Mar 142018
 
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Nate Solder, New England Patriots (February 4, 2018)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LEFT TACKLE NATE SOLDER…
Multiple media sources are reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left tackle Nate Solder (New England Patriots) to a 4-year, $62 million contract that includes $35 million in guaranteed money. The Giants outbid both the Patriots and Houston Texans for his services. The 29-year old, 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In seven seasons, Solder has started 95 of the 98 regular-season games he has played in. Solder has been a solid player since drafted but has had issues at times in pass protection.

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END KAREEM MARTIN…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent linebacker/defensive end Kareem Martin (Arizona Cardinals). The 26-year old, 6’6”, 272-pound Martin was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cardinals as a defensive end. The Cardinals moved him to linebacker after his rookie season. Martin had his best season in 2017, playing in all 16 regular-season games with 10 starts and finished the year with 24 tackles, one sack, three pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. Martin is a ‘tweener who does his best work moving forward rather than moving backwards in space.

JONATHAN STEWART SIGNING OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants have officially signed unrestricted free agent running back Jonathan Stewart, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers at the end of February. The NFL Network is reporting that the contract is a 2-year deal that could be worth as much as $8.4 million with $6.9 million in base salary and $2.95 million in guaranteed money.

“I am very pleased that we were able to make Jonathan a New York Football Giant,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “He is a quality runner with power and speed and brings a veteran, professional presence to our locker room. He’s a terrific addition for us at this time.”

The 30-year old, 5’10”, 240-pound Stewart was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Panthers. In 10 seasons with the Panthers, Stewart rushed for 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. He also caught 162 passes for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, Stewart started 10 games but saw his rushing totals fall to 680 yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. Injury prone, Stewart has not played a full season since 2011.

GIANTS TENDER BRETT JONES AND ROBERT THOMAS…
As previously reported, the Giants have officially tendered restricted free agent center/guard Brett Jones at the 2nd-round ($2.91 million) level. That will provide the Giants with the right to match any offer another team makes for Jones. If they do not, the Giants would receive that team’s 2nd-round pick as compensation.

The Giants have also tendered exclusive rights free agent Robert Thomas, ensuring that Thomas will remain with the team.

Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games in 2017 after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

Thomas played in 15 games with no starts in 2017 and finished the season with 16 tackles. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-2015), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). The Giants claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Panthers in September 2016; he played in eight regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with five tackles and one sack.

TENNESSEE TITANS SIGN DION LEWIS…
The Tennessee Titans have signed unrestricted free agent running back Dion Lewis (New England Patriots) to a 4-year contract. ProFootballTalk.com had reported that the New York Giants were one of several teams that have expressed interest in Lewis.

ARTICLES…

Mar 042018
 
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – GIANTS MOVING DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE TO SAFETY…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants intend to move cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) to safety in order to compete with free safety Darian Thompson for the starting job opposite of fellow strong safety Landon Collins. In his fourth season with the Giants in 2017, Rodgers-Cromartie had a solid, but nondescript, season despite being suspended for one game by the Giants for multiple violations of team rules. DRC played in 15 games with five starts, finishing the season with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defense. For just the second time in his 10 year career, he did not pick off a pass, and his pass defenses plummeted. Rodgers-Cromartie will be entering the final year of the 5-year, $35-million contract that he signed with the Giants in 2014. He is currently scheduled to count $8.5 million against the 2018 salary cap.

Rodgers-Cromartie was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and signed with the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and the Giants in 2014. The past two years, the Giants have played DRC more inside at slot corner. Rodgers-Cromartie made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and in 2015, the latter as an alternate. He was also named second-team All-Pro in 2016. While he has not missed many games, DRC seems to battle a lot of nagging injuries and has seen his playing time significantly reduced in recent years.

REPORT – D.J. FLUKER DRAWING INTEREST FROM OTHER NFL TEAMS…
The Daily News is reporting that an unidentified source says several teams are expressing “significant” interest in soon-to-be unrestricted free agent offensive guard D.J. Fluker of the New York Giants. Free agency begins on March 12th.

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Mar 022018
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (November 19, 2017)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS INTERESTED IN GRAHAM GANO…
NJ.com is reporting that according to an unidentified source, the New York Giants are expected to pursue soon-to-be unrestricted free agent place kicker Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers) if he hits the open market on March 12th. The 30-year old Gano made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career last season after he converted on 29-of-30 field goal attempts (96.7 percent). However, Graham’s career average is only 81.7 percent.

REPORT – JETS INTERESTED IN ORLEANS DARKWA…
NJ.com is reporting that according to an unidentified source, the New York Jets are interested in soon-to-be unrestricted free agent running back Orleans Darkwa of the New York Giants, if he hits the open market on March 12th. The somewhat historically injury-prone Darkwa only missed one game in 2017 with a back issue and had his best season as a pro, starting 11 games and finishing with 171 carries for 751 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 116 yards. In his previous three seasons, Darkwa had started only two games carried the ball just 75 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

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Feb 282018
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday. (VIDEO)

Q: What is your evaluation of Davis Webb?

A: As Pat (Shurmur) said, there is only so much to watch. He has not had a lot of NFL experience. We liked him down in Carolina in the draft. He is pretty highly rated. It is kind of like having a Christmas or a Hanukkah present that you get to unwrap eventually.

Q: You picked Christian McCaffrey top-10 last year. There is a common theory that you can get running backs later in the draft. With Saquon Barkley, where do you fall on top 10 vs running backs later in the draft?

A: The bottom line is: is the guy a football player? This whole myth of devaluing running backs, I find it kind of comical. At the end of the day, if he’s a great player, he’s a great player. It doesn’t matter what position he is. The other thing, listening to Pat, sometimes I think it gets lost that football is the ultimate team game. You blow the whistle, 11 guys have to go out there. Offense, defense and special teams. Everyone has to understand that every player is important. That is why when you are looking at the second pick of the draft, which we are, the first thing we have to determine is, is this guy worthy of being the second pick of any draft? Not just this year’s draft, of any draft. You make that determination and you move forward. (The Carolina writers) have seen my act down there. If he’s a great player, I don’t care how stacked we are at the position, we are taking him. It is all about accumulating talent.

Q: You spoke about wanting to avoid ‘quarterback hell’. How much does it weigh on you that you have a quarterback that is towards the end of his career and you want to make sure the franchise is OK?

A: Really and truly, obviously I think about it. It is a monster puzzle that we are putting together. There are other things that you have to look at as well. We know that if you don’t have a QB, it is going to be a long season. We know that. We will come to the right conclusion.

Q: What is your general perception of this QB class?

A: I tell you what, it is an interesting class. All shapes and sizes, all flavors. This is like Howard Johnson back in the day. It is a real interesting group. I’m excited about meeting some of these guys here. It is going to be fun. Obviously we will be busy once the combine is over, visiting. You have your 35 visits. That will be part of the process. It is a really interesting group.

Q: How important is that Combine interview?

A: It is only 15 minutes. At the end of the day, can you really know anyone in 15 minutes? It is like speed dating. At the end of the day, it is an introduction.

Q: The fact that if you take a QB, the goal is to not have him play versus the No. 2 guy that is not a quarterback and could come in and make an immediate impact on a team. How much insurance do you need?

A: Well, no one wants the one to go down. You don’t want to get there. At the end of the day, you evaluate and you bring the guys that you believe in. You go through camp. Again, when you start camp, your roster shuffling does not stop. Roster building is a 12-month season. That is just the way it is. You have to understand that things happen and players become available. You have to be willing to pull the trigger. We will be ready to do that.

Q: How much will Webb’s presence on the roster affect your decision-making process when it comes to taking a QB?

A: Like I said before, we had him highly-rated, Pat thinks highly of him, just as anyone with a small NFL sample size. It is all part of it.

Q: For years, college linemen have been standing up and have not been ready for the NFL game. Does the NFL have to adjust at some point that this is what some of the linemen coming in are doing? Is there a happy medium in terms of both sides making it work? A lot of times it has not been working.

A: That is a hell of a question. At the end of the day, if you watch football, obviously the college game, a lot of it is really different. If you watch how it has evolved, it has changed. Style, whatever. Really and truly, if you watch the teams that win in the NFL, you have quarterbacks that are making plays from the pocket and you have offensive lines that are running old school NFL runs with little twists. Everyone has two O-line coaches. It is really imperative that they be great teachers. Some of these kids, there are guys that start for four years and the only time they have their hand in the dirt is if they fall down. It is two points the whole time and occasionally you will see them in the four-point on the goal line. Your two O-line coaches have to be great teachers. The other thing you have to do is get them as many reps as possible. There is a theory that you need 5,000 reps before you are ready. I don’t know if I subscribe to it, but you think about it. Obviously that is not just on the field, it is in practice as well, but it takes time. Think about positions on the field. What is the most awkward? You think it is natural for a 320-pound-kid to back up and block? They want to come off and we teach them that. It has become more difficult. When you evaluate hog mollies, you have to be patient. You have to take your time. You look for the things that all the great ones can do. You have to look at all the basics. Does he play with a base? Can he roll his hips? Can he do this? Can he do that? You will find guys in the two-point that can do that.

Q: Can you see that here? In the drills here?

A: A little bit. It is helpful, but it is really with the pads on. You need the pads.

Q: How much are you open for business at two? Would you deem it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market with all these teams?

A: There is so much stuff going around. Are we open for business? Any decision I make is going to be in the best interest of the New York Giants, plain and simple. If someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who is there. Again, if there is a guy that is worthy enough of being the second pick of a draft and what we are basically saying if we answer that question to the affirmative, you are drafting what you think is going to be a Hall of Fame player. You can’t get too cute about the whole thing.

Q: What would be your understanding level if Odell would to take the position of wanting a deal done without participating in any activity from the standpoint of having gotten injured last year and really being even more concerned about that?

A: Let me say this to you, I do not talk about contracts or negotiations. I believe it is personal between the club and the player. I’m not going to speculate. Just see what happens, that is all.

Q: When you evaluated your offensive line, just watching the tape from last year. Justin Pugh, D.J. Fluker, at center. What did you see? What did you Like? Do you still believe it needs total revamping?

A: You have to be practical and you have to be realistic. When I watched the offensive line, they had a ton of injuries. The group that finished the season against Washington, what I really liked was that they played tough. They were physical and they got after it. They did a really nice job. I said in my opening presser that I’m not going to lie to anyone, give me a break. We are going to do it piece by piece. If the right guy is there, we will make a move.

Q:  How do you view Justin Pugh?

A: He’s a versatile, smart football player. Really, he is a four-hole guy. We are still in our evaluation process and we are going to figure it out.

Q: Do you come here with a pecking order at No. 2 in your mind?

A: We had our meetings in February. We went through the first time. Now, we are gathering information. We get to the draft in April. We will add all the new information and then we have this crazy thing called a discussion. Pat is involved, obviously, very involved in the draft. At the end of the day, I believe in collaboration. I believe in communication. Everyone in that room is going to say their piece. Then, it falls on me to make a decision. I have no preconceived notion. I just don’t.

Q: Where do you stand on Eli Apple?

A: We had a nice visit. Eli came in and we talked for about 25 minutes. It was a good visit. We broke bread, so to speak. I told him it is clean. Let’s go. That’s where we are at.

Q: Do you expect him to be on the roster next year?

A: I expect him to show up April 9th. I hope he shows up April 9th.

Q: How did this all come together? You ending up here from Carolina?

A: I think you need to check. I said it publicly. Anytime that something like that happens, we are all complicit. I have to step back and be honest. I have a great wife that helps me do that. Joanne does not pull any punches. You have to understand that when there is a difference of opinion between people, you have all had arguments, if you have a difference of opinion, somewhere in the middle it should be. It is (Jerry Richardson’s) franchise. He made a decision and here I am.

Q: What are your thoughts on Janoris Jenkins, his consistency level and work ethic?

A: We can all be more consistent. Everyone in our daily lives. Janoris is a very good football player. It is like I said to you guys. Every time you write an article, are you writing a Pulitzer Prize winner? No. Every decision that I make, is it the right one? No. At the end of the day, we all try and get better. Janoris is a very talented and gifted player. I got to know him a little bit and I am excited he is a New York Football Giant.

Q: Assessment of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane as a tandem in Buffalo?

A: You are going to make me say nice things. I think it is a great group. Brandon has really grown up and he is ready. I think the fact that they have a personal relationship is helpful. I think they are going to be a great team. He is bright, tough and thoughtful. He went through the process with us of talking, collaborating and communicating. He has that piece down well. I think they are going to be a great team.

PAT SHURMUR ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday. (VIDEO)

Shurmur: Good morning guys. How are you doing? Alright, so most of us are down here, now that we’ve started the process certainly of trying to get as much information as we can this week. Actually did some meetings last night, we’ll have meetings throughout the week and try to get as much information as we can on all of the players that are here.

Q: Since this is your first combine, what’s your priority on how to shape this team going forward?

A: Well, this is about my 18th combine, so the priority here is to make sure you get as much information as you can about the player. We’re trying to find guys that are passionate about football, the medical part tells us if they’re healthy enough to play and then we want to walk away as coaches and try to answer the question by getting to know them as best we can. Are these guys we want to coach? So that’s why this is really the first real big exposure for us as coaches in this evaluation process. So our whole staff is here and we’re trying to get as much information as possible.

Q: What do you look for in quarterbacks at the combine?

A: Well, you’re trying to look for all of the intangible things that a quarterback does. You want to try to determine whether he’s a good decision maker, whether he has a sense of timing. The tape tells you whether he’s an accurate passer or not. And then you just want to get a feel for, ‘hey, is this the guy that we want to lead our team?’ So some of it is subjective, some of it really just comes by getting to know the player. So we have a good idea of what a good quarterback is, so we’re trying to see those attributes in all of these candidates.

Q: Does it matter if they don’t throw (at the combine?)

A: No, I think times have changed. We’ve seen him throw on tape. He’s going to have a pro day where we can see him throw. It’s certainly nicer when they do throw. The more exposure you have, the more times we see the player doing what he does, it helps, but I think times have changed so some do, some don’t.

Q: I know you said you thought Eli (Manning) had years left in his career, but given that you’re sitting at the number two pick in the draft, what are your thoughts on the importance of setting up the franchise for the future there?

A: Yeah, I agree with both of your assertions there. We’re looking forward, moving forward with Eli, but certainly with the second pick in the draft, we want to draft a player worthy of that pick. I think we’ve talked about it before, but the last time the Giants had the second pick in the draft, they picked Lawrence Taylor. The last time they had the third pick in the draft, they picked Carl Banks and those were two franchise changing players. So I think we have to keep an open mind on this and we certainly want to make our team better and I think that’s the approach that we’re taking.

Q: Can you afford to spend the number two pick on a player that might not even play this season?

A: We’re going to pick the very best player that we can pick at the number two pick. We’re coming into this, again, we’re looking for passionate players that want to be coached, that we feel good about and we’re trying to upgrade the whole team.

Q: Do you know what you have in Davis Webb? Will he impact what you do with the number two pick?

A: Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s interesting, he and Eli are in the building every day and I have to hold back from talking ball with them, so I see them in the lunch room after they have their workouts so that’s a little uncomfortable for me because they’re so eager to get going. But I like what I’ve seen in Davis Webb. I went back and watched his tape again from college just to get reacquainted with him. I liked what I saw on tape when he played. I had a chance to watch his practice tape, which has been terrific. We just don’t have a large sample size of Davis Webb playing NFL football, but I’m excited about what he brings to the table.

Q: What can you get from the practice tape?

A: Well, you can see him drop back and throw and make the right reads and just all of those things quarterbacks do.

Q: How different has this coaching experience been so far compared to your tenure in Cleveland?

A: It’s way different. I think the second time through on anything, I’ve said it, there’s a list of things I’ll never do again, there are certain things that I need to do in the first month and some of that I’ve already accomplished. You are just more comfortable with what needs to get done because you can see it a little better and I feel good about the staff that we’ve hired, getting to know our team and the way our organization functions and doing it at a little faster pace. So anytime that you do something for the second time and really the first time, I get it, those that say there are things they didn’t see coming are full of it in my opinion because there are some things you don’t see coming, but you get used to handling it. And then there are years since that time where I’ve become a better coach, so it helps.

Q: Since you have a successful history of working with quarterbacks, do you feel like you have an advantage because of your background?

A: I think we know what quarterbacks are. I added Mike Shula, who again understands what a quarterback looks like and how to develop a quarterback. We know what we’re looking for, we know when we see it. So we want guys that are in the building that will develop the way that we see them having to develop. For guys that have been in the league a long time like Eli, we just want to try to maximize what he does well.

Q: What about managing the different personalities?

A: Yeah, that’s hugely important, but I think your personality needs to be genuine. To your point, they’re all different and what’s important is that they’re the best version of what they are. They don’t want to try to model themselves after somebody else. So that’s what we try to do, maximize the best of who they are.

Q: How much does having a Super Bowl caliber quarterback in Eli Manning allow you to expand your playbook?

A: Yeah, Eli is sharp. And again, I haven’t been able to talk football with him, I just know him and he’s very smart. Quarterbacks along the way have had to learn other offenses and get accustomed to new schemes and we call it apple, they call it orange. Eli’s got all of that. So it certainly helps a great deal. Experience really matters for a guy that is a really good player because he’s seen things, he’s done things way more than somebody we would bring in that would be a rookie.

Q: What’s your first impression on this year’s offensive line draft class?

A: I think there are a lot of good players in this year’s draft, but I think we’ve got some good players on our roster and, again, we have to maximize what they do. But let’s make no mistake, blockers got to block, quarterbacks got to throw, receivers got to catch, runners got to run, and I’m just talking about on the offense. So all of the guys in our building need to do those jobs better and we’ve got to try to maximize what they can do and then, of course, we’re going to try to upgrade all of the position groups. So the new guys that we’re bringing in need to be passionate, they need to understand what a relationship is and be willing to be coached. So the new guys that we’re bringing in, that’s what we’re looking to gain by getting the information we talked about earlier.

Re: NFC East

A: I think it becomes a personality of the teams in the division. Certainly, the NFC East is a tough division. We’ve got the Super Bowl champion in our division, but we also have the DNA in the New York Giants to do the same thing. So the Washington Redskins, an outstanding team, and Dallas is obviously an outstanding team. So we’ve got our work cut out for us. We were 3-13. There was a reason for it, we own that and we’ve got to do what we can to get back to those years where we’re playing in the playoffs.

Q: What are your thoughts on what the Eagles were able to accomplish last year, especially with Nick Foles stepping in as the backup quarterback?

A: Well it’s impressive. Let’s get past the two quarterbacks that played last year, they have assembled a terrific team. So that kind of pushed them through. The quarterback piece is obviously very important and Carson Wentz had an outstanding year. And I was with Nick Foles when he had his very best year, so I wasn’t surprised to see that he could lead them the rest of the way. So no, I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’ve done and I’m looking forward to competing against them.

Q: How much have you been able to talk to Eli Apple and what are your concerns with some of the maturity issues that happened last season?

A: Eli Apple, I’ve got to keep my Elis straight. Yeah, Eli was in the building, so I had a chance to visit with him and this is a clean slate deal. So I think we all know we need to get better. We had a great conversation, he’s eager to get started when we do get started and we’re going to put the ball out there and let it rip.

Q: Are you concerned about the stuff in his family circle?

A: No, I’m not concerned. And as I get to know him better and as we start to develop those relationships that are necessary for a player and a coach and an organization, we’re sort of starting at ground zero with that and so I’m looking forward to that.

Q: Have you gotten an update on where Odell Beckham is in his rehab and what’s your confidence that he’ll be ready for the spring?

A: Yeah, he’s been through, and to my knowledge, he’s making great progress. So, yes. And I don’t know about the camp part of it yet.

Q: He tweeted about not playing in any preseason games, is that a discussion you guys have had?

A: We haven’t really been able to discuss football and certainly we wouldn’t have talked about any participation in training camp. But no, we communicate on the surface like we have to with all of our players, but we’ve developed a relationship that’s pretty sound.

Q: What did you see in Kevin Stefanski that you wanted to bring him over here with you?

A: Yeah, I think Kevin is a tremendous coach and obviously the Vikings feel the same way. So I think he has a very bright future, he’s a good man, and the Vikings did a good thing by keeping him for the Vikings. So I’m hopeful they have a great year as well.

Q: What does it tell you that Davis and Eli are in the building every day?

A: Well, I’m encouraged by that because they feel like the best place to train is in our building. I think we’ve created an environment (in the league) now with the players where there are so many things that you can’t do in the offseason, so guys go off on their own, they get trainers, they’re trained away from the facility and you don’t know what’s going on. Even though we can’t work and there are rules with how much we can be around them, the fact that they’re there tells me that it matters and the fact that the two quarterbacks on our roster are spending time together every single day, I think it’s a really good thing.

Q: What were you able to see from Brandon Marshall when you looked at the tape from last year?

A: Yeah, he’s an outstanding player. He got hurt early so there wasn’t much that we could talk about, but those are contract deals, we will talk about them at a later time.

Q: When you look at Davis Webb’s college film, it was mainly all spread stuff, so some of it translates, a lot of it doesn’t. How much does that put him back or does last year’s time with the Giants help him?
A: You can see in college what a quarterback can do and it translates to our game. So the word ‘spread’ is used a lot like ‘west coast offense’ or ‘3-4 defense’, there’s many, many versions of those three elements of football, but we can see it. Obviously, he was drafted for a reason and we can see why on tape.

Q: What’s your evaluation of Evan Engram?

A: Yeah Evan, he was a player that we really liked. He is a pass receiving tight end. He obviously had a really good first year. I mean, there are certain areas that he could improve, but certainly looking forward to working with him.

ARTICLES…

Feb 232018
 
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Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

Johnathan Hankins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS AWARDED 4TH ROUND COMPENSATORY PICK…
The NFL has awarded the New York Giants a 4th-round compensatory pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The pick will be the 35th selection in the 4th round, or 135th overall. The pick is primarily due to the team losing defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins in free agency to the Indianapolis Colts last offseason. Hankins signed a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Colts.

Compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. The placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player’s salary, playing time, and post-season honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor.

REPORT – GIANTS LOSE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH TO COWBOYS…
ESPN is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys have hired New York Giants Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul as their new strength and conditioning coach. Paul had been with the Giants since 2007. Aaron Wellman, whom the Giants hired in 2016, remains the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT LINEBACKER DEONTAE SKINNER…
The New York Giants waived linebacker Deontae Skinner on February 22. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015), Eagles (2015-2016), Raiders (2017), and Giants (2016-2017). Skinner was placed on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury in late November 2017.

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Feb 102018
 
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Kevin Stefanski, Minnesota Vikings (August 9, 2015)

Kevin Stefanski – © USA TODAY

REPORT – VIKINGS DENY GIANTS PERMISSION TO INTERVIEW KEVIN STEFANSKI…
ESPN is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings have denied the New York Giants permission to interview Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski. The Giants were interested in Stefanski as the team’s new offensive coordinator. The 35-year old Stefanski has served in various assistant coaching capacities for the Vikings since 2006.

Media speculation is that the Giants may now turn to former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell or Philadelphia Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley. However, the Eagles could also deny Staley permission to interview with the Giants.

REPORT – DAVE GETTLEMAN HIRES DRAFT CONSULTANT…
The New York Post is reporting that New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has hired Mark Koncz as a scouting department consultant. Koncz worked with Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers as director of pro scouting, a position that Koncz had held since 2000. Gettleman promoted him to director of player personnel in May 2017 before the Panthers fired Koncz in July after Gettleman was also let go.

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

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Feb 052018
 
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Steve Tisch, Pat Shurmur, and John Mara; New York Giants (January 26, 2018)

Steve Tisch, Pat Shurmur, and John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS HIRE TWO MORE ASSISTANT COACHES…
The Sporting News is reporting that the New York Giants are hiring Ben Wilkerson as assistant offensive line coach and Deshea Townsend as assistant defensive backs coach. Wilkerson will work under new offensive line coach Hal Hunter while Townsend will work under new defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo.

Ben Wilkerson:

  • 2018-Present: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2015-2017: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, Chicago Bears
  • 2014: Assistant Football and Track Coach, North Shore Senior High School (Texas)
  • 2012-2013: Offensive Line Coach, Grambling State University
  • 2011: Offensive Administrative Intern, Louisiana State University
  • 2010: Offensive Graduate Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • Pro Experience: Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati Bengals (2005-2006), Atlanta Falcons (2007-2008), Florida Tuckers (2009)
  • Collegiate Experience: Offensive Lineman, Louisiana State University (2001-2004)
  • Born November 22, 1982

Deshea Townsend:

  • 2018-Present: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
  • 2016-2017: Defensive Backs Coach, Tennessee Titans
  • 2013-2015: Cornerbacks Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2011-2012: Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, Arizona Cardinals
  • Pro Experience: Cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2009), Indianapolis Colts (2010)
  • Collegiate Experience: Defensive Back, University of Alabama (1994-1997)
  • Born September 8, 1975

Although not officially announced, the following assistant coaching positions now appear to be filled, while others remain to be determined:

ARTICLES…

Jan 282018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (January 26, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS RETAIN LUNDA WELLS, WHO WILL NOW COACH TIGHT ENDS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have retained Lunda Wells on the coaching staff. Wells had served as the team’s assistant offensive line coach since 2013. ESPN says other unidentified teams were also interested in Wells.

  • 2018-Present: Tight Ends Coach, New York Giants
  • 2013-2017: Assistant Offensive Line Coach, New York Giants
  • 2012: Offensive Assistant, New York Giants
  • 2010-2011: Assistant Special Teams Coach/Assistant to Head Coach, Louisiana State University
  • 2008-2009: Offensive Line Assistant, Louisiana State University
  • 2006-2007: Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator, Scotlandville High School (Louisiana)
  • Pro Experience: Offensive Lineman, Arena League
  • Collegiate Experience: Offensive Guard, Southern University (2002-2005)
  • Born February 10, 1983

Although not officially announced, the following assistant coaching positions now appear to be filled, while others remain to be determined:

The New York Post is reporting that Craig Johnson may be retained as running backs coach, a position he has held with the Giants since 2014.

PAT SHURMUR NEW YORK POST INTERVIEW…
Pat Shurmur knows exactly what he’s looking for in his Giants by Steve Serby of The New York Post

PAT SHURMUR HITS THE AIRWAVES…
The audio of New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur being interviewed on Friday on the following radio stations:

ARTICLES…

Jan 022018
 
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Eric Studesville, Denver Broncos (October 9, 2016)

Eric Studesville – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS INTERESTED IN ERIC STUDESVILLE AND PAT SHURMUR…
The New York Giants will interview Denver Broncos Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville for the team’s head coaching vacancy on Friday. Denver fired Studesville on Monday. ESPN is reporting that the Giants have also requested to interview Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur for the head coaching vacancy as well.

The 50-year old Studesville served as the Giants’ running back coach under Head Coach Jim Fassel (2001-2003) before going on to hold the same position with the Buffalo Bills (2004-2009) and Broncos (2010-2017). Studesville also served as interim head coach of the Broncos for four games in 2010 and became an assistant head coach in 2017.

In recent years, the 52-year old Shurmur has served as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach (2002-2008), St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator (2009-2010), Cleveland Browns head coach (2011-2012), Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator (2013-2015), and Vikings tight ends coach (2016). Shurmur was promoted to Vikings offensive coordinator in 2017. He also served as interim head coach for the Eagles in 2015.

GIANTS SIGN NINE PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURES CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/futures contracts:

  • WR Amba Etta-Tawo
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • OG Ethan Cooper
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Kristjan Sokoli
  • CB Jeremiah McKinnon
  • CB Tim Scott
  • PK Marshall Koehn
  • P Austin Rehkow

All of the players except for the two kickers finished 2017 on the Giants’ Practice Squad.

Koehn was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Dolphins (2016), Minnesota Vikings (2017), and Cincinnati Bengals (2017). He’s played in only one regular-season game with no field goal attempts.

Rehkow was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bills waived him in August.

ARTICLES…

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.