Jul 312016
 
Kerry Wynn and Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Kerry Wynn and Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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JULY 31, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practice was closed to the public due to rain.

INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee swelling), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. injured his left leg after getting tangled up with cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a deep pass. Beckham left practice early because of the injury.

“He got cleated and he has a cut or two,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “They’re in there taking a look at it now, so he’s probably going to be sore for a couple of days.”

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (knee/calf) was limited for the first time in camp.

“We dialed back his load today,” said McAdoo. “He did work, he finished practice and he got the number of reps we were looking for him to get today… That’s part of the structure… He’ll have different loads each and every day depending on the day and the workload the day before and the work load the next day.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham deep for a touchdown against safety Darian Thompson. Manning then found Beckham deep again, this time against cornerback Janoris Jenkins. (VIDEO)
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Trevin Wade ontinue to see time at slot cornerback.
  • Landon Collins and Darian Thompson remain the first-team safeties. Nat Behre and Mykkele Thompson are the second-team safeties.
  • Keenan Robinson saw some first-team reps at middle linebacker after Jasper Brinkley.
  • The Giants first-team no-huddle offense included Odell Beckham, Geremy Davis, and Sterling Sheppard (slot) at wide receiver; Will Tye at tight end; and Shane Vereen at running back.
  • The second-team offensive line featured Byron Stingily at left tackle, Ryan Seymour at left guard, Shane McDermott at center, Emmett Cleary at right guard, and Bobby Hart at right tackle.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis dropped a slant but then caught a fade pass from quarterback Eli Manning for a touchdown over cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • Running back Paul Perkins broke off a long run. Then running back Bobby Rainey broke off a long touchdown run.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Myles White deep down field against cornerback Janoris Jenkins. (VIDEO)
  • Cornerback Leon McFadden picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib. (VIDEO)

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Sunday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Sunday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Monday. The fourth training camp practice will be held on Tuesday from 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM. Only eight remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public (weather permitting) this year:

  • Tuesday, August 2: 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM
  • Thursday, August 4: 10:40 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Friday, August 5: 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
  • Saturday, August 6: 10:40 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Monday, August 8: 11:10 AM – 12:40 PM
  • Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 AM – 12:55 PM
  • Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Sunday, August 14: 11:10 AM – 12:50 PM
Jul 302016
 
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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JULY 30, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee swelling), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

“He’s getting closer,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo of Thomas.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Wide receivers Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Victor Cruz all worked with the first-team offense.
  • Will Johnson worked with the tight ends and at H-Back.
  • Adam Gettis practiced at center and Brett Jones at guard. Gettis also saw first-team reps at right guard.
  • On the first play on 7-on-7 drills, linebacker Devon Kennard intercepted an underthrown pass by quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie worked at the slot corner position in 7-on-7 drills.
  • Wide receiver Tavarres King beat cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a slant and then caught a bomb against cornerback Tramain Jacobs from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Tight end Larry Donnell flashed, including a reception down the seam and a diving reception.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Geremy Davis for a red zone touchdown.
  • Running back Orleans Darkwa ripped off a long run with the second-team offense.
  • Montori Hughes and Greg Milhouse rotated with each other alongside Johnathan Hankins at defensive tackle with the first unit.
  • Later in practice, the Giants appeared to be rotating Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, and Eli Apple at the outside corner position while Trevin Wade worked more in the slot corner position.
  • During the walkthru portion of practice, Eli Apple was the outside corner with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot corner position.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Saturday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The third training camp practice will be held on Sunday from 10:40 AM – 12:30 PM. Only nine remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public (weather permitting) this year:

  • Sunday, July 31: 10:40 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Tuesday, August 2: 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM
  • Thursday, August 4: 10:40 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Friday, August 5: 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
  • Saturday, August 6: 10:40 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Monday, August 8: 11:10 AM – 12:40 PM
  • Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 AM – 12:55 PM
  • Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Sunday, August 14: 11:10 AM – 12:50 PM
Jul 292016
 
Darian Thompson, New York Giants (May 6, 2016)

Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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JULY 29, 2016 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 practice was not open to the public due to rain.

Some video clips from Giants.com on new Head Coach Ben McAdoo:

  • All Access: Coach McAdoo wired at practice (Video)
  • All Access: Coach McAdoo wired at practice (Video)

INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee swelling), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed defensive tackles Jermelle Cudjo and Davon Coleman. To make room for these two players, the Giants waived wide receiver Donte Foster and defensive tackle Melvin Lewis. Lewis had been played on the Non-Football Illness (NFI) List yesterday.

The 29-year old Cudjo has spent time with the St. Louis Rams (2010-13), Kansas City Chiefs (2014), and Detroit Lions (2015). Cudjo has played in 45 regular-season games with four starts. He accrued seven tackles in seven games in 2015 with the Lions.

The 25-year old Coleman has spent time with the Dallas Cowboys (2014-15), Chicago Bears (2015), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016). Coleman has played in four regular-season games with one start, accruing just three tackles.

NEW SCOUTS ADDED…
The New York Giants have announced that they have added Michael Murphy and D.J. Boisture to their scouting staff.

The 51-year old Murphy served as a pro personnel assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs (1996-99), a Midwest scout with the Seattle Seahawks (2000-04), a national scout with the Dallas Cowboys (2005-07), and a regional scout with the Miami Dolphins (2008-13).

Boisture served as a Giants pro personnel department intern in 2013-15. He has also spent time with The NFL Network as a football researcher and an intern for GM Jr. Scouting.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants did not run any 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 team drills in today’s shorter-than-expected practice.
  • The first-team defensive tackles were Johnathan Hankins and Greg Milhouse. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon were the first-team defensive ends (JPP on the left side and Vernon on the right).
  • The starting linebackers were Devon Kennard, Jasper Brinkley, and Jonathan Casillas.
  • Landon Collins and Darian Thompson were with the first team at safety, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins at cornerback. Trevin Wade worked with the first unit as the slot corner.
  • Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard started at wide receiver. Victor Cruz practiced with the second team and saw some first-team reps in the slot.
  • Larry Donnell and Will Tye were receiving most first-team snaps at tight end.
  • Nikita Whitlock saw some first-team reps at fullback.
  • Adam Gettis continues to work with the second unit at center.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/759117350939594752

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The second training camp practice will be held on Saturday from 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM. Only 10 remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public (weather complying) this year:

  • Saturday, July 30: 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM
  • Sunday, July 31: 10:40 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Tuesday, August 2: 10:40 AM – 12:15 PM
  • Thursday, August 4: 10:40 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Friday, August 5: 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
  • Saturday, August 6: 10:40 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Monday, August 8: 11:10 AM – 12:40 PM
  • Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 AM – 12:55 PM
  • Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Sunday, August 14: 11:10 AM – 12:50 PM
Jul 282016
 
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP BEGINS…
New York Giants players reported to training camp on Thursday. The first training camp practice will occur on Friday. (A complete schedule is available at Giants.com; please keep in mind that in the event of inclement weather, the practice will be held inside and NOT open to the public).

HARRISON, THOMAS, AND BROMLEY PLACED ON PUP…
New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee swelling), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) have been placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List at the start of training camp. These players can come off the PUP at any time.

“We don’t think any of them are extremely serious at this point,” Head Coach Ben McAdoo said.

According to ESPN, Bromley had surgery to remove a bone spur earlier this summer, but he is expected to be able to practice soon. ESPN also reports that the swelling in Harrison’s knee is not uncommon due to fluid in his knee.

Defensive tackle Melvin Lewis was placed on the Non-Football Illness (NFI) List. No details were provided on Lewis.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf, knee) has been cleared to practice on Friday. He passed his medical and conditioning tests.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 272016
 
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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GIANTS REPORT TO CAMP ON THURSDAY…
New York Giants players report to summer training camp on Thursday. The first training camp practice will occur on Friday. (A complete schedule is available at Giants.com). Head Coach Ben McAdoo and a number of players will address the press on Thursday.

HAKEEM NICKS SIGNS WITH SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has signed a 1-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed then 27-year old Hakeem Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games.

Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012.

DANIEL FELLS RETIRES…
Although not officially announced, it appears New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells has retired. Fells was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2015 after multiple career-threatening surgeries were required to address a life-threatening staph infection that developed in an injured ankle. He only played in two games in 2015 and finished with six catches for 60 yards.

Fells said on his Instagram account, “Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I’m grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience.”

Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. He played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2014 with nine starts, accruing 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

TOM COUGHLIN ACCEPTS JOB WITH NFL…
According to press report, former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has accepted a full-time position with the NFL’s football operations department. His exact role has yet to be announced by the League. Coughlin was de facto fired in January by the Giants after serving with the team since 2004.

GIANTS.COM INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive interviews with the following coaches and players are available at Giants.com:

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (Video)
  • TE Will Tye (Video)
  • DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
  • DT Damon Harrison (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

This picture of me and my baby girl was taken a little over a year ago at Quest Diagnostic. I wish I was heading into battle with my brothers as Training Camp starts up this week but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I'm grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience. Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, emails and well wishes that I've gotten over the last few months. I'm working hard to accept my physical limitations and the mental struggles that go along with them. I know that I'm lucky to be alive so I'm determined to make the most of everyday that I have. Looking forward to cheering for my G-men and all of my former teammates on different teams around the nation this year #onceagiantalwaysagiant

A photo posted by Daniel Fells (@danielfells85) on

Jul 192016
 
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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ERNIE ACCORSI, TOM COUGHLIN, JUSTIN TUCK TO RING OF HONOR…
The New York Giants have announced that Ernie Accorsi, Tom Coughlin, and Justin Tuck will be added to the team’s “Ring of Honor” during a halftime ceremony at the Giants-Bengals at MetLife Stadium on November 14.

The addition of these three will bring to 42 the number of team icons so honored. For a complete list, see the Ring of Honor section of the website.

Accorsi served at the Giants’ Assistant General Manager from 1994-1997 and General Manager from 1998-2006.

Coughlin served as the Giants’ wide receivers coach from 1988-1990 and head coach from 2004-2015. Coughlin helped lead the Giants to two NFL titles (2007 and 2011). He finished with 102-90 regular-season record (second most victories in franchise history) and an 8-3 post-season record (tied with Bill Parcells).

Tuck was a defensive end for the team from 2005-2015. Tuck was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and served as a team captain four times, finishing with 60.5 sacks in his Giants’ career.

“When you start working in the National Football League, this is not something you would ever dream could happen,” Accorsi said. “I’ve seen these in different stadiums, and when you see all the great players and coaches up there, it’s not something I ever thought could happen. I can’t even put into words what an honor it is, especially with this franchise. It’s overwhelming that someone who started at the bottom in this league could end up with some of the names up there, like Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford. It’s just incredible for me to get this.”

“It was a great privilege to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants, and it’s a privilege and a tremendous honor to be a part of those great names in Giant folklore that are in the Ring of Honor,” Coughlin said. “It’s something Judy (his wife), my family and I very much appreciate. The New York Giants, to me, is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. We recognize the long history of the Giants and the greatest city in the world, the tremendous coaches and players that have represented the Giants over the years. It’s a great honor to be included in the same breath with some of these prestigious former players and coaches.”

“It’s a great honor,” Tuck said. “Anytime something like this is bestowed upon a person, you have to consider all the other guys up there, all the people that have paved the way for a small-town kid like me to have the opportunity to be put up in the rafters by what I consider to be the greatest football franchise there is. I don’t think it’s dawned on me yet how big a deal it is, but I’m sure that night there will be some emotions that come out and be very visible. I’m very, very excited about it.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH RASHAD JENNINGS…
The video and transcript of an NFL Network interview with running back Rashad Jennings are available at Giants.com.

GIANTS.COM PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 122016
 
Rashad Jennings and Darian Thompson, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Rashad Jennings and Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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The New York Giants have announced their 2016 training camp schedule. The schedule features 11 practice sessions open to the public at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, located on the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Practices are free. Additional information on fan guidelines, parking, autographs, kids’ zone, and rain policy is available at Giants.com.

New York Giants 2016 Training Camp Schedule

Friday, July 29: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Saturday, July 30: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Sunday, July 31: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Monday, August 1: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
Tuesday, August 2: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Wednesday, August 3: CAMP CLOSED
Thursday, August 4: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Friday, August 5: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Saturday, August 6: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Sunday, August 7: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
Monday, August 8: 11:10 a.m. – Practice
Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 a.m. – Practice
Thursday, August 11: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
Friday, August 12: Giants vs. Dolphins, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 13: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
Sunday, August 14: 11:10 a.m. – Practice
Monday, August 15: CAMP CLOSED; end of training camp

* Please note that the schedule is subject to change and for the most up-to-date information, please visit Giants.com.

GIANTS INSIDER INTERVIEW WITH DARIAN THOMPSON…
The video of an exclusive interview with safety Darian Thompson is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Jul 112016
 
Brad Wing, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Brad Wing – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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BRAD WING SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH GIANTS…
The New York Giants have announced that they have extended the contract of punter Brad Wing, who was set to become a restricted free agent during the 2017 offseason. The NFL Network reports that Wing signed a 3-year, $6.45 million contract that includes $3.725 million in guaranteed money – $2 million of which is in the form of a signing bonus.

The Giants acquired Brad Wing from the Pittsburgh Steelers by trade for a conditional 7th-round draft pick in September 2015, replacing the popular-but-declining Steve Weatherford. Wing responded with a strong season, averaging 44.5 yards per punt (38.9 net). He had 33 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, tying a team single-season record. An Australian, the left-footed Wing was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but he made the Steelers roster in 2014. Wing combines a strong leg with good directional placement skills. He also holds for both field goals and place kicks.

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 072016
 
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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It was an odd offseason for the New York Giants. One of the top three head coaches in franchise history was fired, yet much of the coaching staff remained intact. The reins were handed over to the 38-year old offensive coordinator who has never served as a head coach at any level of football.

Let’s take quick look at each overall unit and the position group of the 2016 New York Giants:

Offense: The centerpieces of the 2015 8th-ranked offense remain Eli Manning and Odell Beckham. It appears the starting offensive line will remain the same. There was little turnover at running back and tight end. Much is expected of rookie receiver Sterling Shepard and hopefully the healthy return of Victor Cruz. Three new position coaches were added: quarterbacks, wide receivers, and offensive line. And Mike Sullivan was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.

There are three major question marks: (1) how will the offense respond with McAdoo now being the head coach and Sullivan the offensive coordinator?; (2) is Victor Cruz permanently-damaged goods?; and (3) will the offensive line be an Achilles’ heel?

Quarterbacks: It seems like just yesterday when Eli Manning came to the Giants. Now the 35-year old quarterback will be entering his 13th season. He doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Entering the third year in McAdoo’s West Coast Offense, Manning should have one of his finest seasons if he stays healthy. He’s coming off a 35-to-14 TD-to-INT ratio season. Ryan Nassib remains the primary back-up. If the Giants had another viable alternative behind Manning, Nassib would be ideal trade bait since he’s entering the last year of his contract. But third-string Logan Thomas appears to be just a camp arm. Frank Cignetti, Jr. is the new quarterbacks coach.

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Wide Receivers: Odell Beckham, Jr. is arguably the best wide receiver in football. Aside from injury, the only thing that could prevent him from becoming a legendary player is off-the-field distractions. It will also be interesting to see how he handles himself against his #1 nemesis – Josh Norman – twice per season. Keep in mind the Giants hired Beckham’s old college wide receivers coach, Adam Henry. Much is expected of rookie Sterling Shepard. So far, the early returns are extremely positive. But it will likely be the health status of Victor Cruz that ultimately determines how good this offense can be in 2016. If Cruz can return to anywhere near his 2011-12 form, the Giants will have an elite offense. Dwayne Harris is an ideal 4th receiver and special teams player. There will be tremendous competition for the fifth and possibly sixth wide receiver roster spots. Geremy Davis and Myles White saw quite a few reps with the first unit in the spring. But the other seven receivers on the roster all have talent. Keep an eye on rookie free agent Roger Lewis.

Running Backs: There are a lot of decent backs here, but is there a bell cow? Rashad Jennings has teased with extremely productive flashes like when he rushed for 432 yards in his last four games of the 2015 season. Can he stay healthy and be consistently productive? How much will McAdoo differ from Tom Coughlin in the way he rotates running backs? Regardless, Shane Vereen will remain a key element as a pass-catching back in the West Coast Offense. It’s do-or-die time for Andre Williams, the 2014 4th round draft pick, who simply hasn’t delivered the goods. If he falters, rookie Paul Perkins, productive-but-injury-prone Orleans Darkwa, or even Mike Sullivan favorite Bobby Rainey could jump up the depth chart. At fullback, Nikita Whitlock’s spot is in danger with the addition of experienced, physical fullback/H-Back Will Johnson from the Steelers.

Tight Ends: Larry Donnell came out of nowhere in 2014 but regressed in 2015, at least partially due to a neck injury that caused him to miss half the season. That, combined with Daniel Fells’ career-ending staph infection, opened the door for rookie free agent Will Tye, who looks like he has some real skills as a pass receiver. Pushing these two in spring workouts were second-year player Matt LaCosse and rookies Jerell Adams and Ryan Malleck. Adams and possibly LaCosse have shots to become legitimate two-way tight ends. But don’t discount Donnell and Tye. Regardless, there is a lot of competition at this position. And McAdoo loves using his tight ends.

Offensive Line: The biggest change here was not personnel but coaching. 61-year old Mike Solari is the new offensive line coach. He’s considered one of the best, but has only coached in the West Coast system one year (in 2015 in Green Bay). Unless someone like Bobby Hart surprises, it appears the starting five will remain the same. Most Giants’ fans are deeply concerned about the right side of the offensive line, specifically, guard John Jerry and tackle Marshall Newhouse. Jerry has reportedly worked his tail off this offseason. More good news is that Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, and Weston Richburg should continue to develop into a real team strength. Look for the running game to show much more consistency and productivity with these three leading the way. Depth remains an issue as the Giants only added a few no-names in the offseason such as Byron Stingily, Ryan Seymour, and Dillon Farrell.

Defense: The Giants made dramatic changes to their 32nd-ranked defense. The Giants spent almost $194 millon on three defensive free agents, added two much cheaper veteran free agent linebackers, and used three of their first four draft picks on defense. New position coaches were added on the defensive line and at linebacker.

The big question marks are (1) can Steve Spagnuolo regain his mojo as a defensive coordinator?; (2) how good can Jason Pierre-Paul be?; and (2) how quickly can the new pieces of the puzzle come together to form a cohesive unit? It’s been a long, long time since the Giants’ defense really scared anyone.

Defensive Line: The Giants made two major upgrades at this position, replacing defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins with Damon Harrison and Robert Ayers with Olivier Vernon. With the acquisition of Vernon, the Giants likely will move Jason-Pierre-Paul to left defensive end. Much depends on how much JPP’s permanently-damaged hand will affect his play moving forward. Can he come anywhere near his 2011 form again? Vernon was given a mammoth contract and the pressure is on him to perform at the very highest level. The Giants should be well-served by two huge, strong defensive tackles in Harrison and Johnathan Hankins. The Giants are also hoping that Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Jay Bromley provide quality depth. On paper, the defensive line looks like a very strong group. In addition, the Giants made significant changes to coaching when they let go of Robert Nunn and replaced him with rising coaching star Patrick Graham from the Patriots and added a new defensive tackle assistant coaching position with the addition of Jeff Zgonina.

Linebackers: The injury-prone Jon Beason retired. The Giants signed Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard in free agency and drafted B.J. Goodson in the 4th round. These three will compete with returning linebackers Devon Kennard, Jasper Brinkley, J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas, Mark Herzlich, and Brad Bars. Kennard flashes talent, but can’t seem to stay on the field. The other returning starters seem like “just guys” who could be easily replaced. The good news is there is a lot of veteran experience in the group. Brinkley and Robinson will likely fight for the starting middle linebacker spot with Brinkley being the more physical player and Robinson the better athlete. All three starting spots are open to competition and how this all shakes out will be one of the more interesting story lines of camp. Linebacker still appears to be the weak link of what should be an improved defensive unit. The Giants replaced linebackers coach Jim Herrmann with Bill McGovern.

Darian Thompson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Defensive Backs: The Giants replaced Prince Amukamara with Janoris Jenkins, who they are paying like a shut-down corner. The pressure will be on him to play to that level. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a Pro Bowl-quality defender. The Giants also used the 10th pick in the draft on cornerback Eli Apple. So on paper, corner looks like a real strength. The big question here is can any of these three players handle the slot corner position? Otherwise we may see more of Trevin Wade than Apple on the field. Diminutive rookie free agent Donte Deayon made noise in the spring, as did his college teammate Darian Thompson at free safety. If Thompson is the real deal, that will allow the Giants to move Landon Collins to his more natural strong safety position. Those two could form a talented, albeit very inexperienced duo. Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, Bennett Jackson, and Cooper Taylor have talent, but have to stay on the field. Lacking experience, the safety unit is very green.

Special Teams: Tom Quinn continues to miraculously survive assistant coaching purges, having remained with the team since 2006. The Giants probably preferred to keep Larry Izzo as assistant special teams coach, but he accepted a position with the Texans. Dwayne Stukes replaces him. Special teams were very much improved in 2015, but they also cost the Giants dearly in a few games. The core will likely remain the same: Dwayne Harris as punt/kickoff returner, Josh Brown as place kicker, Brad Wing as the punter/holder, and Zak DeOssie as long snapper.

Summary: The offense should be good, and could be exceptional if Victor Cruz returns close to 100 percent, but that’s a huge “if.” The concerns about the right side of the offensive line are probably overblown, but depth could be a real issue if injuries hit. On paper, the Giants are much improved on the defensive line and in the secondary, but the various parts need to come together quickly. It’s been a while since Steve Spagnuolo has put together a good defense. Special teams need to be a net positive throughout a 16-game+ schedule. The Giants are in what has proven to be an exceptionally weak division in recent years. It’s time to get back to the playoffs.

Jul 072016
 
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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ODELL BECKHAM #10 BEST PLAYER ON NFL NETWORK RANKING…
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. was ranked the NFL’s 10th best player on The NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2016.” Beckham followed up his record-breaking rookie campaign with another superlative effort in 2015, finishing with 96 catches for 1,450 yards (15.1 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns.

The NFL Network’s video presentation of Beckham as the #10 player is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS.COM PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

GIANTS.COM Q&A WITH DAMON HARRISON…
Summer Q&A with DT Damon Harrison by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

ARTICLES…