Aug 232014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 22, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

This was what it was all supposed to look like, even if it was just for one series.

Eli Manning had time to throw, his receivers were getting open and the Giants were marching down the field. There was the catchless Victor Cruz catching passes. There was Will Beatty containing Quinton Coples. There was Weston Richburg keeping Sheldon Richardson in check.

Finally, there was Manning finding Rueben Randle for a 15-yard touchdown with all day to throw in the pocket.

This is what the Giants offense was supposed to look like. Even if it was just a glimpse in the Giants’ 35-24 victory over the New York Jets, it was something to instill hope into a fan base desperate for anything positive.

“We finally got into a pretty good rhythm and everything just worked,” Manning said, “instead of always having something go wrong or a penalty or a sack or something to back us up and keep us from sustaining drives. We were able to stay out of harm’s way and make some plays.”

Victor Cruz, New York Giants (August 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

After going 1-of-9 in his last two games, Manning completed 12-of-21 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown versus the Jets. Cruz caught four passes for 61 yards and Rashad Jennings rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries.

But before Manning marched the Giants down the field on a near-perfect drive, the team looked every bit as awful as it had during its first three preseason games. Each of the Giants first five possessions ended in a punt. Manning was pressured, the blocking was invisible and there seemed to be no offensive cohesion.

“I think we started off a little rough,” Cruz said, “but once we got the thing rolling, we were able to put some first downs together and get things going a little bit.”

To begin the second half, Ryan Nassib replaced Manning at quarterback and built off his strong outing a week ago versus the Indianapolis Colts. The second-year pro completed 8-of-12 passes for 103 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 133.0.

“I thought we did pretty well as an offense in the second half,” Nassib said. “The o-line did a great job protecting up front which allowed me to get those shots deep down the field.”

Nassib connected with Henry Hynoski on a three-yard touchdown, hit Preston Parker for a 39-yard score and Corey Washington for a 31-yard strike. Not bad for a player who was relegated to the third team a week ago after struggling in the Giants first two preseason games.

“The game’s starting to slow down,” Nassib said. “That, and being in the system a little bit longer, but there’s still a lot to get better at, a lot to learn and a lot more stuff to correct.”

Defensively, defensive end Damontre Moore continued his strong preseason. Last year’s third-round pick recorded two sacks, four tackles and one fumble recovery. On his first possession of the second half, Moore chased down Jets quarterback Michael Vick for his first sack.

“He’s one of the pioneers of the whole scrambling quarterback thing,” Moore said. “To attack him, a guy I’ve watched and played with on Madden, it was a big honor.”

The Giants starting defense didn’t share in Moore’s same success. Versus the Jets starters, the Giants missed tackles, allowed Geno Smith to march the team up and down the field and committed four penalties that kept Jets’ drives alive.

Smith completed 9-of-14 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson combined to rush for 92 yards on 15 carries, an average of 6.13 yards per carry.

“Their offensive line performed well,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “They rushed the ball, but in the second half, our group came out and hung in there, made some plays and got the ball down the field.”

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Aug 232014
 
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Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

There was so much promise shown in the New York Giants 35-24 victory over the New York Jets Friday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Eli Manning was completing passes and Victor Cruz was catching them. The offense was looking like, well, an offense and second-year pro defensive end Damontre Moore was getting after the quarterback. But with the strides the team took forward, there were two big steps back.

Training camp hero wide receiver Marcus Harris left the game midway through the second quarter and headed to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Shortly after, starting left guard Geoff Schwartz was carted off of the field.

Tests confirmed some of the Giants’ fears. Harris suffered an injury to the AC joint injury in his shoulder and will be sidelined at least three-to-four weeks. Schwartz dislocated his big toe. Both players will have MRIs tomorrow to determine a more detailed analysis of their injuries. Both players could be out weeks, months, or the season depending on if there is structural damage.

“We got a couple of guys hurt tonight and that’s very upsetting,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

When asked how serious the injury was to Schwartz, Coughlin responded, “Pretty serious. Hard to play with a toe that’s not functioning.”

“I’m not worried about anything, you just pray about it,” Harris said. “It’s football, injuries occur, you know? It just happened to be me today.”

Marcus Harris, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Harris injured himself on a screen pass, his only reception of the game. After catching the pass, Harris attempted to stiff-arm a defender. When he did, a second defender came in from behind and wrapped him up and brought Harris to the ground. Because his arms were constrained, Harris was unable to brace himself for the hit and landed directly on his shoulder.

The second-year pro was in noticeable pain after the game. He had a brace on his arm and was walking gingerly around the Giants locker room. While Schwartz has his roster spot all but locked up, Harris has been fighting for a position on the Giants final 53-man roster. In a positional group that’s already deep and featuring names such as Corey Washington, Jerrel Jernigan and Preston Parker, Harris’ injury will likely keep him out for the season opener versus the Detroit Lions.

If healthy, Harris would be a logical choice. He can play outside, the slot and special teams. Now? That position is up in the air.

“I think I’ve done enough this summer,” Harris said. “Hopefully (The Giants) feel the same and keep me around.”

While Schwartz is in no jeopardy of getting cut, his injury puts another question mark on an offensive line that is filled with them. In Schwartz’s absence, rookie second-round pick Weston Richburg filled in. If Richburg replaces Schwartz in his absence, which is expected, lining up next to him will be Will Beatty, a player who’s recovering from a fractured leg. To the right? J.D. Walton, a player who hasn’t played in a regular season game in over a year.

At right guard is Brandon Mosley, a player with one career start. Next to him? Justin Pugh, a second-year pro who has struggled a bit this preseason.

The questions keep mounting…and the season keeps getting closer.

Aug 222014
 
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Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on QB Eli Manning:

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese and WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham may add to NY Giants GM Jerry Reese’s draft duds by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings hoping for diverse offense after years where run was expected by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Stevie Brown comes full circle by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 202014
 
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Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

August 20, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), CB Jayron Hosley (foot), and S Cooper Taylor (foot).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that Cooper will need surgery on his foot and that season-ending injured reserve is a possibility for him.

Coughlin also said that Brewer probably will not play against the Jets on Friday.

August 20, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Wednesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

August 20, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Give Walt Frazier an assist on receiver Marcus Harris by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on OG Brandon Mosley: Giants offensive line breakdown: Grading the tape on Brandon Mosley by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Getting sacks in the preseason ‘not important at all’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Aug 202014
 
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Cooper Taylor (30), New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Cooper Taylor – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Things were going well for Cooper Taylor.

The New York Giants second-year safety, and fifth-round selection in last year’s draft, had added muscle in the offseason, was seeing looks with the second-team defense and making plays all across the field. Taylor earned praise for his physicality, awareness and improvement. He looked ready to make an impact on the defense.

The came a foot injury against the Indianapolis Colts, the tests that confirmed a sesamoid fracture in his left foot and the news he’d need surgery. Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed Wednesday after practice Taylor would have surgery and that season-ending injured reserve is now a ‘possibility.’

“Yeah, he’s going to need surgery,” Coughlin said.

According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, surgery for Taylor would require a near full season of recovery. This would make a trip to injured reserve a logical choice. By the time the safety would be healthy enough to take the field, let alone be able to get himself into football shape, it would be far too late to make an impact this season.

So where now do the Giants now stand? Rookie Nat Berhe has earned praise from the coaching staff and has been nicknamed ‘The Missile’ while veteran Quintin Demps has the ability to play either safety position.

Theoretically, placing Taylor on injured reserve may make the most logical choice for the Giants. While the team is littered with question marks across the roster, the secondary is not one of them. The Giants coaching staff was going to be put in a tough situation with a difficult ‘numbers’ game come cut-down day. The Giants had five safeties (Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Berhe, Demps, Taylor) that all deserved spots on the roster and just as many cornerbacks. If Taylor is placed on injured reserve, a roster spot instantly opens up.

The extra spot may allow the Giants to keep both rookie Bennett Jackson and second-year pro Charles James II.

There has been no official decision yet from the team yet on what to do with Taylor. A placement on injured reserve, or IR with designation to return, may not be made for a few days. The Giants do have their first cut-down day (from 90 players to 75) on Tuesday.

Aug 192014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

August 19, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Tuesday were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), and S Cooper Taylor (foot).

Beckham clearly injured or re-injured himself in practice on Monday. He pulled up after catching a pass and then did not return for any of the remaining drills. On Monday, the team said he left practice not because of the hamstring that has caused him to miss most of the offseason practices but because he was hit on the back of the leg. Now the Giants are saying the hamstring is “sore.”

Team officials continue to insist that Beckham did not re-injure the hamstring despite the fact that he did not practice on Tuesday and has now been ruled out of the game against the New York Jets on Friday. Last week, both Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Beckham said the receiver would likely play against the Jets. Beckham has yet to play in a preseason game.

“No, I don’t think Beckham hurt himself,” said Coughlin on Tuesday. “He was sore this morning. You people saw (what happened in practice yesterday) before I even did. I didn’t even realize he… because the last play, one of the last plays of practice yesterday, he caught a pass and ran down the sideline and looked pretty darn good. But he evidentially was sore this morning. They don’t feel like it’s a re-injury but they’re going to continue to be cautious if that’s what it takes. They’re saying no setback. That’s kind of where we are on it.”

“We have progressively built up my workload,” Beckham said in a statement released by the team. “I was sore this morning, and I didn’t work today because we didn’t want a setback, and I don’t consider this a setback. I see it as another step in getting back to full strength.”

August 19, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Tuesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

August 19, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo stay calm behind closed doors about Giants offensive struggles by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Ryan Nassib making case for No. 2 Quarterback by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Beckham sits, Harris continues to excel by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on the New York Giants and Training Camp: Giants owner John Mara expects changes at next year’s training camp by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Aug 182014
 
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BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 18, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Monday were RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), TE Kellen Davis (Achilles strain), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), CB Jayron Hosley (foot), CB Ross Weaver (ankle), and S Cooper Taylor (foot).

Amukamara was examined by doctors who did not think his injury required an MRI. “It feels better than it did yesterday,” Amukamara said. “Yesterday I would have given it a 6 or a 7 on a scale of 1-10. Today it’s more like a 3 or a 4. I’m hoping to play as soon as possible.”

“I don’t know how good it is to have a corner with a strained groin, but he walked out here in pads,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “That told me something about where his mind is. He wants to get back out here and get going. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later.”

“Davis just has some kind of an Achilles strain or something that’s sore, tendonitis, something of that nature. I expect him back. I expect Brewer back, too,” said Coughlin. “Brewer, his back is bothering him, so they held him.”

WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) participated in some special teams drills.

DT Mike Patterson (shoulder) and TE Daniel Fells (knee) returned to practice.

WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) participated in some team drills but left practice early after he reportedly was hit in the back of the leg. The Giants insist he is “fine.”

August 18, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

August 18, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants media hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on OC/OG Weston Richburg: Weston Richburg moving into starting mix on Giants offensive line? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on LB Jon Beason: Jon Beason targets Giants opener: ‘I feel like I’m really close’ by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Sights and Sounds from Giants-Colts Preseason Game: A sights and sounds video from the Giants-Colts preseason game is available at Giants.com.

Aug 172014
 
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Cooper Taylor (30), New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Cooper Taylor returning a blocked punt for a TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

August 17, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Four New York Giants were injured in the team’s 27-26 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night: CB Prince Amukamara (groin), S Cooper Taylor (foot/toe), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), and DT Markus Kuhn (elbow).

Taylor sustained an injury to the sesamoid bone in his foot.

“Cooper is significant and he has an injury that will require quite a bit of time,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “That is most unfortunate for the young man…It is a foot injury again. It is one of those sesamoid deals up under the toe. It’s excessive enough that they are saying he will be out for quite some time.”

Regarding Amukamara, Coughlin said, “I believe he will (an MRI). It is a groin and whenever you have something like that with a position that of course Prince Amukamara plays you are concerned. We will see, I don’t know that it is day to day but he is sore.”

On Brown, Coughlin said, “I’m not sure exactly how much time Charles Brown will miss, but there may be some time in there. I know the normal deal here is to put them in a brace or fit them for a brace as soon as he is capable with playing without the soreness, so we will see.”

Coughlin said Kuhn hyperextended his elbow but will likely be able to play with the injury.

August 17, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript from Sunday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at BigBlueInteractive.com. Some tidbits from Coughlin:

  • “We continue to not really have very many big plays. We had some at the end of the game. There are not enough plays being made by our starters on the offensive or defensive side of the ball…All of the sudden the preseason is flying by here, and we do have an awful lot still to accomplish.”
  • “I think we have to work on a lot of things. Basically we have to work on everything. Last night we didn’t run it, we certainly didn’t throw the ball with any consistency. We don’t have people who are definitely running open. Our protection does break down from time to time and we don’t react well under pressure when we do realize that there has to be a hot or sight adjustment involved in getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hand and trying to accomplish a positive play in the face of pressure.”
  • “We are not stuck with anything (on the offensive line). As I said, just because five guys trot out there doesn’t mean that’s the starting unit.”
  • “(The starters) better (play with a sense of urgency). It’s not written in stone about what you do with the last preseason game either (in terms of the starters not playing much).”

August 16, 2014 Tom Coughlin Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference on Saturday night is available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Post-Game Player Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of the post-game media Q&As on Saturday night with the following players are available at Giants.com:

NY Post Q&A with LB Jameel McClain: Serby’s Sunday Q&A with Jameel McClain by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on the Giants-Colts Game: Giants: 10 positives to take from victory over the Colts includes the improving linebackers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on DE Israel Idonije: No Longer an Impact Player, a Giant Finds a Way to Deliver a Kaboom by Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times

Article on LB Jacquian Williams: Soft-spoken Giants LB Williams ready for loud year on field by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Giants cornerback Walter Thurmond III is a filmmaker by Tom Rock of Newsday

Aug 162014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 16, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants were trailing by 26 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s preseason contest against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Giants had been outgained and outplayed. Eli Manning and the starting offense looked lifeless and the defense emotionless. The final 15 minutes of play couldn’t count down fast enough.

Curtis Painter led the Giants on their first score of the game. Then the defense scored. And then Ryan Nassib happened.

The second-year pro entered the game and led the Giants on two touchdown drives in last eight minutes of the game as New York defeated Indianapolis, 27-26, at the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Nassib completed 11-of-15 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in the victory. With 2:34 seconds remaining in the game, the Syracuse alum marched the Giants on a nine-play, 86-yard game-winning drive, including overcoming a 4th-and-16 situation with a 26-yard pass to tight end Adrien Robinson. With 59 seconds left, Nassib hit Corey Washington for a 4-yard game-winning touchdown. It was Washington’s third-straight game-winning grab.

While Nassib’s connection capped an overall wild night, there was no hiding an otherwise treacherous performance from the Giants starters. Manning struggled again completing just 1-of-7 passes for a measly six yards. Running backs Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings combined for 36 yards on 15 carries and receivers Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz went catchless.

“Whatever words you want to describe it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, “there’s no production.”

Manning and the starters managed to extend one drive past three plays, picking up two first downs via penalties. Cruz fumbled on the drive and Manning threw an interception but both were negated via defensive holding calls.

Jacquian Williams, New York Giants (August 16, 2014)

Jacquian Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Defensively, the Giants starters didn’t fare much better. After forcing a Colts punt on the first drive of the game, Andrew Luck led Indianapolis on three-straight scoring drives highlighted by a five-yard touchdown pass to Griff Whalen.

Luck finished 12-of-18 for 89 yards. Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish followed Luck and combined to complete 15-of-31 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.

“It wasn’t impressive at all,” Coughlin said. “We didn’t get a whole lot done. There’s nothing to look at form a production standpoint.”

Former Giant Hakeem Nicks, who signed with the Colts as a free agent this offseason, spent Saturday evening making a mockery of the Giants secondary. The former first-round pick caught five passes for 53 yards in the first quarter. Nicks had a 39-yard reception negated after taunting the Giants bench.

Following the game, Nicks was asked if this game meant more than another preseason game:

“Uh, yeah,” he said.

In the game, the Giants lost Prince Amukamara (groin), Markus Kuhn (elbow), Charles Brown (shoulder) and Cooper Taylor (toe) to injuries. Taylor was seen leaving the X-ray room following the game on crutches and a walking boot. Amukamara said he didn’t believe his groin injury was serious and Coughlin indicated Kuhn would be fine.

The Giants will have off tomorrow before returning to practice on Monday.

Aug 152014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

ESPN Radio Interview with RB Andre Williams: The audio of ESPN Radio’s interview with RB Andre Williams is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on New York Giants Training Camp:

Article on WR Corey Washington: Corey Washington making a sizable impression by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Defense: Giants feel confident they have the tools to create a versatile defense with the help of a few little-known players by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Sights and Sounds from Training Camp: A sights and sounds video of action from New York Giants training camp is available at Giants.com.