Dec 022013
 
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Justin Tuck, New York Giants (December 1, 2013)

Four Sacks for Justin Tuck – © USA TODAY Sports Images

December 2, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday conference call is available at Giants.com.

QB Eli Manning on WFAN: The audio of Monday’s WFAN interview with QB Eli Manning is available at CBSNewYork.com

December 2, 2013 Player Media Conference Calls: The transcripts of the Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the 2013 New York Giants: Giants show they’ve got some pride by Neil Best of Newsday

Article on the Giants-Redskins Game: Giants vs. Redskins snap counts: Spencer Paysinger returns, Damontre Moore sees some time by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Tuck rules right on time vs. Redskins by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on DE Damontre Moore and CB Jayron Hosley: Giants youngsters Damontre Moore and Jayron Hosley show something vs. Redskins by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Notes: Against the Washington Redskins, the Giants started their sixth offensive line combination of the season with Kevin Boothe playing center and James Brewer stepping in at left guard.

Dec 012013
 
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Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants (December 3, 2012)

Mathias Kiwanuka – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the 2012-2013 New York Giants: Giants’ Decline Stands at 12 Months, 16 Games and Counting by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

Article on the New York Giants and 2014: With NY Giants season all but over, we take a Big Blue look at ’14 by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on RB Andre Brown: Serby’s Sunday Q&A with … Andre Brown by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on FB John Conner: Four Downs: FB John Conner talks about life as a lead blocker by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Hakeem Nicks: Benching vs. Cowboys ‘in the past’ for Nicks by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post

Article on OC/OG Kevin Boothe: Kevin Boothe takes center stage on Giants’ offensive line by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on the New York Giants Cornerbacks:

Nov 172013
 
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David Diehl, New York Giants (October 21, 2013)

David Diehl – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the 2013 New York Giants: Who would have imagined Giants’ epic comeback? by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on New York Giants Passing Game/QB Eli Manning:

Article on New York Giants Running Backs:

Article on FB John Conner: Giants fullback John Conner persevered by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on OT Justin Pugh:

Article on DE Damontre Moore: Giants Q&A: Damontre Moore talks about getting more playing time by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Secondary:

Aug 252013
 
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Stevie Brown, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Stevie Brown and Jayron Hosley Injured in OT Loss to Jets: In an ugly game, the New York Giants fell to the New York Jets 24-21 in overtime on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium. Other than one big play by RB David Wilson, the Giants’ offense and QB Eli Manning struggled.

“What happened tonight was we fought like heck throughout the entire game on defense and on special teams,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We really didn’t have anything to help us on the offensive side of the ball…There was no consistency whatsoever. We’ve got work to do on the offensive side of the ball. Whatever is going on, we’ve got to solve it and we’ve got to solve it fast. We don’t have much time.”

Worse for the Giants is that S Stevie Brown (knee) and CB Jayron Hosley (ankle) left the games with injuries. The preliminary diagnosis on Brown is a sprained knee, but the injury looked pretty bad. Brown could not put any weight on his leg and Coughlin did not sound positive about Brown after the game. An MRI will reveal the true extent of the damage. Hosley will also undergo an MRI. TE Adrien Robinson also injured his right thumb but x-rays were negative. CB Prince Amukamara rolled one of his ankles but continued to play and said he was fine.

The game started off well for the Giants as the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out. Then on the Giants’ first offensive play of the game, RB David Wilson broke off an 84-yard touchdown run.

But a mistake-prone Giants’ defense quickly allowed the Jets to tie the game as the Giants’ defense was flagged for four straight penalties for 33 yards and then left a receiver wide open for a 22-yard touchdown.

In their next five offensive possessions, the Giants only managed one first down. And the Giants’ first-team offense, which played the entire first half, only added one more field goal, despite three interceptions by the Jets. In the Giants’ last two possessions of the first half, the G-Men gained five first downs, but missed a 53-yard field goal and turned the ball over on downs.

The offensive line – missing David Baas at center and David Diehl at right tackle – struggled, as did QB Eli Manning (8-for-20 for 83 yards). Wilson gained 84 yards on his first carry and the Giants netted 97 yards the rest of the first half (76 passing and 21 rushing yards). Once again, the Giants also struggled in the red zone. Facing a 1st-and-goal from the Jets’ 4-yard line, the Giants came away with zero points.

The Giants’ first-team defense, after the Jets’ scoring drive, did perform fairly well against an anemic Jets’ offense and a rookie quarterback, picking him off three times and forcing four punts in the first half. Amukamara, Brown, and DE Justin Tuck all picked off passes. Unfortunately, Brown injured his knee untouched on his interception.

“I feel bad for Stevie Brown,” said Coughlin after the game. “He’s been a tremendous addition to our team. The guy has another interception and then has that happen. I don’t really understand how it happened. I couldn’t see it, but evidently he just got his foot planted the wrong way. I don’t think it was a contact injury.”

At the half, the Giants led 10-7.

In the second half, the Giants began to play their reserves as the Jets continued to play some of their starters even into the fourth quarter. Curtis Painter played the rest of the way for the Giants at quarterback, finishing 13-of-29 for 140 yards.

The Giants had eight possessions in the third and fourth quarters, and on six of those possessions they could not pick up a first down. The second-team offense did go 71 yards in 12 plays on their second possession of the second half, setting up a 33-yard field goal. Another field goal was set up by a Jets’ fumble. The Giants could not move the ball, but PK Josh Brown hit a 50-yard field goal. The last Giants’ points of the game came late in the fourth quarter as the Giants drove 64 yards in 10 plays to tie the game at 21-21 on Brown’s 40-yard field goal.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets’ first-team offense easily drove down the field on their first possession of the second half, going 57 yards in seven plays to take a 14-10 lead. On the Jets’ next four possessions, the Giants’ defense forced two turnovers on fumbles, caused a safety, and forced the Jets to punt. But after a poor punt by Steve Weatherford, the Jets drove 37 yards in four plays to take a 21-18 lead late in the fourth quarter.

In overtime, the Giants received the ball first but RB Da’Rel Scott fumbled the ball away on the first play. However, the Jets missed the 39-yard field goal. The Giants drove to the Jets’ 46-yard line on their second possession in overtime, but a 12-yard sack pushed the Giants back and stalled that drive. The Jets then drove 81 yards in six plays to et up the game-winning 32-yard field goal.

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at Giants.com.

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

Post-Game Player Q&As: Transcripts of post-game media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: The following injured Giants did not play in the game: FB Henry Hynoski (knee), WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (knee/groin), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

Active but not playing were QB David Carr, QB Ryan Nassib, WR Terrell Sinkfield, WR Kevin Hardy, TE Chase Clement, OT Austin Holtz, and S Cooper Taylor.

Aug 162013
 
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Robert Nunn, New York Giants (August 10, 2013)

Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 16, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their 15th training camp practice on Friday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Tuesday from 3:25-5:25PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – TE Larry Donnell Injures Knee in Practice: Not practicing on Friday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), OT Chris DeGeare (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (soreness), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked about Pierre-Paul’s rehab. “If you saw him yesterday, he worked well yesterday,” responded Coughlin. “He was right out here. He’s a little sore today, so they slowed him down again. But yesterday was an outstanding day. He ran well and he worked in the weight room.”

TE Larry Donnell injured his left knee in practice, fell to the ground in obvious pain, and had to be carted off of the field. He left the facility on crutches and will be undergoing all of the necessary tests.

WR Jerrel Jernigan (soreness) returned to practice.

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

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

WR Rueben Randle on ESPN Radio: The audio of Friday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Rueben Randle is available at ESPN.com.

Article on DT Shaun Rogers: Giants’ Rogers Fighting for Career After Missing Last Season with Blood Clot in Leg by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post 

Articles on the Linebackers:

Article on S Stevie Brown: Stevie Brown Continues to Open Eyes by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Aug 152013
 
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New York Giants Helmets (August 10, 2013)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Return to Practice on Friday: There was no practice on Thursday. The Giants return to practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants.com Q&A With Perry Fewell: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell is available at Giants.com.

Article on QB David Carr: Giants’ David Carr Understands He is Facing a Challege by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on OL Justin Pugh: Veterans Teaching Rookie OT Justin Pugh by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Article on LB Dan Connor: Giants Linebacker Dan Connor Won’t Tweak Cowboys by Tom Rock of Newsday

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Article on LS Zak DeOssie: The Giants’ Secret Weapon: a Shrieking Long-Snapper by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Giants Bowling Night Sights & Sounds: A video of the Giants’ bowling night from earlier this week is available at Giants.com.

Aug 072013
 
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Deon Grant, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Deon Grant – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 7, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their tenth training camp practice on Wednesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Thursday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – Three With Concussions: Not practicing on Wednesday were DE Justin Tuck (back), OL Justin Pugh (concussion), OL James Brewer (concussion), RB Ryan Torain (concussion), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

“(Tuck’s) got a tight back,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They’re just taking the precautions…We’ll see (if he plays on Saturday against the Steelers). We expect that to be the case, but he’ll have to do a little bit of improving. ”

When asked about Pugh, Coughlin replied, “Good, good. I hope he gets cleared this weekend for next week.”

Coughlin was also asked about Brewer and Taylor. “They won’t make it this week,” said Coughlin. “The doctor was pretty optimistic about Taylor.”

OG Chris Snee (hip) and CB Terrell Thomas (knee/hamstring) continued to practice on a limited basis.

Deon Grant Retires as a New York Giant: Safety Deon Grant, who played for four teams during an 12-year time span, has retired from the NFL as a New York Giant.

“I want to retire as a Giant,” said Grant, “because I want to be a Giant for the rest of my life.”

In his 12 seasons, Grant played for the Panthers (2000-2003), Jaguars (2004-2006), Seahawks (2007-2009), and Giants (2010-2011).

“The Giants are a connection in my heart that I knew that I was supposed to be there,” Grant said. “The last year that I signed there to go to the Super Bowl I could have signed with a bunch of teams, but I wanted to sign with the Giants. The way that the owners opened the doors and signed me back and the general manager and the coaching staff…we did each other a favor, but it definitely solidified my career for me.”

“It makes me smile,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s one of our guys. He did a great job when he was here. Mr. Versatility. He played linebacker. He played back in the secondary. We had a package basically designed to get him and others on the field at the same time and he responded very, very well. He was a very, very smart player; a guy who could direct traffic back there. The guys really respected him. He had the ability to recognize when things weren’t championship quality and he would call people’s attention to that and guys respected him for that. I look forward to seeing Deon again and see if we can get him in here and talk to our team, too. He does a very good job of that.”

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

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

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Kiwanuka Thinks Giants Defense Needs to Get Tougher by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DE Adrian Tracy: Determined to Become the Next Osi Umenyiora by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Article on TE Brandon Myers: Eli on Myers: ‘He’s Off to a Great Start’ by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on OG Brandon Mosley: Brandon Mosley in Line for Saturday Start by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Quotes: QB Eli Manning on the wide receivers: “I’ve been proud of our guys at receiver. Victor (Cruz) has come in and had a great camp so far doing a lot of good things, but Rueben Randle…A lot of talk has been about Rueben and he’s gotten a lot of reps and has really stepped up and has great talent. Louis Murphy is another guy who we brought in this offseason and he’s done really well at route running. He’s got a lot of speed and has been catching the ball well and understanding the offense and so you can see his dedication. Obviously, Hakeem (Nicks), having him back and (Tuesday) kind of the first practice in a while…It’s good to have him in the mix getting comfortable and having him full stride. So I’ve been impressed with the receivers and I think we have a strong group of guys who practice hard, they’re focused, they’re serious about doing the right things and they’re smart and have a great understanding of what we’re trying to do and it should be good.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin on DT/DE Cullen Jenkins: “He’s a tough guy to block no matter where he is. He’s very effective, very good. Moves well. Just gives us a nice piece of versatility to be able to play him basically wherever we need.”

Aug 012013
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 1, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their fifth training camp practice on Thursday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – Nicks Sits Out: Not practicing on Thursday were WR Hakeem Nicks (groin), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).

“(Nicks) is being treated for a groin, it’s a day to day type thing,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They just want to quiet it down, make sure that he heals before he goes back out and continues to maybe make it worse…I want to see him on the field and he wants to be on the field. It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to learn to control myself when it comes to that as well and just realize that you know what, he’s trying like heck to get out there and he knows he needs to practice and work at it and he came in excited about being able to go and then he had this little groin injury, which I hope is not going to set him back for very long, but obviously they’re taking all the necessary precautions.”

“I think (Nicks) needs to practice,” said Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride. “He knows it. He and I talk about it all the time and he knows it. In order for you to be ready for the season, you need to have done it and done it over and over and done it wrong, made the adjustment and then have it become part of what you do, the correct way to do it. He’s not there yet, he needs to continue to improve and he knows that. He understands that. In order for him to be ready to produce the way that he wants to produce and the way that we need him to produce, he needs to practice and get ready for that.”

DT Cullen Jenkins was excused from practice due to the death of his grandmother.

OC David Baas (still recovering from various and undisclosed offseason surgeries) was limited in practice.

Giants Waived/Injured WR Jeremy Horne; Re-Sign WR Julian Talley: The Giants waived/injured WR Jeremy Horne on Thursday after he injured his foot in practice on Tuesday. To replace Horne’s spot on the roster, the team re-signed WR Julian Talley, who the Giants originally signed as a rookie free agent last year and waived in August 2012.

Ann Mara, John Mara, and Tom Coughlin to Attend Hall of Fame Ceremonies: Giants’ co-owner Ann Mara, Giants’ President/CEO John Mara, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for former Giants’ head coach Bill Parcells on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com:

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

P Steve Weatherford on ESPN Radio: The audio of P Steve Weatherford’s interview on ESPN Radio from Thursday is available at ESPN.com.

Article on Giants’ Training Camp: Five Early Stars of Giants Training Camp by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Giants Looking for Randle to Complement Nicks, Cruz by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants Rookie DT Johnathan Hankins is Shaping Up by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Defensive Backs:

Articles on Bill Parcells:

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on TE Adrien Robinson and TE Larry Donnell: “Well, I think (Robinson is) making steady progress. You know, today I thought he practiced well, made some plays, and more importantly, from an assignment standpoint he did well, so, we look forward to having him continue that way because we also see Larry Donnell making a couple plays, so with those two big, young tight ends, they certainly do give us flexibility provided they can continue to improve.”

Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride on WR Louis Murphy: “Just, in general terms, great speed, great power, runs very sharp routes and is a tremendous professional. He’s studies our offense, he asks great questions, and so when you have a player like that who wants to learn it, who wants to put himself in a position to help the team and to put himself in the position to be successful, physically if he can do it, he’s going to do it. That’s what I’ve seen from him, he’s giving himself every opportunity to make an impact through this season.”

Jul 262013
 
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Corey Webster, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Corey Webster – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Offseason Breakdown: New York Giants Cornerbacks

In the first few paragraphs of part one, we discussed how poorly the Giants’ secondary has played in the past two years within the confines of the equally-disappointing overall defensive performance. We then broke down the safety prospects currently on the roster. In this article, we will focus on the cornerbacks.

There are currently 10 cornerbacks on the training camp roster. The Giants are likely to keep five or possibly six at most on the 53-man roster.

Corey Webster: The Giants need Webster to rebound from a disappointing 2012 season. Webster, who accepted a pay cut in the offseason, also needs to rebound well for personal financial reasons. He is entering the final year of his current contract (he has a voidable year in 2014). There is a good chance this is Corey’s last season with the Giants.

Webster’s career has been a bit of a roller coaster. He seemed like a bust the first two years of his career until he came on late during the 2007 Super Bowl run. Since then, he’s had some outstanding seasons and a couple of sub par ones, including 2012. In his worst moments from last season, sometimes he got cleanly burned, sometimes he was in position to make a play but did not. Webster did not miss a game despite a nagging hamstring injury that plagued him much of the season and breaking his hand in September. Webster finished 2012 with 58 tackles, 13 pass defenses (most on the team), and four interceptions (second most on the team).

Webster has a nice combination of size (6’0”, 200 pounds) and athleticism. While not a blazer, he is smooth and fluid with good quickness and speed. Webster can play both man and zone coverage although he seems more comfortable in man. He is a confident and instinctive player. Webster is not terribly aggressive or physical against the run. Was 2012 an aberration for the 31-year old Webster, or the beginning of the downside of his career?

“We had a lot of errors all across the field and that’s everywhere – coaches, players, and the whole strategy,” said Webster. “So we have to use that film to try and get better. It’s always hard to use film when you lose to get better, but there’s always a silver lining. We’re doing just that. We’re correcting those mistakes, those communication errors, and those misplays so we can eliminate them now and not go into the season trying to eliminate them.”

“Corey will be better,” said Cornerbacks Coach Peter Giunta. “He’s been working very hard to come back and be a better player, become more like he was more at the end of the 2011 season when we had that run and he was very consistent in his performance. And that’s what we’re looking for, for Corey to be a consistent performer for us this year.”

“When he broke his hand, it hurt him with his press technique because he wasn’t able to put his hand on the receiver so he tried to compensate,” said Giunta. “He battled through injuries because he knew we needed him on the field for all 16 games.”

“We put him on the opponent’s best receiver most of the time (in 2011),” said Giunta. “Hopefully this year he will be able to stay at the left corner spot and provide us with the consistency that we are looking for.”

“I do know that (Corey is) coming back with a purpose and so it will be fun to see him come back in the fall,” said Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell.

Prince Amukamara: 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 him suffering a broken foot that required surgery very early in training camp. Amukamara missed most of camp, all of the preseason, and nine regular-season games because of the injury. When he did return in November, he did not appear mentally or physically comfortable on the playing field and was burned on several occasions.

2012 did not start off well either when Amukamara suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and missed the first two games of the regular season. He also missed a game and was limited in two others in December with a hamstring injury. But when Amukamara played, he was a very steady performer and arguably the team’s best corner. He ended up playing in 13 games, with 11 starts, and finished with 53 tackles, seven pass defenses, and one interception.

Amukamara is a well-built (6’0”, 207 pounds), aggressive, and physical corner. He has good speed and quickness. He has the tools, but what is his upside? The most important thing for him is to stay healthy.

“He’s had a very good offseason program,” said Giunta.” He’s done a great job in the strength program getting himself into the kind of shape he needs to be in and in improving his durability. He’s been here for every OTA and has made every practice. He hasn’t missed any time at all. If he continues to show that kind of devotion, he’ll continue to get better and better as a player. We want him to become a productive performer for us. We want him to make big plays and big hits and big plays for us. He has that ability to do that.”

“He understands the system well now and can go out there and execute it,” continued Giunta. “He feels so much more comfortable because he’s able to do it with his teammates now. He’s not on the sideline watching. He feels like he’s truly a part of it. Last year for him was basically his rookie season, so to have that and to build on that, to be able to come into training camp this year, he’s a different guy who’s much more confident.”

“I’d say the more I play the more confidence I get,” said Amukamara. “Now, during this offseason, just having Terrell (Thomas) just next to me and learning how much knowledge he has, that just took my game to a whole other level. He’s like a player-coach and every time he’s critiquing me on my technique or my back-pedal, just telling me, ‘You need to understand the defense. You don’t need to just worry about you’re doing, but know what the nickel is doing. That’s first-year stuff. You know what you’re doing now. Now you’re in your third year, so now know what the safety is doing and know what the nickel is doing and it will make you play a lot better and a lot faster.’”

“I think he’s still a little wet behind the ears as far as his mentality, how he attacks his daily job,’’ said Thomas. “Me and Corey have been working on him with that, letting him know just doing your job is not enough, we need more out of you. I think he’ll get it. Sometimes it takes some people a little longer than others…With Prince he’s just happy doing his job and we’re trying to get him that we need more. ‘Yeah, you had a good game, nobody caught the ball on you, but you had no pass breakups, you had no interceptions, no big plays, that’s the next step.’ He stays healthy this year, he can be very productive for us.’’

To his credit, Amukamara has high personal goals heading into 2013.

“I really want to be the number one corner on this team and I feel like right now Corey is and my goal is to always just try to beat him out and I think as soon as I establish myself as the number one corner, then hopefully just become the number one corner in the whole league,” said Amukamara. “ I know that’s going to take work, but guys that came out of my draft class are doing great: Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, and those are the guys I kind of compare myself to and I’m just trying to exceed all of them.”

Jayron Hosley:  The Giants drafted Hosley in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hosley played in 12 games with six starts, and finished the season with 40 tackles, five pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. He did miss four games with hamstring, shoulder, and quadriceps injuries. The Giants seem to really like Hosley’s game, but he had an injury-prone, inconsistent, and sometimes rough rookie season, being thrust into the nickel back role perhaps sooner than he was ready.

Hosley lacks ideal stature (5’10’’, 178 pounds), but he is athletic with good speed and quickness. Hosley has good ball skills as he reacts well to the football and can make play on the ball in the air. In college, Hosley did have drug issues. If he keeps his nose clean and remains focused on football, Hosley should improve with improved technique and increased playing time. But he also needs to stay healthy. He got dinged a lot as a rookie, causing him to miss valuable practice and playing time.

“I think what happened with him, every time he started to make progress, he’d be injured and would be out 2-3 weeks, and wasn’t able to practice or compete and play in games,” said Giunta. “That’ sets you back, especially as a rookie. So take the Jets game, every time he starts to make progress, he gets hurt. Carolina game, he has a really good game making plays, and then he gets hurt. That’s unfortunate for him, so he has to learn to take care of his body better, get himself in shape and do the kind of things that he needs to do to become a more durable player because he has the talent to be a good football player at this level.”

“He’s learning,” said Giunta. “He’s becoming a better technician, playing inside and playing outside, so he’s developing those skills to play both the nickel and corner spot, and he got experience doing both last year. There’s a lot playing the nickel spot…it’s hard that way when you lose that time. You need experience to play that spot. The more experience you get, the better you’ll get. He can play any of the corner spots we need him to, so that’s huge.”

Terrell Thomas: Thomas was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2012 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee for the third time in seven years. The first tear occurred in college and the second tear happened during the 2011 preseason. The injuries obviously put his football career in doubt.

Before suffering the second injury in the 2011 preseason, Thomas looked primed for perhaps his best season. Thomas was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2009 and 2010, Thomas was a very solid starting corner who made a lot of big plays but also occasionally gave up a few. In the 31 games he started during that time frame, Thomas accrued 186 tackles, 34 pass defenses, and 10 interceptions.

Thomas is a big (6’0”, 191 pound), physical corner who matches up well with bigger receivers. Pre-injury, while not a blazer, he was a good athlete with fine speed and quickness for his size. Thomas is very good in run support and a good blitzer.

The big question is obvious. Even if Thomas can stay on the field, how much ability has he lost from the back-to-back ACL tears? It is doubtful he can regain his old form, but can he come close?

“I don’t think (Thomas is) an unknown for us,” said Fewell. “We do have plans, but I don’t think he’s an unknown because he’s been with us, he’s been in our program. We understand what his skill set was. Now when he comes back what will his skill set be?”

“He’s making progress,” said Giunta. “Terrell is making good progress…We’re going to do what the offense did with Domenik Hixon, try to bring him along slowly. Give him a certain number of reps each practice to get him from the practices to the first preseason game. We’re going to try and manage him well and just give him a very limited role to start.”

“I’m able to do everything,” Thomas said in June. “It’s more just about getting comfortable and trusting myself without hesitating, without thinking, and just reacting, and I’m almost there. Physically, I haven’t swelled up in the last four months and I’ve been progressing every week. Each week I get better and faster and stronger, so it’s just a progression. I have to be realistic with myself knowing that I had two ACLs in one year and it’s a long journey. But I’ll be back and I’m going to shock a lot of people.”

“I will be ready for training camp without limitation,” Thomas said. “The amount of work I do (in training camp), I don’t know…I’m already cleared for training camp. I got three months (before the season begins) to keep getting stronger and healthy and rehab.”

“Right now, to be honest with you I feel great,” said Thomas on his website in July. “The last (few) weeks, my confidence is getting better and better. I am not 100%; I would say I am 85% to 90%. The only thing missing is real field work; going against my teammates, the grind of practice, and seeing how my knee handles all that.”

“I am excited about camp starting this week,” Thomas said. “I feel like a big question mark on defense and I love it. That makes me feel like a rookie again, nobody knows what to expect from me other than that I was a good player. Just like when I was coming into the league as a good player coming out of college, so I love that feeling. I feel like I am the X factor for the defense, I think I can be a big key for our defense this year as far as my physical play combined with my knowledge, communication, and leadership skills.”

Earlier in the offseason, General Manager Jerry Reese raised the possibility of moving Thomas to safety. That’s still a possibility but it appears the Giants and Thomas want to see if he can still play at corner. The problem is the cornerback position puts a lot of stress on the knees.

“All that safety talk, that was just based on my knee, how I come back,” Thomas said. “In that safety role, it’s kind of like the nickel. When we had the three-safety look, it’s pretty much nickel, it’s just a bigger nickel position. So I already know that position. That’s a position I played my first and second year at the nickel spot so it wouldn’t be a hard transition. I played a little safety in 2010. We had a package where I would go into the post. I had an interception, a couple tackles as well.”

“(Playing corner) it’s more being on an island,” Thomas said. “Your knee is in a more unstable situation. You have to react to the receiver. Safety is more you’re dictating. So I think that’s why Jerry Reese said that. But I already knew I’d switch to safety later in my career just because of my body type, the way I play. So I’m not scared at all. If they tell me I’m going to play kicker, I’ll play kicker.”

“(Moving Thomas to safety is) always a consideration,” said Fewell. “We’d like to find out, obviously, what his skill set is like when he comes back and how comfortable he feels in his movements.”

Aaron Ross: Ross signed with the Giants in March 2013 after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2012, Ross played in 14 games with nine starts for the Jaguars. He finished the year with 46 tackles and three pass defenses.

Ross was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Giants. In five seasons with the Giants, Ross started 41 regular-season games, including 15 starts in 2011, when he finished with career highs in tackles (60), pass defenses (12), and interceptions (four). Ross missed a lot of time in 2009 (hamstring) and 2010 (plantar fascia tear) with injuries.

Ross combines good size (6’0”, 197 pounds) and athleticism. He is fluid and smooth in coverage, but lacks ideal speed and quickness. There seems to be a few games every season where Ross struggles in coverage. He can be aggressive and physical in run support.

One thing is definitely clear – Ross is thrilled to be back with the Giants. And the Giants seem glad to have him back as well.

“I missed the guys, I missed the coaches, I missed the organization and it seems like everybody else missed me just as well so it seems like a mutual thing,” said Ross. “It brings a smile to my face when I came in knowing that it wasn’t just me that was missing the Giants. It was vice-versa…I am happy to be home where I feel like I belong.”

“He has done a great job at the nickel spot for us,” said Giunta. “He did a great job in the Super Bowl run playing right corner. He can play right, left, nickel. His flexibility is huge for us. We are so excited to have him back.”

“He (has) picked up where he left off,” said Giunta. “He looks really focused. His quickness is better than it was when he left. Being away for a while…It showed him how much he missed this place and missed the guys he was with and the way we run the operation here at the Giants. It’s been a breath of fresh air having him back because he really appreciates what we have here and some of the guys take it for granted, but he hasn’t and it comes across to the other guys. Hey, this is important. You guys don’t know how lucky you have it here.”

Like Webster, Ross suggests that coaches and players have needed to work together to prevent mental errors that lead to big plays.

“Where we struggle is where we make mental busts, but I think we’re doing a better job in getting the fundamentals down, learning the defense in and out and taking it rep by rep instead of moving too fast to learn the defense,” said Ross. “I think the coaches sat down this whole offseason and seen that on film. They’re doing a great job in really breaking down the defense in and out, making sure the safeties know exactly what the corners are doing and the corners know what the safeties are doing.”

Ross also thinks he can help in the leadership department.

“I feel like I’m already taking some of the younger guys under my wing and just teaching them the little things that they may not know like myself,” said Ross. “R.W. (McQuarters) and Sam (Madison) did a great job with me and Corey and Terrell Thomas just taking us in and showing us the ropes.”

Trumaine McBride: McBride was an under-the-radar signing for the Giants in January 2013. McBride was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in September 2009. Since then, he has spent time with the Cardinals, Saints, and Jaguars. Nine of McBride’s 10 NFL starts came as a rookie. He has played in 48 NFL games but only one last season with the Jaguars. McBride lacks ideal size (5’9’’, 185 pounds), but he is very quick and the Giants appear to like what they’ve seen out of him.

“We’re counting on (Webster, Amukamara, Hosley, Thomas, Ross) plus Trumaine McBride has done a tremendous job in the OTAs so far and we’re looking forward to seeing him compete in training camp,” said Giunta. “He’s a veteran. He’s played in the league and played at Chicago and has a lot of experience and a lot of quickness.”

Terrence Frederick: Frederick spent most of 2012 on the Giants’ Practice Squad but was added to the 53-man roster in December and played in two games. Frederick was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers waived him in August. Frederick lacks ideal size (5’10’’, 187 pounds) and speed, but he is an aggressive, instinctive player who has experience playing in the slot.

Laron Scott: Scott spent 2012 on the Giants’ Practice Squad. He was signed by the Giants in August 2012 after being waived by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had signed Scott as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. Scott lacks ideal size for a corner (5’9’’, 184 pounds). He can return kicks and punts and had a 67-yard kickoff return for the Saints in their first preseason game.

Charles James: James was signed by the Giants as a rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. James lacks ideal size (5’9’’, 179 pounds) and speed, but he is a quick, tough, instinctive corner who makes plays on the football. He has experience as a punt returner.

“Very quick athlete,” Giunta said of James. “Very good change of direction. Very good ball skills, like his toughness.”

Junior Mertile: The Giants signed Mertile in May 2013 after he impressed at the rookie mini-camp as tryout player. Mertile has good size (6’1’’, 197 pounds) and excellent speed.

Summary: Giunta says the top five guys are Webster, Amukamara, Hosley, Thomas, and Ross. The Giants need Webster to bounce back, Amukamara to stay healthy and take that next step, and Hosley to stay healthy and develop. If not, then the Giants are going to have issues at corner. Thomas is the wild card. It’s probably not realistic to expect him to be able to play at a high level again, but if he does, that will help tremendously. The return of Ross may be a bigger deal than most fans realize. McBride, Frederick, Scott, James, and Mertile are the longshots. But Giunta did have good things to say about McBride and James.