Oct 052020
 
Share Button
Jason Garrett and Joe Judge, New York Giants (October 4, 2020)

Jason Garrett and Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed wide receiver Alex Bachman and defensive linemen David Moa to the Practice Squad. The team also terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Johnny Holton.

The 6’0”, 190-pound Bachman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams cut him before the season started and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in November 2019. He also began this season on the team’s Practice Squad before being cut on September 15th.

The 24-year old, 6’3”, 296-pound Moa was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Vikings waived him on September 5th and he then spent a week on the Practice Squad on the Atlanta Falcons.

The Giants signed Holton in early September and he has spent time on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this year. The 6’3”, 190-pound Holton was originally signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Raiders (2016-2018), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2019).

OCTOBER 5, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 17-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams:

Q: How do you create easier throws for Daniel (Jones), and just get receivers more open for him?

A: It’s a combination of… As coaches, we have to do things to put people in the right position and call at the right time. You’re going to play against good defenses that are going to have tight coverage. Individually, we have to play better within our techniques and make sure we work to get open. Then spreading the ball around the field a little bit. That will kind of help alleviate some of those defenses we’ll see. But look, we’re expecting tight coverage and tight throws. It’s the NFL. You’re not going to have a magical scheme that’s going to create guys wide open all the time. We have to do a good job with contested catches and making plays.

Q: Just curious when you look back and you watch the film last night on the last drive, what did you see that Daniel had as options in terms of that play when he broke out of the pocket? What did you guys discuss as far as how you’d handle that situation again?

A: You have to see it through the perspective of the quarterback. It’s easier for us on the sideline or watching on tape to kind of say ‘you should have done this’ or ‘you should have done that.’ Obviously, the execution is the most important thing. Every play he has different options, whether it was throwing to Damion (Ratley) there, did he have the option to tuck that thing and run with the time that we had left, timeouts and stuff like that? But look, he made the decision he made. We can’t sit here and handcuff our quarterback by looking over his shoulder all of the time and second-guessing everything he does. To us, it’s about the execution he has within the techniques and making the throw at the right time. Look, we have to do a better job all across the board at all positions and all coaches, making sure we finish all the drives. I was pleased with the execution of the offense within that two-minute drive, along with the two-minute at the end of the half in terms of how we managed the clock, how we systematically moved it down the field. We gave a chance for our team to have plays and have production in those situations. We have to finish better. We have to finish better as a team. That starts with the coaches and that follows through with the players.

Q: You haven’t played a game in the division in the first month. Do you look at the division, it’s not a get out of jail card, it’s not a new lease on life, but is it something that you and your team can look at as a start of something, the next three in the division and five of the next six in the division?

A: Look, every game is important in the NFL. But I think it’s no secret when it comes to the NFL, it’s about your division to start with. We have to do a good job. Obviously, we have five in the next six weeks division games, so we have to do a good job of coming out here and being ready to roll. It’s going to be tough games. It’s not going to be any easy opponents right here. But definitely, coming in on Wednesday and making sure we start fresh and we start fast. We have the Cowboys. It’s going to be a very tough opponent.

Q: What did Ryan Lewis show you yesterday? Did he solidify his spot as your starting cornerback?

A: I can’t emphasize enough over and over, in terms of the starters, a lot of things just branch into what package we’re playing with certain guys. Based on what the offense puts out there, we may play a specific package which may highlight a different guy. You look at the linebacker packages, whether it’s Tae (Crowder) or Devante (Downs) out there based on different sets and how we’re trying to match the offense. Or defensively, whether it’s Ike (Yiadom) out there or Ryan, or whether it’s going to be (Madre) Harper going forward. There are different things we’re going to look to do. But we’re going to look to get all of our guys involved. If you’re at the game, you’re expected to play. To me, the whole label on starter isn’t really the most critical thing. It’s more about who’s finishing the game for us, and a lot of that ties into how we have to play that game due to the flow of it or how we have to adjust. But I’m pleased with Ryan with how he played yesterday. He showed a lot of positive things in terms of how he played on outside routes. He did some good things on special teams for us as well. We have to keep putting him in positions where he can really use his speed and some of his instincts to make plays for us. Look, there are other situations where Ike is going to have a predominant role based on how we’re trying to match certain things up and really get him worked in.

Q: It sounds like the league is going to look into what happened after the game between Golden (Tate) and (Jalen) Ramsey. Did you have a conversation with Golden about that? Did you find out anything about what went on?

A: I’ll say this. First off, I don’t want John Mara, Steve Tisch or anybody involved with this team to have to deal with something like this after the game. This isn’t why we play the game. We have 60 minutes to beat the hell out of each other legally between the whistles. We don’t need anything extra after. I talked to a number of our players, then obviously, we saw some video on it of guys who were involved. I had enough of a kind of eye witness standpoint myself after me and Sean (McVay) had an exchange at midfield. I turned around and it was kind of happening right there in front of me, so I got a quick glimpse of it right there. Look, all I can say is the account I got from a number of our players was that, there’s a history, obviously, between them. There was a punch thrown. Golden was defending himself. I was told he wasn’t the one who threw the punch. Everybody involved was trying to break it up. I can say both our players and the Rams’ staff and players, from what I saw with my own eyes, were all in there just trying to break it up. I didn’t see everything going on in the pile, but from the accounts I was told and the information I was given and from what I saw with my own eyes, that’s what I saw, that guys were trying to break it up.

Q: Just a quick follow-up on that. It sounds like you won’t be imposing any discipline on your own for Golden then?

A: There are a number of things we still have to look through as a team right here. Based on the information I was given and what I saw with my own eyes and what our players gave me, it didn’t sound like there’s an immediate need for that. But we’ll look into it. Obviously, we’ll always take care of our players.

Q: I wanted to ask you, you mentioned your last drive of the first half. Were you guys intentionally conservative as an offense on that drive? Would you agree with that characterization of that drive?

A: No, I think we were just trying to move the ball down the field and get into position right there. To go out there and just sling the ball every play or try to turn everything into a chunk play, I don’t think in that situation right there it is always the most beneficial thing for a team. We just wanted to move the ball down the field, get into scoring position and see what we had a chance for. They did a good job right there at the end of the half in terms of some of the things they did so we couldn’t get closer on down there. But our offense executed well to get the ball out of bounds and save some time. We were able to use some timeouts, get in position and Graham (Gano) ended the half with some points right there. That’s what we’re working for at the end of the half.

Q: I’m curious what happened in terms of pulling Cam Fleming yesterday? Was it something you guys after you went back and saw the tape that you were trying to spark the offensive line? Was it something you saw in-game? What did you see out of Matt Peart once he was back out there?

A: We didn’t pull Cam Fleming. That’s something that before the game started we wanted to make sure that we had an emphasis on getting some of these guys involved. I mentioned that yesterday. They didn’t have a preseason, so there’s a lot of these young players who are eventually going to have to play for us. We want to get them involved as much as we can to get them game action and just progressing them with what they’re doing. There was no pulling Cam Fleming. We didn’t take him out or something happened with him in the game. But I was pleased with how Matt played when he was in there. There were some things to learn with, some things to build on right there. I think he’s a guy who is a developing player who has a skillset. The more we can keep him involved, the more progress he’ll make.

Q: I guess just following up on that, your four-game progress report on Andrew Thomas and what you’ve seen from him?

A: I’ll tell you what. I think obviously he’s a guy who has a tremendous amount of potential, and that’s why we brought him in here. He’s been baptized by fire really this first part of the season. He’s seen a lot of elite edge rushers. He’s seen a lot of multiples come at him. Obviously, they’re trying to attack him as a rookie and see what he can handle. He’s done a lot of things very, very positively. There are some other things that, like with any rookie, he has to learn from and correct. We’re not going to write him a pass for being a young guy or being a rookie or not having a preseason. That’s not the way we operate here. But look, I’m very pleased with the way he’s working. There are a lot of things he’s learning on the fly right now. I think (Marc) Colombo and Ben (Wilkerson) are doing a good job with him as far as bringing him along, and the guy shows up every day, works and competes.

Q: I’m curious if any of the guys that were nicked up yesterday, if any of them are long-term? I think it was (Oshane) Ximines, (Kyler) Fackrell and I think (Adrian) Colbert was the other one? Or anybody else?

A: I have to get the final report from the trainers after I get off this call. Being on the west coast, it kind of changed up a little bit of our morning routine with these guys getting in to see the trainers. They saw the trainers and the doctors. You come out of any game, there’s some nicks or bumps or bruises. We’ll see where they are as far as going long-term. But I talked to all of the players. They were in good spirits yesterday after the game in terms of health wise. We’ll see where they’re at going forward.

Q: This is a general question. In regards to quarterback development, when do you feel like you know when a quarterback is your guy? How quickly? Is it something that can take years? Is it something you know right away when you see a guy play? How do you feel about that in general?

A: (Inaudible) in terms of just making any blanket statements. Look, if you’re asking if Daniel is our quarterback, Daniel is our quarterback. That’s who we’re playing with. We support him, we have a lot of confidence in him, we have faith in him. Again, he’s a young guy who’s developing. We’ve seen a lot of progress from him day to day. Are there things he needs to correct and clean up, and can we do a better job as coaches and staff to put him in the right situations? Absolutely. But in terms of that blanket statement, I don’t know if there’s ever a pinpoint in terms of what’s the threshold for saying some guy is your guy for whatever. But Daniel is our quarterback.

Q: If it was pre-planned that Peart was going into the game at some point, was it pre-planned that Cam was going to be the one to come out, or was there a chance that Andrew would come out? I guess my question there is, you strike me as a very production-based guy. Is it harder to remove a first round pick because of the optics?

A: I could care less how you got here. I don’t care if you’re a first round pick or if you just walked in off the street yesterday. That doesn’t bother me at all. I’m never going to make a decision based on optics. That’s not going to be something that ever bothers me. No, it was pre-planned. Matt’s worked a lot on the right side in practice, so that’s just simply where we put him in there. It didn’t have anything to do with Cam Fleming, it had nothing to do with Andrew Thomas. It was about getting Matt Peart some experience of being on the field, and that’s all it was. Same as with Shane Lemieux. Shane played yesterday because we wanted to get him some reps in the game. We factored in how we could yesterday with some fullback reps. There are some times where we’ll work him on the offensive line. There are some times we may use him in some other roles, however they come up. We just want to keep these young guys developing and involved in the game so when they have to get out there and play extended periods of time, they’ve already had experience.

Q: That was actually my follow-up, with Shane. Where did that… is that something he had done somewhere in his past, or is that something you guys saw, ‘maybe he can be a fullback for us’ type of thing? How did that come about?

A: Well, Eli’s (Penny) our fullback, but Shane has a skillset as well. We’re just looking to get all of our players involved however we think it could create an advantage. That was something that we just kind of thought would give us something in certain plays and situations yesterday we wanted to use. Shane was the guy that fit the role.

Q: You had a couple of guys in Tae Crowder and Adrian Colbert who played quite a bit yesterday. I’m just curious how you evaluated how those two played individually?

A: Yeah, I’m pleased with the progress Tae is making. I think we have a lot of young guys right now on the roster who are at least starting to come around. You can kind of see a difference in their eyes, which is kind of natural for them to have after some experience on the field. They’re acclimating a little bit to not only the speed of the game on the field, but the speed of the game in the classroom, the speed of the game how you have to carry it from the classroom to practice, and it’s kind of slowing down for them a little bit. I’m pleased with the way Tae and Cam Brown and a lot of other young guys are really coming around right now and making progress. I’d say AC, he’s a guy who comes to work every day, plays with a high motor. Obviously, we missed him last week. He was out with a strain. He’s a guy we’re happy to have out there. I think he’s making some plays for us. He’s been flying around with high energy, he’s good for the defense out there, he’s good for the team just being a good team player. I think the more depth you have in that defensive backfield, the more it helps you. We’re going to play a lot of different packages with a variety of players on a game by game basis, so the more guys you have back there that you feel can contribute and help you win, the better you are as a team.

Q: I wanted to ask about Nick Gates’ snapping. The last couple of weeks, he had some inconsistent snapping with some high snaps. Is that just a matter of him getting more comfortable with it, or do you see something going on there where some of those snaps are just off target?

A: Well, the simple answer is we just have to get that more consistently fixed. We need to make sure we eliminate the one-offs that he has. That always ties into technique within a different situation. Whatever the reason for it is, we just have to make sure we get it off the mat.

Q: If I could just follow up on Nick. What have you thought about his pass sets?

A: Nick has factored into the pass protection. He’s improved on a week by week basis. A lot of what Nick does inside is based on the interior calls, where we’re sliding him, or if we’re trying to create some kind of double team or something game plan wise inside. In terms of how he operates inside, it is a little bit different than playing on the edge as a tackle. But Nick has improved week by week. There are some things we have to clean up with him and keep progressing with it. But it’s different for him, obviously, being inside as a center than it was outside as a tackle, or even one spot over as a guard. That center position is very unique in terms of how they have to operate inside, as far as helping the guards and setting it and creating slides. But he’s progressing week by week, and I’m pleased with how he’s come along.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Sep 162020
 
Share Button
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 14, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. WR Golden Tate (hamstring) was limited in practice. LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) fully practiced.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed wide receiver Derrick Dillon to the Practice Squad. In order to make room, the team terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Alex Bachman.

Dillon is an unrestricted free agent who the Giants signed after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants cut him from the Practice Squad last week. The Giants signed Bachman to the team’s Practice Squad last year after he was cut by the Los Angeles Rams.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

Coach Judge also broke down game film for fans. See video on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Sep 062020
 
Share Button
Adrian Colbert, Miami Dolphins (December 1, 2019)

Adrian Colbert – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS CLAIM THREE PLAYERS OFF OF WAIVERS…
The New York Giants have claimed the following players off of waivers:

  • WR Damion Ratley (from Cleveland Browns)
  • OT Jackson Barton (from Kansas City Chiefs)
  • S/CB Adrian Colbert (from Kansas City Chiefs)

The 25-year old, 6’2”, 200-pound Ratley was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Browns. In 2018-2019, Ratley played in 26 regular-season games with six starts, accruing 25 catches for 344 yards and one touchdown.

The 25-year old, 6’7”, 302-pound Barton was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs signed him off of the Colts’ Practice Squad in 2019. Barton has not played in an NFL game.

The 26-year old, 6’2”, 205-pound Colbert was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Chiefs (2020). He has played in 27 regular-season games with 17 starts, accruing 74 tackles and eight pass defenses. Colbert has also played cornerback and is a good gunner on special teams.

To make room for these three players, the Giants released wide receiver Corey Coleman and offensive lineman Chad Slade, and waived safety Sean Chandler.

The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury. The team signed Slade to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019. The Giants originally signed Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft.

GIANTS PLACE XAVIER McKINNEY AND DAVID MAYO ON INJURED RESERVE…
As expected, the New York Giants have placed safety Xavier McKinney (fractured left foot) and inside linebacker David Mayo (torn meniscus in his left knee) on Injured Reserve. Both players recently underwent surgery. Both are also eligible to return to the 53-man roster this year once healthy.

To fill their roster spots, the Giants re-signed tight end Eric Tomlinson and cornerback Brandon Williams. Both were with the Giants in training camp this summer and both were cut by the team on Saturday. The Giants signed Tomlinson as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020. The team signed  Williams in late August 2020.

GIANTS SIGN 14 PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to the team’s Practice Squad:

  • QB Cooper Rush
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR Johnny Holton
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Derrick Dillon
  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • OL Tyler Haycraft
  • OL Kyle Murphy
  • DL Niko Lalos
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • S/CB Chris Williamson
  • P/PK Ryan Santoso
  • LS Carson Tinker

All of the players except for Santoso were with the team in training camp.

The 25-year old, 6’5”, 258-pound Santoso was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Detroit Lions after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Tennessee Titans (2019), and Montreal Alouettes (2019 and 2020). He has not punted or kicked in NFL games other than being used as a kickoff specialist with Titans in 2019.

The Giants receive an exemption for Platzgummer because they were one of four teams chosen to carry an additional overseas player on their Practice Squad in 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. However, Platzgummer is ineligible to join the active roster this season.

The Giants have three open slots remaining on their Practice Squad. Although not officially signed, according to media reports, the Giants also intend to sign cornerback Ryan Lewis to the Practice Squad.

The 26-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). Lewis has played in 20 NFL regular-season games with two starts, accruing 43 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception.

NOTES…
Linebacker Ryan Connelly, who the Giants cut on Saturday, was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Vikings. In addition, defensive lineman Chris Slayton was signed to the Buffalo Bills’ Practice Squad while offensive lineman Eric Smith was signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ Practice Squad.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Sunday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on Giants.com.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Monday.

 

Sep 052020
 
Share Button
Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Ryan Connelly – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 29 roster moves:

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Cooper Rush
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Tavien Feaster
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR Johnny Holton
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Derrick Dillon
  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • TE Eric Tomlinson
  • TE Garrett Dickerson
  • OL Jon Halapio
  • OL Eric Smith
  • OL Tyler Haycraft
  • OL Kyle Murphy
  • DL Chris Slayton (2019 7th-round pick)
  • DL Daylon Mack
  • DL Niko Lalos
  • LB Ryan Connelly (2019 5th-round pick)
  • LB Josiah Tauaefa
  • CB Grant Haley
  • CB Brandon Williams
  • CB Dravon Askew-Henry
  • CB KeiVarae Russell
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Prince Smith
  • CB/S Chris Williamson (2020 7th-round pick)
  • S Montre Hartage (waived/injured with hamstring injury)
  • LS Carson Tinker

On Friday, the Giants also placed WR David Sills (fractured right foot) on Injured Reserve. Players placed on Injured Reserve before the cut-down date are done for the season.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will establish their 16-man Practice Squad on Sunday. The players are off on Sunday and return to practice on Monday.

May 192020
 
Share Button
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Wide Receivers

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Perhaps the biggest offseason NFL story in 2019 was the trade of Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in March. While the Giants received what now appears to be more-than-adequate compensation (1st- and 3rd-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers), the trade left the Giants without a clearcut #1 wide receiver who could consistently threaten opposing defenses down the field. In addition, the Giants were now very thin and top heavy at the position, with only newly-acquired Golden Tate and yet-to-breakout Sterling Shepard as headliners.

Things got even dicier early when Tate (49 catches, 676 yards, 6 TDs) was suspended for the first four games of the season for the use of performance-enhancing substances. Shepard (57 catches, 576 yards, 3 TDs) then missed six games (Week 2, Weeks 6-10) with concussions. Evan Engram (44 catches, 467 yards, 3 TDs), a hybrid tight end/wide receiver, also missed eight games (Week 6, Weeks 10-17) with knee and foot issues. Former Browns 1st rounder Corey Coleman was lost in July with a torn ACL.

Long story short was that the Giants were forced to rely on guys like perennial tease Cody Latimer (24 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs) and no-name journeymen such as Bennie Fowler (23 catches, 193 yards), T.J. Jones (3 catches), Cody Core (3 catches), Russell Shepard (3 catches), and Da’Mari Scott (2 catches). David Sills spent the bulk of the season on the Practice Squad until mid-December but he did not have a catch.

Thank goodness for 5th-round steal Darius Slayton, who had a surprisingly productive rookie season, playing in 14 games with nine starts, and finishing with 48 catches for a team-leading 740 yards (team-leading 15.4 yards per catch) and a team-leading eight touchdowns.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Fowler and Jones during the 2019 season and chose not to re-sign Latimer and Russell Shepard in free agency. The team did re-sign Coleman and Core in free agency, as well as re-sign practice squader Alex Bachman.

Surprisingly, the Giants did not sign any free agents from other teams and did not draft a receiver in what was widely-regarded as a very deep wide receiver draft. The only newcomers are undrafted rookie free agents Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Derrick Dillon.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The main question is do the Giants have enough receiving targets who can stay healthy and scare opposing defenses? On paper, the Giants are pretty much in the same boat as they were at this time last year, having to rely on Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram to stay on the field and be consistently productive. The one significant change is the emergence of Darius Slayton. Was 2019 a flash in the pan for the rookie Slayton or the start of something even better? Will he experience the dreaded “sophomore slump”? Tate proved he can still play, but the Giants are his fourth NFL team and it will be interesting to see how he interacts with Joe Judge. The big concern is Shepard’s career-threatening concussion history. How much more will he be able to play?

Cody Core is a stud special teamer but only has 33 catches in four NFL seasons. It’s a bit surprising that Da’Mari Scott is even back. Sills and Bachman have already been cut by other teams. There was some hope last year that Corey Coleman could emerge, but now he’s coming off a torn ACL. Undrafted free agents Victor, Mack, and Dillon probably couldn’t have picked a better team to sign with. At least one has a reasonable shot of making the team. Unless someone really surprises, there is very little depth at this position.

ON THE BUBBLE: Slayton, Shepard, and Tate are the sure bets with Core having a great shot because of his special teams value. That leaves probably two or three spots for the rest, who are all on the bubble. Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge will be actively scanning the waiver wire.

PREDICTIONS: There are a lot of conflicting thoughts in my head when I consider the team’s situation at wide receiver. I grew up during a time when Phil Simms largely had a bunch of no-name scrubs and still got the job done. I also witnessed how the personal excellence of Odell Beckham had no impact on the overall W-L record. On the other hand, it’s hard to see Eli Manning winning two Super Bowls without the presence of Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham.

Personally, I don’t think the Giants have enough talent at the position. If everyone stays healthy, this could be a more-than-adequate unit, but the slot receiver Shepard is one big hit away from being done and he’s never come close to cracking the 1,000-yard mark. The hybrid Engram also can’t seem to stay on the field. I also could see the show-boating Tate rubbing Judge the wrong way. There will be a lot of pressure on Darius Slayton to perform and even improve upon his rookie season. It is a long shot to believe anyone else will be meaningfully productive.

I suspect wide receiver will be a top priority in free agency and the draft next offseason.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Cody Core, Corey Coleman, Binjimen Victor

After my first four, the next two are my best guesses. Coleman has talent but is now on his fourth team and coming off an ACL. Still, he has the one thing you can’t teach: speed. Austin Mack is one of those receivers who is tough to cut, but I just don’t see an ability to separate in his game. Victor reminds me of a poor man’s Plaxico Burress. The 5th and 6th receivers may not be on the roster yet. Stay tuned.

Dec 302019
 
Share Button
John Mara, New York Giants (September 8, 2019)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):

Opening Statement: Steve (Tisch), Dave (Gettleman) and I met with Pat Shurmur early this morning and informed him that we were going to make a change at our head coaching position. These decisions are never easy, particularly when you have someone like Pat with his character, his integrity, his work ethic. But at the end of the day, we just didn’t win enough games, and we believe that we have to move in another direction. It’s certainly not all Pat’s fault, he did a lot of good things here; in particular, his role in selecting and training Daniel Jones. It’s a difficult day when you have to do something like this. The first thing that I always think of is the effect that it has on so many good people and their families. But at the end of the day, it was a decision that we just felt like we had to make going forward. In terms of Dave, I know you’re going to ask me about that, but Steve and I decided to retain Dave and give him a chance to finish what he has started, which includes so many changes in this organization that people really don’t know about. We’ve made a lot of turnover in our scouting area, we’ve completely changed our grading system in how we grade college players, we’re deeper into analytics and technology than we’ve ever been before, and that process is ongoing. We’ve completely re-organized areas in our football operations, we’ve added a staff psychologist on a full-time basis, and we believe it would be a mistake to pull the plug on that after two years, particularly when you consider that Dave spent a good part of the first year fighting for his life. Personnel-wise, we’ve had some hits, we’ve had some misses, and we have a lot of young players who have shown some promise, but it remains to be seen whether they’re going to develop into quality NFL players or not. The point I’m trying to make is it’s not business as usual here at the Giants. We’ve made a lot of changes, changes that you don’t necessarily know about, and we felt like we needed to give it a chance to see if it’s going to succeed or not. All that being said, we need to win more games, and Dave knows that, and that’s going to be the challenge going forward. We’re going to start the coach search immediately. I’m not going to comment on specific candidates, but we will inform you as people are being interviewed. With that, I’ll take your questions.

Q: Why do you feel that you only needed to take one of the two prongs at the top between your coach and your GM, even though the call from the fans was to do a complete overhaul?
A: Well, I’m not sure that was the call from all the fans, but I understand the criticism that’s out there. But I just explained why I think we need to give Dave a chance to finish the job.

Q: Not much has gone right for this organization over the last eight years, the one playoff year, other than that–
A: I’m painfully aware of that.

Q: How much blame do you deserve for that?
A: It all starts at the top. So, yes, you can criticize me all you want, and it would be warranted because it all starts at the top. The success, the failures, and the last eight years have been pretty miserable. So, I’ll accept my share of blame for that.

Q: What specifically went into the decision to fire Pat Shurmur but retain Dave Gettleman, who built the roster that Shurmur was the coach of, especially when you credit Shurmur with helping identify Jones and develop him?
A: Like I said with Dave, I think we’ve had some hits and some misses. He implemented so many changes within our organization, we just felt like at this stage to pull the plug on all of that would not be the wise thing to do. I’m excited about what I see in the future for this team because of the young players we have, because of the changes that we’re making. With Pat, it ends up being as much a gut instinct as anything else. I just felt like we weren’t winning enough games, we weren’t winning the games that we should have won, and we just need to go in a different direction.

Q: Were there specifics in-game or philosophically with Shurmur that made you believe that he was more to blame than the guy getting the pieces and bringing in the personnel?
A: Well, it’s a collaborative effort when you have a coach and a general manager. They worked very well together, they were in sync on all the personnel decisions that we made here, but I just felt like there were so many games that I felt like we should have won, and we just didn’t get the job done.

Q: Was there a push and pull with you and Steve Tisch about this, or when you guys spoke—was it today you spoke with–
A: I speak to Steve all the time, and we’ve been in lockstep on this all along. Our relationship, contrary to what I read the other day, has never been better. We communicate on these issues, any issues regarding the team, all the time, and this has been a conversation we’ve been having for at least the last few weeks anyway.

Q: So, no one had to convince one another about the decision?
A: Absolutely not. That’s absolutely false, no.

Q: Is there a chance that whoever the next coach is would influence or factor into Dave’s role here, that the next coach would have some say over keeping Dave?
A: He’s not going to have any say over keeping Dave, but certainly I’m going to want somebody that’s going to be able to work hand-in-hand with him. Dave and Pat’s relationship has been terrific, they worked very well together, there was no personnel decision that has been made here in the last two years that Pat wasn’t fully on board with.

Q: Do you have any concern that Dave’s presence could have a negative impact on the pool of candidates?
A: I’m aware that that’s a perception that’s out there, but I don’t have that concern because I think once they meet him and get to know him, that won’t be an issue.

Q: Are you committed to maintaining the power dynamic that you’ve had with the general manager and director of personnel and–
A: I’m always willing to look at whatever’s going to improve the team, and if I felt that there was somebody coming in here as a head coach who wanted a different role and he could convince Steve and I that that would make sense for our organization, we would certainly consider that.

Q: Is Dave going to run the coaching search?
A: Dave and I will be involved in the coaching search. Steve will be involved as well.

Q: What if some of these candidates, you said that talking to Dave they won’t have a problem, but what if they do?

A: If they do, they do. We’re going to try to get the best candidates in here that we can, and we’re going to try to convince them why this is a good job opportunity for them. We’ve got a terrific young quarterback, we’ve got a young roster, we’re in the best cap space shape we’ve been in in many years. There’s a lot to this organization that I think would attract a lot of different candidates.

Q: Your past two coaching hires obviously haven’t worked out. Before that, a long time since you brought in Tom (Coughlin). What do you say to the questions about whether you guys are in tune with what it takes in the modern NFL to bring in a successful coach, given the last few hires?
A: That’s fair criticism. We’ve failed twice in a row now, and you have to keep working at it, try to find the right guy, that’s all. I’m not convinced that either of the past two coaches couldn’t have been successful over a longer period of time, but there comes a point in time when your patience runs out, your gut tells you that you need to make a change, and that’s what happened this time.

Q: You had specific criteria the last two coaching searches about who you were looking for, what you saw as the next head coach. Has that criteria changed a bit? If I recall, over the last two searches, you did not bring in any college head coaches, or anyone without any coaching experience in the NFL. Will that expand when you’re looking at new candidates?

A: There well could be college candidates here. I’m really looking for leadership, that’s the big thing going forward. Somebody who can come in and take control of this roster, help build a culture that is going to lead to winning. Somebody who is going to help us with our football re-organization during the process we’re undergoing right now. We’re looking for all those qualities from the next candidate.

Q: When you look at Dave’s stay here as GM, how do you balance, if you do, his successes with analytics and things behind the scenes that you outlined with the significant misses in free agency, if not a miss overall on a player, perhaps overpaying for others?
A: Well, we could have differences in opinion whether those were hits or misses. There definitely have been some misses, no question about it. I think that can happen to anybody. There were reasons for some of those personnel decisions. He does know that the batting average has got to increase going forward though.

Q: What’s your message to the fans in terms of how long this process will take before you see a winning team on the field?
A: Well, I’d like to think that we can start winning next year. It’s been too many years since we’ve had a winning team on the field. Nobody feels that more than Steve and myself. It’s not easy to sit in your stadium and watch fans from the other team, you know, and that’s happened too often this year. So, believe me, we live this every day, we feel it as much if not more so than the fans do, and we’re committed to try and get this thing right.

Q: You mentioned the fans from other teams cheering in your building. It was very pronounced this year. Have you ever been through an entire season where that consistently happened, with the Packers, to the Cowboys, to the Eagles?

A:  Probably not, it’s probably the worst. I think that’s more of the norm in the NFL now, when your team is not winning, your fans sell their tickets, and often times it’s the fans of the opposing team that come in. We had that situation when we were in Tampa, when we were in Washington, we had large contingents of fans down there. But listen, we haven’t been winning, the fans are getting fed up with that, and so they sell their tickets. I get that.

Q: You just mentioned that Dave knows his batting average in free agency and that personnel needs to improve. Worst case scenario, what if it doesn’t? Do you run the risk of hiring a head coach and potentially having to fire a GM a short time after and kind of throwing that power structure out of whack?
A: Yes, we do run that risk.

Q: How much did you weigh that these last couple of days?

A: Weigh what exactly?

Q: The risk?
A: That’s certainly something we are aware of, but I happen to believe in Dave. I happen to believe in the changes that he’s making here, and I think those are going to pay off.

Q: You said that you needed to see progress at the end of training camp when we talked to you. Do you need to see wins next year for Dave’s sake?
A: I’m not going to quantify the number of wins I need to see. We need to be able to put a better product on the field, that’s all.

Q: What role did Eli Manning’s early benching play into Pat Shurmur’s firing and the fact that you guys signed off on it. I’m curious how that process went?
A: It had absolutely nothing to do with this decision. How that process went, if I recall, Dave called me on Sunday evening after the Buffalo game. He said he had spoken to Pat and Pat wants to play Daniel. My only question was, do you think Daniel is ready? If you think he is ready, then whatever Pat wants to do. He’s the head coach, he makes those decisions.

Q: How important will it be that the next head coach has a background in developing young quarterbacks?
A: It either has to be that or it has to be his coordinator or his quarterback coach. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the head coach, I’m not ruling out defensive coaches here.

Q: You talk about wanting to find a coach with leadership. How hard is it to find somebody who is a leader but at the same time is not too totalitarian?
A: Obviously, it is pretty hard. Those people are out there. I’ve always believed that the toughest decision that Steve and I ever have to make in this business is finding the right guy to stand up here in front of the team and lead them and develop a winning program going forward. That’s what we are going to put all of our efforts into now, trying to find that guy. It’s obviously not an easy thing to do.

Q: What made now the right time of the season versus say during the nine-game losing streak? The Redskins and the Panthers were obviously getting a head start on their coaching search?
A: You can argue we could have done it earlier. I wanted to give him the chance, I held out hope, quite frankly, for quite some time hoping things would turn around. They just didn’t, so it just was a decision we felt we had to make.

Q: If that’s the case, if you guys had won yesterday, would that have made this decision tougher?
A: Probably not. It probably would have been the same decision.

Q: Is it fair to say you think the roster is better than what the record has been?
A: I think we could have won more games, yes. You’re playing a rookie quarterback, you’re playing all those rookies on the back end on defense. You are going to have some problems, but again at the end of the day we just didn’t win enough games.

Q: Considering the state of the roster, you guys are still in a rebuild. How reasonable is it to expect this team to be a significant winner next year, a playoff team?
A: I think we’ve got the answer at quarterback. I think we have a lot of good young players. We just need them to take it to the next level and hopefully the next coach will help them do that. None of them will be rookies anymore and again we have a very good cap situation and we’re picking fourth in the draft. We should be better next year.

Q: After the spending in 2016, I do recall you saying that that is not how you want to conduct business moving forward. You mentioned the cap space, how do you walk that line?
A: It’s a tough line to walk. In 2016, it paid off in that first year and then afterwards, not so much. The key is still the draft. You have to make good draft picks. You have to supplement that with making wise decisions in free agency. You can’t think that you are going to fix all your problems in free agency. It just doesn’t work.

Q: You said the last two coaches, you didn’t get right. What is your confidence level going into this search?
A: I think there are some very attractive candidates who will have interest in this job. I believe we will get it right this time.

Q: Are you bringing anybody in from the outside to advise? Ernie (Accorsi) is obviously a name that comes to mind?
A: No, I don’t think so.

Q: Is Ernie (Accorsi) going to be a part of the process again?
A: No, I don’t think so. I talk to him all the time, but he’s not going to be a part of the process.

STEVE TISCH ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):

Q: As John (Mara) just said, there’s been some talk before this that there might be some friction between you two on what direction you saw this team going. Was there any of that?
A: There was no friction. John and I have been partners going on 15 years. As you know, the Giants, the ownership is unique. It’s the only team with two equal partners. We’ve been talking as partners for 15 years. We talked about these issues starting weeks ago, today, and we will going forward. Everything you and I read about friction, differences of opinion, I didn’t say it, John didn’t say it. I read it, but it’s not true.

Q: Did you feel like you had the very honest conversation that you needed to have?
A: I’ve got to say, I would characterize every conversation that I’ve had with John as honest, straightforward. I feel very comfortable expressing my opinion on a whole bunch of matters, and I know John feels very comfortable expressing his opinion. It’s a partnership and as I just mentioned, it’s the only true partnership between owners in the NFL. At times, it’s challenging, but the bottom line is it’s been hugely rewarding for both families and I think for the organization.

Q: Did you have to be talked into or persuaded to keep Dave (Gettleman) or was that just part of the process?
A: No. It was part of a process. At the risk of repeating myself, John and I have a very, very, good dialogue constantly. When I’m not here in the building, we speak three or four times a week, home games, away games, we’re constantly speaking, sitting with each other. So, to say that there’s any issues with our communication is a total mischaracterization.

Q: What are you looking for, what qualities do you want in your next head coach?
A: Leadership, an ability to put together a great staff, an ability to really work with the players, the rookies. I think it’s really important that the next head coach has to have a point of view, a very strong point of view, and he will be supported by ownership.

Q: How hard is it to balance being patient with letting the process play out?
A: I think patience is a virtue, I’m not the first person to say that. But at times I think patience can be tested. But I think if I stay very focused, I sort of have the same…I see the same goal line that John Mara sees. Sometimes, the path to that goal line may be a little different, but we see the same goal line, we cross it, and it’s been a very, very, functional relationship. It’s been hugely functional.

Q: What was the deciding factor in keeping Dave Gettleman? What was the deciding factor in the conversation that made you believe he should stay?
A: The deciding factor was, when John and I started talking about this literally weeks and weeks ago, assets, liabilities, good news, bad news, and at the end of the day we decided that we were going to jointly make a decision to keep Dave, to work with Dave going forward into the next season. As John mentioned just now, we have tremendous cap space. I can’t stand here today and say our next head coach is Paul Schwartz (laughter), but I think the search is going to be fruitful and I think we’re going to find a terrific number of candidates and the right decision will be made.

Q: When you look at the last eight years, and the failures that have gone on here and the failures of the last two coaching hires, what do you say to fans who question your ability and John’s ability to lead this organization back to success?
A: I say to the fans I totally understand your frustration, your concern, I read your emails, I get it. But, John and I make decisions that sometimes may not be popular, may not be supported by the fans, but we’re the ones making the decisions, we live by them. It’s been a very frustrating four years, certainly the record indicates that, those numbers don’t lie. Going forward, John and I want to make sure that those numbers change in the next season dramatically.

Q: Why do you think you guys will get it right this time?
A: Because I’m an optimist and I think we know what qualities, what kind of character we want in the next head coach. We’re very focused on that. There’s going to be a real priority to make sure the next head coach has strong leadership abilities and a very impressive track record.

Q: What’s your desire to be more involved? John is the day-to-day guy here, he hasn’t had a lot of success over the last eight years. What’s your desire to be more involved, if it is at all, in the day-to-day operations?
A: I am involved. I would like to be more involved, I will become more involved. So, going forward in 2020, the day after tomorrow. We have a great dialogue with each other. As I mentioned, it’s a very, very, functional, working relationship. Partnerships are hard, professional ones and domestic ones, but I feel we have a very good one and we always, with some differences of opinions expressed and communicated, we get to the same point.

Q: Does that mean you physically want to be here more? Is that what you mean?
A: Yes, I will be here more physically. But, the opportunities that John and I spend with each other in the same building, or the same stadium, or the same locker room will increase.

COACHING SEARCH NEWS…
According to media reports, the New York Giants have requested to interview the following head coaching candidates:

  • Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
  • New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels

The 50-year old Bieniemy has served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since 2018. Before that he was the running backs coach for the Chiefs (2013-2017), Minnesota Vikings (2006-2010), UCLA (2003-2005), and University of Colorado (2001-2002). He also served as offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado (2011-2012).

The 43-year old McDaniels was interviewed by the Giants for their head coaching vacancy two years ago when the team decided to hire Pat Shurmur instead. McDaniels is best known for serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during two stints with the Patriots (2005-2008 and 2012-2019). In between, he was head coach of the Denver Broncos (2009-2010) and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis Rams (2011). McDaniels served in a variety of roles with the Patriots from 2001-2004 before becoming offensive coordinator.

There is also rampant media speculation that the Giants will interview Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule, who was an offensive line assistant with the Giants under Tom Coughlin in 2012. Rhule has served as head coach at Baylor for three years (2017-2019). Before that, he was head coach at Temple University (2013-2016).

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN 13 PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have announced that they have signed the following 13 players:

Reserve/future signings:

  • RB Jon Hilliman
  • FB George Aston
  • WR Reggie White, Jr.
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • OC Tanner Volson
  • OT Nate Wozniak
  • DE Kevin Wilkins
  • CB Derrick Baity
  • LS Drew Scott
  • P Sean Smith

Except for Scott and Smith, all of these players finished the season on the team’s Practice Squad. Smith spend a couple of stints on the Practice Squad as well. Scott has spent time with the Raiders and Cowboys.

The Giants also announced that they have re-signed the following players who were set to become exclusive rights free agents:

  • OG Chad Slade
  • OT Eric Smith
  • LB Devante Downs

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
General Manager Dave Gettleman will address the media on Tuesday at 11:00AM.

Nov 122019
 
Share Button
Scott Simonson, New York Giants (December 23, 2018)

Scott Simonson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN SCOTT SIMONSON…
The New York Giants have re-signed tight end Scott Simonson. The Giants placed Simonson on Injured Reserve in August 2019 with an ankle injury and cut him from Injured Reserve in September.

Simonson had his best season in 2018 after being signed by the Giants in June 2018. Simonson played in all 16 games with four starts, finishing with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown.

The 6’5”, 255-pound Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders waived him in June 2015 and he was then signed by the Carolina Panthers. He spent all of 2017 on Injured Reserve with a back injury. Simonson has played in 34 regular-season games with five starts. He had one catch in his NFL career before 2018.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have signed tight end Garrett Dickerson, wide receiver Alex Bachman, and long-snapper Colin Holba to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contracts of wide receiver Reggie White, Jr. and defensive end Freedom Akinmoladun.

The Giants originally signed undrafted rookie free agent Dickerson in June 2018. He spent a couple of stints on the team’s Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2018 and made the 53-man roster this year, but the Giants waived him in October. Dickerson has played in seven regular-season games for the Giants, but he does not have a catch.

The 23-year old, 6’0”, 190-pound Bachman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams cut him before the season started.

The 25-year old, 6’4”, 255-pound Holba was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has spent time with the Steelers (2017), Jacksonville Jaguars (2017), and San Francisco 49ers (2018-2019). Holba has played in 13 regular-season games, including two with the 49ers in 2019.

The Giants originally signed White and Akinmoladun as undrafted rookie free agents after the 2019 NFL Draft.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants are off during the bye week and return to team activities on November 18th.