Sep 192017
 
Share Button
Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 18, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT LIONS 24 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
The Detroit Lions defeated the New York Giants 24-10 on Monday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants are now 0-2 on the season, having scored only one offensive touchdown so far this year. Going back to the 2016 season, the Giants’ offense has not scored 20 points now for eight games in a row.

Both offenses struggled for most of the game as the Giants actually out-gained the Lions in total net yards (270 to 257), first downs (14 to 12), and average gain per play (4.9 to 4.6). But the Giants defense allowed 138 yards rushing, quarterback Eli Manning was sacked five times, and the Giants allowed an 88-yard punt return that sealed the game for Detroit in the 4th quarter.

The teams exchanged punts to start the game. The Lions drove 54 yards in nine plays on their second drive to go up 7-0 on quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marvin Jones, who beat cornerback Eli Apple on the play. The scoring drive was kept alive by a 13-yard scramble by Stafford on 3rd-and-9. The Giants responded with their sole touchdown drive of the young season, an 8-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Manning to tight end Evan Engram (who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown).

Things got a little crazy in the second quarter. Place kicker Aldrick Rosas’ kickoff after the touchdown went out of bounds, giving the Lions the ball at their own 45-yard line. After driving to the Giants’ 33-yard line, the Lions turned the ball over when defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Stafford and forced a fumble that linebacker Devon Kennard recovered. But on the very next snap, Manning’s pass intended for Engram was off-the-mark, intercepted, and returned 18 yards to the Giants’ 29-yard line. Five plays later, Stafford threw his second touchdown pass and the Lions went up 14-7.

After two punts by the Giants and one by the Lions, Detroit added to their lead late in the second quarter by driving 37 yards in six plays to set up a 56-yard field goal. The Lions led 17-7 at the half.

Detroit did not score on offense in the second half of the game, but it did not matter as the Giants’ offense and special teams struggled. The Giants’ offense only managed one second-half scoring drive, a 10-play, 68-yard affair that ended with a 25-yard field goal by Rosas in the 3rd quarter. When the Giants got the ball back early in the 4th quarter and trailing by 17-10, the game turned when wide receiver Brandon Marshall dropped a deep pass from Manning on 2nd-and-8. Two plays later the Giants punted and Brad Wing’s punt was returned 88 yards for a touchdown that put the Lions up by two touchdowns with 13 minutes left to go in the game. New York’s final two possessions end with turnovers on downs as the Giants failed to convert on a 4th-and-3 at their own 48-yard line and 4th-and-10 at the Detroit 29-yard line. Ball game.

Manning finished the game 22-of-32 for 239 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His leading receivers were Engram (4 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown) and wideout Odell Beckham, Jr. (4 catches for 36 yards). The Giants continued to struggle to run the ball as Shane Vereen was the leading ground gainer with 28 yards on six carries. The Giants were held to 62 yards rushing.

Defensively, while the Giants gave up 138 yards rushing, Detroit was held to only 119 net passing yards. The Giants sacked Stafford twice, once by Pierre-Paul when he forced the fumble and another time by Calvin Munson, who started at middle linebacker for the injured B.J. Goodson.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle/hand), linebacker B.J. Goodson (calf), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), quarterback Davis Webb, running back Wayne Gallman, tight end Matt LaCosse, and defensive end Avery Moss.

Right tackle Bobby Hart re-injured his ankle and left the game in the 1st quarter. Hart was spotted on crutches and wearing a boot after the game. Linebacker J.T. Thomas left the game in the second half with a groin injury.

GIANTS SIGN CURTIS GRANT FROM PRACTICE SQUAD, CUT TAVARRES KING…
On Monday afternoon, the New York Giants waived wide receiver Tavarres King and signed linebacker Curtis Grant to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad.

King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15) – playing in just two regular-season games. The Giants signed King to the Practice Squad in late September 2015. Last year, King played in seven regular-season games, finishing the year with just two catches for 50 yards. He caught three passes for 73 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass in the playoff loss to the Packers.

Grant was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Chargers (2015), Falcons (2015), Titans (2016), Raiders (2016), and 49ers (2016). Grant was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017.

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

ARTICLES…

Sep 032017
 
Share Button
Adam Bisnowaty, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Adam Bisnowaty

NEW YORK SIGN NINE PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have officially signed the following eight players to their Practice Squad:

  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Tim Scott
  • S Ryan Murphy

In addition, multiple sources are reporting that the Giants will sign WR Travis Rudolph to the Practice Squad. All nine players were with the New York Giants this preseason.

Each NFL team can have up to 10 players on its Practice Squad. The league now allows four players per Practice Squad to have up to two accrued seasons (an accrued season means a player who was on full-pay status for six or more regular-season games on a club’s active/inactive, reserve/injured, or reserve/physically-unable-to-perform lists). Aside those four players, players on an active roster for less than six games or were a part of a 46-man active game-day roster for fewer than nine games qualify for a spot. Practice Squad players only practice with the team; they cannot play in games unless signed to the 53-man roster. Practice Squad players are free to sign with other NFL teams, but they have to be signed to the 53-man active roster of the acquiring team. A Practice Squad player cannot be signed to another team’s Practice Squad unless he is first released.

CONDITIONAL 7TH ROUNDER FOR ROSS COCKRELL…
The Bergen Record is reporting that the conditional 2018 draft pick the New York Giants gave to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell is a 7th rounder.

WILL TYE CLAIMED BY THE NEW YORK JETS…
Tight end Will Tye, who the New York Giants waived on Saturday, was claimed by the New York Jets on Sunday.

Sep 022017
 
Share Button
Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53; TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 29 roster moves.

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

  • LB Mark Herzlich (burner)
  • DT Josh Banks (shoulder – torn labrum requiring surgery)

Players who were cut included:

  • QB Josh Johnson
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • RB Khalid Abdullah
  • FB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Jerome Lane
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • WR Ed Eagan
  • TE Will Tye
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OT Jarron Jones
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • OG Matt Rotheram
  • DE Devin Taylor
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Bobby Richardson
  • LB Deontae Skinner
  • LB Stansly Maponga
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB DaShaun Amos
  • CB Nigel Tribune
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • S Trey Robinson
  • PK Mike Nugent

The Giants also sent a conditional draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. The 6’0”, 191-pound Cockrell was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bills cut Cockrell in August 2015 and he then signed with the Steelers. In two seasons with the Steelers, Cockrell played in 31 regular-season games with 23 starts. He started all 16 games in 2016 and finished the year with 62 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He had two interceptions with the Steelers in 2015. Cockrell struggled with the Steelers this preseason.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night really made it tough on us. It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Regarding the competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson for the primary back-up job behind Eli Manning, McAdoo said,  “It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

Aldrick Rosas beat out veteran Mike Nugent for the team’s place kicker. “We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games,” McAdoo said. “Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

Five of the team’s six 2017 draft choices made the 53-man roster. Bisnowaty was waived despite being drafted in the 6th round. In addition, three rookie free agents are on the team: FB Shane Smith, OT Chad Wheeler, and LB Calvin Munson.

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective,” McAdoo said. “He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.

“Shane Smith – we wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

Last year, in his second season, Will Tye was promoted to the starting tight end spot at midseason after the bye week. He played in all 16 regular-season games, with 10 starts, and finished the year with 48 catches for 395 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and just one touchdown. Tye was originally signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2015, he played in 13 games with seven starts, and finished the season with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns. Tye was voted to the Pro Football Writers NFL All-Rookie Team.

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well,” McAdoo said. “That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four (tight ends) for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Last year, Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

“We felt it was best to put Mark on IR this year and give him an opportunity to get healthy,” McAdoo said. “He’ll still be involved with the team, whether it’s in the locker room, or in the meeting rooms. Mark will still be around to help the guys.”

Veteran DE Devin Taylor, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was also cut. “We have a lot of talented players in that defensive line room, a lot of depth in the room,” said McAdoo. “Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

ARTICLES…

Aug 222017
 
Share Button
Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, New York Giants (August 21, 2017)

Odell Beckham walks off of the field after ankle injury – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 10 – NEW YORK GIANTS 6…
The New York Giants’ offense continued to struggle in the second preseason game as the Giants fell to the Cleveland Browns 10-6 on Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. But the more alarming news for New York was on the injury front as wide receiver Odell Beckham (ankle), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), and cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion) were all forced to leave the game. X-rays on Beckham’s ankle were negative, but he will undergo further evaluations on Tuesday. The Giants did not provide an update on Marshall after the game. King, who has missed a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, appears to have re-injured it. And Hunter will now enter the NFL’s concussion protocol.

For the second game in a row, the Giants failed to score a touchdown. Quarterback Eli Manning was a respectable 10-of-14 for 80 yards, but the offensive line again had issues pass and run blocking. Despite accruing 16 yards on one run, starting halfback Paul Perkins finished the night with 10 yards on six carries. Overall, the Giants were held to an embarrassing 212 total net yards (147 yards passing, 65 yards rushing) and 13 first downs. The offense also turned the football over three times, including an interception by quarterback Geno Smith and fumbles by wide receiver Sterling Shepard and running back Wayne Gallman. The Giants were 3-of-12 on third down and 0-for-2 in red zone opportunities.

On the positive side, the Giants’ defense continues to play well. The Browns were held to 242 total net yards (134 yards passing, 108 yards rushing) and 18 first downs. Defensive end Olivier Vernon tipped one pass that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul intercepted. Both ends also split a sack. Linebacker B.J. Goodson also picked up his second sack in two preseason games.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. left the game with an ankle injury. X-rays were negative, but the Giants said he will undergo further evaluation. Beckham was also evaluated for a possible concussion, but cleared.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall injured his shoulder in the game. Cornerback Michael Hunter left the game in the 3rd quarter with a concussion. Wide receiver Tavarres King left the game early with an ankle injury.

Not playing in the game were running back Shaun Draughn (ankle), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (upper body), wide receiver Darius Powe (hamstring), wide receiver Andrew Turzilli (hamstring), offensive lineman Adam Gettis (eye), offensive lineman Michael Bowie (arrest warrant), linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), and linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger).

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • LG Justin Pugh (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

ARTICLES…

Aug 172017
 
Share Button
J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

J.T. THOMAS ACCEPTS PAY CUT…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas has accepted a pay cut. His 2017 base salary has been reduced from $2,975,000 to $775,000. He now has a roster bonus of $20,000 and will earn $400,000 in incentives if he plays 70 percent of snaps or more.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (upper body soreness), wide receiver Darius Powe (hamstring), wide receiver Kevin Snead (lower body), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), and cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) did not practice.

“(Apple) felt his ankle a little bit, so we were precautionary with it,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“Just got kicked a little bit going against some of the receivers,” said Apple. “It’s kind of bruised up after practice, but it’s not a big deal… I’m not sure (if I will play Monday). I’m just going to take it one day at a time and see what happens.”

“(Herzlich is) progressing,” said McAdoo. “He is not where we want him to be yet to put him back on the field, but he is working through it.”

Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle), linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee), and safety Duke Ihenacho (hamstring) were limited.

“(Thomas) is working through it,” said McAdoo. “Going through individuals, and eventually we will build him up to 7- on-7’s, some special teams work, and then team reps. But right now we are starting slow with him.”

Wide receiver Keeon Johnson left practice early with a lower body injury.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • PK Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on field goal attempts.
  • FB Shane Smith was promoted to first-team punt coverage and punt-return special teams units, now working with all four special teams units. He also received first-team reps at fullback.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators will also address the press.

Jul 172017
 
Share Button
B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign Kelvin Sheppard, who started 11 regular-season games at middle linebacker for the team in 2016. The Giants re-signed unrestricted free agents Keenan Robinson and Mark Herzlich to 1-year deals. The team also signed journeyman street free agent Curtis Grant and rookie free agent Calvin Munson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Once again, the Giants made no major player acquisitions at linebacker. The #1 story line here is tracking how well second-year player B.J. Goodson can take over at middle linebacker for Sheppard. Goodson has been praised by coaches and players for his work during the spring, but he has to demonstrate that he can not only stuff the run, but cover tight ends and running backs. The middle linebacker is usually a defensive leader on most teams and it will be a big jump for Goodson, who only played a handful of defensive snaps in 2016.

It assumed by many that Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard will remain the other top linebackers on the team. Can Casillas continue his career renaissance or was 2016 his high point? Can the injury-prone Robinson string together two healthy years in a row? One gets the sense that Kennard still hasn’t reached his true potential, but he must also stay healthy.

ON THE BUBBLE: Mark Herzlich, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Curtis Grant, Stansly Maponga, and Calvin Munson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Bill McGovern on B.J. Goodson: “I think he, like everybody has kind of has noticed, he just seemed a little bit more comfortable being in the system another year being around it. You see him more comfortable gaining more confidence as he continues to get more and more reps in practice… He has a really good skill set. He looks like he will be good in the run, but again, without pads on right now, we’re moving around but it’s not anything that is going to be real definitive right now, but he is a guy that looks like he can tackle, we’ve seen on tape that he can tackle. He moves well. It looks like he is moving better in the pass but again you always move better once you always have a better understanding of how you fit in this scheme… the mike linebacker position is one that has got to control our defense, make some calls, make some checks, get us lined up, and let us play.”

McGovern on Keenan Robinson: “I think Keenan, in particular in our sub-package really was a positive for us in terms of coverage. He has length, he has size, and he has athleticism so he was a real positive. Hopefully, again we will continue to expand his role in that.”

McGovern on Devon Kennard: “I think (last year) it was kind of learning, again, more about DK and DK kept taking on more and more responsibility. Finding his skill set improved a little bit in that he has value rushing the passer and that he has value on first down, second down, and third down. It was one of those situations as we developed through the year we realized that he had more and more value and he has continued to work on it through the offseason and we are excited about where he is headed now.”

PREDICTIONS: This group is lucky to be sandwiched between the talent on the defensive line and defensive backs. As of July 2017, clearly there are still no headliners at this position for the Giants. That could change if Goodson or Kennard have breakout years. The key with Goodson will probably be his coverage ability. Can he become a three-down linebacker? I keep waiting for Kennard to have that breakout game. He has the smarts and physical tools. It just hasn’t happened for him yet. Casillas and Robinson had solid seasons, but they have to prove they can do that again.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring injury, the obvious ones are B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard. After that, it gets murky. The Giants could keep as few as six linebackers. It is doubtful they will keep eight. Herzlich keeps seeing his defensive snaps reduced, but is clearly still valued as a core special teams player. The wild card is J.T. Thomas, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury. The fact that he has not been cut seems to indicate the Giants still have plans for him or see him as insurance. I’ll say the Giants keep seven linebackers, including special teams aces Herzlich, Thomas, and Deontae Skinner. I would not be shocked to see the Giants replace one of these three after the final roster cuts.

Jan 122017
 
Share Button
Rahim Moore, Cleveland Browns (August 12, 2016)

Rahim Moore – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN FOUR MORE TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have officially signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:

  • RB Daryl Virgies
  • OG Martin Wallace
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • S Rahim Moore

Virgies is a small school back who was not drafted or signed after the 2016 NFL Draft. He did work out with the Packers, Colts, and Winnipeg Blue bombers of the CFL. Virgies has good size and outstanding speed.

Wallace was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cleveland Browns after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Browns (2013), Panthers (2014-2015), Buccaneers (2015), Bears (2015-2016), Cardinals (2016), and Jets (2016). Wallace has only played in one regular-season game with no starts. He has very good size.

Grant was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Chargers (2015), Falcons (2015), Titans (2016), Raiders (2016), and 49ers (2016). Grant is a well-built, physical linebacker whose instincts and agility have been questioned. He was considered the #1 inside linebacking prospect coming out of high school.

Moore was originally drafted in the 2nd round of 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants pursued Moore in free agency in 2015 before he signed with the Houston Texans, who waived him in March 2016 after he was benched for the bulk of the season. Moore signed with the Browns last year but he did not make the team. Moore lacks ideal size but he is good athlete with fine range for the position. He is not a physical player against the run and he misses too many tackles.

ARTICLES…