Aug 312022
 
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Jason Pinnock, New York Jets (January 2, 2022)

Jason Pinnock – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS CLAIM FOUR OFF OF WAIVERS, PLACE THREE ON IR…
The New York Giants claimed the following four players off of waivers on Wednesday:

  • G Jack Anderson (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • CB Justin Layne (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • CB Nick McCloud (Buffalo Bills)
  • S Jason Pinnock (New York Jets)

The 23-year old, 6’4”, 314-pound Anderson was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Bills. The Eagles signed Anderson off of Buffalo’s Practice Squad in September 2021. He played in two games with one start for Philadelphia. Anderson spent part of the 2021 season on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury.

The 24-year old, 6’2”, 192-pound Layne was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Steelers. In three years with Pittsburgh, Layne played in 43 regular-season games with no starts, being credited with 41 tackles.

The 24-year old, 6’0”, 193-pound McCloud was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Bills after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed him off of waivers in September 2021 and cut him in November. The Bills then re-signed McCloud to their Practice Squad. McCloud played in two regular-season games with the Bengals.

The 23-year old, 6’0”, 205-pound Pinnock was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Jets. He played in 12 games with two starts as a rookie, accruing 16 tackles, one pass defense, and two forced fumbles.

When asked about Pinnock, Head Coach Brian Daboll responded, “He’s good on teams. He had some good film out there. He’s played in the deep part of the field. We practiced against them; we played against them. He has some redeeming qualities and traits that when the guys watched him in the scouting department and our coaches, thought it would be a good claim.”

When asked about Anderson, Daboll replied, “He played (both guard and center). Smart – you know he got claimed by Philadelphia (when I was in Buffalo). So, didn’t want to lose him. I remember we didn’t want to lose him, but he had an opportunity to go and get claimed and looking forward to working with him again. He can play inside – either spot – and he can play center too.”

To make immediate room for these four, the Giants terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • TE Tanner Hudson
  • OG Max Garcia
  • DL Nick Williams
  • ILB Austin Calitro

Some or all of these four players may be back as soon as tomorrow. Players on the initial 53-man roster could not be officially placed on short-term Injured Reserve until 4PM on Wednesday. Daboll said on Wednesday that the team intends to place the following three players on short-term Injured Reserve:

  • OG Shane Lemieux (foot)
  • OLB Elerson Smith (ankle/foot)
  • CB Rodarius Williams (ACL)

These three players will have to remain on Injured Reserve for at least four games. “I think there’s a chance (all three could return this season),” said Daboll.

(Lemieux is) pretty resilient,” said Daboll. “Unfortunately, he’s been through it once, but he’s in good spirits. So, he’ll work back. He’s been already rehabbing, and he’ll be back as soon as he can.”

GIANTS SIGN 15 PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to the team’s 16-man Practice Squad:

  • QB Davis Webb
  • RB Jashaun Corbin
  • WR C.J. Board
  • WR Jaylon Moore
  • TE Austin Allen
  • OT Will Holden
  • OT Roy Mbaeteka
  • OT Garrett McGhin
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • OLB Quincy Roche
  • CB Harrison Hand
  • CB Zyon Gilbert
  • CB Darren Evans
  • S Trenton Thompson
  • S Nate Meadors

All 15 of these players were cut by the Giants yesterday.

Meanwhile, according to multiple media reports, safety Tony Jefferson is expected to be signed to the Practice Squad shortly. The 30-year old, 5’11”, 211-pound Jefferson was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2013-2016), Ravens (2017-2019, 2021-2022), and San Francisco 49ers (2021). Robinson has played in 104 regular-season games with 66 starts. However, he has not started a game since 2019, when he tore his ACL mid-season. Robinson has only played in six regular-season games since 2019.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

AUGUST 31, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Daniel Bellinger (concussion), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), and ILB Blake Martinez (excused absence) did not practice.

Day-to-day,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll about Thibodeaux and Ojulari. “Both of those guys – I’d say him and Azeez are rehabbing and doing a good job and getting better each day… They’re getting better. I know that.”

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice Thursday (11:45AM-1:15PM). General Manager Joe Schoen, Head Coach Brian Daboll, and select players will also address the media.

Aug 032022
 
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Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 28, 2022)

Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 3, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventh summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

“(We will be working on) first, second down,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “Back with the pads. We’re going to do 9-on-7 today. A run drill. So, defense knows it’s run. Offense knows it’s run. I think that’s important for the guys at the line of scrimmage to compete at that knowing that’s coming.”

INJURY REPORT…
The following players remain on injury lists:

  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles), OC Nick Gates (leg), and OT Matt Peart (knee)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring)

RB Antonio Williams (knee), WR Robert Foster (unknown), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), RT Matt Gono (unknown), CB Rodarius Williams (returning from ACL), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants practiced in full pads.
  • DL Jalyn Holmes continued to receive first-team snaps and played the run well in 9-on-7 drills.
  • Both Joshua Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan continued to see second-team reps at left and right tackle, respectively. Ben Bredeson was the left guard, Jamil Douglas the center, and Max Garcia the right guard.
  • WR Collin Johnson saw some first-team snaps.
  • In 1-on-1 pass rushing drills, OLB Quincy Roche beat RT Evan Neal with a spin move. Neal also was flagged for holding against OLB Kavyon Thibodeaux. ILB Darrian Beavers beat OL Joshua Ezeudu.
  • Also in 1-on-1 pass rushing drills, OC Jon Feliciano was able to handle NT Dexter Lawrence twice.
  • LT Andrew Thomas had no issues blocking OLB Oshane Ximines.
  • DL Leonard Williams remained a problem for those trying to block him. He’s having a strong training camp.
  • DL D.J. Davidson made his presence felt with penetration into the backfield.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, running backs Gary Brightwell and Jashaun Corbin flashed some explosiveness.
  • RB Saquon Barkley made two sharp cuts and showed a burst on a long touchdown run.
  • DL Ryder Anderson blew up a play in the backfield.
  • WR C.J. Board mishandled a perfect deep throw from QB Tyrod Taylor. Board then caught a pass from QB Daniel Jones and picked up big yardage after the catch.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor completed long passes to wide receivers Darius Slayton for a touchdown and Alex Bachman.
  • QB Davis Webb threw a deep touchdown pass to WR Kadarius Toney.
  • In 1-on-1 drills, WR Kenny Golladay scored a long touchdown despite solid coverage from CB Adoree’ Jackson on well-thrown deep ball form QB Daniel Jones.
  • First-team offensive impressed with a long touchdown drive with two QB Daniel Jones completions to WR Kenny Golladay, including one on third down; another 3rd down completion to WR David Sills and then a swing pass to RB Saquon Barkley for a touchdown with WR Wan’Dale Robinson providing a key block. Jones was 6-of-6 on this drive and he finished 9-of-10 for the day with one drop (by Robinson).
  • RB Matt Breida was left all alone on a flat pass. He turned on the jets and raced for a long touchdown with WR Alex Bachman providing a key block.
  • QB Davis Webb found WR Keelan Doss on a deep fade for a touchdown.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1554852261540597762

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media or public availability to the team on Thursday. The team holds its “Fan Fest” on Friday with an evening practice (6:15-8:30PM) at MetLife Stadium.

Jun 022022
 
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Brian Daboll, New York Giants (May 13, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 2, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their ninth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday, and third one open to the media. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. The last remaining OTA practice will be held on Friday. A mandatory mini-camp will also be held June 7-9.

Just rolling right along here,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice. “Practice nine. We have another one tomorrow, then we’ll have our mini camp next week. Roll into the summer break. Get ready for training camp in terms of logistics and all those things. So there’s been a lot of meetings relative to that. We’ll have more and try to be set here once next week hits. So go out there and try to have another good practice today.”

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Players wearing red jerseys because of injury issues included WR Kadarius Toney, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Collin Johnson, LT Andrew Thomas, OC Nick Gates, OT Matt Peart, ILB Blake Martinez, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, ILB Cam Brown, ILB T.J. Brunson, CB Aaron Robinson, CB Rodarius Williams, and CB Darren Evans

“The guys are still in red jerseys,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “They’re rehabbing. When they’re ready to go, they’ll be ready to go… (Thomas is) doing a good job. Everything we’ve asked him to do rehab-wise, really all the guys, they’re doing what they can do. When they’re ready to go, they’ll be ready to go… I think they’re all at different spots, the guys in red jerseys. Knock on wood, hopefully he’ll be good to go (by training camp).”

WR Kenny Golladay, CB Darnay Holmes, and S Jarren Williams were not spotted at practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • There was a heavier emphasis on 11-on-11 team drills in this practice.
  • First-team offensive line in team drills was LT Joshua Ezeudu, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Jon Feliciano, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Evan Neal. Ezeudu appeared to have issues at left tackle giving up pressure off of the edge.
  • Daniel Bellinger appeared to receive most of the first-team reps at tight end.
  • The second-team offensive line was LT Korey Cunningham, LG Jamil Douglas, OC Ben Bredeson, RG Marcus McKethan, and RT Matt Gono.
  • The first-team defense usually featured DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, OLB Azeez Ojulari, ILB Tae Crowder, CB Adoree’ Jackson, S Julian Love, S Xavier McKinney, and S Dane Belton.
  • Rotating in on the first-team defense were DL David Moa, DL Justin Ellis, OLB Elerson Smith, OLB Jihad Ward, ILB Justin Hilliard, ILB Micah McFadden, CB Cor’Dale Flott (slot), CB Michael Jacquet. Flott and Belton in particular saw a lot of first-team snaps.
  • By one account, QB Daniel Jones finished team drills 18-of-24. One of his passes should have been a pick-6 but CB Adoree’ Jackson dropped it. Jones also probably would have been “sacked” three times, including once by DL Leonard Williams.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw three touchdown passes, including to  TE Daniel Bellinger, WR Richie James (corner of end zone during 2-minute drill on 4th down), and WR David Sills on 4th down (who may have stepped out-of-bounds)
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson dropped what should have been a touchdown pass from QB Daniel Jones.
  • QB Daniel Jones’ most frequent target was RB Saquon Barkley, who picked up a sizable gain on a play out of the slot.
  • OLB Niko Lalos picked off QB Davis Webb in the end zone for a defensive touchdown.
  • OLB Elerson Smith had at least two “sacks” and applied consistent pressure.
  • WR Darius Slayton dropped two passes, including a nice deep pass from QB Tyrod Taylor for what should have been a touchdown. Taylor avoided blitzing LB Carter Coughlin on the play.
  • OLB Quincy Roche broke up a pass that he almost intercepted.
  • CB Zyon Gilbert flashed in coverage twice and CB Maurice Canady also broke up one pass.
  • WR Alex Bachman was active catching the ball from QB Davis Webb.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The  transcript and video of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Thursday 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:

Sep 232021
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 15, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Giants announced that OG Shane Lemieux, who is currently on Injured Reserve, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Although unlikely, Head Coach Joe Judge did not rule out Lemieux returning to the 53-man roster this season.

Judge was asked if the leg fracture suffered by OC/OG Nick Gates was career-threatening. “I’d be lying, from my perspective, if I said no,” Judge said. “I know there are some comparisons, but they are all different. I know he is receiving the best medical care possible, here, elsewhere, wherever it may be, so we’re confident he’ll be able to come back.”

LB Cam Brown (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hip), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), TE Evan Engram (calf), TE Kaden Smith (knee), NT Austin Johnson (illness), S Logan Ryan (hamstring), and S Nate Ebner (quad) were limited in practice.

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:

ELI MANNING ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning addressed the media on Thursday in advance of his induction into the team’s “Ring of Honor.” The transcript and video is available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday (11:30AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 172021
 
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NFL: New York Giants at Washington Football Team

The second time is the charm – © USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM 30 – NEW YORK GIANTS 29…
The New York Giants lost an absolutely heart-breaking contest to the Washington Football Team at FedExField in Maryland on Sunday night, losing on the final play of the game 30-29 when Washington’s place kicker got a second chance to kick the game-winning field goal. The Giants are now 0-2 for the fifth season in a row.

Worse for New York is that on a night that they placed left guard Shane Lemieux on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, they also lost center/guard Nick Gates with a broken left leg. Gates started at left guard in this game with Billy Price starting at center.

Quarterback Daniel Jones and offense had one of their best games during the brief Joe Judge era, but saw two potential touchdowns wiped out, one by a questionable holding penalty and another on a dropped pass. Nevertheless, it was the defense that really let the team down, allowing over 400 yards and 30 points to a Washington team led by back-up quarterback Taylor Heinicke. The defense simply could not hold any lead the offense provided in the game.

The defense actually started off strong, forcing two three-and-outs on Washington’s first two possessions. In between, the Giants scored a touchdown on their first possession of the game, driving 79 yards in 11 plays, culminating with a 6-yard touchdown run by Jones on 2nd-and-goal. The Giants threatened on their second possession as well when running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 41-yard run to the Washington 35-yard line. However, Jones was sacked on 3rd-and-2 from the 32-yard line and the Giants punted. Washington responded with a 13-play, 90-yard effort that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass by Heinicke. Washington converted on 4th-and-1 on this possession. The game was tied at 7-7 early in the second quarter.

After both teams exchanged punts, New York drove deep into Washington territory on a 10-play, 73-yard possession. However, the drive stalled in the red zone and the Giants settled for a 23-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. It was on this possession that Jones had a 58-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding call on wide receiver C.J. Board.

With four minutes to go before halftime, the defense once again collapsed late in the second quarter, just like they did last week against the Denver Broncos. Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham’s unit allowed Washington to march 84 yards in 12 plays to take a 14-10 lead at the half when running back J.D. McKissic ran for an easy touchdown on 3rd-and-1 from the 2-yard line.

The Giants received the ball to start the third quarter. They picked up 46 yards in nine plays to set up a successful 47-yard field goal by Gano to cut the score to 14-13. The defense forced a three-and-out, and it looked like the Giants were in the process of taking control of the game when they put together yet another scoring drive, this one 65 yards in seven plays and resulting in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton. Giants 20-Washington 14.

Washington responded with a scoring drive of their own, moving the ball 44 yards in seven plays to set up a 49-yard field goal. The Giants now led 20-17 near the end of the third quarter. Back came New York with their own field goal drive, this one traveling 41 yards in six plays to set up a 52-yard field goal by Gano. The Giants were now up 23-17 early in the fourth quarter.

The tit-for-tat field goal drives continued. Washington drove 56 yards in 11 plays with the 37-yard field goal cutting the score to 23-20. New York picked up 38 yards in eight plays and Gano impressively connected from 55 yards out. The Giants were up by six points with 4:50 left in the game. However, the Giants missed a tremendous opportunity to put the game away here when Slayton dropped what should have been a 43-yard touchdown catch. That would come back to haunt New York.

Once again, the defense collapsed. In just two plays, Heinicke first found McKissic for a 56-yard reception, and then immediately followed that up with a 19-yard touchdown. It took just 17 seconds for Washington to regain the lead, 27-26.

It looked bleak for the Giants when they were forced to punt on the ensuing possession after gaining just one first down. Washington got the ball back, with a 1-point lead and 3:13 on the clock. After allowing 14 yards on two rushing plays, the defense finally made a play when cornerback James Bradberry, who had been abused all night, intercepted Heinicke on 2nd-and-7 at the Washington 20-yard line with 2:16 left in the game.

Two runs by Barkley only picked up three yards, and Jones’ 3rd-and-7 pass fell incomplete. Gano kicked his fifth field goal of the night, this one from 35 yards out. The Giants were up 29-27 with exactly two minutes left to play.

Again, the defense folded as Washington moved from their own 25-yard line to the New York 30-yard line in nine plays. Washington also converted on 4th-and-1 for the second time in the game on this possession. With five seconds left, Washington’s kicker attempted a 48-yard field goal to win the game. The kick sailed wide right. However, defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence was offsides. Washington’s kicker did not miss the subsequent 43-yard kick with no time on the clock.

Jones had a strong game. He completed 22-of-32 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He also ran for 95 yards on nine carries. Jones should have had two more touchdowns had it not been for a holding penalty and dropped pass. His leading receiver was Sterling Shepard with nine receptions for 94 yards. Barkley had a 41-yard run, but only gained 16 yards on his other 12 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed Heinicke to complete 34-of-46 passes for 336 yards. They only sacked him once. Washington also ran for 87 yards on 22 carries.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
LG Shane Lemieux (knee) was placed on Injured Reserve before the game and OC Matt Skura was signed from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

WR C.J. Board and TE Chris Myarick were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were TE Evan Engram (calf), LB Cam Brown (hamstring), WR Collin Johnson, LB Quincy Roche, LB Justin Hilliard, CB Sam Beal, and CB Josh Jackson.

OC/OG Nick Gates broke his lower left leg in the first half and did not return.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Friday.

Aug 312021
 
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Shane Lemieux, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

Shane Lemieux – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 31, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – SHANE LEMIEUX HAS PARTIALLY-TORN TENDON…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey

CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) is on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR John Ross (hamstring?), TE Evan Engram (calf), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), and CB Josh Jackson (unknown) did not practice on Tuesday. 

When Head Coach Joe Judge was asked for an update on Engram, he responded, “To be honest with you, we’ll kind of see in the next couple of days where we think this could go. We’re only a few days out right now, he’s a guy that’s shown some quick turnaround in the past. Last year he had something very similar, so we’ll see where this is. It’s not the same injury as before, but we’ll see how his body responds, make decision for him and the team.”

When asked if he will be available for Week 1, Judge replied, “I really couldn’t give you an answer to that right now. It’s very much a gray area right now in terms of where he’s going to be going. I’ll kind of give him a couple more days, see where he’s at, see how he progresses, see if we move around a little bit, we’ll kind of make a decision from there.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (foot/ankle), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring?), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), and OG Shane Lemieux (knee) did participate in practice.

However, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury Lemieux suffered early in training camp is in fact a partially-torn patellar tendon. The Athletic is also reporting that the current plan is to have Lemieux attempt to play though the injury without surgery.

Judge was asked about Lemieux today before practice. “I’d say these next few days will tell a lot,” said Judge. “I don’t think we’re going to see anything today that’s going to really push one way or the other on that. He’s been trending the right direction, he’s had some good work. Obviously, we kept him behind when we went to New England to work with the trainers. That was a positive week for him. Tomorrow and Thursday will kind of be big tells for us in terms of going in that Week 1, maybe what we can expect to see.”

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Wednesday afternoon (2:15-4:00PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Jan 182021
 
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Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates, New York Giants (November 2, 2020)

Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates – © USA TODAY Sports

New Head Coach Joe Judge was hired by the New York Giants in early January 2020. After an atypically long vetting process, the team announced its complete staff a month later in early February. The extremely well-organized new head coach was all set to initiate his program to turn the franchise around. Then disaster struck. COVID-19 forced the league to shut down in the spring and much of the summer. The challenges for a new head coach trying to rebuild most of the roster seemed almost insurmountable.

Probably the position most affected by these developments was the offensive line. The Giants entered 2020 knowing they would have to have new starters at center and at least one of the tackle spots. That quickly became three starters when left tackle Nate Solder decided to sit out 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Right tackle Mike Remmers had already signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. The only free agent addition was journeyman swing tackle Cam Fleming. It was obvious that most of the help would have to come from the draft, where the Giants selected Andrew Thomas in the 1st round, Matt Peart in the 3rd round, and Shane Lemieux in the 5th round. Despite those additions, there was still a glaring hole at center, with no obvious candidate to start other than the disappointing Spencer Pulley and talk of possible conversion projects.

With the desperate need to sort all of this out, Joe Judge was being told he could have no mini-camps, no Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices, a dramatically scaled back training camp, and no preseason. Teams were told they could only hold 14 padded practices before the season. 14 practices to get rookie Andrew Thomas ready at left tackle. 14 practices to find and name a starting center. 14 practices to figure out who to start at right tackle. 14 practices to build cohesion and chemistry for a group largely unfamiliar with each other.

The early returns were predictable. The line struggled. Converted guard/tackle Nick Gates was moved to center, a position that he had never played, and he had a rough start. Andrew Thomas did not look like the 4th player taken in the draft and fans began to question the pick, arguing the team drafted the wrong lineman. There was no time for Matt Peart to seriously challenge Cam Fleming for the right tackle job, and Fleming continued to demonstrate he really wasn’t an ideal starter. All of this was made worse by the fact that the two guys who the team needed to rely on, guards Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez, were once again not playing as well as expected.

Saquon Barkley was lost in Week 2 and the Giants had no ground game early in the season outside of Daniel Jones running for his life. No Giant had more than 30 yards rushing in the first two games and no Giant had more than 50 yards rushing in the first four games. Jones was the team’s leading rusher in four of the first seven games of the season. Jones was also getting sacked early and often, something that never really totally abated as he was sacked 45 times and NYG quarterbacks sacked 50 times on the season (or over three per game).

Despite all of this negativity and an 0-5 start, something began to change in October. A hodgepodge group of backs and Jones began to hurt teams on the ground as the offensive line began playing better. In eight of their next nine games, the Giants ran for over 100 yards or more. In seven of these games, they ran for over 130 yards or more. The high point was a 190-yard rushing effort against the Seattle Seahawks on December 6th. The line appeared to be developing into a physical, smash-mouth unit almost overnight.

Why? First, Nick Gates made a miraculous transformation from an undrafted tackle to a big, feisty, physical presence at center. In just a few games, he clearly became the team’s best offensive lineman. Second, Andrew Thomas settled down and started playing much, much better. Third, the Giants replaced Will Hernandez with Shane Lemieux at left guard, and while that created some pass protection issues, Lemieux’s presence seemed to be an upgrade in the run-blocking department. Finally, Kevin Zeitler started to play better. Matt Peart did receive increased playing time, receiving significant snaps in half of the games, but right tackle remained a bit of a sore spot with Cam Fleming.

In mid-November, Joe Judge surprisingly fired Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo, bringing onboard outsider Dave DeGuglielmo, who ironically had served under Tom Coughlin from 2004 to 2008. DeGuglielmo would later miss the last week of the season due to COVID-19.

The line struggled in three-game stretch in December before finishing strong in the season finale against Dallas. In those three games, New York never rushed for more than 80 yards and Giants’ quarterbacks were sacked 13 times. Nevertheless, the overall impression was despite all of COVID-19-related handicaps, the Giants actually finally made progress in rebuilding the offensive line in 2020. There appears to be a young, talented foundation to work with.

THE STARTERS

Despite having no prior experience at playing the position, and after a rough start, Nick Gates not only solidified the center position for the Giants but rapidly became the team’s best lineman. Gates started all 16 games at center. He was flagged with five penalties (two holding, one false start, one unnecessary roughness, and one illegal block). The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed all of 2018 with a foot injury that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve before the season started. In 2019, Gates was active for all 16 games with three starts (two starts at right tackle and one start at right guard). Gates is a versatile player, able to play tackle, guard, and center. He has good size and brings toughness and attitude to the offensive line. Gates is a solid pass and run blocker.

The Giants drafted Andrew Thomas in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Thomas started 15 games at left tackle despite playing on a left ankle injury that required offseason surgery in January 2021. Thomas was benched for the start of one game for being late to a team meeting. In terms of his overall play, Thomas struggled early, but markedly improved as both a pass and run blocker as the year progressed. He was flagged with five penalties (three false start and two holding penalties) on the season. Thomas has a big frame (6’5”, 315lbs) and long arms. He is a strong, physical run blocker who can get movement at the point-of-attack. He is athletic enough to get to the second level and works to finish his blocks. Thomas is a good athlete and he flashes excellent pass protection skills, but he needs to improve his overall technique and consistency in that department.

The Giants signed Cam Fleming as an unrestricted free agent from the Dallas Cowboys in March 2020. He ended up starting all 16 games at right tackle, by far the most in his career in a single season. But Fleming was arguably the weak link up front, regularly missing blocks. Fleming was also credited with four false starts and two holding penalties. The 6’5”, 320-pound Fleming was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. After four years in New England, he played two seasons with the Cowboys. In seven NFL seasons, Fleming has played in 91 regular-season games with 42 starts. Fleming is versatile lineman who can play both tackle spots. He has good size. However, Fleming seems better suited to a reserve, swing-tackle type role than starter.

While the overall play of Kevin Zeitler improved in his second season with the Giants, he still did not meet expectations in 2020. Zeitler started all 16 games at right guard. He was flagged four times on the year (one holding, three false starts). Zeitler was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed a 5-year, $60 million contract with the Browns in March 2017, which at the time made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. The Giants acquired Zeitler by trade from the Cleveland Browns in March 2019 in exchange for linebacker Olivier Vernon. In eight seasons, Zeitler has started 134 of the 135 regular-season games he has played in. Zeitler has good size (6’4”, 315lbs). Once regarded as one of the best guards in the game as both a run and pass blocker, Zeitler’s play in recent years has been more inconsistent. Nevertheless, he is still a solid, steady, veteran presence up front.

The Giants drafted Shane Lemieux in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He surprisingly ended up playing in 12 games with nine starts starts at left guard, stealing Will Hernandez’s position. He was only flagged once (false start) all year. The 6’4”, 310-pound Lemieux started an incredible 52 games in college, never missing a game. He is a tough, feisty, blue-collar lineman with some athletic limitations. Lemieux needs to get stronger, but he is a physical presence in the ground game with a feel for blocking angles. He struggled at times as a pass protector.

After starting every game in his first two years in the league in 2018 and 2019, Will Hernandez lost his starting left guard job to Shane Lemieux after the seventh game of the season. Hernandez missed two games in early November due to COVID-19. He was flagged only once (one holding penalty) all year. The Giants selected Hernandez in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was named named to Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. Hernandez has good size, strength, and toughness for the guard position, but he appears to lack ideal lateral agility. This hampers his play as a run blocker on the move and as a pass blocker when isolated against quick defenders. He can move defenders with his strength and power.

THE RESERVES

The Giants selected Matt Peart in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Peart played in 11 games with one start at left tackle. He did play in 15 percent of all offensive snaps, receiving some quality playing time. He missed one game in late November due to COVID-19. The 6’7”, 318-pound Peart was a 4-year starter in college with experience at both tackle spots. Peart combines excellent size, long arms, and good overall athletic ability. He has the frame to get bigger and stronger. As expected, Peart was inconsistent as a rookie and needs more technique refinement.

Spencer Pulley spent all of 2020 as the team’s primary reserve center, but he did not play. Pulley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers after the 2016 NFL Draft. Spencer started all 16 regular-season games for the Chargers in 2017 at center. The Giants claimed Pulley off of waivers from the Chargers in September 2018. That season, Pulley was inserted into the starting line-up in late October. He struggled in his nine starts at center and missed one game due to an injury. In 2019, Pulley played in four games with one start in which he again struggled. He also is able to play guard.

The Giants claimed Jackson Barton off of waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs in early September 2020. Despite remaining on the 53-man roster all season, Barton never played in 2020. The 6’7”, 302-pound Barton was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs signed him off of the Colts’ Practice Squad in 2019. He has yet to play in a regular-season NFL game.

The Giants signed Kyle Murphy as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He was signed to the Practice Squad in early September and then signed to the 53-man roster in mid November. Murphy did not play in a regular-season game in 2020. Murphy was a 3-year starter in college with experience all along the offensive line.

The 6’5”, 315-pound Chad Slade was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Houston Texans after the 2015 NFL Draft. Slade spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve, and the 2016 and 2018 seasons on the Practice Squad of the Texans. In 2017, Slade played in five games with three starts (two at right guard and one at tight end) for the Texans. The Giants signed Slade to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019. While he surprisingly made the team, he wasn’t active for any game. Slade spent all of 2020 on New York’s Practice Squad.

The 6’6”, 315-pound Kenny Wiggins was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011), San Francisco 49ers (2012-2013), San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-2017), and Lions (2018-2020). The Lions cut Wiggins in late October 2020. The Giants signed Wiggins to the 53-man roster in November, cut him 10 days later, and then signed him to the Practice Squad for the remainder of the season. Overall, Wiggins has played in 79 regular-season games with 38 starts.

COVID-19 OPT-OUT

Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 issue. In March 2018, the Giants made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they signed him away from the New England Patriots as unrestricted free agent. However, despite 32 straight starts at left tackle for New York, Solder has not played well at all with the Giants. He really struggled during the first half of 2018 before settling down a bit during the second half of the season. In 2019, his inconsistent play throughout the year both as a pass protector and run blocker was a significant factor in the team’s struggles. The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In nine seasons, Solder has started 127 of the 130 regular-season games he has played in. He is a long, lean tackle with good overall athleticism. However, off-the-field issues with a sick child could understandably be affecting his focus and play.

Nov 062020
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 2, 2020)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS PLACE RYAN LEWIS ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed cornerback Ryan Lewis on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury. Lewis has played in five games for the Giants this year with three starts, accruing 13 tackles and one pass defense. He will be eligible to return after missing at three games.

Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). The Giants signed Lewis to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and to the 53-man roster two weeks later.

NOVEMBER 6, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
OG Will Hernandez (Reserve/COVID) and CB Ryan Lewis (hamstring) did not practice on Friday. Neither will play on Sunday against the Washington Football Team.

RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (shoulder/toe), LB Blake Martinez (hamstring), LB Devante Downs (shoulder), and S Logan Ryan (hip) were limited in practice. Freeman has officially been ruled “out” of Sunday’s game. The other four players are expected to be available to play.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Washington Football Team in Maryland on Sunday.

Jul 282020
 
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Shakial Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (October 20, 2019)

Shakial Taylor – © USA TODAY Sports

ALL OF NEW YORK GIANTS 2020 NFL DRAFT CLASS SIGNED…
The New York Giants announced late yesterday that all 10 of their 2020 NFL Draft picks have officially signed. This includes offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (1st round), safety Xavier McKinney (2nd round), offensive tackle Matt Peart (3rd round), cornerback Darnay Holmes (4th round), offensive guard Shane Lemieux (5th round), linebacker Cam Brown (6th round), linebacker Carter Coughlin (7th round), linebacker T.J. Brunson (7th round), defensive back Chris Williamson (7th round), and linebacker Tae Crowder (7th round).

ROSTER MOVES – GIANTS CLAIM CORNERBACK SHAKIAL TAYLOR…
The New York Giants have claimed defensive back Shakial Taylor off of waivers from the Denver Broncos. The 23-year old, 6’0”, 181-pound Taylor was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2019 NFL Draft. He was then claimed off of waivers by the Broncos in November 2019. Taylor played in five games and accrued seven tackles and one pass defense as a rookie.

The Giants have also waived undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Malcolm Elmore, who failed his physical due to a non-football injury.

Wide receiver David Sills was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, which means he either tested positive for the virus or came into contact with someone who did. While he remains on the list, Sill does not count against the team’s 90-man roster limit. The 6’3”, 211-pound Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Sills to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. The Giants then signed him to the 53-man roster in mid-December. He did not play in a game however.

Quarterback Alex Tanney was placed on the Non-Football Illness List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. The 6’4”, 220-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). He surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game.

Linebacker Tae Crowder was placed on the Non-Football Injury List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants selected Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

In other moves, the team officially announced that they have waived place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The signing of international player running back Sandro Platzgummer also became official.

GIANTS DECIDE TO GO SPLIT-SQUAD ROUTE…
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, NFL teams had to decide whether they wanted to reduce their training camp rosters on July 28 or August 16. The Giants have chosen the latter. But in doing so, the team must be split into (1) veteran and (2) rookies/first-year players/rehabbing players/select quarterbacks contingents until August 16. Teams will be allowed to begin practicing on August 17.

NEW YORK GIANTS VETERANS REPORTS TO CAMP…
As scheduled, the bulk of New York Giants players reported to training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Tuesday. Quarterbacks, rookies, and rehabbing players reported on July 23.

Actual practices are not expected to be held until mid-August due to COVID-19 restrictions. All preseason games have been canceled. The Giants’ regular-season Monday night home opener is currently scheduled for September 14th. For the players who arrived on Tuesday, the current schedule looks like this:

  • July 28: Report and receive first test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 29: Report and receive second test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 30: Stay at home/hotel and only participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 31: Report and receive third test; participate in virtual meetings.
  • August 1-2: Players who test negative receive physicals and equipment fitting.
  • August 3-16: Strength and conditioning and on-field walk-throughs.
  • August 17: Helmet and shells practices begin, slowing being ramped up to full-padded work (14 padded practices maximum).

According to media reports, the Giants will conduct most training camp functions at MetLife Stadium in order to be better comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The home and away locker rooms at the stadium will allow for greater social distancing. The Giants will also have access to suites inside the stadium in order to hold team meetings. However, the Giants will still practice at nearby Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Practices will not be open to the public.

Jul 222020
 
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Darnay Holmes, UCLA Bruins (November 24, 2018)

Darnay Holmes – © USA TODAY Sports

THREE MORE DRAFT PICKS AGREE TO TERMS…
SNY is reporting that New York Giants 2020 NFL Draft picks cornerback Darnay Homes (4th round), offensive guard Shane Lemieux (5th round), and linebacker Cam Brown (6th round) have agree to terms. Linebacker Tae Crowder (7th round) signed his contract in early May.

SNY is also reporting that safety Xavier McKinney (2nd round), offensive tackle Matt Peart (3rd round), linebacker Carter Coughlin (7th round), linebacker T.J. Brunson (7th round), and defensive back Chris Williamson (7th round) are expected to agree to terms by the start of training camp. Only offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (1st round) is not “imminent.” However, since draft pick salaries are slotted, even Thomas’ deal is not expected to be an issue.

TRAINING CAMP ON HOLD UNTIL COVID TESTING PROCEDURES AGREED UPON…
The plan to have quarterbacks, rookies, and injured players report to New York Giants training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday, July 23 is currently on hold until there is more clarity on COVID-19 testing procedures for NFL players. According to media reports, the rookies have been told to stay home and not to travel to New Jersey at the present time. All other players were to have reported by July 28. Coaches began arriving on July 17.

That said, based on social media video, a number of players are already in the area working out, including quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, cornerback Darnay Holmes, and safety Jabrill Peppers.

According to media reports, the Giants will conduct most training camp functions at MetLife Stadium in order to be better comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The home and away locker rooms at the stadium will allow for greater social distancing. The Giants will also have access to suites inside the stadium in order to hold team meetings. However, the Giants will still practice at nearby Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

The current NFL-NFL Players Association plan appears to require players to be tested on the first and fourth day of camp, with only virtual meetings being held in between tests. Players who pass both tests would then be allowed to congregate at the team facility. Meanwhile, daily testing would continue for at least the first two weeks of training camp. If the rate of positive tests remains below 5 percent at the 2-week mark, testing will occur every other day.

NO PRESEASON GAMES THIS YEAR…
Although it has not yet been officially announced, press reports indicate that there will be no preseason games this year due to the COVID-19 issue. The NFL had originally reduced the number of preseason games from four to two.

NO FANS AT METLIFE STADIUM OR TRAINING CAMP…
The governor of New Jersey has decreed that his executive order limiting the size of our outdoor gatherings due to the COVID-19 issue also applies to MetLife Stadium. Thus, until further notice, fans will not be allowed to attend football games at the stadium. In addition, the order also applies to training camp and fans will not be allowed to view summer practices in person.

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