Jul 232015
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Re-Sign Safety Justin Currie: The New York Giants have announced that they have re-signed rookie free agent safety Justin Currie (Western Michigan) a week after they waived him. Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Giants.com Q&A with CB Chykie Brown: The video of a Giants.com interview with cornerback Chykie Brown is available at Giants.com.

Article on QB Eli Manning: Giants’ Eli Manning finishes 12th in ESPN QB rankings, called an ‘interception machine’ by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on the New York Giants Defense: What is one key stat the Giants defense is aiming to reduce? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on DE Robert Ayers: Giants need this one veteran to step up in JPP’s absence by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Articles on New York Giants Linebackers:

Kevin Gilbride and Shaun O’Hara Discuss Super Bowl XLII: Shaun O’Hara and Kevin Gilbride dissect the “Helmet Catch” by Dan Salomone of Giants.com.

Jul 212015
 
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Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride, New York Giants (September 8, 2013)

Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New Deal for Eli Manning Looming?: According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning may be close to a new contract either before or early on in training camp. Players report to training camp on July 30.

“This is another one where the Giants hope to do a deal either before training camp or early on in training camp,” said Rapoport. “My understanding is the Giants brass is confident in doing a deal in due time. Actually, just talking to people on both sides of this, it seems to make sense for both sides to do a deal, one that they think and hope will get done this year. Remember, Eli Manning set to make $17 million and a contract extension will give him only a little bit of a raise but will help the cap number, something the Giants certainly would like to do.”

Manning is entering the last year of his current deal. He is scheduled to make $17 million in salary and count $19.75 million against the 2015 salary cap.

Kevin Gilbride Comments on Giants Offense: Kevin Gilbride, who served as the New York Giants offensive coordinator from 2007-13, was asked about the state of his former team’s offense on The NFL Network (video) on Tuesday.

“I think they’re in a good place offensively. I think they’ve got all of the bugs worked out,’’ said Gilbride. “They’ve assimilated some of the things that Eli liked from the year before. They’re all familiar now with the verbiage, the underlining concepts. They’re all confident in what they were doing at the end of the year. The fact that they got Victor Cruz coming back is a great thing.

“The addition of Shane Vereen I think is a tremendous addition — they haven’t had a running back that they could throw the ball to with any confidence since Tiki Barber left. There are a lot of things to be very optimistic about. I think if there is one area that would cause some concern it would be in the offensive line. The tragedy of that is they’ve made some strides over the last couple years to address that issue. They brought in Justin Pugh, they brought in Ereck Flowers, they brought in Weston Richburg. They made some adjustments which I thought they had to make, which was moving Pugh to the inside.

“The problem is it all went astray when William Beatty got injured in the offseason. Now they have to move Ereck Flowers over to the left tackle position; quite honestly, I’m not sure that he’s ready technique-wise to play that. He does a very poor job with his hands. At the right tackle position I think they could have helped him. They are not facing the amount of premium pass rushers. Playing left tackle I think is going to be a difficult thing for him. But more importantly is who is going to play the right tackle position now?

“The good thing is that they are throwing a high percentage, a high volume of short, three-step passing. Quick passes. The fact that they got a guy like Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz who can run very well so they can get the ball out of their hands and still have some big time, productive plays. But I really do think it is going to come down in the end to how well the offensive line plays.”

NFL Network Interview with WR Odell Beckham: The video of an NFL Network interview with wide receiver Odell Beckham is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A with S Landon Collins: The video of a Giants.com interview with safety Landon Collins is available at Giants.com.

Dec 172014
 
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Damontre Moore, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Damontre Moore – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Sign TE Jerome Cunningham to 53-Man Roster: The New York Giants signed tight end Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad on Wednesday. Cunningham fills the roster vacancy created when the Giants put linebacker Terrell Manning on Injured Reserve on December 2. Per an obscure NFL rule, Manning could not be replaced on the 53-man roster for three weeks after he was signed from the Bengals’ Practice Squad on November 25.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Giants Sign FB Nikita Whitlock to Practice Squad: To fill the vacancy created when the Giants signed TE Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster, the Giants signed fullback Nikita Whitlock to the Practice Squad on Wednesday.

Whitlock, who played defensive tackle in college, was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He was cut by the Bengals in their final round of cuts and then signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their Practice Squad. The NFL suspended Whitlock in November for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Cowboys terminated his Practice Squad contract. Whitlock was converted to fullback by the Bengals and he flashed in the preseason as a lead blocker with good size.

December 17, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) and LB Jameel McClain (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

December 17, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com.

December 17, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

ESPN Radio Interview with WR Odell Beckham: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Odell Beckham is available at ESPN.com.

Article on Giants President/CEO John Mara: NY Giants owner John Mara will be able to tune out fans if he doesn’t fire Tom Coughlin by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Kevin Gilbride still questions overhaul of Giants offense by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on DT Johnathan Hankins: Giants’ Johnathan Hankins steps up by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article son S Antrel Rolle:

Article on the Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft: NY Giants need help on offensive and defensive lines this draft by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Nov 212014
 
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Justin Pugh, New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

November 21, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RT Justin Pugh (quadriceps), DT Cullen Jenkins (calf), and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice on Friday. All three players have been officially been ruled out of the Giants-Cowboys game on Sunday night.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee) practiced on a limited basis and is “probable” for the game.

OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) fully practiced. Both are “probable” for the game.

November 21, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Friday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Mindset of the team by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

November 21, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

New York Post Interview with Former Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride: Kevin Gilbride: Tom Coughlin will resurrect Giants again by Justin Terranova of The New York Post

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Rodgers-Cromartie went from free-agent coup to afterthought by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Sep 022014
 
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Jerome Cunningham, Indianapolis Colts (May 10, 2013)

Jerome Cunningham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Add TE Jerome Cunningham to Practice Squad: Though not officially announced, the Giants have added TE Jerome Cunningham to the Practice Squad. The Giants have now filled nine of their 10 available Practice Squad vacancies.

Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions and Roster sections of the website.

OT Justin Pugh NFL Network Interview: The video from Monday’s NFL Network interview with OT Justin Pugh is available at Giants.com.

Articles on the 2014 New York Giants:

Article on WR Odell Beckham, Jr.: Odell Beckham injury: Why the Giants need their first-round pick by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Giants 2014 roster: Will the tight end experiment work out? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DE Mathias Kiwanuka: Mathias Kiwanuka thinks Giants can win a Super Bowl — even if offense stumbles by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on LB Jon Beason: Beastly Beason’s return ignites Giants’ confidence by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Aug 222014
 
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Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on QB Eli Manning:

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese and WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham may add to NY Giants GM Jerry Reese’s draft duds by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings hoping for diverse offense after years where run was expected by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Stevie Brown comes full circle by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 202014
 
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Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

August 20, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), CB Jayron Hosley (foot), and S Cooper Taylor (foot).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that Cooper will need surgery on his foot and that season-ending injured reserve is a possibility for him.

Coughlin also said that Brewer probably will not play against the Jets on Friday.

August 20, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Wednesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

August 20, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Give Walt Frazier an assist on receiver Marcus Harris by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on OG Brandon Mosley: Giants offensive line breakdown: Grading the tape on Brandon Mosley by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul: Getting sacks in the preseason ‘not important at all’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Jun 132014
 
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Trindon Holliday, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Trindon Holliday – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Ever since Kevin Gilbride was replaced as offensive coordinator by Ben McAdoo, there has been much media and fan speculation about what the new offense of the New York Giants might look like. When Head Coach Tom Coughlin came to New York in 2004, he brought along a passing game that featured more of a vertical, down-field passing attack. His first offensive coordinator was John Hufnagel, but Hufnagel was fired near the end of the 2006 season and replaced by Gilbride.

Tom Coughlin has always been about offensive balance. He wants a physical running game combined with a big-play passing game. Coach Coughlin does not want to dink-and-dunk the ball down the field, but gain yardage in big chunks. That formula worked well for him both with the Jaguars and Giants when he had the necessary talent. And it helped the New York Giants to win two NFL Championships.

“I have great respect for Kevin Gilbride winning two Super Bowls,” said former Giants quarterback Phil Simms (1979-1993). “He was worried about hitting four of those big passes every game, and I love that about the Giants’ offense. It wasn’t 17 screens every game.”

Based on comments from current players and observations from the three Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices open to the media, the Giants are changing their style. Ben McAdoo’s background is the West Coast Offense. In a nutshell, the Giants will emphasize stretching the field more horizontally instead of vertically. Though the team will still take its shots down the field, there will be more 3-step drops and an effort to get the ball quickly out of quarterback Eli Manning’s hands. The coaches want to get Eli into a comfortable rhythm throwing the football. More passes will be intended for the running backs and tight ends at the possible expense of the wide receivers.

Ben McAdoo’s background is the West Coast Offense, serving as tight ends and later quarterbacks coach under Mike McCarthy with the Green Bay Packers.

“This offense to me, and I’ve run a lot of West Coast with Mike Shanahan in Denver, a lot of stuff is similar,” said RB Peyton Hillis on Thursday.

Hillis might serve in a similar capacity to John Kuhn in Green Bay, not so much from the standpoint of a traditional fullback, but more of a pass-receiving and rushing one-back.

“(The running back catching the ball is) going to be a big part of it,” said Hillis. “The quarterback’s going to be looking for the check down a lot this year so you have to make sure as a back that you get on your route and make sure we expect it.”

Eli Manning, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Eli Manning at OTAs – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Making such a drastic change in offensive philosophy and terminology may not be quick and easy. Manning has never played in a West Coast system and neither have most of his offensive teammates.  To date, the strength of Manning’s game has not been the short game, particularly screen and swing passes. And while running backs Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis, and David Wilson could thrive as pass receivers in this offense, the Giants lack proven talent at tight end. The interior of the offensive line has been overhauled and there are still huge health and ability question marks at left tackle and right guard.

“(The offensive progress has been) slow, to be honest with you,” said Coughlin on Thursday. “Progress is slow but steady. Some days, of course, are better than others. But, you know, we’re getting there…There’s a lot of things that have to be converted in the guys who have been here, in their minds and the new people who have not been in a system such as this, you’ve got a lot to learn. It’s a work in progress.”

“It’s different,” said Manning. “We haven’t gotten everything down. I’m not 100 percent on everything going on. There are still some learning curves and things I gotta digest and think through…I feel good about what our offense can do and the potential of it. It’s just getting to the point where we have a great mastery of it from the mental capacity.”

So the key question is when will the players become comfortable enough with the new system to where the learning curve does not cost them on the playing field? It could take the entire preseason. Worse, it could take the first half or even a full season of actual game experience.

But once the system is learned, it could make life a lot easier for Eli and his receivers.

“I would think the West Coast Offense and some of (that philosophy) will help (Manning),” said Simms. “Give the quarterback 50 percent of his completions as ‘gimmies.’ There are other times you want to make those four or five special throws.”

In the new system, run-after-the-catch ability will be paramount. The good news is the Giants have some extremely dangerous receivers with the football in their hands, including Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham, Jerrell Jernigan, and Trindon Holliday.

“The ball is coming out quick,” said Manning. “It does fit my style of play, getting in rhythm, knowing where to go, making smart decisions. Getting the ball into receivers’ hands, let them be the athletes. Throw the little 6 or 7 yard pass and let them make big plays.”

While all pro offenses use pre-snap and post-snap reads, based on early comments from the players, there will be fewer reads in this offense. That should make it more likely that quarterback and receivers are on the same page, causing fewer mental mistakes that turn into turnovers for the opposition. In particular, receivers such as Randle and Jernigan, who were very inconsistent in the old Coughlin-Gilbride system, may perform much better with fewer reads.

Jernigan was asked if there were as many reads as under the old system, “Not at all. We’ve got a couple reads but we don’t have that many reads…you can go out and play faster and get the thing going and don’t have to think that much.”

“I’m liking (the new offense), it’s going to be pretty exciting,” said Randle on Thursday. “Coach McAdoo has done a great job putting us in positions to make plays and using our abilities…Everything is pretty much black and white, it’s simple. What you have is what you run. Just take a lot of things off our minds and go out there and play football and just use your ability to get open.”

“(There are) not as many reads,” continued Randle. “When you can go out there and maintain that focus on one specific thing it allows you to go out there and play a lot faster. That’s what we’re doing here. I think that’s going to be key for us pushing forward to make more plays… We just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.”

“(The new offense) frees me up a lot,” said Randle. “Just go out there and do what I do, just create separation and make plays. I had to really focus on reading than looking all over the field, just running routes. I think we’re all happy to be a part of that type of offense.”

Beckham, Jernigan, and Holliday are all particularly dangerous after the catch. Again, the learning curve will be an important factor. Beckham’s growth has been stymied somewhat by an early hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of the OTAs.

“It’s been tough to go from such an easier offense at LSU with the digit system and stuff like that and then going back to the concepts, which I was in my freshman year,” said Beckham. “It’s actually not that bad once you get into it and you break it down by formation and things like that. It’s really not that bad. It’s just a lot of memorization.”

While the West Coast Offense does place more emphasis on throws to the running backs and tight ends, one would think that Coach McAdoo is drawing up plays that would have Randle and Beckham outside with Cruz, Jernigan, and/or Holliday in the slot.

“(The offense is) a lot different but it goes back to some of the same concepts I had in college in the spread (offense) with Troy (University), so it’s going good, just learning different signals and stuff,” said Jernigan. “We used to go five-wide the whole time (at Troy University) so it’s back to what I’m really used to.”

“I think it’s an offense that fits my game and also spreads the ball out to everyone and gives everybody the chance to make plays,” said Jernigan. “Just get the ball to your playmakers and let them do the rest in open space against defenders.”

“(The spread offense) just allows you to use your playmakers instead of just going with your traditional two-wide set,” said Beckham. “You have four receivers on the field and you’re running routes and you’re all working with each other to get each other open. It definitely makes it a lot more fun for us.”

Apr 152014
 
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Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride, New York Giants (September 8, 2013)

Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Gilbride Defends Eli Manning: Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who retired from the NFL in January, defended quarterback Eli Manning during an interview with ProFootballTalk on Tuesday. ESPN.com recently ran a story stating that the question of whether Eli is in decline “has not gone unasked” in the team’s front office.

“There’s been no deterioration of his arm strength, there’s been no lack of preparation and effort,” Gilbride said. “I think he’s going to be fine as soon as they solidify the offensive line. They certainly made a move to do that by bringing in three interior offensive linemen and as soon as they get somebody that’s going to be productive for them as an outside receiver. Victor Cruz is terrific, but they need somebody that when they go match up, bump-and-run (and) go win for them.”

Gilbride was also asked about Manning’s recent ankle surgery.

“If this (ankle injury) is just another minor procedure, which he’s had many before, he’s never been a guy that is dependent on his legs,” said Gilbride. “He’s never had to run to escape problems. He’s always solved the problems with his arm, his accuracy, his brain. None of that has changed.”

“I think that’s, to be honest with you, ludicrous,” Gilbride said of the notion that Manning is declining. “I think he’s going to be fine…He’s going to throw the ball to the right person and he’s going to throw it accurately.”

Matt Flynn Re-Signs With the Green Bay Packers: Unrestricted free agent quarterback Matt Flynn (Green Bay Packers) had been scheduled to visit with the New York Giants on Tuesday, but Flynn cancelled his visit and re-signed with the Packers on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, according to press accounts, unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) was still expected to visit the Giants on Tuesday.

Mar 262014
 
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Victor Cruz (80), Louis Murphy, Jr. (18), New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Victor Cruz and Louis Murphy – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Louis Murphy Signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Unrestricted free agent wide receiver Louis Murphy (New York Giants) has signed a 1-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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.

Former Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride on ESPN Radio: The audio of Wednesday’s ESPN Radio interview with former New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride is available at ESPN.com.

Article on WR/Returner Trindon Holliday: Giants free agents 2014: Is Trindon Holliday more than a return man? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Giants reveal plans for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on offensive guard Chris Snee: “He’s got the fire, he’s excited, he wants to play, he feels good, he’s worked hard. He is an incredible competitor. He’s a tough, hard-nosed football player who brings a great ingredient to your team and quite frankly we need that…He probably says it best.’Am I the same player I was four or five years ago? Maybe not. But am I good enough to be included in the top guards in the game? Yes.’ I think that’s pretty well-said.”

Coughin on WR Mario Manningham: “As I told him when he was here, if we’re going to be the team that we want to be, he’s got to come back and make a very strong contribution. He’s excited about that chance, that opportunity.”