Big Blue View Mailbag: Guardian Hats, Evan Neal, Surprises, and More

The New York Giants are now going through two weeks of training camp, with their first pre-season game kicking off Thursday against the New England Patriots. With that in mind, let’s open up the Big Blue View Mailbag and answer a few questions.

Jeno Phillips asks: The new system, through draft and free agency, added a half dozen or so new starters to the roster and improved the quality of the depth. What do you think are the biggest injury commitments on the current roster? Injuries in which location on each side of the ball would be most devastating to the team’s overall strength?

Ed says: Gino, this is a list that will suffer if any of the best players are lost. It is a work in progress. There are still two situations that spring to mind.

The center is one. We’ve seen the Giants have an extraordinary difficulty catching the ball with Jon Feliciano sidelined. To the point where left guard Shin Lemieu took a few shots in the middle with rookie Joshua Izudo in the left guard. Could Lemieux be the long-term position somewhere down the line? Can. For now, though, using it there illustrates an existing issue.

Cornerback is the other. I think Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes could – at least – be a good fit for the base trio. I have no idea what the giants behind them will do.

Randy Tatano asks: Just curious… What’s up with those weird looking helmets? I suppose they’re for safety, but I’m just wondering about the design and who invented them.

Ed says: Randy, they are called “Guardian Caps” and you can read our story about them here. Essentially, they’re soft, anti-concussion shells the league requires all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers to practically wear during their second preseason game. Research shows at least a 10 percent reduction in impact intensity if one player wears the hat, and at least a 20 percent reduction in impact if two players wearing the hat collide. Here is an NFL video about the hats.

Pierre-Yves Bianchi asks: My question may seem silly (I’m French and still learning this great game) but I wonder if the defense in the training camp has access to the rules of the game to attack. As far as I know, in normal matches, the defense has to guess what will happen to them, so it would make sense for them to have the same situation in the camp, but how do we know that the players don’t talk among themselves about this?

Same question in reverse, do offensive players know the rules of playing in defense?

Ed says: Pierre, thanks for reading Big Blue View. No, both offensive and defensive players cannot access each other’s play rules. What can happen in a bootcamp environment is that, since you’re training against each other every single day, you can look at the training or the situation and start predicting what’s coming.

Now, each exercise is designed to work out some tight poses. So, in this sense, each side may have a general idea of ​​what is to come.

While these practices are controlled, the coaching staff wants to see players read and react the way they should in a game situation.

Edwin Gummers asks: Reading your coverage of bootcamp, Evan Neal emerges and not necessarily the best reasons. It appears that he regularly loses head-to-head against what is likely, at best, to be a backup/rushed spinner on D giants like the Ximines who might not make the list. In your opinion, has the Ximines made a huge leap, will this be an adjustment year for Neal as he has to adjust to playing in the NFL versus college like Thomas last year (first half) or do we as fans need to temper our expectations/we are concerned because it looks like Neal is poised to start RT mission. However, judging by the reports about BBV, it looks like Neil still has a long way to go.

Ed says: Edwin, Neil has undoubtedly had a tough few days in 1-on-1 workouts. He lost several reps to Oshane Ximines on Monday (and, no, Ximines didn’t make a big jump). He lost 1-1 on Wednesday to Quincy Roche and had a very clear penalty against Kayvonne Tibodo during an 11-11 session.

What bothered me the most was that Neil ended up on Earth with two of these actors. Now, I’ll let Nick Falato or Chris Pflum break the reps and tell you why, but attacking tackles facing landing first in the turf aren’t ideal. In the exploratory reports prepared earlier, I read that one area of ​​concern to Neal is the tendency to bend, and thus imbalance. Maybe that’s part of what we’re seeing.

This came from a Pro Football Network Exploratory Report:

Alabama OT partial to rush against defenders. This causes Neil to throw his weight on his toes, causing him to become unbalanced and prone to pulling movements. There are many examples of him hitting the surface when this occurs, both when interfering and guarding.

Neil got seven exercises in his first NFL boot camp. It will not be perfect. I think Andrew Thomas faced a lot of adversity as a rookie due to the apparent power struggle between Joe Judge and Mark Colombo, and the switch mid-season to Dave DeGuglielmo as offensive line coach – Goggs was a man who frankly said he was useless. juniors.

Neil will have rough patches, and now I think the balance issue is being revealed, but I don’t think we’ll see anything close to what we saw with the difficulties Thomas had as a rookie.

Kolnerbigblue asks: What are your three biggest surprises so far at boot camp? This could be players or staff.

Are there major disappointments or is it too early to make this assessment?

Ed says: It’s still too early, but here are some ideas. I wouldn’t put a tight end to wide receiver Jeremiah Hall or Richie James in the “surprise” category, because I expected both to make strong roster bids. They are.

I’ll go this way:

  • Seeing Shane Lemieux get focused reps. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, and I wonder if it could have long-term effects.
  • See how well Darnay Holmes played.
  • Here’s a dark horse we haven’t talked about much. Sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers got some first-team reps in running positions.

Disappointment? I was shocked by the injury to rookie Dane Bilton. I think the Giants had and still have big plans for Belton.

Taj Seddiqi asks: Some recent articles have quoted Dabel that sounding like dealing with exercises has not yet been worked out at boot camp. It was also reported that he may use second and third level players for those trainings in the next two weeks. I used to think that tackling workouts was one of the most important parts of boot camps. Why not put beginners through a tackle drill? Is it a new strategy adopted by all NFL teams to avoid injuries? What are the pros and cons of this strategy in your opinion?

Ed says: Taj, I think you misunderstand what has been said here. NFL teams generally don’t tackle in training camp. You rarely see it nowadays. I may have seen Joe Judge put players in a head-to-head tackle exercise once, but I’m not sure. Very few teams do that anymore because keeping players healthy is the main priority. Even in 11v11 action during paddling drills, defenders will “hit” or roll ball carriers. They will not bring them to earth.

Now, does that mean teams don’t do handling drills? of course not. There is work on the interference technique, positioning, etc., you will not see a drill where the players drive the ball carriers to the ground. Coaches generally fear when defenders take the ball carriers to the ground. They want the players to stay afloat.

Daboll said he could have players from the second and third teams go through some direct intervention training. Maybe it’s in preparation for the pre-season games where they’ll be playing the bulk of the picks. You wouldn’t see anyone taking Sacon Barclay to the ground on purpose in practice. Ever.

I think you have to practice real handling until you get better at handling, which is why I also say that intervention is something that can no longer be generally taught at the NFL level. If you weren’t a good college player, you wouldn’t be a good NFL player. The structure of the practice nowadays does not allow it, through thick and thin.

That’s why when you read an exploratory report on a potential draft that says it’s a questionable handler, you should probably hope your team drops its draft.

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