Apr 152024
 
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (October 2, 2023)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday. The 9-week program provides players with instruction and physical strength and conditioning training.

Per the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams are only allowed to hold voluntary offseason activities over the course of a 9-week period in three phases:

Phase One: Activities during this 2-week period are limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two: On-field workouts during this 3-week period may include may individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play drills,” and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk-through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three: Activities during this 4-week period include 10 days of organized team practice activity (OTAs). No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. Teams may also hold one mandatory mini-camp.

Key dates:

  • April 15: New York Giants offseason programs begins.
  • May 20-21: New York Giants OTA Workouts #1 and #2.
  • May 23: New York Giants OTA Workout #3 (Media Access).
  • May 28-29: New York Giants OTA Workouts #4 and #5 (Media Access).
  • May 31: New York Giants OTA Workout #6.
  • June 3-4: New York Giants OTA Workouts #7 and #8.
  • June 6-7: New York Giants OTA Workouts #9 (Media Access) and #10.
  • June 11-13: New York Giants Mandatory Mini-Camp.

The Giants will also hold a rookie mini-camp on May 10-11.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

Mar 262024
 
James Ferentz, New England Patriots (August 10, 2023)

James Ferentz – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS ASSISTANT OL COACH DEPARTS…
The New York Giants have hired James Ferentz as their new assistant offensive line coach. He replaces Chris Smith who was hired by James Madison University earlier this month. Ferentz will work under new Giants offensive like coach Carmen Bricillo, who was hired in January.

An offensive lineman by trade, the 34-year old Ferentz recently retired from the NFL. He spent time with the Houston Texans (2014-2015), Denver Broncos (2015-2017), and New England Patriots (2017-2023). In New England, Bricillo was his coach in 2020-2021. His father is Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Kirk Ferentz.

For a complete listing of the team’s coaching staff, see the New York Giants Coaching Staff section of the website.

BRIAN DABOLL ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll spoke to the media on Tuesday at the NFL Owners Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Some of the topics discussed included:

On possibly calling the offensive plays in 2024: “It’s something I’m looking into. I think there’s 20 head coaches at this point in time that call plays in the league (either offensively or defensively)… There might be a little bit more. I’ve been doing a bunch of research, but no decision has been made. I’m still going through that process, thinking about what we need to do… I did it for a long time. There’s a lot of things that go into it. Part of the evaluation that I talked about, there are some other things that I’m looking into. I take my time and do what I think is best for the team… Whatever I feel is best for the football team, that’s the way we go.”

On Mike Kakfa being promoted to assistant head coach: “I thought he earned that role. I want to have him have opportunities to see some of the other things, particularly with some of the head coaching interviews he’s done. You don’t always get an opportunity to do that, to sit in a medical meeting or to sit in a schedule meeting with the strength staff of how we want to handle OTAs or the reason why or to sit down and listen to the different things that maybe you don’t listen to as a position coach or even a coordinator to get that sense of how things go. There’s so much time spent when you are a coordinator or a position coach on just this is my position, this is my responsibility, this is the play calling. Some of the bigger things, there’s a lot of other things that go along with it. Any of those meetings that I’ve had here in the last, call it, month that are more just myself, (General Manager) Joe (Schoen), maybe some of the other parts of the staff that aren’t necessarily strictly football, I wanted Mike to have the opportunity to see how that goes so he can ask questions and take notes on things, and maybe that helps him in the future, too.

“I hope it helps him to see some things from a different angle. Not everybody gets that opportunity, but I thought that was important. He’s been through a few of these interviews. We were having a meeting the other day, and he’s deep into the draft preparation work, as am I. Just getting started here. A couple of strength coaches and medical people, and we had met a few days earlier for about three hours. We walked out and he said, ‘It was a long one here.’ (I said,) ‘Yeah, we’re going to have another one in a couple of days.’ He’s digging through some players. I said, ‘Hey, you want to get meeting with these guys?’ He is like, ‘Yeah, I got a ton of evaluation.’ I said, ‘Let’s go, man.’ It’s a different perspective of things, of course.”

On Shea Tierney being promoted to offensive passing game coordinator and Jerome Henderson being promoted to defensive passing game coordinator: “Shea has done a great job since he’s been here and since he’s been with me (beginning in Buffalo). He has a really firm understanding of what we’re trying to do. I interviewed Rome for the coordinator job and was close, too. Great appreciation for Rome. I would say that he’s really done a good job with (new Defensive Coordinator) Shane (Bowen) there on the back end. He’s done a fabulous job the last couple of years, Rome, relative to the secondary and the coverages and things like that. I thought he’s earned that role and earned that title.”

On the new coaches who have joined the staff: “I’m excited about the guys that we’ve added, the people that we’ve added. They’ve done a great job the last two months. I’m really happy with Shane (Bowen) and Ghob (Special Teams Coordinator Michael Ghobrial) and Kafka. They’ve done a great job over the last few months of really diving into some things we need to try to correct.”

On new Defensive Coordinator Shane Bowen: “We’re excited to have Shane. Shane has done a great job since he’s been here… He’s done a great job in the running game the last few years with Tennessee, in the red zone and third down. I think he has a great way about him. He’s an excellent teammate. He’s good with X’s and O’s in the interview. He was good with fundamentals, and I thought he was a very good communicator and teacher of the things that he really believes in. He’s done a good job with Rome (Defensive Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson) and Dre (Defensive Line Coach Andrew Patterson), and those guys have added their pieces to it. (Assistant Defensive Line Coach) BCox (Bryan Cox), (Defensive Assistant) Ben (Burress), and (Safeties Coach Michael) Treier and all the guys that were here. I’ve been pleased with how they’ve kind of worked together here these last couple of months. Very happy with the first two months with Shane.”

Jan 082024
 
Don "Wink" Martindale, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Don “Wink” Martindale – © USA TODAY Sports

WINK MARTINDALE, THOMAS McGAUGHEY, BOBBY JOHNSON, DREW WILKINS OUT…
New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has resigned from the team in order to pursue other coaching opportunities. Since Martindale was under contract, this was likely a mutual parting of the ways.

In addition, the team has fired Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey, Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson, Outside Linebackers Coach Drew Wilkins, and Defensive Assistant Kevin Wilkins (Drew and Kevin are brothers).

The 60-year old Martindale was hired by the Giants in 2022 after serving four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. He had also coached the linebacker units in Baltimore from 2012 to 2017.

The 50-year old McGaughey first served with the Giants from 2007 to 2010 as assistant special teams coordinator under Head Coach Tom Coughlin. After stints with Louisiana State University, the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Carolina Panthers, McGaughey returned to the Giants as special teams coordinator in 2018 under Head Coach Pat Shurmur. He was retained by both Head Coach Joe Judge (2020-2021) and Head Coach Brian Daboll (2022-2023).

The 50-year old Johnson served as offensive line coach with the Buffalo Bills from 2019 to 2021 with then Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll. Johnson was hired by Daboll with the Giants in 2022.

The 36-year old Drew Wilkins came over from the Baltimore Ravens with Martindale in 2022. Drew served in various capacities with the Ravens from 2010 to 2021. Kevin Wilkins also came over from Baltimore, where he served in various capacities from 2015 to 2021.

As previously reported, the Florida Gators hired Director of Strength and Performance Craig Fitzgerald in the same position and Syracuse University hired Running Backs Coach Jeff Nixon to be their offensive coordinator.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 10 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed the following ten players, who were on the team’s Practice Squad, to reserve/future contracts:

  • RB Deon Jackson
  • WR Dennis Houston
  • OL Yodny Cajuste
  • OL Joshua Miles
  • OL Jalen Mayfield
  • DL Ryder Anderson
  • ILB Dyontae Johnson
  • OLB Jeremiah Martin
  • CB Kaleb Hayes
  • CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver

2024 GIANTS OPPONENTS SET…
The list of teams the Giants will play in 2024:

  • Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Indianapolis
  • Away: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Seattle

JANUARY 8, 2024 JOE SCHOEN AND BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

BRIAN DABOLL: So just a couple things here and then we’ll open up to questions. Made two staff changes this morning, moved on from (former offensive line coach) Bobby Johnson and from (former Special Team Coordinator) Thomas McGaughey. I want to thank those guys for what they’ve done the last two years. This is the hard part of the job, I have a lot of respect for them. Just felt we we’re going to move in a different direction, not going add anything to it. These were private conversations but I do respect both of those guys and what they’ve done the last two years, their commitment to the team, their work ethic but wanted to make a change. Again, those are private conversations, I’m not going to elaborate on any of it.

Q: On Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka returning.

BRIAN DABOLL: My expectation is Wink and Kafka will both be back so those are two of the changes we made this morning but there’s still conversations that are going to be had. We’ve only been here for a short time but those were two of the guys in the morning that I spoke with. Other than that, again, appreciate the way the guys finished and competed yesterday. We had an offseason meeting, leading into the offseason just a little while ago with the staff and the players and the coaches and all the administrators. It was a good year-end meeting. They’re meeting now with their offense and defense, respectively, position coaches. (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I will have some meetings here with the rookie class, with the second-year class, the UFA class after this conference here. Other than that, open it up to any questions.

Q: What are you looking for in an offensive line coach?

BRIAN DABOLL: Again, that’s a good question. That’s something that we’ll sit down and talk about as a staff, and we’ll work through that.

Q: What went into your thinking with deciding that both Mike and Wink will both return?

BRIAN DABOLL: It’s my expectation that they’re going to come back. I think they’re good coaches, so it’ll be good to have some continuity and bring them back. I know Wink talks about this as a destination place and things like that, it’s good. I appreciate how hard they work, their commitment to the team, so that’s my plan.

Q: Have you had conversations with them about that? I know you said last week you said that you haven’t had conversations with people.

BRIAN DABOLL: Not yet. I haven’t talked to those guys; I’ve talked to the guys that I let go, but that’s my expectation and that’s my plan.

Q: Would it be your expectation that Mike returns in the same role as a play caller?

BRIAN DABOLL: Those are conversations we’ll have here over the next few months of what direction we’ll go and we’ll make those decisions as we do a full evaluation.

Q: I’m sure you saw last week that (running back) Saquon (Barkley) said that he hopes in his exit meeting that you guys shoot him straight. Is a second franchise tag a viable option for him? Or is it get a long-term deal done before free agency?

JOE SCHOEN: Again, Saquon and I will talk about that. That’s a tool we have at our disposal. When we redid his deal before he came to camp, that wasn’t taken out of that deal. It wasn’t a ‘hey, we’ll do this but no franchise tag’ so that’s an option that we have on the table. We’ll have those conversations; I’m not saying we will, or we won’t. A lot of those conversations will be had over the next month or so.

Q: How much does (quarterback) Daniel’s (Jones) timeline for recovery affect what direction you’ll go with quarterback? Do you have a cutoff date where you say ‘okay, if he’s not at this point by this date,’ you go draft? Or free agency or anything like that?

JOE SCHOEN: Like I said during the bye week, I think ultimately we have to do something like, as I said, whether it’s the draft or a free agent just because (quarterback) Tyrod’s (Taylor) contract is up, we have (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) who’s under contract and then Daniel’s injury and the return to play and the uncertainty there. When free agency starts, the draft, whichever avenue we decide to take, we will address the position.

Q: How much does his injury history overall just factor into the future at that position? Do you have to take that into consideration?

JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: Do you feel like you can build a team around a quarterback who has that injury history now? With two neck injuries and now a torn ACL?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes.

It’s football and guys get hurt. You can’t always predict it. I think guys who have previous injuries – you’ve got to look at the injuries individually and what they were and how they were caused but I’ve got a lot of faith in our training staff as well. So again, hopefully he’ll be back for week one. Again, we don’t have a crystal ball here, but we’ll continue to build the team the way we see best.

Q: So, is it out of the question that Tyrod comes back?

JOE SCHOEN: No. No, it’s not out the question. We’ll talk to all the UFAs, like (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs said, and we’ll have conversations with them. The representatives, by the time we get to the combine, we’ll usually circle up with those guys. So yeah, it’s not out of the question. I thought he played well for us.

Q: What is your overall message to the fans here at the end of the season? And what do you believe the identity of the Giants is?

JOE SCHOEN: The message is believe in the process. We came in here year one and were able to go to the playoffs and win a playoff game and this year it didn’t go as well as we wanted it to, for various reasons. We’ve all got a hand in it; we’ve all got to do better going into next year and we will. That’s what this offseason is about. I’ve got a lot of faith in the staff and Dabs and our process, whether it’s down in the weight room, the training staff, our draft process, free agency. I’ve got a lot of faith in the process, and we’ll get this thing turned around.

Q: I know it’s more than one thing, of course, but can you put your finger, as you kind of assessed it, what has gone wrong between last year and this year?

JOE SCHOEN: I don’t think there’s one thing. I mean, there’s a multitude of things –

Q: There’s a multitude of things, obviously the quarterback situation –

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I don’t want to go through all 17 games but again, like we were in – there were several games that we could’ve won for various reasons. I’m not going to get into the details of every single game, you guys were there. ‘Hey, if it would’ve went this way or the ball fell our way’ or whatever it was, we could be in a different situation right now. We’ve got to have a good offseason, we’ve got to be ready to go, we’ve got to start faster, and we’ve got to be consistent week in and week out.

Q: When it comes to the offensive line, you’ve spoken the past two years of walking that line between development and having guys that are experienced and ready to go. After this year, going forward at that position, is there a solution in terms of young guys aren’t coming across so we need to bring in someone who’s going to develop them more or do you need more experience? How do you handle that position that’s really been hit hard here for a while?

JOE SCHOEN: When you say the development are you talking about coaching or?

Q: Well coaching but also bringing in younger players that you’re going to now rely on. You’ve done that the last couple years and it seems like their development has not come up as quickly as you needed them to.

JOE SCHOEN: Sometimes you get the ready-made product through free agency, or you bring in a young player that you expect to develop and improve, and we’ve seen that at some positions and at some positions we haven’t. I think that’ll be, as Dabs looks for a new offensive line coach, I think history of developing players will be something we’ll definitely hit on.

Q: You had mentioned the last time that we talked to you that (tackle) Evan Neal needs to get better and then he never played again. How do you look at him going into his third year? Can you pencil him in as one of our five starters, probably right tackle? Or do you have to bring in competition at that spot.

JOE SCHOEN: We’ll go through all those conversations over the next couple of weeks. Evan worked his tail off last offseason, came in in great shape, had a good start to camp, had the concussion. I expect him to attack this offseason the same way and we’ll see how it plays out.

Q: How do evaluate Brian’s second season? Obviously, you guys had promising first year, go to the playoffs, win a playoff game. How do you evaluate year two?

JOE SCHOEN: I thought Brian did a good job. If you’ve been in the league long enough, you’ve seen some teams quit and you’ve seen some players mail it in at the end of the season. I just think part of the reflection of the job that he did was that we went through adversity. Sometimes you have to go through it. We’re still in year two so things were pretty good in year one. We started fast, had a playoff win and maybe you didn’t see where all the issues were, whether it was in the building, on the team, in the coaching staff, wherever it may have been. Going through it, I think it sucked but it also opened our eyes to some things that maybe need to change, or we need to get better (or) we need to change the process. I think the biggest thing for Dabs is that he kept the team together. They continued to fight, they came and they prepared every week. The leaders did a good job of leading through difficult times and I think the results showed yesterday.

Q: What comes to your mind when you say you need to change process or things that you need to change?

JOE SCHOEN: I mean, it can be a multitude of things. I mean, it’s everything we do within the organization is going to be evaluated during this time.

Q: Something that you already came to the conclusion that you want to change?

JOE SCHOEN: We’re going to evaluate ourselves, again, whether it was, okay, what did we do when we signed (inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke)? Did we nail that? (Wide receiver) Parris (Campbell) ended up not playing as much, let’s evaluate that process, what happened there. Those are type things that we’re going to go through and continue to evaluate our process, whether it was where we drafted guys, the way we signed guys, the way we practiced. We had some injuries at certain points of the year, are we’re doing things the right way. The entire process we’re going to evaluate.

Q: So, are you saying to some degree that some of the minor flaws or whatever that may have been present last year, you overlook a little bit because you are having success as a team, that maybe raised their heads this year, so to speak?

JOE SCHOEN: No, I’m not necessarily saying that, but there is a chance that that could happen. Again, you can look through things through rose colored glasses sometimes when things are going well. Maybe you put more weight in something that wasn’t, but again we’re going to continue to evaluate every part of the process and again, we’ll be better off for it, going through this.

Q: Obviously, the draft is pretty far down the road, but do you feel – you say you need to add to the quarterback room, do you need to add someone to that room someone who can potentially start and compete with Daniel for a job?

JOE SCHOEN: Well, there’s a chance he’s not ready week one, so yeah. You got to sign somebody that you can hope – again, plan for the worst, hope for the best, like you plan for him not being ready, so you’re going to need somebody that can hopefully win you some games early on if he’s not ready.

Q: And if he’s healthy, he’s anticipated to be healthy at some point at the start of the season or early in the season, do you have the same faith of him right now as you did when you signed him to the contract?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes.

Q: Something along those lines, have you had a chance to scout the quarterbacks expected to go at the draft of the top and how would you assess this class overall? Are there impact players immediately?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say overall it’s a good draft. We’re kind of moving out of that COVID cycle of the players getting the extra years and what not, so overall I think it’s a good draft and again, where we’re picking, I think it’s sixth, 39th, 47 I believe is the Seattle pick and then 70th. So, four picks in the top 70, you’ll have to fact check me on that, my guys sent me that last night, so I didn’t get a chance this morning to double check, but I think that’s what it is, so chance to have four players in the top 70, I’m excited about that. Again, that’s a way to impact the roster and it also gives you currency if you want to move around, or move up, move back, whatever it may be. Those are tools that you can use to continue to execute whatever the plan may be.

Q: How do you evaluate your second season?

JOE SCHOEN: It was a tough season. Again, that’s part of the things that we’ll do over the next few weeks is assess ourselves. I’m always evaluating myself on a daily basis because there is so many decisions that we make and so many things that go across my desk on a daily basis and there’s always room for improvement. At the end of the day, it starts with me, and I’ve got to do a better job throughout the entire organization. We’re a six-win team, you are what your record says you are, and I’ve got to do a better job.

Q: You mentioned Parris. Thinking year one to year two at receiver, do you feel, I mean I know it’s hindsight but did you overcompensate at the position because of the injuries that you had the previous year knowing that (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) was coming back, you didn’t know how quickly he was going to be back in the slot because it seemed like, as much as we talk about duplication, it almost felt like you were waiting for injuries to sort themselves out and the way it happened, it seemed like everybody was available and that kind of cut down on the opportunities for Parris and even (wide receiver) Shep(ard Sterling) to an extent?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s a good question and so what it was, again, coming off an ACL, Wan’Dale coming off an ACL, so we didn’t know when he was going to be ready. We thought Parris would be a guy that could play inside, outside and I wouldn’t’ say overcompensate but we were trying to add some weapons. You do a deal with Daniel and you see how it was structured, so you try to expedite the process and give him a chance to succeed. Parris is a player that will still play in this league, I think he’s got a bright future. Things maybe didn’t go as well as he wanted this year, but the guy is a true pro and never once complained or fussed about it and he’s got a bright future. I think the kid has talent.

Q: How do you evaluate the rookie class?

JOE SCHOEN: Again, like any rookie class, you’re going to have highs and lows. I think the first three guys, I think everybody saw their ability. I think (cornerback Deonte) Tae Banks is going to be a really good corner in this league. (Center) John Michael (Schmitz) is going to be a good center and (wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt is going to be a good receiver. I think you saw with Jalin the explosive play ability. The intangibles for John Michael are off the charts, he’s got leadership potential. I’d be surprised if he’s not a captain down the road. Again, Tae Banks, with rare physical ability, and as he continues to grow and mature; what he did against some of the very good receivers in this league as a rookie, I thought was pretty impressive, so those guys are good. I thought (running back) Eric Gray had a good game last night when he was given opportunities. He probably didn’t get as many opportunities this year as he would’ve liked, but that’s a testament to Saquon and his availability. And then I thought some of the later round guys did a good job, too. Excited about (defensive lineman) Jordon Riley. Again, those guys have a big offseason coming into next year. We’ll expect them to be – either those guys are going to start or depth contributors going into year two.

Q: How do you evaluate the (tight end Darren) Waller trade and do you view him as an important piece going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would do it again. I would do it again with Waller. I mean, you guys saw him this spring, you saw him in the summer. Unfortunately, he had the injury before the Dallas game. Again, he was still a productive part of our offense when available. I would do that again every day of the week.

Q: So, he’ll be back?

JOE SCHOEN: What’s that?

Q: Darren will be back?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ll have those conversations with the staff, but the expectation is he’ll be back.

Q: With the margins being as small as they are in the league, when you look at last year’s team and this year’s team, obviously six wins this year, nine last year plus the playoff win. How close were these two teams in reality when you look at it?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, well you know every season is a different season. Every team different. We closed out some games that first year, you know on the foot line against Jacksonville or the two-point conversion with Saquon being dead to rights. Tennessee missed a field goal. So, some of those – and the last play against Green Bay if you will. Games, a lot of these games, come down to at the end of the game, they’re close games and we had a few of those this year, whether it was the Buffalo game, whether it was the Jet game, whether it was the Rams game, that we didn’t close out. I’d say there’s always a difference, there’s some similarities, there’s obviously some differences. Got a lot of work to do but appreciate the way the guys competed. Again, the margin is very small in this league and that’s why there change every year in terms of playoff teams and not playoff teams. I don’t know what it is, how many years for four different playoff teams? What is it, 15? Whatever it is that I heard, something I heard. So, looking forward to really diving in, deep dive into really every aspect of the organization. Coaching, players, evaluation, staff and working to get better. It’s day one, 12 hours after our last game, so we’ll start on this and look forward to that process.

Q: The young guys who were affected by injuries, what do you lean on in terms of evaluating them, especially if they don’t have a lot on tape to really look at?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m trying to think, anybody specific?

Q: I’m thinking (offensive lineman Marcus) McKethan, (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu, guys like that.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’ll be big years for those guys. I mean, you’re going into year three and unfortunately – McKethan was healthy, he didn’t really come to – what was it, like third week of camp, I think, was when he started to practice, so he missed a valuable part of camp, but unfortunately Josh has been injured two years in a row, so yeah, I mean it’s a big offseason for those guys. I know they are planning on hanging around and being around the strength and conditioning staff and whoever we end up hiring as an o-line coach, but yeah, it’s a big year, third year, you’ve got to show something.

Q: Does it all begin with the offensive line in your mind? It’s an area that the Giants have struggled at for a number of years in a row.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think that’s important. Again, ultimately, it’s a team game, and I’d like to believe that starts up front on both sides of the ball. So yeah, that’s something that we’re going to have to look into. We’ve got to be better.

Q: (Safety Xavier) McKinney views himself as one of the elite safeties in the NFL. He’s headed into free agency. Do you see him that way, and what’s the interest in retaining him?

JOE SCHOEN: We’re going to talk to all those guys. I’m not going to negotiate myself against myself and call him elite or make some hyperbolic statement about how great he is. But no, I like Xavier McKinney. He’s been a good player since we’ve gotten here. He’s young, he played 100 percent of the snaps, checks a lot of the boxes. He’s a guy that we’ll obviously talk with. It’s just you’ve got so many resources and how are you going to divvy them up when you put the puzzle together in the offseason. So yeah, he’ll be a guy that we’ll talk to, obviously.

Q: Would you be open to using the tag on him?

JOE SCHOEN: We’ll have those conversations. Again, having just went through the tag, it’s not something I want to use on a year in and year out basis, but it’s a tool at our disposal. So, we’ll talk through all that stuff.

Q: You mentioned evaluating everything. You assume that’s a lot of bad stuff and stuff that didn’t go well, but you also mentioned signing Bobby O. That, I would imagine, is an example of a signing that you made that hit probably 100 percent. When you look at that signing, what can you take from that that can help you moving forward with other signings?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say that process—(defensive lineman) A’Shawn (Robinson), I think, was a good addition. I think Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches) was a good addition. (Safety/inside linebacker) Isaiah Simmons was a good addition. I think extending (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II) was a good decision. (Tackle) Andrew Thomas was… You know what I mean?

You go through and you’re always evaluating yourself and so I think our free agent process was good. We brought in guys that fit our culture, they were good guys, they helped elevate their rooms and Bobby O’s one of those guys. I think that process overall went well, and again, we’ve just got to continue to—we’ve really had one offseason where we’ve had financial flexibility. Those were some of the guys that we brought in. I’m excited to get together with my leadership group and the pro scouting staff and hopefully have another good offseason and bring in guys that can bring similar value to the team as those guys.

Q: You mentioned culture right there. Two years in, how do you define the culture now and are you where you want to be?

JOE SCHOEN: I think last night is a good example. The last two weeks, even against the Rams, or even the second half of the Philly game on Christmas Day. The guys continue to come in and put in the work, compete, and we were in those games. I mean, Philly’s a playoff team, the Rams are a playoff team, and the last three games a year against two teams that are going to the playoffs. We took them down to the end and we beat Philadelphia. The ball goes our way, make the field goal versus the Rams, or the two-point play, or whatever it may be, who knows how it turns out. We took those guys down to the end and I think that’s, again, a testament to Dabs and the staff and the character of the players in the locker room.

Q: How do you think you guys can manage the injuries going into next season? I know you’re always evaluating this stuff, so any ideas now?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, absolutely. I know, you guys are aware that (Director of Strength and Conditioning) Craig Fitzgerald left for Florida. So, we’re in the process of looking for a strength and conditioning coach, and we’ll probably have something in place here shortly. We’re going to look at, again, every aspect of football operations, and have talks with (Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff. How we do things year-round to—it’s football, so there’s 31 other teams that are playing football as well. We know injuries are going to happen. But where we rank in the injury category, every year, you want to get better and get in that top 10, top five if you can, because it gives you the best chance to win. Not just on the field, but there’s a domino effect to your salary cap and replacement costs. If you’re consistently in the bottom third, that hurts you in several different areas. So that’s part of the process we’re going to continue to evaluate.

Q: When you talk injuries, I think there’s this perception that it’s the strength and conditioning, or it’s the medical staff. How does that all work tied together when you’re analyzing where the issues may be from an injury perspective for you? Because I know some of it is different, right? I mean, some of it is prevention, but also it’s the medical staff’s involvement when players do get injured.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, and I’ve got a lot of faith in our medical staff and they’re very good at what they do. We have these conversations all the time. Belly (tight end Daniel Bellinger) missed some time last year, he got punched in the eye, you can’t prevent that. There are some things that are freak accidents, and you can’t prevent. We had six ACLs last year; we had two this year. One was in the preseason, one was Daniel. So, we improved there. Our soft tissue stuff has improved a year ago.

So again, if there’s a consistent injury that keeps popping up, you’re going to dive into that. Some of it is just football. We have the video of all the injuries, we go back, we analyze it, and we look at our strength and conditioning, is there something we can do better to help improve whatever that injury is? Or is it our return to play? We look at all that, and we’re going to continue to look at that. Some of it’s the player acquisition process. As we’re drafting players or signing players in free agency, are there body tests that we can do with the players? We’re looking into some of that just in terms of are there certain markers within the athlete’s physical makeup that lead them to be more durable and available on Sunday? So, we’re going to continue to look under every rock and again, having a healthy team gives you the best chance to win. So that’s the ultimate goal.

Q: You mentioned trying to expedite the process to help Daniel win with playmakers. How much does that remain a priority to upgrade that part of this team?

JOE SCHOEN: Offensively, we want to continue to upgrade. I think you saw last night Wan’Dale had some explosive plays, Hyatt’s an explosive-play guy, (wide receiver Darius) Slayton had some explosive plays, Waller was good for us down the stretch there when he came back. So, again, I think there’s offensive weapons. Saquon made some plays last night, too. It’s just a matter of being consistent. To see that on a week in and week out basis is the goal. We’ll continue to evaluate all that stuff. I think we do have some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. If there’s, at the right price or the right spot in the Draft, a chance to upgrade, we’ll definitely look at it.

Q: As far as your staff, last year you let (former Running Backs Coach) DeAndre Smith leave for a lateral job. Is that a policy you have, or is it case by case? Would you let any of your assistants now who say they want to leave, leave?

BRIAN DABOLL: That’s something I talk with those guys about. Joe and I talk about it. Every situation is different.

Q: Speaking of staff, there was talk about Jeff Nixon, the running backs coach. Is he staying or is he leaving?

BRIAN DABOLL: No, he’s going to be the coordinator for Syracuse. Jeff’s done a great job. Jeff and I go way back. He eventually wants to become a college head football coach. Got a chance to say goodbye to him yesterday, his family, great people. His son is actually in the national championship tonight. So, he’s headed out there to watch him play.

Q: Has anybody asked to talk to any of your coordinators or assistants?

BRIAN DABOLL: No.

Q: How much cap space are you going to have?

JOE SCHOEN: Well, we don’t know the salary cap number yet. So, once we get that, we’ll have a better idea.

Q: What has ownership’s message been to you guys? I don’t know if you had a postseason meeting with (President and CEO) John (Mara) and (Chairman and Executive Vice President) Steve (Tisch) yet, but just curious what their overall tenor is about the season.

JOE SCHOEN: We talk to them on a daily basis.

BRIAN DABOLL: We talk to them every day pretty much. Good conversations. Private conversations. Great ownership. Appreciate them. It’s a good dynamic.

Q: Are you bullish on your team and this franchise going forward, and if so, why?

BRIAN DABOLL: Look, I’m confident in what we do, how we do things. Certainly, there’s a lot of things that we can improve. That’s what the offseason is for, really, in every aspect, like Joe talked about. Look forward to getting started. As you all know, once one thing ends, it starts up. So, then there’s the Senior Bowl and the East-West Game and evaluations, player evaluations, and the Combine. You enjoy that part of it, trying to improve your football team and improve the things that you think you can do better and we can do better collectively to get going for the next part of the season. So, you want to be playing this weekend. That’s the ultimate goal, to get yourself into that tournament, and we missed out on it. So, look forward to getting back into it and trying to improve in every way possible.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • QB Tommy DeVito (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Jalin Hyatt (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • DL Dexter Lawrence (Video)
Jan 072024
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (January 7, 2024)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 27 – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 10
The New York Giants upset the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 in the team’s final game of the 2023 NFL season. The Giants finished with a 6-11 record. The Giants will also hold the 6th overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Emblematic of the final score, the Giants out-gained the Eagles in first downs (22 to 19), total net yards (415 to 299), net yards passing (306 to 166), and time of possession (32:57 to 27:03). The Eagles did out-rush the Giants (133 to 109). The Giants won the turnover battle (4 to 1).

The Giants and Eagles exchanged punts to start the game. New York then put together a 9-play, 67-yard drive that resulted in a 24-yard field goal by kicker Mason Crosby. Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson jump-started this possession with a 33-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The Eagles threatened on their second drive as well, gaining 57 yards. However, on 2nd-and-9 from the New York 27-yard line, cornerback Nick McCloud forced a fumble after a 9-yard catch. Linebacker Micah McFadden recovered and advanced the ball back to the 27. The Giants’ offense went three-and-out. The Eagles gained 34 yards but turned the football over on downs after quarterback Jalen Hurt’s pass on 4th-and-3 from their own 48-yard line fell incomplete.

New York’s fourth offensive possession began with a 3rd-and-1 conversion. Five plays later, on 3rd-and-11, Taylor found Robinson for a 26-yard gain down to the 2-yard line. Running back Saquon Barkley scored on the next snap and the Giants were up 10-0.

The Eagles went three-and-out, highlighted by a 14-yard sack by safety Dane Belton on 3rd-and-6. It took the Giants just six plays to score, with big passing plays to tight end Darren Waller for 23 yards and Robinson for 19 yards. Barkley scored his second rushing touchdown as the Giants were now up 17-0.

Linebacker Bobby Okereke sacked Hurts for a 12-yard loss and the Eagles went three-and-out again. New York then scored their third offensive touchdown in a row, highlighted by a 46-yard pass to Barkley on 3rd-and-2. Taylor then found wide receiver Darius Slayton for the 19-yard score.

The last 1:47 of the first half was eventful. On 3rd-and-8, Hurt’s deep pass was intercepted near the sideline by safety Xavier McKinney, who did a marvelous job of keeping his feet inbounds. The Giants went three-and-out. The Eagles pulled Hurts out of the game for Marcus Mariota, but his first pass was also intercepted by McKinney, setting up the Giants at the Philadelphia 12-yard line. Unfortunately, Taylor was intercepted on the next play when his pass was deflected by cornerback James Bradberry.

At the half, the Giants led 24-0.

The third quarter began with the Eagles gaining 33 yards before punting. In turn, the Giants netted 38 yards before also punting. Philadelphia finally got on the scoreboard after a 13-play, 66-yard drive ended with a 36-yard field goal. The Giants gained 21 yards and punted early in the fourth quarter.

The Eagles tightened the game to 27-10 with an 8-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to wide receiver Quez Watkins. However, the Giants responded with a 12-play, 72-yard drive that not only added a 21-yard field goal, but it took over six and a half minutes off of the clock.

With three and a half minutes left to play, linebacker Jihad Ward sacked Mariota, causing a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Azeez Ojulari at the Philadelpha 28-yard line. The Giants could not advance the ball and Crosby missed a 45-yard field goal at the 2-minute warning. The game ended at midfield with a 6-yard sack by Ojulari.

Taylor finished the game 23-of-32 for 297 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also rushed for 38 yards on eight carries. His leading targets were Robinson (5 catches for 85 yards), Slayton (5 catches for 62 yards), and Waller (5 catches for 45 yards). Barkley was held to 46 rushing yards on 18 carries, but he did score twice and caught two passes for 51 yards.

Defensively, the Giants picked off two passes (both by McKinney) and recovered two fumbles. The Giants also generated five sacks, two by Ojulari and one each by Okereke, Belton, and Ward.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ELEVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, placed S Jason Pinnock (foot) on Injured Reserve and signed QB Jacob Eason and TE Tyree Jackson to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The Giants also activated (standard elevation) OT Yodny Cajuste and PK Mason Crosby from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were OC John Michael Schmitz (shin), CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), QB Jacob Eason, WR Parris Campbell, TE Tyree Jackson, DT Timmy Horne, and OLB Benton Whitley.

WR Jalin Hyatt (hamstring) left the game in the first half and did not return. CB Nick McCloud (back) left in the second half. QB Tyrod Taylor (thumb) and TE Darren Waller (burner) were injured in the first half but returned to the game.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday morning.

Jan 052024
 
Jason Pinnock, New York Giants (October 8, 2023)

Jason Pinnock – © USA TODAY Sports

RUNNING BACKS COACH JEFF NIXON LEAVES FOR SYRACUSE…
As has been rumored, Syracuse University has announced that they have hired New York Giants Running Backs Coach Jeff Nixon to be the school’s new offensive coordinator and running backs coach. Nixon joined the Giants’ staff in February 2023 after three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Nixon will reportedly continue to coach with the Giants through Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

JANUARY 5, 2024 GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
S Jason Pinnock (toe) did not practice on Friday. He has been officially ruled out of Sunday’s season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

QB Tyrod Taylor (back), OC John Michael Schmitz (shin), ILB Carter Coughlin (shoulder), CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), and CB Darnay Holmes (foot) were limited in practice. Banks is listed as “doubtful” for the game while Schmitz is “questionable.”

Offensive tackles Evan Neal (fractured talus bone in ankle) and Tyre Phillips (torn quad tendon) had surgery on Tuesday.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Jan 032024
 
Saquon Barkley and Brian Daboll, New York Giants (December 31, 2023)

Saquon Barkley and Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

JANUARY 3, 2024 GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The Giants held a walk-through practice on Wednesday and issued the following injury report as a projection:

OC John Michael Schmitz (shin) and S Jason Pinnock (toe) did not practice on Wednesday.

QB Tyrod Taylor (back), ILB Carter Coughlin (shoulder), CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), and CB Darnay Holmes (foot) were limited.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Tuesday, the Giants placed OT Tyre Phillips (torn quad tendon) on Injured Reserve. After being cut in August, the Giants re-signed Phillips to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Philadelphia Eagles in October. He was immediately thrust into the starting lineup at right tackle due injuries to Evan Neal. Phillips suffered a torn quad tendon in his right leg in Week 17, an injury that requires surgery. In all, Phillips played in 10 games with nine starts at right tackle for the Giants in 2023.

On Monday, the Giants signed OLB Jeremiah Martin to the Practice Squad. The 24-year old, 6’4”, 267-pound Martin was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cleveland Browns after the 2023 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in late August.

GUNNER OLSZEWSKI NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants wide receiver Gunner Olszewski has been named the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. In that game, Olszewski returned four punts for 108 yards, including a 94-yard return for a touchdown. It was the second longest punt return in Giants’ history and the longest in 95 years. In 1928, Al Youngblood scored on a 95-yard return against the Pottsville Maroons.

THE HEAD COACH AND PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players practice on Thursday afternoon. The team’s coordinators will also address the media.

Jan 012024
 
Gunner Olszewski, New York Giants (December 31, 2023)

Gunner Olszewski – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS FACE EAGLES AT 4:25PM ON SUNDAY…
The time and date of the New York Giants’ final game of the 2023 season has been set. The Giants will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 4:25PM. The game will be televised on CBS.

TORN QUAD FOR TYRE PHILLIPS…
Offensive tackle Tyre Phillips suffered a torn quad tendon in his right leg during yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Phillips will need surgery.

JANUARY 1, 2024 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday (VIDEO):

Q: How’s (tackle) Tyre (Phillips)? What’s the official diagnosis with that?

A: It’s a quad, so he’ll have surgery here soon.

Q: Like a torn quad, I take it.

A: Yeah, yep. Quad tendon.

Q: I was hoping you could shed some light on something, there’s probably 1,000 different fan theories as to this. Why do you think the offense has been so much more aggressive, and by that I mean downfield shots taken, with both (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito), who I think you said has a ‘let it rip mentality’, and (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) than it was with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones)?

A: I’ll just talk about last game because it’s the one we just played. I thought that Tyrod saw some things relative to things opening up and let it go and made the right decisions. Every game is different but he’s done that the last couple of games for us, which in turn helps. You skip some third downs and usually it gives you points. Had one taken back on a penalty but those are always helpful to get into the endzone.

Q: But the season long numbers, I get that you want to talk about the last game, my point is the season long numbers show aggressiveness. Metrics, whatever, show that those two quarterbacks are throwing downfield more. Is that because Daniel is more likely to run? Does that contribute to the different offensive lines? Like I said, there’s about 1,000 theories and I want to clear it up for people from your explanation.

A: We’ll look into that once we’re done with the season. We’ll finish up with this game, get ready for next game and look at all those things when the season is over.

Q: But it’s safe to say that you want your offense to be able to push the offense downfield the way you guys have of late, right?

A: Hey, big plays help.

Q: Just to get back to that right tackle spot, how did you think (tackle) Matt (Peart) did when he came in?

A: I thought he did good for not having played for a while. Came in and acquitted himself. Obviously, some plays that we’d like to have back but did a nice job filling in for us.

Q: What made that punt return work?

A: We got some good blocks on their gunners and then (wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski) got into that mix, did a great job of really securing the football. Two hands on it, spun out of it and kind of reset where he was going, and we had a whole wall in front of him, but it starts with blocking the gunners and the ball security because he got into that mix and spun out and had a good finish.

Q: He kind of joked, he said he didn’t realize how long of a return it was. He said he probably shouldn’t have returned that one. What did you think at the time?

A: That’s a attaboy.

Q: I’m wondering how do handle players’ futures during the season? Is it something that comes up in conversation, I know you talk to your players a lot. Obviously, it’s something that they think about. Is it something you talk about with them and how do you sort of handle that?

A: Give me an example.

Q: (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) is in the last year of his deal again. That’s obviously something he thinks about –

A: I gotcha, I just wanted to make sure. Yeah, we focus on the opponent we are playing, doing as well as we can do, that’s the stuff that we’re focused on as a coaching staff and the players. The business side of things, they’ll take care of themselves, but during the season we’re just locked into our opponent, doing what we need to do, practicing, preparing. That’s where all our focus is.

Q: And in regards to the offense, the big plays, from a macro perspective like when you sit down in the offseason, try to envision what your offense is, do you envision it as a big play offense? Do you want to throw the ball down the field a lot or how do you kind of look at that?

A: Yeah, we’ll talk about all that once we get to the offseason. Every year is different. So, you know we will get up, finish this game up and get back on to the Eagles.

Q: As a guy who’s been a position coach and a coordinator and now a head coach, how much rope do you feel you give your coordinators? And how much do you lean on them? You have to obviously lean on them a lot, but what do you feel that interaction should be like?

A: They do a good job of leading their staffs. Communication and then you have to call the game. That’s pretty much the way it is.

Q: You have called games and probably been overruled and vetoed before, are you sensitive to that or do you say no, no that’s my job. I got to do that whenever it’s necessary.

A: Yeah, look every call is my responsibility.

Q: Do you feel that way, offense and defense, ultimately?

A: Yeah, every call. Every call. But I have trust in those guys. They prepare hard, they work hard as a staff. So, I have trust in those guys.

Q: Is that a teaching/learning moment kind of thing yesterday with (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) and the second down play, the draw play?

A: Yeah, look, I’d like to have that one back. So, like I said yesterday not much to add to it. I’d like to have that one back.

Q: One of the things I don’t know if you were asked about this year, or at least I don’t recall you were, was the play of the gunners on special teams. It looks like from last year to this year the gunner play has been a lot better. Can you just talk about the job that they have done and am I correct when I say that it’s been better this year?

A: Yeah, (cornerback) Nick McCloud is really one of the better gunners. Physical. Now we had to replace him because he was playing a lot of defense, but I think (cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) has really stepped up and done a nice job and forced a lot of fair catches and when they are singled up, we expect them to win and when they get viced and doubled, that’s tough sledding and we expect them to still go down there and do a good job of trying to force fair catches or make good plays for us.

Q: When you have guys like that who can make plays for you and they’re at the end of their contract, does that factor into whether or not they’re part of the plans long term?

A: All those discussions take place at the end of the season. So, that’s not for another week.

Q: (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) had that missed tackle on the long catch-and-run, but when you watched back through the game, were you satisfied with his physicality play-to-play?

A: Yeah, I’d say, look, there’s a lot of plays we all wish we had back, really at every spot. Made some nice plays, created a turnover, but certainly we can all do a little bit better.

Q: You have to obviously make really quick calls on those two challenges. Who is advising you when to throw the flag and when not?

A: I talked about this a lot last year. Whether it’s time management, whether it’s rules, (Offensive Assistant/Game Manager) Cade (Knox) and (Director of Football Data and Innovation) Ty (Siam) do a great job. Very well prepared, very well thought out. We meet a lot during the week. Sometimes you’ve got to make a split-second decision if you think you see it on the ground, but I usually rely on those guys to get to see what they see on the replay. You’ve just got to be quick to throw it. They were up there fast on the one, so we just let that one go. We used two early on in the game. If you use two, you get one back if you get both of them right. So, we were fortunate to have another one. Didn’t need it, but those were two big ones. One was on fourth down.

Those guys do a good job really with a lot of things I would say within our program. Two of those guys who—two Ivy Leaguers. They do a nice job.

Q: At least with the players I spoke to postgame, they all were very disappointed or seemed very disappointed about the loss, about not getting it done, not beating the Rams and that kind of thing. Do you talk to your team when it’s out of it about those characteristics, about still playing hard and giving effort as if you were competing for a playoff?

A: First, you have to understand, they’re professionals. So, everybody has a job to do in this league. You try to do it as good as you can do it, try to prepare, take a lot of pride in your work, put a lot of time into it. They put a lot of time into their body, into their studying, they study in groups. This is a group of guys that have worked really hard. We haven’t got the results that we want, but the competitive stamina, we certainly talk about competing and finishing and being good teammates. Those are all important characteristics for our program. Again, not the results that we’ve wanted this season, but try to finish strong on a good note against a good team that we just played last week. But certainly you talk about competition and resiliency and toughness and finish, accountability, all those types of things.

Q: Did (safety) Dane Belton in particular impress you yesterday given the circumstance with which he was in a prime role?

A: Yeah. I know he had the turnovers, but the one play that I was really impressed with is the play that they broke out for the long gain on the hitch route and his chase, to run down there and to finish, he showed some good long speed. Again, running to the ball when you think a guy might score, I just thought the effort he had on that play was indicative of what the young man is about.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and there is no media availability to the team on that day. Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media on Wednesday.

Dec 312023
 
Jamie Gillan and Mason Crosby, New York Giants (December 31, 2023)

So Close, But Yet So Far – © USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES RAMS 26 – NEW YORK GIANTS 25
The New York Giants came close to upsetting the red-hot Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, but untimely missed throws, dropped passes, missed tackles, penalties, and missed kicks hurt the team. The Giants lost 26-25, falling to 5-11 on the season with one more game to play.

In terms of overall team stats, the Rams held slight advantages in first downs (22 to 17), total net yards (391 to 389), net yards passing (286 to 284), and time of possession (30:11 to 29:49). Both teams rushed for 105 yards. The Giants won the turnover battle 3 to 1.

The Rams received the football to start the game, gained 54 yards on 10 plays, but had their 4th-and-3 passing attempt from the New York 21-yard fall incomplete, turning the ball over on downs. The Giants went three-and-out on their first possession. The Rams then responded with an 8-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard run for a touchdown by running back Kyren Williams. Rams 7 – Giants 0.

The Giants tied the game on their second offensive possession with a 9-play, 75-yard drive. The Giants overcame a 3rd-and-4 and 3rd-and-6 before a 24-yard end-around for the score by wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson early in the 2nd quarter.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants got the ball back when safety Dane Belton intercepted an overthrown pass by quarterback Mathew Stafford. However, the Giants gave the ball right back to the Rams after a failed 4th-and-1 conversion attempt at the New York 46-yard line. Eight plays later, Stafford threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-7.

The last 1:44 of the first half was eventful. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s deep pass intended for wide receiver Darius Slayton was intercepted at the Los Angeles 27-yard line. On the very next snap, Stafford completed a 16-yard pass over the middle, but cornerback Adoree’ Jackson forced a fumble that was recovered by Belton, setting up New York at the Rams’ 43-yard line. The Giants managed to gain 30 yards in the last 58 seconds to set up a 31-yard field goal as time expired. (The first attempt was blocked however the Rams were flagged with a leaping penalty).

At the half, the Rams led 14-10.

The Giants gained one first down and crossed midfield, but were forced to punt after Taylor was sacked on the team’s first drive of the second half. Then on 3rd-and-4 from the Los Angeles 18-yard line, Stafford completed a short pass to wide receiver Puka Nacua that he broke for an 80-yard gain to the New York 2-yard line. Williams scored on the next play. The Rams missed the extra point. Rams 20 – Giants 10.

After both teams exchanged punts again, the Giants overcame a 3rd-and-10 with an 11-yard completion to tight end Darren Waller. On the next snap, Taylor threw a beautiful deep pass to Slayton that was completed for an 80-yard touchdown. However, place kicker Mason Crosby missed the extra point and the Giants trailed 20-16.

Momentum continued to shift in the Giants direction as Belton intercepted his second pass on Los Angeles’ ensuing possession, setting up the Giants at the Rams’ 34-yard line. The Giants converted on 4th-and-1 at the 25-yard line, reached the 10, but were pushed back and forced to settle for a 32-yard field goal. The Giants now only trailed by one point early in the 4th quarter, 20-19.

Here is where momentum quickly shifted back to the Rams. The Giants defense allowed a quick, 3-play, 75-yard score with two chunk plays, including a 37-yard pass by Stafford and a 28-yard touchdown run by Williams. The Rams missed the extra point again, but now extended their lead to 26-19 with 12 minutes to play.

The Giants gained two first downs and reached the Los Angeles 42-yard line, but were pushed back with another sack. After an 18-yard gain on 3rd-and-19, the Giants went for it on 4th-and-1, however Taylor’s completion to wide receiver Jalin Hyatt lost a yard, turning the ball over on downs at the Rams’ 34-yard line. Both teams then exchanged punts again.

With 4:46 left to play, the Rams began another possession, gained a first down, but then Stafford was sacked on 3rd-and-7 by inside linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches. The ensuing punt was fielded by wideout Gunner Olszewski, who broke a tackle en route to a 94-yard score. Trailing by one point, 26-25, Head Coach Brian Daboll went for two. Unfortunately, Taylor badly missed a wide open running back Saquon Barkley for what should have been an easy 2-point conversion.

The Rams got the ball back with 3:27 left to play. On 3rd-and-9, linebacker Isaiah Simmons sacked Stafford for a 10-yard loss. After the punt and a 10-yard holding penalty on cornerback Darnay Holmes, the Giants had the ball on their own 35-yard line with 1:08 left to play. Barkley dropped a pass, but Taylor then scrambled for 31 yards to the Los Angeles 34-yard line. Taylor decided to spike the ball with 43 seconds left, losing a down. Oddly, the Giants ran the ball to Barkley with no timeouts. Worse, this play lost two yards. Taylor’s 3rd-and-12 pass was incomplete. Crosby’s 54-yard field goal came up short with 30 seconds to play and the Rams ran out the clock.

Taylor finished the game 27-of-41 for 319 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 40 yards on six carries. Robinson caught six passes for 55 yards and rushed for a 24-yard touchdown. Waller had five catches for 51 yards and Slayton had four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Barkley was held to 39 yards on 12 carries.

Defensively, Okereke led the team with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a tackle for a loss. Simmons and linebacker Jihad Ward each had a sack and Nunez-Roches had a half-sack. Belton picked off two passes and recovered a fumble.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

ROSTER MOVES, PRACTICE SQUAD ELEVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
On Saturday, placed TE Lawrence Cager (groin) on Injured Reserve and signed ILB Darrian Beavers to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The Giants also activated (standard elevation) WR Dennis Houston and PK Mason Crosby from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), WR Parris Campbell, WR Dennis Houston, OC Sean Harlow, DT Timmy Horne, OLB Benton Whitley, and S Gervarrius Owens.

RT Tyre Phillips (right knee) and S Jason Pinnock (foot) were injured in the game. It is feared that the injury to Phillips is serious. Pinnock was wearing boot in the locker room, but he said x-rays were negative.

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

CRAIG FITZGERALD DEPARTS GIANTS…
The Florida Gators have hired Craig Fitzgerald to be their new director of football performance. Fitzgerald had been the Giants’ director of strength and performance since 2020 when he was hired by then head coach Joe Judge.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday.

Dec 292023
 
Deonte Banks, New York Giants (October 22, 2023)

Deonte Banks – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 29, 2023 GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Everyone on the 53-man roster practiced in some capacity on Friday.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (quad), TE Lawrence Cager (groin), DL Dexter Lawrence (hamstring), DL A’Shawn Robinson (back), DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (knee), CB Deonte Banks (shoulder), and P Jamie Gillan (groin/knee) practiced on a limited basis. Cager is officially “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. Robinson and Banks are “questionable.” Everyone else is expected to be available to play.

RB Saquon Barkley (elbow), TE Darren Waller (knee), OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), OG Ben Bredeson (quad), OG Justin Pugh (elbow), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle) fully practiced. All six players are expected to play on Sunday.

The Daily News is reporting that RT Evan Neal, who is on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury that requires surgery, actually broke his left ankle.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

COREY WEBSTER RETIRES A GIANT…
Former New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster, who played for the team from 2005 to 2013, officially retired as New York Giant on Friday. The video of his retirement press conference is available on YouTube.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The Giants host the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Dec 272023
 
Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants (December 25, 2023)

Tyrod Taylor – © USA TODAY Sports

TYROD TAYLOR WILL START AGAINST THE RAMS…
The New York Giants have announced that quarterback Tyrod Taylor will start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. “I thought (quarterback) Ty did some good things in the second half of Philly so he earned the right to start this game,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll on Wednesday.

“It’s part of the business,” said Taylor. “Thankful for the opportunity. Looking forward to getting out on the field with the guys this weekend and competing.”

“I’m going to continue to be a good teammate,” said quarterback Tommy DeVito, who lost the starting job. “Obviously, it’s a coaches’ decision. I have no, obviously, say or anything in that but I’m going to continue to be a good teammate, go out and compete.”

DECEMBER 27, 2023 GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The Giants only held a walk-through practice on Wednesday and the following injury report is the team’s projection.

TE Lawrence Cager (groin), DL Dexter Lawrence (hamstring), DL A’Shawn Robinson (back), DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (knee), and CB Deonte Banks (shoulder) did not practice.

RB Saquon Barkley (elbow), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (quad), TE Darren Waller (knee), OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), OG Ben Bredeson (quad), OG Justin Pugh (elbow), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), and P Jamie Gillan (groin/knee) were limited in practice.

RT Evan Neal (ankle), who was placed on Injured Reserve on Sunday, will undergo surgery. “He’s going to get the surgery, fairly soon, and then rehab,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll.

JAGUARS SIGN MATT BARKLEY…
The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed quarterback Matt Barkley off of the Practice Squad of the New York Giants. The Giants signed Barkley to the Practice Squad in late October 2023 and 53-man roster in early November 2023. He was shifted back to the Practice Squad in early December.

The 6’2”, 227-pound Barkley was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The well-travelled Barkley has spent time with the Eagles (2013–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015-2016, 2017), Chicago Bears (2016), San Francisco 49ers (2017), Cincinnati Bengals (2018), Buffalo Bills (2018-2020, 2022-2023), Tennessee Titans (2021), Carolina Panthers (2021), and Atlanta Falcons (2021).

THE HEAD COACH AND PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players practice on Thursday afternoon. The team’s coordinators will also address the media.