This is what the Giants are looking for from Jabrill Peppers.
The third-year safety, a key piece in the trade with the Browns that sent star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, was easy to spot on the field Monday in the Giants’ first organized team activity practice. Wearing jersey No. 21 — the number Landon Collins wore the previous four years as the starting strong safety — Peppers was active from start to finish with his new team.
The most noticeable moment for Peppers came early, as he reached down to scoop up an interception off a nifty deflection from cornerback Sam Beal, who leaped and reached up with his right arm to get a piece of an Eli Manning pass intended for Russell Shepard. Peppers was in the right spot at the right time and, after securing the turnover, took off down the field for what might have become a touchdown return.
“He made an impact,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said. “He is the kind of guy that if you don’t know him, I always admired his style of play. Super competitive, loves football and communicates really well. He is really good in coverage. He got his hand on a ball and almost got his hand on two more. He is out there and you can see he is excited about playing football. When you guys in the lineup like that, it rubs off on other guys.’’
Veteran RT Mike Remmers, signed to a one-year contract this month, said the offseason work he had on his back was, “just a little surgery, not a big deal.’’ He said he feels “great right now’’ but is not yet taking part in practice.
Rookie CB Corey Ballentine is on the field, but only as an observer, as he is not ready to practice after sustaining a gunshot wound to his buttocks in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that took the life of Dwane Simmons, Ballentine’s friend and teammate at Washburn University. “He is making progress,’’ Shurmur said. “I think it is still going to be a little bit of time, but he is getting better. This is something that he is going to make a full recovery from, it is just going to take a little time.’’
There was some concern from observers outside the organization as to the timing of the procedure last week to clean out bone spurs in the ankle of LT Nate Solder. The issue with the ankle started to flare up recently, which is why the decision was made to take care of it now, rather than immediately after last season. “I am certainly not a doctor, but it is just one of those things we had to clean up a little piece of it,’’ Shurmur said. “Nothing major. We have time. He is a guy that is a real pro about getting ready to play. He will be able to do that.’’
Shurmur said weather-related travel issues were the reason S Antoine Bethea, DT Dalvin Tomlinson and rookie DT Dexter Lawrence were not in attendance.