Jan 272021
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks and head coaches will always be lightning rods for the media and fans. That’s just the way it is. Winning championships will silence most critics. But only for a limited time, and they will then soon return. We saw this with Phil Simms and Eli Manning. Simms’ regular-season record was a 95-64; Manning’s regular-season record was 117-117. Other modern era NYG quarterbacks of note, Dave Brown was 23-30 and Kerry Collins was 35-33 when they played for the Giants.

Through two seasons, Daniel Jones is 8-18.

So fan ire directed at Jones is as predictable as the sun rising in the east, especially with Joe Judge just finishing his introductory honeymoon season. Is the criticism justified? Passionate opinions vary. And everyone has an opinion. I will simply point to something Sy’56 wrote in his second-to-last game review of the 2020 campaign:

It is OK if you believe Jones is not the answer. It is OK if you think Jones is the answer. Nobody can objectively determine that right now. One thing we all can and should agree on: you don’t know. I don’t know. He doesn’t know. She doesn’t know. The kid has played TWENTY-FIVE games behind a bottom-5 offensive line, the worst set of receivers in football, a tight end who is among league leaders in drops, and a star running back who has missed 14 of 25 games in which Jones started. He needs to be better and I have been vocal about that. You can even argue NYG should start over at QB in the upcoming draft. But to say Jones and NYG should be better because he was the #6 pick (means almost nothing, do some research), or that Jones is a definitive bust, you just sound foolish. This kid has shown more in 25 games than SO MANY quality quarterbacks. That is a fact.

Piggybacking on what Sy’56 wrote, I’m not going to try to convince you that Jones is a good or bad NFL quarterback. Opinions are far too set in concrete. I will simply remind you that many, if not most, New York Giants fans were convinced Phil Simms was a dog as late as the 1986 season (the Giants passing game really struggled much of that year) and the same of Eli Manning in 2007 (just remember the mood after the November game against the Vikings). At the time, Simms was in his 8th NFL season and Manning in his 4th NFL season and fans were still calling both bums.

Big picture. Other than the ridiculous number of fumbles, Jones had an incredible rookie season. His sophomore season in the NFL was a major disappointment. Despite starting two more games, Jones’ touchdown productivity fell from 24 to 11. Interceptions have not been a big problem for him, but the fumbling is still an issue even though it dropped from 18 to 11 (one of those was on Wayne Gallman).

Jones struggled early. The offensive line and running backs did not play well and Jones ended up being the leading rusher for the team in four of the first seven games. Once the offensive line started to improve and the running game picked up, Jones stopped turning the ball over, he played better, and the team began to win games. Unfortunately, just as Jones seemed to be hitting his stride, he suffered a hamstring injury, missed a game, came back too soon, injured his ankle, and missed another game. Jones’ rough start and finish overshadowed the brief positive stretch in November. In some ways, the season feels like an “incomplete” grade for Jones.

My biggest take-away from 2020 regarding Daniel Jones is what Joe Judge (unprompted) said about him on December 28th after a rough loss against the Baltimore Ravens:

We have to make sure we avoid the hits on the quarterback. But there are times you’re protecting with just five and they’re bringing six or seven, and Daniel did a very good job yesterday of really controlling it and operating it and getting the ball out. You look at yesterday, there are a lot of situations where Daniel knew there were going to be free runners. You just know it by scheme. That’s part of how you design getting the ball out. We had some hot reads, some sight adjustments, and just some plays schemed for a quick gain. I really like the way Daniel handled it yesterday. You kind of talk about what level of improvement have we seen throughout the year, I think there are a lot of things that show up on the tape yesterday with #8. You watch him from the start of the year to through yesterday and how he handled a lot of the situations with the pressure, the ball security and the decision-making. He did a lot of things that demonstrate a lot of growth. There are a lot of things you guys ask me all the time. What are you really looking at with this team as you go forward?

Well, I’ll start with a key piece right there with Daniel. You always want to know about is Daniel our guy? Are we going forward with Daniel? The answer is absolutely. What gives us that confidence is even in games like yesterday where it didn’t come out perfectly, you can turn the tape on and you can say, ‘hey listen, in games one through whatever, that wasn’t the guy we were looking at.’ You watch the tape yesterday and you see that guy in there operating, executing, understanding the pressure and not just standing in there with courage like he’s done all along and taken a hit but understanding how to take the hit and deliver an accurate pass and move the sticks down the field. These are things that as he grows in this league and develops in his craft, he’s going to be able to do. As we get going and we build more into this scheme, he’ll be able to handle it different ways as well and take some hits off himself. You see a lot of growth in these guys. I thought Daniel yesterday played well. There are some plays I’m sure he’d like to have back, some plays we’d like to do differently. That’s natural in any game. We’re going to coach it to eliminate those plays on the front end. But at the same time, there was a lot of growth that I saw with Daniel that’s really showed up in terms of how he had to play the game yesterday and what he’s able to do.

THE STARTER

In his second NFL season, Daniel Jones did not have the type of year hoped for or expected. Missing two games due to leg injuries (hamstring and ankle), Jones started 14 games and completing 62.5 percent of his passes for just 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. On the positive side, he rushed the ball 65 times for 423 yards (6.5 yards per attempt) and one touchdown. Jones’ productivity fell from his somewhat stellar rookie season, when he started 12 games, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. While Jones markedly decreased his fumbling in 2020, it still remained an issue. In two seasons, Jones has fumbled the ball 29 times, losing 17. The Giants drafted Jones in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jones has classic quarterback size and is a good athlete who can hurt teams with his feet. He has good but not great arm strength. Encumbered with poor surrounding talent, Jones was not quick and decisive with his reads at times in 2020, holding the ball too long, and was inconsistent with his accuracy. However, Jones still continued to flash as both a passer and runner. In a nutshell, Jones is still too hot and cold. He is competitive, smart, tough, and hard-working. The coaching staff thinks very highly of him.

THE BACK-UP

Colt McCoy easily won the back-up quarterback spot for the Giants in 2020 and ended up playing in four games with two starts, completing 60.6 percent of his passes for 375 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The 6’1”, 212-pound McCoy was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2010-2012), San Francisco 49ers (2013), and Washington Redskins (2014-2019). The Giants signed McCoy as an unrestricted free agent from the Redskins in March 2020. In 11 NFL seasons, McCoy has only started 30 games, 21 of which came with the Browns in 2010-2011. McCoy lacks ideal size and arm strength, which limit his ability to threaten NFL defenses. He’s a typical back-up type quarterback who usually will not hurt his team, but also is incapable of elevating its play. McCoy is smart and a positive influence in the locker room.

ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD

The Giants signed Joe Webb to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in December 2020. The team waived him and then re-signed him in January 2021. The 6’4”, 231-pound Webb was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent time with the Vikings (2010-2013), Carolina Panthers (2014-2016), Buffalo Bills (2017), Houston Texans (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020). Webb has played in 104 regular-season games with four starts, completing 90-of-159 passes (56.6 percent) for 888 yards, three touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also has caught 10 passes in his career and returned 18 kickoffs.

The Giants signed Clayton Thorson to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. The 6’4”, 222-pound Thorson was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles cut him in August 2019 and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys cut him in early September 2020.

The Giants signed Alex Tanney to the Practice Squad in early December 2020. The 6’3”, 208-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed Tanney in May 2018 after after he was cut by the Titans. He surprisingly won the back-up quarterback job to Eli Manning in 2018, but was moved to third-string in 2019, being active for only one game.  The Giants cut him in early September 2020. Tanney has only played in two regular-season games, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015 and the Giants in 2019.

The Giants claimed Cooper Rush off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys in May 2020. He spent three weeks on the Giants’ Practice Squad in September before the Giants cut him. Rush spent the rest of the 2020 season back with the Cowboys. The 6’3”, 225-pound Rush originally signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Dec 242020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 6, 2020)

Daniel Jones – Courtesy of New York Giants

DECEMBER 24, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Golden Tate (calf) did not practice on Thursday.

QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle) and CB Darnay Holmes (knee) were limited.

“I thought (Jones) had a good day yesterday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before Thursday’s practice. “He went out there, we put him through everything. Today will be a more intensive day. Today will be a higher volume day for him. It will be interesting to see how he responds. We’ll see him out there moving around throughout all the team periods. He’ll jump right into his normal role and go forward with it. The intention is if he’s able to play, we intend to play him.

“I was encouraged with how he moved yesterday. I was really encouraged. I think some of the moves we made last week with him, although it was kind of hard for him to kind of sit out on it with the double injuries, but I think that helped resolved some of those issues. All the feedback we’ve gotten medically is that he’s continued to improve and he’s at lesser risk of being injured, and that’s really the things we’re looking for right there as far as positive news. But he moved around nice yesterday. We’ll put him through more today. I can’t give you a percentage or any kind of a gauge on that. But I would say we came through yesterday’s practice feeling like we’re on the right track.”

TE Evan Engram (calf) and OT Matt Peart (ankle) fully practiced.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Friday and Saturday. The team plays the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.

Dec 212020
 
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New York Giants Offense (December 20, 2020)

New York Giants Offense – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 6…
The Cleveland Browns soundly defeated the New York Giants 20-6 on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fall to 5-9 and remain one game behind the 6-8 Washington Football Team in the NFC East with two games left to play. The Giants now have had seven losing seasons in the last eight years.

The Giants were minus three key players, including quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle/hamstring), cornerback James Bradberry (COVID-19 issue), and cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee). As you would expect given the final score, Cleveland dominated statistically, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (24 to 14), total net yards (392 to 288), net yards rushing (106 to 74), net yards passing (286 to 214), and time of possession (34:03 to 25:57). Neither team turned the football over and each team only had seven possessions (not counting the Giants kneel down at the end of the first half).

The Giants received the football first with running back Dion Lewis returning the opening kickoff 48 yards to the Cleveland 48-yard line. New York was able to pick up two first downs and reach the 8-yard line. However, instead of kicking the field goal on 4th-and-5, Head Coach Joe Judge called a fake field goal with punter Ron Dixon’s pass intended for center Nick Gates falling incomplete. The Giants turned the football over on downs at the 8-yard line.

On their first possession, the Browns then drove from the 8-yard line to the New York 43-yard line. On 4th-and-2, quarterback Baker Mayfield’s pass was deflected by defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. Thus, the Browns also turned the football over on downs. The Giants responded with their only scoring drive of the first half. Back-up quarterback Colt McCoy threw a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton on 3rd-and-6 to the Cleveland 18-yard line. However, the Giants could get no closer and settled for a 37-yard field goal to go up 3-0.

Cleveland took the lead for good on their second possession of the game, driving 75 yards in 13 plays, culminating with a 2-yard touchdown pass to a wide open tight end Austin Hooper on 3rd-and-goal. Browns 7 – Giants 3.

Each team had three possessions in the first half. On New York’s third and final possession, the Giants gained 68 yards in 12 plays but were stuffed on 4th-and-2 running play from the Cleveland 6-yard line. On three red zone trips in the first half, the Giants only came away with three points. Worse, Cleveland made the Giants pay by driving 95 yards in 10 plays. Mayfield threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry (the Browns missed the extra point).

The Browns led 13-3 at the half.

The Browns received the ball to start the second half. They picked up one first down and punted (Cleveland’s first punt of the game). The Giants then drove from their own 14-yard line to the Cleveland 44-yard line. Judge decided not to game on 4th-and-4 and Dixon’s punt pinned the Browns at their own 5-yard line. That ended up being moot as Cleveland – for the second time in the game – drove 95 yards for a commanding 20-6 advantage on running back Nick Chubb’s 1-yard run on 3rd-and-goal. The 14-play marathon drive took over eight minutes off of the clock and by the time the Giants got the ball back, there was less than 13 minutes left in the game.

On New York’s second drive of the half, they picked up one first down before stalling. Cleveland also picked up one first down before punting. With 6:25 left in the game, the Giants began their second and final scoring drive, moving 56 yards in nine plays to set up a 39-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. Browns 20 – Giants 6.

The Browns recovered the ensuing onside kick, picked up one first and took three minutes off of the clock before punting. When the Giants go the ball back on their final possession, there was only 65 seconds left on the clock. The Giants ran four more plays before the game ended, 20-6.

The Giants really only had six legitimate possessions in the game. McCoy completed 19-of-31 passes for 221 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. His top targets were Slayton (4 catches for 74 yards), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 51 yards), and tight end Evan Engram (4 catches for 46 yards). Running back Alfred Morris carried the ball seven times for 39 yards and running back Wayne Gallman carried it nine times for 29 yards.

The defense did not force a turnover. Cleveland’s seven possessions resulted in three touchdowns, three punts, and one turnover on downs. Dexter Lawrence had the team’s only sack.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATION, INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
QB Clayton Thorson (COVID-19 replacement), CB Jarren Williams,and CB Quincy Wilson were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle), CB Darnay Holmes (knee), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, and LB T.J. Brunson.

The Giants reported no injuries from the game.

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

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

Dec 182020
 
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Darnay Holmes, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Darnay Holmes – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 18, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
CB Darnay Holmes (knee) did not practice on Friday. He has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle), TE Evan Engram (calf), TE Kaden Smith (knee), and OG Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) were limited in practice. Jones, Engram, and Smith are officially “questionable” for the game. Zeitler is expected to play.

Running back Devonta Freeman, who has missed five games since being placed on Injured Reserve last month with an ankle injury, returned to practice on Friday. He is now eligible to be added to the active roster at any time.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.

Dec 092020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

RAY PERKINS PASSES AWAY…
Former New York Giants head coach Ray Perkins, who coached the team from 1979-1982, has passed away at the age of 79. Perkins’ Giants compiled a 23-34 regular-season record and 1-1 playoff record in his four years with the team. The 1981 Giants returned to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, compiling a 9-7 record and defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs. Perkins resigned from the Giants after the 1982 strike season in order to coach at the University of Alabama.

“Ray was George Young’s first hire as general manager in 1979,” said team President/CEO John Mara. “I remember George saying, ‘He will make it very uncomfortable for our players to lose.’ Ray did a good job for us and got us into the playoffs in 1981 for the first time in many years. During the 1982 season, which was shortened due to a players strike, he announced he was leaving at the end of the year to go to Alabama, which he described as his dream job. He left behind a team that had Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms, and Harry Carson, among others and this was the nucleus of the group that would go on to great success in the 1980’s and win two Super Bowls. I always wondered whether he later regretted that decision. But he certainly left our team in much better shape than he found it in, including having Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick on his staff.”

“I’ll start out offering our thoughts and prayers to coach Perkins’ family,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Coach was a guy who touched a lot of lives in the National Football League as well as college football. There are a lot of relationships around this country with him. Personally, I’ve had some crossover with coach through his time coming through Tuscaloosa when I was down there, as well as some contact early in my tenure here. But I appreciate everything he did for me, the time he shared with me, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

GIANTS-BROWNS GAME FLEXED TO SUNDAY NIGHT…
The NFL has flexed the Cleveland Browns at New York Giants game on December 20th to Sunday night. The game had originally been scheduled for 1:00PM on CBS. It will now be aired at 8:20PM on NBC.

DECEMBER 9, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LB Blake Martinez (back), OT Matt Peart (ankle), and CB Madre Harper (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) and CB Darnay Holmes (knee) were limited in practice.

“As far as Daniel, we’re going to give him an opportunity today to move around the field,” Head Coach Joe Judge said before practice. “We’re still in that point of the week where I haven’t seen him do anything physical yet this week since the last week really. We’ll see him move around today. We’re optimistic, I know he’s going to tell us everything we want to hear, we’ve got to again use our eyes instead of our ears with Daniel, so we’re going to put him out there today and make sure we give him a chance to progress. Today’s a walk-thru, tomorrow we’ll be on the field moving around and then Friday will be a big day for us to kind of make a final decision hopefully going into the weekend.”

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants signed defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos from the team’s Practice Squad to the 53-man roster. To make room for Lalos, the team waived linebacker Trent Harris.

The Giants also signed quarterback Joe Webb to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart.

The Giants signed Lalos as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent more than half of the season on the Practice Squad but was elevated to the 53-man roster the past two games.

The Giants signed Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020. He played in four games with two starts for the Giants. The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020.

The 34-year old, 6’4”, 231-pound Webb was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent time with the Vikings (2010-2013), Carolina Panthers (2014-2016), Buffalo Bills (2017), Houston Texans (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020). Webb has played in 102 regular-season games with four starts, completing 90-of-159 passes (56.6 percent) for 888 yards, three touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also has caught 10 passes in his career and returned 18 kickoffs.

The Giants signed Griffin-Stewart to the Practice Squad in November 2020. The 6’5”, 260-pound Griffin-Stewart was signed as rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2020 NFL Draft. He also spent time on the Practice Squad of the Green Bay Packers that year before signing with the Giants.

LEONARD WILLIAMS NAMED “NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams has been named the “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. In that game, Williams was credited with three tackles, two tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:00-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

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

Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

At the half, the Seahawks led 5-0.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 022020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 2, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday.

“Really, we’re waiting to hear a lot of feedback from the trainers, to be honest with you,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “(Jones) came in today, deep in the playbook and ready to work. We’ll see some stuff with the trainers today. Today is going to be kind of a practice work hybrid structure. Some early practice, individual and group periods. Then we’re going to have kind of a team walk-thru on the back-end today after some conditioning. We’ll kind of see what he’s able to do, and that will really help us plan out more tomorrow and Friday going forward.”

“I’m not sure (if I could play today),” said Jones. “I think, luckily, there’s not a game today and to think of a hypothetical here, I’m sure we all use the week to prepare our bodies to play on Sundays. That’s part of the schedule and the way it works for all of us, so I’m not sure. My goal is to continue to improve throughout the week.”

WR Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder), LB David Mayo (knee), and S Nate Ebner (knee) were limited in practice.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed safety Montre Hartage and place kicker/punter Ryan Santoso the Practice Squad. Both were waived from the 53-man roster on Tuesday.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:15-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Nov 292020
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 19 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 17…
The New York Giants narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon 19-17. It was New York’s third win in a row and improved their overall record to 4-7. It was the Giants’ first win in Cincinnati in team history and 700th regular-season win in team history.

The Giants are now tied for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team, depending on the outcome of Monday night’s Seattle Seahawks-Philadelphia Eagles game. The Eagles are 3-6-1. The Giants also own the tie-breaker against Washington.

Despite the Giants dominating the game statistically, they almost lost the game due a hamstring injury to their starting quarterback, shoddy special teams play including allowing a kick return for a touchdown, and untimely mistakes on offense. New York out-gained Cincinnati in first downs (19 to 11), total offensive plays (80 to 46), total net yards (386 to 155), net yards rushing (142 to 40), net yards passing (244 to 115), time of possession (37:26 to 22:35), and turnover margin (3 to 1).

The Giants started off the game well, driving 76 yards in nine plays to take 7-0 lead on running back Wayne Gallman’s 1-yard run on 4th-and-goal. The key play on this drive was a 53-yard strike on 3rd-and-2 from quarterback Daniel Jones to tight end Evan Engram to the Cincinnati 4-yard line.

However, all of this good mojo was immediately erased when Bengals’ kickoff returner Brandon Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

Also unfortunately for New York, their offense struggled for the rest of the first half. The next two Giants’ drives resulted in a total of two first downs and 35 yards before punting the ball away. On their fourth drive, the Giants did reach the Cincinnati 33-yard line after converting on 4th-and-1. But on the very next snap, Engram fumbled the ball away at the 15-yard line. The Bengals recovered the loose ball and returned it to their 45-yard line. Nine plays and 29 yards later, Cincinnati took a 10-7 lead on a 44-yard field goal.

The Giants did manage to tie the game again on their fifth and final drive of the first half. New York gained 44 yards on 11 plays to set up place kicker Graham Gano’s 49-yard field goal.

At the half, the game was tied 10-10 despite New York out-gaining Cincinnati 223 to 66 in total yards.

The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. New York then moved the ball from their own 6-yard line to the Cincinnati 17-yard line. The big play was another big pass to Engram for 44 yards. However, quarterback Daniel Jones came out of the game after 2-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-1 with a hamstring issue (he had injured himself on a 7-yard run two plays earlier). The drive immediately stalled and the Giants settled for a 40-yard field goal. Giants 13 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts with Jones returning for two more plays before leaving the game for good. The Giants then got the ball back near the end of the 3rd quarter when defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos intercepted a deflected pass at the Cincinnati 40-yard line. The Giants only gained 19 yards in eight plays, including converting on 4th-and-1, but this was good enough to set up a Gano field goal from 39 yards out. Giants 16 – Bengals 10.

Both teams exchanged punts again. The Giants were then handed a golden opportunity to put the game away when safety Logan Ryan forced a fumble at the Cincinnati 24-yard line that he returned to the 19 with 4:12 left in the game. The Giants only managed to gain five yards and take 18 seconds off of the clock before Gano kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 19-10 game.

At this point, the New York defense failed as the Bengals, led by their Practice Squad quarterback Brandon Allen, easily drove 72 yards in seven plays to cut the score to 19-17 with 1:21 left in the game. The Bengals were aided by two defensive penalties including a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive end Leonard Williams and a questionable 17-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Darnay Holmes.

It looked like the Giants had sealed the win on the ensuing drive when back-up quarterback Colt McCoy completed a 10-yard pass to Gallman on 3rd-and-4. But right tackle Cam Fleming was called for holding on the play. Punter Riley Dixon’s 61-yard punt was then returned 29 yards by the Bengals to midfield with 57 seconds left. The Bengals only needed a field goal to win the game.

The Giants’ defense ended the game on the first play of the Bengals’ attempted game-winning drive. Linebacker Jaball Sheard sacked Allen, forcing a fumble that Leonard Williams recovered at the Cincinnati 37-yard line.

Daniel Jones completed 16-of-27 passes for 213 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Colt McCoy completed 6-of-10 passes for 31 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 64 yards while Engram caught six passes for 129 yards. Gallman rushed 24 times for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Leonard Williams was credited with a sack, three quarterback hits, and a game-winning fumble recovery. Jaball Sheard had the team’s other sack and forced the game-winning fumble. Logan Ryan forced a fumble that he recovered.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
DE Niko Lalos was activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris, LB T.J. Brunson, S Montre Hartage, and PK Ryan Santoso.

QB Daniel Jones left the game with a right hamstring injury in the 3rd quarter; he returned for a couple of plays before sitting out for good. LB Kyler Fackrell injured his calf in the 3rd quarter too and did not return. S Nate Ebner injured his knee in the 1st quarter and did not return.

“I don’t really know much (about Jones),” Head Coach Joe Judge said after the game. “I actually talked to him on the sidelines in terms of how he was. It was at a point where he couldn’t continue in the game, which takes a hell of a lot. Daniel is a really tough dude. So, we’ll take a look and see what it is. I don’t have much more information than what you guys probably got from the TV at the point right now. He just has the doctors and to get some MRI’s – things like that are standard procedure. We kind of MRI everything around here.”

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
Six of the Giants’ last seven games have been decided by three points or less, including three of their four victories.

The kickoff return touchdown was the first allowed by the Giants in a road game in 30 years.

PK Graham Gano has made 25 of 26 field goal attempts this season.

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

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

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Quarterbacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 012020
 
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Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins (October 6, 2019)

Colt McCoy – © USA TODAY Sports

CONFERENCE CALL WITH QUARTERBACK COLT McCOY…
The following is the transcript from today’s media conference call with quarterback Colt McCoy, who the New York Giants signed on March 19th:

Q: You are now the longest tenured quarterback in the NFC East. How important was it for you to stay in the division?
A: I don’t know if I looked at it from a standpoint of importance, but I do think it’s an advantage. Spending my last six years in D.C., playing on and off there and then having the opportunity to join the Giants. I think playing those teams, their systems, their coaches, their coordinators may change but you do have a feel for players and their skillset. It’s a very competitive division and I do think there is value in staying in the east for sure.

Q: Did you have any existing relationship with Daniel Jones or have you even ever met?
A: I met Daniel just in pregame when we played them a couple times last year. I know him more as a quarterback because playing in the same division you get to watch their tape week in and week out because we are playing all the same opponents across the league. I thought he played very well as a rookie last year. His future is bright, his ceiling is high and he seems like a really great person. He’s obviously very lucky to have a guy like Eli in the quarterback room. A guy I really look up to and respect as a guy who did it right his whole career. I think Daniel knows the importance of a healthy quarterback room. I’ve talked to Daniel since I signed a couple times and just told him how excited I am coming up and learning this new system together. It’s kind of unfortunate the circumstances we are in right now. We have to get creative in ways to learn and grow. He seems like a great person and I’m excited to come in and learn alongside him and Alex (Tanney). Really just come in work hard and compete and bring out the best in our quarterback room, which I think will really benefit our team.

Q: You went through the 2011 lockout as a young quarterback. What advice can you offer Daniel on how to prepare for a season when the offseason is interrupted like this?
A: I had talked to a few of my friends about that lately. That was probably the worst thing to happen to me as a young quarterback. I played my rookie year and then we went into the lockout going into my second year. I didn’t get the playbook until we had two or three weeks of training camp. That was the first time I knew anything, and it was a completely new system. I played decent that year, but our team certainly struggled. I think I can take some experience and some lessons learned from that and hopefully help Daniel. I think Daniel is prepared for this, he played a lot more his rookie year than I did. There are challenges and it’s a new system, new ways to call plays. A new philosophy in what we are trying to accomplish as an offense. I will really do my best to be a great resource for him. I don’t know what the rules are yet, but hopefully as we get going on this virtually learning and installs with Coach Garrett, Daniel and I spending time on the phone to really talk about the ins and outs of what we are doing. I think as best we can, we are going to have to adapt and face these challenges just like everyone else in the league. Certainly, I remember that lockout season being a real challenge for me. I’ll do my best to help Daniel and make sure he is feeling as confident as he can and we as an offense are feeling as good as we can too.

Q: Did Coach Judge or Coach Garrett talk to you about how the quarterback room is going to be structured? You have Alex, who worked with Daniel last season. Are you guys competing directly or are you guys complementing each other? How is that working?
A: I did spend a lot of time talking to Coach Judge and talking to Coach Garrett. They seemed great over the phone. I’ve known Coach Garrett from playing against him the last six years. I really think his system is very QB friendly from watching it from afar, I’m excited to get going in that. I’m sure you guys all know the structure. I’m assuming Daniel is the starting quarterback, he was the sixth pick in the draft and he has a super bright future. That doesn’t just count out coming in and practicing hard and working hard in the classroom, and in the film room studying. I have sort of mentioned on another phone call earlier that for me I’ve been a backup and a starter. The way that I approach it is, number one, making sure that Daniel feels as comfortable as he can going into these games. Understanding and feeling good about the game plan and our preparation all week long so he can go out and play as best he can. I take pride in helping him feel that way and helping Coach Garrett. Being an old guy, you don’t get a lot of reps, but you have to do a lot of mental reps. The second part is the responsibility of being ready to play if something were to happen. You have to go in from the bench and play well and that’s expected, those two things. I’ve been a starter, and everyone wants to be a starter, but as a backup, it’s just as crucial to handle your business that way. I really feel confident that I bring value to this team and to that quarterback room. I think that approaching it that way is the right way. These challenges that we are facing right now with COVID-19 and having to learn online, it will be interesting. I think we will be alright.

Q: What is the key to being a good backup? Obviously you came in the league and wanted to play. What is the key to supporting a younger teammate and staying ready? Is there a key that you have that the Giants saw in you?
A: The one thing that Coach Judge and Coach Garrett told me is that we watched all your tape for 10 years and you have started a ton of games in this league. You also have been a backup and when you were called to come off the bench you have always stepped in and won the game and played well and played up to a standard. We value that and that’s why we want you to come be here. I think there are a lot of challenges in playing backup like I mentioned. You have to be ready to play and be able to watch tape, be disciplined, and learn because you are not going to get a lot of reps. I think more important than that is I look at it from a standpoint of what if I was to be a coach someday. I have played in a lot of different systems, my dad was my high school coach. I have been a water boy since I was three years old. I have been around the game and I love the game. Playing backup creates a lot of challenges and you may not play all year long. I backed up Kirk (Cousins) for two years and I didn’t take a snap. Some other seasons, I have played four or five games, it’s unique. I try to be another set of eyes, another set of ears, another encouraging voice and like a coach for whoever the starter is. I think it will help me if I want to make a transition someday to be a coach, to call plays. I want to understand and learn this system in a way that’s detailed, it’s structured and that I can call the game the way Jason would call the game. I think by doing it and by learning and understanding it, that really helps Daniel or whoever is playing. It would help me ultimately if I was called upon to play. I try to get creative with it, but I also know my role and what it entails. I couldn’t be more excited to come to a place where I don’t know a whole lot of people, but I love the game and I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge. I’m just looking forward to when all this passes and getting up there and getting to work.

Q: You mentioned the challenges of learning the offense with Daniel and Alex. So much of the quarterback and receiver relationship is physical. You have to establish timing and stuff. As we are in these challenging times, how can you build that up with your receivers so when you do get to work out with them, you can hit the ground running?
A: I’m not real sure exactly how that’s going to work. When we do these Zoom live classes or installs I don’t know how it’s going to work, I have never used it. I’m hoping that there is some interaction between players. You are listening to your coach but maybe we can have interaction with the players or you can hop on a call with some of other guys. So you can ask, hey, how did feel about that or do you like the depth of that route, is that how you were taught. So you can go through a lot of different things with them. All 31 other teams are facing this same challenge. I think some teams who are going to continue in the same system maybe have a little bit of an advantage. I think the teams like us who have a new coach and a new system have a little bit of a disadvantage. That can’t be a crutch or an excuse either. We just have to figure out ways to get creative.  (Make sure) The first time we can toss the ball around and run some plays we are all on the same page. Hopefully we can figure that out.

Q: There’s a possibility that for a lot of years here we could watch Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins go against each other. I’m curious what your thoughts were on Dwayne after seeing him up close for a year?
A: It was good. I think Dwayne has a ton of potential, just like Daniel. I think Daniel played a little bit more this year, so he probably has a little more experience. But both of those guys were highly sought after in the draft last year. They both had great college careers and they both have a ton of skill at playing the position. I know Dwayne is very talented throwing the football. It would be good. I get to play against the Redskins for at least this year, and we’ll see what happens. It should be fun. I’m excited to work with Daniel after having worked with Dwayne last year. I know he has a bright future. It’ll be fun games, for sure.

Q: Have you gotten a playbook?
A: We’re going to get going on Monday, as long as that is upheld. I just don’t know the rules. But I think that’s sort of the plan. We’ll dive into the playbook then. I think right now, everybody is just really focusing on the health and wellness of our country. I know the Giants specifically for the players, they’re in constant contact with us, making sure we have all the things we need from a health standpoint. But again, I think there’s a lot of uncertainty. I think Monday is kind of the day where we’re going to get all of that and get going.

Q: You talked a little bit about a possible future in coaching. Is that something you’re kind of hypothetical about, or is that what’s going to happen at some point?
A: I certainly don’t want to rule that out. I’ve been playing football for a long time and been around the game a long time, too. I think I would be a good coach. I’ve played in a lot of systems. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp and understanding of the game. So yeah, I don’t want to rule that out. I still think that I have a lot of football to be played left in me. It’s why I’m still going. But coaching intrigues me, yes. I think that could be in my future. I looked at this as an opportunity to go learn from Coach Judge, Coach Garrett, Jerry Schuplinski, our QB Coach, he’s been a part of… He’s coached Tom Brady and many other guys. I think there’s a lot of value in this place, in this organization, to really learn more football and I’m excited about that.

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Jason Garrett at all about that? He obviously had a long NFL career, mostly as a backup, and sort of made that jump to coaching. Have you had a chance yet, or is that something that might happen down the road?
A: Yeah, I’ve had great conversations with Coach Garrett, and some about that, for sure. He certainly has done that. He played for a long time and he’s been a super successful head coach. I’m excited to learn from him. Not only his system and him coming back to calling plays this year, which he hadn’t done in a couple of years, but really, I mentioned it earlier on this call, there is value to playing for a coach that played quarterback, that played your position. There are little things that pop up, and he sees the field the same way we do and he understands. But he has an expectation of us to play at a high level and he knows how he wants his offense run. But there is a difference. Playing for Coach (Jay) Gruden, he played quarterback too. There is a familiarity there that he sort of understands what we see and how we play. I think there is benefit to that.

Q: Along those lines, how much value is there going back and looking at tapes of Jason Garrett’s system before he became the head coach, back when he was the offensive coordinator in Dallas, and just getting a feel for what he does in certain situations?
A: I think there certainly will be a time for that. I’m sure we’ll watch Cowboys offense tape during these installs and kind of down the road. I think right now, we’re just trying to get a good grasp of just the terminology, the protections, the formations, how we call the plays, all those things. Once you kind of soak that in, I do see a big value in watching those plays be executed versus different coverages or defenses or fronts. I’m sure that’s coming. I think right now it’s more just learning the foundations of what we’re trying to do.

Q: When you were around Alex Smith, I’m just curious because of his reputation as a leader and to some degree mentor, I’m wondering if there was anything from Alex in particular that you picked up, and if you’ll be particularly curious in terms of what the future holds for him?
A: First of all, I love Alex. He was a tremendous resource, a great leader, a good football player, and above that, he was just a great person. My two years with him I think were some of my most enjoyed years. It was the worst thing ever to see him go down and have the injury that he faced and kind of walk through that with him, and we’re still walking through that with him. I felt more confident than ever when he went down coming in, playing and leading our offense. I felt like I was playing at a really high level before I broke my leg as well. But we had a great working relationship. I definitely will take a lot of the things I learned from him as I move on to the Giants, as far as just the quarterback room, the help of the quarterback room, studying, different ways that he looked at tape, you can go down the list. I really valued my time with him. He’s one of my best friends. I certainly hope that he has a chance to play again if that’s what he wants. We’ll see what happens with that.

CONFERENCE CALL WITH TIGHT END LEVINE TOILOLO…
The following is the transcript from today’s media conference call with tight end Levine Toilolo, who the New York Giants signed on March 17th:

Q: Before signing with the Giants, did they give you any indication regarding what your role is going to be? Are you going to be primarily a blocker or are they looking to expand the role you had?
A: We didn’t talk too much about roles or anything like that? All I know is I’m just coming in to work my tail off and do whatever they ask me to do. Whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I’ll do.

Q: What did you learn last year about a team that can make a quick turnaround after a losing season and go all the way to the Super Bowl?
A: I think that’s hard to speak on since I wasn’t there the year before to compare the two different teams. Just from my time there, it’s really hard to say as far as what they did to turn it around. Obviously, I had great teammates and great coaches. Like you said, we had a great season. It’s hard for me to speak on the whole turnaround aspect.

Q: Kaden Smith played at Stanford, you played at Stanford. What is it about that school that just seems to produce such quality tight ends?
A: I think that’s one of the programs that allow you to do a little bit of everything as far as blocking and receiving being in a pro-style offense. I think that just kind of helps you develop your game in all different aspects. A lot of great tight ends come out of there like Zach Ertz and Coby Fleener that I got to be teammates with. It’s really a credit to the coaches there and obviously guys like Kaden that work hard at their craft.

Q: Last year you had to wait until May to sign with San Francisco. Were you surprised this process moved as quickly as it did with the Giants?
A: Yeah, like you said, with last year you never know what to expect. I was ready to be patient if need be. I think with how quick everything went this time around it was definitely a different process. I’m excited about this opportunity and to come to New York.

Q: Do you think the league is turning more and more into two tight end sets? Do you see tight ends in general taking on a much bigger role in the passing game as opposed to years ago when they were primarily blockers?
A: I think for me being a little biased, I always think the more tight ends on the field, the better. I think the tight end position is a unique one in terms of you can have so many different body types and different athletes out there. You can ask them to do a wide range of things. Whether that’s in the blocking game or the receiving game. Even nowadays, you see tight ends lining up in the backfield as kind of a fullback or H-Back types. I always enjoy watching all different tight ends. You see them in different places in the offense. The game is always changing, and it may not always be like that but the game changes throughout time. It’s definitely a fun time to be a tight end.

Q: Last year, you kind of blocked in a running back-by-committee situation. What do you think it will be like to block for a guy like Saquon Barkley? What do you know from him? How do you think you can maybe help him and his career?
A: I don’t know him personally. I’ve just been able to watch him. Just the athlete that he is is always exciting to watch. I’m definitely excited to be able to get out there and hopefully do whatever I can to kind of help him out. Like I said, I’m just excited to be there and like I said, do whatever I can to help the team. If that’s trying to open up a hole or whatever, then I’m just going to focus on how I can try to help him and help this offense.

Q: Where do you feel most comfortable as a tight end? Obviously, you’ve done in-line blocking, you’ve done some receiving. What about working out of the backfield?
A: I’m pretty comfortable wherever they need me. I’ve had different roles. In Atlanta, I’ve been in the backfield as far as whether it’s lead blocking or floating around. But like you said, I’ve been in-line, I’ve been flexed out a little bit. Obviously as a player, you’re always working to improve on all aspects of your game. Even though I may not have been out there a lot, I think obviously throughout the season and offseason, it’s definitely something that I stay working on. If the team needs me to go wherever, obviously, I’m open to that.

Q: You’ve been on two teams that have gone to Super Bowls. Were there any common traits or common denominators between those squads that you found?
A: Obviously, every team in the league works hard and stuff like that. For me, one of the biggest things that I can definitely point out from the two teams that were successful was just the bond between the players and teammates, and just how close everyone was in the building. Not just player to player, but even the players to coaches. Everyone was pretty tight. When you’re able to build those relationships off the field and you can kind of come together and you’re kind of playing for more than just yourself. You’re playing for your brother next to you and for your coaches and stuff like that. That’s something that people may not really be able to see on the outside, just kind of the relationships that you have and that you’re able to build, and how that can really translate to on the field.

Q: When you come so close, especially this past year with a team like the 49ers who are kind of viewed as an ascending team in the league, is it hard to leave in free agency when you guys got so close? Were there any talks about going back there and trying to make another run?
A: Any time you go to a new team, it’s definitely going to be different. I think that’s the same thing with any aspect in life. Whenever there’s change, it’s obviously going to be a little uncomfortable. But just from the relationship I had with those guys, obviously there’s lifelong friendships made every time you go to a team. But at the same time, I’m definitely excited for… obviously, I already know some of the guys with the Giants, Stanford guys and stuff like that. But not only that, I’m excited to be able to meet some of the new teammates that I have and be with this new coaching staff. I’m excited for what’s to come, and for what we’re going to be able to try to work together and try to do. Like I said, to be a part of this team and this new opportunity is definitely exciting. I’m looking forward to it.

Q: With everything that’s going on with the Coronavirus, how has that kind of shook up your offseason routine with working out, training and all that? Just how surreal is it to sign with a new team, but you’re not really able to meet up with any of your new teammates in person or anything like that?
A: Like you said, it’s definitely been a different process this offseason. But luckily, I was here in San Diego kind of settled. I’m lucky enough to have some equipment and stuff like that so I can still be working out and at least stay in shape. But like you said, not being able to meet up with the guys and like you said, kind of start building that relationship is definitely going to be different. But hopefully everyone is staying safe. We’re hoping that everyone will be healthy and this will all be over soon. But until then, all I can do is try to stay in shape and stay ready for once we get the call.