Aug 282017
 
Share Button
Owa Odighizuwa, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Owa Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OWAMAGBE ODIGHIZUWA SUSPENDED…
New York Giants defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. Odighizuwa will be eligible to return to the Giants active roster on Monday, October 2 following the team’s October 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Odighizuwa is eligible to participate in all remaining preseason practices and games.

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants, Odighizuwa has not developed as hoped or expected. Hamstring and foot injuries caused him to miss 12 games of his rookie season. He missed two regular-season games in 2016 with a knee injury and the playoff game with a hamstring injury. In his 18 regular-season games, Odighizuwa has been credited with just six tackles and one pass defense.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed offensive lineman Adam Gettis (foot) on Injured Reserve. The team also waived/injured defensive end Evan Schwan (broken foot). Both players were injured during the Giants-Jets game on Saturday. To fill these roster vacancies, the team claimed cornerback Tay Glover-Wright off of waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles and signed rookie free agent cornerback Daniel Gray.

The 6’0”, 180-pound Glover-Wright was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2014 NFL Draft. Glover-Wright has spent time with the Falcons (2014), Green Bay Packers (2014), Indianapolis Colts (2015-2016), and Eagles (2017), but he has only played in two NFL games (both in 2015).

The 5’10”, 190-pound Gray was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Cardinals waived him last week.

Gettis spent the bulk of the 2016 season on the Practice Squad, but he did play in three games with one start at left guard, performing admirably. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2013), Steelers (2014), Giants (2014-2015), Raiders (2015), and Giants again (2015-2016). Gettis has played in 17 regular-season games with one start.

Schwan was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (rest day), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (sprained knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (burner), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee) did not practice.

“Jay (Bromley is) sore,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We’ll it take it day-by-day right now and see how he responds to treatment.”

“We will take it one day at a time,” Bromley said. “It’s remarkable how it feels from one day to the next. I am just going to keep working on it, keep going to treatment and just keep getting better every day… I definitely want to play for the opener, but I just got to listen to my body and take it one day at a time.”

“(Beckham is) improving,” said McAdoo. “He’s getting treatment, he responds well to treatment and we’ll repeat that process again for tomorrow.”

Wide receivers Brandon Marshall (shoulder) and Dwayne Harris (upper body) returned to practice.

It was determined that running back Shaun Draughn did not suffer a concussion in the Jets game. He practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Tuesday at 11:20AM.

Aug 272017
 
Share Button
Eli Apple, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – NEW YORK JETS 31…
The New York Giants dominated the first half of their annual preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium but had to hold on late to escape with a 32-31 victory. Despite leading 29-3 at the half, the Jets drew to within one point late in the game and decided to go for the 2-point conversion instead of sending the game into overtime. The Giants stuffed the conversion attempt and knelt on the ball to preserve the win.

But the Giants lost six players due to injury (see injury update below), including cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee).

Sixteen of the Giants’ 29 first-half points were scored by the defense. After the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, quarterback Eli Manning and the offense moved the ball from their own 27 to the Jets’ 28-yard line. But on 2nd-and-8, Manning – who was immediately pressured – threw an ill-advised pass deep which was picked off at the Jets’ 3-yard line. However, two plays later defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sliced into the backfield to nail running back Matt Forte in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Giants drove 56 yards to set up a successful 24-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The Giants led 5-0.

After the ensuing Giants’ kickoff, safety Landon Collins jumped a quarterback Christian Hackenberg pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and the Giants took a 12-0 lead. The Jets went three-and-out and the G-Men then drove 56 yards in seven plays, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. The touchdown was set up by 17-yard catch by wide receiver Roger Lewis on 4th-and-3, despite him taking a big hit. 19-0 Giants.

The Jets responded with their only scoring drive of the first half, moving the ball 66 yards in 10 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. After both teams exchanged punts, wide receiver Travis Rudolph made superb catch and run to pick up 57 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh Johnson. The drive stalled but place kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Giants a 22-3 lead. With less than two minutes before halftime, cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted a pass knocked loose from the intended receiver by corner Janoris Jenkins. Deayon returned the pick 36 yards for a touchdown. At the half, the Giants led 29-3.

The Giants’ offensive reserves didn’t do much in the second half. Five drives resulted in three first downs and five punts. The Giants did manage one scoring possession, moving the ball 48 yards to set up a 54-yard field goal by Nugent early in the 4th quarter. But that was it.

Meanwhile, after forcing a turnover on downs at the 14-yard line after giving up a 56 yard drive, the Giants’ defensive reserves allowed three straight touchdowns, including touchdown passes of 25, 85, and 15 yards. The defense did force one punt, but with 2:11 left in the game, the Jets drove 75 yards in seven plays to pull within one point, 32-31. The game was saved for the G-Men as the 2-point conversion that most likely would have given the Jets the victory was stuffed with 1:24 left to play.

Manning finished the game 7-of-14 for 121 yards and one interception. Johnson was 5-of-10 for 51 yards, Geno Smith 4-of-6 for 67 yards, and Davis Webb 2-of-4 for 20 yards. The leading receivers were Rudolph (3 catches for 81 yards), Sterling Shepard (2 catches for 47 yards), Evan Engram (2 catches for 32 yards), and Roger Lewis (2 catches for 30 yards). The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (12 carries for 43 yards), Paul Perkins (6 carries for 33 yards), and Orleans Darkwa (7 carries for 21 yards).

Aside for the three defensive scores, the defense was credited with three sacks (Jason Pierre-Paul, Darian Thompson, and Jonathan Casillas), five tackles for losses, five quarterback hits, and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (upper body), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger), and CB Michael Hunter (concussion).

CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (knee), OG Adam Gettis (foot), RB Shaun Draughn (concussion/neck), S Duke Ihenacho (knee), and DE Evan Schwan (unknown) all left the game with injuries.

“I think (Apple) did his other ankle today, so I have concerns about both ankles,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “I’m not sure (how bad it is), I’ll have to go talk to the trainers and the doctors about it.”

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

ARTICLES…

Aug 172017
 
Share Button
J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

J.T. THOMAS ACCEPTS PAY CUT…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas has accepted a pay cut. His 2017 base salary has been reduced from $2,975,000 to $775,000. He now has a roster bonus of $20,000 and will earn $400,000 in incentives if he plays 70 percent of snaps or more.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (upper body soreness), wide receiver Darius Powe (hamstring), wide receiver Kevin Snead (lower body), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), and cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) did not practice.

“(Apple) felt his ankle a little bit, so we were precautionary with it,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“Just got kicked a little bit going against some of the receivers,” said Apple. “It’s kind of bruised up after practice, but it’s not a big deal… I’m not sure (if I will play Monday). I’m just going to take it one day at a time and see what happens.”

“(Herzlich is) progressing,” said McAdoo. “He is not where we want him to be yet to put him back on the field, but he is working through it.”

Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle), linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee), and safety Duke Ihenacho (hamstring) were limited.

“(Thomas) is working through it,” said McAdoo. “Going through individuals, and eventually we will build him up to 7- on-7’s, some special teams work, and then team reps. But right now we are starting slow with him.”

Wide receiver Keeon Johnson left practice early with a lower body injury.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • PK Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on field goal attempts.
  • FB Shane Smith was promoted to first-team punt coverage and punt-return special teams units, now working with all four special teams units. He also received first-team reps at fullback.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators will also address the press.

Jul 272017
 
Share Button
Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP BEGINS…
New York Giants players reported to summer training camp on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first practice will be held at 11:40AM on Friday and will be one of eleven practices open to the public, weather permitting. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

All 90 New York Giants players, including defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, reported to camp. Odighizuwa missed all of the team’s spring work due to unspecified “personal issues.”

SHAUN DRAUGHN TO PUP, J.T. THOMAS BEING EVALUATED…
New York Giants running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) was placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List at the start of training camp. Meanwhile, linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) is still being evaluated.

“J.T. is taking a physical right now,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He’s going to be here, you know, right now, he’s going to be here. But, we have to make some decisions on how he comes out of the physical.”

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 172017
 
Share Button
B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign Kelvin Sheppard, who started 11 regular-season games at middle linebacker for the team in 2016. The Giants re-signed unrestricted free agents Keenan Robinson and Mark Herzlich to 1-year deals. The team also signed journeyman street free agent Curtis Grant and rookie free agent Calvin Munson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Once again, the Giants made no major player acquisitions at linebacker. The #1 story line here is tracking how well second-year player B.J. Goodson can take over at middle linebacker for Sheppard. Goodson has been praised by coaches and players for his work during the spring, but he has to demonstrate that he can not only stuff the run, but cover tight ends and running backs. The middle linebacker is usually a defensive leader on most teams and it will be a big jump for Goodson, who only played a handful of defensive snaps in 2016.

It assumed by many that Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard will remain the other top linebackers on the team. Can Casillas continue his career renaissance or was 2016 his high point? Can the injury-prone Robinson string together two healthy years in a row? One gets the sense that Kennard still hasn’t reached his true potential, but he must also stay healthy.

ON THE BUBBLE: Mark Herzlich, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Curtis Grant, Stansly Maponga, and Calvin Munson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Bill McGovern on B.J. Goodson: “I think he, like everybody has kind of has noticed, he just seemed a little bit more comfortable being in the system another year being around it. You see him more comfortable gaining more confidence as he continues to get more and more reps in practice… He has a really good skill set. He looks like he will be good in the run, but again, without pads on right now, we’re moving around but it’s not anything that is going to be real definitive right now, but he is a guy that looks like he can tackle, we’ve seen on tape that he can tackle. He moves well. It looks like he is moving better in the pass but again you always move better once you always have a better understanding of how you fit in this scheme… the mike linebacker position is one that has got to control our defense, make some calls, make some checks, get us lined up, and let us play.”

McGovern on Keenan Robinson: “I think Keenan, in particular in our sub-package really was a positive for us in terms of coverage. He has length, he has size, and he has athleticism so he was a real positive. Hopefully, again we will continue to expand his role in that.”

McGovern on Devon Kennard: “I think (last year) it was kind of learning, again, more about DK and DK kept taking on more and more responsibility. Finding his skill set improved a little bit in that he has value rushing the passer and that he has value on first down, second down, and third down. It was one of those situations as we developed through the year we realized that he had more and more value and he has continued to work on it through the offseason and we are excited about where he is headed now.”

PREDICTIONS: This group is lucky to be sandwiched between the talent on the defensive line and defensive backs. As of July 2017, clearly there are still no headliners at this position for the Giants. That could change if Goodson or Kennard have breakout years. The key with Goodson will probably be his coverage ability. Can he become a three-down linebacker? I keep waiting for Kennard to have that breakout game. He has the smarts and physical tools. It just hasn’t happened for him yet. Casillas and Robinson had solid seasons, but they have to prove they can do that again.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring injury, the obvious ones are B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard. After that, it gets murky. The Giants could keep as few as six linebackers. It is doubtful they will keep eight. Herzlich keeps seeing his defensive snaps reduced, but is clearly still valued as a core special teams player. The wild card is J.T. Thomas, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury. The fact that he has not been cut seems to indicate the Giants still have plans for him or see him as insurance. I’ll say the Giants keep seven linebackers, including special teams aces Herzlich, Thomas, and Deontae Skinner. I would not be shocked to see the Giants replace one of these three after the final roster cuts.

May 202017
 
Share Button
Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh Panthers (October 8, 2016)

Adam Bisnowaty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES BEGIN ON MONDAY…
The four-week “phase three” portion of the New York Giants offseason program begins on Monday with the team’s first organized team activity, or OTA, practice. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

Monday’s OTA practice will not be open to the media. The first practice open to the media will be Thursday, May 25th.

The Giants’ nine-week offseason program began on April 18. The first two weeks consisted of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. The next three weeks of the program consisted of on-field workouts that included individual player instruction and drills.

GIANTS SIGN ADAM BISNOWATY
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants have signed their 6th-round 2017 NFL draft selection, offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty. The Giants signed defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (2nd round), quarterback Davis Webb (3rd round), and defensive end Avery Moss (5th round) earlier this month.

The only remaining draft picks unsigned are tight end Evan Engram (1st round) and running back Wayne Gallman (4th round).

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

  • QB Davis Webb (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • OL Adam Bisnowaty (Video)
  • DE Avery Moss (Video)
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson (Video)
  • S Darian Thompson (Video)

ARTICLES…

May 102017
 
Share Button
Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARK HERZLICH WILL ALSO WORK AT TIGHT END…
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has revealed that the reason he changed his jersey number from #94 to #44 was so he could also play tight end on offense. The coaching staff asked Herzlich to also learn the offense this offseason.

“I needed to have an eligible number,” said Herzlich. “It’s exciting. A lot of times I’m playing scout-team tight end the last couple of years just because we were low in numbers and I was able to show I could be versatile in that aspect. So, when it’s, ‘Hey, you want to come add another weapon to your repertoire?’ It’s, ‘Yeah, sure, sign me up.’ The more I can learn, the better. And the better I can help out, the better, too… We’ll see what Coach (Ben) McAdoo puts me at, but I can go back and forth and learn both (offense and defense). I anticipate helping out in all three phases (including special teams).”

“He’s that good from what I see every day in practice,” fellow linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “He can run routes with the best of them. He can block better than probably most of them. He’s just a versatile athlete. He’s got the size and frame, so that helps, also.”

J.T. THOMAS STILL RECOVERING FROM HIS KNEE INJURY…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas, who missed virtually all of the 2016 NFL season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, is still recovering from the injury.

“I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m at about 75-80 percent. I’ll be ready to go in training camp,” Thomas said. “I’m really, really trying to time the thing up, so when that light comes on Sunday there isn’t any excuses why you won’t see #55 on the field.”

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury.

Thomas currently has the team’s 10th largest 2017 cap hit with $4 million.

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

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 152017
 
Share Button
Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (September 18, 2016)

Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

THE STARTERS

Jonathan Casillas had his best season to date as a pro in 2016. Casillas played in every game, with 15 regular-season starts (72 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the year with 96 tackles, 1.5 sacks, eight pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Casillas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has played for the Saints (2009-11), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-14), and Patriots (2014). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2015. Casillas lacks ideal size and has issues against the run at times, but he is a good athlete with fine speed and performs well in coverage. Caillas does not make many impact plays and is not much of a blitzer (6.5 career sacks).

Keenan Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses. Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

Devon Kennard played in every game with nine regular-season starts, playing in 47 percent of all defensive snaps. He finished 2016 with 61 tackles, one sack, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Kennard was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed playing time in 2014 (four games with hamstring and toe injuries) and 2015 (seven games with hamstring and foot injuries). Kennard is a big, strong linebacker who is a bit of a DE/LB ‘tweener. In fact, the Giants will use him at defensive end in pass rush situations. Kennard plays the run well and can get heat on the quarterback, but he is not as strong in coverage. To date, he has not put up big numbers or made many big plays. Kennard has been somewhat injury prone.

While Kelvin Sheppard started 11-of-16 regular-season games at middle linebacker in 2016, he only received 39 percent of defensive snaps. Sheppard finished the year with 50 tackles and two pass defenses. Sheppard was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2013 and signed with the Dolphins in September 2014 and Giants in April 2016. Sheppard is more of a two-down linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. While he has good size, Sheppard lacks ideal overall athletic ability. Sheppard does not make many big plays.

THE RESERVES

B.J. Goodson was drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played in 15 regular-season games with no starts, playing in one percent of defensive snaps. Goodson finished his rookie season with nine tackles and one forced fumble. Goodson is a big, strong, physical linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. He is a big hitter and good tackler. To become a complete player, Goodson has to improve his pass coverage. Goodson lacks ideal speed and agility.

Mark Herzlich remains primarily a reserve linebacker and special teams player who occasionally is called upon to play on defense (one percent of defensive snaps in 2016). Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense. Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Herzlich has very good size but is a sub-par athlete for the position. He is a good run defender, but struggles in coverage and is not much of a blitzer. Herzlich is a good special teams player.

Deontae Skinner was added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner played in four games in 2016 and was credited with five tackles. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). Skinner is a big, instinctive linebacker with decent agility but who lacks speed.

Ishaq Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. Williams has a nice combination of size and overall athletic ability.

INJURED RESERVE

The Giants placed J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener. Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. Thomas lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, Thomas can play all three linebacker positions. However, he does not many impact plays and is better suited as a reserve. Thomas is a good special teams player.

Sep 122016
 
Share Button
J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

J.T. THOMAS PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE, JOSH BROWN REINSTATED…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with torn ligaments in his left knee. Thomas was injured on the final play of the second quarter on special teams.

The vacant roster spot was filled as place kicker Josh Brown was reinstated by the NFL after his 1-game suspension for a 2015 domestic violence incident. “Josh will be the kicker this week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo today.

MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 20-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

McAdoo: We will start with what we did well on the defensive side of the ball. We were physical and heavy-handed at the line of scrimmage. I thought we showed poise to hang in there with the number of plays that we played. They showed signs of being comfortable being uncomfortable, which is encouraging. Obviously closing the game out in the fourth quarter was a huge positive for us.  On the offensive side of the ball, we handled the noise. There were some great shots of tempo over the ball. Physicality and heavy-handed at the lines of scrimmage with some signs of finish at the end of the runs and at pass protection. Really on both sides of the ball in the green zone, red zone and two-minute, we won those situations. When you win those situations, you have a chance to be ahead when the ballgame is over. On special teams, the 17-yard punt return in the fourth quarter was big for us. Set up great field position and the go-ahead touchdown, which was a major impact in the game.

What we need to work on defensively, we need to get off the field on third down. We had some opportunities to do that and we need to cash in on them. We need to take The Duke away and get our hands on some footballs on defense. There were some opportunities there. On offense we need to eliminate our pre-snap penalties. We had two. There were times that we were careless with The Duke. We have to take care of The Duke better. Special teams, our kickoff return blocking needs to shore up. Where we go from here, we need to stay humble and hungry, improve on our communication and details and be precise in everything we do. Like every team in this league, you are looking to take that jump from week one to week two. With that, we’ll open it up to questions.

Q: What are you going to do with the two kickers?

A: Josh (Brown) will be the kicker this week.

Q: Will you still have two when it’s game time?

A: Right now we have two kickers on the roster. That could change shortly. We’re in the process right now of evaluating.

Q: How big is that jump from week one to week two when you look at it throughout your years in the league?

A: I think it’s important. No team is really quite sure what you’re going to get in week one. Every team changes each year. There’s a lot of turnover season to season. You have an opportunity to go out and play the game together in a full game. You have the chance to take a big jump in the second week.

Q: How do you prepare your team to make that jump?

A: We have to go in and make the corrections from the first game. Emphasize the positives. Go out, practice and make the corrections. Move forward.

Q: Can you talk about how the defensive line did against that tough Dallas offensive line?

A: I thought the defensive line did a nice job in there. They had a lot of snaps. It’s a very good offensive line that they faced. We were physical, held the line of scrimmage and were heavy-handed. We limited the yards after contact.

Q: Do you think having Janoris Jenkins on Dez yesterday is a sign of things to come as far as your confidence in having Janoris go against the top guys on other teams?

A: I think Janoris had a heck of a day yesterday. He’s not the only one that was matching up against Dez. DRC made a couple of really nice plays there, too. Jackrabbit really shadowed him for the most part of the day. He competed his tail off and it was a big, huge effort for us. Just like everything else, each week we’re going to take a look at it and see how we match up. We’ll go from there.

Q: There was some mention after the game about the sun being a factor. How much did you notice that? Did you notice that at all?

A: We talked about that going into the game. We had some pictures from the past, from the 2014 game. We noticed how it shines in from the west in the second quarter and then into the third and fourth quarters. If you have a chance to help yourself in the kicking game and offense and defense with the glare and if you don’t, you have to learn to play through it. Whether you’re looking into it or it’s at your back, it’s going to impact both sides of the ball. If you’re a quarterback and it’s in your eyes, it’s better for the receivers that way but it’s tougher to read the coverage and vice versa.

Q: How much is that something you tried to navigate if you were on a certain side of the field late in the game?

A: It depends on how the coin toss goes. That really impacts everything. You can’t control the coin toss. Some people like to think that you can but you can’t. You have to roll with the punches after the coin toss.

Q: What did you think of Eli Apple’s debut? Seemed like he was a little behind on a few routes guarding Cole Beasley?

A: I think he was feeling his way early. He got his feet underneath him as the game wore on. Really competed at a higher level as the game wore on. Just like a lot of young players, they have to feel their way a little bit at times. You play through it and I think he made some nice tackles as the game wore on.

Q: What did you think of DRC in the slot?

A: I think he made two very nice plays in the slot. One was in the end zone and the other was on an inside fade route to Dez. I think he did a tremendous job there and we liked him there.

Q: Did you like him as a blitzer?

A: Yes, we liked him as a blitzer. I think the more he does it, the better he’ll get at it.

Q: A lot of attention to the defensive front but we’ve now asked you a lot of questions about the secondary. Do you feel like you held up well in the secondary yesterday?

A: I feel like we’ll get better as the season goes on at third down. We just need to find a way to get off the field.

Q: Would you like to add another linebacker with J.T. Thomas now on injured reserve?

A: We’re going to take a look out there, have some conversations and see what’s best for us moving forward. It’s preliminary to have that discussion right now.

Q: Is bringing Jasper Brinkley back a possibility in your mind?

A: Never say never.

Q: What did you wind up doing with your game ball?

A: I gave it to our equipment guys. They’re going to take care of it for me. Not sure what they’re going to do with it. It’ll be a prized possession, that’s for sure.

Q: Ben what is your postgame routine like? Are you watching film on the plane home? How do you go about reviewing the game immediately after it ends?

A: I look at all three phases and grade them accordingly.

Q: Is there anyone else that came out injured in this game that you have to worry about?

A: Other than J.T.? No. We have some guys that will be limited right now, but no.

POST-GAME NOTES…
Not only was the Giants opening day win their first since 2010, but it was their first opening day road victory since 1999. The Giants are now 1-7 in season openers versus the Cowboys.

The Giants are now 4-4 at AT&T Stadium.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Player interviews will be held late Tuesday afternoon. The Giants return to practice at 11:40AM on Wednesday.

Sep 082016
 
Share Button
Tom Quinn, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Tom Quinn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs) and safety Darian Thompson (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis on Thursday.

Defensive tackle Robert Thomas (illness) missed practice.

Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris suffered from heat exhaustion after practice.

PAY CUT FOR J.T. THOMAS…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas has accepted a pay cut. His 2016 base salary of $2.975 million was reduced to $1.5 million. His new contract also includes $550,000 in incentives and additional money in roster bonuses.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will conduct a walk-thru on Friday and travel to Dallas on Saturday. The team plays the Cowboys on Sunday.