Sep 272022
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 26, 2022)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

STERLING SHEPARD DONE FOR THE SEASON…
As feared, wide receiver Sterling Shepard tore the ACL in his left knee on New York’s final offensive play against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. His season, and possibly career with the Giants, is over.

Shepard was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Shepard started all 16 games in 2016 and 2018, but has now missed significant time due to injury in his five other seasons. He has never come close to cracking the 1,000-yard mark in a single season or duplicating his 8-touchdown season of his rookie campaign. In 2021, Shepard missed seven games with hamstring and quad injuries before tearing his left Achilles’ tendon in mid-December. He finished the year playing in seven games, catching just 36 passes for 366 yards and one touchdown. This year, through three games, Shepard had caught 13 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Tuesday to discuss his team’s 23-16 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available on YouTube):

Q: Just first off, wondering if you had any update on (wide receiver) Sterling Shepard?

A: Yeah. ACL. Got that news just about 15 minutes ago in the doctors’ meeting. And again, to reiterate what I said yesterday, he’s a tremendous person. He worked so diligently to get back, and (I) feel terrible for him that he had that injury. He’s a big part of our team, and we’ll miss him out on the field.

Q: As far as (tackle) Evan Neal, obviously a rough night. But is there anything like technically that you can pinpoint? Because I remember (tackle) Andrew Thomas’ rookie year, he was getting beat inside a lot. They hammered that point, and obviously he got better. Is there one specific thing you’re saying, ‘He needs to do this better,’ ‘We need to teach this better,’?

A: No. We just keep on building the technique. There’s growing pains. I would say it’s not just Ev (Evan Neal), which he got beat a couple times on the edge by a pretty good player. There was a lot of things we could have done better. And protection-wise after going through it, whether it’s the chips, the (running) backs, one-one-ones against the blitzers, the inside movement, the games inside. There was quite a bit of things. But Evan’s a diligent guy. We’ll work on improving him and try to be better next week.

Q: I’m curious when you went back and you looked at the tape, what did you see from your offensive line in regards to the pass protection, and why do you think it’s been a struggle here early this season?

A: Well, yesterday wasn’t just the line. Were there some plays that we got beat? Yeah. There were. I think everybody can do better. All of us, altogether. There was some stuff inside, like I said some games, some edge stuff. We can chip better. We can stay on a little bit longer. I think (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) was trying to – we were going quick at times, trying to throw it quick, use seven-man protection. We used jams on I don’t know how many snaps. It was a lot. We can help in that area too and be better in those areas – whether it be tight end with the backs. Again, it was a good front. They got the best of us, and we’re going to have to continue to keep working to get better.

Q: And with Shepard out now obviously, where do you go with wide receiver? What do you look for the answer?

A: The guys that we have. Those guys are going to have to continue to work hard, build trust with the quarterback. They’ll be practicing, and hopefully we make some strides in that area.

Q: Are KT (wide receiver Kadarius Toney) and (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) any closer? I mean, how close are they at this point?

A: They’re getting closer. Will they be ready this week? I can’t answer that yet. And from the meeting I just had with the doctors, they’re getting closer. But we’re not out of the blue yet with it.

Q: When you look back at last night and the way Daniel played given the unrest that he was in and some of the things he created, what did you see there? And what kind of a step forward was that for him for a lack of a better way to put it?

A: I think he’s made steps each game. I thought he played well yesterday. He was under some duress. He escaped. He made some loose plays. He did some things with his feet. He made some good throws. He competed his tail off. I thought all the guys competed. I thought we played hard, and we competed for 60 minutes. We just lacked on some other things that caused us to have the result that we had. I thought he was really good on the sideline. Again, I think he’s improved every game. He’s really improved every practice, and he was a good leader out there. And he competed as hard as he could compete and gave us a chance.

Q: What did you think of (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux and (outside linebacker Azeez) Ojulari in their first game? Why do you guys think you weren’t able to generate more of a pass rush?

A: They did a good job of blocking us. There was a couple in there that we had. Again, they were on their pitch count. I thought they gave good effort. Thibs’ (Kayvon Thibodeaux) first game as a pro. Did some good things, but some things we definitely need to get better and work at. But give (the) Dallas (Cowboys) credit, too. They did a good job of blocking us.

Q: And everybody knows your smart, tough, dependable. How much of dependable is available? Is that the same to you? Do you have to be available to be dependable?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Another question about Daniel. In a game like yesterday – when he plays well, he’s facing constant pressure, but the team doesn’t win or score enough points – in the long-term view, obviously, you guys are trying to evaluate him as ‘Is he our franchise quarterback?’ Do the results ultimately define that evaluation? Or is a game like yesterday a step forward for him to prove he’s the guy despite the results?

A: That’s a good question. I think what we try to do each week is just see where we’re at for that week – evaluate the performance. Again, we evaluate the performances on past, but I thought he made good strides. Obviously not scoring enough points, and we left some plays out there on the field. But the job that he did in terms of running the offense, handling things when things weren’t always perfect. The last play he threw that pick, but it really wasn’t on him. I thought that he’s making improvement. I think that’s important as we go throughout the season.

Q: First, real quick on the wide receivers, is there any need, desire – do you even have the wherewithal to bring in somebody else on the team at this point?

A: (General manager) Joe (Schoen) is always looking and his staff. But we have those guys right now who we have. And we’re going to expect them to come out here, keep improving, work hard. We have a couple guys on our practice squad right now that maybe they come into play; they’ve been picking up our stuff. So, we’ll see as we go.

Q: The question I had was just the kind of procedural stuff of getting the right personnel on the field. It seems like that was a bit of a struggle at times last night. There were a couple of times where you guys were scrambling around a little bit. You only had 10 men on the field for the Zeke (Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot) touchdown. How do you go about fixing that, and is that something that just kind of cropped up? Or were you seeing signs of that throughout the first two games?

A: No, no I mean look, on that play on the goal line (defensive coordinator), Wink (Martindale) called for a personnel group, and there was one player that didn’t go in. So, we need to do a good job of listening to the play caller’s instructions and go in and be ready to go.

Q: You won your first two games, pretty close games. I’m sure your message to the guys was, ‘We’re not going 17-0,’ or whatever. That probably wasn’t your message. What do you have to learn out of last night? This is now your first bit of adversity so to speak in terms of results. What’s your message to these guys going forward?

A: The same that it’s been since I started. Be consistent. It’s never as good as you think, never as bad as you think. There’s certain things from week to week that we need to improve on. Win with class, and lose with class. When you lose, you even lose with more class. Own it, accept responsibility, fix the things we need to fix and move on. You’re going to have these; this is fortunately a short week. The coaches are upstairs; they’re not going to get much sleep this week, but you move on pretty quickly in this league whether you win or lose. Again, the way they prepared, the things that they did during the week, the effort that they gave – that’s what we’re looking for. Now, there’s certain things that we all can fix to be better. From week to week, I’d say that changes. There’s a consistency in how we want to do things, but something might show up this week that didn’t show up last week. And now you got to place an emphasis on that, and go out there and be consistent in your preparation. Be consistent in how you practice and get ready to play a game.

Q: Did the doctors ever explain to you – you look at Shep’s (Sterling Shepard) injury, he’s just jogging along and all of the sudden. Did they ever say, ‘It’s just what happens,’?

A: I’m thinking the same thing as you watch it. He’s just slowing down. It could have happened, I’m not saying it happened, you see a couple of plays before where he turns when he’s running an in-cut and he’s extended. He went out there on the next play and did something. Again, it kind of looked like a freaky accident there.

Q: What do you do right now with (wide receiver) Kenny Golladay to make him someone who is contributing to winning efforts?

A: The same thing we try to do with all out guys is go out there, install the gameplan with them, work as hard as he can work, build trust with the quarterback and when he has opportunities to make plays, he goes out and makes them.

Q: Does any of this mystify even you – the great football mind you are? This is a guy who had a track record in Detroit (with the Lions); I’m not suggesting he was the best receiver in the league, but he had a track record. And now you see him dropping catches frankly at practice when we’re able to watch, and you see the same results in games.

A: Every situation is different. He’s trying to put his best foot forward, work as hard as he can and I’d say that you got to, again, be consistent with what we’re doing and keep on improving. And I know he’ll try to do that.

Q: How did you think Kenny played last night?

A: He had a couple of opportunities there to go ahead and make plays. I thought he played with good effort. Obviously, we’d like to finish the play at the end of that drive in the fourth quarter, and I know he would like to, too. Again, he did the things that we asked him to do in terms of being in the right spot; and now we just got to work on finishing those things.

Q: One on Daniel, it’s kind of a play on some of the other questions that were asked. How difficult on a night like that when he is being pressured – how much do you put on the offensive line? How much do you put on the receivers? And how difficult is it to evaluate long term when those other things are breaking down?

A: You never want that to happen, but that’s a good evaluation to get, too, particularly on a quarterback when they’re under pressure or things aren’t always perfect and how can you ad lib and make plays when it’s not just exactly like it is on the play diagram. I thought he did that well.

Q: One of the things you hear a lot when these injuries keep happening, especially here, is the turf in MetLife. I was wondering where you stand on that and if you’ve looked into that at all or if you have an opinion basically on the turf versus grass debate.

A: No, I know there’s been a lot of studies. Not just here but probably in every stadium. I think, again, you look at Shep’s injury it’s – he was jogging. I’m sure that throughout the season and the offseason that we’ll sit down and discuss those type of things.

NOTES…
The Giants have lost 11 consecutive prime time games since winning in San Francisco on Monday night on November 12, 2018. They have lost seven in a row and nine of their last 10 on Monday night.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players address the media on Wednesday by conference call.

Sep 272022
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (September 26, 2022)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS COWBOYS 23 – NEW YORK GIANTS 16…
The New York Giants lost their first game of the 2022 season by falling 23-16 to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants are now 2-1. The Cowboys have defeated the Giants 10 times in the last 11 meetings between these two teams.

The overall team stats were not lopsided. Dallas held advantages in firsts downs (23 to 22), total net yards (391 to 336), net yards rushing (176 to 167), net yards passing (215 to 169), and time of possession (32:42 to 27:18). There was only one turnover in the game and it came on New York’s final possession. Both teams struggled on 3rd down, but the Cowboys converted on a key 4th-down conversion attempt in the 4th quarter.

The bulk of the 1st quarter was taken up by two Dallas drives and one by New York. The Cowboys ran five plays and punted on their initial possession. The Giants responded with an 11-play, 54-yard drive, but had a 47-yard field goal attempt blocked by Dallas. The Cowboys then drove 55 yards in 10 plays to set up a successful 26-yard field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the quarter.

New York tied the game up 3-3 on their second possession of the game, another time-consuming drive that picked up 51 yards in 14 plays and set up place kicker Graham Gano for a successful 42-yard field goal. Unfortunately for the Giants, running back Tony Pollard broke off a 46-yard run on the first play of the ensuing Cowboys’ possession. The defense held inside the red zone to force another field goal. Cowboys 6 – Giants 3.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the first half. The Giants could not pick up a first down and punted. The Cowboys picked up two first downs and punted. The Giants gained 33 yards, but turned the ball over on downs on 4th-and-10 at the Cowboys’ 47-yard line with eight seconds left. Dallas then attempted a 59-yard field that was no good.

The Giants received the ball to start the second half and proceeded to immediately tie the game up at 6-6 after driving 42 yards in 10 plays. Gano kicked a 51-yard field goal. After a three-and-out by the Cowboys, the Giants maintained momentum with their only touchdown drive of the night. On the sixth play of the 77-yard possession, running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 36-yard cutback run that gave New York a 13-6 advantage with 5:31 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Cowboys immediately responded with their first touchdown drive of the night, marching 75 yards in 9 plays with running back Ezekiel Elliott scoring from one yard out on 3rd-and-goal. The game was now tied at 13-13 near the end of the quarter.

New York reached midfield but was forced to punt. Starting at their own 11-yard line, Dallas began an 11-play, 89-yard drive that put them ahead for good. The key play was a 4-yard pass completion on 4th-and-4 from the Giants’ 41-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Cooper Rush found wide receiver CeeDee Lamb for the 1-yard score and a 20-13 advantage.

The Giants could not gain a first down and punted again. The Cowboys returned the kick 28 yards to the New York 35-yard line. They only needed nine yards to set up a successful 44-yard field goal. With just under six minutes to play, the Cowboys were up by 10 points, 23-13.

Aided by a face-mask penalty on the Cowboys, the Giants reached the Dallas 22-yard line before an intentional grounding penalty pushed New York back. Gano kicked a 51-yard field goal with 3:37 left, making the score 23-16.

The Cowboys gained one first down and punted. The Giants had the ball with 1:45 left on the clock, but they were starting from their own 9-yard line with no timeouts. On 2nd-and-15 from the 16-yard line, quarterback Daniel Jones’ pass for wide receiver David Sills was intercepted when Sills fell down. Making matters worse is that wide receiver Sterling Shepard appeared to suffer a serious, non-contact knee injury on this play. He had to be carted off the field. Rush then knelt on the ball to end the game.

Jones finished the night 2o-of-37 for 196 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Jones was sacked five times, officially hit 12 times, and was victimized by a number of dropped passes. No Giants’ player had more than 49 yards receiving. Barkley carried the ball 14 times for 81 yards and one score that gained almost half of his yardage total.

New York’s defense did not accrue a sack or turnover. The Dallas quarterback was only hit twice and the Giants only were credited with one tackle for a loss.

Video highlights are available on NFL.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Monday, the Giants activated DL Henry Mondeaux and CB Fabian Moreau from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CAaron Robinson (appendix), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), CB Justin Layne (concussion), and OLB Tomon Fox.

WR Sterling Shepard injured his left knee on last offensive play of the night for the Giants. He had to be carted off of the field.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Tuesday.

Sep 242022
 
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Brian Daboll, New York Giants (September 18, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
QB Tyrod Taylor (non-injury, personal); WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendix), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), and CB Justin Layne (concussion) did not practice on Saturday. Wan’Dale Robinson, Aaron Robinson, McCloud, and Lane have been officially ruled out of Monday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. Toney and Williams are “doubtful” and Taylor will be available.

When asked about Toney before practice, Head Coach Brian Daboll responded, “It’s his hamstring still. We’re just trying to do right by the player, and he didn’t do anything for walkthrough, so we downgraded him… He won’t practice today.”

OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) were limited in practice. Both are officially “questionable” for the game. “Improvement (by both),” said Daboll. “They’ve taken good steps. I think they are much better than they were the week before. Hopefully they’ll have a good day here, and we’re moving in the right direction with those guys.”

OC Jon Feliciano (shin), S Dane Belton (clavicle), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) fully practiced. All three are expected to play.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Saturday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Sunday. The Giants host the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

Sep 212022
 
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Adoree' Jackson, New York Giants (September 18, 2022)

Adoree’ Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday. In that 19-16 victory for the Giants, Gano was 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, including from distances of 31, 36, 51, and 56 yards. The 56-yarder ended up being the game-winning kick. It also tied the record for the second-longest field goal in team history. Sunday’s game was the fifth in which a Giants’ kicker had two 50+-yard field goals. Gano has four of them.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (maintenance day), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), and S Dane Belton (unknown) did not practice on Wednesday.

OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf) were limited in practice.

I’ll just start with Thibs (Thibodeaux) and Azeez,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “They’re getting close. They’re going to take some team reps today. So, I think they took a little bit last week, but they’re going to take more this week. They’re getting close, so we’ll see with them. I’d say they’re still day-to-day even though they’re on the close side. Leo’s rehabbing. Again, Leo’s a quick healer. He tells me he’s a quick healer. So, I’m not going to put it past Leo to be ready to go. Would it shock me either way? No. But he’ll stay in; he’ll get treatment today during practice, so you guys know. I that’s the best thing for him. And then ARob (Aaron Robinson) I think is really a wildcard. He’s getting better; he’s walking around. But I’d say I won’t know that, probably any of us won’t until the end of the week… (Wan’Dale is) getting better. Close. For this week, I’m not sure.”

I got really involved today, so I really was able to open it up and do some things,” said Thibodeaux after practice. “But today (I) had a lot of progress. Was able to open it up and do a lot of things. So yeah, today I’m definitely confident.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of offensive lineman K.C. McDermott. The 6’5”, 311-pound McDermott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent 2018 on Jacksonville’s Practice Squad and 2019 on Injured Reserve. McDermott split time between the Jaguars’ Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2020 and 2021. Jacksonville cut him in late August 2022. The Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad on September 12th.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Sep 192022
 
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Graham Gano, New York Giants (September 19, 2022)

Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN JAYLON SMITH…
According to press reports, the Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent inside linebacker Jaylon Smith to the team’s Practice Squad. Last season, the Giants signed Smith to the Practice Squad and then 53-man roster in December 2021. He ended up playing in the last four games of the season with two starts (60 percent of the defensive snaps in those games), finishing with 18 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense.

Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who cut him during his fifth season in October 2021. He then spent a month with the Packers before they cut him in early November 2021. Smith has played in 74 regular-season games with 58 starts. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 19-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available at Giants.com):

Q: I want to ask you about (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson). When you have a corner playing at the level he’s at, what does that do? How important is that for you guys’ defense?

A: It’s important. He’s really done a good job since we’ve been here. I think he’s bought into what we’re trying to do. I think he’s had a really good camp, and that’s led into a strong start to the season. I have a lot of confidence in him, and I’m glad he’s part of our team.

Q: And just specifically, the way you guys are going to play with so much pressure and so aggressive, you really can’t do that probably if your corners aren’t capable of f playing on an island. Like some systems, you maybe hide a corner; it feels like here you probably can’t.

A: I think (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) does a good job though of mixing up. There’s a variety of way to play to pressure, as I know Wink has talked to you about. You can bring only four guys and consider it a pressure and do different things on the back end in terms of your coverage systems. I think Wink does a good job of mixing that up, and Adoree’s been a very dependable player for us.

Q: I wanted to ask you about the start of the last two weeks. The offense has kind of gotten off to a slow start as compared to the second half of the games. What can you do to maybe expedite things a little bit, get them going on a faster tempo and being more productive as far as scoring opportunities?

A: That’s an important part of the game for us is trying to get off for a fast start. That doesn’t always happen. The last two games are the only two games to go by in terms of the regular season. So, we’ll continue to work at that and put together some good openers. It takes everybody – the coaching, the playing – everybody. And it’s something we’ll work on.

Q: Is it possible that you might consider like an up-tempo or a no huddle offense to kind of jump start things?

A: I think we go into the week and the game trying to put together the best plan we can. And I think the offensive coaches do a really good job. Again, we haven’t had the results that we’re hoping for, but I believe in the process and the preparation that those guys do. We’ll continue to try to do a better job at that.

Q: I know you’ve been talking about competition and that leading into playing time and the way players are used in the games since training camp. A lot of coaches talk about that, not a lot of coaches always follow through on that. It seems like they just throw everybody out there the way things were. A – do you think that players believed you before the season started, that that’s the way you were going to treat things? And two – is it difficult for the players to accept that kind of role?

A: I think those are two good questions; I think they’re best questions for those guys. All we try to do is the very best we can as a coaching staff; we have high standards in terms of going out there, preparing well, practicing well. Each week is a different week. I know we talked about this yesterday. The receivers, Slay (wide receiver Darius Slayton), he was active but had a few reps. Kenny (wide receiver Kenny Golladay) didn’t have a lot. And if you look at the defensive side, sometimes it’s planned. You know, (inside linebacker Austin) Calitro had five. In the previous week, he had 40-plus. So, we’ll try to do what we think is best for our football team. I think that’s the most important. I think you just are open and honest with the players of what their role is, what they need to do to improve and let those guys go out there and compete it off each week. Again, we’re kind of at the introductory stages of our program and what we’re trying to do, and I think competition is the best thing for everybody.

Q: When you make a decision when it pertains one of the highest paid players of the team, do you have to check above you to make that call? I’m talking about Kenny, obviously. Do you have to check with (general manager) Joe (Schoen) or (president and chief executive officer) John (Mara) and make sure that’s okay?

A: Joe and I collaborate on pretty much everything in our building. I bounce ideas off of him; he bounces ideas off of us. I think something we want to create is as competitive of a team as we can. And regardless of where you’re drafted, how you got here, how much money you make, we believe in everybody goes out there and competes, and we play the guys that earn the right to play that week.

Q: Any (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams update?

A: It’s his knee. But it’s better than it could be. So, he’s day-to-day. He said he feels a lot better than he did yesterday. He’s walking around, so we’ll just take it like we normally do with these things each day. So, hopefully he’s a fast healer.

Q: So that day-to-day means?

A: Day-to-day.

Q: Another defensive question for you, I guess two parts. What did you think of the way Dane Belton (safety) played, and how did his play allow you to do some different things defensively with (safety Xavier) McKinney and (safety Julian) Love?

A: It was good to have him out there. I thought he played fast. It was his first NFL play, and he recovered a fumble there on the kickoff. He’s been a guy, as a young player, that’s been right in the back hip of those guys when he was injured. You can tell his preparation paid off. Just like a lot of the guys, there’s certain things he can improve on, like all of us. I thought he played fast. It was good to have him out there in terms of the defensive packages. I think that’s something each week. You go into a game, offensively you look at things. What do you like to do? How do you like to match up? We certainly do that there, and Wink does a great job, along with the defensive staff, of figuring out what we need to do for that particular week. So, for this week, it was good relative to how Carolina played the weapons that they had and the matchups we thought were in favor of us if we played it a certain way.

Q: A bunch of your players in the locker room, and you said it before, they said one of the keys to this team is they’re not afraid of failure. I’m not 100 percent sure what that means, but are there examples of that that you coached in yesterday’s game that show us that you’re not afraid of failure?

A: Well, I think that you can get bogged down in this league pretty quick by making a mistake and letting it affect the next play. The other thing I think for play callers is you put together a plan you prepare during the week. You explain it to the players, and then when you get into that situation, I’ve been there before, (you think), ‘Oh boy, should I really call this?’ I think (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) – I think that was a great example at the end of the game there with the pass play that Mike called and put it in DJ’s (quarterback Daniel Jones) hands. I think we really had good communication from Mike to the quarterback. Again, that was discussed probably a couple plays before. He knew the play he wanted to go to. And then those two plays, back-to-back plays, where (safety) Tony Jefferson made the tackle on (Panthers running back) Christian McCaffrey. That was a great play; one of the plays of the game that allowed us to get to third-down and get that sack with Julian (Love). Pretty aggressive play calls, I’d say both on Mike’s end and on Wink’s end. So, again, I want them to be themselves, play fast, play free, move onto the next play. We all make mistakes. I’m probably the leader of that. Once you make them, don’t let it linger. Move onto the next play. The next step is the most important.

Q: Would an example of that (be) – tell me if I’m on that mark with this or not – about maybe not worrying about consequences and have the conviction. You call for (running back) Gary Brightwell, Mike makes that call. (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) is in the backfield. So, if Gary Brightwell drops the ball or gets stopped for no gain, it’s easy for me to come to you and say, ‘Just give it to Saquon.’ Isn’t that the easiest thing to do? Why do you give it to a guy that has one career rush? So, is that also like, ‘I’m not afraid to fail in that situation because I believe in this play?’

A: Yeah. I think – well again – our job as a coaching staff is to do the very best we can to prepare those guys and put plays in that we think are going to work. You’re never sitting up there at night drawing up a play going, ‘Boy, let’s call this play. We only got probably about a 10 percent chance to hit it.’ You spend a lot of time on it. Do they all work? Absolutely not. There’s been times where – let’s just call it a gadget-y play or a trick play or maybe something’s that a little bit unique that I’ve called – that it hasn’t worked. And you can’t worry about the criticism that you’re going to get with it if you believe in that play and you think that’s the right thing. And that happens quite a bit, but you have to, again, have conviction in it. That’s why you’re putting the play in or the defense in or the special teams play in, and you just don’t pick it out of a hat. You work at it. You evaluate it. You practice it. There’s been times where you think it’s going to work. You go out there and practice it a couple times during the week, and by Friday night or Friday after practice, you’re throwing it away. So, that’s the job of the coaching staff. That’s what we’ll always try to do here. And I’m pleased with how those guys prepare and the preparation that they put in, much like the players.

Q: How difficult is it as a play caller when you’re not having success with the run to stick with it in the second half, and how would you evaluate Saquon’s game yesterday? Obviously, it wasn’t the same numbers as the first game, but in many ways, it was still very effective.

A: That’s always a challenge. And again, I think it just depends on what you’re trying to get accomplished. Obviously, Saquon is a big part of what we do and what we want to do. And when you go into half and there’s eight carries for zero yards, I just put myself in Mike’s shoes. You’re going, ‘Oof. We’ve gotten zero yards on eight plays.’ But Saquon’s one of our best players, and again, the running game in this league is not always pretty. Maybe it’s two, maybe it’s zero, maybe they’re doing different things that they’re getting in the backfield and hitting us for a couple losses. But again, I think kind of how the game’s flowing, that dictates some of the things. We were in a close, contested back-and-forth game. The big thing for us, obviously, how that game was going, was let’s take care of the ball; let’s continue to feed 26 (Saquon Barkley). And a couple of those runs you saw later that got hit for a minus one, squirted around the corner off the edge for a big play. And then he had another one. So, he’s certainly a guy that’s important to our offense. And is it tough at times when you’re not gaining yards? Sure – I’d say particularly as the play-caller. But again, that falls back on your preparation plan and your commitment to the players, particularly your really good ones.

Q: How hard is it when Leo gets hurt? It seems like you just flipped the defense to a more nickel and dime package. I mean, how hard is that to do? You went with two linemen almost the rest of the way.

A: I think that just is a credit to the coaching staff. Again, being prepared for really (anything) – you’ve got to have contingency plans when things come up. Adjust, and communicate it on the sideline. That’s a strength, I’d say, of Wink’s and the defensive staff. I’d like to say that’s a strength of all our coaches. I have a lot of confidence in that regard, and on top of that, it’s the next-man-up mentality. So, every person on our roster is important from the practice squad players to the backups to the starters because you never really know during a game what you’re going to need. And that’s why their preparation throughout the week is really important in terms of being a pro, understanding the gameplan. And when they have an opportunity, like I’d just say say Ox (outside linebacker Oshane Ximines). We talked about him last week. He’s had his opportunities, and he’s made the most of them. He was the backup guy, and he was behind (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux and (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari), and all that guy did was work his tail off all offseason. And I think he’s reaping some of the stuff that he’s done. And that’s how you want all your players to be.

Q: I’m just going back to (a previous question) and what he asked about Golladay, the contract and everything. Have you felt the need or has John Mara asked you to ask about playing time for one of the higher-paid players on your roster? I know you did not bring him with you, he was here when you got here, but have you had that conversation with John at all?

A: I’d say this, Joe (Schoen) and I talk about a lot of things. Mr. Mara has been great in terms of Joe and I have handled a lot of the football things. Obviously, you’re going to have communication with your ownership group on a lot of different things, we certainly do. I think we have a good relationship in terms of communication. Again, whether it’s the highest-paid player, the lowest-paid player, the highest draft pick, an undrafted free agent – we’re going to go out there and let the guys compete it out. One week doesn’t necessarily mean this is what’s going to happen the next week. I think everybody understands what we are trying to do as an organization in terms of continuing to get better, competing for spots, working as hard as you can work. Again, I’ll just say (wide receiver) David Sills has done a good job. He’s done a good job and he’s earned some of his playing time and each week is a competition.

Q: I’m just curious, the way offense has evolved in this league – Is there really such a thing as a gimmick or gadget any more in offenses in the NFL? How have you adjusted to that idea of no play is too gimmicky or too cute with the way you guys want to run things?

A: I would say that if there’s a good play out there that we can research, it’s worth our time to research. Calling gadget-type plays, I think there’s a time and a place for them. It makes the defense defend the whole field, and I would say if I was down the street at a high school game and saw a good, cool-looking play, I would research it. There’s a lot of good coaches in this profession starting with little youngsters to high school to college to pros. The minute you think you have all the answers because you’re coaching in the National Football League, that’ll get you real quick. I think be open minded, do as much research as you can and if you think a play is going to give you an advantage regardless of special teams or offense or defense, you owe it to the players to do that research. And if you believe in it and you think it’s going to work, then you call it.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Gary Brightwell (Video)
  • S Julian Love (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM).

Sep 162022
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (September 11, 2022)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), and CB Nick McCloud (hamstring) did not practice on Friday. All three have been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), OL Devery Hamilton (illness), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) were limited in practice. Pinnock has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Thibodeaux and Ojulari are “doubtful” for the game. Toney is “questionable” and Hamilton is expected to play.

On Toney, Head Coach Brian Daboll said before practice, “He was added back to the injury report. We’ll see where he’s at today. He practiced (on Thursday), participated in some team periods. But his hamstring tightened up, so that’s why he’s back on the injury report… We’ll see (if he can play on Sunday). We’ll come out here today and see what he can do today and see where we’re at.”

OC Jon Feliciano (lower leg) and S Dane Belton (clavicle) fully practiced. Both are expected to play.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Saturday. The Giants host the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 142022
 
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Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones, New York Giants (September 11, 2022)

Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), CB Aaron Robinson (appendicitis), and CB Nick McCloud (hamstring) did not practice. Robinson underwent an appendectomy today and has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

OC Jon Feliciano (lower leg), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), and S Jason Pinnock (shoulder) were limited in practice on Wednesday.

S Dane Belton (clavicle) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The Giants signed offensive lineman K.C. McDermott to the Practice Squad. The 26-year old, 6’5”, 311-pound McDermott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent 2018 on Jacksonville’s Practice Squad and 2019 on Injured Reserve. McDermott split time between the Jaguars’ Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2020 and 2021. Jacksonville cut him in late August 2022. He has played in 16 regular-season games with one start at right guard.

SAQUON BARKLEY NAMED “NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
Running back Saquon Barkley has been named the “NFC Offensive player of the week for his performance against the Tennessee Titans in the Giants’ 21-20 victory in Week 1. Barkley rushed 18 times for 164 yards and one touchdown. He also caught six passes for 30 yards. Barkley’s successful 2-point conversion on a shovel pass from quarterback Daniel Jones put the team ahead for good with just over a minute to play.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

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

Sep 122022
 
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Justin Ellis and Austin Calitro, New York Giants (September 11, 2022)

Justin Ellis and Austin Calitro – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 12, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 21-20 victory over the Tennessee Titans (the VIDEO of the press conference is also available on YouTube):

Q: I’d like to talk about, if you will, the offensive line – especially in that second half. In particular, the rookie (Offensive Lineman) Joshua Ezeudu, who looked like he might have had some issues going on the first half. But the second half was phenomenal. A lot of key blocks. What did you see in this offensive line the second half? They seemed to really elevate you in the game.

A: Those guys played, I’d say they played smart, and they played tough. It wasn’t always perfect. There’s plays that we’d like to have back, I’m sure not just that position. Really every position. But they communicated well. They went against a good front; that front’s been good for a long time. And anytime that you’re playing with young guys – they’ve played football their entire life – but this regular season, the speed is a little bit different. The competition’s a little bit different. Sometimes that takes some time to get used to, not just from in game. Not just from in-game. Not just from first half to the second half, but really from game to game. So, I think Josh did some good things, and we’re looking for him to keep improving. And he’ll keep getting opportunities to do that. But he’s got the right mindset to work. And he’s got good people that are around him up front – veteran-wise.

Q: Your dance moves have been making its rounds around the internet. I was wondering A – what song was playing? And B – what was that like just for you to celebrate with your guys in that moment?

A: It was a Biggie song, and it was a good win. These guys worked hard. They were dancing before I got in there. So, I don’t know if I was really dancing very much if you want to call it that. But it’s good to celebrate with your guys. They put a lot of work (in). And again, credit to the guys that are out there playing. They had a lot of juice after that game, and rightfully so. They played a tough 60-minute game and had some good plays and had some bad plays that you had to bounce back from. They brought me in the circle there; I don’t think I’d call it dancing.

Q: The first one kind of goes with (the first question) on the offensive line. But more about (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley). What is it about this scheme that you and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) have created that really fits his skillset? Because it seemed it, I’m not exaggerating here, it seemed like he had more open space around him yesterday than he had maybe all last season combined. So, what is it about the way you guys have designed this that fits his skillset?

A: Well, he’s a really good player. I’ve said that since I got here and watched him take care of his business both on and off the field. And I don’t think there’s many runs that you – he looks good in a lot of different runs. And our job up front and on the perimeter is to get a hat on these guys, and it doesn’t have to be for a sustained amount of time usually because he is quick and explosive through the hole. But he ran hard like he has all camp. Mike and (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby (Johnson), (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Tony Sparano (Jr.), (Tight Ends Coach Andy Bischoff) Bisch, (Running Backs Coach) Deandre Smith – those guys work hard and try to come up and develop a run-scheme each week. And that’s different week to week based on who we play and matchups, and that’s what we need to be. And Saquon just has to trust the blocking and run the way he knows how to run.

Q: I don’t know if in all the craziness of the way the game ended, we’ve given enough credit to the defense – and especially the run defense – and the way that you guys held (Titans Running Back) Derrick Henry to I think it was 82 yards, four yards a carry with not a lot of guys who are Pro Bowlers on their resume on this defense. What about the job your defense did in kind of stepping up to that challenge?

A: I think they did a good job. There was times we played good complementary football, and there were times where one side kind of bailed out the other side and the kicking game. There’s a lot of stuff to improve on. Trust me, we’re working through that process right now and earlier today. But I thought obviously part of the plan was to go in there and to try to eliminate the big, big runs – the runs that I thought what the defense did was they did a really good job of stopping the run against a very talented player and good scheme. And then, they were hitting on a couple of those play-action passes, but there weren’t any that went 60, 70 over our head, easy ones. They got to line up and play again, and those were two of the keys to the game: Don’t lose your mind on some of those intermediate passes, just make sure you tackle them well because in years past sometimes that 20-yard cross breaks for 60 or a run by Henry breaks out for 50. I mean, he had a couple of them, and we ended up managing to not give him those 60-yarders. They played well. Two of the biggest plays of the game were those third down stops. It was third and short on the wildcat and then that sweep when they were pretty good heads-up plays by our defense. It gave us a chance to get the ball back.

Q: I want to dig a little deeper on the conversion. Obviously, the guts of it, it’s gotten a lot of attention. I’m curious though, did analytics play any factor in deciding to go for that? And the fact that you had three timeouts, did that make you more inclined to go for it because you know if you don’t get it, you at least have a chance to get the ball back?

A: I think analytics always plays a role in key decision makings. I know what we do is we talk about that during the week, myself and (Director of Football Operations & Innovation Ty Siam) Ty and (Offensive Assistant/Game Manager) Cade (Knox), two of the guys that run that department on gameday with myself. And we go through tons of different situations; I mean, there were times on fourth down when I was deciding whether or not to go for it, just thought at the point in the game, regardless of what it said, it was a wise thing to punt. It just felt comfortable. We had conversation with it; defense stopped them. I just felt that the momentum of the game and the way we were playing in the second half, if we got down there to score again, we were going to do that regardless. But you certainly take into factor the three timeouts; we would probably have had an on-side kick if we didn’t get it, bring the three timeouts and then have a really long field. But those are conversations that are happening during timeouts or in between series. But I lean heavily on those guys. One of them went to Cornell; another one went to Harvard. So, they’re pretty good guys to have.

Q: I want to follow up on (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney). You mentioned something about, ‘There’s only certain packages,’ and that’s why he only played seven snaps. So, the question I have: Is there only a limited knowledge of playbook with him that you can’t put him out there for 75 percent of the snaps like some of the other receivers? How does that disconnect happen with one of your more talented guys?

A: Kadarius is working his way back. Those are the plays. We had more than just seven plays for him, but they weren’t called. And we’ll see what happens this week. The guys that were out there, we have confidence in. We have confidence in Kadarius. I think, again, I’ve mentioned this before a couple of weeks ago with our receiver position: It’s a competitive situation. And they’ll be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. So, relative to inactives or playtime or amount of plays, everybody’s got to earn their role. One week it might be a whole game; one week it might be less. But Kadarius has done a good job of learning our stuff. I have no concerns about him knowing our information.

Q: If that field goal goes through, which obviously it could have, is your job harder or easier last night and today?

A: If they make the field goal?

Q: Yeah. If they make the field goal, it’s the same game. And they make the field goal, and you lose.

A: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about that one. It didn’t. So, I’ll try to answer your question. Certainly, you want to try to go out there and give yourself a chance to win. But the decision to go for two with a loss, I would feel the same way about it today as I did yesterday. The guys fought it out; they did a great job. And it’s a decision we felt right at that particular time. I still feel it was the right thing to do. But hindsight’s 20/20 in this business. Fortunately, field goal was missed.

Q: Let me phrase it another way – maybe a better way. You have to correct things no matter what today, right? No matter what.

A: A good amount of it today we got to correct.

Q: And is it healthier to correct coming off a rousing win or a debilitating loss?

A: Absolutely. Again, what I try to do is be as consistent as I can be for the coaching staff and have the coaches be as consistent as they can for the players and then the players be as consistent as they can for one another. So, regardless of the outcome of the game, you’re always coaching the things you need to coach. And when you win, it’s the players – you have their ear a little bit more because they’re happy that the won the game. And they should be. And at the same time, what I told them today is that if it didn’t go through, I don’t want you guys coming in with your heads held high. Put them down to the ground; you competed hard for 60-minutes. Things didn’t always go the way we wanted them to go, but I respect the way you competed and the resiliency you showed. That’s what we need every week. We have to be consistent with that regardless of the outcome. But certainly, it’s when you win, there’s a little bit more juice.

Q: I was wondering if you guys had any update on (Wide Receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) at this point?

A: Yeah. It’s a knee. He’s day-to-day.

Q: So, is it any possible long-term thing with him?

A: Day-to-day right now.

Q: And for you, when you went back and watched the tape, what stood out to you in a positive way? And what do you see now when you look at the team, and you saw it in a game, as sort of the identity of this team?

A: Well, I think we’re still forming that identity, but they showed really good competitive spirit and they showed really good resiliency throughout the game when things weren’t going the exact way we wanted them to go. They played for 60 minutes. They competed right until the end. And I appreciate this about the guys in the locker room. And that’s what they’ve done since they’ve been here. I know it’s not a game, but in everything weight, competitions, running, practices, two-minute drills, good-on-good stuff, they’re competing their tails off. And I really appreciate it about them. And they really worked hard during the week. And that’s why after a satisfying victory, you tip your hat to those guys. And you appreciate the effort and the hard work that they put in, but I told them today, ‘Our gas tank is empty right now. We’ve got to fill that up today all the way through the week. And we’re going to have to empty it again against a good opponent on Sunday.’

Q: I was just kind of talking about the product on the field. Do you view yourself as a team that’s going to be – I guess in today’s NFL it’s all relative – but a more run heavy team? Or anything like that?

A: No. For us, it’s week-to-week. Obviously, what are our strengths? What are the defensive strengths? And again, you adjust throughout the game, too, if one side or if one area of your game is working a little bit better. But you have to be able to do both in today’s game. Does one complement the other? I’m not sure. There’s games that I’ve been part of where we’ve run it a lot; there’s games where we’ve thrown it a lot. I think some of our fundamentals can improve. And that’s what we’re going to need to do.

Q: I’m just curious, we saw you right after last night, how the win has sunk in for you and how the last 18 to 20 hours have been like for you?

A: Well, it was good to share that moment with the players. And then you’re on a flight home. You’re watching the tape. I finished watching it this morning; there’s not a lot of sleep when you have road games or later road games. It’s standard operating procedure. What we’ve been doing up to this point is meeting as a staff for a few hours. I meet with (General Manager) Joe (Schoen). I meet with the players, and I do this media session and then really get going on Carolina here. So again, pleased with the result. But proud of what they’ve done up to this point relative to getting ready for that game. And now turning the page as quick as we can to go against Carolina.

Q: I wanted to ask you about (Outside Linebacker) Oshane Ximines. He’s a guy (that) things haven’t always gone well for him here his first three years, and I know you weren’t here, but he had to really fight to make this roster. He came up big for you guys yesterday. Can you just talk about what he’s done, even to make this team, and how he played yesterday?

A: Yeah, well he earned his spot. He had a good camp. I know that (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) and (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) the rest of the coaches have a lot of confidence in him on defense and when the other guys that we had at those spots couldn’t play, like I said the guys on the team are here for a reason. He’s been a great teammate. I think he’s gotten better and better each day. I love his personality. He’s a really good guy. And I think he’s improving every day as a player on our defense. And sometimes you just need a fresh start.

Q: Did you like the Gatorade bath?

A: I guess. I didn’t even feel it. I looked up at him and yeah, that was a cool thing that he did. Sometimes you just need a fresh start. I think that we have him a fresh start, and I think he made the most of it up to this point. He doesn’t say a whole lot, works really hard. I think he’s taking to the coaching and I’m glad he’s on our team.

Q: The missed extra point – was that a high snap or he didn’t have it?

A: It was a low snap that hit the ground and rolled under. (Punter) Jamie (Gillian) made a nice play, at least, saving the attempt to get it back.

Q: Have you gotten any texts today or phone calls or anything like that? I’m wondering is it hard to keep your head the same size today after a win like that?

A: Again, don’t take this the wrong way – I’m happy we won but it’s one game. If it was the other way around, it’s one game. We got to get ready to go on to the next week. It’s the first week of the regular season so we got a long way to go. You can watch the tape, there’s a lot of corrections that need to be made in this early part of the season and we got to be on top of it. That’s the mindset that we need to make. In terms of texts and phone calls – my wife was in Nashville, and she was with five of the kids, one of them is at Penn State working on the coaching staff, so he wasn’t there. Our youngest’s birthday was the 10th, the day before the game and our 19-year old’s birthday is today. She’s calling me a lot making sure I’m wishing happy birthdays. But yeah, I got a lot of friends that I grew up with, some family. That’s usually the way it is after most games. You win, you get more texts. You lose, you don’t get very many.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM).

Sep 112022
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 11, 2022)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 21 – TENNESSEE TITANS 20…
The New York Giants pulled off a stunning upset in their opening game of the 2022 NFL season by defeating the Tennessee Titans 21-20 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. The win was New York’s first victory in their opener since 2016.

The overall team stats were as even as the final score. Both teams picked 19 first downs. The Giants held a slight advantage in total net yards (394 to 359). However, the Giants dramatically out-rushed the Titans 238 yards to 93, while the Titans held a clear advantage in net passing yards (266 to 156). Both teams had issues with 3rd-down conversions (2-of-10 for the Giants and 3-of-11 for the Titans).

The first half was pretty much all Tennessee and the Giants were fortunate that the scored was only 13-0 at halftime. The Giants’ six first-half possessions only resulted 27 offensive snaps for 131 yards, seven first downs, four punts, one turnover off a fumble by quarterback Daniel Jones, and time expiring on the final drive.

Meanwhile, The Titans scored a touchdown on their first possession after a quick three-and-out by New York, followed by 46-yard punt return. It only took five plays for the Titans to easily move the remaining 45 yards as quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a 7-yard touchdown pass. The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out on Tennessee’s second possession, but the Titans did manage a 10-play, 65-yard drive and a 7-play, 37-yard drive that both resulted in field goals.

Tennessee received the ball to start the second half, but the New York defense forced a quick three-and-out. On the Giants’ first offensive snap of the second half, running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 68-yard run down the left sideline. After two carries for 13 yards by running back Matt Breida, Barkley ran four yards for the touchdown. However, the extra-point attempt failed. Titans 13 – Giants 6.

New York’s defense forced its second straight three-and-out of the half. After Barkley lost one yard, Jones threw a deep pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who broke a tackle and raced into the end zone, completing a 65-yard play. In a little over two minutes, the game was now tied at 13-13.

However, the Titans regained momentum on their third possession by driving 75 yards in nine plays. Tannehill threw a 23-yard touchdown to running back Dontrell Hilliard. Tennessee was now up 20-13 with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Both teams exchanged three-and-outs and punts. The Giants were forced to punt yet again, but immediately got the ball back when the Titans’ returner muffed the punt. Safety Jason Pinnock recovered the ball for New York at the Tennessee 11-yard line. This golden opportunity was lost when Jones threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted in the end zone on 3rd-and-7.

The Titans picked up one first down but were forced to punt with about five and a half minutes to play. On the ensuing possession, the Giants drove 73 yards in 12 plays. During this game-winning drive, Barkley broke off a 33-yard run, fortunately fumbling out-of-bounds. Four plays later, Jones picked up a first down on 4th-and-1 on a bootleg to the left. Barkley gained 14 yards on three straight runs and Jones then threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chris Myarick with 1:06 left on the clock. Eschewing the tie, Head Coach Brian Daboll went for the risky two-point conversion, knowing that if it failed, his team would lose. The play succeeded with a shovel pass to Barkley. Giants 21 – Titans 20.

The game was not over, however. Starting at their own 30-yard line, Tennessee converted on two 3rd-and-4 situations via defensive holding penalties to cross midfield with 23 seconds left. Apparent disaster struck when Tannehill then completed a 21-yard play to the New York 27-yard line with 18 seconds left. Tannehill lost two yards before spiking the ball to stop the clock with four seconds left.

The Giants escaped with the victory when Titans’ place kicker Randy Bullock missed the 47-yard game-winning attempt as time expired.

Jones finished the game 17-of-21 for 188 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Barkley carried the ball 18 times for 164 yards (9.1 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also was the team’s leading receiver with six catches for 30 yards.

Defensively, All-Star running back Derrick Henry was held to 82 yards on 21 carries (3.9 yards per carry). Linebacker Tomon Fox had the team’s only sack.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated OLB Quincy Roche and S Tony Jefferson from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), S Dane Belton (clavicle), HB Antonio Williams, WR Darius Slayton, OL Tyre Phillips, and CB Justin Layne.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) left the game in the first half and did not return. CB Nick McCloud (hamstring) left the game in the second half and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available at Giants.com:

GIANTS LOSE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TO CARDINALS…
On Saturday, the Arizona Cardinals signed offensive lineman Max Garcia off of the New York Giants’ Practice Squad. The Giants signed Garcia as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2022. The 6’4”, 309-pound Garcia was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Cardinals signed him as an unrestricted free agent in March 2019. Garcia has played in 93 regular-season games with 52 starts. In 2021, he started 11-of-15 games for the Cardinals.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday afternoon.

Sep 092022
 
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Kayvon Thibodeau, New York Giants (August 21, 2022)

Kayvon Thibodeau – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 9, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), and S Dane Belton (clavicle) were all limited in practice on Friday. Thibodeaux and Ojulari have been officially been designated as “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Belton is “questionable” while Shepard is expected to play.

Just need to see (Thibodeaux and Ojulari) be able to do the things they need to do without the pads on: the movement skills, the holding the edge,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before Friday’s practice.  “If we have to work them out before the game, we’ll work them out before the game if that’s something we need to do. But we’re going to give them as long as they can to see if they are ready to go… I think you’ve got to put the player’s health and safety first and foremost… So, if they’re ready to go, they’ll be ready. And if not, the other guys will.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New Orleans Saints have signed offensive guard Wyatt Davis off of the New York Giants’ Practice Squad. To fill that vacancy, the Giants signed offensive tackle Roy Mbaeteka to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Davis to the Practice Squad on September 1st. The 6’4”, 315-pound Davis was originally selected in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Davis spent time on both the 53-man roster (6 games with no starts) and Practice Squad as a rookie. The Vikings waived Davis in late August 2022.

The Giants signed Mbaeteka in April 2022 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program (IPP). The team waived him in late August. The 6’9”, 320-pound Mbaeteka is from Nigeria. He has no high school or collegiate experience playing football.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

GIANTS HUDDLE PODCAST WITH COORDINATORS…
Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka, Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale, and Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey were interviewed by John Schmeelk of Giants.com. The video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media to the team on Saturday as it travels to Tennessee in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Titans.