Jan 212015
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Larry Donnell led Giants tight ends with 63 catches – © USA TODAY Sports Images

As the New York Giants entered training camp in July 2014, the tight end position appeared to be a pending disaster. The Giants had parted ways with the disappointing Brandon Myers and jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none Bear Pascoe. The only returning players were Larry Donnell (16 games, 3 catches in his two NFL seasons) and Adrien Robinson (3 games, no catches in his two seasons), both of whom had demonstrated very little to date. The Giants had only added Kellen Davis (unrestricted free agent from the Seahawks), Daniel Fells (who was out of football in 2013), and Xavier Grimble (undrafted rookie free agent). Late in training camp, the Giants also signed Jerome Cunningham (who was out of football in 2013).

The only tight ends drafted by the Giants in recent years were the disappointing Travis Beckham (2009 3rd round pick) and Robinson (2012 4th round pick). In free agency, the Giants let Kevin Boss walk in 2012 most likely due to a combination of salary cap and concussion concerns. His replacement Martellus Bennett was a good addition, but he departed in free agency the following offseason in 2013. Bennett’s replacement, Brandon Myers, was clearly a free agent mistake.

Exacerbating the legitimate concern about the lack of headline talent was the adoption by the Giants of new offensive system that would feature the tight end position. In a West Coast Offense, the tight end is a critically important component as a pass receiver. Mini-camp, OTA, and training camp reports confirmed that new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system would not only rely heavily on the tight end, but often employ two- and three-tight end formations. The fullback position was marginalized. And rather than use more three- and four-wide receiver sets, the multiple tight end packages were more prominent. It began took as if McAdoo would not adapt his system to the strengths and weaknesses of the given roster.

So pessimistic were many fans about the prospects for Donnell, Fells, and Robinson that they had penciled in Davis and Grimble as the two most likely to make the team. However, by late August, Davis and Grimble had been cut. Cunningham was cut too but then signed to the Practice Squad. Larry Donnell had won the starting tight end position, followed by #2 tight end Daniel Fells, and #3 tight end Adrien Robinson.

Overall, while the tight end was not a position of strength on the 2014 New York Giants, it certainly was not the mess many had expected. Donnell had a breakout year as a receiver. He finished tied for 9th in the NFL among tight ends in terms of catches (63), 13th in terms of yards (623), and tied for 7th in terms of touchdowns (6). Blocking was not a strength of his game, but Donnell appears to be an ascending player with enough physical talent to get better. Fells proved to be less dynamic, but was more reliable as a blocker. And he did chip in with four touchdowns. Robinson remained buried in last place on the depth chart, but at least he finally saw some playing time and caught his first NFL touchdown.

THE PLAYERS

Larry Donnell went from a little-known player to the team’s primary tight end in 2014, playing in all 16 games with 12 starts. Donnell finished the season with 63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent 2012 on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell made the 53-man roster in 2013 and was active for all 16 games, starting one contest. He finished the season with only three catches for 31 yards. Donnell combines very good size and overall athleticism. A very raw player when he came to the Giants, Donnell is still a work in progress. In the passing game, Donnell is a big target, adjusts well for the football, and is capable of making the circus catch. He needs to do a better job of holding onto the football (four fumbles in 2014) and gaining yards after the catch. While Donnell gives a good effort, he still has a lot of work to do to improve as a blocker.

Daniel Fells was the #2 tight end for the Giants in 2014. He played in all 16 games with nine starts and finished the season with 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns. Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. Fells has good size and average athletic ability. He is a decent blocker. He does not really threaten defenses as a receiver, but he is reliable.

Adrien Robinson has not developed as hoped since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2014, he was the team’s #3 tight end and played in all 16 games with one start. Robinson only caught five passes for 50 yards on one touchdown. In the previous two seasons, Robinson only played in three games and had no catches. He missed virtually all of the 2013 season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. Robinson has a good combination of size and athletic ability, but to date he has been unable to put it all together at the pro level as a blocker and receiver.

Jerome Cunningham was signed to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad in December 2014. Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Dec 112014
 
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December 11, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: OT James Brewer (concussion) and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Thursday.

QB Eli Manning (back) practiced officially on a limited basis.

“Eli practiced well and did everything,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “There wasn’t any real restriction on him, so we feel good about that.”

LB Jameel McClain (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) fully practiced.

December 11, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

December 11, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

7 Takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese: Why firing general manager Jerry Reese is a tough call for the Giants by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning and the value of perfect attendance by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Reuben Randle’s role in Giants offense receding by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on the New York Giants Defense: Kennard, Hankins Are The Building Blocks Of 2015 Giants Defense by Curt Macysyn for CBS New York

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Article on the Giants-Titans Game: What the Giants rookies did in Tennessee to impress | Film review by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Giants Online – Giants vs. Redskins Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Nov 282014
 
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Giants Officially Eliminated from Playoff Contention: With the Detroit Lions defeating the Chicago Bears on Thursday, the New York Giants have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. This is the third season in a row and the fifth time in six years the Giants have not made the playoffs. The Giants did win the NFL Championship in 2011. The Giants are currently 3-8 and have lost six games in a row.

Odell Beckham Voted NFL Rookie of the Week: WR Odell Beckham has been voted the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. In that game, Beckham caught 10 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular one-handed 43-yard touchdown reception.

November 28, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), LB Jacquian Williams (concussion/shoulder), and OG Adam Snyder (knee) did not practice on Friday. All three players have been officially ruled out of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

With Snyder out, Weston Richburg regains his starting position at left guard.

OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee) practiced on a limited basis. Pugh and Kiwanuka are “questionable” for the game while Schwartz is “probable.”

WR Odell Beckham (back), LB Jameel McClain (knee), and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced. All three are “probable” for the game.

November 28, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: How to win close games by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

November 28, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: The Giants Are Thankful for Beckham’s Catch…and That’s It by Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal

Article on Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell: Giants defensive end Damontre Moore should’ve been on field for final drive; so why wasn’t he? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on WR Odell Beckham: The non-catch reasons the Giants love Odell Beckham by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on TE Daniel Fells: Daniel Fells grateful to be part of the team by Jeff Roberts of The Bergen Record

Article on OG Weston Richburg: Giants’ Weston Richburg back in the starting lineup after a strong week of practice by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Terrifying: Jason Pierre-Paul’s days at tight end by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on LB Jon Beason: Perry Fewell says Giants miss Jon Beason by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Sep 122014
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (October 7, 2012)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 12, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were DE Jason Pierre-Paul (neck), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring). Pierre-Paul is “probable” for the game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday while the other four players have been ruled out of the game.

DT Cullen Jenkins (hip), LB Jon Beason (foot), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) practiced on a limited basis. Weatherford is listed as “questionable” for the game while the other three players are “probable.”

“Oh yes. Absolutely (I am ready to play),” said Weatherford. “We have 48 hours until kickoff and if we keep coming in the right direction, I could play. If I had to, I could play tomorrow. We have got two days, so that is good.”

September 12, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Friday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Making corrections by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

September 12, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Giants offensive struggles: An All-22 look at what went wrong in loss to Detroit by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham eyes Week 3, but that seems like a stretch by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on TE Daniel Fells: TE Daniel Fells and brother Darren to face off Sunday by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: Film Room Week 1: Analyzing the Giants’ offensive line vs. Lions by Nick Klopis of Newsday

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie admits to using bad technique; compares Calvin Johnson vs. Larry Fitzgerald by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Aug 282014
 
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Giants.com Interview with S Antrel Rolle: The video of Tuesday’s Giants.com interview with safety Antrel Rolle is available at Giants.com.

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Giants not scared to talk ‘championship’ by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Running Backs:

Article on TE Daniel Fells: Giants TE Daniel Fells likely to receive first-team snaps vs. Patriots team that dumped him last year by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Article on S Nat Berhe: Giants rookie check-in with Nat Berhe: ‘The Missile’ or ‘The Icebox’? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on PK Brandon McManus: NY Giants keep Eagles from getting kicker Brandon McManus by Stephen Lorenzo and Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Aug 142014
 
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BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

August 14, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Thursday were RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), TE Daniel Fells (knee), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), and LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot).

“(Fells) is not out here,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He started back, but we couldn’t get him all the way back. We are supposed to have him next week.”

FB John Conner (concussion) worked in individual drills.

WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) participated in individual and some team drills.

“(Beckham) is not going to play (on Saturday against the Colts),” said Coughlin. “Expect him next week, but not this week. There is not enough work…We have had him for individuals and we have had him for a few plays. When the few plays are run, he looks to be doing fine, but like everybody, they need more repetition, more time on the field. They need to be in that fatigued state to see how they perform then. We need all of those things to take place.”

August 14, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Thursday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 14, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

ESPN Radio Interview with DE Mathias Kiwanuka: The audio of ESPN Radio’s interview with DE Mathias Kiwanuka on Thursday is available at ESPN.com.

Article on 2014 New York Giants: Selecting the most important Giants for 2014 by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Why Tom Coughlin doesn’t plan to stop coaching any time soon by Steve Politi of The Star-Ledger

Article on FB Henry Hynoski: A new name in Giants tight end mix: fullback Henry Hynoski by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on WR Victor Cruz and CB Walter Thurmond: Inside Victor Cruz and Walter Thurmond III’s practice battles by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Articles on LB Devon Kennard:

Articles on CB Walter Thurmond:

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel Rolle has the preseason highlight to prove he’s back at safety by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Notes: Lef tackle Will Beatty will see his first action in football game this weekend since breaking his leg in the 2013 regular-season finale.

Curtis Painter will be the second quarterback on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. Ryan Nassib will come in last.

Jul 312014
 
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Jay Bromely, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Jay Bromley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

July 31, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: On Wednesday, the Giants publicly released an update on RB David Wilson, who suffered a neck burner at practice on Tuesday. Wilson underwent a battery of medical tests Tuesday night at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). The Giants say he will not practice the remainder of the week, nor will he play in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Wilson will be examined and evaluated by Dr. Frank Cammisa at HSS on Monday. Cammisa, chief of spine services at HSS, is the specialist who performed the vertebrae fusion surgery on Wilson on January 16, 2014.

However, while Wilson himself tweeted on Wednesday that “everything is fine,” NJ.com and The Star-Ledger are reporting that sources say Wilson’s football career is likely over. ESPN is reporting the same.

“Until we here what the doctors say, I am just praying that the kid is okay,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after practice on Thursday. “When he was cleared to play he came out and exhibited no fear, no nothing. I was really excited about that coming out. We are obviously concerned, but we will have to wait and see what the doctors say.”

Wilson originally injured the neck in October 2013 in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was cleared to resume football contact on July 21.

In addition to Wilson, not practicing on Thursday were WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OG John Jerry (knee), DT Mike Patterson (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), LB Spencer Paysinger (concussion), LB Spencer Adkins (groin), and CB Travis Howard (knee).

LT Will Beatty (illness), DE Robert Ayers (ankle), CB Bennett Jackson (ankle), and WR Corey Washington (heel) all left practice early. Bennett will undergo x-rays on his ankle.

July 31, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Thursday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

July 31, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants on ESPN Radio: Audio clips of Tuesday’s ESPN Radio interviews with the following team officials and players are available at ESPN.com:

  • President/CEO John Mara (Audio)
  • General Manager Jerry Reese (Audio)
  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Audio)
  • QB Eli Manning (Audio)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Audio)
  • LB Jon Beason (Audio)
  • CB Prince Amukamara (Audio)
  • S Antrel Rolle (Audio)

NJ.com Q&A with OG/OC Weston Richburg: Weston Richburg rookie check-in: Playing more guard or center for Giants? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on New York Giants Training Camp: Giants training camp Week 2: Stock Up/Stock Down by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Talent:

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: 10 observations about Ben McAdoo’s offense by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Four practices with Ryan Nassib: A breakdown of the Giants backup by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on New York Giants Running Backs:

Articles on New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Articles on Former Giant DE Michael Strahan:

Full pads for #Giants practice today

Jul 292014
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

The Giants are worried about David Wilson’s neck – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

July 29, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP), WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (leg), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), DT Everett Dawkins (unknown), CB Ross Weaver (unknown), and CB Travis Howard (unknown) did not practice on Tuesday. The Giants said Grimble practiced, but the reporters said he did not.

Most troubling is that RB David Wilson left practice early with what is being called a “burner” to his neck. According to the Giants, the injury occurred when Wilson caught a shovel pass, turned upfield with his head down, and ran into the back of offensive lineman Eric Herman.

Wilson was only cleared for football contact on July 21 after suffering a career-threatening neck injury against the Eagles in October 2013. Wilson had surgery on January 16, 2014 to fuse vertebrae in his neck.

Wilson was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery for a full battery of tests to determine the severity of the injury he suffered on Tuesday.

After practice, Head Coach Tom Coughlin was visibly concerned.

“He got a burner. So we’ll see,” said Coughlin. “We’ll hear what they have to say first. We were all praying that he wouldn’t have an issue and come back to work. He was cleared, as you know. We’ll see. I’m not going to speculate what it is and see what the doctors say.”

Odell Beckham, who aggravated an offseason hamstring injury at the beginning of camp and has not practiced since, talked about his injury and the tests he underwent on Monday to determine the status of the injury.

“(The tests revealed) just heavy inflammation and blood in the hamstring,” said Beckham. “The trainers are just taking it day-by-day to see. Whatever happens is what happens. It’s up to them right now on the length, however long it’s going to be…they just said it’s still day-by-day.”

“Yeah (I’m frustrated),” said Beckham. “I talked to Coach Coughlin and like he said, it’s frustrating on both ends. He wants me out there as bad as I want to be out there. It’s just kind of like you work so hard to get to where you’re at now and it’s like you can’t go out there and do the one thing that you love to do. It’s hard to just take that all the time and then have your coach, at the same time, be frustrated.”

July 29, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Tuesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

July 29, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

What we found out during media hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

New York Giants on WFAN Radio: Audio clips of Tuesday’s WFAN Radio interviews with the following team officials and players are available at CBS New York:

  • President/CEO John Mara (Audio)
  • General Manager Jerry Reese (Audio)
  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Audio)
  • QB Eli Manning (Audio)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Audio)
  • S Antrel Rolle (Audio)

New York Giants Practice Reports:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning on what makes Tom Coughlin a Hall-worthy coach by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: New Coach Has Giants Huddling in Hurry, or Not at All by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

Article on QB Eli Manning: NY Giants QB Eli Manning wants a career like Yankees’ Derek Jeter, playing with one team into his 40s by Gary Myers of The New York Daily News

Articles on WR Mario Manningham:

Article on TE Daniel Fells: Daniel Fells a most unlikely comeback story by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on New York Giants Defensive Tackles:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Former Giants DE Michael Strahan: Strahan, Coughlin weren’t always these Hall of Fame allies by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Jul 072014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Larry Donnell – © 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.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Tight Ends

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: During the 2013 offseason, the New York Giants decided not to pay big bucks in order to retain Martellus Bennett who signed with the Chicago Bears. To replace Bennett, the Giants signed free agent Brandon Myers from the Oakland Raiders. The undersized, slow, and not overly athletic Myers was a significant step down as a blocker and receiver. He finished 2013 with 47 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns. The #2 tight end was again the hard-working, but physically unimpressive, Bear Pascoe, who had a grand total of 12 catches for 81 yards and no touchdowns. Much was expected of the physically-talented duo of Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell. Neither developed and long-time tight end coach Mike Pope was fired at the end of the season. Robinson, who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, was only active for two games as a rookie. He missed virtually all of the 2013 season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. When he did return in Week 16, he immediately sprained his knee. In two seasons, Robinson has played in three games and he has no career receptions. Donnell went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent 2012 on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell made the 53-man roster in 2013 and was active for all 16 games, starting one contest. He finished the season with only three catches for 31 yards.

Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (November 3, 2012)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants had no interest in bringing back Brandon Myers (now with Tampa Bay) and Bear Pascoe (now with Atlanta). Robinson and Donnell return. Publicly, the Giants said they wanted to add a tight end in the draft but there were only so many tight ends who they liked and they regarded Weston Richburg a better value in the second round. In the offseason, the Giants added free agent journeymen Daniel Fells (who has spent time with six other teams but didn’t play in 2013) and Kellen Davis (two other teams; 50 catches in six seasons), as well as undrafted rookie free agent Xavier Grimble (USC).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Is there a legitimate starting-caliber tight end currently on this roster? If so, who is it? The pressure is on new tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride, Jr., who failed as a wide receivers coach in 2012-13 and whose last and only previous tight end coaching experience was with Georgetown University in 2006. Can he help do what Mike Pope was unable to do and that is get Robinson and Donnell to play better?

General Manager Jerry Reese hasn’t given up on the two youngsters. “We expect those two young guys (Robinson and Donnell) to come on, and they can be dynamic if we can get them going,” said Reese in June.

“I think we have a nice group there,” said new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo about the five tight ends currently on the roster. “We have big men in the room, I like the way they think about the game, I like the way they’re moving around on the field. When we get the pads on that’s when we’ll really know where we are.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone. Anyone can become the starter and anyone can be cut.

Adrien Robinson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Adrien Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Kevin Gilbride, Jr. on Adrien Robinson:  “He’s working incredibly hard to learn. That’s something that, going in, just knowing him as a personality not as someone I’ve taught before, I didn’t know. He’s in there, he’s taking copious notes, he’s answering questions very well. What we need to do is we need to get him to be able to transition that onto the field. He’s made strides, there’s no doubt that he’s made strides but there needs to be a lot more. The more in detail we get with him, sometimes he loses some of the basics as far as the techniques are concerned and we’ve got to get some carry-over with it.”

PREDICTIONS:

Eric Kennedy – There isn’t anyone on this roster who currently will scare an opposing defense. But is there even another Jake Ballard type here?

Adrien Robinson has been a major disappointment, but some of that was outside of his control. A very green rookie on college team that rarely threw the football to the tight end, he was forced to miss OTAs his rookie season because of an NFL requirement prohibiting players from universities using trimesters from participating in those activities. Mike Pope said that really set him back. He flashed some last offseason before being sidelined for the entire season with injuries. But both Robinson and Donnell do have intriguing physical tools. They are both big, athletic, and can catch the football. If they have the necessary toughness and desire, and if they can be coached up with the proper technique (all big “ifs”), at the very least, they should become good blockers. Don’t discount Larry Donnell. He could really surprise.

Connor Hughes - Baring an injury, Adrien Robinson is set to have a big, big season in 2014. From what we’ve seen in the early goings from the Giants offense, the days of the tight end being a “safety valve” are far in the past. New coordinator Ben McAdoo wants to use them often and as a focal point of the offense, not an after thought. With that being said, Robinson’s skill set is one I believe perfectly suits what the team is attempting to accomplish. Robinson has size (6-4), speed and the athletic ability to stretch the field. Countless times throughout the Giants’ offseason conditioning program, the tight end flashed what he can do…he just needs to stay healthy. If he can’t? Larry Donnell will be waiting in the wings.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric KennedyAdrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), and Xavier Grimble (3), Kellen Davis (Cut), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Connor Hughes – Adrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), Kellen Davis (3), Xavier Grimble (PS), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Jul 042014
 
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Geoff Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs (August 9, 2013)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

  • TE Larry Donnell (Video)
  • TE Daniel Fells (Video)
  • TE Kellen Davis (Video)

Inside Football Player Q&As:

Articles on QB Eli Manning: