Aug 262018
 
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Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK TRADE BRETT JONES TO THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS…
The New York Giants have trade center Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings. Newsday and The NFL Network are reporting that the Giants will receive a 7th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft as compensation. By trading Jones, the Giants “save” $2.914 million against the 2018 salary cap, the amount of salary (no bonus) Jones was tendered as a restricted free agent. Jones had been playing as the team’s second-team center behind Jon Halapio since the team’s offseason program began.

“I think the trade was good for both (Minnesota and us),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We got a pick in return for Brett Jones. He’s one of my favorite guys and he’s going to a really good place. With their situation in the offensive line, he’s going to have a chance to compete to maybe be their starter. I’m pretty familiar with their situation and he’s going to a very good place, so I’m happy for him, because he’s a real likeable guy. He works hard, he’s tough, and I feel like if he can’t be here – I tell the players all the time, we want you all to be here; if you can’t be here, we want you to be somewhere good, and that’s a good place.”

In 2017, Jones took over the starting center spot for 12 games after Weston Richburg was lost for the season. Jones was originally drafted by the CFL Calgary Stampeders in 2013 and named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Rookie” after that season. Jones was also named the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman” in 2014. He signed by the Giants in February 2015 and placed on Injured Reserve in September 2015 after spraining the MCL in his knee on the preseason finale. In 2016, Jones was on the active roster for 14 regular-season games and made one start at left guard.

INJURY REPORT – OLIVIER VERNON INJURES ANKLE, SAQUON BARKLEY RETURNS…
Not practicing on Sunday due to injury were tight end Evan Engram (concussion), offensive guard Nick Gates (unknown), defensive end A.J. Francis (unknown), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown), and linebacker Connor Barwin (knee).

“(Barwin is) day to day,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s making good progress.”

Linebacker Calvin Munson (concussion) was in a red, non-contact jersey. Engram, despite being in the concussion protocol, did some running on the side. McIntosh participated in some limited football activities on the side for the first time this summer.

Linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle) left practice early on a cart. Vernon missed four games in 2017 with an ankle injury that limited in him in other games as well. “He kind of just went inside the block and got his feet tangled up,” said Shurmur. “I think it’s his ankle. He’s being evaluated. I don’t have much right now.”

Running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), running back Jalen Simmons (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring) returned to practice.

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

Aug 252018
 
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Hunter Sharp, New York Giants (August 24, 2018)

Hunter Sharp – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 22 – NEW YORK JETS 16…
The New York Giants defeated the New York Jets 22-16 in their annual third preseason game match-up on Friday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants improved their preseason record to 2-1.

The Giants out-gained the Jets in total net yards (344 to 240), net yards rushing (87 to 66), and net yards passing (257 to 174). Two key differences in the game were penalties and special teams return yardage. The Jets were flagged 13 times for 108 yards while the Giants were flagged half of that with six penalties for 50 yards. The Giants dominated the Jets in punt return yardage: 145 to zero.

The game did not start off well for the Giants as the New York Jets, behind rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, drove his team 75 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Bilal Powell. In response, the Giants’ offense gained one first down on their initial drive and punted.

The Giants defense settled down after the Jets’ first possession. They forced a three and out, which was key as wideout Hunter Sharp returned the ensuing punt 45 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7.

The Giants’ defense then forced another three-and-out and the G-Men got the ball back on their own 40-yard line. On the first offensive play of this series, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a 54-yard gain deep down the middle of the field to the Jets’ 6-yard line. However, on the very next snap, running back Jonathan Stewart fumbled the ball away to the Jets, who returned it 39 yards to the Giants 47-yard line, blowing a great scoring opportunity. Five plays later, Darnold threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. The Jets missed the extra point and led 13-7.

The Giants responded with an 11-play, 50-yard drive that led to a 48-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. After forcing a three-and-out, the Giants quickly got the ball back and tied the game at 13-13 after another 50-yard drive resulted in a 40-yard field goal by Rosas. Both drives were sparked by long completions from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

The Giants got the ball back right away again when linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong forced a fumble on the ensuing Jets’ kick return. Tight end Jerell Adams recovered the ball and the Giants were set up at the 16-yard line. However, the Giants could not get the ball into the endzone and settled for another field goal by Rosas, this one from 27 yards out as the Giants went ahead for good, 16-13. The Giants were able to add to their advantage before halftime by forcing their fourth three-and-out of the half. Wide receiver Kalif Raymond returned the ensuing punt 35 yards to the Jets’ 30-yard line. Again, the Giants stalled in the red zone, settling for a 21-yard field goal and a 19-13 halftime lead.

The back-ups played in the second half and neither team did much scoring after the break. Both teams punted twice in the 3rd quarter. The Giants began their third drive of the half at their own 16-yard. A penalty and sack put the team in a 3rd-and-19 situation from their own 7-yard line, but quarterback Davis Webb and wide receiver Alonzo Russell bailed the Giants out of trouble with a 47-yard deep strike that helped to set up a 44-yard field goal by place kicker Marshall Koehn. The Giants now led 22-13 early in the 4th quarter.

After both teams exchanged punts again, the Jets’ second- and third-teamers drove 78 yards in 13 plays. However, their drive stalled at the 2-yard line and the Jets were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal with just under three minutes to play. The Giants were able to run most of the rest of the clock out before punting and the game ended.

On special teams, Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with kicks from 48, 40, 27, and 21 yards out. The Giants returned seven punts for 145 yards and also forced a turnover on a Jets’ kickoff return. (By the way, the TOTAL punt return yardage for the Giants team in 2017 was 148 yards!)

Offensively, Manning played well and finished the game 17-of-23 for 188 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His leading receiver was Sterling Shepard with seven catches for 78 yards. Running back Wayne Gallman was held to 23 yards on 11 carries, but newcomer Jhurell Pressley rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, the Jets were held to 66 yards rushing and 174 yards passing. Defensive end Kerry Wynn picked up another sack and linebacker Lorenzo Carter and defensive end Josh Mauro shared a sack. The defense did not force a turnover however.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT – EVAN ENGRAM SUFFERS CONCUSSION…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), running back Jalen Simmons (concussion), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), linebacker Calvin Munson (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

Running back Robert Martin did not play and there is media speculation that an ankle or foot injury kept him out.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., quarterback Alex Tanney, and cornerback Mike Jones were healthy scratches.

Tight end Evan Engram left the game with a concussion. Tight end Rhett Ellison left the game with an eye injury.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Saturday. The players are off on that day.

Aug 212018
 
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Kalif Raymond, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Kalif Raymond – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 21, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE REPORT…
There are no more New York Giants training camp practices open to the public this summer. However, the team will continue to practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center each week, including Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Tuesday due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), running back Jalen Simmons (concussion), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), linebacker Calvin Munson (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

“As we all know, (Barkley) tweaked his hamstring, and he’s training really well and doing more and more each day,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We like the path he’s on.”

Defensive lineman A.J. Francis left practice early with an unknown injury, but later returned.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants were in full pads for the second day in a row.
  • Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong continued to work with first-team nickel defense.
  • William Gay was the second-team free safety.
  • Donte Deayon received some reps at first-team slot corner.
  • Linebacker Kareem Martin penetrated into the backfield for a “sack” against right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple jumped a sideline toss from quarterback Eli Manning but dropped the potential interception.
  • For the second straight day, quarterback Kyle Lauletta hit wide receiver Jawill Davis deep. Lauletta later connected with Davis again on a fade pass for a score.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Evan Engram on a post pattern for a long touchdown. Manning later connected with wide receiver Sterling Shepard for another long score.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a touchdown strike to wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo who was being double covered.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a fade touchdown pass to wide receiver Alonzo Russell over cornerback Leonard Johnson.
  • Cornerback Grant Haley knocked away a sideline pass intended for wideout Kalif Raymond.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a fade touchdown pass to wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, who made a one-handed catch, over cornerback Grant Haley.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins broked up a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon picked off a pass from quarterback Davis Webb near the goal line.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1031986796303806464

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

VICTOR CRUZ RETIRES FROM THE NFL…
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (2010-2016) has retired from the NFL. In his seven seasons with the Giants, Cruz played in 70 regular-season games with 53 starts, catching 303 passes for 4,549 and 25 touchdowns. Signed as a rookie free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft, Cruz’s football career ended prematurely after suffering three lower-leg injuries that seemed to rob him of his quickness, including arthroscopic knee surgery in 2013, career-threatening patellar tendon knee injury in 2014, and a calf injury that required surgery in 2015. The Giants cut him in February 2017.

Aug 202018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 17, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 20, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE REPORT…
There are no more New York Giants training camp practices open to the public this summer. However, the team will continue to practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center each week, including Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed free agents running back Jhurell Pressley and linebacker Warren Long.

The 26-year old, 5’10, 206-pound Pressley was originally signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Vikings (2016), Green Bay Packers (2016), Atlanta Falcons (2016-2017), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2017). Pressley hasn’t played in a regular-season game.

“I was with (Pressley) before, good runner, fast, tough guy,” Head Coach Pat Shurmur said. “We brought him in, he’s got some familiarity with what we do offensively, and we’ll get him in the mix.”

A converted running back, the 23-year old, 5’11”, 212-pound Long was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Seahawks cut him on Saturday.

To make room for Pressley and Long, the Giants waived/injured linebacker Thurston Armbrister and waived safety Mike Basile.

Armbrister has been sidelined for weeks with a hamstring injury. The Giants signed Armbrister to a reserve/futures contract in January 2018. Armbrister was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2015) and Detroit Lions (2016-2017). Armbrister has played in 30 regular-season games with five starts, and has accumulated 38 tackles and one pass defense. He did not play in a regular-season game in 2017.

The Giants signed Basile, an undrafted rookie free agent, on August 8th.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), running back Jalen Simmons (concussion), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), linebacker Calvin Munson (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The Giants practiced in full pads.
  • The defense clearly out-practiced the offense today with the defense getting too much penetration against the offensive line.
  • Curtis Riley remains the first-team free safety and William Gay the first-team slot corner.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree blew threw the line to nail running back Wayne Gallman for a loss.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Jawill Davis against cornerback Mike Jones.
  • Linebacker Alec Ogletree knocked away a quarterback Eli Manning pass intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. across the middle of the defense. Then Ogletree picked off a lazy deep pass from Manning to wide receiver Hunter Sharp.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph dropped two passes.
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney threw a nice deep corner route to wideout Jawill Davis over safety Sean Chandler.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson knocked away a pass intended for running back Shane Smith.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Aug 012018
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 1, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their sixth full-team summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS CLAIM VICTOR SALAKO OFF OF WAIVERS…
The New York Giants have claimed offensive tackle Victor Salako off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns. The 24-year old, 6’5”, 316-pound Salako was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Practice Squads of both the Eagles and Browns in 2017. Salako has good size but lacks ideal athleticism.

To make room for Salako, the Giants waived offensive tackle Jarron Jones, who was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Giants cut him in September 2017, but re-signed him June 2018 after he had spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday were safety Curtis Riley (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (unknown), tight end Garrett Dickerson (hamstring), and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Linebacker Olivier Vernon beat left tackle Nate Solder around the edge to “sack” quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Darian Thompson teamed with Landon Collins as the first-team safeties. When the Giants went to “dime” coverage, the extra corners were William Gay and B.W. Webb.
  • Second-team defense included Grant Haley and Teddy Williams at corner and Michael Thomas in the slot.
  • Chad Wheeler practiced at second-team left tackle today with Nick Becton at second-team right tackle, flipping from where they had been lining up.
  • John Jerry was working with the third team at right tackle.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a perfect deep pass to wide receiver Kalif Raymond for a 40-50 yard gain between cornerback Grant Haley and safety Andrew Adams.
  • Quarterback Kyle Lauletta hit wide receiver Marquis Bundy deep down the left sideline.
  • Returning kickoffs were Hunter Sharp, Wayne Gallman, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Left tackle Nate Solder did a good job of picking up a blitz by linebacker Alec Ogletree.
  • Linebacker Mark Herzlich slammed wideout Kalif Raymond after a short catch over the middle.
  • Linebacker Alex Ogletree tipped a pass from quarterback Eli Manning that was intercepted by safety Landon Collins and returned for a touchdown during the 2-minute drill.
  • Defensive end B.J. Hill expertly sniffed out a screen pass for running back Saquon Barkley and tackled him for a loss.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. worked together after practice.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 302018
 
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Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Robert Thomas and Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

JULY 30, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their fifth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday were cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), running back Jonathan Stewart (unknown), defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list) and tight end Garrett Dickerson (hamstring).

Safety Curtis Riley and linebacker Avery Moss left practice early with an unknown leg injuries.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • There was a heavy focus on the running game today at practice.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, linebacker B.J. Goodson clobbered running back Wayne Gallman in the backfield.
  • Running back Jalen Simmons ran over linebacker Calvin Munson.
  • Tempers flared after linebacker Olivier Vernon hit running back Wayne Gallman hard after he caught a swing pass and Gallman threw the ball at Vernon.
  • Cornerback Kenneth Durden made a couple of plays, including a diving interception in the end zone.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a touch catch on the run in traffic and scored in red-zone drills.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a touchdown in the red zone. Manning completed a lot of short, high-percentage passes today.
  • Returning punts were wide receivers Kalif Raymond, Hunter Sharp, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Tight end Jerell Adams beat linebacker Romeo Okwara down the seam for a catch.
  • Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made a nice catch over cornerback Grant Haley.
  • Linebackers B.J. Goodson and Ray-Ray Armstrong were very active. Goodson came free on a blitz for a “sack.”
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. beat cornerback Eli Apple one-on-one along the sideline and turned upfield for a long touchdown. Overall, Apple had a solid day in most 1-on-1 situations however.
  • Jordan Williams had back-to-back sacks.
  • Wide receiver Travis Rudolph caught a pair of touchdowns.
  • A scuffle broke out between offensive lineman Jarron Jones and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond was the first one to return kickoffs at practice.
  • Linebacker Olivier Vernon and left tackle Nate Solder practiced one-on-one after practice was over.

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

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

Audio clips of ESPN Radio interviews with the following players are available at ESPN.com:

ARTICLES…

Jul 022018
 
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Will Hernandez, New York Giants (May 11, 2018)

Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

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

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: No other position epitomizes the futility of the New York Giants since their last Super Bowl appearance than the team’s offensive line. It is a myth to say that Jerry Reese and Marc Ross ignored the position. Instead, one could argue that their demise was largely due to the allocation of significant draft and free agent resources with negative returns.

2017 was supposed to be the year that the three premium draft picks (Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ereck Flowers), signed and then re-signed John Jerry, and self-proclaimed “best right tackle in football” Bobby Hart turned a team weakness into at the very least a middle-of-the-pack unit. However, once again, the Giants offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL. The line couldn’t protect Eli Manning (31 sacks, the second most in his career despite an offensive system predicated on the short passing game) or open holes for running backs (26th in rushing). Justin Pugh talked a big game (again) and got hurt (again), missing half the season. Weston Richburg only started four games before ending up on IR with a concussion that he insisted wasn’t IR-worthy. Ereck Flowers – punching bag for fans and opposing pass rushers – struggled mightily both at the beginning and end of the season, and was benched. John Jerry played all 16 games (12 at left guard) but remained a soft player. D.J. Fluker started six games at right guard, performing reasonably well as a road grader, but was placed on IR in November with a toe injury. By the end of the year, you had guys like Jon Halapio (six starts at right guard), Brett Jones (12 starts at center), and Chad Wheeler (three starts at right tackle, one at left tackle) manning the front wall.

The Giants have been a soft, finesse offensive football team for years because of their offensive line play.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Bobby Hart was cut before 2017 was over. The Giants made no effort to re-sign Justin Pugh (2013 1st-round pick) and Weston Richburg (2014 2nd-round draft pick). D.J. Fluker signed a 1-year contract with the Seahawks. Adam Bisnowaty (2017 6th-round draft pick) was cut in May. Dave Gettleman re-signed Jon Halapio (exclusive rights), Brett Jones (restricted), John Greco (unrestricted), and Ethan Cooper (practice squad player).

The newcomers are Nate Solder (4 years, $62 million); Patrick Omameh (3 years, $15 million); Will Hernandez (2nd-round draft pick);  lesser-known “street” free agents Chris Scott, Malcolm Bunche, and Jarron Jones; and rookie free agents Nick Gates and Evan Brown.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: So now the never-ending attempt to rebuild the offensive line falls upon new shoulders. Dave Gettleman will try to accomplish what Jerry Reese failed. Enter the third new head coach and third new offensive line coach as well. To the team’s credit (but also embarrassment), they at least had the courage to part ways with most of their previous mistakes. John Jerry remains but he has already fallen out of the starting line-up. Coming out of the spring, the starters entering camp appear to be left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.

Most of the attention will be focused on whipping-boy Ereck Flowers, who started off on the wrong foot by throwing a hissy fit and not showing up to the early “voluntary” workouts due to his ego being bruised by the shift to right tackle. He returned once he hired a professional agent. The good news is that Nate Solder has attempted to take him under his wing. But Flowers – who the team did shop before the draft – still seems to have a learning disability when it comes to grasping three years of pro coaching. My guess is he will be on a short leash. The problem is there is no obvious replacement. Chad Wheeler flashed but was very shaky as a rookie. On paper, the other vulnerable spot is center. Brett Jones may have already fallen behind journeyman Jon Halapio, who has played with such stalwart “pro” franchises as the Boston Brawlers and Brooklyn Bolts. The Giants tried but failed to sign veteran center John Sullivan in free agency. That tells you they are concerned about the position. Don’t be surprised if the team actively scans the waiver wire throughout the year. The hard truth may be the team needs one more offseason to address two potentially glaring holes.

But while we may all be focusing on the individual component parts, the real issue is finding five starters who can form a viable, physical, and cohesive unit. And the priority appears to have changed. The offensive focus may no longer be pass blocking for Eli Manning and his targets but run blocking for Saquon Barkley. In other words, there may be a real emphasis on becoming a physical football team up front again and not just talking about it. If they don’t, then drafting Barkley with the #2 pick made little sense. New offensive line coach Hal Hunter was out of football in 2017. The pressure is on him to fix a unit that Pat Flaherty and Mike Solari couldn’t.

ON THE BUBBLE: Again, the starters coming out of the spring workouts were Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Patrick Omameh, and Ereck Flowers. Others who received some 1st-team reps and/or quite a bit of time with the second unit were Nick Becton, John Greco, Brett Jones, John Jerry, and Chad Wheeler. Right now, though things can quickly change, these players appear to be the top candidates to make the roster. That said, except for Solder, Hernandez, and Omameh, I would be renting rather than buying a home in northern New Jersey.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on Ereck Flowers: “He’s actually done a really good job. He’s an excellent athlete and he’s handling the move pretty seamlessly…I think he’s made improvements…He’s been great. He’s been communicating well, he looks like he’s having fun playing out there, he’s worked in with the offensive line and he’s done everything we’ve asked and I anticipate that will continue.”

Nate Solder on Ereck Flowers: “I have been very impressed with his character and his humility – work ethic, everything…the way he goes about his business, the way that he has put it behind him, he’s just doing his thing and he’s trying hard and he cares and he’s asking questions. He is doing everything that you would want a guy to do.”

Shurmur on Jon Halapio: “Yeah, he has done a very good job. Pio is very smart, he’s got good instincts – he snaps the ball well…He does all of those things well and he’s very competitive and he knows how to play the game. I think (Brett) Jonesey is doing the same thing. They’re just in there competing. I wouldn’t over-evaluate who is getting the first team reps, but I think if you’re talking about Pio specifically, he has really sort of opened his eyes that he has a chance to play.”

PREDICTIONS: The strength of the line should be the left side. Nate Solder should be the team’s best left tackle in years. Even without the pads on, Will Hernandez has flashed a much-needed enforcer mentality. Patrick Omameh should be a more physical presence as a run blocker at right guard than John Jerry. Center and right tackle remain the primary concerns as well as overall depth. We’ve heard all of the pleasantries about Ereck Flowers before. Now he is shifting to a spot he didn’t even play in college. There is no guarantee he will be a better player on the right side. Much rides on play. Perhaps the new chemistry in the locker room will help. It was no secret that Flowers and Bobby Hart didn’t get along with Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg. Regardless, Flowers is out of excuses.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Thank the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), but teams don’t have many practices in training camp to get ready for the season. Thus, despite what the coaches say, it is pretty telling that Hernandez was playing left guard, Omameh right guard, Flowers right tackle, and Halapio center for the latter half of the offseason program. These four (plus obviously Nate Solder at left tackle) have to be considered the favorites to start right now at those specific positions. The next four appear to be John Greco, John Jerry, Brett Jones, and Chad Wheeler. But Greco and Jerry don’t offer much positional flexibility so one would appear vulnerable. My gut tells me the Giants will be adding one or two more offensive linemen from the waiver wire. A veteran swing tackle would be ideal.

Jun 282018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ANNOUNCE 2018 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE…
The New York Giants have announced the team’s 2018 summer training camp schedule. The Giants will only hold nine practices open to the public:

  • Thursday, July 26: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Friday, July 27: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, July 28: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Sunday, July 29: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Monday, July 30: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Wednesday, August 1: 2:45 p.m. – Practice
  • Thursday, August 2: 10:30 a.m. – Practice
  • Friday, August 3: 10:30 a.m. – Practice
  • Saturday, August 4: CAMP CLOSED
  • Monday, August 6: CAMP CLOSED
  • Tuesday, August 7: 10:30 a.m. – Practice (End of Public Training Camp practices)

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (ext. 107).

For general information for fans who wish to visit training camp, see this Giants.com primer.

ARTICLES…

Jun 052018
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (December 29, 2017)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in lymphatic cells that are part of the body’s immune system.

“Recently, I underwent an annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma,” said Gettleman in a prepared statement. “Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future. The doctor’s outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I.

“I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with (Head Coach) Pat (Shurmur), (Assistant General Manager) Kevin (Abrams) and the rest of our staff.

“I am thankful to John Mara and Steve Tisch and our organization for their support and encouragement, and to Ronnie Barnes for his guidance and assistance. And, of course, to my wife Joanne and our children for their love and support.

“And I want to thank you in advance for respecting my privacy and that of my family as we work our way through this. I look forward to being back at full strength and devoting all my energy to helping make this 2018 New York Giants team the best it can be.”

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN PUNTER TAYLOR SYMMANK…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent punter Taylor Symmank. The 25-year old, 6’2”, 195-pound Symmank was not drafted in 2016. The Minnesota Vikings signed him in January 2017 and waived him in early September of that year. Symmank punted nine times during the 2017 preseason, averaging 42.9 yards per punt.

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE #8…
The Giants held their eighth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practices on Tuesday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

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

The two remaining OTA practices will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

ARTICLES…

Jun 042018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 4, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their seventh voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Monday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

“Another productive day,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I think the OTAs have gone well. You saw today we had a move the ball period, which we did one last week as well where the guys are calling it – offense, defense, personnel is getting in and out and it’s really the key part of playing the game because it’s the most like a game at this point. I think they handled it well. You saw there was some good, competitive play – for the most part we stayed up, got a lot accomplished and we’ll try to do a little bit more of that. Unfortunately, you won’t be here to see it, but we’ll do a little bit more of that as we go the next three days.”

The three remaining OTA practices will be held on June 5-7. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison did not attend Monday’s OTA.

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from arm surgery) was held out of team drills.

“(Collins is) getting better,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Well, I wouldn’t say it has changed. I would just say that we’re going to be a little bit cautious because it’s a break that’s healed. We’re trying to get him in as much as we can, but a little bit at a time. But he looks good. He’s getting his extra running, he’s getting everything he needs mentally and I’ve been very pleased with his progress in all areas.”

Defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown medical issue), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), and tight end Ryan O’Malley (unknown) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 8-of-10 on field goal attempts, missing twice from beyond 50 yards.
  • The first-team offensive line was left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • The second-team offensive line was left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler. Chris Scott also got some work at right guard with the second unit.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning continues to look for tight end Evan Engram early and often.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb hit wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr., the first being a one-handed catch and the second a sizeable gain down the sideline. Webb later connected with wide receiver Travis Rudolph for a red-zone touchdown.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Sterling Shepard. He later broke up a slant pass at the goal line intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a fade pass in end zone from quarterback Eli Manning intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson broke up a pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Linebacker Tae Davis broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Marquis Bundy.
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney connected with wide receiver Alonzo Russell for a 40-yard gain.
  • Notes and observations from Giants OTAs (6/04) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at Giants OTA practice? (6/4) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

REPORT – GIANTS HIRE MARK KONCZ AS NEW DIRECTOR OF PLAYER PERSONNEL…
Pro Football Talk is reporting that that the New York Giants have hired Mark Koncz as the team’s new director of player personnel. Koncz worked with General Manager David Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers as director of pro scouting, a position that Koncz had held from 2000-2017. Gettleman promoted him to director of player personnel in May 2017 before the Panthers fired Koncz in July after Gettleman was also let go. Since February, Koncz has served as a scouting department consultant with the Giants.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed undrafted rookie free agent H-Back Garrett Dickerson (Northwestern University), a tryout player during the team’s rookie mini-camp in May. The 6’2”, 244-pound Dickerson is a versatile player who can play a variety of positions including tight end, fullback, and H-Back.

The Giants also waived wide receiver Keeon Johnson, cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon, and cornerback Mike Jones.

Johnson was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He was waived/injured and then placed on Injured Reserve in August 2017 with a foot injury.

The Giants signed McKinnon to the Practice Squad in late November 2017. McKinnon originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2016 NFL Draft. McKinnon had spent time with the Cowboys (2016), Tennessee Titans (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017).

The Giants signed Jones as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May rookie mini-camp as a tryout player.

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

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

ARTICLES…