ELI MANNING DEAL FINALIZED…
Although not officially announced yet, the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning have reportedly finalized a 4-year, $84 million contract extension that includes $65 million in guaranteed money and a $31 million signing bonus. Counting the final year of his current 6-year, $97.5 million contract that was signed in August 2009, the new total 5-year package is worth $101.5 million. The Daily News is reporting that $68.5 million will be paid over the next three years. The deal will also include a no-trade clause.
Manning’s $21 million average in new money on the four-year extension would rank him fourth among quarterbacks in the NFL, behind Aaron Rodgers ($22 million), Russell Wilson ($21.9 million), and Ben Roethlisberger ($21.85 million). The $65 million in guaranteed money will match the NFL record the Chargers recently guaranteed quarterback Philip Rivers.
INJURY REPORT – VICTOR CRUZ AND JON BEASON OUT…
The Giants have officially ruled WR Victor Cruz (calf), LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP), and LB Jon Beason (knee) out of Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Beason originally injured his knee in a preseason game on August 22. He returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday but experienced a setback and sat out practice on Thursday.
“(Beason) just didn’t get any better,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Didn’t get to the point where he felt he could play, and play the way he would like to. And the medical people agreed.”
Cruz has not practiced since August 17, did not play in a preseason game, and has not started to run again yet. “He’s getting better, he’s getting better,” said Coughlin. “He’s improved, no doubt…As soon as he’s ready to go, he’ll be on the field and practicing. Until that time, we’re all trying to figure out when exactly he’ll be ready.”
DE/DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) are “probable” for the game.
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Transcripts and video of the media sessions with Tom Coughlin are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:
Giants Cut Steve Weatherford, Trade for Brad Wing: The New York Giants have released punter Steve Weatherford and acquired punter Brad Wing by trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 7th round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Weatherford signed with the Giants in 2011 after spending time with the Saints, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Jets. Weatherford tore ligaments in his left ankle last September and was hobbled with the injury for much of the 2014 season. He finished 18th in the NFL in punting average (45.5 yards per punt) and 25th in net punting average (38.6). The Giants were concerned with Weatherford’s declining directional punting, which remained an issue in the preseason.
An Australian, the left-footed Wing was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but he made the Steelers roster in 2014. He finished that season with a 43.7 yards per punt average (38.8 net). Wing averaged 48.2 yards per punt (39.3 net) in the 2015 preseason. Twenty of his 61 punts in 2014 were downed inside the 20-yard line. Wing also held for field goals and place kicks for the Steelers.
Weatherford’s base salary in 2015 would have been $2.175 million and he would have counted $3.075 million against the cap. Wing is scheduled to make $510,000 in salary in 2015. By releasing Weatherford, the Giants are hit by $900,000 in dead money against the 2015 cap.
Talking to the Giants, told they'll spend the next 48 hours looking for safeties as they feel they need 2–either waiver claims or trade.
September 4, 2015 New York Giants Injury Update: Center Brett Jones, who left the preseason finale with a knee injury, has a MCL sprain.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin was also asked about the two players who were late scratches, cornerback Trevin Wade (back) and wide receiver Corey Washington (shoulder). “They are doing okay now,” said Coughlin.
Coughlin said he had no update on the status of wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and his availability for the season opener.
September 4, 2015 Head Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed the media on Friday afternoon:
Let me start off by saying how difficult it was today to say goodbye to Steve Weatherford, who has been just an exceptional, exceptional human being, if I can put it that way, in terms of his – not only what he has contributed to the New York Giants on the football field but what he has done in the community, what he represents, the enthusiasm, the passion [and] the way that he had a unique ability to touch people in all parts of life. Whether it be a sick child, attending a funeral, just speaking to a junior high school group, whatever it might be, Steve had a very unique ability to come in to a room and be the light of the room and get people excited and emotional or speak to them in terms of remarks which showed compassion. When I spoke with Steve today, as he put it, the furthest thing from his mind at that time was to be speaking about football. He was very, very gracious in terms of speaking of his experience here with the New York Giants and what it has meant to he and his family and how he will always cherish his four years that he spent with us.
Q: What went into the decision and what do you like about Brad Wing?
A: Well, you know what, this is Steve’s day and I am going to stay away from talking about Wing or anything else, including the decision. It is not something that is done lightly, there have been evaluations that have gone on from the first day of training camp and the results are what we decided needed to be done at this time, but I am not going down that road today. I am thinking only of Steve Weatherford and what he has contributed here as a Giant.
Q: Do you talk to all players personally when you make these decisions?
A: Absolutely. I speak to every player.
Q: With Weatherford on the field, everyone always talks about that Super Bowl run. Is that something that really sticks out to you as well?
A: Oh, no doubt about that part of it. If you remember in San Francisco, for example, when the field goal that was made that sent us to the Super Bowl – do you remember the guy that was going wild on the field? It was Steve. It was an experience unto itself because he was so excited about having that opportunity.
Q: You are going to have a lot of those conversations over this weekend. How hard is that?
A: So is everybody in the league that sits in this chair. It is not an easy thing; it is a most difficult thing. It is emotional in many ways, but every player that comes into the league – every coach understands that this is part of it, and even though it is by far one of the least popular things that has to happen, it still, nevertheless, has to be done, and we would like to think that we choose to do it with dignity.
Q: Any injuries out of last night?
A: Brett Jones had an MCL last night.
Q: What happened with Corey Washington and Trevin Wade? You had sent out a list of guys that weren’t going to play. What happened in those last five hours that altered them being able to play and how are they doing now?
A: They are doing okay now, but there were a couple of events that came up that put it into a little different category, so they were held out of the game.
Q: Have you gotten any update on if Victor Cruz is going to be cleared anytime soon?
Q: Is there a possibility of keeping multiple fullbacks on the roster? Is that something you have ever done before?
A: Well, first of all, there have been times when teams have kept more than one fullback; that certainly is nothing unusual. Obviously, they were then categorized as worthy in terms of being – whether you rank them 1 through 53 or however, they are worthy of being on the team, so that is not something unusual if in fact those players have fallen into the top part of your evaluation.
Q: How ready do you feel your team is to start the season?
A: Well, we’re going to start the season, so we better be ready. There are certainly many, many areas where we need to improve, and I think we will improve. I thought that there was – for the guys that played in the game last night – I thought they played hard and they competed well, so we certainly can learn something and take something from this. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the execution on offense for most of the night, and I think that an awful lot of that has to improve. I think we have to zoom in on a particular team and see if we can’t clean up our issues in terms of execution and finishing the play and doing the things necessary to be successful. I know everybody probably wants to talk about the green zone, but to me, it’s more than that. There are definite areas everywhere in our game that can be improved upon, but make no doubt about it – the season is underway and we’re going to have to get there in a hurry.
Q: Is there anyone that stood out for you in that game that really sort of helped their cause here maybe moving forward?
A: I thought there was any number of guys who did well and performed well in terms of their own particular game. Particularly, if you just cite individual plays – not necessarily the whole course of the game. Geremy Davis made a couple of plays, no doubt. [Jerome] Cunningham made nice plays. I thought Landon Collins made a couple of plays demonstrating, as I have told you earlier, I wanted to see him have to play the deep ball in the middle of the field and that happened. As a matter of fact, he should’ve had an interception, and he knocked the ball away on a crossing pattern way over near the far sideline, which showed me that his burst was there and he can get after it and knock the ball away. And he also got down close to the line of scrimmage and tackled and did some things of that nature. Certainly, you’d have to say George Selvie played well last night. Damontré [Moore], despite the penalties, came up with certainly a huge play at the end of the game. [Chris] Boswell – how about that kid coming in literally off the street and kicking off as well as he did, driving the ball deep and making four field goals when he hadn’t had really any time to speak of with Steve [Weatherford] as the holder since he’d been back. So there were a lot of individual plays. A lot of people had plays, and it would’ve been nice if [Uani’] Unga went up and had his hands on that ball that he ended up knocking down. You know, I’ve seen people catch that ball, and that would’ve been a nice thing to see. So there were plays throughout the game that were good examples. You had [Kenneth] Harper on the really nice cutback run. You had [Orleans] Darkwa with a couple of penetration runs up front, I thought. We went to kind of a two tight end and two back set in the second half and had some productive running opportunities, so there were plays along the line like that throughout the game.
Q: I know we seem to ask you this every week, but where do you stand now with the safety position? Did Cooper Taylor do anything to sort of solidify himself in that spot? I know he’s been playing with the first team all week.
A: Well, that was his opportunity. That’s basically what it was, and we’ll decide on those things going forward based on merit. Cooper [Taylor] did some good things last night, no doubt, and hopefully will continue.
Q: Can you just talk about your thoughts in opening Sunday night in Dallas in a situation where it’s going to be a pretty charged atmosphere and you seem to have to hit the ground running?
A: Well, it’s the opening game of the 2015 season. Everybody, we’re excited to be playing. We’re playing in the division. We’re playing against a team that was the division champion a year ago, that went deep into the playoffs. So they’re an outstanding team and we’ve been in this format before and we’re excited and look forward to going to Dallas and bringing our A game.
Q: What’s the ideal number of tight ends you’d like to carry on your roster moving forward here? If you had a perfect world and got to choose.
A: Well, if I had a perfect world, I’d… of course you’ve got to have the utilization of the tight ends, and with specific purpose. It’s a difficult position to man today in terms of the versatility that goes along with it. You’d like to have at least one tight end that can accomplish everything, and then others that are very specific, so you could have anywhere from three to four tight ends, and if you were not carrying a fullback, you might even have more depending on how they contribute to special teams.
September 4, 2015 Player Conference Calls: Transcripts of the following player conference calls on Friday afternoon are available on BigBlueInteractive.com:
2014 YEAR IN REVIEW:It was a mixed bag for the New York Giants on special teams in 2014. The Giants finished 3rd in the NFL in field goal percentage, but 22nd in net punting (including allowing a blocked punt for a touchdown). The Giants were 2nd in the NFL in covering kickoffs, but 27th in covering punts (also allowing one punt return for a touchdown).
The punt and kick return games remained anemic, with the Giants finishing 19th and 18th, respectively. The punt returns were split among Odell Beckham (21 returns, 11 fair catches, 8.1 yard average), Preston Parker (8 returns, 6 fair catches, 6.6 yard average), and Rueben Randle (no returns, 10 fair catches). The kickoff returns were split among Parker (21 returns, 24.2 yard average), Quintin Demps (12 returns, 21.3 yard average), and Michael Cox (11 returns, 23.7 yard average).
The Giants scored no special teams touchdowns and had the two aforementioned scored against them, both in losses.
The best Giants player on special teams in 2014 was Josh Brown, who made 24-of-26 of his field goals (92.3 percent) with one of the misses being blocked.
ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants signed street free agent punter Robert Malone and street free agent place kicker/punter Chris Boswell in January to compete with punter Steve Weatherford and place kicker Josh Brown.
The big signing was the the 5-year, $17.5 million contract given to special teams stud Dwayne Harris from the Dallas Cowboys. Because Harris does it all on specials, returning and covering both punts and kicks, he is arguably the best special teams player in the game. Harris has three “NFC Player of the Week” awards to his credit.
Other additions who could impact special teams coverage units include free agent linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas and rookies WR Geremy Davis, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, S Landon Collins, S Mykkele Thompson, and S Justin Currie. Rookies WR Ben Edwards and RB Akeem Hunt could provide competition to the return game.
No longer in the picture are linebackers Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams, as well as returners Quintin Demps and Michael Cox.
TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Most eyes will focus on Dwayne Harris and his impact on not only the return game but on special teams coverage units. The $17.5 millon the Giants gave to Harris puts a lot of pressure on Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn to fix issues in the return game and punt coverage unit. The Giants also gave a lot of money to linebackers J.T. Thomas (3 years, $10 million) and Jonathan Casillas (3 years, $8 million) to help out on coverage units. Quite a few of the defensive backs on the team are or should be good special teams players too, including Mike Harris, Landon Collins, Bennett Jackson, Cooper Taylor, Nat Berhe, and Mykkele Thompson.
ON THE BUBBLE:Though he will probably make the team, Mark Herzlich (2-year, $2.6 million contract) could be pressed by rookie free agent linebacker Cole Farrand. The signing of Dwayne Harris also could reduce the special teams value of wideout Preston Parker.
FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Tom Quinn on Dwayne Harris: “He is going to be a ‘big four’ player, so he will be on all four of the teams and he will make a very good contribution. His coverage skills are equal to his return skills, so that is the nice thing about getting this kind of player.”
Quinn on what makes Harris a good returner: “He is decisive. There isn’t a lot of wasted movement. He is physical. He has a good understanding of the return schemes and what is needed for each one. There is no hesitation. If he is catching the ball and you are running it to the right, he is going to get it to the right, which sets up all the blockers for him. They know where he is going to be. A lot of times when you are blocking, (the returner) is supposed to be over here, but the returner is running the wrong direction or in the middle and now your block is not set up for that. He is very decisive. He is a strong runner.”
Quinn on new acquisitions who could help out: “We got some new acquisitions at the linebacker spot and we got some safeties in, which are nice, and getting Bennett Jackson back has been pleasing. The young kid from Texas, (Mykkele) Thompson, has done some good things; he is long and has real good speed, so I think he can be pretty versatile for us. Obviously Landon (Collins) has done a nice job in what he have asked him to do, so (I) am pleased with the overall group.”
PREDICTIONS: Punt returns and punt coverage have been a problem under Tom Quinn for quite some time. From 2010-14, the Giants have finished 31st, 29th, 30th, 26th, and 19th in punt return average with no punt return touchdowns during that five-year span. During the same period, the Giants have finished 31st, 17th, 15th, 30th, and 27th in punt coverage with six punt return touchdowns allowed. The kick return game has been pretty bad too except for David Wilson’s performance in 2012.
This is not so much a prediction, but a gnawing fear. Despite bright moments in the 2007 and 2011 playoffs, the Giants special teams have been a sore spot for years. Yet Tom Quinn has somehow avoided the executioner. If the special teams unit under-performs again in 2015, costing the team in the win-loss column, Tom Coughlin may find himself being the one receiving a pink slip because of his decision to stick with Quinn.
FINAL DEPTH CHART: It would be a pretty major upset if Josh Brown, Steve Weatherford, and Zak DeOssie do not remain the team’s place kicker, punter, and long snapper, respectively. Dwayne Harris should be the kickoff and punt returner. There are some good athletes at defensive end (Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Damontre Moore), linebacker (Devon Kennard, J.T. Thomas, and Jonathan Casillas), and safety (Landon Collins, Bennett Jackson, Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor, and Mykkele Thompson) who should be special teams assets. The Giants also think Geremy Davis could be a special teams weapon.
The New York Giants completed their fourth of ten Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday.
Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started last week. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
The final six OTA practices will be held June 2, June 4, June 8-9, and June 11-12. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 16-18.
INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Tight end Larry Donnell (Achilles tendinitis), DE Robert Ayers (sprained ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (calf) did not practice.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz (knee) did not practice but worked on the side.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham (sore hamstring, not the same one as last year) was limited.
“It’s always frustrating when you have to miss what you love doing,” Beckham said. “Just not practicing today was enough for me. But it’s part of the game. The good thing is that it’s just precautionary.”
Linebacker Devon Kennard (ankle) returned to practice.
Linebacker Jon Beason missed the voluntary practice due to a cancelled flight.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has yet to sign his Franchise tender, has not been participating in the voluntary OTA workouts.
Some snippets from various media sources:
The starting offensive line currently remains LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, OC Weston Richburg, RG Geoff Schwartz, and RT Marshall Newhouse.
George Selvie, Kerry Wynn, and Cullen Jenkins rotated at defensive end on the first-team unit.
Jameel McClain practiced with the first team at middle linebacker with J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas playing outside. Devon Kennard also saw first-team reps in lieu of Casillas.
Jerome Cunningham and Adrien Robinson saw first-team reps at tight end. Cunningham looked sharp catching the football. (Giants.com video)
WR Rueben Randle caught two touchdown passes from QB Eli Manning.
Others who flashed catching the ball were WR Corey Washington, TE Will Tye, and RB Orleans Darkwa (Giants.com)
With Odell Beckham out of team drills, wideouts Preston Parker, Washington, Marcus Harris, and Dwayne Harris saw extra work in his spot.
P Steve Weatherford practiced despite being in an early-morning car accident.
A: It is ongoing. He had a little bit of that in college.
Q: Where is the tendinitis?
A: It is his Achilles.
Q: Re: Odell Beckham Jr.?
A: Odell is sore. Precautionary.
A: Yeah, not the same side.
Q: Re: Jon Beason’s absence?
A: His flight was cancelled this morning from Charlotte. He will be here this afternoon.
Q: You brought in an offensive lineman (Jake Long) last week… What was the thinking behind that?
A: Just a visit. It was a good visit. He ate well. He had a nice time visiting with us.
Q: Re: Joint practices with the Cincinnati Bengals?
A: At one time, we did it a lot. I just think going out and having a couple practices against somebody else, [there will be] a little more intensity, especially going into that first game. Maybe have your ones take a few more reps than they normally would because of the way the game will be played. It will really benefit our team.
Q: Jerome Cunningham looked like he took advantage of his playing time today?
A: Yeah, he made a couple plays today. He has gotten plenty of playing time. Hopefully he will continue to benefit from it.
Q: How is the offensive line looking as you configure it?
A: It is obvious you throw an awful lot at them – the young guys are doing okay. Progress is being made and this is what [OTA’s] are all about. Throwing them in there and letting them go. See how they do.
Q: Can you gauge where this offense is a year later?
A: We are way ahead in terms of that. The familiarity as the different installations go and the familiarity by the players, at least the guys that have been here, so what we are talking about here is obvious. There is an awful lot of information being thrown at them. They seem to being handling it well. Some of the new guys have done well with it. I haven’t seen a lot of issues with that. It is natural. They have heard it. They have played it. They have been involved with adjustments. As we do more and more adjusting, they are picking that up as well.
Q: What do you like about adding Shane Vereen on the field and in the running backs room?
A: He is a solid, solid young man. A very positive young man who’s happy to be here and looks forward to contributing. When we brought him in we thought here is a guy that catches the ball out of the backfield and would be another obvious weapon that would have to be defended as well as some of the other people we have here.
Q: What were your immediate thoughts when you heard of Steve Weatheford’s accident?
A: Thank goodness that he is okay. That was a scary, scary thing.
Q: Did you say anything to the players about that?
A: No, I didn’t. As a matter of fact, we were well into meetings when I found out about it. I am sure they all know about it by now.
Q: Does that put life into perspective? He goes from the birth of his baby girl to possibly losing his life?
A: Difficult thing to talk about. That is the first thing that popped into my mind as well. He rushed to get back here. Obviously the weather caused a different set of plans. Then there was another set of plans when he was in Washington. He is close to finally arriving here and he runs into the water.
Q: He could have stayed home for a few days after his wife just had the baby?
A: He has been home quite a while. They anticipated, so he was anxious. We shared the fact that it was a difficult thing under those circumstances to leave your wife and newborn, but he wanted to get back here and he wanted to get back on the field with his teammates. He was saying all along when the baby was born he would be on a plane the next day.
Q: How is Robert Ayers Jr. doing?
A: His ankle is swollen. He is still limping a little bit. Sprained ankle. Lateral ankle sprain. Quite a bit of swelling.
Q: Is Cooper Taylor getting an extensive look at safety because Nat Berhe isn’t available or do you see something?
A: Those that are here are going to get a good look. There are not that many guys working right now and they all are getting a lot of reps. We are looking for Nat to get back in there and help balance it out.
Q: Re: Cooper Taylor?
A: He flashed a few times today and I was glad to see that. Big, strong man. If we can keep him healthy and he can stay out there.
Q: Has Damontre Moore caught up?
A: I don’t think he is all the way caught up, but I was impressed. I was in the training room watching them exercise that shoulder and he has done well with that. I think he is starting to grasp – going back over, he has individual meeting times. He is catching up.
Q: Is Cullen Jenkins playing defensive end something you guys would do or are you doing that because you are short?
A: He is flopping around largely because of the [number of ends], but it is something that could happen.
Q: Are you alright with the offensive line you have now or are you going to add something?
A: We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how we finish the spring here and so on and so forth.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following video clips of player media Q&As are available at Giants.com:
While there were some bright spots, the special teams of the New York Giants continued to under-perform in many key statistical areas in 2014. Consider the following:
Field Goals: The Giants finished 3rd in the NFL as place kicker Josh Brown converted on 24-of-26 attempts for a 92.3 average. This is all the more remarkable when you consider one of those misses was blocked. Brown also hit all 44 extra point tries. Unfortunately, the only real miss by Brown was a factor in the 1-point loss to Jacksonville in November.
Punting: Steve Weatherford, who was impacted by an early-season ankle injury, finished 16th in the NFL in gross average (45.5 yards per punt) and 22nd in the NFL in net average (40.1 yards per punt). He was middle-of-the-pack with punts in the 20-yard line with 25 and touchbacks with six. The Giants also allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Eagles.
Kickoff Returns: The Giants finished 18th in kickoff returns, averaging 23.3 yards per return. They did not return a kickoff for a touchdown and the longest return was only for 45 yards.
Punt Returns: The Giants finished 19th in punt returns, averaging 7.7 yards per return. They did not return a punt for a touchdown and the longest return was for only 25 yards (which was 26th in the NFL). The Giants were 5th in the NFL in fair catches with 27.
Opposing Kickoff Returns: The Giants were very good at covering kickoffs as opposing teams averaged only 18.3 yards per return (2nd best in the NFL), with a long of 33 yards. Forty-six of Josh Brown’s 82 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks (56 percent).
Opposing Punt Returns: The Giants were not as strong covering punts as opposing teams averaged 10.6 yards per return and the Giants allowed a punt return to go 71 yards for a touchdown against the Cardinals. In addition, the Giants finished 23rd in the NFL in opposing fair catches with 17.
With the additions of Trindon Holliday, Quintin Demps, and Odell Beckham, plus the expected return of David Wilson, the return game was supposed to be a strength for the Giants in 2014. However, Holliday missed the bulk of camp with a hamstring injury as was placed on Injured Reserve. David Wilson re-injured his neck in training camp and retired. Beckham kept injuring his hamstring and was not a factor in the punt return game until later in the season. Demps never really flashed on kickoff returns like he did in Kansas City.
The kickoff return game was split among Preston Parker (21 returns, 24.2 yard average), Demps (12 returns, 21.3 yard average), and Michael Cox (11 returns, 23.7 yard average). The punt returns were split between Beckham (21 returns, 11 fair catches, 8.1 yard average), Parker (8 returns, 6 fair catches, 6.6 yard average), and Rueben Randle (no returns, 10 fair catches).
Steve Weatherford tore ligaments in his left ankle in September and was hobbled with the injury for much of the season. He finished 18th in the NFL in punting average (45.5 yards per punt) and 25th in net punting average (38.6). Twenty-five of Weatherford’s punts were downed inside the 20-yard line and only six resulted in touchbacks. He did suffer his first blocked punt of his career. Before coming to the Giants, Weatherford played for the Saints (2006-08), Chiefs (2008), Jaguars (2008), and Jets (2009-2010). He is a good directional punter with average length strength.
In his 12th season, Josh Brown had his finest season, making 24-of-26 of his field goals (92.3 percent) with one of the misses being blocked. He made all 44 extra point attempts. And 45 of his 82 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Brown was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Before coming to the Giants as a free agent in 2013, he kicked for the Seahawks (2003-07), St. Louis Rams (2009-11), and Bengals (2012). Brown now owns the Giants records for both single season and career field goal percentage. In his two seasons with the Giants, Brown has succeeded on 47-of-52 field goal attempts (90.4 percent).
Zak DeOssie is one of the NFL’s most consistent and better long snappers, being voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. DeOssie was drafted as a linebacker by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He is now strictly a special teams player. Aside from his long snapping duties, DeOssie also excels in punt coverage.
No Giants Voted to Pro Bowl: The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl teams were announced on Tuesday. No Giants were elected to this year’s Pro Bowl team by coaches, players, and fans (each with one-third of the vote). Wide receiver Odell Beckham was named a first-alternate and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was named a fourth-alternate.
December 24, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Devon Kennard (toe) did not practice on Wednesday.
RB Rashad Jennings (ankle), RB Andre Williams (shoulder), LB Jameel McClain (knee), and DE/LB Paul Hazel were limited.
December 24, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com.
December 24, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:
Giants Sign TE Jerome Cunningham to 53-Man Roster: The New York Giants signed tight end Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad on Wednesday. Cunningham fills the roster vacancy created when the Giants put linebacker Terrell Manning on Injured Reserve on December 2. Per an obscure NFL rule, Manning could not be replaced on the 53-man roster for three weeks after he was signed from the Bengals’ Practice Squad on November 25.
Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but he was not with an NFL team in training camp until August 2014 when the Giants signed him. He did try out with the Indianapolis Colts in May 2013 and Arizona Cardinals in May 2014, but was not signed by either team. Cunningham lacks ideal size for the position; he’s built more like an H-Back. But he is a good athlete who catches the ball well.
Giants Sign FB Nikita Whitlock to Practice Squad: To fill the vacancy created when the Giants signed TE Jerome Cunningham to the 53-man roster, the Giants signed fullback Nikita Whitlock to the Practice Squad on Wednesday.
Whitlock, who played defensive tackle in college, was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He was cut by the Bengals in their final round of cuts and then signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their Practice Squad. The NFL suspended Whitlock in November for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Cowboys terminated his Practice Squad contract. Whitlock was converted to fullback by the Bengals and he flashed in the preseason as a lead blocker with good size.
December 17, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) and LB Jameel McClain (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.
December 17, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Wednesday’s press conference are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com.
December 17, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of media sessions on Wednesday with the following players are available at BigBlueInteractive.com and Giants.com:
November 1, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: RB Rashad Jennings (knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), and DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not practice on Saturday. Jennings and Jenkins have been officially ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Pierre-Paul is “probable.”
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) were limited in practice. Rodgers-Cromartie is “questionable” for the game while Weatherford is “probable.”