Aug 242021
 
New York Giants Helmet (November 24, 2019)

© USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 80…
In an effort to reach the current 80-man roster limit, the New York Giants made five roster moves on Tuesday. The team placed tight Rysen John (ankle) and safety Quincy Wilson (ankle) on Injured Reserve. They will either have to spend the remainder of the season on Injured Reserve or if they are waived later with an injury settlement, they can re-join the team after a designated period of time passes and they have not signed with another team.

The Giants waived/injured tight end Cole Hikutini (hip) and safety Montre Hartage (shoulder), and terminated the contract of long snapper Carson Tinker.

Also, the Giants waived cornerback Jarren Williams (quad) from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement on Saturday.

The Giants originally signed John as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured John in early September 2020 with a hamstring injury and then signed to the Practice Squad in late October 2020. The 6’7”, 220-pound John was a receiver in college.

The Giants signed Hikutini in March 2021 after he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys. The 6’4”, 240-pound Hikutini was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2018), Minnesota Vikings (2018-2019), and Cowboys (2019-2020). His only playing time came as a rookie when he played in four regular-season games, catching two passes for 15 yards for the 49ers. Hikutini has been a Practice Squad player for the past three seasons.

Hartage alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a number of times in 2020. He only played in two games (two percent of all defensive snaps) and was not credited with a single tackle or pass defense. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020. Hartage has played in six NFL games.

The Giants signed long snapper Tinker in early September 2020. He spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 237-pound Tinker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in 69 regular-season games for the Jaguars from 2013-2018. The Jaguars cut him in March 2019 and he did not play that year.

The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will hold joint practices with the Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Aug 232021
 
C.J. Board, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

C.J. Board – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 23, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 17-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns and plans for the upcoming week of practices against the New England Patriots:

Q: Will you use (Patriots Quarterback) Cam Newton’s situation as a teachable moment for your remaining unvaccinated players? And how much patience would you have in-season if a key player missed a game just because they didn’t get vaccinated?

A: To be honest with you, I just got informed somewhat on the situation as I walked out of the staff meeting, got caught up a little bit on it. I’m not familiar with all the details. I don’t know that I’d be able to give an accurate answer on that. Just to give you the back end of the question, if someone were to miss a game because of any kind of failure to follow protocol – we’ve been very clear with our players the entire time that obviously they have the choice and we’re going to support their choice, but the protocols have to be followed and make sure we’re on the same page. I want to make it clear because I don’t know the situation that happened up there and I’m not going to comment on anybody else’s team.

Q: I know you’ve talked a bunch about (Quarterback) Daniel Jones and playing him or not playing him in the preseason. Obviously, not playing in the first two games is not an indication you think he’s ready, he doesn’t need to play, things like that. Can you talk about the risk-reward and the fact that clearly not playing a quarterback specifically has a lot to do with the risk of getting him hurt, correct?

A: I would say really injury risk had nothing to do with him not playing at this point. The plan all along was to make sure (QB) Mike (Glennon) got as much time as he could in the first game when we played against the Jets, along with a lot of other guys that were in the game. Mike meshed with some of our older offensive linemen, got out there, got some chemistry together with those guys. In terms of not playing this last week, it truly came down to what we thought we accomplished in practice with both the volume and intensity as a unit, along with some of the things that the Browns were doing in the game themselves. To me, him not playing, we initially thought about playing those guys for about a quarter or so. We made the decision based on what they had gone through from a physical load standpoint and intensity. It was a very quick turnaround going from those practices into a full game situation, so we thought this was in the best interest of the health of the players that we held. I made it very clear to the players that didn’t play, not playing is not a reward and playing is not a punishment. We play our players to get them ready for the season and we’ll factor in based on what they did in practice to get them ready for that point. This week we’ll treat more as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. My expectation at this point would be for Daniel to play at least the first half and we’ll decide on what we’re going to do in terms of coming out of halftime later in the week.

Q: I know every situation is different, but there’s a school of thought out there – (Buccaneers Quarterback) Tom Brady played a series in the first preseason game, so did (Chiefs Quarterback) Patrick Mahomes. People say where does Daniel Jones get off not playing in the first preseason game?

A: This to me has nothing to do with comparisons to other players in the league or their individual status. This is our team and how we choose to prepare them the best, get the guys exposure to who we thought we needed with different units and different situations, and keep building our team going forward. This is no comparison to any other player and it’s not a reflection on any kind of comparison by any position within the league.

Q: Do you expect Giants-Patriots joint practices to be an annual thing for as long as you and (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) are there? And how are these joint practices different for you than facing anyone else since you’re more familiar with the coaches, the personnel, the way practices are run, etc.?

A: The first part of the question is we have discussed as an organization continuing these as an annual event. This is a team that we play in the preseason anyway, so to continue working with a team that you have an established relationship with is very important. I thought about that last week working with (Browns Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) in Cleveland, the relationship that’s important between coaches that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish and that you can control the practices to make sure your teams are in the best situation to practice competitively, but safely. In terms of the practice format up there, it will probably be some familiarity for our players. It’s not identical, but there are some similarities in terms of the flow of practice and in certain periods. We’re going to have a lot of situational football this week as part of the emphasis going up there and working against New England. This time of the year going into the third game, we’re really making sure that we get the opportunity to go through a lot of situations that otherwise you might not get the opportunity to do in competitive situations because they don’t come up in preseason games. So, we want to make sure that we go ahead and we go up there as a team and execute and operate and gain the experience of going against a foreign opponent before we get into the regular season.

Q: There’s a stat out there that a lot of Daniel’s sacks come on pressures that are quick drop backs, two-and-a-half seconds or less, and that’s why he gets knocked a lot for decision-making. Everybody says he’s really smart in the meeting room. Have you seen his pre-snap decisions improve maybe in the second half of last year and so far in training camp? Is he making better pre-snap decisions to get the ball out quicker?

A: The first part of it talking about the protection aspect, that’s everybody’s responsibility. That starts with the protection up front, the receivers getting open, the running backs in blitz pickup, it starts with the quarterback’s decision-making, so it’s all 11 when it comes to the protection aspect, it’s never just one person. Specifically on the question of have I seen Daniel improve on pre-snap, I’ve seen improvement in his game across the board, pre-snap and post-snap, just understanding and processing. I think it’s something that naturally happens for players, number one, as they go through their career and obviously a few years into his career, and now he’s going to gain more experience every year. And then being in the same system for multiple years to be able to process the decisions and the adjustments as they happen at full speed.

Q: You spent a lot of formative years of your coaching career in New England. You get a chance to go back with Bill. What does it mean to be able to have this kind of joint session with him and will you reflect back on that time when you’re up there?

A: I’m sure it’ll be a little bit different coaching against a lot of those players for the first time, but to be honest with you, I’m a New York Giant. I’m focused on getting our team developed and ready for the season. This is a great opportunity to work against a good opponent, very well-coached, and to go up there and make sure that we hit some specific situations and focuses that both teams need in the regular season. This is really just a great opportunity for us to go up there and work against a quality opponent. This isn’t some kind of trip down memory lane. I wouldn’t bring the team up there for any kind of personal reasons, just the team we’re going to play anyway in the preseason. We know we can get quality work in with them and it should be a week to help our team progress like last week did, and we benefitted.

Q: It seems important for you not to make this a personal thing.

A: The only thing that’s important to me is the New York Giants. That’s what it’s about right here. This week, going up is helping the Giants get better and that’s what our focus is.

Q: I wanted to ask you about two players. The first one is (Safety Xavier) McKinney. Was he calling the defense or just making the checks behind the line of scrimmage pre-snap? And how did he do?

A: I thought he did a good job. I thought he was able to line everybody up and get the communication out there. That was really the main goal of putting him out there, just putting that on his shoulders. Did a good job in some situations for us. (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat (Graham) calls the defense, but the signal callers on the field echo the call and they make the adjustments to make sure everyone is lined up and on the same page, so that was his role yesterday.

Q: The second guy I wanted to ask you about is (Fullback) Eli Penny and what you’ve seen from him with the football in his hands. That’s something that hasn’t happened much in regular season action. Sometimes it happens and teams have flirted with that in the past. What do you like about that situation and what kind of element does that bring?

A: Obviously, dealing with the roster situation in the offseason, looking at how to add some depth and some versatility to our players, and considering (RB) Saquon’s (Barkley) position as a running back and when he would or wouldn’t be healthy – we weren’t really too sure at that point – we started just talking through the options at running back. Obviously, there are some guys off the roster that we brought in, there’s a guy that we drafted, but then sometimes the answer as well could be on your roster already. Eli is a guy that’s done a good job for us as a fullback. He’s got experience in his career as a runner. Eli is a guy that we just talked about, we talked about last year. Things we did in practice didn’t necessarily show up in the games, but Eli is a guy we wanted to go ahead and use as a runner for us, as well. So, not just that true fullback position, but there’s going to be opportunities for him to play as that back, not just by different personnel groups or different situations. He’s practiced all training camp for us, been kind of a dual fullback and running back and he’s had an opportunity to play in the preseason, as well. I think he’s making progress every week he keeps on working it. Eli is a guy that does anything you ask him to for the team, whether it’s kicking team, offense – I’m sure if we asked him to do something defensively, he’d kind of laugh and do it full speed. I’m pleased with the way he’s worked and the progress he’s made, and, again, building our team’s versatility can only help us.

Q: When it comes to Saquon, are there any boxes that still need to be checked before you guys ramp him up to a more competitive setting? And do you expect to have him on the field next week against the Patriots in the game?

A: That’s not decided yet. We’re going to talk a little bit later today with the medical team. The priority will be to continue ramping him up and doing more and more. Last week in Cleveland, he did some one-on-ones, some pass drills with our guys and against our defense early in practice. We were keeping him out of competitive periods last week, that was by design. We’ll see where he is. He keeps advancing in his rehab. His foot is tapping every day, wanting to do more and more, and physically he keeps progressing and showing us he can do more and more. So, once we talk to the doctors today, we’ll formulate a plan for what he’s going to do in Foxborough through the practices and the game, but I would expect it to be more than what we saw last week. Now, I can’t say that means 11-on-11 or seven-on-seven, I can’t give that answer right now, but as soon as we find out we’ll let you know before the practices happen what we expect him to do that day.

Q: Obviously, I know you personally don’t want to take a walk down memory lane in Foxborough, but I also know you’re a lover of history and how that matters to building your team and what your team appreciates. Just wondering if you’ve prepared any stories or lessons for your guys to see what they’ve built up there and what you were a part of, and how much that reflects on what you want to build down here?

A: To be honest with you and to be completely transparent, I don’t try to get too much into places I’ve been before. I draw things from every experience I’ve had, whether it’s working under Jackie Sherrill or Sylvester Croom, playing for Jim Algeo, working for Nick Saban, working for Bill Belichick. Every coach I’ve ever had the opportunity to work under, I draw from those experiences and I learn, and I try to put them into my own personality and my own philosophy and belief structure. Obviously, there’s a great deal of football that I learned in New England, a great deal of success and memories that I’ve had, but to be honest with you, that’s things for later down the line to sit back and reflect on. That’s not something right now that’s very important to me and to be honest with you, we don’t have time to do that. For me, the history that’s important to me to know is the history of the New York Giants. The thing that’s relevant for the history of this team is reflecting back on some of the games and the rivalry of the Giants and Patriots in recent years, understanding the history of how predominantly the Giants were really the team in all of New England until the Patriots came into existence. And they’re still living up there, a tremendous amount of Giants fans that still occupy the entire New England area because that was the team they watched on Sundays. So, there’s a lot of history that the Giants share in New England right now that I think is more important for our players to understand instead of any personal anecdotes that I can share right there. To be completely honest with you, I’m very careful a lot of times to make sure everyone in this organization knows that I’m not trying to make this team anything but the New York Giants. I’m not trying to recreate anywhere I’ve ever been. I’m not trying to go ahead and emulate or imitate any other program. This is the New York Giants and we’re going to do it with our players, we’re going to do it in our personality, we’re going to do it the way we think is best for us every day and we’re going to work on focusing to make our team the best team that we can possibly be. I have a great deal of respect for everything that Coach Belichick has done up there, I have a great deal of respect for the players who are still there who played for me, I have a great deal of respect for the staff members I worked alongside, but right now my priority and my loyalty is fully with the New York Giants, with our staff, our players, this organization, and I can’t make that more clear to every player, coach and fan. Again, we’ll go up there and face a quality opponent, just like we did against the Browns last week. We’re going to get better as a team through how we’re going to work and the focus is getting ready for a game this week that should help us prepare for the regular season.

Q: You said for the past couple of weeks that Sunday will be your dress rehearsal. Should we assume that what we see on Sunday is your starting team? Is the offensive line set?

A: No, I wouldn’t assume any of that. Obviously, when we get out there on Sunday, it will directly reflect based on how people have performed to this point and where the depth chart has indicated. However, there’s going to be a lot of guys that we’ll be getting one final look at and we have final cuts after that game. We’re going to have to take a look at certain guys in certain situations, see how they mesh within certain units and the chemistry and impact they can bring. But in terms of having a set depth chart, nothing is ever concrete. The best players will always play. If somebody is outperforming somebody in practice, then they’ll play that Sunday. So, just because you see something in game three, I wouldn’t assume that that’s what it’s going to be against Denver in Week One. We’ll make the decisions as we get closer. One thing about this year is it’s a tough part of the year for players and coaches. There’s necessary cuts you have to make by league rules that allow the roster to turn over, and that means losing players and it also means adding new players at times. So, there’s a lot of change that happens over these next few weeks, so we’re going to go ahead and adjust as we need to and make the best decision for the team.

Q: Will (Tackle) Nate (Solder) be back this week?

A: I’ll talk more with the doctors later. He’ll definitely be on the trip with us. We expect him to do more than he did last week in practice. I’ll see physically where he’s at in terms of entering the game.

Q: What can we expect from (Wide Receiver) Kadarius Toney this week? And at what point would it be realistic for a rookie who hasn’t done much in live drills to need to get in there in order to contribute early in the season?

A: Every player is unique and every story is different. I couldn’t give you some kind of arbitrary timetable for any player coming in of when they can make an impact. That’s really all based on the player, how they prepare and how they execute on Sundays. In terms of his health, he’s progressing, he’s working hard, he’s doing everything our training staff is asking him to do. We’re pleased with the progress he’s making. He’ll definitely be on the trip with us, along with several other players who are continuing their rehab. We’ll talk later today to see if we can build him more into some of the early practice individuals and see if at that point he’s ready to go ahead and progress and do anything more competitive, whether it’s seven-on-sevens or one-on-ones or anything of that nature. I can’t give you a solid answer there, but I would just refer back to the first part in terms of making an impact for the team. Look, it all comes down to how that player plays that specific week. There’s a lot of guys going through spring, training camp, played multiple preseason games, but if they don’t execute on Sunday in the regular season, it’s not going to matter.

Q: Do you think it would be realistic for him to come back a week before the season as a full participant and would you feel comfortable using him?

A: That would all come down to physically if he’s able to do that and then we put him on the practice field and how he performs in practice would give me a comfort level of what I can expect in a game. These are all a lot of hypotheticals. I know it sounds like I’m trying to avoid something, but I’m going to give you an honest answer right there. Until we see him physically when he’s fully back and 100 percent and then see him execute within the game plan for the week of how he operates, that’s the best view I can really get to see what we can expect in the game.

Q: What are you expecting from (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay this week and then next week as you progress towards Week One? And are you still optimistic that he’ll be on the field Week One?

A: I have to go off the information that the trainers and medical team give to us. They keep telling me how he’s progressing very well in his rehab, he’s really building up and doing much better on a weekly basis. I don’t think you’re going to expect to see him in 11-on-11s this week. Going to be very similar to what we said about Toney a second ago, how much more he can do? Can we build him in with the team early in practice and will that be reflected in anything we do against the Patriots? I would not expect him in 11-on-11 right now at this point based on the information that I have. That being said, as we progress to the regular season, we’ve got just about three weeks call it, ballpark, until the first game. We’ll see where he goes physically and, again, anybody we put on the field we want to make sure they get on the field and stay on the field by playing healthy and playing effectively at 100 percent. I don’t have an answer for you long-term on that, but I am very pleased with how he’s working. He’s doing everything we ask him to do and he’s making progress on a daily basis.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
With the New York Giants traveling to New England, there is no media access to the team on Tuesday. The Giants will hold joint practices with the Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Aug 222021
 
Devontae Booker, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Devontae Booker – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 13…
The head coaches for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns sat their starters in the second preseason game for both teams. The Giants lost 17-13, falling 0-2 in a preseason where most of the first team has yet to play. Unlike the first preseason game against the Jets, Head Coach Joe Judge even sat the starting offensive line.

Both teams decided to get a long look at second- and third-teamers. The Giants starting offense fielded quarterback Mike Glennon; running back Devontae Booker; tight ends Rysen John and Kaden Smith; wide receivers C.J. Board and Dante Pettis; and offensive linemen Jackson Barton, Kenny Wiggins, Jon Harrison, Ted Larson, and Chad Slade. The starting defense fielded defensive linemen B.J. Hill, David Moa, and Raymond Johnson; linebackers Oshane Ximines, Devante Downs, Reggie Ragland, and Ryan Anderson; and defensive backs Madre Harper, Rodarius Williams, Xavier McKinney, and Julian Love.

The Giants received the ball to start the game but were forced to punt after picking up one first down. The Browns followed that up with a 10-play, 81-yard drive on their initial possession, with back-up quarterback Casey Keenum throwing a 7-yard touchdown on 4th-and-goal. Glennon and the Giants responded with an impressive 11-play, 75-yard drive that tied the game when Booker scored from 1-yard out.

The Browns threatened again on the second possession, gaining 65 yards and reaching the New York 10-yard line. But on 3rd-and-6, Keenum’s pass into the end zone was intercepted by defensive back Quincy Wilson. Despite two more possessions for each team, neither team seriously threatened for the remainder of the half. The score was tied 7-7 at the break.

Both teams exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter. But on Cleveland’s second possession of the half, they easily carved through the back-up defense, moving the ball 56 yards in four plays to take a 14-7 advantage. Both team exchanged punts again on the the next four possessions.

Midway through the 4th quarter, the Giants cut the score to 14-13 after an 8-play, 72 yard drive with third-string quarterback Brian Lewerke at the helm. Lewerke threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver David Sills on 3rd-and-4. However, the Giants could not convert on the 2-point attempt and the Browns led by one point with just over seven minutes left to play.

Cleveland extended the lead to 17-13 on their very next possession, driving 44 yards in eight plays to set up a 49-yard field goal. The Giants had a chance to win the game late. Lewerke threw a 29-yard pass to John on 3rd-and-19 to the New York 45-yard line. He then found running back Gary Brightwell for a 7-yard reception on 4th-and-6 and wide receiver Damion Willis for a 15-yard gain on 4th-and-8. But the Giants ran out of time and were forced to try a Hail Mary from the 27-yard line on 1st-and-10 with six seconds left. That pass was intercepted in the end zone.

Glennon finished the game 10-of-13 for 86 yards and Lewerke 11-of-19 for 108 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Giants rushed for 120 yards with running back Corey Clement (9 carries for 30 yards) and Booker (6 carries for 27 yards and one touchdown) leading the way. Four Giants caught a team-high three passes: John (58 yards), Sills (31 yards and a touchdown), Pettis (25 yards), and Brightwell (12 yards).

Defensively, the Giants allowed 163 yards rushing and 207 yards passing. The Giants accrued three sacks with Ximines (1), linebacker Carter Coughlin (1), Raymond Johnson (0.5), and Anderson (0.5). Wilson was responsible for the only turnover with his interception.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT AND HEALTHY SCRATCHES…
RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring), TE Kyle Rudolph (PUP – foot), TE Cole Hikutini (unknown), OT Nate Solder (shoulder?), LT Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Aaron Robinson (PUP – core muscle), CB Josh Jackson (unknown), and S Montre Hartage (unknown) did not play.

CB Madre Harper (groin), S Quincy Wilson (ankle), and TE Rysen John (lower leg) left the game in the second half.

Others who did not play included QB Daniel Jones, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Darius Slayton, TE Evan Engram, OC Nick Gates, OG Shane Lemieux, OG Will Hernandez, OT Matt Peart, OT Andrew Thomas, DE Leonard Williams, DE Dexter Lawrence, NT Danny Shelton, NT Austin Johnson, LB Blake Martinez, LB Azeez Ojulari, LB Lorenzo Carter, CB James Bradberry, CB Adoree’ Jackson, CB Keion Crossen, S Jabrill Peppers, S Logan Ryan, and PK Graham Gano,

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge will address the media on Monday.

Aug 212021
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 20, 2021)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

THE STORYLINE:
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge and Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski are most likely thrilled with the amount of work their respective teams got done during the two days of training camp practices on Thursday and Friday. When two teams practice against each other in camp, they can get double the amount of work done since one team’s offense can practice against the other team’s defense at the same time when on another field the other defense is battling the other offense. Since there are more safeguards in place, players are also less likely to get injured and it appears there were no major injuries during the two-day affair.

Indeed, joint practices make the preseason game less important. Coach Stefanski has already announced that most of his starters will not play against the Giants on Sunday. Coach Judge will likely do the same or only play his starters a couple of series. Regardless, we won’t learn much from Sunday’s preseason game. Its importance has already been minimalized. The most important work was done on Thursday and Friday. And what did we learn from those practices? The Giants could compete at the same level as the playoff-calibre Browns. On Friday, it appears the Giants were the better team on offense and defense. One or two days of practice should not be overvalued, but the results were encouraging. My gut tells me one of the reasons why the practice was so testy is the Browns didn’t expect the Giants to be so competitive.

If the trend of holding joint practices continues in future years, the actual preseason games simply won’t matter as much. It will be interesting to see if Coach Judge arranges two joint practices again in 2022.

THE INJURY REPORT:
As I mentioned in last week’s preview, Coach Judge and his training staff are very cautious, perhaps excessively so, in protecting players who are not near 100 percent. Based on who did not practice or fully practice on Thursday and/or Friday, it’s probably a safe bet to assume the following players will not play:

  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (unknown)
  • WR John Ross (hamstring?)
  • WR Austin Mack (hamstring?)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
  • TE Cole Hikutini (unknown)
  • OT Nate Solder (shoulder?)
  • LB Tae Crowder (unknown)
  • LB Elerson Smith (hamstring)
  • CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • CB Josh Jackson (unknown)
  • S Montre Hartage (unknown)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
Folks are going to start complaining that I’m being “Mr. Doom” again, but there is somewhat serious concern brewing: much of the firepower that the Giants imported during the offseason has not been on the field practicing. Indeed, right now, the Giants healthy starting offense looks a lot like the unit that finished near dead-last in 2020.

Reporters were stating that Kenny Golladay and Daniel Jones didn’t appear to be in sync before Golladay pulled his hamstring more than two weeks ago. Saquon Barkley has yet to practice in team drills and AT BEST, may be ready for only a few touches on opening day. Kyle Rudolph is still on the PUP and we have no clue when he will even be able to practice. John Ross isn’t practicing. And oddest of all, Kadarius Toney hasn’t really practiced during the spring or summer at all. We don’t even know what is wrong with him. But Toney has no work in with Daniel Jones and the starting offense. It’s hard to imagine he will be much of a factor for possibly even the first half of the season.

Much of the optimism for an improved offense centered around the additions of these guys. For now, the Giants may be in the hands of Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and virtually the same offensive line as last year.

What to look for offensively in this game? I assume the starting offensive line will get at least a couple of series, just like they did against the Jets. Shane Lemieux (knee) missed that game. Matt Peart gave up a sack against the Jets. Fans will be looking at how the starting five performs. Without Nate Solder playing, the reserve line will be undermanned, but this should be our first look at Jon Harrison and Ted Larsen. Kenny Wiggins struggled last week and gets a chance to redeem himself.

The battle at running back between Booker and Clement continues, as does the battle for the final roster spots at wide receiver between David Sills, C.J. Board, Dante Pettis, Alex Bachman, Matt Cole, and Damion Willis. Special teams play will be ever important there. Cole Hikutini was making a move at tight end before he got hurt. Now the door is open for Rysen John and Nakia Griffin-Stewart.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The early indications are that the Giants are going to be pretty good on defense, stronger than last year. The defensive line has been performing well. The secondary is deeper and more talented. And while there are no superstar edge rushers, the Giants appear to have strength in numbers. Fans may have written off Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines too soon. Both have flashed in Ohio. So did Trent Harris. And rookie Azeez Ojulari is coming along nicely. Inside we, we may have a battle brewing between Reggie Ragland and Tae Crowder for playing time. Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin are showing inside-outside, jack-of-all-trades versatility. Then you still have Ifeadi Odenigbo, Ryan Anderson, Niko Lalos, and Elerson Smith (who has yet to get on the field).

The Giants pass rush against the Browns at practice was pretty darn good. Some of these guys probably won’t play or play much against Cleveland. Still, I’d like to see some of Carter and Ximines before they give way to the others. I wouldn’t play Martinez much, if at all. Same with corners James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson and safeties Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan. Peppers, in particular, was giving the Browns fits on blitzes. We know what he can do.

The biggest issue the Giants had in the practices was covering WR Jarvis Landry out of the slot. He won’t play so Darnay Holmes and Julian Love won’t be tested as much. It’s not known if we will see newly-acquired corners Josh Jackson (he didn’t practice on Friday) and Keion Crossen. Expect a heavy dose of Rodarius Williams, Madre Harper, and perhaps even Sam Beal.

We know who the base guys up front are. Leonard Williams is having a really strong camp. Dexter Lawrence is one of the most important players on the team. Austin Johnson and Danny Shelton look like they can do the job. B.J. Hill is a valuable reserve. But there are some guys who we didn’t expect to make much noise who perhaps have a chance to make the team. One guy is Raymond Johnson. Keep an eye on him.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
I get the sense that Joe Judge is still not thrilled with his gunners, hence the additions of Keion Crossen and Josh Jackson. That said, Matt Cole made a heck of a play last week downing a punt inside the 10. C.J. Board handled the kickoff and punt returns last week. Is that an indication that he has a leg up on the others? As I suspected, Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey indicated that Ryan Santoso will see the bulk (if not all) of the preseason action.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Head Coach Joe Judge on the second preseason game:I haven’t decided, yet (who will play). We’re going to see how we come out (on Friday) and I’m going to talk with Kevin (Stefanski) in terms of his plans. We’ve talked earlier in the week about what they’re intending to do and we’re going to see how that’s going to measure up and we’ll evaluate our team after (Friday’s practice). I don’t see playing as a punishment specific to anything in terms of what a performance would dictate to us. I just want to make sure we keep our overall players’ loads in consideration going into it because it’ll also be a quick turnaround going from Cleveland, getting back home, training up to Boston and going against New England for a couple of days before playing the preseason game, through which we’re going to truly treat as more of that regular season dress rehearsal.

THE FINAL WORD:
This was a good week for the Giants. My biggest disappointment is the apparent lack of immediate impact from the 2021 Draft Class:

  • 1st Round: WR Kadarius Toney
  • 2nd Round: LB Azeez Ojulari
  • 3rd Round: CB Aaron Robinson
  • 4th Round: LB Elerson Smith
  • 6th Round: RB Gary Brightwell
  • 6th Round: CB Rodarius Williams

It seems like it will be a long time before we see Toney, Robinson, and Smith receive any meaningful playing time. It also sucks that Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph are not getting in sync with Daniel Jones.

Aug 202021
 
Kaden Smith, New York Giants (August 20, 2021)

Kaden Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 20, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Friday was the second of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in Berea, Ohio. The Giants play the Browns on Sunday in the team’s second preseason game.

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), TE Cole Hikutini (unknown), OT Nate Solder (shoulder?), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Josh Jackson (unknown), and S Montre Hartage (unknown) did not practice on Friday. 

Nate’s with our trainers right now,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “He’s actually doing well, moving at a good progress. We just felt this would be a good week to kind of let him go ahead and continue with that. We expect to get him back soon. He’s had a really good camp for us. I’m really proud of the way he’s working. I’m proud of the leadership he’s giving to our team. He’s come back – obviously, we’ve talked earlier in camp about him getting back in the swing of things, like every other player. I don’t think it took him long. He jumped right back on that horse and kept on riding. As soon as we can get him back out there, we will.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee) was limited to 1-on-1 drills.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • It was a feisty practice with a lot of trash-talking and sometimes pushing and shoving.
  • Niko Lalos received reps at inside linebacker.
  • In 1-on-1 red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones was 12-of-20 against the defensive backs of the Browns. In these drills, WR David Sills had problems getting off of press coverage (Sills also dropped a couple of passes in practice). WR Alex Bachman also dropped a pass. WR Dante Pettis caught all three passes thrown to him.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, the New York defense largely shut down the first-string offense of the Browns.
  • S Jabrill Peppers “sacked” QB Baker Mayfield for the second day in a row.
  • DL Leonard Williams had a strong practice, flashing into the backfield on a few plays.
  • CB Rodarius Williams almost intercepted QB Case Keenum; he had perfect coverage but dropped the ball.
  • S Quincy Wilson did intercept QB Case Keenum, although LB Niko Lalos may have had a “sack” on the play.
  • Ted Larsen received some first-team reps at left guard.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Daniel Jones hit TE Rysen John for a touchdown.
  • QB Mike Glennon was intercepted in 7-on-7 drills.
  • QB Daniel Jones found WR Darius Slayton for a touchdown. 
  • WR Jarvis Henry beat CB James Bradberry for a red-zone touchdown.
  • In 11-on-11, full-team drills, QB Daniel Jones was 15-of-18, with WR Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram receiving most targets.
  • LB Azeez Ojulari “sacked” QB Baker Mayfield on 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line. He also drew an offensive holding penalty on the same series.
  • In the Giants’ turn in the red zone, QB Daniel Jones hit WR Darius Slayton for another touchdown. Jones then threw a touchdown passes to TE Evan Engram, WR Sterling Shepard, and WR Alex Bachman. Giants had four touchdowns in seven offensive snaps.
  • OLB Trent Harris sacked QB Baker Mayfield on 3rd-down in the 2-minute drill. Browns fail to convert on 4th down with CB James Bradberry in coverage.
  • Giants offensive line struggled in final 2-minute series with Matt Peart at left tackle, Ted Larsen at left guard, Nick Gates at center, Will Hernandez at right guard, and Chad Slade at right tackle. Slade gave up a sack and was called for holding. Larsen was flagged with a false start. Hernandez gave up a pressure and Peart gave up a sack. The offensive line also had more issues in 1-on-1 drills than they did on Thursday.
  • Linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Azeez Ojulari continued to flash on the pass rush. LB Devante Downs had an impressive series where he got pressure on the QB, made at tackle for a loss, and then broke up a pass (this was the pass Wilson intercepted).

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1428817615263174656

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday 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:

  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Saturday. The Giants play the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday at 1:00PM.

Aug 192021
 
Gary Brightwell, New York Giants (August 19, 2021)

Gary Brightwell – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 19, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
Thursday was the first of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in Berea, Ohio. The Giants play the Browns on Sunday in the team’s second preseason game.

We’re just getting here, getting started,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “Looking forward to a couple good days of work against the Browns. Our emphasis will remain on our installs, our systems, our fundamentals. Obviously, we have a new opponent, so it’s an opportunity to see different levels of talent, new players, different schemes. A good opportunity for our team to go ahead and change it up a little bit come out here and compete.

You’re going to see a mix of a lot of things. We’re going to work some team blitz periods, a different mix of team run and play-action periods, some team two-minute periods, work a seven-on-seven. You’ll see a mix of the offensive line and defensive lines in one-on-one scenarios, see some receivers and DB’s in one-on-one type of drill periods. You’ll see the tight ends, safeties, running backs going one-on-one in pass drills. You’ll see punt and punt return emphasis today in the kicking game. Tomorrow will be kick and kick return emphasis in the kicking game, but these are all things that you can really go ahead and work with the other team and make sure you’re on the same page. You talk about the tempo of the drill, the reps of the drill. It’s something that goes all the way up to as late as last night, making sure that we’re both on the same page in terms of the health of the team, who we have available in practice, to make sure we manage the reps for everybody involved, and that we get the most out of practice, but that we’re smart with our players.”

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), and S Montre Hartage (unknown) did not practice on Thursday. 

“(Golladay and Toney) are going to focus more on the rehab with the trainers,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’re going to keep ramping up those guys as the week goes. They’re both on different levels in terms of their individual bodies, but while we’re here we’ll use the facilities that the Browns are allowing us to use. Our trainers will be here with them, Saquon as well will be in that boat. He won’t do anything competitive against the Browns, so we’re just going to focus on these guys getting in better shape, focus on getting healthy and getting back on the field and 100 percent.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 1-on-1 drills, TE Evan Engram badly beat LB Jacob Phillips. TE David Njoku beat S Jabrill Peppers and then S Xavier McKinney despite tight coverage.
  • QB Daniel Jones hit TE Evan Engram for a 15-20 yard gain during 11-on-11s.
  • Shane Lemieux returned to the starting line-up at left guard during team drills. He alternated series with Kenny Wiggins at the position.
  • WR Jarvis Landry beat S Logan Ryan and CB James Bradberry on a deep out.
  • QB Daniel Jones was under pressure twice from his left side. LT Andrew Thomas gave up a pressure and there was an overload to that side on another play, almost resulting in an interception.
  • TE Cole Hikutini was receiving reps with the second-team offense, but hobbled off of the field with an injury.
  • CB Rodarius Williams broke up a pass.
  • QB Mike Glennon threw a long pass to FB Eli Penny on a wheel route.
  • QB Mike Glennon’s pass intended for WR David Sills was badly overthrown and intercepted.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw three straight completions to WR Darius Slayton.
  • S Jabrill Peppers would have had one sack and two other QB hits if contact was allowed.
  • In 1-on-1 drills, OC Nick Gates, RT Matt Peart, and LT Andrew Thomas performed well.
  • CB Darnay Holmes had trouble covering WR Jarvis Landry out of the slot.
  • Outside linebackers Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Azeez Ojulari all flashed on the pass rush. In a real game situation, Carter may have ended up with multiple sacks.
  • On a play that would have resulted in a sack by OLB Trent Harris in normal conditions (Harris pulled up), WR Rashard Higgins caught a touchdown on a desperate pass from QB Baker Mayfield in the 2-minute drill.
  • CB Greg Newsome undercut WR Darius Slayton on a pass from QB Daniel Jones to end practice during the 2-minute drill on 3rd down. Jones was “sacked” on first down.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1428453968867364865

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants and Browns will practice together again on Friday in Berea, Ohio.

Aug 172021
 
John Mara, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 17, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their 15th full-team summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

GIANTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES, EXCHANGE CORNERSBACKS WITH PACKERS…
In an effort to reach the current 85-man roster limit, the New York Giants terminated the contracts of running back Alfred Morris and safety Chris Milton. The team also placed cornerback Jarren Williams on Injured Reserve with a quad injury.

The Giants also traded cornerback Isaac Yiadom to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Josh Jackson.

The 6’1”, 190-pound Yiadom was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants traded a 7th-round pick to the Broncos for Yiadom in early September 2020. Yiadom eventually won the starting corner spot opposite of James Bradberry, playing in all 16 games with 10 starts (58 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the year with 46 tackles, 0.5 sacks, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

The 25-year old, 6’0”, 196-pound Jackson was drafted in the 2nd-round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Packers. In three seasons with the Packers, Jackson played in 42 regular-season games with 15 starts, including five in 2020. Last year, he was credited with 24 tackles and two pass defenses.

The Giants signed Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020 and the 53-man roster in November 2020. Morris ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with no starts, carrying the ball 55 times for 238 yards (4.3 yards per rush). The 5’10”, 222-pound Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019).

The Giants signed Milton in March 2021 after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans in February. The 5’11”, 190-pound Milton was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Colts before being signed by the Titans after he was cut. In all, Milton has played in 55 regular-season games, with one start, accruing 35 tackles, two pass defenses, and recovering one fumble.

The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Dante Pettis (unknown), WR Austin Mack (hamstring), and S Montre Hartage (unknown) did not practice on Tuesday. 

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), OLB Lorenzo Carter (calf), and OLB Elerson Smith (hamstring) were limited.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants held a light practice in shorts and upper pads.
  • RB Saquon Barkley wore a red, non-contact jersey during 7-on-7 drills.
  • QB Daniel Jones was very sharp in practice, throwing multiple touchdown passes to a variety of receivers.
  • WR David Sills caught three touchdown passes from QB Daniel Jones, including one time beating CB James Bradberry.
  • WR Darius Slayton made a nice catch in the corner of the end zone against CB Adoree’ Jackson on a well-thrown pass by QB Daniel Jones. Jones connected with Slayton on two more touchdowns.
  • In team drills, WR Sterling Shepard made a twisting, leaping touchdown catch on a pass from QB Daniel Jones.
  • WRs Alex Bachman and Matt Cole also caught touchdowns.
  • LB Tae Crowder intercepted a deflected pass from QB Daniel Jones.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

NEW YORK GIANTS GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The transcript of Dave Gettleman’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

    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:

    NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACHES ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
    A video clip compilation of the media sessions with the following New York Giants assistant coaches on Thursday is available at Giants.com:

    • Quarterbacks Coach Jerry Schuplinski
    • Running Backs Coach Burton Burns
    • Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
    • Offensive Line Coach Rob Sale
    • Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
    • Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer
    • Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson

    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:

    WHAT’S UP NEXT…
    With the New York Giants traveling to Cleveland, there is no media access to the team on Wednesday. The Giants will hold joint practices with the Browns on Thursday and Friday.

    Aug 172021
     
    Sandro Platzgummer, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

    Sandro Platzgummer – © USA TODAY Sports

    QUICK RECAP

    For the first time since August of 2019, the Giants played a preseason game to remind everybody just how ugly football is when the lower-level players get involved. If anyone doesn’t understand the gap between NFL players that make a 53-man roster and those that just miss out, tell them to watch preseason Week 1. Games this time of year are not very entertaining, nor do they need to be watched very closely by the public. Nothing about them means very much and the reactions to them are often misguided and, to be honest, just flat out asinine. With that said, there are things to look for and note for future reference and that is exactly what this review will be mostly about.

    The Giants sat the majority of their starters on both sides of the ball. The offensive line, however, marched out their top group to start the game off protecting backup quarterback Mike Glennon and paving paths for backup running back (and potential week 1 starter) Devontae Booker. They were outclassed to start off the game as the offense went three-and-out, the third play being a sack allowed by second-year tackle Matt Peart.

    The Jets marched out their shiny new toy, quarterback Zack Wilson. He, along with a productive running game, marched down the field with some aid from missed tackles by the Giants’ defense. Wilson looked sharp and confident with their timed-based throws against the vanilla Giants defense that didn’t show much complexity. Cornerback Isaac Yiadom came up with a 3rd-and-3 stop on a pass attempt to the newly-signed Corey Davis. The Jets settled for a 30-yard field goal by rookie kicker Chris Naggar. That 3-0 lead would stick until the last 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter.

    The Giants’ offense did wake up a bit on the next two drives in the first half, as they crossed midfield on both possessions. Andrew Thomas and Will Hernandez made key blocks on big Corey Clement rushing attempts that gained solid yards multiple times. Clement, however, fumbled on a 1st-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line. It was a major blow that, had this been a regular season game, would have been a major black-eye for the offense.

    On the positive side, the Giants’ defense did perform consistently following the first drive. A 4th-and-1 stop by Danny Shelton, a 3rd-and-1 stop by Reggie Ragland, and another 3rd-and-1 stop by Austin Johnson were high points early on. If the Giants are going to be a credible contender in the still-weak NFC East, it will ride on the back of the defense. And with the way injuries mount up in the NFL these days, the defense will at least somewhat ride on the back of the ability of second/third stringers filling in when their respective numbers are called. Shelton and Ragland were very good.

    Speaking of backups, the second-, third-, and fourth-stringers were on tap from the midway point of the second quarter-on. Roster hopefuls were hoping to get their opportunities on both sides of the ball. David Sills came down with a 37-yard catch inside the 2-minute warning, sparking some hope that the Giants would get rid of the zero on the scoreboard. The following three plays were incomplete pass, sack, incomplete pass. The second half yielded similar results early on.

    The Giants offense went three-and-out on their first two possessions of the second half while the Jets added their first touchdown via a four-yard run by La’Mical Perine. That was three plays after a 3rd-and-18 conversion in which second-year receiver Denzel Mims broke three tackles on his way to the first down that put them inside the 10-yard line. It was an ugly display of tackling, a theme that this defensive staff must be sure to end before Week 1.

    The fourth quarter began with the Giants starting an offensive possession near midfield. Thanks to a pass interference by former Big Blue corner Corey Ballentine, they were 1st-and-10 in Jets territory. Thorson missed an open Damion Willis downfield that could have been an easy score before two more incomplete passes that weren’t even close.

    The Giants’ defense held on and even created a scoring opportunity themselves, as rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams picked up a fumble and returned it 29 yards to the NYJ 17-yard line. Three plays later, Thorson hit a wide-open Willis this time, beating Ballentine, on a broken down play. The sore was 10-7, Jets up, with 7 minutes remaining.

    The Jets bled the clock down a to under 2 minutes, but they pinned Thorson and the Giants offense down inside the 10-yard line for the second time of the half. On the first play, Thorson was rocked by a hard hit in the end zone, resulting in a safety that put the Jets up 12-7. The Jets then took a knee when they got the ball back and the game was over.

    Giants lose, 12-7.

    QUARTERBACK

    -It is crystal clear that Mike Glennon is going to be the backup to Daniel Jones this year. He played 38% of the snaps, while Thorson picked up the remaining. Glennon is an extremely lethargic mover, as there may not be a signal caller in the league with feet as heavy as him. That always makes me nervous when it comes to a backup quarterback. A guy who can’t move without a superior arm doesn’t inspire confidence should the team ever have to turn to him.

    -Thorson was really poor. We can’t make a huge deal about a third-string quarterback, but there is no denying his poor performance. He went 5/16 for 72 yards. The touchdown to Willis on a broken down play makes the stat line look much better than it really is. He did make a great throw to David Sills in the first half, though. He was inaccurate on all levels and the timing throws were too late. Late in the game, Thorson was rocked on a sack and needed to be helped off the field.

    RUNNING BACK

    -Giants fans need to prepare for Saquon Barkley being on the sideline for the first couple weeks potentially. Even if he is back for live action, he will probably have a pitch count he needs to stay under. It will likely come down to newly-signed veterans Devontae Booker and Corey Clement to pick up the slack early on. They combined for 44 yards on 8 carries. Clement was more impressive, as he is known for a no-nonsense style between the tackles. That is the kind of back who will work best to complement a fully-healthy Barkley down the road. The issue with him? It popped up in the 2nd quarter when he fumbled inside the NYJ 5-yard line. The one black eye on his game centers around that, as he has fumbled 6 times in under 100 carries since the start of 2018.

    -Sandro Platzgummer rattled off the biggest play of the night for the NYG offense, a 48-yard run up the sideline from the NYG 1-yard line.

    -The best blocker of the bunch appears to be Booker and I would include Barkley in that discussion based on what we have seen the past two years. Booker is stout but more importantly, his footwork and sustainability look natural and easy. That is going to be a plus-factor this year.

    WIDE RECEIVER

    -David Sills has been having a strong camp and it appears the coaching staff wanted to give him as many snaps as possible to make his case for the final WR spot on the roster. He led the group in snaps, catches (3), and yards (49). Those 49 yards were more than the rest of the pass catchers combined. Sills has excellent ball skills, he always has. The issue with him is a lack of top-gear speed. His release looked really good, however. If he wants any shot at making the roster, he needs to prove he can get open on all levels of the route tree. If he can, he can make it happen.

    -C.J. Board got the ball a lot. He had a carry on a jet sweep that resulted in a 12-yard gain and 4 returns (2 punt / 2 kick). He dropped a pass, however. Board’s route to making this team will revolve around special teams but if the receiving skill set isn’t there, he will have a hard time fighting off some of the other options.

    -Damion Willis is an interesting name. He started a couple games in 2019 with CIN and they were excited about him. He has good size (6’3/209) and a wide catch radius with a bendy frame. He came down with a touchdown and could have had another one if Thorson had thrown the ball inbounds.

    -Dante Pettis, another roster-bubble name, had three targets but didn’t come away with any catches. He still looks like the best combination of skills + talent among these back-end guys.

    TIGHT END

    -Kaden Smith got the start with Kyle Rudolph out. More of the same from him with quality blocking in the trenches and limited separation as a route runner. He will be the unquestioned number 2 guy here until Kyle Rudolph is ready.

    -Cole Hikutini had a solid game as a run blocker. He sustained an injury in the 3rd quarter to his hip, so we didn’t get to see a lot of him. They are already thin at the position, as Levine Toilolo is out for the year with an Achilles injury.

    -Rysen John added 3 catches. He is someone worth keeping an eye on from a Practice Squad-perspective. He is obviously lacking in traditional body-type and overall power when it comes to the traditional Y-Tight End the Giants use, but there is something about the way he goes after the ball with loose and athletic limbs that could be useable down the road if NYG needs more options in the passing game. He has twitch that the other guys at this spot don’t.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    -The starting offensive line (minus guard Shane Lemieux) was on the field for three drives. Andrew Thomas and Will Hernandez both played well in the limited time. If those two take a big step up, this entire offense is going to benefit in a big way. Hernandez looks slimmer and more comfortable moving as a lateral run blocker. He wasn’t tested as much in pass protection from an adjustment perspective, the other glaring hole we have seen over the past three years. Thomas did a nice job against NYJ ‘s newest pass rusher Carl Lawson, who has been tearing it up at camp.

    -Matt Peart, the third component to this offensive line that is needed for this offense to operate smoothly, didn’t play well. Nothing about this needs to be analyzed too deeply yet, as this was the first real live action for him and others in a long time. He allowed a sack and a pressure in 18 snaps.

    -Kenny Wiggins got the start at left guard and came back in the game following the injury to third-stringer Kyle Murphy. He had a poor game. He allowed 2 pressures, 1 TFL, and 1 sack as he played a team-high 41 offensive snaps.

    -The backup group as a whole had an up and down night, very inconsistent. They did sustain pass protection for above-average time on multiple occasions, but they were leaky at times and didn’t get a push in the running game. Center Brett Heggie look overmatched athletically and Chad Slade continues to play with poor balance. The only one who I would have had a positive grade on would have been Jake Burton. I liked his hand violence and footwork.

    DEFENSIVE LINE

    -Nose tackle Danny Shelton is going to be a factor here. He had several dominant snaps where he took on multiple blockers and still impacted the play. He had a TFL on a 4th-and-1 and factored on another 3rd-down stop. Depth along the defensive line is key, and Shelton will be a big part of that. B.J. Hill and Austin Johnson were solid as well.

    -Look out for Willie Henry as a potential roster surprise. He is really active and quick in pursuit and may have played with the most violence of all the linemen. He finished with 4 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pressure while playing just over a third of the snaps.

    -Rookie Raymond Johnson III is another guy I think will be a factor in 2021. Maybe not right away but when injuries pop up, his versatility and explosive first step are traits that transition well in the NFL. He finished with 2 pressures.

    LINEBACKER

    -Watch out for Carter Coughlin. As stated above, I am very careful to not overreact in either direction early in preseason. That said, Coughlin had a few eye-opening moments in 2020 and he has picked right up where he left off. He was the “defensive player of the game” in my eyes, finishing with 5 tackles and a sack. The college-edge defender is the ultra-hybrid front-seven Swiss army knife who look both comfortable and capable in multiple roles.

    -Reggie Ragland played under half the snaps and there is some tightness in his hips as a pass defender, but I liked what he brought to the table. He had a big hit that jarred a ball loose on a 3rd-and-1 conversion attempt. He will be the top ILB backup, something I think we should be happy about because it is a substantial upgrade over what NYG has had in that role lately.

    -Tae Crowder missed 2 tackles and Devante Downs had 1. They both pressured the quarterback once each. That spot next to Blake Martinez is going to be very interesting to watch in the coming weeks.

    -I liked what I saw out of the edge defenders. Lorenzo Carter didn’t play, but 2nd round rookie Azeez Ojulari did, and he flashed. His pass rush repertoire lacked variety, but the juice out of his stance is noteworthy. That is going to be a factor this year. His run stuff where he got off the big/bad/overrated (and overrated) Mekhi Becton proved this guy is going to be more than a pass rusher as much as that can be proven Week 1 of preseason.

    -Niko Lalos and Ifeadi Odenigbo had standout efforts. Lalos was disruptive and active, a true hustler. Odenigbo is a hidden gem, I think. Not a starter, but the ever-important rotational pass rusher who makes his name know later in the year. His footwork and twitch looked very good. Remember, he had 7.5 sacks in 2019.

    CORNERBACK

    -With James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson out, it was a good opportunity to get looks at Isaac Yiadom and rookie Rodarius Williams. Yiadom showed good coverage on Corey Davis. We know what we have in him, a solid but limited veteran who can get the job done for the most part. If he is the team’s number three or four corner, they’re in a good spot. Williams got beat multiple times early on, giving up two 3rd down conversions on the first 2 drives. He played nickel, something I don’t see being an ideal fit for him, but it is possible they just wanted to see him in live action. He bounced back well after a rough start. I liked what I saw out of him.

    -Madre Harper led the defense in snaps. He missed 3 tackles on the night and appears to be a few steps behind mentally. I didn’t see it with him last year and still don’t. He was flagged for a pass interference and was roasted in coverage throughout the second half.

    SAFETY

    -The top three safeties didn’t play (Ryan, McKinney, Peppers). Julian Love and Quincy Wilson are both hybrid defensive backs who saw time in this one. The latter finished with 7 tackles and a couple big hits.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    -K Ryan Santoso: 1/1 XP.

    -P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 43.3 avg / 41.0 net

    3 STUDS

    -OG Will Hernandez, WR David Sills, LB Carter Coughlin

    3 DUDS

    -QB Clayton Thorson, OG Kenny Wiggins, DB Madre Harper

    3 THOUGHTS ON NYJ

    1) I liked what I saw out of Zach Wilson under center. Look, anything you watch in Week 2 preseason needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but there are still things that can show you the arrow is pointing up. Wilson showed a really nice release, he was quick to get the ball out, and he was accurate. That is a good place to start.

    2) The Jets have a similar edge-rusher anxiety to NYG. The best player on either team, at that position, may be a 2020 undrafted free agent. Bryce Huff flashed last year in limited time and there have been whispers growing louder and louder from people I respect from that organization that this kid is going to break out. He looked excellent at multiple levels. He finished with 3 tackles / 2 sacks / 1 pressure.

    3) I really do like the direction NYJ is heading in. It is mostly about the leadership and support staff they have in place, both on the coaching staff and in the front office. They have extra picks, they’re emphasizing the right things when it comes to personnel, and they have plenty of available money. They are gonna have a solid 4-5 year window coming up. I think they finish at or near .500 this season.

    3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

    1) I’ve hinted at this a few times, but wanted to get it out here as well. If there is ONE game that fans need to remain seated with their mouth shut afterward, it is Week 1 of preseason. That is both for positive and negative reviews. The game plans are vanilla, the players are rusty, and the goals this coaching staff have within these games is too deep for many to understand. Don’t get worked up about anything you saw in this one.

    2) Should Daniel Jones be playing? My opinion is yes. Year 3 is THE year for a young quarterback. Sure, the fear of injury is alive and well in preseason but it is important he continues to gain experience with the scheme and timing in live action. I think he should be playing at least 4 drives in each of the next 2 games.

    3) I have a really good feeling about the NYG defense. Not because of what I saw in this game, but because of what I saw last year and who was added to the unit. Also add in continuity and the fact I think they will be much deeper than a year ago, I think we are finally going to see a top 7-8 defense in the league.

    Aug 162021
     
    Keion Crossen, Houston Texans (January 12, 2020)

    Keion Crossen – © USA TODAY Sports

    The New York Giants have acquired cornerback Keion Crossen from the Houston Texans in exchange for a 6th-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    The 25-year old, 5’10”, 185-pound Crossen was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He was traded to the Texans in August 2019. In three NFL seasons, Crossen has played in 43 regular-season games with four starts in 2020 for the Texans. That year, he was credited with 42 tackles and five pass defenses. Crossen has also been credited with 28 special teams tackles in the regular and post-season.

    Quarterback Clayton Thorson suffered a concussion against the New York Jets late in the game on Saturday evening. The Giants waived/injured him today and signed quarterback Brian Lewerke.

    The 24-year old, 6’3”, 216-pound Lewerke was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him before the 2020 season started in early September.

    The Giants signed Thorson to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. The 6’4”, 222-pound Thorson was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles cut him in August 2019 and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys cut him in early September 2020.

    The Giants also placed on offensive guard Kyle Murphy (ankle), linebacker T.J. Brunson (torn ACL in left knee), and safety Joshua Kalu (torn pectoral) on Injured Reserve. All three were hurt during Saturday’s game against the New York Jets.

    The Giants signed Murphy as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He was signed to the Practice Squad in early September and then signed to the 53-man roster in mid November. Murphy did not play in a regular-season game in 2020.

    The Giants selected Brunson in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brunson spent most of the season on the inactive list, but he did play in five games, almost exclusively on special teams. He was credited with three tackles.

    The 6’0”, 203-pound Kalu was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2018 NFL Draft. In his three seasons with Tennessee, Kalu played in 28 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 24 tackles, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. He also blocked a field goal. The Giants signed Kalu as an unrestricted free agent from the Titans in March 2021 after the Titans chose not to tender him as a restricted free agent. 

    Aug 152021
     
    Rodarius Williams, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

    Rodarius Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

    INJURY UPDATE – T.J. BRUNSON TEARS ACL, JOSH KALU TEARS PEC…
    There was bad news on the injury front coming out of Saturday night’s game against the New York Jets. Inside linebacker tore the ACL in his left knee. His season is unofficially over. Safety Josh Kalu also tore his pectoral muscle. No word yet on if his season is also over.

    QB Clayton Thorson also continues to be evaluated for an undisclosed injury. “We’re going to wait to see what the doctors say about him.,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He spent time with the medical team today. We’re going to find out his final status. Obviously, we’ll make more of a decision on that. Hopefully it all comes out for the best, he’s been working hard for us. If there’s an injury at quarterback, we’ll look to bring in an additional player to help us go ahead and function for the remainder of training camp or however long someone’s out.”

    AUGUST 15, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
    New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Sunday to discuss his team’s 7-12 loss to the New York Jets:

    Q: Just looking back now and taking a look at what that first group did, the first 18-20 snaps. Obviously, you didn’t have a lot of your marquee quarterbacks, receivers and running backs out there, but just the work of the offensive line in their 18 snaps, what did you see from them?

    A: There’s definitely some positives out there to build on. First time action is always enough to get a clean up and focus on the meetings today and going through, starting with fundamentals, going through the assignments, communication to make sure we’re all on the same page. There were enough positives right there to really get a look in terms of what we can do to keep helping these guys and put them in the right position, and maybe some things you want to stay away from in the future in terms of play calling or snaps. But this is the time of year you really find out about that. In practice, you find out about some things. When you see a foreign opponent, you find out a little bit more about it right there. In terms of how they worked, how they responded on the sideline, the adjustments they made, that was encouraging. We’ve got to keep making progress and moving forward.

    Q: Obviously, you have some injuries on the offensive line and you probably would bring some guys in basically to have a look. On the offensive line, is it just a matter of communication and a matter of getting used to each other. Realistically, how quickly can new guys coming in get up to speed to do what you need them to do in your offense?

    A: First part of the question I’d say is we’re talking to personnel today and tomorrow on the entire roster. Obviously, there’s some moves we have to make with league rules. We’re looking at the week going into Cleveland, but then also just building our own depth on all parts of the roster. In terms of bringing some players in, we’re looking at guys at all positions around the league. There’s going to be a lot of guys that are available, so it’s our job to do our due diligence to make sure we know who’s out there and available in the league. On the offensive line, you’ve got to have a lot of bodies to operate, so in terms of bringing somebody in, there’s a good chance that we’re going to look to bring somebody in before going to Cleveland. In terms of how fast somebody can get caught up, I’d say that it’s really independent to the individual and their experience level, but I would say as coaches it’s our job to get them caught up with what we’re going to ask them to do. You don’t start with the entire playbook, you start with the install they have to operate with, harp on the technique and the calls they’re going to have at the line of scrimmage to make sure they can go out there and operate with your guys.

    Q: Two things, how did (Quarterback) Clayton Thorson come out? And if he’s banged up, do you need another quarterback just to operate a practice?

    A: We’re going to wait to see what the doctors say about him. He spent time with the medical team today. We’re going to find out his final status. Obviously, we’ll make more of a decision on that. Hopefully it all comes out for the best, he’s been working hard for us. If there’s an injury at quarterback, we’ll look to bring in an additional player to help us go ahead and function for the remainder of training camp or however long someone’s out.

    Q: Strange note on the game snaps, it seems that (Linebacker) Cam Brown didn’t play any defensive snaps. Was there a reason he didn’t get in defensively? Is he down the depth chart or is something holding him back?

    A: No, actually it had nothing to do with that at all. The focus for him was going to be play special teams last night. He got in, did a good job for us, I saw what I needed to see. In terms of defense, we had some other guys we wanted to evaluate who have been doing a good job for us in practice. Him not playing last night really doesn’t reflect specifically anything on his status defensively. I really wouldn’t read too much into that at all, to be honest with you, but he did a good job for us on teams last night.

    Q: Just wanted to check on (Linebacker) Blake Martinez because there was a group of inured players that we didn’t see and I didn’t realize he was injured. Did he get injured during the week?

    A: I glanced over it last night and someone said something to me. He actually had a non-football injury, so he’s actually back in the building with us today. It was one of those things that sprung up. We just wanted to get him away from our players and just make sure everything is good before having him in the building. It had nothing to do with football and, to be honest with you, if it was a regular season game, he would’ve been able to go ahead and tough on through it. We just wanted to make sure he had time to rest and put him away.

    Q: And (Cornerback) Rodarius Williams. Obviously, you want a guy to get a ton of reps like that. How did you evaluate how he performed? And you played him inside – I don’t know that you’d done that in camp at all. How much of a challenge do you think that is to throw him in that situation?

    A: To start with the question on him playing inside, there was a function of that that was due to where we were at in the game with who we wanted to play and keep on the field and really evaluate. A lot of these younger guys you want to see them through some extended play and see how they can handle the volume of the game and some of the things that come up. To be honest with you, we’re always looking to build up a player’s versatility. He’s done a little bit of that in practice for us through spring, a little bit through training camp, but it was an opportunity to put him in there and see how he functioned. So, he showed some things he did well and some things we’ve got to keep on building with him. In terms of just the overall volume, he’s a young player. He’s done a good job for us in practice making plays. We’ve got to keep bringing him along. I think for any guy in the first game, I don’t care if it’s regular season or preseason, there’s always an adjustment. It’s not unique or different for him as well, so there’s definitely some things we will show him that he did well and other things that we’re going to correct, whether it’s communication-wise, technique-wise, going forward. I was pleased he was able to go out there and play a lot of football last night. That was a lot of experience in a game that will help him going forward.

    Q: Last night you mentioned (Wide Receiver) Matt Cole and (Wide Receiver) C.J. Board as standouts for their special teams work. At that position, how important is it for guys to be able to contribute on special teams? On the flip side, I know (Wide Receiver) David Sills (V) didn’t get any special teams time, so is that something that could be held against him when you have to make decisions?

    A: No, and Sills contributes on special teams for us, so again, everyone’s plan last night in the game was very unique and different to them. Some of it’s for the function and how to operate offensively and defensively throughout the game and the majority of it was really to see certain players and evaluate them for extended periods of play. In terms of Sills, we made a decision last night just to play him on offense. In terms of C.J., he was going to carry a heavier load in the kicking game, so the decision was to play him in the first half on offense and have him alive for the entire game on special teams. That’s where it was at in terms of C.J. and Sills and how that goes. I’d say for any player, you’ve got to do more than one thing. It’s something our players understand. If you can only do one thing, you better do it at an absolutely elite level, but everyone’s got to contribute to the team in multiple ways. You only take 46 guys to a game, 47 now, but you only take a certain amount of guys to the game, so you’ve got to be able to play multiple roles. Whether you’re an offensive player or a defensive player, the kicking game’s a part of your job description and everyone has a role whether that’s playing on field goal protection if you’re a defensive lineman at times. Whether that’s part of the hands team if you’re a skill player who’s not necessarily a coverage specialist. Everyone has to have a role and both those guys have carved out nice ones. They’ve competed throughout training camp at a high level for us. C.J. and Matt last night went out there and their strength is their speed and that flashed on tape right there for us when we watched the game today. They’re both guys that are quiet. They just do their job every day and come to work and are fun to be with.

    ­­Q: Do you intend to take injured players with you to Cleveland and specifically (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney), do you think he will be on that trip and able to participate in those practices?

    A: Yeah, right now we are planning to take injured players with us. The purpose being going out there and letting them do some of their rehab and recovery while we’re out there either at Cleveland’s facilities or on the field while we’re practicing, so that will be the plan right now. If something changes or someone has a unique situation that could include a person, two people, whatever may come up right now that we don’t have listed as an issue. But as we go through medical meetings today and tomorrow, that’s something we’ll have to address.

    Q: What’s the next step for (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) in the progression here?

    A: We’re going to sit down with the doctors later today and go through that. He responded well last week to the volume and the load. I thought the plan of obviously putting him through a couple of days, backing him off, ramping him back up, so obviously they have a really good feel for his body working with him throughout these last few months through the rehab process. At this point, the focus is really to kind of get him moving more and more within the football movements. In terms of what that’s going to mean for him this week in Cleveland, we’ll have to wait and see. I wouldn’t anticipate him being in any kind of live drills this week. As of this point, that would be the plan, but we’ll see where it goes as we go on down further and further when his body is ready for all the football.

    Q: What have you seen from (Linebacker) Reggie Ragland? He obviously wasn’t active for the first week of training camp, but he seemed to be pretty active last night in making some plays and getting off blocks.

    A: Reggie’s a real smart, instinctive player. He’s a thick bodied and physical player, which is big to play in that inside linebacker role. He definitely makes plays with awareness, a good communicator. He’s got a lot of fire to him and Reggie’s fun to have around. He’s a real straight-shooter and he’ll tell you what’s on his mind, which is good to have around the building. He’s not afraid to have a tough conversation with you, so I’m really glad he’s a part of our team right now.

    Q: We haven’t had cuts like this – it’s been 90 to 53 the last couple of years – will you just cut from the bottom of the roster? Washington cut some veteran guys to maybe to let them see if they can catch on somewhere else. How will you approach the cuts?

    A: We’re looking to keep the best 53 players when we make our final roster decisions. We’ll talk through the roster over the next couple of days before we have to make our official moves. We’ll keep all of that in mind. In terms of releasing vets for any specific reason, that’s not something that’s been a part of our conversations at any point. Everyone we have in our program we have a plan to work with and develop and have a role on this team. We’ll just have to talk through what’s best for the team going forward.

    Q: One of the strangest reactions on the bench last night was seeing (Running Back) Sandro (Platzgummer) run 50 yards, everybody exploded. What happened with that?

    A: You know what, everyone likes Sandro. Best way I can put it. Everyone likes him. He works hard. Everyone was glad to see his opportunity, and everyone was happy for him when he got in and made the most of it. I think you can boil it down right there. He’s a guy that the players really respect and like. These guys in the program he’s in, as far as some of the overseas players, it’s always a different path for these guys, a different background. I think these guys understand and recognize he’s from Austria, he’s far away from home. There’s some unique things about Sandro. He’s really finishing up and finalizing being a doctor over in Europe, so there’s a lot of things to him. He works hard. He doesn’t say boo. He doesn’t ever complain. He just comes in and does his job and the team respects the way he works. When anybody has success like that, I think everyone shares and enjoys it.

    Q: Did you say Kadarius is coming with you guys to Cleveland to rehab out there?

    A: Yes, all plans are to have him out there. There’s no conversations at this point of anything different. That will be the same for all of our players. The only thing is if maybe some of these injuries coming out of the game that may be something different for those players. In terms of everything prior to this game, the plan is to have all those players with us out in Cleveland.

    THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
    Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum: