Aug 312016
 
Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (November 15, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Game Preview: New England Patriots at New York Giants, September 1, 2016

THE STORYLINE:
The fourth preseason game always bugs me. The coaches never want to play the starters very long. But with the roster being reduced to 75 only days before and the always-present not-playing-because-of-injury players, you have guys risking injury who probably should be sitting on the bench.

Reading between the lines, it doesn’t sound like the Giants starters will play much, and some may not play at all. Even if they do, Bill Belichick usually sits most of his starters. So nothing should be really made out of this game other than individual performances.

My advice? Watch your favorite players and don’t get too worked up over anything.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • TE Will Johnson (burner – will not play)
  • LB Jonathan Casillas (ribs – will not play)
  • LB Jasper Brinkley (knee)
  • LB B.J. Goodson (concussion – will not play)
  • CB Leon Hall (concussion – will not play)
  • S Darian Thompson (shoulder – will not play)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
Whether the offense succeeds or fails as a unit is largely immaterial in this game for the reasons I stated above. So let’s focus on the final roster decisions.

Quarterbacks: Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib will be the quarterbacks. Logan Thomas will be cut.

Running Backs: The sure bets are Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Paul Perkins. Do the Giants keep one or two more backs? It’s hard to envision the team being able to keep Bobby Rainey. My guess is Andre Williams makes the roster with Orleans Darkwa on the bubble.

Tight Ends/Fullback: The injuries to Nikita Whitlock and Matt LaCosse make this easy. Larry Donnell, Will Tye, and Jerell Adams will be the tight ends. Will Johnson will serve as a fullback/H-Back/tight end swingman.

Wide Receivers: The Giants will probably keep six. The sure bets are Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, and Dwayne Harris. Geremy Davis probably makes it with Tavarres King and Roger Lewis fighting for the last roster spot. This is a big game for those two.

Offensive Line: The sure bets are Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse, Will Beatty, and Bobby Hart. The eighth lineman may not be on the roster yet. Somebody being cut by another team has to be better than Adam Gettis, Emmett Cleary, Brett Jones, Ryan Seymour, Dillon Farrell, and Jake Rodgers. Jerry Reese didn’t do a very good job of addressing this unit in the offseason despite still having a lot of $$$ to play with.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:

Defensive Line: My guess is the Giants go top-heavy with defensive ends with Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Kerry Wynn, and Romeo Okwara all making the team. Defensive tackle is trickier. It’s not a given the Giants will keep four, but they probably will. Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins are the starters. The Giants will give Jay Bromley one more season. This is a big game for the remaining three tackles: Jermelle Cudjo, Louis Nix, and Montori Hughes.

Linebackers: The Giants will probably keep seven. Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, Jasper Brinkley, Kelvin Sheppard, and B.J. Goodson all seem like safe bets. Keenan Robinson, J.T. Thomas, and Mark Herzlich seem to be fighting for two roster spots.

Defensive Backs: The Giants will probably keep five corners and four safeties. They might go with six corners if they go light someplace else (i.e., one fewer running back or defensive tackle). The definites are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, and Eli Apple. Leon Hall, Trevin Wade, and Donte Deayon may be fighting for two roster spots. With the earlier cuts, safety is easier to figure out. Darian Thompson and Landon Collins will be the starters. Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Justin Currie are fighting for two spots. Based on who has been receiving first-team reps, Berhe and Thompson are probably the favorites.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The punter is Brad Wing and the long snapper is Zak DeOssie. Dwayne Harris will be the primary kickoff and punt returner. Unless the Giants see someone even better on the waiver wire, Randy Bullock will be the opening-night kicker. Do the Giants go back to Josh Brown after that game or part ways with him?

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Ben McAdoo on the Fourth Preseason Game: “Every game is important. You only get four preseason games. It’s the best way to evaluate players. We’re obviously going to take a nice long look at some guys at the bottom part of the roster and give them an opportunity. So, it counts… We’re not just going to say that starters are going to play 10 plays or 20 plays, nothing like that. We’re going to look at it on a case-by-case basis.”

THE FINAL WORD:
The key battles to watch:

  • Andre Williams versus Orleans Darkwa
  • Tavarres King versus Roger Lewis
  • Louis Nix versus Montori Hughes versus Jermelle Cudjo
  • Keenan Robinson versus J.T. Thomas versus Mark Herzlich
  • Trevin Wade versus Donte Deayon
  • Mykkele Thompson versus Andrew Adams
Aug 302016
 
Will Beatty, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Will Beatty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN WILL BEATTY…
Though not officially announced, the New York Giants have re-signed offensive tackle Will Beatty. The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal that includes $1.1 million in guaranteed money and $750,000 in incentives. Beatty was released/failed physical by the Giants in February.

Beatty had two years left on his contract before the Giants cut him in February. He was scheduled to make $6.625 million in salary in 2016 and count $9.175 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cutting Beatty in February saved the Giants $4.175 million against the cap with $5 million in dead money.

Beatty was placed on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List in September 2015 as he was still recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in May lifting weights. He remained on the PUP the entire season as a rotator cuff injury that required surgery also became an issue. Beatty started all 16 games at left tackle for the Giants in 2014 and had a solid season. He rebounded from a terribly inconsistent 2013 season, as well as a fractured tibia that he suffered in the regular-season finale at the end of that year. Since Beatty was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants, he has had issues staying healthy, including a broken foot in 2010, a detached retina in 2011, a back injury that caused him to miss offseason work in 2012, the broken leg in 2013, and the pectoral tear and rotator cuff injuries in 2015.

Beatty is a big lineman with long arms and a very good athlete. When on top of his game, Beatty can mirror and slide with the best pass rushers, and is athletic enough to pull and engage defenders at the second level in the run game. However, Beatty is more of a finesse player. He does not play with a lot of strength and power and he is not a very physical or aggressive blocker. Beatty still has consistency issues.

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT ELEVEN PLAYERS…
The New York Giants made 12 transactions to get under the 75-man roster limit that all teams need to reach by 4:00PM on Tuesday.

Placed on Injured Reserve:

  • LT Byron Stingily (concussion)

Waived/Injured:

  • TE Ryan Malleck (burner)

Waived:

  • RB Marshaun Coprich
  • WR Kadron Boone
  • WR K.J. Maye
  • OC Shane McDermott
  • DE Mike Rose
  • DT Davon Coleman
  • DT Greg Milhouse
  • CB Joe Powell
  • S/CB Bennett Jackson
  • S Cooper Taylor

All NFL teams must reach the regular-season 53-man roster limit by 4:00PM on Saturday.

AUGUST 30, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Fullback/tight end Will Johnson (burner), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (knee), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (shoulder) did not practice on Tuesday.

Right guard John Jerry (ankle) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (back) returned to practice.

Tight end Ryan Malleck (burner) and left tackle Byron Stingily (concussion) left practice early.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday 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…
There will be no media availability on Wednesday. The Giants play the New England Patriots at home on Thursday.

Aug 292016
 
Myles White, New York Giants (October 25, 2015)

Myles White – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS CUT FOUR PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have waived/injured fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot) and tight end Matt LaCosse (knee). The team also waived wide receiver Myles White and long snapper Tyler Ott.

If Whitlock and LaCosse make it through waivers, both will likely be added to the Giants Injured Reserve. Whitlock suffered a mid-foot sprain during Saturday’s preseason against the Jets that may require surgery. LaCosse injured his knee in practice several weeks ago and is expected to undergo surgery.

Whitlock was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft, but was cut and signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their Practice Squad. The NFL suspended Whitlock in November 2014 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Cowboys terminated his Practice Squad contract. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in December 2014. Whitlock surprisingly beat out fullback Henry Hynoski in training camp in 2015. Whitlock ended up playing in 14 games with five starts until he was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2015 with a knee injury. He had no touches as a rusher or receiver. A collegiate defensive tackle, Whitlock also received a limited number of snaps at defensive tackle in pass rush situations for the Giants in 2015. He finished the season with six tackles and a sack.

LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in early August with a hamstring injury. LaCosse then spent some time with the Jets in the preseason. The Giants re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards.

The Giants signed White to the Practice Squad after he was waived by the Green Bay Packers in September 2015 and to the 53-man roster in October 2015. White played in 12 games with no starts and finished the season with only seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. White was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Packers after the 2013 NFL Draft. White played in seven games as a rookie, catching nine passes for 66 yards. He spent the 2014 season on Green Bay’s Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Ott in late December 2015 after team placed Zak DeOssie and Danny Aiken on Injured Reserve. He played in the regular-season finale. Ott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but spent time with the Patriots again and the St. Louis Rams before the 2015 season.

The Giants must remove 11 more players from their roster to reach the NFL limit of 75 by 4:00PM on Tuesday.

AUGUST 29, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Fullback/tight end Will Johnson (burner), right guard John Jerry (ankle), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (back), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (shoulder) did not practice on Monday.

“Ribs are sore,” Head Coach Ben McAdoo said of Casillas. “Doesn’t look like anything is broken.”

“Jasper got nicked up (knee) early in the game, finished the game,” said McAdoo. “But we held him out today.”

“(Johnson is) coming along, but nothing new from the medical perspective there, he’s just making progress,” said McAdoo.

Left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis. Safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion) returned to practice.

CULLEN JENKINS SIGNS WITH REDSKINS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has signed a 1-year contract with the Washington Redskins. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Jenkins.

The aging Jenkins had a solid 2015 campaign, starting 13 of the 16 games he played in, and finishing with 26 tackles, three sacks, and 2 pass defenses. Jenkins was originally signed by Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but spent time in NFL Europe and then re-signed with the Packers in 2004. Jenkins spent time with the Packers (2004-2010) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12) before signing with the Giants in March 2013 after he was cut by the Eagles.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday 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 New York Giants practice at 11:15AM on Tuesday. There will be no media availability on Wednesday. The Giants play the New England Patriots at home on Thursday.

Aug 282016
 
Johnathan Hankins and Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Johnathan Hankins and Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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New York Giants 21 – New York Jets 20

Overview

Your overall impression of the New York Giants in the preseason will probably be determined by if you are a glass half full or glass half empty type of person.

Half Full:

  • The Giants offense – which has been the strength of the team in recent years – has also usually struggled in the preseason in recent years. It’s been so bad that the starters seem to be regularly “punished” by having to play more in the preseason finale against the Patriots. This year may be no exception.
  • This is essentially the same offense as 2015 (top 10) with the addition of Sterling Shepard and possibly a productive Victor Cruz.
  • The defense looks vastly improved.
  • To date (knock on wood), there have been no major injuries.

Half Empty:

  • The blocking up front has looked terrible. This doesn’t bode well for an offensive unit that has struggled to consistently run the football and produce in short-yardage situations in recent years.
  • When Eli Manning and Odell Beckham are not playing at a high level, this offense looks stuck in the mud.
  • Tom Quinn’s special teams are still far too inconsistent and give up too many big plays.
  • Ben McAdoo (as head coach) and Mike Sullivan (as offensive coordinator) remain question marks.

Giants on Offense

The New York Giants offense continues to look terrible. Eli Manning and the starting unit were on the field for eight drives. The results were not pretty.

  • Three first downs.
  • 1-for-8 on third-down conversions.
  • 56 total net yards.
  • Zero points.

The starting offense’s longest drive of the night was 16 yards. The reserves had seven drives, four of which netted zero yards. The other three drives were 47 yards (resulting in a touchdown), 72 yards (turnover on downs), and 11 yards (resulting in a touchdown). For the second week in a row, the Giants didn’t have 170 yards of offense.

That all said, this was a bad match-up for the Giants. The Jets have one of the toughest, most physical, and most disruptive defensive lines in football. This was a bad game to be without Justin Pugh. Combine that with an ultra-conservative, run-oriented game plan that appeared to play right into the strength of the Jets defense, and the results were not terribly shocking. I got the sense that Ben McAdoo wasn’t showing his hand. Even on the game’s first drive, the Giants ran a draw play on 3rd-and-13.

Quarterback

Glass half empty or half full? Eli struggled terribly last preseason and then went on to have one of his best seasons. Eli is still standing and healthy. We know he won’t be a problem. Bad news? Even with the complete absence of a running game and shoddy pass protection, Eli didn’t look particularly sharp. He finished 10-of-15 for 65 yards and one interception. The pick was not completely on him as Odell Beckham made a business decision not to expose himself to injury and cut off his route. That said, Eli could have gotten Beckham killed on that throw and probably should have gone elsewhere.

Ryan Nassib had another rough game. He only completed 6-of-19 passes for 69 yards. However, two of his six completions did go for touchdowns. At times, he was nowhere near his intended target. Nassib was flagged for delay of game.

Logan Thomas did not play.

Running Backs

Impossible to evaluate as the Jets completely dominated the line of scrimmage. Giants backs carried the ball 17 times for 15 yards. Yikes. Twelve of those carries – six apiece – went to Shane Vereen (11 yards) and Rashad Jennings (-1 yard). Vereen and Jennings combined for four catches for 32 yards. Vereen almost got Eli killed when he failed to spot the free blitzer on 3rd-and-7 play that ended with a big hit and sack.

Fullback Nikita Whitlock left the game with a mid-foot sprain and was spotted in a boot and on crutches in the locker room.

Tavarres King, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Tavarres King – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Wide Receivers

The best news of the night offensively was that Victor Cruz played and walked off of the field healthy. He played 29 offensive snaps, catching one pass for four yards. Cruz got free a few times including once down the field after a nice double-move, but Eli could not connect with him. Cruz did wipe out a rare first down early in the 3rd quarter with an illegal formation penalty.

Tavarres King was the other big positive. Both of his catches went for touchdowns – one a sliding catching in the end zone and the other an 11-yard catch-and-run score. Toss in a 20-yard end around before the first score too. King got free deep on an earlier pass but appeared to trip on the turf and stumbled to the ground. He also drew a 30-yard pass interference penalty.

Roger Lewis – who was targeted four times – had one catch for 20 yards. Lewis got open deep earlier on this drive but Nassib misfired. Odell Beckham only had one catch for eight yards and Sterling Shepard one catch for one yard. Geremy Davis returned after missing last week with a hamstring injury. He had one catch for seven yards.

Tight Ends/Offensive Line

Left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) did not play and was missed for the second week in a row. Tight end/H-back/fullback Will Johnson (burner) and tight end Matt LaCosse (knee) also did not play. Johnson’s veteran presence has also been missed.

I’m going to use a line of excuses that is going to piss a lot of people off. Yes, Justin Pugh is THAT important to THIS offensive line as it is currently constituted. The left-center of this line is the line’s strength and when you take out the cog between Ereck Flowers and Weston Richburg, that turns the strength into another weakness. Bobby Hart may or may not end up being a viable NFL player, but he really struggled in this game. Hart is not the left guard that Justin Pugh is right now and he does not have the same level of chemistry with Flowers and Richburg. The Giants are also learning new blocking techniques and schemes from Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari. Combine that with the superb quality of the opponent and I’m not shocked the line had big issues on Saturday night.

The Jets dominated the line of scrimmage. The Giants had no running game. None. They didn’t even average a yard per carry with the backs. My personal opinion is that Ben McAdoo would never have tried as many rushing attempts in the first half against this opponent in a real game. The match-ups did not favor the Giants being able to run the ball. The Giants also oddly ran some plays that called on their tight ends to handle the Jets elite defensive ends. That’s just not going to work.

Left guard Bobby Hart and right tackle Marshall Newhouse whiffed on the Giants first run, causing the play to get stuffed. Center Weston Richburg tripped up Manning for a 4-yard loss. Hart then had problems with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on another running play. On the next series, right guard John Jerry (against Leonard Williams) and tight end Larry Donnell and fullback Nikita Whitlock (against Muhammad Wilkerson) were easily pushed aside on another failed run. And so it went. To be blunt – Richardson, Wilkerson, and Williams are simply too good for the Giants to handle. Wilkerson later ran right through rookie tight end Ryan Mallett on a 4-yard loss – that’s an unfair match-up. Mallett struggled as a blocker.

On the 3rd-and-5 deep pass that Eli just threw up for grabs and was nearly picked off, Hart and Richburg failed to pick up a stunt as the rusher closed on Manning. This probably doesn’t happen with Pugh in the game. Later in the 2nd quarter, Hart’s man ran right around him en route to Manning. Both tackles then had problems with Williams and Richardson on 3rd-and-12 and Manning had to run for his life. Newhouse remains a weak run blocker. Hart also had a false start on 3rd-and-1. Bad game for Hart and a not-so-good performance for Newhouse.

The second team offensive line featured LT Byron Stingily, LG Ryan Seymour, OC Adam Gettis, RG Brett Jones, and RT Emmett Cleary. Seymour and Jones had issues with the pass rush on their first possession, causing Nassib to get hit twice. On the next possession, tight end Will Tye allowed a big hit on quarterback Ryan Nassib.

In the 4th quarter, the line was composed of LT Stingily, LG Dillon Farrell, OC Shane McDermott, RG Gettis, and RT Seymour. Jake Rodgers then came in at left tackle. Gettis was flagged with two false starts on one drive.

In the pass receiving department, Will Tye caught two passes for -2 yards. Jerell Adams had one catch for 14 yards (from Manning on 3rd-and-6) and Donnell one catch for eight yards. Will Tye was flagged for offensive pass interference.

Giants on Defense

The best news coming out of the preseason is the defense looks vastly improved. As a good defense should, the defense kept the Giants in the game while the offense struggled, and even got the ball right back after a bad turnover (the blocked punt). As bad as the Giants offense was on Saturday night, the Giants defense made the Jets offense look pretty inept too. The Jets had six first downs in the first half and their only first-half scoring drive started at the Giants 30-yard line with the 22-yard score coming on a perfect back-shoulder pass. While the reserves were not as stingy as a unit, there were plenty of individual performances from the back ups that stood out.

Defensive Line

It appears that the Giants have one of the better starting defensive lines in football. Defensive end Olivier Vernon has played better than I expected. He was very disruptive (5 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss) against the run and as a pass rusher. Vernon tackled the back for a 2-yard loss on 3rd-and-1 early in the 3rd quarter. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble) combined with Johnathan Hankins (1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery) to get the ball right back after the blocked punt set the Jets up on the Giants 15-yard line. The duo did get handled relatively easily on an earlier 3rd-and-1 however. Jason Pierre-Paul made a tremendous hustle play by pursuing to the opposite sideline after a short pass and forcing a fumble out-of-bounds on 3rd down.

Jay Bromley did a nice job of reading a middle screen and coming back to make a tackle for a short gain on 3rd-and-10. Kerry Wynn blew up a running play and tackled the back for a 5-yard loss. Kerry lost contain on an 11-yard play to his side, but made up for it later on this drive with his interception off a deflected pass that he nimbly returned 73 yards for a touchdown. Romeo Okwara picked up a sack rushing from the defensive tackle position and had two more quality pressures late from the inside position as well as a nice play against the run. Then he had two more pressures on the quarterback from the right defensive end position, including knocking the ball out of the quarterback’s hand. Louis Nix flashed on a couple of plays and Davon Coleman tipped the pass that was intercepted late that set up the game-winning touchdown.

Linebackers

The bad news is that Jonathan Casillas – who has been playing very well – may have cracked a rib in the first half and did not return. How much this sets him back remains to be seen. B.J. Goodson also suffered a concussion.

Before he left the game, Casillas made a nice play (along with Janoris Jenkins) of holding a screen pass to no gain. He was very active early with three tackles in the 1st quarter, including a sure tackle on an inside run that only picked up a yard.

Jasper Brinkley started the game at middle linebacker but Kelvin Sheppard came in early too. Sheppard made a nice play in pursuit on an outside run that only picked up a yard. On the very next play, Keenan Robinson played off a block and stuffed an inside run. Robinson later expertly defended a quarterback bootleg for no gain. He also demonstrated good reaction, closing speed, and made a nice open-field tackle on a swing pass.

J.T. Thomas did a great job of reading a screen pass, disrupting the entire play, and deflected the ball that was returned for a 73-yard touchdown. Despite solid coverage, Sheppard got beat for a 16-yard gain over the middle on 3rd-and-15 on the Jets 4th quarter touchdown drive.

Andrew Adams, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Andrew Adams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Defensive Backs

Safeties Darian Thompson (shoulder) and Mykkele Thompson (concussion) did not play.

Cornerback Eli Apple stood out. He had good coverage on WR Eric Decker on a go route and then later a slant with two incompletions being the result. Ryan Fitzpatrick tested Apple again deep in the 2nd quarter but the rookie was again up to the task. On the downside, Apple did abandon his outside run responsibility on a 9-yard gain late in the first half.

Before he left the game with a concussion, veteran nickel corner Leon Hall struggled. He gave up a 10-yard reception on 3rd-and-8 to start the game and an 18-yard reception on 3rd-and-9. Donte Deayon got in the game late in the 1st quarter and was beat on a 3rd-and-7 out pattern, but luckily the throw was off the mark.

Landon Collins made a sure tackle to hold the receiver just short of the first down on a quick 3rd-and-5 slant pass. Janoris Jenkins got beat for a 22-yard score on a 3rd-and-2 back-shoulder throw where he failed to turn around to make a play on the ball. Late in the first half, Jenkins did a nice job of reading a WR screen on 3rd-and-3 although the pass was dropped. Jenkins gave up a 7-yard out on 3rd-and-6 early in the 3rd quarter.

Nat Berhe flashed in pursuit on one running play that looked primed to pick up bigger yardage than it did. Corner Michael Hunter had good coverage on a 3rd-and-7 incomplete pass. Corner Trevin Wade had nice coverage on one deep shot, but later got burned for a 26-yard gain. Corner Leon McFadden got beat for 27 yards two plays later and then safety Justin Currie was badly beaten for the 10-yard score.

After the 52-yard punt return set the Jets up at the Giants 14-yard line, safety Andrew Adams tipped a slant pass and McFadden made a nice play to save a touchdown by preventing the completion. Adams followed this up with a nice run force. Hunter broke up another pass late in the 4th quarter. Adams intercepted a pass late after it was deflected by a defensive lineman dropping into coverage. Currie had nice coverage on the tight end crossing pattern on 4th-and-1 late to force the turnover on downs.

Giants on Special Teams

Once again, Tom Quinn’s special teams were a liability in a game. Both Orleans Darkwa and Justin Currie whiffed on attempted blocks, leading to a blocked punt. The Giants also gave up punt returns of 52 yards (which led to a field goal despite the defense holding the Jets to three yards on this “drive”) and 28 yards. Harris made a sure tackle on one return but his mistackle on the next return led to the 28-yard return. Jerell Adams did save a touchdown with his hustle on the 52-yard return (he also was in on another special teams tackle).

All four of the Giants kickoffs resulted in touchbacks (two by Randy Bullock, two by Josh Brown). Not counting the block, Brad Wing punted 10 times, averaging 48.6 yards per kick with four inside the 20-yard line. Dwayne Harris was flagged with holding on one punt.

Dwayne Harris returned four punts for 49 yards, including a 29-yarder. Bobby Rainey returned two punts for 22 yards, including a 21-yarder. Tavarres King was flagged for an illegal block penalty on one Rainey return. Rainey returned two kickoffs for 48 yards (24 yard average) and Paul Perkins one kickoff for 19 yards.

(New York Giants at New York Jets, August 27, 2016)
Aug 282016
 
Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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AUGUST 28, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
ESPN is reporting that tight end Matt LaCosse, who has been sidelined since last week with a knee issue, will undergo surgery on his right knee. LaCosse apparently hurt the knee several weeks ago in practice and was trying to play through it. He missed practice this week and did not play against the New York Jets on Saturday. It is not know how long LaCosse will be out. He might end up on season-ending Injured Reserve or short-term Injured Reserve.

The following Giants were injured in the game against the Jets: linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot).

Head Coach Ben McAdoo said the x-rays on Casillas ribs were inconclusive and that he is still undergoing evaluation. McAdoo also said Whitlock has a mid-foot sprain.

McAdoo was also asked about two players who have missed the last two preseason games: left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) and tight end/fullback Will Johnson.

“Justin is making progress,” said McAdoo. “We expect him back in a limited role this week…There’s nothing really new to report with Will. We’ll know more this week.”

SUNDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Sunday to discuss the team’s 21-20 preseason win over the New York Jets.

Opening Statement: Alright, I’ll start with a couple things here, what we did well. Defensively, our tackling improved, which limited their YAC. I thought our conditioning from week two to week three in the preseason was on point there. We were impactful with some plays and some situations. Our sudden change was big for us, one out of two there with a turnover. We were backed up with a turnover there, gave us a chance to win the game in the end. The score by Kerry [Wynn] was a huge play for us, it was great to have him back. And then, our short yardage stop on the first series of the second half was a good momentum changer there.

Our offense, we showed a lot of fight in the second half. We kept playing, even though things weren’t ideal and we got stopped down in the green zone there, and we took advantage of a takeaway by the defense and took the lead late in the game. I thought special teams, our punt return unit took a step forward with two explosive returns of 20 plus yards.

Where we need to improve, our third down defense on, you know, third down and long. Offensively, obviously we need to go forward. We need to a better job of going forward. Everything there is correctable. I’m expecting a lot of questions there about the offensive line, but it’s more than just the offensive line. But everything is correctable, we need to work hard to finish, detail our fundamentals, eliminate the penalties and we need to stay ahead of the chains. Special teams-wise, our punt awareness on the first snap wasn’t good enough. Can’t have a blocked punt the way we did, we need to clean that up. Where we go from here, we need to improve in practice this week, it’s a short week of practice and we have to get everything we can out of it to get better.

Q: Coach, you said you expected questions about the offensive line. Do you see things you can do? Do you feel the need to add personnel?

A: I think that everything with the offensive line is correctable. We need to have better effort to finish. Our detail and our fundamentals need to improve and we need to stay out of long yardage situations.

Q: You said it’s more than just the offensive line, what do you mean?

A: I think everybody’s included in the blocking part of things. Our tight ends are also a part of that as well.

Q: In that regard, does Will Tye have to show you a lot more on the blocking and you’ve mentioned several times that he needs to keep his pad level down. Is he one of the guys that you are talking about?

A: Yes, he had a couple of penalties yesterday, we expect Will to play better. He’s still a young player, he’s still a player that’s going to develop. We have faith that he’ll do that, but he needs to play better.

Q: Andre Williams didn’t have a snap in the first half yesterday. Was there a reason for that, as far as the fumble in Buffalo, or you wanted to see more of somebody else? What can you attribute that to?

A: It was a part of the plan, as far as we wanted to take a look at different players and some different situations. You know, it just happened to fall that way.

Q: Where do you stand with your tight ends and fullbacks right now? There’s a report that Matt LaCosse needs surgery on his knee, Will Johnson’s been out for a while, and now Nikita Whitlock has a foot injury from last night.

A: We have a lot of competition at the position. It’s really open at this point in time. We’re giving guys an opportunity to go out there and compete for the positions. Larry has done a nice job for us, he made a nice play for us yesterday. We need to find some guys who can block better for us.

Q: Where is Will Johnson right now, and can he be that guy?

A: Will, there’s nothing really new to report with Will. We’ll know more this week.

Q: Has Bobby Rainey, I know had trouble holding onto the ball in the Miami game, but especially his work on special teams, is he a guy who can make the team? Is he showing you a lot of explosiveness with some of these returns?

A: Absolutely he’s a guy that can make the team. He does contribute as a returner, both kick return and punt return. He does a nice job with that role. He’s a guy that provides some versatility out of the backfield.

Q: What did you see from Eli Apple last night?

A: Eli, jumping back in there after a little time off. He competed, he was physical at the line of scrimmage. He competed down the field, they went after him a little bit on the press man coverage and he didn’t back down, he stepped up. He did a nice job.

Q: When you watch the film were there things that you may have to correct to avoid future penalties for Eli?

A: Eli, we are just going to keep coaching him to be physical, playing the technique the right way, and just keep competing.

Q: With the offensive line is it more an inconsistency with technique or missing assignments?

A: I think we can tighten up our assignments, but it is really the details and the fundamentals. We need to be detailed in what we are doing fundamentally, and then we have to work like heck to finish hard and finish with effort.

Q: Do you like seeing Odell getting frustrated, even though it’s a preseason game, with the fact that the offense isn’t moving the ball?

A: No one is happy with the way the first offense operated yesterday. We need to improve, we need to make sure we are going forward, so we give guys opportunities to showcase their abilities, but frustration doesn’t solve anything. At the same point in time, we need to improve, we need to execute better and we need to play forward. We can’t be going backwards.

Q: Eli said that he thought that, in the context of a preseason game, he didn’t blame Odell Beckham for pulling up on that interception. Since it is a dry run for the regular season, would you rather see a guy go in to make that catch, or do you agree that he is so important that you do not want to see a big hit there?

A: I think the coverage surprised him. It was a post safety defense and the post safety was low and didn’t get much depth, so when the ball was on him and the safety was on him at the same time, I think he was surprised by the safety more than anything.

Q: What did you think when you saw Victor Cruz on tape? What did you think of his performance and how he looked overall?

A: It was good to see him out there. Same thing as I saw last night. He looked confident, looked comfortable, looked like he was excited and I would like to get him more touches.

Q: How was his explosion and speed?

A: The route you saw – saw some explosiveness and saw some change of direction show up when he was down the field. Eli didn’t really have an opportunity to really finish that throw, but Victor got out of a double move and he won, and we had a chance to get him the ball there, but it didn’t work out.

Q: Do you have an update on Jonathan Casillas?

A: He is being evaluated right now for his ribs.

Q: Last night’s X-rays were inconclusive?

A: Correct.

Q: What about Pugh? Is he expected back soon?

A: Justin is making progress. We expect him back in a limited role this week.

Q: Do you have any update on Nikita Whitlock?

A: Nikita Whitlock has a mid-foot sprain.

Q: How important is Justin Pugh to your offensive line? How much of the struggles can you attribute to him not being there?

A: You can’t point any offensive line struggles to one person. The unit has to play well, they have to play well together, and when it is the next man up he has to step in, and they all have to function the same and they have to function well together. You can’t just blame that on one individual.

Q: When you talk about the offensive line as a unit, do you feel you have the right five guys as your starters?

A: I feel very confident that we are going to get the offensive line going in the right direction.

Q: What did you think of Keenan Robinson’s play last night?

A: I thought he stepped in and he flashed admirably. He played hard and made some effort plays.

Q: What is your philosophy on the last week of the preseason? How do you plan to attack it, do you plan to get your starters playing time?

A: First thing is first. We need to jump back out there on the practice field tomorrow and we need to get better right from jump street. We will approach the game and we will talk about the play time for the game as we get closer to the game. That is not something that I am comfortable speaking about right now.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants return to practice at 11:45AM on Monday.

Aug 282016
 
New York Giants Celebrate First Preseason Win (August 27, 2016)

New York Giants Celebrate First Preseason Win – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS 21 – NEW YORK JETS 20…
Ben McAdoo won his first game as head coach of the New York Giants on Saturday as the Giants defeated the Jets 21-20 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants overall preseason record now stands at 1-2.

The Giants trailed 0-7 at halftime as the starting offense continued to struggle mightily with the defense keeping the Giants in the game. In seven first-half drives, the Giants offense only generated 47 total net yards and three first downs. The starting offense also went three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. Minus left guard Justin Pugh, the Giants offensive front was not able to handle the Jets extremely-talented defensive line. Quarterback Eli Manning finished the game 10-of-15 for 65 yards and one interception – which was partially caused by wide receiver Odell Beckham making a business decision by cutting off his route to avoid a big hit. The Giants had five yards rushing at the half on 12 carries (0.4 yards per rush).

Special teams were also a problem as the Giants allowed a blocked punt – terrible whiffs on attempted blocks by safety Justin Currie and running back Orleans Darkwa – in the 1st quarter. The Giants also allowed punt returns of 52 and 28 yards by the Jets.

The starting defense played well. The Giants allowed three first downs on the Jets first drive of the game, but only three more first downs on the other six Jets possessions of the first half. After a blocked punt set the Jets up on the Giants 15-yard line, the defense immediately got the ball back as defensive tackle Damon Harrison sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, forcing a fumble that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins recovered. The only Jets points in the first half came after Manning’s interception set the Jets up at the Giants 30-yard line. A perfect back-shoulder throw by Fitzpatrick to wide receiver Eric Decker for a 22-yard score despite tight coverage from cornerback Janoris Jenkins gave the Jets the halftime advantage.

In the second half, the Jets extended their lead to 10-0 after a 5-play, 18-yard drive set up a 55-yard field goal. Late in the 3rd quarter, after a 21-yard punt return by running back Bobby Rainey and a 15-yard face-mask penalty set the Giants up at the Jets 47-yard line, wide receiver Tavarres King gained 20 yards on an end around and then scored from 27 yards out on a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib. Jets 10 – Giants 7.

The Jets responded with a drive that reached the Giants 23-yard line early in the 4th quarter. But on 3rd-and-10, linebacker J.T. Thomas deflected a pass that was intercepted by defensive end Kerry Wynn and returned 73 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The Jets immediately regained the lead by driving 75 yards in seven plays and a 10-yard passing touchdown. After a three-and-out by the Giants and the ensuing 52-yard punt return by the Jets, Gang Green went up 20-14 with a 29-yard field goal with 6:26 to play.

The Giants drove from their own 26-yard line to the Jets 5-yard line but turned the ball over on downs with 3:33 left in the game. The Giants got the ball right back when defensive tackle Davon Coleman tipped a 3rd-and-7 pass that was intercepted by safety Andrew Adams at the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Nassib hit King with an 11-yard catch-and-run for the game-winning touchdown with 2:25 to play.

Nassib finished the game 6-of-19 for 69 yards, two touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Sixteen Giants caught passes but no one had more than two catches. Both of King’s two receptions went for scores. King also was the leading rusher with 20 yards on one carry. Running back Shane Vereen (11 yards on six carries) was the only other play to break single digits as the Giants only rushed for 39 yards on 20 carries.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz, playing in his first game since 2014, played 32 snaps (29 plays) and had one catch for four yards.

Defensively, both Wynn and Adams had interceptions and Hankins recovered the fumble caused by Harrison’s sack. Defensive Romeo Okwara also had a sack. Harrison and defensive end Olivier Vernon combined for 12 tackles.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing were left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder), tight end Will Johnson (burner), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), safety Darian Thompson (shoulder), and safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion).

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot) all left the game and did not return. ESPN is reporting that Casillas has a cracked rib. “He has a rib injury. I’ll know more tomorrow,” said a tight-lipped Head Coach Ben McAdoo after the game. Whitlock was seen on crutches and in a protective boot after the game in the locker room.

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Aug 262016
 
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Game Preview: New York Giants at New York Jets, August 27, 2016

THE STORYLINE:
Third preseason game is the most important… blah, blah, blah.

We know where all eyes will be in this game – Victor Cruz. A healthy and productive Victor Cruz – combined with Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard – changes the entire complexion of the offense.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • WR Geremy Davis (hamstring)
  • TE Will Johnson (burner – will not play)
  • TE Matt LaCosse (knee – will not play)
  • LG Justin Pugh (shoulder)
  • S Darian Thompson (shoulder – will not play)
  • S Mykkele Thompson (concussion – will not play)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
Fair or not, all eyes will be on Victor Cruz. If he catches a pass, the crowd will loudly cheer. If he catches a touchdown pass and does the salsa, the crowd will explode. Where is Victor Cruz both physically and mentally as a football player? How badly damaged is he permanently? Does he have the same drive and passion to succeed on the football field? We’re about to find out those answers.

Regardless of the reasons, all of the optimism surrounding the wide receiver corps after Beckham and Shepard has dissipated. Victor Cruz and Geremy Davis got hurt. And those who flashed in training camp have been largely invisible in the games. Time is running out on Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, and Darius Powe.

The offensive line and tight ends embarrassed themselves against the Bills last week. The bad news for them is that it doesn’t get any easier against a very talented and aggressive New York Jets defense. The starters are not likely play much in the last preseason game. This will be their last good test before facing the Cowboys in Dallas on September 11th.

One player to closely watch will be Larry Donnell. He had a horrific game as a blocker against the Bills. Does he rebound this week? If not, it may be time to reconsider his starting and roster statuses. Matt LaCosse picked a bad time to get sidelined. With Will Johnson also out, we may see a lot of Jerell Adams in this game.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The big question here remains who is the starting middle linebacker? Jasper Brinkley or Kelvin Sheppard. “Still neck and neck,” said Steve Spagnuolo this week. “We’ve been repping it exactly that way. Even when you see in practice, Kelvin will go with the first team, first series and then Jasper will do the same thing. It’s been a great battle. Two guys that respect each other and that’s what the league is all about. The more you can get that at every position the better you’re going to be.”

Another issue remains depth at safety. Darian Thompson is out until at least the opener. The rookie is missing valuable practice time. Is there a viable back-up on the roster? Mykkele Thompson is also out. So Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor, Andrew Adams, and Justin Currie get an opportunity to impress. “It’s in flux right now until we can get it settled and that’s just where it is at. We’ll find out in these next two games,” said Spagnuolo, who made it clear he desperately wants Thompson to return as soon as possible.

At corner, Eli Apple returns. “I truly believe that this kid is going to be one of the great ones for us down the road,” said David Merritt this week. Spagnuolo had high praise for Donte Deayon too despite a rough game against the Bills. “I love that guy,” said Spagnuolo. “He walks in the room and brightens up the whole room. I don’t know if you guys have had the chance to meet him or talk to him but he is a wonderful young man and he is a feisty player – all 100 and whatever (pounds) he is. He is a football player, God gave him the body he has and he has used every bit of it to get himself where he is right now. I am impressed with what he has done, he has a long way to go and he has to get a lot of reps and we have to see where he is when the bullets fly. The guys love him too and love being around him.”

On the defensive line, we know who the starters will be and that Owamagbe Odighizuwa will be a factor as a reserve. Romeo Okwara has made a strong push for a roster spot. Kerry Wynn returns this week and this will be a big game for him. There are six bodies behind Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins and we’re still waiting for that to sort itself out. Who would start if one of the other two got hurt?

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Whether you agree or not, the national and local media is not going to let the Josh Brown story fade away. That may force the Giants hand. Enter Randy Bullock, who is not only auditioning for opening night but the full-time job. “We’re looking for the best 53 in Week One. If he’s one of them, then we’ll go with it,” said McAdoo of Bullock.

Remember a kicker has to become comfortable with the snapper and the holder. Bullock doesn’t have a lot of time to get ready.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Ben McAdoo on the Third Preseason Game: “As a general proposition, we would like to take our starters into early in the third quarter. We will evaluate it at halftime and see how it goes and then different guys based off of where they are physically. We may give a little bit more or give a little bit less, too. ”

THE FINAL WORD:
Weird and bad stuff always seems to happen in the Giants-Jets preseason game. Cross your fingers on everyone staying healthy. Let’s hope Victor Cruz flashes. And let’s see some toughness, physicality, and proper execution by the offensive blockers.

Aug 252016
 
Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and 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…
There is no media availability to the team on Friday. The Giants play the New York Jets on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

Aug 242016
 
John Mara, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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AUGUST 24, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Will Johnson (burner), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), safety Darian Thompson (shoulder), and safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

Left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) was limited.

Tight end Larry Donnell (unknown) left practice early.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Victor Cruz (groin) practiced for the second day in a row.

“Victor looked great,” Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan said. “He has had two strong days, got a lot of balls thrown to him. I’m excited about where he is, and hopefully he will have his opportunity against the Jets (on Saturday).

“There was the suddenness, the explosiveness, the things that I have in mind, visions of 2011 in terms of that type of quickness. So obviously that is something to be excited about, and again, we’re just progressing and hoping for the best. We’re not trying to get overly excited or put too much pressure, just taking it one day, one rep, at a time; and he’s certainly shown some flashes over yesterday.”

GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and 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…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo, Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry, and Safeties Coach David Merritt will address the media on Thursday.

Aug 232016
 
Eli Apple and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 15, 2016)

Eli Apple and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) was activated off of the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. He practiced on Tuesday for the first time since training camp began.

Tight end Will Johnson (burner), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), safety Darian Thompson (shoulder), and safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion) did not practice.

“We’ll evaluate (Darian Thompson) week-to-week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He’s going to be out this week. We’ll look at him again next week. He’s getting the treatment. It’s important to him and he’s going to do everything he can to get back here as quickly as he can.”

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (groin), wide receiver Geremy Davis (hamstring), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (knee), left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder), defensive end Kerry Wynn (groin), cornerback Eli Apple (strained leg muscle), and cornerback Leon McFadden (bruised lower leg) practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday 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 team will hold practice on Wednesday at 11:00AM.