Jan 312015
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to reporters on Saturday night at an NFL Honors event and answered questions about his injured right knee. Cruz tore the patella tendon in his right knee on October 12 during a Sunday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I’m about 15 weeks post-surgery. Feeling good,” said Cruz. “It’s about building the strength up in the knee, the quad, all the major muscles down there. That’s where I’m at right now.

“The trainers have a game plan but they’re not telling me. They tell me weeks as they approach so I don’t look too far ahead. I think that is smart. But I’ll do light running in about two weeks or so.”

It remains to be seen if Cruz can completely regain his pre-injury physical ability. Cruz finished the 2014 season with 23 catches for 337 yards and one touchdown in six starts.

Article on Seahawk DE/LB O’Brien Schofield: How a failed physical turned into a blessing for this Seattle DE by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Jan 302015
 
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The father of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Archie Manning, told the press on Thursday that he believes his son would retire before playing for another professional football team. One of Archie’s other sons, Peyton Manning, plays for the Denver Broncos after a long career with the Indianapolis Colts.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“Peyton’s enjoyed his three years with the Broncos but he always envisioned himself playing for one team. So I’m glad when he did have to change, he made a good choice,” said Archie Manning. “But Eli, I think if the Giants traded Eli, he would retire. He loves his team. He loves the New York Giants…Eli wants to (finish his career with the Giants). I hope he can. Eli doesn’t worry about it too much. That is kind of the Giants decision.”

The Giants traded for Manning in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. The 34-year old Manning has played 11 seasons and won two Super Bowl MVP’s with the team. He is entering the final year of his current contract. Manning is scheduled to count $19.75 million against the 2015 salary cap unless the Giants extend his contract.

Statistically-speaking, Manning had one of his best seasons in 2014. Manning finished the year with 4,410 yards (second-highest total in his career and in franchise history), 30 touchdowns (one shy of his career-high in 2011), and 14 interceptions (13 fewer than he threw in 2013). Manning’s completion percentage (63.1) was a career-high. His passer rating of 92.1 was the second-highest of highest of his career (93.1 in 2009).

And Manning did all of this with a new offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and West Coast Offense-based system.

“I thought going to the West Coast was great for Eli at this point of his career. Really great,” Archie Manning said. “But I didn’t know it was going to involve mechanics and footwork and all that stuff. It was a transition, but he made it and he got more comfortable. Maybe he got comfortable when Odell (Beckham Jr.) started playing.”

(Giants fans are discussing this topic in The Corner Forum).

Article on LB Jon Beason: Jon Beason believes he’ll thrive with new Giants ‘D’ coordinator Steve Spagnuolo by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on Former Giant OT/OG David Diehl: David Diehl’s lasting impact on the Giants by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Former Giant DE Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck reflects on SBXLII; still considers NY home by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Jan 292015
 
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Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (October 5, 2014)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

RB Rashad Jennings on the NFL Network: The video of Thursday’s NFL Network interview with RB Rashad Jennings is available at Giants.com.

P Steve Weatherford on ESPN Radio: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with P Steve Weatherford is available at ESPN.com.

DE Justin Tuck on WFAN Radio: The audio of Thursday’s WFAN Radio interview with former Giant DE Justin  Tuck is available at CBS New York.

Article on LB Mark Herzlich: LB Mark Herzlich ready for new defense; SBXLIX prediction by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Checking in on Prince Amukamara by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on Former Giant WR David Tyree: Catching up with Super Bowl hero David Tyree by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Former Giant OG Chris Snee: Chris Snee reflects on career and plans for life after football by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Jan 272015
 
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Perry Fewell Joins Redskins as Defensive Backs Coach: Perry Fewell, the former defensive coordinator of the New York Giants who was fired by the team on January 7th, has joined the Washington Redskins as their new defensive backs coach. Ironically, Fewell replaces Raheem Morris, who interviewed with the Giants for the defensive coordinator vacancy before the Giants hired Steve Spagnuolo.

Fewell had also interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers, who reportedly offered him a position as their defensive backs coach.

Article on Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: Sam Madison: Spagnuolo has unmatched preparation by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Should the Giants try to do something about Victor Cruz’s contract? by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on OC J.D. Walton: Know Your Giants: Center J.D. Walton by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Giants.com “Building Blocks” Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR Odell Beckham (Video)
  • OC/OG Weston Richburg (Video)

Article on Former Giant TE Mark Bavaro: Bill Belichick praises Mark Bavaro by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Jan 262015
 
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Odell Beckham Says He Tore His Hamstring Twice in 2014: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham played in the Pro Bowl on Sunday and finished the game with five catches for 89 yards. After the game, Beckham revealed that he tore his right hamstring twice before the 2014 season began. Beckham missed most of training camp, all of the preseason, and the first four games of the regular season. But he finished the season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (January 25, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Beckham originally hurt his right hamstring during Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts in the spring. He suffered the second injury in practice during the preseason. Beckham tore the semitendinosus muscle and the hamstring belly.

“Well, I was never really healthy this season anyway,” said Beckham on Sunday. “I was just trying to manage and maintain it the best I could all year.

“It’s still not right. I’m still wrong on it, trying to get it 100 (percent) for next year…I could never really have that last gear that I wanted to have. If you go look at the Colts game and the Philly game, every time I went to break away I was stumbling and tripping, trying to fall over just because my hamstring wasn’t strong enough to maintain all that. That is something I’m working on today and I’ll keep working on throughout the offseason.

“Just make sure you get it full healthy. A hamstring (injury) is something that never really goes away. It’s very hard to get over. I’ll do my best to get it to 100, but if it’s not there, it’s not there.

“I should be good by training camp. The plan is to play at full strength next season, and I definitely hope to do it. I’m just looking forward to getting healthy.”

Video highlights of Beckham’s play are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Player Q&As: Video of player Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR Odell Beckham (Video)
  • FB Henry Hynoski (Video)

Article on RB Andre Williams: 2014 Rookie Recap: RB Andre Williams by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Pro Bowl QBs impressed with Beckham Jr. by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on S Nat Berhe: 2014 Rookie Recap: Safety Nat Berhe by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Special Teams: Progress? Giants finish 25th in Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Giants.com “Building Blocks” Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the 2007 New York Giants: Giants have fond memories of last Super Bowl in Arizona by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Jan 202015
 
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Mark Herzlich (58) and Jay Bromley (96), New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Mark Herzlich and Jay Bromley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A With DT Jay Bromley: A video of an exclusive Giants.com interview with DT Jay Bromley is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A With OT Justin Pugh: Know Your Giants: OT Justin Pugh by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants and the 2015 NFL Salary Cap:

Editorials on Hiring of Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo:

Articles on the New York Giants Defense:

Article on the 2014 New York Free Agent Class: Giants free-agent contracts, one year later by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Giants.com Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Andre Williams (Video)
  • OT Justin Pugh (Video)

Article on the 2007 New York Giants: Tedy Bruschi on Super Bowl XLII: Giants were the better team by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Jan 152015
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, Baltimore Ravens (January 3, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have hired Steve Spagnuolo as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo replaces Perry Fewell who was fired by the Giants on January 7th. Spagnulo was an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He was the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2007-08 before becoming the head coach of the St. Louis Rams in 2009.

The Giants’ defense was ranked 7th (2007) and 5th (2008) the two years Spagnuolo was with the team.

“We spoke to a lot of very good candidates,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “The energy, enthusiasm and strong personality that we saw before in Steve Spagnuolo, all of that was very evident again. His desire to be a Giant again was very, very obvious.

“Steve has so much enthusiasm in front of the room. His defense has changed since he was last here. He worked in Baltimore with John Harbaugh and Dean Pees, and they are outstanding defensive coaches. He has studied defenses. Steve visited colleges and talked to college coaches, including Urban Meyer (coach of national champion Ohio State) to learn how to defend the spread offenses that have become so popular.”

“Maria (his wife) and I are very happy to be returning to the Giants,” Spagnuolo said. “This is both new and familiar at the same time. I was hoping to take the next step, God willing, and be a coordinator again. I’m ecstatic that it’s with Tom Coughlin. Tom is the highest character guy I know. The feeling I have is one of excitement. We’re going to work our butts off, and hopefully we will do great things together.”

Spagnuolo fondly remembers the 2007 season that resulted in an NFL Championship for the Giants.

“That really was a special time,” Spagnuolo said. “What I remember most are the relationships we made with the players and coaches and everyone else in the organization. We’ve always felt like the Giants are a big part of our lives.”

Spagnuolo’s coaching bio:

  • 2014: Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach, Baltimore Ravens
  • 2013: Senior Defensive Assistant, Baltimore Ravens
  • 2012: Defensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints
  • 2009-2011: Head Coach, St. Louis Rams
  • 2007-2008: Defensive Coordinator, New York Giants
  • 2004-2006: Linebackers Coach, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2001-2003: Defensive Backs Coach, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1999-2000: Defensive Assistant/Quality Control Coach, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1998: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach, Frankfurt Galaxy
  • 1996-1997: Defensive Backs Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 1994-1995: Defensive Backs Coach, Rutgers University
  • 1994: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach, University of Maine
  • 1993: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Maine
  • 1992: Defensive Line/Special Teams Coach, Barcelona Dragons
  • 1990-1991: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of Connecticut
  • 1987-1989: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Connecticut
  • 1984-1986: Defensive Line/Special Teams Coach, Lafayette College
  • 1983: Player Personnel Department Intern, Washington Redskins
  • 1981-1982: Graduate Assistant, University of Massachusetts

Spagnuolo was one of four candidates interviewed for the position. The others were Washington Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris, ex-Buffalo Bills Defensive Line Coach Pepper Johnson, and ex-Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen.

The Giants also confirmed that they have hired Tim Walton as the team’s new cornerbacks coach, replacing Peter Giunta who was also fired on January 7th. Walton was the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams under Head Coach Jeff Fisher in 2013. He was replaced by Gregg Williams in 2014.

Walton’s coaching bio:

  • 2013: Defensive Coordinator, St. Louis Rams
  • 2009-2012: Defensive Backs Coach, Detroit Lions
  • 2008: Defensive Coordinator, University of Memphis
  • 2007: Defensive Coordinator, University of Miami
  • 2004-2006: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Miami
  • 2003: Defensive Backs Coach, Louisiana State University
  • 2002: Defensive Backs Coach, Syracuse University
  • 2000-2001: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Memphis
  • 1999: Defensive Backs Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 1996-1998: Running Backs Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 1995: Graduate Assistant, Bowling Green State University

A complete listing of the team’s staff is available in the New York Giants Coaching Staff section of the website.

Article on New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Candidate Pepper Johnson: Frustrated Pepper Johnson denied again as Tom Coughlin, Giants look elsewhere for a new defensive coordinator  by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on Former Giants Head Coach Bill Parcells: Giants were seconds away from bringing Bill Parcells back in 1997 by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Jan 152015
 
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Pepper Johnson, New England Patriots (November 27, 2011)

Pepper Johnson and Bill Belichick – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to The New York Post, Pepper Johnson has been informed by the New York Giants that he is no longer being considered to fill the team’s defensive coordinator vacancy. Johnson, who was the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2014, interviewed with the Giants on Monday.

Johnson was a linebacker for the Giants from 1986-1992, earning two Super Bowl rings under then Head Coach Bill Parcells and then Defensive Coordinator Bill Belichick. For 14 seasons, Johnson was on Belichick’s coaching staff in New England.

Johnson’s complete coaching bio:

  • 2014: Defensive Line Coach, Buffalo Bills
  • 2012-2013: Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2004-2011: Defensive Line Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2001-2003: Inside Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots
  • 2000: Assistant Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots

Earlier press reports have also said that Washington Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris is also no longer a candidate for the Giants’ defensive coordinator vacancy. Morris interviewed with the Giants last Friday.

The only two other candidates who are publicly known to have interview for the position are ex-Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen and Baltimore Ravens Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach Steve Spagnuolo.

To follow the latest developments on the coaching search, please check out our Twitter feed.

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese: How did Jerry Reese decide to draft Odell Beckham Jr.? by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Organization: The Giants’ people are no longer in demand by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Jan 142015
 
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Tim Walton, Detroit Lions (October 14, 2012)

Tim Walton – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to ESPN and NJ.com, the New York Giants will hire Tim Walton as the team’s new cornerbacks coach. The position became vacant earlier this month when the Giants fired Peter Giunta, who had been with the team since 2006, on January 7. That was the same day the Giants also fired Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell.

The 43-year Walton was last employed by the St. Louis  Rams as their defensive coordinator in 2013. Walton’s coaching bio:

  • 2013: Defensive Coordinator, St. Louis Rams
  • 2009-2012: Defensive Backs Coach, Detroit Lions
  • 2008: Defensive Coordinator, University of Memphis
  • 2007: Defensive Coordinator, University of Miami
  • 2004-2006: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Miami
  • 2003: Defensive Backs Coach, Louisiana State University
  • 2002: Defensive Backs Coach, Syracuse University
  • 2000-2001: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Memphis
  • 1999: Defensive Backs Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 1996-1998: Running Backs Coach, Bowling Green State University
  • 1995: Graduate Assistant, Bowling Green State University

The Giants safeties coach currently remains David Merritt.

Meanwhile, there is no official word on who the next defensive coordinator will be. The Giants are known to have interviewed Washington Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris, Buffalo Bills Defensive Line Coach Pepper Johnson, ex-Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen, and Baltimore Ravens Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach Steve Spagnuolo for the position.

According to one BigBlueInteractive.com source, the Giants agreed to terms with Spagnuolo to be the new defensive coordinator earlier today.

Jan 142015
 
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Jerry Reese, John Mara, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Jerry Reese and John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants President/CEO John Mara, General Manager Jerry Reese, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin were all interviewed on Wednesday afternoon on WFAN Radio. The audio from those interviews is available at CBS New York. Mara was also interview on ESPN Radio.

Some key points raised included:

Mara:

  • He is aware that the teams the Giants beat were not very good teams. He is under no illusions about how much work needs to be done.
  • Giants did not stick with Tom Coughlin because of what he did in the past but because they felt he was the best option moving forward.
  • Maintaining the same offensive system under Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo was a consideration for keeping Coughlin, but not the overriding concern.
  • It is OK if the coordinators have longer contracts than Coughlin.
  • Coughlin will make the decision on hiring the new defensive coordinator.
  • The team has struggled because of injuries and a bad couple of drafts. The 2013 and 2014 drafts were better.
  • Giants need to upgrade offensive and defensive lines as well as linebacker and safety.

Reese:

  • The Giants considered WR Odell Beckham a top 10 pick. They also liked OG Zack Martin. Anytime the choice is between a dynamic play maker and a guard, the team will choose a play maker. The Giants did have WR Sammy Watkins rated over Beckham, but had Beckham ahead of OT Taylor Lewan.
  • He thinks Weston Richburg, who played left guard in 2014, will be a terrific center and considers that his natural position.
  • Where Justin Pugh plays in 2015 depends on what offseason moves the Giants make.
  • DT Johnathan Hankins played extremely well and DE Damontre Moore made things happen when he played.
  • Having OG Geoff Schwartz, who  missed most of the season with injuries, will help the offensive line.
  • The Giants need to protect QB Eli Manning better, but the new offense does help him get rid of the ball quicker.
  • WR Victor Cruz is on schedule to be back in 2015 after suffering a serious knee injury, but the Giants can not count on him returning.
  • Because of the attention Beckham receives, the #2 receiver should be “feasting” in terms of on-field performance.
  • The Giants did not do a good enough job of closing out games in 2014.

Coughlin:

  • Change was necessary on defense. The defense gave up too many big plays. He does not believe the new defensive scheme will be radically different.
  • The new offensive system was right for the Giants at this particular time. Manning improved his play at quarterback.
  • The Giants need to do a better job of stopping the run and running the football.
  • Believes the Giants are not that far way on the offensive line, but do need more help.
  • Believes Weston Richburg will make a big leap forward in 2015.
  • The Giants keep researching the injury situation. The team did cut down on soft tissue injuries in 2014, but the non-soft tissue injuries hit them hard.
  • The fans have been great to him. He feels badly for the last two years and wants a product on the field that the fans can rally around.

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Giants’ Victor Cruz ‘excited’ about Odell Beckham Jr.’s Pro Bowl nod, updates rehab progress by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com