Jun 122014
 
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New York Giants Defensive Backs (June 12, 2014)

New York Giants Defensive Backs – Photo by Connor Hughes

The second-to-last Organized Team Activity (OTA) for the New York Giants may have been the most impactful yet.

With media in attendance for the last time before next week’s mandatory 3-day mini-camp, the Giants worked on special teams, offense, defense, the two-minute drill and full 11-on-11. During the-two minute portion of practice, middle linebacker Jon Beason jumped in the air in an attempt to bat down a pass for wideout Rueben Randle. Beason landed awkwardly, instantly limping off of the field.

After reaching the sideline, with help from Stevie Brown, Beason sat on an equipment box while being evaluated by trainers. After roughly 10 minutes, a cart was brought out to take Beason back to the locker room.

Coughlin addressed the media after practice, but knew little in terms of the linebacker’s health, saying nothing more than it was a “foot” injury. Beason is undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury. No more information is known at this time.

Below you will find the complete practice report, followed by your questions answered.

With rain hitting East Rutherford throughout yesterday evening and overnight, the Giants elected to practice in their field house. As was the case during the team’s last OTA open to the media, this made observing practice a bit easier. Also, some local referees were brought in for the first time during a media-open session.

MISSING FACES

  • Peyton Hills, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

    Peyton Hillis – Photo by Connor Hughes

    The same players were absent from practice today. Mario Manningham, John Jerry and Will Beatty are out until training camp. Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be sidelined with a hamstring issue, although he did attempt to field one punt. Chris Snee had another scheduled day off.

  • One “new” addition to the injury report was running back Peyton Hillis. Apparently in the first set of OTAs, the RB injured a muscle. He practiced through it for a week and a half before the injury worsened. He expects to be back by soon and did not seem very worried after practice.

SPECIAL TEAMS

As was the case last week, the Giants opened their OTA with a full 11-on-11 punt drill. The team worked what appeared to be the starting units for both squads.

  • Returner rotation was a little different this week from last. Trindon Holliday got the first rep, followed by Walter Thurmond III, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz. During the second “rotation” of this, Odell Beckham Jr. jumped in after Randle, but Steve Weatherford’s punt hit the roof and was not returned. Beckham was then removed.
  • Looks like the starting “gunners” for the Giants on punt return are Zack Bowman and Bennett Jackson. Bowman has always specialized in special teams and Jackson excelled at it at Notre Dame. Bowman made a nice play when he jumped at the goal line, turned around in mid air and batted the ball backwards. The ball was then downed at the 1/2-yard-line. I’m not terribly sure, but Bowman’s foot “may” have touched the endzone line, thus making it a touchback.
  • The Giants ran an interesting drill after a few reps in which the punt team kicked from the 40-yard-line, but the gunners lined up at the 20. The team worked through a bunch of different rotations with the gunners. Guys that saw reps included: Bowman, Jackson, Preston Parker, Charles James, Travis Howard, Marcus Harris, Julian Talley and Jayron Hosley.

DEFENSE

Jacquian Williams, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Jacquian Williams – Photo by Connor Hughes

Following the special teams session, all teams split up. The offense set up on the far end of the field, the special teams (including OBJ) went outside and the defense worked directly in front of us. We’ll start with the D.

  • Not too much to go around here. The team worked on some stripping drills. Jacquian Williams stood out a bit there. He’s a guy that has all the physical tools to be a real good player in the league.
  • Jameel McClain is a talker. His voice is loud, carries and you can sense how passionate he is about the game. He may be the biggest, and most underrated, addition to the team this year.

OFFENSE

The Giants’ offense worked out with quarterbacks, tight ends and wideouts running similar patterns and simply working through the lineups. Basically how you see the team warmup prior to a game.

  • The Giants have worked a tight end by committee approach during practice, making sure everyone gets their reps. That didn’t change today. In nearly every drill, Kellen Davis was the first on the field. Joining him at the skill positions were Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle on the outside, Victor Cruz in the slot and David Wilson at RB. This portion of practice featured no defense, thus Wilson participated.
  • The wideouts continued with the quick-pass trend we’re seeing early on. They’d start by taking one step up field, then instantly coming back. It wasn’t so much a curl as it looked like a screen. Either way, I didn’t see a drop.
  • The running backs also did this pattern and two players made some impressive grabs. David Wilson had one sail a bit behind him, but he jumped up and reached behind to make the grab. John Conner did something similar. Both showed some nice hands.
  • Andre Williams continues to catch the ball with his body. He doesn’t have much experience catching the ball and it shows a bit.
  • After running everyone through the same routes, the RBs split and took handoffs while the WRs and TEs continued to run routes. Interesting little double-moves displayed as the WRs had to get around the coach, make one step outside before cutting inside and up the field on a short post.
  • The offense then gathered again near the goal line (5/10-yard-line) and ran through several shot gun formations. One thing that really stood out was how the RBs were used in the passing game. On one play, Wilson came out of the backfield and darted out, then instantly made a hard cut and came inside to catch a pass over the middle. On another play, he cut inside first, before changing direction and going out. Wilson looked pretty good out of the backfield, running nice routes and displaying good hands.

TWO MINUTE DRILL

As has been the case in each OTA, the Giants moved from the split practice to the two-minute drill. Matching first team versus first team.

  • I’ll set the scene first offensively for both first- and second-team offensive lines. First unit read from left to right – Charles Brown, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh. Second unit – James Brewer, Weston Richburg, Dallas Reynolds, Troy Kropog, Steven Baker.
  • Starting skill positions were the same as the just offense drill, Randle and Jernigan outside, Cruz slot and Davis at tight end. Only change was Rashad Jennings taking over at RB for Wilson.
  • Davis saw some action early, catching a couple balls in the flat. The play was open and Manning hit him pretty quickly. Both looked well designed and set to pick up eight or so yards.
  • The offense sputtered a bit around the 40 and was replaced by the second unit. Nassib started off well, making a few really quick decisions and looking calm in the pocket. That quickly changed, more on that later.
  • First time we saw the “shuffle pass” with the Giants and it really couldn’t have gone much worse. Nassib attempted to get it to Andre Williams, who had it bounce off his hands and nearly into those of a defender. Again, he tried to catch with his body.
  • After a few passes looked very good, Nassib began to look very…very bad. He was rushed, forced passes and missed others. When the dust settled, he had been intercepted three times. His first was by C.J. Barnett, who jumped a deep pass down the sideline. The second was by Charles James, who jumped one on a roll out. The third was by Cooper Taylor, who picked one off after it bounced off the hands of Larry Donnell.
  • Charles James, by the way, is looking as good as a football player can without pads on. He flies around the ball, is constantly talking and has great ball skills. He may be one to keep an eye on. If it comes down to James or Jayron Hosley, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the last year’s undrafted rookie get the nod.

  • Brandon Mosley and Weston Richburg were switching in and out at guard with the first team.
  • J.D. Walton had a snap that went over the head of Eli Manning.
  • Eli Manning drove the Giants down the field to roughly the five, but missed Jernigan on what I believe was a fourth down. Following the play, the team reset at the other end of the field. Jernigan ran along the back of the endzone and the pass came a bit low.
  • Trindon Holliday continues to impress on offense. He is very, very shifty and his juke is LeSean McCoy-like. He caught a screen and caused a few yips from teammates as he maneuvered his way in and out of the defense.
  • During this drill is when Beason went down. He was replaced by rookie Devon Kennard, not Mark Herzlich.

GOAL LINE

After the two-minute drill, the Giants worked goal line for the first time in front of media.

  • Not too much was able to be made out from the offense as they lined up at the end of the field. One play that did stick out was a pass to Hynoski out of the backfield. It looks like every back is going to be involved in the passing game.
  • Got our first look at the Giants’ goal line defense. From right to left (looking back at the defense) the line read as follows: Robert Ayers, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mike Patterson, Johnathan Hankins, Cullen Jenkins and Mathias Kiwanuka. Backers were Spencer Paysinger, Jameel McClain, Devon Kennard and Jacquian Williams.

11-ON-11

Giants ran some 11-on-11, matching the starting offense with sometimes the starting defense, other times the third stringers. Really no consistency when it came to that.

  • Kennard continued to fill in entirely for Beason. Even in the nickel formation, he joined Williams. I’m not sure this would continue if the injury is serious. I’d expect McClain to get the MIKE reps.
  • The defensive line looked pretty good. JPP batted one down in the face of Manning while Mathias Kiwanuka and Damontre Moore each had would-be sacks.
  • Saw a couple neat formations from the offense. The team lined up in a trips right, but it wasn’t three wide receivers. Victor Cruz was in the middle and to his left and right were tight ends. Earlier in practice, the team lined up with three wideouts to the right, and a tight end split out wide to the left.

  • Second team defensive line was as follows from left to right looking at the defense’s back: Damontre Moore, Marcus Kuhn, Johnathan Hankins and Robert Ayers.
  • Adrien Robinson was a little quiet today. He caught a few in the flat, but dropped one too. Nothing bad, nothing great.

TWO-MINUTE DRILL (round two)

  • The Giants ended practice with what was supposed to be another two-minute drill, but it lasted just one play. Eli Manning dropped back and fired a beautiful pass to Rueben Randle on an out for what would have been a 50-yard touchdown. The pass split three defenders.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

As is the case each week, we asked you what we wanted BBI to look out for in practice. You asked, we answered.

FROM LINHB – I’d love to hear how the WR feel about the new offensive system.

  • Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle each spoke today and echoed that they enjoy it. Jernigan caught himself when asked if he likes this offense more than last year and if it’s easier, but both did say there are not nearly as many “reads.”

FROM FAST ADAM – Interested to see how the Tom Crabtree workout goes.

  • He wasn’t signed and for now it was most likely testing the waters.

FROM DCGIANTS – What’s the real situation with OBD?

  • He tweaked his hammy and is waiting for medical clearance. He did more today than last week.

FROM ED A – How is the DT rotation shaping up?

  •  Tough to see when it gets to third team, but starters are Jenkins and Patterson, second team Hankins and Kuhn.

FROM GMEN9892 – How have Walton and Richburg faired? Who would you consider the early favorite to start?

  • It’s going to take an injury or something unforeseen to not have Walton the center for game No. 1. Richburg is the future, potentially at guard, but right now it’s Walton’s job. Tough to say how each has played because it’s all non contact. Walton did have a snap over Eli’s head today.

FROM SECTION125 – Has Pugh seen action at LT?

  • Not that I’ve seen.

FROM RIVER MIKE – How is Xavier Grimble progressing with playbook?

  • Didn’t talk to media.

FROM RPTl530 – What does fall mean for William Beatty?

  • Coughlin said that the plan from day one has been to have Beatty a go for training camp. That apparently hasn’t changed.

FROM MARTY IN ALBANY – If the new offensive scheme is easier to learn and to run will it also be easier for defenders to recognize and defend?

  • Not really. It’s not “easier” in terms of picking it up. It’s easier because there aren’t as many on-the-fly decisions made by the WR. In the past, the option routes would need to be read the same by Eli Manning and his target. If one sees something the other doesn’t, it’s an interception.

FROM SHAOLIN SHADOWBOXIN – How is Nassib progressing compared to Painter? How about Damontre Moore?

  • Moore continues to flash, he just needs to be consistent. Nassib has gotten nearly all the reps. I think Painter saw a combined six today? I’ve heard conflicting reports on him from the team, but I have not been impressed with Nassib. Looks rattled, inaccurate and hasn’t made good decisions.

FROM G-BABY – Motioning WRs?

  • Yup, similar to TE, the wideout is in motion a lot.

THE GIANTS WILL HAVE MINI CAMP ON JUNE 17, 18 and 19. BBI WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE FOR THE 17 AND 19 PRACTICES.

Jun 112014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 21, 2012)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eli Manning Energized by New Offense: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was interviewed on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. Manning spoke about the impact the new offense under Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo is having on him.

“It is tough, it’s not easy, but it has definitely re-energized me and brought an urgency to this time of year,” Manning said. “It’s definitely challenging. Each night, I’m staying up and preparing, and I feel like I’m in season right now with the amount of preparation I’m trying to put in to get ready for each practice.”

“Each practice is draining on you mentally, you’re thinking so much about everything that has to go on and the different calls,” said Manning. “But it is also exciting. As a football player, as a competitor, you like to be challenged.”

Manning underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in April. It was originally feared he would miss all of the offseason workouts until training camp. But Manning has been a full participant during the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices that began in late May.

“This has been huge, just getting in the offense,” Manning said. “It’s one thing to listen to a play being called or watch plays being run — you may think you have a good grasp of it, until you’re out there and you gotta pull the trigger, you gotta make a call, you gotta change a play and you’re doing it live, and with the defense, and make all those little decisions. It was huge.”

Manning suffered the ankle injury during the regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins on December 29. Despite the fact that the injury required him to wear a protective boot for several weeks and did later require surgery, Manning said he might have played if there was another game following the 20-6 win over Washington.

“I was having the conversation with the trainers a little bit,” Manning said. “It would’ve been my instincts to say ‘Yeah, I can play.’ I could’ve muscled through it. It would’ve been a lot of shotgun, I think. The good thing it was my left ankle, it wasn’t my right ankle where you’re planting and pushing off and stuff. But it would’ve been a challenge. It would’ve been interesting to see how it would’ve worked out if we had a game the next week.”

LB Jamal Merrell Works Out for Giants: According to The Star-Ledger, undrafted rookie free agent Jamal Merrell (Rutgers) was scheduled to work out for the New York Giants on Wednesday. The Giants had also worked out Merrell before the 2014 NFL Draft. Merrell was signed by the Tennessee Titans on May 12 after the Draft, but the Titans waived him a week later.

According to The Star-Ledger and NJ.com, the Giants worked out at least 10 free agents on Wednesday, including TE Tom Crabtree (ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and rookie free agent WR Denzell Jones (Central Connecticut State). None of these players have been signed.

CB Victor Hampton Signs with Bengals: As previously reported, rookie free agent CB Victor Hampton (South Carolina) had been scheduled to work out with the Giants this week. However, Hampton signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday. NJ.com is reporting that Hampton was schedule to meet with the Giants on Wednesday.

Giants.com Q&A With Safety Nat Berhe: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with safety Nat Berhe is available at Giants.com.

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz prepared for role as one of Giants’ leaders by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on LB Mark Herzlich: Giants LB Mark Herzlich continues to use his magic touch by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Giants.com Videos from New York Giants OTA Practices:

Quotes: WR Victor Cruz on former New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells addressing the team last Tuesday: “It was dope, man. It was cool to see him. I’ve met him on the field briefly but never in that kind of setting to hear what he has to say and talk to him…Just his presence alone, what he brings to the table, it was pretty inspirational to see him and have him there. He still brings the fire. He still has it. It’s pretty cool to see.”

Jun 102014
 
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Bill Parcells, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Bill Parcells – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Bill Parcells Addresses New York Giants at Eighth OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their eighth of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Tuesday. Former Giants Head Coach Bill Parcells (1983-1990) attended practice and addressed the team.

The media was not allowed to view Tuesday’s practice, but the Giants released the following details through their website, Giants.com, from Dan Salomone:

  • In a pass-heavy practice, QB Eli Manning looked sharp, completing consecutive throws to WR Jerrel Jernigan, TE Kellen Davis, and two more to Jernigan on the opening series. Later in 7-on-7 drills, the ball was spread around with TE Adrien Robinson, RB Rashad Jennings, and WR Preston Parker all making catches. Quarterbacks Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter also made quality throws throughout the practice.
  • TE Kellen Davis caught a ball down the seam early in team drills, and TE Daniel Fells grabbed a touchdown later on from inside the 5-yard line. However, the tight ends also dropped a few passes.
  • LB Spencer Paysinger made a nice jump on a pass from QB Ryan Nassib but couldn’t quite hold onto the ball.
  • CB Prince Amukamara was very active, including breaking up a pass intended for WR Jerrel Jernigan late in practice. But his best play was disrupting a fade pass to WR Victor Cruz in the back left-hand corner of the end zone.
  • WR Jerrel Jernigan found a rhythm early with Manning, catching three of his four straight completions to begin the team portion of practice. He made a nice grab of another Manning throw later on down the left sideline, where he managed to get a hand on the ball in traffic and tip it to himself for a catch.

Photos from today’s OTA are also available from Giants.com.

The remaining New York Giants OTA practices are this week on Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s practice will be open to the media. The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Eli Manning Talks About Adjusting to New Offense: Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the press on Monday at a charity event. He was asked about the adjustment to new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense.

“It’s different,” said Manning. “When you’ve been in the same offense for 10 years you’re not always grinding over the installation of what play or had to think about, ‘Hey, what’s the back doing on this route or what route can I maybe change it to to get a better route?’ You’ve gone through all those thinking processes.’’

“I think it’s good. With the new offense, everyone is learning. Every day is a challenge. You’re not going in there to have practice and go through the motions. It’s a lot of preparation and study just go through the practice and have an idea of what might happen and how its going to work out. It’s been a lot of work for the quarterbacks, the wide receivers and everybody. I think it’s good to get that urgency now and get things going. It should set the tempo, the way its going to go, for this upcoming season.

“Only seven practices, so no, we haven’t gotten everything down. I’m not 100 percent on everything going on,” Manning said. “There are still some learning curves and things I gotta digest and think through. But the more reps you get at, the more looks you get, the better you’re getting.

“Our defense is giving us a number of different looks, so each day I’m coming up with some new questions I have for Ben (McAdoo) and our offense. We see things the same way, and we’re making strides. I’m feeling more comfortable throughout the practice. But there’s always a few things where we have some questions after it happens maybe I hadn’t thought of beforehand…I feel good about what our offense can do and the potential of it. It’s just getting to the point where we have a great mastery of it from the mental capacity.”

Three Working Out for Giants This Week: As previously reported, TE Tom Crabtree (ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and rookie free agent CB Victor Hampton (South Carolina) will work out with the Giants this week. NJ.com is also reporting that rookie free agent WR Denzell Jones (Central Connecticut State) will also work out for the Giants on Wednesday.

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: For Giants, it’s still all about the O-line by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Jun 092014
 
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Jameel McClain, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Jameel McClain – Photo by Connor Hughes

New York Giants Complete Seventh OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their seventh of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Monday. No live contact is allowed in OTA practices, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The media was not allowed to view Monday’s practice, but the Giants released the following details through their website, Giants.com, from Dan Salomone:

  • Working inside due to rain, the defense looked sharp. There were no interceptions, but there were tipped passes at the line and tight coverage.
  • QB Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to WR Julian Talley in the corner of the end zone from inside the 5-yard line. WR Rueben Randle made two tough catches, including a sideline grab from QB Eli Manning during the two-minute drill.
  • RB Kendall Gaskins received a lot touches in practice. Running backs Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams saw a lot of action catching passes out of the backfield.
  • WR Jerrel Jernigan saw reps as both a receiver and punt returner.
  • PK Josh Brown manned a new special teams drill where he bounced a miniature soccer ball at the goal line. After it shot up in the air, another player would have to tip it back before it went into the end zone to mimic downing a punt.
  • Former Giants S Deon Grant and RB Brandon Jacobs watched practice.

Dan Salomone of Giants.com also singled out the following:

  • WR Rueben Randle: Randle made a pair of exceptional plays. The first was a laser of a pass from Eli Manning to Randle, who was surrounded by defensive backs and managed to control the ball. The second was a sideline catch as Randle fell out of bounds during the two-minute drill.
  • WR Julian Talley: Talley made an impressive catch in the corner of the end zone from QB Ryan Nassib. Talley won the jump ball over defensive back Kyle Sebetic and appeared to get both feet inside the back left-hand corner of the end zone.
  • Defense: The defense as a unit stood out. Whether it was DT  Markus Kuhn sniffing out a shovel pass or CB Walter Thurmond III making plays in the secondary, the offense couldn’t get much going on Monday.

Photos from today’s OTA are also available from Giants.com.

The remaining New York Giants OTA practices are this week on June 10, 12, and 13. Thursday’s practice will be open to the media. The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

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

  •  WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • TE Xavier Grimble (Video)
  • S Quintin Demps (Video)

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Giants newcomers forge team ties by Paul Schwarz of The New York Post

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Giants roster battles: Marcus Harris in the wide receiver mix by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on TE Adrien Robinson: Breaking down Adrien Robinson’s chances by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Giants.com Videos from New York Giants OTA Practices:

Jun 062014
 
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Jayron Hosley (28), New York Giants (October 21, 2012)

Jayron Hosley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jayron Hosley Apologizes for Drug Suspension: New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley, who was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, addressed the media on Thursday after practice.

“I want to apologize to the ownership of the New York Giants,” said Hosley. “Those guys, they’re the ones that believe in me. The GM, Jerry Reese, my coaches and most importantly my teammates and the fans. My teammates, we go on the field every day and battle together. We spend time off the field together. I really don’t want this to be all about me and taking the attention away from the team because it’s about the team first.”

While this is the first time Hosley has been suspended by the NFL for drug use, Hosley did reportedly fail a drug test at the NFL Combine before he was drafted by the Giants in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Hosley will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on Friday, September 26 following the team’s September 25 game against the Washington Redskins. Unless he is waived, Hosley is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Hosley is the second New York Giant this offseason to be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL Policy for Substances of Abuse. Safety Will Hill was suspended by the NFL for six games on May 30. The Giants waived him on June 2.

Hosley was appealing the suspension but decided to drop that appeal.

“I’m not going to sit here and get into the specifics,” said Hosley. “I made a mistake, there’s a consequence to everything that you do. I’ve got to be man enough to accept them and move on…Right now I’m just focusing on football, myself, staying focused and surrounding myself with good people and family who’s always been there for me. That’s my focus right now.”

Hosley was asked if he was undergoing drug counseling.

“I do see counseling but at the same time right now it’s not about what I’m doing outside of football, it’s about football right now,” replied Hosley.

Hosley indicated that the the failed drug test actually occurred last year. “This was something that went on last season,” said Hosley. “I was trying to appeal it and the ball didn’t bounce my way.”

Commenting on both Hosley and Hill, safety Antrel Rolle said, “Every individual has to be accountable for his own actions. They’re both adults, they’re both men. They know right from wrong, they know the do’s and don’ts of this league. They know if you’re going to be tested, when you’re going to be tested. It’s too easy to do right than to keep doing wrong. … We don’t need to have that pub, guys hitting up on Twitter, saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s up with the secondary?’ I mean, it’s a bad reflection. It doesn’t look good.”

TE Tom Crabtree to Work Out for Giants: According to The Star-Ledger, unrestricted free agent TE Tom Crabtree, who was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in May, will work out for the New York Giants next week.

The 28-year old Crabtree has spent time with the Chiefs (2009), Packers (2009-2012), and Buccaneers (2013-2014). He has 22 career regular-season receptions for 323 yards and five touchdowns.

Article on the New York Giants OTAs: Giants OTAs: 5 takeaways include offensive improvement and a surprise at TE by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Change a positive for Eli Manning, says Phil Simms by Bob Glauber of Newsday

ESPN Interview with LB Mark Herzlich: A two-part video interview with LB Mark Herzlich is available at ESPN.com:

Jun 052014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Odell Beckham – Photo by Connor Hughes

New York Giants Complete Sixth OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their sixth of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Thursday. No live contact is allowed in OTA practices, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) was at Thursday’s OTA practice. See New York Giants OTA Practice #6: Quick Hits and Tidbits.

Additional brief summaries were provided by:

Photos from the practice are also available from Giants.com.

New York Giants OTA practices:

  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

June 5, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing at Thursday’s Organized Team Activity (OTA) workout were WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Mario Manningham (knee), RG Chris Snee (hip/elbow), LT Will Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee), and CB Trumaine McBride (unknown).

“(Beckham) has a little sore hamstring so they held him,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He may be longer than (one day). I don’t know. You’re talking about a skilled athlete with a little twinge, so he may be longer than that.”

Coughlin said Snee was scheduled to be off today for precautionary reasons.

RB David Wilson (neck), as reported, continues to sit out of contact drills. Coughlin said that Wednesday’s follow-up exam on Wednesday was positive.

“No question about it,” Coughlin said. “Four-and-a-half months out, looking forward to August. Progress has been made, so it’s not a negative report at all in our opinion. It’s probably right where it should be. The fact that he’s, you’ve got to remember, this guy from day one, right after the surgery, I mean within two weeks, he didn’t act like there was anything wrong. He has, from time to time, wanted to do more and we can’t let him do more. I think he understands it.”

Jerrel Jernigan missed practice due to a death in the family.

CB Victor Hampton Will Workout for New York Giants: According to WIST.com, undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Victor Hampton (South Carolina) will try out for the New York Giants on Tuesday.

June 5, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday are available at Giants.com.

June 5, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the New York Giants Secondary:

Article on Former Giants Safety Will Hill: Will Hill: More trouble for ex-Giants safety with claims he trashed rental home by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Jun 052014
 
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Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97), New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97) – Photo by Connor Hughes

Please note, after practice a lot during was discussed in regards to ex-New York Giant safety Will Hill. We will have a separate article coming recapping all of that. “Quick hits and tidbits” is designed for your practice overview.

Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice No. 6 – the second available to the New York media – wrapped up Thursday afternoon as the New York Giants continued their offseason program. Unlike the first, rain and wind forced the Giants into their “field house.” Located directly next to their outdoor practice facilities, the field house is an enclosed building with two full-length football fields.

With practice being held inside and on two field as opposed to nearly half a dozen, most, if not all, of practice was visible.

As was the case last week, we asked you, the fans, what you wanted BBI to keep an eye on at practice. At the end of our practice report, you will find your questions answered. First, lets set the stage.

Missing faces…

  • There were a few absences from practice today. The regular candidates – OG John Jerry, WR Mario Manningham, LT William Beatty - missed practice again and will be out until training camp. RG Chris Snee missed practice as a precautionary/planned measure.
  • There was a new addition to the injury report: WR Odell Beckham Jr. New York’s first-round pick tweaked his hamstring near the end of practice on Tuesday and sat out today. There were mixed reviews on when the Giants expect him back. Tom Coughlin said “it could be more than one day,” meanwhile Beckham seemed to think he’d be out there tomorrow if there was practice.
  • Jerrel Jernigan was another absentee, missing practice due to a death in the family.

The starters…

As was a huge plus with the practice being held indoors and the players being closer for the visible eye, starting lineups were more evident.

The starting offensive:

  • Justin Pugh (RT), Brandon Mosley (RG), J.D. Walton (C), Geoff Schwartz (LG), Charles Brown (LT), Rueben Randle (OWR), Victor Cruz (SWR), Adrien Robinson (TE), Marcus Harris (OWR), Eli Manning (QB), Rashad Jennings (RB).

The starting defense:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul (DE), Mike Patterson (DT), Cullen Jenkins (DT), Mathias Kiwanuka (DE), Jameel McClain (SAM), Jon Beason (MIKE), Spencer Paysinger (WILL), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB), Antrel Rolle (SS), Stevie Brown (FS), Walter Thurmond III (Nickle), Prince Amukamara (CB).

Now on to practice…

Special Teams:

  • The Giants opened practice with a full 11-on-11 punt return drill. Unlike the first OTA, the media was allowed to stand near where the returners fielded from a machine. Today Steve Weatherford was kicking them back. New York worked in a three-man rotation for returners: Trindon Holliday started, followed by Randle,Thurmond and Victor Cruz. Thurmond muffed the last punt of the day.
  • The Giants’ field house doesn’t really have the highest of roofs, so fielding for the returners was a bit annoying. I counted five of Weatherford’s kicks that smacked the ceiling, then came straight down.
  • The Giants starting “gunners,” or those that line up outside and chase down the punts, worked in two teams. The first featured Charles James and Travis Howard; the second Zack Bowman and Bennett Jackson. Jackson, the Giants’ sixth-round pick, downed one off a bounce at the five-yard-line.

Offense:

  • After the initial special teams drill, the Giants split up between offense and defense. Running backs, quarterbacks, wideouts and tight ends all went on one field; the defense to the other.
  • The offense ran through your basic warm-up drill with the QB’s tossing passes to their receiving options. I took note of the types of patterns the targets were running. Each started on the left side of the field, ran a drag before instantly turning it into a curl in front of the quarterback. After catching the pass, the player turned up field, ran through a few players with bags and then either hurdled, or darted around, bags lying on the ground. I didn’t witness any drops occur during this drill.
  • During his college career, RB Andre Williams wasn’t exactly a threat out of the backfield, so I tried to keep an eye on him during this drill. From what I saw, he went through one rotation and caught the ball. The one thing that I noticed was how he caught the ball: no hands, pure body.
  • Not sure if this was a drill, or just Eli Manning messing around, but after the above drill broke, the quarterbacks gathered together. Manning stood as if he was lunging forward, then took the football and proceeded to hand it off between his right and left hands quickly between his legs. He did this roughly 20 times, then passed it off to Ryan Nassib followed by Curtis Painter. After one rotation, the QB’s switched it up going between both legs, then behind the back. Not that it counts for anything, but Manning moved the ball in-and-out the fastest of the bunch.
  • After that basketball dribble drill, the the receivers (TEs included) split from the running backs. Most likely nothing, but Nassib went with the running backs and practiced handoffs while Manning and Painter threw passes.
  • Offensively, the ball certainly comes out of the quarterback’s hand quick. Curls, roll-outs, ins and outs looks to have replaced New York’s signature double moves from years past. Comparing this week and last, Manning looks much more comfortable with who he is throwing the ball to. Although, that could have been because there were no defenders.

Two-Minute Drill:

  • Granted there is no contact, but one player that really jumped out was RB Rashaad Jennings. The free-agent acquisition made a couple real nice moves in the hole to dart free to daylight. Jennings has a nice second gear too, pulling away from defenders.
  • As was mentioned above, the offense seems to feature a lot of draws, outs, curls and screens. Compared to the first practice, we didn’t see nearly as many running-back screens, but instead only three or four to tight ends and wide receivers.
  • Kelcy Quarles, a rookie free agent defensive tackle, came up with what would have been a sack on Eli Manning. He got a nice jump to get past I believe Geoff Schwartz.
  • The first time we saw Manning in the 2-minute drill last week, the quarterback was a bit timid with the ball. Nearly everything was a check-down, screen or dump off. Today, Manning took a few more shots down the field. He made a really nice throw to Marcus Harris on a deep out 15-20 yards down the field. Following the pass, he was replaced by Nassib.
  • Nassib and Manning took all of the reps in the two minute drill. Maybe Nassib just doesn’t like the media because once again he wasn’t very impressive. He was nearly intercepted a few times, including one by CB Jayron Hosley in which the ball was ripped away. The Syracuse alum does show some good quickness out of the pocket, moving and extending place pretty regularly.

  • One thing to keep a big eye on as we go forward is the use of WR Trindon Holliday, not just on special teams, but on offense. The former Denver Bronco and Houston Texan is seeing a lot of action and impressing. Last week, he caught a pass on a drag and had a lot of room to run. Today, Holliday caught what would have been a 40-50 yard touchdown on a wheel route. The 5-5, 166-pound LSU alum got behind the secondary and Nassib found him.
  • Shortly after the pass to Holliday, Manning came back in for Nassib. WR Julian Talley replaced Harris and TE Kellen Davis replaced Adrien Robinson. The TE’s sub in and out for each other pretty regularly, but Robinson is normally the first one out. He seems to have an early edge.
  • Speaking of Adrien Robinson, he continues to flash. He made a couple nice grabs including one down the seam for 10-12 yards. I asked Tom Coughlin after practice what he thought of the former fourth-round pick and he said he’s been “impressed.”
  • One thing we saw a lot during the two-minute drill was the movement of the tight end. One time, the position lined up in the backfield, once in the slot. One particular formation had a TE in the normal position (Robinson), and then one (Daniel Fells) in the slot. That certainly isn’t something that has been seen recently.
  • Antrel Rolle had a good practice, nearly coming away with an interception. We saw a couple different variations of the safety rotation during this portion of practice. Combinations included: Rolle and Cooper Taylor, Rolle and Stevie Brown, Taylor and Quintin Demps, and Thomas Gordon and Demps.
  • For those that were wondering, Cooper Taylor has replaced Will Hill on the second team.
  • Probably the highlight of practice: Eli Manning found Victor Cruz on an out after the Pro-Bowl wideout got wide open. After hauling in the pass, Cruz went full-steam up the sideline… you would have thought it was the Super Bowl. Seeing this as a challenge, Prince Amukamara, Jon Beason and Antrel Rolle sprinted after him laughing each step of the way.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was beaten twice by my count. Once by Julian Talley, once by Holliday (seriously, Holliday is impressing as WR).
  • On a draw, Andre Williams had a nice juke to get to the next level.
  • Kellen Davis made a real nice grab down the seam. That’s an area we’ve seen the TE’s attacking pretty frequently.
  • We had a Damontre Moore flash. The DE jolted into the backfield and disrupted a toss play. Showed great speed and jump.

Special Teams/Kick Return:

  • After the two-minute drill, the Giants transitioned to kickoffs. Brandon McManus handled the KO duties. The rotation for returners worked as follows: Quintin Demps – Trindon Holliday – David Wilson. Demps has a real nice burst when he hits the extra gear.

The Defense:

  • After the kickoff/return practice, the Giants split up practice again with offense and defense. Having previously watched the offense, I turned my intention to the ‘D.’
  • The second-team safeties were Quintin Demps and Cooper Taylor. Third team were C.J. Burnett/Nat Berhe and Thomas Gordon. Newly acquired CB/S Kyle Sebetic worked entirely as a corner.
  • The Giants split up the starting defense into a “nickel” base during one portion. In this package, Jacquain Williams entered as a LB with Jon Beason. Also, Stevie Brown spent a few reps up in the box. The second-team nickel LB’s were Jameel McClain and Spencer Paysinger.
  • CB Charles James has been very active in the two practices the media have seen. The second-year player in constantly talking, moving, running and just looks to be having a blast on the field. In the two-minute drill, James nearly came away with an interception off Nassib.
  • One funny situation occurred during the above drill, several starters played “offense” with caps on just to mimic offensive moves. Rodgers-Cromartie, who lined up in front of James, didn’t take this too lightly. The free-agent acquisition showed some good burst off the line and actually got a few steps on an unexpecting James. This didn’t sit well with Demps, who called James over for a few words. Nice leadership shown by Demps.

11-on-11 Drills:

  • Not too much excitement in this portion of practice. RB Peyton Hillis made a few nice moves and showed a good burst. More quick passes and curls.
  • Manning hit Cruz over the middle on a nice pass. Eli drove the ball pretty well and it had some zip.
  • Curtis Painter got a few reps here. On one, he tried to find a target (couldn’t make out who) over the middle but Jacquian Williams flashed across for the bat-down at the line.
  • Harris flashed once on a real nice play over the middle from Nassib. He made a few catches with some additional reps.

Overall Impressions…

  • In just a week, you can tell Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo is installing more and more of his offense. We saw a few deep shots, some nice variations and different formations. It’s going to be fun to watch the offense evolve over the offseason.
  • I mentioned it before, but Trindon Holliday may be a very nice addition to the offense. He showed a few times that he has some game-breaking ability. If you get him in space…look out. Rueben Randle is also having a pretty good offseason.
  • The offensive line looked a lot better this afternoon than it did last week. Looks like they’re starting to jell together.
  • Charles James continues to flash showing he has made some significant improvements from a year ago.

Your Questions Answered…

FROM SNEAKERS O’TOOLE - I’d like to know how comfortable Eli looks on his feet after coming off the ankle thing. I know he was taking snaps, a lot of short throws apparently. I’d like to know if he looks comfortable planting and driving the way a QB must to deliver a ball with power.
– He looked a lot better today than he did last week. Drove on a few and put some nice zip on the ball. He’s getting better and better with each passing day.

FROM BLUE42 - Can you please detail how Andre Williams is doing catching the ball and if the screen pass is still a W.I.P.?
– Believe it or not, we didn’t see many screen passes to RBs worked on today, mostly just to TEs and WRs. I saw Williams catch one pass with his body. He wasn’t target on anything else.

FROM GREAT WHITE GHOST – Who looks like they have the edge in the Fullback competition?
— It’s very difficult to tell this early on. Most of the formations the Giants have been running don’t feature a FB (shotgun). The few times Eli has been under center, Henry Hynoski has gotten the first reps.

FROM WEATHERMAN – Are they showing more 4 CB alignments with the newly acquired quality depth at the position?
– I haven’t seen any four-corner sets yet.

FROM KEOWEEFAN – Cooper Taylor, is he showing progress?
– Taylor looks decent. Only reason I say that is because he hasn’t done anything to really stand out – nothing negative or positive. He says he’s put on weight and spent a lot of time in the weight room.

FROM RASBUTANT – See if you can get any quotes from players about Will Hill
– Antrel Rolle put it best that he wasn’t “surprised” at the situation and you can’t depend on a player that is getting suspended “year, after year, after year.”

FROM DAVIDINBMNY – The strongest position on paper for the team is CB. As opposed to the 3 safety look, are there any signs or indications that the 3 CB / 2 LB package will be used more often?
– Yup, all nickel package is three corner, two backer.

FROM ATL_GIANT – Please let us know if Snee looks healthy. Is he practicing fully? Is there any indication of where his performance level may be at the start of the season?
– He was out today. Precautionary reasons. Coughlin said it was part of the plan.

FROM JOEGUIDO - How does Eli like the new offensive scheme in comparison to what he had been running and does he think the new offense will produce?
– Much better from a week ago. He didn’t speak today.

FROM JAY IN TORONTO – I’d like to know who (either by your observation or what you’ve heard) is demonstrating accelerated development (esp Robinson, Nassib etc).
– Coughlin said he’s impressed with Robinson and Donnell.

THE NEXT MEDIA DAY IS THURSDAY, JUNE 12. BBI WILL ONCE AGAIN BE IN ATTENDANCE.

Jun 042014
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (September 16, 2012)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Comment on RB David Wilson’s Status: Following up on the earlier BBI update that New York Giants running back David Wilson failed to receive clearance on Wednesday from doctors to return to contact drills, the team released an official update on his status.

The Giants announced that Wilson underwent a CAT scan on Wednesday to gauge the progress on his surgically-repaired neck. However, although Wilson was not cleared for contact, the team said the exam “revealed he is progressing to where that could occur next month.”

“There has been significant progress and healing since David had the fusion,” said Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants’ team physician. “But the reality is it has only been four and one-half months since the surgery. We anticipate that when David is re-evaluated at the start of training camp he will be cleared at that point.”

“Everything I got this morning was good news – there was nothing bad or negative,” Wilson said. “I’m very pleased and very blessed for my healing process to continue.”

Wilson suffered a herniated disc in his neck against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 6, 2013 and missed the rest of the season. On January 16, 2014, he underwent spinal fusion surgery.

“I sat down today and (the doctor) showed me the X-rays and the CAT scan and my surgery has been successful,” Wilson said. “We’re just waiting for the bone to heal strong enough for contact. The doctors will know when that point is. I feel perfectly fine.”

Wilson has been working in a limited capacity during the team’s offseason program.

“When the defense is on the field, that’s the only time I’m not participating,” said Wilson. “I can do anything and everything that’s asked of me at this point. I’m removed when it’s defense vs. offense so as not to have an accident. I’m catching passes, taking handoffs from the quarterbacks and getting reps with the offense without the defense.

“There’s no need to have contact (now). We want to wait until it’s fused all the way, but there’s no need to have unnecessary contact at an unnecessary point in the season. We don’t have full contact in OTAs, anyway. We don’t have pads on. Any contact that happens in the OTAs is accidental and wasn’t meant to happen. There’s no need for me to go out there and have an accident that takes us backward when we’ve come so far and my surgery went well and I’m making such good progress. There’s no need for me to go out there and have an accident. We’re just working hard and I’m learning the playbook. As long as I’m getting my mental reps, I think the coaches believe in my athletic ability to take over after that and I’ll be just fine.”

Wilson believe he will be able to return to full practice when summer training camp begins on July 21.

“That’s what I believe,” Wilson said. “As I’ve been telling everybody, I feel fine. I’ve been able to work out. (The doctor) this morning gave the go-ahead to do more in the weight room and be more active in the weight room and be more active in OTAs. Everything I heard today was excellent.”

New York Giants Report to Training Camp on July 21: The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that their players are scheduled to report to summer training camp on July 21 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. However, the training camp schedule still has not been released to the public.

We have updated the Important Dates section of the website.

Giants.com Q&A with Former Giants LB Antonio Pierce: The video of a recent Giants.com Q&A with former New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce is available at Giants.com.

Jun 042014
 
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Jayron Hosley and Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (September 29, 2013)

Jayron Hosley and Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jayron Hosley Fails Drug Test, Suspended for Four Games: The NFL announced on Wednesday that New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Hosley will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on Friday, September 26 following the team’s September 25 game against the Washington Redskins. Unless he is waived, Hosley is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Hosley is the second New York Giant this offseason to be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL Policy for Substances of Abuse. Safety Will Hill was suspended by the NFL for six games on May 30. The Giants waived him on June 2.

According to FOXSports, Hosley was appealling the suspension but dropped that appeal on Wednesday.

Hosley was drafted by the New York Giants in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He had reportedly failed a drug test at the NFL Combine before he was drafted.

As a rookie in 2012, Hosley had his ups and downs, playing in 12 games with six starts. But he also missed four games with hamstring, shoulder, and quadriceps injuries. Last season, after injuries sidelined Corey Webster and Aaron Ross in September, Hosley’s chance to possibly start was sabotaged by a Week 4 hamstring injury that sidelined him for the next five games and nagged him much of the rest of the season. Hosley finished 2013 with one start in 11 games, finishing the season with just 9 tackles and 2 pass defenses.

Jun 042014
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

David Wilson Still Not Cleared for Contact: RB David Wilson, who suffered a career-threatening neck injury last October in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, still has not been cleared for football contact. Wilson underwent an exam and MRI on Monday. The Bergen Record and The Star-Ledger are reporting that while there is improvement, Wilson still has not yet received the blessing of doctors to return to the practice field when contact with other players is possible.

Wilson will undergo another exam shortly before training camp begins in July. Obviously the hope is that he will be cleared for contact at that time. If not, he may wind up on the preseason Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Publicly, the Giants have said all along that the injury was a herniated disc. But Wilson indicated that he was also suffering from spinal stenosis. Wilson underwent a surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae in his neck in January.

Wilson has been participating in individual, non-contact drills during the team’s offseason program.

“I’m still feeling good and practicing with the team,” said Wilson last Thursday. “I’m still learning and I’m taking a lot of mental reps right now because I can’t do contact…I never had any pain, no pain at all. We’re just being careful because I’ve came so far, I feel the same since before the surgery, but we’ve come so far and the coaches don’t want me to risk it by bumping into somebody, running into something and falling down.”

Article on the New York Giants Offense and QB Eli Manning: Gannon: New offense a ‘dramatic change’ for Eli by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post