Aug 302021
 
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Billy Price, Cincinnati Bengals (November 15, 2020)

Billy Price – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS TRADE B.J. HILL TO BENGALS FOR BILLY PRICE…
The New York Giants have traded defensive lineman B.J. Hill and a conditional 7th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for center/guard Billy Price.

The 26-year old, 6’4”, 310-pound Price was originally drafted by the Bengals in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Price has played in 42 regular-season games, starting 19. Ten of those starts came at center as a rookie in 2018, when he also missed six games due to a foot injury. Price started eight games in 2019 (seven at left guard and one at right guard). He only started one game (at center) in 2020.

The Giants drafted Hill in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his third NFL season in 2020, Hill continued to see his playing time decline. He played in all 16 games with no starts, playing 34 percent of all defensive snaps (down from 59 percent in 2018 and 44 percent in 2019). Hill was credited with 32 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, three quarterback hits, and one pass defense.

AUGUST 30, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 22-20 loss to the New England Patriots and preparations for the start of the 2021 regular season:

Q: To start with injuries, anything on (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton and (Tight End) Evan Engram, and anybody else of note who came out of that game banged up?

A: A couple nicks and bumps, kind of normal after-game stuff. In terms of Darius, we’ll have to see how he moves around the field this week as far as going forward. The trainers don’t have a ton of information right now, but we should be able to get him out there this week and be able to take a look at him. In terms of Evan, he’s still going to see a doctor, they’re going to look at some things and kind of measure the severity of whatever it may be. Obviously, (we’re) two weeks out. It leaves a little bit of a different window than it normally would be in the preseason track as far as getting ready for the opener, so we’ll have to see where he’s at in terms of how we manage him.

Q: Why didn’t (Defensive Lineman) B.J. Hill play last night?

A: Actually, we’ve talked to B.J. I’m not going to go through all the details of it, but B.J. will be part of a trade. Until the details are final, I’m not going to go into what club or who’s coming back for him, but B.J.’s been informed, we’ve spoken to him. Look, it was a position where – honestly, he’s a guy who has drawn a lot of interest. I have a lot of respect for B.J. as a player. I think he’s a starting defensive lineman in this league. He’s in a unique position in the room he’s in. He’s in the last year of his contract and I think this is an opportunity to improve our team, and also put a player that we have a lot of respect for in a position to go out there and get paid starter money. It’s something that I think works out for both parties very well. We appreciate what B.J. did. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, a lot of respect for him as a player. I wish him the best of luck going forward.

Q: At that position, depth at defensive line, what have you thought of (Defensive Lineman) Raymond Johnson’s (III) summer? It seems like he’s a young player who has shown some things.

A: I think it’s exactly what you just said there, he’s a young player who’s got potential and demonstrates an ability. We thought before he’s shown some stuff in the pass rush. He’s obviously learning how to play the run as a young player, but he’s definitely got some ability. He’s definitely got some potential to develop and he’s a guy that we’ll evaluate over these next couple days in terms of our roster makeup and where he fits. But he’s a guy who’s got some potential to have a career in this league.

Q: I know you’ve had a chance to watch the film. I’m curious what you thought about the offensive line’s performance last night and especially if you’re concerned at all about how (Tackle) Andrew Thomas played as we head into the season.

A: I think there’s a lot of things that factor in together. Like I said last night, it’s never one person’s deal, a lot of things tie in together. It’s all 11 working on execution, so we’ve got to make sure as all 11 we execute. In terms of the offensive line, I saw some things that were very encouraging and obviously things we’ve talked through as a staff that we’ve got to make sure we focus on and really improve these next two weeks going forward to give our team an opportunity. Look, saw a quality front. We’ve seen a lot of looks these last couple weeks from Cleveland and New England. A lot of encouraging things to build on with what these guys have been doing. We’re building for fundamental discipline and consistency across the board with all the players at all positions, but obviously with the offensive linemen, works by operating as a unit going forward and continuing on with the chemistry – whether it’s five, six, seven, eight guys that rotate through those positions and play going forward.

Q: How much does the IR rule changing factor into your decision-making this week? Where basically you can take as many guys as you want off and it’s three weeks and not longer?

A: I’d say that’s a tremendous change compared to years in the past, it really is. The ability to kind of get certain guys back in a few weeks and not only have to declare whether it’s one or two guys coming back. I’d say compared to previous years with the rule change, it’s pretty significant.

Q: Considering the number of guys that have missed time so far and where you are with injuries, the new injury to Evan and all of that, how ready do you feel entering the season?

A: We have two weeks to get ready for Denver. Our focus really is on ourselves and getting polished up and building chemistry and getting going. This time of year, there’s obviously a lot of roster movement on our roster and others, guys being added, guys being (let go). Things of that nature always happen. We’ve just got to get the guys who are available ready to play. In terms of that, one thing to focus on going into the season is you’re never a finished product Week 1. You need to understand that, keep building, keep improving week to week from how you operate in September to keep improving as a team and build towards those long stretches of the season. Look, we’re going to coach whoever is available and it’s our job to have the entire team ready and the entire team progressing, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.

Q: The youth movement on the offensive line, we’ve discussed that this summer. It is fairly unusual to have five guys 25 or younger. What do you see in that? You obviously signed off on this plan. Would you say it’s kind of a risky plan to have so many young guys with not a lot of fallback options?

A: Look, we’re trying to build the depth on the offensive line across the board and that’s done by coaching everyone every day. In terms of the youth movement, we’ve got a lot of guys – you talk about (Offensive Lineman) Ted Larsen, (Offensive Lineman) Jonotthan Harrison, some of these guys, (Tackle) Nate Solder, they’re older guys. So, in terms of it being a completely young line, everyone’s gaining experience every day and all learning from each other all the time. I couldn’t say whether or not it’s unusual or not throughout the league. I think everyone’s at a different position, the programs and organizations. Everyone’s at a different point of development, so I can’t really worry about comparing our program to somebody else’s. We’re going to coach who we have available.

Q: It sounds like you’re getting (Bengals Offensive Lineman) Billy Price in that trade. What can you tell us about him?

A: Until something’s finalized – things are leaking out already – until something’s finalized, I’m not going to comment on any players, but I have no problem having a full conversation later on when things are finalized.

Q: With all these injured guys trying to get back for Week 1, how much does having your first two games within a five-day span play into that? Are you sort of looking at those as a package, like being ready for one and two, or one or two? How do you approach that?

A: There’s definitely some consideration that we’ve talked about leading up to it. I think being two weeks out, we’ve got to get a better look on where a lot of these guys are. I wouldn’t say being only four days apart from game one and game two eliminates anybody at this point, nor does it lock anybody in at this point either. After game one, there’s going to be some bumps there, as well. That’s just the nature of football. You’ve got to keep on building your depth and use all the rules you have available to you to make sure your roster stays as fluid as possible.

Q: Andrew Thomas said last night that you have been harping on the importance of a fast start. Obviously, you guys didn’t have one last year. Before you got here, they were few and far between over the last decade. What is the importance for you guys of starting fast here this season?

A: I’d say the emphasis on starting fast with me is really through all elements of our program, so that’s about starting the day fast, coming to games prepared, it’s starting practice fast by being physically ready to take the field, being prepared for the install that we’ve worked on, starting the period fast by executing on the first play, starting scrimmages or games fast by executing early on. To me, there’s an element of just being prepared and executing, and starting fast has to be a theme in everything we do. I wouldn’t single that out to any one specific thing. To me, starting fast is just a mentality and an attitude about how you approach things. Showing up prepared and ready to go and then executing when your number is called.

Q: The other thing is on (Quarterback) Daniel Jones. Apparently, the stat is that his average target last night was only 5.9 yards. Was that because the offensive line wasn’t giving him time? Is that Daniel making decisions to check down? Was that (Offensive Coordinator) Jason’s (Garrett) play calling? Because (Quarterback) Mike Glennon’s was more like 15 (yards).

A: No, a lot of that stuff just happens within the flow of the game. We talked last night about how we’ve got to finish drives. We went out there with two 11-play drives, so we were able to move the ball, sustain possession, keep their offense off the field and we’ve got to finish drives. We want to make sure we continue on third down and obviously finish in the red area, but those are big parts of just the flow of the game. There’s an important part of being a productive quarterback, of you take what the defense presents to you. You make sure you take the profit, you’re productive, you keep the ball moving and just production as an offense. At different times, you may have an opportunity to push it down the field and others you’ve got to go ahead and get the ball in the hands of playmakers. I’m never concerned about having short passes. I think there are some guys who take the ball in their hands and extend plays with their legs, and that’s part of it. A lot of play calls are geared towards getting guys into space to make some plays and we’ve got to make plays when they’re afforded to us.

Q: After watching the film of that game, what did you think of Andrew Thomas’s performance?

A: I think across the entire offensive line, these guys did a lot of things that were positive and (there were) a lot of things to clean up. Playing together on the field for the first time really since the Jets game early on, (it was) good to go out there and get some chemistry. There were a lot of things that happened throughout the week against New England last week in practice, things that showed up in the game last night that were positives, that were learning experiences and then some other things that obviously we’ve got to narrow down and focus on these next weeks of saying this is something that we’ve got to fix and clean up across the board. I saw positive things from a lot of the young guys, Andrew, (Tackle) Matt (Peart), getting those guys in there and doing some good things. Obviously there’s some things too that we showed, and really have some good teaching tape. The importance is really taking whatever’s on tape, positive or negative, and make sure we build on the positive and eliminate the negative things going forward. We know that Denver and Washington and Atlanta are all watching the same tape we are right now, so we’ve got to make sure we’re sharp and we’re efficient in correcting it.

Jan 292021
 
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Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

Except for two outliers seasons (2013 and 1016), the New York Giants have struggled on defense for the past decade. The challenge for the team through four head coaches (Tom Coughlin, Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur, Joe Judge) and four defensive coordinators (Perry Fewell, Steve Spagnuolo, James Bettcher, Patrick Graham) has simply to move New York out of the bottom tier of the NFL on defense:

  • 2011: 27th
  • 2012: 31st
  • 2013: 8th
  • 2014: 29th
  • 2015: 32nd
  • 2016: 10th
  • 2017: 31st
  • 2018: 24th
  • 2019: 25th

With the fourth new regime coming in six years and serious personnel issues in the defensive back seven, it seemed unlikely the Giants would be able to improve their defensive team ranking in 2020. There was also viable media and fan concern about new Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham. In his first season as defensive coordinator in Miami in 2019, the Dolphins had finished 31st on defense. Miami Head Coach Brian Flores had also let Graham out of his contract to join Judge in New York, which seemed like a curious move.

To the credit of the entire coaching staff, the New York Giants finished the year 12th in yards allowed an 9th in points allowed. This was a major accomplishment for a team with no dangerous edge rushers or starting-caliber cornerback opposite of James Bradberry. While the two major free agent additions (Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez) were the two best players on the defense, the best overall unit was the defensive line.

The line benefitted from the coaching of Sean Spencer, the highly-regarded defensive line coach who Joe Judge lured away from Penn State. But it’s also important to note that Graham himself was a defensive line coach with the Patriots (2012-2013) and Giants (2016-2017).

Graham had his defense run out of multiple fronts, but the bread-and-butter was still a 3-4 system that remarkably employed only five defensive lineman all season. The sixth man (R.J. McIntosh) spent the whole year inactive. As a whole, the Giants were big, strong, powerful group that was tough to move off of the line of scrimmage. They were generally better against the run (10th in the NFL) than rushing the passer (21 of the team’s 40 sacks).

Ironically, the headliner ended up being the team’s most controversial defensive acquisition in years. Leonard Williams had a career year, accruing over one-fourth of the team’s sacks (11.5) and regularly being a disruptive presences as indicated by his team-high quarterback hits (30) and tackles for loss (14). He was also tied for fifth in combined tackles with 57.

The other two year-long starters were second-year defensive end Dexter Lawrence and third-year nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. While Williams received 74 percent of all defensive snaps, Lawrence and Tomlinson each saw 60 percent of all defensive snaps. These two finished with almost 100 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, and 14 tackles for losses. Williams, Lawrence, and Tomlinson represented almost 1,000 pounds of beef up front, making life easier for the linebackers.

It’s also important to note the yeoman’s work of the only two reserves who saw action all year: B.J. Hill (34 percent of all defensive snaps) and Austin Johnson (21 percent of all defensive snaps). Both have started in this league, yet they accepted their back-up roles without complaint.

Looking past 2020, the offseason challenge for the Giants will be the retention of free agents Williams and Tomlinson.

THE STARTERS

In his sixth NFL season, Leonard Williams had his best season as a pro in 2020. Williams played in all 16 games with 12 starts (74 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Giants acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019. Williams is a stout, strong, physical run defender. While he lacks classic quick-twitch outside pass-rush skills, Williams can pressure the passer due to his combination of power and overall athleticism. He has the ability to line up inside or outside to create match-up problems.

In his second season with the Giants in 2020, Dexter Lawrence played in all 16 games with 15 starts (60 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with 53 tackles, six tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and two pass defenses. The Giants drafted Lawrence in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. Built like a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle with excellent size and strength, the Giants play him more at defensive end. His size and power often force other teams to double-team him. While Lawrence can generate a power rush, he lacks dynamic pass rush moves to consistently reach the quarterback.

For the second year in a row, Dalvin Tomlinson served as the team’s primary nose tackle. He started all 16 games, playing 60 percent of all defensive snaps, and was credited with 49 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and four pass defenses. The Giants drafted Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Tomlinson has started all 64 games since he was drafted and has played both 3- and 1-technique roles with the Giants. Tomlinson is a big, strong, physical defender who flashes the ability to disrupt plays in the backfield.

THE RESERVES

In his third NFL season, B.J. Hill continued to see his playing time decline. He played in all 16 games with no starts, playing 34 percent of all defensive snaps (down from 59 percent in 2018 and 44 percent in 2019). Hill was credited with 32 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, three quarterback hits, and one pass defense. The Giants drafted Hill in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Hill has a nice combination of size and athleticism. He is a better run defender than pass rusher.

The Giants signed Austin Johnson as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans in March 2020. He played in all 16 games, with no starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps), and was credited with 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, one quarterback hit, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. The 6’4”, 314-pound Johnson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Titans. In four seasons in Tennessee, Johnson played in 58 regular-season games with 13 starts, compiling 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and five pass defenses. Johnson is a big, strong run defender who never lived up to expectations in Tennessee.

In his third year with the Giants in 2020, R.J. McIntosh spent the entire season on the inactive list. The Giants selected McIntosh in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. After missing most of his rookie season with unpublicized medical condition, McIntosh played in 12 games as a reserve in 2019, playing 10 percent of all defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 13 tackles and two sacks. McIntosh combines good size and overall athleticism.

PRACTICE SQUAD

The Giants signed David Moa to the Practice Squad in early October 2020. The 6’3”, 296-pound Moa was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Vikings waived him in early September and he then spent a week on the Practice Squad on the Atlanta Falcons.

Jan 222021
 
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Dave DeGuglielmo, Indianapolis Colts (August 9, 2018)

Dave DeGuglielmo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SEARCHING FOR NEW OFFENSIVE LINE COACH…
The New York Post is reporting that the New York Giants are searching for a new offensive line coach. The team fired Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo in mid-November and replaced him with Dave DeGuglielmo for the final eight games of the season. DeGuglielmo’s contract expired earlier this month. The Athletic is reporting that the Giants wanted DeGuglielmo to return, but the two sides could not reach an agreement on a new deal. That could still happen according to The Post, but for now, the Giants are searching for other options.

GIANTS SIGN THREE MORE TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have signed defensive end Breeland Speaks to reserve/future contract. The 25-year old, 6’3”, 285-pound Speaks was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. As a rookie in 2018, Speaks played in all 16 regular-season games, with four starts, and was credited with 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He missed all of 2019 with a knee injury and was cut by the Chiefs in early September 2020. Speaks then spent time on the Practice Squads of the Las Vegas Raiders and Dallas Cowboys.

FOUR GIANTS RECEIVE SALARY INCREASE…
Due to the Proven Performance Escalator (PPE) in the the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the following four Giants will receive additional compensation that will count against the team’s 2021 salary cap. PPE is is based on how much playing time a drafted player earns through their first three seasons of their rookie contract. If a player meets the threshold based on where they were drafted, the player will receive a salary increase in their fourth year.

  • OG Will Hernandez: Salary increase from $1,496,010 to $2,183,000 ($686,990 increase)
  • DE B.J. Hill: Salary increase from $1,025,329 to $2,183,000 ($1,157,671 increase)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter: Salary increase from $1,036,839 to $2,183,000 ($1,146,161 increase)
  • CB Isaac Yiadom: Salary increase from $750,000 to $2,183,000 ($1,433,000 increase)

ARTICLES…

Jun 012020
 
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B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson – © 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: Defensive Line

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: As expected, the defensive line was the strongest unit on the New York defense in 2019. However, that was small consolation on a defense that finished 25th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed. Once again, the Giants fielded one the League’s worst defenses. This has been a decade-long trend and probably the biggest reason why the team has become a doormat in recent years.

Quality run and pass defense relies on all three levels of the defense playing well together. So it is always unwise to judge each separate unit in a vacuum. Linebackers and defensive backs need to be in the right position and make the tackle in run defense. A good pass rush also depends on linebackers and defensive backs being able to cover backs, tight ends, and receivers. Long story short, the Giants defensive line did not receive much help from the back seven. This was exacerbated by a 3-4 scheme that puts the onus on the linebackers to be play-makers. The players also never seemed to fully embrace Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher’s system.

The Giants entered 2019 with what on paper looked to be a strong starting unit of RDE Dexter Lawrence (2019 1st-round pick), NT Dalvin Tomlinson (2017 2nd-round pick), and LDE B.J. Hill (2018 3rd-round picks). However, depth was very thin with only DE R.J. McIntosh (2018 5th-round pick) and Olsen Pierre (2019 free agent) in reserve. Oddly, two days after the Giants fell to 2-6, General Manager Dave Gettleman traded away two draft picks for soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent Leonard Williams, who had failed to live up to expectations with the Jets. A half-season rental was the type of move a team in the middle of a playoff fight would only be expected to make, not a team clearly needing every draft pick it could keep or acquire. Williams would soon take many of B.J. Hill’s snaps and Pierre Olsen was let go.

Overall, the Giants finished a disappointing 20th in run defense (allowing 113 yards per game) and 28th in pass defense (allowing 264 yards per game). The Giants generated only 36 sacks with only 11.5 coming from the defensive line. That said, Dexter Lawrence (38 tackles, 2.5 sacks) had a promising first season, being named to the All-Rookie Team. Dalvin Tomliinson (49 tackles, 3.5 sacks) became a more disruptive player as the season progressed. Leonard Williams (26 tackles, 0.5 sacks) started five of his eight games with the Giants. As advertised, he was a good run defender who only teased as a pass rusher. More was expected from B.J. Hill (36 tackles, 1 sack), who saw his playing time, tackles, and sacks fall from his promising 2018 rookie season. R.J. McIntosh only played in 10 percent of defensive snaps and finished with only 13 tackles, but did have two sacks in limited opportunities. 2019 7th-round Chris Slayton spent most of the year on the Practice Squad.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: This unit saw the least change during the offseason. Other than Olsen Pierre, who was waived last November, everyone returns. Gettleman doubled down on Leonard Williams, slapping a 1-year, $16 million Franchise Tag on him. The only newcomers are Austin Johnson (unrestricted free agent from Tennessee Titans) and Niko Lalos (undrafted rookie free agent).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The new coaching staff is being very coy about the new defense, vaguely repeating that it will be “multiple.” When asked if the Giants will be a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, new Defensive Patrick Graham responds, “yes.” But even a cursory look at the depth chart strongly suggests that the Giants will remain a  predominately 3-4 base as the team currently has nine defensive linemen and 17 linebackers. Nevertheless, expect Graham to constantly change fronts based on opponent, game plan, and down-and-distance.

Personally, I will be curious to see if Dexter Lawrence stays at end or plays more at nose tackle. He has the ability to develop into a truly imposing force in the League. Can Dalvin Tomlinson build upon his strong second half of the 2019 season? Can B.J. Hill return to his more disruptive play as a rookie in 2018? Most importantly, is Leonard Williams worth the the two draft picks and $16 million?

As part of an integrated defense, this unit will ultimately be judged on whether the team can dramatically improve its run defense and pass rush.

ON THE BUBBLE: For a team entering training camp with a 90-man roster, this team remains awfully thin on the line with only nine players. Assuming Niko Lalos spends him time with the defensive line (they gave him a DL jersey number), he clearly is on the bubble. Austin Johnson and Chris Slayton could also be fighting for one roster spot. Barring injury, everyone else should make the team.

PREDICTIONS: Patrick Graham is a relatively unknown commodity. The 41-year old coach has only served as defensive coordinator for one season at any level, that being his 30th-ranked defense with the talent-deficient Dolphins in 2019. Miami also oddly let him out of his contract to join the Giants. One gets the sense that the defensive line will thrive or fail depending on Graham’s overall effectiveness as a coordinator and whether or not the back seven can improve its play. There is talent on the defensive line, but the coaches, linebackers, and defensive backs need to step it up. Keep in mind that Graham served as defensive line coach with the Patriots (2012-2013) and Giants (2016-2017).

It will also be interesting to see how the players respond to new Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer, aka “Coach Chaos.” Spencer has never coached at the NFL level but his relentless coaching style is vastly different from his predecessor with the Giants who was very low key (at least publicly). In addition, Outside Linebacker Coach/Senior Assistant Bret Bielema was the defensive line coach with the Patriots in 2019.

Do not expect any of the Giants’ current defensive linemen to become double-digit sack masters. None of them have that type of dynamic skill set. These are big, powerful linemen who can hold the point-of-attack, disrupt, and potentially control the line of scrimmage. But the best you can probably expect from each is 5-6 sacks in a season.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, R.J. McIntosh, Austin Johnson

Johnson was an under-the-radar singing who really could help the depth situation. Can Chris Slayton show enough to stick?

Aug 252019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 25, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their nineteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The remaining training camp practices are no longer open to the public.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Rod Smith (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), and safety Kenny Ladler (unknown) did not practice on Sunday.

Cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) participated in individual drills. “He was out there today for the first time,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur of Beal. “He’s closer. We’ll just have to see where he’s at as we move forward.”

Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion) and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa (unknown) wore a non-contact yellow jerseys and were limited.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Deandre Baker returned to practice and split time with Corey Ballentine at cornerback with the starting defense.
  • During the blitz period, QB Eli Manning was 5-of-6 with a sack; QB Daniel Jones was 4-of-6.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta made a nice throw on a slant to WR Reggie White, Jr. for a good gain.
  • QB Alex Tanney hit WR T.J. Jones deep over the middle for a touchdown.
  • Overall, the defense performed much better than the offense, the latter being a bit sloppy by multiple accounts.
  • S Jabrill Peppers was active, with a “sack” and a couple of tackles for a loss.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins dropped an interception when WR Sterling Shepard slipped. Jenkins later committed a pass interference penalty on WR Bennie Fowler, who beat him deep.
  • Returning punts were wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Brittan Golden, and T.J. Jones.
  • PK Aldrick Rosas was 5-of-6 on field goal attempts.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 272019
 
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Golden Tate, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Golden Tate – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 27, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third full-team summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

GOLDEN TATE FACING 4-GAME SUSPENSION…
It was revealed on Saturday that New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate is appealing a 4-game suspension for violating the NFL’s Performance Enhancing (PED) Substance policy. His appeal is currently scheduled to be heard during the first week of August. If Tate loses the appeal, he will miss the first four games of the regular-season. He will be able to continue to practice with the team this summer and play in the preseason.

Tate issued the following statement on Saturday:

       This past April, during the off-season, my wife and I decided to see a specialist for fertility planning. I started the treatment prescribed to me and just days later I discovered it contained an ingredient that is on the league’s banned substance list. I immediately discontinued use, I reported the situation to the Independent Administrator of the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, and I spoke with my coaches and general manager. I did all of this well before a failed test was even confirmed.

Per NFL protocol, an initial suspension was imminent, but myself and the Giants organization are confident in the fact, and eagerly await my appeal to put this behind us.

During the entirety of my 10 year career I have taken great pride in playing this game the right way, have been an ambassador for the NFL and have never had any issues with the league’s policy. The treatment this past April had no effect on the upcoming season, and I did not, and could not have undergone this treatment in April for any competitive advantage. I deeply appreciate the support from the New York Giants Organization, and will continue to hold the highest level of character and integrity, while being a leader in the locker room.

In respect to the team and my teammates I won’t be speaking on this again until after the appeal. I’m focusing on football, and will not let this be a distraction.

“I think he’s going to have an appeal,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur before practice on Saturday. “I think he released a statement, so I really have nothing to add to that. We’ll just see what happens with it… When this situation arose, he’s been very honest with us.”

GIANTS SIGN AMBA ETTA-TAWO AND T.J. JONES…
The New York Giants have signed wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and T.J. Jones. To make room on the roster, the team placed wide receiver Corey Coleman on Injured Reserve and cut place kicker Joey Slye.

The 6’1”, 208-pound Etta-Tawo was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time on the Practice Squads of the Jaguars (2017), Kansas City Chiefs (2017), Giants (2017-2018), and Houston Texans (2018). Etta-Tawo also played for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football in 2019.

The 6’0”, 190-pound Jones was originally drafted in the 6th-round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In four seasons with the Lions, Jones played in 42 regular-season games with nine starts, catching 64 passes for 814 yards and four touchdowns. Jones also has experience returning both kickoffs and punts.

Coleman tore an ACL in one of his knees on Thursday. Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. An explosive athlete but an injury-plagued bust in Cleveland, Coleman has also had brief stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots in 2018. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in eight games with one start, finishing with five catches for 71 yards. Coleman’s primary contribution came on special teams as as kickoff returner (averaging 26 yards on 23 returns).

The Giants signed and waived Slye in May 2019, and then re-signed him in July 2019. Slye graduated from Virginia Tech and did not play pro football in 2018. As a senior, he converted on 15-of-22 field goal attempts (68 percent) and 37-of-37 extra point attempts.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receivers Darius Slayton (hamstring), Brittan Golden (groin), and Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown) did not practice on Saturday. Cornerbacks Sam Beal (groin) and Henre’ Toliver (unknown) also did not practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (fractured thumb) was limited to individual drills in practice, not catching any passes. “Hopefully in a couple weeks I get out of this deal (splint) and I will be able to catch the ball,” said Shepard on Saturday.

Linebacker Mark McLaurin (foot stepped on) left practice early.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team wide receivers were Golden Tate, Cody Latimer, and Bennie Fowler.
  • Julian Love saw reps at second-team safety along with Michael Thomas. Julian Peppers and Antoine Bethea remained the first-team safeties.
  • RB Rod Smith cut back against the second-team defense for a decent gain.
  • DL Jake Ceresna broke through the third-string line to “sack” the quarterback.
  • WR Da’Mari Scott turned around CB Corey Ballentine for a deep catch over the middle on a pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • DB Julian Love punched the ball out of TE Scott Simonson’s hands for a fumble that LB Kareem Martin recovered. Love then broke up a QB Daniel Jones to WR Russell Shepard.
  • George Asafo-Adjei received first-team reps at right tackle.
  • S Jabrill Peppers had a “sack” and tackle for a loss against RB Wayne Gallman.
  • CB Corey Ballentine picked off QB Kyle Lauletta on an obvious miscommunication between quarterback and receiver. Ballentine returned the interception for a touchdown.
  • Spencer Pulley received some first-team reps at center.
  • CB Grant Haley broke up a low pass from QB Eli Manning. Haley had a good day, playing both in the slot and outside.
  • In the red zone, S Antoine Bethea made a nice break-up on a pass from QB Eli Manning to RB Wayne Gallman.
  • LB Nate Stupar made a diving break-up of a QB Daniel Jones pass intended for RB Paul Perkins.
  • QB Daniel Jones was 8-of-13 with an impressive deep sideline throw to WR Alonzo Russell (Russell couldn’t get his second foot in-bounds). Jones has not thrown an interception at camp thus far. Jones also threw two touchdowns in the red zone, including one to TE Garrett Dickerson.
  • QB Eli Manning had a strong practice and connected a number of times with WR Golden Tate and WR Cody Latimer. Manning finished 10-of-14 with two touchdowns, including one to TE Evan Engram and another to Tate.
  • QB Kyle Lauletta threw two red zone touchdowns, one to TE C.J. Conrad and another to WR Russell Shepard.
  • DLs R.J. McIntosh and Dexter Lawrence were active.
  • LB Oshane Ximines received some first-team snaps.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Saturday 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:

Jul 012019
 
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B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: After a quarter of a century of playing the 4-3 defense, the New York Giants shifted back to a 3-4 defense in 2018 under new Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher. While not the old 2-gap defense of the 1980s, the new defense did place more of the pass-rush onus on the outside linebackers than defensive ends. It was anticipated that the big, strong, tackle-like trio of nose tackle Damon Harrison and ends Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill would dominate the line of scrimmage. While the defensive line was arguably the strongest unit on a disappointing defense, much more was expected. Former All-Pro Harrison was surprisingly traded away in late October after a dreadful 1-6 start. The Giants publicly claimed this was done to move Tomlinson and Hill to more natural positions, but there was also speculation, fueled by senior official comments of bad team chemistry, that the Giants considered Harrison a locker room cancer.

Tomlinson began the year playing the 3-technique position (9 starts) before being moved to the 1-technique spot (7 starts) after Harrison was traded. He finished the season with 59 tackles and no sacks. The rookie Hill played in all 16 regular-season games with 12 starts, finishing the season with 48 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two pass defenses. Hill was shifted from the five-technique position to the three-technique after the team traded away Harrison. Others to receive significant playing time included Josh Mauro, Kerry Wynn, and Mario Edwards. 5th-rounder R.J. McIntosh missed most of the season with an undisclosed medical condition.

In the end, the numbers were not good. Team defense “improved” from 31st in 2017 to 24th in 2018. The Giants were 20th in run defense in 2018, allowing over 118 yards per game and 4.3 yards per rush, which were very similar to their 2017 numbers. Of course, much of the blame for this disappointing result must also rest with the linebackers and defensive backs, who were often out of position and missed too many tackles. Pathetically, the defensive line was only credited with 10 sacks.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants did not show much interest in re-signing any of their free agent defensive ends and Josh Mauro (Raiders), Kerry Wynn (Bengals), and Mario Edwards (Saints) all left in free agency. The Giants did re-sign nose tackle John Jenkins, who hardly played in 2018.

The Giants signed Olsen Pierre from the Cardinals, Jake Ceresna from the CFL, and street free agent Alex Jenkins. The team drafted Dexter Lawrence in the 1st round and Chris Slayton in the 7th round. Rookie free agent Freedom Akinmoladun was signed after the draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The New York Giants have invested significant draft resources to rebuild their defensive line, including 2019 1st-round pick Dexter Lawrence, 2017 2nd-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson, and 2018 3rd-round pick B.J. Hill. These three are expected to form the strength of the team’s defense, stuffing the run, generating some interior pass rush, and enabling quicker defenders to get after the quarterback. It’s not exactly clear who will play where, and even the coaches have suggested it will change from game-to-game. It’s fair to say that more has been expected of Tomlinson and it will be important for him to step it up this year. Hill is coming off of a solid rookie season and it will be interesting to see if he can build upon his 5.5 sack rookie performance. The 340-pound Lawrence could develop into a Haloti Ngata-like difference-maker. The book on him is that he is strictly a run defender, but there are those who insist he is more than that.

Entering camp, the Giants are a bit thin at the position with just 10 players. It was a bit surprising that the Giants let all of their reserve ends walk in free agency. Because of that, there is pressure on R.J. McIntosh to develop quickly in what will essentially be his rookie season. Olsen Pierre could also have a bigger role than many fans anticipate. Other than the starters, the only nose-tackle-type linemen on the roster are rookie Chris Slayton and journeyman John Jenkins, who was virtually ignored in free agency, only re-signing in May.

ON THE BUBBLE: There are only 10 defensive lineman on the roster. The Giants will carry at least six. The obvious players on the bubble are Jake Ceresna, Alex Jenkins, Freedom Akinmoladun, and John Jenkins.

FROM THE COACHES: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the defensive line this Spring: “There is no contact, so it is really hard to fully evaluate both lines until we start banging around a little bit. We like the way they are moving around. There are some youthful guys that are in there and doing a good job. They are picking up the system really well. We are pleased with what we are seeing.”

Shurmur on R.J. McIntosh: “He is caught up. He is doing well. With defensive linemen, we will see more once we can get in more hitting situations. He is moving around well and has gotten much stronger since he has gotten here. He fits well in the defense and looks like he is getting himself right for training camp.”

Shurmur on Dexter Lawrence: “I think he gets it… The first thing that jumps out about Dexter is he’s a pretty big man. He’s got a feel for things. He’s a guy that can play the run and rush the passer. We’re looking forward to getting him going. When you pick a guy from Clemson, and he’s played on the biggest stage there is in college football. The other thing that struck me is this isn’t going to be too big for him.”

Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on the defensive line: “They are working extremely hard and doing everything they are asked to do. Very aware of things they need to improve on.”

Bettcher on the players being more interchangeable up front: “I think you have to be the way the league is now. I think there is enough motions, adjustments and offensive guys are good enough now. For the most part, they are not going to let a nose just sit there and play nose the whole game. They are going to make him slide and extend the play on guards and edges of guards. They are going to motion and do enough to have to be interchangeable enough to defend what we see from an offensive standpoint. Number two, I think they all have enough position flex to do that. We want guys to have the flexibility to play up and down the line. A really good NFL defensive line room has a great rotation. The four, five and six hole spots, whoever those guys are, gaining reps, 15 snaps, 12 snaps, 20 snaps depending on the game, those are important snaps just like the other snaps… It will be competing each week to see who gets the most snaps, who will be the starter in different packages. I love that part about it.”

Bettcher on Dexter Lawrence: “One of the biggest humans that I have ever seen, moves as quick as he can move. A 330-pound guy that is going to come in and compete, help us be the type of run defense that we want to be. Also, don’t forget the guy ran about five flat at 345 pounds. That does not happen very often. A lot of people got to see him move at rookie mini-camp. We are excited to have him.”

Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel on Dexter Lawrence: “We think Dexter will develop into a three down player… His ability to stop the run excites everybody. For a guy that size to move as well as he does, you have to get excited about that.”

Emanuel on Chris Slayton: “Chris is a great young man and we think Chris has a great upside… He’s an inside guy who brings some versatility. He can play the nose position, he can play the 3-technique and he’s an interior defensive line player. I don’t think we’ll see him much on the edge but he has a great capacity to improve out there in the interior.”

PREDICTIONS: On paper, this should be a really good group. They are young, big, strong, and athletic for their size. They look like what you want a 3-4 defensive line to look like. But the proof is in the pudding and the team needs to improve what has been a subpar run defense. When Lawrence was drafted, I thought he would immediately be the starting nose tackle, but he appears to have spent perhaps even more time starting at end this Spring. That would suggest that the coaches are truly impressed with his movement skills for a big man. If he can push the pocket on a consistent basis, and if B.J. Hill continues to evolve as a pass rusher, this unit could surprise attacking the quarterback. Two wild cards are Dalvin Tomlinson and R.J. McIntosh. Tomlinson should be making more impact plays; he is capable of breaking out. Fans saw very little of McIntosh last year. He’s built more like a pass rusher than the starting three and could become an important role player. Don’t be surprised to see Olsen Pierre get significant playing time as a reserve.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, R.J. McIntosh, Olsen Pierre, and Chris Slayton.

Feb 222019
 
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B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

After 24 years of playing in the 4-3 defense, the New York Giants shifted back to a 3-4 defense that emphasized the pass rush coming from the outside linebackers rather than the defensive ends. It was anticipated that the big, strong, tackle-like trio of nose tackle Damon Harrison and ends Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill would dominate the line of scrimmage. While the defensive line was arguably the strongest unit on a disappointing defense, more was expected. Harrison was surprisingly traded away in late October after a dreadful 1-6 start. The Giants publicly claimed this was done to move Tomlinson and Hill to more natural positions, but there was also speculation, fueled by senior official comments of bad team chemistry, that the Giants considered Harrison a locker room cancer.

Team defense “improved” from 31st in 2017 to 24th in 2018. The Giants were 20th in run defense in 2018, allowing over 118 yards per game and 4.3 yards per rush, which were very similar to their 2017 numbers. Of course, much of the blame for this disappointing result must also rest with the linebackers and defensive backs, who were often out of position and missed too many tackles.

In January, Dave Gettleman chalked up 2018 as a valuable learning experience for the young linemen.

When we traded Snacks, part of the issue when Snacks was here was he played the one (technique), we had Dalvin playing the three (technique), and B.J. playing the five technique. Well, Dalvin’s a one technique and B.J.’s a three, so I’m very pleased with the change… B.J. came a long way. Pass rush is critical, as I’ve stated it a million times as we all know. B.J. had, I think, five and a half sacks, so he made some progress inside. Dalvin did what he does at the one, so for us, it worked out and those young guys are getting snaps. That’s the only way they’re going to get better. There’s a theory out there that young guys, once they get to 5,000 snaps, that’s when they’re really ready to rock and roll and that includes practice and game snaps and all that. I don’t know if I subscribe to it, but I’m just throwing it out there.

Overall, the run defense was not as good as expected. And while there were flashes here and there, particularly from Hill, there were no consistent pass rushers in this group.

THE NEW BUILDING BLOCKS

Dalvin Tomlinson began the year playing the 3-technique position (9 starts) in the team’s 3-4 scheme before being moved to the 1-technique spot (7 starts) after nose tackle Damon Harrison was traded. He finished the season with 59 tackles and no sacks. The Giants drafted Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Tomlinson started every game as a rookie and finished the season with 50 tackles and one sack. Tomlinson is an average-sized tackle who is very strong and tough. He is a good run defender who flashes the ability to disrupt plays in the backfield, but to-date, he has not proven to be much of a pass rusher (only one sack in two seasons).

The Giants drafted B.J. Hill in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He played in all 16 regular-season games with 12 starts, finishing the season with 48 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two pass defenses. Though listed as a 3-4 defensive end, the 6’3”, 303-pound Hill was shifted from the five-technique position to the three-technique after the team traded away nose tackle Damon Harrison. Hill has good quickness for his size, plays with leverage, and flashes the ability to disrupt. He needs to become a more consistent run defender.

SOLID ROTATIONAL PLAYERS

The Giants signed Josh Mauro as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2018 after he was cut by the Cardinals. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 NFL season by the NFL for the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Mauro played in the 12 remaining games, with four starts, finishing with 28 tackles and one sack. The 6’6”, 290-pound, English-born Mauro was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2014 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but was signed by the Cardinals after he was cut. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Mauro played in 47 regular-season games with 26 starts. Mauro is a hard-working run player who does not get much heat on the quarterback (only three career sacks).

In his fifth season with the Giants, Kerry Wynn started five of the 14 games that he played in, finishing with 39 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 pass defenses, and 2 forced fumbles. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 63 regular-season games, with 15 starts. Wynn has a nice combination of size, strength, and overall athletic ability. Wynn is a better run defender than pass rusher as he lacks dynamic quickness on the outside pass rush (just 4.5 career sacks). He is able to play defensive tackle in pass-rush situations. Wynn flashed more in 2018 than he has in previous regular seasons.

The Giants claimed Mario Edwards off of waivers from the Oakland Raiders in September 2018. He served as a primary back-up, playing in 15 games with no starts, and finishing the year with 14 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. The 6’3”, 280-pound Edwards was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Raiders. He missed most of 2016 with a hip injury. In three years with the Raiders, Edwards played in 30 regular-season games with 24 starts. While a disappointment in Oakland, Edwards is a good athlete who flashes against both the run and the pass.

The Giants selected R.J. McIntosh in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. However, an unpublicized medical condition prevented him from practicing with the team all summer and the Giants placed him on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness List in September 2018. He was activated to the 53-man roster in early November and ended up playing in six games with no starts, accruing just five tackles. McIntosh combines good size and overall athleticism.

YET TO MAKE A MARK

The Giants signed John Jenkins in September 2018 after he was cut by the Chicago Bears. He was active for seven games, but was not credited with any tackles. The 6’3”, 327-pound Jenkins was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He has spent time with the Saints (2013-2016), Seattle Seahawks (2016), and Bears (2017-2018). From 2013 to 2015, Jenkins played in 42 regular-season games with 21 starts. However, in 2016 and 2017, Jenkins played in just 17 regular-season games with two starts. He was inactive for eight games in 2017. With only 1.5 career sacks, Jenkins is strictly a run-defending nose tackle-type.

The Giants signed Myles Humphrey to the Practice Squad in October 2018. Listed as a defensive end, the 6’3”, 238-pound Humphrey originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent most of September on the Ravens’ Practice Squad.

Kristjan Sokoli was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2018 after tearing an ACL in one of his knees in the preseason opener. The Giants Sokoli signed to the Practice Squad in late December 2017. Sokoli was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The 6’5”, 300-pound Sokoli has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Albanian-born player has played both on the offensive and defensive lines.

Jan 222019
 
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Michael Thomas, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS LOSE DESHEA TOWNSEND TO BEARS…
The Chicago Bears have hired Deshea Townsend as their new defensive backs coach. The 43-year old Townsend had served as the New York Giants’ assistant defensive backs coach under Head Coach Pat Shurmur and Defensive Backs Coach Lou Anarumo.

Townsend joined the Giants last year after serving as the defensive backs coach of the Tennessee Titans in 2016-2017. He was an NFL cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2009) and Indianapolis Colts (2010).

MICHAEL THOMAS TO PLAY IN PRO BOWL…
New York Giants safety Michael Thomas will play in the Pro Bowl as the team’s special team player as a replacement for Los Angeles Rams linebacker Cory Littleton. Thomas was elected as a first alternate to the Pro Bowl last month. This is the first time Thomas will play in the NFL’s all-star game, joining teammates running back Saquon Barkley, place kicker Aldrick Rosas, and linebacker Olivier Vernon (also a first alternate). Safety Landon Collins was also elected to play, but he will not do so as he is recovering from shoulder surgery.

ARTICLES…

Dec 062018
 
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James Bettcher, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

James Bettcher – © USA TODAY Sports

LANDON COLLINS PLACED ON IR…
The New York Giants have placed safety Landon Collins on Injured Reserve with shoulder injury that will require season-ending surgery. To fill the roster vacancy, the Giants signed safety Kenny Ladler from the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed punter Brock Miller to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Ladler to the Practice Squad in November 2018. The 6’1”, 200-pound Ladler was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bills (2014-2015), Edmonton Eskimos (2016-2017), and Washington Redskins (2018). Ladler has played in seven regular-season NFL games with no starts. Five of those games came with the Redskins in 2018. The Redskins waived him in November.

Miller went undrafted in 2014. While he has worked out for a number of teams since then, he went unsigned until the San Francisco 49ers signed him in 2017. But they cut him after the 2017 NFL Draft. Miller spent some time with the Jacksonville Jaguars before last year’s AFC Championship Game, but he did not play.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
With safety Landon Collins (shoulder) being placed on Injured Reserve, the only player on the 53-man roster who did not practice on Thursday was linebacker Tae Davis (ankle).

Linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck/foot) practiced on a limited basis.

Tight end Evan Engram (hamstring), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (rib), and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip) fully practiced.

Running back Jonathan Stewart’s three-week practice period has expired, meaning he will remain on Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season. Stewart was placed on IR in September with a foot injury. He was designated for return last month, which opened a three-week window in which the Giants had to make the decision of whether or not to place him on the active roster.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.