EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the New York Giants signed Adoree Jackson as a free agent in March, the hope was the cornerback would give the defense shutdown guys on both sides of the field.
James Bradberry, a free agent signee the year before, was certainly that in helping the Giants post a 6-10 record in Joe Judge’s first season.
Three days into training camp, Jackson is starting to show playmaking ability The one-time Tennessee Titan scooped up a fumble by David Sills on Friday and had an open field in front of him before whistles ended the play.
“I would’ve hoped so,” Jackson said after practice when asked if he would have scored. “I hope nobody would’ve caught me or tagged me.”
Jackson is coming off a season in which he was limited to three games by a knee injury. He was released after the season in a salary cap move.
“I’ve never been injured and to not be able to do the things you love is tough,” Jackson said. “Sometimes you doubt yourself, but as long as you remain faithful and have some positivity around you, you’ll be all right.”
Jackson is feeling a lot better about himself, but he needs to return to the form he showed as a first-round draft pick coming out of USC for the 2017 season. He had 23 pass breakups in helping the Titans reach the playoffs.
“You can see that he’s very, very athletic, a lot of different movements and then running in general, he is a naturally gifted athlete,” Bradberry said. “We are going to take it one day at a time, trying to build off, trying to help him get into the system.”
While both players are talented, they are different. The 6-foot 1 Bradberry is a couple of inches taller than Jackson and stronger. He can handle the big receivers. Jackson is faster and can play both on the outside and in the slot.
If Jackson plays as Bradberry last season, the Giants secondary is going to be very tough. A former Carolina Panther, Bradberry made his first Pro Bowl last season. He had a team-high three interceptions.
Jackson said what they share is a desire to compete, and that’s going to push everyone.
“They see us making plays and they’re trying to compete, so I like the room with me and Bradberry and just trying to compete and make each other better, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Jackson said.
The secondary is deep with Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney returning as the safeties and Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Isaac Yiadom and third-round draft pick Rodarius Williams among the cornerbacks. Ryan and Williams had interceptions on Friday.
“It’s going to be very competitive,” Love said. “I think we have a lot of talent. It’s clear to see that. We’re excited.”
LEMIEUX INJURY The Giants got some encouraging news regarding left guard Shane Lemieux, who hurt his knee in practice Thursday.
Judge said the early diagnosis ruled out the worst case scenario and the injury will be evaluated over the next few days.
Lemieux did not practice Friday but was on the field with the injured players working with trainers. The fifth-round draft pick started the final nine games after Will Hernandez was sidelined for two weeks following a positive test for COVID-19.
Hernandez has been working out at right guard since camp opened.
Judge is having the team finish its first week with a walk-through workout at Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark, New Jersey. Roughly 2,000 people, mostly youths and high school football players, are expected to attend.
“We haven’t had a chance to really interact with the fans and that’s a different element,” Judge said. “The key focal point of this program is we’re going to be a strong community.”