Jul 242014
 
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Steve Weatherford (5), Josh Brown (3), New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Josh Brown Kicks the Game-Winner in Overtime – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Steve Weatherford (5), Lawrence Tynes (9), New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Steve Weatherford and Lawrence Tynes – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Not every punter can roam the sidelines of NFL games, look up into the stands and see their own jersey on kids, teens and parents.

Less can claim they attempted to get their team to the ‘next level’ by purchasing each member a “shake weight.” Even fewer can say they went to a prom at 32 years old, or started a social media tradition that is quickly reaching national holiday status.

Then again, not every punter is Steve Weatherford.

“I transcend the position,” Weatherford said with a smile. “I’m just having fun with it. It’s typical when people think of kickers and punters that they’re the guy you rarely see and are never heard of.

“I’m not necessarily a spotlight guy, I just enjoy what I’m doing.”

And New York loves him for it.

Since signing with the Giants as a free agent in 2011, Weatherford has done much more than win a kicking competition with Matt Dodge. He’s slowly but surely worked his way into the hearts of Giants’ fans across the country.

Be it his up-beat personality, signature laugh, body building motivation or self-created ‘Weatherford Wednesday,’ there’s something about the Indiana native that has fans gravitating towards him.

“I never thought I’d make it in the NFL, so for me, I enjoy every opportunity that I have,” Weatherford said. “It’s a blessing and an amazing opportunity. I think people kind of feel that.

“I think people see the stuff that I put up on social media and my interaction with people in general. They understand that I really do appreciate it.”

On instagram and twitter, Weatherford has amassed nearly 130,000 ‘followers.’ But it’s not just his name that has made the punter endearing to fans, it’s how he uses both outlets.

Weatherford is constantly reaching out to his following with motivation, appreciation and thanks. Anytime a picture pops up of anyone with ‘Weatherford’ etched across their back, there’s a ‘#TeamWeatherford’ response almost instantly.

In a world where professional athletes feel entitled to the fame bestowed upon them and believe they are above those that come to watch them play each Sunday, Weatherford consistently displays he’s the exact opposite. As was the case when he took Bayonne High School senior Lauren Delbert to her prom.

In April, Delbert tweeted Weatherford a photo of a football with ‘Wanna tackle prom with me?’ inscribed on the back. In typical Weatherford fashion, Weatherford responded in a way only Weatherford could.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 7.55.51 PM

“I was shocked,” Delbert told NJ.com. “The New York Giants sent me a direct message to confirm that it was real.”

Weatherford made good on his promise, taking Delbert and her boyfriend, Steven Schumann, to prom. Their ride? A 2008 Bentley.

“I think I had more fun than they did,” Weatherford said. “The fun thing about going back to prom this year is the principal couldn’t tell me anything. If I wanted to grab the microphone and get on the table and start dancing, he wasn’t going to tell me to get down.”

But there was a bigger picture for Weatherford than just showcasing his self proclaimed much-improved dance moves. His trip to prom wasn’t his last of the season.

Steve Weatherford, New York Giants (January 22, 2012)

Steve Weatherford – © USA TODAY Sports Images

After Delbert, Weatherford held a writing contest with seniors at Southern Regional High School, an area greatly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. While Weatherford took his wife, Laura, as his date this time, the winners and their dates were provided prom dresses, accessories, hair and make-up styling, transportation and more.

All organized by Weatherford, who plans to turn ‘Project Prom’ into an annual occurrence. This year, he’ll have some help.

“My teammates all saw the videos and pictures that were posted on my social media that weekend,” Weatherford said. “They were like, ‘Man, you look like you had so much fun. I wanna do it next year.’ That’s exactly what I wanted to have happen.

“I wanted other celebrities, not just my teammates, to want to do that, too. It was a lot of fun and it was an experience I’ll never forget. But more importantly, I was able to give 20 students the gift of going to their senior prom which is something they’ll never forget as well.”

Why? Because that’s who he is. He’s not your everyday punter.

Then again, Steve Weatherford’s not like many other people, either.

Jul 242014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 24, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
While reduced via GPS request, the New York Giants held their third (and final) practice of the mandatory ‘acclimation period.’ When the team reports tomorrow, each player will be in shoulder pads. Sunday will be the first practice in full uniform.

After practicing for two hours each of the past two days, the Giants began stretching after just over one hour on Thursday. It was a different routine as well and very different from the previous two.

Below you will find our complete practice recap. Be sure to recap our LIVE updates.

Jameel McClain, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Jameel McClain – Photo by Connor Hughes

SETTING THE STAGE…
Not much to break down here. Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) sat out for the second day in a row. Will Beatty (knee) and Jameel McClain (foot) practiced fully. Xavier Grimble and Brandon Mosley seem to be cured from the ‘heat related’ issues they went through on Tuesday.

SPECIAL TEAMS…
The Giants’ released their first ‘unofficial’ depth chart of the season about 15 minutes before practice was scheduled. As a result, I missed the early stretch and initial special teams portion of practice. From what I gather, not too much took place. Either way, here’s some tidbits from the sporadic special teams portions of the rest of practice.

  • I got a good look at the starting gunners for the punt team. First up: Bennett Jackson on the left and Zack Bowman on the right. Second team features Travis Howard on the left and Charles James on the right.
  • After Brandon McManus kicked yesterday, it was Josh Brown’s turn today. The veteran went 4-for-5. His one miss bounced off of the far right cross bar.

DEFENSE…
The Giants practiced on ‘Field 3,’ or the side field for the main portion of practice. When the team split for offense- and defense-specific drills, the offense went to the furthest field away. Thus, I stuck with the defense for the second day in a row. I’ll be sure to watch the offense tomorrow. Heck, maybe you can help.

  • After being limited yesterday, Jameel McClain was a full participant in practice today. I kept an eye on him during a linebacking drill where the backers were required to drop back into hypothetical coverage, then sprint forward. He participated in every rep, but he just looked a little off when he had to switch and drive. It’s not a serious injury and he’s not being held out. I truly believe this is just an example of McClain not being completely 100 precent yet.
  • For 320 pounds, Johnathan Hankins has some quick feet. The linemen worked a drill where three tackling dummies lay on the ground. Each had to high step sideways over them one way, then back, then back the other way before running forward between a bag and hitting another dummy. Hankins moved really well between them and looked pretty agile for a big man.
Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

TWO MINUTE DRILL…
As has been the case in every practice this offseason, the first ‘team-joined’ practice function is always the two-minute drill. But after talking to Rashad Jennings, who said the entire playbook can be run in the hurry up, I’m beginning to think this is more just offense-defense. Mathias Kiwanuka even said he hasn’t seen the offense huddle yet. I assumed it was two-minute because the offense was in the hurry up; maybe this is just the way they run now?

  • Your ‘unofficial’ starting tight end, Larry Donnell, was the first tight end on the field. William Beatty was at left tackle and Brandon Mosley at right guard.
  • Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz twice on the opening drive. In between, he found Rueben Randle on a curl that Manning released before Randle made his break.
  • It looks like the offense is starting to open up a bit more with deep passes. Manning went to Jerrel Jernigan but overshot him. Jernigan responded later by catching a fade route touchdown over Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the left corner of the endzone. He had possession and it looked like he got his feet down. In mini-camp, Manning tried the same play versus Walter Thurmond and it came up incomplete. Timing may be starting to come together.
  • After Manning hit Jernigan for the touchdown, the Giants kept the offense near the goal line and gave David Wilson a carry. He took it around the outside and would have scored again.
  • Damontre Moore had a really nice practice. The second-year defensive end had a few pressures and batted down a Ryan Nassib pass that was nearly intercepted. In the same drill, Moore had a would-be sack on Nassib. That would be a sack in each practice so far.
  • Not the best practice for Ryan Nassib. He missed a few throws, threw a near interception and was sacked. There was one play where Nassib rolled out and had a wide open Mario Manningham in front of him. Instead of throwing it, Nassib held on to the ball and then at the last second had to rush a throw. He did make a really nice pass later in practice in the 11-on-11s. More on that later.
  • A tight end sighting: Larry Donnell down the seam made a leaping grab. It was impressive.
  • Mathias Kiwanuka had a bat down. Also another note on the defense, with McClain in at linebacker there is a lot more communication. The former Raven is constantly chirping and talking. Also, the huddle-break scream/chant returned.
  • Dan Fox was working with the No. 2 linebackers.

7-ON-7
The Giants worked a 7-on-7 drill after some special teams work that was already outlined. A few nice plays were made, but nothing too extravagant.

  • Victor Cruz ran a real nice route to gain a step on Walter Thurmond on an in on the first play. Side note, ‘unofficial’ fifth-string tight end Adrien Robinson was the first tight end out during this drill.
  • I didn’t see the receiver, but Walter Thurmond got very physical on a quick out the Giants attempted to run. Thurmond jammed the receiver, didn’t allow him off the line and followed him the entire way across the field.
  • Devon Kennard made a very nice play on a pass intended for Adrien Robinson down the seam. Kennard had good coverage, but also reached his hand up to bat the ball away. Coverage wasn’t one of Kennard’s ‘strong’ points coming out of college, yet he looked pretty good at it here.
New York Giants Training Camp (July 24, 2014)

New York Giants Training Camp – Photo by Connor Hughes

11-ON-11
I’m guessing as will be the case throughout all practices, the Giants ended with a full-team 11-on-11. Contrary to previous practices, we had our ‘Play of Camp’ take place during this drill.

  • A little trickery from offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was displayed early on. Coming out in the I-Formation, the Giants ran an end-around to Jerrel Jernigan. It looked like he had some serious daylight, too.
  • The Giants spent a lot of money this offseason on the secondary. For the first time, it was on complete display. Eli Manning ran a traditional play fake and had all day to throw, but no one to get the ball to. Manning must have held on to the ball for five seconds before rolling out and throwing the ball away.
  • Ryan Nassib made a very impressive pass to Preston Parker down the sideline. Nassib threw it over a linebacker and just in front of the corner to perfectly beat the zone. Had Nassib put too little, or too much, on the ball, it would have been an easy interception.
  • John Jerry continues to spell Brandon Mosley. Can’t tell who has an edge until the pads are put on.
  • Finally, the Play of the Day: Curtis Painter lofted a deep one down the field for Corey Washington who ripped it away from Bennett Jackson and Kyle Sebetic. First long-bomb we’ve seen connected on since Manning hit Rueben Randle in mini-camp. Jackson had a little defensive pass interference on the pay, too.  Giants.com had the highlight:

ON ANOTHER NOTE…
After Tom Coughlin finished his post-practice presser, media got their first look at the Coughlin his family talks about all tof he time. Brandon Mosley, J.D. Walton and Larry Donnell had their families attend practice and their kids were on the field playing with them. Tom Coughlin walked by Walton’s child and started talking and smiling like I haven’t seen him yet. Then, Coughlin turned to Larry Donnell’s daughter and said a few words before letting her blow his whistle. Donnell’s wife yelled to her daughter who then turned and said ‘He let me!’ Coughlin walked away smiling and laughing.

Jul 242014
 
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Weston Richburg, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Weston Richburg – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LIVE UPDATES: July 24, 2014 New York Giants Training Camp

Welcome to the second ‘Live Update Blog for the 2014′ New York Giants’ training camp. For Thursday’s (July 24) practice, you won’t need to go anywhere else to find everything you need to know regarding Big Blue!

In the past, your source for breaking news and live updates from practice was featured in a Corner Forum post. While the news eventually got there, there was a delay and some was lost between the transfer of copying tweets and posting over to the forum. Not to mention…it was an awful lot of work.

Not anymore.

Below you will find LIVE tweets as they happen. Don’t have a twitter? Don’t worry! They’ll still show up below for you as soon as they are sent out.

BigBlueInteractive.com knows you love the Corner Forum and being able to interact with your fellow Giants’ fans as practice takes place. We want to make that as easy possible for you. Instead of having to keep two windows open (this page and The Corner Forum page), we will open the comment section of this post throughout the duration of practice.

Interact with fans just as you always have in the comment section, with the tweet-bar directly above. You’ll have your live updates and your interaction all in one place. We hope you enjoy!

Jul 232014
 
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Ryan Nassib and Andre Williams, New York Giants (July 23, 2014)

Ryan Nassib and Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Andre Williams can’t keep the smile from spreading across his face when thinking about the start of his football career.

Before he was drafted by the New York Giants, led the nation in rushing at Boston College or dominated under the ‘Friday Night Lights’ of two high schools, there was a different field Williams stepped on.

There would be a phone call to friends — Freddy, Dorsey and Alex — before exiting the back door and stepping onto the grass of his yard. Someone would bring a football and hand it to another. Then? Well, things got interesting.

“Kill the man with the ball,” Williams said, laughing.

And little Andre always won.

Since his days running through friends under the sun in Kennesaw, Georgia, Williams has molded himself into the Giants’ own big bruising Andre the Giant. But during the early portions of his career, Williams resembled very little of the 5-11, 230-pound back the Giants selected in the fourth round this year’s draft.

Williams was always one of the ‘taller’ kids growing up, but bulky he was not. Williams described himself as ‘lanky,’ mentioning the long arms that often made him look awkward. But in the backyard, his weight meant nothing. Quickly, Williams found a way to make sure he’d never let a friend beat him in the backyard antics.

“I used to get my momentum up to the point where it would be really hard to stop me,” Williams said. “I used to explode on contact. That was really the most fun for me. I was trying to build that and shape it into something that I could use to my advantage.”

Andre Williams, Boston College Eagles (November 23, 2013)

Andre Williams led the nation in rushing last year– © USA TODAY Sports Images

Williams transitioned from the backyard to the backfield in sixth grade, but his career nearly ended before it began. At two years old, a car struck the New York native. Williams’ mother, Lancelene, forbid her son to play anymore, fearing contact sports “weren’t really for” Williams.

Williams’ response? His little brother.

“She was letting my little brother play flag football,” Williams said. “She just kinda thought, ‘I can’t let him play football and not his older brother.’ So I started playing again.”

While Williams displayed potential on the field, he never truly took the sport seriously, partially because of lack of team success. Sure, he was scoring, but the team wasn’t winning.

Then he began school at Harrison High School, played with better players and coaches introduced him to the weight room. Suddenly, everything changed.

“Those lifting programs, it was like a college program,” Williams said. “I saw football and what it was as a team sport and how raw talent could develop into something that could contribute to something bigger. It started becoming a lot of fun.”

Williams played two seasons at Harrison before moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania. As a junior, he committed to Boston College. BC gave Williams both the chance to play early, and the ability to stay close to his mom.

Andre Williams, New York Giants (May 31, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Over the ensuing four years, Williams saw his production increase each season. As a senior, the 22-year-old rushed for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns. Williams was a Heisman Trophy finalist and holds the school record for rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns.

Despite all his accolades, scouts questioned Williams’ ability to play at the next level. Sure, he could run the ball. But could he catch? In four years, Williams recorded just eight receptions. None his senior year.

Williams says the lack of catches isn’t for lack of ability, but rather opportunity. At Boston College, running backs weren’t required to catch the ball. Now, he’s looking to make up for lost time.

“I’ve been catching a lot of balls in the offseason,” Williams said. “Just in terms of being able to build confidence in my ability to catch the ball and what steps are necessary in order to catch the ball.”

During training camp, Williams has flashed multiple times. He’s shown an extra gear and ability to move with the ball in his hands. But also, that that time spent catching is paying off.

In the Giants’ first practice, Williams made an impressive grab out of the backfield. He’s turning heads. And the right ones, too.

“He’s become more than a one-dimensional back,” Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin said. “He certainly wasn’t used that way at BC, but he’s demonstrated the ability to do that. He also hits that button and he can go.”

For Williams, he’s just looking to improve. Be that as a pass blocker, receiver or runner. As for motivation, he’s his own.

“I actually made it to the professional level. Professional football,” Williams said. “Now I have an opportunity to explore what that means for me. What am I going to develop into? What am I going to look like against the best of the best?

“That’s my motivation. To continue to sharpen myself and be the best back that he can be.”

Jul 232014
 
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New York Giants Linebackers (July 23, 2014)

New York Giants Linebackers – Photo by Connor Hughes

JULY 23, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Practice No. 2 is officially in the books for the New York Giants. It came and went without a single player being carted off the field…seriously! Below you will find a few quick hits and observations from the day’s events. Remember, this report focuses strictly on the on-field aspect of practice. Click here for updates on William Beatty and Jameel McClain, along with here for news on the re-injured Odell Beckham Jr.

SETTING THE STAGE…
As will be the case with each practice, we’ll set the stage with some key facts before diving into the report. Basically, throw at you what we know is on your mind:

  • Unlike yesterday, not one player was carted back to the locker room. This could be because Tom Coughlin gave his team a ‘water break’ midway through practice. During the two-minute drill, Coughlin sent everyone back to the field house. Coughlin didn’t credit this for the lack of heat-related injuries, but it couldn’t have hurt.
  • It was a hot, hot one.

SPECIAL TEAMS…
Yesterday, the team worked on punt returns. Today it was kickoff returns. At different points throughout practice, the Giants worked on field goals, coverage and kick returns.

  • Brandon McManus, Temple Owls (September 8, 2012)

    Brandon McManus – © USA TODAY Sports Images

    The Giants worked through a couple different guys at kick return. Jerrel Jernigan, David Wilson, Corey Washington, Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps all got reps at some point or another. It looked as if it was Demps first, followed by Holliday and Wilson.

  • Wilson’s agility was again on display. During a drill focused primarily on kickoff coverage, Wilson returned the kick as gunners ran at him. He bobbed, weaved, juked and cut his way throughout the incoming defenders with ease. He can be deadly with the ball in space.
  • Some notable names on the Giants return unit: John  Conner and Henry Hynoski were both featured as up-men.
  • Notable names on kick-off coverage unit: Walter Thurmond III, Devon Kennard, Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams, and Bennett Jackson.

THE DEFENSE…
After spending most of my time with the offense yesterday, I turned my attention to the defense today during the individual portion of practice. In particular, I focused on the linebackers.

  • The linebackers performed a drill where they set up just a few feet from a blocking sled. On the coaches command, the backers looped around and exploded into the bag, extending their arms and shedding the bag. The drill itself wasn’t that impressive; the strength displayed by both Mark Herzlich and Devon Kennard was. Both players made the bag (which is not light) look like a rag doll. Kennard nearly threw the thing on its side. Really impressive display of strength.
  • The more I watch Kennard, the more I’m amazed at how much faith the coaching staff is giving the rookie. It’s rare that first round picks get this much attention, but a fifth? Kennard ran with the one’s in McClain’s absence in the middle after running with the one’s at SAM yesterday. It’s a lot to throw at one player, but Kennard is handling it remarkably well.
  • McClain took part in this portion of the drill, but struggled a bit. He exploded, but not with much strength. It could be he couldn’t drive off of his foot.
  • The defense then came together and practiced a bit more of its three-safety package. The safeties remained the same in Quintin Demps, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, but the linebackers were a little different. Spencer Paysinger joined Devon Kennard while Jacquian Williams practiced with the two’s opposite Mark Herzlich.

TWO-MINUTE, 11-On-11…
As has been the case throughout the entire offseason, after positional drills, the Giants come together for a full-team two-minute drill. One interesting note here, Newsday’s Tom Rock made a very poignant observation on the timing between snaps:

It seemed as if the Giants were moving at a much more constant pace. Now its confirmed. The offense is definitely up-tempo and should only get faster as camp progresses.

  • Yesterday, Charles Brown opened as the team’s starting LT and Will Beatty relieved him. Today, it was Beatty first out of the gate.  Brandon Mosley got the first reps at guard.
  • Linebackers with McClain absent: Jacquian Williams, Devon Kennard and Spencer Paysinger.
  • Eli Manning missed a few passes today that were head-scratchers. It’s early in camp and he’s still looking to get on the same page with his wide outs, but it was noticeable. Manning overshot Victor Cruz over the middle, missed Rueben Randle on an in-route and Trindon Holliday on a deep pass.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had blanket coverage on an out-route by Jerrel Jernigan. He jumped in front of the play and batted down the ball.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul exploded off of the ball, but William Beatty handled him well. Beatty extended his hands with power and knocked Pierre-Paul off balance. The play gave Manning enough time to launch one down the field. Although, Manning’s pass did fall incomplete.
  • With Odell Beckham Jr. out, Mario Manningham, Marcus Harris and Corey Washington were your second-team wide receivers.
  • The tight ends were a lot more active today than yesterday. Adrien Robinson made a few impressive grabs, including one on an rollout where he was wide open. Larry Donnell caught one down the seam. Much better showing from the group.
  • My pick for a player that is going to surprise some people is Andre Williams. The rookie continues to look very, very good and flashed again today. Williams scored on a stretch run that had his teammates ooh-ing and ah-ing at a cut. He has incredible speed once he gets to the second level and also runs with power. If he can learn to catch, he may be the complete package.
  • We’ve been seeing a lot of motion from the tight ends. One particular play stood out where the Giants brought Larry Donnell from the slot and motioned him to the fullback position. The team then ran behind Donnell. The more I take note, the more I realize how often the tight end lines up at fullback for the Giants.
  • As referenced above, Manning missed an open Trindon Holliday on a streak route. Holliday ran right past Walter Thurmond, but Manning couldn’t get him the ball.
  • Mario Manningham sighting. The wideout made a nice grab over the middle from Manning.
  • The Giants offense looked to be getting in a pretty good rhythm after Manning hit Adrien Robinson and Mario Manningham in back-to-back passes. Then James Brewer jumped offsides. Not good from one who appears to be on the roster bubble.
  • Mike Patterson continues to take every single rep with the first-team defense. A lot of people expect that spot to belong to Jonathan Hankins. I’m not so sure. It looks like it’s Patterson’s to lose and he’s done nothing to have it taken from him.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

7-On-7…
After some special teams and field goal work (see above), the Giants went to a 7-on-7 drill. For those that don’t know, the drill works the receivers/tight ends/running backs versus the linebackers/corners/safeties.

  • The first tight ends used were Adrien Robinson and Daniel Fells. Those two seem to be coming on the field a lot together.
  • David Wilson caught a couple of passes out of the backfield and looks good as a receiver. If he can learn to block, he could be an excellent third-down back.
  • Trindon Holliday dropped a curl route.
  • Jacquian Williams made a great defensive play on a slant to Jerrel Jernigan. Jernigan got his hands on it but Williams instantly ripped the ball out.
  • The tight ends stood out pretty well here, too. Adrien Robinson made a really nice grab on a deep curl when split out wide, beating Bennett Jackson. He had a good practice.

11-ON-11, FULL-TEAM… 
Maybe the team is tired, but once again today there wasn’t much excitement from the 11-on-11′s to close practice. Either way, here are a few notes.

  • Two tight ends started on the field at once for the Giants: Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson.
  • There was a pretty nice catch from Rueben Randle on a come-back route. He fooled Prince Amukamara pretty bad. Randle has had two nice practices and has caught every catchable ball thrown his way.
  • Yesterday, John Conner got the first reps at fullback; today it was Henry Hynoski. I saw a few running plays today with a tight end in the backfield.
  • David Wilson made Devon Kennard look silly on a swing route. Wilson juked Kennard out of his shoes. Kennard didn’t do anything wrong; I am not sure anyone could have made the play.
  • Damontre Moore had another would-be sack on Ryan Nassib. He chased Nassib out of the pocket before pulling up.
  • It was only a matter of time. Ryan Nassib threw his first interception of camp right to C.J. Barnett. I think it was a miscommunication on someone’s part.
  • John Jerry got some reps with the first team today. He relieved Brandon Mosley about four snaps into the first drive. Trumaine McBride also got work with the first-team defense.

Tomorrow’s practice will follow the same routine as the previous two. It will also be the last without pads. Players will be made available to the media from 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Practice begins at 1:20 pm. Be sure to check out our complete LIVE recap of today’s practice

Jul 222014
 
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New York Giants Training Camp (July 22, 2014)

New York Giants Training Camp – Photo by Connor Hughes

LIVE UPDATES: July 23, 2014 New York Giants Training Camp

Welcome to the first ‘Live Update Blog for the 2014′ New York Giants’ training camp. For Wednesday’s (July 23) practice, you won’t need to go anywhere else to find everything you need to know regarding Big Blue!

In the past, your source for breaking news and live updates from practice was featured in a Corner Forum post. While the news eventually got there, there was a delay and some was lost between the transfer of copying tweets and posting over to the forum. Not to mention…it was an awful lot of work.

Not anymore.

Below you will find LIVE tweets as they happen. Don’t have a twitter? Don’t worry! They’ll still show up below for you as soon as they are sent out.

Have a twitter and wanna join in on the LIVE conversation? Heading out to practice and want to have your observations noticed? Simply tweet using the hashtag “#BBI” and you’ll see whatever you send below.

BigBlueInteractive.com knows you love the Corner Forum and being able to interact with your fellow Giants’ fans as practice takes place. We want to make that as easy possible for you. Instead of having to keep two windows open (this page and The Corner Forum page), we will open the comment section of this post throughout the duration of practice.

Interact with fans just as you always have in the comment section, with the tweet-bar directly above. You’ll have your live updates and your interaction all in one place. We hope you enjoy!

Jul 222014
 
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John Jerry, Miami Dolphins (November 17, 2013)

John Jerry wants to move on from all that happened during his time in Miami – © USA TODAY Sports Images

John Jerry knows exactly what happened last year in Miami. He knows the details, what he did and what he didn’t do. He knows what’s accused of both himself and Richie Incongnito.

Just don’t expect him to talk about it. At least not yet.

“I don’t have a comment,” Jerry said. “I’m looking forward to the day I can open up and tell you everything about it. We’ll definitely discuss that in the future.”

In the meantime, the New York Giants’ guard is focused on getting healthy and entering the ring of a now wide-open position battle at right guard. As Chris Snee’s body failed him, Jerry is hoping to give his own a jump start to resume his career.

During the offseason, Jerry had a procedure on his knee. The condition, which has not been disclosed or released by the team, took Jerry out for the team’s entire offseason conditioning program.

Jerry has received medical clearance, but didn’t take part in the running portion of the Giants’ conditioning test Monday. Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin labeled him as ‘limited.’ Jerry is not even sure yet what he can do.

“I just think the main thing for me is to get into shape,” Jerry said. “I missed so much time in the spring and everything that I wasn’t able to run. The most important thing is getting in shape.”

A healthy, in-shape and motivated Jerry could be the perfect solution to the Giants’ ailing offensive line. While he had his struggles run blocking, Jerry was one of the league’s best pass-blocking guards last year.

It’s welcome news for Eli Manning, who was sacked a career-high 39 times last year.

In the Giants’ first training camp practice, Jerry received sporadic reps throughout. When he was on the field, it was primarily with the second unit as third-year guard Brandon Mosley worked with the starters.

But when Mosley left with a stomach issue, it was Weston Richburg that took over at guard.

While Jerry is not sure when he’ll be back to full strength, he’s eagerly counting the days he can step foot on the field and contribute. With all that’s happened in his career off of the field, the best remedy may be what happens on it.

“People will think what they want to think and I know that’s out of my hands,” Jerry said. “What the fans really care about is you going out there, performing and getting them some ‘W’s.’”

Jul 222014
 
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Brandon McManus, Temple Owls (September 8, 2012)

Brandon McManus is hoping to win the Giants’ kicker competition – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Brandon McManus, Temple Owls (October 27, 2012)

Brandon McManus – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Signing the contract was easy. The New York Giants didn’t have a kicker on their roster and Brandon McManus was looking for a shot.

Telling his Philadelphia Eagle fan family he was now a member of Big Blue? Eh, not so much.

“They told me they disowned me,” McManus said, laughing.

Growing up 40 miles from Philadelphia, McManus recalls many Sundays spent packed into Lincoln Financial Field with his parents to watch the Eagles play. There was the yelling, the screaming and the cheering. He, like his family, became a die hard.

McManus wanted nothing more than to mimic those that he had watched on the field since he was three years old. He started playing football in middle school and continued in high school. He excelled at kicking and turned the passion into a scholarship to Temple University.

In the four years he suited up for the Owls, McManus established himself as arguably the best kicker to play for the program. Among others, McManus set the record for points scored (338), field goals made (60), field goal percentage in a season (82.4) and extra points made in a game (9). All while dealing with the elements impacting Temple’s home stadium, Lincoln Financial Field.

After graduating, McManus signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent. He fought tooth-and-nail with Adam Vinatieri for a spot on the Colts’ final 53-man roster. The competition was close, but Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano elected to go with the veteran Vinatieri.

“Last year was great,” McManus said. “I kind of mold my game around Adam being a clutch performer at the end of games. That’s what he’s known for in his career is the clutch Super Bowl kicks.”

While it’s yet to be seen if McManus has a ‘clutch’ gene, what has been on display is his leg strength. McManus says he feels completely comfortable kicking from 60-yards out, comparing it to an extra point. In last year’s preseason, he kicked a 50-yard field goal with ease against the Giants.

Watching from the opposite sideline, New York was impressed. So, when Giants’ kicker Josh Brown had his contract expire at the end of last year, the team wasted no time in acting on McManus, signing him to a ‘future contract’ on Jan. 2.

“I really like McManus,” Giants’ special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. “I liked him coming out (of Temple). He went to Indy for last training camp and preseason and I thought he was a really good kicker. He’s kicked in the northeast at a high level. I think he’s got a real big upside once it all starts clicking for him.”

McManus hopes the light has already been turned on. If he wants to be New York’s kicker, he’ll once again have to battle a veteran. Two months and 10 days after signing McManus, the Giants brought back Brown.

Brown has kicked 254 field goals in his 12-year NFL career.

Tom Quinn, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (August 29, 2012)

Tom Quinn (left) was impressed with McManus at temple – © USA TODAY Sports Images

McManus is 1-for-1 in the preseason.

“I knew no mater what it was going to be a competition,” McManus said. “I came in here during (organized team activities) and tried to work hard every day. I tried doing my best and we both performed at such a high level this offseason. “

The Giants were one of several teams to reach out to McManus with a contract as a kicker. Two others called him with a chance to punt. Aside from the accolades McManus earned at Temple as a kicker, he holds the school’s record for punt average at 45.4 yards per kick

“It was a lot of fun punting,” McManus said. “It gave me a different dynamic of the game. It was the first time since middle school I had the ball in my hands because when I’m kicking it never is.

“With kicking I used to put so much pressure on myself and I was so critical of myself. When I went out there to punt I just relaxed and it was such a different view of the field. “

McManus admits he sees himself as a kicker first, punter second, but wouldn’t throw away an opportunity to do both. Yet before he gets too far ahead of himself, he knows there’s a roster spot that needs to be won first before double-dipping on special teams.

That doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought at all about the fact the Giants’ play his family’s beloved Eagles twice a year. Nor has it failed to cross his mind that often times the games come down to a two-to-three point difference.

“Hopefully when we play them we don’t blow them out of the water,” McManus said. “If I could set up for a game-winning kick, that would be great.”

But would there be a little hesitation from Mom knowing her son was about to single-handedly defeat her beloved Birds??

“Oh no, they’ll definitely be rooting for me,” McManus said with a smile. “My parents are all for me now.”

Jul 222014
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Tom Coughlin following the Giants’ first practice – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 22, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…

For the first time since the team broke mini-camp 32 days ago, the New York Giants put on their helmets, jerseys and cleats and trotted out of the locker room at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Then, three took rides on the cart back in.

Below you will find our complete practice report for the Giants’ first training camp practice of the year. Earlier in the week, we asked you what you wanted observed. You’ll find answers to those questions at the conclusion of the report.

Mario Manningham, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Mario Manningham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SETTING THE STAGE…

Before we dive too far into the camp report and details, just a little heads up on all the minor odds and ends. The team was without pads for the first of three practices, otherwise known as the ‘acclimation period.’

As was announced yesterday, the only player that was inactive for the start of camp was linebacker Jon Beason, who remains on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Mario Manningham, David WilsonJohn Jerry and William Beatty all participated in practice on a ‘limited basis.’

  • Of the three, it appears Manningham did the most. The wide receiver took part in individual drills, 7-on-7, strictly offense and the final 11-on-11 drill. He didn’t stand out much in the team portion of practice, but the fact he’s out there is a good sign. When wide receivers did some work with the quarterbacks, Manningham did two rotations, took one off, then did the third.
  • William Beatty split reps early with Charles Brown at left tackle. He took reps in all facets of practice.
  • Former Dolphins guard John Jerry was more limited than the other two, but still saw reps. He spoke before and told the media his biggest issue is conditioning because he hasn’t run in some time.
  • David Wilson took some reps with the No. 2′s and made a few really nice plays. More on that later.

SPECIAL TEAMS…

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Odell Beckham received reps as a punt returner – Photo by Connor Hughes

As will be the case most practices, the Giants start with a little special teams before transitioning into their team stretch. Today, it was the punt returners turn to draw the eye of reporters. The Giants had a make-shift punt team, no gunners, and while Steve Weatherford fielded snaps, a punt machine was used to send balls to the returners.

  • The return rotation was very, very similar to the one displayed in OTAs and mini-camp. First Trindon Holliday, then Odell Beckham Jr., then Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz closed it out. Mario Manningham fielded one punt as well.
  • It’s looking more and more like Trindon Holliday is going to make this team as a returner. He gets all reps there and flashed a few times on offense again. There’s been talk he may be cut or is on the bubble, I just don’t see it. In every practice the media has been at, he’s taken his first reps as a returner each time.
  • Damontre Moore is sporting a brand new facemask that looks very, very nice. Does it meet the new regulations? Not sure. But it will look good until he’s told not to wear it anymore.
  • Something shown in OTAs was again shown today in camp. The Giants practiced a ‘fake punt’ where they direct-snapped the ball to Quintin Demps. 

INDIVIDUAL…

With the Giants now having the full disposal of each practice field, it’s hard to keep an eye on everything. After the special teams portion of practice, the offense and defense split up. I ran with the offense today, will keep an eye on the defense tomorrow.

  • With the defensive and offensive lines off in the distance, the Giants’ quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks and tight ends came together to work. All players participated, including Mario Manningham, as each ran basic routes. Nothing traveled more than 15 yards or so.
  • John Conner made a pretty nice grab on a quick screen-ish pass. It looked as if the pass slipped out of the hands of Curtis Painter. Conner reached up and pulled it down. Was it impressive as a catch by a tight end? Probably not. But to see the fullback pull the pass down was nice.
  • Xavier Grimble and Adrien Robinson each dropped easy passes on curls. Both slapped their helmets and the ball when the passes bounced away. A coach yelled in the distance. I couldn’t completely make out what he said…but it wasn’t good.
  • It didn’t take long for Grimble to bounce back. On the next rotation, he made a really nice grab extending away from his body to make a ‘hands’ catch. The crowd gave him an appreciative round of applause.
  • Eli Manning didn’t look that sharp in this portion of practice. He missed a couple and bounced others. He regrouped later.
  • Kellen Davis looks very, very slow coming in-and-out of his breaks. It really wasn’t pretty. None of the tight ends looked agile, but Davis stood out as being painful to watch.
  • I took a keen look at Grimble in this portion as I know some fans were curious about him during OTAs. He has some good straight-ahead speed, but struggled a little stopping on a dime to get into a break or cut. Although, he is 6-4 and 261 pounds. Other than that he showed some good hands and ran a pretty nice route a few times. He’s just not very agile.
  • Mario Manningham showed no signs of a knee injury in-and-out of breaks. He showed some good speed, didn’t hesitate and made a few hard cuts. He did drop one pass on a deep-in.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. reminds me a bit of Hakeem Nicks in that he plays bigger than he is. A few times during this portion of practice he extended his body fully to make finger-tip grabs. If he can stay healthy, he can be explosive.
New York Giants Training Camp (July 22, 2014)

The New York Giants warm up in camp – Photo by Connor Hughes

TWO-MINUTE DRILL…

Normal Giants routine running two-minute drill as the first ‘team’ portion of practice.

Before going into some highlights, here’s your starting line:
LT: Charles Brown, LG: Geoff Schwartz, C: J.D. Walton, RG: Brandon Mosley, RT: Justin Pugh. *William Beatty spelled Brown a few reps in.

And your back-ups:
RT- Troy Kropog, RG: Dallas Reynolds, C: Weston Richburg, LG: Jamaal Johnson-Webb, RT: James Brewer

  • Just to start this off, the Giants’ offense was night-and-day better during the two-minute drill. Comparing how the team left off from mini-camp, and how they reported to camp, it was a big step. Manning was crisp and looked on the same page as his receivers. It was impressive.
  • Being in a two-minute drill, the Giants ran with three wide receivers. Victor Cruz worked in the slot. Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan were outside. Jernigan made a nice grab on a deep-in from Eli Manning and Randle caught one in front of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the sideline.
  • Odell Beckham, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

    Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

    The Giants offense drove inside the red zone and Manning tried a fade route to Jernigan. Jernigan made the grab, but failed to get his feet in. He jumped over Charles James (I think). It would have been some grab if he pulled it in. Two plays later, Manning hit Odell Beckham Jr. for a TD on a five-yard out.

  • Marcus Harris continues to flash. He made a nice sliding grab on a deep-in. It offset an easy drop earlier.
  • Andre Williams showed he may have some hands after all and made a nice grab. He also showed he really has a second gear when it comes to speed. He sprinted down the field after a running play and surprised with his speed.
  • Wilson got a carry and sprinted down the sideline. He still has speed. The run may have meant a little more to him than most: it was his first in a team drill since injuring his neck versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted an Eli Manning pass intended for Odell Beckham Jr. Manning dropped back and heaved one down the field, his only shot of the day. The pass probably shouldn’t have been thrown as Rodgers-Cromartie had good coverage. The concerning thing here was that Beckham gave up on the route and stopped running allowing Rodgers-Cromartie to simply camp underneath for an easy interception. Beckham favored his leg a little running off of the field but it didn’t seem serious. The biggest concern was him giving up on the play, not the ‘injury.’
  • Ryan Nassib hit Daniel Fells deep down the seam on a beautifully designed play. A few times we saw two tight ends in the game at once. One would line up traditionally, one in the slot. Speaking of the tight ends, no one really has a strangle hold on the top spot. Still a revolving door.
  • Weston Richburg played right guard with the first team when Mosley left practice.
  • Mike Patterson continues to take all reps with the first team defense. That includes nickel, dime and the base 4-3. From what I’ve seen this offseason, Johnathan Hankins is no guarantee to be the starter.

JUST THE OFFENSE…

The offense and defense again split up after the two-minute drill. As was illustrated before, I stuck with the offense today and I’ll turn my attention to the defense tomorrow.

  • We didn’t see any fullback during the two-minute drill except for maybe one play. That should be expected…it was a two-minute drill. With just the offense practicing an ‘I-Formation,’ John Conner was the first fullback out. In fact, I don’t believe Henry Hynoski got any reps. I could be wrong, but I know the first two-three went to Conner.
  • Beckham returned from his ‘injury’ to participate in this drill. He caught one over the middle fully-extending. It looked nice. Again, like Hakeem Nicks, he plays bigger than he is.
  • While I was with the offense, Jason Pierre-Paul got his back checked out by trainers and Jameel McClain was carted off.

SEVEN-on-SEVEN…

The offensive and defensive lines split off as the linebackers/corners/safeties joined the quarterbacks/wide receivers/running backs/tight ends for 7-on-7′s.

  • Rueben Randle made a nice grab, something he did a few times today. I don’t ever believe he’ll be a Top-5 receiver in the NFL, but he can play a long time. He runs good routes, has good hands and gets open pretty often.
  • Mark Herzlich filled in for the recently-departed Jameel McClain. He joined Devon Kennard and Jacquian Williams as the linebackers.
  • Cooper Taylor recorded an interception when a Curtis Painter pass bounced off the chest of Kellen Davis.

11-ON-11…

David Wilson, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Not too much took place in the 11-on-11. It could have been because players were tired, but most of it was cut and dry. A few dump-off passes, screens and draws. No one really stood out as great, no one as bad. Either way, here are a few observations.

  • Andre Williams’ speed was again on display. He has that second gear where if he gets in the open field, I’m not sure someone is going to catch him.
  • David Wilson caught a pass out of the backfield and put on a show. The back made some ankle-breaking jukes and cuts that had some media wowed. It hasn’t been talked about much, but he could be a huge weapon out of the backfield in Ben McAdoo’s offense.
  • Saw the first three-safety look. Quintin Demps came on the field to join Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle.
  • Spencer Paysinger came in on a blitz and Eli Manning juked him out. It was a surprisingly athletic thing from Eli. Looked a little Vick-ish (I kid).
  • Damontre Moore came off the edge and pressured Nassib on a roll-out.

That does it for today’s camp report. Tomorrow will follow an identical schedule as yesterday. Media will have access to players from 11:15am until 12:15pm. There will be an hour break before practice begins at 1:20pm. The practice is open to the public and players will sign autographs after. 

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

FROM REALE01: Projected availability for Wilson, Jerry, Beatty, Beason, and Snee.

  • I know this was submitted before Snee’s retirement, but in case you didn’t know..he retired :) As far as the other three: Beatty worked a lot, so did Wilson. Jerry is limited while he builds his stamina

FROM BIG BLUE BLOGGER: Are there any packages where you don’t expect to run with the 1s? (Short yardage/goal line seems likely. Any others?) How’s Jon Beason’s foot?

  • He saw action with the 1′s in the goal line. Worked with rotation on the most. If I had to guess, he’s third on the depth chart behind Jennings and Wilson. Coughlin spoke about Beason and said if he’s feeling pain he’s hiding it very well.

FROM REALE01: How does Will Beatty look? Also Jerry, Richburg, Walton?

  • It’s very tough to say because there aren’t pads on yet. They all took part in practice, though.

FROM ED A: Ask Moore if he added some weight this off season and what he weighs now?

  • He told me he’s right around the same weight. He added some muscle and lost some fat, but right around the same number.

FROM BOBBY EPPS: Any sighting of Conner or Hynoski in any formations or plays?

  • They came in for the I-Formation. Nothing really in the team portion of practice. Fullback doesn’t seem to be used much, but most of the offense vs defense we’ve seen has been hurry-up.
Jul 212014
 
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New York Giants (July 21, 2014)

2014 Giants participate in the conditioning test – Photo by Connor Hughes

JULY 21, 2014 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT:

After a 31-day break, the New York Giants reported to East Rutherford for the first day of the team’s training camp. Well, sort of. Day 1′s events included three hours of meetings, a conditioning test followed by three hours of meetings.

Below you will find a few observations from the conditioning test. There really isn’t much to gather from a conditioning tests – literally the players just run 40-yard sprint/jogs – so this mostly is just updating certain situations.

Chris Snee, New York Giants (July 21, 2014)

Chris Snee with son, Cooper, following his retirement press conference – Photo by Connor Hughes

SETTING THE STAGE:

  • The Giants waived wide receiver Kris Adams following a failed physical and signed guard John Sullen.
  • Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin said that there was nothing to be upset about in regards to anyone that reported for camp. A few players reported a ‘pound or two’ overweight, but Coughlin assured everyone that will be lost the first few days of camp.

CONDITIONING TEST:

Just a background on exactly what the conditioning test is:

  • Players line up in lines based on their position. A coach then stands at the other end of the field roughly 40-50 yards away. Players then need to run from one end of the line, to the coach, in a specific amount of time. Every player ran at a brisk jog.
  • No player struggled much during the conditioning drill. Mike Patterson was sucking a little wind, but nothing to be alarmed with. He’s a big guy, not very often he’s running down the field 50 yards with 30-second/minute breaks.
  • Jon Beason did not participate in the conditioning test in any facet, as was expected. Beason was walking around without any noticeable limp and stood with trainers as teammates went throughout the drill. Eli Manning also did not participate, he threw on the side. Don’t be alarmed, Coughlin said he didn’t run last year, either.
  • All of the players the Giants have on their roster reported. No hold outs.
  • David Wilson, William Beatty and Mario Manningham all completed the conditioning test fully. Beatty ran well, no limp and was in front of the pack. John Jerry stretched, but did not run.
  • Couglin spoke after the conditioning test and said that Wilson, Beatty, Manningham and Jerry have been ‘fully cleared’ medically and none will be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. With that being said, all will be limited. Coughlin did not give a definition of what ‘limited’ means saying, ‘I don’t even know.’
  • During the running, it looked like Charles James and (I believe) Trindon Holliday engaged in a bit of race. Holliday got the best of James which led to some words from teammates and coaches. James claimed he didn’t get the best ‘jump’ out of the gate.

The Giants’ first practice (albeit without pads) will be tomorrow at 1:20. Players will be made available to the media 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Practice is scheduled for 1:20 pm and will run just under two hours. Tom Coughlin will speak to the media after practice.