Jul 312019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 31, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their sixth full-team summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (illness), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), linebacker Markus Golden (load management), linebacker Nate Stupar (load management), linebacker Mark McLaurin (broken foot), and cornerback Henre’ Toliver (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) participated, but was limited, in full-team drills wearing a yellow “non-contact” jersey and catching some passes with his good hand.

Wide receiver Alex Wesley (unknown) was activated from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List and practiced.

Both linebacker B.J. Goodson and defensive end Alex Jenkins left practice early with what appeared to be leg/knee injuries.

TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS BY SY’56…
Today’s practice indoor was a bit of a bummer. Less opportunity to see what I want to see…they keep the media in pretty tight windows. Also with the difference in space to work with, practice in there kind of seems 70-80%. But anyway….

First thing I wanted to get a feel for were the bodies of young guys and how they are developing 1-2 years in to NFL strength and conditioning programs. OT Chad Wheeler, OLB Avery Moss, and DT Dalvin Tomlinson showed noteworthy gains from what I remember in 2017. Wheeler still has a good amount of awkward movement when he has to adjust off his plan and Moss still seems erratic, lacking natural flow to the action. As an edge rusher, that is always vital though.  

The overall feel of practice seemed different than when I was last there with Ben McAdoo calling the shots. The team overall seemed more into practicing, less into dancing. The team was playfully bantering back and forth, trash talking a lot, but then quick to pick each other up. The camaraderie was notable throughout the day.

Offense

Saquon Barkley loos like a Greek God, we all know that. He is as explosive as he is quick and agile, we all know that. One thing you may not know….he is in tune with practice as much as any player out there if not more. Constantly listening to coaches, fully honed in on watching the 3rd string offense, barking out instructions and cheering them on. The first to celebrate a big play by someone else. This dude is THE guy on this team in every positive way possible.

-There isn’t a QB debate for week 1. That said, the talent gap between Eli Manning and Daniel Jones is not significant. That is not an insult to Manning or a compliment to Jones. Just a simple observation. Where I do see a difference is the decisiveness and confidence, nothing surprising.  

Manning didn’t have a great day. There weren’t any positive noteworthy throws and he was picked off twice. I don’t have much to report on him to be honest. He is what we all think he is at this point.

Jones was more interesting to watch. Out of the four QBs tossing the ball, I would rank his arm strength the worst. I won’t call his arm weak by any means, but there was a little lack of zip on balls up the seam and to the sidelines 10+ yards downfield. He also seemed overly hesitant…a lot of double/triple tapping the ball as he stared his target down. The defense certainly was able to take advantage of that on multiple occasions. On his final O vs D drive, he excelled. I think there were four  straight completions that ended with a TD to Alonzo Russell. The drive started off with a near-INT, but he bounced back and layered the ball nicely a few times. Calm, composed, brave in the pocket. That is how I left impression-wise.

Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate can be a real pain for opposing defenses. Neither are going to be Beckham, we know that, but those two can get open underneath consistently. They are both going to do damage after the catch too. I kept on writing “dependable” next to the two of them. If this offense can get in to 3rd-and-sub-5 consistently, the combination of them along with Evan Engram and Barkley underneath can be top notch.  

-Speaking of Engram, let’s remember how he ended the season over the last 4 weeks (320 yards 14.5 avg). Since he was drafted, I have always thought he was the one pass catcher that could bring this passing game to the next level. He is a monster after the catch, clearly outrunning angles of both safeties and linebackers with ease.

-The other pass catchers on the team didn’t stand out. Solid day for Russell against backups, and Reggie White made a couple highlight-worthy grabs.

-The offensive line, in particular the starting 5, looks much more solid than what we have been watching the past few years. Kevin Zeitler looks like a rock. Steady, technically proficient, and strong. I am still nervous about Mike Remmers or whoever else is in line to play RT. Remmers was blown up by Tomlinson for a TFL early in team session. He doesn’t stick to his man, sustaining seems tough.

-The backup OTs leave a lot to be desired. Wheeler, we know what we have there. But Brian Mihalik is a guy we shouldn’t want to see in the game at any point. Pad level is a mess and even though the wingspan helped him a few times, he didn’t look good at all. He missed an inside blitz on 2 occasions that would have resulted in sacks.

Defense

-I was set up near the DBs to start off the day. Deandre Baker looks like he is ready for starting action when it comes to speed. However, he is the one DB that looks under-fed, weak on contact. He didn’t seem overly aggressive when it came to contact, it stood out to me. He also missed a cover assignment on a play the defense went over time and time again in group-walk through. It is a play every team uses…where the WR clears up the seam leaving the flat open for the back. Baker was caught looking in the backfield and by the time he realized Barkley was in full-go to the flat, it was too late. It would have been a big gain.

-I was visibly surprised and impressed by Sam Beal. What a body that kid has and he is fully functional from a movement perspective. Still has rawness to his game assignment wise but if you asked me to pick the most impressive looking athlete in the DB group, it is Beal by a landslide.

-Speaking of impressive tools, Corey Ballentine has the goods physically. Notably tall, long, and lean muscle with a burst-to-speed that very few have. There is more twitch and reaction to his game that I was expecting. Future is there for him.

Jabrill Peppers looks like a short linebacker. He is yoked…but may actually be the twitchiest player on the team including Barkley. Just an unreal athlete. I think this team needs to get the ball in his hands 3-4 times per game…whether it be as a PR/KR or on offense. He can make things happen and he gets after it hard. One thing I would be somewhat worried about, he and Antoine Bethea look awfully short for a safety pair. I think downfield coverage and tight end coverage can be a little rough there. Add the fact that Julian Love seems to be in the mix for the backup spot, another short one, this could be an issue to keep an eye on.

-Man, if it were the 90’s, we may be looking at this defensive line as one of the most dominant in the league. B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence, Pierre Olsen, and Dalvin Tomlinson eat up so much space and blockers. They are massive. My question will revolve around the pass rush though because I’m not sure those guys are gonna offer what this group sorely needs in that department. I do think these guys will be awfully tough to run against though.

-It seemed to me that James Bettcher was paying more attention to rookie LB Ryan Connelly than any other player on the field. A lot of pre- and post-play conversation. A lot of head nodding, a lot of clapping. I think the spot next to Alec Ogletree is wide open. Connelly is a better athlete than people think and the dude doesn’t hesitate after the snap. In an aggressive scheme, that is important.

-One name that stood out, albeit against backups, was DT Jake Ceresna. He broke through the line for a couple TFLs and had a sack. I don’t know much about him, but I’ll. be on the lookout for more there.

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:

May 082019
 
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Rod Smith, Dallas Cowboys (December 30, 2018)

Rod Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN RB ROD SMITH…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent running back Rod Smith (Dallas Cowboys). The 27-year old, 6’3”, 235-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He was released by Seattle in October 2015. The Cowboys claimed him off of waivers and he played with the Cowboys until the end of the 2018 season. Smith has played in 49 regular-season games with two starts, carrying the ball 101 times for 364 yards and five touchdowns. He also has caught 30 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown.

NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACH MEDIA SESSIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of Wednesday’s media sessions with the following position coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Feb 272019
 
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Everett Withers, Texas State Bobcats (September 30, 2017)

Everett Withers – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS HIRE DEFENSIVE BACKS COACH…
According to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have hired Everett Withers as the team’s new defensive backs coach. Withers replaces Lou Anarumo, who was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals as their new defensive coordinator. The Giants also lost Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Deshea Townsend, who was hired away by the Chicago Bears as their new defensive backs coach. The Giants hired Rutgers defensive backs coach Henry Baker to replace him.

Withers had agreed to serve as the new defensive coordinator for Florida International University earlier this month after he was fired as head coach of Texas State University (2016-2018). He had previously served as head coach at James Madison University (2014-2015), assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Ohio State University (2012-2013), and interim head coach at the University of North Carolina (2011). For six seasons (2001-2006), Withers was the defensive backs coach for the Tennessee Titans.

  • 2019-Present: Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants
  • 2019: Defensive Coordinator, Florida International University
  • 2016-2018: Head Coach, Texas State University
  • 2014-2015: Head Coach, James Madison University
  • 2012-2013: Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach, Ohio State University
  • 2011: Interim Head Coach, University of North Carolina
  • 2008-2010: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of North Carolina
  • 2007: Defensive Coordinator, University of Minnesota
  • 2001-2006: Defensive Backs Coach, Tennessee Titans
  • 1998-2000: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Texas
  • 1995-1997: Defensive Coordinator, University of Louisville
  • 1994: Defensive Quality Control Coach, New Orleans Saints
  • 1992-1993: Defensive Backs Coach, University of Southern Mississippi
  • 1991: Outside Linebackers Coach, Tulane University
  • 1990: Tight Ends/Special Teams Coach, Austin Peay State University
  • 1988-1989: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, Austin Peay State University
  • Pro Experience: None
  • Collegiate Experience: Defensive Back, Appalachian State University (1981-1985)
  • Born June 15, 1963