Sep 172018
 
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Eli Manning and Jon Halapio, New York Giants (September 16, 2018)

Eli Manning and Jon Halapio – © USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE – JON HALAPIO DONE FOR THE SEASON…
New York Giants center Jon Halapio is done for the 2018 NFL season as the team revealed that he suffered fractures to his lower leg and ankle during the game on Sunday night. He will soon undergo surgery to repair the injuries.

Head Coach Pat Shurmur did not have an update on cornerback Eli Apple, who was also injured in the game. “I have no updates other than he had to leave the game with a groin, I guess it was,” said Shurmur. “We’ll see where it’s at. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

MONDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 20-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Opening Remarks: After watching the tape, I don’t have really anything new to add aside from the fact that we’ve just got to play better in some areas, and we’ve got to make more plays and give ourselves a chance to win. I’d like to see us get a faster start and basically continue to play hard through the game like we did, but we’ve just got to find a way to make the plays necessary to win. I’ll take your questions.

Q: What can you do as a head coach and especially as a play caller to try to get those fast starts? Obviously you’re trying to start fast every game, but seeing what went on the first two games, what could you do to change things up to maybe force feed a faster start?

A: Certainly we want to stay on the field, see if you can get some big plays in there, that’s important. We had one third down that we missed by inches and I chose to punt it the first time. At times, to be able to drive the ball and get big chunks – that’s what you want to try to do on every drive, we’ve just got to try to it better, sooner. We’ve got to get in the end zone, quite frankly.

Q: After watching the film and looking what the Cowboys did on defense with the twists and all that stuff, how much of that caused confusion with the offensive line, and were they prepared for what was thrown at them?

A: I think our guys were prepared. We were well aware of the fact they have been a defensive front that moves quite a bit. They have done it for years, that’s their style. We were aware of it and some of the pressures we practiced. I think we had a hat for them in most occasions, one time we had it picked up and we just didn’t slide through it. We’ve just got to do a better job, I don’t think we faced anything we hadn’t seen. We’ve just got to be cleaner with our blocks. They got on our edges a little bit too much.

Q: We know that Jon Halapio broke his leg and ankle and is out for the year, where do you go at center now?

A: We have guys on the roster who have played center, John Greco went in there and played and then we brought in Spencer Pulley on the roster who played all last season at center, so we’ve got guys that have done it and they’ll just slide up and get ready to go.

Q: Is Greco the first option or were you just going with the guy who was active last night?

A: We’ll start with John and then obviously get Spencer ready to go.

Q: Do you have an update on the severity of Eli Apple’s injury?

A: I have no updates other than he had to leave the game with a groin, I guess it was. We’ll see where it’s at. We’ll know more tomorrow.

Q:  Back to the stunts and blitzes. If you were prepared, why do you think you didn’t handle the pressure well? Was it a communication issue, there’s a lot of former players out there turned analysts today saying that it was a schematic thing – do you not see it that way?

A: I don’t know, I’d have to ask whoever those former players are what it was. There are times when we had a hat for them, you’ve got to pick it up. We had one certainly on the fumble where it was a full slide, we just didn’t slide through, it was communicated. I don’t know. Whoever made those comments, they’d have to ask me.

Q: Is it too early in the season to make any kind of drastic personnel changes? Would you prefer to remain consistent whether it’s a player on the offensive line or wherever else – would you prefer to try and remain consistent or do you think with an 0-2 start, some consistency struggles with something like that could be necessary for week 3?

A: We look at everything all the time. I think what’s important is we stay the course, get the players that we have playing better, and try to make more plays to do what’s necessary to win the game.

Q: When you look at the first game against Jacksonville, really good team you played well – was this past Sunday a step back?

A:  No. Absolutely not. We didn’t win the first game and we didn’t win the second game. That goes back into that thinking you did good when you didn’t win. We’ve got to do what we have to do to do the things necessary to win the game, period. We really don’t worry about all of that stuff.

Q: Through two games, considering the personnel you do have on offense, why has it been so difficult to sustain drives, to get into the end zone, to score points?

A: I think I’ve been answering the same question over and over in different ways, but we’ve got to do more to stay on the field instead of ending six inches short, just keep the drive alive. We’ve got to do better in all areas, we just have to play better.

Q: On your third downs this year, an inordinate number of those plays the ball has been thrown short of the sticks. What do you think of that?

A: First of all, I don’t think that’s correct, but go ahead.

Q: All seven of your third downs in the first half, you didn’t throw the ball to the sticks. Is that not inordinate to you? The second half of the last game, too, I think it was six of seven. I’m just wondering what you think of it? Is that what you’re trying to do on offense, is that just circumstance?

A: Obviously, the plays are designed to get the first down, and there’s times when you’re playing against man coverage where you get catch-and-run scenarios, and then there’s other times when you have layered passes where you have a downfield throw and then kind of a shorter throw that requires a run to get the first. Depending on how all that plays out, really doesn’t matter as long as you get the first.  Then if you didn’t get it, you didn’t get it.

Q: Did you see opportunities yesterday where (Eli Manning) could have hit (Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard), or was the pass rush such that you didn’t have a chance on those kinds of plays?

A: There are times when you have to move slightly or dependent on what’s happening, you don’t have the ability to get the ball down the field. Certainly we’re always trying to do that and we didn’t get the chance to do that as much as we wanted to.

Q: I know you’re aware of what happened last year. Do you feel like you have to be cognizant of where this team is mentally right now more so because of that or do you just view it as everyone has a clean slate and it’s still the second week of the season?

A: We’re trying to grow away from that the best we can, and put all our efforts into beating Houston. That’s where we’re at. A question like this just kind of brings it into focus when that’s not something that we think about.

Q: When you look at the number of hits (Eli Manning) has taken, obviously you worry about him physically, but do you worry about him getting a little bit of whiplash from those hits and maybe speeding things up knowing that he’s going to take another big hit?

A: Eli is a competitor. We’re going to do everything we can to protect him. There was times last night where he wasn’t protected well enough, and we just keep playing and try to get better in all areas.

Q: On the defense’s performance – what did you see in the handling of Dak Prescott, especially when he was on the run? It looked like there wasn’t a lot contain on the edges.

A: I thought the general part of their running game, I thought our guys did a pretty good job. There were a couple times in the zone read situations where we could have done a little bit better job.

Q: When you look at the tape and look at that game yesterday, can you single out some players who you thought played well?

A: We lost the game. There are certainly some guys that behind the scenes will be told that this was good, but here still are your mistakes. Ultimately, we didn’t play well enough to win.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the conference call media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

NOTES…

  • The Giants are 0-2 for the second year in a row and for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley set a Giants franchise, single-game record with 14 receptions (for 80 yards).

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Aug 152018
 
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Lorenzo Carter, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Lorenzo Carter – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 15, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
While the last official training camp practice for the New York Giants was held on August 7th, the team is holding joint public practices with the Detroit Lions on August 14-16.

“Alright, day two here,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur after practice. “Competitive. You could tell the guys were grinding through that, but again, we didn’t have any injuries to speak of, a couple nagging things I’m sure, but for the most part I was proud of the professionalism that our guys showed. It gets a little chippy sometimes. Detroit did a great job and I think because we set the ground rules for this thing at least until this point, really both teams have gotten a lot of really good work. I think that’s part of being a pro, is being able to do things in different settings and get a lot out of it.”

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), receiver Travis Rudolph (quad), tight end Ryan O’Malley (ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (“soreness”), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Curtis Riley remained the starting free safety.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, wide receiver Cody Latimer made a leaping catch over cornerback Darius Slay in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Hunter Sharp made a “spectacular” leaping catch in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a precise pass in the end zone to tight end Scott Simonson for a touchdown.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a dart to wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. for a score.
  • Off a rollout, quarterback Eli Manning threw to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, tight end Evan Engram made a very nice catch of a quarterback Eli Manning pass that was thrown low and behind of him.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning fired a pass between two defenders to wide receiver Hunter Sharp who made a nice catch for a touchdown.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Webb then threw a nice back-shoulder pass to tight end Rhett Ellison for another score. Ellison had three scores in red zone drills.
  • In 11-on-11 redzone drills, linebacker Olivier Vernon blew through the line of scrimmage and nailed the back for a 3-yard loss. Vernon had at least two “sacks” and another tackle for a loss during drills.
  • Defensive end B.J. Hill “sacked” the quarterback and defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson made a couple of plays in the backfield.
  • Nose tackle Robert Thomas continues to impress, flashing throughout practice.
  • Defensive end Ziggy Ansah badly beat right tackle Ereck Flowers on a pass rush, leading to a “sack” by former Giant linebacker Devon Kennard.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard drew a pass interference penalty. Then quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Evan Engram for a touchdown against safety Glover Quin.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, quarterback Davis Webb rolled out and threw a touchdown pass off his back foot.
  • Linebacker Lorenzo Carter “sacked” the quarterback in redzone drills. He gave left tackle Tyrell Crosby problems.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree was having problems covering Detroit’s tight ends. Hakeem Valles and Levine Toilolo both scored against him. Ogletree did pick up one “sack” and a tackle for a loss during 11-on-11 drills.
  • Wide receiver Chris Lacy made a leaping catch over cornerback Eli Apple in the back of the endzone for a touchdown.
  • In the 2-minute drill, after committing a pass interference penalty, cornerback Eli Apple picked off a pass from quarterback Jake Rudock intended for wide receiver Marvin Jones and returned it for a touchdown.
  • In 2-point conversion attempts, the Lions were 3-for-3 while the Giants were 0-for-3.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’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 will practice against the Detroit Lions in Michigan on Thursday (open to public). The two teams face off on Friday night at Ford Field.

Aug 012018
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 1, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their sixth full-team summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS CLAIM VICTOR SALAKO OFF OF WAIVERS…
The New York Giants have claimed offensive tackle Victor Salako off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns. The 24-year old, 6’5”, 316-pound Salako was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Practice Squads of both the Eagles and Browns in 2017. Salako has good size but lacks ideal athleticism.

To make room for Salako, the Giants waived offensive tackle Jarron Jones, who was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Giants cut him in September 2017, but re-signed him June 2018 after he had spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Linebacker Olivier Vernon beat left tackle Nate Solder around the edge to “sack” quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Darian Thompson teamed with Landon Collins as the first-team safeties. When the Giants went to “dime” coverage, the extra corners were William Gay and B.W. Webb.
  • Second-team defense included Grant Haley and Teddy Williams at corner and Michael Thomas in the slot.
  • Chad Wheeler practiced at second-team left tackle today with Nick Becton at second-team right tackle, flipping from where they had been lining up.
  • John Jerry was working with the third team at right tackle.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a perfect deep pass to wide receiver Kalif Raymond for a 40-50 yard gain between cornerback Grant Haley and safety Andrew Adams.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta hit wide receiver Marquis Bundy deep down the left sideline.
  • Returning kickoffs were Hunter Sharp, Wayne Gallman, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Left tackle Nate Solder did a good job of picking up a blitz by linebacker Alec Ogletree.
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich slammed wideout Kalif Raymond after a short catch over the middle.
  • Linebacker Alex Ogletree tipped a pass from quarterback Eli Manning that was intercepted by safety Landon Collins and returned for a touchdown during the 2-minute drill.
  • Defensive end B.J. Hill expertly sniffed out a screen pass for running back Saquon Barkley and tackled him for a loss.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. worked together after practice.

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 052018
 
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B.J. Hill, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

B.J. Hill – © USA TODAY Sports

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: One of the reasons why 2017 was such a huge disappointment was that a defense that was supposed to be the strength of the team fell from 10th in yards allowed in 2016 to 31st. Worse, scoring defense fell from 2nd in 2016 to 27th.

In 2017, New York’s run defense was 27th in the NFL, allowing over 120 yards per game on average. Pass defense was 31st, allowing over 250 yards per game on average. These numbers are so bad that every position and the coaching staff must share responsibility.

Two position groups were supposed to carry the defense: the defensive line and the secondary, covering up for a linebacking corps that has been considered sub par for years. Both groups failed miserably. Up front, not only could the Giants not stop the run, but they couldn’t rush the passer either. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon were paid huge sums of money to get after the quarterback, yet finished with a total of 15 sacks. These numbers look even worse when one realizes that JPP and Olivier were each held sackless in 10 games. And after these two, the rest of the line had an embarrassing 4.5 sacks in 16 games. Sometimes sacks are overrated if your pass rushers are getting hits on the quarterback. But the Giants were 27th in quarterback hits with 70 – or a little over four per game.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants traded Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. The team also let Jay Bromley walk in free agency. The Giants re-signed Kerry Wynn and Robert Thomas in free agency, as well as signing newcomers Josh Mauro (Cardinals) and A.J. Francis (Redskins). The Giants drafted B.J. Hill (3rd round) and R.J. McIntosh (5th round) in the 2018 NFL Draft. Tyrell Chavis was signed as a rookie free agent.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: After a quarter of a century of playing in the 4-3 defense, the New York Giants are shifting back to the 3-4. While it won’t be the Giants’ old 2-gap system, and the team will shift at times back to the 4-3, the switch is a big deal. We’ve already seen the fallout with the personnel department acquiring more 3-4-type defensive linemen and linebackers. Because the Giants will play a hybrid defense, and because in the 3-4 the outside linebackers tend to be more forward-movers, defining who is a defensive end, nose tackle, defensive tackle, and even linebacker becomes more complicated and partially moot. For example, even back in 1980s, one could argue Lawrence Taylor was a glorified standup defensive end. When you hear the coaches now talking about 5-man fronts, they are not talking about just defensive linemen, but the outside linebackers.

What we do know is this, Damon Harrison will be the starting nose tackle. Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill are likely to be the starting defensive ends, especially with Josh Mauro starting the year with a 4-game suspension. Meanwhile, Olivier Vernon, Romeo Okwara, and Avery Moss are with the linebackers now. When the Giants go the 4-3 in certain pass-rush packages, expect these three to put their hand in the dirt.

On paper, the trio of Tomlinson, Harrison, and Hill up front seems imposing and a problem for opposing teams that want to establish the run. The good news is that Tomlinson and Harrison have previous experience in similar systems so the adjustment should not be that difficult for them. Hill’s college coaches talk about his position flexibility and he has impressed his new coaches and teammates with the Giants. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher brought defensive end Josh Mauro and hyrid linebacker/defensive end Kareem Martin over from his old team with him. Base-defense depth could be an issue if any of the starters get hurt.

The big question is are there any pass rushers in this group? Can Tomlinson and Hill get any heat on the quarterback from the 3-4 defensive end spots? Bettcher has also said they will work to get Harrison more favorable one-on-one match-ups rather than facing constant double teams. In a traditional 3-4 system, the pass rush usually comes from the outside linebackers (Olivier Vernon, Kareem Martin, Lorenzo Carter, etc.), but these guys will also put their hands in the dirt in certain packages. Regardless of style of defense or position, the team must get heat on the passer in order to be a good defense.

ON THE BUBBLE: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, and B.J. Hill are the sure bets. Normally, R.J. McIntosh would be too, but he has been sidelined all spring with a mysterious ailment and still remains unsigned. The Giants knew about Mauro’s 4-game suspension when they signed him so he will likely make the team. If Harrison were to get hurt, Tomlinson and Hill could probably play nose tackle, but finding another 3-4-type reserve is important. Robert Thomas and A.J. Francis will probably be battling each other for one of these spots. Kerry Wynn had a good spring, but I’m not sure where his body type fits on this defense. Josh Banks, who spent last year on IR, was also active in the spring workouts. He faces an uphill climb as do Kristjan Sokoli, Jordan Williams, and Tyrell Chavis.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on his defensive line: “I think B.J.’s (Hill) really coming along. I’m really excited with where he’s at right now…(Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Damon Harrison) have done a great job for us and I think Kerry Wynn has had a really, really good offseason and excited to see him in pads. Josh (Mauro), (A.J.) Francis, the list can go on. Robert (Thomas). I’m going to leave guys out if I keep going. But I’ll say this: I’m excited about where that group is at right now, but more importantly I’m excited about putting some pads on and seeing where we’re really at.”

Bettcher on if B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson can rush the passer: “I do think so. I do think so. And one of the things when we drafted B.J., that was part of us selecting him because we thought he has a potential to be a three-down player. Whether that’s a middle push guy, whether that’s a guy that can beat some guards and create some disruption for either edge players, or edge pressure guys. Dalvin’s the same kind of player. Has some slipperiness to him, has the ability to get on edges. Excited to get to – again, I keep saying that, but I’m anxious to get to training camp to really see where some of that’s at. But I do expect those guys to be able to help us.”

Bettcher on Damon Harrison: “We went and looked initially, all the one-on-ones that he had in the run game, and there wasn’t anyone that blocked him one-on-one in the run game. And I think what he’ll find and what we’ll find is we’ll be able to get him some one-on-ones. Whether that’s matched up on a center, on a guard, we’ll be able to get him some one-on-ones in the run game.”

Damon Harrison on B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson: “He can play. He can play and that’s the first thing our defensive line coach told me when I got here. He said, ‘You’re going to love 95.’ He said, ‘He can play.’ So, I got out here and I’ve been watching him. He’s strong and he’s got some wiggle to him and he has some move to him. So, that’s somebody else who I think with some time and a little more experience will be a dominant player in this league, as well as Dalvin Tomlinson, who I think will take the next step this year.”

PREDICTIONS: Perhaps I’m too guilty of drinking the offseason Kool-Aid, but I’m very optimistic about the team’s starting front three if they can stay healthy. Dalvin Tomlinson, Damon Harrison, and B.J. Hill are not only a combined 1,000 pounds of muscle up front, but they are darn good. There aren’t many teams in this league that can field three players of this caliber. James Bettcher’s 3-4 system is not a two-gap system where the responsibility of the linemen is to absorb blocks and allow the linebackers to make a play. Bettcher’s system is a penetrating defense where he will look to create favorable one-on-one match-ups. The Giants (and Bettcher) are very fortunate to have had two players (Harrison and Tomlinson) on the roster with 3-4 position versatility. Drafting B.J. Hill simply completed the picture. THIS is what enabled the team to move forward with the new scheme. For the first time in decades, the Giants have the TYPE of players to play the 3-4.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: It is difficult to predict how many defensive linemen the Giants will carry because of the hybrid nature of the defense and the hybrid nature of many of the players in this defense. Personally, I would prefer the team carry at least five true defensive tackle types (three starters and two reserves) beyond any other situational players. The three starters are Harrison, Tomlinson, Hill. Mauro will start the year on the suspension list so he won’t count against the roster. McIntosh is a question mark at this point because of his health too. Right now, if you put a gun to my head, I would guess Kerry Wynn, Robert Thomas, and McIntosh make the September team. But Thomas could be pressed by Francis. And Josh Banks could sneak onto this roster… he’s physically well suited for a 3-4 end.

Jun 122018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 12, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 3-day mandatory mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. All 90 players on the current roster were present.

“All right, so first day of mandatory mini camp,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I told the players this and really it’s the case, it’s really OTA 11 in my mind because anytime they come on the field with their helmets on, it’s about the ball, it’s about the ground and it’s about getting yourself better. They handled today just like they have the other OTAs, so good work, was very competitive. You saw at the end there – everyday we do a situation and today was the two-point play and the defense did a good job with those two-point plays today.”

The mini-camp will continue with practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) has been cleared to practice. On Tuesday, he participated in individual and walk-thru drills, but not team drills. He also fielded punts after practice.

“He ran maybe three or four routes, but he looks good coming out of his breaks,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “From what I have seen, he looks sharp and ready to go.”

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from offseason arm surgery) wore a non-contact jersey and did not participate in full-team drills.

Defensive linemen Josh Mauro (unknown) and R.J. McIntosh (unknown) and linebacker Avery Moss (unknown) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • The second-team offensive line was left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler.
  • The starting safeties were Andrew Adams and Curtis Riley.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a redzone touchdown against cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Curtis Riley.
  • Fullback Shane Smith made a nice catch in the flat, tipping the ball to himself and then heading up-field.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb overthrew wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. but then came back with a nice throws to wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Kalif Raymond.
  • Wide receiver Marquis Bundy made a nice play on an underthrown pass by quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 8-for-8 on field goal attempts, many of them from long distance.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley toasted linebacker B.J. Goodson on a wheel route and quarterback Eli Manning hit him downfield for the touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard beat cornerback Eli Apple along the sideline and made a nice catch on a pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple, cornerback Donte Deayon, linebacker Mark Herzlich, and defensive lineman D.J. Hill all broke up passes. Late in practice, safety Curtis Riley, safety Orion Stewart, and linebacker Thurston Armbrister broke up 2-point conversion attempts.
  • Defensive back Curtis Riley made a nice break-up of a sideline pass intended for wide receiver Hunter Sharp.
  • Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made a number of nice plays, including beating cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Notes and observations from minicamp practice (6/12) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at Giants minicamp? (6/12) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

B.J. HILL SIGNED…
The New York Giants have signed defensive lineman B.J. Hill, one of their two 3rd-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, to a 4-year contract. The only two remaining unsigned draft picks are running back Saquon Barkley (1st round) and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (5th round).

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed free agents tight end Scott Simonson, offensive tackle Jarron Jones, and cornerback Kenneth Durden. The team also waived offensive tackle Tyler Howell and waived/injured cornerback Aaron Davis (hamstring) both rookie free agents who were signed after the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 26-year old, 6’5”, 255-pound Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders waived him in June 2015 and he was then signed by the Carolina Panthers. He spent all of 2017 on Injured Reserve with a back injury. Simonson has played in 18 regular-season games with one start. He has one catch in his NFL career.

The 24-year old, 6’6”, 320-pound Jones was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. A collegiate defensive tackle, the Giants moved him to offensive tackle, but cut him in early September 2017. Jones then spent time on the Practice Squads of the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in 2017. The Cowboys waived him in May 2018.

The 26-year old, 6’1”, 180-pound Durden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Raiders’ Practice Squad before being cut in September 2017. The Tennessee Titans then signed him to their Practice Squad and cut him in October 2017. Durden has not played in a regular-season game.

GIANTS AND LIONS TO HOLD JOINT PRACTICES IN AUGUST…
The New York Giants and Detroit Lions will hold joint training camp practices at Detroit’s headquarters and training facility in Allen Park, Michigan on August 14-16. The two teams play a preseason game on Friday, August 17 at Ford Field.

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

Feb 212018
 
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John Greco, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

John Greco – © USA TODAY

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN GUARD JOHN GRECO…
The New York Giants have re-signed offensive guard John Greco. The 32-year old, 6’4”, 318-pound Greco was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2008-2010), Cleveland Browns (2011-2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Giants signed Greco in November 2017; he played in six games with no starts. Greco has started 70 of the 117 regular-season games he has played in, including starts at right guard (45), left guard (24), and center (1).

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT LINEBACKER ISHAQ WILLIAMS…
The New York Giants waived/injured linebacker Ishaq Williams on February 15. The Giants originally signed Williams after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2016 mini-camp. Williams had been out of football since 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016 and the 53-man roster in December 2016. He did not play in any games. Williams was injured/waived and then placed on Injured Reserve in May 2017 (where he spent the entire season) after needing knee surgery.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • DE Romeo Okwara (Video)

ARTICLES…

Dec 312017
 
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Jim Schwartz, Philadelphia Eagles (November 19, 2017)

Jim Schwartz – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT: GIANTS INTERESTED IN JIM SCHWARTZ…
ESPN is reporting that Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz is one of the front runners – and may be the favorite – for the New York Giants’ head coaching vacancy. Schwartz is expected to interview with the Giants next week.

The 51-year old Schwartz has served as the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans (2001-2008), head coach of the Detroit Lions (2009-2013), defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills (2014), and defensive coordinator of the Eagles (2016-2017) in recent years. He was 29–51 (.363) in the regular season and 0-1 in the post-season as Detroit’s head coach.

Meanwhile, The Daily News is reporting that the Giants top head coaching candidates, in order of preference, are Josh McDaniels (New England Patriots offensive coordinator), Matt Patricia (New England Patriots defensive coordinator), Bill O’Brien (head coach of the Houston Texans), Pat Shurmur (Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator), and Schwartz.

REPORT: DAVE GETTLEMAN WILL RUN THE DRAFT…
The Daily News is reporting that New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman will not immediately replace recently-fired Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross and that Gettleman will run the 2018 NFL Draft for the Giants instead. Ross had run the team’s drafts under recently-fired General Manager Jerry Reese since 2007.

The Daily News is also reporting that Gettleman is not currently planning any other changes to the front office structure of the Giants. That would suggest that Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams, who had served as interim general manager after Reese was fired, will be retained as the team’s salary cap expert.

GIANTS WILL PICK SECOND IN THE 2018 NFL DRAFT…
Even though the New York Giants won on Sunday, they will still pick second in the 2018 NFL Draft due to the Indianapolis Colts defeating the Houston Texans 22-13. The Cleveland Browns currently have the first pick.

NEW YORK GIANTS 18 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS 10…
The New York Giants ended their historically-dreadful 2017 season with a rare win, defeating the Washington Redskins 18-10. With the victory, the Giants finished the season 3-13. It was also Steve Spagnuolo’s first victory as interim head coach.

With a hodgepodge offensive line of right tackle Adam Bisnowaty, right guard Jon Halapio, center Brett Jones, left guard John Jerry, and left tackle Chad Wheeler, the Giants rushed for 260 yards against the Redskins. Jerry suffered a concussion in the 1st quarter and was replaced early by John Greco.

The Giants out-gained the Redskins in first downs (17 to 10), total net yards (381 to 197), and net yards rushing (260 to 61). Neither team passed for over 140 net yards. The Giants also won the critical turnover battle 3-to-1.

Most of the game’s excitement came within the first seven minutes. On the second offensive snap of the game, running back Orleans Darkwa broke off a 75-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked. Then on Washington’s third offensive snap, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard intercepted quarterback Kirk Cousins at the Redskins 31-yard line and returned the ball 12 yards to the 19-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Hunter Sharp for a 16-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Giants were up 12-0.

Washington went three-and-out on their second possession, but the Giants gave the ball right back when Manning’s pass intended for running back Wayne Gallman was intercepted and returned to the NYG 20-yard line. Two plays later, Cousins scrambled into the end zone from 12 yards out to cut the score to 12-7 midway through the 1st quarter. Neither team would reach the end zone again.

The Giants responded with a 9-play, 70-yard drive that set up a successful 23-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The Giants now led 15-7. The only points generated in the 2nd quarter came late when Brad Wing’s punt was returned 29 yards to the Giants’ 31-yard line with four seconds to go before halftime. On the half’s final play, Washington kicked a 49-yard field goal to make the score Giants 15 – Redskins 10.

Counting the four punts in the 2nd quarter and three in the 3rd quarter, the Giants punted the ball away seven times in a row in the game. The Giants finally extended their lead to 18-10 after a 10-play, 52-yard drive resulted in a 29-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile, the even more anemic Redskins had their seven second-half possessions result in a missed field goal, four punts, and two interceptions – one by cornerback Ross Cockrell and a second by Sheppard late that salted the game away.

Manning finished the game 10-of-28 for 132 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. His leading receiver was tight end Rhett Ellison, who had five catches for 63 yards. Darkwa rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Gallman chipped in with 89 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, Sheppard (two) and Cockrell (one) had all three of the Giants turnovers on interceptions. Cockrell was also credited with four pass defenses. The Giants also had three sacks with defensive end Olivier Vernon (1.5), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (0.5), and linebacker Devon Kennard (1.0) all getting to the quarterback.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

GIANTS 2018 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants will play the following teams during the 2018 NFL regular season:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Chicago Bears

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • San Francisco 49ers

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck), tight end Evan Engram (rib), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), defensive end Avery Moss (hip), quarterback Geno Smith, offensive guard Damien Mama, and linebacker Akeem Ayers.

Offensive guard John Jerry (concussion) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (ankle) left the game and did not return.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis told reporters after the game that he will be having ankle surgery.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The New York Giants’ 13 losses are a franchise record. The three victories are the team’s fewest since 1983.

The Giants finished 2-6 in MetLife Stadium, their fewest home victories since they were 1-7 in 2003.

The Giants finished 1-5 in NFC East games and 1-11 in games vs. NFC opponents.

The Giants scored 246 points, their lowest total since they scored 243 in 2003.

Running back Orleans Darkwa’s 75-yard touchdown run was the Giants’ longest run from scrimmage since November 16, 2008, when Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 77 yards vs. Baltimore (but did not score) and Darkwa’s score was the Giants’ longest touchdown run since Bradshaw’s 88-yarder in Buffalo on December 23, 2007.

Darkwa averaged 7.7 yards per carry in the game. The last Giants’ back to average at least that many yards on at least 20 carries was Tiki Barber on December 30, 2006.

The Giants scored two touchdowns in the first 2:42 of a game for the first time since the 1970 merger.

Wide receiver Hunter Sharp is the 50th different receiver to catch a regular-season touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning played in his 216th regular-season game. He shares the franchise record with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson is the first Giants’ rookie defensive lineman to start 16 games since Barry Cofield in 2006.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media on Monday.

Dec 272017
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (December 24, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SUSPEND ELI APPLE…
The New York Giants announced Wednesday afternoon that they have suspended cornerback Eli Apple for the final week of the team’s season, including the season finale against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Apple’s season is officially over.

“We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team,” said Interim General Manager Kevin Abrams.

Apple, the 10th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has had a troubled year both off the field (family issues and conflict with teammates) and on the field (injuries and being benched by the Giants).

On Tuesday, safety Landon Collins took a harsh shot at Apple during his weekly interview with ESPN Radio. “There’s only just one corner that… needs to grow, and we all know who that is,” said Collins. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and (Janoris Jenkins), I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. But that first pick… he’s a cancer.”

This was the continuation of an escalating feud between Collins and Apple that began two weeks ago when Collins originally defended Apple and said he had privately talked to Apple, offering him advice and counsel. Apple denied that Collins had done that, initiating a conflict inside the locker room (one press report saying Collins had to be restrained when confronting Apple) and publicly on Twitter. Last week on ESPN Radio, Collins said Apple needed to “grow up.”

On Wednesday, Collins tweeted, “I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday. I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I’m always here for him (100 percent).”

“Listen, I think Landon has already addressed what happened the other day,” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo after practice and before Apple was suspended. “Just real quickly – I love Landon. We had a quick conversation this morning and then I had a quick conversation with Eli (Apple) and then all three of us had a really good conversation and it was very productive and I’ll just leave it at that. It’s between them and they were really great. I’ll just leave it alone.”

For his part, Apple did not address the media on Wednesday other than to let them know he had to “take a shit” on his way to the bathroom. Shortly after that, Apple was suspended. The NFL Network is reporting that Apple’ suspension was “due in part to his refusal to take the field with the scout team” and that “he then got into it with a coach.”

GIANTS PLACE B.J. GOODSON ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker B.J. Goodson on Injured Reserve with a high ankle sprain that has nagged him much of the season. Goodson missed two games in September with a shin injury, returned to the starting lineup in October, but then missed six of his next eight games with the ankle issue. In all, Goodson started seven games and finished 2017 with 53 tackles, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

To fill that roster vacancy, the team signed wide receiver Marquis Bundy from the Practice Squad. The 6’4”, 215-pound Bundy was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Cardinals waived him in August 2017 and the Giants then signed him.

The Giants have also signed wide receiver Canaan Severin and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed the 6’2”, 205-pound Severin in August 2017 and waived him before the season started in September. Severin was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury. The Steelers waived him in August 2017.

Sokoli was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The 6’5”, 300-pound Sokoli has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). The Albanian-born player has played both on the offensive and defensive lines.

DAVIS WEBB PROMOTED…
With one game left in the 2017 regular season, Davis Webb has replaced Geno Smith as Eli Manning’s primary back-up at quarterback.

“Davis Webb will be the second quarterback going into this game,” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. “Having said that, that’s no reflection on Geno. Last week I told you all that we were going to try to get Davis Webb ready in case we could get him in the game. There’s no guarantees that we will get him in the game, but he will be the number two on Sunday.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck0, wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (rib), and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) did not practice on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), offensive tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), and defensive end Avery Moss (hip) practiced on a limited basis.

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

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

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

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