Apr 262018
 
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Saquon Barkley, Penn State Nittany Lions (December 30, 2017)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 2nd pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’0”, 233-pound running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State University.

SCOUTING REPORT: Junior entry. Barkley is a complete three-down back who can make an impact running and catching the football. He has an outstanding combination of size, quickness, and speed. Home-run threat every time he touches the football. Barkley has great vision, instincts, and balance. He makes defenders miss and can accelerate to full speed in a heartbeat. Not limited, he is tough enough to run between the tackles and fast enough to turn the corner. In addition, Barkley is big enough to run through and athletic enough to leap over tackle attempts. Barkley is a very good pass receiver who can hurt a defense down the field in the passing game. Outstanding kick returner. His biggest negatives are that he isn’t a particularly powerful short-yardage back and he will sometimes try to do too much and dance around instead of taking what the defense gives him. Excellent intangibles. Team leader with a good work ethic.

SY’56’s Take:

Strong Points:

-Top tier movement when it comes to agility, explosion, speed
-Able to see diagnose and adjust on the fly, balance and control are at a rare level
-A big time factor as a pass catcher

Weak Points:

-Doesn’t take what the defense gives, too often looking for the home run
-Too much dancing as he approaches the inside running lanes
-Doesn’t impact pass rushers the way he can

Summary:

Junior entry. The top player in this draft, something I have been saying since early October. Barkley is a generational talent that does almost everything at the top level. He is built to carry a load when he has to and has the versatility to impact the game in several ways. He can be a focal point of an offense much like what Elliot and Gurley have provided for DAL and LAR, respectively.

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN AND HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR: (Video)

Gettleman: Obviously, we felt Saquon was the best player in the draft. In baseball, they call it a five-tool player. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pick five tools, but I have not seen a guy like this in a long time and I have been around a long time. I have been doing this for 30-plus years. The kid is so unique because of his size and his speed. He has the ability to string together multiple moves. He has the ability to step on the gas. He can do what we call cross the formation. There are a lot of good backs in this league, but they don’t have the speed to go across the formation. We all know he can catch the heck out of the rock. He is smart in blitz pickup, he sees it. That is probably the biggest issue with all these young rushers now. He is powerful, he runs through tackles and he runs through hits. When we were in here before, we were talking about quarterbacks and if they make everyone better. If you think about it, this kid makes our quarterback better, he makes our receivers better, he makes our O-line better. He makes our defense better because he has the much stronger ability to hold the ball. He is a great kid and he will be great for our culture. He was the unanimous best player in our draft.

Q: What about the positional value argument?

Gettleman: You know what I say about that. It is a crock. At the end of the day, a great player is a great player. He is a touchdown maker. He is a threat to take it to the house every time he gets his hands on the ball. I think a lot of that stuff is nonsense. I think it is someone who had decided to get into the analytics of it and went through whatever. Jonathan Stewart is in his tenth year and he has not lost anything. I don’t believe in that. I don’t care who you take, they can all get hurt.

Q: Was this an easy pick for you?

Gettleman: At the end of the day? Do I have to tell the truth? Yes. Nothing changed. You can overthink it, it’s a running back this and that, you can make yourself crazy about it and you can overthink things. You have to go with your instincts and understand what it takes to put together a winning football team.

Q: You know who your starting quarterback is, but with the addition of Saquon, do you think this is a vote of confidence in Davis Webb?

Shurmur: I don’t know that. I think Dave said it, we thought that this was the best player in the draft. We know the value he brings to our team. He is a three-down running back. He can run it, catch it and pass protect. He can be on the field as long as he can handle it. Certainly, we are going to sub him at times. I don’t know if it is a vote of confidence in Davis. We loved what we saw this week. He got better every day. We certainly all know what Eli brings to the table. This is one pick. He is a tremendous player and he is going to do a lot for our offense and our organization. If everyone gets to know him as well as we got to know him, everyone is going to see how special this young man is.

Q: How much interest was there in the No. 2 pick?

Gettleman: We had such a strong conviction on Saquon. I was talking to people. Not a lot, but we all had such a conviction on this kid. At the end of the day, very frankly, today, Baker Mayfield goes. The only reason that pick wasn’t in at 9:58 was because we had to wait till the five-minute mark.

Q: Did you have any significant enough offers that made you consider a trade?

Gettleman: The short answer is no, not really. People call you and they want the second pick of the draft for a bag of donuts, a hot pretzel and a hot dog. Leave me alone. I don’t have time to screw around.

Q: Did Sam Darnold falling to No. 2 affect the trade talks?

Gettleman: They went Mayfield, we were taking Saquon. It’s that simple.

Q: How long have you been thinking about Saquon and where he can fit? Have you drawn anything up with him in mind?

Shurmur: In my spare time, certainly. I think every guy that we thought we would take, in my mind, we had a role for. The running back is an easy guy to fit in an offense. You have to turn around and hand it to him. It doesn’t take a genius to do that. Then, a lot of times when you try and throw the ball downfield and they cover them all, you can dump him off the ball, or you can feature him in the pass game. I have seen the effects of a really, really good running back not only on the offense, but on the team. You have to run the football not just for your offense, but for your team. I have seen the effect that a great running back can have on teams. I was excited about the fact that he was the best player in the draft and I was excited about the fact that we were able to draft him.

Q: Who does he remind you of?

Shurmur: He is unique for me because he has quickness and he has speed. He can score touchdowns from any part of the field and he has a couple of things I am looking for. Number one, he can catch the football. That is first and foremost. He has great vision and then he has what we call in coaching ‘collision balance’. When he goes through the hole and someone tries to tackle him, he can keep his balance, but also when he is stepping up to try and block someone, he has a good set of lowers to drop his weight on him. We are going to nitpick him, I’m sure, at some point, but this is a guy that can do everything.

Q: You were very clear that Saquon Barkley was the right pick? What was your second option?

Gettleman: I don’t think it is fair to the kid to answer that question.

Q: How much discussion was there about having to fall in love with one of the quarterbacks because you might need one soon?

Gettleman: That tells you your answer right there. If you have to try to make yourself fall in love with a player, it is wrong. You will never be happy with the pick. You have to go through the process. As Theo Epstein said, you don’t cheat the process. You get all the information and give everyone their say at the right time. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to talk yourself into a guy. If you talk yourself into a guy, you are making a mistake. There was a player on our board as recently as three days ago. We couldn’t figure him out. We didn’t know where he fit. Coaches weren’t sure if he was a fit and we as evaluators weren’t sure if he was a fit. You know what, at the end of the day, if you can’t picture it, don’t take him. That’s really what it is. If you have to make yourself fall in love with a guy, you are going to make a mistake.

Q: And that’s what it would have been with the quarterbacks?

Gettleman: If you have to make yourself fall in love with a guy… You’re not getting a quote.

Q: Eli is 37. What is the long-term plan at quarterback?

Gettleman: What’s the long-term plan with the quarterback? He’s going to play. What do you want me to tell you? He’s our quarterback, we believe in him, he threw the hell out of the ball for three days, he has not lost one bit of arm strength and I’m coming back five years later, watching a quarterback in his prime, and now he’s 37. You have to stop worrying about age. Oh, by the way, Julius Peppers played last year at 38, Mike Davis played at 37. There are some guys that are just freaks. Brady is 41. I mean c’mon. He is our quarterback.

Q: Eli Manning only has two years left on his deal. Do you think he can play past that contract?

Gettleman: We’re going to find out. We’re going to find out.

Q: The guy you passed on was drafted by the team across town right after you. They’re going to be compared to each other. Did you recognize that and what do you have to say about that?

Gettleman: Slow down. We passed on about 230,000 players. You guys have got to understand me, I don’t care. All I care about is the New York Football Giants and every decision we make will be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I don’t care about that stuff. It doesn’t bother me. I know you’re looking at me like I’m crazy. I don’t care. Every decision that we are going to make is going to be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. It is going to be in the best interest of this iconic franchise.

Q: Who does Saquon remind you of?

Gettleman: You guys are going to have to called Ernie (Accorsi). The thing that makes him different is he has the feet and speed of a little guy, with the power and strength of a big guy. That’s what makes him so darn unique. He’s different. It’s like he was touched by the hand of God, frankly. I can’t give you a name. I wish I could. Call Ernesto, that’s what you’ve got to do.

Q: You’ve been pretty honest in your gold jacket test. Do you see Saquon Barkley as a potential Hall of Famer and how do you expect him to handle those kinds of expectations?

Gettleman: Listen, he’s a wonderful kid and there is going to be a load on him. He just had a kid, second pick in the draft, biggest media market in the country, coming to a 3-13 team. The advice I’m going to give Saquon when I see him tomorrow, I’m going to tell him to be Saquon. That is it. That’s all that I want you to be. I don’t want you to be everything to everybody. Just understand that you take care of your football, the world will be at your feet.

Q: He’s a great return guy. Do you risk him at that position?

Shurmur: We’re going to use him. We’re going to get him in the mix, we’re going to get him going as soon as we can get him here and then we’re going to train him as a running back. He’ll perform return duties – typically, not normally your first returner. You can give him the ball enough times. I think when it comes down to touches and whatnot, we can give him the ball other ways.

Q: For as complete of a player as Barkley is, what can he still learn and work on when he gets here and starts to work with the coaches?

Shurmur: There is a lot to learn. Even though he is extremely talented, he’s still a rookie. He’s got to get in here and learn our culture. Our offense is much more diverse than the one that he was just playing in. We’re going to ask him to do more things and colleges just run a whole bunch of plays sometimes. We don’t run quite that many and you have to be really good on the ones that you’re involved in. It’s everything from here is your locker to here is your helmet, here is where the field is and let’s play ball. He’s going to get indoctrinated like any rookie and we’re going to treat him like any rookie coming to our organization. Now with that being said, if he’s the best Saquon he can be, then he will find his way into the lineup if he does what he’s supposed to be doing and he will find a way to help lead this team and I think that’s the challenge for him. But, first and foremost, we’re going to treat him like a rookie when he comes in here.

Q: You mentioned Ernie Accorsi several times. We know all the stories about the conviction he had in 2004. Do you see any similarities about the conviction Ernie had with Eli compared to the conviction you had with Saquon?

Gettleman: Yes, I do. When you take a guy this high when you know you’ve got that pick. I got hired and four days later, I know we have the second pick in the draft. I’ve been thinking about it since then. I’ve got to evaluate our team, then go through all the draft processes. Again, like I told you guys last time – when I watched a player on the defensive side playing Penn State, I was like a 3-year-old, I was watching Saquon.

Q: Were you thinking that any other team had a conviction like that about Saquon?

Gettleman: We thought about it.

Q: You’re such a film guy, what was the one play that you saw when you said, ‘That’s our guy’?

Gettleman: Well, I don’t know who it was against, but he breaks into the second level and he’s got two linebackers there and the safety coming here and he strung together three moves and – he just took it to the house. I had to run it back a couple times and say to myself, ‘I know I wasn’t drinking.’ So when you get to that, you just watched it and you’ve seen all the other stuff and it’s like, ‘Okay, put the clicker down and go to the other guy.’

Q: Was it the Iowa run?

Shurmur: That’s one of them. There was one against USC that was tremendous. There are a handful of them that you guys can vote on. They were all pretty good.

Q: At what point was that when you were watching tape on Saquon?

Gettleman: I did Saquon probably in March when I finally started to look at the film because everybody around here kept telling me, ‘You have to watch Saquon. You have to watch Saquon.’ So I said, ‘All right, I’ll watch him.’ He’s just so gifted.

Q: Did you think that you were being too complimentary about Saquon during this process that you were giving too much away?

Shurmur: I didn’t do much talking at all. He is a terrific player.

Q: Do you see him as a Le’Veon Bell-type back that can handle 25-27 touches a game?

Shurmur: He could be. He could handle that type of a load if need be. We’ll just have to see as we go and put this thing together. He’s one of a bunch of guys that we’re going to get in the mix – Eli, him, Odell, Evan and ideally if we can spread the ball around and block him well, Shep. I mean we’ve got a lot of really good players and he’s going to be one of them.

MEDIA Q&A WITH SAQUON BARKLEY:

Q: What is it like to come to an offense that includes wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram?

A: Yeah, it’s exciting. The players you just named are very talented and you’ve got that offense led with Eli Manning, a proven quarterback in the NFL with Super Bowl rings. OBJ at wide receiver, probably the best wide receiver in the NFL. Being able to surround yourself with that talent, you’ve got a standard to hold, you’ve got a standard to come into and you’ve got to raise your level of competition and raise your level of talent to compete with those guys and to be able to help that offense out at a young age.

Q: What is your relationship like with Odell Beckham Jr.?

A: Odell and I started our relationship kind of in the offseason, I guess you could say, training for the NFL Draft. After the Combine, I went out to LA to train and that’s where he’s at and we kind of just hit it off. Built a great relationship and welcomed me in with open arms and gave me great advice, the good things and the bad things. I feel like it’s important to learn from people’s mistakes and he’s the guy at the top of the game right now and everyone’s looking at him. So, I’d be dumb not to try to learn from the lessons he has taught me and told me.

Q: How early in this process did you get a feeling that the Giants loved you and were going to take you?

A: You see all the reports and you hear all the reports, but I got a feeling after the visit, when I got to formally meet all of the coaches and GM and everybody in the building. Leaving there, I just felt like that’s home. That’s the place where I wanted to be. Obviously in the Draft, you don’t decide where you want to go, but if I had to pick, that would be the place that I would pick. Walking into that facility and you see the four Super Bowl rings just hanging in a trophy case, that right there just shows you the mindset and the standard of that place. And that’s where you want to be and that’s a place you want to be a part of.

Q: How nerve-wracking were the last few days for you, not knowing where you were going to end up?

A: Yeah, but the way I handled that is something that I learned in college, is to control what you can control and that’s how I came into this whole thing. If the Giants wanted to draft me and they draft me, I was going to be super proud and super happy to come to this organization and try to come off hot and ready at a young age and try to help the offense out as early as I can. But if they traded or if they did other things with the pick, I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is how I handle myself and my approach. But like I said, I’m just truly thankful and truly honored to be a part of the Giants.

Q: Was being caught in photos wearing Giants gear recently intentional?

A: I know you guys would love for me to say that it was intentional, but in all honesty, it was a sweatshirt that I got actually from the visit [to the facility]. You get that from other teams when you visit and I had to go get a haircut and I went to the barber shop and I was running late and I just got out of the shower, so I just grabbed it and went. And I put it on, not even thinking about anything, but someone snapped a picture of me and I guess it got to TMZ. But, hey, I guess it all worked out for the best.

Q: What kind of high are you on right now, having your baby daughter born two days ago and now getting drafted second overall?

A: Yeah, it’s honestly incredible, it’s amazing. First and foremost, you’re blessed for the opportunity of fatherhood and being able to have a daughter, a beautiful daughter, and being able to raise her and try to set an example and a standard for her of how she should be treated by a man and how she should follow her life. But then the icing on top and the cherry on top, to be able to get drafted to New York, the New York Giants. Like I said, how well known this franchise is and known for the four Super Bowl rings and championships and being able to come home. This is the place I was born. I was born in New York, I was born in the Bronx and I’m not far from home anyway. I’m only like an hour and 45 minutes from the Lehigh Valley and I’m just happy I’m able to stay close and be able to play for such a prestigious franchise.

Q: What is your mindset coming in with an expectation to wear a gold jacket one day?

A: Yeah, hearing that, you love that. That shows that this franchise believes in you and you’ve got to believe in them. And that’s a mindset I have for myself. Obviously, everyone in this Draft will tell you that they want a gold jacket one day. But it’s easier said than done and I’m aware of that, I’m strongly aware of that. And I know that I have to work my butt off every single day to get to where I want to go. And it’s not going to happen in one day. It’s going to take baby steps and it’s going to take a long trip up that mountain, but every single day I’m willing to work.

Q: Do you come in expecting to start?

A: No, sir. I want to earn everything. I want to earn everything. If I’m not doing what’s needed to be done to get that starting job, than I don’t want it. I’m a big believer in competition and I know there’s a lot of great backs there already. I believe Jonathan Stewart is there and I’m looking forward to being able to pick his brain and learn from him. He’s been in the NFL for a long time and I know there’s a lot of things that I can learn. But no, I don’t expect to start. I expect to come in and work and earn my job.

Q: Have you heard from any Giants players yet?

A: Yeah, actually I just got off of Facetime with Odell and Eli texted me right away, saying congratulations and if I ever need anything, let him know and let’s get ready to work.

Q: If there is one thing that you think you will have to polish up on as you become an NFL rookie, what is it that you would like to work on in the next several months?

A: In the next several months, just obviously getting into the playbook. The mindset and the mental part of the game is where I would like to improve. A guy that I want to (model) my game after is a guy like Marshall Faulk. I heard a lot of great things about him and just try to be like another quarterback out there. And obviously I know it’s not going to happen tomorrow and it’s not going to happen in one year. Continue to work and obviously continue to pick Eli’s brain and try to be as well prepared as I possibly can because the more you know the game and the more knowledge you have of the game, the better player you are. That’s something that I look forward to.

Apr 232018
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LANDON COLLINS HAS SURGERY…
New York Giants safety Landon Collins underwent a second surgical procedure on Monday to repair an arm injury that he suffered last season. The Giants placed Collins on Injured Reserve in late December after he fractured his forearm in a Week 16 game against he Cardinals. The injury required surgery to insert a plate into his arm. It marked the end of a frustrating season for Collins who played much of the year with a nagging ankle injury that he suffered in early October.

Collins’ fractured forearm was not healing as quickly as doctors had hoped. His rehabilitation period is now expected to take 6-8 weeks with the anticipation that he will be ready to participate in summer training camp activities. However, he will miss all of the Organized Team Activity (OTA) and mini-camp practices in April, May, and June.

Collins finished 2017 with 104 tackles, six pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble in 15 games. He was also voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. Collins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He had his breakout season in 2016, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro. Collins started every game and finished the year with 125 tackles, four sacks, 13 pass defenses, and five interceptions.

GIANTS WAIVE DARIUS POWE…
The New York Giants have waived wide receiver Darius Powe, who the Giants originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft and he spent the 2016 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Powe was was waived/injured in August 2017 with a hamstring injury. The Giants re-signed him to the Practice Squad in October and the 53-man roster in early December. He broke his foot in his NFL debut and was placed on Injured Reserve. Powe finished the year with two catches for 13 yards.

ARTICLES…

Apr 212018
 
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Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos (October 1, 2017)

Riley Dixon – © USA TODAY Sports

PUNTER RILEY DIXON TRADED TO NEW YORK GIANTS…
The New York Giants have acquired punter Riley Dixon from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a conditional 7th-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Dixon became expendable after the Broncos signed Marquette King as a free agent earlier this month. Dixon will compete with Austin Rehkow, who the Giants signed in January. The Giants cut Brad Wing in March.

The 24-year old, 6’4”, 221-pound Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Broncos. In 16 regular-season games as a rookie, Dixon punted 89 times and averaged 45.7 yards per punt (41.3 yard net). He was named to the all-rookie team. In 2017, Dixon punted 73 times and averaged 45.6 yards per punt (40.2 yard net) with two blocked punts. Dixon is a big, strong-legged punter.

ARTICLES…

Apr 192018
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 2018 SCHEDULE RELEASED…
The New York Giants 2018 regular-season schedule has been released:

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9 – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16 – at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23 – at Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30 – vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7 – at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 11 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m.
  • Week 7: Monday, Oct. 22 – at Atlanta Falcons, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28 – vs. Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 9: BYE
  • Week 10: Monday, Nov. 12 – at San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25 – at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2 – vs. Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9 – at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16 – vs. Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 16: Saturday or Sunday, Dec. 22 or 23 – at Indianapolis Colts, TBD*
  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30 – vs. Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m.*

* Subject to flexible scheduling. The date and time for the Giants Week 16 game against the Colts have not been finalized.

“We knew who our opponents would be, and that we would play seven games against teams that were in the playoffs last year, including two against the Super Bowl champions, so we knew it is going to be a challenging schedule,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I don’t see anything remarkable about the schedule, but it is very challenging.

“As a coach, you try to prepare the players to play in any arena at any time and this will be a schedule that will challenge us that way. After we have the two early two road games, we alternate home and road games, which is unusual.

“The bye is in a good spot. We’ll be able to play the first half of the season, and then have our bye as we get ready for the second-half push…  We only have to get on a plane once (to go to Indianapolis) after our trip to San Francisco.”

The Giants will play seven games against 2017 playoff teams: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Tennessee at home, and the Eagles, Atlanta and Carolina on the road. For the fifth time in six seasons, the Giants will play their initial road game in Dallas.

The preseason schedule has also been finalized. For details, see the Schedule section of the website.

GIANTS CUT JESSAMEN DUNKER…
The New York Giants have cut offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker, who was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in August 2017 with foot injury. Dunker was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Apr 192018
 
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Brandon Marshall, New York Giants (October 8, 2017)

Brandon Marshall – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT BRANDON MARSHALL…
The New York Giants released wide receiver Brandon Marshall on Thursday after he failed his physical. Marshall was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2017 after suffering an ankle injury in Week 5 that required stabilization surgery to repair torn ligaments. Marshall finished his disappointing debut season with the Giants with only 18 catches for 154 yards (8.6 yards per catch).

Marshall was entering the final year on a 2-year, $11 million contract and was set to count $6,156,250 against the 2018 salary cap. By cutting him, the Giants “saved” $5,156,250 with $1 million lost in dead money. The Washington Post is reporting that Marshall had agreed to take a pay cut in March. No formal re-structuring had taken place however.

Marshall was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has played with the Broncos (2006-2009), Miami Dolphins (2010-2011), Chicago Bears (2012-2014), and Jets (2015-2016). Marshall is a six-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015) and two-time All-Pro (2012 and 2015). Marshall is the only player in NFL history with six seasons of 100 or more receptions. In 2016, he started 15 regular-season games despite battling knee and foot injuries that he suffered in Week 2. Marshall caught 59 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers were down dramatically from his 109-catch, 1,502-yard, 14-touchdown 2015 season. The Giants signed Marshall in March 2017 after he was cut by the New York Jets.

DAVE GETTLEMAN’S 2018 PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman held the team’s annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Opening Statement: Just before we begin, I’d like to thank Pat Shurmur, Chris Mara, Chris Pettit, Kevin Abrams, the scouts, the coaches and all of the support staff that we have that are just doing a terrific job helping us put the whole board together. Everybody has done a great job adjusting to the different philosophy and methodology. We have gotten meaningful dialogue and collaboration, we’ve watched a ton of film together and the ensuing dialogue is going to be very insightful and meaningful and my hat is off to all of them. They just did a great job and with that being said, let the games begin.

Q: You mentioned the different philosophies. Can you explain the changes that you brought in?

A: Well, the college football game is so different from ours it is not even close. It is a very, very different game and in the old days we would grade, you would have critical factors and you have position specifics. In the old days you had kids that were on scholarship, a lot of them were five-year guys, there was no such thing as the 20-hour rule and when those guys were coming out, all you had to do was put a little polish on them and you had a player. The guys that are coming out now and I’m not criticizing anybody, they’re not as fundamentally and technically as sound as those guys used to be. So, to grade them position specific and plus since the game has changed, the college game is different, it’s hard for us to really decipher what each player is being asked to do, it’s different. So, what I’ve tried to get everyone to understand is you have to grade the critical factors. You have to grade instincts, competitiveness, strength, explosion, athletic ability, and you’ve got to grade their play. I don’t care what a guy runs on the watch in his underwear, I don’t care. It’s how fast can he play on the field, how does he carry his pads, that’s what’s important, so with this 20-hour rule and everything, you can’t really knock it if we’re going to take a linebacker. You have to be careful if you knock his grade down because he doesn’t shed well. You don’t know what he’s being taught, you don’t know what he’s being told, you don’t know how much time is being spent on that skill and it is a skill, but that is a skill that can be coached, that’s something that we can improve, so that’s why I don’t grade on (?) I’m not as concerned much with the position specifics as I am with the critical factors, so that’s a different way of looking at it. And then just the whole methodology of setting the board up. I learned a really unique way of looking at it when I went to Carolina. I had never seen it before and when I looked at it — of course, I’m a little anxious because these guys got to understand that they are teaching me to a certain degree and they were very gentle (laughs). At the end of the day, it is a great way of looking at it and it really brings clarity to what you do and the other thing is the detail work, really knowing the player, digging deep – what kind of a guy is he? Is he trained? How important is football to him? I think in my opening presser I said I don’t want guys that like to play football, I want guys that hate to lose, that’s what I want. There isn’t anybody in this room that would say, who likes to win and everybody raise their hand, we have gone through this exercise before, it’s just the way it is. It’s that detail work that’s really important and everybody is getting it and it was really neat sitting around and watching film as a group. It’s great from looking at a guy that’s played in the Southeast Conference and it’s great for the scouts that didn’t get an opportunity to see them play. It’s vice versa as you’re looking at players around the country, so I thought it was a great exercise, it was a great teaching moment, we can all learn from each other and I thought that was very good. The scouts were excellent in terms of chiming in and telling me what they thought. I told them at our opening, the first time we all sat down, I said, ‘Listen, you’re getting paid for your opinion. You leave this room wishing you had said something but didn’t, shame on you because you’re not doing your job, you’re thinking about it.’ So it was great. We had a great time to prep, the scouts are home right now, we all got tired of looking at each other and it was time for them to see their families, so they’re home. They will be back Sunday night, we’ll take a good, hard look at the board again on Monday and Tuesday morning and then we’ll be ready to roll.

Q: How close are you to making a final decision at this point or how close are you at narrowing it down to a couple guys?

A: How close? You can’t close your mind. You can’t close your mind. You don’t know what is going to happen.

Q: Well it’s a little easier at No. 2 isn’t it?

A: Sure. Listen, we’ll know when we know. I’m not making any decisions before that.

Q: How important is this pick to the future of this franchise?

A: Well, when you’re picking this high, if you make a mistake, you’re done. We talk that when you miss on a quarterback, you really hurt the franchise for probably five years. It’s a five-year mistake. Yeah, it’s a big decision, but as long as you’ve done your homework and turned all the rocks over, you will come to the right answer. You ask the right questions and you will get the right answers.

Q: The last year or two it seemed like this quarterback class was very anticipated. Now that you have done all of your pre-draft homework, how do you think this group stacks up against other groups of quarterbacks in previous drafts?

A: It’s funny, it’s a really a neat group to evaluate because they are all different players. With the second pick, I’m sitting at Ben and Jerry’s and I’ve got a lot of flavors to look at and they’re all different. I can’t compare it to the ‘83 draft if that’s what you’re asking. The ‘83 draft you had (John) Elway, (Jim) Kelly, (Dan) Marino. C’mon Steve, help me. (Ken) O’Brien, (Tony) Eason at that time on my Patriots.

Q: What about 2004?

A: That was a heck of a group, too. Everything is different and, again, we’re in a different time with college football being just different. It’s funny, when I went to Carolina, at the opening presser they say, (?). I said listen, ‘At the end of the day, I don’t care what kind of quarterback you are, I don’t care who you play for, if you can’t make plays from the pocket, then you can’t win. You can’t win. You’ve got to be able to make plays from the pocket.’ So they take that and they run with it and I am going to trade Cam. The bottom line is all of these guys are interesting, they’re unique, there is depth there for sure and it’s a heck of a group to watch. It’s fun.

Q: When you talk about the quarterbacks in this class and the importance of the position, do you still apply your gold jacket standard?

A: I’m going to turn the question on you. My mother told me that it was never polite to answer a question with a question, but I’m going to do it anyway. If you think about all the quarterbacks that you’ve seen, who of them have made everybody better? That’s what you’re looking for. Does he make everybody around him better? That’s what you’re looking for.

Q: Is it naïve to think that the three days next week where you will see Davis Webb can change your board?

A: Nothing is going to totally change the top of the board. Seeing Davis next week is going to be fun for us because he’s a great kid, he works his fanny off, he has been following Eli (Manning) around like a little puppy dog since he walked in the door and it will be a neat opportunity to see him play. Yeah, sure, everything affects the board. I’d be lying if I said no, but at the end of the day, I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Do you like the fact that there are so many opinions about what you’re going to do at No. 2?

A: Like it? I love it. Are you kidding me? By the way, when you were on Sirius the other day, it was Saturday and I was in here holed up watching film, I was listening to you and it was hysterical what you were saying. I loved it. Yeah, I do.

Q: Was I correct?

A: Yeah, you were in the response that you made that Dave Gettleman doesn’t care about what the media says. It’s true.

Q: When people bring up smokescreens and information has leaked…

A: Let me tell you something – when I was a little kid, every time I lied, I got caught and when I was seven years old, my father kicked my butt and I haven’t lied since then. To me it’s silly, but that’s me.

Q: So who are you picking?

A: I’m taking you, Steve.

Q: That’s a five-year mistake.

A: (Laughs) What else have you got, kids?

Q: Is (Penn State RB) Saquon Barkley a generational talent?

A:  I’m not going to lie. He’s a tremendous talent. You put the film on of a defensive guy and if they’re playing Penn State, then I’m watching Saquon. He’s one of those guys that my mother could have scouted. She could have figured that one out.

Q: If a certain group is considered deep in the draft, do you stay away from that position due to the depth in the later rounds?

A: You’ve got to stay with the value. You have to stay with the value because you guys have heard a million stories, I’ve heard a million and one and you’ve probably heard half a million where a guy says, ‘Don’t worry, he’ll be there in the next round.’ Then the next round comes around and he ain’t there. You have to stay with your board, you have to stay with value. You can’t get too cute. Guys have kind of laughed around the league when we’d be on the clock in Carolina and I’d have my pick in in 28 seconds. If you know what you want, then go do it. Don’t be shy. If you get too cute, you’re going to lose. You’re going to come up on the wrong end and it’s about value. You can never have too many good players at one position.

Q: Along those lines how do you weigh the running back value in the NFL with the talent of a guy like Saquon also taking into account the value of the quarterback in the NFL?

A: I think that the devaluing of the running back is really a myth. If you have a great running back, he immediately makes your quarterback better, your offensive line better and your passing game. So I don’t believe in it. It’s how you evaluate the players, how we value them, how we rate them and then you go on from there.

Q: How much does shelf life come into consideration?

A: That’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to look at it that way. Anthony Munoz failed everybody’s physical and he only played 15 years and went to the Hall of Fame. Thurman Thomas had no ACL – I think he had a pretty long career. You make yourself crazy. You just can’t get into that. It’s the value, it’s the player – does he fit your scheme? If he fits your scheme and the value is there, pull the trigger and keep moving.

Q: What about the value of having the No. 2 pick helps you now as opposed to picking a quarterback helping the franchise in the future?

A: It’s a consideration. It’s a consideration. You think about stuff.

Q: How many good years do you think Eli Manning has left?

A: Well, you know we’ve talked about it. There is no ability to predict that. Eli takes great care of his body, he’s very fit. We watched the film and he still has plenty of arm. Who knows? Did anybody know that, I’m drawing a blank on his name; he played quarterback at the age of 45. Who knows? I know the Oakland kicker Blanda played a game late, right Steve? You played a game late and there was another quarterback, he played for Atlanta. But anyhow, like I said, Eli takes great care of himself, he’s very fit and he still has plenty of arm.

Q: How much does he factor into the equation of what you’re going to do at No. 2?

A: Everybody factors in. Your team factors into the equation, everybody does. Here is the deal – as the G.M., I walk a tight line. I have to look at the short term and I have to look at the long term and that’s the tight rope that I walk and I have to take all that into consideration in making decisions, whether it’s the draft, whether it’s unrestricted free agency, whether it’s trading for an Alec Ogletree. Whatever it is, making claims – you have to think about it. So I’m on that tight rope doing the best I can with the information that I have and we move forward.

Q: What do you say to the idea of picking at No. 2 means you have to take a quarterback?

A: I say hogwash. How is that?

Q: You never traded back in the five drafts in Carolina? Is that philosophical?

A: No, I never did, did I? It just kind of never happened, I guess. I traded up a bunch, I know that. It just kind of never happened. There was nothing ever meaningful enough that would keep me from a player that we had that was there for us to take. I guess that’s what it is. Like I said, you can outsmart yourself and you can have a player there that you like, but someone wants to trade and you go, ‘Alright, I can get extra draft picks.’ Woo and you get into that. Nobody ever offered us – you know what, in Carolina I never got a meaningful enough offer to trade back.

Q: Are you open to it if a meaningful enough offer came your way?

A: Sure. It depends on what’s on the board and who is still on the board. I’m open to it. Listen, you have to be open to everything. You have to listen. You can’t be afraid of conversation. You have to be open.

Q: Do you get more offers and calls because of your position?

A: We’ve had calls. I’ll admit to that.

Q: What do you think the likelihood is of you making a move?

A: I’m not going to put a percentage on that. If I had the answer to that, I wouldn’t be sitting here and I would be in Vegas.

Q: Are you adamant that you have to get a great player in this draft?

A: Sometimes you have to look at it this way and I’m not saying this is the way I always look at it, but sometimes you have to look at it this way – we’re all in school, do I want to get an A and four C’s or do we want an A-, a couple of B+’s and a couple of B’s? Winning requires depth. If you don’t have depth – I’ve seen teams that had great defenses that folded in the fourth quarter because they had no depth and now you’ve got guys on the field for 95-98 percent playing time. You can’t win that way, guys wear down, so there is obviously different ways of looking at it depending upon what the A looks like. But, if you get a chance to accumulate quality, you put yourself in a position to potentially accumulate picks and have a lot of very solid players, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that.

Q: There is a report that you are releasing Brandon Marshall. Can you comment on that?

A: Really? Yes, we have.

Q: Why now?

A: We’re releasing him – failed physical.

Q: Does that mean that you guys have interest in Dez Bryant?

A: I have interest in everybody. We do our film work and you never know.

Q: Now that we’re closer to the draft, are you able to say for sure that Odell Beckham Jr. is not going to be traded?

A: I’m not going to say. He’s on our team, he’s a valued member of our football team.

Q: Is No. 2 too high to draft a lineman?

A: It was really funny, we did some background work and there has only been one interior guy taken with the second pick of the draft and it was in (1966) and it was (Tom Mack) of the Rams. Brandon Scherff was taken at No. 5. In the old days, people would shoot you in the head. You were considered brain dead and they’d drag you out by your toes. Is it ever too early to take a great player? You know my philosophy – big men allow you to compete and you have to build your lines. I’m going to build this team from the inside out. You look at the teams that go deep in the playoffs, you turn around and you take a look at how (Eagles General Manager) Howie (Roseman) has built Philly – both fronts, let’s go. Because again, those three truths don’t change, you’ve got to run the ball, you’ve got to defend the run and rush the passer. So, everyone else wants to talk about skill guys and I want to talk about hog mollies.

Q: You said that you’ve traded up a lot. Do you have enough assets to trade up in this draft and would you dip into future drafts to trade up?

A: I’m not going to do that. I’m going to tell you that right now. Right now, I have no intention of dipping into future drafts. None.

Q: Can you explain how you set up your draft board?

A: It’s a combination of vertical – by position, you set it up vertically and then once you’ve set your values on the players vertically, then you start working horizontally. So, let’s say that I’ve got Russ Salzberg at a 7.4 and I’ve got Art Stapleton at a 7.4 and I’ve got Paul Schwartz at a 7.4 and Russ is the running back, Art is the tackle and Paul is a pass rusher, I’ll give him something. What you’re going to do now is if they all have the same value, they’re all in the same conversation, so when the pick comes up and those three characters are all 7.4’s, you talk about what it is and if there is a need at one of those positions, then you take the need. If there is not a need, then you take the best guy, but that’s the conversation. We’re not talking about 25 guys, we’re talking about three guys. Does that make sense to you guys?

Q: I know you laid out the process. If you had to make the pick right now, in your mind and your heart, do you know who you want to take at No. 2?

A: No. I’m being honest.

Q: Is all the information that you got during the visits overkill?

A: It’s not overkill at all, it really isn’t because what is interesting is seeing a guy out of his own element because there is a little less comfort and you can’t know too much about a guy. Remember, you’re bringing him into your locker room, how is he going to handle that, do you want him in your locker room? Who is he coming here with? Is he living alone, does he know how to boil water? How is he going to handle New York City? It is all that stuff and we have to find that out because when you come into the National Football League and so many of these guys are 21, 20 years old when they get out there for the first time and there is some 28, 29 year-old man staring them in the face, they better be ready for that because it’s going to be a rude awakening, and if you don’t bring in the kinds of guys that you know are going to be able to stand up to that, then you’re making a mistake. The 30 visits are not overkill. The amount of contact that we have with these guys over the draft process, all star games, Indianapolis and then their Pro Days workouts and then the 30 guys we can bring in here, it’s very, very meaningful and it’s important.

Q: When you talk about the quarterbacks about being in Ben and Jerry’s and having a lot of different flavors, does that also translate to there is no one that has it all?

A: Not necessarily. They are four different, distinct personalities. But no, not necessarily.

Q: Do you know in your mind right now if you will take a quarterback?

A: Time will tell.

Q: By your own barometer of envisioning the player you take at No. 2 wearing a gold jacket some day, is there a chance that that player is out there, he can help you win now and it’s actually not that hard of a decision?

A: Yes.

Q: You took Christian McCaffrey at No. 8 last year and you described the pick as a no brainer. Could you argue at No. 2 that Saquon is a no brainer to help this team?

A: You could argue that either way.

Q: One of the things that you need from a player is that they have to love football. There are reports that Josh Rosen maybe lacks a desire to play the game. You met with him. What was your impression of him?

A: He wants to play football. He came off as bright, insightful and he wants to play football.

ARTICLES…

Apr 122018
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports

LANDON COLLINS MAY NEED FOLLOW-UP SURGERY…
According to multiple media sources, New York Giants safety Landon Collins may need follow-up surgery to repair an arm injury that he suffered last season. The Giants placed Collins on Injured Reserve in late December after he fractured his forearm in a Week 16 game against he Cardinals. It marked the end of a frustrating season for Collins who played much of the year with a nagging ankle injury that he suffered in early October.

Apparently the fractured forearm is not healing as quickly as doctors had hoped. Media reports say that if Collins has the surgery soon, his timeline for recover is 6-8 weeks with the anticipation that he will be ready to participate in summer training camp activities. However, he would miss all of the Organized Team Activity (OTA) and mini-camp practices in April, May, and June.

Collins finished 2017 with 104 tackles, six pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble in 15 games. He was also voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. Collins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He had his breakout season in 2016, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro. Collins started every game and finished the year with 125 tackles, four sacks, 13 pass defenses, and five interceptions.

Apr 112018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The 2018 preseason opponents for the New York Giants have been announced. Specific times have not yet been released.

  • August 9-13: Cleveland Browns
  • August 16-20: at Detroit Lions
  • August 23-26: at New York Jets
  • Thursday, August 30: New England Patriots

The team’s 2018 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

ARTICLES…

Apr 092018
 
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New York Giants Helmet (October 15, 2017)

© USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, April 9th, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, and June 4-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

GIANTS RE-SIGN BRETT JONES…
New York Giants center/guard Brett Jones has signed his 1-year, $2.914 million restricted free agent tender. Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season.

Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury.

ORLEANS DARKWA VISITS PATRIOTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is visiting the New England Patriots. The somewhat injury-prone Darkwa only missed one game in 2017 with a back issue and had his best season as a pro, starting 11 games and finishing with 171 carries for 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards. In his previous three seasons, Darkwa had started only two games carried the ball just 75 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

Darkwa was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in four games in September before being waived in October and signed to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed him off of Miami’s Practice Squad in November 2014.

PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Opening Statement: We’re looking forward to having the guys back. I can only speak for us as coaches, it just gives us an opportunity to work with the players again and set a new direction heading into 2018. As you know, the first couple weeks here is basically strength training for the players, although we also will be able to meet with them. We are going to meet with them obviously as a team and then offensively, defensively, in terms of special teams and try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra mini camp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft. It’s exciting to get back to work, it’s obviously great to see the players back in the building. I have my first team meeting with the players here at 9:15. We kind of schedule it where we have a lifting group, we sort of meet in the middle and then we have another lifting group, so at 9:15 will be my first time to address the team. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll try and answer some of your questions.

Q: You said before that the mini camp before the draft would be a showcase for Davis Webb. How are the reps going to work out between him and Eli Manning?

A: We’re working on that. Obviously Davis, with only two quarterbacks in the building, they’re obviously going to share the reps.

Q: What is the overall gist of the message you will send to the team when you address them this morning?

A: The idea is and, again, I’ll save it for when I talk to the team. But for the most part, we’re trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season. We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that’s competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That’s what we’re trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it’s important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it’s just as important for us to get better together, and I think that’s the beauty of being able to work together here.

Q: How important is it for all of the guys to be in the building for the entire offseason program?

A: We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it’s certainly important. In my mind, it’s important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it’s important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.

Q: How important is it for Odell Beckham to be there for the duration of the program?

A: I think it’s all players. All players, it’s good and I think it’s important that they’re here working together.

Q: Have you seen Odell yet?

A: He is in the building. I have not seen him yet, but I know he’s in the building.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Odell after everything that came out of the meetings in Orlando and what was your message there?

A: Yeah, I’ve communicated with him and certainly that communication is between me and him.

Q: You said that you talked to him about all things non-football related. Did you ask him if there were drugs in the video?

A: Again, that’s private between Odell and myself, but we talked about the video.

Q: Were you worried about how all of the trade rumors might affect Odell?

A: I’m not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he’s a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He’s a professional and I’m glad he’s here today.

Q: Do you have any idea where Odell is physically?

A: With the players back in town, certainly we are going to assess where they all are in terms of physically and medically, and I’ll have more information as we approach the end of the week.

Q: What have been your impressions of the potential offers for Odell Beckham in the trade market?

A: Yeah, that’s the business. I’m the coach, so I’m just going to worry about trying to get each and every player and each and every coach as good as they can be, and I’ll focus on that part of it.

Q: How anxious are you to finally be able to talk football with the guys and specifically talking with Odell about your vision of what he can do in your offense?

A: It’s exciting, and obviously being this is the first opportunity to visit with the players, we just start to formulate our systems and our plans and really our vision for what we want our players to do. I would say this, this is what we as coaches look forward to. I can see as I look out my window here that the grass is starting to green up and the players are around and this is just naturally the time of year where we get back to work. It’s an exciting time for coaches and players, and we’re just looking forward to getting it started.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes that the players will notice when they arrive and see the Pat Shurmur Giants here in the building for the first time?

A: That’s probably a better question for them. I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past and there are some changes that I’ll let them discuss those with you. But, I think what’s important is — listen, this is a game that we all love to play, most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that’s part of where we’re at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see, but I think that is probably a better question for them as they move forward. I just think it’s very important that we’re very professional, we communicate well together and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they’re seeing so that we know how we have to teach it further. That’s what we’re looking forward to, is the communication and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running.

Q: What has Odell told you about his attendance going forward after today?

A: Yeah again, I know he’s in the building. We haven’t had a chance to speak. I’ll speak to him a little bit more later, probably this afternoon. But we haven’t discussed that.

Q: Do you view Odell showing up today as a commitment by him showing that he wants to be a Giant long term? And in addition, would you like to see management use this as an opportunity to get a contract done with him soon, so that it doesn’t remain a distraction?

A: I’m not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it’s important that Odell is here and I’m looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I’m looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he’s here and he’s a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier.

Q: You have a couple of former players that are on your coaching staff. What will they bring to the table in terms of relating with the players?

A: Well, we all have playing backgrounds. Obviously guys that have played in the NFL that are now career coaches, I think they bring some credibility to the room that the players can really, I guess, hang on to a little bit. The important thing though for an ex-player is they have to decide, they have to cross that bridge between player and coach, and I’m very fortunate that I have some guys here that are now really developed into career coaches, so I’m looking forward to really them working with our players. I think obviously if you coach this game and you’ve developed some credibility as a coach, certainly some of it comes from your days as a player and then it obviously continues your days as you coach through the profession. It’s important and staffs tend to be diverse. We all have different backgrounds and I think it’s important to put together a staff of guys that all come from different places.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

ARTICLES…

Apr 062018
 
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Tavarres King, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Tavarres King – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN RYAN O’MALLEY…
The New York Giants have re-signed free agent tight end Ryan O’Malley, who was not tendered as an exclusive rights free agent by the team, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. The contract is reported to be a 1-year deal.

The Giants signed the 6’6”, 260-pound O’Malley to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in December 2017. He played in the regular-season finale but did not have a catch.

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

MINNESOTA VIKINGS SIGN TAVARRES KING…
The Minnesota Vikings have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Tavarres King, who began 2017 with the Giants, was waived in mid-September, and then was re-signed to the 53-man roster in October. He was placed on Injured Reserve with a concussion in December. King played in eight games with three starts in 2017, finishing with 18 catches for 240 yards (13.3 yards per catch) and three touchdowns.

King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15). The Giants signed King to the Practice Squad in late September 2015. He played in seven regular season games and the playoff game for the Giants in 2016.

For a complete listing of comings and goings, see our New York Giants 2018 Free Agency Scorecard.

GIANTS HIRE NEW ASSISTANT STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH…
The New York Giants have hired Thomas Stallworth as the team’s new assistant strength and conditioning coach. Stallworth replaces Markus Paul, who left the Giants for the Dallas Cowboys earlier this offseason. Aaron Wellman, who joined the Giants in 2016, remains the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Stallworth’s bio:

  • 2017: Director of Football Strength and Conditioning, Western Kentucky University
  • 2016: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Fresno State
  • 2016: Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning, Texas Tech University
  • 2015-2016: Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach, North Carolina State University
  • 2012-2015: Associate Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2008-2011: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Grambling State University
  • 2004-2008: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, South Carolina State University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Linebacker, University of Tennessee (1997-2001)

ELI MANNING HOLDS ANNUAL PASSING CAMP…
The New York Post and Newsday are reporting that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning began his annual unofficial passing camp at Duke University on Thursday. Other players participating include wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Roger Lewis; tight ends Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison; and running back Wayne Gallman.

The workouts are overseen by current Duke University head football coach David Cutcliffe, who was Eli Manning’s head coach at the University of Mississippi from 2000 to 2003.

ARTICLES…

Apr 052018
 
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William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers (December 31, 2017)

William Gay – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN WILLIAM GAY…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent cornerback William Gay (Pittsburgh Steelers), who was cut by the Steelers in March. The 33-year old, 5’10”, 187-pound Gay was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Steelers. Gay has played in every regular-season game in 10 seasons with the Steelers (2007-2011, 2013-2017) and one with the Arizona Cardinals (2012) with 101 starts. Despite all of that playing time, Gay has just 13 career interceptions. Gay is a savvy veteran who can play the slot corner position but who also is clearly in the final stages of a solid career. He lacks speed and saw his playing time markedly decline in 2017. Good locker room presence.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS SIGN NAT BERHE…
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent safety Nat Berhe, who had his fourth nondescript season for the Giants in 2017, playing in 15 games with no starts and accruing just 12 tackles and one sack.

Berhe was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams. Since then, he has proven to be an injury-prone player, missing all of 2015 with a blood clot in his leg, over half the season in 2016 with two concussions, and one game in 2017 with a hamstring injury. In all, Berhe has played in 38 games with two starts in four seasons, accruing only 47 tackles and one pass defense.

ARTICLES…