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Daniel Jones, Kenny Golladay clicking . . . but not until Giants defenders are off field

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay catches

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay catches a pass during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Friday, Jul 30, 2021. Credit: Brad Penner

Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay have been out on the field connecting on an array of passes every day of training camp, Giants fans will be elated to know. There is a caveat to that good news, however. They do so after the rest of the team is done practicing, without any defenders there to get in the way. During the actual workouts with the team it’s been a bit of a different story for the quarterback and his newest wide receiver.

The Jones-to-Golladay connection, trumpeted in the offseason as the harbinger of great improvements for an offense that has struggled to score points, has yet to flash any of that explosiveness within the confines of full team snaps. It’s gotten to the point that the defense is practically taunting Golladay about it, with cornerback James Bradberry quipping that at some point in camp he might let the receiver catch a pass or two. On Friday, linebacker TJ Brunson gave Golladay the hardest pop of the first week of work, knocking him onto his $72 million rear.

Golladay brushed off the hit. "That’s football," he said.

And he sort of took the jibes from Bradberry in stride. "I might let him break up a few passes periodically," he said.

At some point, though, this early lack of productivity between Jones and Golladay won’t be as easy to laugh off. We’re not there yet, but this is New York and Golladay was the big-money offseason addition to the team. It will not take long for the foot-tapping impatience of a fan base that has had too many disappointments to count over the past decade to grow into a full stomp.

"It’s Day 3," Golladay said on Friday. "We’ve got a lot of training camp left, a lot of ball left. I’m out there just trying to get better each and every day."

Which is why he is putting in so much post-practice work with Jones.

"Trying to get on the same page," he said. "So it can just be like clockwork. You know, anything you do a lot of times, you get comfortable with doing it. When we do extra stuff after practice, it’s so we can be better the next day at it or whenever it comes up."

So far that’s where they have looked their best, off by themselves. The expectation is that eventually – and soon would certainly be nice – those private reps will translate onto a field more crowded with other players.

Joe Judge has noticed the work that Jones and Golladay have been putting in.

"It’s critical for any position," the coach said of working on timing and chemistry, "but especially for the skill positions with the quarterback."

Especially this receiver and this quarterback, from whom so much is expected for the upcoming season.

Notes & quotes. The Giants seem to have avoided a major injury as guard Shane Lemieux, carted off the field after hurting his knee on Thursday, did not suffer a torn ACL. Judge did not offer a diagnosis, saying it will take a day or two for the medical staff to evaluate the injury completely, but it will not require season-ending surgery. "I’d say the worst-case scenario seems to have been avoided," Judge said … The Giants will practice at newly refurbished Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark on Saturday with about 2,000 area high school and youth football players in attendance. While the event is not open to the public, it will be the first time since the start of the pandemic that the Giants will play in front of any fans in the tri-state area … The Giants' defense came away with three takeaways in 11-on-11 drills during Friday’s practice, including interceptions by Logan Ryan and Rodarius Williams and a fumble forced by Adoree’ Jackson.

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