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

John Conner – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preston Parker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 202014
 
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Chris Snee and Pat Flaherty, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Chris Snee and Pat Flaherty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Chris Snee May Retire on Monday: A rumor posted on BigBlueInteractive.com that right guard Chris Snee may retire on Monday seems to have some validity as press reports now say Snee with meet with New York Giants team officials on Monday to discuss that very possibility. Players are required to report to training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday as the first training camp practice begins on Tuesday.

Snee has been plagued with hip and elbow issues the last few years, and continued problems with the elbow caused him to sit out a number of Organized Team Activity (OTA) and mini-camp practices. Snee was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2013 with a torn labrum in his right hip that required surgery. He also underwent elbow surgery in November. After the 2011 season, Snee underwent surgery on his elbow and left hip.

Snee was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Giants and is one of the few remaining active Giants with two Super Bowl rings. If he does retire, possible replacements at right guard include John Jerry, Brandon Mosley, and Weston Richburg. Jerry was signed in the offseason from the Miami Dolphins but missed all of the offseason work while he was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Mosley was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Giants and Richburg in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jon Beason Injury Update: New York Giants linebacker told Newsday on Sunday that he is recovering well from the right foot injury he suffered during the team’s ninth OTA practice on June 12. Beason suffered a ligament tear and small fracture to the sesamoid bone in his right foot. The injury did not require surgery.

Beason told Newsday that he will not run during Monday’s team conditioning test, but he told the paper that his toe and foot feel great and he could run if he had to. “We’re hitting all those benchmarks in terms of the prognosis,” said Beason. “It’s getting better and better every day.”

Beason was asked if playing the season opener was a possibility. “Absolutely,” replied Beason. “That’s the goal…I’ve had seasons where I didn’t have any training camp and I went out there and got busy right away.”

“I feel fine right now,” said Beason. “But then again I know that I’m not ready to go full speed and change direction and tackle people.”

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings: How he trained for his first training camp with the Giants by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on TE Kellen Davis: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Kellen Davis by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Jul 072014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp in less than a month, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Tight Ends

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: During the 2013 offseason, the New York Giants decided not to pay big bucks in order to retain Martellus Bennett who signed with the Chicago Bears. To replace Bennett, the Giants signed free agent Brandon Myers from the Oakland Raiders. The undersized, slow, and not overly athletic Myers was a significant step down as a blocker and receiver. He finished 2013 with 47 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns. The #2 tight end was again the hard-working, but physically unimpressive, Bear Pascoe, who had a grand total of 12 catches for 81 yards and no touchdowns. Much was expected of the physically-talented duo of Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell. Neither developed and long-time tight end coach Mike Pope was fired at the end of the season. Robinson, who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, was only active for two games as a rookie. He missed virtually all of the 2013 season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. When he did return in Week 16, he immediately sprained his knee. In two seasons, Robinson has played in three games and he has no career receptions. Donnell went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent 2012 on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell made the 53-man roster in 2013 and was active for all 16 games, starting one contest. He finished the season with only three catches for 31 yards.

Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (November 3, 2012)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants had no interest in bringing back Brandon Myers (now with Tampa Bay) and Bear Pascoe (now with Atlanta). Robinson and Donnell return. Publicly, the Giants said they wanted to add a tight end in the draft but there were only so many tight ends who they liked and they regarded Weston Richburg a better value in the second round. In the offseason, the Giants added free agent journeymen Daniel Fells (who has spent time with six other teams but didn’t play in 2013) and Kellen Davis (two other teams; 50 catches in six seasons), as well as undrafted rookie free agent Xavier Grimble (USC).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Is there a legitimate starting-caliber tight end currently on this roster? If so, who is it? The pressure is on new tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride, Jr., who failed as a wide receivers coach in 2012-13 and whose last and only previous tight end coaching experience was with Georgetown University in 2006. Can he help do what Mike Pope was unable to do and that is get Robinson and Donnell to play better?

General Manager Jerry Reese hasn’t given up on the two youngsters. “We expect those two young guys (Robinson and Donnell) to come on, and they can be dynamic if we can get them going,” said Reese in June.

“I think we have a nice group there,” said new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo about the five tight ends currently on the roster. “We have big men in the room, I like the way they think about the game, I like the way they’re moving around on the field. When we get the pads on that’s when we’ll really know where we are.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone. Anyone can become the starter and anyone can be cut.

Adrien Robinson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Adrien Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Kevin Gilbride, Jr. on Adrien Robinson:  “He’s working incredibly hard to learn. That’s something that, going in, just knowing him as a personality not as someone I’ve taught before, I didn’t know. He’s in there, he’s taking copious notes, he’s answering questions very well. What we need to do is we need to get him to be able to transition that onto the field. He’s made strides, there’s no doubt that he’s made strides but there needs to be a lot more. The more in detail we get with him, sometimes he loses some of the basics as far as the techniques are concerned and we’ve got to get some carry-over with it.”

PREDICTIONS:

Eric Kennedy – There isn’t anyone on this roster who currently will scare an opposing defense. But is there even another Jake Ballard type here?

Adrien Robinson has been a major disappointment, but some of that was outside of his control. A very green rookie on college team that rarely threw the football to the tight end, he was forced to miss OTAs his rookie season because of an NFL requirement prohibiting players from universities using trimesters from participating in those activities. Mike Pope said that really set him back. He flashed some last offseason before being sidelined for the entire season with injuries. But both Robinson and Donnell do have intriguing physical tools. They are both big, athletic, and can catch the football. If they have the necessary toughness and desire, and if they can be coached up with the proper technique (all big “ifs”), at the very least, they should become good blockers. Don’t discount Larry Donnell. He could really surprise.

Connor Hughes - Baring an injury, Adrien Robinson is set to have a big, big season in 2014. From what we’ve seen in the early goings from the Giants offense, the days of the tight end being a “safety valve” are far in the past. New coordinator Ben McAdoo wants to use them often and as a focal point of the offense, not an after thought. With that being said, Robinson’s skill set is one I believe perfectly suits what the team is attempting to accomplish. Robinson has size (6-4), speed and the athletic ability to stretch the field. Countless times throughout the Giants’ offseason conditioning program, the tight end flashed what he can do…he just needs to stay healthy. If he can’t? Larry Donnell will be waiting in the wings.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric KennedyAdrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), and Xavier Grimble (3), Kellen Davis (Cut), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Connor Hughes – Adrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), Kellen Davis (3), Xavier Grimble (PS), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Jul 042014
 
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Geoff Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs (August 9, 2013)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

  • TE Larry Donnell (Video)
  • TE Daniel Fells (Video)
  • TE Kellen Davis (Video)

Inside Football Player Q&As:

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Apr 072014
 
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Andre Brown, New York Giants (August 18, 2013)

Andre Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Andre Brown Signs With Houston Texans: Unrestricted free agent running back Andre Brown (New York Giants) has signed with the Houston Texans. The deal is reportedly a 1-year, $645,000 contract.

The injury-prone Brown was set to vie with David Wilson for the #1 running back spot on the Giants in 2013. But he broke his left leg in the preseason, causing him to miss the first half of the season. Brown started the final eight games and finished with 139 carries for 492 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 103 yards. Brown lost three fumbles in the final four games.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Losses (with scouting report) and New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard sections of the website.

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Article on TE Kellen Davis: Kellen Davis: What can the tight end give the Giants? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Apr 042014
 
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Kellen Davis, Seattle Seahawks (September 22, 2013)

Kellen Davis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign TE Kellen Davis and WR Travis Harvey: The New York Giants have announced that they have officially signed unrestricted free agent tight end Kellen Davis (Seattle Seahawks) and street free agent wide receiver Travis Harvey (ex-Tennessee Titans). Davis’ deal is reportedly a 1-year contract. He is 28 years old. Davis is the 14th veteran unrestricted free agent the Giants have signed this offseason.

BBI Scouting Report on Davis:

The Giants signed Kellen Davis as an unrestricted free agent from the Seattle Seahawks in April 2014. Davis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Davis played five seasons with Chicago before signing with Seattle in 2013. In six seasons, Davis has played in 95 regular-season games (only missing one contest) with 39 starts. He only has 50 catches for 561 yards in his career but 12 of those catches have gone for touchdowns. Davis only had three catches last season for Seattle as their #3 tight end. Davis has good size. He is more of a blocking-type tight end than receiver.

BBI Scouting Report on Harvey:

The Giants signed Travis Harvey as a street free agent in April 2014. Harvey was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. The Titans waived him in July and he did not play football in 2013. Harvey is tall, thin receiver with good speed, quickness, and hands. However, he is very raw and needs a lot of development.

Because of these moves, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting reports), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency Scorecard, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Articles on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency:

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning remains Giants’ best 2014 hope by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: DeSean Jackson vs. DRC: Can Giants’ new CB shut down ex-teammate? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com