Feb 102016
 
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Will Beatty, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Will Beatty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS CUT GEOFF SCHWARTZ, WILL BEATTY, AND JON BEASON…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have released offensive guard Geoff Schwartz, offensive tackle Will Beatty, and linebacker Jon Beason. All three were expensive, injury-prone players. ESPN.com is reporting that Schwartz and Beatty were not asked to accept pay cuts. Beason may actually retire. (Late Note: Beason officially announced his retirement). Assuming these moves are designated pre-June 1st moves, the combined moves are believed to create an additional $12.27 million in cap space. It is believed that the Giants are currently about $55-60 million under the 2016 NFL salary cap.

After starting 11 games at guard, Schwartz was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2015 after he fractured his lower left leg in Week 12. Schwartz also missed 14 games in 2014 in his first season season with the Giants due to toe and left ankle injuries that both required surgery. He signed with the Giants as a free agent in March 2014. Schwartz had two years left on his current contract. He was scheduled to make $3.925 million in salary in 2016 and count $4.908 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cutting Schwartz saves the Giants $2.992 million against the cap with $1.917 million in dead money.

Beatty was placed on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List in September 2015 as he was still recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in May lifting weights. He remained on the PUP the entire season as a rotator cuff injury that required surgery also became an issue. Since Beatty was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants, he has had issues staying healthy, including a broken foot in 2010, a detached retina in 2011, a back injury that caused him to miss offseason work in 2012, the broken leg in 2013, and the pectoral tear and rotator cuff injuries in 2015. Beatty had two years left on his current contract. He was scheduled to make $6.625 million in salary in 2016 and count $9.175 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cutting Beatty saves the Giants $4.175 million against the cap with $5 million in dead money.

Beason missed the first two games of the 2015 season with knee issues, played in five games, and then missed another before being placed on Injured Reserve with knee and ankle injuries. He finished 2015 with just 18 tackles. Beason has been an injury-prone player since 2010, not playing in more than five games in four of the last five seasons due to various injuries. The Giants acquired Beason in a trade with the Panthers in October 2013. He played in 12 games with the Giants in 2013, starting his last 11 at middle linebacker, and accruing 93 tackles and one interception. Beason’s 2014 NFL season was basically wiped out due to a ligament tear and fracture to the sesamoid bone in his right foot during an OTA practice on June 12. He ended up playing in only four games and finished the season with just 11 tackles. Beason had one year left on his current contract. He was scheduled to make $2.8 million in salary in 2016 and count $6.567 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cutting Beason saves the Giants $5.1 million against the cap with $1.467 million in dead money.

ARTICLES…

Feb 062016
 
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JOHN MARA KEEPS DOOR OPEN FOR TOM COUGHLIN…
At Tom Coughlin’s farewell press conference on January 5th, New York Giants team president and CEO John Mara said he would like Coughlin to remain with the team in some capacity.

“I asked him would he consider staying on in some capacity,” said Mara a month ago. “I don’t want to let all that knowledge walk out the door. I asked him to think about over the next few days ways that he might be able to help us going forward.

“He agreed to do that. I don’t think either one of us have an idea yet exactly what form that could take. Let’s face it, he brings a unique perspective. He knows our team as well as anybody. He knows the league as well as anybody. There may be some capacity in which he could help us.

“This is not a situation where we wanted to see him walk out the door. We want him to stay involved because of everything he has brought to this organization, everything he could still possibly do at some point in the future.”

Since that time, Coughlin interviewed for the head coaching jobs of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles were reportedly strongly considering him but Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration. Both the Eagles and 49ers have hired new head coaches and the 69-year old Coughlin remains out of work.

On Friday, Mara was asked about Coughlin again. “He’s been away, but I do plan on talking (to him),” Mara said. “There’s still hope.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH VICTOR CRUZ…
The video of an NFL Network interview with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is available at Giants.com. The text of the interview is also available at Giants.com.

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • CB Trevin Wade (Video)
  • P Brad Wing (Video)
  • Ex-Giants WR Amani Toomer (Video)
  • Ex-Giants CB Sam Madison (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 042016
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (August 22, 2015)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH, CONTRACT, AND NEW COACH…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to the media on Thursday. He addressed a number of topics including his injury and contract status, as well at the team’s head coaching change.

Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

Cruz said the calf injury was a rare torn fascia. “It just wasn’t healing right,” said Cruz. “It would half-heal. If you ran on it after like six weeks, it would kind of pop again. So we had to shut it down, have the surgery, cement the calf back down so it can heal properly, and then we’re back to 100 percent… Supposedly after you get it fixed it’ll be 100 percent. It’s a soft-tissue injury so it should heal pretty well on its own. Other guys have had it as well, but it’s something that I should definitely have a full recovery from.”

Cruz has not begun to run as part of his rehab process yet. The rehab work involves underwater exercises and walking on treadmills.

“Obviously still rehabbing, still getting strength back in the calf, but I feel good,” said Cruz. “There is no more pain, there are no more setbacks or anything like that. Now we’re just working on getting the strength back so I can be able to run and cut and all those good things.”

Cruz has three years left on his current contract and is currently scheduled to make $7.9 million in base salary in 2016 and count $9.9 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cruz said he is amenable to have his contract restructured.

“I don’t care about that stuff,” said Cruz. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.

“I just want to play. Whatever it takes, whether it’s with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they’re family. But I just want to play football, man.”

Cruz was also asked about the head coach transition from Tom Coughlin to Ben McAdoo.

“(Coughlin is) my guy,” Cruz said. “He’s the one who pretty much took a chance on me coming into this league and gave me an opportunity. So it’s sad to see him go, but certain things are just out of your hands as an individual and as an athlete. It was tough to see him go, but he’ll definitely be in my thoughts all the time, and the things that he has taught me will never fade.

“I think (McAdoo) has a great temperament. I think he brings a good energy to the head-coaching position. I think guys are going to love to play for him because he understands us. He understands how to talk to us, he understands what gets us excited. And he understands that we need to work hard to get to where we need to go. He’s a guy who can facilitate that.”

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Jan 272016
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 1, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ELI MANNING CONFERENCE CALL…
The transcript of Wednesday’s media conference call with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is available in The Corner Forum section of the website.

Manning was asked about his thoughts on Ben McAdoo being selected as the team’s new head coach. “I think Coach McAdoo will do a great job,” responded Manning. “I think he really does a wonderful job of holding court in the offensive meetings and getting his points across. I think he’ll continue to do a great job with the whole team. I’m excited for that. I think he’s ready and he’ll have a great staff of coaches.

“I think we’re close. I think we have some pieces in place that I’m excited about. I know we always need some new people, some areas where we need some help. I think the Giants are always committed to doing whatever it takes to get the right people and to get back to winning games and making playoffs and having that championship caliber squad.”

GIANTS.COM Q&A WITH GEOFF SCHWARTZ…
Geoff Schwartz Q&A: An unlikely journey to the NFL by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • OG Geoff Schwartz (Video)
  • LB Devon Kennard (Video)

GIANTS.COM “TOP 5” PLAYS…
The following “top five” lists were compiled by Dan Salomone of Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Jan 222016
 
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Mike Solari, San Fransisco 49ers (August 24, 2014)

Mike Solari – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – MIKE SOLARI NEW OFFENSIVE LINE COACH…
Though not officially announced, according to multiple media reports, the New York Giants have hired Mike Solari as the team’s new offensive line coach. As we reported previously, Solari interviewed with the Giants on Wednesday. He replaces Pat Flaherty, who had been with the team since 2004.

The 61-year old Solari was the assistant offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers in 2015. Considered by some as one of the best offensive line coaches in football, Solari has also served with distinction as the offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2005), Seattle Seahawks (2008-2009), and San Francisco 49ers (2010-2014). Solari was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs in 2006-2007. Solari’s full bio is available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

NJ.com is reporting that Lunda Wells, who has served the team as offensive quality control coach (2012) and assistant offensive line coach (2013-present), will remain with the team.

Unofficially, the New York Giants offensive staff is currently as follows:

  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan (with team 2004-11, 2015)
  • Quarterbacks Coach: Frank Cignetti, Jr. (new)
  • Running Backs Coach: Craig Johnson (with team since 2014)
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Adam Henry (new)
  • Tight Ends Coach: Kevin M. Gilbride (with team since 2010)
  • Offensive Line Coach: Mike Solari (new)
  • Assistant Offensive Line Coach: Lunda Wells (with team since 2012)
  • Offensive Assistant: Ryan Roeder (with team since 2013)

GEOFF SCHWARTZ ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with offensive guard Geoff Schwartz is available at ESPN.com.

GIANTS.COM Q&A WITH DWAYNE HARRIS…
Behind the Returns: Q&A with Dwayne Harris by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Rashad Jennings (Video)
  • RB Orleans Darkwa (Video)
  • PK Josh Brown (Video)

ARTICLES…

Jan 152016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 15, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO’S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Ben McAdoo was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. McAdoo’s contract is a 4-year deal, running through the 2019 NFL season.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Thank you all for being here this morning. I am very pleased to be here formally to introduce Ben McAdoo, our new head coach. When we started this process about 10 days ago, we started to find a new leader for our football team. We wanted to find somebody who had the intelligence and the determination and the work ethic and the leadership skills to be a successful head coach in the National Football League. We believe we have that in Ben McAdoo.

Jerry Reese and I interviewed six excellent candidates for this position. Contrary to what I’ve read even a few places about this being an uninspiring group, nothing could be further from the truth. We felt all six were excellent and quite frankly I could’ve been happy with any one.

We brought Ben back in this past Wednesday and he sat with Jerry, myself, Steve and John Tisch and at the end of that session, we agreed that he is the man for the job. This is an exciting day for us. It begins a new era of Giants football and I would like to now introduce the man who’s going to lead us into that new era, our new head coach, Ben McAdoo.

Remarks by Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
Thank you all for coming today. I am honored here to stand in front of you as the 17th coach in New York Giants history. I’d like to take the time now to thank the Mara family, the Tisch family and Jerry Reese for this opportunity and I’d also like to thank you for the way you conducted this search; very detailed, very organized and with class as always. Thank you.

There are some excited people back in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A lot of you have done your research, Homer City. My parents, Tim and Tina, I’d like to thank them, my sister, Jody, and my brother, Tim, as well as my in-laws, Dave and Renee. Thank you. I have my two children and my beautiful wife here with me. Could you stand up please? (laughs) My wife, Toni, my daughter, Larkin, seven, and my son, B.J., he’s three. Wouldn’t be here without them.

I’ve been very fortunate in my career there’s been a lot of coaches, a lot of players, a lot of administrators that have taken interest in me and my career. I wouldn’t be here without them and I am going to read you a list of names so bear with me there. Rick Foust, Rob Nymick, Jim Mill, the late Mark Hess, Scott Mossgrove, Paul Schager, Sal Sunseri, Walt Harris, Jim Haslett, Jack Henry, Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packer family, Joe Philbin, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Donald Driver, Donald Lee, Jermichael Finley, Bob and Lynn LaMonte, Mark Schiefelbein, Matt Baldwin, excuse me, Eli Manning and the Giants locker room, Tom Coughlin and the New York Giant family and staff. Thank you.

It’s been a privilege and an honor the last two years to serve under Tom. He’s made a big impact in my life as a coach and as a person and his discipline, punctuality and success are obviously legendary. Thinking of a way to honor Tom, there are so many ways we can do it but I figure the best way would be when I first walked into the building he looked at me and said, ‘don’t mess with the clock.’ (laughs) When you look to the right here, we have our digital clocks they’re all five minutes fast and we’re going to stick with that, that’s TC time, that’s a part of Giants culture now.

My next message is to Giants fans, Giants fans everywhere. I realize that this fan base is tough, it’s passionate and deserves a winner. This is the capital of the world and this is the football capital of the world and with that comes a certain amount of pressure, a pressure that I look forward to, our staff and our players will look forward too. This job is not for the faint of heart and I’m the right man for the job. I’m hardened, battle tested and I’ve been groomed for this opportunity by Super Bowl winning coaches, players and organizations. We’re going to assemble a staff and a locker room that the fans can rally around. We’re going to set our jaw and we’re going to get to work.

The vision for this football team goes in to winning and putting that fifth Lombardi trophy in the case. That is our goal and that is the vision. To accomplish that four things need to take place, four elements. The first is strong leadership, the second is we need to surround that leadership with talented men and women of integrity, the third is a positive working environment needs to be created starting and maintaining with myself and it needs to inspire teaching, learning and accountability. The last point—the last element, excuse me, is comprehensive structure and function. We will have a value system in place. Football is a people business and it starts with relationships. Three value system, excuse me, three values what we will incorporate are respect, humility and dedication. Dedication, obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. We will be dedicated in our football.

Lastly is our team identity. What do we want our tape to look like? It’s about the film. When you turn a film on, what do we look like on film? Our offense, our defense, our special teams must play as one and our identity will be sound, smart and tough – committed to discipline and poise. With that I’ll open it up to questions.

Q: What’s the challenge of being the head coach? What are the things that make the transition from assistant coach to head coach that you’re really concerned about?

A: It’s large-scale leadership. When you’re coaching a position whether it’s tight ends or quarterbacks, you’re the head coach of that position room. When you broaden out and you have the opportunity to get in front of an offense, you’re the head coach of the offense and now I have a chance to get my hands on the whole team and I look forward to it.

Q: One thing John Mara said was he wanted a coach that had something to prove. He said you had something to prove in the statement yesterday. What do you think you have to prove?

A: I hold myself to a very high standard, I’m my biggest critic. Every night, I take pride in being able to look in the mirror and know that I did my best to get the job done.

Q: You said you had a conversation with Tom Coughlin saying don’t touch the clock. When did you have that conversation and what was the conversation about?

A: It was ‘don’t mess with the clocks,’ and there may have been an adjective or two in there (laughs). But it was great learning through Tom. Being five minutes ahead of schedule is very valuable.

Q: When was that?

A: Being five minutes ahead of schedule is very valuable.

Q: But when was that conversation?

A: When was it?

Q: Yes.

A: First day. First day.

Q: Have you talked to him since you agreed to take this job?

A: Yes, I just talked to him.

Q: And did he impart any particular wisdom on you?

A: Good luck.

Q: Ben when you first got here I remember you saying everybody is going to have a clean slate as far as players. Is that the same for coaches you’re going to take as you go through the evaluation period?

A: Our theme moving forward this year is evolution, not revolution. We’re going to have an opportunity to carry something over, some things we won’t. We know more about each other now than we had when I got here and we’re going to build off things we do well and work on fixing the things we don’t do well.

Q: Ben it’s usual for a coordinator to become a head coach but he does it at a different team. Is there a challenge you see going into the same locker room that you had been a coordinator and now you’re the head coach? You’re looked at differently maybe by other guys?

A: I think in any job it’s important to set up boundaries, you want to build relationships, but I think it’s important whether it’s with the staff or in the locker room that I establish those healthy boundaries right away.

Q: Have you finished building your staff?

A: No. With this happening so quickly, the staff is very fluid at this point and we had a chance to talk to a bunch of different guys, but nothing is set in stone. There’s nothing to report at this time.

Q: Will Steve Spagnuolo be back?

A: The discussions are fluid and ongoing. There’s nothing I want to report. When we have something definite, we will report.

Q: Will you continue to call the plays, Ben?

A: It goes back to the question about the staff. When our staff is complete and we feel comfortable releasing that, we’ll talk more about it. I feel that’s a competitive advantage for the opponent so that’s not something we need to necessarily talk about.

Q: Aaron Rodgers praised you for keeping things fresh and challenging him. As you expand that role and, like you said, build boundaries from focus of quarterback to coordinator now head coach, how important is keeping things fresh and new message become?

A: I think it’s always good to shake things up, especially from a scheduling perspective. Not always having the same schedule, changing whether it’s each quarter of the season or each week in the offseason, but we’re going to do some things to shake it up and keep it fresh. But at the same point and time, the fundamentals are called fundamentals for a reason, they’re the foundation and we’re not going to waiver there. We’re going to keep pounding those home.

Q: How would it feel to have a trusted confidant like Joe Philbin back with you? You guys won a Super Bowl together so how’s it going to feel to be reunited here in New York?

A: How’s it going to feel to have…

Q: To be reunited?

A: He’s coming?

Q: Assistant head coach?

A: Joe Philbin I think the world of. I think he’s a talented man, talented coach, one of the best I’ve been around, think the world of him, but, like I said, the staff is fluid and there’s nothing to report at this time.

Q: When you talk about fixing the locker room and what went wrong, how important is it to you to understand why this team in the final minutes of games last season failed so often?

A: We’re going to go back and a big part of what we’re going to do here coming up and moving forward is taking a look back at last season, studying each game and going back and studying each situation, taking a look at what we can do better in all three phases to fix the problem. And once we do fix the problem, we’ll address it in the practice schedule, we’ll practice those situations and we’ll take that rearview mirror we’ll rip it off, throw it in the back seat and look out the windshield.

Q: How important is it to you, if you at all, make changes to this staff so it’s not the same environment or is that a concern to you at all or is that something you don’t particularly worry about?

A: Like I said, we’re right now evolution not revolution. There are a lot of good coaches around the league and we’re going to sit down and talk to some different people and not rush into anything and take our time.

Q: Obviously you had a good look at the roster these last two years and you know the record. Now that you take over, do you have a sense of how long you think it will be for this team can get back to being that championship contender again?

A: We’re not looking to rebuild, we’re looking to reload and we’re going to start in a couple of minutes.

Q: Having been the offensive coordinator the last two years, you’ve been with Eli, how does that help your transition to being the offensive coordinator to now head coach?

A: Anytime you have an opportunity to work at a great organization like the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers and work with great players like Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers and sit in the same room as Brett Favre, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and you really see what it’s supposed to look like and feel what it’s supposed to feel like. When you have your chance, when you have your opportunity, you need to jump in with both feet and make it happen.

Q: What did it mean to you that Eli was so vocal about wanting you to stay here?

A: I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. I respect Eli’s opinion. I’m appreciative of the endorsement.

Q: Was there a point in this process you thought you might be the new Eagles head coach?

A: Did I think I would be the new Eagles head coach? I’m very happy to be a New York Giant. This is home for me and my family and we look forward to the challenge here.

Q: You moved around a lot in your career. How important was to this whole process that you’re going to stay here now for a while?

A: Before Green Bay I had eight jobs in six years bouncing around quite a bit. Being here for two now and having a chance to put down roots and establish some success and build a winner, like we said, it’s all about putting the fifth trophy in the case. We want to put that fifth Lombardi trophy in the case that’s what we’re working for and that’s just as important as anything.

Q: You say you’ve been groomed for this and you talk about how the program in Green Bay prepared you to be a play caller. What kind of things specifically do they do there that groom someone to be a head coach?

A: I think it’s the openness and the dialog with which business is conducted whether it’s the quarterbacks coach to the coordinator to the head coach to the quarterback and all being a part of the process there in front of the process of scheduling and doing the research and you put your time and effort in there. We’ve gone through some things here the last couple years and we’ve made some progress and I’m excited about the future, I’m excited about the changes we made last year and some of the scheduling changes that will be done and taking those a step further and moving forward.

Q: This is your first head coaching job. Was there one piece of advice you received along the way from someone that sticks with you?

A: Keep the main thing the main thing and that’s the football.

Q: Who told you that?

A: I’m going to keep that in wraps.

Q: Being the head coach is one thing, becoming the head coach of football Giants, it has a ring to it and it comes with pressure. How do you expect to embrace that pressure?

A: I like the pressure. This is what you live for. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the capital of the world, it’s the football capital of the world. What could be better than this type of opportunity and this type of pressure? You prepare for it and I’ve been a guy that’s always been baptized by fire and I’m comfortable with it.

Q: It was only 14 years ago that you were an assistant coach at high school. Have you thought at all about how, I mean it’s kind of a quick rise to the ranks from starting at a pretty low spot, have you had a chance to think back on that journey about how quickly it’s gone?

A: You don’t have time to reflect quite like that. You know what, I probably lived some dog years, for a while. I thought people were trying to kill me in some of the jobs I’ve had, but all it does is make you stronger, you get to learn a lot more and it’s been an interesting journey.

Q: Does this feel at all like a quick rise?

A: No. I think it took too long.

Q: How much saying are you going to have on personnel?

A: No, Jerry and the personnel side will do personnel. I’ll coach the team that’s my responsibility. We’ll have open dialog back and forth and we’ll communicate on what we feel our needs are and how we can get better and improve, but at the end of the day it’s about the coaches and the personnel and the locker room all pulling in the same direction. We all have to be in this thing together.

Q: When you came in a couple years ago, Tom and Eli were both talking about learning from you, learning your offense, even Tom said he had to learn and he felt uncomfortable but it was good. Do you think that helped your credibility in here that people who were already established here were looking to you to teach them things, teach them something new?

A: I’ve been very fortunate that going from New Orleans to San Francisco I was one of the few guys on the staff that had to teach a new offense to some older, grizzly vet coaches and I had to do the same thing in Green Bay. Coming here I felt comfortable doing it. Being the third time going through it helped me and it worked out fairly well, not as well as we would’ve liked. We felt we could’ve carried things a little bit better this year than we did, but you live and you learn and new opportunities come along.

Q: This franchise has had a history of great defense. What’s the challenge there to get back to it?

A: It goes back to our identity and what we want our film to look like and the way we want to train our guys and it goes to fundamentals. The first part of the identity that we talked about, we have to be sound fundamentally and we have to be smart and we talk about being smart, the best players are always the smartest players. They always have been, always will be and that’s the responsibility of the player and head coach to be in position to be successful. So that’s a good place to start for our identity.

Q: One of the main themes the last few years has been injuries. Do you have any theories about why those numbers have been so high and do you have any plans?

A: That’s something we’re going to dive into that here shortly. That’s a part of a lot of the things that we’re talking about right here. We’re going to take a look at everything and examine it, not rush into any decisions, be smart about it, but that’s something that we’re looking into.

Q: Have you had any discussions with Coach Spagnuolo for the progression of this defense?

A: Spags and I have had some conversations and, again, the staff is fluid at this point, but we did have some conversations on some things and being the second year in the system is going to help some guys. It’s going to help them with the foundation being set, it will let them play faster, they’ll be able to anticipate things and install. Again, we want to chase that identity and be fundamentally sound and smart, tough and committed to discipline and poise and when you can put those things together and it shows up on the film and we play complimentary football, not all the defense, offense, the defense and the special teams need to play as one and that’s my responsibility.

Q: You’re following a coach that was here for 12 years and won two Super Bowls, what is the challenge with if there’s a shadow or differentiating yourself and making it your own, especially following someone like Tom?

A: The most important thing when we talk about leadership is you got to be yourself. Everybody else is already taken, including Tom, so I can’t worry about being in Tom’s shadow, I got to be comfortable in my own skin and I am that.

Q: How do you view yourself being different than him in your estimation?

A: I’m just going to be myself, I’m not going to worry about it.

Q: You are the second youngest coach in the league right now. You mentioned several times you feel ready, you said before it took too long to get here, but I would imagine, can you understand that some Giants fans are looking and saying, the guy is 38 years old, he’s a young coach, there’s no proof?

A: Yeah, I understand that completely and the fans look at a lot of things through a critical lens and it’s my job to get the staff and the players and get them rallied around each other, put good product on the field, and until we play that first Sunday of the season, they have the right to look at everything through a critical eye. Follow what your film looks like.

Q: Over the past 10 days in radio interviews John Mara has mentioned he wasn’t comfortable with the sideline how it reacted during the Panthers game with Odell. I’m just wondering did you address that with him during your interview and would you look at the situation as a head coach and handle it differently than it was handled?

A: Football is a people business and it’s about relationships. After what happened on the sideline in Carolina game, I should’ve been better and I take full responsibility for that. Odell feels as bad as anybody about it and it’s my job to pull him out of that when we go down that road.

Q: Do you have a time table for when your staff becomes not fluid and is real?

A: No. We don’t want to rush into anything and things have happened quickly over the last couple of days so we’re just in the beginning stages of it right now. When we know, you’ll know.

Q: You’ve spoken a lot about your journey in coaching and getting to a certain point. When you started this during this journey, did you have a destination in mind?

A: The way I was brought up in this business is you keep your head down and you keep working and that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I will continue to do. I just make myself available to the whole team.

Q: The draft is over 100 days away and you mentioned you’re going to let Jerry handle these type of things, but how much of a role will you play in those proceedings?

A: We’ll support Jerry any way we can. We want to get the coaches and personnel department pulling in the same direction and do whatever we can to help evaluate a guy and move in that direction.

Q: Being with this team for a couple years now, is there any position that you’re focusing on?

A: Well it goes back to we’re just ready to go down that road. We’ll start that here tomorrow and start the process of evaluation and cut-ups and looking at personnel. Personnel side already has, they’re knee-deep into the study at this point, but the coaching staff needs to start with the comb and begin that way.

JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of team President and CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

STEVE TISCH’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of team Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum.

JERRY REESE POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

JOHN MARA AND BEN MCADOO ON WFAN RADIO..
The audio of Friday’s WFAN Radio interviews with New York Giants President and CEO John Mara and Head Coach Ben McAdoo is available at CBS New York’s website.

REPORT – DAVID MERRITT TO REMAIN WITH GIANTS…
According to FOXSports, New York Giants Safeties Coach David Merritt will remain with the team. Newsday had reported that Merritt was drawing interest from the Indianapolis Colts. Thus far, the only assistant coach to leave Tom Coughlin’s staff has been Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann, who was hired by the Colts.

GEOFF SCHWARTZ ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with offensive guard Geoff Schwartz is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

Dec 012015
 
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GIANTS PLACE GEOFF SCHWARTZ ON INJURED RESERVE…
As expected, the New York Giants have placed offensive guard Geoff Schwartz on season-ending Injured Reserve. Schwartz fractured his lower left leg in the team’s 20-14 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Schwartz also missed 14 games in 2014 in his first season season with the Giants due to toe and left ankle injuries that both required surgery.

GIANTS SIGN ADAM GETTIS FROM RAIDERS PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed offensive guard Adam Gettis from the Practice Squad of the Oakland Raiders. Gettis spent two stints on the Giants’ Practice Squad this season (September 6 – October 15 and October 21 – November 4). Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins waived Gettis in August 2014. The Giants signed him off of the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014. Gettis lacks ideal size and power, but he is an athletic lineman with good mobility.

ELI MANNING ON WFAN
The audio of Monday’s WFAN Radio interview with quarterback Eli Manning is available on CBS New York’s website.

NOTES…
Quarterback Eli Manning’s 321 passing yards on Sunday increased his season total to 3,021 yards. This is the 11th consecutive season Manning has thrown for more than 3,000 yards. He is one of seven quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in 11 different seasons, joining Brett Favre (18), Peyton Manning (16), Tom Brady (13), Dan Marino (13), Drew Brees (12) and John Elway (12).

Manning is the fourth quarterback to throw for 3,000 in 11 consecutive seasons, joining Favre (18 from 1992 to 2009), Peyton Manning (13 from 1998 to 2010) and Brees (12 from 2004 to 2015).

The Giants are 11-19 (.367) away from MetLife Stadium since the start of the 2012 season. From 2004-11 (Tom Coughlin’s first eight years as coach), they were 38-26 (.594) as visitors.

The Giants’ three rushing touchdowns through 11 games is their lowest total since they had two in 1996.

The Giants’ 12 sacks is their lowest 11-game total since team sacks were first tracked in 1963. Their lowest full-season total since the 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978 is 25 in 1992.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

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…

Sep 302015
 
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INJURY REPORT – VICTOR CRUZ SUFFERS SETBACK…
TE Daniel Fells (ankle), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP) did not practice on Wednesday.

WR Victor Cruz (calf), RB Orleans Darkwa (knee), LT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and DT Markus Kuhn (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

Cruz tried to practice for the first time since August 17, but apparently suffered a setback. “Victor came out and tried to do individuals,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He felt the calf again and that’s all he did.”

“(Cruz) did some individual stuff, ran a few routes and that was about it,” QB Eli Manning said. “We’ll see how it goes…Hopefully, it’s just minor.”

“It sucks, to say the least,” said WR Rueben Randle. “We could see a little limp in him a little bit once he tried to turn up and run. We could tell that he wasn’t quite ready yet to play full speed. I’m pretty sure if we needed him to play he could play, but he still can sit out a little bit and rest up…We were just running routes in individual, it wasn’t a play. We could just see once he tried to turn up a little bit, he kind of looked a little gimpy, kind of holding back a little bit. I don’t think he’s too far away, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet.

“He wasn’t the Cruz that we know. That’s what we want to see, we don’t want to rush him back and hurt it even more. We were trying to tell him, ‘Don’t try to stress it too much, take as much time as possible,’ because we didn’t want him to hurt it even worse than what it is and have to be out even longer. As his teammates, we care for him and want him to come back as healthy as possible.”

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contracts of WR Julian Talley and OG Vinston Painter. The team also signed QB G.J. Kinne and WR Tavarres King to the Practice Squad.

Kinne was on the Giants Practice Squad for a week earlier this month. Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. Kinne lacks ideal size for a quarterback but he is a very good athlete with a decent arm.

King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15). King was waived by the Buccaneers in early September. King lacks ideal size, but he is a fast receiver who can get deep. He is not a physical player and is best suited as an outside receiver.

WORKOUT TUESDAY…
As normal, the New York Giants held workouts for a number of unsigned players on Tuesday. But this week, there were a number of high-profile players in attendance including WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Wes Welker, and TE Chris Cooley. The only workout player signed was WR Tavarres King.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

The audio of radio interviews on Tuesday are also available at ESPN Radio and WFAN Radio:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Buffalo Bills.

Aug 172015
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 17, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

ELI MANNING WANTS TO BE HIGHEST PAID PLAYER IN NFL?…
The NFL Network is reporting that quarterback Eli Manning wants to be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. Manning is entering the final year of his current contract.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – pectoral), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (neck/concussion), and safety Cooper Taylor (sore toe) did not practice.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) and safety Landon Collins (knee sprain) participated in walk-through drills. Safety Nat Berhe (calf strain) participated in some individual drills. Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (stiff neck) returned to practice.

Defensive end George Selvie left practice early with a knee injury. No word yet on the severity.

Safety Mykkele Thompson, who was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on Sunday, underwent surgery today to repair his torn right Achilles’ tendon.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Geoff Schwartz continued to split time between right guard and right tackle.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Victor Cruz on a slant for a touchdown (Video) and then Odell Beckham in the corner of the end zone for another touchdown.
  • The first-team safeties were Jeromy Miles and Brandon Merriweather with Bennett Jackson playing in the slot corner position. Miles and Jackson also played first-team safety in 7-on-7 drills.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Casillas received some first-team reps in 7-on-7 drills.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham beat cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a “sick” out move.
  • Wide receiver Julian Talley also beat Rodgers-Cromartie on an out route.
  • Defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis “flattened” left guard guard Adam Gettis in red zone drills.
  • Bobby Hart saw second-team reps at right tackle and looked good. Brandon Mosley saw second-team reps at right guard.
  • Giants.com said the three standout players today were safety Jeromy Miles, wide receiver Odell Beckham, and linebacker Jon Beason.

GIANTS ON WFAN RADIO
The audio from the following interviews on WFAN Radio are available from CBS New York:

  • Team President/CEO John Mara (Audio)
  • General Manager Jerry Reese (Audio)
  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Audio)
  • Quarterback Eli Manning (Audio)
  • RB Shane Vereen (Audio)
  • WR Odell Beckham (Audio)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Audio)
  • LB Jon Beason (Audio)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media in the early afternoon before the evening practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Coughlin: Good Afternoon. What can I do for you today? Who do you want to talk about — which one on the list do you want to talk about?

Q: Let’s talk about the new safety you signed?

A: Yeah — Brandon Meriweather, who we’ve played against before. He’s a very physical safety — comes down in the box very well. He’ll bring a degree of toughness to our secondary, to that position, so we welcome him.

Q: How much did you feel that you needed to get a veteran at that spot?

A: Well, it worked. It helped. It’ll help to have a veteran there — a guy that’s played and can share information with a lot of the young guys who are obviously trying to play but haven’t been there yet.

Q: He was not signed by anyone. How much does he [Meriweather] think — his legs and everything — how much does he think he has left?

A: Well, he [Meriweather] had a toe issue, which he had corrected. He’s 31 years old — he certainly doesn’t need to be put away to rest. He’s a young guy.

Q: He’s been on the other side of the NFL disciplinary system for a lot of hits that he can’t seem to have corrected…

A: Can’t seem to have corrected?

Q: Well, he’s been fined multiple times. I think he was suspended. What do you do with that? How do you coach that?

A: Well, the toughness part you want. The penalties and the issues, you don’t want. And he’s a young man who has expressed thanks in being here and having the opportunity, and I think he’ll take coaching. He’s competitive, he’s very competitive. And to a certain extent, obviously, we want that, but we don’t want what goes with it, obviously.

Q: Did you have to say something to him?

A: I will talk to him, yes. I will talk to him.

Q: How does he fit into the defensive system here?

A: How does he fit in?

Q: Yeah.

A: He’s a safety. And we’re looking for safeties, so there you go. When they blow the whistle, 11 are supposed to go out there, so that’s what we’re looking for.

Q: What has it meant for you to have had one quarterback [Eli Manning] your entire career here, and where do you see Eli as far as how much longer you think you two might be together?

A: Well, I think he’s better than — I think he’s prepared to be better than he’s ever been, to be honest with you. I thought last year his improvement was outstanding. His conditioning, his offseason work. Even right now, his recovery cycle work and flexibility is better than I’ve ever seen it. Again, he’s young, he’s obviously very driven, and he’s in a great frame of mind. (something bangs off the ground) That having been said, that’s an exclamation point.

Q: What do you — or I guess the medical staff at this point — need to see from Victor [Cruz] to get him into a preseason game?

A: Well, I think he’s showing it. We’ll pick when he goes, but he’s done everything. Yesterday he did everything — we didn’t even have a… he and Odell both had a full practice yesterday, and both did well and both are back ready to go today.

Q: Is that the plan again today? Not to be limited at all? Or do you have to back off a little bit after a full day like that?

A: He [Victor Cruz] is going to practice. That’s all I’m telling you. They’re [Cruz and Beckham Jr.] going to practice.

Q: Do you want to limit Victor to one preseason game?

A: Not necessarily. He has to do things gradually, and he’s doing them gradually. He’s getting to where he needs to be, and his mindset is outstanding. We brought him to the game [preseason opener at Cincinnati] for a reason. We put him into the workout in Cincinnati for a reason. He didn’t get a chance to play in the game, but he saw it. He was in it. He was involved. He was mentally involved, and he’s looking forward to going to the next step.

Q: We’re three weeks into camp now — where do you sort of gauge where your defense is at this point?

A: Well, obviously after last weekend, both offense, defense, and certain parts of special teams need to improve. And that’s what camp is for. So let’s take what we have on tape, let’s teach, and let’s go back out and correct some of the mistakes that we made.

Q: How did [Geoff] Schwartz come out yesterday after his first workout?

A: He’s practicing today.

Q: Is that a positive sign for him to go back-to-back [practices]?

A: Definitely. Definitely.

Q: Where do you see him on the line? Is he a guard or tackle?

A: Both. He’s played all those positions his whole career — both sides — so, wherever we need him. He’s smart enough, he understands it, he can play multiple positions.

Q: How’s [Marshall] Newhouse doing today?

A: He seems he’s going to be ready to go. We have to watch him, but he’s going to be ready to go.

Q: Is it an extra challenge when you have to add these new pieces in on the fly, during training camp? You know, the secondary…

A: Well obviously you can’t go back to day one. So it’s an issue for them — they have to catch up. But again, it’s the language. It’s the language — he’s [Brandon Meriweather] done it, he’s played all kinds of coverages — particularly in Washington. It’s just a matter of him understanding what the terminology represents and what his responsibilities are, and I’m sure he’ll be accelerated because of his number of years of service in the league.

Q: Would Geoff Schwartz — he obviously has a foot problem that he’s been dealing with — does that factor in for you as to how much you can use him at right tackle and how much more difficult maybe does that make it to put him out there?

A: I hope not. I hope not. I’m not thinking that way. I’m not thinking of any restriction. I’m thinking where he can best help us, and we’ll take it from there.

Q: Is it something you have to manage long-term with him? I know you kind of mentioned that before, that maybe you might have to do that.

A: Well, whatever happens, we’ll manage it. Whether he can go without anybody being concerned, whether he does have concerns and he gets a restricted amount — that’s all to be seen. But for now, after the time that he’s been away from the field, he’s ready to practice and we need him to practice to get going to see whether we can count on him.

Q: How long had Meriweather been on your radar, just as far as being an option?

A: There’s a list. Who’s available? Who isn’t? It happens everyday. Some come off, some come on. He’s been on that list since the non-signing in Washington, but he did have the toe issues, which anybody and everybody in the league, I’m sure, was monitoring. He hasn’t worked out that many places, to be honest with you, so the timing is just about right for our need.

Q: Is this the first time that you had him in to work out or did you have him in here beforehand?

A: First time.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Steve Spagnuolo addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What were your thoughts on the first preseason game?

A: I knew we were going to get general. Well, I’ll be honest, like I told the guys, I didn’t think we started out like we should have, that was a little disappointing—we talked about that the other day. Cincinnati came out and jumped us pretty quick, I thought got us on our heels a little bit. I think the guys felt that, too. Of course, in a preseason game, you’re taking some guys out, and it kind of gets out of whack a little bit. We did settle down a little bit. I thought the young guys did some good things. It was encouraging to see us play good in the red zone. Not encouraging to give up all of the long run plays, I think a lot of that can be fixed. There was a couple of pass plays where we challenged, our corners, we went into it saying, look, we’re going to stay very vanilla. We might do some things man-wise, it’ll challenge the corners on the outside. But that’s okay, we want to find out where we are. So some of that was planned, and it wasn’t a deep game plan to stop Cincinnati’s offense. We practiced against them for two days. All in all, I think we’ve got a long way to go, but I think the guys are willing to do the things they need to do to get there.

Q: When you have players talk about not playing fast and they wish they would have, why wouldn’t you?

A: You know what I attribute that to? And we talked about it. I think they were thinking too much because they wanted to be right, and it’s the first game, and there’s a lot of youth on our side of the ball. I think it was more that. Look, we focused a lot on that and we’re talking about it now. I’m hoping in this next go-around, that it will be think fast and just go. That’s what the defensive game is all about. I told them, don’t worry about making mistakes. Maybe I didn’t say that enough going into the game. If you’re a guy and you want to make the football team, and they’re always being corrected for an error, they want to be perfect. But we’re going to chase perfection, but we’re going to rely on relentless. That’s what we’re going to try to do.

Q: Is a guy like Trevin Wade kind of embodying that mentality right now? It seems like he’s always around the ball.

A: Yeah, I’m glad you brought Trevin [Wade] up, he’s done a nice job. When a guy steps up, he’s around the ball, he’s making plays—he made a big one at the end, I think you have to recognize that. At first I don’t think anybody really knew where he was, as a player. But it’s good to see him, I’d like to see more guys do that.

Q: What do you guys like about Brandon Meriweather?

A: You know, Brandon, I’ve seen from afar, obviously as an opponent. Very aggressive football player, experienced, has started in the NFL. From guys that played with him in college, because we’ve got some Miami guys here, obviously, the feedback from them was he was very vocal—I like that in a safety. I think Coach Coughlin and Jerry [Reese] like the same thing. Not afraid to make a mistake, bold—I think all those things are good attributes. We’ll have to find out where he is with all the other things, he hasn’t been in football for a little bit right now.

Q: How was the communication, especially among the first team defense, in getting everything lined up and what not?

A: Not too bad, could’ve been better. I think the first touchdown, I’m going to take the onus on that one. Again, we didn’t game plan against Cincinnati. Had we been game planning, we would have played that bunch route they had a little bit differently. In the way we were playing it, made it real challenging for our guys. So we certainly could have played that better, that wasn’t the players’ fault, it was just that particular play. We shouldn’t have let them down that close, but that particular play was really on the coaches, my fault.

Q: You’re more familiar with Jeromy Miles probably than anybody. What did you like about him to bring him here?

A: Well, Jeromy [Miles] has always been more of a special teams player, he was never really a pure starter in this league. But I felt he could at least provide depth, some veteran presence, and certainly special teams. We’ll see where it goes with regards to playing safety and how much. There was a comfort level there, when you know people, I knew what kind of effort you were going to get from Jeromy. I know he’s a pro, I know he works at it, I know he studies the game. I think that’s all been evident. And he’ll tell you he’d like to be playing a little bit better football than he did the other night.

Q: So he’s got a ways to go on defense?

A: Yeah, we all do. We all do, myself included.

Q: What do you see from your defensive end group? Does anybody stand out?

A: I think they’re all kind of clumped together. When I say that, I think we have some guys that will play relentless football. I was kind of impressed with some of the things that the guys did up front. Now, there are some tweaks and some mental errors that we have to get ironed out, and I think they’ll do that. A lot of those guys are ready, set, go—that’s not a bad quality in a defensive end, to do that. And Coach [Robert] Nunn is working technique with them. We’ve moved some guys around, I think you saw some of those defensive ends played inside the other night, which we like to do. We’ll continue to do that. We have to get into situations that will allow us to do that. But we’ll keep moving them around, I think all of them are doing about the same right now.

Q: What kind of leap has Kerry Wynn taken against the run, in particular?

A: Yeah, I didn’t know a lot about Kerry [Wynn] coming here. I’d seen him on film as I studied the Giants from last year. But he’s a solid football player, he knows what he’s doing. He made a couple of uncharacteristic mental errors in the game, and even in practice yesterday. But I trust Kerry because I know he knows what he’s doing. I think he’s getting better as a football player, as we start talking about technique and things he needs to do out there. I think he’s improved as we’ve gone on in training camp.

Q: Jon Beason almost sounded like a rookie the other day, saying he’s really trying to do the right thing and show you he knows the defense. Do you see it’s not quite there yet for him?

A: I think anytime it’s new language, new system—but look, I love Jon Beason. We do individual stuff, him and I get a lot. He’s a football player, he loves the game. When you’re passionate about football and want to do the right thing, that’s what comes out. I think he said to me, it might’ve been in the walk-through here. He was moving the trash cans around that we use and getting them perfect. I said, “You wanted to get those right?” He goes, “Yeah.” He goes, “I’m like that, I want it to be perfect.” He goes, “It’s a blessing and a curse.” And it is, we all know that. Sometimes you can try to be too perfect. But I love working with him. I watched him out here yesterday, and coming off a game, having a day off, and everybody being sore, it’s a little sluggish. I felt we were sluggish yesterday, but you watch Jon Beason, and he was flying around like a rookie. And good for him. I pointed that out in the meeting, and all the other guys need to follow suit. I love working with him.

Q: How much do you miss JPP?

A: Well, it’s hard for me to calculate that. I really haven’t worked with him. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Our prayers are with him for health. Until we can get him back here, we’ll just focus on the guys that we’ve got.

Q: You mentioned Meriweather with his aggressive play. Obviously he’s gotten in trouble in the past for being too aggressive. He’s also said that he doesn’t necessarily want to change his style. Is that a fine line for you to walk as a coach?

A: Very fine line for a coach, very fine line for a player in the league that we play in nowadays. But it’s all about target, and it’s a low target area, a strike zone. We’re talking from the chest down to the thigh. That’s what guys have to begin to do. I think that a lot of aggressive players in this league have adjusted to that, I think a lot of them are doing it. And we need to. So it’s preached, it’s talked about, and, again, we haven’t had him here but for a day. But that will be a focus, and I’m sure when you’re away from football for a little bit and you realize where that may have been one of the reasons—I don’t know if it is or not—I’m sure he’ll find a way to get it corrected.

Q: When you’re dealing with the issues in the secondary, how much can the ends help by getting pressure on the quarterback?

A: Yeah, all secondary players appreciate good defensive ends, we all know that from the past. We need that. It needs to all work together. I mean, look, you’ve got to cover them for a certain point, certain amount of time, so the defensive ends can get there. And defensive ends needs to get there quick enough so they’re not back there hanging out. It all works together, and hopefully with some things that we’ll do and some plays that we’ll have, and when we get all the guys where we want them, that’ll piece together and we’ll have something good.

Q: How concerned are you with Landon Collins’ knee and how it may kind of hold back his progression?

A: Yeah, the biggest concern is all the time he’s missing. I let Ronnie [Barnes] handle how long and when. He is staying in tune, he was standing by me most of yesterday as the calls went in. He gave me the feedback, he’s trying to stand behind there in the walkthroughs. That’s about all he can do right now, until he can get healthy. It’s just one of those things that sets you back. I don’t know where we are with game time and all of that, as far as these preseason games. But that’s valuable, valuable experience for any rookie, but especially a safety who we’re depending on to make calls and changes and adjustments, so it’ll be a challenge.

Q: There were obviously mistakes in the game, did you see the little things like hustle and physicality that make a defense?

A: Yeah, I did. I saw more of it in the practice against Cincinnati, to be honest with you. I don’t know if we—I’m not really sure in the game. I think if you were to ask every one of our guys to a man, we would’ve thought that we would have played more physical and faster. We’re all trying to put our finger on that, and I think everybody has to look in the mirror first. But that is the goal. I think you can make up for a lot of mistakes if you do that, we all know that. That’s the goal, that’s been a goal right from the beginning.

Q: What’s your impression of Damontre Moore?

A: I love Damontre. I love guys that like to have fun, I really do. Look, he pulled me aside in the walkthrough—because we had put one or two little wrinkles in, and he wanted to make sure he had it exactly right—this is what I’m hearing and this is what I’m doing. So he’s passionate, he wants to do well. We’re looking for him to do good things. We’ll fit him in there where we can, and fit him in the right spots.

Q: What had Landon shown you before he got hurt?

A: I’ll tell you what, he was progressing like you would hope when you take a guy as high as we did and with the expectation that he would fit in there. I’m normally—I’d prefer not to slot rookie’s right in there as starters—you make them earn it. But, it was obvious here that Landon is ahead of the game, playing at Alabama, I think, helps. He had come leaps and bounds in the verbal part of it, the mental part of it, handling the volume. I think some of the guys were starting to get confidence in him. It still has a ways to go, and then when you lose this amount of time, I think that sets him back a little bit. So he’s going to have to come back in and play catch up. Hopefully he can do that, and get everybody back on the same page.

Q: Had he kind of emerged as the voice of that safety group?

A: Yes and no. I think there’s a couple of safeties back there doing it, and certainly Jon Beason, in the middle, has a big part in that.

Q: How much will a guy like Brandon Meriweather help to develop the other safeties?

A: Well, I don’t know that yet. I’m not sure I know him well enough to know if he’s that kind of guy. Some veterans come in and look, they just worry about what they’re doing. And certainly he’s here trying to keep a job or get a job. I don’t know where that will go just yet. I’ve got to learn a little bit more about him.

Q: He’s been in the league a while, but you didn’t know him at all?

A: No, other than talking to him at the Combine, way back when. I know it seems like forever ago, when he came out. He’s played a lot of football, and that’s a good thing.

Q: How do you see using Devon Kennard?

A: Devon Kennard, in a lot of places right now. He’s a good football player. He looks like they’re supposed to look. He’s versatile in that he can play off the ball as a linebacker, in my opinion. He plays up on the line as what we call a SAM linebacker. And sometimes, we put him down there to rush. That means we’ve got a pretty good football player. So keep him healthy, don’t overload him. And yet he wants more and more. So I think those are all good qualities.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

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WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday. The next training camp practice will be held on Wednesday. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only three remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM