Aug 302022
 
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Quincy Roche, New York Giants (November 7, 2021)

Quincy Roche – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
As required by the NFL, he New York Giants reduced their roster to 53 players on Tuesday. The team cut the following players:

  • QB Davis Webb (contract terminated)
  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • WR C.J. Board (contract terminated)
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Jaylon Moore
  • TE Austin Allen
  • OL Jamil Douglas (contract terminated)
  • OL Garrett McGhin
  • OL Will Holden (contract terminated)
  • OL Roy Mbaeteka
  • DL Jalyn Holmes (contract terminated)
  • DL David Moa
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • LB Quincy Roche
  • CB Khalil Dorsey
  • CB Harrison Hand
  • CB Darren Evans
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • S Nate Meadors
  • S Trenton Thompson

RB Sandro Platzgummer also will remain exempt as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 and 2021 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. 

The roster clearly is not finalized. Head Coach Brian Daboll admitted some players will be moved to short-term Injured Reserve. “There’s probably a few,” said Daboll. “But we’ll get to that here. (I’ll) have a better answer for you tomorrow or the next day.”

GIANTS TEAM CAPTAINS SELECTED…
The players voted for the following team captains of the 2022 New York Giants:

  • Offense: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, and LT Andrew Thomas
  • Defense: S Xavier McKinney, DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love
  • Special Teams: LS Casey Kreiter, PK Graham Gano, LB Cam Brown, and S Julian Love

Love was voted for both defense and special teams.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1564730313053552641

AUGUST 30, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Daniel Bellinger (concussion), TE Chris Myarick (foot), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), OLB Elerson Smith (ankle/foot), and CB Rodarius Williams (unknown) did not practice.

When Head Coach Brian Daboll was asked if anyone but Lemieux would miss the opening game, he responded, “I’ll get that to you here in the next couple days.”

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday 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 Wednesday afternoon (1:30-3:30PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Dec 262021
 
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Clown World

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
There is bad. And then there is really, really, really awful. And that’s what the New York Football Giants were in their 34-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants utterly embarrassed themselves with their comically pathetic play in a game that was often painful to watch because of the ineptitude of both teams. New York is now 4-11 on the season and getting worse with each passing week. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the franchise has no idea what they are doing. Welcome to Clown World.

Officially, the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention.

The Giants started Jake Fromm at quarterback. A few weeks ago, he was on the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills. Now we know why. Behind a poor offensive line, Fromm struggled with his decision-making and accuracy. He finished the game 6-of-17 for 25 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He was also sacked twice.

The Giants had six offensive possessions in the first half, including two that started with outstanding field position at their own 41 and 49 yard lines. Five of these resulted in a total of three first downs and five punts. Their only scoring drive came at the of the 1st quarter and beginning of the 2nd quarter when the Giants “drove” 39 yards in 11 plays. This resulted in a 54-yard field goal and their only lead of the game, 3-0.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia struggled on offense in the first half as well. Poor offensive execution by the Eagles and solid first-half defense by the Giants resulted in only two first downs and four straight punts by Philadelphia to start the game. The Eagles began moving the ball in the 2nd quarter. One 9-play, 53-yard drive ended with a missed 41-yard field goal. That was followed up by a 7-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a successful 22-yard field goal at the 2-minute warning.

At the break, the game was tied 3-3.

The roof collapsed in the 3rd and early 4th quarters. What had been an ugly 3-3 game quickly turned into a 34-3 embarrassment for the Giants. Counting their field goal in the first half, the Eagles scored 34 unanswered points. At one point in the 3rd quarter, the Giants had more punts (8) than first downs (7) in the game.

Fromm was benched in the 3rd quarter after two more possessions, the first ending with a bad interception . He was replaced by Mike Glennon, who was benched by the team this week after his dreadful performance against Dallas Cowboys and his 0-3 record as a starter in place of the injured Daniel Jones. Glennon wasn’t much better. His first two drives resulted in one first and two punts. He then threw an interceptions that was returned returned 29 yards for a touchdown and the 34-3 advantage.

The combination of incredibly poor offense, highlighted by two terrible interceptions, and atrocious punting by Riley Dixon helped to cause the defensive collapse. Fromm’s interception put the ball on the New York 21-yard line to start the 3rd quarter. Five plays later, the Eagles scored a touchdown that made the game 10-3.

After another three-and-out with Fromm at the helm, Dixon’s poor punt traveled just 33 yards and was returned 39 yards to the New York 21-yard line again. Four plays later, the Eagles settled for a 37-yard field goal. 13-3.

In came Glennon. Three-and-out. A 31-yard punt by Dixon set up the Eagles at their 43-yard line. Five plays later, quarterback Jalen Hurts threw a 4-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal. 20-3.

Glennon picked up one first down and the Giants punted again. This time only 36 yards by Dixon. The defense had largely given up by this point as Philadelphia drove 75 yards in 10 plays to take a 27-3 lead on Hurts’ touchdown pass to a wide-open offensive lineman. Then came the pick-6 making it 34-3 with about 10 minutes left in the game.

Glennon “led” the Giants on a garbage-time, 17-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:29 off of the clock and ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Engram. The onside kick failed. Each team had the ball once more in the final four minutes, but neither scored.

Offensively, the Giants finished with 15 first downs, seven of which came after the score was 34-3. 102 yards of the team’s 192 yards came on these last two meaningless drives as well. In other words, the Giants had 90 yards of offense before the score was 34-3. Glennon finished 17-of-27 for 93 yards, one touchdown, and a pick-6. No receiving target had more than four catches of 28 yards. Running Back Saquon Barkley carried the ball 15 times for 32 yards (2.1 yards per carry average).

Defensively, while New York started strong, they weakened as the game progressed. The Giants only gave up 17 first downs, but they missed chances at a number of turnovers and did allow 324 yards of offense and three second-half touchdowns.

On special teams, Dixon was dreadful.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated LB Cam Brown and CB Aaron Robinson from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to the 53-man roster. The team also activated S Natrell Jamerson from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to the Practice Squad.

NT Danny Shelton and OT Nate Solder were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

In addition, the team activated WR David Sills, OL Isaiah Wilson, DL David Moa, and CB Darqueze Dennard from the Practice Squad as COVID-19 replacements.

The Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of LB Omari Cobb.

Missing the game due to COVID-19 were WR John Ross, OT Nate Solder, NT Danny Shelton, CB Adoree’ Jackson, and CB Keion Crossen.

Inactive for the game were RB Gary Brightwell (neck), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), OG Ben Bredeson (ankle), and LB Oshane Ximines.

RT Matt Peart left the game with a left knee injury in the first half and did not return. FB Cullen Gillaspia and CB Jarren Williams also left the game in the second half with undisclosed injuries.

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

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Jake Fromm (Video)
  • QB Mike Glennon (Video)
  • RB Devontae Booker (Video)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (Video)
  • S Julian Love (Video)

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

Dec 152021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (December 5, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 15, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), OG Ben Bredeson (ankle), NT Austin Johnson (foot), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad), and PK Graham Gano (illness).

Not on the official injury list, but also not practicing due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List were WR Kadarius Toney, WR John Ross, LB Cam Brown, LB Oshane Ximines, CB Aaron Robinson, and S Xavier McKinney.

Limited in practice were QB Daniel Jones (neck), LT Andrew Thomas (ankle) and DE Leonard Williams (triceps). The Giants have already announced that Jones will not play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Really status quo right now (with Jones),” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Still hasn’t been cleared for contact. Talked to the doctors. I don’t have an immediate answer in terms of when that will change. He’s going to continue to practice with us, stay on the field, work on his conditioning. He’s in the training room, he’s in the meetings with all his teammates, but there’s no change of status right now.”

ROSTER MOVES…
On Monday, the Giants placed WR Kadarius Toney on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Toney previously spent a week on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in late July. On Wednesday, the team also placed WR John Ross, LB Cam Brown, LB Oshane Ximines, CB Aaron Robinson, and S Xavier McKinney. All of these players tested positive, except for McKinney who was designated a high-risk close contact.

Meanwhile, OG/OC Wes Martin, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List last week, is rejoining the team. He should officially be added to the 53-man roster shortly.

The Giants have re-signed DE Woodrow Hamilton to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of QB Clayton Thorson.

The 6’3”, 315-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2016), New Orleans Saints (2017-2018), Giants (2018), Carolina Panthers (2019-2020), and Tennessee Titans (2021). The Titans waived him in October 2021. The Giants then signed him to the Practice Squad for a week in late October. Hamilton has played in nine regular-season games with one start.

Thorson was signed to the team’s Practice Squad for the second time this season last week.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators, position coaches, and select players will also address the media.

Oct 172021
 
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LOS ANGELES RAMS 38 – NEW YORK GIANTS 11…
The uncompetitive New York Giants got their collective asses handed to them by the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, losing 38-11 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fall to 1-5 on the season.

The Giants actually led 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, but the Rams scored 38 unanswered points, including four touchdowns in the 2nd quarter alone. New York’s lone touchdown (and 2-point conversion) came in garbage time in the 4th quarter.

Quarterback Daniel Jones turned the football over four times, including three interceptions and one fumble. Overall, the Rams won the turnover battle four to two and out-gained the Giants in first downs (22 to 21), total net yards (365 to 261), net yards rushing (131 to 60), net yards passing (234 to 201), and time of possession (32:22 to 27:38).

Offensively, besides the four turnovers, Jones completed 29-of-51 passes for 242 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked four times and under pressure much of the game. Running back Devontae Booker was the team’s leading rusher with just 41 yards on 12 carries. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught 10 passes for just 76 yards and caused one of the interceptions by falling down on his route.

The defense allowed quarterback Matthew Stafford to complete 22-of-28 passes for 251 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. The other interception was thrown by the back-up quarterback, John Wolford, in garbage time. For the sixth game in a row, the defense surrendered a touchdown right before halftime.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated LB Cam Brown from Injured Reserve to the 53-man roster.

The Giants also elevated WR Dante Pettis and OT Korey Cunningham to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), OG Ben Bredeson (hand), LB Quincy Roche, and CB Josh Jackson.

WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), LT Andrew Thomas (ankle), and WR C.J. Board (broken forearm) all suffered first-half injuries and did not return. NT Danny Shelton (pectoral) left the game in the second half and did not return. OT Nate Solder (finger) was also injured, but returned to the game.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first 38-11 game in NFL history.

The Giants did not score a touchdown in the first three quarters for the second straight home game.

The Rams scored 28 points in the second quarter, the largest one-quarter outburst by a Giants opponent since December 19, 2010, when the Philadelphia Eagles scored 28 in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium.

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

Oct 132021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (October 10, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 13, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were QB Daniel Jones (concussion), RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), OT Andrew Thomas (foot), OG/OC Matt Skura (knee), and CB Rodarius Williams (knee).

Limited in practice were WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), OG Ben Bredeson (hand), S Logan Ryan (hip), S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), and S Nate Ebner (quad). 

LB Cam Brown (hamstring), who has been on Injured Reserve since September 25th, has been designated for return and returned to practice.

ROSTER MOVES…
The Giants have signed offensive tackle Devery Hamilton to the Practice Squad. The 6’6”, 311-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him from their Practice Squad in September.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Sep 262021
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 26, 2021)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA FALCONS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New York Giants 17-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Atlanta secured the game on a 40-yard field goal as time expired. The Giants are now 0-3 on the season, and have lost two games in a row on a walk-off, game-winning field goal by the opponent.

At halftime, former Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning had his #10 jersey retired and was inducted into the team’s “Ring of Honor.”

The Giants out-gained the Falcons in first downs (21 to 18), total net yards (346 to 296), net yards rushing (100 to 69), net yards passing (246 to 227), and time of possession (31:51 to 28:09). The turnover battle was tied with each team losing a fumble that did not lead to points. The Giants were flagged eight times for 53 yards in penalties, however.

The Giants’ defense played well for most of the contest except for the now predictable late collapses at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. The Falcons had six possessions in the first half, with the first four resulting in a total of four first downs and four punts. However, their fifth drive started with 2:09 left in the first half, and the Falcons were able to drive 44 yards in six plays and 36 seconds to score a go-ahead touchdown. The Falcons got the ball one more time before intermission after a turnover, but the Giants defense forced a turnover of its own when linebacker Azeez Ojulari sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble that linebacker Lorenzo Carter recovered.

Not counting the kneel down at the end of the first half, the Giants had five first-half possessions of their own. Two were very long drives. The Giants’ first possession of the game picked up 73 yards on 11 plays; the Giants’ third possession gained 73 yards on 15 plays. The problem was New York settled for two short field goals with both possessions stalling inside the red zone. This gave the Giants a 6-0 lead that they held until the Falcons scored a touchdown late in the half. Then tight end Evan Engram fumbled the ball away at the New York 38-yard line after a 13-yard catch late in the half.

At the break, the Falcons led 7-6.

Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter with both teams punting twice. However, late in this quarter, the Giants did begin a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown by running back Saquon Barkley from one yard out. Quarterback Daniel Jones then ran for a score on the 2-point conversion and the Giants were up 14-7 with just under 13 minutes to play in the game.

Unfortunately, the New York defense could not hold the lead and immediately gave up a 15-play, 72-yard drive to the Falcons that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14 with just over four minutes to play.

With the game on the line, the New York offense picked up two first downs, but stalled at mid-field when Jones was sacked for nine yards on 2nd-and-10. With less than two minutes to play, the Giants punted the ball back to Atlanta.

The result was predictable. Starting at their own 20-yard line, Atlanta easily drove into field goal range with pass completions of 28 and 25 yards on two of their first three plays. The Falcons gained three more yards before kicking the game-winning, 40-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

Jones completed 24-of-35 passes for 266 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also ran the ball eight times for 39 yards and was sacked twice. His leading receiver was Barkley, who caught six passes for 43 yards. Wide receiver Collin Johnson caught five passes for 51 yards and wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught four passes for 64 yards. Barkley carried the ball 16 times for just 51 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Falcons were held to 296 total yards and 69 yards rushing. Defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Leonard Williams each had sacks in addition to Ojulari, who forced the fumble that Carter recovered.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

Video of quarterback Eli Manning’s #10 jersey retirement and “Ring of Honor” induction at halftime is also available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants signed WR C.J. Board and OC Jonotthan Harrison to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The team also placed LB Cam Brown (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.

Inactive for the game were RB Devontae Booker, LB Justin Hilliard, CB Sam Beal, CB Josh Jackson, and Nate Ebner (quad).

LB Blake Martinez (knee), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and WR Darius Slayton (hamstring) all left the game in the first half with injuries and did not return.

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

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

Feb 052021
 
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Riley Dixon and Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Riley Dixon and Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

It is exceptionally rare for a special teams coach to become an NFL head coach. So when John Mara hired Joe Judge as the next head coach of the New York Giants, it shocked many in the media and fanbase. However, Judge quickly won over many with his fiery inaugural press conference and the composition of his coaching staff. That initial luster began to dim after an 0-5 start, culminating with a Dallas Cowboys come-from-behind victory.

Judge and the Giants began turning it around in mid-October. Their first victory came against Washington, and was followed by two very close, heart-breaking losses to the Eagles and Buccaneers in games where the Giants also held 4th-quarter leads. Then came the high-point of the season, a 4-game winning streak against Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Seattle. The Giants were 5-7 and remarkably still very much alive for the division title. Judge began receiving praise from all quarters.

The emotional high of soundly defeating the Seahawks was immediately dampened by a 3-game losing streak against clearly better teams. At 5-10, the Giants needed to beat the Cowboys and pray that the Eagles would upset Washington. The Giants accomplished the former, but the Eagles laid down like dogs against Washington and the 6-10 Giants missed the playoffs.

Through all of this, the irony is that the New York Giants special teams did not improve under Judge. To be fair, the special teams unit under Thomas McGaughey had actually been the strength of the team in recent years. Judge smartly decided to retain McGaughey. The team was also left scrambling when 2018 Pro Bowl/All-Pro place kicker Aldrick Rosas was cut in July after a hit-and-run arrest. The Giants decided to sign 32-year old Graham Gano who had missed 2019 with a knee injury. Unexpectedly, Gano ended up having one of the greatest seasons in franchise history as a kicker.

Overall, the Giants special teams played decently during the first half of the season, and there was a feeling that Judge, McGaughey, and the special teams unit were improving and building to a stronger second half. The reverse occurred. Against the Bengals, the Giants allowed a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 29-yard punt return that almost cost them the game, and a fake punt conversion for a 1st down. Seattle blocked a Riley Dixon punt for a safety and Gano missed his first extra point of the season. Against Arizona, Dion Lewis fumbled away a kickoff return that set up a touchdown. Judge decided to run an odd fake field goal attempt against the Browns that failed miserably when the score was still 0-0. The Ravens hurt the Giants with both punt and kickoff returns.

Statistically, the Giants finished:

  • Field Goal Percentage: 3rd (up from 30th in 2019)
  • Kickoff Returns: 16th (down from 10th in 2019)
  • Punt Returns: 6th (down from 3rd in 2019)
  • Kickoff Coverage: 16th (down from 1st in 2019)
  • Punting: 26th (down from 23rd in 2019)
  • Punt Coverage: 21st (down from 6th in 2019)

As you can see, other than field goal percentage, the Giants were down in every other special teams category. The team was significantly worse in kickoff and punt coverage. The Giants never really replaced Cody Core, their extraordinary punt/kick coverage specialist who tore his Achilles’ tendon in training camp.

The star of the entire unit was clearly Gano. He only missed one field goal all season and was 5-of-6 from 50+ yards.

KICKERS

The Giants signed Graham Gano in August 2020. Gano had a superlative season for the Giants in 2020, converting on 31-of-32 field goal attempts (96.9 percent – second highest in team history) and 21-of-23 extra point attempts (91.3 percent). He was 5-of-6 from 50+ yards out (single-season franchise record), with a long of 55 yards. Gano converted on 30 consecutive field goals, which also was a franchise record. Thirty of his 73 kickoffs (41 percent) resulted in touchbacks. Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020. Gano made the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Punter Riley Dixon saw his gross (44.8 yards per punt) and net (38.8 net yards per punt) fall in 2020, with 28 of his punts being downed inside the 20-yard line and one blocked. The 6’5”, 226-pound Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He was named to the All-Rookie team. The Giants traded with the Broncos for Dixon in April 2018, giving the Broncos a conditional 7th-round draft pick.

Ryan Santoso spent 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad after the team signed him in early September. Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

LONG SNAPPERS

The Giants signed long snapper Casey Kreiter as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April 2020. The 6’1”, 250-pound Kreiter was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. After spending two camps with the Cowboys, Kreiter made the Denver Broncos in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl for his performance in 2018.

The Giants signed long snapper Carson Tinker in early September 2020. He spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 237-pound Tinker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in 69 regular-season games for the Jaguars from 2013-2018. The Jaguars cut him in March 2019 and he did not play that year.

RETURNERS

The Giants did not return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown. The leading punt returner was Jabrill Peppers, who only returned 15 punts all season, but who averaged a very respectable 12.5 yards per return and came close to breaking a couple. His long return was 20 yards. On the flip side, some of his decision-making on when and when not to field a punt was questionable.

Dion Lewis did not impress on his 24 kickoff returns, fumbling three (two of which he lost). He averaged 22.4 yards per return with a long return of 48 yards. Corey Ballentine also returned nine kickoffs before he was cut.

LEADING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS SNAP COUNT PERCENTAGE

  • S Nate Ebner: 74.27%
  • LB Cam Brown: 70.87%
  • FB Eli Penny: 59.47%
  • LB Devante Downs: 57.77%
  • LB David Mayo: 46.36%
  • S/CB Julian Love: 42.96%
  • CB Corey Ballentine: 34.47%
  • TE Levine Toilolo: 34.22%
  • DL Dexter Lawrence: 33.74%
  • LB Carter Coughlin: 33.50%

Nate Ebner had a quiet year despite playing 3/4ths off all special team snaps. The Giants signed him as an unrestricted free agent from the New England Patriots in March 2020 to a 1-year, $2 million contract strictly to be a special teams stud. The leading special teams tacklers were David Mayo (8), Eli Penny (7), Cam Brown (6), and Devante Downs (6).

Feb 012021
 
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Blake Martinez, New York Giants (September 27, 2020)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

As we covered in our defensive line review, the New York Giants defense significantly improved from 25th in 2019 to 12th in 2020 in terms of yards allowed. It was a remarkable achievement given the year-long personnel changes in the back seven on defense. There were no adjustments on the defensive line. The same three starters and two back-ups played in every game. The same could not be said for the linebackers and defensive backs.

In today’s 3-4 defenses, the outside linebackers are more of a hybrid linebacker/defensive end, increasingly commonly referred to as “edge” players. The two Giants who won the starting edge jobs (Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines) were both lost for the season in early October with 3/4ths of the season left to play. Their primary back-up (Markus Golden) was traded to the Cardinals a few weeks later with half the season left to play. The next man up (OLB/ILB hybrid Kyler Fackrell) missed four games due to a calf injury. The Giants were forced to rely on three rookies (7th rounder Carter Coughlin, 6th rounder Cam Brown, and undrafted free agent Niko Lalos) and two retreads (Jabaal Sheard and Trent Harris).

There was chaos too at one of the inside linebacker spots. Devonta Downs started the season but was unimpressive and lost his job to rookie Tae Crowder, the very last player taken in the draft. But after starting two games, Crowder landed on Injured Reserve with a groin injury for five games. Downs was reinserted into the starting line-up, but now David Mayo, who missed the first five games of the season with a knee injury, also saw increased playing time and two starts. Crowder returned in late November and reclaimed the starting job.

Whew. Just typing that was confusing. The only constants were free agent godsend Blake Martinez and the coaching staff.

Martinez was the glue that held the defense together. He directed the defense, played virtually every defensive snap (97 percent), and was a tackling machine (team-high 151 tackles). Long story short, Martinez is the best inside linebacker the Giants have had since Antonio Pierce was cut a decade ago.

Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer and Outside Linebackers Coach Bret Bielema did a marvelous job of mixing and matching on a week-to-week basis. Look no further than the edge position where the Giants were left scrambling. At one point, the available players to use were Sheard, Coughlin, Brown, and Lalos. Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham, who coached linebackers with the Patriots and Packers, also employed defensive backs at linebacker in various packages. But there was a bit of chaos even in the coaching ranks when Bielema left the Giants with three games left to play to become head coach at the University of Illinois. Sherrer then handled both positions.

Aside from Martinez, what really stands out is that all four of the team’s late-round draft picks at linebacker made the team in addition to a rookie free agent. All five of these rookies played. The Giants were hammered by injuries at the outside linebacker position – down to their 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th options – and yet the coaching staff held the unit together. The biggest negative was the lack of pass rush, particularly from the edge spots. Of the team’s 40 sacks, 13.5 came from the linebackers (and four of them were from inside backers Martinez and Crowder). Fackrell led the linebacking corps with just four sacks.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

The Giants signed Blake Martinez as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers in March 2020. He had a major impact on the defense, starting all 16 games and playing in 97 percent of all defensive snaps. Martinez finished the season with a team-high 151 tackles and also accrued nine tackles for losses, three sacks, six quarterback hits, five pass defenses, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The 6’2”, 237-pound Martinez was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Packers. In four seasons with Green Bay, Martinez has played in 61 regular-season games with 57 starts, accruing 512 tackles and 10 sacks. Martinez lacks ideal size and range for the position, but he is a heady player who can make the defensive calls and gets in on lot of tackles. He is better against the run than the pass.

The Giants selected Tae Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He surprisingly moved into the starting line-up in Week 5 and 6 before suffering a groin injury that landed him on Injured Reserve for five games. Crowder returned in late November, starting four of his final six games. In all, Crowder played in 11 games with six starts (37 percent of all defensive snaps), and was credited with 57 tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack, three quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery that he returned for a game-winning touchdown. The 6’3”, 235-pound Crowder was moved from running back to linebacker in college and thus is still learning the position. Only a 1-year starter in college. While Crowder lacks ideal size, he is a good athlete and seems to have good instincts for the position. He must improve his tackling consistency.

Devante Downs began the season as a starter, but saw his playing time give way to Tae Crowder. Downs played in all 16 games with eight starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 33 tackles, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived him in late September 2019 and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad and 53-man roster in October 2019. Downs played in seven games for the Giants in 2019 on special teams. Downs has good size, but he did not impress against the run or pass in 2020 despite his eight starts.

The Giants placed David Mayo on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. He was activated from Injured Reserve in mid-October. Mayo ended up playing in 11 games with two starts (18 percent of all defensive snaps). He was credited with 29 tackles, two tackles for losses, and one forced fumble. The Giants signed Mayo in September 2019 after he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers. He surprisingly ended up playing in all 16 games with 13 starts, playing in 57 percent of all defensive snaps, and finishing with 82 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 pass defenses. The 6’2”, 240-pound Mayo was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. After four seasons in Carolina, Mayo signed with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2019. Before coming to the Giants, Mayo only had started four NFL games in four seasons. Mayo lacks ideal tools which limits his ability defend the run and cover receivers, but he plays hard.

The Giants selected T.J. Brunson in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brunson spent most of the season on the inactive list, but he did play in five games, almost exclusively on special teams. He was credited with three tackles. The 6’1”, 230-pound Brunson is an undersized inside linebacker with decent but not ideal athleticism. He is very physical and aggressive.

EDGE

The Giants placed Lorenzo Carter on Injured Reserve with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon that he suffered in Week 5 in October 2020. He underwent surgery and missed the rest of the season after starting all five games and finishing with 14 tackles and one sack. The Giants drafted Carter in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Carter played in 15 games as a rookie with two starts, finishing the season with 43 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 pass defenses. In 2019, Carter started 12 of the 15 games he played in, finishing the year with 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 pass defenses, and 1 forced fumble. Carter is a tall, athletic, disruptive forward mover. Carter looks the part, combining good size (6’5”, 255 pounds) and overall athletic ability. He flashes the ability to disrupt, but must do a better job of disengaging from blockers and making more plays. Versatile, he can play with his hand in the dirt.

Oshane Ximines was placed on Injured Reserve in early October 2020 with a shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 4. He returned to practice in late November, but his season ended when it was determined he would need rotator cuff surgery. Ximines started three of the four games he played in and finished the season with just four tackles. The Giants drafted Ximines in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He played at end in college. Ximines had a mixed performance in his rookie season in 2019. He received significant playing time, playing in all 16 games with two starts, playing in 45 percent of all defensive snaps, and accruing 25 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one pass defense. Ximines has a nice combination of size (6’4”, 254 pounds) and overall athletic-ability. Ximines flashed at times as a pass rusher, but he must become a more physical run defender and more consistent, dynamic performer when rushing the passer. He also needs work in coverage.

2020 was an odd year for Markus Golden. Coming off of a superlative debut season for the Giants as a 1-year free agent rental in 2019 (career-high 72 tackles and team-high 10 sacks), Golden did not receive much interest in 2020 free agency. He re-signed with the Giants very late in the offseason in early August, but did not regain his starting position when the season started. The Giants then traded him to the Cardinals in late October. Golden ended up having a much bigger impact with the Cardinals than the Giants in 2020. With the Giants, he played in seven games with one start (16 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished with just 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Golden was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. After rejoining the Cardinals, Golden started the final eight games, including a 1-sack, 1-fumble recovery performance against the Giants in Week 14. 

The Giants placed Kyler Fackrell on Injured Reserve in early December 2020 with a calf injury and activated him to the 53-man roster in early January 2021. In all, Fackrell played in 12 games with nine starts. He played in 56 percent of all defensive snaps and finished the season with 34 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, one interception that he returned for a touchdown, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 245-pound Fackrell was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. In four seasons with Green Bay, Fackrell played in 61 regular-season games with nine starts, compiling 111 tackles, 16.5 sacks, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Fackrell’s best season was in 2018 when he started seven games and accrued 42 tackles and 10.5 sacks. The Giants signed Fackrell an unrestricted free agent from the Packers in March 2020. Although not a dynamic athlete, Fackrell is a big, versatile linebacker who can play outside or inside linebacker. He flashes as a pass rusher.

The Giants signed Jabaal Sheard off of the Practice Squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars in October 2020. He ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with three starts (24 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished with 19 tackles, two tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The 6’3”, 268-pound Sheard was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2011-2014), New England Patriots (2015-2016), Indianapolis Colts (2017-2019), and Jaguars (2020). Sheard has played in 144 regular-season games with 106 starts. While not a dynamic performer, Sheard is a steady, veteran presence who is solid against the run and will occasionally make some noise as a pass rusher.

The Giants selected Carter Coughlin in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 14 games as a rookie with two starts (18 percent of all defensive snaps). Coughlin finished the season with 17 tackles, two tackles for losses, one sack, and two quarterback hits. The 6’3”, 236-pound Coughlin is not a top athlete, but he is a tough, competitive, and reliable linebacker who plays hard.

The Giants selected Cam Brown in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games as a rookie with no starts (8 percent of all defensive snaps). Brown finished the year with 12 tackles, three quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 233-pound Brown is a tall and lanky outside backer with long arms and decent speed. His size and solid athletic ability assist him coverage but he needs to improve his run defense at the point-of-attack and overall tackling consistency.

The Giants signed Niko Lalos as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Lalos spent most of the season on the Practice Squad but was elevated to the 53-man roster in December. He played in six games with no starts as a rookie (7 percent of all defensive snaps). Lalos finished the season with six tackles, one interception, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’5”, 270-pound Lalos played defensive end in college but was moved to the outside linebacker position by the Giants. He has good size for the position, but is not a dynamic athlete. Over-achiever who plays hard.

The Giants signed Trent Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020; he was re-signed to the Practice Squad in December after playing in four games with two starts (6 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished they year with five tackles and 0.5 sacks. The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020.

Jul 282020
 
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Shakial Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (October 20, 2019)

Shakial Taylor – © USA TODAY Sports

ALL OF NEW YORK GIANTS 2020 NFL DRAFT CLASS SIGNED…
The New York Giants announced late yesterday that all 10 of their 2020 NFL Draft picks have officially signed. This includes offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (1st round), safety Xavier McKinney (2nd round), offensive tackle Matt Peart (3rd round), cornerback Darnay Holmes (4th round), offensive guard Shane Lemieux (5th round), linebacker Cam Brown (6th round), linebacker Carter Coughlin (7th round), linebacker T.J. Brunson (7th round), defensive back Chris Williamson (7th round), and linebacker Tae Crowder (7th round).

ROSTER MOVES – GIANTS CLAIM CORNERBACK SHAKIAL TAYLOR…
The New York Giants have claimed defensive back Shakial Taylor off of waivers from the Denver Broncos. The 23-year old, 6’0”, 181-pound Taylor was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2019 NFL Draft. He was then claimed off of waivers by the Broncos in November 2019. Taylor played in five games and accrued seven tackles and one pass defense as a rookie.

The Giants have also waived undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Malcolm Elmore, who failed his physical due to a non-football injury.

Wide receiver David Sills was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, which means he either tested positive for the virus or came into contact with someone who did. While he remains on the list, Sill does not count against the team’s 90-man roster limit. The 6’3”, 211-pound Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Sills to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. The Giants then signed him to the 53-man roster in mid-December. He did not play in a game however.

Quarterback Alex Tanney was placed on the Non-Football Illness List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. The 6’4”, 220-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). He surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game.

Linebacker Tae Crowder was placed on the Non-Football Injury List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants selected Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

In other moves, the team officially announced that they have waived place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The signing of international player running back Sandro Platzgummer also became official.

GIANTS DECIDE TO GO SPLIT-SQUAD ROUTE…
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, NFL teams had to decide whether they wanted to reduce their training camp rosters on July 28 or August 16. The Giants have chosen the latter. But in doing so, the team must be split into (1) veteran and (2) rookies/first-year players/rehabbing players/select quarterbacks contingents until August 16. Teams will be allowed to begin practicing on August 17.

NEW YORK GIANTS VETERANS REPORTS TO CAMP…
As scheduled, the bulk of New York Giants players reported to training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Tuesday. Quarterbacks, rookies, and rehabbing players reported on July 23.

Actual practices are not expected to be held until mid-August due to COVID-19 restrictions. All preseason games have been canceled. The Giants’ regular-season Monday night home opener is currently scheduled for September 14th. For the players who arrived on Tuesday, the current schedule looks like this:

  • July 28: Report and receive first test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 29: Report and receive second test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 30: Stay at home/hotel and only participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 31: Report and receive third test; participate in virtual meetings.
  • August 1-2: Players who test negative receive physicals and equipment fitting.
  • August 3-16: Strength and conditioning and on-field walk-throughs.
  • August 17: Helmet and shells practices begin, slowing being ramped up to full-padded work (14 padded practices maximum).

According to media reports, the Giants will conduct most training camp functions at MetLife Stadium in order to be better comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The home and away locker rooms at the stadium will allow for greater social distancing. The Giants will also have access to suites inside the stadium in order to hold team meetings. However, the Giants will still practice at nearby Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Practices will not be open to the public.

Jul 222020
 
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Darnay Holmes, UCLA Bruins (November 24, 2018)

Darnay Holmes – © USA TODAY Sports

THREE MORE DRAFT PICKS AGREE TO TERMS…
SNY is reporting that New York Giants 2020 NFL Draft picks cornerback Darnay Homes (4th round), offensive guard Shane Lemieux (5th round), and linebacker Cam Brown (6th round) have agree to terms. Linebacker Tae Crowder (7th round) signed his contract in early May.

SNY is also reporting that safety Xavier McKinney (2nd round), offensive tackle Matt Peart (3rd round), linebacker Carter Coughlin (7th round), linebacker T.J. Brunson (7th round), and defensive back Chris Williamson (7th round) are expected to agree to terms by the start of training camp. Only offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (1st round) is not “imminent.” However, since draft pick salaries are slotted, even Thomas’ deal is not expected to be an issue.

TRAINING CAMP ON HOLD UNTIL COVID TESTING PROCEDURES AGREED UPON…
The plan to have quarterbacks, rookies, and injured players report to New York Giants training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday, July 23 is currently on hold until there is more clarity on COVID-19 testing procedures for NFL players. According to media reports, the rookies have been told to stay home and not to travel to New Jersey at the present time. All other players were to have reported by July 28. Coaches began arriving on July 17.

That said, based on social media video, a number of players are already in the area working out, including quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, cornerback Darnay Holmes, and safety Jabrill Peppers.

According to media reports, the Giants will conduct most training camp functions at MetLife Stadium in order to be better comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The home and away locker rooms at the stadium will allow for greater social distancing. The Giants will also have access to suites inside the stadium in order to hold team meetings. However, the Giants will still practice at nearby Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

The current NFL-NFL Players Association plan appears to require players to be tested on the first and fourth day of camp, with only virtual meetings being held in between tests. Players who pass both tests would then be allowed to congregate at the team facility. Meanwhile, daily testing would continue for at least the first two weeks of training camp. If the rate of positive tests remains below 5 percent at the 2-week mark, testing will occur every other day.

NO PRESEASON GAMES THIS YEAR…
Although it has not yet been officially announced, press reports indicate that there will be no preseason games this year due to the COVID-19 issue. The NFL had originally reduced the number of preseason games from four to two.

NO FANS AT METLIFE STADIUM OR TRAINING CAMP…
The governor of New Jersey has decreed that his executive order limiting the size of our outdoor gatherings due to the COVID-19 issue also applies to MetLife Stadium. Thus, until further notice, fans will not be allowed to attend football games at the stadium. In addition, the order also applies to training camp and fans will not be allowed to view summer practices in person.

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