Mar 222016
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (August 14, 2015)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BEN MCADOO DISCUSSES FREE AGENTS, JPP, AND CRUZ…
Michael Eisen of Giants.com caught up with New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo at the NFL spring meetings in Florida. McAdoo made the following comments:

  • On DE Olivier Vernon: “OV is a guy that’s very disruptive. He jumped off the film when we played them, when we had to go down there on Monday night. There were some concerns going into that game because of how disruptive he’s been. He’s someone that’s going to have be accounted for.”
  • On DT Harrison “Damon’s a guy that is a handful in the run game and can push the pocket inside-out in the pass game, and is going to create some problems for quarterbacks there. He’s hard to keep blocked for long periods of time, and is going to make you better on first down and second down, obviously, but then on third down, too, for as well as he does on first and second down at stopping the run.”
  • On CB Janoris Jenkins: “Jackrabbit, as we call Janoris, he’s a guy that is a very talented, instinctive player. He’ll take some shots on the ball, make some plays for you there, and we do like that. He’s a talented guy.”
  • On LB Keenan Robinson: “Keenan, we’re looking forward to getting up to speed and having him with a rebound year.”
  • On DE Jason Pierre-Paul: “Sitting down with JPP the other day, you could tell he’s got a great look in his eye and he’s motivated and he’s hungry. Being able to train for an entire offseason and get out there for the offseason and for camp, he’ll be full-go, he’ll be disruptive, and we look forward and we’re glad we have him back.”
  • On WR Victor Cruz: “We sat down the other day. I mentioned to him when he went to Cincinnati last year in training camp to practice against them, it was probably the most I’ve been excited about our offense in two years in that practice. He was out there playing well, he looked good, was moving around well. He wasn’t 100 percent, but he was out there with Odell (Beckham Jr.). We had some guys out there playing who were healthy and executing. Unfortunately, that’s the last time we had them on the field together. Glad to have Victor back. He’s motivated and there’s nothing like a motivated player who’s been counted out by a lot of people in a lot of regards. We look forward to the impact he can make.”
  • On improving as a team: “It’s no secret how you build a good team. You have to have a quarterback, which we do. On both sides of the ball upfront, you have to be physical, and we have to have guys that play to our identity – sound, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise. We’re getting there. We have to develop some young guys as well. All the answers aren’t in free agency. We added some nice pieces there, but we have some young players on the roster now we have to develop, and do our due diligence in the draft as well.”

ARTICLES…

Mar 102016
 
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Keenan Robinson, Washington Redskins (October 4, 2015)

Keenan Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN LB KEENAN ROBINSON…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent middle linebacker Keenan Robinson (Washington Redskins). The contract is reportedly a 1-year deal worth up to $3.5 million.

The 26-year old Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has been an injury-plagued player who has missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with shoulder and injuries). Robinson’s best season was in 2014 when he started all 13 games he played in and finished the year with 109 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one interception. He played in 12 games with eight starts in 2015 and finished with 63 tackles and one interception.

Robinson has a nice combination of overall athleticism and size. Versatile, he can play inside and outside linebacker. Robinson is an instinctive, productive player who plays with a reckless style. He is more of a run-and-hit linebacker than stout run defender at the point-of-attack. He needs to improve his overall tackling consistency. Robinson is solid in pass coverage.

YouTube video highlights of Robinson:

  • Keenan Robinson 2014 Season Highlights (Video)
  • Keenan Robinson Highlights (Video)

MARCH 10, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT NEWS AND RUMORS…
The official NFL free agency signing period began on Wednesday. Here is the latest news and rumors regarding the New York Giants:

  • New York Giants unrestricted free agents defensive end Robert Ayers and cornerback Prince Amukamara are visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • The New York Giants had reportedly expressed interest in unrestricted free agent cornerback Sean Smith (Kansas City Chiefs), but he has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

GARY JETER PASSES AWAY…
Gary Jeter, who played defensive end for the New York Giants from 1977 to 1982, has passed away at the age of 61. Jeter was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 1977 draft by the Giants. He finished his playing career with the Los Angeles Rams (1983-1988) and New England Patriots (1989).

ARTICLES…

Mar 092016
 
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (November 24, 2013)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

VICTOR CRUZ AND GIANTS AGREE TO RE-STRUCTURED CONTRACT…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has agreed to a re-structured contract. Cruz has three years left on his current contract and was scheduled to make $7.9 million in base salary in 2016 and count $9.9 million against the 2016 salary cap.

The Bergen Record is reporting that Cruz’s 2016 base salary will drop from $7.9 million to $1.3 million. The paper says playing-time incentives of up to $5.5 million plus production incentives could recoup the full value of the original $7.9 million. The NFL Network is reporting that the re-structured deal does not impact his original numbers in 2017 ($7.4 million salary) and 2018 ($8.4 million salary).

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.

“Once a Giant, always a Giant,” Cruz posted on Instagram Wednesday night. “See you in September.”

MARCH 9, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT NEWS AND RUMORS (PART IV)…
The official NFL free agency signing period began on Wednesday. Here is the latest news and rumors regarding the New York Giants:

  • The New York Giants had reportedly expressed interest in unrestricted free agent defensive end Derrick Shelby (Miami Dolphins), but he has signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
  • The New York Giants had reportedly expressed interest in unrestricted free agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta Falcons), but he has re-signed with the Falcons.

ARTICLES…

Mar 092016
 
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Olivier Vernon, Miami Dolphins (January 3, 2016)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS AGREE TO TERMS WITH OLIVIER VERNON…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon (Miami Dolphins). The contract is reportedly a 5-year, $85 million deal that includes $52.5 million in guaranteed money. The Jacksonville Jaguars were very much in play for his services as well.

The 25-year old Vernon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dolphins. In the last three seasons, he has played in every regular-season game with 46 starts, averaging 55 tackles and 8.5 sacks per year. Vernon is a very good two-way player who is disruptive against both the run and the pass. He can get heat on the quarterback from both the end and tackle positions, similar to Justin Tuck, and gets a lot of hits on the quarterback.

VICTOR CRUZ AND GIANTS WORKING ON NEW DEAL…
The Bergen Record is reporting that wide receiver Victor Cruz and the New York Giants are working on a re-structured contract that will keep him with the team in 2016. The Record’s source is optimistic the deal will be completed. Cruz is currently set to count $9.9 million against the team’s 2016 NFL cap. It has been speculated that if Cruz, who missed most of the last two seasons with serious leg injuries, does not accept a pay cut, he may be released from the Giants.

MARCH 9, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS FREE AGENT NEWS AND RUMORS (PART III)…
March 9th marks the official beginning of free agency as teams can begin to sign free agents of other teams at 4:00 PM. Here is the latest:

  • New York Giants unrestricted free agent Robert Ayers is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The New York Giants had reportedly expressed interest in unrestricted free agents wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (Cincinnati Bengals), right tackle Mitchell Schwartz (Cleveland Browns), and right tackle Bobby Massie (Arizona Cardinals), but all three players signed with other teams.

JASON PIERRE-PAUL COMMENTS ON HIS RETURN TO THE GIANTS…
As previously reported, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has re-signed with the New York Giants. The contract was reportedly a 1-year, $10.5 million deal. Pierre-Paul suffered serious and permanent injuries to his right hand from a July 4th fireworks accident, including the amputation of his index finger and severe damage to his thumb and middle finger. He returned to the playing field halfway through the 2015 season, wearing a large club that made it impossible for him to grab and tackle with his right hand. Pierre-Paul started the eight games he played in and finished the season with 26 tackles, 1 sack, and 6 pass defenses.

“I have one year to prove myself, but all I need is one,” Pierre-Paul said. “I appreciate the Giants allowing me to come back and play here. But it was my decision. I have unfinished business. I know for a fact that I can play better than I did last year. My main goal is to get on the field this year without the club and play some good football. We’ll see from there.”

Pierre-Paul underwent additional surgery on his right hand after the season in the hopes that he can shed the club and wear a glove.

“It’s definitely going to help,” Pierre-Paul said of the surgery. “I’ll be able to grab. Now I’ll be able to open my hand up. My fingers are straight, and I’ll be fine. You’re limited with the club. I’d rather play with one finger than have a club on. Even with the club, even with my injury, I’m still the best at my position. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I think I played pretty well. With the club, people didn’t expect me to play the way I played. I played every down. It was just eight games – I was just getting started.

“I want to be a part of the turnaround. I want to bring my game to another level. With the injury I had, I want to show people that at the end of the day, no matter what happens, you can overcome it in life. I missed training camp (last offseason), I missed a lot of things. As much as I hate training camp, you need it. That’s two years that I missed training camp, one with my back surgery and another with my hand. Hopefully, this will be an injury-free season, and I’ll be out there playing great football.”

Mar 072016
 
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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
 
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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
 
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Robert Ayers, New York Giants (November 15, 2015)

Robert Ayers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

ARTICLES…

Feb 252016
 
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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
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (February 24, 2016)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A: That hasn’t been determined yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A: I went down for an interview.

Q: They never offered you the job?

A: Never offered me the job.

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

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

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

A: There was a potential for a second interview.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Feb 242016
 
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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.

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