Aug 022017
 
Share Button
Romeo Okwara and Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Romeo Okwara and Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 2, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fifth summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT – STERLING SHEPARD INJURED…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Running back Shane Vereen (lower body soreness), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (rest day), defensive end Devin Taylor (lower body soreness), and cornerback Valentino Blake (lower back tightness) did not practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (rolled ankle) was carted off the field with what originally appeared to be a serious injury. Reporters tweeted that Shepard was in obvious pain. The NFL Network is reporting that initial test results say the injury is a low-ankle sprain.

“Sterling, at this point, he looks like he has a rolled ankle,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “A basketball-type ankle, but we’ll see how he responds to treatment and go from there… He was running a hammer route, put his foot in the ground and rolled his ankle… Again, we’ll all know more when I go in and we take a look at it. At this point it just looks like he has a sprained ankle.”

Offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (foot) was also carted off of the field.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
First off, apologies we didn’t have time to do an interview today. I had to jet out of there at 12:40 today. We were there for the majority of practice, when they moved the team inside the facility we opted to leave, as the meat of the action was over.

Saw Mike Nugent get the kicks today, don’t read into depth chart stuff there. These guys aren’t going to kick a lot of volume at this point, they may even flip-flop each day. This will be a battle that goes to the end. Rosas’ leg is stronger.

Offense Notes:

  • Was looking at the OL as much as possible today. Ereck Flowers still struggles with his pad level. Defenders are constantly getting underneath him, causing him to lean over and bend at the waist, making his hand placement sub-par. More of the same there but he did have a couple of run blocks where his natural power and strength were on full display. That’s one thing he always has, strong punches and ability to anchor. Right guard anyone? LG Justin Pugh got in to a couple fights today. He looks to be the enforcer of this offense; he doesn’t want any of his guy taking extra hits and showed no hesitation in defending them when they did.
  • I wanted to get more looks at UDFA Jessamen Dunker. Early in practice, Dunker impressed me with both straight line and lateral movement. Definitely a plus athlete who can be where he needs to be at the right time. But body wise, he is a year away. He will be one of my practice squad predictions but he did get hurt today; we’ll see there. OT Jarron Jones is at the very beginning of a very long road when it comes to his OT progression. He won’t be a factor on the field this season, not even close. Expectedly so, he looks 2-3 steps behind every time he is out there in live action. My question is, will they use a practice squad spot on him? He will have to show a consistent work ethic and approach if he has any shot.
  • Was rough to see WR Sterling Shepard go down. I saw the whole process and at first I thought it was an Achilles, he was visibly upset and in pain. A sprained ankle can linger for months and in some cases can be worse than a fracture. Now it’s a waiting and hoping game.
  • Who is going to step up in his place? Tavarres King was with the first three WR set. He is the best short area mover of the rest. Quality route runner, can be slippery after the catch. Roger Lewis may have more raw talent but he’s still towards the beginning of his WR maturation process. I see the team trying to get more and more looks at Darius Powe. Physical pass catcher with some ability after the catch. They like the dependability of Dwayne Harris. Could this open a door for the fastest guy on the team, Kevin Snead?
  • TEs Matt LaCosse and Jerell Adams caught passes on the all-out move today, a welcoming sign for a team that didn’t get enough from that position in 2016.  Hard to ignore the every-down upside of Adams.

Defense Notes:

  • This LB core looks angry. All of them. While the group fights may be a little over the top and the coaches supposedly don’t like them, part of me likes the fact these LBs are starting them. They are hitting a little too hard but they are doing it on purpose. It’s a personality trait to a defense that you want. B.J. Goodson, Devon Kennard, and Jonathan Casillas especially were instigating. This defense is VERY physical.
  • Still a little confused how this team plans on using LB Stansly Maponga. He is very strong and stout. But I don’t see him performing well in space and he can’t play DE in this scheme. I think he is a 3-4 OLB-only type but maybe NYG has a role for that kind of guy more than we think.
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson got some snaps against first-team linemen. He has great short area burst and closing speed. I think there is some more pass rush potential here than I initially thought. On the flip side, he got handled by D.J. Fluker a couple times on running plays.
  • S Eric Pinkins is interesting to me. There is a lot of talk about backup safeties and I have to think this hybrid S/LB, plus athlete is in the mix. He is a superb athlete with good size. Physical kid and he was performing very well in special team drills.
  • I haven’t seen much out of DT Corbin Bryant and with the DL being pretty crowded depth wise, he will need to stand out over the next few days if he is going to make this team.

Three Standouts:

  • OT Bobby Hart – For the second day in a row, I walked away with a positive impression on Hart. He looks more confident and quick-minded out there. Reacting more so than thinking his way through things. He wins almost all of his physical one on one battles, and his pass protection techniques look like they’ve been cleaned up.
  • DE Romeo Okwara – On a team full of physical specimens, Okwara takes the cake. He is by far the most impressive athlete on this team. He is still a little raw and too straight line dependent when it comes to movement, but the tools are there and if NYG is patient, I think he is going to be a good one. Pad level, post-engagement moves, and consistent leverage are things he needs work on but in time, they are very correctable. I am really excited about him.
  • OG D.J. Fluker – Really good day for this big man. And I mean BIG. He swallows defenders, even makes DT Damon Harrison look small. I’ll say this about Fluker, if he gets his hands on the man he needs to run block, it’s over. He won every battle I watched him on. I think RG is the perfect home for him.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Mike Nugent was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including kicks of 30, 32, 37, and 42 yards.
  • The Giants continue to alternate Josh Johnson and Geno Smith at the #2 quarterback spot. Today Johnson was the #2 quarterback.
  • With wide receiver Sterling Shepard out, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Dwayne Harris were spotted playing in the slot with the first-team with Tavarres King outside.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe had his second active day in a row catching the football.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up a deep pass intended for tight end Evan Engram.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith hit wide receiver Travis Rudolph down the right sideline for a big gain.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for a touchdown.
  • With Jason Pierre-Paul out, Kerry Wynn received some first-team reps at defensive end.
  • Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, and Nat Berhe were the safeties in one three-safety package.
  • Defensive end Avery Moss continues to flash on the pass rush.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis caught a long bomb from quarterback Geno Smith over defensive back Mykkele Thompson.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Travis Rudolph for a deep touchdown over cornerback Nigel Tribune and safety Eric Pinkins.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/892778125930770432

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The sixth training camp practice will be held on Thursday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Aug 012017
 
Share Button
Eli Manning and Paul Perkins, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Eli Manning and Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 1, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN KICKER MIKE NUGENT…
The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that they have signed place kicker Mike Nugent, who fills the roster void created when safety Jadar Johnson retired on Sunday.

The 35-year old Nugent was originally drafted in the 2nd-round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He has spent time with the Jets (2005-2008), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009), Arizona Cardinals (2009), and Cincinnati Bengals (2010-2016). Nugent was released by the Bengals in December 2016 after he had missed six extra points. He finished the season 23-of-29 (79.3 percent) on field goal attempts and is a career 80.8 percent on field goal attempts. Forty-four percent of his 2016 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Running back Shane Vereen (lower body soreness) and defensive end Devin Taylor (lower body soreness) did not practice. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (shoulder) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Another sunny day, the heat was a bit more intense. First day in full pads and it was nice to both see and hear these guys run into each other, as silly as that sounds. Felt like real football although these guys are told to not bring each other to the ground.

Offense Notes:

  • The first full contact I zeroed in on were run-game based. Half a line, 2 backs or 1 back/1 extra TE up against 2 DL and 2 LB. Defenders have a slight advantage knowing the run is coming, but the point of the drill was run blocking/filling lanes and simple assignments. Rookie UDFA Shane Smith stood out a few times against Jonathan Casillas. Delivered violent blows and knocked his man back a few steps. Impressive presence, power, and technique. Casillas got the best of the other FB competing for a spot, Jacob Huesman, on a few occasions.
  • OT Bobby Hart was impressive today, he’s come a long way with his technique and fundamentals. He has such a natural power presence coming from his lower body and his foot speed is more than good enough. Consistency in games is what needs to be seen there.
  • Ereck Flowers was bested by Olivier Vernon on a couple of occasions. The concern there is that Vernon is the kind of guy Flowers has always struggled against. Low to the ground, powerful, quick change of direction. Flowers just doesn’t look natural when he is moving laterally, the inconsistent techniques keep coming up. That said, he dominated DE Romeo Okwara more than once. When the action is in front of him and he gets his hands on, he is very effective. But there are still legit questions about his ability moving sideways.
  • D.J. Fluker was fooled badly on a stunt where rookie DE Avery Moss shot inside. Fluker was late to recognize it and he simply doesn’t recover well. So top heavy. He was tested the same way a couple plays later and was ready for it. He is another guy with a really high level of hand strength and power. When he locks on, it’s over.
  • The two rookie tackles, Adam Bisnowaty and Chad Wheeler, showed some warts that I had on them coming out of college. Bisnowaty (who also saw some snaps at RG) had a hard time sticking and anchoring to his man, while Wheeler didn’t get movement on his assignments Both are still showing their power presence isn’t ready for the NFL just yet.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams showed excellent blocking technique and power. For a long guy, he sure does get his hips low with a strong punch. He sticks to his man and recovered well after being beat a couple times. He may be the best blocker outside of Rhett Ellison. That said, his movement skills look awkward and slow when he has to change direction. Little clumsy, tripping over his feet and double catching the ball.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson, for the 3rd practice in a row, outshine Geno Smith by a wide margin. Johnson throws such a smooth ball and it is almost always where it needs be. Smith still looks shaky in his new scheme.
  • WR Kevin Snead is a guy I keep wanting to watch. You don’t see speed like this very often, he may be one of the fastest NYG has ever had. I would love to see one of the QBs air it out downfield to him in one of these scrimmages. His issue is the hands which is a major red flag. He was dropping more punts than he was catching.

Defense Notes:

  • On the first O vs D play from scrimmage, linebacker B.J. Goodson proved what we talked about Sunday, he wants to HIT. He tossed wide receiver Sterling Shepard to the ground. Yes I do think it was on purpose. Shepard wasn’t happy about it but the scuffle was over shortly.
  • DT Robert Thomas keeps getting the 1st-team looks next to Damon Harrison. He is a guy NYG fans will like. Hyper active, spark-plug-type guy.
  • DT Dalvin Tomlinson looked a little overwhelmed at times. He had a hard time breaking away from D.J. Fluker. Tough guy to go against in straight-ahead drills though.
  • LB Jonathan Casillas plays angry. He wants to be the most physical guy on the field and you have to love that. He and Goodson both have a way of sneaking underneath and through traffic to locate the ball on running plays. This LB group is fast and physical, a nice place to start.
  • CB Eli Apple and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie won most of their 1-on-1 battles today. They move with confidence and assurance.
  • Defensive tackle Damon Harrison looks more and more like a young Vince Wilfork with each day that passes. He gives this scheme a lot of versatility and because of it; there may be some 3-4 looks.

Three Standouts:

  • WR Sterling Shepard: He was getting some extra work in with Manning between sessions. Discussing when to turn his head around on certain routes. He was flawlessly fielding punts. He was getting off tight coverage with ease. And he was making catches away from his body routinely. His ball skills are among the best in the league and it looks like he is the kind of worker that wont stop trying to perfect his craft.
  • S Landon Collins: Collins was a steady presence all day but a few things stood out to me today. While the entire team was on a “TV Timeout”, Collins was on the side field working with Spags on over-the-shoulder catches. Just him. After practice, we were in the field house waiting for about 30 minutes. The rest of the guys by that time are eating lunch but Collins comes strolling in from the field to fulfill his media duties still wearing his pads. The kid is a worker. I’ll say it again, he will be the leader of this defense.
  • Rhett Ellison: I have a feeling this guy is going to be Mr. Dependable whether NYG needs a blocker on 3rd-and-2 or a pass catcher on 3rd-and-5. Ellison is as sure-handed as anyone I have seen here so far and the consistency he showed as a violent and sure blocker was nice to see. NYG could have really used a guy like this.
  • And yes…Aldrick Rosas was perfect on his FG attempts. All of which were good by 15+ yards, including his 50 yarder.

Another full pads day tomorrow, hoping to see some more secondary vs. wide receivers…as they were on the opposite end today. And tomorrow’s focus on the OL will be Weston Richburg, Justin Pugh, and John Jerry along with the interior backups.

Below is the video report and interview with fullback Shane Smith.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including kicks from 30, 37, 42, and 50 yards out.
  • Giants continue to alternate Josh Johnson and Geno Smith at the #2 spot at quarterback. Today was Smith’s turn.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, cornerback Eli Apple knocked away an out-route pass from quarterback Eli Manning intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Safety Nat Berhe defended a pass intended for tight end Evan Engram from quarterback Geno Smith. Smith then hit tight end Jerell Adams for a 20-yard gain.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught a pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning. Marshall then dropped a slant pass from Manning near the goal line.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph dropped a pass then made a diving reception from quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard over the middle.
  • Wide receiver Kevin Snead dropped 3-of-4 punt return attempts.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe was active catching the football in the team portion of practice.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/892416445023440896

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The fifth training camp practice will be held on Wednesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 142017
 
Share Button
Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: The New York Giants defensive line underwent a major overhaul in 2016, and the changes were perhaps THE major reason why the team’s defense improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage and 2nd in terms of points allowed. The Giants went from 24th in run defense in 2015 (121.4 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry) to 3rd in 2016 (88.6 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry).

The key to sparking the dramatic turnaround were the high-priced, high-profile free agent additions of defensive end Olivier Vernon (5-years, $85 million) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (5-years, $46 million). These two were a major upgrade over defensive ends Robert Ayers/George Selvie and defensive tackles Markus Kuhn/Cullen Jenkins. Harrison is arguably the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the game and earned first-team All-Pro honors after making the switch from a 3-4 nose tackle with the New York Jets to a 4-3 defensive tackle. Vernon was slowed by a serious hand/wrist injury but played virtually every snap and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) rebounded nicely from a 2015 offseason catastrophic fireworks accident that left him permanently maimed. After a slow start on the pass-rushing front, the line was rounding into peak form until a groin tear/sports hernia injury sidelined JPP for the final four regular-season games and post-season contest. Unfortunately, the dropoff was noticeable. As a unit, the line finished with 24.5 sacks in the regular season (up from 16 in 2015).

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants’ biggest personnel loss in the offseason was DT Johnathan Hankins signing a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Colts. The team did re-sign DE Jason Pierre-Paul to a 4-year, $62 million deal. The Giants also re-signed exclusive rights free agent DT Robert Thomas, restricted free agent DE Kerry Wynn, and practice squader DE Jordan Williams. New additions include veteran free agents DE Devin Taylor and DT Corbin Bryant as well as rookies DT Dalvin Tomlinson (2nd round), DE Avery Moss (5th round), DE Evan Schwan (undrafted free agent), and DT Josh Banks (undrafted free agent).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: One of the most significant story lines for the team is can the Giants adequately fill the shoes of Johnathan Hankins at defensive tackle? While Damon Harrison quickly became the headliner at defensive tackle for the Giants, Hankins was an important part of the drastically-improved New York Giants run defense. Many believe Dalvin Tomlinson will automatically assume the starting position, but Tomlinson is a rookie and will face challenges from veterans Robert Thomas, Jay Bromley, and Corbin Bryant. Depth is also a cause for concern as Harrison must now be considered one of the most indispensable players on the team. Heaven help the Giants if he gets hurt.

A secondary story line will be the quest for a third defensive end who can rush the passer and spell Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, who both played far too many snaps last year. To date, holdovers Romeo Okwara, Kerry Wynn, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa have not demonstrated the ability to consistently harass opposing quarterbacks. They will be pressured by newcomers Devin Taylor and Avery Moss. Then there is the curious backstory of Odighizuwa’s situation as he missed all of the spring work due to undisclosed “personal issues.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone except Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Dalvin Tomlinson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Patrick Graham on the defensive line as a group: “Really the group is smart. They understand that this is their profession and they know they have to have proficiency at that. They all work hard in terms of knowing football and knowing what we want them to do.”

Patrick Graham on Dalvin Tomlinson: “I think any rookie coming into this league, they don’t know anything about this league aside from the stuff they read and see from the media and TV. I think it’s important for them to stick with what they’ve done in being a good football player up until this point. An organization in the NFL wanted them. To be humble there, listen to the players and listen to the coaches and just diligently work through the process. He’s a pretty even keel guy. He’ll be able to handle it. We will see how it plays out once the competition comes and the season comes… We wanted him for a reason. He’s a good football player and he comes from a good program.”

PREDICTIONS: Dalvin Tomlinson is one of the few defensive tackles who realistically could come in and adequately replace Johnathan Hankins as a rookie. He not only has the physical tools, but he is a super-smart guy who played on the big stage at Alabama. Nevertheless, keep an eye on Robert Thomas, who may split snaps with him. Competition for roster spots will be fierce as the Giants added a couple of former veteran starters late in free agency (Devin Taylor and Corbin Bryant). The Giants can’t keep all of these guys and linemen who can play in this league are going to be released. Another player to keep tabs on is Avery Moss. The coaches and players have said nice things about him and the Giants are still looking for that third pass rusher.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, Romeo Okwara, Avery Moss, Devin Taylor, Robert Thomas, and Corbin Bryant. (The Giants hate to part ways with draft picks so it would not be shocking to see Owa Odighizuwa and Jay Bromley make it over late FA additions Taylor and Bryant. I would also not count out Kerry Wynn).

Feb 142017
 
Share Button
Robert Thomas, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Robert Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN DT ROBERT THOMAS AND TE MATT LACOSSE…
According to press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed exclusive rights free agents defensive tackle Robert Thomas and tight end Matt LaCosse.

The Giants claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers in September 2016. He played in eight regular-season games with no starts (6 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with five tackles and one sack. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

The Giants waived/injured LaCosse in late August 2016 and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that required surgery. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him in August with a hamstring injury and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November and the 53-man roster in December 2015. He played in two games and finished with three catches for 22 yards. LaCosse is a versatile player who played tight end, H-Back, and fullback in college. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

Meanwhile, SNY is reporting that the Giants will not re-sign exclusive rights free agent wide receiver Ben Edwards. Edwards was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in May 2016 after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his knees during the rookie mini-camp. Injuries have plagued Edwards who tore an ACL in college in 2013, an injury that caused him to miss all of 2014; pulled his hamstring in a June 2015 mini-camp, an injury that led him to being waived/injured; and sprained his knee in an April 2016 mini-camp. The Giants originally signed Edwards after the 2015 NFL Draft, waived/injured him in June, re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November, and signed him to the 53-man roster in December. He played in the final two games of 2015 and finished the season with one catch for nine yards.

The other two exclusive free agents (if tendered) are fullback Nikita Whitlock and tight end Will Tye.

GIANTS INSIDER WITH TE WILL TYE…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with tight end Will Tye is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 132017
 
Share Button
Damon Harrison, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Damon Harrison – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants defensive line underwent a major overhaul in 2016, and the changes were perhaps THE major reason why the team’s defense improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage and 2nd in terms of points allowed. The Giants went from 24th in run defense in 2015 (121.4 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry) to 3rd in 2016 (88.6 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry).

The key to sparking the dramatic turnaround were the high-priced, high-profile free agent additions of defensive end Olivier Vernon (5-years, $85 million) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (5-years, $46 million). These two were a major upgrade over defensive ends Robert Ayers/George Selvie and defensive tackles Markus Kuhn/Cullen Jenkins. Harrison is arguably the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the game and earned first-team All-Pro honors after making the switch from a 3-4 nose tackle with the New York Jets to a 4-3 defensive tackle. Vernon was slowed by a serious hand/wrist injury but played virtually every snap and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) rebounded nicely from a 2015 offseason catastrophic fireworks accident that left him permanently maimed. After a slow start on the pass-rushing front, the line was rounding into peak form until a groin tear/sports hernia injury sidelined JPP for the final four regular-season games and post-season contest. Unfortunately, the dropoff was noticeable. As a unit, the line finished with 24.5 sacks in the regular season (up from 16 in 2015).

THE STARTERS

In his first season with the Giants, Olivier Vernon was slowed early by a serious left hand/wrist injury but he ended up starting every game and playing 94 percent of all defensive snaps. Vernon finished with 63 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He was also named second-team All-Pro. Vernon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dolphins. The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Vernon lacks classic size, but he is a very strong, athletic end with long arms and a non-stop motor. He is one of the better two-way ends in football and is equally disruptive against the run and the pass. Vernon can get heat on the quarterback from both the end and tackle positions, and gets a lot of hits on the quarterback.

Jason Pierre-Paul started 12 games in 2016, but missed the remainder of the season with groin and sports hernia injuries that required surgery. He finished the year with 53 tackles, seven sacks, eight pass defenses, and three forced fumbles. Pierre-Paul was drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Giants. His best season came in 2011 when he accrued 86 tackles and 16.5 sacks. After not missing a game in his first three years with the Giants, Pierre-Paul has not completed a full season in three of the last four years, including 2013 (herniated disc and shoulder injuries) and 2015 (fireworks accident that permanently maimed his right hand). Pierre-Paul has an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism. When healthy and focused, Pierre-Paul can be an explosive, disruptive difference-maker against both the run and the pass. His tremendous wingspan helps him to bat passes down at the line of scrimmage (42 career pass defenses and 2 interceptions). As a pass rusher, he can beat blockers with both power and movement skills. Pierre-Paul is a very good run defender, both at the point-of-attack as well as in backside pursuit.

In his first season with the Giants, Damon Harrison had a superb year, starting every game and finishing the regular season with career highs in tackles (86) and sacks (2.5). Harrison was named first-team All-Pro. Harrison was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Giants signed him as an unrestricted free agent in March 2016. Harrison is a strong, mammoth player with surprising athleticism for someone so large. He is a rock against the run, able to hold the point-of-attack against the double-team block. He may be the NFL’s best inside run defender. Though Harrison is a better run defender than pass rusher, he will flash at times getting after the quarterback.

Johnathan Hankins started every game and finished the 2016 regular season with 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins has excellent size, strength, and overall athleticism. He is a stout run defender who occasionally flashes on the pass rush.

THE RESERVES

The Giants signed Romeo Okwara as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Not only did he make the team, but he was a surprisingly-strong contributor as a rookie. Okwara played in every game with four regular-season starts (36 percent of defensive snaps), and finished the year with 25 tackles, one sack, and two pass defenses. Okwara looks the part with excellent size and arm length. He’s a hard worker with a fine motor. While Okwara is a good athlete, he lacks dynamic quickness to excel as outside pass rusher. He flashes more when rushing from the defensive tackle position. Okwara is a solid run defender, but he can still improve his consistency in this area.

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants, Owamagbe Odighizuwa’s has not developed as hoped or expected. Hamstring and foot injuries caused him to miss 12 games of his rookie season. He missed two regular-season games in 2016 with a knee injury and the playoff game with a hamstring injury. In his 18 regular-season games, Odighizuwa has been credited with just six tackles and one pass defense. Odighizuwa looks the part. He is a strong, well-built, and athletic defensive end with long arms and huge hands. Odighizuwa has the ability to play defensive tackle in pass rushing situations. He is a hard worker who simply has not been able to put it together yet.

Kerry Wynn saw his playing time decrease in 2016 (11 percent of defensive snaps). He played in 14 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 34 regular-season games, with seven starts, for the Giants in his three years with the team. Wynn has a nice combination of size, strength, and overall athletic ability. Wynn is a better run defender than pass rusher as he lacks dynamic quickness on the outside pass rush. He is able to play defensive tackle in pass-rush situations.

The primary reserve at defensive tackle, Jay Bromley played in 15 regular-season games with no starts. He received 22 percent of defensive snaps and finished the season with 14 tackles and one sack. Bromley was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He has played in 39 regular-season games with just four starts. Bromley combines decent size, strength, and overall athletic ability. He has improved his play against the run since coming to the Giants but he has not developed into the inside pass rusher hoped for when he was drafted.

The Giants claimed Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers in September 2016. He played in eight regular-season games with no starts (6 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with five tackles and one sack. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Stansly Maponga was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. Maponga was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. From 2013-2014, he played in 24 regular-season games with no starts, accruing eight tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries. The Falcons waived Maponga before the start of the 2015 season. The Giants signed Maponga off of the Practice Squad of the Falcons in December 2015, and he ended up playing in two games for New York. Maponga is an athletic lineman who flashes on occasion as a pass rusher.

Jordan Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in December 2016. Williams was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2015) and Miami Dolphins (2015-2016). He has good size.

Oct 162016
 
Share Button
Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 16, 2016)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 27 – BALTIMORE RAVENS 23…
The New York Giants defeated the Baltimore Ravens 27-23 in a thrilling, often-ugly game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. With the win, the Giants evened their overall record to 3-3.

The Giants won the game despite a -3 turnover differential (2 interceptions, 1 fumble), being out-rushed 98 yards to 38, going 0-for-2 in the red zone, and badly losing the time of possession battle (24:56 to 35:04). Both teams were heavily penalized: Ravens 15 penalties for 111 yards and Giants seven penalties for 119 yards.

The Giants started off poorly, quickly falling behind 10-0 as the Ravens drove 70 yards in 10 plays on their opening possession to set up a 23-yard field goal and then drove another 30 yards in six plays for a touchdown on their second drive after a Giants turnover. Meanwhile, the Giants offense sputtered, failing to pick up a first down until well into the 2nd quarter. Wide receiver Odell Beckham also fumbled the ball away on New York’s first offensive play. And the Giants punted the ball away on their next three offensive possessions after the turnover.

The Giants defense settled down after Baltimore’s first two possessions. New York forced four consecutive punts during the remainder of the first half. The Giants finally got on the board late in the first half after driving 80 yards in 13 plays, culminating with a 24-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. At halftime, the Ravens led 10-7.

The Giants tied the game on their first possession of the 3rd quarter as New York marched 72 yards in 15 plays to set up a 21-yard field goal. This result was a bit disappointing, however, as the Giants had the ball at 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. After the Ravens punted the ball away for the fifth time in a row, Manning was intercepted and the Ravens returned the pick to the Giants 27-yard line. Baltimore could not pick up first down but they were close enough for a 39-yard field goal to retake the lead 13-10.

That advantage was short-lived as Manning hit Beckham deep for a 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run on the Giants next offensive snap. This gave New York its first lead of the day, 17-13. The Ravens responded with a 70-yard deep pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to wide receiver Mike Wallace that set up Baltimore at the Giants 3-yard line. But New York’s defense responded with a goal line stand-and the Ravens were unable to score on 4th-and-goal.

Coming off of the goal line, the Giants offense picked up one first down but then New York was forced to punt. The Ravens were able to drive 56 yards in seven plays – aided by a 42-yard pass interference call against cornerback Trevin Wade – to set up a 35-yard field goal to cut the Giants lead to 17-16 with 9:14 left to play. The Giants then extended their lead again after a 43-yard pass from Manning to Beckham helped to set up a 31-yard field goal with just under six minutes to go.

All looked lost when the Ravens drove 75 yards in nine plays to set up a 2-yard touchdown run and take the lead 23-20 with just over two minutes to play. This touchdown was set up by a horrific officiating call when cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged with a 30-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-4.

Facing a 4th-and-1 at their own 34-yard line with 1:36 left to go, Manning hit Beckham over the middle and it was off to the races as Beckham scored from 66 yards out. The Giants now led 27-23.

But the game was not over. With 1:19 left on the clock, the Ravens drove from their own 32-yard line to the Giants 24-yard line. They were aided by Beckham’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taking his helmet off on the field of play after his touchdown. Then on 4th-and-5 from the Giants 39-yard line, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa was flagged with roughing the passer on an incomplete pass that should have ended the game. But Flacco’s last three passes fell incomplete, with the last being defended by Rodgers-Cromartie in the end zone.

Offensively, Manning finished the day 32-of-46 for 403 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Beckham caught eight passes for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next leading receiver was tight end Larry Donnell with 6 catches for 34 yards. Running backs Rashad Jennings, Bobby Rainey, and Paul Perkins only generated 38 yards on 17 carries.

Defensively, safety Landon Collins led the team with 12 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, and 1 sack. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had three tackles for a loss and a sack. Linebacker Jonathan Casillas had 11 tackles and stopped the 4th-and-goal play. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was credited with three pass breakups. The Giants did not force a turnover.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were cornerback Eli Apple (groin), free safety Darian Thompson (foot), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), wide receiver Tavarres King, linebacker Deontae Skinner, and quarterback Josh Johnson.

The following Giants were injured in the game against the Ravens, but they all returned to the playing field: long snapper Zak DeOssie (ankle), wide receiver Odell Beckham (hip pointer), cornerback Trevin Wade (ankle), and linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee). DeOssie and Beckham were spotted limping pretty good after the game.

“Whatever (the hip injury) is, it was bad. It was bothering me all game,” said Beckham after the game.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants became the third NFL franchise with 700 combined regular-season and postseason victories. They are 700-593-33 in their 92-year history. The Chicago Bears are 759-577-42 after their loss Sunday to Jacksonville. The Green Bay Packers were 754-569-37 entering their late-afternoon game vs. Dallas.

QB Eli Manning played in his 191st regular-season game in a Giants uniform. That broke a tie with former wide receiver Amani Toomer, whose 13-year career ended in 2008. Manning is fourth on the franchise’s career list for games played. George Martin is third with 201.

Manning’s record as a starter is 100-89. He is the 14th quarterback in NFL history with at least 100 regular-season victories.

Manning is the sixth quarterback with at least 100 victories and two Super Bowl triumphs with the same team, joining Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana and Ben Roethlisberger.

Manning threw the game-winning pass to WR Odell Beckham with 1:24 remaining. It was the 31st time in the regular-season that Manning has led the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to a victory.

Manning today started his 200th game for the Giants (189 regular season, 11 postseason). He is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start at least 200 games for one franchise, joining Elway (Denver), Brett Favre (Green Bay), Peyton Manning (Indianapolis), Dan Marino (Miami) and Brady (New England).

Manning threw three touchdown passes. The first was the 300th of Manning’s splendid 13-year career; he became the eighth quarterback in history to throw for at least 300 scores. The second broke a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway and moved Manning into sole possession of seventh place on the league’s career list.

Beckham gained a career-high 222 yards.  The 222 yards was the second-highest total in Giants history. It is exceeded only by Del Shofner’s 269 yards vs. Washington on October 28, 1962.

Beckham has eight touchdown receptions of 50 or more yards, the NFL’s highest total since he entered the league in 2014.

Beckham now has 17 career 100-yard games. That ties him with Homer Jones for third on the team’s career list, behind Toomer (22) and Victor Cruz (18).

ARTICLES…

Sep 302016
 
Share Button
Mike Sullivan and Victor Cruz, New York Giants (September 25, 2016)

Mike Sullivan and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), safety Darian Thompson (foot), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), and defensive tackle Robert Thomas (illness) did not practice on Friday.

“We will miss (Rodgers-Cromartie and Apple),” said Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “We need to get somebody else to step up in there and hopefully they can get healthy quick.”

Running back Rashad Jennings (thumb) was limited in practice. Defensive end Olivier Vernon (wrist) fully practiced.

“Rashad had a nice day today,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He got some work in both with our offense and the ‘look’ team and had a productive day. He caught some balls, so he’s progressing.”

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Saturday or Sunday. The Giants travel to Minnesota on Sunday to play the Vikings on Monday night.

Sep 042016
 
Share Button
Geremy Davis, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Geremy Davis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CLAIM DT ROBERT THOMAS…
The New York Giants claimed defensive tackle Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. To make room for Thomas, the team waived defensive tackle Montori Hughes.

The 6’3”, 325-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). To date, Thomas has only played in one regular season game. Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

The Giants signed Hughes to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad in November 2015. He ended up playing in seven games as a reserve, and finished the season with six tackles. Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, Hughes played in 16 games with one start. The Colts waived him in September 2015 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed the following ten players to their 10-man Practice Squad:

  • QB Logan Thomas
  • WR Geremy Davis
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OL Adam Gettis
  • OL Shane McDermott
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • LB Ishaq Williams
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • S Andrew Adams

All ten of these players were with the Giants this summer in training camp and the preseason. They were all waived on Saturday except for McDermott who was waived on Tuesday.