Nov 302021
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DANIEL JONES MAY MISS SUNDAY’S GAME…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones may miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins with a neck injury that he suffered while running the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles. Indeed, the unofficial word is that Jones is “week to week,” suggesting he could miss more than one game. Jones’ availability will largely be determined how he feels this week and if he can practice. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday.

If Jones cannot play, back-up quarterback Mike Glennon will start. Quarterback Brian Lewerke is also on the team’s Practice Squad.

As insurance, although not yet officially announced by the team, the Giants have signed quarterback Jake Fromm to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills. The 23-year old, 6’2”, 215-pound Fromm was originally drafted by the Bills in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Fromm has only played in preseason games at the NFL level.

DARNAY HOLMES TO IR; LOGAN RYAN ACTIVATED…
The New York Giants have officially placed cornerback Darnay Holmes on Injured Reserve with a rib injury that he suffered on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Holmes was injured on the play where he intercepted quarterback Jalen Hurts.

The team also activated defensive back Logan Ryan from the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Ryan had missed the past two regular season games.

Nov 302021
 
Tae Crowder, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Tae Crowder – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

The 5-5 PHI Eagles, winners of 3 of their past 4, traveled up the turnpike to take on a 3-7 Giants team that hadn’t won since November 7. The division foes split their matchups against one another in 2020, both have a very unsure quarterback situation, and both can’t seem to get over the hump into credible NFC playoff contention. PHI and NYG are both removed from the basement tier of the NFL, but they also both have had a hard time putting together consistent performances on either sides of the ball. PHI entered the game on the NFC playoff bubble, while NYG was on a downward slope on a short week after getting dismantled by Tampa Bay the previous Monday night.

Without receivers Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard in addition to tight end Kyle Rudolph, the NYG offense yet again came out less than full strength. It began with a 3-and-out, but PHI responded with the same. NYG’s second drive with new play caller Freddie Kitchens (who took over after the Jason Garrett firing) resulted in 3 points. In just two short drives, one could easily notice a key difference in the Giants’ offense. They were using more pre-snap motion, a common and well-known shortcoming in the Garrett-era. Graham Gano ended the drive with a 35-yard field goal.

PHI got into NYG territory on their next drive. On the first play in the red zone, a 3rd-and-5 from the NYG 20, Jalen Hurts threw an interception over the middle to Darnay Holmes. 11 games into the 2021 season and NYG has forced at least one turnover in all of them. It was Holmes’ second interception of his young career. NYG was not able to convert the turnover into points, as Gano missed a 51-yard field goal attempt. Hurts followed that with 2 more incomplete passes, leading to another PHI 3-and-out.

Saquon Barkley opened the next NYG drive with a 32-yard run. The passing game gained 23 yards combined on the following 2 plays and NYG’s momentum was in full swing. After a Devontae Booker 6-yard run, NYG was 1st-and-10 from the PHI 26. But the ugliness of this offense reared its head yet again. A 1-yard loss on a Barkley run, a holding penalty on Andrew Thomas, a 3-yard loss on a Barkley run, and an incomplete pass to Evan Engram brought out the NYG punt unit. Another scoring opportunity down the drain.

PHI started with the ball on their own 7-yard line. They used 14 plays, just one of which was a 3rd down, to reach the NYG 1 yard line. With :08 left in the half, Hurts threw his second red-zone interception of the half into the hands of linebacker Tae Crowder. That, along with 2 holding penalties by center Nate Herbig (in for the injured Jason Kelce) put NYG on the other side of end-of-half debacles for a change. PHI went into the half scoreless much thanks to their own doing.

The PHI running game began the second half with 35 yards on 3 carries. From there, Hurts threw two poor incomplete passes with PHI just needing 2 yards for a first down. They turned it over on downs, giving NYG their first possession of the second half just 9 yards away from midfield. Jones looked crisp and sure on the drive and for the first time, NYG got inside the PHI 10-yard line. The last-ranked red zone offense in the league has been, in my opinion, the biggest issue with this offense. More than the leaky offensive line, more than the banged-up skill positions, more than the up-and-down quarterback performances. Playoff teams put points on the board when they get inside the 20. Super Bowl contenders score touchdowns the majority of their red-zone trips. NYG hasn’t been doing either at an even above average rate since 2014. That was Odell Beckham’s rookie year (arguably his best season of his career).

Thanks to a 3rd-down pass interference penalty on PHI corner Steven Nelson, NYG had a fresh set of downs from the PHI 1. 1st down play-action has been a huge benefit for this offense and that is where they turned to here. Tight end Chris Myarick, who was cut by Miami in August and signed to the NYG practice squad in September, caught a pass in the end zone after nearly dropping it to the turf. The ball missed the ground by mere inches but nonetheless, NYG had the 10-0 lead.

On the second play of the next PHI drive, Hurts tried to throw the ball downfield to Jalen Reagor. Budding star safety Xavier McKinney broke on the ball, clearly had the best track to it from the beginning, and intercepted his 5th pass of the season. He is tied for third in the NFL and for the most by a safety in that department. The PHI offense looked helpless. NYG could not capitalize, however, as their initial offensive play after the turnover was a whopping 13-yard loss on a reverse rushing attempt by Darius Slayton.

With Hurts unable to get anything going with his arm, PHI almost exclusively went with the running game. As the contest entered the 4th quarter, PHI gained all 66 yards of their drive on the ground. Hurts threw the ball once, the opening play of the drive which fell incomplete. Boston Scott ran it in for a 1-yard touchdown. Scott now has 11 career touchdowns, 7 of which have come against NYG.

The lead was just 3 points. NYG went 3-and-out and PHI had the ball back. If it wasn’t known already, this one was going to come down to NYG’s defensive performance. They had to play all 4 quarters here, not just a half. Their lone sack of the day came at the right time on a 3rd-and-4 from midfield. PHI opted to punt, giving NYG the ball back at their own 9-yard line with just over 10 minutes left.

NYG’s best drive of the game ensued. 12 plays, 7:22 of game clock, and 3 points via a 39-yard field goal by Gano was the end result. Jones completed all 6 of his initial passes on this drive, using 4 different receivers and showing precise accuracy. These were key moments, some of these throws were into tight windows, and it was when the plays counted most. Jones did throw an incomplete on the final 3rd-and-7 prior to the field goal.

PHI got the ball back twice in the closing three minutes. That first drive ended in a Scott fumble, caused by Dexter Lawrence and recovered by Julian Love. The final drive did bring them within striking distance of a game-winning touchdown. Two plays resulted in drops by 2020 first rounder Jalen Reagor, the second one being on 4th-and-10 which led to an NYG kneel down the play after.

NYG wins 13-7.

QUARTERBACK

Daniel Jones: 19/30 – 202 yards / 1 TD – 0 INT / 94.0 RAT

Jones also added 30 yards on 9 rushing attempts. Make no mistake about it, this was another horrid offensive day for the Giants when taking a step back and looking at the big picture. 264 yards of offense, 4.6 yards per play are bottom of the barrel. There were a few things that went wrong, but I think Jones was one of the main reasons this team won. Was it a standout performance? No. But he went 11/16 in the 2nd half and a near-essential 6/7 on the final drive that resulted in points to put NYG up by more than a field goal. He made a few tough throws and stood in the pocket strong, showing awareness and toughness with quality footwork.

RUNNING BACK

Saquon Barkley: 13 att – 40 yards / 4 rec – 13 yards

32 of Barkley’s 40 rushing yards came on one play. That one play is similar to why bad golfers always keep going back for another round. That one play, that one drive off the tee, somehow makes it easy to forget that pretty much every other play (or swing) was a disaster. I stand strong on the observation that his running style has changed, he has more stiffness in his lower half than I’ve ever seen since 2018, and there is too much mental hesitation that causes a lack of vision. That said, he was contacted behind the line of scrimmage on 6 of his 13 carries, 3 of which were untouched by a blocker. You can’t succeed in that environment. We still don’t know what #26 is.

WIDE RECEIVER

-No Shepard, no Toney yet again. Shepard has missed six games this year; Toney has missed two (and two of Toney’s other nine games included less than six  snaps in each). Combined, they have played under half of the team’s offensive snaps.

-Kenny Golladay led the team with 7 targets. He ended the day with 50 yards on 3 catches, all of which resulted in a 1st down. The team took 2 shots into the zone at him. Both were low-success rate, fade-type passes. I would love for NYG to get more creative with him in the red zone. Simply lofting the ball in the air and hoping he can end up on the right end of a 50/50 ball rarely works. Inside the 5, it is actually one of the lowest-success rate plays, historically speaking.

-John Ross and Darius Slayton, the two deep threats, combined for 5 catches / 68 yards. Just over 13 yards per clip which is not considered deep, at all. The issue here is the offensive line cannot be trusted to have these two run deep routes. That part of the route tree takes time to progress to and because of that, we aren’t seeing what these guys can actually offer with their skill sets.

TIGHT END

-Chris Myarick had one career target coming into this game. He doubled that number, catching both on similar play-action plays where he had to sell the idea he was staying in to block. Both receptions were huge plays and one resulted in a touchdown. They combined for just 11 yards, but both were huge plays.

-Evan Engram had 3 catches for 37 yards and a drop. Both tight ends allowed a TFL in the running game when they were matched up against defensive ends.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-Excellent bounce back performance by Will Hernandez, a game after the worst performance of his career in Tampa Bay. It was quietly a dominant grade, as I had zero negative notes on him. Not one.

-Matt Skura and Billy Price were beat up inside. Both are poor athletes and the PHI front seven exposed their limitations. Skura allowed 2 pressures, Price allowed one. The biggest red flag was their lack of push in the running game. They were stood up and/or driven back in the power game and they (Price especially) could not reach their gap assignments on outside zone runs. It is such a deterrent to the running game.

-Andrew Thomas allowed a pressure and was flagged for a hold. He did allow a sack late, but I did not dock him on my personal bookkeeping because it was a play where Jones opted to take that sack to keep the clock moving. Another positive game grade for the second-year tackle.

-Nate Solder had the worst grade of the group. He allowed 2 pressures and 2 TFL. More on this below but to sum it up, I don’t think anybody thinks Solder can play anymore. And that is a bigger indictment on Peart than it is Solder.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-Leonard Williams led the way with 4 tackles and 4 pressures. An active game for him even though he couldn’t seal the deal as a pass rusher. He hasn’t had a sack since 11/1 vs KC.

-Dexter Lawrence may be one of the more volatile players on the team. He needs to get to, and stay at, nose tackle. His lack of range showed up against the PHI outside zone running game. He also wasn’t much of a presence as a pass rusher. Lawrence did record 1 pressure and his forced fumble was an enormous play. But one can make the case that the bad is outweighing the good this season and I think at least a part of it is the fact he is out of position.

-Austin Johnson added 4 tackles and split the lone sack on the day with Julian Love. Danny Shelton was on the field for just 9 snaps and didn’t do much. He was out of position on the Darnay Holmes interception return, which led to the cornerback taking a huge hit that could have been avoided. Not a smart player and I am pretty sure that is why Bill Belichick got rid of him.

LINEBACKER

-Again, the biggest culprit in PHI’s running game success revolved around this group. They averaged 6.3 yards per carry and the success was spread out among pretty much everyone who carried the ball. In fact, if I am a PHI fan, I am most perturbed by PHI not running it even more than they did, and their ratio was basically a 50/50 split! That doesn’t happen much anymore.

-Tae Crowder had 6 tackles and an interception and Reggie Ragland had 5 tackles with a TFL. Doesn’t look like a bad day in the box score but the All-22 tape says otherwise.

-Lorenzo Carter was back on the field after missing a few games. He split duties with Quincy Roche but saw slightly more playing time. Had 1 tackle and 1 pressure. His presence when it came to setting the edge was much better than Roche, who really struggled in that department and made no impact as a pass rusher. Azeez Ojulari added 5 tackles and was active in pursuit. Things are clicking a bit better with him mentally and even though the pass-rush impact hasn’t been there in a few weeks, I am seeing encouraging signs there. I bet he has a big game soon.

CORNERBACK

-Adoree’ Jackson was lost early in the 2nd quarter with a quad injury. The story here is that it opened the door for more playing time for rookie Aaron Robinson. In my opinion, playing corner as a rookie in the NFL is one of the most difficult tasks in football. Robinson responded in a big way. He had 6 tackles, 2 PD (1 of which on 4th down), and added a pressure. He was all over the field and looked sticky short and intermediate. Now, he was the beneficiary of poor WR play from PHI on 2 occasions and he did get beat on 3rd down twice, but this was a highly-encouraging performance for a corner that, remember, NYG traded up for.

-Darnay Holmes stepped up as well. He had an interception in the red zone and provided quality deep coverage against both Devonta Smith and Jalen Reagor, both credible deep threats. I like how he showed he can play the outside and even though there are, and likely always will be, slight skill-set issues in coverage, I continue to admire the way he plays when it comes to his aggression and physical nature.

-James Bradberry had a quiet game. 3 tackles and was rarely targeted, allowing just 2 short completions.

SAFETY

-Xavier McKinney is the budding star, not just on this team, but in the entire league at the safety position. Watching the All-22 tape further confirmed my notion on him. He is making reads earlier than most, he is baiting quarterbacks already, and the burst to the ball is something to see. Get excited about him, NYG fans. This is real.

-Logan Ryan was out with Covid again, and Julian Love stepped in without letting the defense skip a beat. While the talent level may not be overly noteworthy, this kid is savvy and smart. When you want to teach how important gap-assignment football is, Love’s tape can be used as an example. He is where he needs to be at all times and he creates plays from it. He had 4 tackles, a half-sack, a PD, and a fumble recovery. His versatility is such a key part to the defense as a whole.

-J.R. Reed had 5 tackles and looked more comfortable in his second sizable chunk of action with NYG. He made a key stop at the goal line.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Graham Gano: 2/3 (Made 35, 39; missed 51)
-P Riley Dixon: 5 punts / 39.2 avg – 35.6 net. Terrible game for him.

3 STUDS

-S Xavier McKinney, DT Leonard Williams, OG Will Hernandez

3 DUDS

-OT Nate Solder, OG Matt Skura, LB Reggie Ragland

3 THOUGHTS ON PHI

(1) I labeled Jalen Hurts a career backup when he came out. He is a dangerous player because of how much he can do with his legs and there is indeed arm talent, but my notes on him centered around a lack of true feel in the pocket and very inconsistent accuracy. Hurts has only started 16 games and what he had to work with down the stretch last season was as bad as it gets. The jury is still out. Even though there are flashes, and he does have talent, I don’t see him being a guy to build around in a passing league. Ideal backup who can still win games if the #1 guy goes down, but nothing more. Carson Wentz looks good in Indy, by the way.

(2) Another draft blunder by Eagles GM Howie Roseman? Wide receiver Jalen Reagor was drafted 1 slot ahead of Justin Jefferson. How on earth did that happen? They weren’t close in my eyes. I had Jefferson stacked at #5 on the position stack and even that was probably too low. I had Reagor at #13. What a whiff that was! Reagor impressed during workouts with speed and jumping, but his tape was pretty poor all things considered when looking at 1st-round grades. His 2 drops were awful, yes. But his routes and ball tracking were even worse. This was on tape at TCU for all to see, too.

(3) Let’s not count these guys out. We’ve seen the song and dance before. They do have a couple of quality wins as of late (@ DEN, NO) and an attractive schedule coming up. But the one thing that makes me hesitate to nail their coffin shut is how effective they are on both sides of the ball when it comes to the running game. They’re 2nd in yards-per-carry and they’re 6th in yards-per-carry allowed. That fares well in December/January. I also think their pass rush can take over games when they’re clicking.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

(1) How is Matt Peart not playing? He clearly presents more upside than Nate Solder. I say that because there is no upside with Solder. He cannot beat NFL defenders on any sort of consistent basis, and this is known across the entire league. I have a different angle here. I don’t think it is on the coaching staff, I think it is solely on Peart. He hasn’t proven enough in practice, he may not know assignments, and I don’t think he has the edge that the staff wants. I have some background on Peart and I will just say that he doesn’t have a burning desire to go in there and compete. That shows up eventually, it cannot be hidden. I think that is why we are seeing Solder instead.

(2) Let’s collectively tip our cap to the defense for getting right. PHI averaged 34.5 points over the previous 4 games. They scored 44 at DET, 24 vs LAC, 40 vs NO, and 30 @DEN. Holding a team under 10 points in the NFL is incredibly rare and to do it against an offense that came in red hot is even more impressive. Starting with the win vs CAR on October 24, NYG is averaging 15.2 points allowed per game. The best defense in the NFL allows 15.8 per game on the year. Imagine what could be if this team gets a credible pass rusher or two!

(3) NYG has another game coming up against a team that is hot. Miami started off 1-7, much thanks to a defense that wasn’t forcing turnovers at the rate they were in 2020 and a quarterback injury situation that caused a ton of disruption to the offensive flow. Lastly, they have the worst OL in football. However, they have now won 4 in a row. They have plenty of momentum, and Tua Tagovailoa is playing smart, efficient quarterback. 3 of the 4 wins in a row were against HOU, NYJ, and CAR. While that is almost as easy as it gets, they’re playing with more confidence. But NYG needs to separate themselves from teams like this. MIA is not bottom of the barrel, but they aren’t a good team either. The NYG defense won’t have any excuse here. They need to keep them under 17 points, no question. And time for these NYG skill players to get on the field and step up.

Nov 292021
 
Darnay Holmes, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Darnay Holmes – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 29, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 13-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles:

Q: I’d like to talk to you about (Safety) Xavier McKinney. Could you talk about his progress from last year, where he missed so much time and played a little bit at the end of the season, up to this point? How much of a safety net has this kid become for you and (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Pat (Graham) when you guys go into that cover 3 and he’s playing that deep half?

A: I think that’s critical. You’ve got to have someone back there in the deep part of the field, number one, who has the range and ability to go ahead and play the deep part of the field sideline to sideline, but then also someone who has the awareness and instincts to get there and get a good jump on it. The reality is that the arms of the quarterbacks in this league are better than the feet of the guys tracking them down in the deep part of the field, so you’ve got to make sure you get a good jump on it, take the right angles, and have the ball skills to finish. I’d say in terms of the overall development, Zay is a very, very intelligent player. Very intelligent. He’s a guy that when you evaluated him coming out of college, you saw him all over the field making plays, blitzing, playing the deep part of the field, matching up in man. He’s got a really, really, big skill set. For us, we can use him in a lot of different ways. At this point, the most effective thing we can do with him for the betterment of the defense is playing a lot of the deep part of the field. That being said, yesterday, we also moved him down towards the box in different schemes, things of that nature. (Safety) Julian (Love) does a good job in the deep part of the field when Zay’s not back there, as can (Defensive Back) Logan (Ryan), as well. But this guy really has done a good job overall for us working within the scheme of the defense, really developing in his ability as a signal caller. I’d say for the last two weeks with Logan not being available, it’s an opportunity for a young guy to really go ahead and develop his voice within the defense in terms of on the field command and tying things together. He’s a guy that when you put him out there, he’s not afraid to open up and he’s not afraid to play fast. This guy plays aggressive, makes a lot of plays and he plays very confident. I’d say that really ties into how he practices and prepares throughout the week, so really pleased in the way he’s working, really pleased in the development he’s having as a player. I’m really pleased with how he is to the coaches and the teammate he is within the locker room. That’s something you don’t always see on the field or on cameras, but this guy is really a tremendous guy to have in the building.

Q: I’m sure if we asked the guys on defense, they’d say, ‘Give us 10 points and we’ll try and hold them and win every game.’ I’m guessing that you don’t think that that’s a sustainable formula for victories in this league?

A: No. Look, we’ve got to keep trying to score more points. I was pleased with the way the offense came together last week in terms of working together, coming up with a plan. I was pleased with the way our players responded and went out there and were able to get the ball in the hands of a lot of guys. Had some plays to push it down the field – I think we had eight or so plays over 17 yards, so we were able to go ahead and move the sticks and spread the field a little bit. That being said, no one’s ever satisfied. As coaches, you always strive for the perfect game. I’ve never seen one of those that exists, but that doesn’t stop us from preparing every week and demanding execution and perfection in terms of how we go about it. The offensive staff is in here right now already preparing, getting on to Miami and looking for the best ways for us to go ahead and put the players on the field to go out there and make plays. We go very thoroughly through the game from the day before, make sure that we go through everything, not only what we did, but also what the other teams are watching, how they’re going to try to match us up and take advantage of things we put on tape, so we correct those. That being said, to speak directly and answer your question, we’re going to try and score as many points as we can as an offense. Some weeks it may be more than others, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be satisfied with not scoring a lot.

Q: Obviously, we made a big deal about last week being a short week. Now that you have a more traditional week, will there be more of a chance for the guys to put more of a thumbprint on the offense and change even some more things up?

A: I think as we go through the remainder of the season, there’s going to be a little bit of evolution just with the usage of our players and the personalities of some of the coaches within the play calling and the development of the game plan will probably come on out. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be flipped on its head immediately, but over the course of time that will naturally take place. That being said, having a normal week does allow a lot more freedom to kind of get in there and kind of dig into some different things. Yesterday being, obviously, a transition week and the first week of doing this for the coaches as well as the players, you couldn’t go in there and really radically change it too much. There are some little things that you found schematically to make a difference. That all being said, on a short week it’s not realistic that we go in there and just flip everything over.

Q: (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) had that big run the other day that looked pretty good, but his overall numbers obviously don’t really jump off the page the last two weeks. I’m curious how you think he’s looked coming off that ankle injury and if he’s close to being back to himself?

A: I see Saquon doing a lot of things and he looks like an explosive athlete. I’m pleased with the way he’s working and preparing and getting ready for the games. I’m really proud of the way he’s being a leader on the team. For a guy like Saquon, you’ve got to find a lot of ways to get him the ball. For a running back, obviously, naturally you want to hand the ball off to him as much as you can, but also with a guy like him it includes being used in the passing game and also how he can be used in different elements of the game, being an effective blocker, things he does when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. His overall contribution to the team will be significant and that’s obviously a big focal point in terms of getting him involved in the game and letting him get the ball as many times as he can to make an impact.

Q: You and (Dolphins Head Coach) Brian Flores obviously spent some time together in New England. When people say about you and about Brian and about some others in that group, you’re a part of the (Patriots Head Coach Bill) Belichick coaching tree, the whole coaching tree deal. Do you cringe at that? Do you embrace that? Do you say there’s more to it than that? That whole deal, you and Brian coming together here.

A: I think some of the tightest relationships you have in this business are the relationships you have when you’re broke, grinding with somebody. Brian came into this league the same as I did in kind of a bottom of the totem pole type of position. We were given the opportunity to work and had the opportunity to work our way up. He certainly did that and I had the opportunity as well to do that. I think it’s when you’re kind of grinding through those long hours and stressful times and going through some adversity together is when you really form strong bonds with people. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Flo, I really, really do. He’s very, very intelligent, he’s got great command, he’s a great leader, his players play the right way, they respond the right way, he pushes through adversity. I think he does all the right things. In terms of the whole question on the coaching tree, I don’t think we talk too much about that specifically. I think it’s just guys you’ve worked with you learn how they think and you learn what makes them tick. You can see their personality come out in their players. You can see it when they demanded it as a position coach, when they demanded it as a coordinator. You can obviously see it being demanded as a head coach, as well. Tremendous amount of respect for Brian. We worked together for a significant amount of time. When you work with somebody, you go against them at the same time within practices at different points in your career, compete with it, you talk a lot in meetings, you talk philosophy and strategy, you talk personnel leading up to the draft – that’s probably some of the best conversations I’ve had with Flo. He was evaluating linebackers and safeties and I was working heavily with special teams throughout a large part of that, so we have a lot of crossover with a lot of players. To be able to sit down with each other in terms of how you see the players, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, how you see them really kind of fitting and making an impact in the organization or what would limit them from being in a significant role. So, really having those conversations were really beneficial for, I think, both of our developments because you have to hear different perspectives to learn how different people see things and it really kind of opens your eyes to different avenues. In terms of that whole coaching tree question, there are a lot of guys that we worked together that I take a lot of pride in watching them have success. We’re playing the Dolphins this week, but there are a lot of guys, and Flo being one of them, that when we’re not playing them and they’re on the other side of the other conference, I do root for. I do pull for those guys.

Q: When I look at the Dolphins, I see a team that’s really invested in the secondary. When I see you guys, I see a team really invested in the secondary. You guys are both maybe top-6 in defensive back spending on the salary cap. How much of that comes from New England, where you had (Falcons Safety Duron) Harmon and (Former Patriots Safety Patrick) Chung and (Patriots Safety Devin) McCourty? I think a lot of people think you build a defense front to back and it looks like maybe you, New England and Miami build it back to front. I assume that’s not a coincidence.

A: No, that doesn’t happen by accident. That kind of ties into what I said a second ago in terms of philosophy and what you believe in. Ultimately, it’s a passing league and there are different ways of affecting the quarterback. When you talk about building a team and you talk about building a defense, building your defense really builds two-thirds of your team. It’s your defense and your kicking game. The majority of your players in the kicking game are going to be defensive players because by nature that’s what they do, they run, they hit, they play in space. When you look at the structure of the defense, it’s no secret Miami, New England as well, and us, we play a lot of sub defense, so a lot of nickel, dime and things of that nature and that’s a heavy matchup defense in a lot of ways. To be able to be truly fluid through game plans, you have to have a variety of skill sets and body types to go out there and have depth to be able to play it, and really that starts in the secondary. You can use the secondary to supplement different parts of your team, as well. If you’re light on linebackers, how are you using some of your bigger safeties? If your pass rush is an issue, how are you using your secondary to either slow down the release of the quarterback or also be part of the pressure? That just kind of ties into the philosophy and the construction of the team as a whole. Good safeties, good corners – in this league, can’t have too many of them.

Q: And then yesterday you end the game, that last drive you had (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson and (Defensive Back Steven) Parker and rookies and practice squad guys stepping up there on that last drive. What does that say to you in the secondary?

A: It’s all about the development of your players. I talk all the time about how we’re going to have a number of young guys develop and a number of guys who may have started on practice squad and it’s their job to be ready and to develop, so it’s our job to put them in a position and go out there and execute. Look, I’m happy with the way a lot of these young guys are really developing and working. Through the course of the time, it’s a long season, you need everybody on your roster, and that includes your practice squad, to be ready to play because at some point you know they will.

Q: We ask you so much about earning the respect of the fan base. Yesterday it felt like there was an energy in the stadium that I haven’t felt in a while. Did you guys feel it and what did you think of the way the stadium was yesterday?

A: I thought it was awesome, I really did. You wake up and all of a sudden, the cold air is hitting your face. It feels a whole lot more like football season, you know what I mean? You go out there and it’s got a gray overcast, it’s cold, it’s got that damp feeling. You’ve got people in the stands wearing their knit hats and heavy coats and stuff. It kind of looks a whole lot more like football season to me. Great energy, great passion. It should be that way when you play an NFC East home game. That’s the way it should be. We’ve got to give the fans something to cheer about. I say it all the time, we wanted to make sure we went out there yesterday and had the guys fighting for 60 minutes and put the guys in a position to be successful. I’m proud that we were able to go ahead and finish the game the right way and give the fans something to cheer about.

Q: With Julian Love, how rare is it for a guy –I know you love your versatility and your multiples on the backend, but Julian can go from free to strong to play the nickelback. He’s all over the field, but not just week to week, it’s seemingly play to play. What about his game allows him to do that?

A: I think it starts with his intelligence because you can’t have that kind of versatility if you mentally can’t handle it. It’s actually a lot to ask, it really is, for someone to kind of have the flexibility that he brings, and we want to build that in, that versatility. He’s a guy that when we first got here, we hit him with that and what we wanted to do with him as far as the plan and he really embraced it right away. You don’t always know where it’s going to go when you first get a player for the first time and you start going through it. He’s definitely a team-first guy, so whenever you come to him on Wednesday and say, ‘Hey Jules, here’s your plan for the week.’ All he says is, ‘Yes sir,’ and he just gets rolling to it. He goes out there and he practices tirelessly and does everything he can. Then within the game, he has the ability to change matchups, change positions, change schematically. He doesn’t have a lot of hesitation with that. He’s very confident in knowing he’s an intelligent player and he sees the big picture, and then he’s got a skill set. He’s played corner. He’s played the star. He’s played safety in the deep parts. He’s played safety in the box. This guy’s done a lot of stuff defensively, so he’s really prepared to play all those things. He’s good in zone with good vision, understanding where he’s got to be. He’s good in man because he’s got that corner background. So, his versatility, it really is rare, and you try to build on it. Some guys have two-position versatility. Jules is really a guy that you say any position back there, he’s got to be ready and available to play. He’s done a really good job for us stepping in the last couple of weeks and playing and he’s shown a lot of improvement, and because as he keeps improving, he allows other guys to have more flexibility in what they do, as well. That ties into guys like Zay and guys we were talking about earlier. The other thing about Jules is that that guy’s going to be the special teams player of the week or one of the special teams players of the week for us. The guy went down there and had multiple tackles, really covered fast for us. He’s a personal protector on punt team. He’s a signal caller and that’s basically the quarterback, the MIKE linebacker of the special teams. This guy’s got a lot of responsibilities on his plate, so to balance it from defense to the kicking game, there’s a lot of things on his plate. He just comes in on Wednesday, gets the plan, prepares and goes out there on Sunday and he’s one of those guys on a Saturday night you don’t lose any sleep over.

Q: I’m going to ask you real quick, you talked about the offense before. I want to know when you went back and looked at the tape – you mentioned the mini chunk plays, but you didn’t really get the real downfield, big downfield plays and it didn’t correlate to points. So, I’m wondering what you saw that kept you from scoring points? And then I’ll ask if you don’t mind the obligatory injury question to finish.

A: So, I’ll answer the injury one right now. To be honest with you, we’re still waiting on kind of some of the finals from the doctors. Really, with all the guys coming out, there are some little bumps and bruises. A couple guys, obviously, like (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) was removed from the game, (Linebacker) Trent Harris was removed from the game, they didn’t return. Trent came back and then was back out again. For most of those guys, including (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep, (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT, (Tight End Kyle) Rudolph, guys that weren’t active for the game, it’s going to tie more into just when we see them Wednesday and Thursday and how they move around. So, we’re going to have to see these guys and can they get on the grass and how they feel. We don’t have anything right now that we would rule anybody out. We’re hopeful for all the players right now. All the guys that weren’t active this week all made progress throughout last week, so it puts us in a position that as we start game planning, they’ll be part of the game plan until we’re told otherwise. In terms of the offense and the points, I was pleased with the way we did push the ball down the field and we got some things going. Some of the bigger ones will come with time, but Philadelphia did a really good job of really playing deep over top on a lot of things and taking that away. I thought Daniel did a good job of hitting some of the underneath things that weren’t necessarily just checkdowns, but some of the underneath routes that were in-cuts with (Wide Receiver Kenny) Golladay or hitting the slant right there when he was lined up as number two in a trips formation to give us an opportunity for a play that could have been a big breakout play. Saquon on the iso, hitting that thing down the sideline for a big chunk run for us, so there are some plays that came here or there. In the red area, there are some opportunities with Kenny in the end zone right there. We’re going to keep on having guys that are going to go ahead and start leaning to Kenny and maybe open up other opportunities for us. We’ll see what the defense presents us with right there, but those things will come in time. We’re not going to be sitting back here on our heels and waiting for them to show up for us, but well look for opportunities to get our players in a position to force it down the field. Not afraid at any point to go ahead and throw that thing down the field, I assure you on that right there. I was pleased with the progress the guys made. Guys are in here working hard right now, so when the players show up on Wednesday, they’ve got the best plan going forward.

Q: Real quick, is Logan coming back this week?

A: He’s in the building today.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 282021
 
Aaron Robinson, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Defensive backs react to Jalen Reagor’s dropped game-winning touchdown

NEW YORK GIANTS 13 – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 7…
The New York Giants prevailed in an ugly 13-7 win over Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 4-7.

The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (19 to 17), total net yards (332 to 264), and net yards rushing (208 to 70). The Giants held advantages in net passing yards (194 to 124), time of possession (32:02 to 27:58), and most importantly, forced turnovers (4-0). Yet despite the huge turnover margin, New York only sealed the win when Eagles wideout Jalen Reagor dropped two game-winning touchdown passes on Philadelphia’s final, desperate drive.

Both teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the game. New York moved the ball 47 yards on 11 plays on their second drive, setting up a 35-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. Philadelphia too moved the ball their second drive, gaining 54 yards and reaching the New York 20-yard line. However, on 3rd-and-5, cornerback Darnay Holmes intercepted quarterback Jalen Hurts at the 5-yard line, ending the scoring threat.

After picking up 47 yards on eight plays, the Giants’ attempt to extend their 3-0 lead failed when Gano missed a 51-yard yard field goal. Both teams then exchanged punts again.

Philadelphia’s final drive of the half began at their own 7-yard line and reached the New York 1-yard line after 14 plays. On the 15th play, facing 3rd-and-goal, Hurts was chased out of the pocket and he threw a pass towards the end zone that was intercepted by linebacker Tae Crowder at the goal line. Crowder returned the ball nine yards before fumbling it out-of-bounds with no time on the clock.

At the half, the Giants led 3-0.

The Eagles received the ball to start the second half. After gaining 35 yards on their first three plays, the drive stalled at the New York 40-yard line. Philadelphia went for it on 4th-and-2, but Hurts’ pass fell incomplete with cornerback Aaron Robinson in coverage. The Giants followed this up with their only touchdown of the game as New York drove 59 yards in 10 plays. On 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line, quarterback Daniel Jones found tight end Chris Myarick for the score, despite the ball coming close to touching the ground as Myarick bobbled the catch. It was Myarick’s first career reception. Giants were now up 10-0.

It got worse for the Eagles on their second possession. On 1st-and-18 from the 9-yard line, Hurts’ deep pass intended for Reagor was intercepted by safety Xavier McKinney at the New York 46-yard line. Unfortunately, the Giants’ offense failed miserably to take advantage of the field position, as the unit actually lost 14 yards, forcing a punt.

Momentum then switched in Philadelphia’s favor as they easily drove 66 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. After an incomplete pass to start this possession, the next nine plays were all runs with Giant-killer running back Boston Scott scoring to cut the score to 13-7 early in the 4th quarter.

Both teams exchanged punts again. Starting at their own 9-yard line with 10:16 left in the game, the Giants managed to put together a 12-play, 70-yard drive that took 7:22 off of the clock. Unfortunately, the drive resulted in a field goal rather than a touchdown as New York’s red zone woes continued. With just under three minutes to play, the Giants were up 13-7.

Starting at their own 30-yard line, the Eagles gained 21 yards on their first three plays. On 1st-and-10 from the New York 49-yard line, Scott picked up four yards on a run to the right. However, pursuing defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Julian Love at the 37-yard line.

The Giants had the ball with just 1:34 left in the game. The Eagles had all three of their timeouts so New York needed one first down to seal the win. The Giants netted no yards on their first two plays. On 3rd-and-10, Jones was sacked for an 8-yard loss. Worse, punter Riley Dixon only managed a 39-yard punt that was returned nine yards. Unbelievably, the Eagles had the ball back at their own 41-yard line with 1:11 left on the clock. The Giants had only burned 23 seconds off of the clock and the Eagles were nearly back right where they had started before turning the ball over.

After picking up 21 yards on two passing plays, Hurts threw a perfect deep pass down the left sideline to Reagor that should have resulted in a 38-yard game-winning touchdown against rookie corner Aaron Robinson (who also looked like he interfered on the play but wasn’t called for it). However, Reagor dropped the the ball, as did Love, who should have intercepted it off of the deflection. Hurts then completed an 11-yard pass to the New York 27-yard line with 38 seconds left in the game. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Hurts’ next two passes were contested and fell incomplete. On 4th-and-10, with 25 seconds left, Hurts, with far too much time, threw another deep pass that could have resulted in the game-winning touchdown, but Reagor dropped the ball near the 1-yard line. Eagles turned the ball over on downs. Game over.

Jones finished the game 19-of-30 for 202 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. None of his targets caught more than four passes or accrued more than 50 yards. Running back Saquon Barkley had a 32-yard run in the game but his 12 other carries only picked up eight yards.

Defensively, the Giants allowed over 200 yards rushing to the #1 rushing team in the NFL. Hurts was held to 129 yards passing, but he did rush the ball 77 yards on eight carries. Aside from the four forced turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble recovery), the Giants only had one sack, shared between Love and nose tackle Austin Johnson. Hurts was only officially hit three times. However, the Giants were credited with 10 pass defenses.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Thursday, the Giants signed TE Deon Yelder to the Practice Squad. The 26-year old, 6’4”, 255-pound Yelder was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2018 NFL Draft. Yelder has spent time with the Saints (2018), Kansas City Chiefs (2018–2021), Washington Football Team (2021), Tennessee Titans (2021), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2021). Yelder has played in 29 regular-season games with two starts. He has 11 career receptions for 86 yards.

On Saturday, the Giants elevated S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, WR/returner Pharoh Cooper was activated from the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 replacement for S Logan Ryan (Reserve/COVID-19 List).

Inactive for the game were FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR Kadarius Toney (quad), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), TE Kaden Smith (knee), and OG/OC Wes Martin.

CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad), CB Darnay Holmes (chest), and LB Trent Harris (ankle) left the game with injuries.

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:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants won their third consecutive home game for the first time since they won their last six games in MetLife in 2016. The Giants are 3-3 at home. They have matched their home victory total for the entire 2020 season.

The Giants are 4-0 in division home games under Joe Judge.

The Giants have won two consecutive games against the Eagles after suffering losses in the previous eight meetings.

The Giants have a takeaway in each of their first 11 games for the first time since 2005.

The Giants committed a season-low two accepted penalties for just 15 yards.

Daniel Jones did not throw an interception for the seventh time in 11 games.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Nov 262021
 
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (November 22, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 26, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR Kadarius Toney (quad), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), and TE Kaden Smith (knee). Gillaspia, Shepard, and Smith have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Toney and Rudolph are “doubtful” for the game.

Limited in practice were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR John Ross (quad), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad). Barkley and Ross are officially “questionable” for the game while Jackson is expected to play.

LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle) fully practiced. He is expected to play.

S Logan Ryan remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
Late on Wednesday, the Giants placed safety/special teams player Nate Ebner (knee) on Injured Reserve and signed tight end Chris Myarick to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The team hosts the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Nov 262021
 

THE STORYLINE:
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the New York Giants are simply a chronically mismanaged organization. My “game previews” annually touch upon this as the number of successive losing seasons mount. Even the usually optimistic Sy’56 is losing patience. The end of his last game review was about as harsh a criticism as you will see from him:

The NYG organization has been all about saving face and public perception. The press conferences try to convince those who listen that things are under control and there is a plan in place. It is clear to me that this team does not have a plan beyond basic football. They don’t know how to draft, they don’t know how to manage the cap, they don’t know how to play 2-minute offense and defense, they don’t know what to do in the red zone, they don’t know how to manage timeouts. You can preach fundamentals all you want, and you can say one-liners about being a teaching-based coaching staff. Sounds very Belichick-y. That helps during the spring and summer months where results are subjective. However, the mismanagement always rears its ugly head during the fall and this is the problem that starts from the top.

All of this negativity is not due to the team losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are one of the best teams in football. The Giants are one of the worst. The frustration is mounting and mounting because the team – one again – does not seem to be getting any better. Draft pick after draft pick, high-priced free agent after high-priced free agent, coaching change after coaching change… the team simply is not getting any better.

What struck me about Sy’56’s comments is something that has been bothering me for quite some time, but he nailed it. The top officials from this team put on a good act. They say the right things. But unfortunately, they do the wrong things. If Super Bowl trophies were awarded for being good at public relations, the Giants would be in the middle of a 10-year dynastic run.

So be prepared for John Mara’s end-of-year press conference where he tells fans he is just as frustrated as the fans and changes will be made. (You can already hear the Boston College harrumph). Dave Gettleman, who appears to have made two catastrophically-bad top-6 draft selections in 2018 and 2019, will most likely be put out to pasture, temporarily mollifying many fans. As for used-car salesman Joe Judge, much depends on the final seven games. Right now, it’s not looking good for Joe.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – questionable)
  • FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf – out)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (quad – doubtful)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (quad – out)
  • WR John Ross (quad – questionable)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle – doubtful)
  • TE Kaden Smith (knee – out)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad – probable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
Jason Garrett was fired. Not during the bye week when it made more sense, but on a short-week after playing on Monday night football. Perfect move for a dysfunctional franchise.

The removal of Garrett is a huge red flag because it means one of two things. Either Joe Judge botched one of the most important head coaching decisions he had, or as some have long speculated, Garrett was imposed on Judge by John Mara. Either way, it’s not good. And reading between the lines, based what was and was not said in both Judge’s Monday night post-game press conference and Garrett’s Tuesday farewell statement, it appears there was no love lost between Judge and Garrett. Combine that with last years odd drama surrounding the in-season firing of Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo, who Garrett brought over from Dallas and either Judge or Mara signed off on. I’m starting to suspect that Mara did in fact meddle with decisions that should have been left to Judge. If Mara felt he needed an insurance policy for Judge, then he never should have hired the man in the first place.

More good news. When a team blows the #2 pick in the draft, it’s a disaster. When a team blows the #6 pick in the draft, it’s a disaster. When a team does both and one of those picks is a “franchise” quarterback, it’s beyond a disaster. Thank you Dave Gettleman. You’ve sealed your legacy by putting the final nails in the coffin that Jerry Reese began to build. Don’t forget, however, that John Mara hired Dave Gettleman. And he decided to retain him after Pat Shurmur failed and before hiring Joe Judge.

So where are we now? The 3-7 Giants are in last place in the NFC East. They are not dead, but they are on life support. Joe Judge, who must know his neck is on the chopping block, fired his offensive coordinator on a short week before facing a team that has owned the Giants for years. This reeks of desperation. Good luck Freddie Kitchens! The offensive line is still a mess. Daniel Jones isn’t getting better. Saquon Barkley is just a big name who falls over himself. The injury-prone Sterling Shepard is out again, joined this week by the injury-prone Kadarius Toney. If Judge, Kitchens, Jones, Barkley, etc. put up 30 points against the Eagles and win the game, we’ll all be thrilled. But who in their right mind truly expects that?

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The luckiest man in New York this past week was Patrick Graham. The drama surrounding Jason Garrett completely overshadowed the utterly miserable performance by Graham against Tampa Bay. Remember, Graham’s defense looked like crap for the first six games of the year, being a major reason why the team started 1-5. His defense improved over the course of the next three games as the Giants “rebounded” with a 2-1 record. Against a Bucs’ offense that mightily struggled Washington, Graham’s unit allowed 400 yards of offense and six scoring drives. Tom Brady got to come out of the game early.

We went through something similar with Graham last year. The difference being that an admittedly undermanned defense started off poorly and made improvements in the second half of the year as the Giants shockingly finished as a top-10 defense. In the second year of his system, with free agent and draft additions, this was supposed to be a consistently good defense, anchored by the defensive line and secondary. Now it seems like a crapshoot as to what kind of defense will show up on a week-to-week basis. Sy’56 contends it is because New York’s defenders have no firm, systemic identity. I don’t know what the reason is. All I know is it is not working the way it was envisioned. I like Graham and want him to succeed. He appears to be a very smart and humble man who really cares. I think losing really bothers him. But he’s got to get this figured out or he’s going to be out of a job in January.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The death knell for Judge is if his team starts losing games because of special teams. With the buzzards circling, you almost kind of expect it.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Former Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett on Head Coach Joe Judge: (Deafening silence)

THE FINAL WORD:
I expected the Giants to lose to the Bucs. But I thought it would be a close game and that the arrow would still be pointing up after the miserable 1-5 start. The Giants weren’t even competitive.

For the Giants to make a serious run, they were going to have to sweep the Eagles and beat Washington after the bye. That all seems unlikely now. The wheels appear to be coming off.

What seems more likely is a Philadelphia Eagles team that was supposed to be the worst in the division will once again humiliate the Giants, in the process also wrecking Michael Strahan’s jersey retirement ceremony with thousands of mocking Eagles fans in the stands.

But hey, at least John Mara will tell us how upset he is in January. So we have that to look forward to.

Nov 242021
 
Joe Judge, New York Giants (November 22, 2021)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 24, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR Kadarius Toney (quad), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), TE Kaden Smith (knee), and DB Nate Ebner (knee).

Limited in practice were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR John Ross (quad), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad).

GIANTS ONE TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The Giants have re-signed TE Jake Hausmann to the Practice Squad. This is the third time Hausmann had been added to the Practice Squad this year. The 6’4”, 255-pound Hausmann was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Detroit Lions after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hausmann off of waivers from the Lions in early August 2021.

MICHAEL STRAHAN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning addressed the media on Wednesday in advance of his jersey being retired. The transcript is available in The Corner Forum.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Because of Thanksgiving, there is no media availability to the Giants on Thursday.

Nov 242021
 
Andrew Thomas, New York Giants (November 22, 2021)

Andrew Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

The Giants faced the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a Monday night in November for the second year in a row, a rather odd schedule repeat. In 2020, NYG was 1-7 and TB was 5-2 at the time of the match-up. This year? NYG came in at 3-6, TB 6-3. Even though NYG was now the away team, they were coming off a 15+ day rest as TB had lost 2 straight including a double-digit loss to the Washington Football Team. Some of the best memories in NYG history have come at the expense of Brady. However, those glory days seem to be centuries behind us.

TB opened the game without a part of their three-headed monster at wide receiver. Antonio Brown was out with an ankle injury, but the rest of their core was in place. Their drive was as easy and smooth as a knife through melted butter. NYG played a soft, 2-high look and Brady methodically took advantage of the space underneath and intermediate areas. Their first 6 plays each netted 7 or more yards and the drive ended with a 13-yard pitch, catch, and run from Brady to Chris Godwin.

NYG responded with a quality drive, their final quality drive of the game. It lasted 13 plays and spread the ball around well. They were 1st-and-10 from the TB 15-yard line. Most teams view this position as a position of opportunity. NYG, however, is the worst red-zone offense in the NFL and quarterback Daniel Jones entered the game completing a league-low 41% of his passes inside it. From there, Jones threw an incomplete pass, Jones rushed for a 1-yard gain, Will Hernandez was flagged for a false start, and Jones threw another incomplete pass. Graham Gano then nailed a 37-yard field goal to get NYG within 4.

TB marched down the field yet again. In fact, of their first 15 plays, not one of them was a 3rd down. They used 18-total plays on this drive as the game entered the 2nd quarter. The pass rush was non-existent but with 7-8 defenders in coverage, NYG was able to stop the bleeding a bit and hold them to a field goal. NYG went 3-and-out on their next drive.

TB had the ball at their own 15-yard line. On the first play, there was a miscommunication on the play where both receivers to the left side stayed home for the screen pass. It was likely the mistake of Tyler Johnson, a second-year receiver from Minnesota who averages 3 targets per week. Mike Evans had the pass bounce off his chest and into the arms of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. He returned it to the TB 5-yard line and NYG was just 15 feet away from tying it up. A creative play call had Jones toss the ball to the eligible Andrew Thomas, a play nobody saw coming. Thomas made a leaping grab up and away from his body and, no sarcasm here, this may have been one of the best 5 catches we have seen from a Giant in 2021. Thomas’ first career touchdown puts him tied for 2nd on the team in that department. Sadly, he ranks ahead of both $72 million receiver Kenny Golladay and 1st round receiver Kadarius Toney as of Week 11.

TB responded with yet another easy, low-to-no pressure drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown by running back Ronald Jones on a play where Jackson, the hero from the previous drive, seemed to forget about the concept of outside contain. NYG did force an incomplete pass on the drive however, yes one. The tape should give Head Coach Joe Judge some quality things to speak of during his next press conference.

The two offenses traded scoreless possessions and thanks to a Tristan Wirfs holding call on their next drive, TB was forced out of field goal range and gave NYG the ball back with :43 left and 2 timeouts. Play to win? Or play not to lose? NYG had a decision to make. It appeared they would run the clock out unfortunately, as their first play was a low-key, low-success dump pass to Saquon Barkley. They let 20 seconds come off the clock. Jones to Barkley then netted 11 yards and brought the ball to the NYG 20-yard line with 9 seconds left. That is when Joe Judge opted to use the first of his 2 remaining timeouts.

NYG did not know what they wanted to do. NYG then got the ball near midfield with 3 seconds left, but Darius Slayton fumbled the ball. Fortunately, the clock ran out and NYG entered the half only down by 7.

It was a 7-point game with TB out-playing NYG in a big way. That 7-point lead quickly became a 17-point lead as Brady hit Mike Evans for a touchdown and Ryan Succop nailed a 40-yard field goal following an absolutely terrible interception by Jones. The NYG line was falling apart, the TB offense continued to go where they wanted when they wanted, and Jones looked like a deer in the headlights. He threw another interception in the 4th quarter, a play where he did not see even half the field. Succop turned that into another 3 points.

The score represented what we had been watching all night, a 30-10 lead by the Bucs. TB soon pulled their starters, the Giants offensive line turned in their worst half of the season (which is hard to do, as TB was missing their top DL), and Barkley was found limping on the sideline while Toney talked to trainers with no gloves while riding a bike.

At least Blaine Gabbert didn’t score a touchdown. Another positive that I am sure we will hear about from the front office at some point in condescending fashion.

“We may have a little more confidence in our offensive line than you guys.” – Dave Gettleman – May 2021.

Giants lose, 30-10.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 23/38 – 167 yards / 1 TD – 2 INT / 57.7 RAT

Jones also added 10 yards on 3 carries. It was a major step back for Jones in multiple ways. He looked like a young quarterback who regressed. He did not look like a quarterback who was going to make other players better. Both interceptions were solely on him with an extra emphasis on the first one. While the offensive line did him no favors and the talent around him, despite being praised by the media as a “high-ceiling group,” under-performed yet again, Jones was the culprit in such a poor offensive performance. He continues to struggle seeing the entire field and the actual throws themselves are consistently average at best. His time is running out.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 6 att – 25 yards / 6 rec – 31 yards

With the NYG offensive line clearly overmatched and NYG playing from behind most of the game, Barkley didn’t have consistent opportunities on the ground. While his touches didn’t do much for the offense and game overall, the numbers don’t look bad on a per-touch basis. However, I still have a negative grade on Barkley, and it is becoming overly tiresome to see the same issues game after game. He is a poor blocker who shows minimal effort; he continues to trip over his own feet (followed by slamming the ball on the ground as if he was surprised); and he stops his momentum way too soon on inside runs into traffic. There are dozens (plural) of backs who show more than he does on a weekly basis.

WIDE RECEIVER

-Kadarius Toney: 7 rec / 40 yards

Toney also threw a deep pass (which was the nicest deep ball we have seen in long time). He was targeted a season-high 12 times and it created 40 yards of offense (3.4 yards per play). 3.4 yards per target is, for those don’t track stats like that often, good for about 165th in the NFL. That tier is almost always reserved for running backs and fullbacks. Toney had a couple impressive yards after the catch gains based on his elusiveness and agility, but he also had a drop and a double catch. There are several ways to use this kind of talent, but NYG hasn’t been consistent with him yet.

-Kenny Golladay played 44 snaps and received 2 targets. He caught 1 of them for 12 yards. When I watch the All-22 tape, the one consistent thing I see with him is a lack of separation. While he does do well in traffic, one has to consider this aspect of his game. He doesn’t get open on his own and he has caught just 58% of his targets over his career. Players who catch 58% of their targets rank 175th in the NFL in that department. We need to see more out Golladay, plain and simple. I will not call it a “bad signing” in free agency (yet), but you can’t pay a guy what they paid him and throw him the ball 34 times in the 7 games he played in on an offense that is desperate for points. There is little to no cohesion within this organization. No plan.

-Darius Slayton added 4 catches for 37 yards. He was flagged for an illegal block in the back and got tripped up on the downfield Toney pass that was nearly a big play. His contact presence and balance remain the biggest issues of his game.

TIGHT END

-Evan Engram had a poor night in the trenches. He allowed a TFL and 2 pressures. He caught 2 passes for 12 yards and is now averaging 8.4 yards per reception on the season.

-Kyle Rudolph had the biggest play of the night with a 28-yard grab, and run and that was about it from him. Rudolph now leads the group with 8.6 yards per reception on the season.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-The one positive from the offense was Andrew Thomas. While he did fall victim to a late sack in the 4th quarter, he shut down Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul in almost all of their 1-on-1 matchups. He did whiff on a running play in the second quarter but made up for it a snap later when he made an acrobatic touchdown catch on a surprise play. Good to see him back on the field and playing at a high level. If there is one player on this team who can be part of the future core that turns things around, I think he’s it.

-The interior of this line was abysmal. I would love to see what the film review is like in their room. Will Hernandez, especially. This was the worst performance of his career and I’ve been told here at BBI that I have it out for him. I do not have it out for him. I just never saw him as a starting-caliber player and the fact he continues to get starts says something about the decision makers. He allowed 4 pressures, he was flagged for 2 holding penalties (one was declined), and he was flagged for a false start. I was most disappointed by the fact that he appeared to just give up late in the game. Matt Skura allowed 4 pressures and Billy Price allowed 2. 10 pressures allowed from the interior spots. Nobody is performing well.

-Nate Solder oddly got the start over Matt Peart. Peart has not been good, but the margin between him and Solder is thin (if it exists). In a situation like that on team like this, go with the youth over the contract. NYG does it in reverse.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-Really poor game from the trio of starters. They were tossed around by the Bucs OL all night. In their defense, I would put TB top 2 or 3 in the NFL along the offensive line. That said, the reason why Patrick Graham went ultra-soft on the back end of the defense was the confidence in the line and they failed to step up.

-Dexter Lawrence had 2 pressures and a pass break up, but he was too often handled by lone blockers. Leonard Williams added 1 pressure, but was too often driven multiple yards in the wrong direction as he tried to anchor against the run. Austin Johnson led the group with 5 tackles and added a pass break up.

-Danny Shelton added a TFL in garbage time and Raymond Johnson III added a sack late when it did not matter.

LINEBACKER

-If you remember back to the game against the Raiders prior to the bye, Quincy Roche and Azeez Ojulari both had solid performances and it created some hope. This was a tall task to take on but even with the extra rest, they were absolutely shut down all night. Ojulari and fellow rookie Elerson Smith (who got his first defensive snaps) added one pressure each. I am excited to see the team use Smith more in this role, he certainly looks the part.

-Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland combined for 9 tackles with Ragland adding one for a loss. Crowder react too slowly mentally, and Ragland is a poor athlete. In some cases, around the league, the linebackers between the tackles complement each other to the point of hiding one another’s weaknesses. These two aren’t clicking and are easy to beat. Benardrick McKinney is the best of this trio and should take over the majority of snaps. He added 5 tackles but played under a third of the snaps. He brings more to the table.

CORNERBACK

-The James Bradberry vs. Mike Evans battle has always been a fun-watch dating back to the cornerback’s days in CAR. They split success and fails down the middle but, on this night, Evans got the win. Bradberry allowed a touchdown, a 3rd-down conversion, missed 2 tackles, and was nearly beat on a separate touchdown by Breshad Perriman but a drop helped out NYG’s top corner who is due to make over 12% of the team’s salary cap next season.

-Adoree’ Jackson intercepted a deflection off Evans’ chest, which set up the lone NYG touchdown of the night. He then allowed a touchdown on his lack of ability to set the edge on a Ronald Jones outside run. Darnay Holmes added 4 tackles and was solid most of the night against Chris Godwin.

-Rookie Aaron Robinson, who I am also excited to see more of, saw 22 snaps. He was caught out of position a couple times, but I like the way he competes and moves. There wasn’t much to take away from the All-22, but I do think we will have a decent idea what he can do by the end of this season.

SAFETY

-With Logan Ryan out because of Covid, Julian Love stepped up in a big way. He had 6 tackles and broke up 2 passes, both very nice plays on the ball. He was all over the field and when NYG did step up a few times, he was at the center of it. He did miss a tackle on the first TB touchdown because of a poor angle, but it was a quality performance.

-Xavier McKinney led the team with 7 tackles and showed quality range in deep coverage from the All-22 angle. Brady was hung up a few times and from my perspective, I believe it was McKinney who took away the reads. He has been on a very solid run these past 5-6 weeks.

-J.R. Reed, brought up from the Practice Squad to take the 53-man roster spot of Ryan, saw a considerable amount of time. He added 4 tackles but missed 2 others and appeared to have weak contact presence. That was the red flag (along with his knee) coming out of Georgia.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 37)
-P Riley Dixon: 4 Punts / 48.3 avg – 46.0 net

3 STUDS

-OT Andrew Thomas, S Julian Love, S Xavier McKinney

3 DUDS

-OG Will Hernandez, QB Daniel Jones, CB James Bradberry

3 THOUGHTS ON TB

(1) TB is the class of the NFC and when I look around at the competitors within the conference, I don’t see anyone close. Sure, ARI looks good on paper and DAL can go toe to toe if everything clicks correctly. Any given Sunday, I get it. But what TB has that those 2 and others have not shown in the postseason yet is the innate ability to finding ways to win. TB and Brady in particular have the intangibles that I always speak of. They’re vital. Learning how to win games is a skill that needs to be developed over the years and they truly have it.

(2) The TB offensive line entered Week 11 as the only starting 5 to have begun each game on the field together. At this point in the season, that is extremely rare. That is a key reason why this team and this group in particular is playing so well. Another reason? They’re drafted the OL as well, if not better, than everybody. They have 2 first-round picks on the outside and, amazingly, three starters inside who all played lower than Division I football. I’m not sure I have ever seen that before. OC Ryan Jensen is the best center in football and the Alex Cappa + Ali Marpet duo at guard is the best duo at the position in the league. The unproven question mark is depth. Marpet went out with an injury and in comes Aaron Stinnie. He was very good and easily remained the second-best guard in this game. Perhaps that isn’t saying much, though. Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert is a name worth keeping in the back of your head.

(3) A thought to consider. Please do not take this as what I want or what I think NYG should do. I am not going there yet. But with the possibility of Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Rodgers all being available via trade this upcoming offseason, could this team look at the turnaround we saw in TB once Brady arrived as a template to follow? Starting in 2011, TB had 8 losing seasons in 9 years. Their record over those 9 years was 49-95. They had multiple 1st-round busts at quarterback. They had 4 failed head coaches. Their offense and defense were both routinely bottom-third in this league. Then bam, all of the sudden it changes the second an elite quarterback comes into town. The difference would be the fact that NYG would likely have to give up multiple 1st round picks and possibly a quality player to obtain that QB. That said, the aura of a team changes when a guy like that puts on the uniform. Intangibles can be contagious. Even though there are holes on this team left and right, this needs to be a possible option for a team that has proven to be terrible at building a winner via the draft. Do the Maras have the guts to do this?

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

(1) I have watched this defensive scheme over and over, multiple times from multiple angles ever since Patrick Graham was hired. While I know they are an “amoeba” front (one that often changes shape/alignment), I am having a hard time truly understanding what their plan is. Yes, I know the response is they “change it week to week and base it on matchups.” I think this is part of the big picture problem though. There is no identity, they are putting guys in spots they don’t belong, and it makes building depth very difficult. I am putting daily work into the 2022 Draft reports and stacks now and there just isn’t a flow to where NYG needs to infuse new talent. Whatever they’re doing or trying to do isn’t working and I don’t see long-term promise. I think they need to get more rigid with a 3-4 or 4-3 and build from there.

(2) The Jason Garrett firing will hopefully bring improvement and/or clarity to the current NYG offensive personnel. Freddie Kitchens has had success in this league, but it was short-lived as a play-caller. The league figured him out in a hurry, and he struggled to adjust. Are there similarities here to what CLE had when Kitchens took over the play-calling from Todd Haley in 2018? After all, from week 9-on, CLE led the NFL in yards per play and yards per pass attempt with a rookie quarterback and running back. NYG arguably has more talent than CLE did back then, but the offensive line will make things difficult for any play-caller. I think the biggest jump we can expect is where NYG currently resides in red zone success, which is the absolute basement in the NFL. This is equally big for Kitchens as it is Jones and company.

(3) For the fourth straight week, NYG has seen a decline in total yards. Was Garrett really THE culprit? Or is he more the scapegoat of a bigger problem that those who remain are scrambling to try and cover for? The NYG organization has been all about saving face and public perception. The press conferences try to convince those who listen that things are under control and there is a plan in place. It is clear to me that this team does not have a plan beyond basic football. They don’t know how to draft, they don’t know how to manage the cap, they don’t know how to play 2-minute offense and defense, they don’t know what to do in the red zone, they don’t know how to manage timeouts. You can preach fundamentals all you want, and you can say one-liners about being a teaching-based coaching staff. Sounds very Belichick-y. That helps during the spring and summer months where results are subjective. However, the mismanagement always rears its ugly head during the fall and this is the problem that starts from the top.

Nov 232021
 
Jason Garrett, New York Giants (November 22, 2021)

Jason Garrett – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS FIRE JASON GARRETT…
The New York Giants have fired Jason Garrett, who was hired by the team in January 2020 to serve as offensive coordinator. The Giants finished 31st in yardage and scoring in 2020; they are currently 23rd in in yardage and 25th in scoring in 2021. On Monday, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Garrett’s offense scored just 10 points and gained only 215 net yards.

Head Coach Joe Judge did not promote anyone currently on the staff to Garrett’s position and did not publicly designate one person to take over play-calling duties.

NOVEMBER 23, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Tuesday to discuss the firing of Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett:

Opening Statement: I want to start off and address the staff move we made. We made a decision to move on from Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants. I have a lot of respect for Jason as a person and as a coach. He’s been a tremendous asset to me as a young head coach. He’s helped our development here. He’s built very strong relationships in the building with the players, along with other support staff members. He’s done a good job putting the team first. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for everything he’s done for us. With that being said, ultimately, I’ll make every decision based on what’s best for the team long-term. I feel we have to be more productive as an offense. Generally speaking, the offense’s job is to score points. I don’t believe we’re scoring enough points. It’s my job as the head coach to make sure I give our players an opportunity to go out there and make plays. With that being said, I’ll open it up to any questions you may have.

Q: Just as a point of clarification, did you give Jason a chance to stay on in any other role, like demote him from play-calling, or was it just a straight relieve him of his duties?

A: I’m going to keep a lot of the conversations that happen in-house between me and Jason and the other coaches just between us. I respect the question and understand what you’re asking. I’ll keep that all between us in-house, but we’ve made the decision to move on from him as the offensive coordinator.

Q: What made now the right time versus – obviously, in an ideal world I assume you would’ve liked to do this in the bye week. Why now after the bye week with a short turnaround to the next game?

A: First off, I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time to make a change like this in a season, but you have to go ahead and you have to be prepared to roll with it. Talking in terms of – we make adjustments all the time with players. When we lose significant players to injury or a loss in the game plan or whatever it may be, we have to make adjustments and keep on moving. I explain to the coaches all the time, I expect everyone to approach the game planning from a coordinator’s mindset so they understand the big-picture and they can greater contribute to what’s going on within the game plan. In terms of entering the bye week, we had played a stretch of three games leading into it where I thought as a team we were making some progress overall. There were some things we had to address and change and improve on, but ultimately, I thought going into the bye week giving it a little bit more time going forward. I just want to make sure that we continue to make progress in the right direction. Again, this is not a snap decision or anything in terms of a reflection of last night, but we’ve got to make some moves to give our offense an opportunity to change some things up, be more productive and ultimately score more points.

Q: The feeling from a lot of people was that this was sort of an arranged marriage, that ownership wanted you to hire Jason. What’s your belief or your story on that and why don’t you think it worked in the end?

A: I’ll keep this really short and to the point. In terms of the answer of why it didn’t work in the end, I’m not going to break down every adjustment I think we have to make or what we need to do. Ultimately, like I said, we need to be more productive and score more points, and that’s the focus going forward obviously. Just very simply on the staff, I hire the staff.

Q: I don’t know if it was officially announced, but is (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) going to be the interim OC?

A: We’re going to handle things collaboratively in-house with the offense and we’ll kind of go on as the week goes in terms of specific roles on a game day.

Q: How much would you anticipate the offense looking different than when Jason was calling plays?

A: We’ll have to see as we put the plan together going forward. Obviously, we’re going to do some things and the goal is to score more points, be more productive, so we’ll talk in terms of game planning tonight specifically for the Eagles at this point and see how that looks when we get the call sheet together.

Q: Because you have a history on special teams, how much involvement did you have with Jason during the week setting up the game plan? Were there times this season when you really specifically asked him, ‘Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that? Why is this not happening?’ Was he resistant to some of your suggestions? Did it kind of reach a boiling point yesterday?

A: First off, I’d like to address the first thing you said. In terms of my history, I’ve coached on all three sides of the ball for an extended period of years. In terms of my involvement, on offense for a lot of years, my involvement on special teams for a lot of years and my involvement on defense for a few years. So, in terms of my involvement in football, I look at the game from a big-picture standpoint on all three sides of the ball. I make sure that I build up a strong knowledge base in all three phases, that I can have insight, input, and assess and evaluate what we’re doing on all three sides of the ball. With that being said, I communicate with all the coaches, especially the coordinators, on a daily basis in terms of what’s going into the game plan and what I see on offense, defense or special teams and things that I think need to be addressed. All that being said, I have nothing but respect for Jason and appreciation for what he did. There was no boiling point. It’s just a move we feel that we had to make at this point to help the team go further.

Q: I assume you’re going to have the same players out there, the same quarterback, same offensive line, most of the same playbook I would think. What makes you think that changing the coordinator is going to fix the scoring problems that you’ve had?

A: Real simple, it’s my job as a head coach to make sure that I give our players the best opportunity to go out there and be successful. There’s going to be a lot of the same players out there and it’ll still be elements of the playbook that we’ll have out there. We’ll see as new wrinkles develop and new schemes and concepts that may be included. Ultimately, we have to put the players in position to execute, but we’ve got to find something to go ahead and give us an opportunity to change things up a little bit. Obviously, at this point, what we’re doing, we’re not scoring enough points.

Q: Were the players in today? Did you address them on this decision yet or did they find out through social media? How did that work?

A: I spoke to a couple of captains in person. We don’t have any meetings today. Today is the players’ day off for recovery, so I was not able to address every player directly face to face. I’ll do so tomorrow when we meet as a squad.

Q: Besides coaching, you’re obviously also in the business of talent acquisition and to some of the peers, you’re effectively making the decision here to side with players over coaches or a coach in solving a problem. Are you cognizant on how that could positively impact the way players around the league perceive you? Could that ultimately be a good thing for your program?

A: I don’t know. That’s layers that I don’t really consider making this decision. To be honest with you, just really simple, to me when you get into coaching, it’s about the players. That’s just the way I’ve been brought up in this business and the way I look at the game. It’s about the players, it’s the players’ game. Our job as coaches is to give players opportunities to be successful, help develop them and put them in a position of strengths and go out there and they compete. The fun of coaching is to see someone you’ve worked with on something specific have success in that area. That’s the reward, to see somebody else have success. In terms of siding with player over coach, I evaluate everyone the same. I talk to our players openly all the time that before I get to evaluate any players, I evaluate the coaches and make sure that before I hold the player accountable, that I make sure they’ve been in a position of strength to have an opportunity to be successful. With that being said, players are held accountable for everything they do, as well, how they practice, how they prepare and how they produce and how they execute. Everyone’s held accountable for everything they do. No one’s exempt from that right there. Not trying to make any kind of statements in terms of players versus coach. The way I see the game, you have to have coaches who are completely in line with players, who want to see them succeed and you have to have players who trust the coaches (and) that they have their best interest at heart. With that being said, I don’t always worry about perception on the outside. In fact, I hardly ever worry about perception on the outside. I make moves that I think are in the team’s best interest and when you’re in a leadership position, you can’t really ever worry about if it’s a popular decision or not. You have to make the right decision.

Q: What do you like about Freddie as an offensive coach? What do you think conceptually he does well and how can that help the offense, like his voice being a strong one in that room?

A: I’d like to emphasize again, the offense will do this collaboratively as a group and will work through it. If you’re asking specifically about Freddie, what I like about Freddie, is Freddie has a very aggressive approach to the game. I think Freddie’s done a good job in terms of using his players and creating matchups and situations where they can have success and he calls it with a degree of multiples and variables, which present problems to opponents. He sees it through the lens of the player, if that makes sense, in terms of creating plays for the player. I think that’s a valuable asset. There are different ways of seeing the game and different ways of formulating game plans. I trust all of our coaches here – I value all their input. We talk extensively in terms of how we want to put the game plan together. Specifically, on Freddie, as you asked, Freddie brings a game of – he has a very good collection of knowledge. He’s been in a variety of systems, all of which he’s been successful. He sees the game with the right lens.

Q: As far as your players go, are there more drastic changes coming after you watch this film to starters or personnel based on what you saw on the Buccaneers film that you’ve reviewed?

A: I think there are a number of things we have to correct and improve on. You watch the tape, there’s always some good things you can build on and there’s a number of things you have to look at and just identify and say, ‘Okay, this is something that we have to correct and correct fast because Philadelphia is watching that same tape today and they’re going to look to exploit weaknesses.’ That’s their job. Our job is to fix it and make sure that we don’t get exploited. On the same note, in terms of personnel, we compete every week going through in terms of playing time. I talk all the time about taking guys to the game and giving them an opportunity to play. We’ll kind of see how the week of practice goes in terms of who goes ahead and plays throughout the game, but I want everyone to have an opportunity to compete for playing time.

Q: Even if let’s say you blame everything on Jason and take that out of it, your defense didn’t exactly have its finest moment in primetime last night either in getting pressure on Brady, which was very, very small or when they double-teamed the wrong player in the end zone. I’m just wondering how you account for that on the defensive side? It should have been a rested group, you had the bye, you had some time and they frankly didn’t really look like it.

A: I’ll address the first part first. This isn’t a blame game. That’s not what this is at all. I’m not looking for a head to roll. I’m not worried about external opinions or perception, I’ve said that a number of times. This is not a blame game and I’m very appreciative of Jason for a lot of things he’s done for us. In terms of defensive performance, there are a lot of things we have to do better. There were a lot of guys on that field that played very well. A lot of guys made plays. In situational football, we’ve got to do a better job of getting off the field and they did a good job last night of finding some matchups. They did a good job last night in terms of getting the ball out very quickly, having answers before the snap and isolating some positions that negated the pass rush. We obviously have to do a better job of that. We’ve seen a lot of improvement with that throughout the season and our situational football, and we’re getting productive pass rushes in key situations. We’ve got to continue on with that track right there. Every opponent’s a different opponent. When you play against a team like Tampa Bay, who’s very talented and very well-coached and executes at a very high level and a player like Tom, who’s going to go ahead and find the matchups, you’ve got to go ahead, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re on spot every single time. Obviously, we didn’t do that well enough as a whole throughout the game. There were some adjustments made in the game that helped at certain points, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.

Q: I’m just looking for a quick clarification, who will call plays on Sunday?

A: I’m not going to go ahead and get into that just yet. We’re going to talk as a staff and we’re going to go through a number of things with the offensive staff tonight and throughout the week. We’ll make those decisions and get everything ironed out before the game.

Q: The second question I had is, is this an admission the season is not going the way you want it and something has to be done?

A: No, this is simply a move to make sure that I make the best decision for the team. Right now, we have to do things to be more productive on offense and score more points. We have to do something to change it up and this is the time we decided to make it.

Q: I have a two-part question here, will you be more involved with the offense during the week and on gamedays and could that include you calling plays? And then number two, this is an offense that you rubber stamped, and you hired Jason, so how much do the failures fall on you?

A: I’ve said all along, I’m responsible for everything on this team. I’m the head coach. I’ve never shied away from that. I don’t point fingers, so I always start with evaluating myself before anything else. In terms of the involvement. I’m involved with all three phases of the game on a weekly basis consistently throughout. I don’t bury myself in one meeting room. I don’t sit back in my office and just go out to the field and be surprised at what’s going on, so I stay involved with all three phases consistently throughout the week. In terms of play-calling, we’ll talk with the offense and I’d say everything’s on the table.

Q: I’m sorry, you’ll say what?

A: Everything’s on the table in terms of the offense and how we collectively do things.

Q: So, you might call plays?

A: Everything’s on the table.

Q: With seven games to go, what’s your message to a frustrated fan base?

A: I was asked this last night and as I said last night, I don’t see this as the fans’ responsibility to be patient for anything. It’s our job to work hard and put a product out there that they can be entertained and proud of. Our focus right now as a team is getting ready for Philadelphia and going out there and play a good, clean football game and compete on Sunday.

Q: I’m just curious, do you have any regrets that you were too patient with the offense at all? Looking back, do you think there was another point where you could have made a move like this to kind of jumpstart the group? Why is this the right time?

A: I think there were different times within the season – you’re referring specifically to just this season?

Q: Yeah.

A: I think there are different times that – we’ve talked about it a number of things of changing things up and looking into whether it’s game planning or things we’re doing within a game. We’ve used a number of different factors and tried a couple of different things within the game plans. Ultimately, I just think when you have to do something to help the team, it doesn’t matter when it happens, you just have to go ahead and do it. Ultimately, we felt this was the best time. As I explained, there’s not really ever an ideal time to make a change like this in a season. You don’t ever really want to have to do this, but you’ve got to be willing to make whatever decision is best for the team.

Q: You know the personnel that you have, you know what they’re capable of. How do you envision the offense playing for the rest of the season?

A: As I said last night, I expect to see an increased level of production. That’s what I expect. Ultimately, the job of the offense is to score points and, like I’ve said a number of times, we haven’t scored enough points offensively and that’s something we have to do a better job of. It sounds very to the point, basic and generic, but just kind of keeping it big-picture, that’s the job of the offense.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 232021
 

Yes, we have to use this damn photo again!

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 30 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
The once-proud New York Giants franchise was humiliated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-10 on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Giants are now 3-7 and all alone in the cellar of the NFC East.

In a game that was misleadingly close at halftime (Buccaneers 17 – Giants 10), Tampa Bay simply dominated in all facets of the contest:

  • Total offensive plays: Bucs 76 – Giants 54
  • Total net yards: Bucs 402 – Giants 215
  • Net yards rushing: Bucs 94 – Giants 66
  • Net yard passing: Bucs 308 – Giants 149
  • Total first downs: Bucs 28 – Giants 15
  • 3rd-down efficiency: Bucs 6-13 (46 percent) – Giants 1-9 (11 percent)
  • 4th-down efficiency: Bucs 1-1 (100 percent) – Giants 1-3 (33 percent)
  • Turnovers: Bucs 1 – Giants 3
  • Time of possession: Bucs 35:39 – Giants 24:21

The Buccaneers received the ball to start the game and cut right through the New York defense, driving 73 yards in eight plays to take a quick 7-0 lead. The Giants responded with their “best” drive of the night, picking up 56 yards in 13 plays but having to settle for a 37-yard field goal. On their second possession, Tampa Bay put together a marathon, 18-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter. Tampa Bay 10 – Giants 3.

After a three-and-out by the Giants on their second possession, New York got the ball right back when quarterback Tom Brady’s pass was deflected and intercepted by cornerback Adoree’ Jackson at the Tampa Bay 15-yard line and returned to their five yard line. Two plays later, left tackle Andrew Thomas caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones. The 5-yard drive was New York’s last scoring possession of the night. It was all downhill for the Giants after that.

With the score tied at 10-10, Tampa Bay easily drove the field again. The 8-play, 71-yard drive resulted in a 6-yard touchdown run that gave the Buccaneers the lead for good. Neither team scored for the remainder of the half.

The tone for the second half was set on each team’s initial possession after the break. The Giants’ second most productive drive of the evening gained 50 yards and reached the Tampa Bay 25-yard line. But Jones’ 4th-and-1 pass fell incomplete and the Giants turned the ball over on downs. The Buccaneers responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass. The rout was on.

New York’s final five possessions resulted in two punts, two bad interceptions by Jones, and a final turnover on downs. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay added two more field goals to extend the lead to eventual final score of 30-10.

Daniel Jones finished the game 23-of-38 for 167 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. No Giants’ receiving target gained more than 40 yards. The team’s leading rusher was running back Saquon Barkley with just 25 yards on six carries.

Defensively, the Giants rarely pressured Tom Brady as he orchestrated six scoring drives with over 400 yards of offense.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Monday, the Giants activated LT Andrew Thomas (foot/ankle)  to the 53-man roster from Injured Reserve. LB Trent Harris was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

The Giants also elevated TE Chris Myarick and S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, WR/returner Pharoh Cooper was activated from the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 replacement for S Logan Ryan (Reserve/COVID-19 List).

Inactive for the game were FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), TE Kaden Smith (knee), LB Lorenzo Carter (illness/ankle), S Nate Ebner (knee), OG/OC Wes Martin, and LB Oshane Ximines.

TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and WR Kadarius Toney (quad contusion) were injured in the game and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • DL Leonard Williams (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Tuesday.