Aug 312021
 
Shane Lemieux, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

Shane Lemieux – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 31, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – SHANE LEMIEUX HAS PARTIALLY-TORN TENDON…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey

CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) is on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR John Ross (hamstring?), TE Evan Engram (calf), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), and CB Josh Jackson (unknown) did not practice on Tuesday. 

When Head Coach Joe Judge was asked for an update on Engram, he responded, “To be honest with you, we’ll kind of see in the next couple of days where we think this could go. We’re only a few days out right now, he’s a guy that’s shown some quick turnaround in the past. Last year he had something very similar, so we’ll see where this is. It’s not the same injury as before, but we’ll see how his body responds, make decision for him and the team.”

When asked if he will be available for Week 1, Judge replied, “I really couldn’t give you an answer to that right now. It’s very much a gray area right now in terms of where he’s going to be going. I’ll kind of give him a couple more days, see where he’s at, see how he progresses, see if we move around a little bit, we’ll kind of make a decision from there.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (foot/ankle), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring?), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), and OG Shane Lemieux (knee) did participate in practice.

However, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury Lemieux suffered early in training camp is in fact a partially-torn patellar tendon. The Athletic is also reporting that the current plan is to have Lemieux attempt to play though the injury without surgery.

Judge was asked about Lemieux today before practice. “I’d say these next few days will tell a lot,” said Judge. “I don’t think we’re going to see anything today that’s going to really push one way or the other on that. He’s been trending the right direction, he’s had some good work. Obviously, we kept him behind when we went to New England to work with the trainers. That was a positive week for him. Tomorrow and Thursday will kind of be big tells for us in terms of going in that Week 1, maybe what we can expect to see.”

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Wednesday afternoon (2:15-4:00PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Aug 312021
 
Ben Bredeson, Baltimore Ravens (August 28, 2021)

Ben Bredeson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TRADE FOR BEN BREDESON…
The New York Giants have acquired by trade offensive guard Ben Bredeson from the Baltimore Ravens. In return for the Giants’ 4th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants received Bredeson and the Ravens’ 5th-round selection in 2022 (acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs) and 7th-round selection in 2023.

Ravens Receive:
Giants 4th-round 2022 Selection

Giants Receive:
Ben Bredeson
Ravens 5th-round 2022 Selection (from Chiefs)
Ravens 7th-round 2023 Selection

The 23-year old, 6’5”, 315-pound Bredeson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He played in 10 games with no starts as a rookie.

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Tuesday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 27 roster moves:

Remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List:

  • CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)

Placed on Injured Reserve:

  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • OG Ted Larsen

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • RB Corey Clement
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR David Sills
  • WR Matt Cole
  • WR Damion Willis
  • TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart
  • TE Jake Hausmann
  • OC Jonotthan Harrison
  • OC Brett Heggie
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • OL Chad Slade
  • OL Jake Burton
  • OL Jackson Barton
  • DL David Moa
  • DL Elijah Qualls
  • DL Willie Henry
  • LB Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • LB Devante Downs
  • LB Ryan Anderson
  • LB Niko Lalos
  • CB Madre Harper
  • S Chris Johnson
  • S Jordyn Peters
  • LS Casey Kreiter

According to the team’s press release, Kreiter will be re-signed.

Aug 312021
 
Kaden Smith, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Kaden Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

The preseason finale (yes, 2 weeks prior to the start of the season rather than 1) was a home matchup against the New England Patriots. Throughout my short lifetime of being a Giants fan relative to many of you, the exhibition game against the Pats has always meant we are right around the corner from week one. After 2 losses, NYG was looking to come out on the winning end of this one, as their starters on both sides of the ball were planning to play at least through the first half.

Daniel Jones, entering the vital-third year, was forced off the field after a third down that saw him sacked by NE edge rusher Josh Uche. The sack was allowed by Andrew Thomas, who had trouble sealing the edge all night. Cam Newton and the NE offense started near midfield after a poor punt before gaining 31 yards on 4 plays, three of which were on the ground. Consecutive incomplete passes brought kicker Nick Folk onto the field for a 41-yard field goal, which he made.

NYG had a bit more flow on their second drive with a solid 1st-down, play-action pass pick up of 13 yards and a 3rd-and-1 conversion by running back Devontae Booker. They crossed midfield before converting a 4th-and-1 by sending power back Elijhaa Penny up the middle. They shot themselves in the foot again, however, allowing a dual-outside sack by the tackles and a drop by Darius Slayton on a 3rd-and-13. NYG had to punt again.

After a solid punt that pinned NE inside their own 5-yard line, Newton was intercepted by linebacker and defensive leader Blake Martinez. It was a slight underthrow to Jakobi Meyers but he managed to get both hands on the ball. It was a brilliant, impressive play by the linebacker that resulted from him sticking with the receiver down the field. Good linebackers know that you just need to be near the action and good things will eventually bounce your way. NYG now had 1st-and-10 near the NE 40-yard line for the second time in as many drives. It took them 9 plays, including two 3rd-down conversions, to reach the 1-yard line. A failed run up the middle and then a horrific interception by Jones left 0 points on the board. 0 points came from two 1st-and-10s near the NE 40-yard line.

NE rookie quarterback Mac Jones came in and led a drive into field goal range, largely helped by a defensive holding penalty by cornerback James Bradberry. Quinn Nordin nailed a 48-yarder to make the score 6-0. How would the anemic starting offense respond? They failed to reach midfield after starting at their own 31-yard line. An Andrew Thomas holding penalty and a near-interception by Jones really brought the vibe down. The NE offense went 3-and-out on the next drive, however, as the backup offensive line was now protecting the rookie Jones.

Once again, NYG began with good field position, just 8 yards shy of midfield. They went into a 2-minute offense and Jones completed 6 straight attempts for an average gain of 5+ yards per. With just 30 seconds left, he threw his best ball of the night, a 23-yard touchdown that was put in the best possible spot for Kaden Smith to haul in despite minimal separation from the defender. NYG carried a 7-6 lead into halftime.

Backups filled the field for the second half, although there was plenty to still watch. NE first- and second-year skill players took care of business right away, marching down the field for a touchdown that ended with a throw from Jones to receiver Isaiah Zuber. They went for two to lengthen their lead to 7, but it failed. NE led 12-7. NYG, led by backup Mike Glennon, went 3-and-out just to watch the NE offense put another score on the board to make it 19-7.

Glennon’s second drive of the night had much more rhythm and success to it. He hit Alex Bachman for a 21-yard pickup but three straight incompletions forced NYG to go for a field goal. Graham Gano, who missed just one attempt in 2020, went wide right from 41 yards to keep the score at 19-7. Mac Jones then ended his night with a poor drive, holding onto the ball for too long, resulting in 2 sacks before punting back to NYG.

The Giants’ running game started to heat up at this point. Corey Clement and Penny combined for 46 yards in addition to a 15-yard face mask penalty by NE defensive lineman Montravius Adams. Glennon then hit Bachman for a 12-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-6 with Gano following it up with an extra point to make it 19-14 with 13:00 left. Brian Hoyer, one of the best backups in the league from a play + presence perspective, dinked and dunked his way down the field on a time consuming 12-play drive that put another 3 points on the board for NE.

The NE pass rush was all over Glennon on the next drive and they were forced to punt the ball back with under 4 minutes left, down by 8. NE gained a couple first downs and in typical preseason fashion, opted to start taking a knee just a tad early. Joe Judge wasn’t having it. He used his timeouts to get the ball back with under 30 seconds left following a missed 54-yard field goal attempt, setting them up near midfield again.

Glennon chucked a borderline-desperation pass into the end zone from midfield and a receiver that keeps making splash plays, Damion Willis (a former starter in this league), came down with the touchdown catch. NYG was within 2 with mere seconds left on the clock. Even though there is no overtime in preseason, it was still intriguing to watch this offense go for two. Glennon slightly rushed his 50/50 ball to Dante Pettis, preventing his target from being able to high point the ball, and the pass fell incomplete.

NYG loses, 22-20.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 17/22 – 135 yards / 1 TD / 1 INT and 1 att / 4 yards

This was the first time we saw Jones in live game action. He will go into the third year, the T in the road of his career, having played 40 snaps before Week 1 against a very good defense. I still disagree with the approach but won’t touch on it anymore. Jones was forced into making a lot of throws underneath. The pressure was at his feet in a hurry and the NE defense dropped a lot of defenders into zone. He did a nice job of checking down and threw an accurate ball. The black eye of the night was a rookie-type interception on 3rd-and-goal from the 1, running to the outside while throwing back inside. His touchdown to Smith, however, was a great downfield throw with elite touch and placement. Jones can excel when throwing vertical, I am confident there. The question is, will he program himself and will the play-calling allow for more shots.

RUNNING BACK

-Elijhaa Penny continued his surge this preseason. The no-nonsense, north-south runner gained 35 yards on just 4 carries. He ends the 3-game run with 53 yards on 7 carries. We can’t get excited about such a small sample size, especially from preseason, but he proved he deserves a shot to be the short yardage guy or at least get a few looks in those situations.

-Roster hopeful Corey Clement gained 24 yards and Devontae Booker, potentially the Week 1 starter, combined for 38 yards on 11 carries. The one standout here was rookie Gary Brightwell. The former wide receiver had 20 yards on 3 catches and added 10 more yards on the ground. He was on the field with the ones, in front of Clement. I thought that was interesting and it is another reason why I think Clement may have a hard time making the 53 (I am writing this early Tuesday morning).

WIDE RECEIVER

-Sterling Shepard, who has averaged 10 yards per catch over the past 2 years (22 games played + 10 games missed), led the team with 5 receptions. They only accrued 42 yards (8.4 per). I bring the numbers up because he is likely going to be the most targeted player on this offense in the passing game. He is making $9 million this year, $10.5 in 2022, $11.5 in 2023. For an offense that needs to make bigger plays in the passing game, it is hard to see that kind of money going to a guy who won’t make big plays. I love the player, I love the route running and aggression after the catch, both of which showed up in this game. However, I question what he can do outside of the short window and then I ask myself if a player like that is worth top 5-7 money on this team. Something to look at this year.

-Darius Slayton had 1 catch for 6 yards and dropped a 3rd-down pass. He was also flagged for offensive pass interference. Dante Pettis was the one who came on the field once Slayton tweaked a foot injury (again). He had 1 catch for 8 yards and I charged him with a drop as well, although it was a tough one to bring in. It was interesting to me that he seemed ahead of David Sills on the depth chart. Sills had 1 catch for 14 yards where a defender was all over him. Once again, solid ball skills but he struggled to get open.

-Alex Bachman had 2 catches for 33 yards and a score. He also dropped one, his second of the preseason. Damion Willis made 2 big-time plays in the 4th quarter as NYG mounted their comeback. He finished with 70 yards on 3 catches and keeps making plays when the opportunities are put in front of him. I think he deserves a shot.

TIGHT END

-The story of the night will be Evan Engram. Judging by the look of how the injury went down, I would expect him to miss a few weeks. By the time this review gets posted, we should know more. Anyway, the writing will be on the wall for Engram if he misses more time. Hard time catching the ball, hard time staying on the field, below average blocker in an offense that needs to focus on running the ball. This makes the position group look mighty thin if he ends up being out.

-Kaden Smith, who went scoreless in 2020, brought in a touchdown catch for 23 yards. It was a high-level catch. He blocked well but did allow a TFL on a bizarre play call. He struggles to really hold the point against defensive linemen.

-If NYG loses Engram for some time, the waiver wire could be the route they take but Nakia Griffin-Stewart looks interesting to me. Perhaps as a PS guy at first, though. He had 3 catches for 30 yards and plays a physical brand. He showed angry, violent hands as a blocker. He plays like he wants it.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-Really poor night by the two young tackles, especially Andrew Thomas. He played 40 snaps (just over half of what you would see on a normal Sunday), and allowed 1 sack, 1 pressure, and was flagged for a hold. He looked like he lacked confidence in his outside foot, as he wouldn’t reach and plant with any sort of anchor. His outside shoulder looked soft. Carl Banks (who I respect a ton), noted he looked afraid of losing inside. I disagree. He looked like he didn’t have the confidence in his footwork and overall lower body strength to anchor himself into the ground. Matt Peart allowed a pressure and was flagged for a false start. Both were solid in the run game, however. Really good movement off the ball.

-Will Hernandez is one of the winners of the preseason. This was the best I’ve seen him (albeit just one half of football). He looks much more fluid and active with both his feet and hands. If NYG can have that RG spot locked in, it is a huge benefit when considering the questions marks up front. Nick Gates played well in the running game but did allow a pressure. He was late to see a twist. This was a solid NE front they were up against, and both played well.

-Ted Larsen got the start at left guard and he struggled. He allowed a TFL and a sack before injuring his left leg when he got rolled up on. Kenny Wiggins came in and continued to struggle, allowing a pressure and TFL. The team traded for Billy Price and I will touch on that below.

-Nate Solder looks very lean and a little quicker. He started at RT, and I think that is what we will see early on but with a few rotations per game. Solder gets off the ball well, but he isn’t sustaining good contact. There are balance issues, and he just doesn’t stay square to his man. He isn’t powerful enough on the move and it will cause issues weekly. He allowed a sack.

-Jackson Barton looked much better at left tackle than what I have seen the previous 2 weeks. I also liked Chad Slade at right guard next to Peart. I think he is better inside where he can think more about power and violence.

EDGE

-Nice to see Lorenzo Carter on the field. After watching the group of edge rushers on this team over the first 2 weeks, it is easy to see how advanced Carter is in comparison. More twitch, more pop on contact, faster decision making. He finished with 2 tackles and a sack.

-Azeez Ojulari and Oshane Ximines are likely going to split snaps opposite of Carter. They should lean more toward Ojulari in my opinion, as he looks better against the run, and he simply plays faster. Both finished with a pressure.

-Trent Harris finished with a sack and 3 tackles while Ryan Anderson, who will start the season suspended because of PEDs, nearly came up with a sack as well. At the time of this writing, I think both will end up on the 53-man roster. They won’t ever be reliable every down guys but they offer a niche respectively. Harris has pop and explosion in addition to an aggressive style. Anderson is powerful and stout. There are roles for both.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-B.J. Hill didn’t play, as he was a part of a trade to CIN that I will discuss below. Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Johnson, and Austin Johnson were the starters, all of whom played under half of the team’s snaps. Lawrence bull-rushed his way into a sack but was also flagged for a defensive hold on a screen.

-The trade of Hill will open a door for both Raymond Johnson III and possibly Willie Henry. Both had yet another active game, with the latter finishing with a pressure, a sack, and a pass break up, and the former added another pressure. I’m not sure what their roster status will be as of this writing, but I bet we see them on the field at some point. Let’s see if they can do it against starters.

-David Moa truly has done everything he could to make this team and maybe even carve out a weekly role. He is active and has shown surprising pass rush capability. There was an ugly 3rd-down run where he got pushed back 5+ yards, however.

LINEBACKER

-Play of the night by Blake Martinez on an interception in the first half. Man, it feels good to have a true general who can make an impact all three downs in the middle. Best linebacker they’ve had since Antonio Pierce and I mean that. He also had a pressure.

-Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland will likely split snaps next to Martinez. I hope they lean hard toward the former. Crowder had a TFL and just shows week-to-week how much more speed he has on the field. Ragland is a thumper and may see snaps here and there, but he is best suited for specific roles and situations.

-Devante Downs has a trade market? News to me. I haven’t heard anything there at all. He finished with 6 tackles in this one, including one on special teams. He excels at straight-ahead, physical play, but he misses too many tackles and can’t cover.

CORNERBACK

-James Bradberry was flagged for a hold on a third down. Otherwise, I liked what I saw of the true, credible number one corner. He easily turns and runs down the field with speed and shows good control out of his breaks.

-Adoree’ Jackson was out with an ankle injury, thus we saw Darnay Holmes start. He shifted inside on nickel and rookie Rodarius Williams came on the field. The 6th rounder led the team in snaps this preseason and I think we should be ready to see a lot of him early in the season. You know he will be tested often. He was up and down this preseason, but he has a really nice blend of tools. Can he think and react fast? Can he get used to not grabbing? We will see.

-Sam Beal played a solid game. He played physically against the run after a poor effort against the Browns in preseason game #2. He had a TFL on a 2-point conversion and was solid in catch-up coverage. I just see too many losses at the point-of-attack for my liking.

-Madre Harper was picked on for the third week in a row. He just doesn’t have it mentally. There is some impressive size and speed there, but he isn’t a pro corner. He just isn’t.

SAFETY

-We got to see the full gambit of how this team will use the abundance of talent they have at safety. This is one thing I feel really good about. Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Julian Love, and Xavier McKinney all got on the field in a rotational manner. I love what they offer when it comes to versatility and hustle. Love has had a nice preseason, capping it off with a nice 3rd-down PD.

-Jordyn Peters had an awful game. He was beat on a touchdown pass where he was late to the seam route and then was barreled over on a touchdown run later. I can’t see any situation where he makes this team, but he is new to the position and could be worth a PS spot.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-Graham Gano: 0/1 (missed 41) – 2/2 XP
-P Riley Dixon: 5 punts / 43.0 avg / 33.4 net

3 STUDS

-OG Will Hernandez, WR Damion Willis, LB Blake Martinez

3 DUDS

-CB Madre Harper, OG Ted Larsen, S Jordyn Peters

3 THOUGHTS ON NE

Man, I could write a book on my admiration for how NE builds their roster year in, year out. I won’t because I know nobody wants to read that. But just in short, they excel at finding players to help their plan in every possible facet. The 2021 offseason was the most aggressive I have ever seen them in free agency by a wide, wide margin. They did it because their other strategies weren’t working. They didn’t fold, they didn’t double down. They quickly altered their approach and added talent to a team that had the second-most injured roster in 2020 (including Covid opt outs). They are so good at this stuff.

As I write this, Cam Newton being released just came across the ticker. I promise, I’m not even a little surprised. I said it last year: He simply looks done. Will he get scooped up? Perhaps, but keep in mind you really have to change the offense around him for that. Maybe BAL takes a look in a backup role? I don’t see the upside with him. We may have seen the last of the 2015 league MVP.

How far will NE go? After years and years of automatic bids into the postseason, they are in the tier of a dozen (if not more) teams. If things break right, they can win 10-11 games. If things break wrong, they’ll win 6-7. They have a really tough schedule from a rest perspective, and they have a lot of really good offenses they’ll have to defend. Mac Jones can play; I think we saw enough in college and preseason to confirm that. But “play” and trying to score 22+ points per week don’t always coincide. I think they will be in the playoff hunt, but they may be too easy to defend without a deep threat. Maybe someone emerges there or maybe running back J.J. Taylor breaks out into a big-time playmaker (yes, that is very possible). But the likes of Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, and Nelson Agholor won’t scare anybody. I’m calling for 8-9 or 9-8.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I want to offer a few thoughts on the B.J. Hill vs Billy Price trade. Again, I will try to keep it short. Hill is a quality defensive lineman who could make almost every roster in the league. I can only think of maybe 3 or 4 where he would be cut. He can offer something against both the run and pass. He is limited though, and he didn’t play a ton last year. This defense isn’t the ideal fit for him. I think some had an inflated outlook on him because in 5.5 sacks in 2018. He has had 2 since. He has had 2 TFL in the running game since. In 32 games. That isn’t good. Billy Price on the other hand, hasn’t been good either. He has been a horrific pass blocker, but a very solid run blocker. That doesn’t solve the issue with the NYG offensive line fully, but I do view him as an upgrade over what NYG has tried along the interior this year. Wiggins, Larsen, Fulton, Looney, Harrison….etc. They aren’t going to get it done. Price has seen his fair share of injuries (pec and foot), he has been moved back and forth between OG and OC, and the CIN offensive line coaches they’ve had are not highly regarded to say the least. NYG isn’t going anywhere without a better starting group than what they’ve had along the OL or more adequate depth. Is Price better than the names I mentioned above? Yes. He played well end of 2020 and this preseason. Could he crack the starting lineup by mid-year? Yes. All in all, this was a move that may or may not help this offensive line, the black hole of this franchise. It will not hurt the DL one bit, in my opinion. Worth the gamble.

Roster cuts from around the league will start pouring in as, and after, I send this review in. Don’t make any final judgements on the 53-man roster until the weekend is my suggestion. A lot will happen between now and then. The one group I would like to see NYG add to is tight end. Rudolph and Smith are fine, but if Engram goes down, I want another guy here who can be trusted to block. This passing game may need an extra body in there to help on the outside. Another place I would look is linebacker. If a guy with speed gets cut loose, I may want to start a Downs-type experiment over. Meaning, hope to get lucky off another team’s trash. Downs doesn’t have it.

As we enter the 2021 season in decent shape health wise, it is time to really turn on what we think will happen this year. I may get another post out there next week, but I think this team is actually similar to what we will see out of NE. If things break right (Jones + the OL turn it up a couple levels), we could see 10 wins. It would be on the heels of this defense though. They have a shot at being a top 10, maybe even top-7 unit. The pass rush is what concerns me, but I trust Graham to manufacture pressure when needed if the outside guys can’t get it done. Can the offense be “good enough?” They won’t get away with scoring 15-19 points per. They won’t get away with low red zone scoring percentages. Even if the NYG defense ends up doing well, they need to score 22+ per game to have a shot at 10 wins. If it gets ugly, you’re looking at 6-7 wins and a new quarterback in 2022.

Aug 302021
 
Billy Price, Cincinnati Bengals (November 15, 2020)

Billy Price – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS TRADE B.J. HILL TO BENGALS FOR BILLY PRICE…
The New York Giants have traded defensive lineman B.J. Hill and a conditional 7th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for center/guard Billy Price.

The 26-year old, 6’4”, 310-pound Price was originally drafted by the Bengals in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Price has played in 42 regular-season games, starting 19. Ten of those starts came at center as a rookie in 2018, when he also missed six games due to a foot injury. Price started eight games in 2019 (seven at left guard and one at right guard). He only started one game (at center) in 2020.

The Giants drafted Hill in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his third NFL season in 2020, Hill continued to see his playing time decline. He played in all 16 games with no starts, playing 34 percent of all defensive snaps (down from 59 percent in 2018 and 44 percent in 2019). Hill was credited with 32 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, three quarterback hits, and one pass defense.

AUGUST 30, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 22-20 loss to the New England Patriots and preparations for the start of the 2021 regular season:

Q: To start with injuries, anything on (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton and (Tight End) Evan Engram, and anybody else of note who came out of that game banged up?

A: A couple nicks and bumps, kind of normal after-game stuff. In terms of Darius, we’ll have to see how he moves around the field this week as far as going forward. The trainers don’t have a ton of information right now, but we should be able to get him out there this week and be able to take a look at him. In terms of Evan, he’s still going to see a doctor, they’re going to look at some things and kind of measure the severity of whatever it may be. Obviously, (we’re) two weeks out. It leaves a little bit of a different window than it normally would be in the preseason track as far as getting ready for the opener, so we’ll have to see where he’s at in terms of how we manage him.

Q: Why didn’t (Defensive Lineman) B.J. Hill play last night?

A: Actually, we’ve talked to B.J. I’m not going to go through all the details of it, but B.J. will be part of a trade. Until the details are final, I’m not going to go into what club or who’s coming back for him, but B.J.’s been informed, we’ve spoken to him. Look, it was a position where – honestly, he’s a guy who has drawn a lot of interest. I have a lot of respect for B.J. as a player. I think he’s a starting defensive lineman in this league. He’s in a unique position in the room he’s in. He’s in the last year of his contract and I think this is an opportunity to improve our team, and also put a player that we have a lot of respect for in a position to go out there and get paid starter money. It’s something that I think works out for both parties very well. We appreciate what B.J. did. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, a lot of respect for him as a player. I wish him the best of luck going forward.

Q: At that position, depth at defensive line, what have you thought of (Defensive Lineman) Raymond Johnson’s (III) summer? It seems like he’s a young player who has shown some things.

A: I think it’s exactly what you just said there, he’s a young player who’s got potential and demonstrates an ability. We thought before he’s shown some stuff in the pass rush. He’s obviously learning how to play the run as a young player, but he’s definitely got some ability. He’s definitely got some potential to develop and he’s a guy that we’ll evaluate over these next couple days in terms of our roster makeup and where he fits. But he’s a guy who’s got some potential to have a career in this league.

Q: I know you’ve had a chance to watch the film. I’m curious what you thought about the offensive line’s performance last night and especially if you’re concerned at all about how (Tackle) Andrew Thomas played as we head into the season.

A: I think there’s a lot of things that factor in together. Like I said last night, it’s never one person’s deal, a lot of things tie in together. It’s all 11 working on execution, so we’ve got to make sure as all 11 we execute. In terms of the offensive line, I saw some things that were very encouraging and obviously things we’ve talked through as a staff that we’ve got to make sure we focus on and really improve these next two weeks going forward to give our team an opportunity. Look, saw a quality front. We’ve seen a lot of looks these last couple weeks from Cleveland and New England. A lot of encouraging things to build on with what these guys have been doing. We’re building for fundamental discipline and consistency across the board with all the players at all positions, but obviously with the offensive linemen, works by operating as a unit going forward and continuing on with the chemistry – whether it’s five, six, seven, eight guys that rotate through those positions and play going forward.

Q: How much does the IR rule changing factor into your decision-making this week? Where basically you can take as many guys as you want off and it’s three weeks and not longer?

A: I’d say that’s a tremendous change compared to years in the past, it really is. The ability to kind of get certain guys back in a few weeks and not only have to declare whether it’s one or two guys coming back. I’d say compared to previous years with the rule change, it’s pretty significant.

Q: Considering the number of guys that have missed time so far and where you are with injuries, the new injury to Evan and all of that, how ready do you feel entering the season?

A: We have two weeks to get ready for Denver. Our focus really is on ourselves and getting polished up and building chemistry and getting going. This time of year, there’s obviously a lot of roster movement on our roster and others, guys being added, guys being (let go). Things of that nature always happen. We’ve just got to get the guys who are available ready to play. In terms of that, one thing to focus on going into the season is you’re never a finished product Week 1. You need to understand that, keep building, keep improving week to week from how you operate in September to keep improving as a team and build towards those long stretches of the season. Look, we’re going to coach whoever is available and it’s our job to have the entire team ready and the entire team progressing, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.

Q: The youth movement on the offensive line, we’ve discussed that this summer. It is fairly unusual to have five guys 25 or younger. What do you see in that? You obviously signed off on this plan. Would you say it’s kind of a risky plan to have so many young guys with not a lot of fallback options?

A: Look, we’re trying to build the depth on the offensive line across the board and that’s done by coaching everyone every day. In terms of the youth movement, we’ve got a lot of guys – you talk about (Offensive Lineman) Ted Larsen, (Offensive Lineman) Jonotthan Harrison, some of these guys, (Tackle) Nate Solder, they’re older guys. So, in terms of it being a completely young line, everyone’s gaining experience every day and all learning from each other all the time. I couldn’t say whether or not it’s unusual or not throughout the league. I think everyone’s at a different position, the programs and organizations. Everyone’s at a different point of development, so I can’t really worry about comparing our program to somebody else’s. We’re going to coach who we have available.

Q: It sounds like you’re getting (Bengals Offensive Lineman) Billy Price in that trade. What can you tell us about him?

A: Until something’s finalized – things are leaking out already – until something’s finalized, I’m not going to comment on any players, but I have no problem having a full conversation later on when things are finalized.

Q: With all these injured guys trying to get back for Week 1, how much does having your first two games within a five-day span play into that? Are you sort of looking at those as a package, like being ready for one and two, or one or two? How do you approach that?

A: There’s definitely some consideration that we’ve talked about leading up to it. I think being two weeks out, we’ve got to get a better look on where a lot of these guys are. I wouldn’t say being only four days apart from game one and game two eliminates anybody at this point, nor does it lock anybody in at this point either. After game one, there’s going to be some bumps there, as well. That’s just the nature of football. You’ve got to keep on building your depth and use all the rules you have available to you to make sure your roster stays as fluid as possible.

Q: Andrew Thomas said last night that you have been harping on the importance of a fast start. Obviously, you guys didn’t have one last year. Before you got here, they were few and far between over the last decade. What is the importance for you guys of starting fast here this season?

A: I’d say the emphasis on starting fast with me is really through all elements of our program, so that’s about starting the day fast, coming to games prepared, it’s starting practice fast by being physically ready to take the field, being prepared for the install that we’ve worked on, starting the period fast by executing on the first play, starting scrimmages or games fast by executing early on. To me, there’s an element of just being prepared and executing, and starting fast has to be a theme in everything we do. I wouldn’t single that out to any one specific thing. To me, starting fast is just a mentality and an attitude about how you approach things. Showing up prepared and ready to go and then executing when your number is called.

Q: The other thing is on (Quarterback) Daniel Jones. Apparently, the stat is that his average target last night was only 5.9 yards. Was that because the offensive line wasn’t giving him time? Is that Daniel making decisions to check down? Was that (Offensive Coordinator) Jason’s (Garrett) play calling? Because (Quarterback) Mike Glennon’s was more like 15 (yards).

A: No, a lot of that stuff just happens within the flow of the game. We talked last night about how we’ve got to finish drives. We went out there with two 11-play drives, so we were able to move the ball, sustain possession, keep their offense off the field and we’ve got to finish drives. We want to make sure we continue on third down and obviously finish in the red area, but those are big parts of just the flow of the game. There’s an important part of being a productive quarterback, of you take what the defense presents to you. You make sure you take the profit, you’re productive, you keep the ball moving and just production as an offense. At different times, you may have an opportunity to push it down the field and others you’ve got to go ahead and get the ball in the hands of playmakers. I’m never concerned about having short passes. I think there are some guys who take the ball in their hands and extend plays with their legs, and that’s part of it. A lot of play calls are geared towards getting guys into space to make some plays and we’ve got to make plays when they’re afforded to us.

Q: After watching the film of that game, what did you think of Andrew Thomas’s performance?

A: I think across the entire offensive line, these guys did a lot of things that were positive and (there were) a lot of things to clean up. Playing together on the field for the first time really since the Jets game early on, (it was) good to go out there and get some chemistry. There were a lot of things that happened throughout the week against New England last week in practice, things that showed up in the game last night that were positives, that were learning experiences and then some other things that obviously we’ve got to narrow down and focus on these next weeks of saying this is something that we’ve got to fix and clean up across the board. I saw positive things from a lot of the young guys, Andrew, (Tackle) Matt (Peart), getting those guys in there and doing some good things. Obviously there’s some things too that we showed, and really have some good teaching tape. The importance is really taking whatever’s on tape, positive or negative, and make sure we build on the positive and eliminate the negative things going forward. We know that Denver and Washington and Atlanta are all watching the same tape we are right now, so we’ve got to make sure we’re sharp and we’re efficient in correcting it.

Aug 292021
 
Blake Martinez, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 22 – NEW YORK GIANTS 20…
The New York Giants fell to the New England Patriots 22-20 in the preseason finale for both teams. The Giants finished the preseason 0-3. This was the only game of the preseason where New York’s starters saw extended playing time, playing until intermission.

The bad news for the Giants offensively was two-fold. First, tight end Evan Engram (calf) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (ankle/foot) both left the game with injuries, as did guard/center Ted Larsen (knee), who actually started the game at left guard. Second, the first-team offense struggled for most of the first half with poor offensive line play, no running game, and a bad interception by quarterback Daniel Jones.

Perhaps the most telling sign of the night was the starting offensive line. Nate Solder started for Matt Peart at right tackle, while Larsen started for the injured Shane Lemieux at left guard. That said, the Giants ran all kinds of offensive line combinations throughout both the first and second halves of the game.

Jones and the first-team offense had five possessions in the first half:

  1. The first ended with a 3-and-out after Jones was sacked on 3rd-and-5 and LT Andrew Thomas was cleanly beat.
  2. The Giants moved the ball on their second drive, reaching the New England 34-yard line, but on 2nd-and-7, Jones was sacked again and New York could not overcome the 3rd-and-13. Punt.
  3. The Giants moved the ball again on their second drive, gaining 40 yards and reaching the Patriots’ 1-yard line. RB Devontae Booker was stuffed on 2nd down. On 3rd down, Jones badly missed Engram and his pass was intercepted in the end zone.
  4. The Giants gained one first down on their fourth drive before a holding penalty on Thomas put them in a 2nd-and-17 hole that they could not recover from. Punt.
  5. With 2:30 on the clock before halftime, Jones led the Giants on a 9-play, 58 yard scoring drive that resulted in a perfectly-thrown 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kaden Smith.

Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, the Giants held the Patriots to just seven first downs and 106 total net yards in the first half. Two drives did result in field goals, from 41 and 48 yards out. Linebacker Blake Martinez ended one possession with a remarkable interception 35 yards down field when he stole the ball away from the intended receiver.

At the half, the Giants led 7-6.

The Giants appeared to use the second half to get a gauge on defensive bubble/fringe players and it showed as the Patriots easily took control of the contest as their second-team offense shredded a largely third-team defense in the 3rd quarter. In their first two possessions of the half, the Patriots first drove 75 yards in six plays to go up 12-7 (2-point conversion failed) and then 50 yards in four plays to extend their advantage to 19-7.

The Giants second-team offense went three-and-out on their first possession. After driving 52 yards on their next possession, place kicker Graham Gano missed a 41-yard field goal. The Giants forced the Patriots to punt and New York finally responded late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th quarter with a 7-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon to wide receiver Alex Bachman. Fullback Eli Penny gained 32 yards on three carries on this possession.

Unfortunately for the Giants, New England extended their lead to 22-14 on their next possession, driving 58 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:32 off of the clock, and finishing with a 37-yard field goal. Glennon was sacked twice on New York’s next drive, resulting in a punt.

The Patriots had a chance to put the game away, but missed a 54-yard field goal with 27 seconds left. After gaining 13 yards on one passing play, Glennon then connected with wide receiver Damion Willis on a 43-yard Hail Mary pass to cut the score to 22-20 with just seconds left on the clock. The 2-point conversion attempt, a pass from Glennon to wideout Dante Pettis fell incomplete.

Offensively, Jones finished 17-of-22 for 135 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice. Glennon finished 9-of-17 for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked twice. The leading receiver was Sterling Shepard with 5 catches for 42 yards. The leading rusher was Eli Penny with 35 yards on four carries. Overall, the Giants gained 96 yards on the ground in 22 carries.

Defensively, Martinez intercepted quarterback Cam Newton. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, linebacker Trent Harris, and defensive lineman Willie Henry were all credited with sacks. 

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT AND HEALTHY SCRATCHES…
RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), CB Aaron Robinson (PUP – core muscle), and CB Josh Jackson (unknown) did not play.

DE B.J. Hill and QB Brian Lewerke were the only healthy scratches.

TE Evan Engram (calf) and WR Darius Slayton (ankle/foot) left the game in the first half and did not return. OG/OC Ted Larsen left the game late with a left knee injury.

RYAN ANDERSON SUSPENDED…
The NFL has suspended without pay linebacker Ryan Anderson for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Performance Enhancing Substances. If Anderson makes the team, he will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on October 18, following the team’s Week 6 game against. the Los Angeles Rams.

GIANTS RE-SIGN DEFENSIVE BACK…
The Giants re-signed safety Jordyn Peters on Friday. The 22-year old, 6’1”, 200-pound Peters was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets waived him in early July. The Giants then signed him shortly before training camp in July 2021 and cut him on August 13th.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge will address the media on Monday.

Aug 282021
 
Trent Harris, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Trent Harris – © USA TODAY Sports

THE STORYLINE:
Preseason is much different now. Aside the obvious of it being reduced to three games, it is becoming clear that many coaches see joint practices as more important. For the Giants, another major difference is the last preseason game, and not the third preseason game in the old 4-game format, is now the primary dress rehearsal. For those who have not been paying attention, this is the FIRST and ONLY time that most of the starters will play in the preseason. The only first-string unit to receive playing time up to now was the offensive line, which only got in a couple of series against the Jets in the first game. That’s crazy. The game has changed.

THE INJURY REPORT:
Since Coach Judge usually does not provide much information on injuries, we don’t really know the true status of most of the people listed below. Some may play. Judge has said Barkley, Golladay, and Rudolph will not. Robinson is still on the PUP. It’s not likely we will see Toney, Ross, Mack, Lemieux, and Adoree’ Jackson.

  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (unknown)
  • WR John Ross (hamstring?)
  • WR Austin Mack (hamstring?)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
  • OG Shane Lemieux (knee)
  • OT Nate Solder (shoulder?)
  • NT Danny Shelton (unknown)
  • LB Tae Crowder (unknown)
  • LB Elerson Smith (hamstring)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle)
  • CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • CB Josh Jackson (unknown)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
On paper, the Giants had a strong offseason. Coming off a dreadful offensive performance in 2020, the team added WR Kenny Golladay, WR Kadarius Toney, TE Kyle Rudolph, WR John Ross, RB Devontae Booker, and RB Corey Clement to upgrade that side of the ball. They also tweaked the offensive line by signing Zach Fulton and Joe Looney.

But those plans have unravelled. Fulton and Looney retired and the Giants were forced to scramble and sign 34-year old Ted Larsen late in camp. Golladay and Ross have been out all month with hamstring pulls, receiving very little practice time. Toney has been a train wreck, for all intents and purposes not practicing since the team drafted him due to COVID and unknown issues. Rudolph has been brought along slowly as expected, but it is still unknown when he will be able to be a significant contributor. On top of all of this, the team’s most dangerous play-maker, Saquon Barkley, has yet to allowed to practice with contact. When he first plays, Barkley will likely be on a low pitch count.

What this all means is that, as of late August, the Giants’ offense remains eerily similar to the unit that finished 31st last year. Golden Tate is gone, but Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram are the main targets for 3rd-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Oddly, Judge decided not to give the embattled Jones any playing time this preseason until this game. Until Barkley is fully back, Booker, Clement, and possibly fullback Eli Penny will receive the bulk of the carries. They won’t scare many teams.

Then comes the offensive line. Not only were the depth losses of Fulton and Looney unexpected, but the Giants lost starting left guard Shane Lemieux for all of camp and the preseason with a knee injury that he still has not completely recovered from. Lemieux needed that practice time. We don’t even know if he will be ready for the opener. On top of that, the starting unit has only played in a couple of series up until this point. Matt Peart has been up-and-down. Lemieux’s replacement, the 33-year old Kenny Wiggins, has struggled.

It’s not a rosy picture. Things can rapidly change when and if Barkley is nearing full strength and Golladay, Toney, and Rudolph return. But they will be rusty and not completely in sync with Jones. Helmuth von Moltke once famously said, “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Well, the Giants plans didn’t even survive camp. Coach Judge and his coaching staff will have to adjust. There are some very tough defenses coming up to start the season.

So with some understanding, fans are going to overreact to what they see on Sunday against the Patriots. After all, this will be only time we’ll see the first-string offense before the real bullets fly. If the Giants struggle to move the ball and score in the first half, The Corner Forum is going to be pretty ugly.

The second half of this game will be last hurrah for many. On Tuesday, the Giants must remove 27 players from the roster. The most interesting decisions will probably be at wide receiver.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The Giants fielded a surprisingly strong defense under apparent Miami Dolphin castoff Patrick Graham last season. On paper, the Giants look like they have upgraded that unit too with the additions of CB Adoree’ Jackson, NT Danny Shelton, LB Reggie Ragland, LB Ifeadi Odenigbo, LB Azeez Ojulari, CB Aaron Robinson, and LB Elerson Smith. Unfortunately, Robinson and Smith have missed all of camp and the preseason and are way, way behind. On the positive side, 6th-round CB Rodarius Williams has been a pleasant surprise to the coaches, even though he has been up-and-down.

Still, the defense appears to be the strength of this team, with a strong defensive line and secondary. The Giants have a very good inside linebacker in Blake Martinez. Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland will likely battle for playing time at the other spot. Crowder has been nagged by an unknown injury and we don’t know if he will play on Sunday.

The most interesting decisions will come at outside linebacker. Is rookie Azeez Ojulari an opening day starter along with Lorenzo Carter? Oshane Ximines has flashed as a pass rusher, but appears to still have issues setting the edge in run defense. Trent Harris is making a strong push to remain on the team. How does the team handle Elerson Smith, who has missed way too much time? Then there is Ifeadi Odenigbo, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Niko Lalos. Since Brown and Coughlin have received time inside, that could create room for others.

One of the pleasant surprises of camp has been the performance of two guys who were regarded as camp fodder on the defense line: Raymond Johnson and David Moa. Is there room for both on the roster?

Fans will not get a true good look at their secondary on Sunday since Adoree’ Jackson will likely be out. Also, keep in mind the team felt Aaron Robinson was a 1st-round talent, and he is still on the PUP. The biggest concern right now is the slot corner spot. Darnay Holmes has been a bit shaky. He could be pressed by Julian Love if necessary, but this where the team also misses Robinson. The coaches seem to really like Rodarius Williams, but he’s been up and down. He is still learning. What do the Giants have in recently-acquired (by trade) Keion Crossen and Josh Jackson? Jackson’s been hurt. If he gets cut, the team may have been better of keeping Isaac Yiadom in the short term.

Nevertheless, with the Giants being able to field James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, Xavier McKinney, this unit should excel. The team just needs to settle down the slot corner spot.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
As expected, Ryan Santoso was traded. Another pick was added to the 2022 NFL Draft (now up to 11 picks). The kickers and long snapper are the same from last year. What we still don’t know is who will be actually returning punts and kickoffs on opening day when the games count. The unofficial depth chart says Jabrill Peppers and John Ross. Will the Giants want to risk Peppers in that role? Ross may not even make the team.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Head Coach Joe Judge on the final preseason game:We’re going to handle this as truly the dress rehearsal for the season. We expect to play the majority of our players for a minimum of one half. We’re going to make sure there’s some key positions where we have to see some guys with a little bit of an extended exposure and make the right decision on the roster. There’s still some jobs that are very competitive for the final 53. We’ll make sure we have enough film and evidence and exposure to make the right decision.

THE FINAL WORD:
The only time fans get to see the first team in a true dress rehearsal is the final game of the preseason. Different times. I hope Coach Judge has this team ready in two weeks. There are a lot of parts missing.

Aug 272021
 
Rodarius Williams, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Rodarius Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 27, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light summer training camp practice on Friday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

I thought we got a lot of productive work with the Patriots,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “Playing against any quality opponents, which we did with the Browns and the Patriots has been two very, very good weeks for our team. I think these competitive practices against other teams are probably the best thing you can do for your team in training camp in terms of preparing them for the competition they’re going to see. Obviously, the intensity raises up. The volume’s very high as far as building in the conditioning and the fundamentals for the players. You get some schemes that you haven’t predicted on the front end, some things different teams are trying out. While they’re not in a preseason game, they’re trying them out on different opponents to watch on tape. So, you get a look at a lot of different things that you can adjust as coaches and players and move forward. I’m pleased with the work we’ve got in the last two weeks. We’re a better team for it. Now, our focus shifts on to the game Sunday against the Patriots, and obviously we’ll get ready for the season after that.” 

INJURY REPORT…
CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Friday. 

OG Shane Lemieux (knee) was limited.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Today was a light, walk-thru practice in advance of Sunday’s preseason finale.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The team plays the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Aug 262021
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 19, 2021)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 26, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Thursday was the second of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants play the Patriots on Sunday in the team’s third and final preseason game.

Today is going to be very situational, we’re almost going to jump right into team from the beginning,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “We’ll have some brief individual periods, we’ll have a quick seven-on-seven, get the guys juiced up and rolling, then what the rest of today is going to look like is we’re going to create a situation and just play it out – all fourth quarter situations. We’ll start with the ball in four-minute offense mode. We’re going to manufacture some things to make sure we get in the situational part of the game, so you may see a manufactured penalty or a manufactured first down or whatever it may be, or an ignored sack for both sides at some point to make sure we manage to get the emphasis of the drill, to build in more of the two-minute mode, the end of game situations, the substitutions and everything that comes with it.”

RYAN SANTOSO TRADED TO PANTHERS…
The New York Giants have traded back-up kicker/punter Ryan Santoso to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional 7th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. If Santoso plays for at least two regular-season games for the Panthers, the Giants will receive the pick.

Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso spent 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad after the team signed him in early September. Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

INJURY REPORT – MINOR ANKLE SPRAIN FOR ADOREE’ JACKSON…
CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), TE Evan Engram (unknown), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Ryan Anderson (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Thursday. Lemieux, Shelton, and Crowder were left behind in New Jersey for treatment.

According to multiple press reports, Jackson’s injury is a “minor” low-ankle sprain and he is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener. “We’re going to check to see how he is today,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He’ll be with the trainers a little bit, we’ll see where we can ramp him up to. Looks like we dodged a bullet right there, but we’ll see day by day how it is and we’ll move him around a little bit today with the trainers.”

When asked what is wrong with Toney, Judge responded, “I’m not going to get into anybody’s individual medical right there, but this guy is getting better every day. He’s working with our trainers and doing everything they ask him to do, so I’m pleased with the progress he’s making. He’s doing everything we ask him to.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), and OT Nate Solder (shoulder?) practiced on a limited basis.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • CB Rodarius Williams received reps with the first team at cornerback, starting with the walk-thru.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, WR Sterling Shepard made a one-handed, diving catch at the sideline. In the same drills, RB Saquon Barkley (wearing a red, non-contact jersey) caught a pass in the left flat from QB Daniel Jones and scored. Barkley also cleared out room for Shepard to score.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Mike Glennon made a nice throw to WR David Sills for a touchdown.
  • TE Kaden Smith dropped a pass at the goal line.
  • LB Azeez Ojulari flashed on the bull rush in 2-on-2, pass-rushing drills.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, the Giants’ offense started with a three-and-out after a run and two short passes to WR Sterling Shepard. QB Daniel Jones actually may have been “sacked” too on one of these plays.
  • On next drive, the offense was worse with a short completion to WR Darius Slayton and then back-to-back sacks (one given up by LT Andrew Thomas and the other by RT Matt Peart, who also held on the play). After a reset, the first play was a false start. The offense finally turned things around with long completions by QB Daniel Jones to WRs C.J. Board, Darius Slayton, and Dante Pettis. Drive was completed with a 1-yard touchdown pass to FB Eli Penny.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, the first-team Patriots’ offense drove 80 yards and finished the possession with a RB Damien Harris touchdown run. CB James Bradberry dropped an interception on this drive.
  • On next drive, S Xavier McKinney broke up a pass from QB Mac Jones. That was followed up with an interception by S Logan Ryan on a seam route. Slot corner Darnay Holmes was replaced by Julian Love after Holmes was called with defensive holding.
  • CB Sam Beal forced two incompletions by QB Mac Jones, but Beal finished this possession by allowing a touchdown in the corner of the end zone and then the 2-point conversion. This drive would have ended earlier if not a practice as there were sacks by S Jabrill Peppers, LB Lorenzo Carter, and LB Ifeadi Odenigbo. CBs James Bradberry and Rodarius Williams also broke up passes.
  • Giants’ offensive line had issues in next team drill. RT Matt Peart in particular struggled, giving up another sack and multiple pressures. QB Daniel Jones did throw a deep seam pass to TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart. RB Corey Clement finished the drive with a touchdown. RB Saquon Barkley was in for two plays on this possession.
  • In next 11-on-11, 2-minute series, RB Saquon Barkley caught two slants from QB Daniel Jones, including one that would have gone for a big gain (possible score). Jones then connected with TE Jake Hausmann and WR Darius Slayton to set up a 49-yard field goal by PK Graham Gano.
  • On the day, QB Daniel Jones unofficially was 23-of-29; QB Mike Glennon 1-of-3; QB Cam Newton 4-of-6; and QB Mac Jones 9-of-20. RB Saquon Barkley received eight snaps in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
  • For a good in-person review of the action, see Thursday’s camp report from BBI poster “mittenedman.”
  • Giants.com also provided a camp report on today’s practice.

    HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
    The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

    WHAT’S UP NEXT…
    The Giants return to New Jersey and will practice at MetLife Stadium on Friday.

    Aug 252021
     
    Freddie Kitchens, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

    Freddie Kitchens – © USA TODAY Sports

    AUGUST 25, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
    Wednesday was the first of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants play the Patriots on Sunday in the team’s third and final preseason game.

    Our focus today as a team is to come up here and compete against a quality opponent,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “The series of practices both today and tomorrow will be very geared towards situation. Situation meaning third down, red area and two-minute. We’ll work some specific drills and setups to make sure we work some techniques on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, for both us and the Patriots to help us address some issues or some areas that maybe we hadn’t had enough work on in camp based on the opponents we’ve worked against or things that haven’t specifically come up in the preseason games as of yet.

    “So, we’re going to structure this working together. The pace of the practice will be a working tempo. We’re going to work together. We’re going to stay up, stay off the ground. There’s no cutting. We’re not looking to go ahead and live tackle at any point in any of these drills. There’s going to be guys on both teams at different points in practice wearing red jerseys. We would treat any player with a red jersey the same as we would treat a quarterback, punter, kicker or whatever it is. We’re going to stay off them. It’s going to be a non-contact portion.”

    INJURY REPORT – KYLE RUDOLPH ACTIVATED OFF OF THE PUP LIST…
    CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. However, TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) was activated off of the PUP List. He practiced on a limited basis for the first time this year.

    RB Saquon Barkley (personal excuse), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Wednesday. 

    OT Nate Solder (shoulder?) and LB Azeez Ojulari (unknown) practiced on a limited basis.

    On Solder, Head Coach Joe Judge said, “Nate will be limited in practice today. You’ll see him do some things. He’ll definitely be continuing to do the individual with the group. He’ll do a little bit against the Patriots in some team drills. Really, it’s going to be kind of based on ramping him back up from missing some time right now.”

    On Ojulari, Judge said, “We’re going to increase him today and tomorrow we expect him to be full speed. We’ll see where he goes with that. But this guy, we’re just kind of managing some loads with him right now.”

    CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain) left practice early. He will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.

    PRACTICE NOTES…
    Some snippets from various media sources:

    • Overall, Patriots out-practiced the Giants on both offense and defense.
    • Offensively, Giants worked some on the read-option.
    • LT Andrew Thomas impressed in 1-on-1 drills.
    • In 7-on-7, goal-line drills from the 6-yard line, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-5 with two touchdowns, two to TE Evan Engram and one to TE Kaden Smith. One pass was thrown away due to good coverage.
    • During 1-on-1 offensive line versus defensive line drills, there was a big fight and both groups were forced to run a lap.
    • LB Blake Martinez had trouble covering RB James White in 1-on-1 drills.
    • S Julian Love dropped an interception from QB Mac Jones. S Xavier McKinney almost intercepted Jones on a pass on a play where he provided excellent deep coverage.
    • S Kyle Duggar intercepted a pass thrown into double coverage from QB Daniel Jones that was intended for WR Darius Slayton.
    • In 2-minute drills, the first-team offense of the Patriots successfully set up a field goal after QB Mac Jones was 5-of-5. CB Darnay Holmes gave up one completion and was flagged with pass interference. RB James White also beat LB Blake Martinez.
    • In the 2-minute drill, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-6 with two short completions to WR Darius Slayton and one to WR C.J. Board. TEs Nakie Griffin-Stewart and Jake Hausmann dropped passes. PK Graham Gano connected on a 54-yard field goal.
    • LB Lorenzo Carter flashed on the pass rush with two “sacks.”
    • QB Mac Jones had no problem completing passes in 11-on-11, full-team drills against the New York secondary.
    • LB Ifeadi Odenigbo “sacked” QB Mac Jones on a play where the ball was tipped.
    • The Giants’ first-team offensive line gave QB Daniel Jones good protection in 11-on-11 drills.
    • In full-team, red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones threw three touchdowns, one went to WR Sterling Shepard and another to TE Jake Hausmann on rollouts to the right.
    • QB Mac Jones threw an excellent deep pass beating both CB Adoree’ Jackson and CB Darnay Holmes for the touchdown on a corner route.
    • For a good in-person review of the action, see Wednesday’s camp report from BBI poster “mittenedman.”
    • Giants.com also provided a camp report on today’s practice.

    HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
    The transcript of Joe Judge’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:

    WHAT’S UP NEXT…
    The Giants and Patriots will practice together again on Thursday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

    Aug 252021
     
    Raymond Johnson, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

    Raymond Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports

    QUICK RECAP

    Week 2 of the 3-week preseason brought NYG to Cleveland, a spot they spent all week practicing against a 2020 playoff team, the Cleveland Browns. These intra-squad practices have become the norm for most teams around the league. Because of the increased intensity during the week, the vast majority of starters on both sides of the ball did not play a single snap. Head Coach Joe Judge did state that next week’s preseason matchup against New England, the final one, will feature the starters for a good chunk of time. This game, however, was one of the final pieces to the puzzle for the back-end-of-roster building as there are still several question marks at a few spots when diagnosing who will be on that final 53-man roster.

    The Giants’ running game got off to a solid start, but their opening drive stalled at midfield with 2 straight incompletions by Mike Glennon. CLE then took their opening drive down the field with little resistance from the NYG defense. Their opening 6 plays netted respective gains of 7, 8, 14, 12, 13, and 18 yards, putting them inside the NYG 10-yard line. After a 2nd down drop in the end zone by receiver Rashard Higgins and a sack by Oshane Ximines, CLE opted to go for it on 4th and Goal from the 7. Case Keenum hit KhaDarel Hodge for the score.

    NYG responded with a time-consuming drive of their own, showing everything you want to see out of an offense. Balanced play-calling with efficient gains on early downs, a 3rd-down conversion, and quality blocking. Their 11-play drive ended with a Devontae Booker 1-yard touchdown where he dove over the pile right down the middle. The score was tied up at 7 and it would remain that way for the rest of the first half.

    CLE did make their way inside the NYG 10-yard line again, aided by a questionable 3rd down pass interference penalty called on Carter Coughlin. On the ensuing 3rd down, this one from the NYG 9, Keenum had his time in the pocket, but the coverage was on point. He tried to fit a ball into tight end Jordan Franks, but it was picked off by Quincy Wilson, one of the team’s standout performers all summer.

    The two offenses traded uneventful drives; CLE being led by former Giants backup signal caller Kyle Lauletta. He peppered the defense with several short air-yard passing attempts and rarely looked downfield. They did reach midfield but ran out of time and timeouts as the NYG pass rush was consistently causing disruption.

    The second half was highlighted by the newest NYG quarterback, Brian Lewerke. Signed just a week prior to this game, he marched out onto the field with the backups. His first two drives were uneventful 3-and-outs while the NYG defense got roasted on the second- and third-level by the Lauletta-led CLE offense. They scored their second touchdown of the day on a 5-yard run by second-year back John Kelly.

    On the Giants’ first possession of the 4th quarter, still down 14-7, Lewerke threw a couple of nice passes on the move outside of the numbers. On this drive, he really turned some heads. He started it off going 3-for-3 before picking up 20 yards on a designed quarterback keeper. Thanks to 20 yards of CLE penalties and 8 yards picked up by rookie running back Gary Brightwell on two runs, Lewerke found himself 3rd-and-4 from the CLE 8-yard line. He threw a strike to David Sills IV, who made a nice play on the ball, before failing the two-point conversion pass. NYG was down 14-13 with just over 7:00 left.

    The ugly tackling, a notable trend we have now seen for two straight weeks, reached the low point on the ensuing CLE drive. Multiple missed tackles by the back seven heavily aided Kelly as he picked up 43 yards on 4 touches via both the run and pass. It put them on the NYG 31, which netted them an additional 3 points with just over 2 minutes left. CLE had a solid 4-point lead.

    The Lewerke-led offense did put together another impressive drive in what you would call a “pressure” situation in preseason terms. He converted a 3rd-and- 19 to tight end Rysen John, a 4th-and-6th to running back Gary Brightwell, and a 4th-and-8 to Damion Willis. Really impressive performance from the 2020 undrafted free agent. The game, however, did end on a desperation throw that was intercepted by rookie safety Richard LeCounte in the end zone.

    CLE wins, 17-13.

    QUARTERBACK

    -Mike Glennon and Brian Lewerke both looked sharp in this one, all things considered. They got the ball out quickly and accurately and seemed to have their timing down well. They went a combined 21/32 for 194 yards 1 TD / 1 INT and another 27 yards on the ground. The pass protection was solid enough for the coaches to get a proper feel for these two. Lewerke was good once he got a few drives under his belt, notably on 3rd and 4th down. Is there a subtle QB competition going on for that backup spot? Probably not. Glennon is making a half-million guaranteed. However, Lewerke could earn a spot on the practice squad. Something worth keeping an eye on.

    RUNNING BACK

    -Devontae Booker got the start and was only in there for a quarter of the plays. He appeared less-rusty and more decisive with the ball. He picked up 27 yards on 6 carries along with a touchdown and caught 2 passes for 13 yards.

    -The spot behind Booker is interesting to me. Corey Clement had a solid 13-yard run but gained just 17 yards on his other 8 carries. Considering his fumble history, including last week, and the lack of variety to his game, one can wonder of Elijhaa Penny should have that number three role. The fullback has been discussed for 2 years now as a guy who can get the ball more in short yardage. He went on to gain 16 yards on 2 carries and picked up 7 more yards on a catch. In the 53-man roster chess match where finding guys who can do multiple things is key, I do see a scenario where Penny gets the nod and Clement gets the boot.

    -Gary Brightwell saw about a third of the snaps and caught 3 passes. He looks physical and powerful with a no-nonsense approach. I need to see more out of him as a blocker to really diagnose the odds of him making this roster. We already know he can impact special teams.

    WIDE RECEIVER

    -David Sills and Dante Pettis led the group in both snaps and receptions, with the former bringing in a touchdown on a play where he played the ball beautifully. His ability to maneuver around defenders and put himself in optimal positioning to hand-catch the ball was the top trait that had me give him a 3rd round grade coming out of West Virginia (he went undrafted). I may have a small bias here, but I believe this kid deserves a shot in real-game action. He never has been a blazer, nor will he ever be one. But he knows how to catch the ball and his route running/release ability has improved notably. If I had to choose between him and Pettis? I’m going with Sills. Pettis offers more athletically though; I will say that.

    -Alex Bachman and Damion Willis are on the outside looking in. The former had a drop and also didn’t run a 3rd-down route deep enough on a play where he was the primary read. Little things like that are deciding factors in games because of how much 3rd down success correlates to winning. Willis made 2 catches, one going for 15 yards. Still would love to see him on the practice squad.

    TIGHT END

    -Another week, another game where Rysen John is growing on me. He led the team with 58 yards on 3 catches. He gets up the seam in a hurry and that is an area I think this offense will be attacking more in the passing game now that Barkley will be back on the field. He did get flagged for a hold and he did bang up his ankle a bit, but I think he needs to be on the practice squad on the very least. He still is very early in the progression stage when it comes to learning how to play tight end.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    -The first string sat this one out, so it was a nice long look at some of the backup-battles. Overall, the line looked better this week than what we saw in preseason Week 1.

    -I was unimpressed by the left tackle Jackson Barton, who was claimed last September from KC. He allowed 1 sack and 1 pressure, but his weaknesses show up in the running game. Too often off balance, rarely got movement off the ball, and whiffed a couple times when forced to adjust laterally.

    -This was our first look at the Ted Larsen-Jonotthan Harrison combo inside. Both veterans looked like a presence in the running game. They were on point across several combo blocks. These are the two guys I want sitting behind the starters. Limited upside but you know what you’re getting here, two smart guys with some nastiness in their game.

    -Chad Slade and Jake Burton were better than what we saw last week, notably in pass protection even though Burton did allow a sack. Slade is going to make this roster I believe. When he has his feet under him, he really is a swift and powerful blocker.

    -This staff may have a thing for Kenny Wiggins and I can’t say I know what goes on behind closed doors and at practice, but I have been very underwhelmed with him so far. I don’t see any consistency with any part of his technique. Simply put, he gets beat a lot.

    DEFENSIVE LINE

    -I don’t see how David Moa makes this roster when I do the math, but he certainly is making a case for it. He finished with a very active 6 tackles, while adding a pressure and pass deflection. He was roaming up and down the tackle box, getting free from blocks and finishing. Really impressive hustle from the 310 pounder who led all DL in snaps.

    -Raymond Johnson III was the defensive star of the game in my eyes. NYG has something here. He finished with 3 tackles, a half-sack, and 2 pressures. His play-style, body type, and skill set are exactly what NYG needs to backup their linemen and I would be shocked to see him anywhere other than the final 53-man roster. Sure, we need to see him against some better competition, but he has shown a lot in 2 games.

    -B.J. Hill had one tackle and a pressure, as he was right there on the Carter Coughlin sack. He didn’t play much, however.

    -Elijah Qualls flashed with some penetration and Willie Henry had another active game. Good to see these backups respond well to the scheme should injuries start to arise at some point.

    EDGE

    -Oshane Ximines had a standout performance as a pass rusher. His shortcomings in the running game have been there from the beginning of his career and it is safe to say he won’t ever be a weapon there. But his main job is to impact the opposing passing game and that he did. He had 3 pressures and a sack, seeming to live in the backfield on deep drop backs by the CLE quarterbacks.

    -Trent Harris had a pressure and a TFL. He is a guy who consistently will flash when the snaps are there. Just a really quick and strong finisher.

    -Ryan Anderson finished with a half-sack and Ifeadi Odenigbo added a pressure. Both were charged with missed tackles and didn’t seem to have a consistent flow in the pass rush game.

    LINEBACKER

    -Carter Coughlin still appears to be the best of the backups at this group. He had a pressure, a sack, and 4 tackles. He got flagged for a questionable pass interference and there were a couple other plays where he got beat in coverage, but he never seems too far from the action, run or pass.

    -Reggie Ragland and Devante Downs can’t say the same. They are going to be an issue in coverage if they are on the field and Downs missed 2 tackles. Both were bad, ugly misses. He did share the team lead with 7 tackles, however. Not a terrible game for him, but he needs to cut out the whiffs.

    -Cam Brown got some action late in the game. He was fooled on misdirection twice, but I was really impressed by the speed and burst he showed in recovery. He is so wide and long-strided. If he can figure things out mentally, there will be a role for him. He also added 2 special team tackles.

    CORNERBACK

    -Rodarius Williams and Sam Beal practically played the entire game, just under 90% of the snaps. Williams continued his up-and-down performance that we have seen and read about all summer. He broke up a 3rd down pass where he showed excellent lower body technique and accurate hands. Beal struggled and I think we are at the point where one needs to ask: what does anyone hope he can bring to the table? He is a terrible tackler (2 misses), he has issues staying healthy, and there isn’t a natural feel in coverage. You can only hope on speed and height for so long.

    -Madre Harper is another one I find myself scratching my head about. He allowed a touchdown early in the game for the same reason I see over and over with him: a lack of discipline on reads and long-legged movement that makes it even tougher for him to adjust into a good position.

    -Darnay Holmes played just 7 snaps early in the game.

    SAFETY

    -Julian Love and Xavier McKinney didn’t play a ton, but I was encouraged but what I saw from both on the re-watch. They both made a really physical downhill tackles, and both were moving swiftly in coverage. When healthy (knock on wood), this defensive back group is loaded with potential and a lot of it comes down to the versatility these safeties have.

    -Quincy Wilson, arguably the top defensive surprise of camp and preseason, finished with a tackle and key interception in the end zone. The former Florida cornerback is yet another defensive back who can be moved in and out of positions based on matchups.

    -Chris Johnson, one that I think had no shot of making this roster anyway, was terrible. He missed 2 tackles, failed to set the edge multiple times, and was responsible for a touchdown run where he didn’t fill his assignment.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    -K Ryan Santoso: 1/1 XP
    -P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 45.5 avg / 40.2 net

    3 STUDS

    -DL David Moa, WR David Sills IV, DL Raymond Johnson III

    3 DUDS

    -OT Jackson Barton, S Chris Johnson, CB Sam Beal

    3 THOUGHTS ON CLE

    1) We all know that analytics have taken over the majority of NFL teams, some more than others. It isn’t a debate I enjoy getting into because the term “analytics” is simply too broad. I think information and data is key. It is vital to building rosters, making personnel decisions, and strategizing. I have taken a deep dive into information when it comes to salary cap allocation, personnel groupings on offense and defense, and situational play calling. One team stands out the most in terms of blending this all together to create wins, and it is CLE. It worked well last year, and I think the sky is the limit for them in 2021.

    2) The CLE running game is absolutely stacked. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the top 1-2 punch in the league for my money, but the rest of the depth chart needs respect too. D’Ernest Johnson and rookie Demetric Felton are almost sure-things to make this roster. Could that free up John Kelly? Should NYG be interested if so? He broke tackles with the best of them in college, in the SEC, and that is the top trait I look for in backs.

    3) A lesson in how to make a solid offense one of the best? BUILD THE OFFENSIVE LINE and DO NOT MISS. They’ve done it all to build a top 5 OL in this league. First round pick on their left tackle, a big contract to a young and proven right tackle who his former team simply could not afford, a trade for a guard who was being used incorrectly on his previous team, a day-2 guard who played tackle in college, and no hesitation in spending top-10 money (respective to position) at center for a smart, leader-type. It was a perfect plan, and it was executed even better.

    3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

    1) Two games, zero snaps for Daniel Jones and several other starters. Head Coach Joe Judge did state Jones would start (and I am assuming others will too) Sunday against the Patriots, 2 weeks before their first game. Was this a good idea? For a 3rd year quarterback who has shown issues making reads? Playing with a new number one receiver and an offensive line that has barely played with each other? Are we going to give a pass Week 1 against DEN when we hear “shaking off the rust” lines from coaches and players alike? I understand the fear of injury, but this is a game of chemistry and execution. Not fear.

    2) I stated that if Kadarius Toney wasn’t playing at full speed by September, I would start to worry. Remember, this is an offense that was in desperate need for more talent at the skill positions. Sure, Barkley is back and Golladay was signed, but Toney is a big part of this offense needing to take a big jump. And I’ll tell you what, there may not be an offense that has a tougher schedule of defenses all things considered this season in the league. There are a few things that have bothered me about this entire situation, but I won’t go too deep into it yet. This kid needs to get on the field though.

    3) Are we looking at the deepest defensive NYG has put on the field in a long time? I think so. The secondary is absolutely loaded with good players who can play multiple roles at a credibly high level. The defensive line hosts one of the top tackle-ends in the game in Leonard Williams along with a handful (or more) of very solid, high-upside run stuffers who could offer enough in the pass rush game. Depth is there for a great defense. Are they top heavy enough at EDGE? That is where they lack star power, and every good defense needs to be great at rushing the passer. Most of the pieces are there. Is THE piece there?