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

Lorenzo Carter – © USA TODAY Sports

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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 102018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
Although the starters did not play long, the New York Giants were clearly out-played in a preseason match-up between the NFL’s two worst teams last season. The Giants fell to the Browns 20-10 on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The highlight of the night for the Giants came on their very first offensive snap when rookie running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 39-yard run, demonstrating vision, shiftiness, power, and speed. (Barkley’s other four carries picked up a total of four yards before he was pulled for the evening). Despite the big initial gain, the Giants’ first drive stalled at the Cleveland 23-yard line as New York settled for a 42-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

The Browns responded with a big play of their own, a 32-yard strike from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to wide receiver Jarvis Landry over cornerback Janoris Jenkins. But Landry was flagged for taunting on the play. The defense then held and Cleveland punted.

The Giants’ first-team offense only played one more series (and two overall). The drive ended when with a 10-yard sack on quarterback Eli Manning by a free blitzing linebacker coming up the middle. Manning finished the night 4-of-7 for 26 yards.

Taylor carved up New York’s first-team defense on his second series, completing a 21-yard pass against cornerback Eli Apple and then burning inside linebacker Alec Ogletree on a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku. Browns 7 – Giants 3.

Quarterback Davis Webb entered the game with the second-team offense on the third series and played into the 3rd quarter. The jittery Webb was awful, completing just 9-of-22 passes (41 percent) for 70 yards. The Giants’ offense ground to a halt. In six straight possessions with Webb at the helm, the Giants punted five times and watched the clock expire before halftime at the Cleveland 21-yard line.

Meanwhile, the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Baker Mayfield entered the game and put on a show, completing 11-of-20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, including a second touchdown catch by Njoku (from 10 yards out, 2-point conversion attempt failed). Mayfield also completed a 54-yard catch-and-run score to wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who got away from cornerback Leonard Johnson and safety Orion Stewart, early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants’ only other score in the game came early in the 3rd quarter after defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble on a punt return that was recovered by long snapper Zak DeOssie at the Cleveland 14-yard line. Three plays later, running back Jalen Simmons scored from five yards out. This was Webb’s last possession and his sole contribution here was a 6-yard scramble.

By the 4th quarter, both teams were playing their third and fourth teamers, with both Kyle Lauletta (6-of-9 for48 yards) and Alex Tanney (3-of-7 for 49 yards) seeing time at quarterback for the Giants. Neither team scored after Mayfield’s last pass early in the 4th quarter that went for the 54-yard touchdown.

Overall, the Browns out-gained the Giants in total net yards (372 to 310) and net yards passing (322 to 176) while the Giants were superior in first downs (19 to 15) and net rushing yards (134 to 50). The Giants did not turn the football over. Defensively, nose tackle Robert Thomas accrued New York’s lone sack on the night.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (unknown), tight end Ryan O’Malley (foot/ankle), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), safety/cornerback William Gay (hamstring), and cornerback/safety Curtis Riley (hamstring).

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and safety Mike Basile were healthy scratches.

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

GIANTS SIGN SAFETY MIKE BASILE….
The New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent Mike Basile (Monmouth University). The 6’1”, 185-pound Basile lacks ideal speed, but he is a hard-working, tough, smart, and instinctive football player with good foot quickness.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Friday. The players are off on Saturday, the same day the team’s summer training camp officially ends. The players will practice on Sunday and Monday (no public access) before traveling to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 062018
 
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Davis Webb, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 6, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their tenth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS RELEASE FIRST DEPTH CHART…
The New York Giants have issued their first depth chart of the 2018 season. For details, see the Depth Chart section of the website.

GIANTS CUT CB TEDDY WILLIAMS…
The New York Giants have terminated the contract of cornerback Teddy Williams. The NFL Network is reporting that Williams, who has been away from the team for the last few days while dealing with a family health issue, had asked the team to release him so he can adequately focus his attention on the issue. Williams reportedly would still like to play for the Giants but he does not want to take up a roster spot.

The Giants signed Williams in March 2018 after he was cut by the Carolina Panthers. The 6’1”, 210-pound Williams did not play college football and was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2010-2011), Sacramento Mountain Lions (2012), Indianapolis Colts (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013–2014), Chicago Bears (2014), Jacksonville Jaguars (2014), and Carolina Panthers (2015–2017). Williams has played in 36 regular-season games with no starts. He spent most of the 2016 season and all of the 2017 season on Injured Reserve with knee and shoulder injuries, respectively.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (maintenance day?), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (unknown), tight end Ryan O’Malley (unknown), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), cornerback William Gay (hamstring), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Darian Thompson and Curtis Riley received first-team reps at free safety.
  • With Sterling Shepard sitting out, Kalif Raymond received the bulk of his first-team snaps at wide receiver.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond scored on a jet sweep, beating linebacker Lorenzo Carter to the pylon.
  • Safety Sean Chandler picked off an errant pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • At one point in practice, the second-team offensive line was left tackle Chad Wheeler, left guard Brett Jones, center John Greco, right guard Chris Scott, and right tackle John Jerry.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley broke off a big gain on a screen pass.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found tight end Rhett Ellison for a touchdown over the middle. Manning and Ellison also connected on a big gain between linebacker Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins.
  • Cornerback B.W. Webb intercepted quarterback Alex Tanney.
  • Recently-signed cornerback Leonard Johnson received some first-team snaps in the nickel defense as the slot corner.
  • Linebacker Avery Moss flashed during 1-on-1 pass rushing drills.
  • Olivier Vernon has had a very strong camp and the Giants are using him at both outside linebacker spots.
  • A blitzing linebacker Mark Herzlich picked up a couple of “sacks.”
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep on a post route, but quarterback Eli Manning overthrew Beckham.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas made all of his kicks, including one from 50+ yards out.

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 252018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (July 25, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

VETERANS REPORT TO NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP…
New York Giants quarterbacks, rookies, and select veterans reported to summer training camp last Sunday. The rest of the players reported today. Also, the first rookie practice open to the press (but not public) was held today.

“You got a chance to see the third day of our rookie camp; rookies, select vets and quarterbacks,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Very valuable time for those guys. I think I mentioned a little bit earlier, but they get a chance to get the first, second, and third installment before the veterans get here. That is very helpful for the rookies. Then the selected vets that didn’t get a bunch of work in the spring, that kind of gets them up to speed, so that’s the idea. As we move forward here, we’re certainly looking forward to the 2018 season. As the coach, I’m going to try and keep the focus on playing football, keep the focus on trying to determine who our initial 53-man roster is, and keep the focus on playing Jacksonville and beyond. So that’s the goal, for us to keep getting better and trained up for what we hope to be a very productive season.”

The first full-team training camp practice and the first practice open to the public will be held on Thursday. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

WITH THOMAS MCGAUGHEY AILING, TOM QUINN RETURNS…
The New York Giants simply can not get rid of Tom Quinn. It appeared that the Giants had finally parted ways with Quinn, who served as the team’s special teams coordinator from 2007 to 2017, when they hired Thomas McGaughey to replace him in January 2018. But McGaughey has a medical issue and Giants have hired Quinn as assistant special teams coordinator. Anthony Blevins remains the team’s new assistant special teams coach. Ironically, McGaughey served under Tom Quinn from 2007 to 2010. Now their roles are reversed.

“Tom was in town and available and is back assisting us,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) had some health issues, so Tom is here to assist in anyway possible. Outstanding coach and was in town, so he’s here. So T-Mac is running things and will have two assistants.”

INJURY REPORT – SAM BEAL LIKELY DONE FOR THE SEASON…
Various media sources are reporting that cornerback Sam Beal, who the Giants selected in the 3rd round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft, will likely miss the entire 2018 season with a shoulder injury. While other options are being discussed, Beal will likely need surgery, which would end his rookie year.

Beal aggravated a pre-existing shoulder issue in Monday’s practice. NJ.com is reporting that Beal had shoulder surgery in February. Oddly, Beal did participate in practice on Wednesday before the injury was revealed to the public.

Defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown) remains on the Active/Non-Football Illness list and did not practice.

Linebacker Avery Moss (unknown) and safety Darian Thompson (unknown), who were sidelined during spring workouts, both practiced.

REPORT – DAVE GETTLEMAN’S CANCER IS IN REMISSION…
According to The New York Post, New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman’s lymphatic cancer is in remission. Recent scans have come back clean. Gettleman is expected to continue to undergo chemotherapy treatments for the time being.

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN IZAAH LUNSFORD, CUT TWO PLAYERS…
The New York Giants have signed free agent defensive lineman Izaah Lunsford. The 24-year old, 6’3”, 310-pound Lunsford was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Green Bay Packers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent all of 2017 on the team’s Practice Squad.

The Giants also waived punter Taylor Symmank, who the team signed in June, and tight end Kyle Carter, who the Giants claimed off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings in January.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterback Eli Manning was given the day off. He did participate in the first two training camp practices on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Veterans present included linebacker Avery Moss, safety Darian Thompson, and safety Orion Stewart.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb made two excellent deep passes.
  • Wide receiver Jawill Davis beat cornerback Grant Haley, but Davis let the ball pass through his hands.

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:

NY POST Q&A WITH DAVIS WEBB…
Davis Webb talks new mantra as he enters Year 2 with Giants by Steve Serby of The New York Post

BUFFALO BILLS SIGN KEENAN ROBINSON…
The Buffalo Bills have signed New York Giants unrestricted free agent linebacker Keenan Robinson,who was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2017 with a quad injury. Robinson played in six games with three starts and had 32 tackles. He missed the season’s first two games with a concussion.

Robinson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, where he missed time in 2012 (four games with right pectoral tear), 2013 (entire season with left pectoral tear), 2014 (three games with a knee injury), and 2015 (four games with a shoulder injury). The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016.

In 2016, Robinson officially only started 6-of-16 regular-season games, but he was second in playing time on the team among all linebackers (71 percent of all defensive snaps). Robinson finished 2016 with 83 tackles and seven pass defenses.

ARTICLES…

Jul 222018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (April 28, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN SAQUON BARKLEY…
The New York Giants have signed their 1st-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, running back Saquon Barkley, to a 4-year, $31.2 million contract that includes a $20.76 million signing bonus.

The only player on the current roster who remains unsigned is 2018 5th-round pick, defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh.

PLAYERS BEGIN TO REPORT TO TRAINING CAMP…
New York Giants rookies and select veterans, including all of the quarterbacks, reported to training camp today. All players are expected to report on Wednesday, July 25th. The first training camp practice open to the public on on Thursday. The full training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

NY POST Q&A WITH SAQUON BARKLEY…
Saquon Barkley will put in work for this explosive Giants offense by Steve Serby of The New York Post

ARTICLES…

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…

Jun 182018
 
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Alex Tanney, Davis Webb, Eli Manning, and Kyle Lauletta; New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Alex Tanney, Davis Webb, Eli Manning, and Kyle Lauletta – © 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: Quarterbacks

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: 2017 was one of the worst seasons in the almost 100-year history of the New York Giants. No one escaped the carnage, including arguably the best quarterback in franchise history. Regardless of the extenuating factors, Eli Manning saw his numbers decline for the second year in a row. In comparison with his 2015 statistics, Manning saw a precipitous fall in passing yards (from 4,432 to 3,468), touchdowns (from 35 to 19), and QB rating (from 93.6 to 80.4). The Giants offense was 21st in yardage, 19th in passing yardage, and 31st in scoring. And it just wasn’t the numbers. Manning seemed off. Saddled with a poor supporting cast, he was jumpy in the pocket and missed too many open receivers.

But as bad as all of that was, 2017 will always be remembered for the year that Eli Manning got benched by his since-fired head coach who never really seemed to have his back. It was not so much the decision to sit Manning for an early December game when the team was 2-9, but the way he was benched. Ben McAdoo announced the decision matter-of-factly while John Mara and Jerry Reese hid. And a tearful Manning was left to address a frenzied New York press corps in front of his locker with teammates laughing in the background. Worse, the Giants did not use the benching to evaluate their 3rd-round draft pick, Davis Webb, but handed over the reins to persona non grata Geno Smith. Predictably, a pissed-off fan base erupted. What was astonishing was this reaction seemed to shock team brass who quickly kowtowed by firing Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese and re-inserting Manning as starter right after the Geno Smith-led Giants lost to the Oakland Raiders. The Giants then proceeded to lose three of their last four games and finish the year 3-13. In summary, the season was a shit show.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Unsurprisingly, the Giants made no effort to re-sign Geno Smith. The Giants passed on Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. But they did select Kyle Lauletta in the 4th round. The Giants also signed free agent Alex Tanney after the draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: For better or worse, ownership, the new general manager, and the new head coach have made it clear over and over again that the 37-year old Eli Manning is not only the established starter heading into 2018, but possibly beyond. So in a matter of a few months, Manning went from the bench to being untouchable. If one were being truly objective, it appears a bit odd that the New York Giants believe so strongly that a clearly declining, 37-year old quarterback on a 3-13 team has another Super Bowl run in him. Their evidence? The December 17th loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The pressure is on Manning. The Giants have changed an offensively-minded head coach for the second time in three years. They fired the GM. They brought in three new starters on the offensive line. They added a premier running back with the #2 pick in the draft to go along with Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard on offense. The excuses are running out. Eli is a $22 million per year QB who hasn’t played like one in quite some time.

While Pat Shurmur is a West Coast Offense guy, his offense will be more vertical and use more play-action than his predecessor. The Giants will run the football more. All of this should help. Yet, in an era where teams are moving more and more to athletic quarterbacks, Eli remains a bit of an old-school dinosaur whose lack of mobility clearly impacts the overall offense. Manning must compensate with better toughness, pocket awareness, decision-making under duress, and accuracy. Can he shake off the gun-shyness and inaccuracy that plagued him in 2017? Can he get his mojo back?

With an inevitable transition looming – whether it be in one, two, or three years – comes the second major storyline: is the heir apparent currently on the roster? The contenders are Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta. Webb has the arm, frame, and work ethic teams look for. Lauletta lacks the arm and ideal height, but may have a better feel for the game. He also had the inherent advantage that he was drafted by the team’s new general manager and head coach. Both, one, or neither may have an NFL future. Can either really replace a living legend when the time comes? Or will the Giants rue the day they passed on Darnold, Rosen, or Allen?

ON THE BUBBLE: Barring and injury or the unlikely event the Giants trade Davis Webb, the Giants will go into 2018 with Manning, Webb, and Lauletta as the quarterbacks. Alex Tanney is simply a camp arm.

FROM THE COACHES: Pat Shurmur on Eli Manning: “He looks great. He’s doing great…He is a joy to coach… I’m always surprised at how smart he is and at how things, I don’t want to say come easy to him because he studies, but he has a great feel for the game and that great feel for the game is backed up by a heck of a lot of work, and so when you have that combination, a guy that can really see the game and then a guy that really works at it, then I think the sky is the limit.”

Shurmur on Davis Webb: “I think he has improved every day. I think he’s got an outstanding skillset. I mean, big, strong, can throw… He can run around and he’s gotten more and more comfortable with what we’re doing. So, he’s made steady improvements through this spring.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula on Kyle Lauletta: “He has a nice calmness about himself that if things don’t go exactly how they are drawn out on the board, his mind works pretty fast so far and he finds the next guy, gets through his progressions. He has a good feel for anticipation and touch and things like that, so I think he’s off to a good start. ”

PREDICTIONS: Eli Manning will always be a controversial sports figure. He’s a legitimate two-time Super Bowl MVP who played at an elite level during two miraculous playoff runs. But take away those two runs, and his career looks more mundane and based on longevity. Most Giants fans will long wonder what could have been had the Giants personnel department (exacerbated by a series of career-impacting injuries to key players) not squandered his years after 2011. But Eli is responsible for half of the team’s Super Bowl hardware. Period. And for better or worse, and whether or not the motivation is based on guilt or fear of fan reaction, the Giants hierarchy is going to give him another chance in 2018 and probably 2019, the latter being the final year of his current contract.

My best guess is that Eli rebounds with a strong season in 2018, but one that still causes fans to debate whether the team is foolishly postponing the inevitable by not making the quarterback transition sooner. My wish is that he proves us all wrong and has one more magical run in him with the Giants. At the very least, he will have an opportunity to finish his Giants career on better terms than 2017.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta

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

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

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Saquon Barkley and Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Saquon Barkley and Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICES #5 AND #6…
The Giants held their fifth and sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practices on Wednesday and Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The practices were not open to the media, but Giants.com provided the following summaries of the action:

The four remaining OTA practices will be held on June 4-7. There will be media availability for the June 4th practice. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

ARTICLES…