As the Giants embark on two days of joint practices with the Lions and the start of the preseason slate Friday night in Detroit, perhaps one of their key positional battles will come more into focus.
Fourth-year cornerback Darnay Holmes and second-year DB Cor’Dale Flott mostly have been rotating as the first-team slot corner through the opening weeks of training camp.
Adoree’ Jackson — a projected starter on the outside — and rookie sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins also have seen starting reps on the inside in practice.
“I’m just happy to be on the field, no matter where I’m at in the rotation,” Holmes said after practice Monday in East Rutherford. “I play this game for the love and the passion and the competitiveness within myself. I’m just happy I can line up against some good guys on offense.”
The 25-year-old Holmes mostly has played on the outside over his first three seasons, including 15 appearances and two starts last year.
He has said that his biggest adjustment to shifting inside is trying to be “less handsy” after he was called for six holding penalties and two pass interference calls in 2022.
“I feel like it’s a big change from the aspect of understanding that you really gotta guard the whole field,” Holmes said. “You gotta play within the rules, as well. … It took time for me to get a grasp of it, but now I feel like I’m very comfortable with it.”
The UCLA product believes the Giants’ additions of slot receivers Parris Campbell, Cole Beasley and rookie Jalin Hyatt — “different guys who have different abilities,” as Holmes described it — has helped his adjustment.
The 21-year-old Flott was drafted in the third round last year out of LSU with the intention of vying for the starting slot spot, but injuries across the secondary also moved him mostly to the perimeter as a rookie.
Salary-cap considerations also could play a factor in this decision in relation to the rest of the roster. Flott’s salary-cap hit this season is $1.19 million, while Holmes’ expiring figure escalates to $2.94 million from $1.09 million one year ago.
“Truthfully, I’m a day-to-day guy. At the end of the day, that’s the business,” Holmes said. “I fit in exactly where I’m at now, which is battling, which is contributing, which is being an asset on special teams.
“At the end of the day, I’m a team player and whatever comes with it comes with it. I’m putting my best foot forward each and every day.”
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