Oct 052015
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The New York Giants announced on Monday that tight end Daniel Fells has developed a staph infection, which was discovered during treatment of what the team is calling a “chronic ankle condition.” According to NJ.com, Fells reportedly underwent multiple surgeries to treat the infection. He will be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

“It was very unfortunate with Daniel,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It went from early in the week being a junkie ankle to a serious situation. I just talked to him a little while ago, he feels upbeat about it. He’s just looking forward to getting things under control so he can get out of the hospital.”

Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Good afternoon everyone. We were certainly pleased to look at this tape because I thought our demeanor, the effort, the enthusiasm with which we played, the excitement—I thought the stadium there in Buffalo was electric. I liked the way that we responded to it. We worked well, particularly late in the week. Because of the nature of the Buffalo team, a very good team, their sophisticated defensive scheme, outstanding special teamers, outstanding returners with a very good offensive team that had scored 32 points on New England, that was the number one rush team in the league etc…

We had a lot of very sophisticated adjustments within the nature of the game plan on offense and I liked the way the approach was. I liked the way they focused, I liked the way the players prepared themselves. I think defensively we definitely set the tone with a number of three and outs in the first half. Offensively, the first half was pretty much the way we would want it to go, as well. I thought the interesting thought there was the objective on special teams was to do an outstanding job at coverage, punt coverage and kickoff coverage. And we did. And on defense, to first of all stop the run and, of course, all that falls in line there. Try to win the physical battle and the turnover battle. So our defensive team held Buffalo to a very low percentage on third down. We did not do much better on the offensive side. But as I said, we were plus-one and we won just by a little bit the time of possession. So we were pleased to be able to go on the road and to play against a very good team and to come away with a win.

Q: How impressed were you with the offensive line given the early injury to Ereck Flowers and how formidable the Bills pass rush is? Can you talk a little about their performance on Sunday?

A: Well, I will. I will say this—they did perform well. They’ve done a nice job with that. We pass protected well, we did end up with one sack. Quite frankly, that should have been picked up as well. We did have some occasions to run the ball. We rushed for 92 yards, they rushed for 55 yards. So we had more yards there. Again, we prepared well, there was an awful lot that went into it from a cerebral standpoint in the game. The guys did a good job with it. You would like to have the third quarter, maybe come back and do a better job there. Obviously the penalty on the screen really knocked us out of some opportunities there because the ball was down way deep into their territory. But we did do a good job, and we did protect the passer. The ball did come out quickly and that was the nature of the game.

Q: How has Marshall Newhouse done in particular in your estimation?

A: He’s done a good job, he’s done a good job. He’s come in and he’s worked hard and he’s been very good up front in terms of communication. He’s a smart guy. So he’s worked himself in very well.

Q: A lot of your players last night and a couple guys today talked about, it seemed like after the 0-2 start your energy level rose a little bit higher. Is that a conscious thing that you did, stay upbeat and stay the course?

A: Yeah, the obvious. Whether the energy level came up from whatever level it currently is, I don’t know about that. But I do know that it puts a fire in our belly without a doubt to be 0-2 and I didn’t think we were an 0-2 team. We needed to do something about it. So we tried to inspire our guys to believe in themselves and come together as a team, to play the four quarters. Forget about the score and play each play as hard as you possibly can and don’t let any of the circumstances get into your head. And the coaches all did a great job of, again, continuing to express the feelings that I had and keeping the energy level very high and coaching the heck out of them and being excited about it. Trying to surround ourselves with guys that are excited to compete and believe that we can win. All of those things went into it, without a doubt.

Q: Tom, you used this word to your team last night after the game and the word keeps coming out. “Relevant.” Why that choice of word?

A: Well, it’s always good to be, at this point in time in a season, looking at our start and to know that you’re in the mix, you’re in the hunt. I chose that word to make them understand it’s a word that puts you in position, but you’re not there. You’ve got a long way to go and that’s the significance of that term.

Q: You put Fells on I.R. Do you have a corresponding roster move? When did that happen?

A: Well, we’ll see about that, the move. It was very unfortunate with Daniel. It went from early in the week being a junkie ankle to a serious situation. I just talked to him a little while ago, he feels upbeat about it. He’s just looking forward to getting things under control so he can get out of the hospital. With that being the case, we would have a roster move, but we’ll make sure we take our time, do our due diligence on that.

Q: Eli threw his first interception on Sunday. What did you see from that play? Was it more a product of maybe trying to force the pass or could Rueben Randle maybe have fought a little bit harder for the ball?

A: Well, you can look at it any way you want to. The error goes to me, because I wanted to score. I wanted to be in a position at that point to score a touchdown. And then on fourth down, if we didn’t score, we would kick the field goal. But there’s different ways to play that. I asked Rueben about it, he said when the contact came from the corner, he was kind of knocked back a little bit and wasn’t able to completely finish. And I’m sure if you really bore down on him, he could have maybe run the route just a little bit better. I think Eli had thrown a similar type of pass to him for a touchdown earlier in the game. The ball had been thrown low and in a spot where Rueben was going to get it and nobody else was going to get it. I’m sure Eli would probably say something to that effect as well. Give some credit to the corner. The corner played that pretty well.

Q: Getting a chance to look back on it, do you regret throwing the ball there in that spot?

A: No, I don’t regret the call, I regret the result. I do understand completely the consequences of the decision that you could make or couldn’t make there. However, as I explained, I was looking for an opportunity on third down to score a touchdown. If we didn’t, we would kick the field goal on fourth down. That was the entire concept.

Q: Right now, you two rookie tight ends and Larry Donnell, who doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience himself. Is this somewhere you feel you need a veteran in that spot in some way, shape or form?

A: Well, it would be nice, but that type of a player may or may not be available. We’ll have to see where that exactly stands. Larry has played a significant number of snaps here in the early part of the season and he seems to have grown into that role. We’d like to be supportive in other ways. If we can do with what we have here, fine. If there is something that we can look into that will improve us in other areas, then so be that, too.

Q: I know he dropped the pass, but what did you see from Will Tye?

A: Well, I thought it wasn’t too big for him. I thought that he did a decent job of blocking. There was a couple of decent, good plays and probably one poor play. He did have the drop on a second and one, which would have converted to a first down, no doubt. But for the first time out of the box, he went out there and handled it well in terms of emotion and that type of thing.

Q: Owa Odighizuwa played 40-something defensive snaps in his first NFL game. How do you think he did?

A: You know what, he obviously hasn’t played in quite some time and that was a factor there. But he got in there, he mixed it up. He made a really nice play on the quarterback where he kept the ball on the option. He got himself in position a couple of times where he could have been able to apply some pressure perhaps with a little bit better movement to the quarterback and the passing game. He got in there, he got his feet wet.

Q: Do you have an update on any of these injured guys—Devon Kennard or Jayron Hosley and maybe how Ereck Flowers came out?

A: Well, Flowers seemed to come out okay. This morning, he looked very good when he was here in the building. The trainers and the doctors felt that he was actually a little bit better about the position that he’s in right now than he was a week ago. So that was good. The other guys, I do not have anything on.

Q: How about Victor Cruz? Victor said that Monday was going to be a big day for him to come in and see how that injection went?

A: I don’t think we have anything to update on Victor.

Q: Is there anything with Jason Pierre-Paul? Is he scheduled to come in any time soon?

A: I have no knowledge of any such information.

Transcripts or audio of Monday’s media sessions with the following players:

The Giants are 8-1 in regular-season games vs. AFC East opponents under Tom Coughlin and 2-0 in the post-season.

QB Eli Manning increased his career total passing yards to 40,731. That moved him past Hall of Famer Joe Montana (40,551) and into 13th place on the NFL’s career list. Former Giant Kerry Collins is 12th with 40,922.

WR Odell Beckham has now played in 16 NFL games or a full season. He owns the records for catches (115) and receiving yards (1,612) in the first 16 games of a career.


The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Oct 042015
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Devon Kennard, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Devon Kennard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants won their second game in a row by defeating the Buffalo Bills 24-10 at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Giants have now evened their record at 2-2 after an 0-2 start.

The Bills received the ball to start the game but the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out. On their first possession, the Giants moved the ball 35 yards in eight plays to set up place kicker Josh Brown’s successful 47-yard field goal. Giants 3 – Bills 0.

Both teams then exchanged three-and-out punts. On Buffalo’s third possession, they moved the ball just 15 yards but it was good enough to set up a successful 51-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3. The Giants punted the ball away on their third possession but got it right back when linebacker Devon Kennard made a spectacular sideline interception at the Bills’ 32-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris for a 21-yard score. After a false start, Brown’s extra point effort was no good and the Giants led 9-3.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Bills went three-and-out again. The Giants responded with an impressive 10-play, 76-yard effort that ended with an 11-yard touchdown throw from Manning to wide receiver Rueben Randle. The Giants now led 16-3.

The Bills had the ball three more times in the first half and the Giants twice, but neither team could generate any remaining offense before intermission.

The Giants punted twice and the Bills once to start the second half. Buffalo then put together a long 13-play drive that moved the ball from their own 10-yard line to the Giants’ 12-yard line. But Buffalo’s place kicker missed the easy 30-yard chip shot and the score remained 16-3 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

The Giants went three-and-out and the Bills quickly threatened to tighten the game again, starting at their own 47-yard line, driving, and setting up a 1st-and-goal from the Giants’ 9-yard line. However, the Giants denied the Bills on four straight plays, including stopping Buffalo running back Karlos Williams on a quick pass just short of the goal line on 4th-and-goal. Linebacker J.T. Thomas and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made the stop.

Despite these defensive heroics, the Giants were still facing a tough situation after their offense went three-and-out again. The Bills began the ensuing possession at the Giants’ 43-yard line. Three plays later, Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor hit Williams for a 23-yard scoring play to cut the Giants’ advantage to 16-10 with less than 10 minutes to play.

Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The pivotal moment came on the Giants’ next possession. Up by only six points, and facing a 3rd-and-3 from their own 49-yard line, Manning threw a quick pass to running back Rashad Jennings, who caught the ball, broke a tackle, ran down the left sideline, stiff-armed a defender, and scored from 51 yards out. A successful 2-point run by running back Andre Williams gave the Giants a 24-10 advantage with 7:42 left to play.

Desperate to score, the Bills turned the ball over on 3rd-and-11 on the ensuing drive when cornerback Prince Amukamara stripped a Bills’ receiver of the football and recovered the fumble at the Buffalo 40-yard line. The Giants moved the ball to the Bills’ 8-yard line, but on third-and-goal, Manning’s pass intended for Randle was intercepted and returned 29 yards to the Bills’ 30-yard line with 3:41 left to play.

On their last possession, Buffalo did reach the Giants’ 13-yard line. But after a sack by fullback/defensive tackle Nikita Whitlock, the Bills turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete 4th-and-19 pass. The Giants then knelt on the ball to seal the victory.

Offensively, Manning finished the day 20-of-35 for 212 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. In terms of catches, the leading receivers were Harris (5 catches for 51 yards and 1 touchdown), tight end Larry Donnell (5 catches for 38 yards), and wide receiver Odell Beckham (5 catches for 38 yards). The Giants’ running backs rushed for 94 yards on 25 carries.

Defensively, the Bills were held to 14 first downs and 313 yards (55 yards rushing, 258 yards passing), were 3-of-16 (18 percent) on third down, and 1-of-3 (33 percent) on fourth down. The Giants forced two turnovers (Kennard and Amukamara) and had two sacks (defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Whitlock).

Video highlights/lowlights and the post-game locker room celebration are available at Giants.com.

DE George Selvie (calf), CB Jayron Hosley (evaluated for concussion), and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) were all injured. LT Ereck Flowers (ankle), CB Trumaine McBride (thigh contusion), WR Dwayne Harris (ribs) all suffered injuries but later returned to the game.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Daniel Fells (ankle), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), LB Jasper Brinkley, and S Cooper Taylor.


Oct 012015
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WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Daniel Fells (ankle), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), and DT Markus Kuhn (knee) did not practice on Thursday.

Cruz, who suffered an injury setback at practice on Wednesday, has now officially been ruled out of the game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. There is also no timetable on his return to the practice field.

“Victor tried it yesterday and it did not feel right to him, so he did not practice, just a little bit in very beginning,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Obviously, we’re all disappointed in that…we really don’t have a lot of choice, which means that get him back in rehab, get him back to work and see when he can on the field…It is what it is. He tried it and didn’t make it. He will not be able to play this week…He went for an MRI. Yes, it is the same calf…I know he’s disappointed.”

Fells also did not practice for the second day in a row. “He’s not going to practice today, but I think he’s going to make it (for the game),” said Coughlin.

Ayers aggravated his hamstring injury in practice on Wednesday. “Ayers had a little problem about three-quarters of the way through (practice on Wednesday), so we’ll see about him,” said Coughlin.

Kuhn also sat out after practicing on Wednesday.

LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) practiced on a limited basis. “Flowers is gimpy, but he’ll be out there (at practice),” said Coughlin. “We’ll see where he is. If it’s possible and we get to the point where we feel confident that he can do it, then he plays (this weekend).”

RB Orleans Darkwa (knee), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) fully practiced.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

The audio of Beckham’s interview with ESPN Radio is also available at ESPN.com.


Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

The Giants will also have a 45-minute, full-speed practice on Saturday that is not open to the media before boarding the plane to Buffalo. The Giants play the Bills on Sunday afternoon.

Sep 252015
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Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Friday:

We’ve talked to our team this morning and we’ve had a chance to look at the tape, and we did a lot of good things and we left some things out on the field that need to be corrected. I spent some time, obviously, congratulating our team and telling them that the effort for the most part was outstanding, and that’s got to remain right where it is. The passion, the effort, the believing, the rallying around each other and realizing the importance of the game, not only the divisional game, but just to get on the board here to become hopefully relevant. But once all those things were pointed out, I did spend some time talking about the end of the game, and how I realize we’re under construction, but the patience factor is really—we’re into our third game here. We do need to understand how to finish better than we did. I pointed out that with 11 (minutes) and some seconds left in the fourth quarter with a 25-6 lead, the Washington team ran something like 39 plays, our offense ran 10. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. You’d like to think you can finish the game with the ball in your hands and we would certainly like to erase the kickoff return against.

But that having been said, we did do a good job against the number one rushing team in the NFL, and we played solid defense. We took care of the ball, we were plus-three, we got a punt block for a safety which was an outstanding play, we got Rueben Randle involved in the offensive scheme. We had some rushes that we thought were going to come right out the other end, but the ball carrier was tripped up and didn’t advance as far as we had hoped we would have. We did hold the ball longer than the number two team in the league in time of possession, which was a good thing. We ran the ball 31 times, which was something I was glad to see. We threw it 32 and ran it 31, I liked that balance completely. We were not sacked, our offensive line did a good job. Justin Pugh in a midstream-type adjust type thing went out to left tackle and did a nice job. I thought Marshall Newhouse against a very, very good outside rusher in Kerrigan did a good job as well. So that having been said, we were pleased with a lot of the contributions made by a lot of people on the defensive side of the ball on a night in which we had to rise up and play well. Their play action pass game was outstanding off the run, and they opened the game up opening and breaking some formations, going to empty and doing some things that they hadn’t necessarily shown. We did a pretty good of adjusting to that.

Q: What about Victor Cruz’s status coach?

A: He’s improving and we’re hoping. He’s running. He’ll be running all weekend and we’re hoping that there’s nothing but straight ahead positives in all his activities and we’ll see next week if we can get him on the practice field.

Q: Tom, right after the two-minute warning, you guys faced a third down and Eli threw the ball downfield. The Redskins did not have any timeouts left. Looking back, should you guys have maybe run the ball and drained the clock with an 11 point lead?

A: No. We threw a ball on third and 10 for a touchdown in the series before that. We ran the ball twice, we milked as much of the clock as we could. I wanted a first down that we might keep the ball even longer, and I felt confident that we would be able to achieve that. We put the quarterback in as safe as possible position. We ran a very conservative route with Odell Beckham. It just didn’t work out. I think the quarterback probably had to release it a little bit earlier than he wanted to. I understand the strategy you’re trying to get at just as much as you do. Believe me, it went through my mind, but we’ve got to get this thing flipped around a little bit. We’re going to have to play to keep the ball as much as we can in those situations and not just punt the ball back to the defense.

We did have an 11 point lead, as you said. It’s not as safe as earlier on when we had a 16 point lead and they couldn’t touch us with two touchdowns, or at least it would have been very difficult. We’re trying to win the game and keep the ball, and have the ball at the end of the game. I weighed all of those things and I felt like this is the way we should play it. As I said, we had thrown a touchdown pass—a much-needed touchdown pass—prior in a third and 10 situation as well. You ask a strategic question, which certainly is something that should be considered, and I did consider it, but I did not agree that that’s the way we should play. I would want this offensive team to feel more responsibility. We’ve been in this situation before this year. There’s something about shifting gears and playing like that, it bothers me. If you can dominate the run, it’s very difficult this day to do that because you’re going to face eight, nine people in the box, it’s going to be very hard to run. The four-minute concepts that you and I both had 10 years ago, those things have pretty much come and gone. It’s most difficult to do just that.

A few years ago, the naked bootleg was a part of the four-minute package and gave you a chance to throw the ball as safely as you possibly could. I still agree with that to a certain extent. If you make a mistake and they come off the edge on you and you’re unprotected there, that can be disaster, too. But there does come a point in time, I think, today where you change formations and you open up a little bit—as safe as you can be—don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about some foolish throw, I’m just saying you want to end the game with the ball in your hands, you don’t want to keep putting your defense in a position where they have to make stop after stop when you know what’s coming. People are opening up and just throwing the ball all over the place trying to get back in the game. So I mean, that’s just the way I feel about it. I normally would entertain any thought you might have about that, I do understand it’s a strategy call, but I don’t bat an eye about what we did last night and I would defend our actions to anybody.

Q: In a relatively short period of time, how far do you think Landon Collins has come?

A: You can see him improve in confidence and play each week. You can see him become more aggressive, you can see him more confident in communicating with the other members of the secondary each week. So from that standpoint, I think he’s made progress each and every time he’s played. I think he gets a little bit better at his position each week.

Q: How did you determine the rotation between Jon Beason and Uani ‘Unga? Is that going to change going forward?

A: You know, I don’t know. They’re both outstanding players and we need them both. We had personnel combinations that we had Jon in, and Uani was in other combinations. And Jon was coming back for his first actual playing time, and we wanted to make sure that he was extended and got a chance to line up next weekend in anticipation of some more snaps. We have a young player that’s made two outstanding interceptions, that’s athletic, that is fast, and is growing into the position. And we have a veteran that is so extremely well-thought of, he’s voted captain of the defensive team, and we feel like we’re fortunate in that we’ll be able to utilize both of these players.

Q: Your run defensive is obviously something you wanted to improve this offseason. What did you see yesterday that made it so effective, and why has it been so much improved this season in general?

A: Well, it was the number one thing we had to stop, and we knew that. So that’s our number one objective, there were many objectives, but that was number one. And our guys rose up against a very, very good offensive line. They had their runs, but we did a good job. The guys in there did a nice job, whether it be Selvie, whoever it might be. The guys did a very, very nice job. Hankins did a nice job, Bromley did a nice job. Guys that were rolled in there in those roles, Kerry Wynn did a nice job. The linebackers, Kennard did an outstanding job at the point of attack. We dressed eight people on the defensive line and we dressed seven linebackers and there was a reason for it.

Q: I’m curious, when you brought the players together, did you observe a sense of relief or change in mood?

A: No, not really. Not really. I think that most players, the day after a game, certainly when you win, they’re reinforced and they feel very good about that. But they are intent on listening to what you have to say about the evaluation of the game and they did look forward to that today again. Fortunately, we could compliment a lot, but we also had a chance to do some teaching, and we did.

Q: Going back to Cruz for a second. When he’s ready, when he’s healthy enough to play, will there be less emphasis on Rueben Randle such as there was last night or can all three of them play?

A: Oh, all three of them can play. There wouldn’t any less of anything, I hope. I hope we’d have more.

Q: One in the slot and the other two split?

A: For the most part. They all move around, they all get in different spots.

Q: Victor talked about his goal of being ready for this week. Is that the way you guys are looking at it as well?

A: I hope so. That’s what we’re being told.

Q: We also saw DRC doing some running. How is he? Is he cleared?

A: Yeah, he’s going to be okay. He’s going to be fine.

Q: Is Prince alright today?

A: Yeah.

Q: How about Flowers while we’re talking about injury guys?

A: Well, we’ll see. We’ll see. Hopefully this will be a good weekend for him in the training room.

Q: You don’t find many 250-pound defensive tackles anymore in the NFL. Is Nikita Whitlock a legitimate player there or is he a desperation player there?

A: No, no, he’s legitimate. He played defensive line in college. He’s a tremendous energy player who’s very quick, very difficult for these offensive lineman to just be in position and stay with because he does have the spin moves and the acceleration and those types of things. In a limited capacity, he is an excellent change of pace, and you saw that he can generate some pressure.

Q: What did you think when you saw him play on film?

A: Pretty much just what I said. He had a couple pressures and he plays hard in there. He’s fast, he’s very energetic, and he has outstanding quickness. So that’s what people have to contend with.

Q: Was there a point, and I ask this good-naturedly, when you had to kind of get over the fact that you could play him on the defensive line but he that doesn’t weigh 300 pounds?

A: No. As a matter of fact, we had him in pass-rush circumstances during camp. Everybody wanted to see more, the defense wanted to see more. So we’ve extended a little bit as we’ve gone along here, not to a great extent, last night was the most. But he does have that unique ability, and you know what, he plays so hard on special teams. As a fullback, he’s very physical, throws his body around up in the line of scrimmage. He can wear different hats.

Q: You said before you didn’t sense a difference in the mood of the team. But don’t you feel more alive today?

A: Well, I didn’t say that part of it. I thought I was trying to answer a question, I don’t know what I was trying to answer, but I was not trying to tell you they’re not excited about having won and they’re not excited about winning a game and having a weekend off. No, they’re very much that way. I just tried to say that they present themselves in the meeting at first knowing full well we won, and looking forward to the comments that the coaching staff would make. I’m not trying to take anything away from how they react, this is certainly a lot more fun than it’s been the last couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say we didn’t enjoy our meeting time today.

Q: I’m guessing you’ve gotten out of Brad Wing what you hoped to get when you acquired him?

A: Well he’s gotten the ball of quickly. You saw last night we were under pressure a couple of times and he got the ball away, which was outstanding. We had a ball downed at the one-yard line two weeks in a row. His hang time has been good, his get-offs have been good, his location has been outstanding. He’s giving people a real interest in flying the field and being in position. So yeah, he’s helped us.

Transcripts or audio of Friday’s media sessions with the following players:


The players are off on Saturday and Sunday and there will be no media availability to the Giants this weekend. The Giants return to work on Monday in preparation for next Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Sep 172015
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The NFL has acknowledged that officials made two game-altering mistakes during the New York Giants 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night. The first was a bogus pass interference call on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromarties on a 3rd-and-4 incomplete pass that directly led to a Cowboys touchdown in the third quarter. Worse, the officials did not call an obvious holding penalty by a Dallas defensive back against tight end Daniel Fells on the now infamous 3rd-and-goal incomplete pass by quarterback Eli Manning with 1:43 to play. If that flag had been thrown, the Giants could have simply knelt on the ball and run out the clock, winning 26-20.

Not practicing on Thursday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Daniel Fells (foot), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and DT Markus Kuhn (knee).

“(Cruz has been) working and he’s doing more and more,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “But they’re not even at the stage where they’re really going to bring him out and turn him loose—let him run for a while—before they make a decision on whether he can practice. So that’s all forthcoming.”

Coughlin said Odighizuwa tried to practice on Wednesday and could not go again on Thursday. “He gets going a little bit, then he gets sore and he has to come out,” said Coughlin.

LB Jon Beason (knee) returned to practice and practiced on a limited basis.

LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) and LB Uani’ Unga (knee) fully practiced.

The New York Daily News has published exclusive photographs of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand that he damaged in a July 4th fireworks accident.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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


Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

The Giants will also have a 45-minute, full-speed practice on Saturday that is not open to the media.

Sep 162015
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Not practicing on Wednesday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Daniel Fells (foot), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), and LB Jon Beason (knee).

LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) and LB Uani’ Unga (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

The New York Daily News provided the following summary on quarterback Eli Manning’s contract extension.

  • Total contract (last year plus 4-year extension): 5 years, $101.5 million
  • Signing Bonus: $31 million
  • Guaranteed Money: $65 million
  • 2015: $5.5 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus, total cap number $14.45 million
  • 2016: $17.5 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus, total cap number $24.2 million
  • 2017: $13 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus, total cap number $19.7 million
  • 2018: $10.5 million salary, $5 million roster bonus, $500,000 workout bonus, total cap number $22.2 million
  • 2019: $11.5 million salary, $5 million roster bonus, $500,000 workout bonus, total cap number $23.2 million

The new contract provides the Giants with $5.25 million in cap savings against the 2015 salary cap. Right now, including DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s Franchise tender, the Giants are $14,127,537 under the cap. They will gain an additional $871,352 for each week Pierre-Paul does not play. Any unspent money can be rolled over to next year’s cap.

The New York Giants have signed guard Vinston Painter, linebacker James Morris, and cornerback Tramain Jacobs to the Practice Squad.

Painter was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He spent the 2013 regular season on Denver’s Practice Squad and was added to the Practice Squad again in 2014. The Cleveland Browns signed Painter to their active roster in September 2014, but he was only active for three games. The Brown waived him in September 2015. Painter converted to offensive line from defensive tackle and only started one season in college. He has a nice combination of size and athletic ability, but he is still learning the game. Right now, he looks better than he plays.

Morris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots placed him on Injured Reserve in August 2014 after tearing an ACL in the final preseason game against the Giants. Morris lacks ideal size and overall athleticism, but he is instinctive, tough, hard working, and competitive.

Jacobs was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in three games as rookie after spending nine weeks on Baltimore’s Practice Squad. Jacobs finished the season on Injured Reserve with a thigh injury. The Ravens waived him in August 2015. Jacobs is an average-sized corner with good speed and quickness. He is also instinctive and competitive.

The team has also terminated the Practice Squad contracts of quarterback G.J. Kinne, linebacker Gerald Rivers, and safety C.J.  Conway.

The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


A sights and sounds video from the Giants’ 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys is now available at Giants.com.

QB Eli Manning started his 168th consecutive regular-season game in Dallas. DT Johnathan Hankins has the team’s second-longest starting streak at 17 games.

Manning’s 193 passing yards in Dallas increased his career total to 39,948. He needs 52 yards against Atlanta on Sunday to become the 15th quarterback in NFL history with at least 40,000 passing yards.

Manning threw neither a touchdown pass nor an interception vs. the Cowboys. That’s just the eighth time that’s happened in his 168 starts. The Giants are 4-4 in those games. It was the 29th time he didn’t throw a touchdown pass. The Giants are 9-20 when Manning does not throw for a score.

When Sam Bradford lined up under center for Philadelphia last night, he became the 29th different quarterback to start for the other three NFC East teams since Manning’s starting debut on Nov. 21, 2004. The Eagles lead the pack with 11 quarterbacks, followed by Washington (10) and Dallas (9). Donovan McNabb started for both Philadelphia and Washington. He counts in each team’s total, but just once in the division total.

Left tackle Ereck Flowers and safety Landon Collins, the Giants’ first two selections in this year’s NFL Draft, each started in Dallas. It was the first time the Giants’ first and second-round draft choices started the season opener as rookies since Aug. 31, 1997, when wide receiver Ike Hilliard (first round) and running back Tiki Barber (second) started in a victory over Philadelphia.

The Cowboys scored the game-winning points on an 11-yard pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time a Giants opponent scored a go-ahead, game-winning touchdown with seven or fewer seconds remaining in the Super Bowl era (now in its 50th season).

The Giants had not lost a game with a turnover differential of plus-3 or better since Nov. 29, 1987 at Washington, where four takeaways and just one turnover couldn’t prevent a 23-19 defeat.

The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

Sep 102015
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According to NFL.com, the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning are in the process of finalizing a 4-year, $84 million contract extension. ESPN is reporting that the contract will include $65 million in guaranteed money.

While NFL.com is reporting that the deal could be signed as early as Friday, ESPN says while the Giants and Manning are in agreement on money, the two sides remain hung up on specific contract language that they hope to resolve by this weekend. NFL.com says Manning wants a no-trade clause in the contract.

Manning is currently entering the final year of the 6-year, $97.5 million contract extension he signed in August 2009. He was set to count $19.75 million (including $17 million in salary, $2.25 million prorated signing bonus, and $500,000 workout bonus) against the team’s 2015 salary cap. ESPN says Manning will still make $17.5 million in the final year of his current contract, which would bring his five-year total to $101.5 million.

Manning’s $21 million average in new money on the four-year extension would rank him fourth among quarterbacks in the NFL, behind Aaron Rodgers ($22 million), Russell Wilson ($21.9 million), and Ben Roethlisberger ($21.85 million).

Not practicing on Thursday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (sore right foot), and LB Jon Beason (knee).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin said there was no update on Cruz, but he would not rule Cruz out of Sunday’s game against Dallas despite the fact that Cruz has not practiced in a few weeks. It would appear very unlikely that Cruz will play against the Cowboys.

Beason did not practice on Wednesday after returning to practice on Tuesday.

“It’s a little sore, so the smartest thing to do is to take a day off and see how it feels tomorrow,” said Beason.  “I don’t want to miss Dallas, Sunday Night Football, the opener, so for me personally, it means everything.”

“(Beason) was sore today and the medical people decided to hold him,” said Coughlin. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

“(Odighizuwa) has a sore foot, and the trainers thought it was best that he get treatment and hold him out today,” Coughlin said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring) and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) fully practiced.

Defensive tackle Louis Nix is now officially a New York Giant. The Giants claimed Nix off of waivers from the Houston Texans on Sunday, but he failed his physical with the Giants on Tuesday and was waived. Apparently he passed a second physical on Wednesday and has been officially added to the 53-man roster.

Nix was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Texans. He has been plagued with injuries, having knee surgery in 2013 at Notre Dame, knee surgery in Summer 2014 with the Texans, and then a wrist issue that landed him on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with the Texans. He never played in a regular-season game with Houston. Nix is a strong, mammoth nose tackle-type lineman who can take on the double-team and hold the point-of-attack when healthy. Although Nix is a good athlete for his size, he is more of a run defender than pass rusher. Nix’s professionalism and work ethic were questioned in Houston.

The New York Giants have signed wide receiver Myles White to the Practice Squad. White was waived by the Green Bay Packers from their 53-man roster when the team signed wide receiver James Jones, who had been with the Giants this summer. To make room for White, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of linebacker Cole Farrand.

White was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Packers after the 2013 NFL Draft. White played in seven games as a rookie, catching nine passes for 66 yards. He spent the 2014 season on Green Bay’s Practice Squad. White led the Packers with 16 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the 2015 preseason. He is an average-sized receiver with good speed.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:


Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

“Saturday changes,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Saturday becomes a full-speed drill for a minimum amount of time. But it does put them in the mode where they’ve gone full speed the day before they play.”

The team will also travel to Dallas on Saturday.

Sep 092015
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Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the situation with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Wednesday. Pierre-Paul remains an unsigned Franchise player due to the serious hand injuries he suffered from a July 4th fireworks accident.

“As you know, JPP was here for a couple of days,” said Coughlin. “Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

“He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.”

Supporting NJ.com’s earlier report that the New York Giants and Eli Manning are nearing a new contract, NFL.com is reporting that there is “significant progress on a long-term extension” and that there is “confidence it gets done before Sunday.” Manning is entering the final year of the 6-year contract he signed in August 2009.

The Giants have signed quarterback G.J. Kinne and linebacker Gerald Rivers to the Practice Squad. These moves complete the team’s 10-man squad.

Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. Kinne lacks ideal size for a quarterback but he is a very good athlete with a decent arm. Tough, hard working, and competitive. While the Giants list him as a quarterback, he did line up at safety at practice on Wednesday.

Rivers was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Rams (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013), Miami Dolphins (2014), and Denver Broncos (2014-15). Rivers has only played in two NFL games – both in 2013 with the Rams. He has one career tackle. A former defensive end, Rivers has a nice combination of size and athletic ability.

Not practicing on Wednesday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf) and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP).

“Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that (Cruz’s status has changed),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously (Nat) Berhe is a great example of that.”

DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (knee), and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) practiced on a limited basis.

Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Wednesday (video is available at Giants.com):

Good morning. Two things quickly right off the bat. As you know, JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] was here for a couple of days. Went through all the medical. Was in an outstanding frame of mind. Was not ready to play, returned to South Florida. Optimistic about going forward and feeling better, and continuing to work towards being able to come back. So we’ll monitor that, and I don’t have anything further to add.

The second thing is the shock of the death of Tyler Sash. I haven’t seen Tyler in a couple of years. But one of the players texted me yesterday afternoon, and I didn’t see that coming, obviously. I know a lot of our players have responded. It’s very sad. Most difficult to try and understand. But nevertheless, our condolences go out to his family and his friends, and all those that cared for him. He was an outstanding teammate, now. During the time he was here, the players really enjoyed Tyler Sash. So I’m dumbfounded by this, and I’m very sad.

Having said that, the start of the 2015 season. We’re excited to go on the field this afternoon, or late-morning here, and prepare for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, having won our division a year ago, an outstanding football team. A strong team in a lot of categories. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Q: Have you spoken to or are you planning on speaking to the team about Tyler?

A: I did not mention that this morning. There were a couple players around yesterday. Eli was around. I spoke to him about it. He was taken aback as well.

Q: Everyone was so excited to see Jason Pierre-Paul on Monday. Do you have to worry about a dip in the morale?

A: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think the fact that he came in the way he did, Mr. Personality, was there and he felt good about himself, obviously, and where he’s been. He’s worked pretty hard. We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.

Q: So it was his hand or his conditioning that won’t allow him to play?

A: The thing that had to be evaluated was his hand, yes.

Q: You said you have a plan for everything. How do you plan for that situation going forward?

A: Keep going, right where we are. Nothing’s changed. We’ve taken this path and we’re on it, and we’ll stay on it. Hopefully at some point in time, Jason will be ready to play, and we’ll get the green light. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll stay where we are.

Q: Did you get any sense of how close he is in terms of weeks?

A: I wouldn’t put any kind of time frame on it. It’s not going to be something that I have anything to say about anyways. It’s going to be the medical people.

Q: Has Victor Cruz’s status changed at all?

A: Nothing has come across my desk to indicate that.

Q: So he won’t be out there today?

A: [Shakes head no]

Q: You’ve been through your share of season openers as head coach here.

A: And everywhere else.

Q: Do they feel any different?

A: No, not at all. Just as excited, just as nervous, just as anxious to get started. Just as anxious to see our team on the field. So, no, nothing, no emotion. All the same.

Q: Are there specific areas or things with this team that you are particularly excited about?

A: Well, I’m excited to see how they respond, obviously, to going to Dallas and opening the season there. There’s a few guys that have been through that experience when it was a positive thing, a plus. But basically, it’s seeing our team come together, seeing us pull together now that we’re at 53, plus the 10 practice squad kids. I’m looking forward to that part of it.

Q: You added Jasper Brinkley to the roster. What kind of role do you see for him? Inside, outside, both?

A: Well, probably inside to start with. But I’m sure he’ll learn to play more than one, perhaps all three [linebacker positions].

Q: Is this at all a reflection on Jon Beason’s availability?

A: No, but we thought it was a necessity.

Q: Is Beason ready?

A: He’s going to practice today.

Q: What about Jonathan Casillas?

A: He’s going to practice. He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play, though? We didn’t see him the last three preseason games.

A: He practices today.

Q: Is he cleared to play in a game though?

A: He practices today. He’ll have a helmet on, and shoulder pads, those things.

Q: The last several weeks he’s practiced, but he’s been limited. You’ve kept him out of contact, so obviously there’s a concern there. Is there still a concern there?

A: I hope not, but we’ll see.

Q: Has Dallas changed much?

A: Well, in preseason you don’t see a whole lot. But the playoff games were, obviously, very good football. I don’t see any real radical change in the way that their approach is. Some of the names have changed.

Q: When did you start studying them?

A: 2014.

Q: How do you do it when they have such a big change in their backfield? How do you study that?

A: Well, there’s no doubt that they talk mostly about their offensive line, and the strength of their offensive line. I think that’s where you start. You start on their offensive line, and their defensive line. And there hasn’t been any real changes there.

Q: What’s the challenge with the safeties on the road in Dallas?

A: Communication. Communication. That’ll be a concern. We’ll have noise today. We’ll have officials today. We’ll do that for a couple days. Hopefully that will help focus in on the hand signals and the things of that nature that they have to utilize to communicate even though they’re perhaps a few yards apart.

Q: You’re aware the team hasn’t won an opener the past few years. How much does that put you behind? You come out the first week, lose that first game.

A: I don’t know. I don’t want to go there. We’re trying to win. We’re looking forward to the opener. I don’t remember a loss. We won a few, too. I don’t know, Paul. I’m not interested in that part of it right now. All I’m interested in is getting these people ready to play. I’m excited about playing, and let’s go see what we’ve got.

Q: Do you remember coming into a season with so many unanswered questions in your mind on what you have, what you are?

A: I don’t know, I don’t keep track of the count. There are some areas where we expect some people to step up and gain significant recognition in terms of the quality of their play. We look forward to working with those guys. So we have a few things, obviously, that need to be ironed out and need to be clarified. Hopefully that’s what will happen right here.

Q: For a long time, Victor was so optimistic on playing the first game. I don’t know if you’ve ruled anything out. I don’t know if that’s accurate. But has his situation unfolded the way you expected, or have there been frustrations on your part? Is this what you expected?

A: Oh, no. Obviously, if this was strictly the knee or whatever, I think he’d be out there. The calf is what set him back. It’s not the knee, it’s the calf. There’s been some communication around the league with other clubs. For whatever reason, these things are very, very hard to get over. And we’ve experienced it before, obviously [Nat] Berhe is a great example of that. But that’s what is holding him back, not the other.

Q: You’re a little thin at defensive tackle, obviously you expected Louis Nix to be here. Do you expect to add another body in there?

A: Yeah, we will. But don’t forget, we’ve worked some other people in there. [Kerry] Wynn has worked in there, for example, to give us another athlete that can certainly play in there on second and long and third down.

Q: Will Cullen Jenkins go back in there as well?

A: Cullen plays in there—in and out, in and out. He can certainly play in there.

Q: How’s he doing physically?

A: Okay. We’ll see what he does today on the field.

Q: You spent a lot of time and energy this offseason in rebuilding the offensive line. Where do you stand going into the season, and what are your expectations for that group?

A: I expect us to improve throughout the entire season. Not only for the young guy that’s in there in the new position etc… Westy [Weston Richburg] being in there at center. I think we’re going to improve and get better each time we play. We hopefully have got some things solved, and others to come. I do expect that we will have a starting point and get better from there.

The following transcripts and video of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:


The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Aug 202015
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Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf strain), wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis), wide receiver Julian Talley (toe – boot on left foot), right tackle Brandon Mosley (back), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – pectoral), defensive end George Selvie (knee), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (concussion), and safety Cooper Taylor (toe) did not practice.

“It’s feeling better than yesterday,” Cruz said of his calf strain. “They didn’t give me a timetable, but I know how it feels for me right now [compared to] how it did when it first happened. It feels light years better than it did then. I doubt Coach will let me play this weekend, but we’ll see.” Cruz said the calf strain was on a different leg than his knee injury.

Safety Landon Collins (knee sprain) participated in individual drills. Safety Nat Berhe (calf strain) participated in a few practice snaps and did much of the scout team work. He reported no soreness in his calf. Berhe will not play on Saturday against the Jaguars, but he expects to fully practice next week.

“It’s been so long that getting back out there made me realize how much I’ve really, really missed it,” said Berhe. “It was one thing to say I missed it, but to actually get out there on the field, I’m like, ‘Man, this is where I belong.’ So it was good. I got a lot of reps today on scout, and on (special) teams. I was able to get in a couple toward the end of team, I was able to get thrown in for two, three plays. I was good. Just trying to make sure I ran to everything so I can get my cardio back, and just trying to get in shape at this point.

“Everything is really big. You can play your technique no matter what coverage you’re in, or whatever they put you in on the paper. So I just try to make sure I get to the ball and go through my progressions and stuff like that. Just try to keep sharpening.”

Cornerback Chandler Fenner left practice early with a possible hamstring issue.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (dental work) and left guard Justin Pugh (dental work) returned to practice.

Giants practiced in “uppers” (shoulder pads, but not full pads) this evening. It was a pretty uneventful practice as there was not much contact and the Giants were doing a lot of scout-team work. Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Bennett Jackson and Jeromy Miles were once again the first-team safeties.
  • James Jones, Dwayne Harris, Corey Washington, and Geremy Davis received first-team reps at wide receiver in 11-on-11 drills.
  • Jerome Cunningham saw first-team reps at tight end.
  • Geoff Schwartz received second- and then first-team reps at right guard, but John Jerry remained with the first-team offense at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib. (Video)
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington dropped a pass.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Jerome Cunningham for a touchdown.
  • Wide receiver James Jones caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib. (Video)
  • Quarterback Ricky Stanzi hit wide receiver Geremy Davis for a touchdown.
  • The Giants ran a wide receiver screen to wide receiver Odell Beckham.
  • Tight end Larry Donnell had two catches during the two-minute drill.

Tom Coughlin addressed the media in the early afternoon before the evening practice (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: When you bring guys like [Shane] Vereen and James Jones in, is there something beyond what they can do on the field that’s part of the equation?

A: Well, there always is— every opportunity to evaluate is taken, and there’s always thought given to, normal circumstances, to how people are going to fit in and how they’ll not only help us as a team but obviously in representing the Giants, so I would say yes.

Q: With regard to [Shane] Vereen, you haven’t had a lot of pass-catching backs here for a couple of years. How good is he out of the backfield?

A: Well, he had an exceptional year a year ago. In certain situations, he was dominant because people played certain coverages and [Tom] Brady dropped the ball off. The catch and the run were a huge part of their [the New England Patriots’] offense, and we felt like that ingredient, in addition to some of the other people that we would pose as threats, would really do a good job of accommodating the rest of our offense.

Q: Is Victor [Cruz] going to play this week?

A: Probably not.

Q: What have you seen offensively and defensively in terms of your team responding after Friday?

A: I would say it’s been a good week of practice— certainly last night was very spirited. The first night of the week, Sunday night, was when you saw all the offensive production with Odell [Beckham Jr.] and Victor [Cruz] and Larry [Donnell] getting involved, and Eli throwing the ball down the field— he threw the ball down the field again last night, which was good— but I’ll continue to say what I said yesterday. They have to practice for us to advance in terms of the passing game— the timing, the significance of knowing exactly when people are reacting to coverage and adjusting their routes, etc. That all has to be seen through the eyes of the quarterback, and it’s been very rare that we’ve had the whole group out there to practice with. But there are some other guys that are getting a lot of time and will get a lot of time this weekend, and in the long run, it’s going to be good for our team.

Q: Is [Rueben] Randle still out?

A: As of now, he is.

Q: Odell will be back today?

A: Today he’s going to work, yes.

Q: Is there anyone else besides Victor [Cruz] that you know you’re not going to play in the game on Saturday? Rueben [Randle], I assume, at this point?

A: Well, we’ll see about all of that. I’m not going to project anything just yet. We’ve had some guys that have been out that are going to remain out.

Q: You have a ton of playmakers on offense— what’s your confidence level in your defense right now?

A: My confidence level is growing, but we’ve got to, again, test ourselves in these preseason games. This weekend will be an outstanding test because you have a team that’s trying to be very physical and wants to run the ball, has a good run defense, so it’ll be a good test.

Q: Who will start on the right side of your offensive line Saturday?

A: In all likelihood, J.J. [John Jerry] and Marshall [Newhouse]. Same combination, but obviously [Geoff] Schwartz is going to get his opportunity to play in there.

Q: At both spots maybe?

A: We’ll see. Possibly.

Q: How are Prince [Amukamara] and Nat Berhe coming along?

A: Prince practiced yesterday. Prince had about 15 plays yesterday, which was good to see. Hopefully he’ll be able to do some more. [Nat] Berhe does nothing but individual.

Q: What have you seen from [Brandon] Meriweather?

A: He’s trying to understand what we want of him and understand the terminology as best he can. He starts to grasp it— yesterday was a little bit better than the day before.

Q: So how much will he play Saturday?

A: Probably a limited amount, since he’s been here a very short time and this will be his first experience.

Q: Who do you likely expect to start in that secondary in this preseason game? Do you want to shuffle them?

A: You’ll see. I mean, it’s not going to be anything complicated. I’ll let you know that.

Q: With the new extra point rules, have you spent any extra time thinking about what your strategy will be?

A: Well, I have. As you see, many people came out last weekend and just went for two, but the advantage there is no different than it ever was. I think it’s just as important to kick extra points from 33 yards as it is to go for two. I think the real interesting concept there is a defensive penalty. A defensive penalty puts a ball at the one, so most people are going to go for the two points then.

Q: So the fact that statistically it makes sense that there will be more extra points missed, so that difference… wouldn’t it affect your thinking?

A: Well, as I’ve said before, the old extra point circumstance was 99 point something, and a 33-yard field goal was 94 something— so in between there, yeah it’s something. But still, I don’t think until late— you know, you’re talking maybe after November, after Thanksgiving, in December before any of those issues, I think, come up. I’m hoping that our percentages, in terms of 33-yard extra points, are going to be 100 percent— just like I always think.

Q: So, let’s say it’s a bad day in December here [MetLife Stadium]. Would you literally be in touch with the kicker as to what he thinks about kicking a 33-yard field goal and trying for an extra point at that point in the game?

A: Not necessarily at that point in the game, but obviously pregame, we’d go through all that and it would be part of the questions that I always ask. You know, ‘How far— what’s the distance like today from both ends?’ I get a feel for what the wind is, now that the wind is an issue during the course of the game, and you have to revisit it, so it’s a constant.

Q: Any projection on how deep your first teamers are going to go on Saturday night?

A: Play a little more probably than they did the other day.

Q: What are you looking to see from them in general?

A: Improvement. Improvement.

Tom Quinn addressed the media on Thursday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: Josh Brown’s leg has gotten stronger on kickoffs in the last couple of years. Have you seen that and is that rare to happen for a player in that stage of his career?

A: I don’t think so. I think they’re obviously learning about their bodies and nutrition and training and taking care of their bodies and managing their kicks. They are pretty serious about how many kicks we do in a week and in a day, so we don’t try and kick our leg out. It’s a long season and a long process, so we try and keep him fresh but then he also does a lot of work in the weight room, which is showing up.

Q: When Dwayne Harris was signed, he was supposedly for special teams [or] wherever you wanted to put him. Is that still the case?

A: Yeah, I hope so. If he is a receiver and he can play on all the big four teams, he can be the returner, the gunner, the kickoff coverage, so we are excited about him going forward.

Q: Is he the primary kickoff and punt returner at this point?

A: Yeah, I mean at this point in the preseason, we are trying to get as many guys opportunities to see what they can do, so we will roll a lot of different guys back there to see what we have.

Q: How did Akeem Hunt look kick returning?

A: He looked fast. There was a big hole. I hoped he would have finished it off more and not gotten nudged out of bounds, dive in there and keep scrambling and trying to cutback and trying to score, but he has got quickness, so, so far so good with him.

Q: How has Geremy Davis been progressing so far?

A: He’s progressing. He really works hard at it [and] he really has a lot of upside. He didn’t do a lot of it in college, so a lot of it is new to him, but he has really taken to the coaching and he tries hard and works hard, so we’ve been pleased with him.

Q: Is it almost like working with a blank canvas with him?

A: A little bit. I was trying to tell these guys to use your skill set and we will put you in the right position, so if you are a receiver, be a receiver. If you are good at avoiding guys, that is how you cover a kick, so you keep it simple for them and he has done that.

Q: Where do you see him? Gunner?

A: That is [where] we are starting him out. We are starting him out there and he will play all four teams, which he did last week, and try and give him enough reps to show what he can do.

Q: You kind of alluded to it. How different is it to get off the line as a wide receiver as opposed to a gunner?

A: Well, a lot of times as a gunner you have two guys standing in front of you, so you have to pick one and make that the battle…there are limitations on being able to go out of bounds and come back in and all those things and the rules they have to understand. It is just a mentality, it is hard. You talk to David Tyree and you have to earn your money out there and a lot of young guys, it is a whole new experience and they really don’t do that much in college the way college is played, so it is a little bit of a transition.

Q: How much of a loss is Mykelle Thompson?

A: We were really excited for him. He is a guy that [had] shown in the spring and the start of training camp that he could really add some value. He is smart, got great speed, had some size to him, so that will be a loss. It is too bad for him.

Q: Do you do anything different extra-point wise?

A: No, we had the two or three preseason games with it last year. I think three because we had the Hall of Fame game and if we kick our field goals, we start at the 15. We always kick a PAT first and then go from there. I think you will get more pressure, more of a chance to block it, so you will have to be ready to anchor down and treat them just like a field goal.

Q: Offensive linemen don’t seem to be that much for it?

A: Well, they better be for points. I understand, but that play has always been a violent play and they have done some things to make it safer, but I think if they use good technique, they will be all right.

Q: You always look at Zak DeOssie for his reliability with snapping but when you see him make that tackle in Cincinnati, can you just talk about the contributions he makes on special teams?

A: He is a great leader in the room. We have grown up with him from when he was a rookie to the point he is at now and he does have the ability to cover and tackle. When he first came into the league, he was a little bit rare but now with the rules of not being able to line up over the center and some different things, more and more guys are starting to become more athletic like he is but he does add great value because he is a football player, he isn’t just a specialist who snaps. He was brought here as a linebacker, played some linebacker early and then had to become a snapper.

Q: What are the goals for the special teams for you in particular?

A: Obviously, the net punt and the punt return. We want to make a big difference on the opponent’s punts and our punts. We need to see a big swing there; we spent some money with bringing guys in to get that done.

Q: So that is what the focus is on?

A: Yeah, I mean you focus on all of them. You don’t neglect one or the other but kickoff and kickoff return nowadays, half of the kicks are returned and half of them are covered, but all the punts and punt returns and that is the biggest impact nowadays, so we have to really make that go with a lot of time and effort.

Q: Have you shifted the time you spend on those two?

A: A little bit. We’ve always spent a lot of time on punt, obviously, and then [we] spend a little more time on punt return than we normally do.

The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:


The Giants will hold a walk-thru on Friday before Saturday’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. 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 one remaining training camp practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM
Aug 162015
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Brandon Meriweather, Washington Redskins (October 12, 2014)

Brandon Meriweather – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

The New York Giants have officially signed unrestricted free agent Brandon Meriweather, who has played with the New England Patriots (2007-10), Chicago Bears (2011), and Washington Redskins (2012-14). The 31-year old Meriweather is a two-time Pro Bowler (2009 and 2010) who has a history of being suspended by the NFL for illegal hits.

The Giants also waived place kicker Chris Boswell and placed safety Mykkele Thompson (torn Achilles’ tendon) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Because Thompson is not a vested veteran, he will continue to count toward the Club’s 90-man roster limit.

Wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis), left tackle Will Beatty (PUP – pectoral), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (stiff neck), cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (neck/concussion), safety Landon Collins (knee sprain), and safety Nat Berhe (calf strain) did not practice.

The Giants provided the following updates on those who did not practice:

  • WR Rueben Randle (day-to-day)
  • CB Prince Amukamara (day-to-day)
  • CB Chykie Brown (week-to-week)
  • CB Jayron Hosley (concussion protocol; cervical issue still being evaluated)
  • S Landon Collins (day-to-day)
  • S Nat Berhe (day-to-day)

Amukamara and Berhe worked with the trainers on the side before practice.

Right guard Geoff Schwartz (ankle) and linebacker Jameel McClain (neck) returned to practice. Right tackle Marshall Newshouse left practice after overheating.

The Giants practiced in full pads today. Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Cornerback Trevin Wade received some first-team reps.
  • Geoff Schwartz saw reps both at right guard and right tackle, filling in for either right guard John Jerry or right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw touchdown passes to wide receiver Odell Beckham, tight end Larry Donnell, and wide receiver Victor Cruz.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz looked quick and decisive in and out of cuts.
  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib threw a long completion to wide receiver James Jones.
  • Cornerback Mike Harris, playing left cornerback, had nice deep coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham.
  • Left tackle Ereck Flowers looked good handling defensive ends George Selvie and Damontre Moore in team drills.
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington made a diving sideline catch on a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Safety Cooper Taylor intercepted a slant pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib to wide receiver James Jones in the red zone.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham made a leaping sideline catch over cornerback Trevin Wade.
  • Cornerback Trevin Wade then deflected a deep pass to wide receiver Preston Parker that safety/cornerback Bennett Jackson dove to intercept to end practice.

Craig Johnson addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: How much does Shane Vereen give you maybe a different dimension in regards to the backfield?

A: I think Shane brings a lot to the table. He’s a veteran, he knows what he’s doing, he’s smart, he’s tough, he can make a lot of plays both in the run game and the pass game. I think he brings a lot to the table from his experience and we can use him in a lot ways. We can use him on early downs, we can use him on third down, and so far he’s really acclimated to our system.

Q: With three talented running backs, how hard is it to get them all snaps and be able to even out playing time?

A: That’s a work in progress. We’re still trying to get through all that in the preseason and find out just how we’re going to get that done. It probably won’t be arrived at until we get ready to play our first game, but what we’re trying to do right now is put every guy in situations and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are in each situation and then when we get closer to game time, we’re going to try and figure out close to a rotation and try to make sure everybody gets their touches so they can help us win.

Q: It’s good to have this depth compared to last year, right?

A: There’s no coach that I know of who doesn’t want competition at their position. So yes, I think they all bring a lot to the table.

Q: Does Rashad Jennings look any different to you? Is there anything he did in the offseason that you look at him and say he’s taken his game up a notch at all?

A: I would probably say this about Rashad, he is one of the hardest workers I know. He trains religiously. I would say, like myself, both of us are second year in the offense. I think from that alone, he works hard for the game both on and off the field and that is where I think he is probably going to make his greatest improvements. It’s just being more comfortable in our system in his second year.

Q: What do you think about Andre Williams’ progression so far?

A: I think Andre did a really good job. He was our leading rusher as a rookie last year. I thought he started off kind of slow. He started understanding the game, understanding his pace and timing to get into the hole, he found out that in the NFL, holes close really quickly, but I think he’s done a really good job. He has tirelessly worked on the stuff he needed to work on. We all knew that when he came out of college he did not have a catch his last year and I can’t tell you how many hours he spent on catching the football. He knew that was something he had to get better at, he’s done that and he is walking around with the confidence of a guy that’s played (and) knows that he can get it done on this field and he’s continued to do that.

Q: What were your takeaways from the preseason game of your unit?

A: I would say because we did not win the game, I’m never happy. I would say that our guys, I thought, were okay. I don’t think they really stood out. They didn’t not lose the game, but they didn’t help win it. I told them all they need to pick it up as a unit. I think we can do a better job. One thing I will certainly single out is I thought Orleans Darkwa really had a good game in every phase. He did a good job running the ball, which everybody can see those stats, but he also did a really good job in his pass protection and his passing game routes where he was supposed to be. As I told him, that’s the kind of play I want to see out of all of them this year. Orleans was good last week, but as I told him, I don’t want to see one-week wonders, I want to see him continue to improve.

Q: Talking about how you want them to pick it up, it seems to be the underlying theme of the entire game. What did they need to do that you didn’t see them do on the field?

A: Well, I’d like to see them, if there’s something there, make more of it. If there’s nothing there, still have a positive play so we’ll stay on track on down and distance. So make sure we can get ourselves in the 2nd and 6 and 3rd and 2 and so on and so forth. So all a back can do is when his number is called to make the right read if it’s a run or the right protection or the right catch. I just think that we were playing at a higher level in practice and I’d just like to see that get carried over to the game.

Q: What is it about Orleans that sort of stood out to you about his game the other day?

A: I thought he really showed good speed to the hole, but I think even more so, I think he did a great job of setting up his blocks. And if you really go back and watch the film and verified that, that he was really in good timing with his line, and he knew how to get right to the hole and explode it through the hole and he had really good finishes. He did a really good job—all backs want to do is finish forward and get the extra yardage. That helps add up, it helps put that 3rd and 6, maybe a 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 2. I thought he really did a good job with that.

Q: You mentioned the work Andre’s done on improving as a receiver. Has it worked?

A: When I watch him, I can just tell you I got a chance to watch him in the Combine and I would say he’s a much changed player from the player I saw in the Combine coming out from Boston College to the player I see today. I think one of the greatest examples happened was the swing pass that he caught. It’s a very difficult catch in that he did not see the ball thrown, so when he turned around the ball was on him and as a back, that’s a tough situation. I would probably say in Boston College coming here, that would probably be a dropped pass. I think he’s worked really hard on his hands, he’s going to continue to work at that and he was able to execute the catch, which allowed him to catch the ball and run. As the backs know, I don’t care how they get the yardage, whether it’s in the pass catching game or the run game, I want anything they can do to help us win.

Q: We see him after practice on the Juggs machine, but something like you’re talking about, that’s a game situation. How does he simulate that and get better at that?

A: We try to put him in situations like that all the time in practice. I know he does a lot of work with catching tennis balls, he’s got a little thing he does that with someone in the training room and we have some drills that we do in the pregame. As I told him in our meeting today, we practice that exact scenario on the practice field. We do it as one of our pregame warmups and basically it’s a blind and draw ball drill and so the backs have got to turn around and locate the ball as it’s in the air, which is exactly what he had to do. So we were fortunate that sometimes you like as a coach when your drill carries over to the field. In that example it did.

Q: Did you throw the ball to him in that drill or is it a machine?

A: No, I actually throw the ball. I was a quarterback in my other days, but it’s only about a four or five-yard distance because I know my limitations.

Jim Herrmann addressed the media on Monday (video is available at Giants.com):

Q: What did you see from your group, what is your overview of them this summer?

A: The biggest thing that I was looking at when we went in the game, as a group, we were talking about block destruction. Getting off blocks and getting to the ball. There’s quite a few plays in there where we did that. We can always improve. There were spaces in there where we can get better at, that was what I was looking for—block destruction, being where you’re supposed to be, knocking guys back, getting off the ball and making some plays. A couple of the guys did a good job in there, and we’re always looking to improve, but that was the biggest thing going into the game was, knock back and getting off and making plays.

Q: Looked like Unga had a good night for you guys. Can you talk about his development?

A: He did a great job, as a young player. I don’t know how long exactly it’s been since he’s actually played in a game because he was hurt his senior year, didn’t play last year. So it’s been about a year and three quarters since he’s played in a true game. I thought he did a great job of taking over the role as the Mike backer and making calls, he made a great call in there and got the guys lined up. Did a good job, and I like his development. I think he’s doing a great job of—he got in on a few plays, made a hell of a play tipping the ball. I think he’s going to get better and better as he goes.

Q: Do you have any idea of when you’re going to get Jameel McClain back?

A: You have to ask the medical guys. I’m not a doctor, unfortunately.

Q: Unga seems like he’s got some athleticism.

A: He does, he’s got some range. He’s a stocky young man, but he has range. He can move around in there, so that’s what we saw on his college film prior to his injury coming out of college. That’s why we brought him in, he showed some good stuff.

Q: How did Jon Beason look to you?

A: Good. I think Jon [Beason]—it’s been awhile since he’s played, too. He did a great job of commanding the defense and getting the calls out and getting himself in position to make plays. Made a couple plays, and I like what I saw in his limited snaps.

Q: What are your options at middle linebacker if Jameel isn’t there behind Jon? Who would you move around if you needed to? Devon Kennard or J.T. Thomas or Mark Herzlich?

A: What we’ve always done, to me, every guy has their position and they all have alternate positions based on what we know about different guys. So there’s a lot of different options you can go to. Normally you go into a game maybe five, maybe six backers on the 46 [game day roster.] So everybody is going to have to play dual roles. You just have to, each week that changes because of injuries. All the guys know how to go in there and do it. I feel confident that all those guys could take over that role. The guys that are alternates, they could do it.

Q: Is that an option for Devon, or would you rather keep him outside?

A: Yeah, but this past spring and even some of last year, we put him some at Mike. He has an ability, he does a great job of getting the calls out, and knowing where to play. He’s a big backer, big man. He does a good job with that.

Q: How much has Kennard’s pass rush improved?

A: I think it’s better and better now that we’re asking him to do some of that. The quandary that you come into is he’s got to cover and do cover stuff, and then we want him to rush. You’ve just got to be able to balance that as a staff and decide when he can go down and do some rush stuff and when he can do the coverage stuff, because you can’t do all just, so he’s got to do both. He does a good job. He’s played out there in college, so it’s not like it’s foreign to him. Very similar to Victor Butler, he’s played out there, he’s done that, so it’s not foreign to him. Just have to keep getting their reps when they can.

Q: What do you see from J.T.? What are some of his strengths and some of the things that you’re trying to work on?

A: I think both those new guys, J.T. [Thomas] and [Jonathan] Casillas, both have a lot of range, they can run, their speed, they’re both tough guys. Just the ability to have a speed guy out there, it helps when we go to sub [package], if they have to cover down on a tight end. That’s really what you see out of those type of guys, they can walk out on a guy and not feel uncomfortable. So that’s what you get. Then, the fact that they can run. In this game you have to be able to run, and you’re a backside pursuit guy—being able to run the ball down and do those types of things. Both those guys show that kind of stuff.

Q: You see Casillas in certain packages and J.T. as well, is that the way you’re looking at it? You’re going to try and fit these guys in based on their skill as much as possible?

A: Right now we’re just trying to get our stuff in, our package in, and where they fit and that kind of stuff. As we narrow it down, it’s going to about, ‘Okay, who best fits where? How are we going to play this game? It is going to be a three-backer game, two-backer game? How are we going to play that?’ A lot of that will depend on the opponent. So they give you a lot of flexibility because they can play either-or, so the flexibility is nice as a coach.

The following transcripts and video clips of player media Q&As are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:


The next training camp practice will be held on Monday but is closed 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 three remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public this year:

  • Wednesday, August 19: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Thursday, August 20: 5:50 – 7:50PM
  • Tuesday, August 25: 2:30 – 4:30PM