Aug 022016
 
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New York Giants Training Camp (July 30, 2016)

New York Giants Training Camp – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 2, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT – DAMON HARRISON OFF OF THE PUP…
New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (knee swelling) was activated from the PUP and practiced on Tuesday.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (left leg) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants wore their shoulder pads but were in shorts, not full pads just yet.
  • Giants have used no-huddle offense in every practice.
  • Quarterback Logan Thomas has a strong arm and connected with some receivers, but he also looked indecisive at times and ran with the ball instead.
  • Defensive tackle Damon Harrison worked with the first-team defense and was a noticeable presence in run defense.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did a nice job of breaking up passes intended for wide receivers Tavarres King and K.J. Maye.
  • The first-team wide receivers were Geremy Davis, Myles White, and Sterling Shepard (slot). Wide receiver Victor Cruz also received some first-team snaps. Davis and Shepard looked sharp.
  • Roger Lewis and Tavarres King flashed at wide receiver.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard looked good running after the catch and also made a nice diving reception.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis beat cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie downfield, but quarterback Eli Manning missed him.
  • Cornerback Trevin Wade had a nice breakup against wide receiver Roger Lewis.
  • Tight end Matt LaCosse had a big catch-and-run over the middle of the defense against safety Landon Collins.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams beat linebacker Kelvin Sheppard over the middle for a nice gain. (VIDEO)
  • Running back Orleans Darkwa had several nice runs.

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

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

TOM COUGHLIN NAMED NFL SENIOR ADVISOR TO FOOTBALL OPERATIONS…
The NFL announced on Monday that Tom Coughlin, who served as head coach of the New York Giants from 2004-2015, has been named Senior Advisor to Football Operations.

“We are incredibly pleased to add someone of Coach Coughlin’s experience and character to our staff,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “His passion for football is evident and we are confident he will contribute a great deal to the betterment of the game for current and future players as well as for fans at every level of our sport.”

According to the NFL press release, “Coughlin will advise game-related league committees, including Competition, Health and Safety, Coaches Subcommittee, General Managers Advisory, Combine Review and NCAA Rules and Oversight. He will provide strategic guidance on other matters, including playing rules, coaching techniques, and the development of football personnel, while also providing insight on the operation of the NFL Draft and Pro Bowl.”

“I am looking forward to working with Commissioner Goodell and the talented people representing the National Football League,” Coughlin said.  “My purpose is to serve for the betterment of the great game of football.”

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The fifth training camp practice will be held on Wednesday, but it is not open to the public. Only seven remaining training camp practices at Quest Diagnostics Training Center will be open to the public (weather permitting) this year:

  • Thursday, August 4: 10:40 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Friday, August 5: 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
  • Saturday, August 6: 10:40 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Monday, August 8: 11:10 AM – 12:40 PM
  • Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 AM – 12:55 PM
  • Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Sunday, August 14: 11:10 AM – 12:50 PM
Jul 272016
 
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Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS REPORT TO CAMP ON THURSDAY…
New York Giants players report to summer training camp on Thursday. The first training camp practice will occur on Friday. (A complete schedule is available at Giants.com). Head Coach Ben McAdoo and a number of players will address the press on Thursday.

HAKEEM NICKS SIGNS WITH SAINTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has signed a 1-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed then 27-year old Hakeem Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games.

Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012.

DANIEL FELLS RETIRES…
Although not officially announced, it appears New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells has retired. Fells was placed on Injured Reserve in October 2015 after multiple career-threatening surgeries were required to address a life-threatening staph infection that developed in an injured ankle. He only played in two games in 2015 and finished with six catches for 60 yards.

Fells said on his Instagram account, “Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I’m grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience.”

Fells was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams, Broncos, and Patriots. The Giants signed Fells to a reserve/future contract in January 2014. He played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2014 with nine starts, accruing 16 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns.

TOM COUGHLIN ACCEPTS JOB WITH NFL…
According to press report, former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin has accepted a full-time position with the NFL’s football operations department. His exact role has yet to be announced by the League. Coughlin was de facto fired in January by the Giants after serving with the team since 2004.

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

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn (Video)
  • TE Will Tye (Video)
  • DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
  • DT Damon Harrison (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

This picture of me and my baby girl was taken a little over a year ago at Quest Diagnostic. I wish I was heading into battle with my brothers as Training Camp starts up this week but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I'm grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience. Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, emails and well wishes that I've gotten over the last few months. I'm working hard to accept my physical limitations and the mental struggles that go along with them. I know that I'm lucky to be alive so I'm determined to make the most of everyday that I have. Looking forward to cheering for my G-men and all of my former teammates on different teams around the nation this year #onceagiantalwaysagiant

A photo posted by Daniel Fells (@danielfells85) on

Jul 192016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (February 5, 2012)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ERNIE ACCORSI, TOM COUGHLIN, JUSTIN TUCK TO RING OF HONOR…
The New York Giants have announced that Ernie Accorsi, Tom Coughlin, and Justin Tuck will be added to the team’s “Ring of Honor” during a halftime ceremony at the Giants-Bengals at MetLife Stadium on November 14.

The addition of these three will bring to 42 the number of team icons so honored. For a complete list, see the Ring of Honor section of the website.

Accorsi served at the Giants’ Assistant General Manager from 1994-1997 and General Manager from 1998-2006.

Coughlin served as the Giants’ wide receivers coach from 1988-1990 and head coach from 2004-2015. Coughlin helped lead the Giants to two NFL titles (2007 and 2011). He finished with 102-90 regular-season record (second most victories in franchise history) and an 8-3 post-season record (tied with Bill Parcells).

Tuck was a defensive end for the team from 2005-2015. Tuck was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and served as a team captain four times, finishing with 60.5 sacks in his Giants’ career.

“When you start working in the National Football League, this is not something you would ever dream could happen,” Accorsi said. “I’ve seen these in different stadiums, and when you see all the great players and coaches up there, it’s not something I ever thought could happen. I can’t even put into words what an honor it is, especially with this franchise. It’s overwhelming that someone who started at the bottom in this league could end up with some of the names up there, like Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford. It’s just incredible for me to get this.”

“It was a great privilege to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants, and it’s a privilege and a tremendous honor to be a part of those great names in Giant folklore that are in the Ring of Honor,” Coughlin said. “It’s something Judy (his wife), my family and I very much appreciate. The New York Giants, to me, is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. We recognize the long history of the Giants and the greatest city in the world, the tremendous coaches and players that have represented the Giants over the years. It’s a great honor to be included in the same breath with some of these prestigious former players and coaches.”

“It’s a great honor,” Tuck said. “Anytime something like this is bestowed upon a person, you have to consider all the other guys up there, all the people that have paved the way for a small-town kid like me to have the opportunity to be put up in the rafters by what I consider to be the greatest football franchise there is. I don’t think it’s dawned on me yet how big a deal it is, but I’m sure that night there will be some emotions that come out and be very visible. I’m very, very excited about it.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH RASHAD JENNINGS…
The video and transcript of an NFL Network interview with running back Rashad Jennings are available at Giants.com.

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

  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

GIANTS.COM PLAYER Q&As…
Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

May 182016
 
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Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans (November 1, 2015)

Zach Mettenberger – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – GIANTS PUT IN CLAIM FOR ZACK METTENBERGER…
The New York Post and New York Daily News report that the New York Giants put in a waiver claim for quarterback Zack Mettenberger, who was recently cut by the Tennessee Titans and claimed by the San Diego Chargers off of waivers.

The 24-year old Mettenberger was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Titans. In his two NFL seasons, Mettenberger has started 10 regular-season games, completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.

The Giants currently have three quarterbacks on their roster: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib, and B.J. Daniels.

ARTICLES…

Mar 312016
 
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Adam Henry, LSU Tigers (September 14, 2013)

Adam Henry – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q&As WITH NEW YORK GIANTS OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT COACHES…
Video clips of exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following assistant coaches are available at the team’s website:

  • Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan (Video)
  • Quarterbacks Coach Frank Cignetti, Jr. (Video)
  • Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry (Video)
  • Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari (Video)

ARTICLES…

Mar 212016
 
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Steve Tisch, New York Giants (January 5, 2016)

Steve Tisch – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JERRY REESE, BEN MCADOO, AND STEVE TISCH TALK GIANTS…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese, Head Coach Ben McAdoo, and Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch each weighed in on the team’s offseason at the NFL spring meetings in Florida on Monday.

Thus far, the Giants have signed defensive end Olivier Vernon (5-Years, $85 million), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (5-years, $46.25 million), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (5-years, $62.5 million) to high-priced deals from other teams. The Giants have also signed linebacker Keenan Robinson (1-Year, $3.5 million) and re-signed defensive Jason Pierre-Paul (1-Year, $10.5 million) and linebacker Jasper Brinkley (1-Year).

“It’s all on paper,” said Reese. “They’ve got to get out there and play. We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t won a game since we got those guys. We were 6-10 last year, that’s all I know. We just have to get better. Talk is cheap. There’s nothing for me to talk about…We had the money this time. You can be aggressive when you have the money…We’re off to a good start.”

“They’re good fits, not just good players,” said McAdoo of the new defensive free agents. “They’re guys who can come in and make an impact, who are young and have a lot of energy, and are excited to be a part of it…(Vernon) jumped off the tape as much as anybody we’ve seen going into a game. He offers a lot as far as getting after the quarterback, but he’s a complete player as well.”

“Jerry put the vision together, gotta give him credit,” McAdoo said. “(Assistant General Manager) Kevin (Abrams) put the contracts together, gotta give him credit. And there was great support from the ownership.”

McAdoo was also asked about if Ereck Flowers will remain at left tackle. “I’m excited for Ereck to develop as a left tackle,” McAdoo said. “Nothing is ever written in stone, but for him to go out there and battle the way he did as a rookie and have a chance to improve on his fundamentals and technique, we look forward to him developing there.”

McAdoo was asked if the team will be adding an offensive lineman in free agency. “We’re looking at every position, not just offensive linemen,” responded McAdoo. “It’s important that you don’t just find starters, you find depth out there. We’ll take help at any position we can get it.”

“I’m excited,” Tisch said. “I think it’s the right time to make these moves, these acquisitions. I think it’s sort of a perfect storm of new head coach, a lot of money to spend and some great players to bring onto the Giants, so I’m excited, I’m very excited. I think it’s going to make everybody from ownership on down excited about the 2016 season. I think you’ll see the enthusiasm at training camp, I think in the locker room, I think on the field. I know that Eli (Manning) is very excited. I know a number of the other veteran players are excited. It’s all about the fans, and the fans are thrilled. If we can improve this club in 2016, I can’t think of anything that’s going to make the fans and the Giants family happier.

“Clearly, the last couple of seasons we saw where we need to be better. Part of the way to be better is to get better players, get a better sense of just how to put players on both sides of the ball that are going to have more impact and make the New York Giants a much more competitive team in the NFL. So the moves that Jerry made, I’m thrilled about. I couldn’t be happier. And the players that are coming onto the Giants this year seem not only to be athletically gifted, but really, really good people and really good guys.”

“It’s the cost of doing business in the NFL,” Tisch said of the expensive contracts. “No one’s buying wholesale. The retail prices are high and there’s a reason – it’s a market, it’s supply and demand. Like any other market, there’s a seller and there’s a buyer, and the price is determined by who’s going to pay for what. I’m not arguing about the amount of money we spent and the cost of what our players are costing us, I just hope we’ve got a group of guys that are going to play their hearts out and really be contributors and proud to be playing for the New York Giants.”

Tisch was also asked about the team’s new head coach.

“I think he’s a first-rate guy,” Tisch said. “It’s a little premature, because he’s been great for me and John Mara to deal with and for Jerry to deal with and for his coaches to work with. But until he gets those players in front of him – which is coming up pretty soon – that’s when his job really starts. But I think he’s going to a terrific, terrific head coach. I think he’s going to be a leader, I think he’s going to be accessible to the players. I happen to think that a head coach who’s 38 years old is a good thing, not a bad thing. What he lacks in experience I think makes up for by what he’s got in his brain, in his enthusiasm, in his passion. And he knows the game. He’s just a great communicator. And I love his enthusiasm; I think that has tremendous value.”

A video of Tisch’s remarks is available at Giants.com.

JEROME CUNNINGHAM AND ADAM GETTIS SIGN TENDERS…
The National Football Post reports that tight end Jerome Cunningham and offensive guard Adam Gettis have signed their exclusive rights free agent tenders. Safety/cornerback Bennett Jackson signed his tender earlier this month. Other exclusive rights free agents who have yet to sign their tenders include running back Orleans Darkwa, wide receiver Myles White, tight end Will Tye, and punter Brad Wing.

Cunningham spent the first five weeks of the 2015 season on the 53-man roster, was waived and signed to the Practice Squad in October, and then re-signed to the 53-man roster in early November. In all, Cunningham played in nine games with three starts, catching eight passes for 59 yards. Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but remained unsigned until the Giants signed him in August 2014.

The Giants signed Gettis from the Practice Squad of the Oakland Raiders in December 2015 and he was on the active roster for the regular-season finale. Gettis spent two stints on the Giants’ Practice Squad earlier in the 2015 season (September 6 – October 15 and October 21 – November 4) before signing with Oakland. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins waived Gettis in August 2014. The Giants signed him off of the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014.

ARTICLES…

Mar 032016
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LARRY DONNELL TENDERED…
NJ.com reports that the New York Giants have tendered restricted free agent tight end Larry Donnell at the $1.671 million level. This means the Giants have the right to match any contract offer by another team in order to retain his services. If they choose not to do so, because Donnell was not drafted or tendered at a high level, the Giants would receive no compensation in the form of a draft pick.

Donnell was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2015 with a neck injury. After a breakout season in 2014, Donnell had a disappointing 2015 campaign as his production dropped from 63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns to 29 catches for 223 yards and two touchdowns. He started all eight games in which he played in 2015.

While General Manager Jerry Reese said recently that Donnell has not yet been cleared to resume football drills because of the neck injury, a source told The New York Daily News that Donnell is recovering well and expected to be cleared by the time of the team’s mini-camp in June.

ARTICLES…

Mar 022016
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (December 28, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JOHN JOHNSON PASSES AWAY…
John Johnson, who served as an athletic trainer with the New York Giants for 60 years, passed away on Sunday at the age of 98. Johnson retired after the 2007 season and was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor just last year.

“Johnny Johnson was one of the finest men I have ever known,” said team President and CEO John Mara. “He spent 60 years with our team caring for players from Charlie Conerly and Frank Gifford, right on up to Eli Manning. Nobody was more loved and respected than Mr. J. We were so pleased to be able to include him in our Ring of Honor this past season. He was part of the family and we will miss him terribly.”

“We have lost a great Giant,” said team Senior Vice President of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes. “Johnny looked after our players for over a half century. He was compassionate and caring and a true professional. His dedication to his profession and his poise and class were recognized by all.

“John had a stellar career with the Giants. He traveled with the team and was an indispensable member of the medical staff. He had so many stories about the early NFL and medicine before the arthroscope and advanced diagnostic technology.

“Leaving a legacy is something that we all strive to do, and John Johnson achieved that and more. He was a licensed massage therapist and physical therapist with tremendous hands. Michael Strahan sought him out and made John his personal athletic trainer. He cared for him with the same compassion that he had for Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, and Charlie Conerly.”

For more on Johnson, see Remembering Giants Trainer John Johnson (1917-2016) by Michael Eisen of Giants.com.

TOM COUGHLIN CONFIRMS HE WAS FORCED OUT…
During a Tuesday FOXSports radio show, Tom Coughlin confirmed that he did not really resign as head coach from the New York Giants in early January. “Hey, do I agree with the move? Of course not,” said Coughlin. “I don’t, it hurts, it hurts. ‘Former’ is not a good word. I don’t like the word. But, nevertheless, that’s the way it is.”

“Don’t think that there aren’t some hard feelings there. There are,” Coughlin said during another interview on ESPN Radio. “That’s just natural. I just try to control them when the moment is right.”

The audio to the ESPN Radio interview is available at ESPN.com.

GIANTS DO NOT USE FRANCHISE OR TRANSITION TAGS…
The deadline for NFL team’s to designate an unrestricted free agent a “franchise” or “transition” passed on Tuesday. The New York Giants chose not to protect any of their 19 remaining unrestricted free agents. For a complete list of the 19 players, see the 2016 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website. Since the current system of free agency was inaugurated in 1993, the Giants have protected the following players:

  • OT Jumbo Elliott (franchise) in 1993
  • LB Carl Banks (transition) in 1993
  • TE Howard Cross (transition) in 1994
  • RB Rodney Hampton (transition) in 1996
  • RB Brandon Jacobs (franchise) in 2009
  • P Steve Weatherford (franchise) in 2012
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (franchise) in 2015

BOB PAPA INTERVIEW WITH QB ELI MANNING…
The audio of a Bob Papa podcast interview with quarterback Eli Manning is available at at PodBean.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 292016
 
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Robert Ayers, New York Giants (November 15, 2015)

Robert Ayers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LATEST NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT RUMORS…
NFL free agency begins on March 9th, although teams can are officially allowed to start talking to players on other teams on March 7th. NJ.com is reporting the following:

  • The New York Giants would like to re-sign unrestricted free agent defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a 1-year, “prove it” contract. If Pierre-Paul can get a longer term deal on the open market, he is likely gone. Pierre-Paul’s camp believes he will be offered $10 million per year on the open market.
  • There may be a strong market for unrestricted free agent defensive end Robert Ayers, who the Giants would also like to re-sign.
  • There is not much noise about unrestricted free agent cornerback Prince Amukamara. The Giants want Amukamara to gauge his value on an open market that may have a number of quality cornerbacks available. The Giants are first focusing on addressing their front seven on defense in free agency.
  • The Giants are going to let unrestricted free agent place kicker Josh Brown test the market. They would like to re-sign Brown, but if he can get a multi-year deal from another team, they will apparently let him go.

ARTICLES…

Feb 242016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (February 24, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO PRESS CONFERENCE AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the press at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday. The video of the media session is also available at Giants.com.

Q: What do you usually get out of the combine and does that change for you now that you’re head coach compared to being a position coach or even a coordinator?

A: No, what you try to do as a coach is—you’ve knocked out free agency, you’re in the middle of scheme evaluations—you come down and you want to really get a first look at these guys. Have a chance to see them, have a chance to meet them, and wrap your hands around the, I guess, the draft class.

Q: Obviously you’re more a part of the decision making process. Will it change functionally?

A: No, you’re going to try to operate the same way: just take a look at the offense, defense, and special teams.

Q: You worked for two head coaches that have won Super Bowls and you’ve rose to be a head coach. What does that mean to you?

A: Well it gives you a blueprint. You get a chance to work with Mike [McCarthy] and work with Tom [Coughlin], see a couple of different ways, really, to go about your business. There are a couple different ways to skin a cat, and Tom and Mike are great examples of that.

Q: What’s the transition been like for you going from offensive coordinator to head coach?

A: It’s really large-scale leadership. You do things on a smaller scale as a position coach—you’re the head coach of your position. Then as a coordinator, you’re the head coach of the offense. So now, you have a chance to work with different people and a variety of areas, and have a chance to wrap your hands around the entire team.

Q: Rashad Jennings got going towards the end of the season when he was getting volume and the snaps were split as much between the runners. Is that something you plan on continuing into next year or do you plan on keeping that?

A: Oh, it’s early to say. We’re still in the process of evaluating the scheme. We looked at our players and looked at the free agents. We have a chance to go back and look at the draft film, we’re early in the process there. And take a look at some different teams in this league, take a look at teams in the college league, and put that research in, go in and implement in what you want to do, and then see what your roster looks like coming out of camp. That’s really how you decide how the carries fall, how you get those touches.

Q: Have you talked much to Victor Cruz? What’s your sense on what he will able to give you?

A: Yeah, I had a chance to get in touch with Victor; he was by the office the other day just kind of bouncing around, he was doing some rehab. He seems in good spirits, looks great, feels good. Hopefully we have a chance to get him healthy.

Q: Do you expect him to be on your team next year?

A: Absolutely. Right now we’re taking a look at things and he’s on the roster right now. If anything changes, I’ll be the first to know.

Q: What did your time in Green Bay mean? Do you have anything, two or three things, you got from Coach Mike that helped you get here?

A: Time in Green Bay—Green Bay is obviously a special place for me and my family–having a chance to win the Super Bowl there and be a part of some great teams and a great organization. You take a little bit from everywhere you’ve been and obviously I’m going to take a lot from Green Bay and a lot from my experience in two years with the Giants and some other places in the past. You take that and you mold it and you make it your own.

Q: Do you know what you’re going to do as far as calling plays?

A: You know what, that hasn’t been decided yet. We’ll take a look at a couple different scenarios moving forward. But like I said in the past, that’s a schematic advantage so I’m not going to talk about that.

Q: So you think we’ll know opening day or might we not even know opening day?

A: We may give everybody a call sheet on opening day. No, that’s something that we’re going to work through that process and whatever we feel is best for the Giants, that’s what we’re going to do.

Q: You’ve talked a lot about looking back at your team over this past month or so. What did you see when you looked back and what’s your assessment?

A: We’re still right in the middle of scheme evaluation. We haven’t hit the situational part of things yet. We worked through normal down and distance, obviously, the player evaluations. What’s interesting before you get to situations and you’re looking at the normal down and distance, we’ve had a lot of leads in games in the fourth quarter when you’re looking at the scoreboard in between plays. We have to end the game with the lead, and that’s going to be important to us. That’s not something that we’re going beat into the ground with these guys, but that’s something we have to learn from last year and find a way to close these games out.

Q: Did you get any updates on Jason’s [Pierre-Paul] surgery?

A: I spoke to Jason a couple of different times so far throughout the offseason. He seems in good spirits. He went through a procedure and we’ll have to see how that goes.

Q: Is playing without a club something that might be happening or is that something that might still be used moving forward?

A: That hasn’t been determined yet.

Q: Do you have a part of the combine now when you come here as a head coach that, I don’t want to say you look forward to, but you place more emphasis on now than maybe you did as an OC?

A: I think when you look at the history of the combine, probably still the most important thing is you have the chance to get these players in front of the doctors and get them examined there so you know what you’re dealing with and get a medical grade on them. You have a chance to meet them and shake their hand and look them in the eye and talk to them, and kind of get a feel about what they’re about—they’re not just a guy on tape, they’re not just a guy on a piece of paper, but they’re a human being–and what they’re all about and what they stand for and where they came from. Those are two important parts for me. I think it’s good to get out and see them move around on the field and bend their knees a little bit, and get their hands on some footballs and see how they look there. You have a chance to put a name with a face and just take them off the sheet of paper and off the film and know who they are.

Q: Has Jerry [Reese] decided how things will go on draft day?

A: Jerry and I, we’re attached at the hip. Lines of communication are open, we’ve had productive dialogue, and whatever he needs from me, I’m willing to do. I look forward to building that relationship.

Q: What’s your evaluation of the depth of the wide receiver position behind Odell Beckham? How is Victor Cruz doing?

A: Victor Cruz had a successful procedure done. He feels good, he looks good, he’s coming along in rehab. No hiccups there so far, we like that, we’re encouraged with that right there. We have some other guys that are going to have a chance to step up, possibly some young guys. Again, it’s still early in the process.

Q: You have an obvious need at pass rusher. Do you think that Jason can still be a dominant pass rusher in this league? And am I right that it is a priority in finding pass rushers for you this offseason?

A: It was obvious when Jason came back last year how disruptive he was without playing football for a long time. Just coming in and having a couple weeks to get his feet underneath him being able to go out and be disruptive as a pass rusher. I just think when you look at him and his ability to get off the ball and get after the quarterback, it’s easy to see and that’s something that comes natural for him. You don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon? I don’t either.

Q: Is finding guys who can get to the quarterback tops on your to-do list this offseason?

A: Yeah, I mean, the quickest way to get better is up front on both sides of the ball. You have to protect your quarterback and you have to get after the other teams quarterback. It’s directly related to the QB rating differential, which is important in winning and losing games. You want to do a better job getting after the quarterback whether it’s up front, or whether it’s coming from the secondary, putting pressure there from the linebacker level. But you have to make the quarterback comfortable, certainly.

Q: Changing the strength and conditioning program on the team, is that related to the injuries that this team has had over the last few seasons?

A: No, Aaron Wellman and I, go back a little ways. I’ve had my eye on him for a while. I think he does a tremendous job. He’s a forward thinker and that’s something that’s important to me. He can still crack the whip if need be, and that’s hard to find in today’s league. He’ll do a tremendous job. As far as the injuries go, you can’t just point to one thing. Injuries, you have to look at a variety of things that impact injuries. Whether it’s the way we practice, whether it’s the way we hydrate, the way we sleep, the way we recover—you just can’t point to one thing and say that’s going to cure everything as far as the injuries go. But we’re going to look at a variety of things there.

Q: Not just in regards to the strength and conditioning, but how much change do you expect in the organization?

A: Well we’re going to change. Like I said before, I’m not going to try to be Tom. I’m not Tom. He’s already taken. But we’re going to evolve a little bit, it’s evolution, not revolution. If something works and we feel good about it and we like it, we’re going to stick with it. If not, we’re going to make some changes. There are some things that we’ve done in the past and we’ve kicked around a lot of ideas within the staff. We’re going to implement those moving forward, and we’re going to make it our own.

Q: How far along did your talks with the Eagles get before you took the job with the Giants?

A: I went down for an interview.

Q: They never offered you the job?

A: Never offered me the job.

Q: What did you see in Patrick [Graham]? We’re you at all surprised he was available?

A: Patrick had a chance to come down for an interview, showed tremendously well. We didn’t want to let him out of the building. We feel very fortunate to have him and I look forward to working with him.

Q: Did you have a second interview schedule with the Eagles?

A: There was a potential for a second interview.

Q: You guys released two offensive line—Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz. What was the thinking behind that? Why was there not an effort made to try and maybe renegotiate with them and the decision was made to part ways?

A: First of all, we thank those men for their contributions to the Giants. This is a business, sometimes things don’t work out. We wish them nothing but the best.

Q: I guess Tom Coughlin has spent some time around the office since the change was made. Have you had much interaction with him? Has that been helpful or awkward?

A: No, not awkward at all. I respect Tom. Have talked to him a few different times since he left. I feel we have a strong relationship. I’m going to bounce ideas off Tom as long as I can bounce ideas off of Tom. He’s someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and I’m grateful for everything that I learned from him.

Q: Can you talk about the run game for next year? It seemed like Rashad really got going towards the end of the year.

A: We’re going to take a look. Again, we studied our players. We’re going through, we’re studying our scheme right now. We’ll take a look at free agency, we’ll take a look at the draft, we’re going to study some other teams, and we’re going to study some college teams. We’re going to put it all in the pot, we’re going to stir it up. We’re going to get to training camp, we’re going to come out of camp, and we’re going to take a look at things there and how the roster looks and how we look up front. Coming out of camp we’ll determine that, it’s way too early.

Q: The Giants have been 6-10 the past two years…

A: Where we need to improve? The game’s about the ball, number one, so we need to take care of the ball better. The next thing we need to do is we need to extract the ball better, we need to take it away. After that, we’re going to spend a lot of time on blocking and tackling. If we can take care of those things we’ll be able to find some more wins.

Q: As far as the talent level, do you think the roster needs some major upgrades?

A: We need to add some pieces, yeah. When you look at things, we have a lot of guys right now on the roster who are free, so we need to address that. We need to add some pieces there, but they need to be the right pieces. We need to look out for the long term interest of the New York Giants and what’s best for the future of the New York Giants, number one.

Q: You’re a lot of money under the salary cap. What are you looking to accomplish in free agency as a coach?

A: Again, we evaluated guys, we had a big meeting earlier in the week. We need to do what’s in the best long term interest of the New York Giants and find some right pieces to add to the mix, whether it’s our own guys that we bring back or going out and bringing some other guys in. Again, free agency is free agency. It’s a combination between free agency and the draft on how you add players, how you acquire players. We just need to add some good pieces.

Q: During the combine, especially in the interviews, what are some things you will try to identify from players perhaps showing leadership or just showing qualities you look for?

A: You have to give the agents credit, they do a great job as far as coaching these guys up. They’re well-coached when they come in here. They have a pretty good idea of what’s going to be asked of them. Most of them—I would say 90 percent-plus—do a good job and they show well. It’s hard to find the crack in guys from an interview standpoint anymore, they do a nice job. You like to throw on some football and when you get into the interviews with him and see if they can talk ball and how they can communicate, how they can take criticism, and how they take praise, and do they change? Are they willing to learn, listen and grow?

GIANTS.COM Q&A WITH MARC ROSS…
The video of a short Giants.com Q&A session with New York Giants Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross is available at Giants.com.

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