Sep 012018
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 36 roster moves.

Placed on the Reserve/Suspended List:

  • DE Josh Mauro (violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy)

Placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness List:

  • DE R.J. McIntosh (unknown medical issue)

Placed on Injured Reserve:

  • OT Nick Becton (ankle and wrist)
  • OG Nick Gates (foot)

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • RB Jalen Simmons
  • RB Jhurell Pressley
  • WR Kalif Raymond
  • WR Alonzo Russell
  • WR Roger Lewis, Jr.
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Amba Etta-Tawo
  • WR Jawill Davis
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • TE Garrett Dickerson
  • TE Ryan O’Malley
  • OG Chris Scott (contract terminated)
  • OG Zac Kerin
  • OT Malcom Bunche
  • OT Victor Salako
  • NT Robert Thomas
  • NT Tyrell Chavis
  • NT Izaah Lunsford
  • DE A.J. Francis
  • LB Mark Herzlich (contract terminated)
  • LB Calvin Munson
  • LB Avery Moss
  • LB Jordan Williams (waived/injured – hip and shoulder)
  • LB Warren Long
  • CB Leonard Johnson (contract terminated)
  • CB Chris Lewis-Harris (contract terminated)
  • CB Grant Haley
  • CB Mike Jones
  • S Darian Thompson (waived/injured – hamstring)
  • S Andrew Adams
  • S Orion Stewart
  • PK Marshall Koehn

“As I’ve said, I feel like we’re on the right track,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We had a competitive training camp that forced us to make some tough decisions. We will continue to look to improve the roster in any way we can. This day is never easy because you are dealing with people who have made a commitment to your program, and while we all understand the reality of the business we’re in, it doesn’t make it any easier.

“When we started camp, I told the players that my hope for all of them is that if they don’t make our roster, I want them to make somebody else’s. So that’s my desire for the men we parted ways with today.”

The Giants can begin signing players to their 10-man practice squad on Sunday.

For an overview of the existing team, see the Depth Chart section of the website.

ARTICLES…

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

Aug 302018
 
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Kyle Lauletta, New York Giants (August 30, 2018)

Kyle Lauletta – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 12…
The New York Giants preseason ended on Thursday night with a 17-12 loss to the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game was a boring, glorified scrimmage for back-ups. None of the Giants starters played and Head Coach Pat Shurmur oddly decided not to play second-string quarterback Davis Webb, with Kyle Lauletta getting the start. Even place kicker Aldrick Rosas sat on the bench all night.

Both teams punted twice to start the game. The only play of note being a sack by linebacker Lorenzo Carter on 3rd-and-9 to end the Patriots’ second drive. Aided by two of the new 15-yard, lowering-the-head-to-initiate-contact penalties, the Patriots set up a successful 33-yard field goal on their third drive. The Patriots got the ball back immediately as Lauletta’s deep pass intended for wideout Kalif Raymond was intercepted at the Patriots’ 18-yard line.

After a three-and-out by New England, the Giants went ahead early in the 2nd quarter as wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo turned a short pass reception from Lauletta into a 41-yard touchdown sprint. Place kicker Marshall Koehn missed the extra point and the Giants led 6-3.

A subsequent New England threat was stopped by a spectacular, diving interception by cornerback Donte Deayon at the Giants’ 6-yard line. After two New York punts and another by New England, Deayon picked off his second pass, this one over the middle, right before halftime.

Lauletta was picked off on the third offensive play of the 3rd quarter on a deep pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. at the 42-yard line. Six plays later, the Patriots went up 10-6 on quarterback Danny Etling’s 1-yard touchdown pass after a 45-yard deep strike set up the score.

Both teams punted twice after that. The next scoring threat came from the Giants in the 4th quarter as New York drove from their own 1-yard line to the Patriots’ 14. But on 4th-and-6, fourth-string quarterback Alex Tanney’s pass fell incomplete. The game then got comical as Etling scored from 86 yards out on a quarterback bootleg run with none of the Giants’ defenders playing contain. The Giants scored a touchdown with less than a minute left to play to make the score look more respectable, as Tanney hit wide receiver Alonzo Russell from eight yards out.

Lauletta finished the game 8-of-19 for 118 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Other than Etta-Tawo’s one catch for 41 yards, no one had more than 30 yards receiving for the Giants in the game. The leading runners for New York were Jalen Simmons (11 carries for 41 yards) and Jhurell Pressley (7 carries for 40 yards).

Defensively, Deayon had two interceptions and four pass defenses. Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris was credited with six tackles and two pass defenses. Carter had one sack and nose tackle Robert Thomas the other.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were tight end Evan Engram (concussion), linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), offensive guard Nick Gates (foot), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

Offensive tackle Nick Becton (ankle) and running back Robert Martin (ankle) left the game with injuries and did not return. Linebacker Avery Moss (knee) left the game, but later returned.

Healthy scratches included place kicker Aldrick Rosas, quarterback Davis Webb, quarterback Eli Manning, wide receiver Cody Latimer, wide receiver Odell Beckham, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, safety Landon Collins, cornerback Eli Apple, running back Saquon Barkley, running back Jonathan Stewart , safety Curtis Riley, cornerback B.W. Webb, linebacker Warren Long, linebacker Alec Ogletree, guard Patrick Omameh, guard Will Hernandez, defensive end Kerry Wynn, tackle Ereck Flowers, center Jon Halapio, tackle Nate Solder, tight end Rhett Ellison, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, linebacker B.J. Goodson, defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Kareem Martin, and nose tackle Damon Harrison.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Teams must cut their rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

Jul 302018
 
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Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 30, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fifth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday were cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), running back Jonathan Stewart (unknown), defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list) and tight end Garrett Dickerson (hamstring).

Safety Curtis Riley and linebacker Avery Moss left practice early with an unknown leg injuries.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • There was a heavy focus on the running game today at practice.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, linebacker B.J. Goodson clobbered running back Wayne Gallman in the backfield.
  • Running back Jalen Simmons ran over linebacker Calvin Munson.
  • Tempers flared after linebacker Olivier Vernon hit running back Wayne Gallman hard after he caught a swing pass and Gallman threw the ball at Vernon.
  • Cornerback Kenneth Durden made a couple of plays, including a diving interception in the end zone.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a touch catch on the run in traffic and scored in red-zone drills.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a touchdown in the red zone. Manning completed a lot of short, high-percentage passes today.
  • Returning punts were wide receivers Kalif Raymond, Hunter Sharp, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams beat linebacker Romeo Okwara down the seam for a catch.
  • Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made a nice catch over cornerback Grant Haley.
  • Linebackers B.J. Goodson and Ray-Ray Armstrong were very active. Goodson came free on a blitz for a “sack.”
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. beat cornerback Eli Apple one-on-one along the sideline and turned upfield for a long touchdown. Overall, Apple had a solid day in most 1-on-1 situations however.
  • Jordan Williams had back-to-back sacks.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph caught a pair of touchdowns.
  • A scuffle broke out between offensive lineman Jarron Jones and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond was the first one to return kickoffs at practice.
  • Linebacker Olivier Vernon and left tackle Nate Solder practiced one-on-one after practice was over.

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:

Audio clips of ESPN Radio interviews with the following players are available at ESPN.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 052018
 
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B.J. Hill, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

B.J. Hill – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: One of the reasons why 2017 was such a huge disappointment was that a defense that was supposed to be the strength of the team fell from 10th in yards allowed in 2016 to 31st. Worse, scoring defense fell from 2nd in 2016 to 27th.

In 2017, New York’s run defense was 27th in the NFL, allowing over 120 yards per game on average. Pass defense was 31st, allowing over 250 yards per game on average. These numbers are so bad that every position and the coaching staff must share responsibility.

Two position groups were supposed to carry the defense: the defensive line and the secondary, covering up for a linebacking corps that has been considered sub par for years. Both groups failed miserably. Up front, not only could the Giants not stop the run, but they couldn’t rush the passer either. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon were paid huge sums of money to get after the quarterback, yet finished with a total of 15 sacks. These numbers look even worse when one realizes that JPP and Olivier were each held sackless in 10 games. And after these two, the rest of the line had an embarrassing 4.5 sacks in 16 games. Sometimes sacks are overrated if your pass rushers are getting hits on the quarterback. But the Giants were 27th in quarterback hits with 70 – or a little over four per game.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants traded Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. The team also let Jay Bromley walk in free agency. The Giants re-signed Kerry Wynn and Robert Thomas in free agency, as well as signing newcomers Josh Mauro (Cardinals) and A.J. Francis (Redskins). The Giants drafted B.J. Hill (3rd round) and R.J. McIntosh (5th round) in the 2018 NFL Draft. Tyrell Chavis was signed as a rookie free agent.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: After a quarter of a century of playing in the 4-3 defense, the New York Giants are shifting back to the 3-4. While it won’t be the Giants’ old 2-gap system, and the team will shift at times back to the 4-3, the switch is a big deal. We’ve already seen the fallout with the personnel department acquiring more 3-4-type defensive linemen and linebackers. Because the Giants will play a hybrid defense, and because in the 3-4 the outside linebackers tend to be more forward-movers, defining who is a defensive end, nose tackle, defensive tackle, and even linebacker becomes more complicated and partially moot. For example, even back in 1980s, one could argue Lawrence Taylor was a glorified standup defensive end. When you hear the coaches now talking about 5-man fronts, they are not talking about just defensive linemen, but the outside linebackers.

What we do know is this, Damon Harrison will be the starting nose tackle. Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill are likely to be the starting defensive ends, especially with Josh Mauro starting the year with a 4-game suspension. Meanwhile, Olivier Vernon, Romeo Okwara, and Avery Moss are with the linebackers now. When the Giants go the 4-3 in certain pass-rush packages, expect these three to put their hand in the dirt.

On paper, the trio of Tomlinson, Harrison, and Hill up front seems imposing and a problem for opposing teams that want to establish the run. The good news is that Tomlinson and Harrison have previous experience in similar systems so the adjustment should not be that difficult for them. Hill’s college coaches talk about his position flexibility and he has impressed his new coaches and teammates with the Giants. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher brought defensive end Josh Mauro and hyrid linebacker/defensive end Kareem Martin over from his old team with him. Base-defense depth could be an issue if any of the starters get hurt.

The big question is are there any pass rushers in this group? Can Tomlinson and Hill get any heat on the quarterback from the 3-4 defensive end spots? Bettcher has also said they will work to get Harrison more favorable one-on-one match-ups rather than facing constant double teams. In a traditional 3-4 system, the pass rush usually comes from the outside linebackers (Olivier Vernon, Kareem Martin, Lorenzo Carter, etc.), but these guys will also put their hands in the dirt in certain packages. Regardless of style of defense or position, the team must get heat on the passer in order to be a good defense.

ON THE BUBBLE: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, and B.J. Hill are the sure bets. Normally, R.J. McIntosh would be too, but he has been sidelined all spring with a mysterious ailment and still remains unsigned. The Giants knew about Mauro’s 4-game suspension when they signed him so he will likely make the team. If Harrison were to get hurt, Tomlinson and Hill could probably play nose tackle, but finding another 3-4-type reserve is important. Robert Thomas and A.J. Francis will probably be battling each other for one of these spots. Kerry Wynn had a good spring, but I’m not sure where his body type fits on this defense. Josh Banks, who spent last year on IR, was also active in the spring workouts. He faces an uphill climb as do Kristjan Sokoli, Jordan Williams, and Tyrell Chavis.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on his defensive line: “I think B.J.’s (Hill) really coming along. I’m really excited with where he’s at right now…(Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Damon Harrison) have done a great job for us and I think Kerry Wynn has had a really, really good offseason and excited to see him in pads. Josh (Mauro), (A.J.) Francis, the list can go on. Robert (Thomas). I’m going to leave guys out if I keep going. But I’ll say this: I’m excited about where that group is at right now, but more importantly I’m excited about putting some pads on and seeing where we’re really at.”

Bettcher on if B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson can rush the passer: “I do think so. I do think so. And one of the things when we drafted B.J., that was part of us selecting him because we thought he has a potential to be a three-down player. Whether that’s a middle push guy, whether that’s a guy that can beat some guards and create some disruption for either edge players, or edge pressure guys. Dalvin’s the same kind of player. Has some slipperiness to him, has the ability to get on edges. Excited to get to – again, I keep saying that, but I’m anxious to get to training camp to really see where some of that’s at. But I do expect those guys to be able to help us.”

Bettcher on Damon Harrison: “We went and looked initially, all the one-on-ones that he had in the run game, and there wasn’t anyone that blocked him one-on-one in the run game. And I think what he’ll find and what we’ll find is we’ll be able to get him some one-on-ones. Whether that’s matched up on a center, on a guard, we’ll be able to get him some one-on-ones in the run game.”

Damon Harrison on B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson: “He can play. He can play and that’s the first thing our defensive line coach told me when I got here. He said, ‘You’re going to love 95.’ He said, ‘He can play.’ So, I got out here and I’ve been watching him. He’s strong and he’s got some wiggle to him and he has some move to him. So, that’s somebody else who I think with some time and a little more experience will be a dominant player in this league, as well as Dalvin Tomlinson, who I think will take the next step this year.”

PREDICTIONS: Perhaps I’m too guilty of drinking the offseason Kool-Aid, but I’m very optimistic about the team’s starting front three if they can stay healthy. Dalvin Tomlinson, Damon Harrison, and B.J. Hill are not only a combined 1,000 pounds of muscle up front, but they are darn good. There aren’t many teams in this league that can field three players of this caliber. James Bettcher’s 3-4 system is not a two-gap system where the responsibility of the linemen is to absorb blocks and allow the linebackers to make a play. Bettcher’s system is a penetrating defense where he will look to create favorable one-on-one match-ups. The Giants (and Bettcher) are very fortunate to have had two players (Harrison and Tomlinson) on the roster with 3-4 position versatility. Drafting B.J. Hill simply completed the picture. THIS is what enabled the team to move forward with the new scheme. For the first time in decades, the Giants have the TYPE of players to play the 3-4.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: It is difficult to predict how many defensive linemen the Giants will carry because of the hybrid nature of the defense and the hybrid nature of many of the players in this defense. Personally, I would prefer the team carry at least five true defensive tackle types (three starters and two reserves) beyond any other situational players. The three starters are Harrison, Tomlinson, Hill. Mauro will start the year on the suspension list so he won’t count against the roster. McIntosh is a question mark at this point because of his health too. Right now, if you put a gun to my head, I would guess Kerry Wynn, Robert Thomas, and McIntosh make the September team. But Thomas could be pressed by Francis. And Josh Banks could sneak onto this roster… he’s physically well suited for a 3-4 end.

Jun 142018
 
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Kalif Raymond, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Kalif Raymond – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 14, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The third and final day of the New York Giants 3-day mandatory mini-camp was held on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. All 90 players on the current roster were present.

“All right, that was the last day of the spring training,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “The guys will be on their way for a couple of weeks and then we will be back. Really have not announced it, but July 22, we are going to have the rookies, selected vets and the quarterbacks come in. The whole squad will then be together on July 25. Done this in the past. It is a great way for the rookies to get a lot more reps. It is a good way for the quarterbacks to get going. Those can be a very productive two days. Then, we will have the vets and the whole team together on the 25th. It has been written we are going to practice with Detroit for a couple of days prior to playing them in a preseason game. I have done that in the past. It can be very productive, especially for the younger players to get a lot of reps. In terms of the training camp schedule, for the most part we will have walk-throughs in the morning and practice in the afternoon. There will be a handful of practices where we practice in the morning. We will just change it up a little bit. It was a very productive offseason. I told the players we have come a long way, but we have a long way to go in all areas.”

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) has been cleared to practice. On Thursday, he participated in individual and walk-thru drills, but not team drills.

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from offseason arm surgery) did not participate in full-team drills.

Defensive end Josh Mauro (unknown), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), and safety Darian Thompson (unknown) did not practice.

“(McIntosh) is going to have to have a procedure here but there is no real update or change in the situation,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We are hopeful (that he will be ready for training camp.”

“(Moss) is one of those guys that had an injury a year ago and is working through it,” said Shurmur. “We are hoping he will be ready to go come training camp.”

Left tackle Nate Solder tweaked his knee during practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning did not take any reps during the team portion of practice.
  • Playing with the first team in goal line drills, quarterback Davis Webb first ran a bootleg for a touchdown. He then hit tight end Rhett Ellison for another score.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb made a nice touch pass to tight end Kyle Carter over safety Orion Stewart for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. dropped another well-thrown pass into the endzone by quarterback Davis Webb.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta also made a really nice throw for a touchdown to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Left guard Will Hernandez and nose tackle Damon Harrison got into a fight with punches thrown.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 3-of-4 on field goal attempts while place kicker Marshall Koehn was 2-of-4.
  • Notes and observations from minicamp (6/14) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at minicamp finale (6/14) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

May 022018
 
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Alex Tanney, Tennessee Titans (August 12, 2017)

Alex Tanney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN ALEX TANNEY AND A.J. FRANCIS…
The New York Giants have officially signed free agent quarterback Alex Tanney, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans on Monday. The 30-year old, 6’4”, 220-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled Tanney has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2017). Tanney has only played in one regular-season game, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015.

The Giants have also officially signed defensive tackle A.J. Francis, who was cut by the Washington Redskins on Monday. The 27-year old, 6’5”, 327-pound Francis was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Miami Dolphins after the 2013 NFL Draft. Francis has spent time with the Dolphins (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Dolphins again (2013–2015), Seattle Seahawks (2015), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016), and Redskins (2016–2017). Francis has played in nine regular-season games with no starts.

ARTICLES…