Aug 052014
 
Share Button
Israel Idonije, Chicago Bears (September 13, 2012)

Israel Idonije – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that they have signed defensive end Israel Idonije and tight end Jerome Cunningham. To make room for Idonije and Cunningham, the Giants waived defensive end Kendrick Adams. The team also waived/injured running back David Wilson on Monday and placed him on Injured Reserve on Tuesday after he cleared waivers.

Idonije was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team that season but spent time on the Practice Squad of the Chicago Bears. For nine seasons, from 2004-12, Idonije was on the 53-man roster of the Bears. He started 42 games from 2010-12. In 2013, Idonije played in 11 games with the Detroit Lions as a reserve. The Bears re-signed him in March 2014 but then released him in June. The 33-year old Idonije is nearing the end of his career, but he was a fairly productive player for the Bears, including accruing 20.5 sacks in his last three seasons in Chicago. He has good size and strength. Idonije lacks suddenness and quickness as a pass rusher. He has good intangibles as he is a hard-working, high-effort player with good character.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he has not been with an NFL team in training camp. He did try out with the Arizona Cardinals in May, but was not signed. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back.

Adams was signed to the Giants’ Practice Squad in December 2013. Adams was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Buccaneers, Lions, Browns, and Bengals.

Wilson, New York’s 1st round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, has been advised to retire from the NFL after re-injuring of his surgically repaired neck in training camp.

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

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

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

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

Mathias Kiwanuka – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Ayers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PREDICTIONS:

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

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

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

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

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

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

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

Dec 302013
 
Share Button
Tom Coughlin, John Mara, New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Tom Coughlin and John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

December 30, 2013 John Mara Press Conference: The transcript and video of Giants President/CEO John Mara’s Monday press conference are available at Giants.com.

December 30, 2013 Jerry Reese Press Conference: The transcript and video of General Manager Jerry Reese’s Monday press conference are available at Giants.com.

December 30, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday press conference are available at Giants.com.

Injury Update on LT Will Beatty and RB David Wilson: General Manager Jerry Reese was asked about LT Will Beatty, who broke his leg in the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. “We think he’ll be back and he’ll be ready to play next season. We do think that,” said Reese. “From early reviews, we think Will will be back. We think he will be back and hopefully he will be back and he can get going and have a good offseason as well. He didn’t play as well as we hoped he’d play. I think he’d own that as well. Hopefully he can get back, get healthy and go on and have a great off-season and be a good left tackle.”

Reese was also asked about the future status of RB David Wilson, who was placed on Injured Reserve in November with a potentially career-threatening neck injury.

“Those neck things, you have to wait around,” said Reese. “Those discs they have, sometimes they can shrink and it takes time for them to shrink. They did that and we’re waiting. At the beginning of the year, we’ll have another consultation with him, to see if surgery would be a possibility for him. That could be a possibility and if he has the surgery, I think the prognosis is that he’ll be ready to play next fall, if he has his surgery.”

Reese was then asked if the injury was career-threatening. “When you talk about necks, there’s always a possibility,” responded Reese. “We’re hopeful and the earlier reports that I’ve gotten, doctors do think they can fix this and he’ll be able to play…I think we’ll have to have some contingency plans at the running back position. I don’t think you go into the next season saying David Wilson’s going to be our number one, starting running back. I don’t think you can do that. The guy is coming off of a neck surgery, if he decides to have it.”

Giants Sign Eight Players to Reserve/Future Contracts: The Giants signed the following eight players to reserve/future contracts on Monday:

  • RB Kendall Gaskins
  • WR Marcus Harris
  • OT Steven Baker
  • DE Kendrick Adams
  • CB Travis Howard
  • CB Junior Mertile
  • CB Chaz Powell
  • CB Ross Weaver

All eight players ended the season on the Giants’ practice squad.

December 30, 2013 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the New York Giants Coaching Staff:

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Stay or go, Justin Tuck always embraced New York by Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post

Dec 112013
 
Share Button
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Brandon Jacobs – © USA TODAY Sports Images

RB Brandon Jacobs Placed on Injured Reserve; LB Marcus Dowtin Signed from Practice Squad: The Giants placed RB Brandon Jacobs (knee) on season-ending Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Jacobs has had chronic knee issues. He finished the 2013 season with 238 yards and four touchdowns on 58 carries. Jacobs’ NFL career is likely over.

To fill Jacobs’ roster spot, the Giants signed LB Marcus Dowtin from the Practice Squad.

Practice Squad Moves: The Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of LB Darin Drakeford on Tuesday. To fill that vacancy, as well as the vacancy created with the promotion of LB Marcus Dowtin to the 53- man roster, the Giants signed DE Kendrick Adams and CB Chaz Powell to the Practice Squad.

New York Giants on WFAN: Audio clips of  Tuesday’s WFAN interviews with the following New York Giants are available at CBSNewYork.com:

  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Audio)
  • S Antrel Rolle (Audio)

Article on the New York Giants Upcoming Offseason: How the Giants can turn it around in 2014 by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Passing Game: What’s Wrong with the New York Giants’ Passing Game? by Patricia Traina of BleacherReport.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Dad proud of Eli Manning, Giants staying together by Tom Rock of Newsday

Notes: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 41 of QB Eli Manning’s 164 career interceptions have been tipped before being picked off. No quarterback has as many interceptions off of deflections in the past 10 years. QB Drew Brees is second with 35.