NFC Notes: Saquon Barkley, Giants, Panthers, Washington


The Giants hoped they had drafted their bookend tackles of the future in 2020 with No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas and third-rounder Matt Peart. Both of them played extensively as rookies, too, but neither hit the ground running. Neither has taken an appreciable step so far in their second season, especially as pass blockers. 

“When you’re on the edge, you gotta punch, stay on the inside half, slide your feet,” Giants OL coach Rob Sale said via’s Zack Rosenblatt. “Matt gets his hips out and reaches his hand out in there instead of punching and sliding his feet. That’s constantly what I gotta get into him: Get your hands in his chest and choke the guy out. Get that more passive set out of him instead of jumping him to go get on him. That’s what we’re working on.”

Peart will yield to veteran OT Nate Solder as the starter in Week 1, which is somewhat disappointing given many thought Solder was likely to be cut after opting out of the 2020 season. However, the Giants still plan to rotate Peart into the action like they did his rookie season to hopefully build his confidence. 

“Part of having a good set is having confidence. The swag. The demeanor of I’m going to go out there and freakin dominate this freakin guy versus: ‘Ehh’. That wasn’t a confident set,” Sale said. “Building confidence in him when you go out there to do it, if you give up a sack, hey, you gave up a sack. We’re going to do it full speed.”

  • Giants HC Joe Judge wants to see how RB Saquon Barkley (knee) responds to contact this week but he is “progressing nicely.” (Dan Salomone)
  • Giants OC Jason Garrett said on Thursday Barkley is completely recovered from his injury: “A lot of confidence in him as a player. I think he’s done a great job to get himself back healthy and 100 percent.” (Jordan Raanan)


The Panthers played 2020 second-round S Jeremy Chinn primarily at linebacker in his rookie season. This offseason, they moved Chinn back to his “natural” position of safety in part to help extend his career. However, Panthers DC Phil Snow said Chinn would still see his fair share of snaps in the box as a “positionless” player. 

“We have to utilize him still in the front,” Snow said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “You haven’t seen that, yet. But you will during the course of the season. We’ll move him around because Jeremy, he’s an impact player when he’s getting after the quarterback and he’s blitzing and he’s close to the line of scrimmage.”


  • Washington WR Curtis Samuel (groin) did not participate in Thursday’s practice. 

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