Dec 132017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 10, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS WILL BEGIN INTERVIEWING GM CANDIDATES NEXT WEEK…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara said on Wednesday that the team will begin interview general manager candidates next week. Jerry Reese was fired by the team last week along with Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“We have interviews scheduled next week, and we’ll probably be announcing who we’re bringing in,” Mara said.

Mara was asked if he would like quarterback Eli Manning to remain with the team. “Yes,” Mara responded. “But that’s a discussion that we’ll have.”

“We’re in a unique position to take a quarterback (in the 2018 NFL Draft) if we want, but I’m not certain at this point they will be the highest graded players on the board,” Mara said. “That will be a discussion at a later date with the new general manager and new head coach. I’ve watched all of them (on TV) except for (Josh Allen). They’re all impressive.”

When asked about the current season, Mara said, “I’m trying to think of one that was worse. Maybe 1978, maybe ’66. But never one where the expectations were so high and the performance was so poor.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related), and safety Landon Collins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 11:35AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn, and select players will also address the media after practice.

Dec 042017
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (December 4, 2017)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS FIRE JERRY REESE AND BEN MCADOO…
The New York Giants fired both Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese and Head Coach Ben McAdoo on Monday. Reese will be replaced on an interim basis by Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams, while McAdoo will be replaced on an interim basis by Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Ernie Accorsi will serve as a consultant in the new general manager search. Accorsi previously served as the team’s assistant general manager (1994-1997) and general manager (1998-2007) until his retirement.

According to various press reports, quarterback Eli Manning will also regain his starting job, although team President John Mara said in today’s press conference announcing the firings that Spagnuolo will decide who starts on Sunday.

Reese had been with the Giants’ organization since 1994, first as a scout (1994-2004), then Director of Player Personnel (2004-2007), and then General Manager (2007-2017). McAdoo was hired by then-Head Coach Tom Coughlin as the team’s new offensive coordinator in 2014. In 2016, he replaced Coughlin as the team’s head coach when Coughlin was fired.

While the Giants have fired many coaches in the team’s history, the Giants have not fired a general manager since 1978. McAdoo’s tenure as head coach lasted 28 regular-season games, marking the shortest stay for a head coach since the pre-Steve Owen era (1930-1953). The last time the Giants fired a coach during the season was 1976, when they parted ways with Bill Arnsparger after an 0-7 start.

McAdoo’s Giants finished 2016 with an 11-5 record and a playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. However, the Giants are a dreadful 2-10 with four games remaining this season, marking the franchise’s worst start since 1976 when they were also 2-10.

As for Abrams, the Giants’ press release states: “Abrams is the team’s primary negotiator for player contracts, works with the college and pro personnel departments to evaluate players in preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency, and is responsible for managing the Giants’ salary cap, football data analysis, related strategic planning for football operations and coordinating the organization’s compliance with the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.” Abrams joined the Giants in 1999 to serve as the team’s first salary cap analyst.

The 57-year old Spagnuolo has served two stints as the Giants’ defensive coordinator (2007-2008, 2015-2017). He was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2009-2011, when the team compiled a dreadful 10–38 record.

Transcript of New York Giants President/CEO John Mara’s press conference:

Opening Statement: As you all know by now, I met this morning with Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo and relieved both of them of their responsibilities. Just to give you the chronology of what happened – Steve Tisch and I met after the game yesterday and agreed to talk this morning, which we did and we agreed that wholesale changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team that we expect to be and we also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes. I met with Jerry Reese at approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning. That’s as difficult a meeting as I’ve ever had. Jerry has been here since 1994. He is homegrown. Started out as a part-time scout and rose all the way through the ranks to become our general manager and to become the general manager for two Super Bowl teams. I thanked him on behalf of Steve and myself for everything he’s done for this organization. I told him that I have no doubt that he will get another shot with another franchise and that at some point in time, I’m going to be answering questions from people about why I got rid of him in the first place.

I then met with Kevin Abrams and asked him to serve as our interim general manager for the rest of the season and if he chooses to be a candidate for the full time position. Kevin agreed to do that. Then met with Ben McAdoo and thanked him for everything he has done for us, for all of his hard work, for the professional matter in which he’s conducted himself. I also feel that he will be a successful head coach at some point in the future. I think he’s going to learn from his experience here and he’ll go on to be a successful head coach. Both of these men – contrary to what their public persona is sometimes – have been complete professionals here. They always make decisions looking out for what they believe is in the best long term interest of the franchise. They never complain about anything. They don’t politic around the office. They communicate well with one another and that’s something that I’m very grateful to both of them for.

I met with Steve Spagnuolo after these meetings. Asked him to serve as the interim head coach and also to be a candidate to be the head coach after the season if he chooses to do so. He agreed to do that. I then met with all the assistant coaches and told them that my expectation is for them to continue to work hard to get these players ready to play in these last four games. I told them I would not put up with any talk in this building about tanking or anything else and I expected us to go out and try to win these games. I expected their best efforts to try to get us to do that. In terms of our general manager search – that starts right away. I have asked Ernie Accorsi to serve as a consultant in this process. He’s agreed to do that. So, we expect to get started right away on that. Ideally, you like to have the general manager in place first before the head coach. That’s not always going to be the case, but that would be the ideal scenario. So with that, I will entertain some of your questions.

Q: What was the final straw for you with Jerry Reese in terms of why you wanted to make the decision now?

A: I don’t think there was any one final straw. I just think that where we are as a franchise right now, you know, we’re 2-10. We’ve kind of been spiraling out of control. I just felt like we needed a complete overhaul. I don’t think there was any one event or one final act to precipitate that.

Q: How much did the Eli Manning situation play into this decision?

A: Really had no effect whatsoever. 2-10 is 2-10 and obviously the public reaction to that was not pleasant, but that really didn’t have any effect on our decision.

Q: Have you spoken to Steve Spagnuolo and does he have any intent to go back to Eli Manning as the starting quarterback?

A: I’ve spoken to Steve and he’s still trying to come to grips with this whole thing. He wants to talk to his offensive staff and he’s going to talk to Kevin (Abrams) and myself. Ultimately, it’s going to be his decision as to who to play at quarterback.

Q: Are you embarrassed in general with what’s happened to the franchise this season?

A: Of course I’m embarrassed. 2-10. There’s no defense for that. Particularly when expectations were so high, and I understand that – listen, we had a ridiculous number of injuries. It’s the first time in my life that I think I sat at a game having to constantly look at the flip card to try and determine who we were playing. But, that being said, we still started out 0-5 with a relatively healthy roster up until that fifth game when all of our wide receivers got hurt. So, yeah, I’m embarrassed about that. That’s one of the reasons I’m standing here.

Q: Are you committing to a division between personnel and coaching or can they cross?

A: My very strong preference is to maintain that traditional separation, but again, I would never say never if the right candidate was there.

Q: Do you regret the decision that was made with Eli Manning and the plan to use Geno Smith? It seemed like you weren’t on the same page.

A: I mean, we were and we weren’t. Ben came up with the plan. I initially signed off on the plan. My hope had been to talk to him to try to have a little more flexibility with it. Not have a hard, fast time when he was going to come out of the game. But, by then Eli rightfully had rejected the notion only starting and playing the half and coming out. We issued a statement and it was just too late at that point.

Q: Did you consider firing Ben McAdoo on Wednesday?

A: No.

Q: What changed between when you put out a statement three weeks ago saying there were not going to be any in-season changes, to now?

A: I changed my mind, we changed our minds. Given all the events that occurred, where we are as a franchise right now. To be honest with you, it became more and more apparent that we were going to have to do something at the end of the season, so we talked after the game and again this morning about, why prolong it any longer? Why not just get it done now? I’m very conscious of the fact that three of our last four games are at home. I’m conscious, having lived through it before, of what the reaction was going to be. Also, gives us somewhat of a tactical advantage, allowing us to start looking at general managers right now rather than waiting until the end of the season.

Q: Were you aware of Ben’s plan to start and play Eli for the first half, and Geno in the second before he actually went and presented it to Eli?

A: That seems to be the focus of everybody’s attention right now. The plan was, Ben was going to talk to Eli and tell him that he was going to start and play the first half and Geno would play the second half.  I signed off on that. But, again, my hope was two things: one, that I was going to speak to Ben and try to get him to be a little bit more flexible about that all. I do not like interfering with coaching decisions about who’s going to play, I’ve never done that before. I also, as I said I think the other day to you guys, was hoping that Eli would be playing so well, it’d be impossible to take him out. In any event, it is where it is and you ought to stop blaming Ben and Jerry on that. If you want to blame me, go ahead and do it. I certainly have the power to overrule them if I wanted to, I chose not to do it.

Q: There are reports that Manning will start this week, are they true?

A: There’s no decision, to my knowledge, that’s been made on that yet. I’d assume [Spagnuolo] will run it by me before he makes that decision.

Q: Do you believe the coaching staff will still plan on giving quarterback Davis Webb an opportunity this season?

A: I mean, I’m hopeful that at some point he gets into the game, but right now, to be honest with you, after all this losing I’m just as focused on trying to win some of these games as anything else.

Q: After an 11-5 season and playoff appearance last season, how did all of this go so wrong so quickly?

A: That’s a good question, one that we’re trying to figure out right now. I was very confident about this roster, as I think most of the people in this room were heading into this season. I thought it was as talented a roster as we’ve had here in a long time. We were coming off an 11-5 season, our defense was basically the same, our offense was supposed to be better. We had added some receivers and a tight end, a couple of tight ends. We were supposed to be better. We got off to a very poor start on offense, our defense did not play as well as they could have and then everybody got hurt. It’s really, and I’ve used this expression, it was the perfect storm. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong so far this season and it’s just one of those things you have to live through and suck it up and make whatever changes you have to make and go on.

Q: How much did Reese not improving the offensive line in the offseason ultimately cost him?

A: Well, it’s more where we are as a team right now. It wasn’t that specifically. We had pretty much the same offensive line last year and even though our offense was not particularly good last year, it was good enough to win 11 games. We thought that group would take a step forward this year and even now, half of them have gotten hurt, it’s just been an impossible situation.

Q: How important is it for the new general manager and head coach to have better communication skills with players and everybody in the building that what you had?

A: Well, first of all, Ben and Jerry Reese communicated very well. And Jerry and I communicated very well together. I usually don’t have that much interaction with the head coach because I like that to be the general manager’, because that’s always been the way I’ve done it. Jerry communicated very well with players. One of the things that I liked about him the most is he’s not afraid to call a player out if he didn’t feel like he was playing up to his potential. And Ben, I thought communicated pretty well. Listen, I’ve spoken to players over the past few weeks, a handful of them, to try to get a handle on whether guys were quitting, or whether they weren’t playing hard and that was not the message that I got back. I think that people felt that they were still playing hard and for most of the season, with an exception of a couple games that I can think of, I thought players did play hard.

Q: Having never been through this process with a general manager, do you feel like it has to be a total front office overhaul, or can a new general manager come in and keep the staff?

A: Well, I think that’s going to be largely up to the new GM. And we did go through this, back in ’07 when Jerry was hired. We kept most of the people and I’m not anticipating there being wholesale changes, but again, that’s largely going to be up to the new general manager.

Q: Would you shy away from hiring a new head coach that doesn’t have head coaching experience?

A: Not necessarily, it just depends on the candidate. I mean, there are a number of new head coaches that are very successful in this league this year, so you can’t shy away from that. If you think you have the right guy, you have to go for it.

Q: There is an expression, the Giant Way. How do you tell the fans that you haven’t lost your way during this season?

A: Listen Bruce, we’ve had an embarrassing season. I think most people that know me know how painful that is to me and know how committed I am in trying to put a winning team back on the field. I know our fans are suffering, but I’m suffering more, I guarantee it. We’ve gotten to the point where we felt like we had to make wholesale changes and that’s what we’ve done here.

Q: Is Steve Spagnuolo a candidate for the head coaching job moving forward or is that dependent on the new general manager?

A: Well, Steve (Tisch) and I have the final say on any head coaching decision, but that’s going to be largely dependent on what the new general manager has to say, yes.

Q: Where do you think it went wrong for Ben after making the playoffs last year?

A: As I said, I just think it ended up being a perfect storm for us. We got off to a bad start this year, particularly on offense. Our defense didn’t play as well as they played last year. We had leads in a few games and last year they would have held them and we would have won the game. They didn’t do that early on and then everybody got hurt. Listen, there were certain guys that on this roster that aren’t playing as well as they should be playing.

Q: Was it just the record or were there other things?

A: Our team isn’t good enough, it’s obviously not good enough. We are 2-10.

Q: Do you expect to hire a new GM before the end of this season?

A: That’s possible. If the right candidate comes along, that’s possible. Obviously if we want to talk to somebody who’s currently employed, we would have to wait.

Q: Do you have names in mind?

A: We have names in mind, but I’m not going to go into the names right now.

Q: Do you regret the decision of hiring Ben?

A: I don’t think so. That’s semantics. I thought that he was the right guy for the job. We were 11-5 last year and everything looked great back in September and now it’s all fallen apart. We will obviously hire the best general manager we can and be very guided on what he has to say.

Q: Three months ago, you thought you’d be headed to the playoffs?

A: Yes. I’ve been around long enough not to get shocked by many things, but I certainly did not see this coming.

Q: Did you think about making this change last week?

A: No.

Q: How do you handle the draft process right now, if you don’t have that new GM in?

A: We will have the GM in long before the draft. Our scouts and Marc Ross our head of scouting, it’s business as usual for them. They’re going to keep doing what they’re doing. But that GM will be in place long before the draft.

Q: Was there any thought in giving Ben another chance?

A: That was certainly something we considered, but at the end of the day, we still felt like wholesale changes needed to be made.

Q: Is it a given that you will hire the general manger before the coach?

A: In all likelihood that will be the way it occurs, but I don’t ever want to say that it’s a definite. But in all likelihood that will be what happens.

Q: How much did the timing of doing it now rather than the end of the season play off of the fan reaction from last week?

A: Listen, I was certainly cognizant of what the fan reaction was likely to be over the last four weeks, but that wasn’t the final determining factor. We just reached a point where we felt, you know what, we’re going to be making these changes probably at the end of the season, so what’s the point in prolonging this any further.

Q: How will your perception of leadership of the men in the locker room change after this example?

A: If I understand your question correctly, listen, I do think we need some more leadership in the locker room for sure. But I think in terms of our priorities as an organization right now, let’s go out and find the best general manager and then let’s take it from there.

Q: How do you look at Odell’s (Beckham) future?

A: I certainly expect him to be a part of this team in the future, but that will be a discussion also with the incoming general manager and the incoming head coach and we’ll make whatever decision we think is appropriate going forward.

Q: What was Jerry and Ben’s reactions? Were they shocked?

A: I don’t think either one of them was shocked. I think they could not have been more professional. They both thanked me for the opportunity. My meeting with Jerry was a little more emotional just because we had a longer history together and because he’s meant so much to this organization. I’ve talked to him a couple times this morning and he thanked me for the opportunity and everything we have done for his family. I thanked him for everything he’s done here and that was not an easy meeting for me and it was not for him either.

The video of Mara’s press conference if available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Oct 082017
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (October 8, 2017)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 22…
It just keeps getting worse and worse for the New York Giants, who lost their fifth consecutive game on Sunday, falling 27-22 to the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants also lost four of their five active wide receivers to injury as Odell Beckham (fractured ankle), Sterling Shepard (ankle), Brandon Marshall (sprained ankle), and Dwayne Harris (fractured foot) left the game and did not return.

The injuries to Beckham and Marshall looked very serious. The Giants are officially reporting that Beckham fractured his ankle. ESPN is reporting that Beckham may undergo surgery as early as today or tomorrow. The NFL Network is reporting that the team believes Beckham broke his fibula. He will need to undergo an MRI to ascertain any ligament damage.

The game itself was sloppy and difficult to watch. The Giants squandered a 9-0 1st-quarter lead, and yet another 4th-quarter lead as the team was up 22-17 late in the contest.

After the teams exchanged punts to start the game, New York went up 2-0 as a botched snap by the Chargers was knocked out of the end zone for a safety. After both teams punted again, the Giants went up 9-0 on Orleans Darkwa’s 23-yard touchdown run, capping a 5-play, 64-yard drive. The play marked the first time a Giants’ running back scored a rushing touchdown this year. But the Chargers overtook the Giants on the scoreboard before halftime with an 8-play, 77-yard touchdown drive and a 12-play, 49-yard field goal drive. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to running back Melvin Gordon and place kicker Nick Novak kicked a 20-yard field goal. The Giants twice squandered excellent field position in the 2nd quarter – starting one drive at their own 45 and another at the Chargers 39-yard line – coming up with no further points in the first half.

The Giants went three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. The Chargers drove to the Giants’ 14-yard line, but Rivers’ 3rd-and-7 pass was intercepted by safety Darian Thompson in the end zone. It was the first pass the Giants have picked off all season. The Giants then re-gained the lead on a 9-play, 80-yard effort, culminating with a perfect quarterback Eli Manning 29-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Roger Lewis. Giants 16 – Chargers 10.

But the defense could not hold the lead as the Chargers responded with a 12-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to tight end Hunter Henry. It only took five plays (and 75 yards) for the Giants to move ahead again. Under duress, Manning found a wide-open Beckham for a 48-yard score. After a delay-of-game penalty, the Giants’ 2-point conversion attempt failed and New York led 22-17 with 13:31 to go in the game.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Chargers got the ball back again with nine minutes to play. Los Angeles moved the ball 48 yards in 11 plays to set up a successful 31-yard field with just under five minutes to go. Then came disaster. On 2nd-and-7, Manning’s high slant pass to Beckham fell incomplete. It was on this play where Beckham got seriously injured. On the very next snap, Manning was sacked and fumbled the ball away at the New York 11-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, Rivers found Gordon again out of the backfield for a 10-yard score. The Chargers now led 27-22 with three minutes to play.

However, by this point the Giants were down to only one wide receiver – Roger Lewis. The offensive line, which struggled all day in pass protection, allowing five sacks, imploded on the last possession with two penalties. Manning’s desperate 4th-and-10 pass from the Chargers’ 48-yard line was intercepted with less than 50 seconds to play. Game over.

The erratic Manning finished the game 21-of-36 for 225 yards, two touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 lost fumble. The only player with over 30 yards receiving was Beckham with 5 catches for 97 yards. Against Los Angeles’ 31st-ranked run defense, the Giants had their best rushing game of the season with Orleans Darkwa rushing for 69 yards on eight carries and Wayne Gallman rushing for 57 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 382 total net yards, including 124 yards rushing and 258 yards passing. The Giants have now allowed 100 yards rushing or more in five consecutive games to start the season. The Giants only forced one turnover and did not sack Rivers.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were running back Paul Perkins (ribs), center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), quarterback Davis Webb, tight end Matt LaCosse, defensive tackle Robert Thomas, and cornerback Michael Hunter.

Wide receivers Odell Beckham (fractured ankle), Sterling Shepard (ankle), Brandon Marshall (sprained ankle), and Dwayne Harris (fractured foot) left the game with injuries and did not return. A number of Giants were in and out of the line-up with injuries including cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, linebacker Jonathan Casillas (burner), safety Landon Collins, and running back Orleans Darkwa (lower body – calf?).

Quarterback Eli Manning also had x-rays taken on his neck, but they were negative.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants fell to 0-5 for only the fourth time in franchise history. They lost their first nine games in 1976, their first five in 1987 (three of them strike-replacement games), and their first six in 2013. In those seasons, they finished, respectively, 3-11, 6-9, and 7-0. The Giants were also winless through their first five games in 1947 (when they started 0-7-2) and 1966 (0-4-1).

The Chargers broke a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Giants lost their fourth consecutive game to the Chargers, and now trail in the all-time series, 7-5.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s ninth pass attempt was the 7,000th of his career. He is the seventh quarterback in history to throw at least 7,000 regular-season passes.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo will address the media by conference call Monday afternoon.

Nov 152016
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 21 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 20…
The New York Giants defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-3.

The Giants out-gained the Bengals in first downs (23 to 12), total offensive plays (72 to 55), total net yards (351 to 264), net yards rushing (122 to 78), and net yards passing (229 to 186). The Bengals were held to 2-of-11 (18 percent) on 3rd down conversion attempts.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives. The Giants first drove 80 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Eli Manning started this possession off with a 25-yard pass to tight end Will Tye and finished it with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerell Adams. But the Bengals quickly tied the game in three plays, with the biggest being a 71-yard pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to tight end Tyler Eifert. Dalton finished the possession off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Green. The game was tied at 7-7.

The next four Giants possessions ended with two punts, a turnover on downs, and an interception. The Bengals punted three times in a row before Manning’s interception. The turnover set up Cincinnati at the Giants 7-yard line. The defense held and forced a 25-yard field goal. New York’s offense then responded with an 8-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. to give the Giants a 14-10 lead at the half.

The Bengals returned the opening kickoff of the 3rd quarter 84 yards to the Giants 13-yard line. Two plays later, running back Jeremy Hill scored from nine yards out as the Bengals regained the lead 17-14. After a three-and-out by the Giants offense, Cincinnati added to their advantage by putting together a 7-play, 41-yard drive that set up a successful 38-yard field goal. The Bengals now led 20-14.

Both teams exchanged punts on their next two possessions. Late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th quarter, the Giants put together their game-winning drive after forcing the Bengals to punt from deep in their own territory. Starting on the Cincinnati 47-yard line, the Giants drove to the Bengals 3-yard line where they faced 4th-and-goal. Head Coach Ben McAdoo decided to go for it and was rewarded when Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for the score. Giants 21 – Bengals 20.

Both teams then exchanged interceptions. First, safety Landon Collins picked off Dalton. Then Manning gave the ball right back to the Bengals on the very next play. But New York’s defense forced a three-and-out. Both teams exchanged punts before the Giants ran out the final three minutes of the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 28-of-44 for 240 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His leading receivers were Beckham (10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown), Tye (5 catches for 53 yards), and Shepard (5 catches for 42 yards and a touchdown). Running back Rashad Jennings rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries and running back Paul Perkins chipped in with 31 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, defensive end Olivier Vernon led the team with 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas had one sack and defensive tackle Damon Harrison and linebacker Jonathan Casillas had half-sacks. Collins had the Giants lone turnover with his interception.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Victor Cruz (ankle), left guard Justin Pugh (knee), defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall, offensive tackle Will Beatty, linebacker Deontae Skinner, and quarterback Josh Johnson.

Left guard Brett Jones strained his calf in the 1st quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Marshall Newhouse. Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris left the game with a toe injury and did not play in the second half.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
QB Eli Manning was credited with his 33rd fourth-quarter, game-winning drive (leading the Giants to victories in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter).

WR Odell Beckham set the NFL record for the fewest number of games (36) to reach 3,500 receiving yards.

S Landon Collins has four interceptions in his last three games.

TOM COUGHLIN, ERNIE ACCORSI, JUSTIN TUCK INDUCTED INTO RING OF HONOR…
Former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin (2004-2015), General Manager Ernie Accorsi (1998-2007), and defensive end Justin Tuck (2005-2013) were officially inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. A video of the ceremony is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Nov 082016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (February 6, 2012)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

TOM COUGHLIN, ERNIE ACCORSI, JUSTIN TUCK TO BE INDUCTED IN RING OF HONOR…
The New York Giants have announced that former Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin (2004-2015), General Manager Ernie Accorsi (1998-2007), and defensive end Justin Tuck (2005-2013) will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The following are the transcripts of today’s conference call sessions with each inductee:

To see a list of who is already in the Ring of Honor, see the New York Giants Ring of Honor section of the website.

GIANTS LOSING GEREMY DAVIS OFF OF PRATICE SQUAD?…
ESPN is reporting that an unidentified team will be signing New York Giants wide receiver Geremy Davis off of the team’s Practice Squad. Davis was drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in 10 games with no starts as a rookie and finished the season with only two catches for 21 yards.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Player interviews will be held on Wednesday and the team will return to practice on Thursday.

Nov 072016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 28-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles:

McAdoo: Hit the defense first. Got off to a fast start. Two INT’s that led to two offensive touchdowns. We finished strong on a sudden change of possession. Showed high character there at the end of the ball game. Situational football was tremendous. The last thing is holding the quarterback to four carries and minus-four yards in the rushing department. What we need to work on, cut down the explosive plays. The details, execution and consistency needs to improve there. Set the tone in the first series of the second half.

Offensively, I think we took advantage of the two turnovers in the first quarter. Put two touchdowns on the board there. We were 4-for-4 in the shot zone, the high green zone, the fringe and the low green zone. We answered Philly’s touchdown to open the second half with one of our own. Despite all the negativity out there in the run game, we made some progress there late in the second half. What we need to work on, we had three pre-snap penalties, three batted balls. We need to finish the game in four-minute. We had a chance to end the game and we need to do that. We had eight opportunities to execute and make plays that were out there that could’ve had a positive impact on the game for us and we came up short. We need to take advantage of those opportunities.

Special teams, I think JPP going in and blocking the field goal at the end of the first half was huge. He used great technique there. He made a great play for us in the ball game. What we need to work on, we knew going in that we couldn’t give 43 (Darren Sproles) a seam on punt return. It was a combination of a bunch of things but hang to distance and being firm and protective on the releases. The gunners being singled up, they need to win there. In the four-minute, the kickoff decision was a poor decision. We had seven up. We need to stay in the end zone with the ball there. With that, we’ll open it up.

Q: You also incorporated a little bit more Roger Lewis and Dwayne Harris, how did that work out for you?

A: I thought it was good. I think it’s always good to get everyone involved. Those are two guys that have earned some opportunities. They’ve been practicing hard. Look good in practice and have earned reps. We’re going to give them some opportunities as long as they keep earning reps and working hard on the practice field and in games.

Q: What did Roger Lewis bring to the offense that you wanted to incorporate?

A: He’s a young and improving player. He’s taking advantage of his special teams opportunities. He needs to continue to do that. As long as he continues to produce the way he has been producing on special teams and improving on offense, he will get the opportunity to play.

Q: How is Justin Pugh and how do you think Brett Jones did?

A: Justin has a knee sprain. He’s going to miss a little bit of time. I thought Jonesie did a nice job when he went in there. He played physical. He’s been playing more center for us but was ready to go in the ballgame at guard.

Q: Why did you go with Brett rather than opt to move Bobby Hart in there?

A: I just think for where we are in the season and in the ballgame, that was the best fit for us at the time.

Q: How did Jerell Adams do? He and Will Tye looked to do a better job.

A: Tye definitely had some wiggle after the catch. We knew that from last year. He showed up in a positive way for us yesterday in that regard. Jerell did a nice job for us out there. He did have a pre-snap penalty which we have to eliminate, but he made some progress, too.

Q: Any update on Victor Cruz and Justin Pugh?

A: Justin is going to miss some time. I don’t know how long at this point, but he’s going to miss a little bit of time. Victor is scheduled to get an MRI today.

Q: Will you stick with Brett Jones at guard as long as Justin is out?

A: We’ll take a look at all of our options.

Q: Why did you decide to not dress Leon Hall yesterday?

A: It’s just the way it shook out. We wanted to get three safeties up. True safeties up. It came down to special teams. When you have a lot of healthy bodies you have to make some tough decisions. Certainly Leon has played some good football for us. We’re confident in Leon and what he brings to the table.

Q: You worked Devon Kennard inside for the first time yesterday. What went into that decision and how did he look?

A: We did a couple of different things and how to use our personnel. I think it’s a way to help get Devon some reps. They’re tough to come by in base defense these days. It was an opportunity to move him around a little bit and give us some opportunities.

Q: The way that you used so much personnel, is that an organizational decision or just the coaching staff?

A: That’s how I grew up in this business, to get young players and everyone involved in game days that is up. Give them all the support they need to be successful. The way to get young players acclimated to the varsity team is to get them out there and get them going. When the snaps get to December and January, it’s not too big for them. It’s not the first time they’re on the field.

Q: A day later, what light can you shed on the ball that was ruled an interception on the Odell play in the middle?

A: We’re going to turn it into the league and really see what they have to say about it. I think it’s one of those calls that it depends on where you start. I think it’s a tough one to overturn either way. If it’s incomplete, I think it stays incomplete. If it’s a completion, I think it stays a completion. The way they ruled it as an interception, once you go look at it, I think it stays an interception. It’s a hard one to overturn. Regardless. I thought we caught the ball and went to the ground. They came away with the ball. The starting point is probably going to be the ending point there.

Q: What did Paul Perkins bring to the running game?

A: We balanced up the touches there a little bit. It’s tough to give one guy, feature one guy in the running game these days. You need a couple of guys that can carry the ball for you. He had some good opportunities in there. Some clean looks. On the toss crack, he did a nice job finding the seam. He kept his balance and had a nice run there at the end.

Q: Bobby Rainey played less with Perkins and Rashad Jennings splitting the snaps. Was that injury related?

A: We took everything into consideration there. A little bit of everything.

Q: Victor had an X-ray yesterday, what did that show? How serious is the Ryan Nassib injury?

A: Victor is going to get an MRI. He has one scheduled today so we’ll know more after the MRI. Ryan will be limited this week.

Q: What did you think of Keenan Robinson, especially in defensing the screen game?

A: Keenan has been very active for us. His agility has allowed him to cover a lot of ground for us in the passing game. He had some good production to go along with it.

Q: What did you think of using Newhouse as the sixth offensive lineman?

A: I think Marshall did a nice job in there. He used good technique and fundamentals. He was productive when he had his opportunities.

Q: Is that something you can use more?

A: It’s something we will take a look at week in and week out. See if we can get anything out of it.

Q: Is there anything you do with young guys to track their progress?

A: No websites. We watch the film and we grade our players in practice and in games. We continue to coach them and develop them. The better they do and the more they respond to the coaching, the more opportunities they’ll get.

Q: When you play young guys, you have to expect mistakes. How do you weigh the mistakes made by young guys versus giving them experience?

A: You have to acclimate them early. You can’t wait until December. You have to get them opportunities to compete in practice and get them in there in games. They have to earn the opportunity. They don’t just get to play. They have to earn that opportunity and prove that they’re trustworthy and accountable. I think it does a lot for your team. It gives 46 guys an opportunity to play. I think it helps the veterans and breathes some life in the veterans in the long season. They have young guys that are champing at the bit. They bring excitement and energy. It’s fun to see the young guys have success.

Q: Does Eli Apple have to earn back playing time?

A: We’re going to dust Eli off, put him back out there. He’s going to get better and learn from it.

Q: Is Shane Vereen ready to practice?

A: Haven’t had those conversations yet.

Q: Is there a chance he comes back this year?

A: Haven’t had those conversations yet.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players will be off on Tuesday. Player interviews will be held on Wednesday and the team will return to practice on Thursday. Conference calls with 2016 Ring of Honor inductees Tom Coughlin, Ernie Accorsi and Justin Tuck will be held on Tuesday.

Jul 272016
 
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Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS REPORT TO CAMP ON THURSDAY…
New York Giants players report to summer training camp on Thursday. The first training camp practice will occur on Friday. (A complete schedule is available at Giants.com). Head Coach Ben McAdoo and a number of players will address the press on Thursday.

HAKEEM NICKS SIGNS WITH SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has signed a 1-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed then 27-year old Hakeem Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games.

Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012.

DANIEL FELLS RETIRES…
Although not officially announced, it appears New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells has retired. Fells was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2015 after multiple career-threatening surgeries were required to address a life-threatening staph infection that developed in an injured ankle. He only played in two games in 2015 and finished with six catches for 60 yards.

Fells said on his Instagram account, “Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I’m grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience.”

Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. He played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2014 with nine starts, accruing 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

TOM COUGHLIN ACCEPTS JOB WITH NFL…
According to press report, former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has accepted a full-time position with the NFL’s football operations department. His exact role has yet to be announced by the League. Coughlin was de facto fired in January by the Giants after serving with the team since 2004.

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

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (Video)
  • TE Will Tye (Video)
  • DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
  • DT Damon Harrison (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

This picture of me and my baby girl was taken a little over a year ago at Quest Diagnostic. I wish I was heading into battle with my brothers as Training Camp starts up this week but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I'm grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience. Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, emails and well wishes that I've gotten over the last few months. I'm working hard to accept my physical limitations and the mental struggles that go along with them. I know that I'm lucky to be alive so I'm determined to make the most of everyday that I have. Looking forward to cheering for my G-men and all of my former teammates on different teams around the nation this year #onceagiantalwaysagiant

A photo posted by Daniel Fells (@danielfells85) on

Jul 192016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ERNIE ACCORSI, TOM COUGHLIN, JUSTIN TUCK TO RING OF HONOR…
The New York Giants have announced that Ernie Accorsi, Tom Coughlin, and Justin Tuck will be added to the team’s “Ring of Honor” during a halftime ceremony at the Giants-Bengals at MetLife Stadium on November 14.

The addition of these three will bring to 42 the number of team icons so honored. For a complete list, see the Ring of Honor section of the website.

Accorsi served at the Giants’ Assistant General Manager from 1994-1997 and General Manager from 1998-2006.

Coughlin served as the Giants’ wide receivers coach from 1988-1990 and head coach from 2004-2015. Coughlin helped lead the Giants to two NFL titles (2007 and 2011). He finished with 102-90 regular-season record (second most victories in franchise history) and an 8-3 post-season record (tied with Bill Parcells).

Tuck was a defensive end for the team from 2005-2015. Tuck was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and served as a team captain four times, finishing with 60.5 sacks in his Giants’ career.

“When you start working in the National Football League, this is not something you would ever dream could happen,” Accorsi said. “I’ve seen these in different stadiums, and when you see all the great players and coaches up there, it’s not something I ever thought could happen. I can’t even put into words what an honor it is, especially with this franchise. It’s overwhelming that someone who started at the bottom in this league could end up with some of the names up there, like Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford. It’s just incredible for me to get this.”

“It was a great privilege to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants, and it’s a privilege and a tremendous honor to be a part of those great names in Giant folklore that are in the Ring of Honor,” Coughlin said. “It’s something Judy (his wife), my family and I very much appreciate. The New York Giants, to me, is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. We recognize the long history of the Giants and the greatest city in the world, the tremendous coaches and players that have represented the Giants over the years. It’s a great honor to be included in the same breath with some of these prestigious former players and coaches.”

“It’s a great honor,” Tuck said. “Anytime something like this is bestowed upon a person, you have to consider all the other guys up there, all the people that have paved the way for a small-town kid like me to have the opportunity to be put up in the rafters by what I consider to be the greatest football franchise there is. I don’t think it’s dawned on me yet how big a deal it is, but I’m sure that night there will be some emotions that come out and be very visible. I’m very, very excited about it.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH RASHAD JENNINGS…
The video and transcript of an NFL Network interview with running back Rashad Jennings are available at Giants.com.

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

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Oct 122015
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 30 – SAN FRANCISCO 49ers 27…
The New York Giants rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 30-27 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. The victory improved New York’s overall record to 3-2 and first place in the NFC East.

All looked lost when the 49ers drove 80 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown with just 1:45 left in the game. At this point, San Fransisco led 27-23. But quarterback Eli Manning orchestrated an 8-play, 82-yard drive that culminated with a dramatic, game-winning 12-yard touchdown throw to tight end Larry Donnell with 21 second to play.

The 49ers received the football to start the game and moved 55 yards in eight plays to set up a successful 43-yard field goal. The Giants tied the game on their first possession by traveling 76 yards in nine plays to set up a 22-yard field goal as the drive stalled inside the 10-yard line. Manning found wide receiver Odell Beckham for a 49-yard gain on this initial possession.

Shane Vereen, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Shane Vereen – © USA TODAY Sports Images

After forcing San Francisco to punt on their second possession, the Giants put together a 14-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Manning to running back Shane Vereen on 3rd-and-goal. The big play on the drive was a 31-yard pass to Beckham on 3rd-and-7. Giants 10 – 49ers 3.

After another San Fransisco punt, the Giants moved the ball 43 yards in 10 plays to set up place kicker Josh Brown’s second successful field goal, this one from 41 yards out. Giants 13 – 49ers 3. However, the 49ers cut into that lead by driving 76 yards in 11 plays and kicking a 22-yard field goal late in the first half.

The Giants blew an opportunity for more points before intermission as New York drove 66 yards in less than a minute to reach the 49er 14-yard line. But Manning was picked off in the end zone on an ill-advised pass with five seconds to play. At the half, the Giants led 13-6.

The Giants received the ball to start the second half but punted after picking up one first down. The 49ers then tied the game on their initial possession of the second half by driving 88 yards in 10 plays. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick found wideout Anquan Boldin for a 3-yard score. Giants 13 – 49ers 13.

After the Giants and 49ers exchanged punts, New York drove the ball 61 yards in seven plays near the end of the third quarter and Manning found Beckham for a 17-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Giants 20 – 49ers 13. However, the Giants defense could not hold the advantage as San Fransisco responded with another long touchdown drive, this time 80 yards in 11 plays with Kaepernick hitting tight end Garrett Celek for a 5-yard score on 3rd-and-goal.

The Giants responded with a long scoring drive of their own, marching 74 yards in 14 plays. However, the Giants had to settle for another short field goal, this time from 24 yards out as the Giants went ahead 23-20 with 4:29 to play.

New York’s defense fell apart again, as the 49ers scored their third long touchdown drive of the second half. In just seven plays, San Fransisco went 80 yards with running back Carlos Hyde scoring from two yards out to put the 49ers up 27-23 with 1:45 to play.

Then came the dramatic game-winning drive. Manning scrambled for 11 yards and then threw to Vereen for 11 and 16 yards. Disaster almost struck on 1st-and-10 from the 49er 44-yard line when Manning’s deep pass initially appeared to be intercepted, but replay overruled the pick as the ball hit the ground. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-10, Manning hit Vereen for a 24-yard gain. After an 8-yard pass interference penalty was called on the 49ers against Beckham, Manning found Donnell for the game winner from 12 yards out with 21 seconds to play.

Offensively, the Giants accrued 30 first downs and 525 total yards (84 rushing, 441 passing). The team was 9-of-14 (64 percent) on third down, but only 3-of-6 (50 percent) in red zone opportunities. Manning finished the game 41-of-54 for 441 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. His leading receivers were Vereen (8 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown), Beckham (7 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (6 catches for 72 yards), and Donnell (6 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown). Running back Rashad Jennings carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards and Vereen five times for 24 yards.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 22 first downs and 380 total yards (124 rushing, 256 passing). The 49ers were 8-of-14 (57 percent) on third down and 3-of-4 (75 percent) in the red zone. Defensive end Damontre Moore had both of New York’s sacks, but the Giants rarely pressured Kaepernick. The Giants did not force a turnover.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com. A video of the locker room celebration is also available.

INJURY REPORT…
WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), LG Justin Pugh (ankle), LB Jon Beason (concussion), CB Trumaine McBride (possible aggravation of groin injury) all left the game with injuries. Beckham returned to the game.

“Sure, I was (reluctant to put Beckham back in the game),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We were trying to win a game. He wanted to go. The medical people said let him go. I let him go. We’ll see what he is like tomorrow.”

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE George Selvie (calf), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (calf), and OT Bobby Hart.

The Giants broke a three-game losing streak on Sunday Night Football and improved their Sunday night record to 20-26-1, including 10-12 at home.

QB Eli Manning’s 41 completions and 54 pass attempts were career highs. Manning’s 41 completions were a franchise record. His 441 yards were the third-highest total of his career. Manning completed a career-high 15 consecutive passes over three series spanning the third and fourth quarters.

The victory was the 102nd of Manning’s career (94 regular season, eight postseason). That is a franchise record. Manning had been tied with Phil Simms (95 regular season, six postseason).

This was the 27th time that Manning has rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to win a regular-season game. He’s also done it five times in the postseason, including two Super Bowls. It was Manning’s first game-winning drive since October 5, 2014 vs. Atlanta.

DANIEL FELLS MRSA UPDATE…
According to an NFL.com report on Sunday, tight end Daniel Fells’ health situation had become far more serious. Fells, who has been hospitalized with a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) staph infection since last weekend, was moved to the Intensive Care Unit on Friday. He has undergone five surgeries to treat the infection with additional surgeries planned. There is a chance that Fells’ foot may need to be amputated.

However, NJ.com is reporting that Fells has responded better this weekend to a new antibiotic and FOXSports is reporting is reporting that his fever has dipped.

“We dedicated the game to Daniel Fells and his family, and thank God we were able to give him the game ball,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after the Giants’ 30-27 victory over the 49ers. “Fells has had two very good days in a row…His MRI came back without any issues. Thank God and hopefully he will just continue in that direction and have this cleared up so he can go home and see his kids.”

ARTICLES…

Aug 152000
 
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Q&A: New York Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi

From x meadowlander: Ernie, what I would like to know is what YOUR expectations of this Giant team are? What kind of record do you EXPECT this team to have at the end of this season? (Barring Catastrophic Injuries).

Accorsi: It’s very difficult to place a won-lost goal or expectation on the season because so many incredible things can happen during a game (I really don’t have to go much farther than last Friday to provide the most extreme example). But I have expectations for this team because I think we have explosive offensive players now. Some of them are a little unproven, Bennett, Montgomery, Dayne and Dixon, on the pro level. But the talent is there. If we can protect the quarterback and get him in play action situations, we will score.

I am much more confident about the defense this year because of the health of Sehorn and the addition of Griffin and Barrow, in particular. I also think Strahan was stung by the criticism of his season last year and will play with something to prove.

You have to build a team now for a three-four year run. We have started that process. I don’t know what the record will be. I just think we will be headed in the right direction.

Pete from Woodstock and Giant Mike: Ernie, will there be anymore free agent signings after cuts this year to strengthen certain positions, and if so, which positions are you concentrating on? Any truth to rumors of a possible trade or two?

Accorsi: Free agent acquisitions at this point won’t be significant because everyone has 80-plus players and what is left isn’t going to make impact on a team. It’s possible that we could claim someone off the final cut that could contribute depth for us, either in the offensive line or the defensive secondary. We are being very vigilant to a possible trade. I can’t promise one because I have no control over what other clubs might make available. But, although we have been reluctant in the past to give up draft choices, I would trade one for a corner who could come in and play well for us.

RAZE in Poughkeepsie and Steve in Vegas: Given this year’s free agent acquisitions & veteran signings, are the Giants still as well positioned to be bigger players in free agency in 2001 as you thought earlier this year? Which position would you seriously consider upgrading through free agency?

Accorsi: It’s difficult to answer that until I see what the resolution of the 2000 season is, but always we would be on the lookout for defensive corners. They at a premium and you never have enough, especially with teams coming right out on first down with three and four wide receivers.

Milton: Evaluating college talent is a tough job. But as a fan, it’s surprising to me how some players who are so highly regarded (Blair Thomas, Aundray Bruce, etc.) can be such utter disappointments. And also, how a guy like Terrell Davis or Jessie Armstead could slip so far below the radar. As a talent evaluator, what is it that makes the job such guesswork (even after viewing thousands of hours of film, working the players out, interviewing them, and testing them)?

Accorsi: That is a very good question, because you just touched on the mystery of the game. How can absolutely no one be interested in either drafting or even signing Percy Ellsworth after his senior year at Virginia? The only reason we signed Ellsworth was that we lost three or four safeties in the post-draft signing frenzy and he was sitting there with no interest. I had scouted the Virginia-Florida State game (which was Florida State’s first loss in the ACC) the night that Ellsworth intercepted Kannel twice. I said, if we drafted Kannel, we might as well sign the guy who intercepted him twice. Another example, we debated between Jeremiah Parker and an offensive lineman in the seventh round in this past year’s draft. We decided on the speed rusher. A few days later, we signed a big offensive lineman from Michigan named Chris Ziemann, who had to fax us and beg us to sign him. The coaches feel right now, they would not be afraid to start him at right tackle if they had to (in the event we had an injury). We also hit on a tight end from Dartmouth named Adam Young who was cut by his NFL Europe team to make room for two allocated tight ends. You just never know. That’s the intangible element of the game. How could the Steelers cut Unitas?

Giant Great and George from PA: Why was the 1998 draft so unproductive? What is the strength of next years draft that you will concentrate on?

Accorsi: Shaun Williams was played out of position his first two year because he was versatile and we had Percy Ellsworth to play free safety. He has made big plays when he has had the opportunity and will be one of the best safeties in the league this year as soon as he comes back from this toe injury in my opinion. Joe Jurevicius is a weapon who just hasn’t had the chance to play. You have seen what he can do when he makes a play. We need a big year out of him. Brian Alford hasn’t gotten on the field. The coaches have a problem with his drops in practice but if you studied his college film, he had very few drops. He is a little bit of a mystery. Myles and Fricke have made other teams. Fricke has played for Dallas and contributed. Oakland likes Myles. I don’t know if he will make their team. He has ability. I think Williams and Jurevicius will contribute significantly to our season and Alford has a chance. To be totally honest with you, however, that’s not enough. We should have six and possible six players out of this draft (Dhani Jones is out for the season but will be an outstanding player). You have to have more than two.

English Alaister: I would be intrigued to know what, if any, limits the team would place on first round draft selections in terms of position? There has been some lengthy discussion on this board as to the merits of taking safeties, interior linemen, middle and strongside linebackers in the first round. Many people have argued that first round picks should be used only for difference makers. The skill positions on offense, quarterback of course, left tackle (assuming a righty QB) defensive end, cornerback and impact linebackers. However, in your first two drafts as general manager the team selected a safety and then a linemen now playing right tackle. But this draft there seemed to be a movement towards the impact offensive positions early and the use of free agency to fill the offensive line. Is this a trend predicated on the way you believe the NFL is developing (cheap veteran line help but not much offensive talent) or was it merely the way the chips fell? If (and I’m sure we all hope desperately that this will not be the case) the Giants have a top ten draft pick sometime in your tenure are there any positions you would not even look at to start with?

Accorsi: You are probably going to be puzzled by this answer, but over the past 20 years, if you asked me the two positions I would be least likely to select in the first round, it would safety and offensive line. My first draft, the system dictated Shaun Williams. He’s a good player, but I agree with your definition of impact players and safety generally is not one. The second year, I felt we had to have a left tackle. Luke Petitgout is a left tackle. He’s playing right tackle right now because Lomas Brown is playing left. He is having an excellent pre-season. He is more naturally at tackle than guard and is even more natural at left tackle. He is going to be a good player. But generally, I like impact players. Big play players. Quarterback first, if you have the opportunity to pick a great one. I was with Unitas, Bert Jones, and that is why I picked Elway in Baltimore in the face of overwhelming protests from his agent, from him and from the media. After that pass rushers, corners and backs and receivers. The inside linebacker has diminished in glamour because of the proliferation of spread formations. He is taken off the field unless its a run down. One year when I was in Cleveland and the Detroit Lions were playing the run and shoot, our middle linebacker (a very good player named Mike Johnson) didn’t play a down. That is why Brandon Short’s value dropped. But we are using him at strong side linebacker right now.

bw in dc: Why didn’t you get involved in the Kevin Mawae sweepstakes three years ago? Which non-Jints free agent over the last three years do you regret not pursuing? Why did the brass wait until 1999 to finally hire a full-time cap specialist?

Accorsi: We had Brian Williams in the shadow to be quite frank, we had no cap power to pursue a high priced player like that. I hired our cap specialist in my second year on this job. But I wanted the right one and in Kevin Abrams I got the right one. We were $10.6 million over the cap 11 days before the deadline in February. We got under and then signed six free agents, five of them who will start and the sixth is the backup quarterback. As far as regrets, I don’t look back. But the player we should have tried to trade for (he wasn’t a free agent) was Marshall Faulk.

Hbart: Assume that this season is reasonably successful and you feel strongly about the teams chances next season. Would you be inclined to take a Redskins/Snyder type approach of using free agency to fill holes and add depth without much regard for the cost and cap implications? Or would you continue with the approach we’ve seen of emphasizing value in FA acquisitions and looking mainly to the draft for depth?

Accorsi: I am not tied to any restrictions as far as avenues we would take. I basically like building with young veterans but I certainly would bring in an older player to plug a hole as we did this year with Lomas Brown and Glenn Parker. To just summarize, I will do anything I feel I have to do to win and still live with the cap. What has happened with the cap is, most clubs, including us, will pay a future price to win a championship. While you are building, you have to be careful. But once you think you have the team to win, go for it. If you have cap problems in the future because of it, you can relieve the burden by walking in the lobby and looking at a Super Bowl trophy. That is what we are all in this to do. Nothing less.

Mark S: When in the “targeting” phase of the personnel acquisition process (pre-draft, FA signing period, etc.), how much input do you receive from Jim Fassel, John Fox, and Sean Payton? Specifically, does management sit down with key members of the coaching staff and strategize about targeting specific players or specific “types” of players for the current/future offensive/defensive schemes?

Accorsi: Our scouting and personnel staff currently has a great working relationship with the coaches. We meet constantly so that the scouts can get a feel for what the coaches like in a player. But you have to be careful. You have to have a New York Giants philosophy, which has changed in recent years because the game has changed. You can’t just tailor everything to a coach then when the coach leaves you have to revamp your entire team. You have seen that when some of the run and shoot guru’s have left teams with no tight ends or running backs. It’s a blend. What you need the most is harmony between the two elements. We have that.

Kenney in CA: How do you evaluate your scouts? Since it can take years for an NFL player to develop, it seems it could take even longer to grade a scout’s job performance. Do you keep track of who a scout has liked, and how those players perform if they’re picked by other teams? Or do you feel there are too many variables to do be able to do that fairly?

Accorsi: That is a more important job for me than evaluating college players. I scout games and look at a lot of tape and have my opinions, particularly among the top-rated players, but so much of our decisions is based on the full time guys who do it for a living and for 365 days a year. I spend a lot of time evaluating the scouts. For example, if there are some low draft choices or free agents from a particular scout’s area that made it, I will go back and read his reports on that player and question him as well as the cross checker on why we didn’t draft him. This is particularly important in the later rounds. Sometimes earlier, you want a player but you just don’t get him because he is picked right ahead of you. I am very hard on them sometimes and I don’t think they are very happy about that. But the stakes are high. I don’t like to miss on anyone. I had a scout tell me once when I questioned him on a free agent who went to another club and played well, “The day i was there he wasn’t impressive.” My answer to that is, you are responsible for that school 365 days a year and once every four years 366 days.

Joe in massapequa and Eric from BBI: Are there any plans for next year with the aging vets we now have on our line to upgrade through free agency next year and the draft to get younger, meaning really: ( a) Are these guys stopgap moves? and (b) Has the organization come to the conclusion that more emphasis will be spent on free agency than the draft when it comes to improving the quality of the offensive line?

Accorsi: I sort of answered that question earlier, but this is the way I look at our offensive line: two older players (Brown and Parker), two very experienced young players (Ziegler and Stone), three young players with size and a future (Petitgout, Rosenthal, Ziemann). That is a good blend. We will obviously have to replace Brown and Parker shortly and we will do it both ways that you mentioned.

In summary, I would like to make one point to all of you. When I assumed this position, we were coming off of a divisional title. Most of us, however, didn’t think we were that good. We went one more year with essentially that team and found out for sure we weren’t that good. In the past two years we began to reshape this team. The major move was Kerry Collins. In this organization, there is a conviction that we have a big league quarterback we can win with for the first time since Phil Simms. This past off season, we made a lot of changes in the offensive line, skilled positions, and defense. The only thing we didn’t address was depth, which will be next, because we were fortunate to be able to do what we did. There is a buzz of excitement around the club. Now, I don’t expect fans to buy into it until they see results. And, I don’t know how quickly they will come, maybe they will or maybe it will a little while. But we have a chance now.

Most importantly, I appreciate your passion. I have been with three great franchises all with famous fans – the Baltimore (not Indianapolis, by the way) Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Football Giants. I have never experienced a love of the team like Giants’ fans. Our only goal is to win for you.