Eric Kennedy

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

Jul 312021
 
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Nick Gates and Will Hernandez, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

Nick Gates and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 31, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fourth full-team summer training camp practice on Saturday evening at Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark, New Jersey in front of local high school football players.

GIANTS SIGN LB TODD DAVIS, OL JOE LOONEY, WR DAMION WILLIS…
The Giants have signed unrestricted free agent inside linebacker Todd Davis (Minnesota Vikings); wide receiver Damion Willis, who was cut by the Denver Broncos on July 20; and unrestricted free agent center/guard Joe Looney (Dallas Cowboys).

The 29-year old, 6’1”, 230-pound Davis has spent time with the New Orleans Saints (2014), Denver Broncos (2014-2019), and Minnesota Vikings (2020). He has played in 96 regular-season games with 69 starts, accruing 479 tackles, three sacks, 15 pass defenses, one interception, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

“We’re really looking forward to getting (Davis) on the field,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’re excited about that and he’ll come in and compete with the other linebackers at his position and work through his defensive responsibilities, as well as his role in the kicking game. Got to meet with him today, sit down face to face and have a good conversation, liked his energy. I’ve known him as a player in the league for some time but made a good first impression personality-wise and I’m excited to get him on the field.”

The 30-year old, 6’3”, 310-pound Looney was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He has spent time with the 49ers (2012-2014), Tennessee Titans (2015), and Dallas Cowboys (2016-2020). Looney has played in 104 regular-season games with 42 starts, including 12 starts for the Cowboys in 2020. He has experience at both center and guard.

The 24-year old, 6’3”, 204-pound Willis was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Bengals waived him in July 2020 and Willis then spent time with the Cleveland Browns (2020), Jacksonville Jaguars (2020), and Denver Broncos (2021). He played in 10 games, with two starts, for the Bengals in 2019 and caught nine passes for 82 yards.

INJURY REPORT…
LG Shane Lemieux (knee), LB Blake Martinez (COVID), LB Lorenzo Carter (unkown), LB Elerson Smith (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (COVID), WR Austin Mack (hamstring), WR Derrick Dillon (unknown), RB Mike Weber (unknown), and TE Levine Toilolo (unknown) did not practice on Saturday.

The NFL Network is reporting that Lemieux will be out two weeks with his knee injury.

Regarding Carter, Head Coach Joe Judge said, “It’s not a reaggravation of anything (Carter has) done before. We’re just going to be careful with a few things right there. With anyone coming off an injury (ruptured Achilles’ tendon) like he was, we’re just making sure that we have a plan entering training camp and how to handle him throughout it. With him and several other guys coming off injury, there are going to be periods in this training camp that you’re going to see a little bit less of them at times and then you’re going to see a lot of them. Right now, he’s in one of those periods accompanied with something else that happened in practice.”

RT Matt Peart (back) has been activated off of the Active/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. He practiced on Saturday.

LB Blake Martinez has been activated off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List. However, like Toney, he will be brought along slowly before returning to practice. He did not practice on Saturday. “Blake is back with us in the building today, he’s his normal self, smiling ear to ear, happy to be with the team,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He’s always a lot of fun to have around, he’s always got a good comment, but definitely a guy who communicates a lot in the meetings…In terms of where he’ll be on the field with us, the plan right away is to get him with the trainers and continue his kind of ramp up and build him back physically. When we know he’s ready to go, we’ll get him back on the field.”

The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: S Joshua Kalu and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • This evening’s session was a very light, walk-thru practice. Because of that, there was nothing noteworthy to report.
  • Kenny Wiggins continues to start at left guard with Shane Lemieux out.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants are off Sunday and return to practice on Monday.

Jul 302021
 
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Azeez Ojulari, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

Azeez Ojulari – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 30, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

We’ll work on some third down and some calls,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “Really, our focus still remains on including the foundational base and the fundamentals, building our communication and the chemistry of the units. This is critical as we go to pads next week. We’ve got to make sure that we start this week with a big strong base on fundamentals and keep building our conditioning. We’ll actually peel back the time a little bit today. We are going to try to mirror this as much as we can in terms of the pattern we have in the regular season. We’ve been two hours on the field the first two days. Today, we’ll be about an hour and a half. That generally patterns what we do in the regular season.

“After this, we’ll have a day tomorrow where we’ll actually tone it down a little bit and focus more on teamwork. We’re going to be more at a lesser pace. We call it the ‘Pro Bowl Jog,’ which is what the league officially calls it, but it’s more of a spirited jog through, if you would. A lot of focus tomorrow on review we put in already, what we’re going to put in next week, our communication across the units, and then just trying to build a team operation, breaking a huddle, no huddle, or whatever may come up in that situation.”

INJURY REPORT – UPDATE ON SHANE LEMIEUX…
Starting left guard Shane Lemieux was carted off of the field during practice on Thursday after injury one of his knees. He did not practice on Friday and will continue to be evaluated. “I’d say for the next, call it 24-48 hours, we’ll really kind of understand where he’s at,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “I will say this, I’d say the worst-case scenario looks to have been avoided, we’re happy about that. But, in terms of trying to come out here and try to make a diagnosis on Shane, we’ve got to see where he’s at. But, one thing I take for Shane, he’s kind of like a wild animal. He’d cut his leg off to get through a bear trap if he had to, so him not being out there is kind of driving him nuts. He’s already been in my office today talking about the fastest way to get back and, look, my message to him is always when the trainers say you’re 100 percent healthy to go on the field, we’ll put you on the field.”

In addition, LB Lorenzo Carter (unkown), LB Elerson Smith (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (COVID), WR Derrick Dillon (unknown), and TE Levine Toilolo (unknown) did not practice on Friday. OL Chad Slade (personal excuse) also did not practice.

WR Austin Mack appeared to pull his left hamstring during practice.

The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake MartinezS Joshua Kalu, and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Kenny Wiggins continued to start at left guard in absence of Shane Lemieux.
  • The offense and QB Daniel Jones had difficulty completing passes down the field; most completions were underneath routes. (John Schmeelk of Giants.com said this could be by design since the focus last year early in camp was the short passing game).
  • WR Sterling Shepard knocked over CB Adoree’ Jackson on a bubble screen. Jackson did recover a fumble and may have scored on the play in a live game situation.
  • S Logan Ryan picked off a fade pass from QB Daniel Jones to TE Evan Engram in the end zone.
  • LB T.J. Brunson smashed WR Kenny Golladay coming over the middle of the defense.
  • CB Rodarius Williams intercepted a pass in the end zone from QB Clayton Thorson.
  • DB Julian Love, DL R.J. McIntosh, S Montre Hartage, and LB Tae Crowder all broke up passes.
  • Wide receivers C.J. Board and John Ross made some nice catches. Both had touchdown receptions as did WR David Sills from QB Daniel Jones.
  • QB Mike Glennon threw a TD pass to Alex Bachman for a touchdown.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants will hold a walk-thru practice Saturday night (6:30-7:30 PM) at Eddie Moraes Stadium in Newark, NJ. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media earlier in the day.

Jul 292021
 
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Kenny Golladay, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

Kenny Golladay – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 29, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

We’re still in helmets and shorts,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “We’ll continue some red area work today, in the higher red area, continue right there and again, right now, we’re still focused on really the fundamentals, the communication and getting our guys in football shape.”

GIANTS CUT TAQUAN MIZZELL, EXPECTED TO RE-SIGN ALFRED MORRIS…
The Giants waived (with an injury settlement) RB Taquan Mizzell, who was placed on Injured Reserve on July 22 with a hamstring injury. The 5’10”, 185-pound Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Chicago Bears (2017-2018), and New Orleans Saints (2019-2020). The Giants signedMizzell to the Practice Squad in November 2020.

Meanwhile, The New York Post is reporting that the Giants are expected to re-sign unrestricted free agent RB Alfred Morris. The Giants signed  Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020 and the 53-man roster in November 2020. Morris ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with no starts, carrying the ball 55 times for 238 yards (4.3 yards per rush).

The 5’10”, 222-pound Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019). Morris has played in 114 regular-season games with 70 starts. Morris was second-team All-Pro in 2012 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014.

INJURY REPORT – SHANE LEMIEUX CARTED OFF OF FIELD WITH KNEE INJURY…
Starting left guard Shane Lemieux was carted off of the field during practice after injury one of his knees. There is no word yet on the severity of the injury.

LB Elerson Smith (unknown) and NT Austin Johnson (unknown) did not practice.

The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake MartinezS Joshua Kalu, and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)

WR Kadarius Toney, who came off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Tuesday, continues to work with trainers on the side and did not practice. “He had a good day yesterday with the trainers,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’re going to keep on ramping him up over there.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee) was very active on the sideline with trainers, cutting and sprinting.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • QB Daniel Jones threw red zone touchdown passes to tight ends Evan Engram and Kaden Smith. In 7-on-7 drills, Jones’ only incompletion came on a dropped pass.
  • TE Evan Engram was very active catching the football.
  • RB Devontae Booker continues to receive a lot of reps and caught a number of passes out of the backfield.
  • S Jabrill Peppers read plays very well and was very active. He came close to picking off a pass in the flat for a touchdown. Fellow safety Xavier McKinney also was fairly active.
  • WR Austin Mack caught a touchdown pass on a fade route from QB Clayton Thorson.
  • CB Darnay Holmes intercepted a pass and broke up another pass on a slant route.
  • CB Chris Milton made a couple of plays in pass defense.
  • LB Azeez Ojulari saw some reps with the first-team defense.
  • LB Carter Coughlin broke up a pass.
  • After Shane Lemieux left practice with a knee injury, Kenny Wiggins stepped in at starting left guard.
  • QB Daniel Jones stayed after practice to continue to work with wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Austin Mack, David Sills, and Dante Pettis.
  • Players spotted running punishment laps for making mistakes included QB Daniel Jones, QB Clayton Thorson, WR Alex Bachman, OC Nick Gates, OC Brett Heggie, and LB Azeez Ojulari.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice Friday morning (9:30-11:30AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Jul 292021
 
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Jul 292021
 
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Jul 282021
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (June 10, 2021)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 28, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first full-team summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Practices are not open to the public this year.

“There’s a ramp-up period, so we really won’t be in pads until next Tuesday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before the first practice. “So it’ll be helmets and shorts for the next couple of days, we’ll go into shells Friday and Saturday, shells the following Monday and then we’ll be in pads. We’ll be in pads as much as we can be, even when it’s not a live contact day. Just get used to wearing the equipment, moving around, getting our players used to being out there.”

GIANTS CUT KELVIN BENJAMIN…
The Giants have cut Kelvin Benjamin, who the team was converting from wide receiver to tight end. The Giants signed Benjamin as a tryout player during the team’s rookie mini-camp in May 2021. The 6’5”, 245-pound Benjamin was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. As a wide receiver, Benjamin has spent time with the Panthers (2014-2017), Buffalo Bills (2017-2018), and Kansas City Chiefs (2018).

INJURY REPORT…
The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake Martinez, S Joshua Kalu, and TE Rysen John
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring) and LB Ryan Anderson (back)
  • Injured Reserve: RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring)

RB Sandro Platzgummer, who was on the NFL List with a hamstring injury, passed his physical and practiced.

TE Rysen John was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List today.

WR Kadarius Toney, who came off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List yesterday, worked with trainers on the sideline, but did not practice. “He’s going to ramp up with our trainers,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’ll see where he is physically before we kind of bring him back completely.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Devontae Booker and Corey Clement received the bulk of the work at running back.
  • QB Daniel Jones had some trouble connecting with his targets in red zone drills. He did connect with WR Darius Slayton on two red zone touchdowns as well as one each to WR Sterling Shepard and WR David Sills.
  • WRs Darius Slayton and Kenny Golladay made some nice catches.
  • QB Mike Glennon threw a touchdown pass to WR C.J. Board.
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson, DB Julian Love, and S Logan Ryan were active defending passes. CB Madre Harper picked off a pass. S Xavier McKinney also broke up an end zone pass intended for WR Kenny Golladay.
  • WR John Ross impressed on special teams with his speed (both returning and in coverage).
  • QB Daniel Jones and WR Kenny Golladay stayed after practice to work on end zone fade routes under the guidance of Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett.

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…
The New York Giants practice Thursday morning (9:30-11:30AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media.

Jul 272021
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (September 14, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP BEGINS…
While New York Giants rookies, quarterbacks, first-year players, and rehabbing injured players reported to team facilities last week, the rest of the team reported today at East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first summer training camp practice will be held on Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM. Practices are not open to the public this year.

Right now, our players are still completing their physicals,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We’ve had some team meetings in terms of some of the medical meetings and some of the logistics that go along with reporting day. Then, this afternoon, we’ll transition back over to football and get ready for tomorrow’s practice.”

INJURY REPORT…
The following players remain on various PUP and reserve lists:

  • Reserve/COVID-19 List: LB Blake Martinez and S Joshua Kalu were placed on the list today.
  • Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List: LB Reggie Ragland (hamstring), LB Ryan Anderson (back) and RB Sandro Platzgummer (hamstring)
  • Injured Reserve: RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring)

WR Kadarius Toney was officially removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 List today.

“(Toney is)  with us today in the building, so he’s back with us. We have a number of (COVID) guys for different reasons that we’re actually going to take them a little bit slower,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Obviously, coming off of that protocol as we learned last year with the number of players on our team throughout the season, we’re going to go and move them around the field and make sure that he’s ready to go, then we’ll start integrating with our team. We’re not going to go ahead and rush anything to get in the process. He’ll be in the meetings with all of our players. He’ll be able to go out there and operate in some of the – some of the meetings we get a little bit more on our feet. But in terms of practice itself, we’re not going to do anything with him on the field with the team until we know he’s fully ready to go. His timetable will be different, I’m sure, than a lot of the guys last year that we learned from. One thing we really took away from last year was these things are all very specific to each person, what their symptoms were or what their exposure was, but that time away from training is what’s critical.

I’d say, with all the guys that are on PUP, we just took the approach of anybody who’s not 100 percent from day one that we’re going to put them on the PUP list. This wasn’t anything unique to one player, just an approach we’re taking with every player. With the PUP list, we can pull them off at any point. We’re optimistic with all the players that are on it currently, they’re all working with our training staff and making a lot of progress. I’m not going over any one person’s individual injury at this moment, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the way that he’s working and going day by day.”

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice Wednesday morning (9:30-11:30AM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media.

ARTICLES…

Jul 272021
 
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Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates, New York Giants (November 2, 2020)

Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates – © USA TODAY Sports

Ten years ago, the New York Giants and their fans were standing on top the world. The team was about to embark on its second miracle Super Bowl run in four years, culminating in the franchise’s eighth NFL Championship. But the fortunes of the Giants rapidly went south after that pinnacle of success. Seven of the next nine seasons resulted in a losing record, with double-digit losses in six of those years. The franchise that never fired a general manager fired one. During the past six years, the Giants have had four different head coaches.

Yet despite another losing record in 2020, there is a feeling that the team may finally be pointing in the right direction again. For at least the short-term, Head Coach Joe Judge and Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham have won over the fans. And the team is coming off of a very productive offseason, radically changing the make-up of much of the roster.

Can the Giants finish with a winning record in 2021? Much depends on the answers to these questions:

  1. Is Daniel Jones the answer at quarterback? This horse has been beaten to death by the media and fans all offseason, but the question remains a valid one. Jones’ supporters will point to his 24-touchdown rookie season in 12 starts and the clear lack of strong supporting cast all around him in 2019 and 2020. (Same issue Eli Manning had). Jones’ detractors will point to turnovers and him not elevating the game of those around him, especially given his lofty draft status. At least publicly, the front office, coaches, and players all support Jones. As of right now, there is no fallback option on the roster. The Giants will sink or swim with Jones at the helm. Jones also has to prove he can stay healthy, something he has been unable to do a the pro level thus far.
  2. Can Saquon Barkley ever regain his rookie form? Barkley suffered a major knee injury (ACL, meniscus, MCL) last September. Although not unexpected, it is not a great sign that he begins training camp on the PUP. Are the Giants simply being cautious and bringing him along slowly, or are there real concerns about the knee? The 2018 rookie version of Barkley was an MVP candidate, a player who can take over a game and elevate the play of those around him. The 2019 and 2020 version of Barkley has been MIA. Medicine has changed but it remains to be seen if Barkley will follow the opposing career paths of Adrian Peterson or Tucker Frederickson. Make no mistake, a healthy and productive Barkley changes everything for this team.
  3. Can the team field a somewhat competent offensive line? This is arguably the most important question. We saw first hand last year on a game-to-game basis what a difference there was when the offensive line played poorly versus when it played well. When the latter occurred, the Giants moved the ball, controlled the clock, reduced the number of hits on the quarterback, and won the turnover battle. While the Giants made major changes to the offensive line coaching staff, they did not on the roster. Back-ups Zach Fulton and Jonotthan Harrison were the only additions of note. The Giants appear ready to sink or swim with Andrew Thomas at left tackle, Shane Lemieux at left guard, Nick Gates at center, Will Hernandez at right guard (a new position for him), and Matt Peart at right tackle (who begins camp on the PUP with a back injury). Depth appears better with Fulton, Harrison, and Nate Solder.
  4. Can Evan Engram get his head out of his ass? Yes, Evan Engram was voted to his first Pro Bowl in 2020. But that seems like somewhat of a bad joke given Engram’s team-leading 11 dropped passes, some of which came in crucial situations and/or led to interceptions and his one receiving touchdown. Indeed, according to ProFootballReference, Engram dropped 10 percent of all passes thrown in his direction. For a tight end who can’t block well, that is an appalling stat. Engram’s issues appear to be mental. It remains to be seen if the front office and coaching staff will regret not trading him. Engram can be a difference maker, but those moments are far too infrequent. He disappears for long stretches. Worse, he often hurts his team in the clutch.
  5. Are there too many cooks in the kitchen? Related to points #1, #2, and #3, the Giants were dreadful on offense in 2020. They finished 31st in yardage and points. The recognition of this fact caused the team to make major offeason moves at wide receiver as well as significant additions at running back and tight end. But Joe Judge also made major changes to the coaching staff. While Jason Garrett remains the offensive coordinator, Freddie Kitchens was promoted to senior offensive assistant. The expectation is that both will now coordinate the offensive side of the ball. In addition, the Giants not only hired a new offensive line coach (Rob Sale), but they brought onboard Tom Coughlin’s former offensive line coach (Pat Flaherty) to serve as a consultant. Judge has even indicated that Kitchens will also have a role in coaching the offensive line. Ben Wilkerson also remains the assistant offensive line coach. The Giants have one of the largest assistant coaching staffs in the NFL. That would seem to be a good thing, but it remains to be seen how this all works out and how lines of responsibility are clearly delineated. If anyone can sort this out, Judge seems to be the type of coach who can do so.
  6. Can the offensive coaches figure out a way to use all of the new weapons? Related to #5, the prevailing opinion among fans is that Jason Garrett is not a particularly imaginative offensive mind. This seems to be supported by the promotion of Freddie Kitchens. Two new offensive quality control coaches were also promoted/hired in the offseason. On paper, in one offseason, the Giants have gone from dreadful at wide receiver to perhaps one of the NFL’s strongest units. The Giants now have to figure out ways to spread the ball around to Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and perhaps John Ross. In addition, the Giants added Kyle Rudolph at tight end to go along with Evan Engram. And Saquon Barkley is expected to be back. That’s a damn good collection of skill players. In addition, Toney’s unique skill set begs for him to be used in unusual ways. Are Garrett and Kitchens up to the task?
  7. Can the Giants find an outside pass rush? Somehow the Giants’ defense finished 13th in sacks in 2020 with 40. This despite only one player (Leonard Williams) accruing more than four sacks on the season. Patrick Graham, his fellow defensive coaches, and the players did a marvelous job of manufacturing a pass rush, but any Giants fan can tell you that the biggest weakness on the defense was the lack of a consistent outside heat on the passer. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines started 2020 at outside linebacker, but were lost early. Graham was then forced to use a committee approach that barely got the job done. While Carter and Ximines are back, both are still largely unproven. Thus, the team added Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith in the draft as well as Ifeadi Odenigbo in free agency. Will one or two of these players approach the double-digit sack mark in 2021?
  8. Will the team miss Dalvin Tomlinson? The team’s biggest free agent loss was clearly nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Despite all of the money the Giants threw around in free agency, it appears they did not make a major effort to re-sign Tomlinson who was rock steady in the middle of the defense. The Giants will now have to rely on last year’s back-up Austin Johnson, as well as free agent addition Danny Shelton, a big guy who has never quite lived up to expectations in his three previous stops. In a pinch, the Giants could move Dexter Lawrence inside, but that would then create a possible issue at defensive end. The Giants stayed remarkably healthy on the defensive line last year. They’ll need that again in 2021.
  9. Can Leonard Williams duplicate or build upon his 2020 success? The previously underwhelming Leonard Williams had a career season in 2020. He was a major factor against the run and the pass. Williams played in all 16 games (74 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. Now that he has earned a big, fat new contract, will he return to his previous form or will he build upon his 2020 success?
  10. Can the Giants settle on some decent designated returners? The Giants have had an issue for years finding steady, reliable punt and kick returners. They’ve largely employed a committee approach, often being forced to employ offensive and defensive starters. Jabrill Peppers was lost for five games in 2019 after getting hurt returning a kick. Obviously, it would be better not to do that.
Jul 262021
 
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Jul 222021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (May 14, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York Giants rookies reported early to summer training camp at the team’s facilities in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Quarterbacks, first-year players, and rehabbing injured players reported on Thursday. The bulk of the team reports next Tuesday with the first summer training camp practice being held on Wednesday.

With the first practice fast approaching, the Giants made 10 roster transactions on Thursday:

  • WR Kadarius Toney was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Toney is currently in COVID protocols and participating in team meetings remotely.
  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) were placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Players on the Active/PUP list can be activated at any time during training camp. If they are still on the list at the final roster cutdown to 53, they must either be activated or moved to the Reserve/PUP list. Players on the Reserve/PUP list must be inactive for the first six weeks of the season.
  • LB Ryan Anderson (back) and RB Sandro Platzgummer (hamstring) were placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List. They can can return to practice when they are medically cleared.
  • RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring) was placed on Injured Reserve.