Jun 042020
 
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New York Giants Helmets (September 22, 2019)

© USA TODAY Sports

BABY STEPS – GIANTS BEGIN REOPENING TEAM FACILITY…
The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that the team has “started a slow, steady reopening” of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey “in accordance with the protocols of the State of New Jersey and the NFL.” The facility had been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 situation.

According to a Giants press release, approximately 15-20 team officials returned to the facility on Wednesday, including co-owner John Mara and General Manager Dave Gettleman as well as some football, business, operations, and medical staff. No coaches have yet returned.

The press release continues: “The number of employees in the facility will continue to increase slowly over the course of the next couple weeks with more business people filtering in. For the time being, those employees who can continue to work from home will do so.”

“We have been working diligently over the last couple months to prepare for coming back to the facility, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center,” said Senior Vice president of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes. “The primary focus has been to return our employees safely. And so everything that we have been doing has been related to the safety of our employees and how we can get back to work as safely as possible.

“We’re all happy to be back. We’ve been waiting for a long time. The Giants’ COVID-19 Task Force has been working hard to make this facility as safe as possible. We’ve made a lot of changes; those are all for (employees’) safety and they’re very important. We are following the CDC guidelines, the guidelines from the NFL and guidelines from the National Institute of Health, as well as the state’s protocols.”

DEANDRE BAKER UPDATE…
As previously reported, New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker was charged last month with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm from an incident that allegedly took place at a house party in Miramar, Florida. The incident was allegedly sparked by a game of dice that involved high-stakes gambling and allegedly resulted in Baker robbing party guests at gunpoint. Baker was released on bond after he turned himself into police authorities.

Since the incident, the New York Giants told Baker to stay away from team offseason virtual meetings and concentrate on his ongoing legal situation.

In May, Baker’s attorneys claimed Baker was the victim of a shakedown. Now one of his attorneys believes Baker will soon be cleared of all charges. “I think we’ve got the case won, to be honest with you,” Baker’s attorney told SNY. “I think it’s only a matter of time…As soon this dismissal goes (through), he’s going to head back to Jersey and start practicing. If it becomes a charge, then the NFL will suspend him. So the Giants are really just playing it cool right now, which is the right thing to do. Just do nothing until the state makes a decision on what they’re going to do.”

However, even if Baker is legally cleared, the NFL could punish Baker for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

“Hopefully it’s a wake-up call for the young kid,” said Baker’s attorney. “That’s what he needed.”

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

GIANTS.COM PLAYER BREAKDOWNS…
Giants.com has produced a number of informative players breakdowns on the New York Giants 2020 NFL Draft class:

ARTICLES…

May 182020
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (December 29, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

As previously reported, New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker was charged last Thursday with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm from an incident that allegedly took place at a house party in Miramar, Florida last Wednesday. The incident was allegedly sparked by a game of dice that involved high-stakes gambling and allegedly resulted in Baker robbing party guests at gunpoint.

While an arrest warrant was issued last Thursday, Baker did not turn himself into police authorities until Saturday morning. Baker spent Saturday night in a Broward County jail, but was released on a $200,000 bond Sunday morning, $25,000 for each of the eight counts against him. No bail was requested by the state prosecutor. Baker was also required to turn in his legally-licensed firearm and is not allowed to leave the state of Florida at this time without permission from the court.

According to multiple media reports, the New York Giants have told Baker to stay away from team offseason virtual meetings and concentrate on his ongoing legal situation.

According to Baker’s attorneys, Baker was the victim of a shakedown and that four of the original witnesses have already recanted their original testimony against Baker. The attorneys claim they have witnesses who can attest to Baker’s innocence and that the original arrest warrant was not accurate at all. One of Baker’s attorneys believes in the end that the state will not officially charge Baker (there is a 30-day window to do so).

“He seems like changed individual,” said the attorney in interview with SNY. “In two days. Sometimes going to jail does that. He’s scared straight. He’s completely focused on what he has to do. He’s just going back to work. And he’s certainly looking forward to nobody taking his position. He doesn’t want anybody taking his position as the Giants’ starting cornerback.”

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

May 162020
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

As previously reported, New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker was charged on Thursday with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm. The incident allegedly took place at party in Miramar, Florida on Wednesday and allegedly involved Baker robbing party guests at gunpoint.

While an arrest warrant was issued on Thursday, Baker did not turn himself into police authorities until this morning.

Baker’s lawyer has issued multiple written statements on Instagram over the course of the past two days.

(On Friday): “I want to thank @miramarpd for being professional in regard to surrendering and issues with the case. We understand that the officers can only base warrants on what was told to them at the time. We have had affidavits from several witnesses that also dispute the allegations and exculpate our client. Our investigator has had them for some time. We would have rather presented them to the court at the proper time, rather than in the media, but in this day and age, people rush to judgement. Where some seek publicity, we seek justice. I look forward to moving this case forward to proper conclusion, as we believe our client is innocent of any charges.”

(Saturday morning): “We will be presenting the trove of evidence we have obtained over the past 3 days to the judge at the right time 7 affidavuts (sic) exonerating my client and video evidence.”

(Saturday morning): “Reports are correct that Deandre turned himself in this morning. I am a believer in the system and that if everything works the matter will be appropriately resolved. Both my client and I have felt @miramarpd and the Detective working the case, were accommodating and went out of their way to assure Mr Bakers privacy during this hard time. That is not just lip service, it is fact,, and we appreciate it. This is my 23rd year in practice defending those who I feel are wrongly charged or wrongly treated. That doesn’t mean that all police officers are bad or all are good. We all have jobs to do and I believe we all do them to the best of our ability. Police reports are just that, reports of what was told to them or said to them. Court is what we use to then examine those reports, investigate those claims and allow the Defendant an opportunity to confront the evidence. Don’t rush to judgement.”

The Giants issued the following statement on Thursday: “We are aware of the situation. We have been in contact with Deandre. We have no further comment at this time.”

TheAthletic reported that Baker did not participate in any virtual team meetings this past week.

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

ARTICLES…

May 142020
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (December 15, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

The NFL future of New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker is very much in doubt as Baker has been charged with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed aggravated assault with a firearm. An arrest warrant has been issued for Baker by the Miramar Police Department in Florida. As of this evening, Baker has yet to turn himself in to police authorities.

According to multiple media sources, Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar were at a party in Miramar, Florida on May 13th. An argument supposedly broke out and Baker allegedly started pointing a semi-automatic firearm at other party guests. Baker and Dunbar then allegedly began robbing people at the party by gunpoint. There is also another allegation that Baker instructed a third unidentified person to shoot someone who had just arrived at the party.

Meanwhile, the Giants released the following statement: “We are aware of the situation. We have been in contact with Deandre. We have no further comment at this time.”

TheAthletic is reporting that Baker did not participate in any virtual team meetings this week.

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

Dec 202019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (September 8, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 20, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion/non-contact) was limited in practice on Friday. He has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington  Redskins.

Quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle), right guard Kevin Zeitler (ankle), and linebacker Oshane Ximines (ankle) fully practiced. All three are expected to play on Sunday.

“Barring anything crazy, (Jones will) start and Eli (Manning) will back him up,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He looked fine (in practice). He looked good. He’s prepared and ready to go.”

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

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Washington Redskins on Sunday in Maryland.

Oct 272019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT LIONS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 26…
The New York Giants lost their fourth game in a row, falling to 2-6 on the season, with their 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday. On the plus side for the Giants, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had a strong performance, throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns.

The game started off in sloppy fashion. New York’s initial drive ended with a punt. The Lions responded by gaining 47 yards and moving to the Giants’ 40-yard line before cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked off an errant deep throw from quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, three plays later, Jones was hit as he attempted a throw to the flat to running back Saquon Barkley. The errant pass was ruled a lateral and returned for a touchdown by former Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

After a three-and-out on New York’s third “drive,” the Lions appeared to take command of the game by driving 71 yards in six plays, culminating with a 49-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open wide receiver Marvin Hall. Detroit now led 14-0.

The Giants got back into the game early in the second quarter on their fourth possession with a 10-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jones to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton. After the Lions missed a 53-yard field goal, the Giants tightened the game even further with an 8-play, 57-yard effort that finished with another touchdown pass from Jones to Slayton, this one from 28 yards out on 3rd-and-7. However, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point and the Giants trailed 14-13.

Unfortunately for New York, the Lions were able to extend their lead before halftime. After it had appeared the Giants had stopped Detroit near midfield, linebacker David Mayo was flagged with a bogus running-into-the-kicker penalty on 4th-and-4. This kept alive a 14-play, 41-yard drive that ended with a 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. The Giants returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and might have had a shot at a long field goal, but Slayton dropped a deep pass from Jones.

At the half, the Lions led 17-13.

The Lions once again appeared to take command of the game on their initial possession of the second half, driving 75 yards in 10 plays with Stafford throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Lions 24 – Giants 13.

To New York’s credit, the team responsed with a 10-play, 78-yard effort of their own, with Jones throwing his third touchdown of the day, this one for two yards to tight end Evan Engram on 3rd-and-goal. However, the 2-point conversion failed. Lions 24 – Giants 19.

The Giants’ defense forced their first three-and-out of the day on Detroit’s second drive of the half. The Giants could not take advantage of the opportunity and punted the ball away as well. The Lions made the Giants pay by easily driving 80 yards in five plays, scoring on a 41-yard flea flicker from Stafford to Golladay. With just over 12 minutes to play, the Lions now led 31-19.

The Giants gained 52 yards in 11 plays on the ensuing drive but turned the ball over on downs at the Detroit 39-yard line with 6:25 left in the game. New York received a faint glimmer of hope when safety Jabrill Peppers forced Golladay to fumble, with safety Antoine Bethea recovering at the Detroit 38-yard line. However, the Giants once gain turned the ball over on downs, this time at the Detroit 14-yard line with 3:27 left to play.

After a three-and-out by the Lions, the Giants made things a little bit interesting by driving 50 yards in four plays with Jones throwing his fourth touchdown of the game, this one a 4-yarder to running back Saquon Barkley. With just over a minute left to play, the Giants onside attempt went out of bounds, effectively ending the game.

Offensively, the Giants gained 24 first downs and 370 net yards. Jones finished 28-of-41 for 322 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 124.2 quarterback rating. His leading targets were wide receiver Golden Tate (8 catches for 85 yards) and Barkley (8 catches for 79 yards). Barkley only rushed for 64 yards on 19 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 17 first downs and 375 net yards, 316 of which came through the air. The Lions were 8-of-14 (57 percent) on 3rd-down conversions. The Giants did sack Stafford four times, with cornerback Grant Haley, linebacker Markus Golden, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson all picking up sacks. The Giants forced two turnovers, the interception by Jenkins and the forced fumble by Peppers.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, OT Eric Smith, OT/OG Chad Slade, LB Tae Davis, and LB Devante Downs were inactive.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • WR Golden Tate (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • CB Deandre Baker (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)
  • S Antoine Bethea (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Sep 192019
 
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Eli Manning and Mike Shula, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Eli Manning and Mike Shula – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion) and wide receiver Bennie Fowler (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday.

“Bennie Fowler tweaked his hamstring a little bit,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’re hopeful that he’ll be ready to go. It’s sort of like Latimer last week with his calf. We’re hopeful we’ll have him.”

Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), tight end Garrett Dickerson (quad), right guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), and cornerback Grant Haley (illness) fully practiced.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sep 152019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO BILLS 28 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The simply dreadful New York Giants were soundly defeated by the Buffalo Bills 28-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants are 0-2 for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

The game was eerily reminiscent of last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys as the Giants started off the contest on fire. Without attempting a pass, the Giants drove 75 yards in five plays to quickly go up 7-0. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 55 of those yards on four carries, including the 27-yard touchdown gallop for the score. The Giants also forced a three-and-out on defense, sacking quarterback Josh Allen in the process.

The game then quickly turned. The Giants went-three-and-out and the Bills tied the game at 7-7 after driving 75 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. Allen ran around right end for the 6-yard score. The Giants went three-and-out again and the Bills followed that up an 11-play, 70-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Devin Singletary. On this possession, Buffalo converted on 3rd-and-10, 3rd-and-5, and 3rd-and-10. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Giants had four incompletions and zero passing yards in the first quarter.

The nail in the coffin came on the subsequent Bills’ possession after New York’s third punt in a row. Reserve corner Antonio Hamilton and receiver Cody Core combined to down the punt at the Buffalo 2-yard line. But it took the Bills just seven plays to move 98 yards and go up 21-7. While the entire defense was struggling, the Bills in particular targeted rookie cornerback Deandre Baker with great success throughout the first half.

The Giants finally began moving the ball again on their fifth drive of the game, gaining 57 yards on 14 plays. However, after a dropped 3rd-down pass by Bennie Fowler, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed a 48-yard field goal.

With less than two minutes to play before halftime, the Giants forced a three-and-out by the Bills. Receiver T.J. Jones returned the ensuing punt 60 yards to the Bills’ 33-yard line with 1:15 to go. However, quarterback Eli Manning’s second pass after the punt return was tipped and intercepted. At the half, the Bills led 21-7.

The New York defense tightened up in the second half, but the offense simply could not get untracked. The Bills went three-and-out to start the second half as defensive end Olsen Pierre sacked Allen on 3rd-and-7. An 8-play drive by the Giants sputtered when Manning was sacked on 3rd-and-12 in Bills’ territory.

After two punts by the Bills and one by the Giants, the Giants cut the score to 21-14 early in the 4th quarter after a 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Jones. The Giants had converted on 4th-and-2 just prior to this when Manning threw a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer.

The Bills responded to this challenge with a killer 13-play, 75-yard drive that took over six minutes off of the clock. It looked like the Giants had forced the Bills to settle for a successful 21-yard field goal, but defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was flagged with a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on the kick. Two plays later, the Bills scored from one yard out, making the score 28-14 with 5:53 left to play.

After picking up one first down, Manning’s next four passes were incomplete and the Giants turned the ball over on downs at their own 42-yard line. However, the Bills hardly took any time off of the clock and the Giants got the ball back with 4:39 to play. Four players later, Manning was intercepted again. Buffalo killed all but 26 seconds off of the clock. Manning padded his stats with three meaningless completions and the game ended.

Manning was 26-of-45 for just 250 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His leading receivers were tight end Evan Engram (6 catches for 48 yards) and Fowler (5 catches for 51 yards). Barkley carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, but 55 of those yards came on the opening drive. The offense was 3-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-2 on 4th down.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 24 first downs, 388 total net yards (151 rushing, 237 passing). For the second game in a row, the defense did not force a turnover. The Giants did accrue three sacks however: Markus Golden (1), Olsen Pierre (1), Lorenzo Carter (0.5), and Oshane Ximines (0.5).

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion0, WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), TE Garrett Dickerson (quad), QB Alex Tanney, RB Paul Perkins, OG/OT Chad Slade, and OT Eric Smith were inactive.

WR Cody Latimer left the game with a concussion and did not return.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants fell to 0-2 for the third season in row and fifth time in six years.

The Giants lost their third consecutive home opener, including a 3-7 record at MetLife.

The Giants were the first team to throw for more than 210 yards against Buffalo’s top-ranked (in 2018) pass defense since New England threw for 324 yards last October 29th.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Aug 132019
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 13, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

NFL UPHOLDS 4-GAME SUSPENSION FOR GOLDEN TATE…
The NFL has ruled against the appeal of New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate on his 4-game suspension for violating the League’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Tate can continue to practice and play with the team during the preseason, but he cannot practice or play during the first month of the season.

INJURY REPORT – AMBA ETTA-TAWO TEARS ACHILLES…
Running back Wayne Gallman (foot), wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (Achilles’ tendon), tight end Isaiah Searight (hip), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner), linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf), cornerback Deandre Baker (knee), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Tuesday.

Etta-Tawo tore his Achilles’ tendon in practice on Monday and is done for the year.

“(Gallman) has just a little bit of a sore foot,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s fine. He just needed a day.”

“(Asafo-Adjei is) in the concussion protocol, and so he’s working through that behind the scenes,” said Shurmur. “As he works through that protocol, there are stages. You can do work, the meeting room, then eventually progress to the field. He just hasn’t quite got there yet.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) participated with a non-contact jersey.

RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Mike Remmers, and FS Antoine Bethea were given the day off (“maintenance day”).

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS FROM GIDIEFOR…
It was a gray day with occasional sprinkles of rain today. Practice was in full gear before the public and press were let in. The players were in shells today. The offense was in blue jerseys; the defense in white; and the QBs in Red. The public portion of practice was held on the near field between the stands and the indoor training center.

I have written before that there is not much to make of practice in shells, because there is no hitting. Notwithstanding that I am going to report on my observations for the day.

The most exciting news for me was WR Darius Slayton, the Giants’ 6’1,” 194 lb, 5th-round draft pick from Auburn was on the field and very active today. He took reps with the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-teams and special teams, caught a few passes, blocked, acted as a decoy, caught a punt, and did not look overwhelmed with anything at all. He looked pretty damn good to me. I think the Giants are going to be hard pressed to let someone with all that going for him go. He has star potential in every sense of the word.

The second thing I want to note is the TE group. There are six TEs on the roster. It really looks as if Evan Engram (6’3” 240 lbs) is the 1, Rhett Ellison (6’5” 255 lbs) is the 2, Scott Simonson (6’5” 261 lbs) is the 3, Garrett Dickerson (6’3” 252 lbs) is the 4, C.J. Conrad (6’4” 247 lbs) is the 5, and then Isaiah Searight (6’4” 250 lbs), who was not practicing and is not doing himself any favors. This is a very deep group and as much good stuff as Conrad has been doing, he’s the smallest of the lot and it’s hard to see him beating out any of the 4 guys in front of him. Dickerson is looking pretty good and so is Simonson. Ellison is “Mr. Reliable” and Engram’s speed and catching ability make them clear favorites as the 1 and 2.

Looking at the WR group 87 Sterling Shepard (5’10” 196 lbs), 15 Golden Tate (5’11” 191 lbs), 18 Bennie Fowler III (6’1” 218 lbs), 2 T.J. Jones (6’ 190 lbs), 5 Da’Mari Scott (6’ 205 lbs), 12 Cody Latimer (6’3” 222 lbs), 13 Reggie White, Jr. (6’2” 212 lbs), 80 Alex Wesley (6’, 191 lbs), 81 Russell Shepard (6’ 194 lbs), 83 Brittan Golden (6’ 196 lbs), 84 Alonzo Russell (6’4” 218 lbs), and 86 Darius Slayton, (6’1,” 194 lbs) are all making noise out there. Of the 12 of them, every single one of them had catches today. However, Russell Shepard, Darius Slayton, T.J. Jones, Cody Latimer, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard all take reps catching on special teams so one would think that this gives them an edge.

Looking at the RB group (who practiced having the ball punched at, and stepping and hitting drills, right in front of us today), we have 26 Saquon Barkley (5’11” 233), 22 Wayne Gallman (6’ 210 lbs), 28 Paul Perkins (5’11” 213), 45 Rod Smith (6’3” 235), 39 Ellijah Penny (6’2” 234 lbs), and 23 Jonathan Hilliman (5’11 216 lbs). Gallman didn’t practice today, but it does seem clear that Barkley and Gallman (barring injury) are the 1 and the 2. Penny is the FB and plays special teams. Rod Smith is playing on special teams also. Smith, Perkins and Hilliman were getting their looks on 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-teams today. Is it possible that they keep Penny, Perkins, and Smith with Hilliman being the odd man out?

There was some sideline discussion about the value of keeping QB Kyle Lauletta over QB Alex Tanney today. Ironically, Tanney didn’t have a very good day today, and Lauletta was crisper. The core of this argument was that if you thought Kyle Lauletta had value as a backup, that keeping him on the roster to be Jones’ backup down the road made more sense than keeping Alex Tanney, who is a WYSIWYG player with little upside. I thought this was probably worth batting around as a discussion.

Another discussion was held regarding whether or not QB Eli Manning had it in him be named comeback player of the year this year.

I took a lot of play notes today, but there was no real hitting, except at the end of practice when someone ripped off T Chad Wheeler’s helmet and he struck back at who we couldn’t tell.

Notes:

  • RG Kevin Zeitler, RT Mike Remmers, and FS Antoine Bethea were given the day off.
  • WR Sterling Shepard practiced without any bandages on his hand and wore the yellow jacket for the scrimmage portions of practice.
  • All plays were being run with cards.
  • RB Saquon Barkley made a nonchalant one-hand grab.
  • WR Bennie Fowler made a beautiful catch down the right side from QB Eli Manning.
  • Eli Manning had more reps than the rest of the QBs today.
  • WR Brittan Golden made a good grab.
  • CB Ronald Zamort made a good play against WR Bennie Fowler on a QB Danel Jones pass break up.
  • TE Garrett Dickerson made a beautiful grab up the seam from QB Daniel Jones.
  • TE C.J. Conrad made a nice grab from QB Alex Tanney, who missed on a bunch of throws today
  • Both punters had a spell punting today. I thought 17 Ryan Anderson punted much better than 9 Riley Dixon. He seemed to have better control of the ball and more kicks with a tighter spiral. Dixon had more shots go out-of-bounds today too.
  • WR Golden Tate crash-landed on a sideline pass and caused some concern, but he got up and shook it off and kept playing.
  • QB Eli Manning made a nice throw that WR Cody Latimer reeled in on the right side.
  • WR Alonzo Russell and WR Russell Shepard each made a nice play on comebacks throws by QB Daniel Jones.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta made a crisp throw to WR Da’Mari Scott up the middle.
  • TE T.J. Conrad dropped a QB Daniel jones pass.
  • QB Daniel Jones was intercepted on a pass to the right side.
  • LB Ryan Connelly made a nice break up against QB Daniel Jones.
  • WR Alonzo Russell made a nice grab on the left side from QB Kyle Lauletta.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Nick Gates was the first-team right guard and Chad Slade the first-team right tackle.
  • The second-team tackles were Chad Wheeler at right tackle and Paul Adams at left tackle.
  • Julian Love started at free safety with Antonio Hamilton starting at cornerback along with Janoris Jenkins.
  • LB Ryan Connelly received first-team reps.
  • QB Eli Manning connected with WR Bennie Fowler on a deep post pattern.
  • The kick returners were WR Cody Latimer, WR Brittan Golden, and WR Darius Slayton.
  • QB Eli Manning hit both WR Cody Latimer and WR Golden Tate on passes down the field, but neither could come down with the ball.
  • QB Eli Manning connected with TE Evan Engram on a 20-yard gain.
  • WR Darius Slayton made a nice catch on a high pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • DL B.J. Hill beat RT Chad Wheeler to the inside for a “sack.”
  • CB Grant Haley “sacked” the quarterback on a blitz.
  • LB Tae Davis got to the quarterback untouched on back-to-back “sacks.”
  • QB Kyle Lauletta missed on a deep out to WR Reggie White, Jr., but then connected with WR Darius Slayton over the middle.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta connected on a 60-yard touchdown pass to WR Reggie White, Jr. over CB Henre’ Tolliver.
  • WR Sterling Shepard was active catching the football despite his thumb injury.
  • WR Golden Tate, WR Darius Slayton, and WR T.J. Jones returned punts.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta connected on 20-yard pass to WR Alonzo Russell.
  • LB Oshane Ximines “sacked” QB Daniel Jones.
  • S Jabrill Peppers picked off a pass from QB Kyle Lauletta intended for WR Alonzo Russell.
  • LB Nate Stupar intercepted a pass from QB Daniel Jones that was deflected.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins knocked away a QB Eli Manning deep pass to WR Cody Latimer.
  • QB Daniel Jones connected down the field with TE Garrett Dickerson.

GIANTS CO-OWNER JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

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

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

Deandre Baker and Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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