Adoree’ Jackson didn’t practice much on Monday, but the cornerback made sure his presence was felt and, more important, heard.
As the team came together for its post-workout stretch, he ran onto the field to let everyone on offense know what’s happening.
“Two-and-oh!” he yelled, holding up two fingers. “Two-and-oh!”
It sure seemed as if the cornerback was taunting half his teammates about a second straight practice dominated by the defense.
Does that kind of trash-talking continue inside the building throughout the day? “Uh, yeah,” safety Julian Love said with a laugh. “Since we’ve been in training camp, it’s been very competitive. On the field, off the field, in the locker room, yeah, we’re going to be chirping a little bit. Just hoping for a response.”
Hoping that soon the offense will awaken from its mid-camp slumber and put up a fight, because while it is fun for the defenders to laugh and dominate their teammates now, in a few weeks, it won’t be a problem for just one side of the ball. If it isn’t fixed, it will become everyone’s issue.
So far there have been no outward expressions of concern about the state of the offense, with Daniel Jones scuffling through a second straight day of interceptions, incompletions and forced scrambles because of pressure. The frustration, though, is starting to become a bit more obvious.
Monday was the first practice without fans in the stands, so perhaps the lack of ambient noise made the words coming from the field a bit more audible, but there were several R-rated exclamations from offensive players after a poor rep or series.
“We’re just in a little bit of a lull coming out of the first week [of preseason games],” guard Mark Glowinski told Newsday of the offense’s lackluster performance on the practice fields since Thursday’s opener against the Patriots.
He said there usually would be several days of recovery from a game before the players went back at it, and that just doesn’t happen in training camp. The Giants were in full pads Sunday and Monday. Still, it’s worth noting that in two series Thursday, the Patriots’ second-team offense scored more points against the Giants’ starting defense (seven) than the Giants’ starting offense has in the past two full days of work.
Aside from a pair of long runs by Saquon Barkley, one each of the last two days, the offense has lacked any visible spirit or energy.
“We’re still working through what our routine is going to be, all of the little things,” Glowinski said. “It’s like growing pains. We’re not going to come out perfect every day, but I just felt like we were trying to figure it out at times [the last two days] and there were a lot of things that just didn’t go our way.”
One stretch of six straight plays Monday illustrated the offensive woes. The Giants had a short run by Barkley, a false start by tackle Evan Neal, a bad snap exchange between Jones and Ben Bredeson, a scramble by Jones with Kayvon Thibodeaux in the backfield, an incomplete pass intended for Barkley that was low (with Dexter Lawrence in Jones’ face), and a would-be sack by Lawrence. That series didn’t even include the pass from Jones that was tipped and intercepted by Darnay Holmes, his second pick in two days.
“It’s practice,” coach Brian Daboll said before Monday’s offensive performance, which was only slightly better than Sunday’s drab display. “We’re all about the process, so if you have a bad day, you regroup, you look at it, you talk about it. Obviously, you want to translate good things in practice to games. We’re evaluating players right now. We’re working through a lot of different schemes. That’s not much different than the last 22 years I’ve been around.
“We want to perform well when it counts the most, which is on game day.”
That will be when the Giants’ defense will stop laughing at and mocking the Giants’ offense, on game day, the first of which is in less than four weeks. It either will be because that side of the ball has straightened itself out and gotten out of its “lull” — or because its misery will start to have an impact on everyone, not just one half of the roster.