Jan 272015
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (May 8, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Perhaps the two biggest story lines of the 2014 season for the New York Giants were at the wide receiver position. First came the devastating knee injury to Victor Cruz in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 5. Cruz was lost for the final 11 games of the season and it remains to be seen if he will ever return to his pre-injury form.

“It is a significant injury that he has,” said General Manager Jerry Reese after the season. “You never know how he is going to come back from that. We are hoping that he is definitely going to come back and be the Victor Cruz that we know. You never know with the significant injury he had. We are hopeful that he will come back and be the Victor Cruz that we like, but you never know.”

The other major story line was the rapid emergence of Odell Beckham as an NFL superstar. The irony is that Cruz and Beckham only played one game together in 2014, and that was the game Cruz got injured. Beckham had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history, and he did so in only 12 games, and playing with significant hamstring tears. Indeed, Beckham became the only reason many Giants fans looked forward to tuning in in what otherwise was a very disappointing 6-10 season. Right or wrong, his performance may also have saved Tom Coughlin’s job as one wonders what the Giants’ record would have been without him.

Aside from these two headliners, while Rueben Randle came on strong late, he did not have the type of season expected or hoped for, and the former 2nd rounder remains frustratingly inconsistent. Jerrel Jernigan, who came on very strong at the end of the 2013 NFL season, reverted back to his old disappointing form and was placed on IR after only two games. Preston Parker not only surprisingly made the team but became the new #3 receiver after Cruz was lost. Corey Washington was a preseason star who was little-used once the real bullets started flying.

In the end, it was Beckham and not much else at the crucial wide receiver spot. Other teams knew that too and still could not stop Beckham.

THE HEADLINERS

Despite missing virtually all of training camp, the entire preseason, and the first four games of the regular season with hamstring tears, Odell Beckham, Jr. had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history in 2014. Beckham finished the season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, all franchise rookie records. He also set a franchise record and NFL rookie record averaging 108.8 yards per game. Beckham set NFL records for most catches and yards in the first 12 games to start a career and tied an NFL record for with at least 90 receiving yards in nine consecutive games. He was voted first-alternate to the Pro Bowl and played in the game. He was also voted Pro Football Writers of America “Rookie of the Year.” Beckham was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. While Beckham lacks classic size, his long arms, big hands, and jumping ability give him a very good catch radius. Beckham is a tremendous athlete with excellent speed, quickness, and agility. Explosive. For such a young player, he can already play multiple positions and runs good routes. Beckham is very quick out of his breaks, adjusts exceptionally well to the football, and regularly makes the circus catch. He is dangerous with the football in his hand after the catch. Competitive, smart, and hard working. Beckham also was a very dangerous return man in college. He averaged 8.1 yards per punt return with the Giants in 2014.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants (October 12, 2014)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Victor Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve after tearing the patella tendon in his right knee in October 2014 and it remains to be seen if Cruz can completely regain his pre-injury physical ability. Cruz finished the 2014 season with 23 catches for 337 yards and one touchdown in six starts. Signed as a rookie free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft, the rags-to-riches Victor Cruz story is well known, culminating with his impact season in 2011, first Pro Bowl in 2012, and big offseason contract in 2013. In 2011-2012, he compiled 168 catches for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns. However, in 2013 Cruz had his least productive season since becoming a starter in 2011. He also missed the last two games of the 2013 season with concussion and knee injuries – the left knee requiring arthroscopic surgery. Cruz has ordinary size and timed speed. However, he has very good quickness and plays faster than he times. Cruz reads coverages well, runs good routes, and has a good understanding of how to get open against both zone and man coverage. Cruz has good hands and is capable of making the circus catch, though he sometimes will drop the easy reception. He is elusive after the catch and usually isn’t caught from behind. Cruz is a hard worker. He can play outside, but has really developed into one of the NFL’s better slot receivers.

THE OTHERS

Rueben Randle, New York Giants (December 14, 2014)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Rueben Randle, a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, remains an inconsistent performer. But he had his best season in 2014, catching 71 passes for 938 yards and three touchdowns. He played in all 16 games with 13 starts with his two best games coming at the end of the season. Randle was benched for the first quarter of two games for disciplinary reasons. Randle has a nice combination of size and athletic ability, and he has flashed play-making skills as a vertical receiver. While Randle is not a burner, he is fluid and smooth with good foot quickness and acceleration for a big receiver. He needs to improve his ability to read defenses and improve his route-running. Randle adjusts well to the football in the air and has good hands. Most of all, he needs to become a more consistently reliable performer so his quarterback can trust him. Randle can also return punts, averaging 7.8 yards per return in 2012-13.

Preston Parker, New York Giants (September 14, 2014)

Preston Parker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

An afterthought by many when the Giants signed him to a reserve/future contract in January 2014, Preston Parker became the team’s primary slot receiver after Victor Cruz was lost for the season. Parker played in all 16 games with seven starts. He finished 2014 with 36 catches for 418 yards and two touchdowns. Parker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2010 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers waived him in September 2012. He was with the Saints in training camp in 2013 but he did not play that season. While Parker lacks ideal size and speed, he is a decent athlete with good quickness and hands. Parker needs to be a more consistent performer. He returned both punts (6.6 yard average) and kickoffs (24.2 yard average) for the Giants in 2014.

The Giants signed Kevin Ogletree in October 2014. He played in seven games, but only caught five passes for 50 yards. Ogletree was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2009-12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013), and Detroit Lions (2013-14). The Lions waived Olgetree in September. In six NFL season, Olgetree has played in 69 games with four starts. He has 83 career receptions for 1,049 yards and six touchdowns – two of which he scored against the Giants in the 2012 opener as a Cowboy. Ogletree has decent size, athletic ability, and hands.

Corey Washington, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Corey Washington – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Giants claimed Corey Washington off of waivers from the Arizona Cardinals in May 2014. He was a preseason standout for the Giants, catching 10 passes for 155 yards and four touchdowns. While he played in 14 games in 2014, he seldom saw the field and finished the year with five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Washington originally signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. Washington played at Division-II Newberry College. Washington combines excellent size, overall athleticism, and speed. However, given his small-school background, he is very raw and needs a lot of development.

Jerrel Jernigan was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with a mid-foot sprain. He played in two games and finished the season with only one catch for six yards. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants, Jernigan had a coming out party late in the 2013 season. In his first two years with the Giants, Jernigan played in 17 games and had a grand total of three catches for 22 yards. Through Week 14 of 2013, Jernigan had “amassed” 10 catches for 92 yards. Then in Weeks 15-17, Jernigan exploded with 19 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns in addition to carrying the ball twice for 57 yards and a touchdown. However, Jernigan did not really flash during the 2014 training camp or preseason. Jernigan lacks size, but he is a quick, fluid athlete with good speed. He is better suited to the slot position than outside. Jernigan also returns kickoffs, averaging 23.4 yards per return in his first three seasons on 21 returns.

Marcus Harris was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2014 with a hip injury that required surgery on his labrum. Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Detroit Lions after the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent time on Detroit’s Practice Squad in 2011, but the Lions waived him in July 2012. The Titans signed him in August 2012 but waived him a few weeks later. Before the NFL season started in 2013, Harris played in the Arena League caught 94 passes for 1,223 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Giants signed Harris as a street free agent in August 2013 and he spent most of the season on the team’s Practice Squad. Harris has a decent size-speed combination. He flashed with the Giants during training camp and the preseason in 2014, even earning time with the first-team offense, before being played on Injured Reserve.

Julian Talley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2012 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but the Giants brought him back for another go in 2013 and 2014. Talley spent most of the 2013 and 2014 seasons on the team’s Practice Squad, although he did play in two games each season. He does not yet have an NFL catch. Talley is a tall, thin receiver with good overall athletic ability. He lacks ideal speed, but is smooth and fluid with decent hands.

Juron Criner was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2014. Criner was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders waived him on August 26. In 13 games with the Raiders, Criner has caught 19 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. He is a big receiver with good overall athleticism, but he needs to develop better technique and consistency.

Chris Harper was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2014. Harper was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Harper did not make the team but spent time with the 49ers (2013) and Packers (2013-14). Harper played in four games with the Packers in 2013 and was cut by the team in August. Harper has a nice combination of size and athletic ability. He is a tough, physical receiver with good speed and hands.

Aug 262014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants made 15 roster moves on Tuesday in order to each the NFL roster limit of 75 players.

The Giants placed safety Cooper Taylor (foot) and wide receiver Marcus Harris (hip) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Taylor is expected to undergo surgery to repair the sesamoid bone in his foot. Harris will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his hip. (Oddly, Harris’ injury had previously been described as a shoulder injury).

The Giants waived/injured linebacker Justin Anderson (hamstring) and defensive end Emmanuel Dieke (knee).

Lastly, the Giants waived the following 11 players:

  • WR Travis Harvey
  • TE Xavier Grimble (injury settlement)
  • TE Jerome Cunningham
  • OG John Sullen
  • DT Everett Dawkins
  • LB Spencer Adkins
  • CB Charles James
  • CB Ross Weaver
  • S C.J. Barnett
  • S Kyle Sebetic
  • PK Brandon McManus

(UPDATE: In a late move, the Giants have reportedly traded Brandon McManus to the Denver Broncos for a conditional draft pick, reportedly conditional 7th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft).

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

The final cuts to the 53-man roster must be made by 4:00PM on Saturday, August 30th, the day after the Giants-Patriots preseason finale.

Aug 232014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 23, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Four New York Giants were injured in the team’s 35-24 victory over the New York Jets on Friday night: OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), WR Marcus Harris (shoulder), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), and CB Zack Bowman (arm).

The injury to Schwartz is serious. According to press reports, his dislocated big right toe has been examined or will be examined by a number of specialists. The most optimistic scenario is that he could be out 4-6 weeks; the worst-case scenario is he will need surgery and will miss the entire season.

Harris’ should injury could also be severe enough to cause the Giants to place the upstart talent on Injured Reserve or waived/injured.

“The Schwartz injury, the Harris injury, those are injuries that are going to be a long while, probably,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Saturday. “Then we got Markus Kuhn with a little bit of an ankle sprain that may hobble him this week, which I am disappointed if that is the case. Quite frankly, I wanted to have the chance for Markus to be able to finish strong here in the preseason based on not being able to go last year… The Bowman injury, I hope is not much, but the disappointment of losing the two players for some length of time is not what preseason is about.”

“We don’t want to lose anybody and losing Geoff is, as I said, a major disappointment,” said Coughlin. “Let’s not jump to conclusions, let’s see what happens when the evaluation is completed as to what the length of time is involved.”

August 23, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript from Sunday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at BigBlueInteractive.com.

August 22, 2014 Tom Coughlin Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference on Friday night are available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Post-Game Player Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of the post-game media Q&As on Friday night with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Aug 232014
 
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Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Geoff Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

There was so much promise shown in the New York Giants 35-24 victory over the New York Jets Friday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Eli Manning was completing passes and Victor Cruz was catching them. The offense was looking like, well, an offense and second-year pro defensive end Damontre Moore was getting after the quarterback. But with the strides the team took forward, there were two big steps back.

Training camp hero wide receiver Marcus Harris left the game midway through the second quarter and headed to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Shortly after, starting left guard Geoff Schwartz was carted off of the field.

Tests confirmed some of the Giants’ fears. Harris suffered an injury to the AC joint injury in his shoulder and will be sidelined at least three-to-four weeks. Schwartz dislocated his big toe. Both players will have MRIs tomorrow to determine a more detailed analysis of their injuries. Both players could be out weeks, months, or the season depending on if there is structural damage.

“We got a couple of guys hurt tonight and that’s very upsetting,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

When asked how serious the injury was to Schwartz, Coughlin responded, “Pretty serious. Hard to play with a toe that’s not functioning.”

“I’m not worried about anything, you just pray about it,” Harris said. “It’s football, injuries occur, you know? It just happened to be me today.”

Marcus Harris, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Harris injured himself on a screen pass, his only reception of the game. After catching the pass, Harris attempted to stiff-arm a defender. When he did, a second defender came in from behind and wrapped him up and brought Harris to the ground. Because his arms were constrained, Harris was unable to brace himself for the hit and landed directly on his shoulder.

The second-year pro was in noticeable pain after the game. He had a brace on his arm and was walking gingerly around the Giants locker room. While Schwartz has his roster spot all but locked up, Harris has been fighting for a position on the Giants final 53-man roster. In a positional group that’s already deep and featuring names such as Corey Washington, Jerrel Jernigan and Preston Parker, Harris’ injury will likely keep him out for the season opener versus the Detroit Lions.

If healthy, Harris would be a logical choice. He can play outside, the slot and special teams. Now? That position is up in the air.

“I think I’ve done enough this summer,” Harris said. “Hopefully (The Giants) feel the same and keep me around.”

While Schwartz is in no jeopardy of getting cut, his injury puts another question mark on an offensive line that is filled with them. In Schwartz’s absence, rookie second-round pick Weston Richburg filled in. If Richburg replaces Schwartz in his absence, which is expected, lining up next to him will be Will Beatty, a player who’s recovering from a fractured leg. To the right? J.D. Walton, a player who hasn’t played in a regular season game in over a year.

At right guard is Brandon Mosley, a player with one career start. Next to him? Justin Pugh, a second-year pro who has struggled a bit this preseason.

The questions keep mounting…and the season keeps getting closer.

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

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

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

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

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

Aug 192014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

August 19, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Tuesday were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), and S Cooper Taylor (foot).

Beckham clearly injured or re-injured himself in practice on Monday. He pulled up after catching a pass and then did not return for any of the remaining drills. On Monday, the team said he left practice not because of the hamstring that has caused him to miss most of the offseason practices but because he was hit on the back of the leg. Now the Giants are saying the hamstring is “sore.”

Team officials continue to insist that Beckham did not re-injure the hamstring despite the fact that he did not practice on Tuesday and has now been ruled out of the game against the New York Jets on Friday. Last week, both Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Beckham said the receiver would likely play against the Jets. Beckham has yet to play in a preseason game.

“No, I don’t think Beckham hurt himself,” said Coughlin on Tuesday. “He was sore this morning. You people saw (what happened in practice yesterday) before I even did. I didn’t even realize he… because the last play, one of the last plays of practice yesterday, he caught a pass and ran down the sideline and looked pretty darn good. But he evidentially was sore this morning. They don’t feel like it’s a re-injury but they’re going to continue to be cautious if that’s what it takes. They’re saying no setback. That’s kind of where we are on it.”

“We have progressively built up my workload,” Beckham said in a statement released by the team. “I was sore this morning, and I didn’t work today because we didn’t want a setback, and I don’t consider this a setback. I see it as another step in getting back to full strength.”

August 19, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Tuesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

August 19, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo stay calm behind closed doors about Giants offensive struggles by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Ryan Nassib making case for No. 2 Quarterback by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Beckham sits, Harris continues to excel by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on the New York Giants and Training Camp: Giants owner John Mara expects changes at next year’s training camp by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Aug 092014
 
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Jacquian Williams, New York Giants (July 27, 2012)

Jacquian Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning embraces major change in Giants QB preparation by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on WR Marcus Harris:

Article on WR Corey Washington: Giants receiver has plenty of motivation by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Ends:

Article on LB Jacquian Williams: NY Giants LB Jacquian Williams ready to take next step toward being an every-down player by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Articles on New York Giants Cornerbacks:

New York Giants Training Camp Sights and Sounds Video: A sights and sounds video from training camp is available at Giants.com.

Aug 072014
 
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BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, original-content articles from BBI today:

Peyton Hillis, New York Giants (December 1, 2013)

Peyton Hillis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 7, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Thursday were RB Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), TE Daniel Fells (knee), DT Mike Patterson (shoulder), DT Kelcy Quarles (ankle), and LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot).

The Giants have already ruled out Beckham playing in Saturday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“(Beckham) is getting better,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “The (training staff) is doing a lot with him, and I think he is responding pretty well the next day. He is not that sore. I think he is close.”

“I can definitely plant, I can do all that,” Beckham said. “I don’t feel like I can reach top, top speed. Just kind of holding off, trying to get some more strength, then we will be ready to go. I feel a lot better. It is kind of one of those things where you could wake up sore, wake up feeling good. It’s a day-by-day thing, so I am just taking my time on it.”

Quarles, LT Will Beatty (coming off of a fractured leg), and CB Trumaine McBride (coming off of offseason hip surgery) will also not play against the Steelers.

August 7, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s press conferences with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

August 7, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 Takeaways from Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

New York Giants Practice Report: Giants training camp report: More of the same as QB’s throw endless string of interceptions by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Giants RB Rashad Jennings in a rush to cash in on opportunity by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on New York Giants Wide Receivers: Victor Cruz becomes mentor to undrafted WRs by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on DE Mathias Kiwanuka: Mathias Kiwanuka could be a Giants key by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on New York Giants Linebackers: Linebackers have Giants feeling good by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on CB Trumaine McBride: McBride the unsung hero of Giants’ CBs by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Jul 272014
 
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New York Giants Training Camp (July 27, 2014)

New York Giants Training Camp – Photo by Connor Hughes

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

July 27, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (leg), and TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring) did not practice.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if it was a little disappointing that Beckham has not practiced yet at camp. “It’s more than that,” replied Coughlin. “You’re trying to put a team together. We saw too much of that in the spring. It’d be nice to get him back practicing. He actually looks pretty good moving around, catching the ball, not favoring anything. I’m just hoping it’s a real short amount of time.”

“(The trainers are) not going to let him go if he’s in the danger of hurting himself,” said Coughlin. “That’s all there is to it. I can stand there and fight all I want, but it’s not going to happen. When they feel he can go and not risk any recurring injury, they’ll let him go…I think there has been (some improvement).”

Coughlin on Holliday: “He did something catching a punt. Hopefully, it’s not much.”

Coughlin on Grimble: “Minor hamstring strain a couple of days ago.”

July 27, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Sunday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

July 27, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Sunday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 things we found out during media hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

New York Giants Practice Reports:

Article on New York Giants Training Camp: Giants put on the pads; Linemen talk benefits by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Ryan Nassib expected growing pains, eventual improvement at Giants training camp by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on New York Giants Running Backs:

Articles on the New York Giants and the Fullback Position:

Article on the New York Giants Linebackers: Linebackers becoming a Big Blue strength by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on Former Giants DE Michael Strahan: Move to left end early in his career set Michael Strahan on a path to the Hall of Fame by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Place Kicking Competition: Giants’ kicker battle: ‘No Tonya Hardings’ by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Jul 272014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Marcus Harris has been impressive at Giants’ camp – © USA TODAY Sports Images

It’s a scenario that played out over and over again during New York’s first organized team activity. One of the Giants’ quarterbacks would drop back, scan the field and fire a pass to an intended wide receiver.

Over and over again, that receiver was No. 18. Instantaneously, media would break out the roster and check twice before putting a name to a numeral.

During mini-camp and now training camp, that same No. 18 continues to flash, making reception after reception. If it hits his hands, it’s a catch. The way Marcus Harris sees it, that’s exactly how it has to be.

“Every opportunity I get, I’m just trying to capitalize,” Harris said. “I know I’m not Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle or Odell (Beckham Jr.). I’m just trying to be a spark for the team.”

And he continues to do just that.

While offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo continues the installation of his new West Coast Offense, the Giants continue their growing pains learning their first new offense in seven years. While at times what’s displayed on the field is difficult to watch, Harris has been a consistent bright spot.

There have been no drops. When Harris runs a route, he’s usually open. Despite this being just his second season of professional football, he feels he has a firm grasp on the playbook. After all, it’s similar to the offense he ran his senior year at Murray State.

Eli Manning has connected with the 24-year-old countless times, as has Ryan Nassib. But it’s the one player that will most likely never throw him a pass that Harris says is the biggest connection he’s made thus far.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz made the Giants’ roster as an undrafted rookie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

When the undrafted Harris showed up to Giants’ training camp last year, formerly undrafted Victor Cruz was the first to reach out. The Giants’ Pro-Bowl receiver told Harris to keep working, make plays when the opportunity is there and to do whatever it takes. Harris has followed the advice to a T.

“I felt so relaxed around him and latched on to him,” Harris said. “I look up to him as a role model with what he went through. Being undrafted, it’s tough. It’s not easy and it’s not going to be. I look up to how he fought and how he didn’t care he went undrafted.”

On the practice field, Harris is having a very Cruz-like impact on the Giants, something he credits to his time spent in the Arena Football League. After failing to make the Giants 53-man roster at the end of last year’s camp, Harris signed with the Iowa Barnstormers.

‘Soups,’ a nickname given to Harris by Philadelphia Eagles’ receiver Jeremy Maclin, finished the year with 94 receptions for 1,223 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also had 1,200 return yards. Going from the NFL, to the AFL, back to the NFL made the game slow down for Harris. Not only that, but he picked up a few tips and tricks along the way.

“Leverage, always attack the defensive back’s leverage,” Harris said. “I learned that in the AFL and I use it all the time here. Even though it’s the AFL and that’s a different kind of football, you can still translate it back to the NFL.

“I know if it’s a post route, I attack the inside leverage. If it’s a corner route, I attack the outside leverage. It kinda helped me out big time when I came back to the NFL.”

Harris knows that he, similar to Victor Cruz in 2010, faces a steep climb if he hopes to make the Giants’ roster. Cruz had a three-touchdown nationally televised preseason performance to help his cause. Harris’ first prime-time showing will be this Sunday’s Hall of Fame game.

There’s also the numbers game. Cruz, Randle, Beckham Jr. and Jerrel Jernigan are all but locks to make the Giants’ roster. Harris, Super Bowl-hero Mario Manningham, Trindon Holiday and Corey Washington are all competing for two spots.

If Harris is cut and clears waivers, he’s still eligible for the Giants’ practice squad, but that’s not good enough anymore.

“I was on the practice squad last year,” Harris said. “I don’t plan on being on it this year.”