Nov 272020
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 15, 2020)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 27, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (hip/toe) and CB Brandon Williams (ankle) were limited in practice on Friday. Williams is officially listed as “questionable” for the game against the Cincinnati Bengals while Shepard is expected to play.

OG Kevin Zeitler (concussion) fully practiced and is 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 team plays the the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Nov 252020
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (November 23, 2020)

Xavier McKinney – Courtesy of New York Giants

NOVEMBER 25, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
CB James Bradberry (family matter) did not practice on Wednesday. WR Sterling Shepard (hip/toe) was limited in practice. OG Kevin Zeitler (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart to the Practice Squad. To make room for Griffin-Stewart, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Corey Coleman.

The 24-year old, 6’5”, 260-pound Griffin-Stewart is a rookie free agent who spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers in 2020. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad in late October. Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in eight games with one start. Coleman missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Thanksgiving. The New York Giants practice on Friday afternoon (12:20-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Nov 232020
 
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Oshane Ximines, New York Giants (August 22, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

OSHANE XIMINES AND XAVIER McKINNEY RETURN TO PRACTICE…
New York Giants linebacker Oshane Ximines and safety Xavier McKinney, who are on Injured Reserve, have been designated to return to practice. The Giants now have 21 days to activate them or keep them on Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season.

Ximines was placed on Injured Reserve in early October 2020 with a shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 4. He had started three of the first four games of the year. McKinney was placed on Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a fractured left foot that he suffered in training camp and that required surgery. He has yet to play in a game this year.

In addition, punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter were activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 List. They had been placed on the list last Wednesday. Place kicker Graham Gano, tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and wide receiver Dante Pettis remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Get a little break?

A: A little bit. I got a couple days of being dad for a little bit. I saw a lot of soccer games. I thought soccer season was over. I was incorrect on that. We got to catch a lot of them.

Q: Any goals or no? Just a lot of 0-0s?

A: She was playing goalie. They had some high scores. She played alright. They won the game. It was good to see her.

Q: We have not talked to you since you made a coaching change to your staff. Looking back at that situation, I’m sure it was not something you anticipated. Is there anything you could have done differently to kind of patch this together? How unsettling was this whole thing for you?

A: I’ll just say on the entire situation, I made this clear from day one, I’m always going to make every decision what I see is best for the team. This decision was no different. Look, there’s been a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation. A lot of people have done a lot of digging trying to figure out details of the situation. I’m not going to rehash any of that. I’ll just say on the whole thing, we wish Marc (Colombo) well going forward. The decision we made was in the best interest of the New York Giants, short and long-term.

Q: As far as bringing in Dave (DeGuglielmo), how much different are the techniques that he teaches compared to what Marc has been teaching them for the last however many months? Can you implement those within such a short period of time?

A: Yeah, we’re not going to do anything to turn the offense upside down right here. We’re going to continue focusing on technique and assignments and principles of what we want to do big picture wise. They’ll be some adjustments here and there as we go. With six weeks left in the season, there is going to be a lot of continuity we’re looking to keep in place and keep improving as we go through the rest of the season. Will there be adjustments as needed throughout the season? Yes. Are we going to look to turn everything upside down? No.

Q: One more thing on Dave. He kind of has an abrasive personality, for lack of a better term. Are you concerned at all with how the offensive line room is going to respond to a new voice like that coming in at this point?

A: No, no.

Q: I’m wondering how that affects, if at all, your relationship with Jason Garrett because obviously Jason and Marc are close and Jason obviously recommended Marc to you for the job. I’m wondering how you firing Marc affects you and Jason?

A: Look, we’re all professionals here. We all have one goal in improving the team. Obviously, we’ve been working through a season. There are a lot of new guys coming from different spots. We’re all New York Giants now. We’re all working towards the same goal. There have been no effects in that nature right there. I feel good about going forward with everybody.

Q: There was a report out there somewhere that your offensive linemen were a little, I don’t know, on edge about the change. Have you talked to them at all? I know there was an elongated bye week. Did you talk to them at all Wednesday, Thursday when you made this move, or is today the first time you’ve addressed them about it?

A: No, I spoke to the entire team last week. I spoke with the offensive line, I spoke with the captains, I spoke with people both individually and collectively based on the units. Again, we’re pretty transparent as an organization. If something happens with the team, we keep it in-house, but I speak very openly with the team about it.

Q: I know part of the reporting had to do with you getting in at practice and kind of coaching up the offensive linemen yourself a little bit. I’m just curious how common is that for you in general? Do you do that around the team, like will you go in and interject and coach up guys in the way you think they should be coached?

A: Yeah, I have no problem at any point with any position stepping in and talking to a position. That being said, I let my coaches coach. I’m not going to comment too much further on the basis of the question you’re asking. Again, there was a lot of information out there, a lot of misinformation out there as well. But I’m going to keep most things in-house.

Q: Separate from the Colombo thing, I know a few of your players tested positive for COVID since we last saw you. I’m just curious if you had any updates on if they have a chance of playing on Sunday or what the deal is there?

A: A couple of the guys will not based on just the timetable the league puts us in. There are going to be a couple of those guys who will have an opportunity, not just because the timetable allows them to have the opportunity. We still have to go through the week and the progression of where they are physically, how they handle the ramp up period, if the doctor clears them, all that good stuff there. The answer is yes and no. Some will have an opportunity to play, some will not.

Q: You talked about misinformation a couple of times. Is there anything you would like to get out there and clear up?

A: No. I think there are some common sense that people who want to read articles understand what does and doesn’t actually happen within a professional setting and office building. I’m not going to go out and rehash a lot of different things that were out there. This was a professional move. We made the decision that was best for the team.

Q: Were you happy with the coaching, or how happy were you with the coaching in regard to technique that your offensive line was receiving?

A: Yeah, I appreciate the question. Again, I’m going to keep most of that stuff in-house in terms of how we handle things. Obviously, we made a move and we’re all working in that direction.

Q: Have you been around a situation kind of like this where you had to move on from a coach in the middle of a season? How would you describe what the transition is supposed to be like in that situation?

A: I think everything is different based on the team and the situation that it occurs under. Yes, I have been around moves as a player and as a coach where there has been transitions in-season. I think the biggest thing for everyone to understand is just keep on moving within the direction of the head coach and trust that there’s a plan in place.

Q: Just kind of wanted to piggyback off that a little bit. At some point, you brought in Dave DeGuglielmo as kind of a consultant with the offensive line. Was there something that you saw that made you want to go in that direction and bring in another voice?

A: Look, I’m always looking to do anything that’s going to help the team at any point of the year. The decision I made was in the best interest of the team, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Q: What does DeGuglielmo bring to the group and why were you excited to hire him in particular?

A: Yeah, he brings some experience in this league. He’s done a good job. He’s coached some of the guys that are on the team already. He’s worked with a number of guys who are on staff already. There is a level of experience that carries over into that. That’s great, but all that really matters now is how each one of us coaches individually, and how he coaches now that he’s with the New York Giants. I’m excited to have him on staff with us moving forward. Obviously, we’re shifting all of our focus over to Cincinnati right now.

Q: Some of the reporting looks like it is kind of pigeon holing you together with guys you coached with in New England as Judge and his former Patriots assistants, etc. Is it alarming for you to see someone accusing you and your staff of functioning in that way? Like, for lack of a better word, like in a clique type of way? Is that one of the inaccuracies you’re discussing? How do you feel about that characterization?

A: Look, I’ve said the entire time I’ve been here, I’m not interested in any other program I’ve ever been a part of. I’m interested in the New York Giants. Everyone here has worked somewhere else at some point in time. Every player has played somewhere else at some point in time. All that matters is what we do for the New York Giants from this point forward, and that’s all we care about. That being said, if you look at the bios of my staff, you’re going to see a lot of pieces connected through different places prior to coming here. The notion that we’re concerned about anywhere else we’ve been or that we’d base anything based on where we’ve been, everyone has experiences that you draw on. That would be it. But there is no internal division or struggle or anything that’s being referenced right there or that anyone’s trying to create. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Q: I know you’ve been talking about sudden change and adapting from the beginning since you got the job, really. How has your schedule been forced to adjust from the initial test with Graham (Gano) last Monday? The way you guys have had to operate the last week or so, now not getting back on the field collectively until Wednesday, what have you done or what will you do to make sure that this team is ready to come off a bye and essentially have three and a half days on the field before you go play Cincinnati?

A: Like you said, sudden change is always an emphasis for us. That’s on and off the field. I think if you kind of live in that world of sudden change, it makes all these adjustments you had at the beginning of the year and whatever comes our way, we’re going to handle and we’re going to thrive in adjustment. Last week, obviously, we had plans to go on the field for Tuesday and Wednesday. That was changed with the news of a positive test. We got further news last week that kind of altered some of our plans for today. But we’ve taken all the precautions necessary. We’ve met virtually instead of in person. We’ll continue to meet virtually throughout the remainder of this week instead of in person. We’ll do walk-throughs and practices with all the protocols being met. We’ll stay outside as much as we can, obviously, even during the walk-through sessions of what we’re doing to make sure it’s open air, improve the ventilation. We’re going to work in some smaller groups or pods a little bit in terms of the entire team being together. Try to chop it up and keep guys spaced out. But this has kind of just become normal for us. Our guys understand that whether it’s on or off the field, we had made plans to do something, but sudden change happens. We just go ahead and we thrive on that.

Q: Can I quickly ask you about (Xavier) McKinney and (Oshane) Ximines, who you guys have designated to return. Are they close enough where they’re a possibility for Sunday? Is the shortened week not being on the field all together going to compromise your decision-making in terms of that?

A: No, I think both have a chance for Sunday. Today was the first day getting them both back out there. I’d say both moved well, both were really flying around the field today doing what we had to do. But it was mostly individual type work today. When we get into Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, kind of see them in a more team setting. Wednesday, we’ll have the pads on, see them pop the pads a little bit and see how their bodies respond to it. That will really tell the story for the weekend. I don’t want to rule anybody out in that nature. I thought both guys really came back, did a great job rehabbing with the trainers and physical therapists, and both guys moved around well today. I always want to be fair to the player and put him in a team setting before we go ahead and try to rule them in or out for a game. But I’d say based on today, they would have a chance. We just have to see where they are when we get into a team setting.

Q: Is it different with McKinney because he’s a rookie and he hasn’t had any game experience?

A: No. I think whatever role we select to play him in, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We can minimize his role a little bit and kind of get him in. Again, this is a guy that hasn’t had any experience on the field in a game setting this year. To me, in terms of him being a rookie, I’m still just looking physically how is he moving around and are we being fair to him in whatever we ask him to do that he can go out there and be successful in doing that.

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 Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 182020
 
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Marc Colombo, Dallas Cowboys (November 5, 2018)

Marc Colombo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS FIRE MARC COLOMBO, HIRE DAVE DeGUGLIELMO AS OL COACH…
In a shocking move, the New York Giants have fired Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo and hired Dave DeGuglielmo to replace him. According to press reports, Head Coach Joe Judge was planning to hire DeGuglielmo to work with Colombo, but Colombo’s reaction to that change is what led to his dismissal from the team. Ben Wilkerson will continue to serve as the assistant offensive line coach.

“We appreciate what Marc has done, but I felt like this move is in the best interest of the team,” said Head Coach Joe Judge in a written press release.

The 42-year old Colombo had previously served as assistant offensive line coach (2016-2018) and offensive line coach (2018-2019) of the Dallas Cowboys before being hired by Judge this year.

The 52-year old DeGuglielmo is well-traveled, including serving as an assistant offensive line coach for the Giants under Tom Coughlin from 2004-2008. In recent years, he has coached offensive lines with the Miami Dolphins (2009-2011, 2017, 2019), New York Jets (2012), New England Patriots (2014-2015), San Diego Chargers (2016), and Indianapolis Colts (2018).

RILEY DIXON AND CASEY KREITER PLACED ON RESERVE/COVID-19 LIST…
The New York Giants have announced that punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter have been placed on the the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Place kicker Graham Gano was also placed on this reserve list on Tuesday after he tested positive for the disease. It is not clear if Dixon and Kreiter tested positive or merely being quarantined due to contact with Gano.

NOVEMBER 18, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the state of his team heading into the bye weekend (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: I know you don’t like the term starter, so I’ll use bulk of the reps. The cornerback opposite James (Bradberry), you’ve used a bunch of different guys. (Isaac) Yiadom, (Corey) Ballentine when he was here, Ryan Lewis. Is it sustainable to just keep kind of having a different guy there at cornerback two all the time, or do you guys need to settle on one guy?

A: No, I expect all the guys to play, I really do. There may be certain matchups that we may favor a certain guy for a skillset. There may be certain positions on the field, whether it’s red area versus backed up or in the field, that may be more of an early down guy or a third down guy. Every game brings a little bit of a different element on how you’re trying to match up the opponent. To me, I have no issue at all playing guys at any position and rotating them on through. As long as we’re getting production, we’re keeping guys fresh, we expect everyone at the game to contribute. In terms of the way I view the game, no, I have no issue with that at all.

Q: How do you think Ike (Yiadom) has played these last couple of games? He went from playing a lot to playing not much at all to now playing a lot again. How do you think he’s performed this second stint?

A: I’ve seen a lot of improvement from Ike. Yeah, that’s a guy who’s really worked tirelessly at practice. He’s really competed hard for us and shown a lot of things at practice. Then he got a shot in the game and he went out there and he’s been making plays for us. Yeah, he’s done a lot of really good things right now that have helped us. He’ll keep playing for us as well, as will (Madre) Harp(er), we get Ryan Lewis back and a number of other guys.

Q: When you made the decision to transition (Nick) Gates to center, that was probably with the thought that you’d have a full offseason, a full training camp, and preseason games. I’m curious were there any reservations about throwing him right in the way he had to get thrown in? How do you feel like he’s developed through the season?

A: I’ll start with the backend part first. I think he’s developed really well. I see a lot of improvement on a weekly basis from Nick. Look, going from playing guard and tackle into center is a completely different animal. The multiples on your plate, the command you have to have, the calls, even just the different mechanics of having to snap before you block, these are things you have to learn how to do. There’s a reason a lot of guys play center throughout their entire career up through high school, college and then in the NFL. It is a different type of position. I think he’s done a really good job of advancing in that. I see a lot of promise going forward with him. I’m pleased with how he’s playing, I see improvement every week. Now to the first part of it in terms of yes, obviously, initially we saw that as having a full offseason, full training camp. But like with everything else, that wasn’t going to waver when the pandemic hit. It wasn’t going to change our course of action in terms of how we were going to get this team ready. We just decided, hey, we’re going to adapt or die. We’re going to get ready. There are going to be some growing pains with a lot of guys, we have to move forward.

Q: On Monday, you talked about one of the things you’ve learned is to juggle time so you have enough time for your defense and offense. I tend not to be the most organized guy in the world. Why would you put yourself through that, or is that just how you have to be to be a coach?

A: I think as far as being the head coach, I have to know what’s going on with all three sides of the ball. I can’t know what’s going on without putting in the tape and time to learn the opponent on the frontend, and I can’t know what’s going on without really watching our teams at practice and studying what we’re doing and reviewing all the practice tape and the game tape, and understanding our personnel and how we’re using them. To me, it’s just part of the responsibility of what you have to do to be effective. I don’t know how I could help the team if I don’t know what’s going on. That’s just an emphasis for me.

Q: What’s your message to your players during this bye week? How do you balance staying focused and keeping the momentum going with taking a much-deserved break?

A: I’ll go back to the momentum question first. I don’t really believe that exists, to be honest with you. Nothing that we did against Philadelphia or Washington is going to help us against Cincinnati. We have to learn from what we did wrong and make corrections, but we have to come back on Monday and have a good, strong practice. To be honest with you, obviously, we’ve gone virtual this week with some of the COVID protocols going back to the intensive protocols. That’s changed a little bit of our plans with what they were going to be on the field. Initially, we were going to do more of a walkthrough (on Tuesday). Some of the younger guys, practice squad and some of the younger rookies, we’re going to have a more intensive practice when the walkthrough was over. Then today, Wednesday, would have been an on the field, padded practice for the entire team to get out there, popping around, work on some new schemes, concepts, make sure we correct some things that came up through the season. Now we’re working virtually to go ahead and have meetings and address those things right there. But we have to have a good day on Monday. In terms of the momentum, the only momentum I think we’ll be able to go ahead and transfer and create is how we practice and how we play. We have to come back next week ready to go.

Q: I’m curious 10 weeks into the season, after watching the tape of all these games and coaching through them, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about your team and what do you guys have to get better at down the stretch?

A: We have to continue improving across the board on fundamentals. I think that’s something you always have to improve on. You can never think ‘we’ve arrived’ there. I think sometimes the mistakes you make as a team as you get to a certain point in the season and it’s very scheme-oriented, and you fall away from what you worked hard on in training camp in terms of fundamentals and basics. Ultimately, that’s really what always makes the difference anyway. We talk about turnovers, penalties, mental errors, those are the things that are going to be the true deciding factors within games. In terms of our team, we hoped early on that we could develop a tough culture without knowing these players early on, and I’ve seen that with our guys. Our guys, it’s a team full of resilient guys, very mentally tough guys. I’ve seen these guys come to work week in and week out, no matter what the noise on the outside was. They come in focused, they come in determined, and they play together. I’ve seen a group of guys moving in the same direction, make a lot of improvement. I’m proud of how they practice, I’m proud of how it’s shown up on tape in games, and I think that transfers directly from how we practice to how we play.

Q: It seems like that’s really kind of taken off over the last two or three weeks, especially on defense. It seems like you’re playing a more physical brand of football than maybe you started. Why do you think that is, and do you think maybe that’s just kind of snowballing with wins and confidence beget more wins and confidence or is there more to it than that?

A: I think when you practice with good execution and you’re confident with what you’re doing schematically, you can play more aggressive. When you demonstrate across the board that you have 11 guys on the field who truly understand the schemes, the concepts and what we’re doing, then you can play aggressive by not worrying about the guy next to you and what he’s doing. I think right now, we’re at a point where our guys have really learned and progressed within the schemes and concepts that we’re working. They’ve really done a good job week by week adapting to different game plans and how they fit, and understand not only their responsibility, but how the guy next to them has to play as well. When you understand that, you can play more aggressive. That’s probably why some of that is starting to show up the way we want it to on tape.

Q: Do you look into the data, how teams come into a bye, how teams go out of a bye? This is your first time being a head coach with this. Is there something that you can do maybe better than someone else taking your team out of a bye that could give you an advantage?

A: Yeah, I think you have to look at what you do well, what you’re deficient on and what you have to improve on. I think the biggest thing coming out of a bye, other than maybe getting some guys back health wise or getting some things adjusted schematically, is you just need to come out and correct things that you’ve made mistakes on and go forward with. You may have a new wrinkle you try to work in here or there. We do look at teams coming out of byes. Obviously, the last two weeks we played teams coming off of byes. To me, it’s important to look at those teams based on what they’ve done in the past coming out of a bye. What kind of adjustments do they use? What does their game plan look like that game out of a bye? Different than it was the previous games before the bye? How many schematic differences do they have? Is it a more aggressive mindset? What do they do? You want to put all of those things into account just to anticipate what your opponent may do against you. For us specifically, I think the biggest mistake is people think when you’re coming out of a bye, you’re automatically fresher and faster and all that kind of stuff. I think that’s a myth. You have to come out and all that matters is how you play on that Sunday. You have to wake up and you have to knock off those cobwebs because the one thing is, these guys will have four solid days off without being around us as coaches or hearing our voices. Four days, again this season, is like four months. It just is. You come back, and that Monday practice we’ll have, that’s very necessary to go ahead and just make sure everybody gets woken up, knocks off some rust, has a good day on the field, and that that can transfer going forward.

Q: Coaches very often and sometimes you hear players say ‘he’s not a rookie anymore’. Are your rookies still rookies? What is that mindset? Do you subscribe to that mindset?

A: You can kind of phrase that two different ways on that. I know what you’re saying with that. I expect marked improvement from our team along the way. The so-called rookie mistakes, I don’t care if it’s a rookie making it or a vet making it, I just don’t expect to see it repeated. That’s what we’re really holding everyone accountable for. Things are going to happen, we just have to learn from them and move forward. I think at this point right now, our young players obviously have a different perspective and a different taste for the speed of the game and what goes in week by week. You hear a lot about these rookie walls. We talk to our rookies a lot about them. I’ve talked to rookies in the past about it as well. To me, it’s important to have these rookies understand that really right now we’re at a point where the college football season is winding down and about to be over. At least in a normal year, it would be. Your season is very much still going. We’ve got a lot of ball left to play. In a normal season, by the time you get to Week 8, that is a college season. That’s four preseason games. It’s eight games, you’re looking at 12. Maybe you play a bowl game after that. Go get a Little Caesar’s pizza bowl thing and go back home for Christmas and stuff. This season here, you’ve got to refuel and get going. You’ve got to make sure that you handle your routine throughout the season effectively. Physically, you don’t break down and mentally you don’t fatigue. To me, that comes into having a good established routine but then also some point in the year changing up your routine to change the stimulation. If you’re a guy that’s always watching tape mid-afternoon, okay maybe it’s an early morning thing and you get your workout in mid-afternoon. You have to change things up a little bit throughout the season not to have that monotony that kind of wears you down to the point where you think you’re being productive just because you have activity. You’ve got to make sure you’re actually taking steps forward every time you do something. We’re not writing a pass for any of guys, whether they are rookies, vets, whatever they are. In terms of repeat mistakes, we have to make sure as coaches we do a good job of eliminating those.

Q: I wanted to ask about Will Hernandez and everything he has gone through the last couple of weeks. You come into Sunday, it seemed clear you had a plan that he wasn’t necessarily going to get snaps. What did you see from Will in the game? Is it a challenge this week knowing you’re not in the building with these guys? How can you gauge how he is coming out of this weekend, first opportunity being out there on the field?

A: The best feedback we get as far as how he came out of this weekend is from the trainers and the strength coaches. We’re not in the building, but what we have done is we’re doing very small group workouts that are going to be available to our players, that they want to come and get something physically. Obviously, we’ve had to do a lot of maneuvering to make sure it’s very limited people in the field house working out or running. The field is very spread out, we’re taking precautions in that. The feedback I’ll get from the trainers and strength coaches will be the most valuable feedback I can get on those guys. What I saw when he went in the game is a guy who was ready. I saw when Will went in there, he was mentally, physically and emotionally ready to go. Obviously, two weeks off from a game, it’s a lot to ask anyone to jump right back in the swing of things and go through an entire game. When we needed him, he came through. He played well, he played tough. That’s just kind of Will’s personality. Coming out at the end of the game right there. He kind of goes in as the enforcer when we needed him right there. I was pleased to see Will at the game. It’s good to have him back in the building. He’s always a dude that makes everyone smile when he’s around. It’s just good to have him back with us.

Q: Do you feel like when you come back on Monday that the last couple weeks are behind him?

A: I think it’s still wait and see to see him on the field Monday, to be honest with you. To be fair to him, if we had practiced the last two days, if we were out there today, I think I’d have a much better view on that and an answer for that. Not being able to see with my own eyes when we put him through a practice, that’s a tough thing to evaluate and gauge. He says he’s feeling better. I don’t want to speak for the player, I guess I just did. I want to make sure that we make the right evaluation for him at all times. These guys are tough guys, they are competitive guys. Sometimes they say things and you have to make sure you really gauge it and make the best decision for them.

Q: You have a bunch of guys on the verge of returning from injured reserve. What’s their status coming off the bye. Tae Crowder, (Oshane) Ximines, (Xavier) McKinney and Ryan Lewis.

A: That falls back on Art’s (Stapleton) question. I was really counting on seeing a little bit of those guys this week. Obviously, we can’t see them on the field football wise this week. Monday will be an important day for us to kind of take a look at a lot of these guys moving around. We still have to make a declaration on a couple of these guys in terms of their clock. We’re going to have to evaluate these guys next week and see where they are going into Cincinnati. We’re optimistic we should see the majority of those guys if not all of them at some point down this stretch. They’ve all made progress, they’re all working very hard with our trainers. I know they are a lot further ahead than they were when they initially went on IR. We just have to see how close they are to game action for us.

Q: For you personally, do you decompress? Do you take any time off at the end of this week? Do you just plow through and worry about that after the season?

A: I’ll definitely structure good family time this weekend. I’ve got a laundry list of stuff right now that I am loading up on and making sure I stay ahead on. I’m using a lot of this time right now not only to self-scout and catch up on things that we’ve done throughout the season. The coaches have done a lot of really good research and reports and giving me good feedback on where we have to go going forward. That’s been very valuable. I’m trying to jump ahead on all of our opponents to get a head start which will help me down this final stretch. As far as watching some tape. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that when this weekend rolls around there is going to be a point where I have to dive in and be dad again. I’ve got to dive in with the kids and give them all my undivided attention. I’ll probably be way more worn out from that than I am from a week of game prep. It’s something we’re looking forward to. That will kind of reset the motor for us and get us moving through the final six.

Q: Have you talked to Graham (Gano)? How is he feeling? What can you tell us about (Ryan) Santoso?

A: Ryan’s a guy who has a huge leg, he’s shown a tremendous amount of improvement since he’s been here. It’s a unique skillset that he does all three, field goals, kickoffs and punts. He’s shown a lot of improvement in all three phases through being. I think Tom (Quinn) and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) do a tremendous job of working with this guy. This guy is a mentally tough guy, too. He’s one of my favorite guys on the practice field. He kicks for us in kicking periods, obviously. He does a lot of his field goal operational work on Friday with the team. Me and him normally have some kind of side bets going on as he is kicking, kind of put a little pressure on it. I think he’s a little bit better in terms of roping that thing through the uprights when I’m talking a little smack behind him. We have a lot of confidence in Ryan. He’s definitely a developing player. I think he has a big upside in this league for a long time, I really do. I’m pleased he’s been in our program and we’ve been able to hold onto him through this point. I’m really pleased with the work Tom and T-Mac have done with him. If he’s got to go, we have a lot of confidence he will be able to go out there and do the job effectively. Graham has talked to Ronnie (Barnes) today. I touched based with him yesterday. I don’t want to speak for him in terms of how he may feel with this. I don’t know all the stages of this virus personally, so I don’t know if this is something that increases, decreases. I don’t want to speak for any of the players. I know obviously our trainers are communicating with him on a regular basis to make sure his welfare is okay. I’ll touch base with him later today like I do with most of the players.

Q: Do you expect to have him back in time for the next game?

A: There’s a timetable with that. There’s an opportunity for that, but there are some other things that go into that as well. Are there any setbacks in that time window? Where does the physician clear him? There’s a ramp up period. Him, like everybody else, we have to be fair to this guy. He’s sitting in a hotel room for a couple weeks. Is it fair to him to put him on the field and ask him to go ahead and do his job? These are all things we have to account for. In fantasy football, yeah, plug him in and we’re good to go. In reality, are we doing the fair thing by him individually and the team collectively to take someone who hasn’t had two weeks of an opportunity to prepare to put him out there to do a job?

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video/audio 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 from November 19th to November 22nd.

Nov 162020
 
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New York Giants Defense (November 15, 2020)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS EXTEND GRAHAM GANO THROUGH 2023…
On Sunday, the New York Giants announced that they have extended the contract of place kicker Graham Gano through the 2023 NFL season.

The Giants signed Gano to a 1-year contract in August 2020. Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020.

The 33-year old Gano has made 21 of his 22 field goal attempts this year for the Giants, only missing a 57-yard effort. He also has made all 16 PAT attempts.

GIANTS SIGN THREE TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed running back/wide receiver Taquan Mizzell, offensive guard Kenny Wiggins, and cornerback Quincy Wilson to the Practice Squad.

The 27-year old, 5’10”, 185-pound Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Chicago Bears (2017-2018), and New Orleans Saints (2019-2020). Mizzell has played in 12 regular-season games, serving as a running back, wide receiver, and kick returner.

The Giants cut Wiggins on November 13th. The team originally signed him on November 3rd after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. The 6’6”, 315-pound Wiggins was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011), San Francisco 49ers (2012-2013), San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-2017), and Lions (2018-2020). Overall, Wiggins has played in 79 regular-season games with 38 starts.

The 24-year old, 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.

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 27-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Can you just go through what your next couple days are going to be looking like going into the bye? How much will the coaches be in the building, when the players are in, and just kind of a sense of what your schedule is?

A: We gave the players actually a victory Monday today and let them get a little bit extra rest today. Tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll have the players in the building. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, they’ll be completely off. We’ll have some available open gym time if you would as far as the weight room and training room. There’s absolutely nothing required per rule and all. We just want to give them some time to refresh. But because a lot of these guys have to stay in town, or all of them have to stay in town obviously with the (COVID) testing on a daily basis, what I found out from a lot of other clubs who have already had their bye weeks is different than previous bye weeks in previous years, there have been a lot of guys coming through the building on the weekend basically occupying time, getting some body work done, getting an extra workout, things of that nature. So, we’ll make sure we have the facilities open for them if that’s something they want to do. Coaching wise, we’re really focusing these next few days on some self-scouting internally. We do a little bit of a deal where we’ll go ahead and have the offense scout the defense and vice versa. It gives us a little bit different perspective. Sometimes when you just self-scout yourself on offense or on defense or in the kicking game within your own schemes, at times, you’re still too close to it to really see something that an opponent may see. We wanted to go ahead and take the time to really cross reference each other and see if we can pick up on something tendency wise to illuminate something for the coaches to change going forward. Then we want to build in to really our next six opponents of things we may see schematically, and then also with our younger players, really develop them and get guys ready to play in these next six games that we go ahead and have the best plan going forward, give ourselves a bit of a jumpstart on it.

Q: Just one other thing on the idea of the players being away. I know you mentioned last week that you may give players’ families an option or even the coaches’ families the option to come to town, kind of be a part of the testing. Did any of that materialize? Did anyone take you up on that offer?

A: To be honest with you, I have to check with Ronnie (Barnes) on that. I just announced to the team, we talked in the meeting, I just let them know that hey listen, if there’s someone coming in town, obviously, we want to control who’s coming in. We want to make sure they’re smart about the number of people we expose ourselves to. We want to make sure that on the frontend, we make sure that we test and that we make sure we’re putting ourselves in the safest environment possible. At the same time, we’re realists. We want to make sure that if something does happen, we’re treating it the best way possible and that we’re doing it in the safest way possible. We made it available to the players, I’ve echoed to all the players that if they have someone coming in that they need tested, to go to our training staff and talk with Ronnie and make sure we get that arranged on the frontend. That’s both for this week coming up, as well as Thanksgiving the next week. I haven’t heard any reports back from our training staff, but I’ll double check on that today and see if there’s anyone that’s been involved with that. At the same time too, I want to make sure the players know we’re not trying to look over their shoulder and check up on who has someone coming to town. That’s not our reason at all. I just want to make sure more of the players, I don’t have any specific names, are utilizing what we’re offering to them.

Q: I know you focus a lot on the daily and weekly development and improvement of the players and coaches. I’m wondering if you can talk about where you think you’ve improved the most as a head coach throughout these past 10 weeks?

A: I think time usage. Throughout the season, you kind of figure out what times a week are most efficient to do certain deals. Early in the season, you try to do everything on the frontend of the week to be completely ahead of everything. You work ahead a good deal to give yourself a jumpstart. But you have to kind of pace your time throughout the week. What I found early on was it was taking away a little bit from my interactions with players, maybe not able to sit in with different coaching game planning meetings by trying to bombard everything on the frontend of the week and have all the answers. I’ve kind of pulled back a little bit in terms of everything on the frontend spread out throughout the rest of the week, and I’ve been able to kind of just time manage a little bit better. I think that’s something that’s helped me personally a good deal as far as managing each day. Other than that, I think it’s just more or less growing within what I’m doing on a daily basis. The interactions at practice, like I said, the first experience I had walking on the field as a head coach for any practice was in training camp. That’s a weird feeling walking out there, not having one specific position. What I found early in the process is having a plan of who you want to look at on a daily basis, making sure you get eyes on every player at some point in practice and really making sure you’re watching everyone’s growth. But it has to be something very planned out and very specific, so there’s a lot of time I dedicate before practice to going through the practice schedule and the individual scripts offensively and defensively of really identifying what schemes do I have to really evaluate in person, and what players do I really have to see do certain things on certain days, and making sure I map out my own time of why I float drill to drill at a certain point in practice.

Q: Is there anything you want to improve on further moving forward?

A: Yeah, everything. Absolutely everything. I want to find better ways to coach my players, better ways to set up scheme within games. I want to make sure that we’re efficient on time management at all points. I always want to find better ways to practice. We’re really not stuck into any specific drill or routine. I’m always looking for inventive ways and better ways of doing things. I’m watching as much tape around the league, seeing what different teams are doing, talking with as many resources as I have. I just have to keep finding better ways to help the players on the field and help the coaches off the field.

Q: I’m just curious what you guys thought when you heard that all the charges were dropped against DeAndre (Baker) today?

A: Yeah, to be honest with you, I’ve been pretty busy all day as far as watching tape. Pat Hanlon gave me kind of a quick bullet point thing before I walked in here, I saw that. Look, I wish him the best of luck in the future. We’ve made the decision that we think is best for the program, and that’s really all I have to say about that.

Q: On a separate note, what makes you guys so successful, or Daniel (Jones) so successful, with that zone read? Is it opposition based or is it something in particular that makes him good at it?

A: The coaches are doing a good job in terms of setting up the schemes based on who we’re playing. It’s never exactly the same thing. It’s similar in nature, but there are different versions of it. I think it just comes down to the blocking the offensive line creates, the threat of the running backs going vertically with the ball, and then Daniel’s ability to read it and pull the ball and make some yardage with his legs on the edge. It’s never one person. It’s a good call at the right time, it’s good blocking upfront, it’s the threat of the running backs running with the ball, and it’s Daniel’s ability to execute with the ball in his hands. It’s all the pieces that have to come together. It’s something we’ve been able to make a strength for us. We want to continue building on that and use it when the opportunity arises in each game.

Q: This isn’t meant to be a weird question at all, but the way your team played against Washington and Philly, was the way they played enough that you would have seen progress? The win obviously makes it all the better, but I think you know what I’m getting at. Did they perform in those games to a standard that alone would have pleased you?

A: Yeah, I wouldn’t stop short and say anything that we’ve arrived. I don’t think we ever want to look at something and say like ‘ok, we’ve gotten to the point we want to be at.’ There’s a lot of improvement we want to keep making. There are a lot of things that we want to clean up. I would say this though. On a weekly basis, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from our team. To me, it’s most evident when you turn the tape on. Look, there are several plays from yesterday that really encapsulate what I want our players to show everyone that watches that tape, and it’s important they look at it. Whether it’s Wayne’s (Gallman) touchdown on the fourth down and one where we drove everyone into the end zone and finished the blocks, or Wayne going over the top with good ball security. Whether it’s converting some tough, get back on track situations, defense getting off the field when they have to, special teams covering kicks and establishing field position. There were a lot of positive things to me, the effort, the urgency… look, one of the things that we’ve emphasized as a team to be honest with you that showed up yesterday that I was very proud of is you see when our players score, everyone running into the end zone celebrating with them. That’s important to me. It’s not a hot dog thing, but we don’t really want individualistic celebrations. We want the team to celebrate. It’s not about one guy getting into the end zone. It’s what did the line do to block to get you down there? What previous plays are you celebrating? It could be a receiver having a touchdown catch. Alright, well the running back should go down and celebrate because he had runs previous in the series that helped get us down there. The offensive line is a part of every play. The quarterback is obviously a big part of every play. We want the team celebrating together and acknowledging that it takes all 11 on the field every time to be successful. It takes everyone on the sideline as well, to be part of it, to be collectively successful.

Q: When you come back from the bye, will you mention the division race to your team? Someone is going to win this division and it certainly could be you guys. Will that be a bullet point of yours?

A: No, the importance needs to be improving as a team. All that other stuff will take care of itself. Cincinnati is a good team. We have to get ready and go ahead and improve ourselves internally. Turn the page and move on to Cincinnati and get ready for a tough game out there. We have a tough stretch of games coming up. We can’t go ahead and start looking at rankings and division races and all that type of stuff. We just have to focus on getting better each week. That’s what will ultimately help us in the long run.

Q: You’ve continually said this division race is irrelevant as far as what the records are. Some of the players don’t think it’s irrelevant. They are excited that they can have a share of first place. Do you think they can balance that with going about the business of improving every day?

A: One of my core beliefs is, motivation, to me, is an individual thing. As long as you’re working for something and it collectively raises the team, that’s a positive thing. It’s professional football, I don’t care if a guy is working for a paycheck or a guy is working for a championship. If both guys come out and they are giving their best every day, that’s going to make the team better. Whatever motivates these guys, that’s great. My job as the head coach is to make sure they understand the big picture goal. Right now to me, that’s improving on a daily basis and getting to be the best football team we can be at the end of the season. All that other stuff takes care of itself.

Q: You were asked about Daniel jones and the zone read. The more he runs obviously the more punishment he is going to take. How do you balance that? He took some pretty big hits near the goal line against the Eagles.

A: Daniel is a tough dude. That being said, we don’t need him to take unnecessary punishment. We’ve talked to Daniel, a lot of times there is a time to lower your shoulder and get the extra yard, and there is a time to step out of bounds, slide and protect the ball. I think he’s made pretty good decisions. When he’s had to lower his shoulder… yesterday was a very competitive game. There was a lot of positions he was in with the ball where there wasn’t really the opportunity to just slide and get down. A lot of them were close to the goal line. A few of them were on third down situations where he had to really go ahead and drop his weight to try to get that extra yard to get the first down for us. We’ve talked to him, I think he understands that. I think he’s done a good job of balancing that out. He’s definitely aggressive, very competitive dude. He’s a tough natured guy. He’s definitely a guy you have to pump the brakes on a little bit more and kind of take less hits off of him. He’s not the guy who is going to shy away from contact at any point.

Q: In victory formation yesterday, there was kind of a little bumping after one of the kneels. I couldn’t help but notice you colorfully told your guys to get back in the huddle. Is there a point where you stop coaching and you just enjoy?

A: At the point you are referring to yesterday, we don’t want our players getting mixed up in anything. It’s going to be a penalty to be honest with you. At that point in the game, you’re kneeling the ball down. You’re trying to run the clock out. The worst thing you can do is create a penalty and stop the clock. That’s an advantage you can give to the opponent. We don’t want to do anything stupid. There’s that fine line between sticking up for yourselves, sticking up for your teammates and then just crossing a line and doing something dumb that’s going to give the other team an advantage with penalty yards and stopping the clock. For us in that moment there, the smart thing to do is just get back. Get away, get into the huddle. Come back out the next play, kneel it down and then we can all go shake hands and celebrate in the locker room. (Jokingly) I didn’t realize that was on TV.

Q: When you first took the job, you talked about putting out a team that represented the people of New York and New Jersey. Being tough, being tough minded. Do you feel like you are seeing that with your team?

A: Yeah, absolutely. You talk about our team and one word I use all the time is resilient. When I think about people in this area, blue-collar people who work hard every day. It’s obviously a very competitive area to be in. That’s what you have to be up here. We want our guys to be successful on the field, but it matters to us how we’re successful. We want to play with the right attitude. We want to play a tough brand of football. We want to run the ball, stop the run, cover kicks. We want to go out there and be able to play in tough elements and be successful. We’re not going to be a team that makes excuses or comes back an says we had them, but this happened instead. That’s not the way we’re made up, that’s not what we’re going to do. I think we’re getting closer to putting a product on the field that hopefully people can see themselves in. That people are proud to put on those blue caps or t-shirts on Mondays and go to work and celebrate that they root for the Giants. That’s something that’s important to us here. We want this team to be about the area. Not just about the guys in the building.

Q: On your clock management, it seems very solid. Have you studied that over the years? Who may have underscored the importance of that?

A: I’d say probably the first time I got into it was when I took the job in New England and I started becoming more involved with it. College is much, much different in terms of clock management. It’s not really as emphasized as it probably should be in a lot of ways. Coach Saban is very thorough in what he did. I just wasn’t personally involved in that part of it at that point. When I got to New England, part of my responsibility was tied into a lot of the situations. As far as being a part of special teams, it’s a large part of what your job is. Your job and responsibility grows over time with that. Over the eight years of being there, my role and responsibility in terms of in-game clock or input in how we could better manage situations grew. That’s obviously something I emphasize for myself in how I can help the team. I’m not calling offensive plays or defensive plays and T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) is running the kicking game. There’s a lot of things throughout the game I look to help with. Making adjustments or having an overview of things. Talking to coordinators about the flow of the game or big picture concepts. To me, controlling the clock, the timeouts, things of that nature, that’s really where I can make a positive impact for the team.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Select players will address the media on Tuesday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media on Wednesday.

Nov 132020
 
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Devonta Freeman, New York Giants (October 4, 2020)

Devonta Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE SIX ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed running back Alfred Morris, offensive lineman Kyle Murphy, and defensive back Montre Hartage from the team’s Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

The Giants signed Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020. He’s played in the last two games for the Giants, carrying the ball 17 times for 95 yards. 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 Murphy as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Murphy was a 3-year starter in college with experience all along the offensive line.

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 and waived/injured Hartage in early September 2020 with a hamstring injury. The Giants re-signed him to the Practice Squad in late October.

The Giants placed running back Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve with ankle and hamstring injuries. The Giants signed Freeman in late September 2020. He played in five games for the Giants with four starts, carrying the ball 54 times for 172 yards and one touchdown. Freeman also caught seven passes for 58 yards. Freeman was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons cut Freeman in March 2020.

The Giants have also waived tight end Eric Tomlinson and offensive guard Kenny Wiggins.

The Giants signed Tomlinson as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2020. He has spent time both on the 53-man roster and Practice Squad this year, playing in only one game. Tomlinson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Eagles (2015), Houston Texans (2015-2016), New York Jets (2016-2018), Giants (2019), New England Patriots (2019), and Raiders (2019).

The Giants signed Wiggins in early November 2020 after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. The 6’6”, 315-pound Wiggins was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011), San Francisco 49ers (2012-2013), San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-2017), and Lions (2018-2020).

NOVEMBER 13, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RB Devonta Freeman (ankle/hamstring) did not practice on Friday. He was placed on Injured Reserve soon after.

WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip), WR Golden Tate (knee), and CB Isaac Yiadom (calf) were limited in practice. Golden and Yiadom are “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Shepard is expected to play.

TE Kaden Smith (concussion) fully practiced.

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 New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Nov 122020
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 12, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip), WR Golden Tate (knee) were limited in practice.

TE Kaden Smith (concussion) 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 on Friday (11:30AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Nov 112020
 
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Riley Dixon and Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 11, 2020)

Riley Dixon and Graham Gano – © USA TODAY Sports

GRAHAM GANO NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano has been named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Washington Football Team last Sunday. Gano kicked field goals of 38, 48, and 42 yards in the team’s 23-20 victory. Three of his six kickoffs were touchbacks.

This season, Gano has missed only one of his 33 attempts, a 57-yard field goal try against the Chicago Bears.

NOVEMBER 11, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
DL Leonard Williams (not injury related) and S/CB Logan Ryan (not injury related) did not practice on Wednesday.

RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/hip), and TE Kaden Smith (concussion) were limited in practice.

LB Tae Crowder, who has been on Injured Reserve since October 20th with a hamstring injury, returned to practice on Wednesday. The Giants now have 21 days to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster or end his season.

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

Coach Judge also broke down game film for fans. See video on YouTube.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:15-2:00PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Nov 092020
 
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Kyler Fackrell and Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Kyler Fackrell and Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 23-20 win over the Washington Football Team (the video is also available on Giants.com):

Q: We’ve heard you talk so many times about why you’re doing the offensive line rotations, because you want everybody to play. But why is it working? Every offensive lineman I’ve ever talked to tells me the key to the offensive line is continuity, the same five guys, etc. etc. Why is playing six guys and soon to be seven guys with the three guards, why is it working?

A: We’ve talked about that a lot internally, to be honest with you. Part of the reason we think may be, hey look, maybe it gives our guys a little bit of a breather. It keeps them a little bit fresher. They have fresher legs out there, working with some tempo on offense. You get guys with a series off here or there, it kind of gets their breath a little bit. All three guys are playing, they’re playing well right now for us. They’re all improving, so it gives us a lot of confidence to keep moving those guys on through. Part of it may be it changes a little bit what the defense can do to attack you. They can’t single up on what just one guy does and what they’re trying to look. Maybe it alters how they approach each drive not knowing who’s going in. We’ve kind of talked internally and bounced a few things off. The one thing we’ve concluded is whatever the reasons on the other side may be, we like how it’s working for us and we’re going to keep on going with it.

Q: How hard is what Matt Peart is doing? He might be playing the least of the snaps between Cam (Fleming) and Andrew (Thomas), but he’s the one who has to change his footwork from series to series, left to right. How hard is what he’s doing?

A: Yeah, that’s very impressive, especially for a young guy like Matt. He’s really shown a lot of progress in doing that. That’s definitely something that’s better preparing him for the remainder of his career, and I think he’s shown a lot of promise right now that it should be a very productive career. We love Matt, the way he works, and for him to be able to be a swing guy as a rookie in this league, because as you alluded to it’s not just the footwork you’re changing. It’s also the matchups based on who the defense plays on either side. It also changes some of the responsibilities based on the plays. He’s done a really good job as far as knowing the offense. But he’s done a really good job fundamentally of working both sides’ techniques and haven’t really seen a difference on either side with him.

Q: I know you’ve been pretty adamant about every Monday after a game, win or lose, you’re going to do corrections and approach it with the team the same way. But after a win, is there any difference that you sense in the way the players act, the way they take to coaching as far as more confidence, a sense of “swagger” or something you notice that maybe could help you moving forward?

A: I think one of the things that’s most pleasing about our guys today, to be honest with you, is they’re very consistent, they’re very steady. They came in today with that same attitude we’ve seen in the previous weeks. There’s a little more joking around and laughing at different times, but really ultimately, they came in the room and they’re very easy to coach. They’re very receptive, they’re looking for a better way of doing things. Look, we told them right at the beginning of the meeting, ‘hey listen, we had success yesterday. Let’s not mistake that for thinking everything is perfect. There is plenty that we have to watch on this tape and we have to correct. Philadelphia is watching the same tape we are today, and they’re looking to expose everything we put out there that while it may not have been magnified in yesterday’s game, they’re going to look to go ahead and expose it in next Sunday’s matchup.’ We have to do a good job of knowing what we have to continue to improve on and clean up, and also, what we can build on in a positive manner. Our guys have been great. One of the things I’m seeing that is very pleasing is I didn’t see a group of guys come in today like we have everything figured out. I saw a group of guys coming in here today ready to learn, ready to work and move forward.

Q: Does the little more joking and fooling around and smiling, does that include the head coach?

A: I’m always kind of myself. Win or lose, I’m going to kind of bust your chops a little bit either way, throw something at you. Look, I’m kind of the same guy all the time, to be honest with you, win or loss. In a lot of ways, after a win, it can be tougher to coach in a lot of ways. Our guys have been very good with that in that they’ve been receptive. Sometimes you walk in after a win, you have to tell a team this is the toughest it’s going to be to coach all year because you think you have all the answers. After a loss, people can be more receptive at times. You have to understand and know who your team is and how you have to approach them. In terms of me laughing or joking or whatever that may be, if I think the team needs to kind of lighten the mood a little bit, I may throw something in there. If sometimes it has to be a little bit more serious tone, then I’ll approach it that way right there. But I think the guys know what to expect from me on a daily basis. Win or lose, practice or game, I’m kind of approaching everything with the same mentality and personality.

Q: Where do things stand with Golden Tate this week?

A: He was back in there with us today working. We’re not going to have the players in the building tomorrow, but they’ll be able to come in to work out. Then Wednesday we’ll be on the field for practice, so he’ll definitely be out there practicing with us. Like all of our players, we’re going to have plans for these guys within the game plan. If you’re asking me specifically about him being active for the game, I would anticipate Golden being active. I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t be active at this point. But we’re going to go through this week and kind of see how everything goes with everybody on the team and see where everything lays out.

Q: I was reading that your captains were on board with the decision to leave him home. I think it was Albert Breer that wrote that. Do you consult your captains when you make a decision like that?

A: I try to let the captains know what’s going on with any major decisions we have within the program.

Q: What do you think of your defense and the improvement it has made?

A: Well, I love what those guys are doing with the energy that they play with and the urgency. There are definitely some things we have to clean up and continue to improve on, but every week, there are things that we emphasize that I see turn around in a positive way. Something that’s been a major focus for us is two-minute, and we’ve been working very hard on the two-minute drives in practice. It’s something that we had to really continue to improve on. But like I told the team today, I said we closed out two two-minute drives. You can kind of include that maybe as a third two-minute drive as well at the end, all with interceptions. Kind of two end the game situations, one at the half situation. That was definitely a step in the right direction for our team. But we compete, we go good vs. good on two-minute in practice. Offensively and defensively, we’re getting good competition as far as working the situation, not worrying so much about the looks from the other team. Then we do some kind of crossover against the opponent two-minute drills later in the week. There are a lot of things I’ve seen the defense improve on. There is no reason we can’t continue to play at a high level. I love the way the improvement we’re seeing. The young guys are really coming along. There are a lot of encouraging things we’re seeing from the guys that are rookies or new guys to this program, and we’re getting a lot of production from a lot of guys.

Q: Real quick on Golden, one more thing. Can you explain the decision of why you decided to leave him behind and not dress him for that game?

A: No, I’m not going to go into that. But I appreciate the question and respect the question.

Q: With Daniel (Jones), he obviously didn’t have a turnover in the game. I’m just curious how you as coaches look at it because the ball did hit the ground twice during that game. How do you sort of balance that and look at it?

A: We’re always emphasizing what we’ve done well and correcting what we did wrong in every game. That’s every player, that’s every coach, that’s everyone within different techniques. We’re always emphasizing ball security across the board. We’re always emphasizing playing clean penalties-wise. We did some things in that neighborhood that we have to get off the map as well this next week. We’re always emphasizing playing a clean game in terms of eliminating mental errors by understanding what we’re doing on the field and not making mistakes.

Q: Obviously you eliminated the turnovers in this game. Does the pendulum need to swing back more to be aggressive to give more oomph to the offense? You scored three points in the second half.

A: I don’t think anything with that had to do with a lack of aggressiveness at all. In fact, we were actually moving the ball very well in the second half. You go back afterwards, you watch the tape, okay what happened with we were scoring points? Those were self-inflicted wounds that we have to make sure we get off it. We had some penalties, we had some different things happen offensively, some negative plays. When we don’t go ahead and shoot ourselves in the foot, we’re moving the ball pretty productively. I think the difference in the first half and the second half was we didn’t have any self-inflicted wounds in the first half. We were able to finish drives aggressively. I like the way the offense is playing. I think there’s a lot of aggressiveness with how we’re calling plays right now. There’s a lot of aggressiveness in terms of how we’re playing and executing on the field, starting up front with the run blocking and the pass protection from the offensive line. I see that carryover in everything. When Daniel has a nice clean pocket, he’s been very productive. He’s been able to make plays in scramble situations as well. The offensive line really set the table for us this week to play a good, clean game and complementary with the run and the pass game.

Q: If Daniel plays the same game he played on Sunday, obviously every game is different, if he plays that same type of game on Sunday, is that the style you want to move forward?

A: I think there’s a lot of clips in these last few games that you can see that we can say this is the style we want to play as an offense, defense and special teams moving forward. That doesn’t mean the game plan is exactly the same. We want to keep making sure we have an emphasis in terms of ball security, number one. Limiting penalties and knocking mental errors off the plates. I like the way we’re playing aggressively on offense. I like the tempo we’re playing with. That’s not always going to be part of the game plan. Sometimes we may slow it down. I like the last few games, our ability to work some tempo. I like how we’re running the ball and that’s setting up some plays down the field in the passing game. I like how we’re covering kicks right now. We’ve been able to make plays in the return game as well. That’s shown up in the last few weeks. We’re definitely improving in that area. Defensively, I see a lot of improvement with the situations. Whether it be third down, red area or two-minute. That’s improvement, that’s something we’ve placed an emphasis on with our team that we have to continue to improve on. We’ve seen a lot of really good players, good offenses in the first part of the season. We have to keep on improving, as we keep on going through because they’re going to keep on getting better and better.

Q: It seems when you talk to us, there are times when we talk to a player later on and he will say the same thing you said to us. Is it important to you that the team speak with one voice and that it be yours?

A: I think it’s just important that I explain to the players what I expect. I explain to them very clearly that when something is going on, how I’m going to handle it and why I’m handling it a certain way. To me, it’s important to have transparency with the team and I think at that point they can better understand how we’re attacking a situation or how we’re approaching the season through whatever is going on with it. We don’t try to make our players robots. We don’t try to dictate anything they say. To me, it is important that everyone understands and plays on one accord, that we’re all on the same page. That’s very important, I think we have seen that with our players. You guys asked a lot of questions throughout the year in terms of coming off a loss or continuous losses, how do we deal with it? I think you deal with it just by being very transparent as an organization. Everyone understanding where we are, where we’re going and how we have to get there. That carries over into kind of talking to the media as well.

Q: After the first play of the game for Washington, are you bringing back the mud sliding drill?

A: You bet. We have to be cleaner on the fumble recovery on that. I’m glad we were able to come up with that. Right there, there was a lot of rules to emphasize on that. A lot of things we can teach off of with the sideline fumble technique and the rules involved with it. In terms of if you go out of bounds, if you’re an offensive player, you want to reach and touch the ball to make sure the ball is a continuation of being out of bounds. Then the opportunity for the defense to recover it, for a defensive player, you want to tap it back in before you go out of bounds. If you go out of bounds, get both feet established to give yourself an opportunity to recover that thing cleanly. When (Jabrill) Peppers comes out of the pile with the ball there, the importance of not running off and celebrating but turning and showing the ball to the official so they don’t erroneously signal the ball to the other team, thinking it was a clear recovery. Then you can’t challenge that play and the other team gets it even though you’re holding the ball. There’s a lot of teaching things that come out of that coming out of that situation. We definitely don’t want to be out there looking like the Keystone Cops trying to get that ball. We have to clean that up.

Q: Do you have to sign Alfred Morris to the active roster since you have called him up twice to activate him?

A: Yes, the next move would be to sign him. Obviously, we’ll approach a lot of different things this week in terms of our roster with a lot of different players. Over these next few weeks we expect several guys to have the opportunity. We don’t know where they are physically yet. We start their clocks off the IR, they will be coming off the clocks on IR, so we have to check and see what our total roster is in terms of that. There’s a lot of things with that that are going to factor in.

Q: Two guys I wanted to ask about injury wise. Xavier McKinney, is he going to start practicing with you guys this week?

A: That’s still up in the air. I don’t know if we will necessarily see him this week. He was on the field the other day running with the trainers. I haven’t had much of a chance with my own eyes to really get my eyes on him. I know he’s making a lot of progress. I’m getting positive reports on him. We have until Wednesday. He’ll be with the trainers tomorrow, that may shed a little bit more light on it for us. Based on how we practice Wednesday, if we go full tilt or some kind of an abbreviated walk thru, or short fundamentals practice, we haven’t decided yet. That may affect whether or not we start his clock on that day or not.

Q: Will Hernandez, is he coming off the list (COVID-19)? Oshane (Ximines) and Tae Crowder I think? (off of IR)

A: With Oshane and Tae, they are very similar to X-man (McKinney). We have to figure out where they’re at physically and when do we want to start their clock. All of them have made a lot of progress. Some are a little bit closer than others. I want to see where they’re at. The biggest thing I’d say at this point is because you have the bye week coming up next week, we want to be very calculated when we start their clock, that 21-day window. If you start it too early and then you lose another week with the bye week anyway, it may set them back. There’s a benefit of getting them going with us right away, getting their legs back under them, get them back playing football. There’s also a benefit of holding a little bit knowing you have the bye week next week and there’s really no advantage to getting them to a game next week anyway. There’s a couple different avenues we can take with these guys. I want to see where they’re at physically. We talked this morning with the trainers and basically said, ‘hey look, tomorrow we have to have some answers to at least help us make a better decision.’ In terms of Will coming off the COVID list, I have to check with Ronnie (Barnes) with some of the specifics. I know he has started some of the ramp up stuff from what I understand talking to Ronnie this morning. The one thing I want to make sure is we are fair with with Will is this guy has missed two games, that’s a lot of football he’s missed. We have to be fair to him to get him his conditioning back and get him back on the field moving around. It’s not like this guy has spent the last two weeks lifting weights and running, doing individual drills in his back yard. This guy has been quarantined and fighting a virus. We have to make sure when we get him back, we give him a chance that he’s able to get out there and play a full 60 minutes healthy. Also, make sure he gets some reps on the field to account for some of that lost time and kind of sharpen him back up for some of the movement he is going to see inside at that guard position.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday. The assistant coaches will be available to the media on Tuesday.

Nov 082020
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 8, 2020)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 23 – WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM 20…
The New York Giants earned their second win of the 2020 season by sweeping the Washington Football Team in Maryland on Sunday, 23-20. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 2-7.

The Giants dramatically out-rushed Washington 166 to 37 while Washington dramatically out-passed New York 365 to 184. The Giants’ team rushing figure was a season high. The real difference in the ball game was the Giants won the turnover battle 5-0. It was the first time quarterback Daniel Jones did not turn the football over in his 21 NFL starts (although he did fumble the ball twice).

The Giants received the ball to start the game, picked up two first downs, but turned the ball over on downs when running back Dion Lewis was stuffed on 4th-and-1 at the Washington 35-yard line. Nevertheless, New York got the football right back when on Washington’s first offensive play, defensive back Logan Ryan forced a fumble after a long reception by running back Antonio Gibson. Safety Jabrill Peppers recovered the fumble at the New York 19-yard line. On their second possession, highlighted by a 50-yard pass from Jones to wide receiver Austin Mack, the Giants were able to set up a 38-yard field goal to take a 3-0 early lead.

Washington went three-and-out on their second possession. The Giants picked up one first down and punted. However, the Washington returner muffed the punt with cornerback Madre Harper recovering the loose ball at the Washington 16-yard line. Four plays later, running back Wayne Gallman easily scored from two yards out. Giants 10 – Washington 0.

Washington’s only scoring drive of the first half occurred on their third possession as they drove 44 yards in nine plays to set up a 48-yard field goal. On this drive, starting quarterback Kyle Allen suffered a serious ankle injury after being sacked by Peppers. He was replaced for the rest of the game by Alex Smith. The Giants responded with their own field-goal drive, traveling 45 yards in nine plays, and place kicker Graham Gano kicked a 48 yarder of his own. Giants 13 – Washington 3.

After another three-and-out by Washington, New York took charge of the game with a 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jones to tight end Evan Engram just before the 2-minute warning. Washington threatened to score in the final two minutes of the half, reaching the New York 18-yard line, but linebacker Blake Martinez ended this threat by intercepting Smith.

At the half, the Giants led 20-3.

The Giants did not make it easy on themselves in the second half. Washington received the ball to start the 3rd quarter and easily drove 75 yards in six plays to cut the score in half, 20-10. Gibson ran the ball in from one yard out. The Giants responded with a 12-play, 51-yard drive that took over seven minutes off of the clock and resulted in a 42-yard field goal. This would be New York’s last points of the day.

Washington scored again on their second possession of the half, gaining 53 yards on nine plays to set up a 44-yard field goal. New York 23 – Washington 13 early in the 4th quarter. The Giants gained two first downs and then punted. But it took only three plays for Washington to go 84 yards with wideout Terry McLaurin breaking free for a 68-yard score. With just over 10 minutes to play, the Giants only led 23-20.

Once again, the Giants gained a couple of first downs. But a holding penalty on Engram and a sack pushed the Giants back and forced a punt. With five minutes to go, Washington was looking to tie or win the game. They gained 49 yards in nine plays, but on 3rd-and-10 from the New York 40-yard line, Smith threw a high pass that was tipped an intercepted by Peppers.

The Giants’ offense could not run out the clock and Washington got the ball back at their own 28-yard line with 1:48 left to play. Two plays later, Logan Ryan intercepted Alex Smith at the Washington 30-yard line to end the game.

Jones completed 23-of-34 passes for 212 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He was sacked five times. His leading targets were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (6 catches for 39 yards), Engram (5 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown), and Mack (4 catches for 72 yards). Gallman rushed 14 times for 68 yards and a touchdown. Running back Alfred Morris also gained 67 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, the Giants forced four turnovers (three interceptions and one fumble). Washington only gained 37 yards rushing on nine carries. The Giants picked up two sacks, one by defensive lineman Leonard Williams and a sack shared by defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and cornerback Isaac Yiadom.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
Activated from the Practice Squad for this game were RB Alfred Morris, G Chad Slade (COVID-19 Replacement), and S Montre Hartage.

Inactive for the game were RB Devonta Freeman (ankle), WR Golden Tate, TE Eric Tomlinson, OT Jackson Barton, OG Kenny Wiggins, DE R.J. McIntosh, and CB Brandon Williams.

TE Kaden Smith left the game in the second half with a concussion.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.