Aug 242016
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 24, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Will Johnson (burner), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), safety Darian Thompson (shoulder), and safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

Left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) was limited.

Tight end Larry Donnell (unknown) left practice early.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Victor Cruz (groin) practiced for the second day in a row.

“Victor looked great,” Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan said. “He has had two strong days, got a lot of balls thrown to him. I’m excited about where he is, and hopefully he will have his opportunity against the Jets (on Saturday).

“There was the suddenness, the explosiveness, the things that I have in mind, visions of 2011 in terms of that type of quickness. So obviously that is something to be excited about, and again, we’re just progressing and hoping for the best. We’re not trying to get overly excited or put too much pressure, just taking it one day, one rep, at a time; and he’s certainly shown some flashes over yesterday.”

GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE COACHES 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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo, Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry, and Safeties Coach David Merritt will address the media on Thursday.

Aug 102016
 
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Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 10, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eleventh summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (groin), defensive end Kerry Wynn (groin), and linebacker Keenan Robinson (groin) did not practice. “I’m doing good,” Cruz said. “Better.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • For the second day in a row, the first-team wide receivers were Odell Beckham, Geremy Davis, and Sterling Shepard (slot).
  • The defense used a three-safety package in 7-on-7 drills with the first-team including Darian Thompson and Nat Berhe deep with Landon Collins in the box. Another package had Leon Hall and Berhe deep with Collins and Thompson closer to the line.
  • The dime defense had a look with Jason Pierre-Paul and Devon Kennard at defensive end and Olivier Vernon and Owamagbe Odighizuwa at defensive tackle.
  • Kelvin Sheppard and Jasper Brinkley continue to see reps at middle linebacker with the first-team. B.J. Goodson received second-team reps at middle linebacker.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up a slant pass intended for wide receiver Geremy Davis. Jenkins later almost picked off another pass intended for wide receiver Dwayne Harris and broke up another pass intended for Davis in the end zone. Jenkins had a good practice.
  • Defensive end Stansly Maponga flashed at right defensive end.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham for a touchdown against cornerback Eli Apple. Manning and Beckham later hooked up for another touchdown.
  • Defensive tackle Greg Milhouse flashed by collapsing the pocket.
  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib hit tight end Will Johnson for a touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Anthony Dable caught a touchdown against cornerback Matt Smalley.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon flashed in coverage.
  • Quarterback Logan Thomas was not sharp.
  • Place kicker Josh Brown nailed a 63-yard field goal in practice.

JERRY REESE ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of ESPN Radio’s interview with General Manager Jerry Reese on Wednesday is available at ESPN.com.

THE COACHES 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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no practice on Thursday. The Giants play the Dolphins in the preseason opener on Friday. The twelfth training camp practice will be held on Sunday from 11:10AM – 12:50PM. Weather permitting, this will be the last training camp practice open to the public this year.

Jul 272016
 
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Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS REPORT TO CAMP ON THURSDAY…
New York Giants players report to summer training camp on Thursday. The first training camp practice will occur on Friday. (A complete schedule is available at Giants.com). Head Coach Ben McAdoo and a number of players will address the press on Thursday.

HAKEEM NICKS SIGNS WITH SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has signed a 1-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed then 27-year old Hakeem Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games.

Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012.

DANIEL FELLS RETIRES…
Although not officially announced, it appears New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells has retired. Fells was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2015 after multiple career-threatening surgeries were required to address a life-threatening staph infection that developed in an injured ankle. He only played in two games in 2015 and finished with six catches for 60 yards.

Fells said on his Instagram account, “Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I’m grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience.”

Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. He played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2014 with nine starts, accruing 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

TOM COUGHLIN ACCEPTS JOB WITH NFL…
According to press report, former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has accepted a full-time position with the NFL’s football operations department. His exact role has yet to be announced by the League. Coughlin was de facto fired in January by the Giants after serving with the team since 2004.

GIANTS.COM INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive interviews with the following coaches and players are available at Giants.com:

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (Video)
  • TE Will Tye (Video)
  • DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
  • DT Damon Harrison (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

This picture of me and my baby girl was taken a little over a year ago at Quest Diagnostic. I wish I was heading into battle with my brothers as Training Camp starts up this week but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I'm grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience. Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, emails and well wishes that I've gotten over the last few months. I'm working hard to accept my physical limitations and the mental struggles that go along with them. I know that I'm lucky to be alive so I'm determined to make the most of everyday that I have. Looking forward to cheering for my G-men and all of my former teammates on different teams around the nation this year #onceagiantalwaysagiant

A photo posted by Daniel Fells (@danielfells85) on

Jun 152016
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 15, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants mandatory 3-day mini-camp was held on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mini-camp will conclude with a practice and meetings on Thursday.

GIANTS INTERESTED IN EUGENE MONROE…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants were involved in trade talks with the Baltimore Ravens for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. Those talks apparently fell apart and Monroe was released on Wednesday. The Giants, Chargers, and Seahawks are speculated to have interest in his services as a free agent.

The 29-year old Monroe was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars traded Monroe to the Ravens in October 2013. In seven seasons, Monroe has started regular-season 90 games. He missed five regular-season games in 2014 and 10 regular-season games in 2015 due to injury. Monroe is an athletic left tackle whose toughness and passion for the game have been questioned.

INJURY REPORT – VICTOR CRUZ CONTINUES TO WORK…
Running back Orleans Darkwa (fractured leg), tight end Matt LaCosse (lower leg), offensive guard Ryan Seymour (torn ligament in hand), offensive tackle Byron Stingily (unknown), defensive tackle Montari Hughes (lower leg), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (unknown), linebacker J.T. Thomas (lower leg), safety Nat Berhe (calf), safety Cooper Taylor (sports hernia), and safety Mykkele Thompson (lower leg) did not practice.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) continued to practice on a limited basis.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, and Eli Apple were all rotated at the outside cornerback position with the starting unit.
  • Kelvin Sheppard was with the first-team at middle linebacker.
  • Jasper Brinkley worked with the second-team unit at middle linebacker with Brad Bars and Keenan Robinson outside.
  • First-team defense showed a front with Kerry Wynn at left end, Jason Pierre-Paul at left defensive tackle, Damon Harrison at right defensive tackle, and Olivier Vernon at right defensive end.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis received some first-team reps.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe reached behind himself on a crossing route to make a nice catch from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple knocked away a deep pass to wide receiver Roger Lewis.
  • Wide receiver Myles White ripped the ball away from cornerback Matt Smalley down the left sideline.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon, working the slot corner position with the second-team defense, intercepted a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib intended for wide receiver Myles White.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams was active catching the ball.
  • Cornerback Leon McFadden broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham in the red zone.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found tight end Will Tye for a touchdown in the left corner of the end zone, beating linebacker Devon Kennard.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple dove to knock away a pass intended for wide receiver Myles White in the red zone.
  • Wide receiver K.J. Maye made a diving touchdown reception on a comeback route.
  • Tight end Will Tye beat linebacker Kelvin Sheppard over the middle.
  • Cornerback Trevin Wade broke up a deep pass intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Wide receiver Myles White beat cornerback Donte Deayon for a touchdown.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up a slant pass intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made a one-handed grab for a touchdown on a fade route against cornerback Janoris Jenkins in the left corner of the end zone.
  • Running back Shane Vereen threw an option pass for a touchdown to tight Ryan Malleck.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up an end zone pass intended for wide receiver K.J. Maye.
  • Tight end Larry Donnell beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a long catch-and-run.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

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…

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…