Mike Shula isn’t running to dig up the old plays he used to call when he was with the Panthers and his quarterback was Cam Newton, but with rookie Daniel Jones showing off some mobility, the Giants’ offensive coordinator may keep a few in mind.
“There’s some similarities with his feet and his quickness,” Shula said Wednesday after the second day of minicamp. “So there’s some things we could possibly look into with him.”
Shula, who did not bring up the comparison on his own, pointed out Newton was a different kind of beast in their time together. The dual-threat came in around 250 pounds and played even heavier, allowing Shula to call for QB runs like a power up the middle, which is often reserved for fullbacks.
The Giants hardly ever call sneaks for Eli Manning, never mind a designed quarterback run, but the 6-foot-5, 221-pound Jones has flashed his mobility and athleticism during minicamp, particularly on a zone read Tuesday that he took for himself into open field.
“He’s fast, he’s got straight-on speed,” Shula said. “He’s a good athlete. He’s one of those guys that if you’re playing a pickup game in any sport, you’re probably going to pick him pretty close to No. 1.”
Tight end C.J. Conrad and wide receiver Darius Slayton both had active days in practice as Jones connected with the rookies multiple times for touchdowns and deep balls. With starting tight end Evan Engram still working off to the side, there have been more reps up for grabs for Conrad.
“[Conrad has] done a really good job,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s a smart player. Each day he gets better. He’s one of those young players that’s really taken advantage of all the reps he’s getting. He’s fun to be around because he’s really into it.”
Guard Will Hernandez is undergoing an important transition from his rookie days into his second year as a pro.
“I definitely want to build off of last year and no longer make the same mistakes,” Hernandez said. “My main goal is to be as reliable as I can.”
With Kevin Zeitler joining the offensive line, Shurmur said he believes Hernandez’s best days are ahead.
“He can make a big jump,” Shurmur said. “I expect a second-year player like him to make significant improvement.”
The entire Giants organization came together in the fieldhouse to pack care bags for children of domestic violence victims through My Sister’s Place. Wide receiver Russell Shepard addressed the team before they got to work.
“This is a problem amongst humanity,” Shepard said. “When you get an organization like the Giants behind it, we can really push movement. I think it’s very important for us, as athletes, to stand up for what’s right and speak on the things that are going on that are really not right.”
Quarterback Kyle Lauletta took his first reps in team drills of the spring after undergoing a minor procedure on his knee. He was the fourth QB to throw in each period.
WR Sterling Shepard (wrist), safety Jabrill Peppers (tooth extraction) and CB Sam Beal (personal) were all missing from practice, but Shurmur said they were all “fine.”
Engram, LT Nate Solder, RT Mike Remmers, WR Brittan Golden, QB/TE Eric Dungey, LB Avery Moss S Sean Chandler and DL Olsen Pierre all worked off to the side.