Aug 252013
 
Stevie Brown, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Stevie Brown Tore His ACL – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Stevie Brown Tore His ACL, Done for the Season: The news on S Stevie Brown is as bad as feared. Brown tore the ACL in his left knee and is out for the season. Brown injured his knee after intercepting a pass in the preseason game against the Jets. Brown was untouched when his knee gave way.

“I feel badly for him,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s worked hard. He’s prepared himself well and been in a position where he’s made a lot of plays for us. We will definitely miss him.”

In other injury news, CB Jayron Hosley left Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury that apparently is not too serious. “I hope Hosley is able to come right back after what has not been determined as an ankle that will prevent him from working,” said Coughlin. “We’ll see how that goes tomorrow.”

Coughlin also said he hopes S Antrel Rolle (ankle) and CB Corey Webster (knee/groin) will return to practice this week. “Antrel is supposed to practice this week,” said Coughlin. “We’ll get him back on the field and get him working again…Webster will practice this week, and we’re hoping that we can work that out and get some stability there.”

Giants Reduce Roster to 75: The Giants have reduced their roster from 90 to 75 players.

The Giants placed S Stevie Brown (knee) on season-ending Injured Reserve.

The team also released the following 14 players:

  • FB Ben Guidugli (waived)
  • WR Brandon Collins (waived)
  • WR Terrell Sinkfield (waived)
  • TE Jamie Childers (waived)
  • TE Chase Clement (waived)
  • OG Michael Jasper (waived)
  • OT Austin Holtz (waived)
  • DT Frank Okam (contract terminated)
  • LB Aaron Curry (contract terminated)
  • LB Jake Muasau (waived)
  • LB Etienne Sabino (waived)
  • CB Laron Scott (waived/injured)
  • CB Junior Mertile (waived)
  • S Alonzo Tweedy (waived)

All NFL teams must reach the regular-season 53-man roster limit by 6:00 PM on Saturday.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Sunday Media Conference Call: The transcript of Sunday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Aug 252013
 
Stevie Brown, New York Giants (August 24, 2013)

Stevie Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Stevie Brown and Jayron Hosley Injured in OT Loss to Jets: In an ugly game, the New York Giants fell to the New York Jets 24-21 in overtime on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium. Other than one big play by RB David Wilson, the Giants’ offense and QB Eli Manning struggled.

“What happened tonight was we fought like heck throughout the entire game on defense and on special teams,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We really didn’t have anything to help us on the offensive side of the ball…There was no consistency whatsoever. We’ve got work to do on the offensive side of the ball. Whatever is going on, we’ve got to solve it and we’ve got to solve it fast. We don’t have much time.”

Worse for the Giants is that S Stevie Brown (knee) and CB Jayron Hosley (ankle) left the games with injuries. The preliminary diagnosis on Brown is a sprained knee, but the injury looked pretty bad. Brown could not put any weight on his leg and Coughlin did not sound positive about Brown after the game. An MRI will reveal the true extent of the damage. Hosley will also undergo an MRI. TE Adrien Robinson also injured his right thumb but x-rays were negative. CB Prince Amukamara rolled one of his ankles but continued to play and said he was fine.

The game started off well for the Giants as the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out. Then on the Giants’ first offensive play of the game, RB David Wilson broke off an 84-yard touchdown run.

But a mistake-prone Giants’ defense quickly allowed the Jets to tie the game as the Giants’ defense was flagged for four straight penalties for 33 yards and then left a receiver wide open for a 22-yard touchdown.

In their next five offensive possessions, the Giants only managed one first down. And the Giants’ first-team offense, which played the entire first half, only added one more field goal, despite three interceptions by the Jets. In the Giants’ last two possessions of the first half, the G-Men gained five first downs, but missed a 53-yard field goal and turned the ball over on downs.

The offensive line – missing David Baas at center and David Diehl at right tackle – struggled, as did QB Eli Manning (8-for-20 for 83 yards). Wilson gained 84 yards on his first carry and the Giants netted 97 yards the rest of the first half (76 passing and 21 rushing yards). Once again, the Giants also struggled in the red zone. Facing a 1st-and-goal from the Jets’ 4-yard line, the Giants came away with zero points.

The Giants’ first-team defense, after the Jets’ scoring drive, did perform fairly well against an anemic Jets’ offense and a rookie quarterback, picking him off three times and forcing four punts in the first half. Amukamara, Brown, and DE Justin Tuck all picked off passes. Unfortunately, Brown injured his knee untouched on his interception.

“I feel bad for Stevie Brown,” said Coughlin after the game. “He’s been a tremendous addition to our team. The guy has another interception and then has that happen. I don’t really understand how it happened. I couldn’t see it, but evidently he just got his foot planted the wrong way. I don’t think it was a contact injury.”

At the half, the Giants led 10-7.

In the second half, the Giants began to play their reserves as the Jets continued to play some of their starters even into the fourth quarter. Curtis Painter played the rest of the way for the Giants at quarterback, finishing 13-of-29 for 140 yards.

The Giants had eight possessions in the third and fourth quarters, and on six of those possessions they could not pick up a first down. The second-team offense did go 71 yards in 12 plays on their second possession of the second half, setting up a 33-yard field goal. Another field goal was set up by a Jets’ fumble. The Giants could not move the ball, but PK Josh Brown hit a 50-yard field goal. The last Giants’ points of the game came late in the fourth quarter as the Giants drove 64 yards in 10 plays to tie the game at 21-21 on Brown’s 40-yard field goal.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets’ first-team offense easily drove down the field on their first possession of the second half, going 57 yards in seven plays to take a 14-10 lead. On the Jets’ next four possessions, the Giants’ defense forced two turnovers on fumbles, caused a safety, and forced the Jets to punt. But after a poor punt by Steve Weatherford, the Jets drove 37 yards in four plays to take a 21-18 lead late in the fourth quarter.

In overtime, the Giants received the ball first but RB Da’Rel Scott fumbled the ball away on the first play. However, the Jets missed the 39-yard field goal. The Giants drove to the Jets’ 46-yard line on their second possession in overtime, but a 12-yard sack pushed the Giants back and stalled that drive. The Jets then drove 81 yards in six plays to et up the game-winning 32-yard field goal.

Video highlights/lowlights of the game are available at Giants.com.

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

Post-Game Player Q&As: Transcripts of post-game media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: The following injured Giants did not play in the game: FB Henry Hynoski (knee), WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (knee/groin), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

Active but not playing were QB David Carr, QB Ryan Nassib, WR Terrell Sinkfield, WR Kevin Hardy, TE Chase Clement, OT Austin Holtz, and S Cooper Taylor.

Aug 242013
 
Jerrel Jernigan, New York Giants (August 7, 2013)

Jerrel Jernigan – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Articles on the New York Giants Wide Receivers:

Articles on DE Justin Trattou:

Article on PK Josh Brown: Giants Kicker Josh Brown Steps Into Void Left by Lawrence Tynes by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Article on Giants and Jets Fans: Map Shows Greater New York Belongs to Giants by Darren Everson of The Wall Street Journal

Aug 232013
 
Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez (August 18, 2011)

Manning and Sanchez – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Approach to the Game – New York Jets at New York Giants, August 24, 2013: I always tell fans not to get too excited or too depressed over preseason performances. That said, there are some troubling signs for the Giants as they are about to play the most serious dress rehearsal for the regular season. It’s hard to believe, but the regular-season opener is just over two weeks away.

My worries:

  • Until proven otherwise, the offense remains the strength of this team. However, new and old injuries have kept the critical component parts from getting much practice time together.
  • Whether it has to do with the missing components, Eli Manning has not looked terribly sharp this preseason. We need more 2011 out of him, not 2012. The Giants also do not appear to be in good shape in the short-term behind Eli if he were to miss a game or two.
  • Victor Cruz is out and it remains to be seen how soon he will return, and once he returns, if his heel injury will nag him and affect his performance. Hakeem Nicks hasn’t looked like the old Hakeem yet. Rueben Randle – who I do like – gets more positive press for someone who has done very little in the first two preseason games. Now Louis Murphy is out with some mysterious leg ailment. Jerrel Jernigan has been nagged all spring/summer with a hamstring injury and has yet to show he’s an NFL-caliber wide receiver. This position is looking shakier than anticipated.
  • The offensive line. How can anyone not be concerned at this point? The left side seems in good shape with Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe. But David Baas seems to be always hurt and who knows when he will return from his MCL injury, and when he does, how effective he will be? In his place is the unproven Jim Cordle who, on the surface, seems strictly a back-up type who could be a liability. Chris Snee missed most of the summer recovering from hip surgery (glad that Pro Bowl appearance was so important Chris) and he still has not rounded into form. As someone who respects what David Diehl has done for this team, I have to admit that Justin Pugh’s promotion is probably the best thing for the team right now although there is sure to be growing pains with the rookie (I hope Giants fans recognize this fact). So the Giants will have two inexperienced players starting until Baas comes back and that is bound to affect the overall offense. More troubling is the now paper-thin depth. James Brewer still may come on, but it appears right now he hasn’t developed as hoped. Brandon Mosley has flashed and may have an NFL future, but he’s basically a rookie too. The rest look like garbage right now. Once again, the offensive line seems to be a weakness.
  • Short-yardage offense. This remains a problem. It shows up not only on second- and third-and-short, but also inside the red zone. The inability to run the football in tight quarters is killing this offense in terms of keeping drives alive as well as touchdowns instead of field goals.
  • Defense. The run defense was much, much better against the Colts, but in the first two games, the first-team defense has had trouble stopping the run (first game) and pass (second game).
  • Up front, Justin Tuck still has to show he can be Justin Tuck of 2010. When will Jason Pierre-Paul be back? And when he does come back, how rusty will he be? I assume the Giants will have to start him off as a situational pass rusher until he gets used to the contact and gets into football shape. How badly will the back surgery and long layoff affect his performance?
  • Linebacker. Are there any play-makers in this group? Dan Connor seems to have won the middle linebacker position and seems adequate. Are Keith Rivers and Spencer Paysinger NFL-caliber linebackers who can help stop varied and difficult-to-defend offenses, especially in Washington, Dallas, and Philadelphia? They have to be physical and smart. And they need to make plays.
  • Defensive Backs. The safety position seems more settled, especially when Antrel Rolle returns. But once again, Corey Webster is battling injuries (knee/groin) that have caused him to miss valuable practice time and could impact his performance. His body seems to be breaking down. Behind him are Jayron Hosley, Aaron Ross, and Terrell Thomas. Hosley and Ross were shaky against the Colts. We still don’t know if Thomas can still play this game. The cornerback position is far shakier than some want to admit.
  • Coaching Staff. There are no doubt talent issues affecting on-field performance, but Perry Fewell has to find a way to get this defense to the middle-of-the-pack. When the game is on the line, can the defense be counted on? Can they get the ball back for the offense in good scoring position? On the other side of the ball, Kevin Gilbride has to come up with be options inside the red zone.

I’m not feeling very warm and fuzzy about this team right now (which is probably a good thing, because when I don’t, they seem to do well). Some of the aging veterans who are on their last go-around with this team still need to prove they got one more good year left in them (Webster, Tuck, Snee, Shaun Rogers). We also have to see how injuries will impact guys like Cruz, Nicks, JPP, Webster, Baas, and Henry Hynoski. Talent/depth at linebacker and the offensive line remain HUGE question marks that General Manager Jerry Reese may not have addressed to a sufficient extent. Lastly, Manning has to prove that 2011 wasn’t the high-point of his career.

Outsiders and critics are going to say the Giants’ window is closing or has closed. It’s up to the front office, coaches, and players to prove otherwise.

Aug 222013
 
Henry Hynoski, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

Henry Hynoski – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Injury Update – Henry Hynoski Activated Off of the PUP: Not practicing on Thursday were WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (knee/groin), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

FB Henry Hynoski (knee) was activated from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list that he had been on since the start of training camp. Hynoski underwent knee surgery in late May after injuring the medial collateral ligament and fracturing the lateral plateau in his knee during an Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice.

Hynoski was limited to individual drills.

“I’m very happy to be out here with my teammates and just get out here moving around and doing some things,” said Hynoski. “Obviously, we’re starting off slow just doing individuals for a little while and then building up from there on out…I did everything…just to get back at the earliest possible date and now it’s paying off. I’m very excited to be in the position I am today.”

Hynoski was doubtful whether he would play in the remaining two preseason games, but he is hoping he will be ready by the season opener against the Cowboys. “That’s my goal, but if it takes to Week 2 or 3, that’s fine,” said Hynoski. “We have a very smart medical staff and trainers and they’re going to put me in the right position when they know I’m physically fit to be out there and performing at the best that I can.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked if Pierre-Paul or Kuhn were close to coming off of the PUP. “They’re getting close, according to what I hear,” replied Coughlin. “I’m just listening.”

Coughlin was also asked if there was any concern about Webster being ready for the opener. “I hope not,” said Coughlin. “I hope that’s long gone by then. We should get two good weeks, I think. Next week and the week after, we should be in good shape.”

S Antrel Rolle (ankle) returned to practice on a very limited basis, taking part in a few team drills but mostly doing individual drills.

DE Adrian Tracy (dehydration) returned to practice.

New York Giants Add Offensive Tackle: The Giants signed OT Austin Holtz on Thursday.

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

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Thursday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on the Offensive Line:

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Article on CB Terrell Thomas: CB Terrell Thomas Ready for Game Action by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Aug 212013
 
David Diehl, New York Giants (July 28, 2013)

David Diehl – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 21, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their last training camp practice open to the public on Wednesday. The final training camp reports:

Injury Update – David Diehl Out Six Weeks : Not practicing on Wednesday were WR Victor Cruz (heel), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Adrian Tracy (dehydration), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (knee/groin), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

The Giants announced that Diehl, who practiced on Tuesday, underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair his injured right thumb. Diehl suffered the injury against the Colts on Sunday. He is expected to be out approximately six weeks.

“The unfortunate news today is about David Diehl,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “The doctor felt like he really needed to have his thumb corrected so that he could go further. He’s been in a lot of pain. He’s a tough guy and you’d never even know it until the doctor kind of jumped in. He’ll get this fixed and he’ll be back.”

Coughlin also said that Webster is dealing with a knee issue in addition to his previously-known groin injury. “He’s had a slight MCL, but he’s got a groin too,” said Coughlin. “I would think he’s getting close.”

Coughlin was asked about Murphy and Barden.  “I’d think maybe one of those two guys would be able to go today, but it didn’t happen,” said Coughlin.

“The same kind of thing (with Moore),” said Coughlin. “They say he’s making progress, but they’re not putting him out there.”

Rolle was asked about his progress. “I’m going to return to the practice field whenever I’m ready,” Rolle said. “Whenever I can go out there and feel like I’m not favoring it. Right now we’re ahead of schedule and things are going good.”

RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder) returned to practice.

Coughlin said CB Terrell Thomas (knee) will see his first action of the preseason this weekend against the Jets.

Giants Re-Shuffle Offensive Line Again: With the loss of offensive lineman David Diehl (thumb) for approximately six weeks, the Giants have re-shuffled their offensive line again. On Tuesday, with the injury to center David Baas (knee), the Giants had moved Diehl to left guard, Kevin Boothe from left guard to center, and promoted Justin Pugh to first-string right tackle. Now Boothe has been moved back to guard and Jim Cordle has been promoted to first-string center.

So from left to right, the current Giants’ starting offensive line is Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, Jim Cordle, Chris Snee, and Justin Pugh.

“Cordle played very well the other night and we thought that was the best move for now and we do have that option,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “But for now the option that we took is this one. We’re really excited about the way Cordle played the other night. Hopefully he’ll keep that going.”

“We’re comfortable if (Cordle is) in there,” said Snee. “Jim’s played football, he’s been around here a long time. He knows what he’s doing. He knows the offense very well. Technically, he’s very good with his hands and he competes. He’s a tough guy. He makes all the calls, he’s physical. He moves his feet well. I thought he played very well.”

Giants Add Wide Receiver: The Giants signed WR Terrell Sinkfield on Wednesday.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Wednesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on WR Jerrel Jernigan: Tom Coughlin Hopes to See More from Jerrel Jernigan vs. Jets by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on OT Justin Pugh: Giants Rookie Right Tackle Justin Pugh Says He’s ‘Ready’ by Dave Hutchinson of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the Defensive Line:

Aug 212013
 
Andre Brown, New York Giants (August 18, 2013)

Andre Brown – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Indianapolis Colts 20 – New York Giants 12

Game Overview: Fingertips – Look no further than the opening kickoff if you’re searching for a one word summary of a mistake-filled and forgettable evening at MetLife Stadium. Fingertips. Colts rookie kicker Brandon McManus lobbed the opening boot off the crossbar in the Giants’ end zone, just out of reach and over the fingertips of rookie returner Michael Cox. It wouldn’t be the first time the Colts were just out of reach of their maddeningly mistake prone opponents.

Andrew Luck looked every bit the #1 overall pick of a year ago, completing 9 of 13 passes for 107 yards and 2 TDs, leading his Colts to scores on three straight possessions while the new look 3-4 defense minus pass rushing great Dwight Freeney, hassled Giant quarterbacks with 6 sacks. Reliable veteran WR Reggie Wayne proved that his fingertips were just fine with an impressive one-handed grab late in the first quarter and a failed Aaron Ross interception (that glanced off his fingertips) turned into six as Wayne followed the bouncing ball right into the end zone.

Chuck Pagano’s team, embarrassed on the road at Buffalo a week ago, rebounded by holding the potentially lethal Giants offense to zero touchdowns and a paltry 3.9 yards per play. More often than not on this night, the Colts were simply too much up front for the Giants aging and injury- riddled offensive line.

Apparently the Giants coaching staff finally watched the same tape we did, moving David Diehl to guard after his worst effort as a pro and inserting rookie RT Justin Pugh to the starting lineup only a week removed from a concussion that kept him out for nearly 1/3 of camp. David Baas’ MCL injury will precipitate some movement up front, but make no mistake, this was a demotion and a full-time changing of the guard at RT and the end of an era. Our little T-Rex is here to stay, let’s hope his puny little arms are up to the task of keeping up with an offense that has all the potential to be one of the NFL’s most dangerous this season.

Short Dino-Arms aside, injuries may have been the story of the night as WR Victor Cruz suffered a phantom heel injury that has his status in doubt for the season opener in Dallas. Ditto for C David Baas, who completed a litany of offseason surgeries only to have his left leg rolled up on and put his immediate future in doubt.

Quarterbacks: Eli Manning’s numbers were fair, 8 of 17 for 91 yards, but he had an ugly interception late in the first quarter on a 3rd and 1 that looked to be everyone’s fault. Manning’s pass was clearly intended for Hakeem Nicks on an inside release, the trouble is that new TE Brandon Myers was more like Michael Myers, showing up right where and when you don’t want him to with disastrous results. OK, perhaps a pre-season INT isn’t disaster but it’s never too early to predict doom and get the “Fire Gilbride” crowd riled up and in mid-season form. I like starting the overwrought over-analysis right away and be in mid-season form by the opening kick in Dallas. Chances are a new TE, a WR who skipped OTA’s and has missed significant practice time and a QB who hasn’t had time to work with them are to blame here. Eli did have a near touchdown flat out dropped by rookie WR Kevin Hardy, but a little more consistency out of this group isn’t too much to expect at this stage.

David Carr played the way David Carr plays in the preseason, meh. His numbers weren’t atrocious, he managed to hit on 7 of 11 passes for 57 yards, nothing to complain about and nothing to get excited about. Rookie QB Ryan Nassib is almost impossible to evaluate playing behind the team of Matadors that the Giants trot out in garbage time. Nassib managed 48 yards on 2 for 6 passing, both screens to Michael Cox, but again Nassib had no protection at all due to some of the worst backup OL I’ve seen this team trot out in years. If the names McCants and Capers show up on the final 53, be afraid, be very afraid.

Running Backs: Probable starting HB David Wilson showed off the burst that has Giants fans eagerly awaiting a full season of the fastest running back this franchise has seen (Herschel Walker doesn’t count, he was fading and old in his time here and don’t even breathe the words LeShon Johnson). Wilson managed only 34 yards on 8 carries but his 21 yard burst on the second play from scrimmage provided a glimpse of the explosion he provides on a simple counter play. Wilson added a nifty 16 yard reception on the Giants 15 play scoring drive in the 2nd quarter, breaking two tackles and scrambling for extra yards after contact.

Not to be outdone, HB Andre Brown had a tough 36 yards on 8 runs, continuing to show his power finishing runs and the short area quickness that fits this offense well. Rookie Michael Cox had an impressive 36 yard kickoff return in the 2nd quarter and hauled in 48 yards on 2 catches.

Wide Receivers: WR Victor Cruz pulled up lame in the end zone, causing salsa lovers everywhere to suffer a little heartburn until the X-rays came back negative. Prior to that Cruz drew a long pass interference penalty that set up an early red zone chance (yeah I said red not green, Coughlin’s not the boss of me!), proving again how dangerous he is even when he’s not catching the ball. Finally, the Nicks has come back to MetLife! Sort of. At times frustrating this offseason, WR Hakeem Nicks looked OK in his return from injury #274 to his lower body. Nicks pulled in 2 passes for 40 yards but looked tentative to me out there. The suddenness that makes Nicks so dangerous in his routes did not show up, but an off season of rust and not much time practicing may be more to blame but it’s something to keep our eyes on. Nicks was noticeably slower and more deliberate on both of his catches, color me slightly worried. Technically I have to mention Ramses Barden who had 4 catches but more head scratching plays again. On two of his grabs he was inches short of a first down and did nothing to reach for it either time. Carr threw a back shoulder fade to the 6-6 Barden who continued running out of bounds (NFL Rule Alert: Catching ball out of bounds is frowned upon) and made almost no effort.

Reuben Randle chipped in with 2 catches for 17 yards and new Giant Louis Murphy pulled in 3 balls for 20 yards on top of an ill-fated end around that gained a whopping six feet.

Tight Ends: TE Adrien Robinson may turn into a threat at TE in time, but his mistake loomed large on the Giants offensive performance on their opening drive. With a long 4th and 1 from the Colt 7 yard line, Robinson lined up left of LT Will Beatty with TE Brandon Myers to his left in a Jumbo set. At the snap, Robinson incorrectly tried to block down on DE Corey Redding who was already washed out by Beatty, which left a huge gap for LB Kelvin Sheppard to fire through and force RB Andre Brown wider than he wanted to go. Robinson should have reached the second level to seal off the backside LB but instead stepped inside, looked lost and did nothing on the play. For everyone upset at the play call, it was a good call with a good grouping matchup that the Giants just lost because Robinson completely missed his assignment and allowed penetration into the backfield. Just for a capper, Robinson threw in a false start late in the 3rd quarter to help snuff out another drive.

Offensive Line: Before we get to the ugly, let’s start with the good, it works at parties when you want to pick up a woman and it works when analyzing offensive line play. You work your way down and it feels less painful as the rejection seeps in. (For the record I am married and have no recollection of said events in my past). OT William Beatty doesn’t get the credit he deserves but his block on DE Cory Redding that sprung Wilson’s run was one of beauty. With Brandon Myers lined up to his left, Beatty was blocking the play side hole on the counter and waited for Redding to pick a side. Once Redding tried going right, Beatty sealed him off that way, creating a running lane for the darting Wilson to jet right through. Moving a big bodied DT playing end in a 3-4 isn’t easy but Beatty used Redding’s aggressiveness against him to position himself perfectly for the block and the biggest ground gain of the evening. It is one small move in one small play in a pre-season game, but it shows Beatty’s smarts and his familiarity with Wilson’s running style is improving. That’s a big plus for this running game getting back to where it needs to be. Beatty absolutely collapsed the right side of the Colts DE on the long pass interference penalty on the opening drive, but the ugly was that his man fell into LG Kevin Boothe’s man who rolled up on Baas’ left leg and put his early season in jeopardy. For good measure Beatty mushed CB Greg Toler after his 1st quarter interception.

RT David Diehl started poorly and continued that way all night. On a 2nd and one on the Giants 2nd possession he was tossed backwards by DL Ricky Jean Francois and a solid 2nd and 1 run turned into miserable failure faster than you can say T-Rex. Diehl got tossed aside by rookie DE Bjoern Werner on another red zone play that short circuited a drive. You all watched this game, I won’t beat a dead horse but Diehl is certainly ready for the glue factory at this point. I could almost hear him whispering “Oil Cann..oooiiill cannnn” as player after Colt player used him like a turnstile at a Justin Bieber concert. (They couldn’t rush past excitedly giggling fast enough). You’re a good man David Diehl, I have respected your toughness and team first attitude for years but, your best days at tackle are long gone. As of this writing, Diehl is now the LG and Boothe moves to center, I would look to whoever is behind Diehl at LG to have a shot to unseat him if he doesn’t acquit himself in a less athletically demanding spot.

Unproven backup center Jim Cordle did a fair job in Baas’ absence, but his inability to even hold his ground on a 2nd and 7 from the Colts 9 killed any chance David Wilson had of scoring or converting. Again the play was blocked well across the board but it was one badly missed assignment that wasted the effort of everyone else on the play. Overall Cordle did well enough given his limited work with the starters but LG Kevin Boothe may be the better long term option should Baas be out for an extended period. (Update: After writing Boothe has been moved to center for now). Fellow backup Matt McCants was putrid at LG, I see no way he makes this team honestly. If an offensive line is a construction site, left guard is the guy who holds the Stop and Slow sign as traffic passes. If you can’t do that, you probably need to find a new job and McCants has gone from LT to RT now to LG and he was awful.

First round pick Justin Pugh debuted at LT and negated his man on nearly every play. Just from this one outing you can see why teams would question his stubby arms and size, he doesn’t look the part. Watch him play though and you may not see elbows but you won’t see the man he’s assigned to making a peep, he simply swallows up whoever lines up across from him. (Several nicknames occurred to me, the Pelican, Hungry Hungry HipPugh, and the Anti-Diehl – they all stink). Technically Pugh gave up a sack on a 3rd and 7 late in the 3rd quarter but once again Adrien Robinson did nothing lined up at H-Back and David Carr was running away from a missed Brandon Mosley block.

Defensive Line: A second straight of week of solid DL play should be a sign of things to come. Starting at LDE, Mathias Kiwanuka blew up the first play from scrimmage and toyed with LT Anthony Castonzo on 3rd down, ruining any chance the Colts had of running the ball on their first drive. Kiwi looks bigger and more comfortable than he’s been in his time here and it’s only been two weeks, but don’t be shocked if #94 has a big year on this defense with the injuries to JPP and Justin Tuck at defensive end. New DL toy Cullen Jenkins continued his solid play, proving tough to move at either DT or DE against the run. DE Justin Tuck, who ended up hurt again, looked just OK to me. Similar to Nicks, Tuck looked a bit unsure of his footing out there which is a sign of a guy not quite healthy or not yet trusting his body after a series of injuries. Tuck did swat away a 3rd down pass and had a few pressures but he’s not quite there yet but seemed to be rounding into form.

The other ex-Eagle DT, Mike Patterson made his impact felt near the end of the first half, knifing into the backfield to force a poor throw which led to a Jayron Hosley interception and snuffed out a 4th potential scoring drive for the Colts in the first half. DT Linval Joseph was solid up front as was DT Shaun Rogers and there was even a Marvin Austin sighting! No I’m not watching Outside the Lines re-runs, he really made a play the box score even says so!

austin

Rookie DT Johnathan Hankins started the second half with a bang, holding the point on a run for nearly no gain on the Colts’ first possession and did a solid job overall but was pushed aside on two plays I saw simply because he got too high off the snap. Hankins has impressed me though, despite his mistakes his physical play shows up and he is a high effort guy who should be a key DL contributor as the Giants seek to re-establish the line of scrimmage. DE Adewale Ojomo did his best Charles Jefferson impression, clearly someone trashed Ojomo’s Trans Am before the game. On the Colts’ penultimate drive, they ran 4 actual plays (one was a punt, one a penalty) and Ojomo made the stop on every single one, finishing with a team high 5 tackles. I don’t know what he does during the first 3 quarters, but Ojomo sure does bring it in mop up pre-season time.

Linebackers: Toot Toot! After week one, many of us on BBI thought MLB Dan Dan the Drywall Man Connor should be given the nod after an iffy outing by Mark Herzlich and indeed he got the start. Connor only notched 3 tackles, but was much more active and aggressive than his predecessor. Connor’s instincts and quickness should upgrade the Mike position over the departed Chase Blackburn as he learns this defense. Connor should be one of your early sleepers for most surprising newcomer, (assuming you all keep a ballot like I do for funsies) he should do well in a 4-3 with so much size in front of him to keep him clean. If Marty Funkhouser is reading this, please move Jacquian Williams ahead of Paysinger sooner rather than later. Paysinger is fine cleaning up the garbage, but he simply waits too long for plays to develop and ends up hanging on for tackles downfield rather than attacking at all. Certainly his job isn’t to abandon his zone immediately but 52 looks like he needs some more aggression on running downs. Jacquian Williams simply shows up when you watch the game, notching two tackles and holding the POA of a handful of runs when he was down in the box. Third starter Keith Rivers wears #55 and appears to be rather fit. (Author’s Note: I refuse to over analyze the play of any more former top ten picks who do nothing to stand out – I’m talking to you David Carr, Aaron Curry and Keith Rivers- so I will merely give them the effort they gave the Giants on the field).

LB Aaron Curry plays for the Giants now, though I saw no evidence of that outside of giving up an outside run to…Matt Hasselbeck. Yeah, apparently that hot nutty chick from “The View”, her husband plays football, who knew? Anyway, that chick’s husband ran right past Curry as he bit on a dive fake, a recurring issue for this Fewell led run defense that we will not discuss here…yet.

Defensive Backs: CBs Jayron Hosley and Aaron Ross are neck and neck for most plays just missed thus far. Ross coughed up an interception falling backward that turned into a Reggie Wayne TD, and for good measure yanked Wayne’s facemask (with his fingertips) for a free 15 yards later on. Hosley broke well on a ball just over his…fingertips that T.Y. Hilton snagged for 18 yards and four plays later got turned around briefly as Luck’s pass just went over his…fingertips for a Hilton TD that put the Colts up 17-3. That’s 4 plays, about 7 fingertips, two TDs, one 15 yard penalty, an 18 yard gain and countless Giant fans with shaking heads (that’s SMH for you Twitterheads). Hosley did snatch up an INT late in the first half and did a solid job as a gunner on punt coverage.

Thankfully CB Prince Amukamara is no longer homesick about leaving Zamunda and is, in my opinion, on the verge of being a top 5 CB in this league. I said as much over the summer after his play late last season, and his play so far has backed that up. Always a physical guy, Amukamara had to overcome some rookie jitters and nagging injuries but #20 is finally playing as he did as a standout at Nebraska – with a fierce competitiveness for every ball and every tackle.

Special Teams: K Josh Brown went 4 for 4 with a long of 47 yards. Expect few nervous moments from Brown, he’s as dependable a kicker as there is in the league and still has plenty of power in his getaway sticks. Aside from RB Michael Cox bringing a kickoff out 36 yards, the return game was nothing to write home about, but with this many rookies around a mistake free night is a win on special teams. P Steve Weatherford was boringly efficient, which is a good thing, averaging 43.8 yards on 6 boots. Dear Michael Cox…BREAK DOWN on punt and kickoff coverage, or you’ll keep flying past the returner. Oh and my wife and niece think you’re totally cute so don’t get cut (they aren’t over losing DJ Ware yet).

Author’s Corny Addendum: Given my personal events of this summer, I have to comment on the Chuck Pagano story that was highlighted during this telecast. I lost my father in law to a 5 year battle with cancer and it was the hardest few weeks of my life watching someone I love succumb to that disease. That said, seeing how Pagano fought back and never once complained, all the while staying there for his team when he could was truly an inspiration. Cancers sucks, but in my experience with it over the past few years, it unveils fight and mettle in people you never knew existed. It is a scourge that we may never solve, but it won’t ever solve the unyielding human spirit to fight.

(Boxscore – Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants, August 18, 2013)
Aug 202013
 
Justin Pugh, New York Giants (August 18, 2013)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 20, 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: The Giants held their 16th training camp practice on Tuesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The last training camp practice is on Wednesday from 1:30-3:45PM. For a complete training camp schedule and Giants.com Q&A guide, see the Training Camp section of the website.

Injury Update: Not practicing on Tuesday were RB Da’Rel Scott (shoulder), WR Victor Cruz (foot), WR Louis Murphy (leg), WR Ramses Barden (knee), OC David Baas (knee), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (groin), S Antrel Rolle (ankle), FB Henry Hynoski (PUP – knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (PUP – back), and DT Markus Kuhn (PUP – knee).

Cruz, who suffered a heel contusion against the Colts on Sunday, was wearing a protective boot on his right foot and using crutches on Tuesday.

“I feel good. I feel better than yesterday, which is a good sign,” said Cruz. “Just trying to get some of the swelling down and take it from there…Good thing it’s just a heel bruise, a heel contusion. It’s not too bad…I have to listen to the docs and keep my weight off of it, so it’s good.”

“They’re just saying day-to-day right now,” said Cruz. “Coach Coughlin and the doctors had a conversation and told me just take it day-by-day, see how the swelling goes and we’ll take it from there…The MRI just showed some blood in there, in the area where the swelling is and that was about it. They were just showing the inflammation and the blood…No tear, nothing wrong with the bone. Everything’s fine, which was a good sign, which was what I was worried about. Even though I didn’t hear anything pop, but you just never know with any injuries. I was happy about that. I’m just on the road to recovery.”

Baas, who suffered an MCL sprain against the Colts, had a knee brace on his left knee and was also using crutches on Tuesday.

“I’m just going to do everything I can to get back as fast as I can, but be smart about it,” said Baas. “I just want to help this team win. I’m looking forward to doing that as fast as I can.”

Baas was asked if it was realistic if he could return in time for the season opener against the Cowboys. “I think it is,” responded Baas. “That’s what I expect, too. Obviously, I’m going to follow the doctor’s orders and that’s why we’ve got to take it week-by-week and see how it’s progressing. It’s kind of one of those annoying things that you’ve got to let go for a little bit. But I’m one of those guys that likes to work through this. I just want to be ready for my team.”

As for Murphy, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “He has a sore leg, they’re going to do all the tests on him and see what the problem is.”

WR Jerrel Jernigan (hamstring), WR Brandon Collins (hamstring), DE Justin Tuck (hamstring), and S Cooper Taylor (hamstring) practiced.

DE Adrian Tracy left practice early due to dehydration.

Meanwhile, OT David Diehl was wearing a cast on his right hand on Tuesday. “I got hurt during the game, but I’ll be all right,” said Diehl. “It’s a thumb (injury),” said Coughlin.

Giants Re-Shuffle Offensive Line: With OC David Baas (knee) injured, the Giants have shifted left guard Kevin Boothe to center, right tackle David Diehl to left guard, and promoted offensive tackle Justin Pugh to first-team right tackle. Will Beatty remains at left tackle and Chris Snee remains at right guard.

“Well, it’s the best way for us to play right now,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We, fortunately, have some guys that can play in a lot of different spots and David Diehl has played in a lot of spots in the course of his career and he’ll go inside there and do a fine job.  We’re trying to get a group on the field now that can work together, hopefully to prepare for the regular season.”

Roster Moves: The Giants waived/injured OT Chris DeGeare (ankle) and WR Keith Carlos (unknown) on Tuesday. The Giants did not replace their vacant roster spots so the Giants’ roster currently stands at 88.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Tuesday Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Tuesday are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on TE Larry Donnell: TE Larry Donnell Earns Coughlin’s Praise by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Aug 192013
 
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (August 18, 2013)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

August 19, 2013 New York Giants Injury Report: Head Coach Tom Coughlin provided the following injury updates on Monday afternoon when addressing the press via conference call:

  • OC David Baas suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee. “Well, it’s weekly,” said Coughlin. “That’s all I can tell you. It depends on how fast that whole injury and rehab goes. We say weekly and that’s probably the best I can do right now.”
  • WR Victor Cruz suffered a heal contusion. “We’ll see where he stands with that as the days go by,” said Coughlin. “He probably will not practice (on Tuesday), although I haven’t seen him. We’ll have to take that one as it comes.”
  • DE Justin Tuck strained a hamstring. “Justin Tuck has a mild hamstring and, again, who knows?” Coughlin said. “Come (Tuesday) morning, it may be that he can’t work at all and hopefully he’ll have an opportunity to do some things. That’s the word I have now.”

Coughlin also provided updates on the following players who did not play against the Colts:

  • FB Henry Hynoski (knee -PUP): “Hynoski has been working very well. They’re pleased with his work.”
  • S Antrel Rolle (ankle): “The projection is hopefully that we will have an opportunity to get Antrel on the practice field this week.”
  • DE Damontre Moore (shoulder): “He’s getting closer. According to the doctors, he’s not there yet, but he’s getting closer.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday Media Conference Call: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s media conference call on Monday is available at Giants.com.

Only Two Training Camp Practices Left: The Giants’ summer training camp has two remaining practices left, one on Tuesday (3:25-5:25PM) and the final one on Wednesday (1:30-3:45PM). If the weather cooperates, these are the last practices open to the general public.

Article on OT Justin Pugh: Justin Pugh Gets Taste of NFL by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Aug 192013
 
Ahmad Bradshaw - Photo Courtesy of Evan Pinkus and the Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw – Photo Courtesy of Evan Pinkus and the Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw Receives BBI “Giant of the Year” Trophy: Before the Giants-Colts preseason game on Sunday night, former Giants’ running back Ahmad Bradshaw received the 2012 BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) “Giant of the Year” Trophy.

Based on fan voting, the award is given to the Giants’ player, coach, or member of the front office who most contributed to the team’s success on the field in a given year. The vote is held at the end of each season by members of the BBI community.

BBI owner and senior editor Eric Kennedy presented the award to Bradshaw. Kennedy said that Giants’ fans not only recognized that Bradshaw had his second best season in 2012, but they wanted to thank him for six great seasons in which Bradshaw not only became the sixth-leading rusher in team history, but also a major factor in the Giants winning two NFL Championships. Kennedy also mentioned that fans recognized Bradshaw’s passion for the game and the tremendous amount of toughness he played with. Kennedy finished by saying that Giants’ fans will miss him, but will always consider him a New York Giant.

“I couldn’t give anything back but my passion for the game,” said Bradshaw at the ceremony. “The hard work and everything’s paid off to give me my accomplishments here today. Just the love for this game is what’s in me. Like I say, you guys don’t do anything but push me harder and push me to be even better and to work even harder for what I’ve done.”

For more on the ceremony, including a short video, see Giants.com.

A list of previous award winners is available in the BBI Giant of the Year section of the website.