Apr 222014
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (April 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – Photo by Connor Hughes

Day Two of the New York Giants Offseason Program: Tuesday was day two of the New York Giants nine-week offseason workout program. The Giants are currently in “phase one” of the program (April 21 – May 4) with activities limited to voluntary strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

BigBlueInteractive.com will soon publish a number of feature articles based on today’s content, but here are some brief highlights:

  • Guard Chris Snee wasted no time before cracking the first joke of the day. When the 32-year-old was asked about all of the new faces, he responded, “I requested a team photo” in order familiarize himself with the team. Snee said the new offense is “different” from what he’s used to. Snee said he has been given no indication that he will be held back as he recovers from offseason hip and elbow surgery. Snee said has no limitations and is 100 percent.
  • Safety Antrel Rolle said he “loved” what has been done with the secondary this offseason and the goal during this portion of the offseason program is to build chemistry. When asked about cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rolle said he feels that Rodgers-Cromartie, in his seventh year, has matured, and is a huge addition to the defense. With defensive end Justin Tuck in Oakland, Rolle was asked if he will take on any additional leadership roles: “I’m just go out there and play ball. I just know how to be Antrel…I think there should be 53 leaders on this team.”
  • Will Hill, who reportedly will be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing or abusive substances, was was not made available to the media. Several players offered their support to the troubled safety.
  • Defensive end Robert Ayers said one of the main reasons that he decided to come to New York was the tradition and opportunity. Also, his late father, who passed away last year, said he used to wish Ayers would play for the New York Giants. Ayers also said that he plans on playing a bunch of different positions as it is what the management and coaches want. “They ask everyone to do everything….I look forward to doing whatever they ask me to do.”
  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul caught the attention of everyone when he alerted the media that he now weighed in at 270 pounds, down from the 285 pounds he played at last season. If you remember, Head Coach Tom Coughlin has made several comments in the past about Pierre-Paul being overweight. “I feel good at that weight,” said Pierre-Paul. After rehabbing his shoulder over the offseason, Pierre-Paul said he’s 100 percent right now and expects no limitations. Also, when asked if his role will change with Tuck in Oakland, Pierre-Paul said, “Not at all.” Pierre-Paul said he “didn’t get the memo” on Will Hill. Pierre-Paul said if Hill misses time, losing Hill would be a blow, but the defense would be “alright.”
  • Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the media in a walking boot. He said the surgery on his ankle went well and things are progressing very quickly. Manning told the media that with this being his first surgery, he’s being smart with it. Manning said when he started his training and running for the season he could tell something wasn’t right. He went for some additional MRI’s and developed a plan to see what was the best way to approach the injury. After consideration, he and the doctors felt surgery was best bet rather than waiting. “This will ensure I’m back at 100 percent for training camp,” said Manning. Prior to his informal workouts at Duke University, Manning had gotten a cortisone shot. He felt that once that wore off the injury and pain would return.
  • Left tackle Will Beatty said that the doctors have all given him positive reports and he’s “out here moving around.” Beatty said that he is hanging on every word from the doctors and doing whatever they say. He said that because the team has not gone full-contact, he hasn’t tested himself in that regard. Beatty said he plans on being 100 percent by the start of the season but was more non-committal about being ready for the start of training camp. Beatty talked about new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, saying he’s very “Energetic” and has “a lot of positive things to add to the team.” Beatty said that McAdoo came in the first day and told the team, “Our goal is to be a top-four offense, have an elite top-four QB, make it to the Super Bowl.”
  • Right tackle Justin Pugh talked to the media and said the new offense is similar to the one he ran in Syracuse and “I’m very comfortable in it.” He said, “It’s up-tempo and we’re going to be moving the ball.” Coughlin had told Pugh that he wanted him heavier, so he gained 10 pounds, he’s up to 315. “I’m stronger than ever,” said Pugh.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond III may have brought some of Richard Sherman’s personality with him to New York. The corner said he views himself as “the best slot corner in the league” and said the Giants secondary can be as good, if not better, than Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”Thurmond says he looks forward to matching up with the Redskins now that they have Desean Jackson. He also said the difference between New York and Seattle: “Guys are a bit older here.” Thurmond got a solid laugh out of the media when asked the similarities between cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Richard Sherman saying, “They’re a little different,” before bursting into laughter.
  • Wide receiver Rueben Randle has a very, very soft voice, and it was a little tough to make out everything he was saying. What he did say is that his original plan was to attend Duke University with fellow wide receivers Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, but “something came up.” From listening to Victor Cruz talk later in the day it seemed to be a family issue. He contacted Eli Manning to inform him once he became aware he could not participate in those workouts. Randle also went on to say that he is “ready” to step up as the starter. As far as the offense, Randle does not see much difference aside from the terminology.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason seems very comfortable with the New York media. He stated that he does feel that this is his defense as it “comes with the territory of being the signal caller and mike linebacker.” Beason said that he did his research before representing himself as his own agent in free agency. He said one of the reasons he wanted to be his own agent was he wanted to be “directly involved” and not “a little kid playing telephone.” There were other teams interested in Jon Beason’s services, but the Giants contacted Beason at 3:52 on Tuesday, only minutes before free agency began.
  • Quarterback Josh Freeman talked to the media for an extended period of time. He said he feels great coming in and last year, “Didn’t turn out how I had hoped.” He said he can’t pinpoint what has caused his career to go downhill since being considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league. “A couple things just didn’t go my way.” One of the things that drew Freeman to New York was the history and tradition, but also to learn things from Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz said he enjoys the new offense. It’s a “high-powered offense” and “high octane.” Also, Cruz said the offense in similar with the type of routes and compared it to Green Bay’s offense. Cruz was asked if he could tell at Duke University if Eli was impacted by his ankle injury. He said he could not and “it may have been something he was battling internally.”Cruz said he has taken on a stronger leadership role, including grabbing some of the younger guys, taking them off to the side, and “letting them know how valuable they are to this team and the receiving corp.” Cruz went on to say that the new offense is based less off of body language.
  • Running back David Wilson was excited and as animated as ever. In January, Wilson underwent a surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Wilson said he expects to be cleared for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) but admitted it will come down to the doctors. Wilson said he feels great, and all that is holding him back “is a picture” (MRI) allowing him to resume his football career. Wilson was asked if he sees himself as a No. 1 back and he said he does, but in today’s NFL the feature back doesn’t exist. “Way the game is played today, it’s not gonna be one guy,” said Wilson.
  • Running back Rashaad Jennings said that he thinks the backfield has a lot of talent and potential. He said all are trying to “mesh into the system” and they will “spend a lot of extra time as a unit.”

An “all-access” video of Monday’s activities is available at Giants.com. If you have any follow-up questions on today’s events, ask our camp reporter on Twitter at @92Hughes92.

New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips from Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Today’s Offseason Program Media Day: Player interviews: 10 things we learned by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Eli Manning, Giants envision their offense being similar to the Packers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: QB Eli Manning: I’ll be ready for camp by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson ‘expects to’ be cleared for OTA’s next month by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Walter Thurmond: Giants secondary can be better than Seahawks ‘Legion of Boom’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Apr 212014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Offseason Workout Program Begins: The New York Giants offseason workout program began on Monday and will continue for the next nine weeks. The offseason program is conducted in three phases:

  1. Phase One (April 21 – May 4):  Consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  2. Phase Two (May 5 – May 26):  Consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  3. Phase Three (see OTA dates below): Consists of the next four weeks of the program. The Giants may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA workouts. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Important New York Giants dates of note:

  • April 21: Start of the offseason program.
  • May 28-30: Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts.
  • June 2-3: OTA workouts.
  • June 5: OTA workout.
  • June 9-10: OTA workouts.
  • June 12-13: OTA workouts.
  • June 17-19: Mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

A video of New York Giants players arriving for the offseason program is available at Giants.com.

This year’s offseason program is the most important in recent memory. There are 15 new veteran free agents that need to be assimilated into the New York Giants’ team culture.

“It’s unprecedented, the percentage of change in this locker room,” said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. “Those of us who are still here are excited for the start of a new season, but obviously it’s changed a lot. A lot of changes needed to be made, but whenever you’re a member of a team, it’s tough to see people go.”

“This is the most change I’ve been part of, for sure,” right guard Chris Snee said. “It’s going to take me a few weeks to learn all these guys’ names…Name tags would be a nice addition.”

“I tried to meet a lot of guys, tried to introduce myself to a lot of guys and start learning a little bit about them – where they’re from, are they married. Just little things like that, so hopefully these next weeks I’ll get to spend more time with each of the players and get to know them on a personal side,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who is coming off of arthroscopic ankle surgery that will sideline him at least six weeks.

The New York Giants’ offensive coaching staff was also revamped in the offseason with a new offensive coordinator (Ben McAdoo), new quarterbacks coach (Danny Langsdorf), and new running backs coach (Craig Johnson). Sean Ryan moved back to coaching wide receivers while Kevin M. Gilbride is now the new tight ends coach. The Giants will also have a brand new offensive scheme for the first time since Tom Coughlin became New York Giants head coach in 2004.

“Sometimes you need change,” said Manning. “We have a new offense, a new quarterback coach, a new offensive coordinator. It’s a learning experience for me, getting adjusted to that, having a lot of new teammates and new faces. There’s a lot of work to be done here, not only learning an offense but getting familiar with your teammates, building relationships there. It also is exciting. I think sometimes you’ve got to mix things up and change things up a little bit in your career. It will be a great challenge, but I’m looking forward to that.”

“I look forward to learning the new offense,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve got to really study again, really look into the books again. Before, (Kevin) Gilbride’s offense was so innate for me that I kind of understood it, but this time I’ve really got to hone in and study every night. It’s like I’m back in college, so I’m excited about it. It’s cool. You understand this offseason we made some changes, we got a lot of guys through free agency and we’re looking to kind of change the mold of our team a little bit, at least from a visual standpoint; different guys, different positions. I’m excited. Any time you bring in guys, new energy, new people, it’s always a good thing, so we’re excited.”

Not only do the old Giants need to adjust to change, but so do the 15 new ones.

“It’s an adjustment but not a big one,” said linebacker Jameel McClain. “My personality, I just go with the flow and see how things are done here and fit in as time goes on. But it is different. I’ve been in Baltimore for six years, so that’s a change of scenery for me. Everybody is eager to see how it all falls together. That’s every NFL season. You come into the next year with a different team. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s good to see how it all comes together. So far there are a lot of great personalities, so that’s a winning combination by itself.”

“It’s exciting to finally get here after all of the buildup of signing and everything,” left guard Geoff Schwartz said. “It was great meeting some of the guys and getting going and kind of building toward the future. Right now it’s so early that it’s the getting to know each other phase. As we continue to work and go through stuff, you bring it all together. The guys I’ve met so far today seem to fit that personality of wanting to build chemistry.”

Josh Freeman Signing Now Official: The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) on Monday, confirming what had originally been reported last Wednesday.

“I’m definitely excited about being a part of this great organization,” said Freeman. “Obviously, it’s a chance to go play quality football, learn from some great coaches, learn from a great quarterback in Eli (Manning) and just be a part of a great organization. The atmosphere is great here, great facilities. Everyone I’ve met has been awesome. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

“Today, having the opportunity to sit in meetings and be around the guys in the room, from Eli to Curtis (Painter), Ryan (Nassib), it’s a great group of guys,” Freeman said. “I’m excited and am looking forward to learning about everybody and getting to know the team…It’s a big thing, getting on a team and getting in the offseason program, I’m learning the offense, working and trying to fill my role as best I can.”

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: The Prince Amukamara Dilemma: Giants must decide on fifth-year option by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz, one year later by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giants pre-draft visits and workouts by Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants and the NFL Draft: 

Mar 242014
 
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Eli Manning and Steve Tisch, New York Giants (October 21, 2013)

Eli Manning and Steve Tisch – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Steve Tisch Comments on the State of the New York Giants: New York Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch spoke to media on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Florida. Some tidbits from Tisch:

  • On the team’s approach to the offseason: “When something is a little broken, you have an opportunity to fix it. Everybody at the top levels of ownership, coaching staff and our GM realized we have to go for it. This is an opportunity. Let’s take advantage of it and refocus. Do some restructuring, make changes, some of the changes aren’t always going to be popular, but I think we have created a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipating what this team will be and how well they will perform this season.”
  • On free agency: “I think the way Jerry Reese has performed during free agency is he’s always looking for value. I think he has a great eye for matching free agents, their talent, and the needs of the New York Giants. I think this season has been an unusually strong example of that because of the amount of players we’ve brought in at this point.”
  • On Head Coach Tom Coughlin: “(With) a lot of new faces and a lot of new players and a new locker room, I think Tom Coughlin is the guy to get some rookies and some of our new players to really understand how the New York Giants perform as a team, how he wants his locker room to operate, and I think he is the best guy to accept this challenge.”
  • On what still needs to be done: “With the draft coming up in May, it’s going to be the next wave of how to build the Giants to become even stronger this season and going forward.”
  • On the departure of so many important players from the Super Bowl teams: “It’s the nature of the business. It’s the way business is run and things change, you have to move on, you can’t look back, you have to look forward. I think this is the season we’re certainly doing that.”
  • On DE Justin Tuck, who signed with the Oakland Raiders: “It’s not goodbye, I think, and this is me, I think it’s see you soon. You can’t separate New York from Justin Tuck and I don’t think Justin Tuck will separate Justin Tuck from New York…He will definitely come back to the New York-New Jersey area and I think continue to be involved in football. He’s a great guy. His contributions on and off the field are wonderful. The memories he has of his years at the Giants and that John Mara and I have and all the fans have, all the coaches have, are of an exceptional, exceptional player and human being.”

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: Giants depth chart: Rashad Jennings can be the power back Tom Coughlin wants by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line: Offensive line: Have Giants done enough? by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

New York Giants and 2014 Compensatory Picks: Projecting the Giants’ compensatory picks by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck: Justin Tuck thanks fans in newspaper ad by Giants.com

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Wide Receiver Victor Cruz (Video)
  • Tight End Bear Pascoe (Video)
Mar 042014
 
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Spencer Paysinger, New York Giants (September 29, 2013)

Spencer Paysinger – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Tender Spencer Paysinger: According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have tendered restricted restricted free agent Spencer Paysinger at the $1.431 million level. That means the Giants will have the right of first refusal for any team offering Paysinger a contract in free agency. If the Giants do not match that offer, Paysinger would sign with that other team and the Giants would receive no compensation in return.

USA Today is also confirming that guard/center Dallas Reynolds was tendered at the $570,000 level as an exclusive rights free agent. As long as he remains tendered, Reynolds cannot sign with another team.

Because of these moves, we have updated our 2014 Free Agency Scorecard.

New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz on ESPN Radio: The audio of Tuesday’s ESPN Radio interview with wide receiver Victor Cruz is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on the New York Giants and 2014 NFL Free Agency:

Article on Wide Receiver Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz wants to try hand at running back under new Giants OC Ben McAdoo by Ebenezer Samuel and Ralph Vacchiano of  The New York Daily News

Mar 032014
 
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Linval Joseph (97), Jason Pierre-Paul (90), New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Linval Joseph and Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

March 3, 2014 New York Giants Free Agency News and Rumors: According to NJ.com, the New York Giants are concentrating their efforts to re-sign linebacker Jon Beason before free agency begins on March 11. NJ.com says efforts to re-sign the Giants other unrestricted free agents “have been put on the back burner.”

NJ.com reports the Giants have not yet made an official offer to soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defensive end Justin Tuck. The website also says the Giants believe soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph “will be too costly to keep” and the chances that soon-to-be unrestricted free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks re-signing with the team are “close to zero.”

Reports – New York Giants Will Not Tender Henry Hynoski and Jim Cordle: According to ProFootballTalk, the New York Giants will not tender fullback Henry Hynoski, who is eligible to be tendered as a restricted free agent. The website says the Giants would still like to re-sign Hynoski, but at a lower rate than then restricted free agent tender. If Hynoski is not tendered, he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 11 when free agency begins.

The Star-Ledger is reporting that center Jim Cordle will also not be tendered as a restricted free agent.

For a complete listing of New York Giants 2014 free agents, see our 2014 Free Agency Scorecard.

Article on Wide Receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks: Will Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks be Giants teammates still? by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on the New York Giants and Free Agent Running Backs: NFL free agency 2014: Who is the best blocking RB available for Giants by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giant and the NFL Combine:

Feb 132014
 
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Hakeem Nicks (88), Victor Cruz (80), New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Victor Cruz Wants Hakeem Nicks to Return – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Victor Cruz Wants Hakeem Nicks to Return: Not unsurprisingly, Victor Cruz wants fellow wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to re-sign with the Giants. Nicks is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 11. The prevailing opinion is that he will not return to the Giants.

“I have (asked him to stay),” said Cruz on Wednesday. “Selfishly, I would love for him to stay.”

Article on the New York Giants 2014 Regular-Season Schedule: How difficult is Giants schedule in 2014? by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on Cornerback Terrell Thomas: CB: NFL not ready for gay player by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on Former Giants Linebacker Antonio Pierce: Antonio Pierce discusses move to coaching by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on Former Giants Quarterback Jared Lorenzen: ‘Hefty’ QB Jared Lorenzen recalls trying to make weight with Giants by Kevin Manahan of The Star-Ledger

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • Defensive End Justin Tuck (Video)
  • Defensive Tackle Shaun Rogers (Video)
Jan 312014
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (February 23, 2013)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Jerry Reese – Giants May Re-Sign a Few Players Before Free Agency Begins: The Giants currently have 27 players not under contract. On Thursday, General Manager Jerry Reese said the Giants may re-sign a few of those players before free agency begins on March 11.

“This is going to be a saturated free-agent market again it looks like,” said Reese. “We might be able to get a few guys done before the regular free agency starts. But we’re still evaluating players and free agents and seeing where our cap situation is going to be. So, we’ll work it out.”

On Thursday, defensive end Justin Tuck told The New York Post he is intent on testing the free agent market.

“Justin and I have talked a little bit about it,” said Reese. “I think guys deserve to go out and see what the market is when you reach free agency. It’s hard to reach free agency. When you have a chance to get there, you deserve to see what the market is. He deserves to see what the market is.”

Tuck sounded less sure when quoted by The Star-Ledger on Friday.

“There’s a chance (I might re-sign before March 11), but I’m preparing myself to get to free agency, but it might not happen,” said Tuck. “So we’ll see what happens…I think players would rather not hit free agency for the most part. That means that the team they’re playing for at the time is pretty good and they want to stay and that team is giving them the amount of money they want to play for. So, I think, obviously, most people would rather not get to free agency, but it is an exciting time for me I guess. I’ve never been a part of this, I don’t know what to expect and I’ll just go with the flow.”

For a complete list of New York Giants free agents, see the 2014 Free Agency Scorecard.

Article on Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul: Jason Pierre-Paul will likely not need shoulder surgery; thinks Giants could have No. 1 defense in 2014 by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Victor Cruz, DE Justin Tuck, and LB Mark Herzlich: Documentary on Giants personal challenges by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Jan 212014
 
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Brandon Mosley, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Brandon Mosley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Former NYG QB Sage Rosenfels on OC fit by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on New York Giants Wide Receiver:

Article on Tight End Brandon Myers: Giants free agents: What should Big Blue do with Brandon Myers? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on Defensive End Justin Tuck: What will it cost to re-sign Justin Tuck? by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Line and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giant bummer: Offensive line help limited in 2014 NFL Draft by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Giants.com Inside the Film Room: Video breakdowns of the following Giants players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
  • LB Jon Beason (Video)
  • LB Mark Herzlich (Video)

Distant Replay – 1993 New York Giants at Miami Dolphins: 1993 Giants @ Dolphins by Matt in SGS of “Going Back Through the VCR…”

Article on Super Bowl XXXV: Super Bowl Rewind: Ravens 34, Giants 7 by John Harper of The New York Daily News

Article on Former Giants Running Back David Meggett: The Sordid End of David Meggett by Greg Hanlon of SBNation.com

Jan 082014
 
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Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride, New York Giants (September 8, 2013)

Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Gilbride Speaks Out: Kevin Gilbride, the much-criticized offensive coordinator of the New York Giants who retired last Thursday, was interviewed on Tuesday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Gilbride made the following comments:

  • On Eli Manning: “(The state of the offensive line)  just made it impossible for our quarterback to function. (Manning is) a guy where if you give him enough time, he’s always going to be throwing the ball to the right person. He’s going to know what you’re doing defensively. He’s going to see through your disguises. He’s going to be an accurate passer. But he’s not a scrambler, and you’ve got to give him some help. And if you give him some help he’s proven that he can win a championship for you…I think more than anything, when you’re behind he is not one of those guys that is (concerned about interceptions)… He’s going to try to win the game. If you’re down by two scores at the end of the game, he’s going to throw it up and he’ll force it because he’s going to try to give his team a chance. And if it happens to be picked off and that ends the opportunity and it reflects poorly on him, to be quite candid he could care less. He’s just going to do whatever he thinks he has to do to give his team a chance to win. So because we were behind, we started the season 0-6, there were a number of situations at the end of a game where those scenarios arose and we certainly incurred our fair share of turnovers in that regard. But I think if you do solidify the line, I believe he is an accurate passer, he is going to throw it to the right person. But everybody’s got to do their job and give him an opportunity to do his and he will do it very well.”
  • On how the personnel issues forced the Giants to adapt their offense: “In general, I think philosophically we just modified substantially what we normally do. We’ve been a dynamic, explosive, throw the ball down the field, let your guys go to a lot of vertical read type of stretch principals, and we had to abandon those. Those are the things that we’d done very well and allowed us to be in the top 10 offensively for a long time. You can’t do it because your quarterback would be on his back while you waited for those things to happen. You became much more conservative, much more three-step oriented, which was good for a while, but people, they’re smart on that (defensive) side of the ball and they identify fairly quickly what your weaknesses are and they realize what your adjustments have been, so they take those things away. When we had to expand what we wanted to do, that’s when our shortcomings manifested themselves.”
  • On the wide receivers: “Victor Cruz still played very well on the inside for us, but it became readily apparent to defenses that we weren’t playing as well with the outside receiver position. That became an area that people just, they had no reservation about lining up just bump and run and getting an extra guy into the box, making it more difficult and challenging to run and forcing you to throw the ball vertically a little bit. You try to throw some three-step fades and fade stops, but they’re sitting on those things. I think if the Giants can get the wideout position straightened out – the outside position, not the inside because between Victor Cruz and the emergence of Jerrel Jernigan at the end, that will help.”
  • On the tight ends: “Well I think there’s no question they’re going to bring in some people. There are some young guys – the Larry Donnells and Adrien Robinsons that have some size and look to be enough physical ability to get open and catch the ball – but they are raw, young players and need a lot of growth and development. So I think it wouldn’t surprise me if they bring in a veteran tight end that can come in and play that position. We didn’t get the production that we’ve had the last few years out of that spot…When they started doubling Victor Cruz, which they did from the second game on every time it was an obvious passing down, you needed somebody else to win. And when you weren’t winning outside you hoped your tight end would do it. Now Brandon Myers did a terrific job for us when they played zone coverages and he’d find the soft spot and make the tough catches, but I think they’re going to look for a bigger, faster guy. You know, he’d be a great No. 2, but I think they’re looking for somebody that can be a solid starter at that position. It remains to be seen if those young guys will mature fast enough to give them the confidence to play with them in a starting role.”
  • On the running backs: “There’s no question they’re gonna have to get a running back that can be the bell cow. I think we had hoped Andre Brown could be that person but he didn’t come back until about the 9th game, 10th game. It looked like he was gonna be that guy the first couple of games and then he was slowed by injury.”
  • On the offensive line: “We had been concerned about depth in the offensive line for a while now. That group has aged…I would say the offensive line first and foremost has to be addressed. I think Justin Pugh advanced and grew outside as a starter at the right tackle position, but they need another significant upgrade in the o-line and certainly some added depth.”
  • On left tackle Will Beatty: “We made the gamble that William Beatty would be the guy and he had played very well last year. And this year he did not have as good a year. He was much more inconsistent than he had been the year before. He was slowed by some problems, and then of course he finished the year with a significant knee injury, so that remains to be seen how he recovers from that. Now I think there’s no question that he has the physical skills to play the left tackle position. He has the skill set to match up speed wise with anybody. I just think he’s got to demonstrate again the commitment and the toughness that you have to have on a play-in and play-out basis. But there’s no question in my mind he has the physical talent. It’s just a matter of making his consistency be at the level that it needs to be, because some games he played well and then some games we certainly had our problems.”
  • On Mike Sullivan possibly replacing him as offensive coordinator: “He’s a bright individual and he grew very quickly and developed a nice rapport in the quarterback room with the quarterbacks, most notably Eli, of course. Then he had a chance to go down and get his feet wet in Tampa Bay. The first year they did a terrific job. This year they struggled. I’m sure without knowing full well what took place down there I’m sure there were extenuating circumstances which caused the fall-off. But he’s a good coach, a good person, he knows the people here, he knows the system, that’s what he’s grown up in, so I think he would be a natural, seamless transition if they chose to go in that direction. To be totally candid with you I have no idea what their thinking is, but he certainly would be a good choice.”

Victor Cruz Speaks Out: Wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke to the press on Wednesday at a promotion event for XBox. Cruz made the following comments:

  • On Mike Sullivan possibly being the Giants’ next offensive coordinator:  “I’m rooting for him. I could see (some arguging for a new system) but, you know, I think it’s just his familiarity with our personnel, with our offense, the one we had. Obviously, he’s running a similar offense with Tampa Bay but I’m sure he’ll have some tweaks here or there. I just think we need a refresher, I think, more so than people needing a whole big name. A refreshing face that we know, one we’re all comfortable with, and we can go from there.”
  • On Kevin Gilbride’s point that the outside receivers did not perform well: “You would see it. You would see, whether it was Rueben (Randle), whether it was Hakeem (Nicks), this isn’t pointing the finger at anyone, but the play that we got from the outside wasn’t what we’re accustomed to having. We’re accustomed to having Hakeem be an outside threat with a 1,000-yard season that he’s done in the past and Rueben being himself on the outside although he did have six touchdowns this year which is very much improved from the year before. But that consistency wasn’t there from the outside position. You could definitely feel it throughout the season, you could see it from game to game that our productivity wasn’t there from the outside position.”
  • On the on-field relationship between Eli Manning and his receivers: “You never know with Eli, he just keeps an even keel the whole way. But sometimes when you have those passes that you throw up and typically they’re caught for big plays and when that doesn’t happen naturally you tend to throw it differently or go to a different read or go somewhere else with the ball. That would happen naturally. I mean, if I was quarterback that would happen to me, so I’d imagine it would happen to Eli as well. That’s definitely natural.”
  • On Cruz and Nicks missing so much offseason work last year: “Honestly, I thought we’d go in and we’d pick it up right where we left off, especially with guys who have been around and done it before like myself and Hakeem and Rueben. I thought we would come in and pick it right up. It goes to show you that it takes a lot more than just that. You have to build a lot more continuity, you have to build a lot more trust mentally with your quarterback. I think it’s important. For a quarterback like Eli, for receivers like myself and guys like Hakeem and Rueben and Jerrel, you have to have that continuity, that consistency together over a period of time that’s going to continue to instill trust in Eli and us. The more comfortable Eli is with his receivers, where they’re going to be, their knowledge of the offense, their route running, how he sees how you run specific routes so he knows how to get you the ball, I think that’s huge in our minds to remain comfortable and for Eli to continue to trust us. It played a little bit of a part. In this league when you’re a veteran and you’ve been in the league that long, it shouldn’t take long for you to catch up, it shouldn’t take long for you to adjust. We’re not first-year, second-year players. Me and Hakeem are four-year, five-year guys, so we understood exactly how to come in and pick it up and be on the same page rather quickly. But I think it did play a little bit of a part in our continuity early on and throughout the length of the season.”
  • On if Nicks leaves the Giants: “He’s obviously been a big piece for us in the last years that he’s been with us. But I think we definitely always have the talent in our receiving room to be successful. I think that’s just a testament to how we drafted and how we got players to fit the mold to our offense. I think we can definitely be able to be successful if Hakeem has to move on. It’s something that we’re going to have to look at. And we hope not, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Chris Snee Says He Might Not Be Done Yet: Right guard Chris Snee told The New York Post on Tuesday that he might not be ready to retire. Snee has been troubled with significant elbow and hip issues the past three seasons. He was placed on Injured Reserve in early October with a torn labrum in his right hip that required surgery. The Post is reporting he also underwent elbow surgery in November. Snee’s 2014 cap value is roughly $11.75 million.

“Right now, my mind-set is getting my body 100 percent and we’ll see from there,” said Snee. “I love the game, I love everything about it. I missed it during the fall, but there’s a lot of factors that go into making a decision. One, we’ll see if I’m wanted and we’ll go from there…I’m recovering well. It’s been a long road. Two surgeries is not something I want to do, particularly during the season. It’s been a difficult fall, winter, but the worst is behind me and I feel really good.”

Snee also commented on the possibility of Mike Sullivan becoming the Giants’ new offensive coordinator. “He’s a fun guy to be around,” Snee said. “He’s a well-liked man and well-respected man.”

Article on the New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Position: Advice for Giants’ next offensive coordinator by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning can learn from Philip Rivers’ transition to new offense with Chargers by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Terrell Thomas: Wherever Terrell Thomas lands in 2014, he expects to be even better by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Dec 272013
 
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Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Hakeem Nicks – © USA TODAY Sports Images

December 27, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Friday were WR Rueben Randle (knee), WR Victor Cruz (knee/concussion), TE Adrien Robinson (knee), OG Brandon Mosley (hand), and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder). Randle is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday; Cruz, Robinson, Mosley, and Pierre-Paul will not play.

OG David Diehl (knee), DT Cullen Jenkins (shin/quad), CB Trumaine McBride (groin), and CB Terrell Thomas (knee) were limited in practice. McBride is “questionable” for the game while Diehl, Jenkins, and Thomas are “probable.”

RB Andre Brown (concussion), RB Peyton Hillis (concussion), and CB Jayron Hosley (illness) fully practiced. All three players are “probable” for the game.

December 27, 2013 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Friday media session are available at Giants.com

Giants.com Q&A With Head Coach Tom Coughlin: The Coughlin Corner: Finishing Strong by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

December 27, 2013 New York Giants Player Media Sessions: Video clips of Friday’s media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on New York Giants President/CEO John Mara: Big Blue Boss: How John Mara will handle the Giants’ offseason by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Passing Game: Cruz: WRs, Eli had ‘disconnect’ by Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on WR Hakeem Nicks: Nicks wants to stay with Giants: ‘It’s not just about money’ by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post

Article on OC/OG Dallas Reynolds: Giants’ Dallas Reynolds steps in admirably in emergency vs. Lions by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Articles on New York Giants Defensive Linemen:

Article on S Antrel Rolle: It’s easy to misjudge matured, team-first Giants captain Rolle by Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post

Giants Online: The video of this week’s edition of Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Quotes: Former Giants Running Back Tiki Barber on QB Eli Manning: “He’s done great things, but he doesn’t do it consistently. What makes someone great in the history, in the annals of an organization or a league? It’s consistency. The problem with Eli, as of late, I think, is there’s something physically off. There’s definitely a confidence issue…It has everything to do with those five guys (on the offensive line) — and really it’s been eight over the course of this year — in front of him that just can’t get it done. He’s constantly throwing off his back foot. I feel like he’s pressing sometimes to make some throws and they end up sailing on him…It’s because of confidence and I think because he’s gotten the crap beat out of him…I’ve counted Eli out before and I’ve been wrong. Here’s what I know about him. He has a drive, and maybe it’s a Manning thing. … Is it still open for him to have great success in the next three or four years? I think it is.”