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Giants create new practice period to get Davis Webb, rookies more reps

Ben McAdoo and the Giants coaches are finding a way to get rookies like quarterback Davis Webb (above) more reps during camp. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Everything has been quiet on the rookie quarterback front the first few days of New York Giants training camp. That's because reps have been hard to come by for third-round pick Davis Webb with three veteran quarterbacks on the roster.

Coach Ben McAdoo seems to have found a solution. The Giants ran a new "7-on-7 opportunity period" during Sunday's practice -- a drill designed to provide rookies and young players (including Webb and first-round pick Evan Engram) extra snaps while the veterans split into position groups and work on individual drills.

Webb had two pass attempts during the full-team 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills prior to the opportunity period; both were dump-off completions. Eli Manning handled almost all the first-team snaps, Josh Johnson was the second-team quarterback and Geno Smith worked with the third team.

Webb got in for a few third-team snaps, until the opportunity period provided a chance for work against a live defense.

"[That period] it's to get young players opportunities to compete and show what they can do," McAdoo said.

Webb, Engram, fourth-round running back Wayne Gallman and tight end Mark Herzlich were the most notable players on offense to get extra snaps during the added period late in the practice. Defensive back Mykkele Thompson and undrafted rookie Calvin Munson were among those on defense to receive the extra reps.

The idea is to get the young players some much-needed attention. McAdoo and his coordinators were part of the opportunity period and provided instruction. Even though it's not against proven veterans or most of the first-team players, the coaches are evaluating.

"We film everything we do. Traveling from one period to the other gets evaluated," McAdoo said. "Everything that you do gets looked at and evaluated and taken into consideration."

Webb struggled throwing the football during the extra 7-on-7s. He threw several passes at his receivers' feet. But McAdoo was in his ear for what seemed like the entire period, delivering instruction.

The Giants have started their rookies slowly in training camp, with the exception of Engram, who has mixed in sporadically with the first-team offense. Webb is the fourth quarterback and Gallman the fourth running back. Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson is working with the second- and third-team defense. This is noteworthy considering McAdoo is a proponent of playing and bringing along rookies quickly.

"We want to develop them. Again, it's not all the rookies," McAdoo said. "Everybody's different, each player is different. You have to treat them all that way and bring them along as fast as you can bring them, but you have to tailor some things to each guy. Almost like an [independent educational program] sort of, to try to bring them up to speed as fast as they can come."

The opportunity period should help.

Other practice notables

  • Saw some promising stuff from middle linebacker B.J. Goodson again. On back-to-back plays with the first-team defense he knifed through the line for what would've been a sack and a run stuff.

  • Cornerback Michael Hunter continues to impress. He got his hand on a Johnson pass and tipped it into the hands of safety Nat Berhe for an interception. Hunter has started camp well after a strong spring.

  • The quarterback play was somewhat uninspiring. None of the four stood out, although none were awful.

  • Kicker is a position to watch closely. Aldrick Rosas, the only one on the roster, went 3-of-4 on field goals on Sunday. The one miss was a controversial one that will ultimately be decided with a review. McAdoo thought it was good even though the officiating crew at practice called it a miss.

  • Running back Shane Vereen left practice early with a lower-body injury. McAdoo said he could've returned but was held out as a precaution. Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remained the only players to miss practice with injuries. They are on the PUP list. Undrafted rookie safety Jadar Johnson unexpectedly retired on Sunday. The Giants will likely look to fill his spot on the roster by Tuesday's practice.