Jul 232014
 
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Corey Washington and Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Corey Washington and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, original-content articles from BBI today:

July 23, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP) and WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) did not practice.

Beckham aggravated the same hamstring that bothered him in OTA’s and the mini-camp on the first day of practice on Tuesday.

“He missed part of spring ball with a hamstring and he tweaked it yesterday,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “Obviously there is a concern…This guy has that track speed so hopefully he can get back out there pretty quickly because we’re expecting big things from him.”

“He didn’t go and who knows how long (until he returns),” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “Don’t ask me. I have no idea.”

Jameel McClain (foot) returned to practice. “He did well,” Coughlin said. “He came out and practiced and went the whole practice, so I think he’s fine. A little sore, but he was able to go.”

July 23, 2014 Jerry Reese Press Conference: The transcript and video from Wednesday’s press conference with General Manager Jerry Reese are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

July 23, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Q&As: The transcripts and video from Wednesday’s press conferences with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

July 23, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Wednesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants WFAN Interviews: Video and audio of Wednesday’s WFAN interviews with the following New York Giants are available at CBS New York:

New York Giants Training Camp Reports:

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Eli Manning and the Giants are embracing their new direction by Mike Garafolo of FOXSports.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning’s career at a crossroads by Johnette Howard of ESPNNewYork.com

Articles on RB Rashad Jennings:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: NY Giants Victor Cruz studying up on Jerry Rice as Big Blue installs West Coast offense by Gary Myers of The New York Daily News

Article on TE Adrien Robinson: Adrien Robinson the Giants’ version of Julius Thomas? That’s what they’re hoping by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul says sack record a possibility by Lorenzo Reyes of USAToday.com

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Giants may be onto something in rookie Devon Kennard by Howie Kussoy of The New York Post

Article on Former Giant DE Michael Strahan: Michael Strahan ready to join elite company by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Jul 092014
 
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CineSport Video Update: Strahan – His Life’s Journey to Canton

David Merritt, New York Giants (August 3, 2010)

David Merritt – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Inside Football Q&As with New York Giants Assistant Coaches:

Giants.com Q&A with DE Damontre Moore: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with DE Damontre Moore is available at Giants.com.

Article on the New York Giants Fullbacks: Giants fullbacks anxiously wait for training camp to see how they’ll be used by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on OC/OG Weston Richburg: Is a starting guard slot realistic for Weston Richburg? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie film review: Giants CB overrated, underrated, as expected? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Group chat gives Giants better communication by Peter Cappiello of Newsday

Jul 022014
 
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Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp in less than a month, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Our first article concentrated on the team’s quarterbacks. Now let’s take a look at the running backs and fullbacks.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Running Backs and Fullbacks

Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Brandon Jacobs – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Just a year ago, the New York Giants appeared to be “set” at running back with a 1-2 punch of Andre Brown and David Wilson. But the injury-prone Brown broke his leg in the preseason, causing him to miss half the season. He started the final eight games and finished with 139 carries for 492 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. The Giants showed no interest in re-signing Brown in the offseason and he is now a Houston Texan. 2012 1st round draft pick David Wilson only played in five games before being placed on Injured Reserve with a career-threatening neck injury that required surgery in January. He started four games and finished 2013 with 146 yards on 44 carries (3.3 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also fumbled the ball away twice. Da’Rel Scott made the team, was cut, then re-signed, and then placed on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury.  Scott played in five games with one start in 2013, finishing the season with 73 yards on 20 carries (3.7 yards per carry). The Giants chose not to bring him back. Michael Cox, the Giants 7th pick in the 2013 Draft, played in 14 games as a rookie with one start. But he only carried the football 22 times for 43 yards (2.0 yards per carry). With injuries to Brown, Wilson, and Scott, ex-Giant Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis were mid-season roster additions. But Jacobs arrived as damaged goods, started only one game, and was placed on Injured Reserve with a knee condition that forced his retirement in January. Hillis ended up playing in seven games with one start. He finished the season with 73 carries for 247 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.

At fullback, 2013 was a disaster for Henry Hynoski, who missed virtually all of the offseason work with a knee injury (MCL/chip fracture) suffered in an OTA, then fracturing his shoulder and being placed on Injured Reserve in September. John Conner was signed off of the street to replace Hynoski and he performed well as a physical lead blocker in 13 games with seven starts.

Overall, the New York Giants finished 29th in rushing, averaging a paltry 83.2 yards per game and 3.5 yards per rush.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants had no interest in bringing back Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott, and Brandon Jacobs has retired. David Wilson, Michael Cox, Peyton Hillis, Henry Hynoski, and John Conner return. Kendall Gaskins, who spent time with the Bills and Titans as a rookie, was signed to the Practice Squad in December and returns in 2014. The Giants made a big push to sign ex-Jaguar and ex-Raider Rashad Jennings to a 4-year, $10 million contract. The team drafted the nation’s #1 rusher Andre Williams in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The two main story lines are the health status of David Wilson and the Hynoski-Conner competition at fullback. Wilson is scheduled to undergo another exam on his next the day camp starts – July 21st – to determine if he can be cleared for football contact. If cleared, the explosive Wilson needs to prove he can stay healthy, hold onto the football, protect the QB, and become an instinctive play-maker. Many fans and media types believe Hynoski is the front runner for the fullback spot, but John Conner may be the better blocker, receiver, and yes, runner. The other main question is who will be the #2 back off of the bench behind Rashad Jennings. Will it be Wilson, Peyton Hillis, or Andre Williams?

ON THE BUBBLE: It would appear that Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams are locks to make the team. If he is cleared for contact, and barring a complete lack of development, the former #1 pick David Wilson is likely to make the squad. Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox, and Kendall Gaskins are fighting for one, possibly two roster spots. Don’t automatically write any of these guys off. Even Gaskins has caught the attention of the coaches.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Craig Johnson on Andre Williams:  “A big fit (for our scheme). He’s a big, strong physical runner. He led the nation in rushing last year in college football. He is strong, he’s a very explosive runner. I hear that from the defense, they say, ‘Man, that guy has really got it going.’ I’m really excited to see what he’s all about and you can tell, he runs hard.”

Johnson on David Wilson: “He’s got tremendous talent. It’s obvious to see that that. Good hands. I can’t wait to watch him get out there when he gets cleared to show what he can do.”

Johnson on Michael Cox and Kendall Gaskins: “Two guys you probably haven’t heard much about, Michael Cox, a second-year back that was a late draft choice last year, big, strong, physical, can make plays. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Kendall Gaskins, both of them, in pads. They’re young guys, they want to prove it. They’re hungry and they want to go after it. All the backs are pretty good size and pretty physical so I’m excited about the position.”

PREDICTIONS:

Peyton Hillis, New York Giants (December 1, 2013)

Peyton Hillis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eric Kennedy – Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis, and Andre Williams make this a very big and physical backfield. Considered somewhat of a journeyman running back, I firmly believe that Jennings will blossom in New York not only as a physical, no-nonsense north-south runner, but an incredibly reliable and consistent receiver out of the backfield. He is a natural receiver. I also think he will become a team leader. Some expect Peyton Hillis to be cut, but I see him becoming a John Kuhn-type receiver/runner/pass protector in Ben McAdoo’s scheme. I could see him becoming the third-down back due to his pass pro and receiving skills. I love Henry Hynoski, but I think John Conner is the better blocker, receiver, and runner.

Connor Hughes - I like Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings, too. I believe both are upgrades over Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs. With that being said, I truly believe the ‘X’ factor for the Giants in the backfield is David Wilson.

Wilson spent the offseason in the weight room packing on the muscle, is still lightning in the bottle and the only player at the position that has the ability to break off a touchdown on any carry. If he’s healthy, I see him as a player that can run for 1200-1400 yards annually. Last year, Wilson struggled, but as the season went it became more evident that that was more of a result of the team’s porous offensive line than the former first-round pick.

I love Wilson’s attitude, he never doesn’t have a smile on his face and is more motivated than ever to get back on the field. Once he does? Look out.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Running Backs – Rashad Jennings (1), David Wilson (2), Peyton Hillis (3), Andre Williams (4), Michael Cox (cut), Kendall Gaskins (cut)

Fullbacks – John Conner (1), Henry Hynoski (cut)

Jun 302014
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Player Q&As: Video clips of Giants.com Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Andre Williams (Video)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Video)

Inside Football Player Q&As:

Articles  on the New York Giants Quarterbacks:

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Johnathan Hankins: How and when he proved capable to Giants of replacing Linval Joseph by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former New York Giants DE Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck: ‘I’m still surprised I’m not a New York Giant’ by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Jan 222014
 
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Craig Johnson, Minnesota Vikings (June 11, 2013)

Craig Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Hire Craig Johnson as New Running Backs Coach: The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that they have hired a new running backs coach, Craig Johnson. Johnson replaces Jerald Ingram who the Giants fired last week.

A native of Rome, New York, the 53-year old Johnson served as the quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-2013. Before that he was with the Tennessee Titans, serving as assistant head coach/running backs coach (2010), quarterbacks coach (2002-2009), and offensive assistant/quality control (2000-2001).

“This is a veteran coach that has coached some great players, like Steve McNair,” said Head Coach To Coughlin. “He’s been around a while and has experience as a quarterbacks coach, as a running backs coach and he’s been a coordinator in college.”

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to join such a great franchise,” Johnson said. “I’ve always admired coach Coughlin during the many years I’ve coached against him. I’ll come here to do my part to help the Giants get to and win a Super Bowl.”

“I think (Johnson) is an excellent teacher and his versatility is going to add a lot to our staff and, of course, to the running backs room,” Coughlin said. “He’ll be an excellent contributor for the coordinator with ideas. His interview was very impressive as we put him on the board. He really did an outstanding job with protections. And he’s talked long and hard about ball security. Pass protection and ball security are both very important to me.”

“I know (Coughlin is) a stickler for (pass protection and ball security) and that’s good,” Johnson said. “He’s a coach that has a great attention to detail and I feel very comfortable being around a coach that stresses that.”

“It’s a challenge (to coach running backs again), because it’s a different spot,” said Johnson. “I broke into coaching as a running backs coach. I feel confident that I’ll be up to the task and I’ll take them where they want to go.  The key is seeing what the players do best and also make sure I am up to date on the schemes. With (new offensive coordinator) Ben (McAdoo) here we’re going to have a new style, a new terminology and a new look and I want to make sure I’m comfortable with that and I’m able to teach it correctly.”

For Johnson’s full resume, see the Coaching Staff section of the website.

Dallas Cowboys Hire Mike Pope: The Dallas Cowboys have hired 71-year old Mike Pope as their new tight ends coach. The Giants fired Pope last week after he had served as the Giants tight end coach for 22 years (1984-1991 and 2000-2013).

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Cruz: “We’re all rookies again” in new ‘O’ by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: Snee, Baas and Giants OL cap issues by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks: Giants free agents: Hakeem Nicks provided plenty of thrills by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on Cornerback Trumaine McBride: Giants free agents: Trumaine McBride played his way into a second chance by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Quotes: WR Victor Cruz on the New York Giants offense under new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: “(After talking with McAdoo) I’m truly a fan of the offense that he’s gonna put in. He wants kinda up-tempo offense, which I’m excited about, obviously, (spreading) footballs around to the receivers, all around the field. He’s an even keel guy that’s just ready to work and do some good things, and get to know his players, his personnel and put us in the right spot to succeed. So I’m excited for it and working for him as well…I think it’s going to be completely different (from Kevin Gilbride’s offense). It’s gonna be new terminology. I think it’s gonna be different plays. I think it’s gonna be a whole new philosophy. So I’m excited to get my hands around that playbook and really learn this thing inside and out. I do imagine it’s gonna be brand new for us, so it’s gonna be just like we’re rookies coming in, getting the playbook and getting right to it. It gives everyone a clean slate. We have to pick up this offense and make it happen, make it the best in the league. I think it’s definitely a wakeup call for us and a challenge we’re ready for.”