Mar 292021
 
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Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (November 28, 2019)

Kenny Golladay – © USA TODAY Sports

Teams were officially able to begin negotiating with free agents from other teams on March 15. So although it seems as if free agency has been going on for quite some time, we’re only still at the 2-week mark since it began. More signings will continue through the spring and summer, especially as players are cut. That said, the initial free agency rush is over and we can start to make some snap opinions on what the New York Giants have and have not accomplished.

The “need” level I reference was addressed in my March 12th Free Agency Preview for the team.

QUARTERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Medium): For at least one more season, Daniel Jones is the unquestioned starter. The expectation was that the team would re-sign Colt McCoy. However, the Giants surprisingly went in another direction by signing the well-traveled Mike Glennon as Jones’ back-up. Glennon is much bigger (half a foot taller) than McCoy with a much stronger arm. Both complete around 61 percent of their passes and both have started roughly the same number of NFL games. There were media whispers too that McCoy wanted more money than the Giants were willing to pay. On the surface, this appears to be a wash, although the coaches said McCoy was a very good influence on Jones in the meeting rooms. (Mike Glennon YouTube Highlights)

RUNNING BACKS (Previous Need Level – High to Desperate): Some chided my prediction that all three running backs behind Saquon Barkley may not return in 2021, but that appears in fact to be the case. As of this moment, Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis remain unsigned. So much of the team’s upcoming success will depend on how well Barkley returns from a major knee injury and whether he can stay healthy for a full season. It’s quite telling that the very first player the Giants signed in free agency was the relatively-unknown Devontae Booker to a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. Fan reaction was immediately negative. But it appears the coaching staff simply wanted a veteran back who was a more reliable blocker and receiver than Gallman. Depth behind Barkley still remains shaky as the only other halfbacks on the roster are NFL cast-offs Taquan Mizzell and Jordan Chunn. The Giants also added another fullback/special teams player in Cullen Gillaspia to compete with Eli Penny. (Devontae Booker YouTube Highlights)

WIDE RECEIVERS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): The Giants have significantly upgraded this position with the addition of one player to the tune of a 4-year, $72 million contract. Kenny Golladay is not only a true #1 receiver, but he fills a desperate need that this team had for a physical receiver with size. His presence also allows Darius Slayton to become the #2 and Sterling Shepard the slot receiver, roles that both are far better suited for. From Golladay’s style of play to the team’s extended wooing period to satisfy personality issues, this signing is highly reminiscent of the Giants’ signing of Plaxico Burress in 2005. And Golladay is quite capable of having a Plaxico-type impact on this team. In addition, before the Giants signed Golladay, they signed the 9th overall player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, John Ross. While Ross did not live up to expectations in Cincinnati, he brings true deep speed to a team that desperately needs it. It would not be shocking to see Ross get cut, but it also would not be shocking for him to press for a starting job opposite of Golladay. In addition to wanting to prove doubters wrong, Ross will rejoin his old college receiving teammate, Dante Pettis, on what had been an explosive University of Washington receiving corps. Overall, the make-up of this unit is far different now than it was just two weeks ago. (John Ross YouTube Highlights)

TIGHT ENDS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Right or wrong, the front office and coaching staff appear willing to continue to hope Evan Engram develops into the player hoped for when he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. But the team decided to team him with a mentor. Kyle Rudolph has been one of the NFL’s best tight ends for the past 10 years. While not an explosive player, he can catch and block. Just as importantly, he is reliable, something Engram is not. The downside is that Rudolph turns 32 in November and is coming off a foot injury (The Athletic is reporting it is a Lisfranc injury) that required surgery AFTER the Giants signed him. Much depends on how well he recovers. On paper, if he is healthy, this looks like a major addition both in terms of helping out Daniel Jones and the offensive line. (Kyle Rudolph YouTube Highlights)

OFFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Medium): This is one area where it is debatable if the team has improved in free agency. The Giants were able to force Nate Solder to take a big pay cut to remain with the team. He will now compete against Matt Peart for the starting tackle spot opposite of Andrew Thomas. The Giants somewhat surprisingly simply cut Kevin Zeitler without approaching him about a pay cut. To fill that void, they signed right guard Zach Fulton, who had an inconsistent stay with the Houston Texans. Fulton will compete with Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux for a starting spot. Fulton does not feel like an upgrade over Zeitler. Where the team probably did get better is at back-up center with the signing of Jonotthan Harrison back in January. He is a better player than Spencer Pulley. Look for the team to continue to address the offensive line in the upcoming draft.

DEFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Low to High Depending on Tomlinson): Undoubtedly, the biggest loss the team suffered in free agency was losing nose tackle Davlin Tomlinson to the Minnesota Vikings for what appeared to be a reasonable 2-year, $22 million contract. The Giants re-signed back-up nose tackle Austin Johnson to a 1-year, $3 million deal in anticipation of the loss. Johnson will now have to start at nose tackle or the team will be forced to move Dexter Lawrence from end, or sign a veteran or draft a player. Moving Lawrence seems like an obvious option, but that would have a domino effect in that B.J. Hill would probably then become the new starter at end opposite of Leonard Williams. Thus, what had been a somewhat shaky depth situation becomes even more dubious. The team was extremely fortunate in 2020 that no one got hurt up front. The only back-ups on the roster right now are R.J. McIntosh, David Moa, and Breeland Speaks, the latter signed by the Giants in January. Speaking of Williams, the Giants were able to re-sign him to a 3-year, $63 million deal. There will be tremendous pressure on him to live up to that contract.

(Late Note: The Giants signed 6’2”, 335-pound nose tackle Danny Shelton today. Drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Shelton was cut by the Detroit Lions and will help fill the void created by the departure of Tomlinson).

LINEBACKERS (Previous Need Level – High): On paper, the Giants lost one free agent (Kyler Fackrell) and signed three (Ifeadi Odenigbo, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson). All three newcomers were relatively inexpensive, 1-year deals. Ragland will likely compete with Tae Crowder for the inside linebacker spot next to Blake Martinez. He has started 38 regular-season games in the NFL and is a former 2nd-round pick so he has a good shot to win that job. Anderson is another former 2nd-round pick who was stuck behind a plethora of outstanding outside linebackers in Washington. He is known more as an overachiever who saw most of his playing time on special teams, but he could surprise as his competition will be Lorenzo Carter (coming off of a torn Achilles), Oshane Ximines (coming off of shoulder surgery), and last year’s rookies (Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, Niko Lalos). What about Odenigbo? Good question. He was the first defensive player the Giants signed in free agency. He played exclusively on the defensive line in Minnesota, primarily at end, but also shifting inside in pass-rush packages. However, his lack of size (6’3”, 258 pounds) strongly suggests he will be used like “linebacker” Jabaal Sheard was used by the Giants last year, that is, an edge rusher in 4-man pass rush packages. The Giants could also push him inside like the Vikings did in obvious passing situations in 4-man fronts. It is doubtful that he should be considered a true outside linebacker because he simply does not have experience dropping into coverage. Because of that, one could actually argue he should be included in the defensive line review. Also, the Giants did re-sign inside linebacker Devonta Downs, who started at inside linebacker for the Giants in 2020 until Tae Crowder beat him out. He will have to fight just to make the team however.

CORNERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Like the wide receiving position, the make-up of this position completely changed with the addition of one free agent, adding Adoree’ Jackson to a 3-year, $39 million contract after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. Opinions on his play vary, but Jackson is clearly a major upgrade over everyone else on the team’s roster with the exception of Pro Bowler James Bradberry. The former 1st rounder is a physical and aggressive press corner who plays with a lot of confidence. Depth is still a concern, but on paper, the Giants now look like they have one of the better secondaries in the NFL as long as Darnay Holmes continues to develop at slot corner.

SAFETIES (Previous Need Level – Low): While Adrian Colbert and Nate Ebner remain unsigned, the Giants still look to be in decent shape at this position with Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love – the latter two who can also play corner. Depth will be added later in free agency or the draft.

KICKERS/LONG SNAPPER (Previous Need Level – Low to Average Depending on Kreiter): When the Giants re-signed long snapper Casey Kreiter, this position was largely settled other than camp bodies. The only real question is are the Giants looking to upgrade at punter at some point.

SUMMARY: In my March 12th article, I argued this roster was a train wreck. Two weeks later, with the addition of 11 free agents and counting, it feels vastly different. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality. Keeping Leonard Williams was a big deal. Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson were two of the best, if not the very best, players available at desperate need positions.  If healthy, Kyle Rudolph could be a major addition as a security blanket for both Daniel Jones and the offensive line. Golladay and Jackson will start. Rudolph will be a quasi-starter. John Ross (1st rounder), Reggie Ragland (2nd rounder), Ryan Anderson (2nd rounder), and Zach Fulton might start. Devontae Booker is now the primary back-up behind Saquon Barkely, Ifeadi Odenigbo will add to the pass rush.

The risk? The money. While most of the deals were relatively cheap, the team did dole out $174 million on three players – Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson. If they are wrong about any of these three, the team will be paying for it for years. We’ve seen that before and it’s one of the major reasons why the Giants have been mired in the basement of the NFL for a decade. One could also argue that the team should have allocated its resources a bit differently in order to keep Dalvin Tomlinson, extending his contract even last year.

Mar 162021
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

DALVIN TOMLINSON SIGNS WITH MINNESOTA VIKINGS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson has signed with the Minnesota Vikings. The deal is reportedly a 2-year, $22 million contract that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

For the past two seasons, Tomlinson served as the Giants’ primary nose tackle. In 2020, he started all 16 games, playing 60 percent of all defensive snaps, and was credited with 49 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and four pass defenses.

The Giants drafted Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Tomlinson has started all 64 games since he was drafted and has played both 3- and 1-technique roles with the Giants.

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

Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE STARTERS

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

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

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

THE RESERVES

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

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

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

PRACTICE SQUAD

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

Jan 042021
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Chicago Bears

The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

The 13 reserve/future players are:

  • QB Clayton Thorson
  • QB Alex Tanney
  • RB Taquan Mizzell
  • WR Alex Bachman
  • TE Rysen John
  • OG Chad Slade
  • OG Kenny Wiggins
  • DT David Moa
  • LB Trent Harris
  • CB Jarren Williams
  • CB Quincy Wilson
  • S Montre Hartage
  • LS Carson Tinker

All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

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:

Dec 142020
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (December 13, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 14, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 26-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: When you looked back at the film, how did Daniel (Jones) move around to you on the film? Did you think he was able to protect himself? Was he moving around well enough to be effective?

A: You cut out a little bit on me, but based on the part of the question I could hear right there, I’d say the way he moved in the game was what we expected. We put him through enough in practice last week to make sure he was put in a position where he could protect himself. We knew that there were things that were going to come up in the game and some limitations that he was going to have throughout the game. We were willing to live with those. But in terms of the question did we feel like he moved the same in practice as he did in the game, I would say the answer to that is yes. What we expected to see, we pretty much saw.

Q: It did seem like by the end of the game, he was maybe limping around a little more. I don’t know if that was just wear and tear. How did he come out of the game from what you understand?

A: I had a conversation obviously after the game yesterday, and then I talked to him again this morning. Obviously, there are some bumps and bruises. He didn’t do anything that aggravated that leg injury right there. He felt like he came out… obviously, there was probably a little bit of wear and tear as the game went on. He took some hits in the pocket yesterday. I think that’s just kind of natural. Any quarterback getting up is going to have a little bit of wear and tear on them right there. I’ll check back with him tomorrow. I know he visited with the doctors after I talked to him today, and I haven’t talked to our medical staff other than very early this morning until they’re getting ready to leave the building today. The biggest meeting we’ll have will be tomorrow when guys are about 48 hours outside the game. That will kind of tell us in terms of going through the week who we can plan on practicing and managing and having for the game, things of that nature.

Q: Separate from that, what was your diagnosis on giving up eight sacks and five in particular to Hasson Reddick? When you went back and watched the film, was there any common theme there?

A: I think there was a multitude of things we have to do better, coaching and playing. There were some situations where it just came down to they were good in coverage. We blocked for a long time, and Daniel wasn’t going to pull the ball and run in some of those circumstances yesterday. Some of those were, you can call them coverage sacks if you want to call them that. But it’s all tied together. It’s never one person, it’s never one thing. It comes down to everybody on the field and the coach with the plan we put together and the plays we call in that circumstance. Look, obviously, he’s a good player. They made plays, you have to give them credit. They really showed up yesterday and played their top game. We have to be better all across the board, starting with myself.

Q: Did Daniel have any x-rays after the game or other injuries?

A: I don’t have the answer to that, not that I’m avoiding that. But when I check with the medical staff, I’ll kind of get more information on that. I can tell you there’s no broken bones or anything of that nature if that’s what you’re referring to right there, no. They would have told me that immediately.

Q: I was just seeking clarification, you said he visited with the doctors today. I didn’t know if that was just a routine checkup on the hamstring or if that was some new injury that needed further examination.

A: No. So, the checkup with the doctors, that’s routine. Every Monday, we have a full staff of guys in here. What they do is they meet with the players, they come in through the day, they check on everything. If there’s anyone that has to go get an MRI or an x-ray or some kind of an opinion on something they’re doing, they’re handling that today. There are circumstances where we go ahead and we handle things after the game immediately if they need to be. What they do is kind of compile because the guys come in at different times throughout the day. With the buildings being closed right now to the players and coaches, we have to stagger the guys that come in for treatment, for checkups, and for workouts throughout the day to make sure we keep the numbers thin. Right now, it’s a lot less, however you want to say it, it’s a lot less of a fluid situation of getting information back on the players because they’re truly staggered throughout the day, based on the situation with COVID, on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Q: If Daniel were to look the same way he looked going into this last game, would you play him against the Browns or are all options on the table for you in order to try and win Sunday, including possibly resting him?

A: Yeah, if Daniel is healthy to play and he looked the way he did in practice last week, I’d have no hesitation of playing Daniel at all. We made a calculation. We have a lot of confidence in Colt (McCoy). This has nothing to do with Colt. But there’s also a commitment we’ve made to Daniel as our quarterback and how we’re running this offense. We have confidence in all of our players. But if he’s healthy enough to go out there and protect himself, and we don’t feel he’s putting himself in greater danger to be injured worse, and he’s going to give the team a competitive advantage of going out there, then we’re going to play him. We have no hesitation. Just because we’re going to play Daniel doesn’t mean at any time that we’re not going to have a plan to put Colt in for a certain package or situation in the game, or we’re not going to have a plan for any other player on the roster to at some point be used in a certain situation or circumstance to give us an advantage. Look, all options are always on the table in terms of what we’re going to do by game plan. But to answer your question directly and simply, yeah, if Daniel is healthy enough to go out there, and we think he’s not in greater danger to be damaged or hurt, then we’ll play him.

Q: Just kind of piggybacking off that a little bit, based on the way Daniel kind of came through yesterday limited in terms of the running game, do you guys need to change your perspective or what you evaluate on him in practice to clear him? Do you need to have a different set of standards going into next week based on how last week played out?

A: In terms of what? In terms of him coming out healthy or in terms of what he wasn’t doing in the game plan?

Q: In terms of just seeing him through the week at practice, do you need to see him able to do more to be able to be more effective in the game than he was this past week?

A: No. Our evaluation was to make sure he could operate in the pocket, that he could defend himself. He had to leave the pocket a couple of times, he did that, he could do that effectively and be able to get rid of the ball or get the ball down the field and protect himself. In terms of how we call or structure the game plan, that’s on us as coaches to make sure we’re inventive enough and creative enough to put ourselves in situations that if we’re limited with any player in a certain something they can do physically, then we have to give them another option.

Q: Daniel took a lot of hits. You said he had bumps and bruises. When you watched the film, was any of that a result of him not being able to move like he normally can?

A: I think everything is always connected. I think, obviously, he took some hits in the pocket. Were there some times that maybe he could have left the pocket and extended plays? You could argue one way or another. Were there other times that had nothing to do with that? Yeah, there were definitely times like that as well. I think any player that comes out of a game… look, there’s been every game this year that guys come out with some kind of bump or bruise, whether it looks like he didn’t get touched at all or not. You play through a professional game, everyone is coming out the next day sore, tired, worn down, and everyone’s getting checked on all the time.

Q: Was he at some greater risk? Maybe not for the hamstring, but bumps and bruises or other injuries? You think he could protect himself, but he could not move or escape some of the hits like he normally could.

A: I just go back to we saw he could protect himself in the pocket and move fluidly through the pocket. He could get rid of the ball if he needed. If he had to eat a sack at some point, that was something we were going to go into the game plan knowing it could happen. Obviously, there are some things that come up in the game. You get hit in the pocket at certain points. He is no different than the other 31 quarterbacks in the NFL. They all deal with the same risks every time they drop back in the pocket. To answer you directly, he was able to protect himself yesterday. No, there is no regrets, there’s no second guessing. We took a lot of time discussing a lot of things, scenarios with doctors, coaches, making sure it was the best position for the team. That’s the decision we went with and move forward.

Q: In regard to one particular hit that Daniel took late in the game, he seemed to come up limping on his left leg noticeably. He stayed in the rest of the series. He came over and had a conversation with Colt and then Colt immediately started taking warmup throws. It seemed like something in addition to the hamstring had happened.

A: At that point in the game, I had just made the decision to go with Colt. It was late in the game at that point. I was going to get Colt in just to get a few reps at that point. That had nothing to do with something that happened on that drive.

Q: Do you expect Daniel to be ready to practice Wednesday? Is it a little too early to know?

A: I honestly couldn’t give you accurate information. I have to talk to Ronnie (Barnes) and his staff along with the doctors’ feedback. Talking to Daniel this morning, the conversation was more about the hamstring. How his leg felt and how he was through the flow of the game. He assured us he came out with the hamstring really the same as what he went in. He felt good through the flow of the game. We had a long conversation. I’ll let him speak for himself on a lot of things. There was really no talk about anything other than the hamstring going on.

Q: You fell to second place. How do you move forward and how do you talk to the team about the situation and the three games left?

A: I’ve already addressed the team today in a squad meeting. Real simply, the focus is still what the focus has been the entire year: to come to work, to improve as a team. Move forward and play our best ball next Sunday. That’s the only thing that can help us, that’s the only thing that really matters. Our focus this year was very clear-cut and simple, to become the best team we can be, to establish a culture and lay a foundation for this program going forward. That included becoming the best team we could be this year. That includes daily and weekly improvement. I’ve seen that from this team. Obviously, yesterday, we had to coach and play better. That wasn’t the result we were looking for. We need to come back to work on Wednesday. Put our nose to the grindstone and keep moving forward. In terms of all the division standings, the same as when last week everyone wanted to talk about being in first place. That wasn’t the focus of the week and being in second place, that’s not the focus of the week either. The only thing that’s going to help us right now is playing our best game against the Browns.

Q: Does it matter to you whether or not this team makes the playoffs?

A: The only thing I am concerned with right now is the Cleveland Browns. Anything beyond that, again, are hypothetical games. At this point right here, we need to go out there and play our best game this Sunday.

Q: What did you think about the ability of your receivers to get open and create separation? It looked like they were pretty tightly covered a lot of times, at least where the ball went.

A: You have to give them credit. They had a good game plan. They definitely did a lot of the stuff in terms of double teaming and bracketing a lot of our receivers down the field. There was definitely some tight coverage in man situations. I saw a lot of opportunities where our guys made catches in tight situations. I saw a lot of guys separate from man coverage and get open at times. There were times where we have to do a better job of winning our matchups. That ties into a lot of things. That’s not just each individual receiver. That’s the timing of the routes. The timing of the throws. That’s calling it at the right time. That’s making sure we recognize the coverage and get ourselves in the right situation. There’s a lot of things that tie in together right there. Obviously, we want to win more matchups. We want to make more plays down the field. We have confidence in our receivers, and these are the guys we’re going to play with going forward.

Q: The last couple of weeks, you’re not playing as well on special teams as you did for most of the season. Have you noticed teams are trying to take advantage of you schematically? Are there execution issues that are taking place that you are not happy with? What’s happening on some of these breakdowns?

A: We all have to do our job better, number one. This hasn’t been one thing. It’s not a schematic disadvantage. We’re not getting isolated into something and we can’t make an adjustment, make a correction. There haven’t been repeat mistakes, but over six phases, if you have an issue in one phase per week, it’s going to be glaring and go ahead and be magnified over time. That’s fair, that’s the way the National Football League is. That’s what we signed up for. We’ve got to coach it better. We have to play it better. It starts with me. Yesterday, obviously with the returns, they did a good job on us. We have to do a better job covering in space. That comes down to playing with good field leverage, good space tackling. That comes into specialists doing their job, the coverage units doing their jobs and make sure we tie it all together. This has been a strength for us for most of the season. There’s been a one-off here or there. Those one-offs on special teams, everything is a one-play situation, one-play scenario. There is not second down on special teams. You go out there and you have one chance to operate and execute. We have to make sure we make the most of our opportunities.

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 assistant coaches will address the media on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 112020
 
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Riley Dixon and Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Riley Dixon and Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Washington Football Team last Sunday. Gano kicked field goals of 38, 48, and 42 yards in the team’s 23-20 victory. Three of his six kickoffs were touchbacks.

This season, Gano has missed only one of his 33 attempts, a 57-yard field goal try against the Chicago Bears.

NOVEMBER 11, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
DL Leonard Williams (not injury related) and S/CB Logan Ryan (not injury related) did not practice on Wednesday.

RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip), and TE Kaden Smith (concussion) were limited in practice.

LB Tae Crowder, who has been on Injured Reserve since October 20th with a hamstring injury, returned to practice on Wednesday. The Giants now have 21 days to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster or end his season.

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 on YouTube.

Coach Judge also broke down game film for fans. See video on YouTube.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:15-2:00PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Oct 232020
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (October 22, 2020)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 23, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Friday to discuss his team’s 22-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available on Giants.com):

Q: There was a report that Saquon’s (Barkley) surgery is scheduled for next week. Is that true and do you have any other information on that?

A: At this point, I don’t have any information on that. I have to check with Ronnie (Barnes) and see when everything is final. I know Saquon was with us this weekend on the trip. As far as when his surgery can officially take place, I don’t have a date right now specifically myself. But I’ll talk to Ronnie when we’re done here about a lot of guys today.

Q: How did Devonta Freeman come out of last night? I know he had the ankle. Were there any other meaningful injuries coming out of the game?

A: Again, I have to check with a lot of guys in terms of where they’re at today with Ronnie. But I would say with Devonta, he finished the game for us. He’s been obviously playing through a bunch of nicks and bumps like a lot of guys in the league are at this point in time. But he’s a tough dude. He never complains, so you’d never really know anything is wrong with him.

Q: You guys have seen seven games of Andrew Thomas now at left tackle. I’m just curious what has he done that makes you believe he deserves to be the starting left tackle still?

A: He’s done a lot. Andrew’s a good guy to build with. We have a lot of plans long-term with Andrew. He’s the kind of guy we want to work with, both physically and his personality off the field. We have a lot of confidence in Andrew. We’re going to keep working with him and developing him going forward. I fully expect Andrew to have a very productive, long career in this league. We enjoy him being a Giant.

Q: A follow up on Andrew, do you think his confidence has been hurt at all with the struggles he’s gone through?

A: I see him coming to work every day with a good attitude, effort and energy. When you see guys with confidence issues, normally the urgency goes down. I see this guy work tirelessly every day, so no. He’s a pleasure to be around right there. Look, he’s a young player who’s still learning to develop in this league. Nothing is going to be perfect all the time. We need to keep doing a good job of coaching him and bringing him along.

Q: What do you need to do to sort of clean up some of the mistakes that keep showing up time and again?

A: I think with any young player, it always comes down to just fundamentals, that you can execute your technique at the right time against the speed of the game.

Q: In the last three weeks and maybe throughout the season, the two-minute defense has struggled. Is there a common thread there?

A: They’re all different opponents and they attack you in different ways. We’ve had different personnel on the field throughout all those games for the most part, some changing parts. Look, we just need to do a better job of coaching the situation and executing as players. Everyone has to raise their level of play. That’s something that we have to work on as a team, and need to see marked improvement going forward.

Q: The other thing quickly was Graham Gano, it looked like he tweaked his kicking leg. Could he have kicked last night a long one?

A: Yeah, Graham finished the game for us. We had no plans of changing anything we would have done with him differently. We’ll see where he’s at physically today. But he kicked the ball really well for us last night. To answer that question for you, you can easily see a lot of times with kickers based on their kickoffs. In terms of the plan on kicking a long field goal, you look at Graham, the hang time and the distance he had on the kickoffs, I think that kind of shows you where his leg was at last night. We moved the ball around a little bit and placed the ball differently. But when we asked Graham to go ahead and bang the ball, he banged it pretty good and put it deep in the end zone with good hang time. That answers your question right there in terms of where we thought he was physically last night.

Q: When a player has a play like Daniel’s (Jones) run last night that sort of ended ignominiously, it kind of takes on a life of its own. That’s sort of the social media world we live in. Is that any part of your purview to help him get through that part of it? And what you saw on that play?

A: I thought he made a nice run. Look, we’d like him to stay up and finish it. He stumbled. That’s something you don’t want to happen. Look, internally, that’ll be something eventually we’ll be able to laugh about. Right now, we’ll correct some techniques and things. I thought Jason (Garrett) made a good call at the right time. Daniel did a good job on the mesh as far as hiding that thing, disguising it and pulling it. He made a real nice run to get down there. It was a huge gain for the team, put us in a position to score and the team capitalized on it. In terms of the social media part of it right there, look, the internet is undefeated. There are funny things all over the place. You just need to have a sense of humor. When someone sends you something or shows you something, you have to be willing to laugh at yourself sometimes.

Q: Your next game is a day before the trade deadline. How does last night’s game affect what you’re going to do in the next 10 days leading up to that?

A: We haven’t really had too many conversations as of yet as far as how that would affect anything right there. Our focus right now with this long weekend is just reviewing what we’ve done the first half of the season, coaching and playing, and making sure when the players come back that we’ve made some adjustments going forward. That can be something in terms of how we practice, how we prepare, techniques we’re using with certain players, whatever that may be. We’re kind of treating this a little bit right now like we would in a bye week. It’s a good opportunity for the players to get physically refreshed, mentally refreshed, and when they come back on Monday, getting back into ball with those guys.

Q: When you looked at the Evan Engram play, the drop near the end of the game, did you think he should have caught the ball? If so, is there anything wrong with a head coach frankly saying, ‘I think he should have caught the ball’?

A: I think everyone has their own style right there. To me, across the board, it’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback for a lot of people. We expect our players to perform in critical situations. Evan put us in position to be in that part of the game yesterday with how he performed. I thought he did a good job showing up, he was very productive for us. I like the way he comes to work, prepares and battles. Look, we’ll address that internally with how we can do things. I have no complaints on how Evan comes to work, what kind of teammate he is, and what he’s helping us build going forward right there. With how some other head coach wants to handle that, that’s on them.

Q: Coaches always say when you’re trying to build a team and gain confidence as a team, when you get some positive reinforcement, it’s easier. They win and you can point out mistakes and also point out things they did well. With so little winning this year, does it make your job harder to try to get positive reinforcement and build a team where there is so much losing that comes as a result of that?

A: I’ve always been very blunt and honest from day one. Regardless of if it’s coming off the field after a hard practice, coming off the field after a win or a loss, they are getting the same personality and feedback regardless. When you do something good, I’m going to highlight it and point it out. When you do something wrong, I’m going to show that to the team as well and make sure we correct it. Everyone has to learn the lesson. In terms of trying to use wins or losses at times to motivate or address players, to me you just have to be consistent on a daily basis. You don’t have to wait for the right time to correct someone, the right time to get motivation for somebody. The thing is to be consistent as a coach every day, so the players know what to expect coming in. They’ve been very consistent and very repetitive the entire way as well, all of them. I understand what you’re saying, I’ve worked for a lot of coaches who have said in the past, ‘hey, you can correct more after a win and after a loss you have to kind of pick them up.’ I’m going to be honest with you, that’s not really my personality. I think you just tell it like it is and people aware. They take the corrections as they come.

Q: I know you said you haven’t had much time to discuss the trade deadline. Any of those decisions, do you expect to have input on those decisions? Kind of like free agency and the draft with personnel.

A: We’ve had great synergy in the building since I have been here with everybody involved. We’ve been very open with a lot of discussions and talking through the personnel. Whether that was free agency or the draft, training camp or final cuts. There’s been great communication across the board. I expect that to continue. We’ve done a good job working together as a team.

Q: Any moves you do make, and I understand you haven’t made any and you don’t know if you will, any moves that you do make, do you have to consider what kind of message that sends to the locker room? How that affects some of the young guys’ development? Say it was an offensive guy, do you have to consider the ripple effect from those moves?

A: I don’t know that there needs to be an assumption that there is going to be a string of moves anyway. Right now, I think if I comment on a lot of this, all of the sudden you have players kind of anticipating what are we looking to do. I’m very clear with the players from day one that any decision we make is in the best interests of the team. That’s something I told them from day one and I always reiterate that to them. However, just because there is a trade deadline coming up doesn’t mean there is going to be a string of moves or something we’re going to have to look to go ahead and do and flip a lot of things. We always have personnel conversations. We always discuss (inaudible). We always make sure we’re on the same page. This week is no different just because there is a deadline approaching.

Q: How do you balance as a head coach trying to put the best team on the field for this year and looking at the big picture of wanting to continue to build around a young roster? Maybe not give up draft picks or assets at the deadline.

A: Part of the question you guys ask me every week, who do we expect to play at certain positions. I’ve been telling you every week, anyone at the game is going to play. We’re into developing all of our players. Whether that’s rotating linemen at different positions, getting a couple new DB’s in, make sure they are getting exposure. Make sure guys are getting reps in the kicking game. We saw TJ Brunson got into the game yesterday for the first time. He made a real nice play on kickoff. Went down there and showed what we have been seeing at practice for the time right now. We’re looking to develop our players all the time. To me, we’re going out there to be competitive and win every game every week. We’re not racing for some kind of a draft pick, that’s not our priority right now. We’re trying to go out there, we’re trying to win, that’s our goal as an organization. In terms of bringing players along, we’re using every player we have to develop to the future. We’re always thinking about the future in what we do. The future includes the Sunday game coming up that week as well as the long-term picture. The balance is always how it works off each other all the time anyway.

Q: I was curious with the Madre Harper late hit last night and then the hit on Desean Jackson, just your thoughts on seeing that on film and how you addressed it internally with Madre?

A: We haven’t had team meetings yet, so I haven’t had a chance to look at the tape before addressing Madre. I talked to him in the locker room. I’ll keep that conversation between me and him right now. When we have team meetings on Monday when the players come back, anything we have to correct, we will.

Q: After the game last night, Evan Engram was understandably down, given his performance. He’s had a rough start to his year. I’m just wondering what’s your approach in keeping his confidence up. Not letting his struggles manifest in his performance moving forward.

A: I’m not going to try and be a psychologist with him. I’m going to let him know right now, he’s an important player for us. He makes a lot of big plays. He put us in a position last night be competitive down the stretch. We all have to coach better, we all have to make plays and execute on the field. To me, there is not a player on our team that needs to worry about confidence or these questions about confidence issues. Confidence comes from practice, execution, and then in-game success. In terms of Evan as a player, we have all the confidence in him possible. We’re going to keep giving him the ball, keep making him the focal point of our offense. We expect him to keep showing up. He did a lot of good things for us last night.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no media availability to the team on Saturday-Monday.

Oct 122020
 
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Lorenzo Carter, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Lorenzo Carter – © USA TODAY Sports

LORENZO CARTER DONE FOR THE SEASON…
New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in the 1st quarter of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. Carter will undergo surgery within the next few days. He will miss the remainder of the 2020 NFL season.

“I’ll just say in terms of Zo, look, he’s an integral part of this team,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He’s a great dude in the locker room. He’s a blast to coach. The good news for him is they can do remarkable things with these injuries now to get him back on the field as soon as possible. That also being said, we won’t see him again this year. We’re going to miss having a guy like that out there for a lot of different reasons. Our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to him for what he’s worked to do, and we appreciate everything he’s done for this team. We look forward to getting him back next year.”

The Giants drafted Carter in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Carter played in 15 games as a rookie with two starts, finishing the season with 43 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 pass defenses. He started 12 games in 2019 and finishing the year with 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 pass defenses, and 1 forced fumble. Carter started all five games this year and was credited with 14 tackles and one sack.

OCTOBER 12, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys (the video is also available on YouTube):

Q: You’ve had a day now to look, you obviously looked at the film. I’m going to ask you what did you think about the call, the offensive interference on (Damion) Ratley, on a key play there to negate the touchdown by (Darius) Slayton?

A: I always put it on we have to execute cleaner and better and not give an official any opportunity to affect the game. To me, the emphasis is always on what we can teach our players how to clean it up and execute better, and make sure we don’t have those issues.

Q: I was curious what you make of how Andrew (Thomas) has progressed over the course of five games, and in particular the last couple of weeks? It seems like maybe he’s, I know there’s been tough competition obviously, going across DeMarcus Lawrence and guys like that, but what have you made of his progress going against guys like that?

A: Obviously, he sees a mix of things every week. The multiples pile up a little bit in terms of what he’s getting an education on. But I think he’s progressing at a good rate right now. We want to see some improvement from all of our players across the board, both vets and rookies. But he’s working hard every day and he’s making progress.

Q: Obviously, a tough loss with Lorenzo Carter’s injury. I’m just curious what it means to see a guy like that go down and where do you guys go forward now at outside linebacker?

A: I’ll just say in terms of Zo, look, he’s an integral part of this team. He’s a great dude in the locker room. He’s a blast to coach. The good news for him is they can do remarkable things with these injuries now to get him back on the field as soon as possible. That also being said, we won’t see him again this year. We’re going to miss having a guy like that out there for a lot of different reasons. Our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to him for what he’s worked to do, and we appreciate everything he’s done for this team. We look forward to getting him back next year. That being said, as with any move, everyone needs to play better around and make sure we all play as a team.

Q: I know you probably touched on this yesterday, but when you talked to the team today, are you just sitting there going, ‘look guys, we’re making progress. Just concentrate. We’re going to get a win. Don’t worry about it’?

A: My message to the team is always pretty blunt and simple. To me, it’s about evidence on the tape what we have to correct, what we’re doing well, what we have to build on. I’m not a rainbows and sunshine type of guy. I’m also not a brow-beat-you-and-rub-your-nose in it guy, either. It’s, ‘this is what it is. Understand what we’re doing good that we can build on. Understand what we have to do that we have to correct and clean up.’ To me, that’s the best thing for guys to respond. Just show them visual evidence of what they’re improving on and what we have to clean up, and they understand going forward what we have to work on.

Q: I believe (Sterling) Shep is eligible to come off IR maybe Wednesday. Where is he at physically? Is he ready to if you decide to?

A: I need to take a look at him at practice, obviously. He stayed behind this week to do some extra work with the trainers. I know he’s made a lot of progress on a weekly basis. We’ll get him moving around a little bit this week with the trainers early on and see where that’s going to lead as far as him going into practice. We’re kind of in the same spot right now with (David) Mayo as well. We’ll have to see how he moves around in practice again this week to see where he’ll be for this weekend.

Q: You put Oshane (Ximines) on IR Friday, so we didn’t get a chance to ask you, is that a serious, long-term injury or is that something you think he could be back from in a couple of weeks?

A: From the information we got from the doctors right now, it looks like there’s some hope for him to come back soon. I know he’s working hard right now to get back.

Q: Following up on an earlier question, how do you balance the game results with the effort that you’re getting and with the improvement and progress you’re making?

A: Look, I’m always proud of the way our guys come to work every day and how they compete. If it’s not to our standard, believe me, they know it and they know it right away. But I don’t really have to ever worry about the way our guys are going to compete and how they’re going to play. I have a lot of faith in the resiliency we have. We have a tough team, we have a good mindset team. That being said, this is a production business. Our guys understand that we’re going out there to play games to win games, and that’s what the fans deserve and that’s what we’re working to do.

Q: I’m not necessarily looking for you to put anybody on blast, but as far as the fake field goal, the officials called it one way, I think they called it on (Nick) Gates. Then obviously, Tony Romo on the broadcast seemed to think it was Cam Fleming. Can you describe what you saw after watching the film? What happened? Why was a penalty called on that play and why did the touchdown get negated?

A: We just weren’t set as a unit right there, and that’s not one person. That ties into a couple different things communication wise and execution wise. We’ll talk with the team and make sure they understand fully what it is. That was a situational play that came up. We had the opportunity to call it. It was something we prepared for that could come up at different times. We hit it. Evan did a really good job of executing on his part in terms of the substitution exchange and the execution down the field. But we have a couple things we have to clean up on that right there. It wasn’t one person at all.

Q: How do you adjust your schedule for the next couple of days? You have two games now in 11 days I guess.

A: The easiest thing would be to kind of work backwards for you there. Obviously, leading into the Thursday game against Philly, that would be an abbreviated week. Our experience in the past which has worked out pretty good for the players is obviously it’s a lighter on-the-field load. It’s a heavy mental week and mental preparation week, so you have to make sure that you go ahead and you give your players time to recuperate and recover from the game this Sunday that we’re going to play. But that will be a little bit of a lighter load that we’ll build on in. The toughest thing for the guys to understand is once that game against Washington is over, you’re already middle of the way through the game week against Philly on a normal week’s preparation. It’s a very quick turnaround. The biggest emphasis on those weeks is, really physically, let the players recover as much as possible to get them as fresh as you can for the game. This week itself, because it’s a tight turnaround, we have multiple games in a short window, we’ll talk collectively with some of the players, with the strength staff and with our trainers tomorrow morning and kind of see where the team is at physically. Then we’ll go ahead and determine and adjust how we’re going to approach this week here. Last week after the west coast trip, we did a Wednesday walkthrough, Thursday and Friday practice. I thought we had great energy at practice. We had very efficient practices. We’ll see if that’s something that applies this week or not, but I haven’t yet made a decision.

Q: What did you think of Kyler’s (Fackrell) game yesterday? He had a couple impact plays there. Obviously, with Lorenzo out, he’s going to have to carry a little bit more of a load.

A: Yeah, Kyler’s a guy that’s made some plays for us throughout the year so far. He’s a guy who has some versatility to how he plays. He was in the right spot at the right time because he followed his alignment and his drop assignment on that play where he made the interception. He finished it with a good run down the sideline, he got in the end zone for us and made a big play. He had some nice plays in the run game as well. In terms of Kyler, regardless of who else is at the game, we need him to do his job as well as possible for us to have success.

Q: To follow up on that a little bit, Kyler was already playing. Who do you look at to fill in for that void that’s now there with Lorenzo down?

A: There are a lot of things we could do right there. Obviously, Markus (Golden) played a lot yesterday as well, so he’ll be a key part of what we’re doing. We’ll see how it deflects on our other personnel around. Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown are guys who have been at the games for us and play the outside linebacker position. They’re obviously a factor in what we’re doing. But it’s really no different than any other position on any week in terms of we’re going to find the best combinations we can put together.

Q: On a separate note, I’m curious how much do you believe in and how do you feel about team’s needing to learn to win?

A: You hear a lot about that expression, ‘learn to win.’ To me, you can make a lot about the 60th minute of the game when it really starts in the first 59 minutes of the game. You learn to win by doing your assignment on a consistent basis, by executing correctly, by calling the right calls as a coach, by putting your team in the best position, and that’s how we learn to win. We’re working. We have to make sure we execute and we do a better job as coaches, and we execute as players.

Q: I’m curious, Tony Romo said on the broadcast that maybe there was a little bit of a miscommunication with Nick Gates and with Daniel Jones in terms of identifying the middle linebacker and things like that. I’m just curious where you are in terms of those two as a battery and how you would evaluate Nick Gates at center through five games having never played that position before?

A: I’m not overly familiar with exactly what happened on the broadcast yesterday. We have a lot of confidence in Nick going forward. Him and Daniel work very tirelessly together, put in a lot of effort to make sure they’re on the same page. I’m very pleased with how they’ve worked so far. Obviously, we have to all play better and coach better to get the results we want.

Q: A couple questions if I may. Do you have to remind your team to not pay attention to what’s going on in the division given how tight it is and just focus on each week?

A: Yeah, it’s truly one game at a time, no matter who we’re playing. Right now, the only game we’re truly worried about is Washington. That’s the team that we’re focused on right now going forward. Everything that happened yesterday is purely corrections so that we can have the best plan going forward into Washington, and that’s all of our focus as coaches and players this week.

Q: Then if I could just go back to something you said. You mentioned that you keep reminding the players of what it is they do well and so forth. Is that numbers, is it something tangible that you’re seeing? What is it that you’re basing or considering progress with this team that maybe isn’t showing up on game days?

A: Yeah, for me, it’s all video evidence. You can show someone a clip of what they did several games ago and a clip of what they’re doing yesterday on the same play, same technique, same type of matchup, and they can see the visual success of what they’re having. Maybe it’s something they did earlier in the week at practice that you had to correct and it shows up in the game and they do it well. It’s maybe something that they do well at practice and they make a mistake in the game. You have to show them where’s the disconnect? Why are we not executing this correctly and how do we clean this up? To me, it’s about visual evidence. Stats are a large part of the game for different reasons. But for me, if you get lost too much in the numbers, you could lose sight of what the real football is.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday. The assistant coaches will be available to the media on Tuesday.

Sep 092020
 
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Joe Judge, New York Giants (August 28, 2020)

Joe Judge – © USA TODAY Sports

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 on YouTube.

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:

NOTES…
Under special 2020 Practice Squad rules, teams are allowed to protect four Practice Squad players from being signed by other teams on a week-to-week basis. This week, the Giants have protected QB Cooper Rush, WR Johnny Holton, OL Chad Slade, and CB Ryan Lewis.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Sep 082020
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS WAIVE DEANDRE BAKER…
The New York Giants have waived cornerback Deandre Baker, who has been on the Commissioner’s Exempt List since July 27th due to his legal troubles. At the team’s request, Baker had not participated in any team workouts this offseason. Baker was charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm from an incident that occurred in Florida in May. If convicted, Baker faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to life.

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

GIANTS VOTE FOR TEAM CAPTAINS…
New York Giants players voted six of their teammates to represent the squad in 2020:

Offense: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley

Defense: DL Dalvin Tomlinson, LB Blake Martinez

Special Teams: S Jabrill Peppers, S Nate Ebner

GIANTS SIGN TWO, CUT ONE FROM PRACTICE SQUAD…
The Giants have signed RB Rod Smith and CB Ryan Lewis to their Practice Squad, and terminated the Practice Squad contract of WR Derrick Dillon.

The 28-year old, 6’3”, 236-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He was released by Seattle in October 2015. The Cowboys claimed him off of waivers and he played with the Cowboys until the end of the 2018 season. The Giants signed Smith as an unrestricted free agent in May 2019 and waived him from Injured Reserve in September 2019. He then spent time with both the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders in 2019. Smith has played in 55 regular-season games with two starts, rushing 101 times for 364 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also has caught 30 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown.

The 26-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). Lewis has played in 20 NFL regular-season games with two starts, accruing 43 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception.

The Giants signed Dillon as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.