Jan 042021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears

The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

The 13 reserve/future players are:

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • TE Rysen John
  • OG Chad Slade
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • DT David Moa
  • LB Trent Harris
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Montre Hartage
  • LS Carson Tinker

All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

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 062020
 
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Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, New York Giants (December 6, 2020)

Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 17 – SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 12…
In perhaps the team’s most impressive victory in years, the New York Giants defeated the Seattle Seahawks 17-12 on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. The win was New York’s fourth in a row, improving their overall record to 5-7 and keeping the Giants in first place in the NFC East. The heavily-favored Seahawks fell to 8-4.

Playing without starting quarterback Daniel Jones, back-up quarterback Colt McCoy and the Giants’ offense struggled in the first half. New York’s five first-half possessions resulted in three punts, an interception, and a safety. The Giants were only able to generate four 1st downs, 95 yards, and no points. The safety came with 33 seconds left before halftime when Riley Dixon’s punt was blocked with the ball exiting the end zone.

Fortunately for New York, the Giants’ defense was up to the challenge, holding the NFL’s 5th-rated offense to one field goal in the first half. Those points came on Seattle’s first drive of the game, as the Seahawks drove 57 yards in nine plays to set up a 31-yard field goal. Seattle did nothing after that, with their next four drives resulting in a punt, punt, fumble, and a punt. Rookie defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos recovered the fumble.

At the half, the Seahawks led 5-0.

Both teams exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants’ offense finally got the big play they needed on their second drive when running back Wayne Gallman broke off a 60-yard run around left end. Running back Alfred Morris gained 13 yards on the next snap and then Morris finished off the 4-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. McCoy hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the end zone for the successful 2-point conversion and the Giants were now up 8-5.

Seattle gained one first down on their second possession and decided to gamble on 4th-and-1 at their own 48-yard line. Quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass was broken up by cornerback Isaac Yiadom and the Seahawks turned the ball over on downs. The Giants then made Seattle pay with a 5-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. Gallman rushed for 3, 13, and 23 yards. Then Morris ran for three before catching a 6-yard pass from McCoy for the score. Place kicker Graham Gano missed the extra point and the Giants now led 14-5.

The Seahawks gained two first downs but were pushed back by a 15-yard sack by defensive end Leonard Williams and were forced to punt again early in the 4th quarter. The Giants went three-and-out, but New York got the ball right back when cornerback Darnay Holmes picked off a deflected pass at the Seattle 39-yard line. New York’s offense could only gain nine yards, but it was good enough to set up a 48-yard field goal and a 17-5 lead with less than 10 minutes to play.

Seattle made things interesting when they followed up with an 11-play, 82-yard drive than ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass by Wilson. Their sole touchdown of the game cut New York’s lead to 17-12 with 6:09 left to play.

The Giants were able to pick up two first downs and take 4:21 off of the clock. But the Seahawks got the ball back with 1:48 left to play and a chance to steal the game. Starting from their own 20-yard line, Seattle did pick up two first downs, cross midfield, and reach the New York 46-yard line. The New York defense then stiffened as Wilson threw two incomplete passes and was sacked for an 8-yard loss by Leonard Williams on 3rd-and-10. Wilson’s last desperate 4th-and-18 deep pass fell incomplete.

McCoy finished the game 13-of-22 for 105 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His leading targets were tight end Evan Engram (four catches for 32 yards) and wide receiver Golden Tate (four catches for 30 yards). Gallman rushed 16 times 135 yards and Morris chipped in with eight carries for 39 yards and a rushing touchdown as New York rushed for 190 yards against the NFL’s 3rd-ranked run defense.

Seattle was held to 327 total yards on 70 offensive snaps. The Seahawks were 4-of-13 on 3rd down and 0-of-2 on 4th down. The Giants picked off one pass and recovered one fumble. Linebacker Blake Martinez led the team with 10 tackles. Linebacker Tae Crowder had seven tackles and one sack. Safety Jabrill Peppers had 5 tackles, one sack, and two pass defenses. Leonard Williams was credited with 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard had 0.5 sacks.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants re-signed quarterback Alex Tanney to the team’s Practice Squad on Saturday. Tanney was cut by the Giants on September 5th. The Giants also placed running back Devonta Freeman, who is currently on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury, on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
QB Clayton Thorson and DE/LB Niko Lalos were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (hamstring), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris, and LB T.J. Brunson,

LB Blake Martinez left the game in the fourth quarter with a lower back injury and did not return.

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:

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Colt McCoy (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • RB Alfred Morris (Video)
  • DE Leonard Williams (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)

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

Dec 042020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 4, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
QB Daniel Jones (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder), LB David Mayo (knee), LB Cam Brown (illness), and S Nate Ebner (knee) were limited in practice on Friday.

Jones is officially listed as “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Mayo is “questionable” while everyone else is expected to play.

“I thought (Jones) threw the ball well (yesterday),” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Obviously, we didn’t want to go ahead and open him up too much yesterday, really being just a couple of days into kind of moving around. But he threw the ball well. I saw a lot of good velocity and very good accuracy. We talked in terms of how he felt on different things, different movements. But look, I think this guy is doing everything he can to get on the field. Again, we’re checking with the trainers, seeing how much progress he made on their end today. We’ll see him a little bit on the grass today in terms of how he’s with the team, and we’ll make decisions really a little bit after the (practice), and we’ll also see how he feels going out there after a long flight to Seattle.”

ALEX TANNEY SET TO REJOIN THE GIANTS…
The Giants announced on Friday that quarterback Alex Tanney is expected to rejoin the team on Saturday after clearing COVID-19 protocols. Tanney was cut by the Giants on September 5th.

The 6’3”, 208-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Titans.

Tanney surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game. Tanney has only played in two regular-season games, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015 and the Giants in 2019.  

“We’ll take him to Seattle with us and keep him in the fold,” Head Coach Joe Judge said. “In terms of if we needed him if something happened in the last minute, activate him.”

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

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

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

Sep 052020
 
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Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Ryan Connelly – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 29 roster moves:

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Cooper Rush
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Tavien Feaster
  • RB Sandro Platzgummer
  • WR Johnny Holton
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • WR Derrick Dillon
  • WR Austin Mack
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • TE Eric Tomlinson
  • TE Garrett Dickerson
  • OL Jon Halapio
  • OL Eric Smith
  • OL Tyler Haycraft
  • OL Kyle Murphy
  • DL Chris Slayton (2019 7th-round pick)
  • DL Daylon Mack
  • DL Niko Lalos
  • LB Ryan Connelly (2019 5th-round pick)
  • LB Josiah Tauaefa
  • CB Grant Haley
  • CB Brandon Williams
  • CB Dravon Askew-Henry
  • CB KeiVarae Russell
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Prince Smith
  • CB/S Chris Williamson (2020 7th-round pick)
  • S Montre Hartage (waived/injured with hamstring injury)
  • LS Carson Tinker

On Friday, the Giants also placed WR David Sills (fractured right foot) on Injured Reserve. Players placed on Injured Reserve before the cut-down date are done for the season.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will establish their 16-man Practice Squad on Sunday. The players are off on Sunday and return to practice on Monday.

Aug 042020
 
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Markus Golden, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Markus Golden – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN MARKUS GOLDEN…
The New York Giants have officially re-signed free agent linebacker Markus Golden. The NFL Network is reporting that the deal is a 1-year, $5.1 million contract.

Back in late April, the New York Giants placed the seldom-used “May 5” tender on Golden, who had been an unrestricted free agent. Unless Golden signed with another team by July 22, the tender would enable the Giants to maintain exclusive signing rights until the 10th week of the 2020 NFL season. That deadline passed without Golden signing.

The Giants signed Golden as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2019. Golden had a strong debut season with the Giants in 2019, starting all 16 games, playing 83 percent of all defensive snaps, accruing a career-high 72 tackles, and team-high 10 sacks.

The 6’3”, 260-pound Golden was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. Golden’s break-out season was in 2016 at linebacker when he accrued 51 tackles and 12.5 sacks. He missed 12 games in 2017 with an ACL injury. While he returned in 2018, he missed five games and saw his production slip to 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

ALEX TANNEY PASSES PHYSICAL…
Quarterback Alex Tanney has passed his physical and has been activated off of the Reserve/Non-Football Illness List. He was placed on that list on July 28.

The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. The 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 journeyman 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 (2015–2018).

He surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game. Tanney has only played in two regular-season games, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015 and the Giants in 2019. He did not play well during the 2019 preseason, completing only 52.2 percent of his passes with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

JOSIAH TAUAEFA PLACED ON RESERVE/COVID-19 LIST …
Linebacker Josiah Tauaefa was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, which means he either tested positive for the virus or came into contact with someone who did. The Giants originally signed Tauaefa as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. They then signed Tauaefa to the Practice Squad in September 2019 and the 53-man roster in October 2019. He played in 12 games with no starts as almost all of his playing time came on special teams.

Meanwhile, the first and only other Giant who was on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, wide receiver David Sills, has been cleared and has returned to the team. The 6’3”, 211-pound Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Sills to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. The Giants then signed him to the 53-man roster in mid-December. He did not play in a game however.

Jul 282020
 
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Shakial Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (October 20, 2019)

Shakial Taylor – © USA TODAY Sports

ALL OF NEW YORK GIANTS 2020 NFL DRAFT CLASS SIGNED…
The New York Giants announced late yesterday that all 10 of their 2020 NFL Draft picks have officially signed. This includes offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (1st round), safety Xavier McKinney (2nd round), offensive tackle Matt Peart (3rd round), cornerback Darnay Holmes (4th round), offensive guard Shane Lemieux (5th round), linebacker Cam Brown (6th round), linebacker Carter Coughlin (7th round), linebacker T.J. Brunson (7th round), defensive back Chris Williamson (7th round), and linebacker Tae Crowder (7th round).

ROSTER MOVES – GIANTS CLAIM CORNERBACK SHAKIAL TAYLOR…
The New York Giants have claimed defensive back Shakial Taylor off of waivers from the Denver Broncos. The 23-year old, 6’0”, 181-pound Taylor was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2019 NFL Draft. He was then claimed off of waivers by the Broncos in November 2019. Taylor played in five games and accrued seven tackles and one pass defense as a rookie.

The Giants have also waived undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Malcolm Elmore, who failed his physical due to a non-football injury.

Wide receiver David Sills was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, which means he either tested positive for the virus or came into contact with someone who did. While he remains on the list, Sill does not count against the team’s 90-man roster limit. The 6’3”, 211-pound Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Sills to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. The Giants then signed him to the 53-man roster in mid-December. He did not play in a game however.

Quarterback Alex Tanney was placed on the Non-Football Illness List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. The 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 journeyman 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 (2015–2018). He surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game.

Linebacker Tae Crowder was placed on the Non-Football Injury List with an undisclosed issue. He counts against the 90-man roster limit. The Giants selected Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

In other moves, the team officially announced that they have waived place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The signing of international player running back Sandro Platzgummer also became official.

GIANTS DECIDE TO GO SPLIT-SQUAD ROUTE…
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, NFL teams had to decide whether they wanted to reduce their training camp rosters on July 28 or August 16. The Giants have chosen the latter. But in doing so, the team must be split into (1) veteran and (2) rookies/first-year players/rehabbing players/select quarterbacks contingents until August 16. Teams will be allowed to begin practicing on August 17.

NEW YORK GIANTS VETERANS REPORTS TO CAMP…
As scheduled, the bulk of New York Giants players reported to training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Tuesday. Quarterbacks, rookies, and rehabbing players reported on July 23.

Actual practices are not expected to be held until mid-August due to COVID-19 restrictions. All preseason games have been canceled. The Giants’ regular-season Monday night home opener is currently scheduled for September 14th. For the players who arrived on Tuesday, the current schedule looks like this:

  • July 28: Report and receive first test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 29: Report and receive second test; return home/hotel and participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 30: Stay at home/hotel and only participate in virtual meetings.
  • July 31: Report and receive third test; participate in virtual meetings.
  • August 1-2: Players who test negative receive physicals and equipment fitting.
  • August 3-16: Strength and conditioning and on-field walk-throughs.
  • August 17: Helmet and shells practices begin, slowing being ramped up to full-padded work (14 padded practices maximum).

According to media reports, the Giants will conduct most training camp functions at MetLife Stadium in order to be better comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The home and away locker rooms at the stadium will allow for greater social distancing. The Giants will also have access to suites inside the stadium in order to hold team meetings. However, the Giants will still practice at nearby Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Practices will not be open to the public.

May 112020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully 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. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Right or wrong, for about a five year period from 2014 to 2018, there was an overwhelming sense that the New York Giants as a franchise unsuccessfully tried to “fix” the roster around two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning. Offensive linemen, receivers, head coaches, offensive coordinators, position coaches, and even a general manager came and went. Ben McAdoo benched Manning for one game in late 2017, but the outcry caused the team to quickly reinsert Eli back into the line-up. And his career losses continued to mount. Many expected the Giants to draft Manning’s replacement with the #2 overall pick in 2018, but team selected running back Saquon Barkley instead. In 2019, the Giants made the highly controversial decision to draft Daniel Jones with the #6 overall pick. The hand writing was on the wall. Eli’s days were numbered.

Entering the 2019 season, the prevailing opinion was that Jones was unlikely to see the field until the Giants were officially out of the playoff hunt by November or December. Stunningly, it only took two games and an 0-2 start for ownership, management, and the coaching staff to pull the plug. Barring injury or a meltdown by Jones, Eli’s days as a starting quarterback for the New York Giants were over.

Despite his greenness, Jones started off like gangbusters and the team quickly evened its record at 2-2. But dark clouds quickly appeared on the horizon. The team’s best player, Saquon Barkley, suffered a high ankle sprain, missed three games, and wasn’t quite right the rest of the season. The offensive line regressed (again) and couldn’t run or pass block. The Giants top skill players never played one game together with Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram all missing significant time. Making matters worse was the defense remained one of the league’s worst, rarely providing the offense with good field position and opportunities. Jones lost his next eight starts, suffered his own high ankle sprain and missed two games, and split his final two starts, finishing with a 3-9 record. Manning’s first game back came against his old nemesis, the Eagles, which caused him to officially become a career losing quarterback. Fortunately, he won his last career start and evened his regular-season career record at 117-117 before giving way to Jones again for the final two games.

In many ways, Jones had a stellar first season despite playing on a bad football team. Jones’ 24 touchdown passes (in 12 games) was the fourth-most by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history. He threw for over 3,000 yards and completed 62 percent of his passes. Jones also rushed for two touchdowns and 289 yards, the third-highest rushing total by a Giants’ quarterback in the Super Bowl era. He impressed coaches and teammates with his smarts, work ethic, competitiveness, and ability to make plays. Two of his wins included late-game heroics. However, the fumbling problem cannot be overlooked. Jones fumbled the ball an incredible 18 times, losing 11, or about one lost fumble per start.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Eli Manning has retired. Aside from Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney returns. The newcomers are Colt McCoy (unrestricted free agent from the Redskins), Cooper Rush (claimed off of waivers from the Cowboys), and Case Cookus (undrafted rookie free agent).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Stating the obvious, it’s the continued development of Daniel Jones, who is now coached by a new head man (Joe Judge), offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett), and quarterback coach (Jerry Schuplinski). Note that Mike Shula served as both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2019. It’s also interesting to note that Garrett, Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens, and Senior Offensive Assistant Derek Dooley all have experience as quarterbacks coaches.

The COVID-19 situation has prevented the assistant coaching staff from addressing the media. And Joe Judge has gone out of his way this offseason to not praise or even mention specific players by name as he publicly contends that all players, regardless of their draft or contract status, are competing on a level playing field. But Jones has so impressed Judge during virtual meeting sessions that he has now made an exception with his Jones.

“I love working with this guy every day,” said Judge. “He’s got a fire that burns in him. He brings other guys along with him. He shows up every day. He knows what you’re going to teach before you’re teaching it in terms of being prepared on material. He sets the tone for the room, and I’m very excited when we finally get these guys in person and get with him.

“We had a lot of conversations, a lot of conversations. Let me tell you something right now, sitting down with him and talking his philosophy on the program and where we’re going to go, what his goals are in his career, I’m glad he’s on our team. Let me put it that way. I’m really glad he’s on our team.”

That is great news as it was certainly possible that a new coaching staff would want to start with their own new guy (see the Arizona Cardinals as just one recent example).

Looking at the big picture, the only way the Giants are going to compete with the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and now possibly the Chase Young-led Washington Redskins is for Daniel Jones to become the best quarterback in the division. That’s a lot of pressure, but it is what it is. This is a quarterback’s league and all you need to do is look at teams like the Chiefs and Ravens and see what a top QB can do for your team. Jones needs to stay healthy and be the type of quarterback who perennially puts up 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while at the same time cutting down his turnovers.

The secondary story lines ares are who will be the primary back-up and how many quarterbacks will the Giants keep on the roster.

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring the unexpected, Case Cookus’ only shot in the short term is the Practice Squad. Meanwhile, Colt McCoy, Cooper Rush, and Alex Tanney will all be competing for only one or two roster openings.

PREDICTIONS: Yes, I’m drinking the blue Kool-Aid. No New York Giants rookie quarterback has impressed me more than Daniel Jones, and that includes Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler, Eli Manning, and a host of guys we would rather all forget (Dave Brown, Kent Graham, Danny Kanell). Does the fumbling bother me? Yes. Do I think it can be fixed? Yes. When Jones came to the Giants, I was told by draftniks that the guy had accuracy issues and couldn’t throw a deep ball. I saw the exact opposite. I also saw an incredibly smart, competitive, and tough guy who wants to win desperately. I think Daniel Jones will become the best quarterback in the division and I think it is going to happen sooner than most people think. But he needs to stay healthy in order to do so. We took that for granted with Eli Manning.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Daniel Jones, Colt McCoy, Cooper Rush

Much depends on whether Judge keeps two or three quarterbacks. Being a long-time special teams coach, I can see him wanting to keep an extra special teams player over the third quarterback. But the expansion of rosters to 55 might encourage him to keep three. One has to think McCoy is the front-runner for the #2 job. McCoy has started 28 games in his career and was an early free agent target of the new regime. Cooper Rush has the advantage in that he knows Jason Garrett’s offense. That becomes an even bigger advantage in the COVID-19 environment. That all said, The New York Post is reporting that the Giants continue to value Alex Tanney’s presence on Daniel Jones. So don’t totally discount him.

Mar 092020
 
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Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (October 20, 2019)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

RHETT ELLISON RETIRES…
The New York Giants have officially announced that 31-year old tight end Rhett Ellison has retired due to concerns over a concussion that caused him to miss the last six games of the 2019 NFL season. Ellison played in 10 games in 2019 with seven starts. He finished the year with just 18 catches for 167 yards and one touchdown. The transaction will save the Giants $5 million against the 2020 NFL salary cap, but will also count $2.2 million in dead money.

“The past few weeks, it’s kind of been an emotional roller coaster,” Ellison said in the press release. “But the overwhelming feeling I have is gratitude. Just thinking back to all the people in my life, even before I put pads on, that were able to nurture and grow the gifts God put into me and make this career possible. I think that was the biggest thing that was the fun part about the retirement process, which is reflecting on those people, thanking those people, reaching out and just the lessons they taught me, the tools they gave me for my life after football.

“In the back of my head, there’s always that, ‘I get it, this could be my last game,’ just because of the nature of the sport. When I ruptured my patella tendon (in 2016), that was the first time I realized, ‘Oh wait, this can end at any moment.’ Since that injury, it’s kind of stuck with me, like, ‘Don’t take these games for granted. Don’t take these opportunities for granted.’ I was never surprised. I know injuries are a part of the game. There’s no way I could have told you that was going to be my last game (the November 10th contest against the New York Jets), but it ended up being my last game. But my mentality, just from having multiple injuries throughout my career, was you realize how short your time is on the field and you never really know when it’s going to end.”

Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. The Giants signed Ellison as an unrestricted free agent in March 2017. In 2017 and 2018, Ellison averaged 25 catches and 254 yards per season for the Giants, starting 26 of the 30 games he played in.

“The people I met when I was with the Giants made such an impact on me,” Ellison said. “One of the coolest things I got to be a part of was made possible by the Giants and it had nothing to do with playing on the field. The Giants opened up their doors to about 100 homeless people in Newark and created this event off an idea that myself and Jenny (Schumm DePaul) at Project Kind came up with. They just rolled with it without hesitation. It was so cool to see an organization open the doors to their stadium to people in need without any kind of hesitation. When I think back to my time with the Giants and just my football career in general, that was one of the coolest things, if not the coolest thing, that I’ve been a part of. The Giants really valued that and they valued me that way. I would definitely say the people there made this special for me the past three years.

“From talking to former teammates that have retired, their advice is always take it slow. You’re so used to going all out all the time that you just feel like you have to jump back into something, maybe before you’re ready. First and foremost, (my wife and I are) just going to take our time. It’s going to be fun just getting more quality time with my family, with my extended family, and just getting to be at holidays for the first time in probably a decade. Just enjoying my family and friends and reflecting on everything. But the number one thing for us is service. How can we find ways to serve? So, we’re going to take our time figuring that out.

“(I will miss) being a part of the team, being with my teammates, the locker room, the cafeteria, the camaraderie are what I’m going to miss most. I think the process, too, of just the physical preparation. I was kind of weird in that I loved the physical preparation before the season. My favorite time of year was training camp. I was just a little bit off that way. But that’s what I think I will miss the most, my teammates and just the physical preparation. Game days, I don’t know. I’ll know exactly how I feel when Sunday rolls around, but the immediate reaction is I’m going to miss my teammates and I’m going to miss just the physical preparation of the game.”

The only tight ends on the roster currently under contract are Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, Garrett Dickerson, and C.J. Conrad.

“He’s definitely the best teammate I ever had,” Engram said. “Rhett not only helped me with so many things on the field, but helped me off the field, too. I’m going to miss him. He’s definitely going to be a friend of mine for life… He’s like a walking teach tape. You can pull up any play that he’s on and that’s exactly how the play is supposed to be done whether it’s a route, whether it’s a certain blocking technique we have to execute. He’s a really good professional, he’s a really good technician. He’s a perfect example to learn from.”

GIANTS EXERCISE CONTRACT OPTION ON ALEX TANNEY…
The New York Giants have exercised their contract option on quarterback Alex Tanney, meaning that Tanney is now under contract for one more season. If he makes the team, Tanney will earn $950,000 in salary, a $37,500 bonus, and a $25,000 workout bonus.

AARON WELLMAN LEAVES GIANTS FOR INDIANA…
New York Giants Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Wellman has left the team to accept the same position with Indiana University. Wellman had served as the Giants’ strength coach since 2016, under both head coaches Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur.

ARTICLES…

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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed quarterback Alex Tanney and signed running back Javorius “Buck” Allen. To make room for these two, the team waived running backs Jon Hilliman and Austin Walter.

Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed him in May 2018 after he was cut by the Titans. He surprisingly won the team’s back-up quarterback job in 2018.

The 28-year old, 6’0”, 218-pound Allen was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. After four seasons with the Ravens, Allen signed with the Saints in May 2019. The Saints placed him on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury in late July and waived him in August. With the Ravens, Allen played in 54 regular-season games with six starts, carrying the ball 340 times for 1,249 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. He also caught 129 passes for 814 yards and six touchdowns.

The Giants originally signed Hilliman as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The team signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 and promoted him to the 53-man roster later that month. Hilliman played in three regular-season games with the Giants with one start, carrying the ball 30 times for 91 yards and catching three passes for one yard. He also fumbled twice.

The 5’8”, 190-pound Walter was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers cut him in late August 2019 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad. The Giants added him to the 53-man roster before the game on Friday.

FRIDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 35-14 loss to the New England Patriots:

Q: Looking back at the 4th and 2 punt, now that you’ve had a chance to re-watch the film and look at the situation, what was the thought process?

A: Two scores, we had found a way to get them stopped on a few occasions, so I thought we were just going to punt the ball, get them stopped and continue to play. That was the thought at the time.

Q: I know you said that you don’t take anything out of a moral victory, but over the long-term, do you think that the way the team played against the Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions, do you think that is something that you can build on as a positive moving forward?

A: Relative to winning and losing, certainly there are no moral victories. I think playing hard and coaching hard, that’s part of our job description. I think we didn’t make enough plays, we made too many mistakes to win a football game. That’s what I take from it. I’ve never doubted, since we started the year, that these guys would play hard. They did, and we made enough plays early in the game to make it 14-14, and into the third quarter, I guess it was 21-14 for quite a while, but when you get to that point, I think what’s important for us to realize is that we’ve got to start making the plays necessary to win it.

Q: A few of the guys in the locker room afterwards were very adamant about feeling like, despite the end result last night, they felt like you guys were a good team. What do you feel like in terms of when you get your whole compliment of players back, where do you think this puts you guys moving forward?

A: We’re 2-4 and we’re certainly going to welcome anyone back that can get healthy to play against Arizona. Everybody talked about the players that were injured and weren’t able to be with us last night, so yeah, I’m looking forward to getting everybody back. It’s a good thing when you’ve got a lot of healthy scratches when you put your 46-man together, so we’re looking forward to that. I think we’ll get through this weekend, and we’re already started, but put all our effort into beating Arizona.

Q: Can you talk about the defense? At this point last year, I think you had something like six sacks, and you’re well over that total after six games—can you talk about the job the pass rush and that defensive front have done thus far?

A: Well, we’ve made improvements. I think that was a big topic of conversation through training camp, how we were going to create pass rush. I think, if anything, we’ve shown flashes of being a good football team, and then I still think we’re inconsistent in a lot of areas, but we’re starting to create some rush. I knew going into it that Markus Golden had that ability. It was a matter of record that he had been very disruptive the year before his injury, and he’s back and playing really hard. I knew Lorenzo Carter would be better from a year ago. Not to mention the other guys we’ve added, X-Man (Oshane Ximines) and so on. Then, I think at times we’re getting pretty decent push on the inside. We’ve got to do it consistently, but it’s improved.

Q: When you evaluate every throw that your quarterback makes–the good ones, the bad ones, certainly the interceptions—and study and get the reason for them, after you do that, with a guy like Daniel (Jones), do you look at it and say, “I understand that he’s a rookie, he hasn’t seen this before,” or is an interception an interception no matter if a 15-year veteran throws it or a rookie throws it?

A: I think, regardless of whether you’re in your first year in the league or you’ve been doing it for a very long time, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I think it’s fair to say that some of the things that Daniel’s going through, he’s going through for the first time. Part of his charm is he’s willing to try and fit it in there. I think he’s very accurate and he’s got good velocity on his throws, so he’s got confidence to get the ball in there, and he did that last night. Those were not the most ideal conditions to be throwing the ball at times, and I thought he made some really good throws. On the flip side of that, there were some things that happened on the interceptions that need to get corrected. That’s part of it, for all quarterbacks, and it’s a fine line between being aggressive and putting the ball in harm’s way. I think each play and each time he goes through it, he’ll learn something from it.

Q: Any other injuries outside of Olsen Pierre come out of last night’s game?

A: No, nothing of note. Just the general stuff. But no, nothing of note. That’s pretty much the one that we’ll just have to see. He’s in the concussion protocol at this point.

Q: Do you expect Saquon Barkley to return against the Cardinals?

A: We’ll see, we’ll see. He’s made good progress. He was out there running around today, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: On a quick glance, it looked like Dalvin Tomlinson had one of his better games thus far this year. Can you talk about his effort and what you saw from him?

A: Yeah, Dalvin has been pretty steady all year. Pretty consistent in how he’s played. He doesn’t have, maybe as much flash as some of the other guys, but he’s very consistent and does his job extremely well.

Q: How do you harness a young quarterback’s aggressiveness? Or do you feel like you even need to?

A: Harness it? No, I don’t know about that. I think what you try to do is present him with the quick pictures, good clean progressions, and teach him what you want. I think you just try to use his strengths to the best of his ability. I just mentioned it, I think there is a time when there is a fine line between making an aggressive throw and putting the ball in harm’s way. Each interception last night was a little bit different on how it played out. I think that’s part of what’s going to make Dan a really good player. This has been a great month for him in terms of learning how to play in this league. Each week we talk about how the defense we’re playing is better than the one before. Certainly, the last two defenses were top five in the league. Prior to that, we played two teams where we were playing good defenses as well. He learned a great deal from this last month.

Q: Do you think the couple of days off that he’s going to get this weekend to kind of reset and get a breather is going to help him?

A: I don’t know that. I think everybody, we have to keep working through the weekend, but I’m giving everybody a chance. Organically, that’s what happens after the Thursday game, you get a little extra time to get some rest. That’s what I’m going to encourage the players to do.

Q: I just meant because it’s probably been quite a whirlwind for him ever since that day you named him the starter. This is kind of his first chance to look around and catch his breath.

A: Maybe so. That’s probably, when you talk to him, maybe a good question for him. I think for all rookies it’s a little bit of a whirlwind the whole year. I’m sure it won’t be any different for him.

Q: You obviously mentioned the schedule and a little extra time. You go from a short week in which you guys were kind of up against it as a coaching staff to prepare for a game to now, you have a little bit extra time. Do you use that extra time any differently this week? Whether it’s tweaks, looking at things differently – how do you approach the extra time?

A: No. Well, today is like a Monday in our world, and we treated it as such in terms of bringing the players in— I call it settling all debts. We have to make the corrections and move forward. Then, of course, they’ll get the couple of days here. We’ll get an extra day of practice, which will be good, this week. Then we’ll get at it. This is obviously, because of the compressed Thursday night week and then a little bit of length here, the biggest thing is to be able to get the players rested so that we come back and train and are ready to go.

Q: Are you okay with the way Golden Tate handled those last two or three yards before he reached the endzone?

A: That was a heck of a play on his part, and I think sometimes those things play out that way. I’m happy that he got himself in the endzone. That’s what’s most important to me.

Q: With Sterling Shepard moving forward, how concerned are you guys about his long-term health with the two concussions in such a short period of time?

A: Health is always on the front burner for us in terms of short-term and long-term. So, that’s why we are going to proceed like we are and just see where it takes us. He’s a very competitive guy, and sometimes you can’t predict when these types of injuries happen. Listen, we’ve got a lot of really smart people that are going to advise us on when it’s best to put him on the field. When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. Then we’ll try to do everything in our power to make sure he plays safely and has a good, long career.

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

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

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Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 35 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
In a game that was closer than many expected for much of the contest, the New York Giants fell 35-14 to the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants are now 2-4 on the season.

New York’s defense kept the team in the game for most of the contest and also scored. On the other hand, New York’s special teams allowed a touchdown on a blocked punt and the offense turned the ball over four times, one resulting in a defensive score for the Patriots.

New England’s first five offensive possessions resulted in a turnover on downs with nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson stuffing the run on 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1, a punt after a three-and-out, an interception by Janoris Jenkins that he returned 62 yards, and two more punts.

But the Giants had even less success, with their first five possessions ending with three punts, and interception, and a blocked punt for a New England touchdown that gave them a 7-0 advantage late in the 1st quarter. After both teams exchanged punts early in the 2nd quarter, quarterback Daniel Jones threw his second interception, this one returned 27 yards to the New York 20-yard line. Five plays later, running back Brandon Bolden scored from one yard out on 3rd-and-goal to make it 14-0.

The only points generated by the Giants’ offense on the night came on the ensuing drive. After New York had picked up 11 yards on two plays, Jones connected with wide receiver Golden Tate on a 64-yard touchdown pass – the first touchdown pass given up by New England this season. Even better, the Giants tied the game at 14-14 a few plays later when linebacker Lorenzo Carter sacked quarterback Tom Brady, forcing a fumble that linebacker Markus Golden recovered and returned for a 42-yard touchdown.

New England responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive right before halftime that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brady and a 21-14 lead at halftime. This was the only long scoring drive the defense gave up in the first half.

Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. Jones threw his third interception of the game on New York’s first drive of the half, turning the ball over at the New England 18-yard line. A clock-killing, 9-minute, 16-play, 60-yard drive by the Patriots ended with a missed 40-yard field goal. The quarter ended with another punt by Riley Dixon after one Giants’ first down.

The 4th quarter began with the Patriots turning the ball over on downs on a 4th-and-5 incomplete pass. But then disaster struck for the Giants. On 3rd-and-9, running back Jon Hilliman fumbled the ball after a catch. The loose ball was recovered by the Patriots and returned 22 yards for a defensive score, giving New England a two touchdown advantage with just over eight and a half minutes to play.

On the ensuing possession, the Giants faced a 4th-and-2 at their own 33-yard line with just over seven minutes to play. Head Coach Pat Shurmur decided to punt the ball away. Dixon’s punt only traveled 30 yards. And New England then went on to put the game away by driving 63 yards in seven plays, with Brady rushing for his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game.

With the Patriots now up 35-14 with just under four minutes to play, New York could only gain one first down before turning the ball over on downs. The Patriots then ran out the clock.

Minus three of their best offensive players, New York could only gain 10 first downs and 213 total net yards against the NFL’s #1 defense. Jones finished the game 15-of-31 for 161 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Sixty-four of his yards came on his touchdown throw to Tate, who finished the game with six catches for 102 yards. Giants’ backs only gained 52 yards on 16 carries. As stated, the offense turned the ball over four times.

The Giants’ defense allowed 27 first downs and 427 total net yards, but they kept New York in the game, allowing only two long touchdown drives, one of which came late in the contest. Brady was picked off once (by Jenkins) and sacked three times, one leading to a defensive score. Aside from Carter, the other sacks were accrued by linebacker Alec Ogletree (1), linebacker David Mayo (0.5), and linebacker Markus Golden (0.5).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), RB Wayne Gallman (concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), TE Evan Engram (knee), LB Tae Davis (concussion), OT Eric Smith, and OT/OG Chad Slade were inactive.

Defensive lineman Olsen Pierre left the game with a concussion and did not return.

ROSTER MOVES…
Before the game, the New York Giants signed running back Austin Walter from their Practice Squad and terminated the contract of quarterback Alex Tanney.

The 5’8”, 190-pound Walter was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers cut him in late August 2019 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad.

Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed him in May 2018 after he was cut by the Titans. He surprisingly won the team’s back-up quarterback job in 2018.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media by conference call on Friday.