May 062016
 
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2016 New York Giants Draft Class (May 6, 2016)

2016 New York Giants Draft Class – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 6, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 2-day rookie mini-camp was held on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Seventy-four (74) players – draft picks, signed rookie free agents, first-year players who have not completed a season of credited service, and street and rookie free agent tryout players – were in attendance.

A sights and sounds video of the players arriving on Thursday is available at Giants.com.

PARTICIPANTS…

2016 NFL Draft Picks (6):

  • CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
  • WR Sterling Shepard, Oklohoma
  • S Darian Thompson, Boise State
  • LB B.J. Goodson, Clemson
  • RB Paul Perkins, UCLA
  • TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina

2016 Signed Rookie Free Agents (14):

  • QB Josh Woodrum, Liberty
  • RB Marshaun Coprich, Illinois State
  • WR K.J. Maye, Minnesota
  • WR Roger Lewis, Bowling Green State
  • WR Darius Powe, California
  • TE Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech
  • TE Cedrick Lang, UTEP
  • DE Romeo Okwara, Notre Dame
  • DE Mike Rose, North Carolina State
  • DT Melvin Lewis, Kentucky
  • DT Greg Milhouse, Campbell
  • CB Michael Hunter, Oklahoma State
  • CB Donte Deayon, Boise State
  • S Andrew Adams, Connecticut

Contrary to previous reports, wide receiver Michael Esiobu (Lakeland College) and linebacker Graham Stewart (Connecticut) were not signed. Both are present as tryout players.

New York Giants First-Year Players (8):

  • WR Ben Edwards
  • WR Anthony Dablé
  • TE Matt Lacosse
  • OC Sean McDermott
  • OT Jake Rodgers
  • DE Brad Bars
  • LS Tyler Ott
  • PK Tom Obarski

Rookie and Veteran Tryout Players (46):

  • QB Gary Nova, Rutgers
  • QB B.J. Daniels, South Florida
  • QB Vad Lee, James Madison
  • RB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
  • RB Donald Russell, Georgia State
  • RB Mercer Timmis, Calgary
  • RB Terry Williams, Kutztown
  • FB/TE Desroy Maxwell, Northern Illinois
  • WR Donte Foster, Ohio
  • WR Kadron Boone, LSU
  • WR Quintavius Burdette, Mississippi
  • WR Miles Shuler, Northwestern
  • WR Michael Esiobu, Lakeland
  • WR Doug Corby, Queen’s
  • WR Brett Blaszko, Calgary
  • TE Jake Murphy, Utah
  • OL Dylan Intemann, Wake Forest
  • OL Alex Huettel, Bowling Green
  • OL Jacob Richards, Ball State
  • OL Angelo Mangiro, Penn State
  • OL Brandon Revenberg, Grand Valley
  • OL Charles Vaillancourt, Laval
  • OL Philippe Gagnon, Laval
  • DE Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond
  • DE Ishaq Williams, Notre Dame
  • DT Derrick Lott, Tennessee Chattanooga
  • DT Kamal Johnson, Temple
  • LB Xzavier Dickson, Alabama
  • LB Graham Stewart, Connecticut
  • LB Evan McKelvey, Marshall
  • LB Kassan Messiah, Massachusetts
  • LB Schnayder Termidor, Ithaca
  • LB Brian Brikowski, Monmouth
  • LB Terrell Davis, British Columbia
  • LB D.J. Lalama, Manitoba
  • CB Kevin White, TCU
  • CB Demarr Aultman, Maine
  • CB Matt Smalley, Lafayette
  • CB Darius Knight, Nicholls State
  • CB Lamar Edmonds, New Hampshire
  • S Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State
  • S Hakim Jones, North Carolina State
  • S Xavier Walker, Middle Tennessee State
  • S Quay Watt, Middle Tennessee State
  • S Taylor Loeffler, British Columbia
  • P/K Quinn Van Gylswyk, British Columbia

GIANTS SIGN FOUR OF THEIR DRAFT PICKS
The New York Giants have announced they have signed the following four of their 2016 NFL Draft class:

  • CB Eli Apple – 1st round
  • WR Sterling Shepard – 2nd round
  • RB Paul Perkins – 5th round
  • TE Jerell Adams – 6th round

The only remaining draft picks unsigned are safety Darian Thompson (3rd round) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (4th round).

SCOUTING DEPARTMENT CHANGES
The New York Giants have promoted Chris Watts from BLESTO scout, a role that he has served in for eight years, to scout. To replace Watts, the Giants have promoted Marquis Pendleton to the position. Pendleton had served as an intern in the team’s pro personnel department.

BEN MCADOO AND THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Apr 012016
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

GIANTS MEET WITH JERRAUD POWERS, BUT NO DEAL …
According to press reports, unrestricted free agent cornerback Jerraud Powers (Arizona Cardinals) did meet the New York Giants on Thursday and Friday. However, NJ.com is reporting that Powers apparently left without a deal.

The 28-year old Powers was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent in March 2013. In seven NFL seasons, Powers has played in 87 regular-season games with 82 starts. In 2015, he started all 13 regular-season games he played in, and finished the season with 52 tackles, one sack, nine pass defenses, and one interception. Powers has 11 career interceptions.

ARTICLES…

Mar 312016
 
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Adam Henry, LSU Tigers (September 14, 2013)

Adam Henry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q&As WITH NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT COACHES…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following assistant coaches are available at the team’s website:

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr. (Video)
  • Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry (Video)
  • Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 172016
 
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Steve Spagnuolo and Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants (November 1, 2015)

Steve Spagnuolo and Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Now that the dust has settled and the New York Giants have officially announced the make-up of Ben McAdoo’s coaching staff, let’s take a closer look at its composition.

Overall, not counting the head coach, there are 20 coaching positions. Eight of the 20 coaches are new to the organization. All three coordinators are holdovers from the Tom Coughlin era, with Mike Sullivan being promoted to offensive coordinator.

Offensive Coaching Staff (8 Coaches)

There are three offensive coaches new to the organization: Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr., Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry, and Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari. The holdovers are Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (brought to the Giants by Tom Coughlin in 2004 and again in 2015), Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson (came aboard with McAdoo in 2014), Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride (hired in 2010 and son of former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride), Assistant Offensive Line Coach Lunda Wells (hired in 2012), and Offensive Assistant Ryan Roeder (hired in 2013).

McAdoo pursued former Miami Dolphins Head Coach and Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin as an assistant head coach, but Philbin accepted the same position with the Indianapolis Colts instead. Philbin was McAdoo’s boss in Green Bay for five years. He probably would have served as a crutch for McAdoo if had come to New York.

It is interesting to note that five of the eight offensive coaches have experience as offensive coordinators with other teams, including Sullivan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Cignetti (St. Louis Rams, Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California, University of North Carolina, Fresno State, Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Johnson (University of Maryland and Virginia Military Institute), Henry (McNeese State University), and Solari (Kansas City Chiefs and University of Pittsburgh).

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan: With McAdoo being promoted to head coach, the offensive coordinator position became vacant. To fill it, the 49-year old Sullivan was promoted to offensive coordinator. It remains to be seen how much influence Sullivan really will have. Other than 2015, Sullivan’s background is not based on the West Coast offensive system. And McAdoo has not yet publicly announced who will even call the plays. Sullivan was highly respected by Coughlin, but his two years in Tampa as offensive coordinator did not go well. With the Giants, Sullivan has coached wide receivers (2004-2009) and quarterbacks (2010-2011, 2015).

Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr.: The 50-year old Cignetti is a well-travelled coach with a ton of experience as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has never really worked with a quarterback the quality of Eli Manning. He replaces Sullivan, who was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson: The 55-year old Johnson arrived with McAdoo in 2014. Assuming McAdoo had some sort of influence in Johnson’s hiring, it is not surprising that that McAdoo retained him. Most of Johnson’s experience is actually coaching quarterbacks. He also served as assistant head coach of the Titans for one season.

Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry: Odell Beckham, Jr. is extremely tight with the 43-year old Henry, who coached OBJ at LSU. At the pro level, Henry coached the 49ers’ wide receivers in 2015 and the Raiders’ tight ends in 2009-2011. He replaces Sean Ryan, who the Giants decided not to retain.

Tight Ends Coach Kevin M. Gilbride: The 36-year old Gilbride is now the longest-tenured Giants’ offensive coach, having arrived in 2010. When Gilbride was hired, fans feared it was pure nepotism on the part of the team given the fact that his father was the offensive coordinator at the time. Gilbride’s work as wide receivers coach in 2012-2013 was nondescript and he was re-assigned as the tight ends coach in 2014. Under his tutelage, Larry Donnell and Will Tye developed from no-name, small-school rookie free agents to viable pro targets.

Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari: The 61-year old Solari is the oldest coach on the team. He is considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, having coached very solid lines in Kansas City and San Francisco. Solari spent last season with Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, so he also now has a better understanding of the West Coast system. Solari replaces Pat Flaherty, whom the team chose not to retain.

Assistant Offensive Line Coach Lunda Wells: Interestingly, rather than bring in two new offensive line coaches, the Giants decided to part ways with Pat Flaherty and retain the popular Lunda Wells. The 33-year old Wells joined the Giants in 2012 and became the assistant offensive line coach in 2013 when Matt Rhule left to become Temple University’s head coach. Before coming to the Giants, Wells did assistant coaching work at LSU.

Offensive Assistant Ryan Roeder: The 36-year old Roeder came to the Giants in 2013 after serving as the tight ends coach at Princeton University for three seasons.

Defensive Coaching Staff (7 Coaches)

There are three defensive coaches new to the organization: Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham, Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina, and Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern. The holdovers are Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (brought to the Giants by Tom Coughlin in 2007 and again in 2015), Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton (came aboard with Spagnuolo in 2015), Safeties Coach David Merritt (the only coach remaining who came to the Giants with Tom Coughlin in 2004), and Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard (hired in 2013). In a nutshell, at the position coach level, the Giants decided to part ways with their front seven defensive coaches and keep their secondary coaches.

The big story here is the retention of Steve Spagnuolo despite the Giants not only finishing dead last in defense, but having the third-worst defense in NFL history. Alarmingly, Spagnuolo’s defense in New Orleans in 2012 was also the worst in NFL history. Since Spagnuolo is reportedly admired by ownership and was interviewed for the team’s head coaching position, one wonders if McAdoo had full autonomy to decide his fate.

Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: It’s been eight years since the 56-year old Spagnuolo coached a decent defense as defensive coordinator. Since then, two of his defenses have ended up being the worst in NFL history. Spagnuolo has to prove that he can oversee even a competent defense without an all-star defensive line. Spagnuolo has NFL experience as a linebackers and defensive backs position coach, mainly with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2009-2011) and assistant head coach of the Baltimore Ravens (2014).

Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: The 37-year old Graham was highly respected and popular in New England. He has served as both defensive line coach (2012-2013) and linebackers coach (2011, 2014-2015) under Bill Belichick. Graham replaces Robert Nunn, whom the team chose not to retain.

Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina: The assistant defensive line coach position is a new position on the Giants. The 45-year old Zgonina has only one year of coaching experience, but he played an astounding 17 years in the NFL as a tough, blue-collar, overachieving defensive tackle for seven teams.

Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern: The Giants passed on Mike Singletary to hire the 53-year old McGovern. McGovern coached linebackers at Boston College for 13 years before serving as the Philadelphia Eagles’ outside linebackers coach for three seasons. He replaces Jim Herrmann, whom the team chose not to retain.

Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton: The 44-year old Walton came aboard with Steve Spagnuolo in 2015 so it isn’t a surprise that he was retained. Walton has experience as a defensive coordinator with the University of Miami, University of Memphis, and St. Louis Rams. He was the defensive backs coach for the Detroit Lions for four years (2009-2012).

Safeties Coach David Merritt: The 44-year old Merritt has been with the Giants now longer than any other coach, having arrived with Tom Coughlin in 2004. Since 2006, he has coached the team’s safeties and worked with Steve Spagnuolo on the Giants in 2007-2008 and 2015.

Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard: The 30-year old Leonard joined the Giants’ staff in 2013. Before that, he only did graduate assistant coaching work at North Carolina State University.

Special Teams Coaching Staff (2 Coaches)

No major change here given the fact that Tom Quinn will remain the team’s special teams coordinator, a position he took over in 2007. Larry Izzo, who had been the assistant special teams coach, departed as he received a promotion from the Houston Texans as their new special teams coordinator.

Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn: The much-maligned, 48-year old Quinn had arguably his best season as special teams coordinator in 2015. That said, special teams play was a factor in four losses (Saints, Patriots, Jets, Panthers). Like with Spagnuolo, one wonders if McAdoo had full autonomy to retain or dismiss Quinn.

Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes: The Giants probably preferred to keep Izzo. But with his departure, a vacancy had to be filled. The 39-year old Stukes has special teams coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears.

Strength and Conditioning Coaching Staff (3 Coaches)

The major change here was at the top. After six consecutive injury-plagued seasons in a row, the team replaced Jerry Palmieri with Aaron Wellman. Palmieri had been with the Giants since 2004.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman: The 41-year old Wellman has never coached at the pro level. But he is well-respected in the business and on top of the latest trends in sports training. He has worked at the university level at Indiana, Michigan State, Ball State, San Diego State, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul: The 49-year old Paul has been with the Giants since 2007 after having spent time with the Saints (1998-1999), Patriots (2000-2004), and Jets (2005-2006).

Performance Manager Joe Danos: The 35-year old Danos has been with the Giants since 2013. Before coming to the team, he spent time at the college level at LSU, SMU, and Florida State.

Overall, McAdoo decided to part ways with five coaches: Sean Ryan (wide receivers), Pat Flaherty (offensive line), Robert Nunn (defensive line), Jim Herrmann (linebackers), and Jerry Palmieri (strength and conditioning). The vacancies filled by the three other new guys were created by Mike Sullivan’s promotion, Larry Izzo receiving a promotion from the Texans, and the new assistant defensive line coaching position. Replacing the wide receivers, offensive line, defensive line, and linebackers coaches is no small move. But all three coordinators are holdovers from Coughlin’s staff plus the running backs, tight ends, cornerbacks, and safeties coaches.

Feb 162016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 15, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE COACHING STAFF…
The New York Giants officially announced their complete coaching staff on Tuesday, confirming what had unofficially been previous reported:

  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan (with team 2004-11, 2015)
  • Quarterbacks Coach: Frank Cignetti, Jr. (NEW)
  • Running Backs Coach: Craig Johnson (with team since 2014)
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Adam Henry (NEW)
  • Tight Ends Coach: Kevin M. Gilbride (with team since 2010)
  • Offensive Line Coach: Mike Solari (NEW)
  • Assistant Offensive Line Coach: Lunda Wells (with team since 2012)
  • Offensive Assistant: Ryan Roeder (with team since 2013)
  • Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (with team 2007-2008, 2015)
  • Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham (NEW)
  • Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina (NEW)
  • Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern (NEW)
  • Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton (with team since 2015)
  • Safeties Coach David Merritt (with team since 2004)
  • Defensive Assistant Rob Leonard (with team since 2013)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (with team since 2006)
  • Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes (NEW)
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman (NEW)
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul (with team since 2007)
  • Performance Manager Joe Danos (with team since 2013)

The Giants retained their defensive and special teams coordinators while promoting Mike Sullivan to offensive coordinator. Eight of the 20 coaches are new to the organization, including three on offense, three on defense, one on special teams, and one on the strength and conditioning staff. Full resumes of each coach are available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

“This is a new staff,” said new Head Coach Ben McAdoo said. “Nobody was retained, there were no holdovers; everyone was hired. When I sat down with everybody on the staff, that was one thing I wanted to make clear. No one was retained, no one was a holdover. Everyone was hired here as part of a new staff.

“You have a nice group of guys who I’ve worked with in the past, and then there’s some I haven’t worked with, and some I’ve admired from afar. There’s a nice mix. We talked a lot about putting a staff together that fits, number one, that has great diversity, great personality, and great character, a staff of people who can teach the game. We feel we’ve done that.

“I think we have a nice mix of youth and experience. Even our young guys tend to have some experience when you look at it. I think we have good teachers who have high character and get the game and understand what we’re looking for from a vision standpoint.”

McAdoo also made the following points regarding specific coaches:

  • On Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: “When you look back at this past season, it was great working with Spags. He’s a tremendous leader, gets the players to play hard. We feel that if we continue to develop the young guys, add some pieces to the puzzle, and keep them playing as hard as they played last year, we’ll make progress in the second year of the system.”
  • On Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan: “He’s a guy, in my mind, who’s an experienced leader of men who has a championship background. He’s been in this system now for a year, and he’s familiar with the building and the people in the building, and a lot of the players in the locker room. I like that continuity there.”
  • On Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr.: “Frank Cignetti Jr. is a phenomenal teacher. He grew up in a version of the system from the ground floor. He has a great understanding of what we’re looking for fundamentally from the quarterback position.”
  • On Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry: “Adam Henry has worked his way up from a small school, I admire that about him. He’s done a tremendous job working with talented players and we’re fortunate to have him… (His relationship with wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. is) a positive, but that’s not why he got the job. He’s earned the job. Anyone that thinks that about him hasn’t seen his work. The way you look at it, he’s worked his way up from a small school and has had an opportunity to work in a lot of big programs, teaching a lot of talented players and has gotten a lot out of those players. We expect that to continue here.”
  • On Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari: “Mike Solari, I’ve admired his work from afar for a long time. He had a chance to come from this system last year. He’s one of the best in the business. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table in developing our young players.”
  • On Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham: “Patrick Graham, he’s a guy that cut his teeth working up from some tough jobs. He’s knowledgeable, has some grit to him, and a great personality for the room. We feel that those guys will rally around him and he’ll have the chance to develop them.”
  • On Assistant Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina: “He fits the profile we were looking for with 17 years playing in the league in the trenches, which speaks volumes. He’ll add a passion for technique, and bring an energy boost to the field for us. We look forward to him getting out there and getting in the mix with Patrick Graham and spending a lot of time detailing the performance of the guys in that room. Jeff also has a year of coaching experience – that is valuable. There may be a little bit of a learning curve there, which is normal. But 17 years of him playing in the trenches is very valuable for him to lean on…When you have four guys out there at a time – maybe more, maybe less, depending on the personnel group you’re playing with – having a couple sets of eyes and ears comes in handy. Guys being able to play off of each other on the coaching staff will help. Most staffs now have two offensive line coaches and most staffs, if you’re a 3-4 (defense), have an interior coach and an outside backer coach. The way it’s gone with the four-down line teams, you either have two coaches there, or a coach and an assistant. But they’ll work hand-in-hand.”
  • On Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern: “He has a ton of coaching experience. He’s very familiar with the division. He’s going to bring great energy to the building, great energy to the staff room. That usually filters down to the locker room. I look forward to working with Bill.”
  • On Assistant Special Teams Coach Dwayne Stukes: “Dwayne’s a guy who has a lot of experience for the position he’s coming in for, assistant special teams coach. He’s highly qualified for it. I feel like he’ll be able to breathe some life into the perimeter of our special teams, and get those guys going a little bit more, and provide some juice there. He’s a nice addition for us.”
  • On Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman: “I worked with Aaron back at Michigan State (in 2001) when we were both cutting our teeth in the business… Aaron’s a guy that is a forward-thinker. He’s advanced in the sports performance arena, but he also has an edge to him. He can be tough when he has to be. That’s hard to find in this business these days. He’s got a nice combination of both. We feel that he’ll provide a nice lift to our program.”

The next challenge for McAdoo is developing cohesion within the new coaching staff.

“I think that it takes a little while,” McAdoo said. “It’s a marriage in a lot of different ways for a lot of different guys, a lot of different positions. The most important thing is we have to get everyone in here and get everyone speaking the same language. It helps that we do have some guys who have been around, and the systems are staying the same on offense, defense and special teams.

“At the end of the day, that’s not what drives any of the decisions. Systems are systems. You can go to K-Mart and get a good system. It’s more about the leadership, the character, and the fundamentals that are being taught. We like what we see there. We like what we have there. We felt that going forward in that direction was the way to go. We just have to train everyone to speak the same language, and teach the same from a fundamentals standpoint. That should give us a head start.”

GIANTS WORK OUT TWO EUROPEAN PLAYERS…
NFLDraftDiamonds.com reports that the New York Giants will work out two European players next week, English tight end Harry Innis and French wide receiver Anthony Dablé. According to NFL Draft Diamonds:

“Innis is a 6’7 tight end who we have featured many times on NFL Draft Diamonds. Innis is a tall tight end with soft hands. He entered the new program assisted by the NFL and former NFL player Osi Umenyiora a few months ago. Innis has the same size/attributes as Rob Gronkowski. He has been playing American football overseas and was a stud for Kiel Baltic of the German Football League, and finished last season with Senajoki Crocodiles.

“Dablé (is a) 6’4 physical wide out… Dablé is a very quick player with great hands. Both players played overseas and both were standouts in their conferences.”

NFL Draft Diamonds reports that both players have received interest from multiple teams, but their first work out is with the Giants.

ARTICLES…

Jan 142016
 
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Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO OFFICIALLY NAMED NEW YORK GIANTS HEAD COACH…
The New York Giants officially announced by press release on Thursday that Ben McAdoo will be the team’s new head coach. McAdoo’s introductory press conference will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. McAdoo has served for the past two seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator under Tom Coughlin.

“I am honored to serve as the 17th head coach* in the history of the New York Giants franchise,” McAdoo said. “I am thankful to the Mara family, the Tisch family and Jerry Reese for this opportunity. I am appreciative of the support of my family, my wife Toni and our two children and my parents, brother and sister and in-laws back in Homer City, Pennsylvania. I have been very fortunate to have a lot of great coaches, administrators and players take an interest in me and my career. It has been a privilege to work and learn under Coach Coughlin.

“I have been preparing for this moment my entire professional life, and without the guidance and support of many people, I would not be here right now.”

According to the Giants’ press release, McAdoo interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara and General Manager Jerry Reese on January 5th and again on Wednesday. At the latter meeting, McAdoo also spoke with team Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch and Treasurer Jonathan Tisch.

“Ben is an outstanding young coach who has great experience and has done a good job as our offensive coordinator these past two years,” Mara said. “Jerry and I interviewed six impressive candidates, and when we were through with that process, we had another conversation with Ben, as did Steve and Jon Tisch. We were all impressed with his energy, his enthusiasm, his vision and his desire. Ben has been preparing for this opportunity since he started coaching, and he has earned his stripes every step of the way. Some have suggested he may not be ready, and as I said last week, we want a coach who feels like he has something to prove.”

“I am happy for Ben and happy for our franchise,” Steve Tisch said. “When I spoke to Ben with my brother Jon, we were both impressed with his understanding of what it means to lead, his thoughts on how to build and establish a sense of team and how to motivate the individual and the group. Ben’s mentors in coaching, including Tom Coughlin, are impressive. We look forward to much success under Ben’s leadership.”

Also according to the Giants’ press release: “McAdoo and Reese will collaborate with the team’s personnel departments in reshaping the Giants’ roster.”

“Ben is very excited, and I’m very excited and happy for him,” Reese said. “We are looking forward to working closely together, and can’t wait to get moving with the offseason.”

“I look forward to working with Jerry,” McAdoo said. “We have a lot of work to do, and it will take a collaborative effort for Jerry and I to achieve what is always the goal for this franchise: another Lombardi Trophy.”

“I’m excited,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “I’m excited for the Giants organization and for the team. I think Coach McAdoo is a great coach, a great teacher, and will be a great leader of this team. I’m excited to continue to work with him and grow within this offense, and get this organization back where it needs to be.

“I think the Giants ownership made this decision on what’s best for the organization and best for the team. I think Coach McAdoo has great leadership skills, and will do a great job being a head coach and leading us in the right direction. If a new offensive scheme came in, I would’ve adjusted to it and been able to go out there and play at a high level. I enjoy this offense, I enjoy working with Coach McAdoo. I’m excited about that staying the same.”

An extensive, exclusive Giants.com Q&A session with McAdoo is available at Giants.com.

* Ben McAdoo is actually the team’s 18th head coach in their history, but the Giants do not appear to count Benny Friedman’s two games in 1930.

REPORT – MIKE SULLIVAN TO BE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR…
Contrary to their original report, FOXSports is now reporting that New York Giants Quarterback Coach Mike Sullivan will be the team’s new offensive coordinator. FOXSports had reported on Wednesday that former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin would assume that role. Apparently, Philbin will still join the Giants in some capacity, possibly as an assistant head coach who also works with the quarterbacks.

NJ.com is reporting that McAdoo is still expected to call the plays even though he is now the team’s head coach.

Sullivan served as Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s wide receiver (2004-2009) and quarterbacks coach (2010-2011, 2015). He was the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012-2013.

GIANTS POSITION COACHES INTERVIEWING ELSEWHERE…
Although most – if not all – of the New York Giants’ assistant coaches have one year remaining on their contracts, the team has apparently given permission to some of them to interview elsewhere.

  • Wide Receivers Coach Sean Ryan has interviewed with the Houston Texans for the same position.
  • Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings for the same position.
  • Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts for the same position. The Colts hired Herrmann on Wednesday.
  • Safeties Coach David Merritt has interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts.

TOM COUGHLIN TURNS DOWN EAGLES…
According to multiple press reports, Tom Coughlin has removed his name from consideration for the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coaching vacancy. Coughlin resigned as head coach of the Giants last week. Coughlin also interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers, but the 49ers have hired Chip Kelly as their new head coach.

ARTICLES…

Nov 162015
 
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Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ DONE FOR SEASON…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced on BleacherReport.com on Monday that he will have season-ending surgery on his left calf. It will be the third leg surgery for Cruz since 2012. Cruz underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and major patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014. It is believed the calf injury – which first appeared in mid-August – is related to his comeback from the patellar tendon injury.

Cruz returned to practice on September 30, but suffered a setback with the calf injury. Since then, he had two platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help the healing process. Cruz had said that both were helping to improve his calf and he had started to run again. It was expected that he would attempt to return to practice after the upcoming bye week. However, he apparently suffered another setback on Saturday.

“Saturday he was on the side with the trainers and they were doing some three-quarter speed, then all of a sudden it happened again,” said General Manager Jerry Reese.

“We thought coming off the big patella injury that he had that he was going to be ready to go,” said Reese. “And then all of a sudden, he gets the calf, which has become more bizarre for me—it’s the ‘Year of the Calf’ for us, I guess. Every time we’ve gotten him out there, we babied him through, babied him through, babied him through, then we start to do some things with him and he just can’t do it. Even after the first time we thought he was ready, we thought about putting him on the reserve/return. Our doctors said, ‘That’s too far.’ They said it was too far, so we kept him on the 53 instead of putting him on it. And now if we had known, obviously, we would have gotten a roster player.”

Cruz signed a 6-year, $45.9 million contract in July 2013. Since then, he has only played in 20 games. The annual salaries and cap hits for the 29-year old Cruz in the final four years of his contract are as follows:

  • 2015: $6.15 million salary; $8.125 million cap hit
  • 2016: $7.9 million salary; $9.9 million cap hit
  • 2017: $7.4 million salary; $9.4 million cap hit
  • 2018: $8.4 million salary; $8.5 million cap hit

Reese was asked how much of a challenge it will be for Cruz to return after missing most of the past two seasons. “Yeah, who knows? When you’re gone for a couple of years like that, you just can’t jump back in and play, I don’t think,” said Reese. “I think you have to build your way back up and get your feet under you and get your confidence back and have the quarterback get his confidence back and get that chemistry back. I don’t think it’s an easy road back, but I know how hard he works and how hard he worked in getting back from the patella injury. We’ll see where that goes…If he has the same kind of progress that (safety) Nat (Berhe has) had, maybe this thing will get behind him and he can start on the road back.”

EMMETT CLEARY PROMOTED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, TRAMAIN JACOBS WAIVED…
The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Emmett Cleary to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Cleary, the Giants waived cornerback Tramain Jacobs. The Giants have also terminated the Practice Squad contract of cornerback Dax Swanson.

The Giants signed Cleary to the Practice Squad in September 2015. Cleary was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has since also spent time with the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Bengals. The Giants signed Cleary to a Reserve/Future contract in January 2015. He is a decent athlete who has played both right and left tackle.

The Giants signed Jacobs to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on November 7th. Jacobs was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived Jacobs in August 2015 and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in September.

The Giants signed Dax Swanson to the Practice Squad on November 5th. Swanson was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then he has spent time on the Practice Squads of the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
According to ESPN, center Weston Richburg has been diagnosed with a “mild” high ankle sprain. “Ankle sprain,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “However long it takes, hopefully he’ll come back next week, he’ll look pretty good after the break.”

Cornerback Prince Amukamara, who has missed the last five games with a pectoral injury says he is ready to return. “I will be ready after the bye,” Amukamara said. “That was kind of the plan all along. We were looking at the fourth week, Buccaneers, seeing if I was going to be ready then. This game came and I still wasn’t ready, so it’s according to the original prognosis, which was three to six weeks and this was the fifth week. If we had a game next week, I would 100 percent be playing…I’m 100 percent playing, according to me, in the Redskins game, unless something not so smart happens.”

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

POSITION COACHES…
Transcripts and video clips of Monday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Monday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Sep 092015
 
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TOM COUGHLIN COMMENTS ON JASON PIERRE-PAUL…
Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the situation with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Wednesday. Pierre-Paul remains an unsigned Franchise player due to the serious hand injuries he suffered from a July 4th fireworks accident.

“As you know, JPP was here for a couple of days,” said Coughlin. “Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

“He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.”

https://twitter.com/UDWJPP/status/641660832376619008

ANOTHER REPORT SAYS GIANTS AND ELI MANNING NEARING DEAL…
Supporting NJ.com’s earlier report that the New York Giants and Eli Manning are nearing a new contract, NFL.com is reporting that there is “significant progress on a long-term extension” and that there is “confidence it gets done before Sunday.” Manning is entering the final year of the 6-year contract he signed in August 2009.

MORE PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed quarterback G.J. Kinne and linebacker Gerald Rivers to the Practice Squad. These moves complete the team’s 10-man squad.

Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. Kinne lacks ideal size for a quarterback but he is a very good athlete with a decent arm. Tough, hard working, and competitive. While the Giants list him as a quarterback, he did line up at safety at practice on Wednesday.

Rivers was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Rams (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013), Miami Dolphins (2014), and Denver Broncos (2014-15). Rivers has only played in two NFL games – both in 2013 with the Rams. He has one career tackle. A former defensive end, Rivers has a nice combination of size and athletic ability.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf) and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP).

“Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that (Cruz’s status has changed),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously (Nat) Berhe is a great example of that.”

DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (knee), and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) practiced on a limited basis.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Wednesday (video is available at Giants.com):

Good morning. Two things quickly right off the bat. As you know, JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] was here for a couple of days. Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

The second thing is the shock of the death of Tyler Sash. I haven’t seen Tyler in a couple of years. But one of the players texted me yesterday afternoon, and I didn’t see that coming, obviously. I know a lot of our players have responded. It’s very sad. Most difficult to try and understand. But nevertheless, our condolences go out to his family and his friends, and all those that cared for him. He was an outstanding teammate, now. During the time he was here, the players really enjoyed Tyler Sash. So I’m dumbfounded by this, and I’m very sad.

Having said that, the start of the 2015 season. We’re excited to go on the field this afternoon, or late-morning here, and prepare for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, having won our division a year ago, an outstanding football team. A strong team in a lot of categories. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Q: Have you spoken to or are you planning on speaking to the team about Tyler?

A: I did not mention that this morning. There were a couple players around yesterday. Eli was around. I spoke to him about it. He was taken aback as well.

Q: Everyone was so excited to see Jason Pierre-Paul on Monday. Do you have to worry about a dip in the morale?

A: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think the fact that he came in the way he did, Mr. Personality, was there and he felt good about himself, obviously, and where he’s been. He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.

Q: So it was his hand or his conditioning that won’t allow him to play?

A: The thing that had to be evaluated was his hand, yes.

Q: You said you have a plan for everything. How do you plan for that situation going forward?

A: Keep going, right where we are. Nothing’s changed. We’ve taken this path and we’re on it, and we’ll stay on it. Hopefully at some point in time, Jason will be ready to play, and we’ll get the green light. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll stay where we are.

Q: Did you get any sense of how close he is in terms of weeks?

A: I wouldn’t put any kind of time frame on it. It’s not going to be something that I have anything to say about anyways. It’s going to be the medical people.

Q: Has Victor Cruz’s status changed at all?

A: Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that.

Q: So he won’t be out there today?

A: [Shakes head no]

Q: You’ve been through your share of season openers as head coach here.

A: And everywhere else.

Q: Do they feel any different?

A: No, not at all. Just as excited, just as nervous, just as anxious to get started. Just as anxious to see our team on the field. So, no, nothing, no emotion. All the same.

Q: Are there specific areas or things with this team that you are particularly excited about?

A: Well, I’m excited to see how they respond, obviously, to going to Dallas and opening the season there. There’s a few guys that have been through that experience when it was a positive thing, a plus. But basically, it’s seeing our team come together, seeing us pull together now that we’re at 53, plus the 10 practice squad kids. I’m looking forward to that part of it.

Q: You added Jasper Brinkley to the roster. What kind of role do you see for him? Inside, outside, both?

A: Well, probably inside to start with. But I’m sure he’ll learn to play more than one, perhaps all three [linebacker positions].

Q: Is this at all a reflection on Jon Beason’s availability?

A: No, but we thought it was a necessity.

Q: Is Beason ready?

A: He’s going to practice today.

Q: What about Jonathan Casillas?

A: He’s going to practice. He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play, though? We didn’t see him the last three preseason games.

A: He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play in a game though?

A: He practices today. He’ll have a helmet on, and shoulder pads, those things.

Q: The last several weeks he’s practiced, but he’s been limited. You’ve kept him out of contact, so obviously there’s a concern there. Is there still a concern there?

A: I hope not, but we’ll see.

Q: Has Dallas changed much?

A: Well, in preseason you don’t see a whole lot. But the playoff games were, obviously, very good football. I don’t see any real radical change in the way that their approach is. Some of the names have changed.

Q: When did you start studying them?

A: 2014.

Q: How do you do it when they have such a big change in their backfield? How do you study that?

A: Well, there’s no doubt that they talk mostly about their offensive line, and the strength of their offensive line. I think that’s where you start. You start on their offensive line, and their defensive line. And there hasn’t been any real changes there.

Q: What’s the challenge with the safeties on the road in Dallas?

A: Communication. Communication. That’ll be a concern. We’ll have noise today. We’ll have officials today. We’ll do that for a couple days. Hopefully that will help focus in on the hand signals and the things of that nature that they have to utilize to communicate even though they’re perhaps a few yards apart.

Q: You’re aware the team hasn’t won an opener the past few years. How much does that put you behind? You come out the first week, lose that first game.

A: I don’t know. I don’t want to go there. We’re trying to win. We’re looking forward to the opener. I don’t remember a loss. We won a few, too. I don’t know, Paul. I’m not interested in that part of it right now. All I’m interested in is getting these people ready to play. I’m excited about playing, and let’s go see what we’ve got.

Q: Do you remember coming into a season with so many unanswered questions in your mind on what you have, what you are?

A: I don’t know, I don’t keep track of the count. There are some areas where we expect some people to step up and gain significant recognition in terms of the quality of their play. We look forward to working with those guys. So we have a few things, obviously, that need to be ironed out and need to be clarified. Hopefully that’s what will happen right here.

Q: For a long time, Victor was so optimistic on playing the first game. I don’t know if you’ve ruled anything out. I don’t know if that’s accurate. But has his situation unfolded the way you expected, or have there been frustrations on your part? Is this what you expected?

A: Oh, no. Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously [Nat] Berhe is a great example of that. But that’s what is holding him back, not the other.

Q: You’re a little thin at defensive tackle, obviously you expected Louis Nix to be here. Do you expect to add another body in there?

A: Yeah, we will. But don’t forget, we’ve worked some other people in there. [Kerry] Wynn has worked in there, for example, to give us another athlete that can certainly play in there on second and long and third down.

Q: Will Cullen Jenkins go back in there as well?

A: Cullen plays in there—in and out, in and out. He can certainly play in there.

Q: How’s he doing physically?

A: Okay. We’ll see what he does today on the field.

Q: You spent a lot of time and energy this offseason in rebuilding the offensive line. Where do you stand going into the season, and what are your expectations for that group?

A: I expect us to improve throughout the entire season. Not only for the young guy that’s in there in the new position etc… Westy [Weston Richburg] being in there at center. I think we’re going to improve and get better each time we play. We hopefully have got some things solved, and others to come. I do expect that we will have a starting point and get better from there.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Aug 052015
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 5, 2015 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fifth summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Left tackle Ereck Flowers (hip flexor), center Weston Richburg (knee tendinitis), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.

“Richburg has a little tendinitis and they decided to hold him out today,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

“We’re just going day-by-day. It’s getting better,” said Flowers. “When it first happened, I wasn’t able to lift it, but now I can lift it up. So, it’s getting better, I should be practicing soon…I usually heal pretty fast and do pretty well, so I’ll definitely be out there really soon.”

“Day to day (with Flowers),” said Coughlin. “He’s much improved. Whether they let him go tomorrow or not, I don’t know. But he was much improved.”

Linebacker Jameel McClain (stinger) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) left practice early with injuries. McClain suffered a serious neck injury while with the Ravens so the injury could potentially be more serious than an average stinger.

“(McClain) got a little stinger,” said Coughlin. “So he’s got to run through all the tests.”

“Prince [Amukamara] had a little strain in the groin area during one-on-one,” said Coughlin.

PRACTICE NOTES…
For the first time this year, the Giants practiced in full pads. “It was kind of sluggish, to be honest with you,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “As it usually is the first time in full pads. Their legs are covered etc. etc. But they have to learn how to handle that, and they will.”

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With left tackle Ereck Flowers (hip flexor) and center Weston Richburg (knee tendinitis) out, the starting offensive line was left tackle Justin Pugh, left guard Adam Gettis, center Dallas Reynolds, right guard Geoff Schwartz, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse. The Giants also worked in John Jerry at right guard and Geoff Schwartz at right tackle. The line struggled to keep a clean pocket for the quarterbacks.
  • Cullen Jenkins got some work at defensive end with the first-team along with Robert Ayers. Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn were the tackles when Jenkins was at end. Damontre Moore and Owamagbe Odighizuwa also played end with the first-team.
  • Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins nailed running back Orleans Darkwa in the backfield on one play.
  • Landon Collins and Bennett Jackson were the first-team safeties. Jeromy Miles played with the second-team and made a couple of nice plays against the run.
  • Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris returned a punt for a touchdown after bobbling it.
  • Wide receiver Julian Talley had a good practice, even beating cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on an in-cut.
  • Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record said his three stars of practice were safety Landon Collins, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and safety Jeromy Miles.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice:

Q: What happened to Jameel McClain out there?

A: He got a little stinger. So he’s got to run through all the tests.

Q: What about Weston Richburg?

A: [Weston] Richburg has a little tendinitis and they decided to hold him out today.

Q: Tendinitis in what?

A: Knee.

Q: How about Prince?

A: Prince [Amukamara] had a little strain in the groin area during one-on-one. So, naturally, he was out.

Q: Are you expecting Ereck Flowers back pretty soon?

A: Day to day. He’s much improved. Whether they let him go tomorrow or not, I don’t know. But he was much improved.

Q: What did you think of the padded practice, seemed like there was a lot of balls that hit the ground today, maybe today more than usual?

A: Balls hit the ground? Not necessarily, no. It was kind of sluggish, to be honest with you—as it usually is the first time in full pads. Their legs are covered etc. etc. But they have to learn how to handle that, and they will.

Q: Without the benefit of seeing the film, how do you think your offensive line held up?

A: I’m sure there was some good and some bad. To be honest with you, there were better runs than there were anything else. I thought that was something, if you want to build on, that was pretty good.

Q: While you were fully padded, did you want to do some more runs?

A: Well, we had an inside run drill, which we usually do fully padded. But otherwise it was blitz pickup and everything else. Nothing in particular to make it a run practice, if that’s what you’re asking.

Q: Do you feel like Jon Beason is under any restrictions?

A: Beason? Well, we’re very aware and his snaps are controlled, and basically they’re controlled by the number of people at the position. Obviously, if [Jameel] McClain is held out for any length of time, then that would affect the rotation.

Q: But you don’t want to overwork him obviously.

A: Well, everybody has got to get ready to play, though. We keep talking about that, and you know what, we’re taking every precaution—scientific precaution. Anything that has been discovered in our game by virtue of all the things we’ve looked at, we’re doing it. So now we’ve got to go out on the field. When we’re on the field, unfortunately, some things happen. I don’t have any other explanation for you.

Q: We got screened at the end of practice, what was the game today? It looked like both teams lost because they all had to do pushups.

A: We took some receivers and DBs and challenged them to throw the football and hit the crossbar. It wasn’t pretty. They all tried to kick field goals with the ball, and throw the ball up in the air. Take the ball and zing it. It was an eye-opener, let’s put it that way. Not anywhere as competitive as the last thing we did.

Q: This seems to be an emphasis for you guys, though.

A: Compete. Find stuff to make them compete. Just compete. Just always something, in addition to the field, obviously.

Q: Your defensive tackles looked like they had a solid day. Do you think they had a good showing today?

A: I know they’re working hard and they’ve improved their technique. Our footwork seems to be better. I think both the ends and the tackles rushed the passer pretty well today. Like I said, some runs squirted through, but they certainly did okay.

Q: How much negotiating goes on between you and Marvin Lewis as you get closer to these practices with the Bengals?

A: We set this up in the spring. It’s been set. Practice schedule is set, everything is set. I’m sure there will be maybe one more phone call, but most of it has all been done.

Q: How limited or how much contact are those practices going to have?

A: Just practice.

Q: Pads?

A: Pads.

Q: Uppers?

A: Pads one day, uppers the next—yeah.

Q: With the game officials here, did they tell you there’s going to be any extra emphasis on any part of the rules this year?

A: Well, they always stress whatever the new rules are and whatever the points of emphasis are. So, John (Parry) is prepared to speak about that as we’ve heard in the spring when the officiating crew is by. I’m sure we’ll continue to hear.

Q: Mike Sullivan thinks that Eli’s arm has looked as live as it has at any point that he’s seen. Would you agree with that assessment?

A: Yeah, it was that way in the spring, too. I think there was a lot of grinding on the part of the receivers today. Then, perhaps, the idea that in some occasions they weren’t where they were supposed to be kind of nullified some of the balls going downfield today. But, no question about his arm.

Q: With the more direct approach instead of the lob approach, could you have hit the crossbar?

A: I may have wanted to move it up.

Q: It was the crossbar not the upright?

A: It started out being the crossbar. The upright? Are you kidding? If we put a limit on it, we’d be out here all night.

Q: It looked like they were going for the upright.

A: It’s the way they were throwing the ball. I thought it was a rainbow.

Q: Cruz said last week about getting the pads on, it was going to be another step. Was this another rung in the ladder for him?

A: Yeah, I think he really got acclimated probably further than he expected, just in uppers. He went down a couple times with piles and that kind of thing. But I’m sure just handling the pads today.

Q: So nothing you saw today?

A: I didn’t see anything that way, no. Not at all.

QUARTERBACKS COACH MIKE SULLIVAN…
Mike Sullivan addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Last summer with Eli there was an emphasis on footwork. Is there something this year that there is an emphasis on mechanically or is it still the footwork?

A: It always starts with the footwork but I think it is just really having the reads, having the concepts become second nature and having that level of comfort and confidence that the player is going to be where we want them to be. That he is going to trust his feet, as we like to say, in terms of the timing of the system and nothing beats experience. There are no shortcuts, there is no way to kind of go around that and you’ve got a true professional like Eli who really buys into doing all the little things that really makes it easier to improve.

Q: What else can be done besides reps to get that done and to get that familiarity?

A: Certainty the reps out on the field and then the things that we can teach in the classroom. There is great dialogue that we have in our meeting room and certainly a guy with his experience and his background…and there is a couple of them in terms of being able to say anything [and] ask anything.  Those quarterback meetings…Ben (McAdoo) is certainly heavily involved in those meetings and it’s like another coaching meeting, so it is a lot of fun. Between the execution on the practice field, that preparation, what we do in the meeting room and then him taking care of his body, which he has done a tremendous job, of I think that we will be ready to go.

Q: How is your comfort level with the offense and is it odd that the guy you are trying to help and teach knows more of it than you do?

A: It has been exhilarating. I just can’t say enough about working with Ben McAdoo, what a detail-oriented, great teacher, very comfortable relationship and it is exciting. There [are] so many concepts about this scheme and I think Eli has really bought in and it has been a lot of fun to work with him. We didn’t really have to break through any of those barriers as far as establishing who we are and what we are about. We have a little history together so that has made it a lot easier so it has been a lot of fun.

Q: Does he have more options now? You look around at the talent level. Are his choices greater?

A: I think there [are] a lot of players that we are counting on. You look at certainly the receivers; Victor Cruz who is coming back and looking strong, Odell Beckham and Larry Donnell and so many of the players and younger guys, the addition of Shane Vereen out of the backfield. [It is] definitely nice to have those so he has been trying to spread the ball around and work on different reads, if you will, and that is certainly [a good thing].

Q: What have you seen from Ryan Nassib so far?

A: I think Ryan is a very, very hard worker [and] very competitive. I mean he is a gym rat, excellent…you talk about knowledge of the system, that guy, he is as sharp as a tack. He is someone from a mobility standpoint, the ability to extend plays and if he has to scramble, he has that as an asset and he is getting better [with] some of the things with his release and vantage point and tightening that up and getting the ball out of his hands faster. He has been doing that, so we have been very pleased working with him and I am excited to see what he does here in the preseason.

Q: Is that the emphasis with him? Getting the ball out faster?

A: I think there is a ton of areas of emphasis and he still has to get the, “Be ready to go at a moments notice.” That is the mindset and that is the way he prepares, which is great. He is not in the mode of, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m in grad school.’ He prepares as though he is going to be called upon and takes it up [notch] in that regard. I think that whether it is footwork or tightening up his release or any little, tiny thing, he is looking to improve everything, so I wouldn’t just limit it to that one area. He is looking to get better in all areas.

Q: You guys always had a veteran behind Eli during your first time here. I know this is a new look at Ryan but do you have any sense of whether if anything happened to Eli he could step in and get the job done for a little while?

A: Yeah, you know you are always hoping that your backup quarterback, if called upon, is ready to win, is ready to go ahead and do the things that are going to help you be successful, and certainly he is the backup quarterback for a reason because there are certain things he might not be able to do. [However], certainly from the standpoint of a person who would be competitive, who would be prepared, would work very hard and give everything he has, we have great confidence that he will continue to develop and be ready to go if he is called upon?

Q: How has being an offensive coordinator made you a better coach?

A: You know, it is interesting to see when you have the perspective of the entire operation: the run game, the pass game, the protections. I certainly can appreciate the responsibility and the pressure that Ben is under and having gone through that, I kind of try and find different areas and ways to make his job easier, to try to have a perspective of some of the bigger picture things, of lessons I learned and mistakes that I made, things that worked well and just to focus on what can I do, especially from the quarterback’s standpoint, to help him to be at his best so it helps the rest of the offense flow smoothly.

Q: With Tom Coughin, it always comes up every year whether the game has passed him by or if he is up with the latest things. How have you seen him evolve as a coach and keep up with the times and what is your opinion about that?

A: I think Coach Coughlin certainly has core values, he is a man of great integrity and honor and the way his style of football…the discipline, the belief in team above self that has not changed. He has in a lot of ways tried to do various thing to…whether it is the music we’ve got at stretch or just some of the various things behind the scenes that I don’t necessarily want to get into, but he has definitely been on the cutting edge and you look at just the openness of having the veteran quarterback and now with the new system and all that is going on there, I think he is always looking to evolve and grow. It stresses to us as coaches that the day you stop learning, the day you are so set in your ways, is the day that it is time to move on, so he has been very energized and it has just been a thrill for me to be back.

Q: Did you ever you think six or eight years ago that you would see a Giants practice with Tom Coughlin with music on the field and big guys catching punts?

A: It has been great and there is more to come. We have a few more things in store, so it should be a lot of fun.

Q: What about your year as a consultant. Was that sort of a year off?

A: It was an opportunity, first and foremost, to reconnect with my family and spend more time with my daughters, and I spent the time to work with Derek Carr to help get him ready for the draft, which was a lot of fun. Of course, David’s younger brother, went out to California and helped train him and work out with him and I was pleased with the progress he has made and wish him well as long as we don’t play him. I did some online work and that just gave me a chance really to take a step back and without all the pressure, to see the games it is just amazing. There is so many…when you take that vantage point, you can see some of the mistakes that are made and of course you fill the spiral notebook with ideas and it is not necessarily X’s and O’s as much as just ideas and thoughts of how you can be better prepared should you get another opportunity. I feel very fortunate to have a chance to be back and not just back but to come back home with big blue.

Q: Do you still have that book?

A: Oh, yes. My manifesto, my lessons learned and that type of thing.

Q: The goal for Eli last year was 70% completion rate, which he hasn’t really backed off when you ask him about it. Is that just something that is put out there as something to shoot for or is that an attainable goal?

A: Eli has always been very goal oriented. He has always been someone that has had high expectations for himself and I would say this, he is certainly going to do everything and has been and will continue to do everything possible to achieve those goals that are going to help us win. I think that it comes down to however many passes we need to win, that is what we are going to want to complete. However many big plays or touchdowns or adjustments in the run game or protections or whatever needs to be done, he is going to do. I don’t know if there is any set number or those certain indicators that help you win. We all know that if you protect the football, if you are able to have a certain amount of yards you are able to rush for or efficiency on third down or red zone or QB rating, those are all objectives but ultimately it just comes down to winning and I think that is all that really Eli cares about. In fact, I know that is all he cares about.

Q: How much does this offense make it reasonable to think that number can be realistically attainable?

A: I think there are components of the offense where we are looking for completions and trying to get the ball out of his hands and if there is a completion there, we are going to take it. Heck, when you’ve got a guy like Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Shane Vereen and some of these guys that can do a lot of damage…a 70-yard gain is a 70-yard gain whether the ball is in the air for 50 or one yard and we had a great run, so whatever it takes.

TIGHT ENDS COACH KEVIN M. GILBRIDE…
Kevin Gilbride addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What have you seen in Larry Donnell this year as opposed to last year?

A: He’s coming along, as far as just getting healthy again. As far as football is concerned, it’s his commitment to focusing on the techniques in blocking—that’s really improved. What we need to get him to do is really get back to where he was running routes. He’s not quite there yet, but he’s working towards it and he’s done a nice job with the workload we’ve given him.

Q: Because of the Achilles?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you have a handle on what he is and what he can be?

A: I think he can be a pretty special player, but there’s a lot of improving that is going to have to take place in order for him to be that special player. The good thing is, he’s working towards it, and he’s starting to understand that he could be a pretty special guy as well.

Q: When you say special, in what way? A big time pass catcher or an overall player?

A: A big-time pass catcher, number one. I think we all saw the ability there last year. But also, not only be serviceable in the run game, but could be a very good run blocker in what we’re asking him to do.

Q: After the Washington game did his injury slow him down?

A: I think so. I think the wear and tear of the full season—it’s the first time he’s ever had to go through something like that. Even in college, he was a quarterback to start off and then became a tight end. College seasons are much shorter than the professional NFL year, so through the course of the year and the wear and tear, and the banging day in, day out that he took, did slow him down through the course of the season.

Q: What has Jerome Cunningham shown you?

A: He shows that he can be an explosive pass catcher and route running receiver from the tight end position. What’s been not necessarily surprising, but exciting, is watching him run block and watch how intense he is about it, and how he likes to finish blocks and move defenders off the ball.

Q: Larry had some great highlights but also some lowlights—dropping the ball, losing it. Is controlling his body an issue?

A: I think that’s a big, big part of it. I always reference back to the fact that he hadn’t played much football, and hadn’t played the position very long. So the more he does it, the better he’s going to be. It’s been a huge emphasis on our part—having him carry the football the proper way. Knowing how to protect himself when he has the football in his hands and he’s carrying it and running with it. There’s little things like every time he was on the sideline or came out of practice—he’s having a ball tossed to him and he’s holding it with the tip high every now and then as I’m telling the rest of the guys the plays, I’m trying to knock it out. Just little things to have him remember that it is the most important thing—to hold it properly. That’s the way you protect it the best, by focusing on it and focusing on doing it right.

Q: He got knocked head over heels a lot?

A: Often, when he would almost straighten his legs and at the waist. That’s something that also we’ve talked about. He’s got two options: he can lower his shoulder and run over the man—and that means you’re bending your legs, bending your knees or you can jump over him. It’s one of the two. No matter what you do, you have to protect the football. The tip of the football can never be here [down]—it’s not protected, it’s not secure, it’s not strong. It has to be high.

Q: How big of a surprise was Daniel Fells last year? He seemed to be an extra guy but he made a lot of big receptions.

A: He did, he made a lot of good plays. Again, I wouldn’t say it was a surprise because you know what you’re getting with Daniel. You know he’s going to be a consistent player, a consistent person, and a great leader in that room—being a veteran and having those guys to help them come along. Daniel makes the plays that are there to be made and then he impressed you every now and then by making one that you don’t necessarily think he can make.

Q: Do you expect to have good matchups with your tight ends because of all the weapons you have in the receiving corps and running backs? Do you expect Donnell to have more favorable matchups?

A: Rather than have like a dime playing him, they have to worry about Shane [Vereen]. We’ll see how it plays out, you never really know how you’re going to get attacked by the defense. You prepare for all the different scenarios and you prepare based on what you see on film from the defense. That certainly could a scenario where because of all the weapons on the outside with Shane Vereen out of the backfield, with Rashad Jennings, that potentially you could get a good matchup at the tight end position. That’s something that as coaches we study very, very hard to prepare for, but then through the course of the game, they can always switch up the matchups based on who they’re being hurt by.

Q: It seems like this time last year Larry moved up out of the pack because of the work he had done in the offseason, is that fair?

A: Not necessarily, no. Last training camp we were working hard to figure out who was going to be the best player and what they can do. We’ve talked about that with you and I and this group. Each guy has a certain skillset, and we’re going to try and find the things that they can do and put them in the football game to execute those things. If you can do something that’s going to bring in value to our team, you’re going to get in the game to do it.

Q: In terms of him specifically, he seemed like a good offseason guy for you. A guy who took coaching well and advanced quickly as a result of that. So he misses May and June, what does that do for his development?

A: Well, where it hurt his development was physically, not mentally. He did a great job of being very locked in, in the meetings and on the practice field when he was with us and wasn’t rehabbing. He did a tremendous job of making sure he was locked into the play and getting mental reps.

Q: If he gets back to where he was, is he going to be the guy who takes the majority of the snaps like last year?

A: You would love to have even more guys. The more guys, the better, because the wear and the tear through the course of the season isn’t as heavy—it’s not as heavy of a workload for each guy. The more you can have, the better off you’re going to be.

Q: Has Jerome done enough to play himself into a role yet?

A: Right now the evaluation process is going on with everybody.  I think he’s done some very good things, and he’s done some things where he can improve. He certainly warrants a shot, as far as getting playing time in the preseason and then you see where it goes from there.

Q: You mentioned the advancements Larry is making as a blocker, what specifically do you see in what he’s doing now better?

A: As far as the technique is concerned? Not dropping his inside knee when he’s working with the offensive tackle. Trying to keep his elbows tight. Those are all very important things and really it comes from having confidence. When your hands go outside, it’s because you think the guy is going to go around you. When you trust yourself to get your elbow tight and punch your hands inside, that means you’re trusting what you see and that’s a very important thing. It’s an area he still needs to improve on, but he’s getting there. He’s getting there and he’s working with it. He’s making mistakes and learning from them rather than just reverting back to what he was doing before.

Q: There was a play when he was split outside on a run play, in terms of downfield blocking in the run game, is that something he’s still working on?

A: It’s something that we’ll ask him to do certainly. It’ll be a part of our package. That’s one thing that you always work on, but that’s not the major focus. The major focus is the in-line blocking that we need him to improve on. And he is, he’s getting there, he’s just not there yet.

Q: To have Mike Sullivan back, how excited is he and how excited are you to have him back?

A: I think he’s very excited to be back. You’d have to ask him as far as any specifics. But I can comment on what itit is to have him back. I think the comradery and the synergy that you have as an offensive staff is incredibly important. Having him back is a big part of that. Getting him back in the fold and he really got back in the fold pretty quickly and got to know the guys that he hadn’t known before. Re-established relationships and working relationships with guys he had before, so it’s been a nice addition.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

RELATED ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The sixth training camp practice will be held on Thursday from 2:30-4:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website. Only five remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Thursday, August 6: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Sunday, August 16: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Jun 272015
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eli Manning’s Agent Confident in a New Deal: The agent for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Tom Condon, told The New York Daily News that he is confident a new contract will be negotiated that will keep Manning in Giants Blue. Manning is entering the final year of his current contract. He is scheduled to make $17 million in base salary in 2015 and count $19.75 million against the team’s salary cap.

“The interesting part about it is, since 1993, the inception of free agency, has there ever been an elite quarterback hit the open market?” asked Condon. “Peyton (Manning did in 2012), but he had four neck surgeries and no idea if he would ever be well enough to play. Drew Brees, when he went to New Orleans (in 2006), he had 15 studs in his shoulder, in his throwing arm (from a hit he took in the final game of 2005). There’s nobody else that’s ever come up. They just re-do you.”

Condon also pointed to Manning’s reputation off of the field.

“In all the years that he’s been here, has he ever said anything that’s been scandalous in the newspaper?” Condon said. “Nothing. And in this market? He’s a genuinely good guy.”

“The quarterbacks always get done,” Condon said. “And the Giants are not a skittish team. So it’s not one of those things where they get nervous or they jump around or anything like that. You know you’re going to go in and it’s going to get done. I’m sure at the appropriate time it’ll happen.”

Article on Quarterbacks Coach Mike Sullivan: After one-year hiatus, quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan thrilled to be back with Giants, Eli Manning by Nick Powell for NJ.com

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