ALLEN PARK, Mich.— As the Giants and Lions finished their two days of joint practices on Wednesday, both teams seemed to get what they hoped out of the sessions.
“These practices are invaluable,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. “The looks that you get, the different competitions, that’s what coaching is. You had a lot of plays. I’d say a lot of plays to evaluate and then you look at them and fix what you need to fix. This isn’t a game right now, it’s practice against another team. It’s been productive.”
Lions coach Dan Campbell agreed.
“There’s a number of our guys [who] get to that level of competition and, man, they take it up a notch. And there are guys you see that will practice and, man, they elevate again. It’s awesome. But this is great work for us you get some unbelievable evaluation of your players.”
The Giants and Lions will meet Friday night at Detroit’s Ford Field in their first preseason game.
In the two highly productive days of work, everyone from star players to guys hoping to be among the last to make the roster were on the field. That, almost certainly, will be in contrast to the players who garner most of the playing time Friday. While both coaches are likely to keep star players out of the game, neither coach would tip his hand on preseason roster decisions.
As Campbell said when asked if would identify who will not play in the game: “No, not right now. Not right now. I’m sure you guys can guess some of them.”
For the Giants, Saquon Barkley, at one point in the sessions wasn’t on the field for a red-zone period. That wouldn’t happen in the regular season.
Said Daboll: “Whether it’s [wide receiver Sterling Shepard] or Saquon or some other guys, that’s the part of the process that I talked to you guys about with the training staff. [We are] just making sure we’re being smart with our guys.”
“Being smart with our guys” may be a Daboll refrain heard often in preseason.
Quarterback Daniel Jones appeared to have a better day on the practice field Wednesday than he did on Tuesday. Of course, Tuesday was his first competition against an opponent since January.
Asked about his quarterback, Daboll said: “Look, every practice we do the same thing as a coaching staff. You watch practice, there’s a lot of good things in practice and then there’s a lot of things that you can improve on and that’s the job of a coach and as a player. Look at it, try to fix it, come out here and have a good day. And we do that day-to-day.”
Parris Campbell appeared to get banged up a bit during the practice. Asked if he was OK, Daboll said, “Yep.”
And after Shepard had ramped up his workout on Tuesday, Daboll said, “I thought he had a good day, just like a lot of guys.”
Giants coaches believe they got a lot out of the joint practices with the Lions. Their younger players are probably the biggest beneficiaries.
But the Lions, under Campbell, really, really like joint practices. They will hold another session of joint practices in advance of their preseason game against the Jaguars on Aug. 19 at Ford Field.
Asked if he coaches his team to be “high energy,” Campbell said no.
“I think that’s who they are,” he added. “I’m who I am and that’s who they are, so I don’t feel like I have to preach high energy. You get the right guys you don’t have to preach energy. They come with their own.”