Lemieux (C), Mark Glowinski (RG), and Evan Neal (RT).
- Early in practice, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson broke up a pass from Jones to WR Kadarius Toney near the sideline. While Jackson was physical before the ball was broken up, no flag was thrown. Safety Julian Love broke up a pass from Jones to Toney later on in the workout as well.
- PFN’s Training Camp Tour continues on Tuesday with a return visit to the Philadelphia Eagles, along with a trip to the Cleveland Browns.