Things have cooled down for the Giants since they opened training camp with a string of injuries and a potential suspension, but head coach Pat Shurmur still had plenty to address during his press conference at Monday's practice.
Here are the key takeaways:
Shepard Takes Some Hits
Sterling Shepard continued to practice on Monday in a yellow non-contact jersey since he fractured his thumb on the first day of training camp, but that does not me he's been immune to some hits here and there.
"There are times were people don't do it exactly the way we want," Shurmur said. "So, then you correct them. ... To this point, there have been a couple of times that he got touched. He's fine."
While Shepard's presence allows him to run routes and gain a comfortability with the playbook, he is still having the ball thrown to him despite not being allowed to be hit, but Shurmur explained the advantage.
"Yeah, the one-handed catches," Shurmur said. "There is an upside. He's out there running routes. I think because of what it takes to play receiver, he's able to do those things. Anytime we're practicing, we have to be smart. That's the fine line between trying to get your work and being smart so that we can all make it to game day. I can understand the questions there. We just try to continue to be smart with everything we do."
Ballentine Turning Corner
Corey Ballentine has been impressive so far in camp. The sixth-round pick, who missed time at rookie camp after he was shot in the glute the night he was drafted, has taken advantage of more opportunities with Sam Beal sidelined with an injury and the coaching staff has taken notice.
"It took him a little while to get going because of the accident he was involved with. But he's made steady improvement," Shurmur said. "He's a very competitive guy, he gets his hands on balls, he has good instincts, he's working as a returner, and we feel like he's getting a little bit better every day."
More Corner Talk
Ballentine is not the only corner making an impression. DeAndre Baker, whom the Giants traded up into the first round to draft, and Shurmur is looking forward to seeing him in game action -- which begins on Thursday against the Jets.
"I think he's getting more and more confident within the system," Shurmur said. "The next phase is when we start playing the games Thursday, out there against another opponent. Then we'll see if he can take the next step. He's a confident guy in general, which is part of his charm. But he's starting to get more and more comfortable playing the position, so it shows up a little more."
Center Still Up For Grabs
One of the Giants' starting position battles this summer includes center between Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley. Halapio won the job last year, but had to undergo season-ending surgery after Week 2 after fracturing his ankle and leg. The 28-year-old has looked like he has not missed a beat so far in training camp.
"I think he's done a good job to get maybe the first look (at center)," Shurmur said. "But I feel just as comfortable playing Spencer as I do Pio. I think they're two very good players. Spencer played at the end of the year and did a really nice job. I think in our scenario, we're fortunate that we have two guys that can snap the ball."
Golden Tate will appeal his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's Performance-Enhancing Drug Policy on Tuesday. Shurmur said the appeal will not affect his time at practice.
"It'll be after practice," he said. "He may have to leave practice a little early, but it's kind of an important thing that he needs to go do."