Oct 172017
 
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Romeo Okwara, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Romeo Okwara – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have placed defensive end Romeo Okwara on Injured Reserve with what was originally reported to be a sprained knee that he suffered in practice last week. To fill his roster spot, the Giants claimed linebacker Nigel Harris off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers.

Okwara is the 14th Giants player currently on Injured Reserve. The Giants signed Okwara as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Okwara played in every game in 2016 with four regular-season starts (36 percent of defensive snaps), and finished the year with 25 tackles, one sack, and two pass defenses. Okwara played in the first five games of the 2017 season and was credited with three tackles.

The 6’2”, 230-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chargers after the 2017 NFL Draft. Harris played in the first five games of the 2017 season with one start. He was credited with 11 tackles.

Aug 052017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 5, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eighth summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), and linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol) did not practice. Shepard did warm up before practice and did some light running.

“I made some pretty good progress over these last few days,” Shepard said. “Been in the training room, getting ice. The swelling went down, so I got to run around a little bit today. It feels really good. If it was game day, I could easily go, but I have a little bit of time, so they want to take it slow… I have never really rolled my ankle before, so I didn’t really know the process and how it was going to go. Those first two days, I was feeling like I was going to be out for a little longer than what I know now.”

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Practice was closed to the public today. Overcast skies, minimal wind, very comfortable temperature.

Special Teams Notes:

  • Mike Nugent showed better loft and distance on kickoffs than Aldrick Rosas. Who knows if they were actually trying to let loose or not.
  • A lot, and I mean a lot, of attention is put on special teams. We got to see plenty of 1-on-1 battles with these guys going all out on each other. They were practicing blocking on the move, where the offensive player runs to a spot, turns around and goes head to head with a downhill defender that had a 15-20 yard head of steam. The bubble guys need to show something here. DE Kerry Wynn was beating everyone he matched up against. S Trey Robinson stood out a couple times. S Landon Collins got involved twice and even in a simple drill like this, his ability stands out. RB Wayne Gallman’s lack of presence showed, he may have a hard time factoring as a blocker at his size. LB Calvin Munson stood out, consistently getting rave reviews from coaches.

Offense Notes:

  • As I left the practice facility, QB Davis Webb was working on deep throws and footwork associated with them with two of the Giants support staff (ball boys). This was a solid 20 minutes after practice. TE Rhett Ellison was on another field working on his technique out of his stance, getting into his routes.
  • One thing I see wide receivers Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall do very well is that they attack the ball in the air. They don’t sit back and let it come to them; they alter their weight and attack. Very important that your top guys do that. Marshall overwhelmed CB Valentino Blake on a pass near the back of the end zone; there was no chance for Blake – he looked like a kid trying to defend his dad and that is not a knock on Blake.
  • TE is a very crowded group. Colin Thompson keeps jumping out at me. I think there is no shot he makes the team, but he is a legit practice squad candidate. The team brought him in as a blocker, but he moves much better when running routes than I initially thought. Soft hands, been catching almost everything thrown his way. This TE group in camp is very solid.
  • I put more attention on the two rookie OTs, Adam Bisnowaty and Chad Wheeler. Wheeler does a great job post-snap. He gets out of his stance quickly and easily. Very good body positioning, knee bend, and set up. Honestly, he is better than Ereck Flowers when it comes to that part of the process. Bisnowaty is a little more sluggish and unsure. He didn’t keep his feet moving against Kerry Wynn today and it made him look silly. He was facing the ground on a couple of occasions, showing he is over-committing and lunging while bending at the waist. Body wise, Wheeler simply needs more muscle as I have been saying. Bisnowaty too, but you can tell he has spent more time in the weight room.
  • OT Ereck Flowers had a solid day but his over-lean and wrap-around the defender’s neck in pass protection flared up twice from what I saw. OT Bobby Hart was schooled by DE Pierre-Paul again, winding up on the ground. OG John Jerry, when I had the vantage point to really zero in on him, didn’t get beat at all. He is a very large man with athletic legs. He is without a doubt the starting RG over D.J. Fluker.
  • Geno Smith vs. Josh Johnson battle goes to Geno today. He is looking more and more confident with each day that passes. His arm is much more lively than Johnson’s.
  • TE Matt LaCosse with another nice TD catch today. Natural hands on the move with a huge wingspan, nice weapon to have especially in that area.
  • WR Kevin Snead body catches everything. Amazing to see the difference between him and Beckham and how they approach catching the ball.
  • RB Orleans Darkwa’s avenue to making this team is likely the short-yardage back. He is bigger and stronger than the other guys. Without Darkwa, there really isn’t any sense of power in that backfield. If the team doesn’t think he can handle that job, I wonder if the 4th RB is even currently on this roster.
  • WR Roger Lewis doesn’t get a ton of WR reps with the first or second group. I’m wondering if he is actually that far down the depth chart or they are just trying to get the bubble guys more reps to fully evaluate. He did drop an easy TD on a short slant pass and his routes aren’t crisp. But I really like how Lewis moves. Very twitchy, loose, and strong. I think he has the potential to be a top tier gunner in this league on special teams.
  • WRs Darius Powe and Travis Rudolph might be competing for one spot. We have highlighted Rudolph already, his ability to do everything right stands out. But he doesn’t separate downfield at all and he isn’t physical enough in traffic to be a factor. Powe has the size but I’m not sure he can separate from NFL DBs. He doesn’t have long speed and there isn’t a lot of quick-twitch to him underneath.

Defense Notes:

  • The team’s #4 CB has to be Michael Hunter. I’m saying this right now with a lot of confidence, there are teams in this league where he could start. He is so consistent when it comes to trusting his footwork and length while attacking the ball. He is breaking up multiple passes every day. NYG has an outstanding CB group, maybe the best in the league if Eli Apple takes the expected step up.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins ignores size completely. He shows no hesitation when going after WR Brandon Marshall. He is so fast to diagnose and react. He sniffs out screens and crossing routes in a blink. And I love how hard he competes for the ball in the air.
  • DT Jay Bromley made a couple nice plays against the run today. He beat D.J. Fluker badly on one running play which would have resulted in a 4-yard loss. He is a very large, long guy. There are tools to work with there, it will just be a matter of him showing consistency when it comes to technique and awareness.
  • The question with the DT group will be how long guys can go before needing a break. Damon Harrison started to break down a little towards the end of last year, Robert Thomas was limping around between plays today with what appeared hamstring/back soreness (just speculating). Dalvin Tomlinson looks like he is still trying to figure it out mentally, as he hasn’t been able to get off blocks at all. Jay Bromley is very inconsistent as I noted.
  • I put the eye on FS Darian Thompson today as best I could. Not sure how these guys are coached, so take it with a grain of salt. But he was very good at keeping track of receivers in his area. Keeps his head on a swivel and won’t get fooled by the QB. His lower body moves very fluidly. I haven’t seen him tested deep though.
  • The one concern I have is that these DBs don’t get a lot of work defending deep passes. In live action, the team’s offense almost never throws the ball downfield more than 20-25 yards. A guy like Thompson needs to work on that part of his game, as does CB Eli Apple, and it’s not happening much if at all in practice.
  • DE Kerry Wynn had a very good day. He made an impact on 1-on-1 special team drills and during live team drills from his DE spot. He is a guy that the coaches know they can depend on. I am leaning towards his making this 53 man roster. He is definitely ahead of DE Devin Taylor right now.
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul is dominating Giants OL during live drills and one-on-one’s – no matter who he is matched up against and no matter where he is lining up.
  • Each day that passes, I am leaning more and more towards DE Owa Odighizuwa not being in the final picture. He did beat OT Jarron Jones a couple times, but other than that there is too much rigid lower body movement and a severe lack of reaction/quick twitch. Unfortunate but he just doesn’t seem to have it.

Three Standouts:

  • TE Evan Engram: By far his best day of camp so far. We got to see a few special catches. With defenders draped all over him, twice he made a TD catch while barely sneaking in before the sideline/out-of-bounds line. He plays super-fast but under control. He keeps on catching everything and there isn’t a defender on this team that is built for covering him. He is exciting in this short-pass offense.
  • S Eric Pinkins: This kid is certainly making a name for himself. Very impressive physically with his combination of size and speed. At 6’3/230 with zero bad weight, he brings a different level of physical prowess to the secondary. He can be a special teams demon which should get him on this 53-man roster, but I like him as a backup safety as well. There is a ton of upside here and if the team is patient, we may see something big.
  • OG Jessamen Dunker: You know, this kid needs a year of weight room work from what I can see. He doesn’t quite fill his pants yet. But he plays strong. His lower body mechanics and athleticism are as good as any of the OL on this team. And he showed great hand placement and strength in one-on-ones. I want to say he is a lock for the practice squad but if he goes out and impressed in the games, I say there is a shot he is the last OL on the 53-man roster. He really is impressive.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the left corner of the end zone.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a diving touchdown catch from quarterback Eli Manning in the corner of the end zone. Manning later found Engram again for another touchdown in front of safety Darian Thompson. Engram caught three touchdowns during 7-on-7 drills.
  • Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie broke up passes intended for tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Travis Rudolph, respectively. Jenkins later defended a slant pass from Manning to wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson found wide receiver Kevin Snead in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins intercepted a quarterback Josh Johnson pass intended for tight end Matt LaCosse.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. Smith then hit tight end Jerell Smith down the right seam and wide receiver Darius Powe despite tight coverage.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson broke up a short pass intended for running back Orleans Darkwa.
  • Running back Paul Perkins fumbled during 11-on-11 drills after being hit by cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman had a pass deflected off of him that was intercepted by linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich later broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Cornerback Michael Hunter knocked down a pass on a crossing route.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up a fade pass from quarterback Geno Smith to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Saturday 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 Giants are off on Sunday. The ninth training camp practice will be held on Monday, starting at 11:10AM. This practice is NOT open to the public. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Aug 042017
 
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Nat Berhe, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Nat Berhe – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 4, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventh summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), and linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol) did not practice.

“(Shepard’s MRI showed) nothing serious, nothing new,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“We are taking it day by day,” said Shepard. “It is feeling pretty good. I am moving along really well… At first I was pretty worried. I have never rolled my ankle like that before and I felt it pop. That was the main thing that scared me. The initial pain wasn’t too good but now, we are moving along and it’s doing pretty good now… I was kind of screaming, but that’s just because I have never felt that pain before. But yeah, it’s just like a basketball roll is what they are saying, a little bit of a bone bruise… If I feel good enough to get out there in some preseason games, then I will, but yeah I am just taking it day by day… I will be ready for Week 1, for sure.”

“(King) has a rolled ankle,” said McAdoo. “They’ll let me know when he can practice.”

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Not much to give you guys today, it was a walk-through in every sense of the term. No actual hitting. No actual throwing the ball. Routes were run at 20% speed max. Sounds like tomorrow they are gonna get after it a bit. I will be there for it.

The guys that I have down as “Out” for today’s practice but still involved, were QB Eli Manning, WR Brandon Marshall, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DT Damon Harrison, and LB Jonathan Casillas.

Good to see DE Devin Taylor and RB Shane Vereen out there with the team, hope they are in live action tomorrow.

I did not see WR Tavarres King out there, so I guess his ankle roll needed a day of treatment.

Offense Notes:

  • A name we haven’t talked about yet is fourth year veteran OG/OC Jon Halapio. Originally drafted by the Patriots in 2014 (6th round) from Florida. He has since bounced around the league a bit but has been with NYG for almost a full year now. He’s never played in a regular-season game but with the instability inside when it comes to depth, I think he has as much of a shot as any of the other interior guys to make this team. The versatility is a plus and he has had some solid 1-on-1 interactions this week.
  • OT Chad Wheeler saw time at his usual LT spot in addition to sometime at RT and RG. I’ll say I have been pleasantly surprised by his is presence this week. We already knew he was a plus athlete but I still think he is a year away from being a factor. He needs work in the weight room.
  • QB Davis Webb got more reps today with Eli being on the sideline. Even though the speed of it was so low, it was an important day for him no doubt. A lot of work on hand signals with his receivers and proper footwork on both passing and running plays. Casual fans will overlook the importance of that, but it is vital for his progression. For what it’s worth, he appeared to do everything right. Another check mark for him.
  • When it comes to the fullbacks, my guess based on their team drills is Shane Smith is at the top of depth chart.
  • OG D.J. Fluker was probably the hardest worker on the offense today, making strong efforts on his pad level, lateral footwork, hand placement…etc. He got a few looks at backup RT today.

Defense Notes:

  • LB B.J. Goodson on the field again today. So involved with other players and coaches during his rest time. And he was the lone defender who appeared to be going a little closer to full speed than the other guys. Not surprised.
  • NYG has a lot of DL talent and they are very versatile. We may see them get 3 DTs on the field more often than we’ve seen in the past. Damon Harrison can play a 3-4 NT-type role and the Jay Bromley/Dalvin Tomlinson/Robert Thomas trio…two of them can be on the field at once I think. This gives NYG several options with what to do on the outside. The more looks, the better.
  • DE Kerry Wynn is still in the team’s good graces it seems. He’s been here awhile now and the team knows what they are getting out of him. A kid that knows the game well, plays hard, and can bring it in different situations in different roles. Devin Taylor and Owa Odigihizuwa are going to have really perform well if they want to leapfrog him.

That’s all folks, sorry it wasn’t too eventful today but as I said, no such thing as unimportant day. I should be back tomorrow.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Friday’s practice was very light, with helmets but no pads and more of a walk-thru. Veterans given the day off included quarterback Eli Manning, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive tackle Damon Harrison, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • Giants ran a fake field goal where punter Brad Wing threw a touchdown pass to offensive lineman Justin Pugh.
  • Place kicker Mike Nugent went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The eighth training camp practice will be held on Saturday, starting at 10:55AM. This practice is NOT open to the public. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 142017
 
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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).

May 102017
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama Crimson Tide (September 10, 2016)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN 2ND-ROUNDER DALVIN TOMLINSON…
According to press reports, the New York Giants have signed their 2nd-round draft pick, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. The contract is supposedly a 4-year, $4.57 million deal with a $1.46 million signing bonus.

The New York Giants hold a rookie mini-camp this Friday through Sunday. The rookie draft picks, signed undrafted rookie free agents, rookie and veteran tryout players, and players signed to future contracts in January will attend the mini-camp.

DARIAN THOMPSON INJURY UPDATE…
Promising New York Giants safety Darian Thompson missed virtually the entire season in 2016 with a career-threatening lisfranc foot injury that he suffered in Week 2. Thompson tried to return in November, suffered a setback in practice, and was placed on Injured Reserve.  Thompson is still rehabbing from the injury. The Giants drafted Thompson in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Thompson does not know when he will be cleared for practice. Giants Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices begin on May 22.

“We’re just taking things day-by-day, slowly progressing,” Thompson said. “But I’m doing everything they’ve been asking me to do with no problems and I’m feeling good. I’m just going based off the trainers and based off of what the organization wants me to do. I feel good, so we’ll see what happens from here.

“We have plenty of time (until summer training camp). They don’t want to rush anything, so I’m just doing what they ask me to do, staying on track and, like I said, everything has been good. I’ve gotten pretty close and it felt pretty good. So I’m just waiting on them to give me the green light to go ahead and do it.”

GIANTS INSIDER WITH DE ROMEO OKWARA…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with defensive end Romeo Okwara is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 132017
 
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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.

Dec 182016
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple, New York Giants (December 18, 2016)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 17 – DETROIT LIONS 6…
The New York Giants defeated the Detroit Lions 17-6 on a rainy afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 10-4. The Giants have now won eight out of their last nine football games. The Giants have not yet clinched a playoff spot but will do so if they can win one of their last two games.

It was an unspectacular but efficient performance by the offense as the Giants accrued only 17 first downs and 300 total net yards (114 rushing, 186 passing). But New York did not turn the ball over, was 7-of-15 (47 percent) on 3rd down, and was 2-of-2 (100 percent) in the red zone.

Meanwhile, the Giants defense dominated for the second game in a row, holding the Lions to six points, 16 first downs and 324 and total net yards (56 rushing, 268 passing). The defense forced two turnovers and Detroit was 0-of-3 (0 percent) in the red zone.

The Giants had six first-half possessions. New York began the game with an impressive 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 6-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. However, the Giants offense went three-and-out on their next two possessions. After a Detroit turnover, the offense mounted an 11-play, 51-yard march that ended with a 47-yard field goal by place kicker Robbie Gould. The Giants last two possessions of the first half did not result in points.

Of Detroit’s five first-half possessions, only two gained more than 17 yards. The Lions drove 40 yards in 11 plays on their second possession to set up a 48-yard field goal. Their most serious threat came on their next drive. Quarterback Matthew Stafford hit wide receiver Golden Tate for a 67-yard passing play. But on the next snap from the Giants 11-yard line, defensive back Leon Hall forced fullback Zach Zenner to fumble after a 7-yard gain. Defensive end Olivier Vernon recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchback. The Lions only gained one first down on their final two possessions of the first half.

At the break, the Giants led 10-3.

Detroit cut into that lead on their first possession of the second half by driving 45 yards in 12 plays to set up a 33-yard field goal. But those were the last points of the day for the Lions. Detroit’s final five possessions resulted in three punts, an interception by cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the end zone with just over two minutes to play, and 48 garbage-time yards after getting the ball back with 12 seconds left.

The Giants were not much more impressive offensively with four of their five possessions resulting in punts. But sandwiched in the middle of that offensive futility was an 8-play, 71 yard drive that ended with a one-handed touchdown reception by wide receiver Odell Beckham from Manning. That touchdown gave the Giants a 17-6 advantage with 5:47 to play.

The Giants did miss an opportunity to add more points when Beckham had a 4th-quarter 63-yard punt return for a touchdown nullified by an illegal block penalty on safety Eric Pinkins.

Offensively, Eli Manning completed his first 11 passes, a career-high to start a game. He finished the game 20-of-28 for 201 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.  His top targets were Odell Beckham (6 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown), Sterling Shepard, (4 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown), and tight end Will Tye (4 catches for 25 yards). Running back Paul Perkins gained 56 yards on 11 carries and running back Rashad Jennings gaine 38 yards on 18 carries.

Defensively, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was credited with 7 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass defenses. Cornerback Eli Apple had 7 tackles, 2 tackles for losses, and 1 pass defense that saved a touchdown. Olivier Vernon had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, half a sack, 2 quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), quarterback Ryan Nassib (elbow), defensive tackle Robert Thomas, linebacker Deontae Skinner, wide receiver Tavarres King, and offensive tackle Will Beatty.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins left the game in the second quarter with a back injury and did not return. “He took a knee to the back and he’s still being evaluated,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

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…
At 10-4, this is the Giants’ first season with double-digit victories since 2010, when they finished 10-6. The Giants did not make the playoffs that season.

The Giants won their sixth consecutive home game, their longest such streak since they won their first six at home in 2008.

The Giants finished 7-1 at home, their best record in the 7-year history of MetLife Stadium (previous best: 6-2 in 2012) and their best home record since they were 7-1 in Giants Stadium in 2008.

The Giants are 5-1 this season when they rush for more than 100 yards.

First-year head coach Ben McAdoo is the fourth Giants coach to win at least 10 games in his debut season, joining Allie Sherman, Dan Reeves, and Jim Fassel.

QB Eli Manning is now the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 4,000 completions. He is also now eighth on the NFL’s all-time pass attempt list with 6,735.

ARTICLES…

Dec 162016
 
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Shane Vereen, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Shane Vereen – © USA TODAY Sports Images

DECEMBER 16, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle) has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Running back Shane Vereen (concussion), linebacker Keenan Robinson (shoulder), and safety Nat Berhe (concussion) are “questionable” for the game. Head Coach Ben McAdoo said that Vereen and Berhe are still in the concussion protocol.

“We haven’t seen (Robinson) do much this week,” said McAdoo. “He knows how to take care of his body with the injuries he’s had in the past, similar type injuries. So we’ll see more from him tomorrow to know if he can go or not.”

Left guard Justin Pugh (knee), long snapper Zak DeOssie (hamstring), defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (knee), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (shoulder), and linebacker Mark Herzlich (concussion) are “probable” for the game.

“Justin’s practiced well this week, so we’ll take a look at him again tomorrow in practice,” said McAdoo. “He’s a good player, he’s been a good player for us and when we can get him, as soon as we can get him back, we’ll take him.”

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 of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no press availability to the team on Saturday. The Giants play the Detroit Lions at home on Sunday at 1:00PM ET.

Dec 152016
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (December 11, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

DECEMBER 15, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (shoulder) did not practice on Thursday.

“I’ll be fine,” Robinson told NJ.com. “I’ll be good to go Sunday.”

Three players who are in the NFL concussion protocol – running back Shane Vereen, linebacker Mark Herzlich, and safety Nat Berhe – were limited to non-contact work.

Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (knee), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (shoulder), left guard Justin Pugh (knee), and long snapper Zak DeOssie (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

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…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday.

Dec 132016
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 11, 2016)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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:

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed offensive lineman Adam Gettis to the Practice Squad. The team also terminated the Practice Squad contracts of running back George Winn and offensive lineman Laurence Gibson.

Gettis was cut on Saturday to make room for running back Shane Vereen to be activated from Injured Reserve. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2013), Steelers (2014), Giants (2014-2015), Raiders (2015), and Giants again (2015-2016). Gettis was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and to the 53-man roster in November 2016.

Winn was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2016. Winn was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Texans (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Oakland Raiders (2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013), Dallas Cowboys (2013), and Detroit Lions (2014–2016).

Gibson was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. Gibson was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2015), Chiefs (2015), Falcons (2016), and Bears (2016).

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions.