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

Devon Kennard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rashad Jennings – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Oct 032015
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Daniel Fells, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Daniel Fells – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have signed tight end Will Tye to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Tye, the Giants terminated the contract of defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis. The reason for the moves is that the Giants will be without tight ends Daniel Fells (ankle) and Jerome Cunningham (knee) on Sunday in the game against the Buffalo Bills. Neither made the trip to Buffalo. Larry Donnell is the only other tight end on the 53-man roster.

Tye is a rookie free agent who the Giants signed after the rookie mini-camp. Ellis, an unrestricted free agent signed by the Giants from the Jets, has now been cut twice by the Giants. He was also cut in early September and then re-signed to the roster on September 22.

In addition to Fells and Cunningham, the other players who did not travel to Buffalo are wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), defensive end Robert Ayers (hamstring), and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (knee).

According to BleacherReport.com, maimed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to report to the New York Giants within the next two weeks, either before or after the team’s game against the San Francisco 49ers on October 11th. Pierre-Paul supposedly believes he is ready to play football. BleacherReport.com raises the issue that Pierre-Paul still may not pass the team’s physical and that a potential impasse over his health status could lead to a dispute. Pierre-Paul is looking to be paid for the remainder of the season and ultimately become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.


Sep 302015
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TE Daniel Fells (ankle), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP) did not practice on Wednesday.

WR Victor Cruz (calf), RB Orleans Darkwa (knee), LT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and DT Markus Kuhn (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

Cruz tried to practice for the first time since August 17, but apparently suffered a setback. “Victor came out and tried to do individuals,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He felt the calf again and that’s all he did.”

“(Cruz) did some individual stuff, ran a few routes and that was about it,” QB Eli Manning said. “We’ll see how it goes…Hopefully, it’s just minor.”

“It sucks, to say the least,” said WR Rueben Randle. “We could see a little limp in him a little bit once he tried to turn up and run. We could tell that he wasn’t quite ready yet to play full speed. I’m pretty sure if we needed him to play he could play, but he still can sit out a little bit and rest up…We were just running routes in individual, it wasn’t a play. We could just see once he tried to turn up a little bit, he kind of looked a little gimpy, kind of holding back a little bit. I don’t think he’s too far away, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet.

“He wasn’t the Cruz that we know. That’s what we want to see, we don’t want to rush him back and hurt it even more. We were trying to tell him, ‘Don’t try to stress it too much, take as much time as possible,’ because we didn’t want him to hurt it even worse than what it is and have to be out even longer. As his teammates, we care for him and want him to come back as healthy as possible.”

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) fully practiced.

The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contracts of WR Julian Talley and OG Vinston Painter. The team also signed QB G.J. Kinne and WR Tavarres King to the Practice Squad.

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

King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15). King was waived by the Buccaneers in early September. King lacks ideal size, but he is a fast receiver who can get deep. He is not a physical player and is best suited as an outside receiver.

As normal, the New York Giants held workouts for a number of unsigned players on Tuesday. But this week, there were a number of high-profile players in attendance including WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Wes Welker, and TE Chris Cooley. The only workout player signed was WR Tavarres King.

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

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

The audio of radio interviews on Tuesday are also available at ESPN Radio and WFAN Radio:


The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Buffalo Bills.

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

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

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

Q: What about Victor Cruz’s status coach?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Is Prince alright today?

A: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sep 252015
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New York Giants Defense (September 24, 2015)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants may have saved their season with a convincing 32-21 victory over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night. The Giants improved their overall record to 1-2 while the Redskins fell to 1-2.

The Redskins received the football to start the game but could not pick up a first down. After offsetting penalties negated the first punt, the second punt attempt by Washington was blocked by running back Rashad Jennings for a safety. New York was up quickly 2-0.

The Giants crossed midfield on their first offensive possession but were forced to punt. On the second snap of Washington’s second drive, cornerback Prince Amukamara picked off quarterback Kirk Cousins at the Redskins 20-yard line and returned it to the 14. Four plays later, running back Andre Williams scored from one yard out to make the game 9-0.

Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (September 24, 2015)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Redskins went three-and-out on their third possession. The Giants responded with an 8-play, 47-yard drive that set up a 35-yard field goal by place kicker Josh Brown as the Giants expanded their lead to 12-0. The Redskins then finally moved the ball on their fourth possession, putting together a 10-play, 54-yard effort that resulted in a 44-yard field goal. Giants 12 – Redskins 3.

Both teams then exchanged field goal drives again, the first a 9-play, 47-yard possession by the Giants that resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Brown and then a 13-play, 61-yard possession by the Redskins that resulted in a 37-yard field goal. The Giants once again crossed midfield on their final possession of the first half but could not score. At halftime, the Giants led 15-6.

The Giants received the football to start the second half and promptly expanded their lead to 18-6 after a 15-play, 50-yard drive that took up half the third quarter. The Redskins responded with a scoring threat of their own that was dramatically stopped when linebacker Devon Kennard deflected a pass by Cousins that was intercepted by fellow linebacker Uani’ Unga at the New York 27-yard line.

The Giants then took charge of the game with an 8-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham. The Giants led 25-6 early in the fourth quarter.

The Redskins looked to make things interesting on their ensuing possession by driving deep into Giants territory. On 4th-and-1 from the Giants 7-yard line, running back Matt Jones picked up the first down but fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end zone, resulting in a touchback and a turnover. The Giants went three-and-out on the following possession. Washington then drove 74 yards in 12 plays to cut the score to 25-14 after a 4-yard touchdown pass and a successful 2-point conversion attempt with 3:40 to play.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants (September 24, 2015)

Rueben Randle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Running back Shane Vereen recovered a Redskins onside kick attempt at the Washington 41-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-10, Manning hit wide receiver Rueben Randle for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 32-14 advantage with 3:21 to play. However, the Redskins returned the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. The second Redskins onside kick went out of bounds. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Redskins received the ball with 1:43 to play and advanced the ball to the Giants 14-yard line before the clock expired.

Offensively, the Giants gained 19 first downs and 363 total net yards (279 passing, 84 rushing). The team was only 4-of-12 on third down (33 percent). Manning completed 23-of-32 passes for 279 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for a QB rating of 119.1. His leading receivers were Randle (7 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown) and Beckham (7 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown). Jennings gained 31 yards on 11 carries, Williams 29 yards on 14 carries, and Vereen 23 yards on six carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 22 first downs and 393 yards (305 passing, 88 rushing). The Redskins were 6-of-15 (40 percent) on third down and 2-of-3 (67 percent) on fourth down. The defense forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble). The only sack was by linebacker Jonathan Casillas

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

Running back Orleans Darkwa left the game with a knee injury and did not return. Cornerback Prince Amukamara hurt his ankle but returned to the football game.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and various players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), RT Ereck Flowers (ankle), and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion).

The Giants have won five games in a row over the Redskins.

The Giants improved to 15-7-3 on Thursdays, including 4-2 under Tom Coughlin.

For the second time in three games, the Giants did not commit a turnover.

QB Eli Manning increased his career touchdown pass total to 263. That broke a tie with Dave Krieg and moved Manning into 12th place on the NFL’s career list. Joe Montana is 11th with 273.

Justin Pugh made his first career start at left tackle. John Jerry started at left guard.

Middle linebacker Jon Beason made his 2015 debut after missing the first two games with a knee injury. Beason split time with Uani’ Unga, who led the Giants with nine tackles (six solo).

Jayron Holsey started at left cornerback for Rodgers-Cromartie.

Fullback Nikita Whitlock played several snaps at defensive tackle in the fourth quarter, as he did in the preseason finale in New England.

Sep 232015
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

In addition to LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), the New York Giants have ruled the following players out of the game against the Washington Redskins on Thursday night:

  • WR Victor Cruz (calf)
  • TE Jerome Cunningham (knee)
  • DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot)
  • DT Markus Kuhn (knee)
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion)

LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) is doubtful for the game while DE Robert Ayers (hamstring) is questionable.

TE Daniel Fells (foot), RG Geoff Schwartz (illness), DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), DT Jay Bromley (knee), and LB Jon Beason (knee) are probable.


The 0-2 New York Giants will face the 1-1 Washington Redskins on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.

Sep 142015
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Uani' Unga, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Jason Witten Scores Game-Winning TD – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants had the Dallas Cowboys on the ropes but they let the game slip away in the final seconds as Dallas quarterback Tony Romo hit tight end Jason Witten for an 11-yard touchdown with seven seconds in the game to win 27-26. The touchdown catch culminated a far-too-easy 6-play, 72-yard drive in 87 seconds.

Making matters worse was the Giants had a chance to put the game away before the drive. Leading 23-20, the Giants had successfully driven from their own 20-yard line to the Dallas 4-yard line with 1:54 to play. After two runs by running back Rashad Jennings had picked up three yards and caused the Cowboys to spend their last timeouts, the Giants faced 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Giants chose not to run the ball. Quarterback Eli Manning threw the ball away instead of taking a sack, causing the clock to stop. Declining to go for it on 4th-and-goal, Head Coach Tom Coughlin called for the field goal and the Giants only went up by six points.

Now a young Giants team will have to quickly recover emotionally from a devastating loss as the team will face the potentially dangerous Atlanta Falcons next Sunday at home.

In a game where the Giants defense was supposed to struggle and the offense was supposed to excel, the roles were reversed until the end of the contest. Not only did New York’s defense hold the Cowboys to only six first-half points, but the defense scored a touchdown after cornerback Trumaine McBride forced wide receiver Cole Beasley to fumble and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned the loose ball 57 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing drive, linebacker Uani’ Unga intercepted Romo at the Dallas 22-yard line, setting up a 40-yard field goal right before halftime.

Meanwhile, the Giants offense puttered for most of the first half, accruing only six first downs and 86 total yards (33 rushing and 53 passing). At the half, the Giants led 13-6.

The Giants received the ball to start the second half and went up 16-6 after a 12-play, 68-yard drive set up a 30-yard field goal. However, the Cowboys responded with a 9-play, 80-yard effort that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown pass to cut the New York advantage to 16-13. This drive was aided by a very questionable Rodgers-Cromartie pass interference penalty on a 3rd-and-4 incomplete pass.

The score stayed that way until midway through the fourth quarter. Safety Brandon Meriweather’s hard hit on a receiver caused an interception that was returned by McBride to the Cowboys 1-yard line. One play later, Jennings scored and the Giants had a 10-point lead with just over eight minutes to play.

But alas it was not to be as New York’s defense collapsed late. The Cowboys drove 76 yards in six plays to cut the score to 23-20 with five minutes to play. Then came the long drive by the Giants that almost sealed the deal until the red zone failure.

The Cowboys out-gained the Giants in first downs (27-18), total net yards (436 to 289), and net passing yards (356 to 190). The Giants slightly out-gained the Cowboys in rushing yards (99 to 80). The equalizer was the Cowboys turned the football over three times while the Giants did not turn it over at all.

Manning finished the game 20-of-36 for 193 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Wide receiver Odell Beckham only caught five passes for 44 yards. Running back Shane Vereen caught four passes for 46 yards. The leading rusher was Jennings who had 52 yards on 13 carries with a 27-yarder on New York’s last field goal drive.

While the New York defense did force three turnovers, they rarely touched Romo who was not sacked and only officially hit once.

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at Giants.com.

DT Markus Kuhn left the game in the second half with a knee sprain and did not return. LT Ereck Flowers injured his ankle but returned to the game.

Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and various players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • LB J.T. Thomas (Video)
  • CB Trumaine McBride (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), LB Jon Beason (knee), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), S Cooper Taylor, TE Jerome Cunningham, OT Bobby Hart, and DT Louis Nix.

The Cowboys are 8-0 against the Giants in season openers.

The Cowboys have won five games in a row over the Giants.

According to FOX Sports, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has damage to three of the fingers on his right hand and Pierre-Paul had another skin graft procedure performed recently. In addition, because Pierre-Paul has not been able to lift weights, he has lost significant muscle mass. The Giants reportedly have told Pierre-Paul that they will re-evaluate his physical condition in six weeks.


Sep 082015
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Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul met with New York Giants on Monday, his first in-person interaction with team officials since the July 4th fireworks accident that caused serious injuries to his right hand and arm.

According to ESPN, Pierre-Paul underwent a physical and provided the New York Giants with all of the medical records related to injuries he suffered in the accident. In addition, the Giants were provided a tape of Pierre-Paul performing strength and conditioning workouts as well as defensive line drills. Since the accident, Pierre-Paul has been working with former defensive line coach John Blake on pass-rush technique with his hand in its current condition.

Multiple media sources are reporting that Pierre-Paul had a physical exam at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

ESPN says Pierre-Paul’s “first visit” with the team was to provide the Giants with an opportunity to physically evaluate the injured player to make an informed decision on how best to proceed.

“He could play this week, but he probably wont,” an unidentified source told ESPN. “If it was up to him, he would wrap his hand in a cast and play.”

It remains to be seen if there will be a roadblock over money. Pierre-Paul remains an unsigned Franchise player with a 1-year, $14.813 million tender. Pierre-Paul believes he can play now but the Giants medical staff may not agree. If Pierre-Paul is placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List, he would have to sit out at least six games, potentially costing him $5.5 million or more. The two sides may attempt to reach a compromise deal instead based on playing time and performance incentives.

ESPN is reporting that the Giants came away “encouraged by meetings with, and medical exam of” Pierre-Paul. ESPN says it is now anticipated that the Giants will speak to Pierre-Paul’s representatives by the end of Tuesday to discuss contract details and a potential timetable for his return to the practice and playing fields.

According to NJ.com, the New York Giants and the representatives for Eli Manning have been making progress in their efforts to reach a new deal for the quarterback. Manning is entering the final year of his current 6-year, $97.5 million contract that he signed in August 2009. NJ.com is reporting that the new contract could be finalized before the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

“I’m not a big fan of negotiations going on during the season,” Manning told WFAN Radio on Tuesday. “I’m hoping if this thing is going to get done, it’s going to get done very quickly. I would think both sides would want to do it that way and not have these talks continue on.”


Sep 072015
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Unsigned defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will meet with the New York Giants on Monday, his first meeting with team officials since the July 4th fireworks accident that caused serious injuries to his right hand and arm.

NFL.com is reporting that Pierre-Paul is taking a physical and will meet with team President/CEO John Mara, General Manager Jerry Reese, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Monday night “to clear the air and discuss how to proceed.”

Pierre-Paul currently remains the Giants Franchise player, with a 1-year, $14.813 tender. NFL.com says “before he signs his contract, however, there will be some negotiations between the two sides to arrive on a financial solution for a player who might miss some games because of his non-football injury.”

Pierre-Paul wants to avoid being placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List which would sideline him six games and cost him about $5.5 million in salary if the Giants choose not to pay him for games missed. On the other hand, the Giants are unlikely to want to give the seriously-injured Pierre-Paul almost $15 million. A compromise deal based on performance incentives and playing time might be reached.

Pierre-Paul believes he can play early in the season but it remains to be seen if the Giants agree.

NFL.com reports that the flexibility and range-of-motion in Pierre-Paul’s right hand is improving and that his broken bones have healed. That said, if allowed to play, Pierre-Paul would play with a cast on his right hand at least early in the season.

The Giants signed safety Craig Dahl on Monday and released safety Stevie Brown.

Dahl was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2007 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Giants (2007-08), Rams (2009-12), and 49ers (2013-15). The 49ers waived him last week. Dahl has started 43 regular-season games in his career, but only one in the last two seasons with the 49ers, where he was primarily a back-up safety and special teams player. Dahl has decent size but lacks ideal overall athleticism.

The Giants signed Stevie Brown on August 31 after he was cut by the Houston Texans.

The Giants have signed tight end Will Tye and defensive tackle Montori Hughes to the Practice Squad. The team still has two openings left on the 10-man squad.

Will Tye was signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants on May 11. The Giants waived him on September 1st in the first round of cuts.

Montori Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, he played in 16 games with one start. Hughes is a strong, mammoth nose tackle-type lineman who can hold his ground against the double team. He is a decent athlete for his size with some quickness to his game.

Not practicing on Monday due to injuries were WR Victor Cruz (calf), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), and DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring).

“(Cruz is) working in the pool,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He does run on the treadmill underwater, but that’s as far as I know…I don’t know anything. When he practices, I’ll let you know.”

DE Robert Ayers (ankle) and LB Jon Beason (knee) returned to practice. LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) and CB Trevin Wade (back) also practiced.

“We’re hoping (Beason can play Sunday),” said Coughlin. “We have to get him out there again and get him going. He’s excited and we’re excited.”

“Ayers actually looked pretty good today, hopefully that’s behind him,” said Coughlin.

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

Q: What was your message to the team out there?

A: When you have a practice like this…to be able to really talk about team, about responsibility, and about taking a look around. This is it, there’s no 100 guys, there’s 10 practice squad guys this year, and 53. We have to service each other, we have to help each other get better, and that’s the whole purpose of this thing. There is a responsibility to each other and we always talk about unity over self and so on and so forth, team above self, and that’s what this was about.

Q: You brought back safety Craig Dahl. Was it because of the relationship he has with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo?

A: That was part of it. We looked at him, obviously, on tape and so on and so forth, the fact that he’s played back there, he’s a veteran, he knows the system, and he can communicate well. He’ll have a few bumps in the road just to get going, but he’ll know what we’re doing and he’ll get us lined up.

Q: Special teams?

A: And special teams, I think he had 11 special teams tackles last year.

Q: What did you like about defensive tackle Louis Nix III and cornerback Asa Jackson?

A: Well, Jackson, a guy that’s played the nickel position, he started to play on the outside in Baltimore a year ago, so we thought that it was a good fit for us. The big tackle, we, of course, knew about him, discussed him thoroughly when he was coming out, and a couple years later he was available so we thought that this would be a good time to take him and work in. He had been at nose tackle, don’t really think that’s what he is, a three-technique, big guy who can move and who can run, so we were interested.

Q: There have been reports that Jason [Pierre-Paul] is going to be here today.

A: I have no idea. When Jason comes and he’s here, I’ll be glad to talk to you about it. I don’t have any information.

Q: Does your defense need him [JPP]?

A: We need a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul, certainly. He’s a guy that would add to our team provided he’s healthy and he can play at the level he’s played at.

Q: How much catching up would he have to do?

A: He’s got a lot to catch up with because, in other words, the other thing is I don’t know where he is from a conditioning standpoint; you don’t know how much he has been able to do. He’ll have some time to spend to get ready. I think he’ll come quickly through the football part of it. He’s had an iPad, he’s watched, so on and so forth. Hopefully that part will be, and we’ll be able to get him up to date on that. Of course, the other thing is he’s coming into a game plan situation, so it’s very specific, so he has to learn specifically what his responsibilities are as we get into the regular season rather than the entire playbook.

Q: So just to be clear here, you anticipate conditioning to be a bigger issue than scheme stuff?

A: First of all, his health, that’s the main thing.

Q: Do you have an update on Victor Cruz?

A: No, I don’t have an update.

Q: He [Cruz] hasn’t run still, as far as you’re aware.

A: He’s working in the pool. He does run on the treadmill underwater, but that’s as far as I know.

Q: Do you think it’s going to be tough…

A: I’m not answering, I don’t know anything. When he practices, I’ll let you know.

Q: Does he [Cruz] have to be handled differently because of the knee injury on top of the calf injury?

A: I thought we worked our way pretty much through that, but that could have an effect on what’s going on with the other leg, as well. You never know about that.

Q: Does [Jon] Beason look good to go this week and Sunday?

A: We’re hoping. We have to get him out there again and get him going. He’s excited and we’re excited.

Q: The same with DE [Robert] Ayers?

A: Yeah. Ayers actually looked pretty good today, hopefully that’s behind him.

Q: Back to Victor, how much would he have to practice?

A: He’d have to practice, he’d have to practice, and he’d have to get comfortable.

Q: Would it have to be days?

A: That’s not for you to know, that’s for me to know. If he looks good in practice, we’ll decide.

Q: Who’s your starting right guard?

A: Right now people are working in and out of there, and I think we’re okay with that.

Q: Is Wednesday the first big day of trying to get the game plan in?

A: Sure, yeah, that’s the first day.

Q: Have you sort of settled on Cooper [Taylor] getting that first shot at safety?

A: We’ll have something to say later in the week, but we’d like to see them all compete again and then we’ll make that call.

Q: Was it something that you didn’t see in Stevie Brown this past week?

A: No, we didn’t have as much time as we would like, obviously. I wish we had more time in the preseason to work with him, but we just felt at this time it was the right thing for us to do.

Q: Has it been unsettling to have so many questions about the offensive line and safety going into the first regular season game?

A: It’s pretty normal. If it isn’t that, it’s something else, but I’d like to have definite answers for you on all these guys, but sometimes you don’t have that.

Q: Does Dahl’s ability to play special teams factor into him over Stevie?

A: Someone asked that over here. He had 11 tackles last year on special teams.

Q: Has it been harder for you to go about planning this year when you have so many question marks?

A: No.

Q: Are you able to plan or are you moving on as if it’s not going to happen and if it does, it’s sort of a bonus?

A: There’s always a plan, everything is planned, everything is in great detail, sometimes you adjust, but everything is planned.

Q: How do you plan for JPP and moving forward?

A: When he gets here, we’ll see, we’ll see.

Q: Is it fair to think he [Pierre-Paul] is not going to play this weekend?

A: I’m not saying anything. Maybe he comes in and he’s in great shape and the doctors clear him right way, he practices two days, and goes and plays. I don’t know, I’m not sure about any of that, but I’m not going to rule that out, either.

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


The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media access to the team.

Sep 042015
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Steve Weatherford, New York Giants (January 22, 2012)

Steve Weatherford – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants Cut Steve Weatherford, Trade for Brad Wing: The New York Giants have released punter Steve Weatherford and acquired punter Brad Wing by trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 7th round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Weatherford signed with the Giants in 2011 after spending time with the Saints, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Jets. Weatherford tore ligaments in his left ankle last September and was hobbled with the injury for much of the 2014 season. He finished 18th in the NFL in punting average (45.5 yards per punt) and 25th in net punting average (38.6). The Giants were concerned with Weatherford’s declining directional punting, which remained an issue in the preseason.

An Australian, the left-footed Wing was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but he made the Steelers roster in 2014. He finished that season with a 43.7 yards per punt average (38.8 net). Wing averaged 48.2 yards per punt (39.3 net) in the 2015 preseason. Twenty of his 61 punts in 2014 were downed inside the 20-yard line. Wing also held for field goals and place kicks for the Steelers.

Weatherford’s base salary in 2015 would have been $2.175 million and he would have counted $3.075 million against the cap. Wing is scheduled to make $510,000 in salary in 2015. By releasing Weatherford, the Giants are hit by $900,000 in dead money against the 2015 cap.

September 4, 2015 New York Giants Injury Update: Center Brett Jones, who left the preseason finale with a knee injury, has a MCL sprain.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was also asked about the two players who were late scratches, cornerback Trevin Wade (back) and wide receiver Corey Washington (shoulder). “They are doing okay now,” said Coughlin.

Coughlin said he had no update on the status of wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and his availability for the season opener.

September 4, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Friday afternoon:

Let me start off by saying how difficult it was today to say goodbye to Steve Weatherford, who has been just an exceptional, exceptional human being, if I can put it that way, in terms of his – not only what he has contributed to the New York Giants on the football field but what he has done in the community, what he represents, the enthusiasm, the passion [and] the way that he had a unique ability to touch people in all parts of life. Whether it be a sick child, attending a funeral, just speaking to a junior high school group, whatever it might be, Steve had a very unique ability to come in to a room and be the light of the room and get people excited and emotional or speak to them in terms of remarks which showed compassion. When I spoke with Steve today, as he put it, the furthest thing from his mind at that time was to be speaking about football. He was very, very gracious in terms of speaking of his experience here with the New York Giants and what it has meant to he and his family and how he will always cherish his four years that he spent with us.

Q: What went into the decision and what do you like about Brad Wing?

A: Well, you know what, this is Steve’s day and I am going to stay away from talking about Wing or anything else, including the decision. It is not something that is done lightly, there have been evaluations that have gone on from the first day of training camp and the results are what we decided needed to be done at this time, but I am not going down that road today. I am thinking only of Steve Weatherford and what he has contributed here as a Giant.

Q: Do you talk to all players personally when you make these decisions?

A: Absolutely. I speak to every player.

Q:  With Weatherford on the field, everyone always talks about that Super Bowl run. Is that something that really sticks out to you as well?

A: Oh, no doubt about that part of it. If you remember in San Francisco, for example, when the field goal that was made that sent us to the Super Bowl – do you remember the guy that was going wild on the field? It was Steve. It was an experience unto itself because he was so excited about having that opportunity.

Q: You are going to have a lot of those conversations over this weekend. How hard is that?

A: So is everybody in the league that sits in this chair. It is not an easy thing; it is a most difficult thing. It is emotional in many ways, but every player that comes into the league – every coach understands that this is part of it, and even though it is by far one of the least popular things that has to happen, it still, nevertheless, has to be done, and we would like to think that we choose to do it with dignity.

Q: Any injuries out of last night?

A: Brett Jones had an MCL last night.

Q: Sprain?

A: Yeah.

Q: What happened with Corey Washington and Trevin Wade? You had sent out a list of guys that weren’t going to play. What happened in those last five hours that altered them being able to play and how are they doing now?

A: They are doing okay now, but there were a couple of events that came up that put it into a little different category, so they were held out of the game.

Q: Have you gotten any update on if Victor Cruz is going to be cleared anytime soon?

A: No.

Q: Is there a possibility of keeping multiple fullbacks on the roster? Is that something you have ever done before?

A: Well, first of all, there have been times when teams have kept more than one fullback; that certainly is nothing unusual. Obviously, they were then categorized as worthy in terms of being – whether you rank them 1 through 53 or however, they are worthy of being on the team, so that is not something unusual if in fact those players have fallen into the top part of your evaluation.

Q: How ready do you feel your team is to start the season?

A: Well, we’re going to start the season, so we better be ready. There are certainly many, many areas where we need to improve, and I think we will improve. I thought that there was – for the guys that played in the game last night – I thought they played hard and they competed well, so we certainly can learn something and take something from this. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the execution on offense for most of the night, and I think that an awful lot of that has to improve. I think we have to zoom in on a particular team and see if we can’t clean up our issues in terms of execution and finishing the play and doing the things necessary to be successful. I know everybody probably wants to talk about the green zone, but to me, it’s more than that. There are definite areas everywhere in our game that can be improved upon, but make no doubt about it – the season is underway and we’re going to have to get there in a hurry.

Q: Is there anyone that stood out for you in that game that really sort of helped their cause here maybe moving forward?

A: I thought there was any number of guys who did well and performed well in terms of their own particular game. Particularly, if you just cite individual plays – not necessarily the whole course of the game. Geremy Davis made a couple of plays, no doubt. [Jerome] Cunningham made nice plays. I thought Landon Collins made a couple of plays demonstrating, as I have told you earlier, I wanted to see him have to play the deep ball in the middle of the field and that happened. As a matter of fact, he should’ve had an interception, and he knocked the ball away on a crossing pattern way over near the far sideline, which showed me that his burst was there and he can get after it and knock the ball away. And he also got down close to the line of scrimmage and tackled and did some things of that nature. Certainly, you’d have to say George Selvie played well last night. Damontré [Moore], despite the penalties, came up with certainly a huge play at the end of the game. [Chris] Boswell – how about that kid coming in literally off the street and kicking off as well as he did, driving the ball deep and making four field goals when he hadn’t had really any time to speak of with Steve [Weatherford] as the holder since he’d been back. So there were a lot of individual plays. A lot of people had plays, and it would’ve been nice if [Uani’] Unga went up and had his hands on that ball that he ended up knocking down. You know, I’ve seen people catch that ball, and that would’ve been a nice thing to see. So there were plays throughout the game that were good examples. You had [Kenneth] Harper on the really nice cutback run. You had [Orleans] Darkwa with a couple of penetration runs up front, I thought. We went to kind of a two tight end and two back set in the second half and had some productive running opportunities, so there were plays along the line like that throughout the game.

Q: I know we seem to ask you this every week, but where do you stand now with the safety position? Did Cooper Taylor do anything to sort of solidify himself in that spot? I know he’s been playing with the first team all week.

A: Well, that was his opportunity. That’s basically what it was, and we’ll decide on those things going forward based on merit. Cooper [Taylor] did some good things last night, no doubt, and hopefully will continue.

Q: Can you just talk about your thoughts in opening Sunday night in Dallas in a situation where it’s going to be a pretty charged atmosphere and you seem to have to hit the ground running?

A: Well, it’s the opening game of the 2015 season. Everybody, we’re excited to be playing. We’re playing in the division. We’re playing against a team that was the division champion a year ago, that went deep into the playoffs. So they’re an outstanding team and we’ve been in this format before and we’re excited and look forward to going to Dallas and bringing our A game.

Q: What’s the ideal number of tight ends you’d like to carry on your roster moving forward here? If you had a perfect world and got to choose.

A: Well, if I had a perfect world, I’d… of course you’ve got to have the utilization of the tight ends, and with specific purpose. It’s a difficult position to man today in terms of the versatility that goes along with it. You’d like to have at least one tight end that can accomplish everything, and then others that are very specific, so you could have anywhere from three to four tight ends, and if you were not carrying a fullback, you might even have more depending on how they contribute to special teams.

September 4, 2015 Player Conference Calls: Transcripts of the following player conference calls on Friday afternoon are available on BigBlueInteractive.com:

Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:

Article on FB/DT Nikita Whitlock: Two-way player Whitlock hoping to stick with Giants by Tom Rock of Newsday