Jan 032024
 
Saquon Barkley and Brian Daboll, New York Giants (December 31, 2023)

Saquon Barkley and Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 3, 2024 GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The Giants held a walk-through practice on Wednesday and issued the following injury report as a projection:

OC John Michael Schmitz (shin) and S Jason Pinnock (toe) did not practice on Wednesday.

QB Tyrod Taylor (back), ILB Carter Coughlin (shoulder), CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), and CB Darnay Holmes (foot) were limited.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Tuesday, the Giants placed OT Tyre Phillips (torn quad tendon) on Injured Reserve. After being cut in August, the Giants re-signed Phillips to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Philadelphia Eagles in October. He was immediately thrust into the starting lineup at right tackle due injuries to Evan Neal. Phillips suffered a torn quad tendon in his right leg in Week 17, an injury that requires surgery. In all, Phillips played in 10 games with nine starts at right tackle for the Giants in 2023.

On Monday, the Giants signed OLB Jeremiah Martin to the Practice Squad. The 24-year old, 6’4”, 267-pound Martin was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cleveland Browns after the 2023 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in late August.

GUNNER OLSZEWSKI NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants wide receiver Gunner Olszewski has been named the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. In that game, Olszewski returned four punts for 108 yards, including a 94-yard return for a touchdown. It was the second longest punt return in Giants’ history and the longest in 95 years. In 1928, Al Youngblood scored on a 95-yard return against the Pottsville Maroons.

THE HEAD COACH AND PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players practice on Thursday afternoon. The team’s coordinators will also address the media.

Oct 312023
 
Matt Barkley, New York Giants (August 19, 2023)

Matt Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have made the following six roster moves:

  • Signed QB Tommy DeVito to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.
  • Terminated contract of WR/Returner Gunner Olszewski from the 53-man roster and re-signed him to the Practice Squad. (two transactions)
  • Signed QB Matt Barkley to the Practice Squad.
  • Signed CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver to the Practice Squad.
  • Terminated the Practice Squad contract of OL Jaylon Thomas.

The 33-year old, 6’2”, 227-pound Barkley was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The well-travelled Barkley has spent time with the Eagles (2013–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015-2016, 2017), Chicago Bears (2016), San Francisco 49ers (2017), Cincinnati Bengals (2018), Buffalo Bills (2018-2020, 2022-2023), Tennessee Titans (2021), Carolina Panthers (2021), and Atlanta Falcons (2021). Barkley has played in 19 regular-season games with seven starts, completing 212-of-363 passing attempts for 2,699 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. He also has 10 career fumbles.

The 25-year old, 6’0”, 190-pound Thomas-Oliver was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, who cut him in September 2023. In his first three years with the Panthers, Thomas-Oliver played in 25 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 17 tackles.

Oct 292023
 
Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 29, 2023)

Graham Gano reacts to missed 35-yard field goal – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK JETS 13 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10 (OT)…
In an incredibly ugly football game, the New York Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 10-7 in overtime to the New York Jets. The Giants also lost another quarterback with Tyrod Taylor leaving the game with a rib injury that required him to go to the hospital. At 2-6, any playoff aspirations are all but officially over.

A combination of a very strong New York Jets’ defense, bad weather, and the Giants having to play an undrafted rookie at quarterback for most of the game led to a horrific Giants’ offensive performance. Even before Taylor left the game, however, the offense was dreadful. The Giants were held to 70 total yards of offense, including -9 passing yards. Five of the team’s 12 first downs were due to penalties on the Jets. The Giants had 17 offensive possessions. Thirteen of them resulted in punts. Two resulted in missed field goals, which was the difference in the game.

The Giants’ only points in the first half were completely set up by the defense. On the Jets’ first possession, outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaxu sacked quarterback Zach Wilson on 3rd-and-5. Wilson fumbled and the loose ball was recovered by outside linebacker Jihad Ward. The Giants had the ball at the Jets’ 19-yard line, but were forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal and an early 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense was playing very well in the elements against a beat-up Jets’ offensive line and the shaky Wilson. The Jets had 10 first-half possessions, seven ending with punts and two ending with fumbles. The Jets were held to five first downs and were 0-of-8 on third-down conversion attempts. However, there was one very costly breakdown when running back Breece Hall caught a short pass and weaved his way for a 50-yard touchdown after some terrible tackling attempts.

There were also two missed opportunities for the Giants’ offense in the second quarter. Place kicker Graham Gano missed a 47-yard field goal early in the quarter after Head Coach Brian Daboll passed on going for it on 4th-and-1. Then with 2:28 left before halftime, inside linebacker Micah McFadden recovered a fumble at the Jets’ 41-yard line. Despite gaining six yards on first down, the Giants ended up losing four yards on this possession and punting.

At the half, the Jets led 7-3. Combined, the Giants and Jets were 0-of-18 on third down with 15 punts.

Aided by two unnecessary roughness penalties by the Jets’ defense, the Giants took the lead on their first drive of the third quarter. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 40 yards on his first two carries of the drive. The Jets were flagged with one of the roughness penalties after a 2nd-and-10 incompletion by Tommy DeVito. Barkley picked up six yards on 3rd-and-6. Then came the other penalty which kept the drive alive after the Giants were stopped on 3rd-and-10. Three plays later, DeVito ran for a 6-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal.

Most of the rest of the second half was the Jets struggling to generate any offense against the Giants’ defense and the Giants’ coaching staff not putting DeVito in position to lose the game. The Jets punted the ball four consecutive times, gaining just two first downs. The Giants also punted the ball four consecutive times after the touchdown, gaining four first downs.

Then came the pivotal moments that would decide the game. With 2:19 left in the game, Thibodeaux sacked Wilson for a 10-yard loss. Three plays later, on 4th-and-10, Thibodeaux got to Wilson again, this time for a 15-yard loss. With 1:26 left in the game, the Giants had the ball at the Jets’ 26-yard line. Barkley gained nine yards on three plays, moving the ball to the 17-yard line. On 4th-and-1, Daboll decided to have Graham kick the 35-yard field goal. He missed.

Nevertheless, the Giants were still up 10-7. The Jets had the ball at their own 25-yard line with just 24 seconds left. The defense could not hold. Wilson completed back-to-back 29-yard passes. He spiked the ball with one second left. The 35-yard field goal was good with no time left on the clock.

In overtime, the Giants won the toss and received the ball first. Predictably, the Giants went three-and-out, actually losing 11 yards. The Jets began their first drive of overtime at their own 39-yard line. They gained 46 yards in six plays, converting on 3rd-and-10 with an 11-yard completion. The real killer came on 3rd-and-5. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was flagged for a 30-yard pass interference penalty down to the 15-yard line. The Jets immediately kicked the game-winning 33-yard field goal. Despite being tipped by defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the kick was good.

Taylor was 4-of-7 for eight yards, being sacked twice. DeVito was 2-of-7 for -1 yard, also being sacked twice. The leading receiver was Barkley who caught three passes for zero yards. No other player had more than one catch or four yards. Barkley carried the ball 36 times for 128 yards.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 12 first downs and 251 yards of offense. They held the Jets to 2-of-15 on 3rd down and 0-of-1 on 4th down. The defense recovered two fumbles and was credited with four sacks, one by nose tackle Dexter Lawrence and three by Thibodeaux. However, the three long pass plays, including the two in overtime, dampened the performance.

On special teams, the usually very reliable Gano cost the Giants the game with his two missed field goals.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants placed RB Gary Brightwell (hamstring) on Injured Reserve and signed WR/Returner Gunner Olszewski to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The Giants also activated (standard elevation) QB Tommy DeVito and OLB Oshane Ximines from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (neck), LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), RT Evan Neal (ankle), RB Deon Jackson, DL Jordon Riley, S Bobby McCain, and S Gervarrius Owens.

QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) and TE Darren Waller (hamstring) left the game in the first half and did not return. Taylor was taken to the hospital and will remain overnight for further observation.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Oct 232023
 
Darren Waller, New York Giants (October 22, 2023)

Darren Waller – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN RETURNER TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed WR Gunner Olszewski to the Practice Squad. The 26-year old, 6’0”, 190-pound Olszewski was originally signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. After three seasons with the Patriots, Olszewski signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March 2022. The Steelers waived him on Saturday.

Olszewski was named first-team All-Pro as a punt returner in 2020. He has played in 55 regular-season games with four starts, catching 15 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. He also has carried the ball 14 times for 71 yards. Olszewski has returned 41 kickoffs for 904 yards (22 yards per return) and 75 punts for 897 yards (12 yards per return) and one touchdown. Olszewski has eight career fumbles on returns.

OCTOBER 23, 2023 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Q: Can you talk a little bit about (guard) Mark Glowinski and how he has responded after the first game having a rough time and just coming back and settling things down and settling his performance down?

A: I think he’s had two good weeks of practice. I thought he played well yesterday. He’s done a good job of bouncing back and making the most of his opportunities, and I’m looking forward to him continuing to do that.

Q: Regarding (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt, I was talking with him yesterday and he said to me that he still wants to become more of a complete receiver. What have you seen from him? What does he still need to do other than obviously get better in all aspects of the game to become a complete receiver?

A: He’s young. I’ve talked about this before. He’s improving, but with these young players, we’ve still got a ways to go in detail, assignment, execution, everything that every position gets evaluated on. Those are things we’ll continue to work on with him. It was good, again, to see him make a few plays, but certainly have ways to improve.

Q: I know things change fast in the NFL. It was only a couple of weeks ago that we were asking you about your defense missing tackles, and now we’re asking about a dominant defense. Why do you think that is that they played so well here the last couple games? Is that just the case of a bunch of new guys and needing time to gel together? Is it something you see different from your defense? Why has the defense looks like it has joined the ranks of the better ones in the NFL these last couple of weeks?

A: I think they’re improving. They’re improving their chemistry. They’ve done a good job with their fundamentals. I think (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) has done a good job with them. Try to eliminate as many big plays as we can. I know they hit a couple to (Commanders wide receiver Terry) McLaurin yesterday, but they’re playing well.

I thought our front did a good job. That’s where it starts. (Defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II), I’d say, had a very, very good game, along with (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams). Guys like (defensive lineman) A’Shawn (Robinson) and Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) that moved in, they did a good job. That’s where it starts. But again, chemistry, playing together, I think all those things are in play with that. But again, one week has nothing to do with the next. We’re going to have to go out there and do a good job of getting ready to play this week.

Q: When it comes to punt returner, I feel like I’ve heard you say generally speaking about your team, you play the best guys. Has (running back) Eric Gray been the best guy as a punt returner for you guys for the first six weeks, seven weeks, or are there other factors involved with him like trying to justify the draft pick by getting a rookie a role when you know he’s not going to be able to get many carries in a (running back) Saquon (Barkley)-dominated backfield?

A: You’re always looking to put as good of guys back there as you can. He’s competed. He’s worked hard. So, that’s why he’s back there.

Q: Will he still be back there going forward, or do you consider that more open than you have?

A: I’d say we’re going to look at it here. We’re going to look at it.

Q: Do you plan on, or do you think you need to bring in somebody from the outside to fill that position, especially if he’s injured?

A: We’ll have workouts this week like we always do.

Q: Where are you at the quarterback position as you begin this week?

A: Relative to?

Q: Relative to (quarterback) Daniel’s (Jones) health.

A: I don’t have any update yet on DJ’s (quarterback Daniel Jones) health.

Q: Can you just give an overview of what this offense is like with Saquon versus without Saquon. Obviously, the running game has not been gangbusters, but he certainly made a difference in these last two games, and just what you feel you and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) can do with Saquon going out there as opposed to not having him out there.

A: I’ve said this before: you always hope all your best players are out there. So, he’s one of them. We’ll do what we need to do each week, but it’s better to have him out there than it’s not.

Q: You’ve dealt with quarterbacks for so long. Is that a position where the coach needs total clarity with his team, as far as who’s in, who’s out, who we’re going with? A lot of coaches feel quarterback is kind of a different animal than any other position on the field where he’s the leader, he makes everything go, he gets the most money, all that, that the coach has to be in complete clarity with his players as far as, ‘This is our guy, we’re going with him, here’s why.’

A: I guess I’m not following you with that.

Q: Do you look at quarterback as sort of a different position? You treat everyone the same, but quarterbacks have an elevated position on a lot of teams where it’s important to know who is the guy there?

A: As you go through the week, it’s important to know who your guy is going to be at really any position. You have strategy and backup plans if that’s not the case. Certainly, it’s an important position. Each week we go into it, it’s ideal when you know who your quarterback is versus who it’s not.

Q: Is it the most important position? You said it’s an important position. Is it the most?

A: Quarterback? It’s a pretty important position. Yeah, absolutely.

Q: What’s the best thing that you’ve seen from Jalin Hyatt? I understand he’s a rookie, he has a lot of room to improve, and I think he understands that as well from my conversations with him, but what’s the best part that he’s brought to this team?

A: He’s made some big plays when he’s had an opportunity to, in terms of downfield. We threw him a few more this game, came down with some, didn’t with others. Again, I can’t say it enough, he’s got a long way to go. Hard position to jump right into. He’s making strides, but still got a lot to learn and details to clean up.

Q: How did you think (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) played yesterday?

A: I thought he played well, yeah. Had firm control, made good decisions, had a good game.

Q: How much more involved were you with the offense in the meetings and stuff last week? Why did you see that as necessary?

A: Yeah, I know there’s a report on it. I’d say I’m involved every week. I meet with offense, I meet with defense, special teams, go into all the meetings in all three phases. I meet with all the coaches. I have a variety of meetings every week, just obviously being the head coach. So certainly, I’m in the offense. I’ve been in the offense before. I’ll continue to be in the offensive room, but I’ll also be in the other rooms, too.

Q: The end of the game, I’m just curious, obviously it didn’t come to fruition because of the timeout thing with the injury, but what was your plan—

A: Safety.

Q: Were you going to take a safety?

A: Yeah. It was 49 seconds. We had seven seconds. It was 56 seconds. So, taking a couple slow knees, it would be similar to the Green Bay game that we had over there in London. That was the strategy going into it, and then there was the injury and no timeouts. They reset it to 40, it was 33 seconds, so we could just run out the clock.

Q: I’m not asking so much about where (where) Andrew (Thomas) is going to be this week, but where was he at the end of last week in terms of his progress in getting back?

A: He was better than the week before.

Q: Does that leave you encouraged that this might be at least a limited participation on the field?

A: I’d say it’s early in the week. Wednesday, I’ll probably have a better answer for you.

Q: You’ve been on both sides of this Jets-Giants rivalry. I know you’re micro focused on things, but is there something special about playing a team in your own city? Could you feel it on the Jets side, and do you feel this week at all?

A: My focus is to just get ready to get started on these guys. Got a tremendous amount of respect for (Jets Head) Coach (Robert) Saleh. Understand the history behind it. This is, again, a good team that’s playing well that just beat Philadelphia. They’re on their bye week. So, that’s really where my focus is, just getting onto the tape and kind of turning the page here from the last week.

Q: Have you looked at any tape yet?

A: Right after this.

Q: Based on even without looking at it, how good is that defense you’re about to face?

A: I’ve got to go watch the tape. I know we played them in the preseason. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect, like I said, for Coach Saleh. He’s a heck of a football coach. They’re a dynamic defense, obviously. I think they’ve given up one touchdown – it’s early in my preparation right now – one touchdown in the second half. So, they take the ball away, they play fast, they’re a good defense.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media availability to the team. The players return to practice on Wednesday.