Nov 142017
 
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Keenan Robinson, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Keenan Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports

KEENAN ROBINSON PLACED ON IR AND OTHER ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants placed linebacker Keenan Robinson on Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Robinson suffered a quad injury in the game against the Los Angeles Rams on October 5th. The Giants also waived wide receiver/returner Ed Eagan and defensive end Devin Taylor.

To fill those three roster vacancies, the Giants signed free agents offensive guard John Greco and linebacker Akeem Ayers, and promoted wide receiver/returner Kalif Raymond from the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed tight end Matt LaCosse and Nick Becton to the Practice Squad.

The injury-prone Robinson played in six games this season with three starts and had 32 tackles. He missed the season’s first two games with a concussion.

Eagan was signed to the Practice Squad in September and the 53-man roster in October. The 5’11’, 183-pound Eagan was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Buffalo Bills. The Giants signed Eagan in August 2017.

The Giants signed Taylor in late October 2017. He had signed with the team in May 2017 but was cut in early September. Taylor was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

The 32-year old, 6’4”, 318-pound Greco was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2008-2010), Cleveland Browns (2011-2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). Greco has started 70 of the 111 regular-season games he has played in, including starts at right guard (45), left guard (24), and center (1).

The 28-year old, 6’3”, 247-pound Ayers was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. He has spent time with the Titans (2011-2014), New England Patriots (2014), St. Louis Rams (2015), and Indianapolis Colts (2016). Ayers has started 57 of the 91 regular-season games he has played in, with 15.5 sacks, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

Raymond was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2017. The 5’9”, 160-pound Raymond was originally signed by the Denver Broncos after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with both the Broncos (2016) and New York Jets (2017). Raymond has played in six NFL games. The diminutive Raymond has not caught a pass, but he has returned nine kickoffs (24.7 yards per return) and 16 punts (9.3 yards per return).

LaCosse played in three games this season for the Giants with one start. The team waived him on Saturday to make room for fullback Shane Smith. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games in 2015 and finished with three catches for 22 yards. The Giants waived/injured Matt LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery. LaCosse is a versatile player who played tight end, H-Back, and fullback in college. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

The 6’6”, 322-pound Becton  was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He has spent time with the Chargers (2013), Giants (2014), New Orleans Saints (2014), Chicago Bears (2015-2016), Detroit Lions (2017), and Kansas City Chiefs (2017). Becton has played in six regular-season games with no starts.

NOTES…
The Giants have allowed a receiving touchdown to an opposing tight end in 10 consecutive games dating back to last year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak in NFL history.

In their last two games, the Giants gave up touchdown passes of 52 and 67 yards to the Rams, and 47 and 83 yards to the 49ers. It is the first time in their history they allowed two touchdown passes of at least 47 yards in back-to-back games.

This season, the Giants have held just one opponent to less than 100 rushing yards; Denver ran for 46 yards on October 15. Not coincidentally, that was the Giants’ lone victory.

ARTICLES…

Sep 282017
 
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J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS WAIVE SHANE SMITH AND PLACE J.T. THOMAS ON IR…
The New York Giants have waived fullback Shane Smith and placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with a groin injury that he suffered in week 2 against the Detroit Lions.

To fill those roster vacancies, the team signed defensive end Nordly “Cap” Capi off its Practice Squad and re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner, who was cut by the Giants on September 2nd.

Smith was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener.

The 6’3”, 249-pound Capi was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2015 NFL Draft. Capi has spent time with the Jaguars (2015), Baltimore Ravens (2015), Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals (2016-2017). While Capi has not played in an NFL regular-season game, he did stand out with the Cardinals as a linebacker during the 2017 preseason, both rushing the passer (15 pressures and 1.5 sacks) and defending the run.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December.

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Shane Vereen (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), offensive lineman Brett Jones (hip), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) practiced on a limited basis.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday. There is no media availability on Saturday. The Giants play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

Jul 172017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign Kelvin Sheppard, who started 11 regular-season games at middle linebacker for the team in 2016. The Giants re-signed unrestricted free agents Keenan Robinson and Mark Herzlich to 1-year deals. The team also signed journeyman street free agent Curtis Grant and rookie free agent Calvin Munson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Once again, the Giants made no major player acquisitions at linebacker. The #1 story line here is tracking how well second-year player B.J. Goodson can take over at middle linebacker for Sheppard. Goodson has been praised by coaches and players for his work during the spring, but he has to demonstrate that he can not only stuff the run, but cover tight ends and running backs. The middle linebacker is usually a defensive leader on most teams and it will be a big jump for Goodson, who only played a handful of defensive snaps in 2016.

It assumed by many that Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard will remain the other top linebackers on the team. Can Casillas continue his career renaissance or was 2016 his high point? Can the injury-prone Robinson string together two healthy years in a row? One gets the sense that Kennard still hasn’t reached his true potential, but he must also stay healthy.

ON THE BUBBLE: Mark Herzlich, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Curtis Grant, Stansly Maponga, and Calvin Munson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Bill McGovern on B.J. Goodson: “I think he, like everybody has kind of has noticed, he just seemed a little bit more comfortable being in the system another year being around it. You see him more comfortable gaining more confidence as he continues to get more and more reps in practice… He has a really good skill set. He looks like he will be good in the run, but again, without pads on right now, we’re moving around but it’s not anything that is going to be real definitive right now, but he is a guy that looks like he can tackle, we’ve seen on tape that he can tackle. He moves well. It looks like he is moving better in the pass but again you always move better once you always have a better understanding of how you fit in this scheme… the mike linebacker position is one that has got to control our defense, make some calls, make some checks, get us lined up, and let us play.”

McGovern on Keenan Robinson: “I think Keenan, in particular in our sub-package really was a positive for us in terms of coverage. He has length, he has size, and he has athleticism so he was a real positive. Hopefully, again we will continue to expand his role in that.”

McGovern on Devon Kennard: “I think (last year) it was kind of learning, again, more about DK and DK kept taking on more and more responsibility. Finding his skill set improved a little bit in that he has value rushing the passer and that he has value on first down, second down, and third down. It was one of those situations as we developed through the year we realized that he had more and more value and he has continued to work on it through the offseason and we are excited about where he is headed now.”

PREDICTIONS: This group is lucky to be sandwiched between the talent on the defensive line and defensive backs. As of July 2017, clearly there are still no headliners at this position for the Giants. That could change if Goodson or Kennard have breakout years. The key with Goodson will probably be his coverage ability. Can he become a three-down linebacker? I keep waiting for Kennard to have that breakout game. He has the smarts and physical tools. It just hasn’t happened for him yet. Casillas and Robinson had solid seasons, but they have to prove they can do that again.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring injury, the obvious ones are B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard. After that, it gets murky. The Giants could keep as few as six linebackers. It is doubtful they will keep eight. Herzlich keeps seeing his defensive snaps reduced, but is clearly still valued as a core special teams player. The wild card is J.T. Thomas, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury. The fact that he has not been cut seems to indicate the Giants still have plans for him or see him as insurance. I’ll say the Giants keep seven linebackers, including special teams aces Herzlich, Thomas, and Deontae Skinner. I would not be shocked to see the Giants replace one of these three after the final roster cuts.

May 102017
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama Crimson Tide (September 10, 2016)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN 2ND-ROUNDER DALVIN TOMLINSON…
According to press reports, the New York Giants have signed their 2nd-round draft pick, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. The contract is supposedly a 4-year, $4.57 million deal with a $1.46 million signing bonus.

The New York Giants hold a rookie mini-camp this Friday through Sunday. The rookie draft picks, signed undrafted rookie free agents, rookie and veteran tryout players, and players signed to future contracts in January will attend the mini-camp.

DARIAN THOMPSON INJURY UPDATE…
Promising New York Giants safety Darian Thompson missed virtually the entire season in 2016 with a career-threatening lisfranc foot injury that he suffered in Week 2. Thompson tried to return in November, suffered a setback in practice, and was placed on Injured Reserve.  Thompson is still rehabbing from the injury. The Giants drafted Thompson in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Thompson does not know when he will be cleared for practice. Giants Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices begin on May 22.

“We’re just taking things day-by-day, slowly progressing,” Thompson said. “But I’m doing everything they’ve been asking me to do with no problems and I’m feeling good. I’m just going based off the trainers and based off of what the organization wants me to do. I feel good, so we’ll see what happens from here.

“We have plenty of time (until summer training camp). They don’t want to rush anything, so I’m just doing what they ask me to do, staying on track and, like I said, everything has been good. I’ve gotten pretty close and it felt pretty good. So I’m just waiting on them to give me the green light to go ahead and do it.”

GIANTS INSIDER WITH DE ROMEO OKWARA…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with defensive end Romeo Okwara is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Mar 212017
 
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Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

KEENAN ROBINSON DEAL OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants have officially announced that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson. The Daily News is reporting that the contract is a 1-year, $4 million deal. Robinson received interested from the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills in free agency.

“I definitely did want to make this work the whole time,” Robinson said. “The (Jason Pierre-Paul contract situation) kind of put everything on hold, because they weren’t sure what was going to happen there. I understand. It’s a business, and there’s only so much cap room. I told my agent I wanted to wait and see and hold off before I made a decision. And it ended up working out in our favor, and ended up working out in the Giants’ favor. I definitely wanted to be a part of the defense like I was last year. The patience paid off.”

Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016.

Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games for the Giants in 2016, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses.

Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

Video of an exclusive Giants Insider interview is available at Giants.com.

DWAYNE HARRIS TAKES A PAY CUT…
According to NFL Player Association records, New York Giants wide receiver/special teams ace Dwayne Harris has accepted a $500,000 pay cut to his 2017 salary. Harris’ salary was reduced from $2,975,000 to $2,475,000. His overall 2017 cap number was $3.8 million and is now $3.3 million.

According to ESPN, $1.1 million of Harris’ contract in 2017 is now fully guaranteed. ESPN says Harris can earn back the $500,000 plus an addition $100,000 in incentives if he averages 10.0 yards per punt return.

In his second year with the Giants, Dwayne Harris suffered through a frustrating, injury-plagued season. While he played in all 16 regular-season games with one start, Harris was hampered by a variety of nagging injuries all season. A year after his career-best 36 catches for 396 yards and four touchdowns, Harris caught only one pass for 13 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, his special teams return numbers plummeted with his punt return average falling from 10.0 yards to 5.9 yards and his kickoff return average falling from 28.7 yards to 24.2 yards. He also did not score a year after becoming the first Giants player in 60 years to return a kickoff and punt for a touchdown in the same season. Harris did remain a force on punt coverage and he was voted to his first Pro Bowl.

Harris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. The Giants signed him in free agency in March 2015. Though he lacks height, Harris is a well-built athlete with decent speed and quickness. He is tough and physical and an asset as a blocker in the running game. Harris can play in the slot and has decent hands. Harris has four career returns four touchdowns and has won the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” award four times in his career.

JERSEY NUMBER UPDATE…
According to the roster page on Giants.com, the following jersey numbers have been assigned:

  • WR Brandon Marshall: #15
  • WR Taverres King: #12 (King had worn #15)
  • QB Geno Smith: #3
  • CB Valentino: #47

Quarterback Ryan Nassib, who is an unrestricted free agent who is not expected to be re-signed, had worn #12.

Mar 212017
 
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Keenan Robinson, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Keenan Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS TO RE-SIGN KEENAN ROBINSON…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants will re-sign unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson, who also drew interest from the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. Terms of the contract are not yet known.

Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016.

Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games for the Giants in 2016, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses.

Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

Mar 202017
 
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Geno Smith, New York Jets (October 17, 2016)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN GENO SMITH, VALENTINO BLAKE, AND MARK HERZLICH…
The New York Giants have officially announced that they have signed unrestricted free agents quarterback Geno Smith (New York Jets) and cornerback Valentino Blake (Tennessee Titans). The team has also officially re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Mark Herzlich. Smith reportedly signed a 1-year, $2 million contract.

“Geno has a great, positive attitude, and he’s looking forward to learning and competing in our QB room,” said General Manager Jerry Reese.

“I think the opportunity to learn from (quarterbacks) coach (Frank) Cignetti, coach (Ben) McAdoo, and to be alongside Eli (Manning) and learn from him, a two-time Super Bowl champion and, in my opinion, a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Smith said. “I think it will work out tremendously for me. And it’s also an opportunity to be on a real good team, a winning team, get healthy – it’s just a perfect scenario for me. I couldn’t have written it up any better myself.

“I want to carry my notepad around and whatever I see Eli doing, whether it’s in the classroom, on the field or off the field, I want to write it down. Because he’s a guy you can model yourself after. If you learn from a guy like that, we can all do a lot better.”

Smith tore the ACL in his right knee in October 2016. “Right now, it’s doing great,” he said. “We’re being cautious. But I’m at that stage where I’m feeling healthy enough that I can push it. But I have to be smart about it and not do anything that will cause me setbacks.

“I have tons of good football ahead. The key is just staying healthy. If I can just stay healthy, the future is pretty bright. But I just look forward to this year and having an opportunity to get healthy and learn and become a better quarterback.”

The 26-year old Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Smith has started 30 regular-seasons games, with 29 of those starts coming in 2013-2014. He lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick in August 2015 after his jaw was broken by a teammate. Smith started one game in 2016 but tore the ACL in his right knee in that game. Smith has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions. Smith has good size and is a good athlete with a strong arm. He has struggled with his accuracy and mental aspects of the game. Smith needs to protect the ball better (36 interceptions, 7 fumbles). He also has had some off-the-field immaturity issues.

The 26-year old Blake was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2012), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013-2015), and and Tennessee Titans (2016). In five seasons, Blake has played in 78 regular-season games with 18 starts (16 of which came with the Steelers in 2015 when he was credited with 12 pass break-ups and two interceptions). Blake is a short but well-built corner with very good speed. He has experience in playing the nickel slot position, but he is not regarded as a good cover corner. Blake is a good gunner on special teams (38 career special teams tackles), but he has had lapses of on-field judgement.

Herzlich remains primarily a reserve linebacker and special teams player who occasionally is called upon to play on defense (one percent of defensive snaps in 2016). Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense. Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Herzlich has very good size but is a sub-par athlete for the position. He is a good run defender, but struggles in coverage and is not much of a blitzer. Herzlich is a good special teams player.

For a listing of all of the team’s free agent activity, see the New York Giants 2017 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

COTY SENSABAUGH SIGNS WITH STEELERS…
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Coty Sensabaugh from the New York Giants to a 2-year contract. Sensabaugh was signed by the Giants in October 2016 after he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 10 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 15 tackles. Sensabaugh was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Rams signed him to a 3-year, $15 million contract in March 2016. Sensabaugh has played in 72 regular-season games with 29 starts. Sensabaugh is an average-sized corner whose strength is playing the slot nickel corner spot.

Sensabaugh is the third Giants free agent to leave the team this offseason, joining place kicker Robbie Gould (San Francisco 49ers) and offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (Oakland Raiders).

KEENAN ROBINSON VISITS THE BUFFALO BILLS…
ESPN is reporting that unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson (New York Giants) has visited the Buffalo Bills. Robinson also visited the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses. Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

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

ARTICLES…

Mar 132017
 
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John Jerry, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

John Jerry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN JOHN JERRY…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent offensive guard John Jerry to a 3-year, $10 million contract that includes $4.25 million in guaranteed money.

Jerry started every game at right guard for the Giants in 2016. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014 and started 16 games in 2014 and eight in 2015. Jerry looks the part as he has great size and long arms. A career inconsistent performer as both a run and pass blocker, Jerry became a far more reliable and steadier player in 2016.

KEENAN ROBINSON VISITING THE BENGALS…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson is visiting the Cincinnati Bengals today.

Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses.

Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016.

Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

ARTICLES…

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

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

ARTICLES…

Feb 152017
 
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Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (September 18, 2016)

Jonathan Casillas and Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

THE STARTERS

Jonathan Casillas had his best season to date as a pro in 2016. Casillas played in every game, with 15 regular-season starts (72 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the year with 96 tackles, 1.5 sacks, eight pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Casillas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has played for the Saints (2009-11), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-14), and Patriots (2014). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2015. Casillas lacks ideal size and has issues against the run at times, but he is a good athlete with fine speed and performs well in coverage. Caillas does not make many impact plays and is not much of a blitzer (6.5 career sacks).

Keenan Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses. Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

Devon Kennard played in every game with nine regular-season starts, playing in 47 percent of all defensive snaps. He finished 2016 with 61 tackles, one sack, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. Kennard was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He missed playing time in 2014 (four games with hamstring and toe injuries) and 2015 (seven games with hamstring and foot injuries). Kennard is a big, strong linebacker who is a bit of a DE/LB ‘tweener. In fact, the Giants will use him at defensive end in pass rush situations. Kennard plays the run well and can get heat on the quarterback, but he is not as strong in coverage. To date, he has not put up big numbers or made many big plays. Kennard has been somewhat injury prone.

While Kelvin Sheppard started 11-of-16 regular-season games at middle linebacker in 2016, he only received 39 percent of defensive snaps. Sheppard finished the year with 50 tackles and two pass defenses. Sheppard was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2013 and signed with the Dolphins in September 2014 and Giants in April 2016. Sheppard is more of a two-down linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. While he has good size, Sheppard lacks ideal overall athletic ability. Sheppard does not make many big plays.

THE RESERVES

B.J. Goodson was drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played in 15 regular-season games with no starts, playing in one percent of defensive snaps. Goodson finished his rookie season with nine tackles and one forced fumble. Goodson is a big, strong, physical linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. He is a big hitter and good tackler. To become a complete player, Goodson has to improve his pass coverage. Goodson lacks ideal speed and agility.

Mark Herzlich remains primarily a reserve linebacker and special teams player who occasionally is called upon to play on defense (one percent of defensive snaps in 2016). Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense. Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Herzlich has very good size but is a sub-par athlete for the position. He is a good run defender, but struggles in coverage and is not much of a blitzer. Herzlich is a good special teams player.

Deontae Skinner was added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner played in four games in 2016 and was credited with five tackles. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). Skinner is a big, instinctive linebacker with decent agility but who lacks speed.

Ishaq Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. Williams has a nice combination of size and overall athletic ability.

INJURED RESERVE

The Giants placed J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener. Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. Thomas lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, Thomas can play all three linebacker positions. However, he does not many impact plays and is better suited as a reserve. Thomas is a good special teams player.