Nov 072017
 
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Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

JANORIS JENKINS REINSTATED, DEONTAE SKINNER RE-SIGNED…
The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been reinstated to the 53-man roster from the Reserve/Suspended List. Jenkins was suspended last week for violating team rules. The Giants also re-signed linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Deontae Skinner, the latter off of the Practice Squad of the Oakland Raiders.

To make room for these three players, the Giants waived defensive end Jordan Williams and cornerback Tim Scott. The team also placed linebacker Nigel Harris (ribs) on Injured Reserve.

Sheppard started 11-of-16 regular-season games at middle linebacker for the Giants in 2016, playing 39 percent of defensive snaps. Sheppard finished the year with 50 tackles and two pass defenses. The Giants chose not to re-sign him free agency during the offseason. Sheppard was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2013 and signed with the Dolphins in September 2014 and Giants in April 2016. Sheppard is more of a two-down linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. While he has good size, Sheppard lacks ideal overall athletic ability. Sheppard does not make many big plays.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). He also spent time on both the Giants’ Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. The Giants waived Skinner before the season started, re-signed him in late September, and waived him again in early October.

The 6’2”, 230-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Harris off of waivers from the Chargers in October 2017. Skinner has played in seven regular-season games this year, with one start with the Chargers.

Williams began the 2017 season on the Giants Practice Squad and was added to the 53-man roster last week. Williams was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2015) and Miami Dolphins (2015-2016). The Giants signed Williams to the Practice Squad in December 2016.

Tim Scott is started the season on the Giants Practice Squad and was signed to the 53-man roster last week. The 5’11”, 195-pound Scott was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Redskins in 2015, but he did not play in a game and was out of the NFL in 2016. The Giants signed Scott in August 2017.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Oct 042017
 
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Giants fans tailgating in Tampa – Photo courtesy of Jim in South Florida

INJURY UPDATE…
Center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), wide receiver Odell Beckham (finger/ankle), and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe) practiced on a limited basis.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner and signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio off of the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed center Anthony Fabiano to the Practice Squad.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner was cut by the Giants in September 2017 and re-signed later that month.

Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants added him to their Practice Squad in September 2016 and again in September 2017. Halapio has not played in an NFL regular-season game.

Fabiano was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2016), Cleveland Browns (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017). The 6’1”, 303-pound Fabiano played in four games with one start for Cleveland in 2016. Fabiano is an athletic lineman who lacks ideal size and strength.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Sep 282017
 
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J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS WAIVE SHANE SMITH AND PLACE J.T. THOMAS ON IR…
The New York Giants have waived fullback Shane Smith and placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with a groin injury that he suffered in week 2 against the Detroit Lions.

To fill those roster vacancies, the team signed defensive end Nordly “Cap” Capi off its Practice Squad and re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner, who was cut by the Giants on September 2nd.

Smith was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener.

The 6’3”, 249-pound Capi was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2015 NFL Draft. Capi has spent time with the Jaguars (2015), Baltimore Ravens (2015), Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals (2016-2017). While Capi has not played in an NFL regular-season game, he did stand out with the Cardinals as a linebacker during the 2017 preseason, both rushing the passer (15 pressures and 1.5 sacks) and defending the run.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December.

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Shane Vereen (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), offensive lineman Brett Jones (hip), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) practiced on a limited basis.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

THE COORDINATORS 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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday. There is no media availability on Saturday. The Giants play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

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

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

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

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

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

Players who were cut included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 152017
 
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Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (September 18, 2016)

Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

THE STARTERS

Jonathan Casillas had his best season to date as a pro in 2016. Casillas played in every game, with 15 regular-season starts (72 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the year with 96 tackles, 1.5 sacks, eight pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Casillas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has played for the Saints (2009-11), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-14), and Patriots (2014). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2015. Casillas lacks ideal size and has issues against the run at times, but he is a good athlete with fine speed and performs well in coverage. Caillas does not make many impact plays and is not much of a blitzer (6.5 career sacks).

Keenan Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses. Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

Devon Kennard played in every game with nine regular-season starts, playing in 47 percent of all defensive snaps. He finished 2016 with 61 tackles, one sack, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Kennard was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed playing time in 2014 (four games with hamstring and toe injuries) and 2015 (seven games with hamstring and foot injuries). Kennard is a big, strong linebacker who is a bit of a DE/LB ‘tweener. In fact, the Giants will use him at defensive end in pass rush situations. Kennard plays the run well and can get heat on the quarterback, but he is not as strong in coverage. To date, he has not put up big numbers or made many big plays. Kennard has been somewhat injury prone.

While Kelvin Sheppard started 11-of-16 regular-season games at middle linebacker in 2016, he only received 39 percent of defensive snaps. Sheppard finished the year with 50 tackles and two pass defenses. Sheppard was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2013 and signed with the Dolphins in September 2014 and Giants in April 2016. Sheppard is more of a two-down linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. While he has good size, Sheppard lacks ideal overall athletic ability. Sheppard does not make many big plays.

THE RESERVES

B.J. Goodson was drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played in 15 regular-season games with no starts, playing in one percent of defensive snaps. Goodson finished his rookie season with nine tackles and one forced fumble. Goodson is a big, strong, physical linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. He is a big hitter and good tackler. To become a complete player, Goodson has to improve his pass coverage. Goodson lacks ideal speed and agility.

Mark Herzlich remains primarily a reserve linebacker and special teams player who occasionally is called upon to play on defense (one percent of defensive snaps in 2016). Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense. Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Herzlich has very good size but is a sub-par athlete for the position. He is a good run defender, but struggles in coverage and is not much of a blitzer. Herzlich is a good special teams player.

Deontae Skinner was added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner played in four games in 2016 and was credited with five tackles. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). Skinner is a big, instinctive linebacker with decent agility but who lacks speed.

Ishaq Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. Williams has a nice combination of size and overall athletic ability.

INJURED RESERVE

The Giants placed J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener. Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. Thomas lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, Thomas can play all three linebacker positions. However, he does not many impact plays and is better suited as a reserve. Thomas is a good special teams player.

Dec 042016
 
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Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (December 4, 2016)

Janoris Jenkins beaten for TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 24 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The New York Giants were soundly beaten by the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-14 on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the loss, the Giants record fell to 8-4. The defeat all but officially ended the Giants division title hopes.

The problem for the Giants remains an offense that has struggled to score points all season. The Giants were shutout in the first half and scored a garbage touchdown very late in the game to make the score look more respectable than it actually was.

The Steelers out-gained the Giants in first downs (20 to 16), total net yards (389 to 234), net yards rushing (117 to 56), net yards passing (272 to 178), and time of possession (34:08 to 25:52). The Giants offense turned the football over twice and continued to struggle on third down (3-of-11, 36 percent). The Giants were also 0-for-3 on 4th down.

Not counting a kneel-down before intermission, the Giants had four offensive possessions in the first half. They resulted in a safety, interception, and two punts with the Giants only picking up five first downs and 91 net yards of offense. Meanwhile, the Steelers punted twice and managed three scoring drives (one touchdown and two field goals) in the first half.

Pittsburgh got on the board late in the 1st quarter when left tackle Ereck Flowers was called for a holding call in the end zone, resulting in a safety. After the free kick, the Steelers drove 38 yards in seven plays to set up a 44-yard field goal to go up 5-0.

A big turning point in the game came on the Giants third possession. New York had driven from their own 29-yard line to the Steelers 9-yard line. On 2nd-and-4, quarterback Eli Manning’s pass intended for tight end Larry Donnell was intercepted at the 2-yard line and returned 58 yards to the Giants 40-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 22-yard score. (The Steelers 2-point conversion attempt failed). The dramatic swing led to the Steelers now being up 11-0.

After a three-and-out by the Giants on their fourth, the Steelers ate up the rest of the first half with a 15-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a 34-yard field goal. The Steelers converted on 3rd-and-17 on this possession. At the half, Pittsburgh led 14-0.

After both teams exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter, the Giants drove deep into Steelers territory on their second possession of the second half. But Manning’s 4th-and-1 pass from the Steelers 3-yard line intended for tight end Will Tye was incomplete, and the Giants turned the football over on downs. Nevertheless, the Giants got the ball right back when linebacker Jonathan Casillas forced a fumble that cornerback Eli Apple recovered at the Steelers 17-yard line. Two plays later, Manning hit running back Rashad Jennings for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Despite everything that had gone wrong up to this point, the Giants found themselves only trailing 14-7.

Unfortunately, it was at this point that the defense gave up their longest drive of the game. Pittsburgh drove 88 yards in seven plays to take a 21-7 lead when Roethlisberger threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ladarius Green. The Giants went three-and-out on their ensuing possession but got the ball back late in the 3rd quarter when Apple intercepted Roethlisberger at the Giants 47-yard line. New York could not take advantage as Manning’s 4th-and-13 pass from the Steelers 35-yard line intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard was intercepted at the 6-yard line.

The Steelers picked up one first down and punted. The Giants got the ball at midfield but again could not take advantage. Manning was sacked on 4th-and-9 from the Steelers 24-yard line. The Giants were now 0-for-3 on 4th down conversion attempts in the second half.

Pittsburgh ate up 5:17 on the ensuing possession, driving 48 yards in 11 plays to set up a 38-yard field goal with 1:39 left to play. After a 38-yard kickoff return by running back Bobby Rainey, the Giants drove 52 yards in five plays to put up a late touchdown on the scoreboard. Manning hit Shepard for the 1-yard score and a more respectable, but misleading, 24-14 final result.

Offensively, Eli Manning finished the game 24-of-39 for 195 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He was sacked twice. His top target was Odell Beckham who caught 10 passes for 100 yards. No other player had more than 34 yards receiving. Running backs Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings only rushed for 57 yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed running back Le’Veon to rush for 118 yards and catch another 64 yards. Tight end Ladarius Green caught six passes for 110 yards. The Steelers had five scoring drives (two touchdowns and three field goals). Defensive tackle Damon Harrison led the team with nine tackles. Jonathan Casillas forced a fumble that Eli Apple recovered. Apple also had the team’s sole interception. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had both of the Giants two sacks and also had two tackles for losses. Safety Landon Collins defensed three passes.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were left guard Justin Pugh (knee), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (concussion), defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa (knee), offensive lineman Adam Gettis, wide receiver Tavarres King, and quarterback Josh Johnson.

Injured in the game were defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (groin), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (bruised thigh), cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (ribs), and wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris (ankle). Hankins returned to the game. Pierre-Paul will have an MRI on Monday.

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

  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)

ROSTER MOVES…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed linebacker Deontae Skinner to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for Skinner, the team waived center Shane McDermott.

Skinner has spent time on both the Giants 53-man roster and Practice Squad this year. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him in August.

McDermott has spent two stints on the team’s Practice Squad and was signed to the 53-man roster in November. McDermott originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft, but the Cowboys cut him in September that year. After a brief stint on the Panthers Practice Squad, the Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad in November 2015.

ARTICLES…

Nov 222016
 
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Marshall Newhouse, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

Marshall Newhouse – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARSHALL NEWHOUSE HAS PARTIAL MCL TEAR?…
The New York Post is reporting that offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse partially tore the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Newhouse told The Post that he hopes to be able to play with the injury.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants have re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of quarterback Logan Thomas.

Skinner was signed to the Practice Squad in September and October 2016 and then to the 53-man roster in October 2016 before being waived on Saturday. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him on August 22. Skinner is a big, instinctive linebacker with decent agility but who lacks speed.

Thomas has been added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Cleveland Browns.

Nov 202016
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 22 – CHICAGO BEARS 16…
The New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears 22-16 on Sunday afternoon at a windy MetLife Stadium. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 7-3.

The Giants slightly out-gained the Bears in first downs (19 to 17), total net yards (329 to 315), net yards rushing (102 to 93), and net yards passing (227 to 222). Chicago was 4-of-12 (33 percent) on 3rd down while New York was 5-of-14 (36 percent) on 3rd down and 2-for-2 (100 percent) on 4th down. The Bears turned the ball over once while the Giants did not turn the ball over at all.

The Bears had four possessions in the first half and scored on their first three: a 9-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown (extra point missed); a 7-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal; and an 8-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 11-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half with tight end Zach Miller catching three passes for 61 yards and a 19-yard score. The Giants defense also had trouble stopping running back Jordan Howard as he rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Giants only had three possessions in the first half, scoring on two of them. New York drove 78 yards in 11 plays on their first drive. The Giants went for it on 4th-and-2 from the Chicago 17-yard line as quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard for 15 yards down to the 2-yard line. On the next snap, running back Rashad Jennings scored. The extra point was missed by ex-Bears kicker Robbie Gould. New York went three-and-out on their second possession. Then on their third and final possession before the break, the Giants drove 57 yards in 14 plays to set up a successful 46-yard field goal by Gould. This drive also included a successful 4th-down conversion as Jennings caught a 5-yard pass on 4th-and-2 at the Bears 33-yard line. Manning was 11-of-18 for 100 yards in the first half with Jennings both the leading rusher (seven carries for 34 yards) and receiver (five catches for 44 yards).

Chicago led 16-9 at halftime.

The Giants defense shut out the Bears in the second half. Five of Chicago’s second-half possessions resulted in three-and-outs. Their third possession after the break gained 47 yards in nine plays but ended with a missed 51-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants offense scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half. First, aided by a 46-yard kickoff return by Dwayne Harris, the Giants drove 56 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 16-16 on Manning’s 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Will Tye. Then New York drove 79 yards in seven plays to go up 22-16 midway through the 3rd quarter. The big play on this drive was a 48-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Victor Cruz. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-4, Manning hit Shepard for a 15-yard touchdown. Gould missed what could have been a very costly extra point, his second miss of the game.

Holding a 6-point lead, the Giants offense struggled for the remainder of the game as their next five drives resulted in only two first downs and five punts. Fortunately, the Bears were even more inept. Starting on their own 22-yard line, Chicago got the ball one last time at the 3-minute mark. The Bears gained 35 yards on their first play to the Giants 43-yard line. Then on 2nd-and-20, Chicago gained 23 yards to the Giants 30-yard line. But defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Cutler and a penalty pushed the Bears back into a 2nd-and-29 from the New York 49-yard line. On the next snap, safety Landon Collins saved the win with an interception at the Giants 21-yard line.

Offensively, Eli Manning finished 21-of-36 for 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. His leading receivers were Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown), wide receiver Odell Beckham (5 catches for 46 yards), and Rashad Jennings (5 catches for 44 yards). Jennings finished the game with 85 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries. The Giants did not allow a sack and did not turn the ball over.

Defensively, Jason Pierre-Paul accrued 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defense, and 1 forced fumble. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses. Landon Collins had 6 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass defenses. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were left guard Justin Pugh (knee), offensive lineman Brett Jones (calf), tight end Larry Donnell, wide receiver Tavarres King, quarterback Josh Johnson, defensive tackle Robert Thomas, and cornerback Leon Hall.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis suffered a possible concussion. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (wrist) and offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse (sprained knee) left the game with injuries but returned.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants won their fifth consecutive game, their longest winning streak since they won five in a row in 2010.

The Giants improved to 7-3 and have exceeded their victory total from each of the previous two seasons (when they were 6-10) – with six games remaining.

This is the Giants best 10-game start since they were 9-1 in 2008.

The Giants seven victories have been by a total of 27 points.

The Giants improved to 5-1 in MetLife Stadium, their highest total at home since they were 6-2 in 2012.

With the victory, the Giants concluded a 3-0 homestand. This is the first time the Giants won three games at home in consecutive weeks 1962.

The Giants did not commit a turnover, ending their NFL-long streak of 18 consecutive games with at least one giveaway.

Safety Landon Collins has intercepted at least one pass in four consecutive games, the first Giants player to do that since cornerback Phillippi Sparks also had a four-game streak in 1995.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed center Shane McDermott to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for McDermott, the team waived linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Giants also signed quarterback Logan Thomas to the Practice Squad.

McDermott was signed to the Giants Practice Squad on Thursday. He also spent time on the team’s Practice Squad in September. McDermott originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft, but the Cowboys cut him in September that year. After a brief stint on the Panthers Practice Squad, the Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad in November 2015. McDermott is a blue-collar, overachiever who lacks ideal athleticism and strength.

Skinner was signed to the Practice Squad in September and October 2016 and then to the 53-man roster in October 2016. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him in August.

Thomas has been added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown. Thomas is a huge, athletic quarterback with a quick release and strong arm. He has been an inconsistent performer with decision-making and accuracy issues.

ARTICLES…

Oct 112016
 
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Coty Sensabaugh, Los Angeles Rams (September 12, 2016)

Coty Sensabaugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN CB COTY SENSABAUGH AND LB DEONTAE SKINNER
The New York Giants have signed cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (who was cut by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday) and Deontae Skinner (who was on the Giants Practice Squad) to the 53-man roster.

To make room for Sensabaugh and Skinner, the Giants waived defensive tackle Montori Hughes and cornerback Michael Hunter.

The Giants also re-signed quarterback Logan Thomas to the Practice Squad.

Sensabaugh was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Rams signed him to a 3-year, $15 million contract in March. Sensabaugh has played in 61 regular-season games with 29 starts. Sensabaugh is an average-sized corner whose strength is playing the slot nickel corner spot.

“My first three years in the League, I was mostly inside,” said Sensabaugh. “My last year in Tennessee, I was mostly outside. This year with the Rams D, in games that I played, I was outside.”

Skinner was signed to the Practice Squad in September and October 2016. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him on August 22. Skinner is a big, instinctive linebacker with decent agility but who lacks speed.

The Giants re-signed Hughes in September 2016 after cutting him the week before. Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, Hughes played in 16 games with one start. The Colts waived him in September 2015 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad. The Giants signed Montori Hughes to the 53-man roster in November 2015. He ended up playing in seven games as a reserve, and finished the season with six tackles.

Hunter was signed to the Practice Squad and later the 53-man roster in September 2016. The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants return to practice at 11:40AM on Wednesday.