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.
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.”
Charles Brown to Visit the New York Giants: According to ESPN, unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Charles Brown (New Orleans Saints) is scheduled to visit the New York Giants.
Brown was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Saints. He has experience playing both right and left tackle. He started 14 games at left tackle for New Orleans until benched late in the season.
Louis Murphy Now Drawing Interest from Bengals: After wrapping a 2-day visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, unrestricted free agent wide receiver Louis Murphy (New York Giants) will meet with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.
Articles on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency:
New York Giants Sign Mario Manningham: According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent (UFA) wide receiver Mario Manningham (San Francisco 49ers). Manningham was originally drafted by the Giants in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft and played four seasons (2008-11) with the Giants before spending the past two years with the 49ers.
Trindon Holliday Signing Official: The New York Giants have officially confirmed that they have signed unrestricted free agent (UFA) wide receiver/returner Trindon Holliday (Denver Broncos). The contract is reportedly a 1-year, $700,000 deal that includes a $100,000 signing bonus and a $30,000 workout bonus.
“It’s great to get an opportunity to come out and be part of another team,” Holliday said. “I’m signed to do a job and that’s come in and help this team out on special teams as best as possible. I’ll be ready to report. The team’s going in the right direction. The Giants are trying to get back to their winning ways. This offseason has had some good things and I look forward to the rest.”
The 5’5”, 170-pound Holliday is one of the most dynamic kickoff and punt returners in the NFL, having returned three punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns the last two seasons.
“Sometimes, I think my size is an advantage,” Holliday said. “I can field the kicks and hide behind those big linemen when the other guys are coming down. It’s hard for them to see me.”
“(The Giants) told me they expect me to do both (punts and kickoffs),” Holliday said. “I’m going to work my way in and earn the respect from the coaches and the trust that I can get back there and do those things.”
However, Holliday has an issue with ball security, having fumbled 11 times in his career on returns in regular-season games.
“(Tom Coughlin and I) had the discussions already,” Holliday said. “He said him and me were going to get real acquainted with ball security. I don’t have a problem with that. I’ve have had some miscues of handling the ball, but it’s not going to take much for me to fix that.”
Without Pay Cut, Mathias Kiwanunka May Have Been Released:The New York Daily News is reporting that an unidentified source told the paper that if defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka did not accept a pay cut, he would have been have been released. As previously reported, Kiwanuka accepted having his 2014 base salary reduced from $4.375 million to $1.5 million. He also now has a $700,000 roster bonus and could earn another $125,000 in incentives.
More Contract Details on Newly-Signed Cornerbacks: According to RavensInsider, the contract figures on cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:
CB Walter Thurmond: 1-year, $3 million including a $1 million bonus. $1 million of $1.975 million salary guaranteed, up to $500,000 playing-time incentives
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: 5-years, $35 million including $13.98 million guaranteed and $10 million signing bonus. Due $1 million roster bonus on fifth day of 2015 league year.
Louis Murphy Visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers: According to ProFootballTalk, unrestricted free agent wide receiver Louis Murphy (New York Giants) is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today.
September 6, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), and TE Adrien Robinson (foot). All three players have officially been ruled “out” of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
FB Henry Hynoski (knee), WR Victor Cruz (heel), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), and DE Damontre Moore (shoulder) were limited in practice. Hynoski, Pierre-Paul, and Moore are “questionable” for the game while Cruz is “probable.”
“No, (it won’t be a game-time decision with Pierre-Paul),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Whatever we make our minds up. It’s not going to be game time. We’ll make up our minds before that. The medical people will have more to say about that, I’m sure…We’ll just take all of the information, based on the three days of work, listen to the medical people again, and then make that decision…He’ll be on the trip. So he can get in my ear longer. I‘d hate to be that far away from him, then he’d have to call me on the phone.”
“I’m going to make the trip,” said Pierre-Paul. “It’s going to be a game-time decision. I’m going to ask the coaching staff and I’m going to ask the coach. That’s basically it.”
“My conditioning is still down, man,” said Pierre-Paul. “It’s still down. I’ve been trying to get it up and that’s a big part, too, so I’m not going to put my team in jeopardy if I know I can’t play.”
“I feel good,” said Hynoski. “Everything’s going well. I had a great week. Every day, I feel more comfortable out there. No issues with pain or any setbacks as far as that’s concerned.”
“I’ve been practicing full-go,” said Cruz. “I’ve been limited in certain areas but I’ve been pretty much practicing in getting my footing down and cutting and things like that and everything feels pretty normal. I just want the doctors to give one last look at it and tell me what they think and then we’ll go from there.”
CB Jayron Hosley (ankle) fully practiced. Hosley is “probable” for the game.
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.
August 20, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: 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.
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:
New York Giants Complete Fourth OTA Practice – Nicks Still MIA: The Giants concluded their fourth Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. Their fifth OTA will be held on Friday at Timex Performance Center, but that practice is not open to the media.
OTA practices are voluntary but participation is encouraged. The Giants are currently in the final phase of their offseason workout program. During this final phase, no live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permissible.
The Giants’ final five OTA practices will be held next week, June 3-7. The following week the Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 11-13. The Giants will then be off until they have to report to training camp on July 26. The first training camp practice at the Timex Performance Center will be held on July 27.
Missing from Thursday’s “voluntary” practice were WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, and DE Justin Tuck. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said he expected Pierre-Paul and Tuck to participate in Friday’s OTA.
Coughlin was asked if he had been in contact with Nicks. “I have not. No,” replied Coughlin. “Certainly I am (disappointed that he is not here).”
Coughlin was also asked if he was given a reason why Nicks was not participating in the OTAs. “None,” said Coughlin. “Now at one point Hakeem told me that he was going to be here and then he was not here. Now the strictest interpretation, as everybody knows, is it’s a voluntary program.”
The Star-Ledger is reporting when Nicks’ agent was asked why his client was missing from OTAs and whether this had to do with his contract, the agent replied, “Everything is all good. We have no comment…We’re not talking.”
Video highlights are also available at Giants.com. A brief practice report is also available from the following site:
Roster Moves: Following up on yesterday’s “News and Notes” update, the Giants officially confirmed that they have signed rookie free agent TE Chase Clement (LSU) and unrestricted free agent LB Kyle Bosworth (Jaguars). To make room for these two players, the Giants waived S John Stevenson and TE Morgan Newton.
“I can definitely play all the (linebacker) positions,” Bosworth said. “I just got here today. It was my first day of OTAs. I’ve still got to do a lot of learning in the playbook, but I’m able to fit in with the Will, Mike and Sam (weakside, middle and strongside linebacker). I’m very versatile. I’ve played and started. I’ve been on every single special team, so basically wherever they need me I’ll be able to do it. Whatever they ask and I’ll be ready to go.”
CB Aaron Ross played with Bosworth in Jacksonville in 2012. “He’s definitely a hard worker,” Ross said. “I think he’s a player that knows the game. I think he’s a really smart player. With that combination, I think we’re getting a great player. I did (enjoy playing with him). He was easy to play with, very coachable and he picks up on the defense really well. He works really hard. He’s one of the guys that improve day to day.”
Marc Ross Promoted to Vice President of Player Evaluation: The Giants announced on Thursday that they have promoted Marc Ross to Vice President of Player Evaluation. He had been the Director of College Scouting.
“Marc has done an outstanding job of running our college scouting and the draft, and we wanted to give him a title that reflected that,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He will continue to do that, but I also want him to work on some special projects in pro personnel along with pro personnel director Ken Sternfeld.”
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Press Conference: The transcript and video of today’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.
Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of today’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin commented on a few specific players yesterday:
WR Brandon Collins: “Collins has made a couple of plays over the last couple of days.”
WR Louis Murphy: “(Murphy and El Manning have) made quite a few plays. They really have. When the receivers are on the same page and he’s very confident that they’re going to maneuver according to the way they’re supposed to and he’s been very, very sharp and he and Murphy have made some plays…(Murphy has) done a good job of (picking up the offense). “
TE Bear Pascoe: “We’re very confident that Bear, no matter what role we place him in, he does an outstanding job. We’re very sorry about Henry’s (Hynoski) injury. Henry’s a very optimistic young man. A day after he had the surgery he had three rehabs, so he’s ready to go. He’s trying to get ready to go and Bear has had opportunities to play in that spot, the B-Tight End and the Y-Tight End and he’s always done a nice job. He’s a guy that will learn it and he’ll be very much into what’s happening.”
DE Damontre Moore: “(Moore) has shown some good ability to get off on the snap.”
QB Eli Manning on WR Louis Murphy: “He’s come in and worked really hard. Back in early April, going over to Duke and working those days and learning the offense and asking questions and being here in the offseason, being there for routes and trying to pick up everything in this offense and so he’s got talent. He can really run, he can stretch the field and he’s got the desire and the commitment to be a good player and to bring another threat to this offense.”
Offseason Breakdown: New York Giants Wide Receivers (Part I)
Everyone knows that the New York Giants two studs at wide receiver are Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. But there has been a changing of the guard behind these two each of the last two seasons. In 2011, the #3 receiver on this team was Mario Manningham. That season, Manningham had 39 receptions behind Cruz (82 catches) and Nicks (76 catches). In 2012, Cruz (86 catches) and Nicks (53 catches) still led the way again despite Nicks’ injury woes. Interestingly, Domenik Hixon had the same number of receptions as the #3 receiver as did Manningham the year before with 39.
Manningham (free agent to 49ers in 2012) and Hixon (free agent to Panthers in 2013) are gone. The leading contenders to replace Hixon as the #3 wideout are Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, and Louis Murphy.
Randle, the team’s second-round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, is probably the favorite to win the job. Randle had only 19 receptions for 298 yards and three touchdowns his rookie season. His best games were against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5 (six catches for 82 yards) and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 (four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns). But Randle, who just turned 22 in May, has an excellent combination of size, athletic ability, and hands. Randle is not a burner, but he is fluid and smooth with just enough speed to threaten a defense vertically down the field. In that regard, he’s similar to Nicks. Like most young players, Randle needs to continue to improve his route-running and realize that professional football is indeed a serious business that requires a heightened level of commitment.
With Nicks recovering from offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Randle has been getting work with the first team.
“It’s a lot better to get a feel for how things are going to be,” Randle said of lining up with the first team. “You get on the same page with Eli, so it’s a fun thing. But also it’s work. You’ve got to continue to go out there and get better and just do the best you can. I’m a lot better than where I was last year. I’m a lot more comfortable with what I have to do and understanding the offense. I’m out there playing a lot faster and making a lot more plays.”
With Cruz still unsigned, Jerrel Jernigan has also been getting reps with the first team. Jernigan was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. Because Jernigan is diminutive in size (5-8, 189lbs) and has been unproductive in his first two seasons (three catches total), he has drawn unfavorable comparisons by Giants fans to a previous draft bust, Sinorice Moss. Jernigan does lack size, but he is a quick, fluid athlete. In college, Jernigan was an extremely productive receiver who was dangerous with the football after the catch.
Jerngian’s development may have been hampered by his college offense at Troy. Receivers in spread offenses usually do not run the full route tree so it was a much bigger mental jump for Jerngian than it was for Randle. Regardless, the Giants are expecting Jernigan to step it up in 2013. Right now, he’s the number one back-up in the slot position behind Cruz.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Jerrel Jernigan and what he can do inside,” said Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride this month. “I think it’s about time that he steps up and I think we feel he has enough ability and he’s been here now long enough. Until Victor (Cruz) gets back, he’ll be the main guy inside at the slot position. It’s a chance for him to shine and step forward and do the things that we believe he can do…It’s going to be a great opportunity for him.”
“Jerrel’s also got to be able to help us,” said QB Eli Manning. “He has speed, he has skills, been in the system now a number of years so hopefully he can step up and fill a role for us.”
“I’ve been here three years,” said Jernigan. “I know the offense and it’s time for me to go out there and make some plays and contribute to my team… My confidence is always high. I never get down on myself. No matter what any article says, I still know what I can do.”
Louis Murphy was signed by the Giants as an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers in March 2013. Murphy was originally drafted in the 4th round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders traded Murphy to the Panthers in July 2012. In four NFL seasons, Murphy has played in 57 games with 24 starts. In 2012, Murphy played in all 16 games with five starts with the Panthers. He finished the season with 25 catches for 336 yards and one touchdown.
Murphy has good size for a receiver (6-2, 200lbs) and he is a deep threat with very good speed. The knock on him has been his inconsistent hands.
“I think he’s gonna add another dimension to our offense,” said General Manager Jerry Reese back in March. “We have a scout named Jeremiah Davis and he talks about guys being a knife. This guy is a knife. This guy can take the top off your defense. He’s an interesting guy. He gives us a different dimension in our offense. If we have the same guys, if we have Nicks back healthy and we have Cruz back this guy gives you a deep threat that we haven’t had. We haven’t had a guy who can run like this guy.”
In the first Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice, Murphy showed off that speed by getting behind the defense and catching a 50-yard touchdown pass from Manning. “That’s what I like to do,” said Murphy. “I can do a lot of things. I can go inside, play outside. I can do it all. But they do like to stretch the field and I like doing that.”
Barring injury or the unforeseen, Randle, Jernigan, and Murphy should all make the 53-man roster. But which of the three is going to see the most playing time during the 2013 regular season? The competition for the #3 spot has already begun and will reach its climax in training camp and the preseason in August.
(Part II of the wide receiver preview will focus on Ramses Barden, Brandon Collins, Kevin Hardy, Kris Adams, and Jeremy Horne).