Jun 222020
 
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Nate Ebner, New England Patriots (February 3, 2019)

Nate Ebner – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully 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. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Special Teams

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: For the second year in a row, the New York Giants special teams unit was arguably the strongest part of the team. The Giants were tied for 3rd in the NFL in punt returns (9.8 yards per return) and 10th in kickoff returns (23.5 yards per return). The Giants were 6th in the NFL in covering punts (5.67 yards per opponent return) and 1st in covering kickoffs (18.05 yards per opponent return). Cody Core (8 tackles) and Michael Thomas (7 tackles) were particularly active in covering punts and kicks. For the second year in a row, the Giants did not return a punt or kick for a touchdown and they did not allow a punt or kick to be returned against them for a touchdown. The Giants did block a punt for a touchdown.

The return game was by handled by committee. Golden Tate, T.J. Jones, Da’Mari Scott, and Jabrill Peppers returned punts while Cody Latimer, Corey Ballentine, Darius Slayton, and Da’Mari Scott returned kicks. Jones was cut during the season.

Punter Riley Dixon had a solid season, averaging 46.1 yards per punt (13th in the NFL) and 42.3 net yards per punt (9th in the NFL), with 29 of his punts being downed inside the 20-yard line. However, two of his punts were blocked.

After a stellar sophomore pro season in 2018, place kicker Aldrick Rosas regressed in 2019. Rosas was 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) on field goal attempts and missed four of his 39 extra point attempts (89.7 percent). Seventy percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. In 2018, Rosas made the Pro Bowl after making 32-of-33 field goal attempts, including a team-record 57 yarder.

The Giants placed long-time long snapper Zak DeOssie on Injured Reserve in late November 2019 with knee and wrist issues. He was replaced by Colin Holba for the last five games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: It appears Zak DeOssie’s tenure with the Giants is over as he remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent. Colin Holba was cut in late April. The Giants signed long-snapper Casey Kreiter as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April.

Special teamers Cody Latimer (Washington Redskins), Michael Thomas (Houston Texans), and Antonio Hamilton (Kansas City Chiefs) signed elsewhere while the Giants added special teams ace Nate Ebner (New England Patriots). The Giants also drafted and signed a bunch of rookie linebackers and defensive backs who could significantly contribute on special teams.

Aldrick Rosas (1-year, $3.259 million), Cody Core (2-years, $4 million), and Corey Coleman (1-year, $1.1 million) were re-signed in the offseason.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: After John Harbaugh in Baltimore, Joe Judge became the second special teams coordinator in NFL history to make the jump directly to head coach. And almost all of Judge’s coaching experience is limited to special teams. Obviously, his heart and soul will likely remain with that part of the team and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has on the unit. Judge rewarded Thomas McGaughey for his solid work as special teams coordinator under Pat Shurmur by retaining him in the same position. Tom Quinn, who has been with the Giants since 2006, was also kept on as assistant special teams coach. McGaughey’s other assistant, Anthony Blevins, was moved to assistant defensive backs coach.

A major wrench was thrown into things when Aldrick Rosas, currently the only place kicker on the roster, was arrested in June for allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run accident and driving with a suspended license. Police also report Rosas was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that Rosas was arrested in 2016 for also driving under the influence. At best, Rosas is likely facing suspension from the NFL. At worst, he could receive jail time and/or the team may simply decide to let him go. The Giants had just re-signed him to a 1-year, $3.259 million contract as a restricted free agent.

Once again, the Giants do not have a clear-cut favorite to return punts and kickoffs. Potential candidates include WR Golden Tate, WR Darius Slayton, WR Corey Coleman, WR Da’Mari Scott, WR Alex Bachman, RB Dion Lewis, RB Javon Leake, CB Darnay Holmes, CB Corey Ballentine, and S Jabrill Peppers. The Giants could also try WR Derrick Dillon as a returner.

In the punt and kick coverage department, the Giants gave Nate Ebner a 1-year, $2 million contract simply to play special teams. Cody Core’s stellar special teams play in 2019 was reminiscent of past Giants special teams studs Reyna Thompson, Larry Flowers, and David Tyree. It will be interesting to see if he can replicate and even improve on his gunner skills.

ON THE BUBBLE: Aldrick Rosas. What a dumbass!

PREDICTIONS: Don’t discount the impact special teams can have on the win-loss record. Thomas McGaughey has done a fine job with this unit the past two years, but Joe Judge was so impressive as a young special teams coordinator that he is now the head coach of one of the NFL’s flagship franchises. A stellar special teams unit can turn a 6-10 team into a 10-6 team with timely blocked punts/kicks, big returns, winning the field position war, and the kicking game.

Even though on the surface CB Deandre Baker’s legal charges are far more serious, I think Aldrick Rosas’ roster spot with the Giants is in more jeopardy. Even in the best-case scenario, I have a hard time seeing Rosas avoiding a 4-game suspension. The NFL’s policy on “substances of abuse” includes alcohol-related incidents. If that is the case, he won’t begin the season on the 53-man roster. Do the Giants use a roster spot on him in training camp? Rosas may just have kissed $3 million goodbye.

Trying to predict who will be the primary kick and punt returners in June from among the existing list of candidates is probably an exercise in futility. But I’m going to guess Corey Coleman is the kickoff returner and Golden Tate and Darnay Holmes will split the punt return duties.

Keep an eye on Cody Core. He deserved more attention than he received last year for his special teams play. Also, the Giants added seven rookie linebackers and six rookie defensive backs. Not all of them will make the team, but many of them could form the core of the specials units.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring some unforeseen event, Riley Dixon will be the punter and Casey Kreiter the long-snapper. I already predicted in my wide receiver overview that Corey Coleman will make the team; if so, he has a good shot to be the kickoff returner. Golden Tate and Darnay Holmes are the obvious candidates to return punts. It’s pretty obvious that Nate Ebner was signed by Judge to lead this entire unit.

I don’t think the team’s opening-day place kicker is on the roster. I think Rosas will be suspended and may not even be a New York Giant. It depends on whether the team wants to wait out the likely suspension.

May 192020
 
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Darius Slayton, New York Giants (December 9, 2019)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp hopefully 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. Keep in mind that some of the players discussed may be cut as the 2020 NFL draft class signs their rookie contracts.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Wide Receivers

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Perhaps the biggest offseason NFL story in 2019 was the trade of Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in March. While the Giants received what now appears to be more-than-adequate compensation (1st- and 3rd-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers), the trade left the Giants without a clearcut #1 wide receiver who could consistently threaten opposing defenses down the field. In addition, the Giants were now very thin and top heavy at the position, with only newly-acquired Golden Tate and yet-to-breakout Sterling Shepard as headliners.

Things got even dicier early when Tate (49 catches, 676 yards, 6 TDs) was suspended for the first four games of the season for the use of performance-enhancing substances. Shepard (57 catches, 576 yards, 3 TDs) then missed six games (Week 2, Weeks 6-10) with concussions. Evan Engram (44 catches, 467 yards, 3 TDs), a hybrid tight end/wide receiver, also missed eight games (Week 6, Weeks 10-17) with knee and foot issues. Former Browns 1st rounder Corey Coleman was lost in July with a torn ACL.

Long story short was that the Giants were forced to rely on guys like perennial tease Cody Latimer (24 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs) and no-name journeymen such as Bennie Fowler (23 catches, 193 yards), T.J. Jones (3 catches), Cody Core (3 catches), Russell Shepard (3 catches), and Da’Mari Scott (2 catches). David Sills spent the bulk of the season on the Practice Squad until mid-December but he did not have a catch.

Thank goodness for 5th-round steal Darius Slayton, who had a surprisingly productive rookie season, playing in 14 games with nine starts, and finishing with 48 catches for a team-leading 740 yards (team-leading 15.4 yards per catch) and a team-leading eight touchdowns.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Fowler and Jones during the 2019 season and chose not to re-sign Latimer and Russell Shepard in free agency. The team did re-sign Coleman and Core in free agency, as well as re-sign practice squader Alex Bachman.

Surprisingly, the Giants did not sign any free agents from other teams and did not draft a receiver in what was widely-regarded as a very deep wide receiver draft. The only newcomers are undrafted rookie free agents Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Derrick Dillon.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The main question is do the Giants have enough receiving targets who can stay healthy and scare opposing defenses? On paper, the Giants are pretty much in the same boat as they were at this time last year, having to rely on Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram to stay on the field and be consistently productive. The one significant change is the emergence of Darius Slayton. Was 2019 a flash in the pan for the rookie Slayton or the start of something even better? Will he experience the dreaded “sophomore slump”? Tate proved he can still play, but the Giants are his fourth NFL team and it will be interesting to see how he interacts with Joe Judge. The big concern is Shepard’s career-threatening concussion history. How much more will he be able to play?

Cody Core is a stud special teamer but only has 33 catches in four NFL seasons. It’s a bit surprising that Da’Mari Scott is even back. Sills and Bachman have already been cut by other teams. There was some hope last year that Corey Coleman could emerge, but now he’s coming off a torn ACL. Undrafted free agents Victor, Mack, and Dillon probably couldn’t have picked a better team to sign with. At least one has a reasonable shot of making the team. Unless someone really surprises, there is very little depth at this position.

ON THE BUBBLE: Slayton, Shepard, and Tate are the sure bets with Core having a great shot because of his special teams value. That leaves probably two or three spots for the rest, who are all on the bubble. Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge will be actively scanning the waiver wire.

PREDICTIONS: There are a lot of conflicting thoughts in my head when I consider the team’s situation at wide receiver. I grew up during a time when Phil Simms largely had a bunch of no-name scrubs and still got the job done. I also witnessed how the personal excellence of Odell Beckham had no impact on the overall W-L record. On the other hand, it’s hard to see Eli Manning winning two Super Bowls without the presence of Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham.

Personally, I don’t think the Giants have enough talent at the position. If everyone stays healthy, this could be a more-than-adequate unit, but the slot receiver Shepard is one big hit away from being done and he’s never come close to cracking the 1,000-yard mark. The hybrid Engram also can’t seem to stay on the field. I also could see the show-boating Tate rubbing Judge the wrong way. There will be a lot of pressure on Darius Slayton to perform and even improve upon his rookie season. It is a long shot to believe anyone else will be meaningfully productive.

I suspect wide receiver will be a top priority in free agency and the draft next offseason.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Cody Core, Corey Coleman, Binjimen Victor

After my first four, the next two are my best guesses. Coleman has talent but is now on his fourth team and coming off an ACL. Still, he has the one thing you can’t teach: speed. Austin Mack is one of those receivers who is tough to cut, but I just don’t see an ability to separate in his game. Victor reminds me of a poor man’s Plaxico Burress. The 5th and 6th receivers may not be on the roster yet. Stay tuned.

Dec 292019
 
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Philadelphia Eagles (December 29, 2019)

Philadelphia Eagles celebrate their dominance over New York Giants – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17…
An injury-depleted Philadelphia Eagles team humiliated the New York Giants 34-17 at a rainy, dreary MetLife Stadium on Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants could have ended the Eagles’ season, but instead Philadelphia won the NFC East. New York’s 2019 season ends with a 4-12 overall record. The Eagles now have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Giants.

Aside from a few plays, the Giants largely slept walk through the game. The Eagles were not overly impressive; the Giants were simply that bad.

The Eagles received the football to start the game and drove 55 yards on their opening drive to the New York 38-yard line. But on 4th-and-7, linebacker Oshane Ximines pressured quarterback Carson Wentz into an incomplete pass and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs. The Giants gained one first down due a defensive holding penalty on the Eagles and then punted. On their second drive, Philadelphia drove 69 yards in nine plays to set up a successful 31-yard field goal. Eagles 3 – Giants 0.

The Giants and Eagles then combined for six punts on each team’s next three possessions. At this point in the contest, the Giants had gained only one first down (by penalty) and five net yards.

Finally, midway through the 2nd quarter, the Giants moved the ball, gaining 67 yards in seven plays to set up a 37-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The game was tied at 3-3. However, the Eagles quickly regained the lead on their next possession as the defense surrendered an 8-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to tight end Josh Perkins. Neither team scored on their final possessions of the half.

At halftime, the Eagles led 10-3 with the Giants only gaining six first downs and 108 yards of offense, punting the ball away five times in six possessions.

New York offered a glimmer of hope in the 3rd quarter before fading fast. The Giants drove 76 yards in 10 plays on their opening drive of the second half, with quarterback Daniel Jones finding wide receiver Golden Tate for a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10-10. After a punt by the Eagles and a turnover on downs by the Giants, Philadelphia once again regained the lead 17-10 with a 9-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Boston Scott. Nevertheless, the Giants tied the game in one play when running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 68-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 17-17.

It was all downhill after that. The Eagles responded with their second scoring drive in a row, moving 43 yards in eight plays to set up a 50-yard field goal. Then disaster struck when an errant snap from center Jon Halapio was fielded by Jones but quickly snapped out of his hand by another defender. This resulted in a fumble that was knocked backwards 25 yards and recovered by the Eagles at the New York 2-yard line. Scott scored on the very next play and the Eagles were quickly up 27-17 early in the 4th quarter.

After both teams went three-and-out, the Giants turned the ball over on downs again when Barkley was stuffed on 4th-and-2 at the New York 38-yard line. Four plays later, Scott scored his third touchdown of the game and the Eagles led 34-17 with just over six minutes to play.

The Giants’ seventh possession of the half ended with an interception at the Philadelphia 6-yard line when wide receiver Darius Slayton slipped on the play. The Eagles went three-and-out. The Giants threatened on their last drive but couldn’t make the final score more respectable.

Jones finished the game 28-of-47 for 301 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He was also sacked four times and officially hit 10 times. Jones’ leading targets were tight end Kaden Smith (8 catches for 98 yards), Tate (5 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown), and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 39 yards). Barkley carried the ball 17 times for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 25 first downs and 400 total net yards (121 rushing and 289 passing). The Giants only accrued one sack and did not force a turnover.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were RT Mike Remmers (concussion), CB Sam Beal (shoulder), QB Alex Tanney, RB Wayne Gallman, WR David Sills, OG Chad Slade, and NT Chris Slayton.

FB Eli Penny (back), WR Cody Core (concussion), and OC Jon Halapio (Achilles) left the game and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants finished in third place in the NFC East.

The Giants’ were 2-6 in home games in MetLife Stadium for the third consecutive season. They also lost there as visitors to the Jets.

The Giants were 2-4 in NFC East games.

The Giants have lost seven consecutive games to the Eagles.

The Giants did not intercept a pass in any of the final five games.

Daniel Jones  led all rookie quarterbacks with 24 touchdown passes this season, the fourth-most by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Only Baker Mayfield (27 in 2018), Peyton Manning (26 in 1998), and Russell Wilson (26 in 2012) had more.

Jones threw a touchdown pass in each of his last 12 games – all starts – the longest streak by a Giants quarterback since Eli Manning threw for a score in 12 straight games in 2008. The Giants’ record is 15 consecutive games from 1962-64 by Y.A. Tittle.

Jones rushed for 289 yards in 2019. That is the third-highest total by a Giants quarterback in the Super Bowl era, surpassed only by Fran Tarkenton in 1967 and 1968 (306 and 301 yards, respectively).

Saquon Barkley rushed for 1,003 yards in 2019. He is the first player in Giants history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and the first with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since Brandon Jacobs in 2007-08.

NEW YORK GIANTS 2020 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants’ 2020 opponents have been set:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Chicago Bears

NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 4TH IN 2020 NFL DRAFT…
The New York Giants now hold the 4th pick in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Saturday, the New York Giants placed tight end Scott Simonson on Injured Reserve. Simonson suffered a concussion during last Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. To fill that roster vacancy, the Giants signed tight end Garrett Dickerson to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad.

Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. Simonson spent time with the Raiders (2014-2015) and Carolina Panthers (2015-2017) before signing with the Giants in June 2018. He had his best season with the Giants in 2018, paying in all 16 games with four starts, finishing with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. The Giants placed Simonson on Injured Reserve in August 2019 with an ankle injury, cut him from Injured Reserve in September, and re-signed him to the 53-man roster in November. He played in five games in 2019 with one start, catching just two passes for 11 yards.

The Giants originally signed undrafted rookie free agent Garrett Dickerson in June 2018. He spent a couple of stints on the team’s Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2018. Dickerson made the 53-man roster in 2019, but was waived in October and then re-signed to the Practice Squad in November. Dickerson has played in seven regular-season games for the Giants, but he does not have a catch.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is unspecified media availability to the team on Monday. General Manager Dave Gettleman told the press after the game that he would speak to them on Tuesday.

Dec 072019
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

JABRILL PEPPERS TO IR, KAREEM MARTIN TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants have placed safety Jabrill Peppers (back) and linebacker Chris Peace (knee) on Injured Reserve, effectively ending their seasons. To fill those roster vacancies, the Giants activated linebacker Kareem Martin from Injured Reserve and signed safety Sean Chandler from the Practice Squad.

Peppers was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was traded to the Giants as part of the Odell Beckham deal to the Browns in March 2019. Before suffering a transverse process fracture in his back in the game against the Chicago Bears in late November, Peppers started 11 games and was credited with 76 tackles, five pass defenses, one interception that he returned for a touchdown, and three forced fumbles. He also returned one kickoff and four punts.

The Giants claimed Peace off of waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers in September 2019. He played in four games with the Giants before injuring his knee. The 6’2”, 250-pound Peace was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Giants placed Kareem Martin on Injured Reserve in September 2019 with a knee injury that he suffered in the regular-season opener. The Giants signed Martin as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2018. Though not a standout in 2018, Martin has his most productive season as a pro, playing in a 16 games with seven starts, and finishing with 48 tackles (twice as much as his previous high), 1.5 sacks, and 2 pass defenses. The 6’6”, 272-pound Martin was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cardinals as a defensive end. The Cardinals moved him to linebacker after his rookie season.

Chandler was on the 53-man roster in September and October and spent most of November on the Practice Squad. The Giants originally signed Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. Chandler made the team and played in all 16 games with no starts. He finished 2018 with 18 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass defense. Before he was cut in early November, Chandler played in nine games with no starts, accruing just five tackles.

DECEMBER 7, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (foot), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), linebacker Chris Peace (knee), and safety Jabrill Peppers (back) did not practice on Saturday. All five players have been officially ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“(Engram) pushed it as far as he could, but it’s still sore so he can’t go,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur.

“It sucks,” said Engram. “I was really excited about this week. I felt really good at the beginning of the week, felt really good in my rehab prior to the week. As the week went by, I just wasn’t ready. I made some progress but I’m not ready.”

Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion/non-contact) was limited in practice. Ballentine has also been officially ruled out of the game.

Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion) and left tackle Nate Solder (ankle) fully practiced. Both are expected to play on Monday night.

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 Sunday. The Giants play the Eagles in Philadelphia on Monday night.

Nov 252019
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

JABRILL PEPPERS FRACTURES BACK; CONCUSSION FOR GOLDEN TATE…
The New York Giants announced on Monday that safety Jabrill Peppers suffered a transverse process fracture in his back in the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The team also announced that wide receiver Golden Tate suffered a concussion on his 4th-and-18 touchdown reception.

“I don’t consider (Peppers’ injury a season-ender),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I guess he can return, it’s kind of relative to pain tolerance. So, I would say no.”

MONDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 19-14 loss to the Chicago Bears:

Q: We saw the injury update on Jabrill (Peppers). Do you expect that to be a season-ender?
A: I don’t. My understanding, his too, in terms of the evaluation of it, as I knew yesterday he had a sore back. I guess he can return, it’s kind of relative to pain tolerance. So, I would say no.

Q:  He’ll be able to practice and play if he can tough through it?
A: Well, I mean today obviously we’re less than a day removed from the game, so he’s sore today. We don’t practice until Wednesday, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: What do you think is going on with Saquon (Barkley) in the running game? I think the number is 88 yards on his last 44 carries over three games. If it’s not his ankle, why do you think we’re seeing a different Saquon production-wise than last year?
A: Again, I think some of it, we’re talking about a game where we did not run the ball very well. I thought we ran the ball better yesterday than we certainly did against the Jets. When you’re trying to establish the running game against a defense that is pretty much known for the way they pass rush, you’ve got to try to maximize the amount of yards you get on each run. I think that’s sort of it. Everything comes back to, (when) you clip them all out and watch them like we do— one thing here, one thing there.

Q: Not to focus more on Saquon, but how uncharacteristic was that drop and how did he handle it on the sideline? The pass that could have been a big gain.
A: Yeah, that is uncharacteristic of any player. I thought it was a good throw. We had a chance to, obviously, that would’ve been a third down conversion. That would’ve been an explosive play. (Chicago Bears Linebacker) Roquan Smith was trying to cover him, he was a little behind him. He would’ve been in the position there to make the safety miss for a big gain, maybe a touchdown. Those are the things that obviously are rare, but when they happen, and it’s obviously also magnified because it was a third down. But you just keep playing. I think he did have an impact on the game beyond that.

Q: What did you like, or did you like, the rotation with (DeAndre) Baker and (Sam) Beal and how did that work out for you?
A: As I mentioned last night, some of those changes in the secondary were intentional coming off the bye. I thought Sam had some good plays and I liked the fact that he was healthy and able to be in the game playing corner. We get to see some of what we really liked about him. He had some good reps. He certainly, they caught the deep in-ball on him and it ended up being a penalty, but I thought he battled and for the most part was pretty effective.

Q: How do you think Baker handled it? Sometimes players don’t take it well when their reps are cut like that.
A: Yeah, you don’t see much response from DeAndre in those types of situations. When he’s out there playing, he’s playing, and when he’s standing there, he’s watching attentively.

Q: Is Russell Shepard close to maybe coming back?
A: Potentially. He’s in the designated to return kind of setting, so we’ll just have to see at some point here.

Q: Would that be an option with Golden (Tate) obviously dealing with his concussion?
A: Potentially. That’s one option. I think we may have to consider, if we do something, with regard to the return game being that Jabrill and Golden are both returners. So, let’s just see.

Q: Is there going to be any movement in the sense of bringing in another kicker to pick up the intensity on Aldrick (Rosas) or are you just going to go with him?
A: We’ll talk about that as we go. I’m sure if we do bring any kickers in, it’ll be made public. Certainly, it’s unacceptable to miss the kicks like we did. But I think it’s important that the guys that are here continue to improve. In all areas, become more consistent with what they do. I think that’s the focus with Aldrick at this point.

Q: I’ll ask kind of a big picture question. With seven weeks of losses, in the absence of wins, what do you point to for the fans or to anybody in the building for progress, for signs of progress? How do you say, ‘we’re making progress’?
A: I’ve answered this question. I see the young players improving. I see us competing in games, we’re just falling a little bit short. Most of the games, unfortunately, are within a score for most of the game, or we’re ahead and somehow, we just can’t find a way quite at the end. But I do think that there’s improvement behind the scenes. It seems like each week we add another young player to the mix of guys. Then they go out and do some good things, and then they do some things that remind you that they’re young. That’s part of it. But there’s no excuses for any of it. We need to do what we need to do to win the game.

Q: A lot of times when you talk to coaches, they say the best and most productive way to teach and grow is when you win. Correcting mistakes and things like that. Without the winning now, is it more difficult for you and the coaching staff to kind of get some shots to improve and learn because there’s really not a lot of success that they can take out of it?
A: I think when you look at it, you’re always looking for ways to improve in everything you do. You try to tweak and change things within the way you do things. Our guys practice extremely hard. There’s good attention to detail. Some of these guys are doing it this year for the first time at this level. The challenge then is to make it happen on Sunday. There was a lot of really good things that happened yesterday in the game, especially against a team that was a playoff team a year ago. Defensively, we did a lot of good things. We still gave up some big plays and there are areas that we need to improve. We had some critical errors that affected us. But we had a couple of turnovers and got a stop at the end that gave us the ball with a chance to go down and score. Offensively, they’re a tough team to throw against. We knew that, but I thought we created opportunities for ourselves, and some of them we didn’t take advantage of. But you have to put that all together and do it in a way where you win a football game. That’s obviously the challenge.

Q: On the offensive line, just considering how many veterans are there, where are they? It seemed like they got off to a faster start and they’ve regressed a little bit. Do you feel that way about the offensive line?
A: No, I don’t think I see regression. We did start out, as a unit, pretty well together. Then we had some injuries in the last couple of weeks. That set things back a little bit. I think they’re fighting as a group. It really is no different for that position group as any other position group. A lot of good things and just some critical errors that affect the outcome of the game.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 202019
 
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Nate Solder, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 20, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Evan Engram (foot) and tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

Left tackle Nate Solder (concussion/non-contact) was limited in practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion) fully practiced.

All four players with concussions are still in the protocol. “You’re in the protocol until you’re not,” Head Coach Pat Shurmur said. “A lot of the times, what happens is they get cleared at the end of the week, with the anticipation that they will be cleared. I hope that’s clear.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed linebacker Tuzar Skipper off of the Giants’ Practice Squad on Tuesday. To fill that open spot, the Giants signed cornerback Derrick Baity to the Practice Squad.

The 6’3”, 246-pound Skipper was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Skipper off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers in September 2019. They waived him and signed him to the Practice Squad in October. Skipper played in six games for the Giants this year with no starts, being credited with three tackles and 0.5 sacks.

The 22-year old, 6’3”, 188-pound Baity was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Texans waived him in late August.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The video of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday 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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.

Nov 182019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 4, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
While the Giants were not required to issue an official injury report on Monday, tight end Evan Engram (foot) and left tackle Nate Solder (personal matter) did not practice.

Tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) was limited to individual drills.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion – non-contact jersey), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion – non-contact jersey) were on the field during the portion of practice open to the media.

Head Coach Pat Shurmur was asked if any of the players with concussions have come out of the concussion protocol. “They’re still going through it, so we’ll see what the week brings,” Shurmur responded. “But we’re encouraged that they’ll make it through.”

Regarding Engram, Shurmur said, “He’s out of the boot and he’s trying to get back going again.”

Engram does think he may be able to play this weekend. “It’s definitely possible, I feel good,” said Engram. “We’ll see where we’re at (in the) middle to the end of this week.”

GIANTS RE-SIGN EVAN BROWN TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants re-signed center/guard Evan Brown to the Practice Squad last Tuesday after cutting him from the 53-man roster last Monday. Brown had been added to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad on November 9th. The Giants originally signed Brown as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft.

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:

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

Nov 102019
 
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The Giants found their destiny.

NEW YORK JETS 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 27…
In a crapfest game to determine which team is the worst in New Jersey, the New York Giants earned that “honor” by falling to the New York Jets 34-27 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Giants have lost six games in a row and are now 2-8 on the season.

The Giants quickly fell behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter. The Jets drove the ball the length of the field on their opening drive, going 75 yards in 13 plays and finishing with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Darnold. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Jets marched 50 yards in nine plays with Darnold throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

The Giants got back into the game in the 2nd quarter. The team drove 75 yards in eight plays on their second drive of the game, aided by a 15-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-10. The possession ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton. After forcing a punt by the Jets, the Giants scored again. On 4th-and-4 from the Jets’ 39-yard line, Jones hit Slayton over the middle on play that went the distance for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the extra point attempt was botched. Jets 14 – Giants 13.

Neither team scored the rest of the half. The Jets went three-and-out. At the 2-minute warning, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 39-yard line. Jones was stuffed, turning the ball over on downs. However, the Jets could not take advantage of the Giants’ futility as they failed to pick up a first down and then missed the 54-yard field goal attempt. The Giants then went three-and-out and the half ended.

The Giants received the ball to start the 3rd quarter, but that ended with disaster when on the third play, safety Jamal Adams ripped the ball out of Daniel Jones’ hands and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Jets 21 – Giants 13.

The Giants quickly cut into that lead. On 3rd-and-9, Jones threw a screen pass to wide receiver Golden Tate who broke the play for a 61-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty on Tate. Place kicker Aldrick Rosas then missed the extra point. Jets 21 – Giants 19.

For a brief moment, it looked like the Giants may pull the game out. The defense forced a three-and-out. The offense then drove 64 yards in nine plays, with Jones throwing his fourth touchdown of the game, this one from 15 yards out to Tate on 3rd-and-3. The 2-point conversion attempt to wide receiver Bennie Fowler succeeded and the Giants were up for the first time on the day, 27-21.

The Giants’ defense started to falter again, first giving up a 9-play, 46-yard drive that ended with a 53-yard field goal. The Giants now led 27-24. Not to be outdone, the Giants’ offense now came up small, going three-and-out. It only took the Jets three plays to travel 70 yards, the big play being a 33-yard pass interference penalty called against cornerback Deandre Baker. On the next play, running back Le’Veon Bell scored from one yard out. The Jets were back up for good, 31-27.

The Giants picked up one first down and then punted on 4th-and-2 from their own 44-yard line. Aided by a 47-pass play, the Jets got into field goal range and extended their lead to 34-27 on a 35-yard field goal with about seven and a half minutes remaining in the game.

Again, the Giants picked up one first down but were forced to punt. The Jets went three-and-out and the Giants got the ball back at their 12-yard line with 4:17 left to go. Pass protection was eroding and the Giants went three-and-out, punting on 4th-and-19 from their own 3-yard line. The Jets did not pick up a first down, but by the time the Giants got the ball back, there was only 18 seconds left in the game. The game ended with a fumble by Tate.

Offensively, Jones was 26-of-40 for 308 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with just 20 yards. Jones’ fumble led to a defensive touchdown and he was sacked SIX times and hit 10 times. Running back Saquon Barkley was held to ONE yard rushing on 13 carries as the Giants only rushed for 23 yards as a team. Jones’ leading target was Slayton, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense allowed 27 points (three touchdowns, two interceptions) to a team that had struggled to score most of the season. The Jets rushed for 76 net yards and passed for 218 net yards. Nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and linebacker Markus Golden picked up sacks. But the defense did not force a turnover.

On special teams, the Giants failed on two extra point attempts.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the Giants were WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), QB Alex Tanney, OT/OG Chad Slade, and LB Chris Peace.

Left tackle Nate Solder and cornerback Janoris Jenkins both left the game with concussions.

EVAN BROWN ADDED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, OLSEN PIERRE WAIVED…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed center Evan Brown from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Brown on the 53-man roster, the team waived defensive end Olsen Pierre.

The Giants originally signed Brown as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. While he made the team, Brown was never on the active, game-day roster in 2018. Brown has experience at guard and center.

The Giants signed Pierre as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2019. The 6’5”, 293-pound Pierre originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Chicago Bears after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Bears cut him in August 2015 and he then signed with the Cardinals. In three seasons with the Cardinals, Pierre has played in 24 games with eight starts, accruing 42 tackles and 5.5 sacks. This year, Olsen played in nine games with the Giants with no starts, being credited with eight tackles and two sacks.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Monday. Select players will be available to the media on Tuesday.

Nov 062019
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (September 8, 2019)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 6, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion protocol), tight end Evan Engram (foot), and center Jon Halapio (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday.

“Evan Engram has a mid-foot sprain,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s in a boot. We’ll just take him day to day, week to week, see where he goes. Halapio has a hamstring, and then Sterling Shepard did not participate today. He’s getting further evaluated for that concussion being that he’s in the protocol.”

“It’s a low-grade foot sprain,” said Engram. “It could be a lot worse, I guess around the Lisfranc area, I don’t know all the details. I just have to go with the routine, roll with the punches. (I have to) trust the training staff, we are going to be ready and good to go and just attack treatment each and every day.”

When asked if the injury was a Lisfranc injury, Engram responded, “No, that was the worry, that there was a real severe injury there. It’s not that bad. I don’t know all the medical terms, but it could be a lot worse… we’ll take it this week and we have the bye week next week and see where we are.”

Right tackle Mike Remmers (back) was limited.

GIANTS ADD SAM BEAL TO 53-MAN ROSTER, CUT SEAN CHANDLER…
On Tuesday, the Giants added cornerback Sam Beal to the 53-man roster. Beal had been on Injured Reserve for the first nine games of the season with a hamstring injury. To make room for Beal, the team waived safety Sean Chandler. The Giants also terminated the Practice Squad contract of left-footed punter Sean Smith.

The Giants placed Beal on Injured Reserve in September 2019 with hamstring and groin injuries. The Giants selected Beal in the 3rd round of the Supplemental Draft in July 2018. He missed all of his rookie season when he was placed on Injured Reserve in July 2018 with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

The Giants signed Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. Chandler made the team and played in all 16 games with no starts. He finished the year with 18 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass defense. This year, Chandler played in all nine games with no starts, accruing just five tackles.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.

Oct 272019
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT LIONS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 26…
The New York Giants lost their fourth game in a row, falling to 2-6 on the season, with their 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday. On the plus side for the Giants, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had a strong performance, throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns.

The game started off in sloppy fashion. New York’s initial drive ended with a punt. The Lions responded by gaining 47 yards and moving to the Giants’ 40-yard line before cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked off an errant deep throw from quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, three plays later, Jones was hit as he attempted a throw to the flat to running back Saquon Barkley. The errant pass was ruled a lateral and returned for a touchdown by former Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

After a three-and-out on New York’s third “drive,” the Lions appeared to take command of the game by driving 71 yards in six plays, culminating with a 49-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open wide receiver Marvin Hall. Detroit now led 14-0.

The Giants got back into the game early in the second quarter on their fourth possession with a 10-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jones to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton. After the Lions missed a 53-yard field goal, the Giants tightened the game even further with an 8-play, 57-yard effort that finished with another touchdown pass from Jones to Slayton, this one from 28 yards out on 3rd-and-7. However, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point and the Giants trailed 14-13.

Unfortunately for New York, the Lions were able to extend their lead before halftime. After it had appeared the Giants had stopped Detroit near midfield, linebacker David Mayo was flagged with a bogus running-into-the-kicker penalty on 4th-and-4. This kept alive a 14-play, 41-yard drive that ended with a 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. The Giants returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and might have had a shot at a long field goal, but Slayton dropped a deep pass from Jones.

At the half, the Lions led 17-13.

The Lions once again appeared to take command of the game on their initial possession of the second half, driving 75 yards in 10 plays with Stafford throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Lions 24 – Giants 13.

To New York’s credit, the team responsed with a 10-play, 78-yard effort of their own, with Jones throwing his third touchdown of the day, this one for two yards to tight end Evan Engram on 3rd-and-goal. However, the 2-point conversion failed. Lions 24 – Giants 19.

The Giants’ defense forced their first three-and-out of the day on Detroit’s second drive of the half. The Giants could not take advantage of the opportunity and punted the ball away as well. The Lions made the Giants pay by easily driving 80 yards in five plays, scoring on a 41-yard flea flicker from Stafford to Golladay. With just over 12 minutes to play, the Lions now led 31-19.

The Giants gained 52 yards in 11 plays on the ensuing drive but turned the ball over on downs at the Detroit 39-yard line with 6:25 left in the game. New York received a faint glimmer of hope when safety Jabrill Peppers forced Golladay to fumble, with safety Antoine Bethea recovering at the Detroit 38-yard line. However, the Giants once gain turned the ball over on downs, this time at the Detroit 14-yard line with 3:27 left to play.

After a three-and-out by the Lions, the Giants made things a little bit interesting by driving 50 yards in four plays with Jones throwing his fourth touchdown of the game, this one a 4-yarder to running back Saquon Barkley. With just over a minute left to play, the Giants onside attempt went out of bounds, effectively ending the game.

Offensively, the Giants gained 24 first downs and 370 net yards. Jones finished 28-of-41 for 322 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 124.2 quarterback rating. His leading targets were wide receiver Golden Tate (8 catches for 85 yards) and Barkley (8 catches for 79 yards). Barkley only rushed for 64 yards on 19 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 17 first downs and 375 net yards, 316 of which came through the air. The Lions were 8-of-14 (57 percent) on 3rd-down conversions. The Giants did sack Stafford four times, with cornerback Grant Haley, linebacker Markus Golden, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson all picking up sacks. The Giants forced two turnovers, the interception by Jenkins and the forced fumble by Peppers.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, OT Eric Smith, OT/OG Chad Slade, LB Tae Davis, and LB Devante Downs were inactive.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • WR Golden Tate (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • CB Deandre Baker (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)
  • S Antoine Bethea (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.