New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were CB Corey Webster (hip), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), and OT David Diehl (thumb). Webster is officially listed as “doubtful” for the game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Robinson and Diehl will not play.
“Evidently (Webster) has an issue with his hip flexor, in that area somewhere,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin, “and he couldn’t practice yesterday and couldn’t practice today.”
QB Ryan Nassib (foot) and OG Brandon Mosley (back) practiced on a limited basis. Both players are officially listed as “probable” for the game.
WR Hakeem Nicks was excused from practice for personal reasons, but is expected to play on Sunday.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday press conference are available at Giants.com.
Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on TE Larry Donnell: “When he was a free agent tight end a year ago before he got himself hurt. He’s athletic and he’s big. He can run, he wants to. I love ‘want to’s.’ I want every guy to have the same passion that he did when somebody said, ‘Sign this and you can be a Giant.’ That’s what I’m looking for. This kid’s got it. He’s got it. Now he’s green as that grass right there, but I like that, too, to be honest with you. Every day is a new day. But he wants to, he wants to.”
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Tuesday’s Training Camp Practice: The Giants held their 16th training camp practice on Tuesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The last training camp practice is on Wednesday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.
Injury Update : Not practicing on Tuesday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Victor Cruz (foot), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (groin), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).
Cruz, who suffered a heel contusion against the Colts on Sunday, was wearing a protective boot on his right foot and using crutches on Tuesday.
“I feel good. I feel better than yesterday, which is a good sign,” said Cruz. “Just trying to get some of the swelling down and take it from there…Good thing it’s just a heel bruise, a heel contusion. It’s not too bad…I have to listen to the docs and keep my weight off of it, so it’s good.”
“They’re just saying day-to-day right now,” said Cruz. “Coach Coughlin and the doctors had a conversation and told me just take it day-by-day, see how the swelling goes and we’ll take it from there…The MRI just showed some blood in there, in the area where the swelling is and that was about it. They were just showing the inflammation and the blood…No tear, nothing wrong with the bone. Everything’s fine, which was a good sign, which was what I was worried about. Even though I didn’t hear anything pop, but you just never know with any injuries. I was happy about that. I’m just on the road to recovery.”
Baas, who suffered an MCL sprain against the Colts, had a knee brace on his left knee and was also using crutches on Tuesday.
“I’m just going to do everything I can to get back as fast as I can, but be smart about it,” said Baas. “I just want to help this team win. I’m looking forward to doing that as fast as I can.”
Baas was asked if it was realistic if he could return in time for the season opener against the Cowboys. “I think it is,” responded Baas. “That’s what I expect, too. Obviously, I’m going to follow the doctor’s orders and that’s why we’ve got to take it week-by-week and see how it’s progressing. It’s kind of one of those annoying things that you’ve got to let go for a little bit. But I’m one of those guys that likes to work through this. I just want to be ready for my team.”
As for Murphy, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “He has a sore leg, they’re going to do all the tests on him and see what the problem is.”
WR Jerrel Jernigan (hamstring), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), DE Justin Tuck (hamstring), and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring) practiced.
DE Adrian Tracy left practice early due to dehydration.
Meanwhile, OT David Diehl was wearing a cast on his right hand on Tuesday. “I got hurt during the game, but I’ll be all right,” said Diehl. “It’s a thumb (injury),” said Coughlin.
Giants Re-Shuffle Offensive Line: With OC David Baas (knee) injured, the Giants have shifted left guard Kevin Boothe to center, right tackle David Diehl to left guard, and promoted offensive tackle Justin Pugh to first-team right tackle. Will Beatty remains at left tackle and Chris Snee remains at right guard.
“Well, it’s the best way for us to play right now,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We, fortunately, have some guys that can play in a lot of different spots and David Diehl has played in a lot of spots in the course of his career and he’ll go inside there and do a fine job. We’re trying to get a group on the field now that can work together, hopefully to prepare for the regular season.”
Roster Moves: The Giants waived/injured OT Chris DeGeare (ankle) and WR Keith Carlos (unknown) on Tuesday. The Giants did not replace their vacant roster spots so the Giants’ roster currently stands at 88. Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Tuesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Tuesday are available at Giants.com.
Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
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Friday’s Training Camp Practice: The Giants held their 15th training camp practice on Friday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Tuesday from 3:25-5:25PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.
Injury Update – TE Larry Donnell Injures Knee in Practice: Not practicing on Friday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), OT Chris DeGeare (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (soreness), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).
Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked about Pierre-Paul’s rehab. “If you saw him yesterday, he worked well yesterday,” responded Coughlin. “He was right out here. He’s a little sore today, so they slowed him down again. But yesterday was an outstanding day. He ran well and he worked in the weight room.”
TE Larry Donnell injured his left knee in practice, fell to the ground in obvious pain, and had to be carted off of the field. He left the facility on crutches and will be undergoing all of the necessary tests.
WR Jerrel Jernigan (soreness) returned to practice.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Friday are available at Giants.com.
Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Friday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
BBI Contribution Campaign – Less Than Three Weeks Left to Be Eligible for Prize! The annual BBI contribution campaign continues. Please help to keep this website in business. We will randomly select two contributors to each receive one VIP ticket to the “Tuna Roast” honoring Bill Parcells on September 15 in Secaucus, NJ. (But we must receive your contribution by September 1 in order to be eligible for the prize). For details on the contribution campaign and how to enter the contest, click here. We need your support!
Wednesday’s Training Camp Practice: The Giants held their 14th training camp practice on Wednesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.
Injury Update: Not practicing on Wednesday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Jerrel Jernigan (soreness), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), OT Chris DeGeare (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).
Two days after spraining his ankle, Rolle was out of his walking boot on Wednesday. “The boot is for whimps, man,” said Rolle. “I’m not a whimp. Nah, I mean I’m just taking it as it goes. The first day was obviously the worst and I’ve been grinding til about three in the morning, since it’s happened. Just trying to get better. The training staff here, the medical staff, have been doing an exceptional job of just keeping me up to date, keeping the mobility. Strengthening up, ice and stim. Everything they can do, to try to get me to a speedy recovery.”
“When it initially happened, definitely the worst (pain),” said Rolle. “I didn’t think anything could feel worse than me running into the camera against Carolina, but I think this definitely topped it. Once it happened, my foot was just trembling, shaking, I really didn’t know what to expect. Like I said, I heard a couple of popping sounds and it kind of scared me. I know myself and once I got the clearance of it, the x-rays were negative, it’s a low ankle sprain, then I know I can push myself.”
“I’ve never been the kind of guy that is going to milk an injury,” said Rolle. “If I can go, I’m going to go. If I can’t go, if I’m going to hurt myself, or I’m not going to give the team the best performance I can give them, I’m not going to go. Right now, like I said, it feels a million times better than it did initially.”
Hynoski says he his rehabilitation is still on schedule. “I’m still hopeful (for opening day),” Hynoski said. “I feel good, but ultimately that decision is not made by me. I’m still working to do everything in my power to make that happen.”
“It’s been going great,” said Hynoski. “I’ve been out here running and started to do some drills and agility work and that stuff so we’re picking up the progress every day, and I’m just excited for the next step and am just looking forward to what tomorrow brings. I feel good. Haven’t had any setbacks…I’m working my butt off in trying to rehab and trying to maintain the best condition as I can so when I get back I don’t have to play catch up as far as that’s concerned.”
OL James Brewer (concussion) and CB Corey Webster (soreness) returned to practice, but Brewer was limited to individual drills.
Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Wednesday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:
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Thursday’s Training Camp Practice: The Giants held their fifth training camp practice on Thursday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.
Injury Update – Nicks Sits Out: Not practicing on Thursday were WR Hakeem Nicks (groin), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), OG Chris Snee (PUP – hip), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee), and CB Terrell Thomas (PUP – knee).
“(Nicks) is being treated for a groin, it’s a day to day type thing,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They just want to quiet it down, make sure that he heals before he goes back out and continues to maybe make it worse…I want to see him on the field and he wants to be on the field. It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to learn to control myself when it comes to that as well and just realize that you know what, he’s trying like heck to get out there and he knows he needs to practice and work at it and he came in excited about being able to go and then he had this little groin injury, which I hope is not going to set him back for very long, but obviously they’re taking all the necessary precautions.”
“I think (Nicks) needs to practice,” said Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride. “He knows it. He and I talk about it all the time and he knows it. In order for you to be ready for the season, you need to have done it and done it over and over and done it wrong, made the adjustment and then have it become part of what you do, the correct way to do it. He’s not there yet, he needs to continue to improve and he knows that. He understands that. In order for him to be ready to produce the way that he wants to produce and the way that we need him to produce, he needs to practice and get ready for that.”
DT Cullen Jenkins was excused from practice due to the death of his grandmother.
OC David Baas (still recovering from various and undisclosed offseason surgeries) was limited in practice.
Giants Waived/Injured WR Jeremy Horne; Re-Sign WR Julian Talley: The Giants waived/injured WR Jeremy Horne on Thursday after he injured his foot in practice on Tuesday. To replace Horne’s spot on the roster, the team re-signed WR Julian Talley, who the Giants originally signed as a rookie free agent last year and waived in August 2012.
Giants Release Unofficial Depth Chart: The Giants released an unofficial depth chart yesterday. For details, see the Depth Chart section of the website.
Ann Mara, John Mara, and Tom Coughlin to Attend Hall of Fame Ceremonies: Giants’ co-owner Ann Mara, Giants’ President/CEO John Mara, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for former Giants’ head coach Bill Parcells on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at BigBlueInteractive.com or Giants.com:
Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on TE Adrien Robinson and TE Larry Donnell: “Well, I think (Robinson is) making steady progress. You know, today I thought he practiced well, made some plays, and more importantly, from an assignment standpoint he did well, so, we look forward to having him continue that way because we also see Larry Donnell making a couple plays, so with those two big, young tight ends, they certainly do give us flexibility provided they can continue to improve.”
Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride on WR Louis Murphy: “Just, in general terms, great speed, great power, runs very sharp routes and is a tremendous professional. He’s studies our offense, he asks great questions, and so when you have a player like that who wants to learn it, who wants to put himself in a position to help the team and to put himself in the position to be successful, physically if he can do it, he’s going to do it. That’s what I’ve seen from him, he’s giving himself every opportunity to make an impact through this season.”
If a tight end can’t block, he won’t play for the New York Giants. It’s that simple. In the Giants’ system, blocking is as critical, if not more important, than pass receiving. The traditional down tight end (hand in the dirt, lined up next to the offensive tackle) is often called upon to block not only linebackers, but defensive ends as well. The problem is that quality two-way tight ends are hard to find. With the proliferation of spread offenses in college, the two-way tight end is disappearing at many schools. There are 32 NFL teams and a very limited supply of quality prospects coming out in the NFL Draft. One-dimensional, pass-receiving, H-Back types (motion tight ends who often do not line up in a down position) are more plentiful, but the Giants’ offense does not tend to feature these types of players.
The good news is the Giants have 71-year old Mike Pope, arguably the best tight ends coach in the NFL. He’s been with the Giants seemingly forever (1984-1991, 2000-present) under head coaches Bill Parcells, Ray Handley, Jim Fassel, and Tom Coughlin. Pope has a history of developing players with good size and just enough athletic ability into solid, two-way tight ends.
The tight end position has been a bit of turnstile for the Giants since Jeremy Shockey (2002-2007) was traded to the Saints in July 2008. Since then, the primary tight end on the Giants has changed from Kevin Boss (2008-2010) to Jake Ballard (2011) to Martellus Bennett (2012) and now to Brandon Myers (2013).
Including Myers, there are six tight ends on the Giants’ current training camp roster. Historically, the team tends to keep three tight ends on the 53-man roster.
Brandon Myers: Myers was signed by the Giants as an unrestricted free agent from the Oakland Raiders in March 2013. He was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Raiders. Myers had a breakout season for the Raiders in 2012, catching 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns. His 16 regular-season starts in 2012 were more than all of the starts he had combined his first three years in the NFL. His 79 catches also dwarfed the 32 he had from 2009-2011.
Myers lacks the size that the Giants usually look for in their primary tight end. He’s only listed at 6’3’’, 256 pounds. The Giants usually like their tight ends an inch or two taller and 15-20 pounds heavier. He’s also not very fast or quick for the position – the Raiders used him more as a short- to intermediate-receiver. But Myers seems to be a smart, heady player with just enough athleticism, a feel for getting open, and good hands. His blocking was reportedly subpar in Oakland last year. A painful shoulder injury (sprained AC joint) could have been a factor. Still his lack of size and strength is worrisome in the blocking department.
“We think he’ll be a great piece to our offense and I think (Eli Manning) will have a relationship with him really quickly,” said General Manager Jerry Reese.
“He is a good receiver,” said Pope. “I think at the Raiders he was more of an intermediate receiver. And now our passing game does allow the tight end to get more vertically down the field – flag routes – double seam routes – post routes – that kind of thing. And he appears to have the skills to get those balls. He has a little bit of a jet that can accelerate and go get a ball that is a little deeper. You may not think he is going to reach it, but he has that little bit. So we are very interested to see him in pads.”
“I’m with a great organization, a proven team with a proven quarterback, in an offense that if you’re a tight end and you can get open, you’ll get a lot of opportunities to catch the ball,” said Myers.
“Obviously, my blocking (in Oakland) wasn’t up to par,” said Myers. “But we kind of went over some things, (Pope’s) technique that he could teach me to help me out, so I think it will be a good fit.”
Coughlin doesn’t appear concerned about his blocking. “He’s a well-rounded tight end,” said Coughlin. “He’s a blocker in the running game as well. We’re looking forward to that.”
Bear Pascoe: The Giants picked up Pascoe in 2009 after the 49ers cut him as a rookie. Pascoe is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of player whose strength is his overall versatility. Pascoe plays tight end, H-Back, and even some fullback for the Giants. In fact, he filled in at fullback for the bulk of the 2010 season when Madison Hedgecock was placed on Injured Reserve. And Pascoe may have to do so again in 2013 with Henry Hynoski’s knee injury casting doubt on his availability.
Pascoe does not really stand out as a blocker or receiver, and needs to improve his productivity and consistency in both areas. But Pascoe is big (6’5”, 283 pounds), solid, and dependable. Pascoe finished the 2012 with only four catches for 35 yards and one touchdown. In four seasons with the Giants, he has 26 catches for 252 yards and one score.
“We’re very confident that Bear, no matter what role we place him in, he does an outstanding job,” said Coughlin. “Bear has had opportunities to play in that slot, B tight end, Y tight end, and he’s always done a nice job.”
“This is kind of what I do. This is my role,” Pascoe said. “The more I can do, the better it is for the team. It’s one of the reason I’ve been here for five years, is I have versatility.”
“(Pascoe) has had to do that for us whenever the fullback has been hurt,” said Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “It hasn’t been Henry (Hynoski) but it was Madison Hedgecock before. And so he has done a great job with that. It is not an easy thing. He is not a natural fullback but he is one of those guys that just whatever you ask him to do, he goes out and does it with as much courage and determination as anybody. As a result of that he plays above – sometimes – what your expectations might be. We asked him to do a very difficult role – he does it very well.”
Pope thinks having Pascoe playing fullback may make the Giants’ offense less predictable. “Bear has played a good bit of fullback for us,” said Pope. “Actually he played about 160 snaps at fullback last season. So he is aware of the assignments. There are still some finite things that he can get better at there. But it gives us a great deal of flexibility because when Hynoski is in the game they pretty well know that there are some limitations as to where he will line up. He is pretty much a backfield player. When we can put Bear in with one of these other guys, now we can do a lot more things as far as open formations – a little more difficult for the defense to predict where they can’t just key on one of the those guys and say the ball is going there. So that helps us.”
Adrien Robinson: 2012 was mainly a redshirt year for Adrien Robinson, who the Giants drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Robinson made the 53-man roster, but was only activated for two games. He did not catch a single pass. Robinson combines good size with excellent athleticism. He has very good speed and agility for a big tight end. However, he is a very raw player who will need a lot of coaching up. He was not targeted much in college (only 29 receptions in four years), but he displayed an ability to get down the field, adjust to the football, and make the difficult catch. Robinson has the physical ability to be a good blocker.
Because Robinson’s college has trimesters, he missed Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices his rookie season. “I think going through OTAs this year, seeing how slowly the coaches install the plays and understanding how everything feeds off each other, I realize that I did miss a lot last year by coming in so late and trying to jumpstart everything,” Robinson said. “I’ve been here since the (offseason) program started, and it’s a new year. I’m just trying to work my way up.”
“I think the biggest improvement I’ve made is in my understanding of the offense and knowing the plays, my assignments, where to line up, and how to read the defenses,” said Robinson. “Last year, I didn’t get many game reps, so I had to watch a lot, which helped, but it’s not the same as lining up on the field.”
“The biggest thing I want to show the coaches is that I fully understand the offense,” said Robinson. “I understand everything that’s going on, and I want to earn their trust. Once they are confident that you know what you’re doing, you’ll get on the field.”
“Adrien Robinson appears to have gone into the Land of the Believers and yes he has been making some good progress,” said Pope. “He is understanding assignment-wise. But the plays are still not the lines on the page that we give them for instruction. So he is doing a lot of the assignment things correctly. Now we have to get him to adjust to the way the defense is playing on each particular play and to make the best decisions based on how the defense is playing. But he is running well and he has his weight down some. The quarterback is starting to find him. He is hard to miss – he is the tallest tree in the forest out there. So he is a good target. But we are more than mildly pleased with the progress that he has made from an assignment standpoint.”
“Adrien was in that group of guys who came in, didn’t really know much about working with an offensive tackle on a double team block or how do you read coverages, what happens if they blitz here, what do I do?” said Pope in June. “It has taken him some time to learn and feel a little more comfortable. His speed and athletic skills did not surface as quickly as we hoped because he was thinking his way through every single play which slowed him down. Now he’s developing some confidence and he knows a little bit more about what he is doing. These last three or four weeks have been the very best weeks of his Giant career.”
“Wish we could have gotten him in some games more last year, but it just didn’t work out for us to get him in some games,” said Reese. “But we really think – the guy is 280 pounds, he ran a 4.57 (40-yard dash) at his Pro Day, and we think he can really develop into a terrific blocker. In practice, he flashed some things that were really like some ‘Wow’ things in practice. So we’re expecting him to make a jump this season and get in and get going and give us some contributions as our big blocking tight end. And he can catch the ball really nice. So we expect to bring him along, and hopefully he’ll contribute for us.”
Larry Donnell: 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 Giants’ Practice Squad. Donnell has excellent size (6’6”, 270 pounds) and is a good athlete. However, he is raw and needs a lot of coaching. Unfortunately, Donnell missed most of the spring work with a right foot or ankle injury that forced him to wear a walking boot.
Jamie Childers: The Giants signed Jamie Childers to a Reserve/Future contract in January 2013. Childers was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Rams waived him in August. Childers needs a lot of technique work not only because of his small school background but because he played both quarterback and tight end in college. Lacking bulk (6’5”, 250 pounds), Childers is built more like an H-Back than true tight end. He’s athletic and has good hands. He probably will never be more than a finesse blocker. According to press reports, Childers did flash as a receiver in spring workouts.
Chase Clement: Clement was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2013 NFL Draft. In college, Clement converted to tight from defensive end. He has good size (6’6”, 262 pounds) and strength and could develop as a blocking-type tight end with better technique. He was not used much as a receiver in college with only 14 career receptions in four seasons. Clement isn’t overly fast.
“When I first looked at (Clement) I had visions of Jake Ballard,” said Pope. “Just because he was a good blocker on the goal line. (LSU) seldom ever threw him the ball. But when the ball was snapped he had kind of that tough-guy mentality – old school. But he really had a motor…He is not going to be an all-world receiver way down the field as far as being explosive and flexible, but he has pretty good football savvy…I think there is something to work with there.”
Summary: Brandon Myers is clearly the #1 guy heading into training camp and will likely be the Giants’ primary tight end, though due to his size, it would be easy to see the Giants using him some at H-Back too. Myers could be the type of receiver who Manning quickly develops chemistry with. But Myers needs to block better than he did last year in Oakland. Pascoe is a limited athlete and his attention will be split between fullback, H-Back, and tight end. The real question is how fast can Adrien Robinson develop? He has the size to be a good blocker and the athletic abiity to be a good receiver. Can he put it all together, and if so, how quickly? Don’t completely discount Donnell (two-way tools), Childers (receiver), and Clement (blocker) either, but their best shot is probably the Practice Squad unless someone gets hurt.