Giants practice report: Who worked with the first team on Day 1?

Cruz feels good after first practice (0:20)

Victor Cruz talks about his first training camp practice and how it felt after missing all of last season due to injury. (0:20)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants’ first practice of the summer didn’t involve hitting, full pads or even team drills. It was a glorified organized team activity or minicamp workout disguised as a training camp practice.

The Giants took the field Friday morning and practiced in shorts and shoulder pads for 80 minutes. It was hardly a grueling workout, which is all part of new coach Ben McAdoo’s plan to “build them up.” It was quick and low impact, and almost seemed as if McAdoo and his staff were using Practice No. 1 as an acclimation project.

“It was a quick one,” McAdoo said. “We were on and off today to get the cobwebs out a little bit.”

Given the limited nature of the workout, it’s hard to make any hard determinations on performances. But here are some general observations from the practice, which was held inside due to inclement weather in the morning:

Cruz passes first test

Wide receiver Victor Cruz was on the field and looked as good as can be expected after missing almost two full seasons with injuries. He didn’t appear to be favoring a leg or limping. And, most importantly, he was cutting seamlessly and made it through the entire workout unscathed. “Huge accomplishment,” he conceded. The next benchmarks are stringing together back-to-back practices and working against a defense. He’ll have that opportunity on Saturday.

Big plans for Shepard

When the first-team offense was on the field running some plays with just two wide receivers, rookie Sterling Shepard was next to Odell Beckham Jr. The second-round pick out of Oklahoma earned that honor with a strong spring, and he’s going to get every opportunity possible to be a significant contributor regardless of what happens with Cruz. “Shepard, obviously, we're going to have him right there in the mix at receiver,” quarterback Eli Manning said. Cruz worked out of the slot with the second team during that same drill.


The first-team defense

D-line (left to right): Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Greg Millhouse and Olivier Vernon

Linebackers: Jasper Brinkley, Devon Kennard and Jonathan Casillas

Cornerbacks: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins

Safeties: Landon Collins and Darian Thompson

Note: When the Giants went to a nickel defense cornerback, Trevin Wade replaced Devon Kennard.

The first-team offense

Quarterback: Eli Manning

Running back: Rashad Jennings/Shane Vereen

Wide receivers: Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard

Tight ends: Larry Donnell and Will Tye

O-line (left to right): Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse

Note: The Giants were in a two-wide-receiver set when I charted the first-team offense.

Other tidbits:

Running back Shane Vereen looked more muscular and bigger than the past. … Adam Gettis appears to be the second-team center right now. He played guard last season. … Pierre-Paul is working on the left side with his left hand on the ground. His right hand is the one that was mangled in the fireworks accident. … Safety Nat Berhe earned the praise of secondary coach/safeties David Merritt during footwork drills. … Thompson also looked fluid and fast.