It wasn’t Odell Beckham Jr. It wasn’t Sterling Shepard. It wasn’t even an offensive player.
No, the Giants player who drew the simple but direct approval from Ben McAdoo in his post-practice assessment of the opening OTA on Monday — “Nice catch,” the coach said — was one of the least likely to receive the compliment.
Practicing with what appeared to be his new custom-made glove for his mangled right hand, Pierre-Paul was able to leap up and cleanly catch a short pass that Eli Manning was trying to loft over his head to running back Shane Vereen. It wasn’t in full-speed drills, so there wasn’t a lot of zip on the pass. Still, for Pierre-Paul to be able to clamp the football cleanly between his hands is a remarkable feat. And it is something he likely would have been unable to do last year while wearing the club that wrapped around his hand.
The new glove, a blue and gray model with the Under Armour logo, was designed to fit what remains of Pierre-Paul’s right hand. There is no index finger — it looks as if that part of the glove was snipped off and stitched shut — and the middle finger is shortened. The equipment should allow Pierre-Paul to play with more dexterity this season than last year, his first after returning from the horrendous July 4 fireworks accident that led to an amputation and a series of surgeries.
Pierre-Paul won’t be asked to catch many passes this season. But the fact that he could do so in Monday’s practice could be a sign that he’ll have a lot more luck grabbing offensive players in 2016 than he did last season.