Jul 072017
 
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Brandon Marshall, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Brandon Marshall – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Wide Receivers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW:  While Odell Beckham, Jr. continued his assault on the record books as one of the game’s premiere wide receivers, more was expected from this unit in 2016. It was assumed by many that the departure of the frustratingly-inconsistent Rueben Randle would be addition by subtraction. Sterling Shepard was considered a 2nd-round steal by many. And there were high expectations about the return of Victor Cruz from three injury-sabotaged seasons in a row.

In 2015, quarterback Eli Manning’s top three wide receiver targets were Beckham, Randle, and Dwayne Harris. These three totaled 189 catches for 2,643 yards, and 25 touchdowns. In 2016, Beckham, Shepard, and Cruz totaled 205 catches for 2,636 yards, and 19 touchdowns. The telling stat was there was a 24 percent decline in touchdowns.

Opponent defensive game plans were obvious and consistent: double- and sometimes even triple-team Odell Beckham and dare the Giants to beat them with their running game or passing the ball to other targets. The Giants failed to be able to make other teams pay and the passing offense fell from 7th (271.4 yards per game) to 17th (242.4 yards per game). Much of this decline had to do with the loss of running back Shane Vereen (59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns in 2015) and the unproductive tight ends (only 79 catches and three touchdowns as a group).

But while Beckham continued to produce, and Shepard had a respectable rookie season, it was Cruz who was the biggest disappointment. Slowed by three consecutive leg injury issues from 2013-2015, Cruz seemed miscast as an outside receiver instead of the slot position which Shepard now occupies. Cruz struggled to separate from defenders and finished the season with only one touchdown – ironically a game-winner that he scored in the opener. In other words, he was kept out of the end zone for the final 16 regular- and post-season games. Randle had 57 catches for 797 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015 as an outside receiver. Cruz had just 39 catches for 586 yards.

The nadir of Beckham’s 2016 season was obviously the playoff game. Much was expected and Beckham failed miserably to deliver (four catches for 28 yards) against a weak secondary. Exacerbating the situation – right or wrong – was his boat trip to Miami six days before the game on the players’ day off. But keep in mind that the receivers as a group went on that trip – including the veteran Cruz – and the top three all failed to perform at a high level (Cruz had three catches for 30 yards and Shepard four catches for 63 yards). None scored.

Beckham is extremely competitive and the best player on the team. But he clearly is a diva with a media target painted on his back. How much of this is self-promotion, blown out of proportion to sell newspapers, or distracting to the team are questions subject to passionate debate.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Easily one of the biggest changes the team made this offseason was at the wideout position opposite of Odell Beckham, Jr. The Giants unceremoniously cut Victor Cruz in February and signed the aging but still-productive super-stud receiver Brandon Marshall in March after the Jets released him. The Giants also signed undrafted rookie free agents Travis Rudolph, Keeon Johnson, Kevin Snead, and Jerome Lane.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Right or wrong, the media has smelled blood in the water with Odell Beckham, Jr. and he will likely remain the subject of unsavory media attention for the remainder of his NFL career. Much of this is self-inflicted, but also much of it is media-whore click-bait. The focus on Beckham distracts from real issues and is a waste of print space and Q&A media time, but it is what it is. Expect of a heavy does of boring and repetitive Beckham stories in camp.

The real focus of attention should be two-fold: (1) how much does Brandon Marshall have left in the tank? and (2) is Sterling Shepard ready to make a huge impact on the passing game?

Marshall is the only player in NFL history with six seasons of 100 or more receptions. Two years ago, Marshall put up huge numbers and had a Pro Bowl and All-Pro season, catching 109 passes for 1,502 yards, and 14 touchdowns. But the 33-year old Marshall suffered through a injury-plagued 2016 campaign where his numbers dropped to 59 receptions for 788 yards and just three touchdowns. He says he only wants to play two more years. If Marshall can regain even a bit of his 2015 form (with crappy Jets quarterbacking), look out. Eli Manning hasn’t had a big, physical receiver like this since Plaxico Burress in 2008.

Shepard largely flew under the radar with a promising initial season, starting all 16 regular-season games as a rookie, catching 65 passes for 683 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns, mostly out of the slot. But Shepard did not make many impact plays, his longest reception being just 32 yards. Shepard made a lot of noise this spring during non-contact workouts. He could be poised for a big season with defenses focused more on Beckham and Marshall.

“What am I looking to work on? Really just after the catch,” said Shepard. “I feel like I could have gotten a lot more YAC (yards after catch) yardage last year. That is something that I looked at on film and I want to get better on.”

With special teams ace Dwayne Harris likely to make the squad, much fan attention will be spent on which players fill out the #5 and probably #6 receiver spots. 2016 hold-overs Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, Darius Powe, and Kevin Norwood will compete with the four undrafted rookie free agents signed after the draft. King passed Lewis on the depth chart late in the 2016 season and made some noise with a couple of long receptions. King received some quality snaps with the first unit during spring workouts while Lewis was arrested on a substance-abuse charge. But don’t discount Lewis or 2016 practice squad player Powe, who has good size and has worked hard this offseason. Of the newcomers, Rudolph probably has the best shot. Those who stand out on special teams will have the inside track.

ON THE BUBBLE: Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, Darius Powe, Kevin Norwood, Travis Rudolph, Keeon Johnson, Kevin Snead, and Jerome Lane.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Adam Henry on Brandon Marshall: “He has been really good and a really good professional. Just helping the guys with little things for us, just pulling them to the side and helping them on different techniques and things like that… The thing is he goes out there and blocks. He does like the dirty work and he is not scared to do that. It’s just him finding a role and he knows he embraces whatever we ask him to do. He’s been good about it.”

Henry on Sterling Shepard: “Right now he has been working hard and he has been out there and he looks really good right now.”

PREDICTIONS: Victor Cruz and Larry Donnell/Will Tye were major drags on the passing game in 2016. The additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram should not only be substantial upgrades in themselves, but should dramatically open things up for Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepard. If Eli and Marshall can develop anything similar to the chemistry Eli had with Plaxico Burress, then the passing game should become one of the NFL’s best again. Watch out for Shepard, who may feast on single coverage out of the slot. (Though with the additions of Engram and Rhett Ellison at tight end, Sheppard may see his playing time cut, particularly in the red zone).

Barring injury, it will be hard for any other receiver to make substantial noise with Beckham, Marshall, Shepard, Engram, and Ellison bound to see so much playing time.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris, Tavarres King, and Darius Powe. (The last WR spot is one of the hardest predictions to make).

Jul 022017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

GENERAL NEW YORK GIANTS ARTICLES…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS DEFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS SPECIAL TEAMS…

Jun 232017
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE…
The New York Giants have announced their schedule for the 2017 summer training camp, which is held at Quest Diagnostics Training Center near MetLife Stadium. Only 11 practice sessions will be open to the public.

  • Thursday, July 27: Players report to training camp.
  • Friday, July 28: 11:40 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, July 29: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Sunday, July 30: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, July 31: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Tuesday, August 1: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 2: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 3: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Friday, August 4: 11:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, August 5: CAMP CLOSED
  • Sunday, August 6: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Monday, August 7: CAMP CLOSED
  • Tuesday, August 8: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 9: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 10: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Friday, August 11: Giants vs. Steelers, 7:00 p.m., MetLife Stadium
  • Saturday, August 12: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Sunday, August 13: 11:10 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, August 14: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Tuesday, August 15: CAMP CLOSED; end of training camp

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com. In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes in the daily practice schedule.

ARTICLES…

Jun 202017
 
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Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS SPRING…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS DEFENSE…

ARTICLE ON FORMER GIANTS COACH DENNY MARCIN…

Jun 142017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 14, 2017 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 continue with the final practice on Thursday.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver wide receiver Kevin Snead (hamstring), tight end Evan Engram (soreness), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), left guard Justin Pugh (back), linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL), cornerback Eli Apple (illness), cornerback/safety Mykkele Thompson (unknown), and safety Darian Thompson (illness) did not practice.

“I just got a little tweak in my back,” said Pugh. “They’re holding me out as precaution. That’s something you don’t want to try to press too hard right now during mini-camp.”

Left tackle Ereck Flowers and right guard D.J. Fluker left practice early and did not return. Fluker appeared to be in a lot of pain due to a right arm injury.

Wide receiver Jerome Lane left the field with an apparent low leg/foot injury, but later returned.

Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa has been excused from the mandatory mini-camp for “personal reasons.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • College defensive tackle Jarron Jones continues to work with the offensive line.
  • Cornerback DaShaun Amos made a leaping interception of a deep pass from quarterback Geno Smith during 7-on-7 drills. Amos later knocked down another pass into the end zone.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the end zone for a sliding touchdown reception.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up 7-on-7 red-zone passes to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and tight end Jerell Adams.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall made a one-handed touchdown catch on a red-zone pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Safety Andrew Adams broke up an end-zone pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wideout Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse hooked up on a pair of red-zone touchdowns. Johnson also connected with wide receiver Taverres King for a score.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman made a really nice catch of a goal line pass from quarterback Davis Webb.
  • Fullback Shane Smith saw a lot of work with the first-team offense.
  • Minicamp practice notes and observations (6/14) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Standout players from minicamp practice (6/14) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

RYAN NASSIB SIGNS WITH THE SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent quarterback Ryan Nassib has signed with the New Orleans Saints. Nassib was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2016 with a right elbow injury that required surgery. Nassib was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Since 2014, Nassib had been the team’s #2 quarterback. During that time, he only saw very limited playing time with all of his regular-season throws (10 total) coming at the end of two blowout losses. Nassib has not really developed at the pro level and he struggled during the 2016 preseason, completing only 41 percent of his passes with five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles).

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…

Jun 132017
 
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D.J. Fluker, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

D.J. Fluker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 13, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants mandatory 3-day mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mini-camp will continue with practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver wide receiver Kevin Snead (hamstring?), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), left guard Justin Pugh (unknown), linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL), cornerback Eli Apple (illness), and safety Darian Thompson (illness) did not practice.

“Justin is out right now. He’s limited,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa missed all of the team’s voluntary Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices and continues to be absent for the mandatory mini-camp. McAdoo said Odighizuwa has been excused for “personal reasons.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The second-team quarterback was Josh Johnson.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins received some reps at cornerback and had an interception off of a quarterback Davis Webb that was tipped by safety Jadar Johnson.
  • With safety Darian Thompson out, Andrew Adams and Nat Berhe split time with first unit at safety with Landon Collins.
  • With cornerback Eli Apple out, Michael Hunter started at cornerback.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard made several nice catches, including two for red zone touchdowns.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up deep passes to wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Tavarres King.
  • Minicamp practice notes and observations (6/13) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

Jun 092017
 
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Geno Smith, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 9, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their tenth and final voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Friday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood (unknown), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (unknown), linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL), and safety Mykkele Thompson (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receiver Kevin Snead appeared to injure his left hamstring during practice.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., left guard Justin Pugh, right tackle Bobby Hart, defensive end Olivier Vernon, and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With Justin Pugh and Bobby Hart absent, the first-team offensive line consisted of left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Adam Gettis, center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Adam Bisnowaty.
  • Defensive tackle Jarron Jones was working with the offensive linemen.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith hit tight end Evan Engram in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Safety Ryan Murphy came up with the first interception of practice off of a deflected pass.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Kevin Snead deep down the left sideline, but Snead appeared to injure his left hamstring on the play.
  • With Eli Apple out, Michael Hunter continued to see first-team reps at cornerback.

Giants.com has provided the following notes from the last OTA:

OTA #10:

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

Jun 082017
 
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Corbin Bryant, Buffalo Bills (August 13, 2016)

Corbin Bryant – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN CORBIN BRYANT, CUT KHALED HOLMES…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Corbin Bryant (Buffalo Bills). Newsday is reporting that the contract is a 1-year deal. To make room for Bryant, the Giants waived center Khaled Holmes.

The 29-year old Bryant was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2011), Pittsburgh Steelers (2011-2012), and Buffalo Bills (2012-2016). Bryant has played in 56 regular-season games with 18 starts, including six games in 2016 before he was placed on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in October. Bryant has decent size (6’4”, 300lbs). Although he only has 2.5 career sacks, Bryant has flashed as disruptive player both against the run and the pass. He needs to stay healthy.

Holmes was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Holmes was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In three seasons with the Colts, Holmes played in 17 regular-season games with nine starts. The Colts waived him in May 2016. He then spent a couple of weeks with the Chicago Bears before being waived in the final cuts.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE #9…
The New York Giants held their next-to-last Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. The practice was not open to the media or public. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA practices. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s last OTA will be held on Friday, which will be open to the media. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

Giants.com has provided the following notes from Thursday’s OTA:

OTA #9:

GIANTS INSIDER WITH QB GENO SMITH…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with quarterback Geno Smith is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

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

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

OTA #7:

OTA #8:

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

May 312017
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (May 12, 2017)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN WAYNE GALLMAN…
The New York Giants have signed running back Wayne Gallman – their 4th-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft – to a 4-year contract. The New York Post is reporting that the contract is a 4-year, $2.8 million deal that includes a $419,641 signing bonus. The only unsigned draft pick is tight end Evan Engram, the team’s 1st-round selection.

ISHAQ WILLIAMS PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE…
Linebacker Ishaq Williams, who was waived/injured by the New York Giants on May 25 with a knee injury, has been placed on Injured Reserve by the team. Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame.

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

The team’s remaining OTAs will be held on June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15. Friday’s OTA practice will be open to the media.

Giants.com has provided the following notes and video highlights from the last three OTA practices:

OTA #3:

OTA #4:

OTA #5:

GIANTS INSIDER WITH CB JANORIS JENKINS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with cornerback Janoris Jenkins is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…