Jul 212014
 
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Stevie Brown and Jon Beason, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Jon Beason – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Please Support BigBlueInteractive.com in its 20th Season! The annual BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) contribution campaign has begun. The continued existence of BBI depends on the voluntary contributions of our readers. For details, please see our contribution page.

In case you missed it, other articles on BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) today:

LB Jon Beason Placed on PUP List: As expected, New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason was officially placed on the preseason Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Beason suffered a ligament tear and small fracture to the sesamoid bone in his right foot during an OTA practice on June 12. The injury did not require surgery.

The good news is that RB David Wilson (neck), WR Mario Manningham (knee), LT Will Beatty (knee), and OG John Jerry (knee) were not placed on the PUP. Wilson, as BBI reported earlier, has been cleared by doctors to resume football contact. Wilson underwent surgery on January 16 to fuse vertebrae to repair a herniated disc in his neck. He participated in non-contact drills this spring, but was not allowed to practice when contact was possible.

“I’m back to normal,” Wilson said. “I can play regular football with no special equipment, no medication, or anything else.”

Coughlin indicated that Manningham, Beatty, and Jerry will be limited in training camp practices.

Giants Sign OG John Sullen: The New York Giants have signed street free agent offensive guard John Sullen. BBI scouting report on John Sullen:

  • Sullen was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2013 NFL Draft. He was waived by the Bengals in August and did not play last season. Sullen has very good size and strength, but lacks ideal overall athleticism.

WR Kris Adams Waived: The Giants waived WR Kris Adams after he failed his physical. Adams was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2013 with a broken left ankle he suffered in a preseason game.

July 21, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Video clips of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants Training Camp Preview Articles:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The familiar, and biggest, reason to be optimistic about the Giants by Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post

Article on QB Eli Manning: ‘Nervous’ Eli Manning: ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do’ by Brian Lewis of The New York Post

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Are the Giants entering training camp with no ‘end’ in sight? by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants’ Johnathan Hankins turns to boxing for help on line by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on OG Chris Snee: Chris Snee retires: Does he go down as best offensive lineman in Giants history? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Jul 182014
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Some Pre-Camp Thoughts From John Mara: New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke briefly to the press at a charity event on Thursday. Some interesting tidbits:

  • On the Giants very busy free agent period: “It’s not going to happen every year. We’re not going to have that kind of cap room every year. And listen: If you’re that aggressive every year, there’s something wrong with your organization. But you have to do it every once in awhile.”
  • On the team’s secondary: “(It is) a stronger secondary than we’ve ever had before.”
  • On whether RB David Wilson (career-threatening neck injury) will be able to play: “We expect him to be playing this year, but that is going to depend on what the doctors tell us. So far, all signs are that he’s going to be ready to go.”
  • On new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: “I like what I’ve seen so far, but he hasn’t called a play in a game yet. (The new offense) looks great on the practice field.”
  • On his prediction for the Giants in 2014: “I was the same idiot who said last year it was the best team we’d had in years and look what happened. So, yeah. The fans do deserve better and we did our best in the offseason. It’s not just a question of doing it on the field. We think we have the pieces in place, but until we start playing games it’s just hard to tell.”
  • On DE Justin Tuck playing for the Raiders: “It’s gonna hurt seeing him in a different uniform. This one’s really gonna hurt, because he was such a great player and a great citizen for us.”

Giants.com Q&A with Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A with QB Eli Manning: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with QB Eli Manning is available at Giants.com.

NY Post Q&A with Giants Play-by-Play Man Bob Papa: The positional battles Bob Papa will be watching at Giants camp by Justin Terranova of The New York Post

Article on the New York Giants Quarterbacks: Giants Training Camp Battle No. 3: Ryan Nassib vs. himself and Curtis Painter by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Fullbacks: Giants Training Camp Battle No. 4: Henry Hynoski vs. John Conner at fullback by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Johnathan Hankins by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on S Nat Berhe: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Nat Berhe by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Jul 112014
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Mathias Kiwanuka – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: The 2013 defensive line performed adequately, helping the New York Giants finish 8th in total defense (10th against the pass and 14th against the run). But those figures may have been inflated by the Giants facing some incredibly poor quarterbacks/passing offenses. The chief problem for the Giants was their best player up front, Jason Pierre-Paul, had his second subpar season in a row. Pierre-Paul had surgery in June 2013 to repair a herniated disc in his lower back and he never seemed to fully rebound from that procedure. He flashed some of his old form in Week 10 but also suffered a shoulder injury in that game which caused him to miss the last five games of the season. He finished 2013 with only 27 tackles and 2 sacks in 11 games. Statistically, the most productive player was Justin Tuck, who rebounded with a strong season (63 tackles, 11 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles) after two down seasons in a row. Mathias Kiwanuka played in all 16 games, with 10 starts at right defensive end. He finished the season with 41 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Damontre Moore was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft. However, an early preseason shoulder injury disrupted his development, and while Moore flashed on special teams, he did not make much noise at defensive end when given a limited number of snaps.

The Giants were pretty stout inside with Linval Joseph (59 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 forced fumble) and Cullen Jenkins (31 tackles, 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles). Backing them up were Mike Patterson (23 tackles), Shaun Rogers (9 tackles), Johnathan Hankins (16 tackles), and Markus Kuhn (1 tackle). Rogers started two games but was placed on Injured Reserve in November in a move that appeared to be designed to give Hankins more snaps as well as keep Kuhn, who had been on the PUP recovering from an ACL tear he suffered in 2012.

Overall, the slow-but-sure aging and departure of past stalwarts such as Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck – combined with two down season by JPP – has largely taken the bite out of the once-formidable outside pass rush. Tuck had 11 sacks in 2013, but six of those came against the Redskins. The other ends combined for only eight sacks on the season while the tackles chipped in with only eight as a unit.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants did not show much interest in re-signing 31-year old Justin Tuck and he is now in Oakland. Gone too is the Giants best defensive tackle of the last couple of seasons, Linval Joseph, who signed a big contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Again, it did not appear that the Giants made much of an effort to re-sign him. The Giants also did not choose to re-sign Shaun Rogers, who remains an unrestricted free agent.

Robert Ayers, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Robert Ayers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The main additions are DE Robert Ayers (UFA from Denver Broncos) and DT Jay Bromley (3rd round draft pick). The Giants also have brought in rookie free agents ends Kerry Wynn, Emmanuel Dieke, and Jordan Stanton as well as tackle Kelcy Quarles. Practice Squad DE Kendrick Adams, who has spent time with the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Lions, Browns, and Bengals, was re-signed. DT Everett Dawkins, who has spent time with the Vikings, Cowboys, and Buccaneers, was added as street free agent in June 2014.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Will Jason Pierre-Paul regain his 2011 form? Who will start opposite of him – Mathias Kiwanuka, Robert Ayers, or Damontre Moore? Who will start at defensive tackle with Cullen Jenkins? How many defensive tackles will the Giants keep?

“(Moore) made good, steady progress,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin in June. “He’s, naturally, a year later, a year more into it so he’s more comfortable with what’s going on. It’s not one of those things where you don’t notice that he’s out there because he does have a correction here or there. We like what we see. His continued development in the weight room with just some added muscle and strength, a little bit more size is something that will help a lot.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring injury, it would seem that JPP, Kiwanuka, Ayers, and Moore are locks to be the four defensive ends. Jenkins, Hankins, and Bromley are probably sure bets at tackle. Do the Giants keep four or five tackles? It could come down to a serious battle between Markus Kuhn and Mike Patterson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Robert Nunn on Damontre Moore and Johnathan Hankins:  “I thought Damontre really took a step forward (this offseason) and Hankins really took off at the end of last year and has done a great job in the offseason working out, coming in in really good condition…I like where they are at now.”

Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97), New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Mike Patterson (93) and Kelcy Quarles (97) – Photo by Connor Hughes

Nunn on Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson: “They’re solid guys, solid veteran guys. And they understand where they are in this stage of their career and we’ll have to take care of them through training camp. Both of those guys have had outstanding offseasons, I thought Mike came in here in really good shape. Cullen’s always been in good shape ever since I’ve been around him. We’ll see where it goes. Again, it’s so hard to tell, we’re so limited in what we can do in the offseason now but they’re in great shape and a really good frame of mind and have done a really good job with leadership with the younger players. We’ll see where it goes.”

Nunn on Markus Kuhn: “He had an outstanding offseason, really outstanding practices. He and Hankins, they’ll definitely get more reps in training camp than Mike P and Cullen if everything goes as planned. He showed up every day. When we go out there and go in team situations Markus was, there wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t call his name out in a positive manner.”

Nunn on Jay Bromley: “You know, he’s come in very willing to learn. He’s very green, very raw but hey, he’s got to get started. Those guys are the ones that really suffer as far as how limited we are with what we can do. He needs all the work he can get but he’s shown enough that hey, he’s got to show up when the pads come on. We’ll see when that happens.”

PREDICTIONS:

Eric Kennedy – The Giants will have problems rushing the quarterback. Unless Kiwanuka, Ayers, or Moore can get to the passer on a consistent basis, Jason Pierre-Paul may be in for a rough season. Without a viable threat opposite of him, JPP will be the focal point of other teams’ blocking schemes. Kiwanuka and Ayers have flashed throughout their veteran careers, but they have yet to become (and may never become) guys who the other teams really worry about. To be frank, when Moore played DE last year, he didn’t look good. Perhaps he will show more now that he is healthier and stronger. I think Hankins has the tools to be better than Linval Joseph and if the Giants can get another good, solid season out of Jenkins, they’ll be fine inside. I’d prefer to keep only four defensive tackles, but I think 2014 will be a redshirt season for Bromley and thus the Giants will be forced to keep both Patterson and Kuhn.

Connor Hughes - For all the questions concerning the Giants’ roster heading into training camp, the regular season and beyond, I don’t believe any have as many unknowns as the defensive line. Throughout the course of the offseason, the Giants put their emphasis on the secondary. Gone were the days of loading up on pass rushers. Instead, the team signed and signed again big-name and high profile defenders in the secondary. I agree with the change in philosophy, but I have very little faith in those up front.

Mathias Kiwanuka appears to be in the tail end of his career, who knows what JPP will take the field (if he even gets on it), Cullen Jenkins is older, Johnathan Hankins has yet to be an every-down player and Mike Patterson doesn’t have much ability outside stopping the run. Justin Tuck is in Oakland, Jay Bromley is a rookie. If one or two injuries hit the group…things could get ugly fast.

Granted, things could go the complete other/positive way. Robert Ayers could excel in a new location, JPP could be the Pierre-Paul of 2011, Kiwanuka could revitalize his career, Hankins could be a force and maybe Bromley steps up. I’ve thought long and hard about the positives of the defensive line, and I’ve come up with a bunch, but for every one good there are two negatives. Who knows, maybe the secondary can mask the guys up front. That philosophy certainly worked in the reciprocal fashion over the last seven years.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric Kennedy – Mathias Kiwanuka (LDE), Johnathan Hankins (LDT), Cullen Jenkins (RDT), and Jason Pierre-Paul (RDE). Reserves: Mike Patterson, Markus Kuhn, Jay Bromley, Robert Ayers, and Damontre Moore.

Connor Hughes – Mathias Kiwanuka (LDE), Johnathan Hankins (LDT), Cullen Jenkins (RDT), Jason Pierre-Paul (RDE). Reserves: Mike Patterson, Markus Kuhn, Jay Bromley, Robert Ayers, and Damontre Moore.

Jun 302014
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Player Q&As: Video clips of Giants.com Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Andre Williams (Video)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Video)

Inside Football Player Q&As:

Articles  on the New York Giants Quarterbacks:

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Johnathan Hankins: How and when he proved capable to Giants of replacing Linval Joseph by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former New York Giants DE Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck: ‘I’m still surprised I’m not a New York Giant’ by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Dec 222013
 
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Jerrel Jernigan, New York Giant (November 24, 2013)

Jerrel Jernigan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Hill Arrested for Not Paying Child Support: Safety Will Hill was arrested on Friday in New Jersey on a warrant for outstanding child support payments. Hill did make the trip with the team to Detroit and is expected to play on Sunday. The Giants would not comment other than saying it was a private personal matter for Hill.

Articles on the 2013 New York Giants:

Article on Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn: Giants’ special teams coordinator Tom Quinn could be on the hot seat by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants rookie is at home in Detroit by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Dec 152013
 
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Charles James, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (December 8, 2013)

Charles James and Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the 2013 New York Giants: For the Giants, Playing Out the String Can Be Perilous by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Remembering Li’l Jack Pinto: One year later, Victor Cruz talks of his visit to Newtown by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on OT Will Beatty: Beatty, Giants playing for jobs, not playoffs by George Willis of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants Four Downs with DT Johnathan Hankins: Rookie talks about first NFL season by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Article on Former Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor: LT: Tom Coughlin must go by Kevin Kernan of The New York Post

Nov 082013
 
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Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants (October 10, 2013)

Brandon Jacobs – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 8, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring/knee) and CB Corey Webster (groin/ankle). Webster has officially been ruled “out” of the game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday; Jacobs is “doubtful.”

The Star-Ledger is reporting that the issue keeping Jacobs from practicing and playing is a chronic knee condition that flared up this week.

CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Trumaine McBride (groin), and CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. McBride and Hosley are “questionable” for the game; Thomas is “probable.”

“I feel good right now,” said McBride after practice. “I went out there today and I felt good running. I felt good turning. I felt good playing, so I’m ready to go for Sunday.”

WR Victor Cruz (neck) and TE Adrien Robinson (foot) fully practiced and are both “probable” for the game.

November 8, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday media session are available at Giants.com

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Eight-game schedule by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

November 8, 2013 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on New York Giants Running Backs:

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Hankins hankering for bigger role by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on the New York Giants and Bullying: Giants team meeting on bullying: What was said, what does it mean by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Oct 272013
 
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Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants (October 6, 2013)

Johnathan Hankins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Brandon Jacobs Travels to Philadelphia, But Shaun Rogers Out: On Friday, RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), DT Shaun Rogers (knee), and CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring) were listed as “doubtful” for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. However, Rogers and Hosley did not make the trip to Philadelphia on Saturday and have been downgraded to “out.” Jacobs did make the trip; it remains to be seen if he will suit up.

RB David Wilson (neck) will not play. TE Adrien Robinson (foot) and CB Corey Webster (groin) are “questionable.”

LB Spencer Paysinger (ankle), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), and S Cooper Taylor (shoulder) are “probable.”

Article on Beason, Hillis, Cordle, Conner, and Hill: New Names Play Giant Roles by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Articles on OC Jim Cordle:

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants rookie Johnathan Hankins aims to make impact on ‘D’ by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on LB Jon Beason:

Oct 022013
 
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Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants (September 29, 2013)

Cullen Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

October 2, 2013 New York Giants Injury Update - 15 on Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were DT Linval Joseph (ankle/knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (knee/achilles), DT Shaun Rogers (back), LB Mark Herzlich (toe), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Aaron Ross (back), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), OC David Baas (neck), OG Chris Snee (hip), and TE Adrien Robinson (foot)

CB Corey Webster (hip) practiced on a limited basis.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), LB Jacquian Williams (knee), S Cooper Taylor (shoulder), and OT David Diehl (thumb) fully practiced.

“With David Baas and Chris Snee, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of improvement there,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We’re holding our breath as we move into this week. David Diehl will practice. Mark Herzlich seems to be a lot better today with the toe, and hopefully by tomorrow, he’ll be ready to go. (Jayron) Hosley’s hamstring is probably going to be an issue. (Cullen) Jenkins looked better today. He won’t practice, but he did look better today. Jason Pierre-Paul will practice. Shaun Rogers should be able to go tomorrow. Aaron (Ross) probably can’t make it. Cooper Taylor is practicing. Terrell Thomas is going to have one day a week off now. He’ll have this day. Corey Webster is going to practice and Jacquian (Williams) will practice.”

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

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

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning Steady in Midst of Firestorm by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Cruz the Lone Bright Spot for Sorry Giants by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Article on S Will Hill: Giants’ Hill Hopes to Spark Special Teams in Return by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Aug 152013
 
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Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants (August 10, 2013)

Cullen Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Offseason Breakdown: New York Giants Defensive Tackles

In part one, we covered how important the defensive line is to the overall defense of the New York Giants, and focused on the defensive ends. In part two, we’ll focus on the defensive tackles.

4-3 defenses usually employ two different types of tackles: a 1-technique (or nose tackle) and a 3-technique (or under tackle). The 1-technique tackle usually will see a lot of double teams from the guard and center and usually has to be the bigger, stronger, and stouter player. These types of players usually lack ideal quickness. The 3-technique is usually less stout, but the quicker, more active penetrator. If Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins start as expected, Joseph will play the 1-technique and Jenkins the 3-technique given their physical characteristics. Johnathan Hankins is better suited to the 1-technique while Marvin Austin is better suited to the 3-technique. Also keep in mind that in obvious pass rush situations, the Giants have moved defensive ends – including Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Mathias Kiwanuka – inside to rush from the tackle spots.

There are currently eight defensive tackles on the Giants’ 90-man preseason roster. At most, the Giants will be able to keep five defensive tackles on the 53-man regular-season roster.

Linval Joseph: Joseph was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Giants. He did not play much as a rookie but became a full-time starter in 2011. Joseph has an excellent combination of size (6’4’’, 323 pounds), strength, and athletic ability. He flashes as run defender due to his size and strength, and as a pass rusher because of his quickness. But one gets the sense that Joseph should be a more consistent, more dominating player than he has shown to date.

“Linval is really good,” said DT Cullen Jenkins. “He’s a strong man; really strong. I can’t even workout with Linval in the weight room. But he’s one of the first people in here every day. Out in practice he’s always busting his butt and you have to respect it. He’s got some bright years ahead of him and I think he can do a lot of things in the league.”

“From looking at Linval in all the practices you wonder why he is not a Pro Bowler,” said Jenkins. “He’s got a tremendous amount of ability, the strength he possess, quickness, speed. He’s had a couple dings here and there that have hampered him, but if he can stay healthy I think he’ll be a Pro Bowler.”

“I’m just ready to step up,” said Joseph. “I’m going to be the anchor of this team and I’m ready to go.”

Cullen Jenkins: Jenkins was signed by the Giants in March 2013 after he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles in February. Jenkins was originally signed by Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but spent time in NFL Europe and then re-signed with the Packers in 2004. From 2004-10, Jenkins played with the Packers until he signed with the Eagles in 2011.

Jenkins lacks ideal size (6’2’’, 305 pounds) and is on the downside of his career, but he still is a solid two-way defensive tackle who can play the run and rush the passer. Versatile, he has experience in the 4-3 as a defensive tackle and as an end in the 3-4. The Giants have also been playing him at defensive end in the 4-3. In the last four seasons, he’s averaged over five sacks a year. Jenkins is a tough guy who plays with an attitude.

“Cullen, I was with four years in Green Bay, he’s a very explosive guy, talented guy, has matured a lot,” said Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn. “He’s a different guy than he was in Green Bay. He’s a guy that has gotten better and better as time has gone on, very explosive player both in the run game and the pass game and he is going to bring a lot of versatility to us. I think he can go inside, he can play outside, we can do some different things, which, in turn, will allow us to different things with some of our other guys. He really adds some versatility to what we’re doing…When we get to our pass rush stuff he can free up Justin and JPP and Kiwi to move around so there are several things he brings. The passion he plays with and the toughness, he’s another guy that plays tough. On Sundays, he’s a tough guy. We need that in that room.”

“I’m very impressed with Jenkins,” said Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell. “He is a seasoned veteran, a proven veteran and I just see that for him to come to our football team and bring the type of energy that he displayed down at his previous team and then bring that to us, I think that’s a positive for our defense.”

“We’re going to take advantage of his versatility,” said Fewell. “He’s very explosive. He’s much stronger than I initially thought he was and he is violent in his reactions and so that’s a good thing for us and it’s very pleasing.”

“He’s a tough guy to block no matter where he is,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “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.”

“Once you hit 30, everyone starts talking about how you’re getting older and missing a step,” said the 32-year-old Jenkins. “I see it as a challenge. My whole career, my whole life, has been about proving people wrong.”

“Two things I’ve been working on: my strength and my quickness,” said Jenkins. “Quickness has helped me since I’ve been in the league and it’s one of the reasons I’ve put so much emphasis in making sure my weight stays at a good level for me this year. At the same time, I’m trying to get as strong as I can because getting older I know you have to put a lot more time into your body to make sure you stay healthy. These last few years that’s what I’ve been trying to do to make sure I stay on the field every week.”

Shaun Rogers: The Giants signed Rogers as an unrestricted free agent in April 2012, but he missed the entire 2012 season due to a blood clot in his leg. Rogers was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In 11 NFL seasons, Rogers has played for the Lions (2001-07), Browns, (2008-10), and Saints (2011). He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2004, 2005, and 2008.

Rogers is a huge (6’4’’, 350 pounds), powerful player. In his prime, he was a very strong run defender who could also push the pocket on the pass rush. However, the 34-year old Rogers is nearing the end of his career and it remains to be seen how much he has left in his gas tank. He started four games for the Saints in 2011 and finished with just 22 tackles and no sacks. Amazingly, Rogers has blocked 14 field goal attempts in his career.

Johnathan Hankins: Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins is a big (6’2’’, 320 pounds), strong, run-stuffing defensive tackle with good athletic ability and agility for his size. He is a better run defender than pass rusher. Hankins is very stout at the point-of-attack and can take on double-team blocks. When he plays with leverage and proper technique, Hankins is very difficult to move off of the line of scrimmage. Hankins also has the athletic ability to pursue down the line and will flash occasionally on the pass rush with quickness and power.

“He has really surprised me coming in,” said Nunn. “I thought he did an outstanding job between when he started until now with his body. He’s worked, he’s trimmed up, he’s gotten stronger, if he continues to do that I think he’s another young player that’s going to contribute to us. He really has looked good.”

“He’s been running second team,” said Nunn. “He’s picked up everything physically and from a mental standpoint, he’s right where he needs to be. We’ll see what happens when we start shooting real bullets.”

“The two rookies we have on our D-Line have stood out,” said Tuck. “Hank is quiet and he is more polished. You can tell he’s obviously had a great coach and played big-time football (at Ohio State).”

Marvin Austin: The Giants have not received much in return from Marvin Austin ever since drafting him in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Austin missed his last season in college due to an NCAA violation. Austin then missed his second football season in a row when the Giants placed him on Injured Reserve in August 2011 after he tore his pectoral muscle. In 2012, Austin fell to fifth on the defensive tackle depth chart, behind 7th round rookie Markus Kuhn. Austin ended up playing in eight games, but only saw limited time at defensive tackle and finished the season with only eight tackles. He hurt his back in training camp before last season and had offseason knee surgery (torn meniscus) in January 2013.

Austin has good tools to work with. Although he lacks ideal height (6’2’’, 312 pounds), he is a very athletic tackle with fine size and strength. He moves very well for a big man and could develop into a very good pass rusher. However, to-date, he has trouble getting off blocks and simply has not made many plays.

“Marvin…he is another one who has had his best offseason,” said Nunn. “He’s been healthy for the first time. He’s never been able to go through a true offseason because of different ailments that he’s had. He’s where he needs to be right now, he just can’t disappear when the pads come on. He knows what he’s got to do. I’ve spoken to him about it. When the pads come on he’s got to produce. When he gets out there under the lights he’s got to produce. Right now, he’s got himself in the position to give himself the best opportunity since he’s been here of having a productive year.”

“I thought Marvin performed well this past Saturday (in the preseason game against the Steelers),” said Fewell. “He’s progressed each week in practice. He’s had a full offseason with the OTAs, which he didn’t have in the past. I look for good things from him this Sunday in the football game. This will be a really good opportunity for him to showcase his quickness and his abilities. I think Pittsburgh is really a big massive offensive line. Indy, they’ll play more to the strengths of Marvin and so it will be exciting to see him in this game Sunday.”

“He’s a defensive tackle that, really, we need to see him in the fashion that we anticipated when we drafted him,” said Coughlin. “He’s done well this camp rushing the passer and we really would like to see him do a good job against the run.”

Austin believes he will be fine if he can stay healthy. “It seems like one thing after another,” Austin said. “I’ve been hurt the whole time I’ve been here. I feel like as long as I can stay healthy, I’ll be able to help this team.”

“I’ve watched film with Cullen and Mike Patterson,” said Austin. “They’re very quick and good guys and I feel like I can play in that same mode as them. But one of the vets who has helped me and kept me honest, per say, has been Shaun Rogers. He always checks me out, looks at my technique and tries to help me with different stuff.”

Austin sees all of the new defensive tackles the Giants have brought in. “At the end of the day, the National Football League is about competition and is a business,” said Austin. “I haven’t performed since I’ve been here. They’re looking to see if I can play at the high level they drafted me, and they’re going to protect themselves. They’re giving me a chance to compete, and that’s all I could ask for.”

“If you sit there and dwell on it and be negative, you’re not going to help yourself,” said Austin. “You’re either going to stand up or sit down. You can be a man about it or a coward. That’s all it is. And this game is a man’s game.”

“You see the competition (at defensive tackle),” said Austin. “I want to make this team. I’ve got to show them what I can do. I haven’t shown them anything. Some things don’t have to be said.”

Mike Patterson: Patterson was signed by the Giants in April 2013. Patterson was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. In eight seasons with the Eagles, Patterson played in 115 regular-season games with 99 starts. Patterson underwent brain surgery in January 2012 to repair an arteriovenous malformation. He played in just five games in 2012 before being placed on the reserve/non-football illness list last year with pneumonia. The Eagles waived Patterson in February 2013.

Patterson lacks ideal size (6’1’’, 300 pounds), but he is a good athlete who can be disruptive with his quickness. He has experience in both 1- and 2-gap schemes. Tough, Patterson is a steady run defender and has 16.5 career sacks.

“I thought I was going to still be (with the Eagles), but you never know how things are going to turn out,” said Patterson. “I’m just happy I was able to land on my feet with the Giants. Even though I didn’t play that much last year, it wasn’t due to football injuries. It just came down to me getting sick and me recovering from my surgery. It was nothing to do with on-the-field stuff, so I know I’m perfectly healthy when it comes to playing football.”

Frank Okam: The Giants signed Frank Okam in May 2013 after he impressed at the rookie mini-camp as tryout player. Okam was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Okam has spent time with the Texans (2008-10), Seahawks (2010), and Buccaneers (2010-12). The Buccaneers released Okam in August 2012 and he did not play last season. From 2008-11, Okam played in 25 games with six starts.

Okam is a huge (6’5’’, 350 pounds), strong player with limited overall athleticism and agility. He is a run-stuffing nose tackle type who does not get much heat on the quarterback. Okam has very good tools, but he needs to become a more consistent effort player. Very smart.

Markus Kuhn: Kuhn was selected by the Giants in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Kuhn is German and was only a one-year starter in college. Kuhn was an active member of the defensive tackle rotation last season before tearing the ACL in one of his knees. He was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2012. Kuhn played in 10 games with one start and finished the season with eight tackles and four pass defenses.

Kuhn has a nice combination of size (6’4’’, 299 pounds) and athletic ability. He is a high-energy effort player who can be disruptive with his quickness and intensity. Kuhn is a better run defender than pass rusher.

Kuhn has been on Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List since training camp started as he continues to rehab from his ACL injury. With training camp ending next week, it’s becoming more likely that Kuhn will start the season on the in-season PUP as well, meaning he will have to miss at least the first six games of the regular season. Then a decision will need to be made on whether to activate him, put him on Injured Reserve, or waive him.

Summary: It appears Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins will start. Based on the way the coaches and players are talking about Jenkins, he may have a much bigger impact on this team than first realized when he signed. Johnathan Hankins has been everything advertised. The real surprise is Shaun Rogers. He did not have a stellar year in New Orleans in 2011 and is now 34 years old, but he’s been receiving snaps with the first team and definitely seems to be in the team’s plans.

I have a hard time seeing the team parting ways with Marvin Austin at this point. He has a lot of talent and has been improving. Unless he flops the rest of the preseason, I think he’s going to be the fifth defensive tackle.

Markus Kuhn could probably be activated off of the PUP now, but I think the Giants realize that if they did so, they would have to end up cutting him. Look for him to be added to the regular-season PUP.

I think Mike Patterson and Frank Okam can play in this league, but it’s a numbers game for them.