2014 NFL Training Camp: Wednesday Round-Up

Garda is still alive at Giants training camp and he has some more insight into what is going on both around the league and in East Rutherford, New Jersey (hint: it's still really hot).

Another day, another Defensive drill at Giants camp (photo by Andrew Garda)

Another day, another Defensive drill at Giants camp (photo by Andrew Garda)

Another day here in East Rutherford, New Jersey as we wrap the second practice for the New York Giants.

Amazingly, nobody was taken off by cart due to injury or heat issues. Might be the water break head coach Tom Coughlin gave them at the midpoint of practice, might be the ever-so-slightly cooler conditions (we had clouds and wind today!).

Either way, there were less conditioning issues altogether which meant more reps for everyone but a particular wide receiver.

We'll get to him in a minute, but first. let's take a look around the league at some news  both camp related and otherwise.

Multiple teams put players on the PUP list, and you can find the latest here. I'd go through it but that would be a column unto itself.

Notable players who were cleared today included Von Miller (Denver) and Rob Gronkowski (New England). Meanwhile the New York Jets added Jason Babin to the roster as another of head coach Rex Ryan's reclimation projects.  The 34-year-old Babin still has some gas in the tank (he led the Jacksonville Jaguars in sacks last year with 7.5) and the Jets still need some pass rushing help off the edge. The contract's details have not ben reported but we know it's just two years and I would assume there is no guaranteed money. The line is a bit stacked right now at defensive end, so Babin is likely going to be a rotational player.

Back to Gronk, the Patriots have to be relieved that he is back on the field for camp. Now they just have to hope he stays there. The young receivers from last year have another season under their belt and Danny Amendola appears healthy as well, but Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite and most reliable (when healthy) target. Julian Edelman can catch a ton of balls again but it things run better when the offense has one of the best tight ends in the league lining up for Brady.

It will be interesting to see who is the second tight end in the two-tight end sets the team normally runs., assuming they run them at all.

On the downside of news, the Kansas City Chiefs appeared to have some problems on their hands and not just the question of who their No. 2 receiver is. Jamaal Charles skipped reporting to training camp today and it appeared that he would hold out for a new contract.

Of course, then we get this little moment:

That’s how quickly things move folks.

By the way, Charles was absolutely underpaid. According to Spotrac.com, Charles wasn’t even in the top ten for contracts. Frank Gore, C.J. Spiller and Steven Jackson were all ahead of him. No offense to any of those guys but that’s insane.

Charles got paid though.

As he needed to be. And it’s an extension which makes sense for both sides.

Back to the Giants….

You can tell even this early that this offense is a different beast from what came before. The tempo, the amount of slants, the speed Manning gets the ball out. It’s rough, it’s sloppy but it has the potential to be really dangerous.

Of course, as I mentioned before, it needs to be since Chris Snee is gone and they will have an inexperienced player at center with new faces all around.  If the receivers can’t hold onto the ball (and over the first two days, that’s been an issue), or get enough separation, or if they cannot get in sync with Manning, this will not work though. I am looking for the line to improve and it’s admittedly hard to gauge how it good it is without hitting but I have concerns.

After last season, who wouldn’t?

This offense, if it works, should help overcome any shaky line play.

A key piece of Ben McAdoo’s scheme is Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham spent most of today’s practice working out his gimpy hamstring.

Beckham has to get on the field and off the trainer's table (photo by Andrew Garda)

Beckham has to get on the field and off the trainer's table (photo by Andrew Garda)

This has been the story of Beckham’s time with the team so far. It’s hard to get down on a guy who is just coming into the league but it’s also not a good sign to see him laid up this early in camp.

After practice, Coughlin told us he had no idea when the rookie would return to the field and GM Jerry Reese confirmed this morning that it was the hamstring which plagued him this spring.

The could use Beckham, as he is slated to be the deep threat in this offense. Right now though, Rueben Randle is “starting” across from Victor Cruz (who has the Randall Cobb role in the offense) and Jerrel Jernigan has been starting in the three-wide sets.

The Giants, are admittedly concerned by this.

We’ll have to watch how this plays out, but it’s not a good start for Beckham if he wants a role in the offense.

Meanwhile I am becoming impressed by the play of tight end Adrien Robinson. Entering his third year in the NFL (and with the Giants), Robinson has only been active for three games and has no catches.

GM Jerry Reese is high tight end Adrien Robinson (photo by Andrew Garda)

GM Jerry Reese is high tight end Adrien Robinson (photo by Andrew Garda)

But GM Jerry Reese is high on him, making a lose comparison to last year’s emergence of Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. Before he logged 65 catches for 788 yards and a dozen touchdowns, Thomas had been active just eight games total in his first two seasons, catching a whopping one catch during that time.

It’s a bit much to read a ton into that, as Reese said he hoped someone would emerge to fill the role and really it could be anyone.

But Reese definitely likes Robinson and it is clear the staff wants to give him every chance to succeed.

This offense is geared to use their tight ends a lot.  It could just as easily be a committee as it could be one guy, but right now I like Robinson for the starting spot.

We’ll be back with more from camp tomorrow. I’m slowly (ever so slowly) putting the McAdoo article together. It’ll be worth the wait folks.


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March 07, 2017 at 10:06 pm

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