Jan 132015
 
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Emmett Cleary, Indianapolis Colts (July 31, 2013)

Emmett Cleary – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Emmett Cleary to a Reserve/Future contract. Cleary was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has since also spent time with the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Bengals. Cleary has good size but he needs to get stronger. He is a decent athlete who has played both right and left tackle.

Cleary is the fifteenth player signed by the Giants to a Reserve/Future contract since the 2014 NFL season ended. The other players are:

  • QB Ricky Stanzi
  • FB Nikita Whitlock
  • WR Julian Talley
  • WR Juron Criner
  • WR Chris Harper
  • OT Michael Bamiro
  • DE Jordan Stanton
  • LB Victor Butler
  • LB Unai Unga
  • CB Bennett Jackson
  • CB Josh Victorian
  • S Thomas Gordon
  • PK Chris Boswell
  • P Robert Malone

Write-ups on all of these players are available in the New York Giants Scouting Reports section of the website.

Jan 132015
 
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Raheem Morris, Washington Redskins (October 12, 2014)

Raheem Morris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The local NBC affiliate in Washington, DC is reporting that the New York Giants are no longer interested in Raheem Morris as potentially the team’s next defensive coordinator. Morris, who has been the defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins for the last three seasons, interviewed with the Giants on Friday.

Meanwhile, Pepper Johnson interviewed with the Giants for the same position on Monday. Johnson was the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

The Giants are also believed to be interested in Steve Spagnuolo, who was an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 and who served as the Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2007-2008. While NJ.com is reporting that the Giants have not yet officially asked the Ravens permission to interview Spagnuolo, Newsday is saying the Giants have in fact already done so. Newsday, The New York Post, and ESPN are reporting that the Giants are expected to interview Spagnuolo this week.

The New York Post is also reporting that a previous ESPN report that the Giants might consider their current Safeties Coach David Merritt for the defensive coordinator position is not true. Merritt has been on the Giants’ staff since 2004.

Article on New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Candidates: Odds for Giants next defensive coordinator: Steve Spagnuolo the heavy favorite by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Jan 102015
 
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Pepper Johnson, New England Patriots (November 27, 2011)

Pepper Johnson and Bill Belichick – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Pepper Johnson Will Interview for Giants Defensive Coordinator Position Next Week: According to multiple press reports, Thomas “Pepper” Johnson will interview for the vacant New York Giants defensive coordinator position sometime next week. The 50-year old Johnson is currently the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills. He 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

Since Johnson is still under contract with the Bills, the Giants had to request permission to speak with him. According to press reports, the Bills have done so.

The Giants have already interviewed Washington Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris for the position on Friday. For more information on Morris, see One Barber is a big fan of Giants D-coordinator candidate Morris by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post.

RB Rashad Jennings on WFAN Radio: The audio of New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings interview on WFAN Radio on Friday is available at CBS New York.

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: You can trust Tom Coughlin not to make a selfish hire by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on Former Giants Safety Will Hill: Giants ‘party‘ casualty Will Hill: I would’ve cut me, too by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on Possible New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Candidate Steve Spagnuolo: Former NY Giants give Steve Spagnuolo endorsement on potential return to Big Blue by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Notes: The Giants finished 10th in the NFL in total offense with an average of 367.2 yards a game.

The Giants scored at least 24 points in each of their final six games, their longest such streak in 51 years. They scored 24 or more points in eight consecutive in 1963.

In 2014, the Giants outscored their opponents by 41 points in the first half (211-170) but were outscored by 61 points in the second half (230-169).

The Giants were 1-8 when they rushed for less than 100 yards.

QB Eli Manning completed a career-high 379 passes in 2014 and is one of five quarterbacks with at least 300 completions in each of the last six seasons. The others are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, and Philip Rivers.

Manning completed a career-high and franchise-record 63.1 percent of his passes this season (379 of 601).

Manning has completed 3,308 passes in his career, moving him into 13th place in NFL history.

PK Josh Brown now owns the Giants records for both single season and career field goal percentage. In 2014, Brown hit 24-of-26 attempts (one of the misses was a block). In his two seasons with the Giants, Brown has succeeded on 47-of-52 field goal attempts, a 90.4 percentage.

In the Giants’ last four games, WR Odell Beckham totaled 130, 143, 148 and 185 yards to become the first player in franchise history with four consecutive 100-yard games.

The Giants had at least one sack in all 16 games for the first time since 2007.

Jan 082015
 
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Raheem Morris, Washington Redskins (September 29, 2013)

Raheem Morris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants will interview Washington Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris for the team’s vacant defensive coordinator position on Friday. The Redskins granted the Giants permission to interview Morris on Thursday.

The 38-year old Morris has been the Redskins’ defensive backs coach since 2012. Before that, from 2009-11, he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Morris’ complete coaching bio:

  • 1998: Graduate Assistant, Hofstra University
  • 1999: Defensive Backs Coach/Special Teams Assistant, Cornell University
  • 2000–2001: Defensive Backs Coach, Hofstra University
  • 2002: Defensive Quality Control Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2003: Defensive Assistant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2004–2005: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2006: Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State University
  • 2007–2008: Defensive Backs Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2009–2011: Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2012–2014: Defensive Backs Coach, Washington Redskins

Giants.com Q&A with DE Robert Ayers: Know Your Giants: DE Robert Ayers Jr. by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Jan 082015
 
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Raheem Morris, Washington Redskins (October 12, 2014)

Raheem Morris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to ESPN, the New York Giants have requested permission from the Washington Redskins to interview Raheem Morris for the team’s now vacant defensive coordinator position. The Giants fired Perry Fewell on Wednesday.

The 38-year old Morris has been the Redskins’ defensive backs coach since 2012. Before that, from 2009-11, he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2007-08, Morris was the defensive backs coach for the Buccaneers. His complete coaching bio:

  • 1998: Graduate Assistant, Hofstra University
  • 1999: Defensive Backs Coach/Special Teams Assistant, Cornell University
  • 2000–2001: Defensive Backs Coach, Hofstra University
  • 2002: Defensive Quality Control Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2003: Defensive Assistant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2004–2005: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2006: Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State University
  • 2007–2008: Defensive Backs Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2009–2011: Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2012–2014: Defensive Backs Coach, Washington Redskins

Although the Giants have requested permission to interview Morris, the Redskins are entitled to turn down the request. The Redskins fired their defensive coordinator Jim Haslett at the end of December.

Jan 072015
 
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Ricky Stanzi, Jacksonville Jaguars (August 28, 2014)

Ricky Stanzi – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have signed quarterback Ricky Stanzi and place kicker Chris Boswell to reserve/future contracts. Stanzi and Boswell are the 13th and 14th players signed by the Giants to future/reserve contracts since the 2014 regular-season ended.

Stanzi was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs waived him in August 2013 and he has since spent time with the Jaguars and Texans. He has never thrown a pass in a regular-season game. Stanzi has very good size and is a good athlete with a strong arm. Stanzi has inconsistent pocket toughness and accuracy. He will make some risky throws. Stanzi is not really a scrambling threat.

Boswell was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft and spent time on the team’s practice squad. Boswell has experience both place kicking and punting. Boswell has a strong leg, which also aids him on kickoffs. He needs to improve his overall consistency.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions and Roster sections of the website.

LB Mark Herzlich on ESPN Radio: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with LB Mark Herzlich is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Candidates:

Jan 072015
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 23, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The NFL has announced that New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham will play in the Pro Bowl on January 25. Last month it was announced that Beckham had been voted a first-alternate to the Pro Bowl. But with Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson dropping out of the game due to an injury, Beckham will now go in his place.

Beckham will be the first Giants rookie to play in the Pro Bowl since tight end Jeremy Shockey in 2002. He will be the team’s first wide receiver in the game since Victor Cruz in 2012. Beckham is the first Giants rookie wide receiver ever selected to the Pro Bowl.

Beckham finished the season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, all franchise rookie records. He also set a franchise record averaging 108.8 yards per game. Beckham set NFL records for most catches and yards in the first 12 games to start a career and tied an NFL record for with at least 90 receiving yards in nine consecutive games.

“It is definitely awesome,” Beckham said in press release. “It is something that means a lot to me, and I am definitely going to cherish the moment. I’m very excited to be going to the Pro Bowl.

“The goal (entering the season) is to be either in the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl. That is every year. That is something you want to be able to build on and put that on your resume. (We) didn’t end up making it to the Super Bowl, but I did get the invite to the Pro Bowl, so I am very excited and blessed for the opportunity.”

Beckham said he is excited to be playing with other elite receivers.

“Anytime as an offensive player there is a lot of offense on the field, it is definitely going to be a game that you are into,” Beckham said. “I’m very blessed for the opportunity and I am looking forward to it… It’s exciting just being able to learn from (the best) and see them every day. They are some of the best in the league, and it is definitely going to be an experience that is going to be one to remember.

“I definitely thought there was a chance I would play (in the game). I wish I would have made the team originally and not as an alternate, but that is okay. That is something to work for next year.”

Jan 072015
 
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Giants Fire Perry Fewell and Peter Giunta: The New York Giants have officially announced that they have fired Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell and Cornerbacks Coach Peter Giunta. Fewell had been the team’s defensive coordinator since 2010 and Giunta the cornerbacks coach since 2006.

Tom Coughlin and Perry Fewell, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Tom Coughlin and Perry Fewell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Giants finished 29th on defense in 2014 in terms of yards allowed. In other seasons under Fewell, the defense finished 7th (2010), 27th (2011), 31st (2012), and 8th (2013).

“These are two outstanding men and outstanding football coaches,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said in a press release. “It is very hard in this business to find people that are not only good football coaches but outstanding human beings who are trustworthy, loyal and honest. Perry and Peter are all that.

“No one person is responsible for what happened in this year. That has to be loud and clear. If there is any one person responsible, it is me. It is not Perry Fewell. It is not Peter Giunta. Both of them are outstanding football coaches in their own way. The simple fact of the matter is in the circumstance that we find ourselves, change is necessary. That may not be the most eloquent way of saying it, but that is what I am confronted with. The hope always is invigoration. You are going to stimulate. It is with great deliberation over a lengthy period of time throughout a thorough investigation and evaluation of what went on that I came to the conclusion that change was necessary.

Peter Giunta, New York Giants (November 6, 2011)

Peter Giunta – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“There are no hard feelings on my part about anything that anybody has done. The hard feelings are the six wins. That is the reality. It is unfortunate, but it is true.

“The decision here gives us the ability to revive our defensive people, to introduce, if you will, a new, different system, perhaps not that big a change, but nevertheless there will be some change involved and create an opportunity. I just think it is an opportunity for us, to a certain extent, to stimulate our defensive team due to the fact that you will end up with a new coordinator. Those people will bring a new system, a new focus and a new area of concentration.”

For a complete listing of the Giants current coaching staff, see the New York Giants Coaching Staff section of the website.

Giants.com Q&A With CB Prince Amukamara: Giants.com Q&A with Prince Amukamara by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: The competitive burn that fuels DRC by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel Rolle: ‘I’d ride or die with Coach Perry Fewell all day’ by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants and the Salary Cap: Giants face salary-cap decisions on defense by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Articles on Former Giants Head Coach Allie Sherman:

Best of 2014 Sights and Sounds Video: Giants.com has produced a “Best of 2014″ sights and sounds video.

Jan 062015
 
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Y.A. Tittle, Allie Sherman, and Kyle Rote, New York Giants (1963)

Y.A. Tittle, Allie Sherman, and Kyle Rote, New York Giants (1963)

By Larry Schmitt

Allie Sherman, who was head coach of the New York Giants from 1961-1969, passed away on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. Sherman was 91.

Sherman was a significant figure in New York Giants history over two tenures with the franchise.

Beginning in 1949, he was brought on board as a specialist to transform the young and talented Charlie Conerly from a Single Wing tailback to a T-Formation quarterback. Then Head Coach Steve Owen’s offensive philosophy was deeply rooted in the 1920’s hand-in-the-dirt line-plunging style and he was reluctant to move away from his favored A-formation.

Sherman, an undersized tailback at Brooklyn College, was a coach’s favorite wherever he went. He was always attentive at meetings, asking questions, and providing insightful feedback. He obsessed over the handbook for modern offensive football: “The Modern T-Formation With Man in Motion,” by the influential triumvirate of George Halas, Clark Shaughnessy and Ralph Jones.

Sherman spent five seasons under the tutelage of Earl “Greasy” Neal in Philadelphia. During that time, the Eagles adopted the Bears signature T-Formation and became a formidable force for the first time in franchise history. Sherman’s coaching helped Steve Van Buren become an All-Pro back and eventual Hall of Fame inductee.

Sherman was a great teacher, and his players were his pupils. After spending the 1948 season as a head coach for a minor league team in Paterson, NJ, Sherman received the call to return to the NFL. Conerly slowly transformed from a flashy player who improvised on pass-run options into the field commander of a professional team. The Giants as a team peaked in the 1950 and 1951 seasons, finishing second in the Eastern Conference behind the powerful Cleveland Browns. In 1952 and 1953, the core of the team aged, the offensive line broke down, and Owen never fully committed to the T-Formation. The entire staff was dismissed and Sherman moved to the CFL where he was the head coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Canadian style of play with 12-man teams and the larger field allowed Sherman to experiment with new concepts. His teams made the playoffs three consecutive years and were among the league leaders in offense.

Sherman returned to New York as a scout for two seasons. After Vince Lombardi vacated the offensive coordinator position following the 1958 season to coach Green Bay, Sherman was promoted to that position. Conerly’s fortunes were greatly enhanced as the once-successful duo was reunited. Sherman transformed Lombardi’s run-heavy, sweeping offense into a dynamic passing outfit. In 1959, the Giants repeated as Eastern Conference Champions and Conerly won the NFL’s “Most Valuable Player” award following the season.

Sherman assumed the Giants head coaching position in 1961 following Jim Lee Howell’s retirement, and helped resurrect another aging quarterback’s stature. When Y.A. Tittle was traded to New York from San Francisco, little was expected as most people around the league thought we was finished. Instead under Sherman, Tittle led New York to three consecutive Eastern Conference titles, thereby advancing to three consecutive NFL Championship games. Although New York lost all three title games, Tittle won the NFL’s “Most Valuable Player” award twice, following the 1961 and 1963 seasons. And Sherman was awarded the NFL’s “Coach of the Year” award following the 1961 and 1962 seasons, being the first man to win the award twice. Many of the Giants scoring records from this era still stand, despite the team having played 14-game seasons.

Sherman’s career peaked in 1963. The core of the Giants team had aged. Many of the team’s defensive stars were traded, most infamously middle linebacker Sam Huff who held a celebrated grudge against Sherman. A combination of little value received in return for those trades and poor drafting doomed the Giants to a repetitive cycle of mediocrity and inconsistency. Following an 0-5 pre-season in 1969, which included a humbling loss to the defending Super Bowl champion New York Jets, Sherman was relieved of his duties.

Despite the Giants never finishing above .500 over the 1964-1968 seasons, Sherman’s 57-51-4 regular season record placed him second all time in franchise history at the time behind Steve Owen, and has only been surpassed by Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin.

Sherman never coached again, choosing to move into private business and also appeared on locally-produced Giants-related television and radio programs and as an analyst for ESPN’s match-up program.

Jan 052015
 
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Victor Butler, Dallas Cowboys (November 17, 2011)

Victor Butler – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have signed linebacker Victor Butler to a Reserve/Future contract.

Butler was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, he has spent time with the Cowboys (2009-12), Saints (2013), Cardinals (2014), and Colts (2014). Butler has played in 65 games with two starts with a total of 91 tackles, 11 sacks, four pass defenses, and four forced fumbles. Butler is a DE/LB ‘tweener who is too small for the line and not ideally athletic enough for linebacker. He can rush the passer. Butler missed the 2013 season with a torn ACL knee injury that he suffered during training camp that year.

Butler is the twelfth players signed to a reserve/future contract by the Giants since the season ended. (Giants Sign 11 Players to Reserve/Future Contracts)