Aug 312013
 
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Tyler Sash, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Tyler Sash – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Reduce Roster to 53: The Giants have reduced their roster from 75 to 53 players.

As expected, due to his previously-announced drug suspension, the Giants placed S Will Hill on the Reserve/Suspended List. Hill will not be able to practice or play with the team for four weeks. Hill will be eligible to return to the active roster on September 30.

Also, as expected, the Giants placed DT Markus Kuhn (knee) on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Kuhn was placed on the Active (preseason) PUP at the start of training camp. Kuhn is required to remain on the Reserve/PUP for at least six weeks.

WR Ramses Barden (knee) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

The team also released the following 19 players:

  • QB David Carr (contract terminated)
  • RB Ryan Torain (contract terminated)
  • WR Kevin Hardy (waived)
  • WR Marcus Harris (waived)
  • WR Julian Talley (waived)
  • OL Selvish Capers (waived/injured)
  • OL Matt McCants (waived)
  • OL Stephen Goodin (waived)
  • OL Bryant Browning (waived)
  • OL Eric Herman (waived)
  • DE Adrian Tracy (waived)
  • DE Matt Broha (waived)
  • DE Adewale Ojomo (waived)
  • DT Marvin Austin (waived)
  • LB Kyle Bosworth (waived)
  • CB Charles James (waived)
  • CB Terrence Frederick (waived)
  • S Tyler Sash (waived with injury settlement)
  • S David Caldwell (waived)

“This is not my favorite day by a long shot,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It never gets easier, because every year the principals involved are different. My gut starts bothering me about two days before. The day of it I get the headache and the whole bit that goes with it. When you speak to these kids and you work with them and you see them, you do see their effort and what they put forth and how important it is to them. It’s not an easy thing to stand there when a young man walks into his office and as soon as you put your hand out, he starts crying. It’s always difficult to let a guy go that you’ve had with you for a while.”

Coughlin made comments on the following players:

  • QB David Carr: “We simply based it on the preseason. From the standpoint of all the evaluations, it pointed to the fact that (Curtis) Painter had a better preseason. We’ll miss David Carr around here, to be honest with you. He’s done an outstanding job directing our second offense and our scout team. He has the ability to do whatever we ask of him in that regard. He can run the option, he can be the running quarterback if you want him to do that. Ryan Nassib is going to have to step up and be that guy when you’re talking about the teams we play that have a running quarterback.”
  • QB Ryan Nassib: “When we drafted (Nassib), then you have an idea that you’re going to have to develop young quarterback. That’s what his role is. So be it if that’s what it takes. From the standpoint of strategy, you have to understand that many times the balancing act stops at the quarterback position, because there is no way to trade off if in fact you are developing a young man. In our case, you have a veteran player to go along with it.”
  • DE Justin Trattou: “Trattou has the ability to help us out in a lot of different ways both from scrimmage and special teams. There were four young men who were very much in contention for that job. (Matt) Broha was very much involved in that, too. Quite frankly, it was very, very close. We made a decision really based on an individual that was ranked a little bit higher on special teams.”
  •  DTs Shaun Rogers and Mike Patterson: “They played well. They deserve it. The other night (in the preseason finale in New England) they played 20-something plays and did a nice job not only in changing the line of scrimmage, but we brought them back after the half, so they demonstrated the ability to do that.”
  • RB Michael Cox: “He has demonstrated outstanding ability as a kick returner. We put him at gunner and he was a good gunner. You send him down on kickoffs and he did a nice job with that. He has shown endurance and power and strength and the attitude anywhere you put him. We preach it all the time. You make the team because of your contributions on special teams. You have a great chance. That’s what he did.”

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Rolle Confident in Giants’ D Revival by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Aug 222013
 
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Henry Hynoski, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Henry Hynoski – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Injury Update – Henry Hynoski Activated Off of the PUP: Not practicing on Thursday were WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (knee/groin), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

FB Henry Hynoski (knee) was activated from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list that he had been on since the start of training camp. Hynoski underwent knee surgery in late May after injuring the medial collateral ligament and fracturing the lateral plateau in his knee during an Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice.

Hynoski was limited to individual drills.

“I’m very happy to be out here with my teammates and just get out here moving around and doing some things,” said Hynoski. “Obviously, we’re starting off slow just doing individuals for a little while and then building up from there on out…I did everything…just to get back at the earliest possible date and now it’s paying off. I’m very excited to be in the position I am today.”

Hynoski was doubtful whether he would play in the remaining two preseason games, but he is hoping he will be ready by the season opener against the Cowboys. “That’s my goal, but if it takes to Week 2 or 3, that’s fine,” said Hynoski. “We have a very smart medical staff and trainers and they’re going to put me in the right position when they know I’m physically fit to be out there and performing at the best that I can.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if Pierre-Paul or Kuhn were close to coming off of the PUP. “They’re getting close, according to what I hear,” replied Coughlin. “I’m just listening.”

Coughlin was also asked if there was any concern about Webster being ready for the opener. “I hope not,” said Coughlin. “I hope that’s long gone by then. We should get two good weeks, I think. Next week and the week after, we should be in good shape.”

S Antrel Rolle (ankle) returned to practice on a very limited basis, taking part in a few team drills but mostly doing individual drills.

DE Adrian Tracy (dehydration) returned to practice.

New York Giants Add Offensive Tackle: The Giants signed OT Austin Holtz on Thursday.

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

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the Offensive Line:

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Article on CB Terrell Thomas: CB Terrell Thomas Ready for Game Action by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Aug 152013
 
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New York Giants Helmets (August 10, 2013)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Return to Practice on Friday: There was no practice on Thursday. The Giants return to practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants.com Q&A With Perry Fewell: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell is available at Giants.com.

Article on QB David Carr: Giants’ David Carr Understands He is Facing a Challege by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on OL Justin Pugh: Veterans Teaching Rookie OT Justin Pugh by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Article on LB Dan Connor: Giants Linebacker Dan Connor Won’t Tweak Cowboys by Tom Rock of Newsday

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Article on LS Zak DeOssie: The Giants’ Secret Weapon: a Shrieking Long-Snapper by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Giants Bowling Night Sights & Sounds: A video of the Giants’ bowling night from earlier this week is available at Giants.com.

Aug 092013
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul (90), Justin Tuck (91), New York Giants (January 22, 2012)

Pierre-Paul and Tuck – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Offseason Breakdown: New York Giants Defensive Ends

For better or worse, the mindset of the New York Giants front office, coaches, and players in recent years is that the play of the defensive line will determine the play of the overall defensive unit. When the New York Giants defensive line plays well, the defense plays well; when the defensive line doesn’t, the overall defense can look putrid.

The Giants are the team that first rolled out the 4-3 defense in the 1950s and used the 4-3 as a base defense until 1978. The team went back to its 4-3 roots in 1994. Since that time, the Giants have done a good job of stocking and restocking the defensive line position with players such as Keith Hamilton, Michael Strahan, Robert Harris, Christian Peter, Chad Bratzke, Cornelius Griffin, Kenny Holmes, Fred Robbins, Osi Umenyiora, Barry Cofield, Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, and Jason Pierre-Paul.

In nine seasons under Tom Coughlin, the Giants have made the playoffs five times, and have won three NFC East division titles, two NFC championships, and two NFL championships. In those nine seasons, the Giants have finished 13th, 24th, 25th, 7th, 5th, 13th, 7th, 27th, and 31st in overall defense (yards allowed). Obviously, there has not been a lot of defensive consistency on that side of the ball. Yet, for brief and critical moments, the defense has risen up to excel and even dominate explosive offensive opponents. This is especially true of the playoff runs in 2007 and 2011. Indeed, there seems to be a direct correlation with respect to the performance of the defense (defensive line) and the team’s overall success.

Barring significant injuries to key personnel, the Giants’ offense should remain among the NFL’s best. But for the Giants to win the NFC East and win playoff games, the defense must play better. And given the mindset of this team, the greatest onus will be on a defensive line that saw a certain degree of turnover this past offseason. Gone are Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, and Rocky Bernard. Reinforcements include Mathias Kiwanuka (moved from linebacker), Cullen Jenkins, Shaun Rogers (spent last season on IR), Johnathan Hankins, and Damontre Moore.

“We obviously have a quarterback in place who has won a couple of Super Bowls, who is in his prime,” said Giants’ President/CEO John Mara. “But he needs a little bit of help and we need to play better on defense and we need to play better up front and we think we’ve added some pieces that are going to allow us to do that.”

Much focus has been on the Giants’ pass rush. The Giants only had 33 sacks last season (22nd in the NFL). Teams like the Browns, Titans, Cardinals, and Panthers had more sacks. But more focus should be placed on the shoddy run defense. The Giants’ defense allowed 4.6 yards per rush (28th in the NFL). That means that opposing teams regularly found themselves in very manageable 2nd-down and 3rd-down situations, making it more difficult to rush the passer. Also, Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell did not appear to be able to successfully strategize against teams that got rid of the ball quickly or max-protected. In other words, the Giants’ defense was not only out-muscled, it often appeared out-smarted. That is obviously not a good combination.

“We’ve got to be more physical,” said Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn. “We’ve talked about that as a unit and, you know, there’s no way to shy away from that. We weren’t as physical as we wanted to be last year…When the pads come on, that’s where you’ve got to evaluate our toughness, the energy, the passion we’re playing with and how physical we are. I think that’s the number one thing that we’ve got to improve on is being more physical, which will in turn stop the run, which will in turn allow for us to rush the passer…We’ve got to get back to playing with an edge and playing with some nastiness…We can’t just talk.”

There are currently eight defensive ends on the 90-man preseason roster. It’s hard to see the team being able to keep more than five on the 53-man regular season roster.

“Honestly, there’s been times this season, times in my career, you look at guys we’ve got in (the defensive line) room and you just say, he shouldn’t be here,” Tuck said. “But out of all the guys we have in that defensive line room, I don’t see anybody that doesn’t have the potential, (doesn’t) have the talent, to make a team somewhere, if it’s not here.”

Jason Pierre-Paul: Pierre-Paul is regarded by most as the best defensive player on the Giants. However, he did not play as well in 2012 as he did in 2011, and more importantly, he had back surgery (microdiscetomy) in early June. His back issues obviously affected his play in 2012. There are questions on not only how soon will he be able to return to the football field, but also how effective will he be once he does return? Bad backs can be tricky. And even if healthy, Pierre-Paul will probably have missed all of training camp and the preseason.

Pierre-Paul was voted to his second Pro Bowl in 2012, but his sack numbers declined from 16.5 in 2011 to 6.5 in 2012. More troubling was that he did not register a sack during the last seven games of the season. Pierre-Paul’s overall tackle total also declined from 86 to 66.

Pierre-Paul has an excellent combination of size (6’5’’, 278 pounds), strength, and athleticism. An explosive and disruptive player, Pierre-Paul is fast, quick, and agile. His tremendous wingspan helps him to bat passes down at the line of scrimmage. Pierre-Paul is also athletic enough to drop into coverage. As a pass rusher, he can beat blockers with both power and movement skills. However, he would become a more productive pass rusher if he would improve his initial quickness off the snap. He’s often the last lineman to move and this hurts his ability to quickly pressure with an outside rush. Pierre-Paul is a very good run defender both at the point-of-attack as well as in backside pursuit. In order for him to reach the next level, Pierre-Paul must learn how to deal with double teams on a consistent basis.

“JPP’s on schedule,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He’s looking good, he’s running around a little bit. He’s going to be out on the field a little more than usual as we move along. We expect him to hopefully be back, ready to go for the (Week 1) Dallas game.”

Pierre-Paul isn’t sure when he will return. “I’m rehabbing, I don’t know when my return will be, but at the end of the day I’m going to go out there when I feel comfortable,” said Pierre-Paul. “I’ve been doing some running lately, and it feels good. Like I said, it’s basically day-by-day.”

“It’s not really the doctor’s decision (on when I return),” said Pierre-Paul. “I say it’s not the doctor’s decision anymore because it’s basically on me. It all depends on my recovery and how my back feels and if I can go out there and practice with the team but I’m going to have to get a couple practices in before, if, I decide to come back before the first game. I already know I’m going to be taking on two guys, double team, triple team maybe so, I’m not in a rush to come back and put myself in that position…And right now I’m still at that stage that I know I can’t go out there and perform. So, I’m not going to try and rush back.”

“At the end of the day, you know that your coaches and general manager and head coach want you out there, to help the team out, but, it’s all on me, like I said,” said Pierre-Paul. “I’m focused on coming back 100%, not being like 85%, you know what I’m saying? And I know I’m going to be a big factor of the defense, so I’d rather come back 100% and that’s it.”

Justin Tuck:  It may be an unfair observation, but there appears to be a direct correlation between how well Justin Tuck plays and how the Giants’ overall defense plays. Tuck had double-digit sack totals in 2007 (as a reserve), 2008 (Pro Bowl), and 2010 (Pro Bowl). He was also strong against the run in those seasons. Tuck did not play well for the bulk of 2011 (and neither did the defense), but he came on during the 6-game stretch run (as did the overall defense), resulting in an NFL Championship.

Tuck appears to be a reluctant team leader and somewhat moody. He has had two down seasons in a row, raising questions whether injuries (especially in the shoulder/neck area) have taken their toll on his game or whether his heart is still in football. Tuck started 14 games in 2012 and finished the season with only four sacks, his lowest figure since 2006.

Tuck has an excellent combination of size (6’5’’, 268 pounds), strength, and athleticism. In his prime, when healthy, Tuck was a very good two-way player who could rush the passer and stuff the run.

On the surface, Tuck appears re-energized and re-dedicated this offseason. Of course this being a contract year for Tuck should help to inspire him.

“I’ll be the first one to tell you the last couple years, I’ve had a lot of distractions that draw away from being the dominating player I’ve been, whether it be deaths in the family, newborns, me trying to do too much in the community, charity appearances, whatever,” said Tuck. “You don’t even think of it as a bad thing while you’re doing it, that you can multitask and do it all, but when I get an opportunity to step back, I know it wasn’t the best thing.”

“Justin has probably had his best offseason since I’ve been with him,” said Nunn. “In the fourth year I’ve been with him, he’s probably in the best physical shape, seems to be in a great frame of mind. The injuries were a factor last year. I think if he can keep himself clean with injuries, I am totally confident that Justin will be a big contributor for us and will be a very effective defensive lineman.”

“(Tuck) wasn’t as bad as everyone thought he was, but he wasn’t as good as he usually is so we’ve got to just keep building,” said Nunn. “He’s approached the offseason, I thought it was just outstanding how he approached the OTAs in the offseason, he’s in very, very good shape. I think he’s got to prove it when the pads come on but I think he’s prepared to have an outstanding season.”

“I’ve had two years that were not up to my caliber of play, two years that I’m nowhere pleased with,” Tuck said. “One of them we won a Super Bowl, but last year was a bad year. No one gives a damn what you did three, four, five years ago. I understand that. I’ll be the first one to tell you I have to play better than last year. I understand what I mean to this team and what me playing well can do.”

Tuck is also taking his leadership role even more seriously. “He’s checking up on everybody,” said S Stevie Brown. “He’s holding everybody accountable.”

Mathias Kiwanuka:  Since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Giants, Mathias Kiwanuka has split his time between defensive end and linebacker. He played primarily defensive end in 2006 and 2008-09, and he played primarily linebacker in 2007 and 2010-12. For the last three seasons, under Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell, Kiwanuka has played a hybrid linebacker/defensive end “joker” role – starting at linebacker but often also being rushed from a down position in obvious pass rushing situations.

Kiwanuka has had two major injuries with the Giants. In November 2007, he suffered a fractured fibula and ligament damaged in an ankle. In September 2010, a potentially career-threatening neck injury (herniated cervical disc) ended his season.

In 2012, Kiwanuka played in all 16 regular-season games, starting five, and finished with 37 tackles and three sacks. Kiwanuka’s tackle number was way down from a career-high 84 in 2011.

With the departure of Osi Umenyiora, the Giants have once again moved Kiwanuka back to his more natural defensive end position. And Kiwanuka seems thrilled with the switch. Kiwanuka combines very good size (6’5’’, 267 pounds) and overall athleticism. Nevertheless, in seven seasons, Kiwanuka has only averaged slightly over four sacks per year, with his career-high being eight in 2008. Obviously, the Giants would like him to set a new career-high in 2013.

“He was off to a great start (in 2010),” said Nunn. “He was really doing a good job and had four or five sacks there before he had the neck issue. And then when he came back we had a logjam there with Osi and Justin and JPP. And so we moved him around a lot. And he came up big down the stretch there when we made the Super Bowl run. Kiwi came up big in San Francisco, and against Atlanta, the roles we asked him to play. But I think it is going to help him and help us to have him in one position, especially with JPP being out.”

“Kiwi and Tuck, since I’ve been with them, have had their best offseason,” said Nunn. “And the OTA work that Kiwi had was outstanding; he’s off to a great start these first few days of (training camp) practice…The toughness he brings, the leadership he brings to that group in that room, I’m looking forward to that. We need some toughness in there…He’s a tough person naturally and I’m excited about it.”

“You see the physicality, he plays with an edge on him,” said Nunn. “When he’s playing confident he’s got an edge on him, which spreads into that room. You talk about toughness, (he) brings toughness to our room. We need that because last year, for whatever reason, whether it be injuries or whatever it was, we didn’t play with that edge at times. At times we did and at times we didn’t. We want to play all 16 games with a little edge and Kiwi brings that to us.”

“It’s great,” said Kiwanuka. “(Defensive end is) the position I was kind of born to play…It’s definitely easier (playing one position) because you’re not worrying about what you’re missing in the other meeting room and what’s being said and trying to track coaches down, in their off time, to get all the rest of the information…Sitting in one room, you can focus on one job and one task. I feel like it puts you in a much better competitive advantage to watch film, to study, to work on your own technique.”

Adrian Tracy: Tracy was drafted by the Giants in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but missed all of his rookie season due to a preseason elbow injury. In 2011, he was on the team’s Practice Squad. In 2012, Tracy made the 53-man roster and was active for all 16 games. He finished the season with nine tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble.

The Giants have played Tracy both at linebacker and defensive end, but he is back at defensive end in 2013. Tracy lacks size (6’2’’, 245 pounds) for an end, but he is strong for his size and very athletic for the position.

“I’m really pleased with…Adrian Tracy,” said Nunn. “He is further along right now than he has ever been in his career at this time, this point. He has got to keep moving forward…He always takes care of himself…He has got to go out there and be consistent playing the run and pass on Sundays on defense.”

“I’m a smaller guy, so I think one of my best attributes is speed and keying the ball,” said Tracy. “To get off at the snap is one of the best things that I can do. That gives me an advantage over offensive linemen. But then again, being a smaller guy, people think I’m not as stout and strong, and I think putting in the work with the strength and conditioning stuff has allowed me to prove them wrong as far as being a power rusher as well.”

“I do have strength so hopefully that can translate into me being a run stopper as well,” said Tracy. “I know I have to get off the pass rush and when it’s a run, I have to be stout at the point of attack.”

Tracy’s teammates have nicknamed him “Yosi” (for young Osi Umenyiora). “(Tracy is) playing with a lot more confidence, playing with a lot more purpose and it’s very nice to see,” said Fewell. “Osi did a nice job in training him. He was kind of his mentor, so to speak, and he has flashes of Osi in him at times.”

“There are times when you squint and it could be Osi out there,” said TE/FB Bear Pascoe. “Just the speed, the quickness and then the same sort of moves too.”

Damontre Moore: Moore was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Moore has the frame (6’5’’, 250 pounds) to get bigger and stronger, which he needs to do. His 40-time isn’t great, but Moore is an athletic disruptor who plays hard and makes a lot of plays in the backfield. He has good first-step quickness, agility, and change-of-direction skills.

The scouting report on Moore is that he is a better pass rusher than run defender. He’s relentless at getting after the quarterback, but he can be handled at the point-of-attack on running plays, which is why he needs to get stronger and add some bulk. Moore tested and interviewed very poorly at the NFL Combine, and he has had some drug issues, but he reportedly has been a good soldier thus far with the Giants. He’s very quickly impressed his coaches and teammates with his ability. Moore has already been elevated to the second-team defense.

“He’s handled everything we’ve given him, both in OTAs and starting off training camp,” said Nunn. “I think he’s going to give us a lot of versatility and do some different things for us and I really see him contributing as a rookie. He’s got some growing up to do, he’s got to help us on special teams, he’s got to contribute on special teams when he’s called to do so but the guy is off to an outstanding start and we have to see what happens when the pads come on. He’s off to a pretty good start.”

“(In college), he’s always close to the quarterback, he’s always a physical player, he came in here in the OTAs and minicamp, he showed that again,” said Nunn. “He’s got some rookie in him, there’s no doubt, but it’s the good kind of rookie. He’s someone you have to tell to slow down, you never have to tell him to speed up. He’s off to an outstanding start and, like I said, I really believe the guy is going to contribute early.”

“I think the jury is still out (on Moore),” said Kiwanuka. “I think for a young guy who is physically gifted, he is very talented, he pays attention, and he’s got that drive and that power. You see him flying around the field. For a young guy like that it’s about staying in tune with the material. He’s got all the physical gifts and he’s got to stay healthy.”

“The two rookies we have on our D-Line have stood out,” Tuck said. “Moore has been explosive, he is still very raw. But you can see the talent and the potential there…the potential of Moore is off the radar right now.”

“He’s been a young man that’s gotten our attention,” said Coughlin.

Matt Broha: Adewale Ojomo and Justin Trattou have received more attention from fans and the media, but right now, it’s Broha who is higher on the depth chart. Broha was signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent the season on the team’s Practice Squad. Broha has a nice combination of size (6’4’’, 255 pounds) and athleticism. He plays hard and flashed during the 2012 preseason as a pass rusher.

Justin Trattou: Trattou was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He split his rookie season on the Practice Squad and 53-man roster. Trattou played in six regular season games in 2011, serving mainly on special teams. Trattou was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2012 after he suffered ankle and heel injuries in training camp. He flashed in training camp last year before he got hurt. Trattou has decent size (6’4’’, 255 pounds) and athleticism. H has good quickness but he is not an explosive edge rusher.

Adewale Ojomo: Ojomo was signed as a rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. Ojomo was the surprise of the preseason as he accrued four sacks and made the 53-man roster. He was only active for one game in 2012. Ojomo has a nice combination of size (6’4’’, 270 pounds) and athletic ability. He is a confident player who seems to have a knack for rushing the passer even though he was not productive in doing so at the collegiate level. There have been some whispers that he has been having a disappointing training camp this year.

Summary: So much at defensive end depends on the health of Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. When will JPP return and how effective will he be when he does, coming off of back surgery and missing the preseason? Tuck has been beat up the last few years and now his back has been bothering him too. Mathias Kiwanuka is a nice replacement for Osi Umenyiora. He should be a better run defender, but he has not proven yet he is in Umenyiora’s league when rushing the passer. Tracy is drawing comparisons to Umenyiora. Those are hard to believe but we shall see. The early news on Moore is exciting, but he’s still growing into his body. The other guys have talent, but there doesn’t seem to be room for any of them unless someone gets hurt or they dramatically out-play Tracy.

Aug 072013
 
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Deon Grant, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Deon Grant – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 7, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their tenth training camp practice on Wednesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Thursday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – Three With Concussions: Not practicing on Wednesday were DE Justin Tuck (back), OL Justin Pugh (concussion), OL James Brewer (concussion), RB Ryan Torain (concussion), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

“(Tuck’s) got a tight back,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They’re just taking the precautions…We’ll see (if he plays on Saturday against the Steelers). We expect that to be the case, but he’ll have to do a little bit of improving. ”

When asked about Pugh, Coughlin replied, “Good, good. I hope he gets cleared this weekend for next week.”

Coughlin was also asked about Brewer and Taylor. “They won’t make it this week,” said Coughlin. “The doctor was pretty optimistic about Taylor.”

OG Chris Snee (hip) and CB Terrell Thomas (knee/hamstring) continued to practice on a limited basis.

Deon Grant Retires as a New York Giant: Safety Deon Grant, who played for four teams during an 12-year time span, has retired from the NFL as a New York Giant.

“I want to retire as a Giant,” said Grant, “because I want to be a Giant for the rest of my life.”

In his 12 seasons, Grant played for the Panthers (2000-2003), Jaguars (2004-2006), Seahawks (2007-2009), and Giants (2010-2011).

“The Giants are a connection in my heart that I knew that I was supposed to be there,” Grant said. “The last year that I signed there to go to the Super Bowl I could have signed with a bunch of teams, but I wanted to sign with the Giants. The way that the owners opened the doors and signed me back and the general manager and the coaching staff…we did each other a favor, but it definitely solidified my career for me.”

“It makes me smile,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s one of our guys. He did a great job when he was here. Mr. Versatility. He played linebacker. He played back in the secondary. We had a package basically designed to get him and others on the field at the same time and he responded very, very well. He was a very, very smart player; a guy who could direct traffic back there. The guys really respected him. He had the ability to recognize when things weren’t championship quality and he would call people’s attention to that and guys respected him for that. I look forward to seeing Deon again and see if we can get him in here and talk to our team, too. He does a very good job of that.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Kiwanuka Thinks Giants Defense Needs to Get Tougher by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DE Adrian Tracy: Determined to Become the Next Osi Umenyiora by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Article on TE Brandon Myers: Eli on Myers: ‘He’s Off to a Great Start’ by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on OG Brandon Mosley: Brandon Mosley in Line for Saturday Start by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Quotes: QB Eli Manning on the wide receivers: “I’ve been proud of our guys at receiver. Victor (Cruz) has come in and had a great camp so far doing a lot of good things, but Rueben Randle…A lot of talk has been about Rueben and he’s gotten a lot of reps and has really stepped up and has great talent. Louis Murphy is another guy who we brought in this offseason and he’s done really well at route running. He’s got a lot of speed and has been catching the ball well and understanding the offense and so you can see his dedication. Obviously, Hakeem (Nicks), having him back and (Tuesday) kind of the first practice in a while…It’s good to have him in the mix getting comfortable and having him full stride. So I’ve been impressed with the receivers and I think we have a strong group of guys who practice hard, they’re focused, they’re serious about doing the right things and they’re smart and have a great understanding of what we’re trying to do and it should be good.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin on DT/DE Cullen Jenkins: “He’s a tough guy to block no matter where he is. He’s very effective, very good. Moves well. Just gives us a nice piece of versatility to be able to play him basically wherever we need.”

Aug 012013
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 1, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their fifth training camp practice on Thursday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – Nicks Sits Out: Not practicing on Thursday were WR Hakeem Nicks (groin), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

“(Nicks) is being treated for a groin, it’s a day to day type thing,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They just want to quiet it down, make sure that he heals before he goes back out and continues to maybe make it worse…I want to see him on the field and he wants to be on the field. It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to learn to control myself when it comes to that as well and just realize that you know what, he’s trying like heck to get out there and he knows he needs to practice and work at it and he came in excited about being able to go and then he had this little groin injury, which I hope is not going to set him back for very long, but obviously they’re taking all the necessary precautions.”

“I think (Nicks) needs to practice,” said Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride. “He knows it. He and I talk about it all the time and he knows it. In order for you to be ready for the season, you need to have done it and done it over and over and done it wrong, made the adjustment and then have it become part of what you do, the correct way to do it. He’s not there yet, he needs to continue to improve and he knows that. He understands that. In order for him to be ready to produce the way that he wants to produce and the way that we need him to produce, he needs to practice and get ready for that.”

DT Cullen Jenkins was excused from practice due to the death of his grandmother.

OC David Baas (still recovering from various and undisclosed offseason surgeries) was limited in practice.

Giants Waived/Injured WR Jeremy Horne; Re-Sign WR Julian Talley: The Giants waived/injured WR Jeremy Horne on Thursday after he injured his foot in practice on Tuesday. To replace Horne’s spot on the roster, the team re-signed WR Julian Talley, who the Giants originally signed as a rookie free agent last year and waived in August 2012.

Ann Mara, John Mara, and Tom Coughlin to Attend Hall of Fame Ceremonies: Giants’ co-owner Ann Mara, Giants’ President/CEO John Mara, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for former Giants’ head coach Bill Parcells on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

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

Article on Giants’ Training Camp: Five Early Stars of Giants Training Camp by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Giants Looking for Randle to Complement Nicks, Cruz by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants Rookie DT Johnathan Hankins is Shaping Up by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Defensive Backs:

Articles on Bill Parcells:

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on TE Adrien Robinson and TE Larry Donnell: “Well, I think (Robinson is) making steady progress. You know, today I thought he practiced well, made some plays, and more importantly, from an assignment standpoint he did well, so, we look forward to having him continue that way because we also see Larry Donnell making a couple plays, so with those two big, young tight ends, they certainly do give us flexibility provided they can continue to improve.”

Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride on WR Louis Murphy: “Just, in general terms, great speed, great power, runs very sharp routes and is a tremendous professional. He’s studies our offense, he asks great questions, and so when you have a player like that who wants to learn it, who wants to put himself in a position to help the team and to put himself in the position to be successful, physically if he can do it, he’s going to do it. That’s what I’ve seen from him, he’s giving himself every opportunity to make an impact through this season.”

Jul 282013
 
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Aaron Curry, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Aaron Curry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 28, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their second training camp practice on Sunday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Monday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Sunday were FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

OC David Baas, who had offseason elbow surgery and is still recovering from other undisclosed surgeries, has been limited thus far in camp. “They have me on limited reps right now, but we’ll manage that,” said Baas. “I’ll be full-go, for sure, but we’re going to be smart about it and if there’s sometimes where we’ve got to cutback a little bit then that’s what we do.”

When asked what he injured last season, Baas replied, “There were a lot of them, but I won’t comment on that.”

WR Hakeem Nicks left practice early with tightness in his groin. S Tyler Sash was carted off the field with cramps.

Will Hill Admits He Failed Drug Test for Marijuana: Safety Will Hill told the press on Sunday that he has failed multiple drug tests for marijauna last season. As previously reported, Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 regular season due to violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse. Hill appealed the suspension, but the appeal was rejected.

Hill was also suspended for the first four games of the 2012 regular season for using Adderall, violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“Just going through a lot of stressful times through last season, and I failed a lot of drug tests,” said Hill.  “It carried over to this season. Just trying to fight it and obviously the league made the decision for this season.”

“I had a lot of stress from my environment,” said Hill. “(Drugs were) the only way I knew how to cope with it until I got with the team. They put me in some clinic and that helped me out…We were trying to fight (the suspension), basically. The team stepped in and tried to do the best they could so this would not happen, but ultimately the league made the decision.”

“The Giants helped me the best way they could,” said Hill. “They got me help and helped me see other ways to cope with my problems…The Giants helped me out a lot. I wasn’t here for the spring practices and stuff. I was in Boston at this clinic and they were giving me help there and I’ve been going to an outpatient (facility) in Parsippany, (New Jersey).”

“We were disappointed and hopefully Will is going to get his life straightened out,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

Giants Waive CB Antonio Dennard Off of Injured Reserve: The Giants reportedly released CB Antonio Dennard off of Injured Reserve on Saturday after apparently reaching an injury settlement.

Sam Madison Serving as Temporary Assistant Coach: Former Giants’ cornerback Sam Madison (2006-2008) will spend the next three weeks in training camp with the Giants, serving as an assistant defensive back coach.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Sunday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Sunday are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Sunday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Running Backs David Wilson and Andre Brown: RB Torch Passed to Brown and Wilson by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Randle Wants Bigger Role, Appears Ready by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on OC David Baas: Baas Feeling Better After ‘Tune-Up’ by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on DE Adrian Tracy: How Does DE Adrian Tracy Stay Focused? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on DE Damontre Moore: Real Test Begins for Damontre Moore by Giants.com

Jul 122013
 
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Henry Hynoski Improving: According to The Star-Ledger, recent medical reports on FB Henry Hynoski have been positive. Hynoski fractured the lateral plateau and damaged the MCL in his left knee during an Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice in May. The Ledger reports that Hynoski may be a little ahead of schedule in his recovery and will likely begin full weight-bearing exercises in the next few weeks. Hynoski and the Giants are still hoping that Hynoski can return by the regular-season opener.

Giants.com Q&A With DE Mathias Kiwanuka: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with DE Mathias Kiwanuka is available at Giants.com.

Star-Ledger Q&A With DE Adrian Tracy: Giants Summer Questionnaire: Adrian Tracy by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

CB Terrell Thomas Interview on NFL Network: The video of yesterday’s NFL Network interview with CB Terrell Thomas is available at NFL.com.

Article on the Giants and the Salary Cap: Cruz Won’t Be Giants’ Last Tough Cap Call by Dan Graziano for ESPNNewYork.com

May 302013
 
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New York Giants Complete Fourth OTA Practice – Nicks Still MIA: The Giants concluded their fourth Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. Their fifth OTA will be held on Friday at Timex Performance Center, but that practice is not open to the media.

OTA practices are voluntary but participation is encouraged. The Giants are currently in the final phase of their offseason workout program. During this final phase, no live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permissible.

The Giants’ final five OTA practices will be held next week, June 3-7. The following week the Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 11-13. The Giants will then be off until they have to report to training camp on July 26. The first training camp practice at the Timex Performance Center will be held on July 27.

Missing from Thursday’s “voluntary” practice were WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, and DE Justin Tuck. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said he expected Pierre-Paul and Tuck to participate in Friday’s OTA.

Coughlin was asked if he had been in contact with Nicks. “I have not. No,” replied Coughlin. “Certainly I am (disappointed that he is not here).”

Coughlin was also asked if he was given a reason why Nicks was not participating in the OTAs. “None,” said Coughlin. “Now at one point Hakeem told me that he was going to be here and then he was not here. Now the strictest interpretation, as everybody knows, is it’s a voluntary program.”

The Star-Ledger is reporting when Nicks’ agent was asked why his client was missing from OTAs and whether this had to do with his contract, the agent replied, “Everything is all good. We have no comment…We’re not talking.”

Video highlights are also available at Giants.com. A brief practice report is also available from the following site:

Roster Moves: Following up on yesterday’s “News and Notes” update, the Giants officially confirmed that they have signed rookie free agent TE Chase Clement (LSU) and unrestricted free agent LB Kyle Bosworth (Jaguars). To make room for these two players, the Giants waived S John Stevenson and TE Morgan Newton.

“I can definitely play all the (linebacker) positions,” Bosworth said. “I just got here today. It was my first day of OTAs. I’ve still got to do a lot of learning in the playbook, but I’m able to fit in with the Will, Mike and Sam (weakside, middle and strongside linebacker). I’m very versatile. I’ve played and started. I’ve been on every single special team, so basically wherever they need me I’ll be able to do it. Whatever they ask and I’ll be ready to go.”

CB Aaron Ross played with Bosworth in Jacksonville in 2012. “He’s definitely a hard worker,” Ross said. “I think he’s a player that knows the game. I think he’s a really smart player. With that combination, I think we’re getting a great player. I did (enjoy playing with him). He was easy to play with, very coachable and he picks up on the defense really well. He works really hard. He’s one of the guys that improve day to day.”

Marc Ross Promoted to Vice President of Player Evaluation: The Giants announced on Thursday that they have promoted Marc Ross to Vice President of Player Evaluation. He had been the Director of College Scouting.

“Marc has done an outstanding job of running our college scouting and the draft, and we wanted to give him a title that reflected that,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He will continue to do that, but I also want him to work on some special projects in pro personnel along with pro personnel director Ken Sternfeld.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Press Conference: The transcript and video of today’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of today’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on RB Andre Brown: RB Andre Brown Ready to Showcase All by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Coughlin: Randle’s ‘Chance to Step Up’ by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on LB Kyle Bosworth: Giants Add Nephew of ‘The Boz’ to Roster by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin commented on a few specific players yesterday:

  • WR Brandon Collins: “Collins has made a couple of plays over the last couple of days.”
  • WR Louis Murphy: “(Murphy and El Manning have) made quite a few plays. They really have. When the receivers are on the same page and he’s very confident that they’re going to maneuver according to the way they’re supposed to and he’s been very, very sharp and he and Murphy have made some plays…(Murphy has) done a good job of (picking up the offense). “
  • TE Bear Pascoe: “We’re very confident that Bear, no matter what role we place him in, he does an outstanding job. We’re very sorry about Henry’s (Hynoski) injury. Henry’s a very optimistic young man. A day after he had the surgery he had three rehabs, so he’s ready to go. He’s trying to get ready to go and Bear has had opportunities to play in that spot, the B-Tight End and the Y-Tight End and he’s always done a nice job. He’s a guy that will learn it and he’ll be very much into what’s happening.”
  • DE Damontre Moore: “(Moore) has shown some good ability to get off on the snap.”

QB Eli Manning on WR Louis Murphy: “He’s come in and worked really hard. Back in early April, going over to Duke and working those days and learning the offense and asking questions and being here in the offseason, being there for routes and trying to pick up everything in this offense and so he’s got talent. He can really run, he can stretch the field and he’s got the desire and the commitment to be a good player and to bring another threat to this offense.”

Article on the Retirement of Former Giants WR Steve Smith: Giants React to WR Steve Smith Retirement by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Former Giants’ Offensive Lineman and Assistant Coach Bill Austin: Remembering Former OL & Coach Bill Austin by Michael Eisen of Giants.com