Nov 102015
 
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Montori Hughes, Indianapolis Colts (November 23, 2014)

Montori Hughes – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MONTORI HUGHES PROMOTED TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants have signed defensive tackle Montori Hughes to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad. Hughes fills a vacancy created when the Giants put defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins on season-ending Injured Reserve on Tuesday with a torn pectoral muscle that will require surgery.

The Giants signed Hughes to the Practice Squad in September 2015. Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, he played in 16 games with one start. Hughes is a strong, mammoth (6’4”, 350lbs) nose tackle-type lineman who can hold his ground against the double team. He is a decent athlete for his size with some quickness to his game.

LOUIS NIX AND NICO JOHNSON ADDED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed defensive Louis Nix and linebacker Nico Johnson to the Practice Squad. Nix and Johnson fill the Practice Squad vacancies created when the team promoted cornerback Tramain Jacobs and and defensive tackle Montori Hughes to the 53-man roster. Jacobs was signed to the 53-man roster last Saturday.

Nix was signed by the Giants after he was waived by the Houston Texans in September 2015. The Giants waived Nix on Saturday to make room for cornerback Tramain Jacobs on the 53-man roster. Nix was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Texans.

Johnson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs waived him in August 2014 and signed him to their Practice Squad. The Bengals signed Johnson to their 53-man roster in October 2014, but waived him in August 2015. The Redskins signed Johnson to their Practice Squad in September, but terminated his contract a month later. Johnson has played in 17 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 22 tackles. Johnson is a big linebacker (6’2”, 249lbs) who plays the run well, but isn’t as adept in pass coverage. He is a hard worker.

ELI MANNING ON WFAN
The audio of Monday’s WFAN Radio interview with quarterback Eli Manning is available on CBS New York’s website.

RASHAD JENNINGS ON WFAN
The audio of Tuesday’s WFAN Radio interview with running back Rashad Jenning’s is available on CBS New York’s website.

NOTES…
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants’ nine sacks is their lowest total through nine games since team sacks were first compiled in 1963.

The Giants have three rushing touchdowns this season, their lowest total through nine games since they had two in 1996.

The Giants lead the NFL with 21 takeaways, 13 interceptions (tied with two teams), and a plus-12 turnover differential.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Nov 092015
 
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Giants fans in Tampa on Sunday - Photo courtesy of Tim Nargi

Giants fans in Tampa on Sunday – Photo courtesy of Tim Nargi

JOHNATHAN HANKINS DONE FOR THE SEASON…
The New York Giants have confirmed that Johnathan Hankins, the team’s best defensive tackle, did tear his pectoral muscle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Hankins will have surgery and be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. It is a big loss for a defense that is already dead last in the NFL.

“Johnathan, unfortunately, did tear his pec and he will have to have surgery,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’ll be placed on IR and hopefully he will rehab as fast as possible. I don’t have a calendar date in terms of how long it will take him to get back, but he does have time.

“John has been a guy that’s anchored in the middle of that defensive line for a few years. We’ll definitely miss his presence. He knocked the ball out yesterday, he’s the one that forced the first fumble recovered by Brinkley. He’ll be missed, there’s no doubt. He’s a strong, strong player inside and he can be a factor against the pass as well as the run. We will definitely miss him.”

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Coughlin: We were obviously very pleased with the game, it was a tough football game. You’re talking about a game in the fourth quarter with a very, very tight points differential. Plays had to be made at the right time and I thought a lot of the critical plays were made at that time with the stop, the forced punt, the driving of the ball, the big third down conversion between Eli and Odell, the running of the ball late in the game. I would have liked to have gotten the first down there at the end and put it under two minutes and they had no timeouts and we could have knelt, but it didn’t work that way. We got the field goal and there was a minimal amount of time for Tampa Bay to maneuver the ball down the field at the end of the game. And so in effect, we accomplished what we had set out to do.

I thought our defense bounced back and you cannot ignore the 59-yard run or the 68-yard pass. Had we been able to defend those things better, and there were at least two missed tackles on the 59-yard run, those statistics would certainly have been different. I think against an outstanding running back, (Doug) Martin, gained 31 yards, I thought that was a huge plus for our team. Our ability to hold up after sudden change for defense to go out and force field goals and not touchdowns and to have done that on a couple different occasions throughout the game, that was a huge plus for us.

I think from a special teams standpoint, the 53-yard field goal by Josh Brown was outstanding—an excellent hold by Brad Wing on that particular play. The one punt, we punted once in the game, and he hit a bomb, it was a 64-yard punt, which forced a very, very good returner to go back and have to regroup, muffed a little bit and it became a net of 63, which is outstanding as well. The types of things that don’t go in the statistics—the punt that Dwayne Harris was able to finesse over to one side as if the ball was coming that way and the ball hit and rolled into the endzone, allowing us to start at the 20 instead of inside the 10. A very good job by the young defender that we had just brought up, (Tramain) Jacobs, who was able to work against a very, very fast gunner and still distracted enough along with Dwayne that the ball was allowed to go into the endzone. There were plays of that nature throughout the game.

The offense took advantage of turnovers when they were there, they put, I think 17 points on the board off of turnovers. We ran the ball well, we had some powerful runs. We had 35 minutes time of possession which was a huge plus. We did turn the ball over twice and that allowed them to have the ball, plus the fourth and two that we didn’t make, I would call that a turnover as well, in terms of just momentum shifting there. But we were able to overcome those things and to come away with a win.

Q: From a pass rushing standpoint, you did get a couple hits on Winston but nothing in the sack department. What did you make of the defensive line and particularly Jason Pierre-Paul?

A: Obviously the guy hadn’t played, so he was rusty in terms of that. But I thought he got some great jumps off the snap and I thought his inside move was an outstanding move. Late in the game when we needed to be able to rush the passer, he forced the passer to pull it down and run outside to the right on a couple of occasions, which made him a little bit more uncomfortable when he was not standing in the pocket releasing the ball in that way. He was having to throw the ball on the move. I thought that for the first time out of the box, obviously our players were happy that he was out there with us. And he’s going to do nothing but get better.

Q: Based on what you saw, are you comfortable with him having an expanded role once he gets back into football shape?

A: He’s in football shape and he’s in outstanding condition. Football role? He will assume whatever roles we need to design in order for us to be able to maximize his ability.

Q: What went into your thinking to use him pretty much exclusively on the right side?

A: That’s where he plays, he plays on the right side. That’s where he is.

Q: I know it’s a different year, different seasons and I know you’ll talk about the Patriots more on Wednesday. Is there a common denominator to why you guys have had success against them before? You’ve always faced them when they’ve been flying high.

A: I don’t know whether this is an attempt to get out in front of it…I really haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about the Patriots yet. As soon as we finish this (call) and I have one more meeting with the players, I will then switch gears and start to prepare myself for the Patriot game. But at this point in time, let me stick with this game, please.

Q: Anything on Johnathan Hankins?

A: Yes, Johnathan, unfortunately, did tear his pec and he will have to have surgery.

Q: So that’s a six-month thing sort of like Will Beatty at this point?

A: Well, he’ll be placed on IR and hopefully he will rehab as fast as possible. I don’t have a calendar date in terms of how long it will take him to get back, but he does have time.

Q: With Will Beatty, where do you stand with your offensive line and how do you plan to proceed with him? I believe the date is coming up the middle of the week.

A: Yeah, the date is later in the week and we’ll make a decision at that point in time.

Q: Is the decision whether he’s going to be placed on the roster or not or just what to do with him when he gets on the roster?

A: No, it doesn’t have anything to do with what to do with him, we know what to do with him. It’ll be whether or not he moves onto the roster.

Q: What, at this point, would prevent him from doing that?

A: Will didn’t play yesterday. Is there anything you want to ask me about the game? Will is going to practice this week and the decision will be made. That’s all you’re going to get, I’m sorry, but that’s it. Do you have any questions about the game?

Q: What did you think of your offensive line and how they played in that game?

A: The quarterback, I think, was hit twice and I believe we rushed the ball for 114 yards. They were very quick, they did penetrate with the linebackers, they came off of the edge with their pressure, but by in large, I think our guys did well.

Q: How big of a loss is Hankins? He’s been an anchor for you for a year and a half and where do you go next to fill that void, especially the run stopper?

A: Well, that’s the thing, John has been a guy that’s anchored in the middle of that defensive line for a few years. We’ll definitely miss his presence. He knocked the ball out yesterday, he’s the one that forced the first fumble recovered by Brinkley. He’ll be missed, there’s no doubt. He’s a strong, strong player inside and he can be a factor against the pass as well as the run. We will definitely miss him.

Q: Speaking of Jasper Brinkley, how did you think he did in the middle?

A: I thought he played well, I thought he did. I thought he benefited from having play time extended a week ago and he is a force in the middle. He’s a guy that has size and he is able to recognize things and he is physical.

Q: Was it just a matter of him having to catch up with the playbook? I know he got to the team late.

A: The idea of being ready to go when you’re needed is an essential part of this game and it just worked its way out that way.

Q: Do you see him taking that position on now going forward as the starter?

A: Well, we’ll see, we’ll see how that goes. He did play well.

Q: And we never got to ask you either, Jon Beason’s injuries…what was the extent of them? What led to the decision to IR him?

A: The decision was—Jon has been an outstanding leader here. He is a man of principle. He is a guy who loves to play, loves to compete. But the inability to really put the injuries to rest and be able to have some kind of an idea when, in fact, he could play and could be able to stay out there, there just wasn’t any answers to those kinds of things. So unfortunately the roster starts to churn and you need to be able to get some people in a position to help you play and win and so that decision was made.

Q: With seven games to go, how much different is the feeling for you knowing you’re in first place and you’ve got a shot?

A: Obviously, it’s a great thing. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to be in the hunt, to be relevant. And each week is extremely meaningful and the players are well aware of that. Like I spoke to them on Saturday night, we talked about the fact that, “Hey, you work a whole winter, you work all summer, you spend all your time preparing and if I was to tell you at the midpoint of the season that you were in first place in the division, had a very meaningful circumstance within the division, would it make a difference? You bet it would, you bet it would.” So obviously we have many, many important and big games to go, but it’s good to have that factor involved.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players:

NOTES…
The New York Giants did not allow a sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the third time this season QB Eli Manning was not sacked (also in home victories over Washington and San Francisco). It was also the third time this season, and second week in a row, the Giants defense did not register a sack.

The Giants’ defense has scored four times this season.

Eli Manning set a franchise record with his 96th regular-season victory as the Giants’ starting quarterback. He had shared the mark with Phil Simms, who won 95 games in 15 seasons from 1979-93.

WR Odell Beckham has 150 catches in 21 games, setting a new NFL record for fewest games needed to reach 150. WR Anquan Boldin previously held the mark with 25 games. Beckham also tied the NFL record for fewest games to reach 2,000 yards receiving with WR Bill Groman.

PK Josh Brown extended his team record to 23 consecutive field goal attempts, including all 19 this season.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Oct 152015
 
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INJURY REPORT – PRINCE AMUKAMARA OUT 2-4 WEEKS…
WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Victor Cruz (calf), LB Jon Beason (concussion), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (calf), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) did not practice on Thursday.

The bad news on the injury front is that Amukamara could miss a month with a pectoral injury. He has already been ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. “They’re saying two-to-four (weeks),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He has a partial tear of the pec, and it occurred in the (49ers) game. It’s most unfortunate, he’s made a lot of plays this Fall but we’ll continue on and we will get him back.”

“(The pectoral muscle is) still attached,” said Amukamara. “It gives me a chance to rehab it and we’ll do another MRI in a couple weeks to see if progress has been made and we’ll go from there.”

Beckham did not practice, but he did do some running. “We’ll see (if Beckham can practice later this week),” said Coughlin. “Today he can’t go. He’s day-to-day, but today he can’t go.”

“Day-by-day thing, with the game being Monday, so won’t really be able to tell until Monday,” said Beckham.

WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE George Selvie (calf), and CB Trumaine McBride (groin) practiced on a limited basis.

“I’m fine,” said Randle. “Today I tried to test (the hamstring) a little bit so it felt pretty good. It’s a little sore now, but it’s getting better, so as long as I’m progressing, I’m pretty positive about it…Just trying to rehab it as much as possible, strengthen back up, and see how it feels Monday night…I don’t see myself sitting out this game. It’s enough time for me to heal up enough to play, so we’ll see how it goes.”

LG Justin Pugh (ankle) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Xavier Proctor and cornerback Brandon McGee to the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for these two players, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contracts of tight end Dominique Jones and offensive guard Adam Gettis.

Originally a defensive tackle, Proctor signed with the Orlando Predators of the AFL out of college in 2013. He signed with the Detroit Lions in August 2013 and spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The Lions moved him to offensive tackle in 2014 but waived him in September 2014.

McGee was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He played in 15 games in 2013 and two games in 2014 with no starts, accruing 18 tackles. He missed most of 2014 with a foot injury. In 2015, the Rams waived him in September, signed him to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster, and then waived him in October. McGee combines decent size with very good speed and quickness.

Jones was signed by the Giants to the Practice Squad on October 7 after spending time with the Broncos and Ravens in 2015. The Giants signed Gettis off of the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014.

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY…
In addition to previously-reported wide receivers Terrell Pryor, T.J. Graham, and A.J. Jenkins, the following players worked out for the Giants on Wednesday:

  • QB Bryn Renner
  • WR Devin Gardner
  • WR Antwan Goodley
  • WR Mike Williams
  • LB Philip Wheeler
  • CB Brandon McGee
  • CB Garry Peters
  • CB Greg Reid
  • CB Dax Swanson

As reported, the Giants signed McGee to the Practice Squad.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Thursday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday and hold physical recovery cycles on Saturday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sep 092015
 
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TOM COUGHLIN COMMENTS ON JASON PIERRE-PAUL…
Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the situation with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Wednesday. Pierre-Paul remains an unsigned Franchise player due to the serious hand injuries he suffered from a July 4th fireworks accident.

“As you know, JPP was here for a couple of days,” said Coughlin. “Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

“He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.”

ANOTHER REPORT SAYS GIANTS AND ELI MANNING NEARING DEAL…
Supporting NJ.com’s earlier report that the New York Giants and Eli Manning are nearing a new contract, NFL.com is reporting that there is “significant progress on a long-term extension” and that there is “confidence it gets done before Sunday.” Manning is entering the final year of the 6-year contract he signed in August 2009.

MORE PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed quarterback G.J. Kinne and linebacker Gerald Rivers to the Practice Squad. These moves complete the team’s 10-man squad.

Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. Kinne lacks ideal size for a quarterback but he is a very good athlete with a decent arm. Tough, hard working, and competitive. While the Giants list him as a quarterback, he did line up at safety at practice on Wednesday.

Rivers was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Rams (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013), Miami Dolphins (2014), and Denver Broncos (2014-15). Rivers has only played in two NFL games – both in 2013 with the Rams. He has one career tackle. A former defensive end, Rivers has a nice combination of size and athletic ability.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf) and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP).

“Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that (Cruz’s status has changed),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously (Nat) Berhe is a great example of that.”

DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (knee), and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) practiced on a limited basis.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Wednesday (video is available at Giants.com):

Good morning. Two things quickly right off the bat. As you know, JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] was here for a couple of days. Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

The second thing is the shock of the death of Tyler Sash. I haven’t seen Tyler in a couple of years. But one of the players texted me yesterday afternoon, and I didn’t see that coming, obviously. I know a lot of our players have responded. It’s very sad. Most difficult to try and understand. But nevertheless, our condolences go out to his family and his friends, and all those that cared for him. He was an outstanding teammate, now. During the time he was here, the players really enjoyed Tyler Sash. So I’m dumbfounded by this, and I’m very sad.

Having said that, the start of the 2015 season. We’re excited to go on the field this afternoon, or late-morning here, and prepare for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, having won our division a year ago, an outstanding football team. A strong team in a lot of categories. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Q: Have you spoken to or are you planning on speaking to the team about Tyler?

A: I did not mention that this morning. There were a couple players around yesterday. Eli was around. I spoke to him about it. He was taken aback as well.

Q: Everyone was so excited to see Jason Pierre-Paul on Monday. Do you have to worry about a dip in the morale?

A: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think the fact that he came in the way he did, Mr. Personality, was there and he felt good about himself, obviously, and where he’s been. He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.

Q: So it was his hand or his conditioning that won’t allow him to play?

A: The thing that had to be evaluated was his hand, yes.

Q: You said you have a plan for everything. How do you plan for that situation going forward?

A: Keep going, right where we are. Nothing’s changed. We’ve taken this path and we’re on it, and we’ll stay on it. Hopefully at some point in time, Jason will be ready to play, and we’ll get the green light. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll stay where we are.

Q: Did you get any sense of how close he is in terms of weeks?

A: I wouldn’t put any kind of time frame on it. It’s not going to be something that I have anything to say about anyways. It’s going to be the medical people.

Q: Has Victor Cruz’s status changed at all?

A: Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that.

Q: So he won’t be out there today?

A: [Shakes head no]

Q: You’ve been through your share of season openers as head coach here.

A: And everywhere else.

Q: Do they feel any different?

A: No, not at all. Just as excited, just as nervous, just as anxious to get started. Just as anxious to see our team on the field. So, no, nothing, no emotion. All the same.

Q: Are there specific areas or things with this team that you are particularly excited about?

A: Well, I’m excited to see how they respond, obviously, to going to Dallas and opening the season there. There’s a few guys that have been through that experience when it was a positive thing, a plus. But basically, it’s seeing our team come together, seeing us pull together now that we’re at 53, plus the 10 practice squad kids. I’m looking forward to that part of it.

Q: You added Jasper Brinkley to the roster. What kind of role do you see for him? Inside, outside, both?

A: Well, probably inside to start with. But I’m sure he’ll learn to play more than one, perhaps all three [linebacker positions].

Q: Is this at all a reflection on Jon Beason’s availability?

A: No, but we thought it was a necessity.

Q: Is Beason ready?

A: He’s going to practice today.

Q: What about Jonathan Casillas?

A: He’s going to practice. He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play, though? We didn’t see him the last three preseason games.

A: He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play in a game though?

A: He practices today. He’ll have a helmet on, and shoulder pads, those things.

Q: The last several weeks he’s practiced, but he’s been limited. You’ve kept him out of contact, so obviously there’s a concern there. Is there still a concern there?

A: I hope not, but we’ll see.

Q: Has Dallas changed much?

A: Well, in preseason you don’t see a whole lot. But the playoff games were, obviously, very good football. I don’t see any real radical change in the way that their approach is. Some of the names have changed.

Q: When did you start studying them?

A: 2014.

Q: How do you do it when they have such a big change in their backfield? How do you study that?

A: Well, there’s no doubt that they talk mostly about their offensive line, and the strength of their offensive line. I think that’s where you start. You start on their offensive line, and their defensive line. And there hasn’t been any real changes there.

Q: What’s the challenge with the safeties on the road in Dallas?

A: Communication. Communication. That’ll be a concern. We’ll have noise today. We’ll have officials today. We’ll do that for a couple days. Hopefully that will help focus in on the hand signals and the things of that nature that they have to utilize to communicate even though they’re perhaps a few yards apart.

Q: You’re aware the team hasn’t won an opener the past few years. How much does that put you behind? You come out the first week, lose that first game.

A: I don’t know. I don’t want to go there. We’re trying to win. We’re looking forward to the opener. I don’t remember a loss. We won a few, too. I don’t know, Paul. I’m not interested in that part of it right now. All I’m interested in is getting these people ready to play. I’m excited about playing, and let’s go see what we’ve got.

Q: Do you remember coming into a season with so many unanswered questions in your mind on what you have, what you are?

A: I don’t know, I don’t keep track of the count. There are some areas where we expect some people to step up and gain significant recognition in terms of the quality of their play. We look forward to working with those guys. So we have a few things, obviously, that need to be ironed out and need to be clarified. Hopefully that’s what will happen right here.

Q: For a long time, Victor was so optimistic on playing the first game. I don’t know if you’ve ruled anything out. I don’t know if that’s accurate. But has his situation unfolded the way you expected, or have there been frustrations on your part? Is this what you expected?

A: Oh, no. Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously [Nat] Berhe is a great example of that. But that’s what is holding him back, not the other.

Q: You’re a little thin at defensive tackle, obviously you expected Louis Nix to be here. Do you expect to add another body in there?

A: Yeah, we will. But don’t forget, we’ve worked some other people in there. [Kerry] Wynn has worked in there, for example, to give us another athlete that can certainly play in there on second and long and third down.

Q: Will Cullen Jenkins go back in there as well?

A: Cullen plays in there—in and out, in and out. He can certainly play in there.

Q: How’s he doing physically?

A: Okay. We’ll see what he does today on the field.

Q: You spent a lot of time and energy this offseason in rebuilding the offensive line. Where do you stand going into the season, and what are your expectations for that group?

A: I expect us to improve throughout the entire season. Not only for the young guy that’s in there in the new position etc… Westy [Weston Richburg] being in there at center. I think we’re going to improve and get better each time we play. We hopefully have got some things solved, and others to come. I do expect that we will have a starting point and get better from there.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Sep 022015
 
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Chris Boswell, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Chris Boswell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Re-Sign Kicker Chris Boswell: The New York Giants have re-signed place kicker Chris Bosell, who the team waived on August 16. Incumbent kicker Josh Brown has a leg injury and the Giants want to rest Brown until the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 13th. The Giants final preseason game is on Thursday in New England against the Patriots.

Brown suffered a bruised leg two weeks ago when he made a tackle in the third quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars.

Boswell was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft and he briefly spent time on the team’s practice squad. The Giants signed Boswell to a reserve/future contract in January 2015. Boswell has experience both place kicking and punting.

The Giants had an available spot after on the 75-man roster after trimming their roster to 74 on Tuesday. The team must reduce their roster to 53 by 4:00PM on Saturday.

Article on the 2015 New York Giants: This Giants team is unlikely to save Tom Coughlin’s job by George Willis of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: One Giant holding down the fort in Jason Pierre-Paul’s absence by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on LB Unai’ Unga: Giants’ Uani Unga determined to make the roster by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 062015
 
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Jameel McClain, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Jameel McClain – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 6, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…

The New York Giants held their sixth summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…POTENTIALLY SERIOUS INJURIES FOR McCLAIN AND BERHE
Left tackle Ereck Flowers (hip flexor), right guard Geoff Schwartz (coming off of ankle surgery), center Weston Richburg (knee tendinitis), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.

“Well, (Schwartz) obviously wasn’t doing well enough to stay out there for two days in a row,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It looks like one of those things that’s got to be managed. We hope to get him where he can practice hard a couple days a week, but we’ll have to see how that goes.”

McClain suffered a serious spinal contusion neck injury late in 2012 that caused him to miss six games in 2013. The Ravens released him at the end of that season.

“Tests on McClain, but chances are, because of the extent of the trauma, he’s going to have to sit for a while,” said Coughlin. “I wouldn’t be able to even guess on what they will do.”

“(Berhe) had some kind of a muscle tear in the calf area,” said Coughlin. “They’re treating it…I don’t have a timeframe.”

Wide receiver Preston Parker left practice early with a hamstring or quad injury to his right leg.

PRACTICE NOTES…
The Giants were in full pads again for the second day in a row. Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With Ereck Flowers, Geoff Schwartz, and Weston Richburg out, the starting offensive line was left tackle Justin Pugh, left guard Adam Gettis, center Dallas Reynolds, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
  • With Prince Amukamara out, Chykie Brown started at corner in his place.
  • Bennett Jackson started at safety again. He returned an interception from quarterback Ricky Stanzi for a defensive touchdown.
  • Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa beat offensive tackle Emmett Cleary for a sack.
  • Running backs Shane Vereen and Andre Williams saw quite a bit of action with the first-team.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw his first interception of training camp when a deep pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz was intercepted by a leaping cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. In a real game, Manning may not have gotten the pass off as defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis was bearing down on Manning for a sack. (Giants.com is also saying the ball hit the ground). (Video)
  • Left tackle Justin Pugh and fullback Henry Hynoski made good blocks on a running back Shane Vereen run that picked up good yardage.
  • Defensive end Damontre Moore gave right tackle Marshall Newhouse problems with his speed off of the edge.
  • Tight end Larry Donnell had his best practice and made a leaping catch over safety Cooper Taylor.
  • Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record said his three stars of practice were tight end Larry Donnell, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and safety Bennett Jackson.

Kerry Wynn … meet running back. #Giants

A video posted by Jordan Raanan (@jraanan) on

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How’s Geoff Schwartz doing?

A: Well, he obviously wasn’t doing well enough to stay out there for two days in a row. It looks like one of those things that’s got to be managed. We hope to get him where he can practice hard a couple days a week, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

Q: Tests on Jameel McClain?

A: Tests on McClain, but chances are, because of the extent of the trauma, he’s going to have to sit for a while. I wouldn’t be able to even guess on what they will do.

Q: Because of his history with that injury?

A: Yes. I’m sure that’s part of it.

Q: Did you get results on Nat Berhe’s MRI, he said he had one earlier?

A: He had some kind of a muscle tear in the calf area. They’re treating it.

Q: When you say tear it sounds kind of serious.

A: That’s all I know. I can’t tell you anymore, I don’t know what it means either.

Q: No timeframe?

A: I don’t have a timeframe.

Q: It looked like Dallas Reynolds was working with a couple units out there.

A: Yeah, he’s come back a stronger player, no doubt. We needed him to do that. He’s gotten a lot of time on the field with our issues with [Weston] Richburg. It’s good that he did.

Q: Is he upping his stock with you guys?

A: I hope so. When we look at tape, ask me again.

Q: Where do things stand with Weston Richburg and Ereck Flowers?

A: When I hear day-to-day, I don’t know. I can’t tell you. It looked like they were doing okay, especially [Ereck] Flowers. He looks like he’s really coming on—I saw him out of the corner of my eye, saw him running. He looked like he was doing okay.

Q: Missed practices at this point in training camp for him, can you get him up to speed?

A: Very difficult. Very tough. You miss time and you really have a difficult time making it up because there’s all kinds of stuff being thrown at him. The defense has got a sophisticated disguise and pressure package. He would benefit, definitely, from being out here. So he’s had his work in the spring, there’s no doubt he’ll pick it up, but it’s not good to miss practice. That’s that we’re here for.

Q: At some point are you going to move Justin Pugh back inside so he gets those guard reps, too?

A: We’ll have to share some time there, depending on how long he [Flowers] is out.

Q: We talked about the offensive line gelling and that being important. Three guys are out already, how much does that set you back and how do you speed it up if you have to?

A: Not really. You’ve got to go on the field and do your work on the field. You certainly want them all out there together every day, but that’s not the way it is.

Q: How about Prince Amukamara, we didn’t ask you about him?

A: Same kind of deal. He’s got a little groin, but because of the position he plays, how long he’ll be, I don’t know.

Q: Are you seeing Larry Donnell looking more explosive? You see him getting back to where he was before?

A: He’s coming along. He made a really nice play. I think every day he gets a little bit more mobility and he looks like he’s moving better. That’s what we’re hoping to get at. He’s also had a couple of good blocks in there.

Q: He had a pretty good season last year, but it was overshadowed by some mistakes. How hard has he worked on eliminating those?

A: He’s obviously worked hard at it. He’s also worked hard to try and hang onto the ball.

Q: You see anything different from Marcus Kuhn? Cullen Jenkins said he sees a significant difference in him.

A: He’s a big, strong kid that is moving his feet a little bit better. We need him to make a strong contribution.

Q: You said earlier on the radio that you thought Eli’s best football was ahead of him. Can you kind of expand on what you see that would lead you to say that? 34 year olds usually don’t have–

A: I base it on his offseason, his strength, the way he threw the ball in the spring, his knowledge—his continuing knowledge of the offense. And the fact that, God willing, we’ll have some production around him.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

The following Giants were also interviewed by ESPN Radio:

  • RB Andre Williams (Audio)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Audio)
  • DE Robert Ayers (Audio)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Audio)
  • S Landon Collins (Audio)

RELATED ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The seventh training camp practice will be held on Friday from 2:30-4:30PM but it is not open to the public. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only four remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Jul 052015
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul Suffers Hand Injury in Fireworks Accident: According to multiple media reports, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a potentially serious hand injury in a fireworks accident during July 4th festivities at his South Florida home on Saturday.

The full extent of the injuries are not yet known. According to ESPN, the palm and the tips of three fingers of one of Pierre-Paul’s hands were severely burned. Doctors are checking to see if one of his fingers suffered nerve damage. However, one source told ESPN that it is believed Pierre-Paul will be fine. Early reports had erroneously stated that Pierre-Paul had lost several fingers.

Pierre-Paul has yet to sign the 1-year, $14.813 million Franchise tender the team tagged him with. It is not yet known how this accident will affect his availability in training camp, the preseason, and/or the regular season.

Article on LG Justin Pugh: Growing up a Giant: Matured Justin Pugh makes changes for bounceback year by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on Former Giants CB Walter Thurmond:

Jul 022015
 
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Markus Kuhn, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Markus Kuhn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Tackles

2014 YEAR IN REVIEW: Although the brightest spot on the New York Giants defense in 2014 was the emergency of defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, the unit was an overall disappointment. The defensive ends, linebackers, and defensive backs all share a significant portion of the blame for the team’s 30th-ranked run defense (dead last in terms of yards-per-carry allowed), but the defensive tackles were obviously a big part of that failure too. Cullen Jenkins was bothered by a nagging calf issue and was barely noticeable. Mike Patterson and Markus Kuhn were easily blocked and rarely made any plays. Jay Bromley saw more action down the stretch, but his rookie season was a wash.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants decided not to re-sign Mike Patterson in free agency. Kenrick Ellis (1-Year, $1.475 million) was signed from the Jets and the Giants signed rookie free agent tryout Carlif Taylor after the rookie mini-camp.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Barring injury and any unforeseen setbacks, Johnathan Hankins is expected to start at one tackle position and excel. The big question is who will be the primary starter at the other tackle position? The main candidates are Jenkins, Ellis, Kuhn, and Bromley. 2014 practice squader Dominique Hamilton and rookie free agent Carlif Taylor are long shots.

Whomever starts, the obvious goal is dramatically upgrade the middle of the defense, especially against the run. Ellis comes to the Giants with a reputation as a good run defender. After Ellis was signed, Tom Coughlin said, “Ellis is a big human. The young man on our practice squad, Hamilton, is a big human, so I am looking forward to seeing what they can do, too… We realized that big dominating guy in the middle is a good starting point for the D-Line.”

“Right now I’m just trying to work my butt off to prove I’m qualified to call myself a Giant,’’ Ellis said. “It’s gonna be a beautiful thing.”

Jenkins is looking to bounce back from the calf injury. He is also helped by his positional flexibility as the Giants will play him at defensive end as well. “I’m appreciative of another chance to play another year, go out there and try to prove myself again and that I’m not too old while helping the team get back on track to its winning ways,” said Jenkins.

Both Kuhn and Bromley have worked hard this offseason. It’s interesting to note when General Manager Jerry Reese was asked last month who three lesser known players to watch were, Bromley was one of those mentioned.

“I don’t want to give the coaches a reason to take me off the field,” said Bromley. “I don’t want to give nobody an out. There should be no excuse why I don’t play…If your goal isn’t to start, you’re not aiming high enough. If you’re not aiming to start, you’re aiming for second place and I’m not aiming for second place…I strived to not purposely be seen, but work hard enough to the point where you can’t miss me.”

But to earn more playing time and potentially start, Bromley will have to improve his run defense. Kuhn was starting with the first team alongside Hankins during OTAs and the mini-camp. He has bulked up to around 320 pounds.

“The big guys set the tone,” said Kuhn “We have to push back the offensive line. We have to set the new line of scrimmage. Being stronger, being bigger will help with that. (The added weight) feels really good. I’ve been running real well, my conditioning is on par, my body fat is pretty much as low as it has ever been.”

ON THE BUBBLE: The Giants will keep four or five defensive tackles. The only real lock is Hankins. That said, it would be difficult to see the Giants parting ways with 2014 3rd-round pick Bromley after just one season. So Jenkins, Ellis, Kuhn, Hamilton, and Taylor are probably competing for two or three spots.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Robert Nunn on Cullen Jenkins: “I think he can help us in a lot of different (ways), it all depends. We are letting him work more at (defensive) end (during spring workouts) for one reason, because of numbers, but I can see him doing some more work for us out there. At his age and stage in his career, we have to take care of him and move him around a little bit. I have been very impressed with him at this point. He got the calf last year and was off to a good start but he never was the same after the calf injury. He has come in here healthy, good frame of mind and we have moved him around a little bit. We will try to take care of him during training camp and get ready to go.”

Nunn on Jay Bromley and Kenrick Ellis: “Jay Bromley has got to continue to improve with technique, Kenrick Ellis has got to continue to improve and I think they have made the effort to do that and we have to continue that.”

Nunn on Markus Kuhn and who will earn playing time: “(Kuhn) has got to continue to do what he is doing. He has given us some quality reps last year and I have been very impressed with him during the OTAs. The thing he has got to do is produce when we get in pads and that is the same way with Jay (Bromley), Kenrick (Ellis) and that group right there. When we get in pads and, like I said earlier, when the live bullets start being fired, production is going to tell us a lot about who is going to be playing and how the rotation is going to work…(Kuhn) needs to increase his production but we all need to do that. He is a steady hand and a very good leader in the classroom, very good leader in our room. He is a quality guy and he has got it in front of him this year, this will be a big year for him.”

Nunn on Johnathan Hankins: “He really surprised a lot of people with his pass rush. Everybody thought that he was a run stopper coming out but those sacks were legit. He had some legit numbers and a lot of quarterback hits and pressures, came up big in some key situations and I really like where Hank is. He has got to continue to improve with technique. That is where his big improvement has got to be going into training camp but I think that it is a very good situation. He has got a chance to be a solid player for a very long time in this league…I think that people underestimate him as a pass rusher. He wasn’t a great pass rusher coming out but he has really worked on a few things that have really made him effective. When they left him one on one the guy took advantage of it. When those guards have to block him one on one, he is powerful and deceivingly quick. He has got better speed and quickness than what people thing he does.”

PREDICTIONS: Barring injury, Hankins may press for a Pro Bowl spot this year. Obviously, the Giants will rotate their tackles, but the most interesting battle will be to see who starts alongside Hankins. Most fans have discounted Kuhn, but the coaches seem to like him. Reese has talked up Bromley. Ellis comes to the Giants with the reputation as the big run stuffer, which the team seems to need. Jenkins may be at the end of his career, but he’s the type of veteran who is tough to cut.

My guess is that Jenkins starts the season, but Ellis and Bromley both start pushing for serious playing time. The coaches may like Kuhn, but he has to do more to justify snaps and perhaps even making the team.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring injury, Hankins, Jenkins, Bromley, and Ellis. I think the Giants would prefer to keep Kuhn too, but there is a numbers issue at defensive end and I can’t see the Giants carrying more than 10 defensive linemen. If Jenkins shows that he is fading, he could be the odd man out.

Jun 262015
 
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Odell Beckham Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

  • WR Victor Cruz (Video)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Video)

Articles on the 2015 New York Giants:

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham insists: ‘No problem with anybody’ on Giants by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: What do the Giants think of young tight end Jerome Cummingham, Will Tye and Matt LaCosse? by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul intent on dropping weight for his contract year by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Article on LB J.T. Thomas: How Giants’ linebacker J.T. Thomas got his football education from his ‘toughest critic’ by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on New York Giants Cornerbacks: Sizing up the Giants nickel cornerback position after minicamp and the need to be good blitzers by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Best of New York Giants Mini-Camp Video: A sights and sounds video of the action from New York Giants mini-camp is available at Giants.com.

Jun 162015
 
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Owamagbe Odighizuwa, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 16, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants three-day mini-camp was held on Tuesday. Like the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices, no live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis, still in walking boot), offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from pectoral surgery), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), DE Damontre Moore (recovering from shoulder surgery), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice or fully practice.

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

As expected, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, was a no-show. Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn said that he has met with Pierre-Paul a number of times this offseason. “I have been in touch with him and he came up here and we met with him for a few days,” said Nunn. “We have been in touch with him throughout… I have fed him some of the stuff as we’ve gone and progressed through and he was here and I met with him probably four or five times, maybe even six or seven times. We kind of implemented some of the stuff and how it is going to be introduced when we get to training camp. I thought he had a very good grasp of it when he left… All of my contact with JPP has been positive… He seems to be in a very good place mentally and working out and keeping in very good shape.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line remained LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG Geoff Schwartz, and RT Marshall Newhouse.
  • Brandon Mosley saw some reps at right tackle with the second team.
  • First-team defensive ends remained George Selvie and Cullen Jenkins.
  • Kerry Wynn, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and Jordan Stanton saw reps at defensive end with the second team.
  • Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn remained the first-team defensive tackles.
  • The starting linebacking corps was J.T. Thomas, Jon Beason, and Jonathan Casillas.
  • Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor remained the first-team safeties.
  • QB Eli Manning hit TE Daniel Fells for a touchdown on a seam pass, beating S Landon Collins. (Video)
  • Manning then found RB Shane Vereen for a short touchdown reception.
  • RB Andre Williams looked good catching a pass out of the backfield from QB Ryan Nassib. (Video)
  • LB Uani’ Unga intercepted a tipped throw from QB Ryan Nassib.
  • WR Corey Washington made a one-handed reception on a deep throw over CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • CB Prince Amukamara had good coverage on a deep sideline throw to WR Geremy Davis.
  • S Justin Currie tipped a pass intended for WR Marcus Harris and S Mykkele Thompson intercepted the deflected ball.
  • QB Eli Manning hit WR Preston Parker down the middle of the field for a touchdown.
  • On the next play, CB Prince Amukamara intercepted Manning. (Video)

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the morning practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Any difference for you for what you do in OTAs versus mini-camp?

A: Not really. What you do is you have a 10-day series of objectives and you get to the camp and you revitalize your objectives. Present it as we did this morning to the players and talk about how important these three days are and what they lead up to. Set a theme whereby you jump on that again on Thursday afternoon.

Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Brad Harrah and Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: It looked like the defense was playing a lot better today… Are they progressing according to schedule or is there even a schedule?

A: Sure, there is a schedule. They have had a whole lot thrown at them and they have done decently with it. They worked didn’t work as good as at the end of last week and that is probably why you saw better here today.

Q: Is Odell [Beckham Jr.] just not going to do anything this week?

A: I don’t think so, but he was running around on the field out there. He seemed to be doing okay.

Q: Is it hard to get a bead on what you have here with three of your best players not participating with Odell, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul?

A: Is that one of those rhetorical questions? Yes. I mean, I can see what we can do. At least I got to see Odell for a while, but there is no doubt. You have a lot of timing involved. You have a two-minute drill you are trying to time things up. You are trying to create some – ball gets out the quarterback hands quickly. I don’t know exactly what the issue was here today, but the offense wasn’t very good in the two minutes.

Q: Do you play it safer with Odell for the purpose of this being a June mini-camp?

A: No, whatever the medical people tell me is what we do. If he could go, he would be out there.

Q: [Defensive Line Coach Robert] Nunn was saying he has had contact with JPP and senses he is up to speed as much as he can be without being here… Do you have a sense of security…?

A: All I know is that he is not here. That is all I know. He has been here for a couple of days. He spent a couple days in the classroom. He seemed to do well with the information that was given up to that point, but since he has left, he obviously has received nothing. All I know is that he is not here.

Q: Can you comment on the Stony Brook guys?

A: They are no doubt happy to be here. They are working hard. There is an awful lot of stuff. Michael [Bamiro] has been around a little bit, so he has grasped what we are doing a little quicker. We are getting some things done with the other guy. Will [Tye] is doing okay.

Q: You had Bamiro at guard a little bit today?

A: He has been playing some guard. Either way.

Q: You have been moving the linemen around whether it is between guard or tackle?

A: Normal for this time of year. Probably for training camp, too.

Q: Is it just to see what the best fit for guys is?

A:  [It is to] make sure they well versed in playing whatever position we put them at. We are looking for versatility. We are looking for combinations.

Q: What is Devon Kennard’s status?

A: He warmed up and did some things. It is a hamstring.

Q: Having gone through the hamstring with Odell, does it change at all? Are you doing anything differently?

A: We approach it the same way, but we don’t have our head in the sand. We know the guy has an issue. I think the training room is well aware of that.

Q: Why not keep him inside? What is the thinking behind that?

A: He works with the trainers. He does some work on the side. He jumps over there and gets on the JUGS machine. Plus, why have him inside when the football is out here. He can absorb information based on the fact that he knows the play. Sees the coverage, knows what the reaction should be and benefits from the corrections. That is why he is out here.

Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Steve Spagnuolo addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

It has been great to be here. I can’t remember the last time we spoke. It might have been during Phase 2 or OTA’s, but it is great to get out on the field with the guys. That is when you get a true feel for what you have, where you are at and where you are going. We are in the middle of that and I look forward to continuing it. The way Coach has it structured the next three days I think will be exciting for us and hopefully when it is all said and done, we feel real good.

Q: Do you have a better handle on what your roster is and the talent on it?

A: I think better than when we began. I think I have mentioned this before; it won’t be until we get to the third day of training camp that we play real football. We can tell a certain number of things to a certain point in these practices. Certainly from the chin to the hairline if people are getting it. We say we are evaluating everybody on their ability to learn, which we can get a feel for that. Footwork you can get a feel for and hand placement and things like that defensively. I was talking about this with the D-line this morning – footwork is different when you don’t have any protection and pads on than when you are pressing up against people and doing the things you need to do when you have pads on. It is an ebb and flow. It is a 50/50, but do I have a better feel than I did two months ago, yeah. The answer to that would be yes.

Q: Have you had much contact with Jason [Pierre-Paul]?

A: Yeah. Not as much contact as I would like, but he is doing well. What is really hard when you come in new and you have a player in that situation is you want to start a rapport and a relationship, coach-player, and friendship. It makes it a little bit difficult, but we have all been through this. It is part of the league. We will just keep grinding away.

Q: How much will JPP’s absence put him behind?

A: He is going to be behind because there is a lot we are doing right now, but he had been around for a period of time. He did a little bit of the mental work, which I greatly appreciated. I thought that spoke volumes to who he is and what he is about and how important it is to him. Because it is new – terminology is big in this league on both sides of the ball. Hopefully he is up to that challenge and we can get up to speed real quick.

Q: Do you consider JPP an elite pass rusher?

A: He looks pretty elite to me. The simple answer to that would be yes. Anybody can put a highlight film together and make a play look great. If you just watch tape with JPP out there, it is evident to me that he is an elite defensive end and fits a 4-3 system, which is exciting.

Q: Would you like this to be a more aggressive Giants defense than what you have seen in previous years?

A: I am not going back or passing judgment on any years. I think we all can agree in here that if you are going to be good on defense, it needs to be aggressive. If you look around the league – I was very fortunate to be a part of one the past two years down south on I-95 [Baltimore Ravens] that is aggressive and physical. I think all good defenses in this league function that way. We would like to get to that point as well. How and when and where we will get with all that, we will see as we go. It is pretty tough to stress physical when you can’t really do physical out on the field. I think the mindset is there, but we will just see where we are at when we get to training camp.

Q: What did the experience in Baltimore do for you?

A: That could take a long time, and I say that in a positive way. Early on it was a rough period for me, but it was great that first year to just sit back and communicate with [Ravens Head Coach] John [Harbaugh] on head coaching things, work with the defense, see things from just sitting back and not being involved in a lot other then recommendations. The second year being back as a position coach, sometimes I think that is good for head coaches and coordinators to do periodically. You grow to appreciate the job a position coach has to do. Being around that system, which really is pretty different than what I had been used to with [former Eagles Defensive Coordinator] Jim Johnson, here in New York, what we took to St. Louis and New Orleans, etcetera, it was nice to get a new perspective on scheme. I am talking more about base defense than sub-defense. [Baltimore] is in what they say is a 3-4, but it is more of an under scheme. We will pick apart what we think are the meat and the good things from that and try to add them in. If you try to do too much, it won’t be any good. I thought it was very valuable. I am indebted and thankful to the people there. [Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti, [Ravens General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and certainly John, who is a close friend of mine.

Q: Do you take anything from the 2007 Giants defense when guys didn’t have the light go off in regards to your system until the third game and can you apply that to this team?

A:  Definitely. It is a little bit of force-feeding right now. I do think it is important to be multiple in this league because offenses are multiple and you have to have an answer for certain things. There will come a point as we get closer to that first game when we are going to have to make a decision and say, ‘This is it.’ If we do too much, we become less as a unit. You are always weighing that out on either side of the ball in anything you do in this league, is the too much, ‘don’t let their mind clutter up their feet’ is one of the sayings. I will always go back on that. I did even the other places I went to. We will be careful of that. I think our guys are handling it right now. There is a ways to go. We are going to make those kinds of decisions as we go along the way here. That is why we are fortunate that we still have four preseason games. Thank God. I wish we had another one to figure all that out. That will be an important piece of it, especially early.

Q: Was that a lesson you learned in 2007 about installing a new defense?

A: No, we had used that a lot before. Going back to that, I will tell you this, I am not sure we had as much in then as we might have now or we did in after that. Obviously at that particular time – the one little element, I know you all remember this, my friend Michael [Strahan] wasn’t here for most of that. He was an integral part of the whole thing. [Strahan] and I have talked about that. It took a little while for him to get going, and yet when all the pieces fell together, I think we did pretty good.

Q: How much do you feel like you have grown since the last time you were a defensive coordinator?

A: The hope is, and I think I have said this before, we grow more in anything. It doesn’t matter whether it is coaching or life, we always grow more in adversity than we do in the good times. I believe that. Especially if you go through the right way and look back and use it the right way. I think sometimes I probably had too much experience. I had too much defense. You can have too much of that, too, so I am always careful of that. My hope is that I am better at this position than I was the first time. I guess we will find out.

Q: A lot of people in your position use the word ‘humbled’ … Do you think that is appropriate for you or is there another word?

A: I am probably not the right one to ask. This is how I feel about everything I have been through, especially being in this league. To me, this profession I am in and the ability to have been in is a blessing to me. I have never taken it for granted. I never thought I was anything better than just a normal person trying to work hard at a job, so I hope the ups and downs that I had been through weren’t what I needed to be humbled. That would be my hope. Whether it is true or not, I don’t know, but I do know it opens your eyes. It reveals who you are and what you are made of and the people you are around and what they mean to you and what they are able to give you through the tough times. I don’t know if humbling is the right word or not. It is an education if you use it the right way. I have spoken to people before about the past and I know this much, when you are in the middle of it, you have two choices: you can either be bitter or you can get better. I made a conscious decision in my mind to get better. I hope I have done that.

Q: How do you feel about the safeties on the roster and the progress the younger guys have made?

A: Young. There is youth and inexperience there. It doesn’t matter what system you are in, in my opinion, defensively, those two particular guys [at the safety spots] are really important. Everyone else relies on them. The quicker we can get to the other nine trusting them, the better off we will be. I am not sure we are there yet. I think it is going to be a work in progress, but we will get there. Guys can do it. That is why I wish we had another 10 OTAs. The players don’t want to hear me say that, but it would be helpful.

Q: Do you feel any better about the safety position now as compared to how you did heading into the offseason program?

A: Right now it is a challenge. Challenge is probably the best word. It is a challenge for our patience and our trust in them. Everyday it gets better, I can tell you that. I do think everyday there is a trust gained there from linebackers to corners and back to the safeties. Those are the guys that really need them. I think our other guys who, the non-safeties that rely on them, are doing a good job being patient and letting them try to work through it, rather than trying to overstate them or jump the gun and make the call, so to speak. I have asked them to do that and I think that is important. We have a long ways to go in my opinion.

Q: What can we expect from the Giants defense this year?

A: I will let you know in a couple of months. I know where you are going with it, but I am not a predication guy. I don’t make those kind of bold statements. I will say this, I believe we are getting everything out of them right now. I have no qualms with the effort and the attendance has been great. I know we are working through one issue. That part of it has been great and that is all you can ask for right now. I think I mentioned this to you before that the main focus, one of the first things I said in the meetings, was to make sure the number one goal is that we are better today than we were yesterday. I think if we live by that and able to accomplish part of that, then we will be okay.

Q: Are you starting to see the identity of the defense take place after showing them the past great Giants defenses and defenders?

A: A little bit. It is hard to see it until you are competing against somebody else. The idea there was that if they could embrace the tradition, the great tradition of New York Giants defense, then they could be proud of it. If you are proud of something, then you tend to protect it. It has been fun working through that. We showed, since we last talked, I can’t remember the timing of it all, but one day we did the 1986 NFC Championship Game. Then we have some other games. We were talking about this two days ago. I have saved some for training camp. We have some players we still need to put up there. To me, it is fun; look, we are all rallying around together as a unit learning things. I test them every once in a while to see if they remember. They don’t always remember. They are getting the point. They like it, too.

Q: Who are your best students?

A: Mark Herzlich was outstanding. I think he had typed up, ready to go the next day. I had to make sure he didn’t tell anybody else because he made it easy. He had his cheat notes and he was ready to roll. Mark was great.

Q: How much of the emphasis is on stopping the run before pressure defense?

A: It always comes before, in my opinion. Now we do have run-pressures, which I hope help. When you are talking about stopping the run, it does come back to the guys up front. It doesn’t matter what you draw up on the board, in my opinion. Guys up front have to do it first, then the second level behind them have to do it next, then when all else fails, you have to have guys in a position that those plays don’t become big plays. I totally understand what you are saying. It is not all about pressure and blitzing. That is not necessarily the answer. It is about fundamentals and playing good, strong, solid, physical football up front to stop the run. That will be a focus. Tough to do now when all you have protection-wise is a helmet.

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBERT NUNN…
Robert Nunn addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What have you seen or heard from JPP?

A: Well, obviously he is not here but I have been in touch with him and he came up here and we met with him for a few days. He has got a start of what is going to be expected when he gets here in the beginning of it and we have been in touch with him throughout and that is really all I have to say about it. Obviously we’d like to have him here, but I don’t get involved in that, but he has got some of the stuff that we dished to him when he gets back.

Q: So he has a playbook and can go over it?

A: Not all of it, but I have fed him some of the stuff as we’ve gone and progressed through and he was here and I met with him probably four or five times, maybe even six or seven times. We kind of implemented some of the stuff and how it is going to be introduced when we get to training camp. I thought he had a very good grasp of it when he left and when he gets here we’ll start and that is where we’ll begin.

Q: Was that all at the beginning of the offseason program when you met with him? Or was it something recent with him coming into town?

A: Yeah, it was right near the beginning.

Q: Do you expect him to pick up sort of where he left off? At the end of the year he was playing at that JPP level.

A: Yeah, you would hope so. His numbers increased there at the end. I thought he did some good things throughout but just didn’t have the numbers to show for it, and I have said that over and over, sacks are a little overrated, but his quarterback hits and his pressures, he was doing some good things. They were counting for him in a lot of different ways and he took advantage of some opportunities there at the end and got his numbers up. His tackles had to be up there in the top of the league. I don’t know where he was, but he had to be top two or three as far as the production and as far as in the run game and his pass production there at the end. I think it is just coming in healthy and in the right frame of mind and getting ready to start, he is going to be behind but that is where we will start.

Q: Do you get the sense that he is going to come in with the right frame of mind?

A: All of my contact with JPP has been positive. It is what it is; I don’t get involved with the business side of it. He seems to be in a very good place mentally and working out and keeping in very good shape. His weight was in a good place and so we’ll see when we begin.

Q: How hard is this defense to pick up? Is that really the part that he is missing now?

A: Yeah, there are wrinkles that you have got to be here to pick up and he has got to take it from the classroom to the field, but those things, we will begin in training camp and we will make it work.

Q: Is there still ample time with training camp in your mind?

A: Yes, if he comes in with the right frame of mind and in good shape, he will be ready to go.

Q: When you are evaluating the defensive front, if it were a lesser player, it would be easy to kind of put that player out of your mind. But I would imagine when you are evaluating right now, it is the opposite; it is imagining what it will be like when he is there. Is that fair?

A: Yeah, there is some of that. When we have a player that is as talented as him, he is not out there right now but the guys that are here are doing a hell of a job. They are doing exactly what we have asked them to do. Coaches told them and I have told them that we can’t get caught up in that; we don’t have anything to do with that. Who is here is going to work and they have done a good job with that.

Q: When Steve Spagnuolo was here the first time, he had a heavy rotation of defensive ends that could sack the quarterback; he had Strahan, Tuck and Osi. Beyond JPP, what do you have and what do you like about what you have?

A: The one issue is that some of the guys are limited right now because of injury so they haven’t been out there. We haven’t been able to evaluate that yet because some of them are not out there. The ones that are out there are doing what we ask them to do and some of that stuff that you are talking about will all take care of itself once we get into training camp, once we start out there with live bullets flying and then that will settle and take care of itself as far as the rotation and how we rotate people.

Q: Where do you see Cullen Jenkins fitting in? Is he a tackle, an end or is he both?

A: I think he can help us in a lot of different [ways], it all depends. We are letting him work more at end for one reason, because of numbers, but I can see him doing some more work for us out there. At his age and stage in his career, we have to take care of him and move him around a little bit. I have been very impressed with him at this point. He got the calf last year and was off to a good start but he never was the same after the calf injury. He has come in here healthy, good frame of mind and we have moved him around a little bit and will continue the next three days to move him around a little bit. We will try to take care of him during training camp and get ready to go.

Q: What have you seen from some of the new guys?

A: Selvie is solid, he is a solid pro. He played well last year in Dallas and he has been steady. Some of the other guys, Jay Bromley has got to continue to improve with technique, Kenrick Ellis has got to continue to improve and I think they have made the effort to do that and we have to continue that.

Markus Kuhn, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Markus Kuhn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: What does Markus Kuhn need to prove to you guys?

A: He has got to continue to do what he is doing. He has given us some quality reps last year and I have been very impressed with him during the OTAs. The thing he has got to do is produce when we get in pads and that is the same way with Jay, Kenrick and that group right there. When we get in pads and, like I said earlier, when the live bullets start being fired, production is going to tell us a lot about who is going to be playing and how the rotation is going to work.

Q: Has that been the thing with him? You have seen it maybe on the practice field but it hasn’t always translated to the live bullets?

A: He needs to increase his production but we all need to do that. He is a steady hand and a very good leader in the classroom, very good leader in our room. He is a quality guy and he has got it in front of him this year, this will be a big year for him.

Q: How high is the ceiling for Johnathan Hankins?

A: He really surprised a lot of people with his pass rush. Everybody thought that he was a run stopper coming out but those sacks were legit. He had some legit numbers and a lot of quarterback hits and pressures, came up big in some key situations and I really like where Hank is. He has got to continue to improve with technique. That is where his big improvement has got to be going into training camp but I think that it is a very good situation. He has got a chance to be a solid player for a very long time in this league.

Q: Is that pass rushing ability of his something that just happens when he sees an opportunity or more when you free him up?

A: I think that people underestimate him as a pass rusher. He wasn’t a great pass rusher coming out but he has really worked on a few things that have really made him effective. When they left him one on one the guy took advantage of it. When those guards have to block him one on one, he is powerful and deceivingly quick. He has got better speed and quickness than what people thing he does.

LINEBACKERS COACH JIM HERRMANN…
Jim Herrmann addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What have you seen so far from J.T. Thomas?

A: He is very athletic. That is what I like about him. He will be a great addition to our teams. Special teams and athletically as a linebacker he can cover. He is tough. He is going to fill that role, both in base and in sub. We can do a lot of different things with him.

Q: Do you see him getting any time at the middle linebacker spot or mostly weak side?

A: In our base, he is an outside linebacker and in sub, we play him some in the middle. It is a very fluid deal in sub defense, so he can play in or out.

Q: What kind of improvement has Devon Kennard shown from his rookie year up until now?

A: I think number one, he is more confident in himself as a player. He knows now he can play in the league. That takes you a long way. Just refining his technique and his footwork and trying to get the best of both worlds.

Q: Where do you see Jameel McClain fitting in?

A: I think Jameel is versatile enough. He has played all three positions, so he can play in and out. He is a tough guy, which is good, so you want him in there in the run game. He is athletic enough to play in subs. It gives us a big luxury because we have a lot of guys that have played NFL snaps and to me as a coach, that is luxury to have because a lot of times you don’t have that as a linebacker coach. It is nice to have them where you can do anything.

Q: Is it possible that your three best guys might be Jon Beason, Jameel McClain and Devon Kennard, but they might not be the three best guys to have on the field at the same time?

A: I think to me, when you go out, you are going to put the three best people on the field. Why would you have the best guys standing next to you? Whatever the position is… Who are the best guys? Those are the guys that are going to play. That is what the players are striving to be. They are striving to be the best three linebackers, the best four linebackers. To me, that has always been true, ever since I started coaching. The best guys are going to play, especially at the linebacker position, since they are all very similar.

Q: Do you feel like the talent you have top to bottom in your group is the best you have had since you have been here?

A: That is a true statement. Nothing against those other guys. I don’t want them to feel bad. Talent-wise, yes.

Q: Because you can do so many things?

A: Yeah, they are versatile guys and what is really nice is they are veteran guys. They have played NFL snaps. You have a lot of guys who have played a lot of snaps in football, in real games. That is good to have.

Q: Without Antrel Rolle, many people are expecting Beason to be the leader of the entire defense… Do you think he is capable of doing that?

A: Yeah, he is a born leader. He has always been that way since the day he got into the league. Since he was at Miami, he was a leader. I think he likes that role and he wants that role. You want a guy like that.

Q: Are J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas similar to you?

A: They are both very athletic guys. They are different kinds of players, but they are both very athletic and can move well. You like that. It is hard right now for me because you don’t have pads on. You will find out a lot more once the pads go on. With their body of work in the NFL, they are both tough guys who can play.

CORNERBACKS COACH TIM WALTON…
Tim Walton addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How physical do the corners have to be in this defense?

A: Well, it all depends on the coverage situation but what we try to preach is we want guys to be able to tackle [and] we need guys to be able to tackle. This league is about finding matchups and they will try and go after the weak links and guys that don’t do it, so we try to preach that we are going to have all our guys solid at tackling and being physical and getting off blocks and doing all the fundamental things that come with football, we have to get that down.

Q: We know from years ago when Steve Spagnuolo was here that he has a very aggressive defense up front. Are they aggressive in the secondary, too, in a way that the corners try to attack the receivers?

A: Yeah, that is the thing. The guys like it and it is fun for them to get a chance. You know how it goes, you either apply pressure or you feel it. Steve has done a great job with a history of doing things and the guys here have embraced it, they love the system and they love what he is doing. As a coach, I try to make sure that I rely on the message and rely on the techniques and be his voice of making sure we get done on the backend what he needs to get done for the defense to be successful.

Q: It does seem that the more you attack and apply pressure, the more defensive players are happy?

A: Yeah, and now we’ve just got to be good at executing things. Whatever he calls, that is the job on the backend. You are usually dealing with four, a lot of times five or six DBs, on the field at one time, so that is a big number of guys, so we have to be on the same page and the cohesiveness and the chemistry and all that stuff is critical to our development and our success.

Q: One of the guys the last couple years has been Jayron Hosley that just seems like they are constantly trying to bring his talent out. What have you seen from Jayron?

A: He has it, he has the talent. The thing we talk about is confidence. We have to make sure the confidence is there and the consistency is there and all of those things, so that the talent is showing on a daily basis. We don’t want to be up and down with it, so that is the thing we talk about and we work on, is trying to be consistent with it and getting confidence so you can play at a level that you would like to play at on a daily basis.

Q: Was he a guy that you felt like you had to break down a little bit once you got here to kind of get him back to where he felt like he was on a level playing field?

A: Well, everybody for me started in the same boat because they are all new to me. Even the guys that had been here and had been playing a lot, it was a new situation, there were going to be some changes and some differences on how things were. That relationship was starting from the communication and what we expect and the approach we are going to take was kind of done with everybody but with him, I know he has that talent and it was more of confidence and being able to be consistent so that we know what we are getting everyday from his body of work.

Q: Do you see him as a guy who can play inside in the nickel or is he mostly an outside guy?

A: He would probably be outside right now. Who knows what he may end up doing, but right now, to get confidence, you also want to start at one spot and kind of go from there and grow with it. You don’t want to throw a ton on his plate, start with one thing, let’s do that well and we’ll progress from there.

Q: What about Prince can he still improve?

A: Oh yeah, he definitely can improve just in techniques in general. When we play press technique, that is always a constant thing because with his talent, he is going to see different guys, he is going to see smaller receivers and bigger receivers, and you have to be able to change that up based on the guys you see and be effective with it. Also just on his ability to play fast and trying to show him to be able to see formations, see tendencies, see splits and being able to let that put you in the right position and be able to play up to his maximum potential all the time. That has a lot to do with the understanding of the situations, of formation or splits and things like that, because he has played a lot of football so he understands and those are the things that can help him grow so he can play fast all the time because he has some real talent.

Q: A year ago DRC came here and the idea was he was an elite corner who would be following the best receiver. In year two, what do you sense from DRC where he is and what you guys want out of him?

A: Yeah, well, he definitely has to be that guy. The thing about it that we feel good about is hopefully we have two guys that can be that and that is the confidence and level of expectation that we have is that he definitely will be that guy and a guy that has that ability, and we need to build on a consistent basis. We also feel that Prince has the ability to do that, also, and that is where we become better as a football team where we can have that with both guys because that gives you the ability that you can handle the matchups.

SAFETIES COACH DAVID MERRITT…
David Merritt addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How is Landon Collins coming along?

A: Good. The rookie pitfalls that they all fall into, which is thinking you can come in here and that you know it all. Then you find out you don’t know much of anything and he has a situation now that he feels the pressure. He has to make the calls and get everyone lined up and he talked a good game as far as what he had to do at Alabama and I believe that. Now when you are trying to line up grown men who have wives and children at home and they need that call from you, it is a little different than lining up a freshman. The call has to be right. Right now, he is slow to go, which was expected, but he has to pick it up quickly for us to be successful.

Q: How hard is it at that position to come in as a rookie and start right away?

A: I think it is extremely hard. You are the ‘the extension of the defensive coordinator.’ Whatever call comes in, you need to be able to hear the call, accept the call and then spit it back out to your fellow teammates. For a rookie to come in and have that pressure, to be the extension of the defensive coordinator, I know we have the right one doing it, but it is extremely difficult.

Q: From what you have seen early on, do you think he is capable of doing that?

A: I do, I really do. He is starting to realize that these missed alignments and the minus plays, I have to cut those out of my game in order for the guys around me to trust me. That is what he wants to be. He wants to be a leader. Okay, we are putting him out there. I think he is going to be ready to go, definitely, for Dallas.

Q: How has Cooper Taylor come along after missing the year?

A: Cooper is coming along well. Mentally, I never doubted Cooper would be able to pick up the defense. It is just now getting Cooper’s body to move in the proper direction once he receives the call and allows himself to line up and just see what is happening in front of him. The mental part, Cooper is fine, but it is now the physical part. We have to make sure the durability factor – he has to be durable for us because he has missed the past two seasons. Mentally, I am not concerned about him. Physically hoping that he will be able to step up and be durable for us.

Q: How much has it hurt Nat Berhe not being able to get on the field?

A: That hurts tremendously because all the reps that Cooper and Landon and Mykkele [Thompson] and some of the other guys have taken, Nat would have been right in there with all the other guys. By him standing on the sideline and taking mental reps – I understand you are taking mental reps, but it is different. It is not the same as putting your body through the motions and making your body react to different movements that the receivers are stemming at you. It is going to definitely hurt him and set him back a little bit, but hopefully he can come back at training camp and be ready to fight for a starting job.

Q: How is Mykkele Thompson coming along?

A: Mykkele, I knew was a smart kid. He came here and he is a cerebral kid, that is for sure. He is going to take what I say literally and take my word for it and go out and try to execute it. Now I am starting to see that the kid actually has some football awareness, where I didn’t think he had much of it when we first started off. The [missed alignments] that started at the beginning of rookie mini-camp and OTAs have drastically gone down. Mentally, he has excelled past my expectations.

Q: Are you eager to see how he holds up physically?

A: Absolutely. Long arms. We did a drill the other day where he was having to punch a bag and escape from the blocker and to see his arms and the extension of his arms, that was good to see. I am definitely interested to see him in the pads.

Q: How has Bennett Jackson handled the moved from corner to safety?

A: It has been good. You are going from the outside where you are playing on an island and then all of sudden, you go to a back end position where you have to see the formation and play, the moving parts, and put people in the right position. Jackson, in his situation right now, there has been a learning curve for him, which has been hard for him. It has been a struggle at first, but out of all the guys, that is one kid that when he puts his foot in the ground, he can go. He can go. I am looking forward to seeing Bennett at camp with pads on because I truly believe he will hit as well.

Q: Has anyone else caught your eye here in the spring?

A: To be honest, the guys that you just named are the ones that I am focusing on. Justin Currie has done a great job, as well, our free agent. Big kid, as well. I am interested to see what he can do once the pads are on his shoulders and hopefully he will be able to be a thumper for us. Those are our crew. Those are our guys.

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR TOM QUINN…
Tom Quinn addressed the media before the afternoon practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: Have you seen enough from Dwayne Harris to get an idea of how he is going to fit for you?

A: I had really a good idea before he came in, having faced him for so many years. He has done a nice job assimilating himself and getting the returns down, so we have seen enough, we are pleased.

Q: Do you envision returning kicks and punts being his primary duty?

A: He is going to be a ‘big four’ player, so he will be on all four of the teams and he will make a very good contribution. His coverage skills are equal to his return skills, so that is the nice thing about getting this kind of player.

Q: Do you feel that you have a little deeper of a candidate pool for the return jobs?

A: Well, we always want a deep pool because you know at any time one of those guys can get hurt and we need to put someone else in, so we are always trying to develop depth.

Q: Any of the young guys in particular jumping out at you?

A: As far as coverage guys or return guys?

Q: Return guys

A: Odell has caught punts before but hasn’t done much the last couple of weeks. Edwards, an undrafted player, is starting to make some strides, but we will see once the pads come on and when we go in preseason games.

Q: What do you see from Corey Washington?

A: We just need him to get better so he can contribute on all four. Right now he is a two-team player but we would like to see him on all four so you maximize that roster space and that if he is dressed on game day.

Q: Are the two you are talking about the return games?

A: Yeah, he has primarily been on punt return and kick off return. We would like to develop some of his coverage skills on punt and kickoff.

Q: Still the middle of June, but how do you feel about your overall group?

A: I feel good about them right now. We got some new acquisitions at the linebacker spot and we got some safeties in, which are nice, and getting Bennett Jackson back has been pleasing. The young kid from Texas, Thompson, has done some good things; he is long and has real good speed, so I think he can be pretty versatile for us. Obviously Landon (Collins) has done a nice job in what he have asked him to do, so [I] am pleased with the overall group.

Q: With the change in the extra point kick, will that change the way the kickers are going to be working in training camp?

A: We have always done it. We had two games with it in the preseason last year, so we are well versed in it. We start them at the 15 and then move back from there. It is something that we are used to and it will not be a problem at all.

Q: This isn’t something the linemen seem to excited about. Do you sense that at all?

A: The field goal protection, there are some violent hits that occur. The ante will be raised with the rule and the way that it is written. Points are points, so the guys will be eager to get out there and to get points.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning on TE Will Tye: “I think Will, he catches the ball very well, that is always a good thing for a tight end. He seems to be running good routes. He is still getting a feel for the offense and all the ins and outs and going through what a lot of rookies go through in learning a new offense and a lot thrown at them. You see him working every day and in there and competing and making some plays, so that is good.”
  • Will Beatty on his pectoral injury: “It was a freak accident. It wasn’t, I mean I was lifting heavy, but it wasn’t my max. It was just something like, ‘What happened?’ I just don’t really know what happened. I know that I got to go into the recovery looking towards the future rather than the past.”

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