May 262022
 
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Don "Wink" Martindale, New York Giants (May 19, 2022)

Don “Wink” Martindale – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 26, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday, and second one open to the media. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The four remaining OTA practices will be held on May 31-June 3. A mandatory mini-camp will also be held June 7-9.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Players wearing red jerseys because of injury issues included WR Kadarius Toney, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Richie James, WR Collin Johnson, LT Andrew Thomas, OC Nick Gates, OT Matt Peart, OL Jamil Douglas, DL Dexter Lawrence, ILB Blake Martinez, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, ILB Cam Brown, ILB T.J. Brunson, CB Rodarius Williams, and CB Darren Evans. Some of these players participated in practice on a limited basis, while others did not.

(Thibodeaux will) be in a red jersey today along with some of the other guys,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “I’d say this with the red jersey guys, they are all making progress, taking it day-by-day, but they are all doing a good job of doing the rehab that they need to do, whatever that’s required of them… I think the red jersey guys are making progress and hopefully we’ll have everybody ready to go.”

WR Kenny Golladay was not wearing a red jersey, but he did not practice.

Not present were OT Matt Gono and PK Graham Gano.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Spirited practice for an OTA.
  • 1st-Team OL: LT Joshua Ezeudu, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Jon Feliciano, RG Mark Glowinski, RT Evan Neal
  • 2nd-Team OL: LT Korey Cunningham, LG Max Garcia, OC Ben Bredeson, RG Josh Revis, RT Marcus McKethan
  • 1st-Team Defense (install session): DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, OLB Azeez Ojulari, ILB Blake Martinez, ILB Tae Crowder, CB Adoree’ Jackson, CB Aaron Robinson, CB Darnay Holmes, S Xavier McKinney, S Julian Love
  • During team drills, DL Justin Ellis, OLB Jihad Ward, OLB Elerson Smith, and ILB Darren Beavers got work with the first team.
  • 2nd-Team Defense (install session): DL Justin Ellis, DL David Moa, OLB Elerson Smith, OLB Oshane Ximines, ILB Carter Coughlin, ILB Micah McFadden, CB Zyon Gilbert, CB Michael Jacquet, CB Cor’Dale Flott, S Jarren Williams, S Dane Belton
  • 3rd-Team Defense (install session): DL Jalyn Holmes, DL D.J. Davidson, OLB Tomon Fox, OLB Niko Lalos, ILB Cam Brown, ILB Justin Hilliard, CB Maurice Canady, CB Darren Evans, CB Khalil Dorsey, S Yusuf Corker, S Henry Black
  • In 7-on-7 drills, WR Wan’Dale Robinson made a twisting, highlight-reel grab of a deep ball from QB Daniel Jones against CB Aaron Robinson despite tight coverage.
  • CB Micheal Jacquet broke up a pass after a double move by WR Alex Bachman.
  • S Jarren Williams knocked away a deep pass.
  • Elerson Smith recovered a fumble knocked loose by LB Carter Coughlin on a QB Tyrod Taylor dump-off pass to a running back.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor threw a nice deep sideline pass to WR C.J. Board, and then followed that up with a big gain on a throw to WR David Sills on a crossing route. Taylor later connected on another deep pass to WR Alex Bachman.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass to WR Darius Slayton off a double move on a deep-route over CB Adoree’ Jackson.
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson jumped an out-route on a pass from QB Daniel Jones intended for WR Richie James, who slipped on his break. Jackson picked off the ball and returned it for a touchdown.
  • TE Daniel Bellinger received a lot of reps with the first team and continued to flash good route running and hands. He was very active, including catching two passes from QB Daniel Jones in 11-on-11 drills for 1st downs.
  • WR David Sills bobbled a pass from QB Daniel Jones that was intercepted by S Xavier McKinney and returned for another defensive score.
  • OT Korey Cunningham and OLB Quincy Roche got into a fight, throwing punches.
  • RB Saquon Barkley was used in a variety of ways out of different formations and continues to be deployed as both a runner and receiver.
  • RB Matt Breida caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor broke off a long, zig-zag run which he might have scored on in a real game.
  • CB Maurice Canady broke up a pass in the end zone.
  • CB Aaron Robinson ended practice by breaking up a pass in the end zone.

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:

Dec 262021
 
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Clown World

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
There is bad. And then there is really, really, really awful. And that’s what the New York Football Giants were in their 34-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants utterly embarrassed themselves with their comically pathetic play in a game that was often painful to watch because of the ineptitude of both teams. New York is now 4-11 on the season and getting worse with each passing week. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the franchise has no idea what they are doing. Welcome to Clown World.

Officially, the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention.

The Giants started Jake Fromm at quarterback. A few weeks ago, he was on the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills. Now we know why. Behind a poor offensive line, Fromm struggled with his decision-making and accuracy. He finished the game 6-of-17 for 25 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He was also sacked twice.

The Giants had six offensive possessions in the first half, including two that started with outstanding field position at their own 41 and 49 yard lines. Five of these resulted in a total of three first downs and five punts. Their only scoring drive came at the of the 1st quarter and beginning of the 2nd quarter when the Giants “drove” 39 yards in 11 plays. This resulted in a 54-yard field goal and their only lead of the game, 3-0.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia struggled on offense in the first half as well. Poor offensive execution by the Eagles and solid first-half defense by the Giants resulted in only two first downs and four straight punts by Philadelphia to start the game. The Eagles began moving the ball in the 2nd quarter. One 9-play, 53-yard drive ended with a missed 41-yard field goal. That was followed up by a 7-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a successful 22-yard field goal at the 2-minute warning.

At the break, the game was tied 3-3.

The roof collapsed in the 3rd and early 4th quarters. What had been an ugly 3-3 game quickly turned into a 34-3 embarrassment for the Giants. Counting their field goal in the first half, the Eagles scored 34 unanswered points. At one point in the 3rd quarter, the Giants had more punts (8) than first downs (7) in the game.

Fromm was benched in the 3rd quarter after two more possessions, the first ending with a bad interception . He was replaced by Mike Glennon, who was benched by the team this week after his dreadful performance against Dallas Cowboys and his 0-3 record as a starter in place of the injured Daniel Jones. Glennon wasn’t much better. His first two drives resulted in one first and two punts. He then threw an interceptions that was returned returned 29 yards for a touchdown and the 34-3 advantage.

The combination of incredibly poor offense, highlighted by two terrible interceptions, and atrocious punting by Riley Dixon helped to cause the defensive collapse. Fromm’s interception put the ball on the New York 21-yard line to start the 3rd quarter. Five plays later, the Eagles scored a touchdown that made the game 10-3.

After another three-and-out with Fromm at the helm, Dixon’s poor punt traveled just 33 yards and was returned 39 yards to the New York 21-yard line again. Four plays later, the Eagles settled for a 37-yard field goal. 13-3.

In came Glennon. Three-and-out. A 31-yard punt by Dixon set up the Eagles at their 43-yard line. Five plays later, quarterback Jalen Hurts threw a 4-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal. 20-3.

Glennon picked up one first down and the Giants punted again. This time only 36 yards by Dixon. The defense had largely given up by this point as Philadelphia drove 75 yards in 10 plays to take a 27-3 lead on Hurts’ touchdown pass to a wide-open offensive lineman. Then came the pick-6 making it 34-3 with about 10 minutes left in the game.

Glennon “led” the Giants on a garbage-time, 17-play, 75-yard drive that took 6:29 off of the clock and ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Engram. The onside kick failed. Each team had the ball once more in the final four minutes, but neither scored.

Offensively, the Giants finished with 15 first downs, seven of which came after the score was 34-3. 102 yards of the team’s 192 yards came on these last two meaningless drives as well. In other words, the Giants had 90 yards of offense before the score was 34-3. Glennon finished 17-of-27 for 93 yards, one touchdown, and a pick-6. No receiving target had more than four catches of 28 yards. Running Back Saquon Barkley carried the ball 15 times for 32 yards (2.1 yards per carry average).

Defensively, while New York started strong, they weakened as the game progressed. The Giants only gave up 17 first downs, but they missed chances at a number of turnovers and did allow 324 yards of offense and three second-half touchdowns.

On special teams, Dixon was dreadful.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, the Giants activated LB Cam Brown and CB Aaron Robinson from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to the 53-man roster. The team also activated S Natrell Jamerson from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to the Practice Squad.

NT Danny Shelton and OT Nate Solder were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

In addition, the team activated WR David Sills, OL Isaiah Wilson, DL David Moa, and CB Darqueze Dennard from the Practice Squad as COVID-19 replacements.

The Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of LB Omari Cobb.

Missing the game due to COVID-19 were WR John Ross, OT Nate Solder, NT Danny Shelton, CB Adoree’ Jackson, and CB Keion Crossen.

Inactive for the game were RB Gary Brightwell (neck), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), OG Ben Bredeson (ankle), and LB Oshane Ximines.

RT Matt Peart left the game with a left knee injury in the first half and did not return. FB Cullen Gillaspia and CB Jarren Williams also left the game in the second half with undisclosed injuries.

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

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Jake Fromm (Video)
  • QB Mike Glennon (Video)
  • RB Devontae Booker (Video)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (Video)
  • S Julian Love (Video)

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

Dec 152021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (December 5, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 15, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants held a light, walk-thru practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), OG Ben Bredeson (ankle), NT Austin Johnson (foot), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad), and PK Graham Gano (illness).

Not on the official injury list, but also not practicing due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List were WR Kadarius Toney, WR John Ross, LB Cam Brown, LB Oshane Ximines, CB Aaron Robinson, and S Xavier McKinney.

Limited in practice were QB Daniel Jones (neck), LT Andrew Thomas (ankle) and DE Leonard Williams (triceps). The Giants have already announced that Jones will not play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Really status quo right now (with Jones),” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Still hasn’t been cleared for contact. Talked to the doctors. I don’t have an immediate answer in terms of when that will change. He’s going to continue to practice with us, stay on the field, work on his conditioning. He’s in the training room, he’s in the meetings with all his teammates, but there’s no change of status right now.”

ROSTER MOVES…
On Monday, the Giants placed WR Kadarius Toney on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Toney previously spent a week on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in late July. On Wednesday, the team also placed WR John Ross, LB Cam Brown, LB Oshane Ximines, CB Aaron Robinson, and S Xavier McKinney. All of these players tested positive, except for McKinney who was designated a high-risk close contact.

Meanwhile, OG/OC Wes Martin, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List last week, is rejoining the team. He should officially be added to the 53-man roster shortly.

The Giants have re-signed DE Woodrow Hamilton to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of QB Clayton Thorson.

The 6’3”, 315-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2016), New Orleans Saints (2017-2018), Giants (2018), Carolina Panthers (2019-2020), and Tennessee Titans (2021). The Titans waived him in October 2021. The Giants then signed him to the Practice Squad for a week in late October. Hamilton has played in nine regular-season games with one start.

Thorson was signed to the team’s Practice Squad for the second time this season last week.

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…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators, position coaches, and select players will also address the media.

Nov 022021
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 1, 2021)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17…
The New York Giants lost a tough game to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. With the loss, the Giants fall to 2-6 on the season.

The Chiefs held most of the team statistical advantages in the contest, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (29 to 18), total net yards (368 to 300), net yards rushing (107 to 72), net yards passing (261 to 228), and time of possession (34:38 to 25:22). Both teams were penalized heavily, the Giants being penalized 10 times for 88 yards and the Chiefs 12 times for 103 yards. The Giants won the turnover battle 2 to 1.

The Chiefs received the ball to start the game and promptly marched down the field 70 yards in 12 plays. But on 3rd-and-goal from the 5-yard line, quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ pass into the end zone was deflected and intercepted by safety Julian Love. The turnaround was short lived, however, as quarterback Daniel Jones was intercepted just two plays later, the ball being returned to the New York 13-yard line. Four plays after that, on 3rd-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Chiefs 7 – Giants 0.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants finally began moving the ball on their third drive of the game. New York marched 85 yards in nine plays to tie the contest at 7-7 when Jones hit tight end Kyle Rudolph for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The big play on this possession was a 50-yard bomb to wideout John Ross. That was followed up by a 19-yard pass from wide receiver Kadarius Toney to fellow wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Both teams exchanged punts again, but now it was Kansas City that put points on the board with an 11-play, 68-yard possession that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Derrick Gore. The Giants responded with an 8-play, 86-yard drive that unfortunately stalled in the redzone. The big play on this drive was a 41-yard pass by Jones to running back Devontae Booker, combined with a roughing-the-passer penalty. New York settled for a 23-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano.

Neither team scored on their final possessions before intermission. At the half, the Chiefs led 14-10.

The Giants only gained one total first down on their first two drives of the 3rd quarter, punting twice. The Chiefs also punted once. Momentum began to change on Kansas City’s second possession of the half. After picking up four first downs and reaching the New York 28-yard line, the Chiefs were first pushed back with a holding penalty. Two plays later, safety Logan Ryan forced tight end Trave Kelce to fumble. Cornerback James Bradberry picked up the loose ball and returned it 13 yards to the New York 43-yard line. Eight plays after that, Jones threw a perfect pass to tight end Evan Engram for the go-ahead score on 3rd-and-4 from the 5-yard line. The Giants now led 17-14 early in the 4th quarter.

The Chiefs responded with a 14-play, 57-yard drive that set up a game-tying 36-yard field goal with just under 9 minutes to play. The Giants attempted to regain the lead, picking up two first downs, but were stopped at their own 42-yard line and forced to punt. The Chiefs got the ball back with 4:41 left to play. After a holding penalty, on 2nd-and-20, Mahomes threw a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Darnay Holmes at the Kansas City 34-yard line. However, linebacker Oshane Ximines was offsides on the play. Then on 2nd-and-15, Kelce caught a 14-yard pass and linebacker Tae Crowder was flagged with a bogus 15-yard face-mask penalty, moving the ball to near midfield. The Chiefs eventually reached the redzone, where they settled for the game-winning, 34-yard field goal with just over a minute left to play.

The Giants had one more shot to tie or win the game, but Jones was sacked twice, including on 4th-and-15 to end the game.

Jones finished the game 22-of-32 for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He was also sacked three times. His leading receiver was Booker, who caught five passes for 65 yards. Booker also ran the ball 15 times for 60 yards.

The Giants’ defense generated two sacks (defensive Leonard Williams and cornerback Keion Crossen), five tackles for losses, forced two fumbles (Williams and Ryan), recovered one fumble (Bradberry), and picked off one pass (Love).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
The Giants signed S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. CB Aaron Robinson was activated from the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. The team also placed LB Carter Coughlin on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury that he suffered in practice last week.

The Giants also elevated LB Trent Harris and LB Benardrick McKinney to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle), S Nate Ebner (ankle), NT Danny Shelton, and S J.R. Reed.

WR Sterling Shepard (quad) and WR Dante Pettis (shoulder) were injured in the first half and did not return. WR Kadarius Toney (thumb) was also injured.

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:

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

Oct 202021
 
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Andrew Thomas, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Andrew Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS PLACE ANDREW THOMAS ON INJURED RESERVE…
On Tuesday, the New York Giants placed left tackle Andrew Thomas (foot/ankle) and wide receiver C.J. Board (broken forearm) on Injured Reserve. Players placed on Injured Reserve during the season can return to the 53-man roster in three weeks if healthy enough to do so.

To fill these roster vacancies, the Giants signed wide receiver Dante Pettis and offensive tackle Korey Cunningham from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

The team also signed wide receiver Travis Toivonen, offensive tackle Derrick Kelly, and defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contracts of tight end Jake Hausmann and offensive guard Cole Banwart.

The 23-year old, 6’4”, 212-pound Toivonen went undrafted in 2020. The Seattle Seahawks signed him in June 2021 and waived him in late August.

The 26-year old, 6’5”, 320-pound Kelly was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Saints’ Practice Squad, did play in six games (with no starts) in 2020. The Saints terminated his Practice Squad contract last week.

The 28-year old, 6’3”, 315-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2016), New Orleans Saints (2017-2018), Giants (2018), Carolina Panthers (2019-2020), and Tennessee Titans (2021). The Titans waived him last week. Hamilton has played in nine regular-season games with one start.

OCTOBER 20, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not practicing were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), WR John Ross (hamstring), TE Kaden Smith (knee), and LB Azeez Ojulari (not injury-related).

Limited in practice were WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), OG Ben Bredeson (hand), and NT Danny Shelton (pectoral).

LB Elerson Smith (hamstring) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle), both of whom missed all of training camp and the preseason with injuries, have been designated for return and returned to practice. “To be completely transparent with you, for both guys who haven’t gone through really training camp, preseason games and all that stuff, I find it hard to believe for any rookie to come back that fast and just go ahead and jump right back in,” said Head Coach Joe Judge.

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…
The Giants practice again on Thursday. The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Aug 312021
 
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Ben Bredeson, Baltimore Ravens (August 28, 2021)

Ben Bredeson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TRADE FOR BEN BREDESON…
The New York Giants have acquired by trade offensive guard Ben Bredeson from the Baltimore Ravens. In return for the Giants’ 4th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants received Bredeson and the Ravens’ 5th-round selection in 2022 (acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs) and 7th-round selection in 2023.

Ravens Receive:
Giants 4th-round 2022 Selection

Giants Receive:
Ben Bredeson
Ravens 5th-round 2022 Selection (from Chiefs)
Ravens 7th-round 2023 Selection

The 23-year old, 6’5”, 315-pound Bredeson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He played in 10 games with no starts as a rookie.

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Tuesday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 27 roster moves:

Remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List:

  • CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)

Placed on Injured Reserve:

  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • OG Ted Larsen

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • RB Corey Clement
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR David Sills
  • WR Matt Cole
  • WR Damion Willis
  • TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart
  • TE Jake Hausmann
  • OC Jonotthan Harrison
  • OC Brett Heggie
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • OL Chad Slade
  • OL Jake Burton
  • OL Jackson Barton
  • DL David Moa
  • DL Elijah Qualls
  • DL Willie Henry
  • LB Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • LB Devante Downs
  • LB Ryan Anderson
  • LB Niko Lalos
  • CB Madre Harper
  • S Chris Johnson
  • S Jordyn Peters
  • LS Casey Kreiter

According to the team’s press release, Kreiter will be re-signed.

Jul 222021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (May 14, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York Giants rookies reported early to summer training camp at the team’s facilities in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Quarterbacks, first-year players, and rehabbing injured players reported on Thursday. The bulk of the team reports next Tuesday with the first summer training camp practice being held on Wednesday.

With the first practice fast approaching, the Giants made 10 roster transactions on Thursday:

  • WR Kadarius Toney was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Toney is currently in COVID protocols and participating in team meetings remotely.
  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) were placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Players on the Active/PUP list can be activated at any time during training camp. If they are still on the list at the final roster cutdown to 53, they must either be activated or moved to the Reserve/PUP list. Players on the Reserve/PUP list must be inactive for the first six weeks of the season.
  • LB Ryan Anderson (back) and RB Sandro Platzgummer (hamstring) were placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List. They can can return to practice when they are medically cleared.
  • RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring) was placed on Injured Reserve.
May 272021
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (May 27, 2021)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 27, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their third voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday, and first one open to the media. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

“There are other times in individual and group work where we will ramp that up and make sure the guys work on skill development, timing, offense, defense, and place a large emphasis on communication this time of year,” said Head Coach Joe Judge on Thursday. “You have to take the mental steps forward in terms of the understanding of the scheme and you have to develop chemistry with the communication on offense and defense. This is a great time of year to have it. You’re not preparing for an opponent and you can take it day-by-day and challenge the players in different ways and see the interaction grow with young and old guys.

I don’t care if it’s a rookie or ten-year vet is crucial and the goal is the same this year for everyone, to develop their skills, functionalities and schematic and conceptual understanding of what we are doing. Make sure we are all speaking the same language and make sure when everyone comes back in training camp, they are in better physical shape and their bodies are more prepared to go at a faster pace and everyone is ready to compete by playing aggressive and confident in what we are asking to do fundamentally, technique-wise and schematically with the knowledge.”

The five remaining OTA practices will be held on June 2-4 and June 14-15. A mandatory mini-camp will also be held June 8-10.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Running back Saquon Barkley (knee), tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot), and linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) were inside the team facility rehabbing during practice. Running back Ryquell Armstead (unknown, but missed last season due to COVID-19) was working on the side with trainers. Running back Taquan Mizzell left with trainers during practice.

The long list of absentees included:

  • WR Kenny Golladay
  • WR Kadarius Toney
  • WR John Ross
  • DE Leonard Williams
  • DE Dexter Lawrence
  • DE B.J. Hill
  • NT Austin Johnson
  • OLB Ryan Anderson
  • OLB Cam Brown
  • ILB Reggie Ragland
  • CB James Bradberry
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson
  • CB Darnay Holmes
  • CB Aaron Robinson
  • CB Isaac Yiadom
  • CB Sam Beal
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Jabrill Peppers
  • S Logan Ryan
  • S Xavier McKinney
  • S Julian Love
  • K Graham Gano

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • QB Daniel Jones was sharp, often targeting WR Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram.
  • All of the offensive linemen on the roster were present, with the starting unit being LT Andrew Thomas, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Nick Gates, RG Will Hernandez, and RT Matt Peart.
  • Surprisingly, OLB Lorenzo Carter, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon last season, practiced and appeared to move around well. He even made a leaping interception.
  • Working at outside linebacker were Lorenzo Carter, Azeez Ojulari, Elerson Smith, and Ifeadi Odenigbo.
  • Carter Coughlin, who played outside linebacker last season, was working with the inside linebackers on Thursday. Blake Martinez and Tae Crowder appeared to be the starting inside linebackers.
  • Kelvin Benjamin, who has been moved from wide receiver to tight end, moved around well.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judges’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:

AARON ROBINSON AND ELERSON SMITH SIGN
The New York Giants have announced that 2021 draft picks cornerback Aaron Robinson (3rd round) and outside linebacker Elerson Smith (4th round) have signed their rookie contracts. That leaves only wide receiver Kadarius Toney (1st round) as the sole remaining unsigned draft pick. Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (2nd round), running back Gary Brightwell (6th round), and cornerback Rodarius Williams (6th round) signed two weeks ago.

May 142021
 
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Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (May 14, 2021)

Kadarius Toney – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 14, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants three-day rookie mini-camp was held on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With COVID protocols remaining in place, only 22 players are in attendance. (At the 2019 rookie mini-camp, 75 players participated).

The on-field work emphasized individual drills.

Really this is an orientation weekend,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “This isn’t a competition weekend. This isn’t a situation where we are cutting down the team this weekend. This is just get the guys out there moving on the grass, take a look at them and get a better idea where they are physically. These are guys that have not been with a team now for at least five months. So being out there for the first time in team activities, drills and the pace and practice, as opposed to individual workouts with a trainer are much, much different. So you know, all these guys got to get in football shape which is just part of the process of being out here in spring and working them forward.

Right now, we’re just trying to get them out there and get them moving. This is all very new for these guys in terms of walking around the building. These guys have as much on their plate in terms of finding out where their locker is, where to eat in the cafeteria, where they shower as much as getting out there, where they stretch where an individual is and when we blow the horn for group and special teams, where they run to. So it’s a learning experience for these guys. They try to get on the field and just move as fast as they can. Like I said we’ve got to get these guys in football shape and it’s just part of the process.

None of their fundamentals will be good enough and none of their conditioning will be good enough. That’s our job to get them going. That’s why we have to be out there and we have to train them and practice and catch up where the vets are at, so when they get to training camp they can compete on equal ground.

“It truly is just orientation. At this point obviously we can identify things they have to work on. We can identify where they are currently. However I’d say every rookie you get right now, just from the nature of not being on a team for the duration that they have been training for the Draft and all that kind of stuff, they are all far behind. You know, they really are. Most of these guys are all further behind now than they were when they finished their college seasons. So we have to get them back going, get them caught up, get them in our systems and in our schemes, and they have got a long way to go, and that’s true of any rookie class.

I’ve been part of rookie mini-camps before where you put them out there and it’s full competition, you are doing hard one-on-ones and seven-on-seven and team as much as you can. To be honest with you, if we had 70 guys out there, we wouldn’t have done anything different today. The focus was on fundamentals and getting acclimated to our system and how they practice so when we get out there through the duration of spring and training camp, they have to jump and get going and compete against the vets.”

PARTICIPANTS…

2021 NFL Draft Picks (6):

  • WR Kadarius Toney
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari
  • CB Aaron Robinson
  • OLB Elerson Smith
  • RB Gary Brightwell
  • CB Rodarius Williams

2021 Signed Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (3):

  • OC/OG Brett Heggie
  • OT/OG Jake Burton
  • DE/LB Raymond Johnson

New York Giants First-Year Players (8):

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • RB Jordan Chunn
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR Derrick Dillon
  • TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart
  • TE Nate Wieting
  • DL David Moa
  • LB Cale Garrett

Undrafted rookie and veteran tryout players (5):

  • QB Nathan Rourke (rookie)
  • RB Corey Clement (4-year veteran)
  • RB Ito Smith (3-year veteran)
  • FB Frank Feaster (rookie)
  • TE Kelvin Benjamin (former 4-year veteran WR working at TE)

CAM FLEMING SIGNS WITH DENVER BRONCOS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Cam Fleming has signed a 1-year contract with the Denver Broncos. The Giants signed Fleming as an unrestricted free agent from the Dallas Cowboys in March 2020. He ended up starting all 16 games at right tackle, by far the most in his career in a single season. But Fleming was arguably the weak link up front, regularly missing blocks. Fleming was also credited with four false starts and two holding penalties. The 6’5”, 320-pound Fleming was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. After four years in New England, he played two seasons with the Cowboys. In seven NFL seasons, Fleming has played in 91 regular-season games with 42 starts.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The  transcript and video of Joe Judge’s press conference on Friday 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:

ARTICLES…

Apr 302021
 
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Azeez Ojulari, Georgia Bulldogs (January 1, 2021)

Azeez Ojulari – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 18th pick (50th overall) in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected linebacker Azeez Ojulari (University of Georgia). The Giants traded down from the 10th pick in the round (42nd overall) in exchange for a 2022 3rd-round pick from the Miami Dolphins.

The Giants then selected cornerback Aaron Robinson (University of Central Florida) with the 7th pick (71st overall) in the 3rd round. The Giants traded up from the 12th pick in the round (76th overall), giving away their 5th-round selection that they acquired from the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

Azeez Ojulari Scouting Report: Ojulari is an edge rusher who combines good size (6’2”, 249 pounds) with excellent overall athleticism. Natural pass rusher who also plays hard. He threatens tackles with his initial quickness, bend, rip move, and closing burst. Ojulari has long arms for his size and is physical with his hands. Ojulari needs to disengage from blockers more consistently and will need to add inside pass rush moves to his arsenal. He flashes pass coverage skills but he will need work in this area. Improving player who has a big upside.

Sy’56’s Take: Third year sophomore entry from Marietta, Georgia. A two-year starter that earned 2nd Team All SEC honors in 2020. The semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award led the SEC in tackles for loss and sacks in 2020, a year after leading the Bulldogs in sacks and pressures. Ojulari is a mature, hardworking kid that gets the most out of his talents. He won team-awards for most improved player in 2019 as well as one for his efforts during the offseason strength and conditioning program. Ojulari was also a team captain in 2019, the first time a freshman has earned that honor in the Coach Smart era. This is a kid that has high-end talent that can be used in multiple ways for a defense, and it is paired with top notch intangibles. His game really started to blossom as the 2020 season came to a close. He finished with 5 sacks over his last 3 games. Ojulari still has more physical development to achieve, as he will need to add functional weight to play the every down edge in the NFL, but his versatility, talent, and intangibles will make him a dangerous defensive weapon and he can be one of the best when things come together.

No inside information here. I think Ojulari is on the NYG short list for #11 overall. I’m not exactly sure what NYG is looking to add to their outside pass rush. Do they want a pure burner (what Carter was supposed to turn into, and still can), or do they want an inside-out versatile piece? If it is the former, Ojulari is a very strong possibility. I think he has the best get off in the group. That is a great place to start. I also believe who he is as a person will be exactly what NYG wants to add.

Aaron Robinson Scouting Report: Robinson is a tough, aggressive, athletic slot corner with decent size (6’0”, 190 pounds). He plays a physical game. Speedy, he can run with receivers deep. Robinson is better in press man coverage than off coverage. He will play the run but needs to be a more consistent tackler.

Sy’56’s Take: Fifth year senior from Deerfield Beach, Florida. Began his career at Alabama in 2016 where he played in 13 games. Transferred to Central Florida in 2017 and redshirted. Two-year starter that earned 2nd Team All AAC honors in both 2019 and 2020. Robinson has the pro-caliber foot speed and burst that enables him to stay sticky to his man on all levels of the route tree. He can play the game with his feet rather than getting too grabby with his hands. Robinson has a lot of dog in him. He is always one of the toughest players on the field and he knows it. Even though he needs to control where he gets aggressive and where to gamble, he is the kind of player that elevates the energy of a defense. That doesn’t occur much from cornerbacks. His size may keep him at nickel but he can play both.

There are some corners that elevate their game with swagger. They are constantly getting in fights, constantly running their mouth. I understand that isn’t an approach for everyone to get behind, but I personally love it. Much prefer that than guys on opposing teams laughing with each other all game and trading jerseys afterward. Robinson hates his opponent every week, and he plays like it. He also has really well developed technique and footwork. Little gamble here, but I think he is starting in the league within a year or two.

Media Q&A with General Manager Dave Gettleman (Video):

Opening Statement: So we were busy. I’m learning to make right turns in NASCAR. So we traded back to 50. We got a third round pick in ‘22 and picked up Azeez Ojulari, who we are really thrilled to get. He’s an edge pass rusher. He’s instinctive. He’s very bright. He plays hard, and he’s got pass rush ability and he’s also a solid run player. We’re really thankful to get him. In the third round, we swapped spots with Denver and wanted to move up. Obviously we’re working on defense and we picked Aaron Robinson, who is a nickel, who has got the ability to play nickel and outside the perimeter, and he’s an excellent tackler, ball hawk. He’s got all the stuff. So we’re really pleased to get these two kids into our program.

Q. Did you ever think you would get addicted to trading back?

A:Let me tell you something, you never know. You never know. You know, listen, it’s all about if the opportunity is right. It’s about your board. It’s about value meeting need. It’s all those things. And like I told you guys last week, I’ve tried in the past and it just hasn’t worked. We thought we got just really good value here. And you know, again, it’s one of those deals where, for example, we move from 42 back to 50, so that’s eight slots and we had five guys there that we would take at 50. The odds are, eight slots, it’s five guys, there’s going to be — one of those five is going to be there for you. We’ve just been able to do that.

And then with the value we had on Aaron, I just didn’t want to sit and wait. We just felt — he’s a press corner and really fits what we want to do and who we want to be on defense. It’s just having the opportunity and it’s how your board lines up.

Q. With getting ‘22 picks — was that a priority?

A: I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a priority. It was important to us.

Q. Was wondering, what was going through your mind when you saw Azeez keep falling?

A: Here’s what I’m going to say to you. You have to have confidence in your ability to evaluate players. So you just turn around and people are missing it for whatever reason and it didn’t scare us, that’s for darn sure. We’re thrilled to get him.

You know, it’s kind of the same thing when people cut a player. The instinct is to say what’s wrong. My attitude is maybe they made a mistake. So it’s one of those deals where the fact that Azeez was dropping did not impact us at all in terms of our opinion of his playing ability and what he could do for us.

Q. You guys have invested some real resources in the secondary since last year, the draft picks you brought in, James Bradberry, obviously this year with Adoree’ and now Aaron Robinson. How does Aaron fit in there and how close are you to being a finished product on the back end?

A: Where Aaron fits in is he gives us more perimeter muscle, so to speak, and he’s also got that flexibility to play the nickel and play the star. We think he’s a great fit, obviously, because we traded up, hello, stating the obvious. Captain Obvious. We think he’s a great fit for our defense and our back end and we feel like you can never have too many assets back there because players come and go. You have injuries. People will say it’s a passing league and it is to a degree. And the other thing that we really liked about Aaron is you do the studies, you do the analytics — I do do it, people — and the best defenses have the best tackling secondaries, and Aaron Robinson is a really good tackling corner.

Q. Was Azeez going to be the pick at 42 if you couldn’t trade it and was Robinson one of the five guys that you thought would be there at 50 when you did get there?

A: Yes.

Q. Yes to both?

A: (Laughs).

Q. That’s a good, short answer and now I can ask a follow-up. You said getting picks for next year was important. Why is that? This seems like a team that’s poised to make a jump in 2021, why is it so important to get those picks in the future?

A: I think I said this at the pre-draft presser, this draft right now, in terms of unknowns, you have more unknowns than you can shake a stick at. You have kids that didn’t play this year. You have a lot of incomplete medical information. It’s really kind of an odd draft class. It’s an odd year. The NCAA allowed all those players to get another year and a ton of them did. One of the SEC schools, they had 13 kids decide to go back and play next year, 13 kids that could have been in this draft. That was pretty heavy throughout the Power Five conferences. We really have a feeling that next year’s draft is going to be really strong and it just gives you options.

Q. You didn’t take an offensive lineman in the first two days. Is that because — obviously the board and need and you think maybe there’s guys in the fourth or fifth round you can get, but does it also indicate you like a lot of the guys on your team and you don’t have to force anything?

A: No, actually we were looking at offensive linemen for the last two picks, and the value didn’t meet the pick, plain and simple. We had one guy we had our eye on, two guys specifically we had our eyes on and they got taken before they got to us. So no, you always want to add, you always want competition. Whether you draft a position or not has nothing to do with how happy you are with that position. It has everything to do with the draft value at the time you’re picking.

Media Q&A with Head Coach Joe Judge (Video):

Q: Can you speak about the importance of getting some edge pass rushing in there? The Giants defense for years, it used to be an automatic with pass rushers and it’s been an issue for you particularly on the outside?

A: First off, I was pleased with the progress we made on defense last year with the guys on our roster. We had injuries that affected guys like Zo (Lorenzo Carter) and X-man (Oshane Ximines), and we had some rookies. And obviously we had some rookies had to come in and step up and got good contribution from guys like Jabaal Sheard when they were on the team. So we didn’t look at this in the nature of, you know, that we had to absolutely go out there and address something, or else it was going to be dire. We have confidence in the guys we have on our roster. We like Azeez (Ojulari) as a player. We have a lot of experience with him throughout this organization. Marcus Cooper one of our scouts has great relationships with these guys. We put a lot of trust in his evaluations because he gets it know these guys on a deep basis and coincidentally actually three picks came from Coop’s area and he has a lot of inside info on these guys. On top of that, you talk about Azeez, the coach he’s going to play for, Kevin Sherrer, recruited and signed him at the University of Georgia before he was a freshman. You talk about the other coaches that we have on staff that had to play against him in the SEC, he’s always a guy that stood out to them on the field as someone they had to account for. I have a lot of respect for the way (Georgia Head Coach) Kirby (Smart) runs his program. I love those guys down there. I think they play tough and they are well-coached. To be able to add a guy to our team to compete with our current roster, he was a good fit for us. We are excited to have him here but like all other rookies, he’s got to come in and compete when he gets here.

Q. With Azeez, it’s out there that there was a knee problem and some teams actually flagged him. Where did you guys stand on that?

A: Yeah, listen, I don’t think there’s a player in this draft or any draft for that matter that doesn’t have something that shows up on a board. I trust our medical team, Ronnie (Barnes) and his guys do a great job. We have some of the best doctors in the world who look in these guys and constantly update us on what they think the current risk is. All I can go back to is this guy came back, he played, this guy doesn’t miss practices at Georgia. He played with very high effort, high intensity. I’m very pleased with what you saw on tape in terms of the medical expertise. I leave that on Ronnie Barnes and his staff and I let them go ahead and give us the information, and with that information make the decisions.

Q. What did you like about (Aaron) Robinson?

A: A-Rob is a good player. Again we are excited to add him to the program. Going to come in and compete. There’s going to be a lot of competition with defensive backs, corners and safeties.

Look, this is a guy that jumped out to us on tape and as well as when we were down at the Senior Bowl got to see him in person, sit down, meet with him; I had multiple meetings that week. Got the Zoom throughout this process. So we had a lot of exposure with this guy as a person, and this guy really does, he’s got a good personality, he really lights up. This is a guy, he plays on the field and you see when he makes a play, his teammates immediately sprint to him. There’s a lot of excitement. You can tell he’s got a bond with his teammates, and that stands out with the energy his teammates play with as well.

In terms of him as a player, he’s a physical player with good traits and gives us versatility to play inside, outside. This guy has some value to play in the kicking game as well. Just the demeanor he plays with, the physicality and his ability to play in both press and off, he’ll give us some options how we can use him.

Q. We know about your connection with Kirby and talking about that Georgia program, how much does that help with transition, and is what they do similar to what you do schematically?

A: I would say the answer in terms of the terminology or maybe some of the concepts of the defense, there are similarities to that. It’s all basically off the same branch of the defensive tree and philosophy from different coaches in the past. However, it doesn’t matter where you come from. None of these rookies have a leg up on anyone. They come in and have to learn our league and system and compete with our vets from on the roster. Just being from a certain school doesn’t give anyone a leg up on anything. You have to come in — the National Football League is completely different from college. You have to learn a lot of things about it: The speed of the game, the tempo of the game. So it’s nice that he’s from a familiar system, but past, you know, day one install meetings and basic terminology, that’s the only jump he’ll have on anybody else.

Q. This is obviously not a new world for the Giants, but the way the draft was manipulated the last two days, moving down, you had a fifth round pick you gained and you just traded away, was with the Giants for about 12 hours or something like that. Do you like this a little bit more rock and roll and keeping everybody on their toes?

A: It’s making the best decision for the team at the time. We had an opportunity to move down and gain more value because there are a number of players we feel in that range are going to be available, we’ll go ahead and look at that option. As you saw with A-Rob, we didn’t want to give somebody else a chance to take him at that point; he was a priority for us to get, so we used the pick to trade on up. As I said yesterday, these picks are people and make calculated risks whether you acquire them or give them up. I feel good about what we did today in the draft. I’m sure Dave has got a concussion or something, so make sure we check on him overnight and we’ll get back to work tomorrow.

Q. With all the uncertainty, how important were those Senior Bowl meetings?

A: Yeah, I thought they were critical. I really thought Senior Bowl this year did a great job of making sure that everyone got to meet with every player and the set up down there was really phenomenal and not having the Combine, Senior Bowl really replaced the personal interactions with those guys. I don’t think you can ever replace getting to see a guy play or work out or compete in person and be able to sit down and look a guy eye-to-eye and really get a feel for them. Zoom is nice. Personal interaction is critical.

Q. What do you remember particularly about the one with Robinson?

A: I just remember he had a very direct personality. You talk to him, he lit up when you start talking football. That’s important, again, the passion for the game. I just like direct, honest people and he’s got that to him.

Q. What is your relationship like with Kirby Smart and is there a quality in the players that he coaches that stands out? Because you have drafted three guys from there in the last year, whether that’s a coincidence or not.

A: Well, I think the coincidence would be that he just coaches really good players. They do a great job of recruiting top talent and develop them over the course of time they are there. Those players work hard and player hard and understand the value of playing old school, fundamental, physical football. That’s really what draws to us. Me and Kirby we worked three years at Alabama. I have a lot of respect for him as a person and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. When you know where someone is coming from, you have a little bit of insight in how you can coach them, okay, what really makes them tick and how they respond in adverse situations.

Q. How critical was weekends like this in determining when you’re building your coaching staff, because you have so many assistants that were former college coaches with ties to these major programs. How much did that factor into the hiring process for you?

A: Actually none of it. We have a great scouting staff here, so we didn’t anybody in to supersede what anybody is doing. Really, this is a bonus. I hired the best coaches I can find, and it starts with being good people and good teachers.

Media Q&A with Director of College Scouting Chris Pettit (Video):

Q. A lot of the trading up and down has been the story of the Draft, not something you guys have done much of. Has this process been different than past drafts?

A: No, I don’t think so. Since I’ve been here, like Dave said I think in his presser, we have tried. We’ve tried to trade up and down before, and it has to work out — it’s worked out this year where we’ve been able to gain assets and used those assets to gain a player that we really like. I wouldn’t say it’s any different. Every year since I’ve been here we’ve been aggressive in trying to better the team. Just this year, it’s working out.

Q. What’s that moment like when you trade back from 42 to 50, and Azeez is very much in the conversation at 42, are you waiting every pick or were you sweating it out?

A: We had a bunch of guys that we really liked there and like I said before, you’ve just got to be patient. You can’t get too high or too low and the board will come to you. You have to trust it. When you have a group of guys there, it makes you feel better as the time and picks go by. Azeez was 1 in the group and he was there and he was the right player for us.

Q. You hear a bunch of things about Azeez as a pass rusher, and some people say he’s the best pass rusher in the Draft. They don’t usually last till 50. So where do you see him as a pass rusher and is he a legitimate edge guy now that you guys added to your team?

A: Yeah, I believe so. The thing that separated I think Azeez from others was he’s pro-ready with his hands. He had real good hand use. He’s instinctive. The guy has the ability to make big plays in big spots. He’s ultra competitive. He has good instincts. He had good hand use for being an underclassman that we liked.

Q. What’s your report on (Aaron) Robinson? What did you like about him?

A: A-Rob jumped off, I remember I was sitting here through the pandemic in the office, threw on the UCF tape and his instincts, his toughness and his tackling jumped out to me immediately as I was watching the tape. A little unknown about him, didn’t know much, threw the tape on one day and really caught my eye with his competitiveness and instincts.

Then we’ve kind of followed him throughout the process. We had two interviews with him down in Mobile which got to help us know him as a person, most importantly, and then I went down and saw him at his pro day as well to really spend a lot of time with him.

I think what immediately jumped off was his instincts, toughness, competitiveness.

Q. Aaron Robinson started his career at Alabama, so that’s SEC ties for all three guys this year, most of the guys last year. I think it’s pretty universally accepted that’s the best conference. Is that why you guys keep going to the SEC or do you have stronger relationships there? More scouts in that area? Why is it the SEC?

A: I don’t think we say, all right, this is the SEC we are going to scout it differently than any other part of the country. It’s just the way the board has fallen that the SEC players at the time we are ready to pick are the ones we feel best to be Giants. It’s a very good conference. There’s big people that play fast and tough and we like that. But I don’t think it’s any different — we don’t scout it any different than any other conference in the league.

Q. We’ve heard a lot about the meetings you guys had down at Senior Bowl. I meant to ask you last night, I know you guys had a relatively limited group down there, right. I know it was you, Joe, Pat. How many others were down there with you guys?

A: We had other scouts, as well, Kevin Abrams, Tim McDonnell, Marcus Cooper, Brendan Prophett, Patrick Hanscomb and Jeremy Breit was our crew. Just worked out like that. We tried to get the scouts that had the most players at the game. It was tough on us because Senior Bowl is one of our best weeks as a staff, and we had other games going on at the time so our other scouts were spread out over those other All-Star games. So we had a limited crew and we worked and it was a good experience.

Senior Bowl did a great job allowing us access to the players which Joe said was really our only limited interaction we could have with players face-to-face. We took advantage of every interview that we could.

Q. The other thing I wanted to ask you is obviously we’ve all talked about how the 2022 picks are being described as gold. You know how you prepared to scout this year, the challenges that you faced and you met. When you see you guys stacking up picks for next year, what does that mean to your group and the scouts in terms of what may hold next year when you start looking at the Draft?

A: Well, it’s exciting. Any chance you have an opportunity to gain really good football players, but I think it’s important. I think the number of players that will be in the class next year will be a lot, you know, due to COVID and players going back to school and a lot of the opt-outs. So the more picks we have with more players, more opportunity, really, is how we look at it. It’s not going to change how we evaluate or scout. It’s just now we have more picks with more players available.

Q. Curious what you would have thought if I told you on like Thursday morning that Azeez would be there at pick 50? Is that something you expected or were surprised by?

A: I wouldn’t say I was surprised or expected. I was wishful. I’d be wishful that was a possibility, along with the other players we had in the group there. But I’m really excited to have Azeez. To bring a pass rusher to our defense, another one, another young pass rusher that we can develop, I’m excited.

Q. Usually pass rushers seem to get pushed up in the Draft. Why do you think maybe this year it didn’t happen?

A: Well, you know, it’s like you see it in drafts, the flows. All of a sudden there’s a run on tackles. There’s a run on corners. There’s a run on wide-outs. You saw it last night the wave of pass rushers went at the end of the Draft and today, they started with a different position. It just comes in flows and you’ve just got to be patient, like I said, and stick to the board and the guy will be there. You’ve got to trust it.

Q. So much has been made of Dave not trading in all of his drafts that he’s conducted. I wonder if there’s been any razzing in the war room amongst you guys? We just had Joe on a minute ago and he was joking that maybe he had a concussion, Dave did. What do you make of all the activity the last couple days and has there been any ribbing inside the room?

A: You could say that there’s been a little ribbing. Trader Dave has brought some excitement to the room, so it’s been fun. Trader Dave is hearing it from a lot of people throughout the league, so it’s been fun. There’s been a little ribbing. Like I said, it’s not like we haven’t tried. Dave said it; I’ll say it. It worked out. It’s exciting. It gave a little juice. It’s been different. The room is different without all our people in it. We were limited to only ten people but there was enough ribbing with the ten people to keep it exciting.

Media Q&A with Azeez Ojulari (Video):

Q: A lot of people thought you would go a lot earlier for you. How has this process been for you and how is your knee?

A: This process was a great process, just talking to teams, building those relationships and just being able to be a Giant. I’m just happy to be here. I’m just ready to get to work. My knee is good. Everything is good and solid. Everything is perfect.

Q: Hey Azeez, congratulations. Just caught a little bit of a snippet when you were announced on TV from an old buddy, Andrew Thomas, who is now your teammate again. What was that like tonight? The wait? Did you know it would be the Giants? What was your reaction – describe it when it happened.

A: It was crazy when I got the call, man. I saw a New York on it so I just picked it up. I was just so happy to be on the phone with the Giants. It was electric. It was a great moment for me and my family and Drew (Andrew Thomas) being in the house, too.

Q: You and Drew were pretty close, right? Did I read that?

A: Yes, he was my roommate.

Q: He was the toughest tackle you ever gone against?

A: Definitely. Definitely was.

Q: Hi Azeez, congratulations. Sorry, I’m sure you thought you got away from me down here in Athens. Was it excruciating at all having to wait? I guess you ultimately don’t really know when you’re going to go, but projections were really high for you. Were you hurting there for a while or confused?

A: No. I just know I’m blessed to be here. I’m blessed to be a Giant. I just waited my turn and wait for my opportunity to come and now it’s here. Now, I’m just happy and ready to be a Giant, for sure.

Q: Azeez, I know (Georgia Head Coach) Kirby Smart and Joe Judge have connections. Have you heard anything about what you’ll be coming into?

A: Definitely. Georgia has some similarities to the Giants defense. I’ve been through it a lot. I feel like I’ll be good with the scheme and everything coming in. I’m just ready to get to work and learn – learn from the best.

Q: Hey Azeez, congratulations. There are some people who say you are the best past rusher in this draft. First question, what do you think about that?

A: Definitely. I mean, everyone has their own opinions, but definitely I believe that. I’m just confident in my game. I’m just ready to go to work with the New York Giants and show everybody what I can do.

Q: Second question, real quick. If you are the best pass rusher, they don’t normally last to number 50. What does that say to you? Does that kind of anger you or do you care about that at all?

A: I’m just blessed to be a Giant. I’m ready to work. When I get there, I just have to go get in the playbook to learn the scheme and everything. I’m just ready to show them what I can do. That’s it.

Q: Hey Azeez, what does it mean to you to go to a team that has your college roommate in Andrew Thomas, Tae Crowder is there, Lorenzo Carter is a Georgia alum – what does it mean to you to be joining up with all these guys that I imagine you’re pretty familiar with?

A: It’s just great just having my brothers up there already. They’re people that I have conversations with. It would be great for me to come in there and learn from them. They’ve been there, so they can teach me and tell me things. So, I just can’t wait to get up there with those guys and be ready to work.

Q: How would you describe what type of player you are to Giants fans who maybe aren’t familiar with you?

A: I’m definitely relentless. Effort is never a question. I’m an all-around player. I can rush the passer, stop and run, drop in coverage or whatever I have to do to help the team, I can do it.

Q: Azeez, congratulations man. What did you think – I mean you’re a guy who has played, you practiced, and then they tell you, or did you even know – that your knee was going to be a problem for teams?

A: No. I didn’t know at all. I was fully healthy the last two seasons at Georgia. I didn’t know anything. I just didn’t know. I’m blessed to be a Giant. I’m happy and ready to get to work.

Q: What was your interaction with Kevin Sherrer? Was he your coach? Did you work for him a lot? How well do you know him?

A: Oh yeah, Coach Sherrer. He recruited me when I was coming into Georgia, so our relationship is already there, for sure. I’ve learned things from him, from watching film and tape and coming into Georgia. We really have a good bond going in, for sure.

Q: Hi Azeez, congratulations. I just got in a little late. I apologize if this is a repeat, but could you describe your pass rushing ability and how you feel it’ll translate immediately in the NFL given what you’ve seen?

A: I have good speed and strength. I can convert speed to power. I can beat the guy off the edge and beat him inside. I can affect the quarterback a lot. I’m just coming in knowing I’m ready to work and contribute and I’m ready to do whatever I have to do.

Q: Just as a quick follow up, in your conversations with Coach Judge and what not and whomever it is you spoke to, what amount did you speak to him about how much they are in need of pass rushing help? How aware are you of that?

A: It was one of the needs, for sure. We definitely had conversations throughout the whole process, daily. I’m blessed to be here. I’m blessed to be a Giant today. I’m ready to get there and contribute.

Q: Azeez, congrats. A lot of the best players in Giants history, most revered players, are pass rushers – Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, etc. What do you think of trying to live up to those expectations and live up to those kinds of names putting on this jersey at that position?

A: Seeing all of those great Giants that came through there, I just know I have to come in ready to work and put it all on the table to give it all you got. Give it all you got for those great guys that played before us. I just have a lot of respect for those players, so you have to give it all you got and do what I can do.

Q: Real quick, Kadarius Toney, did you – I didn’t have time to double check on this schedule – but what do you think of him as a player and a fellow SEC guy, offensive weapon? What do you think of him as a player and a weapon?

A: Man, Kadarius Toney is a beast. He’s shifty. He can shake anything. He can beat you. He has speed. Man, I can’t wait to see him play. Just know he’s a dog, for sure.

Q: Azeez, you said you knew the Giants needed an edge rusher. When they’re on the clock at number 42, are you waiting for your phone to ring right there?

A: I was waiting. I was waiting on it all day.

Q: When in your conversations with Andrew did you guys start talking about becoming teammates and when did it become more and more realistic for you guys?

A: Just basically when he got drafted. When he got drafted, we thought about it. It could happen one day. So, we were like, ‘It would be cool for us to be teammates coming from Georgia. That would be nice.’ And look at us now, teammates.

Q: Hey Azeez, just on a personal level, what do your friends call you? Do they call you Z? They call you AO? They call you Zeez, or what?

A: Yes, they call me Z. Sometimes they call me vibranium. No, they call me mostly Z, though. It’s what it is the most times, Z.

Q: Okay, and the other question I have is, one of the guys you’ll probably be competing with for time is Lorenzo Carter. How close are you with him?

A: Lorenzo is my brother, definitely, for sure. He played at Georgia. I’m ready to get there and work with him and just learn things from him and just ready to get to work.

Q: Hey Azeez, congratulations man. Azeez, I noticed you have that one signature move that you love to go to, to get the quarterback. I’m curious, who helped you develop your moves in rushing and what’s one part of your game that you feel you need to improve at?

A: I’d say my time at Georgia, just working there every single day since I was a freshman. I was finding the move that worked for me and I just kept doing that. Once I found it, I just kept going to it and adjusting off of it when I had to. Thanks to Georgia and my time there, it just helped me with everything I need to do. I will definitely be using it for sure.

Q: Azeez, quickly, did you get better competing with Andrew Thomas in practice a lot?

A: Definitely, every day. Every single day competing. Good on good, everyday.

Media Q&A with Aaron Robinson (Video):

Q: Saw that tweet from [Safety] Xavier McKinney. I guess even though you transferred, you’re still viewed by some of these guys as an Alabama guy. Just curious, what’s it like to reunite with a lot of guys with Alabama ties?

A: You know, X specifically, I remember him when he first got up to school just trying to connect and bond with him. He’s a great guy. I’m ready to get up there and get to work with some great dudes, get around some great coaching, pretty much just set the standard with the brotherhood up there and go to work.

Q: What do you think you bring to the table?

A: Definitely a competitive edge about myself. A guy who’s willing to take it from every angle, vets, coaching and excel at it in my own game. Really just want to bring guys along, including myself, to create something special.

Q: Hey Aaron, I think one of things the Giants really like about you is how physical you are and that you can play man-to-man. That’s something they weren’t able to do as much last year. What does it take to be as consistently physical and effective as you are at that position on the outside?

A: Yeah, you know that pretty much comes with the game of football. I feel like I always favored the defensive side of the ball a little bit more growing up playing it. And that’s pretty much a plus in my game that I take advantage of and come with to every play 150 percent. That’s pretty much it.

Q: Aaron, how important was it for you to get to the Senior Bowl and have that opportunity to meet with the various teams? And to follow up on that, what do you remember about your meeting with the Giants?

A: Having that opportunity to get up there in Mobile to compete against some of the best in college football this past year was a great opportunity for me to pretty much expose myself a little bit more, and have that great opportunity to earn those reps, get those reps on the outside and showcase those skills as well during those practices. So it was definitely a great opportunity for myself. What I remember from meeting with the Giants was the laughs through conversation, pretty much just enjoying that moment with those coaches up there and pretty much coming off natural, it felt like.

Q: Were you on [Wide Receiver] Kadarius Toney’s team at the Senior Bowl or did you go against him at all?

A: I was on Kadarius’s team. We pretty much had one great rep of one-on-ones and a couple more reps during team reps. Pretty much just competing against one another trying to earn something, so respect to him as well.

Q: The fact that the Giants traded up to get you, does that mean something extra to you?

A: Yeah, definitely, just another great opportunity. Thank those guys up there for believing in me and that just pushes me to want to get up there and work 10 times harder for some guys that definitely believed in me. I’m going to take advantage of that and run with it, for sure.

Q: Hey Aaron, you’ll have to kind of forgive me for doing my scouting report on the fly, but did you play mostly in the slot in college?

A: Correct.

Q: And so you were saying playing at the Senior Bowl gave you the chance to play outside?

A: Correct.

Q: So, do you feel like you can play both at the next level? Are you more comfortable at one or the other?

A: Wherever I’m needed. Wherever I’m needed, I’m willing to learn that playbook, get in with my coaches, spend a lot of time around those guys, around those guys in the locker room as well to really learn it and go out and perform to the best of my ability.

Q: Did you guys play a lot of man or zone in college?

A: We mixed it up. [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Randy] Shannon definitely mixed it up for us, gave a lot of looks and pretty much helped us a lot as well.