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Kyler Fackrell, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Kyler Fackrell – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker Kyler Fackrell on Injured Reserve with a calf injury that he suffered in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Fackrell had played in all 11 games this year, with eight starts. He had accrued 30 tackles, three sacks, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. Fackrell will have to miss at least three games before he is eligible to return to the 53-man roster.

Tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver/return specialist Dante Pettis were activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 List. They are eligible to return to practice on Wednesday. All three were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on November 20th.

The Giants waived safety Montre Hartage and kicker/punter Ryan Santoso. Hartage has been on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this season, playing in one game. Santoso was signed last week off the Practice Squad as insurance in case place kicker Graham Gano was unavailable for the Cincinnati game. Gano was on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, but was activated Saturday.

Rookie free agents wide receiver Derrick Dillon and tight end Nate Wieting were terminated from the Practice Squad.

NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACHES ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
A video clip compilation of the media sessions with the following New York Giants assistant coaches on Tuesday is available at Giants.com:

  • Quarterback Coach Jerry Schuplinski
  • Running Backs Coach Burton Burns
  • Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
  • Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens
  • Offensive Line Coach Dave DeGuglielmo
  • Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
  • Outside Linebackers Coach/Senior Assistant Bret Bielema
  • Inside Linebackers Coach Coach Kevin Sherrer
  • Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:10PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 302020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 30, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 19-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Obviously, Daniel Jones with the MRI, what do you expect?

A: There are actually more question marks than answers right now, to be honest with you. We got some of the information back from the doctors, but a lot of that is we have to wait and see how this guy responds in a couple of days. Can he move around the field and can he do anything? I’d say, listen, my approach on every injury is always the same. It’s always number one, can the player hurt it worse by playing? Is it pain tolerance or is there a risk for serious injury? That’s number one. Number two, can the player defend himself on the field at a level necessary to do their job effectively? Until we can answer those two questions with absolute certainty, we won’t have any answers on what we’re going to do in terms of this week. I know Daniel’s going to do everything he can to get on the field. But sometimes as coaches, you have to make a decision to maybe protect the player from himself and kind of get through their competitiveness.

Q: Was it a strain? Was it a pull? What exactly was it?

A: I’m not the doctor. I’m not going to go ahead and try to put a label on it, to be honest with you. But it was enough that we had to remove him from the game yesterday. We’ll kind of see where he is going forward.

Q: When Daniel came back into the game, who made that decision? What did he tell the trainers that made him feel okay and safe enough to go back in and try again?

A: Well, they examined him on the sideline, and they thought that there was a chance for him to go back in. He was obviously pushing to get back into the game and go out there and be with the team and try to do something to help the team. He pushed to get back in there. He was cleared medically. But once he got out there, he couldn’t do what was necessary to play the rest of the game, so he had to take himself out at that point. Obviously, that’s something we support him fully with. I talked to him before putting him out there as well.

Q: How much do you factor in that there are four more games after Sunday and hamstring injuries can linger? Does that factor into the equation?

A: Yeah, that’s always part of it. Again, I kind of go back to the first two things I said. It’s just short-term putting him on the field, can he hurt it any worse? I don’t think you want to look at it in terms of this game is not as important as maybe another game coming up. To me, it’s always that one game season. You don’t want to do anything stupid that’s going to risk the player and lose him long-term. But I’ll let the doctors kind of decide what the short-term risk is.

Q: Do you have any plans to bring in another quarterback, maybe just to the practice squad to have another arm or someone on deck?

A: Yeah, we are. We’re actually talking about that right now as an organization, kind of looking through a list of guys. Obviously, the priority is to get somebody in here as quickly as possible to get him through the protocols and go through that kind of cadence to get him even eligible for Sunday.

Q: Of the guys who were here in training camp, is Alex (Tanney) the only one who is free?

A: It would be him or Cooper (Rush). To be honest with you, I have to check and see where Cooper is exactly right now. I haven’t gone through all of those lists yet. We had those conversations. We just wrapped up meetings with the players. I’m going to jump back into some personnel discussions when this call is over.

Q: Message to the team going forward starting this week against Seattle, with or without Daniel, what’s your overall focus?

A: Daily improvement. That sounds like a broken record right there, but that’s what we have to do every day. We’re keeping the focus small in terms of what we have to do individually to help the team collectively. That’s it. We have a tough game, a tough opponent this week. We have to get ready. Obviously, it’s that quick turnaround to go out there and go out west. We have to do everything we can to get ourselves ready. It’s going to be a tough opponent, great challenge going to Seattle.

Q: You’ve seen around the league and you saw what kind of happened with the Broncos. Would you consider having a quarterback, a third guy, being remote for the time being, just to sort of keep him safe and going that way?

A: Obviously, what happened with the Broncos this week, I think every team in the league had similar conversations. We did as well Saturday night at the hotel. Considering in the future, not only just the quarterback position, but several key positions throughout the team, is it worth keeping those guys isolated and having them Zoom in for the meetings? That’s definitely something we’re discussing right now. That is something we’re considering. Right now, we have two guys, quarterbacks, with live arms at practice. We’ll see where Daniel is going forward when we get some more information. Talking about adding a fourth to that group, there’s a possibility of that. We still haven’t finalized whether or not we want to bring them in or keep them at the hotel. I would think the initial conversation would be whoever it is we bring in, just due to the fact that they haven’t been with the team or maybe any team for some period of time, you’re going to want to get them around the team at some point, to at least get out there and throw, take snaps, and be around the guys in some capacity.

Q: Have you done anything in regards to keeping your guys separated at certain positions? I know you said you mentioned it but have you done anything to date or is that something you might have to alter?

A: I’d say as far as day to day in the building, yeah, it starts with going virtual with the meetings. Then when we’re in the building, kind of separating guys throughout the big team meetings, some of the smaller position meetings as well. Everything to when we’re traveling, where we put guys on busses, where we put guys on the plane, how we set up the locker room. We’re trying to do everything we can to get everybody as spaced out as can be. Now that only goes so far. At some point, they have to be in an individual period standing next to each other throwing balls, catching balls. They have to be in a team setting where it’s 11 on 11. You can only do so much for so long, but everything that we can do, we are doing.

Q: Jumping on that a little bit, you guys were down to one quarterback on Sunday. I’m curious is there someone in the building that is kind of like your emergency quarterback? Is that Golden Tate or was there somebody you were ready to throw out there if it came to it?

A: There’s always a list of guys that want to be in your ear reminding you they played quarterback in high school. I remind them I did the same thing, and I’m also not playing on Sunday. But we always go ahead and have a few contingency plans, whether it’s one of the running backs, one of the tight ends even, or possibly some of the receivers we put together in certain packages. We’ve already seen Golden throw passes in games. We’ve also had packages with other guys doing different things. Jason (Garrett) is working with the offense right now and putting everyone’s skillset in terms of how we can use different guys in different situations to find an advantage.

Q: What do you like about Clayton Thorson? He’s been with you guys, I think you signed him in September, what do you like about him as a quarterback?

A: He’s a big, strong dude. He has a big arm. He shows a lot of awareness back there, he’s a competitive guy. You can go back to his college tape and see how this guy really plays in the game. He’s kind of got that scrappy mentality to him, kind of digs and claws for what he has, and that’s kind of showed up at practice as well. He’s done a lot of things at practice that have impressed us to this point. He’s shown a level of development that we’re pleased with where he’s moving to.

Q: Can you just talk a little about the difference of maybe expectations for a quarterback like Colt, either coming in cold not having the reps, and then possibly having a week to prep for an upcoming opponent?

A: The expectations are always the same, to be able to go in there and execute whatever we ask you to. Listen, not everyone is going to have every snap throughout the week with practice. That’s just the reality of the NFL. Colt has to take advantage of every rep that he does get, and he gets a significant amount working against our defense. We try to keep everything as tied in offensively with what maybe we’re working with the opponent and what our own offensive techniques are, so that all of our guys come to work and progress with what we’re doing. You may be running a card for what the Bengals are doing, but we can go ahead and associate that with what’s our route combination? What’s our protection slide for the line? What’s Colt’s progression on that play, so that way, he’s getting work as well as our defense at the same time, and we’re all getting a look at what we have to look at. I’d say for Colt, he came in the game and, listen, it was a tough thing coming off cold off the sideline. But he came in, did some really nice things for us, made some tough throws in tough situations, made some good runs for us. Look, he’s a vet, he has a lot of experience. He goes out there with a good amount of savvy, can really manage a game. But we’ll set the game up however we need to, whether it’s Daniel, whether it’s Colt, whether it’s Clayton, whoever it ends up being, in terms of working to their strong points.

Q: Do you have any update on (Kyler) Fackrell and (Nate) Ebner?

A: Fackrell has the lower leg injury right there. We’re going to wait and see how he looks also later in the week. Again, this first day up, everyone is sore, everyone is tight. We’ll see how it looks come Wednesday and Thursday. Ebner, again, he looks like he’s going to rebound pretty fast. One thing being around Nate for a long time is he’s kind of like the girl who has eight kids and can tell you she’s pregnant before she’s taken a test. He kind of knows what’s going on with his body. Walking off at halftime, he was able to kind of relay to me what the injury was kind of similar to and what he was thinking about it. Sure enough, that’s exactly what was confirmed by the doctors today. I’ve been around that guy for a long time. He’ll do everything he can to get back this Sunday.

Q: With Seattle being your next opponent, have you guys set the research for tonight? Have you assigned guys different things to be looking for to pick up tendencies since it’s something that is unfolding live for you?

A: We haven’t had to assign anything special, but everyone already has their areas of what they have to research. We do use a lot of the TV games anyway to try to find different views of things. There’s things you can pick up on TV you can’t on a coaches’ copy. This obviously being a division game, we’ve already played Philly twice though. Being Seattle, it kind of sets up pretty nice. It’s kind of a little bit different. The entire league is shut down, we’re all working from home today. I’m home right now. We’re already grading the tape, meeting the players via zoom. Tonight, we’ll be able to sit down. We’re watching Monday Night Football, but you’re actually working ahead. It’s not a bad change up and a break in how we’re doing it. It would be good for our guys to listen to communication. It will be good for the guys who are looking for certain things that may be coming up on their sideline or substitution patterns. A lot of times you get from the TV view different angles of guys. Seeing different views and clearer shots that may apply to how you’re going to coach the technique of your team.

Q: As far as the schedule, are you using the same philosophy that you did when you went to L.A.?

A: Yeah, we are. We talked to the captains and some of the older players when we got back from L.A. I wanted immediate feedback on what they thought about it. The immediate feedback tied into also the next week. It really is a week-long process. We got back from L.A. on Monday. I talked to them on Wednesday morning on how they felt about it. I checked with them the following Monday and kind of saw if they thought it was beneficial, the way the previous week went. They all did, they liked it a lot. We’re going to go back with the same mentality. We’ll go out to Seattle early on Saturday morning. We’ll land, we’ll have a walk-thru at a local high school to get the guys up and moving. Get some blood pumping through their legs. We’ll go to the hotel, we’ll have some quick meetings. Get them off their feet and get them some sleep. After the game on Sunday, we’ll go back to the hotel and stay overnight. We’ll wake up on Monday morning and fly back. What we found last time that helped more than anything, instead of taking kind of almost that red eye type of flight coming back. You are worn down, you’re tired. You get a short night of sleep Sunday into Monday. You’re tired on Monday, and it catches up to you on Tuesday. All of the sudden, by the time you hit Thursday, you get that reciprocal wear and tear on your body where it sets you back a little bit. We saw with this, getting a good night’s sleep on Sunday, waking up fresh on Monday. Everyone got home by call it 8 o’clock. We’re actually going to get home a little bit earlier this time, we’re going to leave a little earlier. We’ll get everyone home, get a good night’s sleep. Wake up fresh on Tuesday and get rolling forward. It worked out well for us last time, so we’re going to use the same schedule for the most part.

Q: You mentioned that the Daniel Jones’ MRI provided more questions than answers. Was there a sigh of relief that it was not a significant hamstring tear? Are you confident that if this is a one-week thing, it’s not more than a one-week thing?

A: I couldn’t give an answer on if it’s one week or more than one week right now. I’m not qualified and, to be honest, the doctors I talked to today don’t have a crystal ball to look through either. I would say this, this is a tough dude. He is a tough guy. He is a very competitive guy and he wants to be out there. If we gave him the option today, he would jump out there, I’m sure, with duct tape on his leg and try to go at it. That being said, we have to give this guy a few days to get out there on the field and see if he can move around, see if he can do something. The time will tell based on when he can get out there and properly defend himself and execute the game plan effectively. I can’t give you any definite answer on that. There’s not much to really hide on this. To be honest with you, with these types of injuries, we just have to give the player a few days to get out there and see what it really is. The day after, there’s going to be some swelling. It’s going to be tight, there’s going to be issues that show up. We have to see how he reacts from a couple days of treatment and what we can do to get him going on the grass.

Q: You mentioned a few times you want to make sure the injury doesn’t worsen if you play him. Hamstrings are notorious that they can get worse. With a guy like Daniel Jones, who uses his legs so often, is that a different framework for him versus maybe more of a pocket quarterback?

A: I wouldn’t say that necessarily. Would it maybe change some of the things we would call in the game plan? Possibly. If we felt this wasn’t something he could hurt worse, or something he can go out there and still defend himself but just playing a little bit different with the play calling, I would have no issue putting him out there with that. There’s going to be guys rushing at him to try and take his head off. I want to make sure I don’t put a guy out there in a position where he can’t defend himself. That’s just not fair to him. He’s going to go out there with a lot of courage and he is going to want to stand back there. We’ve got to evaluate and make sure we do the right thing by him.

Q: Do you expect to have the three guys on the COVID Reserve List available this week? Does the fact that you’re remote the first couple of days impede your ability to evaluate them early?

A: It really won’t affect our evaluations as coaches. Tomorrow will actually be their third day of the ramp up period. They will be on the field. They were on it today, they will be on the field again tomorrow with our trainers and the medical staff. Wednesday, when we’re all back, we should have a chance to possibly see them. We’ll get more answers on where they’re at. They have to go through a series of cardiac testing, some other standard procedures to make sure they are clear on everything. I know all the guys are getting stir crazy being isolated right now, and they are anxious to get back. The one thing we’ve got to really make sure with these guys is they have missed a significant amount of time as far as being out there training, being on the field. We had the bye week, that kind of carried over into last week of them not being in the building. This isn’t just like they missed one week of practice and they came on back. These guys have been dealing with something physically for over a week now. They have been sitting in a position where they have been out, they haven’t been active. We can’t just bring these guys back in the facility and, okay, they are full go. We have to see these guys move around, make sure their condition level is up. Make sure we’re not putting them at a risk of soft tissue injuries and things of that nature because they haven’t been out there moving around. Our training staff will put them through a series of things tomorrow to kind of gauge where they’re at. Also, see if they are clear to practice with the team. Assuming everything goes well, we do look forward to getting them back this week, if that’s possible. As soon as we can have them back, we’re going to look to incorporate them moving the forward as best we can.

Q: James Bradberry, whatever he was tending to last week, is that something that you consider now behind him and that’s not a concern as far as his availability for Seattle and other games?

A: I really couldn’t answer that. It’s a family matter with him. I don’t want to go into his personal business. If anyone on this call was dealing with the same thing, we would encourage them, go take care of your family and make sure everything is good. James did a great job last week for us of staying engaged. He was in all the meetings through zoom. He showed up and had a good practice on Friday. He played a good game for us. He’s a guy who is getting a game ball for the way he had to handle last week. He really made a lot of sacrifices and was able to combine personal adversity and some sacrifices to make sure he was still there for the team. He did a really nice job for us in that. I’m really proud of the way he handled that. To be honest with you, I hope for his family’s sake and for everyone’s sake that he doesn’t have to deal with it again. If it comes back up and he does, same as last week, we’ll support him. Make sure we’re in a position to help with whatever he needs.

Q: Can Colt McCoy run the same game plan you normally would and just put Colt in there with the same kind of plays? Do you guys have to adapt your game plan to Colt? Kind of like the way you have run the ball differently with Wayne (Gallman) than with Saquon (Barkley)?

A: The first part of the question is no. We don’t have to change the offense. We can put him in there and we can run our offense. If Colt is taking the snaps, maybe there will be a few different things that Jason (Garrett) determines are good to run with Colt, yeah, absolutely. It doesn’t matter exactly what it is. It’s based on the opponent and what our players do well. We’re going to try to find the best way to use their strengths. As the guys put the game plan together for this week, as we talk through different scenarios, I’m sure there may be a different wrinkle here or there at some point. That’s not just because of what there is a limit of. We ran our offense yesterday with Colt and Jason called it off the same play sheet and the same way. Colt went out there and executed and did a good job for us.

Q: Is he capable of doing the RPO’s? I saw Jason called a couple of those yesterday?

A: Yeah, Colt’s got a history of running the ball. He’s an athletic quarterback. He’s a tough dude, he’s a gritty dude. Just yesterday, he was running the ball. You go back earlier in his career, he did the same thing. Through college, high school and all that stuff. Colt is a gritty dude. Put the ball in his hand, put him on the edge and let him run around, throw the ball from the pocket. Run some RPO’s, some zone reads. There’s not much we have to change in the offense. Colt is very good as far as adapting to new schemes and different things. He goes out there and he has a very clear vision of what’s going on with the opponent. He does a great job through practice with us and during the week of giving input back to me and Pat Graham in terms of what the defense is doing against him and how he sees it and what’s tough. Maybe something he sees as a tendency or tip that we go ahead, and we adjust going into the game plan. Colt is a very smart player. He uses a lot of his experience as a strength. We plan on him doing that going forward.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The assistant coaches will address the media on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 292020
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 19 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 17…
The New York Giants narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon 19-17. It was New York’s third win in a row and improved their overall record to 4-7. It was the Giants’ first win in Cincinnati in team history and 700th regular-season win in team history.

The Giants are now tied for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Seattle Seahawks-Philadelphia Eagles game. The Eagles are 3-6-1. The Giants also own the tie-breaker against Washington.

Despite the Giants dominating the game statistically, they almost lost the game due a hamstring injury to their starting quarterback, shoddy special teams play including allowing a kick return for a touchdown, and untimely mistakes on offense. New York out-gained Cincinnati in first downs (19 to 11), total offensive plays (80 to 46), total net yards (386 to 155), net yards rushing (142 to 40), net yards passing (244 to 115), time of possession (37:26 to 22:35), and turnover margin (3 to 1).

The Giants started off the game well, driving 76 yards in nine plays to take 7-0 lead on running back Wayne Gallman’s 1-yard run on 4th-and-goal. The key play on this drive was a 53-yard strike on 3rd-and-2 from quarterback Daniel Jones to tight end Evan Engram to the Cincinnati 4-yard line.

However, all of this good mojo was immediately erased when Bengals’ kickoff returner Brandon Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

Also unfortunately for New York, their offense struggled for the rest of the first half. The next two Giants’ drives resulted in a total of two first downs and 35 yards before punting the ball away. On their fourth drive, the Giants did reach the Cincinnati 33-yard line after converting on 4th-and-1. But on the very next snap, Engram fumbled the ball away at the 15-yard line. The Bengals recovered the loose ball and returned it to their 45-yard line. Nine plays and 29 yards later, Cincinnati took a 10-7 lead on a 44-yard field goal.

The Giants did manage to tie the game again on their fifth and final drive of the first half. New York gained 44 yards on 11 plays to set up place kicker Graham Gano’s 49-yard field goal.

At the half, the game was tied 10-10 despite New York out-gaining Cincinnati 223 to 66 in total yards.

The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. New York then moved the ball from their own 6-yard line to the Cincinnati 17-yard line. The big play was another big pass to Engram for 44 yards. However, quarterback Daniel Jones came out of the game after 2-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-1 with a hamstring issue (he had injured himself on a 7-yard run two plays earlier). The drive immediately stalled and the Giants settled for a 40-yard field goal. Giants 13 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts with Jones returning for two more plays before leaving the game for good. The Giants then got the ball back near the end of the 3rd quarter when defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos intercepted a deflected pass at the Cincinnati 40-yard line. The Giants only gained 19 yards in eight plays, including converting on 4th-and-1, but this was good enough to set up a Gano field goal from 39 yards out. Giants 16 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts again. The Giants were then handed a golden opportunity to put the game away when safety Logan Ryan forced a fumble at the Cincinnati 24-yard line that he returned to the 19 with 4:12 left in the game. The Giants only managed to gain five yards and take 18 seconds off of the clock before Gano kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 19-10 game.

At this point, the New York defense failed as the Bengals, led by their Practice Squad quarterback Brandon Allen, easily drove 72 yards in seven plays to cut the score to 19-17 with 1:21 left in the game. The Bengals were aided by two defensive penalties including a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive end Leonard Williams and a questionable 17-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Darnay Holmes.

It looked like the Giants had sealed the win on the ensuing drive when back-up quarterback Colt McCoy completed a 10-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-4. But right tackle Cam Fleming was called for holding on the play. Punter Riley Dixon’s 61-yard punt was then returned 29 yards by the Bengals to midfield with 57 seconds left. The Bengals only needed a field goal to win the game.

The Giants’ defense ended the game on the first play of the Bengals’ attempted game-winning drive. Linebacker Jaball Sheard sacked Allen, forcing a fumble that Leonard Williams recovered at the Cincinnati 37-yard line.

Daniel Jones completed 16-of-27 passes for 213 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Colt McCoy completed 6-of-10 passes for 31 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 64 yards while Engram caught six passes for 129 yards. Gallman rushed 24 times for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Leonard Williams was credited with a sack, three quarterback hits, and a game-winning fumble recovery. Jaball Sheard had the team’s other sack and forced the game-winning fumble. Logan Ryan forced a fumble that he recovered.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
DE Niko Lalos was activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris, LB T.J. Brunson, S Montre Hartage, and PK Ryan Santoso.

QB Daniel Jones left the game with a right hamstring injury in the 3rd quarter; he returned for a couple of plays before sitting out for good. LB Kyler Fackrell injured his calf in the 3rd quarter too and did not return. S Nate Ebner injured his knee in the 1st quarter and did not return.

“I don’t really know much (about Jones),” Head Coach Joe Judge said after the game. “I actually talked to him on the sidelines in terms of how he was. It was at a point where he couldn’t continue in the game, which takes a hell of a lot. Daniel is a really tough dude. So, we’ll take a look and see what it is. I don’t have much more information than what you guys probably got from the TV at the point right now. He just has the doctors and to get some MRI’s – things like that are standard procedure. We kind of MRI everything around here.”

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
Six of the Giants’ last seven games have been decided by three points or less, including three of their four victories.

The kickoff return touchdown was the first allowed by the Giants in a road game in 30 years.

PK Graham Gano has made 25 of 26 field goal attempts this season.

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

Nov 292020
 
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Tae Crowder, New York Giants (October 18, 2020)

Tae Crowder – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have activated place kick Graham Gano off of the Reserve/COVID-19 List and linebacker Tae Crowder and safety Xavier McKinney off of Injured Reserve. However, the team also announced that linebacker Oshane Ximines, who has been on Injured Reserve since early October, will undergo surgery Monday to repair his right rotator cuff. Ximines had returned to practice this week, but the surgery will end his season. He had started three of the first four games of the year.

Gano was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List after the team’s last game two weeks ago.

Crowder, who has been on Injured Reserve since October 20th with a hamstring injury, returned to practice on November 11th. Crowder, the last player selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, has played in five games this year with two starts.

McKinney was placed on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a fractured left foot that he suffered in training camp and that required surgery. The team’s 2nd-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, McKinney has yet to play in a game this year. He returned to practice earlier this week.

Tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver Dante Pettis remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

Nov 272020
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 15, 2020)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 27, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (hip/toe) and CB Brandon Williams (ankle) were limited in practice on Friday. Williams is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Cincinnati Bengals while Shepard is expected to play.

OG Kevin Zeitler (concussion) fully practiced and is expected to play.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Nov 252020
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (November 23, 2020)

Xavier McKinney – Courtesy of New York Giants

NOVEMBER 25, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
CB James Bradberry (family matter) did not practice on Wednesday. WR Sterling Shepard (hip/toe) was limited in practice. OG Kevin Zeitler (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart to the Practice Squad. To make room for Griffin-Stewart, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Corey Coleman.

The 24-year old, 6’5”, 260-pound Griffin-Stewart is a rookie free agent who spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers in 2020. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad in late October. Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in eight games with one start. Coleman missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Thanksgiving. The New York Giants practice on Friday afternoon (12:20-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Nov 232020
 
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Oshane Ximines, New York Giants (August 22, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

OSHANE XIMINES AND XAVIER McKINNEY RETURN TO PRACTICE…
New York Giants linebacker Oshane Ximines and safety Xavier McKinney, who are on Injured Reserve, have been designated to return to practice. The Giants now have 21 days to activate them or keep them on Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season.

Ximines was placed on Injured Reserve in early October 2020 with a shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 4. He had started three of the first four games of the year. McKinney was placed on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a fractured left foot that he suffered in training camp and that required surgery. He has yet to play in a game this year.

In addition, punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter were activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 List. They had been placed on the list last Wednesday. Place kicker Graham Gano, tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver Dante Pettis remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Get a little break?

A: A little bit. I got a couple days of being dad for a little bit. I saw a lot of soccer games. I thought soccer season was over. I was incorrect on that. We got to catch a lot of them.

Q: Any goals or no? Just a lot of 0-0s?

A: She was playing goalie. They had some high scores. She played alright. They won the game. It was good to see her.

Q: We have not talked to you since you made a coaching change to your staff. Looking back at that situation, I’m sure it was not something you anticipated. Is there anything you could have done differently to kind of patch this together? How unsettling was this whole thing for you?

A: I’ll just say on the entire situation, I made this clear from day one, I’m always going to make every decision what I see is best for the team. This decision was no different. Look, there’s been a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation. A lot of people have done a lot of digging trying to figure out details of the situation. I’m not going to rehash any of that. I’ll just say on the whole thing, we wish Marc (Colombo) well going forward. The decision we made was in the best interest of the New York Giants, short and long-term.

Q: As far as bringing in Dave (DeGuglielmo), how much different are the techniques that he teaches compared to what Marc has been teaching them for the last however many months? Can you implement those within such a short period of time?

A: Yeah, we’re not going to do anything to turn the offense upside down right here. We’re going to continue focusing on technique and assignments and principles of what we want to do big picture wise. They’ll be some adjustments here and there as we go. With six weeks left in the season, there is going to be a lot of continuity we’re looking to keep in place and keep improving as we go through the rest of the season. Will there be adjustments as needed throughout the season? Yes. Are we going to look to turn everything upside down? No.

Q: One more thing on Dave. He kind of has an abrasive personality, for lack of a better term. Are you concerned at all with how the offensive line room is going to respond to a new voice like that coming in at this point?

A: No, no.

Q: I’m wondering how that affects, if at all, your relationship with Jason Garrett because obviously Jason and Marc are close and Jason obviously recommended Marc to you for the job. I’m wondering how you firing Marc affects you and Jason?

A: Look, we’re all professionals here. We all have one goal in improving the team. Obviously, we’ve been working through a season. There are a lot of new guys coming from different spots. We’re all New York Giants now. We’re all working towards the same goal. There have been no effects in that nature right there. I feel good about going forward with everybody.

Q: There was a report out there somewhere that your offensive linemen were a little, I don’t know, on edge about the change. Have you talked to them at all? I know there was an elongated bye week. Did you talk to them at all Wednesday, Thursday when you made this move, or is today the first time you’ve addressed them about it?

A: No, I spoke to the entire team last week. I spoke with the offensive line, I spoke with the captains, I spoke with people both individually and collectively based on the units. Again, we’re pretty transparent as an organization. If something happens with the team, we keep it in-house, but I speak very openly with the team about it.

Q: I know part of the reporting had to do with you getting in at practice and kind of coaching up the offensive linemen yourself a little bit. I’m just curious how common is that for you in general? Do you do that around the team, like will you go in and interject and coach up guys in the way you think they should be coached?

A: Yeah, I have no problem at any point with any position stepping in and talking to a position. That being said, I let my coaches coach. I’m not going to comment too much further on the basis of the question you’re asking. Again, there was a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation out there as well. But I’m going to keep most things in-house.

Q: Separate from the Colombo thing, I know a few of your players tested positive for COVID since we last saw you. I’m just curious if you had any updates on if they have a chance of playing on Sunday or what the deal is there?

A: A couple of the guys will not based on just the timetable the league puts us in. There are going to be a couple of those guys who will have an opportunity, not just because the timetable allows them to have the opportunity. We still have to go through the week and the progression of where they are physically, how they handle the ramp up period, if the doctor clears them, all that good stuff there. The answer is yes and no. Some will have an opportunity to play, some will not.

Q: You talked about misinformation a couple of times. Is there anything you would like to get out there and clear up?

A: No. I think there are some common sense that people who want to read articles understand what does and doesn’t actually happen within a professional setting and office building. I’m not going to go out and rehash a lot of different things that were out there. This was a professional move. We made the decision that was best for the team.

Q: Were you happy with the coaching, or how happy were you with the coaching in regard to technique that your offensive line was receiving?

A: Yeah, I appreciate the question. Again, I’m going to keep most of that stuff in-house in terms of how we handle things. Obviously, we made a move and we’re all working in that direction.

Q: Have you been around a situation kind of like this where you had to move on from a coach in the middle of a season? How would you describe what the transition is supposed to be like in that situation?

A: I think everything is different based on the team and the situation that it occurs under. Yes, I have been around moves as a player and as a coach where there has been transitions in-season. I think the biggest thing for everyone to understand is just keep on moving within the direction of the head coach and trust that there’s a plan in place.

Q: Just kind of wanted to piggyback off that a little bit. At some point, you brought in Dave DeGuglielmo as kind of a consultant with the offensive line. Was there something that you saw that made you want to go in that direction and bring in another voice?

A: Look, I’m always looking to do anything that’s going to help the team at any point of the year. The decision I made was in the best interest of the team, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Q: What does DeGuglielmo bring to the group and why were you excited to hire him in particular?

A: Yeah, he brings some experience in this league. He’s done a good job. He’s coached some of the guys that are on the team already. He’s worked with a number of guys who are on staff already. There is a level of experience that carries over into that. That’s great, but all that really matters now is how each one of us coaches individually, and how he coaches now that he’s with the New York Giants. I’m excited to have him on staff with us moving forward. Obviously, we’re shifting all of our focus over to Cincinnati right now.

Q: Some of the reporting looks like it is kind of pigeon holing you together with guys you coached with in New England as Judge and his former Patriots assistants, etc. Is it alarming for you to see someone accusing you and your staff of functioning in that way? Like, for lack of a better word, like in a clique type of way? Is that one of the inaccuracies you’re discussing? How do you feel about that characterization?

A: Look, I’ve said the entire time I’ve been here, I’m not interested in any other program I’ve ever been a part of. I’m interested in the New York Giants. Everyone here has worked somewhere else at some point in time. Every player has played somewhere else at some point in time. All that matters is what we do for the New York Giants from this point forward, and that’s all we care about. That being said, if you look at the bios of my staff, you’re going to see a lot of pieces connected through different places prior to coming here. The notion that we’re concerned about anywhere else we’ve been or that we’d base anything based on where we’ve been, everyone has experiences that you draw on. That would be it. But there is no internal division or struggle or anything that’s being referenced right there or that anyone’s trying to create. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Q: I know you’ve been talking about sudden change and adapting from the beginning since you got the job, really. How has your schedule been forced to adjust from the initial test with Graham (Gano) last Monday? The way you guys have had to operate the last week or so, now not getting back on the field collectively until Wednesday, what have you done or what will you do to make sure that this team is ready to come off a bye and essentially have three and a half days on the field before you go play Cincinnati?

A: Like you said, sudden change is always an emphasis for us. That’s on and off the field. I think if you kind of live in that world of sudden change, it makes all these adjustments you had at the beginning of the year and whatever comes our way, we’re going to handle and we’re going to thrive in adjustment. Last week, obviously, we had plans to go on the field for Tuesday and Wednesday. That was changed with the news of a positive test. We got further news last week that kind of altered some of our plans for today. But we’ve taken all the precautions necessary. We’ve met virtually instead of in person. We’ll continue to meet virtually throughout the remainder of this week instead of in person. We’ll do walk-throughs and practices with all the protocols being met. We’ll stay outside as much as we can, obviously, even during the walk-through sessions of what we’re doing to make sure it’s open air, improve the ventilation. We’re going to work in some smaller groups or pods a little bit in terms of the entire team being together. Try to chop it up and keep guys spaced out. But this has kind of just become normal for us. Our guys understand that whether it’s on or off the field, we had made plans to do something, but sudden change happens. We just go ahead and we thrive on that.

Q: Can I quickly ask you about (Xavier) McKinney and (Oshane) Ximines, who you guys have designated to return. Are they close enough where they’re a possibility for Sunday? Is the shortened week not being on the field all together going to compromise your decision-making in terms of that?

A: No, I think both have a chance for Sunday. Today was the first day getting them both back out there. I’d say both moved well, both were really flying around the field today doing what we had to do. But it was mostly individual type work today. When we get into Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, kind of see them in a more team setting. Wednesday, we’ll have the pads on, see them pop the pads a little bit and see how their bodies respond to it. That will really tell the story for the weekend. I don’t want to rule anybody out in that nature. I thought both guys really came back, did a great job rehabbing with the trainers and physical therapists, and both guys moved around well today. I always want to be fair to the player and put him in a team setting before we go ahead and try to rule them in or out for a game. But I’d say based on today, they would have a chance. We just have to see where they are when we get into a team setting.

Q: Is it different with McKinney because he’s a rookie and he hasn’t had any game experience?

A: No. I think whatever role we select to play him in, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We can minimize his role a little bit and kind of get him in. Again, this is a guy that hasn’t had any experience on the field in a game setting this year. To me, in terms of him being a rookie, I’m still just looking physically how is he moving around and are we being fair to him in whatever we ask him to do that he can go out there and be successful in doing that.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 212020
 
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Kaden Smith, New York Giants (October 4, 2020)

Kaden Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

Three more New York Giants have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The players are offensive tackle Matt Peart, wide receiver Dante Pettis, and tight end Kaden Smith.

Place kicker Graham Gano tested positive for the disease and was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Tuesday. The Giants also placed punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter on the reserve list on Wednesday, although it is not clear if those two players tested positive or were merely being quarantined as a precaution due to their proximity to Gano.

The Giants are currently on their bye week and will not play again until November 29th when they play the Bengals in Cincinnati. It is not known at this time if any of these players will be available to play in that game.

Nov 182020
 
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Marc Colombo, Dallas Cowboys (November 5, 2018)

Marc Colombo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS FIRE MARC COLOMBO, HIRE DAVE DeGUGLIELMO AS OL COACH…
In a shocking move, the New York Giants have fired Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo and hired Dave DeGuglielmo to replace him. According to press reports, Head Coach Joe Judge was planning to hire DeGuglielmo to work with Colombo, but Colombo’s reaction to that change is what led to his dismissal from the team. Ben Wilkerson will continue to serve as the assistant offensive line coach.

“We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team,” said Head Coach Joe Judge in a written press release.

The 42-year old Colombo had previously served as assistant offensive line coach (2016-2018) and offensive line coach (2018-2019) of the Dallas Cowboys before being hired by Judge this year.

The 52-year old DeGuglielmo is well-traveled, including serving as an assistant offensive line coach for the Giants under Tom Coughlin from 2004-2008. In recent years, he has coached offensive lines with the Miami Dolphins (2009-2011, 2017, 2019), New York Jets (2012), New England Patriots (2014-2015), San Diego Chargers (2016), and Indianapolis Colts (2018).

RILEY DIXON AND CASEY KREITER PLACED ON RESERVE/COVID-19 LIST…
The New York Giants have announced that punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter have been placed on the the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Place kicker Graham Gano was also placed on this reserve list on Tuesday after he tested positive for the disease. It is not clear if Dixon and Kreiter tested positive or merely being quarantined due to contact with Gano.

NOVEMBER 18, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the state of his team heading into the bye weekend (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: I know you don’t like the term starter, so I’ll use bulk of the reps. The cornerback opposite James (Bradberry), you’ve used a bunch of different guys. (Isaac) Yiadom, (Corey) Ballentine when he was here, Ryan Lewis. Is it sustainable to just keep kind of having a different guy there at cornerback two all the time, or do you guys need to settle on one guy?

A: No, I expect all the guys to play, I really do. There may be certain matchups that we may favor a certain guy for a skillset. There may be certain positions on the field, whether it’s red area versus backed up or in the field, that may be more of an early down guy or a third down guy. Every game brings a little bit of a different element on how you’re trying to match up the opponent. To me, I have no issue at all playing guys at any position and rotating them on through. As long as we’re getting production, we’re keeping guys fresh, we expect everyone at the game to contribute. In terms of the way I view the game, no, I have no issue with that at all.

Q: How do you think Ike (Yiadom) has played these last couple of games? He went from playing a lot to playing not much at all to now playing a lot again. How do you think he’s performed this second stint?

A: I’ve seen a lot of improvement from Ike. Yeah, that’s a guy who’s really worked tirelessly at practice. He’s really competed hard for us and shown a lot of things at practice. Then he got a shot in the game and he went out there and he’s been making plays for us. Yeah, he’s done a lot of really good things right now that have helped us. He’ll keep playing for us as well, as will (Madre) Harp(er), we get Ryan Lewis back and a number of other guys.

Q: When you made the decision to transition (Nick) Gates to center, that was probably with the thought that you’d have a full offseason, a full training camp, and preseason games. I’m curious were there any reservations about throwing him right in the way he had to get thrown in? How do you feel like he’s developed through the season?

A: I’ll start with the backend part first. I think he’s developed really well. I see a lot of improvement on a weekly basis from Nick. Look, going from playing guard and tackle into center is a completely different animal. The multiples on your plate, the command you have to have, the calls, even just the different mechanics of having to snap before you block, these are things you have to learn how to do. There’s a reason a lot of guys play center throughout their entire career up through high school, college and then in the NFL. It is a different type of position. I think he’s done a really good job of advancing in that. I see a lot of promise going forward with him. I’m pleased with how he’s playing, I see improvement every week. Now to the first part of it in terms of yes, obviously, initially we saw that as having a full offseason, full training camp. But like with everything else, that wasn’t going to waver when the pandemic hit. It wasn’t going to change our course of action in terms of how we were going to get this team ready. We just decided, hey, we’re going to adapt or die. We’re going to get ready. There are going to be some growing pains with a lot of guys, we have to move forward.

Q: On Monday, you talked about one of the things you’ve learned is to juggle time so you have enough time for your defense and offense. I tend not to be the most organized guy in the world. Why would you put yourself through that, or is that just how you have to be to be a coach?

A: I think as far as being the head coach, I have to know what’s going on with all three sides of the ball. I can’t know what’s going on without putting in the tape and time to learn the opponent on the frontend, and I can’t know what’s going on without really watching our teams at practice and studying what we’re doing and reviewing all the practice tape and the game tape, and understanding our personnel and how we’re using them. To me, it’s just part of the responsibility of what you have to do to be effective. I don’t know how I could help the team if I don’t know what’s going on. That’s just an emphasis for me.

Q: What’s your message to your players during this bye week? How do you balance staying focused and keeping the momentum going with taking a much-deserved break?

A: I’ll go back to the momentum question first. I don’t really believe that exists, to be honest with you. Nothing that we did against Philadelphia or Washington is going to help us against Cincinnati. We have to learn from what we did wrong and make corrections, but we have to come back on Monday and have a good, strong practice. To be honest with you, obviously, we’ve gone virtual this week with some of the COVID protocols going back to the intensive protocols. That’s changed a little bit of our plans with what they were going to be on the field. Initially, we were going to do more of a walkthrough (on Tuesday). Some of the younger guys, practice squad and some of the younger rookies, we’re going to have a more intensive practice when the walkthrough was over. Then today, Wednesday, would have been an on the field, padded practice for the entire team to get out there, popping around, work on some new schemes, concepts, make sure we correct some things that came up through the season. Now we’re working virtually to go ahead and have meetings and address those things right there. But we have to have a good day on Monday. In terms of the momentum, the only momentum I think we’ll be able to go ahead and transfer and create is how we practice and how we play. We have to come back next week ready to go.

Q: I’m curious 10 weeks into the season, after watching the tape of all these games and coaching through them, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about your team and what do you guys have to get better at down the stretch?

A: We have to continue improving across the board on fundamentals. I think that’s something you always have to improve on. You can never think ‘we’ve arrived’ there. I think sometimes the mistakes you make as a team as you get to a certain point in the season and it’s very scheme-oriented, and you fall away from what you worked hard on in training camp in terms of fundamentals and basics. Ultimately, that’s really what always makes the difference anyway. We talk about turnovers, penalties, mental errors, those are the things that are going to be the true deciding factors within games. In terms of our team, we hoped early on that we could develop a tough culture without knowing these players early on, and I’ve seen that with our guys. Our guys, it’s a team full of resilient guys, very mentally tough guys. I’ve seen these guys come to work week in and week out, no matter what the noise on the outside was. They come in focused, they come in determined, and they play together. I’ve seen a group of guys moving in the same direction, make a lot of improvement. I’m proud of how they practice, I’m proud of how it’s shown up on tape in games, and I think that transfers directly from how we practice to how we play.

Q: It seems like that’s really kind of taken off over the last two or three weeks, especially on defense. It seems like you’re playing a more physical brand of football than maybe you started. Why do you think that is, and do you think maybe that’s just kind of snowballing with wins and confidence beget more wins and confidence or is there more to it than that?

A: I think when you practice with good execution and you’re confident with what you’re doing schematically, you can play more aggressive. When you demonstrate across the board that you have 11 guys on the field who truly understand the schemes, the concepts and what we’re doing, then you can play aggressive by not worrying about the guy next to you and what he’s doing. I think right now, we’re at a point where our guys have really learned and progressed within the schemes and concepts that we’re working. They’ve really done a good job week by week adapting to different game plans and how they fit, and understand not only their responsibility, but how the guy next to them has to play as well. When you understand that, you can play more aggressive. That’s probably why some of that is starting to show up the way we want it to on tape.

Q: Do you look into the data, how teams come into a bye, how teams go out of a bye? This is your first time being a head coach with this. Is there something that you can do maybe better than someone else taking your team out of a bye that could give you an advantage?

A: Yeah, I think you have to look at what you do well, what you’re deficient on and what you have to improve on. I think the biggest thing coming out of a bye, other than maybe getting some guys back health wise or getting some things adjusted schematically, is you just need to come out and correct things that you’ve made mistakes on and go forward with. You may have a new wrinkle you try to work in here or there. We do look at teams coming out of byes. Obviously, the last two weeks we played teams coming off of byes. To me, it’s important to look at those teams based on what they’ve done in the past coming out of a bye. What kind of adjustments do they use? What does their game plan look like that game out of a bye? Different than it was the previous games before the bye? How many schematic differences do they have? Is it a more aggressive mindset? What do they do? You want to put all of those things into account just to anticipate what your opponent may do against you. For us specifically, I think the biggest mistake is people think when you’re coming out of a bye, you’re automatically fresher and faster and all that kind of stuff. I think that’s a myth. You have to come out and all that matters is how you play on that Sunday. You have to wake up and you have to knock off those cobwebs because the one thing is, these guys will have four solid days off without being around us as coaches or hearing our voices. Four days, again this season, is like four months. It just is. You come back, and that Monday practice we’ll have, that’s very necessary to go ahead and just make sure everybody gets woken up, knocks off some rust, has a good day on the field, and that that can transfer going forward.

Q: Coaches very often and sometimes you hear players say ‘he’s not a rookie anymore’. Are your rookies still rookies? What is that mindset? Do you subscribe to that mindset?

A: You can kind of phrase that two different ways on that. I know what you’re saying with that. I expect marked improvement from our team along the way. The so-called rookie mistakes, I don’t care if it’s a rookie making it or a vet making it, I just don’t expect to see it repeated. That’s what we’re really holding everyone accountable for. Things are going to happen, we just have to learn from them and move forward. I think at this point right now, our young players obviously have a different perspective and a different taste for the speed of the game and what goes in week by week. You hear a lot about these rookie walls. We talk to our rookies a lot about them. I’ve talked to rookies in the past about it as well. To me, it’s important to have these rookies understand that really right now we’re at a point where the college football season is winding down and about to be over. At least in a normal year, it would be. Your season is very much still going. We’ve got a lot of ball left to play. In a normal season, by the time you get to Week 8, that is a college season. That’s four preseason games. It’s eight games, you’re looking at 12. Maybe you play a bowl game after that. Go get a Little Caesar’s pizza bowl thing and go back home for Christmas and stuff. This season here, you’ve got to refuel and get going. You’ve got to make sure that you handle your routine throughout the season effectively. Physically, you don’t break down and mentally you don’t fatigue. To me, that comes into having a good established routine but then also some point in the year changing up your routine to change the stimulation. If you’re a guy that’s always watching tape mid-afternoon, okay maybe it’s an early morning thing and you get your workout in mid-afternoon. You have to change things up a little bit throughout the season not to have that monotony that kind of wears you down to the point where you think you’re being productive just because you have activity. You’ve got to make sure you’re actually taking steps forward every time you do something. We’re not writing a pass for any of guys, whether they are rookies, vets, whatever they are. In terms of repeat mistakes, we have to make sure as coaches we do a good job of eliminating those.

Q: I wanted to ask about Will Hernandez and everything he has gone through the last couple of weeks. You come into Sunday, it seemed clear you had a plan that he wasn’t necessarily going to get snaps. What did you see from Will in the game? Is it a challenge this week knowing you’re not in the building with these guys? How can you gauge how he is coming out of this weekend, first opportunity being out there on the field?

A: The best feedback we get as far as how he came out of this weekend is from the trainers and the strength coaches. We’re not in the building, but what we have done is we’re doing very small group workouts that are going to be available to our players, that they want to come and get something physically. Obviously, we’ve had to do a lot of maneuvering to make sure it’s very limited people in the field house working out or running. The field is very spread out, we’re taking precautions in that. The feedback I’ll get from the trainers and strength coaches will be the most valuable feedback I can get on those guys. What I saw when he went in the game is a guy who was ready. I saw when Will went in there, he was mentally, physically and emotionally ready to go. Obviously, two weeks off from a game, it’s a lot to ask anyone to jump right back in the swing of things and go through an entire game. When we needed him, he came through. He played well, he played tough. That’s just kind of Will’s personality. Coming out at the end of the game right there. He kind of goes in as the enforcer when we needed him right there. I was pleased to see Will at the game. It’s good to have him back in the building. He’s always a dude that makes everyone smile when he’s around. It’s just good to have him back with us.

Q: Do you feel like when you come back on Monday that the last couple weeks are behind him?

A: I think it’s still wait and see to see him on the field Monday, to be honest with you. To be fair to him, if we had practiced the last two days, if we were out there today, I think I’d have a much better view on that and an answer for that. Not being able to see with my own eyes when we put him through a practice, that’s a tough thing to evaluate and gauge. He says he’s feeling better. I don’t want to speak for the player, I guess I just did. I want to make sure that we make the right evaluation for him at all times. These guys are tough guys, they are competitive guys. Sometimes they say things and you have to make sure you really gauge it and make the best decision for them.

Q: You have a bunch of guys on the verge of returning from injured reserve. What’s their status coming off the bye. Tae Crowder, (Oshane) Ximines, (Xavier) McKinney and Ryan Lewis.

A: That falls back on Art’s (Stapleton) question. I was really counting on seeing a little bit of those guys this week. Obviously, we can’t see them on the field football wise this week. Monday will be an important day for us to kind of take a look at a lot of these guys moving around. We still have to make a declaration on a couple of these guys in terms of their clock. We’re going to have to evaluate these guys next week and see where they are going into Cincinnati. We’re optimistic we should see the majority of those guys if not all of them at some point down this stretch. They’ve all made progress, they’re all working very hard with our trainers. I know they are a lot further ahead than they were when they initially went on IR. We just have to see how close they are to game action for us.

Q: For you personally, do you decompress? Do you take any time off at the end of this week? Do you just plow through and worry about that after the season?

A: I’ll definitely structure good family time this weekend. I’ve got a laundry list of stuff right now that I am loading up on and making sure I stay ahead on. I’m using a lot of this time right now not only to self-scout and catch up on things that we’ve done throughout the season. The coaches have done a lot of really good research and reports and giving me good feedback on where we have to go going forward. That’s been very valuable. I’m trying to jump ahead on all of our opponents to get a head start which will help me down this final stretch. As far as watching some tape. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that when this weekend rolls around there is going to be a point where I have to dive in and be dad again. I’ve got to dive in with the kids and give them all my undivided attention. I’ll probably be way more worn out from that than I am from a week of game prep. It’s something we’re looking forward to. That will kind of reset the motor for us and get us moving through the final six.

Q: Have you talked to Graham (Gano)? How is he feeling? What can you tell us about (Ryan) Santoso?

A: Ryan’s a guy who has a huge leg, he’s shown a tremendous amount of improvement since he’s been here. It’s a unique skillset that he does all three, field goals, kickoffs and punts. He’s shown a lot of improvement in all three phases through being. I think Tom (Quinn) and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) do a tremendous job of working with this guy. This guy is a mentally tough guy, too. He’s one of my favorite guys on the practice field. He kicks for us in kicking periods, obviously. He does a lot of his field goal operational work on Friday with the team. Me and him normally have some kind of side bets going on as he is kicking, kind of put a little pressure on it. I think he’s a little bit better in terms of roping that thing through the uprights when I’m talking a little smack behind him. We have a lot of confidence in Ryan. He’s definitely a developing player. I think he has a big upside in this league for a long time, I really do. I’m pleased he’s been in our program and we’ve been able to hold onto him through this point. I’m really pleased with the work Tom and T-Mac have done with him. If he’s got to go, we have a lot of confidence he will be able to go out there and do the job effectively. Graham has talked to Ronnie (Barnes) today. I touched based with him yesterday. I don’t want to speak for him in terms of how he may feel with this. I don’t know all the stages of this virus personally, so I don’t know if this is something that increases, decreases. I don’t want to speak for any of the players. I know obviously our trainers are communicating with him on a regular basis to make sure his welfare is okay. I’ll touch base with him later today like I do with most of the players.

Q: Do you expect to have him back in time for the next game?

A: There’s a timetable with that. There’s an opportunity for that, but there are some other things that go into that as well. Are there any setbacks in that time window? Where does the physician clear him? There’s a ramp up period. Him, like everybody else, we have to be fair to this guy. He’s sitting in a hotel room for a couple weeks. Is it fair to him to put him on the field and ask him to go ahead and do his job? These are all things we have to account for. In fantasy football, yeah, plug him in and we’re good to go. In reality, are we doing the fair thing by him individually and the team collectively to take someone who hasn’t had two weeks of an opportunity to prepare to put him out there to do a job?

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants from November 19th to November 22nd.

Nov 172020
 
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Graham Gano, New York Giants (November 15, 2020)

Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has tested positive for COVID-19. He has officially been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List and two other staff members were told to stay home.

While the Giants have their bye this weekend, Gano may miss at least one game. Because of this, punter/place kicker Ryan Santoso was signed to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad.

Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020. The Giants signed Gano to a 1-year contract in August 2020. On Sunday, the Giants announced that they extended the contract of Gano through the 2023 NFL season.

The 33-year old Gano has made 21 of his 22 field goal attempts this year for the Giants, only missing a 57-yard effort. He also has made all 16 PAT attempts.

Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

The Giants also signed tight end Nate Wieting to the Practice Squad. The 23-year old, 6’4”, 250-pound Wieting is an undrafted rookie free agent who has spent some time with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media on Wednesday.