Eric Kennedy

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

Aug 142018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 7, 2018)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 14, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
While the last official training camp practice for the New York Giants was held on August 7th, the team is holding joint public practices with the Detroit Lions on August 14-16.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Tuesday due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), receiver Travis Rudolph (quad), tight end Ryan O’Malley (ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (“soreness”), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

“(Barkley) just tweaked his hamstring (on Monday during practice),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “(It’s) day to day, we’ll just see where he’s at, but really nothing to add from yesterday. Nothing serious, I think. Just day to day.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Curtis Riley remained the first-team free safety.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning connected on a deep ball with wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who blew past Lions’ cornerback Chris Jones.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a sharp cut against Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay for a catch over the middle. Beckham later beat Slay again in 7-on-7 drills and scored.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb badly overthrew wideout Hunter Sharp in the flat.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman burst through the line, made a nice cut, and got to the second level of the defense. Left guard Will Hernandez had a nice block on defensive end Ziggy Ansah on the play.
  • Cornerback B.W. Webb and wide receiver Kalif Raymond did a nice job as gunners on punt returns.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning overthrew wideout Cody Latimer in the end zone. Latimer made a one-handed catch by was ruled out of bounds.
  • Linebackers Olivier Vernon and Avery Moss were the Giants’ most disruptive pass rushers.
  • Defensive linemen Robert Thomas and B.J. Hill flashed.
  • The Giants’ offensive line did a good job of keeping the quarterbacks clean throughout practice.
  • In 7-on-7 redzone drills, quarterback Eli Manning was 4-of-5 with three touchdowns.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, quarterback Eli Manning stepped up into the pocket and fired a pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard over the middle on a post pattern. Manning finished 5-of-5 to five different receivers in this team drill.
  • In 2-minute drills, cornerback Eli Apple leapt up and knocked away a pass intended for wide receiver Marvin Jones in the end zone. But then quarterback Matthew Stafford found Jones for a touchdown against Apple and over safety Landon Collins.
  • In 2-minute drills, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a leaping catch over corner back Nevin Lawson. But then the Giants’ possession ended with quarterback Eli Manning being intercepted by safety Glover Quinn.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will practice against the Detroit Lions in Michigan on Wednesday and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 142018
 
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Aug 132018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY REPORT – SAQUON BARKLEY INJURED…
Not practicing on Monday due to injury were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (quad), tight end Ryan O’Malley (ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (“soreness”), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

Running back Saquon Barkley strained his left hamstring late in practice after stretching out for a long reception. He left practice the field after that, having his leg wrapped.

“Saquon has a mild strain, and we’ll be smart with him as we move along here,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • It was a light practice today as the team heads to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions.
  • For the second straight practice, the Giants limited the number of snaps quarterback Eli Manning received.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb received first-team snaps again today. He found wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. twice for touchdowns in red zone drills, including against cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb also overthrew three receivers and was involved in a fumbled snap.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta connected with wideout Kalif Raymond on a perfect deep pass between safety William Gay and cornerback B.W. Webb.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson and left guard Will Hernandez grabbed each other’s face masks and nearly came to blows.
  • Safety Michael Thomas picked off quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Curtis Riley was the first-team free safety and William Gay the first-team slot corner for the second practice in a row.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley badly beat linebacker Alec Ogletree on a wheel route and out-ran cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the end zone on a pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta. (This was the play where Barkley injured himself).
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney connected with wide receiver Jawill Davis on a deep pass.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will practice against the Detroit Lions in Michigan on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 132018
 
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Kyle Lauletta, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Kyle Lauletta – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli on season-ending Injured Reserve. Sokoli tore an ACL in one of his knees in Thursday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. To fill that roster spot, the Giants also re-signed rookie free agent cornerback Mike Jones (Temple University), who had been on the roster for a few weeks in May and June.

The Giants Sokoli signed to the Practice Squad in late December 2017. Sokoli was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The 6’5”, 300-pound Sokoli has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Albanian-born player has played both on the offensive and defensive lines.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Sunday due to injury were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (quad), tight end Ryan O’Malley (ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (“soreness”), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

“(Barwin is) just a little sore from the game,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll see how long he’s out.”

“(McIntosh is) getting better,” said Shurmur. “It’s an extended rehab-type situation so we’ll just have to see when it’s good.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Curtis Riley started at free safety and William Gay was the first-team slot corner.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer deep against cornerback Leonard Johnson. Latimer later beat cornerback William Gay across the middle.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta received some second-team reps and quarterback Davis Webb received some first-team reps.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning tossed a shovel pass to tight end Evan Engram in the red zone.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning threw a fade touchdown pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer over cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Center Jon Halapio picked up a blitzing linebacker Alec Ogletree on the play.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit running back Wayne Gallman for a touchdown.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb made an excellent throw to wide receiver Sterling Shepard as he broke deep down the sideline.
  • Defensive end Kerry Wynn intercepted a quarterback Davis Webb screen pass and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond beat cornerback Grant Haley deep down the field, but quarterback Kyle Lauletta overthrew him.
  • Wide receiver Alonzo Russell made two long completions, including leaping over cornerback Grant Haley to make a tremendous catch.
  • Cornerback B.W. Webb knocked away a couple of passes.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1028717757444096002

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players will practice on Monday (no public access) before traveling to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 102018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY REPORT…
Safety Darian Thompson (hamstring), linebacker Jordan Williams (concussion), and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli (knee) all suffered injuries in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

FRIDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 20-10 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns:

Opening Remarks: First preseason game. We’ve had a chance to go through the film, and not much has changed from my comments last night. We ran the ball well, we need to complete more passes. I think that’ll help us. We’ll have shorter third downs and be able to extend drives. On defense, I felt like we did a good job controlling the run. They did make an effort to run the ball and our run defense was very good. I felt like just like last night, I thought we were tight in coverage in a lot of situations and they made plays, and so we need to make those plays as we move forward, and there’s certainly something to be learned from that. In terms of taking care of the ball, I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball. We need to get more turnovers, or a turnover on defense, which we did certainly in special teams. I told the team, I said turnovers are important, but what’s most important is what you do after turnovers, so we got the fumble recovery on the punt, and then we turned it into points. So that’s a good team thing as we go along. If for some reason we turn the ball over on offense, the defense needs to go out there and stop them. There’s plenty to learn from. I also told the players that if each guy cleans up one mistake, then we end up being on the winning end of a game like that. That’s our approach moving forward. So, I’ll take your questions.

Q: I was curious what you thought of Kyle Lauletta’s play. He seemed at least from upstairs a little more comfortable maybe in the game than he had seemed in some recent practices even lately, but what did you think.

A: He’s very calm, and I think he finds a way to make plays. He had a nice deep ball down the sideline to Amba [Etta-Tawo] that ended up being a [pass interference]. In fact, somebody asked me at one point why we practice the one-handed catches – that was it right there. They arm-barred us and Amba had a chance to make the one-handed catch. We got the penalty, but we certainly would’ve wanted the catch. But I [think] he’s got a calm presence about him. I think he lost control of the clock once, we got the ball snapped, but those are all things you learn when you’re playing. So, it wasn’t a bad performance to start out for him.

Q: Did you get any clarity last night in the free safety competition between a bunch of guys that played, I know Curtis [Riley] wasn’t out there?

A: Curtis wasn’t out there and then [Darian Thompson] hurt himself on one of the special teams and was out of the game with a hamstring. Probably no. In terms of the clarity, no. There were guys that were out there performing well, but in terms of saying this is the guy, I would say no.

Q: You mentioned Darian Thompson had a hamstring injury. Other than that, did you come out of the game fairly clean?

A: The only two of note, [Kristjan Sokoli] hurt his knee, we’re getting the final evaluation on that. And then we all saw that Jordan Williams got taken out of the game and that he was put in the concussion protocol. There’s other stuff. I guess the next time we’ll visit will be Sunday. I’ll have more information then.

Q: The running backs besides [Saquon] Barkley, the other four, it certainly looked like [Robert] Martin and [Jalen] Simmons played well, but obviously that’s against third teamers. The other four including [Wayne] Gallman and [Jonathan] Stewart, what did you see from that group?

A: I think they all had their moments of good play. I thought Stewart didn’t have as many snaps as the others. I thought Gallman had a couple nice runs. I think they all kind of stood out in my mind in making a play or two here, but Jalen did a good job. There were some nice hard runs in there, and then we’ve seen Rob obviously, we’ve seen him in practice have some good runs and he’s a hard physical runner and it showed up in the game.

Q: I was wondering if you could comment about how the whole sideline operation worked with the coaching staff, the communication, and just putting that together for the first preseason game.

A: I thought it was much smoother than I had anticipated. Typically, for a staff that’s worked together for years, you would have a communication breakdown or two that you need to work through, but I thought we were able to communicate pretty effectively. We already debriefed it. There are a couple things that we’ll keep private that we’ll do a little bit differently, but for the most part I thought the exchange of information was good. We really didn’t have substitution errors. That usually shows up in preseason games, to speak of. Again, we need to keep building on that. You have to constantly work at communicating, and certainly being able to do that on the sideline can help the players play better.

Q: Did you expect more from the offense? You look at some of the numbers – 4 of 17 on third down, less than 50 percent completion, I think if you take away the big runs, the running game turns out to 2.4 [yards] per carry. What were your thoughts?

A: When you look at it in total, I think I mentioned at the outset, we need to complete more balls because when you complete passes, certainly on first and second down, you have shorter third downs. You can go back with regard to the running totals, you need to have explosive gains and there’s times when you get minimal gains in total, the run game has that effect. A lot of times that’s the way it works. If you’re willing to stick with the run, it’s a two-yard gain, it’s a three-yard gain, all of a sudden it’s a seven-yard gain, and then somewhere in there when you have a player like Saquon [Barkley], it becomes a 20, 30-yard gain, so I wouldn’t certainly look at it that way. We didn’t score enough points. That’s always what I would point to, but there are reasons for that in preseason games. Yeah, you want to score more points than your opponent, but you can dive into statistics like you did sometimes, and make it sound like you won.

Q: When you looked at Davis Webb’s performance yesterday, you mentioned a few times that he was too amped up. Is that something that he has to overcome, being too high-strung on the field?

A: He is so prepared and he wants to do well, that’s just his personality, and he does get amped up a little bit but that’s not a bad thing. Wanting to do well is a good thing. I think we as coaches can just help him with that.

Q: What was your take on the drive at the end of the first half?

A: There’s nothing other than the fact that we have to get out of bounds on that play. We called a route to get out of bounds and the throw was thrown inside, and it makes it almost impossible for the receiver to continue out of bounds. We knew we had to use the sideline because we didn’t have any timeouts. We had that communicated effectively, it just didn’t get done.

Q: Do you have an explanation for the pass Davis Webb threw to Kalif Raymond in the corner of the end zone?

A: I know exactly what happened, it was a corner route and we missed it.

Q: You talked about how the secondary had pretty tight coverage and didn’t make plays. I was curious if you were specifically referring to Leonard Johnson? He was around the ball a lot, but did you want to see more from him when the ball got there?

A: I think it’s a global statement. We had some balls completed on us on the outside down the field. We had a seam ball completed on us where we were pretty close in coverage, but they made a good throw and catch. Certainly, the slant play there, they threw a slant that went for a touchdown. It’s a general comment that I think is fair to say about the evening.

Q: Obviously, Odell didn’t play yesterday. But, what went into the decision to play Landon Collins after being banged up in the offseason? Also, Eli [Manning] didn’t play in the preseason opener last year. Was there a reason he started yesterday?

A: Each situation was different, and nothing went into them other than Eli played, Landon played, and Odell didn’t.

Q: What will your approach be these next couple of days heading into Detroit and the joint practices?

A: Today we’re having what I consider to be a “modified” normal Monday schedule for the day after the game. We bring the players in, we try to get information on them – any injuries and what not, weight training, the modality stuff of recovery. Then, lots of film work to get this game cleaned up, start to work on Detroit a little bit. Tomorrow is their league-mandated day off. We’ll practice on Sunday in pads. We’re going to practice on Monday, and then we’ll fly to Detroit. Then Tuesday, the practices will be held in the mid-morning. So Tuesday, we’ll practice in Detroit in Allen Park there at their facility. I guess it’ll be like 9:30 [a.m.] or so. Same on Wednesday, same on Thursday. Then, we’ll play them Friday night.

Q: In terms of your approach, do you plan any differently going into a joint practice where there is less ability to control what happens, knowing that you have some players coming back off injury?

A: My experience against practicing against one another is both teams need to be smart. Both teams need to understand the tempo of every drill. We’re out there competing, but this certainly isn’t the first time teams have practiced against one another. When Matt [Patricia] was the defensive coordinator at New England, I did it twice when I was with Philadelphia. I’ve worked with Matt before. We’ve got a good feel of the tempo and how we want to do it. We kind of set the ground rules ahead of time, and try to get good work.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday, the same day the team’s summer training camp officially ends. The players will practice on Sunday and Monday (no public access) before traveling to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 102018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
Although the starters did not play long, the New York Giants were clearly out-played in a preseason match-up between the NFL’s two worst teams last season. The Giants fell to the Browns 20-10 on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The highlight of the night for the Giants came on their very first offensive snap when rookie running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 39-yard run, demonstrating vision, shiftiness, power, and speed. (Barkley’s other four carries picked up a total of four yards before he was pulled for the evening). Despite the big initial gain, the Giants’ first drive stalled at the Cleveland 23-yard line as New York settled for a 42-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

The Browns responded with a big play of their own, a 32-yard strike from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to wide receiver Jarvis Landry over cornerback Janoris Jenkins. But Landry was flagged for taunting on the play. The defense then held and Cleveland punted.

The Giants’ first-team offense only played one more series (and two overall). The drive ended when with a 10-yard sack on quarterback Eli Manning by a free blitzing linebacker coming up the middle. Manning finished the night 4-of-7 for 26 yards.

Taylor carved up New York’s first-team defense on his second series, completing a 21-yard pass against cornerback Eli Apple and then burning inside linebacker Alec Ogletree on a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku. Browns 7 – Giants 3.

Quarterback Davis Webb entered the game with the second-team offense on the third series and played into the 3rd quarter. The jittery Webb was awful, completing just 9-of-22 passes (41 percent) for 70 yards. The Giants’ offense ground to a halt. In six straight possessions with Webb at the helm, the Giants punted five times and watched the clock expire before halftime at the Cleveland 21-yard line.

Meanwhile, the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Baker Mayfield entered the game and put on a show, completing 11-of-20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, including a second touchdown catch by Njoku (from 10 yards out, 2-point conversion attempt failed). Mayfield also completed a 54-yard catch-and-run score to wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who got away from cornerback Leonard Johnson and safety Orion Stewart, early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants’ only other score in the game came early in the 3rd quarter after defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble on a punt return that was recovered by long snapper Zak DeOssie at the Cleveland 14-yard line. Three plays later, running back Jalen Simmons scored from five yards out. This was Webb’s last possession and his sole contribution here was a 6-yard scramble.

By the 4th quarter, both teams were playing their third and fourth teamers, with both Kyle Lauletta (6-of-9 for48 yards) and Alex Tanney (3-of-7 for 49 yards) seeing time at quarterback for the Giants. Neither team scored after Mayfield’s last pass early in the 4th quarter that went for the 54-yard touchdown.

Overall, the Browns out-gained the Giants in total net yards (372 to 310) and net yards passing (322 to 176) while the Giants were superior in first downs (19 to 15) and net rushing yards (134 to 50). The Giants did not turn the football over. Defensively, nose tackle Robert Thomas accrued New York’s lone sack on the night.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (unknown), tight end Ryan O’Malley (foot/ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), safety/cornerback William Gay (hamstring), and cornerback/safety Curtis Riley (hamstring).

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and safety Mike Basile were healthy scratches.

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

GIANTS SIGN SAFETY MIKE BASILE….
The New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent Mike Basile (Monmouth University). The 6’1”, 185-pound Basile lacks ideal speed, but he is a hard-working, tough, smart, and instinctive football player with good foot quickness.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Friday. The players are off on Saturday, the same day the team’s summer training camp officially ends. The players will practice on Sunday and Monday (no public access) before traveling to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 092018
 
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Aug 092018
 
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Aug 092018
 
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Aug 082018
 
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