Darian Thompson received the Giants’ defensive playbook on Thursday night.
On Friday morning, he was calling out checks, yelling coverages and directing his new teammates during the first on-field segment of the team’s rookie minicamp. It made an impression on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
“It’s just a 30-minute deal, but Thompson, I thought, was barking out,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s the first thing I look for in a safety. Will you bark them out? Will you be loud? Will you not be afraid to make a mistake? I think that’s huge and that stuck out a little bit.”
Thompson said it wasn’t something he made a conscious decision to do when he took the field at this event. It’s just who he is.
“It’s a lot easier to communicate when you know what’s going on, so first things first I tried to learn the playbook as much as possible before I got out there so the communication comes natural,” he said.
Thompson, a third-round pick from Boise State, comes into a situation where the Giants have no clear-cut starter at his position. He might find himself on the field for the opener.
“It’s a fresh start,” he said of that possibility. “A lot of people don’t know me, so what I’m trying to do is put my best foot forward and whatever happens happens.”
As for the opener of the minicamp, he already has proven to the coaches that he can take control and that he belongs.
“It’s very important for a safety to command from back there because they can see everything from back there and be a leader back there, a quarterback of the defense,” Thompson said. “That’s something I’ve been doing throughout the college level, so it comes natural. I think that’s what they’re looking for.”