May 312007
 

Giants Re-Sign HB Derrick Ward: The Giants have re-signed restricted free agent HB Derrick Ward to his 1-year, $850,000 tender.

Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress Skipping the OTAs: TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress were not in attendance at yesterday’s Organized Team Activity (OTA) day, the third of nine OTA days the Giants will have before the offseason program ends on June 15. And both missed the first two OTA practices as well. Apparently, both showed for about a week and a half of pre-OTA drills and then left the team again. This was after Burress had told the media earlier this month that he was committed to working with Manning the rest of the off-season. Basically, he lied.

“I think you always need to work on things and you need your rhythm and timing back before mini-camp and everything starts back up,” said QB Eli Manning. “I don’t know when (Shockey and Burress are) here or not. You have to ask them…(I) accept it. I have to do what I have to do. I have to be positive and make the best of every workout with whoever’s out there and wants to come out to practice and work. So those are the guys I’ll work with and try to get as good as we can get with them.”

Also missing from yesterday’s OTA practice were DE Michael Strahan and FB Jim Finn. No reason was provided for their absences. The Daily News is reporting that 84 of the 88 players on the roster attended the voluntary OTA practice. “We’ll talk about the guys that are here,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

The first two OTA days were devoted to individual and special teams drills. The Giants have another OTA practice on Friday, four next week, and one on June 11. Then there is a mandatory three-day mini-camp on June 13-15. Speaking of yesterday’s OTA practice, Coughlin said, “We worked against each other for the first time. That’s always good, to see some people in different positions and to get the young guys out there. They get a lot of stuff thrown at them and we see how they handle it.”

Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were WR Amani Toomer (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (unknown injury), and DE Justin Tuck (foot). CB R.J. Cobbs recently had a knee scoped and will be sidelined one more week according to The Star-Ledger.

Diehl and Whimper Split Time at Left Tackle with First Unit: LT/LG David Diehl and LT Guy Whimper split time at left tackle with the first-team offensive line at practice yesterday during team drills. Diehl also saw action at left guard. However, Diehl’s individual drill work was at left tackle.

“I’m getting work at both (tackle and guard),” Diehl said. “I’m doing whatever it takes during our individual drills and watching film to be prepared to play both. Time will tell. It’s still early. We’re still not fully into it. But I’m working hard to get my technique right at left tackle and doing whatever it takes to prepare to play the position. I’m still getting reps at left guard which I figured would happen.”

“(Diehl) plays left tackle and he plays left guard,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We’re going to evaluate everyone that’s out here. We’re going to try to come up with the best combination. I’ve been pleased with David at left guard and David at left tackle. As we get into this, we’ll see more about Whimper. But he’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him well.”

“I still have more work to do, but I feel myself getting better every day,” Whimper said. “I do a little extra work every day. It goes a long way when you do the little stuff that they ask you to do – or they don’t ask you to do. I’ve gotten a whole lot better from this time last year. I was a lost puppy dog. I didn’t know about anything. But now I have a better understanding.”

Madison and McQuarters Starting at Cornerback: Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters were the first-team cornerbacks at practice yesterday. Corey Webster worked with the second team.

Article on PK Lawrence Tynes: Tynes Sets Sights on Making the Giants by The Associated Press

Notes and Quotes: Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is having the defensive players practice picking up loose footballs and returning them for possible scores.

“We call it scoop and score,” said CB R.W. McQuarters. “We don’t get enough work during practice, because the offense does a good job catching the ball and securing it and tucking it away. We figured if it’s an incomplete pass or however the ball is on the ground, we’ll pick it up as if it were a fumble or somebody knocked it out. It’s another level of conditioning. It gets guys running to the football. Even though you’re on the backside and it’s an incomplete pass, or you’re on the right or the left and it’s an incomplete pass in the middle of the field, when you see the ball hit the ground you think, ‘Run, go get it, pick it up and go.’ Even if it’s incomplete, you keep going because you’re going for the scoop and score.”

With Strahan, Umenyiora, and Tuck not practicing yesterday and Mathias Kiwanuka at linebacker, William Joseph was forced to play defensive end.

May 302007
 

New York Giants Make Two Roster Moves: According to ProFootballWeekly.com and NFLPA.org, the Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent TE Rodney Burgess (Coastal Carolina University). Burgess was signed by the Detroit Lions after the 2007 NFL Draft, but waived on May 15th.

The Giants have also waived rookie free agent TE/OT Rob Austin.

Article on LB Zak DeOssie: Road to NFL Starts with Mom by Hector Longo of The Eagle-Tribune

May 232007
 

New York Giants Trade for PK Lawrence Tynes; Release PK Marc Hickok: The Giants have officially announced that they have acquired PK Lawrence Tynes by trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for an conditional 2008 draft pick. A local report out of Kansas City says the conditional pick is a 7th rounder that might become a 6th rounder based on Tynes’ performance.

In three seasons with the Chiefs, Tynes was 68-of-87 (78.2 percent) on field goal attempts and 137-of-141 on extra point attempts. Tynes was also 6-of-11 on field goal attempts from 50 yards or more.

Tynes will compete with Josh Huston. Marc Hickok was released by the Giants yesterday.

“Tynes is a veteran kicker who has kicked in some big games,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He has made some long field goals.”

“We feel better about having a veteran kicker coming in and competing for the job,” Reese said. “We’re not bringing him in to give him the job. He has to earn it. We feel like we have a strong young guy (Huston) versus a veteran kicker (Tynes) and the best kicker is going to win the job.

“We wanted a guy to come in here and put pressure on (Huston), who we really like a lot. Huston has a really strong leg. But we feel better about having a guy that’s kicked in the league to come in and compete for the job, because we were basically handing it to (Huston) without a lot of competition. We want to put pressure on him to earn the job. And we want (Tynes) to earn the job as well. One of our goals is to have competition at every position.”

May 192007
 

New York Giants Name Marc Ross Director of College Scouting; Shuffle Scouting Department Titles: The Giants announced yesterday that 34-year old Marc Ross is the team’s new Director of College Scouting. Ross had been a national scout with the Buffalo Bills for the past three years. The team also announced that it has eliminated the position of Director of Player Personnel, which had been held by Jerry Reese before and after he had been promoted to General Manager in January. Jerry Shay had been the team’s Director of College Scouting for 30 years; he now is the Assistant Director of College Scouting.

In effect, it looks like the Giants have shuffled some titles, making Ross’ new title much more job descriptive since both the old Director of Player Personnel and now the new Director of College Scouting was/is in charge of the scouting department and running the team’s draft. Shay never really ran the draft but served more like a head scout,– a role that will apparently continue.

Lastly, the Giants promoted scouts Joe Collins, Jeremiah Davis, and Steve Verderosa to the position of “executive scouts” – with greater, publicly unidentified responsibilities.

Ross was one of six known candidates for the job. The other five were Ken Sternfeld (Assistant Director of Pro Personnel for the Giants), Greg Gabriel (College Scouting Director for the Chicago Bears), Marvin Allen (Scout for the New England Patriots), Lionel Vital (Scout for the Baltimore Ravens), and Brian Gardner (Scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Ross was the Eagles’ eastern regional scout from 1997-2000. In 2000, he became Philadelphia’s new college scouting director. At 27 years old, he was the youngest college scouting director in the NFL. The Eagles fired Ross in 2004, along with three other scouts. They had all been hired by Tom Modrak, when he was the Eagles’ director of football operations. Modrak was the loser of an internal power struggle with Eagles’ Head Coach Andy Reid and let go. Ross reconnected with Modrak, who was now in Buffalo as assistant general manager, and joined the Bills as a national college scout soon after the Eagles fired him.

“We liked Marc’s skill set,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He has been a college scouting director. He was the youngest college director in the league when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. So he understands the management and the dynamics of the department. Marc is an outstanding scout himself. We like that about him. All of the references that we called were very high on him. We think he is going to be a perfect fit for us.”

“You never want to get stagnant in any department, including the personnel department,” Reese said. “So we look forward to Marc’s new ideas. He has some new ideas and energy. He impressed us with some things that he talked about in the interview process. So we are all looking forward to some new ideas. I don’t want Marc to come in and try to reinvent the wheel. I think we can implement some of our old things that we do well along with some of the new things that he brings to the table for us so we can move forward. We don’t want to get stagnant and sitting still.”

“I think that is why Jerry hired me, to get a different point of view and a different perspective,” Ross said. “I have been in a couple of places that do things entirely different. This is a traditional organization, but I think it is still progressive. I hope to add a different point of view and enhance everything that’s going on.”

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to work with this organization and also work with Jerry,” Ross said. “I hope I can be a part of getting this organization back to the Super Bowl.”

New York Giants Interested in DT Sam Rayburn?: According to ESPN.com, the Giants are interested in unrestricted free agent DT Sam Rayburn, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on May 11. Rayburn has already met with the Bills and ESPN.com says he will meet with the Giants in the middle of next week. The 49ers are also said to be interested.

Looking Ahead: The first of nine Organized Team Activity (OTA) days – which are on-field, voluntary practices – will be held next week.

The veteran offseason program will end with the conclusion of the mandatory veteran mini-camp (June 13-15). The rookies will stay for another week after the mini-camp ends. Then everyone will be off until the start of training camp practices in Albany on July 27.

May 162007
 

Search for New Director of Player Personnel: According to Sunday’s Boston Globe, the Giants have six candidates for their director of player personnel vacancy. The six are:

  • Ken Sternfeld – Giants’ Assistant Director of Pro Personnel
  • Greg Gabriel – College Scouting Director for the Chicago Bears
  • Marvin Allen – Scout for the New England Patriots
  • Lionel Vital – Scout for the Baltimore Ravens
  • Brian Gardner – Scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Marc Ross – Scout for the Buffalo Bills

New York Giants Sign Three Rookies, Waive One: The Giants have officially announced that they have signed three players who attended the Giants’ recently-completed rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis: DT/DE Dek Bake (Texas Tech), OG Matt Maddox (Illinois), and CB Darren Barnett (Missouri State).The team also announced that it has waived rookie free agent WR Brandon Myles (West Virginia).

May 152007
 

Chicago Bears Scouting Director Greg Gabriel Interviews with Giants: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Bears’ College Scouting Director Greg Gabriel will be interviewed by the Giants on Wednesday for the Giants’ director of player personnel vacancy. The paper says Gabriel is believed to be the most experienced of the five candidates the Giants will interview. Gabriel actually worked in the Giants’ scouting department for 16 years, starting in 1985, before he went onto work for the Bears in 2001.

Rookie Mini-Camp Ends: The Giants’ three-day rookie mini-camp ended yesterday. In addition to the 51 players who participated in practices on Saturday (see “News and Notes” from last Sunday), two other players were invited to participate to practice on a tryout basis on Monday: WR Willie Idlette (Wake Forest) and WR Tyrone Timmons (Mississippi Valley State).

Coughlin did indicate that the Giants would like to sign some of the 23 tryout players who were invited to the mini-camp (this is in addition to the 13 rookie free agents who were signed immediately after the NFL Draft). He also said that the Giants are not interested in signing any of the three tryout quarterbacks: John Stocco (Wisconsin), Anton Clarkson (Hofstra), and Andy Collins (Occidental).

OTA’s Begin Next Week: We incorrectly reported yesterday that Organized Team Activity (OTA) days begin today. They actually will be begin next week. The 2007 draft picks and signed rookie free agents will join the veterans today in the offseason program. LB Zak DeOssie will miss some time as he is still finishing up some final exams at Brown.

The Bergen Record and The New York Post are reporting that TE Jeremy Shockey, who has missed all of the offseason program to date, has supposedly been seen in the area and may show up as early as today to begin working with QB Eli Manning.

PK Josh Huston Undergoes Surgery: PK Josh Huston, who is most likely the favorite to win the Giants’ place-kicking job, did not practice at mini-camp this week as he underwent laparoscopic surgery last week when he was diagnosed with appendicitis. He is expected to be fine by the time training camp starts in July.

Article on the Giants Kicking Situation: Giants’ Kicking Hopes Rest on Untested Legs by John Branch of The New York Times

Editorial on TE Jeremy Shockey: Shockey’s Talk is Cheap by Kevin Gleason of the Times Herald-Record

May 142007
 

New York Giants Rookie Mini-Camp Concludes Today: The final day of the Giants’ three-day rookie mini-camp is today. There will be two practices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Unlike training camp, mini-camp practices are not open to the general public. Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the rookies will be available to meet with the press today as well.

OTA’s Begin Tomorrow: The Giants will begin their Organized Team Activity (OTA) days tomorrow. All veteran players are permitted to participate and most are expected to do so.

Article on TE Kevin Boss: Big Blue TE is Boss in Name Only by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

May 132007
 

New York Giants Rookie Mini-Camp Begins: The rookies arrived Friday and participated in a brief meeting Friday evening, but yesterday was their first action on the practice field as New York Giants. Through a press release, the Giants announced that 51 players were participating in the mini-camp. Rookie free agent OT Joel Clinger, who was signed after the draft, failed his physical. The Bergen Record is reporting that he was released by the Giants. The players in attendance include:

2007 Draft Picks:

  • CB Aaron Ross (1st Round – Texas)
  • WR Steve Smith (2nd Round – USC)
  • DT Jay Alford (3rd Round – Penn State)
  • LB Steve DeOssie (4th Round – Brown)
  • TE Kevin Boss (5th Round – Western Oregon)
  • LT Adam Koets (6th Round – Oregon State)
  • S Michael Johnson (7th Round – Arizona)
  • HB Ahmad Bradshaw (7th Round – Marshall)

2007 Signed Rookie Free Agents:

  • WR Brandon London (Massachusetts)
  • WR Brandon Myles (West Virginia)
  • WR Marco Thomas (Western Illinois)
  • TE Michael Matthews (Georgia Tech)
  • TE/OT Rob Austin (Troy State)
  • OT Gabe Hall (Texas Tech)
  • OT Justin Jones (Central Arkansas)
  • OG Ryan Keenan (Northwestern)
  • DE Marquies Gunn (Auburn)
  • DE Charrod Taylor (Georgia Southern)
  • CB Travonti Johnson (Central Florida)
  • S Craig Dahl (North Dakota State)

First-Year/Second-Year Players:

  • HB Ryan Grant
  • HB/FB Robert Douglas
  • WR Anthony Mix
  • TE Darcy Johnson
  • OC Todd Londot
  • DE Tommy Davis
  • LB Jason Mitchell
  • CB Gerrick McPhearson
  • PK Mark Hickok
  • P Cory Ohnesorge

Unsigned Tryouts:

  • QB John Stocco (Wisconsin)
  • QB Anton Clarkson (Hofstra)
  • QB Andy Collins (Occidental)
  • HB Jason Peters (Central Florida)
  • FB Michael Berg (Harvard)
  • TE Ryan Bishop (Hawaii)
  • OG Matt Maddox (Illinois)
  • OG Jed Prisby (Hofstra)
  • DE Keith Heimeri (Rowan)
  • DT/DE Dek Bake (Texas Tech)
  • DT Ray Brown (Vanderbilt)
  • DT Shelton Bynum (North Carolina)
  • DT Renard McDaniel (Missouri State)
  • LB Karibi Dede (Auburn)
  • LB Marcus Bacon (Missouri)
  • LB Kevis Coley (Southern Mississippi)
  • LB Devraun Thompson (Rutgers)
  • CB Darren Barnett (Missouri State)
  • S Chris Anzano (Pace)
  • S Ryan Glasper (Boston College)
  • S Brandon Smith (Massachusetts)

The Giants held two practices yesterday. There will be weight lifting today and two more practices on Monday.

Article on CB Aaron Ross: Giants’ Pick Making Up for Lost Time by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Articles on HB Ahmad Bradshaw: Giants Both Hopeful and Wary of One Rookie’s Potential by John Branch of The New York Times

May 112007
 

New York Giants Rookie Mini-Camp Begins Tomorrow: The Giants will begin a three-day rookie mini-camp starting on Saturday. The team will hold two practices on Saturday (10:10-11:50AM; 3:20-5:00PM) and two practices on Monday (9:40-11:20AM; 2:30-4:10PM). There will be no practices on Sunday. Unlike training camp, mini-camp practices are not open to the general public. Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the rookies will be available to meet with the press on both Saturday and Monday.

The Search for a New Director of Player Personnel: When Jerry Reese was promoted to general manager in January, it was made public that he would continue to serve as the director of player personnel until after the 2007 NFL Draft as well. With the draft now over, the Giants are actively searching to fill that vacancy.

The director of player personnel is a critical job, involving the coordination of all college scouting for the draft.

According to The Star-Ledger, the Giants are conducting interviews for the position this week. In addition to in-house candidates, The Ledger speculates that Baltimore Ravens’ national scout Lionel Vital and Buffalo Bills’ scout Marc Ross will be considered. Ross also served as the college scouting director for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2001-2004.