Sep 022017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53; TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 29 roster moves.

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

  • LB Mark Herzlich (burner)
  • DT Josh Banks (shoulder – torn labrum requiring surgery)

Players who were cut included:

  • QB Josh Johnson
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • RB Khalid Abdullah
  • FB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Jerome Lane
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • WR Ed Eagan
  • TE Will Tye
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OT Jarron Jones
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • OG Matt Rotheram
  • DE Devin Taylor
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Bobby Richardson
  • LB Deontae Skinner
  • LB Stansly Maponga
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB DaShaun Amos
  • CB Nigel Tribune
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • S Trey Robinson
  • PK Mike Nugent

The Giants also sent a conditional draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. The 6’0”, 191-pound Cockrell was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bills cut Cockrell in August 2015 and he then signed with the Steelers. In two seasons with the Steelers, Cockrell played in 31 regular-season games with 23 starts. He started all 16 games in 2016 and finished the year with 62 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He had two interceptions with the Steelers in 2015. Cockrell struggled with the Steelers this preseason.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night really made it tough on us. It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Regarding the competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson for the primary back-up job behind Eli Manning, McAdoo said,  “It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

Aldrick Rosas beat out veteran Mike Nugent for the team’s place kicker. “We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games,” McAdoo said. “Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

Five of the team’s six 2017 draft choices made the 53-man roster. Bisnowaty was waived despite being drafted in the 6th round. In addition, three rookie free agents are on the team: FB Shane Smith, OT Chad Wheeler, and LB Calvin Munson.

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective,” McAdoo said. “He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.

“Shane Smith – we wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

Last year, 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.

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well,” McAdoo said. “That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four (tight ends) for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Last year, Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

“We felt it was best to put Mark on IR this year and give him an opportunity to get healthy,” McAdoo said. “He’ll still be involved with the team, whether it’s in the locker room, or in the meeting rooms. Mark will still be around to help the guys.”

Veteran DE Devin Taylor, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was also cut. “We have a lot of talented players in that defensive line room, a lot of depth in the room,” said McAdoo. “Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

ARTICLES…

Aug 272017
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – NEW YORK JETS 31…
The New York Giants dominated the first half of their annual preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium but had to hold on late to escape with a 32-31 victory. Despite leading 29-3 at the half, the Jets drew to within one point late in the game and decided to go for the 2-point conversion instead of sending the game into overtime. The Giants stuffed the conversion attempt and knelt on the ball to preserve the win.

But the Giants lost six players due to injury (see injury update below), including cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee).

Sixteen of the Giants’ 29 first-half points were scored by the defense. After the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, quarterback Eli Manning and the offense moved the ball from their own 27 to the Jets’ 28-yard line. But on 2nd-and-8, Manning – who was immediately pressured – threw an ill-advised pass deep which was picked off at the Jets’ 3-yard line. However, two plays later defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sliced into the backfield to nail running back Matt Forte in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Giants drove 56 yards to set up a successful 24-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The Giants led 5-0.

After the ensuing Giants’ kickoff, safety Landon Collins jumped a quarterback Christian Hackenberg pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and the Giants took a 12-0 lead. The Jets went three-and-out and the G-Men then drove 56 yards in seven plays, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. The touchdown was set up by 17-yard catch by wide receiver Roger Lewis on 4th-and-3, despite him taking a big hit. 19-0 Giants.

The Jets responded with their only scoring drive of the first half, moving the ball 66 yards in 10 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. After both teams exchanged punts, wide receiver Travis Rudolph made superb catch and run to pick up 57 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh Johnson. The drive stalled but place kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Giants a 22-3 lead. With less than two minutes before halftime, cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted a pass knocked loose from the intended receiver by corner Janoris Jenkins. Deayon returned the pick 36 yards for a touchdown. At the half, the Giants led 29-3.

The Giants’ offensive reserves didn’t do much in the second half. Five drives resulted in three first downs and five punts. The Giants did manage one scoring possession, moving the ball 48 yards to set up a 54-yard field goal by Nugent early in the 4th quarter. But that was it.

Meanwhile, after forcing a turnover on downs at the 14-yard line after giving up a 56 yard drive, the Giants’ defensive reserves allowed three straight touchdowns, including touchdown passes of 25, 85, and 15 yards. The defense did force one punt, but with 2:11 left in the game, the Jets drove 75 yards in seven plays to pull within one point, 32-31. The game was saved for the G-Men as the 2-point conversion that most likely would have given the Jets the victory was stuffed with 1:24 left to play.

Manning finished the game 7-of-14 for 121 yards and one interception. Johnson was 5-of-10 for 51 yards, Geno Smith 4-of-6 for 67 yards, and Davis Webb 2-of-4 for 20 yards. The leading receivers were Rudolph (3 catches for 81 yards), Sterling Shepard (2 catches for 47 yards), Evan Engram (2 catches for 32 yards), and Roger Lewis (2 catches for 30 yards). The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (12 carries for 43 yards), Paul Perkins (6 carries for 33 yards), and Orleans Darkwa (7 carries for 21 yards).

Aside for the three defensive scores, the defense was credited with three sacks (Jason Pierre-Paul, Darian Thompson, and Jonathan Casillas), five tackles for losses, five quarterback hits, and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (upper body), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger), and CB Michael Hunter (concussion).

CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (knee), OG Adam Gettis (foot), RB Shaun Draughn (concussion/neck), S Duke Ihenacho (knee), and DE Evan Schwan (unknown) all left the game with injuries.

“I think (Apple) did his other ankle today, so I have concerns about both ankles,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “I’m not sure (how bad it is), I’ll have to go talk to the trainers and the doctors about it.”

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

ARTICLES…

Aug 012017
 
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Eli Manning and Paul Perkins, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Eli Manning and Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 1, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN KICKER MIKE NUGENT…
The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that they have signed place kicker Mike Nugent, who fills the roster void created when safety Jadar Johnson retired on Sunday.

The 35-year old Nugent was originally drafted in the 2nd-round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He has spent time with the Jets (2005-2008), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009), Arizona Cardinals (2009), and Cincinnati Bengals (2010-2016). Nugent was released by the Bengals in December 2016 after he had missed six extra points. He finished the season 23-of-29 (79.3 percent) on field goal attempts and is a career 80.8 percent on field goal attempts. Forty-four percent of his 2016 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Running back Shane Vereen (lower body soreness) and defensive end Devin Taylor (lower body soreness) did not practice. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (shoulder) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Another sunny day, the heat was a bit more intense. First day in full pads and it was nice to both see and hear these guys run into each other, as silly as that sounds. Felt like real football although these guys are told to not bring each other to the ground.

Offense Notes:

  • The first full contact I zeroed in on were run-game based. Half a line, 2 backs or 1 back/1 extra TE up against 2 DL and 2 LB. Defenders have a slight advantage knowing the run is coming, but the point of the drill was run blocking/filling lanes and simple assignments. Rookie UDFA Shane Smith stood out a few times against Jonathan Casillas. Delivered violent blows and knocked his man back a few steps. Impressive presence, power, and technique. Casillas got the best of the other FB competing for a spot, Jacob Huesman, on a few occasions.
  • OT Bobby Hart was impressive today, he’s come a long way with his technique and fundamentals. He has such a natural power presence coming from his lower body and his foot speed is more than good enough. Consistency in games is what needs to be seen there.
  • Ereck Flowers was bested by Olivier Vernon on a couple of occasions. The concern there is that Vernon is the kind of guy Flowers has always struggled against. Low to the ground, powerful, quick change of direction. Flowers just doesn’t look natural when he is moving laterally, the inconsistent techniques keep coming up. That said, he dominated DE Romeo Okwara more than once. When the action is in front of him and he gets his hands on, he is very effective. But there are still legit questions about his ability moving sideways.
  • D.J. Fluker was fooled badly on a stunt where rookie DE Avery Moss shot inside. Fluker was late to recognize it and he simply doesn’t recover well. So top heavy. He was tested the same way a couple plays later and was ready for it. He is another guy with a really high level of hand strength and power. When he locks on, it’s over.
  • The two rookie tackles, Adam Bisnowaty and Chad Wheeler, showed some warts that I had on them coming out of college. Bisnowaty (who also saw some snaps at RG) had a hard time sticking and anchoring to his man, while Wheeler didn’t get movement on his assignments Both are still showing their power presence isn’t ready for the NFL just yet.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams showed excellent blocking technique and power. For a long guy, he sure does get his hips low with a strong punch. He sticks to his man and recovered well after being beat a couple times. He may be the best blocker outside of Rhett Ellison. That said, his movement skills look awkward and slow when he has to change direction. Little clumsy, tripping over his feet and double catching the ball.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson, for the 3rd practice in a row, outshine Geno Smith by a wide margin. Johnson throws such a smooth ball and it is almost always where it needs be. Smith still looks shaky in his new scheme.
  • WR Kevin Snead is a guy I keep wanting to watch. You don’t see speed like this very often, he may be one of the fastest NYG has ever had. I would love to see one of the QBs air it out downfield to him in one of these scrimmages. His issue is the hands which is a major red flag. He was dropping more punts than he was catching.

Defense Notes:

  • On the first O vs D play from scrimmage, linebacker B.J. Goodson proved what we talked about Sunday, he wants to HIT. He tossed wide receiver Sterling Shepard to the ground. Yes I do think it was on purpose. Shepard wasn’t happy about it but the scuffle was over shortly.
  • DT Robert Thomas keeps getting the 1st-team looks next to Damon Harrison. He is a guy NYG fans will like. Hyper active, spark-plug-type guy.
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson looked a little overwhelmed at times. He had a hard time breaking away from D.J. Fluker. Tough guy to go against in straight-ahead drills though.
  • LB Jonathan Casillas plays angry. He wants to be the most physical guy on the field and you have to love that. He and Goodson both have a way of sneaking underneath and through traffic to locate the ball on running plays. This LB group is fast and physical, a nice place to start.
  • CB Eli Apple and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie won most of their 1-on-1 battles today. They move with confidence and assurance.
  • Defensive tackle Damon Harrison looks more and more like a young Vince Wilfork with each day that passes. He gives this scheme a lot of versatility and because of it; there may be some 3-4 looks.

Three Standouts:

  • WR Sterling Shepard: He was getting some extra work in with Manning between sessions. Discussing when to turn his head around on certain routes. He was flawlessly fielding punts. He was getting off tight coverage with ease. And he was making catches away from his body routinely. His ball skills are among the best in the league and it looks like he is the kind of worker that wont stop trying to perfect his craft.
  • S Landon Collins: Collins was a steady presence all day but a few things stood out to me today. While the entire team was on a “TV Timeout”, Collins was on the side field working with Spags on over-the-shoulder catches. Just him. After practice, we were in the field house waiting for about 30 minutes. The rest of the guys by that time are eating lunch but Collins comes strolling in from the field to fulfill his media duties still wearing his pads. The kid is a worker. I’ll say it again, he will be the leader of this defense.
  • Rhett Ellison: I have a feeling this guy is going to be Mr. Dependable whether NYG needs a blocker on 3rd-and-2 or a pass catcher on 3rd-and-5. Ellison is as sure-handed as anyone I have seen here so far and the consistency he showed as a violent and sure blocker was nice to see. NYG could have really used a guy like this.
  • And yes…Aldrick Rosas was perfect on his FG attempts. All of which were good by 15+ yards, including his 50 yarder.

Another full pads day tomorrow, hoping to see some more secondary vs. wide receivers…as they were on the opposite end today. And tomorrow’s focus on the OL will be Weston Richburg, Justin Pugh, and John Jerry along with the interior backups.

Below is the video report and interview with fullback Shane Smith.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including kicks from 30, 37, 42, and 50 yards out.
  • Giants continue to alternate Josh Johnson and Geno Smith at the #2 spot at quarterback. Today was Smith’s turn.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, cornerback Eli Apple knocked away an out-route pass from quarterback Eli Manning intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Safety Nat Berhe defended a pass intended for tight end Evan Engram from quarterback Geno Smith. Smith then hit tight end Jerell Adams for a 20-yard gain.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught a pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning. Marshall then dropped a slant pass from Manning near the goal line.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph dropped a pass then made a diving reception from quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard over the middle.
  • Wide receiver Kevin Snead dropped 3-of-4 punt return attempts.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe was active catching the football in the team portion of practice.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/892416445023440896

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 fifth training camp practice will be held on Wednesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.