Jul 302017
 
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Jay Bromley, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Jay Bromley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 30, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

JADAR JOHNSON RETIRES…
The New York Giants announced on Sunday that undrafted rookie free agent safety Jadar Johnson (University of Clemson) has left training camp and decided to retire from the NFL. Johnson did not practice on Saturday as Head Coach Ben McAdoo said he was “ill.”

“After seriously weighing his options, Jadar has decided to retire from football today to pursue other interests,” said Johnson’s agent. “This was not an easy decision for him to make, but it is the right decision for him. He has new ventures that he wants to pursue and he values his health. Jadar is very grateful to the Giants’ organization for the opportunity they provided him.”

“I had a conversation with him, a personal conversation,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “They released a statement, he and his agent, and we’ll leave it at that.”

BALTIMORE RAVENS SIGN LARRY DONNELL…
The Baltimore Ravens have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent Larry Donnell. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Donnell, who began the 2016 season as the starting tight end but was benched after the bye week. He started to receive more playing time again late in the season. Donnell ended up playing in 14 games with six starts, and finished the regular season with just 15 catches for 92 yards (6.1 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent the 2012 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell has regressed since his breakout 2014 season (63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns). His numbers were down in 2015 (missing half the season with a neck injury) and down again in 2016.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Running back Shane Vereen left practice early with a “lower body” injury. “He was sore and we were smart and held him,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He could’ve gone back in, but we decided to hold him.”

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Picture Perfect day. 80 and sunny with no humidity. Very comfortable with no breeze. Another day of “full speed” 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills where the guys got to compete. For obvious reasons, the defense holds back a tad in congested situations but for the most part, we got to see these guys fight it out.

I wanted to get some more attention on the defense today…but also got to see kicker Aldrick Rosas get four attempts in. Distance isn’t exact, but they were all roughly 30-40 yards I believe. We got to speak to him after practice as well, nice kid, very relaxed and calm. Laid back. A few interesting notes about him…he played in a National Championship Game (NAIA) for Southern Oregon in 2014. Tore his ACL in that game and even with two years left of eligibility, he turned pro. He spent the 2016 preseason with Tennessee and lost out to veteran Ryan Succop. NYG signed him in January and as of now, he is the lone kicker on the roster.

Offense Notes:

  • I still don’t have much of an opinion on the fullbacks, and I won’t until later in the week after we them bang heads with the pads on. Initially I think Jacob Huesman is a slightly better athlete with more power coming from his legs.
  • WR Kevin Snead is a guy that keeps jumping out at me. Besides Odell Beckham, he has the best burst and short area change of direction of all the WRs. At 5’10/175, he is fighting an uphill battle but the UDFA from Carson Newman offers ability that his fellow backups do not. Remember, this is a guy that was clocked sub 4.25 at the Tennessee pro day, that is Jon Ross-caliber. If he can prove to be a factor on special teams and improve underneath route running, don’t overlook his chances.
  • I put the eyeball on OT Jarron Jones today. Massive and yes, likely better built for the OT position than DT. Obviously he has a ways to go. Naturally his hands are way too wide on contact with his man and I can see there is a lot of struggle for him to avoid over-leaning and lunging. I’m curious to see if he even gets looks during preseason at OT, just doesn’t look ready but we will find out more Tuesday.
  • The TE battle is as entertaining to watch as any spot on the team. Matt LaCosse has impressed me each day with his ball skills. Such a natural receiver that can grab and turn upfield with more than enough fluidity. Can he hack in the trenches? Jerell Adams is a second-year draft pick and his upside alone is worth keeping him around. But I’ve seen him trip over his own feet a few times and there doesn’t seem to be the natural player in him. That said I think he may be further along as a blocker than everyone other than Rhett Ellison. Speaking of Ellison, I like how he moves after the catch. Strong, powerful, aggressive, low to the ground. He may factor there. Evan Engram…man he’s fast. When he opens up his stride in space he is faster than most of the WRs.
  • Another name I’ve been drawn to all three days is the UDFA RB Khalid Abdullah. Powerfully built, fast in the open field, assertive change of direction with all the balance and body control. NYG has a crowded backfield in front of him but hey, you never know when it comes to injuries. I can’t wait to see him carry the ball in preseason games.
  • QB Davis Webb got some extra 7-on-7 work with the 3rd string. He looks the part, shows excellent lower body technique. Throws a very tight ball.

Defense Notes:

  • Linebackers were my main focus early on. I’m saying this right now, B.J. Goodson is gonna be a guy we all like. He, more than anyone, is drooling at the thought of getting the pads on. In drills where these guys were working on taking on and shedding blockers, he was the only one that got off the dummy pad and physically wrapped up the coach acting as the RB. He is a quick, explosive, powerfully-built kid.
  • LB Curtis Grant has really stood out to me athletically. He and Deontae Skinner play very fast…maybe even too fast for their own good. Athletically they are very impressive and the attention Antonio Pierce gave them today will hopefully provide needed progress from a skill perspective.
  • DT Robert Thomas: He is still getting the first-team looks next to Damon Harrison. They are both high energy and play low to the ground. Stout, powerful, hard to move and they are both quick enough to penetrate. I am sticking with my prediction of him being the week 1 starter.
  • I don’t want to over step any boundaries when it comes to discussing formations…but I saw a few things the way these guys lined up today I haven’t seen before. I like the idea of different fronts that play to these guys’ strengths. This DL as a whole really is deep and versatile.
  • It looks like Owamagbe Odighizuwa is on the bottom looking up, but I could be wrong there. As a player, he seems manufactured. Good athlete, great frame but he lacks some of the twitchiness and feel that these other guys have.
  • Landon Collins looks studly so far. He made an EXCELLENT, high-level pass break up on a pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham (I believe). He can make those 5-7 yard breaks out of his backpedal as fast as anyone. Instincts are a major plus for him, arguably the most important part of playing safety.
  • LB Keenan Robinson has a more natural feel in coverage than the other LBs. He makes quick decisions and he simply just looks more comfortable whether he is moving laterally or vertically. He will have an important role within this defense despite not being one of the starters.
  • LB Mark Herzlich is Mr. Team Player and I think this NYG coaching staff wants this guy around the team in the worst way. Solid backup inside LB, excellent special teamer. Even saw him run a few routes as a TE and caught a ball on the move in the flat from Webb. If he actually offers depth on all three phases, he’s a lock to make this team.
  • LB Stansly Maponga looks a little out of place as a LB. When it comes to drills, he is often the one looking most uncomfortable and I don’t think he can factor in coverage.

Three Standouts:

  • CB Michael Hunter. Excellent day for the long, speedy cover man. Hunter played physical at the point of attack but also showed more fluidity as he mirrored some of the backup WRs. He made two outstanding reach around pass deflections. We all know these #4 and #5 CB spots are up for grabs. Yesterday Donte Deayon stood out; today it was Hunter. I think Hunter offers a ton of upside and could be a much needed backup for the outside spots.
  • CB Eli Apple. I’ve noted him a few times for his athletic prowess. Just an excellent package of size, speed, and strength. He was challenged a few times in team drills and he made a few excellent plays on the ball, two times were on deep throws to Beckham. Apple stayed in his hip pocket from start to finish.
  • QB Josh Johnson. While he has the upper hand on experience with the scheme in comparison to Geno Smith, Johnson appears to be cementing himself as the team’s top backup. He is very consistent. Throws a great ball, very accurate, excellent touch. He makes life easier for the pass catchers. He just seems much more fluid than Smith but Smith does deserve a little handicap considering he is still new to the scheme and surroundings.

In addition, below is the video link to our surface level notes, interview with kicker Aldrick Rosas, and clips from practice! We were missing a mic, so we had to pass the one back and forth…sorry for the crackling.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on his field goal attempts (reporters said he went 4-for-4 but an official said he missed his last kick, which was from 45 yards out).
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson was the second-team quarterback on Sunday. He and Geno Smith appear to alternating each day at the #2 spot.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Roger Lewis beat cornerback Michael Hunter deep down the left sideline.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith badly overshot tight end Matt LaCosse, who had beaten linebacker Deontae Skinner.
  • Wide receiver Tavarres King made a sliding catch in front of cornerback Eli Apple. Quarterback Eli Manning then just missed King deep, who was well-covered by Apple.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph saw some reps with the second-team in the slot position.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and tight end Evan Engram all scored in red-zone drills.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple knocked down a deep post pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Apple then had blanket coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. deep, who Manning overthrew.
  • Safety Landon Collins knocked away quarterback Eli Manning passes intended for tight end Evan Engram and wide Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Cornerback Michael Hunter deflected a quarterback Geno Smith pass that safety Nat Berhe picked off.
  • Defensive back Mykkele Thompson broke up a quarterback Davis Webb deep pass to wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a pass to linebacker/tight end Mark Herzlich.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Sunday 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 fourth training camp practice will be held on Tuesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 192017
 
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Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins – © 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: Defensive Backs

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: The biggest reasons for the New York Giants defense’s dramatic improvement in 2016 was the improved play of the (1) defensive line and (2) defensive backs. The Giants defense went from dead last in 2015 to tenth in yardage allowed and second in scoring allowed in 2016. And while the team’s 23rd-ranked pass defense (251.1 yards per game) does not sound impressive, the unit played at a far higher level than that, as indicated by three defensive backs earning All-Pro honors.

The secondary became a team strength because the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins in free agency, drafted Eli Apple in the first round, and watched second-year safety Landon Collins develop into an impact player at his more natural strong safety position. An inconsistent player in St. Louis, Jenkins became one of the best corners in the NFL in 2016, teaming with Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to form perhaps the NFL’s best trio of corners. While Apple had his growing pains, he performed well enough to shut down a number of opponents and allow the coaches to move DRC to the slot corner position. Meanwhile, Collins led the Giants in tackles, was second on the team in interceptions, and third on the team in sacks. The weak spot in the secondary was free safety as promising rookie Darian Thompson and Mykkele Thompson were lost early to injuries, Nat Berhe battled concussions, and undrafted rookie Andrew Adams started the bulk of the season. While Adams didn’t embarrass himself, he did not make many plays either. Late in the season, Leon Hall – who was shifted from corner to safety – took over the position.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign CB/S Leon Hall and CB Trevin Wade. The Steelers signed CB Coty Sensabaugh. The Giants signed unrestricted free agents CB Valentino Blake and S Duke Ihenacho and re-signed practice squad players CB Michael Hunter, CB Donte Deayon, and S Ryan Murphy. The Giants surprisingly did not draft a defensive back in a DB-strong draft. But the team did sign undrafted rookie free agents CB DaShaun Amos, CB Nigel Tribune, S Jadar Johnson, and S Trey Robinson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: At cornerback, while fan focus will be on the depth situation after the top three cornerbacks, the main story line will be determining Eli Apple’s upside. He had a solid but not great rookie season. If he can elevate his game to a different level in 2017, then the Giants defense will be very tough. The Giants do need to determine their #4 and possibly #5 corners. Injuries happen. When Rodgers-Cromartie left the playoff game, the Packers picked on his replacement. With Leon Hall, Trevin Wade, and Coty Sensabaugh gone, someone else will have to step forward.

At safety, can Landon Collins duplicate or even build upon his 2016 All-Pro season? Much attention will be focused on who starts at free safety opposite of Collins. Darian Thompson is coming off a serious lisfranc injury. Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson have not been able to stay healthy. “Veteran” journeymen Duke Ihenacho, Eric Pinkins, and Ryan Murphy will battle Andrew Adams and the two rookie free agents (Jadar Johnson and Trey Robinson). There are a lot of bodies, but also a lot of questions.

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone except for Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Landon Collins, and probably Darian Thompson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: “Work ethic. He’s an athletic guy, he’s smart so he understands the game. He has enough ability that wherever he works at, he could be successful at it. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s quick, he’s long, he has experience and he still moves well. Ten years in the league and you can’t tell that by his movement. He rarely misses practice, he practices all the time… He tries to lead the young guys, and tries to direct them on things, because he has a wealth of experience. They listen to him and look up to him, so that’s good.”

Safeties Coach David Merritt on Darian Thompson: “He looks good. The fact that he’s coming off a leg injury. The one day he complained that it was sore, two weeks ago. Since then, he looks good. He’s transitioning. I see him actually bursting and coming in and out of his transition. He’s doing a good job. There is still some ways to go and hopefully training camp we will be able to really test that foot. Right now, he’s going through all the individual drills. I’m happy and excited.”

Merritt on the competition at free safety: “I’m going to be honest with you, you can sit here right now and say yes (Darian Thompson is the favorite to win the job), but I can’t sit here and take away from what Andrew Adams has done. I think they’re all competing for a starting job. That second safety has been elusive for us. To have two guys that can actually step in there and actually hold down the position. Hopefully we will find that solid piece this year but we need four good guys. If we can get four good guys, it’s going to be great… Darian is a very cerebral guy. He is very smart and he understands the calls as well as Landon (Collins). To have two smart guys back there and to be able to feed off of one another, it’s going to be a good mixture between Darian, Andrew and Landon of course. Darian is a very smart guy and that’s what we knew about him coming out of college. He had the mental capacity to learn Spags’ defense and do things we’re asking him to do. It’ll be pretty exciting for sure.”

Merritt on Landon Collins’ ceiling: “Right now, if I was rating him 1 to 10 as far as where he is, right now Landon is at a 7. I think he can get up to playing at an 8 ½, 9 consistently. You’re talking always in the running for (Defensive Play of the Year) and constantly making Pro Bowls, things like that. Last year was such a big jump for the kid and I’m proud of him. That was last year. Antrel Rolle after he came off his big season the next year and didn’t do as well. I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t get caught in any type of trap. I understand right now that he was the best coming out of high school and the best coming out of college. Now, he’s here every year and there is going to be a new crop of guys coming in. The safeties around the league are humble. You have to make sure you’re humble. Keep your body in shape, keep your mind strong and understand constantly learning the game of football and studying your opponents.”

PREDICTIONS: This is arguably the most-talented group of defensive backs accumulated at one time in team history. Most of the question marks here surround health and depth. The Giants top three corners are as good as anyone in the NFL. Two are already playing at an All-Pro level. Look for Eli Apple to elevate his game and make this unit even stronger. As long as his foot is OK, Darian Thompson should start at free safety and give the Giants a very formidable (and intelligent) secondary. Special teams will be a big factor in determining the back-up corners and safeties.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, Michael Hunter, Mykkele Thompson, Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Jadar Johnson. (Thompson can play both safety and cornerback, which helps his cause. Beat writers think special teams ace Eric Pinkins has a good shot – keep an eye on him. Donte Deayon is a favorite of Steve Spagnuolo).

Feb 172017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The biggest reasons for the New York Giants defense’s dramatic improvement in 2016 was the improved play of the (1) defensive line and (2) defensive backs. The Giants defense went from dead last in 2015 to tenth in yardage allowed and second in scoring allowed in 2016. And while the team’s 23rd-ranked pass defense (251.1 yards per game) does not sound impressive, the unit played at a far higher level than that, as indicated by three defensive backs earning All-Pro honors.

The secondary became a team strength because the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins in free agency, drafted Eli Apple in the first round, and watched second-year safety Landon Collins develop into an impact player at his more natural strong safety position. An inconsistent player in St. Louis, Jenkins became one of the best corners in the NFL in 2016, teaming with Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to form perhaps the NFL’s best trio of corners. While Apple had his growing pains, he performed well enough to shut down a number of opponents and allow the coaches to move DRC to the slot corner position. Meanwhile, Collins led the Giants in tackles, was second on the team in interceptions, and third on the team in sacks. The weak spot in the secondary was free safety as promising rookie Darian Thompson and Mykkele Thompson were lost early to injuries, Nat Berhe battled concussions, and undrafted rookie Andrew Adams started the bulk of the season. While Adams didn’t embarrass himself, he did not make many plays either. Late in the season, Leon Hall – who was shifted from corner to safety – took over the position.

THE STARTERS

In his first season with the Giants, Janoris Jenkins had his best season to date, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and his first All-Pro (second-team) selection. Jenkins started every game, except for missing one game due to a back injury, and finished the season with 49 tackles, one sack, 18 pass defenses, three interceptions, and one forced fumble. Jenkins was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. The Giants signed him as unrestricted free agent in March 2016. Jenkins is an average-sized corner with excellent speed and quickness. He is a confident, instinctive coverman who has gotten better each year and has developed into an elite shut-down corner. Jenkins plays well in both man and zone coverage. He plays with swagger.

The Giants drafted Eli Apple in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He missed two games with hamstring and groin injuries, but surprisingly started 11 of the 14 regular-season games he played in. Apple finished the season with 51 tackles, seven pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Apple combines good size with excellent overall athletic ability, speed, and quickness. He flashes as a physical run defender and tackler, but needs to become more consistent in that area. Apple had a bit of an up-and-down rookie season in coverage. While he mostly handled his opponent, there were times when he gave up big plays. Apple makes a lot contact with receivers in coverage and he needs to continue to work on his technique. He has a big upside and looks to be developing into a fine player.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) had another strong year for the Giants, being named second-team All-Pro. He missed one game with a groin injury but started nine of the 15 regular-season games he played in, taking most of his snaps inside at the slot corner position. DRC finished the year with 49 tackles, one sack, 21 pass defenses, six interceptions, and one forced fumble. Rodgers-Cromartie was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and signed with the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and the Giants in 2014. Rodgers-Cromartie combines superb size and overall athletic skills, including speed, size, and leaping ability. Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the better cover corners in the NFL and capable of shutting down even top wide receivers. He has improved his toughness as a hitter and tackler. Rodgers-Cromartie made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and in 2015, the latter as an alternate. While he has not missed many games, DRC seems to battle a lot of nagging injuries.

In his second season, Landon Collins had a break-out year, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro. Collins started every game and finished the year with 125 tackles, four sacks, 13 pass defenses, and five interceptions. Collins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He is a big, tough, physical safety who lacks ideal quickness and recovery speed. Collins is good hitter and tackler and plays the run very well. He dramatically improved his play against the pass in 2016 and has rapidly developed into one of the best safeties in the NFL.

The Giants originally signed Andrew Adams as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Adams was signed to the Practice Squad, and then the 53-man roster in September 2016 after injuries hit the safety position hard. Force-fed into the starting line-up, Adams played in 14 regular-season games with 13 starts. He finished the year with 46 tackles, five pass defenses, and one interception. Adams lacks ideal height and speed but he is a well-built, athletic safety with good quickness. While Adams failed to make many plays on the ball in coverage, he was surprisingly reliable in that opposing offenses did not exploit him as much as would have been expected. That said, Adams saw his playing time decrease at the very end of the season in favor of Leon Hall.

THE RESERVES

Trevin Wade played in every game in 2016 with two regular-season starts. He received about 33 percent of defensive snaps and finished the year with 26 tackles and three pass defenses. Wade was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2012-13), Saints (2013-14), and Lions (2014). The Giants signed Wade to a reserve/future contract in January 2015. Wade is a decent-sized corner with only average athletic ability and speed. He can handle the slot corner position. Wade flashes solid cover skills at times but also gives up a fair share of completions.

Coty Sensabaugh was signed by the Giants in October 2016 after he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 10 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 15 tackles. 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 2016. Sensabaugh has played in 72 regular-season games with 29 starts. Sensabaugh is an average-sized corner whose strength is playing the slot nickel corner spot.

The Giants signed Leon Hall in August 2016. The Giants started him off at his usual slot corner position before shifting him to safety when injuries hit that position hard. Hall played in 12 regular-season games with two starts, finishing with 31 tackles, two sacks, two pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Hall was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In his nine seasons with the Bengals, Hall played in 121 regular-season games with 105 starts. Hall is nearing the end of a productive career, but his corner cover skills have eroded due to father time and injuries (Achilles’ tendon injuries in 2011 and 2013 and back surgery in 2016). Hall’s final playing days may be best suited for safety.

Michael Hunter spent time on both the Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. He played in two regular-season games and finished the season with four tackles. The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Hunter has a nice combination of size and speed. He is a physical, press corner who was up-and-down during the 2016 preseason for the Giants.

Nat Berhe had his second injury-plagued season in a row in 2016. Berhe missed nine regular-season games with two concussions. He ended up playing in seven games with two starts, finishing with 21 tackles, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Berhe was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams. But he missed all of 2015 due to a blood clot in his calf. Berhe lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a smart, physical, and aggressive defender who hits hard. The two concussions combined with his physical style of play cloud his NFL future.

Eric Pinkins was signed to the Practice Squad in October and the 53-man roster in November. He ended up playing in five games, mostly on special teams. Pinkins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, who moved him to linebacker. Pinkins was waived by the Seahawks in September 2016. Pinkins has a nice combination of size and speed, but his instincts have been questioned.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Ryan Murphy was signed to the Practice Squad in late December 2016. Murphy was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks waived him in their final round of cuts in September 2015. He spent time on the Practice Squad of the Denver Broncos in both 2015 and 2016. Murphy has a nice combination of size and athletic ability.

INJURED RESERVE

Donte Deayon was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and placed on the Practice Squad/Injured Reserve in October 2016 with an unknown injury. The Giants originally signed Deayon as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Deayon is a fluid, dimunitive corner with very good quickness and leaping ability. He is tough and confident, but struggled at times for the Giants during the 2016 preseason.

Having won the starting free safety position in the preseason, Darian Thompson missed virtually the entire season after suffering a Lisfranc foot injury in Week 2. Thompson tried to return in November, suffered a setback in practice, and was placed on Injured Reserve. The Giants drafted Thompson in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Thompson has a nice combination of smarts, maturity, size, and overall athletic ability. Thompson has natural cover skills and makes plays on the football in coverage. It remains to be seen how much the lisfranc injury affects his career.

Mykkele Thompson was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after injuring his knee in Week 2. Thompson was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed all of his rookie season after rupturing the Achilles’ tendon in his right foot during the preseason. Somewhat still raw, Thompson is a former quarterback and wide receiver who converted to cornerback and then safety in college. Thompson is a bit of a corner-safety ‘tweener. He is tall and thin with good speed, but he lacks ideal quickness for cornerback and ideal physicality for a safety. Thompson is versatile and smart. He is a good special teams player who blocked three punts in college. With two serious leg injuries in his first two seasons, his NFL future is cloudy.

Jan 122017
 
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Michael Bowie, Cleveland Browns (August 13, 2015)

Michael Bowie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN 12 PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:

  • QB Keith Wenning
  • RB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Darius Powe
  • WR Kevin Norwood
  • OT Michael Bowie
  • OT Jon Halapio
  • OG Adam Gettis
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • S Ryan Murphy

All except Bowie were either on the team’s Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured Reserve (Deayon) at the end of the season.

Bowie was originally drafted in the Seattle Seahawks in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in nine games with eight starts as a rookie. Bowie was waived in August 2014 and claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Bowie had shoulder issues in Cleveland and did not play in a regular-season game. The Browns placed him on the reserve/retired list in August 2016 and cut him in September. Bowie is a versatile lineman who has played both tackle and guard. He has very good size.

BBI WEBSITE UPDATES…
We have updated the following sections of the website:

ARTICLES…

Jan 092017
 
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Landon Collins and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 8, 2017)

Landon Collins and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday 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:

GIANTS SIGNING PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
According to NJ.com, the New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:

  • QB Keith Wenning
  • RB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OT Jon Halapio
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • S Ryan Murphy

These nine players were either on the team’s Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured Reserve (Deayon) at the end of the season.

NOTES…
The Giants did not score at least 20 points in any of their last six games (including five in the regular season), their longest such streak since September 22-October 26, 1980. They did not reach the 30-point mark in any of their 17 games.

The Giants are 0-18 in postseason games in which they allow more than 21 points.

QB Eli Manning played in his 12th career postseason game, the second-highest total in Giants history. LB Lawrence Taylor played in 15 playoff games.

ARTICLES…

Oct 132016
 
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Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OCTOBER 13, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Eli Apple (groin), safety Darian Thompson (foot), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris (toe), and offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf) did not practice on Thursday.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (groin), defensive end Olivier Vernon (wrist), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin), linebacker Devon Kennard (concussion), running back Rashad Jennings (thumb), and tight end Jerell Adams (ear) were limited in practice.

Tight end Larry Donnell (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker Eric Pinkins and cornerback Michael Hunter to the Practice Squad. To make room for these two, the team placed cornerback Donte Deayon on Practice Squad/Injured Reserve and terminated the Practice Squad contract of quarterback Logan Thomas.

Pinkins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Pinkins was waived by the Seahawks in September 2016. He has played in six regular-season NFL games with no starts. Pinkins has a nice combination of size and speed, but his instincts have been questioned.

Hunter has spent time on both the Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Hunter has a nice combination of size and speed.

Deayon was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. The Giants originally signed Deayon 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.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday.

Sep 042016
 
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Geremy Davis, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Geremy Davis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CLAIM DT ROBERT THOMAS…
The New York Giants claimed defensive tackle Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. To make room for Thomas, the team waived defensive tackle Montori Hughes.

The 6’3”, 325-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). To date, Thomas has only played in one regular season game. Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

The Giants signed Hughes to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad in November 2015. He ended up playing in seven games as a reserve, and finished the season with six tackles. 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.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed the following ten players to their 10-man Practice Squad:

  • QB Logan Thomas
  • WR Geremy Davis
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OL Adam Gettis
  • OL Shane McDermott
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • LB Ishaq Williams
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • S Andrew Adams

All ten of these players were with the Giants this summer in training camp and the preseason. They were all waived on Saturday except for McDermott who was waived on Tuesday.

Sep 032016
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS CUT ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
The New York Giants made 22 roster moves on Saturday in order reduce the roster to 53 players as required by the NFL.

The Giants waived or terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • QB Logan Thomas
  • RB Andre Williams
  • WR Geremy Davis
  • WR Darius Powe
  • WR Anthony Dablé
  • OL Adam Gettis
  • OL Dillon Farrell
  • OL Ryan Seymour
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DT Jermelle Cudjo
  • DT Louis Nix
  • LB Brad Bars
  • LB Ishaq Williams
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Leon McFadden
  • S Justin Currie
  • S Andrew Adams

The Giants placed the following player on Injured Reserve:

  • FB/TE Will Johnson (burner)

The Giants waived/injured the following players:

  • OL Emmett Clearly (finger)
  • OL Jake Rodgers (ankle)

As expected, place kicker Josh Brown was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Suspended list for a 2015 domestic violence incident. He will be eligible to return to the team on September 12th, a day after the first regular-season game.

“Football is a people business,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Building relationships, developing chemistry and improving in our game. When you approach it that way, it makes this time of year even harder because you develop those relationships with these players, and you’re all working together toward the same goal. That’s the way it goes in this business. You can’t take everybody with you, especially at the beginning. But they’re fine young men, they handled themselves well, and we wish them the best moving forward.

“It was a challenge. We let a lot of good players go, some who will be playing for other teams. And at some point you may see some of them back here. It was tough. It wasn’t just one position. You wanted to make sure you did what was best and took the best 53 and rounded out the roster the best way you can. But there were some good players we had to let go.

“I’m very comfortable with two quarterbacks on the roster. Eli (Manning) has played a lot of football. Ryan (Nassib) is a guy who had some ups and downs of late, but he’s a guy we have confidence in. He can put the players around him in a position to be successful and take advantage of it.” 

The most surprising cut was running back Andre Williams. “Andre is a guy that played some good football for us,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We’re going to miss him. It was another one of those really tough (roster) decisions to make. We feel that with Rashad (Jennings), Shane (Vereen), Orleans (Darkwa), Paul Perkins, and Bobby Rainey, we have some versatility there to play all three downs, and on special teams as well.”

With Will Johnson placed on Injured Reserve, the Giants currently have no fullbacks on the roster. “It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this,” McAdoo said. “(Johnson) came in and played some good ball for us. He’s a guy that we think highly of… We’ll do (fullback) by committee.”

Wide receivers Tavarres King and Roger Lewis both made the 53-man roster over wide receiver Geremy Davis.

“Roger and T.K. are two guys that really took a big jump,” McAdoo said. “They hit the ground running in the offseason, made tremendous strides and got better and improved. They pushed each other along with the rest of that group. There was great competition in that group. Geremy was a guy we drafted here that we think very highly of. Sometimes, you have to make those tough decisions.”

Offensive center/guard Brett Jones, the former Canadian Football League player who spend the entire 2015 season on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, also made the team.

“Brett has made some big jumps, some big gains,” McAdoo said. “It’s a shame what happened to him last season. He’s been able to rebound. He’s a great student of the game. He’s a guy that has improved tremendously and will add some versatility inside for us… We look forward to getting (recently re-signed) Will (Beatty) out there on the practice field and getting his legs underneath him. He’ll be working hard to get in football shape and playing multiple positions for us.”

Rookie undrafted defensive end Romeo Okwara also man the 53-man roster. “He really came on in camp,” McAdoo said. “He really didn’t do a lot in the offseason because he had a hamstring injury. But he bounced back. He takes his coaching well and he really plays with a great amount of energy and passion… I think we have a nice group of defensive ends. (Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Kerry Wynn, and Okwara) all have some value inside, and they can play inside and outside for us. They can play the run and play the pass. It’s a good group.”

Others to make the squad were safety Mykkele Thompson and cornerback Trevin Wade.  “Mykkele is a guy who showed up and made some plays for us on special teams,” McAdoo said. “Wade really played tremendously the other night and took advantage of his opportunity vs. a great quarterback and a great offense, and showed very well.

“The roster is a living, breathing organism. It never stops changing. There’s always movement in the roster. Things are always moving.”

RYAN MALLECK WAIVED OFF OF INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have waived tight end Ryan Malleck off of Injured Reserve. The Giants waived/injured Malleck and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a burner earlier this week. The Giants signed Malleck as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft.

UNIFORM NUMBER CHANGES…
The following New York Giants players have changed their uniform jersey numbers:

  • CB Eli Apple: from #28 to #24
  • RB Paul Perkins: from #39 to #28
  • OT Will Beatty: from #64 to #65
  • DT Montori Hughes: from #79 to #99
Sep 012016
 
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Tavarres King, New York Giants (September 1, 2016)

Tavarres King – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 17 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 9…
Minus many of their best offensive and defensive players, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the preseason finale Thursday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants finished the preseason with a 2-2 record.

Head Coach Ben McAdoo decided to sit quarterback Eli Manning, wide receiver Odell Beckham, center Weston Richburg, defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Vernon Olivier, defensive tackles Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hanks, and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Offensive tackle Will Beatty and place kicker Josh Brown suited up but did not play.

On the other hand, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played the entire first half against mostly a second- and third-team defense that performed admirably well. In six first-half Patriots drives, the Giants forced three turnovers and allowed only one scoring drive: a 9-play, 67-yard effort that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass by Brady. The 2-point conversion attempt failed.

New England’s first drive ended when cornerback Trevin Wade stepped in front of Brady’s intended receiver for the interception. Later in the 1st quarter, safety Andrew Adams forced ex-Giants tight end Martellus Bennett to fumble. Defensive tackle Montori Hughes recovered the loose ball. The Patriots drove deep into Giants territory in the 2nd quarter, but defensive end Kerry Wynn forced the running back to fumble after a short reception with linebacker Mark Herzlich recovering at the Giants 8-yard line.

Quarterback Ryan Nassib started and played into the 4th quarter before giving way to Logan Thomas. Nassib struggled again for the most part, completing 16-of-29 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Out of their seven first-half possessions, the Giants had two long drives: one 15-play, 59-yard possession that ended with a 25-yard field goal by place kicker Randy Bullock; and the second a 6-play, 63-yard possession that ended with an interception at the Patriots 2-yard line with seven seconds left in the half.

At the break, the Patriots led 6-3.

The Giants defensive reserves remained stingy in the second half, allowing only one scoring drive: a 16-play, 66-yard march that resulted in a 32-yard field goal. Meanwhile, the Giants offense scored two touchdowns. On the team’s first possession of the second half, Nassib connected with wide receiver Tavarres King on a 59-yard catch-and-run for a go-ahead touchdown. The next two Giants drives only each picked up one first down. But in the 4th quarter, with Thomas at quarterback, the Giants drove 79 yards in 13 plays with the final snap being a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roger Lewis with 3:49 to go in the game.

Offensively, the leading rushers for the Giants were Bobby Rainey (7 carries for 38 yards), Orleans Darkwa (9 carries for 37 yards), and Andre Williams (10 carries for 35 yards). Paul Perkins fumbled the ball away. The leading receivers were King (4 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown), Rainey (3 catches for 37 yards), Lewis (3 catches for 30 yards and a touchdown), Geremy Davis (3 catches for 30 yards), and Perkins (3 catches for 29 yards).

Defensively, linebacker Mark Herzlich had 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 fumble recovery. Defensive tackle Montori Hughes had a sack and a fumble recovery. Defensive ends Stansly Maponga and Romeo Okwara each had sacks too. Defensive end Kerry Wynn and safety Andrew Adams forced fumbles. Cornerback Trevin Wade had an interception. Officially, the Giants had 13 hits on quarterbacks, 10 pass defenses, and 7 tackles for a loss – all high totals.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing were fullback/tight end Will Johnson (burner), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (knee), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (shoulder).

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:

NIKITA WHITLOCK, MATT LACOSSE, AND RYAN MALLECK TO IR…
Fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), and tight end Ryan Malleck, who were waived/injured by the New York Giants earlier this week, passed through waivers and were added to New York’s Injured Reserve.

ARTICLES…

Aug 132016
 
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Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MIAMI DOLPHINS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
The Ben McAdoo era began with a 27-10 preseason defeat at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Friday night. McAdoo decided not to play quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham. Quarterback Ryan Nassib struggled in Eli’s place. But the starting defense played well and the offense did just enough to help New York take a 10-0 advantage in the first quarter. However, aided by four turnovers, the Dolphins scored 27 unanswered points to win an unexciting contest.

The Giants drove 74 yards in nine plays on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. The drive was highlighted by a 19-yard run by running back Shane Vereen and a diving 24-yard catch by rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-6. Two plays later, running back Rashad Jennings scored from three yards out. The Giants were fortunate, however, in that Miami was flagged with two costly penalties on this drive, including a botched shotgun snap on 3rd-and-11.

Meanwhile, the Giants defense did not allow a first down on Miami’s first five offensive possessions. The defense stopped the run and pressured the quarterback. Late in the 1st quarter, linebacker Jonathan Casillas intercepted quarterback Matt Moore at the Dolphins 30-yard line and returned it to the 11-yard line. Despite setting up a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Giants offense could not punch it in and New York settled for a 20-yard field goal to go up 10-0.

The failure to score from the 1-yard line was a bad omen. After the first drive where the Giants gained five first downs, the team did not gain more than one first down on any drive for the remainder of the game. In their final 13 possessions, the Giants gained seven first downs. Nassib was dreadful, only completing 7-of-15 passes for 75 yards. Two of his his deep throws were underthrown and intercepted. He also carelessly fumbled the ball away, setting up the Dolphins at the Giants 5-yard line. Nassib was lucky a couple of other throws were not picked off.

Nassib’s three turnovers led to 17 second quarter points by the Dolphins, one touchdown coming off of a fluke 51-yard pass where the intended receiver tipped the ball to another receiver who scored. In the second half, the Dolphins scored again on a short field after a fumble by running back Paul Perkins at New York’s 25-yard line.

New York finished the game with only 69 net yards passing (the Dolphins had 192). The Giants did out-rush the Dolphins 158 to 104. The second- and third-team players on the Giants offensive line struggled.

Some defensive highlights included:

  • Two quarterback hits by DE Olivier Vernon.
  • Three quarterback hits and two sacks by DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
  • One sack by DE Stansly Maponga.
  • An active game – including four tackles – by DE Romeo Okwara.
  • Four tackles and one sack by DT Greg Milhouse.
  • Seven tackles and two tackles for a loss by LB B.J. Goodson.
  • An aggressive game by CB Eli Apple, including a solid tackle short of the sticks.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing were WR Victor Cruz (groin), DE Kerry Wynn (groin), LB Keenan Robinson (groin), LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring/PUP), and DT Jay Bromley (ankle/PUP).

CB Eli Apple (lower leg strain), WR Sterling Shepard (groin strain), WR Geremy Davis (hamstring), and TE Will Johnson (burner) all left the game and did not return.

Head Coach Ben McAdoo did not think the injuries to Apple, Shepard, or Davis were serious.

“I’m feeling fine,” said Apple. “It’s just a lower leg strain, it’s gonna be fine.”

“I feel good,” said Shepard. “It’s just sore from practice, but it’s all good now.”

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

ARTICLES…