Jul 262018
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 26, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their first full-team summer training camp practice on Thursday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – GIANTS STILL EVALUATING SAM BEAL…
Not practicing on Thursday were defensive tackle Damon Harrison (unknown), defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), and cornerback Sam Beal (shoulder).

“We’re evaluating what’s happening with (Beal),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He was out here – and you saw him the last day of the rookie camp. He’s got a little thing going on with his shoulder that might need to get fixed…We knew there were some issues with his shoulder when we drafted him…Possibly (out for the season) – we’ll see.”

“(McIntosh) was going through a medical issue coming out,” said Shurmur. “We’re trying to get that rectified. We’ll just try to get him out there as quickly as possible.”

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • First-team offensive line: left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • Second-team offensive line: left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler.
  • Third-team offensive line: left tackle Malcom Bunche, left guard Nick Gates, center Evan Brown, right guard Chris Scott, and right tackle Jarron Jones.
  • First-team defense: defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson, nose tackle Robert Thomas, defensive end B.J. Hill, outside linebacker Kareem Martin, inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, inside linebacker B.J. Goodson, outside linebacker Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, strong safety Landon Collins, free safety Darian Thompson, and cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Second team defense: defensive end Kerry Wynn, nose tackle A.J. Francis, defensive end Josh Mauro, outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, inside linebacker Mark Herzlich, inside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, outside linebacker Connor Barwin, cornerback B.W. Webb, safety Andrew Adams, safety Curtis Riley, and cornerback Donte Deayon.
  • Third-team defense: defensive end Josh Banks, nose tackle Tyrell Chavis, defensive end Kristjan Sokoli, outside linebacker Avery Moss, inside linebacker Calvin Munson, inside linebacker Thurston Armbrister, outside linebacker Jordan Williams, cornerback Grant Haley, safety Michael Thomas, safety Orion Stewart, and cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta underthrew a deep ball, allowing cornerback Eli Apple to recover and punch the ball out from the intended receiver, Amba Etta-Tawo, who had beaten Apple deep.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins blanketed wide receiver Cody Latimer twice in a row. Then quarterback Eli Manning underthrew Latimer deep and Jenkins picked it off.
  • Tight end Evan Engram blew past safety Landon Collins, made a one-handed catch, and scored. The Giants had Engram lining up quite a bit outside.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams also made a one-handed reception on a crossing route.
  • Returning punts were wide receivers Kalif Raymond and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris broke up a few passes in 11-on-11 team drills.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. saw quite a few snaps from the slot position.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threaded the needle on a pass to tight end Jerell Adams.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree was very active, including defending a number of passes.
  • After practice, Odell Beckham, Jr. worked with fellow wideout Cody Latimer. Quarterback Eli Manning also threw passes to Beckham after practice.

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

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com. Coach Shurmur also sat down with Bob Papa for an exclusive Giants.com interview (video).

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:

ARTICLES…

Mar 262018
 
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Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins (September 17, 2017)

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN SAFETY MICHAEL THOMAS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent safety Michael Thomas (Miami Dolphins). The 28-year old, 5’11”, 195-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2012 NFL Draft. After spending most of two seasons on the 49ers’ Practice Squad, Thomas was signed to the 53-man roster of the Dolphins in December 2013. In five seasons in Miami, Thomas has played in 56 games with 25 starts. In 2017, Thomas played in 13 games with two starts and finished the season with 27 tackles and one pass defense. He was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2017 with a knee injury. Thomas is a versatile player who has experience both at both safety spots and nickel corner. Thomas doesn’t make many plays on the football with only six career pass defenses and one interception. But he is a very good special teams player (55 special teams tackles in four years) who was also captain of the special teams in Miami.

ARTICLES…

Jan 262018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (January 26, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Pat Shurmur was officially introduced as the new head coach of the New York Giants at press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Shurmur’s contract is reportedly a 5-year deal, running through the 2019 NFL season.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Good morning. As soon as our season ended, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman, Kevin Abrams and myself started this process of finding and identifying our new head coach. We were looking for someone with intelligence, leadership skills, a presence, a professional demeanor, and the right philosophy on how to build a team. It did not matter to any of us whether it was an offensive or a defensive coach. We did a considerable amount of research, which included speaking with executives and coaches, past and present, around the NFL, and players, as well. We were able to identify some great candidates, but it struck me that the name that constantly came up with just about everybody that we talked to was Pat Shurmur. We had some very impressive interviews with six different coaches. We had much discussion back and forth about each of these individuals. We did some more research, and we ultimately decided that Pat was the right man for this job. Pat has had considerable success as an offensive coordinator. He’s had prior experience as a head coach. He’s worked under some great coaches. He has an impressive record in developing young players, particularly quarterbacks, and he’s got an excellent track record as a play caller. And he’s very well‑respected by the players that he’s coached in the past. It also became apparent to us very early on that Pat and Dave share a similar philosophy in how to build a team, and that was no small factor in this decision. So in sum, he checked all of the boxes for us. For all of these reasons, we believe that he is the right coach at the right time for this franchise. So now, on behalf of the Tisch and Mara families, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce the new head coach of the New York Giants, Pat Shurmur.

Remarks by Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
First, I’d like to thank John Mara; I’d like to thank Steve Tisch. I just met Jon and Laurie. I’d like to thank Dave Gettleman, Kevin Abrams. It’s an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of the New York Giants. As I mentioned recently, and I think it happened in one of the earlier articles, this is an iconic franchise. I understand most of the history. I walked by four Super Bowl trophies. As we go forward here, I’m looking forward to leading this organization, and I want to be the coach. I understand the responsibility that comes with being the coach.

I’m taking over a team that was 3‑13, so we’ve got to own that. There’s a lot of work to be done. There’s changes that need to be made. But running parallel with this press conference, I’m hiring a staff of guys that will help us get to where we need to be, and I think that’s the important piece.

I’d like to thank some other people. My wife Jennifer is here. We’ve been married for 27‑and‑a‑half years. She’s the strength of our family. She’s actually an East Coast girl. She grew up in Poughkeepsie. Her father was a Giants fan growing up in Waterbury, her mom was from New York, so this is somewhat of a homecoming, and she really is the strength of our family.

We have four children. Our daughters are here today. And they cry a lot. Anyway, so I have ‑‑ I’m crying because I’ve got three weddings on the horizon at some point, and they won’t be in a K of C hall.

Anyway, our three daughters are here today. We have four children:  Allyson and Erica, who live in Philadelphia, so they’re going to fight our battles on away turf. They live in Philly and we are very proud of them. Our daughter Claire is here, as well. She’s a freshman, will be a sophomore next year, and then our son Kyle is back in Nashville. He plays quarterback at Vanderbilt. They’re terrific kids. They’ve made great choices. They’ve spent their senior years in different towns; give plenty of free advice. ‘Dad, if the quarterback played better, we’d have won; that play where you hand the ball off and run it up the center, I don’t like that play.’  A lot of free advice, but much more unconditional love.

I’d like to thank my mom back in Michigan. My mom and dad did a heck of a job raising us. They taught us how to compete. They taught us how to have compassion. They taught us how not to let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. And so, I appreciate them and love them.

I’d like to thank the Minnesota Vikings. We went there two years ago and quickly became very close to the people up there. Mark and Zygi Wilf, obviously Kevin Warren, Rob Brzezinski, George Paton, and then certainly along the way Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. They are an outstanding organization. I want to thank the players, as well. They are an old‑school operation with an eye on the future, and they do it right. And if we’re going to get to where we need to be, at some point we’re going to have to play them and beat them. So that’ll be a challenge for us.

Now regarding me, you have hired a career coach. You’ve hired a guy that doesn’t know what he would do if he wasn’t doing this. You’ve hired a guy that wants every day to interact with the staff, the coaches, the players, and I really do feel like my role is to make everybody as good as they can be. And I think if we do that on a day‑to‑day basis, we’ll get to where we want to be, and that’s re-establish the winning tradition and put ourselves in a position to win championships. And I understand that’s a journey.

You’re going to try to all figure out who I am. Some would say I’m a little serious. Alright, I get that. But I do think this is a serious business. It’s played and coached by adults. We just happen to do it with a young person’s enthusiasm, and I think that’s important. Some will tell you I have a healthy sense of humor. Those are the people that know me. I’m okay laughing at myself, and I own all that. Most people will tell you that I’m competitive and gritty, and that’s the overachiever’s mindset in me. I feel like we don’t know it all, and I look forward to learning something new every day. Those of you that do know me, though, I have zero tolerance for people that don’t compete. I have zero tolerance for people that don’t give effort, and I have zero tolerance for people that show a lack of respect. And I think that’s something that you’ll know about me as we get to know each other better.

But the people and the players that know me know that I’m willing to give them a hug at the end of a hard day. That’s a little bit about me. I can’t wait to get going. As you know, we’re in the process of hiring a staff. Some of those names are public, so I have no problem commenting on that. As we put the staff together, we’ll try to get you that information in a timely way.

And I learned in my last shot at being a head coach, information travels off your thumbs very quickly, and we as coaches needed to learn ‑‑ in the old handbook it was, ‘Say nothing and be very guarded.’  I don’t feel like that’s necessary anymore. So I’ll try to answer your questions. Unfortunately, the answer to a question might be, ‘It’s between me and the player’, and then you can find out what the player thinks; know what I mean?  So I get that. But I’ll try to be open. We’ll try to answer your questions in really any situation, except for those things that involve Giants’ business that make no sense to be public.

That being said, certainly thrilled to be here, and I’m certainly thrilled to lead our organization back to the path of winning. With that, I’ll take your questions.

Q: What did you learn in your first stop (as a head coach) that makes you feel you’re better equipped to be in this spot the second time around?

A: Good question. I mentioned this one before, too. Everything Cleveland, I wish I knew then what I know now. I think when you’re doing anything for the first time, there’s things that happen that you adjust to that if you’ve done them before, and I’m being a little bit vague here. Some of it’s really not specific. But obviously once you’ve done it before, you have the resources, and you’ve made those decisions. You’ve made those calls. You’ve done the things that you say if I do that again, I’ll never do that again. And I think I learned that.

Q: What do you think your relationship with Eli Manning will be, and in the interview process how strongly were you saying, ‘I want this 37‑year‑old quarterback to be back here’?

A: Well, first off, I think the relationship is going to be very strong. I’ve watched him, competed against him, admired how he’s played over the years. Got to spend some time with him this summer in the Manning Academy setting. I’ve already spoken to him on the phone and he’s an outstanding football player, and I can’t wait to get to work with him. I’ve admired the way he’s handled things. I sort of like a calm approach to the position. Looking forward to getting to work with him.

Q: How do you win that locker room?  How do you get that locker room playing for you, playing hard?

A: Yeah, with regard to the players, I really do believe it’s about the players. We used to have a thing we said in Philadelphia, and then certainly when we went to Minnesota that, ‘It’s not the plays, it’s the players.’  I think what’s important is we’re going to establish the right way to do things. We’re going to establish what we want as a New York Giants football team. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to inspire the players to see it our way, and I think that’s an important thing. There’s reasons why the Giants slipped to 3‑13, and we’re going to find out what some of those reasons are behind the scenes, and we’re going to try to get them fixed at the beginning. Now, I will say this:  When it comes to coaching and playing, you work together, and I think what’s important is we establish at the very beginning the way we’re going to do things, what we expect, and then keep talking about why it’s important so that they believe it, as well.

Q: Are you planning to call the plays?

A: I do plan to call the plays, yes.

Q: What’s your plan offensive coordinator wise?

A: That’s a little bit behind the scenes right now. I’m not avoiding that. That’s a work in progress. But I’m going to hire ‑‑ with regard to all of our coaches ‑‑ here’s what I was looking for and some of them are here in the building. There’s not six or seven guys becoming head coaches every year, and I don’t think you need to sweep the whole place clean. There’s some really good coaches here, and I want to first keep them. There’s other guys we’re looking at outside the building that are, number one, career coaches, outstanding teachers, communicators, and so we’re looking for those type people. Some of them are currently not quite available, but we’ll make sure we get a staff full of guys that can inspire our players.

Q: I know you’ve been to Mobile, but how much have you looked at film of Eli Manning and Odell when he was healthy and really start studying this offense, and Davis Webb as well?

A: Yeah, I’m very familiar with the offense, very familiar with the players, and again, I look forward to visiting with them. Certainly this time of year we can’t talk schematics, but I’m looking forward to once we get through today, really getting a chance to get to know the players. I think what’s important is, you know, we’re all sort of what we believe and what our experiences tell us, and so I think what’s important when you’re talking with players that have had success, sit down and start to communicate – here’s the things that they did well, here’s the things that I believe in, and let’s do the things that work best for us. And so that’s going to be the process as I go through with all the players.

Q: When you look at this team last year at 3‑13, do you still see a lot of talent there? A lot of the same players returning from the 11‑5 year the year before. Or a lack of talent, or was it other issues that caused it?

A: Well, I think we’ll get into whether there were other issues. There are a lot of very talented players on this team. I think every team has that. And then every team goes through seasons. A year ago in Minnesota we had a lot of injuries, and again, they didn’t become part of the daily conversation, but we found our way to be 8‑8, dealing with a lot of adversity. This year we won 14, and we made some changes, although they may not have seemed to be big changes, that can do that. Now, I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen in a year, but I do know this:  Every year is different. Every year you have new players. You have new coaches. And the challenge is then when we get going here the first part of April is we work together to put together a team that has the chemistry to go out and compete and win, so that’s what we’re looking to do.

Q: What is your evaluation, following up on the Eli questions, about where Eli is at in his career, how much he might have left, and how that would factor into what might be done with the second pick in the draft?

A: Yeah, I think those are all questions for down the road. I’m sure we’ll talk about that up until the draft. You know, I watched Eli throw a little bit this summer, and I walked away saying, ‘He looked really, really good.’  He looked fit. He was throwing the ball well. The ball had good velocity coming off his hand. And again, I think he’s got years left. How much, I don’t know. But I think he has time left, and I look forward to working with him. With regard to who we’re going to draft, you know, I’m not ducking that question. I think that we’ve got to travel down that road of evaluation to see what happens there. But I think what’s important is we have a guy here that’s helped this organization win Super Bowls. He’s an outstanding player, and I’m really looking forward to working with him.

Q: I’m just wondering if you’ve given some thought to the type of identity, the type of culture you want to build within the locker room.

A: Yeah, I think what’s important, and I alluded to it, we need to have a tough, gritty team that knows how to compete. I think what’s important is when we put the roster together, we want to first accumulate 90 players that love to play football. Now, certainly they’re going to have to have the skill and ability to do it, but we want to put together a group of 90 and then eventually get to 53. I think sometimes the good answer for a young player is, ‘I really don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have this game.’  And I think it’s the absolute greatest game in the world. And so we need to find guys that love to play the game, and then we’ll decide whether they’re good enough, and then we’ll take it from there.

Q: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your defensive coordinator James Bettcher and what you think he’s going to bring to the team.

A: Yeah, I’ve known James for a while, and I think he’s a rising star in the profession. He’s played ‑‑ they’ve played outstanding defense in Arizona for a very long time. He’s a little bit multiple in his scheme, which I think is good. Everyone I’ve talked to, he inspires the player. He’s got a great presence, and we’re really, really fortunate to have him be with us. Very hard to score against. They find a way to put pressure on the quarterback. They do a good job in their coverage schemes, and they’ve been good at stopping the run. He’s had a top‑six defense the last three years, and for whatever reason on the teams I’ve been on, I’ve crossed over against them.

Q: You say he’s multiple in his schemes. Do you envision more of a three‑man front here?

A: I think that’s talked about often, three‑man front, five on the line, four‑man front. I think all defenses play a version of that throughout the game. Even teams that play five on the line, you know, they’re in nickel 60 percent of the time, so it’s a four‑man front. So the ability to be multiple in my opinion, as long as you can still remain fundamental, is something that’s hard on an offense, and I’ve faced that through the years.

Q: What would you say to a Giants’ fan base that isn’t disappointed with the past season, it’s furious and expects a quick turnaround?

A: I get furious. I get quick turnaround. I do know that what’s important is we get better every day. With regard to players, if each player swaps, so to speak, makes us incrementally better, that’s what we’re looking to do. You know, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So we’re going to do that. And I think what’s important is we just every day work toward where we need to be. Then it won’t be a three‑pointer at the buzzer. Then we will have established a team that can sustain that over time.

Q: Do you have a philosophy at all in dealing with a locker room where probably a result of the losing was the in‑fighting, the back‑biting, the players not getting along and that becoming public here?

A: Yeah, I think ‑‑ well, first off, I admire how resourceful people are at getting information, so I don’t really believe there’s any secrets. Okay, so I think what you do is you start initially with the locker room by developing relationships with those guys that love to play football, and you’re constantly talking to them about what it means to be a good pro. For a receiver to be a good pro sometimes is even though you’re frustrated that you didn’t get the ball, you’ve got to make sure you keep that in check. Or for whatever reason. Maybe you’re a defensive lineman that’s not getting as many sacks. They need to understand that the pressure you’re putting on the quarterback, even though you didn’t sack him, is just as important. Two quick examples of being able to just constantly communicate with the players. We as coaches are educators. We work with the players, and it’s important that we inspire them to play their very best. And some of that is going and talking about those types of issues.

Q: We talk about Odell Beckham Jr., here, and the role he has in this offense. I know you have a previous relationship with Eli. Do you have a previous relationship with Odell?  Have you had a chance to talk to him yet, and what do you envision for him in your offense?

A: Well, he’s a tremendous player. I went through the evaluation process at the time I was in Philadelphia and he was high on our draft board. We loved him as a player, and really pre‑draft stuff, we loved everything about him. I’ve watched him play and compete, and when you throw all the other stuff out and you watch him on the field, he’s outstanding. So it makes sense to throw him the football. I’m just going to say that right away. If I didn’t acknowledge that, then you’ve definitely got the wrong guy up here. But I think what needs to happen now is I need to get to know him. I need to get to know what makes him tick, and I get to ‑‑ I need to talk to him about what it is that we’re looking for for a guy that plays for the New York Giants. And I think those are the things that go back to relationship building that need to happen very, very soon.

Q: John Mara mentioned that you and Dave Gettleman have kind of a similar philosophy how to build a team, and when you were sitting in that interview, as the Giants were saying, ‘This could be our guy’, what were you saying, specifically talking to Gettleman about building a team, what made you say, ‘This is for me’?

A: As soon as he said, ‘Everything starts with the offensive line.’  And I think there’s a great example of that, what we went through in Minnesota. We didn’t change the oil up there, we changed the transmission. We went and got two free agent offensive linemen, we drafted a center that played like a veteran, and we transformed the offensive line that helped us do the things that helped us win 14 games. And so I think it’s very important, no matter how good your offensive line is and your defensive line, you have to address those issues constantly because if you can’t block them and you can’t pressure the quarterback, this game gets really, really, really hard. I know that about Dave. I know we have a serious mindset when it comes to doing what we can to upgrade in those areas. And some of it may be just inspiring a player on the roster to play better than he’s played, you know, and that comes back to coaching. And then we all know that every once in a while, you need to get some new players.

Q: What’s your first priority here, first couple priorities once you’re done here today?

A: Well, there’s a lot kind of running parallel right now. I certainly want to get a feel for the passion in the building. I came in yesterday, and I had an opportunity to walk around the building. There’s a lot of people here that when you shake their hand, you know that they’re fully committed to us winning. So keep that going. We’re certainly in the process of putting our staff together, and then we’re also running parallel with that. The player evaluation phase as well as the player acquisition phase, which is free agency and the draft. All that runs parallel. Once I get the full staff in place, then we’ll start talking about our scheme behind the scenes, and believe it or not, there’s a lot that goes on, and we’re just a few weeks behind that.

Q: Did you look at this as inevitable becoming a head coach again, or did something spark interest again this season?

A: What I learned about life is nothing is inevitable, and there’s no use planning for it. But I’m thrilled to be here. I feel much more prepared to do this than the first time around. And again, I try to learn something new every day, and I’m learning something about this situation that will help me as we get our team ready to play.

Q: Am I correct that in Cleveland you called the plays the first year and turned it over the second year?

A: Yeah, but I was still involved the second year, as well.

Q. Is there anything concern about the head coach with this look (holding play sheet in front of face), not seeing?

A: What look is that?

Q: You know, having that play sheet in front of you and not being involved with the whole thing.

A: No, not at all. I think when you put a staff together, there’s people upstairs ‑‑ there’s constant communication ‑‑ the reason we wear headsets is we’re talking to each other, and if it was just the head coach and nobody else, then I would say, yeah, that’s tough. But the way that we’re going to put the staff together, there’s constant communication, and we’ll have experienced people in all the roles necessary. It’s been done before. You see teams around the league doing it. Why guys do it and then eventually give it up or whatever, that’s their decision. You know, it’s football.

Q: Is there anything that intimidates you about coaching this hallowed franchise or working in this number 1 media market?

A: No, I’m not intimidated. I’m only ‑‑ I would say this:  The only thing that frightens me is anything that affects the health and welfare of my kids and family. Other than that, have at it. I’m ready to go.

Q: Most people when they look at the Giants, all they care about is ‘Are they getting back to the playoffs, when is it happening’, or are you just going into this year saying, ‘Let’s be competitive again and we’ll take it from there’?

A: Like I said, we’re going to do what we can to get better each day, and how fast that happens, I’m as impatient as the fans, and I understand that. But we’re going to try to get better each day. As I mentioned, we have a lot of really good players on this team. We’re going to get some new ones, and we’re going to try to put together a team that can go out next year and win games.

Q: You mentioned throwing out all the other stuff. When it comes to Odell that hasn’t been easy. How will you handle a player whose behavior hasn’t always reflected positively on the organization?

A: Yeah, well, this is sort of a clean slate deal right now. As I mentioned, we need to sit down and talk. When things happen, there’s typically reasons for it. I learned that by coaching the quarterback. You know, I was ‑‑ I’ve said this, I’m at peace with a wide range of emotions, and so when you coach other positions, you can kind of fly off the handle and that sort of works. With a quarterback you’ve got to constantly keep saying to him, and this helped me when I started coaching quarterbacks, what did you see, why did you do that; all right, let’s talk about it. And I think with all things Odell, we just need to start talking and find out why things happened, and if they’re not what is by our standards, then we’ve got to find a way to get him fixed.

Q: How do you envision the offense that ‑‑ how would you describe the offense that you’re bringing in?  You have a West Coast background, but you’ve obviously ‑‑ how would you describe your own offense?

A: I don’t know, we were a top‑10 offense this year. I think we have an offense that we’re going to constantly try to do the things that our players can do well. So once we quickly learn what our players are good at, then we’ll ‑‑ but I do have a West Coast background. My last three years in Philadelphia, I was with Chip Kelly, and so the tempo and being able to play fast, there’s advantages to using that strategically. When you can run the ball like we did this year, and we developed a core set of runs, then the play actions are meaningful and that’s how you can drive the ball down the field. So try to use all those things. And then when they’re trying to destroy our quarterback, certainly the screen game is something that’s very important. So I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s a label for it. We want to play good offense. We want to play New York Giants offense.

Q: You seem to be smitten with Eli. What were your thoughts about Davis Webb when he was eligible?

A: Yeah, good question, Davis Webb. We went through the process on Davis Webb, and we thought he was an outstanding player. We liked how competitive he was. He’s got size. He’s got good arm strength. We felt like he was a guy worthy of being drafted and having a chance to be a starter someday. Again, beyond that, I don’t know much about him. There isn’t much tape out there on him that I was able to see, and so he’s another player that I’m looking forward to getting to know.

JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of team President and CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

STEVE TISCH’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The transcript of team Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch’s post-introductory press conference remarks is available in The Corner Forum. The video is available at Giants.com.

DAVE GETTLEMAN’S CONFERENCE CALL…
The transcript of General Manager Dave Gettleman’s conference call with the media is available in The Corner Forum.

ARTICLES…

Dec 292017
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN’S INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE…
Dave Gettleman was officially introduced as the new general manager of the New York Giants at a press conference on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Opening Remarks by Team President/CEO John Mara (Video)
Thank you all for being here today. I’m very pleased to be here to introduce Dave Gettleman as the new general manager of the New York Giants. Dave is obviously someone who is very well known to us. As you know, he spent 15 years here in our pro personnel department and during that period he made quite an impression on all of us. I’ve said before that his knowledge of the personnel in the National Football League is second to none. I think he has excellent evaluation skills. He’s a great communicator. He’s got strong leadership qualities and, most importantly, he’s a man of integrity. Dave has been with four different NFL organizations. He’s had a lot of success with each one of them and he’s had some great mentors throughout his career.

Given the state of our team at the moment and with all of the difficult and important decisions that we have facing us, we believed it was important to bring in somebody who had experience as a general manager, somebody with a proven track record. We followed very closely what Dave did in Carolina, and after conducting these interviews and doing our research and after much discussion, the three of us – myself, Steve Tisch and Ernie Accorsi – had a conviction that Dave was the right man for the job.

I want to acknowledge and thank Ernie for his help and guidance throughout this process, and now it is my great pleasure to introduce the new general manager of the New York Giants, Dave Gettleman.

Remarks by General Manager Dave Gettleman (Video)
Good morning. Happy holidays to everybody. I hope Santa made a visit or you got a Hanukkah visit. Whichever one that was. Wish you all a wonderful New Year. To begin with, I’d like to thank the Mara family, the Tisch family, Ernie (Accorsi) for helping me attain the position that, up until now, I had only dreamed about.

As most of you know, I’m from Boston. I’m a bit older, which some of you have made a point of writing and hurt my feelings, but be that as it may. When I was growing up in the ‘50s and really became enamored with the NFL, in Boston, you got to remember the Patriots weren’t even a thought yet. So, sitting and watching those 10-inch black and whites – I watched the New York Football Giants, and the Cleveland Browns were the other team that we got. To be standing here today as the general manager of the New York Football Giants is a moment that does not escape me, and as a family, we feel truly blessed.

Obviously, I want to thank my family – Joanne; Aaron and Melissa, who are here right now; Sam; and Ana for all their support. Without them, I certainly wouldn’t be standing here. Like I said, I truly feel blessed by the Lord.

In terms of building a team, my philosophy – I have a saying that I learned from – you’re going to look at me like I’m nuts – “All in the Family”, Archie Bunker – every man is my equal in that I may learn from him, and I’ve thought about that since the ‘60s when I first heard it. I’ve been with four different organizations and I’ve learned from one heck of a cast of NFL people. Bill Polian, Marv Levy, Bob Ferguson, Mike Shanahan, Ernie Accorsi, Jerry Reese. If you take those names and look at all the Super Bowls they’ve been to and then the ones that they’ve won, I certainly have had a heck of a group of teachers.

In terms of my managerial style, I believe in communication. I believe in collaboration. I believe in brutal honesty. There’s a management concept that says you’re not going to get to the right answer unless you ask the right question. We will do that. It will be done. I truly believe in collaboration. The more minds you can wrap around an issue and work at it, the better your answer is going to be and that’s something I believe in strongly. I think the biggest mistake general managers make is when they close their doors and just decide things on their own. So, I believe in that. I believe in communication. Everybody will know where they stand with me. Everybody will know what I expect and we’ll be moving forward. I’m going to invoke an old Tuna saying – don’t talk about the pain, just show me the baby. So, that’s the way it’s going to operate.

In terms of team building, I’m old fashioned. Offense scores points, defense wins championships. There’s been six matchups, I believe, in the Super Bowl of No. 1 offenses versus No. 1 defenses and the defenses have won five of the six. So, I truly believe in that. I’m going to say this right now, style of offense has changed; obviously there’s that college influence, so obviously the style of defense has changed to a certain degree. But, at the end of the day, it’s the same three things you had to do in ’35 that you got to do now in 2018. You got to run the ball. You got to stop the run. You got to pressure the passer. Everywhere I’ve been and with the great teams that I’ve been associated with – those were three very big staples. Another philosophy about team building, Tom said it to me. Tom Coughlin said it to me my first year, his first when he came in here. He said big men allow you to compete, and that’s really just so true. The o-line and the d-line, I believe in the hog mollies. We’ve had some great groups here, had great groups everywhere I’ve been, and we’re going to get back to that. They do allow you to compete.

In terms of building the entire roster, you’re going to use every avenue. You’re going to build through the draft. You’re going to use trades, waiver wire transactions. You’re going to use every avenue necessary. It’s just the way of the world. Building quality depth is critical. Is critical. Everybody plays today. Everybody. You start. You get your first cut down to 53. You got 63 guys on that field. I promise you, all 63 are going to have a varsity suit before the season is over unless you are stupid lucky, so you have to build quality depth. It’s critical.

I’m almost done.

The other thing that’s really important is culture. Football is the ultimate team game. You throw 11 guys out there on offense, one guy makes a mistake, you’re second and 15. You throw 11 guys out there on defense, one guy makes a mistake, the official is doing this (touchdown signal). It’s the ultimate team game. Culture is critical. These guys have to know when they step on the field that the guy right, the guy left, the guy behind, the guy in front has got their back and we’re going to build that kind of a culture. In ‘15, one of the greatest things I’ve ever had a player say to me. We had traded for Jared Allen in, I think, it was the second week in October. We traded for Jared. By this time, Jared had been around about 12-13 years. After two weeks, he came up to me. He said, ‘Dave, I’ve been in this league a long time. I have never been in a locker room like this.’ He said, ‘It’s a pleasure to come to work. Everybody is in this together and I’ve never seen this before.’ The proof was in the pudding. That team won a lot of games, so culture is critical.

Finally guys, I’ve been hired to win and the only promise I can make is I’m going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back to where it belongs. That’s my goal. That’s my intention. It’s going to get done.

Questions?

Q: What is your relationship with Eli Manning and how do you view handling the quarterback situation going forward?

A: There’s only three guys on this team that were here when I left. It’s Eli, JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) and Zak DeOssie and I know a couple other guys that are here now. One of them – Robert Thomas. In regards to Eli, the bottom line is I’m an inveterate film watcher. That’s what I do, OK? I haven’t had access to tape and I’m not avoiding the question, but obviously you got to look at the film. You got to see what’s cooking, and listen, Eli has won a lot of games. He’s a great competitor. He’s very intelligent and he and I are going to talk and if what I saw (against) Philadelphia was not a mirage, and I don’t believe it was, then we’ll just keep moving.

Q: Can you explain what happened at Carolina and even if you don’t, what did you learn as far as the general manager’s job?

A: OK, that’s a fair question. As far as what happened there, give Mr. (Jerry) Richardson a call. As far as what I learned there, No. 1, I learned about how critical culture was. I learned that. I learned that winning in the NFL on Sunday’s is hard. I don’t care how good you are. It’s hard and like I said before, it’s the ultimate team game, so I learned how critical the locker room is. The locker room culture. So, I learned that. I had things that were reinforced to me about, like I said before in my opener, rushing the passer, stopping the run, running the ball. I learned some of those things. Another thing I learned – it is critical that the makeup of your coaching staff is you have quality teachers as well as quality tacticians. The player that we’re getting from college. When I first got in the league 30 years ago, basically when you drafted a player, you were just taking a little polish and rubbing him up and getting him good. Now, it’s different now. Those college rules are very different in terms of we’re not getting as polished a player. We’re getting younger players. In Carolina, drafted two guys who were 20 years old. So, you’re getting that and as a general manager, I learned that I’m walking a tight rope. I’m walking a tight rope. I got ownership right here that wants to have a sustainability, wants to obviously win games and my responsibility is for the sustainable success. On the other hand, I got coaches that their butts are on the line every Sunday. They got to win. So, you’ve got to walk that fine line with both groups and you have to understand that the coaching staff needs to be teachers, they need to be sound tacticians, they have to know how to develop players. When we were in Carolina, we had practice squad guys taking reps with the ones. I banged on Ron (Rivera) all the time because those practice squad guys are going to play now. They’re going to be on your varsity. It’s only a matter of time. That old saying, you’re only one breath away from going from backup to starter. You’re only one hit away from being a practice squad guy to being on the 46. So, I learned that. The other thing I really learned – it’s my responsibility to protect this franchise. That’s my job. There’s a variety of ways that I have to protect it. I learned that in Carolina. It’s my job. I have no issue doing it. I’ll make the tough decisions and I’ll stand by them and we’ll see what happens.

Q: What did you learn as far as dealing with agents or players that you didn’t have to do as a personnel guy?

A: It’s really kind of interesting. You talk to players – it’s funny – when players first come into your building as young kids and you talk to them about becoming a pro and you’ve got a finite career and you talk about those things and they develop and then all of the sudden, they’re ready to hit their, you know, they want the big contract and they throw it right back in your face. ‘Well, Dave, I got a finite career, Jack, I got to make it now.’ So, you get that. At the end of the day, that’s something I got to do. You got to manage a (salary) cap. But, really and truly before that, it’s what players don’t want to hear. They don’t want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings. They’re sad. This is a big boy league. You got to put your big boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares what you make, what you don’t make. So, I’ve learned that you have to be consistent. You got to be fair and if the player is upset, so be it. So be it.

Q: What is your feeling on why this team is 2-13?

A: That’s a really hard question to answer because think about it this way – let’s just think about it this way. You guys cover the Giants. You cover the league. You’re looking at all the teams. So, somebody does something and you’re going ‘what?’ You’re giving them one of those. The fact of the matter is, teams make decisions based on the information they have at hand at that time. Shame on me to open up my big mouth when I don’t have all the information. When I don’t have all the information. In time I will and then I might be able to share my opinion. But, if you don’t have all the information, if you weren’t in the room, don’t feel the emotion of what’s going on, don’t understand what’s really going on, it is not fair of me to make any judgements or have any opinion on it.

Q: What kind of qualities are you looking for in a head coach?

A: I really believe that the head coaching job is a CEO position. It really is. You look at the great head coaches and I’ll tell you right now, there ain’t a dumb one in the group. There’s not a dumb one in the group. They’re all leaders. They all know how to lead men. And, that’s what you need. You need intelligence. You need leadership and on the assumption that you hire an intelligent guy, you’re going to have a guy with vision. Those are critical components you’re looking for. There’s a million pieces to it because it is, you know, you think about a head coach. You think of all the things he’s got to juggle. I mean, there’s a ton of stuff going on. I’m sure that they all once a week probably say, ‘Gosh, I wish I could be the offensive coordinator.’ Whatever it is. Just pick the position he loves to coach. ‘Man, I’d just love to get with my linebackers. Just for a week.’ It’s a load. It’s a load. You got to be able to handle that load.

Q: Is this a care-taker position you’re taking or are you looking 10 years down the road?

A: My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass. That’s my plan, OK? And I’m going to keep doing it until they either take my key card or the Lord calls me home.

Q: Do you have a sequence of what jobs you want to do starting right now?

A: John (Mara) and I are going to sit down and talk this afternoon. Don’t cry a violin. I drove 10 hours last night and got up here at 10 o’clock at night and let me tell you something – 14 degrees. I mean, I only came from 34, so it wasn’t like a big, huge, but you know, it was a little breezy when I got my fanny out of the car. The bottom line is, there’s a whole laundry list of things. Have I prioritized them? Not yet. But, obviously, there’s things to do.

Q: Did you watch Eli Manning’s tape from the Philadelphia game?

A: No. I didn’t get the tape. I actually – that was one of the few games I was able to see from start to finish.

Q: Just to clarify, as of now, you intend to move forward with Eli Manning as the starting quarterback next year?

A: Well, as of now, yeah.

Q: You have the No. 2 pick potentially in the draft.

A: I’ll address that right now. Let me tell you something. I don’t care what position it is. You can never have too many great players at one position. I mean, you think about us – we got (Michael) Strahan and Osi (Umenyiora) and we’re drafting (Justin) Tuck and we’re drafting (Mathias) Kiwanuka and people are looking at us like we have brain damage. You can never have too many great players at one position. So, I’ll get into that much, much later, but let’s see where we end up and which pick we have and we’ll go from there.

Q: What are your thoughts on Odell Beckham Jr. and his long term future? You talked a bit about contracts.

A: Well, No. 1, who doesn’t want a lot of money? Anybody in here not want a lot of money? Everybody wants a lot of money, guys. OK? I don’t know Odell. I never met him. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, he’s an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen. We’ll have that, what’s that song? ‘Getting to know you, getting to know you.’ We’ll do that and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury and we’ll get to know each other and we’ll go from there. He’s rehabbing an injury. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to Ronnie (Barnes) about how far along he is. So, we’ll see.

Q: You were here for the situation with Josh Norman and Odell Beckham a few years ago. Does that give you a different perspective on Odell that you watched him melt down for three hours against your team?

A: It’s really funny. I’m going to give you an analogy. When we look at players, when you look at players, obviously, you see things on film. You see things on tape. For example, I’m going to talk about a defensive back. So, people will say he can’t cover man. So, I look at him and say, ‘OK, tell me why.’ Don’t just make a blanket statement. Tell me why. I want to know why. I want you to break it down. Well, as far as – I have no idea what was going on in Odell’s head in that game. I have no idea why all that happened. So, I would want to sit down with Odell and say, ‘Why?’ The bottom line is shame on me if I have any preconceived notions about guys as people because there’s no way in God’s green earth. I don’t know these guys. Shame on me if I do. Everybody is going to get a fair shake. Believe it.

Q: As the new general manager, would you like to see Davis Webb play on Sunday to get some sort of idea of who he is in a game or does that not matter to you?

A: It’s Friday. We’re playing Sunday. I don’t mean to be a smartass. It’s Friday. We play the game on Sunday. What these guys decided, they decided. It is what it is. It is what it is.

Q: Do you feel that changes are needed in this front office or are you OK with the status quo?

A: It’s one of those deals – I’m in a different situation than I was when I got to Carolina. When I got to Carolina, I knew a couple of scouts a little bit. I knew nobody. Let me back up. Cheese and crackers. My first year in the league, I’m working for the Bills. I hope you’re laughing with me not at me. I’m working for the Bills and I’m an intern and Hank Bullough was the head coach. It was ’86, I believe, and midseason Hank gets fired, Marv (Levy) comes in. Marv Levy. Marv comes in and at the end of the season, he let the entire staff go. That’s his prerogative. That’s absolutely his prerogative. There were three really good coaches on that staff. Three quality teachers, guys, fundamentalists. Guys that could really flat coach. He didn’t even talk to them about staying. So, the point I’m trying to make is I promised that if I was ever the king that everybody would get an opportunity. Again, I haven’t been here for five years. People change. I’m not the same guy I was five years ago and my wife is very thankful for that, by the way, and people change. So, let me get in here. Let me get to work. Let me talk. Let me find out what’s cooking and then we’ll make decisions as we go.

Q: Giants fans are furious about this season.

A: I thought you were going to say they’re furious about me. I’d say, ‘Well, gosh I just got here.’

Q: How quickly do you think you can turn this team around?

A: First of all, you can’t make promises, right? Number one, there are some really good players on this roster. It’s funny, when I was in Carolina, I’m a first time GM, the first three weeks were a blur. So finally Friday of my third week, I get my clicker in my hand, and I have the DTs, and I watched film for two weeks, my eyes were bleeding. They finished the season fairly strong and in my estimation, it wasn’t fool’s gold. So I have to look at this team, look at the players on this team with that same eye. I’ve got to figure it out. We’ve got to all sit down together, personnel department, and figure it out. And I know from watching, there are some quality players on this roster. We’ve got to fix the o-line, let’s be honest. Let’s not kid each other. I told you at the top, big men allow you to compete and that’s what we’ve got to fix.

Q: Does it only make sense to you to have Odell Beckham Jr. be a part of the solution here, knowing his talent level?

A:  It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Ernie [Accorsi] taught me something a long time ago: don’t quit on talent. Don’t quit on talent. Two years ago, my last year, we were just decimated on the o-line down in Carolina. So, we ended up signing Ryan Wendell, who had played for the Patriots for seven years. We don’t make the playoffs, so baggy day, I grab Ryan and say, ‘Ryan, when are you out of here,’ and he’s a west coast guy and he said to me, ‘Dave, I’m here until tomorrow afternoon.’ I said, ‘Would you mind having lunch with me tomorrow?’ So, Ryan came in. And I said, ‘Ryan, listen, I’m not interested in inside gossip, backstories, I really don’t care, but I want you to talk to me about the process there.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Dave, at the end of the season last year we beat the Chargers and we beat Washington in that Monday Night game down there.’ And Ryan said, ‘Dave, those are New England Patriot wins. That’s what it looked like.’ And I said, ‘Okay, so tell me the steps.’ He said, ‘The one thing that we all know from the moment we walk in the door is we are expected to be pros today.’ There’s two kinds of players in this league, folks. There are guys that play professional football and there are professional football players. And the professional football players are the guys we want. I don’t want guys that want to win. I want guys that hate to lose. That’s the professional football player. That’s what you want. So, it’s important.

Q: Have you had any communication with your predecessor, Jerry Reese, and what ways do your philosophies overlap and what ways are they different?

A: Well, again, I’ve been gone for five years. Jerry is a very classy guy and he’s a dear friend and I hated what happened. He sent me a text yesterday that was just really special. But, we’re different people. Maybe you couldn’t get much more different [laughs]. So, listen, we taught each other. We worked together for a long time, we learned from each other, I learned from him just as much as he learned from me. I enjoyed working under him as my boss, my GM.

Q: What do you mean when you say you two couldn’t be more different?

A: We’re just different people, you know? You say potato, I say potahto. Jerry’s as honorable and as ethical as anybody. But no, just a good man. He’s a good man.

Q: Would you plan to give your head coach the authority to get rid of the entire staff?

A: Through conversation. I mean, who knows? That’s part of the process. There are good coaches on this staff, I’m telling you right now. And I certainly would encourage whoever becomes the next head coach to talk to these guys, absolutely. Philosophically, I wouldn’t force a coach on a coach, I wouldn’t force a player on a coach because it doesn’t work out.

Q: What qualities are you looking for in a coach?

A: I don’t mean to be a wise guy, [but] they asked it earlier. I’m looking for intelligence, I’m looking for vision, I’m looking for leadership.

Q: How difficult is it going to be to rebuild this offensive line?

A: Well, again, you can’t put a timeframe on anything, you really can’t. I’m not going to sit up here and tell you I’m going to fix it in two years because John is going to run me out of the building, okay? No, the bottom line is, you go to work. You go to work, it’s that simple. You have no idea what’s going to happen. You have no idea who’s going to be available. People get cut all the time, you say, ‘Whoa!’ you know? The bottom line is, there are people available on the street that – the bad habit that people have is, well what’s wrong with him? Wait a minute, don’t look at the negative. What’s right with him? Can he help us? Now let’s see if we can dig around, find out why he got dumped. But no. you can’t put a timetable on it. We’re going to work our fannies off and we’re going to get it fixed.

BOB PAPA INTERVIEW WITH DAVE GETTLEMAN…
The video of Bob Papa’s exclusive interview with General Manager Dave Gettleman is available at Giants.com.

JOHN MARA’S POST-PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS…
The following is the transcript of team President and CEO John Mara’s post-introductory press conference remarks. The video is available at Giants.com.

Q: Are the head coaching interviews going to start right after Sunday at some time?

A: Yes. Expect us on Monday to start sending out the consent forms and start making contact. We want to get going on this right away.

Q: So teams with candidates who have byes, you can talk to them next week?

A: You can request permission and the team that they currently work for can tell you what day and where, but you can start asking for permission on Monday.

Q: What did you think of Dave’s (Gettleman) answer to the question about as long as the Eagles game wasn’t a fluke, he’s okay with Eli Manning being the quarterback moving forward?

A: He had given me that answer in the interview as well and I think that’s fine. Obviously he has to sit down and look at the tape and we’re going to hire a coach and it’s going to be a discussion going forward.

Q: Do you think the Eagles game was a mirage?

A: I think he can still play. I think he can still play at a high level, but at the end of the day, that’s going to be a discussion among Dave, the new head coach and myself.

Q: How much were Eli and Odell’s (Beckham) names brought up in the interviewing process?

A: Their names came up in the interview process, yes. Obviously, they are two important parts of this team so, yes, their names came up and I think we got pretty much the same answer from everybody on both of those guys. And really they’ve got to come in, look at the tape, talk to Eli, talk to Odell, and we’ll make decisions going forward.

Q: When you went into this search for a GM, did you expect to go into January and talk to people from other teams?

A: You know, initially that had been our thought, but after going through all of these interviews and talking it through with Ernie (Accorsi) and Steve (Tisch), we just had a conviction that this was the right guy for us. Listen, I’m also conscious of the fact that come Monday or Tuesday, there are going to be a number of head coaches that get fired and there are going to be a lot of teams out there competing for the quality candidates that are out there. So being ready to do that starting Monday morning was something that we wanted to do, but I think once we reached the conviction about Dave, we felt like it was the right thing to do, make the decision now and then be ready to hit the road on Monday.

Q: Could you be doing an interview on Monday?

A: I guess conceivably we could be, but we’ll be sending out the consent forms then, so in all likelihood it wouldn’t take place on Monday.

Q: What kind of coach is necessary to help change the culture?

A: I think Dave outlined the qualities very well. You’re looking for someone who has intelligence, but leadership qualities, too. Somebody that’s going to be able to command the room when he stands up there in front of that team. And we don’t have any preconceived notion about whether it has to be an offensive or a defensive coach. Ideally, it will be somebody with previous head coaching experience, but that doesn’t have to be the case, either.

Q: Where are you with Eli Apple?

A: I think Dave said it well, too. You don’t want to quit on talent. I think that’s a discussion we’ll have to have in the offseason. He’s a young guy. I happen to like him personally. I’m obviously disturbed with what’s happened this year. I thought he had a terrific training camp and I was really excited about him as a player coming into this season. So I think we have to figure out what’s going on with him. But I’d like at the end of the day for him to be a part of this team’s future, but I think that’s going to have to be a discussion with whoever the next head coach is and with Dave as well.

Q: Will Ernie be part of the head coaching search?

A: Not officially. He’s certainly there as a resource. I talk to him all the time, but he’s not going to be there on the interviews.

Q: Do you feel confident that Odell is still a part of this team’s future given everything that has happened over the last few months?

A: I still want him to be a part of this team in the future, but I think I’ve got to sit with Dave and the new head coach and figure out exactly what is going to happen there. But let’s face it, players with his ability don’t come along very often so, yes, I want him to be a part of this team’s future. As to when we actually do the contract, I think that’s up for discussion.

Q: Is it more likely now that you’re going to have him play out his fifth-year option?

A: It’s too early to say that.

Q: Many people misunderstood when you said wholesale changes because when Dave was announced as a candidate, that was not a wholesale change. How would you explain this?

A: Yeah, I’m not sure why there is such confusion about that. When was the last time we changed a general manager and a head coach in the same year? It was 1979 and there might be another change or two or three happening in the future. For me, that’s pretty wholesale.

Q: I think people took that as we’re going to go outside of our tree and bring in someone new.

A: I understand, but I think these constitute pretty significant changes, at least certainly in my lifetime. And people seem to forget that Dave has been out of the building for five years, so it wasn’t just promoting someone from within.

Q: What is the one thing that you want to see fixed from this season?

A: There are so many things, it’s hard to just identify one of them. Dave mentioned the offensive line. Obviously, that’s an area we need to improve in. Our defense didn’t play all that well, either. Nobody played all that well, to be honest with you, with a couple of exceptions. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing. You’re 2-13.You’re 2-13 for a reason and it’s usually not just one reason.

Q: Why did you guys abandon the plan to get Davis (Webb) some reps?

A: Well, there wasn’t a plan to do that. It was something that I expressed quite a while ago, but once Steve (Spagnuolo) got appointed as the interim head coach, he believes, and I share that belief that Eli gives us the best chance to win right now and I don’t like to tell head coaches who they should be playing.

Q: Do you feel like it was a missed opportunity not to get a look at Davis?

A: It would have been nice to get a look at him, but, again, I wasn’t going to force that and we are where we are.

Q: In hindsight, was it a mistake to bench Eli if every candidate you interviewed had him in their plans?

A: I think we could have probably handled it better, but you can argue that a lot of different ways. From a pure football point of view, where we were as a team right then, getting a look at somebody else at quarterback was not the worst decision in the world. I think it could have been handled better and I take responsibility for that. I could have handled that better.

Q: Do you expect big results for the Giants in 2018?

A: I expect us to be a good team in 2018. You go from last to first or first to last, teams do that every year. And we do have some talent on this roster. We obviously have a lot of holes to fill as well, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a successful team next year.

Q: How extensive were your feelings about Eli during your interview with Dave?

A: That was certainly a significant part of the discussion, but it wasn’t the most important thing that we discussed. I was interested in hearing what his philosophy was in building a team, what he had learned in Carolina, what he knew about our roster and what he thought we needed to do going forward and, obviously, who he had in mind for head coaching candidates, which I’m not going to go into for obvious reasons. Those things were important to me. His philosophy on Eli is let me sit down and look at the tape before I have a definitive answer for you on that. He had seen the Philadelphia game. Eli played very well in that game and he made the same statement to me that he made to you in there.

Q: Is that encouraging to you?

A: It was encouraging to me, yes.

Q: Do you have any necessary qualities on the kind of head coach you’re looking for?

A: I think, obviously, it has to be somebody who has either had head coaching experience or at least has been a coordinator for a significant period of time because I think if you don’t have that, the odds are really stacked against you. It’s not impossible for you to succeed without that, but I think the more experience that that individual has as either a head coach or as a coordinator on either side of the ball, I think is very important.

Q: Do you want Spags to have a shot?

A: He will have a shot. I told him that when we made him the interim head coach and he will have a shot.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Quarterback Geno Smith (not injury related), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck), wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (rib), offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (groin), and offensive tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) did not practice on Friday. Shepard, King, and Engram have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. Flowers and Hart are officially “questionable.”

Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger/back/ankle), and defensive end Avery Moss (hip) practiced on a limited basis. Pierre-Paul is officially “questionable” for the game while Lewis and Moss are unofficially “probable.”

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

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

Dec 132017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 10, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS WILL BEGIN INTERVIEWING GM CANDIDATES NEXT WEEK…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara said on Wednesday that the team will begin interview general manager candidates next week. Jerry Reese was fired by the team last week along with Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“We have interviews scheduled next week, and we’ll probably be announcing who we’re bringing in,” Mara said.

Mara was asked if he would like quarterback Eli Manning to remain with the team. “Yes,” Mara responded. “But that’s a discussion that we’ll have.”

“We’re in a unique position to take a quarterback (in the 2018 NFL Draft) if we want, but I’m not certain at this point they will be the highest graded players on the board,” Mara said. “That will be a discussion at a later date with the new general manager and new head coach. I’ve watched all of them (on TV) except for (Josh Allen). They’re all impressive.”

When asked about the current season, Mara said, “I’m trying to think of one that was worse. Maybe 1978, maybe ’66. But never one where the expectations were so high and the performance was so poor.”

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (not injury related), and safety Landon Collins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), tight end Rhett Ellison (finger), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

INTERIM HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 11:35AM. Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan, Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn, and select players will also address the media after practice.

Dec 062017
 
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Steve Spagnuolo, New York Giants (December 6, 2017)

Steve Spagnuolo – © USA TODAY Sports

ELI MANNING TO START ON SUNDAY…
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has once again been named the starting quarterback. Manning was benched by Ben McAdoo, who was fired by the Giants on Monday. Manning had started 210 regular-season games in a row, dating back to November 2004.

“Eli Manning will be the quarterback for this football team in this game,” said Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. “Okay, the ‘why Eli?’ All I can tell you is this. When John Mara and I talked, one of the first things he asked was about the quarterback situation and I said, ‘John, my gut right now is that Eli should be the starter.’ What you have to understand is when I was coaching just the defense, I had the blinders on and all I’m worried about is the defense. I stay in my lane. So, I didn’t have my eyes around what was going on on offense – who was playing what. None of that. So, I took my gut and visited with the offensive coaches and together with that and my gut, Eli Manning is going to be our quarterback. Had a conversation with Geno (Smith), which was a tremendous conversation. I have a great deal of respect for Geno Smith in the way he reacted. He was a man. He obviously didn’t agree with the decision, but he is a team player and he told me that he was going to go forward and wants to be a part of this and I just have a great deal of respect for him. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

“I just wanted (Coach Spagnuolo) to know that I do want to play,” said Manning. “I want to be the starting quarterback, I want to be out there and I just want to make sure that he knew that. He said that he was going to think about and talk with the coaches, but his gut said that I would be the starting quarterback. So, I’m happy that he went with that decision and he has the faith in me, we can go win this football game with me as the quarterback… It’s important to play. That’s what I love to do. I love to play quarterback and love playing quarterback for the New York Giants. ”

When asked about his future, Manning responded, “Hey, this is all I know. This is all I know, is playing for the New York Giants and I’ve never wished to change that. I appreciate everything the Giants organization has done for me and you have so much family in this building. From the Mara family, the Tisch family, people in the equipment room and the film room, the training room. I’ve known a lot of these people for 14 years and grew up around them. So, this is all I know. Hey, I’m going to finish out this season and then I’m sure they’ll be a discussion with the organization to figure out what’s the plan going forward… No, no retirement plans. So, that’s not on my mind.”

GIANTS TO BEGIN PRACTICING ON FRIDAY AGAIN…
Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo has changed the New York Giants in-season practice schedule to once-again have the team practice on Fridays. Under Ben McAdoo, the Giants did not practice on Friday, having a “recovery day” instead and a “launch” practice on Saturday.

“The reasoning on the Friday deal was we just felt at this time of the season, really third down and red zone are really, really important – winning those areas, and you got to win them both offensively and defensively,” said Spagnuolo. “So, what that schedule does is gives us an opportunity to do more third down on Thursday and then extend more red zone on Friday and it’s a schedule I’m real familiar with and I think it’ll help us in the upcoming games.”

JERRY REESE ISSUES A STATEMENT…
Former General Manager Jerry Reese, who the New York Giants fired on Monday, issued the following written statement on Tuesday:

I would like to thank the New York Football Giants for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing franchise for the past twenty-three years. My time here has been filled with many great memories. Thank you John and the Mara family, Steve and the Tisch family for your confidence in me for so many seasons. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo for their commitment to the NYG and my time working with them. I’m thankful to the late George Young, who hired me, and to Ernie Accorsi for grooming me. Many thanks to the front office, personnel staff, support staff, scouts, coaches, and current and former players for your dedication to a first class organization. My family, friends and many fans that have supported me, I sincerely appreciate all of you. I am truly grateful and blessed for my time with the NYG. All the best to you. Go Giants.

BEN MCADOO ISSUES A STATEMENT…
Former Head Coach Ben McAdoo, who the New York Giants fired on Monday, issued the following written statement on Wednesday:

It was a privilege and an honor to serve as the head coach of the New York Giants and be a member of the organization for four years. I thank the Mara family, the Tisch family, and Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin for taking a chance on a first time offensive coordinator and enabling me to take an important step in my career. My family and I enjoyed every day of my tenure with the Giants, thanks in large part to the commitment of everybody in the organization. I particularly want to thank the entire coaching staff for their dedication and hard work. I would be remiss if I did not thank the support staff who are often underappreciated but vital to the success of any football team. Finally, I will always appreciate having had the chance to coach so many outstanding players. As I have said many times, they are men of talent, and I believe in their integrity and character. I wish them and the entire organization success in the future.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist), and cornerback Eli Apple (hip/back) did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Wayne Gallman (hip), offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

HEAD COACH STEVE SPAGNUOLO…
The transcript of Steve Spagnuolo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
Audio of John Mara’s radio interviews on Monday are available at:

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:

The audio Eli Manning’s WFAN interview on Monday is also available at CBS New York’s website.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 12:30PM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Dec 042017
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (December 4, 2017)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS FIRE JERRY REESE AND BEN MCADOO…
The New York Giants fired both Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese and Head Coach Ben McAdoo on Monday. Reese will be replaced on an interim basis by Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams, while McAdoo will be replaced on an interim basis by Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Ernie Accorsi will serve as a consultant in the new general manager search. Accorsi previously served as the team’s assistant general manager (1994-1997) and general manager (1998-2007) until his retirement.

According to various press reports, quarterback Eli Manning will also regain his starting job, although team President John Mara said in today’s press conference announcing the firings that Spagnuolo will decide who starts on Sunday.

Reese had been with the Giants’ organization since 1994, first as a scout (1994-2004), then Director of Player Personnel (2004-2007), and then General Manager (2007-2017). McAdoo was hired by then-Head Coach Tom Coughlin as the team’s new offensive coordinator in 2014. In 2016, he replaced Coughlin as the team’s head coach when Coughlin was fired.

While the Giants have fired many coaches in the team’s history, the Giants have not fired a general manager since 1978. McAdoo’s tenure as head coach lasted 28 regular-season games, marking the shortest stay for a head coach since the pre-Steve Owen era (1930-1953). The last time the Giants fired a coach during the season was 1976, when they parted ways with Bill Arnsparger after an 0-7 start.

McAdoo’s Giants finished 2016 with an 11-5 record and a playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. However, the Giants are a dreadful 2-10 with four games remaining this season, marking the franchise’s worst start since 1976 when they were also 2-10.

As for Abrams, the Giants’ press release states: “Abrams is the team’s primary negotiator for player contracts, works with the college and pro personnel departments to evaluate players in preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency, and is responsible for managing the Giants’ salary cap, football data analysis, related strategic planning for football operations and coordinating the organization’s compliance with the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.” Abrams joined the Giants in 1999 to serve as the team’s first salary cap analyst.

The 57-year old Spagnuolo has served two stints as the Giants’ defensive coordinator (2007-2008, 2015-2017). He was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2009-2011, when the team compiled a dreadful 10–38 record.

Transcript of New York Giants President/CEO John Mara’s press conference:

Opening Statement: As you all know by now, I met this morning with Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo and relieved both of them of their responsibilities. Just to give you the chronology of what happened – Steve Tisch and I met after the game yesterday and agreed to talk this morning, which we did and we agreed that wholesale changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team that we expect to be and we also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes. I met with Jerry Reese at approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning. That’s as difficult a meeting as I’ve ever had. Jerry has been here since 1994. He is homegrown. Started out as a part-time scout and rose all the way through the ranks to become our general manager and to become the general manager for two Super Bowl teams. I thanked him on behalf of Steve and myself for everything he’s done for this organization. I told him that I have no doubt that he will get another shot with another franchise and that at some point in time, I’m going to be answering questions from people about why I got rid of him in the first place.

I then met with Kevin Abrams and asked him to serve as our interim general manager for the rest of the season and if he chooses to be a candidate for the full time position. Kevin agreed to do that. Then met with Ben McAdoo and thanked him for everything he has done for us, for all of his hard work, for the professional matter in which he’s conducted himself. I also feel that he will be a successful head coach at some point in the future. I think he’s going to learn from his experience here and he’ll go on to be a successful head coach. Both of these men – contrary to what their public persona is sometimes – have been complete professionals here. They always make decisions looking out for what they believe is in the best long term interest of the franchise. They never complain about anything. They don’t politic around the office. They communicate well with one another and that’s something that I’m very grateful to both of them for.

I met with Steve Spagnuolo after these meetings. Asked him to serve as the interim head coach and also to be a candidate to be the head coach after the season if he chooses to do so. He agreed to do that. I then met with all the assistant coaches and told them that my expectation is for them to continue to work hard to get these players ready to play in these last four games. I told them I would not put up with any talk in this building about tanking or anything else and I expected us to go out and try to win these games. I expected their best efforts to try to get us to do that. In terms of our general manager search – that starts right away. I have asked Ernie Accorsi to serve as a consultant in this process. He’s agreed to do that. So, we expect to get started right away on that. Ideally, you like to have the general manager in place first before the head coach. That’s not always going to be the case, but that would be the ideal scenario. So with that, I will entertain some of your questions.

Q: What was the final straw for you with Jerry Reese in terms of why you wanted to make the decision now?

A: I don’t think there was any one final straw. I just think that where we are as a franchise right now, you know, we’re 2-10. We’ve kind of been spiraling out of control. I just felt like we needed a complete overhaul. I don’t think there was any one event or one final act to precipitate that.

Q: How much did the Eli Manning situation play into this decision?

A: Really had no effect whatsoever. 2-10 is 2-10 and obviously the public reaction to that was not pleasant, but that really didn’t have any effect on our decision.

Q: Have you spoken to Steve Spagnuolo and does he have any intent to go back to Eli Manning as the starting quarterback?

A: I’ve spoken to Steve and he’s still trying to come to grips with this whole thing. He wants to talk to his offensive staff and he’s going to talk to Kevin (Abrams) and myself. Ultimately, it’s going to be his decision as to who to play at quarterback.

Q: Are you embarrassed in general with what’s happened to the franchise this season?

A: Of course I’m embarrassed. 2-10. There’s no defense for that. Particularly when expectations were so high, and I understand that – listen, we had a ridiculous number of injuries. It’s the first time in my life that I think I sat at a game having to constantly look at the flip card to try and determine who we were playing. But, that being said, we still started out 0-5 with a relatively healthy roster up until that fifth game when all of our wide receivers got hurt. So, yeah, I’m embarrassed about that. That’s one of the reasons I’m standing here.

Q: Are you committing to a division between personnel and coaching or can they cross?

A: My very strong preference is to maintain that traditional separation, but again, I would never say never if the right candidate was there.

Q: Do you regret the decision that was made with Eli Manning and the plan to use Geno Smith? It seemed like you weren’t on the same page.

A: I mean, we were and we weren’t. Ben came up with the plan. I initially signed off on the plan. My hope had been to talk to him to try to have a little more flexibility with it. Not have a hard, fast time when he was going to come out of the game. But, by then Eli rightfully had rejected the notion only starting and playing the half and coming out. We issued a statement and it was just too late at that point.

Q: Did you consider firing Ben McAdoo on Wednesday?

A: No.

Q: What changed between when you put out a statement three weeks ago saying there were not going to be any in-season changes, to now?

A: I changed my mind, we changed our minds. Given all the events that occurred, where we are as a franchise right now. To be honest with you, it became more and more apparent that we were going to have to do something at the end of the season, so we talked after the game and again this morning about, why prolong it any longer? Why not just get it done now? I’m very conscious of the fact that three of our last four games are at home. I’m conscious, having lived through it before, of what the reaction was going to be. Also, gives us somewhat of a tactical advantage, allowing us to start looking at general managers right now rather than waiting until the end of the season.

Q: Were you aware of Ben’s plan to start and play Eli for the first half, and Geno in the second before he actually went and presented it to Eli?

A: That seems to be the focus of everybody’s attention right now. The plan was, Ben was going to talk to Eli and tell him that he was going to start and play the first half and Geno would play the second half.  I signed off on that. But, again, my hope was two things: one, that I was going to speak to Ben and try to get him to be a little bit more flexible about that all. I do not like interfering with coaching decisions about who’s going to play, I’ve never done that before. I also, as I said I think the other day to you guys, was hoping that Eli would be playing so well, it’d be impossible to take him out. In any event, it is where it is and you ought to stop blaming Ben and Jerry on that. If you want to blame me, go ahead and do it. I certainly have the power to overrule them if I wanted to, I chose not to do it.

Q: There are reports that Manning will start this week, are they true?

A: There’s no decision, to my knowledge, that’s been made on that yet. I’d assume [Spagnuolo] will run it by me before he makes that decision.

Q: Do you believe the coaching staff will still plan on giving quarterback Davis Webb an opportunity this season?

A: I mean, I’m hopeful that at some point he gets into the game, but right now, to be honest with you, after all this losing I’m just as focused on trying to win some of these games as anything else.

Q: After an 11-5 season and playoff appearance last season, how did all of this go so wrong so quickly?

A: That’s a good question, one that we’re trying to figure out right now. I was very confident about this roster, as I think most of the people in this room were heading into this season. I thought it was as talented a roster as we’ve had here in a long time. We were coming off an 11-5 season, our defense was basically the same, our offense was supposed to be better. We had added some receivers and a tight end, a couple of tight ends. We were supposed to be better. We got off to a very poor start on offense, our defense did not play as well as they could have and then everybody got hurt. It’s really, and I’ve used this expression, it was the perfect storm. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong so far this season and it’s just one of those things you have to live through and suck it up and make whatever changes you have to make and go on.

Q: How much did Reese not improving the offensive line in the offseason ultimately cost him?

A: Well, it’s more where we are as a team right now. It wasn’t that specifically. We had pretty much the same offensive line last year and even though our offense was not particularly good last year, it was good enough to win 11 games. We thought that group would take a step forward this year and even now, half of them have gotten hurt, it’s just been an impossible situation.

Q: How important is it for the new general manager and head coach to have better communication skills with players and everybody in the building that what you had?

A: Well, first of all, Ben and Jerry Reese communicated very well. And Jerry and I communicated very well together. I usually don’t have that much interaction with the head coach because I like that to be the general manager’, because that’s always been the way I’ve done it. Jerry communicated very well with players. One of the things that I liked about him the most is he’s not afraid to call a player out if he didn’t feel like he was playing up to his potential. And Ben, I thought communicated pretty well. Listen, I’ve spoken to players over the past few weeks, a handful of them, to try to get a handle on whether guys were quitting, or whether they weren’t playing hard and that was not the message that I got back. I think that people felt that they were still playing hard and for most of the season, with an exception of a couple games that I can think of, I thought players did play hard.

Q: Having never been through this process with a general manager, do you feel like it has to be a total front office overhaul, or can a new general manager come in and keep the staff?

A: Well, I think that’s going to be largely up to the new GM. And we did go through this, back in ’07 when Jerry was hired. We kept most of the people and I’m not anticipating there being wholesale changes, but again, that’s largely going to be up to the new general manager.

Q: Would you shy away from hiring a new head coach that doesn’t have head coaching experience?

A: Not necessarily, it just depends on the candidate. I mean, there are a number of new head coaches that are very successful in this league this year, so you can’t shy away from that. If you think you have the right guy, you have to go for it.

Q: There is an expression, the Giant Way. How do you tell the fans that you haven’t lost your way during this season?

A: Listen Bruce, we’ve had an embarrassing season. I think most people that know me know how painful that is to me and know how committed I am in trying to put a winning team back on the field. I know our fans are suffering, but I’m suffering more, I guarantee it. We’ve gotten to the point where we felt like we had to make wholesale changes and that’s what we’ve done here.

Q: Is Steve Spagnuolo a candidate for the head coaching job moving forward or is that dependent on the new general manager?

A: Well, Steve (Tisch) and I have the final say on any head coaching decision, but that’s going to be largely dependent on what the new general manager has to say, yes.

Q: Where do you think it went wrong for Ben after making the playoffs last year?

A: As I said, I just think it ended up being a perfect storm for us. We got off to a bad start this year, particularly on offense. Our defense didn’t play as well as they played last year. We had leads in a few games and last year they would have held them and we would have won the game. They didn’t do that early on and then everybody got hurt. Listen, there were certain guys that on this roster that aren’t playing as well as they should be playing.

Q: Was it just the record or were there other things?

A: Our team isn’t good enough, it’s obviously not good enough. We are 2-10.

Q: Do you expect to hire a new GM before the end of this season?

A: That’s possible. If the right candidate comes along, that’s possible. Obviously if we want to talk to somebody who’s currently employed, we would have to wait.

Q: Do you have names in mind?

A: We have names in mind, but I’m not going to go into the names right now.

Q: Do you regret the decision of hiring Ben?

A: I don’t think so. That’s semantics. I thought that he was the right guy for the job. We were 11-5 last year and everything looked great back in September and now it’s all fallen apart. We will obviously hire the best general manager we can and be very guided on what he has to say.

Q: Three months ago, you thought you’d be headed to the playoffs?

A: Yes. I’ve been around long enough not to get shocked by many things, but I certainly did not see this coming.

Q: Did you think about making this change last week?

A: No.

Q: How do you handle the draft process right now, if you don’t have that new GM in?

A: We will have the GM in long before the draft. Our scouts and Marc Ross our head of scouting, it’s business as usual for them. They’re going to keep doing what they’re doing. But that GM will be in place long before the draft.

Q: Was there any thought in giving Ben another chance?

A: That was certainly something we considered, but at the end of the day, we still felt like wholesale changes needed to be made.

Q: Is it a given that you will hire the general manger before the coach?

A: In all likelihood that will be the way it occurs, but I don’t ever want to say that it’s a definite. But in all likelihood that will be what happens.

Q: How much did the timing of doing it now rather than the end of the season play off of the fan reaction from last week?

A: Listen, I was certainly cognizant of what the fan reaction was likely to be over the last four weeks, but that wasn’t the final determining factor. We just reached a point where we felt, you know what, we’re going to be making these changes probably at the end of the season, so what’s the point in prolonging this any further.

Q: How will your perception of leadership of the men in the locker room change after this example?

A: If I understand your question correctly, listen, I do think we need some more leadership in the locker room for sure. But I think in terms of our priorities as an organization right now, let’s go out and find the best general manager and then let’s take it from there.

Q: How do you look at Odell’s (Beckham) future?

A: I certainly expect him to be a part of this team in the future, but that will be a discussion also with the incoming general manager and the incoming head coach and we’ll make whatever decision we think is appropriate going forward.

Q: What was Jerry and Ben’s reactions? Were they shocked?

A: I don’t think either one of them was shocked. I think they could not have been more professional. They both thanked me for the opportunity. My meeting with Jerry was a little more emotional just because we had a longer history together and because he’s meant so much to this organization. I’ve talked to him a couple times this morning and he thanked me for the opportunity and everything we have done for his family. I thanked him for everything he’s done here and that was not an easy meeting for me and it was not for him either.

The video of Mara’s press conference if available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Nov 292017
 
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John Mara, New York Giants (October 15, 2017)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

JOHN MARA SPEAKS ABOUT ELI MANNING BENCHING…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the team’s decision to bench quarterback Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. The transcript of Mara’s press conference is available in The Corner Forum.

JANORIS JENKINS PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE…
New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury that has nagged him most of the season. He aggravated the injury on his touchdown interception return against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. The NFL Network is reporting that Jenkins will reportedly undergo ankle surgery today and that the recovery process is expected to be three months.

To fill that roster spot, the Giants signed defensive tackle Khyri Thornton. The 28-year old, 6’3”, 315-pound Thorton was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He has spent time with the Packers (2014), New England Patriots (2015), and Detroit Lions (2015-2017). He was suspended for the first six games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Lions cut him on November 21. Thorton has played in 23 regular-season games with six starts (those starts all coming in 2016 with the Lions).

The Giants may also be activating defensive end Romeo Okwara from Injured Reserve shortly. The team changed the status of reserve injured/designated for return. Okwara was placed on Injured Reserve with a knee injury that he suffered in practice in October 2017.

The Giants have also waived J.T. Thomas off of Injured Reserve. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in late September 2017 with a groin injury. Thomas was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. The Bears waived him in August 2013 and he was claimed off of waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants signed Thomas in March 2015. In 2015 with the Giants, Thomas played in 12 games with 11 starts, missing four games with an ankle injury. The Giants placed Thomas on Injured Reserve in September 2016 after he suffered ligament damage to his left knee in the regular-season opener.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow), and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist) did not practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness) and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday at 12:20PM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Nov 272017
 
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D.J. Fluker, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

D.J. Fluker – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS PLACE FOUR ON INJURED RESERVE, INCLUDING D.J. FLUKER…
The New York Giants have placed right guard D.J. Fluker (toe), linebacker Curtis Grant (knee), linebacker Deontae Skinner (hamstring), and cornerback Donte Deayon (fractured forearm) on Injured Reserve.

Fluker injured his toe in the November 19 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The other three players were injured during the Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins.

The Giants also claimed linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong off of waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and signed free agent linebacker Jeremy Cash.

Armstrong was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Rams (2013-2014), Oakland Raiders (2014-2015), and San Francisco 49ers (2015-2017). The 49ers waived him in November 2017. The 6’3”, 220-pound Armstrong has played in 58 regular-season games with ten starts, five of which came in 2017 with the 49ers.

Cash was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Panthers (2016-2017) and New York Jets (2017). The 6’0”, 230-pound Cash has played in nine NFL games with no starts.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Select New York Giants players will be available to the press on Tuesday. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Oakland Raiders.

Nov 132017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (November 12, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS OWNERSHIP ISSUES A STATEMENT…
New York Giants President/CEO John Mara and Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch issued the following written statement to the press on Monday:

“Ben McAdoo is our head coach and has our support. We are in the midst of an extremely disappointing season. Our performance this year, particularly the past two weeks, is inexcusable and frustrating. While we appreciate that our fans are unhappy with what has occurred, nobody is more upset than we are. Our plan is to do what we have always done, which is to not offer a running commentary on the season. It is our responsibility to determine the reasons for our poor performance and at the end of the year, we will evaluate the 2017 season in its entirety and make a determination on how we move forward.”

MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 31-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers:

McAdoo: Alright, McAdoo here. On the offensive side of the ball, I thought we were physical and heavy-handed in the run game. Our quarterback rating and completion percentage was high and the two-minute drive in the fourth quarter showed some grit, showed that we had some fight in us. There were three fourth down conversations on that drive alone. What we need to work on, ball security in the green zone. Got to maintain possession of the ball. We got to score some points there. Third down conversions, need a higher percentage. Pass protection is a part of it, but not all of it. And we had three pre-snap penalties in the ballgame.

Defensively what we did well, we created two turnovers, had a fourth down stop and played good red zone defense. What we need to work on, explosive play production, we need to keep it down, we need to be better on third down and we need to do our job and not press. The other thing that showed up is the way we finish. We have the knowledge to do what we’re asking the players to do, we have the skillsets, we felt like we put a good plan in place, I felt like we put a good plan in place. We looked good in practice all week whether it was building the wall, setting the edge, and tracking the hip. Our alignment, gap control, eye discipline, we have the knowledge and skillsets to do that. The thing that was disappointing that showed up on film is the desire to finish on a consistent basis. There were plays we were capable of making and the desire to finish wasn’t consistent. I need to coach them better and we need to do it better. Not every play, not every player, but it did show up on tape.

Special teams, kickoff return, our blocking improved. Punt team, our pocket was deeper than last week. We need to work on the width. Our kicker Aldrick (Rosas), needs to play the way he practices. We need to make field goals when we get down into the red zone. We can’t start the game kicking the ball out of bounds or kick the ball out of bounds on a kickoff, period.

Where do we go from here, we’re disappointed, but determined. We’re all in this thing together as coaches, as players and I’m not here to throw anyone under the bus today whether it’s a coach, whether it’s a player. We are looking forward to the opportunity on Sunday to play at home at one o’clock against one of the best teams in football. So with that, we’ll open it up.

Q: What does it mean to you that ownership released a statement saying that you would be the head coach for the rest of the season?

A: I’m in the process of finishing up grading the film from the last ballgame and starting on the next one. That’s where my focus is right now. Working to find a way to get the team better and coach the team better and put us in position to win at home, get our first home win of the year.

Q: Do you think that having ownership on your side will help you prepare the team and get wins this year?

A: I don’t know. Only time will tell. We’ll have to see how everybody responds, but again, my focus is as it always is. It’s on the week of preparation and trying to put a good plan together and help these coaches and players in any way I can putting a good product on the field and finding a way to get better.

Q: If a player isn’t going to show desire to finish, why put him back on the field?

A: That’s something that we’re taking a look at. We have a 46-man roster on game day and the players who are going to go out and do it the way we ask them to do it and do it on a consistent basis, they’re going to get a chance to play.

Q: How much is that something you have seen before or is this a new thing?

A: It’s something that in yesterday’s game, it’s fresh in my head watching the ballgame. It’s not one player and it’s not on all plays. It’s something that almost looks like at times we’re waiting for someone else to make a play instead of just pulling the trigger and making the play ourselves.

Q: Do you feel like the players are listening and comprehending the motivational messages that you and the coaches are giving to them?

A: Yeah, I felt that yesterday going into the ballgame, I felt we had a good, strong plan. I thought that the players were into it. After the game, which is tough to lose a ballgame, when we brought the players up at the end of the game, I felt like I had all of their eyes, I felt like they were responding, I felt like they were hurting. A lot goes into it. They put a lot of effort and a lot of energy into it, as do the coaches and I felt that disappointment.

Q: Have you gone to the players who weren’t consistent and have a conversation with them or do you let everything develop organically?

A: I try to make my way through the roster each and every week as best as I can. You try to build relationships with these players as best as you can. Again, I’m going to keep all personal conversations personal and private so it’s best that way.

Q: Is this something you have to be more mindful of going forward in games? If you don’t see good effort in film, you can’t go back in time and get them off the field.

A: Yeah, don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say that. I felt the desire to finish needs to get better. That needs to show up on a more consistent basis. We were in positions to make plays, our desire to finish needs to be consistent.

Q: What did you see from Janoris Jenkins?

A: Give me an example. What are you looking for?

Q: There were a couple plays where he didn’t look like he was very willing to tackle.

A: I think he got caught up on a big body there. He needs to find a way to get the big body on the ground.

Q: Were you okay with his effort?

A: Like I said, there were some players in the ballgame who need to show a consistent desire to finish better. I think the post ball in the game on third down is a tough play and a tough spot for him to be in against a player who has tremendous speed. And they’re going to make some plays on you. He had an opportunity on third down where he slipped, he could have came up and had a chance to pick the ball off if he had his footing there, I expect him to make that play and pick the ball off. It was unfortunate there. There were some opportunities on some balls on the perimeter where his desire to finish consistently needs to show up and we need to get the guys on the ground. We need to tackle better as a defensive unit and he was a part of it.

Q: Jonathan Casillas said on that third down play that he was giving his full effort, but he said he was tired and he couldn’t keep up. Is that something that you don’t like hearing as a coach or would you rather him say that than there wasn’t desire there?

A: If you are honest, you don’t have to remember anything. Jonathan is a guy that hasn’t played a lot of football as of late and this time of year practice reps are tough to come by. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it at this point.

Q: Have some of the players disappointed you with their drop in performance from last season?

A: Like I said earlier, I’m disappointed, but I’m determined to find a way to get it fixed. That’s where my focus is. No one expected our record to be what it is at this point and us to be playing the type of football that we’re playing at this point. But we are, and we are what our record says we are, and the film reflects it. We need to find a way to improve.

Q: How bad is Damon Harrison’s ankle injury?

A: He’s still down there getting evaluated at this point. Again, it’s tough to say on a Monday. I would expect him to be limited in practice this week.

Q: What about Justin Pugh?

A: Justin aggravated his back. He’s probably going to have to sit out a little bit.

Q: How have the players been with self-motivating this year? What role do you have in that?

A: Coaches and players get paid this week. But at the same point in time, to me, the best players and the best coaches are the people that are motivated intrinsically. Motivation does fall in my job description. If a player isn’t motivated, then I need to find a way to get him to play.

NOTES…
The Giants’ 1-8 start is their worst since 1980, when they were also 1-8.

This was the Giants’ first loss to a team with no wins and at least nine losses since November 20, 1966, when they fell to the 0-9 Atlanta Falcons, 27-16.

The Giants have given up a touchdown to an opposing tight end in all nine games this season.

Quarterback Eli Manning started his 208th consecutive regular-season game, tying his brother, Peyton, for the second-longest consecutive starts streak by a quarterback in NFL history. Eli Manning has started every Giants game since November 21, 2004. He has also started 12 postseason games, including two Super Bowls. The NFL record for consecutive starts by a quarterback is 297, was set by Brett Favre from 1992-2010 while playing for Packers, Jets, and Vikings.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday. The Giants return to practice on Wednesday in preparation of Sunday’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.