ATLANTA FALCONS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New York Giants 17-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Atlanta secured the game on a 40-yard field goal as time expired. The Giants are now 0-3 on the season, and have lost two games in a row on a walk-off, game-winning field goal by the opponent.
At halftime, former Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning had his #10 jersey retired and was inducted into the team’s “Ring of Honor.”
The Giants out-gained the Falcons in first downs (21 to 18), total net yards (346 to 296), net yards rushing (100 to 69), net yards passing (246 to 227), and time of possession (31:51 to 28:09). The turnover battle was tied with each team losing a fumble that did not lead to points. The Giants were flagged eight times for 53 yards in penalties, however.
The Giants’ defense played well for most of the contest except for the now predictable late collapses at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. The Falcons had six possessions in the first half, with the first four resulting in a total of four first downs and four punts. However, their fifth drive started with 2:09 left in the first half, and the Falcons were able to drive 44 yards in six plays and 36 seconds to score a go-ahead touchdown. The Falcons got the ball one more time before intermission after a turnover, but the Giants defense forced a turnover of its own when linebacker Azeez Ojulari sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble that linebacker Lorenzo Carter recovered.
Not counting the kneel down at the end of the first half, the Giants had five first-half possessions of their own. Two were very long drives. The Giants’ first possession of the game picked up 73 yards on 11 plays; the Giants’ third possession gained 73 yards on 15 plays. The problem was New York settled for two short field goals with both possessions stalling inside the red zone. This gave the Giants a 6-0 lead that they held until the Falcons scored a touchdown late in the half. Then tight end Evan Engram fumbled the ball away at the New York 38-yard line after a 13-yard catch late in the half.
At the break, the Falcons led 7-6.
Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter with both teams punting twice. However, late in this quarter, the Giants did begin a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown by running back Saquon Barkley from one yard out. Quarterback Daniel Jones then ran for a score on the 2-point conversion and the Giants were up 14-7 with just under 13 minutes to play in the game.
Unfortunately, the New York defense could not hold the lead and immediately gave up a 15-play, 72-yard drive to the Falcons that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14 with just over four minutes to play.
With the game on the line, the New York offense picked up two first downs, but stalled at mid-field when Jones was sacked for nine yards on 2nd-and-10. With less than two minutes to play, the Giants punted the ball back to Atlanta.
The result was predictable. Starting at their own 20-yard line, Atlanta easily drove into field goal range with pass completions of 28 and 25 yards on two of their first three plays. The Falcons gained three more yards before kicking the game-winning, 40-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.
Jones completed 24-of-35 passes for 266 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also ran the ball eight times for 39 yards and was sacked twice. His leading receiver was Barkley, who caught six passes for 43 yards. Wide receiver Collin Johnson caught five passes for 51 yards and wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught four passes for 64 yards. Barkley carried the ball 16 times for just 51 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Falcons were held to 296 total yards and 69 yards rushing. Defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Leonard Williams each had sacks in addition to Ojulari, who forced the fumble that Carter recovered.
Video of quarterback Eli Manning’s #10 jersey retirement and “Ring of Honor” induction at halftime is also available at Giants.com.
ROSTER MOVES, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants signed WR C.J. Board and OC Jonotthan Harrison to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The team also placed LB Cam Brown (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.
Inactive for the game were RB Devontae Booker, LB Justin Hilliard, CB Sam Beal, CB Josh Jackson, and Nate Ebner (quad).
LB Blake Martinez (knee), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), and WR Darius Slayton (hamstring) all left the game in the first half with injuries and did not return.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT… The New York Giants practiced on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Giants announced that OG Shane Lemieux, who is currently on Injured Reserve, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Although unlikely, Head Coach Joe Judge did not rule out Lemieux returning to the 53-man roster this season.
Judge was asked if the leg fracture suffered by OC/OG Nick Gates was career-threatening. “I’d be lying, from my perspective, if I said no,” Judge said. “I know there are some comparisons, but they are all different. I know he is receiving the best medical care possible, here, elsewhere, wherever it may be, so we’re confident he’ll be able to come back.”
LB Cam Brown (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday.
RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hip), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), TE Evan Engram (calf), TE Kaden Smith (knee), NT Austin Johnson (illness), S Logan Ryan (hamstring), and S Nate Ebner (quad) were limited in practice.
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:
ELI MANNING ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning addressed the media on Thursday in advance of his induction into the team’s “Ring of Honor.” The transcript and video is available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com.
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday (11:30AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.
GIANTS WILL RETIRE ELI MANNING’S #10 JERSEY…
The New York Giants have announced that the team will retire former quarterback Eli Manning’s #10 jersey at halftime of September 26th’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons. Manning will also be entered into the team’s Ring of Honor.
“I think it’ll be great,” Manning said. “To have a full crowd and one final, I guess, goodbye and thank you to the fans. Because they’re the ones that make it all happen and they supported me my whole career. I think it’s fitting the Giants are playing the Falcons, who I had my first start against back in ’04. Obviously, it’s a great honor. But really, to get to do it with teammates and family and around the fans and the organization – those are the people that made this all happen, and it’s been a fun ride and it’ll be a great final farewell.”
Manning played 16 years for the Giants, from 2004 until 2019. He was a two-time Super Bowl MVP who compiled a 117-117 regular-season record and an 8-4 post-season record as a starting quarterback. He holds most of the franchise’s QB records, including passing yards (57,023) and touchdowns (366).
ELI MANNING RETURNS TO NEW YORK GIANTS…
The New York Giants have announced that former quarterback Eli Manning will work for the team in a variety of roles, including business development, marketing, and community and corporate relations.
“I wanted to take a year off anyway,” Manning said. “That was the game plan to analyze what you want to do, analyze how busy you want to be, how involved you want to be, just to give the players a break, let the coaches have a fresh start and let Daniel Jones have his fresh start. But I was hoping there would be a spot back with the organization to do the things because of what it’s meant to me. The Giants organization is what I know. Since I’ve been out of college, this is all I’ve done and all I’ve ever wanted to do was do well for the Giants and win games and represent the organization in a positive way, and hopefully I can continue to do that.
“I sat down with (team president and CEO) John Mara and kind of said, ‘Hey, I’d like to get back involved if you think there’s a spot for me or a way that I can help out.’ From there, we did some brainstorming and figured out a way for me to get back involved.
“I’m excited that I get to hold true that ‘Once a Giant, only a Giant.’ I wanted to be back here with the organization. I had a little break; I think both sides needed a little parting. But I’m excited to team back up with the Giants and help out in any way they feel they need it. Most of it will be on the business side and be with the sponsors and marketing and corporate stuff and the community service, which has been so important to me.”
ELI MANNING RETIREMENT PRESS CONFERENCE…
Quarterback Eli Manning officially retired from the NFL at a press conference on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara
Good morning and thank you for being here. This is certainly a day of very mixed emotions for us. It’s sad in one sense because we’re seeing the end of an incredible playing career, and saying goodbye to someone who has been everything you could ask a player to be both on and off the field for the last 16 years.
Yet, we’re also very happy because we get to be here to celebrate that incredible career and we’re also able to witness one of the greatest players in franchise history be able to leave the game on his own terms, having played his whole career as a Giant, something that doesn’t always happen in this business and if anybody deserved that opportunity, it’s Eli Manning.
For the last 16 years, Eli has meant so much to all of us here at the Giants and also to our fans. We all know about the two Super Bowl MVP’s and all of the great performances on the field. But just as important, was the way he conducted himself on and off the field as the consummate professional, always with dignity, always with class.
We all have so many memories of Eli. I just want to quickly mention two of mine. I certainly remember the days leading up to the 2004 NFL Draft, when I was constantly in and out of Ernie Accorsi’s office. We were on the phone, hoping we could pull off that trade with San Diego and what a trade it turned out to be, probably the best trade in franchise history. Eli became the face of the franchise, Super Bowl MVP and as fine a representative as this team has ever had. Ernie, who is here today, I want to thank you for having the foresight and patience and guts to pull off that trade and help build those Super Bowl teams.
I also remember the last game of the 2004 season, Eli’s rookie year, when he took the team down the field at the end of the game in the closing seconds to beat Dallas, it was the last game my father ever saw, and I can remember walking to the locker room with him afterward and him saying to me, “I think we found our guy.” And how right he was.
I want to acknowledge a number of Eli’s past and present teammates, a lot of whom are here today, all of whom played a huge part in his career. I can’t mention all of you because I know I’ll forget somebody, but thank you for being here.
Tom Coughlin, our great coach, who led us to those two Super Bowls and who was so instrumental in Eli’s success. I also want to acknowledge my partner, Steve Tisch, who wanted desperately to be here today, but is under the weather and was unable to fly. Fortunately, Laurie Tisch is here to represent the Tisch family.
Eli, Steve did tell me he has some movie roles in store for you. You obviously made an impression on him with your fine acting in all those commercials you did. He specifically mentioned, by the way, co-starring in Equalizer 3 with Denzel Washington. I guess I missed Equalizer 1 and 2, but I’m sure going to catch number 3 if you’re in it.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank Olivia and Archie Manning for raising such an outstanding son and to Abby, for being so supportive of Eli for all these years. We would not be standing here today celebrating his great career, if not for everything you guys did.
And finally, Eli, what more can I say, thank you for everything you’ve done for the New York Giants for the last 16 years, for being such a role model for our players, for our fans and for everything you’ve done in the community.
We have this game ball to present to you, which attempts to list all of your accomplishments, I’m not sure we got them all in there, but you will always be the ultimate Giant, and we would be honored to induct you into our Ring of Honor next season. And please know this, no Giant will ever wear No. 10 again.
Remarks by Eli Manning
Good morning and thanks for coming. This sport has very few real farewells, but as the clock ran down on our win against the Dolphins this season, I ran to my favorite place in the stadium, the tunnel. I waved to our loyal fans and then Abby, my kids, ran out to meet me. That was my farewell and a moment I’ll cherish forever. There won’t be any more tunnel moments for me, and I’ll truly miss them.
I’ll miss standing in the shadows, staring out into the field before a game surrounded by my teammates and knowing all the hard work we’ve put in. I’ll miss hearing the first roar of the crowd, triggering the knowledge that we had been given one more opportunity to go win a football game.
It’s impossible to explain the satisfaction, actually the joy, I’ve experienced being a Giant. From the very first moment, I did it my way. I couldn’t be someone other than who I am. Undoubtedly, I would have made the fans, the media, even the front office more comfortable if I was a more ‘rah-rah guy’, but that’s not me.
Ultimately, I truly believed my teammates and the fans learned to appreciate that. They knew what they got was pure, unadulterated Eli. I don’t have any regrets and I won’t look in the rear-view mirror.
Would we have liked to have won more games or championships? Of course we would have. There were tough times that I learned and grew from, but I always knew the level of effort and sacrifice my teammates and coaches made. We did all we could do every week.
I choose to leave this game with only positive memories. Why harp on the not-so-proud moments? Where is the value in that? If there are going to be endless echoes, choose the good ones. For now, I’ll focus on the touchdowns, the wins, celebrations with teammates, family and friends and sharing a cold beer in the back of a bus after a big game.
I’ll remember the OTAs and training camps. I’ll remember the special people that make this organization what it is. During the past 16 years, many of the faces have not changed, from the film people, the equipment managers, the community relations department, and those in the cafeteria and the training room. Each of them have become like family to me. I’ve watched as they have gotten married and I’ve seen their kids grow.
I’ll miss the people and I’ll miss the life experiences that we’ve shared. I’ll remember conversations with coaches, game planning and meeting rooms. Those are unique memories I treasure and ones I’ll relive with teammates for decades from now.
When you win championships, you have a special, unbreakable bond with teammates. When you see them, you give them a hug and hold it just a little bit longer because of that unique connection with those special people. Many became friends that will last a lifetime.
I was excited to come to New York. When I make a decision, I’m determined to make it work. Abby and I became active members in our community, whether it’s parent volunteers for kids’ sports teams or supporters of local charities, like Tackle Kids Cancer, March of Dimes and Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
I don’t have a single regret and ultimately, I think that it worked out for you and for me. We supported our community in the past, today, and since we’re going to be sticking around here, we’ll continue to support this community in the future.
It’s rare to have the privilege of playing an entire career with one organization. I’m proud to be one of the few, but even more so, that it was as a Giant. There are a few people that I want to thank.
Of course, the Mara and the Tisch family. You can be confident that no one has loved and appreciated wearing the Giants uniform more than I have and that will never change.
To Ernie Accorsi, 16 years ago, Ernie made the trade that made me a Giant for life. Thank you so much.
To Coach Tom Coughlin, thanks for teaching me the work ethic, the discipline and the value of team-above-all-else mentality.
To Coach Kevin Gilbride, thanks for always having my back and trusting me and supporting me through my entire career.
And of course, to all my teammates. If I named them all, it would take forever and no one would recognize me if I did.
What I will say is that the best thing about playing all these years, is the number of teammates that I can call real friends, and of all those friends, I’m lucky enough to have a few that have become as close as brothers.
And of course, my family. I don’t think I need to make public comments for my family to know how I think about them, but Abby, and to Ava and Lucy and Caroline and Charlie, you are my rock.
And to the Giants fans, you are definitely unique, but I love you for that. I’m walking away today feeling like a New Yorker. Well, at least a Northeasterner and that says a lot about a guy from New Orleans who went to Ole Miss.
Since I’ve only been here, I’m biased when I say that the New York Giants are the greatest organization in the NFL and how they treat players, coaches and personnel. The team’s driving commitment: to win football games. It’s a rarity, but here, “Team” always comes first.
It’s been an honor to be a part of this family and I hope that I’ve represented the organization in the way that you wanted me to from my first day to my last.
For most of my life, people have called me Easy. Believe me, this is nothing easy about today.
Wellington Mara always said, “Once a Giant, Always a Giant.” For me, it’s ‘Only a Giant.’
Thank you so much.
Q: Curious, why retire now instead of pursue opportunities, because you had kind of indicated you felt like you had something left to give.
A: Well, I think it was important to me to go out as a Giant, and I think when you get drafted and you come to an organization, I think that’s always your goal to stay with one organization your entire career.As you get towards the end of it, it doesn’t always work out that way and you still have desires to play sometime, but I think it was important, the fans, the organization, this family with the Giants, has been so remarkable. I think it was the right thing to call it a career and to end it instead of trying to uproot my family and leave and try somewhere else.This was the right decision, and I know it is and I’m at peace with it. I think that’s what has made this day a little bit easier.
Q: How much pride do you take in your durability, never missing a start, and was there a game it was close that you might have missed? A: There was a couple games where it was close, I didn’t practice most of the week and maybe went out on a Friday for the first time.I think what it was, was a lot about trying to be there for your teammates. You saw guys playing through injuries. You saw offensive lineman that were sore, beat-up running backs that were sore every week, but they did what they could to be there for their teammates, ownership, their coaches and that’s really what it was more about.I didn’t want to let them down. I didn’t want to let them know they were working and doing everything, so I knew I would always – hey, if I had to be in the training room all day, Ronnie Barnes, with the training staff and make them – hey, whatever it took to get healthy, I was going to do it, and if I felt I could play and play well enough to win a football game, then I wanted to be out there. That was always the mindset to do everything possible to be out there for my team.
Q: You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. What you do see yourself doing a year from now, five years from now? A: I don’t know. I think these last few weeks as I made this decision, I really didn’t think much about going forward. I think a lot of my time was spent just reflecting on these past 16 years. I talked to a lot of coaches, a lot of former teammate. We had a lot of laughs, a few cries, just about the great moments. And so I think my focus has been on that. You know, I look forward to a little downtime. I look forward to spending time with my family, coaching Ava’s third great basketball team, assistant coach, and just being involved with my kids and Abby and getting to do some things that I’ve missed out on because of this job and occupation and dedication I gave to it. I think I’m going to take some time and just enjoy it and then figure out what my next steps are.
Q: Thanks for the class and elegance over the years. Do you think you got closure from the last victory and did that make the decision easier because that game ended up the way it was beautifully, with the victory at home in the tunnel? A: As I talked about, that was a special game and just because – you know, this sport, it’s different. It’s different than a lot of other sports where you kind of have a farewell tour in baseball or basketball, when you kind of know you’re going to retire that season. This year, you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I think the fact that my contract was up and this was maybe going to be my last start, and to get a win in your home stadium and to have the crowd and kind of that recognition, I think there was kind of – you know, as I said, my farewell. I think it does help give you a little bit of closure and kind of have one last great positive memory that you can kind of remember your last game that you played was a win at home and the emotions that surrounded that. So I think it did help make this process easier.
Q: John Mara had said that he would welcome you into the organization in some capacity. Have you thought of taking on a role within the Giants in the future? Is that something you would be interested in later on? A: Yeah, I think that would be something I would be interested in. I’ve just got to, you know, have to discuss that and talk to Mr. Mara and see in what ways, and I’ve got to think about in what way. I think, you know, again, I’ll take some time and just figure out, you know, how I want to spend these next years. But this organization, as I said, so many close friends within the organization, and not just the former teammates, but people in all departments of the organization. The faces, they don’t change. People don’t leave here because of all the wonderful people and the way the organization is run, and they take care of the people here. You do have so many great people that I’d love to be around and be around the people that I call my friends.
Q: What was it like being a backup last year and Daniel, what do you think the future holds for him as a Giants quarterback? A: Yeah, I think there’s a bright future. There’s obviously, I try to think of the positive moments and great memories, and I have a lot of them. I have a lot of fond memories of being in the meeting rooms and being with the coaches and being around Daniel and Alex Tanney in the quarterback room. We had lots of laughs and great work that we did. I know Daniel. I appreciate a lot of things about him, and the fact that he loves the game of football. He’s passionate about it and he works extremely hard, so you appreciate those things. If that weren’t the case, it might have been harder to go through this situation, but you see the way he conducts himself, and I think, you know, he’s got a bright, bright future ahead of him and do so the Giants.
Q: When you look behind you, the two huge banners with the Lombardi trophies, when you look at those, your teammates always talked about your ability to stay calm in the craziest times and the word often used is “clutch.” What does “clutch” mean to you and why were you able to do that? A: You know, I always thought in those moments, in a two-minute drive or a situation, I think there’s people that have different reactions to certain things. Some people when they get in that moment, they are scared they might make a mistake or worried about the bad things that could happen and what those outcomes could be and how that might affect them, where when I get in that situation, I only think about how awesome it’s going to be when we go down the field and score this touchdown. That’s the mindset and that’s what you work toward and you game plan. It’s not ‘what are the problems?’ It’s, ‘what are the plays that are going to work and what are the plays that are going to be successful?’ and you have those and you work them and you plan for those. It’s the mindset and I think that’s contagious around your teammates when they sense that and they feel that, and you have, you know, new guys that might be in that scenario, but I’ve been in it before. We’ve had fourth quarter wins and so I think they trust in me and so it’s the team coming together and being confident in those scenarios that they can go out there and everybody can raise their level of play just a little bit more and so you get that opportunity to go win that game.
Q: You talked about how you wanted to do it your way and how you believed everyone would come around and respect that. Was it difficult in the early years? A: There was definitely difficult times in the early years. You’re struggling as a player sometimes and you’re not winning as many games, and you’re dealing with the New York media and they are harping on you about different things. I think that’s the time when you kind of test it, and you just say, I have to stay true and know that the hard work, the dedication, the commitment; you rely on your values and know they will get you through those times. When you do that, you see the progress and you see little steps of getting better and improvement verifies it, so you can stay that course. If you try to become – just because you’re maybe struggling or you’ve had – even the good times or even the bad times, if you start changing your ways and start having the outside world affect the way you conduct yourself, the way you act around your friends or your family or teammates, I just don’t see there being any positives in that.
I’m naturally a quiet guy, but I work hard and I try to earn the respect from my teammates through my dedication and my hard work. If I tried to be a ‘rah-rah’ or yelling at people, you know, it wouldn’t be natural. It would be awkward. It would be fake and that would be sniffed out and it would come back to haunt me I think.
Q: You handled the challenge of going to Ole Miss, and being a Manning and ignoring the trappings of New York. Where did that intestinal fortitude come from? A: I think I tried to look at the big picture of things and get a sense of a place where I’m going to be happy and where it feels right. There’s people that I meet within the organization. Obviously when I went to Ole Miss, David Cutcliffe was the head coach and that was someone I trusted and appreciated and someone that I knew. I knew working with him was going to make me a better football player and that’s why I went to Ole Miss was to be a better football player. When I was interviewing with the Giants, I met with Mr. Mara and Tom Coughlin, the whole Giants organization, and I saw their commitment to football. I saw their commitment and just a storied franchise that that’s what they cared about. They cared about winning games and just putting a great team out there each and every year, and I appreciated that; that desire, that same commitment. I know I had that same desire about football and would fit well in this organization. So that’s why we made it work and why I wanted to come here.
Q: Another New York sports icon went into the Hall of Fame this week, Derek Jeter. I wonder what you learned from him about handling this market, and also, second part would be what would it mean for you to go into your sport’s Hall of Fame? A: I’m just trying to figure out which one of y’all didn’t vote for him. (Laughter) I know there’s only one of you, so I know you’re probably in here. You know, Derek was great. He called me my rookie year when we were starting, lost a few games, and he just talked to me about that it would get easier and stay the course and be yourself and keep working, and things do improve. We’ve had a good relationship over the years. Seen him at several things and stayed in touch somewhat. After that, it was someone who I watched closely and how he conducted himself, how he dealt with the media, how he dealt with fans and how he worked hard and how he stayed humble in all circumstances after so many championships that he’s won. He was on top of the world. You know, I took a lot of notes from how he handled New York, so he’s been great role model for me all these years. Your second question, that’s not a concern. My focus now is just reliving the great moments and the great memories with my teammates and my family, and let everything else work out from there.
Q: I just want to know, what would be your message to future generations of Giants players? A: I think my message to all the Giants players is that, you’re coming to a wonderful organization that truly cares about your well-being, but – and if you – they are committed to doing whatever it takes to put a winning team out there on the field and to bring championships here – and dedication to this organization that they have in you, great things will get accomplished.
Q: If you did not have that game against the Dolphins that Sunday, how different do you think the process would have been leading up to today? A: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s hard to have hypothetical questions. I’m happy it happened and I guess I won’t try to look back and see how things would have been different if it had.
Q: Tom Brady tweeted just a little while ago wishing you the best in retirement and congratulating you on a great career. He said, “Not going to lie, though. I wish you hadn’t won any Super Bowls.” Those two moments, of course, will live forever. What do you take from head-to-head against Tom Brady and also delivering what people thought were unlikely championships those two years? A: I’ve been around Tom a number of times and see how competitive he is. We joke around it a little bit, but I think it’s not real funny to him. You know, those are obviously – when you think about the great moments in your career, those are going to be at the top of the list, when you win championships and both of them, two-minute drives to go down there and win it against an undefeated team that had not lost all year; I think those are special.I think everybody wants to make it me versus Tom Brady. It was the Giants versus Patriots. Our defenses played outstanding. Guys made plays. David Tyree, Mario Manningham, Plaxico Burress, in the corner of the end zone. Like I said, you just cherish those moments and you cherish those relationships that you have with those teammates and coaches when you win those games, and you know, those are – that’s obviously why you play for. You play for the opportunity to win a championship. You realize how hard it is and how difficult and all the breaks that have to go your way and that you got to overcome to get to those scenarios. Those are special ones that fortunately you get to kind of relive those moments through your friends.
Q: Obviously this was a tough decision. What was the best advice that you were given and who gave it to you? A: You know, I talked to a lot of people. Peyton, I relied on Peyton a lot because obviously the similarities and going through a career and trying to decide how it ended. I talked to him a lot about when he changed franchises from the Colts to Denver and how that affected him and it was a little different scenario. I talked to him a lot about that. I talked to coaches and teammates and just trying to get their ideas, guys who had left organizations and learned a couple things. Guys with the Giants, having to leave and go other places, they all kind of said the same thing. They said it’s not the same other places; it’s different. I think it was just a lot of people said, ‘hey, sit on it, think on it. Don’t rush into any decisions.’ I might have rushed into it a little bit because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew 100 percent I’m not going to have – I’m not going to regret this. When I make a decision, I commit to it and make it the right decision. This is it and this is the right one. It’s an honor to have played here 16 years and to have only played here.
Quarterback Eli Manning has decided to end his NFL career and retire as a New York Giant. Manning will announce his retirement at a news conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 11:00AM on Friday. Thus ends a historic, 16-year NFL career spent entirely on the playing field with one team.
Through his first eight pro seasons, Manning accrued a 69-50 regular-season record and an 8-3 playoff record with two Super Bowl MVP trophies. He is the only Giants player to win the award twice and is one of just five players in NFL history to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards. Manning is also one of 12 quarterbacks to win at least two Super Bowls. In his last eight seasons, Manning was 48-67 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs. Ironically, he finished with an even 117-117 regular-season record and played in only one playoff game in the second-half of his entire career.
The 2019 season will be remembered as a sad farewell to arguably the best quarterback who ever played for the team. Manning was benched after Week 2. He started two more games in December when Daniel Jones got hurt and finished 2019 with a 1-3 record, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 1,042 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. A sparse crowd at MetLife Stadium in December gave him a standing ovation in his final game, a win that evened his overall career regular-season record.
Manning was the first player selected in the 2004 NFL Draft and immediately traded to the Giants by the San Diego Chargers. Manning owns practically every quarterback record in franchise history. He is the only player in franchise history to suit up for 16 seasons and his 236 regular-season games (234 starts) and 248 total games are both Giants records. From November 21, 2004 through November 23, 2017, Manning started 210 consecutive regular-season games, then the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history. After being benched for one game by then Head Coach Ben McAdoo, Manning started the next 22 in a row, giving him 232 starts in 233 games. Manning never missed a game because of injury.
Manning is sixth in NFL history with 8,119 attempts and seventh with 4,895 completions, 57,023 yards, and 366 touchdown passes. He also has the franchise’s highest career completion percentage (60.29). Manning set Giants career playoff records with 400 passes, 242 completions, 2,815 yards, and 18 touchdown passes.
Manning was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2011, and played in the game after the 2012 and 2015 regular seasons as an alternate. In 2016, Manning was the co-recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He is the only Giants player to be so honored in the award’s 49-year history.
“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said team President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”
“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” said team Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants.”
“I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they’re able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title,” said former team General Manager Ernie Accorsi, who traded for Manning. “The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise. He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you can ask more from a quarterback.”
“It was an honor and privilege to coach Eli, and to go through the wonderful and magnificent moments that he and his teammates provided for all of us in the world championship ‘07-‘08 and ’11-’12 seasons,” said Tom Coughlin, who served as Manning’s head coach from 2004 to 2015. “The New York Giants, flagship franchise of the National Football League, have four world championships You have four trophies sitting there. You have (Phil) Simms, you have (Jeff) Hostetler, and you have Eli for two. Eli Manning not only is the quarterback on those great teams, but he is the MVP of the Super Bowls. He’s an incredible big-game performer. You talk about a guy that’s great to coach, focused every day, took tremendous pride in preparing, practice, had a great sense of humor, was a cynic in the locker room. But the guys loved him and they loved him for it, and they played for him. The guys that had the opportunity to play with him know what it’s like to be with a guy with as much talent, as much grit, as much determination.
“Here goes the retirement of a great, great football Giant. I and my coaching staff and our teams from 2004 right through 2015, for me at least, my part, hold Eli in the highest respect and congratulate him and his family, and his mom and dad, for all of the wonderful, wonderful experiences he’s had, and the happiness and pride that he has brought to the entire Giants family, the fanfare, the fans, the family and everyone that’s taken so much pride from his performances and for what he’s meant. He’s always been there to make the call, to stand up and represent the Giants in the best possible way.
“I can’t tell you what that means to a coach, to be able to prepare every week knowing your starter is going to be there. It’s almost impossible today to be able to do that. Some teams are fortunate. Many teams it doesn’t happen to. You get a guy nicked, you get him hurt. I remember once he was hurt with a shoulder. He didn’t practice all week. We didn’t know if he’d be alright. He started and played the whole game and played well. It meant a great deal to us to be able to prepare knowing he was going to be on the field and be the starting quarterback for all of those games.”
Off of the field, Manning has been one of the most giving Giants, donating his time and money to numerous civic and charitable causes. He heads the Tackle Kids Cancer Initiative at Hackensack UMC and he launched “Eli’s Challenge” by pledging to match grassroots donations from local organizations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. He and his family built “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinics” at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi. Manning supports numerous other charities, including Children’s of Mississippi Capital Campaign, March of Dimes, New York March for Babies, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, American Red Cross, Scholastic’s Classroom Care Program, and the PeyBack Foundation.
“That’s what it’s all about – it’s about giving back,” Coughlin said. “You think that the good Lord gave you these tools for you to hold inside you and be selfish about it? No chance. He goes out in the community, he’s himself when he’s out there. He’s done a tremendous amount of work for the Jay Fund (Coughlin’s charity foundation, which benefits the families of children with cancer). He goes to see cancer kids over in Hackensack and throughout New York City. His heart is in the right place.”
Next week in Hollywood, Florida, Manning will be presented with the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. The award, bearing the name of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr, honors Starr’s lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates, and community.
REPORT – GIANTS HIRE JEROME HENDERSON AS DEFENSIVE BACKS COACH… ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have hired former Atlanta Falcons Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Jerome Henderson as the team’s new defensive backs coach.
2016-2019: Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
2007: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach/Director of Player Development, New York Jets
2006: Director of Player Development, New York Jets
Pro Experience: Cornerback, New England Patriots (1991-1993), Buffalo Bills (1993-1994), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), New England Patriots (1996), New York Jets (1997-1998)
Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, Clemson University (1987-1990)
Born: August 8, 1969
REPORT – GIANTS HIRE BRET BIELEMA IN UNSPECIFIED CAPACITY… The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have hired New England Patriots Defensive Line Coach Bret Bielema in a publicly unspecified role.
2019: Defensive Line Coach, New England Patriots
2018: Consultant to the Head Coach, New England Patriots
2013-2017: Head Coach, University of Arkansas
2006-2012: Head Coach, University of Wisconsin
2004-2005: Defensive Coordinator, University of Wisconsin
1996-2001: Linebackers Coach, University of Iowa
1994-1995: Graduate Assistant, University of Iowa
2002-2003: Co-Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State University
Pro Experience: Milwaukee Mustangs (1994)
Collegiate Experience: Defensive Lineman, University of Iowa (1989-1992)
Born: January 13, 1970
REPORT – GIANTS WILL RETAIN ANTHONY BLEVINS… ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants will retain Assistant Special Teams Coach Anthony Blevins in a publicly unspecified role.
2018-Present: Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Giants
2012: Cornerbacks Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2011: Special Teams Coach/Cornerbacks Coach, Tennessee State University
2009-2010: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Tennessee State University
2008: Cornerbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, University of Tennessee-Martin
2005-2007: Graduate Assistant, Mississippi State University
2003-2004: Defensive Backs/Running Backs Coach, Meadow Creek High School (Georgia)
Pro Experience: Defensive Back, Mobile Admirals (1999), Birmingham Steeldogs (2000), Birmingham Thunderbolts (2001)
Collegiate Experience: Cornerback, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1994-1998)
Born: July 23, 1976
REPORTS – GIANTS TO INTERVIEW DAVE DeGUGLIELMO AND MARC COLOMBO…
According to media reports, the New York Giants will interview Miami Dolphins Offensive Line Coach Dave DeGuglielmo and Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo this week for the team’s vacant offensive line coaching position.
The 51-year old DeGuglielmo has served as offensive line coach for the Dolphins (2019, 2009-2011), offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts (2018), senior offensive assistant for the Dolphins (2017), assistant offensive line coach for the San Diego Chargers (2016), offensive line coach for the New England Patriots (2014-2015), offensive line coach for the New York Jets (2012), assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants (2004-2008), as well as a series of college jobs coaching the offensive line for the University of South Carolina, University of Connecticut, and Boston University.
The 41-year old Colombo has served as offensive line coach for the Cowboys (2018-2019) and assistant offensive line coach for the Cowboys (2016-2018).
JOHN MARA ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):
Opening Statement: Steve (Tisch), Dave (Gettleman) and I met with Pat Shurmur early this morning and informed him that we were going to make a change at our head coaching position. These decisions are never easy, particularly when you have someone like Pat with his character, his integrity, his work ethic. But at the end of the day, we just didn’t win enough games, and we believe that we have to move in another direction. It’s certainly not all Pat’s fault, he did a lot of good things here; in particular, his role in selecting and training Daniel Jones. It’s a difficult day when you have to do something like this. The first thing that I always think of is the effect that it has on so many good people and their families. But at the end of the day, it was a decision that we just felt like we had to make going forward. In terms of Dave, I know you’re going to ask me about that, but Steve and I decided to retain Dave and give him a chance to finish what he has started, which includes so many changes in this organization that people really don’t know about. We’ve made a lot of turnover in our scouting area, we’ve completely changed our grading system in how we grade college players, we’re deeper into analytics and technology than we’ve ever been before, and that process is ongoing. We’ve completely re-organized areas in our football operations, we’ve added a staff psychologist on a full-time basis, and we believe it would be a mistake to pull the plug on that after two years, particularly when you consider that Dave spent a good part of the first year fighting for his life. Personnel-wise, we’ve had some hits, we’ve had some misses, and we have a lot of young players who have shown some promise, but it remains to be seen whether they’re going to develop into quality NFL players or not. The point I’m trying to make is it’s not business as usual here at the Giants. We’ve made a lot of changes, changes that you don’t necessarily know about, and we felt like we needed to give it a chance to see if it’s going to succeed or not. All that being said, we need to win more games, and Dave knows that, and that’s going to be the challenge going forward. We’re going to start the coach search immediately. I’m not going to comment on specific candidates, but we will inform you as people are being interviewed. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: Why do you feel that you only needed to take one of the two prongs at the top between your coach and your GM, even though the call from the fans was to do a complete overhaul? A: Well, I’m not sure that was the call from all the fans, but I understand the criticism that’s out there. But I just explained why I think we need to give Dave a chance to finish the job.
Q: Not much has gone right for this organization over the last eight years, the one playoff year, other than that–
A: I’m painfully aware of that.
Q: How much blame do you deserve for that?
A: It all starts at the top. So, yes, you can criticize me all you want, and it would be warranted because it all starts at the top. The success, the failures, and the last eight years have been pretty miserable. So, I’ll accept my share of blame for that.
Q: What specifically went into the decision to fire Pat Shurmur but retain Dave Gettleman, who built the roster that Shurmur was the coach of, especially when you credit Shurmur with helping identify Jones and develop him?
A: Like I said with Dave, I think we’ve had some hits and some misses. He implemented so many changes within our organization, we just felt like at this stage to pull the plug on all of that would not be the wise thing to do. I’m excited about what I see in the future for this team because of the young players we have, because of the changes that we’re making. With Pat, it ends up being as much a gut instinct as anything else. I just felt like we weren’t winning enough games, we weren’t winning the games that we should have won, and we just need to go in a different direction.
Q: Were there specifics in-game or philosophically with Shurmur that made you believe that he was more to blame than the guy getting the pieces and bringing in the personnel?
A: Well, it’s a collaborative effort when you have a coach and a general manager. They worked very well together, they were in sync on all the personnel decisions that we made here, but I just felt like there were so many games that I felt like we should have won, and we just didn’t get the job done.
Q: Was there a push and pull with you and Steve Tisch about this, or when you guys spoke—was it today you spoke with–
A: I speak to Steve all the time, and we’ve been in lockstep on this all along. Our relationship, contrary to what I read the other day, has never been better. We communicate on these issues, any issues regarding the team, all the time, and this has been a conversation we’ve been having for at least the last few weeks anyway.
Q: So, no one had to convince one another about the decision?
A: Absolutely not. That’s absolutely false, no.
Q: Is there a chance that whoever the next coach is would influence or factor into Dave’s role here, that the next coach would have some say over keeping Dave?
A: He’s not going to have any say over keeping Dave, but certainly I’m going to want somebody that’s going to be able to work hand-in-hand with him. Dave and Pat’s relationship has been terrific, they worked very well together, there was no personnel decision that has been made here in the last two years that Pat wasn’t fully on board with.
Q: Do you have any concern that Dave’s presence could have a negative impact on the pool of candidates?
A: I’m aware that that’s a perception that’s out there, but I don’t have that concern because I think once they meet him and get to know him, that won’t be an issue.
Q: Are you committed to maintaining the power dynamic that you’ve had with the general manager and director of personnel and–
A: I’m always willing to look at whatever’s going to improve the team, and if I felt that there was somebody coming in here as a head coach who wanted a different role and he could convince Steve and I that that would make sense for our organization, we would certainly consider that.
Q: Is Dave going to run the coaching search?
A: Dave and I will be involved in the coaching search. Steve will be involved as well.
Q: What if some of these candidates, you said that talking to Dave they won’t have a problem, but what if they do?
A: If they do, they do. We’re going to try to get the best candidates in here that we can, and we’re going to try to convince them why this is a good job opportunity for them. We’ve got a terrific young quarterback, we’ve got a young roster, we’re in the best cap space shape we’ve been in in many years. There’s a lot to this organization that I think would attract a lot of different candidates.
Q: Your past two coaching hires obviously haven’t worked out. Before that, a long time since you brought in Tom (Coughlin). What do you say to the questions about whether you guys are in tune with what it takes in the modern NFL to bring in a successful coach, given the last few hires?
A: That’s fair criticism. We’ve failed twice in a row now, and you have to keep working at it, try to find the right guy, that’s all. I’m not convinced that either of the past two coaches couldn’t have been successful over a longer period of time, but there comes a point in time when your patience runs out, your gut tells you that you need to make a change, and that’s what happened this time.
Q: You had specific criteria the last two coaching searches about who you were looking for, what you saw as the next head coach. Has that criteria changed a bit? If I recall, over the last two searches, you did not bring in any college head coaches, or anyone without any coaching experience in the NFL. Will that expand when you’re looking at new candidates?
A: There well could be college candidates here. I’m really looking for leadership, that’s the big thing going forward. Somebody who can come in and take control of this roster, help build a culture that is going to lead to winning. Somebody who is going to help us with our football re-organization during the process we’re undergoing right now. We’re looking for all those qualities from the next candidate.
Q: When you look at Dave’s stay here as GM, how do you balance, if you do, his successes with analytics and things behind the scenes that you outlined with the significant misses in free agency, if not a miss overall on a player, perhaps overpaying for others?
A: Well, we could have differences in opinion whether those were hits or misses. There definitely have been some misses, no question about it. I think that can happen to anybody. There were reasons for some of those personnel decisions. He does know that the batting average has got to increase going forward though.
Q: What’s your message to the fans in terms of how long this process will take before you see a winning team on the field?
A: Well, I’d like to think that we can start winning next year. It’s been too many years since we’ve had a winning team on the field. Nobody feels that more than Steve and myself. It’s not easy to sit in your stadium and watch fans from the other team, you know, and that’s happened too often this year. So, believe me, we live this every day, we feel it as much if not more so than the fans do, and we’re committed to try and get this thing right.
Q: You mentioned the fans from other teams cheering in your building. It was very pronounced this year. Have you ever been through an entire season where that consistently happened, with the Packers, to the Cowboys, to the Eagles?
A: Probably not, it’s probably the worst. I think that’s more of the norm in the NFL now, when your team is not winning, your fans sell their tickets, and often times it’s the fans of the opposing team that come in. We had that situation when we were in Tampa, when we were in Washington, we had large contingents of fans down there. But listen, we haven’t been winning, the fans are getting fed up with that, and so they sell their tickets. I get that.
Q: You just mentioned that Dave knows his batting average in free agency and that personnel needs to improve. Worst case scenario, what if it doesn’t? Do you run the risk of hiring a head coach and potentially having to fire a GM a short time after and kind of throwing that power structure out of whack?
A: Yes, we do run that risk.
Q: How much did you weigh that these last couple of days?
A: Weigh what exactly?
Q: The risk?
A: That’s certainly something we are aware of, but I happen to believe in Dave. I happen to believe in the changes that he’s making here, and I think those are going to pay off.
Q: You said that you needed to see progress at the end of training camp when we talked to you. Do you need to see wins next year for Dave’s sake?
A: I’m not going to quantify the number of wins I need to see. We need to be able to put a better product on the field, that’s all.
Q: What role did Eli Manning’s early benching play into Pat Shurmur’s firing and the fact that you guys signed off on it. I’m curious how that process went?
A: It had absolutely nothing to do with this decision. How that process went, if I recall, Dave called me on Sunday evening after the Buffalo game. He said he had spoken to Pat and Pat wants to play Daniel. My only question was, do you think Daniel is ready? If you think he is ready, then whatever Pat wants to do. He’s the head coach, he makes those decisions.
Q: How important will it be that the next head coach has a background in developing young quarterbacks?
A: It either has to be that or it has to be his coordinator or his quarterback coach. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the head coach, I’m not ruling out defensive coaches here.
Q: You talk about wanting to find a coach with leadership. How hard is it to find somebody who is a leader but at the same time is not too totalitarian?
A: Obviously, it is pretty hard. Those people are out there. I’ve always believed that the toughest decision that Steve and I ever have to make in this business is finding the right guy to stand up here in front of the team and lead them and develop a winning program going forward. That’s what we are going to put all of our efforts into now, trying to find that guy. It’s obviously not an easy thing to do.
Q: What made now the right time of the season versus say during the nine-game losing streak? The Redskins and the Panthers were obviously getting a head start on their coaching search?
A: You can argue we could have done it earlier. I wanted to give him the chance, I held out hope, quite frankly, for quite some time hoping things would turn around. They just didn’t, so it just was a decision we felt we had to make.
Q: If that’s the case, if you guys had won yesterday, would that have made this decision tougher?
A: Probably not. It probably would have been the same decision.
Q: Is it fair to say you think the roster is better than what the record has been?
A: I think we could have won more games, yes. You’re playing a rookie quarterback, you’re playing all those rookies on the back end on defense. You are going to have some problems, but again at the end of the day we just didn’t win enough games.
Q: Considering the state of the roster, you guys are still in a rebuild. How reasonable is it to expect this team to be a significant winner next year, a playoff team?
A: I think we’ve got the answer at quarterback. I think we have a lot of good young players. We just need them to take it to the next level and hopefully the next coach will help them do that. None of them will be rookies anymore and again we have a very good cap situation and we’re picking fourth in the draft. We should be better next year.
Q: After the spending in 2016, I do recall you saying that that is not how you want to conduct business moving forward. You mentioned the cap space, how do you walk that line?
A: It’s a tough line to walk. In 2016, it paid off in that first year and then afterwards, not so much. The key is still the draft. You have to make good draft picks. You have to supplement that with making wise decisions in free agency. You can’t think that you are going to fix all your problems in free agency. It just doesn’t work.
Q: You said the last two coaches, you didn’t get right. What is your confidence level going into this search?
A: I think there are some very attractive candidates who will have interest in this job. I believe we will get it right this time.
Q: Are you bringing anybody in from the outside to advise? Ernie (Accorsi) is obviously a name that comes to mind?
A: No, I don’t think so.
Q: Is Ernie (Accorsi) going to be a part of the process again?
A: No, I don’t think so. I talk to him all the time, but he’s not going to be a part of the process.
STEVE TISCH ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch addressed the media on Monday after the team fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur and retained General Manager Dave Gettleman (video):
Q: As John (Mara) just said, there’s been some talk before this that there might be some friction between you two on what direction you saw this team going. Was there any of that? A: There was no friction. John and I have been partners going on 15 years. As you know, the Giants, the ownership is unique. It’s the only team with two equal partners. We’ve been talking as partners for 15 years. We talked about these issues starting weeks ago, today, and we will going forward. Everything you and I read about friction, differences of opinion, I didn’t say it, John didn’t say it. I read it, but it’s not true.
Q: Did you feel like you had the very honest conversation that you needed to have? A: I’ve got to say, I would characterize every conversation that I’ve had with John as honest, straightforward. I feel very comfortable expressing my opinion on a whole bunch of matters, and I know John feels very comfortable expressing his opinion. It’s a partnership and as I just mentioned, it’s the only true partnership between owners in the NFL. At times, it’s challenging, but the bottom line is it’s been hugely rewarding for both families and I think for the organization.
Q: Did you have to be talked into or persuaded to keep Dave (Gettleman) or was that just part of the process? A: No. It was part of a process. At the risk of repeating myself, John and I have a very, very, good dialogue constantly. When I’m not here in the building, we speak three or four times a week, home games, away games, we’re constantly speaking, sitting with each other. So, to say that there’s any issues with our communication is a total mischaracterization.
Q: What are you looking for, what qualities do you want in your next head coach? A: Leadership, an ability to put together a great staff, an ability to really work with the players, the rookies. I think it’s really important that the next head coach has to have a point of view, a very strong point of view, and he will be supported by ownership.
Q: How hard is it to balance being patient with letting the process play out? A: I think patience is a virtue, I’m not the first person to say that. But at times I think patience can be tested. But I think if I stay very focused, I sort of have the same…I see the same goal line that John Mara sees. Sometimes, the path to that goal line may be a little different, but we see the same goal line, we cross it, and it’s been a very, very, functional relationship. It’s been hugely functional.
Q: What was the deciding factor in keeping Dave Gettleman? What was the deciding factor in the conversation that made you believe he should stay? A: The deciding factor was, when John and I started talking about this literally weeks and weeks ago, assets, liabilities, good news, bad news, and at the end of the day we decided that we were going to jointly make a decision to keep Dave, to work with Dave going forward into the next season. As John mentioned just now, we have tremendous cap space. I can’t stand here today and say our next head coach is Paul Schwartz (laughter), but I think the search is going to be fruitful and I think we’re going to find a terrific number of candidates and the right decision will be made.
Q: When you look at the last eight years, and the failures that have gone on here and the failures of the last two coaching hires, what do you say to fans who question your ability and John’s ability to lead this organization back to success? A: I say to the fans I totally understand your frustration, your concern, I read your emails, I get it. But, John and I make decisions that sometimes may not be popular, may not be supported by the fans, but we’re the ones making the decisions, we live by them. It’s been a very frustrating four years, certainly the record indicates that, those numbers don’t lie. Going forward, John and I want to make sure that those numbers change in the next season dramatically.
Q: Why do you think you guys will get it right this time? A: Because I’m an optimist and I think we know what qualities, what kind of character we want in the next head coach. We’re very focused on that. There’s going to be a real priority to make sure the next head coach has strong leadership abilities and a very impressive track record.
Q: What’s your desire to be more involved? John is the day-to-day guy here, he hasn’t had a lot of success over the last eight years. What’s your desire to be more involved, if it is at all, in the day-to-day operations? A: I am involved. I would like to be more involved, I will become more involved. So, going forward in 2020, the day after tomorrow. We have a great dialogue with each other. As I mentioned, it’s a very, very, functional, working relationship. Partnerships are hard, professional ones and domestic ones, but I feel we have a very good one and we always, with some differences of opinions expressed and communicated, we get to the same point.
Q: Does that mean you physically want to be here more? Is that what you mean? A: Yes, I will be here more physically. But, the opportunities that John and I spend with each other in the same building, or the same stadium, or the same locker room will increase.
COACHING SEARCH NEWS…
According to media reports, the New York Giants have requested to interview the following head coaching candidates:
Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels
The 50-year old Bieniemy has served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since 2018. Before that he was the running backs coach for the Chiefs (2013-2017), Minnesota Vikings (2006-2010), UCLA (2003-2005), and University of Colorado (2001-2002). He also served as offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado (2011-2012).
The 43-year old McDaniels was interviewed by the Giants for their head coaching vacancy two years ago when the team decided to hire Pat Shurmur instead. McDaniels is best known for serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during two stints with the Patriots (2005-2008 and 2012-2019). In between, he was head coach of the Denver Broncos (2009-2010) and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis Rams (2011). McDaniels served in a variety of roles with the Patriots from 2001-2004 before becoming offensive coordinator.
There is also rampant media speculation that the Giants will interview Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule, who was an offensive line assistant with the Giants under Tom Coughlin in 2012. Rhule has served as head coach at Baylor for three years (2017-2019). Before that, he was head coach at Temple University (2013-2016).
NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN 13 PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have announced that they have signed the following 13 players:
RB Jon Hilliman
FB George Aston
WR Reggie White, Jr.
WR Alex Bachman
OC Tanner Volson
OT Nate Wozniak
DE Kevin Wilkins
CB Derrick Baity
LS Drew Scott
P Sean Smith
Except for Scott and Smith, all of these players finished the season on the team’s Practice Squad. Smith spend a couple of stints on the Practice Squad as well. Scott has spent time with the Raiders and Cowboys.
The Giants also announced that they have re-signed the following players who were set to become exclusive rights free agents:
OG Chad Slade
OT Eric Smith
LB Devante Downs
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:
NEW YORK GIANTS 36 – MIAMI DOLPHINS 20…
The New York Giants ended their 9-game losing streak by defeating the Miami Dolphins 36-20 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the win, the Giants’ overall record improved to 3-11 on the season with two games left. Quarterback Eli Manning, who might have played in his last game as a Giant, also improved his career regular-season win-loss record as a starter to 117-117. He received a standing ovation at the end of the game.
“I don’t know what the future is,” said Manning after the game. “I don’t know what lies next week, let alone down the road. Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my teammates coming up to me. It’s a special day, a special win and one I’ll remember.”
The Dolphins gained 39 yards on their first 10 plays of the game, but came away empty when their kicker missed a 49-yard field goal. The Giants picked up one first down on their initial drive before punting. Miami drove 52 yards in 10 plays on their second possession, but on 4th-and-1 from the New York 10-yard line, safety Julian Love and nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson stuffed the back for a 3-yard loss as the Dolphins turned the ball over on downs.
The Giants gained two first downs on their second possession, but punted again. The Dolphins responded with a 9-play, 89-yard drive that culminated with a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to wide receiver DeVante Parker. Dolphins 7 – Giants 0.
The New York offense finally produced a scoring drive of its own as the Giants quickly responded with a 3-play, 75-yard effort that ended with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Golden Tate. The game was now tied at 7-7.
After a punt by Miami pinned the Giants down at their own 1-yard line, the New York offense managed to reach their own 41-yard line before a holding penalty pushed them back. On the next snap, Manning was intercepted and the Dolphins had the ball at the New York 28-yard line. The Dolphins gained one first down before settling for a 24-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the half. Manning was intercepted for the second time on the final play of the 2nd quarter.
At the break, the Dolphins led 10-7.
The Giants took the lead for good on their first possession of the second half. Assisted by a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton and a 21-yard pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer, the Giants drive 70 yards in six plays with Manning finishing the possession with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Slayton. Giants 14 – Dolphins 10.
Both teams then exchanged turnovers. After a big hit from linebacker Alec Ogletree, defensive end Leonard Williams forced Fitzpatrick to fumble with safety Sean Chandler recovering at the Miami 33-yard line. However, three plays later, on 3rd-and-1, Manning was intercepted at the Miami 15-yard line and the pick was returned 34 yards to near midfield. The Dolphins picked up one first down before kicking a 47-yard field goal. Giants 14 – Dolphins 13.
The Giants only gained one first down and punted on the ensuing drive. However, the Dolphins were pinned inside their own 5-yard line. Cornerback Sam Beal then tackled the Miami running back in the end zone for a safety. The Giants now led 16-13.
New York began to take control of the game after the free kick. Wide receiver Da’Mari Scott returned the ball 34 yards to the Miami 40-yard line. Two passes from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a total of 39 yards set up the Giants at the 1-yard line. Running back Saquon Barkley then scored and the Giants were up 23-13.
After the Dolphins went three-and-out, the Giants responded with their third touchdown drive of the half, marching 66 yards in eight plays. Barkley scored his second touchdown, this time from 10 yards out on the first play of the 4th quarter. Giants 30 – Dolphins 13.
Both teams gained one first down before punting on the next two possessions. Then the Dolphins turned the football over on downs at their own 44-yard line. With 6:35 left in the game, New York put the contest to bed with a five play drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown by running back Buck Allen. Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point. Giants 36 – Dolphins 13.
The New York defense got a bit sloppy on the ensuing possession as the Dolphins easily drove 75 yards in eight plays to cut the score to 36-20 with less than two minutes to play. The Giants began to kneel on the ball, but took Manning out of the game so he could receive an ovation from the home crowd. The Dolphins got the ball back with 46 seconds remaining but chose to simply run out the clock.
Manning finished 20-of-28 for 283 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. His leading target was Shepard, who caught nine passes for 111 yards. Barkley carried the ball 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Giants surrendered 384 total net yards (122 rushing, 262 passing). New York forced one turnover on a fumble recovery and picked up three sacks: Tomlinson (1), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (1), linebacker Markus Golden (0.5), and linebacker Oshane Ximines (0.5).
INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (ankle), TE Evan Engram (foot), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), RG Kevin Zeitler (ankle/wrist), RB Wayne Gallman, and OT/OG Chad Slade. There was no seventh player inactive because the Giants came into the game with only 52 players on the roster.
Cornerback Deandre Baker hurt his knee but returned to the game.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
DECEMBER 11, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Right guard Kevin Zeitler (ankle) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday
Quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle), wide receiver Golden Tate (foot), tight end Evan Engram (foot), and tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion/non-contact) were limited in practice.
“(Jones looked) good,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s moving around a little bit. We just have to see how he does by the end of the week. He’s out here. He’s out of the boot, he’s into his regular shoes and he’s out here practicing. Again, we didn’t do much today. We’ll just have to see how he feels by the end of the week to see if he fits into the equation here.”
“I feel good,” said Jones. “I think I’m healing quickly, I just have to keep doing what I’m told to do in the training room and try to get back out there as quick as I can.”
PUNT SEAN SMITH RE-SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have re-signed left-footed punter Sean Smith to the Practice Squad. Smith was briefly on the team’s Practice Squad from October 31 to November 5. Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2019 NFL Draft, but waived a few days later.
HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’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:
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 23 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17 (OT)…
The New York Giants are officially a (expletive deleted) train wreck. The Giants lost their franchise-record ninth game in a row, and sixth straight to the the Philadelphia Eagles, falling 23-17 in overtime on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants blew a 17-3 halftime lead, not scoring a single point in the second half of the contest. The Giants are now 2-11 on the season.
It was a game of two halves with the Giants scoring 17 points on three of their six first-half drives. After starting the game with two punts, New York took a 7-0 lead on the first play of the 2nd quarter when quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Darius Slayton for a 35-yard catch-and-run on 3rd-and-13. The Eagles cut the score to 7-3 on the ensuing drive with a 34-yard field goal after a 9-play, 59-yard drive. The Giants extended their advantage back to a touchdown on their very next possession with a 34-yard field goal of their own after an identical 9-play, 59-yard drive.
After two punts by the Eagles and one by the Giants, New York got the ball back with 1:46 left before halftime. On 3rd-and-8 from their own 45-yard line with 35 seconds left, Manning hit Slayton deep for a 55-yard touchdown pass.
At the half, the Giants looked very much in control, 17-3. The Eagles had been held to five first downs and 116 total net yards in the first half. Of Philadelphia’s seven first-half possession, five had ended with punts and one with a turnover.
The second half was obviously a disaster for the Giants. Aside from the kneel down on the last play in regulation, the Giants punted all six times they had the ball, gaining only two first downs and 30 yards.
While the defense forced two more Philadelphia punts to start the second half, they eventually wore down, giving up drives of 58 yards (touchdown), 58 yards (missed field goal), and 85 yards (touchdown). The Eagles tied the game at 17-17 with less than two minutes to play. The Giants’ sixth drive of the second half then ended with their sixth punt.
Philadelphia won the overtime toss and predictably and easily drove 75 yards in eight plays for the game-winning touchdown.
Offensively, the Giants only gained 11 first downs and 255 total net yards. The Giants were 2-of-12 (17 percent) on 3rd down. The Giants’ offense only held the ball for 22 minutes. Manning was 15-of-30 for 203 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. His leading receiver was Slayton who caught five passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, but he did not have a second-half reception. Running back Saquon Barkley had 17 carries for 66 yards.
Defensively, the Giants allowed 27 first downs and 418 total net yards (118 rushing, 300 passing) despite the Eagles suffering a number of game-ending injuries to key personnel. Linebackers Oshane Ximines (twice) and Markus Golden were credited with sacks. Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson forced a fumble on 4th-and-1 that was recovered by linebacker David Mayo.
INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (ankle), TE Evan Engram (foot), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), RB Wayne Gallman, OT/OG Chad Slade, and OT Eric Smith.
RG Kevin Zeitler left the game with a lower body injury, having to be carted off to the locker room. He was spotted wearing a boot on his right foot with crutches after the game.
GIANTS RE-SIGN RILEY DIXON…
The Giants announced on Sunday that they have re-signed punter Riley Dixon to a 3-year contract extension. Dixon was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Broncos. He was named to the All-Rookie team. The Giants traded with the Denver Broncos for Dixon in April 2018, giving the Broncos a conditional 7th-round draft pick. He had a solid inaugural year for the Giants, finishing 7th in net punting in the NFL (41.8 yards per punt) and 11th in gross punting (45.4 yards per punt). This year, Dixon is currently 5th in net punting (42.8) and 6th in gross punting (47.0).
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com: