Jul 122017
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Entering 2016, the New York Giants offensive line was expected to take a major step forward. While the right-side was still composed of journeymen right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, the left side and center were composed of two first-round and one second-round draft picks. With all five returning together, greater chemistry and cohesion was expected. And new offensive line coach – the well-respected Mike Solari – was supposed to make an impact.

Simply put, the offensive line continued to disappoint. Left tackle Ereck Flowers did not markedly improve and remained a significant liability in pass protection. Left guard Justin Pugh missed time for the third season in a row. Center Weston Richburg did not play as well as expected. In some ways, it was the right side of the offensive line that exceeded what admittedly were low expectations. John Jerry had a decent year and second-year lineman Bobby Hart was surprisingly steady at right tackle, replacing Newhouse after Week 2 until the end of the season. That all said, it would be misleading to say either really “played well.”

It’s always difficult to assess who is mostly to blame for a poor running game. The play of running backs, tight ends, and fullback (or in the Giants case, the absence of a fullback) all matter. But the Giants ground game fell from 18th in 2015 (100.6 yards per game) to 29th in 2016 (88.2 yards per game). The average yards-per-rush fell from 4.0 to 3.5.

In pass protection, Eli Manning survived another year without missing a snap. And his sack numbers declined from 27 to 21. But that is a misleading stat given the West Coast Offense emphasis on the short-passing game combined with Manning’s rapid decision-making and quick release. It appeared to many that Manning simply did not trust his pass protection and played some games more than a a bit gun-shy.

Injuries were somewhat of a factor. Pugh missed five games at left guard, leaving a bit of a revolving door as his replacements such as Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse also got hurt. At one point, the team was down to their fourth-string option at right guard – Adam Gettis. Hart also missed the last regular-season game with an injury.

In summary, the offense of the Giants was a major disappointment in 2016, and the offensive line deserves a large share of the blame.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Marshall Newhouse signed with the Oakland Raiders early in free agency. The Giants chose not to re-sign Will Beatty, but did re-sign John Jerry to a 3-year, $10 million deal. The only significant addition in free agency was adding D.J. Fluker, who was cut by the Chargers. The Giants re-signed Practice Squad players Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio and added street free agents Michael Bowie and a couple of other players who have already been waived (Khaled Holmes and Martin Wallace). The Giants drafted Adam Bisnowaty in the 6th round and signed rookie free agents Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, and Jarron Jones after the draft. Bottom line? Newhouse is gone and the only apparent significant additions are Fluker and Bisnowaty.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Media and fans love to complain that Jerry Reese has ignored the offensive line. Spending two #1 picks and a #2 pick says otherwise as does his free agent spending in recent years. The real issue is that despite the significant allocation of resources, Reese has failed to put together a viable unit since David Diehl, Richie Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie retired.

Most of the fan and media attention entering training camp will be on left tackle Ereck Flowers, a lightening rod of criticism. There is no obvious fallback plan if he fails to progress, though in an emergency Justin Pugh and maybe even Bisnowaty could play there. But Pugh – who talks a lot and wants a huge contract – has to prove he can stay healthy. Weston Richburg apparently played hurt in 2016 and needs to rebound from a disappointing season.

The right side is more up in the air. For now, John Jerry remains the starter. But he may be pressed by D.J. Fluker, who surprisingly only received spring reps at right guard. That suggests Bobby Hart is the clear front runner for right tackle, though Bisnowaty could be a factor there.

It is the opinion of many that the only thing that can hold back the Giants in 2017 is the offensive line. While this is clearly an overly-simplistic falsehood, the line has been a team weak spot for years. If a team can’t block up front, it is very difficult to consistently move the football.

ON THE BUBBLE: Michael Bowie, Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, Jarron Jones, Adam Gettis, Jon Halapio, and Brett Jones.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Mike Solari on Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart improving their technique: “Well, just like everything else, you work different drills, you work techniques, and you just keep honing in until you could make it where you don’t have to think about it and its part of your toolkit. The thing is, what we’re excited about, and Ereck is excited about, so is Bobby and not just those two men, everybody. They are committed. Aaron Wellman did a beautiful job in the sense of where they need to improve on. Physically working in the weight room, conditioning aspect, you could tell the difference. I believe you could tell the difference, in the terms of their body types and where they’re at physically at this time of the season. It’s still early, so that’s really encouraging… They do a nice job in the classroom. You’re not privy to that, but they do a nice job in the classroom. They’re into it, they’re learning, they’re into the film study, they’re into their techniques. They know what they are trying to work on, they know what they are trying to achieve.”

Solari on D.J. Fluker: “Big Man. D.J. is a pro, he comes to work every day and he gives everything he has. He’s done a nice job in the classroom, learning and developing and we’re excited about having him when the pads come on… We like him at guard. He’s got experience at tackle, as we all know from Alabama, when he initially came into the league but his strengths are at guard. There will be a point, where we do want to rep him a little bit at tackle, just for versatility, so if he is not the starter, he is able to go to tackle in need. But guard is his strength and guard is where we like him.”

Solari on Weston Richburg’s hand injury in 2016: “That hurts. That hurts you; your hand placement, your ability to grab, ability to work the chest plate is a big part of the game. So that was tough for him, and he worked through it and he performed at the highest level that he could without being able to use that hand at full strength. But it would be a big difference this year.”

Solari on Adam Bisnowaty: “It’s still early. Right now, we got him at right tackle, but he’s a guy that could, he has versatility, he could go to guard. He has played a little guard in his career, obviously at left tackle, but right now, we like him at right tackle. Try to get him as many reps as possible, so when training camp comes, these young rookies are ready to compete.”

PREDICTIONS: There is a very good chance that the starting line will be the exact same line that started the bulk of the games in 2016. And that won’t sit well with many. Media and fans sometimes forget how young both the bookend tackles are. Ereck Flowers is 23; Hart is 22. Both are big, strong, and have been working their tails off. Whether they succeed or fail still remains to be seen, but the tools are there. What will help both is greater stability, consistency, and health from the interior trio. In particular, Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh need to step up and take ownership of this line. I expect the OL to play much better in 2017. I also expect them to look better with Rhett Ellison and perhaps even Evan Engram and Jerell Adams providing more credible blocking on the perimeter. But if Flowers continues to struggle, and Pugh gets hurt again, and Richburg doesn’t rebound, then Jerry Reese is going to look awfully bad. Those three represent three PREMIUM draft picks.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart, D.J. Fluker, Adam Bisnowaty, and Brett Jones. (Versatile Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio could press Brett Jones. There is a chance the Giants could carry a ninth offensive lineman. That would help Chad Wheeler’s chances).

Apr 202017
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE’S PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Reese: Good afternoon. It is draft time again. The scouts are very excited about their game day. Marc Ross and Chris Mara and all of our scouts, Kevin Abrams, all those guys are in our draft room trying to finalize our draft board and get ready for the big day. So I am ready for any questions that you guys might have.

Q: Who have you decided on?

A: We decided that we are going to take our pick at 23.

Q: Has what you have done in free agency given you some flexibility with what you can do in the draft?

A: Well, you always take that into consideration with what you have on your roster right now, but going into the draft, like I say every year, we just go in there trying to pick the best players available when we are on the clock and we will continue to use that pattern.

Q: I don’t think you have ever traded in the first round. Is there a reason for that and what is your philosophy?

A: If we have an opportunity to trade in the first round, we will do that. But right now, we will just kind of let the board fall like it does and if we feel like we want to move up to get somebody, then we will move. It costs to move up, though. If you are going to move up, then you are going to give up a lot of draft picks to move up. Even if you move up just a couple of spots, you have to give up some draft picks to do that and we like taking our picks, but if there is somebody up there that we love and we think we can move up to get, then we will keep those options open.

Q: Do you still feel like you need some help on the offensive line, whether that is early or late in the draft?

A: We feel like we can use help anywhere, at any position. We just want to create a lot of competition at every position going into the training camp, so we are going to try and upgrade at every position like we always do and offensive line is definitely a spot that we would like to upgrade as well.

Q: When you go back and look at where things stood at the combine to now, has there been that much movement as far as guys surprising you?

A: Our scouts are on top of all of these guys. At the combine, a lot of people are just now learning about these guys, but our scouts already know these people, so we don’t have a lot of surprises. Every now and then you have a couple surprises, a guy could jump up quickly out of nowhere and you have to do some extra work on him, but for the most part we don’t have a lot of surprises going into the draft.

Q: How much do you weigh what they did in college versus this three to four month process?

A: Yeah, we try to put it all together. We look at what the players do on the field. We grade the players on the field. The gymnastics stuff that they do during the combine is part of the equation, but we look at these guys as football players first and we just go on our experience as scouts and try to look at the player more than what the gymnastic numbers say. But that is part of the equation as well.

Q: D.J. Fluker is a guy who came in with 1st round pedigree. Is he someone that you think still has that potential?

A: Well, we hope so. D.J. is going to come in and battle for a position just like everyone else on the squad and hopefully the change of address and just a new scene for him will re-energize him and I know he wants to prove that he is still a number one type talent and we are looking forward to giving him the opportunity.

Q: Do you see him as better at guard or tackle?

A: Yeah, coming out, we thought he could play both. We thought that he had some versatility. We thought he could play tackle, we thought he could play guard. I think he is going to get an opportunity. I am not the coach, Coach McAdoo will make the decision of where he plays, but we think he has some versatility to play guard or tackle.

Q: At the end of last season, you spoke about considering a position change for Ereck Flowers. At this point, do you see him as the left tackle?

A: Again, it is spring and it is a long time before we play. In the spring we will experiment with different lineups and situations with our offensive line, so it is a long way to go. That is to be determined later by Ben and the coaching staff, but we will tinker with a lot of things in the spring.

Q: Despite always looking for the best available player, when you look at last season, there clearly has to be some areas that you need more help.

A: Of course. You are always trying to tie best player available with what our needs are.

Q: Do you ever do that?

A: We do it a lot. Sometimes it falls that way as this is the best player available and also ties into value and need as well. We try to tie them both together, but we are not going to reach for guys just because we think it is a need position for us.

Q: Does that tie into the cost of moving up?

A: Yeah, all of it ties into the cost of moving up.

Q: You have been in a lot of drafts. Last year there were two guys that you liked a lot that teams traded up in front of you to get. Does that make you more aggressive this year so that that won’t happen again?

A: We liked all the players that got picked in front of us last year. You are saying there were two guys, but there were a lot of guys we liked in front of us. So are you going to move up every time just because you like somebody? You pick where you are for a reason. We are at 23. We had a decent season, so we are picking farther back in the draft. If you don’t play well, then you pick up front. But again, if there is someone up there that we love, that we have to have and we are dying for and we are willing to give up our draft picks to move up to get him, then we are open to doing that.

Q: Does it get muddy when you are looking at guys who are potential late 1st round and early second round picks?

A: You never know. You never know how the players are going to come off of the board. You look at this draft and you have five or six blue chip players and then you have the second level of your first round guys and you never know how they are going to come off. Some people may see them a little different than how we like them. When you are picking later in the draft, you just kind of have to sit and wait and let somebody just start to fall and you are like, ‘Let’s move up and get this guy if we really love him that much.’ But again, if you do that, then you are going to give up draft picks and we don’t like to do that.

Q: Do you have 23 names in your first row?

A: We have 32 names in the first row. That is why we call them rows. They are not all first round picks, but they are in the first row.

Q: How many players have a draftable grade on your board?

A: I am not going to talk about how many players have draftable grades, guys.

Q: Do you consider the depth chart as one of the tools in your decision-making?

A: We are just picking the best players available. We have players on our board, we have all of our players on our team currently on the board as well to see how they fit, but we are just trying to pick the best player available when we are on the clock.

Q: With Johnathan Hankins going to the Colts, how do you rate defensive tackle in terms of depth and potential need?

A: We think that, obviously, Snacks is a good player there. We have Bromley, we have Robert (Thomas), so we have a couple more guys that we expect to step up and help fill that void and obviously we will continue to look at free agency and we will look in the draft to see if we can add some depth to that position too.

Q: Were you surprised that Hankins left?

A: No, I am never surprised about anything during free agency. Money talks and we are happy for Hank. We are big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.

Q: In 2007, your draft led to a Super Bowl title. Do you look at this year’s crop and this draft in general as something that can be a key component in building a championship team this year?

A: We hope so. We hope that the kids that we draft in this draft will help supplement the needs that we have on the roster and hopefully we can get some players in here out of this draft that can help us get over the top.

Q: You said at the end of the year that Eli was on the back nine of his career. How did you go about looking at quarterbacks this year? Was it any different from the past?

A: Not really. We evaluate everybody the same every year, regardless of what we are looking for and what we think we need and where we think the depth should come from. We are giving everybody a fair assessment as we go through all the players and we grade everyone the same, whether you are from a big school, a small school, if you are short or if you are tall, it doesn’t matter. We give everyone the same degree of consideration.

Q: Did you find yourself looking more at quarterbacks this year?

A: Myself personally? I probably looked at more quarterbacks this time then I did at other times, but there are only so many guys that you can look at. You can ask Marc Ross about anybody from any school and he can tell you in two seconds because he sees all the players and evaluates all of them. Obviously it is hard for me to evaluate every single player.

Q: When you are looking for the successor for Eli, is Geno (Smith) a candidate?

A: Well, Geno is on the roster and is going to have a fair share to compete just like everyone else. He is excited about being here and we are excited to have him and he is going to come in and compete just like everybody else, so we will see where that goes.

Q: Have you decided if you are going to exercise the fifth-year option on Odell?

A: We are going to discuss that when the time gets closer. We will keep all of our options open with respect to that.

Q: You had some critical comments about him at the end of the season. How do you think he has responded to that?

A: You guys called it critical. I don’t think it was critical. I think some of you guys framed it as critical, but I didn’t see it that way.

Q: Critiqued maybe. How do you think he responded to the general message?

A: Again, I think he is a guy that hears what we are saying and like John (Mara) said, ‘We are not worried about Odell.’ He is a young kid, he is growing up every day and we think that he is going to continue being a tremendous football player and a tremendous representative of our organization here.

Q: At the owners meeting, Ben McAdoo said that Geno compares favorably to the quarterbacks in this class. Does that change what you guys might do next week at quarterback?

A: No.

Q: How do you personally evaluate this team’s draft performance over the last three or four years?

A: It is not my job to do that. You guys can do that. We go in every year and do our best to draft the best players available and try to develop the kids that we get on the roster, so if you win, it is a good draft and if you don’t win, then it is a bad draft. You guys can evaluate that. I am not here to talk about how we are evaluating what the drafts are.

Q: If you take a quarterback next week, I am sure that you hope he doesn’t play soon, but how do you weigh taking a pick higher in the draft that is going to be a developmental guy?

A: Again, you just take the best player available and however he fits on roster – if you take a quarterback high, if you take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him, you hope that everything falls right for them. If they have to play, you hope it is the right time for them to play. But if you are worrying about when is he going to play, when is he not going play, you might miss out on the right player. You just have to take the best player available.

Q: Isn’t quarterback different though?

A: Yeah, but again, everyone has to get picked somewhere. Last year Prescott got picked and people didn’t regard him highly and he played tremendous. He was at the right place at the right time, got the right opportunity and he did a very nice job for them.

Q: Would you rule out drafting a first round quarterback?

A: We will keep all of our options open.

Q: If you draft a quarterback this year, do you think they will need two or three years to sit and develop behind Eli?

A: Again, who knows what will happen. If you draft a quarterback in the first or second round, if Eli gets hurt and we don’t have a quarterback that is ready to go and you have a quarterback on the roster, you have to get them ready to play. That is the coaches’ job to do that, it is our job to have somebody waiting in the wings to play, so you just never know. We think that Eli has some good years left to play for us and we are trying to put good people around him as well and hopefully the offense can pick up the pace more than last year.

Q: Do you agree with the consensus that the quarterbacks in this class all could use time to sit and develop?

A: That is what you say every year. It is hard to bring guys right out of college, and to play up here is such a different game and the college game is a lot different now, so it is hard for guys to just jump in and play up here right away. But we have seen guys do it, but I think you have to limit what they do and you can’t give them everything at the beginning.

Q: As you personally look at this draft of quarterbacks, where is your determining factor on if a certain player can be your guy for the future?

A: Well, again, we look at what their skillset is and we look at what we like to do and see how many guys have that skillset and what part of the draft can they be possible picks for us if we decide to pick one.

Q: What is Ben’s involvement in the draft process?

A: Just like always, all of our coaches are part of the process and everyone has an opinion on who we take, so he is a big part of it, like every coach has been here.

Q: But you have the final decision?

A: It is our decision. If it doesn’t work out, then it is my decision.

Q: Have you ever looked back at a draft pick and admitted to no one but yourself that you made a mistake?

A: Plenty of times. You don’t get all of them right. I don’t think anyone is batting 1.000 picking players. But yeah, plenty of times.

Q: How do you factor age into drafting players?

A: That is not a big issue for us. If a guy is 24 or 25, that is still super young.

Q: How has the role of the tight end changed since this team picked one in the first round with Shockey?

A: I think it is whatever your offensive coordinator is, what your head coach’s philosophy is, and I think that is what determines what your tight end role is. You look at different teams and tight ends are a big part of what they do and you look at us and we haven’t been a two tight end kind of offense under Ben. But we do feel like a tight end could come in and help us. We brought (Rhett) Ellison in to be part of that equation of helping the run game, and I think he is a very capable receiving as well, so there are some good tight ends in the draft, we believe. I like a lot of different positions, but it just depends on what the offensive coordinator thinks and how much he wants to use a tight end.

Q: Have you not used that aspect of Ben’s offense because of the personnel here?

A: You can ask Ben about that. I think that the best coaches make an adjustment to really what your personnel is and I think that is part of being a coach. You don’t always have the perfect pieces to what you want and you have to make the adjustment and I think the best coaches do that.

Q: What is the challenge in evaluating players that are multi-dimensional? Guys like Jabrill Peppers and Christian McCaffery.

A: Well, it is not the challenge, I think that when you get a player that has a skillset like McCaffery and maybe Peppers, these guys do a lot of different things for their team and you can save yourself a roster spot more than anything else. If you get a guy like that, then maybe you don’t have to go out and get a return specialist or…obviously both those guys would be tremendous on special teams, so they can do a lot of things. But to their defense a little bit, I think they get hurt a little bit because they play so many different positions and people say, ‘Well, what does this guy do?’ I think that maybe devalues them a little bit. But we like guys with a lot of versatility and those are two good players.

Q: The mock drafts say that the Giants have to take an offensive lineman at 23. To that, you would say?

A: I would say that we are going to pick the best player available.

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

GIANTS INSIDER WITH RB PAUL PERKINS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with running back Paul Perkins is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Feb 242017
 
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Paul Perkins, New York Giants (October 3, 2016)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

  • RB Paul Perkins (Video)
  • DT Johnathan Hankins (Video)
  • LB Keenan Robinson (Video)

ARTICLES…

Jan 292017
 
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Bobby Hart, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Bobby Hart – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Entering 2016, the New York Giants offensive line was expected to take a major step forward. While the right-side was still composed of journeymen right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, the left side and center were composed of two first-round and one second-round draft picks. With all five returning together, greater chemistry and cohesion was expected. And new offensive line coach – the well-respected Mike Solari – was supposed to make an impact.

Simply put, the offensive line continued to disappoint. Left tackle Ereck Flowers did not markedly improve and remained a significant liability in pass protection. Left guard Justin Pugh missed time for the third season in a row. Center Weston Richburg did not play as well as expected. In some ways, it was the right side of the offensive line that exceeded what admittedly were low expectations. John Jerry had a decent year and second-year lineman Bobby Hart was surprisingly steady at right tackle, replacing Newhouse after Week 2 until the end of the season. That all said, it would be misleading to say either really “played well.”

It’s always difficult to assess who is mostly to blame for a poor running game. The play of running backs, tight ends, and fullback (or in the Giants case, the absence of a fullback) all matter. But the Giants ground game fell from 18th in 2015 (100.6 yards per game) to 29th in 2016 (88.2 yards per game). The average yards-per-rush fell from 4.0 to 3.5.

In pass protection, Eli Manning survived another year without missing a snap. And his sack numbers declined from 27 to 21. But that is a misleading stat given the West Coast Offense emphasis on the short-passing game combined with Manning’s rapid decision-making and quick release. It appeared to many that Manning simply did not trust his pass protection and played some games more than a a bit gun-shy.

Injuries were somewhat of a factor. Pugh missed five games at left guard, leaving a bit of a revolving door as his replacements such as Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse also got hurt. At one point, the team was down to their fourth-string option at right guard – Adam Gettis. Hart also missed the last regular-season game with an injury.

In summary, the offense of the Giants was a major disappointment in 2016, and the offensive line deserves a large share of the blame.

THE STARTERS

Despite starting 31 regular-season games in his first two seasons, Ereck Flowers has struggled with his technique at left tackle, allowing far too much pass pressure. Flowers was drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He is huge, strong, powerful lineman who can muscle and maul defenders in the running game. He has the feet, agility, and overall athleticism to be a sound pass protector, but he needs to dramatically improve his pass protection technique. Simply put, Flowers is too inconsistent.

Justin Pugh missed five games in the second half of the 2016 season with a knee injury. He started the other 11 games at left guard. Pugh was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He was voted to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie Team after starting all 16 games as rookie at right tackle. Pugh has had injury issues every year since, including missing two games in 2014 with a quadriceps injury and two games in 2015 with an ocular concussion. He was shifted to left guard in 2015. Pugh lacks ideal size and arm length, but he is a good athlete who plays with fine strength, technique, and leverage. Pugh is smart, aggressive, and tenacious. Though not a mauler, he can get movement on his run blocks and he has the agility to do well in pass protection, though he needs to become more consistent in that area. He can pull and block defenders at the second level. Pugh is very versatile, able to play both tackle and guard spots, and probably even center in a pinch. He needs to stay healthy.

Weston Richburg started every game at center in 2016. While he played decently, more was expected of him after a strong 2015 campaign. Richburg has started 46 regular-season games in his first three seasons, being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Richburg is an average-sized center, but he is a good athlete who plays with good leverage and tenacity. Mobile and agile, Richburg, can block at the second level and pull on outside runs. He is smart, tough, and aggressive.

John Jerry started every game at right guard for the Giants in 2016. Jerry was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Dolphins where he started 45 games in his first four seasons in the NFL. The Giants signed Jerry as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014 and started 16 games in 2014 and eight in 2015. Jerry looks the part as he has great size and long arms. A career inconsistent performer as both a run and pass blocker, Jerry became a far more reliable and steadier player in 2016.

Due to an injury Marshall Newhouse, Bobby Hart became the new starter at right tackle in Week 3 until Week 17 when he sat out due a forearm injury. In all, Hart started 13 games at right tackle. Hart was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He played in nine games with one start at right tackle as a rookie. Hart is big, strong, and smart, with just enough overall athleticism to play tackle. While he was mostly steady, Hart did have issues in pass protection at times.

THE RESERVES

Marshall Newhouse started the first two games at right tackle, was sidelined by a calf injury for five weeks, started three games at left guard when injuries hit, and then started the final regular-season and post-season game at right tackle. In all, Newhouse played in 10 regular-season games with six starts. Newhouse was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the starting left tackle for the Packers in 2011 and 2012 before losing his starting job in 2013. Newhouse signed with the Bengals as a free agent in 2014 but struggled and was benched. The Giants signed him in March 2015 and he started 14 games at right tackle that season. Newhouse looks the part. He’s big and athletic. He’s also versatile, with the ability to play both tackle and guard positions. However, Newhouse is not very powerful or physical and he lacks consistency as both a run and pass blocker.

Brett Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games in 2016 and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. Jones lacks size but he is well built with good overall athleticism. He is a tough, aggressive lineman and very smart. Versatile, he can play both guard and center.

Adam Gettis spent the bulk of the 2016 season on the Practice Squad, but he did play in three games with one start at left guard, performing admirably. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2013), Steelers (2014), Giants (2014-2015), Raiders (2015), and Giants again (2015-2016). Gettis has played in 17 regular-season games with one start. Gettis lacks ideal size and power, but he is an athletic lineman with good mobility. Versatile, he can play both guard and center.

The Giants re-signed Will Beatty in late August 2016 after releasing him in February. However, he was only activated for six games, barely playing with no starts. Beatty was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants. From 2011-2014, Beatty started 57 regular-season games. But he has had issues staying healthy, including a broken foot in 2010, a detached retina in 2011, a back injury that caused him to miss offseason work in 2012, a broken leg in 2013, and a pectoral tear and rotator cuff injuries that caused him to miss all of 2015. Beatty is a big lineman with long arms and a very good athlete. When on top of his game, Beatty can mirror and slide with the best pass rushers, and is athletic enough to pull and engage defenders at the second level in the run game. However, Beatty is more of a finesse player. He does not play with a lot of strength and power and he is not a very physical or aggressive blocker. He has not proven to be very consistent or reliable.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Jon Halapio was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. He has not played in an NFL regular-season game. Halapio is stout and strong but lacks ideal height and athleticism for tackle and is probably better suited for guard.

Nov 152016
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 21 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 20…
The New York Giants defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-3.

The Giants out-gained the Bengals in first downs (23 to 12), total offensive plays (72 to 55), total net yards (351 to 264), net yards rushing (122 to 78), and net yards passing (229 to 186). The Bengals were held to 2-of-11 (18 percent) on 3rd down conversion attempts.

Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives. The Giants first drove 80 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Eli Manning started this possession off with a 25-yard pass to tight end Will Tye and finished it with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerell Adams. But the Bengals quickly tied the game in three plays, with the biggest being a 71-yard pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to tight end Tyler Eifert. Dalton finished the possession off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Green. The game was tied at 7-7.

The next four Giants possessions ended with two punts, a turnover on downs, and an interception. The Bengals punted three times in a row before Manning’s interception. The turnover set up Cincinnati at the Giants 7-yard line. The defense held and forced a 25-yard field goal. New York’s offense then responded with an 8-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. to give the Giants a 14-10 lead at the half.

The Bengals returned the opening kickoff of the 3rd quarter 84 yards to the Giants 13-yard line. Two plays later, running back Jeremy Hill scored from nine yards out as the Bengals regained the lead 17-14. After a three-and-out by the Giants offense, Cincinnati added to their advantage by putting together a 7-play, 41-yard drive that set up a successful 38-yard field goal. The Bengals now led 20-14.

Both teams exchanged punts on their next two possessions. Late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th quarter, the Giants put together their game-winning drive after forcing the Bengals to punt from deep in their own territory. Starting on the Cincinnati 47-yard line, the Giants drove to the Bengals 3-yard line where they faced 4th-and-goal. Head Coach Ben McAdoo decided to go for it and was rewarded when Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for the score. Giants 21 – Bengals 20.

Both teams then exchanged interceptions. First, safety Landon Collins picked off Dalton. Then Manning gave the ball right back to the Bengals on the very next play. But New York’s defense forced a three-and-out. Both teams exchanged punts before the Giants ran out the final three minutes of the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 28-of-44 for 240 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His leading receivers were Beckham (10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown), Tye (5 catches for 53 yards), and Shepard (5 catches for 42 yards and a touchdown). Running back Rashad Jennings rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries and running back Paul Perkins chipped in with 31 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, defensive end Olivier Vernon led the team with 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas had one sack and defensive tackle Damon Harrison and linebacker Jonathan Casillas had half-sacks. Collins had the Giants lone turnover with his interception.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Victor Cruz (ankle), left guard Justin Pugh (knee), defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall, offensive tackle Will Beatty, linebacker Deontae Skinner, and quarterback Josh Johnson.

Left guard Brett Jones strained his calf in the 1st quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Marshall Newhouse. Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris left the game with a toe injury and did not play in the second half.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
QB Eli Manning was credited with his 33rd fourth-quarter, game-winning drive (leading the Giants to victories in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter).

WR Odell Beckham set the NFL record for the fewest number of games (36) to reach 3,500 receiving yards.

S Landon Collins has four interceptions in his last three games.

TOM COUGHLIN, ERNIE ACCORSI, JUSTIN TUCK INDUCTED INTO RING OF HONOR…
Former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin (2004-2015), General Manager Ernie Accorsi (1998-2007), and defensive end Justin Tuck (2005-2013) were officially inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. A video of the ceremony is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Nov 112016
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NOVEMBER 11, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Victor Cruz (ankle) and offensive guard Justin Pugh (knee) did not practice on Friday.

Safety Andrew Adams (shoulder) and defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion) practiced on a limited basis.

Quarterback Ryan Nassib (elbow) fully practiced.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday and Sunday. The Giants play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night at MetLife Stadium.

Nov 062016
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 28 – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 23…
The New York Giants defeated division rival Philadelphia Eagles 28-23 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 5-3 and their division record to 2-1.

The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (21 to 16), total net yards (443 to 302), net yards rushing (96 to 54), and net yards passing (364 to 257). Both teams turned the football over twice. But the Giants blocked a field goal and also stopped the Eagles three times on 4th down, twice within the red zone.

The Giants took a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter after two Eagles turnovers. After the Giants started the game with a three-and-out, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz’s second pass was intercepted by safety Landon Collins, setting up the Giants at the Eagles 31-yard line. On 2nd-and-5, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. over the middle for a 26-yard catch-and-run touchdown. The Giants got the ball right back again when safety Andrew Adams intercepted an overthrown Wentz pass and returned it to the Eagles 30-yard line. On 3rd-and-10, Manning hit wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown.

The Eagles mounted their first scoring drive on the ensuing possession by driving 59 yards in 10 plays to set up a 34-yard field goal. After two Giants punts and one Eagles drive being stopped on 4th-and-2, the Eagles were able to strike quickly with a 3-play, 70-yard touchdown drive, aided by a 58-yard pass. The Giants now only led 14-10.

The Giants responded with a quick strike of their own. A 46-yard pass by Manning to wide receiver Victor Cruz set up the Giants at the Eagles 9-yard line. Two plays later, Manning hit Beckham for a second touchdown and the Giants extended their advantage to 21-10.

The Giants and Eagles exchanged punts with the Eagles gaining the advantage after a 66-yard punt return by running back Darren Sproles set the Eagles up at the Giants 15-yard line. But Sproles was stuffed on 4th-and-1 at the Giants 6-yard line. After another New York punt, another Eagles scoring threat was stymied when defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blocked a 40-yard field goal with just over a minute to play before halftime. At the intermission, the Giants led 21-10.

Philadelphia tightened the game against on their first possession of the second half by driving 70 yards in six plays for a touchdown that cut the score to 21-17. New York responded with a 10-play, 75-yard effort that culminated with a 32-yard touchdown from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The Giants now led 28-17.

The Eagles and Giants exchanged punts before the Eagles mounted a 14-play, 80-yard march that resulted in a 26-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter. Giants 28 – Eagles 20. The Eagles got the ball back after Manning’s pass intended for Beckham was intercepted at the Philadelphia 40-yard line. Both teams then exchanged punts again before the Eagles cut the Giants advantage to 28-23 after an 8-play, 26-yard drive set up a 38-yard field goal with less than four minutes to play.

The Giants offense was able to pick up one first down before Manning was intercepted on 3rd-and-4, setting up the Eagles on the Giants 34-yard line with 1:48 to play. A 17-yard pass moved the ball to the Giants 17, but the game ended with four straight Wentz incompletions.

Offensively, Manning finished 22-of-36 for 257 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. No receiver had more than 50 yards but Beckham (2), Lewis, and Shepard all had touchdown receptions. The running game struggled with Paul Perkins gaining 32 yards on 11 carries and Rashad Jennings 26 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, Landon Collins led the defense with 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 interception. Defensive end Olivier Vernon was credited with the team’s other sack. Andrew Adams had the other interception.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were quarterback Ryan Nassib (elbow), safety Darian Thompson (foot), cornerback Leon Hall, defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion), offensive tackle Will Beatty, wide receiver Tavarres King, and linebacker Deontae Skinner.

Left guard Justin Pugh (knee) and wide receiver Victor Cruz (ankle) left the game in the second quarter with injuries. There is no word yet on the severity yet.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants five victories have been by a combined 20 points.

The Giants broke a 4-game losing streak to the Eagles, and improved to 2-5 in MetLife Stadium vs. Philadelphia.

The Giants are 3-1 at home, where they finished 3-5 in each of the previous two seasons.

QB Eli Manning’s 257 yards increased his career total to 46,428. That moved him past Vinny Testaverde (46,233) and into ninth place on the NFL’s career list.

ARTICLES…

Nov 022016
 
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Rashad Jennings and Weston Richburg, New York Giants (October 23, 2016)

Rashad Jennings and Weston Richburg – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NOVEMBER 2, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham (hip), running back Bobby Rainey (calf), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), safety Darian Thompson (foot), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), long snapper Zak DeOssie (ankle), and quarterback Ryan Nassib (elbow) practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.

“(I was) probably like 65 (percent against the Los Angeles Rams), to be honest,” Beckham said. “It was pretty close to a game time decision. They were like, ‘We have eight minutes to turn it (the inactive list) in.’ I was warming up. I think I slipped on the second or third route. I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the game. Thankfully, I did. We got a bye week that came at the right time. Had some time to recover and get worked on pretty much all break. I’m just about 85 (percent). Almost back to normal, so to say.”

When asked about Berhe, Head Coach Ben McAdoo said, “He is able to practice, but no contact.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed running back George Winn to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of quarterback Logan Thomas.

Winn was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Texans (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Oakland Raiders (2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013), Dallas Cowboys (2013), and Detroit Lions (2014–2016). He’s played in 19 regular-season games with no starts, accruing just 74 yards on 23 carries (3.2 yards per carry). Winn is a hard-nosed, between-the-tackles runner. Good special teams player.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice at 11:20AM on Thursday.

Sep 292016
 
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Nat Berhe, New York Giants (September 1, 2016)

Nat Berhe – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – NOW NAT BERHE IS HURT…
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), safety Darian Thompson (foot), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), and defensive tackle Robert Thomas (illness) did not practice on Thursday.

The Giants are now down to two healthy safeties on the roster: Landon Collins and Andrew Adams. “We have a bunch of guys who stepped in today, and some guys on offense, who contributed as well,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

When asked about the two injured corners, McAdoo replied, “We’ll know when we wake up tomorrow. They got some work with the trainers today, we’ll see how they respond.”

Although, running back Rashad Jennings (thumb) was limited in practice, ESPN is reporting that Jennings is unlikely to play Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think (Jennings is) going to give himself a shot on Monday night,” said McAdoo. “He makes progress every day. He looked good today, he looked better than he did last week already… At that position, you need to be able to protect yourself, protect the ball, and protect the quarterback.”

Defensive end Olivier Vernon (wrist) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday at 11:10AM.

Sep 252016
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (September 25, 2016)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

WASHINGTON REDSKINS 29 – NEW YORK GIANTS 27…
Sloppy and undisciplined football cost the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon as they fell to the division-rival Washington Redskins 29-27 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants overall record now stands at 2-1 (1-1 in the NFC East).

The Giants out-gained the Redskins in first downs (28 to 20), total net yards (457 to 403), net yards rushing (120 to 90), and net yards passing (337 to 313). But for the third game in a row the Giants lost the turnover battle (3 to 1). They also committed 11 penalties for 128 yards. There were untimely mistakes in all three phases of the game.

The game was going New York’s way for most of the first half as the Giants led 21-9 with 4:12 remaining in the 2nd quarter. But the Redskins out-scored the Giants 20-6 the rest of the game.

The Giants went three-and-out on their first possession but immediately got the ball back when wide receiver/special teams ace Dwayne Harris recovered a muffed punt at the Washington 28-yard line. Three plays later, running back Shane Vereen scored from one yard out and the Giants were quickly up 7-0. The ensuing kickoff went out-of-bounds, giving the Redskins the ball at the 40-yard line. They gained 29 more yards to set up a successful 49-yard field goal. Giants 7 – Redskins 3.

The Giants went up 14-3 on the their third possession as the team drove 75 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Eli Manning found running back Bobby Rainey for a 24-yard gain, and two plays later hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a 23-yard score. The Redskins responded with another field goal as they drove 60 yards in 11 plays to set up a 33-yard effort. The Redskins held on the next Giants possession and Washington returned the punt 50 yards to New York’s 36-yard line. The Redskins could only gain nine yards but it was enough for a 45-yard field goal that cut the score to 14-9.

The Giants scored their last touchdown of the day on their fifth possession as New York drove 75 yards in eight plays, culminating with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. This was the high-point of the afternoon for the Giants as they now led 21-9 with 4:12 to go before intermission. Yet in two plays, the Redskins cut the score to 21-16 as quarterback Kirk Cousins found wide receiver DeSean Jackson for a 31-yard gain and then a 44-yard touchdown.

The Giants quickly drove to the Washington 30-yard line with two minutes to go, but two negative plays pushed the Giants into a 2nd-and-27 where Vereen fumbled the ball away after a 12-yard gain. The Redskins then threatened late in the half, driving to the Giants 4-yard line, but with only seconds to go, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Cousins and the clock expired. At the half, the Giants led 21-16.

After the Redskins and Giants exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter, Washington went up 23-21 when Cousins found wide receiver Jamison Crowder for a 55-yard score on 3rd-and-15. The Giants responded with a drive to the Redskins 10-yard line, but were forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal by place kicker Josh Brown. Giants 24 – Redskins 23.

The Redskins then regained the advantage 26-24 early in the 4th quarter after a lengthy 15-play, 68-yard drive ended with a 25-yard field goal. This drive was aided by a successful 31-yard pass on 4th-and-12 out of a punting formation.

The mistake-prone Giants quickly drove to the Redskins 5-yard line on the ensuing possession, but an 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on center Weston Richburg (which caused him to be thrown out of the game) pushed the Giants back. Manning was then intercepted in the end zone, ending the threat. The Giants then blew a big opportunity after a blocked punt was wiped out due to an unnecessary roughness penalty on safety Andrew Adams. Instead of getting the ball inside the Washington 20-yard line, New York had to start their possession at their own 30. They did drive to the Washington 12-yard line but were forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal that gave the Giants a 27-26 lead with 7:53 to go in the game.

Nevertheless, New York’s defense could not hold the lead as Washington managed another long possession, driving 56 yards in 10 plays and taking over six minutes off of the clock. The 37-yard field goal gave Washington a 29-27 lead with 1:51 to play. After the Giants converted on 3rd-and-14 with an 18-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Victor Cruz, the game was ended when Manning was picked off over the middle by defensive back Su’a Cravens with just over a minute to play.

Offensively, Eli Manning completed 25-of-38 passes for 350 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. His leading receivers were wideouts Odell Beckham (7 catches for 121 yards), Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 73 yards), and Victor Cruz (3 catches for 70 yards). The only backs to carry the ball were Shane Vereen (11 carries for 67 yards) and Orleans Darkwa (10 carries for 53 yards).

Defensively, defensive tackle Damon Harrison led the team with 10 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss. Defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon each had sacks and the two combined for 3 tackles for a loss and 4 quarterback hits as well.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were running back Rashad Jennings (thumb), offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), free safety Darian Thompson (foot), defensive tackle Robert Thomas (illness), quarterback Josh Johnson, wide receiver Roger Lewis, and defensive tackle Montori Hughes.

Cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) and Eli Apple (hamstring) left the game with injuries and did not return. There is no official word yet on the severity of either injury although Rodgers-Cromartie had a noticeable limp in the locker room after the game.

Running back Shane Vereen said after the game he had to see the doctor, but he did not disclose what his injury was.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants three games have been decided by a total of six points.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham caught his 200th career reception in his 30th game. That is the fewest number of games a player needed to reach 200 catches in NFL history. Beckham increased his career total to 3,035 receiving yards in, again, 30 games. That is an NFL record.

GIANTS SIGN ANDREW ADAMS TO 53-MAN ROSTER, CUT MICHAEL HUNTER…
The New York Giants signed safety Andrew Adams to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on Saturday. To make room for Adams, the Giants waived cornerback Michael Hunter.

ARTICLES…