Last year there really was not much more than one. Now there could be three. Like it, the giants have a line that forms to deal with point returns.
Safety Jabrill Peppers had 15 points return last season and averaged 12.5 yards. Cornerback Adoree ‘Jackson, signed as a free agent, had 53 career point returns for the Titans and averaged 8.8 yards. Receiver Kadarius Toney, the Giants’ first-round draft pick, had an 11-point return last season in Florida, averaging 12.6 yards and taking one back for a touchdown.
Peppers, who carry a full load on defense and usually do not get off the field the entire game, love to have the ball in their hands.
“You know I̵
Toney could be the player. He dropped a point during a special team period during the minicamp exercise, shouting to himself and clasping his hands in disgust. He caught the next one sailing his way.
“He is what he is; he is electric, ” said Thomas McGaughey, special coordinator. “He can do some things. But right now he just needs to get in here with all the other rookies and get used to what we do and how we do it. You saw his tape in college. You know his abilities and what he can do with the ball in his hands, but right now he just needs to get in here and gain the trust of his teammates. That job as a point-returner in this league, it’s a huge job and a big responsibility. That’s the main focus right now. ”
It’s not hard to come to the conclusion that McGaughey is fascinated by Toney.
“He has some skills, he certainly does,” McGaughey said. “He is a good young player who needs to understand what it takes to be a professional and you just know how to learn to function like a professional. But he certainly has extreme talent. We have all seen that. ”
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is nowhere near the man he was last season. He has run serious pounds in year 2 with the Giants and his body and face are noticeably trimmer.
“It was my heaviest at the end of last year of my whole life, so I had to look in the mirror and get that thing fixed,” Graham said. “Just trying to show some discipline for a change outside the office “Show some discipline sitting at a table. Be a good example to the players.”
During the post-2020 hiring cycle, Graham, 42, had the opportunity to interview for the Jets head coaching vacancy, which was occupied by Robert Saleh, but Graham chose not to meet with the Jets. It was an unusual move, as coordinators are often about upward mobility.
“Whenever there are opportunities, you’re excited, ” Graham said. “It has a lot less to do with me and more the guys, the players here, we played a decent defense as the year went on, a lot of room to grow. For me, the Giants, this is my dream job to be here as the defense coordinator for the New York Giants. So I’m just happy to be here. I do not know, it’s nothing against them or anything. I’m just happy to be a giant in New York. ”
With a relaxation of what positions can wear single-digit jerseys, Peppers finally hoped to get to don No. 5, his number in Michigan and in high school in New Jersey at Paramus Catholic and Don Bosco Prep. One problem: Graham Gano, the veteran kicker, has No. 5. Peppers have offered to pay up to get the number, but Gano has so far not accepted any offer.
“I tried, but he did not jump,” Peppers said. “You know, I’m thinking of putting it on. I probably still have a month to try to see what I can do, try to swing him my way. But at the moment, it does not look too good. ”