Jul 312013
 
Adrian Tracy (98), Mathias Kiwanuka (94), Jason Pierre-Paul (90), Linval Joseph (97), New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Tracy, Kiwanuka, Pierre-Paul, and Joseph – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Return to Practice on Thursday: The Giants did not practice on Wednesday. The next practice is on Thursday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Inside Football Q&A With CB Trumaine McBride: Quick Hits with Cornerback Trumaine McBride by Patricia Traina of InsideFootball.com

Article on Giants’ Training Camp Battles: Best Giants Camp Battles by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Articles on the Wide Receivers:

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Critics a Giant Motivator for Tuck by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article/Video on the Defensive Backs:

Articles on Bill Parcells’ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:

Jul 302013
 
Jake Muasau (43), Kyle Bosworth (48), Mark Herzlich (58), Etienne Sabino (47), New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Muasau, Bosworth, Herzlich, and Sabino – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 30, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their fourth training camp practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Thursday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Tuesday were FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

“I’m going to do everything in my power to get back for the first game,” said Hynoski. “That’s my goal, that’s my intention, but ultimately that decision isn’t up to me. I want to just get back to playing football at the earliest possible date. Everything is going really well in rehab, making advances and strides every day. I’m just excited with my progress and I know that the trainers are happy with where I’m at too.”

WR Hakeem Nicks (groin) and OC David Baas (still recovering from various and undisclosed offseason surgeries) were limited in practice.

WR Jeremy Horne was carted off the field during practice. “I’m not sure (how he is),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They told me that he had some kind of a foot injury but I don’t know what to expect.”

Giants Worked Out FB Lawrence Vickers: According to press reports, the Giants recently worked out FB Lawerence Vickers, who has played for the Browns (2006-2010), Texans (2011), and Cowboys (2012). The Cowboys released him last month.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Tuesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Tuesday are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com, respectively.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Giants President/CEO John Mara: No Ultimatums, Just Expectations, from Giants’ Co-Owner by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Despite Age and Accomplishments, Coughlin Has No Plans to Leave Giants Anytime Soon by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on the Quarterbacks:

Articles on the Offensive Line:

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Phil Simms on Bill Parcells: Parcells Was Demanding, But It Made Giants Champs by Phil Simms for The New York Post

 

Jul 292013
 
Pat Flaherty, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Pat Flaherty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 29, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their third training camp practice on Monday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Tuesday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Monday were FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

WR Hakeem Nicks (groin) and OC David Baas (still recovering from various and undisclosed offseason surgeries) were limited in practice.

FB Vonta Leach Re-Signs with Ravens: Unrestricted free agent FB Vonta Leach, who the Giants had expressed some interest in, has re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Monday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

WFAN Player Interviews: WFAN interviewed the following players from training camp on Monday:

  • RB David Wilson (Audio)
  • RB Andre Brown (Audio)
  • OL Justin Pugh (Audio)
  • DE Justin Tuck (Audio)
  • CB Prince Amukamara (Audio)
  • P Steve Weatherford and S Antrel Rolle (Audio)

WFAN also interviewed Giants’ beat reporter Paul Dottino (audio).

Antonio Pierce Weighs In on 2013 Giants: The video of a Giants.com interview with former Giants’ linebacker Antonio Pierce is now available at Giants.com.

Article on Linebacking Corps: Giants Linebackers Eager for a Chance by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on DT Cullen Jenkins: Jenkins Hopes to Make Big Impact on D by Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: For Prince, A Life Lesson by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Tom Coughlin on Bill Parcells: Morning Coffee Run Gave Coughlin Glimpse Into Parcells’ Softer Side by Tom Coughlin for The New York Post

 

Jul 282013
 
Aaron Curry, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Aaron Curry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 28, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their second training camp practice on Sunday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Monday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Sunday were FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

OC David Baas, who had offseason elbow surgery and is still recovering from other undisclosed surgeries, has been limited thus far in camp. “They have me on limited reps right now, but we’ll manage that,” said Baas. “I’ll be full-go, for sure, but we’re going to be smart about it and if there’s sometimes where we’ve got to cutback a little bit then that’s what we do.”

When asked what he injured last season, Baas replied, “There were a lot of them, but I won’t comment on that.”

WR Hakeem Nicks left practice early with tightness in his groin. S Tyler Sash was carted off the field with cramps.

Will Hill Admits He Failed Drug Test for Marijuana: Safety Will Hill told the press on Sunday that he has failed multiple drug tests for marijauna last season. As previously reported, Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 regular season due to violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. Hill appealed the suspension, but the appeal was rejected.

Hill was also suspended for the first four games of the 2012 regular season for using Adderall, violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“Just going through a lot of stressful times through last season, and I failed a lot of drug tests,” said Hill.  “It carried over to this season. Just trying to fight it and obviously the league made the decision for this season.”

“I had a lot of stress from my environment,” said Hill. “(Drugs were) the only way I knew how to cope with it until I got with the team. They put me in some clinic and that helped me out…We were trying to fight (the suspension), basically. The team stepped in and tried to do the best they could so this would not happen, but ultimately the league made the decision.”

“The Giants helped me the best way they could,” said Hill. “They got me help and helped me see other ways to cope with my problems…The Giants helped me out a lot. I wasn’t here for the spring practices and stuff. I was in Boston at this clinic and they were giving me help there and I’ve been going to an outpatient (facility) in Parsippany, (New Jersey).”

“We were disappointed and hopefully Will is going to get his life straightened out,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

Giants Waive CB Antonio Dennard Off of Injured Reserve: The Giants reportedly released CB Antonio Dennard off of Injured Reserve on Saturday after apparently reaching an injury settlement.

Sam Madison Serving as Temporary Assistant Coach: Former Giants’ cornerback Sam Madison (2006-2008) will spend the next three weeks in training camp with the Giants, serving as an assistant defensive back coach.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Sunday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Sunday are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Sunday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Running Backs David Wilson and Andre Brown: RB Torch Passed to Brown and Wilson by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Randle Wants Bigger Role, Appears Ready by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on OC David Baas: Baas Feeling Better After ‘Tune-Up’ by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on DE Adrian Tracy: How Does DE Adrian Tracy Stay Focused? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on DE Damontre Moore: Real Test Begins for Damontre Moore by Giants.com

Jul 282013
 
Rueben Randle, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 28, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor UberAlias

Note: If you want to cut through the intro and get to the meat of this 2013 New York Giants training camp report, skip down to Practice Observations.

So I’m on my way to the practice wondering of the weather is going to hold up when sure enough it starts to rain. They have been predicting thunderstorms and if they the team decides to head indoors practice won’t be open to the public. But the rain is not coming down hard so I decide to keep going.

When I get to the facility a half hour prior to the start of practice I am surprised to see groups of people in blue walking from the stadium lots to the center. This is odd I thought, until I realize the lots at the practice field have already filled up and overflowing into the stadium parking. In the practices I attended in 2011 and yesterday this was never required. To further my surprise, I see there is a huge line to get in wrapping itself half way around the lot at the center. In my other experiences here there is nowhere near this sort of crowd and you can just walk right in. The rain was still coming down and I was thinking to myself, this may not be happening today, and even if it does, there is no way I’m getting a seat with a view in the bleachers. That’s autograph day on a weekend for you, I guess.

I knew if I was patient I could eventually get a spot on the bleachers once people started leaving their seats to get a spot in the area they do autographs, but that could take a while and the masses of people by the fence was four or five deep already, and I’m not particularly tall, so I needed a strategy, and fast. I knew they didn’t permit people to stand in front of the bleachers, so I figured if I could get myself on the edge of that area I might be able to get some limited portion of that view, just not all of it, and not straight on. Not bad – it worked, to an extent.

So as practice was starting, they were having some challenges keeping people away from the fence in front of the bleachers. There were just too many people and not enough spots with a view. There was one man pushing a boy of, maybe 14, who was in a wheel chair with a big cast on his leg. He was in this area trying to get his boy a spot where he could see. I thought for sure they would find him a spot and asked the man and he said they told him to move because they were blocking the views from the bleachers. I could not believe it. They should have offered to let him come to the other side of the fence, or have some kind of handicapped accommodations, but apparently they didn’t and the security guys weren’t going to cut this man and his boy any slack. Not cool. In the end, they seemed to give up yelling at people to move away from in front of the bleachers and started letting kids sit there and only asked them to sit. I think eventually this man got a spot near the fence and it worked out, but this was all not well managed.

Anyway, onto the practice.

Practice Observations:

My initial views were limited to only what was right in front of me, but what I could see was right in front of me permitting me to make some physical observations of players, mostly on the defensive side. Here are some of those impressions (most of them we already know):

Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer that slender kid he was when he first came in. Maybe he’s bulked up a bit with his return to the trenches, but he looks bigger and thicker than I recall.

Kevin Boothe is a big boy. We all know his lower half, but he’s got big powerful looking arms and upper body bulk to go with it.

Prince Amukamara looks big enough to play safety.

Aaron Curry is huge. He’s not one of those athletic narrow-waist broad-shoulder types, he’s thick and powerfully built.

Ryan Mundy has good size and looks like a Kenny Phillips clone physically.

Michael Jasper looks absolutely massive. (Is there an adjective to describe bigger than massive?) He makes every other big guy look small.

If anyone has any ideas of Cooper Taylor playing LB, you can forget it. Maybe that 3rd safety role, but there is no way he can be taking on blockers and playing the run play in play out. He’s got the weight because he is tall, but he’s narrow and built nothing like a LB. We can check back in a few years if he fills out, but for now, he’s all safety and specials.

In team drills I got some good views of the defense. They seemed to be working a lot of turnover drills. First where they would practice stripping the ball from behind the runner. Most of them would strip it out and then pick it up off the ground, but Kiwi, with his long arms, would simply reach around and take the ball from the guy’s hands. They were later doing work with the secondary playing your man but then breaking off to make a play on the ball in the air. They did a lot of work on playing your man and focusing on keeping proper positioning.

Soon after they worked on specials. Josh Brown has a boot. I did not know much about him and was wondering if he was a strong leg type, but he looked it to me today. The one thing I didn’t like about Tynes was too may kicks returned or not enough height on his kicks. I am wondering if this was one of the factors in deciding to make a change.

When it came to the passing portion Hakeem Nicks made a sweet catch on a deep ball early on and that was it for him. We’ve seen the reports from TC and I guess we will have to see how that plays out. As bad a sign as it is, early on, these types of tweaks are very common because you are not used to working and they aren’t going to push anything with him. Tyler Sash seemed to injure himself at the end and they were looking at his lower half. My guess at the time was that it was a cramp and I believe that is what TC ultimately reported. There was one other injury I saw where one of the young WRs (Editor’s Note: Kris Adams) looked like he jammed a finger trying to catch a ball. They were working on him and he seemed in pain.

If you were to ask me the one thing that stood out to me most today I would say it would have to be the tight ends. Both Adrien Robinson and Brandon Myers had strong practices. Myers looks on the small side to me where as Robinson is big and powerfully built, but both can catch. Robinson in one of his catches caught a TD on a fake field goal, but had others. Myers in particular looks like one of those guys sure handed guys who knows how to find the holes in coverage. I came away very impressed and if we can ever find a way to solidify the line to a point where we aren’t always having to rely on TEs chipping on guys as they release, these tight ends could end up playing a very big role in the passing game.

What else?

I reported this yesterday and will repeat again today. Rookie QB Ryan Nassib is getting a lot of reps. He is getting at least as many as Carr, possibly more. If I did not know any better I would might actually think they were going to give him a legitimate chance to compete for the back-up job. That said, he has a ways to go. He throws a good ball, but the timing is not there, as expected, and I think there are a lot of throws he needs work on. He seems to work well off of play action.

Some final notes:

Eli had a great looking TD to Cruz on the first play of red (cough cough green) zone.

The back up defensive linemen were stuffing the running plays (hard to tell with no pads though).

LBs Paysinger and Curry blitzed through the middle for what would have been as sack in 11 on 11s.

Damontre Moore looked fast off the ball.

Ever other player was wearing blue shorts except Frank Okam. He was quite silly looking in his grey work out pants. Couldn’t somebody have found the guy a pair of blue shorts to wear?

Sean OHara walked by the fence a few times and received well deserved cheers of appreciation from the crowds.

As a group, the LBs seemed to have a good day. I’ll reserve judgment until the pads come on and we see some action in the preseason, but I am starting to think it would not be surprising to see this shape up to be a relatively solid group.

Jul 272013
 
Trumaine McBride (38), Tyler Sash (39), New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Trumaine McBride Breaks Up a Pass – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 27, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants’ first training camp practice was held Saturday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Sunday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update on JPP, Snee, and Thomas: Not practicing on Saturday were FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee). LB Aaron Curry left early with a cramp.

Snee was asked if he would be out a long time. “No, I wouldn’t think it would be too long but I don’t know,” replied Snee. “I feel pretty good, I’ll really just take this week and just condition hard and see how it feels after that…I’m not 100 percent, so why rush back?”

“I still need to get in the preseason games and get those reps,” said Snee. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable going into a regular season opener without having played some preseason games. Now, do I want to take 40 snaps a game? No. But I need to get some practice reps and some game reps. I’ll get those in.”

“I feel like I’m at, I’d say, 75%,” said Pierre-Paul. “I’ve been doing everything they ask me to, working with the trainers…(Compared to last year) the whole discomfort is gone. When I sit down now I don’t have that pain anymore, stand up I don’t have that pain, I can stand up straight, basically everything is gone. The surgery went well. Doing pretty good.”

“I don’t know (if I’ll be ready for the opener),” said Pierre-Paul. “Only time can tell. It’s all on me, how I recover…The back is a really, really horrible pain to have, and back surgery period. And you don’t want to rush back. I’m not concentrated on the first game, second game, third game, fourth game, fifth game, sixth game, I’m just trying to come back when I feel like I’m ready to come back.”

“(Pierre-Paul has) done very well and he’s worked hard at it,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “I’d say he’s probably within a couple of pounds of his playing weight. I’d say that with what he’s allowed to do, he does well. He has a specific routine that he does in the training room and he’s been able to do that well. So I am encouraged…He’s made good progress and he’s made it relatively fast.”

“(Thomas is) restricted in what he can do,” said Coughlin. “We’re all frustrated about it. He is himself, number one. The sooner he can get out there, the better off we’ll all be. And he came in fully feeling like he could start right out in practice and just wasn’t able to do that right away. We’ll be patient, but know full well that we’re all excited the moment he gets a chance to come out and practice and we get a sense of where he is, how he’s going to be and that type of thing.”

Jerry Reese Addresses the Press: The transcript and video of General Manager Jerry Reese’s press conference on Saturday is available at Giants.com.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Saturday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Saturday are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com, respectively.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Saturday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

 

Jul 272013
 
Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 27, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Report

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor UberAlias

My apologies for lack of details in this 2013 New York Giants training camp report – I took my six year old, so needless to say, I was often distracted. To make things worse, much of the team stuff was done on the far field so was very hard to see. But here are a few observations.

Just before practice started some idiot walked in wearing an Eagles Jersey and drew lots of boos and shouts from the crowd.

What was closest to me was the offense, so most of my observations were on that side of the ball. As we know, the first few days will be no pads.

The first drop came early – Bear Pascoe had a drop in warm-up, LOL.

When they ran drills passing, Hakeem and Victor were with the first group, obviously. Next was Randle and Murphy. Not much to say about Cruz and Nicks –we know what they are, and if anyone is worried about any lost time, don’t. You can see what they are talking about with Randle. Even during the season he looked off to me a year ago – especially his timing. It’s hard to comment on the timing from today, but he just looks crisper and more polished than a year ago. Murphy had a drop and may have had another later on (was hard to see if it was a drop or uncatchable as they were at the far field at the time) but I saw him make up for it with a good catch a bit later.

There wasn’t much I noticed beyond the first four except they had Barden in the very last group, even after camp fodder guys. I will say this of him, they guy is huge. It is a shame he never mastered the little things the team wanted in him because seeing up close you can see how easy throwing to such a big target makes on a QB. He caught the ball well today.

David Wilson can fly. And I don’t mean just running straight, I mean he zips around with a quickness that is just a different level. No one moves out there like he does. I wish I could have paid more attention to the RB rotation, but was distracted often. It did seem as though Wilson may be first one in ahead of Brown. I am still forming opinions on Michael Cox. He looks to have good size and enough speed. My initial impression was fairly favorable.

I was a little surprised at the number of reps for Ryan Nassib. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but it did seem like he was getting a bit more than I would have expected. I wonder if they are not serious about giving him a shot to compete for the back up job in hopes of freeing a roster spot. I thought he looked pretty good and decent zip.

Specials were done on the far field and very hard for me to see. I say Wilson take punts and KR. I saw Hosley return a punt and looked very quick.

That is mostly it. Unfortunately there was very little on the defensive side I could see well enough to comment on as they worked on the far field. This was also the case for team drills. The one thing I can add there was some info I heard about Will Hill that has not been reported. As I understand, the issue with him was that he missed his drug test. I guess you have a certain amount of time from when the league reaches out to you to respond and get tested. He was away in Georgia and for whatever reason (don’t know if he didn’t get the message, or got it but something else happened), but whatever the reason, he did not take his test. The league has places all over the country so even in Georgia they could have given him a test, but he either didn’t check messages, screwed something up and missed it, or flat out skipped it. But he didn’t take the test. This is what I heard, so take it for what it’s worth. If true, not smart for a guy with such potential, and such history.

Jul 262013
 
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (June 11, 2013)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Five New York Giants Start Training Camp Off on PUP, Two More Held Out of Conditioning Drills: The Giants placed five players on the active Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List on Friday: FB Henry Hynoski (knee), OG Chris Snee (hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (knee). Players placed on the active PUP list at the start of training camp can come off the list at any time. A player on the active PUP still counts against the 90-man training camp roster limit.

“(Pierre-Paul is) coming,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s done well. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen him the last two days on the machines in there. His weight is good. He’s optimistic.”

In addition, OC David Baas (unknown) and WR Jerrel Jernigan (hamstring) were held out of conditioning drills.

“I’m not sure why Baas was, to be honest with you,” said Coughlin. “Baas has been doing everything, he came in, and he’s in outstanding shape, but they chose to hold him over there on the side. Jernigan, a little tenderness, you know, so I hope we don’t have to deal with that.”

Giants Sign FB Ryan D’Imperio, Waive PK David Buehler: The Giants signed FB Ryan D’Imperio on Friday. To make room for D’Imperio, the Giants waived PK David Buehler.

First Training Camp Practice Begins on Saturday: The first training camp practice will be held at 1:30-3:45PM on Saturday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. For a complete schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

A sights and sounds video of the players arriving at camp on Friday is available on Giants.com, as well as a video on the conditioning test.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Friday is available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Training Camp Previews:

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck Making Sure Giants Maintain One Singular, Super Focus by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

 

Jul 262013
 
Corey Webster, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Corey Webster – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Offseason Breakdown: New York Giants Cornerbacks

In the first few paragraphs of part one, we discussed how poorly the Giants’ secondary has played in the past two years within the confines of the equally-disappointing overall defensive performance. We then broke down the safety prospects currently on the roster. In this article, we will focus on the cornerbacks.

There are currently 10 cornerbacks on the training camp roster. The Giants are likely to keep five or possibly six at most on the 53-man roster.

Corey Webster: The Giants need Webster to rebound from a disappointing 2012 season. Webster, who accepted a pay cut in the offseason, also needs to rebound well for personal financial reasons. He is entering the final year of his current contract (he has a voidable year in 2014). There is a good chance this is Corey’s last season with the Giants.

Webster’s career has been a bit of a roller coaster. He seemed like a bust the first two years of his career until he came on late during the 2007 Super Bowl run. Since then, he’s had some outstanding seasons and a couple of sub par ones, including 2012. In his worst moments from last season, sometimes he got cleanly burned, sometimes he was in position to make a play but did not. Webster did not miss a game despite a nagging hamstring injury that plagued him much of the season and breaking his hand in September. Webster finished 2012 with 58 tackles, 13 pass defenses (most on the team), and four interceptions (second most on the team).

Webster has a nice combination of size (6’0”, 200 pounds) and athleticism. While not a blazer, he is smooth and fluid with good quickness and speed. Webster can play both man and zone coverage although he seems more comfortable in man. He is a confident and instinctive player. Webster is not terribly aggressive or physical against the run. Was 2012 an aberration for the 31-year old Webster, or the beginning of the downside of his career?

“We had a lot of errors all across the field and that’s everywhere – coaches, players, and the whole strategy,” said Webster. “So we have to use that film to try and get better. It’s always hard to use film when you lose to get better, but there’s always a silver lining. We’re doing just that. We’re correcting those mistakes, those communication errors, and those misplays so we can eliminate them now and not go into the season trying to eliminate them.”

“Corey will be better,” said Cornerbacks Coach Peter Giunta. “He’s been working very hard to come back and be a better player, become more like he was more at the end of the 2011 season when we had that run and he was very consistent in his performance. And that’s what we’re looking for, for Corey to be a consistent performer for us this year.”

“When he broke his hand, it hurt him with his press technique because he wasn’t able to put his hand on the receiver so he tried to compensate,” said Giunta. “He battled through injuries because he knew we needed him on the field for all 16 games.”

“We put him on the opponent’s best receiver most of the time (in 2011),” said Giunta. “Hopefully this year he will be able to stay at the left corner spot and provide us with the consistency that we are looking for.”

“I do know that (Corey is) coming back with a purpose and so it will be fun to see him come back in the fall,” said Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell.

Prince Amukamara: Amukamara was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants, but his initial season was a virtual wash due to him suffering a broken foot that required surgery very early in training camp. Amukamara missed most of camp, all of the preseason, and nine regular-season games because of the injury. When he did return in November, he did not appear mentally or physically comfortable on the playing field and was burned on several occasions.

2012 did not start off well either when Amukamara suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and missed the first two games of the regular season. He also missed a game and was limited in two others in December with a hamstring injury. But when Amukamara played, he was a very steady performer and arguably the team’s best corner. He ended up playing in 13 games, with 11 starts, and finished with 53 tackles, seven pass defenses, and one interception.

Amukamara is a well-built (6’0”, 207 pounds), aggressive, and physical corner. He has good speed and quickness. He has the tools, but what is his upside? The most important thing for him is to stay healthy.

“He’s had a very good offseason program,” said Giunta.” He’s done a great job in the strength program getting himself into the kind of shape he needs to be in and in improving his durability. He’s been here for every OTA and has made every practice. He hasn’t missed any time at all. If he continues to show that kind of devotion, he’ll continue to get better and better as a player. We want him to become a productive performer for us. We want him to make big plays and big hits and big plays for us. He has that ability to do that.”

“He understands the system well now and can go out there and execute it,” continued Giunta. “He feels so much more comfortable because he’s able to do it with his teammates now. He’s not on the sideline watching. He feels like he’s truly a part of it. Last year for him was basically his rookie season, so to have that and to build on that, to be able to come into training camp this year, he’s a different guy who’s much more confident.”

“I’d say the more I play the more confidence I get,” said Amukamara. “Now, during this offseason, just having Terrell (Thomas) just next to me and learning how much knowledge he has, that just took my game to a whole other level. He’s like a player-coach and every time he’s critiquing me on my technique or my back-pedal, just telling me, ‘You need to understand the defense. You don’t need to just worry about you’re doing, but know what the nickel is doing. That’s first-year stuff. You know what you’re doing now. Now you’re in your third year, so now know what the safety is doing and know what the nickel is doing and it will make you play a lot better and a lot faster.’”

“I think he’s still a little wet behind the ears as far as his mentality, how he attacks his daily job,’’ said Thomas. “Me and Corey have been working on him with that, letting him know just doing your job is not enough, we need more out of you. I think he’ll get it. Sometimes it takes some people a little longer than others…With Prince he’s just happy doing his job and we’re trying to get him that we need more. ‘Yeah, you had a good game, nobody caught the ball on you, but you had no pass breakups, you had no interceptions, no big plays, that’s the next step.’ He stays healthy this year, he can be very productive for us.’’

To his credit, Amukamara has high personal goals heading into 2013.

“I really want to be the number one corner on this team and I feel like right now Corey is and my goal is to always just try to beat him out and I think as soon as I establish myself as the number one corner, then hopefully just become the number one corner in the whole league,” said Amukamara. “ I know that’s going to take work, but guys that came out of my draft class are doing great: Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, and those are the guys I kind of compare myself to and I’m just trying to exceed all of them.”

Jayron Hosley:  The Giants drafted Hosley in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hosley played in 12 games with six starts, and finished the season with 40 tackles, five pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. He did miss four games with hamstring, shoulder, and quadriceps injuries. The Giants seem to really like Hosley’s game, but he had an injury-prone, inconsistent, and sometimes rough rookie season, being thrust into the nickel back role perhaps sooner than he was ready.

Hosley lacks ideal stature (5’10’’, 178 pounds), but he is athletic with good speed and quickness. Hosley has good ball skills as he reacts well to the football and can make play on the ball in the air. In college, Hosley did have drug issues. If he keeps his nose clean and remains focused on football, Hosley should improve with improved technique and increased playing time. But he also needs to stay healthy. He got dinged a lot as a rookie, causing him to miss valuable practice and playing time.

“I think what happened with him, every time he started to make progress, he’d be injured and would be out 2-3 weeks, and wasn’t able to practice or compete and play in games,” said Giunta. “That’ sets you back, especially as a rookie. So take the Jets game, every time he starts to make progress, he gets hurt. Carolina game, he has a really good game making plays, and then he gets hurt. That’s unfortunate for him, so he has to learn to take care of his body better, get himself in shape and do the kind of things that he needs to do to become a more durable player because he has the talent to be a good football player at this level.”

“He’s learning,” said Giunta. “He’s becoming a better technician, playing inside and playing outside, so he’s developing those skills to play both the nickel and corner spot, and he got experience doing both last year. There’s a lot playing the nickel spot…it’s hard that way when you lose that time. You need experience to play that spot. The more experience you get, the better you’ll get. He can play any of the corner spots we need him to, so that’s huge.”

Terrell Thomas: Thomas was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2012 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee for the third time in seven years. The first tear occurred in college and the second tear happened during the 2011 preseason. The injuries obviously put his football career in doubt.

Before suffering the second injury in the 2011 preseason, Thomas looked primed for perhaps his best season. Thomas was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2009 and 2010, Thomas was a very solid starting corner who made a lot of big plays but also occasionally gave up a few. In the 31 games he started during that time frame, Thomas accrued 186 tackles, 34 pass defenses, and 10 interceptions.

Thomas is a big (6’0”, 191 pound), physical corner who matches up well with bigger receivers. Pre-injury, while not a blazer, he was a good athlete with fine speed and quickness for his size. Thomas is very good in run support and a good blitzer.

The big question is obvious. Even if Thomas can stay on the field, how much ability has he lost from the back-to-back ACL tears? It is doubtful he can regain his old form, but can he come close?

“I don’t think (Thomas is) an unknown for us,” said Fewell. “We do have plans, but I don’t think he’s an unknown because he’s been with us, he’s been in our program. We understand what his skill set was. Now when he comes back what will his skill set be?”

“He’s making progress,” said Giunta. “Terrell is making good progress…We’re going to do what the offense did with Domenik Hixon, try to bring him along slowly. Give him a certain number of reps each practice to get him from the practices to the first preseason game. We’re going to try and manage him well and just give him a very limited role to start.”

“I’m able to do everything,” Thomas said in June. “It’s more just about getting comfortable and trusting myself without hesitating, without thinking, and just reacting, and I’m almost there. Physically, I haven’t swelled up in the last four months and I’ve been progressing every week. Each week I get better and faster and stronger, so it’s just a progression. I have to be realistic with myself knowing that I had two ACLs in one year and it’s a long journey. But I’ll be back and I’m going to shock a lot of people.”

“I will be ready for training camp without limitation,” Thomas said. “The amount of work I do (in training camp), I don’t know…I’m already cleared for training camp. I got three months (before the season begins) to keep getting stronger and healthy and rehab.”

“Right now, to be honest with you I feel great,” said Thomas on his website in July. “The last (few) weeks, my confidence is getting better and better. I am not 100%; I would say I am 85% to 90%. The only thing missing is real field work; going against my teammates, the grind of practice, and seeing how my knee handles all that.”

“I am excited about camp starting this week,” Thomas said. “I feel like a big question mark on defense and I love it. That makes me feel like a rookie again, nobody knows what to expect from me other than that I was a good player. Just like when I was coming into the league as a good player coming out of college, so I love that feeling. I feel like I am the X factor for the defense, I think I can be a big key for our defense this year as far as my physical play combined with my knowledge, communication, and leadership skills.”

Earlier in the offseason, General Manager Jerry Reese raised the possibility of moving Thomas to safety. That’s still a possibility but it appears the Giants and Thomas want to see if he can still play at corner. The problem is the cornerback position puts a lot of stress on the knees.

“All that safety talk, that was just based on my knee, how I come back,” Thomas said. “In that safety role, it’s kind of like the nickel. When we had the three-safety look, it’s pretty much nickel, it’s just a bigger nickel position. So I already know that position. That’s a position I played my first and second year at the nickel spot so it wouldn’t be a hard transition. I played a little safety in 2010. We had a package where I would go into the post. I had an interception, a couple tackles as well.”

“(Playing corner) it’s more being on an island,” Thomas said. “Your knee is in a more unstable situation. You have to react to the receiver. Safety is more you’re dictating. So I think that’s why Jerry Reese said that. But I already knew I’d switch to safety later in my career just because of my body type, the way I play. So I’m not scared at all. If they tell me I’m going to play kicker, I’ll play kicker.”

“(Moving Thomas to safety is) always a consideration,” said Fewell. “We’d like to find out, obviously, what his skill set is like when he comes back and how comfortable he feels in his movements.”

Aaron Ross: Ross signed with the Giants in March 2013 after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2012, Ross played in 14 games with nine starts for the Jaguars. He finished the year with 46 tackles and three pass defenses.

Ross was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Giants. In five seasons with the Giants, Ross started 41 regular-season games, including 15 starts in 2011, when he finished with career highs in tackles (60), pass defenses (12), and interceptions (four). Ross missed a lot of time in 2009 (hamstring) and 2010 (plantar fascia tear) with injuries.

Ross combines good size (6’0”, 197 pounds) and athleticism. He is fluid and smooth in coverage, but lacks ideal speed and quickness. There seems to be a few games every season where Ross struggles in coverage. He can be aggressive and physical in run support.

One thing is definitely clear – Ross is thrilled to be back with the Giants. And the Giants seem glad to have him back as well.

“I missed the guys, I missed the coaches, I missed the organization and it seems like everybody else missed me just as well so it seems like a mutual thing,” said Ross. “It brings a smile to my face when I came in knowing that it wasn’t just me that was missing the Giants. It was vice-versa…I am happy to be home where I feel like I belong.”

“He has done a great job at the nickel spot for us,” said Giunta. “He did a great job in the Super Bowl run playing right corner. He can play right, left, nickel. His flexibility is huge for us. We are so excited to have him back.”

“He (has) picked up where he left off,” said Giunta. “He looks really focused. His quickness is better than it was when he left. Being away for a while…It showed him how much he missed this place and missed the guys he was with and the way we run the operation here at the Giants. It’s been a breath of fresh air having him back because he really appreciates what we have here and some of the guys take it for granted, but he hasn’t and it comes across to the other guys. Hey, this is important. You guys don’t know how lucky you have it here.”

Like Webster, Ross suggests that coaches and players have needed to work together to prevent mental errors that lead to big plays.

“Where we struggle is where we make mental busts, but I think we’re doing a better job in getting the fundamentals down, learning the defense in and out and taking it rep by rep instead of moving too fast to learn the defense,” said Ross. “I think the coaches sat down this whole offseason and seen that on film. They’re doing a great job in really breaking down the defense in and out, making sure the safeties know exactly what the corners are doing and the corners know what the safeties are doing.”

Ross also thinks he can help in the leadership department.

“I feel like I’m already taking some of the younger guys under my wing and just teaching them the little things that they may not know like myself,” said Ross. “R.W. (McQuarters) and Sam (Madison) did a great job with me and Corey and Terrell Thomas just taking us in and showing us the ropes.”

Trumaine McBride: McBride was an under-the-radar signing for the Giants in January 2013. McBride was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in September 2009. Since then, he has spent time with the Cardinals, Saints, and Jaguars. Nine of McBride’s 10 NFL starts came as a rookie. He has played in 48 NFL games but only one last season with the Jaguars. McBride lacks ideal size (5’9’’, 185 pounds), but he is very quick and the Giants appear to like what they’ve seen out of him.

“We’re counting on (Webster, Amukamara, Hosley, Thomas, Ross) plus Trumaine McBride has done a tremendous job in the OTAs so far and we’re looking forward to seeing him compete in training camp,” said Giunta. “He’s a veteran. He’s played in the league and played at Chicago and has a lot of experience and a lot of quickness.”

Terrence Frederick: Frederick spent most of 2012 on the Giants’ Practice Squad but was added to the 53-man roster in December and played in two games. Frederick was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers waived him in August. Frederick lacks ideal size (5’10’’, 187 pounds) and speed, but he is an aggressive, instinctive player who has experience playing in the slot.

Laron Scott: Scott spent 2012 on the Giants’ Practice Squad. He was signed by the Giants in August 2012 after being waived by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had signed Scott as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. Scott lacks ideal size for a corner (5’9’’, 184 pounds). He can return kicks and punts and had a 67-yard kickoff return for the Saints in their first preseason game.

Charles James: James was signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. James lacks ideal size (5’9’’, 179 pounds) and speed, but he is a quick, tough, instinctive corner who makes plays on the football. He has experience as a punt returner.

“Very quick athlete,” Giunta said of James. “Very good change of direction. Very good ball skills, like his toughness.”

Junior Mertile: The Giants signed Mertile in May 2013 after he impressed at the rookie mini-camp as tryout player. Mertile has good size (6’1’’, 197 pounds) and excellent speed.

Summary: Giunta says the top five guys are Webster, Amukamara, Hosley, Thomas, and Ross. The Giants need Webster to bounce back, Amukamara to stay healthy and take that next step, and Hosley to stay healthy and develop. If not, then the Giants are going to have issues at corner. Thomas is the wild card. It’s probably not realistic to expect him to be able to play at a high level again, but if he does, that will help tremendously. The return of Ross may be a bigger deal than most fans realize. McBride, Frederick, Scott, James, and Mertile are the longshots. But Giunta did have good things to say about McBride and James.

Jul 252013
 
Justin Pugh (72), New York Giants (May 22, 2013)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib Sign: All of the Giants’ 2013 NFL Draft class is now signed. The Giants announced on Thursday that OL Justin Pugh (1st round) and QB Ryan Nassib (4th round) have signed. Pugh’s contract is reportedly a 4-year, $8.34 million deal.

Veterans and rookies are required to report to training camp on Friday. Practices begin on Saturday at the Giants’ practice facilities at the MetLife Sports Complex. For a complete schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants Change Name of Headquarters and Training Facility: The Giants announced on Thursday that the sponsorship of their headquarters and training facility at the MetLife Sports Complex has changed. Timex will no longer be the sponsor but Quest Diagnostics. The new name of the headquarters and training facility is the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

John Mara Likes This Team’s Potential: Giants’ President and CEO John Mara said on Thursday that he like’s the 2013 Giants’ potential.

“We signed a lot of players,” said Mara. “We have a lot of guys on one-year deals who have a chance to reinvent themselves and reestablish their careers and they’re going to be highly motivated, and I think we filled in some needs for ourselves. I think we had a good draft. So yeah, I’m excited about it. I think we have a very solid organization, a very solid team. Hopefully we’ll stay healthy, and I think we can be as good as anybody.

“I look at us on paper and I think we’re every bit as good as that team, but there’s a long way to go between the paper and proving it on the field. But we have enough talent to compete with anybody.

“We obviously have a quarterback in place who has won a couple of Super Bowls, who is in his prime. But he needs a little bit of help and we need to play better on defense and we need to play better up front and we think we’ve added some pieces that are going to allow us to do that. But I don’t look at it like our window is closing and we better do something now. We’re never going to change how we operate. We still focus on the draft and on adding free agents, be it short term or long term, that are going to help us.

“As long as (Eli is) behind center, yeah, we have a chance to win and compete. He’s got to have some help and I think we have enough players to give him that help and we’ve put together what I think is a good team. It comes down, like it does every year, to staying healthy and guys playing up to their potential. We have a lot of players with a lot of pride in that locker room, and I think they’re ready to get going and put last year behind them and play like Giants.”

Perry Fewell Talks About the Defense: Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell talks about the defense in an exclusive interview with Giants.com.

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Rolle Understands the Need to Lead by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Joe Skiba Takes Us Behind the Scenes: Giants’ Equipment Director Joe Skiba takes us behind the scenes at Giants.com.