Oct 162014
 
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Perry Fewell, New York Giants (October 16, 2011)

Perry Fewell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and RB Rashad Jennings (knee) did not practice on Thursday. Jennings has already been ruled out of the game against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.

“I think they’re working on trying to get him to where he can do something,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin about Rodgers-Cromartie.

It is the same thing. Problems down my leg on the entire right side. I am just trying to rest it and get it right,” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “I definitely thought I would be back by today. You want Thursday and Friday to get that time in, but definitely looking to push forward and (practice) tomorrow…(I am at) 60 percent.”

LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

LB Jon Beason (toe) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) fully practiced.

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Injured WR Victor Cruz can become NY Giants source of inspiration by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Jayron Hosley: Giants CB Jayron Hosley: I’m at a much better place mentally than I was in the preseason by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on the Giants-Eagles Game: Giants film review: Did Eli Manning have a chance on any of the sacks? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Giants Online - Giants vs. Cowboys Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Sep 102014
 
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Steve Weatherford, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Steve Weatherford – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 10, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Wednesday were WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), OT James Brewer (back), DT Cullen Jenkins (hip), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), and P Steve Weatherford (ankle).

The Star-Ledger is reporting that Weatherford suffered several torn ligaments in his left ankle, but he will not require surgery.

“Just trying to get healthy at this point, trying to reduce inflammation, get the range of motion back and get ready and try to go on Sunday,” said Weatherford. “It’s my plant foot, so it’s weight bearing…Right now we’re not looking for me to just get the ball off. I’m not going to tell Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin that I’m ready to go unless I know that I can help my team and I can be as good as I can be. At the same time you don’t want to have another punter come in here that’s not used to this stadium, it’s not an easy place to play. I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of the team and if I don’t feel like I can help my team, I’m going to tell them that I need another week. It’s progressing well. It actually felt better yesterday than it did on Monday night.”

“His ankle actually looks better today than it did yesterday and he’s doing jumping jacks and stuff in there now,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Hopefully, that will continue.”

LB Jon Beason (foot) and OT Charles Brown (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who suffered a neck stinger during the game on Monday, was not listed on the injury report and fully practiced.

September 10, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Wednesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

September 10, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on New York Giants President/CEO John Mara: Giants president John Mara will make changes if necessary by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Giants’ O’s problem talent, not tactics by Johnette Howard of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: Cardinals coach: It’ll take half a season to ‘re-program’ Eli by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham feels good but doesn’t want to rush back again by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Secondary: Giants’ secondary eager to get past Motor City meltdown by Zach Braziller of The New York Post

Sep 062014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:

September 6, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Saturday were WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) and DT Markus Kuhn (ankle). Beckham and Kuhn have both been officially ruled out of the game against the Detroit Lions on Monday night.

Jon Beason (foot), OG Brandon Mosley (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), and OT James Brewer (back) practiced on a limited basis. Brewer has been ruled out of the game. Beason, Mosley, and Brown are “probable.”

Giants.com Q&A with Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Season expectations by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: New Offense Features Old-School Run Game by Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: McAdoo not dwelling on awful preseason by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on the New York Giants Offense: NY Giants offense may not be a force, but maybe it doesn’t need to be by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Giants make wise choice by naming Victor Cruz a captain by Tara Sullivan of The Bergen Record

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Giants Show Little Promise at Tight End by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

Article on LB Jon Beason: Jon Beason set for season opener after offseason foot surgery by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Brown confident he can thrive again after latest injury by George Willis of The New York Post

Aug 222014
 
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Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 9, 2014)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Offense:

Article on QB Eli Manning:

Article on General Manager Jerry Reese and WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham may add to NY Giants GM Jerry Reese’s draft duds by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Rashad Jennings hoping for diverse offense after years where run was expected by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Stevie Brown comes full circle by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 042014
 
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Daniel Fells, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Daniel Fells – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 4, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: As reported earlier today, RB David Wilson’s NFL career with the New York Giants is over. Doctors have advised Wilson to never play football again. The Giants will place him on season-ending Injured Reserve.

“You naturally feel bad, you feel down,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “It is just a natural thing. I have to say when David came in and we sat and talked, he is such an up-beat young man. He is so positive. The smile is still on his face, even though he has received this kind of news…The way he expressed it was, ‘God must have something in mind for me. I want no pity. I want no one feeling sorry for me. I am not going to be down about this. No one will catch me in that frame of mind.’…I thought that was a wonderful thing for him to say and a great lesson for all of us.”

“Once a Giant, always a Giant,” said Coughlin. “He heard it earlier in the week and it is true. He’s a Giant. He’ll always be a Giant.”

The Giants did survive an injury scare to TE Daniel Fells, who is battling for a starting spot. It was thought Fells had sprained his knee or worse, but Coughlin said the injury is a bone bruise to the knee.

August 4, 2014 Tom Coughlin Conference Call: The transcript from Monday’s conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at BigBlueInteractive.com.

August 3, 2014 Tom Coughlin Post-Game Press Conference: Video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference on Sunday night is available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Post-Game Player Media Sessions: Video clips of the post-game media Q&As on Sunday night with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • QB Ryan Nassib (Video)
  • RB Andre Williams (Video)
  • WR Corey Washington (Video)
  • OT Justin Pugh (Video)
  • DE Damontre Moore (Video)

Sights & Sounds from Giants-Bills Game: A sights & sounds video from the Giants-Bills preseason game is available at Giants.com.

Article on the Giants-Bills Game: 5 Giants takeaways from Hall of Fame Game vs. Bills by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Victor Cruz, NY Giants won’t be looking ahead, but still have plenty of confidence by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on QB Eli Manning and Former Giants DE Michael Strahan: Eli Manning appreciates Michael Strahan’s words and accomplishments by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: Giants QB Ryan Nassib out to prove he can be Eli Manning’s backup by Arthur Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Articles on New York Giants Running Backs:

Article on WR Corey Washington: Giants long-shot wideout Corey Washington finds strength from a special fan by Conor Orr of The

Article on DT Markus Kuhn: After torn ACL, Giants’ Markus Kuhn gets fresh start by Zach Braziller of The New York Post

Article on S Stevie Brown: Giants’ Stevie Brown looking to pick up where he left off by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on PK Josh Brown: Brown knows Giants job not guaranteed by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Notes and Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on WR Corey Washington:

Wasn’t that some play by that kid? He has done that in practice a couple of times, where he has done some things that were pretty spectacular that got our attention – one as a gunner, just flat-out running and splitting the double-team and then moving on down the field to make a play on the punt returner. He did that in practice and was recognized and very noticeable, and he has made some of those catches here on the practice field, where he has gone up over the top of people and caught the ball.

The Giants will return to practice on Tuesday from 5:40-7:50 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The workout is closed to the public because of the One Direction concert at MetLife Stadium.

Jul 262014
 
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Cullen Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Cullen Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, original-content articles from BBI today:

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP) and WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) did not practice. 

Beason remains optimistic that he will be ready for the regular-season opener. “There is no reason now to think I won’t be there, based on how I feel and how I’m progressing,” Beason said. “The biggest thing is getting back to football shape. Right now, we’re dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s.”

“We’re just being really smart about it,” said Beason. “You have bench marks, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to start doing this at six weeks, get a little more aggressive.’ I think I’m a little superhuman. I heal a little faster. At the end of the day, six weeks, that’s what the timetable calls for so you listen and try to do right.”

Beason said he would like to play in a preseason game. “I would hope so,” said Beason. “Based on how I feel, the way things are going you want to keep making baby steps. If you go too fast, you have a setback and now all of a sudden you’re pushing that timetable of September 8th so we want to be smart about it. Obviously I’m going to do what they tell me, but I would love to get in during the preseason and get some reps.”

When asked about Beckham, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “You’ll know before I’ll know, probably. He seems like he’s frisky enough out here. Today he was catching the ball from the machine and seemed to be moving around okay. So hopefully it’s not going to take too long.”

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Q&As: The transcripts and video from Friday’s press conferences with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

6 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

New York Giants Practice Reports:

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Giants Report: The Short Story of Eli’s New Offense by Peter King of SI.com

Article on RB Andre Williams: Budding Author and Inventor Emerges Quickly in Giants’ Backfield by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

Articles on WR Rueben Randle:

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on LT Will Beatty and DE Jason Pierre-Paul: How Jason Pierre-Paul and Will Beatty motivate each other by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Jul 172014
 
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Antrel Rolle, New York Giants (November 17, 2013)

Antrel Rolle – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp next week, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at this year’s safeties.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWNS: Safeties

Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Things truly couldn’t have started much worse for the Giants’ safety unit in 2013. In the team’s third preseason game versus the Jets, Stevie Brown injured his knee returning an interception and was lost for the year.

Shades of C.C. Brown began to dance in the minds of fans… then Will Hill happened.

Hill returned from a four-game suspension to take over as the Giants’ starting safety opposite Antrel Rolle. Hill recorded 77 tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and scored a game-winning touchdown versus the Lions. For 12 weeks, Hill flashed the play-making ability that made him one of the more coveted recruits out of high school. The safety played with reckless abandon, a never-ending motor and was constantly around the ball. As was the case versus the Redskins when Hill ripped the ball out of the hands of Pierre Garcon on fourth-and-1, preserving a Giants victory.

While the 24-year-old’s season was impressive, so was that of his safety counterpart.

Finally being allowed to play safety full time, Antrel Rolle put together his best season in a Giants’ uniform. The former first-round pick earned Pro-Bowl honors, finished with the team lead in tackles (98) and interceptions (6), recorded two sacks and forced fumble a fumble.

Behind Hill and Rolle, Ryan Mundy was solid in Perry Fewell’s signature three-safety package. The 29-year-old was a force down in the box and recorded 77 tackles, good for fifth on the team. Rookie Cooper Taylor saw limited action, mostly on special teams.

Quintin Demps, Kansas City Chiefs (December 15, 2013)

Quintin Demps – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Get this one out of the way early: After captivating the hearts of fans, Will Hill’s unbelievable season won’t get an encore. For the third consecutive year, Hill faced a drug-related suspension after his urine came up positive for marijuana. While the third-year player claimed it was for ‘second-hand pot,’ the six-game suspension was the last straw in a troubled career. The Giants cut ties with Hill, having warned him over and over again he was on his last strike. Ryan Mundy also left when the Giants’ chose not to renew his one-year contract.

The team re-signed Stevie Brown, who looks to have slid back into his starting safety position. Quintin Demps was brought over from Kansas City and Nat Berhe was drafted in the fifth round. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon were brought in as undrafted rookies.

TRAINING CAMP STORYLINES: The health of Stevie Brown and his ability to ‘replace’ Will Hill may be the No. 1 question heading into camp. While Brown did record a league-high eight interceptions in 2012, many were a result of being in the right place at the right time and teams wanted to test the unproven Brown. Does he have the natural athletic ability that Hill has? No. Can he be serviceable? Yes. How serviceable? No one knows.

Cooper Taylor’s progression and the overall talent of Nat Berhe will worth keeping an eye on. Taylor has added muscle in the offseason, per the coaches request, and may be a sleeper to see increased playing time in his second year. In college, Berhe played San Diego State’s ‘Aztec’ position, a hybrid mix of the linebacker and safety positions. If he develops, he may make an immediate impact, but will need to climb the depth chart first.

ON THE BUBBLE: There really isn’t any big-name player that is in jeopardy of being cut. Right now, the Giants have seven safeties on the roster and figure to keep four or five. The odd men out? Most likely C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon. Cooper Taylor may be in warm water, but the odds of Jerry Reese cutting last year’s fifth-round pick are slim-to-none.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: David Merritt on what makes Quintin Demps a good candidate as the team’s third safety: “His speed, his ability to actually change directions and burst. Quintin has played back in the post for most of his career. One of the things that he told me when he first arrived was, ‘Coach, I want to be down near the box.’ So when he said that I said, ‘Well you know what, I’m going to give you all of the tools to hopefully help you be successful down around the box.’ His speed, his ability to change directions and burst is one of the valuable assets that he brings to the table.

“Because he’s played back so many years as a deep safety, being back 20 yards. When you’ve been back there for that amount of years you want to get down around the action. I think he probably has seen guys being down around the action, Berry that he played with in Kansas City, Pollard, the kid that was with him in Houston so he’s see all of these guys down around the action where he’s been back just as a safety valve. Now he’s down close to the box and he’s learning the linebacker aspect of it.”

PREDICTIONS:
Connor Hughes - I’m very, very concerned with Stevie Brown heading into the 2014 season. Not necessarily for his health, but simply because I’m not convinced he’s a starting-caliber player in the NFL.

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (October 7, 2012)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

What made Brown so good for the majority of the 2012 season was that he was allowed to play back in the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. Brown would line up 15-20 yards behind the defense, wait for the deep ball and then track it down in the air. When Phillips played the position, teams stayed away from the deep pass. When Brown played it, they attacked him. The result? Eight interceptions.

If Quintin Demps can develop into a player that can play down in the box, as Merritt suggested he wants to do, then Brown can go back to playing the ‘Kenny Phillips’ role. It best suits him as he’s not an incredible player in the box. With that being said, can Demps play in the box? He’s unproven, just like every Giants’ safety not named ‘Antrel.’

I agreed entirely with the Giants decision to cut Will Hill. It was time. You can’t send that message to the locker room keeping him on the team. But looking over the roster, I just don’t see a viable replacement. The revamped and retooled cornerback position is going to have to carry the load. With their paychecks, that shouldn’t be a problem.

With that being said, there will be times Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie guesses wrong, it’s part of his game. Will there be a player behind him to catch his mistake? We’ll see.

Eric Kennedy - Losing Will Hill was a huge blow. The defense dramatically improved in 2013 once Jon Beason and Will Hill were inserted into the starting line-up. Hill looked like a future Pro Bowl free safety. He might have been the best player on the team last season. Now he’s bagging groceries. Stupid is as stupid does. Like Connor, I have my doubts about Stevie Brown. In 2012, he definitely had a nose for the football, but he also was missing in action on some big pass plays. In addition, he doesn’t hit or play the run like a big safety. I’d accept fewer interceptions if you could guarantee fewer big coverage breakdowns and better run defense.

The coaches have been talking up Quintin Demps more than his reputation in Philadelphia and Kansas City should indicate. Demps thinks he is better suited closer to the line of scrimmage and he may be right. Demps has the inside track on the third safety position in the Giants three-safety package. If he stumbles, Cooper Taylor has the physical tools to steal playing time.

My prediction is that 31-year old Antrel Rolle hasn’t peaked and will have an even better season in 2014. He’s the unquestioned leader of the strongest part of the defense. I expect that to motivate him, as well the fact that he’s entering the final year of his current contract. And I expect the talent at cornerback to allow him to take more chances to make plays on the football. He hasn’t returned a pick for a touchdown yet as a Giant (four times with Cardinals), but I believe he will do that twice in 2014.

FINAL DEPTH CHART
Connor Hughes - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe reserve. C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut.

Eric Kennedy - Antrel Rolle/Stevie Brown start. Quintin Demps third safety. Cooper Taylor reserve. Nat Berhe, C.J. Barnett, and Thomas Gordon cut. My biggest problem is figuring out how the Giants get from 54 to 53. My gut says Nat Berhe makes the team, but I can’t see how the Giants can carry 11 defensive backs in addition to nine defensive linemen, six wide receivers, and five running backs/fullback. Something has to give. I’m guessing they try to sneak Berhe onto the Practice Squad. C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon have some talent too.

Jul 022014
 
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New York Giants Helmets (August 10, 2013)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

Charles Way Leaves Giants for NFL Head Office: Charles Way, the New York Giants Director of Player Development since 2000, is leaving the team to join the NFL office as the head of the league’s Player Engagement Department. Way was a fullback for the Giants from 1995-1999 until a knee injury forced his retirement. In five seasons, the Way rushed for 1,356 yards, caught 118 passes, and scored 14 touchdowns.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to advance the initiatives of the Player Engagement Department,” said Way. “I am thankful to (former Giants General Manager) Ernie Accorsi for envisioning the importance and significance of the role I have had with the Giants and grateful for the support of John Mara, Steve Tisch, Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin in implementing and developing the programs we have instituted. We will continue to build on the foundation of NFL Player Engagement that has been established over the past 25 years.”

With the Giants, Way developed and managed off-field player programs, rookie orientations, and player counseling. He also advised the players regarding career planning, educational opportunities, and team and professional requirements. Way coordinated player activities in support of the public relations and community relations programs. He was instrumental in devising new programs for the Giants,  including leadership training, professional development, and team building. Way even helped coach the team’s running backs and fullbacks.

“We appreciate the contributions Charles has made here with the Giants, and we know he will bring the same commitment and energy and passion to player engagement at the league level,” General Manager Jerry Reese said. “Our players over the years have benefitted from the programs and initiatives Charles has implemented, and Charles’ concern for their well-being and his efforts to prepare them for their lives after football is one of the reasons players feel good about this organization.”

“We wish Charles well,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “He wanted to be included in everything, and I think the opportunity to include him as almost one of the football staff was beneficial. He knew what we were thinking about individual players, and he got to know the players from the time they came out of college into the professional game and as they developed professionally. Because he was able to build relationships with the players, they had great respect for him and what he was trying to achieve, and they knew that everything he did was in their best interest.”

Giants.com Q&A with WR Odell Beckham: The video of a Q&A session with WR Odell Beckham, Jr. is available at Giants.com.

Inside Football Q&A with RB Andre Williams: The transcript of a Q&A session with RB Andre Williams is available at InsideFootball.com.

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Jun 302014
 
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Stevie Brown (27), Antrel Rolle (26), New York Giants (August 4, 2013)

Can Stevie Brown (left) fill the void left by Will Hill? – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Big Blue Breakdown enters into week No. 3 as today our panel takes a look at safety Stevie Brown.

HEALTHY AND MOTIVATED, STEVIE BROWN READY TO MAKE IMPACT ON GIANTS

Remember, if you’d like to submit a question to be put into consideration for the next BBB, simply email it to Connor Hughes (Connor_Hughes@bigblueinteractive.com).

QUESTION (From James in Morristown): With addition, after addition after addition made to the Giants’ secondary, the return of Stevie Brown has flown a bit under the radar. Do you believe the Giants’ safety can return to the form he displayed in 2012 when he hauled in a league-high eight interceptions? How important is it that he appears healthy and ready to go?

CONNOR HUGHES/ Big Blue Interactive

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Stevie Brown injured his knee in the third preseason game of 2013 – © USA TODAY Sports Images

It’s really tough to gauge exactly what should be expected from a player returning from a serious knee injury, especially the season directly after. While most players return the next year after they are injured, it usually takes two full seasosn to see the ‘old’ version of the player back on the field. With that being said, the fact Brown was injured in the preseason certainly favors him returning to form.

But that ‘form’ is what is in question. Before joining the Giants, Brown played a combined 23 games for the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts… he never recorded a single interception. Brown then burst onto the scene for the Giants with eight, tying for a league-lead.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pulling for Brown, think he’s a player with a great attitude who does everything the right way…but I’m not sold just yet. In 2012, Brown filled in quite often for an injured Kenny Phillips. When Phillips was with the Giants, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell adjusted his scheme to let Phillips roam 15-20 yards beyond the defense tracking down deep balls. When Phillips was injured, Brown took his place.

Brown’s eight interceptions were impressive, but more of a result of offensive coordinators testing him. Quarterbacks  forced some his way, Brown made them pay.

Theoretically, the Giants’ ‘best case scenario’ would have been a safety tandem of Antrel Rolle and Will Hill with Brown roaming deep. With Hill gone, can Brown become a complete safety? Can he play in the box?

The fact Brown is healthy is big, very big, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as it’s not Charles or Rod Woodson stepping back on the field. I hope Brown proves he’s a top-tier safety in the NFL, I just don’t know exactly who Brown is yet..healthy or not.

JORDAN RAANAN/NJ.com

Having Brown back is huge for the Giants now that Will Hill has been exiled to unemployment. Brown gives them a starting-caliber safety to play alongside Antrel Rolle, if he returns to previous form.

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (May 29, 2014)

Stevie Brown – Photo by Connor Hughes

But that’s a big if. It often takes until the second season off injury for most players (Adrian Peterson not included) to really get back. Brown is only nine months removed from surgery and was still slightly limited at OTAs and minicamp.

Even when Brown is at full strength, Hill is the better, more complete, player. Hill did it all last season, and was the perfect complement to Rolle with his impressive range. To expect Brown, off a serious knee injury, to provide similar sideline-to-sideline coverage is unrealistic. To expect him to have that good a year is wishful thinking.

And then there is the question of whether Brown really was that good in the first place. He had a nice 2012 season with the Giants, no doubt. But that was his fourth team in three years in the NFL. In four professional seasons, Brown has 12 career starts. He’s far from a given even if he’s healthy.

Considering the Giants situation, they’re hoping Brown is back. They’re praying he was for real. I have my doubts.

ART STAPLETON/The Record

The best development out of the spring for the Giants is without question the health of Stevie Brown. The fact he’s where he is must be considered a huge positive step, but cautiously it remains just the first one. Toss in Will Hill’s release and Brown’s pairing with Antrel Rolle could emerge as a potential strength on a transitioning team in search of them rather than what would be a weakness without him.

Go back to Brown’s interception against the Jets last August and prior to that, when he fell to the turf with that ACL injury: he was locked in as a starter and Will Hill was an afterthought because of his pending suspension, relegated to working with the third and fourth string in training camp. Brown broke out in 2012 and in some ways I believe some still view his performance was a fluke. We’re not talking about Brown returning to an All-Pro level, because despite those interceptions, there were clearly some flaws in his game (coverage especially).

But in reality, Brown and Rolle can be as effective as Rolle and Hill, and the Giants need that kind of play from their safeties to solidify a secondary whose greatest strength – at least on paper – will be in its ability to cover. Brown and Rolle can roam if Amukamara, DRC and Thurmond do their jobs at CB.

With all the uncertainty involved with the rehab of injuries for Will Beatty, Chris Snee and Mario Manningham, not to mention Jon Beason’s foot, the presence of Brown is just as important and maybe more so than any of them. Brown’s absence would leave a gaping hole that the Giants would have an even harder time filing a year later.

CONOR ORR/The Star-Ledger

I think it’s completely reasonable to expect Stevie Brown to be on a pitch count this summer. He started jogging toward the end of last season and could cut and sprint by the Super Bowl, but the first year following an ACL tear is always the toughest. Just ask Terrell Thomas. Brown was lucky that his happened when it did, which allowed him a full season under team supervision to rehab, but it’s still less than a year removed from the injury.

Brown is extremely important to what the Giants are trying to do on defense this season. The three safety look will be in heavy rotation to make up for the loss of Will Hill. That’s why they will be careful with Brown and will space out his workload during training camp and in the preseason. Behind him are a pair of safeties, Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, who aren’t likely ready for that much responsibility.

PATRICIA TRAINA/Inside Football, Bleacher Report, Sports Exchange

Stevie Brown appears to have made amazing progress in his return from ACL surgery. I’ll admit that I was surprised to see him do as much as he did this spring given the nature of his injury. I thought he might be limited until training camp.

With that said, it’s important that he not try to overdo things as that’s how you can reinjure yourself. I think the training staff is going to closely monitor Brown’s progress and put him on a “pitch count” for the summer so that he doesn’t overdo it.

Can Brown return to his 2012 form? The optimist in me says, “Yes,” but the realist in me says that’s a tough question to answer right now considering the spring practices were run at half speed.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that you’re never quite the same once you’ve had surgery, so I don’t quite know how to answer that question right now. I would need to see how he does when the practice tempo cranks up and we see how he responds to that.

Regarding the importance of him being ready to go, I think that can be said of all players. If Brown passes the litmus test, that would be huge because it would allow Perry Fewell to run the three-safety set that he so enjoys using.

If Brown suffers a setback, then they’re left with just Antrel Rolle and Quintin Demps as their veterans with any significant experience, which means the three-safety set probably gets put on the back burner (unless Cooper Taylor has a strong showing).

So yes, it’s definitely important for Brown to be on the field, and for that to happen, I suspect they’ll be managing his reps very carefully because they are counting on him this year.

ED VALENTINE/Big Blue View

For the Giants’ secondary to be as good as advertised, the answer to this question has to be yes. The Giants absolutely need Brown to play full-time and to play well, in 2014. That doesn’t mean we have any clue how healthy Brown will be, or how well he will play.

Stevie Brown, New York Giants (December 9, 2012)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Fact is, we really don’t know how good Brown is. He had a nice run in 2012, with those eight interceptions in just 11 starts. He was, however, also part of a defense that surrendered 13 plays of 40 yards or more through the air, second-worst in the league. How much of that was on Brown? We don’t know, but the primary job of the safety is to prevent the big play. The Giants did not do that well in 2012.

There is also the fact that Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts after single seasons during which he never really received an opportunity.

The question really shouldn’t be will Brown return to his 2012 form? Aside from his health, the question really is what kind of player Brown actually is.The Giants will find out. For their sake, Brown’s 2012 performance better not have been a mirage.

Jun 272014
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 18,2014)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A with RB David Wilson: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with RB David Wilson is available at Giants.com.

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