Apr 232015
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (February 21, 2015)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jerry Reese’s 2015 Pre-Draft Press Conference: New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference today. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Q: Who are you picking?

A: A good player at nine.

Q: In a year like this and with some of the things that went on last year in the NFL, how much more important or different is the way you look at a player’s character and behavior when you are assessing them? Has that changed?

A: I think we are always mindful of a player’s character and background. That always goes into the equation. It is not really anything new for us. Obviously, like all teams, we have taken some guys on the back end of the roster, more risk-reward kind of situations on the back end of the roster. We are very conscious and have been for a long time about backgrounds and character.

Q: That seems to have changed last year when you guys wanted a lot of clean players… Whereas in the past you would have taken…?

A: The thing you have to think about when you are thinking about these young players is that they are young. They do young kid stuff. You can’t just absolutely kill them. You wouldn’t have anyone to draft. Kids do kid things and do college things and it happens. If a guy has a long list of issues, that is when you have to throw the red flag in there. Is this guy going to stop? If you have a couple things that college kids do, you can’t just throw it away.

Q: Is there anything concrete you do with that or is it just an eyeball test?

A: We do all the background checks and our scouts go out and dig the information that we can. We interview them and try to put it all together and make a decision on it.

Q: Is it kind of three strikes and you are out?

A: Not necessarily, it depends on how egregious the off-field issues are, more than anything else probably.

Q: Last year you seemed to have a guy pegged or a couple guys you thought would be available… Is it more unpredictable being at nine?

A: I think you always have a good idea, but it is always unpredictable. You never know what is going to happen. You can look up and some of those quarterbacks they think are going to be in the first couple picks could be – not off the board until 15 or 20. You never know. I learned that a long time ago in the draft. Funny things can happen, so expect everything to happen.

Q: Last year the wide receiver corps turned out to be a really good group… There are a lot of thoughts that this wide receiving corps could be just as good… Thoughts?

A: I think there are good receivers, just as there were last year. I think that is every year. I think there are good players at every position every year. I don’t know if that is a good answer or not, but I think there are good wide receivers…I think there are good players at every position.

Q: Given you have a lot of depth at receiver, would you have any qualms about drafting another receiver?

A: First of all, as soon as you say you have a lot of depth at any position, you don’t have depth. I know better than to say that. We will draft the best player available for us. It really doesn’t matter what position it is.

Q: How do you look at your offensive line at this point? Do you look at it saying you need to supplement it at least during one day of the draft?

A: Every position. We want to try and upgrade every position as best we can every opportunity we get. Offensive line won’t be excluded from that as well.

Q: In your mind right now, what does your offensive line look like? Is Justin Pugh still at right tackle?

A: That is something for Tom. You have to talk to Tom about that. Obviously Pugh has been a starter and is going to be a starter somewhere more than likely. [Geoff] Schwartz is coming back from injury. Hopefully he can fit in there somewhere. What we want to do is get as many good players as we can and create as much competition as we can in the offensive line.

Q: When you are picking as high as you are, is there a sense of a guy having to fit in at a premium position? In the past, you wouldn’t have drafted linebacker in the first round, but guys like defensive backs, wide receivers and left tackles… Is that part of your thinking when you are as high as you are?

A: If you draft at nine, whoever it is, is a premium position, regardless of the position that he is. If you draft at nine, it is a premium position, regardless of what it is. It doesn’t matter what position. If you draft him at nine, he is a guy you expect to come in and play and play quickly.

Q: Has the profile of offensive linemen changed at all in the last decade at all?

A: We just look for good players. Good profiles. Good players. Strong. Big, strong, fast and smart.

Q: The big lineman from Iowa is a guy everyone seems to love as a guard prospect… What do you see from him?

A: I think he can play both. I think he can play tackle and he can play guard. I think he can play somewhere.

Q: Where do you see him?

A: The coaches will have to figure that out.

Q: How do you look at this group of pass rushers?

A: There are some good pass rushers and edge rushers available.  Are you asking me to stack them or something like that? I can’t do that, but I do think there are some good pass rushers in this draft.

Q: You haven’t made a ton of trades as compared to other teams throughout the years… How do you explain that? Is that the way things worked out?

A: We will keep all of our options open on the draft. We can trade up and we can trade down. That doesn’t change. We are not looking to trade just to try to be cute to trade up or down. If we think we have an opportunity to move up, then we will move up. If we have an opportunity to move back, then we will do that as well.

Q: Back around the combine, in regards to Victor Cruz, you said you couldn’t think of him as a sure thing… Have you seen anything from him where you can have some kind of certainty of how he will be when he comes back?

A: I don’t think you can have certainty. [Cruz] looks good. He is running pretty good right now. He is scheduled to be back for the opener for us, but until you get out there and turn it loose, you never know what a guy is going to do. He looks great right now.

Q: Are you still approaching whatever he can give you guys next year as a ‘bonus?’

A: I am not counting it as a bonus, but I want to be prepared if he is not here.

Q: Is there any change in your perspective in the preparation on your part when you pick ninth instead of 12th like last year and going back to the Super Bowl when you picked last?

A: We just stack the board. Whoever we think the best player is in the first row, it doesn’t matter what position, which is how we do it. We stack them the same way. If you pick inside 12 picks, you should get a good football player.

Q: Does the expectation change as far as impact goes?

A: The higher you pick – that is how the system is. If you pick high in the draft – that is the way the whole system is built. If you pick high in the draft, you are supposed to get better players to help you have a better football team. If you are picking last in the draft, you get penalized for being successful. You get penalized, so you get lesser players. Whoever you pick at nine should be a better player than you pick at 32. That is the way the system is and obviously we are picking nine and expect to get a good player.  A really good player.

Q: Another general manager said there were eight to ten players who were real difference makers above other guys… Do you have a point in your estimation of how many guys are at a higher level than the rest of the group?

A: I think there is always a break. Everyone in the first row – that is why we call them rows; they are not first round picks. There are natural breaks. There may be eight and then there may be five more players, then there is another break. There are always breaks in the first row where you stack them, but you have to have 32 players in the first round.

Q: Where is that first break?

A: We’ll see.

Q: How are you looking at your safety position right now? Do you think it is a position of need?

A: We are not going to make do, just like any position, we are going to try to upgrade that position. Just like the rest of the positions. We are not going to make do. We have some young players that we think have some talent, but we are going to continue to try and upgrade that position as well.

Q: Last year we were saying you needed to get a tight end and you felt confident with some of the young guys… Is it the same thing now?

A: Every position we want to upgrade. We want to upgrade safety. We want to have competition at that position like we want to have at every position and we will try to do that.

Q: Tom talked about the possibility of converting Chykie Brown or Bennett Jackson to safety… Is that realistic in your mind and what goes into that?

A: It happens all the time. One of the best players we tried to get in free agency was the corner from New England. He was a corner and played safety. You see those conversions. That is not new to see something like that happen. That is a possibility as well.

Q: Are [Brown and Jackson] guys who could possibly convert in your eyes?

A: I think so. You never know. You have to experiment in the spring. Obviously you would like to get a guy who has played there and done the job, but you have to be creative in this day and age with your personnel.

Q: You went after [Devin] McCourty, so you wanted to upgrade that position… What happened after that? Do you look at Josh Gordy as a safety?

A: That is what he plays.

Q: What was the plan at that position after McCourty?

A: We thought he was the best player in free agency [at his position] and after that we thought there was a drop off and that is what happened.

Q: Now that Eli is back in the building and he said his attitude is to play the year and go from there… What is your thought on his contract?

A: It is inappropriate to talk about a contract right now. Eli is back in the building. He looks great. He is happy to be back. We are glad he is back. We will address that when it is appropriate.

Q: Do you sense that this a real opportunity for Eli this offseason, given that he is not coming off ankle surgery and he has already been in this offense for a year?

A: Yeah, I am excited. It should be a big year for him. He is not learning the offense. A lot of the players were in the offense last year. He’ll get another piece back hopefully with Victor Cruz coming back. The tight ends will have a little bit more experience. I hope the offense – we got [Shane] Vereen, who we think is a good piece to help our offense as well. I think our offense should be a pretty good offense.

Q: Re: Thought process in the signings of Vereen, [Dwayne] Harris, [J.T.] Thomas… What were you after?

A: We were trying to upgrade some positions that we already had. We knew we were going to lose some players. We felt Vereen was a really nice piece. Everyone knows what he does as a receiver out of the backfield, he can run the ball. He is a professional football player back there. He is really good on third down. Really good on any down, to be honest. We thought he would be a nice piece. Went after him and the two linebackers. We thought they were upgrades. They will battle for starting positions. Dwayne Harris, we thought the guy was kind of a four to five tool type player for us. We thought we were getting a lot of players out of one position. We played against him for a long time and he has been a good player for [Dallas]. Hopefully he will bring it over here to us and he will play for us in those capacities.

Q: Where do you view J.T. Thomas’s best position?

A: I don’t know. It is up to the coaches. He looked like a WILL linebacker to me, but that is up to the coaches.

Q: Are you still hoping to get Stevie Brown back?

A: We are going to keep all our options open.

Q: As one of the teams in the league that isn’t quarterback-needy, do you even look at those top two guys?

A: We look at everybody. You never say you aren’t quarterback-needy. You can’t say those kinds of things. Ralph just said we were deep at receiver and you are saying we don’t need a quarterback. I know better than to say something like that.

Q: What is your take on the two quarterbacks at the top of the draft?

A: They are good players. They are both good players. They are both different, but I think they are both, in what they do, I think they are both good players.

Q: Is your expectation that they are going to go one and two?

A: I don’t expect anything. Expect the unexpected in the draft. They may not go until 15, who knows?

Q: You have gone offense the last three years in the first round… Does that go into any decision making?

A: I didn’t even know that. Whoever the best player is at nine – we are going to pick them.

Q: Do you have any concern over Jason Pierre-Paul not being here for the offseason program and not signing the tender yet?

A: It is voluntary and it is inappropriate to talk about player contracts at this point in time. It is not mandatory that he should be here.

Q: After you get an Odell [Beckham Jr.]  and everything that he did in his first season and now you are picking at nine, are there heightened expectations?

A: You always want to get good players in the draft. Sometimes you hit on a guy like Odell and he is a terrific player, but the higher you pick, the better the player should be. When you are picking on the back end, it is obviously not the same caliber.

Q: When you look back at last year’s draft, from top to bottom, how do you evaluate it?

A: We don’t really look back on that draft that much. We draft them and that draft is over. We are moving on to this draft and we are excited about the players in this draft. We go back after two or three years and look and see why a guy made it or why a guy didn’t make it. After one year, it is really hard to evaluate.

Q: Was the approach different in the past two drafts?

A: No.

Q: This week, have you checked in with Odell and how his hamstring is feeling?

A: I just saw Odell a couple of minutes ago down in the weight room. He looks great and he didn’t say a word about his hamstring.

Q: Do you have any injuries that are long-term concerns?

A: There will be a couple guys we have concerns with, but we feel good about the vast majority of our players being ready to go for training camp.

New York Giants Player Q&As: Video clips of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Apr 152015
 
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New York Giants Helmets (August 10, 2013)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have announced that they have signed street free agent linebacker Ryan Jones. The team also confirmed that they have signed unrestricted free agent defensive back Josh Gordy (Indianapolis Colts), which we reported on yesterday.

Jones was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft, but he was waived/injured less than a month later with a foot injury. Jones has a nice combination of size (6’4”, 245 pounds) and athleticism (4.68 40-yard dash at his pro day last offseason). But he is raw, having played two years at Montana Tech.

For an overview of the teams’ offseason free agent activity, see the 2015 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

Giants.com Video on Offensive Lineman Geoff Schwartz: A video on offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz’s offseason workout/rehab is available at Giants.com.

Article on Defensive Back Chykie Brown: Chykie Brown has begun preparing for move to safety with Giants by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Wide Receivers and the 2015 NFL Draft: On Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants’ wide receiver depth chart by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Mar 182015
 
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Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Geoff Schwartz’s Contract Re-Structured by Giants: According to NFL Player Association records, the contract of offensive guard Geoff Schwartz has been re-structured. Schwartz’s 2015 base salary of $3,675,000 was reduced to $1,675,000. NJ.com is reporting that Schwartz can earn $1,500,000 back in per game roster bonuses and that he had $500,000 of his 2016 salary guaranteed.

According to NJ.com, the net result is Schwartz’s 2015 cap number will be reduced from $4,975,000 to $2,845,000, “saving” the team $2,130,000 against the 2015 cap. But this re-structure should not be considered a “pay cut.” Assuming Schwartz does not get hurt, he should be able to recover all of that money and the Giants cap hit will be larger in 2016.

The Giants signed Schwartz as an unrestricted free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs to 4-Years, $16.8 million contract in March 2014. In his first season with the Giants, Schwartz suffered through an injury-plagued season that saw him play in only two games at right tackle because of serious toe and ankle injuries that both required surgery. He missed both the first 10 and last four games of the season, ending up on Injured Reserve in December. Schwartz was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with the Panthers (2008-10), Vikings (2012), and Chiefs (2013).

The New York Daily News and NJ.com are reporting that the Giants now $9,157,931 under the 2015 NFL salary cap.

Article on S Nat Berhe: Meet the one Giant who is glad the team is short at safety by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on New York Giants Ticket Prices: Giants change ticket pricing for season ticket holders by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Jan 192015
 
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John Jerry and J.D. Walton, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Two Shaky Offensive Line Components – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The overall play of the New York Giants offensive line improved in 2014 from its dreadful performance in 2013 but the unit was still sub par. The Giants were tied for 28th in the NFL with only 3.6 yards per rushing attempt. Pass protection was better as the Giants gave up 30 sacks on the season, which was 9th-best in the NFL. But that figure is a bit misleading given the offense’s new emphasis on getting rid of the ball quickly (West Coast Offense) and quarterback Eli Manning’s long-established tendency to get rid of the ball quickly not take the sack, which he probably actually should do more often when under duress.

The improvement that did take place not only had to do with the individual components playing better, but the Giants had greater cohesion up front due to far fewer injuries. In 2013, the Giants used seven different starting offensive line combinations, the second-highest total in the NFL that season. In 2014, the same players started all 16 games at left tackle (Will Beatty), center (J.D. Walton), and right guard (John Jerry). Weston Richburg started 15 games at left guard and Justin Pugh started 14 games at right tackle. In 2013, not only were the Giants continually shifting players around due to an inordinate number of injuries to starters, but they were sometimes relying on third-stringers as backups were also getting injured.

That all said, it is widely-recognized that the offensive line was once again a sore spot in 2014. The Giants counted on high-priced free agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz to be a major building block, but Schwartz only played in two games due to injuries. Chris Snee, who the Giants never really counted on, retired before training camp. Overall, the line is more finesse than power, which usually is not good for any offense, but especially so for one predicated on balance and the ability to run the football.

Another issue is the poor overall depth situation. For years now, the Giants have not had quality up-and-coming reserves waiting in the wings in case the starters faltered or got hurt. Questionable free agent decisions and shoddy drafting have been the primary culprits. Most of the offensive linemen drafted in recent years have not developed, including Mitch Petrus, James Brewer, Brandon Mosley, and Eric Herman.

THE STARTERS

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

Will Beatty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Beatty started all 16 games at left tackle. He rebounded from a terribly inconsistent 2013 and a fractured tibia that he suffered in the regular-season finale at the end of that year to have a mostly positive performance in 2014. Since Beatty was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants, Beatty 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, and the broken leg in 2013. Beatty is a big lineman with long arms and a very good athlete. When on top of his game, Beatty can mirror and slide with the best pass rushers, and is athletic enough to pull and engage defenders at the second level in the run game. However, Beatty is more of a finesse player. He does not play with a lot of strength and power and he is not a very physical or aggressive blocker. Beatty still has consistency issues.

The Giants drafted Weston Richburg, a 4-year starter at center in college, in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Most of his practice reps with the Giants came at guard in training camp and when Geoff Schwartz suffered a preseason toe injury, Richburg became the starter at left guard. He started 15 games at the position, being benched for one game in November. Richburg had an inconsistent year as a rookie as both a run and pass blocker. Richburg is a good athlete with decent size, but he needs to get bigger and stronger. He is not a mauling type of lineman, but he plays with good leverage and tenacity. Mobile and agile, Richburg, can block at the second level and pull on outside runs. He is smart, tough, and aggressive. His best position is most likely center though he is obviously versatile enough to play guard.

J.D. Walton started all 16 games at center for the Giants in 2014, but his play was sub par. Walton was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He started 32 regular-season games in 2010 and 20011 and the first four games of 2012 until he missed the rest of the season with a severe left ankle injury that required surgery. Walton had a setback on the ankle during the following offseason and underwent a second surgery in June 2013. He missed all of training camp and the preseason and was placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. The Broncos waived him in December 2013 and Walton was then claimed off of waivers by the Redskins. The Giants signed him in March 2014. Walton has average size and athletic ability for a center. He does not generate much movement in his run blocks and can be physically overpowered by bigger, stronger linemen. Walton is a better pass protector but he is vulnerable to powerful or quicker linemen in that area as well. The strength of Walton’s game is his intelligence, scrappiness, and effort. The Giants were comfortable with him making all of the offensive line calls.

John Jerry started all 16 games at right guard for the Giants in 2014. He was a wildly inconsistent player who alternated far too much between solid and poor play. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Jerry looks the part with very good size and long arms, and he flashes both as a run and pass blocker. But he simply is not consistently reliable, technique-oriented, and physical enough blocking for both the run and the pass. Simply put, Jerry needs to work harder at keeping his opponent from making the play. He also seemed to struggle at times mentally with recognizing stunts and blitzes in pass protection.

Justin Pugh, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

In his second season with the Giants after being drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Justin Pugh regressed a bit and had an inconsistent season at right tackle. Sporting a brace on his left elbow, Pugh struggled in the first half of the season and then missed two games with a quadriceps injury in November. He played much better in the final four games in December. In 2013, Pugh started all 16 games at right tackle and was voted to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie Team for his performance. Pugh doesn’t look the part as he lacks ideal size and has short arms for a tackle. But he is a good athlete who plays with fine strength, technique, and leverage. Pugh is smart, aggressive, and tenacious. Though not a mauler, he can get movement on his run blocks and he has the agility to do well in pass protection, though he needs to become more consistent in that area. He can pull and block defenders at the second level. Versatile, the Giants think he can play both tackle spots, guard, and possibly even center.

THE INJURED STARTER

In his first season with the Giants, Geoff Schwartz suffered through an injury-plagued season that saw him play in two games at right tackle because of serious toe and ankle injuries that both required surgery. He missed both the first 10 and last four games of the season, ending up on Injured Reserve in December. Schwartz was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with the Panthers (2008-10), Vikings (2012), and Chiefs (2013). He signed with the Giants as a free agent in March 2014. Schwartz has excellent size and can maul people as a run blocker. He is very solid in pass protection. Schwartz is versatile – he is able to play guard or right tackle.

THE RESERVES

James Brewer simply has not developed as a player since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. A year after playing in all 16 games with eight starts, Brewer only played in two games in November before being placed on injured reserve in December with a concussion. Brewer has a nice combination of size and athleticism. He can play both tackle and guard spots. However, he has not proven to be a very tough or physical lineman.

Adam Snyder was signed by the Giants in September 2014. He played in four games with one start at left guard in Week 12 before leaving that game with the knee issue that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve in December. Snyder was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During his career, he’s played eight seasons with the 49ers (2005-11, 2013) and one with the Arizona Cardinals (2012). Snyder is extremely versatile, having starting experience at all five offensive line positions. He has started 88 regular-season games in 10 NFL seasons. However, despite having very good size, Snyder was considered the weak link of the starting units in San Francisco and Arizona in recent years.

Brandon Mosley has not developed since he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He missed his entire rookie season with an ankle injury. Mosley was active for 22 games the last two seasons, including nine in 2014. His only start came late in the 2013 season. Mosley has good size and athletic ability. He is also versatile, having experience at both guard and tackle. But on a weak offensive line, he has not been able to gain any serious playing time.

Dallas Reynolds was active as a reserve linemen in 15 games in 2014, but he did not start. Reynolds was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Eagles’ Practice Squad from 2009-11. In 2012, Reynolds played in 16 regular-season games with 14 starts. The Eagles waived him August 2013 and he was signed by the Giants in October of that year. A limited athlete with good size, Reynolds is smart and tries hard. He has experience at both center and guard, but he has struggled when called upon to play.

Eric Herman added to the 53-man roster in December 2014 from the Practice Squad, where he spent the bulk of the season. He was also suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Herman was drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He spent most of his rookie season on the Practice Squad until being also added to the roster in December 2013. Herman is a big, strong mauler who struggled with quickness and speed at the collegiate level. Herman needs to develop as a pass blocker in order to make it in the NFL.

Adam Gettis was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins waived Gettis in August 2014 and he was signed the Steelers’ Practice Squad in October. Gettis lacks ideal size, but he is athletic.

INJURED RESERVE

Rogers Gaines was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in August 2014. Gaines was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived him in August 2013. The Bears signed him to their Practice Squad in September 2013. The Giants claimed Rogers Gaines off of waivers from the Chicago Bears in May 2014. Gaines has excellent size and long arms. He is a good athlete for his size. He improved throughout the 2014 preseason at right tackle for the Giants.

Troy Kropog was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014 with a foot injury that he suffered in training camp. Kropog was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Titans waived him in September 2012 and he then spent time with the Jaguars (2012), Vikings (2012-13) and Redskins (2013). The Giants signed Kropog to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. Kropog has a decent combination of size and athleticism, and he is a hard worker. Versatile, he can play both tackle and guard. But it hasn’t come together for Kropog at the NFL level and he has never started a regular-season game.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Michael Bamiro was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2014. Bamiro was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent the 2013 season on the Eagles’ Practice Squad before being waived in August 2014. Bamiro is a very raw player with an intriguing combiation of size (6’8”, 340 pounds) and overall athleticism.

Dec 022014
 
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Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants (November 30, 2014)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Place Five Players on Injured Reserve: The New York Giants placed the following players on season-ending Injured Reserve on Tuesday:

  • OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle)
  • OG Adam Snyder (knee)
  • DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee)
  • DE Robert Ayers (pectoral)
  • LB Terrell Manning (ankle)

The Giants now have 19 players on Injured Reserve and one more (CB Bennett Jackson) on the Practice Squad/Injured Reserve.

Although the Giants placed five players on Injured Reserve, the team can replace only four on the roster. Terrell Manning was signed last week from the Cincinnati Bengals’ Practice Squad. According to NFL rules, he cannot be replaced on the 53-man roster for three weeks after moving from a Practice Squad to the 53-man roster, even if he is placed on Injured Reserve.

To fill the four open vacancies, the Giants signed:

  • RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ex-Rams, Texans, Browns, Panthers)
  • OG Eric Herman (Giants Practice Squad)
  • DT Dominique Hamilton (Giants Practice Squad)
  • LB James Davidson (Giants Practice Squad)

Ogbonnaya was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Since then he has played for the Rams (2009), Texans (2011), Browns (2011-13), and Panthers (2014). Ogbonnaya has played in 51 games with 12 starts and has carried the ball 158 times for 710 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 96 catches for 714 yards and two touchdowns. Ogbonnaya is a big back with good speed. He has good hands catching the ball.

Herman was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2014 after being suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Herman also spent most of 2013 on the Practice Squad before being added to the active roster in late December. Herman was drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Herman is a big, strong mauler who struggled with quickness and speed at the collegiate level. He needs to develop as a pass blocker in order to make it in the NFL.

Dominique Hamilton was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2014. Hamilton originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Raiders cut him and was on NFL practice squads in 2012 (Redskins) and 2013 (Redskins and Chiefs). The Chiefs waived him in August 2014. Hamilton looks the part with excellent size and long arms. He’s not overly quick or agile. Hamilton is a better run defender than pass rusher.

The Giants signed James Davidson to the Practice Squad in September 2014. Davidson was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He was waived on August 26. Davidson was an undersized collegiate defensive end who projects to linebacker at the pro level. Whether he has the overall athleticism and instincts for the position remains to be seen. Obviously, he is a project.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Giants Sign Three Players to the Practice Squad: To fill the Practice Squad vacancies created by signing OG Eric Herman, DT Dominique Hamilton, and LB James Davidson to the 53-man roster, the New York Giants signed the following players to the Practice Squad on Tuesday:

  • DE Jordan Stanton
  • LB Paul Hazel
  • OG Rishaw Johnson

Jordan Stanton was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. Stanton was signed to the Practice Squad in August 2014 but cut on September 16. Stanton earned All-Colonial Athletic Association accolades for recording 56 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 8 sacks in 2013. Stanton has decent size and flashes some ability, but he did not really standout in the 2014 preseason.

Paul Hazel was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He was claimed by the Browns after the Jaguars waived him and he played in 13 games in 2013 for Cleveland. The Texans then claimed Hazel off of waivers from the Browns in March 2014, but he did not make the team. Hazel is a tall, thin pass rusher.

Rishaw Johnson was signed as a rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time Chiefs (2013), Buccaneers (2014), Cowboys (2014), and Packers (2014). Johnson is a strong player with decent size who needs to improve his pass blocking.

S Antrel Rolle on WFAN Radio: The audio of Tuesday’s WFAN interview with S Antrel Rolle is available at CBS New York

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel Rolle’s contract is up, but he has ‘a lot in the tank’ by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Articles on General Manager Jerry Reese:

Article on Giants Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch: Giants co-owner takes some of the heat off Tom Coughlin by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on the Giants-Jaguars Game: Film Room Week 13: Blake Bortles’ read-option bootlegs on final drive vs. Giants by Nick Klopsis of Newsday

Notes: The Giants have lost their last three games by a total of 10 points.

The last two games marked the first time in their history the Giants lost consecutive games after leading by 11 or more points at halftime in each.

The Giants have been outscored in the third quarter, 109-34, a 75-point differential that is the league’s worst.

Nov 272014
 
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Jacquian Williams, New York Giants (September 8, 2014)

Jacquian Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 27, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jacquian Williams (concussion/shoulder), OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), and OG Adam Snyder (knee) did not practice on Thursday.

RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and LB Jameel McClain (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

WR Odell Beckham (back) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced.

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Why this milestone game is extra special for Giants’ Tom Coughlin by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on WR Rashad Jennings: Former Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings finds home with Giants by Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union

Article on WR Odell Beckham: NY Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. wants to be known for more than just ‘The Catch’ by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on on LB James Davidson: Davidson still working hard with N.Y. Giants by Gene Schallenberg of The Huntsville Item

Giants Online – Giants vs. Jaguars Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Nov 222014
 
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Charles Brown, New Orleans Saints (September 8, 2013)

Charles Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Waive OT Charles Brown, Sign LB Justin Anderson: The New York Giants waived offensive tackle Charles Brown on Saturday. Brown played at right tackle last Sunday against the 49ers when Justin Pugh left the game early with an quadriceps injury. Brown struggled in the game. A former 2nd round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, Brown was one of the veteran free agent offensive linemen General Manager Jerry Reese signed in the offseason in an attempt to shore up the offensive line.

With Justin Pugh still unavailable for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, it is expected that Geoff Schwartz will start at right tackle, though James Brewer also remains a possibility.

Anderson was signed from the team’s practice squad. He was originally signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Giants added him to the 53-man roster last Saturday too before waiving him and re-signing him to the practice squad on Wednesday. Last week against the 49ers, Anderson did not see time on defense but played on special teams.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

NJ.com Q&A with OT/OG Geoff Schwartz: Four Downs with Geoff Schwartz: A few butterflies expected for his first game as a Giant by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Articles on TE Larry Donnell:

 

Nov 202014
 
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Shake Up on the Offensive Line?: According to NJ.com, offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz will start at right tackle this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys for the ailing Justin Pugh (quadriceps). Schwartz was activated off of short-term injured reserve on Monday after missing the first 10 games of the season with a toe injury he suffered in the preseason.

More surprisingly is that left guard Weston Richburg has reportedly been benched for ex-49er Adam Snyder. Richburg was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants.

Snyder was signed by the Giants in September 2014. He was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During his career, he’s played eight seasons with the 49ers (2005-11, 2013) and one with the Arizona Cardinals (2012). Snyder is extremely versatile, having starting experience at all five offensive line positions. He’s started 87 regular-season games in nine seasons. However, despite having very good size, Snyder was considered the weak link of the starting units in San Francisco and Arizona in recent years.

November 20, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Thursday.

OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced.

November 20, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

November 20, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Video clips of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • OG Geoff Schwartz (Video)
  • DT Cullen Jenkins (Video)
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)
  • S Antrel Rolle (Video)

Article on QB Eli Manning: Why Giants have to pay Eli Manning big bucks again by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on OG John Jerry: Changes on the horizon? Giants guard John Jerry hopes to rebound from ‘horrible’ game by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on Former Giants Head Coach Bill Parcells: Bill Parcells: Tom Coughlin can still coach by David Rieder for ESPN.com

Giants Online – Giants vs. Cowboys Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Nov 192014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 16, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 19, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

I don’t know (if Pugh will practice this week), we will see, he’s day to day,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced.

LB Justin Anderson Re-Signed to Practice Squad: The New York Giants have re-signed linebacker Justin Anderson to the Practice Squad. Anderson was signed off of the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster last Saturday but waived on Monday when the Giants activated offensive guard Geoff Schwartz from short-term Injured Reserve.

November 19, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at Giants.com.

November 19, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ESPN Radio Interview with RB Rashad Jennings: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with RB Rashad Jennings is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on the New York Giants Upcoming Offseason:

Articles on Head Coach Tom Coughlin:

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: McAdoo wasn’t brought in as Coughlin’s head coach-in-waiting by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Injured cornerback Walter Thurmond III ‘wouldn’t mind’ re-signing with Giants in the offseason by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Articles on QB Eli Manning and the Giants-49ers Game:

Nov 172014
 
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Giants Activate OG Geoff Schwartz Off Short-Term IR: The New York Giants activated offensive guard Geoff Schwartz off off  Injured Reserve/Designated for Return or short-term injured reserve. Schwartz was placed on Injured Reserve on September 3 because of the dislocated right big toe he suffered in the preseason game against the New York Jets on August 22. Today was the deadline for the Giants to activate Schwartz or place him on season-ending Injured Reserve.

To make room for Schwartz, the Giants waived linebacker Justin Anderson, who was signed off of the team’s Practice Squad on Saturday.

Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“I am ready to go,” Schwartz said. “I had a couple good weeks of practice. Last week was real good. I took every rep for the scout team. I felt good out there. I expect I’ll be ready to go…It was a pretty significant injury. It takes a little time for it to heal. Once you get it healed, it takes a little bit of time to get your strength back and that is kind of what it took.”

Schwartz was starting at left guard before he got hurt. He has experience at right guard and right tackle as well.

“I have no preference (about what position he will play), other than getting him going,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said about Schwartz.

“I’ve started 11 games at tackle.” Schwartz said. “I played three and a half quarters last year at tackle in the last game of the season. I can play tackle. Obviously, I was signed as a guard, but I think they like my versatility, and I feel comfortable definitely playing tackle.”

That versatility should serve the Giants well as RT Justin Pugh was forced to leave the game on Sunday with a strained quad. His replacement, Charles Brown, was terrible, as was starting RG John Jerry.

November 17, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

November 17, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the New York Giants Upcoming Offseason: With playoffs unlikely, here are 10 questions NY Giants must address by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: As boring as it sounds, it’s still all about the offensive line by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the Giants-49ers Game: Giants snap counts vs. 49ers: Andre Williams’ snaps vanish, Devon Kennard gets more playing time by Nick Powell for NJ.com