Sep 162017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (December 18, 2016)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY UPDATE…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (leg), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (leg) are officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Detroit Lions on Monday night. Linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion) will not play in the game.

“(Goodson) has a lower leg injury,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “It’s something that has been bothering him over the last couple of days… It happened yesterday. It got sore as practice went on. We pulled him out (of practice)… (Fluker the same), late in practice.”

“We will see how it goes (with Beckham),” said McAdoo. “We will get in there and do a little bit of work this morning. Then tomorrow we will go in and have our launch day. Take a look at him tomorrow and see how it goes… It’s a medical decision. We’re just seeing his level of confidence and where he is sticking his foot in the ground… The biggest thing is you don’t want to put a player out there that is going to do any harm to himself or injure himself any more than he is. It is an injury. It’s a tough injury. He’s fighting through it and doing everything he can to get back, but we’re going to be smart with him.”

Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle/hand) are “probable” for the game.

“Bobby Hart is improving,” said McAdoo. “Bobby got through practice yesterday. He did fine out there yesterday. We will take a look and see how he does tomorrow.”

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…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Sunday. The Giants play the Detroit Lions at home on Monday night.

Aug 082017
 
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Avery Moss and Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Avery Moss and Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 8, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their tenth summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), wide receiver Kevin Snead (unknown), offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (unknown), defensive tackle Robert Thomas (“sore”), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), cornerback Mykkele Thompson (quad), and safety Ryan Murphy (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle) and  practiced on a limited basis.

Defensive end Avery Moss (shoulder) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Overcast with some sun shining through late, pleasant temperature. There really has been a variety of temperatures throughout training camp. The team was in full pads today and there was some more pad popping. This team is ready to play Pittsburgh.

Offense Notes:

  • I tried to put as much attention on the fullback Jacob Huesman vs. Shane Smith battle as I could. They don’t get a ton of snaps and there are still plenty of plays where a TE is lined up back there. TE Will Tye probably had the most snaps of all the TEs in the backfield. As for the two FBs, Huesman made a few nice catches on the move. He is a much more twitchy, athletic guy and if that’s what the primary focus is for the position, he is the clear winner. Smith is the mauler, as we have discussed. He caught a TD pass in the flat from Eli. He still looks like the less-natural guy with the ball in his hands but if NYG wants the bruiser and extra run support, he is their guy. If special teams comes in to play with the decision, Huesman may get the nod.
  • OG D.J. Fluker looked a little off today. The questions with him revolve around conditioning and trusting technique. He is such a mammoth of a man but at this level, without the consistent techniques when it comes to pad level, active feet, accurate arm/hand work…he needs to make sure it’s there when he gets tired, late in games.
  • OC Brett Jones plays an admirable style, but his upside is limited. Perhaps limited enough for this team to go in a different direction in favor of OL Adam Gettis. Jones is a guy that won’t get pushed back. He is so strong and always wins the leverage battle but he isn’t really a go-getter, especially in space. Can he reach athletic linebackers. Can he make up for initial positional disadvantages? Can he lock on to pass rushers? Those are my questions with him. Gettis grades out slightly higher athletically.
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty vs OT Chad Wheeler. If I had to pick one right now to move forward with, I am going with Wheeler. NYG will likely hold on to both and I’m not saying you need to pick one right now. I don’t think either will see the field in 2017. But Bisnowaty has long ways to go when it comes to footwork and upper body technique. He was beat badly a few times in pass protection, once by DE Devin Taylor. Wheeler has been impressive. Strong lower body, quality positioning, accurate hands, and he fights. Also gives a solid pop off the ball.
  • RB Khalid Abdullah was one of a few roster hopefuls returning kicks today. He still looks a little unnatural when it comes to catching the ball, a lot of body catching. He also was late to pick up a blitz up the middle at the end of practice, and ended up allowing a sack to Calvin Munson. Big collision and Abdullah got the worst of it.
  • OG John Jerry was very active today, first time I really put the eyeball on him several times. He has the potential to be an elite pass blocking guard. Light feet, long arms, accurate on the move, good blend of patience and aggression. He won every 1-on-1 battle I saw today against the likes of DE Romeo Okwara, DT Jay Bromley, and DT Dalvin Tomlinson.
  • Another day, another impressive (arguably the best of the day) catch by TE Matt LaCosse. How many plays does this kid make until you say, alright we need to give him a shot during the regular season? His eye-hand coordination and ball skills are top notch.
  • Got to see some 1st strong O vs. 2nd/3rd string defense today. WR Odell Beckham easily beat CB Valentino Blake on a quick out-route for a TD. Blake bounced back with a pass defense against TE Evan Engram on a jump ball. He is a fiery guy.
  • TE Colin Thompson has been getting + marks next to his name on my sheet for 5 straight days now. For a “blocker only” label, he has been catching literally everything. And some of these balls are a ways away from his body.
  • The backup QB battle put on the Josh Johnson cap today. He hit nicely on a couple deep throws while Geno Smith appeared to be locking on to guys and skipping out on progressions. He doesn’t like being in the pocket for long. He had a solid 2-minute drill at the end of practice though with an accurate bullet to WR Dwayne Harris in traffic.
  • QB Eli Manning to TE Evan Engram is becoming something scary to watch if you are the opposition. It legitimately looks like these two are developing chemistry over the middle. Engram made an excellent catch on an even better ball from Manning for a TD. LB B.J. Goodson has solid coverage but he didn’t locate the ball.
  • QB Davis Webb looked more comfortable in his limited 7-on-7 looks today. He made an errant throw that came from poor lower body mechanics but he knew it right away. He is on the right path I’d say. His live snaps have been very limited.

Defense Notes:

  • LB Calvin Munson got some second-team action today with LB Mark Herzlich being out. He has looked fast and aggressive when moving downhill, but he doesn’t look like a factor in coverage. But I’m not sure he understands the overall lateral speed of the game yet, his angles have been very off. For a guy that isn’t big, he brings some pop when filling the lanes. If this team goes with six LBs, he has a decent shot.
  • LB Stansly Maponga is another LB that has a shot if this team goes with six LBs. He is a 3-4 OLB-type who does his best work rushing the passer or taking on tackles in the trenches. Remember, NYG has been looking for this kind of player. A guy that can almost use at the stand up pass rusher but can fulfill some OLB roles. I don’t see the necessary twitchiness but he is getting a lot of looks in practice in different roles. He is a heavy handed, physical guy.
  • The question on S Eric Pinkins and his value to the team is, can he cover athletic tight ends and running backs? He is tall, fast, and strong. We know that….but can he plant his foot in the ground and shadow quality route runners? That’s the question with him, he is stiff-hipped. He may have had the hit of the day on WR Travis Rudolph over the middle.
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Damon Harrison with a really nice combo stunt in live team drills, the play would have resulted in a Harrison sack. Those two have been very solid. It looked to me that OT Bobby Hart would have been the culprit.
  • DE Avery Moss beat OT Ereck Flowers with a simple speed rush that would have resulted in a sack.
  • DE Jordan Williams hasn’t gotten a lot of talk from me but he gets moved around a lot and despite being undersized for inside play, he has held his own. He has some pass rush potential in there. He beat both Adam Gettis and Brett Jones today for likely sacks.
  • CBs Nigel Tribune and DaShaun Amos had a few up-and-down plays. Both can locate the ball well but both were badly fooled on double routes. I think those guys are vying for practice squad spots at best. Amos with the slight edge.

Three Standouts:

  • CB Janoris Jenkins: I said this last week, but I like to see a guy who completely ignores his own size limitations. Jenkins plays big, physical, and aggressive. He intercepted two passes in traffic today, one of which I still don’t know how he came down with. He is a competitor who does an excellent job keeping his hands off his man but sticks to them like glue.
  • RB Paul Perkins: With the extra attention in the backfield today, Perkins got my attention a few times. It is very hard to really gauge the RBs in practice because you can’t see them try to break tackles, as that is where the live action ends. It is just a very limited look. However Perkins made a few reads today to find open cutback lanes that would have resulted in huge gains. I loved this kid out of UCLA and I am excited to see him work. He has upper tier balance, agility, and short area burst. It’s a great trio of traits for a RB to have.
  • WR Dwayne Harris: He looked very explosive with the ball in his hands yesterday during return driils. Powerfully built and nice top-end speed. Today he made a few really nice catches where he had to really reach for the ball away from his body. He is the dependable guy you want to see spell one of the main guys when needed.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, LB Deontae Skinner broke up a QB Geno Smith pass intended for RB Wayne Gallman.
  • RB Khalid Abdullah made a nice over-the-shoulder catch along the sideline.
  • WR Keeon Johnson made a deep leaping reception on a pass from QB Josh Johnson. Johnson later connected with Johnson again on a deep pass against CB DaShaun Amos.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram deep against CB Eli Apple.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a TD pass over the middle to WR Roger Lewis against CB Eli Apple. But then Apple covered Odell Beckham, Jr. in the green zone to force an incompletion from Manning.
  • QB Eli Manning hit WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and TE Matt LaCosse on back-to-back long completions. LaCosse beat LB Jonathan Casillas.
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson penetrated into the backfield to stuff a RB Paul Perkins carry.
  • PK Mike Nugent went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with a long of 44 yards.
  • First-team offensive line had issues against third-team defense in team drills.
  • WR Travis Rudolph saw reps at slot receiver plus as a punt and kickoff returner.
  • CB Valentino Blake broke up a QB Eli Manning pass intended for TE Evan Engram.
  • WR Darius Powe made a diving touchdown catch against CB Janoris Jenkins on a pass from QB Geno Smith. Jenkins then successfully covered Powe on a jump ball into the end zone that he almost intercepted.
  • FB Shane Smith caught a touchdown pass out of the backfield from QB Eli Manning against LB Jonathan Casillas.
  • QB Josh Johnson found WR Travis Rudolph for a touchdown against CB DaShaun Amos.
  • In the 2-minute drill, QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram for a touchdown on a seam route against FS Darian Thompson. WR Brandon Marshall then beat CB Janoris Jenkins for a 2-point conversion.
  • QB Geno Smith made a long completion to WR Dwayne Harris against CB Michael Hunter. Harris then made what initially looked to be leaping touchdown reception over Hunter on a pass from Smith, but Harris could not hold onto the ball.
  • DE Evan Schwan flashed in the 2-minute drill against the third-team offense.
  • QB Davis Webb connected with TE Colin Thompson deep down right side. Webb then connected with WR Kevin Norwood for a touchdown against CB Nigel Tribune.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday 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 eleventh training camp practice will be held on Wednesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 292017
 
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Davis Webb, Geno Smith, and Josh Johnson; New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Davis Webb, Geno Smith, and Josh Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 29, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Safety Jadar Johnson (illness) did not practice.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Much more action today to discuss AND we got to talk one on one with DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Fun day with overcast skies and the temperature was MUCH cooler. Even had some gusts wind thrown in. We saw some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11…somewhat close to live/full speed.

Offense Notes:

  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall is just a freak of nature. Not only is he massive (tall/long/thick)…but I am surprised to see how well he moves. When he opens up his stride, he can really get behind a defense. He toyed with cornerback Eli Apple, got physical with him at the point-of-attack then was able to turn it up a gear and get downfield. If this guy is healthy, he could be an absolute monster in this offense and role.
  • Quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Geno Smith are splitting reps with 2nd/3rd string it looks like. Open competition. Johnson is more accurate and consistent, although when Geno lines everything up and can find his target, he looks very impressive. The key there is confidence and ability to make quick reads. Both were a little shaky in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11…if I had to give a win to one of them it would be Johnson.
  • Can’t say much about the offensive line today, as they still aren’t in pads. Right guard D.J. Fluker is a GREAT guy to listen to. He is fired up about being on a winning team and he said no organization is like the New York Giants when it comes to their passion for winning, for what that’s worth. He really lumbers out there; I think he is certainly destined for right guard play and likely a backup. Good guy to have around. Left guard Justin Pugh looked very stout and powerful in their hand drills.
  • The tight end competition is very up in the air. A bunch of guys are rotating in and out with the 1st team. Ben McAdoo says its one of the toughest positions to play because of the variety of assignments, starting positions…etc. Matt LaCosse made a couple of nice grabs up and away from his body on the full move. He is very slight-framed compared to the rest of these guys, but his ball skills are noteworthy. Jerell Adams is an impressive specimen but he is a little shaky as a mover/athletically. Rhett Ellison doesn’t stand out but I don’t expect him to until the pads are on. His game is physicality.
  • I put a lot of attention on quarterback Davis Webb. I made simple + or – signs next to his name for positive or negative throws. He was flip flopping all day. No big deal yet…just noticed there isn’t a natural high level of accuracy just yet…he was errant on a few easy ones. Many completions were guys having to turn back for the ball or leap up. He did connect with wide receiver Travis Rudolph on a great timing route up the seam. He has plenty of zip, he is the best athlete within the group, and when he has everything lined up he looks high-level-caliber.
  • Don’t have much on the running backs yet. Wayne Gallman has a noticeably different style and level of patience to making his cuts than the rest of them. He is explosive and fast, but in drills where patience and cuts upfield were the focus, he didn’t show it. Khalid Abdullah, however, does. He was very impressive in these drills but equally unimpressive in blitz pickup drills. That is the quickest way to the doghouse for a running back besides fumbling.

Defense Notes:

  • Overall, VERY competitive group. Especially the defensive backs. They took so much pride in beating the offense in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Very intense group that likes to get after it as a whole.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple was pretty back and forth, but he struggled when matched up against wide receivers Brandon Marshall or Odell Beckham, Jr. Tools-rich, but still unsure about the development. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins made an excellent INT going up for it against wide receiver Sterling Shepard, but was beat prior to that in a similar situation against Marshall. It was interesting to see how pumped the defense got when he came down with the INT.
  • Robert Thomas and Damon Harrison lining up next to each other at defensive tackle. Talk about a beefy duo. Don’t sleep on them as pass rushers though, they can really move and push the pocket.
  • Didn’t get to see pretty much anything else from the defensive line, they were on the other side of the complex for almost the entire time.
  • I tried to watch middle linebacker B.J. Goodson against the pass, he wasn’t challenged much though. He does look explosive and quick though. He undercut some of the interior offensive line on running plays very well.
  • The backup defensive backs saw a lot of rotating…those spots are very up in the air I think. Nobody is standing out just yet, but they like to compete.

Three Standouts:

  • Cornerback Donte Deayon. A player his size (5’9/163) is going to have a hard time making a roster in the NFL, but he is certainly making his case. He moves quicker and faster than everyone. He is a fiery competitor, maybe the most so when it comes to the defensive backs. He adds return value, he held up in coverage. I have a feeling about him so far.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham. We know he is a star. We know he is an amazing talent. But the amount of time he spends on the smallest aspects to his game is nice to see. During down time, he was working with Sterling Shepard and how to read a cornerback when coming off the line to get in to his route. Prior to that, he had a coach throw him about 15-20 balls where Beckham was stationary with his back to the ball…he just looked up in the air and waited for the ball to enter his line of vision. Then he went to make that difficult over the shoulder catch…and yes he caught every one.
  • Offensive lineman Brett Jones. Are we overlooking this guy as a possible backup inside? Arguably the top option if any of the three starters go down? He gets looks inside and out and he just seems to do everything right, in an exaggerated way. I love his build. He is a powerful, mean blocker and I am really looking forward to seeing him go live when the pads go on. There might be something there with him.

If I had to guess, I think the guys will be getting after it a little more tomorrow considering they are off on Monday.

GIDIEFOR’S PRACTICE REPORT…
Well obviously Sy’56 is the class between the two of us and I will be supplementing his observations to you guys during camp and serving in a support role.

These observations roughly follow the clips in the camp video linked below, and these clips follow Sy and my chat about today and Sy’s interview of Dalvin Tomlinson:

  • The first clip shows that the defensive line and offensive line players are doing a different set of warm ups on opposite sides of the field. This is a new view for me as opposed to prior camps I’ve attended where the players were all doing the same warm ups.
  • There was no active player on the bikes today – and one player was held out, safety Jadar Johnson, because he was ill according to Coach McAdoo. Take what you will about the new training staff – maybe it’s a fluke and still needs some more data to evaluate, but the Giants were relatively healthy last year and throughout the off season. They come into camp in very good health overall and with no steady stream of players headed to the sidelines.
  • Today’s practice was much more of a full practice than yesterday. The second practice clip shows a catch, run and hit sequence that was run at the beginning of practice.
  • While this was happening centerfield – on the right side of the field in the third clip sequence there was a group practicing coming out low from under a bar and hitting upward into a small square pad on a player target.
  • The next set of clips goes back and forth between a sequence of timing reps on one side of the field and the low to high practice that went from one on one to, two on two, to a larger formation.
  • I have a clip in there that follows Coach McAdoo for a couple of minutes. It seems to me that he blends more in with the surroundings than we have been used to in the past. Coach ribbed me after practice for filming him.
  • The next two clips are of Devon Kennard, who parked himself in front of me and he stands out as a really solid big dude. He participated in a special teams change of direction drill that was run for several minutes.
  • Sy had me look over to the right and there was Odell Beckham, Jr. taking over the shoulder catch practice. Odell really stood out on the field today, making a number of catches that showed off his incredible game speed.
  • Then the fullbacks came to the side line and I couldn’t help but notice that these guys are not very big – Rhett Ellison and Will Tye are huge in comparison to these two.
  • There’s clips of Davis Webb under center for a few reps, then some clips that show a bunch of offensive lineman and featuring Adam Gettis and Adam Bisnowaty standing next to each other. Biz dwarfs Gettis.
  • Then there are clips of 11-on-11’s first with Eli Manning – that include a nice fake and a strike to Odell. Then Geno Smith behind center. Smith seems to be the least accurate QB out there.
  • Then I have a clip of Ellison and Tye, and then Paul Perkins dwarfed by John Jerry.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Brandon Marshall made a nice catch against cornerback Janoris Jenkins on an underthrown ball from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a nice catch on a pass thrown behind him.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Geno Smith was the second-team quarterback.
  • Mykkele Thompson received reps at cornerback.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. on a deep pass over the middle for a touchdown. Beckham made a number of nice grabs on the day, including a diving sideline reception against cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up two quarterback Eli Manning passes into the end zone, the first to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and the second to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Wide receiver Jerome Lane made a nice diving catch of a low pass from quarterback Geno Smith.
  • Defensive end Avery Moss flashed on his first pass rush attempt.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith completed a rollout pass to tight end Matt LaCosse.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/891387867460587521

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Saturday 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 third training camp practice will be held on Sunday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 192017
 
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Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins – © 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: Defensive Backs

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: The biggest reasons for the New York Giants defense’s dramatic improvement in 2016 was the improved play of the (1) defensive line and (2) defensive backs. The Giants defense went from dead last in 2015 to tenth in yardage allowed and second in scoring allowed in 2016. And while the team’s 23rd-ranked pass defense (251.1 yards per game) does not sound impressive, the unit played at a far higher level than that, as indicated by three defensive backs earning All-Pro honors.

The secondary became a team strength because the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins in free agency, drafted Eli Apple in the first round, and watched second-year safety Landon Collins develop into an impact player at his more natural strong safety position. An inconsistent player in St. Louis, Jenkins became one of the best corners in the NFL in 2016, teaming with Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to form perhaps the NFL’s best trio of corners. While Apple had his growing pains, he performed well enough to shut down a number of opponents and allow the coaches to move DRC to the slot corner position. Meanwhile, Collins led the Giants in tackles, was second on the team in interceptions, and third on the team in sacks. The weak spot in the secondary was free safety as promising rookie Darian Thompson and Mykkele Thompson were lost early to injuries, Nat Berhe battled concussions, and undrafted rookie Andrew Adams started the bulk of the season. While Adams didn’t embarrass himself, he did not make many plays either. Late in the season, Leon Hall – who was shifted from corner to safety – took over the position.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign CB/S Leon Hall and CB Trevin Wade. The Steelers signed CB Coty Sensabaugh. The Giants signed unrestricted free agents CB Valentino Blake and S Duke Ihenacho and re-signed practice squad players CB Michael Hunter, CB Donte Deayon, and S Ryan Murphy. The Giants surprisingly did not draft a defensive back in a DB-strong draft. But the team did sign undrafted rookie free agents CB DaShaun Amos, CB Nigel Tribune, S Jadar Johnson, and S Trey Robinson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: At cornerback, while fan focus will be on the depth situation after the top three cornerbacks, the main story line will be determining Eli Apple’s upside. He had a solid but not great rookie season. If he can elevate his game to a different level in 2017, then the Giants defense will be very tough. The Giants do need to determine their #4 and possibly #5 corners. Injuries happen. When Rodgers-Cromartie left the playoff game, the Packers picked on his replacement. With Leon Hall, Trevin Wade, and Coty Sensabaugh gone, someone else will have to step forward.

At safety, can Landon Collins duplicate or even build upon his 2016 All-Pro season? Much attention will be focused on who starts at free safety opposite of Collins. Darian Thompson is coming off a serious lisfranc injury. Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson have not been able to stay healthy. “Veteran” journeymen Duke Ihenacho, Eric Pinkins, and Ryan Murphy will battle Andrew Adams and the two rookie free agents (Jadar Johnson and Trey Robinson). There are a lot of bodies, but also a lot of questions.

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone except for Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Landon Collins, and probably Darian Thompson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: “Work ethic. He’s an athletic guy, he’s smart so he understands the game. He has enough ability that wherever he works at, he could be successful at it. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s quick, he’s long, he has experience and he still moves well. Ten years in the league and you can’t tell that by his movement. He rarely misses practice, he practices all the time… He tries to lead the young guys, and tries to direct them on things, because he has a wealth of experience. They listen to him and look up to him, so that’s good.”

Safeties Coach David Merritt on Darian Thompson: “He looks good. The fact that he’s coming off a leg injury. The one day he complained that it was sore, two weeks ago. Since then, he looks good. He’s transitioning. I see him actually bursting and coming in and out of his transition. He’s doing a good job. There is still some ways to go and hopefully training camp we will be able to really test that foot. Right now, he’s going through all the individual drills. I’m happy and excited.”

Merritt on the competition at free safety: “I’m going to be honest with you, you can sit here right now and say yes (Darian Thompson is the favorite to win the job), but I can’t sit here and take away from what Andrew Adams has done. I think they’re all competing for a starting job. That second safety has been elusive for us. To have two guys that can actually step in there and actually hold down the position. Hopefully we will find that solid piece this year but we need four good guys. If we can get four good guys, it’s going to be great… Darian is a very cerebral guy. He is very smart and he understands the calls as well as Landon (Collins). To have two smart guys back there and to be able to feed off of one another, it’s going to be a good mixture between Darian, Andrew and Landon of course. Darian is a very smart guy and that’s what we knew about him coming out of college. He had the mental capacity to learn Spags’ defense and do things we’re asking him to do. It’ll be pretty exciting for sure.”

Merritt on Landon Collins’ ceiling: “Right now, if I was rating him 1 to 10 as far as where he is, right now Landon is at a 7. I think he can get up to playing at an 8 ½, 9 consistently. You’re talking always in the running for (Defensive Play of the Year) and constantly making Pro Bowls, things like that. Last year was such a big jump for the kid and I’m proud of him. That was last year. Antrel Rolle after he came off his big season the next year and didn’t do as well. I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t get caught in any type of trap. I understand right now that he was the best coming out of high school and the best coming out of college. Now, he’s here every year and there is going to be a new crop of guys coming in. The safeties around the league are humble. You have to make sure you’re humble. Keep your body in shape, keep your mind strong and understand constantly learning the game of football and studying your opponents.”

PREDICTIONS: This is arguably the most-talented group of defensive backs accumulated at one time in team history. Most of the question marks here surround health and depth. The Giants top three corners are as good as anyone in the NFL. Two are already playing at an All-Pro level. Look for Eli Apple to elevate his game and make this unit even stronger. As long as his foot is OK, Darian Thompson should start at free safety and give the Giants a very formidable (and intelligent) secondary. Special teams will be a big factor in determining the back-up corners and safeties.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, Michael Hunter, Mykkele Thompson, Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Jadar Johnson. (Thompson can play both safety and cornerback, which helps his cause. Beat writers think special teams ace Eric Pinkins has a good shot – keep an eye on him. Donte Deayon is a favorite of Steve Spagnuolo).

May 252017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 25, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their third voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The seven remaining OTA practices will be held on May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (soreness), safety Darian Thompson (recovering from lisfranc injury), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL) did not practice.

Cornerback Eli Apple (thigh or hamstring) left practice early with a wrap around his leg.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., defensive end Olivier Vernon, and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Weston Richburg at center, John Jerry at right guard, and Bobby Hart at right tackle.
  • The second-team offensive line was Michael Bowie at left tackle, Adam Gettis at left guard, Brett Jones at center, D.J. Fluker at right guard, and Adam Bisnowaty at right tackle.
  • With Odell Beckham, Jr. absent, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard “started” but Tavarres King also saw quite a bit of time with the first unit.
  • The second-team quarterback was Josh Johnson.
  • First-team defense included defensive ends Jason Pierre Paul and Romeo Okwara; defensive tackles Robert Thomas and Damon Harrison; linebackers Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, and Jonathan Casillas; cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple; and safeties Landon Collins and Andrew Adams.
  • Stansly Maponga, who was at defensive end last season, saw snaps at linebacker.
  • Mykkele Thompson saw reps at cornerback.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep for a long touchdown. Later, Jenkins broke up a pass intended for Marshall.
  • Tight end Evan Engram was spotted lining up in multiple positions.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe made a nice catch from quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Donte Deayon saw work at nickel corner.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris in stride over the middle for a touchdown.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was sharp, including nailing one from 50 yards out with plenty of distance to spare.
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich saw reps at tight end and made a catch down the seam from quarterback Davis Webb. Tight end Evan Engram also made a nice catch from Webb.

GIANTS CUT ISHAQ WILLIAMS AND RAHIM MOORE…
The New York Giants officially announced on Thursday that the team has signed unrestricted free agents defensive end Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) and safety Duke Ihenacho (Washington Redskins). To make room for these two, the Giants waived/injured linebacker Ishaq Williams and terminated the contract of safety Rahim Moore.

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.

Moore was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Moore was originally drafted in the 2nd round of 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants pursued Moore in free agency in 2015 before he signed with the Houston Texans, who waived him in March 2016 after he was benched for the bulk of the season. Moore signed with the Browns last year but he did not make the team.

GERALD HODGES SIGNS WITH THE BILLS…
Unrestricted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges (San Francisco 49ers) has signed a 1-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Hodges visited the Giants on Wednesday.

VICTOR CRUZ TO SIGN WITH THE BEARS…
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (2010-2016) will sign a 1-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The Giants cut Cruz in February.

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…

Feb 242017
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

  • RB Paul Perkins (Video)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Video)
  • LB Keenan Robinson (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 172017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The biggest reasons for the New York Giants defense’s dramatic improvement in 2016 was the improved play of the (1) defensive line and (2) defensive backs. The Giants defense went from dead last in 2015 to tenth in yardage allowed and second in scoring allowed in 2016. And while the team’s 23rd-ranked pass defense (251.1 yards per game) does not sound impressive, the unit played at a far higher level than that, as indicated by three defensive backs earning All-Pro honors.

The secondary became a team strength because the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins in free agency, drafted Eli Apple in the first round, and watched second-year safety Landon Collins develop into an impact player at his more natural strong safety position. An inconsistent player in St. Louis, Jenkins became one of the best corners in the NFL in 2016, teaming with Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to form perhaps the NFL’s best trio of corners. While Apple had his growing pains, he performed well enough to shut down a number of opponents and allow the coaches to move DRC to the slot corner position. Meanwhile, Collins led the Giants in tackles, was second on the team in interceptions, and third on the team in sacks. The weak spot in the secondary was free safety as promising rookie Darian Thompson and Mykkele Thompson were lost early to injuries, Nat Berhe battled concussions, and undrafted rookie Andrew Adams started the bulk of the season. While Adams didn’t embarrass himself, he did not make many plays either. Late in the season, Leon Hall – who was shifted from corner to safety – took over the position.

THE STARTERS

In his first season with the Giants, Janoris Jenkins had his best season to date, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and his first All-Pro (second-team) selection. Jenkins started every game, except for missing one game due to a back injury, and finished the season with 49 tackles, one sack, 18 pass defenses, three interceptions, and one forced fumble. Jenkins was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. The Giants signed him as unrestricted free agent in March 2016. Jenkins is an average-sized corner with excellent speed and quickness. He is a confident, instinctive coverman who has gotten better each year and has developed into an elite shut-down corner. Jenkins plays well in both man and zone coverage. He plays with swagger.

The Giants drafted Eli Apple in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He missed two games with hamstring and groin injuries, but surprisingly started 11 of the 14 regular-season games he played in. Apple finished the season with 51 tackles, seven pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Apple combines good size with excellent overall athletic ability, speed, and quickness. He flashes as a physical run defender and tackler, but needs to become more consistent in that area. Apple had a bit of an up-and-down rookie season in coverage. While he mostly handled his opponent, there were times when he gave up big plays. Apple makes a lot contact with receivers in coverage and he needs to continue to work on his technique. He has a big upside and looks to be developing into a fine player.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) had another strong year for the Giants, being named second-team All-Pro. He missed one game with a groin injury but started nine of the 15 regular-season games he played in, taking most of his snaps inside at the slot corner position. DRC finished the year with 49 tackles, one sack, 21 pass defenses, six interceptions, and one forced fumble. Rodgers-Cromartie was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and signed with the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and the Giants in 2014. Rodgers-Cromartie combines superb size and overall athletic skills, including speed, size, and leaping ability. Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the better cover corners in the NFL and capable of shutting down even top wide receivers. He has improved his toughness as a hitter and tackler. Rodgers-Cromartie made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and in 2015, the latter as an alternate. While he has not missed many games, DRC seems to battle a lot of nagging injuries.

In his second season, Landon Collins had a break-out year, being voted to his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro. Collins started every game and finished the year with 125 tackles, four sacks, 13 pass defenses, and five interceptions. Collins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He is a big, tough, physical safety who lacks ideal quickness and recovery speed. Collins is good hitter and tackler and plays the run very well. He dramatically improved his play against the pass in 2016 and has rapidly developed into one of the best safeties in the NFL.

The Giants originally signed Andrew Adams as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Adams was signed to the Practice Squad, and then the 53-man roster in September 2016 after injuries hit the safety position hard. Force-fed into the starting line-up, Adams played in 14 regular-season games with 13 starts. He finished the year with 46 tackles, five pass defenses, and one interception. Adams lacks ideal height and speed but he is a well-built, athletic safety with good quickness. While Adams failed to make many plays on the ball in coverage, he was surprisingly reliable in that opposing offenses did not exploit him as much as would have been expected. That said, Adams saw his playing time decrease at the very end of the season in favor of Leon Hall.

THE RESERVES

Trevin Wade played in every game in 2016 with two regular-season starts. He received about 33 percent of defensive snaps and finished the year with 26 tackles and three pass defenses. Wade was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2012-13), Saints (2013-14), and Lions (2014). The Giants signed Wade to a reserve/future contract in January 2015. Wade is a decent-sized corner with only average athletic ability and speed. He can handle the slot corner position. Wade flashes solid cover skills at times but also gives up a fair share of completions.

Coty Sensabaugh was signed by the Giants in October 2016 after he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 10 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 15 tackles. Sensabaugh was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Rams signed him to a 3-year, $15 million contract in March 2016. Sensabaugh has played in 72 regular-season games with 29 starts. Sensabaugh is an average-sized corner whose strength is playing the slot nickel corner spot.

The Giants signed Leon Hall in August 2016. The Giants started him off at his usual slot corner position before shifting him to safety when injuries hit that position hard. Hall played in 12 regular-season games with two starts, finishing with 31 tackles, two sacks, two pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Hall was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In his nine seasons with the Bengals, Hall played in 121 regular-season games with 105 starts. Hall is nearing the end of a productive career, but his corner cover skills have eroded due to father time and injuries (Achilles’ tendon injuries in 2011 and 2013 and back surgery in 2016). Hall’s final playing days may be best suited for safety.

Michael Hunter spent time on both the Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. He played in two regular-season games and finished the season with four tackles. The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Hunter has a nice combination of size and speed. He is a physical, press corner who was up-and-down during the 2016 preseason for the Giants.

Nat Berhe had his second injury-plagued season in a row in 2016. Berhe missed nine regular-season games with two concussions. He ended up playing in seven games with two starts, finishing with 21 tackles, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Berhe was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams. But he missed all of 2015 due to a blood clot in his calf. Berhe lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a smart, physical, and aggressive defender who hits hard. The two concussions combined with his physical style of play cloud his NFL future.

Eric Pinkins was signed to the Practice Squad in October and the 53-man roster in November. He ended up playing in five games, mostly on special teams. Pinkins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, who moved him to linebacker. Pinkins was waived by the Seahawks in September 2016. Pinkins has a nice combination of size and speed, but his instincts have been questioned.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Ryan Murphy was signed to the Practice Squad in late December 2016. Murphy was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks waived him in their final round of cuts in September 2015. He spent time on the Practice Squad of the Denver Broncos in both 2015 and 2016. Murphy has a nice combination of size and athletic ability.

INJURED RESERVE

Donte Deayon was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and placed on the Practice Squad/Injured Reserve in October 2016 with an unknown injury. The Giants originally signed Deayon as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Deayon is a fluid, dimunitive corner with very good quickness and leaping ability. He is tough and confident, but struggled at times for the Giants during the 2016 preseason.

Having won the starting free safety position in the preseason, Darian Thompson missed virtually the entire season after suffering a Lisfranc foot injury in Week 2. Thompson tried to return in November, suffered a setback in practice, and was placed on Injured Reserve. The Giants drafted Thompson in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Thompson has a nice combination of smarts, maturity, size, and overall athletic ability. Thompson has natural cover skills and makes plays on the football in coverage. It remains to be seen how much the lisfranc injury affects his career.

Mykkele Thompson was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after injuring his knee in Week 2. Thompson was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed all of his rookie season after rupturing the Achilles’ tendon in his right foot during the preseason. Somewhat still raw, Thompson is a former quarterback and wide receiver who converted to cornerback and then safety in college. Thompson is a bit of a corner-safety ‘tweener. He is tall and thin with good speed, but he lacks ideal quickness for cornerback and ideal physicality for a safety. Thompson is versatile and smart. He is a good special teams player who blocked three punts in college. With two serious leg injuries in his first two seasons, his NFL future is cloudy.

Feb 112017
 
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Martin Mayhew, Detroit Lions (September 27, 2015)

Martin Mayhew – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARTIN MAYHEW HIRED BY SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS…
According to SNY and The Daily News, the San Francisco 49ers have hired New York Giants Director of Football Operations/Special Projects Martin Mayhew to become a senior personal executive. Mayhew served as the general manager for the Lions from 2008-20015. He was fired by the Lions in November 2015. In his position with the Giants, Mayhew worked with Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams on all aspects of the salary cap, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) compliance, and player contract negotiations. He also handled special projects as assigned by General Manager Jerry Reese.

IMPORTANT DATES SECTION UPDATED…
The Important Dates section of the website has been updated.

ARTICLES…

Feb 052017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (February 4, 2017)

Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ELI MANNING CO-WINNER OF “WALTER PAYTON MAN OF THE YEAR”…
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald were named co-winners of the “Walter Payton Man of the Year” award for 2017. The award recognizes NFL players for excellence on and off the field. It was established in 1970, and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Manning is the first New York Giants player to win the award.

Manning is incredibly active in a number of charities, many of which focus on children, including March of Dimes, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tackle Kids Cancer through Hackensack University Medical Center, the Robin Hood Foundation, the American Red Cross, the Scholastic’s ClassroomsCare program, and the Eli and Abby Manning Children’s Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi.

“This is very special,” Manning said. “To be mentioned in the same sentence with Walter Payton and to see the amount of people that we’ve helped with the great work we’ve done over the years with my family, and for that to have grown as much as it has and be recognized for this award, is special.

“I knew no Giants player had won this award. I’m very happy to represent the New York Giants and (Giants Vice President of Community and Corporate Relations) Allison Stangeby and all the people who have helped me in my charitable work to be recognized and be part of the fraternity of the Walter Payton Man of the Year winners is very special.

“My commitment is to help sick kids. Their struggle isn’t easy, but their spirit, their laugh, their smile, and their belief that everything will be okay continually amazes me, and hurts me at the same time.  If we and the NFL and others in our communities commit to step in, we can lessen that struggle, ease that hurt, spark that hope. I challenge everyone here to help some person in need. You choose. But go out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life. I promise you, it’s worth it.”

MORTEN ANDERSEN AND KURT WARNER ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME…
Two former players who played briefly for the New York Giants  – place kicker Morten Andersen and quarterback Kurt Warner – have been voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017.

Andersen played 25 seasons in the NFL, including the 2001 season with the Giants. That season, Andersen converted 23-of-28 field goal attempts and 29-of-30 extra point attempts.

Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, including the 2004 season with the Giants. That season, Warner started nine games, completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. Then rookie Eli Manning finished as the starting quarterback for the final seven games of the 2004 season.

Hall of Fame New York Giants

ARTICLES…

Feb 022017
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

ARTICLES…