Aug 312019
 
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Kyle Lauletta, New York Giants (August 16 2019)

Kyle Lauletta – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made the following 36 roster moves:

Placed on the Reserve/Suspended List:

  • WR Golden Tate

Placed on Injured Reserve:

  • RB Rod Smith (adductor)
  • WR Brittan Golden (calf)
  • TE Scott Simonson (ankle)
  • OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion)
  • LB Jonathan Anderson (knee)

Waived or contracts terminated:

  • QB Kyle Lauletta (2018 4th-round draft pick)
  • RB Jon Hilliman
  • WR T.J. Jones
  • WR Reggie White, Jr.
  • WR Alex Wesley (waived/injured – foot/ankle)
  • TE C.J. Conrad
  • TE Jake Powell
  • OC James O’Hagan
  • OC/OG Evan Brown
  • OG Malcolm Bunche
  • OT Paul Adams
  • OT Chad Wheeler (waived/injured – back)
  • OT Victor Salako (waived/injured – shoulder)
  • NT John Jenkins
  • NT Chris Slayton (2019 7th-round draft pick)
  • DE Jake Ceresna
  • DE Freedom Akinmoladun
  • LB Avery Moss (2017 5th-round draft pick)
  • LB Jake Carlock
  • LB Josiah Tauaefa
  • LB Terrence Fede
  • LB Keion Adams (waived/injured – knee)
  • LB Joey Alfieri
  • CB Henre’ Toliver (waived/injured – ankle)
  • CB Ronald Zamort (waived/injured – ankle)
  • CB Terrell Sinkfield, Jr.
  • S Kenny Ladler (waived/injured – hamstring)
  • S Tenny Adewusi
  • LS Taybor Pepper
  • P Johnny Townsend

Safety Kamrin Moore, who did not count against the roster, was waived off the commissioner’s exempt list.

“We are in the second year of building the kind of team we all want,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur in the team’s press release. “The process never stops. The communication between (General Manager) Dave (Gettleman) and I and our coaches and Dave’s staff is really good. The group of 90 that was with us through the spring and summer bought into what we are building here and created the kind of competition that makes for tough decisions.

“For the players who were released today, we thank them for their effort and commitment, and we told them to stay ready because you never know when your next opportunity will come, either here or somewhere else.

“I said it last week, it’s a credit to Kyle (Lauletta) the way he came in here every day and worked to get better and competed after we drafted Daniel. Not every guy would respond that way, and Kyle improved as a result. So there was a lot to consider in that decision, but ultimately we decided to go with (Alex) Tanney.”

The Giants can begin signing players to their 10-man practice squad on Sunday.

For an overview of the existing team, see the Depth Chart section of the website.

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

Aug 222019
 
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Oshane Ximines, New York Giants (August 22, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 25 – CINCINNATI BENGALS 23…
The New York Giants improved their preseason record to 3-0 on Thursday night by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-23 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Running back Saquon Barkley was once again a healthy scratch from the game. He has not played all preseason.

The Bengals received the football to start the game. After picking up 28 yards on a pass, Cincinnati only gained four more yards before punting. With quarterback Eli Manning at the helm, the Giants started their initial possession at their own 11-yard line. New York put together a 15-play, 66-yard drive that stalled inside the red zone and resulted in a 41-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The drive was kept alive with a 19-yard completion by wide receiver Russell Shepard on 3rd-and-6. Wide receiver Cody Latimer could not hold onto what could have been an 18-yard touchdown pass.

The Bengals went three-and-out on their second possession. Daniel Jones entered the game at quarterback with the starting unit. He completed two throws for 26 yards before two incompletions led to a turnover on downs at the Bengals’ 30-yard line. Cincinnati then easily drove 70 yards in six plays to go ahead 7-3 on a 26-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Giants picked up one first down on their third series before punting. The Bengals then drove to the New York 38-yard line but turned the ball over on downs. On 2nd-and-5, Jones completed a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Brittan Golden. Two plays later, Jones was crushed by both defensive ends. He fumbled the ball but the Giants recovered. On the very next snap, on 3rd-and-16, Jones completed a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton down to the 1-yard line despite tremendous pass pressure again. Two plays later, running back Rod Jones scored from one yard out. Giants 10 – Bengals 7.

The Bengals responded with a 12-play drive that only picked up 43 yards, but it was good enough to set up a 50-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 right before halftime.

Alex Tanney entered the game as New York’s quarterback to start the 3rd quarter. After picking up one first down, the Giants punted. The Bengals drove to the New York 30-yard line, but for the second time in the game, turned the ball over on downs. After two punts by the Giants and one by the Bengals, Cincinnati went up 17-10 early in the 4th quarter on a 5-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

With Kyle Lauletta now in at quarterback, the Giants responded with an 8-play, 74-yard effort that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jon Hilliman. On this drive, Lauletta completed two passes for 30 yards to tight end Garrett Dickerson, including one key 3rd-and-9 conversion. Lauletta also threw a 36-yard strike to wide receiver Reggie White, Jr. Head Coach Pat Shurmur decided to go for the 2-point conversion, and the Giants went up 18-17 on Lauletta’s pass to wide receiver Alonzo Russell.

It looked like the Giants had safely put the game away after a Bengals’ three-and-out, followed by a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown by Brittan Golden. The Giants were now up 25-17 with seven minutes to go in the game. However, after another three-and-out by the Bengals, Golden muffed his next punt return. Cincinnati recovered at the Giants’ 35-yard line. Seven plays later, the Bengals scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass. Fortunately, the 2-point conversion failed.

With 2:43 left on the clock, the Giants held onto a tenuous 25-23 lead. However, New York was able to run out the clock with an important 11-yard pass by Lauletta to tight end C.J. Conrad and then a 6-yard end-around by Reggie White, Jr.

Eli Manning finished 2-of-4 for 41 yards, but also had two drops by Latimer. Daniel Jones completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards. Alex Tanney completed 2-o-6 for 25 yards. Kyle Lauletta was 4-of-7 for 77 yards. The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (8 carries for 31 yards), Jon Hilliman (6 carries for 14 yards and a touchdown), and Rod Smith (5 carries for 8 yards and a touchdown). No player caught more than three passes, though Brittan Golden had two catches for 59 yards (and one drop).

Defensively, the Giants accrued five sacks, including those by linebacker Oshane Ximines (2), linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, linebacker Keion Adams, and safety Sean Chandler. While the Giants did not force a turnover, they did have six tackles for a loss and eight pass defenses.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (thumb), WR Golden Tate (concussion), OT Chad Wheeler (back), OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), LB Alec Ogletree (calf), CB Deandre Baker (knee), CB Antonio Hamilton (groin), and CB Sam Beal (hamstring) did not play.

Running back Saquon Barkley was a healthy scratch.

Running back Rod Smith left the game with a groin injury and did not return.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • QB Kyle Lauletta (Video)

GIANTS CUT DA’MARI SCOTT…
The New York Giants have waived wide receiver Da’Mari Scott. The Giants claimed Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in July 2019. The 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December and he was then signed by the Bills. While he played in three regular-season games with the Bills, he does not yet have a reception in the NFL.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Friday. The players are off on Saturday and return to training camp practice on Sunday.

Aug 032019
 
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Michael Thomas, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 3, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their ninth full-team summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker Mark McLaurin on Injured Reserve with a broken foot and waived defensive end Alex Jenkins. To fill these roster spots, the Giants signed defensive end/linebacker Terrence Fede and claimed linebacker Joey Alfieri off of waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Giants signed McLaurin, a collegiate safety, as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Giants signed Jenkins after he impressed as a tryout player during the 2019 rookie mini-camp. Born in England, Jenkins was part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program and spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the Practice Squad of the New Orleans Saints.

The 27-year old, 6’4”, 267-pound Fede was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. In four seasons with the Dolphins, Fede played in 51 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 55 tackles and one sack. Fede signed with the Buffalo Bills in April 2018 but was waived before the season started.

The 6’3”, 239-pound Alfieri was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Eagles after the 2019 NFL Draft.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (unknown), defensive lineman John Jenkins (unknown), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), cornerback Grant Haley (shoulder), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Saturday.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • With CB Grant Haley out, Julian Love was the first-team nickel corner.
  • In red zone drills, CB Corey Ballentine closed quickly to knock away a pass from QB Daniel Jones. Then Ballentine made a heck of a play with a leaping interception of a Jones fade pass to WR Al0nzo Russell. Ballentine later had another pass break-up.
  • QB Alex Tanney threw a touchdown pass to WR Amba Etta-Tawo, beating LB Nate Stupar.
  • In one five-wide formation, the Giants had both RB Saquon Barkley and TE Evan Engram line up outside.
  • QB Daniel Jones overthrew WR Alonzo Russell deep.
  • CB/S Julian Love broke up a QB Daniel Jones pass intended for WR Reggie White, Jr.
  • CB Deandre Baker closed very fast on broke up a QB Kyle Lauletta pass over the middle intended for WR Da’Mari Scott.
  • WR Bennie Fowler dropped one pass, but caught three others in 11-on-11 drills.
  • CB Henre’ Tolliver broke up a pass.
  • QB Eli Manning finished 8-of-11; QB Daniel Jones was 5-of-13.

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…

Jun 202019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (May 20, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2019 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED…
The New York Giants have announced their 2019 training camp schedule. Only 10 practices will be open to the public. Rookies and select veterans report on July 22 and all players on July 24. The first practice will take place on July 25. All practices will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

Training Camp Schedule Open to the public:

  • Thursday, July 25: 2:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27: 2:45 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 28: 2:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 30: 2:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 31: 2:45 p.m.
  • Friday, August 2: 2:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 6: 10:45 a.m.
  • Sunday, August 11: 10:45 a.m.
  • Monday, August 12: 10:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 13: 10:45 a.m.

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, the Giants App, or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (extension 1070).

Admission: There is no cost to attend practice sessions. Fans wishing to attend practice sessions must register for complimentary tickets in advance. Fans may register for up to six (6) tickets per practice session. Once registered, fans will receive their tickets via e-mail and will need to present using their mobile device to gain admittance. While registering for tickets is strongly recommended to guarantee access, fans will also be admitted on a walk-up basis, if space permits. Gates open one hour prior to the start of each practice session. Accessible seating is available and may be reserved when you secure your tickets for a practice session. Ticket Registration will open on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Fan Parking: Parking is free and located in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. Lot K will open for parking two hours prior to the start of practice. The parking lot will close one hour following the conclusion of practice.

Inclement Weather Policy: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, the Giants App, or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (extension 1070) prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes to the daily practice schedule.

For more information, including a fan Q&A, see this article on Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Jun 142019
 
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Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, New York Giants (May 20, 2019)

Eli Manning and Daniel Jones – © 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: Quarterbacks

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: Except for the one game he was benched in 2017, Eli Manning has started every game for the New York Giants since November 21, 2004. And despite the team’s poor record in 2018, Manning actually had one of his better statistical seasons, finishing with 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes. And his 92.4 quarterback rating with the fourth highest of 15-year career. That said, the offense, including the passing game, struggled mightily during the first half of the season before picking up steam in November and December. Seven consecutive years of shoddy offensive line play have taken a toll on the 38-year quarterback who appears a bit more gun shy and more of a game manager at this point of his career.

The developments behind Manning were more surprising. Davis Webb, who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft, was cut before the season started. Journeyman 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. Rookie 4th-round pick Kyle Lauletta disappointed in his only regular-season playing time and was also arrested in late October due to a serious traffic infraction.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The huge news was the selection of Daniel Jones with the #6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. For better or worse, Jones is the heir apparent to Manning. Eric Dungey was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent, but the Giants may view him more of a jack-of-all-trades type rather than traditional quarterback.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The biggest story line for the entire team is obvious: when will Daniel Jones take over the reins? Jones has impressed this Spring. The prevailing opinion is that as long as Eli Manning is performing at an acceptable level and the team remains in contention, Jones will sit. In this likely scenario, not only does Manning have to play well, but so does the team for Manning to keep his job. If the Giants slip out of contention by October or November again, then “wasting” snaps on a 38-year quarterback on a rebuilding ball club would not appear to make much sense.

However, there are a couple of variables that could come into play. Ownership appears to be hyper-sensitive to Eli Manning’s standing with the team after their public relations-botched benching of him in 2017. Thus, there are those who believe that ownership will drag their feet on Eli being benched again. On the flip side, in his final press conference of the Spring, Head Coach Pat Shurmur surprisingly appeared to have left the door open to Jones possibly being the opening-day starter. Given the fact that Jones did not receive first-team snaps throughout the Spring practices, that does not appear likely, but again, that door appears to have been at least slightly (“You never know what is going to happen”) left ajar. In other words, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Jones performs better than Manning in the preseason.

The secondary story line is who will be the #3 quarterback? Normally, this is a very minor concern, but not this year. First, for the second year in a row, would the Giants give up on a relatively high draft pick quarterback after just one year? Davis Webb was let go after his rookie season. Would they do so too with Kyle Lauletta? Shurmur seems to like Alex Tanney and Lauletta has been slowed by offseason knee surgery. More importantly, this year’s #3 quarterback has a very good chance of becoming next year’s #2 quarterback.

ON THE BUBBLE: Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta are clearly on the bubble. In the unlikely scenario that Daniel Jones beats out Eli Manning before September, would the Giants consider cutting or trading him?

FROM THE COACHES: Pat Shurmur on Eli Manning: “Eli is getting ready to have a great year… We feel good about where Eli is. He is our starting quarterback.”

Shurmur on Daniel Jones: “I think he has had a really good offseason… I think he has had a really, really productive offseason. He is on track with the goal to be ready to play day one… He is on track.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula on Eli Manning: “I said a month ago, he looks in better shape than he was last year, I still think that. I think he’s really dialed in.”

Shula on Daniel Jones: “He’s got a fast mind, he picks things up pretty well. The things that you ask him to do to maybe make a couple changes, maybe that were different to what he was used to in college, he does pretty quickly. Whether or not its technique in the pocket, everything that we have asked him to do he’s done it pretty quickly. I think the other things is he’s pretty athletic and he’s very serious about his job. We all are but you see that maturity level in him. Which is obviously one of the reasons we got him here.”

Shula on Kyle Lauletta: “Kyle’s been great. We talked before and after the draft. As we all know in football and life whatever we are doing the only thing we can control is yourself. Just keep working on getting better and when you have your opportunity make the best of it. You can see with him, with his comfort level compared to this time last year and where he has come from. He’s got a lot better feel of our offense. He’s throwing the ball pretty well out there. We are just kind of easing him into some to getting some reps.”

PREDICTIONS: The most under-reported story of the Spring is that “the reach” Daniel Jones has impressed both mentally and physically. However, unless Jones clearly out-plays Eli Manning at training camp and in the preseason, it is hard to see him starting on opening day. But after that, all bets are off. This is no knock on Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP and potential Hall of Famer, but Daniel Jones is the future of this team. Unless the Giants are poised for some miracle 2019 season, the sooner Jones plays, the better for the long-term interest of the team. If the Giants are out of serious contention by November, Jones should be starting by then. Be concerned if the Giants are 4-6 or worse and Eli is still playing after the bye.

An argument can be made that the Giants gave up on Davis Webb after just one season because he wasn’t the new regime’s guy. But that argument can’t be made about Kyle Lauletta. If the Giants cut him after just one season, that’s a pretty damning indictment of their scouting department. If the Giants cut Alex Tanney, would anyone pick him up? (I am suggesting he would still be available to the team if injuries strike).

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Kyle Lauletta

(The tough call here is Eric Dungey. He is an intriguing quarterback but his lack of Spring work at the position really puts him behind the 8-ball in terms of being a factor at quarterback in 2019. Dungey needs to flash as a jack-of-all-trades type this summer in order to make the squad).

May 282019
 
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Cody Latimer, New York Giants (May 20, 2019)

Cody Latimer – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 28, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE REPORT…
The Giants held their fourth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Tuesday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The six remaining OTA practices will be held on May 29, May 31, and June 10-13. A mandatory mini-camp will also be held June 4-6.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Left tackle Nate Solder (recovering from ankle surgery), right tackle Mike Remmers (recovering from back surgery), linebacker Jeremiah Harris (knee), and safety Sean Chandler (unknown) did not practice.

Quarterback Kyle Lauletta (recovering from knee surgery) did not participate in team drills. Quarterback/tight end Eric Dungey (back) was limited.

Cornerback Corey Ballentine (recovering from gunshot wound) participated in both individual and some team drills. “He was out there today,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He is doing what he can do. Last week he did a little bit more of individual work and today he got his first reps in team work. I will have to go back in and watch, but he looked good moving around. He is getting better each day.”

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (excused absence) was not at practice. “He had a graduation in the family,” said Shurmur.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Alex Tanney split time with the second unit.
  • Spencer Pulley was the first-team center and appears to be alternating with Jon Halapio.
  • The starting defensive line consisted of B.J. Hill and R.J. McIntosh at end and Dalvin Tomlinson at nose tackle. Second team consisted of Dexter Lawrence and Olsen Pierre at end and Chris Slayton at nose tackle.
  • The starting inside linebackers were Alec Ogletree and B.J. Goodson with Tae Davis replacing Goodson in some packages.
  • The starting outside linebackers were Lorenzo Carter and Markus Golden.
  • The starting cornerbacks were Sam Beal and Deandre Baker, with Grant Haley playing slot corner. Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea started at safety.
  • FS Antoine Bethea intercepted an errant throw from QB Eli Manning.
  • CB Henre’ Tolliver deflected one pass and intercepted another throw that went through the hands of WR Darius Slayton.

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…

May 082019
 
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Rod Smith, Dallas Cowboys (December 30, 2018)

Rod Smith – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN RB ROD SMITH…
The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent running back Rod Smith (Dallas Cowboys). The 27-year old, 6’3”, 235-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He was released by Seattle in October 2015. The Cowboys claimed him off of waivers and he played with the Cowboys until the end of the 2018 season. Smith has played in 49 regular-season games with two starts, carrying the ball 101 times for 364 yards and five touchdowns. He also has caught 30 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown.

NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACH MEDIA SESSIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of Wednesday’s media sessions with the following position coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

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.