Apr 182019
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN’S 2019 PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman held the team’s annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Opening: Good afternoon. I would like to begin by thanking our Director of College Scouting Chris Pettit and the staff, Chris Mara, Kevin Abrams, Mark Koncz, Pat Shurmur and the coaches for all of their diligence in putting together this year’s draft board. I really can’t thank them enough. With the college draft a week away, we are coming to the second part of what I call the roster building season. Football is the ultimate team game. While it may be difficult for some to understand, building a roster is not just about collecting talent. It is not just about how fast, strong or talented a player is, but does he fit athletically, intellectually and culturally into what you are trying to accomplish, that is to win a Super Bowl.

Recently, there was an article in USA today written by Dan Wolken. I recommend that everyone read it. What he did was, he was discussing two of the premiere college basketball programs in Duke and Kentucky. The article was written after they had been eliminated from this year’s NCAA tournament. The final paragraph really put what I believe into a nutshell. And I quote: ‘As long as Krzyzewski and Calipari are still coaching, they are going to get their share of the best recruits every single year because of the pathway they have established to the NBA. Both programs have discovered in the tournament that elite recruiting and good roster construction don’t mean the same thing.’

As Lou Lamoriello most recently said, ‘players win games, teams win championships.’

The only major transaction I have not talked to you guys about since the last press conference was about Sterling and getting him extended. Obviously, we feel Sterling is a very important part of who we want to be moving forward. He earned this contract and we are thrilled to have had the ability to get him extended.

This is a pre-draft presser, so let’s talk about the draft. Let the games begin.

Q: You said this is a really strong draft. What about it makes you say that?
A: Frankly, we have pretty much set the board. We are tweaking it a little bit here and a little bit there. The scouts went home. I sent them home for the holiday. It gives me a chance to do some work on my own, some additional work. The board is really basically set. I am looking at it and we have more players rated as first, second, third or fourth-round values that I have had in any draft. This is my eighth draft as a GM. In terms of the volume of players on the board, this is the thickest.

Q: Is selecting a quarterback a priority for you?
A: The priority is to select the best players. Last year, we could not pass up on Saquon. He was the best player in the draft. You can’t do that. We have had this conversation before. Eli is closer to 40 than he is to 25. We can do that math. At the end of the day, we are going to take the best players.

Q: At number six, do you need a gold jacket guy or is that too far down?
A: For me, you are riding on the edge. There are gold jacket guys that never got drafted. That stuff happens. It is still about value. Who is going to give you the most value at that spot? When you start reaching for the need, you get into trouble. You can never have too many good players at one position.

Q: Is it important to look at every pick you guys have, you have 12, that you need to get 12 starters or do you take the approach of looking at first round talent and seventh round talent?
A: If we get 12 starters in this draft, I would have one hell of a time on Cape Cod. All kidding aside, having 12 picks is crazy. One of the things I have talked about is that you don’t want to draft a player that you are going to cut. Every guy you draft, there is a reason you are drafting him and a reason that he should make your club. First, second, third round draft picks at the very least, you are looking for a big rotational player. Everyone talks about the way the league is going down, 65-70 percent of the time you have your defensive sub package in. You can easily make the argument that your nickel is your starter. You can make that argument. Your third wide is your starter. That is what you are looking at. Guys that walk on the field and help you win now. Anything after that is a huge bonus. Earlier, David Diehl was a fifth round draft pick and a 10, 11-year starter. That is what you are looking for.

Q: You mentioned that you have a lot of value in rounds 1-4. Does that give you more flexibility if you want to move around?
A: Absolutely. Obviously, every position is different. There are some positions that are thick throughout. Some positions, it gets thick late. Some positions, you are thick, nothing, thick. It varies. Obviously, when your turn is coming up, you have to give it a look, especially when you have a number of guys that you can look at with equal value at different positions.

Q: You’ve said before that a franchise QB has to be one that you love because it is such an important position. Does that also apply to the second first-round pick? There could be a guy that you like but the value is there. Could you see yourself not being in love with a guy but taking him with that second pick or is this too important of a position?
A: With as heavy as this draft is, to answer that question, we are at 17 so I would be shocked, very surprised if there was someone there that I did not like.

Q: Could it be a guy that you are in love with?
A: Absolutely.

Q: Are you talking about QB specifically?
A: Who knows?

Q: At 17, you said you would be shocked if there was someone there that you didn’t like?
A: A player, yes.

Q: Not a QB?
A: It could be. It could be a corner, a wide receiver. It could be a sports writer.

Q: QB is so important that you don’t want to force it but if he is sitting there at 17, the value might be just too good.
A: The value might be too good for what? If we have a QB rated in the first round, we love him.

Q: Is there a lot of ‘what ifs’? A guessing game?
A: It is so crazy now. You read all the info and you have 85 mock drafts. There are about 20 guys that are in everyone’s first round. History tells you, you can bet the ranch that those guys are going to go. Times have changed. My very first draft, I was an intern with the Buffalo Bills. And Norm Pollum, who recently passed away, he has a legal pad and at that time there were 28 teams. He had 28 teams and 28 names. He turns around and gives it to me. He says take a look. I am looking at it and he says, that is the draft. He had 26 of them. That is when people didn’t have phones and there wasn’t a whole series of smokescreens and lies. And people just kibitzed. At the end of the day, you can’t count on teams taking this guy or that guy. You just have to relax. It is just a process. You relax and see what happens.

Q: Is there a better chance this year of marrying value with the position of need?
A: Yes, because it is about volume.

Q: You said that if you have a QB with a first-round grade, it means that you love him. I am curious if there are traits that lead you to a guy like that?
A: A lot of it is physical ability to play the game. One of the things that I really believe is, this is not taking a shot at anyone so don’t twist my words, please. Being a quarterback of a team in this type of market is a load. It is a mental load. You have to really vet out the background of these guys. Just like being the head coach of this team is a load, being a quarterback is a load, too. It is more than just looking at a guy’s physical talent. It is about his makeup. A lot of you guys were here Eli’s first year. He starts the last nine games of the year and there were a couple games early on, the Baltimore game, where he was what, 4 of 15? Something like that. He is there and then we are playing Dallas in the last game of the year. We are on the six-yard-line going in and we have no timeouts. There is 12 seconds left in the game and he has the cujones to audible to a draw. If we don’t score, we lose the game. You have to have a mental toughness about you to play the position here in New York. Or to play the position anywhere. That is a huge piece of it. It is important. If you don’t think it is, you need to re-think it.

Q: Getting the 17th and 95th picks were a big part of the return in the Odell trade. Any extra pressure knowing that those guys will be compared to him?
A: No, not for me. I don’t mean to make light of it, but no. We are going to get good players with those picks.

Q: You have the 12 picks, two in the first round. You want to get every draft right. Does the draft pick at the top, you said you put extra value on them. Does that put extra importance in getting those right?
A: There is pressure getting it right every year. Even last year, we had five picks. That is all we had. There is no less pressure or more pressure with 12 than there was with five. It does not make a difference what job you have. You have pressure and deadlines. There are people that look at you, I look at you and say, how do you do that? You have a 4:25 start. The game ends at 7:15. You better get your crap in in about 25 minutes but you don’t have time. By the way, the game just ended and you have to run down and get interviews. You guys have pressure. It is what you do. You just roll with it. That is what I do. I don’t feel that pressure.

Q: Is it valuable for these QBs that you evaluate to have handled adversity in the past to see how they have handled it?
A: Exactly. It is a hell of a question. Back in the fall, I was talking to Pat (Shurmur) and we were having that conversation. He said, there are a lot of guys that never had adversity. You will have adversity up here. I don’t care how great a player you are. I could sit down over a year and you could give me any Pro Bowl player. I can make you a 25, 30 snap tape and you will look at it and say that you have to be kidding me, he is getting paid that kind of money. You have to be kidding me, he went to the Pro Bowl. Then, I will make the other 25-minute tape and you will say, oh my God. Everyone has adversity. Everyone. Who is mentally tough enough to say, OK, it happened once, it is not happening again. With a lot of these guys, it is a very legitimate question. You have to dig so deep to see where they have had adversity. It is painful but it is part of the evaluation.

Q: Do you need a defensive playmaker in this draft?
A: You sat there and watched it. We went 4-4 the second half of the year and we had three games that if we make a stop, we are 7-1. Obviously, you can’t have too many playmakers. You talk about roster construction, I have always been a big believer that if you look at the great defenses, they have a lead dog in every level. A legitimate playmaker at every level of their defense. I said it at the postseason presser and I will say it again, we need some defensive playmakers.

Q: Do you have a lead dog on your defense right now at any level?
A: Ogletree. Alec. Our two safeties that we brought in, Antoine and Jabrill. Antoine has been a lead dog. We are getting there.

Q: Upfront is where you think you need?
A: Listen, we are thrilled with B.J. and we are thrilled with Dalvin. We have to keep adding to that mix. The young guys on the outside, Lorenzo made a lot of strides last year. We are getting there. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Q: If you had a QB rated in the first round, is there any reason why you would wait to the second pick to take him?
A: Depends upon who is available. If you would have said that last year, I would have given you the same answer. You would have seen what happened. We will see.

Q: Is it important to have that battery going from defensive tackle to center to QB to RB where you want your lead dogs to be before you build outside?
A: I don’t know. I don’t think football is any different from any of the three other major sports. Strength up the middle is critical. Your lead dog can be an outside linebacker or an outside pass rusher. What you want is talent. That is what you want.

Q: Is between 37 and 95 a place that will be hard for you to watch 60 players come off the board?
A: Yes, it is. It won’t be fun.

Q: What position has impressed you the most in this draft?
A: The wides (wide receivers) are real thick. The offensive tackles are thick. The secondary is thick. Corners and safeties. When I say thick, I am talking about up and down the draft. Rounds 1 through 7.

Q: How does what people in front of you do complicate things and change the dynamic of what you are going to do?
A: We are going to sit there and see what is cooking at six. We will go from there.

Q: Have you had any conversations with the Cardinals?
A: I am not going there.

Q: There are only five teams that pick ahead of you.
A: Look at that, you have done the math.

Q: The guy you pick will be ranked higher or not that much lower at all because you don’t have to. You won’t force that for any position at all?
A: No. You are up at six.

Q: If you don’t have a QB in the top six, you aren’t taking one with that pick, is that safe to say?
A: I am just saying I won’t force a pick. You can’t draft for need. You will get screwed every time and make a mistake.

Q: So a QB is not its own special category?
A: No, it is not.

Q: When you look at this draft, is there a chance you get to six and all of these top stud defensive players are gone?
A: A chance that they are all gone? No.

Q: Do you see a spot this year where there is a drop off?
A: It is a really good draft. I fully expect, if we don’t move, at six and 17, we are going to get a really good player. I am not going to panic. It is going to be a good player. I do not want to sound arrogant.

Q: Do you have your guy right now hoping he is there at six?
A: We have to finish doing the board. We are still screwing around. I have an open mind.

Q: Any gold jacket guys in this draft?
A: Yes. I don’t want to put a number on it. This is a draft that has been well ballyhooed by the volume of players and the depth. It is legit.

Q: What do you think about this QB class?
A: It is good. Thick.

Q: Better than last year?
A:  I am not going there. Come on now.

Q: Ernie Accorsi always says that you draft QBs to win Super Bowls. Are there any QBs in this draft that you think are Super Bowl ready?
A: There are a couple of really good quarterbacks in this draft, yes.

Q: What is the level of urgency to land a franchise QB right now?
A: If you put a lot of pressure on it, you are going to make a mistake. I am not going to put a level on that. You let the draft come to you. We went into last season with Eli and thought he had plenty left. He proved that. We will just see how it goes.

Q: What about the level of urgency to get the KC model in place?
A: I said ‘the KC model’, people have been doing that for years. This is just the most recent one. How about the Green Bay model with Rodgers and Farve? He sat two and a half, three years. That is what you would like to do. Eli is a pro’s pro and you guys know that. To allow a quarterback to learn at the feet of Eli, it would be a sweet deal. Kyle (Lauletta) is working on that right now. Don’t forget about Kyle. You would prefer that be the situation. You would hate to take a young kid and just throw him in there.

Q: As you continue to construct this team, do you feel that you can win now and in the future?
A: We won two more games than the team did the year before. Then, you had all those games where we lost by a point, two points. We lost eight games by a touchdown or less. The NFL is tight. A few more players get you over the top and you win more.

Q: You have hit on small college guys before. What do you have to see on film to judge them?
A: A million years ago, I am scouting at Kutztown State and I am looking at John Mobley. It is October and everyone since August was telling me to go to Kutztown, have you been there yet? I said, what do we have here, Superman? So I went and watched John play. The closest Division I school is Penn State. I had to ask the question and I tell the scouts this all the time, if I am watching John Mobley, can I picture him starting at Penn State. That is the litmus test. When scouts talk about DI, II, I-AA, will he start at a big DI program. They all go to big DI programs, so they should be able to answer.

Q: Will you move if there is urgency?
A: Look at my history. I have traded up a bunch of times in Carolina. Last year, we had to sit. We only had the five picks. I was not going to take picks from this year’s draft to move up in last year’s draft. We are going to do what we need to. If the situation calls for it and there is guy there that we feel can really help us but he is a few picks in front and we are not confident or comfortable that he will fall to us, if we feel the need, we will make the move. I am not afraid to do that.

Q: First four rounds are loaded ,would you move some picks in the back and try and get into the first four?
A: It is possible. You may. Anything is possible.

Q: Does that include moving picks from next year’s draft?
A: Maybe.

Q: How does the dynamic change when you have two first round picks?
A: I have never had that. It is fun. I am excited about it. It is weird. After you make that first pick, you can’t go get dinner. I am excited. You are going to draft two guys that you will have for five years, which is a big help with the cap now a days. I am looking forward to it.

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:

Apr 172019
 
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Corey Coleman, New York Giants (November 18, 2018)

Corey Coleman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2019 SCHEDULE RELEASED…
The New York Giants 2019 regular-season schedule has been released:

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8 – at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15 – vs. Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:05 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29 – vs. Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6 – vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 10 – at New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m.
  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20 –vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27 – at Detroit Lions, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 9: Monday, Nov. 4 – vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10 – at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 11: BYE
  • Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24 – at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1 – vs. Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 14: Monday, Dec. 9 – at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 p.m.
  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15 – vs. Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22 – at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.*

* Subject to flexible scheduling.

“This is an exciting time,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “This week, we started the offseason program. And now we can see when we’re going to play. We knew who our opponents would be and where we are going to play, but there’s an excitement that builds once the schedule comes out.

“I look forward to opening the season against a division opponent. I try to help the players not worry about where and when we’re playing, and not make it the issue… For whatever it’s worth, our travel schedule this year is really good. We’re not doing a whole lot of travel.”

The Giants’ bye week comes in Week 11. “I think when the bye comes doesn’t really matter,” Shurmur said. “People overthink this.

“We play three division games in the final month, which is going to be important in determining how the season goes.”

The preseason schedule has also been finalized. For details, see the Schedule section of the website. “We’re not going to show much,” Shurmur said. “The idea of the preseason will be to determine how well our players can play, and we’ll use the preseason to determine who’s on our roster.”

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN COREY COLEMAN…
Although not officially announced, the New York Giants have re-signed restricted free agent wide receiver Corey Coleman, who signed his 1-year, $2.025 million tender. 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, finishing with five catches for 71 yards. Coleman’s primary contribution came on special teams as as kickoff returner (averaging 26 yards on 23 returns).

The 5’11”, 185-pound Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. An explosive athlete but an injury-plagued bust in Cleveland, Coleman has also had brief stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots in 2018. Coleman has played in 27 NFL games with 19 starts, accruing 61 catches for 789 yards and five touchdowns.

Apr 152019
 
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Pat Shurmur and Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Pat Shurmur and Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday, April 15th, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, and June 10-13. A rookie mini-camp will be held on May 3-4 and a mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 4-6.

PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Good afternoon. As you know, today started our offseason program. Guys were energetic and excited to get going. We had alternating running and lifting. We had good meetings so it was a good first day. I am looking forward to getting this thing going for the 2019 season. We have the draft here on the horizon but we like the group of guys that we have assembled to this point. Just put them through the paces and get them prepared so we can put them through the OTA’s and the mini camps to work our way toward training camp.

Q: Did everyone show up today and did anyone tell you they were not going to be a part of this?
A: We had one player that is showing up today and he let me know that. Other than that, we had everyone here.

Q: Can you share who that was?
A: No. As you know, this is a voluntary. This player had a prior arrangement and he let me know way ahead of time that he had something he had to take care of. He is arriving today so he will be here working tomorrow.

Q: How different is this from last year in regards to what you are trying to accomplish? What is the biggest difference?
A: Well, we certainly know the players much better. By playing a season, we know the areas we need to improve. I talked to the team about finishing. I felt that we did some things throughout the games that were good. We just have to do a better job of finishing. The schemes and the systems, things we like to do schematically, are more ready to go for the players. They can watch themselves on the cut-ups. Anything you do on the second time around, you will be smoother. The idea is that you get off to a better start starting next season.

Q: Is Sam Beal 100 percent and ready to go?
A: Yes, he is ready to go. He is bright-eyed and ready to go. He is coming back from a shoulder surgery and has rehabbed it well. He is 100 percent at this point so he will be able to take part in everything we are doing.

Q: How much easier is it at this point now knowing the strengths and weaknesses you have in your players?
A: It is a huge advantage. To be able to know what the players can do, we have a lot of really good players. A lot of players that were young last year had an opportunity to play more than they typically would. You get a chance to watch them and see their development, you can project and see the improvement they are going to make this year. It really helps, also, if you have not worked with a player, I think back to the offensive line and how we had it structured last year. We made changes to it. Having worked with players, seeing their strengths and their weaknesses, it helps you more even as we get ready for the draft.

Q: What are your thoughts on where your secondary is right now? What types of challenges does that present having some new guys in there and having a lot of changes?
A: We have made a lot of changes, especially bringing in Jabrill and Antoine Bethea, but we still have Michael Thomas, Kenny Ladler is still here, Kamrin Moore and so is Sean Chandler. There are some guys that were here a year ago. Michael Thomas is a special teams captain and he probably played more safety a year ago than we anticipated, so he has some experience. Kenny is an experienced player and then we have the young players Moore and Chandler, they have done some good things for us. At safety, we have brought in two guys that we anticipate being starters for us, Jabrill and Antoine. They are bright guys and they will get going here quickly. At corner, we have Jackrabbit, who looked good today, and I am anticipating he will have a great offseason. Sam Beal is here and we signed Michael Hunter. Then we got Antonio Hamilton, Tony Lippett and Henre’ Toliver, along with Grant Haley. It is a good group. A lot of young players that have a lot of experience. We just have to see how it comes together so we can determine who our three corners will be in the starting rotation and then really our two starting safeties and the primary backup.

Q: This is the first time you addressed the team since the season ended, did you talk or address the team on any players that left the team? Odell? Landon?
A: No, I think the important thing was bringing the group that we have here together. We talked about why our players left from a year ago and how we wish them well. While they were Giants, we were rooting for them and doing everything we could to get them better. We are rooting for them now that they are out of our building. We crossed that bridge then. As we move forward, I think it is important that we move forward with the group we have.

Q: Do you think you can come out of this draft with two or three defensive starters right away?
A: That is the idea. We have some high picks, so you look to get some guys that can help. A lot of times, guys that are significant role players function in roles as starters. We are looking at everyone we pick to be able to contribute. That is the exciting thing about the draft. There are plenty of really good players at all positions. We are going to pick guys that we feel can contribute.

Q: With Dwayne Haskins visiting and your players in the building, can you branch those two together and see how he fits in with other players in the building?
A: We try and keep that part separate. We have a couple more days of visits, as you know. It just so happens that Dwayne is in today. It will be somewhat separate. They really are not allowed to be involved too much with what we are doing. His visit will be similar to the ones we have had with the quarterbacks we have already brought in.

Q: Do you trust that Eli will handle this situation OK being in the last season of his contract and what might happen the next couple weeks? Do you feel the need to talk to him?
A: I don’t feel the need to talk to him about his contract. Eli does a great job of staying in the moment. He was here today and we got going. He is excited to get into this, the second year of our system and build on what we did the last half of the season. Eli is really terrific at staying in the moment. Right now, it is offseason training. Just trying to get comfortable with his receivers and try and master his decisions. I think that is where he is at. I don’t feel the need to talk about that with him.

Q: Just curious with the commitment to Sterling Shepard that you have made, do you see much more potential than what he has already shown?
A: Certainly. He still is a young player. I saw some things from him last year that were improvements. He is very durable, very sturdy. He is good in all phases of the game. He blocks well, catches the ball well and is very competitive. In all aspects of playing receiver, you have to continue to improve and ascend. We really like the football player in him, too. The competitive nature and the durability. All the things that he brings to a receiving corps. I am not saying that in comparison to anyone, that is just what we have appreciated about him.

Q: This team has a much different look this year as it did a year ago. How would you compare this team right now to the one you had a year ago?
A: It is hard to say right now. We liked the moves we made. With regard to our trades, we felt that both teams got value. We were able to add safeties to fill in for Landon leaving. We added an offensive lineman up front with Zeitler. We added pieces. That is probably a better question to answer later in the offseason, but we like the players we are working with. We look forward to adding a few players from this year’s draft.

Q: Where is Jon Halapio in his return from surgery?
A: Pio is back. He is working and getting ready to go.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

Apr 112019
 
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Russell Shepard, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Russell Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN HENRE’ TOLIVER…
The New York Giants have officially signed cornerback Henre’ Toliver. The 22-year old, 6’0”, 190-pound Toliver originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2018 NFL Draft. He was waived before the season started in early September. He has spent some time with the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football (AAF).

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN RUSSELL SHEPARD…
Although not officially announced, the New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Russell Shepard. The Giants signed Shepard in May 2018 after he was cut by the Carolina Panthers. He ended up playing in 12 games, with no starts, catching 12 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. The 6’1”, 195-pound Shepard was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Shepard has spent time with the Eagles (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-2016), and Panthers (2017). He has 57 career catches for 822 yards and six touchdowns. Shepard is a good gunner on special teams.

Apr 102019
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (October 22, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN STERLING SHEPARD TO 4-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION…
Although not officially announced yet, the New York Giants have signed wide receiver Sterling Shepard to a 4-year contract extension reportedly worth $41 million, including $21.3 million in guaranteed money, that will keep him under contract through the 2023 season. Shepard had one year and $1,260,624 in salary left on his current contract with almost a $1.9 million cap hit.

In his third season with the Giants in 2018, Shepard started all 16 games, finishing with 66 catches for 872 yards and four touchdowns. Shepard was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Shepard started all 16 regular-season games as a rookie, but missed five games in 2017 with various ailments.

MO CLAIBORNE AND COREY LIUGET VISIT GIANTS…
ESPN is reporting that unrestricted free agents cornerback Morris Claiborne (New York Jets) and defensive lineman Corey Liuget (San Diego Chargers) have visited the Giants.

The 29-year old, 5’11”, 192-pound Claiborne was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, where he played from 2012 to 2016. Claiborne signed with the Jets in 2017. In seven NFL seasons, Claiborne has played in 77 regular-season games with 73 starts. He started 15 games in 2018 and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

The 29-year old, 6’2”, 300-pound Liuget was drafted by the Chargers in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In eight NFL seasons, Liuget has played in 108 regular-season games with 103 starts. Liuget was suspended four games in 2018 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. After playing in six games with three starts, he then suffered a torn quad tendon and was placed on Injured Reserve.

Apr 102019
 
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New York Giants Helmet (September 8, 2013)

Photo by big d E

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The 2019 preseason opponents for the New York Giants have been announced. Specific times and dates have not yet been released.

  • August 8-12: New York Jets
  • August 15-19: Chicago Bears
  • August 22-25: at Cincinnati Bengals
  • August 29-30: at New England Patriots

The team’s 2019 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT QUADREE HENDERSON…
The New York Giants waived wide receiver/returner Quadree Henderson on April 4th. Henderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers waived him before the season started. The Giants signed Henderson to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018, and then back to the Practice Squad and the 53-man roster again in November. The Giants placed Henderson on Injured Reserve in late November 2018 with a fractured shoulder. Henderson played in five games for the Giants and returned five kickoffs (22.4 yards per return average) and nine punts (7.6 yards per return average).

ARTICLES…

Mar 262019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL ANNUAL MEETING…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday. Some topics of note (video):

  • On trading wide receiver Odell Beckham: “It is business. We didn’t want to get rid of Odell. We traded Odell and we got value. There are many things that I admire about Odell. I wish him the best… We are building. Obviously, Odell is an outstanding player, but it is a business and (General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) addressed that. I really believe that we got good value in return. I am one of those that believes a trade can be good for both parties. We came to an agreement with Cleveland and we sent them an outstanding player. We got good value in return… He is an outstanding player. It was business. The notion that we were tired of Odell is not accurate… We certainly talked a lot about (the trade). I am on board. I really believe that we have a plan. We have a way that we want to make our team better and we feel like this trade is something that will help us do that.”
  • On acquiring safety Jabrill Peppers: “Our impression is that he is a first-round pick. He is an outstanding player as well. He can play safety. We were looking to help ourselves on defense. He is going to step in and play good football for us.”
  • On losing safety Landon Collins: “Landon played really good football for a very long time. That is what happens in business. He went and signed a very lucrative contract. We wish him well. I said it earlier. Anyone that has ever played for me or that I have ever worked with that are no longer with us, I wish them all the best. I hope they go to their teams and win them games. The same can be said for Landon.”
  • On acquiring wide receiver Golden Tate: “I am excited about him. His skillset is like Sterling (Shepard’s). When we run the ball, they are gritty blockers and you can play them on the edge and in the slot. Then, when you throw the ball, they have both done good work in the slot and have had production outside. You can play both guys wherever.”
  • On acquiring guard Kevin Zeitler: “He is all about football. He has that old school feel. He came in and visited me. He was wanting to know about iPads and making sure he got a lift in that day. ‘Oh by the way, can you direct me to a realtor so my wife can get going?’ He is very task-driven. He came in with four or five things he wanted from me. He is a really fine pass blocker and an outstanding run blocker. He will be a solid piece for us at that right guard spot.”
  • On the offensive line as a whole: “I think we are making progress, and I am really pleased with how they progressed at the end of last year. To this point, we added a really good player. We are going to continue to do that. I think we also shined a bright light on the fact that it starts up front and we are going to do what we can to address the offensive and defensive lines up front as we move forward.”
  • On acquiring safety Antoine Bethea: “He is a very accomplished player. I watched the tape and I see why. You only have to meet with him for a few minutes to feel that leadership that he processes. I think he will help make our back end much stronger.”
  • On the 2019 NFL Draft: “I think there are numerous good players in this draft. We are putting our final evaluations on this class. We have done a heck of a lot of work on all the quarterbacks that we could potentially draft. As much work as we did last year. We will just have to see in the final analysis how it stacks up. There are some really good players in this draft…Our plan is to add more good football players. That is the plan. The diet that doesn’t sell is to eat less and exercise more. No one will buy that book. We are just trying to add more good players. We shined a bright light on some positions of need a year ago and we are going to address some of those needs.”
  • On the draft and the quarterback position: “We have options. We have some good picks and we have things we need to do to make our roster better. I think we all understand Eli (Manning) is closer to 40 than 20. At some point, there will be a new quarterback playing for the Giants. We will just have to see what happens.”
  • On if there is an urgency to address the quarterback position: “There is an urgency to get better at all positions. There are quarterbacks at other teams playing at the age that Eli is. The important thing for us is to make our team better. Have Eli play as good as he can. The draft and free agency drive where we make those changes. That is how we look at it… We are getting ready to play this season and make our roster as good as we can make it. Along with that, we all know that at some point there will be another quarterback playing. We will do the best we can to make the quarterback position the best it can be… If we are winning games, we are not disrupting anything.”
  • On how quarterback Eli Manning can help a new quarterback: “I certainly believe that Eli does everything the right way behind the scenes. I believe that a young QB could value that just by seeing it. That is part of Eli’s charm. How well he works and how well he prepares. How professional he is with doing his job. Any professional from any profession would value from seeing that. If we add a new player, it is not Eli’s job to train him. It is Eli’s job to be the best Eli he can be. It is the player’s job to recognize that it is a great example and take advantage of it. The important thing is Eli be the best Eli he can be. Play outstanding, winning football and don’t worry about that. Quarterbacks learn from each other and if we bring in the right guy, he is going to study Eli and learn a great deal just being around him. We have coaches to coach the players. Eli’s responsibility is to play winning football. I have been around him and I see the way he works. If a young player wants to study and learn, he will learn a lot. A guy that has done all the things that Eli has done, if we draft a quarterback and he becomes the future, being around Eli will only help him.”
  • On improving the defense: “Pass rush is something that we all want. We all want guys that can affect the quarterback. Being an offensive coach, I know how difficult it is for the quarterback to function when he is being rushed. We need to get someone who can affect the quarterback. There are a lot of them (in this draft).”
  • On the high number of touches running back Saquon Barkley receives: “We don’t track that. It is a good thing when he touches the ball. I do think the ball needs to be spread around. In games where you look at the final stat sheet and see six or seven guys touched the ball, I think that is the way you want to play offense.”
  • On whether the offense can improve without wide receiver Odell Beckham: “I think when you play offense, you try and get the most out of the players you have. You have to use their skillsets. I do believe that it takes a village to spread the ball around. The quarterback gets the ball out. We have a lot of fine players on offense. We will spread the ball. Unfortunately, Odell was hurt at the back end of the season and we were able to score our most points of the year. We will find a way.”
  • On tight end Evan Engram: “When he got healthier, he was able to produce in a way we think he can. He had production when he was in there, but then he got hurt a few times. By the end, he was feeling good, running well and playing well. That is a function of Evan doing his thing… He can block. I think he can block better than you do. I think his whole game improved when he became healthy. He is a willing blocker.”
  • On cornerback whether cornerback Sam Beal can start: “We feel like he has those skills. He is doing a really good job coming back from that shoulder surgery. He had an excellent fall in getting himself ready to go.”

JOHN MARA AND STEVE TISCH ADDRESS MEDIA AT NFL ANNUAL MEETING…
New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meetings in Phoenix:

Mar 222019
 
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Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (September 23, 2018)

Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN NATE STUPAR…
The New York Giants have officially announced the re-signing of unrestricted free agent linebacker Nate Stupar. The Giants claimed Stupar off of waivers from the New Orleans Saints in September 2018. He played in all 16 games, finishing the year with just 14 tackles. In his one start, Stupar missed three tackles.

The 6’2”, 240-pound Stupar was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Stupar has spent time with the Raiders (2012), Philadelphia Eagles (2012), San Francisco 49ers (2012–2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014–2015), and Saints (2016–2017). He has played in 79 regular-season games with ten starts, six of which came in 2016 when he accrued 58 tackles. Stupar missed 11 games in 2017 with a torn ACL. He is a good special teams player.

CINCINNATI BENGALS SIGN KERRY WYNN…
The Cincinnati Bengals have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn to a 1-year contract. In his fifth season with the Giants, Wynn started five of the 14 games that he played in, finishing with 39 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 pass defenses, and 2 forced fumbles. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 63 regular-season games, with 15 starts.

OAKLAND RAIDERS SIGN CURTIS RILEY…
The Oakland Raiders have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent safety Curtis Riley to a 1-year contract. The Giants signed Riley as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in March 2018. Riley surprisingly started all 16 games at free safety, finishing with 75 tackles, 5 pass defenses, and 4 interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown). However, he was often a liability against both the run and the pass.

The 6’0”, 190-pound Riley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Titans as a cornerback after the 2015 NFL Draft. Riley spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. He played in four games in 2016 and seven games in 2017 with no starts.

Mar 192019
 
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Bennie Fowler, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

Bennie Fowler – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN BENNIE FOWLER, TONY LIPPETT, ZAK DEOSSIE…
The New York Giants have officially announced the re-signing of unrestricted free agents wide receiver Bennie Fowler, cornerback Tony Lippett, and long-snapper Zak DeOssie. It had earlier been reported that Lippett and DeOssie had already agreed to terms. Lippett signed a 1-year, $810,000 contract.

After signing late with the Giants in October 2018, Fowler surprisingly played in 10 games with five starts, finishing the year with 16 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. The 6’1”, 212-pound Fowler originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2018), and New England Patriots (2018). Fowler has played in 55 regular-season games with 10 starts. He has 72 career catches for 897 yards and six touchdowns.

The Giants signed Lippett in to the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in three games, with no starts, and was exposed in coverage. A former wide receiver, the 6’3”, 192-pound Lippett was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. In three years with the Dolphins, from 2015 to 2017, Lippett played in 25 regular-season games with 13 starts. He missed all of the 2017 season with with a torn Achilles’ tendon. The Dolphins cut Lippett before the 2018 season started.

DeOssie is one of the NFL’s most consistent long snappers, being voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. DeOssie was drafted as a linebacker by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He is now strictly a special teams player. In his 12 NFL seasons, DeOssie has only missed four games (all in 2015 with a wrist injury). Aside from his long snapping duties, DeOssie also excels in punt coverage.

MORE DAVE GETTLEMAN MEDIA INTERVIEWS FROM MONDAY…
Aside from New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman’s media conference call on Monday, he also participated in the following media events on the same day:

CURTIS RILEY VISITS THE GREEN BAY PACKERS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent free safety Curtis Riley visited the Green Bay Packers on Monday. The Giants signed Riley as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in March 2018. Riley surprisingly started all 16 games at free safety, finishing with 75 tackles, 5 pass defenses, and 4 interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown). However, he was often a liability against both the run and the pass.

The 6’0”, 190-pound Riley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Titans as a cornerback after the 2015 NFL Draft. Riley spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury. He played in four games in 2016 and seven games in 2017 with no starts.

Mar 182019
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media by conference call on Monday.

Opening Statement: Thanks for joining me, good morning. Obviously, I’m doing the call do discuss the (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) trade, which was finalized over the weekend after Odell and (Giants S) Jabrill (Peppers) passed their physicals. Before we begin the Q&A portion of the call, I’d like to address a few things that have been out there, as well as explain why we decided this move was right for the New York Football Giants. As a point of information, the only call that I initiated regarding moving Odell was to Buffalo. As you folks may or may not know, I have a personal relationship with (Bills General Manager) Brandon (Beane), being the Buffalo GM, from our time spent together in Carolina. I placed the call after I had learned they had conversations on Antonio Brown. I good naturedly chided Brandon about not calling us, and that’s where it ended. So, that’s Buffalo. San Francisco — we had numerous conversations over time; myself and (49ers General Manager) John Lynch, the GM, and frankly we couldn’t come to an agreement, so that died on the vine. As far as Cleveland is concerned, talks were initiated by them and (Browns General Manager) John Dorsey. John knew we weren’t going to give Odell away. So frankly, his initial offer peaked our interest, and away we went. So, the initial call Tuesday morning, we finalized it, it was probably about 10 hours, and there was considerable back and forth.

So, the obvious question is ‘Why?’ That’s the question that everybody has. After much discussion, we just believe this was in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I want everybody to know that this was purely a football business decision. There’s no intrigue, there’s no he said, she said, none of that stuff. So, let’s not waste time with those types of questions after the fact. Odell was a tremendous talent, making him a valuable asset. With football being the ultimate team game — you guys know I’ve said that a number of times — with football being the ultimate team game, we turn that fact into three assets at the very least.

Some have questioned why we signed Odell and then traded him. As I said publicly twice, we didn’t sign him to trade him, but obviously things change. Frankly, what changed is a team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. As it turns out, the fact that he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and enabled us to get legitimate value. You ask me about my mantra of not quitting on talent, and yes, I believe that fully, but quitting on talent is when you cut a player, or get marginal value in return, and we all know this did not happen here. Speaking of value, you ask me how we came to this. My barometer or litmus test was the franchise tag. So, just for the sake of discussion, or explanation, if we had not signed Odell back in August, and we had played the season out and we had put the franchise tag on him — if another team had signed him, and we didn’t match it, we would’ve gotten two first-round picks. So, that was my litmus test. Oh, and by the way, as a point of reference, it has only happened once in league history, that was in ’98 with Carolina signing (DT) Sean Gilbert off the franchise tag. Again, as our litmus test, it turns out we not only got two first-round picks, but we also got a third.

I completely understand why people are going to debate the merits of this deal, because draft picks are involved. This trade really won’t be able to be completely evaluated until we get further down the road. Finally, because of Odell’s talent and personality, this was a decision we did not enter into lightly. There were a number of factors to take into consideration, and I can assure you we thoroughly discussed them all. Let the games begin.

Q: You mentioned that this was just a football decision. Were the distractions from Odell a factor in your decision at all?

A: Obviously, there’s a lot of stuff that factors in, but at the end of the day, in order for us to move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park. As I said, we were not actively shopping him. Calls were coming to us, and the only one I reached out to was, again, Buffalo, and I was just as much giving Brandon a hard time as anything else. For us to get Jabrill Peppers, who we think is going to be a very good safety in this league. He’s young, we’ve got him under contract for three years at very reasonable value. To get another one (first-round pick), this year is number 17, I think, and to get that kind of a value in this type of a draft, and to get a third-round pick completing our dance card for April, it was just too much to pass up. It was too much value for us. You look at everything, but at the end of the day, it’s really about football. We’ve got positions to address. This was about us having the ability to address multiple positions.

Q: You said things came together in Cleveland and you only made that one call to Buffalo. Why not shop around and see what other teams had to offer, to see if you could’ve gotten a better offer?

A: That’s a very fair question. When it comes to trading, the team that makes the call is playing from behind. You’re in a much better position of strength when teams call you. You’re in a much better position. Because I wasn’t doing that — we’re not trading Odell, understand what I’m saying? That’s really why it worked out the way it worked out. It (the trade) wasn’t something we had to do, and someone was going to have to knock it out of the park.

Q: Can you best articulate what the plan is, and how letting (S) Landon Collins go, trading (WR) Odell Beckham, trading (LB) Olivier Vernon, but bringing back (QB) Eli Manning factors into your plan, and what that plan is?

A: Really and truly, very honestly, it’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing. Just like it’s not my responsibility to respond to every rumor that comes down the pike. That’s not my job. It’s not my responsibility. Trust me, we’ve got a plan. Over time, you’ve got to be patient. Everybody wants answers now in this instant-gratification society, instant-gratification world, and everybody wants answers now. Over time, you’ll see it. You’ve got to trust it.

Q: I know it’s not your responsibility to tell us your plan, but the fans do want to have a vision. They want to know where you guys are headed.

A: I appreciate that, okay. We have positions to address, and that plan is to address those positions, plain and simple, and we’ll do it with whatever means necessary. You may do it on a draft pick, you may do it on a waiver claim, you may do it in free agency, you may sign an unrestricted free agent, you may sign a street free agent, you may sign an NQO, a third-year player that doesn’t get a qualifying offer from his team, and you may make a trade. There’s a million ways to do it. We’re exploring and using all those options.

Q: Do you view yourself as rebuilding? Or, are you trying to win as you move along here?

A: We’re building. The object of this is to win as many games as possible every year. We’re building. We were 3-13 when I took over. We were 5-11 last year — 12 of those games were by a touchdown or less. We’re building. I don’t understand why that’s a question. Really and truly, you can win while you’re building. Down in Carolina, I walked into a different situation. The first year, we go 12-4. Then the next year, we had to build a little bit. We had a crazy year, go 7-8-1, but make the playoffs because the NFC South was struggling. We win a playoff game, lose a playoff game. Then the next year, we did everything but win the ultimate prize. You can win while you’re building. They’re not separate pieces.

Q: You mentioned at the combine that you wanted to have ‘X’ amount of dollars for the draft, ‘X’ amount of dollars for free agency. Having $33 million in dead money towards the salary cap, how much was that a factor in your decisions?

A: Really and truly, nobody wants to have that kind of dead money, but again, it’s the long-term vision that we have in the building, and what we’re going to do. Sometimes, you’ve got to do those things. There was a team this year with something like $60 million in dead money. That was the route they chose. We talked about it. (Giants Vice President of Football Operations and Assistant General Manager) Kevin Abrams does a great job of looking at it and saying — hey, you’ve got to take a look at this, this is the way it works, this is what we’re looking at in dead money, this is what we’re looking at in cap space. Again, none of these decisions are made in a silo, none of them. Everything is interconnected. So to answer your question, we knew it, and we just decided this was the way we’re going to go.

Q: What do you say to those who say you did not get enough in return for Odell?

A: First of all, what I say is what’s reasonable, what’s the best you are going to do? Someone sits out there and says you should have gotten four first round picks, you and I know that’s not going to happen. To me, it’s what I said earlier, it’s the litmus test of the franchise tag value. Franchise tag value is two first round picks. We got two ones and a three, one of them being a player. I think really and truly you are not going to be able to know the value. You are not going to be able to give a Roman Coliseum thumb up or thumb down on this trade for a little bit. We have to see how Jabrill develops, and we have to see who this number one is, who this number three is. You guys will obviously follow Odell’s career and we will go from there. In two or three years, you guys will have your opinions like you do now.

Q: Did you have any discussions about Eli and his bonus, is there a thought of extending him beyond 2019?

A: Yes, we talked about it. We just said we are going to keep moving. Today is the day he gets his bonus and we are just going to keep moving.

Q: On Landon Collins, it was clear you guys were not willing to go to that price point. Why not trade him at the deadline?

A: First of all, the rumor that we were offered a first round draft pick isn’t even remotely close to being accurate. Did we have teams call in on Landon, yes. At that point in time, it wasn’t what I thought he was worth. At that point in time, we were really struggling, and what message are we sending by trading him. I didn’t think the value was there, and it’s about value, so that’s why we didn’t do it.

Q: How does making the roster older in certain spots (Bethea, Tate, Zeitler) jive with your building theory?

A: It’s about accumulating really good football players, who are also really good folks. The culture is important, I have said it a million times, you guys know that. The bottom line is with the way the game has evolved, 65 percent of the time you are in sub. You need a guy in the back end that can get everybody lined up and make all the adjustment calls. If you don’t have that, you can’t function. I’ve watched Antoine (Bethea) for years, you talk about a great sixth round pick. He is an adult, he’s a professional football player. He knows what he is doing, he can still play. I have this crazy idea that age doesn’t bother me. I better because my age doesn’t bother me. At the end of the day, it’s about a good football player. Antoine Bethea is still a hell of a football player, so is Kevin Zeitler, those guys can flat play. Plus, we have 12 draft picks, we are going to be really young. It’s about building a team, it’s not about individual players in silos.

Q: Are you concerned with the pressure being put on Peppers?

A: Jabrill is a hell of a kid. He is very bright, he’s young. We talked about it. At the end of the day, he is coming here to play football. He is going to have Antoine helping him out. Jabrill is very bright in terms of his intelligence. I told Antoine, in time. Jabrill should be able to make the calls back there. He doesn’t feel that pressure, he is thrilled to be coming home. He is very close to his mom, he is going to live in Bergen County, I think. I don’t think he feels that pressure. He is just excited to be a Giant. It’s the team he grew up cheering for, this kid’s coming home. I don’t think he feels that pressure, and we certainly aren’t going to put that pressure on him. There is no reason for there to be that kind of pressure on him. He is coming here to be a safety, play football and help the New York Giants win games. It’ss that simple.

Q: Last year when you brought Saquon in, you guys said you didn’t worry about putting expectations on him because you thought he could live up to it and that was from ownership on down. You have laid out expectations for Peppers coming here, you said you wouldn’t have dealt Odell in that deal without Peppers, so in a sense, you are putting those expectations on him, no?

A: I’m not putting them on him. He was an important piece of the trade. I didn’t trade Odell straight up for Jabrill Peppers. Jabrill was an important piece to that trade. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe in his ability. We watched film, we evaluated and we did him coming out. I was in Carolina at the time, he came in for a private visit down there, so I had personally spent time with him. He’s part of the trade and he’s an important part of the trade. He’s coming here to be a safety for the New York Football Giants.

Q: I know you talked a lot about acquiring players and having holes that you need to fill. Just curious how you justify that with bringing Eli back this year against the savings? The $13 million in cap space that it would create if he’s not on the roster. Just trying to figure out how those two ideas can coexist?

A: At the end of the day, when you blow the whistle, 11 guys have to go out there. I’ve done that study and on offense you have to have a quarterback run out there. I said it in Indianapolis and I’ll say it again, you turn around and take a look at what happened last year once we got that o-line fixed, better, we’re going to continue working on that and look at what we did the second half of the year on offense. This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock, I’m telling you. At the end of the day, you guys have to say, ‘Gettleman is out of his mind’ or ‘he knows what he’s talking about when he evaluates players.’ That’s really what it is, that’s really where it’s at and I’m okay if you disagree with me, that’s fine. What I’m telling you is if you turn around and take a look at what he’s making right now, and look around the league and see what quarterbacks are making, if you were in my shoes, you would say, you know what, there is really not — the way he finished the season and what he’s making — there really wasn’t a decision to make.

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN CODY LATIMER…
The New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Cody Latimer. The Giants signed Cody Latimer as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in March 2018 and placed him on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury in October 2018. The Giants activated him from IR in December. Latimer ended up playing in six games with two starts, catching just 11 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown. However, he really flashed in the regular-season finale with two spectacular, one-handed catches.

The 6’2”, 215-pound Latimer was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Broncos. In four seasons with the Broncos, Latimer played in 45 regular-season games with three starts. He’s a big receiver who will fight for the football. Latimer is a good gunner on special teams and has experience returning kickoffs.

JABRILL PEPPERS AND KEVIN ZEITLER ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
Safety Jabrill Peppers and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, who were both acquired by trade last week from the Cleveland Browns, addressed the media by conference call on Monday. Their transcripts are available in The Corner Forum:

GIANTS INSIDER INTERVIEWS…
Exclusive Giants Insider interviews with the following recently-acquired players are available at Giants.com:

  • DL Olsen Pierre (Video)
  • LB Markus Golden (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)
  • S Antoine Bethea (Video)