Jul 172014
 
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Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (December 15, 2013)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

For the first time since Antrel Rolle signed with the Giants in 2010, the 31-year-old safety played, well, primarily safety.

There was enough depth to keep Rolle in his most natural position. No more need for him to player nickel corner, outside corner or down in the box.

The result? 98 tackles (career high), two sacks (career high), six interceptions (career high), a forced fumble and the acknowledgment as the third-most dynamic safety in the league.

NFL.com analysis Bucky Brooks has spent the last week compiling a list of ‘Bucky’s Best,’ taking a look at the NFL’s best at certain attributes. A former NFL player himself, Brooks has found the NFL’s top blind-side blockers, complete running backs, clutch quarterbacks, hybrid tight ends and players with the best hand-ball skills.

Earlier, Brooks named Giants’ cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie the seventh-best coverage safety. Rolle is the highest ranked Giant on any of his lists to date. Brooks has yet to debut his best “Defensive signal-callers.”

Brooks had the following to say on Rolle:

The cagey veteran remains one of the top playmakers in the game despite entering his 10th season in the league. In fact, Rolle is fresh off his best professional campaign. As a former cornerback, he’s comfortable manning up against tight ends and receivers in the slot, but he’s also adept at patrolling the deep middle. His versatility allows defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to use him in a variety of roles in the Giants’ sub-packages to keep quarterbacks guessing in the pocket. Rolle is a proven playmaker with a knack for picking off passes (23 career interceptions, including six in 2013) and creating disruption on the second level. He’s an ideal Swiss army knife to counter the versatile offenses setting the pace in today’s NFL.

The praise and accolades are not the first for Rolle this offseason. The former first-round pick was voted the No. 65 player in the NFL on the NFL Network’s ‘Top 100′ countdown and was named ‘Giant of the Year’ by BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI).

BBI will present Rolle with the ‘Hope Johnson’ trophy on July 25.

Jul 172014
 
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Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (November 17, 2013)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp next week, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at this year’s safeties.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWNS: Safeties

Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Things truly couldn’t have started much worse for the Giants’ safety unit in 2013. In the team’s third preseason game versus the Jets, Stevie Brown injured his knee returning an interception and was lost for the year.

Shades of C.C. Brown began to dance in the minds of fans… then Will Hill happened.

Hill returned from a four-game suspension to take over as the Giants’ starting safety opposite Antrel Rolle. Hill recorded 77 tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and scored a game-winning touchdown versus the Lions. For 12 weeks, Hill flashed the play-making ability that made him one of the more coveted recruits out of high school. The safety played with reckless abandon, a never-ending motor and was constantly around the ball. As was the case versus the Redskins when Hill ripped the ball out of the hands of Pierre Garcon on fourth-and-1, preserving a Giants victory.

While the 24-year-old’s season was impressive, so was that of his safety counterpart.

Finally being allowed to play safety full time, Antrel Rolle put together his best season in a Giants’ uniform. The former first-round pick earned Pro-Bowl honors, finished with the team lead in tackles (98) and interceptions (6), recorded two sacks and forced fumble a fumble.

Behind Hill and Rolle, Ryan Mundy was solid in Perry Fewell’s signature three-safety package. The 29-year-old was a force down in the box and recorded 77 tackles, good for fifth on the team. Rookie Cooper Taylor saw limited action, mostly on special teams.

Quintin Demps, Kansas City Chiefs (December 15, 2013)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Get this one out of the way early: After captivating the hearts of fans, Will Hill’s unbelievable season won’t get an encore. For the third consecutive year, Hill faced a drug-related suspension after his urine came up positive for marijuana. While the third-year player claimed it was for ‘second-hand pot,’ the six-game suspension was the last straw in a troubled career. The Giants cut ties with Hill, having warned him over and over again he was on his last strike. Ryan Mundy also left when the Giants’ chose not to renew his one-year contract.

The team re-signed Stevie Brown, who looks to have slid back into his starting safety position. Quintin Demps was brought over from Kansas City and Nat Berhe was drafted in the fifth round. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon were brought in as undrafted rookies.

TRAINING CAMP STORYLINES: The health of Stevie Brown and his ability to ‘replace’ Will Hill may be the No. 1 question heading into camp. While Brown did record a league-high eight interceptions in 2012, many were a result of being in the right place at the right time and teams wanted to test the unproven Brown. Does he have the natural athletic ability that Hill has? No. Can he be serviceable? Yes. How serviceable? No one knows.

Cooper Taylor’s progression and the overall talent of Nat Berhe will worth keeping an eye on. Taylor has added muscle in the offseason, per the coaches request, and may be a sleeper to see increased playing time in his second year. In college, Berhe played San Diego State’s ‘Aztec’ position, a hybrid mix of the linebacker and safety positions. If he develops, he may make an immediate impact, but will need to climb the depth chart first.

ON THE BUBBLE: There really isn’t any big-name player that is in jeopardy of being cut. Right now, the Giants have seven safeties on the roster and figure to keep four or five. The odd men out? Most likely C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon. Cooper Taylor may be in warm water, but the odds of Jerry Reese cutting last year’s fifth-round pick are slim-to-none.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: David Merritt on what makes Quintin Demps a good candidate as the team’s third safety: “His speed, his ability to actually change directions and burst. Quintin has played back in the post for most of his career. One of the things that he told me when he first arrived was, ‘Coach, I want to be down near the box.’ So when he said that I said, ‘Well you know what, I’m going to give you all of the tools to hopefully help you be successful down around the box.’ His speed, his ability to change directions and burst is one of the valuable assets that he brings to the table.

“Because he’s played back so many years as a deep safety, being back 20 yards. When you’ve been back there for that amount of years you want to get down around the action. I think he probably has seen guys being down around the action, Berry that he played with in Kansas City, Pollard, the kid that was with him in Houston so he’s see all of these guys down around the action where he’s been back just as a safety valve. Now he’s down close to the box and he’s learning the linebacker aspect of it.”

PREDICTIONS:
Connor Hughes - I’m very, very concerned with Stevie Brown heading into the 2014 season. Not necessarily for his health, but simply because I’m not convinced he’s a starting-caliber player in the NFL.

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (October 7, 2012)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

What made Brown so good for the majority of the 2012 season was that he was allowed to play back in the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. Brown would line up 15-20 yards behind the defense, wait for the deep ball and then track it down in the air. When Phillips played the position, teams stayed away from the deep pass. When Brown played it, they attacked him. The result? Eight interceptions.

If Quintin Demps can develop into a player that can play down in the box, as Merritt suggested he wants to do, then Brown can go back to playing the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. It best suits him as he’s not an incredible player in the box. With that being said, can Demps play in the box? He’s unproven, just like every Giants’ safety not named ‘Antrel.’

I agreed entirely with the Giants decision to cut Will Hill. It was time. You can’t send that message to the locker room keeping him on the team. But looking over the roster, I just don’t see a viable replacement. The revamped and retooled cornerback position is going to have to carry the load. With their paychecks, that shouldn’t be a problem.

With that being said, there will be times Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie guesses wrong, it’s part of his game. Will there be a player behind him to catch his mistake? We’ll see.

Eric Kennedy - Losing Will Hill was a huge blow. The defense dramatically improved in 2013 once Jon Beason and Will Hill were inserted into the starting line-up. Hill looked like a future Pro Bowl free safety. He might have been the best player on the team last season. Now he’s bagging groceries. Stupid is as stupid does. Like Connor, I have my doubts about Stevie Brown. In 2012, he definitely had a nose for the football, but he also was missing in action on some big pass plays. In addition, he doesn’t hit or play the run like a big safety. I’d accept fewer interceptions if you could guarantee fewer big coverage breakdowns and better run defense.

The coaches have been talking up Quintin Demps more than his reputation in Philadelphia and Kansas City should indicate. Demps thinks he is better suited closer to the line of scrimmage and he may be right. Demps has the inside track on the third safety position in the Giants three-safety package. If he stumbles, Cooper Taylor has the physical tools to steal playing time.

My prediction is that 31-year old Antrel Rolle hasn’t peaked and will have an even better season in 2014. He’s the unquestioned leader of the strongest part of the defense. I expect that to motivate him, as well the fact that he’s entering the final year of his current contract. And I expect the talent at cornerback to allow him to take more chances to make plays on the football. He hasn’t returned a pick for a touchdown yet as a Giant (four times with Cardinals), but I believe he will do that twice in 2014.

FINAL DEPTH CHART
Connor Hughes - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe reserve. C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut.

Eric Kennedy - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor reserve. Nat Berhe, C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut. My biggest problem is figuring out how the Giants get from 54 to 53. My gut says Nat Berhe makes the team, but I can’t see how the Giants can carry 11 defensive backs in addition to nine defensive linemen, six wide receivers, and five running backs/fullback. Something has to give. I’m guessing they try to sneak Berhe onto the Practice Squad. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon have some talent too.

Jun 152014
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Complete OTA Practices: The New York Giants held their tenth and last Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Friday. The media was not allowed to view Friday’s final OTA practice. The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp. The Giants will then be off until the players are required to report to summer training camp on July 21.

A sights and sounds video from the OTA practices is available from Giants.com.

BloombergTV Interview with LG Geoff Schwartz: The video of Friday’s BloombergTV interview with LG Geoff Schwartz is available by Bloomberg.com.

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Phil Simms: Giants had a ‘great’ offseason by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on WR Jerrel Jernigan: Jerrel Jernigan well aware of Giants owner John Mara’s postseason comments by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Tight end competition appears wide open by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on LG Geoff Schwartz: Giants’ Geoff Schwartz is tackling the kitchen by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Middle Linebacker Position: Jon Beason injury: 5 best replacement options for Giants at middle linebacker by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Devon Kennard joins list of current Giants with famous football fathers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel’s dad provides what many pro athletes lack: a stable father figure by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on Former Giants QB Phil Simms: Twenty years later, Phil Simms looks back on his shocking release from the Giants by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Jun 062014
 
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Antrel Rolle and Trindon Holliday, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Antrel Rolle and Trindon Holliday – Photo by Connor Hughes

Antrel Rolle didn’t have an answer.

Standing in front of cameras, microphones and reporters following the culmination of yesterday’s Organized Team Activity, the Giants’ Pro-Bowl safety seemed stunned.

Not at the fact Jayron Hosley was suspended for four games, or at the fact Will Hill had just been cut. Heck, Rolle admitted he saw it coming. But what had the 31-year-old shocked was a simple three-letter question.

Why?

“It’s too easy to do right, than to keep doing wrong,” Rolle said.

For the better part of eight minutes, Rolle fielded questions without backing down or shying away from one. Whatever was thrown on the table, he answered with the same veracity and sincerity that had often times got him in trouble.

But today was different. The safety wasn’t looking to make headlines or light a fire under his teammates. Rolle was speaking from his heart on a situation few knew the true light of.

There was disappointment in his voice, embarrassment. Shock that what he had done for a decade others were not able to replicate. There was a sense that he was holding back, while also fully letting go. Hill was troubled, yes, but the Giants had done everything possible to help the situation. Still, it wasn’t enough.

When you heard the Will Hill news, it was probably disappointing.

“Will knew what situation he had put the Giants in, he kind of forced their hand,” Rolle said. “At that point in time you can’t really depend on Will to help us out and to really do anything for us if you’re suspended repeatedly. Season after season after season.”

With Will and Jayron (Hosley) coming back-to-back, do you feel like something needs to be said?

“No, I don’t feel anything needs to be said,” Rolle said. “Every individual has to be accountable for his own action. They’re both adults. They’re both men.”

The normally peppy and high-energy Rolle was anything but. There was something about the situation that seemed truly troubling. Throughout his entire career, Rolle had embodied the correct way for an athlete to carry himself.

During the offseason, Rolle lives in Miami. He goes out with friends to clubs in the area, has a good time and his personality often makes him the life of the party. Yet he knows when enough is enough. Not once has Rolle been suspended for any off-the-field antics.

“This is my 10th year and I’ve lived it,” Rolle said. “Not every guy is going to be like myself. I’m not going to be like every other guy.”

The same message with the same disappointed mannerisms was echoed when Tom Coughlin took his place in front of the media. There was nothing else the coach could have done. At the end of the day, both for Hosley and Hill, it comes down to the player maturing enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

“If this is your job and you’re willing to jeopardize your job for some other reason,” Coughlin said. “Then perhaps you don’t have your mind and priorities where they should be in the first place.”

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

Odell Beckham – Photo by Connor Hughes

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

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

Additional brief summaries were provided by:

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

New York Giants OTA practices:

  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Articles on the New York Giants Secondary:

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

May 222014
 
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Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (October 26, 2013)

Bennett Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the New York Giants Recent Media Day: 5 takeaways from Giants rookies/select vets: Jerrel Jernigan faces tough road by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Running Backs: Will the Giants use Andre Williams in ‘three-headed monster’ approach? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Giants WR Odell Beckham a victim of a hoax? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on TE Xavier Grimble:

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Devon Kennard: Analyzing the Giants linebacker and fifth-round pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hopes to stay with NY Giants for a while by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Bennett Jackson: Bennett Jackson: Analyzing the Notre Dame cornerback and Giants draft pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel Rolle named to NFL’s Top 100 Players by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

May 152014
 
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Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (September 21, 2013)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign Tight End Xavier Grimble: The New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent tight end Xavier Grimble.

BBI scouting report on Xavier Grimble:

Grimble has good size and size potential. While Grimble is not overly quick, he is agile and has deceptive speed. As a receiver, he is a solid short-to-intermediate threat with good hands and run-after-the-catch ability. He is more of a position blocker who can struggle to get movement, but he does work at it.

Grimble is the tenth undrafted rookie free agent the Giants have signed since the 2014 NFL Draft ended. The others are DE Kerry Wynn (Richmond), DE Emmanuel Dieke (Georgia Tech), DE Jordan Stanton (James Madison), DT Kelcy Quarles (South Carolina), DT Eathyn Manumaleuna (BYU), LB Justin Anderson (Louisiana-Lafayette), LB Dan Fox (Notre Dame), S Thomas Gordon (Michigan), and S C.J. Barnett (Ohio State). The Giants also claimed offensive lineman Jamaal Johnson-Webb off of waivers from the Bills on Wednesday.

Scouting reports on the rookie free agents are available in the New York Giants 2014 NFL Draft Review and Rookie Free Agent Signings section of the website. We have also updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Article on DT Jay Bromley: Jay Bromley tape review: Was Giants defensive tackle worth third-round pick? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle and the New York Giants Defense: Antrel Rolle: Giants defense won’t need to be simplified again by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants and the NFL Draft: Take a Number: Giants’ Bad Picks and Bad Luck by Michael Salfino of The Wall Street Journal

May 092014
 
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Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (December 15, 2013)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Antrel Rolle Comments on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and His Future: New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle spoke to Newsday on Friday. Some interesting tidbits from Rolle included:

  • On CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: “I still don’t feel like he has shown what he can truly be in this league, which is one of the best corners in the NFL. I’ve played the corner position. I’ve been around several corners, and I know the talents and athleticism he brings to the game. He’s freakish. You put that together, along with the knowledge of the game, understanding where your team is going to be, when to gamble here and there, when not to. I think he has the best safeties around, with Stevie Brown, myself, Will Hill, and Quintin Demps. Now he needs to show how good he can be.”
  • On Rolle’s future with the team, given his current contract expires after 2014: “I do think about it. This is a business and this is the last year of my contract. Whether or not I come back or not is really not up to me. The only thing I can do is go out there and play the best possible ball I can possibly play and try to continue to be the same guy I’ve always been, for myself, for my teammates, for the organization. We’ll see how the season unfolds. I just want to play ball. Play reckless, make plays when the opportunity presents itself…Absolutely, I want to finish my career with the Giants. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’ve been with other organizations, and there is a difference. I think it will definitely be good to end my career here.”
  • On the Giants offseason: “Since my first year with the Giants, we’ve made the most explosive moves in free agency that I’ve been able to witness. Right now, we’re trying to change the atmosphere in the locker room a little bit, have guys who are a little different here, guys who want to go out there and play and compete, no matter how the game is going. I think upstairs (in the front office), they’re doing an excellent job with that, with the guys that have been here, teaching them the Giants’ way, maintain that attitude, that swagger that we need to be a dominant unit. So far, so good. I think the chemistry is awesome. This is the first time I’ve seen it this upbeat so early. I’m extremely excited about this year.”

Articles on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft:

Apr 232014
 
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Campus Insider: The New York Giants Select…

New York Giants 2014 NFL Schedule Announced: The NFL announced the 2014 regular-season schedule for the New York Giants and the other 31 NFL teams on Wednesday. The details are as follows:

Date Day Opponent Time Network
Sep 8 Mon at Detroit 7:10 PM ESPN
Sep 14 Sun Arizona 1:00 PM FOX
Sep 21 Sun Houston 1:00 PM CBS
Sep 25 Thu at Washington 8:25 PM NFLN
Oct 5 Sun Atlanta 1:00 PM* FOX
Oct 12 Sun at Philadelphia 8:30 PM* NBC
Oct 19 Sun at Dallas 4:25 PM* FOX
Bye
Nov 3 Mon Indianapolis 8:30 PM* ESPN
Nov 9 Sun at Seattle 4:25 PM* FOX
Nov 16 Sun San Francisco 1:00 PM* FOX
Nov 23 Sun Dallas 8:30 PM* NBC
Nov 30 Sun at Jacksonville 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 7 Sun at Tennessee 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 14 Sun Washington 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 21 Sun at St. Louis 4:05 PM* FOX
Dec 28 Sun Philadelphia 1:00 PM* FOX

* Times subject to change due to NFL flexible scheduling policy.

“It’s a difficult and challenging schedule, as we knew it would be,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We play a lot of very good teams. We’re playing some teams that we haven’t played for a while that feature some key, key ingredients, some teams that are building and growing and teams with new coaches, guys I have a lot of respect for.

“We do have any number of outstanding games in a row, because in addition to the NFC East, (we face) the NFC West and the AFC South. The NFC West is a very strong division and certainly continues to be strong. Seattle won the Super Bowl, San Francisco played in the NFC Championship Game, you look at the improvement in the Arizona team and the way they played, particularly toward the end of the year. And the way in which the St. Louis defensive team has played, their quarterback (Sam Bradford) being injured but coming back. That’s a very tough challenge and that’s to say nothing about the fact that we really haven’t been in that AFC South for a while. We played Atlanta a couple years ago. They’ve made drastic changes with their team. You saw Jacksonville improve. Houston has a new coach and with (Bill) O’Brien there and the first pick of the draft…so there are a lot of interesting factors that go into taking a look at this.

“We’re not opening in the division, which is kind of a rarity. We know how talented Detroit is…We’re on our fourth game before we do get a divisional game. I think that’s an interesting thing…The bye, again, is in a good spot for us.”

Some items of note from the schedule:

  • The Giants will play five games against 2013 playoff teams: Philadelphia (twice), San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Seattle.
  • The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Washington (Jay Gruden), Houston (Bill O’Brien), Tennessee (Ken Whisenhunt), and Detroit (Jim Caldwell).
  • The Giants will play all three of their NFC East road games – at Washington, Philadelphia, and Dallas – in a four-week span from September 25 to October 19. The Giants’ final three home games are against NFC East foes Dallas, Washington, and Philadelphia.
  • The preseason schedule has also been finalized. For details, see the Schedule section of the website.

Flex scheduling will commence earlier than it has in the past, with modifications. For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time. Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot.

Articles on the New York Giants Passing Game:

Article on New York Giants Defensive Backs:

BBI on Giants.com Big Blue Kickoff Live: The audio of Eric Kennedy being interviewed on Giants.com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live podcast on Wednesday is available at Giants.com. Eric joins the show at the 30-minute mark of the broadcast.

Apr 222014
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (April 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – Photo by Connor Hughes

Day Two of the New York Giants Offseason Program: Tuesday was day two of the New York Giants nine-week offseason workout program. The Giants are currently in “phase one” of the program (April 21 – May 4) with activities limited to voluntary strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

BigBlueInteractive.com will soon publish a number of feature articles based on today’s content, but here are some brief highlights:

  • Guard Chris Snee wasted no time before cracking the first joke of the day. When the 32-year-old was asked about all of the new faces, he responded, “I requested a team photo” in order familiarize himself with the team. Snee said the new offense is “different” from what he’s used to. Snee said he has been given no indication that he will be held back as he recovers from offseason hip and elbow surgery. Snee said has no limitations and is 100 percent.
  • Safety Antrel Rolle said he “loved” what has been done with the secondary this offseason and the goal during this portion of the offseason program is to build chemistry. When asked about cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rolle said he feels that Rodgers-Cromartie, in his seventh year, has matured, and is a huge addition to the defense. With defensive end Justin Tuck in Oakland, Rolle was asked if he will take on any additional leadership roles: “I’m just go out there and play ball. I just know how to be Antrel…I think there should be 53 leaders on this team.”
  • Will Hill, who reportedly will be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing or abusive substances, was was not made available to the media. Several players offered their support to the troubled safety.
  • Defensive end Robert Ayers said one of the main reasons that he decided to come to New York was the tradition and opportunity. Also, his late father, who passed away last year, said he used to wish Ayers would play for the New York Giants. Ayers also said that he plans on playing a bunch of different positions as it is what the management and coaches want. “They ask everyone to do everything….I look forward to doing whatever they ask me to do.”
  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul caught the attention of everyone when he alerted the media that he now weighed in at 270 pounds, down from the 285 pounds he played at last season. If you remember, Head Coach Tom Coughlin has made several comments in the past about Pierre-Paul being overweight. “I feel good at that weight,” said Pierre-Paul. After rehabbing his shoulder over the offseason, Pierre-Paul said he’s 100 percent right now and expects no limitations. Also, when asked if his role will change with Tuck in Oakland, Pierre-Paul said, “Not at all.” Pierre-Paul said he “didn’t get the memo” on Will Hill. Pierre-Paul said if Hill misses time, losing Hill would be a blow, but the defense would be “alright.”
  • Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the media in a walking boot. He said the surgery on his ankle went well and things are progressing very quickly. Manning told the media that with this being his first surgery, he’s being smart with it. Manning said when he started his training and running for the season he could tell something wasn’t right. He went for some additional MRI’s and developed a plan to see what was the best way to approach the injury. After consideration, he and the doctors felt surgery was best bet rather than waiting. “This will ensure I’m back at 100 percent for training camp,” said Manning. Prior to his informal workouts at Duke University, Manning had gotten a cortisone shot. He felt that once that wore off the injury and pain would return.
  • Left tackle Will Beatty said that the doctors have all given him positive reports and he’s “out here moving around.” Beatty said that he is hanging on every word from the doctors and doing whatever they say. He said that because the team has not gone full-contact, he hasn’t tested himself in that regard. Beatty said he plans on being 100 percent by the start of the season but was more non-committal about being ready for the start of training camp. Beatty talked about new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, saying he’s very “Energetic” and has “a lot of positive things to add to the team.” Beatty said that McAdoo came in the first day and told the team, “Our goal is to be a top-four offense, have an elite top-four QB, make it to the Super Bowl.”
  • Right tackle Justin Pugh talked to the media and said the new offense is similar to the one he ran in Syracuse and “I’m very comfortable in it.” He said, “It’s up-tempo and we’re going to be moving the ball.” Coughlin had told Pugh that he wanted him heavier, so he gained 10 pounds, he’s up to 315. “I’m stronger than ever,” said Pugh.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond III may have brought some of Richard Sherman’s personality with him to New York. The corner said he views himself as “the best slot corner in the league” and said the Giants secondary can be as good, if not better, than Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”Thurmond says he looks forward to matching up with the Redskins now that they have Desean Jackson. He also said the difference between New York and Seattle: “Guys are a bit older here.” Thurmond got a solid laugh out of the media when asked the similarities between cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Richard Sherman saying, “They’re a little different,” before bursting into laughter.
  • Wide receiver Rueben Randle has a very, very soft voice, and it was a little tough to make out everything he was saying. What he did say is that his original plan was to attend Duke University with fellow wide receivers Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, but “something came up.” From listening to Victor Cruz talk later in the day it seemed to be a family issue. He contacted Eli Manning to inform him once he became aware he could not participate in those workouts. Randle also went on to say that he is “ready” to step up as the starter. As far as the offense, Randle does not see much difference aside from the terminology.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason seems very comfortable with the New York media. He stated that he does feel that this is his defense as it “comes with the territory of being the signal caller and mike linebacker.” Beason said that he did his research before representing himself as his own agent in free agency. He said one of the reasons he wanted to be his own agent was he wanted to be “directly involved” and not “a little kid playing telephone.” There were other teams interested in Jon Beason’s services, but the Giants contacted Beason at 3:52 on Tuesday, only minutes before free agency began.
  • Quarterback Josh Freeman talked to the media for an extended period of time. He said he feels great coming in and last year, “Didn’t turn out how I had hoped.” He said he can’t pinpoint what has caused his career to go downhill since being considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league. “A couple things just didn’t go my way.” One of the things that drew Freeman to New York was the history and tradition, but also to learn things from Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz said he enjoys the new offense. It’s a “high-powered offense” and “high octane.” Also, Cruz said the offense in similar with the type of routes and compared it to Green Bay’s offense. Cruz was asked if he could tell at Duke University if Eli was impacted by his ankle injury. He said he could not and “it may have been something he was battling internally.”Cruz said he has taken on a stronger leadership role, including grabbing some of the younger guys, taking them off to the side, and “letting them know how valuable they are to this team and the receiving corp.” Cruz went on to say that the new offense is based less off of body language.
  • Running back David Wilson was excited and as animated as ever. In January, Wilson underwent a surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Wilson said he expects to be cleared for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) but admitted it will come down to the doctors. Wilson said he feels great, and all that is holding him back “is a picture” (MRI) allowing him to resume his football career. Wilson was asked if he sees himself as a No. 1 back and he said he does, but in today’s NFL the feature back doesn’t exist. “Way the game is played today, it’s not gonna be one guy,” said Wilson.
  • Running back Rashaad Jennings said that he thinks the backfield has a lot of talent and potential. He said all are trying to “mesh into the system” and they will “spend a lot of extra time as a unit.”

An “all-access” video of Monday’s activities is available at Giants.com. If you have any follow-up questions on today’s events, ask our camp reporter on Twitter at @92Hughes92.

New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips from Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Today’s Offseason Program Media Day: Player interviews: 10 things we learned by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Eli Manning, Giants envision their offense being similar to the Packers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: QB Eli Manning: I’ll be ready for camp by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson ‘expects to’ be cleared for OTA’s next month by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Walter Thurmond: Giants secondary can be better than Seahawks ‘Legion of Boom’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com