Oct 042017
 
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Giants fans tailgating in Tampa – Photo courtesy of Jim in South Florida

INJURY UPDATE…
Center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), wide receiver Odell Beckham (finger/ankle), and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe) practiced on a limited basis.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner and signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio off of the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed center Anthony Fabiano to the Practice Squad.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner was cut by the Giants in September 2017 and re-signed later that month.

Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants added him to their Practice Squad in September 2016 and again in September 2017. Halapio has not played in an NFL regular-season game.

Fabiano was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2016), Cleveland Browns (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017). The 6’1”, 303-pound Fabiano played in four games with one start for Cleveland in 2016. Fabiano is an athletic lineman who lacks ideal size and strength.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Sep 282017
 
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J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (June 13, 2017)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS WAIVE SHANE SMITH AND PLACE J.T. THOMAS ON IR…
The New York Giants have waived fullback Shane Smith and placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with a groin injury that he suffered in week 2 against the Detroit Lions.

To fill those roster vacancies, the team signed defensive end Nordly “Cap” Capi off its Practice Squad and re-signed linebacker Deontae Skinner, who was cut by the Giants on September 2nd.

Smith was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener.

The 6’3”, 249-pound Capi was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2015 NFL Draft. Capi has spent time with the Jaguars (2015), Baltimore Ravens (2015), Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals (2016-2017). While Capi has not played in an NFL regular-season game, he did stand out with the Cardinals as a linebacker during the 2017 preseason, both rushing the passer (15 pressures and 1.5 sacks) and defending the run.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December.

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Shane Vereen (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), offensive lineman Brett Jones (hip), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin) practiced on a limited basis.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

THE COORDINATORS 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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday. There is no media availability on Saturday. The Giants play the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.

Jul 302017
 
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Jay Bromley, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Jay Bromley – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JULY 30, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third summer training camp practice on Sunday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

JADAR JOHNSON RETIRES…
The New York Giants announced on Sunday that undrafted rookie free agent safety Jadar Johnson (University of Clemson) has left training camp and decided to retire from the NFL. Johnson did not practice on Saturday as Head Coach Ben McAdoo said he was “ill.”

“After seriously weighing his options, Jadar has decided to retire from football today to pursue other interests,” said Johnson’s agent. “This was not an easy decision for him to make, but it is the right decision for him. He has new ventures that he wants to pursue and he values his health. Jadar is very grateful to the Giants’ organization for the opportunity they provided him.”

“I had a conversation with him, a personal conversation,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “They released a statement, he and his agent, and we’ll leave it at that.”

BALTIMORE RAVENS SIGN LARRY DONNELL…
The Baltimore Ravens have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent Larry Donnell. The Giants had no interest in re-signing Donnell, who began the 2016 season as the starting tight end but was benched after the bye week. He started to receive more playing time again late in the season. Donnell ended up playing in 14 games with six starts, and finished the regular season with just 15 catches for 92 yards (6.1 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent the 2012 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell has regressed since his breakout 2014 season (63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns). His numbers were down in 2015 (missing half the season with a neck injury) and down again in 2016.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Running back Shane Vereen left practice early with a “lower body” injury. “He was sore and we were smart and held him,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He could’ve gone back in, but we decided to hold him.”

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Picture Perfect day. 80 and sunny with no humidity. Very comfortable with no breeze. Another day of “full speed” 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills where the guys got to compete. For obvious reasons, the defense holds back a tad in congested situations but for the most part, we got to see these guys fight it out.

I wanted to get some more attention on the defense today…but also got to see kicker Aldrick Rosas get four attempts in. Distance isn’t exact, but they were all roughly 30-40 yards I believe. We got to speak to him after practice as well, nice kid, very relaxed and calm. Laid back. A few interesting notes about him…he played in a National Championship Game (NAIA) for Southern Oregon in 2014. Tore his ACL in that game and even with two years left of eligibility, he turned pro. He spent the 2016 preseason with Tennessee and lost out to veteran Ryan Succop. NYG signed him in January and as of now, he is the lone kicker on the roster.

Offense Notes:

  • I still don’t have much of an opinion on the fullbacks, and I won’t until later in the week after we them bang heads with the pads on. Initially I think Jacob Huesman is a slightly better athlete with more power coming from his legs.
  • WR Kevin Snead is a guy that keeps jumping out at me. Besides Odell Beckham, he has the best burst and short area change of direction of all the WRs. At 5’10/175, he is fighting an uphill battle but the UDFA from Carson Newman offers ability that his fellow backups do not. Remember, this is a guy that was clocked sub 4.25 at the Tennessee pro day, that is Jon Ross-caliber. If he can prove to be a factor on special teams and improve underneath route running, don’t overlook his chances.
  • I put the eyeball on OT Jarron Jones today. Massive and yes, likely better built for the OT position than DT. Obviously he has a ways to go. Naturally his hands are way too wide on contact with his man and I can see there is a lot of struggle for him to avoid over-leaning and lunging. I’m curious to see if he even gets looks during preseason at OT, just doesn’t look ready but we will find out more Tuesday.
  • The TE battle is as entertaining to watch as any spot on the team. Matt LaCosse has impressed me each day with his ball skills. Such a natural receiver that can grab and turn upfield with more than enough fluidity. Can he hack in the trenches? Jerell Adams is a second-year draft pick and his upside alone is worth keeping him around. But I’ve seen him trip over his own feet a few times and there doesn’t seem to be the natural player in him. That said I think he may be further along as a blocker than everyone other than Rhett Ellison. Speaking of Ellison, I like how he moves after the catch. Strong, powerful, aggressive, low to the ground. He may factor there. Evan Engram…man he’s fast. When he opens up his stride in space he is faster than most of the WRs.
  • Another name I’ve been drawn to all three days is the UDFA RB Khalid Abdullah. Powerfully built, fast in the open field, assertive change of direction with all the balance and body control. NYG has a crowded backfield in front of him but hey, you never know when it comes to injuries. I can’t wait to see him carry the ball in preseason games.
  • QB Davis Webb got some extra 7-on-7 work with the 3rd string. He looks the part, shows excellent lower body technique. Throws a very tight ball.

Defense Notes:

  • Linebackers were my main focus early on. I’m saying this right now, B.J. Goodson is gonna be a guy we all like. He, more than anyone, is drooling at the thought of getting the pads on. In drills where these guys were working on taking on and shedding blockers, he was the only one that got off the dummy pad and physically wrapped up the coach acting as the RB. He is a quick, explosive, powerfully-built kid.
  • LB Curtis Grant has really stood out to me athletically. He and Deontae Skinner play very fast…maybe even too fast for their own good. Athletically they are very impressive and the attention Antonio Pierce gave them today will hopefully provide needed progress from a skill perspective.
  • DT Robert Thomas: He is still getting the first-team looks next to Damon Harrison. They are both high energy and play low to the ground. Stout, powerful, hard to move and they are both quick enough to penetrate. I am sticking with my prediction of him being the week 1 starter.
  • I don’t want to over step any boundaries when it comes to discussing formations…but I saw a few things the way these guys lined up today I haven’t seen before. I like the idea of different fronts that play to these guys’ strengths. This DL as a whole really is deep and versatile.
  • It looks like Owamagbe Odighizuwa is on the bottom looking up, but I could be wrong there. As a player, he seems manufactured. Good athlete, great frame but he lacks some of the twitchiness and feel that these other guys have.
  • Landon Collins looks studly so far. He made an EXCELLENT, high-level pass break up on a pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham (I believe). He can make those 5-7 yard breaks out of his backpedal as fast as anyone. Instincts are a major plus for him, arguably the most important part of playing safety.
  • LB Keenan Robinson has a more natural feel in coverage than the other LBs. He makes quick decisions and he simply just looks more comfortable whether he is moving laterally or vertically. He will have an important role within this defense despite not being one of the starters.
  • LB Mark Herzlich is Mr. Team Player and I think this NYG coaching staff wants this guy around the team in the worst way. Solid backup inside LB, excellent special teamer. Even saw him run a few routes as a TE and caught a ball on the move in the flat from Webb. If he actually offers depth on all three phases, he’s a lock to make this team.
  • LB Stansly Maponga looks a little out of place as a LB. When it comes to drills, he is often the one looking most uncomfortable and I don’t think he can factor in coverage.

Three Standouts:

  • CB Michael Hunter. Excellent day for the long, speedy cover man. Hunter played physical at the point of attack but also showed more fluidity as he mirrored some of the backup WRs. He made two outstanding reach around pass deflections. We all know these #4 and #5 CB spots are up for grabs. Yesterday Donte Deayon stood out; today it was Hunter. I think Hunter offers a ton of upside and could be a much needed backup for the outside spots.
  • CB Eli Apple. I’ve noted him a few times for his athletic prowess. Just an excellent package of size, speed, and strength. He was challenged a few times in team drills and he made a few excellent plays on the ball, two times were on deep throws to Beckham. Apple stayed in his hip pocket from start to finish.
  • QB Josh Johnson. While he has the upper hand on experience with the scheme in comparison to Geno Smith, Johnson appears to be cementing himself as the team’s top backup. He is very consistent. Throws a great ball, very accurate, excellent touch. He makes life easier for the pass catchers. He just seems much more fluid than Smith but Smith does deserve a little handicap considering he is still new to the scheme and surroundings.

In addition, below is the video link to our surface level notes, interview with kicker Aldrick Rosas, and clips from practice! We were missing a mic, so we had to pass the one back and forth…sorry for the crackling.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-4 on his field goal attempts (reporters said he went 4-for-4 but an official said he missed his last kick, which was from 45 yards out).
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson was the second-team quarterback on Sunday. He and Geno Smith appear to alternating each day at the #2 spot.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Roger Lewis beat cornerback Michael Hunter deep down the left sideline.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith badly overshot tight end Matt LaCosse, who had beaten linebacker Deontae Skinner.
  • Wide receiver Tavarres King made a sliding catch in front of cornerback Eli Apple. Quarterback Eli Manning then just missed King deep, who was well-covered by Apple.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph saw some reps with the second-team in the slot position.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and tight end Evan Engram all scored in red-zone drills.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple knocked down a deep post pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Apple then had blanket coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. deep, who Manning overthrew.
  • Safety Landon Collins knocked away quarterback Eli Manning passes intended for tight end Evan Engram and wide Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Cornerback Michael Hunter deflected a quarterback Geno Smith pass that safety Nat Berhe picked off.
  • Defensive back Mykkele Thompson broke up a quarterback Davis Webb deep pass to wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a pass to linebacker/tight end Mark Herzlich.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Sunday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The fourth training camp practice will be held on Tuesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 122017
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Entering 2016, the New York Giants offensive line was expected to take a major step forward. While the right-side was still composed of journeymen right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse, the left side and center were composed of two first-round and one second-round draft picks. With all five returning together, greater chemistry and cohesion was expected. And new offensive line coach – the well-respected Mike Solari – was supposed to make an impact.

Simply put, the offensive line continued to disappoint. Left tackle Ereck Flowers did not markedly improve and remained a significant liability in pass protection. Left guard Justin Pugh missed time for the third season in a row. Center Weston Richburg did not play as well as expected. In some ways, it was the right side of the offensive line that exceeded what admittedly were low expectations. John Jerry had a decent year and second-year lineman Bobby Hart was surprisingly steady at right tackle, replacing Newhouse after Week 2 until the end of the season. That all said, it would be misleading to say either really “played well.”

It’s always difficult to assess who is mostly to blame for a poor running game. The play of running backs, tight ends, and fullback (or in the Giants case, the absence of a fullback) all matter. But the Giants ground game fell from 18th in 2015 (100.6 yards per game) to 29th in 2016 (88.2 yards per game). The average yards-per-rush fell from 4.0 to 3.5.

In pass protection, Eli Manning survived another year without missing a snap. And his sack numbers declined from 27 to 21. But that is a misleading stat given the West Coast Offense emphasis on the short-passing game combined with Manning’s rapid decision-making and quick release. It appeared to many that Manning simply did not trust his pass protection and played some games more than a a bit gun-shy.

Injuries were somewhat of a factor. Pugh missed five games at left guard, leaving a bit of a revolving door as his replacements such as Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse also got hurt. At one point, the team was down to their fourth-string option at right guard – Adam Gettis. Hart also missed the last regular-season game with an injury.

In summary, the offense of the Giants was a major disappointment in 2016, and the offensive line deserves a large share of the blame.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Marshall Newhouse signed with the Oakland Raiders early in free agency. The Giants chose not to re-sign Will Beatty, but did re-sign John Jerry to a 3-year, $10 million deal. The only significant addition in free agency was adding D.J. Fluker, who was cut by the Chargers. The Giants re-signed Practice Squad players Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio and added street free agents Michael Bowie and a couple of other players who have already been waived (Khaled Holmes and Martin Wallace). The Giants drafted Adam Bisnowaty in the 6th round and signed rookie free agents Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, and Jarron Jones after the draft. Bottom line? Newhouse is gone and the only apparent significant additions are Fluker and Bisnowaty.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Media and fans love to complain that Jerry Reese has ignored the offensive line. Spending two #1 picks and a #2 pick says otherwise as does his free agent spending in recent years. The real issue is that despite the significant allocation of resources, Reese has failed to put together a viable unit since David Diehl, Richie Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie retired.

Most of the fan and media attention entering training camp will be on left tackle Ereck Flowers, a lightening rod of criticism. There is no obvious fallback plan if he fails to progress, though in an emergency Justin Pugh and maybe even Bisnowaty could play there. But Pugh – who talks a lot and wants a huge contract – has to prove he can stay healthy. Weston Richburg apparently played hurt in 2016 and needs to rebound from a disappointing season.

The right side is more up in the air. For now, John Jerry remains the starter. But he may be pressed by D.J. Fluker, who surprisingly only received spring reps at right guard. That suggests Bobby Hart is the clear front runner for right tackle, though Bisnowaty could be a factor there.

It is the opinion of many that the only thing that can hold back the Giants in 2017 is the offensive line. While this is clearly an overly-simplistic falsehood, the line has been a team weak spot for years. If a team can’t block up front, it is very difficult to consistently move the football.

ON THE BUBBLE: Michael Bowie, Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, Jarron Jones, Adam Gettis, Jon Halapio, and Brett Jones.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Mike Solari on Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart improving their technique: “Well, just like everything else, you work different drills, you work techniques, and you just keep honing in until you could make it where you don’t have to think about it and its part of your toolkit. The thing is, what we’re excited about, and Ereck is excited about, so is Bobby and not just those two men, everybody. They are committed. Aaron Wellman did a beautiful job in the sense of where they need to improve on. Physically working in the weight room, conditioning aspect, you could tell the difference. I believe you could tell the difference, in the terms of their body types and where they’re at physically at this time of the season. It’s still early, so that’s really encouraging… They do a nice job in the classroom. You’re not privy to that, but they do a nice job in the classroom. They’re into it, they’re learning, they’re into the film study, they’re into their techniques. They know what they are trying to work on, they know what they are trying to achieve.”

Solari on D.J. Fluker: “Big Man. D.J. is a pro, he comes to work every day and he gives everything he has. He’s done a nice job in the classroom, learning and developing and we’re excited about having him when the pads come on… We like him at guard. He’s got experience at tackle, as we all know from Alabama, when he initially came into the league but his strengths are at guard. There will be a point, where we do want to rep him a little bit at tackle, just for versatility, so if he is not the starter, he is able to go to tackle in need. But guard is his strength and guard is where we like him.”

Solari on Weston Richburg’s hand injury in 2016: “That hurts. That hurts you; your hand placement, your ability to grab, ability to work the chest plate is a big part of the game. So that was tough for him, and he worked through it and he performed at the highest level that he could without being able to use that hand at full strength. But it would be a big difference this year.”

Solari on Adam Bisnowaty: “It’s still early. Right now, we got him at right tackle, but he’s a guy that could, he has versatility, he could go to guard. He has played a little guard in his career, obviously at left tackle, but right now, we like him at right tackle. Try to get him as many reps as possible, so when training camp comes, these young rookies are ready to compete.”

PREDICTIONS: There is a very good chance that the starting line will be the exact same line that started the bulk of the games in 2016. And that won’t sit well with many. Media and fans sometimes forget how young both the bookend tackles are. Ereck Flowers is 23; Hart is 22. Both are big, strong, and have been working their tails off. Whether they succeed or fail still remains to be seen, but the tools are there. What will help both is greater stability, consistency, and health from the interior trio. In particular, Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh need to step up and take ownership of this line. I expect the OL to play much better in 2017. I also expect them to look better with Rhett Ellison and perhaps even Evan Engram and Jerell Adams providing more credible blocking on the perimeter. But if Flowers continues to struggle, and Pugh gets hurt again, and Richburg doesn’t rebound, then Jerry Reese is going to look awfully bad. Those three represent three PREMIUM draft picks.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart, D.J. Fluker, Adam Bisnowaty, and Brett Jones. (Versatile Adam Gettis and Jon Halapio could press Brett Jones. There is a chance the Giants could carry a ninth offensive lineman. That would help Chad Wheeler’s chances).

Jun 022017
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (May 25, 2017)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JUNE 2, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Friday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The four remaining OTA practices will be held on June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (soreness), tight end Rhett Ellison (calf), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (recovering from torn ACL) did not practice.

“We have a couple guys who are sore, so we held them out today for precautionary reasons,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“Just a sore calf,” said Ellison. “Right now we are just being smart with it. We have been running on it and we are just being real smart this time of the year.”

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood left practice early with an undisclosed injury.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., left guard Justin Pugh, defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and safety Nat Berhe were no-shows for the voluntary OTA.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • QB Eli Manning threw early touchdown passes to wideouts Dwayne Harris and Sterling Shepard.
  • Geno Smith received second-team snaps at quarterback. Smith hit TE Evan Engram for a red-zone touchdown on a rollout pass.
  • TE Matt LaCosse saw a lot of action with the first-team offense and was active catching the football. He came up with two impressive touchdown grabs on passes from QB Davis Webb.
  • QB Davis Webb made a nice sideline throw to WR Travis Rudolph, who kept both feet in-bounds.
  • QB Josh Johnson hit WR Roger Lewis for a touchdown on a fade pass.
  • CB Donte Deayon saw first-team reps at slot corner again after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
  • With Janoris Jenkins absent and Eli Apple sidelined, the starting outside corners were Michael Hunter and Valentino Blake.
  • With Justin Pugh absent, Adam Gettis started at left guard.
  • Safety Landon Collins made a leaping interception.
  • OTA practice notes and observations (6/2) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Standout players from OTA practice (6/2) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived cornerback SaQwan Edwards and waived/injured wide receiver Jalen Williams with an undisclosed injury. Williams was then placed on Injured Reserve.

Edwards was signed by the Giants after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2017 rookie mini-camp. Edwards was originally signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft and spent most of the 2015 season on the team’s Practice Squad and all of 2016 on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury. Williams was an undrafted rookie free agent signed by the Giants after the 2017 NFL Draft.

To fill these vacant roster spots, the Giants signed undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Jerome Lane (University of Akron) and re-signed undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Nigel Tribune.

The 6’3”, 220-pound Lane is a big, physical receiver who lacks ideal speed and quickness. Lane will make the tough catch over the middle but may struggle to separate from NFL defensive backs.

Tribune was originally signed after the draft by the Giants but waived two days later when Edwards was signed. Tribune is an experienced corner who started games every year at Iowa State. He was suspended for a drunk driving arrest his senior year.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

Mar 272017
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JOHN MARA COMMENTS ON HIS TEAM…
New York Giants President and CEO John Mara spoke with reporters on Sunday at the NFL Annual meeting and addressed the following issues:

  • On offensive lineman Ereck Flowers: “I’m not giving up on Ereck Flowers yet. I know that seems to be the popular sentiment around, but this is a young kid who’s been in our weight room every day in the offseason — he wants to be good. He wants to be a top left tackle in this game. There’s a spot for him on our team. Hopefully it will continue to be at left tackle, but I’m not giving up on him yet, and I don’t think anyone on our staff is… I think he’s a very prideful guy, I think he was probably stung by some of the criticism and I think that will serve to motivate him next year He’s a good kid, he really is. He wants to be a top player in this league, and I think when you have a guy that’s going to work as hard as he does and is as big and strong as he is, I think you have a chance… I know he believes that he can play better, and we believe he can play better too. And we believe he will.”
  • On his team’s offensive decline: “Well, there were a lot of things. Our running game was not very good last year and I think that was the result of a lot of things. We tried to address that this offseason, I mean, bringing in (Rhett) Ellison, who’s a really good blocking tight end, that’s something we really haven’t had here for a while, that will help us. I think we still need to add another running back at some point in time. (Offensive lineman D.J.) Fluker will certainly help us as far as running the ball. There are a lot of guys who can play better than they did. I think adding (wide receiver) Brandon Marshall will help us too, because now it gives us that other threat out there. I certainly expect to see a better offense next year.”
  • On signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall: “…a spark to the entire organization, getting a player of that caliber. We were talking once the season ended about how it would really be nice to have a big receiver in here to complement our offense, and then all of a sudden he becomes available. I think that’s really going to help us. He’s got a great attitude and he wants to win, and I think he’ll be a good influence in the receiver room.”
  • On if Head Coach Ben McAdoo will continue to call the offensive plays: “That’s up to him, it really is. We’ve questioned him about it a couple of times, he’s still comfortable doing it. I think he still thinks about passing it off to Mike Sullivan, but I think he’s still — (Packers coach) Mike McCarthy still does it, and that was kind of his mentor. If he’s comfortable doing it, it’s fine with us, as long as he feels like he can manage the game properly.”
  • On McAdoo’s first year as a head coach: “You never know when you have a new coach. I think he adapted to it very well. I still think he’s still young, he still has more that he has to learn, as I’m sure he would be the first to tell you. But we were certainly very pleased with his first year. He hit the ground running and he did very well.”
  • On defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s 4-year, $62 million contract: “If we didn’t know him at all, I’d be a little more nervous, but I know how prideful he is and how hard he plays and how much he wants to win, so I feel comfortable with that. It’s always a risk when you pay that much money, but he always plays hard and wants to win so badly. I think he’s well worth it.”
  • On unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins: “There’s still one more piece out there that we’d like to keep, but we wanted to try to do that if possible without being irresponsible. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We certainly want him back, but it’s got to make sense for us. He’s an important part of our team, he’s a great kid, he’s young and he fits in very well with us.”
  • On his team’s overall status: “On the field, (2016) was partially successful. You’re never fully happy unless you get to the Super Bowl, but having not been in the playoffs four years in a row, you start to feel that pressure. And when you spend all that money (in free agency in 2016), you really feel that pressure. I was happy to be back in the playoffs. I was disappointed with how we played in Green Bay, but I think it gives us something to build on. We still have a pretty good young nucleus. We still have a quarterback who can play at a high level. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

GIANTS STILL OFFERING MULTI-YEAR DEAL TO JOHNATHAN HANKINS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants “continue to offer (unrestricted free agent defensive tackle) Johnathan Hankins a multi-year deal that stacks up well in this free agent market.” Hankins is the team’s last high profile free agent.

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Mar 132017
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT WILL JOHNSON…
The New York Post, Newsday, and NJ.com are reporting that the New York Giants have released fullback/H-Back/tight end Will Johnson. The Giants signed Johnson to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract last offseason, but he missed the entire season with nerve damage to his deltoid muscle. Johnson’s 2017 cap hit would have been $1.275 million. The Giants will suffer $200,000 in dead money by cutting him before June 1st.

Johnson has indicated that the Giants may re-sign him to a cheaper contract.

The Giants signed Johnson as an unrestricted free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers in April 2016. Johnson was not drafted and signed with the Steelers in 2012. In four seasons with the Steelers, Johnson only missed one regular-season game, and started 20 contests. He has 31 career receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson is versatile with the ability to play fullback, H-Back, and tight end. He is a good lead blocker who can also catch the football. Johnson is a solid special teams player.

D.J. FLUKER SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who was released by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday. The contract is reportedly a 1-year, $3 million deal.

“D.J. is a young, versatile big man with lots of starts in this league,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He will bring size, toughness and competition to our offensive line unit.”

“I’m definitely looking forward to a new start,” said Fluker. “Hopefully, I can make a big impact on the offensive line. I think the Giants give me the best opportunity to be successful.”

Fluker was asked if he preferred play tackle or guard. “Wherever they want me to be successful and the team to be successful,” said Fluker. “They’ll move me around a little bit. Wherever they want to put me is fine.”

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

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Mar 112017
 
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D.J. Fluker, San Diego Chargers (October 2, 2016)

D.J. Fluker – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YOIRK GIANTS SIGN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN D.J. FLUKER…
According to multiple media reports, the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker. The contract is supposedly a 1-year, $3 million deal. Fluker was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this week.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

Mar 112017
 
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Geno Smith, New York Jets (October 23, 2016)

Geno Smith – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENO SMITH VISITING THE NEW YORK GIANTS…
The Bergen Record is reporting that unrestricted free agent quarterback Geno Smith (New York Jets) will be visiting the Giants today.

The 26-year old Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Smith has started 30 regular-seasons games, with 29 of those starts coming in 2013-2014. He lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick in August 2015 after his jaw was broken by a teammate. Smith started one game in 2016 but tore the ACL in his right knee in that game. Smith has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 5,962 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions. Smith has good size and is a good athlete with a strong arm. He has struggled with his accuracy and mental aspects of the game. Smith needs to protect the ball better (36 interceptions, 7 fumbles). He also has had some off-the-field immaturity issues.

D.J. FLUKER VISITING THE NEW YORK GIANTS…
The Bergen Record is reporting that unrestricted free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker will be visiting the Giants today. Fluker was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this week.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

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Mar 102017
 
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Menelik Watson, Oakland Raiders (August 12, 2016)

Menelik Watson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN MENELIK WATSON…
The Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders).

The 28-year old Watson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Since that time, he has played in 27 regular-season games with just 17 starts, including five games in 2016. Watson has been injury prone and missed the entire 2015 season with a torn Achilles tendon. He also missed time in 2013 (knee and calf), 2014 (foot and ankle), and 2016 (groin and calf). Watson has good size, is athletic, and is versatile, having played both tackle spots. Watson is a good run blocker, but he has had issues in pass protection.

(Late Note: Watson signed with the Denver Broncos).

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN D.J. FLUKER…
The Bergen Record and ESPN are reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in free agent offensive tackle/guard D.J. Fluker, who was cut earlier this week by the Los Angeles Chargers. ESPN says Fluker has a visit scheduled with the Giants and is drawing strong interest from the New England Patriots as well.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

RHETT ELLISON SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent tight end/H-Back/fullback Rhett Ellison (Minnesota Vikings) on Friday. Ellison is reported to have signed a 4-year, $18 million contract that included $8 million in guaranteed money.

“Rhett is a versatile, hard-nosed player who we feel is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He also has good hands and is a very capable receiver in the pass game.”

Ellison said the Giants were interested in him before the 2012 NFL Draft and had hoped the team would select him nearly five years ago.

“It just kind of came together at the right time,” Ellison said. “It was unbelievable. It was cool to see that they were still following and still keeping an eye on me, and still wanted me to come here. It was the best-case scenario.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to be part of a team like this. I can already tell the culture is a whole different thing here. It’s a family. Everybody is all-in from the G.M. to the dishwasher. I can already feel the family here.

“(Blocking is) a big part of what I do. It started as a survival thing at USC, where that was the only way I was getting on the field. That was the pride of my game, being physical, being in the right spot, being a technician, and just effort. In the run game, it’s all about effort.”

At USC, Ellison was a teammate of Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

“I had a lot of battles with him,” Ellison said. “He’s a strong dude, so it’s going to be fun to compete with him again. I think we definitely made each other better in college. He’s one of my favorite guys.”

Ellison’s father, Riki, played on the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1989) when the Giants and 49ers had an intense rivalry.

“He’s excited,” Ellison said. “He wants me to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl. And he couldn’t be more excited. He had some run-ins with the Giants back in his career. Oddly enough, they were one of his least-favorite teams, because they had some losses to them in the playoffs.  Now he’s a big Giants fan. He’s already asking for all the gear.”

The 28-year old Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In five NFL seasons, Ellison has played in 73 regular-season games with 41 starts. He has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. Ellison suffered a serious patellar tendon injury in Week 17 of 2015. He returned in 2016, but only caught nine passes for 57 yards. Ellison has good size (6’5”, 250 pounds) and is a good blocker. He is very versatile, having the ability to play tight end, H-Back, and fullback. Lacking speed and quickness, Ellison is not much of a threat as a receiver. Ellison is a good special teams player.

The transcript of today’s media conference call with Ellison is available in The Corner Forum.

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