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.

Dec 212017
 
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Tavarres King, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Tavarres King – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS INTERVIEW LOUIS RIDDICK FOR GM POSITION…
The New York Giants announced on Thursday that they have interviewed Louis Riddick for the team’s general manager position. The 48-year old Riddick served as director of pro personnel for the Washington Redskins (2005-2007) and Philadelphia Eagles (2010-2013). Since September 2013, he has worked for ESPN as an on-air analyst.

Riddick interviewed with team President/CEO John Mara, Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch, and former general manager Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting with the franchise on the selection process. Riddick is the third known candidate to interview for the position. Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross and former Carolina Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman interviewed earlier this week.

Kevin Abrams is currently serving as the team’s interim general manager. According to ESPN, Abrams is expected to interview for the permanent position on Friday.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and safety Landon Collins (ankle) did not practice on Thursday.

Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), defensive end Olivier Vernon (not injury related), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (groin/finger), offensive center Brett Jones (ankle), and safety Darian Thompson (knee) fully practiced.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Friday at 10:55AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media after practice.

Dec 142017
 
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Justin Pugh, New York Giants (November 6, 2016)

Justin Pugh – © USA TODAY Sports

JUSTIN PUGH HEADED TO INJURED RESERVE…
The Giants announced on Thursday that offensive lineman Justin Pugh will soon be placed on Injured Reserve. Pugh missed the November 5th game against the Rams with a back injury, aggravated the injury the following game, and has been out since. Pugh ended 2017 playing in just eight games, three at left guard and five at right tackle. The good news is that Pugh will not need back surgery, as rest and rehabilitation is being prescribed by doctors.

The injury-prone Pugh has not played a full 16 games since his rookie season in 2013. He missed two games in 2014 with a quadriceps injury, two games in 2015 with an ocular concussion, and five games in 2016 with a knee injury. Pugh is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER KEVIN ABRAMS…
The transcript of Kevin Abrams’ press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle) and offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), safety Landon Collins (ankle), and safety Nat Berhe (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) fully practiced.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Friday at 10:55AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and select players will address the media after practice.

Nov 302017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 23, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow) and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness) and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) fully practiced.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday.

Nov 202017
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (November 19, 2017)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants did not practice on Monday, but since the team has a short week because of Thursday’s game against the Washington Redskins, it was required to issue an injury report.

Guard D.J. Fluker (toe), guard/tackle Justin Pugh (back), defensive end Olivier Vernon (shoulder), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (ankle), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) would not have practiced today. According to multiple press reports, Fluker will not play on Thursday and could be out longer.

Running back Orleans Darkwa (hamstring), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (ankle), and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (groin) would have been limited.

MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 12-9 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs:

Q: What’s the schedule like this week?

A: Today, we had some meeting time. We had a walk through on the field and we were quick on and off today. No helmets or anything like that. Want to make sure we give the players enough time to recover from this last game getting ready for the next one. So, mental preparation will be big. Sleep will be huge. Have to recover.

Q: Is tomorrow like a regular full practice?

A: No. No. We’re not going to hit much, if any. Speed this week.

Q: Is this a good thing that you have a short work week coming off of a win when it comes to building on the momentum?

A: I think it gives us an opportunity to stack two ‘W’s in five days. That’s good. It’s tough for the guys to get ready to play. The players, you know, they poured their hearts out in the overtime game yesterday. So, it’s a quick turnaround for the players. That’s always tough on them, but we don’t make the schedule. We just got to play it, so we’ll be ready to go.

Q: Did the overtime game cause you to make tweaks to the schedule or was it pretty much set before that?

A: Our schedule was pretty much set before that. We have a plan going in. We’ve done a version of it here since I’ve been here and it’s – got to get the players fresh, got to get them recovered from the last game so they’re ready to fire on all cylinders on Thursday night.

Q: Do you expect Eli Apple to be a full participant and ready to go Thursday night?

A: He was here today and went through practice. Yes.

Q: Will it be a normal week for him then?

A: It’s a normal week for Eli, yes.

Q: Was the decision with him just that he didn’t think he had enough time in practice to be ready to play?

A: Yeah. It was a coach’s decision.

Q: Do you expect D.J. Fluker and Justin Pugh to be able to go on Thursday and if not, who will go in at guard?

A: Yeah. You know I’m not going to tell you that. Fluker – if we were to practice today, he would not have practiced. It was more of a walk through-type day today. But, he did not go. Would not have been able to go. If we had to play today he would not have played.

Q: If you have to make a change at guard, how confident are you that John Greco is ready?

A: He’s played a lot of football in his career. He’s been around a long time, been in a lot of different systems. So, we’re confident that John will be able to go and be able to step in for us.

Q: What was your assessment of Chad Wheeler?

A: Yeah, you know, Chad is – like I said yesterday, I think the best way to describe it is you didn’t notice him a whole heck of a lot. He was physical in the run game. I thought he did some good things in pass protection. Now, the challenge for Chad is there’s film of him now. So, when the opponent has film and they know who’s playing, they can go study the tape. So, Chad needs to study himself as well as the opponent this week and take steps to improve.

Q: Did you already address Sterling Shepard?

A: You’re late?

Q: 6:29.

A: You got to be on NYG time, but Sterling Shepard would have been a limited participant in practice today if we had a normal football practice and not just a walk through-type practice.

Q: When a guy has migraines like that do you put them through a concussion protocol to make sure that it’s just migraines?

A: That’s a better question for medical, but right now he is not in the protocol.

Q: Has he had migraines in the past?

A: That’s a better question for Sterling.

Q: Did he mention it though?

A: Better question for Sterling.

Q: Any concerns about the ability of others you added to the injury report?

A: Yeah, I mean, it’s a short week, so it’s tough to recover. That’s the biggest challenge going from a Sunday overtime game to a Thursday night game. We have a lot of guys who are banged up. They’re going to have to fight through some things and possibly Calvin (Munson) and OV (Olivier Vernon). It is a concern.

Q: Now that you’ve evened up with Mike Sullivan when it comes to play calling, how do you assess the change and how it’s looked thus far?

A: I think our run game is coming. It’s coming along. You’re seeing some physicality in the guys up front. I think the tight ends are making progress and they’re fitting in. We added a couple new pieces there as well as the offensive line. They’re working well together. I think the backs are making some progress, so the run game is probably the most encouraging thing. What you’re seeing – third down is a challenge for us right now. That’s an area where we spend a lot of time and we want to continue to improve and work to improve. But, I think Sully has done a tremendous job there calling it. It’s not an easy chore. But, we’re making some progress especially in the run game. He sticks to the run, which I like.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

LANDON COLLINS ON ESPN RADIO…
The audio of Monday’s ESPN Radio interview with New York Giants safety Landon Collins is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday’s night game against the Washington Redskins. There is no media availability to the team on Wednesday.