There really isn’t much difference between practices at OTAs and those at minicamp. The players still are not in full pads, the workouts are structured just about the same way, and the goal is the same.
“It’s really just an expansion of the offseason program,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said.
The glaring change now that the Giants advance from one stage of that program to the next, though, is in the expectation of attendance. OTAs are voluntary. Players are not required to attend, and while most have shown up for all 10 of them ending with Friday’s, some have decided to do their training elsewhere as is their right.
On Tuesday, that right gets rescinded.
Mandatory minicamp begins then, and it will be the first time star players who have not been with the team much for the past few weeks — a list headlined by Odell Beckham Jr. — will be contractually required to show up.
All eyes, of course, will be looking to see if number 13 honors that mandate.
Beckham told NFL Network several weeks ago that he planned to attend the minicamp, and despite a report on ESPN that Beckham’s absence from OTAs has been an angle to get a contract extension, there has been no formal word from him or his camp regarding motives for training in California rather than East Rutherford. He, or anyone else, can be fined by the Giants for not showing up next week.
Participation, of course, is another matter. Some players have sidestepped the fines by being physically with the team but refusing to go on the field. No one really knows for sure what Beckham will do if and when he shows up for work for the first time in almost a month.
“I’m not talking about attendance,” McAdoo said.
On Tuesday, one way or another, he’ll likely have to.
Ready to click
Prior to just about every week last season, someone on the Giants’ offense would say: “This is the week.” It was a never-ending waiting game for the offense to break out, connect and start producing at the level most expected.
That never happened. Through 16 games and a playoff loss, the offense never mustered 30 points in any single game.
Now, already, the same chirps are starting to be heard.
“We know the potential that we have,” running back Shane Vereen said on Friday, noting that for many players this will be their fourth year in the system that McAdoo brought here in 2014. “It’s about time for everything to start clicking.”
Goodson not alone
B.J. Goodson has stepped in as the starting middle linebacker and the main voice of the Giants’ defense this season, but veteran Jonathan Casillas wants him to remember he is not alone out there.
“Don’t try to do too much,” Casillas said of his advice to Goodson, a second-year player who saw fewer than a dozen snaps on defense last year and will be surrounded by an experienced and decorated group. “He doesn’t have to be the saving hero of the defense, he doesn’t have to be the golden knight.”
Casillas said there are plenty of veterans around to help Goodson learn to drive the defense.
“It’s a lot to ask from a young guy who is playing the Mike position,” Casillas said. “I like to call myself the co-pilot because I’m usually out there with him. I try to do a good job of helping getting the guys lined up and ready to go.”
— McAdoo said he’s been impressed by the relationships that have grown among the team during OTAs. “We made a lot of progress,” McAdoo said of the 10 workouts over three weeks. “We got a lot of teaching and learning in, that was the goal. And it looks like we have some chemistry going.”
— Speedy undrafted rookie wide receiver Kevin Snead caught a deep pass down the left sideline from Davis Webb early in practice but came away hobbling. He eventually was carted away from the field with what appeared to be a left hamstring injury.
— Wide receiver Dwayne Harris was shaken up after a collision with CB Janoris Jenkins.
— Projected starter at right tackle Bobby Hart was not with the team on Frida,y so sixth-round pick Adam Bisnowaty stepped in for his first taste of action with the first team.
— Besides Beckham and Hart, veterans Olivier Vernon and Justin Pugh were not at Friday’s workout.