Giants’ OTA Takeaways: Hall of Fame receiver helps the youngsters, Drew Lock defines his role

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Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants‘ Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are in full swing, and the emphasis is on nurturing the talent of the roster’s younger members.

In a move to bolster player development, the Giants have enlisted the expertise of Hall of Fame receiver Steve Smith Sr. to mentor their pass catchers. Smith, known for his physical style of play and mental toughness, is poised to significantly enhance the young receivers’ mental approach and boost their confidence.

New York Giants OTAs and Player Development

One of the standout moments from the OTAs includes Smith working with second-year receiver Jalin Hyatt on refining his release techniques. Video footage showed Smith demonstrating various strategies to evade defenders and create space. Rookie Malik Nabers also benefited from Smith’s guidance, focusing on the fundamentals under the tutelage of one of the game’s most respected figures.

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Credit: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Quarterback Dynamics and Offensive Line Updates

The Giants have also made strategic moves concerning their quarterbacks. Drew Lock, who recently signed a one-year, $5 million contract, has clarified his role as the backup to Daniel Jones. Despite Jones’ recovery from a torn ACL and uncertain future with the team, Lock’s primary function is to provide support rather than compete for the starting position.

Jones’ situation was further highlighted during the 2024 NFL Draft, where the Giants attempted to trade up for the third overall pick to select Drake Maye. However, their efforts were thwarted by the New England Patriots, leading the Giants to settle for Malik Nabers. Despite this, Nabers is viewed as a top acquisition, being rated as one of the draft’s premier receivers.

Additionally, the Giants introduced Carmen Bricillo as the new offensive line coach. Bricillo’s approach is rooted in patience and adaptation, especially with players like Evan Neal, who is entering his third season. Neal’s potential rebound is anticipated under Bricillo’s guidance, which will be tailored to accommodate his recovery from injury and adjustment to a new blocking scheme.

“One of the things he always said was don’t judge a player when they’re young and don’t judge a player when they’re injured,” Bricillo said. “That’s something that I think you take into the forefront.”

Bricillo emphasized the need for both individual and collective improvement across the offensive line.

“There’s a myriad of things that we’re trying to work on as a group, but then as an individual, say, ‘Hey, maybe change how we set with our hands or maybe be a little more square,’” Bricillo said.

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