Jan 122010
 

Latest Rumors on New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Search: The newspaper/internet rumors on the Giants’ search for a new defensive coordinator are flying fast and furious. It is completely unknown whether or not there are any validity to these reports:

  • Perry Fewell: The Giants met with Fewell last week and he met with the Bears on Monday. There are reports that Fewell has already agreed to join the Bears and other reports that he has not made up his mind yet. Fewell was the defensive coordinator (2006-09) and interim head coach (2009) of the Bills. Fewell is still the only candidate known to have interviewed with the Giants. He apparently left Chicago without a contract and wants to consider his options though The Daily News is reporting that Fewell has not received an offer from either team.
  • Romeo Crennel: Crennel returned from vacation on Monday and there are reports that he has already agreed to become the new defensive coordinator of the Chiefs. However, Crennel’s agent says his client is still speaking with other teams. The Star-Ledger reports that Crennel was scheduled to talk to Tom Coughlin by phone yesterday or today. Crennel was the head coach of the Browns  (2005-08) and defensive coordinator of the Patriots (2001-04).
  • Jim Haslett: ESPN is reporting that the Giants have contacted Haslett about their defensive coordinator vacancy but that Haslett appears to be “long shot” candidate. Haslett currently is the head coach of the UFL’s Florida Tuskers. His other more recent jobs include head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and New Orleans Saints (2000-05).
  • Dick Jauron: The Daily News is reporting that contrary to expectations, the Giants have not reached out to Jauron yet. Jauron’s last gig was head coach of the Buffalo Bills (2006-09) and defensive coordinator and later interim head coach of the Detroit Lions (2004-05).
  • Mike Zimmer: The Bergen Record is reporting that the Giants have inquired about Zimmer, the current defensive coordinator of the Bengals. Zimmer’s contract has now expired, but it is believed that Zimmer will re-sign with the Bengals or sign with the Washington Redskins.

Articles on Giants’ President/CEO John Mara:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: New York Giants Have Options For Deciding Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Future by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Article on the 2009 New York Giants: A Look Back At A Miserable Season by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Jan 112010
 
The New York Giants Training Dilemma

There are two things a Giants’ fan is more sensitive about than a fan from another team:

  1. How nightclub gun play can ruin a season.
  2. How an accumulating number of injuries can sabotage a season.

Issue #2 has been a problem for the New York Giants for most of the decade. During the 2003 season, the injury situation was so bad that Tom Coughlin addressed it at his introductory press conference as new head coach in January 2004:

“I am also aware of the injury factor; the number of IR’s and those kinds of things, which is a cancer let’s face it. It is something that has to be corrected. It is a mental thing I believe as much as it is anything else.”

Unfortunately, since that day, the injury situation has continued to plague the Giants. Let’s look at the last six seasons:

2004: After a fast 5-2 start, the Giants finished 6-10. 18 players finished the season on Injured Reserve, including DE Michael Strahan, DE Keith Washington, DT Norman Hand, LB Barrett Green, S Shaun Williams, S Omar Stoutmire, and WR Tim Carter.

2005: The Giants won the NFC East with an 11-5 record. But New York was obliterated in the playoffs 23-0 by the Panthers. One of the primary reasons for the poor playoff performance was injuries. Starting at linebacker that day were Kevin Lewis, Alonzo Jackson, and Nick Greisen. On Injured Reserve were LB Barrett Green, LB Carlos Emmons, LB Chase Blackburn, LB Roman Phifer, CB Will Peterson, S Shaun Williams, HB Derrick Ward, and WR Jamaar Taylor.

2006: The Giants started off 6-2 but finished the season 2-6 and barely made the playoffs. The team was defeated in the first round of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Eagles. On IR by season’s end were DE Michael Strahan, DE Justin Tuck, LB LaVar Arrington, CB Corey Webster, WR Amani Toomer, LT Luke Petitgout, HB Derrick Ward, and KR/PR Chad Morton.

2007: The Giants won their seventh NFL Championship. Big injury losses included TE Jeremy Shockey, LB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka, and HB Derrick Ward. DT William Joseph was lost early in the season. But the number of players lost was not great. The biggest issue was managing Plaxico Burress’ ankle injury.

2008: The Giants started off 11-1, finished 12-4, and lost in the first round of the playoffs again. Plaxico Burress was missed after he shot himself. But injuries to key defensive linemen such as DE Justin Tuck and DT Fred Robbins slowed down the pass rush tremendously. DE Osi Umenyiora was lost before the season began and was missed. The Giants could not get any pressure on Donovan McNabb in that playoff game.

2009: The Giants started off 5-0, but finished 3-8 and missed the playoffs. Injuries hit the defense incredibly hard, including S Kenny Phillips, CB Aaron Ross, CB Corey Webster, LB Antonio Pierce, LB Michael Boley, DE Justin Tuck, DT Chris Canty, and DT Jay Alford. The running game was sabotaged due to injuries to HB Brandon Jacobs, HB Ahmad Bradshaw, HB D.J. Ware, HB Andre Brown, FB Madison Hedgecock, RT Kareem McKenzie, and LG Rich Seubert. QB Eli Manning went into a mid-season slump when he injured his foot. WR Hakeem Nicks and WR Mario Manningham were not 100 percent.

Who is to blame for all of these injuries? Injuries that ruined once promising seasons? Perhaps no one. Football is a violent game. People get hurt. Always have, always will. Sometimes it is the luck of the draw. Players are also bigger, stronger, and faster today. When you have bigger, stronger players moving at faster speeds right at each other, guess what’s going to happen?

But the Giants also seem to suffer from a lot self-inflicted muscle injuries, such as hamstring pulls. Chris Canty, who never missed a day in Dallas, missed most of the season with hamstring and calf muscle injuries. Aaron Ross suffered four hamstring pulls. The word “hamstring” was commonly seen on Giants’ injury reports. Why? Luck? Coincidence? Who really knows?

There is a school of thought out there that today’s modern-day athletes over-train. As soon as a season is over, they are training on their own before being expected to participate in intensive “voluntary” team strength training and conditioning programs. Then there are Organized Team Activity (OTA) days, mini-camps, training camp, a long preseason, and a grueling 16-game regular season. There is not much time to rest and recuperate those tired and aching muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

But the dilemma is this: with everyone training more and more, getting bigger, stronger, and faster each day, can a team afford to experiment and pull back? Can a team risk losing that arms race with other teams when jobs and careers are at stake? Perhaps the training is not the problem. Perhaps it is. It’s like debating global warming – everyone has an opinion and their own science – but most people are not quite sure.

What to do? Giants’ coaches, trainers, and doctors should comprehensively examine the issue, consulting with outside experts who have conducted research. Consider their findings and their suggestions. Don’t just assume all these injuries result from “bad luck.”  That very well may be the case, but what if it isn’t? Perhaps there is a better, smarter, and safer way to train professional football players.

Jan 082010
 

New York Giants Express Interest in Romeo Crennel: According to The Star-Ledger, The Daily News, and The Bergen Record, the Giants have expressed interest in Romeo Crennel as possibly their next defensive coordinator. Crennel is reportedly also interested in working for the Giants.

The Bergen Record is reporting the Giants have contacted Crennel several times. The Daily News says the Giants will speak to Crennel again on Monday.

Crennel is the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and a long-time assistant coach for Bill Parcells, including with the Giants from 1981-92. Crenell was also Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator in New England from 2001-04.

Crennel is currently on vacation with his wife until Monday. And the Kansas City Chiefs are also believed to be interested in his services.

Giants Interview Perry Fewell: As previously reported, the Giants interviewed Perry Fewell for their defensive coordinator vacancy yesterday. Fewell apparently left town without a contract and is expected to interview with the Chicago Bears next week. According to some reports, Fewell is more likely to sign with the Bears than the Giants.

The Daily News is reporting that Fewell made it clear before the interview that he would make no decisions on his future until after talking with the Bears. However, one unidentified source told the paper, “(The meeting with the Giants) was serious. He’s serious about them and they’re serious about him.”

The Daily News said Head Coach Tom Coughlin is not believed to have offered Fewell the job, at least not yet. The paper reports that Coughlin and Fewell plan to talk again next week after Fewell visits with the Bears.

Pepper Johnson Still in the Picture: According to The New York Post, the Giants have expressed some interest in former Giants’ linebacker and current Patriots’ defensive line coach Pepper Johnson as a defensive coordinator candidate. However, the paper says Johnson is considered a long-shot for the position.

Johnson is not eligible to be interviewed until the Patriots are knocked out of the playoffs.

George Edwards No Longer in the Picture: George Edwards, the linebackers coach of the Miami Dolphins who was reportedly a candidate for the Giants’ defensive coordinator vacancy, has agreed to become the new defensive coordinator at the University of Florida.

Marc Ross to Interview For Seattle GM Position: According to ESPN, Marc Ross, the Giants’ director of college scouting for the past two years, will interview for the general manager position of the Seattle Seahawks next week.

Chris Palmer an OC Candidate in Buffalo?: The New York Post is reporting that Giants’ quarterback coach Chris Palmer could be an offensive coordinator candidate for the Buffalo Bills if Leslie Frazier is hired as the Bills’ next head coach.

Jan 072010
 

New York Giants Fire Mike Waufle: The Giants have fired Mike Waufle. Waufle has served as the Giants’ defensive line coach since 2004. Waufle was highly respected and popular with his players.

“I am extremely saddened by it,” DE Osi Umenyiora said. “He is a great coach and we have a special relationship. I’m sure he will be OK though because there should be very high demand for a coach of his caliber.”

Waufle is the second Giants’ assistant coach to be fired this week, the first being defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.

Giants Sign Three: According to The Star-Ledger, the Giants have signed “street” free agents FB Jerome Johnson, CB/S Courtney Brown, and PK Sam Swank.

Johnson was originally signed by St. Louis Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Nevada after the 2009 NFL Draft. The Rams waived him before the season started in early September.

Brown was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 7th Round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Cal-Poly. He played in 17 regular season games in 2007-08, including one start. The Cowboys waived him before the 2009 season in early September.

Swank was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Wake Forest after the 2009 NFL Draft. The Eagles released him in May. The Cincinnati Bengals signed him in August, but waived him in early September before the season started.

TE Kevin Boss Has Surgery: TE Kevin Boss had surgery on one of his pinky fingers yesterday.

Feagles Wants to Play Another Season: The Star-Ledger is reporting that P Jeff Feagles, who is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, would like to play one more season. Feagles turns 44 in March.

Correction: Yesterday, we mentioned in “News and Notes” that Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s contract had not yet be renewed. However, The Star-Ledger and New York Post report now that Gilbride is under contract through the 2010 season.

Jan 062010
 

New York Giants to Interview Perry Fewell for Defensive Coordinator Job: According to The Associated Press, the Giants will interview Perry Fewell for the team’s vacant defensive coordinator position on Thursday.

Fewell served as the Bills’ defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2009. He was also the Bills’ interim head coach for the last seven regular-season games this year. From 1998-2002, he was the defensive backs coach for Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville.

However, The NFL Network is reporting that Fewell is likely to join the Bears as their new defensive coordinator.

Romeo Crennel and Pepper Johnson Interested in DC Position: According to The Star-Ledger, ex-Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel is interested in becoming the Giants’ next defensive coordinator. However, the paper reports that it does not know if the Giants are interested.

Before coaching the Browns, Crennel was a long-time assistant coach for both Bill Parcells (including with the Giants) and Bill Belichick.

The Daily News is reporting that Patriots’ defensive line coach and former Giants’ linebacker Pepper Johnson is interested in the vacant Giants’ defensive coordinator position as well.

Giants “Targeting” Bob Sutton?: Michael Lombardi of NationalFootballPost.com/NFL Network is reporting that the Giants have targeted Jets’ linebackers coach Bob Sutton as their next defensive coordinator. Sutton was the defensive coordinator of the Jets under Eric Mangini.

If true, the Giants cannot interview Sutton until the Jets are out of the playoffs.

Dick Jauron and George Edwards Also in the Mix?: According to various sources, there are rumors that former Bills and Bears Head Coach Dick Jauron and Dolphins’ linebackers coach George Edwards are also under consideration by the Giants for their defensive coordinator position.

Jauron was Coughlin’s defensive coordinator in Jacksonville from 1995-98 and Edwards was the Redskins’ defensive coordinator in 2002-03.

Kevin Gilbride Under Consideration in Oakland Again?: Once again, rumors are circulating that Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride could be a head coaching candidate for the Oakland Raiders if the Raiders fire their head coach. Gilbride’s current contract with the Giants has not been renewed yet.

Cardinals Sign Two Giants Practice Squad Players: The Arizona Cardinals have signed two Giants’ Practice Squad players to their active roster: FB Nehemiah Broughton and DT Jeremy Clark.

Article on the Giants’ Evaluation Process of Linebackers: John Mara Puts Giants on Alert by Michael Lombardi of NationalFootballPost.com

Article on the Giants’ Leadership Void: Fixing Giant Leadership Problem Starts With Eli by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Jan 052010
 

New York Giants Giants Fire Bill Sheridan: The Giants fired Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan yesterday. No replacement has yet been named.

Sheridan was promoted to the defensive coordinator position last offseason after Steve Spagnulo left the Giants to become the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. From 2005-2008, Sheridan was the Giants’ linebackers coach.

John Mara Publicly Slams Giants: Whether it was part of a public relations ploy or legitimate anger, Giants’ President/CEO John Mara publicly slammed the effort of his team and coaches yesterday.

New York Giants 2010 Opponents Set: The New York Giants will face the following teams in the 2010 regular season:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Seattle Seahawks

The NFL schedule will be announced in April.

Giants to Select 15th in First Round of 2010 NFL Draft: The Giants currently hold the 15th spot in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Giants Make Sign Eight Players: The Giants yesterday signed eight players to reserve/futures contracts for the 2010 season. All of the players, except for DE Tommie Hill, were on the Giants’ Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured List. Hill was with the Giants in training camp last year as a rookie free agent.

The players are:

  • OT Jacob Bender
  • OG Rueben Riley
  • DE Tommie Hill
  • DT Dwayne Hendricks
  • DT Anthony Bryant
  • LB Kenny Ingram
  • CB Londen Fryar
  • S Vince Anderson

Feagles Not Sure If He Will Retire: P Jeff Feagles, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, has not yet decided whether he will retire or not.

“Physically, I am fine,” Feagles said. “I came out of this season feeling really good with no injuries and my knee held up this year. I just have to sit back and reflect on what the future looks like, talk to my family, talk to the team and go from there.”

Article on DE Justin Tuck: NY Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck Admits Shoulder Injury Hurt His Play And His Ability To Be A Leader by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Notes: The Giants’ losses to the Panthers and Vikings are the first time in team history that the Giants have lost consecutive games by at least 32 points each.

The Giants allowed at least 40 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1971.

Giants gave up at least 40 points five times this season, the highest number of 40-point games by their opponents since 1966.

Total points allowed by the Giants in 2009 was 427, the second-highest total in franchise history. The 1966 Giants surrendered 501 points.

QB Eli Manning finished the season with 317 completions in 509 attempts (62.3 percent) for 4,021 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.1. The completions, percentage, yards, touchdowns, and rating are all career highs.

Manning is the third quarterback in Giants’ history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season, joining Kerry Collins (4,073 in 2002) and Phil Simms (4,044 in 1984).

Manning is the only quarterback in Giants’ history with five consecutive 3,000-yard seasons and five consecutive seasons with 20 touchdown passes.

WR Steve Smith finished the season with 107 receptions, 25 more than the franchise’s previous single-season record-holder (WR Amani Toomer had 82 in 2002).

Smith’s 1,220 receiving yards were the second-highest total in franchise history. Toomer had 1,343 in 2002. Smith joins Toomer, WR Plaxico Burress (1,214 yards in 2005),  and WR Homer Jones (1,209 yards in 1967) as the only Giants with 1,200-yard receiving seasons.

PK Lawrence Tynes finished the season 27-for-32, an 84.4 percentage that is the sixth-best in a single season in Giants’ history.

Jan 032010
 

Giants’ Season Ends On Yet Another Embarrassing Note: The Giants were annihilated by the Minnesota Vikings 44-7 early today at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

The loss dropped the Giants to 8-8 on the season as New York went 3-8 in their last 11 games.

The Vikings scored 31 of their points in the first half and led 31-0 at the break. At game’s end, the Vikings had out-gained the Giants in first downs (28-11), total net yards (487 to 181), net yards rushing (129 to 35), net yards passing (358-146), and time of possession (36:52 to 23:08). The Giants were also penalized 13 times.

Offensively, until the 4th quarter, the Giants were held to four first downs and did not cross midfield.

Defensively, the Giants allowed the Vikings to score on eight of their first nine possessions, including five touchdowns.

Lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were DT Chris Canty (knee), CB Corey Webster (knee), S Sha’reff Rashad, QB Rhett Bomar (3rd QB), RT Kareem McKenzie (knee), G Rich Seubert (knee), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), and TE Scott Chandler.

Tuck, Bradshaw, Nicks, and Hedgecock to Have Surgery: DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankles/feet), WR Hakeem Nicks (wrist), and FB Madison Hedgecock (shoulder) will undergo off-season surgery.

ESPN is report that Tuck has been playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder since Week Two.

Bradshaw has been playing on a fractured right foot; it is now believed that he also has a fractured left foot. The Star-Ledger reports that screws will be inserted into both of Bradshaw’s feet. In addition, Bradshaw will have bone spurs removed from his right ankle.

“(The injuries) won’t stop anything, or hurt my longevity in football,” Bradshaw said. “The surgery will help it become 10 times better, which is the reason I’m going to have it.”

Hedgecock says he has a torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury that he suffered in the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. “When that happened, I said to myself, ‘This is going to be a long season,'” Hedgecock said. “It was like trying to box somebody with a broken hand.”

HB Brandon Jacobs (knee), who was placed on Injured Reserve earlier this week, will also have offseason surgery.

Jan 022010
 

January 1, 2010 New York Giants Injury Report: The following players did not practice on Friday and have officially been ruled out of the game against the Vikings on Sunday: HB Brandon Jacobs (Injured Reserve – knee), CB/S Aaron Ross (Injured Reserve – hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee), CB Corey Webster (knee), and RT Kareem McKenzie (knee).

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankles/foot) did not practice all week, but he is listed as “questionable” for the game.

DE Justin Tuck (knee) and LG Rich Seubert (knee) practiced on a limited basis on Friday and are “questionable.”

QB Eli Manning (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), and DT Fred Robbins (lower leg) fully practiced. Manningham is “questionable” and the other three players are “probable” for the game.

Article on HB Ahmad Bradshaw: NY Giants Running Back Ahmad Bradshaw Suspects Other Foot Is Also Fractured by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Steve Smith: New York Giants Wide Receiver Steve Smith Three Catches Away From 100 Receptions For Season by Matt Gagne of The Daily News

Article on WR Ramses Barden: Giants Hope Rookie Will Make Same Leap As Mario by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Jan 012010
 

Giants to Make Changes to Their Coaching Staff Next Week?: Jason La Canfora of The NFL Network is reporting that some members of the Giants’ coaching staff believe there is a  strong chance that they will be fired after the Giants’ season. Among those likely to go, according to La Confora, is Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan. The moves are expected to begin early next week.

Giants Place Jacobs and Ross on Injured Reserve: The Giants placed HB Brandon Jacobs (knee) and CB/S Aaron Ross (hamstring) on Injured Reserve yesterday.

To fill their roster spots on the 53-man roster, the Giants signed QB Rhett Bomar and S Sha’reff Rashad from the Practice Squad.

To fill the two vacant spots on the 8-man Practice Squad, the Giants signed OG Rueben Riley and WR Bruce Francis.

December 31, 2009 New York Giants Injury Report: Head Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that the MRI taken on DT Chris Canty’s knee showed an MCL injury and not a more serious ACL injury. “Thank goodness,” said Coughlin. But Canty will not play on Sunday against the Vikings; his season is over.

Other than the players put on Injured Reserve and Canty, not practicing yesterday were DE Justin Tuck (knee), CB Corey Webster (knee), HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankles/foot), and RT Kareem McKenzie (knee).

“(Tuck) came in this morning and his knee was sore and swollen,” said Coughlin. “So we’ll try to help him get to the game.” Tuck said he will play.

WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), LG Rich Seubert (knee), and DT Fred Robbins (lower leg) were limited in practice.

QB Eli Manning (foot) practiced fully.

Notes and Quotes: WR Ramses Barden on his rookie season: “The biggest jump to me is still off the field. It’s the professionalism of the job, it’s the commitment, and it’s the time in the meeting room. On the field stuff is still football, there are some things that are different team-wise that the guys on the field are going to a little bigger, a little bit stronger but the main thing is the off the field environment.”

This weekend P Jeff Feagles will become just the second player in NFL history to play in four different decades.