Oct 022019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

OCTOBER 2, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), right guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), and linebacker Alec Ogletree (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday.

Barkley appears ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from his high ankle sprain as he was spotted doing light running and change of direction maneuvers on the sidelines at practice. Cornerback Sam Beal, who is currently on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury, was spotted running sprints. He is eligible to return to practice after the sixth game.

Running back Wayne Gallman (neck), left tackle Nate Solder (neck), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (neck), and linebacker Tae Davis (concussion) were limited in practice.

“We have a bunch of guys here that this time of year, it’s just game soreness. I’m not really concerned about… I guess Zeitler’s on here and Lorenzo Carter,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Tae Davis is coming back. He had a good day today, considered a non-contact day in the (concussion protocol), obviously. Wayne Gallman, Nate (Solder). Just game soreness stuff. This time of year, it kind of creeps up. By the end of the week, most, if not all, of these guys will be ready to go. This is a tough team.

“(Barkley is) progressing… Some people’s doctors had him (out for) eight weeks. Not my doctors… I don’t know yet (if he can play this weekend)… He said he felt good.”

JANORIS JENKINS NAMED “NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been named “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” for his performance last Sunday against the Washington Redskins. In that game, Jenkins was credited with four tackles, three pass defenses, and two interceptions.

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.

Sep 292019
 
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Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 24 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS 3…
In a sloppy game filled with eight turnovers, the New York Giants soundly defeated the Washington Redskins 24-3 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 2-2. However, the victory came with a cost, as linebackers Ryan Connelly (knee) and Lorenzo Carter (neck) left the game with injuries. Connelly’s injury appears serious, possibly a season-ending ACL tear.

New York took control of the game from the beginning of the contest. On Washington’s third snap of the game, Connelly intercepted quarterback Case Keenum and returned the ball five yards to the Redskins’ 32-yard line. After picking up 15 yards on 3rd-and-17, the Giants decided to go for it on 4th-and-2 from the 24-yard line. Quarterback Daniel Jones completed a 5-yard pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard for the first down. Three plays later, Jones and Shepard converted again on 3rd-and-6. The drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jones to running back Wayne Gallman, who was starting for the injured Saquon Barkley.

The Giants defense forced a punt on Washington’s second possession. New York then drove the field, going 94 yards in 13 plays to go up 14-0 early in the second quarter. The drive was fortunately kept alive by a defensive holding penalty after Jones was sacked on 3rd-and-9. The Giants gained 23 yards on a pass to Shepard and 22 yards on a run by Gallman. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Gallman as well.

Washington went three-and-out on their third and fourth possessions, but the Giants’ momentum stuttered when Jones threw two back-to-back interceptions. The second set up the Redskins at the New York 37-yard line with rookie Dwayne Haskins now entering the game for Washington at quarterback. The Redskins gained just 34 yards in 11 plays and settled for a 21-yard field goal after facing a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Jones and the Giants responded with just over two minutes to go before halftime with a 10-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal to once again extend the lead by two touchdowns, 17-3. The big plays on the drive were a 31-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram and a 20-yard pass to Gallman on 2nd-and-20.

Neither team scored an offensive point in the second half, while the Giants added to their advantage with a defensive score. Both teams punted to start the third quarter. The Giants then drove from their own 40-yard line to the Redskins’ 5-yard line. But on 2nd-and-goal, running back Jon Hilliman fumbled the ball away at the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Haskins threw an interception to safety Jabrill Peppers that was returned 32 yards for a touchdown and a 24-3 lead.

After both teams punted again early in the fourth quarter, the Giants forced another turnover when Haskins threw his second interception, this time to cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a deep ball down the right sideline. Both teams then exchanged punts again. With under five minutes to play, Gallman fumbled the ball away when the Giants were attempting to run out the clock. Washington gave it right back with Haskins’ third interception, and second by Jenkins, this time off of a tipped ball. New York then successfully ran out the clock to seal the win.

Offensively, the Giants generated 24 first downs and 389 yards, but turned the ball over four times. Jones completed 23-of-31 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He also rushed for 33 yards on five carries. His leading targets were Shepard (7 catches for 76 yards) and Gallman (6 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown). Gallman carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards and a touchdown; Hilliman gained 33 yards on 10 carries.

Defensively, the Giants only allowed eight first downs and 176 yards of total offense (55 rushing, 121 passing). The defense intercepted four passes, two by Jenkins, one by Connelly, and one by Peppers for a touchdown. The Giants also accrued three sacks, one by Connelly and half-sacks by linebacker Oshane Ximines, linebacker Markus Golden, nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, and linebacker Tuzar Skipper.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring), LB Tae Davis (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, TE Kaden Smith, OT Eric Smith, and OT/OG Chad Slade were inactive.

LB Ryan Connelly (knee) and LB Lorezno Carter (neck) left the game with injuries 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:

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.

Sep 272019
 
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Jon Hilliman, New York Giants (August 16, 2019)

Jon Hilliman – © USA TODAY Sports

JON HILLIMAN SIGNED TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
On Thursday, the New York Giants signed running back Jonathan Hilliman to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Hilliman, the team placed wide receiver Russell Shepard (foot) on Injured Reserve.

The Giants originally signed Hilliman as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. This year, Shepard played in all three games, catching three passes for 25 yards. Shepard was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Eagles (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-2016), and Carolina Panthers (2017). The Giants signed Shepard in May 2018 after he was cut by the Panthers. He ended up playing in 12 games in 2018, with no starts, catching 12 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), linebacker Alec Ogletree (hamstring), and linebacker Tae Davis (concussion) did not practice on Friday. All three players have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

Wide receiver Bennie Fowler (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis, but he he is expected to play on Sunday.

Wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion), defensive end Olsen Pierre (knee), and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (elbow) fully practiced. All three players are expected to play.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Sep 202019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Cody Latimer (concussion) did not practice on Friday and has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wide receiver Bennie Fowler (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis and is officially “questionable” for the game.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), tight end Garrett Dickerson (quad), right guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), and cornerback Grant Haley (illness) fully practiced. All five are expected to play on Sunday.

“(Slayton) had a good week of practice,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “There’s a really good chance that he’ll be available.”

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…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • WR T.J. Jones (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. They play an away game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Sep 152019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO BILLS 28 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The simply dreadful New York Giants were soundly defeated by the Buffalo Bills 28-14 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants are 0-2 for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

The game was eerily reminiscent of last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys as the Giants started off the contest on fire. Without attempting a pass, the Giants drove 75 yards in five plays to quickly go up 7-0. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 55 of those yards on four carries, including the 27-yard touchdown gallop for the score. The Giants also forced a three-and-out on defense, sacking quarterback Josh Allen in the process.

The game then quickly turned. The Giants went-three-and-out and the Bills tied the game at 7-7 after driving 75 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. Allen ran around right end for the 6-yard score. The Giants went three-and-out again and the Bills followed that up an 11-play, 70-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Devin Singletary. On this possession, Buffalo converted on 3rd-and-10, 3rd-and-5, and 3rd-and-10. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Giants had four incompletions and zero passing yards in the first quarter.

The nail in the coffin came on the subsequent Bills’ possession after New York’s third punt in a row. Reserve corner Antonio Hamilton and receiver Cody Core combined to down the punt at the Buffalo 2-yard line. But it took the Bills just seven plays to move 98 yards and go up 21-7. While the entire defense was struggling, the Bills in particular targeted rookie cornerback Deandre Baker with great success throughout the first half.

The Giants finally began moving the ball again on their fifth drive of the game, gaining 57 yards on 14 plays. However, after a dropped 3rd-down pass by Bennie Fowler, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed a 48-yard field goal.

With less than two minutes to play before halftime, the Giants forced a three-and-out by the Bills. Receiver T.J. Jones returned the ensuing punt 60 yards to the Bills’ 33-yard line with 1:15 to go. However, quarterback Eli Manning’s second pass after the punt return was tipped and intercepted. At the half, the Bills led 21-7.

The New York defense tightened up in the second half, but the offense simply could not get untracked. The Bills went three-and-out to start the second half as defensive end Olsen Pierre sacked Allen on 3rd-and-7. An 8-play drive by the Giants sputtered when Manning was sacked on 3rd-and-12 in Bills’ territory.

After two punts by the Bills and one by the Giants, the Giants cut the score to 21-14 early in the 4th quarter after a 12-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Jones. The Giants had converted on 4th-and-2 just prior to this when Manning threw a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer.

The Bills responded to this challenge with a killer 13-play, 75-yard drive that took over six minutes off of the clock. It looked like the Giants had forced the Bills to settle for a successful 21-yard field goal, but defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence was flagged with a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on the kick. Two plays later, the Bills scored from one yard out, making the score 28-14 with 5:53 left to play.

After picking up one first down, Manning’s next four passes were incomplete and the Giants turned the ball over on downs at their own 42-yard line. However, the Bills hardly took any time off of the clock and the Giants got the ball back with 4:39 to play. Four players later, Manning was intercepted again. Buffalo killed all but 26 seconds off of the clock. Manning padded his stats with three meaningless completions and the game ended.

Manning was 26-of-45 for just 250 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His leading receivers were tight end Evan Engram (6 catches for 48 yards) and Fowler (5 catches for 51 yards). Barkley carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, but 55 of those yards came on the opening drive. The offense was 3-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-2 on 4th down.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 24 first downs, 388 total net yards (151 rushing, 237 passing). For the second game in a row, the defense did not force a turnover. The Giants did accrue three sacks however: Markus Golden (1), Olsen Pierre (1), Lorenzo Carter (0.5), and Oshane Ximines (0.5).

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion0, WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), TE Garrett Dickerson (quad), QB Alex Tanney, RB Paul Perkins, OG/OT Chad Slade, and OT Eric Smith were inactive.

WR Cody Latimer left the game with a concussion 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 fell to 0-2 for the third season in row and fifth time in six years.

The Giants lost their third consecutive home opener, including a 3-7 record at MetLife.

The Giants were the first team to throw for more than 210 yards against Buffalo’s top-ranked (in 2018) pass defense since New England threw for 324 yards last October 29th.

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

Sep 112019
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 8, 2019)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants claimed linebacker Tuzar Skipper off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. The 24-year old, 6’3”, 246-pound Skipper was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. Skipper had five sacks, seven quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles in four preseason games.

“We’re going to get him out there,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur of Skipper. “He’s a pass rusher, edge pressure guy. Edge player… so he’ll play.”

Although not official, there are also media reports that the Giants will place linebacker Kareem Martin (knee) on Injured Reserve and re-sign wide receiver T.J. Jones.

The Giants signed Martin as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2018. Though not a standout, 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. Martin injured his knee in the season opener against Dallas.

The 6’0”, 190-pound Jones was originally drafted in the 6th-round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In four seasons with the Lions, Jones played in 42 regular-season games with nine starts, catching 64 passes for 814 yards and four touchdowns. The Giants signed Jones in July 2019 and cut him at the end of August.

The team also cut running back Rod Smith, wide receiver Brittan Golden, tight end Scott Simonson, offensive tackle Chad Wheeler, offensive guard Victor Salako, and linebacker Jonathan Anderson from Injured Reserve with injury settlements. Even if interested, the Giants are ineligible to re-sign any of these players for six weeks. However, other teams can sign them now.

The 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.The Giants signed Smith as an unrestricted free agent in May 2019. 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.

The 5’11, 186-pound Golden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chicago Bears after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2012 and 2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2012), and Arizona Cardinals (2013-2017). The Giants signed Golden to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019.

Simonson had his best season in 2018 after being signed by the Giants in June 2018. Simonson played in all 16 games with four starts, finishing with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. The 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 34 regular-season games with five starts. He had one catch in his NFL career before 2018.

Wheeler was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. Not only did he make the team, but he ended up playing in 11 games with four starts, three at right tackle and one at left tackle. In his second season with the Giants in 2018, Wheeler was promoted to the starter at right tackle when the team decided to bench Ereck Flowers after the second game. Wheeler ended up starting 14 games at right tackle. 

The Giants claimed Salako off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns in August 2018 and then signed him to the Practice Squad in September. The 6’5”, 316-pound Salako was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Practice Squads of both the Eagles and Browns in 2017.

The 6’1”, 237-pound Anderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chicago Bears after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2015-2017) and Arizona Cardinals (2018). The Giants signed Anderson to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), tight end Garrett Dickerson (quad), and linebacker Kareem Martin (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

“Kareem Martin, that will be an extended deal probably,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Weeks more than days. Then (Shepard) is in the concussion protocol. Those are the two that are probably the biggest right now.”

Right guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (shoulder), and linebacker Markus Golden (hip) were limited in practice.

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

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

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

Sep 052019
 
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James Bettcher, New York Giants (August 16, 2019)

James Bettcher – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Darius Slayton (hamstring) and TE Garrett Dickerson (quad) did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Mike Remmers (illness/back) was “limited” in practice.

LB Nate Stupar (concussion) and CB Antonio Hamilton (adductor) fully practiced.

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…
The New York Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jul 262019
 
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Oshane Ximines and C.J. Conrad, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Oshane Ximines and C.J. Conrad – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 26, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their second full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – COREY COLEMAN TEARS ACL…
Wide receivers Corey Coleman (knee), Darius Slayton (hamstring), and Alex Wesley (PUP List – unknown) did not practice on Friday. Neither did tight end Evan Engram (“managing his workload”).

The Giants announced that Coleman tore his ACL in practice on Thursday. “Corey Coleman unfortunately hurt his knee yesterday, so we’ll just have to see where it goes for him,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I feel bad for the guy because he’s worked really hard… So most likely (he will be lost for the season)… He’ll go through the process. He’ll get second opinions and all that stuff… He was a guy that had a chance to be in there and compete to either start or have a role.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (fractured thumb) was limited in practice, not catching any passes. “(Shepard will) be back soon,” said Shurmur. “It’s the tip of his thumb. He’ll be out there running around today. I’m not concerned about that one at all… no surgery.”

Linebacker Markus Golden (cramps), cornerback Grant Haley (cramps), and wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) left practice early.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • George Asafo-Adjei and Chad Wheeler received some first-team reps at offensive tackle.
  • S Michael Thomas sacked QB Daniel Jones on a blitz.
  • QB Daniel Jones started 5-of-6 during 11-on-11 drills.
  • CB Ronald Zamort made a nice diving break-up of a pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • CB Grant Haley made a leaping interception off a QB Kyle Lauletta pass tipped by CB Corey Ballentine, who also tipped away another pass from QB Alex Tanney.
  • LB Tae Davis saw a lot of reps with the first-team nickel defense, along with LB Alec Ogletree.
  • LB Ryan Connelly, WR Reggie White Jr., and S Sean Chandler received praise from Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
  • QB Daniel Jones threw a nice deep pass to WR Russell Shepard, who made a fingertip grab for a touchdown, beating CB Julian Love. Jones finished 11-of-13 with eight straight completions.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a nice deep sideline pass to WR Golden Tate over CB Julian Love.
  • LB Oshane Ximines “sacked” QB Daniel Jones off a rollout.
  • WR Brittan Golden scored a long touchdown, but was injured on the play and left the field after being knocked over by CB Antonio Hamilton.
  • WR Russell Shepard had an active day catching the football from QB Daniel Jones.
  • LB Lorenzo Carter flashed in run defense (setting the edge) and as a blitzer (with a “sack”).
  • Julian Love saw reps at nickel corner with both the first- and second-teams. He also played safety with the second-team defense.

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The transcript of Dave Gettleman’s press conference on Friday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

Jul 092019
 
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Deandre Baker and Julian Love, New York Giants (June 5, 2019)

Deandre Baker and Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: In just three seasons, the Giants went from having one of the best secondaries in the NFL in 2016 to one of the worst in 2018. Three Giants were named to the All-Pro team in 2016. In 2018, the Giants had arguably the worst starting free safety (Curtis Riley) and worst starting cornerback (B.W. Webb) in the League. For the second year in a row, overrated strong safety Landon Collins could not replicate his 2016 performance and finished the year on Injured Reserve. The best player in the secondary, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, gave up too many big plays. The Giants decided they had seen enough of top-10 draft pick Eli Apple and traded him in October to the Saints.

The rest of the unit was manned by players such as Grant Haley, Antonio Hamilton, Tony Lippett, Donte Deayon (waived in October), Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler, Kenny Ladler, and Kamrin Moore. Who? Most fans never heard of any of these guys before 2018. In a way, encumbered with one of the worst pass rush units in the NFL, it’s a minor miracle that the secondary was not more abused than it actually was. The Giants finished 23rd in pass defense.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants re-signed cornerbacks Tony Lippett and Antonio Hamilton in free agency as well as Practice Squad cornerback Ronald Zamort. Landon Collins signed a huge, 6-year, $84 million contract with the Washington Redskins. Curtis Riley signed with the Oakland Raiders and B.W. Webb signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Giants obtained safety Jabrill Peppers in a trade from the Cleveland Browns. They signed safety Antoine Bethea after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals. Street free agent cornerback Henre’ Toliver was also signed.

The Giants selected cornerbacks Deandre Baker (1st round), Julian Love (4th round), and Corey Ballentine (6th round) in the 2019 NFL Draft. Rookie free agents safety Tenny Adewusi, safety Jacob Thieneman, linebacker/safety Jake Carlock, and linebacker/safety Mark McLaurin were all signed after the draft. Thieneman has since been waived due to an injury.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The Giants have almost completely revamped their secondary. Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea replace Landon Collins and Curtis Riley as the starting safeties. 2018 3rd-round Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal, who missed his rookie season due to an injury, as well as three 2019 draft picks will have the inside track at making the roster at cornerback. Deandre Baker has already been moved into the starting line-up. Aside from Bethea, Jenkins, and reserve safety Michael Thomas, this is a very young group.

On paper, the Giants are better set at cornerback. Jenkins and Baker should be one of the better starting cornerback duos in the NFL. By all accounts, Baker was one of the most impressive newcomers during Spring workouts. Both will be pressed by Julian Love and Sam Beal. Perhaps the best battle will be for the starting nickel corner spot between Grant Haley and Julian Love.

Safety is a bit more unsettled. Jabrill Peppers played much better during his second year in Cleveland and the belief is that Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher sees him as a cornerstone to the team’s rebuilt defense and will employ him in a variety of ways to take advantage of his physical attributes. Bethea turns 35 in July and is obviously nearing the end. But he will provide leadership and inside knowledge on Bettcher’s schemes, making sure everyone is lined up properly. Depth at safety is a concern as there are no clear up-and-coming players behind the starting two.

Keep in mind that both defensive backs coaches are new with Everett Withers and Henry Baker coming from the collegiate ranks.

ON THE BUBBLE: As I discussed in my linebacker preview, the Giants may view some of these players as hybrid linebackers/safeties such as Jake Carlock and Mark McLaurin. So one of these guys could make the roster as a “linebacker.”

The Giants are likely to carry 9, 10, or 11 defensive backs. Some think Janoris Jenkins could be traded. My belief is that Jenkins, Deandre Baker, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Jabrill Peppers, and Antoine Bethea are the sure bets to make the team. Others with a good shot are Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, and Michael Thomas, but they are not completely safe. Everyone else is on the bubble.

FROM THE COACHES: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on Deandre Baker: “He has been (making plays) on a pretty steady basis. I think he has made a play or two at each practice. Again, just learning how to compete at this level. Unfortunately, you can’t do a whole bunch of bump-and-run and press coverage, so the corners are at a little bit of a disadvantage. However, you need to learn to play off and for him to be able to make plays in those situations is good.”

Shurmur on Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea: “They are doing a good job. You saw Antoine had an interception today. They communicate extremely well. They are very strong guys. Typically, one guy takes the lead on that, but they both can do it. When I watch, they are getting us in the right coverages and pressures. They are in the right spots and trying to play the techniques within the defenses that are called. That is the thing that you can work on this time of year defensively. All the communication. We are really pleased with where they are. It is only going to get better.”

Shurmur on Jabrill Peppers: “He has a very charismatic personality and he loves to play the game. He picked up quickly what we were doing on defense well and he is extremely smart. He is very tough and very competitive. When you see guys like that on the field, you feel their presence immediately. He got to it quickly… He is very vocal. Sometimes you don’t have to be very vocal and you can be a leader. You can look to him and see that he has that about him. He has a great presence. If you are around him on a day-to-day basis, you can see that he will quickly become one of the guys where you say, ‘OK, he’s got it.’ He loves playing football and has a lot of fun doing it and a lot of fun competing. I think that is part of his charm and what makes him special. He is so darn competitive. It shows up naturally.”

Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Jabrill Peppers: “Jabrill is a highly talented and ascending player in this league. A guy that has the flexibility to play strong safety and could come down in the box and play some money. He is a really talented blitzer and when you watched his tape in Cleveland, you saw all the different roles he played. You saw snaps where he plays nickel, high in the middle of the field, high and outside, where he plays down low. A guy that has a lot of versatility. A guy that when he learns this system, he is going to have a lot of fun playing in this system… I flew from Arizona to Michigan and spent a bunch of time with him when he was coming out (in the draft). I thought he was a dynamic kid and the people that were around him loved him. I got multiple texts from coaches that worked with him in Cleveland and it was not something I asked for, this was after we traded for him and they said that we were going to love him. He is going to work exceptionally hard and is going to be about what it is supposed to be about. You see him out here, we are doing stuff against the air and he is moving, sliding and running around. He is in a stance and sometimes you want to be like, slow down, this is on air. He is exciting.”

Bettcher on Antoine Bethea: “We have a chance to add Antoine Bethea, a guy who is one of the highest character players I have ever been around, smart, intelligent and an unbelievable leader. As you have an opportunity to wrap your hands around him and embrace him a little bit, you will see what I am talking about with him. I was talking to him the other day and I was joking with him telling him that as time goes on, I get more gray hair. As time goes on, he gets younger. That is just when you see his play, that is what it has been. The years in the league have progressed for him. He has played fast and played young. That what impresses me about him.”

Bettcher on Deandre Baker: “The thing I would say about Baker is that he played in a very, very tough league. We all know how long it was before he gave up a touchdown pass. He competed and covered some of the best players that have come out of that league on offense. His tape speaks for itself. One of the best, if not the best, tackling corner in the draft, period. Excited to have him. He did an outstanding job at camp this past week.”

Bettcher on Janoris Jenkins: “Janoris has been not great but unbelievable with our young guys. He has had great, teachable moments where as a coach you just have to let it go. You are starting to go coach the young guys and he is already on it. I see the ownership in year two that he is starting to take with those guys. It is outstanding and it is going to help us be a better defense and not just those guys be better players themselves.”

Bettcher on Julian Love: “Naturally, he is a nickel. What is the second position, is he a safety or a corner? Time tells with that and more reps tell us that. You have to be smart and pretty intelligent like he is to be able to handle that.”

Defensive Backs Coach Everett Withers on his cornerbacks: “It is exciting when you bring in all these young men. That is the biggest thing. Talented guys that can play. We are adding Sam Beal into the mix too. You take a guy like Janoris Jenkins, a guy that has been in the league for 10 years and look at him more as an assistant coach. He has taken that role so far this offseason and has done a really good job.”

Withers on Janoris Jenkins: “I think when he is in the meetings, he has such a vast amount of experience in this league that he can help guys not only schematically but understanding the game, splits of receivers and those things. He has done a really good job in the meeting rooms and on the field so far… He has been awesome.”

Withers on Jabrill Peppers: “I am excited. He has a lot of ability and does a lot of things. Our role right now is to try and help Jabrill schematically. Help him grow into what we do and add things into his playbook. He is a guy that comes to work everyday with a lot of energy. He has been really fun to watch so far.”

Withers on Deandre Baker: “He is a really talented guy. When you watch his tape, he is a guy with a lot of competitive experience. To have another guy over there next to Janoris, he is talented enough to go over there and be a factor over there opposite Janoris.”

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey on Jabrill Peppers: “High energy, the guy is a for sure ball handler. Can make all the cuts full speed. He just brings juice. I’ve known the kid since he was 16 years old. I recruited him when I was at LSU. Jabrill is a special athlete. He can do anything – run the football, catch the football, whatever. He’s just a great athlete.”

PREDICTIONS: The guy who is flying under the radar is Deandre Baker. Keep in mind that despite drafting him late in the first round, he was the first cornerback selected in the draft. In other words, the Giants believe he was the best corner in this draft class. Thus far, he has not disappointed. Baker has the look of an old school, aggressive, physical corner who likes to mix it up both against the run and the pass. Janoris Jenkins has always done better when his team is playing better. I expect him to regain his 2016 All-Pro form as long as he stays healthy. Grant Haley remained the first-team nickel throughout the Spring practices. However, it is difficult to see him holding off Julian Love for long. Love may lack ideal long speed, but he a smart, aggressive player who makes plays on the football. Sam Beal provides quality depth provided he is over his shoulder issues.

The Giants also look to be upgraded at safety. Landon Collins was not as good as advertised. Most Giants fans know he had issues in coverage. He never regained his 2016 form. Curtis Riley was a train wreck at free safety. James Bettcher insists that Antoine Bethea can still play. At the very least, the team is already thrilled with the leadership and guidance he is providing. He’s like having a coach on the field. The real question mark here is what is Jabrill Peppers’ upside? Is he another one of those better-athlete-than-player types or is he about to experience his breakout season in his third year? It’s obvious the Giants are going to use him in a variety of ways, moving him around quite a bit and even have him blitz. The good news, again, is his attitude. The team is thrilled with his character. Depth at safety is a concern. Michael Thomas is a solid reserve/special teams type who also provides a good locker room presence. But it would be great if one of the young safeties came out of nowhere to surprise.

Don’t be surprised to see the Giants play with a lot of five and six defensive back packages throughout the year. Because of that, I would not be shocked to see the team keep as many as 11 defensive backs. Special teams will also be a big factor in deciding who stays and could help a guy like Antonio Hamilton.

This secondary has a chance to be very good for a number of years.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Janoris Jenkins, Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Julian Love, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler

May 232019
 
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Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, New York Giants (May 20, 2019)

Eli Manning and Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

OTA PRACTICE #3 COMPLETE…
The Giants held their third voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Thursday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

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

Video highlights are also available from Giants.com.

The seven remaining OTA practices will be held on May 28-29, 31, and June 10-13. A mandatory mini-camp will also be held June 4-6.

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