Oct 232018
 
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GIANTS TRADE ELI APPLE TO THE SAINTS…
The New York Giants have traded cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 4th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and a 7th-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Giants drafted Apple in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he missed two games with hamstring and groin injuries, but surprisingly started 11 of the 14 regular-season games he played in. Apple finished the season with 51 tackles, seven pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble.

Apple had a disastrous sophomore season with the Giants, with inconsistent play on the field and trouble off of it. Apple played in 11 games with seven starts, finishing with 49 tackles and eight pass defenses. He was designated inactive four times and lost playing time (including four starts) to less-talented players. Apple was then suspended by the Giants for conduct detrimental to the team in the last week of the season. Apple had family issues off the field and battled with coaches and teammates. Whether due to play or attitude, the Giants clearly lost confidence in Apple as the season progressed.

This year, Apple started in all five games he played in, missing two with a groin injury. He had 23 tackles, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

TUESDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Tuesday to discuss the team’s 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and the trade of cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans  Saints:

Q: Can you explain the background to the (CB) Eli Apple trade?

A: We’re trying to win every game we play, and we’re doing what we can right now to win football games, but we’re also always looking at the roster on a short-term and a long-term basis. We felt like it was good value. Eli has played well for us here this year. He’s going to be a (New Orleans) Saint now, and so we wish him well.

Q: So you’re saying that a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick was good value for a first-round pick?

A: We feel like it was good value for Eli, yes.

Q: Was he not playing that well?

A: I think he was competing and doing good things. I think, much like all the players, there’s a play or two each week you’d like to have back, but he was competing.

Q: What message do you relay to the team in terms of not throwing in the towel or wasting what’s left in the season by trading him?

A: That’s not the narrative – throwing in the towel. I think if you remember back, Eli (Apple) was out with injury when we beat Houston. Then, (CB) B.W. Webb played in his spot against two fine receivers. We’re not throwing in the towel. This will give an opportunity for some young players and newer players to have an opportunity to play. Plus, as we kind of look at this thing moving forward, we’ll have a draft pick – actually two draft picks, one next year and certainly one in 2020, in value.

Q: How do you balance the short-term and the long-term goals of the team with the trade deadline looming?

A: There’s no balancing act in my mind. I’m worried about the team today, and what we need to do to get ready to play Washington. There’s no balance there, but I’m always a part of the discussions as we work to get the roster the way it’s going to be this week, and certainly thinking about the future.

Q: Do you anticipate any more trades?

A: I don’t know that at this point, no.

Q: Does (CB) B.W. Webb move to the outside and become the new starter?

A: He’ll be in the mix there. He’s competed well on the inside as well. I think that’s where he’s done good work here the last couple of weeks. He has value playing inside. We’ll just have to see. We’ve got some guys that we’ll slide in and see what they can do.

Q: This team traded away a healthy young starter. How do fans look at this as not being a rebuilding situation?

A: Trades happen, and we feel like maybe the answer is on our roster, and we’re going to let the guys that are here compete, and do what they can do to help us win a football game. Again, it’s an easy comparison because Eli (Apple) was hurt. I just mentioned that. Eli was hurt in the game that we won. Locker rooms have a way of moving past all this. Locker rooms have a way getting themselves right, and putting the next player in there, and you go out and play. I think that’s the view we as coaches and players take.

Q: After looking at the film, do you have a feeling of the play of the offensive line?

A: I thought we pass protected much better at the end of the game. Early in the game, I think each guy probably had a breakdown or had a bad play that contributed to some of the challenges we faced moving the ball, but I think the lineup that we had in there, they kind of got settled down. They played much better at the back-half of the game.

Q: If you are taking a longer-term view here, can you say definitively that (QB) Eli Manning will be your quarterback on the other side of the trade deadline?

A: Yes, I do. I think Eli will be our quarterback. He has been, and he’ll continue to be here. I don’t know how that plays into the Eli Apple trade.

Q: Just the idea that if Eli (Manning) wants to win now towards the end of his career, that you guys are taking a long-term view of the situation.

A: I didn’t say we were taking a longer term view. I said what we do is do everything in our power to win each week. Everything in our power to win each week, but that’s also certainly something (General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) considers moving forward, and certainly I’m involved in those conversations – okay, this is how we’re going to do it. As I mentioned earlier, we traded Eli (Apple) for a pick, but we’re going to give the guys on our roster, who have played good football for us, an opportunity to go out and play.

Q: Twice in the last two games the television cameras have shown you on the sideline mouthing, exhorting Eli Manning to throw the ball. Obviously as the coach you can relay messages to your players all the time. Is that something – is that a sign of frustration or is that just isolated plays that you want him to do something different?

A: No I think when I’m on the field from where I’m standing, there are times where I’ll say we probably should’ve got the ball to so and so, but when I look back at the pictures or somebody from upstairs has a little bit better view of it, there’s sometimes that it changes. No, that’s just conversation. I guess everybody’s into lip-reading now.

Q: You say it changes though. Are you saying you don’t think in retrospect after watching, you don’t think he should’ve thrown that ball to Odell –

A: There are times when you can’t see exactly the way the quarterback sees it. I’m not playing into the hypotheticals here.

Q: I’m not asking a hypothetical. I’m just asking about that play because do you think you should throw to Odell?

A: On that play, Odell was open immediately, but from Eli’s view he didn’t see the guy trailing him and the one thing about that play and Eli and everybody knew it is we really had four options on that play, so you go through the progression and then you got kind of a second and a third option that might be available if that one was a little bit too tight and that just goes into the decision making of the quarterback that is doing it at game speed.

Q: I ask this as not only a head coach, but as a former offensive lineman yourself. Why has that unit seemingly not been able to hit a stride and kind of be consistent or get better?

A: Let me answer that in a way. Number one we’ve had – we’re trying to find the right combination of guys and we all know the longer guys work together, the better they play together. (Jon) Halapio was playing really good ball when he got hurt, so we put in another center. In order to get better play out of another position, we had to move a center and then put in another center and so what happens is I think as we can settle in on a group of guys, they’ll continue to play better. Now there were stretches in the game where they played good football, but I would say there was also times when there would be an individual guy that would have a breakdown. I think that can be said for all offensive lines. There was times last night when the Atlanta offensive line struggled to block our guys and we sacked Matt Ryan a couple of times, so that happens. The challenge for us and, again, we move the ball for a lot of yards, we got down in the red zone. When we get in the red zone, we need to score points and I think then this changes and we need to score points earlier in the game. That’s why I decided to go for it earlier in the game because I thought we were down there and it was important to do everything in our power to try to score points and some of the stuff then becomes overshadowed.

Q: At the end of the game when you guys were in that hurry up mode there and Eli is running the sneak, are you calling those plays into him or was he calling those plays on his own? How does that work?

A: I call them in.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Wednesday.

Sep 282018
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (August 7, 2018)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Friday due to injury were tight end Evan Engram (knee), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), running back Jonathan Stewart (foot), and linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain). All four players have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. (And Stewart was placed on Injured Reserve – see story below).

Nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), and wide receiver Stacy Coley (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Apple has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Hamilton and Coley are “questionable” and Harrison is expected to play.

Linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) fully practiced and is expected to play on Sunday.

GIANTS PLACE JONATHAN STEWART ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed running back Jonathan Stewart (foot) on Injured Reserve. Stewart, who signed a 2-year, $6.9 million deal with the Giants this offseason, had gained only 17 yards on six rushing attempts through three games.

To fill Stewart’s roster spot, the Giants promoted wide receiver Jawill Davis to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The Giants signed Davis as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Sep 192018
 
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Elijhaa Penny, Arizona Cardinals (August 31, 2017)

Elijhaa Penny – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed running back/fullback Elijhaa Penny from the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals. The 25-year old, 6’2”, 234-pound Penny was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. Penny spent his rookie season on the Cardinals’ Practice Squad. He was active all 16 regular-season games in 2017 with no starts and finished the season with 31 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 38 yards.

The Giants also claimed wide receiver Stacy Coley off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings. The 24-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Coley was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Vikings. Coley played in four games in 2017 and the first two games of 2018, but he does not have a career catch. He has returned one kickoff.

To make room for Penny, the Giants waived fullback Shane Smith and placed center Jon Halapio on Injured Reserve. Halapio broke his ankle and lower leg in the game against the Cowboys last Sunday. He underwent surgery on Monday.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), and cornerback Eli Apple (groin).

Wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle) and tight end Evan Engram (ankle) were limited in practice.

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 practice on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Houston Texans. The team’s coordinators will address the press on Thursday.

Sep 102018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 9, 2018)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 20-15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars (video available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: Let me first start with the injuries that we know of. Wayne Gallman is the only guy that got hurt yesterday, a knee, so we’ll just see where he’s at. He’s questionable moving forward. I don’t really have much to add in terms of starting us out that I didn’t talk about last night. I think the film played out the same way today, we didn’t have really any new looks at things that we didn’t see on the field. I thought our guys played hard front to back, I think it’s safe to say – and you might ask me about individual players, but I think the guys all had a lot of good plays; but we all had mistakes that we need to clean up, players and coaches alike. That’s the process you go through really every week, but especially after the first week as we get ready to play Dallas. With that, I’ll try to answer your questions.

Q: Will you give anybody else (first team) reps in practice this week at right tackle?

A: We actually rotate the guys during the week, so there are guys that get practice there. As you know, we kept seven guys up, so we rotate through there.

Q:  Did you contemplate yesterday during the game moving (Ereck Flowers) at any point?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Like I said, he’s like every player. I think I know where you’re going with this, he’s like every player. He had a lot of really good plays and he had a couple that he’d like to have back.

Q: He got turned around a lot, especially on that first drive with the tripping penalty.

A: He had the tripping penalty and then on the hold, and that happens frequently, the quarterback scrambled, which was good, and unfortunately there’s times when those holds occur. That was the gist of it the first drive.

Q:  Do you have enough time in this week to get him improved before Dallas based on what the film showed?

A:  He’s like every player. Again, he had a lot of really good reps and he had a couple he’d like to have back. He’s going to work to get better just like every player.

Q: What went into the two-point conversion call going right back to (Saquon Barkley) after his big run?

A: It was actually a pass and we audibled because we had a —

Q: Do you have concern when guys come off of a really long run?

A: No. Saquon is a well-conditioned athlete.

Q:  The fact that he was off the beginning of the next drive had nothing to do with that?

A: No.

Q: Late in the game, you said yesterday you had not thought of Odell returning a punt late in the game. You obviously needed a big one, why didn’t you consider that?

A: Especially in that situation, I mentioned I didn’t because we were going for the block. Typically in that situation, the returner knows there’s a decent chance you might fair catch it. He (Kaelin Clay) did have a little more space than you normally have, he just misfielded it.

Q: Will you consider putting Odell back there moving forward)?

A: Possibly.

Q: What would go into (that decision)?

A: We’ll see.

Q: Is there a danger to an offense being too reliant on big plays?

A: No. You like to create big plays, we want explosive plays within our offense. I’ve said it all along, when the score is like that, we didn’t have as much success early running the ball as I would’ve liked, but I want to continue to call runs. You never know when a big one’s going to pop up like that. That’s what happened there.

Q: Sometimes you are just waiting and waiting for one to come along.

A: No, we’re trying to create them. We threw the ball down the field quite a bit actually, and we also threw some intermediate throws that we had success with. We had some concepts that were working. Again, I thought we did some good things against Jacksonville, but we need to do more things better.

Q: What’s your mindset? Do you feel like we did enough good things where we’re close or we did too many wrong things?

A: We just need to get better all the way around. That’s safe to say. Really, you make mistakes when you win games, so you go through the same process every Monday of trying to highlight the areas that need to get better and you work on them. That’s it.

Q: What did you think of (Eli Apple)?

A: I thought he played a really solid game. He was competitive in coverage, made a couple plays on the ball, and I liked it. It was a good opening game for him.

Q: Do you feel like you tried to get Saquon involved in the passing game early? It seems like getting him the ball in space would be one way to create those big plays.

A: We tried getting him the ball in some areas that they took it away down the field, so some of the crossing routes showed up. Yeah, we tried to get him the ball throwing it, running it, and we found a way to get one big play out of it.

Q: After watching the film, what was your takeaway from the offensive line?

A: Again, I thought they all had some really good plays and they all had some mistakes that we’ve got to clean up.

A: In the passing game, it seems 15 throws to one guy (Odell Beckham Jr.) is an awful lot. Is that because he was simply getting open, or that’s the way the progressions were going?

A: That’s the way the progressions were going. Fifteen shots to Odell. I think we might be here some day when he doesn’t get that many and you’re saying, why don’t you throw it to him 15 times? Again, every snap was not man and so there were some progression-related throws where, on a couple of those underneath throws to Odell, the initial read was maybe Saquon would run a wheel route. It just happens that way, and ideally, all the eligible receivers should get touches. I think that’s an important way to play offense, because I trust all the guys that are out there to make good catches.

Q: Do you put up video clips of positive plays for the guys after games, like (Sterling Shepard’s) block, for example, on Barkley’s (touchdown) run?

A: Yes, we cover everything. We do. We watch all the tape. The offense gets together and watches all the tape, defense watches all the tape, they’ll do it in their individual meetings, and we do it in team meeting settings. We watch it.

Q: What did you think of the mental state of your team today? How did they handle everything that happened yesterday?

A: I thought they were very professional. We came in and we talked about the things that went right, the things that went wrong, we talked about our approach moving forward, and that’s what we’re doing.

Q: What kind of a tone did you want to set (after the first loss)?

A: I’ve been involved in a lot of first games of the season – won about half of them, and lost about half of them. You just move forward. That’s the important thing is you move forward. You learn from the mistakes you made, you build on the things you did well and you just keep moving. That’s the important piece. That may get old as we go through these Mondays with me saying that, but you can win a game and still go through that process. When you lose a game, it hurts more, but you still go through the same process.

Q: We know the quality of the opponent you were going against, especially defensively. How do you balance being realistic and knowing that what you did against them, but also not fall into the trap of, ‘well, that was a great team, so now we’re not going to see a defense like that the next week and the following week’?

A: It’s a great question, and it’s one of the things we talk about frequently. You don’t get to go in our weight room, but it’s everywhere. We don’t make excuses or let other people make them for us, and that’s letting other people make them for us when we say, ‘well, we played a good opponent.’ Everybody’s good, and we expect to go out and win every game, so we don’t factor that in.

Q: Back to Ereck Flowers at right tackle – what would you have to see to rotate someone else in there?

A: We’re just going to try to get better. As you know, I’m fond of our roster. I’m fond of our offensive linemen. Ereck had a lot of really good plays yesterday, so what we’re going to do is try to help him with some of the technique work that he can improve on, just like every player, to eliminate some of those mistakes. You just keep working with him, and then we always rotate guys through in the event that we have injuries. You don’t see that, but that happens.

Q: I meant on a Sunday, to rotate someone in there, or to maybe use someone else there.

A: We’ll see. Right now, what we’re doing is trying to get every player better. I’ll probably say it for the 10th time now, he had a lot of plays that were really good.

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

NOTES…

  • The Giants have lost seven out of their last eight home openers.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning set a franchise record by playing in his 217th regular-season game in a Giants uniform, breaking a tie with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
  • Manning became the fourth player in team history to play 15 years with the franchise, joining Strahan, center Mel Hein (1931-45), and quarterback quarterback Phil Simms (1979-93).
  • Manning became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to start at least 14 consecutive season openers with one team. The others include Tom Brad, Brett Favre, John Elway, and Dan Marino.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley is the first Giants back to run for at least 100 yards in his NFL debut.
  • Barkley was the first Giants rookie running back to start a season-opening game since Sean Bennett in 1999.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham has eight games with at least 10 receptions. He has 20 games with at least 100 yards.

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

Aug 182018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 30 – DETROIT LIONS 17…
Minus quarterback Eli Manning, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., and running back Saquon Barkley, the New York Giants soundly defeated the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Friday night, 30-17. Despite the overall team stats being similar, the game was not as close as the final score as the Giants led 24-3 and 30-10 in the 4th quarter. Manning and Beckham were healthy scratches from the contest and Barkley is still recovering from a hamstring strain he suffered in practice on Monday.

Detroit received the ball first but the first-string defense of the Giants forced a three-and-out. Defensive end Kerry Wynn sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford for a 10-yard loss on 3rd-and-8. New York retained possession despite a muffed punt by wideout Hunter Sharp. With quarterback Davis Webb starting for Manning, running back Jonathan Stewart for Barkley, and wide receiver Cody Latimer for Beckham, the Giants also went three-and-out as Stewart lost five yards on a 3rd-and-1 conversion attempt.

On their second possession, the Lions generated their only lead of the game as Stafford found running back Theo Riddick for a 42-yard gain against linebacker Alec Ogletree. The 57-yard drive resulted in a 44-yard field goal and a 3-0 advantage.

Webb and the Giants’ offense responded with a marathon 17-play, 79-yard drive that culminated with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Webb to running back Wayne Gallman. The drive was spurred by a perfect 27-yard deep pass from Webb to wide receiver Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-17, an 7-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram on 3-and-7, and a successful quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1.

After two punts by the Lions and a turnover on downs by the Giants, New York added to their lead when Webb threw another perfect deep pass, this one a 40-yarder to wideout Russell Shepard. While the Giants only gained three more yards on the next three plays, place kicker Aldrick Rosas connected on a 55-yard field goal attempt and the Giants went up 10-3. The Lions missed a 49-yard field goal on the ensuing possession and the Giants maintained their 7-point advantage at the break.

The Giants went three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter, but the Giants got the ball back when linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong intercepted a deflected pass from quarterback Matt Cassel and returned it 24 yards to the Detroit 12-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Kyle Lauletta rolled to his left, juked out the defense on a cutback, and scored from 10 yards out. The Giants now led 17-3.

Detroit responded by driving from their own 25 yard line to the Giants’ 9, but on 4th-and-2, running back LeGarrette Blount was stopped by linebacker Mark Herzlich and a host of Giants for a 1-yard loss. Both teams exchanged punts, with linebacker Romeo Okwara sacking Cassel for an 8-yard loss on 3rd-and-14. The Giants then put the game away early in the 4th quarter with a 4-play, 59-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard cutback touchdown run by Gallman. The Giants were now up 24-3.

The Lions did cut into the lead by driving 77 yards in nine plays, including an 11-yard touchdown pass. However, New York followed that up with a 7-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown run by running back Robert Martin with just over four minutes to play. The Lions added a meaningless touchdown with seconds to go in the game after driving 71 yards in 14 plays.

Offensively, Webb finished 14-of-20 for 140 yards and one touchdown (QB rating of 106.2). Lauletta was only 2-of-5 for 27 yards but did have the impressive 10-yard touchdown run. The only target to catch more than two passes was tight end Jerell Adams who caught three passes for 31 yards. As for the running backs, Martin gained 47 yards on seven carries and Gallman 26 yards on five carries.

Defensively, Herzlich led the team with seven tackles and the stop on 4th-and-1. The Giants accrued four sacks, including by Wynn, Okwara, linebacker Olivier Vernon, and safety Mike Basile. Armstrong had the sole turnover on his interception.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were 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).

Running back Jalen Simmons left the game with a concussion. Wide receiver Russell Shepard dislocated a finger. Linebacker Calvin Munson left the game late after a hit to the head.

Quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. were healthy scratches.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Saturday. The players are off on that day.

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 132018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY REPORT – SAQUON BARKLEY INJURED…
Not practicing on Monday due to injury were wide 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).

Running back Saquon Barkley strained his left hamstring late in practice after stretching out for a long reception. He left practice the field after that, having his leg wrapped.

“Saquon has a mild strain, and we’ll be smart with him as we move along here,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • It was a light practice today as the team heads to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions.
  • For the second straight practice, the Giants limited the number of snaps quarterback Eli Manning received.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb received first-team snaps again today. He found wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. twice for touchdowns in red zone drills, including against cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb also overthrew three receivers and was involved in a fumbled snap.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta connected with wideout Kalif Raymond on a perfect deep pass between safety William Gay and cornerback B.W. Webb.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson and left guard Will Hernandez grabbed each other’s face masks and nearly came to blows.
  • Safety Michael Thomas picked off quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Curtis Riley was the first-team free safety and William Gay the first-team slot corner for the second practice in a row.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley badly beat linebacker Alec Ogletree on a wheel route and out-ran cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the end zone on a pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta. (This was the play where Barkley injured himself).
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney connected with wide receiver Jawill Davis on a deep pass.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Monday 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 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Jul 282018
 
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Connor Barwin, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Connor Barwin – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 28, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their third full-team summer training camp practice on Saturday 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 Saturday were defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), cornerback Sam Beal (out for the season – shoulder), and tight end Garrett Dickerson (hamstring).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made one of his trademark one-handed catches in the corner of the end zone.
  • Wide receiver Cody Latimer beat cornerback Eli Apple on a post route for a 40-yard touchdown.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a perfect sideline pass to wide receiver Kalif Raymond for a 35-yard gain.
  • Andrew Adams was the first-team safety along with Landon Collins.
  • Linebacker Olivier Vernon flashed off of the edge against left tackle Nate Solder for what would have been a sack.
  • Linebacker Kareem Martin beat tight end Evan Engram for what would have been a sack as well.
  • Linebacker Connor Barwin made a tackle for a loss. Barwin and linebacker Lorenzo Carter gave second-team tackles Nick Becton and Chad Wheeler problems.
  • Safety Michael Thomas was untouched on a blitz to “sack” quarterback Davis Webb.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley caught a low swing pass from quarterback Eli Manning and turned it into a nice gain with some nifty moves after the catch.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted an underthrown post pass from quarterback Davis Webb, as Webb was being pressured by linebacker Lorenzo Carter. Deayon later broke up another pass.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley caught two touchdown passes during 7-on-7 red zone drills. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. also had a TD catch during these drills.
  • Defensive end Kerry Wynn received some reps with the first-team nickel defense.
  • Defensive lineman A.J. Francis was consistently disruptive.
  • Linebackers Avery Moss and Romeo Okwara gave the third-team tackles problems.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins usually blankets his opponent, but wide receiver Hunter Sharp got some separation on him twice.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a deep ball to wide receiver Marquis Bundy, who out-fought cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris for the ball.
  • Connor Barwin worked with fellow linebackers Lorenzo Carter, Avery Moss, and Jordan Williams after practice.

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

Jul 122018
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 21, 2018)

Eli Apple – © 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 Backs

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: Coming off a year in 2016 when THREE New York Giants earned All-Pro honors, everyone expected the secondary to be a team strength in 2017. Instead, there was turmoil on and off the field. The team’s top three cornerbacks were suspended for violating team rules and conduct detrimental to the team. 2016 1st-rounder Eli Apple regressed terribly, was benched, and started only seven games. All-Pro Dominique Rodgers Cromartie saw his pass defenses plummet from 21 and six interceptions in 2016, to just one pass defense and no interceptions in 2017. All-Pro Janoris Jenkins was nagged by an ankle injury that eventually landed him on IR and required surgery. The only bright spot at corner was the surprise play of Ross Cockrell, who the Giants traded for in September. It got so bad that Brandon Dixon ended up starting five games for the Giants.

At safety, All-Pro Landon Collins also regressed, bothered by a nagging ankle injury he suffered in early October and then fracturing his arm in December. While he made the Pro Bowl, he didn’t have the impact season he had the previous year. After spending his rookie season on IR, Darian Thompson started 16 games, but he lacked physicality and didn’t make many plays. Andrew Adams saw his playing time decrease, but still played in all 16 games with four starts. Nevertheless, Thompson and Adams combined for only eight pass defenses and one interception on the season. Once again, Nat Berhe was a non-factor with just 12 tackles in 15 games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in March and Brandon Dixon in May. Ross Cockrell and Nat Berhe left the team in free agency. Corner Darryl Morris remains unsigned and won’t be back.

The Giants signed free agents CB/S Curtis Riley, S Michael Thomas, CB Teddy Williams, CB C.W. Webb, CB William Gay, S Orion Stewart, and CB Chris Lewis-Harris during the spring as well as rookie free agents CB Grant Haley and S Sean Chandler after the draft.

The surprise move was the team selecting CB Sam Beal in the 3rd round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The transaction wire this offseason was dominated by defensive back moves, but the ultimate success or failure of the secondary in 2018 will largely depend on whether or not Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Landon Collins can rebound. We’ll have to see where Jenkins’ head is after it was revealed that his brother allegedly killed a man in his home. Collins needed a second surgery to repair his arm fracture and was limited in the spring. Much media and fan focus will be on Eli Apple, who almost ran himself off of the team but so far has been acting and practicing much better. If Jenkins and Collins can revert to All-Pro form and Apple can become a viable starting NFL corner, then the other issues in the secondary will be much easier to deal with. If not, the Giants could be rough shape here.

The quick demise and subsequent release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left a huge hole in the secondary. Until the Supplemental Draft, Dave Gettleman’s approach at corner had been to sign quantity over quality, hoping to strike lightning in a bottle. That changed with the selection of Sam Beal. Nevertheless, the team still needs to identify a nickel corner.

At safety, who starts opposite of Landon Collins? During the last mini-camp, with Collins and Darian Thompson on the sidelines, ex-CB Curtis Riley and Andrew Adams were playing at safety with the first team. Newcomers Michael Thomas, Orion Stewart, and Sean Chandler also now join the competition.

ON THE BUBBLE: Other than Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, and Sam Beal, no one is completely safe. Eli Apple is likely to make it unless he has another mental implosion simply because the Giants are weak at the position and Apple still has a tremendous amount of upside. Not only do all of the other players have to worry about current competition on the roster, but look for the Giants to actively scan the waiver wire all summer. Some of the new journeymen vets are good special teams players and that will help their cause, most notably Michael Thomas.

FROM THE COACHES AND GM: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Curtis Riley: “Curtis is a guy that, we all know he’s played corner, so he’s got really great feet and hips and range. And the thing I’m probably most proud of him about is how he’s picked it up playing safety because that’s a change, when you go from playing outside, to go inside. And some of the checks and the communication and one minute you’re in the post, the next minute you’re down, or you’re playing in the half field, or you’re blitzing off the edge and some of the different duties that our safeties have to handle here. He’s done a really nice job with that. So, I’m excited for him, getting to training camp just like all these guys, and he’s competing his butt off with a group of guys that I’ve really seen grow over these last two months.”

Bettcher on William Gay: “A pro’s pro. He is a pro’s pro. Everything that when we talked about having Will join us, anyone that you talk to, loves his work ethic, loves the seriousness and the professional mentality that he brings to the room. He is going to ask great questions, going to be very engaged, has done a great job with some of our younger players. And (taught) some of our guys that are three- and four-year players, about how to have longevity in this league and play at a high level. He knows what a great defense looks like from the inside and we’re excited to have him here working with us.”

Bettcher on Landon Collins: “I look at him as a guy – we had some guys in Arizona, Tyvon Branch and before Tyvon we had Tony Jefferson who played strong safety for us who could play both high, could play down in the box, could cover tight ends, could blitz off the edge. That’s what I see with Landon, a guy who is very versatile in what he can do. You might see a snap where he’s down covering a tight end in the box, you might see a snap where he’s in the half field playing deep or in the middle of the field playing deep or you might see snaps where he’s blitzing off the edge. I think that’s the versatility a guy like him lends and that’s something that as you look and study defenses across the league and you talk to offensive guys of what gives them trouble, it’s players that have that versatility – that one snap they’re down in the box and the next snap they’re playing high. That kind of versatility gives offenses trouble and I’m excited to have a chance to work with him.”

Bettcher on Eli Apple: “Very talented player. I did like him when he was coming out in the draft, really liked his skill set. He’s a guy who can play man, who can press, who can play zone defense in space, who can break on the ball.”

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the competition at cornerback: “Well, it’s competitive. We were talking about it this morning. I was sitting with James (Bettcher), just going back over the roster. It’s going to be competitive to see whose going to be, in my mind, our third, fourth and fifth corner. We’ve got some candidates who are doing some really good things. And then they’re going to have to have a role. Certainly, when teams are in base and we’ve got Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and Eli (Apple) out there. But then when teams go to nickel, which is more than half the time, there’s going to have to be a guy step up. And we’ll just have to find the role, and whoever that guy is, we’ve got to do the things that fit what he can do best.”

General Manager Dave Gettleman on Sam Beal: “We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft. He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”

PREDICTIONS: As long as the injury bug doesn’t hit (a big if), the Giants are not in as dire straits here as many think. Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins are two of the best players at their respective positions in the NFL. Eli Apple seems poised for a rebound year. Acquiring Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft was a bold move that may fill a glaring need. The two big questions are finding a free safety to complement Collins and a nickel corner. My guess is that William Gay takes on an Everson Walls-type leadership role and adequately handles the nickel spot. Curtis Riley, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Michael Thomas most likely will be battling it out for the free safety position, unless someone else shakes free on the waiver wire.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: We’re going to hear a common refrain from fans throughout the preseason… “Who are these guys?” My guess is that Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Sam Beal, William Gay, and Grant Haley make it at cornerback. At safety, Landon Collins, Curtis Riley, Michael Thomas, and the winner of the Darian Thompson/Andrew Adams competition. That being said, I would not be surprised to see one or two waiver-wire pick-ups in the defensive backfield.

Jul 112018
 
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Sam Beal, Western Michigan Broncos (September 2, 2017)

Sam Beal – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS DRAFT SAM BEAL IN SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT…
The New York Giants have drafted cornerback Sam Beal (Western Michigan) in the 3rd-round of the Supplemental Draft. By drafting Beal now, the Giants forfeit their 3rd-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This is the first time the Giants have selected a player in the Supplemental Draft since safety Tito Wooten in 1994.

Beal was widely considered the best player available in the Supplemental Draft since wide receiver Josh Gordon was selected by the Browns in 2012. He was also projected by some to be a top-five corner in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Beal combines good body length (6’1”, 185 pounds) and overall athleticism (4.5 in the 40-yard dash). He’s a smooth, natural cover corner who can flip his hips and has quick feet. Beal does need to improve his run defense.

“We feel like we’re getting our third-round pick now,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “We discussed it at length yesterday, and had a great conversation. We basically had a draft meeting in the office, with people on the speaker phone who had seen him. It was a very thorough conversation.

“We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft. He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”

To make room for Beal, the Giants waived cornerback Kenneth Durden. The Giants signed Durden in June 2018. He 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.

ARTICLES…