Jul 092014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Can the Giants’ line keep Manning upright in 2014? – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to training camp in less than two weeks, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at the offensive line.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Years of failing to install a contingency plan up front caught up to Jerry Reese in 2013. As injury after injury hit the offensive line, few, if any, reserves were waiting in the wings to step up. The Giants entered the season with a starting line of: William Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee and David Diehl. By the end of the season…all had landed on the injury report. Quarterback Eli Manning was sacked a career-high 39 times and the deep passes that the Giants had so much success with in previous seasons were eliminated because there wasn’t time to throw. In the end, even Manning himself suffered an injury. Things were bad, very bad. It was a nightmare that ultimately forced Kevin Gilbride to ‘retire.’

Geoff Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs (August 24, 2013)

Geoff Schwartz was the Giants big signing in 2014 – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: With how terrible things were last year, changes up front were inevitable. Kevin Boothe left for Oakland, David Baas was released and David Diehl retired. The Giants signed notable free agents: J.D. Walton (C), Geoff Schwartz (G), John Jerry (G) and Charles Brown (T) while drafting Weston Richburg (C/G) in the second round. It was a complete and much-needed overhaul.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: While there are many, the health of guard Chris Snee tops the list. Since being drafted out of Boston College, Snee has been a staple on the Giants’ line and considered one of the best guards in the NFL. But the years in the trenches have taken their toll on the 32-year-old. His 6-3, 310-pound frame is bruised and battered and Snee’s hardly the player he was when entering the league over a decade ago. When the Giants reported for their offseason conditioning program, Snee was a full participant, but that quickly changed. His elbow flared, sidelining Snee for the majority of the workouts.

Even when Snee is healthy, he isn’t the same player he used to be. The fact he’s already being held out of non-contact practices doesn’t bode well. Will Snee make it out of training camp? Will he hang up the cleats? If he realizes he can no longer play, who steps up at right guard? There are many questions on the Giants’ offensive line (William Beatty), but many center around the health of Chris Snee.

Chris Snee and Pat Flaherty, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Snee was on the sideline for much of the Giants’ offseason workouts – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ON THE BUBBLE: Two names truly stick out: John Jerry and James Brewer. Since being considered an up-and-coming lineman for the Giants, James Brewer has yet to capitalize on the opportunities the team has given him. Now, he finds himself working with the third unit and his days in blue may be numbered. Jerry, meanwhile, is waiting to hear on his punishment for his involvement in the Miami Dolphins bully scandal. There’s a lot of hype around Jerry and talk he could be perfect in the Giants’ scheme, but his baggage may be enough to have the Giants pull the plug before even flipping the switch.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Pat Flaherty on the new faces in the offensive line meeting room: “Change is going to happen, we all know that. I like it, I really do. I mean, do I miss? You always miss people that you’ve been around for a lot of years, sure. But we all understand in most businesses that there is going to be change on sometimes a daily basis, most of the time on a yearly basis and that’s the profession that we’re in right now. So it’s a challenge because we have a mixture of youth and some veterans that come in from other teams that have to learn a whole new offense, as myself. Any time you have that type of… when you’re a competitor as you are as a player and a coach you kind of grab a hold of that and it’s fun. It is.”

PREDICTIONS:

John Jerry, Miami Dolphins (November 17, 2013)

Is John Jerry the answer if Chris Snee can’t go?– © USA TODAY Sports Images

Connor Hughes - I’m just not sold on the Giants’ offensive line yet. I like the addition of Geoff Schwartz, but that solidifies one of the five question marks from left to right. Of every player that could step foot on the field to protect Eli Manning, I have faith in two: Justin Pugh and Schwartz. J.D. Walton has battled injuries, William Beatty is a huge question mark, who goes for Snee if/when he can’t? John Jerry wasn’t exactly a stud in Miami, Brandon Mosley and others on the line haven’t shown much. The Giants made their splashes in free agency and the draft on the offensive side of the ball, adding weapon, after weapon, after weapon…but none will matter if Eli Manning isn’t protected. Last year, Manning ended up injured in the final game of the season. There’s a big part of me that believes he could end up with the same fate far sooner in 2014.

Eric Kennedy – I have to disagree with Connor a bit here and say the #1 question mark on the offensive line – and one of the top three question marks for the entire team – is Will Beatty. Coming off of a fractured leg and possibly an undisclosed knee injury, it remains to be seen when Beatty will be able to practice with the revamped first-team offensive line. He needs the practice. Not only to rebound from a very poor 2013 campaign, but also to develop chemistry and cohesion with LG Geoff Schwartz. The Giants can survive without Chris Snee, I’m not sure they can perform well without Beatty returning to his 2012 form. The “wild card” here is Charles Brown. He has talent, but was very inconsistent at left tackle in New Orleans.

My prediction is that J.D. Walton turns out to be a much more valuable addition to the team than many initially thought. He is a no-nonsense guy who will get the job done and bring some leadership to the unit. Walton and Geoff Schwartz will settle down the middle of the offensive line. I also look for Brandon Mosley to develop and possibly challenge for a starting spot.

STARTING LINE WEEK 1?
Connor Hughes - William Beatty (LT), Geoff Schwartz (LG), J.D. Walton (C), John Jerry (RG), Justin Pugh (RT).

Eric Kennedy – Will Beatty (LT), Geoff Schwartz (LG), J.D. Walton (C), Chris Snee (RG), Justin Pugh (RT). (I also think John Jerry, Charles Brown, Weston Richburg, and Brandon Mosley make the team).

May 282014
 
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Eli Manning (10) and David Wilson (22), New York Giants (August 7, 2013)

Eli Manning and David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Complete First OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their first of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Wednesday. No live contact is allowed in OTA practices, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The media was not allowed to view Wednesday’s practice, but the Giants released the following details through their website, Giants.com:

  • RB David Wilson, who is recovering from career-threatening offseason neck surgery, did participate in the non-contact drills. Wilson worked both at running back and returner.
  • New Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense is reportedly an up-tempo West Coast Offense-style of attack.  McAdoo was said to be very hands-on during the drills.
  • Despite undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on April 10, QB Eli Manning practiced. According to the team, “Manning took quite a few snaps on the first day of OTAs. In addition to individual drills, he took many of the first-team reps.”
  • With LT Will Beatty still recovering from a broken leg, the first-team offensive line had James Brewer at left tackle, Geoff Schwartz at left guard, J.D. Walton at center, Chris Snee at right guard, and Justin Pugh at right tackle. The second unit had Charles Brown at left tackle, Brandon Mosley at left guard, Dallas Reynolds at center, Weston Richburg at right guard, and Troy Kropog at right tackle.
  • According to the team’s press release WR Odell Beckham “showcased his quickness in and out of breaks.”

Video and pictures from today’s OTA practice are available from Giants.com.

The media, including BigBlueInteractive.com, will be granted access to Thursday’s practice.

New York Giants OTA practices:

  • May 28-30
  • June 2-3
  • June 5
  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Giants.com Q&A With RB Rashad Jennings: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with RB Rashad Jennings is available at Giants.com.

Article on Former New York Giant David Diehl: David Diehl begins new career as analyst by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Apr 112014
 
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Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers (December 15, 2013)

Matt Flynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Interested in Matt Flynn: According to The New York Daily News, the New York Giants are interested in unrestricted free agent quarterback Matt Flynn and may schedule a work out with him.

The 28-year old Flynn was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. After four seasons in Green Bay, Flynn then signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, was traded by the Seahawks to the Oakland Raiders in April 2013, released by the Raiders in October 2013, signed by the Buffalo Bills in October 2013, released by the Bills in November 2013, and re-signed by the Packers in November 2013.

Flynn started five games in 2013, one for Oakland and four for Green Bay. He finished the season 124-of-200 (62 percent) for 1,392 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. Flynn has average size and arm strength.

Current Giants’ offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was with Flynn in Green Bay from 2008-2011 when McAdoo was Green Bay’s tight ends coach.

“I’d like to have Matt back,’’ said Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy recently. “I thought Matt was a good addition to our football team. I have great respect and admiration for him. I’m hoping financially it works out.’’

Quarterback Eli Manning underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Thursday. Manning is not expected to be able to run for at least six weeks.

Team sources have told The New York Daily News that Manning may be limited or even held out of the ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts (various dates from May 28-June 13) and the full-team mini-camp (June 17-19). Manning is expected to return to the practice field when training camp begins in late July.

Article on QB Eli Manning: Five lingering questions: Eli Manning by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Offensive Tackle James Brewer (Video)
  • Linebacker Jacquian Williams (Video)
Dec 222013
 
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Steve Weatherford (5), Josh Brown (3), New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Josh Brown Kicks the Game-Winner in Overtime – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 23 – Detroit Lions 20 (Overtime): The New York Giants defeated the Detroit Lions 23-20 in overtime on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-9. The Giants also knocked the Lions out of playoff contention.

Behind a patchwork offensive line and missing WR Victor Cruz, the Giants used some creative offensive play-calling and strong defense in the first half to take a 13-3 halftime lead. Detroit began the game with a 10-play, 39-yard drive that stalled at the Giants’ 45-yard line after DE Mathias Kiwanuka sacked QB Matthew Stafford for a 12-yard loss. The Giants then began a 15-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 41-yard field goal by PK Josh Brown. The two opening possessions took more than 11 minutes off of the clock.

Detroit responded with another long possession, driving 63 yards in 12 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, the game was tied 3-3.

The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession. Detroit drove from their own 35 to the Giants’ 45-yard line. But on 2nd-and-10, Kiwanuka forced RB Reggie Bush to fumble. The loose ball was recovered by S Antrel Rolle and returned to the Detroit 49-yard line. The Giants then put together a 9-play, 49-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Jerrel Jernigan. Giants 10 – Lions 3.

The Lions moved to the Giants 43-yard line on their fourth offensive possession, but on 2nd-and-17, DE Justin Tuck intercepted a Stafford pass with 47 seconds to go before halftime. Despite a sack, the Giants were able to get into field goal range and Brown kicked a 52-yarder with nine seconds left on the clock. Giants 13 – Lions 3.

The game completely changed in the second half as the Lions scored 17 unanswered points to take a 20-13 lead. Detroit dominated the line of scrimmage and the Giants were unable to run the football and Manning was under constant pass pressure. The Giants did not gain a single first down on their first five possessions of the second half. Worse, Manning was sacked in the end zone for a safety. After a 50-yard punt return by the Lions, Detroit cut the score to 13-10 with an 8-play, 30-yard drive. Both teams exchanged punts and then the safety occurred as New York led by only a single point, 13-12.

Momentum completely swung in Detroit’s favor as the Lions drove 63 yards in nine plays after the safety to go up 20-13 with the touchdown and successful 2-point conversion with under 12 minutes to play. New York went three-and-out on their next two offensive possessions. With just over five minutes to play, the Lions faced a 3rd-and-7 from their own 22-yard line. Stafford’s pass was tipped by the intended receiver and intercepted by S Will Hill who returned it 38 yards for the tying touchdown, 20-20.

Detroit went three-and-out. The Giants picked up one first down (their first of the second half) and punted. The Lions then picked up a first down and were forced to punt after another sack by Kiwanuka. With 50 seconds left in regulation, the Giants had the ball at their own 37-yard line and a chance to win. After two plays, the Giants crossed midfield, but with 28 seconds left, Manning’s deep pass over the middle intended for Jernigan was badly overthrown and intercepted.

The Giants won the coin toss and received the ball to start overtime. RB Michael Cox returned the kickoff deep out of the end zone for 56 yards to the Giants’ 49-yard line. After a 15-yard pass from Manning to TE Brandon Myers, RB Andre Brown fumbled the ball away. The Lions recovered at their own 28-yard line. The Giants’ defense held as Detroit went three-and-out.

The Giants then put together their final game-winning field-goal drive, marching 45 yards in 11 plays. The huge play on the drive was a 15-yard pass from Manning to Jernigan on 4th-and-7 from the Lions’ 42-yard line. Four plays later, Brown nailed the 45-yard field goal for the win.

Offensively, the Giants were held to 238 net yards passing and 41 net yards rushing. Manning finished the game 23-of-42 for 256 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. His leading receiver was Jernigan who caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Andre Brown was held to 40 yards on 16 carries (2.5 yards per rush).

Defensively, the Giants allowed 207 net yards passing and 148 net yards rushing. The leading tacklers were LB Jon Beason (11), S Ryan Mundy (10), and Hill (9). Hill intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown. Kiwanuka had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and forced a fumble that Rolle recovered.

On special teams, the Giants gave up a 50-yard punt return but Cox also had a 56-yard kickoff return. Brown made all three of his field goal attempts from 41, 52, and 45 yards.

Post-Game Injury Report: TE Adrien Robinson sprained a knee on the opening kickoff and did not return. Brandon Mosley, who started at right guard, broke a hand on the opening drive and did not return. RB Andre Brown suffered a concussion in overtime and did not return.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.

Player Post-Game Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), WR Victor Cruz (knee), OG David Diehl (knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), LB Allen Bradford, and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring).

Articles on the New York Giants-Detroit Lions Game:

Nov 272013
 
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Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Cullen Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign CB Ross Weaver to Practice Squad: The Giants signed CB Ross Weaver to the Practice Squad on Wednesday.

November 27, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Trumaine McBride (groin), and RB Brandon Jacobs (knee).

WR Hakeem Nicks (abdomen) and CB Corey Webster (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

November 27, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday press conference are available at Giants.com.

November 27, 2013 New York Giants Player Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the New York Giants Offense: How the Play-Calling Is Hindering New York Giants Offense by Patricia Traina of the BleacherReport.com

Articles on WR Hakeem Nicks:

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Sep 252013
 
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FB John Conner  – © USA TODAY Sports Image

FB John Conner – © USA TODAY Sports Image

New York Giants Place FB Henry Hynoski on Injured Reserve; Sign FB John Conner: The Giants placed FB Henry Hynoski (fractured shoulder) on season-ending Injured Reserve on Wednesday.

To fill Hynoski’s vacant roster spot, the Giants signed FB John Connor, who has played with the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, to reportedly a 2-year deal.

“We need a fullback, we need a lead blocker,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “He is a physical guy. We think he’ll go up in the hole and clear the hole for the running back and we hope he’ll be a good pass protector and contribute on special teams as well.”

New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were OC David Baas (neck), OG Chris Snee (hip), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), LB Jacquian Williams (knee), and CB Corey Webster (hip).

OT David Diehl (thumb), LB Spencer Paysinger (hip), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), and S Cooper Taylor (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis.

“David Baas will not work today,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Diehl is going to work. We’re going to have him in a limited capacity. We’ll see what he can do. Hynoski…You know about that. He’s going to go on IR. Spencer Paysinger is going to work. He’ll probably take three quarters of the work. Adrien Robinson is not going to work. Chris Snee is not going to work. It’s his hip. It’s not the operated or surgically-repaired hip. Cooper Taylor has a shoulder, but he’s doing better today. He’s a little bit stronger and he will work although he is to stay out of contact. We’re going to put Terrell on the list because he needs to be managed and probably one day a week or at some point in time we’ll have to cut the reps back for him so he has decent recovery time. Corey Webster feels better, but he’s not going to get clearance to go today. We expect Jacquian (Williams) to go tomorrow.”

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

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the 2013 New York Giants: Giants Leaders’ ‘False Enthusiasm’ Rings True by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Aug 272013
 
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Marvin Austin, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Marvin Austin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 27, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Tuesday were WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), CB Jayron Hosley (ankle), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

“Feeling good, feeling good,” said Cruz on Tuesday. “It’s been better, feels a lot better, a lot of the swelling has gone down. Obviously I’m out of the boot now, looking forward to better days coming.”

Cruz was also asked if he would be ready for the opener against the Cowboys. “Absolutely,” responded Cruz. “I think that’s definitely a target date for me. I think I want to come out and get some regular practice in as well once the doctors let me and the training staff lets me do so. Just taking it one day at a time.”

“In my mind (Monday) is a date that I am targeting (to practice),” Cruz said. “So I am going to work diligently this week while the team is away and focus on getting myself right and getting ready to practice potentially by next week.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked about Baas. “He’s working hard, and feels a little bit better each day,” said Coughlin.

WR Louis Murphy (leg) returned to practice on a limited basis.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), and FB Henry Hynoski (knee) remained limited in practice. Pierre-Paul and Moore participated in some team drills.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Tuesday are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

DE Justin Tuck on ESPN Radio: The audio of DE Justin Tuck’s interview with ESPN Radio on Tuesday is available at ESPN.com.

Article on WR Jerrel Jernigan: WR Jerrel Jernigan Playing with Confidence by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on OG/OT James Brewer: James Brewer Will Start at Unfamiliar Spot by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on CB Charles James: Victor Cruz’s Example Fits Giants Undrafted Free Agent Charles James to a ‘T’ by Tom Rock of Newsday

Notes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin said the starters will play between 12-15 plays on Thursday against the New England Patriots. At quarterback, Eli Manning will start, followed by Ryan Nassib, David Carr, and Curtis Painter.

Jul 182013
 
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Lawrence Tynes (9), Steve Weatherford (5), New York Giants (January 22, 2012)

Lawrence Tynes Kicks the Giants to the Super Bowl – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Lawrence Tynes Signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Unrestricted free agent PK Lawrence Tynes has signed a 1-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tynes had been with the Giants since 2007. The Giants showed little interest in re-signing Tynes after the team signed PK Josh Brown in free agency.

Giants.com Q&A With S Ryan Mundy: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with S Ryan Mundy is available at Giants.com.

Star-Ledger Q&A With PK Josh Brown: Giants Summer Questionnaire: Josh Brown by Michael J. Fensom of The Star-Ledger

Article on Former Giants Head Coach Bill Parcells: Bill Parcells Cites ’90 Title as Best Moment by Michael Eisen of Giants.com