Sep 192013
 
 September 19, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 19, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Thursday were CB Corey Webster (hip), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), OG Brandon Mosley (back), OT David Diehl (thumb), and QB Ryan Nassib (foot). Webster, Mosley, and Nassib were new additions to the injury report. Robinson did not practice after practicing on Wednesday.

New York Giants Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

John Madden on the Giants and QB Eli Manning: John Madden Analyzes Eli’s Turnovers by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson Comfortable, Confident Heading into Carolina Matchup by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Giants’ Offensive Line: Giants Guard Kevin Boothe Calls Performance of Offensive Line ‘Shocking’ by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on P Steve Weatherford: Weatherford Aims for Bounce Back Game by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Former Giants Linebacker Lawrence Taylor: The Movie That Made Lawrence Taylor Cry for What He’d Done by Greg Hanlon of CapitalNewYork.com

Share Button
Sep 122013
 
 September 12, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
Allen Bradford – © USA TODAY Sports Image

Allen Bradford – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Dan Connor’s Season is Over: The Giants placed LB Dan Connor on season-ending Injured Reserve on Thursday. Connor left Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys with a neck injury (burner).

Giants Claim LB Allen Bradford Off of Waivers from Seahawks: The Giants have claimed LB Allen Bradford off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.

Practice Squad Moves: The Giants have re-signed WR Marcus Harris to the Practice Squad. To make room for Harris, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of OT Steven “Sam” Baker.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Thursday were CB Prince Amukamara (concussion), OT David Diehl (thumb), and TE Adrien Robinson (foot).

“(Amukamara is) getting tested right now, but hopefully he’s going to be okay,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He seems to be fine. I can’t get him to tell me he’s had any issues, but he did the same thing the night of the game. We’ll see…I would say if he works (on Friday) and gets a good day’s work, then we would have a good chance (to play on Sunday). Barring setbacks, you know how that goes.”

OC David Baas (knee) and DE Damontre Moore (shoulder) were limited in practice.

“(Baas has) had a couple of days of practice time and he wants more every day,” said Coughlin. “That’s a good sign.”

“Right now, I’m very encouraged,” said Baas. “Today was definitely better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be a huge indicator.”

RB Da’Rel Scott (knee) fully practiced.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Giants’ D Can’t Expect Another Free Pass by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Share Button
Sep 052013
 
 September 5, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Re-Structure Contracts of Chris Snee and Steve Weatherford: As first anticipated by BBI cap analyst Optimus-NY, the Giants re-structured the contracts of OG Chris Snee and P Steve Weatherford on Wednesday.

Snee’s 2013 base salary of $6.7 million was reduced to $4.2 million. However, his 2014 base salary will increase from $6.95 million to $7.2 million.

Weatherford’s 2013 base salary of $1.825 was reduced to $925,000 with the rest converted into a bonus.

The moves created approximately $1.925 million in cap space.

New York Giants Pick Team Captains: QB Eli Manning, DE Justin Tuck, S Antrel Rolle, OG Chris Snee, and LS Zak DeOssie were voted team captains by their teammates for the 2013 NFL season. It is the sixth consecutive season Manning has been elected a captain, the fourth time for Tuck, and the third for DeOssie.

“These guys were all elected by the players,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Am I happy they were selected? Yes, I am because I think the number one thing is always ‘team’ and people have to lead by example, first, and ‘well done is better than well said.’ Yet, through the course of the long and difficult, challenging season, you’re going to see an opportunity for people to show what they’re made of in good and bad and that’s where leadership comes from. Adversity, remember, makes you stronger, according to John Wooden.”

“They have demonstrated over the years, honestly, not just this fall, a true, true interest and concern in the well-being of our team, not their own individual thing. I think there’s tremendous growth in each individual. You watch and listen to Antrel, and I think that you know that his heart and mind is in, and has been in for quite some time, the right place. I just think they’re guys that work in different ways and have demonstrated exceptional leadership and have done more than their part. You open the door to the offensive line room and there’s one guy sitting behind that machine every time you peek in there and it’s 76 (Snee).

“You know where Eli stands. I think Tuck has come back this fall and really he’s not been very verbal, but he’s demonstrated and shown good example, and I think that’s really what the challenge was for Justin based on a year ago. And Zak has been steady and he has been, as a captain, is this his third year already, he has been very forthright and never leaves a stone unturned in terms of what he thinks with regard to his effort on special teams or his contributions in the meeting room.”

Injury Update: Not practicing on Thursday were OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), and TE Adrien Robinson (foot).

FB Henry Hynoski (knee), WR Victor Cruz (heel), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), and DE Damontre Moore (shoulder) were limited in practice.

CB Jayron Hosley (ankle) fully practiced.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on RB Da’Rel Scott: RB Da’Rel Scott Next in Line vs. Cowboys by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on the Offensive Line:

Article on DE Adewale Ojomo: Adewale Ojomo: ‘I’m Much Closer to the Field This Year’ by Tom Rock of Newsday

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Share Button
Aug 152013
 
 August 15, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
New York Giants Helmets (August 10, 2013)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Return to Practice on Friday: There was no practice on Thursday. The Giants return to practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants.com Q&A With Perry Fewell: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell is available at Giants.com.

Article on QB David Carr: Giants’ David Carr Understands He is Facing a Challege by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on OL Justin Pugh: Veterans Teaching Rookie OT Justin Pugh by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Article on LB Dan Connor: Giants Linebacker Dan Connor Won’t Tweak Cowboys by Tom Rock of Newsday

Articles on the Defensive Backs:

Article on LS Zak DeOssie: The Giants’ Secret Weapon: a Shrieking Long-Snapper by Jonathan Clegg of The Wall Street Journal

Giants Bowling Night Sights & Sounds: A video of the Giants’ bowling night from earlier this week is available at Giants.com.

Share Button
Aug 132013
 
 August 13, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
Trumaine McBride, New York Giants (August 10, 2013)

Trumaine McBride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 13, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their 13th training camp practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The next practice is on Wednesday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update – Low Ankle Sprain for Rolle: Not practicing on Tuesday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Jerrel Jernigan (soreness), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), OL James Brewer (concussion), OT Chris DeGeare (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (soreness), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), S Cooper Taylor (hamstring), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

The good news on Rolle, who is wearing a walking boot, is that his ankle injury is not a high ankle sprain. However, the injury appears to be a significant sprain with no immediate timetable for his return.

“It’s a pretty good sprain,” said Rolle. “I always said that if I can’t get up and I can’t walk off on my own, then it’s pretty bad. For right now, just from yesterday (to) today, it feels 10 times better.”

“(I want to be back) as soon as possible,” said Rolle. “There’s no timeframe at the moment but as soon as possible. I’m a hard worker, on the field and off the field. I’m not a fan of injuries, I really hate to even speak about this, but it happens in this game. I’m just going to do the best I can, try to get out there before the preseason’s over with and take it one day at a time.”

When asked if he might miss the regular-season opener, Rolle responded, “Oh no. No, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make sure. That’s not even a possibility.”

“It’s not a high ankle sprain, that’s for sure,” said Rolle. “I had a high ankle sprain before and there are no similarities at all. Thank God.”

Roster Moves: FB Ryan D’Imperio has decided to retire and the Giants have placed him on the Reserve/Retired List. To fill his roster spot, the Giants signed FB Ben Guidugli.

Coach Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Tuesday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on the Giants’ Offense: Gilbride: Healthy Offense Could Be Giants’ Best by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on the Linebackers:

Article on S Ryan Mundy: Safety Ryan Mundy Steps In With Starters by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Share Button
Jul 252013
 
 July 25, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes
Justin Pugh (72), New York Giants (May 22, 2013)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib Sign: All of the Giants’ 2013 NFL Draft class is now signed. The Giants announced on Thursday that OL Justin Pugh (1st round) and QB Ryan Nassib (4th round) have signed. Pugh’s contract is reportedly a 4-year, $8.34 million deal.

Veterans and rookies are required to report to training camp on Friday. Practices begin on Saturday at the Giants’ practice facilities at the MetLife Sports Complex. For a complete schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants Change Name of Headquarters and Training Facility: The Giants announced on Thursday that the sponsorship of their headquarters and training facility at the MetLife Sports Complex has changed. Timex will no longer be the sponsor but Quest Diagnostics. The new name of the headquarters and training facility is the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

John Mara Likes This Team’s Potential: Giants’ President and CEO John Mara said on Thursday that he like’s the 2013 Giants’ potential.

“We signed a lot of players,” said Mara. “We have a lot of guys on one-year deals who have a chance to reinvent themselves and reestablish their careers and they’re going to be highly motivated, and I think we filled in some needs for ourselves. I think we had a good draft. So yeah, I’m excited about it. I think we have a very solid organization, a very solid team. Hopefully we’ll stay healthy, and I think we can be as good as anybody.

“I look at us on paper and I think we’re every bit as good as that team, but there’s a long way to go between the paper and proving it on the field. But we have enough talent to compete with anybody.

“We obviously have a quarterback in place who has won a couple of Super Bowls, who is in his prime. But he needs a little bit of help and we need to play better on defense and we need to play better up front and we think we’ve added some pieces that are going to allow us to do that. But I don’t look at it like our window is closing and we better do something now. We’re never going to change how we operate. We still focus on the draft and on adding free agents, be it short term or long term, that are going to help us.

“As long as (Eli is) behind center, yeah, we have a chance to win and compete. He’s got to have some help and I think we have enough players to give him that help and we’ve put together what I think is a good team. It comes down, like it does every year, to staying healthy and guys playing up to their potential. We have a lot of players with a lot of pride in that locker room, and I think they’re ready to get going and put last year behind them and play like Giants.”

Perry Fewell Talks About the Defense: Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell talks about the defense in an exclusive interview with Giants.com.

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Rolle Understands the Need to Lead by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Joe Skiba Takes Us Behind the Scenes: Giants’ Equipment Director Joe Skiba takes us behind the scenes at Giants.com.

Share Button
Jun 142013
 
 June 14, 2013  Posted by  News and Notes

Victor Cruz Signs His 1-Year, $2.879 Million Tender: Though not officially announced, according to multiple press reports, restricted free agent WR Victor Cruz has signed his 1-year, $2.879 million tender. This means it is unlikely that Cruz will hold out of training camp while negotiations on a long-term deal continue since he can be fined $30,000 per day if he holds out. It also prevents the Giants from lowering Cruz’s tender to $630,000, which the team could have done on Monday.

“I’m going to sign my tender today and will continue talks for a long-term deal before camp starts,” said Cruz on Friday morning before he signed the tender.

The Daily News is reporting that the Giants are currently offering Cruz a long-term deal worth more than $8 million per season, but Cruz is supposedly refusing to accept anything below $9 million per season. The Daily News is also reporting that the Giants had not ruled out lowering Cruz’s tender to $630,000. Indeed, NFL.com is reporting that the Giants were going to reduce his tender.

Cruz skipped the Giants’ offseason workout program, all nine Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices, and the recently-completed mini-camp. He did participate in some private workouts for a few days with QB Eli Manning, WR Hakeem Nicks, and WR Louis Murphy at Duke University in April.

Two New York Giants’ Draft Picks Remain Unsigned: Five of the Giants’ seven 2013 NFL Draft picks signed weeks ago. The two who have not signed yet are OL Justin Pugh (1st round) and QB Ryan Nassib (4th round).

“I’m not missing any training camp, I know that right now,’’ said Pugh. “They do things the right way here, so I know we’ll get it done. I’m not worried about it.”

Austin Had Knee Surgery in January: DT Marvin Austin revealed on Thursday that he underwent surgery in January to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Austin, the Giants’ 2nd round draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, has had a rough start to his pro career. He missed all of his rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle and he only saw very limited playing time in 2012.

“You see the competition (at defensive tackle),” said Austin. “I want to make this team. I’ve got to show them what I can do. I haven’t shown them anything. Some things don’t have to be said.”

Sights and Sounds from Mini-Camp: A sights and sounds video of action from the Giants’ recently-completed mini-camp (June 11-13) is available at Giants.com.

Article on the Giants’ Defense: Fewell: Giants’ Defensive Unit Will Be Fine by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Giants Want Prince to Be ‘More of a Professional,’ Become Defensive Leader by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on CB Terrell Thomas: Giants Cornerback Focused on Recovery, but Also the Future by Tom Pedulla of The New York Times

Article on WR Rueben Randle: Rueben Randle Making Big Strides in Second Season by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on the Giants’ Kick Return Game: Will Wilson’s Kick Returner Role Be Reduced? by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Quotes: DT Johnathan Hankins on himself: “I can move, I can pass rush, and I can be a factor out there. With the schemes that they’ve got now, they’ve got me basically playing what I was in college – a little end, a little inside, so pretty much everywhere on the line. I’m just learning all the positions and the plays.”

Share Button
May 202013
 
 May 20, 2013  Posted by  Articles, Roster Thoughts
Corey Webster (23), Kenny Phillips (21), Justin Tuck (91), New York Giants (September 5, 2012)

Corey Webster, Kenny Phillips, and Justin Tuck – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The State of the New York Giants Defense

Memories are often short for NFL fans. The long offseason, with excitement of numerous roster subtractions and additions, can overshadow recent failure. It’s an exciting time for fans, but it is important to remember that the ultimate goal is not to make noise in the offseason, but to make noise on the playing field when the games count.

Aside from a six-game stretch at the end of the 2011 season, the New York Giants defense has been putrid for the last two seasons. It was 27th in yards allowed in 2011 and 31st in yards allowed in 2012. It has had trouble stopping the run (25th in 2012) and the pass (28th in 2012). Indeed, if it were not for 35 takeaways (2nd in the NFL), the defensive stats, including scoring defense (12th in 2012), would surely have been much worse. Personally, I never think it is wise to count on being a league leader in takeaways. Too much luck is involved.

For better or worse, many of core defensive players are now gone: DE Osi Umenyiora, DT Chris Canty, LB Michael Boley, LB Chase Blackburn, and S Kenny Phillips. DT Rocky Bernard also will not be re-signed.

New faces include veteran free agents DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Mike Patterson, DT Frank Okam, LB Dan Connor, LB Aaron Curry, and S Ryan Mundy – all but Jenkins signed to only 1-year contracts. Also added to the mix were rookie draft picks DT Johnathan Hankins, DE Damontre Moore, and S Cooper Taylor.

There still may be a move or two, but the roster heading into camp is largely set. More tweaking could occur in late August and early September when teams make their final cuts.

Obviously, there has been a lot of change. But will change lead to improved results on the playing field both in the short-term and medium-term? Has the talent actually improved? Moving beyond 2013, key veteran holdovers such as DE Justin Tuck, CB Corey Webster, and S Antrel Rolle are aging and taking up too much salary cap space. DT Linval Joseph will be a free agent and DE Jason Pierre-Paul will want a new contract soon. Who will the front office and coaching staff determine to be the core defensive players to build around on this team moving forward? Who will be the defensive leaders? Can Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell restructure the various moving parts into an effective, cohesive unit in 2013 and beyond? Yes, there is change in every offseason, but there is a pretty significant changing of the guard on defense. Can it all come together quickly?

Defensive Line: Except for Pierre-Paul’s play in 2011 and late season flashes from everyone else that same season, this unit has largely lived off its reputation rather than consistent play on the football field. And because of that, gone are Umenyiora, Canty, and Bernard. Tuck could be next in 2014.

On paper, the defensive line is still the strongest position on defense. There are 16 bodies present and all of them have talent. The Giants will probably keep five defensive ends and the sure bets are Tuck, Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Damontre Moore. But Adrian Tracy, Adewale Ojomo, Justin Trattou, and Matt Broha have all flashed as players. Based on early impressions, it appears that Tuck is reinvigorated to have a big season, if for no other reason than his next contract with the Giants or another team. But he has been physically beat-up and quite moody in recent years. JPP also needs to rebound from a sackless second half if he wants a big-money contract. Kiwanuka should move back to his more natural position with something to prove as well. Moore has exciting potential, but he needs a lot of work in the weight room. If the Giants think Tuck is likely to depart in 2014, can they find a way to hold onto six defensive ends this year?

The Giants added a lot of new bodies at defensive tackle. Due to injuries and declining play, this was necessary. Linval Joseph returns. He has a lot of talent but he needs to be more effectively consistent on the playing field. Cullen Jenkins should add veteran leadership and a pass rush presence. Johnathan Hankins is the type of stout, double team-eating nose tackle that this team has lacked. That leaves one or two spots for Mike Patterson, Shaun Rogers, Markus Kuhn, Marvin Austin, and Frank Okam. Austin is the three-technique, pass rusher of the group. Rogers and Okam are huge nose tackle types. Patterson and Kuhn offer flexibility and can play the run. Moving forward past 2013, if the Giants can re-sign Joseph (a big if), then the Giants will be in good shape with him and Hankins. The real wild card is Austin. Is he a bust or can he become the player the Giants hoped he would when they drafted him in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft?

Linebacker: Most Giants’ fans seemed to be more concerned with this position than any other. For quite some time, the Giants have rarely addressed this spot high in the draft (with the exception of Clint Sintim). The team has been more proactive in free agency with additions such as Michael Barrow, Antonio Pierce, and Michael Boley to name a few. The same pattern continued this offseason. The Giants did not draft a linebacker but added Dan Connor and Aaron Curry in free agency. They also re-signed Keith Rivers.

This position is the most unsettled on the team despite the fact there are only eight linebackers on the current roster and it is conceivable that the Giants could only carry six heading into the regular season. There is little stability right now. Not only is there no sure starter at any of the three spots, but five of the eight players will see their contracts expire after the 2013 season. Dan Connor is probably the favorite to start in the middle, but he could be challenged there by Aaron Curry or Mark Herzlich. Curry will also vie for one of the outside spots along with Rivers, Jacquian Williams, and Spencer Paysinger. Long shots include Jake Muasau who was with the Giants in camp last year and rookie free agent Etienne Sabino.

One wonders how much the Giants will actually use three linebackers on the field. Obviously, a three-linebacker set will be their base defense. And one would think that having more linebackers on the field would be a good thing against a run-centric team like the Washington Redskins. But Perry Fewell and many other defensive coordinators are using more nickel-type defenses in today’s passing league, and Fewell, in particular, favors the three-safety look.

Rivers has talent, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. Williams can run like a deer, but is he physical enough? Paysinger has been working like a dog this offseason to get his shot. But both he and Herzlich need to prove they are more than just special teams players. The real wild cards are Connor and Curry – two highly-touted collegiate prospects who have had their ups and downs in the NFL, each with two different teams.

Defensive Back: It’s not the linebacker position that worries me the most, but cornerback. This was the position I was more shocked the Giants did not address in the draft. On paper, the Giants look deep and talented with Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas, Jayron Hosley, and Aaron Ross. But Webster and Ross are over 30 and obviously on the downside of their respective careers. Thomas is coming off his third ACL tear on the same knee. If Webster rebounds from a bad 2012, if Thomas’ knee holds up and his overall athleticism hasn’t suffered, and if Ross can serve as a steady backup, then the Giants should be in good shape. But those are all huge “ifs”. Things could get really ugly if the answers to those questions are negative. Moreover, the Giants need Prince Amukamara to build upon a decent 2012 with a better 2013. And they desperately need Jayron Hosley to improve; he struggled quite a bit as a nickel corner in 2012.

Is there any potential gem in the other unknown cornerback candidates? Terrence Frederick, Laron Scott, Trumaine McBride, Charles James, and Junior Mertile are all vying for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Safety is more settled, but the Giants will be without Kenny Phillips. It’s hard to envision Stevie Brown duplicating his 8-interception season again in 2013, but we shall see. Rolle is steady and athletic, but he does not make many plays on the football and his cap number may become untenable in 2014. Will Hill flashed a great deal of promise and the Giants drafted Cooper Taylor. Ryan Mundy is a veteran free agent addition, but he was often viewed as a liability in coverage in Pittsburgh. Tyler Sash has not demonstrated anything more than special teams ability and may be on the hot seat. Veteran David Cardwell and rookie free agents Alonzo Tweedy and John Stevenson are the long shots.

Summary: So there has been a great deal of change. But will these changes improve their dreadful defensive rankings? There is talent on the defensive line, but it has to stop living off its reputation. Everything seems to be in a state of flux at linebacker. Are there three quality starters in that group? In the secondary, much depends on the questions surrounding the cornerback spot. Can Webster rebound? Can Thomas come back healthy and strong? Will Amukamara prove to be worthy of a #1 pick?

And can Perry Fewell and his defensive staff successfully mold together all of these changing and evolving parts into a cohesive, aggressive, and physical defense?

The Giants’ 2013 season probably depends on it.

Share Button