Apr 092018
 
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New York Giants Helmet (October 15, 2017)

© USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, April 9th, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, and June 4-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

GIANTS RE-SIGN BRETT JONES…
New York Giants center/guard Brett Jones has signed his 1-year, $2.914 million restricted free agent tender. Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season.

Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury.

ORLEANS DARKWA VISITS PATRIOTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is visiting the New England Patriots. The somewhat injury-prone Darkwa only missed one game in 2017 with a back issue and had his best season as a pro, starting 11 games and finishing with 171 carries for 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards. In his previous three seasons, Darkwa had started only two games carried the ball just 75 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

Darkwa was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in four games in September before being waived in October and signed to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed him off of Miami’s Practice Squad in November 2014.

PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Opening Statement: We’re looking forward to having the guys back. I can only speak for us as coaches, it just gives us an opportunity to work with the players again and set a new direction heading into 2018. As you know, the first couple weeks here is basically strength training for the players, although we also will be able to meet with them. We are going to meet with them obviously as a team and then offensively, defensively, in terms of special teams and try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra mini camp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft. It’s exciting to get back to work, it’s obviously great to see the players back in the building. I have my first team meeting with the players here at 9:15. We kind of schedule it where we have a lifting group, we sort of meet in the middle and then we have another lifting group, so at 9:15 will be my first time to address the team. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll try and answer some of your questions.

Q: You said before that the mini camp before the draft would be a showcase for Davis Webb. How are the reps going to work out between him and Eli Manning?

A: We’re working on that. Obviously Davis, with only two quarterbacks in the building, they’re obviously going to share the reps.

Q: What is the overall gist of the message you will send to the team when you address them this morning?

A: The idea is and, again, I’ll save it for when I talk to the team. But for the most part, we’re trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season. We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that’s competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That’s what we’re trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it’s important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it’s just as important for us to get better together, and I think that’s the beauty of being able to work together here.

Q: How important is it for all of the guys to be in the building for the entire offseason program?

A: We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it’s certainly important. In my mind, it’s important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it’s important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.

Q: How important is it for Odell Beckham to be there for the duration of the program?

A: I think it’s all players. All players, it’s good and I think it’s important that they’re here working together.

Q: Have you seen Odell yet?

A: He is in the building. I have not seen him yet, but I know he’s in the building.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Odell after everything that came out of the meetings in Orlando and what was your message there?

A: Yeah, I’ve communicated with him and certainly that communication is between me and him.

Q: You said that you talked to him about all things non-football related. Did you ask him if there were drugs in the video?

A: Again, that’s private between Odell and myself, but we talked about the video.

Q: Were you worried about how all of the trade rumors might affect Odell?

A: I’m not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he’s a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He’s a professional and I’m glad he’s here today.

Q: Do you have any idea where Odell is physically?

A: With the players back in town, certainly we are going to assess where they all are in terms of physically and medically, and I’ll have more information as we approach the end of the week.

Q: What have been your impressions of the potential offers for Odell Beckham in the trade market?

A: Yeah, that’s the business. I’m the coach, so I’m just going to worry about trying to get each and every player and each and every coach as good as they can be, and I’ll focus on that part of it.

Q: How anxious are you to finally be able to talk football with the guys and specifically talking with Odell about your vision of what he can do in your offense?

A: It’s exciting, and obviously being this is the first opportunity to visit with the players, we just start to formulate our systems and our plans and really our vision for what we want our players to do. I would say this, this is what we as coaches look forward to. I can see as I look out my window here that the grass is starting to green up and the players are around and this is just naturally the time of year where we get back to work. It’s an exciting time for coaches and players, and we’re just looking forward to getting it started.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes that the players will notice when they arrive and see the Pat Shurmur Giants here in the building for the first time?

A: That’s probably a better question for them. I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past and there are some changes that I’ll let them discuss those with you. But, I think what’s important is — listen, this is a game that we all love to play, most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that’s part of where we’re at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see, but I think that is probably a better question for them as they move forward. I just think it’s very important that we’re very professional, we communicate well together and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they’re seeing so that we know how we have to teach it further. That’s what we’re looking forward to, is the communication and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running.

Q: What has Odell told you about his attendance going forward after today?

A: Yeah again, I know he’s in the building. We haven’t had a chance to speak. I’ll speak to him a little bit more later, probably this afternoon. But we haven’t discussed that.

Q: Do you view Odell showing up today as a commitment by him showing that he wants to be a Giant long term? And in addition, would you like to see management use this as an opportunity to get a contract done with him soon, so that it doesn’t remain a distraction?

A: I’m not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it’s important that Odell is here and I’m looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I’m looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he’s here and he’s a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier.

Q: You have a couple of former players that are on your coaching staff. What will they bring to the table in terms of relating with the players?

A: Well, we all have playing backgrounds. Obviously guys that have played in the NFL that are now career coaches, I think they bring some credibility to the room that the players can really, I guess, hang on to a little bit. The important thing though for an ex-player is they have to decide, they have to cross that bridge between player and coach, and I’m very fortunate that I have some guys here that are now really developed into career coaches, so I’m looking forward to really them working with our players. I think obviously if you coach this game and you’ve developed some credibility as a coach, certainly some of it comes from your days as a player and then it obviously continues your days as you coach through the profession. It’s important and staffs tend to be diverse. We all have different backgrounds and I think it’s important to put together a staff of guys that all come from different places.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

ARTICLES…

Mar 142018
 
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Nate Solder, New England Patriots (February 4, 2018)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LEFT TACKLE NATE SOLDER…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left tackle Nate Solder (New England Patriots) to a 4-year, $62 million contract that includes $35 million in guaranteed money. The Giants outbid both the Patriots and Houston Texans for his services. The 29-year old, 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In seven seasons, Solder has started 95 of the 98 regular-season games he has played in. Solder has been a solid player since drafted but has had issues at times in pass protection.

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END KAREEM MARTIN…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent linebacker/defensive end Kareem Martin (Arizona Cardinals). The 26-year old, 6’6”, 272-pound Martin was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cardinals as a defensive end. The Cardinals moved him to linebacker after his rookie season. Martin had his best season in 2017, playing in all 16 regular-season games with 10 starts and finished the year with 24 tackles, one sack, three pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Martin is a ‘tweener who does his best work moving forward rather than moving backwards in space.

JONATHAN STEWART SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants have officially signed unrestricted free agent running back Jonathan Stewart, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers at the end of February. The NFL Network is reporting that the contract is a 2-year deal that could be worth as much as $8.4 million with $6.9 million in base salary and $2.95 million in guaranteed money.

“I am very pleased that we were able to make Jonathan a New York Football Giant,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “He is a quality runner with power and speed and brings a veteran, professional presence to our locker room. He’s a terrific addition for us at this time.”

The 30-year old, 5’10”, 240-pound Stewart was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Panthers. In 10 seasons with the Panthers, Stewart rushed for 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. He also caught 162 passes for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, Stewart started 10 games but saw his rushing totals fall to 680 yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. Injury prone, Stewart has not played a full season since 2011.

GIANTS TENDER BRETT JONES AND ROBERT THOMAS…
As previously reported, the Giants have officially tendered restricted free agent center/guard Brett Jones at the 2nd-round ($2.91 million) level. That will provide the Giants with the right to match any offer another team makes for Jones. If they do not, the Giants would receive that team’s 2nd-round pick as compensation.

The Giants have also tendered exclusive rights free agent Robert Thomas, ensuring that Thomas will remain with the team.

Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

Thomas played in 15 games with no starts in 2017 and finished the season with 16 tackles. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-2015), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). The Giants claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Panthers in September 2016; he played in eight regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with five tackles and one sack.

TENNESSEE TITANS SIGN DION LEWIS…
The Tennessee Titans have signed unrestricted free agent running back Dion Lewis (New England Patriots) to a 4-year contract. ProFootballTalk.com had reported that the New York Giants were one of several teams that have expressed interest in Lewis.

ARTICLES…

Mar 072018
 
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Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles Rams (December 3, 2017)

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TRADE FOR LINEBACKER ALEC OGLETREE…
The New York Giants have traded way the 4th round compensatory pick and their 6th round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for linebacker Alec Ogletree of the Los Angeles Rams. The Giants will also receive the Rams’ 7th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The trade will become official on March 14th, when the new league year official begins.

The trade leaves the Giants with only five draft picks in the upcoming draft: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (non-compensatory), and 5th. The Giants traded away their 7th-round pick last year for cornerback Ross Cockrell.

The 26-year old Ogletree was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Rams. He made the All-Rookie team in 2013 and was named second-team All-Pro in 2016. Ogletree lacks classic size (6’2”, 235 pounds). He’s more of a run-and-hit and coverage linebacker who is very athletic and a team leader, being voted team captain twice with the Rams. Ogletree played both 4-3 outside and 3-4 inside linebacker for the Rams. In 2017, Ogletree started all 15 regular-season games he played in, finishing with 95 tackles, two sacks, 10 pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. He’s averaged over 100 tackles per season in the NFL in five seasons.

Ogletree signed a 4-year, $42 million contract extension last year and is under contract through the 2021 season. Unless his contract is re-structured, Ogletree will count $10 million against the Giants’ salary cap in 2018.

GIANTS TO TENDER BRETT JONES, MOVING ON FROM WESTON RICHBURG…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants are expected to tender restricted free agent center/guard Brett Jones at the 2nd-round ($2.91 million) level. That will provide the Giants with the right to match any offer another team makes for Jones. If they do not, the Giants would receive that team’s 2nd-round pick as compensation. Teams have until March 14th to tender their exclusive rights and restricted free agents.

Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

Multiple media sources are also reporting that the Giants are not interested in re-signing Richburg, who was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2017 with a concussion that he suffered a month earlier. He only played and started in four games in 2017. Richburg was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He has started 50 regular-season games. However, after a strong 2015 campaign, his play dipped in 2016 and 2017.

ARTICLE…

Dec 222017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (October 17, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS INTERVIEW KEVIN ABRAMS FOR GM POSITION…
The New York Giants announced on Friday that they have interviewed Kevin Abrams for the team’s general manager position. Abrams, who joined the Giants in 1999 to serve as the team’s first salary cap analyst and who was the team’s assistant general manager for 16 years, was named interim general manager when Jerry Reese was fired earlier this month.

Abrams interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Abrams is the fourth known candidate to interview for the position. Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross, former Carolina Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman, and former Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles Director of Pro Personnel Louis Riddick interviewed earlier this week.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) did not practice on Friday. Both have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

“Yeah, it’s just been one of those injury-prone years (for Goodson),” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. “And it’s hard to get in the groove at any position, especially mike linebacker, he’s the quarterback of the defense. So, it’s hard to get in a groove when it’s a couple games, then you’re out. I’m sure he’s frustrated. Sometimes those high ankles, they don’t respond real well.”

Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Landon Collins (ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Pierre-Paul, Collins, and Berhe are all officially “questionable” for the game on Sunday. Flowers and Dixon are unofficially “probable.”

“(Collins is) questionable right now,” said Spagnuolo. “I mean, he got a little bit of work today and didn’t get much the other days, so we’ll have to see when we get to Sunday.”

Pierre-Paul revealed on Friday why he has been playing with a club on his right hand again. “I fractured my finger,” he said. “I basically broke it.”

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger), offensive center Brett Jones (ankle), defensive end Olivier Vernon (not injury related), and safety Darian Thompson (knee) fully practiced. All of these players are unofficially “probable” for the game on Sunday.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday afternoon.

Dec 202017
 
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Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers (March 1, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN INTERVIEWS FOR GM POSITION…
The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that they have interviewed Dave Gettleman for the team’s general manager position. The 66-year old Gettleman was the Giants’ pro personnel director (1999-2011) and senior pro personnel analyst (2012) before becoming the general manager of the Carolina Panthers (2013-2017). The Panthers fired Gettleman in July 2017.

Gettleman interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara, Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch, and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Gettleman is the second known candidate to interview for the position. Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross interviewed earlier this week.

Kevin Abrams is currently serving as the team’s interim general manager.

LANDON COLLINS VOTED TO PRO BOWL…
New York Giants safety Landon Collins has been voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl as the NFC’s starting strong safety. Collins was the only Giants player selected this season. Collins is leading the team with 103 tackles and also has six pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble despite playing most of the season with a nagging ankle injury that he suffered in early October.

“I think my second half was better than my first half, because of my (ankle) injury,” Collins said. “And I think I’ve played pretty good to get everybody’s attention, and being one of the best in the game right now. I’m just humbled by it and grateful for it, going back-to-back times. It’s a blessing.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and safety Landon Collins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Offensive center Brett Jones (ankle), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Darian Thompson (knee), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring) and tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger) fully practiced.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 11:35AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn, and select players will also address the media after practice.

Nov 212017
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 12, 2017)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness), guard D.J. Fluker (toe), guard/tackle Justin Pugh (back), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) did not practice on Tuesday.

“Sterling is not feeling well,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We kept him in the training room and they’re taking a look at him. They’re looking at all the possibilities…Yeah (it might be something different than migraines). They’re looking at it right now. They’ll let me know when they know.”

Running back Orleans Darkwa (hamstring), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), defensive end Olivier Vernon (shoulder), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (ankle), defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (ankle), and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (groin) were limited in practice.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Wednesday. The team plays the Washington Redskins in Maryland on Thursday night.

Oct 202017
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 24, 2017)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) have all been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle) is officially “questionable” for the game.

Guard John Jerry (tooth), safety Landon Collins (ankle), and long snapper Zak DeOssie (wrist/elbow) are unofficially “probable” for the game.

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

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Aug 272017
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – NEW YORK JETS 31…
The New York Giants dominated the first half of their annual preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium but had to hold on late to escape with a 32-31 victory. Despite leading 29-3 at the half, the Jets drew to within one point late in the game and decided to go for the 2-point conversion instead of sending the game into overtime. The Giants stuffed the conversion attempt and knelt on the ball to preserve the win.

But the Giants lost six players due to injury (see injury update below), including cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee).

Sixteen of the Giants’ 29 first-half points were scored by the defense. After the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, quarterback Eli Manning and the offense moved the ball from their own 27 to the Jets’ 28-yard line. But on 2nd-and-8, Manning – who was immediately pressured – threw an ill-advised pass deep which was picked off at the Jets’ 3-yard line. However, two plays later defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sliced into the backfield to nail running back Matt Forte in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Giants drove 56 yards to set up a successful 24-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The Giants led 5-0.

After the ensuing Giants’ kickoff, safety Landon Collins jumped a quarterback Christian Hackenberg pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and the Giants took a 12-0 lead. The Jets went three-and-out and the G-Men then drove 56 yards in seven plays, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. The touchdown was set up by 17-yard catch by wide receiver Roger Lewis on 4th-and-3, despite him taking a big hit. 19-0 Giants.

The Jets responded with their only scoring drive of the first half, moving the ball 66 yards in 10 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. After both teams exchanged punts, wide receiver Travis Rudolph made superb catch and run to pick up 57 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh Johnson. The drive stalled but place kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Giants a 22-3 lead. With less than two minutes before halftime, cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted a pass knocked loose from the intended receiver by corner Janoris Jenkins. Deayon returned the pick 36 yards for a touchdown. At the half, the Giants led 29-3.

The Giants’ offensive reserves didn’t do much in the second half. Five drives resulted in three first downs and five punts. The Giants did manage one scoring possession, moving the ball 48 yards to set up a 54-yard field goal by Nugent early in the 4th quarter. But that was it.

Meanwhile, after forcing a turnover on downs at the 14-yard line after giving up a 56 yard drive, the Giants’ defensive reserves allowed three straight touchdowns, including touchdown passes of 25, 85, and 15 yards. The defense did force one punt, but with 2:11 left in the game, the Jets drove 75 yards in seven plays to pull within one point, 32-31. The game was saved for the G-Men as the 2-point conversion that most likely would have given the Jets the victory was stuffed with 1:24 left to play.

Manning finished the game 7-of-14 for 121 yards and one interception. Johnson was 5-of-10 for 51 yards, Geno Smith 4-of-6 for 67 yards, and Davis Webb 2-of-4 for 20 yards. The leading receivers were Rudolph (3 catches for 81 yards), Sterling Shepard (2 catches for 47 yards), Evan Engram (2 catches for 32 yards), and Roger Lewis (2 catches for 30 yards). The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (12 carries for 43 yards), Paul Perkins (6 carries for 33 yards), and Orleans Darkwa (7 carries for 21 yards).

Aside for the three defensive scores, the defense was credited with three sacks (Jason Pierre-Paul, Darian Thompson, and Jonathan Casillas), five tackles for losses, five quarterback hits, and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (upper body), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger), and CB Michael Hunter (concussion).

CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (knee), OG Adam Gettis (foot), RB Shaun Draughn (concussion/neck), S Duke Ihenacho (knee), and DE Evan Schwan (unknown) all left the game with injuries.

“I think (Apple) did his other ankle today, so I have concerns about both ankles,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “I’m not sure (how bad it is), I’ll have to go talk to the trainers and the doctors about it.”

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 122017
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp 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.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Entering 2016, the New York Giants offensive line was expected to take a major step forward. While the right-side was still composed of journeymen right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, the left side and center were composed of two first-round and one second-round draft picks. With all five returning together, greater chemistry and cohesion was expected. And new offensive line coach – the well-respected Mike Solari – was supposed to make an impact.

Simply put, the offensive line continued to disappoint. Left tackle Ereck Flowers did not markedly improve and remained a significant liability in pass protection. Left guard Justin Pugh missed time for the third season in a row. Center Weston Richburg did not play as well as expected. In some ways, it was the right side of the offensive line that exceeded what admittedly were low expectations. John Jerry had a decent year and second-year lineman Bobby Hart was surprisingly steady at right tackle, replacing Newhouse after Week 2 until the end of the season. That all said, it would be misleading to say either really “played well.”

It’s always difficult to assess who is mostly to blame for a poor running game. The play of running backs, tight ends, and fullback (or in the Giants case, the absence of a fullback) all matter. But the Giants ground game fell from 18th in 2015 (100.6 yards per game) to 29th in 2016 (88.2 yards per game). The average yards-per-rush fell from 4.0 to 3.5.

In pass protection, Eli Manning survived another year without missing a snap. And his sack numbers declined from 27 to 21. But that is a misleading stat given the West Coast Offense emphasis on the short-passing game combined with Manning’s rapid decision-making and quick release. It appeared to many that Manning simply did not trust his pass protection and played some games more than a a bit gun-shy.

Injuries were somewhat of a factor. Pugh missed five games at left guard, leaving a bit of a revolving door as his replacements such as Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse also got hurt. At one point, the team was down to their fourth-string option at right guard – Adam Gettis. Hart also missed the last regular-season game with an injury.

In summary, the offense of the Giants was a major disappointment in 2016, and the offensive line deserves a large share of the blame.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Marshall Newhouse signed with the Oakland Raiders early in free agency. The Giants chose not to re-sign Will Beatty, but did re-sign John Jerry to a 3-year, $10 million deal. The only significant addition in free agency was adding D.J. Fluker, who was cut by the Chargers. The Giants re-signed Practice Squad players Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio and added street free agents Michael Bowie and a couple of other players who have already been waived (Khaled Holmes and Martin Wallace). The Giants drafted Adam Bisnowaty in the 6th round and signed rookie free agents Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, and Jarron Jones after the draft. Bottom line? Newhouse is gone and the only apparent significant additions are Fluker and Bisnowaty.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Media and fans love to complain that Jerry Reese has ignored the offensive line. Spending two #1 picks and a #2 pick says otherwise as does his free agent spending in recent years. The real issue is that despite the significant allocation of resources, Reese has failed to put together a viable unit since David Diehl, Richie Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie retired.

Most of the fan and media attention entering training camp will be on left tackle Ereck Flowers, a lightening rod of criticism. There is no obvious fallback plan if he fails to progress, though in an emergency Justin Pugh and maybe even Bisnowaty could play there. But Pugh – who talks a lot and wants a huge contract – has to prove he can stay healthy. Weston Richburg apparently played hurt in 2016 and needs to rebound from a disappointing season.

The right side is more up in the air. For now, John Jerry remains the starter. But he may be pressed by D.J. Fluker, who surprisingly only received spring reps at right guard. That suggests Bobby Hart is the clear front runner for right tackle, though Bisnowaty could be a factor there.

It is the opinion of many that the only thing that can hold back the Giants in 2017 is the offensive line. While this is clearly an overly-simplistic falsehood, the line has been a team weak spot for years. If a team can’t block up front, it is very difficult to consistently move the football.

ON THE BUBBLE: Michael Bowie, Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, Jarron Jones, Adam Gettis, Jon Halapio, and Brett Jones.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Mike Solari on Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart improving their technique: “Well, just like everything else, you work different drills, you work techniques, and you just keep honing in until you could make it where you don’t have to think about it and its part of your toolkit. The thing is, what we’re excited about, and Ereck is excited about, so is Bobby and not just those two men, everybody. They are committed. Aaron Wellman did a beautiful job in the sense of where they need to improve on. Physically working in the weight room, conditioning aspect, you could tell the difference. I believe you could tell the difference, in the terms of their body types and where they’re at physically at this time of the season. It’s still early, so that’s really encouraging… They do a nice job in the classroom. You’re not privy to that, but they do a nice job in the classroom. They’re into it, they’re learning, they’re into the film study, they’re into their techniques. They know what they are trying to work on, they know what they are trying to achieve.”

Solari on D.J. Fluker: “Big Man. D.J. is a pro, he comes to work every day and he gives everything he has. He’s done a nice job in the classroom, learning and developing and we’re excited about having him when the pads come on… We like him at guard. He’s got experience at tackle, as we all know from Alabama, when he initially came into the league but his strengths are at guard. There will be a point, where we do want to rep him a little bit at tackle, just for versatility, so if he is not the starter, he is able to go to tackle in need. But guard is his strength and guard is where we like him.”

Solari on Weston Richburg’s hand injury in 2016: “That hurts. That hurts you; your hand placement, your ability to grab, ability to work the chest plate is a big part of the game. So that was tough for him, and he worked through it and he performed at the highest level that he could without being able to use that hand at full strength. But it would be a big difference this year.”

Solari on Adam Bisnowaty: “It’s still early. Right now, we got him at right tackle, but he’s a guy that could, he has versatility, he could go to guard. He has played a little guard in his career, obviously at left tackle, but right now, we like him at right tackle. Try to get him as many reps as possible, so when training camp comes, these young rookies are ready to compete.”

PREDICTIONS: There is a very good chance that the starting line will be the exact same line that started the bulk of the games in 2016. And that won’t sit well with many. Media and fans sometimes forget how young both the bookend tackles are. Ereck Flowers is 23; Hart is 22. Both are big, strong, and have been working their tails off. Whether they succeed or fail still remains to be seen, but the tools are there. What will help both is greater stability, consistency, and health from the interior trio. In particular, Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh need to step up and take ownership of this line. I expect the OL to play much better in 2017. I also expect them to look better with Rhett Ellison and perhaps even Evan Engram and Jerell Adams providing more credible blocking on the perimeter. But if Flowers continues to struggle, and Pugh gets hurt again, and Richburg doesn’t rebound, then Jerry Reese is going to look awfully bad. Those three represent three PREMIUM draft picks.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart, D.J. Fluker, Adam Bisnowaty, and Brett Jones. (Versatile Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio could press Brett Jones. There is a chance the Giants could carry a ninth offensive lineman. That would help Chad Wheeler’s chances).

Jan 292017
 
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Bobby Hart, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Entering 2016, the New York Giants offensive line was expected to take a major step forward. While the right-side was still composed of journeymen right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, the left side and center were composed of two first-round and one second-round draft picks. With all five returning together, greater chemistry and cohesion was expected. And new offensive line coach – the well-respected Mike Solari – was supposed to make an impact.

Simply put, the offensive line continued to disappoint. Left tackle Ereck Flowers did not markedly improve and remained a significant liability in pass protection. Left guard Justin Pugh missed time for the third season in a row. Center Weston Richburg did not play as well as expected. In some ways, it was the right side of the offensive line that exceeded what admittedly were low expectations. John Jerry had a decent year and second-year lineman Bobby Hart was surprisingly steady at right tackle, replacing Newhouse after Week 2 until the end of the season. That all said, it would be misleading to say either really “played well.”

It’s always difficult to assess who is mostly to blame for a poor running game. The play of running backs, tight ends, and fullback (or in the Giants case, the absence of a fullback) all matter. But the Giants ground game fell from 18th in 2015 (100.6 yards per game) to 29th in 2016 (88.2 yards per game). The average yards-per-rush fell from 4.0 to 3.5.

In pass protection, Eli Manning survived another year without missing a snap. And his sack numbers declined from 27 to 21. But that is a misleading stat given the West Coast Offense emphasis on the short-passing game combined with Manning’s rapid decision-making and quick release. It appeared to many that Manning simply did not trust his pass protection and played some games more than a a bit gun-shy.

Injuries were somewhat of a factor. Pugh missed five games at left guard, leaving a bit of a revolving door as his replacements such as Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse also got hurt. At one point, the team was down to their fourth-string option at right guard – Adam Gettis. Hart also missed the last regular-season game with an injury.

In summary, the offense of the Giants was a major disappointment in 2016, and the offensive line deserves a large share of the blame.

THE STARTERS

Despite starting 31 regular-season games in his first two seasons, Ereck Flowers has struggled with his technique at left tackle, allowing far too much pass pressure. Flowers was drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He is huge, strong, powerful lineman who can muscle and maul defenders in the running game. He has the feet, agility, and overall athleticism to be a sound pass protector, but he needs to dramatically improve his pass protection technique. Simply put, Flowers is too inconsistent.

Justin Pugh missed five games in the second half of the 2016 season with a knee injury. He started the other 11 games at left guard. Pugh was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He was voted to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie Team after starting all 16 games as rookie at right tackle. Pugh has had injury issues every year since, including missing two games in 2014 with a quadriceps injury and two games in 2015 with an ocular concussion. He was shifted to left guard in 2015. Pugh lacks ideal size and arm length, but he is a good athlete who plays with fine strength, technique, and leverage. Pugh is smart, aggressive, and tenacious. Though not a mauler, he can get movement on his run blocks and he has the agility to do well in pass protection, though he needs to become more consistent in that area. He can pull and block defenders at the second level. Pugh is very versatile, able to play both tackle and guard spots, and probably even center in a pinch. He needs to stay healthy.

Weston Richburg started every game at center in 2016. While he played decently, more was expected of him after a strong 2015 campaign. Richburg has started 46 regular-season games in his first three seasons, being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Richburg is an average-sized center, but he is a good athlete who plays with good leverage and tenacity. Mobile and agile, Richburg, can block at the second level and pull on outside runs. He is smart, tough, and aggressive.

John Jerry started every game at right guard for the Giants in 2016. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014 and started 16 games in 2014 and eight in 2015. Jerry looks the part as he has great size and long arms. A career inconsistent performer as both a run and pass blocker, Jerry became a far more reliable and steadier player in 2016.

Due to an injury Marshall Newhouse, Bobby Hart became the new starter at right tackle in Week 3 until Week 17 when he sat out due a forearm injury. In all, Hart started 13 games at right tackle. Hart was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in nine games with one start at right tackle as a rookie. Hart is big, strong, and smart, with just enough overall athleticism to play tackle. While he was mostly steady, Hart did have issues in pass protection at times.

THE RESERVES

Marshall Newhouse started the first two games at right tackle, was sidelined by a calf injury for five weeks, started three games at left guard when injuries hit, and then started the final regular-season and post-season game at right tackle. In all, Newhouse played in 10 regular-season games with six starts. Newhouse was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the starting left tackle for the Packers in 2011 and 2012 before losing his starting job in 2013. Newhouse signed with the Bengals as a free agent in 2014 but struggled and was benched. The Giants signed him in March 2015 and he started 14 games at right tackle that season. Newhouse looks the part. He’s big and athletic. He’s also versatile, with the ability to play both tackle and guard positions. However, Newhouse is not very powerful or physical and he lacks consistency as both a run and pass blocker.

Brett Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games in 2016 and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. Jones lacks size but he is well built with good overall athleticism. He is a tough, aggressive lineman and very smart. Versatile, he can play both guard and center.

Adam Gettis spent the bulk of the 2016 season on the Practice Squad, but he did play in three games with one start at left guard, performing admirably. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2013), Steelers (2014), Giants (2014-2015), Raiders (2015), and Giants again (2015-2016). Gettis has played in 17 regular-season games with one start. Gettis lacks ideal size and power, but he is an athletic lineman with good mobility. Versatile, he can play both guard and center.

The Giants re-signed Will Beatty in late August 2016 after releasing him in February. However, he was only activated for six games, barely playing with no starts. Beatty was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants. From 2011-2014, Beatty started 57 regular-season games. But he has had issues staying healthy, including a broken foot in 2010, a detached retina in 2011, a back injury that caused him to miss offseason work in 2012, a broken leg in 2013, and a pectoral tear and rotator cuff injuries that caused him to miss all of 2015. Beatty is a big lineman with long arms and a very good athlete. When on top of his game, Beatty can mirror and slide with the best pass rushers, and is athletic enough to pull and engage defenders at the second level in the run game. However, Beatty is more of a finesse player. He does not play with a lot of strength and power and he is not a very physical or aggressive blocker. He has not proven to be very consistent or reliable.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Jon Halapio was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. He has not played in an NFL regular-season game. Halapio is stout and strong but lacks ideal height and athleticism for tackle and is probably better suited for guard.