Aug 252020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 25, 2020)

Daniel Jones – Courtesy of New York Giants

AUGUST 25, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media and team sources:

  • Giants started practice outside, moved inside due to lightning, and then returned outside again.
  • Quarterback Daniel Jones and offensive lineman Nick Gates ran laps for a fumbled exchange in the red zone.
  • Linebacker Lorenzo Carter also ran a lap after he and tight end Evan Engram jawed at each other and Carter threw Engram’s helmet.
  • Defensive lineman B.J. Hill intercepted a quarterback Daniel Jones pass at the line of scrimmage.
  • With Spencer Pulley out, Nick Gates was the starting center. Tyler Haycraft also saw reps at center.
  • Linebacker Kyler Fackrell, who had an active practice, batted down a pass from quarterback Colt McCoy.
  • Cornerback Darnay Holmes had excellent deep coverage on a long pass intended for wide receiver Derrick Dillon.
  • In the 2-minute drill, quarterback Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the corner of the end zone against cornerback James Bradberry.
  • In 2-minute drill, quarterback Cooper Rush threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Coleman against cornerback Prince Smith.
  • Linebacker Markus Golden beat offensive tackle Cam Fleming for a “sack.”
  • Linebacker Blake Martinez broke up a quarterback Daniel Jones pass intended for tight end Evan Engram.
  • On 4th-and-long, wide receiver Sterling Shepard dropped a long sideline pass.
  • Tight end Kaden Smith and wide receiver Alex Bachman each had a couple of catches during the 2-minute drill.
  • Running back Dion Lewis picked up a 1st down on 4th-and-short.
  • Running back Dion Lewis and cornerbacks Corey Ballentine and Darnay Holmes returned kickoffs.
  • The Giants provided a 20-minute overview of today’s practice on YouTube.

INJURY REPORT…
Fullback Eli Penny (unknown), center Spencer Pulley (unknown), linebacker Ryan Connelly (knee?), linebacker Devante Downs (unknown), and safety Nate Ebner (unknown) did not practice.

Safety Jabrill Peppers (unknown), linebacker Cam Brown (knee?), and tight end Rysen John (unknown) left the field early again today.

GIANTS EXPECTED TO SIGN BRANDON WILLIAMS…
According to media reports, the Giants are expected to sign unrestricted free agent cornerback Brandon Williams, who is currently going through the team’s COVID-19 protocol. The 27-year old, 6’0”, 200-pound Williams was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Williams played in 45 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 38 tackles and five pass defenses. He missed all of 2019 with a shoulder injury. Williams has mainly played on special teams.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and 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…
Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (1:15-2:30 PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and several assistant coaches and players will also address the media.

Jun 152020
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Heading into 2019, fans were generally upbeat about a secondary that was clearly in transition. The Giants had heavily invested in the position by drafting corners Deandre Baker (1st round), Julian Love (4th round), and Corey Ballentine (6th round) in the 2019 NFL Draft. At safety, the team had effectively swapped out Landon Collins (signed by Washington Redskins) and Curtis Riley (signed by Oakland Raiders) for Jabrill Peppers (part of Odell Beckham trade) and Antoine Bethea (signed after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals). It was expected that Janoris Jenkins would rebound from a somewhat disappointing 2018 season and that Sam Beal (who missed his rookie season due to a shoulder injury) and Grant Haley (who started nine games as an undrafted rookie) would develop and improve. Michael Thomas provided depth and special teams value.

But it was a case of the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Once again, the Giants were one of the NFL’s worst in pass defense, finishing 28th. In the “you can’t make this shit up” category, the team’s best defensive back, Jenkins, was cut in December after calling a fan a “retard” on Twitter. Baker started 15-of-16 games as a rookie, but was very inconsistent with his work ethic being questioned. Nickel corner Haley regressed and was eventually benched. The injury-prone Beal was placed on IR in September with hamstring and groin injuries, added to the 53-man roster in early November, and missed the last game with another shoulder issue. Ballentine had to deal with being shot right after he was drafted and then being thrust into a nickel corner spot that he was clearly ill-suited to play.

At safety, despite being told by team officials that Bethea still had it, he clearly did not and was a significant liability at free safety both against the pass and the run. Peppers did not make much of impact and was lost for the season in November as his overall play was improving. Michael Thomas played in all 16 games with two starts but clearly wasn’t the answer. Julian Love was moved from cornerback to safety early. He ended up starting five games late in the season, flashing at times but also experiencing growing pains as a rookie.

Overall, the unit was a collective disappointment and a major reason the overall defense finished 25th in yards and 30th in points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: As mentioned, Janoris Jenkins was waived in December. S Michael Thomas was signed by the Texans and CB Antonio Hamilton was signed by the Chiefs. Safety Antoine Bethea remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent.

Grant Haley was re-signed as an exclusive rights free agent in January. The first player the Giants signed in free agency in March was CB James Bradberry (3-year, $43.5 million contract). S/special teams player Nate Ebner (UFA from Patriots) and CB Dravon Askew-Henry (cut by Steelers last year) were also signed.

The Giants drafted S Xavier McKinney (2nd round), CB Darnay Holmes (4th round), and CB/S Chris Williamson (7th round) in the 2020 NFL Draft. After the draft, rookie free agent additions included CB Christian Angulo, CB Malcolm Elmore, and S Jaquarius Landrews. S Montre Hartage was claimed off of waivers from the Dolphins after the draft as well.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: There is a lot going on here and thus each fan probably has their own top story line. Clearly, one is the offseason drama surrounding 2019 1st-round draft pick Deandre Baker, who may or may not make it to training camp depending on the outcome of his offseason legal troubles (four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm from a bizarre incident in Florida). My personal belief is that the Giants were counting on Baker to form a solid starting CB duo alongside high-priced James Bradberry. Will Baker even be a Giant in 2020? If he is, will he be suspended by the team or the NFL? Did he get scared straight and will he commit himself to the game? If Baker is not part of the equation, the pressure increases to find his replacement among Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes, and possibly Julian Love. Are they up to the task? Can Beal stay healthy? Is Love athletic enough to handle corner at the NFL level? Will Ballentine shine more at outside corner rather than inside at nickel?

Speaking of the nickel spot, one would think the Giants would want Holmes to nail down the position if the rookie can handle it. But there are others possibly in the equation, including Love and maybe Williamson.

At safety, it would appear that Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney will have the inside shot at starting, but the coaches may want to configure packages to get Love on the field as either a third safety or additional corner. Depth is still needed here with Sean Chandler (holdover from 2018/2019), Rashaan Gaulden (added late in 2019), Montre Hartage, Chris Williamson, and Jaquarius Landrews all competing to make the roster.

Big picture is this: for the past three seasons, the Giants have invested a tremendous amount of resources into the defensive backfield, including a trading for a former 1st-round pick (Peppers); spending $43 million on a corner in free agency (Bradberry); and drafting players in the 1st (Baker), 2nd (McKinney), 3rd (Beal),  4th (Love, Holmes), 6th (Ballentine), and 7th (Williamson) rounds. It’s time for the investment to deliver returns and for the Giants to get out of the NFL basement in pass defense.

ON THE BUBBLE: There are currently 18 defensive backs on the roster. Probably only nine or ten will make the final roster. The only sure bets are probably Bradberry, Holmes, Peppers, Love, and McKinney. Baker obviously isn’t safe. Beal has to prove he can be a reliable player.

PREDICTIONS: So much here depends on the new coaching staff, not just Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham but Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson, the latter coming from Atlanta where his unit struggled at times. It’s also interesting to note that Pat Shurmur holdover Anthony Blevins was moved from assistant special teams coach to assistant defensive backs coach. These three men have to develop all of the talent that been acquired in recent years.

In addition, so much depends on the legal and emotional status of Deandre Baker. He was (and still may be) and important piece of the puzzle. The expectation is that versatile Xavier McKinney, who many felt was the best safety in the draft, will be able to handle the starting free safety spot as a rookie.

My prediction is that if Baker is available and truly focused (two big ifs), this unit could be poised for a big turnaround. There were games last year where Baker did shut down his opponent. He can do it. But how important is the game to him? Usually you can’t count on a person to change their ways, but if anything was going to scare Baker straight, facing a long prison sentence might do the trick. Bradberry should be able to more than adequately handle the other corner spot, replacing Jenkins with less drama. The nickel corner should improve with Holmes, Love, or maybe Williamson an improvement over Haley and Ballentine.

At safety, the closer Peppers plays to the line of scrimmage, the more impact he makes. The drafting of McKinney should enable the coaching staff to play Peppers in a role best suited to his skills. I would not be shocked to see packages that get Peppers, McKinney, and Love all on the field together.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: James Bradberry, Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Darnay Holmes, Corey Ballentine, Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Nate Ebner, Chris Williamson

I’m making some bold assumptions here: Baker being a Giant, Beal staying healthy, and Ballentine and Williamson showing enough to stick. Ebner is strictly a core special teams player who Joe Judge obviously targeted in free agency to lead his unit.

Aug 272019
 
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Daniel Jones, Kyle Lauletta, and Eli Manning; New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Daniel Jones, Kyle Lauletta, and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 27, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their twenty-first and last full-team summer training camp practice of this summer on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Officially, the team’s summer training camp is over.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Rod Smith (adductor), wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), tight end Garrett Dickerson (quad), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), and safety Kenny Ladler (hamstring) did not practice on Tuesday.

Cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring), and offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (back) were limited to individual drills.

Wide receiver Alex Wesley (left ankle) had to be carted off of the field after injuring himself in a non-contact drill. “Ankle,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “His ankle has been a little sore. They’re checking it out.”

Left tackle Nate Solder was excused from practice for personal reasons.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Today’s practice was more of a 3/4 speed preparation for Thursday’s game.
  • Chad Slade and Paul Adams both took reps as the first-team left tackle.
  • WR Alonzo Russell caught three long passes, including two from QB Daniel Jones and one from QB Alex Tanney.
  • In red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones threw touchdown passes to WR Brittan Golden (twice), TE Jake Powell, and WR Alonzo Russell.
  • In red-zone drills, QB Alex Tanney threw a touchdown pass to TE C.J. Conrad.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

  • CB Corey Ballentine (Video)
Aug 112019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 11, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their twelfth full-team summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Jon Hilliman (concussion), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner), linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf), cornerback Deandre Baker (knee), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Sunday.

“Just in his individual warmup type stuff, something with (Baker’s) knee,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’re just checking it out (with) an MRI. I have no information on that right now. (It happened) just kind of in the warmup drills. He just felt something so he’s getting that checked out.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) and cornerback Grant Haley (shoulder) participated with non-contact jerseys. Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring) saw some reps but was limited.

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS FROM SY’56…
Today was a “top 5” day of the year when it comes down to weather. Sunny and a very comfortable 80 degrees.

-There was a lot more action with the 1’s and 2’s today. Eli Manning and Daniel Jones took ALL of the meaningful snaps in both team and 7-on-7 drills. Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta stood by and watched.

-Manning and the first-team offense were VERY sharp. Timing was on, accuracy was on, and they were connecting on all three levels. Manning had a nice string of plays where he completed a deep ball to Saquon Barkley down the right sideline for a 60+ yard TD and two nice sideline connections with one being to Golden Tate who leapt high into the air and Evan Engram came down with a catch in traffic with Jabrill Peppers on top of him. Some were saying this was Manning’s best day of the summer so far.

-Jones took one of his rookie-year lumps today. He threw the ball into traffic multiple times and had a hard time adjusting off his initial read. He ended up throwing a pick and then another that luckily wasn’t intercepted. Also another play where the overall arm power doesn’t seem to be there. He was in a crowded pocket, trying to get the ball downfield. He was able to about half-step into the toss but the ball was probably 7-10 yards shy of where it needed to be. Again, his arm is strong enough. But I do think there are some limitations with his downfield passing, that’s all.

-I watched a lot of Kevin Zeitler today. Other than just looking like a fire hydrant in relation to his build and ability to anchor, he is as involved as any player on the team after each play. Constant communication with teammates and coaches. Very emotional and demonstrative (whether it be positive or negative). Getting the guys back to the huddle. He is the leader of this line, no doubt.

-Speaking of the line, Chad Slade was running with the first-team offensive line at RT. Not sure if there is a report on Remmers? Although I am pretty sure Remmers was out there between team sessions, as he and Golden Tate managed to trip over each other during the “install” period where they are moving at half speed. Curious to see if Slade is in the running out there.

-Got to speak with Jordan Ranaan today after practice. We share a similar (and I’m sure many of you agree) worry that the amount of touches Saquon Barkley is going to have to get in this offense if they are ever going to move the ball. Personally, I would like to see him split out wide more often like we saw today. He really does run routes like a WR and he is usually matched up against a LB, sometimes a S. I understand he still needs to get his touches, but I think the team may be better off throwing him the ball more, running him less. I am thinking 15-20 carries per week and 7-10 targets per week. I think it can preserve him a tad while also maintaining the upside he brings to the table as a playmaker.

-My favorite defensive front was out there with the ones. Lorenzo Carter-Dexter Lawrence-Dalvin Tomlinson-B.J. Hill-Markus Golden. The question will be pass rush, but when it comes to run defense and controlling the point-of-attack, that group has enormous upside. It’s going to be hard to move those guys.

-With Alec Ogletree out, Ryan Connelly was running with the first team defense next to Tae Davis. That is noteworthy because it confirms where he stands with the coaching staff and same with B.J. Goodson, who continues to play with the backups.

Tae Davis had a really hard time covering Barkley and Engram in coverage. I think that will be the case for any linebacker trying to move with those two, but Davis doesn’t seem to react as well as a former safety should. He can run, but that initial separation he allows is concerning. This guy needs to be the athlete of the group and it has to go further than just pursuing the football sideline-to-sideline.

Corey Ballentine was out there with the ones. I put a lot of attention on him, as I said a couple weeks ago there is simply something about him. And like I said before, I think he ends up being a big piece to the puzzle this year. Hoping it is not at the expense of a Deandre Baker injury. Anyway, Ballentine was visibly beat twice. Once by Cody Latimer for a touchdown on a fade-type route and on another one by Golden Tate, although not for TD. He was (literally) a half second too late and/or a couple inches short. He and the coaches knew it. They were half praising him and half-getting on him for not being more physical at the point-of-attack. Once this kid can make the subtle nuances to the position second nature, I think he is going to be a player.

Jabrill Peppers showed some blue-collar toughness today, and I loved it. This kid loves to practice and brings the heat every play. He came down hard on his left hand/wrist and was in obvious pain. He didn’t motion to the sideline, he didn’t come out. The very next play he was sent through line on a blitz that, in my opinion, would have resulted in a sack. He didn’t favor it at all. He ended up getting it taped between sessions and was right back out there soon after. He had a really nice pass break up intended for Engram later in practice.

Janoris Jenkins was solid in underneath coverage. Not an easy role but he stuck with Sterling Shepard well and had a nice pass break up. His tackling has been inconsistent in recent years but he is a really good player at a position that is hard to find OK players.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Rookies LB Ryan Connelly and CB Corey Ballentine lined up with the first-team defense.
  • Chris Slade received some first-team reps at right tackle.
  • RB Saquon Barkley made an over-the-shoulder catch on a deep pass from QB Eli Manning against the blitz for a 60+ yard touchdown. Barkley was lined up wide on the play.
  • RB Wayne Gallman picked up a blitz on a play where QB Eli Manning fired a pass to TE Evan Engram, who made a sliding catch.
  • QB Eli Manning threw another touchdown to RB Saquon Barkley on a wheel route in the redzone. Barkley beat LB Tae Davis, who had decent coverage.
  • Giants’ linebackers and safeties had issues covering RB Saquon Barkley.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to WR Cody Latimer in the left corner of the end zone against CB Corey Ballentine. At this point in practice, Eli was 11-of-12 with three touchdowns.
  • S Sean Chandler intercepted a pass from QB Daniel Jones in the back of the end zone intended for WR Da’Mari Scott, who was double-covered.
  • QB Eli Manning hit WR Cody Latimer on a long pass down the left sideline.
  • RB Rod Smith and QB Daniel Jones mishandled an exchange, leading to a fumble recovered by DL John Jenkins.
  • S Jabrill Peppers knocked away a pass from QB Eli Manning to TE Evan Engram on an out-route.
  • WR Alex Wesley made a juggling catch on a pass from QB Daniel Jones that S/CB Julian Love tried to break up.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Sunday 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:

Aug 082019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 8, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 31 – NEW YORK JETS 22…
The New York Giants soundly defeated the New York Jets 31-22 in the first preseason game of the year for both teams. The game was elongated by a 60-minute, first-half storm delay. But the three back-up quarterbacks on the Giants shined, cumulatively completing 28-of-36 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram were healthy scratches from the contest.

The game started off poorly for the Giants with the Jets’ first-team offense easily driving the length of the field, going 75 yards in seven plays for a touchdown (the extra point was missed). Safety Jabrill Peppers had a chance to stop the drive early but a potential interception sailed through his hands. The Giants’ offense followed that up with a disappointing three-and-out by the starting offense, led by quarterback Eli Manning.

The game began to turn after those first two series. The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out against back-up quarterback Trevor Siemian of the Jets. On the Giants’ second offensive possession, quarterback Daniel Jones took over and impressively drove the Giants for a touchdown with pinpoint passing, going 5-of-5 for 67 yards. The drive culminated with a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bennie Fowler. Giants 7 – Jets 6.

The Giants’ defense then forced another three-and-out. But before Jones could come back on the field, the game was delayed 60 minutes due to the weather. When the teams finally returned to the field, both teams sat their starters and important reserves because of the delay. Jones was done for the night.

Alex Tanney took over at quarterback for the Giants and promptly led the team to its second scoring drive. Tanney threw a 14-yard completion to wide receiver T.J. Jones on 3rd-and-10. Two plays later, he connected with wide receiver Russell Shepard on a 51-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Giants 14 – Jets 6.

The Jets responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-1 to cut the score to 14-12 (the extra point was missed again). After both teams exchanged punts, running back Paul Perkins fumbled the ball away at the Giants’ 16-yard line after a short completion. The Jets converted this turnover into a 34-yard field goal and a 15-14 lead.

With 1:41 left before halftime, Tanney led the Giants on an 8-play, 70-yard drive to set up a 23-yard field goal. At the half, the Giants led 17-15.

Much of the 3rd quarter was taken up by two Giants’ and one Jets’ drive that did not result in points. With about 4:30 left in the quarter, linebacker Jake Carlock batted a pass from ex-Giants’ quarterback Davis Webb, intercepted his own deflection, and returned the pick for a 59-yard touchdown. Giants 24 – Jets 15.

Cornerback Corey Ballentine made an excellent leaping interception on the next series. After an exchange of punts, quarterback Kyle Lauletta led the Giants on a 10-play, 86-yard drive in the 4th quarter that ended with a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver T.J. Jones. Lauletta made two crucial 3rd-down completions on this drive before the touchdown on 3rd-and-7. Giants 31 – Jets 15.

The final Jets’ score came in garbage time, with the Jets driving 75 yards in 15 plays.

On offense, Manning finished 1-of-1 for 3 yards, Jones 5-of-5 for 67 yards and a touchdown, Tanney 14-of-19 for 190 yards and a touchdown, and Lauletta 9-of-12 for 116 yards and a touchdown. The leading receivers were T.J. Jones with 6 catches for 72 yards and Reggie White, Jr. with 4 catches for 60 yards. Giants’ running backs only rushed for 24 yards.

Defensively, the Giants picked off two passes. They also had two sacks but had issues rushing the passer.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (thumb), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), WR Brittan Golden (groin), WR Amba Etta-Tawo (hamstring), OT Chad Wheeler (back), OT Brian Mihalik (burner), OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), LB Avery Moss (hip flexor), CB Grant Haley (shoulder), CB Antonio Hamilton (groin), and CB Sam Beal (hamstring) did not play.

RB Jon Hilliman left the game with a concussion.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Friday. The players are off on Saturday and return to training camp practice on Sunday.

ARTICLES…

Jul 282019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 28, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth full-team summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), wide receiver Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), linebacker Mark McLaurin (broken foot), cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring/groin), and cornerback Henre’ Toliver (ankle) did not practice on Sunday.

“(Beal has) got a groin and a hamstring he’s just dealing with,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “It’s nothing serious. We anticipate he’ll be back soon. Maybe not today, but soon.”

“(Slayton has) made really good progress the last couple of days,” said Shurmur. “He’ll be back soon.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) was limited to individual drills in practice, not catching any passes. Safety Jabrill Peppers (“workload management”) was also limited.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 1-on-1 drills, LB Oshane Ximines blew past LT Nate Solder; LB Markus Golden beat RT Mike Remmers to the inside. But overall, the offensive line did well in these drills.
  • RB Saquon Barkley bounced a red-zone run to the left side and scored.
  • RB Rod Smith easily scored up the middle on a red-zone rushing attempt.
  • WR Bennie Fowler caught two red-zone touchdowns from QB Daniel Jones.
  • TE Rhett Ellison caught a 5-yard touchdown from QB Eli Manning.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta rolled to his right and threw a touchdown pass to TE C.J. Conrad.
  • With S Jabrill Peppers not in pads, the first-team safeties were Antoine Bethea and Michael Thomas.
  • TE C.J. Conrad out-fought S Tenny Adewusi for a deep sideline pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • WR Alonzo Russell and WR Cody Latimer were active catching the football.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta found WR Reggie White in the left corner of the end zone against CB Corey Ballentine.
  • LB Oshane Ximines knocked down a QB Daniel Jones pass at the line of scrimmage.
  • QB Alex Tanney hit WR Reggie White for a long touchdown down the left sideline.
  • S Jabrill Peppers, WR Cody Latimer, and CB Corey Ballentine were returning kickoffs; Peppers and WR Golden Tate were returning punts.
  • QB Eli Manning was 8-of-10 while QB Daniel Jones was 5-of-12.

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

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

Jul 092019
 
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Deandre Baker and Julian Love, New York Giants (June 5, 2019)

Deandre Baker and Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: In just three seasons, the Giants went from having one of the best secondaries in the NFL in 2016 to one of the worst in 2018. Three Giants were named to the All-Pro team in 2016. In 2018, the Giants had arguably the worst starting free safety (Curtis Riley) and worst starting cornerback (B.W. Webb) in the League. For the second year in a row, overrated strong safety Landon Collins could not replicate his 2016 performance and finished the year on Injured Reserve. The best player in the secondary, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, gave up too many big plays. The Giants decided they had seen enough of top-10 draft pick Eli Apple and traded him in October to the Saints.

The rest of the unit was manned by players such as Grant Haley, Antonio Hamilton, Tony Lippett, Donte Deayon (waived in October), Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler, Kenny Ladler, and Kamrin Moore. Who? Most fans never heard of any of these guys before 2018. In a way, encumbered with one of the worst pass rush units in the NFL, it’s a minor miracle that the secondary was not more abused than it actually was. The Giants finished 23rd in pass defense.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants re-signed cornerbacks Tony Lippett and Antonio Hamilton in free agency as well as Practice Squad cornerback Ronald Zamort. Landon Collins signed a huge, 6-year, $84 million contract with the Washington Redskins. Curtis Riley signed with the Oakland Raiders and B.W. Webb signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Giants obtained safety Jabrill Peppers in a trade from the Cleveland Browns. They signed safety Antoine Bethea after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals. Street free agent cornerback Henre’ Toliver was also signed.

The Giants selected cornerbacks Deandre Baker (1st round), Julian Love (4th round), and Corey Ballentine (6th round) in the 2019 NFL Draft. Rookie free agents safety Tenny Adewusi, safety Jacob Thieneman, linebacker/safety Jake Carlock, and linebacker/safety Mark McLaurin were all signed after the draft. Thieneman has since been waived due to an injury.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The Giants have almost completely revamped their secondary. Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea replace Landon Collins and Curtis Riley as the starting safeties. 2018 3rd-round Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal, who missed his rookie season due to an injury, as well as three 2019 draft picks will have the inside track at making the roster at cornerback. Deandre Baker has already been moved into the starting line-up. Aside from Bethea, Jenkins, and reserve safety Michael Thomas, this is a very young group.

On paper, the Giants are better set at cornerback. Jenkins and Baker should be one of the better starting cornerback duos in the NFL. By all accounts, Baker was one of the most impressive newcomers during Spring workouts. Both will be pressed by Julian Love and Sam Beal. Perhaps the best battle will be for the starting nickel corner spot between Grant Haley and Julian Love.

Safety is a bit more unsettled. Jabrill Peppers played much better during his second year in Cleveland and the belief is that Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher sees him as a cornerstone to the team’s rebuilt defense and will employ him in a variety of ways to take advantage of his physical attributes. Bethea turns 35 in July and is obviously nearing the end. But he will provide leadership and inside knowledge on Bettcher’s schemes, making sure everyone is lined up properly. Depth at safety is a concern as there are no clear up-and-coming players behind the starting two.

Keep in mind that both defensive backs coaches are new with Everett Withers and Henry Baker coming from the collegiate ranks.

ON THE BUBBLE: As I discussed in my linebacker preview, the Giants may view some of these players as hybrid linebackers/safeties such as Jake Carlock and Mark McLaurin. So one of these guys could make the roster as a “linebacker.”

The Giants are likely to carry 9, 10, or 11 defensive backs. Some think Janoris Jenkins could be traded. My belief is that Jenkins, Deandre Baker, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Jabrill Peppers, and Antoine Bethea are the sure bets to make the team. Others with a good shot are Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, and Michael Thomas, but they are not completely safe. Everyone else is on the bubble.

FROM THE COACHES: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on Deandre Baker: “He has been (making plays) on a pretty steady basis. I think he has made a play or two at each practice. Again, just learning how to compete at this level. Unfortunately, you can’t do a whole bunch of bump-and-run and press coverage, so the corners are at a little bit of a disadvantage. However, you need to learn to play off and for him to be able to make plays in those situations is good.”

Shurmur on Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea: “They are doing a good job. You saw Antoine had an interception today. They communicate extremely well. They are very strong guys. Typically, one guy takes the lead on that, but they both can do it. When I watch, they are getting us in the right coverages and pressures. They are in the right spots and trying to play the techniques within the defenses that are called. That is the thing that you can work on this time of year defensively. All the communication. We are really pleased with where they are. It is only going to get better.”

Shurmur on Jabrill Peppers: “He has a very charismatic personality and he loves to play the game. He picked up quickly what we were doing on defense well and he is extremely smart. He is very tough and very competitive. When you see guys like that on the field, you feel their presence immediately. He got to it quickly… He is very vocal. Sometimes you don’t have to be very vocal and you can be a leader. You can look to him and see that he has that about him. He has a great presence. If you are around him on a day-to-day basis, you can see that he will quickly become one of the guys where you say, ‘OK, he’s got it.’ He loves playing football and has a lot of fun doing it and a lot of fun competing. I think that is part of his charm and what makes him special. He is so darn competitive. It shows up naturally.”

Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Jabrill Peppers: “Jabrill is a highly talented and ascending player in this league. A guy that has the flexibility to play strong safety and could come down in the box and play some money. He is a really talented blitzer and when you watched his tape in Cleveland, you saw all the different roles he played. You saw snaps where he plays nickel, high in the middle of the field, high and outside, where he plays down low. A guy that has a lot of versatility. A guy that when he learns this system, he is going to have a lot of fun playing in this system… I flew from Arizona to Michigan and spent a bunch of time with him when he was coming out (in the draft). I thought he was a dynamic kid and the people that were around him loved him. I got multiple texts from coaches that worked with him in Cleveland and it was not something I asked for, this was after we traded for him and they said that we were going to love him. He is going to work exceptionally hard and is going to be about what it is supposed to be about. You see him out here, we are doing stuff against the air and he is moving, sliding and running around. He is in a stance and sometimes you want to be like, slow down, this is on air. He is exciting.”

Bettcher on Antoine Bethea: “We have a chance to add Antoine Bethea, a guy who is one of the highest character players I have ever been around, smart, intelligent and an unbelievable leader. As you have an opportunity to wrap your hands around him and embrace him a little bit, you will see what I am talking about with him. I was talking to him the other day and I was joking with him telling him that as time goes on, I get more gray hair. As time goes on, he gets younger. That is just when you see his play, that is what it has been. The years in the league have progressed for him. He has played fast and played young. That what impresses me about him.”

Bettcher on Deandre Baker: “The thing I would say about Baker is that he played in a very, very tough league. We all know how long it was before he gave up a touchdown pass. He competed and covered some of the best players that have come out of that league on offense. His tape speaks for itself. One of the best, if not the best, tackling corner in the draft, period. Excited to have him. He did an outstanding job at camp this past week.”

Bettcher on Janoris Jenkins: “Janoris has been not great but unbelievable with our young guys. He has had great, teachable moments where as a coach you just have to let it go. You are starting to go coach the young guys and he is already on it. I see the ownership in year two that he is starting to take with those guys. It is outstanding and it is going to help us be a better defense and not just those guys be better players themselves.”

Bettcher on Julian Love: “Naturally, he is a nickel. What is the second position, is he a safety or a corner? Time tells with that and more reps tell us that. You have to be smart and pretty intelligent like he is to be able to handle that.”

Defensive Backs Coach Everett Withers on his cornerbacks: “It is exciting when you bring in all these young men. That is the biggest thing. Talented guys that can play. We are adding Sam Beal into the mix too. You take a guy like Janoris Jenkins, a guy that has been in the league for 10 years and look at him more as an assistant coach. He has taken that role so far this offseason and has done a really good job.”

Withers on Janoris Jenkins: “I think when he is in the meetings, he has such a vast amount of experience in this league that he can help guys not only schematically but understanding the game, splits of receivers and those things. He has done a really good job in the meeting rooms and on the field so far… He has been awesome.”

Withers on Jabrill Peppers: “I am excited. He has a lot of ability and does a lot of things. Our role right now is to try and help Jabrill schematically. Help him grow into what we do and add things into his playbook. He is a guy that comes to work everyday with a lot of energy. He has been really fun to watch so far.”

Withers on Deandre Baker: “He is a really talented guy. When you watch his tape, he is a guy with a lot of competitive experience. To have another guy over there next to Janoris, he is talented enough to go over there and be a factor over there opposite Janoris.”

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey on Jabrill Peppers: “High energy, the guy is a for sure ball handler. Can make all the cuts full speed. He just brings juice. I’ve known the kid since he was 16 years old. I recruited him when I was at LSU. Jabrill is a special athlete. He can do anything – run the football, catch the football, whatever. He’s just a great athlete.”

PREDICTIONS: The guy who is flying under the radar is Deandre Baker. Keep in mind that despite drafting him late in the first round, he was the first cornerback selected in the draft. In other words, the Giants believe he was the best corner in this draft class. Thus far, he has not disappointed. Baker has the look of an old school, aggressive, physical corner who likes to mix it up both against the run and the pass. Janoris Jenkins has always done better when his team is playing better. I expect him to regain his 2016 All-Pro form as long as he stays healthy. Grant Haley remained the first-team nickel throughout the Spring practices. However, it is difficult to see him holding off Julian Love for long. Love may lack ideal long speed, but he a smart, aggressive player who makes plays on the football. Sam Beal provides quality depth provided he is over his shoulder issues.

The Giants also look to be upgraded at safety. Landon Collins was not as good as advertised. Most Giants fans know he had issues in coverage. He never regained his 2016 form. Curtis Riley was a train wreck at free safety. James Bettcher insists that Antoine Bethea can still play. At the very least, the team is already thrilled with the leadership and guidance he is providing. He’s like having a coach on the field. The real question mark here is what is Jabrill Peppers’ upside? Is he another one of those better-athlete-than-player types or is he about to experience his breakout season in his third year? It’s obvious the Giants are going to use him in a variety of ways, moving him around quite a bit and even have him blitz. The good news, again, is his attitude. The team is thrilled with his character. Depth at safety is a concern. Michael Thomas is a solid reserve/special teams type who also provides a good locker room presence. But it would be great if one of the young safeties came out of nowhere to surprise.

Don’t be surprised to see the Giants play with a lot of five and six defensive back packages throughout the year. Because of that, I would not be shocked to see the team keep as many as 11 defensive backs. Special teams will also be a big factor in deciding who stays and could help a guy like Antonio Hamilton.

This secondary has a chance to be very good for a number of years.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Janoris Jenkins, Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Julian Love, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler

May 172019
 
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Nate Solder, New York Giants (October 7, 2018)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

NATE SOLDER HAS ANKLE SURGERY
New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery to remove bone spurs on Thursday, May 16th. Various media sources are reporting that Solder is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the spring, but he should be able to practice once training camp begins in late July.

Giants Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices begin on Monday, May 20th. There will also be practices on May 21, 23, 28-29, 31, and June 10-13. A mini-camp will also be held June 4-6.

NEW YORK GIANTS COREY BALLENTINE
The New York Giants have announced that they have signed cornerback Corey Ballentine, their 6th round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Ballentine was wounded in the butt during a shooting in Topeka, Kansas the day after he was drafted. Ballentine’s physical condition is not yet publicly known but he is participating in the team’s offseason program.

Cornerback Julian Love (4th round), inside linebacker Ryan Connelly (5th round), wide receiver Darius Slayton (5th round), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (7th round), and defensive lineman Chris Slayton (7th round) were signed earlier this month.

The Giants have four remaining unsigned draft picks: quarterback Daniel Jones (1st round), nose tackle Dexter Lawrence (1st round), cornerback Deandre Baker (1st round), and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines (3rd round).

May 132019
 
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Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin Badgers (October 20, 2018)

Ryan Connelly – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN JOHN JENKINS
The New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent nose tackle John Jenkins. The Giants signed Jenkins in September 2018 after he was cut by the Chicago Bears. He was active for seven games, but was not credited with any tackles.

The 6’3”, 327-pound Jenkins was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He has spent time with the Saints (2013-2016), Seattle Seahawks (2016), and Bears (2017-2018). From 2013 to 2015, Jenkins played in 42 regular-season games with 21 starts. However, in 2016 and 2017, Jenkins played in just 17 regular-season games with two starts. He was inactive for eight games in 2017. With only 1.5 career sacks, Jenkins is strictly a run-defending nose tackle-type.

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN TWO MORE DRAFT PICKS
The New York Giants have announced that they have signed two more players from their 2019 NFL Draft class: inside linebacker Ryan Connelly (5th round) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (5th round).

Cornerback Julian Love (4th round), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (7th round), and defensive lineman Chris Slayton (7th round) were signed earlier this month.

The Giants have five remaining unsigned draft picks: quarterback Daniel Jones (1st round), nose tackle Dexter Lawrence (1st round), cornerback Deandre Baker (1st round), outside linebacker Oshane Ximines (3rd round) and cornerback Corey Ballentine (6th round).

COREY BALLENTINE JOINS TEAMMATES…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine, who the Giants drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Washburn University, has joined his teammates in the offseason program. Ballentine was wounded in the butt during a shooting in Topeka, Kansas the day after he was drafted. Ballentine’s physical condition is not yet publicly known but he is participating in classroom activities.

May 062019
 
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Austin Droogsma, Florida State Seminoles (April 27, 2018)

Austin Droogsma – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS TWO MORE TRYOUT PLAYERS, CUT THREE…
The New York Giants have signed two more tryout players who participated in the three-day rookie mini-camp that concluded on Sunday. The Giants have signed offensive guard Austin Droogsma and place kicker Joey Slye.

Droogsma has not played football since high school in 2012. The 6’4”, 345-pound Droogsma was a star shot-putter at Florida State, where he graduated in 2018. Slye graduated from Virginia Tech and did not play pro football in 2018. As a senior, he converted on 15-of-22 field goal attempts (68 percent) and 37-of-37 extra point attempts.

The Giants also waived defensive end Myles Humphrey, linebacker Ukeme Eligwe, and cornerback Michael Hunter.

The 6’3”, 238-pound Humphrey originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Humphrey to the Practice Squad in October 2018.

Ukeme Eligwe was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2018 after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Giants signed him to the 53-man roster in October 2018. Eligwe ended up playing in 10 games with no starts, accruing just seven tackles and one pass defense. The 6’2”, 239-pound Eligwe was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Chiefs.

The Giants signed Michael Hunter to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019. The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent time on both the team’s Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. He also made the team in 2017 before being waived/injured in October 2017. The 6’0”, 192-pound Hunter played in six regular-season games for the Giants with no starts. Since leaving the Giants, Hunter has spent time with the New York Jets (2017), Denver Broncos (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), and Houston Texans (2018). He did not play in a regular-season game for any of those teams.

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