Sep 012017
 
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Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (August 31, 2017)

Aldrick Rosas – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE NINE ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have officially waived eight players and placed another on Injured Reserve:

  • WR C.J. Germany (Waived)
  • OL Richard Levy (Waived)
  • LB Steven Daniels (Waived)
  • LB Chris Casher (Waived)
  • CB Tim Scott (Waived)
  • CB Tay Glover-Wright (Waived)
  • CB Daniel Gray (Waived)
  • S Duke Ihenacho (Injured Reserve)
  • S Eric Pinkins (Waived)

Aside from Pinkins and Ihenacho, the other seven players were added to the roster last month when injuries affected those respective positions. Ihenacho injured his knee in the third preseason game against the New York Jets.

Pinkins was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2016 and the 53-man roster in November. He ended up playing in five games for the Giants, mostly on special teams. Pinkins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Giants signed Ihenacho as an unrestricted free agent in May 2017. Ihenacho was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Redskins claimed him off of waivers from the Broncos in August 2014. Ihenacho spent most of 2014 (broken foot) and 2015 (dislocated/fractured wrist) on Injured Reserve. Ihenacho started 10 of 15 regular-season games in 2016, being credited with 66 tackles and two pass defenses.

The Giants roster now stands at 80 players. Teams must officially reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

FRIDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 40-38 win over the New England Patriots:

Q: What did you think of QB Geno Smith and QB Josh Johnson when you watched last night’s film?

A: They both graded out high. They played well. Again, it’s going to be a tough decision.

Q: How far along were you in the decision-making process with quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson leading into last night’s game?

A: We were going to let it play out. We weren’t going to rush to any decisions. We’re continuing the evaluation process today and we’ll make a decision tomorrow.

Q: Will you keep one of the backup quarterbacks on the roster as of now?

A: Can I say if we’re going to keep one of them? I will say nothing about who we’re going to keep.

Q: Can you talk about the kicking competition and if K Aldrick Rosas won a spot on the roster last night?

A: Well, I think Mike (Nugent) and Aldrick, they both competed at a high level. Mike had a tremendous game last week versus the Jets and we wanted to see how Aldrick responded and he responded very well last night. We’re taking a look at it right now.

Q: How much do you factor in the ages of kickers Aldrick Rosas and Mike Nugent when it comes to earning a roster spot?

A: I think experience is a big factor, whether you look at lack of experience or an experienced player. I don’t know that age really matters all that much. I think experience does, especially at that position. But both men have done exactly what we’ve asked them to do and performed and played at a high level.

Q: Now that you’ve had a full preseason with a fullback, how much of an impact has that made on the offense and the run game in particular?

A: I mean, just like every year since I’ve been here, we had a preseason with a fullback. We had a couple guys who played at a high level. Shane Smith did a nice job in there for us yesterday. He is a guy who’s continuing to learn the position. He’s new to the position and developing as a special-teamer. Those guys have done a nice job for us. Again, we have some tough decisions to make at that fullback spot and tight end spot.

Q: How do you think the tight end competition went last night?

A: It was good to see (Matt) LaCosse produce. We’ve been seeing that in the OTA’s and in training camp – him producing, making plays and having a chance to score a couple times, as well as contributing in the two-minute drive, was good to see. We’ve been seeing that all along in practice. It’s nice for it to show up on game day. Jerell (Adams) blocked very physical. He was a physical player. Didn’t get many opportunities in the pass game, but came on as a blocker yesterday in the ball game. Will Tye. You take the second play of the game out of the mix – he had a nice night.

Q: How do feel that T Chad Wheeler developed over the summer?

A: I think he’s coming along. I think his best days are ahead of him as a player. I think he has some versatility for us. It’s encouraging.

Q: Where else do you think T Chad Wheeler can be used since you mentioned the word ‘versatility?’

A: I think he has some flexibility to play both sides and possibly inside.

Q: How much work have you done on the Cowboys over these last couple of months?

A: I focus one week at a time and we’ll be ready for Dallas when it gets here.

Q: Is it fair to say that you’ve at least looked at Dallas in the offseason?

A: We brush up on division opponents in the offseason, that’s fair to say.

Q: How much are you paying attention to Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott’s legal proceedings?

A: We’re focused on our own team right now. Whoever rolls out there for Dallas, whoever they put on the field, we’ll be prepared for, we’ll have a plan for and we’ll be ready to go.

Q: Did you have any injuries in last night’s game?

A: We had a couple guys nicked, but nothing of note.

Q: Has there been any progress for linebacker Mark Herzlich injury-wise?

A: Herzlich, he’s making progress. He’s down there getting treatment right now, we’ll see how he responds.

Q: How much tougher has it been to have the roster cut down to 53 players in one swoop, as opposed to doing it gradually, like it was in the past?

A: Well, I think it’s challenging because we feel that we have more than 53 who can play. That’s what’s going to make it challenging for us. We like where we’re at from a roster standpoint. We feel we have some depth, we had some good competition and at the positions we needed to see a lot out of last night, they stood up and they played and they competed. It was exciting to watch and it made our job even harder, but that’s good. That’s a great problem to have.

Q: How tough of a decision is it on Herzlich, not knowing when he will be healthy enough to play?

A: That’s part of it. Obviously, you weigh that in, but that’s more of a medical decision. That’s something that you have to factor in when you get to the 53.

Q: Are players off Saturday and Sunday of this weekend?

A: They’ll have a little time away from the building, unless they need to receive medical treatment, yes.

Q: What does it say about your program that you haven’t been hit with any long-term injuries like we see around the league during preseason?

A: Right now, we’re worried about picking the best 53 guys that we have. We appreciate the effort and everything that everyone on the 90[-man] roster has put into this team. We wouldn’t be where we are without a lot of the guys that we’re getting ready to cut. It’s going to be a tough couple of days. Injuries are a part of the game, they happen, you can’t control them all. But we feel with the 90 that we had, that we built up a pretty physical, heavy-handed, conditioned team and it’s a challenge doing it when you have three games in 11 days, but the players responded. And I think they did a nice job last night fighting through some things and playing for each other.

Q: Do you meet with every player that you cut?

A: Yes.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media conference calls with the following players on Friday are available in The Corner Forum:

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).

Jul 022017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS.COM PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

GENERAL NEW YORK GIANTS ARTICLES…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS DEFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS SPECIAL TEAMS…

Jun 232017
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE…
The New York Giants have announced their schedule for the 2017 summer training camp, which is held at Quest Diagnostics Training Center near MetLife Stadium. Only 11 practice sessions will be open to the public.

  • Thursday, July 27: Players report to training camp.
  • Friday, July 28: 11:40 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, July 29: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Sunday, July 30: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, July 31: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Tuesday, August 1: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 2: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 3: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Friday, August 4: 11:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, August 5: CAMP CLOSED
  • Sunday, August 6: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Monday, August 7: CAMP CLOSED
  • Tuesday, August 8: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 9: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 10: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Friday, August 11: Giants vs. Steelers, 7:00 p.m., MetLife Stadium
  • Saturday, August 12: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Sunday, August 13: 11:10 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, August 14: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Tuesday, August 15: CAMP CLOSED; end of training camp

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com. In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes in the daily practice schedule.

ARTICLES…

May 252017
 
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Duke Ihenacho, Washington Redskins (October 9, 2016)

Duke Ihenacho – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN DEVIN TAYLOR AND DUKE IHENACHO…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agents defensive end Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) and safety Duke Ihenacho (Washington Redskins).

Taylor was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In four seasons with the Lions, Taylor has played in 61 regular-season games with 18 starts, 16 of which came in 2016 when Taylor accrued 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. The 27-year old Taylor is a big end (6’7”, 275lbs) with good overall athleticism. However, he never lived up to expectations in Detroit.

The 27-year old Ihenacho was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Redskins claimed him off of waivers from the Broncos in August 2014. Ihenacho spent most of 2014 (broken foot) and 2015 (dislocated/fractured wrist) on Injured Reserve. Ihenacho started 10 of 15 regular-season games in 2016, being credited with 66 tackles and two pass defenses. In his five NFL seasons, Ihenacho has not intercepted a pass. Ihenacho has a nice combination of size (6’1”, 208lbs) and athleticism, but his development has been sabotaged by injuries. He flashes against both the run and pass but also has proven to be inconsistent in both areas.

GERALD HODGES UPDATE…
The NFL Network is reporting that unrestricted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges (San Francisco 49ers) visited the New York Giants on Wednesday. It was reported earlier that Hodges was visiting the Giants on Tuesday.

Hodges was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in October 2015. In four NFL seasons, Hodges has played in 54 regular-season games with 26 starts. Hodges started 12 games in 2016 and finished the year with 83 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. The 26-year old, 6’2”, 236lb defender is good run defender who does an adequate job in pass coverage.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES…
The New York Giants held their first two Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Monday and Tuesday. Those practices were not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s remaining OTAs will be held on May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15. Thursday’s OTA practice will be open to the media.

Giants.com has provided the following notes and video highlights from the OTA practices:

OTA #1:

OTA #2:

ARTICLES…