Jun 112015
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 11, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their ninth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Thursday. The Thursday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes in the 11-on-11 team drills, the first to wide receiver Preston Parker and the second to wide receiver Rueben Randle.
  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to tight end Adrien Robinson.
  • Wideout Rueben Randle was a frequent target in practice.
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington made a shoestring catch and caught a few other passes.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted a Manning pass intended for Randle in the end zone and returned the pick to the opposite end zone. (Video)
  • Cornerback Jayron Hosley broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Geremy Davis.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown “forced a few incompletions.”
  • Place kicker Josh Brown was perfect in his field goal attempts despite windy conditions.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started two weeks ago. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final OTA practice will be held on June 12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Article on FB Henry Hynoski: Former Pitt fullback Hynoski keeps striving to be better by Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Article on WR Dwayne Harris: Giants’ return man Dwayne Harris experiencing learning curve at receiver in new offense by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on DT Kenrick Ellis: Giants’ nose tackle Kenrick Ellis hopes to capitalize on opportunity he missed with Jets by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on DT Jay Bromley: Candid Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley reflects on lost rookie season, how he’s improved by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Giants’ Devon Kennard set to make waves by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on Former Giants Running Back David Wilson: Ex-Giants RB David Wilson moves on from NFL and now dreams about reaching the Olympics by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Giants Town Hall Meeting Video Recap: A video recap of the New York Giants “Town Hall Meeting” is available at Giants.com.

Jun 092015
 
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David Merritt, New York Giants (August 3, 2010)

David Merritt – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 9, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their eighth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday. The Tuesday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to running back Shane Vereen during 11-on-11 team drills.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Jerome Cunningham for a touchdown also during 11-on-11 team drills. (Video)
  • Cornerback Jayron Hosley had good coverage on a deep throw to wide receiver Corey Washington.
  • Fullback Henry Hynoski caught a couple of passes thrown in his direction during team drills.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started two weeks ago. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final two OTA practices will be held June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Article on Monday’s New York Giants OTA Practice: Giants OTA observations: Eli Manning cuts down on interceptions, players that impressed and more by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on S Nat Berhe: Big missed opportunity for Giants safety Nat Berhe this spring by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Jun 082015
 
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Rueben Randle, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 8, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their seventh of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started two weeks ago. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final three OTA practices will be held this week on June 9 and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), wide receiver Marcus Harris (unknown), tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis), offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from pectoral surgery), offensive guard Geoff Schwartz (recovering from ankle surgery), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), defensive end Damontre Moore (recovering from shoulder surgery), defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa (leg), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (injection), linebacker Jameel McClain (back), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice or fully practice.

“Some days are good and some aren’t,” said Schwartz of why he did not participate in team drills on Monday.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, has not been participating in the voluntary OTA workouts.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Rueben Randle, Preston Parker, and Corey Washington saw first-team reps at wide receiver. Washington had another good practice.
  • Ereck Flowers continues to see reps with first- and second-teams at left tackle. John Jerry started at right guard.
  • On first-team defensive line, Cullen Jenkins continues to work at right defensive end with George Selvie at left defensive end. Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn were the first-team defensive tackles. Kerry Wynn also received some first-team defensive end reps and had a good practice.
  • In nickel defense, Jon Beason and Devon Kennard were the linebackers with Trumaine McBride the slot corner and Cooper Taylor and Landon Collins the safeties. Mark Herzlich also saw some first-team reps in lieu of Beason.
  • Cole Farrand saw some first-team reps at linebacker along with Beason and Kennard.
  • Cornerback Prince Amakamara picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Tight end Jerome Cunningham continues to impress, including catching a 20-yard pass from Manning.
  • “Running back Shane Vereen…had a busy day. He caught a short touchdown over the middle from Eli Manning during the first portion of team drills. The two later connected on a pair of completions in the final two-minute drill. ” (Giants.com)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: You have had a bunch of time with the rookies now… How are they integrating?

A: Whenever you throw something new, it is the same as if, obviously it is the first time they have heard it. There are a bunch of installations. When you have an installation and a review, they do fine with that. Add something new and it is a little bit more difficult, so that is how you see it. They have hung in there and worked hard and they are obviously making progress. They have to.

Q: Is it hard for guys like Landon Collins and Ereck Flowers when you throw them in there with the first team? Does it make it harder for them because they are trying to catch up to the veterans?

A: I don’t think so. I think, if anything, if you put yourself in that situation, that really makes it interesting. Holy cow, here I am. They have to earn those spots. They have the opportunity right now.

Q: What can you tell about offensive line play in general without pads?

A: It is not easy. You look at every tape and try to be as technical as you can, but there are obvious restrictions for both defense and offense without the pads.

Q: How is Odell Beckham Jr. doing?

A: Seem to be better. Seems to be a little bit better today. They did more with him.

Q: Did he do anything last week?

A: He did some individual stuff, but that was it.

Q: Is he going to be okay for next week?

A: I don’t know. I only know what they tell me. They probably won’t be able to project that until we see this week.

Q: Do you still expect Jason Pierre-Paul next week?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you noticed if Prince Amukamara is out there trying to play at a faster speed?

A: I thought he was playing at a nice speed last year, too, when he was injured, so I think he is just trying to pick up from there. It started out as it normally does. He was under control. He has been enticing people to try to throw it over his head because he has broken on the underneath stuff very well.

Q: How does Kerry Wynn look to you?

A: Kerry Wynn works hard and makes plays. He is very consistent.

Q: Re: Nat Berhe?

A: We have been standing here. This would have been the ideal time for him. Unfortunately, he has not been able to get to where he can really drive, so it has been very slow.

Q: That helps Cooper Taylor and Landon Collins get reps?

A: It helps them, but it doesn’t help Berhe any, and he was here as a rookie and got to play a little bit. He also did a nice job on special teams. He has a lot of things of that nature, but this would have been ideal for him. Crying over spilled milk there.

Q: Do you ever leave an OTA day in June like this thinking big picture?

A: That is the problem with being a coach. The good things pop up and then you quickly talk about the things that weren’t so good, so you kind of get back to the balancing it off. You like to see something go well and be enhanced and when it does, you are glad about that, but then you are thinking ‘we do have to stop the run’ or something like that. You start to look at a little bit more scope, but really on a daily basis, practice to practice, as I just told everybody – coaches this morning and players this afternoon — what they should be doing right now is deciding how do they want to finish the spring and what are their goals and what impression do they want to have? What have we accomplished when we finish up the mini-camp? Hopefully that is where they all are.

Q: When you gathered them before today’s session it seemed like they had a spirited response… Did you say something in particular?

A: I just said we need to have four solid practices and a good mini-camp to wrap the spring up.

Q: You have seen the flashes from Corey Washington in the past. Have you seen more from him this spring?

A: Yeah, he has had a nice spring. He has worked hard. He has had a good attitude. He has had a smile on his face. He has done most everything we have asked him to do. I think every time he has been called upon he seems to have responded.

Q: Can you assess where Washington has come growth-wise on special teams?

A: Not on special teams yet, but I think the opportunities he has had offensively, he has taken full advantage of his year to learn, and I think he has matured a little bit. He has had a solid spring.

Q: We haven’t seen Damontre Moore or Owa Odighizuwa in the team drills. Is that them needing to catch up or something physical?

A: They are being held back. We want to get Damontre in some, but we don’t want to do anything that is going to set him back. He may get a little bit more work than he is getting, but not a lot. Owa is being held out. It is a leg.

Q: Re: Jonathan Cassillas and Jameel McClain absence from practice?

A: Cassillas just had some kind of injection where they have to hold him. McClain did something to his back the other day and it is not going to be anything major. They held him out today.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning on WR Corey Washington: “I think Corey has had a good camp. He has made some plays and has a better understanding of the offense in his second year and playing faster, and I think he has always had the ability to make the great catch and run the go routes and fades but just kind of adding the complete package to his game. I think that he has had a good camp and done some good things.”
  • LB Jon Beason on the new defense: “The beauty of it is we won’t be able to be dictated to. We will be able to get lined up and no matter what they do, we are going to be ready for it. That should cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses…The overall scheme (is different). We have some things that are unsound, but based on the pressure, that is the illusion. When you send eight and it looks like an all-out pressure, but really you are dropping some linemen in coverage. Some man pressures. We do it all. I would say, more so than any other scheme I have been in, we do more than anything else.”

RELATED ARTICLES…

Jun 042015
 
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Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 4, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their sixth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Thursday. The Thursday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • WR Rueben Randle made a nice leaping catch from QB Eli Manning in 11-on-11 drills.
  • Manning threw two touchdown passes, one to TE Adrien Robinson and the other to WR Preston Parker (video).
  • QB Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to WR Dwayne Harris.
  • WR Geremy Davis was held just short of the end zone on the final play of practice on a pass from Manning.
  • CB Prince Amukamara broke up a fade pass to Randle in the end zone.
  • CB Trumaine McBride broke up a throw to Parker.
  • CB Chandler Fenner also broke up a pass.
  • S Landon Collins broke up a pass to TE Jerome Cunningham in the end zone.
  • Wideouts Dwayne Harris, Rueben Randle, Preston Parker, and Ben Edwards worked on punt returns.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started last week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final four OTA practices will be held June 8-9 and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Jerry Reese Says Giants Still Looking for Offensive Line Help: New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese told NJ.com on Wednesday that the team is still looking for offensive line help in the wake of left tackle Will Beatty’s torn pectoral muscle injury. Beatty is expected to miss 5-6 months.

“We’ll continue to look around,” said Reese. “Obviously, everybody has around 90 men on their roster right now, so there’ll be some cuts; there will be some chances to add some offensive linemen.”

Unrestricted free agent OT Jake Long, who is coming off back-to-back ACL tears to his right knee and was released by the St. Louis Rams earlier this offseason, visited the Giants last week.

“He’s a veteran, he’s played a lot of football, and so we brought him in, gave him a physical to see where he was,” Reese said. “We’ll keep an eye on him.”

Article on OT Ereck Flowers: Giants rookie Ereck Flowers has to understand ‘it’s going to get ugly’ by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on OT Marshall Newhouse: Why Marshall Newhouse believes he’s better prepared to be a starting tackle with Giants by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on DE George Selvie: What will George Selvie’s role be in the Giants defense this season? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Jun 022015
 
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Preston Parker, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Preston Parker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 2, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their fifth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday. The Tuesday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • Play of the Day: “A bomb from [quarterback] Ryan Nassib to Ben Edwards during 11-on-11s. Edwards, an undrafted wide receiver from Richmond, broke free down the middle, and Nassib dropped it right into his hands in stride for the longest play of OTAs so far. Wide receiver Victor Cruz ran out to give him a high-five as he was running back to the huddle.”
  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Preston Parker in 7-on-7 drills.
  • Tight end Adrien Robinson made a nice gain on a pass from Nassib. (Video)
  • Cornerback/safety Josh Gordon picked off a pass from Nassib. (Video)
  • Wide receiver Dwayne Harris made a few nice catches.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz – who is recovering from a torn patellar tendon – continued to work on the sidelines, running routes and catching some passes.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started last week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final five OTA practices will be held June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Giants.com Q&A with OC Weston Richburg: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with center Weston Richburg is available at Giants.com.

Articles on the New York Giants OTAs:

Article on RB Shane Vereen: Shane Vereen could be more prominent than expected in Giants’ backfield by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Articles on CB Prince Amukamara:

Articles on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:

Jun 012015
 
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JUNE 1, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their fourth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started last week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final six OTA practices will be held June 2, June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (knee) did not practice but worked on the side.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (sore hamstring, not the same one as last year) was limited.

“It’s always frustrating when you have to miss what you love doing,” Beckham said. “Just not practicing today was enough for me. But it’s part of the game. The good thing is that it’s just precautionary.”

Linebacker Devon Kennard (ankle) returned to practice.

Linebacker Jon Beason missed the voluntary practice due to a cancelled flight.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, has not been participating in the voluntary OTA workouts.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The starting offensive line currently remains LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG Geoff Schwartz, and RT Marshall Newhouse.
  • George Selvie, Kerry Wynn, and Cullen Jenkins rotated at defensive end on the first-team unit.
  • Jameel McClain practiced with the first team at middle linebacker with J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas playing outside. Devon Kennard also saw first-team reps in lieu of Casillas.
  • Jerome Cunningham and Adrien Robinson saw first-team reps at tight end. Cunningham looked sharp catching the football. (Giants.com video)
  • WR Rueben Randle caught two touchdown passes from QB Eli Manning.
  • Others who flashed catching the ball were WR Corey Washington, TE Will Tye, and RB Orleans Darkwa (Giants.com)
  • With Odell Beckham out of team drills, wideouts Preston Parker, Washington, Marcus Harris, and Dwayne Harris saw extra work in his spot.
  • P Steve Weatherford practiced despite being in an early-morning car accident.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Re: Larry Donnell?

A: He has tendinitis, so they put him in a boot.

Q: Is this something that happened last week?

A: It is ongoing. He had a little bit of that in college.

Q: Where is the tendinitis?

A: It is his Achilles.

Q: Re: Odell Beckham Jr.?

A: Odell is sore. Precautionary.

Q: Hamstring?

A: Yeah, not the same side.

Q: Re: Jon Beason’s absence?

A: His flight was cancelled this morning from Charlotte. He will be here this afternoon.

Q: You brought in an offensive lineman (Jake Long) last week… What was the thinking behind that?

A: Just a visit. It was a good visit. He ate well. He had a nice time visiting with us.

Q: Re: Joint practices with the Cincinnati Bengals?

A: At one time, we did it a lot. I just think going out and having a couple practices against somebody else, [there will be] a little more intensity, especially going into that first game. Maybe have your ones take a few more reps than they normally would because of the way the game will be played. It will really benefit our team.

Q: Jerome Cunningham looked like he took advantage of his playing time today?

A: Yeah, he made a couple plays today. He has gotten plenty of playing time. Hopefully he will continue to benefit from it.

Q: How is the offensive line looking as you configure it?

A: It is obvious you throw an awful lot at them – the young guys are doing okay. Progress is being made and this is what [OTA’s] are all about. Throwing them in there and letting them go. See how they do.

Q: Can you gauge where this offense is a year later?

A: We are way ahead in terms of that. The familiarity as the different installations go and the familiarity by the players, at least the guys that have been here, so what we are talking about here is obvious. There is an awful lot of information being thrown at them. They seem to being handling it well. Some of the new guys have done well with it. I haven’t seen a lot of issues with that. It is natural. They have heard it. They have played it. They have been involved with adjustments. As we do more and more adjusting, they are picking that up as well.

Q: What do you like about adding Shane Vereen on the field and in the running backs room?

A: He is a solid, solid young man. A very positive young man who’s happy to be here and looks forward to contributing. When we brought him in we thought here is a guy that catches the ball out of the backfield and would be another obvious weapon that would have to be defended as well as some of the other people we have here.

Q: What were your immediate thoughts when you heard of Steve Weatheford’s accident?

A: Thank goodness that he is okay. That was a scary, scary thing.

Q: Did you say anything to the players about that?

A: No, I didn’t. As a matter of fact, we were well into meetings when I found out about it. I am sure they all know about it by now.

Q: Does that put life into perspective? He goes from the birth of his baby girl to possibly losing his life?

A: Difficult thing to talk about. That is the first thing that popped into my mind as well. He rushed to get back here. Obviously the weather caused a different set of plans. Then there was another set of plans when he was in Washington. He is close to finally arriving here and he runs into the water.

Q: He could have stayed home for a few days after his wife just had the baby?

A: He has been home quite a while. They anticipated, so he was anxious. We shared the fact that it was a difficult thing under those circumstances to leave your wife and newborn, but he wanted to get back here and he wanted to get back on the field with his teammates. He was saying all along when the baby was born he would be on a plane the next day.

Q: How is Robert Ayers Jr. doing?

A: His ankle is swollen. He is still limping a little bit. Sprained ankle. Lateral ankle sprain. Quite a bit of swelling.

Q: Is Cooper Taylor getting an extensive look at safety because Nat Berhe isn’t available or do you see something?

A: Those that are here are going to get a good look. There are not that many guys working right now and they all are getting a lot of reps. We are looking for Nat to get back in there and help balance it out.

Q: Re: Cooper Taylor?

A: He flashed a few times today and I was glad to see that. Big, strong man. If we can keep him healthy and he can stay out there.

Q: Has Damontre Moore caught up?

A: I don’t think he is all the way caught up, but I was impressed. I was in the training room watching them exercise that shoulder and he has done well with that. I think he is starting to grasp – going back over, he has individual meeting times. He is catching up.

Q: Is Cullen Jenkins playing defensive end something you guys would do or are you doing that because you are short?

A: He is flopping around largely because of the [number of ends], but it is something that could happen.

Q: Are you alright with the offensive line you have now or are you going to add something?

A: We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how we finish the spring here and so on and so forth.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

RELATED ARTICLES…

May 292015
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 29, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their third of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. The Friday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • WR Rueben Randle had a good day, including a one-handled catch on a pass from QB Eli Manning.
  • WR Chris Harper made a couple of nice receptions, including a 20-yard touchdown catch from Manning (video).
  • S Landon Collins broke up a pass from Manning to RB Rashad Jennings.
  • CB Prince Amukamara broke up a pass intended for WR Julian Talley.
  • S Bennett Jackson almost intercepted a pass from QB Ryan Nassib that tipped off of TE Matt LaCosse.
  • The Giants worked on their blitz packages – both offensive and defensively.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started this week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final seven OTA practices will be held June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Article on TE Larry Donnell: Giants tight end Larry Donnell pinpointed his weakness this offseason and attacked by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

May 282015
 
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Ryan Nassib (9), Ben McAdoo, and Eli Manning (10), New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Ryan Nassib, Ben McAdoo, and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 28, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

The New York Giants completed their second of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Thursday. The Thursday session was not open to the media, but Giants.com did report some of the following tidbits:

  • The starting offensive line was LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG Geoff Schwartz, and RT Marshall Newhouse.
  • QB Ryan Nassib apparently had a very sharp practice and completed two nice sideline throws to WR Marcus Harris (video) and another pass to TE Adrien Robinson (video). “The Syracuse product showed great touch on a handful of perfect passes throughout practice,” reported Dan Salomone of Giants.com.
  • QB Eli Manning continued to connect with WR Corey Washington. He also hit WR Preston Parker for a touchdown.
  • The tight ends apparently had an active day, including Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells, and Matt LaCosse.
  • While there were no interceptions in practice on Thursday, CB Prince Amukamara broke up a pass and DE Keryy Wynn batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started this week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The OTA practices will be held May 27-29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Articles on the New York Giants OTAs:

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli surprises with bold proclamation by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on LG Justin Pugh:

Article on DE Damontre Moore: Damontre Moore gets new opportunity with Giants by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants expect Jason Pierre-Paul to be at team’s minicamp in June by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on Former Giants OT Kareem McKenzie: From OT Kareem McKenzie to Dr. Kareem McKenzie by NFLPlayerEngagement.com

May 272015
 
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Ryan Nassib (9) and Eli Manning (10), New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Ryan Nassib and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 27, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started this week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activities, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The OTA practices will be held May 27-29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Linebacker Devon Kennard (ankle) and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice. Head Coach Tom Coughlin indicated that neither injury was serious.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (knee) did not practice but worked on the side. “(Things) are going well,” Cruz said. “I moved into running more routes and running some more patterns. Feeling more confident in that regard. It is feeling really good right now. I think the guys are just going to take it slow. I think I am going to do some individuals later on. I think sometime in June and then we will take it from there.”

Offensive guard Geoff Schwartz (still recovering from ankle surgery) was limited, but practiced.

Defensive end Robert Ayers left practice early with injuries to his left ankle and knee. “He hurt his ankle and his knee,” said Coughlin. “We don’t know too much about it, except it seems like the ankle right now…It was the first play and he, for some reason, went low and got pushed down into the ground. How he did that, I am not exactly sure. This is a time when if you really understand what phase three is, which they have been told there is not any live contact and they have to play with their hands and their feet. I am disappointed in that, but I am hoping what it turns out to be is not serious.”

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, did not make an appearance today and is not expected to participate in the voluntary OTA workouts. Punter Steve Weatherford, whose wife is expecting, also did not attend.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The initial first-team offensive line was LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry, and RT Marshall Newhouse. Geoff Schwartz also got some work at right guard.
  • Second-team offensive line was LT Michael Bamiro, OG Brandon Mosley, OC Dallas Reynolds, RG Adam Gettis, and RT Emmett Cleary.
  • First-team safeties on defense were Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor. Bennett Jackson also received some first-team reps.
  • Giants nickel defense had Collins and Taylor at safety, Jon Beason and J.T. Thomas at linebacker, Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at corner, and Trumaine McBride at the slot corner position.
  • “With [Devon] Kennard sidelined, I thought it was interesting that the coaches had Jonathan Casillas line up at the SAM instead of Jameel McClain, who lined up as the Mike with the second-string unit. Anyway, the rest of the first-team linebackers were J.T. Thomas at the WIL, and Jon Beason in the middle.” (InsideFootball.com)
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington made two nice goal-line touchdown catches against cornerback Prince Amukamara.
  • “Tight end Adrien Robinson got into the mix throughout practice, catching a touchdown in the right corner of the end zone from Manning to end the first period of team drills.” (Giants.com)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What does the Will Beatty news from last week do to your offensive line?

A: Obviously it is a loss for our team in terms of the quality of player being available for us, but we just have to move on. Our plans are to continue to try to figure out how this line is going to fall out, who is going to be where. We will probably try some different combinations to get there. Hopefully, it has to happen…if a team is going to make a move, perhaps somebody that we didn’t really count on originally, because of the number of reps they are going to get, will benefit from that.

Q: What do you think of Ereck Flowers at left tackle?

A: I thought he was heck of a football player or he wouldn’t be here. Outstanding feet, nifty for a big man. Yes, all the above.

Q: Many people said in time he might be a left tackle, but not right now… Your thoughts about that?

A: I don’t subscribe to that – what people, what they say – he is our kid. He is an outstanding young player. He is going to do nothing but get better. Sure, there are going to be things that happen to him that haven’t happened before. We knew there were a couple of things we need to clarify and work on him, but he will work.

Q: Re: Robert Ayers Jr. leaving practice?

A: He hurt his ankle and his knee. We don’t know too much about it, except it seems like the ankle right now. I wouldn’t say anything…

Q: Three of the last four years you have had a serious injury in the spring practice period. Have you adjusted anything for that?

A: When you take the field, just like when you walk across the street, you don’t expect anything to happen. It is under control. There are no pads on. It was the first play and he, for some reason, went low and got pushed down into the ground. How he did that, I am not exactly sure. This is a time when if you really understand what phase three is, which they have been told there is not any live contact and they have to play with their hands and their feet. I am disappointed in that, but I am hoping what it turns out to be is not serious.

Q: What about weight room injuries? Are those things that are just going to happen some times?

A: He (Beatty) was trying to get better. What he was trying to do was get strong, which I think our team has to do and I have said that. He was working with ‘x’ amount of weight. I am not going to tell you what it was, and he was in the middle of his second rep when this unfortunate thing happened. Why did it happen? Who knows, but it is most unfortunate.

Q: Did you look into the Beatty injury the same way you have studied other injuries?

A: Yeah, we can do that. We have talked about that and made some adjustments.

Q: How would you characterize [Justin] Pugh at guard, an experiment or something permanent?

A: I think it is an attempt to take advantage of a very versatile, gifted athlete. I guess ‘experiment’ would be a word you could say because he hasn’t played there. We moved him there with the full intent that he would be able to play there. Do we have to take another look? Perhaps.

Q: Was Pugh moved to guard prior to Will Beatty’s injury?

A: Yeah, sure. He was out there and he was playing it.

Q: What do you say to the notion that the only thing holding back your offense from being explosive is the play of the offensive line?

A: Having said that, I don’t think that would be the case. 28 sacks – if that is the case, then we will coach them up and they will play and they will play well. I really believe that. There are a lot of pieces that you well know. There is nothing to be assumed about anything. A lot of things have to happen to get right back where or above where we played last year. It wasn’t good enough.

Q: Is there something with Devon Kennard?

A: A little bit of an ankle.

Q: What about Nat Berhe?

A: He was out here a week ago and he had a knot in his calf that came about after his work, so [medical] is just holding him.

Q: Has anyone communicated with [Jason Pierre-Paul]?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you anticipate him for the mandatory mini-camp?

A: I do.

Q: How about Victor Cruz?

A: He has progressed. He is beyond the straight-ahead stuff. He has started to maneuver and cut. He has come along well.

Q: Are you hopeful JPP will be here or has he communicated that he will be?

A: The question that was asked of me was do I expect him to be here and I said, ‘Yes.’  It is not hopeful. It is I expect him to be here. Could it be that he won’t be here? That could happen, sure.

Q: What is the goal on the defensive side here in terms of what you are trying to do with installing the new defense?

A: The goal is to – what new terminology there is, what new identifications, whatever aspect of the defense that may be something that we have done before, but that name may have been changed. We introduced all of these things to [the players] to allow for [Defensive Coordinator] Steve [Spagnuolo] to get to work with all these players and have good impact in how we use them. It is a good period of time for Steve to get to know our players and for our players to be introduced to the terminology that we will use this year.

Q: Do you see any similarities from last year when you put in a new offense in terms of having to install a new defensive system?

A: You have to start somewhere and we are introducing as much as we can in the spring. In the fall we will continue to come back with a microscope this time and add whatever we think we need to go out and defend.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

QB Eli Manning on his second offseason in Ben McAdoo’s offense: “It was big. It was important having this last month – watching the film, talking a lot about the mechanics, the footwork, being able to go outside with him and working on a lot of drill work. A lot of it is stuff I wasn’t able to do last year. I was coming off the ankle surgery, I had a new offense – of lot of things going through the mind, trying to figure out concepts. This year, I understand the concepts. I’m still working on it, but I’m concentrating on the footwork and the mechanics and the timing of everything. It was great to have that this year and kind of get back to the basics of everything. I feel comfortable, I feel real good right now.”

OL Justin Pugh on why he likes playing guard: “Having the ability to get free shots on guys, going up to the linebackers, I can utilize my ability to pull. I am embracing it. I am going to be the best left guard that I can be and help produce for this team. We have to run the ball and we have to be stout…My left tackle is going to love playing next to me.”

OL Weston Richburg on playing center: “Today felt right. I like center because it gives me a little more control, per se. I am directing the offensive line. I like that leadership role. I really enjoyed being there today and being in charge of making those calls and communicating with Eli. It was fun.”

OL Marshall Newhouse on the team’s offensive line: “This is a strong group. It is just a smart, tough group that is very gritty and ready to fight. I have definitely seen that and I only expect that to get better.”

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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (September 14, 2014)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 9, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants three-day rookie mini-camp was held on Saturday. Sixty-six players – draft picks, signed rookie free agents, first-year players who have not completed a season of credited service, and street and rookie free agent tryout players – were in attendance.

NEWLY SIGNED…
The New York Giants announced that they have officially signed WR Geremy Davis, their 6th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (3rd round), S Mykkele Thompson (5th round), and OG Bobby Hart (7th round) were signed earlier this week. Only OL Ereck Flowers (1st round) and S Landon Collins (2nd round) remain unsigned.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • “Former Illinois TE Matt LaCosse made a few nice catches today during both 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills. The top play was his diving grab from ex-Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova on a ball contested by safety Bennett Jackson.” (Giants.com)
  • “Safety Landon Collins, the Giants’ second-round draft pick, moved around a lot as coaches want to see the way he handles the responsibilities they would require of their free safety.” (ESPN.com)
  • “The Giants’ other safety draft pick, fifth rounder Mykkele Thompson, looked pretty good in one-on-one drills, showing off his speed and staying close to the receiver he was covering, but I noticed he had trouble getting his head turned around in time to make a play on the ball. (NJ.com)
  • Michael Bamiro, an offensive lineman who was signed to a reserves/futures contract earlier this year, is an impressive-looking offensive tackle. He stands 6-8 and is listed as 341 pounds and earned himself some “atta-boys” in drills from offensive line coaches Pat Flaherty and Luda Wells.” (InsideFootball.com)

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BEN McADOO…
Ben McAdoo addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com).

Q: Is it a night and day type of thing now looking back to this time last year?

A: No, we put a lot of work in. We did a little more this offseason than we did last year because we had the cut-ups to go through. That took us four weeks and change. We went back and retooled the offense a little bit. We spent a lot of time on scheme and tying it into the personnel that we had and some of the new toys that we added. It is not a system anymore, it is our offense. We are excited to get that going.

Q: Where do you stand on Victor Cruz’s status?

A: We are going to take the same approach on offense that we always do. We have a group of guys that we are going to go out and play with. We are pulling for Victor and we hope for the best. He certainly looks good moving around out there right now in rehab. We are going to let Victor take care of what he needs to take care of and come back when he is ready. When he is ready to come back, we will welcome him back.

Q: What does Shane Vereen add to this offense?

A: Vereen is a good player. He is a talented player. Unique skill set. He gets a lot of credit for what he does in the passing game. He is probably underappreciated as a pass protector and as a runner. We are glad to have him.

Q: What are a few things you liked/disliked about your first year?

A: I usually don’t think that way. There isn’t a lot that I look back and I am real happy about. We didn’t win enough ballgames. We don’t like to spend a lot of time talking about that. We like to chase execution. I think the last six games we started to play the way that we wanted to play. We started to execute and produce the way we wanted to produce. The way we completed the ball and the number of plays in a game. We just have to continue to chase execution and start where we left off.

Q: Is it too simple to draw the parallel to those last six games and when Odell [Beckham Jr.] started to take over? Are they one in the same?

A: I think it is a combination of a lot of things. We settled down up front a little bit. I think the quarterback started feeling better about the offense at that point. It takes some time. I think Odell is a unique player and I give him credit for paying attention in meetings and making meetings important so that he can transfer it onto the field, even though when [he] didn’t get reps on your feet, he still gets mental reps. That was a big part of his success last year.

Q: Teams are obviously going to game plan for [Beckham Jr.]… Do you feel like you have to find different ways and move him around even more now?

A: Everyone learns to play everywhere on the perimeter. Whether you are a running back, a tight end or a receiver, you need to learn concepts. You need to be able to execute those concepts. It doesn’t matter if you are a back, a tight end or a receiver, you have to be able to play one, two and three receiver. We ask that of all our guys. Whether we pull that out each week depends on who we are seeing and how we are tailoring our plan.

Q: With [Ereck] Flowers here now, is Justin Pugh a guard?

A: That remains to be seen. Justin Pugh, right now, is the starting right tackle for the Giants.

Q: Where do you see Flowers fitting in?

A: We are going to play our best five and if he is one of them, he will find a spot.

Q: What do you see out of Flowers that you like so far this week?

A: He looks like he likes football, and that is a great place to start. He is a conscientious young man and I look forward to watching him grow.

Q: What have you seen from Gary Nova and what do you look for from the quarterbacks at rookie minicamp?

A: We threw a lot at them. We try not to take it easy on them. We change their fundamentals. We threw a lot at them schematically. They did a nice job bouncing back here the second day and played a little better and a little faster here. They were able to digest the information, take it to the field, adjust their fundamentals and have a chance to execute. That is really what every day boils down to in this league. He did a nice job.

Q: Which side do you figure Flowers will be starting at?

A: That remains to be seen.

Q: Does that mean anything to you that most of the work Flowers has done out here has been on the left side? Do you try to move him around as much as possible?

A: We believe that he has a skill set to play left tackle in this league. We are going to give him opportunities to train out there. We will give him opportunities to train at multiple spots. That doesn’t mean we are going to pencil him in to one spot right now.

Q: Is there any reason why you can’t hit the ground running after the way the offense finished the last six games of last year?

A: It is a loser’s mentality to think you can come in here and not miss a beat and pick up where you left off. Any success in this league is earned. If you come walking in thinking you don’t have to do any work and you can pick up where you left off and we can execute the way we were at the end of the season, that is a loser’s mindset.

Q: What does it mean that it is not a system anymore, it is an offense?

A: That means it is tailored to the players we have in the room. It is about the players, not the plays. We tailored it. You put some stuff out in the storage shed that you may like, but you may not get to because it doesn’t fit with who you are.

Q: How do you feel? More comfortable?

A: I always battle being over-confident. I always battle that. I may hide that sometimes. I have confidence in the guys in the locker room and the guys in the staff room upstairs. We have assembled a good group of men and we are excited about the season.

Q: How much longer until Eli Manning hits that ceiling?

A: Usually when you put in changes or change the system or address fundamentals, it usually shows up in year two. I like the look in his eye. I am excited for what is on the plate this year.

Q: What do you see from a guy like Dwayne Harris?

A: Dwayne is a guy we are going to throw into the mix. We already have right away. He is a guy that brings in a little bit of attitude and a little bit of toughness. I like that.

Q: Is he primarily a guy who will play in the slot?

A: He is another receiver who is going to get opportunities to play all the spots and he will be a big contributor on special teams for us.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Steve Spagnuolo addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com).

Q: Was it a hard decision to come back here?

A: Not really. There’s a lot of reason to come back here. There’s a lot of reasons for anybody to come here; the tradition of Giants football, the ownership, the Maras, the Tisches, Coach Coughlin, Jerry Reese… You do the checklist, if I did one at all, which I’m not saying I did. It would be fully loaded on one side. I was at a really good place in Baltimore and I just want to send a shout out to Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie (Newsome) and John (Harbaugh). I loved the two years there. Any time you can go to a different place, you can learn more. A little bit of wisdom was gained. It was terrific to work with such a good friend. John Harbaugh and I were together in Philadelphia for eight years and we had a lot of conversations in those eight years. We could sit and bounce things off as head coach and former head coach and it was a lot of fun, so I enjoyed that.

Q: What’s been your priority here the first couple of months?

A: At the top of the list is the bottom of the foundation. That’s probably the best way I can say it. We’ve got to build this thing gradually and the coaches all believe you can’t do anything until you get all of the basics right. Some of the basics go all the way back to things that have nothing to do with talent, have nothing to do with being out here on the field, but believing in what we’re doing, the character of the guys in unity, integrity and then we go from there. So we started from ground one and began to build it up. We get to a certain point here and we just keep on going, but it’s going to take a little while.

Q: Why is it so important for you to show this team the history of the franchise?

A: Maybe that comes from having been there, but the whole staff just felt like when you understand the tradition of defensive football here at the Giants, you embrace it. When you embrace something you have a little pride in it. If you’ve got a little pride in something like your family, you tend to protect it. The only other thing I added to them was let’s grow our own tradition and history here. We’ve been going back and feeding the guys all the greats here and we’ll eventually start feeding great defensive games. We’ve got some picked out. I think we all should embrace that. There should be a passion about it, and that should carry it out right here on the field. That’s the goal.

Q: Do you sense a different task than when your first time around here?

A: New building. When I ran out there the first day, I was looking for the bubble. I didn’t see a bubble. I just saw a nice indoor facility. What was really nice is when you can step into a building and you know people and they know you. That was really, really comfortable. That doesn’t always happen that way. There were a lot of kinks that were already worked out. It was just comfortable. The New York Giants and the leadership is pretty much the same as when I was here. I certainly knew exactly the type of people and the type of organization I was going to and that’s why I ran here instead of walking.

Q: How about as far as the team goes and the roster?

A: I believe that any year in this business, in the NFL, it’s a different challenge and this one is certainly different than 2007. There were hurdles. There were hurdles then and there will be hurdles now, but that’s a part of coaching. That’s what we embrace. That’s what we enjoy. That’s the challenge of it and if all of us accept it and work together to get over the hump, hopefully we’ll build something successful.

Q: How do you envision your defense schematically compared to when you were here before?

A: We’ve got some tweaks. We’re not going to venture too far personnel-wise because of what we have and try to change things too much, but the good thing about being in a lot of different places, whether it was St. Louis, New Orleans or Baltimore, is you can pick from other places. Nobody in this league is sharing information. So when you try to get little tidbits from other coaches, nobody is giving that info, but if you’re able over the course of whatever it was, five or six years, to come up with some different things, we’ll add those in and hopefully we’ll come up with something really good.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about the personnel you had in ’07 and ’08 and how those guys aren’t here now.

A: Yeah. Everybody gets older. I’ve seen some of them out here. I tried to put a helmet and pads on them.

Q: In terms of the personnel you have now, are there pieces you can identify right now that you’re excited about?

A: Yeah. The challenge for me will be real football doesn’t begin until you put the pads on and you get to training camp. That’s kind of the downside of what we’re going through right now, but as much as we can find out, there’s a lot of things I’m excited about. This may sound minimal to you all, but when I stand in front of that defensive group in the meeting room, I see attentive guys. I see people that want to learn, that are in tune to it, that are passionate about it, and I think it all begins there. Where we take that when we get out here, we’ll wait and see.

Q: Do you see the talent in your room?

A: There’s talent there. There are places where we need to fill some holes, but I think every team has that. That’s why you have a draft and you have free agency and we bring guys in to see what you can come up with.

Q: Was there ever a feeling when you initially left in ’08 to come back again?

A: This isn’t a on and off switch where, boom, all of a sudden we’re back to 2007 and we pick up where we left off. It doesn’t work that way and so to me I treat them differently. It would be no different than if I had left Baltimore and went to another team. It’s a different challenge. It’s a different year. It’s different personnel and we’re talking about all of these things right now. I’m not a magician. No coaches are magicians. Things aren’t going to happen like they may have happened in a different time, but hopefully something exciting will happen. At least that’s the goal.

Q: What did you learn from your experience from New Orleans and what are you taking from that time to do things differently here?

A: I firmly believe you learn more from adverse situations than you do when things just go like that. So there was a tremendous amount of wisdom and knowledge gained from my year in New Orleans. That was a tough year for a lot of different reasons. I’m not going to go back and speculate on why, but what I will do is I’m going to grab the things that we need to from that experience that will help us here. I will fully be doing that. There’s a good notebook about that thick with things I should have done, shouldn’t have done and things I can certainly do better. But that was a growth experience. Life is like that. It’s not just the NFL. I’ve been blessed to suffer in the last couple of years to make me what I am now and hopefully it resonates and it’s something good here.

Q: How do you see Landon Collins fitting in here? What do you want from him?

A: I want him to go to the Pro Bowl. That’s what we want all of our guys to do. I will say this, from practice one yesterday to just this morning, I saw a jump already. They come here initially and they’re feeling their way through. They don’t really want to say anything, but by the time we got to that last team period today, Landon was moving people around and directing, so if he can keep doing that every day, I think we’ll have exactly what we thought we had when we took him.

Q: Does the distinction between free safety and strong safety matter?

A: Right now, it doesn’t. Actually we want to get all of the safeties to learn both so we can figure out where we’ll put people. We’ve just got to line them up left and right for right now. That will probably stay like that for a pretty good duration and then when we feel like maybe we should hone in on a particular spot, we’ll do that, but we’re not going to do that right away.

Q: Jason Pierre-Paul has primarily stayed on the right side of the defensive line and you like to move guys around on the line. Do you plan on using him in different ways?

A: Sure, and Coach Nunn and I have talked about that, but one other thing I do believe in is you get guys in comfortable spots. I haven’t had enough of a long conversation with JPP to know what he’s more comfortable with, but when you’ve got a talented player, you try to put them in places where they can excel and help your defense. We’ll fill that out when he gets here.

Q: What about in terms of leadership? You had Antonio Pierce the first time you were here. Are you still feeling out the guys to see who that next guy will be?

A: That’s going to take a little bit of time. There are guys in that room that we’re working with right now that I know in the past, having listened to other coaches or watching the Giants from afar, that I think there’s some good leaders there and I think you always have got to develop more. Sometimes when leaders leave the program or system, some guys jump up that you would have never expected. Sometimes leadership lids are removed and guys that you never even would have thought would step to the forefront. I’m anxious to see who that might be. I’m just going to add this. Would I like to have AP back? Sure. He ran the show. He was pretty good.

Q: How important is the relationship between the defensive coordinator and the middle linebacker?

A: I think it’s pretty important.

Q: How have you and Jon Beason gotten along?

A: He’s been great. I remember Jon coming out of Miami and I have friends down in Carolina that were with him and I remember talking about Jon Beason before he even became a Giant. Everything was complimentary and you’ve got to love those guys that like the chess game. Jameel McClain is the same guy and I have some experience with him in Baltimore, so it’s nice to have a couple of guys like that and I’m sure there’ll be some other guys.

Q: Even though you weren’t Jameel McClain’s position coach, are you going to count on him maybe a little bit more since he is familiar with you?

A: I think it naturally happens that way and Jameel and I have had a couple of conversations. I was with Chykie Brown last year. You take the good from all of the places and it will be easier if I’m trying to feed something to the guys about maybe something that we did or the way we did it in Baltimore and they could probably back it up and say he knows a little bit about what he’s talking about because we were there, too.

Q: What are your expectations for Damontre Moore?

A: I’m not sure I have any except with all the guys. I said this to the group, that the main objective right now, from now until February, is to be better today than we were yesterday. I know that sounds cliché-ish, but I think that’s where we should be right now.

Q: Do you know anything about Damontre as a player?

A: From what the coaches have fed to me. I have spoken to him. I know he’s getting his degree, which I’m kind of proud of. I would love to have him here because that stuff is important, but we’ll just see where it goes when he gets here.

Q: What would be your definition of New York Giants defense?

A: As you asked that, in my mind, I’m going through what we’ve been watching with the Harry Carsons and the Lawrence Taylors… I’m seeing all of them. I grew up in the northeast, but before they were Patriots fans, they were Giants fans. I can just remember watching Giants football and Giants Stadium. Everybody gets infatuated with offense, but I just remember the linebackers and the D-linemen. That play that Jason Sehorn made against us when Philadelphia played at Giants Stadium with the interception… That was a playoff game. Those things are what resonates. It’s relentless. It’s attacking. Michael Strahan said this in one of the things we were watching. He said when he first got here, they — meaning all of his defensive players — they took pride in living up to the New York Giants defensive tradition. I thought that just spoke volumes. That’s a lot to live up to. So if we can shoot for that and get close to that, I think we’ll be pretty good.

Q: What is your plan for the nickel back position?

A: That’s one we’re trying to feel through, to be honest with you. You’ll probably see as we go through the OTA’s that there’ll be a number of guys working in and out of there. In this league nowadays, there are a lot of three wideout sets. That means you’ve got to match them in a lot of cases and put another DB out there, so I’m not sure I have an answer for that right now. There were some guys that did it a little bit last year and some guys that we added.

Q: Is Trumaine McBride a guy you could put in the nickelback position?

A: I thought he showed a pretty good feel for being there. He’s one of them. Josh Gordy has done it. Mike Harris did it a little bit last year. We’ve got some guys that we can try, but we need to get that solved and we need to identify who the nickel is.

Q: The Giants have used a lot of three-safety looks in the past. Is that something you’d like to use?

A: We’re going to have to work with the ebb and flow and the talent and personnel that we have, but sometimes the offenses force you to go that route and if we have to do that, we’ll do that. I’m going to start finding those people out.

Q: How was the interview process with Tom Coughlin?

A: You go through the process. It was a very comfortable job interview. For the greater part of it, it was being back with an old friend. Tom and I have always stayed in touch the whole time I’ve been gone, but we had to talk about things that related to the job and we did that. It was a little bit of business and it was a lot of just personal getting caught up and I enjoyed it. I’m glad it worked out.

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR TOM QUINN…
Tom Quinn addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com).

Q: What do you expect is going to happen with the extra point?

A: That is a good question. I know they want to do something to it. Probably move it back to where it was in the preseason.

Q: Do you have a preference?

A: I have no preference at all. Whatever they tell us to do, we will do. We handled it well last year. Obviously nothing has been done with later in the year with the wind and cold. That would make it a little bit more challenging in the northeast.

Q: Think it would change much in regards to strategy for you guys?

A: It all depends on the game conditions. That is something [Coach Coughlin] would take care of.

Q: Re: Dwayne Harris?

A: It is good that it is someone we know so well. [He] is someone who we played twice a year against all his time in Dallas. I respected him coming out of college and how he plays and how physical he plays. He will add a good dimension. He is a returner that is also a gunner, so anytime you can get a guy that can do multiple jobs is a nice addition.

Q: Do you look at Harris as a guy who can do both, punt returning and kickoff returns?

A: Yeah, he has done it. It is there on tape. I feel very confident in him picking up those jobs. I think if you look across the league, you need a stable of guys you can rely on.

Q: Would you like to keep Odell [Beckham Jr.] off of punt return this year if you can?

A: That is not my decision. I think he wants to do it. Whatever helps the team. If he is needed, then he is needed.

Q: When you look at the new pieces that have been added to your unit, are you feeling pretty good about where they fit in?

A: Yeah. It is always exciting to add guys that have played at a high level in this league. [Jonathan] Casillas has done that. J.T. Thomas has done that. That is always nice to add them into the mix and get them into our culture and how we want them to do things. Really try to highlight what they do well. That is the fun part about it. It is always changing parts.

Q: How about [Geremy] Davis from UConn?

A: Little bit of an unknown. I know he has good height, weight and speed coming out. He didn’t do a lot of special teams coming out of college, but that is not unusual. We are excited to work with him and see what he can add to the mix.

Q: Who do you view as your core special teamers?

A: You try to, but a lot of times those guys end up starting, so that becomes their role. You just try to have a good, solid room. I think [Mark] Herzlich is a guy that has been a leader in that room. You always have a mix of young guys and old guys and guys that are starting and guys that are not starting. It is a little bit in flux. It is not like you have six to eight guys that you have had for three or four years with how much movement there is now in the league.

Q: What is it about Harris that makes him a good return man?

A: He is decisive. There isn’t a lot of wasted movement. He is physical. He has a good understanding of the return schemes and what is needed for each one. There is no hesitation. If he is catching the ball and you are running it to the right, he is going to get it to the right, which sets up all the blockers for him. They know where he is going to be. A lot of times when you are blocking, [the returner] is supposed to be over here, but the returner is running the wrong direction or in the middle and now your block is not set up for that. He is very decisive. He is a strong runner.

Q: How do you evaluate the overall performance of the special teams last season?

A: I was pleased with some areas of it, but obviously other areas have to get better. I thought Josh [Brown] had a very solid year. One of his better years.  I think his kickoffs continue to get better, which is a positive for him at his age and a tribute to how well he trains. I saw some sparks in the punt return game, especially when Odell got his feet wet and guys did a good job understanding the blocking. Kickoff was very solid. I was very pleased with that. Kickoff return – you are always trying to find some guys up front to block. I think we got better as the year went on. Punt is the one area that we did not meet our goal. You want to have a 40-yard net now and we are under that. We continue to emphasize with the hang time and the location of the punts. Get better at that and get better at covering it. I think we have done that with some of the acquisitions we have made.

Q: How much of the punting issues can be attributed to the fact that Steve Weatherford was hurt for most of the season?

A: He did. He had the ankle and then he had the back. He was banged up all year. It was really unfortunate for how hard he trains. He puts the time in the weight room to stay healthy. I think he might be lifting now as we are talking.

Q: When you say the acquisitions for punt return…?

A: I am talking about punt return and punt. Guys that we have picked up have played at a high level on those teams. Casillas has made a living doing it. J.T. Thomas has done it even though he was starting. He would still cover kicks. Adding those guys with speed and experience is always a positive.

PLAYERS SPEAK…
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