Oct 162014
 
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Perry Fewell, New York Giants (October 16, 2011)

Perry Fewell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and RB Rashad Jennings (knee) did not practice on Thursday. Jennings has already been ruled out of the game against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.

“I think they’re working on trying to get him to where he can do something,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin about Rodgers-Cromartie.

It is the same thing. Problems down my leg on the entire right side. I am just trying to rest it and get it right,” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “I definitely thought I would be back by today. You want Thursday and Friday to get that time in, but definitely looking to push forward and (practice) tomorrow…(I am at) 60 percent.”

LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

LB Jon Beason (toe) and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) fully practiced.

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

October 16, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Articles on WR Odell Beckham:

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Injured WR Victor Cruz can become NY Giants source of inspiration by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Jayron Hosley: Giants CB Jayron Hosley: I’m at a much better place mentally than I was in the preseason by Nick Powell for NJ.com

Article on the Giants-Eagles Game: Giants film review: Did Eli Manning have a chance on any of the sacks? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Giants Online - Giants vs. Cowboys Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Oct 022014
 
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October 2, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Everyone on the 53-man roster practiced on Thursday.

LB Jon Beason (foot/ankle), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), and P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Beason was asked if he would play on Sunday. “Yeah, I think so,” responded Beason. “Initially, it is the pain, but then once the pain subsides a little bit, it is about how the toe functions. The big toe is everything. It is weight-bearing, you pivot, you plant on it, you push against another man when you tackle somebody or when you take on a block. It is huge. There are things we can do to compensate for it, and hopefully I can go out and be productive.”

“Odell Beckham, Jr. has had a good couple days of practice,” said Offensive Coordinator Ben McAoo. “Today was his third day this week, we had some work on Monday, he’s looked good, it’s nice to have him out here. He has a unique skill set, we like the way he can get in and out of routes. He has some explosiveness to him, he plucks the ball pretty well. It will be his first game action, so it will nice to see him out there…He would just be a nice guy to add to the mix.”

Perry Fewell, New York Giants (June 19, 2014)

Perry Fewell – Photo by Connor Hughes

October 2, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of Thursday’s media sessions with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

October 2, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

WR Victor Cruz on ESPN Radio: The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Victor Cruz is available at ESPN.com.

Articles on DE Jason Pierre-Paul:

Article on CB Zack Bowman: How did the Giants defense get more aggressive? By signing this guy by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Giants Online - Giants vs. Falcons Preview: The video of this week’s Giants Online is available at Giants.com.

Sep 152014
 
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September 15, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: The New York Giants have confirmed that CB Walter Thurmond tore his pectoral muscle against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Thurmond will undergo surgery on Tuesday. He will be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

There was no update provided on LB Jon Beason who aggravated his toe injury that sidelined him for all of training camp and the preseason.

WR Jerrel Jernigan suffered a mid-foot sprain in the game as well. No word yet on how long he will be sidelined.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (September 14, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 15, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

September 15, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

QB Eli Manning on WFAN: The audio of Monday’s WFAN interview with QB Eli Manning is available at CBS NewYork.

Articles on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie:

Articles on Communication During a Football Game:

Sep 012014
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (August 16, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

September 1, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Monday were WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), LG Geoff Schwartz (toe), and OG Brandon Mosley (back).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if there was any chance that Beckham might practice this week. “I doubt that very much,” said Coughlin. “Let’s just let this kid get better. Everybody settle down and let the kid get better. I mean, I went to him and said, ‘Let’s not have any more setbacks.’ Whatever it takes to get over this, let’s do this. Let’s encourage him, let’s not let him feel like he is an outsider, let’s get on with it. But, I mean, to talk about him every day. I will let you know when he is ready to do something, I will let you know.”

“Because it is every day it is the same question over and over,” continued Coughlin. “He is not ready to play. He may be a couple, three weeks away, so we are not going to talk about him. We have a game to play. Can we talk about the guys playing in the game, instead of people that are on the injury report. Thank you for bearing with me on that one.”

“I have no idea (when I will practice),” said Beckham. “We don’t have any (timetable), that’s something you have to ask Coach or the trainers really.”

“I would say that (Mosley) is much better than he was before the start of the weekend, or whatever day this is, and if he continues to make that kind of progress, perhaps he will be able to practice later in the week,” said Coughlin.

LB Jon Beason (foot), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), OT Charlie Brown (shoulder), and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice.

“Yeah, I fully participated today and I felt good,” said Beason. “Guys told me I looked really fast out there. Obviously, I should, with fresh legs. It was hot, but you just keep going. The will has to be greater than the pain. You have to fight through it, knowing that every rep is a rep getting closer to playing.”

New York Giants Add OT Mark Asper to Practice Squad: The Giants have added OT Mark Asper to the Practice Squad, filling eight of the 10 available Practice Squad vacancies. Asper was waived by the Giants on Saturday. Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions and Roster sections of the website.

September 1, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript and video from Monday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

September 1, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Monday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on 2014 New York Giants: Giants have second-oldest roster; breaking it down by position by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on DE Kerry Wynn: Kerry Wynn, the surprise Giant by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on CB Zack Bowman: New corner helping Giants’ D focus on ‘ball or nothing’ by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Aug 292014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 28, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

If ever there ever was a way to perfectly sum up the Giants 2014 preseason, Friday night’s 16-13 victory over the New England Patriots was it.

The starting offense looked anemic, the defense sporadic. Eli Manning resembled something far similar to a first-round bust than a two-time Super Bowl MVP. There were three-and-outs, muffed punts, sacks and near turnovers.

But some how, some way, the Giants escaped with a victory to improve their preseason record to a meaningless 5-0.

Were there bright spots? Sure. Were there pitch black ones, too? Oh yeah.

Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (August 28, 2014)

Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

In the final tune-up before the Giants travel to Detroit to take on the Lions, Manning completed just 1-of-4 passes against the Patriots backups for zero yards. Victor Cruz went catchless and there was another miscommunication between Manning and receiver Rueben Randle.

“It was the right route,” Randle said. “It just wasn’t timed right. I guess (Manning) was expecting me to run it quicker since it was press.”

In two drives, the Giants managed one first down, one three-and-out and two punts.

Oh, and that rebuilt, injury-riddled offensive line? It continued to allow pressure. Despite playing an extra preseason game, the Giants looked like they needed four more.

“I’m ready to move on,” Cruz said. “I’m ready to move on to Week 1. I’m ready to get a good week of practice in come next week and get our focus onto Week 1 and starting the season off on the right foot. I’m excited for that opportunity.”

While the Manning and the starters continue to struggle, New York’s reserves continue to show McAdoo’s offense does, you know, work.

Building off of two strong performances versus the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, second-year pro Ryan Nassib again found success versus a preseason opponent’s reserves. The quarterback completed 6-of-14 passes for 107 yards and led the Giants two scoring drives including a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive which was capped by a Peyton Hillis diving touchdown on 4th-and-goal.

Rookie Andre Williams again displayed strong running, gaining 44 yards on five carries, including a 38-yard scamper on 4th-and-1. Tight end Larry Donnell caught four passes for 60 yards. Even Jerrel Jernigan made a play on a 22-yard catch-and-run.

But it won’t be Nassib under center in Detroit. It won’t be Williams as the team’s starting running back.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 28, 2014)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

It’ll be Manning, who enters the Monday Night season opener having completed 20-of-41 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown.

“Well, I thought we had a good week of practice,” Manning said. “We didn’t get much going tonight, but we’re getting ready for Detroit, that first game. We got the starters out healthy so that’s always the most important thing.

“We have to get ready for Detroit on Monday night. It should be fun.”

Yes, but unless the Giants improve dramatically, in 10 days, the team won’t be having much “fun” at all.

Video highlights/lowlights from the game are available at NFL.com.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference on Thursday night are available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Post-Game Player Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of the post-game media Q&As on Thursday night with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Aug 232014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (August 3, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 23, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Four New York Giants were injured in the team’s 35-24 victory over the New York Jets on Friday night: OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), WR Marcus Harris (shoulder), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), and CB Zack Bowman (arm).

The injury to Schwartz is serious. According to press reports, his dislocated big right toe has been examined or will be examined by a number of specialists. The most optimistic scenario is that he could be out 4-6 weeks; the worst-case scenario is he will need surgery and will miss the entire season.

Harris’ should injury could also be severe enough to cause the Giants to place the upstart talent on Injured Reserve or waived/injured.

“The Schwartz injury, the Harris injury, those are injuries that are going to be a long while, probably,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Saturday. “Then we got Markus Kuhn with a little bit of an ankle sprain that may hobble him this week, which I am disappointed if that is the case. Quite frankly, I wanted to have the chance for Markus to be able to finish strong here in the preseason based on not being able to go last year… The Bowman injury, I hope is not much, but the disappointment of losing the two players for some length of time is not what preseason is about.”

“We don’t want to lose anybody and losing Geoff is, as I said, a major disappointment,” said Coughlin. “Let’s not jump to conclusions, let’s see what happens when the evaluation is completed as to what the length of time is involved.”

August 23, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The transcript from Sunday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at BigBlueInteractive.com.

August 22, 2014 Tom Coughlin Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference on Friday night are available at Giants.com.

New York Giants Post-Game Player Media Sessions: Transcripts and video clips of the post-game media Q&As on Friday night with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Jul 262014
 
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Cullen Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Cullen Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, original-content articles from BBI today:

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP) and WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) did not practice. 

Beason remains optimistic that he will be ready for the regular-season opener. “There is no reason now to think I won’t be there, based on how I feel and how I’m progressing,” Beason said. “The biggest thing is getting back to football shape. Right now, we’re dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s.”

“We’re just being really smart about it,” said Beason. “You have bench marks, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to start doing this at six weeks, get a little more aggressive.’ I think I’m a little superhuman. I heal a little faster. At the end of the day, six weeks, that’s what the timetable calls for so you listen and try to do right.”

Beason said he would like to play in a preseason game. “I would hope so,” said Beason. “Based on how I feel, the way things are going you want to keep making baby steps. If you go too fast, you have a setback and now all of a sudden you’re pushing that timetable of September 8th so we want to be smart about it. Obviously I’m going to do what they tell me, but I would love to get in during the preseason and get some reps.”

When asked about Beckham, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “You’ll know before I’ll know, probably. He seems like he’s frisky enough out here. Today he was catching the ball from the machine and seemed to be moving around okay. So hopefully it’s not going to take too long.”

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Coach Media Q&As: The transcripts and video from Friday’s press conferences with the following coaches are available at Giants.com:

July 25, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Friday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

6 takeaways from Giants Media Hour by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

New York Giants Practice Reports:

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Giants Report: The Short Story of Eli’s New Offense by Peter King of SI.com

Article on RB Andre Williams: Budding Author and Inventor Emerges Quickly in Giants’ Backfield by Bill Pennington of The New York Times

Articles on WR Rueben Randle:

Articles on the New York Giants Tight Ends:

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on LT Will Beatty and DE Jason Pierre-Paul: How Jason Pierre-Paul and Will Beatty motivate each other by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Jul 182014
 
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Trindon Holliday, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Trindon Holliday – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning next week, BigBlueInteractive.com concludes our break down of each of the team’s positional groups. We finish by looking at this year’s special teams.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Special Teams

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: For the most part, the specials of the New York Giants in 2013 were quite poor. The exception was PK Josh Brown who made 23-of-26 field goals (88.5 percent) with a long of 52 yards. In addition, half of Brown’s kickoffs (35-of-70) resulted in touchbacks. P Steve Weatherford was inconsistent. He started off poorly but improved as the season wore on. In 2013, Weatherford, averaged 46.9 yards per punt with a net average of 38.2. The usually reliable long-snapper Zak DeOssie had a poor snap against the Eagles that resulted in a touchdown.

Punt coverage was terrible. The Giants were 3rd-worst in the NFL in opposing punt return average (13.6 yards per return) and allowed three punts to be returned for touchdowns.

Kickoff coverage was better as the Giants were 9th-best in the NFL, allowing an average of 21.8 yards per return.

The Giants return game was not good. The Giants were 26th in the NFL in punt returns, averaging only 7.2 yards per return. WR Rueben Randle was the primary punt returner, averaging 8.2 yards per return with a long of 32 yards.

The Giants were 27th in the NFL in kickoff returns, averaging only 21.2 yards per return. The Giants tried a number of players with similar results, including RB Michael Cox (21.8 yards per return) and WR Jerrel JerniganRB David Wilson (24.7) had a bit more success on his limited number of returns.

In sum, the return yardage differential between the Giants and their opponents was too great, making it tougher for the Giants offense and defense and easier for the oppositions’ offense and defense. The Giants also gave up four special teams touchdowns.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The primary punter, kicker, and long snapper all return though it appears that Josh Brown will face a bit of a challenge from strong-legged place kicker Brandon McManus.

On paper, it appears the Giants dramatically improved their stable of returners with the additions of Trindon Holliday, Quintin Demps, and Odell Beckham, Jr.

Holliday has averaged over 27 yards per kickoff return and 9 yards per punt return in his career, including a total of six return touchdowns the last two seasons (three kickoff, three punt). Demps has also averaged over 27 yards per kick return and has two career kickoff return touchdowns. Beckham was a dynamic kickoff and punt returner at LSU.

Who will form the cover teams and blockers on returns remains to be seen. Newcomers CB Zack Bowman (ex-Chicago Bears) and CB Bennett Jackson (Notre Dame) have strong special teams reputations.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Trindon Holliday is a home-run threat every time he touches the football as his six career return touchdowns in the last two seasons indicate, including two returns for touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. However, he has major fumbling issues (10 lost in the last two seasons). Can the Giants improve his ball security?

David Wilson, New York Giants (December 9, 2012)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will David Wilson, if he is medically cleared (neck), be allowed to compete in the kickoff return game? Just two years ago, he set a team record with 1,533 kickoff return yards, averaging 26.9 yards per return. Same question regarding Odell Beckham…will the Giants seriously allow him to compete as a punt returner?

Based on comments from the coaches, Brandon McManus is more than an extra leg so his competition with Josh Brown will be more interesting than usual.

It’s not sexy, but the Giants have to find players who can do a better job of blocking for the returners and covering opposing returners. They need some headhunters out there.

ON THE BUBBLE: Trindon Holliday if he doesn’t fix his fumbling issues or show more than he has to date at wide receiver. There will only be one roster spot for Josh Brown vs. Brandon McManus. Brown is the reliable, experienced veteran, but he’s 35. McManus has the big leg but is a big unknown.

Tom Quinn, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (August 29, 2012)

Tom Quinn and Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Tom Quinn on the gunners:  “(Zack) Bowman, (Bennett) Jackson, we’re really excited about those two. Charles James continues to do well so it will be exciting to see those guys run down and cover punts.”

Quinn on Trindon Holliday: “His speed’s an asset, that’s for sure. He’s a strong guy for his size, ball security obviously will be his biggest focus once we start putting pads on and start knocking him around a little bit.”

Quinn on Brandon McManus: “I really like McManus, I liked him coming out. He went to Indy for last training camp and preseason and I thought he was really a good kicker coming out of Temple. He’s kicked in the northeast at a high level, he did all three so I think he’s got a real big upside once it all starts clicking for him.”

Quinn on Quintin Demps: “Demps, we’re real excited to have him. He’s been consistent in this league and explosive. He’s a legitimate number one kickoff returner for us. He runs with good size and he has a real good understanding of the schemes. He’s been great with all teams. A real leader, coming in likely to start and he’ll be able to contribute on special teams.”

PREDICTIONS:

Eric Kennedy - I may go down in flames with this prediction but I think Trindon Holliday finds a home with the Giants both a less mistake-prone kickoff/punt returner and factor on offense as a role player. I think the Josh Brown vs. Brandon McManus battle could be very telling in terms of where this team actually thinks it is as viable Super Bowl competitor. If they believe they are rebuilding, the choice may be McManus.

Connor Hughes - It’s hard to think of a unit that was worse than the Giants’ offensive line last year, but the special teams sure give them a run for their money. Truly, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for Tom Quinn’s squad and there is only up to go from here. I’m very, very high on the addition of Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps. While Demps may not have the touchdown returns, if he’s able to get the Giants the ball on the 30-35 yard line regularly it’ll pay huge dividends. Holliday, meanwhile, is the little spark plug the Giants have never really had on special teams.

During their prime, Willie Ponder and Domenik Hixon each were explosive, but none can match what Holliday can do when he’s ‘on.’ The ex-Bronco and Texan is electric and will take at least one to the house this year. If he can hold on to the ball…he may turn out to be one of the bigger acquisitions the Giants made this offseason.

The Giants’ coverage unit should also see improvements this year. Zack Bowman has excelled in the role throughout his career and Bennett Jackson had similar success in college. Barring injuries, I’m expecting to see vast improvements from the special teams.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric Kennedy - Trindon Holliday (kickoff and punt returner), Josh Brown (place kicker), Steve Weatherford (punter), Zak DeOssie (long snapper)

Connor Hughes - Quintin Demps (kickoff returner), Trindon Holliday (punt returner), Josh Brown (place kicker), Steve Weatherford (punter), Zak DeOssie (long snapper)

Jul 152014
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning next week, BigBlueInteractive.com continues to break down each of the team’s positional groups until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at this year’s cornerbacks.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Cornerbacks

Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (June 12, 2014)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: The one steady constant at cornerback in 2013 was Prince Amukamara at right corner. In his third year with the Giants, and his second as a full-time starter, Amukamara developed into the team’s best corner. Amukamara started all 16 games and finished the year with 85 tackles, 14 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. Things did not go as planned at left corner. Corey Webster had issues with his hip, groin, and ankle. He only started two games before the Giants finally gave up on him and placed him on Injured Reserve in December. His primary back-up, Aaron Ross, only started two games before being placed on Injured Reserve in October with a back injury. Jayron Hosley was next in line but he suffered a significant hamstring in jury in Week 4 that sidelined him for the next five games and nagged him much of the rest of the season. Hosley played in 11 games with one start, finishing the season with just 9 tackles and 2 pass defenses. The player who benefited the most from these injuries was Trumaine McBride. McBride was an under-the-radar street free agent signing who ended up playing in 15 games with 10 starts. He finished 2013 with 37 tackles, 15 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. Terrell Thomas, coming off back-to-back ACL tears in 2011 and 2012, was primarily used as the nickel slot corner. Though limited all year in practice, he played in all 16 games with seven starts and finished the season with 67 tackles, 1 sack, 7 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. Charles James was a rookie free agent who played in 12 games, almost exclusively on special teams.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Massive changes occurred at cornerback in the offseason. The only ones returning are Prince Amukamara, Trumaine McBride, Jayron Hosley, and Charles James. The Giants have also decided to invite 2013 Practice Squad players Ross Weaver and Travis Howard to training camp.

Gone are former stalwarts Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas. 2013 Practice Squaders Junior Mertile and Chaz Powell were also waived after initially being re-signed in January.

The major new additions are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (from Denver, 5-years, $35 million), Walter Thurmond III (from Seattle, 1-year, $3 million), and Zack Bowman (from Chicago, 1-year, $730,000). The Giants also drafted Bennett Jackson in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: How good is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC)? Some believe he is capable of being one of the NFL’s elite corners, others say he is overrated. The Giants are expecting (and paying) him to be core impact player. If DRC plays as well as hoped, teams that avoided Prince Amukamara in 2013 will now come after him in 2014. How will he respond? Is he capable of making more plays in the football (only 1 interception per year in three seasons). Is Walter Thurmond as good as advertised as a slot corner? If DRC, Amukamara, and Thurmond live up to the hype, along the expected strong play of the safeties, the major overall storyline is the shifting of the strength of the defense from the front-end to the back-end.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Giants will definitely carry five, and quite possibly six cornerbacks. Barring injury, Rodgers-Cromartie, Amukamara, and Thurmond are locks. Another under-the-radar signing, Zack Bowman, who looked very sharp in the OTAs. Trumaine McBride had hip surgery in January and missed all of the offseason work. He may be on shakier ground than many realize. Continued injury (injury plagued in both 2012 and 2013) and drug issues (upcoming 4-game suspension) have really hurt Jayron Hosley’s chances to make the team. Charles James and Bennett Jackson have talent but will have to fight tooth-and-nail to make the team. Both are helped by their special teams ability however.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Peter Giunta on the Giants depth at cornerback:  “We’ve got 10 quality corners right now in the program…Bringing in two guys that started in the Super Bowl obviously helps…We have great depth at that position, the deepest I’ve ever had in my years in the league.

Giunta on DRC and Amukamara: “Yes (they can both cover another team’s top receiver). They both have the skill set and both have done it in their careers, gone out and played on the best guy. They’ll battle, they’ll compete and we’ll be able to have an advantage I think playing those guy.”

Giunta on Rodgers-Cromartie: “He’s got that other gear. He can run as fast as he needs to run to get up on top of a receiver, catch up to a receiver. He’s got that gear that’s incredible. He’s such a smooth athlete. His length is so good and his ball skills are fantastic. He’s got that great skill set where he’s got the speed to recover if he does beat, he’s got the quickness to recover. He’s got the length to reach out and knock balls away that other corners wouldn’t be able to get to and he’s got great hands to make plays on the ball in the air. He’s got what you’re looking for in a corner.”

Giunta on Amukamara: “He improved, he understands well, he communicates well, his instincts, his awareness are really developing. You can really see it in (OTAs) now, he’s on top of all of the stuff. Now he’s starting to gamble a bit and take some chances, which you like to see because you’re taking calculated guesses and risking, ‘Hey, I’m going to go make a play.’ That’s what you want. He’s developed that confidence in himself and the defense, he knows what’s coming.”

Giunta on Thurmond: “He does a great job of studying, he has a great awareness of what people are trying to do to him. He plays with great leverage, understands his drops as an underneath defender. He’s able to get there, get breaks off the quarterback. He’s got great vision and to play inside like that you have to have great vision of everything that’s going on around you, it happens so much quicker. Corner you’re using the sideline to help you but in (the slot) you have so much space, especially covering guys. He’s done a great job. He’s got great quickness and he’s a great (technician). You’ll see that when we’re able to put our hands on people in training camp.”

PREDICTIONS:

Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears (October 10, 2013)

Zack Bowman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Eric Kennedy - On paper, this is the deepest unit on the team strongest group of corners the Giants have had in my lifetime. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. Moreover, each year, we have seen mental breakdowns in Perry Fewell’s secondary, often followed by a mid-season “dumbing down” in order to reduce blown coverages. Will that same issue rear its ugly head again in 2014 or will the Giants’ secondary carry this defense from the get-go?

Predictions? DRC and Thurmond become fan favorites with their play. Bowman becomes a more important addition than fans currently realize. I think Charles James is underrated but stuck behind the quality guys in front of him.

Connor Hughes - I am incredibly optimistic about the Giants’ cornerbacks heading into this season. More so this year than any year I can remember in recent memory. In the past, veterans on the last leg of their careers, bargain-bought free agents and low-end draft picks occupied the Giants’ secondary as the vaunted defensive line pressured the quarterback. As teams countered with quick-passes to reveal holes in the secondary, the Giants have countered by putting more money into the cornerback position.

I believe Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara can form one of the top three cornerback tandems in the NFL. I love the return of Trumaine McBride and the potential of Charles James. More than anything else, I can’t wait to see what Walter Thurmond III has to offer.

The first time Thurmond talked to the media, he told them he was the best slot corner in the league. He comes from a secondary the Giants’ believe they can collectively be as good and has an attitude to be the best. Of every acquisition the Giants made, the biggest I truly believe will be Thurmond.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric Kennedy - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond, Zack Bowman, Charles James, Bennett Jackson.

Jayron Hosley misses the first four games due to the drug suspension and could still be brought back depending on injuries. My longshot prediction is Bennett Jackson making it over Trumaine McBride, who was re-signed to a 2-year, $2.875 million contract this offseason. I think Jackson’s special teams play and overall potential keeps him on the roster.

Connor Hughes - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (RCB), Prince Amukamara (LCB), Walter Thurmond III (nickel), Trumaine McBride (dime), Zack Bowman (reserve), Charles James (reserve).

Jun 252014
 
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Rashad Jennings (23) and Kyle Sebetic (25), New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Rashad Jennings and Kyle Sebetic – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A with Quarterbacks Coach Danny Langsdorf: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Quarterbacks Coach Danny Langsdorf is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Q&A with QB Ryan Nassib: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with QB Ryan Nassib is available at Giants.com.

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