Oct 302017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 22, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY REPORT…
Center Weston Richburg (concussion), offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), defensive end Cap Capi (hamstring), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) did not practice on Monday. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle) performed in some individual drills.

Running back Paul Perkins, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and cornerback Eli Apple were all excused from practice for personal reasons.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Tuesday. The team returns to practice on Wednesday.

Sep 142017
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (August 21, 2017)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY UPDATE – ODELL BECKHAM, JR. PRACTICES…
Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis.

“Better than yesterday, for sure,” said Beckham. “It’s been getting better over the past couple days. Probably the best I’ve felt yet. So, I’m going in the right direction.”

When asked how realistic it was for him to play last Sunday, Beckham responded, “As bad as I wanted to play, it just wasn’t there. It had been three weeks. The injury hadn’t even been a month since it happened. It’s a six to eight week thing. Unfortunately, as much as I was trying my hardest to get out there, it just wasn’t enough time.”

When asked if he will play on Monday, Beckham answered, “I can’t tell you that right now, but I’m trying my hardest, that’s for sure.”

Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle/hand) fully practiced.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Aug 142017
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (August 11, 2017)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 14, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their thirteenth summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived/injured wide receiver Kevin Norwood (injured hip during practice on Sunday) and tight end Colin Thompson (appendectomy on Saturday). To fill those vacant roster spots, the Giants signed wide receiver Andrew Turzilli and rookie free agent linebacker Chris Casher (Faulkner University).

Turzilli was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Titans (2015), San Francisco 49ers (2015), and Detroit Lions (2016-2017), but he only played in three NFL games. The Lions waived him in May. Turzilli is a tall (6’4”, 195 pounds) wideout with a good catch radius and sneaky deep speed.

Casher was signed by the Oakland Raiders as a rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Raiders waived him in early August. A highly-regarded prospect coming out of high school, Casher has good size (6’4”, 260 pounds). Casher suffered a number of serious knee issues and was involved in off-the-field incidents at Florida State before transferring to Faulkner University.

Norwood was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Norwood has spent time with the Seahawks (2014), Carolina Panthers (2014-2015), and San Diego Chargers (2016). The Chargers terminated his Practice Squad contract in November and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad. Norwood has played in 10 regular-season games with two starts. He has nine career receptions for 102 yards.

Thompson was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

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

Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), wide receiver Kevin Snead (lower body), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), safety Duke Ihenacho (hamstring), and safety Ryan Murphy (lower body) did not practice.

Linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol) and linebacker Devon Kennard (unknown) were limited.

Defensive tackle Corbin Bryant was carted off of the field after suffering a right elbow injury. He appeared to be in a lot of pain.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Overcast/Cloudy day, very comfortable temperature. Second-to-last day of training camp and it was the sloppiest practice I saw from an execution standpoint. A lot of mental mistakes.

  • Aldrick Rosas got the “live” field goal attempts today, he was perfect until the final attempt where he went wide right. I think it was from roughly 50 yards.

Offense Notes:

  • Got a few looks at the newest O-Lineman, Corin Brooks. He is playing guard and appears to have a solid, developed body. He was beat off the ball by DE Romeo Okwara. He struggled to move laterally with any sort of power presence and was easily pushed back. Training camp body-only I think.
  • This was the worst OL day of camp in my opinion. LT Ereck Flowers was getting beat on what seemed to be literally every play by DE Olivier Vernon. Inside, outside, bull rush, double moves…it didn’t matter. He just didn’t look competitive out there. There was one play where Vernon faked inside, jump-cut outside, and reached Manning without even being touched. He and Bobby Hart were both responsible for false starts within a few plays of each other. Not good.
  • OG D.J. Fluker ended up on the ground one play, clutching his ankle but he limped off and was back out there a little awhile later. He and RT Adam Bisnowaty were beat badly on a stunt by DT Jay Bromley and DE Kerry Wynn. Fluker seems to really struggle with reads and quick decisions while pass blocking. He can be fooled and he doesn’t have the necessary make up speed.
  • OC Brett Jones really struggled. He lost a lot of battles when he was asked to move laterally. The backup C job is his as of now, but I don’t think it is locked up. Adam Gettis is right behind him and brings a bit more versatility.
  • RB Paul Perkins was getting stuffed trying to run inside all day. He also had a bad drop from Manning in the red zone with nobody around him.
  • The backup WRs had a hard time separating from man coverage today. A lot of these backups are physical, solid pass catchers but they don’t have the speed or quick twitch to run themselves open. WR Roger Lewis has the ability, but he is still very rusty when it comes to the nuances of route running. Odell Beckham is constantly in his ear about how to get off the line and away from the CB in small areas.
  • The TE battle is becoming more clear to me. Will Tye will be the odd man out as well as training camp MVP candidate Matt LaCosse. Still have a ways to go though. Tye saw the perfect storm come his way this offseason, a free agent and a 1st round pick were brought in from the outside at his position. In addition, a 2016 draft pick in Jerell Adams was a one- to two-year project upon arrival and, well, time’s up. Adams looks very solid. LaCosse gets the #4 spot if they keep that many, but his main strength is the ability to catch the ball in traffic. Even with that in mind, he won’t be able to get on the field unless guys start getting hurt. Tye had his shot in 2016 to show what he could and he is competing hard here at camp, but I just don’t see how he can make it above the other guys.

Defense Notes:

  • DT Corbin Bryant appeared to be in a ton of pain and was down for awhile with an elbow injury.
  • It may be tough for the offense to play at a high level day in, day out when their opponent can rightfully be considered one of the best in the league. That is where I am labeling NYG at this point.
  • The impact of DT Damon Harrison won’t be recognized by the casual fan that simply follows the ball when they watch. But make no mistake, like I said in mid-July, he is the most important player on this defense. DTs Jay Bromley and Dalvin Tomlinson will benefit greatly from playing next to him. Good to see DT Robert Thomas back out there, getting off the ball well and winning most of his one on one fights. He dominated OC Brett Jones on a couple of occasions.
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul looks like he can do what he wants, when he wants when TEs and FBs try to block him. His reach is so long and powerful, he made FB Shane Smith look like a little kid on one play. Keeping him at bay, then tossing him aside to make a run stop.
  • S Eric Pinkins, whom I have discussed a few times, has a shot at making this team as a special teamer. His safety skill set, however, is still on the uphill climb as he simply doesn’t react well or forecast routes.
  • The backup defensive backs were struggling to be on the same page today. CB DaShaun Amos, S Nat Berhe, and S Andrew Adams in particular. If there is one spot I am most unsure about, it is the spot next to Landon Collins. With how close he plays to the line of scrimmage and how often he is playing down hill, that spot needs to be locked up and reliable.
  • Very curious to see how this LB group shakes out. Keenan Robinson and Mark Herzlich are locks to make this team, so I think just one out of Deontae Skinner, Calvin Munson, and Curtis Grant are going to make it. Munson probably offers more upside based on his instincts and aggression, but Skinner and Grant are much more physical. Grant had a very solid day.

Three Standouts:

  • FB Shane Smith: Not only did he make a couple of solid lane-clearing blocks, he caught a couple balls in team drills and even got a red zone carry. Having a fullback behind Manning that can make the occasional play, especially as a rusher, gives the defense something extra to account for. If they don’t keep the FB and opt for TEs filling that role, it pretty much takes away that rushing possibility. Smith is a very good athlete and it is starting to show as he gets more secure with his assignments.
  • DE Olivier Vernon: I guess it’s not very fair to discuss Flowers’ rough day without giving props to Vernon. OV looks so far developed and after a year of being here with these coaches and surroundings, I think we can plan on a big year from him. He makes himself so low and hard to grab with immense power and quickness. I think he is in line for a big year.
  • WR Jerome Lane: It looks like these bottom-of-the-roster WRs have no shot at making this team unless an injury occurs. However, with the value this coaching staff has on Special Teams and knowing Lane has recent linebacker experience, he could be a surprise make. In addition, Lane has been catching everything in traffic. He is the biggest, strongest WR on the team outside of Brandon Marshall.

Last report coming your way tomorrow. Here is today’s video:

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 1-on-1 drills, WR Odell Beckham, Jr. made a one-handed catch for a touchdown over CB Janoris Jenkins. Beckham later made a diving, finger-tip grab of a pass from Manning over Jenkins.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on field goal attempts.
  • TE Evan Engram dropped a low pass over the middle from QB Eli Manning.
  • The Giants have been lining up WR Odell Beckham in the backfield quite a bit this summer. On one play, CB Eli Apple did a nice job of staying with him after a double-move coming out of the backfield.
  • CB Valentino Blake broke up a QB Josh Johnson pass intended for TE Evan Engram.
  • RB Wayne Gallman dropped a check-down pass.
  • WR Keeon Johnson dropped a pass over the middle.
  • Josh Johnson was the #2 quarterback during practice.
  • Orleans Darkwa received a few first-team reps at running back.
  • CB Michael Hunter jumped a QB Josh Johnson slant pass to WR Keeon Johnson, but dropped the pick.
  • QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown against S Landon Collins.
  • Curtis Grant received some first-team reps at linebacker in place of Devon Kennard (who was limited).
  • Tight end Jerell Adams dropped a short pass.
  • Running back Paul Perkins dropped a short pass over the middle.
  • QB Eli Manning found WR Brandon Marshall over the middle for a touchdown. Marshall later beat CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for another score.
  • In a 3-TE set, QB Eli Manning hit TE Will Tye over the middle for a touchdown during 7-on-7 drills.
  • WR Dwayne Harris made a leaping TD catch on a pass from QB Josh Johnson against a busted coverage.
  • WR Keeon Johnson scored a touchdown on a pass from QB Geno Smith against a busted coverage. Smith then found TE Will Tye for a touchdown on a fade pass. He also hit WR Andrew Turzelli in the end zone.
  • Offensive tackles Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart were flagged with false starts.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, WR Brandon Marshall beat S Darian Thompson, but he couldn’t come down with a high QB Eli Manning pass.
  • FB Shane Smith scored on a goal-line rushing effort.
  • Calvin Munson received some first-team reps at linebacker.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/897118004663767042

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The fourteenth and final training camp practice will be held on Tuesday, starting at 10:55AM. But this practice is CLOSED to the public. The players are off on Wednesday before returning to practice on Thursday.

Aug 072017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 7, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their ninth summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas (unknown), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), and linebacker Mark Herzlich (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receivers Sterling Shepard (ankle) and Tavarres King (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

“(Shepard) was running around, I didn’t see any noticeable limp or anything like that,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He was moving around good, some change in direction, looked fine.”

Wide receiver Kevin Snead (unknown) and offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (unknown) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Indoor practice today not open to the public. I liked being in there, simply to switch things up a little and it kept everyone on one field. So for the most part, we got to see everyone, as no one was a field away.

Offense Notes:

  • WR Sterling Shepard was out there for the beginning of practice, he was moving aggressively. I think it’s safe to say he is ready to rock within a week.
  • QB Geno Smith is on a little run. He is making some really nice throws on all levels and it appears his timing with receivers in addition to understanding the scheme is coming along. Geno is more gifted than Johnson and if he continues to improve at this rate, he has a very good shot at winning the backup job.
  • Good to see QB Davis Webb out there after practice again. You can tell this kid is a worker.
  • The QB’s were airing it out a little more today than what we’ve seen, as it looked like some deep passing was a focus. This was equally beneficial for WRs, DBs, and QBs. Manning threw a deep ball (40+ yards) to WR Brandon Marshall up the right sideline. I had a good vantage point and right after the ball reached it’s apex, I immediately assumed 5-6 yard overthrow. Then Marshall accelerated and showed off his reach, tipping the ball to himself a couple times and eventually coming down with it. Very impressive pitch-and-catch and it looks like 10-to-15 chemistry is coming along. They hooked up a few times today in tight windows.
  • Still unsure where WR Roger Lewis is on this depth chart. He worked as the team’s #3 guy with Taverres King and Sterling Shepard out of action in team drills. He is an impressive athlete but doesn’t quite seem to have the body control and consistent hands. He dropped a deep pass today and then didn’t locate another one but responded with a deep TD catch a few plays later.
  • WR Darius Powe may have an inside track at winning the final WR spot. He is big and physical and I think this team needs another one of those guys if Marshall were to ever go down. He had a couple of really nice catches today including one where he burned Janoris Jenkins. WR Travis Rudolph, we’ve discussed a few times, does so many things well but I think it is a legit concern if he can separate and/or catch passes in traffic at his size/speed combo.
  • I got to watch a lot of OT Adam Bisnowaty vs. DE Avery Moss today, the two rookies. Bisnowaty won most, if not all, of the one-on-one fights. He anchored well, maintained good position and accuracy with hands, and adjusted to the double moves. Moss was winning the leverage battle but didn’t seem to have the power to get a consistent push.
  • OC Brett Jones had an impressive day. I have to think he is the primary OC backup and a definite for the 53-man roster. One thing that stands out with him, he does NOT get pushed back when he anchors those feet in.
  • We may need to get used to TE Evan Engram making plays on a daily basis now. His speed jumps out at me every time he goes after the ball and makes a move north after the catch. He burned S Landon Collins a couple times. Collins also had a hard time sticking with TE Rhett Ellison on an out cut. Ellison is a better short area athlete than I thought.
  • OL Michael Bowie is likely on the outside looking in at this point, but he has some extra pop about him today. He appears to have overwhelming power when he has things lined up correctly.
  • A practice squad candidate WR has had 2-3 really good days in a row. UDFA Jerome Lane from Akron 6’3/225 and has been making some tough catches in traffic. Very strong presence when he attacks the ball. He is #6 if you guys watch Friday night.

Defense Notes:

  • DT Robert Thomas didn’t practice today which meant more looks for Jay Bromley. I’m not sure we have seen enough out of him to warrant excitement, but he still shows flashes. He is a big, big dude with some solid straight line burst. He just needs to show more consistent pad level.
  • CB Donte Deayon is a fun kid to watch and I think everyone is rooting for him, including his teammates. At his size, it’s unlikely he will make the team but he continues to make plays. I’ve been wanting to see him matchup against Odell Beckham because they are both elite movers. Deayon got his shot once today and stuck with him on an in-cut. The negative, however, is that he gets tossed around by receivers when they block. WR Sterling Shepard and WR Dwayne Harris just owned him on WR blocking driils. He did intercept QB Josh Johnson during team drills though. He is making his case.
  • B.J. Goodson got beat in coverage a couple times today. He was close though. We know it won’t be his strength as a LB, but this team needs to make sure they don’t get beat up the middle yet again this year.
  • I am having a hard time figuring out how this team will figure out the LB depth chart behind the top 5. Deontae Skinner and Curtis Grant are excellent straight-line athletes. Skinner made a couple plays in coverage today – that could be an avenue for him to make his impact.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins, whom we talked to after practice, is a physical gem. Tall, long, strong, and fast. He is high-hipped and struggles to make quick breaks and change direction laterally, but I think this kid has to make the team. He may be one of the more versatile defenders on the team. Experience at S, LB, and CB in addition to a defensive weapon on special teams. He is pumped to start his endeavor to make the roster Friday night. Look for him.
  • CB Valentino Blake is the team’s #5 CB I think, as of now. We will see what happens in the games but he has been playing better each day. He has the game experience that some others do not and there is a physical style about him. This defense wants to be nasty and that fits in to the way Blake approaches things. If I had to decide Blake or Deayon right now, I think NYG would lean towards Blake.
  • CB Eli Apple may have had his best day. He stuck with Brandon Marshall for the most part in his limited opportunities. He is showing the blend of size and speed you want, but he also did a nice job of sniffing out routes and throws ahead of time. That is huge for him.
  • DT Corbin Bryant is a really impressive-looking guy. He has a short area burst and violence about him that can be a weapon. Does he have the ability to eat up double teams? Can he be a pass rusher here? Not sure but he deserves a look in these games coming up.

Three Standouts:

  • QB Eli Manning: I think this was Eli’s “rust is off” day. He threw a bunch of really pretty looking balls downfield. He also stepped up in the pocket and fit some passes into really tight windows. He is making the effort to build up that chemistry with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, two new weapons that offer him things he didn’t have last year. That is one of the more important parts to this preseason process.
  • TE Will Tye: Another day, another TE looks to be stepping up and making his case. Part of me thinks the Rhett Ellison signing is the kick that will put Tye on the street at the end of preseason. They are similar styled players and Ellison isn’t going anywhere. Tye made a couple of really tough catches over the middle on the move. Outstretched arms with defenders bearing down. As I said last week, he looks quicker than a year ago.
  • CB Nigel Tribune: A guy I haven’t mentioned at all in these reports yet. He is a body-control corner that went undrafted out of Iowa State. He showed a physical side last week when he beat up WR Kevin Snead at the point of attack multiple times, and today he showed great balance and ball skills when covering WR Travis Rudolph. He made a great play on the ball on 4th-and-goal on a pass from Geno Smith to Rudolph. That fifth CB spot is up for grabs and if they want a quicker slot-type corner, Tribune is in the mix as much as anyone.

Sy’56 and Gidiefor discuss today’s practice and interview safety Eric Pinkins.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 1-on-1 drills, wide receiver Brandon Marshall beat cornerback Eli Apple deep and scored a touchdown with an acrobatic catch that he tipped to himself. Wide receiver Travis Rudolph then badly beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep for a touchdown. Cornerback Donte Deayon had good, tight coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, tight end Rhett Ellison made a couple of nice catches. But then quarterback Josh Johnson threw and interception to cornerback Donte Deayon.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris for a long touchdown. Then he threw a ball up for tight end Matt LaCosse, who made a leaping catch down the right side.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple deflected a slant pass intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith hit wide receiver Darius Powe for a long touchdown over cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Powe then made a finger-tip grab on a Smith pass, beating cornerback Michael Hunter.
  • Cornerback Valentino Blake broke up a quarterback Geno Smith pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis.
  • D.J. Fluker received some reps at left guard and right tackle with the third-team offensive line.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a nice grab on pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning during the 2-minute drill.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up a flat pass from quarterback Geno Smith intended for wide receiver Travis Rudolph. Safety Eric Pinkins then broke up a Smith pass intended for tight end Matt LaCosse.
  • Avery Moss got a good pass rush from left defensive end during the 2-minute drill.
  • Cornerback Nigel Tribune made a diving pass defense of a quarterback Geno Smith rollout pass to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Overall, the Giants’ 1st-, 2nd, and 3rd-team defenses kept the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-team offenses out of the end zone during 2-minute drills.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including from 31, 36, 41, and 50 yards out.

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

Jul 222017
 
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Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Mike Sullivan and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS.COM COACH AND PLAYER INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following coaches and players are available at Giants.com:

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • QB Davis Webb (Video)
  • RB Shane Vereen (Video)
  • DE Avery Moss (Video)

GENERAL NEW YORK GIANTS ARTICLES…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSE…

ARTICLES ON THE NEW YORK GIANTS DEFENSE…

Jul 052017
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Running Backs

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW:  Two years ago – in 2015 – the Giants running backs finished 18th in rushing with 100.6 yards per game and averaging 4.0 yards per rush. The Giants rushed for only five touchdowns. The leading rushers on the team that year were Rashad Jennings (863 yards, three touchdowns), Shane Vereen (260 yards, zero touchdowns), Andre Williams (257 yards, one touchdown), and Orleans Darkwa (153 yards one touchdown). In addition, Vereen proved a significant weapon in the passing game with 59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns. Jennings also contributed with 29 catches for 296 yards and one touchdown.

Despite the mediocre rushing numbers, there was optimism entering the 2016 season. Half of Jennings’ 2015 yardage (432 yards) came in the last four games of the season. The ground game – led by Jennings – seemed to peaking behind a young and improving offensive line that would remain intact coming into 2016. In addition, replacing the disappointing Andre Williams with 5th rounder Paul Perkins appeared to an upgrade. Vereen was coming off of his best pro season and expected to continue to serve a duo-purpose threat. And the Giants signed veteran hybrid fullback/tight end Will Johnson to mount a significant challenge to fullback Nikita Whitlock.

The 2016 results were a major disappointment. The Giants ground game not only worsened, but it fell to 29th with a paltry 88.2 yards per game and averaging 3.5 yards per rush. The Giants rushed for only six touchdowns. And pass receptions by running backs fell from 92 catches for 828 yards and five touchdowns in 2015 to 83 catches for 622 yards and one touchdown in 2016.

Why the drop? Inconsistent blocking by the offensive line and tight ends was a factor. The improvement by the line – under new offensive like coach Mike Solari – never occurred. There was not a strong blocking tight end on the team. In addition, both fullbacks were lost to injury for the season before it began and the team carried no fullbacks on the roster. As such, the Giants “bread-and-butter” running play was out of the shotgun formation.

But truth be told, it also became painfully clear that while a good guy and a strong locker room presence, Jennings was no more than an aging, backup-at-best halfback who rarely created yardage on his own either by elusiveness or breaking tackles. Starting 12-of-16 regular-season games, Jennings only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Vereen missed the bulk of the season with a triceps injury that he also re-injured, and his absence in the passing game was very noticeable. Bobby Rainey replaced him but only had 20 receptions. Orleans Darkwa started two games but only received 30 carries and got hurt again. The only real bright spot was Perkins, but he was not a significant factor until December, gaining 271 of his 456 rushing yards in his last four regular-season games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Rashad Jennings in February and chose to not re-sign unrestricted free agent Bobby Rainey. It’s telling that both remain unemployed football players. While the Giants did not tender the injury-prone Orleans Darkwa as a restricted free agent, they did somewhat surprisingly re-sign him in March as an unrestricted free agent. The Giants also re-signed RB/FB ‘tweener Jacob Huesman, who the team originally added to the Practice Squad in December 2016.

The new faces include veteran free agent Shaun Draughn, 4th-round draft pick Wayne Gallman, and undrafted rookie free agents Khalid Abdullah and Shane Smith.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Head Coach Ben McAdoo somewhat surprisingly labeled Paul Perkins the starter early in the offseason. It’s his job to lose. But that does not mean there aren’t questions about his pro-level skill-set and durability. Perkins must prove he is a legit NFL starting-caliber running back. Provided he can stay healthy, Shane Vereen should regain the #2 job as the team’s primary 3rd down back. Shaun Draughn – who has a similar skill set to Vereen – was most likely signed as insurance in case the injury-prone Vereen gets hurt again. 2017 may be more of a redshirt year for Wayne Gallman unless he impresses early or someone gets hurt. The wild card is Orleans Darkwa. The coaches seem to like him, but he has not been able to stay healthy.

One of the big question marks will be whether or not McAdoo wants to carry a fullback this year. Unlike last season, the Giants are far more talented at the tight end position and it may be a number’s game in whether or not the team wants to carry an additional tight end or a fullback. Rookie free agent Shane Smith has the look of a traditional fullback while ‘tweener Jacob Huesman is actually a former quarterback.

“Anytime you have a big fullback type in the backfield it adds an element of physicality that is tough to replace when you don’t have it,” McAdoo said in March. “It just didn’t work out last year. It’s not by design… I hear that I don’t want to have a fullback on the roster, and that’s news to me. I think you want the best team you can put out there, but that position has to have special-teams value. I don’t think you just want someone on your roster who plays seven plays a game. They’re not going to play a ton of plays, but the plays they do play are impactful-type plays in the ballgame. But they need to have some value special teams-wise.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring injury (with this group, that is more than a passing concern), the locks would appear to be Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, and Wayne Gallman. Everyone else is on the bubble and fighting for a job.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Craig Johnson on Paul Perkins: “He was an effective runner last year. You have to be able to catch the ball. He did a good job in that and you have to be able to block people because they’re going to try you out. I thought that he probably improved the most in that situation. Guys were testing him out to get to the quarterback and he held up very good in protection… (As a runner) he really can cut sharp. He puts his foot in the ground and bursts through the hole. I like that. It helps both in the run and in the pass protection. That really helps his versatility.”

Johnson on Wayne Gallman: “Coming from college, he was a very productive runner. Stats don’t lie. So far what I’ve seen in practice is that he has been effectively able to run the ball in the runs he’s been given. The pass protection, he’s coming along in. He’s certainly made a big improvement in the last week or so. He’s been able to catch the ball effectively. Again, as a young back, he’s trying to figure it all out. The game is a little too fast for him, like they are for every back right now when they’re young. The game starts to slow down and he’s starting to get it. I’ve seen a couple bursts. I think he will continue to get it in the future.”

PREDICTIONS: Other than Shane Vereen as 3rd-down back, this is largely an unproven group. It remains an open question whether or not the Giants have a running back on the roster that will concern opposing defenses. Paul Perkins has to demonstrate that he has the skill set and durability to be a 1,000-yard NFL rusher. As a draft prospect, Wayne Gallman was largely considered a solid, well-rounded back who didn’t excel in any one area. Vereen and Darkwa have proven to be injury-prone players. On paper, at best, this looks like a middle-of-the-pack group. Hopefully, the blocking up front by the line, tight ends, and maybe fullback improves this year. If not, offensively the Giants will remain a finesse passing team.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Wayne Gallman, Shaun Draughn (no fullback)

Jun 132017
 
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D.J. Fluker, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

D.J. Fluker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 13, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants mandatory 3-day mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mini-camp will continue with practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver wide receiver Kevin Snead (hamstring?), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), left guard Justin Pugh (unknown), linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL), cornerback Eli Apple (illness), and safety Darian Thompson (illness) did not practice.

“Justin is out right now. He’s limited,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa missed all of the team’s voluntary Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices and continues to be absent for the mandatory mini-camp. McAdoo said Odighizuwa has been excused for “personal reasons.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The second-team quarterback was Josh Johnson.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins received some reps at cornerback and had an interception off of a quarterback Davis Webb that was tipped by safety Jadar Johnson.
  • With safety Darian Thompson out, Andrew Adams and Nat Berhe split time with first unit at safety with Landon Collins.
  • With cornerback Eli Apple out, Michael Hunter started at cornerback.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard made several nice catches, including two for red zone touchdowns.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up deep passes to wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Tavarres King.
  • Minicamp practice notes and observations (6/13) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jun 092017
 
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Geno Smith, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 9, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their tenth and final voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Friday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood (unknown), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (unknown), linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL), and safety Mykkele Thompson (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receiver Kevin Snead appeared to injure his left hamstring during practice.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., left guard Justin Pugh, right tackle Bobby Hart, defensive end Olivier Vernon, and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With Justin Pugh and Bobby Hart absent, the first-team offensive line consisted of left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Adam Gettis, center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Adam Bisnowaty.
  • Defensive tackle Jarron Jones was working with the offensive linemen.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith hit tight end Evan Engram in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Safety Ryan Murphy came up with the first interception of practice off of a deflected pass.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Kevin Snead deep down the left sideline, but Snead appeared to injure his left hamstring on the play.
  • With Eli Apple out, Michael Hunter continued to see first-team reps at cornerback.

Giants.com has provided the following notes from the last OTA:

OTA #10:

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

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

ARTICLES…

Mar 232017
 
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Shane Vereen, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Shane Vereen – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SHANE VEREEN TAKES A PAY CUT…
According to NFL Player Association records, New York Giants running back Shane Vereen has accepted a $1 million pay cut to his 2017 salary. Vereen’s salary was reduced from $3.15 million to $2.15 million. NJ.com is reporting that the reduction “is a straight pay cut with no incentives added to his contract to make up the lost income.” The Giants recently paid him a $500,000 roster bonus that was due if he remained on the team. Vereen is in the final year of his current contract.

(Late Corrrection: The NFL Network is reporting that in exchange for the $1 million salary reduction, Vereen can earn that back plus $250,000 through incentives).

Vereen was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) in September 2016 with a triceps injury that required surgery, activated back off of IR in December, and then placed on IR again that same month after re-injuring his triceps and needing surgery again. In all, Vereen played in just five games in 2016 and finished the season with 33 rushes for 158 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 11 catches for 94 yards.

Vereen was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2015. In 2015, serving as the team’s third-down back and playing in all 16 games with no starts, Vereen had his most productive year in the NFL as a pass receiver. He caught a career-high 59 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns. It was the most receptions by a Giants running back in a single season since Tiki Barber. Vereen also carried the ball 61 times for 260 yards (4.3 yards per carry).

Vereen lacks ideal size and power, but he is an elusive back with good vision and quickness. Vereen is one of the better pass-catching backs in the NFL as he runs good routes and has good hands. He is also solid in pass protection. Vereen has proven to be somewhat injury prone.

SHAUN DRAUGHN DEAL OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced that the team signed unrestricted free agent running back Shaun Draughn (San Francisco 49ers) on Wednesday.

“I think my versatility has helped keep me in the league,” Draughn said. “(The Giants) talked about my versatility. I don’t know exactly how they’ll use me. I’m sure they’ll use me to the strengths that I have.”

The 29-year Draughn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2011), Kansas City Chiefs (2011–2012), Baltimore Ravens (2013), Indianapolis Colts (2013), Chicago Bears (2014), San Diego Chargers (2014), Cleveland Browns (2014–2015), and San Francisco 49ers (2015-2016). In six seasons, Draughn has played in 57 regular-season games with seven starts (all seven coming with the 49ers in the last two years). For his career, Draughn has rushed the ball 225 times for 723 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He also 80 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns.

Draughn has ordinary size (5’11”, 205 pounds), but he is a tough, hard-nosed cut-back runner who can move the chains in short yardage and catch the football. He is a good special teams player.

Video of an exclusive Giants Insider interview with Draughn is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Mar 132017
 
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John Jerry, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

John Jerry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN JOHN JERRY…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent offensive guard John Jerry to a 3-year, $10 million contract that includes $4.25 million in guaranteed money.

Jerry started every game at right guard for the Giants in 2016. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014 and started 16 games in 2014 and eight in 2015. Jerry looks the part as he has great size and long arms. A career inconsistent performer as both a run and pass blocker, Jerry became a far more reliable and steadier player in 2016.

KEENAN ROBINSON VISITING THE BENGALS…
ESPN is reporting that New York Giants unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson is visiting the Cincinnati Bengals today.

Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses.

Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016.

Robinson has decent size and is a good athlete who runs well. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. Robinson is solid in pass coverage. He only has 1.5 career sacks and has been injury prone. Robinson does not make many impact plays.

ARTICLES…