Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

Aug 202019
 
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Cody Latimer, New York Giants (August 16, 2019)

Cody Latimer – © USA TODAY Sports

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AUGUST 20, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eighteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The remaining training camp practices are no longer open to the public.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Tuesday.

Cornerback Deandre Baker (knee) participated in individual drills. Linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf) was limited.

Safety Michael Thomas was excused for NFL business.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • After physical practices on Sunday and Monday, the Giants had a lighter, carded, no-pads practice on Tuesday.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a perfect 40-yard bomb down the left sideline to WR Darius Slayton.
  • WR Sterling Shepard made a nice fingertip catch on a rollout pass from QB Kyle Lauletta.
  • WR Bennie Fowler made a fingertip catch on 50-yard post pass from QB Eli Manning. Then Manning threw a 20-yard out to WR Reggie White, Jr.
  • In 11-on-11 red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones threw a TD pass to TE Scott Simonson. Jones then found WR T.J. Jones for another score.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta threw a seam touchdown pass to TE C.J. Conrad and then tossed another touchdown to WR Da’Mari Scott.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Tuesday 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:

Aug 202019
 
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Aug 192019
 
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Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

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AUGUST 19, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventeenth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The remaining training camp practices are no longer open to the public.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), linebacker Tae Davis (illness), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

Cornerback Deandre Baker (knee) participated in individual drills. Linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf) was limited.

Safety Michael Thomas was excused for NFL business.

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS FROM SY’56…
So I have been to probably a little more than a dozen training camp practices and this one was, by a fair margin, the hottest one yet. I have a high tolerance for the heat and sun because I enjoy being outdoors, but an hour into practice I was absolutely baking. Humidity was really thick. Practice ended up getting shortened because of it, I think. It was just a 90-minute session, if not a little less.

Deandre Baker was back on the field for individuals. Didn’t seem like he was going full speed but he wasn’t limping or anything. That was pretty much it for him.

-One of the new bodies out there in the defensive backfield was Terrell Sinkfield, Jr. He played both S and CB today and I was impressed with the physical package he brought to the table. He was beat off the ball a couple times because of poor footwork but he recovered well.

-Defensively, the pass rush was disruptive early on. It seemed like this was a very blitz-heavy day and the second/third level guys were getting through. Always hard to tell though when they can’t hit the QB.

Markus Golden and Dalvin Tomlinson were sent into coverage a couple times via the zone-blitz. The latter, I mean what can you expect from a 310 pound DT? Golden, however, looked just as uncomfortable. Burned as badly as one can be burned on a short slant route by Evan Engram.

B.J. Goodson was in there with Ryan Connelly at inside linebacker because of the absence of Alec Ogletree (calf) and Tae Davis (illness). It was a good day for him with extra urgency and pop. It seemed like he smelled an opportunity and wanted to really get after it. He ended his day with an interception off a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage. I will keep saying this, I hope he gets a shot. I think he adds something to this defense attitude wise.

Corey Ballentine got picked on in coverage today. From my vantage point he got beat by Engram, Cody Latimer, and Bennie Fowler.

-I watched CB Janoris Jenkins a lot today. I wanted to visibly see the difference between him and the others. That is what this position group is, Jenkins and a bunch of hopefuls. Jenkins excels at efficient movement. No wasted steps, no lackluster decision making. He did gamble twice (and was wrong) but he didn’t get exposed because the QB was looking elsewhere. Corner is, outside of QB, the toughest position to play and project in my opinion. But it is easy to see Jenkins simply moves differently out there, a different level of coordination and control.

-Nice TFLs for both DT Olsen Pierre and S Kenny Ladler. Pierre may have had a sack as well but it was hard to tell for sure.

-Offensively, Eli Manning looked exceptional today. Very sharp all over the field. Left, right, middle, short, intermediate, his throws were on the money. He audibled at the line a couple times and ended up completing passes for 10+ yards. There was a heavy emphasis on play-action today. He really has a different look about him and I will go to my grave saying it stems from the OL. The physical and mental impact that has on a QB cannot be overlooked.

Evan Engram had a drop on a tough, but very doable catch. He was a little late and slow out of his break and just didn’t see it right away.

Saquon Barkley was given the ball, I would say, 8-9 times today. Few handoffs and pitches in addition to a few catches. They split him out wide a couple times and the safety Jabrill Peppers went out to cover him man on man. Barkley had a deep pass tossed his way (about 25-30 yards) on a vertical route and he leapt up gracefully, seamlessly caught the ball, and came down ready to explode downfield. I do think in a game, Antoine Bethea had the angle to light him up after the catch. It wouldn’t have been a touchdown but it would have been a big gain. Manning could have put it more outside if I am gonna nitpick.

Paul Perkins received a ton of praise from coaches and players alike for a jump cut he made after a handoff on a play where the defense sent blitzers up the middle. The reaction and balance were superb. You can easily tell that a lot of the guys really like him.

-Nice day for rookie WR Darius Slayton. He was a full-go in team drills, the first I got to see up close. It is easy to forget about him since he hasn’t been here long and hasn’t practiced much. His burst out of his breaks is notable, he can move at a different speed than the others. He didn’t get any deep looks.

-QB Daniel Jones had, you guessed it, an up-and-down day. Broken record, I know. The worst I have seen him has been in practice and the best I have seen him has been in the games. I want to take that as a good sign. He threw a beautiful ball downfield but WR Golden Brittan couldn’t get under it. I think a speed receiver gets it and scores a TD.

Daniel Jones is a very underrated athlete when rolling out. He gets out on those bootlegs in a hurry but I haven’t seen him show a ton of accuracy. He didn’t seem as comfortable besides the plays where he quickly got it out to a target in the flat. He did tuck it and run once and it would have been a 10+ yard gain. He is a long strider who will gain chunks when they are there. That is something NYG hasn’t had in….well…Hostetler?

-Head Coach Pat Shurmur brought the whole team together before red zone offense vs. defense. Not sure what he said but there was a challenge presented that got everyone fired up. It was second-team offense vs. second-team defense…players were chirping. Play 1 was…a tipped pass at the line that was intercepted by B.J. Goodson. That was it, they then put the third-stringers in.

-Good to see plenty of guys getting extra work in after practice. The entire TE group. OT Brian Mihalik vs. OLB Jake Carlock. Quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Alex Tanney and a few others.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Monday 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:

Aug 192019
 
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Aug 182019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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AUGUST 18, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their sixteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The remaining training camp practices are no longer open to the public.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), cornerback Deandre Baker (knee), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring), and long snapper Zak DeOssie (toe) did not practice on Sunday.

Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson was excused from practice for personal reasons.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was not wearing the non-contact yellow jersey and he was catching the ball with both hands.
  • Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, and T.J. Jones all received first-team reps at wide receiver.
  • The second-team offensive line had Chad Slade at left tackle, Nick Gates at left guard, Spencer Pulley at center, Victor Salako at right guard, and Chad Wheeler at right tackle. Evan Brown worked as the third-team center.
  • Tae Davis and Ryan Connelly were with the first-team defense, as was cornerback Corey Ballentine.
  • The practice focused more on the ground game.
  • With Dalvin Tomlinson absent, Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence played nose tackle today and was stout in the middle of the defense against the run.
  • LB Tae Davis was active against the run, making two plays for a loss.
  • Safety Jabrill Peppers dropped an interception on a pass broken up by LB Tae Davis from QB Eli Manning.
  • QB Eli Manning found TE Evan Engram for a 25-yard gain on a corner route.
  • S Kenny Ladler knocked down a pass over the middle from QB Kyle Lauletta.
  • PK Aldrick Rosas was 5-of-6. He made kicks from 30, 34, 39, 43, and 47 yards. His miss was from 53 yards.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Sunday 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:

Aug 182019
 
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Aug 172019
 
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Bennie Fowler, New York Giants (August 16, 2019)

Bennie Fowler – © USA TODAY Sports

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FRIDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Saturday to discuss the team’s 32-13 win over the Chicago Bears:

Opening Statement: I’ll try to answer your questions. I had the chance to go through the tape and a lot of what I said last night really stands. We did a lot of things well. We improved a lot of the things that were a focal point last week, but some things popped up that we need to correct. I thought we were loose with the football. We dropped a punt, we had a chance at an interception which we didn’t get, we did cause a couple of fumbles, which was good, but on the flip side, Daniel Jones had two fumbles, Rod Smith had one, we had three drops, and then Eli (Manning) had a little exchange problem. That was not up to our standards. Those are all correctable, every one of those, and those are the things that we will continue to focus on as we go through camp. If we’re going to talk about what we did well and then what we need to improve on, I think just going back to Pat’s t-shirt, it’s ‘all ball’ and it’s all about the ball, and we need to go a better job at securing it. I’ll take your questions.

Q: Obviously in the first game you were pretty clear that Daniel (Jones) was only going to play behind the first team offensive line. Last night, do you give any thought to making the first team offensive line play as long as Daniel plays? What goes into playing him behind the second guys? Just showing some confidence in those guys? What’s the balance?
A: No, I don’t think I said he was only going to play behind the first line in the first game. I ended up shutting him down with that group because of the way with the lightning and that whole deal went. I have confidence in everybody that we put out there, and I think we have some players who compete in the second offensive line who have a really good chance to make our team. I think it’s smart to get him out there and get as many reps as possible. I guess I didn’t put much thought into that other than the first time out, I just wanted him to start behind the first line. If it was a perfect world that night, he probably would have played a series or two behind the second line.

Q: I guess I misunderstood because of the lightning.
A: Yeah, if I was unclear, I apologize.

Q: You mentioned the backup offensive line guys. Who in that group has really stood out to you?
A: There are a couple. As we go forward, I thought a guy who has played well, and obviously was hurt a year ago, is Nick Gates. That’s one guy that has done a nice job. We have Evan Brown who has played in there and done a good job. Those are a couple— and then (Chad) Slade has done a nice job. (Then we) have Spencer Pulley, who I consider a starter, just as a couple of the guys, probably, who I have mentioned.

Q: With Daniel’s fumble, do you chalk that up to sloppiness? Or when you went back and looked at the film were there things that technically he could have done better?
A: No, first things first- getting the exchange is the first thing and there’s a reason for it. We were running a wide zone play to the left and he has to ride the center and do that better. I was a center, and I had an agreement with the quarterback when the ball was on the ground, I would say it was my fault, then he would say it was his fault. In reality, it’s both their faults. I think that is something we have to clean up. It’s just practice, and obviously very correctable. You always have to keep two hands on the ball in the pocket. I really feel like that’s just something you have to get used to when guys are swatting at you. Those are things we can work on.

Q: Is that something that he needs to experience in the games, because obviously in practices he’s wearing the red jersey and people aren’t really coming near and swatting at him?
A: No, I think that’s just general. All quarterbacks have to go through it. It certainly helps, and it helps the process being in the game for sure.

Q:  How much differently are you operating training camp because of all the youth?
A: Well, I think two things. Every team is different, I think you would agree, relative to where they are in their cycles. Some have veteran teams they handle in different ways. While I was in Philly, there was a year where we had a lot of guys near 30 years old and we would give them a day or two off during training camp. I think every team is different, it’s a dynamic model. We have ways to track whether guys are getting ready to play day one, so we track that. We also have, I call it our second brain, our gut, that tells us what we need to be doing, (if) we need more of this. We have a trend that we want to put our team on but then we have to adjust based on what we see and what we are feeling. I think you are seeing more and more where coaches are handling the preseason differently. To me, it’s a little bit like everyone wants to talk about halftime adjustments. I marvel at that because you are constantly making adjustments. The same can be said about the preseason, people are starting to divert their opinions as to the importance of playing your players in the preseason games. I’ve already heard people talking to me about the third preseason game and it’s your dress rehearsal, that’s kind of like your halftime adjustments. I think you are getting ready to play every practice and every game. As a coach, you have to weigh the importance of the work you are doing and how much work each guy gets. To your point, every team is different, and every coach views it differently based on the players they have and their experiences.

Q: What did you find after looking at the tape regarding your pass rush?
A: I thought we were more disruptive. I thought the interior defensive linemen played better than they did the week before, I thought the edge pressure was a little bit better. X-man got his first sack, which was good. I feel, generally speaking, we were more disruptive. We still have to improve but I think it was a step forward from last week.

Q: What did you take away from Ryan Connelly’s night, he didn’t have any tackles?
A: He actually played pretty well, he has very good instincts and he played well within the scheme.  He didn’t certainly get the production as you mentioned, but he improved this week.

Q: If you agree that Dexter Lawrence has had two quiet games, why do you think that is?
A: I think he improved this week. He’s a rookie, he improved from the first week to the second. I think, as I mentioned, that group in general played better the second week. I think they were a little rusty the first week, let’s just call it that, even the guys that played a year ago. He improved, and we will look for continued improvement over the next two games.

Q: Any update on Antonio Hamilton, and are you guys in a little bit of a bind at the top of the corners if he’s out with (DeAndre) Baker and (Sam) Beal?
A: Nope, we’re not in a bind. There are nicks, little injuries where we feel like they’re going to be back soon, so we’re not in a bind. In terms of the update, I have no update yet. I’m having a staff meeting here with my coaches at 1:00 p.m., but we’re going to go over the injury report and get ready for tomorrow’s practice. So, unfortunately, I’m 46 minutes, 47 minutes, in 48 minutes you could ask that question, I guess. So, I don’t know yet.

Q: Regarding players who don’t post numbers on the stat sheet, obviously you’re looking at them and how they play in the scheme, but do you have any other criteria as far as determining how productive they are, even though the numbers aren’t necessarily there?
A: Yeah, I think certainly the sack is the ultimate, but disrupting the quarterback is what you’re looking for. So, especially for guys rushing on the interior, if they can get the quarterback to flush or move off their mark, in our eyes, that’s an effective rush. So, we keep track of those types of things.

Q: How much would it have helped you evaluate your own team if your opponent last night had approached the game as you did, meaning the ones likely would have played against the ones, perhaps the twos against the twos, and that sort of thing?
A: I don’t know, I guess you could say at least for the first quarter, maybe one way or the other, you may learn a thing or two more, but for most of the game, a lot of the players we were looking at, we were playing twos versus twos. So, I don’t know, I would imagine maybe a little bit. It’s one of those things, it didn’t happen, so what are you going to do about it? That’s sort of the way I look at it.

Q: Is there any reason the defense has started off the first two preseason games so slow—touchdown against the Jets, field goal against the Bears?
A: Well, they gave up a field goal and I thought we were better in this game, I think, generally speaking. We only allowed three explosive plays, and none in the first drive. We caused two fumbles, then we had a defensive score on a safety. Didn’t allow any touchdowns outside of the red zone. There were eight three-and-out series. So, there were many things that were good. Certainly, you don’t want anybody to score on the first drive, but I think there was an improvement this game, we forced them to kick a field goal, so I don’t see a trend there. Like everything, though, we’re fighting to get better in all areas throughout the game.

Q: You’ve said when Daniel Jones’ time comes, he’ll be ready. With the understanding that his time isn’t now and you’re going to have Eli Manning as you’re starting quarterback, is he ready now?
A: I think when his time comes, he’s going to be ready. I still think we’ve got training camp left to push through, we’ve got preseason games left to push through. I would say right now, we’re three weeks from any of us being ready, so that’s sort of where we’re at. We’ve got work to do, and so that’s how I approach that. That would be my answer to that question, I guess.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday and return to training camp practice on Sunday.

Aug 162019
 
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Daniel Jones and T.J. Jones, New York Giants (August 16, 2019)

Daniel Jones and T.J. Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – CHICAGO BEARS 13…
The New York Giants soundly defeated the Chicago Bears 32-13 on Friday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While the Giants played without a number of starters, including running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, linebacker Alec Ogletree, and cornerback DeAndre Baker, the Bears sat all of their offensive and defensive starters.

The Giants’ first-team offense easily moved down the field against the Bears’ second-team defense on their initial possession, driving 79 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd-and-5 from the 8-yard line, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Bennie Fowler for an 8-yard touchdown. The Bears’ second-team offense responded with an 11-play, 55-yard drive against the Giants’ first-team defense to set up a 41-yard field goal. Giants 7 – Bears 3.

Daniel Jones took over at quarterback on New York’s second possession near the end of the first quarter. He connected on a 17-yard pass to Fowler on 2nd-and-14. Two plays later, Jones found wide receiver Cody Latimer for a 40-yard gain on a deep sideline pass. However, an untouched Jones fumbled the ball away on the very next play and the Bears took over at their own 24-yard line.

After two three-and-outs by the Bears and one by the Giants, Jones was stripped of the football on a 3rd-and-11 play on the team’s fourth possession of the night. The Bears returned the fumble to the Giants’ 12-yard line. However, defensive end Olsen Pierre sacked the Bears’ quarterback on 3rd-and-15, setting up a 47-yard field goal attempt that was missed.

On the ensuing drive, Jones connected with wide receiver Brittan Golden on a 27-yard catch-and-run that set up a 47-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. Giants 10 – Bears 3. The Giants quickly extended their advantage to 12-3 when Chicago botched a shotgun snap that resulted in a fumble out of the end zone for a safety. The Giants got the ball back on the free kick. Jones connected with running back Paul Perkins on a 26-yard screen pass. After two short passes to wide receiver T.J. Jones and a run by Perkins, Jones threw a perfect pass into the endzone for a 15-yard score to T.J. Jones. The Giants now led 19-3 with just over a minute to play before halftime.

The Bears appeared to have returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, but a holding penalty brought the ball back to the Bears’ 28-yard line. Still, Chicago was able to drive the ball 63 yards in nine plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. At the half, New York led 19-6.

Chicago went three-and-out to start the second half. Alex Tanney was now in the game for the Giants at quarterback and New York also went three-and-out. After the Bears’ second three-and-out of the half, the Giants drove 71 yards to the Bears’ 1-yard line. But on 1st-and-goal, Tanney threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off and returned 62 yards by the Bears to the Giants’ 37-yard line. Six plays later, the Bears scored a 1-yard touchdown to cut New York’s lead to 19-13.

On their third possession of the second half, New York impressively responded with a 6-play, 60-yard score after a 43-yard kickoff return by T.J. Jones. On 3rd-and-8, Tanney hit wide receiver Da’Mari Scott for 38 yards on a deep pass. Three plays later, running back Jon Hilliman ran for a 10-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Giants led 25-13 at the start of the fourth quarter.

After both teams exchanged punts, linebacker Jonathan Anderson forced a fumble that linebacker Josiah Tauaefa recovered, setting up the Giants at the Chicago 36-yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Garrett Dickerson. Giants 32 – Bears 13.

An unforced fumble by the Bears that defensive end Terrence Fede recovered gave the Giants the ball back at the Chicago 24-yard line with 5:38 left to play. The Giants took 4:33 off of the clock before turning the ball over on down at the 3-yard line. Chicago then just ran out the clock.

On offense, Manning finished 4-of-4 for 42 yards and a touchdown. Jones was 11-of-14 for 161 yards and one touchdown. He also fumbled the ball away twice. Tanney was 4-of-9 for 54 yards and an interception. Lauletta was 2-of-3 for 13 yards and a touchdown. No receiver had more than three catches. Hilliman rushed for 56 yards on 16 carries; Rod Smith 42 yards on 10 carries with one fumble; and Perkins 35 yards on six carries.

Defensively, the Giants recovered two fumbles. In addition to Pierre, linebackers Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines each had sacks.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
RB Wayne Gallman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (thumb), WR Darius Slayton, OT Brian Mihalik (burner), OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), LB Alec Ogletree (calf), CB Deandre Baker (knee), CB Sam Beal (hamstring), and LS Zak DeOssie did not play.

Running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram were healthy scratches.

Cornerback Antonio Hamilton left the game with a groin injury and did not return.

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

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1162567669784166400

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Saturday. The players are off on Saturday and return to training camp practice on Sunday.