Feb 232015
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Before the season, many had anticipated that the secondary might not only be the strength of the defense, but the strength of the entire team. The Giants had parted ways with long-time contributors such as Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas and had reinforced the unit with free agents Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie (DRC), Walter Thurmond, Quintin Demps, and Zack Bowman. The team also re-signed Trumaine McBride and Stevie Brown. As for those already under contract, Prince Amukamara appeared primed for his best season, Antrel Rolle was coming off his best season, and Will Hill appeared to be a budding star.

But these high expectations soon began to turn to dust. Will Hill failed yet another drug test and was cut in early June. Jayron Hosley also failed a drug test and was suspended for the first month of the season; when he returned, guys signed off the street quickly passed him on the depth chart. Cooper Taylor looked sharp in the preseason but broke his foot in August and was lost for the year. Injuries then struck hard at corner once the regular season began. Nickel corner Walter Thurmond was placed on Injured Reserve after only two games, followed by  Trumaine McBride and Prince Amukamara. The loss of Amukamara – who indeed was having his best season – was particularly a hard pill to swallow. Without two of their top three corners, more pressure was placed on DRC, who was also dealing with a litany of injury issues to the point where he could not play a full game. A year after playing his best season, Rolle may have played his worst, failing to make many impact plays. And Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps were both disappointing at the other safety spot, both losing the starting job to the other at different points of the season. Stevie Brown’s 2012 season – where he led the team with eight interceptions – appears to have been a mirage.

The Giants were quickly left to scramble and made in-season roster moves including signing Chykie Brown, Mike Harris, and Chandler Fenner. Chykie Brown and Harris performed reasonably well given the circumstances, but overall, the secondary failed to fulfill their preseason boasts as one of the best units in the NFL. The Giants finished 18th in the NFL in pass defense.

THE CORNERBACKS

Although Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played in all 16 games, hamstring, back, side, and shoulder injuries limited practice and game snaps for much of the season and impacted his play on the field. Nevertheless, Rodgers-Cromartie remained the team’s most physically-talented defensive back and he often shut down his opponent. Rodgers-Cromartie finished the season with 38 tackles, two interceptions, and 12 pass defenses. 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 ability, including speed, size, and leaping ability. When motivated and focused, Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the better cover corners in the NFL. But he needs to be more consistent, and he s not a very physical player as a hitter or tackler.

Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Prince Amukamara was having his best season before being placed on Injured Reserve in November 2014 with a torn biceps muscle. Amukamara started eight games and finished the season with 45 tackles, three interceptions, and 11 pass defenses. Amukamara was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants, but his initial season was a virtual wash due to a broken foot that required surgery. Amukamara also battled a high ankle sprain and hamstring injuries in 2012. Amukamara is a well-built corner with good overall athleticism and speed. He usually does a good job of keeping his opponent quiet during a game and he finally started making more plays on the football in 2014. Amukamara flashes in run defense with his hitting and tackling.

Walter Thurmond III was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery after playing in only two games. Thurmond was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. He missed much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons recovering from a broken leg (fibula), playing in only eight regular-season games. In November 2013, he was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy. That year he played in 12 regular-season games, with three starts, and finished with 33 tackles, six pass defenses, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Giants signed Thurmond as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Thurmond combines decent size with good speed and quickness. Smooth in coverage, Thurmond is considered one of the better slot corners/nickel backs in the NFL. Thurmond obviously has off-the-field concerns.

Trumaine McBride, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Trumaine McBride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Trumaine McBride was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2014 after thumb surgery. He finished the 2014 season 21 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 pass defense, and 2 forced fumbles in six games with one start. McBride was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in September 2009. He has also spent time with the Cardinals, Saints, and Jaguars. The Giants signed McBride to a Reserve/Future contract in January 2013. That season, McBride played in 15 games with 10 starts, and he finished the season with 37 tackles, 15 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. McBride lacks ideal size and speed, but he plays with good quickness and instincts.

The Giants claimed Chykie Brown off of waivers from the Baltimore Ravens in November 2014. He ended up playing in eight games with four starts and finished the season with 31 tackles and two pass defenses for the Giants. Brown was originally drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Ravens, Brown played in 46 regular-season games with two starts. Brown has decent size and athletic ability. While he struggled in Baltimore, Brown held his own for the Giants in the final month of the season.

The Giants signed Mike Harris off of the Practice Squad of the Detroit Lions in October 2014. He ended up playing in five games with one start, mainly at slot/nickel corner where he performed at a reasonable level. Harris finished the season with 21 tackles, one interception, and two pass defenses. Harris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In two seasons with Jacksonville, Harris played in 31 games with eight starts. Harris was waived by the Jaguars in August 2014 before signing with the Lions in October. Harris has decent size and athleticism. He is a good tackler and special teams player.

Zack Bowman, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Zack Bowman played in all 16 games with five starts but saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed despite all of the injuries that hit the secondary. He finished the year with 24 tackles, two interceptions, and six pass defenses. Bowman was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Bears. In six seasons with the Bears, Bowman played in 73 regular-season games with 23 starts. The Giants signed Bowman as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Bowman is a big, physical corner who can make plays on the football. He lacks ideal speed and quickness and can be beat deep. Bowman is a good special teams player.

Chandler Fenner was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad in October 2014. He played in 11 games, mainly on special teams, and finished the season with seven tackles. Fenner was originally signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but the Seattle Seahawks signed him to their Practice Squad in December 2012. He missed all of 2013 with a knee injury that landed him on Seattle’s Injured Reserve. The Giants signed Chandler Fenner in August 2014. Fenner has a nice combination of size and athleticism and he plays a physical game.

Jayron Hosley has not developed since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He not only received a 4-game suspension for drug use at the start of the season, but he was quickly by-passed on the depth chart by guys signed off of the street when injuries hit the secondary hard. Hosley ended up playing in just six games with two starts. He finished the season with eight tackles and one pass defense. Hosley lacks ideal stature, but he is athletic with good speed and quickness. However, despite his athletic ability, Hosley’s play against the pass actually seems to have deteriorated since being drafted. He has also been very injury prone, missing significant time in both 2012 and 2013.

Bennett Jackson was signed to the Practice Squad in August 2014 and placed on the Practice Squad/Injured List in October 2014 with cartilage damage knee injury that required microfracture surgery. The Giants drafted Jackson in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Jackson converted to cornerback from wide receiver at Notre Dame and could project to safety. He has good size and decent speed for a corner, but may lack ideal quickness for the position. He is a good hitter and tackler. Jackson was a team captain at Notre Dame and a good special teams player.

Josh Victorian was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2014. Victorian was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, he has spent time with the Patriots (2011), Saints (2012), Steelers (2012-13), Texans (2013), and Lions (2014). He has played in 12 NFL games, four for the Steelers with one start in 2012 and eight for the Texans in 2013. Victorian has average size and lacks ideal overall athleticism, but he is a hard working, instinctive football player.

Travis Howard was waived/injured and placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014. Howard was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Houston Texans after the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent some time on the Practice Squad of the Patriots that season before the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in December 2013. Howard is a physical corner with good ball skills. He has good size and long arms, but lacks ideal speed and quickness. Howard is a good hitter, but he needs to become a more consistent and reliable tackler.

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

THE SAFETIES

Despite starting all 16 games, Antrel Rolle did not have the same impact on the playing field that he did in 2013. Rolle finished the season with 87 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Rolle was steady but did not make many big plays. Rolle was originally drafted as a cornerback in the 1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. After three inconsistent seasons at corner, the Cardinals moved him to free safety in 2008. Rolle was signed by the Giants in March 2010 after the Cardinals cut him in a salary-related move. One of the better coverage safeties in the game, Rolle has good speed and range. Due to his experience as a cornerback, unlike most safeties, Rolle can play man coverage and has often been called upon to play the slot corner position. He is a good tackler and run defender. Rolle has become one of the key leaders of the defense. He also has been very durable, never missing a game in his five seasons with the Giants. Rolle has been voted to the Pro Bowl twice (2009 and 2010) and named All-Pro twice (2010 and 2013). He also played in the 2013 Pro Bowl as a second-alternate.

Stevie Brown played in all 16 games. He started the first three games of the season, lost his starting job for eight weeks, then regained it for the last five weeks of the season. Brown finished with 38 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Brown was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him in September 2011 and he then spent time with the Panthers and Colts. The Giants signed him in April 2012. Brown had a tremendous season in 2012, intercepting more passes in a single season by a Giant in 44 years. He was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2013 after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the preseason. Brown has superb size for a safety, but lacks quickness and range. Despite his size, he does not stand out as a run defender and tackler. Against the pass, Brown lacks range and quickness, and is prone to making mental mistakes. Contrary to 2012, he rarely made plays on the football in 2014.

Quintin Demps, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Quintin Demps begain the season as the Giants’ third safety, was promoted to the starting job for half the season, then lost it again the final month of the season. Demps finished the year with 57 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Demps was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has spent time with the Eagles (2008-09), Houston Texans (2010-12), and Chiefs (2013). The Giants signed Demps in March 2014. Demps has a nice combination of size and athletic ability. He’s a frustratingly inconsistent player who flashes play-making ability but also makes too many mistakes in coverage. He does not stand out against the run either.

Nat Berhe, a 5th round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, played in all 16 games. Although he was mainly relegated to special teams, he did see some time on defense and finished the season with 10 tackles. Berhe lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a smart, aggressive competitor who plays hard all of the time. In college, Berhe made a ton of tackles against the run, but was not as active in pass defense.

Cooper Taylor was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014 with a semasoid bone issue in his foot that required surgery. Cooper was impressing with his play during training camp and the preseason. Cooper was selected in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. A heart condition caused him to slip in the draft. Taylor has an excellent combination of size and athleticism. Taylor missed six games in 2013 with shoulder and hamstring injuries. He played in 10 games that year, serving almost exclusively on special teams.

Thomas Gordon was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. The team waived Gordon in August, but re-signed him to the Practice Squad in December 2014. Gordon lacks ideal height, but he is well-built and a decent athlete. He is a good run defender who hits and tackles well. He started 38 games at Michigan.

Feb 102015
 
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Brett Jones, Calgary Stampeders (June 26, 2014)

Brett Jones – © USA TODAY Sports Images

According to various press reports, the New York Giants will sign Canadian Football League (CFL) offensive lineman Brett Jones. The 23-year old Jones has played center for the Calgary Stampeders for the past two seasons. He was named the CFL’s top rookie in 2013 and top offensive lineman in 2014.

Jones reportedly has worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Jones will visit with the Giants on Tuesday night and take a physical with the team on Wednesday.

Jones is 6’2”, 318 pounds and considered smart, tough, and athletic. He could also be an option at guard in addition to center for New York.

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings’ incredible journey to the NFL by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Giants.com Feature on Players: Video features on the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • DT Jay Bromley (Video)
  • CB Jayron Hosley (Video)
Nov 062014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 3, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 6, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Zack Bowman (viral gastroenteritis), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee), and OG Adam Snyder (knee) and did not practice on Thursday. Bowman was sent to the hospital and later released.

RB Rashad Jennings (knee), OG Weston Richburg (ankle), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and P Steve Weatherford (ankle/back) practiced on a limited basis.

“I expect (Richburg) to (play on Sunday),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He was really probably 50 percent today, and I’m hoping to go inside and find out that he can do more tomorrow.”

November 6, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

November 6, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Tom Coughlin accepts Giant share of the blame by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on RB Michael Cox: With running game stalled, Giants think they might have a secret weapon by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:

Article on the Giants-Colts Game: Film review: How to explain the Giants latest defensive flop on Monday night by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

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

Oct 312014
 
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Perry Fewell, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Perry Fewell – Photo by Big d E

October 31, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings (knee) and DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not practice on Friday. Head Coach Tom Coughlin has already ruled Jennings out of the game against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) were limited in practice.

“We are working him,” said Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. “It depends on how he feels. Sometimes he is really good, when I say good he has been good back to back practices so we will see tomorrow if he tightens up, stiffens up, what have you. That is how we kind of approach it – it is a day-to-day kind of assessment with him.”

October 31, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Friday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com and BigBlueInteractive.com:

October 31, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Are Giants newbies having trouble adjusting to ‘strict’ Coughlin? by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Giants must trust Eli Manning, let him win them some games by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on OT Justin Pugh: Will Giants’ Justin Pugh end up defined by his Eagles debacle? by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Articles on DE Damontre Moore:

Article on CB Jayron Hosley: The daunting matchup awaiting Jayron Hosley by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Oct 162014
 
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Perry Fewell, New York Giants (October 16, 2011)

Perry Fewell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and RB Rashad Jennings (knee) did not practice on Thursday. Jennings has already been ruled out of the game against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.

“I think they’re working on trying to get him to where he can do something,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin about Rodgers-Cromartie.

It is the same thing. Problems down my leg on the entire right side. I am just trying to rest it and get it right,” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “I definitely thought I would be back by today. You want Thursday and Friday to get that time in, but definitely looking to push forward and (practice) tomorrow…(I am at) 60 percent.”

LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

LB Jon Beason (toe) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) fully practiced.

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Injured WR Victor Cruz can become NY Giants source of inspiration by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Jayron Hosley: Giants CB Jayron Hosley: I’m at a much better place mentally than I was in the preseason by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on the Giants-Eagles Game: Giants film review: Did Eli Manning have a chance on any of the sacks? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

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

Oct 152014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 25, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

October 15, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and RB Rashad Jennings (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said Jennings will not play this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.

LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

LB Jon Beason (toe) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) fully practiced.

October 15, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Wednesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

October 15, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz ‘in good spirits’ during brief stop at Giants facility by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Oct 062014
 
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October 6, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee in the game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Jennings will not need surgery but he was wearing a knee brace when talking to the press on Monday. It is not clear how much time he will miss.

Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

“I am going to go day-to-day,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin of Jennings. “I’m not going to change off of that until I am told differently…We are all hoping that this young man is a fast healer with the way he conditions and takes care of himself. We’ll see.”

Meanwhile, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie underwent a medical exam on Monday to check out a hip/leg issue.

“The word has come back to me that he thinks he can play with it,” said Coughlin. “It is a leg injury, but pinpointing it is not something that I am going to try to do. It starts with an ankle, but I noticed that he has had some issue way up high in the hip area also from time to time. I am just going to stick with the leg right now. We felt that he could work through it on a couple of occasions, but I think (Senior Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie (Barnes) wanted to shut it down and take a look at whatever was going on there. Hopefully, we can overcome it. He thinks he can play through it as he rehabs and feels better about it…I don’t think this is anything new or different. I think it is an ongoing thing.”

LB Spencer Paysinger suffered a hamstring injury in the game and underwent further testing today. No word yet on his status.  “The severity, I don’t know, we will see,” Coughlin said. “We have a couple of those things at the linebacker level that seem to be forever but shouldn’t be. Hopefully that is not the case with Spencer Paysinger.”

LB Jon Beason (foot/toe) was held out of his third consecutive game on Sunday. “The injury obviously and the projection between the medical people and Jon himself as to how far he could go into the game and where he would be if he were to put another solid week in front of him without any kind of setbacks,” said Coughlin.

RB Michael Cox and CB Jayron Hosley Added to 53-Man Roster: The New York Giants signed RB Michael Cox to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on Monday. CB Jayron Hosley was also officially added to the roster after his 1-game roster exemption expired following his 4-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s policy on illegal drugs.

To make room for Cox and Hosley, the Giants waived WR Julian Talley and CB Chandler Fenner.

The Giants also waived WR/returner Trindon Holliday (hamstring) off of Injured Reserve with an injury settlement.

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

October 6, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

October 6, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

QB Eli Manning on WFAN: The audio of Monday’s WFAN interview with QB Eli Manning is available at CBS New York

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Tom Coughlin willing to change for good of the organization by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on the Giants-Falcons Game: Giants snap counts vs. Falcons: What they mean for Odell Beckham Jr. and others by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Sights and Sounds from Giants-Falcons Game: A sights and sounds video from the Giants-Falcons game is available at Giants.com.

Sep 292014
 
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Jayron Hosley and Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (September 29, 2013)

Jayron Hosley and Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 29, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

“Not bad. He’s getting better. Hopefully it’ll be soon,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin when asked about Kennard’s progress.

LB Jon Beason (foot/ankle), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), OT James Brewer (back), and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) practiced.

Coughlin was asked what Bechkam has to demonstrate in order to play. “There are a lot of things,” replied Coughlin. “He has to practice, he has to practice consecutive days, he has to be able to show us that he’s not only strong enough but can endure day after day, so there’s some room here to make some progress and impress everybody. ”

“(Beason) seemed to be okay, did a little bit,” said Coughlin.

Jayron Hosley Back with Giants: CB Jayron Hosley, who was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on illegal drugs, is back practicing with the team. The Giants have received a one-game roster exemption for Hosley. The team has until 4:00PM next Monday to place him on the 53-man roster or waive him. If they decide to keep Hosley, the Giants will have to make a roster move to make room for him.

September 29, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

September 29, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Articles on WR Rueben Randle:

Article on TE Larry Donnell: Larry Donnell’s career day shows Giants have strength at Tight End by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Secondary:

Article on NFL Network’s “Finding Giants”: Unsung scouts are the stars of NFL Network’s ‘Finding Giants’ by Neil Best of Newsday

Aug 302014
 
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John Conner, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

John Conner – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants made 22 roster moves on Saturday in order reduce the roster to 53 players as required by the NFL.

In addition, the Giants activated linebacker Jon Beason from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Beason passed his physical and can now practice for the first time since injuring his foot on June 12 during an Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice. “He’s ready to practice,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “You need that kind of dynamic leadership. The guy loves the game, he loves to play it. He’ll have the biggest smile on his face come Monday when he trots out there.”

The Giants waived or terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • QB Curtis Painter
  • RB Kendall Gaskins
  • RB Michael Cox
  • FB John Conner
  • WR Julian Talley
  • TE Kellen Davis
  • OL Rogers Gaines (waived/injured)
  • OL Mark Asper
  • OL Jamaal Johnson-Webb
  • OL Adam Gress
  • DE Israel Idonije
  • DE Jordan Stanton
  • DT Kelcy Quarles
  • LB Dan Fox
  • LB Terrell Manning
  • CB Bennett Jackson
  • CB Chandler Fenner
  • S Thomas Gordon

The Giants also placed the following players on season-ending Injured Reserve, although this doesn’t preclude the team from making an injury settlement:

  • WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring)
  • WR Mario Manningham (calf)

The Giants also placed the following players on the Reserve/Suspended List for violating NFL drug policies:

  • OL Eric Herman (4-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs)
  • CB Jayron Hosley (4-game suspension for illegal drugs)

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

“There were a lot of good, competitive positions, even going into Thursday night’s game with New England,” Coughlin said. “Many of the young guys were competing, not only for roster spots but for the practice squad. That is an important concept as well. It is in the best interest of the clubs to be able to go to their practice squad, if the need is there, for a player who has been in your meeting rooms the entire summer and fall.”

With Painter being cut, Ryan Nassib will be the only quarterback on the roster behind Eli Manning. “Ryan Nassib made big strides,” Coughlin said. “I think that his third and fourth preseason games were outstanding. You see definite improvement. You see the work that he’s put in. He’s been a very good student and he’s applied that to the field. What I really liked is he did have a poor preseason game and he came back with two good ones. That showed me, he didn’t do it by talking, he did it by working.”

Speaking of the competition at fullback between Conner and Henry Hynoski, Coughlin said, “Two very good players. Both guys can play in this league. Very, very close. Both of them are physical. They’ll knock the heck out of you. Utmost respect for John Conner, I think he’s a heck of a player and a great competitor and a good man. He doesn’t say a word, just goes and does his job. Give me all of those you can find.”

Preston Parker, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Preston Parker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Coughlin on WR Preston Parker, who made the team: “Preston’s been around a little bit. Preston also has the punt return/kickoff return ability. Right now that’s very critical for us, because Odell Beckham was going to be the punt returner.”

Coughlin on keeping Kerry Wynn over Israel Idonije at defensive end: “We had tremendous respect for Izzy (Idonije) because of the quality of man he is. He came in here and whatever we asked him to do, he did. He battled, he competed. The other night he played a lot of nice snaps. At this point in time, the idea of developing the young player was first and foremost on your minds as we put the roster together…I like the fact that (Wynn) has very good size and he runs well. He flashed in the preseason and he is a young prospect that works hard, studies hard. We think he has a lot of upside.”

“They’re great stories and that’s what this thing is all about,” Coughlin said. “Your needs are much deeper than seven picks in the draft or sometimes you’re not in position to help yourself in free agency because of the cap, so this is still the source. And when a young guy comes along and they look like they’ve got a high end, you’re excited about it. Especially when they work hard, they study hard, it’s important to them and they have great desire. You can see it on some of these kids’ faces that this means so much to them, and quite frankly it re-energizes me.

“Even on a day like this where I have to let people go, when I see what the game means to certain players and when I see that, then I think there’s hope, to be honest with you. I do. Not just hope here, hope for everybody in this world because we’re not going through the motions. They love it. They love what they’re doing, they love the game. That’s how it all starts. For the normal young person that comes along and plays this game, it started with the love of the game. You compete, it’s about competitors. It’s still about competitors and people who are determined to be the best that they can be at what they do. That’s what reinforces me.”

After noon on Sunday, the Giants can sign 10 players to their Practice Squad, if they are not claimed off of waivers first.

“The practice squad is not taken lightly,” Coughlin said. “There are a lot of things that go into making choices and one of the things that’s really important, that has to be stressed, this summer is that we’ve got it to 10. And that’s a very important thing, the fact that we can have 10 practice squad guys means a lot in terms of your ability to prepare. Because as you go through the season and you have the various nicks that occur during the course of it and players can’t practice, at least you can continue to service your first groups with your practice squad players. That helps tremendously because the drain always comes.

“If a two becomes a one, then who services the other side of the ball? That’s a major concern for us at this level, because you have to continue to improve. People don’t realize that, it is about improvement and it’s not just about games, it’s about improving and your chance to improve on the practice field is so important.”

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Embarking on a New Path by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

NY Post Q&A with WR Victor Cruz: Serby’s Sunday Q&A with Victor Cruz by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Jul 152014
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning next week, BigBlueInteractive.com continues to break down each of the team’s positional groups until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at this year’s cornerbacks.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Cornerbacks

Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: The one steady constant at cornerback in 2013 was Prince Amukamara at right corner. In his third year with the Giants, and his second as a full-time starter, Amukamara developed into the team’s best corner. Amukamara started all 16 games and finished the year with 85 tackles, 14 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. Things did not go as planned at left corner. Corey Webster had issues with his hip, groin, and ankle. He only started two games before the Giants finally gave up on him and placed him on Injured Reserve in December. His primary back-up, Aaron Ross, only started two games before being placed on Injured Reserve in October with a back injury. Jayron Hosley was next in line but he suffered a significant hamstring in jury in Week 4 that sidelined him for the next five games and nagged him much of the rest of the season. Hosley played in 11 games with one start, finishing the season with just 9 tackles and 2 pass defenses. The player who benefited the most from these injuries was Trumaine McBride. McBride was an under-the-radar street free agent signing who ended up playing in 15 games with 10 starts. He finished 2013 with 37 tackles, 15 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. Terrell Thomas, coming off back-to-back ACL tears in 2011 and 2012, was primarily used as the nickel slot corner. Though limited all year in practice, he played in all 16 games with seven starts and finished the season with 67 tackles, 1 sack, 7 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. Charles James was a rookie free agent who played in 12 games, almost exclusively on special teams.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Massive changes occurred at cornerback in the offseason. The only ones returning are Prince Amukamara, Trumaine McBride, Jayron Hosley, and Charles James. The Giants have also decided to invite 2013 Practice Squad players Ross Weaver and Travis Howard to training camp.

Gone are former stalwarts Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas. 2013 Practice Squaders Junior Mertile and Chaz Powell were also waived after initially being re-signed in January.

The major new additions are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (from Denver, 5-years, $35 million), Walter Thurmond III (from Seattle, 1-year, $3 million), and Zack Bowman (from Chicago, 1-year, $730,000). The Giants also drafted Bennett Jackson in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: How good is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC)? Some believe he is capable of being one of the NFL’s elite corners, others say he is overrated. The Giants are expecting (and paying) him to be core impact player. If DRC plays as well as hoped, teams that avoided Prince Amukamara in 2013 will now come after him in 2014. How will he respond? Is he capable of making more plays in the football (only 1 interception per year in three seasons). Is Walter Thurmond as good as advertised as a slot corner? If DRC, Amukamara, and Thurmond live up to the hype, along the expected strong play of the safeties, the major overall storyline is the shifting of the strength of the defense from the front-end to the back-end.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Giants will definitely carry five, and quite possibly six cornerbacks. Barring injury, Rodgers-Cromartie, Amukamara, and Thurmond are locks. Another under-the-radar signing, Zack Bowman, who looked very sharp in the OTAs. Trumaine McBride had hip surgery in January and missed all of the offseason work. He may be on shakier ground than many realize. Continued injury (injury plagued in both 2012 and 2013) and drug issues (upcoming 4-game suspension) have really hurt Jayron Hosley’s chances to make the team. Charles James and Bennett Jackson have talent but will have to fight tooth-and-nail to make the team. Both are helped by their special teams ability however.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Peter Giunta on the Giants depth at cornerback:  “We’ve got 10 quality corners right now in the program…Bringing in two guys that started in the Super Bowl obviously helps…We have great depth at that position, the deepest I’ve ever had in my years in the league.

Giunta on DRC and Amukamara: “Yes (they can both cover another team’s top receiver). They both have the skill set and both have done it in their careers, gone out and played on the best guy. They’ll battle, they’ll compete and we’ll be able to have an advantage I think playing those guy.”

Giunta on Rodgers-Cromartie: “He’s got that other gear. He can run as fast as he needs to run to get up on top of a receiver, catch up to a receiver. He’s got that gear that’s incredible. He’s such a smooth athlete. His length is so good and his ball skills are fantastic. He’s got that great skill set where he’s got the speed to recover if he does beat, he’s got the quickness to recover. He’s got the length to reach out and knock balls away that other corners wouldn’t be able to get to and he’s got great hands to make plays on the ball in the air. He’s got what you’re looking for in a corner.”

Giunta on Amukamara: “He improved, he understands well, he communicates well, his instincts, his awareness are really developing. You can really see it in (OTAs) now, he’s on top of all of the stuff. Now he’s starting to gamble a bit and take some chances, which you like to see because you’re taking calculated guesses and risking, ‘Hey, I’m going to go make a play.’ That’s what you want. He’s developed that confidence in himself and the defense, he knows what’s coming.”

Giunta on Thurmond: “He does a great job of studying, he has a great awareness of what people are trying to do to him. He plays with great leverage, understands his drops as an underneath defender. He’s able to get there, get breaks off the quarterback. He’s got great vision and to play inside like that you have to have great vision of everything that’s going on around you, it happens so much quicker. Corner you’re using the sideline to help you but in (the slot) you have so much space, especially covering guys. He’s done a great job. He’s got great quickness and he’s a great (technician). You’ll see that when we’re able to put our hands on people in training camp.”

PREDICTIONS:

Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears (October 10, 2013)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eric Kennedy – On paper, this is the deepest unit on the team strongest group of corners the Giants have had in my lifetime. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. Moreover, each year, we have seen mental breakdowns in Perry Fewell’s secondary, often followed by a mid-season “dumbing down” in order to reduce blown coverages. Will that same issue rear its ugly head again in 2014 or will the Giants’ secondary carry this defense from the get-go?

Predictions? DRC and Thurmond become fan favorites with their play. Bowman becomes a more important addition than fans currently realize. I think Charles James is underrated but stuck behind the quality guys in front of him.

Connor Hughes - I am incredibly optimistic about the Giants’ cornerbacks heading into this season. More so this year than any year I can remember in recent memory. In the past, veterans on the last leg of their careers, bargain-bought free agents and low-end draft picks occupied the Giants’ secondary as the vaunted defensive line pressured the quarterback. As teams countered with quick-passes to reveal holes in the secondary, the Giants have countered by putting more money into the cornerback position.

I believe Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara can form one of the top three cornerback tandems in the NFL. I love the return of Trumaine McBride and the potential of Charles James. More than anything else, I can’t wait to see what Walter Thurmond III has to offer.

The first time Thurmond talked to the media, he told them he was the best slot corner in the league. He comes from a secondary the Giants’ believe they can collectively be as good and has an attitude to be the best. Of every acquisition the Giants made, the biggest I truly believe will be Thurmond.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric Kennedy – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond, Zack Bowman, Charles James, Bennett Jackson.

Jayron Hosley misses the first four games due to the drug suspension and could still be brought back depending on injuries. My longshot prediction is Bennett Jackson making it over Trumaine McBride, who was re-signed to a 2-year, $2.875 million contract this offseason. I think Jackson’s special teams play and overall potential keeps him on the roster.

Connor Hughes – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (RCB), Prince Amukamara (LCB), Walter Thurmond III (nickel), Trumaine McBride (dime), Zack Bowman (reserve), Charles James (reserve).