Dec 112017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (October 10, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports

ROSTER MOVES
The New York Giants placed wide receiver Darius Powe on Injured Reserve on Monday. Powe broke his foot during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys in his NFL debut. The Giants originally signed Powe as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft and he spent the 2016 season on the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants added him to the Practice Squad again in October of this year and signed him to the 53-man roster last week.

The Giants also waived defensive tackle Khyri Thornton, who the team signed in late November after he was cut by the Detroit Lions.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos signed tight end Matt LaCosse off of the Giants’ Practice Squad. LaCosse played in three games this season. He was released in November and then signed to the Practice Squad. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of linebacker Trevor Bates, who the team signed to the Practice Squad in late October 2017. Bates was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’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:

LANDON COLLINS ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Monday’s ESPN Radio interview with New York Giants safety Landon Collins is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no scheduled media availability the New York Giants on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nov 142017
 
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Keenan Robinson, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Keenan Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports

KEENAN ROBINSON PLACED ON IR AND OTHER ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants placed linebacker Keenan Robinson on Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Robinson suffered a quad injury in the game against the Los Angeles Rams on October 5th. The Giants also waived wide receiver/returner Ed Eagan and defensive end Devin Taylor.

To fill those three roster vacancies, the Giants signed free agents offensive guard John Greco and linebacker Akeem Ayers, and promoted wide receiver/returner Kalif Raymond from the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed tight end Matt LaCosse and Nick Becton to the Practice Squad.

The injury-prone Robinson played in six games this season with three starts and had 32 tackles. He missed the season’s first two games with a concussion.

Eagan was signed to the Practice Squad in September and the 53-man roster in October. The 5’11’, 183-pound Eagan was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Buffalo Bills. The Giants signed Eagan in August 2017.

The Giants signed Taylor in late October 2017. He had signed with the team in May 2017 but was cut in early September. Taylor was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

The 32-year old, 6’4”, 318-pound Greco was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2008-2010), Cleveland Browns (2011-2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). Greco has started 70 of the 111 regular-season games he has played in, including starts at right guard (45), left guard (24), and center (1).

The 28-year old, 6’3”, 247-pound Ayers was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. He has spent time with the Titans (2011-2014), New England Patriots (2014), St. Louis Rams (2015), and Indianapolis Colts (2016). Ayers has started 57 of the 91 regular-season games he has played in, with 15.5 sacks, four interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

Raymond was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2017. The 5’9”, 160-pound Raymond was originally signed by the Denver Broncos after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with both the Broncos (2016) and New York Jets (2017). Raymond has played in six NFL games. The diminutive Raymond has not caught a pass, but he has returned nine kickoffs (24.7 yards per return) and 16 punts (9.3 yards per return).

LaCosse played in three games this season for the Giants with one start. The team waived him on Saturday to make room for fullback Shane Smith. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games in 2015 and finished with three catches for 22 yards. The Giants waived/injured Matt LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery. LaCosse is a versatile player who played tight end, H-Back, and fullback in college. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

The 6’6”, 322-pound Becton  was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He has spent time with the Chargers (2013), Giants (2014), New Orleans Saints (2014), Chicago Bears (2015-2016), Detroit Lions (2017), and Kansas City Chiefs (2017). Becton has played in six regular-season games with no starts.

NOTES…
The Giants have allowed a receiving touchdown to an opposing tight end in 10 consecutive games dating back to last year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak in NFL history.

In their last two games, the Giants gave up touchdown passes of 52 and 67 yards to the Rams, and 47 and 83 yards to the 49ers. It is the first time in their history they allowed two touchdown passes of at least 47 yards in back-to-back games.

This season, the Giants have held just one opponent to less than 100 rushing yards; Denver ran for 46 yards on October 15. Not coincidentally, that was the Giants’ lone victory.

ARTICLES…

Nov 122017
 
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SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 21…
It keeps getting worse and worse. The shit-show that is your 2017 New York Giants were soundly defeated 31-21 by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a game that was not as close as the final score. The 49ers were 0-9 coming into the game widely-regarded as vying with the Cleveland Browns for the title of “worst team in football.” That honor may now belong the 1-8 New York Giants.

Entering the game, the 49ers easily had one of the NFL’s most anemic and inept offenses, scoring just 13 touchdowns on the season. The 49ers put 31 points on the scoreboard against Giants with 474 total net yards, including 186 yards rushing. The first 49ers’ punt in the game came with just over five minutes to play in the contest. For the second game in a row, the defense did not sack the quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ offensive totals look more impressive than they really were, as the Giants had a garbage-time, 15-play, 90-yard drive on their final possession that resulted in a touchdown and 2-point conversion. Up until that point, the Giants’ offense had only generated 13 points, 14 first downs, and 269 net yards.

The 49ers started the game at the Giants’ 40-yard line after place kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked the opening kickoff out of bounds. San Francisco only needed five plays and 35 yards to set up a successful 35-yard field goal. The Giants responded with a 10-play, 46-yard effort that resulted in a 47-yard field goal by Rosas. The Giants then got the ball back when the defense held the 49ers on 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ 36-yard line. New York picked up 40 yards in six plays to set up another field goal by Rosas, this one from 42 yards out. Giants 6 – 49ers 3.

Things got sloppy early in the second quarter. Safety Andrew Adams forced a fumble after a short pass that was recovered by linebacker Curtis Grant at the Giants’ 46-yard line. But three plays later, the Giants gave the ball right back to the 49ers as quarterback Eli Manning was sacked and he fumbled the ball away. Three plays after that, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard threw a 83-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on 3rd-and-8 as San Francisco went up 10-6.

The Giants responded with their best drive of the game, moving 75 yards in 10 plays as Manning found tight end Evan Engram for a 9-yard score. The Giants were back on top 13-10. That didn’t last long as the 49ers quickly marched 76 yards in six plays, with Beathard connecting with tight end Garrett Celek for a 47-yard catch-and-run for the score with 28 seconds left before halftime. San Francisco was ahead for good, 17-13.

The Giants moved the ball on their opening possession of the 3rd quarter, driving 59 yards in 11 plays. However, that went all for naught when Rosas missed a 34-yard field goal. The Giants got the ball back when defensive end Olivier Vernon intercepted a pass at the New York 25-yard line. But the Giants couldn’t move the ball and punted. The 49ers then pretty much put the game away with an 11-play, 61-yard drive that culminated with an 11-yard touchdown run by Beathard on 3rd-and-2 on the first play of the 4th quarter. The 49ers now led 24-13. The game got out of hand with another New York punt followed by another San Francisco scoring drive with running back Matt Breida running it in from 33 yards out. 49ers 31 – Giants 13.

Both teams exchanged punts before the aforementioned 15-play, 90-yard, garbage-time drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Roger Lewis with just over a minute to play. Running back Orleans Darkwa rushed for the 2-point conversion. The contest was over after the failed onside kick.

Manning finished the game 28-of-37 for 273 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He did fumble the football away once again however. Manning’s leading receiver was wideout Sterling Shepard who caught 11 plays for 142 yards. Darkwa rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries.

While the Giants defense forced two turnovers, they accrued no sacks and barely put any pressure on the rookie quarterback. The defense allowed almost 500 yards of offense, including almost 200 rushing yards.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), linebacker Devon Kennard (quad), linebacker Keenan Robinson (quad), cornerback Donte Deayon (ankle), wide receiver Travis Rudolph, offensive tackle Chad Wheeler, and quarterback Davis Webb.

Right tackle Justin Pugh (back), right guard D.J. Fluker (knee, returned), linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (groin), and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (ankle) all left the game with injuries.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants signed fullback Shane Smith from the Practice Squad on Saturday. To make room for Smith, the team waived tight end Matt LaCosse.

Although not officially announced, it appears the New York Giants have re-signed defensive end Jordan Williams to the Practice Squad and waived defensive end Nordly “Cap” Capi from Injured Reserve.

Smith began 2017 on the team’s 53-man roster but was waived and signed to the Practice Squad in late September. Smith was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards. The Giants waived/injured Matt LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery.

Williams began the 2017 season on the Giants Practice Squad and was added to the 53-man roster on November 1st and waived six days later. Williams was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2015) and Miami Dolphins (2015-2016). The Giants signed Williams to the Practice Squad in December 2016.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • LB Jonathan Casillas (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Aug 312017
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (August 31, 2017)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 40 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 38…
The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 40-38 on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants – who blew a 34-14 first-half lead – won the game with no time remaining on place kicker Aldrick Rosas’ 48-yard field goal. The Giants finished the preseason 2-2.

The Giants and Patriots treated the game more like a scrimmage. Only one of the Giants’ projected 22 starters played in the game: safety Darian Thompson.

The starting offense consisted of quarterback Geno Smith; running back Orleans Darkwa; fullback Shane Smith; wide receivers Roger Lewis, Jr. and Travis Rudolph; tight end Will Tye; and offensive linemen Chad Wheeler, Jon Halapio, Brett Jones, D.J. Fluker, and Adam Bisnowaty.

The starters on defense were ends Kerry Wynn and Devin Taylor; defensive tackles Robert Thomas and Josh Banks; linebackers Romero Okwara, Calvin Munson, and J.T. Thomas; cornerbacks Donte Deayon and Nigel Tribune; and safeties Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams.

On the second offensive snap to start the game, Tye fumbled the ball away to New England after a short reception. Six plays later, on 3rd-and-6, Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Giants back-ups responded with an impressive drive against the Patriots back-ups, moving the ball 75 yards in eight plays and culminating with a Smith 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. On New England’s very next offensive snap, Wynn intercepted Brissett’s pass and returned it 15 yards four a touchdown. Giants 14 – Patriots 7.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Giants put together another long drive, going 74 yards in 14 plays. However, this time New York had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Rosas. New England responded with a quick 5-play, 75-yard effort that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass. Giants 17 – Patriots 14.

Back came the Giants with another 14-play, 74-yard effort. But unlike the preceding New York drive, this one resulted in a touchdown as running back Shaun Draughn scored from one yard out. On the first offensive play of the Patriots ensuing drive, linebacker J.T. Thomas forced a fumble that fellow linebacker Stansly Maponga recovered at the New England 27-yard line. Quarterback Josh Johnson then hit Tye for a 24-yard gain. Two plays later he found LaCosse for the tight end’s second score of the contest. Giants 31 – Patriots 14.

The Giants forced a three-and-out. New York got the ball back near mid-field with 30 seconds left. Johnson found wide receiver Travis Rudolph for 27 yards, helping to set up Rosas from 31 yards out. At the half, the Giants led 34-14.

After picking up one first down, the Patriots were forced to punt to start the third quarter. The Giants drove from their own 23-yard line to the Pats 27-yard line, but on 4th-and-1, running back Wayne Gallman was nailed for a 1-yard loss. The Patriots then drove 72 yards in 14 plays to cut the Giants lead to 31-21.

With Davis Webb now at the helm for the Giants, New York responded with a 12-play, 66-yard effort that ended with a 27-yard field goal by Rosas. The Giants were now up 34-21 early in the fourth quarter.

The Giants defensive third- and fourth-teamers could not hold the lead however. New England scored 17 points in the final quarter, including touchdown drives of 9-plays, 79-yards and 12-plays, 87-yards. The Patriots got the ball back at their own 31-yard line with 1:42 left to play. In seven plays, they managed to drive to the New York 37-yard line, setting up what looked to be a game-winning 55-yard field goal with 44 seconds left to play.

After returning the kickoff, the Giants started their last offensive possession at their own 25-yard line with 39 seconds to play. Webb completed 4-of-6 passes for 45 yards to set up Rosas from 48 yards out with four seconds on the clock. Rosas made the kick as time expired.

Offensively, Smith completed 10-of-11 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown, Johnson 11-of-14 for 135 yards and one touchdown, and Webb 8-of-14 for 103 yards. The leading receivers were LaCosse (5 catches for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns), Tye (4 catches for 48 yards), and Rudolph (3 catches for 46 yards). The leading rushers were Draughn (14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown), Orleans Darkwa (6 carries for 40 yards), and Gallman (8 carries for 27 yards).

The Giants only had one sack in the game, by defensive tackle Robert Thomas.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game due to injury were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (sprained knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (burner), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee).

The Giants did not appear to suffer any significant injuries in the game.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

MASSIVE CUT-DOWN DAY ON SATURDAY…
Clubs must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

ARTICLES…

Aug 082017
 
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Avery Moss and Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Avery Moss and Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 8, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their tenth summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), wide receiver Kevin Snead (unknown), offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (unknown), defensive tackle Robert Thomas (“sore”), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), cornerback Mykkele Thompson (quad), and safety Ryan Murphy (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle) and  practiced on a limited basis.

Defensive end Avery Moss (shoulder) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Overcast with some sun shining through late, pleasant temperature. There really has been a variety of temperatures throughout training camp. The team was in full pads today and there was some more pad popping. This team is ready to play Pittsburgh.

Offense Notes:

  • I tried to put as much attention on the fullback Jacob Huesman vs. Shane Smith battle as I could. They don’t get a ton of snaps and there are still plenty of plays where a TE is lined up back there. TE Will Tye probably had the most snaps of all the TEs in the backfield. As for the two FBs, Huesman made a few nice catches on the move. He is a much more twitchy, athletic guy and if that’s what the primary focus is for the position, he is the clear winner. Smith is the mauler, as we have discussed. He caught a TD pass in the flat from Eli. He still looks like the less-natural guy with the ball in his hands but if NYG wants the bruiser and extra run support, he is their guy. If special teams comes in to play with the decision, Huesman may get the nod.
  • OG D.J. Fluker looked a little off today. The questions with him revolve around conditioning and trusting technique. He is such a mammoth of a man but at this level, without the consistent techniques when it comes to pad level, active feet, accurate arm/hand work…he needs to make sure it’s there when he gets tired, late in games.
  • OC Brett Jones plays an admirable style, but his upside is limited. Perhaps limited enough for this team to go in a different direction in favor of OL Adam Gettis. Jones is a guy that won’t get pushed back. He is so strong and always wins the leverage battle but he isn’t really a go-getter, especially in space. Can he reach athletic linebackers. Can he make up for initial positional disadvantages? Can he lock on to pass rushers? Those are my questions with him. Gettis grades out slightly higher athletically.
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty vs OT Chad Wheeler. If I had to pick one right now to move forward with, I am going with Wheeler. NYG will likely hold on to both and I’m not saying you need to pick one right now. I don’t think either will see the field in 2017. But Bisnowaty has long ways to go when it comes to footwork and upper body technique. He was beat badly a few times in pass protection, once by DE Devin Taylor. Wheeler has been impressive. Strong lower body, quality positioning, accurate hands, and he fights. Also gives a solid pop off the ball.
  • RB Khalid Abdullah was one of a few roster hopefuls returning kicks today. He still looks a little unnatural when it comes to catching the ball, a lot of body catching. He also was late to pick up a blitz up the middle at the end of practice, and ended up allowing a sack to Calvin Munson. Big collision and Abdullah got the worst of it.
  • OG John Jerry was very active today, first time I really put the eyeball on him several times. He has the potential to be an elite pass blocking guard. Light feet, long arms, accurate on the move, good blend of patience and aggression. He won every 1-on-1 battle I saw today against the likes of DE Romeo Okwara, DT Jay Bromley, and DT Dalvin Tomlinson.
  • Another day, another impressive (arguably the best of the day) catch by TE Matt LaCosse. How many plays does this kid make until you say, alright we need to give him a shot during the regular season? His eye-hand coordination and ball skills are top notch.
  • Got to see some 1st strong O vs. 2nd/3rd string defense today. WR Odell Beckham easily beat CB Valentino Blake on a quick out-route for a TD. Blake bounced back with a pass defense against TE Evan Engram on a jump ball. He is a fiery guy.
  • TE Colin Thompson has been getting + marks next to his name on my sheet for 5 straight days now. For a “blocker only” label, he has been catching literally everything. And some of these balls are a ways away from his body.
  • The backup QB battle put on the Josh Johnson cap today. He hit nicely on a couple deep throws while Geno Smith appeared to be locking on to guys and skipping out on progressions. He doesn’t like being in the pocket for long. He had a solid 2-minute drill at the end of practice though with an accurate bullet to WR Dwayne Harris in traffic.
  • QB Eli Manning to TE Evan Engram is becoming something scary to watch if you are the opposition. It legitimately looks like these two are developing chemistry over the middle. Engram made an excellent catch on an even better ball from Manning for a TD. LB B.J. Goodson has solid coverage but he didn’t locate the ball.
  • QB Davis Webb looked more comfortable in his limited 7-on-7 looks today. He made an errant throw that came from poor lower body mechanics but he knew it right away. He is on the right path I’d say. His live snaps have been very limited.

Defense Notes:

  • LB Calvin Munson got some second-team action today with LB Mark Herzlich being out. He has looked fast and aggressive when moving downhill, but he doesn’t look like a factor in coverage. But I’m not sure he understands the overall lateral speed of the game yet, his angles have been very off. For a guy that isn’t big, he brings some pop when filling the lanes. If this team goes with six LBs, he has a decent shot.
  • LB Stansly Maponga is another LB that has a shot if this team goes with six LBs. He is a 3-4 OLB-type who does his best work rushing the passer or taking on tackles in the trenches. Remember, NYG has been looking for this kind of player. A guy that can almost use at the stand up pass rusher but can fulfill some OLB roles. I don’t see the necessary twitchiness but he is getting a lot of looks in practice in different roles. He is a heavy handed, physical guy.
  • The question on S Eric Pinkins and his value to the team is, can he cover athletic tight ends and running backs? He is tall, fast, and strong. We know that….but can he plant his foot in the ground and shadow quality route runners? That’s the question with him, he is stiff-hipped. He may have had the hit of the day on WR Travis Rudolph over the middle.
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Damon Harrison with a really nice combo stunt in live team drills, the play would have resulted in a Harrison sack. Those two have been very solid. It looked to me that OT Bobby Hart would have been the culprit.
  • DE Avery Moss beat OT Ereck Flowers with a simple speed rush that would have resulted in a sack.
  • DE Jordan Williams hasn’t gotten a lot of talk from me but he gets moved around a lot and despite being undersized for inside play, he has held his own. He has some pass rush potential in there. He beat both Adam Gettis and Brett Jones today for likely sacks.
  • CBs Nigel Tribune and DaShaun Amos had a few up-and-down plays. Both can locate the ball well but both were badly fooled on double routes. I think those guys are vying for practice squad spots at best. Amos with the slight edge.

Three Standouts:

  • CB Janoris Jenkins: I said this last week, but I like to see a guy who completely ignores his own size limitations. Jenkins plays big, physical, and aggressive. He intercepted two passes in traffic today, one of which I still don’t know how he came down with. He is a competitor who does an excellent job keeping his hands off his man but sticks to them like glue.
  • RB Paul Perkins: With the extra attention in the backfield today, Perkins got my attention a few times. It is very hard to really gauge the RBs in practice because you can’t see them try to break tackles, as that is where the live action ends. It is just a very limited look. However Perkins made a few reads today to find open cutback lanes that would have resulted in huge gains. I loved this kid out of UCLA and I am excited to see him work. He has upper tier balance, agility, and short area burst. It’s a great trio of traits for a RB to have.
  • WR Dwayne Harris: He looked very explosive with the ball in his hands yesterday during return driils. Powerfully built and nice top-end speed. Today he made a few really nice catches where he had to really reach for the ball away from his body. He is the dependable guy you want to see spell one of the main guys when needed.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, LB Deontae Skinner broke up a QB Geno Smith pass intended for RB Wayne Gallman.
  • RB Khalid Abdullah made a nice over-the-shoulder catch along the sideline.
  • WR Keeon Johnson made a deep leaping reception on a pass from QB Josh Johnson. Johnson later connected with Johnson again on a deep pass against CB DaShaun Amos.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram deep against CB Eli Apple.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a TD pass over the middle to WR Roger Lewis against CB Eli Apple. But then Apple covered Odell Beckham, Jr. in the green zone to force an incompletion from Manning.
  • QB Eli Manning hit WR Odell Beckham, Jr. and TE Matt LaCosse on back-to-back long completions. LaCosse beat LB Jonathan Casillas.
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson penetrated into the backfield to stuff a RB Paul Perkins carry.
  • PK Mike Nugent went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with a long of 44 yards.
  • First-team offensive line had issues against third-team defense in team drills.
  • WR Travis Rudolph saw reps at slot receiver plus as a punt and kickoff returner.
  • CB Valentino Blake broke up a QB Eli Manning pass intended for TE Evan Engram.
  • WR Darius Powe made a diving touchdown catch against CB Janoris Jenkins on a pass from QB Geno Smith. Jenkins then successfully covered Powe on a jump ball into the end zone that he almost intercepted.
  • FB Shane Smith caught a touchdown pass out of the backfield from QB Eli Manning against LB Jonathan Casillas.
  • QB Josh Johnson found WR Travis Rudolph for a touchdown against CB DaShaun Amos.
  • In the 2-minute drill, QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram for a touchdown on a seam route against FS Darian Thompson. WR Brandon Marshall then beat CB Janoris Jenkins for a 2-point conversion.
  • QB Geno Smith made a long completion to WR Dwayne Harris against CB Michael Hunter. Harris then made what initially looked to be leaping touchdown reception over Hunter on a pass from Smith, but Harris could not hold onto the ball.
  • DE Evan Schwan flashed in the 2-minute drill against the third-team offense.
  • QB Davis Webb connected with TE Colin Thompson deep down right side. Webb then connected with WR Kevin Norwood for a touchdown against CB Nigel Tribune.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday 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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The eleventh training camp practice will be held on Wednesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 102017
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (May 12, 2017)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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: Tight Ends

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW:  Not good. The West Coast Offense, particularly the Green Bay Packers version that Ben McAdoo brought to the New York Giants, is heavily dependent on the performance of the tight ends. Entering the 2016 training camp, pundits and fans outside of the organization worried that the Giants had not invested enough serious resources to address the position. Both leading candidates to start (Larry Donnell and Will Tye) were former undrafted rookie free agents. The position was not addressed in the 2016 Draft until the 6th round (Jerell Adams). The other two prospects in the picture were also undrafted free agents (Matt LaCosse and Ryan Malleck).

Based on 2016 results, those pundits and fans were right to be concerned. The poor performance of the tight ends was a major factor in the team’s offensive decline, from 8th in the NFL in 2015 to 25th in 2016. Run blocking by the tight ends was sub-par. And any pass-receiving tight end should have feasted on opposing defenses that double-teamed wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and had to address slot receiver Sterling Shepard.

Larry Donnell was the starter before the bye, but he only averaged 2.5 catches per game and finished the year with an embarrassing total of 92 yards and one touchdown. Donnell was benched after the bye with Will Tye becoming the new starter. Tye was better, but not by much. In his 10 starts (one before the bye), Tye averaged just 3.2 catches per game and also finished the season with just one touchdown. Factoring in rookie Jerell Adam’s lone score, Giants tight ends scored just THREE touchdowns all year. No wonder this team had issues in the red zone.

This may have been the worst group of tight ends in the NFL in 2016.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Fortunately, the Giants made dramatic moves in this area. The Giants chose not to re-sign unrestricted free agent Larry Donnell. The team then signed Rhett Ellison to a 4-year, $18 million contract. The final big move was drafting TE/WR hybrid Evan Engram in the 1st-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In addition, the team did re-sign exclusive rights free agents Will Tye and Matt LaCosse and added rookie free agent Colin Thompson after the draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The obvious focus will be on 1st-round pick Evan Engram and how the coaching staff plans to employ the hybrid. It is hoped and expected that Engram will be a Cover-2 buster and help open the entire offense for the receivers, particularly Odell Beckham, Jr. Rhett Ellison will probably have the similar, unsexy role he had in Minnesota and that is of versatile (tight end/H-Back/fullback) blocker who occasionally catches a pass. First, he has to prove he has moved past a nagging calf injury that sidelined him the entire spring.

The focus beyond the top two will be do the Giants keep three or four tight ends, and who do they keep? The injury-prone Matt LaCosse turned a lot of heads this spring, but he has to prove he can stay on the field.”(LaCosse) is a big target down there in the green zone,” said Ben McAdoo. “Matchup-wise, he gives you that length that you are looking for, he can run and he is a functional blocker, so he has a nice skillset.”

Jerell Adams has the size/athletic ability to become a quality two-way tight end, but he has to show he can mentally handle the pro game. With one former starter (Larry Donnell) already gone and still unemployed, the other 2016 starter (Will Tye) will have to fight just to make the team.

One of the interesting things to watch is how often the Giants now move away from the 11-personel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) that they used almost exclusively in 2016. And when they move away from it, how much will that cut into the playing time of a player like Sterling Shepard?

ON THE BUBBLE: Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison are safe. One would think Jerell Adams is still very much in the picture given his potential, but he is no sure bet. Everyone else is on the bubble, specifically, Will Tye, Matt LaCosse, and Colin Thompson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Kevin M. Gilbride on Rhett Ellison: “He can catch more than he’s shown from a statistic standpoint. He has good routes and is a good run blocker as everyone knows.”

Gilbride on Evan Engram: “He can (block). It’s important to him. He’s very functional in that area… He shows a very much so willingness to block and to finish and strain the way we’re asking our guys to strain. Again, that’s not pads so that’ll change things to an extent, but I don’t see him backing down. He has a toughness and a willingness to go against anyone on our defense and I’m hoping that remains through the course of this season… He understands coverage and understands the leverage of the coverage, how it changes and how he needs to run his route. He came in with that and it has continue to progress from there. “

PREDICTIONS: There were a lot of reasons why the Giants offense was so bad in 2016. Many have focused on the blocking of the offensive line. Others correctly point out that former skill position STARTERS were readily cast aside this offseason (running back Rashad Jennings and wide receiver Victor Cruz). But a major sore spot both in the blocking and pass-receiving departments was the play of Larry Donnell (now also gone) and Will Tye (fighting for his NFL future). On paper, the Giants are vastly improved at tight end. Evan Engram could develop into one of the NFL’s best pass-catching tight ends. Rhett Ellison is one of the NFL’s better run blocking tight ends. Jerell Adams – who has two-way skills – will be entering his second season. Matt LaCosse was consistently making plays during spring practices. If the Giants get the tight end position fixed, the entire offense will benefit, including the running game as perimeter blocking hopefully will be much improved. And when Eli Manning drops back to throw, coverage should be looser on Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard. On paper, this is a very dangerous (albeit finesse) offense.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams, and Matt LaCosse.

Jun 072017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS POSITION COACH MEDIA SESSIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of Wednesday’s media sessions with the following position coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES…
The New York Giants held two more Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Monday and Tuesday. Those practices were not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s remaining OTAs will be held on June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15. Friday’s OTA practice will be open to the media.

Giants.com has provided the following notes from the last two OTAs:

OTA #7:

OTA #8:

ODELL BECKHAM, JR.’S ABSENCE FROM OTA’S CONTRACT RELATED?…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has been skipping the team’s voluntary Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices due to his desire for a new contract. Beckham is scheduled to make $1,839,027 in salary in the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Giants also picked up his $8+ million fifth-year option for 2018 earlier this offseason.

ROGER LEWIS ARRESTED…
TMZ is reporting that New York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis was arrested last weekend in Ohio for operating a vehicle while impaired. Police told TMZ that they smelled marijuana on Lewis and noticed signs of intoxication. Lewis refused to take a breathalyzer test. Subsequent media reports say the police report indicated that police found Lewis in possession of 0.2 grams of marijuana suspected he was under the influence of alcohol.

The Giants signed Lewis as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Lewis made the team and played in 13 regular-season games with one start. He finished with just seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

JALEN WILLIAMS RELEASED FROM INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have cut wide receiver Jalen Williams from Injured Reserve. Williams was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He was waived/injured on May 31 with an undisclosed injury and placed on Injured Reserve one day later.

ARTICLES…

Feb 142017
 
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Robert Thomas, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Robert Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN DT ROBERT THOMAS AND TE MATT LACOSSE…
According to press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed exclusive rights free agents defensive tackle Robert Thomas and tight end Matt LaCosse.

The Giants claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers in September 2016. He played in eight regular-season games with no starts (6 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with five tackles and one sack. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

The Giants waived/injured LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards. LaCosse is a versatile player who played tight end, H-Back, and fullback in college. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

Meanwhile, SNY is reporting that the Giants will not re-sign exclusive rights free agent wide receiver Ben Edwards. Edwards was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in May 2016 after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his knees during the rookie mini-camp. Injuries have plagued Edwards who tore an ACL in college in 2013, an injury that caused him to miss all of 2014; pulled his hamstring in a June 2015 mini-camp, an injury that led him to being waived/injured; and sprained his knee in an April 2016 mini-camp. The Giants originally signed Edwards after the 2015 NFL Draft, waived/injured him in June, re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November, and signed him to the 53-man roster in December. He played in the final two games of 2015 and finished the season with one catch for nine yards.

The other two exclusive free agents (if tendered) are fullback Nikita Whitlock and tight end Will Tye.

GIANTS INSIDER WITH TE WILL TYE…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with tight end Will Tye is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Jan 312017
 
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Jerell Adams, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Jerell Adams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The West Coast Offense, particularly the Green Bay Packers version that Ben McAdoo brought to the New York Giants, is heavily dependent on the performance of the tight ends. Entering the 2016 training camp, pundits and fans outside of the organization worried that the Giants had not invested enough serious resources to address the position. Both leading candidates to start (Larry Donnell and Will Tye) were former undrafted rookie free agents. The position was not addressed in the 2016 Draft until the 6th round (Jerell Adams). The other two prospects in the picture were also undrafted free agents (Matt LaCosse and Ryan Malleck).

Based on 2016 results, those pundits and fans were right to be concerned. The poor performance of the tight ends was a major factor in the team’s offensive decline, from 8th in the NFL in 2015 to 25th in 2016. Run blocking by the tight ends was sub-par. And any pass-receiving tight end should have feasted on opposing defenses that double-teamed wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and had to address slot receiver Sterling Shepard.

Larry Donnell was the starter before the bye, but he only averaged 2.5 catches per game and finished the year with an embarrassing total of 92 yards and one touchdown. Donnell was benched after the bye with Will Tye becoming the new starter. Tye was better, but not by much. In his 10 starts (one before the bye), Tye averaged just 3.2 catches per game and also finished the season with just one touchdown. Factoring in rookie Jerell Adam’s lone score, Giants tight ends scored just THREE touchdowns all year. No wonder this team had issues in the red zone.

One would be hard pressed to name a worse group of tight ends in the NFL.

THE STARTERS

Larry Donnell began the 2016 season as the starting tight end but was benched after the bye week. He started to receive more playing time again late in the season. Donnell ended up playing in 14 games with six starts, and finished the regular season with just 15 catches for 92 yards (6.1 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent the 2012 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell has regressed since his breakout 2014 season (63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns). His numbers were down in 2015 (missing half the season with a neck injury) and down again in 2016. He just has not developed as hoped or expected. Donnell has good size and flashes athletic ability, but there is a klutziness to his game and he is far too inconsistent as a blocker and receiver. He also has issues holding onto the football (five career fumbles).

In his second season, Will Tye was promoted to the starting tight end spot at midseason after the bye week. He played in all 16 regular-season games, with 10 starts, and finished the year with 48 catches for 395 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and just one touchdown. Tye was originally signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2015, he played in 13 games with seven starts, and finished the season with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns. Tye was voted to the Pro Football Writers NFL All-Rookie Team. Tye is a good athlete with fine speed. His lack of size does limit him as a blocker, and receiver when it comes to out-muscling defenders for the ball. Despite more playing time in 2016, his productivity over his rookie season did not increase.

THE RESERVES

Jerell Adams was drafted by the Giants in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Adams played in 13 games with two starts, and finished the regular season with 16 catches for 122 yards (7.6 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Adams combines excellent size with good overall athletic ability. He has the tools to become a quality blocker and receiver if he works hard and develops his potential. Adams adjusts well to the football, has good hands, and flashes some run-after-the-catch ability.

INJURED RESERVE

The Giants waived/injured Matt LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards. LaCosse is a versatile player who played tight end, H-Back, and fullback in college. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

Aug 292016
 
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Myles White, New York Giants (October 25, 2015)

Myles White – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT FOUR PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have waived/injured fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot) and tight end Matt LaCosse (knee). The team also waived wide receiver Myles White and long snapper Tyler Ott.

If Whitlock and LaCosse make it through waivers, both will likely be added to the Giants Injured Reserve. Whitlock suffered a mid-foot sprain during Saturday’s preseason against the Jets that may require surgery. LaCosse injured his knee in practice several weeks ago and is expected to undergo surgery.

Whitlock was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft, but was cut and signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their Practice Squad. The NFL suspended Whitlock in November 2014 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Cowboys terminated his Practice Squad contract. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in December 2014. Whitlock surprisingly beat out fullback Henry Hynoski in training camp in 2015. Whitlock ended up playing in 14 games with five starts until he was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2015 with a knee injury. He had no touches as a rusher or receiver. A collegiate defensive tackle, Whitlock also received a limited number of snaps at defensive tackle in pass rush situations for the Giants in 2015. He finished the season with six tackles and a sack.

LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in early August with a hamstring injury. LaCosse then spent some time with the Jets in the preseason. The Giants re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards.

The Giants signed White to the Practice Squad after he was waived by the Green Bay Packers in September 2015 and to the 53-man roster in October 2015. White played in 12 games with no starts and finished the season with only seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. White was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Packers after the 2013 NFL Draft. White played in seven games as a rookie, catching nine passes for 66 yards. He spent the 2014 season on Green Bay’s Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Ott in late December 2015 after team placed Zak DeOssie and Danny Aiken on Injured Reserve. He played in the regular-season finale. Ott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but spent time with the Patriots again and the St. Louis Rams before the 2015 season.

The Giants must remove 11 more players from their roster to reach the NFL limit of 75 by 4:00PM on Tuesday.

AUGUST 29, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Fullback/tight end Will Johnson (burner), right guard John Jerry (ankle), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (back), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (shoulder) did not practice on Monday.

“Ribs are sore,” Head Coach Ben McAdoo said of Casillas. “Doesn’t look like anything is broken.”

“Jasper got nicked up (knee) early in the game, finished the game,” said McAdoo. “But we held him out today.”

“(Johnson is) coming along, but nothing new from the medical perspective there, he’s just making progress,” said McAdoo.

Left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis. Safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion) returned to practice.

CULLEN JENKINS SIGNS WITH REDSKINS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has signed a 1-year contract with the Washington Redskins. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Jenkins.

The aging Jenkins had a solid 2015 campaign, starting 13 of the 16 games he played in, and finishing with 26 tackles, three sacks, and 2 pass defenses. Jenkins was originally signed by Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but spent time in NFL Europe and then re-signed with the Packers in 2004. Jenkins spent time with the Packers (2004-2010) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12) before signing with the Giants in March 2013 after he was cut by the Eagles.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice at 11:15AM on Tuesday. There will be no media availability on Wednesday. The Giants play the New England Patriots at home on Thursday.