Jul 092015
 
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Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com 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: Offensive Line

2014 YEAR IN REVIEW: The overall play of the New York Giants offensive line improved in 2014 from its dreadful performance in 2013 but the unit was still sub par. The Giants were tied for 28th in the NFL with only 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. Pass protection was better as the Giants gave up 30 sacks on the season, which was 9th-best in the NFL. But that figure is a bit misleading given the offense’s new emphasis on getting rid of the ball quickly (West Coast Offense) and quarterback Eli Manning’s long-established tendency to get rid of the ball quickly and not take the sack (which he probably actually should do more often when under duress).

The improvement that did take place not only had to do with the individual components playing better, but the Giants had greater cohesion up front due to far fewer injuries. In 2013, the Giants used seven different starting offensive line combinations, the second-highest total in the NFL that season. In 2014, the same players started all 16 games at left tackle (Will Beatty), center (J.D. Walton), and right guard (John Jerry). Weston Richburg started 15 games at left guard and Justin Pugh started 14 games at right tackle.

That all said, it is widely-recognized that the offensive line was once again a sore spot in 2014. Chris Snee retired before training camp. The Giants counted on high-priced free agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz to be a major building block, but Schwartz only played in two games due to injuries. Beatty had a decent year, but Walton and Jerry really struggled at times. Pugh regressed after a strong rookie season and Richburg experienced the expected growing pains, especially since he was playing out of position. Overall, the line was more finesse than power, which usually is not good for any offense, but especially so for one predicated on balance and the ability to run the football.

Another issue was the overall poor depth situation. James Brewer, Brandon Mosley, Eric Herman, Dallas Reynolds, and Adam Snyder were complete non factors and did not push the weaker links on the line. Adam Gettis was signed late in the season from the Steelers practice squad and ex-Eagle Michael Bamiro was signed to the Giants practice squad.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants released center J.D. Walton in March. Tackle James Brewer signed with the Jets in free agency and the Giants have made no effort to re-sign guard Adam Snyder. The Giants signed CFL All-Star center Brett Jones and street free agent tackle Emmett Cleary early in the offseason and then signed unrestricted free agent tackle Marshall Newhouse from the Bengals.The Giants drafted tackle Ereck Flowers in the first round and guard Bobby Hart in the seventh round. The team also signed rookie free agent tackle Sean Donnelly.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The Giants will enter training camp with no 2014 starter remaining at the same position. Will Beatty tore his pectoral muscle in an offseason weight-lifting accident and will probably miss at least half of the regular season. Because of that, the Giants are starting Ereck Flowers at left tackle at least one year sooner than they anticipated (post-draft comments by Giants officials made it clear that they saw Flowers as Beatty’s eventual replacement). Flowers had been penciled in at right tackle but now Marshall Newhouse – a player benched by the Packers and Bengals – gets first crack at the position. Weston Richburg moves to his more natural position of center. Justin Pugh has shifted from right tackle to left guard. Geoff Schwartz moves from left guard to his more natural right guard position.

The Giants have now invested two first-round draft picks (Pugh and Flowers), two second-round draft picks (Beatty and Richburg), and a high-priced free agent (Schwartz) on the offensive line. Even though Beatty is out, much improvement is expected. On paper, the Giants look strong inside (Pugh-Richburg-Schwartz) with significant question marks at tackle (Flowers and Newhouse). Flowers should eventually excel, but growing pains should be expected. Newhouse’s track record during the last few years has not been good and he appears to be the obvious weak link. The Giants may be forced to move Schwartz to right tackle and start John Jerry at right guard if Newhouse can’t handle the position. The situation should improve when Beatty returns mid-season, but long-term, Beatty may have sealed his fate with the team, especially if Flowers shows steady improvement at left tackle.

Another area of focus is the depth situation and if one of the younger players could possibly surprise and push for a starting job. Brandon Mosley apparently had a good spring as he received some first-team reps during OTAs. The Giants have some very big, young tackles including Michael Bamiro (6’8”, 340lbs), Emmett Cleary (6’7”, 324lbs), and Sean Donnelly (6’7”, 333lbs). The team drafted guard Bobby Hart (6’4”, 334lbs). Brett Jones was a CFL All-Star who is now adjusting to the NFL game.

Overall, the Giants need the line to become a much more physical and intimidating presence. Flowers has a reputation as a bad ass and should help. Pugh and Richburg worked hard in the offseason to get bigger and stronger. The Giants need Schwartz to rebound from a serious ankle injury and be a tough veteran inside.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Giants will probably carry nine offensive linemen. Beatty will probably start the season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List and not count against the 53-man roster limit. Flowers, Pugh, Richburg, and Schwartz are the locks. Newhouse and Jerry are on shaky ground, but one will likely start and the other will likely provide veteran depth. The other nine offensive linemen will probably be fighting for three spots. Those linemen include Mosley, Bamiro, Cleary, Donnelly, Hart, Jones, Dallas Reynolds, Eric Herman, and Adam Gettis. Troy Kropog is also currently on a PUP List.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Pat Flaherty on Weston Richburg: “Right now the progress is good, it really is. He learned an awful lot last year but I knew that he was going to be a player for a very long time and I know I’m using that, but I believe it because he likes the game of football. He really has embraced the center position because you are the voice of everybody to start out and the quarterback may change things, but you are telling everyone what to do. I think that Weston has a little bit of bossman in him and he likes that.”

Flaherty on Michael Bamiro: “I’ll tell you he is the Kevin Garnett of the football players, that guy is huge. He is a good worker, he really is. He has some position versatility from being a tackle to a guard and we worked out with him. We have to really find out a little more about him when we get on pads, but I like his attitude.”

Flaherty on Justin Pugh: “I think that he likes playing and I love guys who like playing. I think any position that you put him at, he would play it. He would like to be a guy that is settled in one position. Most guys are that way. I think you probably get that feeling from him more than anything. He would only get better at the tackle position for us. Is he a better guard than tackle? He is going to be a good football player…Justin has very good feet, he is a very good athlete, has tremendous lower body strength and when you get closer to the ball at the guard position, you are going to be blocking bigger people, so I think that is going to be an advantage for us. He will be able to block those people.”

Flaherty on Geoff Schwartz: “Geoff wants to do it and he has worked awful hard to get back from his injury and he just needs to have the good luck charm on his side for once. Once he is able to do that, here is a guy that can be in the next half dozen years and have a tremendous finish to his career.”

PREDICTIONS: While there will be growing pains with Ereck Flowers, 4/5ths of the Giants offensive line could be set for a few years provided there are no more injuries and Schwartz recovers well from his ankle injury. Flowers will bring much-needed toughness and physicality to the line. Richburg seems primed to develop into a good one at center and the Giants seem to think Pugh will excel at left guard. In fact, these three players could not only be solid, but very good.

“We like (Flowers) as a future left tackle of the New York Giants. I am very comfortable with him being out there right now,” said Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo during the mini-camp.

“(Pugh) is a football-smart guy,” said McAdoo. “He is a hard worker. He brings a nice level of physicality that we like. Some grit to the position right there. It is probably a position that doesn’t get as much glamor as a tackle, but when you are on the left side, it is important position to protect the backside of the quarterback away from his vision. The left guard position is especially important because a lot goes on there on the inside. When one becomes two and two becomes three and when zero becomes one and all the movement happens, you have to make quick decisions and we feel Justin can do that.”

“Weston is a natural center,” said McAdoo. “I am excited for him. I am excited for the offense. I think he brings some energy to the position and to the offense. He’s a guy who likes to have control of things and likes to have his hand on the football. He works very hard at it. I like Weston.”

The obvious question mark is Newhouse at right tackle. He could be the Achilles’ heel for the entire line. Given his struggles in the league the last few years, it’s hard to imagine him being the answer. If he has problems early, the Giants may have to pull the plug and scramble to fill the position. While fans knock John Jerry, he may be an important piece of the short-term puzzle. The pie-in-the-sky hope is that someone like Mosley or Bamiro presses for starting time.

“Marshall has played a little bit of everywhere,” said McAdoo. “I was with him in the past when he first got into the league. He has played just about every position. I believe he even snapped the ball at one point. He is a smart guy. He gets the game. He is very nimble-footed. We need to get some pads on and get out there and get a look at him with the defense moving and be physical. He has done it before and he has done it at a high level before and he will have an opportunity to be a major contributor this year.”

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Flowers, Pugh, Richburg, Schwartz, Newhouse, Jerry, Mosley, Hart, and Jones.

Feb 192015
 
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Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, and Dallas Reynolds; New York Giants (December 29, 2013)

Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, and Dallas Reynolds – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Re-Sign Offensive Lineman Dallas Reynolds: According to various press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds to a 1-year contract. Reynolds, who has experience at both center and guard, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent in early March.

Reynolds was active as a reserve linemen in 15 games for the Giants in 2014, but he did not start. Reynolds was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Eagles’ Practice Squad from 2009-11. In 2012, Reynolds played in 16 regular-season games with 14 starts with Philadelphia. The Eagles waived him August 2013 and he was signed by the Giants in October of that year.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions and 2015 New York Giants Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

Jan 192015
 
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John Jerry and J.D. Walton, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Two Shaky Offensive Line Components – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The overall play of the New York Giants offensive line improved in 2014 from its dreadful performance in 2013 but the unit was still sub par. The Giants were tied for 28th in the NFL with only 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. Pass protection was better as the Giants gave up 30 sacks on the season, which was 9th-best in the NFL. But that figure is a bit misleading given the offense’s new emphasis on getting rid of the ball quickly (West Coast Offense) and quarterback Eli Manning’s long-established tendency to get rid of the ball quickly not take the sack, which he probably actually should do more often when under duress.

The improvement that did take place not only had to do with the individual components playing better, but the Giants had greater cohesion up front due to far fewer injuries. In 2013, the Giants used seven different starting offensive line combinations, the second-highest total in the NFL that season. In 2014, the same players started all 16 games at left tackle (Will Beatty), center (J.D. Walton), and right guard (John Jerry). Weston Richburg started 15 games at left guard and Justin Pugh started 14 games at right tackle. In 2013, not only were the Giants continually shifting players around due to an inordinate number of injuries to starters, but they were sometimes relying on third-stringers as backups were also getting injured.

That all said, it is widely-recognized that the offensive line was once again a sore spot in 2014. The Giants counted on high-priced free agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz to be a major building block, but Schwartz only played in two games due to injuries. Chris Snee, who the Giants never really counted on, retired before training camp. Overall, the line is more finesse than power, which usually is not good for any offense, but especially so for one predicated on balance and the ability to run the football.

Another issue is the poor overall depth situation. For years now, the Giants have not had quality up-and-coming reserves waiting in the wings in case the starters faltered or got hurt. Questionable free agent decisions and shoddy drafting have been the primary culprits. Most of the offensive linemen drafted in recent years have not developed, including Mitch Petrus, James Brewer, Brandon Mosley, and Eric Herman.

THE STARTERS

Will Beatty, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Will Beatty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Beatty started all 16 games at left tackle. He rebounded from a terribly inconsistent 2013 and a fractured tibia that he suffered in the regular-season finale at the end of that year to have a mostly positive performance in 2014. Since Beatty was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants, Beatty has had issues staying healthy, including a broken foot in 2010, a detached retina in 2011, a back injury that caused him to miss offseason work in 2012, and the broken leg in 2013. Beatty is a big lineman with long arms and a very good athlete. When on top of his game, Beatty can mirror and slide with the best pass rushers, and is athletic enough to pull and engage defenders at the second level in the run game. However, Beatty is more of a finesse player. He does not play with a lot of strength and power and he is not a very physical or aggressive blocker. Beatty still has consistency issues.

The Giants drafted Weston Richburg, a 4-year starter at center in college, in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Most of his practice reps with the Giants came at guard in training camp and when Geoff Schwartz suffered a preseason toe injury, Richburg became the starter at left guard. He started 15 games at the position, being benched for one game in November. Richburg had an inconsistent year as a rookie as both a run and pass blocker. Richburg is a good athlete with decent size, but he needs to get bigger and stronger. He is not a mauling type of lineman, but he plays with good leverage and tenacity. Mobile and agile, Richburg, can block at the second level and pull on outside runs. He is smart, tough, and aggressive. His best position is most likely center though he is obviously versatile enough to play guard.

J.D. Walton started all 16 games at center for the Giants in 2014, but his play was sub par. Walton was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He started 32 regular-season games in 2010 and 20011 and the first four games of 2012 until he missed the rest of the season with a severe left ankle injury that required surgery. Walton had a setback on the ankle during the following offseason and underwent a second surgery in June 2013. He missed all of training camp and the preseason and was placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. The Broncos waived him in December 2013 and Walton was then claimed off of waivers by the Redskins. The Giants signed him in March 2014. Walton has average size and athletic ability for a center. He does not generate much movement in his run blocks and can be physically overpowered by bigger, stronger linemen. Walton is a better pass protector but he is vulnerable to powerful or quicker linemen in that area as well. The strength of Walton’s game is his intelligence, scrappiness, and effort. The Giants were comfortable with him making all of the offensive line calls.

John Jerry started all 16 games at right guard for the Giants in 2014. He was a wildly inconsistent player who alternated far too much between solid and poor play. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Jerry looks the part with very good size and long arms, and he flashes both as a run and pass blocker. But he simply is not consistently reliable, technique-oriented, and physical enough blocking for both the run and the pass. Simply put, Jerry needs to work harder at keeping his opponent from making the play. He also seemed to struggle at times mentally with recognizing stunts and blitzes in pass protection.

Justin Pugh, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

In his second season with the Giants after being drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Justin Pugh regressed a bit and had an inconsistent season at right tackle. Sporting a brace on his left elbow, Pugh struggled in the first half of the season and then missed two games with a quadriceps injury in November. He played much better in the final four games in December. In 2013, Pugh started all 16 games at right tackle and was voted to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie Team for his performance. Pugh doesn’t look the part as he lacks ideal size and has short arms for a tackle. But he is a good athlete who plays with fine strength, technique, and leverage. Pugh is smart, aggressive, and tenacious. Though not a mauler, he can get movement on his run blocks and he has the agility to do well in pass protection, though he needs to become more consistent in that area. He can pull and block defenders at the second level. Versatile, the Giants think he can play both tackle spots, guard, and possibly even center.

THE INJURED STARTER

In his first season with the Giants, Geoff Schwartz suffered through an injury-plagued season that saw him play in two games at right tackle because of serious toe and ankle injuries that both required surgery. He missed both the first 10 and last four games of the season, ending up on Injured Reserve in December. Schwartz was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with the Panthers (2008-10), Vikings (2012), and Chiefs (2013). He signed with the Giants as a free agent in March 2014. Schwartz has excellent size and can maul people as a run blocker. He is very solid in pass protection. Schwartz is versatile – he is able to play guard or right tackle.

THE RESERVES

James Brewer simply has not developed as a player since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. A year after playing in all 16 games with eight starts, Brewer only played in two games in November before being placed on injured reserve in December with a concussion. Brewer has a nice combination of size and athleticism. He can play both tackle and guard spots. However, he has not proven to be a very tough or physical lineman.

Adam Snyder was signed by the Giants in September 2014. He played in four games with one start at left guard in Week 12 before leaving that game with the knee issue that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve in December. Snyder was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During his career, he’s played eight seasons with the 49ers (2005-11, 2013) and one with the Arizona Cardinals (2012). Snyder is extremely versatile, having starting experience at all five offensive line positions. He has started 88 regular-season games in 10 NFL seasons. However, despite having very good size, Snyder was considered the weak link of the starting units in San Francisco and Arizona in recent years.

Brandon Mosley has not developed since he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He missed his entire rookie season with an ankle injury. Mosley was active for 22 games the last two seasons, including nine in 2014. His only start came late in the 2013 season. Mosley has good size and athletic ability. He is also versatile, having experience at both guard and tackle. But on a weak offensive line, he has not been able to gain any serious playing time.

Dallas Reynolds was active as a reserve linemen in 15 games in 2014, but he did not start. Reynolds was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Eagles’ Practice Squad from 2009-11. In 2012, Reynolds played in 16 regular-season games with 14 starts. The Eagles waived him August 2013 and he was signed by the Giants in October of that year. A limited athlete with good size, Reynolds is smart and tries hard. He has experience at both center and guard, but he has struggled when called upon to play.

Eric Herman added to the 53-man roster in December 2014 from the Practice Squad, where he spent the bulk of the season. He was also suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Herman was drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He spent most of his rookie season on the Practice Squad until being also added to the roster in December 2013. Herman is a big, strong mauler who struggled with quickness and speed at the collegiate level. Herman needs to develop as a pass blocker in order to make it in the NFL.

Adam Gettis was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins waived Gettis in August 2014 and he was signed the Steelers’ Practice Squad in October. Gettis lacks ideal size, but he is athletic.

INJURED RESERVE

Rogers Gaines was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in August 2014. Gaines was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived him in August 2013. The Bears signed him to their Practice Squad in September 2013. The Giants claimed Rogers Gaines off of waivers from the Chicago Bears in May 2014. Gaines has excellent size and long arms. He is a good athlete for his size. He improved throughout the 2014 preseason at right tackle for the Giants.

Troy Kropog was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014 with a foot injury that he suffered in training camp. Kropog was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Titans waived him in September 2012 and he then spent time with the Jaguars (2012), Vikings (2012-13) and Redskins (2013). The Giants signed Kropog to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. Kropog has a decent combination of size and athleticism, and he is a hard worker. Versatile, he can play both tackle and guard. But it hasn’t come together for Kropog at the NFL level and he has never started a regular-season game.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Michael Bamiro was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2014. Bamiro was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent the 2013 season on the Eagles’ Practice Squad before being waived in August 2014. Bamiro is a very raw player with an intriguing combiation of size (6’8”, 340 pounds) and overall athleticism.

Apr 282014
 
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Rusty Smith, Tennessee Titans (August 17, 2013)

Rusty Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign QB Rusty Smith: The New York Giants announced on Monday that they have officially signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Rusty Smith (Tennessee Titans). Terms of the deal are not yet known.

BBI scouting report on Smith:

The Giants signed Rusty Smith as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in April 2014. Smith was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Titans. In his four seasons with the Titans, Smith was only activated on game day three times, starting one game his rookie season. The Titans waived him August 2013, but re-signed him to their Practice Squad and later 53-man roster. In the three regular-season NFL games that Smith has played in, he completed 23-of-45 passes for 234 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Smith has excellent size and a strong arm, but he could not nail down the #2 quarterback position in Tennessee.

The Giants now have five quarterbacks on their roster, the others being Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib, and Josh Freeman. Manning underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery on April 10 and is not expected to return to the practice field until training camp in July.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting report), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

New York Giants Re-Sign OL Dallas Reynolds: According to NFL Player Association records and CBSSports.com, the Giants re-signed exclusive rights free agent offensive lineman Dallas Reynolds on April 21. Newsday had reported that Reynolds was re-signed in early March, but that report apparently was premature.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting report), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard, and Roster sections of the website.

Article on LT Will Beatty: Will Beatty, unsure of return date, says ‘who knows the future? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

BBI on Giants.com Big Blue Kickoff Live: The audio of Eric Kennedy being interviewed on Giants.com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live podcast on Monday is available at Giants.com. Eric joins the show at the 30-minute mark of the broadcast.

Mar 112014
 
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Trumaine McBride, New York Giants (December 15, 2013)

Trumaine McBride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Re-Sign Trumaine McBride, Peyton Hillis, and Dallas Reynolds: According to multiple press reports, the Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agents cornerback Trumaine McBride and running back Peyton Hillis.

McBride’s contract is reportedly a 2-year, $3.1 million deal; Hillis’ contract is reportedly a 2-year, $1.8 million deal.

According to Newsday, the New York Giants have re-signed exclusive rights free agent guard/center Dallas Reynolds. No contract terms were provided.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting reports), and New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

March 11, 2014 New York Giants Free Agent News and Rumors: Here is the latest on the free agent front:

  • The New York Daily News is reporting that unrestricted free agent safety Ryan Mundy (New York Giants) is unlikely to re-sign with the team.
  • The Star-Ledger is reporting that the Giants are one of three teams with serious interest in unrestricted free agent offensive guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz (Kansas City Chiefs). The NFL Network is reporting that the Schwartz will sign with either the Giants or Rams.
  • NJ.com is reporting that the Giants are unlikely to sign unrestricted free agent centers Evan Dietrich-Smith (Green Bay Packers) and Brian de la Puenta (New Orleans Saints). However, The New York Daily News and New York Post are reporting that the Giants are making a big push to sign Dietrich-Smith.
  • CBS and NFLNetwork are reporting that unrestricted free agent defensive end Justin Tuck (New York Giants) is likely to re-sign with Giants.
  • The Baltimore Sun is reporting that unrestricted free agent defensive end/tackle Arthur Jones, who the Giants had expressed interest in, will sign with the Indianapolis Colts.
  • CSN Bay Area is reporting that the Giants have made a contract offer to unrestricted free agent running back Rashad Jennings (Oakland Raiders).

More Details on Re-Structured Contracts for Chris Snee and Steve Weatherford: According to NFL Player Association records, right guard Chris Snee’s 2014 base salary was reduced from $6.75 million to $2 million (not the $1.1 million reported in the media). Records also indicate that punter Steve Weatherford’s 2014 base salary was reduced from $2.025 million in 2014 to $900,000. Weatherford’s base salaries in 2013 ($2.175 million) and 2014 ($2.325 million) were not changed.

Article on the New York Giants 2014 Salary Cap: Updated: Giants salary cap situation heading into free agency by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency: NFL free agency: How Giants look by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

 

Mar 042014
 
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Spencer Paysinger, New York Giants (September 29, 2013)

Spencer Paysinger – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Tender Spencer Paysinger: According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have tendered restricted restricted free agent Spencer Paysinger at the $1.431 million level. That means the Giants will have the right of first refusal for any team offering Paysinger a contract in free agency. If the Giants do not match that offer, Paysinger would sign with that other team and the Giants would receive no compensation in return.

USA Today is also confirming that guard/center Dallas Reynolds was tendered at the $570,000 level as an exclusive rights free agent. As long as he remains tendered, Reynolds cannot sign with another team.

Because of these moves, we have updated our 2014 Free Agency Scorecard.

New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz on ESPN Radio: The audio of Tuesday’s ESPN Radio interview with wide receiver Victor Cruz is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency:

Article on Wide Receiver Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz wants to try hand at running back under new Giants OC Ben McAdoo by Ebenezer Samuel and Ralph Vacchiano of  The New York Daily News

Mar 032014
 
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Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders (November 24, 2013)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

No Franchise or Transition Tags for New York Giants in 2014 NFL Free Agency: The deadline for NFL teams to designate Franchise or Transition players before the 2014 free agent period passed on Monday. The New York Giants decided not to use either tag on their soon-to-be 21 unrestricted free agents.

Bergen Record – New York Giants Interested in RB Rashad Jennings: According to The Bergen Record, the New York Giants are interested in running back Rashad Jennings (Oakland Raiders) if the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent hits the open market on March 11.

New York Daily News – New York Giants Will Tender Dallas Reynolds: According to The New York Daily News, the New York Giants will tender guard/center Dallas Reynolds. If tendered as an exclusive rights free agent, Reynolds will be unable to sign another team.

For a complete listing of New York Giants 2014 free agents, see our 2014 Free Agency Scorecard.

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Salary Cap: Giants salary cap situation with new $133 million cap by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Jan 272014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

The Offense Will Have a New Look in 2014 – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Officially Hire Danny Langsdorf as Quarterbacks Coach; Reassign Sean Ryan and Kevin M. Gilbride: The Giants officially announced on Monday that they have hired Danny Langsdorf as their new quarterbacks coach. Since 2005, Langsdorf has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State University.

Sean Ryan, who served as the Giants quarterback coach in 2012-13, will now coach the wide receivers again. Ryan was the Giants wide receivers coach in 2010-11.

Kevin M. Gilbride, who served as the Giants wide receivers coach in 2012-13, will now coach the tight ends. Gilbride is the son of recently-retired Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

So to summarize the offseason coaching moves: offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired and tight ends coach Mike Pope and running backs coach Jerald Ingram were fired. Ben McAdoo was hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator, Langsdorf as the new quarterbacks coach, and Craig Johnson as the new running backs coach. Ryan and Gilbride were reassigned. The only offensive coaches who will return in the same position are offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, assistant offensive line coach Lunda Wells, and offensive assistant Ryan Roeder.

“I like the makeup of our offensive staff,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.  “There are some obvious and very good offensive thoughts here. And then you bring in Ben McAdoo…I’m excited about that part of it as well. I think the combination of the fundamentals, the innovative ideas and concepts coming from the new coaches, combined with the coaches that we have here that are fundamentalists and very good coaches in their own right, I’m excited about this spring as we put together our identity as an offensive team again. First and foremost, it’s going to be good for our players.”

“For me, it’s just a great opportunity to be able to work with a great quarterback,” Langsdorf said. “I know he is looking for improvement off of last year. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and to live in a new part of the country. I was never in New York for any reason up until the interview (with Coughlin). I think it’s kind of a neat opportunity for me and my family to experience a different part of the world and just a new challenge, so we’re very excited about that. And getting back to the NFL was something that was appealing to me.”

“When I went through the process of studying his years at Oregon State, I was very impressed with the number of quarterbacks that were highly, highly productive in the Oregon State program, including redshirt freshmen,” Coughlin said. “And also in the years, with Jacquizz Rodgers, for example, they ran the ball. So he has adapted to a lot of different things. Then when I had the opportunity to interview him, I would take specific areas in which I think the college game is doing a darn good job, and his ability to relate and teach in these areas, I thought, was outstanding.

“The one thing that is very impressive is that Ben and Danny are fundamentalists, first and foremost, in how they teach. They both have extensive quarterback film and drill work which they teach off of and which relate to the fundamentals of the game – how you drop, how you set, how you save time, how you become more efficient, where’s the ball, where do you carry the ball, where’s your front foot. When the quarterbacks report back here, that is a very, very good way to start the progression of how the quarterback is developed fundamentally so he can contribute at the highest level in this form of offensive package. I’m very interested in that.”

“(Eli’s disappointing season) was a very important part of our conversation and the interview,” Langsdorf said. “He knows he’s got it in him, he’s played great football at times, but I think he had a little bit of an off year, a lot of turnovers. That’s something that we have to correct, do a better job in taking care of the ball and he stressed that, the importance of that for our entire team. That was part of the discussion, for sure, as well as developing some young guys to back him up.”

Neither Langdorf nor Coughlin think Langdorf’s collegiate coaching background will be an issue.

“I think really just working, getting back to the fundamentals and teaching the details of the position and implementing a new system are all things that are going to be fun to work with Eli on. With Ben and what he’s presenting as a package for the Giants, I think all of those things together will be smooth. I think coaching is teaching, and I think if you’re a good teacher, you should be able to do that and teach well and communicate well at any level.”

“I think there is something to be said for taking some of the ideas that you see are most prevalent at the college level and bringing that to our game,” Coughlin said. “And the combination is very interesting to me.”

Langsdorf and McAdoo worked together for one season on the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints.

“We’ve kept in touch through the years,” Langsdorf said. “We haven’t been together for a long time. Gosh, I’ve been out here for nine years now at Oregon State, so we’ve been apart for a while. But it’s always good to reconnect. Ben has had a great career and I’m excited to have a chance to work with him. He’s worked with some outstanding coaches and has been able to coach some great players, which has been a good experience for him. He’s excited about the challenge and what he’s got in front of him. I’m really looking forward to working with him. He’s got a lot of energy and a lot of passion and detail and I think his system is going to have quite a bit of change from back in the New Orleans days. But there are going to be some similarities with that system. I’m just really looking forward to working with him.”

For a complete overview of the coaching staff and their respective resumes, see the Coaching Staff section of the website.

Article on Quarterbacks Coach Danny Langsdorf: Langsdorf’s inspiring connection to Gilbride by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Offensive Lineman Dallas Reynolds: Giants free agents: Dallas Reynolds still seeking an NFL home by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on Linebacker Spencer Paysinger: Giants free agents: Spencer Paysinger has earned spot on roster by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former Giants Defensive End Michael Strahan: Time for Hall of Fame to call Michael Strahan by Tara Sullivan of The Bergen Record

Dec 272013
 
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Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

December 27, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were WR Rueben Randle (knee), WR Victor Cruz (knee/concussion), TE Adrien Robinson (knee), OG Brandon Mosley (hand), and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder). Randle is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday; Cruz, Robinson, Mosley, and Pierre-Paul will not play.

OG David Diehl (knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (shin/quad), CB Trumaine McBride (groin), and CB Terrell Thomas (knee) were limited in practice. McBride is “questionable” for the game while Diehl, Jenkins, and Thomas are “probable.”

RB Andre Brown (concussion), RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), and CB Jayron Hosley (illness) fully practiced. All three players are “probable” for the game.

December 27, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday media session are available at Giants.com

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Finishing Strong by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

December 27, 2013 New York Giants Player Media Sessions: Video clips of Friday’s media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on New York Giants President/CEO John Mara: Big Blue Boss: How John Mara will handle the Giants’ offseason by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Passing Game: Cruz: WRs, Eli had ‘disconnect’ by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on WR Hakeem Nicks: Nicks wants to stay with Giants: ‘It’s not just about money’ by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post

Article on OC/OG Dallas Reynolds: Giants’ Dallas Reynolds steps in admirably in emergency vs. Lions by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Linemen:

Article on S Antrel Rolle: It’s easy to misjudge matured, team-first Giants captain Rolle by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Giants Online: The video of this week’s edition of Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Quotes: Former Giants Running Back Tiki Barber on QB Eli Manning: “He’s done great things, but he doesn’t do it consistently. What makes someone great in the history, in the annals of an organization or a league? It’s consistency. The problem with Eli, as of late, I think, is there’s something physically off. There’s definitely a confidence issue…It has everything to do with those five guys (on the offensive line) — and really it’s been eight over the course of this year — in front of him that just can’t get it done. He’s constantly throwing off his back foot. I feel like he’s pressing sometimes to make some throws and they end up sailing on him…It’s because of confidence and I think because he’s gotten the crap beat out of him…I’ve counted Eli out before and I’ve been wrong. Here’s what I know about him. He has a drive, and maybe it’s a Manning thing. … Is it still open for him to have great success in the next three or four years? I think it is.”
Dec 222013
 
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Steve Weatherford (5), Josh Brown (3), New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Josh Brown Kicks the Game-Winner in Overtime – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 23 – Detroit Lions 20 (Overtime): The New York Giants defeated the Detroit Lions 23-20 in overtime on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-9. The Giants also knocked the Lions out of playoff contention.

Behind a patchwork offensive line and missing WR Victor Cruz, the Giants used some creative offensive play-calling and strong defense in the first half to take a 13-3 halftime lead. Detroit began the game with a 10-play, 39-yard drive that stalled at the Giants’ 45-yard line after DE Mathias Kiwanuka sacked QB Matthew Stafford for a 12-yard loss. The Giants then began a 15-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 41-yard field goal by PK Josh Brown. The two opening possessions took more than 11 minutes off of the clock.

Detroit responded with another long possession, driving 63 yards in 12 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, the game was tied 3-3.

The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession. Detroit drove from their own 35 to the Giants’ 45-yard line. But on 2nd-and-10, Kiwanuka forced RB Reggie Bush to fumble. The loose ball was recovered by S Antrel Rolle and returned to the Detroit 49-yard line. The Giants then put together a 9-play, 49-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Jerrel Jernigan. Giants 10 – Lions 3.

The Lions moved to the Giants 43-yard line on their fourth offensive possession, but on 2nd-and-17, DE Justin Tuck intercepted a Stafford pass with 47 seconds to go before halftime. Despite a sack, the Giants were able to get into field goal range and Brown kicked a 52-yarder with nine seconds left on the clock. Giants 13 – Lions 3.

The game completely changed in the second half as the Lions scored 17 unanswered points to take a 20-13 lead. Detroit dominated the line of scrimmage and the Giants were unable to run the football and Manning was under constant pass pressure. The Giants did not gain a single first down on their first five possessions of the second half. Worse, Manning was sacked in the end zone for a safety. After a 50-yard punt return by the Lions, Detroit cut the score to 13-10 with an 8-play, 30-yard drive. Both teams exchanged punts and then the safety occurred as New York led by only a single point, 13-12.

Momentum completely swung in Detroit’s favor as the Lions drove 63 yards in nine plays after the safety to go up 20-13 with the touchdown and successful 2-point conversion with under 12 minutes to play. New York went three-and-out on their next two offensive possessions. With just over five minutes to play, the Lions faced a 3rd-and-7 from their own 22-yard line. Stafford’s pass was tipped by the intended receiver and intercepted by S Will Hill who returned it 38 yards for the tying touchdown, 20-20.

Detroit went three-and-out. The Giants picked up one first down (their first of the second half) and punted. The Lions then picked up a first down and were forced to punt after another sack by Kiwanuka. With 50 seconds left in regulation, the Giants had the ball at their own 37-yard line and a chance to win. After two plays, the Giants crossed midfield, but with 28 seconds left, Manning’s deep pass over the middle intended for Jernigan was badly overthrown and intercepted.

The Giants won the coin toss and received the ball to start overtime. RB Michael Cox returned the kickoff deep out of the end zone for 56 yards to the Giants’ 49-yard line. After a 15-yard pass from Manning to TE Brandon Myers, RB Andre Brown fumbled the ball away. The Lions recovered at their own 28-yard line. The Giants’ defense held as Detroit went three-and-out.

The Giants then put together their final game-winning field-goal drive, marching 45 yards in 11 plays. The huge play on the drive was a 15-yard pass from Manning to Jernigan on 4th-and-7 from the Lions’ 42-yard line. Four plays later, Brown nailed the 45-yard field goal for the win.

Offensively, the Giants were held to 238 net yards passing and 41 net yards rushing. Manning finished the game 23-of-42 for 256 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. His leading receiver was Jernigan who caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Andre Brown was held to 40 yards on 16 carries (2.5 yards per rush).

Defensively, the Giants allowed 207 net yards passing and 148 net yards rushing. The leading tacklers were LB Jon Beason (11), S Ryan Mundy (10), and Hill (9). Hill intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown. Kiwanuka had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and forced a fumble that Rolle recovered.

On special teams, the Giants gave up a 50-yard punt return but Cox also had a 56-yard kickoff return. Brown made all three of his field goal attempts from 41, 52, and 45 yards.

Post-Game Injury Report: TE Adrien Robinson sprained a knee on the opening kickoff and did not return. Brandon Mosley, who started at right guard, broke a hand on the opening drive and did not return. RB Andre Brown suffered a concussion in overtime and did not return.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.

Player Post-Game Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), WR Victor Cruz (knee), OG David Diehl (knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), LB Allen Bradford, and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring).

Articles on the New York Giants-Detroit Lions Game: