Giants training camp: 10 takeaways from Day 7

The New York Giants returned to the field on Wednesday morning for their final practice ahead of Friday night’s “Fan Fest,” which will feature the Blue & White scrimmage game.

Head coach Brian Daboll once again took the podium to kick things off — a daily press conference he recently referred to as “Groundhog Day.” He recapped the prior today and outlined how the upcoming practice would be structured.

Here are 10 takeaways from Day 7 of training camp practice.

DJ is progressing

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Daboll cautions against getting too high or too low on a player based on their daily performances. Such is the case with quarterback Daniel Jones, who had his best practice of camp on Tuesday.

However, the first-year head coach wasn’t thrilled with the two interceptions — even if one came as a target slipped on his route.

Still, Daboll is pleased with Jones’ overall progress.

Chemistry is key

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Adding onto Jones’ progression within the new system, Daboll was quick to remind reporters that the skill position players are learning a “new language,” too. And given the freedom their route runners enjoy, it’ll take time to build the proper rapport.

There are going to be mistakes in practice as a result of this. The idea is that they each learn from said mistakes and get enough time together on the field that they develop a better feel for each other and their body language.

Feliciano is back

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After missing quite a bit of time due to heat-related issues, veteran center Jon Feliciano returned to practice on Wednesday.

Daboll did say they’d watch Feliciano closely and manage him if necessary, but it was a step in the right direction. And it couldn’t come soon enough as the team’s reserves (save for Shane Lemieux) did not instill much confidence in his absence.

It’s unclear if Feliciano will play in Friday night’s scrimmage.

Injured players

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The Giants have been lucky with injuries this summer for the most part. The vast majority have been minor or otherwise inconsequential, but there have been a couple of more significance.

Rookie safety Dane Belton is obviously out for some time after suffering a broken collarbone. In addition, wide receiver Robert Foster missed Wednesday’s practice after going down hard on Tuesday.

Also sitting out were tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (fifth practice in a row sidelined), running back Antonio Williams (knee), cornerback Rodarius Williams (knee) and offensive lineman Matt Gono.

Edge rusher Azeez Ojulari remains on the non-football injury (NFI) list.

Sun and water

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Creating a new culture has been a big point of emphasis for Daboll. It was for Joe Judge as well, but obviously that experiment failed.

Daboll has taken a more humble approach to his culture building.

“There’s a lot of things that have come across my desk the last few months… I ask for a lot of opinions. Not just from my staff, but from people who have done it in the past,” Daboll said. “Humble. Don’t have all the answer. Doing the best job you can and creating a culture that you see for your team — you have to give it sun and water every day.

“It doesn’t just stay the same. You have to stay on top of it. The values that you believe in, you have to commit to those and find different ways to express those and show (the team) good examples of what they’re doing. Not just the players, but the coaches and the staff. You have to be a good communicator, but there’s certainly a big part of it that I’ve been trying to work on the best I can. It takes time.”

KT returning punts? Probably not.

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The Giants are adding more to the plate of second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney, but it’s not likely to include returning punts.

Although Toney is an electric player capable of handling return duties, he’s not been featured in those drills throughout camp. That trend continued again on Wednesday as he and fellow wide receiver Kenny Golladay worked off to the side during special teams drills.

Meanwhile, the Giants had a unique way of practicing preventative touchback drills.

Neal struggling

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After looking impressive earlier in camp, rookie right tackle Evan Neal has begun to struggle a bit. He appears uncomfortable at times and is clearly adjusting to the NFL game.

Wednesday wasn’t a one-off, either. Neal also had sluggish practices on both Monday and Tuesday.

Growing pains. No real reason to be concerned…yet.

A pass rush? What?

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It’s no fluke — the Giants look like they’ve finally found a pass rush. From the inside to the outside, the defense has gotten after it since camp opened.

Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence have been dominant inside, while the edge group has begun to take things over on the outside. That doesn’t just mean rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux, but also Quincy Roche, Jihad Ward, Elerson Smith and perhaps most notably, Oshane Ximines.

We mentioned Ximines on Tuesday and with good reason — he’s making at least one or two “wow plays” per day it seems.

Backup QB upgrade

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Tyrod Taylor has yet to take a first-team snap in training camp, but that doesn’t mean his presence hasn’t been felt.

After a season in which the Giants’ backup quarterbacks embarrassed themselves, Taylor has been a breath of fresh air. The hard-luck quarterback has looked as advertised this summer, dropping dimes all over the field.

There have been some hiccups of course, but overall, the Giants have to be pleased with their investment early on.

As our friends at New York Revival note, it shouldn’t be a Jones vs. Taylor debate as much as it should be, “thank goodness the Giants have a capable backup QB who can come in and play sound football if called upon.”

Kenny rebounds

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After a rough start to camp, wide receiver Kenny Golladay has started to turn things up a notch. And on Wednesday, he pieced together his best practice by far.

Golladay was beating defenders off the line in man situation, going up and winning contested passes and just making difficult, big-time plays all over the field.

This looks a lot like the guy the Giants thought they were getting a year ago.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire