Sep 052015
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Henry Hynoski, New York Giants (December 30, 2012)

Henry Hynoski – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants made 22 roster moves on Saturday in order reduce the roster to 53 players as required by the NFL.

The Giants waived or terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • QB Ricky Stanzi
  • RB Kenneth Harper
  • FB Henry Hynoski
  • WR James Jones
  • WR Corey Washington (waived/injured)
  • WR Julian Talley
  • TE Adrien Robinson
  • OT Emmett Cleary
  • OT Sean Donnelly
  • OG Adam Gettis
  • DE Brad Bars
  • DT Dominique Hamilton
  • LB Jameel McClain
  • LB Ashlee Palmer
  • LB Cole Farrand
  • CB Chykie Brown
  • CB Chandler Fenner
  • S Jeromy Miles
  • S C.J. Conway
  • PK Chris Boswell

The Giants placed the following players on season-ending Injured Reserve:

  • S Nat Berhe (calf)
  • OC Brett Jones (knee)

“(Cut down days are) all the same, because inevitably there are guys, I don’t give a damn who you are, you become attached to them,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “They’re part of your landscape. To have some of these guys that have been here, and been through some of the really good times, to have them go, it’s not easy. Because you have something you shared. You shared it, and it was great. And it’ll be there for a lifetime. Especially as gracious as some of these young men are and the things that they say. I mean they’re in here almost in tears, and you’re sitting there thinking that this is just going to be one of those hard days. All of a sudden, they start touching the emotional part of it, and it’s not easy.”

The Giants have 16 players on their 53-man roster (30.2 percent) who were not here or did not play a game for the team in 2014.

“It’s what you see throughout the league,” Coughlin said. “I think that sometimes, to be honest with you, that number and that percentage is a good thing. Because you do need the constant (roster turnover). It happens naturally, but it’s a constant as you try and improve. You wouldn’t think that a team who won six games would stay where they are. Well, they’re not. You have to try another direction.”

Three lesser-known players who surprised included tight end Jerome Cunningham, linebacker Unai’ Unga, and fullback Nikita Whitlock.

“Without a doubt, they flashed,” Coughlin said. “They flashed and they followed through. It’s not all the finished product by any means, but they are young and they do play hard. There hasn’t been many big plays the whole (preseason), but Cunningham has made a couple of them, outstanding catches. Geremy Davis has made plays. He’s a special teamer. He’s out there on the practice field every day. He’s out there. Be out there on the practice field. Maybe we can make some progress if you’re out there. It’s hard to make progress when you’re not.”

“What’d (Whitlock) make, two or three tackles on special teams the other night,” said Coughlin. “That’s the thing. He’s a four-core special teamer (playing on the punt and punt return, kickoff and kickoff return teams). He’s had them all, and knows full well why he’s here.”

“You definitely do see the potential (in Unga),” Coughlin said. “He can run, he’s physical, he’s got some skill. He’s got a deep skill level. He’s got a lot to learn about the position.”

Hynoski has been the starting fullback for the Giants for the last four seasons. McClain started 14 games for the Giants at middle linebacker in 2014. Robinson was was a former draft pick (2012 4th round).

“Everybody loves Henry,” Coughlin said. “Henry is a very positive young man. He’s upbeat. He always has and always will do whatever you want him to do. He’s had a couple of years where he’s had some injury issues. But by in large, he’s out there every day. You get to appreciate those kind of guys.”

“Another one that was tough (was McClain),” Coughlin said. “He’s obviously a recent addition here. But he’s always been a very upbeat and positive guy, and always looking for the bright side of everything. He is verbal, and is loud. But you come to realize that he’s doing it for a reason. He is positive about the impression he makes on people. He’ll take charge of the huddle for you, there’s no doubt about that.”

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

Notes and Quotes: With the release of punter Steve Weatherford and and fullback Henry Hynoski, the Giants have just seven players remaining from the 2011 Super Bowl XLVI championship team: QB Eli Manning, WR Victor Cruz, OT Will Beatty, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, LB Mark Herzlich, CB Prince Amukamara, and LS Zak DeOssie.

Coughlin on new punter Brad Wing: “Left-footed, hang, distance, and location. Impressive grades coming out (of LSU). Punted for a season and had the kind of things that we would like to be able to do in terms of directional punting and all that stuff.”

The Giants say Wing will also be the holder for Josh Brown’s field goal and extra point attempts.

Aug 282015
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Nat Berhe and Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Nat Berhe and Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have most likely lost yet another safety for the season. Second-year defensive back Nat Berhe will undergo surgery on his calf on Friday to remove a blood clot. The surgery is expected to land Berhe on season-ending Injured Reserve, although there is a chance he could be placed on short-term Injured Reserve. The Giants have already lost safeties Mykkele Thompson (torn Achilles’ tendon), Bennett Jackson (torn ACL), and Justine Currie (fractured ankle and leg) for the year.

Berhe originally injured his calf in May while running. He missed most of the spring practices and almost all of training camp. Berhe returned to practice on Tuesday but re-aggravating the injury and missed practice on Wednesday.

The only safeties now on the roster include Landon Collins, Cooper Taylor, Jeromy Miles, Brandon Meriweather, Justin Halley, and C.J. Conway. Both Collins (knee) and Taylor (toe) have themselves missed valuable time due to injuries. Veteran journeymen Miles and Meriweather have been starting at safety in practice this week. Halley and Conway are rookie free agent long shots who were signed after injuries began hitting the safety position. Interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: A video of a interview with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at

Aug 152015
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Mykkele Thompson, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Mykkele Thompson Lost for Year; Landon Collins MCL Sprain: As feared, New York Giants safety Mykkele Thompson’s season is over. The 2015 5th-round draft pick ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the team’s 23-10 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night.

It also appears the Giants will be without fellow rookie safety Landon Collins for at least a couple of weeks. Collins sprained the MCL in one of his knees in the game. Collins was the team’s 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

“I would say it’s longer than a week (that Collins will be out),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin could not provide an update on cornerback Jayron Hosley, who suffered a neck injury and a possible concussion in the game as well. “I don’t have any information for you yet (on Hosley). I’m hoping that this is not a long term deal,” said Coughlin.

Cornerback Trumaine McBride also left the contest early with a hamstring injury, but there was no update.

Wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis) left the game after only a few plays. “He had struggled when we first got to the practices,” said Coughlin of Randle. “His tendinitis, his patellar tendinitis had bothered him after a couple days off of his feet. He thought he could play, he did not warm-up well, we probably should have shut him down right away, but he had played a few snaps. He definitely was not himself and he was in pain.”

Coughlin was asked about three defensive backs who did not play in the game: cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), and safety Nat Berhe (calf).

“I don’t see (Brown) coming back right away this week,” said Coughlin.

Coughlin was hopeful that Berhe could return soon, but did not provide much clarification regarding Amukamara.

August 15, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: The following is the transcript from Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s conference call on Saturday afternoon:

Good afternoon everyone, I just had a staff meeting and I spent most of the day looking at the tape. I said just about everything I needed to say last night. It’s the first preseason game. We were able to get everybody dressed into the football game, which was good. We didn’t play well with our ones and perhaps didn’t play well throughout the entire night. We still had chances. As you all know, we ran a kickoff back to the 35, accepted the ball and ran it back to the 35, and then did really nothing with it after we got it in to that point.

Our first group gave up an easy touchdown with Cincinnati driving the ball with their ones then they took primarily their first group out of the game. Offensive team, Eli (Manning) played 15 plays, and the offensive line played 24 plays. I think with Eli we had one opportunity and we did not make it on 3rd and 1. We had a pass in there that was dropped, which would have been our only third down opportunity. Otherwise we really were just three and out, three and out, three and out type things, so not pleased at all with that.

I expected much more, don’t know what the issue was with that, but it does put into perspective the entire day, the work that has to be done and put in here. Questions are going to be asked about the offensive line, we did some things okay. Everybody wants to know how (Ereck) Flowers played, I thought he played okay. I just think as a group we weren’t able to execute together in any capacity that allowed us to have total success with a play. For example, the ball would be run to the left, it would look like we would get to the perimeter and be able to make a nice run with it, and perhaps one of the backside people would have been beaten and a defender was there for a potential cutback or caught the ball carrier before he got to the corner.

I didn’t think our receivers played well. I thought our execution left a lot to be desired and I thought the details and the route work was not very good. We did have a couple opportunities that we let get away from us, particularly there was a post ball that I thought we could have hit for a touchdown, and we didn’t get that done. The quarterback was forced out of the pocket, but prior to that, I thought he could have made a play possibly and got the ball down the field. It was one of those deals where their secondary perhaps was making an error.

As I said, we played a lot of people, had some chances and didn’t do very well with the ones that we had, and then the backup players had an opportunity to get plenty of snaps, and they did get play time, but it wasn’t of a productive nature as such.

We did have a couple of injuries. We all know today the achilles injury to (Mykkele) Thompson. I feel really bad for that young guy and (Landon) Collins has a MCL sprain, and you’re going to ask me how long, but I really don’t know. We’ll see. A lot of that is up to the individual.

Q: Is the season over for Thompson?

His season is over, yes.

Q: Speak on (Rueben) Randle’s knee injury

He had struggled when we first got to the practices. His tendinitis, his patellar tendinitis had bothered him after a couple days off of his feet. He thought he could play, he did not warm-up well, we probably should have shut him down right away, but he had played a few snaps. He definitely was not himself and he was in pain.

Q: You usually don’t play guys who don’t practice, why was it different this time?  Was it because this is the preseason?

No, I don’t necessarily agree with your statement. He missed two practice days but the trainers felt and he wanted to go, and he felt like he could go, and with that regard, the number of snaps that anyone was going to get made that a little bit easier decision when the trainers said he can play.

Q: What’s your level of concern after losing the two rookie safeties?

The level of concern has been there since day one because of the nature of where we are. Even going back to Nat Berhe being unable to come in here and practice, one of the few remaining safeties from our roster of a year ago. We obviously drafted two young players that we know were going to be able to help. Now we’ve lost one of those guys, the other issue is how quickly Landon can come back so he doesn’t miss out on anything, because he definitely needed last night. To be honest with you, he needed it. In order to be able to be in position, I think to where he’s seen a great deal of what takes place in the National Football League, and has been in games, and has had a chance to prepare and play, he needed last night. He didn’t get much last night, so certainly there’s concern.

Q: Where does Berhe stand? Is there any update on that? Any closer to maybe coming back than in the past week or so?

A: Well, I hope so. I hope so. I really don’t have much information yet from Ronnie (Barnes) or today’s medical, but I’m hoping that he’s—when we brought him back before, we thought he was going to be able to work his way through this thing before and then all of a sudden he got sore again. Whenever we do get the green light to bring him back, we will do so and we will always have to, and I think until proven, we will have to keep our fingers crossed that he can spend some consistent time on the field and get himself in position to where he can play.

Q: What did you see from the safeties who were out there? Specifically Jeromy Miles and Cooper Taylor?

A: Miles knows the defense and he’s been around Steve Spagnuolo. There’s a guy who we’re fortunate that we have here, to sign now, because of all that. Cooper is learning. He’s learning, he’s come in and after having had all that time off—so he’s started to come back and hopefully he’ll keep growing and learning and so on and so forth. That’s the way, those are the guys that we have and we will work hard to get those guys ready to play.

Q: What did you think about how the safeties performed overall last night when you watched the tape? And what kind of happened on that first touchdown? I know you kind of ran a safety onto the field and it seemed like one of them wasn’t in the right spot on the first touchdown.

A: Yeah, I saw what you saw, but how did they play last night? They did okay. There wasn’t anything overly, overly glaring. Certainly there were some penalties down the field, not that they were involved but it seemed to be as much of anything the big plays. Let them play. Let’s let them play and then we will take it step by step. Certainly as teams become more sophisticated and more comfortable with what they’re going to eventually be represented of their offense, we’ll see more of the ball in the air and we’ll see more of the safeties having to be involved in the play, not only coming to the line of scrimmage but also playing the pass. I can’t answer the questions you want because we’ve got to play some games with these guys back there and see how they go, see how they do.

Q: Is there a chance that Collins is in practice next week? Or is it thinking something longer?

A: I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. I would say it’s longer than a week.

Q: Now that Bennett Jackson is that sort of a nickel-cover guy, slot-cover guy, is he going to have to move to safety full-time now?

A: Well, we were able to bring him down from safety to play the nickel position and he also plays the safety position in that first and second down. So hopefully we can continue to do that. Certainly, he’s going to have to play more safety now.

Q: Did you have an update for Jayron Hosley? With his neck?

A: I don’t have any information for you yet. I’m hoping that this is not a long term deal. See if he can get back in there because he needs the play time and he showed that he certainly can get himself in position and do some of the things we have to do at the corner spot. Didn’t have a bad night at all prior to getting the injury and the injury came flying to  the line of scrimmage and he made a tackle in which he got his head banged around a little bit. I don’t have anything for you yet from today, but we’re hoping that Hosley can be cleared to go here real quick.

Q: Is the expectation that Prince is going to be back this week? And either way, do you need to add corners just to have numbers now? Do you feel like you’re getting short at that position?

A: Well, you can certainly count as well as I can and you can never have enough of those guys anyways. If Prince comes back and we get even short-term notice on when some of these other guys will be back, we probably do have enough but otherwise, you’re right, we’ll be down in numbers.

Q: Do you know anything on Chykie Brown? What is the injury first of all and what was the original diagnosis?

A: I don’t see him coming back right away this week.

Aug 062015
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Jameel McClain, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Jameel McClain – © USA TODAY Sports Images


The New York Giants held their sixth summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at

Left tackle Ereck Flowers (hip flexor), right guard Geoff Schwartz (coming off of ankle surgery), center Weston Richburg (knee tendinitis), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.

“Well, (Schwartz) obviously wasn’t doing well enough to stay out there for two days in a row,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It looks like one of those things that’s got to be managed. We hope to get him where he can practice hard a couple days a week, but we’ll have to see how that goes.”

McClain suffered a serious spinal contusion neck injury late in 2012 that caused him to miss six games in 2013. The Ravens released him at the end of that season.

“Tests on McClain, but chances are, because of the extent of the trauma, he’s going to have to sit for a while,” said Coughlin. “I wouldn’t be able to even guess on what they will do.”

“(Berhe) had some kind of a muscle tear in the calf area,” said Coughlin. “They’re treating it…I don’t have a timeframe.”

Wide receiver Preston Parker left practice early with a hamstring or quad injury to his right leg.

The Giants were in full pads again for the second day in a row. Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With Ereck Flowers, Geoff Schwartz, and Weston Richburg out, the starting offensive line was left tackle Justin Pugh, left guard Adam Gettis, center Dallas Reynolds, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
  • With Prince Amukamara out, Chykie Brown started at corner in his place.
  • Bennett Jackson started at safety again. He returned an interception from quarterback Ricky Stanzi for a defensive touchdown.
  • Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa beat offensive tackle Emmett Cleary for a sack.
  • Running backs Shane Vereen and Andre Williams saw quite a bit of action with the first-team.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw his first interception of training camp when a deep pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz was intercepted by a leaping cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. In a real game, Manning may not have gotten the pass off as defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis was bearing down on Manning for a sack. ( is also saying the ball hit the ground). (Video)
  • Left tackle Justin Pugh and fullback Henry Hynoski made good blocks on a running back Shane Vereen run that picked up good yardage.
  • Defensive end Damontre Moore gave right tackle Marshall Newhouse problems with his speed off of the edge.
  • Tight end Larry Donnell had his best practice and made a leaping catch over safety Cooper Taylor.
  • Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record said his three stars of practice were tight end Larry Donnell, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and safety Bennett Jackson.

Kerry Wynn … meet running back. #Giants

A video posted by Jordan Raanan (@jraanan) on

Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at

Q: How’s Geoff Schwartz doing?

A: Well, he obviously wasn’t doing well enough to stay out there for two days in a row. It looks like one of those things that’s got to be managed. We hope to get him where he can practice hard a couple days a week, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

Q: Tests on Jameel McClain?

A: Tests on McClain, but chances are, because of the extent of the trauma, he’s going to have to sit for a while. I wouldn’t be able to even guess on what they will do.

Q: Because of his history with that injury?

A: Yes. I’m sure that’s part of it.

Q: Did you get results on Nat Berhe’s MRI, he said he had one earlier?

A: He had some kind of a muscle tear in the calf area. They’re treating it.

Q: When you say tear it sounds kind of serious.

A: That’s all I know. I can’t tell you anymore, I don’t know what it means either.

Q: No timeframe?

A: I don’t have a timeframe.

Q: It looked like Dallas Reynolds was working with a couple units out there.

A: Yeah, he’s come back a stronger player, no doubt. We needed him to do that. He’s gotten a lot of time on the field with our issues with [Weston] Richburg. It’s good that he did.

Q: Is he upping his stock with you guys?

A: I hope so. When we look at tape, ask me again.

Q: Where do things stand with Weston Richburg and Ereck Flowers?

A: When I hear day-to-day, I don’t know. I can’t tell you. It looked like they were doing okay, especially [Ereck] Flowers. He looks like he’s really coming on—I saw him out of the corner of my eye, saw him running. He looked like he was doing okay.

Q: Missed practices at this point in training camp for him, can you get him up to speed?

A: Very difficult. Very tough. You miss time and you really have a difficult time making it up because there’s all kinds of stuff being thrown at him. The defense has got a sophisticated disguise and pressure package. He would benefit, definitely, from being out here. So he’s had his work in the spring, there’s no doubt he’ll pick it up, but it’s not good to miss practice. That’s that we’re here for.

Q: At some point are you going to move Justin Pugh back inside so he gets those guard reps, too?

A: We’ll have to share some time there, depending on how long he [Flowers] is out.

Q: We talked about the offensive line gelling and that being important. Three guys are out already, how much does that set you back and how do you speed it up if you have to?

A: Not really. You’ve got to go on the field and do your work on the field. You certainly want them all out there together every day, but that’s not the way it is.

Q: How about Prince Amukamara, we didn’t ask you about him?

A: Same kind of deal. He’s got a little groin, but because of the position he plays, how long he’ll be, I don’t know.

Q: Are you seeing Larry Donnell looking more explosive? You see him getting back to where he was before?

A: He’s coming along. He made a really nice play. I think every day he gets a little bit more mobility and he looks like he’s moving better. That’s what we’re hoping to get at. He’s also had a couple of good blocks in there.

Q: He had a pretty good season last year, but it was overshadowed by some mistakes. How hard has he worked on eliminating those?

A: He’s obviously worked hard at it. He’s also worked hard to try and hang onto the ball.

Q: You see anything different from Marcus Kuhn? Cullen Jenkins said he sees a significant difference in him.

A: He’s a big, strong kid that is moving his feet a little bit better. We need him to make a strong contribution.

Q: You said earlier on the radio that you thought Eli’s best football was ahead of him. Can you kind of expand on what you see that would lead you to say that? 34 year olds usually don’t have–

A: I base it on his offseason, his strength, the way he threw the ball in the spring, his knowledge—his continuing knowledge of the offense. And the fact that, God willing, we’ll have some production around him.

The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at and

The following Giants were also interviewed by ESPN Radio:

  • RB Andre Williams (Audio)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Audio)
  • DE Robert Ayers (Audio)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Audio)
  • S Landon Collins (Audio)


The seventh training camp practice will be held on Friday from 2:30-4:30PM but it is not open to the public. 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 four remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • 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
Aug 022015
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Geremy Davis and Jayron Hosley, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Geremy Davis and Jayron Hosley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants held their second summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at

The Giants have officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent wide receiver James Jones.  Jones will wear #89. The Giants have waived/injured tight end Matt LaCosse (hamstring) and defensive end Brad Harrah (quad).

Offensive tackle Will Beatty (PUP – recovering from pectoral surgery) did not practice.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), safety Nat Berhe (calf), and safety Mykkele Thompson (hamstring) were held to a limited number of snaps. The Giants want to work them back in slowly. Offensive guard John Jerry (sick) was limited.

Tight end Jerome Cunningham and wide receiver Preston Parker had to leave practice early with cramps.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (hand/arm) still has not signed his 1-year Franchise tender and has not reported to training camp.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Jerome Cunningham (now wearing #86) for a touchdown.
  • Owamagbe Odighizuwa saw some first-team reps at defensive end with Robert Ayers.
  • The defense performed well on Saturday with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, safety Landon Collins, and safety Bennett Jackson each making a couple of pass break-ups.
  • Tight end Adrien Robinson made a nice catch.
  • Safety Nat Berhe saw some time with the second-team defense.
  • Cornerback Jayron Hosley had a good practice.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made another nice reception and has looked good early.
  • Running back Andre Williams has looked quicker than last year and has received some first-team reps in practice.

Tom Coughlin addressed the media after the afternoon practice (video is available at

Q: Did you get word on what happened to Preston Parker yet?

A: Cramp.

Q: I just saw Jerome Cunningham go off on a cart…

A: Cramp.

Q: Are you going to be in some kind of pads tomorrow?

A: Uppers, yes.

Q: You had two guys with cramps here, a guy with a hamstring injury. Does that concern you? You wanted guys to arrive in shape.

A: They’re in shape. Evidently, they didn’t hydrate well enough. One guy had had the runs, one of those deals. So, try as you might, you’re still going to get these things. No matter who you try to blame, it’s going to happen. It’s 90 degrees.

Q: Has Cunningham shown you a little bit?

A: Yesterday he did well. I didn’t think too many people on offense showed me anything today. He did a few good things yesterday.

Q: We hear a lot of the players saying “be where your feet are.” Where does that come from?

A: Mindfulness. Mindfulness. If you’re going to be in the gym, be in the gym. Be where your feet are. Stay in the moment. Take care of one moment at a time. While you’re here, you deal with your football, deal with your job. It’s all the same type of theme.

Q: Who came up with that? Where was it discovered?

A: Well, we studied it this offseason as a staff. We’ve always had lots of statements about things of that nature. It’s just been reinforced more heavily, to the point where the guys are repeating it.

Q: Did James Jones come in as advertised?

A: Yes. Seemed like he was in good shape. Took some snaps today.

Q: Do you think he will acclimate more quickly. He thinks the offense is very similar to Green Bay.

A: The terminology, yes.

Q: Is his ability to do things in the red zone something that you liked?

A: Well, we’ll see. Hopefully it’s that, and in the field as well. It doesn’t have to be just the red zone.

Q: What have you seen from Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins? The two rookies starting right from the get-go.

A: I haven’t seen anything particularly good or bad just yet. It’s very early. They’re both working hard.

Q: Any word from JPP yet?

A: Not to my knowledge, no.

Q: Is Larry Donnell over the Achilles tendinitis from the spring?

A: He’s practiced and he’s done well with that.

Q: I haven’t seen John Jerry that much. Does he have something?

A: He was sick yesterday, and kind of sick today but he kept going. He took some reps today.

The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at and


The third training camp practice will be held on Sunday 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 seven remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Sunday, August 2: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • Monday, August 3: 2:30 – 4:30PM
  • 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 242015
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.



2014 YEAR IN REVIEW: Like the cornerbacks, the New York Giants safeties were supposed to be an area of strength in 2014 but ended up being a big disappointment. The team decided to cut super-talented but super-idiotic Will Hill after he failed yet another drug test. And Antrel Rolle followed up arguably his best season as a safety with one of his worst. Stevie Brown returned from an ACL injury but lost his starting job to Quintin Demps who later lost it back to Brown. Obviously neither stood out. Second-year safety Cooper Taylor missed the entire season with a foot injury. Rookie 5th Nat Berhe rounder played all 16 games but was primarily used on special teams. The Giants finished 18th in the NFL in pass defense and the safeties were missing in action far too often against both the run and the pass.

Mykkele Thompson, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants gutted the position in the offseason as they made little to no effort in re-signing free agents Antrel Rolle (signed with the Bears), Stevie Brown (signed with the Texans), and Quintin Demps (still unsigned). The team also waived practice squader Thomas Gordon in May.

The only remaining safeties from 2014 are Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe. Bennett Jackson, who spent his rookie season in 2014 on Injured Reserve, was switched from corner to safety this spring. The Giants signed corner/safety ‘tweener Josh Gordy in free agency but he saw most of his spring work for the Giants at cornerback. Three of the six safeties on the roster are rookies: Landon Collins (2nd round), Mykkele Thompson (5th round), and Justin Currie (rookie free agent).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: On paper, the Giants have some interesting talent at safety in the form of one second rounder, three fifth rounders, a sixth rounder, and a rookie free agent. However these players are all young and inexperienced. Five of the six were acquired in 2014-15 from the college ranks, and the other (Taylor) was a 2013 draft pick. There is absolutely no veteran presence to speak of despite the fact that Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system is cerebral and complicated. And like most if not all systems, the safeties make the defensive calls in the secondary.

“It’s the most complex system I’ve been in,” said linebacker Jon Beason. “This is my fifth defensive coordinator. It is the most complex because we will not sit back and be dictated to by anybody…Offenses create problems by formations, moving people around, shifts and motions…Every call we (the defense) can make a change.”

So the chief story line will be how fast can the young pups grow up, and how many growing pains will there be?

“I think it is extremely hard (for a rookie to start in this defense),” said New York Giants Safeties Coach David Merritt. “(The safety is) an extension of the defensive coordinator. Whatever call comes in, you need to be able to hear the call, accept the call, and then spit it back out to your fellow teammates. For a rookie to come in and have that pressure, to be the extension of the defensive coordinator, it is extremely difficult.”

“Young,” said Spagnuolo of the safeties. “There is youth and inexperience there. It doesn’t matter what system you are in, in my opinion, defensively, (the starting safeties) are really important. Everyone else relies on them. The quicker we can get to the other nine trusting them, the better off we will be. I am not sure we are there yet. I think it is going to be a work in progress, but we will get there.

“Right now it is a challenge… It is a challenge for our patience and our trust in them. Everyday it gets better, I can tell you that… (But) we have a long ways to go in my opinion.”

Complicating matters is that Nat Berhe, who was pegged early by the coaching staff to start alongside rookie Landon Collins, missed all of the spring practices with a calf injury. Taylor, Thompson, Jackson, and Currie benefited from the additional practice snaps, but both Tom Coughlin and safeties coach David Merritt have said that Berhe’s development has been set back by the missed time.

With Collins sure to start at one spot, it is most likely that Berhe and Taylor will battle for the other starting position.

There is not a lot of time. The Giants face Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten on September 13.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Giants will likely carry four or five safeties. Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson, and Justin Currie are most likely fighting for one or two roster spots.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: David Merritt on Landon Collins: “He has to make the calls and get everyone lined up…Now when you are trying to line up grown men who have wives and children at home and they need that call from you, it is a little different than lining up a freshman. The call has to be right. Right now, he is slow to go, which was expected, but he has to pick it up quickly for us to be successful…I really do (think Collins can do it). He is starting to realize that these missed alignments and the minus plays, I have to cut those out of my game in order for the guys around me to trust me. That is what he wants to be. He wants to be a leader. Okay, we are putting him out there. I think he is going to be ready to go, definitely, for Dallas.”

Merritt on Cooper Taylor: “Cooper is coming along well. Mentally, I never doubted Cooper would be able to pick up the defense. It is just now getting Cooper’s body to move in the proper direction once he receives the call and allows himself to line up and just see what is happening in front of him. The mental part, Cooper is fine, but it is now the physical part. We have to make sure the durability factor – he has to be durable for us because he has missed the past two seasons. Mentally, I am not concerned about him. Physically hoping that he will be able to step up and be durable for us.”

Merritt on Nat Berhe: “(Him missing spring practices) hurts tremendously because all the reps that Cooper (Taylor) and Landon (Collins) and Mykkele (Thompson) and some of the other guys have taken, Nat would have been right in there with all the other guys. By him standing on the sideline and taking mental reps – I understand you are taking mental reps, but it is different. It is not the same as putting your body through the motions and making your body react to different movements that the receivers are stemming at you. It is going to definitely hurt him and set him back a little bit, but hopefully he can come back at training camp and be ready to fight for a starting job.”

Merritt on Mykkele Thompson: “Mykkele, I knew was a smart kid. He came here and he is a cerebral kid, that is for sure. He is going to take what I say literally and take my word for it and go out and try to execute it. Now I am starting to see that the kid actually has some football awareness, where I didn’t think he had much of it when we first started off. The (missed alignments) that started at the beginning of rookie mini-camp and OTAs have drastically gone down. Mentally, he has excelled past my expectations…Long arms. We did a drill the other day where he was having to punch a bag and escape from the blocker and to see his arms and the extension of his arms, that was good to see. I am definitely interested to see him in the pads.”

Merritt on Bennett Jackson: “(His conversion to safety) has been good. You are going from the outside where you are playing on an island and then all of sudden, you go to a back end position where you have to see the formation and play, the moving parts, and put people in the right position. Jackson, in his situation right now, there has been a learning curve for him, which has been hard for him. It has been a struggle at first, but out of all the guys, that is one kid that when he puts his foot in the ground, he can go. He can go. I am looking forward to seeing Bennett at camp with pads on because I truly believe he will hit as well.”

Merritt on Justin Currie:  “Justin Currie has done a great job, as well, our free agent. Big kid, as well. I am interested to see what he can do once the pads are on his shoulders and hopefully he will be able to be a thumper for us.”

PREDICTIONS: There will be growing pains. The young safeties will make mental mistakes that will lead to big plays and touchdowns. How bad this inexperience will hurt the Giants in terms of lost games in 2015 remains to be seen. But it’s the nature of the game that old players will eventually be replaced by young ones. Some of those young players will wither while others blossom. In his last interaction with the press, Tom Coughlin seemed generally pleased by the progress of the two rookie draft picks. “We have a good feel for the rookies, we really do. Thompson (has) been doing well and starting to come along and that was a key thing,” said Coughlin. “Collins has done a good job, has gotten better and has really done a good job of starting to direct back there, and I think the coaches are excited about him going forward.”

I believe the players who are currently on the roster will develop into fine players. What I don’t know – and no one really does – is how fast that process will take. The overall effectiveness of the entire defense and the fate of the team’s playoff chances may depend on how quickly Collins, Taylor, and Berhe become assets rather than liabilities. Based on coaching comments, one thing is clear – the team is looking for someone to take charge at safety as a vocal leader.

“You need to have one leader back there, and that’s what I’m still looking for,” said Merritt. “It’s elusive. I’m searching for it. If it’s Landon, great. If it’s Cooper, great. If it’s Nat, great. If it’s Mykkele, great. But I need to have a leader come up and emerge out of this mini-camp and emerge out of training camp…(We’ve had) very slow leadership as far as making calls and controlling the defense. The guys right now are very slow at making those checks.”

FINAL DEPTH CHART: The Giants will keep four or five safeties. I think they will keep five: Landon Collins, Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor, Mykkele Thompson, and Bennett Jackson. Jackson not only provides special teams value but he can play corner too. Justin Currie is intriguing but his best shot is probably the Practice Squad.

Jun 172015
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The second day of the New York Giants three-day mini-camp was held on Wednesday. Like the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices, no live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.


Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring), wide receiver Victor Cruz (recovering from knee surgery), tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis, still in walking boot), offensive tackle Will Beatty (recovering from pectoral surgery), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.

DE Damontre Moore (recovering from shoulder surgery) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) were limited to individual drills.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, is skipping the mini-camp.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • First-team defensive line was DE Kerry Wynn, DT Markus Kuhn, DT Johnathan Hankins, and DE Cullen Jenkins.
  • Owamagbe Odighizuwa saw reps at left defensive end.
  • DE Robert Ayers (ankle) returned to team drills.
  • Cooper Taylor and Landon Collins saw snaps at safety with both the first- and second-team units.
  • Justin Currie also saw first-team snaps at safety with Landon Collins.
  • Ereck Flowers continued to receive first- and second-team reps at left tackle.
  • Brandon Mosley continued to see snaps at right tackle with the second-team offensive line. He had a false start during a two-minute drill near the end of practice.
  • RB Andre Williams (on a screen) and WR Preston Parker both dropped passes early in practice.
  • RB Andre Williams broke off a nice run up the left side. “Running back Andre Williams showed his speed and power on a few good runs.” (Source:
  • On a free play where the defense jumped offside, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made a one-handed interception on an overthrown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Rueben Randle. (Video)
  • TE Jerome Cunningham was active catching the ball.
  • WR Rueben Randle turned a short pass into a big gain with some good yards-after-catch elusiveness. (Video)
  • QB Ryan Nassib had some accuracy issues, including overthrowing RB Shane Vereen on a screen pass.
  • CB Prince Amukamara jumped a route and intercepted QB Ryan Nassib as the pocket was breaking down. (Video)
  • LB Uani’ Unga picked off a pass from QB Ryan Nassib.
  • DT Dominique Hamilton and OG Eric Herman got into a scuffle.
  • WR Corey Washington dropped a touchdown pass on a fade from QB Eli Manning with CB Prince Amukamara in coverage.
  • LB J.T. Thomas blitzed and sacked QB Ryan Nassib.
  • The defense stopped the offense during the two-minute drill at the end of practice, forcing an incompletion on 4th down.
  • Former Giants DT Fred Robbins has been working with the defensive line at mini-camp as a temporary assistant defensive line coach under Steve Spagnuolo, his old defensive coordinator.

The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at

  • OT Ereck Flowers (Video)
  • DE Robert Ayers (Video)
  • CB Prince Amukamara (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)
  • CB Prince Amukamara on the team’s safeties: “They have been doing a great job, especially these last couple of days with Cooper [Taylor] and [Landon] Collins and even [Mykkele] Thompson has been getting a lot of plays and [Justin] Currie made a play yesterday, so they have been doing well. I haven’t seen a lot of [mistakes] and they have been making plays on the ball, so I have been applauding them.”


Jun 092015
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David Merritt, New York Giants (August 3, 2010)

David Merritt – © USA TODAY Sports Images


The New York Giants completed their eighth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday. The Tuesday session was not open to the media, but did report some of the following tidbits:

  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to running back Shane Vereen during 11-on-11 team drills.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Jerome Cunningham for a touchdown also during 11-on-11 team drills. (Video)
  • Cornerback Jayron Hosley had good coverage on a deep throw to wide receiver Corey Washington.
  • Fullback Henry Hynoski caught a couple of passes thrown in his direction during team drills.

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started two weeks ago. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The final two OTA practices will be held June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.

Article on Monday’s New York Giants OTA Practice: Giants OTA observations: Eli Manning cuts down on interceptions, players that impressed and more by Jordan Raanan for

Article on S Nat Berhe: Big missed opportunity for Giants safety Nat Berhe this spring by Jordan Raanan for

Apr 232015
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (February 21, 2015)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jerry Reese’s 2015 Pre-Draft Press Conference: New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference today. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of

Q: Who are you picking?

A: A good player at nine.

Q: In a year like this and with some of the things that went on last year in the NFL, how much more important or different is the way you look at a player’s character and behavior when you are assessing them? Has that changed?

A: I think we are always mindful of a player’s character and background. That always goes into the equation. It is not really anything new for us. Obviously, like all teams, we have taken some guys on the back end of the roster, more risk-reward kind of situations on the back end of the roster. We are very conscious and have been for a long time about backgrounds and character.

Q: That seems to have changed last year when you guys wanted a lot of clean players… Whereas in the past you would have taken…?

A: The thing you have to think about when you are thinking about these young players is that they are young. They do young kid stuff. You can’t just absolutely kill them. You wouldn’t have anyone to draft. Kids do kid things and do college things and it happens. If a guy has a long list of issues, that is when you have to throw the red flag in there. Is this guy going to stop? If you have a couple things that college kids do, you can’t just throw it away.

Q: Is there anything concrete you do with that or is it just an eyeball test?

A: We do all the background checks and our scouts go out and dig the information that we can. We interview them and try to put it all together and make a decision on it.

Q: Is it kind of three strikes and you are out?

A: Not necessarily, it depends on how egregious the off-field issues are, more than anything else probably.

Q: Last year you seemed to have a guy pegged or a couple guys you thought would be available… Is it more unpredictable being at nine?

A: I think you always have a good idea, but it is always unpredictable. You never know what is going to happen. You can look up and some of those quarterbacks they think are going to be in the first couple picks could be – not off the board until 15 or 20. You never know. I learned that a long time ago in the draft. Funny things can happen, so expect everything to happen.

Q: Last year the wide receiver corps turned out to be a really good group… There are a lot of thoughts that this wide receiving corps could be just as good… Thoughts?

A: I think there are good receivers, just as there were last year. I think that is every year. I think there are good players at every position every year. I don’t know if that is a good answer or not, but I think there are good wide receivers…I think there are good players at every position.

Q: Given you have a lot of depth at receiver, would you have any qualms about drafting another receiver?

A: First of all, as soon as you say you have a lot of depth at any position, you don’t have depth. I know better than to say that. We will draft the best player available for us. It really doesn’t matter what position it is.

Q: How do you look at your offensive line at this point? Do you look at it saying you need to supplement it at least during one day of the draft?

A: Every position. We want to try and upgrade every position as best we can every opportunity we get. Offensive line won’t be excluded from that as well.

Q: In your mind right now, what does your offensive line look like? Is Justin Pugh still at right tackle?

A: That is something for Tom. You have to talk to Tom about that. Obviously Pugh has been a starter and is going to be a starter somewhere more than likely. [Geoff] Schwartz is coming back from injury. Hopefully he can fit in there somewhere. What we want to do is get as many good players as we can and create as much competition as we can in the offensive line.

Q: When you are picking as high as you are, is there a sense of a guy having to fit in at a premium position? In the past, you wouldn’t have drafted linebacker in the first round, but guys like defensive backs, wide receivers and left tackles… Is that part of your thinking when you are as high as you are?

A: If you draft at nine, whoever it is, is a premium position, regardless of the position that he is. If you draft at nine, it is a premium position, regardless of what it is. It doesn’t matter what position. If you draft him at nine, he is a guy you expect to come in and play and play quickly.

Q: Has the profile of offensive linemen changed at all in the last decade at all?

A: We just look for good players. Good profiles. Good players. Strong. Big, strong, fast and smart.

Q: The big lineman from Iowa is a guy everyone seems to love as a guard prospect… What do you see from him?

A: I think he can play both. I think he can play tackle and he can play guard. I think he can play somewhere.

Q: Where do you see him?

A: The coaches will have to figure that out.

Q: How do you look at this group of pass rushers?

A: There are some good pass rushers and edge rushers available.  Are you asking me to stack them or something like that? I can’t do that, but I do think there are some good pass rushers in this draft.

Q: You haven’t made a ton of trades as compared to other teams throughout the years… How do you explain that? Is that the way things worked out?

A: We will keep all of our options open on the draft. We can trade up and we can trade down. That doesn’t change. We are not looking to trade just to try to be cute to trade up or down. If we think we have an opportunity to move up, then we will move up. If we have an opportunity to move back, then we will do that as well.

Q: Back around the combine, in regards to Victor Cruz, you said you couldn’t think of him as a sure thing… Have you seen anything from him where you can have some kind of certainty of how he will be when he comes back?

A: I don’t think you can have certainty. [Cruz] looks good. He is running pretty good right now. He is scheduled to be back for the opener for us, but until you get out there and turn it loose, you never know what a guy is going to do. He looks great right now.

Q: Are you still approaching whatever he can give you guys next year as a ‘bonus?’

A: I am not counting it as a bonus, but I want to be prepared if he is not here.

Q: Is there any change in your perspective in the preparation on your part when you pick ninth instead of 12th like last year and going back to the Super Bowl when you picked last?

A: We just stack the board. Whoever we think the best player is in the first row, it doesn’t matter what position, which is how we do it. We stack them the same way. If you pick inside 12 picks, you should get a good football player.

Q: Does the expectation change as far as impact goes?

A: The higher you pick – that is how the system is. If you pick high in the draft – that is the way the whole system is built. If you pick high in the draft, you are supposed to get better players to help you have a better football team. If you are picking last in the draft, you get penalized for being successful. You get penalized, so you get lesser players. Whoever you pick at nine should be a better player than you pick at 32. That is the way the system is and obviously we are picking nine and expect to get a good player.  A really good player.

Q: Another general manager said there were eight to ten players who were real difference makers above other guys… Do you have a point in your estimation of how many guys are at a higher level than the rest of the group?

A: I think there is always a break. Everyone in the first row – that is why we call them rows; they are not first round picks. There are natural breaks. There may be eight and then there may be five more players, then there is another break. There are always breaks in the first row where you stack them, but you have to have 32 players in the first round.

Q: Where is that first break?

A: We’ll see.

Q: How are you looking at your safety position right now? Do you think it is a position of need?

A: We are not going to make do, just like any position, we are going to try to upgrade that position. Just like the rest of the positions. We are not going to make do. We have some young players that we think have some talent, but we are going to continue to try and upgrade that position as well.

Q: Last year we were saying you needed to get a tight end and you felt confident with some of the young guys… Is it the same thing now?

A: Every position we want to upgrade. We want to upgrade safety. We want to have competition at that position like we want to have at every position and we will try to do that.

Q: Tom talked about the possibility of converting Chykie Brown or Bennett Jackson to safety… Is that realistic in your mind and what goes into that?

A: It happens all the time. One of the best players we tried to get in free agency was the corner from New England. He was a corner and played safety. You see those conversions. That is not new to see something like that happen. That is a possibility as well.

Q: Are [Brown and Jackson] guys who could possibly convert in your eyes?

A: I think so. You never know. You have to experiment in the spring. Obviously you would like to get a guy who has played there and done the job, but you have to be creative in this day and age with your personnel.

Q: You went after [Devin] McCourty, so you wanted to upgrade that position… What happened after that? Do you look at Josh Gordy as a safety?

A: That is what he plays.

Q: What was the plan at that position after McCourty?

A: We thought he was the best player in free agency [at his position] and after that we thought there was a drop off and that is what happened.

Q: Now that Eli is back in the building and he said his attitude is to play the year and go from there… What is your thought on his contract?

A: It is inappropriate to talk about a contract right now. Eli is back in the building. He looks great. He is happy to be back. We are glad he is back. We will address that when it is appropriate.

Q: Do you sense that this a real opportunity for Eli this offseason, given that he is not coming off ankle surgery and he has already been in this offense for a year?

A: Yeah, I am excited. It should be a big year for him. He is not learning the offense. A lot of the players were in the offense last year. He’ll get another piece back hopefully with Victor Cruz coming back. The tight ends will have a little bit more experience. I hope the offense – we got [Shane] Vereen, who we think is a good piece to help our offense as well. I think our offense should be a pretty good offense.

Q: Re: Thought process in the signings of Vereen, [Dwayne] Harris, [J.T.] Thomas… What were you after?

A: We were trying to upgrade some positions that we already had. We knew we were going to lose some players. We felt Vereen was a really nice piece. Everyone knows what he does as a receiver out of the backfield, he can run the ball. He is a professional football player back there. He is really good on third down. Really good on any down, to be honest. We thought he would be a nice piece. Went after him and the two linebackers. We thought they were upgrades. They will battle for starting positions. Dwayne Harris, we thought the guy was kind of a four to five tool type player for us. We thought we were getting a lot of players out of one position. We played against him for a long time and he has been a good player for [Dallas]. Hopefully he will bring it over here to us and he will play for us in those capacities.

Q: Where do you view J.T. Thomas’s best position?

A: I don’t know. It is up to the coaches. He looked like a WILL linebacker to me, but that is up to the coaches.

Q: Are you still hoping to get Stevie Brown back?

A: We are going to keep all our options open.

Q: As one of the teams in the league that isn’t quarterback-needy, do you even look at those top two guys?

A: We look at everybody. You never say you aren’t quarterback-needy. You can’t say those kinds of things. Ralph just said we were deep at receiver and you are saying we don’t need a quarterback. I know better than to say something like that.

Q: What is your take on the two quarterbacks at the top of the draft?

A: They are good players. They are both good players. They are both different, but I think they are both, in what they do, I think they are both good players.

Q: Is your expectation that they are going to go one and two?

A: I don’t expect anything. Expect the unexpected in the draft. They may not go until 15, who knows?

Q: You have gone offense the last three years in the first round… Does that go into any decision making?

A: I didn’t even know that. Whoever the best player is at nine – we are going to pick them.

Q: Do you have any concern over Jason Pierre-Paul not being here for the offseason program and not signing the tender yet?

A: It is voluntary and it is inappropriate to talk about player contracts at this point in time. It is not mandatory that he should be here.

Q: After you get an Odell [Beckham Jr.]  and everything that he did in his first season and now you are picking at nine, are there heightened expectations?

A: You always want to get good players in the draft. Sometimes you hit on a guy like Odell and he is a terrific player, but the higher you pick, the better the player should be. When you are picking on the back end, it is obviously not the same caliber.

Q: When you look back at last year’s draft, from top to bottom, how do you evaluate it?

A: We don’t really look back on that draft that much. We draft them and that draft is over. We are moving on to this draft and we are excited about the players in this draft. We go back after two or three years and look and see why a guy made it or why a guy didn’t make it. After one year, it is really hard to evaluate.

Q: Was the approach different in the past two drafts?

A: No.

Q: This week, have you checked in with Odell and how his hamstring is feeling?

A: I just saw Odell a couple of minutes ago down in the weight room. He looks great and he didn’t say a word about his hamstring.

Q: Do you have any injuries that are long-term concerns?

A: There will be a couple guys we have concerns with, but we feel good about the vast majority of our players being ready to go for training camp.

New York Giants Player Q&As: Video clips of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at

Mar 252015
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Tom Coughlin Addresses Media at League Meeting: New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday. Some of key points made by Coughlin included:

  • On WR Victor Cruz’s recovery from knee surgery: “I think he will be back to the player that he was and hopefully better. Victor looks really good, he’s starting to run, I was in the field house watching him rehab, he’s coming along well… I don’t know (when he will be able to fully practice). I shouldn’t say this, because medically I really do not have a definite answer, but by training camp, hopefully. He will work his way through.”
  • On QB Eli Manning’s contract situation: “Eli knows he’s our guy. (As for) when these things get done, well, I think John (Mara) last week expressed it as well as it can be said. Yeah, it’d be great if it was done. If it isn’t done going in (to the season), it’ll be done during or shortly after or whenever… It’ll get done, I’m fully confident of that, and I think so is Eli. Why would he have any concern about that?”
  • On the safety position: “That’s an issue, no doubt. We do have one more access to bringing in personnel, obviously, the draft. And we have a couple of guys in the program including (Nat) Berhe, who we really liked as a rookie and a special-teamer. We have injured players (Cooper Taylor and Bennett Jackson) coming back that can help. But there’s concern, no doubt… (Moving Jackson to safety) is a possibility… a kid none of us know much about. He’s rehabbing. He’s doing pretty well.”
  • In addition to Bennett Jackson, Coughlin also said cornerback Chykie Brown might be moved to safety.
  • On S Nat Berhe: “(He can play free safety and) I think he can come down in the box, too. His special-teams play would lead you to believe that. We threw him into a lot of responsibility on special teams and I thought he handled it well. So he’s adaptable, he’s smart, he’s anxious and he’s eager for the opportunity, for sure.”
  • On RB Shane Vereen: “As a pass receiver coming out of the backfield, pass-protector, a guy who runs the ball in the three wide offense, the defensive run game if you will. A lot of the (Tom) Brady hook up with Vereen, the ball was almost automatically going to him. You know there would be certain first downs, if there was zone coverage, they would drop the ball off and he would scoot. So, we know that. Will we open it up to other parts of it? Well, we would like to make sure he can. He does very well at that spot. I really like the young man, he adds an experienced playmaker out of the backfield.”
  • On WR/Special Teams Player Dwayne Harris: “The idea that you have a guy of that ability — and you’ve seen the way he carries himself on the field, he’s physical — to have a guy who can kick return, punt return, cover kicks, gunner. In this day and age to have a guy at gunner who’s consistent and good, let’s face it, it’s been a while since we’ve had that. That is a very attractive deal… (David) Tyree would come in (on offense), he’d be a blocker, that’s what Harris does, but you see him on the field, you start thinking that way. And that part of it alone opens up possibilities, maybe you get back to that old fake ghost screen stuff again, maybe that becomes a better opportunity for it. Whether he’s the third receiver or fourth receiver or a special situation kind of a player, offensively he wants to contribute.”
  • On linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas: “We think Thomas can be a WILL ‘backer. Casillas is basically the same kind of guy. Both are excellent special teamers. They’ll make contributions in both ways.”
  • On what he expects out of LB Devon Kennard: “A lot. If Jon (Beason) comes back and Jon is healthy and can play, then you have Kennard maybe in a stronger position and rushing the passer more, the whole deal that way. That is going to make you better.”
  • On DE Damontre Moore: “He has to make a contribution. He has the pass rush ability and special team play.”
  • On the defensive tackle position: “(Kenrick) Ellis is a big human. The young man on our practice squad, (Dominique) Hamilton, is a big human, so I am looking forward to seeing what they can do, too… We realized that big dominating guy in the middle is a good starting point for the D-Line.”

A video of Coughlin’s remarks is also available at

A video of an NFL Network interview is also available at

Giants Receive No Compensatory Draft Picks: As expected, the New York Giants will not receive any compensatory choices in the 2015 NFL Draft. Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The Giants were pretty aggressive in signing free agents for other teams in 2014. For a complete list of free agents signed and lost by Giants in 2014, see the 2014 Free Agency Scorecard. Q&A with OT Justin Pugh: A video of a interview with OT Justin Pugh is available at

Article on RB Shane Vereen: Shane Vereen gives Tom Coughlin and Giants more options in passing game by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Jennings: Giants offense can be “dominant” by Arthur Stapleton of The Bergen Record

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Article on LB J.T. Thomas: Why didn’t Jacksonville Jaguars re-sign J.T. Thomas and what does he bring to Giants defense? by Jordan Raanan for