Jul 052017
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Paul Perkins – © 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: Running Backs

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW:  Two years ago – in 2015 – the Giants running backs finished 18th in rushing with 100.6 yards per game and averaging 4.0 yards per rush. The Giants rushed for only five touchdowns. The leading rushers on the team that year were Rashad Jennings (863 yards, three touchdowns), Shane Vereen (260 yards, zero touchdowns), Andre Williams (257 yards, one touchdown), and Orleans Darkwa (153 yards one touchdown). In addition, Vereen proved a significant weapon in the passing game with 59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns. Jennings also contributed with 29 catches for 296 yards and one touchdown.

Despite the mediocre rushing numbers, there was optimism entering the 2016 season. Half of Jennings’ 2015 yardage (432 yards) came in the last four games of the season. The ground game – led by Jennings – seemed to peaking behind a young and improving offensive line that would remain intact coming into 2016. In addition, replacing the disappointing Andre Williams with 5th rounder Paul Perkins appeared to an upgrade. Vereen was coming off of his best pro season and expected to continue to serve a duo-purpose threat. And the Giants signed veteran hybrid fullback/tight end Will Johnson to mount a significant challenge to fullback Nikita Whitlock.

The 2016 results were a major disappointment. The Giants ground game not only worsened, but it fell to 29th with a paltry 88.2 yards per game and averaging 3.5 yards per rush. The Giants rushed for only six touchdowns. And pass receptions by running backs fell from 92 catches for 828 yards and five touchdowns in 2015 to 83 catches for 622 yards and one touchdown in 2016.

Why the drop? Inconsistent blocking by the offensive line and tight ends was a factor. The improvement by the line – under new offensive like coach Mike Solari – never occurred. There was not a strong blocking tight end on the team. In addition, both fullbacks were lost to injury for the season before it began and the team carried no fullbacks on the roster. As such, the Giants “bread-and-butter” running play was out of the shotgun formation.

But truth be told, it also became painfully clear that while a good guy and a strong locker room presence, Jennings was no more than an aging, backup-at-best halfback who rarely created yardage on his own either by elusiveness or breaking tackles. Starting 12-of-16 regular-season games, Jennings only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Vereen missed the bulk of the season with a triceps injury that he also re-injured, and his absence in the passing game was very noticeable. Bobby Rainey replaced him but only had 20 receptions. Orleans Darkwa started two games but only received 30 carries and got hurt again. The only real bright spot was Perkins, but he was not a significant factor until December, gaining 271 of his 456 rushing yards in his last four regular-season games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Rashad Jennings in February and chose to not re-sign unrestricted free agent Bobby Rainey. It’s telling that both remain unemployed football players. While the Giants did not tender the injury-prone Orleans Darkwa as a restricted free agent, they did somewhat surprisingly re-sign him in March as an unrestricted free agent. The Giants also re-signed RB/FB ‘tweener Jacob Huesman, who the team originally added to the Practice Squad in December 2016.

The new faces include veteran free agent Shaun Draughn, 4th-round draft pick Wayne Gallman, and undrafted rookie free agents Khalid Abdullah and Shane Smith.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Head Coach Ben McAdoo somewhat surprisingly labeled Paul Perkins the starter early in the offseason. It’s his job to lose. But that does not mean there aren’t questions about his pro-level skill-set and durability. Perkins must prove he is a legit NFL starting-caliber running back. Provided he can stay healthy, Shane Vereen should regain the #2 job as the team’s primary 3rd down back. Shaun Draughn – who has a similar skill set to Vereen – was most likely signed as insurance in case the injury-prone Vereen gets hurt again. 2017 may be more of a redshirt year for Wayne Gallman unless he impresses early or someone gets hurt. The wild card is Orleans Darkwa. The coaches seem to like him, but he has not been able to stay healthy.

One of the big question marks will be whether or not McAdoo wants to carry a fullback this year. Unlike last season, the Giants are far more talented at the tight end position and it may be a number’s game in whether or not the team wants to carry an additional tight end or a fullback. Rookie free agent Shane Smith has the look of a traditional fullback while ‘tweener Jacob Huesman is actually a former quarterback.

“Anytime you have a big fullback type in the backfield it adds an element of physicality that is tough to replace when you don’t have it,” McAdoo said in March. “It just didn’t work out last year. It’s not by design… I hear that I don’t want to have a fullback on the roster, and that’s news to me. I think you want the best team you can put out there, but that position has to have special-teams value. I don’t think you just want someone on your roster who plays seven plays a game. They’re not going to play a ton of plays, but the plays they do play are impactful-type plays in the ballgame. But they need to have some value special teams-wise.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring injury (with this group, that is more than a passing concern), the locks would appear to be Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, and Wayne Gallman. Everyone else is on the bubble and fighting for a job.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Craig Johnson on Paul Perkins: “He was an effective runner last year. You have to be able to catch the ball. He did a good job in that and you have to be able to block people because they’re going to try you out. I thought that he probably improved the most in that situation. Guys were testing him out to get to the quarterback and he held up very good in protection… (As a runner) he really can cut sharp. He puts his foot in the ground and bursts through the hole. I like that. It helps both in the run and in the pass protection. That really helps his versatility.”

Johnson on Wayne Gallman: “Coming from college, he was a very productive runner. Stats don’t lie. So far what I’ve seen in practice is that he has been effectively able to run the ball in the runs he’s been given. The pass protection, he’s coming along in. He’s certainly made a big improvement in the last week or so. He’s been able to catch the ball effectively. Again, as a young back, he’s trying to figure it all out. The game is a little too fast for him, like they are for every back right now when they’re young. The game starts to slow down and he’s starting to get it. I’ve seen a couple bursts. I think he will continue to get it in the future.”

PREDICTIONS: Other than Shane Vereen as 3rd-down back, this is largely an unproven group. It remains an open question whether or not the Giants have a running back on the roster that will concern opposing defenses. Paul Perkins has to demonstrate that he has the skill set and durability to be a 1,000-yard NFL rusher. As a draft prospect, Wayne Gallman was largely considered a solid, well-rounded back who didn’t excel in any one area. Vereen and Darkwa have proven to be injury-prone players. On paper, at best, this looks like a middle-of-the-pack group. Hopefully, the blocking up front by the line, tight ends, and maybe fullback improves this year. If not, offensively the Giants will remain a finesse passing team.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Wayne Gallman, Shaun Draughn (no fullback)

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 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…

May 202017
 
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Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh Panthers (October 8, 2016)

Adam Bisnowaty – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES BEGIN ON MONDAY…
The four-week “phase three” portion of the New York Giants offseason program begins on Monday with the team’s first organized team activity, or OTA, practice. 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 OTAs will be held on May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

Monday’s OTA practice will not be open to the media. The first practice open to the media will be Thursday, May 25th.

The Giants’ nine-week offseason program began on April 18. The first two weeks consisted of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. The next three weeks of the program consisted of on-field workouts that included individual player instruction and drills.

GIANTS SIGN ADAM BISNOWATY
NJ.com is reporting that the New York Giants have signed their 6th-round 2017 NFL draft selection, offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty. The Giants signed defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (2nd round), quarterback Davis Webb (3rd round), and defensive end Avery Moss (5th round) earlier this month.

The only remaining draft picks unsigned are tight end Evan Engram (1st round) and running back Wayne Gallman (4th round).

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

  • QB Davis Webb (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • OL Adam Bisnowaty (Video)
  • DE Avery Moss (Video)
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson (Video)
  • S Darian Thompson (Video)

ARTICLES…

May 102017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARK HERZLICH WILL ALSO WORK AT TIGHT END…
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has revealed that the reason he changed his jersey number from #94 to #44 was so he could also play tight end on offense. The coaching staff asked Herzlich to also learn the offense this offseason.

“I needed to have an eligible number,” said Herzlich. “It’s exciting. A lot of times I’m playing scout-team tight end the last couple of years just because we were low in numbers and I was able to show I could be versatile in that aspect. So, when it’s, ‘Hey, you want to come add another weapon to your repertoire?’ It’s, ‘Yeah, sure, sign me up.’ The more I can learn, the better. And the better I can help out, the better, too… We’ll see what Coach (Ben) McAdoo puts me at, but I can go back and forth and learn both (offense and defense). I anticipate helping out in all three phases (including special teams).”

“He’s that good from what I see every day in practice,” fellow linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “He can run routes with the best of them. He can block better than probably most of them. He’s just a versatile athlete. He’s got the size and frame, so that helps, also.”

J.T. THOMAS STILL RECOVERING FROM HIS KNEE INJURY…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas, who missed virtually all of the 2016 NFL season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, is still recovering from the injury.

“I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m at about 75-80 percent. I’ll be ready to go in training camp,” Thomas said. “I’m really, really trying to time the thing up, so when that light comes on Sunday there isn’t any excuses why you won’t see #55 on the field.”

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury.

Thomas currently has the team’s 10th largest 2017 cap hit with $4 million.

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

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)

ARTICLES…

Apr 242017
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (December 22, 2016)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS PICKING UP OPTION ON ODELL BECKHAM, JR…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants will pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.’s rookie contract. That means that Beckham will not become a free agent until after the 2018 NFL season. Beckham will earn $1,839,027 in salary in 2017 ($3,311,063 overall cap hit, including prorated signing bonus), but will now see his salary spike to about $8,000,000 in 2018.

Beckham is one of the game’s best players and had another stellar season in his third year, starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his first three seasons, Beckham has accrued 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in 43 regular-season games. Beckham’s accolades already include Pro Football Writers of America “Rookie of the Year” (2014), second-team All-Pro (2015, 2016), and Pro Bowl (2014, 2015, 2016). All of this despite constant double teams by opposing defenses.

ARTICLES…

Apr 202017
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE’S PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Reese: Good afternoon. It is draft time again. The scouts are very excited about their game day. Marc Ross and Chris Mara and all of our scouts, Kevin Abrams, all those guys are in our draft room trying to finalize our draft board and get ready for the big day. So I am ready for any questions that you guys might have.

Q: Who have you decided on?

A: We decided that we are going to take our pick at 23.

Q: Has what you have done in free agency given you some flexibility with what you can do in the draft?

A: Well, you always take that into consideration with what you have on your roster right now, but going into the draft, like I say every year, we just go in there trying to pick the best players available when we are on the clock and we will continue to use that pattern.

Q: I don’t think you have ever traded in the first round. Is there a reason for that and what is your philosophy?

A: If we have an opportunity to trade in the first round, we will do that. But right now, we will just kind of let the board fall like it does and if we feel like we want to move up to get somebody, then we will move. It costs to move up, though. If you are going to move up, then you are going to give up a lot of draft picks to move up. Even if you move up just a couple of spots, you have to give up some draft picks to do that and we like taking our picks, but if there is somebody up there that we love and we think we can move up to get, then we will keep those options open.

Q: Do you still feel like you need some help on the offensive line, whether that is early or late in the draft?

A: We feel like we can use help anywhere, at any position. We just want to create a lot of competition at every position going into the training camp, so we are going to try and upgrade at every position like we always do and offensive line is definitely a spot that we would like to upgrade as well.

Q: When you go back and look at where things stood at the combine to now, has there been that much movement as far as guys surprising you?

A: Our scouts are on top of all of these guys. At the combine, a lot of people are just now learning about these guys, but our scouts already know these people, so we don’t have a lot of surprises. Every now and then you have a couple surprises, a guy could jump up quickly out of nowhere and you have to do some extra work on him, but for the most part we don’t have a lot of surprises going into the draft.

Q: How much do you weigh what they did in college versus this three to four month process?

A: Yeah, we try to put it all together. We look at what the players do on the field. We grade the players on the field. The gymnastics stuff that they do during the combine is part of the equation, but we look at these guys as football players first and we just go on our experience as scouts and try to look at the player more than what the gymnastic numbers say. But that is part of the equation as well.

Q: D.J. Fluker is a guy who came in with 1st round pedigree. Is he someone that you think still has that potential?

A: Well, we hope so. D.J. is going to come in and battle for a position just like everyone else on the squad and hopefully the change of address and just a new scene for him will re-energize him and I know he wants to prove that he is still a number one type talent and we are looking forward to giving him the opportunity.

Q: Do you see him as better at guard or tackle?

A: Yeah, coming out, we thought he could play both. We thought that he had some versatility. We thought he could play tackle, we thought he could play guard. I think he is going to get an opportunity. I am not the coach, Coach McAdoo will make the decision of where he plays, but we think he has some versatility to play guard or tackle.

Q: At the end of last season, you spoke about considering a position change for Ereck Flowers. At this point, do you see him as the left tackle?

A: Again, it is spring and it is a long time before we play. In the spring we will experiment with different lineups and situations with our offensive line, so it is a long way to go. That is to be determined later by Ben and the coaching staff, but we will tinker with a lot of things in the spring.

Q: Despite always looking for the best available player, when you look at last season, there clearly has to be some areas that you need more help.

A: Of course. You are always trying to tie best player available with what our needs are.

Q: Do you ever do that?

A: We do it a lot. Sometimes it falls that way as this is the best player available and also ties into value and need as well. We try to tie them both together, but we are not going to reach for guys just because we think it is a need position for us.

Q: Does that tie into the cost of moving up?

A: Yeah, all of it ties into the cost of moving up.

Q: You have been in a lot of drafts. Last year there were two guys that you liked a lot that teams traded up in front of you to get. Does that make you more aggressive this year so that that won’t happen again?

A: We liked all the players that got picked in front of us last year. You are saying there were two guys, but there were a lot of guys we liked in front of us. So are you going to move up every time just because you like somebody? You pick where you are for a reason. We are at 23. We had a decent season, so we are picking farther back in the draft. If you don’t play well, then you pick up front. But again, if there is someone up there that we love, that we have to have and we are dying for and we are willing to give up our draft picks to move up to get him, then we are open to doing that.

Q: Does it get muddy when you are looking at guys who are potential late 1st round and early second round picks?

A: You never know. You never know how the players are going to come off of the board. You look at this draft and you have five or six blue chip players and then you have the second level of your first round guys and you never know how they are going to come off. Some people may see them a little different than how we like them. When you are picking later in the draft, you just kind of have to sit and wait and let somebody just start to fall and you are like, ‘Let’s move up and get this guy if we really love him that much.’ But again, if you do that, then you are going to give up draft picks and we don’t like to do that.

Q: Do you have 23 names in your first row?

A: We have 32 names in the first row. That is why we call them rows. They are not all first round picks, but they are in the first row.

Q: How many players have a draftable grade on your board?

A: I am not going to talk about how many players have draftable grades, guys.

Q: Do you consider the depth chart as one of the tools in your decision-making?

A: We are just picking the best players available. We have players on our board, we have all of our players on our team currently on the board as well to see how they fit, but we are just trying to pick the best player available when we are on the clock.

Q: With Johnathan Hankins going to the Colts, how do you rate defensive tackle in terms of depth and potential need?

A: We think that, obviously, Snacks is a good player there. We have Bromley, we have Robert (Thomas), so we have a couple more guys that we expect to step up and help fill that void and obviously we will continue to look at free agency and we will look in the draft to see if we can add some depth to that position too.

Q: Were you surprised that Hankins left?

A: No, I am never surprised about anything during free agency. Money talks and we are happy for Hank. We are big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.

Q: In 2007, your draft led to a Super Bowl title. Do you look at this year’s crop and this draft in general as something that can be a key component in building a championship team this year?

A: We hope so. We hope that the kids that we draft in this draft will help supplement the needs that we have on the roster and hopefully we can get some players in here out of this draft that can help us get over the top.

Q: You said at the end of the year that Eli was on the back nine of his career. How did you go about looking at quarterbacks this year? Was it any different from the past?

A: Not really. We evaluate everybody the same every year, regardless of what we are looking for and what we think we need and where we think the depth should come from. We are giving everybody a fair assessment as we go through all the players and we grade everyone the same, whether you are from a big school, a small school, if you are short or if you are tall, it doesn’t matter. We give everyone the same degree of consideration.

Q: Did you find yourself looking more at quarterbacks this year?

A: Myself personally? I probably looked at more quarterbacks this time then I did at other times, but there are only so many guys that you can look at. You can ask Marc Ross about anybody from any school and he can tell you in two seconds because he sees all the players and evaluates all of them. Obviously it is hard for me to evaluate every single player.

Q: When you are looking for the successor for Eli, is Geno (Smith) a candidate?

A: Well, Geno is on the roster and is going to have a fair share to compete just like everyone else. He is excited about being here and we are excited to have him and he is going to come in and compete just like everybody else, so we will see where that goes.

Q: Have you decided if you are going to exercise the fifth-year option on Odell?

A: We are going to discuss that when the time gets closer. We will keep all of our options open with respect to that.

Q: You had some critical comments about him at the end of the season. How do you think he has responded to that?

A: You guys called it critical. I don’t think it was critical. I think some of you guys framed it as critical, but I didn’t see it that way.

Q: Critiqued maybe. How do you think he responded to the general message?

A: Again, I think he is a guy that hears what we are saying and like John (Mara) said, ‘We are not worried about Odell.’ He is a young kid, he is growing up every day and we think that he is going to continue being a tremendous football player and a tremendous representative of our organization here.

Q: At the owners meeting, Ben McAdoo said that Geno compares favorably to the quarterbacks in this class. Does that change what you guys might do next week at quarterback?

A: No.

Q: How do you personally evaluate this team’s draft performance over the last three or four years?

A: It is not my job to do that. You guys can do that. We go in every year and do our best to draft the best players available and try to develop the kids that we get on the roster, so if you win, it is a good draft and if you don’t win, then it is a bad draft. You guys can evaluate that. I am not here to talk about how we are evaluating what the drafts are.

Q: If you take a quarterback next week, I am sure that you hope he doesn’t play soon, but how do you weigh taking a pick higher in the draft that is going to be a developmental guy?

A: Again, you just take the best player available and however he fits on roster – if you take a quarterback high, if you take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him, you hope that everything falls right for them. If they have to play, you hope it is the right time for them to play. But if you are worrying about when is he going to play, when is he not going play, you might miss out on the right player. You just have to take the best player available.

Q: Isn’t quarterback different though?

A: Yeah, but again, everyone has to get picked somewhere. Last year Prescott got picked and people didn’t regard him highly and he played tremendous. He was at the right place at the right time, got the right opportunity and he did a very nice job for them.

Q: Would you rule out drafting a first round quarterback?

A: We will keep all of our options open.

Q: If you draft a quarterback this year, do you think they will need two or three years to sit and develop behind Eli?

A: Again, who knows what will happen. If you draft a quarterback in the first or second round, if Eli gets hurt and we don’t have a quarterback that is ready to go and you have a quarterback on the roster, you have to get them ready to play. That is the coaches’ job to do that, it is our job to have somebody waiting in the wings to play, so you just never know. We think that Eli has some good years left to play for us and we are trying to put good people around him as well and hopefully the offense can pick up the pace more than last year.

Q: Do you agree with the consensus that the quarterbacks in this class all could use time to sit and develop?

A: That is what you say every year. It is hard to bring guys right out of college, and to play up here is such a different game and the college game is a lot different now, so it is hard for guys to just jump in and play up here right away. But we have seen guys do it, but I think you have to limit what they do and you can’t give them everything at the beginning.

Q: As you personally look at this draft of quarterbacks, where is your determining factor on if a certain player can be your guy for the future?

A: Well, again, we look at what their skillset is and we look at what we like to do and see how many guys have that skillset and what part of the draft can they be possible picks for us if we decide to pick one.

Q: What is Ben’s involvement in the draft process?

A: Just like always, all of our coaches are part of the process and everyone has an opinion on who we take, so he is a big part of it, like every coach has been here.

Q: But you have the final decision?

A: It is our decision. If it doesn’t work out, then it is my decision.

Q: Have you ever looked back at a draft pick and admitted to no one but yourself that you made a mistake?

A: Plenty of times. You don’t get all of them right. I don’t think anyone is batting 1.000 picking players. But yeah, plenty of times.

Q: How do you factor age into drafting players?

A: That is not a big issue for us. If a guy is 24 or 25, that is still super young.

Q: How has the role of the tight end changed since this team picked one in the first round with Shockey?

A: I think it is whatever your offensive coordinator is, what your head coach’s philosophy is, and I think that is what determines what your tight end role is. You look at different teams and tight ends are a big part of what they do and you look at us and we haven’t been a two tight end kind of offense under Ben. But we do feel like a tight end could come in and help us. We brought (Rhett) Ellison in to be part of that equation of helping the run game, and I think he is a very capable receiving as well, so there are some good tight ends in the draft, we believe. I like a lot of different positions, but it just depends on what the offensive coordinator thinks and how much he wants to use a tight end.

Q: Have you not used that aspect of Ben’s offense because of the personnel here?

A: You can ask Ben about that. I think that the best coaches make an adjustment to really what your personnel is and I think that is part of being a coach. You don’t always have the perfect pieces to what you want and you have to make the adjustment and I think the best coaches do that.

Q: What is the challenge in evaluating players that are multi-dimensional? Guys like Jabrill Peppers and Christian McCaffery.

A: Well, it is not the challenge, I think that when you get a player that has a skillset like McCaffery and maybe Peppers, these guys do a lot of different things for their team and you can save yourself a roster spot more than anything else. If you get a guy like that, then maybe you don’t have to go out and get a return specialist or…obviously both those guys would be tremendous on special teams, so they can do a lot of things. But to their defense a little bit, I think they get hurt a little bit because they play so many different positions and people say, ‘Well, what does this guy do?’ I think that maybe devalues them a little bit. But we like guys with a lot of versatility and those are two good players.

Q: The mock drafts say that the Giants have to take an offensive lineman at 23. To that, you would say?

A: I would say that we are going to pick the best player available.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
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GIANTS INSIDER WITH RB PAUL PERKINS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with running back Paul Perkins is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 242017
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

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

  • RB Paul Perkins (Video)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Video)
  • LB Keenan Robinson (Video)

ARTICLES…