Jan 252021
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

The potential trajectory of New York Giants’ 2020 season changed on September 20th. On that day, the team lost its best player, and arguably one of the top 10 players in the NFL, for the season. Many fans still don’t fully understand what a massive loss that was for the team. Saquon Barkley changes the way other teams defend an entire offense. He was the only player on the Giants who was a threat to score every time he touched the football as a runner or receiver.

Unfortunately, there is a growing group of fans who argue that Barkley was not worthy of the #2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft based on talent alone. This is revisionist thinking. Very few were saying that after his historic rookie season where he gained over 2,000 yards on an offensive team otherwise devoid of talent, especially on the offensive line. Before we proceed further, please watch his rookie highlights. Now one can argue that a rebuilding club should not take a running back with the #2 pick, that the Giants should have traded down for more picks, or selected a position with a longer shelf life, but there is no disputing Barkley’s talent. Once he was removed from the 2020 New York Giants line-up, the entire complexion of the team’s offense changed for the worse.

The franchise seemed somewhat unprepared for the potential loss of Barkley. They did not seem enamored with the other options on the roster and immediately signed Devonta Freeman off of the street. In Week 3, Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis embarrassingly carried the ball 10 times for 17 yards. The coaching staff instantly favored Freeman over Gallman. Freeman carried the ball 11 times for 33 yards in Week 4, 17 times for 60 yards in Week 5, and 18 times for 61 yards in Week 6. Then Freeman hurt his ankle early in Week 7 and was also effectively lost for the season. The Giants signed Alfred Morris off of the scrapheap and were forced to turn to Gallman, who started each of the final nine games.

Gallman’s story is a curious one. Drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo, Gallman fell out of favor with Pat Shurmur and then early on with Joe Judge. But when Judge finally turned to Gallman, the 4th-year pro responded by rushing 147 times for 682 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. This despite only carrying the ball more than 12 times in a game just four times and more than 18 times just once. Indeed, it seemed as if Gallman was being underutilized for much of the second half of the season.

After Gallman’s 147 carries, quarterback Daniel Jones was the second leading rusher on the team, both in terms of carries (65) and yardage (423). The over-the-hill Alfred Morris become Gallman’s primary backup, averaging six carries per game in the final nine games. He finished with 55 carries for 238 yards and one touchdown, surprisingly averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Dion Lewis served as the 3rd-down back, carrying the ball just 29 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback Eli Penny only played in seven percent of all offensive snaps, touching the ball just eight times.

Overall, the Giants finished 19th in rushing, averaging 110.5 yards per game. The ground game was abysmal to start the season and improved markedly as the year progressed until December. No Giant had more than 28 yards rushing in the first two games and no Giant had more than 49 yards rushing in the first four games. Jones was the team’s leading rusher in four of the first seven games of the season. When the Giants ran for over 100 yards in a game, their record was 6-3. When the Giants ran for less than 100 yards, their record was 0-7, including the 0-3 stretch in December. Long story short, when the offensive line played well, the Giants were able to run the football and won football games. When the offensive line faltered, the Giants lost. Team running backs only scored nine rushing touchdowns.

One thing to keep in mind as we move forward: since Gallman, Morris, and Lewis are all now free agents, it is quite possible that none of New York’s top three running back ground gainers in 2020 will be on the roster in a few months.

THE DEVASTATING LOSS

The Giants placed Saquon Barkley on Injured Reserve in late September 2020 after he tore the ACL, partially tore the meniscus, and sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2. He finished the season with 19 carries for 34 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and six catches for 60 yards. The Giants drafted Barkley with the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He became only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage and breaking a number of franchise records. He also was voted to the Pro Bowl and named “Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year”, “FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year”, “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year”, and “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.” Barkley started all 16 games, rushing 261 times for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. The latter figure is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 merger. All of this despite playing behind a subpar offensive line.

After that stellar rookie season, Barkley endured a forgettable sophomore season as a pro. The high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 3 nagged him much of the remainder of the season. Playing soft and tentative at times, Barkley did not show signs of his old self until December. Nevertheless, Barkley still rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He also caught 52 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns. Barkley is a complete three-down back who can make an impact running and catching the football. If healthy, he has an outstanding combination of size, quickness, and speed. A home-run threat every time he touches the football, Barkley has great vision, instincts, and balance. He makes defenders miss and can accelerate to full speed in a heartbeat. Barkley is big enough to run through and athletic enough to leap over tackle attempts. Barkley is a very good pass receiver who can hurt a defense down the field in the passing game. He has only fumbled the ball once in his career. His biggest negative is that he will sometimes try to do too much and dance around instead of taking what the defense gives him. Excellent intangibles. Team leader with a good work ethic. It remains to be seen if he can regain his old form after his serious 2020 knee injuries. And after two injury-plagued seasons in a row, Barkley needs to prove he can stay healthy.

THE STAND-INS

The Giants placed Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve in November 2020 with ankle and hamstring injuries. He was also placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List in December. The 5’8”, 206-pound Freeman was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. In six years with the Falcons, Freeman played in 77 regular-season games with 59 starts, rushing 951 times for 3,972 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 32 touchdowns. He also caught 257 passes for 2,015 yards and 11 touchdowns. Freeman missed most of the 2018 season with knee and groin injuries. His productivity fell to 656 yards on 184 carries (3.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in 2019. The Falcons cut Freeman in March 2020 and the Giants signed him in late September 2020. Freeman played in five games with the Giants, starting four, and finished 2020 with 54 carries for 172 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 58 yards.

In his fourth NFL season, Wayne Gallman had his best campaign despite starting the season as an afterthought. It was only after injuries to Saquon Barkley and the newly-signed Devonta Freeman that the coaching staff turned to Gallman. He ended up playing in 15 games with 10 starts, carrying the ball 147 times for 682 yards (4.6 yards per rush) and six touchdowns. Gallman also caught 21 passes for 114 yards. Gallman was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Giants. As a rookie, Gallman played in 13 games with one start and carried the football 111 times for 476 yards (4.3 yards per carry). But Gallman saw his playing time drop significant during Pat Shurmur’s reign, carrying the ball only 80 times for 286 yards in 2018-2019. Gallman is a well-rounded cutback runner with decent vision, elusiveness, strength for his size, and speed. He has good hands as a receiver, but he will fumble (seven career fumbles).

The Giants signed Alfred Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020 and the 53-man roster in November 2020. Morris ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with no starts, carrying the ball 55 times for 238 yards (4.3 yards per rush). The 5’10”, 222-pound Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019). Morris has played in 114 regular-season games with 70 starts. Morris was second-team All-Pro in 2012 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014. Nearing the end of his career, Morris has good size and power, but what movement skills he once had have clearly faded. He is not used much in the passing game.

Dion Lewis played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2020 with no starts. He finished the year with 29 carries for 115 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for for 127 yards and one touchdown. Lewis served as the team’s primary kickoff returner, averaging 22.4 yards per return and fumbling twice. The 5’8”, 195-pound Lewis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Lewis has spent time with the Eagles (2011-2012), Cleveland Browns (2013), Indianapolis Colts (2014), New England Patriots (2015-2017), and Tennessee Titans (2018-2019). The Giants signed Lewis in March 2020 after he was cut by the Titans. Strictly a smaller, 3rd-down-type back, Lewis has good quickness but lacks the overall dynamism for the role he plays. He also had an issue with fumbling in 2020.

THE LONELY FULLBACK

Eli Penny was placed on Injured Reserve in early January 2021 due to an undisclosed illness. The sole fullback on the team for the past three seasons, Penny played in 14 games in 2020, rushing the ball six times for 15 yards (2.5 yards per carry) and catching two passes for 20 yards. The 6’2”, 234-pound Penny was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Penny off of the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in September 2018. He has played in 44 regular-season games for the Giants with four starts. Though Penny lacks classic fullback size, he is a well-rounded player who can block, run, and catch the football.

PRACTICE SQUAD

The Giants signed Taquan Mizzell to the Practice Squad in November 2020. The 5’10”, 185-pound Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Chicago Bears (2017-2018), and New Orleans Saints (2019-2020). Mizzell has played in 12 regular-season games, serving as a running back, wide receiver, and kick returner.

Sandro Platzgummer was allocated to the Giants in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. Platzgummer played for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League.

The Giants signed Rod Smith to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and cut him three weeks later. The 6’3”, 236-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2015-2018), Giants (2019), Tennessee Titans (2019), and Oakland Raiders (2019).

Jan 042021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears

The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

The 13 reserve/future players are:

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • TE Rysen John
  • OG Chad Slade
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • DT David Moa
  • LB Trent Harris
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Montre Hartage
  • LS Carson Tinker

All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

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:

Nov 162020
 
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New York Giants Defense (November 15, 2020)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS EXTEND GRAHAM GANO THROUGH 2023…
On Sunday, the New York Giants announced that they have extended the contract of place kicker Graham Gano through the 2023 NFL season.

The Giants signed Gano to a 1-year contract in August 2020. Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020.

The 33-year old Gano has made 21 of his 22 field goal attempts this year for the Giants, only missing a 57-yard effort. He also has made all 16 PAT attempts.

GIANTS SIGN THREE TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed running back/wide receiver Taquan Mizzell, offensive guard Kenny Wiggins, and cornerback Quincy Wilson to the Practice Squad.

The 27-year old, 5’10”, 185-pound Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Chicago Bears (2017-2018), and New Orleans Saints (2019-2020). Mizzell has played in 12 regular-season games, serving as a running back, wide receiver, and kick returner.

The Giants cut Wiggins on November 13th. The team originally signed him on November 3rd after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. The 6’6”, 315-pound Wiggins was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011), San Francisco 49ers (2012-2013), San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-2017), and Lions (2018-2020). Overall, Wiggins has played in 79 regular-season games with 38 starts.

The 24-year old, 6’2”, 193-pound Wilson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent time with Colts (2017-2019) and New York Jets (2020). Wilson has played in 32 regular-season games with 11 starts, accruing 59 tackles, 8 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 27-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Can you just go through what your next couple days are going to be looking like going into the bye? How much will the coaches be in the building, when the players are in, and just kind of a sense of what your schedule is?

A: We gave the players actually a victory Monday today and let them get a little bit extra rest today. Tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll have the players in the building. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, they’ll be completely off. We’ll have some available open gym time if you would as far as the weight room and training room. There’s absolutely nothing required per rule and all. We just want to give them some time to refresh. But because a lot of these guys have to stay in town, or all of them have to stay in town obviously with the (COVID) testing on a daily basis, what I found out from a lot of other clubs who have already had their bye weeks is different than previous bye weeks in previous years, there have been a lot of guys coming through the building on the weekend basically occupying time, getting some body work done, getting an extra workout, things of that nature. So, we’ll make sure we have the facilities open for them if that’s something they want to do. Coaching wise, we’re really focusing these next few days on some self-scouting internally. We do a little bit of a deal where we’ll go ahead and have the offense scout the defense and vice versa. It gives us a little bit different perspective. Sometimes when you just self-scout yourself on offense or on defense or in the kicking game within your own schemes, at times, you’re still too close to it to really see something that an opponent may see. We wanted to go ahead and take the time to really cross reference each other and see if we can pick up on something tendency wise to illuminate something for the coaches to change going forward. Then we want to build in to really our next six opponents of things we may see schematically, and then also with our younger players, really develop them and get guys ready to play in these next six games that we go ahead and have the best plan going forward, give ourselves a bit of a jumpstart on it.

Q: Just one other thing on the idea of the players being away. I know you mentioned last week that you may give players’ families an option or even the coaches’ families the option to come to town, kind of be a part of the testing. Did any of that materialize? Did anyone take you up on that offer?

A: To be honest with you, I have to check with Ronnie (Barnes) on that. I just announced to the team, we talked in the meeting, I just let them know that hey listen, if there’s someone coming in town, obviously, we want to control who’s coming in. We want to make sure they’re smart about the number of people we expose ourselves to. We want to make sure that on the frontend, we make sure that we test and that we make sure we’re putting ourselves in the safest environment possible. At the same time, we’re realists. We want to make sure that if something does happen, we’re treating it the best way possible and that we’re doing it in the safest way possible. We made it available to the players, I’ve echoed to all the players that if they have someone coming in that they need tested, to go to our training staff and talk with Ronnie and make sure we get that arranged on the frontend. That’s both for this week coming up, as well as Thanksgiving the next week. I haven’t heard any reports back from our training staff, but I’ll double check on that today and see if there’s anyone that’s been involved with that. At the same time too, I want to make sure the players know we’re not trying to look over their shoulder and check up on who has someone coming to town. That’s not our reason at all. I just want to make sure more of the players, I don’t have any specific names, are utilizing what we’re offering to them.

Q: I know you focus a lot on the daily and weekly development and improvement of the players and coaches. I’m wondering if you can talk about where you think you’ve improved the most as a head coach throughout these past 10 weeks?

A: I think time usage. Throughout the season, you kind of figure out what times a week are most efficient to do certain deals. Early in the season, you try to do everything on the frontend of the week to be completely ahead of everything. You work ahead a good deal to give yourself a jumpstart. But you have to kind of pace your time throughout the week. What I found early on was it was taking away a little bit from my interactions with players, maybe not able to sit in with different coaching game planning meetings by trying to bombard everything on the frontend of the week and have all the answers. I’ve kind of pulled back a little bit in terms of everything on the frontend spread out throughout the rest of the week, and I’ve been able to kind of just time manage a little bit better. I think that’s something that’s helped me personally a good deal as far as managing each day. Other than that, I think it’s just more or less growing within what I’m doing on a daily basis. The interactions at practice, like I said, the first experience I had walking on the field as a head coach for any practice was in training camp. That’s a weird feeling walking out there, not having one specific position. What I found early in the process is having a plan of who you want to look at on a daily basis, making sure you get eyes on every player at some point in practice and really making sure you’re watching everyone’s growth. But it has to be something very planned out and very specific, so there’s a lot of time I dedicate before practice to going through the practice schedule and the individual scripts offensively and defensively of really identifying what schemes do I have to really evaluate in person, and what players do I really have to see do certain things on certain days, and making sure I map out my own time of why I float drill to drill at a certain point in practice.

Q: Is there anything you want to improve on further moving forward?

A: Yeah, everything. Absolutely everything. I want to find better ways to coach my players, better ways to set up scheme within games. I want to make sure that we’re efficient on time management at all points. I always want to find better ways to practice. We’re really not stuck into any specific drill or routine. I’m always looking for inventive ways and better ways of doing things. I’m watching as much tape around the league, seeing what different teams are doing, talking with as many resources as I have. I just have to keep finding better ways to help the players on the field and help the coaches off the field.

Q: I’m just curious what you guys thought when you heard that all the charges were dropped against DeAndre (Baker) today?

A: Yeah, to be honest with you, I’ve been pretty busy all day as far as watching tape. Pat Hanlon gave me kind of a quick bullet point thing before I walked in here, I saw that. Look, I wish him the best of luck in the future. We’ve made the decision that we think is best for the program, and that’s really all I have to say about that.

Q: On a separate note, what makes you guys so successful, or Daniel (Jones) so successful, with that zone read? Is it opposition based or is it something in particular that makes him good at it?

A: The coaches are doing a good job in terms of setting up the schemes based on who we’re playing. It’s never exactly the same thing. It’s similar in nature, but there are different versions of it. I think it just comes down to the blocking the offensive line creates, the threat of the running backs going vertically with the ball, and then Daniel’s ability to read it and pull the ball and make some yardage with his legs on the edge. It’s never one person. It’s a good call at the right time, it’s good blocking upfront, it’s the threat of the running backs running with the ball, and it’s Daniel’s ability to execute with the ball in his hands. It’s all the pieces that have to come together. It’s something we’ve been able to make a strength for us. We want to continue building on that and use it when the opportunity arises in each game.

Q: This isn’t meant to be a weird question at all, but the way your team played against Washington and Philly, was the way they played enough that you would have seen progress? The win obviously makes it all the better, but I think you know what I’m getting at. Did they perform in those games to a standard that alone would have pleased you?

A: Yeah, I wouldn’t stop short and say anything that we’ve arrived. I don’t think we ever want to look at something and say like ‘ok, we’ve gotten to the point we want to be at.’ There’s a lot of improvement we want to keep making. There are a lot of things that we want to clean up. I would say this though. On a weekly basis, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from our team. To me, it’s most evident when you turn the tape on. Look, there are several plays from yesterday that really encapsulate what I want our players to show everyone that watches that tape, and it’s important they look at it. Whether it’s Wayne’s (Gallman) touchdown on the fourth down and one where we drove everyone into the end zone and finished the blocks, or Wayne going over the top with good ball security. Whether it’s converting some tough, get back on track situations, defense getting off the field when they have to, special teams covering kicks and establishing field position. There were a lot of positive things to me, the effort, the urgency… look, one of the things that we’ve emphasized as a team to be honest with you that showed up yesterday that I was very proud of is you see when our players score, everyone running into the end zone celebrating with them. That’s important to me. It’s not a hot dog thing, but we don’t really want individualistic celebrations. We want the team to celebrate. It’s not about one guy getting into the end zone. It’s what did the line do to block to get you down there? What previous plays are you celebrating? It could be a receiver having a touchdown catch. Alright, well the running back should go down and celebrate because he had runs previous in the series that helped get us down there. The offensive line is a part of every play. The quarterback is obviously a big part of every play. We want the team celebrating together and acknowledging that it takes all 11 on the field every time to be successful. It takes everyone on the sideline as well, to be part of it, to be collectively successful.

Q: When you come back from the bye, will you mention the division race to your team? Someone is going to win this division and it certainly could be you guys. Will that be a bullet point of yours?

A: No, the importance needs to be improving as a team. All that other stuff will take care of itself. Cincinnati is a good team. We have to get ready and go ahead and improve ourselves internally. Turn the page and move on to Cincinnati and get ready for a tough game out there. We have a tough stretch of games coming up. We can’t go ahead and start looking at rankings and division races and all that type of stuff. We just have to focus on getting better each week. That’s what will ultimately help us in the long run.

Q: You’ve continually said this division race is irrelevant as far as what the records are. Some of the players don’t think it’s irrelevant. They are excited that they can have a share of first place. Do you think they can balance that with going about the business of improving every day?

A: One of my core beliefs is, motivation, to me, is an individual thing. As long as you’re working for something and it collectively raises the team, that’s a positive thing. It’s professional football, I don’t care if a guy is working for a paycheck or a guy is working for a championship. If both guys come out and they are giving their best every day, that’s going to make the team better. Whatever motivates these guys, that’s great. My job as the head coach is to make sure they understand the big picture goal. Right now to me, that’s improving on a daily basis and getting to be the best football team we can be at the end of the season. All that other stuff takes care of itself.

Q: You were asked about Daniel jones and the zone read. The more he runs obviously the more punishment he is going to take. How do you balance that? He took some pretty big hits near the goal line against the Eagles.

A: Daniel is a tough dude. That being said, we don’t need him to take unnecessary punishment. We’ve talked to Daniel, a lot of times there is a time to lower your shoulder and get the extra yard, and there is a time to step out of bounds, slide and protect the ball. I think he’s made pretty good decisions. When he’s had to lower his shoulder… yesterday was a very competitive game. There was a lot of positions he was in with the ball where there wasn’t really the opportunity to just slide and get down. A lot of them were close to the goal line. A few of them were on third down situations where he had to really go ahead and drop his weight to try to get that extra yard to get the first down for us. We’ve talked to him, I think he understands that. I think he’s done a good job of balancing that out. He’s definitely aggressive, very competitive dude. He’s a tough natured guy. He’s definitely a guy you have to pump the brakes on a little bit more and kind of take less hits off of him. He’s not the guy who is going to shy away from contact at any point.

Q: In victory formation yesterday, there was kind of a little bumping after one of the kneels. I couldn’t help but notice you colorfully told your guys to get back in the huddle. Is there a point where you stop coaching and you just enjoy?

A: At the point you are referring to yesterday, we don’t want our players getting mixed up in anything. It’s going to be a penalty to be honest with you. At that point in the game, you’re kneeling the ball down. You’re trying to run the clock out. The worst thing you can do is create a penalty and stop the clock. That’s an advantage you can give to the opponent. We don’t want to do anything stupid. There’s that fine line between sticking up for yourselves, sticking up for your teammates and then just crossing a line and doing something dumb that’s going to give the other team an advantage with penalty yards and stopping the clock. For us in that moment there, the smart thing to do is just get back. Get away, get into the huddle. Come back out the next play, kneel it down and then we can all go shake hands and celebrate in the locker room. (Jokingly) I didn’t realize that was on TV.

Q: When you first took the job, you talked about putting out a team that represented the people of New York and New Jersey. Being tough, being tough minded. Do you feel like you are seeing that with your team?

A: Yeah, absolutely. You talk about our team and one word I use all the time is resilient. When I think about people in this area, blue-collar people who work hard every day. It’s obviously a very competitive area to be in. That’s what you have to be up here. We want our guys to be successful on the field, but it matters to us how we’re successful. We want to play with the right attitude. We want to play a tough brand of football. We want to run the ball, stop the run, cover kicks. We want to go out there and be able to play in tough elements and be successful. We’re not going to be a team that makes excuses or comes back an says we had them, but this happened instead. That’s not the way we’re made up, that’s not what we’re going to do. I think we’re getting closer to putting a product on the field that hopefully people can see themselves in. That people are proud to put on those blue caps or t-shirts on Mondays and go to work and celebrate that they root for the Giants. That’s something that’s important to us here. We want this team to be about the area. Not just about the guys in the building.

Q: On your clock management, it seems very solid. Have you studied that over the years? Who may have underscored the importance of that?

A: I’d say probably the first time I got into it was when I took the job in New England and I started becoming more involved with it. College is much, much different in terms of clock management. It’s not really as emphasized as it probably should be in a lot of ways. Coach Saban is very thorough in what he did. I just wasn’t personally involved in that part of it at that point. When I got to New England, part of my responsibility was tied into a lot of the situations. As far as being a part of special teams, it’s a large part of what your job is. Your job and responsibility grows over time with that. Over the eight years of being there, my role and responsibility in terms of in-game clock or input in how we could better manage situations grew. That’s obviously something I emphasize for myself in how I can help the team. I’m not calling offensive plays or defensive plays and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) is running the kicking game. There’s a lot of things throughout the game I look to help with. Making adjustments or having an overview of things. Talking to coordinators about the flow of the game or big picture concepts. To me, controlling the clock, the timeouts, things of that nature, that’s really where I can make a positive impact for the team.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Select players will address the media on Tuesday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media on Wednesday.