Jul 292017
 
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Davis Webb, Geno Smith, and Josh Johnson; New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Davis Webb, Geno Smith, and Josh Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 29, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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

Safety Jadar Johnson (illness) did not practice.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Much more action today to discuss AND we got to talk one on one with DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Fun day with overcast skies and the temperature was MUCH cooler. Even had some gusts wind thrown in. We saw some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11…somewhat close to live/full speed.

Offense Notes:

  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall is just a freak of nature. Not only is he massive (tall/long/thick)…but I am surprised to see how well he moves. When he opens up his stride, he can really get behind a defense. He toyed with cornerback Eli Apple, got physical with him at the point-of-attack then was able to turn it up a gear and get downfield. If this guy is healthy, he could be an absolute monster in this offense and role.
  • Quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Geno Smith are splitting reps with 2nd/3rd string it looks like. Open competition. Johnson is more accurate and consistent, although when Geno lines everything up and can find his target, he looks very impressive. The key there is confidence and ability to make quick reads. Both were a little shaky in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11…if I had to give a win to one of them it would be Johnson.
  • Can’t say much about the offensive line today, as they still aren’t in pads. Right guard D.J. Fluker is a GREAT guy to listen to. He is fired up about being on a winning team and he said no organization is like the New York Giants when it comes to their passion for winning, for what that’s worth. He really lumbers out there; I think he is certainly destined for right guard play and likely a backup. Good guy to have around. Left guard Justin Pugh looked very stout and powerful in their hand drills.
  • The tight end competition is very up in the air. A bunch of guys are rotating in and out with the 1st team. Ben McAdoo says its one of the toughest positions to play because of the variety of assignments, starting positions…etc. Matt LaCosse made a couple of nice grabs up and away from his body on the full move. He is very slight-framed compared to the rest of these guys, but his ball skills are noteworthy. Jerell Adams is an impressive specimen but he is a little shaky as a mover/athletically. Rhett Ellison doesn’t stand out but I don’t expect him to until the pads are on. His game is physicality.
  • I put a lot of attention on quarterback Davis Webb. I made simple + or – signs next to his name for positive or negative throws. He was flip flopping all day. No big deal yet…just noticed there isn’t a natural high level of accuracy just yet…he was errant on a few easy ones. Many completions were guys having to turn back for the ball or leap up. He did connect with wide receiver Travis Rudolph on a great timing route up the seam. He has plenty of zip, he is the best athlete within the group, and when he has everything lined up he looks high-level-caliber.
  • Don’t have much on the running backs yet. Wayne Gallman has a noticeably different style and level of patience to making his cuts than the rest of them. He is explosive and fast, but in drills where patience and cuts upfield were the focus, he didn’t show it. Khalid Abdullah, however, does. He was very impressive in these drills but equally unimpressive in blitz pickup drills. That is the quickest way to the doghouse for a running back besides fumbling.

Defense Notes:

  • Overall, VERY competitive group. Especially the defensive backs. They took so much pride in beating the offense in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Very intense group that likes to get after it as a whole.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple was pretty back and forth, but he struggled when matched up against wide receivers Brandon Marshall or Odell Beckham, Jr. Tools-rich, but still unsure about the development. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins made an excellent INT going up for it against wide receiver Sterling Shepard, but was beat prior to that in a similar situation against Marshall. It was interesting to see how pumped the defense got when he came down with the INT.
  • Robert Thomas and Damon Harrison lining up next to each other at defensive tackle. Talk about a beefy duo. Don’t sleep on them as pass rushers though, they can really move and push the pocket.
  • Didn’t get to see pretty much anything else from the defensive line, they were on the other side of the complex for almost the entire time.
  • I tried to watch middle linebacker B.J. Goodson against the pass, he wasn’t challenged much though. He does look explosive and quick though. He undercut some of the interior offensive line on running plays very well.
  • The backup defensive backs saw a lot of rotating…those spots are very up in the air I think. Nobody is standing out just yet, but they like to compete.

Three Standouts:

  • Cornerback Donte Deayon. A player his size (5’9/163) is going to have a hard time making a roster in the NFL, but he is certainly making his case. He moves quicker and faster than everyone. He is a fiery competitor, maybe the most so when it comes to the defensive backs. He adds return value, he held up in coverage. I have a feeling about him so far.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham. We know he is a star. We know he is an amazing talent. But the amount of time he spends on the smallest aspects to his game is nice to see. During down time, he was working with Sterling Shepard and how to read a cornerback when coming off the line to get in to his route. Prior to that, he had a coach throw him about 15-20 balls where Beckham was stationary with his back to the ball…he just looked up in the air and waited for the ball to enter his line of vision. Then he went to make that difficult over the shoulder catch…and yes he caught every one.
  • Offensive lineman Brett Jones. Are we overlooking this guy as a possible backup inside? Arguably the top option if any of the three starters go down? He gets looks inside and out and he just seems to do everything right, in an exaggerated way. I love his build. He is a powerful, mean blocker and I am really looking forward to seeing him go live when the pads go on. There might be something there with him.

If I had to guess, I think the guys will be getting after it a little more tomorrow considering they are off on Monday.

GIDIEFOR’S PRACTICE REPORT…
Well obviously Sy’56 is the class between the two of us and I will be supplementing his observations to you guys during camp and serving in a support role.

These observations roughly follow the clips in the camp video linked below, and these clips follow Sy and my chat about today and Sy’s interview of Dalvin Tomlinson:

  • The first clip shows that the defensive line and offensive line players are doing a different set of warm ups on opposite sides of the field. This is a new view for me as opposed to prior camps I’ve attended where the players were all doing the same warm ups.
  • There was no active player on the bikes today – and one player was held out, safety Jadar Johnson, because he was ill according to Coach McAdoo. Take what you will about the new training staff – maybe it’s a fluke and still needs some more data to evaluate, but the Giants were relatively healthy last year and throughout the off season. They come into camp in very good health overall and with no steady stream of players headed to the sidelines.
  • Today’s practice was much more of a full practice than yesterday. The second practice clip shows a catch, run and hit sequence that was run at the beginning of practice.
  • While this was happening centerfield – on the right side of the field in the third clip sequence there was a group practicing coming out low from under a bar and hitting upward into a small square pad on a player target.
  • The next set of clips goes back and forth between a sequence of timing reps on one side of the field and the low to high practice that went from one on one to, two on two, to a larger formation.
  • I have a clip in there that follows Coach McAdoo for a couple of minutes. It seems to me that he blends more in with the surroundings than we have been used to in the past. Coach ribbed me after practice for filming him.
  • The next two clips are of Devon Kennard, who parked himself in front of me and he stands out as a really solid big dude. He participated in a special teams change of direction drill that was run for several minutes.
  • Sy had me look over to the right and there was Odell Beckham, Jr. taking over the shoulder catch practice. Odell really stood out on the field today, making a number of catches that showed off his incredible game speed.
  • Then the fullbacks came to the side line and I couldn’t help but notice that these guys are not very big – Rhett Ellison and Will Tye are huge in comparison to these two.
  • There’s clips of Davis Webb under center for a few reps, then some clips that show a bunch of offensive lineman and featuring Adam Gettis and Adam Bisnowaty standing next to each other. Biz dwarfs Gettis.
  • Then there are clips of 11-on-11’s first with Eli Manning – that include a nice fake and a strike to Odell. Then Geno Smith behind center. Smith seems to be the least accurate QB out there.
  • Then I have a clip of Ellison and Tye, and then Paul Perkins dwarfed by John Jerry.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Brandon Marshall made a nice catch against cornerback Janoris Jenkins on an underthrown ball from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a nice catch on a pass thrown behind him.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Geno Smith was the second-team quarterback.
  • Mykkele Thompson received reps at cornerback.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. on a deep pass over the middle for a touchdown. Beckham made a number of nice grabs on the day, including a diving sideline reception against cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up two quarterback Eli Manning passes into the end zone, the first to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and the second to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
  • Wide receiver Jerome Lane made a nice diving catch of a low pass from quarterback Geno Smith.
  • Defensive end Avery Moss flashed on his first pass rush attempt.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith completed a rollout pass to tight end Matt LaCosse.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/891387867460587521

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

Jul 272017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP BEGINS…
New York Giants players reported to summer training camp on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first practice will be held at 11:40AM on Friday and will be one of eleven practices open to the public, weather permitting. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

All 90 New York Giants players, including defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, reported to camp. Odighizuwa missed all of the team’s spring work due to unspecified “personal issues.”

SHAUN DRAUGHN TO PUP, J.T. THOMAS BEING EVALUATED…
New York Giants running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) was placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List at the start of training camp. Meanwhile, linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) is still being evaluated.

“J.T. is taking a physical right now,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He’s going to be here, you know, right now, he’s going to be here. But, we have to make some decisions on how he comes out of the physical.”

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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…

Jul 262017
 
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New York Giants 2017 Rookie Class (May 12, 2017)

New York Giants 2017 Rookie Class – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS REPORT TO TRAINING CAMP ON THURSDAY…
The football offseason is officially over on Thursday when New York Giants players report to summer training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first practice will be held at 11:40AM on Friday and will be one of eleven practices open to the public, weather permitting. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED CHARGE DROPPED FOR ROGER LEWIS…
Following up on our June 7 report that New York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis was arrested in Ohio for operating a vehicle while impaired, that charge was dropped on Monday. Lewis was fined $150 plus court fees for driving in marked lanes and $25 for having tinted windows. Police originally said they found evidence of drug use in Lewis’ vehicle and suspected Lewis was under the influence of alcohol, but he refused to be tested on the scene.

BOBBY RAINEY SIGNS WITH RAVENS…
Unrestricted free agent running back Bobby Rainey (New York Giants) has signed with the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Rainey. The Giants signed Rainey as an unrestricted free agent from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April 2016.  He played in 15 games with no starts and finished the season with 17 carries for 63 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and 20 catches for 153 yards (7.6 yards per catch). Rainey also returned six punts (6.5 yards per return) and eight kickoffs (25.5 yards per return). Rainey was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-2015).

GIANTS.COM COORDINATOR INTERVIEWS…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following coordinators are available at Giants.com:

  • Defensive Coordinator Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (Video)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (Video)

ARTICLES…

Jul 072017
 
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Brandon Marshall, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Brandon Marshall – © 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: Wide Receivers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW:  While Odell Beckham, Jr. continued his assault on the record books as one of the game’s premiere wide receivers, more was expected from this unit in 2016. It was assumed by many that the departure of the frustratingly-inconsistent Rueben Randle would be addition by subtraction. Sterling Shepard was considered a 2nd-round steal by many. And there were high expectations about the return of Victor Cruz from three injury-sabotaged seasons in a row.

In 2015, quarterback Eli Manning’s top three wide receiver targets were Beckham, Randle, and Dwayne Harris. These three totaled 189 catches for 2,643 yards, and 25 touchdowns. In 2016, Beckham, Shepard, and Cruz totaled 205 catches for 2,636 yards, and 19 touchdowns. The telling stat was there was a 24 percent decline in touchdowns.

Opponent defensive game plans were obvious and consistent: double- and sometimes even triple-team Odell Beckham and dare the Giants to beat them with their running game or passing the ball to other targets. The Giants failed to be able to make other teams pay and the passing offense fell from 7th (271.4 yards per game) to 17th (242.4 yards per game). Much of this decline had to do with the loss of running back Shane Vereen (59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns in 2015) and the unproductive tight ends (only 79 catches and three touchdowns as a group).

But while Beckham continued to produce, and Shepard had a respectable rookie season, it was Cruz who was the biggest disappointment. Slowed by three consecutive leg injury issues from 2013-2015, Cruz seemed miscast as an outside receiver instead of the slot position which Shepard now occupies. Cruz struggled to separate from defenders and finished the season with only one touchdown – ironically a game-winner that he scored in the opener. In other words, he was kept out of the end zone for the final 16 regular- and post-season games. Randle had 57 catches for 797 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015 as an outside receiver. Cruz had just 39 catches for 586 yards.

The nadir of Beckham’s 2016 season was obviously the playoff game. Much was expected and Beckham failed miserably to deliver (four catches for 28 yards) against a weak secondary. Exacerbating the situation – right or wrong – was his boat trip to Miami six days before the game on the players’ day off. But keep in mind that the receivers as a group went on that trip – including the veteran Cruz – and the top three all failed to perform at a high level (Cruz had three catches for 30 yards and Shepard four catches for 63 yards). None scored.

Beckham is extremely competitive and the best player on the team. But he clearly is a diva with a media target painted on his back. How much of this is self-promotion, blown out of proportion to sell newspapers, or distracting to the team are questions subject to passionate debate.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Easily one of the biggest changes the team made this offseason was at the wideout position opposite of Odell Beckham, Jr. The Giants unceremoniously cut Victor Cruz in February and signed the aging but still-productive super-stud receiver Brandon Marshall in March after the Jets released him. The Giants also signed undrafted rookie free agents Travis Rudolph, Keeon Johnson, Kevin Snead, and Jerome Lane.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Right or wrong, the media has smelled blood in the water with Odell Beckham, Jr. and he will likely remain the subject of unsavory media attention for the remainder of his NFL career. Much of this is self-inflicted, but also much of it is media-whore click-bait. The focus on Beckham distracts from real issues and is a waste of print space and Q&A media time, but it is what it is. Expect of a heavy does of boring and repetitive Beckham stories in camp.

The real focus of attention should be two-fold: (1) how much does Brandon Marshall have left in the tank? and (2) is Sterling Shepard ready to make a huge impact on the passing game?

Marshall is the only player in NFL history with six seasons of 100 or more receptions. Two years ago, Marshall put up huge numbers and had a Pro Bowl and All-Pro season, catching 109 passes for 1,502 yards, and 14 touchdowns. But the 33-year old Marshall suffered through a injury-plagued 2016 campaign where his numbers dropped to 59 receptions for 788 yards and just three touchdowns. He says he only wants to play two more years. If Marshall can regain even a bit of his 2015 form (with crappy Jets quarterbacking), look out. Eli Manning hasn’t had a big, physical receiver like this since Plaxico Burress in 2008.

Shepard largely flew under the radar with a promising initial season, starting all 16 regular-season games as a rookie, catching 65 passes for 683 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns, mostly out of the slot. But Shepard did not make many impact plays, his longest reception being just 32 yards. Shepard made a lot of noise this spring during non-contact workouts. He could be poised for a big season with defenses focused more on Beckham and Marshall.

“What am I looking to work on? Really just after the catch,” said Shepard. “I feel like I could have gotten a lot more YAC (yards after catch) yardage last year. That is something that I looked at on film and I want to get better on.”

With special teams ace Dwayne Harris likely to make the squad, much fan attention will be spent on which players fill out the #5 and probably #6 receiver spots. 2016 hold-overs Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, Darius Powe, and Kevin Norwood will compete with the four undrafted rookie free agents signed after the draft. King passed Lewis on the depth chart late in the 2016 season and made some noise with a couple of long receptions. King received some quality snaps with the first unit during spring workouts while Lewis was arrested on a substance-abuse charge. But don’t discount Lewis or 2016 practice squad player Powe, who has good size and has worked hard this offseason. Of the newcomers, Rudolph probably has the best shot. Those who stand out on special teams will have the inside track.

ON THE BUBBLE: Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, Darius Powe, Kevin Norwood, Travis Rudolph, Keeon Johnson, Kevin Snead, and Jerome Lane.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Adam Henry on Brandon Marshall: “He has been really good and a really good professional. Just helping the guys with little things for us, just pulling them to the side and helping them on different techniques and things like that… The thing is he goes out there and blocks. He does like the dirty work and he is not scared to do that. It’s just him finding a role and he knows he embraces whatever we ask him to do. He’s been good about it.”

Henry on Sterling Shepard: “Right now he has been working hard and he has been out there and he looks really good right now.”

PREDICTIONS: Victor Cruz and Larry Donnell/Will Tye were major drags on the passing game in 2016. The additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram should not only be substantial upgrades in themselves, but should dramatically open things up for Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepard. If Eli and Marshall can develop anything similar to the chemistry Eli had with Plaxico Burress, then the passing game should become one of the NFL’s best again. Watch out for Shepard, who may feast on single coverage out of the slot. (Though with the additions of Engram and Rhett Ellison at tight end, Sheppard may see his playing time cut, particularly in the red zone).

Barring injury, it will be hard for any other receiver to make substantial noise with Beckham, Marshall, Shepard, Engram, and Ellison bound to see so much playing time.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris, Tavarres King, and Darius Powe. (The last WR spot is one of the hardest predictions to make).

Jun 232017
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE…
The New York Giants have announced their schedule for the 2017 summer training camp, which is held at Quest Diagnostics Training Center near MetLife Stadium. Only 11 practice sessions will be open to the public.

  • Thursday, July 27: Players report to training camp.
  • Friday, July 28: 11:40 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, July 29: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Sunday, July 30: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, July 31: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Tuesday, August 1: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 2: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 3: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Friday, August 4: 11:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, August 5: CAMP CLOSED
  • Sunday, August 6: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Monday, August 7: CAMP CLOSED
  • Tuesday, August 8: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 9: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 10: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Friday, August 11: Giants vs. Steelers, 7:00 p.m., MetLife Stadium
  • Saturday, August 12: CAMP CLOSED; no practice
  • Sunday, August 13: 11:10 a.m. – Practice
  • Monday, August 14: 10:55 a.m. – Practice
  • Tuesday, August 15: CAMP CLOSED; end of training camp

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com. In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes in the daily practice schedule.

ARTICLES…

Jun 142017
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 14, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants mandatory 3-day mini-camp was held on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mini-camp will continue with the final practice on Thursday.

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

“I just got a little tweak in my back,” said Pugh. “They’re holding me out as precaution. That’s something you don’t want to try to press too hard right now during mini-camp.”

Left tackle Ereck Flowers and right guard D.J. Fluker left practice early and did not return. Fluker appeared to be in a lot of pain due to a right arm injury.

Wide receiver Jerome Lane left the field with an apparent low leg/foot injury, but later returned.

Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa has been excused from the mandatory mini-camp for “personal reasons.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • College defensive tackle Jarron Jones continues to work with the offensive line.
  • Cornerback DaShaun Amos made a leaping interception of a deep pass from quarterback Geno Smith during 7-on-7 drills. Amos later knocked down another pass into the end zone.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the end zone for a sliding touchdown reception.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broke up 7-on-7 red-zone passes to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and tight end Jerell Adams.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall made a one-handed touchdown catch on a red-zone pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Safety Andrew Adams broke up an end-zone pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wideout Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse hooked up on a pair of red-zone touchdowns. Johnson also connected with wide receiver Taverres King for a score.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman made a really nice catch of a goal line pass from quarterback Davis Webb.
  • Fullback Shane Smith saw a lot of work with the first-team offense.
  • Minicamp practice notes and observations (6/14) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Standout players from minicamp practice (6/14) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

RYAN NASSIB SIGNS WITH THE SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent quarterback Ryan Nassib has signed with the New Orleans Saints. Nassib was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2016 with a right elbow injury that required surgery. Nassib was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Since 2014, Nassib had been the team’s #2 quarterback. During that time, he only saw very limited playing time with all of his regular-season throws (10 total) coming at the end of two blowout losses. Nassib has not really developed at the pro level and he struggled during the 2016 preseason, completing only 41 percent of his passes with five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles).

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jun 022017
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 2, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their sixth 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.

The four remaining OTA practices will be held on June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (soreness), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL) did not practice.

“We have a couple guys who are sore, so we held them out today for precautionary reasons,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“Just a sore calf,” said Ellison. “Right now we are just being smart with it. We have been running on it and we are just being real smart this time of the year.”

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood left practice early with an undisclosed injury.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., left guard Justin Pugh, defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and safety Nat Berhe were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • QB Eli Manning threw early touchdown passes to wideouts Dwayne Harris and Sterling Shepard.
  • Geno Smith received second-team snaps at quarterback. Smith hit TE Evan Engram for a red-zone touchdown on a rollout pass.
  • TE Matt LaCosse saw a lot of action with the first-team offense and was active catching the football. He came up with two impressive touchdown grabs on passes from QB Davis Webb.
  • QB Davis Webb made a nice sideline throw to WR Travis Rudolph, who kept both feet in-bounds.
  • QB Josh Johnson hit WR Roger Lewis for a touchdown on a fade pass.
  • CB Donte Deayon saw first-team reps at slot corner again after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • With Janoris Jenkins absent and Eli Apple sidelined, the starting outside corners were Michael Hunter and Valentino Blake.
  • With Justin Pugh absent, Adam Gettis started at left guard.
  • Safety Landon Collins made a leaping interception.
  • OTA practice notes and observations (6/2) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Standout players from OTA practice (6/2) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived cornerback SaQwan Edwards and waived/injured wide receiver Jalen Williams with an undisclosed injury. Williams was then placed on Injured Reserve.

Edwards was signed by the Giants after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2017 rookie mini-camp. Edwards was originally signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft and spent most of the 2015 season on the team’s Practice Squad and all of 2016 on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury. Williams was an undrafted rookie free agent signed by the Giants after the 2017 NFL Draft.

To fill these vacant roster spots, the Giants signed undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Jerome Lane (University of Akron) and re-signed undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Nigel Tribune.

The 6’3”, 220-pound Lane is a big, physical receiver who lacks ideal speed and quickness. Lane will make the tough catch over the middle but may struggle to separate from NFL defensive backs.

Tribune was originally signed after the draft by the Giants but waived two days later when Edwards was signed. Tribune is an experienced corner who started games every year at Iowa State. He was suspended for a drunk driving arrest his senior year.

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…

May 252017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MAY 25, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their third voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The seven remaining OTA practices will be held on May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (soreness), safety Darian Thompson (recovering from lisfranc injury), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL) did not practice.

Cornerback Eli Apple (thigh or hamstring) left practice early with a wrap around his leg.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., defensive end Olivier Vernon, and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Weston Richburg at center, John Jerry at right guard, and Bobby Hart at right tackle.
  • The second-team offensive line was Michael Bowie at left tackle, Adam Gettis at left guard, Brett Jones at center, D.J. Fluker at right guard, and Adam Bisnowaty at right tackle.
  • With Odell Beckham, Jr. absent, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard “started” but Tavarres King also saw quite a bit of time with the first unit.
  • The second-team quarterback was Josh Johnson.
  • First-team defense included defensive ends Jason Pierre Paul and Romeo Okwara; defensive tackles Robert Thomas and Damon Harrison; linebackers Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, and Jonathan Casillas; cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple; and safeties Landon Collins and Andrew Adams.
  • Stansly Maponga, who was at defensive end last season, saw snaps at linebacker.
  • Mykkele Thompson saw reps at cornerback.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep for a long touchdown. Later, Jenkins broke up a pass intended for Marshall.
  • Tight end Evan Engram was spotted lining up in multiple positions.
  • Wide receiver Darius Powe made a nice catch from quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Donte Deayon saw work at nickel corner.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris in stride over the middle for a touchdown.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was sharp, including nailing one from 50 yards out with plenty of distance to spare.
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich saw reps at tight end and made a catch down the seam from quarterback Davis Webb. Tight end Evan Engram also made a nice catch from Webb.

GIANTS CUT ISHAQ WILLIAMS AND RAHIM MOORE…
The New York Giants officially announced on Thursday that the team has signed unrestricted free agents defensive end Devin Taylor (Detroit Lions) and safety Duke Ihenacho (Washington Redskins). To make room for these two, the Giants waived/injured linebacker Ishaq Williams and terminated the contract of safety Rahim Moore.

Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame.

Moore was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Moore was originally drafted in the 2nd round of 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants pursued Moore in free agency in 2015 before he signed with the Houston Texans, who waived him in March 2016 after he was benched for the bulk of the season. Moore signed with the Browns last year but he did not make the team.

GERALD HODGES SIGNS WITH THE BILLS…
Unrestricted free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges (San Francisco 49ers) has signed a 1-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Hodges visited the Giants on Wednesday.

VICTOR CRUZ TO SIGN WITH THE BEARS…
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (2010-2016) will sign a 1-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The Giants cut Cruz in February.

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…

May 102017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARK HERZLICH WILL ALSO WORK AT TIGHT END…
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has revealed that the reason he changed his jersey number from #94 to #44 was so he could also play tight end on offense. The coaching staff asked Herzlich to also learn the offense this offseason.

“I needed to have an eligible number,” said Herzlich. “It’s exciting. A lot of times I’m playing scout-team tight end the last couple of years just because we were low in numbers and I was able to show I could be versatile in that aspect. So, when it’s, ‘Hey, you want to come add another weapon to your repertoire?’ It’s, ‘Yeah, sure, sign me up.’ The more I can learn, the better. And the better I can help out, the better, too… We’ll see what Coach (Ben) McAdoo puts me at, but I can go back and forth and learn both (offense and defense). I anticipate helping out in all three phases (including special teams).”

“He’s that good from what I see every day in practice,” fellow linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “He can run routes with the best of them. He can block better than probably most of them. He’s just a versatile athlete. He’s got the size and frame, so that helps, also.”

J.T. THOMAS STILL RECOVERING FROM HIS KNEE INJURY…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas, who missed virtually all of the 2016 NFL season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, is still recovering from the injury.

“I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m at about 75-80 percent. I’ll be ready to go in training camp,” Thomas said. “I’m really, really trying to time the thing up, so when that light comes on Sunday there isn’t any excuses why you won’t see #55 on the field.”

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury.

Thomas currently has the team’s 10th largest 2017 cap hit with $4 million.

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

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 022017
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

While Odell Beckham, Jr. continued his assault on the record books as one of the game’s premiere wide receivers, more was expected from this unit in 2016. It was assumed by many that the departure of the frustratingly-inconsistent Rueben Randle would be addition by subtraction. Sterling Shepard was considered a 2nd-round steal by many. And there were high expectations about the return of Victor Cruz from three injury-sabotaged seasons in a row.

In 2015, quarterback Eli Manning’s top three wide receiver targets were Beckham, Randle, and Dwayne Harris. These three totaled 189 catches for 2,643 yards, and 25 touchdowns. In 2016, Beckham, Shepard, and Cruz totaled 205 catches for 2,636 yards, and 19 touchdowns. The telling stat was there was a 24 percent decline in touchdowns.

Opponent defensive game plans were obvious and consistent: double- and sometimes even triple-team Odell Beckham and dare the Giants to beat them with their running game or passing the ball to other targets. The Giants failed to be able to make other teams pay and the passing offense fell from 7th (271.4 yards per game) to 17th (242.4 yards per game). Much of this decline had to do with the loss of running back Shane Vereen (59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns in 2015) and the unproductive tight ends (only 79 catches and three touchdowns as a group).

But while Beckham continued to produce, and Shepard had a respectable rookie season, it was Cruz who was the biggest disappointment. Slowed by three consecutive leg injury issues from 2013-2015, Cruz seemed miscast as an outside receiver instead of the slot position which Shepard now occupies. Cruz struggled to separate from defenders and finished the season with only one touchdown – ironically a game-winner that he scored in the opener. In other words, he was kept out of the end zone for the final 16 regular- and post-season games. Randle had 57 catches for 797 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015 as an outside receiver. Cruz had just 39 catches for 586 yards.

The nadir of Beckham’s 2016 season was obviously the playoff game. Much was expected and Beckham failed miserably to deliver (four catches for 28 yards) against a weak secondary. Exacerbating the situation – right or wrong – was his boat trip to Miami six days before the game on the players’ day off. But keep in mind that the receivers as a group went on that trip – including the veteran Cruz – and the top three all failed to perform at a high level (Cruz had three catches for 30 yards and Shepard four catches for 63 yards). None scored.

Beckham is extremely competitive and the best player on the team. But he clearly is a diva with a media target painted on his back. How much of this is self-promotion, blown out of proportion to sell newspapers, or distracting to the team are questions subject to passionate debate. If the Giants are to reach the next level, he has to continue to mature (he did with respect to his reaction to on-field taunting) and perform in the clutch in the post-season. But the Giants also have to get him more help.

THE STARTERS

Odell Beckham is one of the game’s best players and had another stellar season in his third year, starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his first three seasons, Beckham has accrued 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in 43 regular-season games. Beckham’s accolades already include Pro Football Writers of America “Rookie of the Year” (2014), second-team All-Pro (2015, 2016), and Pro Bowl (2014, 2015, 2016). All of this despite constant double teams by opposing defenses. Beckham was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. While Beckham lacks classic size, his long arms, big hands, and tremendous jumping ability give him a very good catch radius. Beckham is an explosive athlete with excellent speed, quickness, and agility. He is able to play multiple positions, including the slot. Beckham runs good routes, is very quick out of his breaks, adjusts exceptionally well to the football, and regularly makes the circus catch. He is very dangerous with the football in his hands after the catch. Competitive, passionate, and hard working, Beckham’s biggest negatives are his maturity and temperament. Beckham has a target painted on his back and has to deal with other teams trying to get under his skin. He did not play well in the playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers and suffered from more drops than usual in 2016, which may partly have been the result of a thumb injury.

Sterling Shepard was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Shepard started all 16 regular-season games as a rookie, catching 65 passes for 683 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns, mostly out of the slot. Shepard lacks ideal size, but he is strong and quick with good speed. Shepard runs good routes, is tough going over the middle, adjusts well to the football, and has good hands. He did not make many plays down the field however, with his longest reception being for 32 yards.

The good news is that Victor Cruz finally returned to the playing field in 2016 after missing most of 2014 with a career-threatening patellar tendon knee injury and all of 2015 with a calf injury – both of which required surgeries. The bad news is that Cruz no longer looks like the same player he was in 2011-2012, when he was one of the best in the game. Three lower leg surgeries in three years, including arthroscopic knee surgery in 2013, have taken their toll. In 15 regular-season games in 2016, Cruz caught just 39 passes for 586 yards and one touchdown. Signed as a rookie free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft, the rags-to-riches Victor Cruz story is well known, culminating with his impact season in 2011, first Pro Bowl in 2012, and big offseason contract in 2013. In 2011-2012, Cruz compiled 168 catches for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns. Cruz always had ordinary size and timed speed. However, his pre-injury quickness and ability to separate from defenders appears to be gone. Cruz has good hands and is capable of making the circus catch, though he sometimes will drop the easy reception. Cruz is better suited for the slot position.

THE RESERVES

In his second year with the Giants, Dwayne Harris suffered through a frustrating, injury-plagued season. While he played in all 16 regular-season games with one start, Harris was hampered by a variety of nagging injuries all season. A year after his career-best 36 catches for 396 yards and four touchdowns, Harris caught only one pass for 13 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, his special teams return numbers plummeted with his punt return average falling from 10.0 yards to 5.9 yards and his kickoff return average falling from 28.7 yards to 24.2 yards. He also did not score a year after becoming the first Giants player in 60 years to return a kickoff and punt for a touchdown in the same season. Harris did remain a force on punt coverage and he was voted to his first Pro Bowl. Harris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. The Giants signed him in free agency in March 2015. Though he lacks height, Harris is a well-built athlete with decent speed and quickness. He is tough and physical and an asset as a blocker in the running game. Harris can play in the slot and has decent hands. Harris has four career returns four touchdowns and has won the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” award four times in his career.

The Giants signed Roger Lewis as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Lewis made the team and played in 13 regular-season games with one start. He finished with just seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis has decent size and is a good athlete. He flashed the ability to make plays down the field but he needs to become a more consistent pro-level route runner. Lewis was utilized on special teams as a gunner on punt coverage.

Tavarres King played in seven regular-season games, finishing the year with just two catches for 50 yards. He caught three passes for 73 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass in the playoff loss to the Packers. King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15) – playing in just two regular-season games. The Giants signed King to the Practice Squad in late September 2015. King is a tall, thin receiver with very good speed. He is not a physical player and is best suited as an outside receiver.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Darius Powe was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. The Giants originally signed Powe as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Powe is a big receiver with decent overall athleticism.

Kevin Norwood was signed to the Practice Squad in November 2016. 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. Norwood has played in 10 regular-season games with two starts. He has nine career receptions for 102 yards. Norwood is a big (6’2”, 210lbs), physical possession receiver who runs good routes. He lacks ideal speed and quickness.

INJURED RESERVE

Ben Edwards was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in May 2016 after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his knees during the rookie mini-camp. Injuries have plagued Edwards who tore an ACL in college in 2013, an injury that caused him to miss all of 2014; pulled his hamstring in a June 2015 mini-camp, an injury that led him to being waived/injured; and sprained his knee in an April 2016 mini-camp. The Giants originally signed Edwards after the 2015 NFL Draft, waived/injured him in June, re-signed him to the Practice Squad in November, and signed him to the 53-man roster in December. He played in the final two games of 2015 and finished the season with one catch for nine yards. Edwards lacks ideal size and timed speed, but he is a quick receiver who plays faster than he times. Edwards runs very good routes, adjusts well to the football, and has good hands. He has experience playing in the slot and returning punts.