Jun 082020
 
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Blake Martinez, Green Bay Packers (December 29, 2019)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully 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. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: If we go back in time one year, many believed that while the defensive line and secondary would improve, it was the linebacking unit that still seemed very much unsettled. After all, the 3-4 defense relies on the linebackers to be the play-makers. The Giants had traded away their best pass rusher, Olivier Vernon. Markus Golden was signed in free agency, but he had yet to return to his pre-injury form from 2016 (12.5 sacks). There was a desperate hope and need for second-year player Lorenzo Carter to beat out disappointing free agent Kareem Martin, relegating the latter to reserve duty. The Giants had also drafted Oshane Ximines in the 3rd round.

Inside linebacker was also a bit confused. The Giants were hoping that Alec Ogletree would become more consistent. It wasn’t clear if B.J. Goodson or Tae Davis would start alongside him. Much wasn’t expected immediately of 5th rounder Ryan Connelly.

So what happened? Golden actually ended up being a good signing, starting all 16 games and accruing a career-high 72 tackles, and team-high 10 sacks. On the other hand, Carter disappointed. Despite starting 12 games, he finished the year with just 45 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Martin was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2019 with a knee injury that he suffered in the regular-season opener. He was activated back to the active roster in December and finished the year with only three tackles in five games, with no starts. Ximines had a mixed performance as a rookie, receiving significant playing time (45 percent of all defensive snaps). While he flashed at times as a pass rusher (4.5 sacks), he struggled against the run. The Giants also added some in-season pick-ups who saw limited playing time such Devante Downs, Chris Peace, and Tuzar Skipper.

Inside, it was worse. Goodson was traded to the Packers before the season started. Davis was cut during the season in October. Ogletree missed three games and his overall play noticeably declined. At times, he simply appeared to be going through the motions. The brief bright spot was rookie Connelly, but he tore his ACL in Week 4. The Giants signed David Mayo in September after he was cut by the 49ers and surprisingly ended up starting 13 games. He played just OK. Special teams player Nate Stupar was waived, re-signed, and waived again. Undrafted rookie free agent Josiah Tauaefa made the team but saw most of his action on special teams. Deone Bucannon was signed in October after he was cut by the Buccaneers, starting one game, but playing mostly in a reserve role.

Overall, except for Golden and a brief couple of games from Connelly, the linebacking corps once again was a disappointment in all phases: run defense, rushing the passer, and coverage. The Giants finished 20th in run defense. The team generated 36 sacks with 23.5 coming from the linebackers (10 of those from Golden alone). Coverage on opposing tight ends and running backs remained abysmal.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The revolving door at this position continues. The team’s best linebacker in 2019, Markus Golden, remains in limbo as an unsigned unrestricted free agent. Joe Judge says the team would like him back. Expensive David Gettleman mistakes Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin were let go in February. Deone Bucannon signed with the Falcons in May. The Steelers re-signed Skipper from the Giants’ Practice Squad in November.

Devante Downs and David Mayo were re-signed. The Giants signed free agents inside linebacker Blake Martinez ($31 million) and outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell ($4.6 million). An influx of rookies arrived in April, including Cam Brown (6th round), Carter Coughlin (7th round), T.J. Brunson (7th round), Tae Crowder (7th round), Dominique Ross (UDFA), Dana Levine (UDFA), and Oluwole Betiku (UDFA).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: There are a lot of bodies (17), but how many are good players? The team’s most productive pass rusher, Golden, remains unsigned. As of now, the Giants are relying on Kyler Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and a late draft pick/rookie free agent to supply the outside pass rush. While the first three players have flashed at times, that’s asking a lot. The belief by many is that new Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham will have to scheme the pass rush.

Inside, much depends on the performance of Blake Martinez and how well Ryan Connelly comes back from a serious knee injury. Opinions on Martinez vary wildly. And Connelly has to prove he hasn’t lost speed/agility. Mayo provides depth and insurance.

Did the Giants find gold with any of the late four draft picks or three undrafted rookie free agents?

ON THE BUBBLE: When you have 17 players at one position, a lot of people are on the bubble. Barring injury, one would think that Fackrell, Carter, and Ximines are safe outside and Martinez and Connelly will make it inside. Mayo has an experience advantage, but he faces competition from at least two rookies (Brunson and Crowder). Will the Giants re-sign Golden? All five rookie outside linebackers have intriguing characteristics, but they all can’t make it. Special teams play probably will be a significant factor.

PREDICTIONS: Stating the obvious, the Giants don’t have an edge rusher who scares the heck out of the opposition and demands potential double-team attention. Even if the team re-signs Golden, he’s more of a complimentary piece than headliner. Fackrell could surprise as he did have a double-digit sack season in 2018 under Patrick Graham. So much depends on whether or not new outside linebacker coach Bret Bielema can develop Carter and Ximines. (Incidentally, a nice addition for Carter was that he former college coach is now coaching the inside linebackers). The pass rush could be aided if the inside linebackers and safeties can improve their coverage against tight ends. The longer a QB has to hold the football, the more time the pass rushers will have to get to the QB. Barring an unlikely breakout season by someone, the Giants are not likely to be a strong pass rushing team in 2020.

On the other hand, contrary to many, I’m a bit more bullish on the inside guys as long as Ryan Connelly can fully recover from his ACL injury. Martinez and Connelly are two smart, heady, better-athletes-than-advertised players who could form a very respectable duo inside.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Kyler Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, Blake Martinez, Ryan Connelly, David Mayo, T.J. Brunson

I’m throwing darts at a dartboard when it comes to predicting rookies at this point. For example, who knows if Brunson or Crowder will show more? The heart of any special teams unit are the reserve linebackers and defensive backs so a lot of these guys could make it. I would not be shocked to see one or even two of the undrafted rookie free agents really push for a roster spot. Don’t sleep on guys like Ross, Levine, and Betiku.

Dec 012019
 
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GREEN BAY PACKERS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 13…
As expected, the New York Giants lost their eighth game in a row on Sunday by losing to the Green Bay Packers 31-13 at a snowy MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the defeat, the Giants fall to 2-10 on the season.

It was actually a close game for most of the contest with the Packers finally pulling away in the 4th quarter. Oddly, the Giants had more first downs (20 to 19), total net yards (335 to 322), net yards rushing (95 to 79), and time of possession (31:17 to 28:43). But the Giants lost the all-important turnover battle 3-0 and the defense kept allowing big plays on 3rd and 4th down.

The defensive issues showed up early as Green Bay scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game. After running back Saquon Barkley was stuffed in the backfield for a 3-yard loss on 3rd-and-1, the Packers easily drove 72 yards in seven plays with quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing an 8-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Davante Adams. The drive also included a 43-yard pass completion.

New York responded on their second possession with an 11-play, 71 yard touchdown drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones to wide receiver Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-3. The drive was kept alive with a 12-yard reception by tight end Kaden Smith on 3rd-and-2 and an 8-yard catch by wide receiver Darius Slayton on 4th-and-5.

However, the Packers quickly regained the lead with a 5-play, 66-yard effort that ended with an easy 37-yard touchdown pass on their second possession of the game. Packers 14 – Giants 7.

With the pressure on the offense to keep pace with the red-hot Packers’ offense, Daniel Jones threw his first interception of the day on the fifth play of the ensuing drive. Green Bay only needed 24 yards to set up a successful 47-yard field goal. Packers 17 – Giants 7.

The bulk of the rest of the 2nd quarter was eaten up by an 18-play, 66-yard drive by the Giants that took nine minutes and 31 seconds off of the clock. The Giants converted a 3rd-and-6, 4th-and-1, and 4th-and-2 on this possession. Unfortunately, the Giants were forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal rather than a touchdown. The Giants’ defense finally forced a punt on Green Bay’s fourth and last possession of the half and at the break, the score was Packers 17 – Giants 10.

After allowing one first down, the New York defense forced another punt to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants pulled closer with a 10-play, 52-yard effort on their first possession of the second half, resulting in a 45-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The big play was a 43-yard pass from Jones to wide receiver Cody Latimer on 3rd-and-12. The drive sputtered after that long completion however. Packers 17 – Giants 13.

At this point, the game began to get out of hand for the Giants. Green Bay launched their third long touchdown drive of the game, traveling 75 yards in 14 plays. The possession was kept alive with an 11-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-6 by cornerback Sam Beal, a 15-yard completion on 4th-and-10, and a 6-yard completion on 3rd-and-2. Rodgers fittingly finished the drive with his third touchdown pass of the day, a 17-yard completion on 3rd-and-goal despite the Giants having 12 men on the field. Packers 24 – Giants 13.

Matters got only worse when Jones threw his second interception on the ensuing drive. The Packers took over at the New York 38-yard line. After converting on 3rd-and-5 and 3rd-and-9, Rodgers threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day and the Packers were now up 31-13 with just over seven minutes to play.

Jones threw his third interception on the second play of the ensuing drive. The New York defense forced its third punt of the day. On New York’s final possession of the game, the Giants drove from their own 6-yard line to the Green Bay 17. But the drive ended with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4. The Packers then ran out the clock to end the game.

Daniel Jones completed 20-of-37 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. His two leading targets were tight end Kaden Smith (6 catches for 70 yards) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (6 catches for 44 yards). Saquon Barkley carried the ball 19 times for 83 yards.

Defensively, the Giants did not accrue a sack or force a turnover. Aaron Rodgers was only officially hit twice. Not counting the kneel down at the end of the game, Green Bay scored on five of their eight possessions.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were WR Golden Tate (concussion), TE Evan Engram (foot), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), S Jabrill Peppers (back), QB Alex Tanney, OT/OG Chad Slade, and OT Eric Smith.

CB Corey Ballentine left the game with a concussion and did not return.

QB Daniel Jones injured his ankle but continued to play despite a noticeable limp. “He hurt it, but he played through it,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur after the game. “Tough guy, he fought through it.”

ZAK DEOSSIE PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE…
The Giants placed long snapper Zak DeOssie on Injured Reserve on Saturday with knee and wrist issues. To fill his roster spot, the team signed long-snapper Colin Holba from the Practice Squad.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Oct 232019
 
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Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (October 20, 2019)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 23, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. He is still in the concussion protocol.

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) practiced on a limited basis. Shepard remains in the concussion protocol, wearing a non-contact jersey.

“Saquon was limited today,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Just some game soreness. I expect him to play this week though.”

“(Shepard is) been out there practicing pretty much full,” said Shurmur. “But he’s still in the protocol.”

Wide receiver Cody Latimer (quad) and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available 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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.

Oct 162019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 16, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion) was the only player not to practice on Wednesday.

Running back Wayne Gallman (concussion), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), and defensive lineman Olsen Pierre (concussion) were all limited in practice, wearing non-contact jerseys.

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and tight end Evan Engram (knee) fully practiced.

Cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) returned to practice for the first time since training camp. Beal has now officially been moved from Injured Reserve to the Reserve/Designated-to-Return List. Beal is eligible to return to the 53-man roster on October 28th, after the team’s eighth game of the season. He must be activated by November 6th or the Giants will have to keep him on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

“(I am) excited,” said Beal. “You’re always anxious. Just a little anxious, because you haven’t been out there in a while. You just want to see how you’re moving, see how it really feels. But I felt great… I actually didn’t think it was going to be this long, to be honest. I haven’t really dealt with a hamstring before. So, I’m thinking ‘Okay, maybe just like a little cramp or something. I’ll deal with it.’ But it wouldn’t go away. So, you just have to deal with it as it comes.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The New York Giants have re-signed running back Jon Hilliman to the Practice Squad. The Giants originally signed Hilliman as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The team signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 and promoted him to the 53-man roster later that month. Hilliman played in three regular-season games with the Giants with one start, carrying the ball 30 times for 91 yards and catching three passes for one yard. He also fumbled twice. The Giants cut him last Friday.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available 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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.

Aug 052019
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 5, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their tenth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived offensive guard Austin Droogsma and re-signed offensive tackle Malcom Bunche.

The Giants signed Droogsma after he impressed at the 2019 rookie mini-camp. The 6’4”, 345-pound Droogsma was a star shot-putter at Florida State. He has not played football since high school in 2012.

The 27-year old, 6’6”, 319-pound Bunche was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2015 NFL Draft. Bunche has spent time with the Eagles (2015), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2017), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2017). The Giants signed Bunche after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2018 rookie mini-camp, but cut before the season started. He has not played in a regular-season game.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (unknown), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) and cornerback Grant Haley (shoulder) participated with non-contact jerseys.

Defensive end B.J. Hill was excused from practice due to the birth of his child. Safety Michael Thomas and long snapper Zak DeOssie were excused in order to participate in NFLPA duties.

Offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner) left practice early.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The quarterbacks completed 14 of their first 16 pass attempts, primarily focused on the short passing game.
  • CB Deandre Baker broke up a long pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Golden Tate.
  • LB Ryan Connelly was unblocked o a blitz up the middle and “sacked” the quarterback; LB Alec Ogletree also got to the quarterback with an inside spin move.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a “perfect” deep pass to WR Cody Latimer over CB Janoris Jenkins.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins broke up two passes.
  • At one point in practice, Corey Ballentine and Deandre Barker were the first-team corners with Janoris Jenkins playing in the slot.
  • CB Corey Ballentine broke up a pass intended for WR Sterling Shepard.
  • QB Alex Tanney connected with WR Alex Wesley, who ran a good route and beat CB Grant Haley.
  • LB Kareem Martin got past LT Nate Solder on a blitz and forced QB Eli Manning to spike the ball into the ground.
  • In red zone drills, tight coverage from CB Corey Ballentine caused an incomplete pass from QB Daniel Jones to WR Bennie Fowler. But then Jones threw a touchdown pass to WR T.J. Jones against Ballentine.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, CB Grant Haley knocked away a QB Alex Tanney pass intended for WR Da’Mari Scott in the end zone.
  • QB Daniel Jones had a good day, completing 10-of-16 passes with three of those going to WR Bennie Fowler.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available 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…

Aug 012019
 
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Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Ryan Connelly – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 1, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventh full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), defensive end Alex Jenkins (unknown), linebacker B.J. Goodson (hamstring), linebacker Markus Golden (load management), linebacker Mark McLaurin (foot), cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring), and cornerback Henre’ Toliver (ankle) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) participated, but was limited, in full-team drills wearing a yellow “non-contact” jersey and catching some passes with his good hand.

Cornerback Grant Haley left practice early with a shoulder or arm injury.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants practiced in just helmets and shells on Thursday.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a “beautiful” deep ball down the middle to WR T.J. Jones, who beat CB Julian Love.
  • S Kenny Ladler knocked away a deep pass from QB Kyle Lauletta to WR Reggie White, Jr. Lauletta then fired a mid-range strike to WR Amba Etta-Tawo. Later in practice, Ladler intercepted Lauletta in the back of the end zone and knocked down another pass.
  • CB Grant Haley made a diving break-up of a short pass from QB Alex Tanney, but Haley hurt himself on the play, forcing him to leave practice early.
  • In red-zone drills, QB Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to TE Evan Engram, who beat LB Ryan Connelly. (Connelly was playing with the first-unit on this play).
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a “perfect” deep ball to RB Paul Perkins off a wheel route for a 50-yard score, beating LB Jonathan Anderson.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass over the middle to WR Russell Shepard. Jones then threw another touchdown pass to TE Scott Simonson, who made a nice diving catch.
  • S Michael Thomas broke up a QB Daniel Jones pass to TE C.J. Conrad. Conrad then made a diving touchdown reception in the back left corner on a pass from QB Alex Tanney, beating LB Ryan Connelly.
  • QB Alex Tanney threw a touchdown pass to WR Reggie White, Jr., beating CB Corey Ballentine.
  • CB Corey Ballentine stripped the ball away from RB Rod Smith and LB Jonathan Anderson recovered the loose ball.
  • DE Jake Ceresna flashed on the third-team defense.
  • QB Eli Manning finished 13-of-17 with two touchdowns, including one to WR Bennie Fowler.
  • QB Daniel Jones finished the day 11-of-13 with three touchdowns.

THE COACHES 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…

Jul 262019
 
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Oshane Ximines and C.J. Conrad, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Oshane Ximines and C.J. Conrad – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 26, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – COREY COLEMAN TEARS ACL…
Wide receivers Corey Coleman (knee), Darius Slayton (hamstring), and Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown) did not practice on Friday. Neither did tight end Evan Engram (“managing his workload”).

The Giants announced that Coleman tore his ACL in practice on Thursday. “Corey Coleman unfortunately hurt his knee yesterday, so we’ll just have to see where it goes for him,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I feel bad for the guy because he’s worked really hard… So most likely (he will be lost for the season)… He’ll go through the process. He’ll get second opinions and all that stuff… He was a guy that had a chance to be in there and compete to either start or have a role.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (fractured thumb) was limited in practice, not catching any passes. “(Shepard will) be back soon,” said Shurmur. “It’s the tip of his thumb. He’ll be out there running around today. I’m not concerned about that one at all… no surgery.”

Linebacker Markus Golden (cramps), cornerback Grant Haley (cramps), and wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) left practice early.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • George Asafo-Adjei and Chad Wheeler received some first-team reps at offensive tackle.
  • S Michael Thomas sacked QB Daniel Jones on a blitz.
  • QB Daniel Jones started 5-of-6 during 11-on-11 drills.
  • CB Ronald Zamort made a nice diving break-up of a pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • CB Grant Haley made a leaping interception off a QB Kyle Lauletta pass tipped by CB Corey Ballentine, who also tipped away another pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • LB Tae Davis saw a lot of reps with the first-team nickel defense, along with LB Alec Ogletree.
  • LB Ryan Connelly, WR Reggie White Jr., and S Sean Chandler received praise from Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a nice deep pass to WR Russell Shepard, who made a fingertip grab for a touchdown, beating CB Julian Love. Jones finished 11-of-13 with eight straight completions.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a nice deep sideline pass to WR Golden Tate over CB Julian Love.
  • LB Oshane Ximines “sacked” QB Daniel Jones off a rollout.
  • WR Brittan Golden scored a long touchdown, but was injured on the play and left the field after being knocked over by CB Antonio Hamilton.
  • WR Russell Shepard had an active day catching the football from QB Daniel Jones.
  • LB Lorenzo Carter flashed in run defense (setting the edge) and as a blitzer (with a “sack”).
  • Julian Love saw reps at nickel corner with both the first- and second-teams. He also played safety with the second-team defense.

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The transcript of Dave Gettleman’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available 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:

Jul 222019
 
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Oshane Ximines, New York Giants (May 4, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIES REPORT TO TRAINING CAMP…
As scheduled, New York Giants rookies have reported in for the start of summer training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Rookies and some select veterans will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. All veterans are scheduled to report by Wednesday. Head Coach Pat Shurmur will also address the media on Wednesday.

The first full-team practice will be held on Thursday. There are 21 training camp practices currently scheduled, but only 10 are open to the public. For a complete public training camp schedule, see Giants.com.

GIANTS SIGN OSHANE XIMINES…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker Oshane Ximines, the team’s 3rd-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Of the team’s 10 picks in the draft, only quarterback Daniel Jones remains unsigned.

TWO SAFETIES TRY OUT FOR GIANTS…
Unrestricted free agent veteran safeties Tre Boston and Jonathan Cyprien visited the team on Monday.

The 27-year old, 6’1”, 205-pound Boston was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with the Panthers (2014-2016), Los Angeles Chargers (2017), and Arizona Cardinals (2018). Boston has played in 72 regular-season games with 44 starts.

The 28-year old, 6’1”, 211-pound Cyprien was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2013-2016) and Tennessee Titans (2017-2018). Cyprien has started all 70 regular-season games that he has played in. However, he missed the 2018 season with a torn ACL.

GIANTS SUSPEND KAMRIN MOORE…
The New York Giants indefinitely suspended safety Kamrin Moore on July 15 pending further investigation after learning he was arrested in Linden, New Jersey for an alleged domestic violence-related incident.

MITCH PETRUS PASSES AWAY…
Mitch Petrus, who was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Giants and played for the team from 2010-2012, died of heat stroke in Arkansas on July 18th. He was 32. “We are saddened to hear of Mitch’s passing,” the Giants organization said in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to Mitch’s family and friends.”

ARTICLES…

Jul 052019
 
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Lorenzo Carter, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Lorenzo Carter – © USA TODAY Sports

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

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: It’s both ironic and tragic that the team so closely associated with a great linebacking legacy has become so incompetent at addressing the position. Worse, with the shift to the 3-4 defense, the importance of the position was elevated in the overall scheme of the defense. In the 3-4, the linebackers are the play-makers, the pass rushers, and the active run defenders. Despite spending assets on the position: $17 million for Olivier Vernon, $15 million for Kareem Martin, $5 million for Connor Barwin, two draft picks for Alec Olgretree, a 3rd rounder for Lorenzo Carter, and a 4th rounder for B.J. Goodson, the returns were not good. As a team, the Giants had 30 sacks, tied for 30th in the league. Only the Raiders had fewer. And of those 30 sacks, 17 came from the linebackers. Only two linebackers on the team picked off a pass. Most startlingly, Giants linebackers only forced ONE fumble all year. Overall, the run defense wasn’t good (20th), with players often being out-of-position or being successfully blocked out of position. And pass coverage against tight ends and backs remained a sore spot for yet another year.

In terms of specific players. Vernon was an injured tease (again). Barwin was invisible. Martin was one-dimensional. Ogletree alternated between being beaten like a drum in coverage to making some spectacular interceptions. Carter flashed some potential as a pass rusher. Goodson flashed as a run defender, but wasn’t consistent. Rookie free agent Tae Davis had some rough moments both against the run and the pass. Nate Stupar was a core player on an improving special teams unit.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants traded Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns. Connor Barwin was cut in February and Ukeme Eligwe was cut in May. The Giants did not re-sign Jordan Williams, who spent the year on Injured Reserve. Nate Stupar was re-signed, as was Avery Moss, the team’s 2017 5th rounder who spent the year on the Practice Squad.

In free agency, the Giants added Markus Golden from the Cardinals and “street” free agents Jonathan Anderson and Keion Adams. The Giants drafted Oshane Ximines in the 3rd round, Ryan Connelly in the 5th round, and signed rookie free agent Josiah Tauaefa after the draft. The Giants also signed rookie free agent Nate Harvey after the draft, but he was placed on Injured Reserve in May with a season-ending knee injury.

The Giants have also been playing rookie free agent collegiate safety Mark McLaurin at their “money backer” position during Spring practices. Rookie free agent Jake Carlock is another hybrid linebacker/safety type, who can also long snap.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Perhaps the biggest question mark the entire team faces is the pass rush. The Giants were near dead last in the NFL rushing the passer in 2018 and traded away arguably their best pass rusher. Many wanted the team to select a pass rusher over Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the draft. In the 3-4 defense, you need your outside linebackers to be good pass rushers. The Giants are hoping Markus Golden can rebound from his torn ACL and regain his 2016 form (12.5 sacks). Also, based on the pecking order during Spring practices, it appears the coaches are giving Lorenzo Carter (4 sacks as a reserve in 2018) every opportunity to supplant Kareem Martin as starter. Lurking in the wings is rookie Oshane Ximines. Most believe the Giants are screwed here as they lack the talent to get after the quarterback. It’s up to Golden, Carter, Martin, and Ximines to prove them wrong.

Inside, the problems remain the same. The team has been inconsistent stopping the run and atrocious covering tight ends for years. The Rams most likely traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants because of the same inconsistencies he demonstrated last season, both against the run and the pass. B.J. Goodson has to take the bull by the horns and prove to the coaches he’s an asset on the field. Tae Davis, a former collegiate safety, has been splitting time with Goodson with the first unit. Like Ximines outside, rookie Ryan Connelly is lurking in the wings.

ON THE BUBBLE: There are 13 linebackers on the roster (15 if you count Mark McLaurin and Jake Carlock) and the Giants are likely to keep eight, possibly nine. The obvious players on the bubble are Avery Moss, Keion Adams, Jonathan Anderson, Josiah Tauaefa, McLaurin, and Carlock. The tough decision will be Nate Stupar because of his special teams play.

FROM THE COACHES: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Lorenzo Carter: “He is rushing with a plan. When you see him rush, a year ago he was trying to get off the ball as quick as he could and use his hands when he could. Now, you see a guy that is aware of how he wants to rush, aware of techniques that he wants to rush with. Guys that get in there as pass rushers, I have been in there and have coached them before personally, you see their best growth in the two and three years. You start to figure out what they are as rushers. Whether you are Chandler Jones and a really bloody rusher or a speed counter guy. He is really starting to figure that out. He is building his pass rush toolbox right now. The second thing, he is practicing as hard as anyone on the field right now. He is running around and has been a great example that we have been able to show defensively of just straining and effort, finish.”

Bettcher on Marcus Golden: “Markus unfortunately somewhere around 18 months ago had a pretty significant knee injury. Don’t ever forget that before that he was one of the best pass rushers in this league. People had to plan for him. I know that because I was one of the guys calling the plays for him on defense. I saw what he was able to do when he was healthy and running around. I love how he is moving right now and I love his work. He is a guy that is going to play exceptionally hard. As I sat here a year ago and talked to you about one of the identifying qualities we needed our defense to look like was it took relentless, work relentless and play relentless. I think that is probably the epitome of Markus.”

Bettcher on Alec Ogletree: “This is his second year in the system. You get a guy like AB (Antoine Bethea) who has been in the system before who really can get in the conversations of how we are doing it and what we should expect in certain coverages, that is where Tree is at now. He is in his second year. He is really working on his core fundamentals, but the other side of it, how are we going to attack this coverage? Where is the soft spot in coverage and how can we defend it? I think that is really what happens when guys come into the second year.”

Bettcher on Oshane Ximines: “X-man coming off the tape, I loved the way he played. Saw a guy that could flip and had athleticism to move in space. If you are picking a prototypical outside linebacker, he has some of both of those skills. He has the rush skills and has skills in his hips to open, change in space and change who the rusher is.”

Bettcher on Ryan Connelly: “Connelly is really smart. It is funny because today I was showing a cut-up to the vets and you try not to do that. You try not to show a rookie to the vets too early, but I was showing the cut-up to the vets. This is a guy from the rookie mini-camp and it was a concept and a route and he played it exactly the right way. It was a great example. Smart and tough.”

Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern on Ryan Connelly: “A guy who is smart and intelligent. He plays fast and shows good instincts. We are excited to have him… We are excited that Ryan is a quick study and he has brought things to the practice field so we are excited about that.”

McGovern on Alec Ogletree: “I think you saw him develop as the year went along. As he was getting into the system, he has been in a few different systems. As the season went along, I think he got even better and started making even more and more plays. No matter where he has been, he is a productive player. We have been seeing the ball thrown a little bit more against us and he ended up showing up and making plays in the pass game. He has always been good against the run. He sells out on everything. Again, his leadership and everything else is something that we love having him out there for. We appreciate everything he does on the field.”

McGovern on B.J. Goodson: “Just keep improving. Get better. He has his package and has to work through it. In the run game, there are things that he can use to get better.”

PREDICTIONS: This is the one area of the defense that makes a lot of people nervous. Changes are being made. Olivier Vernon was traded. It appears Kareem Martin will now be more of a role player. The early favorites to start outside and rush the quarterback are Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter. It is possible to see these two combine for 20 sacks. It’s also possible to see both underwhelm and finish with a total of just 10. With Golden, it’s all about his knee. With Carter, he has to prove he is more than a straight-line athlete. Reading between the lines, the Giants also appear to be pleased with what they’ve seen so far from Oshane Ximines. But until the pads come on, we really won’t know a thing. Going out on a limb here, I’m going to predict that Golden, Lorenzo, Ximines, and Martin are more productive pass rushers than anticipated.

Inside, it appears the Giants are well aware of their issues covering the middle of the field. Hence you see linebacker/safety hybrids like Tae Davis, Mark McLaurin, and Jake Carlock being added to the roster. It’s also telling that Davis saw quite a bit of time with the first unit during Spring practices. I’m not sure what to make of Alec Ogletree yet. Just when I had written him off as a trade bust last year, he started making game-changing interceptions. The coaches seem to think he will be more consistent in his second year in the system, but we shall see. The Rams got rid of him for a reason. I expected more from Goodson last year. I think this is a critical training camp for him. The real wild card here is Ryan Connelly, a very smart player who is a better athlete than advertised.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Markus Golden, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, Kareem Martin, Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Tae Davis, and Ryan Connelly.

(The tough call here is Nate Stupar due to his special teams value. It’s also tough to predict if a guy like Mark McLaurin or Jake Carlock do enough to stick on the 53-man roster. Special teams play will be a huge factor in determining the final numbers).

Jul 042019
 
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New York Giants Helmets October 27 2013

JARED LORENZEN PASSES AWAY…
Former New York Giants back-up quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away on July 3rd due to heart and kidney issues. Lorenzen was 38 years old. The Giants signed Lorenzen as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2004 NFL Draft. He served as a reserve quarterback for four years, from 2004-2007, first as a third-string quarterback and later as the primary back-up to Eli Manning.

“Jared was a special person, and a beloved Giant,” said Manning. “He was an important member of our 2007 team, one that created its own destiny. Our thoughts are with Jared’s family and friends who loved and appreciated him so much. Just as our organization and our fans did. Jared was a great teammate and friend. We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together in 2004. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”

“I’m shocked to learn of Jared’s passing,” said former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Jared had a fun-loving, yet serious attitude. He was a good athlete, he had touch and versatility, and he was serious about trying to get his weight under control. Jared got along well with his teammates, and he contributed a lot in his hometown. He worked with young kids in teaching them the game of football. My thoughts are with Jared’s family and the Giants family. It’s sad to lose a kid who tried so hard to play again.”

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