Aug 022018
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 2, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their seventh full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

REPORT – GIANTS AND ODELL BECKHAM, JR. BEGIN CONTRACT TALKS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have begun contract talks with the representatives for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who is entering the last year of his rookie contract. Beckham’s agent was spotted at practice on Thursday talking to Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Thursday were defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson (unknown), safety Curtis Riley (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (unknown), tight end Garrett Dickerson (hamstring), and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Russell Shepard deep on a post route for a touchdown, beating cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Cornerback B.W. Webb intercepted a pass from quarterback Davis Webb in 7-on-7 drills.
  • John Jerry continued to work at third-team right tackle.
  • Lining up outside, running back Saquon Barkley beat linebacker Olivier Vernon in coverage for a big gain over the middle.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman received some first-team reps.
  • Kerry Wynn received first-team snaps at defensive end with Dalvin Tomlinson sidelined.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a 40-yard gain against cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb made a nice sideline throw to tight end Rhett Ellison despite tight coverage from linebacker Mark Herzlich.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Kalif Raymond for a 50-yard diving reception in 7-on-7 drills.
  • Cornerback CB Kenneth Durden intercepted a pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Safety Landon Collins knocked away a quarterback Eli Manning pass intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. near the goal line.
  • Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris knocked away a pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta intended for wide receiver Marquis Bundy.
  • Linebacker Connor Barwin continues to make plays, including a couple of “sacks” in pass rush situations and a pass defense.

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 022018
 
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Will Hernandez, New York Giants (May 11, 2018)

Will Hernandez – © 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: Offensive Line

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: No other position epitomizes the futility of the New York Giants since their last Super Bowl appearance than the team’s offensive line. It is a myth to say that Jerry Reese and Marc Ross ignored the position. Instead, one could argue that their demise was largely due to the allocation of significant draft and free agent resources with negative returns.

2017 was supposed to be the year that the three premium draft picks (Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ereck Flowers), signed and then re-signed John Jerry, and self-proclaimed “best right tackle in football” Bobby Hart turned a team weakness into at the very least a middle-of-the-pack unit. However, once again, the Giants offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL. The line couldn’t protect Eli Manning (31 sacks, the second most in his career despite an offensive system predicated on the short passing game) or open holes for running backs (26th in rushing). Justin Pugh talked a big game (again) and got hurt (again), missing half the season. Weston Richburg only started four games before ending up on IR with a concussion that he insisted wasn’t IR-worthy. Ereck Flowers – punching bag for fans and opposing pass rushers – struggled mightily both at the beginning and end of the season, and was benched. John Jerry played all 16 games (12 at left guard) but remained a soft player. D.J. Fluker started six games at right guard, performing reasonably well as a road grader, but was placed on IR in November with a toe injury. By the end of the year, you had guys like Jon Halapio (six starts at right guard), Brett Jones (12 starts at center), and Chad Wheeler (three starts at right tackle, one at left tackle) manning the front wall.

The Giants have been a soft, finesse offensive football team for years because of their offensive line play.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Bobby Hart was cut before 2017 was over. The Giants made no effort to re-sign Justin Pugh (2013 1st-round pick) and Weston Richburg (2014 2nd-round draft pick). D.J. Fluker signed a 1-year contract with the Seahawks. Adam Bisnowaty (2017 6th-round draft pick) was cut in May. Dave Gettleman re-signed Jon Halapio (exclusive rights), Brett Jones (restricted), John Greco (unrestricted), and Ethan Cooper (practice squad player).

The newcomers are Nate Solder (4 years, $62 million); Patrick Omameh (3 years, $15 million); Will Hernandez (2nd-round draft pick);  lesser-known “street” free agents Chris Scott, Malcolm Bunche, and Jarron Jones; and rookie free agents Nick Gates and Evan Brown.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: So now the never-ending attempt to rebuild the offensive line falls upon new shoulders. Dave Gettleman will try to accomplish what Jerry Reese failed. Enter the third new head coach and third new offensive line coach as well. To the team’s credit (but also embarrassment), they at least had the courage to part ways with most of their previous mistakes. John Jerry remains but he has already fallen out of the starting line-up. Coming out of the spring, the starters entering camp appear to be left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.

Most of the attention will be focused on whipping-boy Ereck Flowers, who started off on the wrong foot by throwing a hissy fit and not showing up to the early “voluntary” workouts due to his ego being bruised by the shift to right tackle. He returned once he hired a professional agent. The good news is that Nate Solder has attempted to take him under his wing. But Flowers – who the team did shop before the draft – still seems to have a learning disability when it comes to grasping three years of pro coaching. My guess is he will be on a short leash. The problem is there is no obvious replacement. Chad Wheeler flashed but was very shaky as a rookie. On paper, the other vulnerable spot is center. Brett Jones may have already fallen behind journeyman Jon Halapio, who has played with such stalwart “pro” franchises as the Boston Brawlers and Brooklyn Bolts. The Giants tried but failed to sign veteran center John Sullivan in free agency. That tells you they are concerned about the position. Don’t be surprised if the team actively scans the waiver wire throughout the year. The hard truth may be the team needs one more offseason to address two potentially glaring holes.

But while we may all be focusing on the individual component parts, the real issue is finding five starters who can form a viable, physical, and cohesive unit. And the priority appears to have changed. The offensive focus may no longer be pass blocking for Eli Manning and his targets but run blocking for Saquon Barkley. In other words, there may be a real emphasis on becoming a physical football team up front again and not just talking about it. If they don’t, then drafting Barkley with the #2 pick made little sense. New offensive line coach Hal Hunter was out of football in 2017. The pressure is on him to fix a unit that Pat Flaherty and Mike Solari couldn’t.

ON THE BUBBLE: Again, the starters coming out of the spring workouts were Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Patrick Omameh, and Ereck Flowers. Others who received some 1st-team reps and/or quite a bit of time with the second unit were Nick Becton, John Greco, Brett Jones, John Jerry, and Chad Wheeler. Right now, though things can quickly change, these players appear to be the top candidates to make the roster. That said, except for Solder, Hernandez, and Omameh, I would be renting rather than buying a home in northern New Jersey.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on Ereck Flowers: “He’s actually done a really good job. He’s an excellent athlete and he’s handling the move pretty seamlessly…I think he’s made improvements…He’s been great. He’s been communicating well, he looks like he’s having fun playing out there, he’s worked in with the offensive line and he’s done everything we’ve asked and I anticipate that will continue.”

Nate Solder on Ereck Flowers: “I have been very impressed with his character and his humility – work ethic, everything…the way he goes about his business, the way that he has put it behind him, he’s just doing his thing and he’s trying hard and he cares and he’s asking questions. He is doing everything that you would want a guy to do.”

Shurmur on Jon Halapio: “Yeah, he has done a very good job. Pio is very smart, he’s got good instincts – he snaps the ball well…He does all of those things well and he’s very competitive and he knows how to play the game. I think (Brett) Jonesey is doing the same thing. They’re just in there competing. I wouldn’t over-evaluate who is getting the first team reps, but I think if you’re talking about Pio specifically, he has really sort of opened his eyes that he has a chance to play.”

PREDICTIONS: The strength of the line should be the left side. Nate Solder should be the team’s best left tackle in years. Even without the pads on, Will Hernandez has flashed a much-needed enforcer mentality. Patrick Omameh should be a more physical presence as a run blocker at right guard than John Jerry. Center and right tackle remain the primary concerns as well as overall depth. We’ve heard all of the pleasantries about Ereck Flowers before. Now he is shifting to a spot he didn’t even play in college. There is no guarantee he will be a better player on the right side. Much rides on play. Perhaps the new chemistry in the locker room will help. It was no secret that Flowers and Bobby Hart didn’t get along with Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg. Regardless, Flowers is out of excuses.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Thank the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), but teams don’t have many practices in training camp to get ready for the season. Thus, despite what the coaches say, it is pretty telling that Hernandez was playing left guard, Omameh right guard, Flowers right tackle, and Halapio center for the latter half of the offseason program. These four (plus obviously Nate Solder at left tackle) have to be considered the favorites to start right now at those specific positions. The next four appear to be John Greco, John Jerry, Brett Jones, and Chad Wheeler. But Greco and Jerry don’t offer much positional flexibility so one would appear vulnerable. My gut tells me the Giants will be adding one or two more offensive linemen from the waiver wire. A veteran swing tackle would be ideal.

Jun 282018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE 2018 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE…
The New York Giants have announced the team’s 2018 summer training camp schedule. The Giants will only hold nine practices open to the public:

  • Thursday, July 26: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Friday, July 27: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, July 28: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Sunday, July 29: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Monday, July 30: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 1: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 2: 10:30 a.m. – Practice
  • Friday, August 3: 10:30 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, August 4: CAMP CLOSED
  • Monday, August 6: CAMP CLOSED
  • Tuesday, August 7: 10:30 a.m. – Practice (End of Public Training Camp practices)

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (ext. 107).

For general information for fans who wish to visit training camp, see this Giants.com primer.

ARTICLES…

Jun 042018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 4, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their seventh voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Monday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

“Another productive day,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I think the OTAs have gone well. You saw today we had a move the ball period, which we did one last week as well where the guys are calling it – offense, defense, personnel is getting in and out and it’s really the key part of playing the game because it’s the most like a game at this point. I think they handled it well. You saw there was some good, competitive play – for the most part we stayed up, got a lot accomplished and we’ll try to do a little bit more of that. Unfortunately, you won’t be here to see it, but we’ll do a little bit more of that as we go the next three days.”

The three remaining OTA practices will be held on June 5-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison did not attend Monday’s OTA.

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from arm surgery) was held out of team drills.

“(Collins is) getting better,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Well, I wouldn’t say it has changed. I would just say that we’re going to be a little bit cautious because it’s a break that’s healed. We’re trying to get him in as much as we can, but a little bit at a time. But he looks good. He’s getting his extra running, he’s getting everything he needs mentally and I’ve been very pleased with his progress in all areas.”

Defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown medical issue), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), and tight end Ryan O’Malley (unknown) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 8-of-10 on field goal attempts, missing twice from beyond 50 yards.
  • The first-team offensive line was left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • The second-team offensive line was left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler. Chris Scott also got some work at right guard with the second unit.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning continues to look for tight end Evan Engram early and often.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr., the first being a one-handed catch and the second a sizeable gain down the sideline. Webb later connected with wide receiver Travis Rudolph for a red-zone touchdown.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard. He later broke up a slant pass at the goal line intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a fade pass in end zone from quarterback Eli Manning intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson broke up a pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Linebacker Tae Davis broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Marquis Bundy.
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney connected with wide receiver Alonzo Russell for a 40-yard gain.
  • Notes and observations from Giants OTAs (6/04) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at Giants OTA practice? (6/4) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

REPORT – GIANTS HIRE MARK KONCZ AS NEW DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL…
Pro Football Talk is reporting that that the New York Giants have hired Mark Koncz as the team’s new director of player personnel. Koncz worked with General Manager David Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers as director of pro scouting, a position that Koncz had held from 2000-2017. Gettleman promoted him to director of player personnel in May 2017 before the Panthers fired Koncz in July after Gettleman was also let go. Since February, Koncz has served as a scouting department consultant with the Giants.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent H-Back Garrett Dickerson (Northwestern University), a tryout player during the team’s rookie mini-camp in May. The 6’2”, 244-pound Dickerson is a versatile player who can play a variety of positions including tight end, fullback, and H-Back.

The Giants also waived wide receiver Keeon Johnson, cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon, and cornerback Mike Jones.

Johnson was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in August 2017 with a foot injury.

The Giants signed McKinnon to the Practice Squad in late November 2017. McKinnon originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2016 NFL Draft. McKinnon had spent time with the Cowboys (2016), Tennessee Titans (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017).

The Giants signed Jones as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May rookie mini-camp as a tryout player.

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

Apr 092018
 
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New York Giants Helmet (October 15, 2017)

© USA TODAY Sports

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

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

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, and June 4-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

GIANTS RE-SIGN BRETT JONES…
New York Giants center/guard Brett Jones has signed his 1-year, $2.914 million restricted free agent tender. Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season.

Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard, but left the game very early with an injury.

ORLEANS DARKWA VISITS PATRIOTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa is visiting the New England Patriots. The somewhat injury-prone Darkwa only missed one game in 2017 with a back issue and had his best season as a pro, starting 11 games and finishing with 171 carries for 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards. In his previous three seasons, Darkwa had started only two games carried the ball just 75 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

Darkwa was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in four games in September before being waived in October and signed to the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed him off of Miami’s Practice Squad in November 2014.

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

Opening Statement: We’re looking forward to having the guys back. I can only speak for us as coaches, it just gives us an opportunity to work with the players again and set a new direction heading into 2018. As you know, the first couple weeks here is basically strength training for the players, although we also will be able to meet with them. We are going to meet with them obviously as a team and then offensively, defensively, in terms of special teams and try to just kind of set a foundation and get going as we approach our first extra mini camp, which will be the three days leading up to the draft. It’s exciting to get back to work, it’s obviously great to see the players back in the building. I have my first team meeting with the players here at 9:15. We kind of schedule it where we have a lifting group, we sort of meet in the middle and then we have another lifting group, so at 9:15 will be my first time to address the team. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll try and answer some of your questions.

Q: You said before that the mini camp before the draft would be a showcase for Davis Webb. How are the reps going to work out between him and Eli Manning?

A: We’re working on that. Obviously Davis, with only two quarterbacks in the building, they’re obviously going to share the reps.

Q: What is the overall gist of the message you will send to the team when you address them this morning?

A: The idea is and, again, I’ll save it for when I talk to the team. But for the most part, we’re trying to get things started, take advantage of the extra time we have and we want to grow away from basically what happened a year ago, the 3-13 season. We want to grow away from that and try to grow into a team that’s competing to win a division, compete in the playoffs, and then hopefully hold up that fifth Lombardi trophy. That’s what we’re trying to do and just try to get better one day at a time, and I think it’s important for all the players to understand that getting better by themselves, it’s just as important for us to get better together, and I think that’s the beauty of being able to work together here.

Q: How important is it for all of the guys to be in the building for the entire offseason program?

A: We understand how this is structured here in the offseason, but it’s certainly important. In my mind, it’s important for everybody to be around so they can hear it, learn it and then do it together. This is the ultimate team game and we need to work together because it’s important that we are all on the same page as we move toward the fall.

Q: How important is it for Odell Beckham to be there for the duration of the program?

A: I think it’s all players. All players, it’s good and I think it’s important that they’re here working together.

Q: Have you seen Odell yet?

A: He is in the building. I have not seen him yet, but I know he’s in the building.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Odell after everything that came out of the meetings in Orlando and what was your message there?

A: Yeah, I’ve communicated with him and certainly that communication is between me and him.

Q: You said that you talked to him about all things non-football related. Did you ask him if there were drugs in the video?

A: Again, that’s private between Odell and myself, but we talked about the video.

Q: Were you worried about how all of the trade rumors might affect Odell?

A: I’m not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great. He understands the importance of the offseason and he’s a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He’s a professional and I’m glad he’s here today.

Q: Do you have any idea where Odell is physically?

A: With the players back in town, certainly we are going to assess where they all are in terms of physically and medically, and I’ll have more information as we approach the end of the week.

Q: What have been your impressions of the potential offers for Odell Beckham in the trade market?

A: Yeah, that’s the business. I’m the coach, so I’m just going to worry about trying to get each and every player and each and every coach as good as they can be, and I’ll focus on that part of it.

Q: How anxious are you to finally be able to talk football with the guys and specifically talking with Odell about your vision of what he can do in your offense?

A: It’s exciting, and obviously being this is the first opportunity to visit with the players, we just start to formulate our systems and our plans and really our vision for what we want our players to do. I would say this, this is what we as coaches look forward to. I can see as I look out my window here that the grass is starting to green up and the players are around and this is just naturally the time of year where we get back to work. It’s an exciting time for coaches and players, and we’re just looking forward to getting it started.

Q: What are some of the biggest changes that the players will notice when they arrive and see the Pat Shurmur Giants here in the building for the first time?

A: That’s probably a better question for them. I certainly have learned in the last couple of months how things were done in the past and there are some changes that I’ll let them discuss those with you. But, I think what’s important is — listen, this is a game that we all love to play, most great players love the training aspect of the game and getting better and being a little bit uncomfortable and working through that, and I think that’s part of where we’re at. I think anybody, when there is a new coach and a new general manager and some new players, there are some changes that they expect to see, but I think that is probably a better question for them as they move forward. I just think it’s very important that we’re very professional, we communicate well together and then there is going to be a transfer of information. I think we as coaches need to listen to the players, but also teach what we want them to know and then let them tell us what they’re seeing so that we know how we have to teach it further. That’s what we’re looking forward to, is the communication and then watch these guys develop also physically as they go through the weight lifting and the running.

Q: What has Odell told you about his attendance going forward after today?

A: Yeah again, I know he’s in the building. We haven’t had a chance to speak. I’ll speak to him a little bit more later, probably this afternoon. But we haven’t discussed that.

Q: Do you view Odell showing up today as a commitment by him showing that he wants to be a Giant long term? And in addition, would you like to see management use this as an opportunity to get a contract done with him soon, so that it doesn’t remain a distraction?

A: I’m not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together and I think it’s important that Odell is here and I’m looking forward to him getting one day better by being here and I’m looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he’s here and he’s a terrific player and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow towards some of the things that we were talking about earlier.

Q: You have a couple of former players that are on your coaching staff. What will they bring to the table in terms of relating with the players?

A: Well, we all have playing backgrounds. Obviously guys that have played in the NFL that are now career coaches, I think they bring some credibility to the room that the players can really, I guess, hang on to a little bit. The important thing though for an ex-player is they have to decide, they have to cross that bridge between player and coach, and I’m very fortunate that I have some guys here that are now really developed into career coaches, so I’m looking forward to really them working with our players. I think obviously if you coach this game and you’ve developed some credibility as a coach, certainly some of it comes from your days as a player and then it obviously continues your days as you coach through the profession. It’s important and staffs tend to be diverse. We all have different backgrounds and I think it’s important to put together a staff of guys that all come from different places.

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

ARTICLES…

Mar 142018
 
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Nate Solder, New England Patriots (February 4, 2018)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LEFT TACKLE NATE SOLDER…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left tackle Nate Solder (New England Patriots) to a 4-year, $62 million contract that includes $35 million in guaranteed money. The Giants outbid both the Patriots and Houston Texans for his services. The 29-year old, 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In seven seasons, Solder has started 95 of the 98 regular-season games he has played in. Solder has been a solid player since drafted but has had issues at times in pass protection.

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END KAREEM MARTIN…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent linebacker/defensive end Kareem Martin (Arizona Cardinals). The 26-year old, 6’6”, 272-pound Martin was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cardinals as a defensive end. The Cardinals moved him to linebacker after his rookie season. Martin had his best season in 2017, playing in all 16 regular-season games with 10 starts and finished the year with 24 tackles, one sack, three pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Martin is a ‘tweener who does his best work moving forward rather than moving backwards in space.

JONATHAN STEWART SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants have officially signed unrestricted free agent running back Jonathan Stewart, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers at the end of February. The NFL Network is reporting that the contract is a 2-year deal that could be worth as much as $8.4 million with $6.9 million in base salary and $2.95 million in guaranteed money.

“I am very pleased that we were able to make Jonathan a New York Football Giant,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “He is a quality runner with power and speed and brings a veteran, professional presence to our locker room. He’s a terrific addition for us at this time.”

The 30-year old, 5’10”, 240-pound Stewart was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Panthers. In 10 seasons with the Panthers, Stewart rushed for 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. He also caught 162 passes for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, Stewart started 10 games but saw his rushing totals fall to 680 yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. Injury prone, Stewart has not played a full season since 2011.

GIANTS TENDER BRETT JONES AND ROBERT THOMAS…
As previously reported, the Giants have officially tendered restricted free agent center/guard Brett Jones at the 2nd-round ($2.91 million) level. That will provide the Giants with the right to match any offer another team makes for Jones. If they do not, the Giants would receive that team’s 2nd-round pick as compensation.

The Giants have also tendered exclusive rights free agent Robert Thomas, ensuring that Thomas will remain with the team.

Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

Thomas played in 15 games with no starts in 2017 and finished the season with 16 tackles. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-2015), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). The Giants claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Panthers in September 2016; he played in eight regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with five tackles and one sack.

TENNESSEE TITANS SIGN DION LEWIS…
The Tennessee Titans have signed unrestricted free agent running back Dion Lewis (New England Patriots) to a 4-year contract. ProFootballTalk.com had reported that the New York Giants were one of several teams that have expressed interest in Lewis.

ARTICLES…

Mar 072018
 
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Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles Rams (December 3, 2017)

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TRADE FOR LINEBACKER ALEC OGLETREE…
The New York Giants have traded way the 4th round compensatory pick and their 6th round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for linebacker Alec Ogletree of the Los Angeles Rams. The Giants will also receive the Rams’ 7th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The trade will become official on March 14th, when the new league year official begins.

The trade leaves the Giants with only five draft picks in the upcoming draft: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (non-compensatory), and 5th. The Giants traded away their 7th-round pick last year for cornerback Ross Cockrell.

The 26-year old Ogletree was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Rams. He made the All-Rookie team in 2013 and was named second-team All-Pro in 2016. Ogletree lacks classic size (6’2”, 235 pounds). He’s more of a run-and-hit and coverage linebacker who is very athletic and a team leader, being voted team captain twice with the Rams. Ogletree played both 4-3 outside and 3-4 inside linebacker for the Rams. In 2017, Ogletree started all 15 regular-season games he played in, finishing with 95 tackles, two sacks, 10 pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. He’s averaged over 100 tackles per season in the NFL in five seasons.

Ogletree signed a 4-year, $42 million contract extension last year and is under contract through the 2021 season. Unless his contract is re-structured, Ogletree will count $10 million against the Giants’ salary cap in 2018.

GIANTS TO TENDER BRETT JONES, MOVING ON FROM WESTON RICHBURG…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants are expected to tender restricted free agent center/guard Brett Jones at the 2nd-round ($2.91 million) level. That will provide the Giants with the right to match any offer another team makes for Jones. If they do not, the Giants would receive that team’s 2nd-round pick as compensation. Teams have until March 14th to tender their exclusive rights and restricted free agents.

Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

Multiple media sources are also reporting that the Giants are not interested in re-signing Richburg, who was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2017 with a concussion that he suffered a month earlier. He only played and started in four games in 2017. Richburg was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He has started 50 regular-season games. However, after a strong 2015 campaign, his play dipped in 2016 and 2017.

ARTICLE…

Dec 222017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (October 17, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS INTERVIEW KEVIN ABRAMS FOR GM POSITION…
The New York Giants announced on Friday that they have interviewed Kevin Abrams for the team’s general manager position. Abrams, who joined the Giants in 1999 to serve as the team’s first salary cap analyst and who was the team’s assistant general manager for 16 years, was named interim general manager when Jerry Reese was fired earlier this month.

Abrams interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Abrams is the fourth known candidate to interview for the position. Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross, former Carolina Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman, and former Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles Director of Pro Personnel Louis Riddick interviewed earlier this week.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) did not practice on Friday. Both have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

“Yeah, it’s just been one of those injury-prone years (for Goodson),” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. “And it’s hard to get in the groove at any position, especially mike linebacker, he’s the quarterback of the defense. So, it’s hard to get in a groove when it’s a couple games, then you’re out. I’m sure he’s frustrated. Sometimes those high ankles, they don’t respond real well.”

Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Landon Collins (ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Pierre-Paul, Collins, and Berhe are all officially “questionable” for the game on Sunday. Flowers and Dixon are unofficially “probable.”

“(Collins is) questionable right now,” said Spagnuolo. “I mean, he got a little bit of work today and didn’t get much the other days, so we’ll have to see when we get to Sunday.”

Pierre-Paul revealed on Friday why he has been playing with a club on his right hand again. “I fractured my finger,” he said. “I basically broke it.”

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger), offensive center Brett Jones (ankle), defensive end Olivier Vernon (not injury related), and safety Darian Thompson (knee) fully practiced. All of these players are unofficially “probable” for the game on Sunday.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday afternoon.

Dec 202017
 
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Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers (March 1, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN INTERVIEWS FOR GM POSITION…
The New York Giants announced on Wednesday that they have interviewed Dave Gettleman for the team’s general manager position. The 66-year old Gettleman was the Giants’ pro personnel director (1999-2011) and senior pro personnel analyst (2012) before becoming the general manager of the Carolina Panthers (2013-2017). The Panthers fired Gettleman in July 2017.

Gettleman interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara, Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch, and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Gettleman is the second known candidate to interview for the position. Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross interviewed earlier this week.

Kevin Abrams is currently serving as the team’s interim general manager.

LANDON COLLINS VOTED TO PRO BOWL…
New York Giants safety Landon Collins has been voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl as the NFC’s starting strong safety. Collins was the only Giants player selected this season. Collins is leading the team with 103 tackles and also has six pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble despite playing most of the season with a nagging ankle injury that he suffered in early October.

“I think my second half was better than my first half, because of my (ankle) injury,” Collins said. “And I think I’ve played pretty good to get everybody’s attention, and being one of the best in the game right now. I’m just humbled by it and grateful for it, going back-to-back times. It’s a blessing.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and safety Landon Collins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Offensive center Brett Jones (ankle), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Darian Thompson (knee), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring) and tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger) fully practiced.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 11:35AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn, and select players will also address the media after practice.