Jul 312015
 
Jerome Cunningham and Bennett Jackson, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Jerome Cunningham and Bennett Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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JULY 31, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

JAMES JONES ON THE WAY…
Head Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that the Giants will sign unrestricted free agent wide receiver James Jones once he arrives at the facility tonight. “He’s a veteran receiver, outstanding hands, been in this system, knows the system well, should fit in well, and should compete,” said Coughlin.

BEN EDWARDS WAIVED, WILL BEATTY TO THE PUP…
The Giants have waived/injured wide receiver Ben Edwards, who pulled his hamstring during the June mini-camp. The Giants officially placed left tackle Will Beatty on the Active/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. The Giants also terminated the contract of offensive tackle Troy Kropog from the Reserve/PUP.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Offensive tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery) did not practice.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), safety Nat Berhe (calf), and safety Mykkele Thompson (hamstring) were held to a limited number of snaps. The Giants want to work them back in slowly.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (hand/arm) still has not signed his 1-year Franchise tender and has not reported to training camp.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz looked sharp in his first practice since suffering the knee injury in October 2014.
  • The starting offensive line continues to be left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Justin Pugh, center Weston Richburg, right guard Geoff Schwartz, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
  • The starting defensive line had George Selvie and Robert Ayers at defensive end and Johnathan Hankins and Cullen Jenkins at defensive tackle.
  • The starting linebackers were Jon Beason inside with J.T. Thomas and Devon Kennard outside.
  • Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor were the first-team safeties.
  • The first touchdown of training camp was a quarterback Eli Manning slant to wide receiver Odell Beckham. (Video) Manning later hit Beckham again on a 60-yard catch-and run for a touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made two acrobatic catches from quarterback Ryan Nassib. (Video) Nassib also connected with wide receiver Dwayne Harris. (Video)
  • Tight end Jerome Cunningham received a lot of work with the first team. He made a really nice one-handed catch on a seam pass. Larry Donnell also worked at tight end with the first team.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How does Victor Cruz look?

A: He actually went on the ground one time and actually felt good about doing that. That’s one hurdle. He was out there and working and enjoying himself. So there’s more to come.

Q: They (Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr.) didn’t start the first period but they were in like the second, it’s just…?

A: It’s just going to be a kind of rotation. They have a pitch count, they have a work load. One guy is watching one thing and coaches counting the other.

Q: I don’t know about you, but whenever Victor or Odell were on the field, I just wanted to see them finish the play and what they did when they walked back. Were you that cognizant and thinking, ‘hey, are they okay?’

A: Well, I watch what everybody else watches. When something good happened and I saw it breakout, I listen for the whistle to blow and then I move my eyes somewhere else.

Q: We talked to the guys before practice and all the offensive guys kept saying this is going to be an explosive offense. Did you see that today when you were watching?

A: Well, it’s the first day. We’ve got a ways to go.

Q: Is Nat Berhe another one who is on a pitch count as well? I didn’t see him in that much.

A: Yeah, he is and so is (Mykkele) Thompson, but so far, so good.

Q: Is that one of the positions you would consider the most up for grabs? Those safety spots?

A: You hope there are a bunch that are competitive. That is what you hope for. That certainly is one.

Q: Are you bringing in a wide receiver, James Jones?

A: Yes and he will be in here tonight, hopefully, for meetings.

Q: Obviously Ben (McAdoo) knows a lot about him, what do you like about him? What do you see there?

A: I remember the great year he had and then last year he caught a number of balls, he led the Oakland team. He’s a veteran receiver, outstanding hands, been in this system, knows the system well, should fit in well, and should compete.

Q: That’s one of the positions that you have some proven players, guys that have already played at this level and done well. Do you sense any problems fitting a guy like that in? I mean you’re talking about a veteran who…

A: Well, there are a number of guys there that have played and played a lot. You’re always looking for competition and he certainly will provide it.

Q: What did you think of the play where Odell took that quick pass from Eli (Manning) and pinballed his was down the field?

A: I liked it and I’d like to see a lot more of it.

Q: Play to play, do you worry or watch that Odell and Victor are physically okay?

A: You can’t do that. The players are going to play. They’ve got to go play the game. That’s the name of the game. We want to do everything we can to make sure that all the necessary precautions are made but when they do take the field for the required number of plays, they’ve got to play the game and they wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t mention half the stuff that you’re asking about because I wouldn’t—you watch those guys in a meeting and they’re as intense and anxious as anybody just to play the game.

Q: I know you did it in the spring a lot with Ereck Flowers taking reps with both the first team and second team. Is that something you want to continue through camp?

A: Well, really what we’d like to see him do is just take off in this circumstance and become the player that we know he can be and grasp things as fast as he can and move from all the spring’s work and the experience that he had, quickly move past that into what we’re doing and what we’re going to face right now. It’s not as much about, sure he’ll take snaps with both, but in reality we want him to just take off at that spot.

Q: Is the hour and 10 minute practice just slowly working your way into it?

A: That was 14 mods. That is exactly what was planned on. It’ll be a little bit more tomorrow and the whole practice, the whole nature of all of this work, is to a certain extent, we’re going to push them real hard, we’re going to back off it and we’re going to push them real hard again, sometimes two days in a row or three and then back off it. So it’s going to be a series of that kind of thing.

Q: How much did you sense that guys were amped up?

A: It’s always the first practice.

Q: Did you have to hold them back at all in any way?

A: No, but you have to remind them about all the things that you’re trying to do. You want to practice hard, you want to give great effort, you want to play full speed but you want to be smart about it. You certainly don’t want to put somebody in a bad light and you always tell them certain things about being around the quarterback and try to keep people on their feet so you don’t get piles. Piles can be a dangerous thing.

Q: Is it too early to see how the offensive line is progressing?

A: It’s too early. They need to work. Those guys, there is only one way with them and they’ve just got to work and work and work. Lots of times it’s not pretty, but they need to keep working and working and they need to—as these practices extend themselves, get fatigued and play through it, all those things. It all has to happen.

Q: Is that how you gel as a unit? Is that how five people become one?

A: That certainly is one of the ways it works. The number of circumstances that they end up in together, the real tough circumstances, that helps.

Q: Last year you had to flip it around on the offensive line pretty late in camp—I think it was after the third preseason game you had to get two new guards in there. Is there a point where you feel you need to have those five guys set during training camp?

A: There will be. There will be. It’s not quite there. It’s a ways off.

Q: Is the third preseason game usually that point where you want to have it set?

A: Not necessarily, but the third preseason game usually becomes a little more significant because you do put your players through something like a game plan week where as in other games we don’t. It’s nice to say that but whenever it happens, hopefully sooner the better.

Q: Photos were released of JPP today in Florida and his hand is basically completely covered in a cast. Have you seen the photos?

A: No, I haven’t seen them. I haven’t seen them. I’ve heard there was such a picture but I haven’t seen it.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

The audio of WFAN Radio interviews with RB Shane Vereen, RB Andre Williams, LT Ereck Flowers, S Landon Collins, WR Rueben Randle, CB Prince Amukamara, OC Weston Richburg, LB Jon Beason, RB Rashad Jennings, WR Victor Cruz, and P Steve Weatherford is available at CBS New York.

RELATED ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The second training camp practice will be held on Saturday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only eight remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Saturday, August 1: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 2: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Monday, August 3: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Jul 302015
 
James Jones, Oakland Raiders (December 21, 2014)

James Jones – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Giants Agree to Terms with James Jones as Players Report to Training Camp: All New York Giants players under contract reported to summer training camp on Thursday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. As expected, the only no-show was defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered serious hand and arm injuries from a July 4th fireworks accident and who has yet to sign his 1-year Franchise tender.

According to press reports, the Giants have agreed to terms on a 1-year deal with unrestricted free agent wide receiver James Jones. The 31-year old Jones has played eight seasons in the NFL, seven with the Green Bay Packers (2007-2013) and one with the Oakland Raiders (2014). He has 383 career regular-season receptions for 4,971 yards and 43 touchdowns. Last season, Jones caught 73 passes for 666 yards and six touchdowns.

The first training camp practice will be held on Friday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only nine training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Friday, July 31: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Saturday, August 1: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 2: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Monday, August 3: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM

Giants Place Two Players on PUP List: The Giants have placed offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from torn pectoral muscle) and wide receiver Ben Edwards (hamstring) on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

July 30, 2015 Giants President/CEO John Mara Press Conference: Giants President/CEO John Mara addressed the media on Thursday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Obviously Jason Pierre-Paul is not here, and I would imagine you’re not too thrilled with the circumstances. Can you just give us your feelings on that?

A: I’m disappointed he’s not here. I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of different reasons. He would have the opportunity to learn the defense, but more importantly, we have the best training staff in the league here. We have access to some of the best doctors in the world, and I think it would be in his best interest to be here for those reasons. As I said the other day, it’s unfortunate he’s not here. I don’t think he’s receiving the best advice. That’s sad as far as I am concerned.

Q: Do you know exactly what his condition is. Have you been allowed to examine him?

A: None of our people have been able to see him or examine him, so we have no idea what type of condition he is in. All we know is what some of his people have told us, but until we see him for ourselves, that doesn’t give us any comfort.

Q: Have you been told that he has an amputated finger?

A: We have been told exactly what you have been told. We don’t know anything more than you know.

Q: The people who you are talking about, is that the agent?

A: I assume that’s the people he is listening to, but I am not sure.

Q: I mean the people that have been in communication with the organization.

A: Yes, that’s correct.

Q: Has anybody spoken to him, or has the conversation all been exchanged via text message?

A: I believe Ronnie (Barnes) spoke with him on the phone. I have exchanged text messages with him. I know Robert Nunn has exchanged texts with him. I don’t know if he has spoken to him personally or not. Tom [Coughlin] (sent) texts, Jerry [Reese], but it has predominantly been text messages.

Q: John, do you have any idea when he will show up here?

A: None.

Q: How unusual is this?

A: It is pretty unusual. I think, again, I have a lot confidence in our medical staff and our training staff here. I just don’t know why you wouldn’t take advantage of that.

Q: Could he or his camp play his way into you rescinding the tender? By play, I mean not communicating.

A: I don’t think we are going to do anything until we actually see what type of condition he is in.

Q: What makes you believe that he could be worth 15 million dollars for this season considering the physical damage that has been done?

A: He has obviously played at a very high level in the past. He is a rare athlete. Again, until we see him, and see the damage, we are just not going to know that.

Q: John, have you ever been in this situation before. Does this feel different for even you?

A: I can’t recall being in a similar situation.

Q: Do you think it would color your impressions of dealing with him going forward in negotiations?

A: I don’t think so. Listen, he is a great kid, and we love having him around here. He fits in very well, he’s very cooperative. I just don’t know what is going on here. Again, I can only surmise that he is not receiving very good advice.

Q: How do go about planning with so much uncertainty? Do you just have to assume that he is not going to be a part of this team?

A: I think we have to plan on moving ahead without him at this point. Until we see him and make some sort of determination on the condition he is in, I don’t see how we can count on him, certainly not for the opening of the season.

Q: I guess when we looked into how this could possibly play out, apparently at some point you can negotiate the terms of a franchise tag and agree not to put him on NFI [Non-Football Injury]. Has there been any approach by them. Have they said “can we talk” or anything?

A: No. We have no idea what their intention is at this point.

Q: Well, I assume you would be open to–

A: We would be open to discussing anything, but we first need to see him.

Q: Have you guys done any research on this kind of injury, and how do you prepare? You guys obviously have to do what you can to get ready when he comes.

A: You say ‘this kind of injury.’ we don’t how extensive the damage is—that’s the problem. I don’t know how many fingers he has. We know what we have read and what we have been told, but until we actually see the extent of the damage, it is hard to make any type of prediction as to what type of condition he is going to be in.

Q: Have they told you why you can’t get in there to see him?

A: Not as far as I know.

Q: It has got to be all financial, right? He doesn’t have a contract. There has got to be some negotiations going on here. He is a guy without a contract right now.

A: I don’t know, there have been no negotiations with us since this happened, so I don’t know what their thinking is.

Q: Was there an offer on the table beforehand? Is that no longer available to him at this point?

A: We had made an offer to him some time ago, which we never really got a response to. Obviously, that is not on the table right now. Nothing is on the table until we see him.

Q: There is some suggestion that he would be worried about signing the tender and then being put on NFI and being docked pay. Would you be willing to say “show up, and we will pay you”?

A: All of that is negotiable, depending on what the condition of his hand is.

Q: Do you hope that they [Pierre-Paul’s representatives] are hearing what you are saying here since you do not seem to have any other avenue of communication?

A: Yes. Those are the reasons that I am here, other than the fact that I have missed all you so much.

Q: How much does the timing of this hurt you? It was in July. The fact that free agency, there are not those guys out there. How much does it limit what your options are here?

A: It was 14.8 million dollars or whatever it is. It could have arguably been used elsewhere. But listen, our priority and our hope is still that he is going to be able to play, and we will spend that money on him. That is our first wish.

Q: Has it been exclusively Jerry Reese talking to the agent?

A: I believe so. Kevin Abrams may have spoken to him at some point, I’m not sure. It has been mostly Jerry.

Q: Would ownership ever get involved? Would you ever reach out?

A: Possibly, at some point, but I have not done that yet. Jerry has been carrying the message for us.

Q: Have you done that in the past yourself in any other contract situations?

A: Probably on a few occasions, yes.

Q: Have you had any personal contact with Jason?

A: I exchanged texts with him, I would say, within a few days after the accident. I just asked him how he was doing, is there anything we can do for you? He responded almost immediately and said that he is going to be fine. I think the term he used was that it is just a little bump in the road and I will be back as good as ever. He even put a smiley face on there.

Q: Have you expressed your disappointment to him that he hasn’t been here?

A: I have not personally expressed that to him. Our first concern is for his well-being. Is he getting the right amount of medical care and proper therapy? I know he will get that here. I assume he is getting it down there, but I don’t know that for sure.

Q: There has been a lot of talk about the commissioner’s ruling on [Tom] Brady, and that it was upheld. What are your thoughts on the whole thing?

A: I am saddened that it has come to this. We went the two weeks going into the Super Bowl, all we talked about was Deflategate. Now coming into training camp, it is all we are talking about. The commissioner had a very difficult job to do here. At the end of the day, I think he made a decision based on the evidence and the facts that were put before him and without regard to the profile of the player or his personal relationship with the owner. That is what he is paid to do. He did his job here, and you can argue about whether it was fair or unfair, but he had to make a very tough decision under very difficult circumstances and he did it. That is what he is paid to do.

Q: Do you support the commissioner in this?

A: Yes. I have been around him enough to know that his intention is always to try and do the right thing. I don’t always agree with the decisions that he makes, but I know that he tries to do the right thing. I know this was a very unpleasant situation for him here. You are dealing with the best player in the league, you are dealing with an owner who has been as good as any other owner in the league and somebody that he has a close personal relationship with. He had to make a tough decision.Q: And the fact that this player is suing the league has got to be difficult for all the owners.

A: Well, it is. It is just going to drag this thing out into the fall, and that is not good for anybody.

Q: Were you as taken aback as the public was over that particular phrase “I was wrong to put my faith in the league”?

A: I have nothing but the utmost respect for Robert Kraft. I understand he is very emotional about this, and he feels very strongly about it. He is trying to protect his player, and I get that. As I said, I am saddened that it has come to this.

Q: Is it concerning that almost every decision the commissioner has made in the last year has been challenged in federal court?

A: It is. I don’t recall it ever being that way in prior years, but it seems like we’ve come to that now, but so be it.

Q: Have the expectations for this team been altered with injuries to two starters?

A: We’ve lost two starters and we’re not in training camp yet and I don’t remember being in that situation before. I do think we have enough talent here to have a team that can be in the playoffs and we can contend for a championship. That’s what I still believe and that’s what my expectations are.

Q: Do you still believe this is a “win or else” season?

A: You can make that statement every year, this is the NFL. People have expectations, our fans have expectations, and I have expectations. We’ve been out of the playoffs three years in a row, and it’s time to put stop to it.

Q: Has your level of optimism changed in regards to an extension for QB Eli Manning?

A: I think we’ll get it done at some point in time. We’re just going through the usual things that you go through. The agent asks for the moon, we make a reasonable offer, and at some point he’ll come to his senses and we’ll reach an agreement. There’s nothing unusual about this.

Q: Is there any concern from your perspective about getting a Manning deal done before the season starts?

A: I think ideally we would like to have that done, but if it doesn’t, I don’t think that’s going to affect our relationship with him or the fact that we will eventually get it done.

Q: Does it make a difference if the Manning deal doesn’t get done before the season ends?

A: We’d like to have it done before the season is over, but if it doesn’t happen, then I ‘m still confident it’ll get done at some point. We want him to be here and finish his career as a Giant. I’m sure he wants the same thing.

Q: Can you characterize your level of hope for WR Odell Beckham and WR Victor Cruz being healthy?

A: That obviously is an exciting prospect and something we haven’t been able to witness really to a great degree. Victor looks good and I’m hoping that he adds something to this offense and Beckham, the sky’s the limit for him.

Q: Several of your players live in south Florida. With them reporting today, have you been made aware of any having contact with Pierre-Paul?

A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: Do you have any worries about the maturity of Beckham?

A: I think he’s going to be fine. In fact, I understand that he addressed all of our (training camp operations) interns today, so that was a very positive step on his part. He and Victor both did, and I think he’s going to be fine. He’s had a lot of success very early on, so sometimes that does give you cause for concern, but I think he’s smart enough and mature enough to handle it.

Q: Did he address the interns?

A: That’s what I understand. He talked with our (camp operations) interns.

Q: Is there a level of anticipation for you to see Cruz?

A: Sure, I mean you never know for sure until he gets out on the field, and he’s running full speed, and there’s a little bit of contact involved. So yeah, there’s always going to be that but I know he’s very confident in our medical team, he’s very confident about them,  so I think he’s going to be back good as ever.

Q: How much have past injuries played a part into you looking at medical advancements and have you done any research?

A: I’ve certainly voiced my concern about the fact that we led the league in injuries the last two years. Nobody likes that around here and we’ve made some adjustments to the off-season program. We’ve got these GPS trackers now.  We’re trying to pay as much attention to that as possible, Tom has made certain adjustments to his schedule, and we’ve made some adjustments to the weight room and what they’re doing in there. Hopefully all that will pay off, but we’ll have to see.

Q: Does Coach Coughlin still embrace the old school way of coaching and not sports science?

A: I don’t really think that’s true. I think he’ll be able to tell you more specifically than I can. We have made changes. Tom does see we need to do that. I think in a perfect world for him, we’d be back to two-a-days and all sorts of contact, and everything, but that was a different world back then. We’re not in that world anymore. I believe he has embraced that and does see that we need to make changes going forward, because he’s not happy about the fact that we had so many injuries the last two years.

Q: Do you view your recent changes with sports science as catching up to the competition because some teams may have gone to it earlier?

A: I don’t know how much earlier, maybe a few teams may have done that. One thing about Tom is that he is more flexible than he’s given credit for. When he see’s something that’s out there that’s working, he wants to investigate it. Again, nobody is happy about the number of injuries that we’ve had, and we’re trying to do something to stop it. I think some of it has been bad luck with the broken bones and things. I don’t know what you do to prevent that, but sometimes injuries are going to happen in this sport. Some of the soft tissue injuries that I think that maybe are a little more avoidable, we’ve taken some steps to address that. We’ll see if they work or not.

Q: If you could boil your message down to one thing to Jason Pierre-Paul, what would it be?

A: Come home. We miss you.

July 30, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Press Conference: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Thursday (video is available at Giants.com):

Coughlin: Welcome to camp. Some of you don’t look in as good of shape as you should be. We’ll take care of that as we go along.

Q: No fines, I hope?

A: There will be. Shortly.

Q: Assume all your guys did alright in the conditioning test?

A: Their body weights were good and this test, which was simply to make sure that they had been doing what they were supposed to be doing. They looked fine.

Q: Was everybody here other than Jason Pierre-Paul?

A: Yes.

Q: Looks like you changed up the conditioning drill this year.

A: We did.

Q: Was that part of the studies that they did?

A: That and a little bit more teeth into the drill. Little more emphasis on the conditioning part of it coming back.

Q: John Mara stated that the message he wants to send to Jason Pierre-Paul is ‘come home. We miss you.’ Do you echo his statement?

A: That’s been the message all along, really. It’s hard to believe that he couldn’t get here and take care of an awful lot of issues rather than what they’re doing. But, again, I’ve not spoken with him and very few people here have.

Q: Have you texted JPP?

A: I did. Right away, I did.

Q: Have you texted JPP recently?

A: Right away, I did.

Q: Could you right away and recently, also?

A: But I didn’t do it recently, I did it right away.

Q: Is there still no response?

A: No, there is no response.

Q: Has any of this—the injury or the aftermath—soured your relationship with JPP or will he be welcomed back if he ever does choose to return?

A: Well, I hope he chooses to return. Hey, we’re all concerned about the young man, first and foremost, but it is difficult to extend this concern when we feel like he should be here. But as far as souring, that’s not going to sour anything. I am concerned about him as a young man and anxious to know exactly what he’s dealing with, and then we will know what we’re dealing with.

Q: Other than Will Beatty, do you have anyone else going on PUP?

A: I think (Ben) Edwards, the young receiver, will have to go on.

Q: Victor Cruz does not?

A: No.

Q: What kind of green light does Cruz have tomorrow?

A: I’m sure we will have to limit and build him up, but he’ll be out there.

Q: How about Odell Beckham Jr. in the same respect?

A: Same idea. Yep.

Q: What is your level of expectation for his team this year?

A: I expect them to work hard. I expect them to compete like heck. Hopefully, we will remain intact and be able to put on the field the team that we have assembled right now, and then if we can get everybody to buy into the team concept, and we can progress along those lines. I feel good about today, but we take it one day at a time.

Q: Will Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz be (limited) for all of training camp or do you need to see where they are and gauge before you have a plan?

A: I hope they can practice all the time. I’m sure there may be some time when they have to have some recognition in terms of number of snaps, but that’s probably going to be the way it goes anyways. We’ll monitor all the players under the existing system that we have and try to get a gauge on exactly where they should be for each style of practice that we present.

Q: Walter Thurmond commented that, ‘Tom Coughlin may not be as into sport science.’ What is your reaction to that?

A: I have no comment.

Q: Have you made any changes this year?

A: Sure, we have.

Q: Anything in particular?

A: You’ll see.

Q: Is the recovery stretch still something that we will see or the intermissions?

A: Sure. Recovery stretch, you’ll see.

Q: Were those changes hard to make given that you only have them on the field for a certain amount of minutes a day?

A: No. Again, coming from where I’m coming from, it’s not a question anymore about what we used to do. It has to be what’s best for the current times, and this seems the way to go.

Q: You brought in Jake Long recently for a second visit. What was your impression and where do you stand on that?

A: Well, he is obviously a player coming off of a very serious injury. He’s made progress and that’s where it stands

Q: Do you feel like you still need to make a move there?

A: We’re going to check every player that is available that may, in any way, help our team. Will be evaluated and, if so, brought in and given a physical and worked out. For every player that comes along that we think can help us, that would be the case.

Q: Marshall Newhouse played right tackle in the spring. Do you expect to see that here and moving forward?

A: Well, sure. To start out, for sure. Then see how the progress goes on his part and the other linemen that we have assembled.

July 30, 2015 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com:

Jul 292015
 
Jake Long, St. Louis Rams (September 14, 2014)

Jake Long – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Jake Long Visits Giants Again: According to multiple press reports, unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Jake Long visited the New York Giants again on Wednesday. Long, who just met with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week, originally met with the Giants on May 28. However, Long left the Giants without signing a contract for a second time and will reportedly visit with the Denver Broncos next. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Giants remain interested in Long, but he is exploring all of his options and is in “no rush” to sign a contract.

The 30-year old Long was the first player selected in the 2008 NFL Draft when the Miami Dolphins picked him. Long played for five seasons in Miami and was selected to four straight Pro Bowls from 2008-11. In 2013, he signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams but tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee in a game in December 2013. Long then re-tore the same ACL in a game in October 2014. The injury-prone Long has finished each of the last four seasons on Injured Reserve. The Rams cut him in March 2015.

NJ.com is reporting that Long is believed to have “checked out medically” and went through an on-field workout for the Giants on Wednesday.

The 6’7”, 322-pound Long was once regarded as one of the best left tackles in the game, but two back-to-back ACL tears to the same knee have obviously put his career in jeopardy. If Long can pass a physical and contribute, he could provide competition and insurance for an offensive line that will be without starting left tackle Will Beatty for the first half of the 2015 season. Beatty tore his pectoral muscle while lifting weights in May.

During spring workouts, the Giants first-team offensive line has had Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Weston Richburg at center, Geoff Schwartz at right guard, and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle.

Tom Coughlin Comments on JPP: In an interview with SI.com, New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin spoke about Jason Pierre-Paul for the first time since the defensive end severely injured his right hand and arm in a July 4th fireworks accident. There is still no concrete information on the true extent of Pierre-Paul’s injuries which are believed to include a right index finger amputation (including knuckle), fractured right thumb (requiring pins), skin grafts to his lower right arm, and possibly additional finger and hand fractures.

“I texted Jason right away (after I heard about the accident),” said Coughlin. “I just said, ‘How can I help you?’ But I didn’t hear anything back, so. And really there has been very little information even to this point in time. Everybody in this building is concerned with him and his welfare. Even to the point where this fiasco, when Ronnie (Barnes) goes down there and Jessie (Armstead) goes down there, and he won’t see them – these are the people he has depended on all the time he has been there. I don’t know what he thought he was going to accomplish by not allowing them to be there to assist, to help, whatever needed to be done.

“I thought that was a really poor move by them. By his people. I don’t know what they think they are hiding. It only makes us, me personally, think the worst. I think (Defensive Line Coach) Robert Nunn has talked to him a couple times on the phone. He tries to assure people that he is fine or going to be fine, but I don’t know any more than that.

“I want to be there for him. But he’s decided that he doesn’t want our help. He thinks that something will come of it. But, all I care about, all any of us care about, the whole organization, is the well-being of the kid. Something traumatic has taken place here, and we have all kinds of experts here in this city that are at our disposal. Putting those things together is very easy.”

Coughlin was then asked if he thought Pierre-Paul would report to training camp on Thursday. “I don’t know,” responded Coughlin. “I don’t know what to expect anymore. I told everybody I thought he would come to the mandatory mini-camp. I thought he would be here for that. He didn’t come for that, either. Now that’s not all his doing. The agent has a big part in that, and it should be that the player takes a stand, but he’s obviously going to take the advice of his agent.”

New York Giants Pre-Training Camp Articles:

Jul 292015
 
Shane Vereen and Eli Manning, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Shane Vereen and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants Report to Training Camp on Thursday: All New York Giants players under contract are required are required to report to summer training camp on Thursday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The only expected no-show is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered serious hand and arm injuries from a July 4th fireworks accident and who has yet to sign his 1-year Franchise tender.

The first practice will be held on Friday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only nine training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Friday, July 31: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Saturday, August 1: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 2: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Monday, August 3: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM

NY Post Q&A with New York Giants President/CEO John Mara: John Mara on Eli’s contract, Coughlin’s future and all things Giants by Steve Serby of The New York Post

New York Giants Pre-Training Camp Articles:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Prince Amukamara: Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz looks faster than before the injury by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on OT Ereck Flowers: Giants rookie Ereck Flowers must bloom in a hurry by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on S Landon Collins: Can Landon Collins be the leader Giants are desperate for? by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Jul 282015
 
John Mara, New York Giants (November 30, 2014)

John Mara comments on Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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In an interview with The New York Post on Tuesday, New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke about Jason Pierre-Paul for the first time since the defensive end severely injured his right hand and arm in a July 4th fireworks accident. There is still no concrete information on the true extent of Pierre-Paul’s injuries which are believed to include a right index finger amputation (including knuckle), fractured right thumb (requiring pins), skin grafts to his lower right arm, and possibly additional finger and hand fractures.

“I think I may have used some language that I wouldn’t like my grandchildren to hear me use,’’ Mara said of his reaction to hearing the news about the accident. “I could not believe, that here we haven’t even gone to training camp yet and we’ve lost two starters — (offensive tackle Will Beatty) in the weight room and one to a fireworks accident. So it was more of a state of disbelief that I was in. I’ve been around a long time, seen a lot of things…but this one was a shock.”

Mara told The Post that he has “no idea” when Pierre-Paul will report to training camp. Players under contract are required to report to camp on Thursday, but Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his 1-year Franchise tender.

Pierre-Paul and his representatives did not allow team officials to visit with Pierre-Paul immediately after the accident when Pierre-Paul was in the hospital. And the Giants remain in the dark about his true condition.

“I don’t think JPP is receiving very good advice right now,’’ said Mara. “The fact that (team officials) went down (to the hospital in Miami) and hung around for two days and were not allowed to see him was very disappointing to me…He has told people that he’s fine and he’s going to be ready to play, but until we see the hand, we’re just not sure.”

“He texted me back right away (when I texted him after the accident), said he was going to be fine, that it’s just a little bump in the road and that he’ll be back as good as ever,’’ Mara said. “I know (General Manager) Jerry (Reese) has texted him and I know he’s had some communication with Robert Nunn, his defensive line coach, and I think (Senior Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie (Barnes) spoke to him recently.”

The deadline for Pierre-Paul to sign a long-term deal with the team this year has passed. He still has a 1-year, $14.813 million tender offer on the table from the Giants.

“We obviously are going to have to see him first and determine whether or not he’s capable of playing this year before we take one step further,’’ said Mara. “We’d like him to come in and report, and at the very least, learn the new defense that Steve Spagnuolo is putting in. And to have some of the best doctors in the world, who are located within a few miles of this place, take a look at him and see if there’s anything further that can be done to help him.”

Jul 272015
 
Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants (October 21, 2012)

Osi Umenyiora – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Osi Umenyiora Plans to Retire a New York Giant: According to multiple press reports, former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who played with the team from 2003 to 2012, plans to sign a 1-day contract with the Giants soon and retire as a New York Giant. The 33-year old Umenyiora has spent the last two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Umenyiora is currently an unrestricted free agent. The New York Post and Newsday are reporting that Umenyiora will likely sign the 1-day contract during the team’s training camp which begins on July 30.

Umenyiora was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed the entire 2008 season with a knee injury but accrued a total of 75 sacks in his other nine seasons in New York. His regular-season sack total is seventh-best in franchise history after Lawrence Taylor (142), Michael Strahan (141.5), Jim Katcavage (96.5), George Martin (96), Leonard Marshall (79.5), and Andy Robustelli (79).

Umenyiora was also an important part of two NFL Championship teams. The New York Daily News is reporting that Umenyiora would like to re-sign with the Giants in order to play with the team again, but the Giants apparently are not interested. Umenyiora has not received much interest in free agency and his career appears to be over.

New York Giants Pre-Training Camp Articles:

Jul 272015
 
Victor Cruz, Corey Washington, Odell Beckham; New York Giants (June 8, 2015) New York Giants June 8 2015

Victor Cruz, Corey Washington, Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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For 11 years, there have been many peaks and valleys under the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning partnership. The high points have been two NFL and two NFC championships, three NFC East division titles, and five playoff appearances. The low points have been six non-playoff seasons and three losing seasons. For the last three years, the Giants have not made the playoffs, including the only two losing seasons under Coughlin and Manning since their inaugural season together in 2004.

Due to many unfortunate career-impacting injuries and poor personnel decisions in the draft and free agency, the overall talent level of the team has declined since 2011. The results have been far too many uncompetitive football games and a worsening win-loss record. The Giants have been dreadful against their two biggest division rivals. The Cowboys were a fingertip away from sweeping the last six games from the Giants while the Eagles are 11-3 against the Giants in their last 14 games. It’s almost impossible to win a division when you cannot beat the teams within your division.

Other than the two most visible institutions on the team (the head coach and quarterback), the Giants have clearly been a team undergoing a major transition during the last three years. Most of the 2011 team is gone. Both the offensive and defensive coordinators have been replaced as well as most of the position coaches. There has been dramatic turnover at almost every position on the roster save quarterback. The Giants have become a young team.

If the reports are true about Eli Manning receiving a new long-term extension soon, then barring injury, the Manning era will continue towards the end of the decade. What we don’t know is if the 2015 Giants will show enough improvement for ownership to retain Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff beyond the upcoming season. The Giants will not be favored to win the NFC East or make the playoffs. The Cowboys are expected to win the division and many believe the Eagles will finish second with the Giants and Redskins battling to stay out of the basement for the fourth year in a row.

So heading into Giants training camp, the team will be underdogs. It’s a role that has suited them well many times during the last 35 years. They have the ability to prove the pundits wrong and win the NFC East, but they will need some things to break their way. And Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have proven to be a very dangerous duo if they make the playoffs.

  • What is going to happen with Jason Pierre-Paul?: Pierre-Paul is (or was) the only impact player on the defense. But it’s hard to see how he will make a positive impact on the team in 2015. At the very least, he lost a finger, severely fractured his thumb, and needed skin grafts on his severely-burned right arm. Pierre-Paul will not be able to train and lift weights and he will not be able to practice. Because he is still unsigned and is likely to remain so unless he and the Giants come to some sort of compromise deal on his nearly $15 million tender, Pierre-Paul will also miss all of the classwork in training camp he desperately needs to understand Steve Spagnuolo’s system. Tom Coughlin and his players will be asked over and over again about JPP. How big of a distraction this will be remains to be seen. And all of this assumes that Pierre-Paul can even play in 2015 and be anywhere near a competent NFL player, which we really don’t know. The situation is a mess. Best case scenario is he signs a compromise deal soon, attends the classroom work in camp, works on his cardio/leg strength, sometime returns to the playing field in September or October, quickly adjusts to the loss of his digit, and remains a quality two-way end. But there are a lot of “ifs” in that scenario and it’s hard to be optimistic.
  • How quickly will the defensive players adjust to Steve Spagnuolo’s system?: Aside from one memorable playoff run, the Giants defense was mostly a statistical mess under Perry Fewell. In three of the the last four seasons, the defense gave up over 6,000 yards and was one of the worst in the NFL. The Giants pray and hope that Spagnuolo can rekindle the magic he brought to the team in 2007 and 2008. The players seem to love him. However, Spags no longer has Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck. Those are three all-time NYG greats. And it’s important to remember that the 2007 Giants really struggled early on in Spagnuolo’s complicated schemes, giving up 80 points in their first two games. The 2015 New York Giants will not have the luxury an extended learning period. Four of their first seven games are against NFC East teams, including two games against the Cowboys.
  • Where will the pass rush come from?: The pass rush was going to be a question even before Pierre-Paul’s injury. Now it’s unknown when the team’s best pass rusher will return. And even if JPP does make it back, will he be effective? The Giants have to hope and pray that veteran journeymen like Robert Ayers and George Selvie can elevate their game and that youngsters such as Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa can develop very quickly into legitimate players. There are some outstanding tackles in the NFC East and they will show no mercy.
  • Will the run defense actually improve?: The assumption is that a combination of Steve Spagnuolo, solid defensive tackle play, a revamped linebacking corps that includes a healthy Jon Beason, and bigger and more physical safeties will dramatically improve what was a dreadful run defense. Spagnuolo has some good tools to work with such as DT Johnathan Hankins, Beason, LB Devon Kennard, and S Landon Collins. Newcomers like Kenrick Ellis and George Selvie should help. Kerry Wynn and Owa Odighizuwa have the physical tools to become very good run defenders. DT Cullen Jenkins is healthy. But we’ll have to see how it all comes together. There are questions at end with Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers. We don’t know who the other starting tackle will be next to Hankins. Can Beason actually stay healthy? And linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas have to prove the Giants made the correct assessments in free agency. We do know this: the Cowboys, Eagles, and Redskins are three teams who love to run the football with the Cowboys and Eagles being top-10 in rushing yards per game.
  • How good will the safeties be?: The Giants have a lot of young talent at safety, but they are green as grass and unproven except for recently-signed journeyman Jeromy Miles. Steve Spagnulo puts a lot of mental pressure on his safeties and the inexperienced lads such as Landon Collins, Cooper Taylor, Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson, and Justin Currie must grow up fast. Safeties are the last line of defense. Mistakes there lead to big touchdowns and lost games. The upside? This is a young, hungry, and physical group. They have the ability to be very good. But they won’t have a lot of time to get ready.
  • Can Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie stay healthy?: With JPP blowing his finger off, Amukamara and Rodgers-Cromartie are now the two most irreplaceable guys on the defense. They can be as good a cornerback duo as there is in the NFL, but there is little apparent depth behind them. If either gets hurt for an extended period, it could spell disaster. Amukmara in particular has been an injury-prone player.
  • Can the Giants overcome their issues at offensive tackle?: Provided everyone stays healthy, the Giants look set on the inside of the offensive line with Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, and Geoff Schwartz. The Giants also believe that Ereck Flowers will become an outstanding left tackle some day. But what no one knows is how long it will take Flowers to do so since he needs so much technique work. He could struggle as a rookie. The injury to Will Beatty screwed the Giants in the short-term. Now they will have to rely on Flowers and his growing pains at left tackle and twice-benched Marshall Newhouse, the disappointing-to-date Brandon Mosley, or someone else at right tackle. The Giants may be forced to scramble, moving Pugh or Schwartz to tackle.
  • Can Victor Cruz be Victor Cruz?: We simply don’t know if Cruz will ever be the same player again. If he is, this offense could be special as teams will have tremendous problems trying to defend both Cruz and Odell Beckham (not to mention Rueben Randle). But if Cruz is a shadow of his former self, while Eli and Odell can still make this a very good offense, it won’t be the same as if Cruz was healthy.
  • Is Eli Manning primed to be “elite” again?: In 2011, Eli Manning carried a New York Giants team with no defense and no running game to the playoffs. He was arguably the NFL’s MVP that season. He hasn’t regained that same magic since then. However, Eli was very good in 2014 and seems primed for even a bigger season in 2015. There is a quiet confidence about him. He’s healthy and teammates have noticed a very lively arm in offseason workouts. Eli knows Ben McAdoo’s QB-friendly system now. His favorite target Victor Cruz will be back. In Shane Vereen, he may have the best receiving back he has had since Tiki Barber. He has a top-10 receiving tight end in Larry Donnell. Rueben Randle may be finally coming on. But most importantly, Manning has arguably the most exciting offensive player in the NFL to throw to in Odell Beckham. The way this league is now set up is that an outstanding quarterback can carry a team to an NFL Championship. One more title run and Eli has guaranteed himself a spot in the Hall of Fame.

This team has a lot of issues, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The best the Giants can probably hope for on defense is to be middle-of-the-pack. Yet after the last four years under Fewell, the Giants would take that. And being just average on defense may just be good enough. The offense, and specifically Eli Manning, can carry this team. The only major question marks on that side of the ball are the status of Cruz and ability of the two starting tackles. I honestly think Manning could be in store for an MVP-type season. He has a lot of weapons to throw to and he is in an offense that gets rid of the ball quickly. The Giants have a nice trio of running backs, an outstanding receiving corps, a very solid interior trio on the offensive line, and a good receiving tight end. Special teams should be much better with the addition of Dwayne Harris and a lot of hungry, young players. If two teams with questionable defenses like the Cowboys and Packers can make a run, so can the Giants.

What the team needs is a little bit of luck on the health front. After two years of leading the NFL in injuries, and freak offseason accidents with JPP and Beatty, the Giants could use a change in fortune.

Jul 262015
 


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NY Post Q&A with LB Beason: Giants’ Jon Beason on grueling comeback, new D-coordinator and JPP by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on the 2015 New York Giants:

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Inside Beckham’s aftershocks from the catch that shook the world by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on OT Marshall Newhouse: Giants’ Marshall Newhouse grades out as ‘overrated’ by Jordan Rannan for NJ.com

Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:

Article on DT Markus Kuhn: With JPP in doubt, this must be unconventional Kuhn’s year by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Jul 232015
 
Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Giants Re-Sign Safety Justin Currie: The New York Giants have announced that they have re-signed rookie free agent safety Justin Currie (Western Michigan) a week after they waived him. Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Giants.com Q&A with CB Chykie Brown: The video of a Giants.com interview with cornerback Chykie Brown is available at Giants.com.

Article on QB Eli Manning: Giants’ Eli Manning finishes 12th in ESPN QB rankings, called an ‘interception machine’ by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on the New York Giants Defense: What is one key stat the Giants defense is aiming to reduce? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on DE Robert Ayers: Giants need this one veteran to step up in JPP’s absence by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Articles on New York Giants Linebackers:

Kevin Gilbride and Shaun O’Hara Discuss Super Bowl XLII: Shaun O’Hara and Kevin Gilbride dissect the “Helmet Catch” by Dan Salomone of Giants.com.

Jul 232015
 
Eli Manning, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Quarterback Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks

2014 YEAR IN REVIEW: Largely lost in the disappointing 6-10 season and the Odell Beckham hype was the fact that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning experienced a renaissance in 2014. Approaching his mid-30’s and coming off arguably his worst season in the NFL in 2013, Manning rebounded with one of his best seasons in 2014. Indeed, had it not been for a dreadful 5-interception game against the San Francisco 49ers in November, Manning would have thrown only eight picks all season – his lowest ever in the NFL. His success was even more impressive when you consider he was coming off April ankle surgery that limited his offseason work, had a new offensive coordinator and position coach, was introduced to a radically-different offensive system, and lost his security blanket Victor Cruz early in campaign. Before the season, many said Manning was washed up and the team should move on. By season’s end, those thoughts had largely disappeared. Of all of the Giants’ personnel problems, the quarterback position is not one of them.

It originally looked like Ryan Nassib was going to have an up-hill fight for the #2 quarterback spot as the Giants had re-signed 2013 #2 quarterback Curtis Painter and had added quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Rusty Smith in free agency. But Freeman and Smith didn’t even make it to training camp, and Nassib clearly out-performed Painter in the preseason, completing 44-of-74 passes for 588 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions (107.3 quarterback rating). Nassib not only earned the promotion to the #2 spot, but the team was comfortable enough with him to cut Painter and only go with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants signed street free agent Ricky Stanzi in January.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Entering training camp, Eli Manning seems comfortable, confident, and healthy. He worked hard at improving his arm strength in the offseason and his coaches and teammates have noticed.

“Yeah, (his arm) is lively, very lively,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin in mid-June. “He has worked hard on that.”

“I would definitely agree with you on that,” said wide receiver Rueben Randle. “He overthrew me twice and I don’t ever recall that happening. That is something we noticed down at Duke working with him. We noticed that his arm got stronger and that is exciting for us.”

But more important than the increased arm strength is that Manning appears ready to take the next step forward in Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo’s quarterback-friendly system. Combine that with talented targets such as Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Larry Donnell, and Shane Vereen and Eli may be primed for a really big year.

“Eli is a lot quicker at this point in time in getting everything going and getting everything moving,” said McAdoo. “Eli has put a lot of time and effort into his footwork and his training there and to his upper body and his strengthening and maintenance in those types of things. I like the look in his eye right now.”

“I think he is gaining confidence in what we have asked him to do fundamentally in the system and in the communication that happens in the meeting rooms and is carried on to the field,” continued McAdoo. “He is on the same page with his receivers, his tight ends and his backs. He is working well with the center and the o-line. I think being in the second year of the system helps.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring something unusual, the two quarterbacks will be Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib. Ricky Stanzi is a camp arm.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Mike Sullivan on Eli Manning: “(He) is a lot more comfortable, perhaps, and certainly healthy and we have had a chance to get rolling, but I agree he is definitely throwing the ball well and it is exciting.”

Sullivan on Ryan Nassib: “He is a guy who is a very hard worker. He is a grinder and he is a gym rat and is someone who is very conscientious. He came from a similar type system in college, so he didn’t really have to unlearn, if you will, as much. I am very impressed with his work ethic, his competitiveness and how intelligent he is. He has been really trying to focus on the little things that can get his release a little faster. He is very conscientious about that, “Hey, I can just keep the ball a little bit higher.” He understands the reasoning and timing behind things in terms of not wanting to be too slow with his feet or having an elongated release and just a very bright and competitive player. In the meeting room, he is someone that Eli relies upon. I got the sense early on that those two guys really respect each other and you look at a guy like Ryan and I am excited to see how he is going to perform in these games in the preseason, and he is just a really competitive kid.”

PREDICTIONS: To date, 2011 was clearly Manning’s best pro season. Fans forget that team was 32nd in rushing and 27th in defense. Manning practically single-handily willed that team to a 9-7 regular-season record. It was a league MVP-type performance with six 4th-quarter comeback victories (and two more in the post-season).

Provided Manning stays healthy, Eli will be in serious contention for his first league MVP award. Once again, he will carry his team to the playoffs.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib.