Mar 072016
 
Share Button
George Iloka, Cincinnati Bengals (September 20, 2015)

George Iloka – © USA TODAY Sports Images

MARCH 7, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT RUMORS…
While players can not officially sign until March 9th, Monday unofficially marked the beginning of free agency as teams can now negotiate with free agents of other teams. Here is the latest:

  • ESPN is reporting that free agent defensive end Charles Johnson, who was recently cut by the Carolina Panthers in a salary cap-related move, met with the New York Giants on Sunday and Monday. If the Giants and Johnson do not agree on a contract, he is reportedly scheduled to meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next. From 2010-2014, Johnson averaged 43 tackles and 10.5 sacks per year. Those numbers plummeted in 2015 when Johnson missed seven regular-season games with a hamstring injury and finished the year with 12 tackles and one sack. He had an excellent game in the Super Bowl with five tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble. Overall, Johnson accrued nine tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles in three post-season games last season.
  • Following up on yesterday’s update, there is no new information on free agent defensive end Mario Williams visiting the Giants. BleacherReport.com is reporting that the Giants, Dolphins, and Jaguars are interested in Williams, who supposedly is seeking a $10 million-per-year contract. The 31-year old Williams was recently released by the Bills. Miscast in a 3-4 defense, Williams started 15 games for the Bills in 2015 and finished the season with just 19 tackles and five sacks. From 2012-2014, Williams averaged 34 tackles and 13 sacks per season. He is a four-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014) and was first-team All Pro in 2014.
  • The New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants are interested in Atlanta Falcons unrestricted free agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Several other teams are also said to be interested in Clayborn, who was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He missed most of the 2012 season with a knee injury and most of the 2014 season with a biceps injury. The Falcons signed Clayborn as a free agent in 2015. Last season, he played in all 16 regular-season games with four starts, finishing the year with 15 tackles and three sacks.
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the New York Giants are one of several teams interested in Cincinnati Bengals unrestricted free agent safety George Iloka. The 25-year old Iloka was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has started all 44 regular-season games he played in the last three seasons, including 12 games in 2015 where he accrued 47 tackles and one interception.
  • The Cleveland Plains Dealer is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in Cleveland Browns unrestricted free agent Mitchell Schwartz, the brother of recently-waived guard Geoff Schwartz. The 26-year old Schwartz was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Browns. He has started every game during his first four years in the NFL.
  • The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in Minnesota Vikings unrestricted free agent offensive guard Mike Harris. The 27-year old Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Diego Chargers after the 2012 NFL Draft. He started all 16 regular-season games for the Vikings in 2015.
  • A media report out of Arizona says the Cardinals are interested in signing New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
  • BleacherReport.com is reporting that New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive end Robert Ayers is seeking a $10 million-per-year contract.

GIANTS AND VICTOR CRUZ TALK RESTRUCTURING…
ESPN.com is reporting that the New York Giants had discussions last week with the representatives for wide receiver Victor Cruz about restructuring his contract. Cruz is currently set to count $9.9 million against the team’s 2016 NFL cap, the second most by a player after quarterback Eli Manning. It has been speculated that if Cruz does not accept a pay cut, he may be released from the Giants. Cruz recently said that he believed there was an “80 percent” chance he would return to Giants.

Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

ARTICLES…

Mar 042016
 
Share Button
Will Tye, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Will Tye – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS TENDER SEVEN EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS…
The New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have tendered seven of the eight players on their roster who were eligible to be tendered as exclusive rights free agents. The players tendered cannot sign with any team other than the Giants, thus guaranteeing their return unless the tender is revoked. The seven players are:

  • RB Orleans Darkwa
  • WR Myles White
  • TE Will Tye
  • TE Jerome Cunningham
  • OG Adam Gettis
  • S Bennett Jackson
  • P Brad Wing

The player not tendered was wide receiver Marcus Harris. Scouting reports on these players are available in the Scouting Reports section of the website.

VICTOR CRUZ STARTS RUNNING…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz revealed on Thursday that he has begun running as part of his rehab process recovering from calf surgery. Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

“I’ve been making a lot of progress,” Cruz said in a BleacherReport.com video. “The calf is feeling really, really good. I’m excited about the progress, I’m excited for what’s to come… I have a long journey ahead of me. I’m pretty much starting from scratch, building my legs up from scratch, which is what I want to do. Making sure they’re stronger than they were and they stay that way. No more setbacks.”

Cruz is currently set to count $9.9 million against the team’s 2016 NFL cap, the second most by a player after quarterback Eli Manning. It has been speculated that if Cruz does not accept a pay cut, he may be released from the Giants. Cruz recently said that he believed there was an “80 percent” chance he would return to Giants.

“I really feel like it’s paying dividends. The strength in my calf is starting to come back,” said Cruz. “Everything’s starting to come around. I’m excited to go out there with my teammates again. I’m excited to see Odell and those guys, I’m excited to play again. But I know I have a long journey ahead of me. I have some significant gains to make in terms of where I’m at with my calf, and things like that. I’m excited.”

ARTICLES…

Feb 292016
 
Share Button
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 252016
 
Share Button
Jerry Reese, New York Giants (February 25, 2016)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JERRY REESE PRESS CONFERENCE AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese addressed the press at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. The video of the media session is also available at Giants.com.

Good afternoon. We finally got our coaching staff together – got a full roster of coaches now. Coach McAdoo and the coaches have hit the ground running and they’ve been working hard looking at free agents and obviously starting on the Draft. Our personnel department is working hard as well. Our scouts are here and our pro personnel guys are working hard on free agency back at Quest (Quest Diagnostics Training Center). I’ll open up for any questions.

Q: Is one of the challenges of having a lot of cap space are that maybe the best players don’t make it to the market?

A: Well whoever makes it to the market makes it to the market. We have a little bit of money to spend this time, and we’ll try to spend it wisely on the players that make it to the market. I’m sure there will be plenty of players that don’t make it, people try to keep their best players. But whoever is out there, we’ll try our best to get some of the best players available.

Q: When it comes to the draft right now, are you thinking more you’re going to go with the best available player or you’re going to go with a need position?

A: We’re going to try to go with the best player available.

Q: What’s your evaluation of the running back position group on your roster as it stands?

A: Our running backs on our roster as it stands? We have some solid runners on our roster. We have four good guys, I think we have four pros on our roster. We’ll continue to look in the draft, look in free agency, but we think we have four capable guys.

Q: You have 50 or 60 million dollars under the salary cap, what is it you try to accomplish in free agency with that space?

A: We’re going to try to get good players. Like always, we’ll try to look out there and see what’s available for us. First, see who hits the market, and we’ll try to get the best players available.

Q: What are the Lions getting in Matt Harriss, and how excited are you to replace him with a guy like Martin Mayhew?

A: Matt Harriss is a guy that cut his teeth with us. Young kid that came in and really did a tremendous job. We’re happy and proud for him that he’s going over to the Lions, they really have a good employee with Matt. He’ll do a tremendous job for the Lions. In turn, we were able to hire Martin Mayhew, who is completely qualified to do any job in the front office. We think he’ll bring a lot to the table for us.

Q: With that money you have available, is extending some of the younger guys you have on your roster something you would consider doing?

A: Yeah, we’ll keep all our options open with respect to that.

Q: Just like shopping, the more you have, the more counters you can go to. Do you think you can be a big player for a certain number of guys if you wanted to?

A: Again, we’re pretty healthy with our cap situation right now. We have to wait and see who’s going to hit the market. We’ll definitely look in the market and see if there’s players available for us to recruit. Hopefully we will be able to land some guys if some guys are available.

Q: Ben said yesterday Victor Cruz will absolutely be on the roster. First, do you agree with that? Second, do you anticipate any sort of restructure?

A: I’m not going to talk about the contract. Victor is under contract right now. Victor is working hard to get healthy. From everything I understand right now, he’s headed in the right direction and we’ll worry about the contract. But right now, he’s under contract. I’m not really going to talk about the contract situation with Victor right now.

Q: Do you expect he’ll be back?

A: Well he’s under contract right now. We’ll see where the process goes.

Q: Do you have any updates on the health status of Mykkele Thompson?

A: Well Mykkele Thompson, he blew out his achilles during the preseason. Everything right now, he’s getting closer, he’s working hard. Actually we had three safeties to go out before the regular season started — Mykkele Thompson, Bennett (Jackson), and (Nat) Berhe — those three young guys. So we’re hoping those guys can come back and be healthy and help us out in the secondary.

Q: At the end of the season you talked about analyzing the draft process and how you guys did that and there could be changes there. Were you able to implement anything or a little bit too quick of a turn around?

A: We’ve looked at a few things of how we’ve operated with respect to the draft. We’ll try to implement some things as we go through draft, yeah.

Q: Ben talked a lot yesterday about the run game. What’s your thoughts on the run game right now? Do guys like Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa have a future here in New York?

A: The run game came on late the last quarter of the season. I thought the run game came on pretty strong. Hopefully we can carry over into next season and keep the run game. I think that was part of the late season, along with some defensive issues. I didn’t think we were able to run the ball like you should to close those games out. Rashad Jennings had more carries and got in a better rhythm. I think the run game will continue to progress and help us into the next season.

Q: When you look at your roster during free agency and the draft, what do you need?

A: We need good players, that’s what we need the most. We need good players, and we’ll try to look for good players at every level—offense, defense and special teams. That’s what we’ll do, that’s what’s important to us. We need help all over the roster and we’ll work hard to do that.

Q: Is signing an offensive lineman starter in free agency something you feel needs to be done now that you made those cuts last week?

A: We may have the starter on the team right now. We’ll look for a good player in free agency in the offensive line, we’ll look for good players on the offensive line in the draft. Every position, draft and free agency, we’ll look for good players.

Q: With Johnathan Hankins last year looking back, was it even a bigger blow than you thought? Where is he physically? Do you still expect him to be a major contributor?

A: Well yeah, it was tough to lose one of your big guys inside. No blow is like the blow we got in July when we got the news about Jason, that was probably the biggest blow going into the season. During the season, obviously when you lose a defensive tackle the caliber of Hankins, that’s a blow too. You got to have enough depth to continue to play football, and that’s what we need to do. We need to acquire more depth on our football team.

Q: He was viewed going into last year as one of those young cornerstone players. Do you still see him like that?

A: Yeah, he was doing a good job for us and unfortunately he had the injury. We hope that young guys like him can continue to develop and be good players for us for a long time.

Q: In free agency, how do you assess the value of players that perform well but weren’t always on the field?

A: It’s all a process. We look at what’s available in free agency, we look at what their value is to us, we look at what’s in the draft, and it’s all a process. It’s hard to explain to you exactly how we value those guys, and it’s not right to stand up here and talk about how we value players, because we don’t want to hurt anybody, any kind of way in free agency.

Q: — Inaudible—

A: Well we know him (Jason Pierre-Paul) better I think, than anybody else would know him. We’re hopeful that this procedure that he had after the season helps him with respect to the hand injury that he has. I know he’s working hard at it. After you look at that injury, it’s really, for me, people like to throw miracle around, I think it’s a miracle that he was able to walk out there and play eight games for us. It’s really unbelievable after you really see what happened to his hand.

Q: Do you have any thoughts so far about Jason’s dispute with Adam Schefter?

A: Whose dispute? No, I don’t want to comment. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Q: Talking about releasing Jason’s medical files.

A: Yeah, I’m not going to get into that.

Q: When your roster when you look at it, does it feel like a 6-10 club or do you think you might have something better?

A: Again, if we close out a couple of games, we could be 10-6 last season. We lost a lot of games close we had the lead going in late in the fourth quarter in a few games. We just didn’t close them out, and that’s for a number of reasons. It’s personnel, we made some bad decisions. But those kind of things — we couldn’t run the ball like we wanted to at the end of some games — and we just got to make some plays sometimes at the ends of games to close games out. A few plays here and there, we could be 10-6 instead of 6-10. That’s the way the National Football League is, there are not a lot of blowouts. You have to go in there and finish games out and we didn’t do that enough. We want to do that better this time.

Q: How realistic do you think it is to fill all your needs in free agency and having the flexibility when it comes to the draft?

A: This is the National Football League, you can get well pretty quickly in the National Football League. You can get players in free agency, you can get players in the draft, you can get players in trades. Again, we lost a lot of close games. A couple snaps here and there, our season could have went a different way, but it didn’t. We have work to do obviously, but I think we’re close enough to believe that we can compete for the NFC East. I don’t think anybody is running away with it, I think the NFC East is a close division still. I think we can put together a team that can challenge for that NFC East crown next year.

Q: Your evaluation of your group of tight ends and specifically, what is the status of Will Tye?

A: Will Tye who came on, was on the practice squad, we brought him up and he really did a nice job for us. We expect him to continue to develop and grow and be a good piece for us at that position. Larry Donnell had the neck injury, he’s coming back and hopefully he’ll be able to continue to play. We’re expecting him to be back, but necks can be tricky so we’ll have to wait and see where that goes. There’s a couple of young tight ends on the roster that we like.

Q: Is Donnell cleared right now?

A: Not yet. No.

Q: Who are the young tight ends?

A: There’s a kid named (Jerome) Cunningham…a kid named (Matt) LaCosse that’s on our roster right now.

Q: Just following up on Larry…is that something that’s a long-term concern with him?

A: Again, necks can be tricky and we’ll just see where it goes. We’ll respect what our doctors say about the neck and we’ll take extreme precaution with that. Hopefully he can get healthy and come back and continue his career.

Q: Is Ereck Flowers your left tackle moving forward?

A: Yeah, we think Ereck Flowers is a left tackle. We think he’s going to be our left tackle moving forward. He was up and down a little bit during the season. He really looked good at times, then he looked like a rookie at times. I think that rookie wall, I think he hit that at some point as well. But he’s a tough kid that stayed out there the whole time. Mike Solari is our new offensive line coach and we’re looking forward to see what he can do with him moving forward.

Q: Does Pugh stay at guard in your mind or might he move back to tackle?

A: Pugh is kind of flexible for us. He can play, obviously, both guard and both tackles. We’ll put him in the best place available for us to be successful. I’m not sure exactly where—that’s Coach McAdoo and Coach Solari—those guys will make that decision.

FREE AGENT RUMORS…
The NFL’s free agent period begins on March 9th, although teams are officially allowed to begin talking to free agents on other teams on March 7. Here are the latest rumors on the free agent front concerning the New York Giants:

  • ESPN.com is reporting that the Giants are interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers. The team is expected to meet with representatives of both players this week.
  • NJ.com is reporting that while the Giants have expressed an interest in re-signing unrestricted free agent linebacker Jasper Brinkley, he is expected to hit the open market.

NFLPA CONFIRMS $11 MILLION SALARY CAP CARRYOVER FOR GIANTS…
The NFLPA has confirmed that $11,193,231 of the New York Giants’ unused 2015 salary cap has been carried over to 2016. The Giants are believed to be about $57 million under the current $154 million cap, though there are reports that the cap could be increased to $160 million. The Giants have the sixth-most space in the NFL after the Jaguars, Browns, Raiders, 49ers, and Titans.

Q&A WITH WR ANTHONY DABLÉ…
Meet Anthony Dable, the New York Giants’ New French Wide Receiver by VICE Sports France

ARTICLES…

Feb 242016
 
Share Button
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.

ARTICLES…

Feb 242016
 
Share Button
Odell Beckham Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ SAYS HE’S 80% LIKELY TO RETURN TO GIANTS…
In an interview with USA Today, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said there is an 80 percent chance he will return to the team in 2016. Cruz has three years left on his current contract, but he missed most of 2014 and all of 2015 with injuries and it remains to be seen if he can regain his pre-injury form. Cruz is currently set to count $9.9 million against the team’s 2016 NFL cap, the second most by a player after quarterback Eli Manning. It has been speculated that if Cruz does not accept a pay cut, he may be released from the Giants.

REPORT – JERRY PALMIERI MOVES TO PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT…
NJ.com is reporting that Jerry Palmieri is now assisting the personnel department of the New York Giants. On the surface, it appears to be an odd transition for recently replaced strength and conditioning coach. Palmieri has been with the team since Tom Coughlin’s arrival in 2004, serving 12 years as the strength and conditioning coach. After six straight years of being one of the most injury-plagued teams in the NFL, the Giants replaced Palmieri with Aaron Wells earlier this offseason.

ARTICLES…

Feb 062016
 
Share Button


JOHN MARA KEEPS DOOR OPEN FOR TOM COUGHLIN…
At Tom Coughlin’s farewell press conference on January 5th, New York Giants team president and CEO John Mara said he would like Coughlin to remain with the team in some capacity.

“I asked him would he consider staying on in some capacity,” said Mara a month ago. “I don’t want to let all that knowledge walk out the door. I asked him to think about over the next few days ways that he might be able to help us going forward.

“He agreed to do that. I don’t think either one of us have an idea yet exactly what form that could take. Let’s face it, he brings a unique perspective. He knows our team as well as anybody. He knows the league as well as anybody. There may be some capacity in which he could help us.

“This is not a situation where we wanted to see him walk out the door. We want him to stay involved because of everything he has brought to this organization, everything he could still possibly do at some point in the future.”

Since that time, Coughlin interviewed for the head coaching jobs of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles were reportedly strongly considering him but Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration. Both the Eagles and 49ers have hired new head coaches and the 69-year old Coughlin remains out of work.

On Friday, Mara was asked about Coughlin again. “He’s been away, but I do plan on talking (to him),” Mara said. “There’s still hope.”

NFL NETWORK INTERVIEW WITH VICTOR CRUZ…
The video of an NFL Network interview with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is available at Giants.com. The text of the interview is also available at Giants.com.

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • CB Trevin Wade (Video)
  • P Brad Wing (Video)
  • Ex-Giants WR Amani Toomer (Video)
  • Ex-Giants CB Sam Madison (Video)

ARTICLES…

Feb 042016
 
Share Button
Victor Cruz, New York Giants (August 22, 2015)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH, CONTRACT, AND NEW COACH…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to the media on Thursday. He addressed a number of topics including his injury and contract status, as well at the team’s head coaching change.

Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

Cruz said the calf injury was a rare torn fascia. “It just wasn’t healing right,” said Cruz. “It would half-heal. If you ran on it after like six weeks, it would kind of pop again. So we had to shut it down, have the surgery, cement the calf back down so it can heal properly, and then we’re back to 100 percent… Supposedly after you get it fixed it’ll be 100 percent. It’s a soft-tissue injury so it should heal pretty well on its own. Other guys have had it as well, but it’s something that I should definitely have a full recovery from.”

Cruz has not begun to run as part of his rehab process yet. The rehab work involves underwater exercises and walking on treadmills.

“Obviously still rehabbing, still getting strength back in the calf, but I feel good,” said Cruz. “There is no more pain, there are no more setbacks or anything like that. Now we’re just working on getting the strength back so I can be able to run and cut and all those good things.”

Cruz has three years left on his current contract and is currently scheduled to make $7.9 million in base salary in 2016 and count $9.9 million against the 2016 salary cap. Cruz said he is amenable to have his contract restructured.

“I don’t care about that stuff,” said Cruz. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.

“I just want to play. Whatever it takes, whether it’s with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they’re family. But I just want to play football, man.”

Cruz was also asked about the head coach transition from Tom Coughlin to Ben McAdoo.

“(Coughlin is) my guy,” Cruz said. “He’s the one who pretty much took a chance on me coming into this league and gave me an opportunity. So it’s sad to see him go, but certain things are just out of your hands as an individual and as an athlete. It was tough to see him go, but he’ll definitely be in my thoughts all the time, and the things that he has taught me will never fade.

“I think (McAdoo) has a great temperament. I think he brings a good energy to the head-coaching position. I think guys are going to love to play for him because he understands us. He understands how to talk to us, he understands what gets us excited. And he understands that we need to work hard to get to where we need to go. He’s a guy who can facilitate that.”

ARTICLES…

Dec 062015
 
Share Button
Josh Brown, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Josh Brown Misses Game-Tying Kick in OT – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK JETS 23 – NEW YORK GIANTS 20 (OT)…
In pattern far too commonplace this season, the New York Giants lost a heart-breaker, 23-20 in overtime, to the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Once again, there was a questionable late-game coaching decision and the team surrendered another double-digit 4th quarter lead. The Giants had a chance to tie the game in overtime but place kicker Josh Brown, who had been perfect all season on field goal attempts, missed from 48 yards out.

With the defeat, the Giants fell to 5-7 overall. It was the fifth time this season the Giants have lost a game in the final two minutes – tying a single-season NFL record.

Statistically, the Jets out-gained the Giants in first downs (28 to 14), total net yards (463 to 355), net yards rushing (90 to 74), net yards passing (373 to 281), and time of possession (38:31 to 29:56). The Giants were 0-for-3 in red zone opportunities  and 4-of-15 (27 percent) on third down opportunities.

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

After both teams went three-and-out and exchanged punts on their first possessions, the Jets went up 3-0 after an 11-play, 78-yard drive that set up a 24-yard field goal. Both teams then gained one first down before having to punt. The Giants went ahead 7-3 when wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown.

The Jets and Giants exchanged punts again. The Giants got the ball back when linebacker Jasper Brinkley forced a fumble that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recovered. Despite beginning the possession at the Jets’ 10-yard line, the Giants were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Brown to go up 10-3. Running back Andre Williams was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Jets then proceeded to tie the game by driving 79 yards in nine plays, with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hitting running back Bilal Powell for a 25-yard catch-and-run touchdown on 3rd-and-15. However, the Giants regained the lead on the third snap of their ensuing possession when wide receiver Odell Beckham sprinted for a 72-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-2. Giants were now up 17-10.

The Giants’ defense forced three-and-out with 1:42 left in the half. The Giants were able gain 50 yards in six pays, primarily on tight end Will Tye’s 45-yard catch-and-run, to set up a successful 35-yard field goal with 30 seconds left.

At the half, the Giants led 20-10.

Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. After both teams punted, the Giants began a marathon, 17-play drive that continued midway into the 4th quarter and took an astounding 11 minutes and 21 seconds off of the clock. The turning point in the game came at this moment. Facing a 4th-and-2 from the Jets’ 4-yard line with 8:50 left in the game, Head Coach Tom Coughlin decided to go for it instead of attempting a short field goal that would have put the Giants up by 13 points. Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Rueben Randle was intercepted and returned to the Jets’ 14-yard line.

The Jets then proceeded to cut the score to 20-13 by driving 80 yards in 12 plays to set up a 24-yard field goal with 4:24 left to play. Needing to run some time off of the clock, the Giants could not and were forced to punt after a three-and-out.

The Jets started their final drive in regulation at their own 29-yard line with 2:40 left to play. Just like the other five late-game collapses, the defense could not hold. The Jets drove 71 yards in 10 plays to tie the game 20-20. On this drive, the Jets converted on 4th-and-6 when Fitzpatrick scrambled for 15 yards. The game-tying touchdown was a 9-yard pass from to wide receiver Brandon Marshall with 27 seconds left.

The Jets won the toss in overtime and drove 61 yards in 13 plays to set up what would be the game-winning 31-yard field goal. Per the new overtime rules, the Giants were given one opportunity to tie or win the game. After a 43-yard kickoff return by Harris, the Giants could only pick up one first down on a 4th-and-6 pass to Beckham that gave the Giants the ball at the Jets’ 34-yard line. But the Giants could only gain four more yards before Brown’s 48-yard game-tying field goal attempt. That kick went wide left.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 18-of-34 for 297 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Beckham caught 6 passes for 149 yards and 1 touchdown. No other receiver caught more than three passes and no running back rushed for more than 23 yards.

Defensively, while the Giants accrued 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hits, Fitzpatrick completed 36-of-50 passes for 390 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Both wide receiver Brandon Marshall (12 catches for 131 yards) and Eric Decker (8 catches for 101 yards) had over 100 yards receiving. Powell also caught 8 passes for 91 yards at running back for the Jets.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Left tackle Ereck Flowers was carted off of the field with a left ankle injury in the 3rd quarter and did not return. He was spotted in a boot and on crutches after the game.

Quarterback Eli Manning had x-rays after the game on an undisclosed body part but claimed he was OK. “Everything’s good,” said Manning. “Just to see if anything was broken, but all good. You can ask Coach about it.”

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were TE Larry Donnell (neck), RT Marshall Newhouse (back), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee), DE George Selvie, WR Geremy Davis, and OT Emmett Cleary.

Rookie Bobby Hart started at right tackle.

Six of the New York Giants’ seven losses have been by a total of 18 points.

This was the third time this season the Giants led by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter and were unable to close out their opponent.

Quarterback Eli Manning increased his career yardage total to 43,073. That moved him past Hall of Famer Dan Fouts and into 11th place on the NFL’s career list.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his fifth consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards. He is the first Giants receiver in history to do that in a single season. Beckham has 169 career receptions, the highest total in history by an NFL player in his first two seasons. Beckham has scored 10 touchdowns for the second consecutive season.

Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris is the third player in Giants’ history with kickoff and punt return touchdowns in the same season, and the first to do it in 60 years.

JAMES MORRIS PROMOTED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, LEON McFADDEN CUT…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed linebacker James Morris to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for Morris, the team waived cornerback Leon McFadden.

ARTICLES…

Nov 212015
 
Share Button
Odell Beckham, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JAMES MORRIS RE-SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker James Morris to the Practice Squad. The Giants had previously signed Morris the Practice Squad in September, signed him to the 53-man roster in October, and waived him on November 17th. Morris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in September.

GIANTS.COM INSIDER WITH CRAIG JOHNSON…
Video of a Giants.com “insider” interview with Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson is available at Giants.com.

ODELL BECKHAM ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of wide receiver Odell Beckham’s ESPN Radio interview on Thursday is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…