Aug 232023
Danny Dimes, New York Giants (August 18, 2023)

© USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Parris Campbell (rest day?), TE Darren Waller (rest day), TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown), OL Marcus McKethan (rest day?), OL Jack Anderson (unknown), DL A’Shawn Robinson (rest day?), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Darrian Beavers (rest day?), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (unknown), and S/CB Nick McCloud (unknown) did not practice.

Sweeney, who did not practice, had to be carted off the field from the rehab area after receiving medical attention for an unspecified issue. The Giants issued a statement that said Sweeney “had a medical event and is under the care of medical professionals in the Giants athletic training room. He is stable, alert and conversant.”

Sweeney missed the 2020 season with myocarditis.

WR Cole Beasley (leg) and S Jason Pinnock (leg) returned to practice on a limited basis.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants were not in pads on Wednesday.
  • In 1-on-1 drills, cornerbacks Deonte Banks and Adoree’ Jackson made nice pass breakups.
  • In the same drills, QB Daniel Jones threw four straight touchdowns, to wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Jalin Hyatt, and Jamison Crowder.
  • After the ball was moved to the 5-yard line, QB Daniel Jones threw touchdowns to wideouts Sterling Shepard, Bryce-Ford Wheaton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Jaydon Mickens.
  • CB Gemon Green broke up three passes in these 1-on-1 drills.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, TE Lawrence Cager received first-team reps and caught a 30-yard pass in stride from QB Daniel Jones.
  • Off play action, QB Tyrod Taylor hit WR Darius Slayton on a long pass down the sideline.
  • RB Saquon Barkley broke off a number of runs for good yardage.
  • QB Daniel Jones connected with RB Saquon Barkley on a long touchdown pass down the sideline.
  • Cornerbacks Darnay Holmes (twice) and Tre Hawkins broke up passes, with Hawkins almost intercepting the pass from QB Daniel Jones intended for WR Darius Slayton. However, Jones later connected with Slayton on a deep pass against Hawkins for a touchdown.
  • OLB Oshane Ximines got into the backfield for a “sack.”

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

The New York Giants practice Thursday (11:45AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Aug 222023
Darrian Beavers, New York Giants (August 18, 2023)

Darrian Beavers – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Cole Beasley (leg), WR Sterling Shepard (rest day), TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown), OL Jack Anderson (unknown), DL Leonard Williams (rest day), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (unknown), S/CB Nick McCloud (unknown), and S Jason Pinnock (leg) did not practice.

OL Tyre Phillips (unknown) returned to practice on a limited basis.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Today was a run-heavy practice in full pads.
  • TE Darren Waller continued to shine in practice, catching a number of passes including a juggling reception despite tight coverage from CB Adoree’ Jackson.
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson, ILB Micah McFadden, and S Dane Belton all worked with the starting defense.
  • Defensive linemen Jordon Riley and D.J. Davidson also received first-team reps.
  • The rotation at guard continued, including Mark Glowinski getting snaps at left guard.
  • WR Jalin Hyatt caught a 60-yard deep ball for a touchdown from QB Tyrod Taylor, beating defensive backs Alex Cook and Amani Oruwariye.
  • CB Tre Hawkins broke up a pass intended for WR Jamison Crowder and CB Adoree’ Jackson broke up pass intended for WR Darius Slayton.
  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux picked up another “sack.”
  • QB Daniel Jones was 12-of-14 with two red-zone touchdowns to WR Darius Slayton. Four of his completions went to TE Darren Waller.

The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

The New York Giants practice Wednesday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). The team’s coordinators will also address the media.

Aug 212023
Brandon Brown, New York Giants (June 13, 2023)

Brandon Brown – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Cole Beasley (leg), TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown), OL Tyre Phillips (unknown), OL Jack Anderson (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (unknown), S/CB Nick McCloud (unknown), and S Jason Pinnock (leg) did not practice.

DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (groin) was limited. WR Collin Johnson (knee) returned to practice. CB Darren Evans (unknown) left practice early.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants were not in full pads.
  • With Jason Pinnock out, Dane Belton started at safety.
  • First-team offensive line was LT Andrew Thomas, OC John Michael Schmitz, and RT Evan Neal with Ben Bredeson, Mark Glowinski, and Joshua Ezeudu rotating constantly at the two guard spots. Glowinski even got reps at left guard.
  • The offensive line struggled blocking the Giants’ defensive front. QB Daniel Jones was “sacked” six times.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, CB Tre Hawkins intercepted QB Daniel Jones in the end zone. He also had a pass defense on WR Isaiah Hodgins.
  • By all accounts, DE Leonard Williams had a “monster” practice and was “living in the backfield,” beating all of the different guards he faced.
  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux beat RT Evan Neal for three “sacks” and disrupted other plays. Thibodeaux also made a tackle for a loss.
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari also had a “sack” and a tackle for loss on a screen pass to TE Darren Waller.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor threw a touchdown to WR Sterling Shepard. The Giants back-up corners had issues covering Shepard.
  • QB Tommy DeVito connected on a deep pass to WR David Sills.
  • S Xavier McKinney picked off a “Hail Mary” pass.
  • QB Daniel Jones finished practice 8-of-12 with one touchdown and one interception. The touchdown throw was to WR Parris Campbell.

The transcript of Brandon Brown’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

The New York Giants practice Tuesday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Aug 202023
Isaiah Hodgins, New York Giants (August 18, 2023)

Isaiah Hodgins – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones: 8/9 – 69 yards / 1 TD / 0 INT / 135.6 6 RAT

The only incompletion came on a Darren Waller drop. Jones was near flawless. A slight misthrow to Parris Campbell near the end zone was the only real blemish within the one drive he spent on the field. If that was the main weak point to his performance, it is going to be a fun season. Jones executed his ball fakes and overall footwork at a high level. It translated to accurate ball placement and well-timed progressions. He was in complete sync with the scheme and play calls. This offense turned the corner from an efficiency standpoint in 2022. They avoided third down (a key metric to the best/winningest teams over multiple years) and the sixth-best rate last year, after finishing second worst in 2021. Of the ten plays on this opening drive, just once did third down come up.

-Both backup quarterbacks, Tyrod Taylor and Tommy DeVito, completed 9 passes for 90 and 88 yards respectively. Taylor, the unquestioned second stringer, also led the team with 21 yards rushing and threw a 33-yard touchdown. Taylor has been the same guy for years. He shows enough flashes to make you think he really can be a starting caliber quarterback. The consistency with his mechanics is not there, and it leads to erratic ball placement. DeVito looks like he is on a fast track to confidence in the pocket, but he still needs work on getting the ball out faster. He has a cannon.


-Saquon Barkley was in pads for warmups, but he did not play in the game.

-There seems to be an interesting competition between rookie Eric Gray and second-year veteran Jashaun Corbin. On paper, the fact this regime just spent a draft pick on Gray – along with Corbin being undrafted a year ago – and they keep trying to force him into the return role says Gray will be the guy. On film? Corbin is making it a discussion. He gained 22 yards on 3 catches and his 9-yard run displayed the hunger and urgency he moves with. He also had a 17-yard run that was negated by a penalty. Gray, while he had an impressive 9-yard run that resulted in a touchdown, is struggling to consistently get downhill quickly enough. The biggest issue right now, however, is often overlooked by fans but I can guarantee you the coaches are going to be all over him about it. If Gray does not improve his blocking, he will barely see the field on offense. He allowed two hurries and a QB hit. So far this preseason, Gray has been asked to pass block 8 times. He has allowed 6 pressures.


-From last week’s review: “Personally, I would like to see Hyatt more involved. They need to try and script a couple deep shots to him so they can see how he tracks the ball, fights for it, and plays the body position game in real live situations.”

-Hyatt went from just one target in the first game to five in this one. And Kafka/Daboll scripted a deep ball to him which resulted in a 33-yard touchdown. The fifth gear he has was on display. Carolina safety Eric Rowe had absolutely no shot at catching up once Hyatt had an inch of vertical space on him. You think he is moving at his top rate and then he hits the next level of fast forward. Fun play and a glimpse of what to expect from an offense that was starving for plays like this a year ago. Next up on the list, and this will be a big one, is getting more consistent at framing the football as a pass catcher on lateral routes. He had a drop on the play prior to the touchdown that stemmed from that particular ball skill.

-Parris Campbell caught all three targets for 23 yards and Isaiah Hodgins added 45 yards on two catches. Those two, along with Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard (1 rec / 6 yards), Jamison Crowder (2 rec / 18 yards), and Wan’Dale Robinson (PUP) make this receiver room arguably one of the top jumps in overall quality and depth at the position league-wide from 2022.

-Bryce Ford-Wheaton is the third/fourth stringer you can’t keep your eyes off of. He caught both of his targets for 24 yards. We know the size and speed are off the chart. We know his ball skills and route running need work. The power to his game is what stands out upon second look. Both as a gunner and off the line as a receiver. His rate of movement and sheer size add up to be very D.K. Metcalf-like. No, not even close to that level, but my point is how rare the combination is. The snaps he had as a gunner were very good. A team like this may have to find a spot for him as a special teamer because he won’t last long on the practice squad, as all 31 teams can snag him at any point.


-The quality Daniel Jones performance left a nice taste in everyone’s mouth. Darren Waller, however, was my favorite ingredient to the entrée. He played 8 snaps. He was targeted 4 times, caught 3, and had one jarred loose by safety Vonn Bell. The goal of that initial first-string drive was to get him the ball early. He took a couple big hits too. They coaching staff was smart to get him out when they did. Mission accomplished and Waller has the look of a focal point to this passing game.

-Daniel Bellinger, one of the top rookie tight ends in football a year ago, caught a touchdown from a unique 12-personnel look. Even with all the depth at receiver, the options that Waller and Bellinger present when on the field together can make this passing game even more efficient. The touchdown was the highlight, but the blocking was on point. His impact on contact is sending a different jolt to the defender than I remember. That was a key component to the Eric Gray touchdown run. All the talk surrounding Waller is warranted. Don’t forget about Bellinger. He is going to make some key plays this season.

-There is some difference in opinion surrounding the third tight end. I lean toward Tommy Sweeney (who did not play). Lawrence Cager (1 rec / 4 yards) does bring more to the table as a receiver, but as mentioned above, the weapons are now deep. The presence in the trenches would be of more service to the offense. Cager continues to get tossed around in that department.


-The story of the night was Evan Neal. After missing the better part of two weeks with a concussion, he both started and tied for the second most snaps on offense. He really had just one blemish. He failed to recognize a twist upfront and the defensive tackle worked around his outside shoulder and recorded a sack. It was Neal’s fault, no question. But when it came to breaking down his physical performance, I was pleased. He looks lighter on his feet and simply cleaner. He is showing a better first three steps and we already knew how stout he is. It is all about position and balance for him. If both get check marks, he is tough to beat. Encouraging night from the guy who may be the most important variable to NYG wanting to throw downfield more often.

-The one player who saw more snaps was Matt Peart, who continues to prove he cannot handle pro edge defenders. He allowed 2 pressures and was flagged for 2 holding penalties. Korey Cunningham had a bounce back performance and recent signing Julién Davenport got his feet wet. None of the above proved to be a solution for the issue this team has at backup tackle. The classic tell from all three is the simple but difficult ability to stay square. Quality defenders can get them to fall from the waist on up, making secondary rush moves much more effective.

-Inside, we saw Ben Bredeson and Joshua Ezeudu rotate at left guard, the one spot that is up for grabs in the starting lineup. If the decision was based solely on this game alone, Bredeson is the winner. He played a clean game with a strong latch. Ezeudu’s footwork (or lack thereof) made it hard for him to mirror his man. When he gets a guy in a phone booth, his power is notable. But space is not his friend and right now he cannot be trusted in pass protection on an island.

-At center, John Michael Schmitz appears to have the stating center job locked up, as expected. This was a pass-heavy game while he was in there (29:5 actually) and he allowed one pressure. That play was a poor display of foot speed and recovery. The one concern I have with him is exactly that. But the run-game impact and mere fact he is a rookie with a high floor lessens the concern.

-Shane Lemieux, after a solid week one in Detroit, saw 18 snaps at center and struggled mightily. He clearly was not comfortable in that role. His hand techniques were all over the place and he never found his anchor. He allowed a TFL and was flagged for a hold, as was third stringer Jack Anderson.

-Wyatt Davis, after a horrific experiment at tackle last week, returned to guard for just 13 plays. His comfort and skill set are much better inside, but there is still a lot more to be desired from his sustainability and reaction speed.


-Kayvon Thibodeaux played the first two drives before spending the rest of the night on the sideline. We saw him win against Ikem Ekwonu on an impressive rush move where he played low, stifled with a violent punch, and ripped under the outside shoulder to hit Bryce Young as he was throwing the ball. He also beat the 2022 All-Rookie tackle for a sack on a play where some confusion up front gave the explosive Thibodeaux a clear path to Young. He looks faster and twitchier, a sign the confidence is growing. On the negative side, he lost the edge twice in the running game and on both occasions the lack of a true anchor was obvious. He needs to be more disciplined there, as his natural size below the waist is below average.

-Azeez Ojulari and Jihad Ward had quiet games. Ward had a QB hit and a hurry, playing an even split between outside and inside. That is where his true value is. Last year he played a 7:1 ratio outside to inside. I like his first step quickness against interior blockers as his movement issues show up in space.

-The backup edge defenders had a night. They were constantly putting pressure on the backup Carolina quarterbacks (albeit against a poor OL that was crushed last week as well). Tashawn Bower led the group with 3 pressures. Both Oshane Ximines and Tomon Fox recorded two themselves. Fox still seems to be the leader in the clubhouse, as he had 4 tackles and a half-sack. Habakkuk Baldonado added a QB hit and a tackle late in the game.


-Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams got the start and played 12 snaps a piece. Both are already in mid-season form. These two are the best players on this defense and the Carolina OL had no shot against them. They both did what they wanted and went where they wanted. The interior of the Carolina OL is a weakness, one of the most glaring ones in the league, but it was obvious Lawrence is simply on a different level. He did get flagged for offsides and a roughing the passer penalty (on a 3rd down stop) after an errant swipe for the pass, which also happened to be where Bryce Young’s head was. Man, he is small.

-The defensive game ball award goes to the draft pick I barely spent any time scouting last fall. Jordon Riley got an opportunity with A’Shawn Robinson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, and D.J. Davidson sitting this one out. He had some snaps with the first-string defense and balled out. He had 3 tackles, 1 TFL, and a fourth-down run stop that was all him. He got movement off the ball, bench pressed the blocker off him, located the ball, and engulfed him at the point-of-attack. It was such a clean rep, and he went on to put a ton of quality tape together the rest of the night. He was abusing center Justin McCray, an eight-year veteran with starting experience.

-The back-end guys, Kobe Smith and Donovan Jeter, struggled in their second game of preseason. Neither held their gaps in the running game and neither pressured the quarterback on a combined 19 opportunities.


-What a refreshing sight to see Bobby Okereke on the field. I will touch on this more below, but the 2023 big ticket free agent addition played into the second quarter and led the team with 7 tackles. The power, instincts, and quick burst all showed up on multiple occasions. He will not turn around the run defense by himself, but it was easy to see how important he will be for the front seven. This is the classic NYG inside linebacker this defense has lacked for so long.

-Darrian Beavers was back on the field. His size and speed are similar to what they have in Okereke, but his reaction time and lack of precision with his footwork and overall techniques were the stark differences. He finished with 4 tackles and showed good range. His contact is what I call heavy. A classic thumper who will need to show some more progress with the ability to read and cover especially. I still think there is a good shot he starts by the end of the year over Micah McFadden, who finished with 1 tackle.


-Playing Adoree’ Jackson in the slot appears to be a real thing. Of his 21 snaps, he played inside on 16 of them. I feel confident with him anywhere on the field, but the one issue I can see with him at nickel is the lack of physical presence against more physical targets and the running game. He had a missed tackle on the night and has never been strong there.

-Rookies Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins continue to start on the outside and the 6th rounder from Old Dominion continues to play like the better player. Even Joe Schoen sounds surprised by how well he is playing this early on. The speed he is playing with, the run-game assignments he is executing at a high level, and the easy vertical burst at his size are all major attributes for this scheme.

-Cor’Dale Flott is playing good football. While his route anticipation is a step behind, his coverage is constantly right there underneath. I initially believed it was a battle between him and Darnay Holmes for the nickel job. The development of the rookie guys outside, which can shift Jackson inside, will likely push Flott into the versatile number four job. He can play both, but his run defense is a liability. He also missed a tackle and lost the edge twice.

-Darren Evans allowed a touchdown after getting beat off the line and failing to locate the ball.


-Xavier McKinney had a disruptive couple of plays and looked fast in coverage. He is the top dog in a deep safety group, but I still think he needs to show a full season of good football before even considering a long-term contract. Remember, there is not as much cap room now with the recent big signings. At his best, McKinney is the best safety NYG has had in a long time and would round out such a strong middle of the defense if he sticks around. He just needs to stay on the field.

-Dane Belton had 2 TFL, showing great instincts and downhill explosion. The winner of the night among the backups was rookie Gervarrius Owens, though. He also had 7 tackles and broke up a pass with picture-perfect technique and timing. He is such a natural on the back end, one who can wear every hat in the versatile safety scheme. He won’t be rushed into action, but it would be a crime to keep this kid off the field because of his draft status. This dude is a player who can defend the run and cover. His special teams impact will be strong as well. He had the most versatile alignment among all safeties in this game.


-P Jame Gillan: 3 punts / 43.0 avg – 36.3 net


-DT Jordon Riley, QB Daniel Jones, LB Bobby Okereke


-DT Kobe Smith, OT Matt Peart, OC Shane Lemieux


1. The story surrounding this team is the #1 overall pick, quarterback Bryce Young. Not only because of where he was drafted, but what the front office had to do to get him. After failing to come up with the strong-enough trade offer for Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, and Deshaun Watson…after failing to move up in the draft for the likes of Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa…after failing to select Justin Fields when he was available, David Tepper was stuck watching the likes of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, Cam Newton (v2), and Teddy Bridgewater for the first few seasons of his ownership. After firing Matt Rhule, he put an end to that by sending the #9 overall, #61 overall, a 2024 1st, a 2025 2nd, and wide receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago so they could get whoever they wanted in the draft. They end up with a Seneca Wallace-body type but in an era where Young’s style of play fits the current style of NFL football the best. Throw in the intangibles, something very important to Head Coach Frank Reich, and Carolina thinks they have their guy.

2. I’m not sure if I live under a rock or if there really is a lack of chatter around Carolina’s new Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero. He is one of the best young defensive minds in the game. He came over from Denver and prior to that he was with the Rams where he won a Super Bowl. He specializes in pass defense and the team has one of the top young corners in Jaycee Horn. The rest of the personnel lacks depth but there are a few pieces that can make this defense as a whole very good in 2023.

3. Just how far can Carolina take this in 2023? Not far. It will be a tough year. I project New Orleans and Atlanta to finish 1-2. Considering the fact Reich has been all-time bad at winning games early in the year and they start off @ATL, vs NO, @SEA, vs MIN, @DET, @MIA with a rookie quarterback and shaky offensive line, I see them starting in a deep hole and unable to get out. This franchise should be looking at 2024.


1. One could not ask for a much better drive out of the Daniel Jones-led offense. Would it have been nice to see a downfield pass? Sure. But when I watched the All-22, it was easy to see Carolina was protecting the back end with a shell. The best offenses simply take advantage of what is provided by the defensive personnel and alignment. Efficient offenses avoid third down. They kill you with a thousand paper cuts. And they protect the ball. NYG struggled to score points early in games and I like how hot they started in this one.

2. I’ve been banging the table for a linebacker for far too long. While some teams league-wide view it as a position to piece together cheaply (with success), I’ve always thought it was the missing piece (or a missing piece) to a defense that has been a roller coaster for two decades. They have not been top-16 in points allowed two straight seasons since 2002. Let that sit for a little. I always roll my eyes when media-types talk about Giants being an old school defensive-biased franchise. In all honestly, they haven’t been consistent on that side of the ball since Parcells/Belichick in the late 80’s. Almost 40 years! But before I go down that rabbit hole even deeper, my point remains this team has lacked the identity in the middle. Antonio Pierce gave them a glimpse. Okereke is the best they’ve had there since then and I’m all about it. The force he moves with, the diagnostic nature about his game, and the every-down ability will make a huge difference for this team.

3. Once game left. What to expect? There are several spots on this roster up for grabs. The backup receivers and running backs are interesting. Who gets the final OL/DL spots are interesting. The abundance of talent they have at safety is interesting. I do not want to see the key guys out there for more than 2-3 drives. I want to see the roster-competition spots filling most of the snaps because there are some very tough decisions to be made. I hope to have a projected 53-man roster out the morning after the final preseason game.

Aug 172023
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 1, 2023)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

So far, knock on wood, it’s been a relatively uneventful training camp and preseason for the New York Giants. And that’s the way the franchise prefers it. Keep chugging along, getting ready for the September 10th opener, which is a little over three weeks away.

Head Coach Brian Daboll has not provided any information on who will be playing against the Carolina Panthers. My guess is we will see many of the starters, possibly for as much as a quarter.

The most significant injury this summer has been the concussion suffered by RT Evan Neal on August 4th. Although he officially cleared the concussion protocol on Wednesday, he has not participated in a full-contact practice in two weeks. I think he needs to play on Friday. He’s missed too much valuable practice time.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Collin Johnson (knee), OL Tyre Phillips (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), and LB Cam Brown (unknown) did not practice this week and probably won’t play. WR Cole Beasley (leg) could also be out.

The greatest sense of unease surrounding the team right now remains the offensive line. Evan Neal’s concussion was a big setback. With only a handful of practices and one more preseason game remaining on the schedule, he probably has to play in this game just to get the reps. Expect him to be a bit rusty after missing two weeks of practice. (There was also one report that he tweaked his ankle in practice on Wednesday). At the other tackle spot, Andrew Thomas may get a few reps, but the priority is keeping him healthy. I would expect John Michael Schmitz to play possibly as much as the first half. Again, he needs the reps to acclimatize himself to the pro game.

Other than Neal, there is a great deal of uncertainty at the two guard spots. It’s pretty clear the coaching staff is still trying to determine who starts at both left and right guard. It was assumed before camp started that Mark Glowinski’s starting spot at right guard was safe. That’s not the case as Ben Bredeson is still getting snaps there and at left guard with the first unit. The Giants have not ruled out guard-by-committee approach. Regardless, with three weeks to go before the Cowboys, the Giants don’t know who two of their opening day starters on the offensive line will be. That’s a bit disconcerting.

The performance of the back-ups against the Detroit Lions last Friday also raised some red flags. Part of that was exacerbated by the absence of Tyre Phillips and Devery Hamilton from that game. Phillips will likely miss this game and Hamilton has since been waived/injured. The two worst culprits were tackles Korey Cunningham, who much more was expected out of, and Wyatt Davis, a guard who was playing out of position. The Giants signed offensive tackle Julién Davenport off of the street this week. The ones to watch here are Matt Peart and Korey Cunningham at tackle, Shane Lemieux at center and/or guard, Marcus McKethan at guard and/or tackle, and Joshua Ezeudu and Ben Bredeson at guard. The Giants are likely to keep nine offensive linemen with Thomas, Neal, Schmitz, Bredeson, Glowinski, and Ezeudu being the sure bets. That leaves Phillips (who won’t play), Peart, Cunningham, Lemieux, and McKethan fighting for three spots. A waiver-wire pick-up or trade is also an option.

While there is unease on the offensive line, there is fan confusion at wide receiver. Entering camp, nine different receivers could make a strong case for one of the six or seven roster spots. Collin Johnson’s knee injury may have taken him out of the equation, but Joe Schoen has also indicated that Wan’Dale Robinson won’t start the season on the PUP. So we still have eight players fighting for six, maybe seven openings. One has to figure that Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Jalin Hyatt, and Wan’Dale Robinson make it. Two guys who fans originally did not think had much of chance – Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder – stood out against the Detroit Lions. Sterling Shepard has yet to play, but seems to be rounding into form quicker than expected. So who goes? Are any of these guys willing to remain on the Practice Squad?

Likely influencing the discussion at wide receiver is the situation at tight end. Tommy Sweeney has not received enough attention from fans as a possible valuable back-up as a blocking tight end. With the Giants likely to run a lot of 12 personnel this year with both Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger on the field together, it is very possible the Giants decide to keep four tight ends. That makes it tougher to keep seven wide receivers. It also begs the question is it worth keeping seven wide receivers if much of your base offense is 12 personnel? So the preseason remains very important for guys like Lawrence Cager and Tommy Sweeney. Both could make it. Or the team could let go of one.

Finally, there is a pretty good fight going on at running back too. Saquon Barkley is obviously safe and should not play much. It is very unlikely for the team to part ways with a rookie draft pick (Eric Gray), especially since they seem to grooming him for return duty. Do the Giants keep three or four running backs? If three, and the coaching staff wants Matt Breida on this roster, then James Robinson, Jashaun Corbin, and Gary Brightwell will have to hope for a Practice Squad spot. Brightwell’s injury is not helping his cause for the 53-man roster.

When the Giants landed Deonte Banks, John Michael Schmitz, and Jalin Hyatt with their first three draft picks, fans were ecstatic to the point of largely ignoring the remaining four picks. Eric Gray got some love for being a good value in the 5th round, but the remaining 6th-round and two 7th-round selections seemed more throw-aways at the time. Fast forward to mid-August. 6th rounder Tre Hawkins is seriously pushing for a starting outside corner spot. He looks like the complete package – a big, fast, physical corner who can play press coverage. 7th rounder defensive lineman Jordon Riley has caught the eye of the coaches. Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson, who has coached a lot of great players over the years, thinks he has the ability to be a good player. The second 7th-rounder, safety Gervarrius Owens, has flashed both in camp and the first preseason game. Right now, the 2023 Draft Class is looking like a home run. Keep that in mind when someone tells you late picks don’t matter.

Last Friday’s preseason game was interesting in that both primary back-up defensive linemen, A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, did not play. Personally, I’m dying to see them both in action for the first time, as well as continued snaps from Jordon Riley. Add to the mix that D.J. Davidson was just activated from the PUP. He is recovering from an ACL. I’m curious to see if he plays. Ryder Anderson is missing a lot of time, and he may have cost himself a spot.

We also did not see the headliners at linebacker: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, and Bobby Okereke. I would expect all three to see snaps against the Panthers. Micah McFadden clearly has the advantage over Darrian Beavers, who is still being brought along slowing coming off his own ACL. McFadden flashed in run defense, but he’s still under the microscope, particularly in pass coverage. Does Beavers play this week and get a chance to make a statement?

One of the more interesting battles is back-up outside linebacker/edge. We know Jihad Ward will be one of the guys. The question is who else? Tomon Fox caused the first turnover last week. Tashawn Bower made some plays in run defense. Habakkuk Baldonado got to the quarterback twice. Oshane Ximines is also in the picture. This is also another area where the Giants may seek outside reinforcements before September 10th.

Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson said Wednesday that this was the deepest group he’s had since being with the Giants. He said all of the players on this 90-man roster can play in the NFL and that’s not always been the case for him. That seems fairly obvious at safety. Where there was once concern about the position with the departure of Julian Love, the Giants now seem to have a numbers problem. Jason Pinnock appears to have the starting spot locked up opposite of Xavier McKinney. Dane Belton seems to have a good hold on the third safety spot. That leaves Nick McCloud, Bobby McCain, Gervarrius Owens, and Alex Cook. At least two of these players have to go. And it’s not a given that they can be safely stashed on the Practice Squad.

Meanwhile, it appears the Giants got two starting cornerbacks out of the same draft. Jackpot. There will be growing pains during their rookie year. Games will be lost because of their youth. But both have the look and feel of long-term studs at a critical position. So much so that the Giants are using their only proven commodity at outside corner in the slot now. Who would have thought that a few weeks ago? Yet I’m still greedy. I want to know if we have a quality 4th outside corner on the roster. Interestingly, the Giants moved Cor’Dale Flott outside this week. That seems to suggest that Adoree’ Jackson and Darnay Holmes will be the two top slot corners with Flott now having to make his mark outside. These last two games are huge for both Rodarius Williams and Amani Oruwariye.

I warned about a breakdown on punt and/or kickoff coverage in my preview last week, and it happened with the 95-yarder that changed the outcome of the game. Again, while I prefer that doesn’t happen, I don’t get bent out of shape over special teams snafus in the preseason. This is where the coaches are trying new players and seeing who can and can’t cut it.

More than the coverage, it’s important to note that the coaches said Jamie Gillan out-kicked his coverage. That’s a problem. He’s young, but entering his second season, he can’t do these things without causing bigger issues for his coverage team.

I also must admit that I’m not totally comfortable with handing the punt and kickoff duties to a rookie running back with virtually no experience at doing either in college. For years, this franchise has curiously ignored finding and using a true return specialist. This has come back to haunt a number of different coaching staffs, and yet the Giants appear to be going down that road again. I get it. Roster spots are valuable. But the return game matters.

My expectation is that the starters will play at least a quarter. Get them in and out. Much attention will be on the offensive line, both front-line starters and reserves. We also should see Daniel Jones for the first time.

Aug 162023
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (August 1, 2023)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

The Giants have waived/injured inside linebacker Troy Brown, who suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury at practice on Tuesday. The Giants signed Troy Brown as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Cole Beasley (leg), WR Sterling Shepard (rest day), WR Collin Johnson (knee), TE Darren Waller (rest day), LT Andrew Thomas (rest day), OL Tyre Phillips (unknown), DL Dexter Lawrence (rest day), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), and LB Cam Brown (unknown) did not practice.

RT Evan Neal officially cleared the concussion protocol.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants practiced indoors in shorts and shells. It was a “carded” (aka game plan) practice where the team practiced a lot of situational work in preparation for Friday’s preseason game.
  • First-team offensive line was LT Matt Peart, OC John Michael Schmitz, and RT Evan Neal with Ben Bredeson, Mark Glowinski, and Joshua Ezeudu rotating constantly at the two guard spots.
  • Marcus McKethan was the second-team right guard.
  • Shane Lemieux was the second- and third-team center.
  • Julién Davenport practiced with the third team at both tackle spots.
  • Lawrence Cager received some first team reps at tight end.
  • Jordan Riley saw snaps with the first team defensive line.
  • Micah McFadden continues to practice with the first team at inside linebacker.
  • QB Daniel Jones connected on a 60-yard to WR Jalin Hyatt. Jones also threw another deep pass to WR Darius Slayton.
  • WR Jalin Hyatt was used on an end around.
  • Safety Bobby McCain picked off a pass from QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson picked off one pass and broke up another.
  • S Dane Belton almost picked off a pass from QB Tommy DeVito.
  • CB Deonte Banks was step for step on an incomplete pass to WR Darius Slayton, as did CB Tre Hawkins on a deep pass to WR Isaiah Hodgins.
  • OC John Michael Schmitz picked up a twist from OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux.
  • Giants ran a fake punt with RB Matt Breida picking up good yardage.
  • WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton made a leaping touchdown catch on a pass from QB Tommy DeVito.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

There is no media availability to the team on Thursday. The Giants play the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Friday.

Aug 152023
Deonte Banks, New York Giants (August 1, 2023)

Deonte Banks – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

Though not officially announced, the Giants have signed free agent offensive tackle Julién Davenport, who was cut by the Arizona Cardinals in June. The 28-year old, 6’7”, 315-pound Davenport was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He has spent time with the Texans (2017-2018), Miami Dolphins (2019-2020), Indianapolis Colts (2021), Chicago Bears (2022), and Cardinals (2022-2023). Davenport has played in 60 regular-season games with 32 starts. His last action came in 2021 with Colts when he started four games.

The Giants also claimed linebacker Ray Wilborn off of waivers from the Denver Broncos. The 26-year old, 6’3”, 230-pound Wilborn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2020 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Falcons (2020), Pittsburgh Steelers (2020), Green Bay Packers (2021-2022), and Broncos (2022-2023). Wilbon has played in only two NFL regular-season games with no starts, both with the Broncos in 2022.

To make room for Wilborn, the Giants waived/injured offensive lineman Devery Hamilton with a left foot/ankle injury. Hamilton was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2021 where he spent the remainder of the season. In 2022, Hamilton played in nine regular-season games with no starts. Most of his playing time came on special teams. The 6’6”, 311-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him from their Practice Squad in September 2021.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Cole Beasley (leg), WR Collin Johnson (knee), OL Tyre Phillips (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), and S Nick McCloud (unknown) did not practice.

RT Evan Neal (concussion protocol) was limited to non-contact drills.

ILB Troy Brown left practice early with a possible ankle injury.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants were in full pads for a run-heavy practice.
  • First-team offensive line was LT Andrew Thomas, LG Joshua Ezeudu, OC John Michael Schmitz, RG Ben Bredeson, and RT Matt Peart. Mark Glowinski also rotated in at right guard.
  • Micah McFadden teamed with Bobby Okereke at inside linebacker with the first unit.
  • The starting outside corners were Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins with Adoree’ Jackson playing in the slot.
  • For the second day in a row, Cor’Dale Flott practiced outside with the second unit.
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari stood out in 1-on-1 pass rush drills.
  • Also in 1-on-1 drills, QB Daniel Jones connected with WR Jalin Hyatt on a deep touchdown pass, as did QB Tommy Devito to WR Jaydon Mickens.
  • RB Saquon Barkley broke a long run off the edge of the defense with WR Jalin Hyatt making a key block.
  • ILB Darrian Beavers flashed in run defense in 11-on-11 drills.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown to WR Isaiah Hodgins despite tight coverage from CB Deonte Banks.
  • Cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Amani Oruwariye knocked away passes.
  • OLB Tomon Fox had a “sack” and disrupted a screen pass.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

The New York Giants practice Wednesday morning (10:00AM-Noon). Head Coach Brian Daboll, the offensive and defensive position coaches, and select players will also address the media.

Aug 142023
Dane Belton, New York Giants (August 1, 2023)

Dane Belton – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held another training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The practices are no longer open to the public.

“We are still in training camp mode, we will be in training camp mode here for the next couple of weeks so a lot to work on,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before practice.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

DL D.J. Davidson (ACL) passed his physical and was activated off of the PUP.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Collin Johnson (knee), OL Tyre Phillips (unknown), OT Devery Hamilton (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), and S Nick McCloud (unknown) did not practice.

When asked about Johnson, who was injured during the game against the Lions, Head Coach Brian Daboll replied. “I don’t think it’s long term, but I’m not a doctor either.”

RT Evan Neal (concussion protocol) returned to practice but was limited to non-contact drills. DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (groin) also returned to practice.

TE Daniel Bellinger (unknown) appeared to be in some discomfort during 1-on-1 drills and did not participate in team drills.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants were in shorts and shells.
  • First-team offensive line was LT Andrew Thomas, LG Ben Bredeson, OC John Michael Schmitz, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Matt Peart.
  • Joshua Ezeudu also rotated in with the first team at left guard and Ben Bredeson rotated in at right guard.
  • Marcus McKethan worked at third-team right guard.
  • Shane Lemieux was the second-team center.
  • RB Jashaun Corbin received first-team reps as did TE Tommy Sweeney and wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Cole Beasley.
  • Giants employed some 3-3-5 defense today with DL A’Shawn Robinson teaming with defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams.
  • Micah McFadden teamed with Bobby Okereke at inside linebacker with the first unit. McFadden nearly had an interception in team drills.
  • The starting outside corners were Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins with Adoree’ Jackson playing in the slot.
  • The second-string slot cornerback was Darnay Holmes with Cor’Dale Flott practicing outside with the second unit.
  • Dane Belton was the third safety in three-safety packages with the first unit.
  • In 1-on-1 drills, QB Daniel Jones threw touchdowns to TE Darren Waller and wide receivers Jalin Hyatt (twice), Jamison Crowder, Isaiah Hodgins, and Sterling Shepard.
  • Cornerbacks Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins each broke up a pass.
  • Also in 1-on-1 drills, QB Tyrod Taylor threw touchdowns to wideouts Kalil Pimpleton and Jaydon Mickens.
  • A pass from QB Tyrod Taylor was deflected (possibly by ILB Darrian Beavers) and intercepted by safety Gervarrius Owens, who later broke up a pass intended for TE Tommy Sweeney.
  • In the 2-minute drill, safety Dane Belton jumped an out route run by WR Darius Slayton, intercepting the pass from QB Daniel Jones and returning it for a touchdown.
  • Other than the interception QB Daniel Jones had a very sharp day. He started practice 11-of-11 with four touchdowns and completed his first 17 passes before an incompletion. Jones finished practice 22-of-26 with five touchdowns (all inside the 10-yard line).
  • In team drills, QB Daniel Jones threw a “perfect” pass up the middle to RB Saquon Barkley despite tight coverage from ILB Bobby Okereke.
  • TE Darren Waller had a fantastic practice, dominating 1-on-1 drills as well as catching six passes and multiple touchdowns in 11-on-11 drills from QB Daniel Jones. Wide receivers Isaiah Hodgins and Parris Campbell also had touchdown receptions from Jones.
  • WR Sterling Shepard had a strong practice, giving both rookie corners Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins issues.
  • QB Tommy DeVito threw a touchdown to WR Jalin Hyatt on a corner route.
  • TE Chris Myarick caught two touchdowns, one from QB Tyrod Taylor and one from QB Tommy DeVito.

The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

The New York Giants practice Tuesday morning (10:00AM-Noon). Team coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Aug 142023
Jason Pinnock, New York Giants (August 11, 2023)

Jason Pinnock – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones did not dress, giving the start to Tyrod Taylor. He played just two drives (8 snaps), completing three of four passing attempts for seven yards and gaining another seven yards on the ground. There was not much to evaluate here and barring injury, there is no question he will be the unmatched number two this season. This game, at quarterback, was all about Tommy DeVito.

-DeVito, a North Jersey local, passed for 155 yards on 15/24 passing. He threw 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and was sacked 5 times. While the pass protection was poor overall, as we see often in preseason football across the league, I saw a couple of things I liked. First, DeVito improved in-game and moving through reads in a hurry. The All-22 tape told the story there. Progression to progression, layer to layer. Now, he did miss a few throws and early on his internal clock was too delayed. However, I like how he responded to a few big hits. He is a tough kid with sneaky athletic ability. He warrants the “let’s see more” label.


-Saquon Barkley did not dress and Matt Breida barely saw the field. Rookie Eric Gray and Jashaun Corbin saw the most snaps, but James Robinson got a few looks before them. He had an unimpressive 9 yards on 6 carries. It will be interesting to see how much his experience (and possible trustworthiness in pass protection) weighs when coaches knock the roster down. Gray and Corbin have a lot to prove before they can be relied upon. While their talent and youthfulness can make the decision look easy, the coaches need to trust they can get the job done outside of carrying the ball.

-Gray handled all return duties in addition to leading the position group in snaps. First, on offense, he lacked innovation and comfort to put himself off schedule when the Detroit front was owning the point of attack. I saw two carries where the cutback lane was there, Gray did not see it. He gained just 9 yards on 5 carries and added 2 catches for 10 yards. As a returner, Gray looked uncomfortable to say the least. But keep in mind, he barely did it in college and both of his punt return attempts in 2021 (the last time he did this in a game) resulted in muffs. My thought is they know he will not be the number two back right away (and he is competing for number three), thus they need to find other ways for him to contribute.

-Corbin looked more comfortable and ran with quicker tempo. It was easy to tell the difference between the two. His 33-yard run in the fourth quarter was the biggest play of the game for the NYG offense. Remember, this is an offensive scheme that produced the fourth best explosive rush percentage in the NFL last year. The play design (and Corbin’s tempo) was outstanding. When the execution is there, they will create big plays on the ground.


-The following receivers did not dress: Darius Slayton, Paris Campbell, Sterling Shepard, and Wan’Dale Robinson (PUP)

-With all of the hype from camp surrounding their first real deep threat in quite some time, Jalin Hyatt, I was hoping to see a long ball tossed his way at some point. It did not happen. His only target was a screen pass that ended up in a four-yard loss after he ran backwards. Two subtle observations on him. He did not line up in the slot at all (his primary spot in college). That is a good sign, it is too crowded in there for him. Second, his route running looks easy and smooth. He did struggle to fight through some cheap contact, but I was impressed by the joint fluidity from his hips down through the ankles. He came off the field so some of the fringe-guys could play more.

-To be blunt, I have no idea what the plan is at slot receiver. The two best NYG receivers were Cole Beasley (4 rec / 33 yards) and Jamison Crowder (2 rec / 32 yards). Between them and Shepard/Robinson, I simply cannot see a scenario where all of them are on this roster come week one. Beasley has the best route running and burst post-catch. He knows how to read a defender and can provide what Richie James did last season. Crowder stood out though. He has more presence against contact, and I trust his hands more. Perhaps they are just a hedge if there are physical issues with the guys mentioned above and I know they were matched up against backups. No need to get excited, but the floor is high with either of them.

-David Sills caught 2 passes for 36 yards, including a nice, contested catch for the biggest gain of the day for NYG via the air (22 yards). Mr. Reliable when it comes to backup roles, locker room presence, and familiarity. With all the competition at the position now, however, and the fact I expect to see Hyatt/Campbell outside, Sills is fighting uphill.

-Undrafted rookie Bryce Ford-Wheaton could end up challenging veteran Collin Johnson if the team wants more speed with the size. My guess is they both end up on the practice squad. The first NFL game action did not go well for him. He dropped a third down conversion pass, as he tried to body trap it for no reason. While he had some of the most impressive triangle numbers in the 2023 receiver draft class, his skill set (particularly ball skills) was bumpy. I also did not like some of the urgency / effort upon second look at the tape with some of his routes. He is straight line fast, but he is not very sudden. He needs to improve where he can as a route runner. The little things matter.


-Both Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger did not dress. Expect to see NYG rank top seven in the league in 12 personnel (2 tight ends / 1 back) if they stay healthy.

-The battle for the number three job is Tommy Sweeney’s to lose, another North Jersey local. He scored the lone touchdown of the night on a 14-yard pass from DeVito. I keyed in on his blocking more than anything because that is where his biggest contributions will come. The NYG offense has struggled here for awhile. With Bellinger entering year two and the presence of Sweeney, I expect an uptick in impact. He did a nice job in the running game, but he did allow a pressure in pass protection.

-Undrafted rookie Ryan Jones is an interesting practice squad candidate. He had a 10-yard reception, 5 of which came after the catch with an impressive, sudden burst upfield. I had a draftable grade on Jones out of East Carolina. The 6’1/240 body simply does not fit at receiver of tight end. Can this scheme find a role for him? He can create. Among all tight ends in FBS last season, Jones ranked third in missed tackles forced. More than Sam LaPorta, more than Michael Mayer, more than Brock Bowers. On less catches.


-If there was a negative takeaway from the game itself, it came from the backup offensive linemen, specifically outside. Before that causes a panic, you’ll find the same from over 25 other teams in the league. The lack in supply of quality backup offensive linemen in the NFL is one of the most glaring deficits. Andrew Thomas, Mark Glowinski, and Evan Neal (concussion) did not play. Backup Tyre Phillips did not play either.

-We can start with the positive. Rookie center John Michael Schmitz did have two bad losses, one of which resulted in a tackle for loss, but his overall performance was solid. His transitions and ability to stay attached proved how much movement he can get in the running game. Creating creases on multiple levels in the middle of the defense for a back like Barkley will be a difference maker. Is he overly strong and powerful? Detroit rookie defensive tackle did not think so. Is overly fast and agile? The Detroit linebackers did not think so. But the intelligence, technique, and smoothness to his footwork can get the most out of what he has. I was encouraged by his first pro action, and I expect him to start week one.

-The next best takeaway from the game was Shane Lemieux, who came in at left guard in the second half. There is open competition between Joshua Ezeudu and Ben Bredeson (the leader in my eyes) at left guard. Did we push Lemieux out of the picture too soon? The game tape says yes. He was excellent and was the best at staying latched on with good positioning and bend. Most of his issues have been health related.

-The nightmare we saw at tackle was alarming. Wyatt Davis at right tackle absolutely cannot be a potential solution. This is an odd experiment to me. Davis played 1,707 snaps in college. All 1,707 of them were at right guard. He has one career snap at right tackle as a pro. One. I cannot imagine he is a credible candidate for a backup tackle spot and the 2-sack, 3-pressure, 2-penalty performance on just 27 snaps is about as bad as it gets. He was not even close to competitive. Fellow backup hopeful Korey Cunningham was not much better. He led the offense in snaps played, splitting time between both sides of the line, and allowed 2 sacks and 4 pressures. Lastly, Matt Peart (hanging on for dear life) allowed a pressure and was torched in the running game. The speed of the NFL is too much for him and I am afraid to say the same issues we saw with his fluidity as a rookie are still there. The Giants have a problem (possibly a significant one) at backup tackle.


-With the position group thinner than most want to believe, the trio of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, and Jihad Ward all sat this one out.

-There is room for another edge defender, and it looks like it could end up being a close competition over the next two weeks with a possible solution currently on the street. The leader in the clubhouse if we are using this game only? Habakkuk Baldonado. Something about this franchise and names that are hard to pronounce on the edge. He had a 2 pressures and the team’s only sack. There was a nice string of plays in the fourth quarter where he sacked Adrian Martinez (canceled out by a questionable roughing penalty), just to record another one two plays later. The wins were technique and bend-based, both good signs.

-Tomon Fox hit the quarterback twice on 14 pass rush attempts, the first one aiding in the interception by Jason Pinnock. His power game has always been effective, and I have to think the defensive coaching staff (especially one led by Martindale) wants that behind the starters.

-Tashawn Bower and Oshane Ximines both graded out well. Ximines hit the quarterback twice but was beat on the edge in the running game twice. The fact we have seen him play a lot of football leaves out at least some potential hope, but I am interested to see how he responds to multiple guys on his level. Bower played a better, more well-rounded game against second/third stringers. He finished with 5 tackles, 1 TFL, and 2 pressures. This guy came into the league in 2017 from LSU. He has stuck around quite impressively and performs his best in hybrid fronts. I can’t say I’ve seen a fifth-year backup that has already been on four teams fight for a spot at such an important position. They see something in him.


-Inside is where the nucleus of this defense resides. I spoke of this a few times last year and I am glad that not only did both Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams return, but the A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches signings give them such a strong spike in depth. None of the four played in this game.

-Rookie seventh rounder Jordon Riley played 43 snaps, third most on the defense. Ironically, I just got done watching two of 2022 Oregon defensive tapes for some 2024 NFL Draft work. Never thought I’d be watching three games of Riley’s within two days. The body is pro-caliber and when his leverage is on point, the upper body lockout and push can get the job done. This is a massive frame with good enough bend and forward lean to turn into a stout run defender. While I don’t think there is much to work with as a pass rusher, D.J. Davidson better realize his roster spot may not be there for long. Riley had a couple of ugly losses (again, stemmed from pad level) where he was trampled by a double team. But the one stop where he helped stuff the run after peeling off the block displayed what he can do at his size. There is real talent here on a frame that stands out.

– The trio of Donovan Jeter, Kobe Smith, and Brandin Bryant will likely produce one or two guys for the practice squad. Based on this game tape alone, Smith is the one that I am intrigued by the most. He has some penetrating skills from the 3-tech spot (where he played most of the night) and that is an area I think could use another body.


-The biggest free agency addition Bobby Okereke did not play, nor did Darrian Beavers.

-Micah McFadden got the start next to the versatile special teamer Carter Coughlin. Both are what they are until I see otherwise. Smart and physical but limited in space with minimal passing game impact.

-If there was a winner of the night from the position, it was Dyontae Johnson, an undrafted rookie. All of his action came against backups, and we see linebackers/safeties make plenty of tackles and impressive plays against the run with each preseason game. Johnson’s question will be like what we saw out of Tae Crowder. Can he make faster reads, and will he get off blockers? He did not look fluid in coverage either.


-Adoree’ Jackson did not dress for the game, as he remains one of the most important players on this team because there isn’t anything trustworthy behind him yet. In even better news, they did not have him return any punts either.

-Speaking of behind Jackson on the depth chart, the chatter is rightfully positive surrounding their two draft picks. First rounder Deonte Banks and sixth rounder Tre Hawkins got the starting nods on the outside. Take where they were selected out, and it was hard to see who the better player was. Hawkins really has started on the right foot and Banks showed the speed traits we know this team was hot after draft weekend. In this man-heavy scheme, both looked at home. Banks can clean up his ball location and Hawkins was a late to anticipate routes (more so in zone), but a very positive first look for both.

-Cor’Dale Flott and Darnay Holmes are going to be battling it out for the nickel spot, I think. Part of it could depend on the team’s plans for the first rounder Banks. Both Holmes and Flott saw most of their snaps inside and by this time, we know what Holmes is. If you can live with the inevitable penalties, he is a solid option. Watching Flott’s footwork and recovery speed with such little wasted motion was encouraging. He is undoubtedly more “natural” at covering receivers than Holmes.

-The fringe guys at the position need to be worried. The likes of Rodarius Williams and Zyon Gilbert are going to have a hard time making this team. Even former Lion Amari Oruwariye looked slow in pursuit after losing leverage on a crossing route. Aaron Robinson on the PUP will help one of their causes, but I also would not rule out another free agent being signed after preseason (like how they brought in Fabian Moreau and Nick McCloud last season).


-Xavier McKinney and Nick McCloud both did not play. I’m not sure how high the staff really is on McCloud, but these other safeties are making a name for themselves.

-If there was one position group that “won” the intra-roster position battle, it was right here. On just FIVE snaps, Jason Pinnock broke up two passes, intercepting one and breaking up a third down attempt on the other, and had a TFL. Talk about impact. There was not a single defender that played less than him, but he was the group’s top playmaker. He is an ascending player.

-Beyond him, it stayed strong. Undrafted rookie Alex Cook led the team with 7 tackles, 2 of which were near the line of scrimmage. Seventh round rookie Gervarrius Owens broke up a pass and added 2 tackles. His break up was a result of a fast read and react that had a break on the ball start before it was thrown. His size complements his game well.

-Bobby McCain is the closest thing to Julian Love this team has right now. While he does not (and the defense does not) need to fill those shoes the exact way Love did, McCain played multiple spots in the secondary and looked fast. He had 5 tackles and brings a physical brand. He is not as big and does not tackle like Love did, but this tape showed the quick reactions and ability to both close and cover in multiple forms.

-I hope nobody is overlooking Dane Belton. He added 2 tackles and an interception. The 2022 team leader in interceptions (along with Love) saw his share of ups and downs as a rookie, but now healthy and with a year under his belt, I would bet he is a huge part of the plans for the defense. I cannot remember a time with such a deep and versatile safety group on one NYG roster. This gives them such advantages week to week based on matchups.


K Graham Gano: 2/2 (Made 42, 47).
P Jamie Gillan: 5 punts / 47.6 avg – 28.2 net


-S Jason Pinnock, CB Deonte Banks, OG Shane Lemieux


-WR Bryce Ford Wheaton, OT Wyatt Davis, OT Korey Cunningham


1. Remember the name Ben Johnson. At this time next year, he will be a Head Coach in the NFL. The Offensive Coordinator for Detroit is just 37 years old and when it comes to getting the most out of personnel, there may not have been a more economic play caller in the league than him last season. Unless he falls apart in 2023, he will be the next young offensive-minded hire in the league. Washington seems like a real possibility to me, unfortunately. He has a few connections to that front office.

2. In the same breath, Detroit will not sneak up on anyone this season. And I question how smart the construction process of the roster was this past offseason. Running backs Jamaal Williams and DeAndre Swift? Gone. Wide receiver Jameson Williams is suspended 6 games. They are going to rely on a rookie tight end (odds are this will not work well) after trading T.J. Hockenson away last summer. Jared Goff has hit a peak and come crashing down a year later before. Can he create enough with the questions they have in the passing game?

3. Detroit is the hot pick to win the NFC North. We all know Minnesota was not near what their record said they were last season. Aaron Rodgers is finally out of Green Bay. Chicago was the second worst team in football last year. I believe the NFC North will be as close as any divisional race in football. I’m not ready to anoint the Lions yet, however. It’s been 20 years (!) since they won the North. The fact remains, this team was 3-6 against teams with winning records last year. They were 30th against the run. Their pass rush ranked 25th. They allowed the most first downs per game in the NFL. A few free agent signings won’t change all of that. I am keeping them in the 8-9 to 9-8 tier.


1. The rule of preseason football: Do not react strong to anything (besides injuries). These games almost never mean anything at the end of the day. They can confirm a few things (like the thin offensive line) but they will not answer nearly as much as people think. Watch some new players, start to take in their skill sets, and check for surprises. Do not make the mistake of over-thinking a rookie (good or bad). They still have such a long way to go.

2. Someone asked me what position group excites me the most. Right now, it is the secondary (little cheating there, I know). Between the group of safeties that credibly goes six-deep (maybe seven) along with some promising young guys on the perimeter has to get you amped up. That is how a defense can win games, and with a pass rush, I expect the Giants to be top half of the league. We are not even close to the best version of defensive football under this new regime. They are going to be fun to watch.

3. What are the improvements or changes we want to see from preseason game one to game two? Personally, I would like to see Hyatt more involved. They need to try and script a couple deep shots to him so they can see how he tracks the ball, fights for it, and plays the body position game in real live situations. Defensively, seeing a few different personnel packages on third down would be my next thing. Whether the starters play or not isn’t as important. I want to see some of the edge guys shift inside, some of the defensive backs come up on the edge, and some of the inside linebackers blitz. Nobody plays as aggressive as Martindale and watching the Jets get home against Carolina in week one preseason opens the door for NYG to do the same.

Aug 102023
Collin Johnson, New York Giants (August 1, 2023)

Collin Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports

After a mostly futile decade, it’s an exciting time to follow the New York Giants once again. Not only did the team make the playoffs and actually win a road playoff game against a 13-4 team, but more importantly, there is a general sense that the team is in very good hands under the leadership of General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll. The arrow finally appears to be pointing up.

However, potentially, there are dark clouds on the horizon. It is an annual fan right of passage to complain about the schedule, but truth be told, the schedule is a bitch. And it’s a bitch right out of the gate with the Cowboys, Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, Dolphins, and Bills in the first six weeks. Worse, four of those games are on the road and they play the 49ers only after four days of rest. Many Giants fans realize the team may actually be far better in 2023, but miss the playoffs, especially with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in the same division. The Giants were 0-5 against these two teams last year.

So despite the optimism, the New York Giants have some serious challenges in front of them. They have to get ready and get ready quickly. The Cowboys arrive at MetLife in one month.

The team has lost three players for the season already: ILB Jarrad Davis, OC Hassenauer, and NT Vernon Butler. Davis was the most significant because he was expected to compete for a starting job. The team also waived WR Jeff Smith with an injury, but he was not likely to make the squad.

RB Gary Brightwell (leg?), RT Evan Neal (concussion protocol), OT Devery Hamilton (ankle?), DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (groin), and DL Ryder Anderson (triceps) all missed at least one practice this week and are not expected to play. Of this group, Neal is the most significant as he is missing valuable practice time against another team. OL Marcus McKethan (knee) and DL A’Shawn Robinson (knee), who just came off of the PUP and have yet to practice in team drills, also will not play.

In the first preseason game last year, Brian Daboll actually chose to play most of the starters for a couple of series. It will be interesting to see what he does in year two, after two “productive” (his words) practices against the Detroit Lions in a more controlled (i.e., safer) environment. I could see him giving most of the starters a couple of series. I could also see him playing it safe. Players such as QB Daniel Jones, LT Andrew Thomas, TE Darren Waller, and RB Saquon Barkley may not see a single snap.

Regardless, as amped up as fans get for the first preseason game since it marks the return of football, these contests should not be over-emphasized. From a fan perspective, these contests are of more interest to the diehards who want to see the back-ups competing for 53-man roster spots. The most important work for the starters was already accomplished on Tuesday and Wednesday in the joint practices.

So what are we looking for on offense? Competency on the offensive line and an incredibly competitive battle at wide receiver.

The offensive line will be without one (Evan Neal) and probably two (Andrew Thomas) of their starting tackles. So much attention will be on the important swing tackle position. After-thought Matt Peart has re-entered the picture. His chief competition is Korey Cunningham. This is a very important game for both of these players.

Center and guard are more convoluted as Daboll has rotated players at both starting guard spots and center. John Michael Schmitz seems on track again to be starter, but he is green. It might make sense for him to play more than a couple of series. Ben Bredeson has received starting snaps at all three positions. He could end up being a starter on opening day at any of these positions or just the primary back-up. The most likely scenario is he is battling Josh Ezeudu for the left guard position. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that he has received some starting snaps over Mark Glowinski in practices.

Taking all of this into consideration, it would not be surprising to see Ben Bredeson play quite a bit. Josh Ezeudu could see more than a couple of series. He needs the work. Tyre Phillips, who has seen reps at both tackle and guard, should play most of the game. Same with Shane Lemieux, Wyatt Davis, Jack Anderson, and Sean Harlow. Unfortunately, Devery Hamilton is missing valuable time.

The other spot garnering attention is wide receiver. There it is a number’s game. The likely starters – Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, and Isaiah Hodgins – might not see the field. The Giants have also been careful with Sterling Shepard, who many feel is not a lock to make the team. 34-year old Cole Beasley may also rest. Many wondered why he was signed, but it’s interesting to note he’s played with the first-team more than expected right out of the gate.

So who will play? I expect to see a lot of Jalin Hyatt, Collin Johnson, Jamison Crowder, David Sills, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Jaydon Mickens, and Kalil Pimpleton. Even if he lays an egg on Friday, Hyatt is going to make the team. In my opinion, the guy to watch here is Collin Johnson. He has developed quite a rapport with Tyrod Taylor. Johnson needs a strong performance to help his cause. He’s probably battling Shepard for a roster spot. Same with Crowder, who is likely battling Beasley for back-up slot receiver. (Remember, Wan’Dale Robinson is rumored to be coming off of the PUP soon too).

Some other passing thoughts: At running back, I would think we would see heavy doses of Eric Gray and James Robinson. It will be interesting to see how both perform. Is Tommy DeVito worth a Practice Squad spot? Tommy Sweeney seemed to flash in the joint practices. How do he and Lawrence Cager perform behind the likes of Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger?

I would not read too much into this side of the ball on Friday. Why? Mainly because of the situation up front. I’d be very surprised if NT Dexter Lawrence and DL Leonard Williams even see the field. The Lions had significant issues blocking both in practices this week. Furthermore, primary back-ups A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches will not play. Even Ryder Anderson is out. That’s the top five guys on the team’s depth chart. So in effect, the Giants will likely be playing with third-teamers from the start of the game against one of the deeper offensive lines in football.

What this will do is provide us with a good look at guys who are fighting tooth and nail for possibly just one available 53-man roster spot. Jordon Riley, Kevin Atkins, Brandin Bryant, Donovan Jeter, and Kobe Smith will be the guys on the spot. Most of these players were only just signed off of the street in recent weeks. I can hear Giants fans now, “who the hell is that?”

Another player who is not likely to play or play much is Bobby Okereke. Since he was the team’s most expensive free agent acquisition, he was likely hand-picked by Wink Martindale to fix the primary weakness of the team’s defense. They won’t want to risk him getting hurt. So we should see more of Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers, who are battling for a starting spot. Another to watch is Dyontae Johnson, who was targeted by the team as an undrafted free agent.

Another reason why not to expect much on Friday it is doubtful that Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, and Jihad Ward play or play much at edge/outside linebacker. Oshane Ximines, Tomon Fox, Tashawn Bower, and Habakkuk Baldonado will be the outside rushers.

The secondary is more interesting given the greenness of Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins. Both could see playing time. I would expect Xavier McKinney to sit and Jason Pinnock may not play either. What about slot corner? Does Darnay Holmes sit or do the Giants put both him and Cor’Dale Flott on the field to continue their battle for the starting spot? At outside corner, the guys to watch for back-up spots are Amari Oruwariye and Rodarius Williams. And there is a heck of a battle at back-up safety with Dane Belton, Bobby McCain, Nick McCloud, and Gervarrius Owens.

Special teams are often a mess in the preseason because coaches are experimenting with so many new faces. There are usually breakdowns as it becomes clearer who can’t cut it on special teams, particularly on punt and kickoff coverage. Keep this in mind.

The League minimized the importance of kickoff returns in the offseason. Gary Brightwell, who is currently injured and might not make the team, was listed as the primary kick returner on the team’s unofficial depth chart released this week. His listed back-up is Eric Gray, who is also listed as the primary punt returner. So one of the more interesting things to watch is Gray’s ability as a returner. He only returned nine punts and four kicks in college.

We all know the most important thing… no injuries please.

But beyond that, again, don’t expect much defensively. Too many important pieces in the front seven won’t be playing. On offense, focus your eyes on the offensive line and wide receivers who play.