Dec 312017
 
Jim Schwartz, Philadelphia Eagles (November 19, 2017)

Jim Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports

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REPORT: GIANTS INTERESTED IN JIM SCHWARTZ…
ESPN is reporting that Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz is one of the front runners – and may be the favorite – for the New York Giants’ head coaching vacancy. Schwartz is expected to interview with the Giants next week.

The 51-year old Schwartz has served as the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans (2001-2008), head coach of the Detroit Lions (2009-2013), defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills (2014), and defensive coordinator of the Eagles (2016-2017) in recent years. He was 29–51 (.363) in the regular season and 0-1 in the post-season as Detroit’s head coach.

Meanwhile, The Daily News is reporting that the Giants top head coaching candidates, in order of preference, are Josh McDaniels (New England Patriots offensive coordinator), Matt Patricia (New England Patriots defensive coordinator), Bill O’Brien (head coach of the Houston Texans), Pat Shurmur (Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator), and Schwartz.

REPORT: DAVE GETTLEMAN WILL RUN THE DRAFT…
The Daily News is reporting that New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman will not immediately replace recently-fired Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross and that Gettleman will run the 2018 NFL Draft for the Giants instead. Ross had run the team’s drafts under recently-fired General Manager Jerry Reese since 2007.

The Daily News is also reporting that Gettleman is not currently planning any other changes to the front office structure of the Giants. That would suggest that Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams, who had served as interim general manager after Reese was fired, will be retained as the team’s salary cap expert.

GIANTS WILL PICK SECOND IN THE 2018 NFL DRAFT…
Even though the New York Giants won on Sunday, they will still pick second in the 2018 NFL Draft due to the Indianapolis Colts defeating the Houston Texans 22-13. The Cleveland Browns currently have the first pick.

NEW YORK GIANTS 18 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS 10…
The New York Giants ended their historically-dreadful 2017 season with a rare win, defeating the Washington Redskins 18-10. With the victory, the Giants finished the season 3-13. It was also Steve Spagnuolo’s first victory as interim head coach.

With a hodgepodge offensive line of right tackle Adam Bisnowaty, right guard Jon Halapio, center Brett Jones, left guard John Jerry, and left tackle Chad Wheeler, the Giants rushed for 260 yards against the Redskins. Jerry suffered a concussion in the 1st quarter and was replaced early by John Greco.

The Giants out-gained the Redskins in first downs (17 to 10), total net yards (381 to 197), and net yards rushing (260 to 61). Neither team passed for over 140 net yards. The Giants also won the critical turnover battle 3-to-1.

Most of the game’s excitement came within the first seven minutes. On the second offensive snap of the game, running back Orleans Darkwa broke off a 75-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked. Then on Washington’s third offensive snap, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard intercepted quarterback Kirk Cousins at the Redskins 31-yard line and returned the ball 12 yards to the 19-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Hunter Sharp for a 16-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Giants were up 12-0.

Washington went three-and-out on their second possession, but the Giants gave the ball right back when Manning’s pass intended for running back Wayne Gallman was intercepted and returned to the NYG 20-yard line. Two plays later, Cousins scrambled into the end zone from 12 yards out to cut the score to 12-7 midway through the 1st quarter. Neither team would reach the end zone again.

The Giants responded with a 9-play, 70-yard drive that set up a successful 23-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The Giants now led 15-7. The only points generated in the 2nd quarter came late when Brad Wing’s punt was returned 29 yards to the Giants’ 31-yard line with four seconds to go before halftime. On the half’s final play, Washington kicked a 49-yard field goal to make the score Giants 15 – Redskins 10.

Counting the four punts in the 2nd quarter and three in the 3rd quarter, the Giants punted the ball away seven times in a row in the game. The Giants finally extended their lead to 18-10 after a 10-play, 52-yard drive resulted in a 29-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile, the even more anemic Redskins had their seven second-half possessions result in a missed field goal, four punts, and two interceptions – one by cornerback Ross Cockrell and a second by Sheppard late that salted the game away.

Manning finished the game 10-of-28 for 132 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. His leading receiver was tight end Rhett Ellison, who had five catches for 63 yards. Darkwa rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Gallman chipped in with 89 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, Sheppard (two) and Cockrell (one) had all three of the Giants turnovers on interceptions. Cockrell was also credited with four pass defenses. The Giants also had three sacks with defensive end Olivier Vernon (1.5), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (0.5), and linebacker Devon Kennard (1.0) all getting to the quarterback.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

GIANTS 2018 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants will play the following teams during the 2018 NFL regular season:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Chicago Bears

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • San Francisco 49ers

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck), tight end Evan Engram (rib), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), defensive end Avery Moss (hip), quarterback Geno Smith, offensive guard Damien Mama, and linebacker Akeem Ayers.

Offensive guard John Jerry (concussion) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle) left the game and did not return.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis told reporters after the game that he will be having ankle surgery.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The New York Giants’ 13 losses are a franchise record. The three victories are the team’s fewest since 1983.

The Giants finished 2-6 in MetLife Stadium, their fewest home victories since they were 1-7 in 2003.

The Giants finished 1-5 in NFC East games and 1-11 in games vs. NFC opponents.

The Giants scored 246 points, their lowest total since they scored 243 in 2003.

Running back Orleans Darkwa’s 75-yard touchdown run was the Giants’ longest run from scrimmage since November 16, 2008, when Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 77 yards vs. Baltimore (but did not score) and Darkwa’s score was the Giants’ longest touchdown run since Bradshaw’s 88-yarder in Buffalo on December 23, 2007.

Darkwa averaged 7.7 yards per carry in the game. The last Giants’ back to average at least that many yards on at least 20 carries was Tiki Barber on December 30, 2006.

The Giants scored two touchdowns in the first 2:42 of a game for the first time since the 1970 merger.

Wide receiver Hunter Sharp is the 50th different receiver to catch a regular-season touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning played in his 216th regular-season game. He shares the franchise record with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson is the first Giants’ rookie defensive lineman to start 16 games since Barry Cofield in 2006.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media on Monday.

Dec 302017
 
Bobby Hart, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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DAVE GETTLEMAN FIRES MARC ROSS, CUTS BOBBY HART, BENCHES ERECK FLOWERS…
Dave Gettleman, the new general manager of the New York Giants, isn’t fooling around. On Friday, he said, “My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass.” On  Saturday, the ass-kicking commenced. The Giants have fired Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross, who was in charge of the team’s college scouting process. The Giants also waived/injured starting right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle).

The 44-year old Ross had been with the Giants since 2007 and officially served as the director of college scouting for six years before his promotion to vice president of player evaluation in 2013. Ross was also one of the four candidates to interview for the general manager vacancy that was given to Gettleman.

“I worked with Marc when I was with the organization before,” said Gettleman. “I have great respect for him and high regard for his work. Clearly, we’re going in a different direction, but that doesn’t make these kinds of decisions any easier.”

Hart was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In three seasons, Hart played in 33 regular-season games with 21 starts at right tackle, including seven starts this past season. According to various media reports, Hart had mentally checked out, refused to practice this week, and had told the Giants he would not play this Sunday against the Redskins.

More troubling is that left tackle Ereck Flowers, who is officially “questionable” with a groin injury, has reportedly also checked out and told coaches he will not play this Sunday. Newsday is reporting that Gettleman came close to cutting Flowers and may do so at some point in coming months. According to press reports, rookie Chad Wheeler will now start at left tackle against the Redskins and rookie Adam Bisnowaty will start at right tackle.

The Giants placed wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion) on Injured Reserve and signed offensive linemen Adam Bisnowaty and Nick Becton and tight end Ryan O’Malley to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The other roster vacancy came from cornerback Eli Apple being suspended from the team.

The Giants drafted Bisnowaty in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6’6”, 307-pound Bisnowaty played left tackle at the collegiate level but the Giants moved him to right tackle as a rookie. He has spent the entire season on the Practice Squad.

The 6’6”, 322-pound Becton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He has spent time with the Chargers (2013), Giants (2014), New Orleans Saints (2014), Chicago Bears (2015-2016), Detroit Lions (2017), and Kansas City Chiefs (2017). Becton has played in six regular-season games with no starts. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in November 2017.

O’Malley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent time on both the Practice Squad and 53-man roster of the Raiders in 2016. The Raiders cut him in September 2017 and he spent a few weeks on the Practice Squad of the Bills.  The Giants signed the 6’6”, 260-pound O’Malley to the Practice Squad in December 2017.

ARTICLES…

Dec 292017
 
Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

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DAVE GETTLEMAN’S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Dave Gettleman was officially introduced as the new general manager of the New York Giants at a press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Thank you all for being here today. I’m very pleased to be here to introduce Dave Gettleman as the new general manager of the New York Giants. Dave is obviously someone who is very well known to us. As you know, he spent 15 years here in our pro personnel department and during that period he made quite an impression on all of us. I’ve said before that his knowledge of the personnel in the National Football League is second to none. I think he has excellent evaluation skills. He’s a great communicator. He’s got strong leadership qualities and, most importantly, he’s a man of integrity. Dave has been with four different NFL organizations. He’s had a lot of success with each one of them and he’s had some great mentors throughout his career.

Given the state of our team at the moment and with all of the difficult and important decisions that we have facing us, we believed it was important to bring in somebody who had experience as a general manager, somebody with a proven track record. We followed very closely what Dave did in Carolina, and after conducting these interviews and doing our research and after much discussion, the three of us – myself, Steve Tisch and Ernie Accorsi – had a conviction that Dave was the right man for the job.

I want to acknowledge and thank Ernie for his help and guidance throughout this process, and now it is my great pleasure to introduce the new general manager of the New York Giants, Dave Gettleman.

Remarks by General Manager Dave Gettleman (Video)
Good morning. Happy holidays to everybody. I hope Santa made a visit or you got a Hanukkah visit. Whichever one that was. Wish you all a wonderful New Year. To begin with, I’d like to thank the Mara family, the Tisch family, Ernie (Accorsi) for helping me attain the position that, up until now, I had only dreamed about.

As most of you know, I’m from Boston. I’m a bit older, which some of you have made a point of writing and hurt my feelings, but be that as it may. When I was growing up in the ‘50s and really became enamored with the NFL, in Boston, you got to remember the Patriots weren’t even a thought yet. So, sitting and watching those 10-inch black and whites – I watched the New York Football Giants, and the Cleveland Browns were the other team that we got. To be standing here today as the general manager of the New York Football Giants is a moment that does not escape me, and as a family, we feel truly blessed.

Obviously, I want to thank my family – Joanne; Aaron and Melissa, who are here right now; Sam; and Ana for all their support. Without them, I certainly wouldn’t be standing here. Like I said, I truly feel blessed by the Lord.

In terms of building a team, my philosophy – I have a saying that I learned from – you’re going to look at me like I’m nuts – “All in the Family”, Archie Bunker – every man is my equal in that I may learn from him, and I’ve thought about that since the ‘60s when I first heard it. I’ve been with four different organizations and I’ve learned from one heck of a cast of NFL people. Bill Polian, Marv Levy, Bob Ferguson, Mike Shanahan, Ernie Accorsi, Jerry Reese. If you take those names and look at all the Super Bowls they’ve been to and then the ones that they’ve won, I certainly have had a heck of a group of teachers.

In terms of my managerial style, I believe in communication. I believe in collaboration. I believe in brutal honesty. There’s a management concept that says you’re not going to get to the right answer unless you ask the right question. We will do that. It will be done. I truly believe in collaboration. The more minds you can wrap around an issue and work at it, the better your answer is going to be and that’s something I believe in strongly. I think the biggest mistake general managers make is when they close their doors and just decide things on their own. So, I believe in that. I believe in communication. Everybody will know where they stand with me. Everybody will know what I expect and we’ll be moving forward. I’m going to invoke an old Tuna saying – don’t talk about the pain, just show me the baby. So, that’s the way it’s going to operate.

In terms of team building, I’m old fashioned. Offense scores points, defense wins championships. There’s been six matchups, I believe, in the Super Bowl of No. 1 offenses versus No. 1 defenses and the defenses have won five of the six. So, I truly believe in that. I’m going to say this right now, style of offense has changed; obviously there’s that college influence, so obviously the style of defense has changed to a certain degree. But, at the end of the day, it’s the same three things you had to do in ’35 that you got to do now in 2018. You got to run the ball. You got to stop the run. You got to pressure the passer. Everywhere I’ve been and with the great teams that I’ve been associated with – those were three very big staples. Another philosophy about team building, Tom said it to me. Tom Coughlin said it to me my first year, his first when he came in here. He said big men allow you to compete, and that’s really just so true. The o-line and the d-line, I believe in the hog mollies. We’ve had some great groups here, had great groups everywhere I’ve been, and we’re going to get back to that. They do allow you to compete.

In terms of building the entire roster, you’re going to use every avenue. You’re going to build through the draft. You’re going to use trades, waiver wire transactions. You’re going to use every avenue necessary. It’s just the way of the world. Building quality depth is critical. Is critical. Everybody plays today. Everybody. You start. You get your first cut down to 53. You got 63 guys on that field. I promise you, all 63 are going to have a varsity suit before the season is over unless you are stupid lucky, so you have to build quality depth. It’s critical.

I’m almost done.

The other thing that’s really important is culture. Football is the ultimate team game. You throw 11 guys out there on offense, one guy makes a mistake, you’re second and 15. You throw 11 guys out there on defense, one guy makes a mistake, the official is doing this (touchdown signal). It’s the ultimate team game. Culture is critical. These guys have to know when they step on the field that the guy right, the guy left, the guy behind, the guy in front has got their back and we’re going to build that kind of a culture. In ‘15, one of the greatest things I’ve ever had a player say to me. We had traded for Jared Allen in, I think, it was the second week in October. We traded for Jared. By this time, Jared had been around about 12-13 years. After two weeks, he came up to me. He said, ‘Dave, I’ve been in this league a long time. I have never been in a locker room like this.’ He said, ‘It’s a pleasure to come to work. Everybody is in this together and I’ve never seen this before.’ The proof was in the pudding. That team won a lot of games, so culture is critical.

Finally guys, I’ve been hired to win and the only promise I can make is I’m going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back to where it belongs. That’s my goal. That’s my intention. It’s going to get done.

Questions?

Q: What is your relationship with Eli Manning and how do you view handling the quarterback situation going forward?

A: There’s only three guys on this team that were here when I left. It’s Eli, JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Zak DeOssie and I know a couple other guys that are here now. One of them – Robert Thomas. In regards to Eli, the bottom line is I’m an inveterate film watcher. That’s what I do, OK? I haven’t had access to tape and I’m not avoiding the question, but obviously you got to look at the film. You got to see what’s cooking, and listen, Eli has won a lot of games. He’s a great competitor. He’s very intelligent and he and I are going to talk and if what I saw (against) Philadelphia was not a mirage, and I don’t believe it was, then we’ll just keep moving.

Q: Can you explain what happened at Carolina and even if you don’t, what did you learn as far as the general manager’s job?

A: OK, that’s a fair question. As far as what happened there, give Mr. (Jerry) Richardson a call. As far as what I learned there, No. 1, I learned about how critical culture was. I learned that. I learned that winning in the NFL on Sunday’s is hard. I don’t care how good you are. It’s hard and like I said before, it’s the ultimate team game, so I learned how critical the locker room is. The locker room culture. So, I learned that. I had things that were reinforced to me about, like I said before in my opener, rushing the passer, stopping the run, running the ball. I learned some of those things. Another thing I learned – it is critical that the makeup of your coaching staff is you have quality teachers as well as quality tacticians. The player that we’re getting from college. When I first got in the league 30 years ago, basically when you drafted a player, you were just taking a little polish and rubbing him up and getting him good. Now, it’s different now. Those college rules are very different in terms of we’re not getting as polished a player. We’re getting younger players. In Carolina, drafted two guys who were 20 years old. So, you’re getting that and as a general manager, I learned that I’m walking a tight rope. I’m walking a tight rope. I got ownership right here that wants to have a sustainability, wants to obviously win games and my responsibility is for the sustainable success. On the other hand, I got coaches that their butts are on the line every Sunday. They got to win. So, you’ve got to walk that fine line with both groups and you have to understand that the coaching staff needs to be teachers, they need to be sound tacticians, they have to know how to develop players. When we were in Carolina, we had practice squad guys taking reps with the ones. I banged on Ron (Rivera) all the time because those practice squad guys are going to play now. They’re going to be on your varsity. It’s only a matter of time. That old saying, you’re only one breath away from going from backup to starter. You’re only one hit away from being a practice squad guy to being on the 46. So, I learned that. The other thing I really learned – it’s my responsibility to protect this franchise. That’s my job. There’s a variety of ways that I have to protect it. I learned that in Carolina. It’s my job. I have no issue doing it. I’ll make the tough decisions and I’ll stand by them and we’ll see what happens.

Q: What did you learn as far as dealing with agents or players that you didn’t have to do as a personnel guy?

A: It’s really kind of interesting. You talk to players – it’s funny – when players first come into your building as young kids and you talk to them about becoming a pro and you’ve got a finite career and you talk about those things and they develop and then all of the sudden, they’re ready to hit their, you know, they want the big contract and they throw it right back in your face. ‘Well, Dave, I got a finite career, Jack, I got to make it now.’ So, you get that. At the end of the day, that’s something I got to do. You got to manage a (salary) cap. But, really and truly before that, it’s what players don’t want to hear. They don’t want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings. They’re sad. This is a big boy league. You got to put your big boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares what you make, what you don’t make. So, I’ve learned that you have to be consistent. You got to be fair and if the player is upset, so be it. So be it.

Q: What is your feeling on why this team is 2-13?

A: That’s a really hard question to answer because think about it this way – let’s just think about it this way. You guys cover the Giants. You cover the league. You’re looking at all the teams. So, somebody does something and you’re going ‘what?’ You’re giving them one of those. The fact of the matter is, teams make decisions based on the information they have at hand at that time. Shame on me to open up my big mouth when I don’t have all the information. When I don’t have all the information. In time I will and then I might be able to share my opinion. But, if you don’t have all the information, if you weren’t in the room, don’t feel the emotion of what’s going on, don’t understand what’s really going on, it is not fair of me to make any judgements or have any opinion on it.

Q: What kind of qualities are you looking for in a head coach?

A: I really believe that the head coaching job is a CEO position. It really is. You look at the great head coaches and I’ll tell you right now, there ain’t a dumb one in the group. There’s not a dumb one in the group. They’re all leaders. They all know how to lead men. And, that’s what you need. You need intelligence. You need leadership and on the assumption that you hire an intelligent guy, you’re going to have a guy with vision. Those are critical components you’re looking for. There’s a million pieces to it because it is, you know, you think about a head coach. You think of all the things he’s got to juggle. I mean, there’s a ton of stuff going on. I’m sure that they all once a week probably say, ‘Gosh, I wish I could be the offensive coordinator.’ Whatever it is. Just pick the position he loves to coach. ‘Man, I’d just love to get with my linebackers. Just for a week.’ It’s a load. It’s a load. You got to be able to handle that load.

Q: Is this a care-taker position you’re taking or are you looking 10 years down the road?

A: My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass. That’s my plan, OK? And I’m going to keep doing it until they either take my key card or the Lord calls me home.

Q: Do you have a sequence of what jobs you want to do starting right now?

A: John (Mara) and I are going to sit down and talk this afternoon. Don’t cry a violin. I drove 10 hours last night and got up here at 10 o’clock at night and let me tell you something – 14 degrees. I mean, I only came from 34, so it wasn’t like a big, huge, but you know, it was a little breezy when I got my fanny out of the car. The bottom line is, there’s a whole laundry list of things. Have I prioritized them? Not yet. But, obviously, there’s things to do.

Q: Did you watch Eli Manning’s tape from the Philadelphia game?

A: No. I didn’t get the tape. I actually – that was one of the few games I was able to see from start to finish.

Q: Just to clarify, as of now, you intend to move forward with Eli Manning as the starting quarterback next year?

A: Well, as of now, yeah.

Q: You have the No. 2 pick potentially in the draft.

A: I’ll address that right now. Let me tell you something. I don’t care what position it is. You can never have too many great players at one position. I mean, you think about us – we got (Michael) Strahan and Osi (Umenyiora) and we’re drafting (Justin) Tuck and we’re drafting (Mathias) Kiwanuka and people are looking at us like we have brain damage. You can never have too many great players at one position. So, I’ll get into that much, much later, but let’s see where we end up and which pick we have and we’ll go from there.

Q: What are your thoughts on Odell Beckham Jr. and his long term future? You talked a bit about contracts.

A: Well, No. 1, who doesn’t want a lot of money? Anybody in here not want a lot of money? Everybody wants a lot of money, guys. OK? I don’t know Odell. I never met him. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, he’s an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen. We’ll have that, what’s that song? ‘Getting to know you, getting to know you.’ We’ll do that and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to Ronnie (Barnes) about how far along he is. So, we’ll see.

Q: You were here for the situation with Josh Norman and Odell Beckham a few years ago. Does that give you a different perspective on Odell that you watched him melt down for three hours against your team?

A: It’s really funny. I’m going to give you an analogy. When we look at players, when you look at players, obviously, you see things on film. You see things on tape. For example, I’m going to talk about a defensive back. So, people will say he can’t cover man. So, I look at him and say, ‘OK, tell me why.’ Don’t just make a blanket statement. Tell me why. I want to know why. I want you to break it down. Well, as far as – I have no idea what was going on in Odell’s head in that game. I have no idea why all that happened. So, I would want to sit down with Odell and say, ‘Why?’ The bottom line is shame on me if I have any preconceived notions about guys as people because there’s no way in God’s green earth. I don’t know these guys. Shame on me if I do. Everybody is going to get a fair shake. Believe it.

Q: As the new general manager, would you like to see Davis Webb play on Sunday to get some sort of idea of who he is in a game or does that not matter to you?

A: It’s Friday. We’re playing Sunday. I don’t mean to be a smartass. It’s Friday. We play the game on Sunday. What these guys decided, they decided. It is what it is. It is what it is.

Q: Do you feel that changes are needed in this front office or are you OK with the status quo?

A: It’s one of those deals – I’m in a different situation than I was when I got to Carolina. When I got to Carolina, I knew a couple of scouts a little bit. I knew nobody. Let me back up. Cheese and crackers. My first year in the league, I’m working for the Bills. I hope you’re laughing with me not at me. I’m working for the Bills and I’m an intern and Hank Bullough was the head coach. It was ’86, I believe, and midseason Hank gets fired, Marv (Levy) comes in. Marv Levy. Marv comes in and at the end of the season, he let the entire staff go. That’s his prerogative. That’s absolutely his prerogative. There were three really good coaches on that staff. Three quality teachers, guys, fundamentalists. Guys that could really flat coach. He didn’t even talk to them about staying. So, the point I’m trying to make is I promised that if I was ever the king that everybody would get an opportunity. Again, I haven’t been here for five years. People change. I’m not the same guy I was five years ago and my wife is very thankful for that, by the way, and people change. So, let me get in here. Let me get to work. Let me talk. Let me find out what’s cooking and then we’ll make decisions as we go.

Q: Giants fans are furious about this season.

A: I thought you were going to say they’re furious about me. I’d say, ‘Well, gosh I just got here.’

Q: How quickly do you think you can turn this team around?

A: First of all, you can’t make promises, right? Number one, there are some really good players on this roster. It’s funny, when I was in Carolina, I’m a first time GM, the first three weeks were a blur. So finally Friday of my third week, I get my clicker in my hand, and I have the DTs, and I watched film for two weeks, my eyes were bleeding. They finished the season fairly strong and in my estimation, it wasn’t fool’s gold. So I have to look at this team, look at the players on this team with that same eye. I’ve got to figure it out. We’ve got to all sit down together, personnel department, and figure it out. And I know from watching, there are some quality players on this roster. We’ve got to fix the o-line, let’s be honest. Let’s not kid each other. I told you at the top, big men allow you to compete and that’s what we’ve got to fix.

Q: Does it only make sense to you to have Odell Beckham Jr. be a part of the solution here, knowing his talent level?

A:  It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Ernie [Accorsi] taught me something a long time ago: don’t quit on talent. Don’t quit on talent. Two years ago, my last year, we were just decimated on the o-line down in Carolina. So, we ended up signing Ryan Wendell, who had played for the Patriots for seven years. We don’t make the playoffs, so baggy day, I grab Ryan and say, ‘Ryan, when are you out of here,’ and he’s a west coast guy and he said to me, ‘Dave, I’m here until tomorrow afternoon.’ I said, ‘Would you mind having lunch with me tomorrow?’ So, Ryan came in. And I said, ‘Ryan, listen, I’m not interested in inside gossip, backstories, I really don’t care, but I want you to talk to me about the process there.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Dave, at the end of the season last year we beat the Chargers and we beat Washington in that Monday Night game down there.’ And Ryan said, ‘Dave, those are New England Patriot wins. That’s what it looked like.’ And I said, ‘Okay, so tell me the steps.’ He said, ‘The one thing that we all know from the moment we walk in the door is we are expected to be pros today.’ There’s two kinds of players in this league, folks. There are guys that play professional football and there are professional football players. And the professional football players are the guys we want. I don’t want guys that want to win. I want guys that hate to lose. That’s the professional football player. That’s what you want. So, it’s important.

Q: Have you had any communication with your predecessor, Jerry Reese, and what ways do your philosophies overlap and what ways are they different?

A: Well, again, I’ve been gone for five years. Jerry is a very classy guy and he’s a dear friend and I hated what happened. He sent me a text yesterday that was just really special. But, we’re different people. Maybe you couldn’t get much more different [laughs]. So, listen, we taught each other. We worked together for a long time, we learned from each other, I learned from him just as much as he learned from me. I enjoyed working under him as my boss, my GM.

Q: What do you mean when you say you two couldn’t be more different?

A: We’re just different people, you know? You say potato, I say potahto. Jerry’s as honorable and as ethical as anybody. But no, just a good man. He’s a good man.

Q: Would you plan to give your head coach the authority to get rid of the entire staff?

A: Through conversation. I mean, who knows? That’s part of the process. There are good coaches on this staff, I’m telling you right now. And I certainly would encourage whoever becomes the next head coach to talk to these guys, absolutely. Philosophically, I wouldn’t force a coach on a coach, I wouldn’t force a player on a coach because it doesn’t work out.

Q: What qualities are you looking for in a coach?

A: I don’t mean to be a wise guy, [but] they asked it earlier. I’m looking for intelligence, I’m looking for vision, I’m looking for leadership.

Q: How difficult is it going to be to rebuild this offensive line?

A: Well, again, you can’t put a timeframe on anything, you really can’t. I’m not going to sit up here and tell you I’m going to fix it in two years because John is going to run me out of the building, okay? No, the bottom line is, you go to work. You go to work, it’s that simple. You have no idea what’s going to happen. You have no idea who’s going to be available. People get cut all the time, you say, ‘Whoa!’ you know? The bottom line is, there are people available on the street that – the bad habit that people have is, well what’s wrong with him? Wait a minute, don’t look at the negative. What’s right with him? Can he help us? Now let’s see if we can dig around, find out why he got dumped. But no. you can’t put a timetable on it. We’re going to work our fannies off and we’re going to get it fixed.

BOB PAPA INTERVIEW WITH DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The video of Bob Papa’s exclusive interview with General Manager Dave Gettleman is available at Giants.com.

JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The following is the transcript of team President and CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks. The video is available at Giants.com.

Q: Are the head coaching interviews going to start right after Sunday at some time?

A: Yes. Expect us on Monday to start sending out the consent forms and start making contact. We want to get going on this right away.

Q: So teams with candidates who have byes, you can talk to them next week?

A: You can request permission and the team that they currently work for can tell you what day and where, but you can start asking for permission on Monday.

Q: What did you think of Dave’s (Gettleman) answer to the question about as long as the Eagles game wasn’t a fluke, he’s okay with Eli Manning being the quarterback moving forward?

A: He had given me that answer in the interview as well and I think that’s fine. Obviously he has to sit down and look at the tape and we’re going to hire a coach and it’s going to be a discussion going forward.

Q: Do you think the Eagles game was a mirage?

A: I think he can still play. I think he can still play at a high level, but at the end of the day, that’s going to be a discussion among Dave, the new head coach and myself.

Q: How much were Eli and Odell’s (Beckham) names brought up in the interviewing process?

A: Their names came up in the interview process, yes. Obviously, they are two important parts of this team so, yes, their names came up and I think we got pretty much the same answer from everybody on both of those guys. And really they’ve got to come in, look at the tape, talk to Eli, talk to Odell, and we’ll make decisions going forward.

Q: When you went into this search for a GM, did you expect to go into January and talk to people from other teams?

A: You know, initially that had been our thought, but after going through all of these interviews and talking it through with Ernie (Accorsi) and Steve (Tisch), we just had a conviction that this was the right guy for us. Listen, I’m also conscious of the fact that come Monday or Tuesday, there are going to be a number of head coaches that get fired and there are going to be a lot of teams out there competing for the quality candidates that are out there. So being ready to do that starting Monday morning was something that we wanted to do, but I think once we reached the conviction about Dave, we felt like it was the right thing to do, make the decision now and then be ready to hit the road on Monday.

Q: Could you be doing an interview on Monday?

A: I guess conceivably we could be, but we’ll be sending out the consent forms then, so in all likelihood it wouldn’t take place on Monday.

Q: What kind of coach is necessary to help change the culture?

A: I think Dave outlined the qualities very well. You’re looking for someone who has intelligence, but leadership qualities, too. Somebody that’s going to be able to command the room when he stands up there in front of that team. And we don’t have any preconceived notion about whether it has to be an offensive or a defensive coach. Ideally, it will be somebody with previous head coaching experience, but that doesn’t have to be the case, either.

Q: Where are you with Eli Apple?

A: I think Dave said it well, too. You don’t want to quit on talent. I think that’s a discussion we’ll have to have in the offseason. He’s a young guy. I happen to like him personally. I’m obviously disturbed with what’s happened this year. I thought he had a terrific training camp and I was really excited about him as a player coming into this season. So I think we have to figure out what’s going on with him. But I’d like at the end of the day for him to be a part of this team’s future, but I think that’s going to have to be a discussion with whoever the next head coach is and with Dave as well.

Q: Will Ernie be part of the head coaching search?

A: Not officially. He’s certainly there as a resource. I talk to him all the time, but he’s not going to be there on the interviews.

Q: Do you feel confident that Odell is still a part of this team’s future given everything that has happened over the last few months?

A: I still want him to be a part of this team in the future, but I think I’ve got to sit with Dave and the new head coach and figure out exactly what is going to happen there. But let’s face it, players with his ability don’t come along very often so, yes, I want him to be a part of this team’s future. As to when we actually do the contract, I think that’s up for discussion.

Q: Is it more likely now that you’re going to have him play out his fifth-year option?

A: It’s too early to say that.

Q: Many people misunderstood when you said wholesale changes because when Dave was announced as a candidate, that was not a wholesale change. How would you explain this?

A: Yeah, I’m not sure why there is such confusion about that. When was the last time we changed a general manager and a head coach in the same year? It was 1979 and there might be another change or two or three happening in the future. For me, that’s pretty wholesale.

Q: I think people took that as we’re going to go outside of our tree and bring in someone new.

A: I understand, but I think these constitute pretty significant changes, at least certainly in my lifetime. And people seem to forget that Dave has been out of the building for five years, so it wasn’t just promoting someone from within.

Q: What is the one thing that you want to see fixed from this season?

A: There are so many things, it’s hard to just identify one of them. Dave mentioned the offensive line. Obviously, that’s an area we need to improve in. Our defense didn’t play all that well, either. Nobody played all that well, to be honest with you, with a couple of exceptions. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing. You’re 2-13.You’re 2-13 for a reason and it’s usually not just one reason.

Q: Why did you guys abandon the plan to get Davis (Webb) some reps?

A: Well, there wasn’t a plan to do that. It was something that I expressed quite a while ago, but once Steve (Spagnuolo) got appointed as the interim head coach, he believes, and I share that belief that Eli gives us the best chance to win right now and I don’t like to tell head coaches who they should be playing.

Q: Do you feel like it was a missed opportunity not to get a look at Davis?

A: It would have been nice to get a look at him, but, again, I wasn’t going to force that and we are where we are.

Q: In hindsight, was it a mistake to bench Eli if every candidate you interviewed had him in their plans?

A: I think we could have probably handled it better, but you can argue that a lot of different ways. From a pure football point of view, where we were as a team right then, getting a look at somebody else at quarterback was not the worst decision in the world. I think it could have been handled better and I take responsibility for that. I could have handled that better.

Q: Do you expect big results for the Giants in 2018?

A: I expect us to be a good team in 2018. You go from last to first or first to last, teams do that every year. And we do have some talent on this roster. We obviously have a lot of holes to fill as well, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a successful team next year.

Q: How extensive were your feelings about Eli during your interview with Dave?

A: That was certainly a significant part of the discussion, but it wasn’t the most important thing that we discussed. I was interested in hearing what his philosophy was in building a team, what he had learned in Carolina, what he knew about our roster and what he thought we needed to do going forward and, obviously, who he had in mind for head coaching candidates, which I’m not going to go into for obvious reasons. Those things were important to me. His philosophy on Eli is let me sit down and look at the tape before I have a definitive answer for you on that. He had seen the Philadelphia game. Eli played very well in that game and he made the same statement to me that he made to you in there.

Q: Is that encouraging to you?

A: It was encouraging to me, yes.

Q: Do you have any necessary qualities on the kind of head coach you’re looking for?

A: I think, obviously, it has to be somebody who has either had head coaching experience or at least has been a coordinator for a significant period of time because I think if you don’t have that, the odds are really stacked against you. It’s not impossible for you to succeed without that, but I think the more experience that that individual has as either a head coach or as a coordinator on either side of the ball, I think is very important.

Q: Do you want Spags to have a shot?

A: He will have a shot. I told him that when we made him the interim head coach and he will have a shot.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Quarterback Geno Smith (not injury related), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck), wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (rib), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), and offensive tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) did not practice on Friday. Shepard, King, and Engram have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. Flowers and Hart are officially “questionable.”

Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger/back/ankle), and defensive end Avery Moss (hip) practiced on a limited basis. Pierre-Paul is officially “questionable” for the game while Lewis and Moss are unofficially “probable.”

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

Dec 292017
 
John Mara, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

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Game Preview: Washington Redskins at New York Giants, December 31, 2017

THE STORYLINE:
The most disappointing season in the 93-year old history of the New York Giants finally ends on Sunday. 2017 was an utter disaster on every level, causing the conservative franchise to take steps it rarely has done such as firing a general manager and firing a head coach in-season.

And while many fans want to forget 2017 and focus on the future, it is important to understand the magnitude of the organization’s ineptness. Ownership failed. Team management failed. The coaching staff failed. The public relations staff failed. The training staff failed. Offense, defense, special teams failed. The players behaved like immature assholes from Odell Beckham to Eli Apple to Landon Collins.

The organization failed, from top to bottom. And that does not bode well moving forward. Don’t think so? Keep this in mind:

  • Ownership picked and Ernie Accorsi lobbied for Jerry Reese over Dave Gettleman as the team’s next GM in early 2007. Fast forward a decade later and Accorsi lobbied Mara and Tisch for Gettleman. Oh the irony.
  • In early 2016, ownership decided Tom Coughlin, and not Jerry Reese, was the problem. Ouch.
  • Ownership rushed to hire Ben McAdoo, a man who was clearly over his head, fearing the Philadelphia Eagles would snag him. In hindsight, the Eagles may have successfully goaded the Giants into making a disastrous coaching move. On top of that, McAdoo’s assistant coaching staff was virtually identical to Coughlin’s. Did ownership meddle and mandate the retention of coaches like Steve Spagnuolo, Mike Sullivan, and Tom Quinn?
  • Ownership/management were convinced the 2017 New York Giants were a Super Bowl contender. Instead, no team in Giants’ history has lost more games in one season. If the Giants and Browns played on Sunday, the Browns would probably win. One would hope that the leaders of the franchise would have a better capability for self-analysis.
  • Ben McAdoo was made the scapegoat for the Eli Manning benching, a move that both ownership and management signed off on, but then hid from. The disastrous PR handling of this move caused the Giants to backtrack on a decision that actually had merit, resulting the worst possible outcome. Eli Manning saw his consecutive game streak end and felt pissed on, yet the team still didn’t get a read on Davis Webb. What a waste!

Dave Gettleman has been hired as the team’s next general manager. He may be the perfect selection, the worst, or something in between. Only time will tell. What we do know is the GM search was a farce. Three of the four candidates interviewed were intimately connected to the Giants’ organization and existing culture. Marc Ross was a courtesy and Rooney Rule interviewee. Louis Riddick has been out of the NFL since 2013. Kevin Abrams may have been the only other serious candidate considered, and that’s not a given. Right or wrong, ownership decided to not even seriously consider other options.

  • Pros: No surprises. Gettleman worked for the Giants from 1998 to 2012. He knows the team’s culture from the owners down to the secretaries and janitors. Gettleman is experienced and knows how to evaluate talent. He’s been a GM in the league and knows how to do the job. He was the safe pick. If Gettleman was the pick all along, delaying the inevitable through a dog-and-pony show would have been a waste of time and could have cost the Giants an opportunity to hire a head coach of their choosing.
  • Cons: While he may tweak things here and there, Gettleman is a product, and therefore a representative, of the current team culture. It is highly unlikely there will be many – if any – structural changes in the way the Giants conduct their business. This was clear to many as soon as it was announced that Accorsi would be consulting ownership. It is somewhat disturbing that no outside candidates/approaches were even seriously considered. Mara should not insult our intelligence in claiming that all options were on the table. While Gettleman was the safe choice, he may not have been the best. And at 66, his age is a factor and he will likely only be a short-term solution, which in itself could influence the way he approaches his job.

An interesting indicator to watch will be Marc Ross, the team’s Vice President of Player Evaluation (really Director of College Scouting). If he stays, be worried.

Let’s be clear about one thing: other than ownership, nothing matters more than the general manager. If the Giants have picked the right general manager, they will be OK. If they have picked the wrong guy, the Giants may be entering the 1970s again. But the risks don’t stop there. Gettleman has to pick the right coaching staff and make the right decision at quarterback, including with what to do with either the #2 or #3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Making the wrong decisions with the coaches or quarterback could set this team back years. And in 2022 or so, we may be going through all of this again as the Giants remain a laughing stock. This is the most critical phase the Giants have gone through since 1979. That year, Pete Rozelle forced George Young on the Giants, which led to Ray Perkins and then Bill Parcells, and Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor.

So as of late December 2017, here’s where we are at in terms of the big picture:

  1. General Manager: Dave Gettleman
  2. Head Coach: ???
  3. Quarterback: ???

The success of those three selections will ultimately determine the fate of the team possibly for the next decade.

Dec 292017
 
Sam Darnold, USC Trojans (December 1, 2017)

Sam Darnold – © USA TODAY Sports

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2018 NFL Draft Prospects: December 29, 2017 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

WAKE FOREST

#85 TE Cam Serigne – 6’3/240

5th year senior. Leaves WF and the ACC as the all time leader in receiving yards and catches among TEs. He isn’t a very dynamic athlete, but he catches everything thrown his way. Has a knack for finding extra yards after contact via awareness and toughness. Blue collar guy that will stick somewhere, albeit with a limited upside. 5th/6th rounder.

#53 DE Duke Ejiofor – 6’4/275

5th year senior. 2nd Team All ACC. Top tier run defender, plays the inside gap of the tackle really well. May want to bulk up and play a 3-4 DE type role, he can excel there. Crafty, excellent technique, nose for the ball. Some teams will have a 3rd round grade on him, not a pure edge guy though.

Other Notables:

#10 QB John Wolford – 6’1/200
#14 DE Wendell Dunn – 6’3/250
#6 LB Jaboree Williams – 6’0/245
#50 LB Grant Dawson – 6’1/225

TEXAS A& M

#92 DT Zaycovern Henderson – 6’2/300 (WIL NOT PLAY – Suspended)

*#3 WR Christian Kirk – 5’11/200

Junior that hasn’t declared yet, many expect him to. Was one of the top playmakers in the country from beginning of 2015 through end of 2016. As a returner and receiver, he was as electric as it got. 7 return TDs over his career.Led the SEC with 83 catches in 2016. There is some Odell Beckham in him when it comes to the explosion he has in and out of his breaks and the toughness he plays with. Production saw a dip in 2017 with such poor QB and OL play. But when looking at this kid move with the ball, he has 1st round talent written all over him.

#7 RB Keith Ford – 5’11/215

5th year senior, began career at Oklahoma but transferred when he saw he wasn’t going to be the guy. Effective downhill, short yardage back. Consistently breaks through initial contact but a limited athlete that won’t create on his own. Late rounder.

#4 WR Damion Ratley – 6’3/190

Fourth year senior that had a hard time seeing action in his first three years. Entered 2017 with 17 career catches, finished 2017 with 26-603-6. Legit deep speed, has always been a guy that would get people excited in training camp. Maybe someone gets a late rounder that is about to blossom?

#23 Armani Watts – 5’11/200

Four year starter, one of my favorite players in the draft. Likely will finish as my #1 or #2 safety in the class. I want to see how he tests athletically, if he is truly a 4.4 guy, I am putting him in my top 10 overall. This kid is all over the field, plenty of TFL, INTs, PDs, blocked kicks…etc. Just an incredibly smart player that tackles well. Not a big thumper, but he gets the man down. Would be an ideal fit next to Landon Collins in all likelihood.

#40 DE Jarrett Johnson – 6’3/260

Fourth year senior, played behind Daeshon Hall and Myles Garrett, got to show what he has in 2017. Looks like a pass rusher-only, but with upside. Love the body and pad level, has some natural tools that can be worked with. Just didn’t get a ton of playing time in college. Late rounder, maybe UDFA that is worth taking a chance on.

Other Notables:

#24 CB Priest Willis – 6’2/205
#9 DE Qualen Cunningham – 6’3/245

________________________________________________________

NC STATE

*#15 QB Ryan Finley – 6’4/210

Fourth year junior. Hasn’t declared yet, I am leaning towards him going back to school. He doesn’t have 1st round talent and in a somewhat crowded QB class, he could be the guy that gets bumped down to round 3-4. Finley is a pro style passer, excellent footwork and release. Very accurate, poised, consistent. Doesn’t have the live arm that some of these other guys do and his athletic ability is average at best. That said, I think he can be very solid in the NFL. Alex Smith type passer.

#1 WR/RB Jaylen Samuels – 5’11/236

In all honesty, one of my favorite players in the class. This guy may be as versatile as any offensive sklll position player I have ever scouted. He averaged 6+ yards per carry with 2017 being majority short yardage and goal line attempts, caught 195 passes, and scored 47 touchdowns over his 4 years. I’ve seen him 11 times over the past 2 years, and I think he can play both WR and RB in the NFL, a la Ty Montgomery. Samuels plays as hard as anyone, loves the game, total team player. He is a gamer that understands situational football very well. I think he is a 2nd rounder and it will be on the coaches to find the proper ways to use him.

*#7 Nyheim Hines – 5’9/197

Undeclared junior, guys that grade out round 3 or better are usually pushed to go to the NFL, legs only have so many mileage. Hines has already been banged up and with a strong 2017 where he had flashes of big play ability inside and out, he could definitely come out. He is really quick and explosive, runs physical. I think he has a better career in the NFL that he did in college.

#50 OG Tony Adams – 6’2/300

Four year starter. Powerfully built, specializes in run blocking with his initial punch and low center of gravity. Good straight line mover that equally struggles to move laterally with balance and quickness. Smart guy, leader of the line, makes the calls. Needs work on sustaining blocks. 4th/5th rounder.

#9 DE Bradley Chubb – 6’4/260

Fourth year senior that was very solid leading up to 2017, then broke out in a big way. Chubb was 2nd in the nation with 25 TFL. An equally dominant player against the run and pass, does all the little things right. Excellent hands, feet, and leverage. Mean dude, wants to obliterate his opponent. This can be a guy that changes the entire outlook of a defense. May not be the explosive edge guy some want, but he is a big time player with a probable top 10 overall grade.

#98 DT BJ Hill – 6’4/300

Fourth year senior with a lot of experience, started games every year of his career. Coaches say he is one of the most important players on that team, gets overlooked a lot. Really good at holding his ground, massive lower body power. Showed some penetration skills in 2017, he is a safe player to draft and put in to action right away.

#35 DE Kentavius Street – 6’2/290

Fourth year senior, little underwhelming career wise. Has experience at DT and DE, I think he may be best suited for DT at the next level, maybe a 3-4 DE role. Freakish athletic ability for a 290 pounder, will blow up the combine. He shows glimpses, he is more than an athlete. 4th rounder somewhat based on good workout numbers.

#27 DT Justin Jones – 6’2/312

Big guy with speed and hustles. Makes a lot of plays via secondary movement and pursuit, which I always like to see. Doesn’t do much at the point of attack, needs to work on initial positioning and hand placement. But guys this big that make as many tackles as he does (62 over past 2 years, 15 of which went for loss) are always worth looking at Day 3.

Other Notables:

#4 LB Jerod Fernandez – 6’0/227
#24 CB Shawn Boone – 5’10/206
#58 LB Airius Moore – 6’0/235

ARIZONA STATE

#7 RB Kalen Ballage – 6’3/230

4th year senior, was a goal line back early in his career and evolved in to more of an every down guy. Rare combination of size and speed, might see a big boost in his stock when the workouts happen. Has shown flashes of dominance, but consistency isn’t there. Doesn’t run with a feel, lacks vision and reaction ability. Limited in terms of what you can do with him scheme wise, 4th rounder.

#4 RB Demario Richard – 5’10/219

4th year senior. Gets overlooked because Ballage is the more sexy prospect based on tools, but Richard might be better suited for the NFL. He is quicker, just as hard to bring down, and has more vision and easy-ness to him. Creates more on his own. Has had some issues with drops and ball security, blocking is sub-par. 4th/5th rounder.

#3 LB DJ Calhoun – 6’0/236

4th year senior that was in and out of the starting lineup early in his career, had some discipline issues assignment wise. Cleaned things up in 2017, played very well. Led the team with 22.5 TFL over past two years. Physical and rangy wrap up tackler that is all over the field. Struggles in traffic. 4th/5th rounder.

Other Notables:

#44 LB Alani Latu – 6’2/248
#90 DT Tashon Smalwood – 6’0/279
#17 S J’Marcus Rhodes – 6’1/214
#65 OC AJ McCollum – 6’2/311

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KENTUCKY

*#41 OLB Josh Allen – 6’5/230

Junior that hasn’t declared yet, seems like he is coming out though. Really, just a 1 year starter/contributor that has really good tools. Explosive and fast, easy bender, that can both rush the passer an factor in coverage. Seems like a natural at both and his best days are ahead of him. He doesn’t make a physical impact on contact, not a powerful guy. Another year in school could make him a 1st rounder, while right now I see a 5th rounder.

Other Notables:

#9 WR Garrett Johnson – 5’11/175
#73 OT Kyle Meadows – 6’5/303
#68 OG Nick Haynes – 6’3/308
#70 OT Jordan Swindle – 6’7/313
#51 LB Courtney Love – 6’2/242

NORTHWESTERN

#9 TE Garrett Dickerson – 6’3/248

4th year senior, saw a spike in production in 2016. Has had a knack for making plays downfield and after the catch. Really interesting athlete that can sneak by guys. Foot speed and body control are a plus, but ball skills and hands have been inconsistent. 6th rounder.

#21 RB Justin Jackson – 5’11/193

4th year senior, has had a very productive career. Burst on to the scene as a freshman in 2014. 4 straight years of 1,000+ yards, but also 1,000+ career carries. I see a quality back with vision and instincts being his strengths but an inability to run through tacklers and break tackles Poor blocker. Just don’t see the presence of an NFL back, but I bet he makes a team with his plus-receiving ability 7th rounder. He will be at the Senior Bowl.

#1 DT Tyler Lancaster – 6’4/315

5th year senior. A ton of experience, team captain that coaches and teammates rave about. If you like enormous, long armed, big handed, country strong players this is your guy. He is going to put on a show at the combine with his bench press. He is functionally powerful as well, a major force inside. Can eat up space and make some plays at the point of attack. Not really a pass rusher but a reliable 2 down defender that will factor right away. 4th rounder, safe pick.

#16 S Godwin Igwebuike – 6’0/212

Fifth year senior, 3 year starter. Has been among the team’s leaders in tackles and interceptions since 2015. Some guys view him as a top tier, maybe top overall, safety in the class. I don’t see it because he has a hard time seeing things transpire before they do. Doesn’t forecast well. Fooled by playaction a lot, double routes kill him. He tackles well and shows excellent agility, but a safety needs the 6th sense. I say 4th/5th rounder.

#21 S Kyle Queiro – 6’2/221

Fifth year senior. Missed some time earlier in his career with an injury. Broke out in a big way in 2017, leading the team with 4 INTs. Has more upside than Igwebuike considering his frame and versatility. He can match up in man coverage against slot corners, has a better feel for the game. Right now I have him in round 5, but I am going to se more of him in the coming months and he has top 100 potential.

Other Notables:

#69 OC Brad North – 6’2/290
#15 WR Macan Wilson – 6’0/185

_____________________________________________________

USC

*#14 QB Sam Darnold – 6’4/225

Third year junior. Broke out in 2016, more in particular in the Rose Bowl against Penn State. Entered the year as the top prospect in the nation, everyone assumed he would be the guy the #1 overall team would take. That isn’t as clear now. Darnold had a rough year and if I am going to be honest, a really rough year. We already knew the arm strength, body, toughness, athletic ability…all of that was there. Darnold turned the ball over way too many times and looked terrible in the pocket for the majority of the year. Just a young kid trying to do too much. Trying to fit balls in to windows that didn’t exist, didn’t protect the ball with defenders around him. The chatter of his OL being poor is a weak argument. Darnold played poorly and there isn’t any way around it. There is a ways to go with him and maybe this ends up being a good thing for him, maybe it doesn’t. But I know this right now, I am nervous about drafting him that high.

*#25 RB Ronald Jones – 6’0/200

A few months ago I was under the impression there was no shot anyone would over take Saquon Barkley as the class’ top running back. Well, I still have him up there but Ronald Jones is making things difficult. Jones might be the most explosive, best moving back I’ve scouted in years. The former USC track athlete has the forward lean and top tier balance that make him a threat to reach his elite top speed in a blink. He leaves school as one of the top rushers in program history and is a 1st rounder in my book, maybe a top 10 talent.

*#80 WR Deontay Burnett – 6’0/175

Junior that hasn’t declared. If Darnold comes out, Burnett probably will too. His stock isn’t anything special right now, but his QB play will likely drop next year and he may not want to risk playing a year with lesser talent around him. He is very slight-framed, doesn’t have a ton of deep speed. He does move very well underneath, showing excellent slot potential. But can a guy under 180 pounds hack it physically? I prefer more strength potential. 3rd/4th rounder.

*#94 DT Rasheem Green – 6’4/275

Junior that hasn’t declared yet, I think he will. He stood out to me from week 1, a guy that looks like an NFL player on a college field. Just massive everywhere, has pro-caliber technique and movement. His ideal fit is 3-4 DE and I think he can be one of the best in the league. This is a guy that PIT or NE drafts and goes on to a stable and consistent 10 year career. Safe pick with big upside.

#42 OLB Uchenna Nwosu – 6’2/240

Fourth year senior, 2 year starter. Very active 3-4 OLB type that checks all the technique boxes. Excellent with his hands and leverage, wins a lot of 1 on 1 battles that way. He is a step too slow when it comes to pure edge rushing speed and doesn’t carry a ton of presence physically. I think 4th/5th rounder.

#98 DT Josh Fatu – 6’2/315

Senior that started off at junior college. Broke out in 2017, carries tremendous power and short area quickness. He can be a factor between the tackles. Actually had 6.5 sacks this year, didn’t see that coming but he is so good off the ball and after initial contact. I think he can be a 4th rounder that contributes early.

Other Notables:

#4 WR Steven Mitchell – 5’10/195
#74 OC Nico Falah – 6’4/285
#4 S Chris Hawkins – 5’11/190

OHIO STATE

#74 OT Jamarco Jones – 6’5/310

Senior, 2 year starter. He is the one guy I am targeting right now that can likely be had in round 2 that I think is a week 1 starter at LT in the NFL. If NYG doesn’t want to move forward with Flowers at that spot, Jones is interesting to me. Excellent footwork and hand placement, stays under control. Has some trouble sustaining in space and will be slow out of his stance at times. I like him.

#54 OC Billy Price – 6’4/312

Fifth year senior. Leader of the line, All American. Widely considered the best OC in the draft, maybe the top interior guy in the class behind Quenton Nelson. Coaches love this kid, as hard a worker as you will find and always gets the job done. Has plenty of experience at OG and OC. Gets a little sluggish in there, feet will get stuck. I would be a little worried with him at guard, but at OC I think he is plug and play.

*#21 WR Paris Campbell – 6’1/208

Undeclared junior. Raw but exciting player that would likely be a 1st rounder next year. Right now he is viewed more as a gamble, just hasn’t gotten a lot of looks. 52 career catches. Can really shoot out of a cannon and he tracks the ball exceptionally well.

#16 QB JT Barrett – 6’2/230

A lot of people like to overlook this kid. He isn’t among the top QBs in the class, not close, but as a late round shot in the dark he might be one of my favorite QBs. Has a ton of experience in big situations, has responded really well in the majority of them. Has a lot of work to do on his footwork but he reads the defense well, has mightily improved his throwing, and has shown to be very innovative. Barrett doesn’t project as a starter in the NFL right now, but he is very coachable, tough, and talented. For a day 3 pick, what more can you want?

*#12 CB Denzel Ward – 5’10/191

Undeclared junior. May have been the team’s 2nd best CB last year behind Lattimore, but a little overlooked because of tools-rich Gareon Conley. Ward is very good at playing the ball. A lot of PDs despite teams rarely throwing his way. Excellent slot defender, a growing role in the NFL. Doesn’t tackle well, but does make an impact on special teams as well.

#7 S Damon Webb – 5’11/195

Senior that has played CB and S. I am looking forward to studying him more. I often discuss the need for a safety to have the 6th sense, Webb has it. He is very smart and quick to react. Has true, legit sideline range from the CF spot. Size is a little bit of a worry for the position, doesn’t impact the game much as a tackler. When I talk about what the Giants need next to Landon Collins, Webb is it.

*#86 DT Dre’Mont Jones – 6’3/295

Third year sophomore. Scouts love this guy, upside through the roof. Hasn’t really put everything together yet but I bet if he comes out, he ends up being a top 45 pick. Has the NFL body right now and when he turns it on, rare athletic ability. A gamble because he hasn’t produced consistently yet.

#59 DE Tyuan Lewis – 6’4/266

5th year senior, a lot of experience. Powerful, has had NFL calibe strength and power for 2 years now. Led the team with 8 sacks in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Doesn’t have the initial explosion off the edge, but he can make up for it somewhat with what he does post engagement. Strong hands, aggressive nature, pursues hard. Projects as a starter or #3 guy that plays a lot.

*#6 DE Sam Hubbard – 6’5/265

Undeclared fourth year junior. Was tabbed as the next Joey Bosa, probably unfairly. He hasn’t reached anywhere near that level but the tools still excite me. Big and nimble, bends well, can play the hands game very well. The quick twitch and explosion are average though. I think he is a solid rotational guy in the NFL, safe pick, but a limited player.

#11 DE Jalyn Holmes – 6’5/274

Overlooked senior. Nick Bosa has made it tough for Holmes to get on the field a lot, but don’t take that as Holmes not being good. I think his potential is just as high as Hubbard and Lewis. Has the frame, has the moves, has the quick feet. He may be the most attractive DL on this team when it comes to long term progression.

#35 LB Chris Worley – 6’2/230

Senior with 2 years of starting experience. I’m not wild about him, kind of average across the board. Has played with more talent in front of him than maybe any LB in the country but still struggles to produce a lot. Weak contact as a tackler, speed is OK. Coverage OK.

Other Notables:

#85 TE Marcus Baugh – 6’5/250
#93 DT Tracy Sprinkle – 6’3/293

Dec 282017
 
Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers (March 1, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK GIANTS HIRE DAVE GETTLEMAN AS GENERAL MANAGER…
The New York Giants announced on Thursday that they have hired Dave Gettleman as the team’s general manager. Kevin Abrams had been serving as the Giants’ interim general manager since Jerry Reese was fired on December 4th.

The 66-year old Gettleman was the Giants’ pro personnel director (1999-2011) and senior pro personnel analyst (2012) before becoming the general manager of the Carolina Panthers (2013-2017). The Panthers fired Gettleman in July 2017.

The Giants only interviewed Gettleman and three other individuals for the position, including Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross, former Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles Director of Pro Personnel Louis Riddick, and Abrams, who was the team’s assistant general manager before serving as interim GM. Gettleman was interviewed by team President/CEO John Mara, Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch, and former general manager Ernie Accorsi last Wednesday. Accorsi served as a consultant to Mara and Tisch during the selection process.

“Given where we are as a team, we thought it was important to bring in someone with experience as a general manager and a proven track record,” Mara and Tisch said in a written statement. “Dave’s experience is unparalleled. He did an outstanding job as general manager in Carolina, and he was vital to our success during his tenure here. Dave is going to bring his own approach to our organization in how we draft and acquire players through free agency.”

Gettleman will be introduced to the media on Friday at an 11:15AM news conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck), wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (rib), and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger/back) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), offensive tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), and defensive end Avery Moss (hip) practiced on a limited basis.

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…
The New York Giants practice on Friday at 10:55AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media after practice.

Dec 272017
 
Eli Apple, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

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GIANTS SUSPEND ELI APPLE…
The New York Giants announced Wednesday afternoon that they have suspended cornerback Eli Apple for the final week of the team’s season, including the season finale against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Apple’s season is officially over.

“We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team,” said Interim General Manager Kevin Abrams.

Apple, the 10th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has had a troubled year both off the field (family issues and conflict with teammates) and on the field (injuries and being benched by the Giants).

On Tuesday, safety Landon Collins took a harsh shot at Apple during his weekly interview with ESPN Radio. “There’s only just one corner that… needs to grow, and we all know who that is,” said Collins. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and (Janoris Jenkins), I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. But that first pick… he’s a cancer.”

This was the continuation of an escalating feud between Collins and Apple that began two weeks ago when Collins originally defended Apple and said he had privately talked to Apple, offering him advice and counsel. Apple denied that Collins had done that, initiating a conflict inside the locker room (one press report saying Collins had to be restrained when confronting Apple) and publicly on Twitter. Last week on ESPN Radio, Collins said Apple needed to “grow up.”

On Wednesday, Collins tweeted, “I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday. I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I’m always here for him (100 percent).”

“Listen, I think Landon has already addressed what happened the other day,” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo after practice and before Apple was suspended. “Just real quickly – I love Landon. We had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli (Apple) and then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great. I’ll just leave it alone.”

For his part, Apple did not address the media on Wednesday other than to let them know he had to “take a shit” on his way to the bathroom. Shortly after that, Apple was suspended. The NFL Network is reporting that Apple’ suspension was “due in part to his refusal to take the field with the scout team” and that “he then got into it with a coach.”

GIANTS PLACE B.J. GOODSON ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker B.J. Goodson on Injured Reserve with a high ankle sprain that has nagged him much of the season. Goodson missed two games in September with a shin injury, returned to the starting lineup in October, but then missed six of his next eight games with the ankle issue. In all, Goodson started seven games and finished 2017 with 53 tackles, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

To fill that roster vacancy, the team signed wide receiver Marquis Bundy from the Practice Squad. The 6’4”, 215-pound Bundy was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Cardinals waived him in August 2017 and the Giants then signed him.

The Giants have also signed wide receiver Canaan Severin and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed the 6’2”, 205-pound Severin in August 2017 and waived him before the season started in September. Severin was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury. The Steelers waived him in August 2017.

Sokoli was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The 6’5”, 300-pound Sokoli has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Albanian-born player has played both on the offensive and defensive lines.

DAVIS WEBB PROMOTED…
With one game left in the 2017 regular season, Davis Webb has replaced Geno Smith as Eli Manning’s primary back-up at quarterback.

“Davis Webb will be the second quarterback going into this game,” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. “Having said that, that’s no reflection on Geno. Last week I told you all that we were going to try to get Davis Webb ready in case we could get him in the game. There’s no guarantees that we will get him in the game, but he will be the number two on Sunday.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck0, wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (rib), and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) did not practice on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), offensive tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), and defensive end Avery Moss (hip) practiced on a limited basis.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference on Wednesday 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 on Thursday at 11:35AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn, and select players will also address the media after practice.

Dec 272017
 
Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

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Arizona Cardinals 23 – New York Giants 0

QUARTERBACKS

  • Eli Manning: 27/45 – 263 yards – 0 TD/2 INT. Manning also lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. It was a rough day for Manning, as his 57.9 QB rating was his second lowest of the year. Manning’s footwork and release points were just simply off for the majority of the game. The NFL’s best defense over the past 2 months appeared to be in his head more than it should have been, as he was sidestepping pressure that wasn’t always there and rushing throws that he didn’t need to. His accuracy was an issue for almost the entire game.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Wayne Gallman: 10 att/18 yards – 6 rec/44 yards. There weren’t enough opportunities for Gallman to find his groove. They were playing from behind for the majority of the game and the fast, physical defensive front was too much for the Giants OL to handle. Seeing him take big hits week after week and getting right back up is a good sign. He has plenty of toughness and with another couple of years of NFL weight training, he can be our guy. His movement and vision are very good.
  • Orleans Darkwa: 6 att/10 yards. Darkwa didn’t have any luck against this defensive front, either. Darkwa has really disappeared in the second half of the season. He hasn’t averaged over 3 yards per carry since November 19 against the Chiefs. Bad hands, bad vision, won’t create much on his own.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Sterling Shepard: 5 rec/45 yards. Also had a drop on a poorly thrown, but catchable 3rd-down pass from Manning. After a career game last week, Shepard didn’t factor much before aggravating a neck injury that forced him to miss most of the 4th quarter. They tried sending him deep on a couple of occasions, but him and Manning just couldn’t connect. And Shepard isn’t a deep separation guy, doesn’t have that next gear.
  • Roger Lewis: 4 rec/40 yards. Lewis was the most targeted receiver of the day, getting 11 looks from Manning. He responded with his worst performance of the season. He had 3 drops and ran poor routes, struggling to gain separation on simple routes. Lewis is catching the ball with his body too often and has proven that despite more opportunity in 2017, he is a #5 WR at best. He did not take a jump up that totem pole this season.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Rhett Ellison: 4 rec/60 yards. With Engram going down early with a rib injury, Ellison saw a spike in playing time and targets. In my end of year review, I will discuss Ellison as one of the most underused players on this team. He responds well to his targets percentage wise as much as any pass catcher on this team and he has a way of always finding extra yards.
  • Jerrell Adams: 4 rec/31 yards. Adams also saw a spike in playing time and caught all of his targets. Adams is a slow-twitch athlete who doesn’t dominate as a blocker the way he should, but he has done well in his limited opportunities as well. The tight end position appears to be set for the next few years.
  • Evan Engram: 1 rec/12 yards. Went down with a rib injury early, sat out the rest of the game and will likely sit next week. Capped an outstanding rookie season.

OFFENSIVE LINE

  • Tackles: Ereck Flowers went backwards, especially in the 2nd half. He had a terrible series, allowing 1 pressure and 2 holds within one drive. He had 2 other pressures in addition, struggling to stick with stunts and late movement. His game seemed off in comparison to what we have seen over the past 3 months. He needs to finish strong, because that LT spot is far from securely his. Bobby Hart allowed 2 pressures and a sack. Not much needs to be said here; he is not a starting caliber OL in this league and I’m not sure he backup caliber, either.
  • Interior: Brett Jones had another below average performance, as did Jon Halapio. They were unable to hold the point-of-attack or lock on to their respective defenders. John Jerry allowed a TFL and 1 pressure, but graded out as the top OL in this game with a mark right at the average point. He isn’t a guy who played bad enough to lose his job but he also isn’t a guy who played well enough to keep it heading in to the 2018 offseason.

DEFENSIVE LINE

  • Tackles: Damon Harrison continued his All-Pro caliber play. I don’t spend much time even looking at the Pro Bowl rosters, but I will say it again, there is not a better DT in the NFL. He had 2 TFL, 2 pressures, and continued to make plays sideline to sideline. His impact within the tackle box is as dominant as any player in the league at their respective position. Dalvin Tomlinson was quiet, but also effective at controlling the inside gaps. Jay Bromley did record a TFL, but he led the DL in negative plays mainly from him getting pushed back 2+ yards multiple times.
  • Ends: A very solid performance from the starting duo. One thing that can be tough to do is take the previous disappointments and not let them impact the current evaluation. Jason Pierre-Paul has been the most underperforming player on this 2017 team, but he was very disruptive in this game. Blowing up tight ends and tackles at the point-of-attack and finishing with 4 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 pressures. Olivier Vernon added a sack/fumble of his own along with a pressure and 3 tackles.

LINEBACKERS

  • Kelvin Sheppard led the team with 9 tackles. More of the same with him, solid play between the tackles with a lot of physical presence behind his hits, but anything in to space and he gets exposed badly.
  • This was the first extended look I got at the newly signed Ray-Ray Armstrong. He played 40% of the team’s snaps and flashed some of the athleticism and power this LB corps has lacked for a long time. He still doesn’t look like a natural linebacker out there, showing hesitation on his reads and too many recovery steps.

CORNERBACKS

  • Ross Cockrell continues to show he deserves a long term spot on this team, meaning he needs to be on this team in 2018. He brought in 2 interceptions, both of which he showed excellent body control and ball skills, 1 of which was in the end zone. This will be one of the major positives that comes out of the 2017 season; he has played exceptionally well and has steadily improved with the more playing time he got.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has impressed me. Not necessarily in that his level of play has been what it used to, although he has been more than solid, but in his constant hustle, leadership and effort. After his suspension earlier in the year, I thought this was going to end ugly in NY for him, but he plays as hard as anyone on this team.
  • Brandon Dixon went through some growing pains in this one, being outclassed by Larry Fitzgerald on multiple occasions. Outclassed to the point that on double routes, Dixon couldn’t stay within 4-5 yards of him. He allowed a touchdown to Fitzgerald and John Brown.

SAFETIES

  • After one of his most physical tackles of the year, Landon Collins went down with a broken arm which will end his season. He had a good, but far from great, season. Collins needs to be used carefully, because there is a lot he simply cannot do in coverage.
  • Andrew Adams received more playing time via the Collins injury, and he did not respond well. The sixth sense I talk about when looking at safeties is something he just doesn’t have. Far too many times he is dropping into zone coverage unaware of who and what is around him. He also missed 2 tackles. Darian Thompson had 4 tackles and picked up deep routes well, although he wasn’t challenged much.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Aldrick Rosas: 0/1. Rosas missed his lone opportunity of the day, a 33-yard attempt that sailed wide left.
  • Brad Wing: 6 Punts – 43.8 avg – 39.0 net. Wing suffered an ankle injury on an uncalled roughing the kicker penalty.

3 STUDS

  • DT Damon Harrison, CB Ross Cockrell, DE Jason Pierre-Paul

3 DUDS

  • OC Brett Jones, WR Roger Lewis, OG Jon Halapio

3 THOUGHTS ON ARI

  • This team is built to win a lot of games right now, if only they had an accomplished QB who can stay on the field and throw the ball down field with success. Yes, Eli Manning would be an ideal fit for that team while they groom a long-term answer. The defense is top 5 in the NFL and is loaded with young talent who will be around for the next few years. If Manning doesn’t shake free, this would be an ideal landing spot for Kirk Cousins.
  • Larry Fitzgerald is not a veteran WR who should hang it up. He is one of the top WRs in the game and I place him right under the Jones/Brown/Beckham tier. How he runs routes, catches the ball with his hands, and controls his body is something every young WR should study. He does everything at a high level and continues to work hard to improve, not just sustain, his skill set. He has multiple years left, no doubt.
  • Bruce Arians has always been one of my favorite coaches since his days as an OC in Pittsburgh. He has a sense of realness to him, but still a guy who grown men playing in the NFL will fear. He is a guy who I would take in NY right now if he were to ever get out of ARI. He gets the most out of his players, especially QBs.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

  • These games are painful and there are certain players you can’t get a fair evaluation on. Manning played poorly, made some mistakes a veteran like him should not make. But can we consider who he is throwing the ball to? And the line that is blocking in front of him? I wouldn’t call them excuses, but it has to be considered when trying to figure out if he should still be the guy moving forward. I am on record as saying that I think this team can still win with Manning but that doesn’t mean I would look past QB at #2 overall.
  • The Landon Collins/Eli Apple saga is going too far now. Collins shouldn’t be saying what he is saying to the media, the whole cancer comment was a bit too much. At this point, with how public the team’s distaste for Apple is, the trade value couldn’t be lower. So with that said, they may be forced in to keeping him another year and hoping he grows up and/or gets stimulated with the new coaching staff.
  • At this point, there is still a possibility 1 or 2 OT’s can be in the running for the #2 overall pick. Has Ereck Flowers proven he deserves to be the guy there? Or do you take his skill set and move it to RT and draft Connor Williams (Texas) or Brian O’Neill (Pittsburgh)? If Manning is going to play out this contract, the OL may have to become priority A and B this offseason and if a new shiny rookie can hack it at LT, Pugh comes back strong, and Flowers sustains this level of play at RT, we have something to work with – something much better than what we have seen in recent years. At this point, anything is and should be considered possible.
Dec 262017
 
Landon Collins, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports

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GIANTS PLACE LANDON COLLINS ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed safety Landon Collins on Injured Reserve. Collins fractured his forearm in the second quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Collins finished 2017 as the team’s leading tackler with 104 tackles. He also had six pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.

To fill that roster vacancy, the Giants signed linebacker Derrick Mathews to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 232-pound Mathews was originally signed to the Practice Squad of the Washington Redskins in November 2015 as an undrafted rookie free agent. Mathews was signed by the Green Bay Packers in August 2016 and spent parts of 2016 and 2017 on the their Practice Squad. The Giants signed him to their Practice Squad earlier this month.

NOTES…
The Giants have set a franchise single-season record for losses. The previous mark of 12 defeats was set in 1966 (1-12-1), 1974 (2-12), 1980 (4-12), 1983 (3-12-1), and 2003 (4-12).

The Giants finished 1-7 on the road, their worst record in a non-strike season since 1978, when they were also 1-7.

The Giants fell to 0-11 in games vs. NFC opponents for the first time in their history.

Quarterback Eli Manning has increased his career yardage total to 51,550 yards. That moved him past Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) and into sixth place on the NFL’s all-time list.

Cornerback Ross Cockrell’s two interceptions were the first picks by a New York Giant since November 23rd.

Place kicker Aldrick Rosas is the first Giants kicker to miss at least seven field goal attempts in a season since Jay Feely in 2005.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for the season-finale against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Dec 242017
 

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ARIZONA CARDINALS 23 – NEW YORK GIANTS 0…
The New York Giants were embarrassed by the sub-.500 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, being shut out 23-0. With the loss, the Giants fell to 2-13 on the season. No other team in the New York Giants’ 93-year history has ever had 13 defeats. The Giants are also 0-11 against NFC opponents.

How bad was the Giants’ offense?

  • 12 first downs
  • 1-of-14 on 3rd down
  • 1-of-4 on 4th down
  • 293 total net yards
  • 43 net yards rushing
  • 3 turnovers by the quarterback Eli Manning, including a fumble returned for touchdown
  • 0 points

The Giants had 14 possessions. The results:

  • One missed 33-yard field goal
  • Six punts
  • Three turnovers on downs
  • Three turnovers
  • End of game after one play

New York’s longest offensive “drive” was 45 yards and only two other possessions gained more than 30 yards.

The Giants’ defense was more respectable, surrendering just 289 total net yards (74 rushing, 215 passing) and 19 first downs. Cornerback Ross Cockrell also picked off two passes in the second half. But the Cardinals’ offense managed three scoring drives:

  • 9 plays, 46yards for a field goal in the 1st quarter
  • 9 plays, 79 yards for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter
  • 11 plays, 75 yards for a touchdown to start the 3rd quarter

With cornerback Eli Apple benched, reserve corner Brandon Dixon had issues covering wideout Larry Fitzgerald, who caught nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), quarterback Davis Webb, wide receiver Kalif Raymond, offensive lineman Damien Mama, defensive end Avery Moss, and defensive end Romeo Okwara.

Tight end Evan Engram (ribs), safety Landon Collins (fractured forearm), and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck) all left the game with injuries and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Monday and Tuesday. The team returns to practice on Wednesday in preparation for the season-finale against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.