Apr 102019
 
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New York Giants Helmet (September 8, 2013)

Photo by big d E

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The 2019 preseason opponents for the New York Giants have been announced. Specific times and dates have not yet been released.

  • August 8-12: New York Jets
  • August 15-19: Chicago Bears
  • August 22-25: at Cincinnati Bengals
  • August 29-30: at New England Patriots

The team’s 2019 regular-season opponents are listed in the Schedule section of the website.

NEW YORK GIANTS CUT QUADREE HENDERSON…
The New York Giants waived wide receiver/returner Quadree Henderson on April 4th. Henderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers waived him before the season started. The Giants signed Henderson to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018, and then back to the Practice Squad and the 53-man roster again in November. The Giants placed Henderson on Injured Reserve in late November 2018 with a fractured shoulder. Henderson played in five games for the Giants and returned five kickoffs (22.4 yards per return average) and nine punts (7.6 yards per return average).

ARTICLES…

Feb 202019
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 12, 2018)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

For media pundits and fans, opinions and battle lines regarding Eli Manning have long been formed. In many ways, it’s strange to see a class act, two-time Super Bowl MVP, and holder of just about every significant passing record in team history be such a divisive topic. Perhaps that says more about us than Eli.

Quarterbacks for every team are always fan lightning rods. But the contempt for Eli seems over the top, including with “overrated” player polls which seem more than a tad disingenuous since Eli has never been regarded all that highly by most players, media types, and fans of other teams.

Manning’s best season was his League MVP-worthy performance of 2011. By the conclusion of that season, at the age of 31, in his first eight years, Manning had won two Super Bowls, was responsible for 25 game-winning drives, and sported 8-3 playoff and 69-50 regular-season records. After that, in his next seven seasons, while there were 17 more game-winning drives, Manning only played in one more playoff game and saw his regular-season record plummet to 47-64. Manning’s team have only won two more games than they have lost (116-114) and have been to the playoffs six times, losing the first playoff game on four of those occasions.

With those facts in mind, the genesis of Eli debate becomes clear. If you take away the Super Bowl seasons of 2007 and 2011, outside his longevity, Manning’s career looks like the epitome of mediocrity. But – and it’s a BIG but (cue the Pee Wee Herman joke here) – you can’t take away the 2007 and 2011 seasons. Manning played his best football during those two historic, against-all-odds, 4-0 each playoff runs. He is responsible for one quarter of the team’s NFL Championships. This alone makes his career a success.

My personal view is that the New York Giants as a franchise ruined the second half of Manning’s career. Manning was probably never going to duplicate his career season of 2011, but he should not be a 47-64 quarterback either. For most of the last seven years, the Giants have “surrounded” Eli with terrible offensive lines, no running game, shoddy defense, and abysmal special teams. The beatings Manning has taken have taken their toll. He’s not the guy he was in 2011. The same thing happened to Ron Jaworski, Neil Lomax, and others. Once you permanently lose faith in your offensive line, you become a different player.

2018 was an odd year for Eli. At times, he looked done. At other times, he was the master of efficiency. Six times he had a QB rating over 100. He completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes. He only threw 11 interceptions. But even with Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham, the offense was abysmal for much of the season. Manning threw only 21 touchdowns and the team finished the year 5-11. If a play broke down, Manning could not improvise. He was sacked a career-high 47 times (an average of three times per game).

One of Phil Simms’ best years was his final one in 1993, when the Giants surprisingly finished 11-5. Simms didn’t throw a lot of touchdowns (only 15), but he was incredibly efficient quarterback on a solid football team. My sense is that Eli Manning could still be a winning and sometimes masterful QB if his surrounding team were stronger, but that simply has not been the case. Too many times, the offensive line or defense have collapsed. Too many times the ground game couldn’t gain that one yard. Now he is 38 years old. It’s a shame.

THE 15-YEAR CONSTANT

In the twilight stage of his career, the 38-year old Eli Manning completed his 15th season in 2018. The entire offense, including Manning, played much better in the second half of the year when the offensive line played better. Overall, Manning finished with 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes. However, the passing attack was inconsistent. There were stretches and games where Manning and the passing game were efficient and sharp, and others where they struggled to move the chains and put points up on the board. Manning was the first player selected in the 2004 NFL Draft and immediately traded to the Giants by the Chargers. Manning owns practically every quarterback record in franchise history. He is 8-4 as a playoff quarterback and a two-time Super Bowl MVP. His best season was 2011 when he carried the Giants to the playoffs, highlighted by eight come-from-behind victories. Since then, he has struggled with consistency as the franchise has been unable to provide him with an adequate offensive line. Manning has the perfect temperament for playing in the New York metropolitan area as the intense media spotlight does not seem to faze him. He is very smart and hard-working. Manning has excellent size and decent arm strength. Relatively immobile, Manning rarely extends a play when his protection breaks down and is not a threat to harm a defense with his feet. Although he’s a tough competitor who has never missed a game due to injury in 14 seasons, Manning has become a bit more gun-shy in recent years due to shoddy pass protection. Manning excels in the mental aspects of the game and reads opposing defenses extremely well. Manning is still guilty of making the ill-advised, head-scratching throw when the smarter decision would be to throw the football away or take the sack. His gun-slinger mentality – which leads to big plays – also causes him to make some risky throws in tight windows. Manning was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2011, and played in the game after the 2012 and 2015 regular seasons as an alternate.

THE SURPRISE BACK-UP

Alex Tanney, who the Giants signed in May 2018 after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans, surprisingly won the team’s back-up quarterback job, a role he played in 15 of 16 games. However, he did not see any regular-season action. The 6’4”, 220-pound Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). Tanney has only played in one regular-season game, coming off the bench for the Titans in 2015. He played in three preseason games for the Giants in 2018, completing 18-of-33 passes (54.5 percent) for 177 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.

DRIVING MR. LAULETTA

The Giants selected Kyle Lauletta in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The team’s third quarterback for the bulk of the season, Lauletta did play late in the game of a blowout win. However, he did not distinguish himself, going 0-of-5 with one interception. Lauletta also was arrested midway through the season due to a serious traffic infraction. The scouting report on Lauletta coming out of college was that he is a smart, accurate short- to intermediate-passer whose lack of arm strength limits his overall game.

Dec 312018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (December 30, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR DISCUSSES THE STATE OF HIS TEAM…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the state of his team after completing a 5-11 season (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I just visited with the team, and so they’re going through their exit process. I think the important thing is we’ve talked about how one year can connect to the other and we made some progress as a team. I mentioned yesterday this is about leadership and team building. We’ve made some progress. We certainly didn’t reach any of our goals in terms of being in the playoffs and competing for the championship, but we’re a different team than this team was a year ago and it’s a credit to the players. They’ve been very coachable, they’ve done what we’ve asked – staying in the moment, continuing to fight, and every game matters, every play matters. I think we’ve made progress there. Now, right is right, we’ve got to get better in all areas and that’s the process that we’re going to begin. I have no answers for you about any player moving forward. I know Dave (Gettleman) is going to have a chance to visit with you. I’m probably going to visit with you less this time of year. This is about player acquisition, player evaluation and things that quite frankly we’re not going to be willing to share. I think that’s something we should keep private and move forward with. The players are finishing up their evaluations, I’m going to get a chance to meet with a lot of them individually. The way we did it, we had a team meeting, right now they’re meeting as an offense and a defense, then they’ll meet with their position coaches, and there will be a select few I visit with before they leave. Then anybody I don’t talk to, I certainly will be able to talk with on the phone. I appreciate all the hard work that you guys have done. I understand reporting on what we do is not easy. I’ve tried this year to be very open and honest and share with you things that are appropriate to be shared, and so hopefully we can keep that going. With that said, I will take your questions.

Q: How do you go about deciding who are the players, the select few that you said you meet with? What goes into that?

A: I just have a list, and that’s private. But I visit with the players all the time anyways, so along the way here the last couple of weeks with some of the rookies, I could do a drive-by on them and say, hey listen, you did this well, this well, this well, make sure you’ve got a plan this offseason. Part of what is going to be very important for our rookies is between now and when we come back in 15 weeks, and this is the first time in their lives where they’ve had to manage their offseason. If this thing’s about setting standards and putting habits in place, we’re going to help them make sure that they do the right things.

Q: You said you’re proud of the team and how it has grown. Have you thought about your own growth from when you first took this job to now, and what can you tell us about that?

A: I don’t know. I quality control myself all the time, I want to make sure I’m sharing a message that is the New York Football Giants message, and I think that’s important. I start everyday trying to do the things only I can do for this organization, and then help in areas where I have expertise. I constantly go through that. I try to grow every day as a person, and hopefully that rubs off on the job.

Q: What do you think went well or not as well this year when you look back?

A: We didn’t win enough games. What we did well is we took a young team and a new team and a new staff and we competed, and we had some good victories. But we’ve got to do a better job of winning those close games. We’ve either got to get a stop or get a score, and that’s where we need to get better.

Q: When you say self-evaluate, how about yourself in terms of some of the things you look back at?

A: Being I’m the play caller, there’s always a handful of plays. You make 70 decisions in 40 seconds or 25 seconds or less, as you all have watched, you’re not perfect. So what you try to do is become more perfect, make less mistakes, make more good decisions.

Q: When you look at the close games that you lost, are there things that you think you could do to help win those?

A: Yeah, I think each game, there’s a different story in each game. But like I said, in a close game, you’ve either got to get a stop or you’ve got to get a score. In the games that we’ve lost, we haven’t done those things. So those are the things you look at. Maybe there’s things we could do different tactically, we’ll look at that, that’s always part of it, the scheme evaluation. That’s what we spend our time on, at least half of each day is spent on that.

Q: When you look back from when you got hired until now, you obviously know a lot more about the organization, the players, everything. Looking back, was this more of a rebuild than even you thought it was? You talked a lot about distancing yourself from 3-13.

A: I don’t know what I expected from that standpoint. When you take these jobs, you really don’t know much about anything in the building other than the history and the tradition and some of the players, the ownership and the people in positions of authority. But having not worked with them, as coaches, we get a feel for players and people after we work with them. So I certainly have a much better view of what this organization is and I can help more or have more educated ideas as to what we can do moving forward because I know the players, and now I have a staff of guys that I’ve worked with. I mentioned it this week that other than Bill McGovern, I did not work with any of these coaches. I purposely didn’t hire some of my friends who are now no longer my friends, but I’m really pleased. And again, we can all grow, there’s things that we can all do better, but I’ve got a bunch of guys here that I’m looking forward to moving forward with.

Q: You will keep the staff intact?

A: Yeah. Again, you can’t ever say that. Some guys leave for whatever reasons, but again that’s part of the process that we’ll go through. We’ll meet as coaches and try to find ways to get better.

Q: What’s your policy if another team wants to interview one of your guys? Would you let them?

A: Individual basis. In terms of, I’m all for guys advancing, I really don’t want to stand in anyone’s way and I’ll have some opinions as to whether it’s advancement or not. But, listen, I had ambition as a young coach, you gain experience and want to move forward. I don’t want to stand in anyone’s way. I think as long as I replace that guy with a career coach that’s open-minded, understands the importance of relationships and can work together with the staff, we’ll make it work.

Q: If you look around the NFL, coaches seem to be on a short leash. Does that increase your sense of urgency to get things right?

A: I don’t know that. I think I’m pretty urgent, and I’m pretty disappointed when we don’t win every week. No, I don’t think so. I think we all understand the environment. Did I hear there’s eight guys that lost their jobs already? That’s a fourth of the league, and that’s pretty typical. I guess we all understand how that works.

Q: You always talk about blocking out the noise. Is today one of those days where you can’t ignore what’s going on around the league?

A: We don’t have an opponent to prepare for, so I’m certainly aware more of what’s going on. There’s no reason to block anything out today.

Q: You said you didn’t know anything about the organization really. What do you know now after a year here?

A: Very supportive. Really, there’s a lot of people in this building that have worked here a long time that live and breathe and sleep everything that we do well, and share the pain when we don’t win. We have a committed organization, we have a committed group of players, and it’s up to us now – as I’ve said, right is right. We’ve got to start winning these close games.

Q: What do you want Saquon to come back to you in April as?

A: A better version of his former self. I think that’s important. That was part of the message I already mentioned to the players, is making sure that they keep moving forward. All year, it’s been about team and tough and together, and that really doesn’t stop when the guys leave the building.

Q: How would you describe how your relationship with Odell has been over the year? How has it progressed up until now?

A: It’s good. I appreciate everything that Odell has done, I appreciate him as a player, I appreciate the fact that he’s tried to get back here in the last month. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that. Just like any player on our team, I’ve learned a lot about Odell and I think our relationship is good. It’s very honest and open, just like it is with every other player.

Q: Did Kyle (Lauletta) develop as you thought he would when you picked him in the fourth round?

A: I don’t know what I expected. Again, I think Kyle has a bright future, but there’s a lot to learn, especially at the quarterback position, to be able to function efficiently at this level. I think he’s made great progress. He’s one of those guys that he needs to continue to improve and work on the things necessary to do his job here in the next 15 weeks.

Q: When you sit down with Dave Gettleman, how much input do you have in conversations about your own free agents like Landon Collins and Jamon Brown and those guys, and free agents maybe across the league you’d be interested in? How does that dynamic between you guys play out?

A: It’s very open. As you might expect, we talk all the time about all the players. Dave is well aware of what I think of the players, I’m well aware of what he thinks, and we’re both well aware of how those players are going to fit moving forward. I don’t think any of us are looking for a percentage of impact on decision making, but it’s very open and honest what we think about players.

Q: Do you have guys who are going to need surgeries here or injuries you’re going to be watching?

A: A couple guys moving forward, but nothing super major. I don’t know if you had somebody specific. I don’t have all that information yet. I do know the ones that are probably going to need a little touch-up, I guess you’d say. I don’t have any details as to when that’s going to start.

Q: Who?

A: Did you have somebody in mind?

Q: Is Odell one of them?

A: No. He doesn’t need surgery.

Q: How about Landon? What’s his situation with the injury and rehab? His timetable?

A: He had a labral tear on his shoulder, so it’s going to be a length recovery, three or four months, I guess. But he’s been around, I’ve had a chance to communicate with him throughout, so he’s fixed and he’s now coming back from his surgery.

Q: Does Saquon need anything?

A: No.

Q: Eli is going to be 38 this week. The quarterback situation moving forward is going to be a topic I’m sure you guys discuss over the next few months. How do you look back and look at the full 16 games and view how that went specifically for Eli?

A: I think it’s all coordinated. The quarterback play, the line play, the ability to run the ball – I think what we want to be offensively was better showcased from the bye week on. Prior to the bye week, we were scoring 17, 18 points a game, and after the bye week we’ve scored 27, almost 28 points a game. That’s what you need to do. Part of that was we solidified the offensive line, which allowed Eli to do more of what Eli can do better, and helped our runner. I think we would all agree in the second half of the year, we played much better offense. So when you talk about a coordinated effort, I talked all along about the things I really appreciate about Eli in terms of playing the quarterback position. They’re like everybody else, they make mistakes. Andrew Luck threw a pick-six last night. When you’re making the decisions and you’ve got the ball in your hand every play, there’s mistakes that are made, but there’s also some great things that you’re doing. We’ll go back and look at it all, but I think he was better able to showcase what he could do once we solidified the offensive line. I think that’s a fair assessment.

Q: Was there a quarter or handful of drives at some point in the season where you looked at it and said, that’s it, that’s what we point to?

A: I don’t know, I think there’s always stretches of games, key moments throughout. I can’t say I would point to one or another.

Q: A lot of these young QBs in the league are going crazy with numbers and things like that. Is your philosophy of quarterback, Eli is not that, never really was that. Do you look at the quarterback and say, I want a guy who can win the game, manage the game, scores 28, 27 points a game and isn’t have to be a 50-touchdown kind of guy running around and things like that?

A: When you look around the league and let’s assume there are good coaches everywhere, you try to play to the strengths of the guys on the roster. The Baltimore Ravens are playing a different style of offense now that Joe Flacco is not their quarterback. I guess what you do is try to maximize and that’s what I was saying about the last eight weeks. You try to maximize the skillsets of the players that you have. It’s a coordinated effort – nobody can do this alone. Baseball is the ultimate skill sport, this is the ultimate team sport, and nobody can carry the team by themselves. It’s a coordinated effort. As much as everyone would like to say, Saquon did all these things, and he did a lot of great things, well, we blocked better and it was coordinated with the throwing game where he maybe got some two-shell runs. It’s coordinated.

Q: Is this version of the offense you played in the second half of the year, is that compensation or is that because of limitations? Or is this what you want your offense to look like?

A: I like offense where you’re able to run the ball throughout because play action is meaningful. Again, I think Eli ran more boots and nakeds, he hasn’t run this many boots and nakeds since he was at Ole Miss. But it works, and we changed the launch point. I think we’ve given up 40-some sacks. Since the bye, I think we’ve been sacked like 15 or 16 times, so again, it’s coordinated. I want an offense that’s going to score enough points to win. The last two weeks, we didn’t do that by a point.

Q: Both Dave and John (Mara) said that the offensive line was their number one priority for last offseason. Do you now feel at the end of this season this could be your offensive line going forward? Or does it need more tweaks?

A: No, I think you’ve got to always address the offensive line to some degree. I think sometimes the answers are on your roster. (Jon Halapio) came in and played really well at center until he got hurt, then we picked up Spencer Pulley who’s done a very, very good job playing center. (John) Greco stepped in and played center, we picked up Jamon Brown. I think you’ve got to always try to upgrade your offensive line to some degree because when you look around and you start to see teams that are playing bad offense, don’t look at the skill players first. If you can’t block them, then nothing fancy looks good, nothing normal looks good, nothing that you need to do in football looks good if you can’t block them. I think that’s where this game starts. I worked for Nick Saban, and I watch Alabama. Alabama’s got a lot of very talented players, but when push comes to shove, the teams playing Alabama can’t block them. You may make a play or score a touchdown, but when you’re trying to do it over and over and over, teams can’t block those guys. It’s important that we’re always addressing the fronts. This is a big man’s game, and we’ve got to make sure we’re doing what we can to get the O and the D-line right.

Q: Obviously Eli has won here. When he has done so, it has been with a good pass rush on the other side and a defense that has helped him – most quarterbacks have. Do you think you have a winning offense as constituted or close to it if your defense can make stops at the end and put more pressure on opposing offenses?

A: I think we’ll have a winning team when at the end of the game we can either stop the team or score against the team we’re playing, and again that’s part of being coordinated. We’re going to address all those things moving forward.

Q: We asked you about (DC) James Bettcher last week. Before the season started, one of the big storylines was how he would work with you and (OC) Mike Shula. What does he (Shula) bring to the table and how did that dynamic work with you calling plays?

A: I have a great deal of respect for Mike and having worked with him now, it worked great because along the way, we’re on the headset talking. He works with the staff, I think he’s done an outstanding job and he’s part of the reason for some of the success, at least offensively, we’ve had in the latter part of the season. I look forward to having him here moving forward.

Q: How is that? You say he’s part of the success, we don’t see that. What is it about him?

A: He’s smart. He was calling plays in the Super Bowl for Carolina. We work together. He’s a career coach, he works extremely hard, he’s smart, and we communicate well together. He does a good job with our offensive staff, and on game day, I get great suggestions as to what to call. There’s a lot of times when I’ll say, hey listen, I want to call apple or orange, what do you think? And he’ll say call orange. That’s the communication that happens. Again, you don’t get a chance to see it, but I certainly appreciate his efforts.

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:

GIANTS WILL PICK 6TH IN FIRST ROUND…
The New York Giants will have the 6th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

GIANTS 2019 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants will play the following teams during the 2019 NFL regular season:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

ROSTER MOVES…
Although not officially announced, the New York Giants have reportedly signed defensive end Jake Ceresna and long snapper Taybor Pepper to reserve/futures contracts.

The 24-year old, 6’6”, 295-pound Ceresna spent the past two years in the Canadian Football League (CFL) after a brief stint with the New York Jets in 2016.

The 24-year old, 6’4”, 245-pound Pepper went undrafted in 2016. He signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2017, playing in four games, before being placed on Injured Reserve with a broken foot.

NOTES…
The Giants finished 2-6 at home, 1-5 vs. NFC East opponents, and 0-3 in division home games. This is the first time they lost all of their home games within the NFC East since 2003.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they are the first team in NFL history to lose each of their final two games by one point.

The Giants lost eight games by seven points or less, the most such games by any NFL team this season.

The Giants lost all five games in 2018 when quarterback Eli Manning passed for 300 yards or more. The Giants are 19-31 in Manning’s 50 career 300-yard regular-season games.

Manning passed for 4,299 yards this season, the fourth-highest total of his 15-year career and the seventh time he exceeded 4,000 yards.

Manning completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes (380 of 576). His previous best was 63.1 percent in 2014.

Manning threw 21 touchdown passes, the 12th time in his career that he has thrown at least 20. Manning’s 11 interceptions were his fewest since he threw he threw 10 in 2008.

Running back Saquon Barkley finished with 261 rushing attempts for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, and 91 catches for 721 yards and four scores. His 11 rushing touchdowns are a Giants rookie record. He had been tied at 10 with Bill Paschal, who set the mark in 1943.

Barkley is the first running back to lead the Giants in catches since Tiki Barber did with 69 in 2003, and the first player to lead the team in rushing and receiving in the same season since Barber in 2003 (1,216 rushing yards, 69 catches).

Barkley’s 1,307 rushing yards is the seventh-highest total in Giants history.

Barkley’s 1,307 yards are 477 more than the No. 2 rookie on the franchise’s list – Tuffy Leemans’ previous record of 830 yards, set in 1936.

Barkley’s 91 receptions are a record for an NFL rookie running back. The former record of 88 was set by New Orleans’ Reggie Bush in 2006. The 91 catches ties wide receiver Odell Beckham’s Giants rookie record.

Barkley had 2,028 yards from scrimmage. He is the third rookie in NFL history with 2,000 yards from scrimmage after running backs Eric Dickerson (1983) and Edgerrin James (1999).

Place kicker Aldrick Rosas made 32 of 33 attempts this season, a Giants-record 97 percent.

Barkley and left guard Will Hernandez started all 16 games. This is just the second time since the 1970 merger that the Giants had multiple rookies start every game. In 1981, linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive tackle Bill Neill started every game.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media on Wednesday.

Dec 032018
 
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Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Aldrick Rosas – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 30-27 overtime win over the Chicago Bears (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: So the one guy that left the game and didn’t come back was Tae Davis with an ankle sprain. We had a couple other guys that were in and out, and if you’re interested in that along the way here, I can talk about it. Again, Tae will most likely be available this week, but we’ll have to see. Other than that, it was a good team win, took us a little longer to win than we liked. The message after the game: toughness and resiliency in a sport where that’s demanded, we were able to display that yesterday. We didn’t do enough things well enough throughout the game and there’s plenty mistakes that need to be cleaned up, and we’re getting that done today. But in the last month, we’ve won three games, and we’re just fighting forward, looking forward to the opportunity to go down and play a division game against the Redskins this week. I’ll try to answer your questions.

Q: Is Sterling (Shepard)’s status up in the air this week (ribs)?

A: By all accounts, he’ll be there, so we’ll see.

Q: How is Saquon (Barkley) feeling today?

A: Fine. He had a little pad adjustment, so he’s fine.

Q: How do you feel when you see him hurdle a guy? Is there any part of you that doesn’t want him to do that or is it part of his repertoire?

A: No, if he can advance the ball, I think that’s a good thing. He really runs under control, he’s got outstanding body control and the fact that he can do that, I think, is amazing. But no, you certainly don’t want a player to do anything reckless and get himself hurt.

Q: You looked like you sat Curtis Riley for a couple series or he was banged up, and Sean Chandler was in there, Michael Thomas was in there. Is that a position that’s in flux?

A: We’re trying to rotate a little bit there just to make sure we’ve got the right people on the field at the right time. Then you saw (Curtis) go back in when Landon (Collins) was in and out. I think it’s important, the way our roster is right now on the backend, I think it’s good for us to get all those guys in the game.

Q: What was your assessment of the onside kick when you went back and saw it on film? It was said there may have been a missed block, and do you think Odell did everything he could?

A: Yeah, I think we just didn’t execute that very well. We would have liked to have seen better blocking in the front line, which would have created more separation for the back line. I think maybe Odell sort of misjudged the pace of the kick, which kind of put him a little bit behind it, and then he tried to do, based on what I saw, what you would do to the kick if it was closer to the sideline, bat it out of bounds. In my mind, we just executed that play poorly. On the flip side, Chris Tabor, their special teams coach, was my special teams coach in Cleveland, so we worked together. I know he’s a very good special teams coach and they executed that play well. They executed well and we didn’t, that’s really the gist of it.

Q: With this offensive line, are you now going into games thinking more progressively than trying to be defensive with that group?

A: No, I think as you start to play behind an offensive line, you have more confidence just as the play caller, there’s certain things you can maybe get to a little quicker. Keep in mind, I think that was as good a front as you’re going to ever play. I think they’re an outstanding group. We had two sacks before the half in just pure drop-back situations, which there’s always contributing factors in sacks. We missed on a twist and then the second one, and then we were just trying to set up the heroic run for Saquon, that’s what we were really trying to do there. We were trying to back it up so he had further to go. No, I think they’re playing better, I really do. They accept the challenge each week to protect for the passer and then also help the runner have room to run, and I think they’re playing better together. I think a lot of it is because they’ve played together longer, like you said.

Q: You’re very in tune with offensive lines for a lot of reasons. What identity do they have? What kind of group do you think they are?

A: I don’t know, somebody asked me the question last week about what I want the identity of our team to be or our offense (to be). I think they need to be physical, number one. They’ve got to be smart, and then they’ve just got to do their jobs. It’s certainly important to block your guy. Most often, offensive linemen are playing against guys that are better than them physically. There’s times you draft a defensive lineman and move him to offense, you don’t see many guys playing offense that get moved to defense. That’s why the coordination of combination blocks and getting to the next level and doing what we can to work together, in most scenarios, it’s five guys trying to get four guys blocked initially, so that’s where the coordination comes in. First off, you’ve got to be able to block your own guy, but then the coordination of working together.

Q: You moved Kyle Lauletta up to the number-two spot yesterday. Was that any indication he’s closer to being ready to go into a game and be comfortable playing?

A: Yeah, I think that’s a fair evaluation of that. Behind the scenes, we’re watching. We evaluate every step every player takes, everything they do all the time, and I’ve said all along he had a long way to go. He came from a small program, he did enough things in the preseason to say he’s good enough to make our team, but we needed to see more from him in order to feel confident in giving him a jersey, and he’s done some things behind the scenes that have given us more of that confidence.

Q: When you say he has ‘made progress’, what does that mean? What can a QB do behind the scenes or on the practice field when he’s working with the scout team to get to that next level?

A: Practice field, working with the scout team, how he prepares, what he looks at in his preparation, the interaction we have with him. ‘Hey, it’s third-and-five, what play do you like?’ Just the interaction you have with a quarterback, it’s pretty in-depth, and we’re fortunate to have a terrific quarterback room here, so just the things that we see as coaches. That’s really what it is.

Q: Does anything change now with your quarterbacks in practice in terms of who is taking scout teams reps, second-team reps?

A: No, and again, because you don’t get to see it and I don’t know how much you’ve ever seen, the starter gets the reps and the two guys that are backups take the scout team reps. Then the individual work and the drill work and all the things necessary to get yourself ready to go, that’s part of, in my opinion, what makes a good backup – being able to go in and execute with very few reps. That’s where experience plays in, that’s why (Alex) Tanney was ahead of Lauletta, in my mind. We’re in a situation now where we feel comfortable with both of them doing it. That’s really it, because you can’t get two quarterbacks ready. You only run 50 or 60 team plays a day, you don’t have enough time to get two guys ready to play. That’s why you have a starter and that’s why you have backups.

Q: Can you shed any more light on the timing of the decision? A week ago it seemed like you said Tanney was ahead of Lauletta. Why this week to make the change?

A: Because I thought it was time, that’s why. That’s the timing of it. We don’t always tell you everything we’re thinking. If you ask me a question, I’ll tell you. Nobody asked me how close he was to Tanney.

Q: You seemed to feel a week ago that Tanney didn’t deserve to be jumped over, he deserved a shot.

A: I didn’t say that. I said don’t dismiss the fact that Tanney could go in and do it. I didn’t give you an order, I didn’t give you the distance between the two. That’s what I said.

Q: Is there an internal plan to get Kyle game reps to evaluate him?

A: We’re trying to win every game we play. You can look at this a lot of different ways, there’s a lot of models to developing a quarterback. A year ago in Kansas City, the only game (Patrick) Mahomes played was the last game of the year that had nothing to do with their playoff status. But they had seen enough to say we’re going to do this with this quarterback, and do this with this quarterback. The models are all different when you develop quarterbacks. We have a starting quarterback that we believe in. We put him out there because we believe he’s going to lead us to victories, and then behind the scenes, much like every other position, we’re developing those players. It’s just like you guys are experts at your job, deciding what the story line is, writing a story and doing your thing – this is our job, this is our profession, this is what we do, we try to develop young men. We do it behind the scenes.

Q: What can a quarterback gain by being active even if he’s not playing? Is there any benefit for Kyle?

A: I don’t think so. Tanney was on the sidelines just as in tune as if he had a uniform on. In my mind, the only thing is you’re one ankle injury from being in there. If they both don’t train to be ready to play, then they’re selling themselves and this organization short, and based on what I’ve seen and based on the way they train, both guys each week get themselves ready to play.

Q: You talked about how Tanney was one level, Lauletta was another level, and now you feel comfortable moving Lauletta up. That’s two and three. Two and one – is there a huge gap between Lauletta and Eli now still?

A: I don’t know that, and you’ll only know that if and when Lauletta gets in the game. I think that’s where you see that. In my mind, Tanney and Lauletta are both valid choices as backups now. You guys can stack them how you want.

Q: Are you open to playing Lauletta before this season is over if you think he gives you the best chance to win?

A: If he’s active to play and for whatever reason the way the game is going, for whatever reason I feel like he gives us a better chance to win, then he’ll go in. But that’s the case for all positions.

Q: Starting him?

A: Eli is our starter.

Q: Eli will start the rest of the year?

A: Eli is going to start this week against the Redskins. I don’t want to get into a play on words here. Eli’s our starter, and we have two backups. Last week, Lauletta dressed as number two.

Q: Are you open to having Lauletta start at some point this season?

A: I want to win every game we play, starting with the Redskins. That will be with Eli as our starter.

Q: If Kyle doesn’t play in a game?

A: Yeah, then he’ll stand there and watch.

Q: You weren’t here last year, there was a young quarterback who didn’t get in a game, so then all you’re evaluating is practice tape. Now you’ve had the chance to work with Kyle every day. Can you determine without him playing in games whether or not he’s the answer?

A: That’s a decision for down the road. We’re determining what they can do all the time.

Q: You’ve mentioned you’re having young players develop everywhere, but you’re seeing Sean Chandler play, Tae Davis play, all these other guys play.

A: Way different than the quarterback position.

Q: You expect Kyle to be the number two this week?

A: There’s a good chance he’ll be the number two this week. Then we’ll visit next week and we’ll talk again. Good chance.

Q: Obviously you’re focused on the Redskins, but is there no discussion as a coaching staff or you with Dave (Gettleman) about down the line? You’re not making any plans for the last three games after this one?

A: Nope, we’re trying to win this game. We’re trying to get 8-8 one game at a time and then see what happens from there. We have all types of discussions behind the scenes, it’s very fluid. Dave and I talk throughout the week, I have conversations with John (Mara), Steve (Tisch), we’re always talking about this team, evaluating or really talking about who played well, who needs to play better as we move forward, this and that. There’s always conversation about what happened, where we’re going, short and long term plans, but again I would never share that with anybody. But don’t be surprised by the answer because that’s something that we all do all the time regardless of your role. As head coach, I’m obviously involved in all of those. When I was a coordinator, I was only involved with the offensive part of it. Those conversations are happening all the time.

Q: So it’s fair to say that the hypotheticals we’re bringing to you, you may already be having those hypothetical questions behind the scenes but you’re just not ready to present those answers?

A: And I may never present those answers. There’s billion-dollar businesses that have issues of the day they don’t share with the world and I don’t think our business is any different.

Q: Mathematically, the likelihood of making the playoffs, you’re not eliminated from anything.

A: That’s right. It’s amazing for some of you to probably come to grips with, but we’re not.

Q: Right, at the moment. But at some point, is that part of the discussion in your mind that if that happens, then maybe we shift gears?

A: Maybe we will at that time, but if we do, then that’s a question and an answer for a different time. I think that’s fair. Are you all good with that?

Q: The guys that missed last week, any chance they’re coming back (this week)?

A: The two that I’m looking at right here, Evan Engram and Lorenzo Carter, we’ll have to see. We’re hopeful, but we’ll see.

Q: You have a decision to make on (Jonathan) Stewart. Have you made that decision yet?

A: We haven’t. I think we have until Thursday, so we’ll have to make that decision by Thursday. We all know what that means, right? We either have to make a decision and put him on the active roster or he’ll be down for the year. We have a couple of days and we’ll have a couple conversations as we go.

Q: What would bringing him back add to a room with Saquon and Wayne Gallman?

A: We appreciate everything he’s done. He’s been around, he’s been in the room, so his presence has been felt all year. That’s partly why he was here. Everybody in the building thinks the world of who Jonathan is as a person and a player, and all along he’s had a good impact on our young rookie running back who has been asked to carry the load. We appreciate that about him. This really on Thursday just becomes a business decision and we’ll just have to see how it fits roster-wise.

Q: Three-quarters of the way through his rookie season, what’s your evaluation of Saquon and how the season has gone for him?

A: I think he’s had a positive impact on our team. I said it early and I really believe it, he’s got a generational spirit in terms of how he competes and I have not been, WE have not been disappointed in (any) way. He’s extremely talented running the ball, catching the ball, he blocks well, we’re doing what we can to give him the football so he has an impact on the game, and I think he has. Last week someone was talking about how he has great production and the answer he gave was, I’m just trying to continue to work on the little things, just keep being you. If that’s your mindset, then we’ll try to encourage that along the way because great players that have that mindset and are worried about getting a little bit better, then I think that’s good for us.

Q: On defense finishing out the game in overtime:

A: They did a good job of working their way down the field, but we had some guys like OV (Olivier Vernon) had his best game by far and I thought he had an impact on the game. B.J. Hill got sacks and was disruptive. I thought Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) competed throughout, and then Tree (Alec Ogletree) had the two interceptions. He’s going to want to move to tight end now. Couple guys on defense make catches and now they want to play offense, which is good. We had some guys, we did some things in the game that were really, really good throughout the game. The game got tied at one point, but at the end of the game when we needed to get a stop, we did. But there were things within the game that were really good, and I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that those guys had positive a contribution.

Q: Janoris has really flipped his season on its head here. What has he done differently the last few weeks?

A: He just competes and keeps the noise out, that’s it. He’s a tough sucker and I appreciate his spirit, too, because he just keeps competing. Every once in a while people get beat, but he just keeps fighting, competing. He tackled me once. I just like the way he competes, and you’re all becoming well aware I’m fond of the competitive guys and he’s a competitor. I was glad that he was able to be the focal point of that last throw and he was able to disrupt it the way he did. That’s good.

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

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

Nov 062018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (October 28, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ACTIVATE R.J MCINTOSH…
The New York Giants have activated defensive end R.J. McIntosh from the Reserve/Non-Football Illness List. To make room for McIntosh on the 53-man roster, the Giants waived wide receiver/returner Quadree Henderson. McIntosh was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. An undisclosed ailment prevented him from practicing all spring and summer. McIntosh finally began to practice on October 16. Today was the deadline for the Giants to active him, or McIntosh would have been forced to miss his whole rookie season.

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:

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

Oct 302018
 
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Kyle Lauletta, New York Giants (August 30, 2018)

Kyle Lauletta – © USA TODAY Sports

KYLE LAULETTA ARRESTED…
New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta was arrested on Tuesday for a number of infractions related to a traffic incident. According to police, Lauletta allegedly was trying to make a right-hand turn from the wrong lane, failed to follow instructions, and almost struck a police officer. When Lauletta was finally stopped by a second officer, Lauletta allegedly refused to produce his driver’s license and registration or get out of his Jaguar.

Lauletta was charged with eluding police, obstructing administration of law, resisting arrest, reckless driving, disregarding an officer’s directions, improper turn in a marked traffic lane, and failure to remain in a marked lane.

Police also say that Lauletta did the same thing on Monday but was not stopped.

“We were made aware of the situation this morning, and we have been in contact with Kyle,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We are still in the process of gathering information. This is obviously very disappointing.”

TRADE DEADLINES PASSES…
The 2018 NFL trade deadline was at 4:00PM on Tuesday and the New York Giants did not make any trades this week after trading away cornerback Eli Apple and nose tackle Damon Harrison last week.

According to media reports, the Giants were listening to offers for defensive backs Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins. The Giants were reportedly seeking a 2nd-round draft pick for Collins.

GIANTS CUT MICHAEL JORDAN…
The New York Giants have waived cornerback Michael Jordan, who the team claimed off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns in September. The 25-year old, 6’1”, 200-pound Jordan was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2016 NFL Draft. He was claimed off of waivers by the Browns in September 2017. Jordan has played in 22 regular-season games with three starts.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off during the bye week until November 6th.

Oct 182018
 
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Nate Solder, New York Giants (October 7, 2018)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Russell Shepard (neck), left tackle Nate Solder (neck), and linebacker Olivier Vernon (ribs) practiced on a limited basis on Thursday.

Tight ends Evan Engram (knee) and Rhett Ellison (foot) fully practiced.

GIANTS SIGN COREY COLEMAN TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed wide receiver Corey Coleman to the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Coleman, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Kalif Raymond, who was signed on Tuesday.

The 24-year old, 5’11”, 185-pound Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. An injury-plagued bust in Cleveland, Coleman has also had brief stints with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots this year. Coleman has played in 19 NFL games with 18 starts, accruing 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns.

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.

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 Giants practice on Friday and Saturday in preparation for Monday night’s road game against the Atlanta Falcons. The team’s coordinators address the media on Friday.

Oct 122018
 
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Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 11, 2018)

Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

FRIDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Friday to discuss the team’s 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I think I hit it last night, we didn’t play well enough to win in any area and we got beat by a good football team. I still will stand by it’s important that we as players and coaches just do our jobs and do them better. When you look at the game, there’s a lot of things that happened — the score got stretched out early, we had an early turnover, they score a touchdown, we go down and kick a field goal instead of getting seven, which we’ve got to do a better job of. When you look at it, they had four explosive plays, we had seven, but they were very good on third down and very good in the red zone. That kind of translated into points for them and not for us. There’s a lot of areas you could go to to discuss or talk about the game, but I’ll just try to answer your questions.

Q: As you head into this long weekend, is a change of quarterback on the table?

A: No. We believe in Eli.

Q: How about a number-two quarterback? Would you consider moving Kyle (Lauletta) up above Alex (Tanney)?

A: The guys behind, Kyle and Alex, are both working and improving. They’re working each day trying to get themselves ready to play. There’s no reason to discuss that right now.

Q: You said you were not concerned at all about Eli yesterday. Do you feel the same way about all the players in that locker room?

A: I do.

Q: What makes you feel that way?

A: Because I know these players enough now to know that they’re going to keep fighting and try to get better. We’re certainly not where we want to be record-wise, I will acknowledge that, but I do know this – this group of players is going to stay in there, keep working, keep fighting to win a game, and our next one is against Atlanta on Monday night.

Q: Obviously a lot of expectations coming in here and you’re new. How much of a challenge is this for you to keep the locker room together?

A: We lost games. I think what’s important is we keep trying to improve, we keep working, and we keep doing what we can to win the next game. I don’t know anything about expectations. I know there’s reasons why there’s new coaches, I happen to be one of the new coaches in the league from last year, and you’ve got to do what you can to get your locker room right, get everybody playing the right way and coaching the right way, and do it in a way where you can win games.

Q: Am I right that your team has after today, four days of the next five will be off?  Are they off all weekend?

A: We’re going to give them the weekend off. We’ll be back to work early next week, then they’ll get the traditional day off, and then we will be back to work.

Q: Do you tell them after today, clean your mind of this? Or do you want them to figure out what the heck is going on here?

A: When you get to this point, and every team deals with a Thursday night, the schedules for Thursday night are pretty traditional, the players will have the weekend off. It’s been that way everywhere I’ve ever been. So I think what’s important is you try to reflect on where you’re at and where you want to go. Right now, we’re not where we want to be record-wise, so I encourage them to reflect on that and then just try to think of ways that they individually can get better.

Q: How about the idea that on first and long and then continuing through the series, especially third down, you’re not throwing even close to the sticks? There was one play in particular to Odell where he would’ve had to dodge I don’t know how many Eagles rallying to him to even come close to a first down.

A: We had a couple of situations where it was third and super long, so it’s very hard sometimes to throw it to the sticks, and the way that the Eagles and some teams play defense is they did play the sticks, so you throw a little screen and try to run for it. That is that third down situation. In the other ones where it’s third and manageable, you certainly have the ability to throw it past the sticks, which we did.

Q: This is almost like a bye week. Do you approach this as a self-scouting week – “what are we doing right, what are we doing wrong?”

A: Along the lines of what I already said, we will reflect on where we’re at, where we want to go, and the areas we need to get better. I wouldn’t consider it a bye week. It’s a long weekend. And again, it’s not time off, it’s time away.

Q: Saquon Barkley had over 225 yards in total offense. It seems like that’s not translating to opening things up for the rest of the offense. Why is that?

A: I don’t agree with that narrative. He had production and he got the ball in the end zone, and he is part of the offense. I think we go back and forth with this – why didn’t he touch the ball, he touched the ball, he really touched the ball a lot, he didn’t touch the ball enough.

Q: My question is why isn’t it opening up other opportunities for other players within the scheme, given his production?

A: The way the game played out yesterday, it made sense to run the ball in certain situations and he did a good job with the ball in his hands. Then there were areas where we tried to pass the ball when we didn’t have as much success for whatever reason. It always starts with protection and then obviously the receivers and the passer doing the right thing as well. I don’t think that’s it. We got the ball down in the red zone a couple times, we didn’t score. I think that would have made a difference, and then if we don’t turn the ball over early and spot them seven points, that makes a difference. There’s details to it, there’s things that we need to do better. When you sit back and you look at the film critically, that’s what you go back and learn from.

Q: Did you see the video with Odell and the cooling fan?

A: I did not see that. I have obviously been told about it. I think he explained what he was doing, right?

Q: Yeah. You said you didn’t want him doing that stuff.

A: He said he was trying to fire himself him. In my mind, I wouldn’t try to give myself a headache to fire myself up.

Q: Do you have to say something to him about that though?

A: It’s important that all players in all situations keep their composure.

Q: You know that it gets looked at as symbolic of maybe the frustration of the team and sends out some sort of message, you don’t view it that way at all?

A: We all know that everybody’s always watching, so it’s very important what we say, what we do, how we carry ourselves, and when something like that happened, everybody asked him what was going on and he said he was trying to fire himself up. That’s what it was. Is that what I would have done? Absolutely not. Is that what I want my players doing? No. That’s it.

Q: Any injury updates coming out of the game?

A: Cody Latimer hurt his hamstring. You saw it on the one play where he was the gunner, he couldn’t stop. So we’ll have to see where that goes. Other than that, we just have some normal game wear and tear.

Q: What would you say to the idea that has and will gain steam that given your situation this season, and the age of your quarterback, that at number two overall, it was now a mistake to take a running back when you could have taken a quarterback?

A: The idea that Saquon Barkley was a mistake? I don’t see the logic in that. And I just told you that I believe in Eli.

Q: At the end of the half there when Odell went out, did you know prior to him walking off that he needed an IV or is that something you found out later?

A: At the time, I didn’t know that he left, no.

Q: You would have wanted him on the field, I’m assuming?

A: Yes.

Q: Should he have stayed on the field for that play?

A: He had to get an IV, so that’s about what I know about it. He obviously wasn’t available, so I put in another guy.

Q: It looked like Aldrick (Rosas) wasn’t able to get a full swing on that field goal there. Was that his quad?

A: Yeah, it fell short. Bummer. I don’t know. When we talked to him, he was healthy enough to kick for us, it looks like he just mishit it a little bit. It was on track, it was just a little short.

Q: What did you think his max was?

A: We thought that he could make it from there. That’s why we attempted it.

Q: Not in the locker room but on the field, is Nate Solder what you thought he would be?

A: Absolutely. In the locker room, very competitive, very outstanding player. Yes.

Q: You’ve talked about you were the new coach, (Dave Gettleman) came in and reset the culture here bringing in a lot of new players. For the guys that are still here, the questions they’ve gotten is it a carryover from last year or the year before? Do you have to address that with the guys that are holdovers, more so than maybe you would have to address the entire team?

A: We’re trying to grow away from 3-13, so the young players that weren’t here – the Saquon Barkley’s and the Will Hernandez’s, and the guys that are getting a lot of experience, the rookies have to understand that, they weren’t part of it. But they are going to help the guys that were here a year ago, we want to try to help forget that and keep moving, and the record doesn’t speak to that right now. I get that. But you just keep playing and keep working.

Q: That’s the biggest responsibility that you’ve taken on from the very beginning – you weren’t here but you inherited that baggage to deal with.

A: I think the word ‘expectations’ was thrown out earlier, and your question a week ago was panic versus urgency – there is always urgency to grow away from what was bad season. There is urgency. I think that you’re always talking about doing what you can in the moment to win the next game, and that’s how it all starts.

Q: Given your quarterback’s obvious age, do you feel like you have to at some point advance Kyle Lauletta beyond third string snaps and do you feel like if this season doesn’t go the way you hoped that you’d have to take a look at him in a game at some point?

A: What you miss, to your point, I guess because he’s not active on game day, naturally it feels like he’s third, but during the week, he gets as many reps as Alex does, so we are developing him behind the scenes just like we would any rookie. Aside from putting him in the game, he is getting all the work that he can get.

Q: Would you feel the need to put him in a game at some point if the opportunity arises in the season?

A: We’re not talking about a quarterback change.

Q: You said you believe in Eli. It’s very clear that Dave (Gettleman) and John Mara believe in Eli.

A: Sure – and we believe in all the players, that’s important to mention, too.

Q: His teammates, do you get the feeling they all believe in Eli? There are reports that some of them have started to lose some confidence.

A: I don’t know where that came from and nobody has ever said that to me. People that write reports tend to be very resourceful, so I don’t know where that comes from.

Q:  When you look at the season, a lot of us looked at what you did with the Vikings offense ast year – is it confounding to you at all after going to great lengths to fix the offensive line, with the play makers around Eli Manning, that you just don’t score points at a representative level compared to other NFL teams?

A: We haven’t scored enough points, you’re right. Actually, there were games last year when we didn’t score a heck of a lot of points in Minnesota. I think what’s important is, you just keep trying to do that. We moved the ball in the position to score points last night and did not do it. We were stopped on the fourth down, kicked a couple of field goals, and that is where we need to get better. We moved it down there and we didn’t put it in the end zone. The Eagles did. The Eagles won, we lost. That’s the challenge right now is to finish that up the right way. There’s two things – you’re trying to grow away from the season a year ago and everybody’s trying to predict that you’re going to do exactly what you did, and these are different situations. But again, everything is urgent, and we’re trying to make everything as good as we can be. This is a different roster than what we had in Minnesota – different types of players, different skill sets, so we’re trying to just make sure we’re doing the things that they do more.

Q: With one win on October 12th, do you still have hope for this season?

A: Absolutely. That’s why you do this. We just keep going. Everybody around us is doing the math. We don’t do the math, we just keep playing.

Q: Has this turned into more of a rebuilding season than maybe you or others anticipated?

A: When you come into a new situation, you don’t know what to expect because every situation is different. I don’t know what my expectations are. I expect us to win every week, and I think we have a team that can go out and win every week if we play the right way. That’s what I expect.

Q: Do you know why aren’t they playing the right way?

A: We’re playing hard, we’re just not executing throughout the game at the level that we need to, up to our standards.

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:

MARSHALL KOEHN RELEASED FROM PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of place kicker Marshall Koehn.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off until Tuesday when they return to practice.

Sep 042018
 
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John Jenkins, Chicago Bears (August 18, 2018)

John Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN JOHN JENKINS, WAIVE ROMEO OKWARA…
The New York Giants have signed nose tackle John Jenkins, who was cut by the Chicago Bears on Saturday. The 29-year old, 6’3”, 327-pound Jenkins was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He has spent time with the Saints (2013-2016), Seattle Seahawks (2016), and Bears (2017-2018). From 2013 to 2015, Jenkins played in 42 regular-season games with 21 starts. However, in 2016 and 2017, Jenkins played in just 17 regular-season games with two starts. He was inactive for eight games in 2017. With only 1.5 career sacks, Jenkins is strictly a run-defending nose tackle-type.

To make room for Jenkins, the Giants waived linebacker Romeo Okwara. The Giants originally signed Okwara as an undrafted free agent defensive end after the 2016 NFL Draft. Okwara played in every game in 2016 with four regular-season starts. He played in the first five games of the 2017 season before being placed on Injured Reserve in October with a knee injury. He was activated off of IR in December but did not play again.

NEW YORK SIGN JOSH BANKS TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants filled their last remaining vacancy on the team’s 10-man Practice Squad on Tuesday by re-signing defensive end Josh Banks, who was waived from the 53-man roster on Sunday. Banks was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury (torn labrum).

ARTICLES…

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

Sep 032018
 
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Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (September 10, 2017)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TEAM CAPTAINS SELECTED..
Per a vote by New York Giants players and coaches, the following six players have been selected as team captains:

  • Offense: QB Eli Manning and LT Nate Solder
  • Defense: SS Landon Collins and LB Alec Ogletree
  • Special Teams: LS Zak DeOssie and SS Michael Thomas

Manning has now been selected as a team captain for 12 years in a row. DeOssie has been named eight year times in a row.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle) and linebacker Tae Davis (unknown).

“(Vernon) was in the training room getting treatment,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur after practice. “We’re hopeful, but we’ll just have to see. The fact that he was inside today tells you that he wasn’t out here.”

Tight end Evan Engram (concussion) participated with a red, non-contact jersey. Linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) participated in individual drills.

“Yes, (Engram is) still in the protocol,” said Shurmur. “But we’re hopeful.”

NEW YORK SIGN LINEBACKER TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants filled one of their two remaining vacancies on the team’s 10-man Practice Squad on Monday by signing linebacker Ukeme Eligwe, who was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday. The 24-year old, 6’2”, 239-pound Eligwe was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Chiefs. As a rookie, Eligwe played in 14 regular-season games with one start. He finished the year with five tackles and one sack.

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:

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