Mar 162022
 
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Jarren Williams, New York Giants (January 2, 2022)

Jarren Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN JARREN WILLIAMS AND CASEY KREITER…
The Giants have re-signed exclusive rights free agent cornerback Jarren Williams and unrestricted free agent long snapper Casey Kreiter.

The Giants signed Williams to the Practice Squad in late September 2021 and the 53-man roster in December. He ended up playing in six games with two starts (49 percent of snaps in those games) and finished the season with 17 tackles and one pass defense. In the two games that he started, Williams impressed in one and struggled in the other. Williams was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

The Giants signed long snapper Kreiter s an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April 2020. The 6’1”, 250-pound Kreiter was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. After spending two camps with the Cowboys, Kreiter made the Denver Broncos in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl for his performance in 2018.

GIANTS DO NOT TENDER JAKE FROMM AND J.R. REED…
The Giants have not tendered quarterback Jake Fromm and safety J.R. Reed, both of whom were set to be an exclusive rights free agents on Wednesday. This means the team is unlikely to want to re-sign either.

The Giants signed Fromm to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills in late November 2021. Due to injuries to the other quarterbacks and the ineffective play of Mike Glennon, Fromm unbelievably was thrust into the starting line-up for two games and coming off the bench in a third. The results were not good, with Fromm completing 45 percent of his passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. He finished with a terrible 38.9 quarterback rating and was 0-2 as a starter. The 6’2”, 215-pound Fromm was originally drafted by the Bills in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Giants signed Reed off the Practice Squad of the Los Angeles Rams in late October 2021. He played in eight games with New York with no starts (10 percent of defensive snaps in those games) and was credited with 13 tackles. He saw extensive time in two mid-season games, playing poorly in one and better in the next. The 6’1”, 194-pound Reed was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Jaguars waived him in September 2020. Reed was then signed by the Rams, where he spent time on both their Practice Squad and 53-man roster. He has played in a total of 16 games, with no starts.

For an overall of the Giants’ free agency activity, see the New York Giants 2022 Free Agency Scorecard section of the website.

GIANTS OFFICIAL 2022 NFL DRAFT ORDER…
After the awarding of 39 compensatory picks to various NFL teams, the 2022 NFL Draft order has been officially established. (The Giants did not receive any compensatory picks for their 2021 free agent losses). The Giants have nine picks, as follows:

  • 1st Round (5, 5th overall)
  • 1st Round (7, 7th overall)
  • 2nd Round (4, 36th overall)
  • 3rd Round (3, 67th overall)
  • 3rd Round (17, 81st overall) (from Miami)
  • 4th Round (7, 112th overall) (from Chicago)
  • 5th Round (4, 147th overall)
  • 5th Round (30, 173rd overall) (from Baltimore)
  • 6th Round (3, 182nd)

MEDIA SESSION WITH JON FELICIANO…
The video of the media session with center/guard Jon Feliciano is available on YouTube.

Feliciano confirmed that the Giants will use him at center.

“I’ve been in a lot of people’s ears for a lot of years trying to get into the center position,” Feliciano said. “I honestly think it’s my best position, and I’m just really excited to finally get to show what I’ve got… It was definitely – I wanted to play center. There were other teams that were talking, and I believe in myself, and I believe that the center position is where I’ll be best. Thankfully, (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and (head coach Brian) Daboll agreed and we got it to work out.

“Going back to my Oakland days, I had a guy, Rodney Hudson, who’s a top-tier, one-two center, the last 10 years. I got to pick his brain and learn from him, and (former Raiders’ offensive line coach) Mike Tice, and (his assistant) Tim Holt, I took those four years of being a rotational guy, a backup guy, to learn a position that I didn’t play in college (Miami). In college, I played both tackles and then left guard.

“So, from those first four years I got to learn center and I really fell in love with it. Just the responsibility that is on your hands to come in every week and everything is basically on you. You’ve got to know the defense. You’ve got to make all the calls for the guys around you. I take a lot of pride in knowing that stuff.”

Dec 312021
 
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Darius Slayton, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 31, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The New York Giants practiced on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Not on the official injury list, but also not practicing due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List were WR Darius Slayton, OL Korey Cunningham, NT Danny Shelton, DE Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.

We’re still expecting Love back in the building on Sunday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Danny Shelton, we’ll see where he is in terms of the game. I wouldn’t rule him in or out at this point. We’ll see how he is and the trainers will deal with him.”

Not practicing were WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder), WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp up), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), and OL Billy Price (personal). Toney, Ross, and Johnson have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears; Price is “doubtful” for the game.

I know (Price) posted something on social media,” said Judge. “That’s his to disclose, that’s not mine to talk about. We fully support Billy, fully support Billy as an organization, him and his wife as just individuals and their family and what they’re going through right now. We left the door open to Billy in a lot of ways in terms of whatever he needs from us… He’s dealing with something that a lot of us have been blessed that we haven’t had to deal with. He’s going through something personally that we’ve got to make sure we account for and give him support as an organization, as a person. I wouldn’t fully rule him out at this moment, but he has not been at practice with us. He’s not been in-person in the meetings. The Zoom’s been available to him, but we’re letting him and his wife right now have the time they need and fully supporting him in what they’re going through.”

Limited in practice were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), TE Chris Myarick (hip), OT Nate Solder (COVID ramp up), OL Ben Bredeson (ankle), DL Austin Johnson (foot), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad/COVID ramp up), and CB Keion Crossen (COVID ramp up). Myarick, Solder, Johnson, and Jackson are “questionable” for the game. The rest are expected to play.

FB Cullen Gillaspia (shin), DL Raymond Johnson (illness), and PK Graham Gano (illness) fully practiced and are expected to play.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Bears in Chicago on Sunday.

Dec 202021
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (December 19, 2021)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

ROSTER MOVES – SEASON OVER FOR DANIEL JONES AND STERLING SHEPARD…
The New York Giants have placed QB Daniel Jones (neck) and WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles’ tendon) on Injured Reserve. The season is officially over for both players. Jones suffered the neck injury on November 28th against the Philadelphia Eagles and has missed the last three games. Shepard ruptured his Achilles’ tendon late in the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer Ronnie Barnes released the following statement on Jones: “Over the course of the past few weeks, Daniel has been examined by Dr. Frank Cammisa of Hospital for Special Surgery and Dr. Robert Watkins of the Marina Spine Center at Marina Del Rey Hospital. Our medical team has continued to consult with Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Watkins regarding Daniel’s condition and symptoms, and at this point, Daniel has not been cleared for contact. We felt the prudent decision was to place Daniel on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. With continued rest and treatment, we expect a full recovery.”

To fill these roster spots, the Giants signed LB Jaylon Smith and CB Jarren Williams to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, CB Keion Crossen was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

DECEMBER 20, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 21-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Opening Statement:I appreciate your patience. The organization has already released a statement most of you guys are aware of. Over the last few weeks, there have been a lot of discussions and conversations between the organization and the medical team concerning (Quarterback) Daniel Jones and his return to play. Over the last 24 hours, there has been a lot more conversation and based on the information from the medical team and their belief in a timetable for Daniel’s full recovery, and their belief with rest and treatment that he’ll return to full health, they deemed that the remainder of this season he should be shut down to give him that time to heal. I’ve been adamant in saying that with all the information we’ve been given from the doctors involved and the medical team that there is no, at this moment, concern for a long-term injury, that this is more of a precautionary measure to make sure it’s something that isn’t aggravated or agitated before it’s healed and it doesn’t turn into something as chronic or long-term. I’m not going to speak for Daniel on this in terms of how he feels. I think it’s clear that he’s a guy that always wants to be out there with the team. He’s very competitive, he’s a great leader on the team, a big team player. I’ll let him speak for himself in time. At this time, our concern is on Daniel’s health. He’s been doing a good job. He’s out there moving very functionally, but ultimately this is about making sure that his neck has a full recovery before we put him out there and before he’s cleared for contact. That being said, I’ll open up to any questions you have.

Q: Obviously, we have to move on at the quarterback position, so with (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm), how did you feel he looked yesterday? After talking to your staff and everything and after his evaluation, do you feel there’s a possibility that he starts Sunday? Is he going to be your guy?

A: We’re going to look at (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) and Jake throughout this week. We’ll watch Jake practice and we’ll make the decision going into the game. I’d say in terms of his performance yesterday in the game, obviously he came in at the end of the game, was able to move the offense, really give them a spark. Thought he moved the ball well, thought he made some good decisions, good sharp decisions. Showed good ball security in the pocket on the one he got hit on with the rush up the middle. Did a good job functioning within the operation. Thought he got the guys up to the line, got the call in, was able to navigate through the situation to put accurate passes on our receivers and give them a chance to make plays. Jake did enough to be in consideration. We’ll see how practice goes. Obviously, there’s a big difference between starting an entire NFL game and coming in at the end of the game when the team is playing more of a two-minute prevent mode. That’s not a knock on Jake, it’s just the reality and the truth. We’ll get Mike and Jake ready for this week and we’ll make the determination of who’s going to start at a later time.

Q: What’s the future right now – for Daniel Jones – look like in regards to anything he has to do? Is surgery an option? Does he just have to rest or is there anything else he can do at this point?

A: At this point, it’s just rest. It’s rest, it’s treatment, it’s continuing on with some of the rehab type of exercises he would do for it. This is really contact-based. There’s no surgery that’s even being talked about or mentioned at this point. Surgery is not an option at this point. There’s nothing that would lead us to believe that he would need surgery for this. It’s purely a timetable deal as far as this injury. Again, the medical team has been monitoring how the neck has progressed over the last few weeks. They didn’t think they saw enough progress to clear him for contact and with the time remaining in the season, they didn’t believe it was going to be the smartest move to put him out there. They didn’t think he would be fully healed within that timetable and the best thing for him right now is to start on having a full recovery with rest and treatment.

Q: You guys have been going, obviously, week-to-week with this, looking at scans, getting hopes up, then getting hopes down. Does this maybe help with some clarity for everybody? And can you just talk about maybe what a downer this is for you and for Daniel that your starting quarterback is going to miss the last six games of the season here?

A: Obviously, you want to have Daniel on the field. This is a guy that works hard. He’s obviously a key part of our team. He worked really hard in the offseason, made a lot of gains. Saw a lot of progress throughout different parts of the season with him. You want to get Daniel on the field. It’s a quarterback-driven league and obviously Daniel’s our quarterback. That being said, we’ve got to get all of the players ready to play. It’s a great opportunity for Mike and Jake to step up and help this team have success. In terms of the clarity part of the question, I don’t really think that’s been an issue. We’ve kind of planned accordingly internally and the players have gone ahead and responded the right way and kept on moving forward. In terms of any kind of clarity of preparation, I don’t think that’s been an issue at all.

Q: Just from the football perspective, you’re missing a big period of evaluation here on Daniel. You’ve got a decision on his fifth-year option coming this offseason. Have you seen enough to know that he’s your guy going forward?

A: Yeah, I’ve seen enough growth from Daniel to tell us that he’s a guy we want to go ahead and play with. In terms of the business aspect of it and different things, I’ll let different departments of this organization handle that stuff. I’ll coach the players. When it comes down to Daniel, our concern right now is getting him back and healthy, and getting him prepared for next year.

Q: After listening to you for the last three or four weeks, you’ve been talking about a strained neck. If you’re shutting him down for the season, it sounds like it’s more than a strained neck.

A: It’s a sprained neck and, again, I wouldn’t go ahead and put any diagnosis out there off of assumptions. I think that that would be irresponsible. I would just say the doctors who have dealt with him directly, who get paid a lot of money for their medical expertise, made the decision that he needs more time and that’s what we’re going to give him.

Q: I know you said that you’re confident that this isn’t going to be a long-term issue once it heals. Does that mean once it heals and he’s back on the field ostensibly in the fall next year that he will be in no danger of having a setback with it or it happening again?

A: That is the conversation we had this morning at length and we’ve had over the course of the past few weeks, but we had that conversation at length this morning. That’s a question I specifically asked repeatedly to make sure and from what I was told, that is the case, that this would not be an issue going forward if we give this time now to heal fully. This would not be something we have to worry about in the future at all. That’s what I was told.

Q: Obviously, the quarterback situation is something we’ve covered and will continue to cover this week. You guys have another COVID-positive today or at least (Defensive Back) Keion Crossen was placed on the list. You made two signings with (Linebacker) Jaylon (Smith) and (Cornerback) Jarren (Williams). Do you anticipate kind of an upside-down week the same way you did last week? How are you guys handling this moving forward knowing that there are a lot of moving pieces still and a lot of things up in the air?

A: I think we’re just used to the moving pieces. We just go ahead and we get everybody ready, and that kind of helps you with the adjustments you have to make. We don’t get so locked into it has to be this guy or this guy and then when one of those two are removed, all of a sudden you’re in disarray. That’s not really how we operate around here. We’re getting everybody ready. Not having Keion, obviously, that’s a player we want to have for his roles in the kicking game and also on defense for depth. But, we’ll have the guys who are available to us, we’ll know more through tomorrow and we’ll plan accordingly. There’s an opportunity for some guys to come off the COVID list before the game and we’ll see what that’s going to entail in terms of the ramp up period and whether or not they’ll be available, or have a realistic chance to go out there and play for us. We’ll get everyone prepared, whether it’s in person or through Zoom, make sure we monitor everybody’s health, make sure, number one, that they’re healthy and, number two, that when we put them on the field we can assure they can go out there, function, operate and be safe.

Some of the guys will get back at an earlier date. We expect to have KT (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) back in the building with us midweek and get him moving out there and we’ll see how he looks. Obviously, he missed some time from injury and now with COVID. We’ll see how that set him back and give him the opportunity to go out there, move around and see if he can help us this week or not. We’ll get everybody prepared and ready. In terms of the signings, Jaylon and Jarren, I thought Jaylon got in the game yesterday and obviously had about four to six hours of coaching to get him ready for the game. Had a walkthrough with the defense. I really liked the way this guy responded and he’s been a pleasure to coach in the short window we’ve had. He went out there, he played fast, he’s able to go ahead and get his hat on a few people to make some plays. Obviously, it’s very new to him in this system, but I liked the way he responded. I liked the temperament he plays with, I like the look in his eyes when you meet with him in terms of being locked in and engaged to what’s going on in the meetings. He’s been a pleasure to have in the program so far. We’ll keep him involved as well and grow his role throughout this week. Jarren’s a guy that’s been doing a decent job for us playing defense, some roles in the kicking game. He’ll continue to progress his roles. He’s a guy that was set back a little bit with injury early in the season and really kind of stunted some of his growth and development, but he’s done a good job since being back with us on making some strides and he’s done some things that have really grown within him. I think he’s a guy that’s got a future that we can go ahead and keep on developing with, but I like the way Jarren works and I think there’s some upside with him as a player. He definitely has the right attitude as a person.

Q: To go back to Daniel, in the past you talked a lot about his toughness and we’ve seen him play through some tough injuries in the past. I’m curious how he took the news and if you could share what your message was to him going through this.

A: First thing I want to touch on is exactly what you started the question off with in terms of toughness. This injury is in no way, shape or form a reflection of a lack of toughness, I can assure everyone that. He’s been chomping at the bit, doing his best to get out there and do everything that’s been asked of him. This is a decision that’s out of the hands of a player, out of the hands of a coaching staff. This is a medical decision and we’re not going to put anybody on the field who’s at risk of injury. Daniel in this case, they believe, would be in that category, so we’re not going to do something that puts him at risk. In terms of what we expect from him, continue being a good teammate, continuing to just work and stay in shape, get healthy, keep progressing with his knowledge of the system and the offense, keep being a leader and a good teammate and stay active and engaged and communicating with the coaches and the players as he’s been doing throughout the entire time he’s been hurt.

Q: Everybody is hoping for the best for Daniel, but that said, (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) is going to be a free agent this season. You don’t know for sure what’s going to happen with Daniel. You’re optimistic he will be okay, but you don’t know for sure. That said, do you feel that addressing the quarterback spot is going to have to be something you’re going to have to look into this offseason?

A: This has nothing to do with Daniel. I trust the medical team and the information we’re given. We expect a full recovery and our vision would be to move forward with Daniel in the future. I’ll let the business part take care of the business part. We’re always looking at our depth charts and rosters, not just for this year, but as they go into future years and you can only do that based on what the current contracts lock you into. As we get to the free agency part and the draft part, we’ll address that, but we look at every position on our team and evaluate it every year in terms of what’s the best thing we can do to improve our team and keep moving forward.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

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

Sep 272021
 
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Blake Martinez, New York Giants (September 26, 2021)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

BLAKE MARTINEZ OUT FOR THE SEASON WITH TORN ACL…
A bad season keeps getting worse for the New York Giants. Linebacker Blake Martinez tore the ACL in his left knee in the game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. He is out for the season.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The Giants have re-signed cornerback Jarren Williams to the Practice Squad. The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams. The Giants Jarren Williams on Injured Reserve with a quad injury in August 2021 and waived him with an injury settlement shortly thereafter.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons:

Q: Wondering if you have anything on (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard and (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton and where you go from here at the receiver position.

A: We’re actually waiting on both guys. Both guys came off yesterday with leg injuries. We’ll see where they are in terms of their doctors and follow-ups today. Hopefully, we’ll get some news by the end of the day. I think both guys’ (injuries) are really different. I don’t think either one is the same deal. In terms of the receiver position, there’s a lot of things we can do with the guys we have right now. Saw a lot of guys make plays. I was pleased with the progress I saw from (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney and (Wide Receiver) Collin Johnson yesterday at the receiver position. Obviously, (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) was making a lot of plays for us. (Wide Receiver) C.J. Board made some nice plays for us. At some point, we’re hoping to get (Wide Receiver) John Ross (III) back off IR. We’ll see where he’s at health-wise in terms of if that’s sooner or later. But that, combined with the tight ends and skill players, it’s our job to make things work and function with who we have available. Obviously, we’re without Shep or Slayton. Those are two key parts of our offense that we don’t want to be without, two leaders on our team and hard workers, but we have confidence in guys in the locker room and guys on the roster to turn around and use these guys to keep going forward.

Q: A lot of people are asking me, do you expect any significant changes coming out of this game, specifically with the play-calling?

A: In terms of who’s calling it? In terms of how we’re calling it? What’s it specific to?

Q: How about both?

A: Obviously, game plan-wise, we’ll make some adjustments, we’ll do some things that we think we can improve more. We’ll obviously dive into a couple of focal points to make sure that we finish in the red zone – that’s been something we have to do obviously better as a team. In terms of who is going to be calling the plays – directly to answer your question – in terms of offense, defense, kicking game, the coordinators will still be making the play-calling this week.

Q: Is Kadarius Toney ready to take on a larger role in the passing game if he has to with these two guys out?

A: I’d say two things, he’s working very hard and making progress every week. I think obviously this guy has made some strides for us the more football he has played. If you’re asking specifically (if) he’s going to take over for Slayton and Shep, I think those are guys who (have) a lot more time in the league, so to say someone is going to just jump in and just replicate completely what we do with those guys, I don’t think that’s something we’re going to look to do. It’s going to be more about playing to his strengths, giving him the opportunity to get the ball in his hands and make some plays. I was pleased with how he played yesterday, pleased with the progress he’s making, but I think he’s definitely ready to keep progressing within our offense and find ways to get him the ball.

Q: Do you need to get him the ball more? Does the ratio of touches to snaps have to get closer?

A: It’s something we’re focused on right now. We’ve got to get him the ball and we definitely want to. I think we saw yesterday a couple of glimpses of just him with the ball in his hands. He’s got the ability to make some guys miss in space, he runs hard and he competes. He comes off the ball with a different level of speed than a lot of guys, so in terms of trying to get him the ball, that’s definitely a focus for us going forward. I’m not going to say we’re going to manufacture 50-60 snaps artificially with him, but in terms of how the Saints are playing going forward and if the opportunity presents itself, we’ll definitely try to get him the ball.

Q: You mentioned John Ross. With him and (Linebacker) Elerson (Smith), is there a chance that they’ll be activated this week or are they still a little ways away?

A: I’d say with both guys eligible to come off, there’s a chance for either guy or both guys to come off this week. I’d say today being Monday, Wednesday would be kind of the day we look to get them really rolling with the team, so we won’t make any decision immediately, but we’ll see where those guys are over the next 36 hours leading into Wednesday.

Q: Can you take me inside your fourth down process? Say it’s the play from yesterday, it’s fourth-and-four from their 39, are you thinking numbers there? Who is in your headset? How do you decide what you’re going to do in that moment?

A: Do we have people talking to me? Yeah, I’ve got people that I reference up top in terms of some situational awareness, but I make the decisions. In terms of that fourth-and-four that we punted the ball down there, it was simple. I wanted to make sure we maintained the field position at that point. Did I want to be aggressive and go for it on offense? Yeah, there’s an opportunity to go ahead and push it, but then in terms of knowing the flow of the game and how your defense at that point is playing – I had confidence to go ahead and put those guys down there inside their 10-yard line and we ended up putting them down there inside the five-yard line. Then, play to your defense. At that point in the game, not only was it field position, there was a strong wind blowing into that end zone, so even if you have to punt coming out of that end zone – and we had to in the first half – you’re not going to get much for the coverage game. You’re almost ensured of playing on a short field if you can go ahead and hold them on defense. My thought process on that fourth down was go ahead and make sure we maintain the field position and give ourselves an opportunity to get seven off that.

Q: What happened yesterday with (Tight End) Evan Engram was not common. Players get booed, but it was especially pointed towards him with booing and cheering when he walked off the field. Do you find the need or have you taken Evan aside and talked to him and counseled him on what happens next here?

A: I think Evan’s an extremely mentally tough player. To answer your question directly, have I talked to Evan? Yeah, I talked to him yesterday on the sideline, I talked to him in the locker room. I talk to these guys all the time. Two things on that – one, it’s our job to give the fans something to cheer about. We talk about it all the time, about you better embrace the pressure and the atmosphere in New York because it’s absolutely great. You’ve got to work for the respect of people here, but it’s that much more valuable when it’s a game. Secondly, in terms of the players, I’m always going to make sure our players stay focused in the middle of the game and throughout the game and understand that when things aren’t going right externally, we’ve got to make sure we show internal support for our teammates and our players and keep it moving forward.

Q: Having said that, that was his second touch in his first game of the season and the ball got stripped for a fumble. Obviously, you can’t accept those turnovers, so how do you juxtapose that with supporting him, but also saying, ‘Look, you just got on the field, you can’t lose the ball for us here’?

A: I don’t think having support for your players has anything to do with not correcting them and not making sure that the mistake doesn’t continue. I think you can do both equally effective and that’s what our focus is, to show support for him, but also at the same time correcting mistakes that players make and keep moving forward.

Q: How did you think (Linebacker) Tae Crowder handled the play-calling yesterday at middle linebacker? With (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) now out for the season, do you think you have someone on your roster to handle that day in and day out at the middle linebacker position? Does the green dot go back to (Defensive Back) Logan (Ryan)? Are you guys still deciding that? Where are you with all that?

A: In terms of who will have the green dot directly this week, it will be a mix of either Tae Crowder as he wore it yesterday or working with either (Linebacker) Reggie Ragland, (Linebacker) Justin Hilliard or any other linebackers at the game. Overall, I thought Tae played a good game yesterday. There were some things we want to clean up here or there, but I thought in terms of him jumping into the position as a signal caller, it was something we work on during the week to make sure he’s ready if it comes up. I thought he did a good job of that. We had the one communication issue where the headset went down in the game and we had to call a timeout. Other than that, he was very good with making sure everyone had the call, got it directly, got his guys lined up. I thought he played well. I thought he showed some physicality, some real aggressiveness with how he played, so I was really pleased with what Tae did yesterday in the game. Obviously, losing Blake, you hate it for Blake because he’s a guy that brings a lot of leadership and passion to this team. He’s a guy that really loves being on the football field at the end of the day and really works hard and is a tremendous leader on this team. I think everyone on our team, when you see a guy like him and a guy like (Center) Nick Gates get hurt and lose the rest of their season, everybody hurts for them because they know what they put into it in terms of their own performance, but also to really help the team going forward. We’re going to keep both those guys, Blake and Nick, involved going forward as leaders and keep them involved with the team, but I was very pleased with the steps Tae took yesterday.

Q: To follow up on the question about play-calling from earlier, based on what you’ve seen from the offense these last two years, I know you know you’re towards the bottom of the league in scoring. I’m just curious, why do you think that (Offensive Coordinator) Jason Garrett is the right man to keep calling plays for this team?

A: We’re going to stay consistent with what we’re doing and keep improving as a team. There’s a lot of things we need to clean up coaching-wise, execution-wise, but we’re going to stay on the track with it and make sure we get those things right before making any radical changes.

Q: Why do you think it is that this defense, even last year when it was playing really well, struggles so much in the two-minute or the four-minute drill at the end of halves and games? It seems like that’s when teams are most effective against you. Secondly, (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive coordinator) Pat Graham had said that with so many guys back, he was able to do a lot more with the defense this season. He said that in training camp. I’m wondering is there any way the defense has gotten too complicated for the guys?

A: I’d say first off on the second part of that question, no, we’re always working to make sure that our guys can execute and trim down whatever we have to throughout the weekly plan. You always start out the week with a little bit more in your volume than what you’re going to carry into a game and a lot of that is just kind of trial and error with some schemes and things you want to see if it works in the game plan. Sometimes it doesn’t work personnel-wise, sometimes it doesn’t work just effectively, not putting too much on players’ plates. We always look to trim that down before going into the game on Sunday. In terms of the two-minute stuff, that’s something we have to be better on all sides of the ball. It’s something we had show up yesterday in terms of finishing drives, playing complementary football in the kicking game and getting off the field defensively, so we’ve got to keep on working with that right there. There were some times last year towards the end of the year where we improved greatly in the two-minute. We’ve got to make sure that we execute the techniques involved and then coaching-wise, put the players in the right position. Look, it’s a focus of ours obviously every week. It’s become a greater focus of ours the last couple of games and we’ll keep on that track to make sure we get it right. I was very pleased with the way the defense responded yesterday at the end of the first half to go out there and take a stand the way they did after the turnover, go three-and-out and then end third down with a turnover of our own. The aggressiveness that they played with right there, that was really the theme of what we want to go forward with. We’ve got to make sure we keep doing a better job coaching and executing on the field to make sure we get off the field.

Q: One quick one and one real question. With Blake, was that a non-contact injury? It looked like he really didn’t hit anybody?

A: It was a non-contact injury.

Q: And the second one I have is did you report any plays to the league? I know you don’t like to criticize officials, but there were a number of plays when I went back and looked (that) there seemed to be an inconsistency there.

A: There’s a number of plays that we’ll turn into the league and just ask for clarification. Again, any time we turn plays into the league, I think there’s that fine line in turning something in to complain and whine about it. Look, my thing is always, just tell me how you’re ruling this and how you’re officiating it so I can teach the team properly. That’s all I want. Just give me the clarification that I can put the players in the position and they can operate with the knowledge and play aggressively. So, when we turn plays in, I don’t want an apology, I just want a clarification. That’s all I want.

Q: Was there any one call that bothered you?

A: There were a couple pointed ones and I’m going to keep those kind of between us and the league right now and not go out and air any grievances in the media.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

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

Aug 242021
 
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New York Giants Helmet (November 24, 2019)

© USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 80…
In an effort to reach the current 80-man roster limit, the New York Giants made five roster moves on Tuesday. The team placed tight Rysen John (ankle) and safety Quincy Wilson (ankle) on Injured Reserve. They will either have to spend the remainder of the season on Injured Reserve or if they are waived later with an injury settlement, they can re-join the team after a designated period of time passes and they have not signed with another team.

The Giants waived/injured tight end Cole Hikutini (hip) and safety Montre Hartage (shoulder), and terminated the contract of long snapper Carson Tinker.

Also, the Giants waived cornerback Jarren Williams (quad) from Injured Reserve with an injury settlement on Saturday.

The Giants originally signed John as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured John in early September 2020 with a hamstring injury and then signed to the Practice Squad in late October 2020. The 6’7”, 220-pound John was a receiver in college.

The Giants signed Hikutini in March 2021 after he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys. The 6’4”, 240-pound Hikutini was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2018), Minnesota Vikings (2018-2019), and Cowboys (2019-2020). His only playing time came as a rookie when he played in four regular-season games, catching two passes for 15 yards for the 49ers. Hikutini has been a Practice Squad player for the past three seasons.

Hartage alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a number of times in 2020. He only played in two games (two percent of all defensive snaps) and was not credited with a single tackle or pass defense. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020. Hartage has played in six NFL games.

The Giants signed long snapper Tinker in early September 2020. He spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 237-pound Tinker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in 69 regular-season games for the Jaguars from 2013-2018. The Jaguars cut him in March 2019 and he did not play that year.

The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will hold joint practices with the Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday.

Aug 172021
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (July 29, 2021)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 17, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their 15th full-team summer training camp practice on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

GIANTS MAKE ROSTER MOVES, EXCHANGE CORNERSBACKS WITH PACKERS…
In an effort to reach the current 85-man roster limit, the New York Giants terminated the contracts of running back Alfred Morris and safety Chris Milton. The team also placed cornerback Jarren Williams on Injured Reserve with a quad injury.

The Giants also traded cornerback Isaac Yiadom to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Josh Jackson.

The 6’1”, 190-pound Yiadom was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The Giants traded a 7th-round pick to the Broncos for Yiadom in early September 2020. Yiadom eventually won the starting corner spot opposite of James Bradberry, playing in all 16 games with 10 starts (58 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the year with 46 tackles, 0.5 sacks, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

The 25-year old, 6’0”, 196-pound Jackson was drafted in the 2nd-round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Packers. In three seasons with the Packers, Jackson played in 42 regular-season games with 15 starts, including five in 2020. Last year, he was credited with 24 tackles and two pass defenses.

The Giants signed Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020 and the 53-man roster in November 2020. Morris ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with no starts, carrying the ball 55 times for 238 yards (4.3 yards per rush). The 5’10”, 222-pound Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019).

The Giants signed Milton in March 2021 after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans in February. The 5’11”, 190-pound Milton was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Colts before being signed by the Titans after he was cut. In all, Milton has played in 55 regular-season games, with one start, accruing 35 tackles, two pass defenses, and recovering one fumble.

The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

INJURY REPORT…
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Dante Pettis (unknown), WR Austin Mack (hamstring), and S Montre Hartage (unknown) did not practice on Tuesday. 

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), OLB Lorenzo Carter (calf), and OLB Elerson Smith (hamstring) were limited.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants held a light practice in shorts and upper pads.
  • RB Saquon Barkley wore a red, non-contact jersey during 7-on-7 drills.
  • QB Daniel Jones was very sharp in practice, throwing multiple touchdown passes to a variety of receivers.
  • WR David Sills caught three touchdown passes from QB Daniel Jones, including one time beating CB James Bradberry.
  • WR Darius Slayton made a nice catch in the corner of the end zone against CB Adoree’ Jackson on a well-thrown pass by QB Daniel Jones. Jones connected with Slayton on two more touchdowns.
  • In team drills, WR Sterling Shepard made a twisting, leaping touchdown catch on a pass from QB Daniel Jones.
  • WRs Alex Bachman and Matt Cole also caught touchdowns.
  • LB Tae Crowder intercepted a deflected pass from QB Daniel Jones.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

    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:

    NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACHES ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
    A video clip compilation of the media sessions with the following New York Giants assistant coaches on Thursday is available at Giants.com:

    • Quarterbacks Coach Jerry Schuplinski
    • Running Backs Coach Burton Burns
    • Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
    • Offensive Line Coach Rob Sale
    • Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer
    • Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer
    • Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson

    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…
    With the New York Giants traveling to Cleveland, there is no media access to the team on Wednesday. The Giants will hold joint practices with the Browns on Thursday and Friday.

    Feb 032021
     
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    James Bradberry, New York Giants (October 18, 2020)

    James Bradberry – © USA TODAY Sports

    The New York Giants pass defense improved from 28th in 2019 to 17th in 2020. This 11 spot jump is quite the accomplishment given the year-long swirling personnel changes at linebacker and defensive back. The Giants were tied for 4th for the fewest passing touchdowns allowed with 22 and tied for 12th in yards per passing attempt with 6.2. New York was also 2nd in red zone scoring defense. Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham and his defensive assistants deserve a lot of credit for getting both units to play at a respectable level despite significant personnel issues.

    Tied in with the pass defense is the pass rush. Remarkably, despite no viable outside edge rushers, the Giants somehow finished tied for 12th in sacks with 40. Much of that had to be schemed, including blitzes from defensive backs. On the down side, the Giants only picked off 11 passes on the year, with only one player (CB James Bradberry) intercepting more than one pass.

    Only three of the team’s five primary defensive back positions were set throughout the year. Free agent acquisition James Bradberry was arguably the team’s best player, locking down one corner spot. He did miss one game due to COVID-19. Rookie Darnay Holmes won the nickel slot position, but missed four games due to injury. Strong safety Jabrill Peppers missed one game due to injury, but was also a fixture in the defensive backfield, often being utilized as a hybrid linebacker.

    The other two spots were revolving doors. At corner opposite of Bradberry, Corey Ballentine (Weeks 1-2), Isaac Yiadom (Weeks 3-4), Ryan Lewis (5-7), Yiadom again (Weeks 8-16), and Julian Love (Week 17) all started. At free safety, Love started the first two weeks, followed by Logan Ryan for the bulk of the season, until rookie Xavier McKinney started in the final weeks.

    Graham and Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson were hampered by a number of early personnel hits. 2019 1st-round cornerback Deandre Baker was cut after his legal troubles in Florida surfaced. That was a major blow to the team as Baker was being penciled in to start opposite of Bradberry. 2018 3rd-round pick Sam Beal then surprisingly decided to sit out the season due to COVID-19. Rookie 2nd-round pick Xavier McKinney broke his foot before the season started and wasn’t available until almost December.

    The primary play-makers were Bradberry, Peppers, and Ryan. Despite many teams not throwing in his direction, Bradberry led the team with interceptions (3) and pass defenses (18). He also forced two fumbles and recovered one. Peppers was third on the team in tackles (91) and second in pass defenses (11). He picked off one pass, forced one fumble, recovered one fumble, and led defensive backs with 2.5 sacks. Ryan was second on the team in tackles (94) and third in pass defenses (9). He picked off one pass, forced three fumbles, and recovered two. He also had one sack.

    Bradberry was the stud of the group. Peppers improved as the year progressed with the coaching staff seemingly having a better feel for his strengths and weaknesses. He remained an inconsistent player however. Ryan quickly became a team leader and his tremendous versatility was desperately needed at safety and corner. That said, he missed plays against the run and pass at times.

    It was an up and down year for the rookie Holmes. He did help to settle the secondary and his absence was noticed during the four games he missed due to injury. But his five penalties in coverage always seemed to come at the most inopportune times and he didn’t make many plays on the football (contrary to his collegiate reputation). The other corner spot was a a bit of a mess. Ballentine simply couldn’t handle the job and was eventually cut. Yiadom and Lewis were up-and-down, with Lewis missing most of the season due to injury. Love was a bit of an enigma. His playing time varied wildly on a game-to-game basis. He started the season at safety and finished at corner.

    THE CORE GROUP

    The Giants signed James Bradberry as an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers in March 2020. He had a major impact on the defense, arguably being the unit’s best player, and was voted to his first Pro Bowl. Bradberry started 15 games, missing one game due to COVID-19, and finished the year with 54 tackles, 18 pass defenses, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played in 94 percent of all defensive snaps. The 6’1”, 212-pound Bradberry was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Panthers. Bradberry is a big corner (6’1”, 212 pounds) with good speed and agility. He plays a physical game both against the run and pressing opposing corners off of the line. Outstanding in coverage, Bradberry can erase even top receivers.

    The play of Jabrill Peppers improved markedly as the 2020 season progressed as he seemed to become more comfortable with the team’s new defensive schemes and the coaches learned better how to use him. At times, he was a real difference maker on the field. However, there was still some annoying inconsistency in his play, particularly in coverage. Peppers played in 15 games with 14 starts (84 percent of all defensive snaps), missing one game with an ankle injury. He finished the season with 91 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, 11 pass defenses, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Peppers also served as the team’s primary punt returner, returning 15 punts for 187 yards (12.5 yards per punt). 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 in March 2019. He started 11 games for the Giants in 2019 before being placed on Injured Reserve with a transverse process fracture in his back. Peppers combines good size (5’11”, 215 pounds) and overall athleticism. Still a better athlete than football player, Peppers flashes signs of being an impact safety, but he must become a more consistent player, especially against the pass. He does his best work when moving forward and attacking the line of scrimmage.

    The Giants signed Logan Ryan in late August 2020. He ended up being a very important, jack-of-all-trades defensive back who was used at both safety and corner. Ryan also quickly became a team leader and solid presence in the locker room. In all, Ryan played in all 16 games with 15 starts (96 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 94 tackles, one sack, nine pass defenses, one interception, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. The 5’11”, 195-pound Ryan was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has spent time with the Patriots (2013-2016) and Titans (2017-2019), playing 109 regular-season games with 85 starts. Ryan has spent most of his career at corner, but now prefers to play safety. While Ryan has history of being an instinctive, play-maker, he also still misses too many tackles and can be exposed in coverage at times.

    The Giants drafted Darnay Holmes in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Serving as the team’s primary slot corner, he played in 12 games, with five starts, missing four games due to injuries (neck and knee). Holmes finished the season with 30 tackles, 0.5 sacks, five pass defenses, one interception, and one fumble recovery. He played in 41 percent of all defensive snaps. Holmes lacks ideal height, but he is well-built with good speed and quickness. He is overly aggressive at times, as indicated by his five penalties in coverage. While Holmes had a solid rookie season in coverage, he needs to make more plays on the ball. Holmes can also return punts and kickoffs, but did not do so in 2020.

    THE UNFORTUNATE INJURY

    The Giants placed Xavier McKinney on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a fractured left foot that required surgery. The team activated him off of IR in late November 2020. McKinney ended up playing in six games with four starts (19 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 25 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one interception, and one pass defense. The Giants drafted McKinney in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 6’0”, 201-pound McKinney is versatile performer, who is capable of playing multiple positions. He is a good athlete with fine instincts for the position, but he needs to become a more consistent tackler. Most of his rookie season was a wash due to his broken foot.

    IN-AND-OUT OF THE STARTING LINE-UP

    The Giants traded a 7th-round pick to the Denver Broncos for Isaac Yiadom in early September 2020. Yiadom eventually won the starting corner spot opposite of James Bradberry, playing in all 16 games with 10 starts (58 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the year with 46 tackles, 0.5 sacks, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble. The 6’1”, 190-pound Yiadom was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Broncos. In two years with Denver, Yiadom played in 29-regular season games with nine starts. Yiadom has good size and plays a physical game. However, after some decent performances, his play really deteriorated down the stretch, and he was benched for Julian Love in the regular-season finale. Yiadom also did not make many plays on the football.

    Julian Love spent most of 2020 playing safety but was shifted to cornerback late in the year, starting two of the final three games at the position (one in the slot). He also saw his playing time dramatically fluctuate on a per-game basis. In all, Love played in all 16 games with six starts (66 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the year with 64 tackles, three pass defenses, and one interception. A collegiate corner, the Giants drafted Love in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft and moved him to safety. He played in 15 games with five starts as a rookie. A bit of a cornerback/safety tweener, Love lacks ideal physicality for safety and ideal speed/quickness for cornerback. But he is a versatile performer who played well at the corner spot late in 2020. Love needs to improve his tackling and make more plays on the football.

    The Giants placed Ryan Lewis on Injured Reserve in early November 2020 with a hamstring injury. Before that, he had played in five games for the Giants, starting three (25 percent of defensive snaps). Lewis finished the year with 13 tackles and one pass defense. Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). The Giants signed Lewis to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and to the 53-man roster two weeks later. Lewis has played in 25 NFL regular-season games with nine starts. Lewis had a mixed performance in his three consecutive starts in October, playing well at times and struggling in one game.

    The Giants placed Adrian Colbert on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in early November 2020 and reactivated him to the 53-man roster in mid-December. He ended up playing in six games with two starts (10 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the year with 13 tackles. The 6’2”, 205-pound Colbert was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Kansas City Chiefs (2020). The Giants claimed Colbert off of waivers from the Chiefs in early September 2020. He has played in 33 regular-season games with 19 starts, accruing 74 tackles and eight pass defenses. Colbert has also played cornerback and is a good gunner on special teams. He had mixed reviews in his two starts in 2020.

    The Giants drafted Corey Ballentine in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Ballentine played in 13 games with two starts, receiving 27 percent of all defensive snaps. He finished with 26 tackles and two pass defenses, often struggling in coverage. Ballentine won the starting corner spot opposite of James Bradberry to start the 2020 season, but was benched after just two games. He played in seven more games, returning 10 kickoffs, before the Giants waived him in November. He spent the rest of the season with the New York Jets.

    SPECIAL TEAMS AND PRACTICE SQUAD

    The Giants signed Nate Ebner as an unrestricted free agent from the New England Patriots in March 2020. Almost exclusively a special teams player, Ebner only saw limited snaps on defense in five games, finishing with eight tackles and one pass defense. The 6’0”, 215-pound Ebner was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In eight seasons in New England, Ebner has played in 111 regular-season games with no starts.

    The Giants signed Madre Harper off of the Practice Squad of the Las Vegas Raiders in late September 2020. He was placed on Injured Reserve in mid-December with a knee injury after playing in nine games with no starts. The Giants activated him to the 53-man roster in early January 2021, but he did not play in the season finale. Harper ended up playing in just three percent of all defensive snaps and was credited with five tackles and one fumble recovery. The 6’1”, 196-pound Harper was signed by the Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Montre Hartage alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a number of times in 2020. He only played in two games (two percent of all defensive snaps) and was not credited with a single tackle or pass defense. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020. Hartage has played in six NFL games.

    The Giants signed Jarren Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Arizona Cardinals. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams. The 5’10”, 187-pound Williams was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

    The Giants signed Quincy Wilson to the Practice Squad in November 2020. The 6’2”, 193-pound Wilson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent time with Colts (2017-2019) and New York Jets (2020). Wilson has played in 32 regular-season games with 11 starts, accruing 59 tackles, 8 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

    The Giants placed Brandon Williams on Injured Reserve in late September 2020 with a groin injury and reactivated him to the 53-man roster in early November. The team cut him a month later. In all, Williams played in six games, exclusively on special teams. Williams was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants signed him in late August 2020.

    The Giants originally signed Sean Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent all of 2018 and parts of 2019 on the team’s 53-man roster. He began 2020 on the team’s Practice Squad, but was activated for three games, playing almost exclusively on special teams. The Carolina Panthers signed him off of the Giants’ Practice Squad in October.

    The Giants selected Chris Williamson in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent most of the season on the team’s Practice Squad until he was cut in December.

    COVID-19 OPT-OUT

    Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the COVID-19 issue. Beal has had a rough start to his pro career. 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 placed Beal on Injured Reserve again in September 2019 with hamstring and groin injuries, but added him to the 53-man roster in early November. Beal missed the last game with another shoulder issue. In all, Beal played in six games with three starts, receiving 26 percent of defensive snaps, and accruing 26 tackles and one pass defense. Beal combines good size (6’1”, 177 pounds) and overall athleticism. Stating the obvious, Beal needs to stay healthy. But he flashes the ability to be a solid coverman when he does play.

    Jan 042021
     
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    Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

    Xavier McKinney – © USA TODAY Sports

    NEW YORK GIANTS 2021 OPPONENTS SET…
    The New York Giants’ 2021 opponents have been mostly set:

    Home:

    • Dallas Cowboys
    • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Washington Redskins
    • Atlanta Falcons
    • Carolina Panthers
    • Denver Broncos
    • Las Vegas Raiders
    • Los Angeles Rams

    Away:

    • Dallas Cowboys
    • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Washington Redskins
    • New Orleans Saints
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Kansas City Chiefs
    • Los Angeles Chargers
    • Chicago Bears

    The NFL will reportedly add a 17th regular-season game. If so, the Giants are expected to play a team from the AFC East. If the match-up is determined by division ranking, it will be the Miami Dolphins.

    The league’s 2021 schedule will be announced in the spring.

    NEW YORK GIANTS TO PICK 11TH IN 2021 NFL DRAFT…
    The New York Giants now hold the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

    GIANTS RE-SIGN 15 PLAYERS…
    The Giants have re-signed two exclusive rights free agents and 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

    The two exclusive rights free agents are OT Jackson Barton and CB Madre Harper. Barton spent the entire year on the 53-man roster, but was only active for one game. Harper played in nine games for the Giants this year.

    The 13 reserve/future players are:

    • QB Clayton Thorson
    • QB Alex Tanney
    • RB Taquan Mizzell
    • WR Alex Bachman
    • TE Rysen John
    • OG Chad Slade
    • OG Kenny Wiggins
    • DT David Moa
    • LB Trent Harris
    • CB Jarren Williams
    • CB Quincy Wilson
    • S Montre Hartage
    • LS Carson Tinker

    All 13 of these players finished the year on the team’s Practice Squad.

    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:

    Dec 192020
     
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    Bret Bielema, New England Patriots (November 3, 2019)

    Bret Bielema – © USA TODAY Sports

    BRET BIELEMA LEAVES GIANTS FOR ILLINOIS…
    New York Giants Outside Linebackers Coach Brett Bielema has left the coaching staff to accept a position as head coach of the University of Illinois. Inside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer will assume Bielema’s responsibilities and will be assisted by defensive assistant Jody Wright.

    “We always want to be supportive of our coaches and players in terms of advancing their careers,” said Head Coach Joe Joe Judge. “We appreciate everything Bret did for this organization and our coaching staff. He did he a great job with our outside linebackers and made a significant impact on our overall defensive effort. Bret is a great teacher, and he brings great perspective on how he sees the game. We wish him all the best at the University of Illinois. The Illini program is in great hands.”

    NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE SIX ROSTER MOVES…
    The New York Giants have made the following six roster moves:

    • Safety Montre Hartage was waived.
    • Safety Adrian Colbert was activated from Injured Reserve.
    • Quarterback Joe Webb was signed to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad.
    • Quarterback Clayton Thorson was activated from the Practice Squad as a COVID-19 (temporary) replacement for cornerback James Bradberry.
    • Cornerbacks Jarren Williams and Quincy Wilson were activated from the Practice Squad as standard (temporary) elevations.

    Hartage has alternated between the Giants’ Practice Squad and the 53-man roster a couple of times this year. Hartage originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hartage off of waivers from the Dolphins in April 2020.

    The Giants placed Colbert on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury in early November 2020. Colbert was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Kansas City Chiefs (2020). The Giants claimed Colbert off of waivers from the Chiefs in early September 2020. He has played in 30 regular-season games with 19 starts, accruing 74 tackles and eight pass defenses.

    Webb was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent time with the Vikings (2010-2013), Carolina Panthers (2014-2016), Buffalo Bills (2017), Houston Texans (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020). Webb has played in 102 regular-season games with four starts, completing 90-of-159 passes (56.6 percent) for 888 yards, three touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also has caught 10 passes in his career and returned 18 kickoffs.

    The Giants signed Thorson to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. Thorson was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles cut him in August 2019 and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys cut him in early September 2020.

    The Giants signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Arizona Cardinals and signed him to the Practice Squad in early September 2020. Williams was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

    The Giants signed Wilson to the Practice Squad in November 2020. Wilson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent time with Colts (2017-2019) and New York Jets (2020). Wilson has played in 32 regular-season games with 11 starts, accruing 59 tackles, 8 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

    SECOND GIANTS COACH TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19…
    The New York Giants have announced that offensive assistant Stephen Brown has tested positive for COVID-19. Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett tested positive earlier this week and will miss Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

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    Adrian Colbert, Miami Dolphins (December 1, 2019)

    Adrian Colbert – © USA TODAY Sports

    GIANTS CLAIM THREE PLAYERS OFF OF WAIVERS…
    The New York Giants have claimed the following players off of waivers:

    • WR Damion Ratley (from Cleveland Browns)
    • OT Jackson Barton (from Kansas City Chiefs)
    • S/CB Adrian Colbert (from Kansas City Chiefs)

    The 25-year old, 6’2”, 200-pound Ratley was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Browns. In 2018-2019, Ratley played in 26 regular-season games with six starts, accruing 25 catches for 344 yards and one touchdown.

    The 25-year old, 6’7”, 302-pound Barton was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs signed him off of the Colts’ Practice Squad in 2019. Barton has not played in an NFL game.

    The 26-year old, 6’2”, 205-pound Colbert was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Colbert has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2019), Seattle Seahawks (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Chiefs (2020). He has played in 27 regular-season games with 17 starts, accruing 74 tackles and eight pass defenses. Colbert has also played cornerback and is a good gunner on special teams.

    To make room for these three players, the Giants released wide receiver Corey Coleman and offensive lineman Chad Slade, and waived safety Sean Chandler.

    The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury. The team signed Slade to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019. The Giants originally signed Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft.

    GIANTS PLACE XAVIER McKINNEY AND DAVID MAYO ON INJURED RESERVE…
    As expected, the New York Giants have placed safety Xavier McKinney (fractured left foot) and inside linebacker David Mayo (torn meniscus in his left knee) on Injured Reserve. Both players recently underwent surgery. Both are also eligible to return to the 53-man roster this year once healthy.

    To fill their roster spots, the Giants re-signed tight end Eric Tomlinson and cornerback Brandon Williams. Both were with the Giants in training camp this summer and both were cut by the team on Saturday. The Giants signed Tomlinson as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020. The team signed  Williams in late August 2020.

    GIANTS SIGN 14 PLAYERS TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
    The New York Giants have signed the following players to the team’s Practice Squad:

    • QB Cooper Rush
    • RB Sandro Platzgummer
    • WR Johnny Holton
    • WR Alex Bachman
    • WR Derrick Dillon
    • WR Austin Mack
    • WR Binjimen Victor
    • OL Tyler Haycraft
    • OL Kyle Murphy
    • DL Niko Lalos
    • CB Jarren Williams
    • S/CB Chris Williamson
    • P/PK Ryan Santoso
    • LS Carson Tinker

    All of the players except for Santoso were with the team in training camp.

    The 25-year old, 6’5”, 258-pound Santoso was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Detroit Lions after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Tennessee Titans (2019), and Montreal Alouettes (2019 and 2020). He has not punted or kicked in NFL games other than being used as a kickoff specialist with Titans in 2019.

    The Giants receive an exemption for Platzgummer because they were one of four teams chosen to carry an additional overseas player on their Practice Squad in 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. However, Platzgummer is ineligible to join the active roster this season.

    The Giants have three open slots remaining on their Practice Squad. Although not officially signed, according to media reports, the Giants also intend to sign cornerback Ryan Lewis to the Practice Squad.

    The 26-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). Lewis has played in 20 NFL regular-season games with two starts, accruing 43 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception.

    NOTES…
    Linebacker Ryan Connelly, who the Giants cut on Saturday, was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Vikings. In addition, defensive lineman Chris Slayton was signed to the Buffalo Bills’ Practice Squad while offensive lineman Eric Smith was signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ Practice Squad.

    HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
    The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Sunday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on Giants.com.

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