Aug 102018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY REPORT…
Safety Darian Thompson (hamstring), linebacker Jordan Williams (concussion), and defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli (knee) all suffered injuries in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

FRIDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 20-10 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns:

Opening Remarks: First preseason game. We’ve had a chance to go through the film, and not much has changed from my comments last night. We ran the ball well, we need to complete more passes. I think that’ll help us. We’ll have shorter third downs and be able to extend drives. On defense, I felt like we did a good job controlling the run. They did make an effort to run the ball and our run defense was very good. I felt like just like last night, I thought we were tight in coverage in a lot of situations and they made plays, and so we need to make those plays as we move forward, and there’s certainly something to be learned from that. In terms of taking care of the ball, I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball. We need to get more turnovers, or a turnover on defense, which we did certainly in special teams. I told the team, I said turnovers are important, but what’s most important is what you do after turnovers, so we got the fumble recovery on the punt, and then we turned it into points. So that’s a good team thing as we go along. If for some reason we turn the ball over on offense, the defense needs to go out there and stop them. There’s plenty to learn from. I also told the players that if each guy cleans up one mistake, then we end up being on the winning end of a game like that. That’s our approach moving forward. So, I’ll take your questions.

Q: I was curious what you thought of Kyle Lauletta’s play. He seemed at least from upstairs a little more comfortable maybe in the game than he had seemed in some recent practices even lately, but what did you think.

A: He’s very calm, and I think he finds a way to make plays. He had a nice deep ball down the sideline to Amba [Etta-Tawo] that ended up being a [pass interference]. In fact, somebody asked me at one point why we practice the one-handed catches – that was it right there. They arm-barred us and Amba had a chance to make the one-handed catch. We got the penalty, but we certainly would’ve wanted the catch. But I [think] he’s got a calm presence about him. I think he lost control of the clock once, we got the ball snapped, but those are all things you learn when you’re playing. So, it wasn’t a bad performance to start out for him.

Q: Did you get any clarity last night in the free safety competition between a bunch of guys that played, I know Curtis [Riley] wasn’t out there?

A: Curtis wasn’t out there and then [Darian Thompson] hurt himself on one of the special teams and was out of the game with a hamstring. Probably no. In terms of the clarity, no. There were guys that were out there performing well, but in terms of saying this is the guy, I would say no.

Q: You mentioned Darian Thompson had a hamstring injury. Other than that, did you come out of the game fairly clean?

A: The only two of note, [Kristjan Sokoli] hurt his knee, we’re getting the final evaluation on that. And then we all saw that Jordan Williams got taken out of the game and that he was put in the concussion protocol. There’s other stuff. I guess the next time we’ll visit will be Sunday. I’ll have more information then.

Q: The running backs besides [Saquon] Barkley, the other four, it certainly looked like [Robert] Martin and [Jalen] Simmons played well, but obviously that’s against third teamers. The other four including [Wayne] Gallman and [Jonathan] Stewart, what did you see from that group?

A: I think they all had their moments of good play. I thought Stewart didn’t have as many snaps as the others. I thought Gallman had a couple nice runs. I think they all kind of stood out in my mind in making a play or two here, but Jalen did a good job. There were some nice hard runs in there, and then we’ve seen Rob obviously, we’ve seen him in practice have some good runs and he’s a hard physical runner and it showed up in the game.

Q: I was wondering if you could comment about how the whole sideline operation worked with the coaching staff, the communication, and just putting that together for the first preseason game.

A: I thought it was much smoother than I had anticipated. Typically, for a staff that’s worked together for years, you would have a communication breakdown or two that you need to work through, but I thought we were able to communicate pretty effectively. We already debriefed it. There are a couple things that we’ll keep private that we’ll do a little bit differently, but for the most part I thought the exchange of information was good. We really didn’t have substitution errors. That usually shows up in preseason games, to speak of. Again, we need to keep building on that. You have to constantly work at communicating, and certainly being able to do that on the sideline can help the players play better.

Q: Did you expect more from the offense? You look at some of the numbers – 4 of 17 on third down, less than 50 percent completion, I think if you take away the big runs, the running game turns out to 2.4 [yards] per carry. What were your thoughts?

A: When you look at it in total, I think I mentioned at the outset, we need to complete more balls because when you complete passes, certainly on first and second down, you have shorter third downs. You can go back with regard to the running totals, you need to have explosive gains and there’s times when you get minimal gains in total, the run game has that effect. A lot of times that’s the way it works. If you’re willing to stick with the run, it’s a two-yard gain, it’s a three-yard gain, all of a sudden it’s a seven-yard gain, and then somewhere in there when you have a player like Saquon [Barkley], it becomes a 20, 30-yard gain, so I wouldn’t certainly look at it that way. We didn’t score enough points. That’s always what I would point to, but there are reasons for that in preseason games. Yeah, you want to score more points than your opponent, but you can dive into statistics like you did sometimes, and make it sound like you won.

Q: When you looked at Davis Webb’s performance yesterday, you mentioned a few times that he was too amped up. Is that something that he has to overcome, being too high-strung on the field?

A: He is so prepared and he wants to do well, that’s just his personality, and he does get amped up a little bit but that’s not a bad thing. Wanting to do well is a good thing. I think we as coaches can just help him with that.

Q: What was your take on the drive at the end of the first half?

A: There’s nothing other than the fact that we have to get out of bounds on that play. We called a route to get out of bounds and the throw was thrown inside, and it makes it almost impossible for the receiver to continue out of bounds. We knew we had to use the sideline because we didn’t have any timeouts. We had that communicated effectively, it just didn’t get done.

Q: Do you have an explanation for the pass Davis Webb threw to Kalif Raymond in the corner of the end zone?

A: I know exactly what happened, it was a corner route and we missed it.

Q: You talked about how the secondary had pretty tight coverage and didn’t make plays. I was curious if you were specifically referring to Leonard Johnson? He was around the ball a lot, but did you want to see more from him when the ball got there?

A: I think it’s a global statement. We had some balls completed on us on the outside down the field. We had a seam ball completed on us where we were pretty close in coverage, but they made a good throw and catch. Certainly, the slant play there, they threw a slant that went for a touchdown. It’s a general comment that I think is fair to say about the evening.

Q: Obviously, Odell didn’t play yesterday. But, what went into the decision to play Landon Collins after being banged up in the offseason? Also, Eli [Manning] didn’t play in the preseason opener last year. Was there a reason he started yesterday?

A: Each situation was different, and nothing went into them other than Eli played, Landon played, and Odell didn’t.

Q: What will your approach be these next couple of days heading into Detroit and the joint practices?

A: Today we’re having what I consider to be a “modified” normal Monday schedule for the day after the game. We bring the players in, we try to get information on them – any injuries and what not, weight training, the modality stuff of recovery. Then, lots of film work to get this game cleaned up, start to work on Detroit a little bit. Tomorrow is their league-mandated day off. We’ll practice on Sunday in pads. We’re going to practice on Monday, and then we’ll fly to Detroit. Then Tuesday, the practices will be held in the mid-morning. So Tuesday, we’ll practice in Detroit in Allen Park there at their facility. I guess it’ll be like 9:30 [a.m.] or so. Same on Wednesday, same on Thursday. Then, we’ll play them Friday night.

Q: In terms of your approach, do you plan any differently going into a joint practice where there is less ability to control what happens, knowing that you have some players coming back off injury?

A: My experience against practicing against one another is both teams need to be smart. Both teams need to understand the tempo of every drill. We’re out there competing, but this certainly isn’t the first time teams have practiced against one another. When Matt [Patricia] was the defensive coordinator at New England, I did it twice when I was with Philadelphia. I’ve worked with Matt before. We’ve got a good feel of the tempo and how we want to do it. We kind of set the ground rules ahead of time, and try to get good work.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday, the same day the team’s summer training camp officially ends. The players will practice on Sunday and Monday (no public access) before traveling to Michigan to practice against the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (open to public).

Aug 042018
 
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Mark Herzlich and Michael Thomas, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Mark Herzlich and Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 4, 2018 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 training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – ELI APPLE HURTS KNEE…
Not practicing on Saturday were safety Curtis Riley (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), cornerback William Gay (hamstring), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list).

Cornerback Teddy Williams was still absent due to personal reasons.

Cornerback Eli Apple left practice early with an injury to his left knee. After practice, Apple was limping but said he was OK.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Running back Saquon Barkley did not take any reps during the team portion of practice. Jonathan Stewart and Wayne Gallman split first-team snaps at running back. Stewart flashed some speed and scored on an outside run when safety Landon Collins lost contain.
  • Darian Thompson was starting at safety along with Landon Collins.
  • Tight end Evan Engram was very active catching the football.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, quarterback Eli Manning lobbed a pass into the corner of the end zone where tight end Evan Engram made a leaping catch for the touchdown, beating safety Landon Collins.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb threw a fade pass into the corner of the end zone to wide receiver Russell Shepard for a touchdown.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard down the sideline for a long touchdown.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a quarterback Eli Manning pass intended for wideout Kalif Raymond.
  • Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris ripped the ball away from wide receiver Marquis Bundy for an incomplete pass. Lewis-Harris tallied at least four pass deflections on Saturday.
  • Brett Jones received first-team snaps at center for the second day in a row, along with Jon Halapio.
  • Wide receiver Amba-Etta Tawo received some first-team snaps.
  • Safety Michael Thomas picked off a pass from quarterback Davis Webb that deflected off of wideout Travis Rudolph.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb rolled out to his right and completed a sideline pass to wideout Kalif Raymond.
  • Safety Andrew Adams knocked away a quarterback Kyle Lauletta pass intended for wideout Russell Shepard.
  • Defensive end Kerry Wynn quickly penetrated into the backfield for a “sack.” Wynn had an active day.
  • Off a stunt, linebacker Kareem Martin also registered a “sack.”
  • Linebacker Avery Moss “sacked” the quarterback off an inside rush. Linebacker Lorenzo Carter also had a sack during the 2-minute drill and was constantly disruptive during practice.
  • During the 2-minute drill, quarterback Eli Manning found tight end Rhett Ellison for a 28-yard gain and then hit tight end Jerell Adams for a touchdown over safety Landon Collins on a fade route.
  • During the 2-minute drill, quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw a bomb to wide receiver Jawill Davis, but he could not get the offense into the end zone.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 092018
 
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Alec Ogletree, New York Giants (June 12, 2018)

Alec Ogletree – © 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: Linebackers

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: As previously mentioned in our defensive line preview, one of the reasons why 2017 was such a huge disappointment was that a defense that was supposed to be the strength of the team fell from 10th in yards allowed in 2016 to 31st. Scoring defense fell from 2nd in 2016 to 27th. New York’s run defense was 27th in the NFL, allowing over 120 yards per game on average. Pass defense was 31st, allowing over 250 yards per game on average.

The problems were across the board. The defensive line and secondary were supposed to very good. They weren’t. At best, the linebackers were supposed to be average. They weren’t even that. An entire generation of New York Giants fans has now grown up without witnessing a good linebacking corps on their team. Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce were anomalies during the last three decades.

One would be hard-pressed to remember ANY plays made by Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, B.J. Goodson, Devon Kennard, Calvin Munson, and Kelvin Sheppard in 2017. Injuries were a major issue as Casillas, Robinson, and Goodson missed a ton of games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: There was a much-needed house-cleaning. Of the 13 linebackers currently on the roster, only four played with the team at that position in 2017 (B.J. Goodson, Calvin Munson, Mark Herzlich, and Ray-Ray Armstrong). And re-signing Herzlich was somewhat surprising.

The Giants showed zero interest in re-signing former starters Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Kelvin Sheppard. It’s quite telling that all three STILL remain unemployed. The Giants also did not attempt to re-sign Akeem Ayers, Curtis Grant, and Deontae Skinner, who remain unsigned as well. Devon Kennard signed with the Detroit Lions.

The Giants traded away 4th and 6th round picks to the Rams for Alec Ogletree. The team’s first major signing in free agency was Kareem Martin from the Cardinals. Lorenzo Carter was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The team also signed street free agent Thurston Armbrister and rookie free agent Tae Davis.

And by transitioning to the 3-4 defense, the Giants have now shifted their best pass rusher – Olivier Vernon – from defensive end to linebacker. Defensive ends Avery Moss, Romeo Okwara, and Jordan Williams are also now at linebacker.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: After a quarter of a century of playing in the 4-3 defense, the New York Giants are shifting back to the 3-4. There is now an emphasis on acquiring linebackers as well as a new type of linebacker. It is no coincidence that Dave Gettleman traded away two picks for a linebacker. Or that Kareem Martin was the first player signed in free agency. Or that the Giants drafted Lorenzo Carter in the 3rd round (and tried to trade up into the 2nd round to draft him). In addition, the shift to the 3-4 led the Giants to trading away Jason Pierre-Paul and moving Oliver Vernon to outside linebacker. This defense is now predicated on the linebackers being the play makers. This is foreign territory for an entire generation of Giants fans. In 2018, the team’s leading sacker should be a linebacker. Linebackers are now expected to lead the team in tackles for losses and impact plays. Mark my words, it is only now a matter of time before the Giants draft a linebacker in the 1st round, something they haven’t done since 1984.

Perhaps the biggest issue on defense is the successful transition of Oliver Vernon from defensive end to linebacker. For this defense to be effective, Vernon has to become the team’s best pass rusher from the outside linebacker spot. While he will mostly be moving forward, and at times will be shifted to defensive end in some pass-rush packages, he needs to be able handle playing in space or opposing teams will target him. Vernon has some experience in this role from his days with the Miami Dolphins, but this is a big adjustment. Vernon also has to stay healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do since joining the Giants in 2016.

There are some people who feel Alec Ogletree is best suited for outside linebacker, but he has already been designated as the defense’s leader from one of the inside linebacker spots. A mobile athlete, Ogletree will be complemented by the more physical thumper B.J. Goodson right next to him. Ogletree could thrive with 1,000 pounds of defensive linemen in front of him. Goodson needs to stay healthy and improve his pass coverage.

Flying under the radar is Kareem Martin, whose overall stats in Arizona were unimpressive. But James Bettcher loves the former defensive end and thinks he is just scratching the surface of his ability as a linebacker. Regardless, he could be pressed by Lorenzo Carter, who has rare athletic ability.

Long story short… the linebackers are back baby!

ON THE BUBBLE: There is a decent chance that the Giants will now carry as many as eight linebackers. Barring the unforeseen, Olivier Vernon, Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Kareem Martin, and Lorenzo Carter make the team, leaving probably two or three spots for Romeo Okwara, Avery Moss, Jordan Williams, Mark Herzlich, Calvin Munson, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Thurston Armbrister, and Tae Davis.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on the team’s defense: “I think each and every down we might look different on defense. But again, I’ll tell you what – I can’t tell you today who we’re going to be on defense and really what we’re going to look like until we get through training camp, until we get into meetings, until we actually get on the field, until we don’t just play some basketball on grass in the offseason program. Until we get to training camp and we have helmets and pads on and we’re striking and separating and playing off of blocks and what we’re really going to look like. But yeah, there are certainly some 3-4 principles if that’s a term we want to use. There are certainly some 4-3 principles if that’s a term you want to use. At the end of the day, it’s about playing hard with a relentless mindset, playing fast, playing physical and being a smart football team.”

Kareem Martin on the team’s defense: “We’re gonna have a lot of exotic schemes, a lot of guys coming, mixing up the fronts, just so guys won’t get a bead on where we’re coming from and it’s gonna I think cause for a lot of havoc in the backfield.”

Alec Ogletree on James Bettcher: “He’s definitely a linebackers coach, for sure. That’s what he started as. So, for us, he definitely puts it on us to lead the group, and we put it on ourselves as well to be that leader and be that dominant voice out there and get everybody ready and set to run the plays. We definitely take that responsibility.”

Bettcher on Oliver Vernon: “OV, we know is a dynamic guy. A guy that can rush from different angles, a guy that you can move around and put in different match-ups. And he’s embraced everything that we’ve done to this point. I’ve loved working with him and I think he’s making some great progress, not just in this scheme, but I think as I’ve looked at him as a player, he’s sharpening his tools right now.”

Kareem Martin on Olivier Vernon: “Real smooth football player. He’s just a natural, just really fluid player. He does some things I haven’t seen guys do before, one of the strongest linebackers I’ve played with, and just to see him be able to do some of the things and contort his body has just been amazing.”

Bettcher on Alec Ogletree: “You watch his play and I’m not just talking about his ability to make tackles or run down things on the sideline, I’m talking about his play, his mindset, his physicality at which he plays the game, how hard and passionate he plays the game. Those were some of the first things that jumped off the charts for me when we had a chance to get him here. Certainly excited about him as a leader and a guy that is going to bring a ton of energy to our room.”

Bettcher on Kareem Martin: “One of the most improved players that I’ve ever been around.”

PREDICTIONS: While this is going to be more of a hybrid defense than pure, old-fashioned 3-4, this is still going to be a bit of a culture shock for any fan under 40 years old. Linebackers setting the edge, getting into the backfield, creating turnovers, sacking the quarterback. Linebackers actually making plays! If everyone can stay healthy (ahem Vernon and Goodson), on paper, this looks like a potentially strong group. The two inside linebackers complement each other well. Olivier Vernon is no LT, but he will be expected to take on that type of pass-rush role while Kareem Martin does more of the dirty work (à la Carl Banks). Both will also be employed from the down position quite a bit. The wild card is Lorenzo Carter who I am willing to bet will press for pass rush snaps fairly early, either from a standup or down position.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Olivier Vernon, Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Kareem Martin, and Lorenzo Carter are the obvious ones to make it. Avery Moss looks the part of a 3-4 pass-rush linebacker, but missed the spring rehabbing an injury. Word has it that Romeo Okwara looked pretty good in the spring workouts. Is there room for both? Finding depth inside could be a challenge. The leading candidates are Calvin Munson, Ray-Ray Armstrong, and possibly even Mark Herzlich. A waiver-wire pick-up here might be in the cards. Special teams ability will be key for anyone looking to make the final 53.

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

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

Mar 122018
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS RE-SIGN MARK HERZLICH AND JON HALAPIO…
The New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Mark Herzich and exclusive rights free agent offensive guard Jon Halapio. The negotiating period for other teams to speak free agent players began at 4:00PM on Monday. Players can officially sign contracts with other teams at 4:00PM on Wednesday.

Herzlich was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2017 with a neck injury (burner) and missed the entire season. Herzlich was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his seven seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games in 2016, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

Halapio started the 2017 season on the Giants Practice Squad and was signed to the 53-man roster in early October. He played in 10 games and started the last six games at right guard where he was an inconsistent performer. Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants added him to their Practice Squad in September 2016. Versatile, he played both guard and center for the Giants during the 2017 preseason.

JONATHAN STEWART TO VISIT GIANTS…
The NFL Network is reporting that unrestricted free agent running back Jonathan Stewart is expected to visit the Giants on Tuesday after meeting with the Lions on Monday. Stewart was cut by the Carolina Panthers at the end of February. The 30-year old Stewart was drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Panthers. In 10 seasons with the Panthers, Stewart rushed for 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. He also caught 162 passes for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, Stewart started 10 games but saw his rushing totals fall to 680 yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry.

ARTICLES…

Feb 102018
 
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Kevin Stefanski, Minnesota Vikings (August 9, 2015)

Kevin Stefanski – © USA TODAY

REPORT – VIKINGS DENY GIANTS PERMISSION TO INTERVIEW KEVIN STEFANSKI…
ESPN is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings have denied the New York Giants permission to interview Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski. The Giants were interested in Stefanski as the team’s new offensive coordinator. The 35-year old Stefanski has served in various assistant coaching capacities for the Vikings since 2006.

Media speculation is that the Giants may now turn to former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell or Philadelphia Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley. However, the Eagles could also deny Staley permission to interview with the Giants.

REPORT – DAVE GETTLEMAN HIRES DRAFT CONSULTANT…
The New York Post is reporting that New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has hired Mark Koncz as a scouting department consultant. Koncz worked with Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers as director of pro scouting, a position that Koncz had held since 2000. Gettleman promoted him to director of player personnel in May 2017 before the Panthers fired Koncz in July after Gettleman was also let go.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Exclusive Giants.com interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Dec 082017
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) did not practice on Friday and both have been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Running back Orleans Darkwa (illness), running back Wayne Gallman (hip), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hamstring), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow), and cornerback Eli Apple (hip/back) practiced on a limited basis. Gallman and Harrison are unofficially “probable” for the game; the other five players are officially “questionable”.

Offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (concussion) fully practiced, but is “questionable” for the game.

RASHAD JENNINGS RETIRES AS A NEW YORK GIANT…
Running back Rashad Jennings, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2009-2012), Oakland Raiders (2013), and New York Giants (2014-2016), announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday. Jennings chose to retire as a New York Giant.

In his career, Jennings played in 93 regular-season games with with 54 starts (37 with the Giants). He rushed for 3,772 yards (2,095 with the Giants) and also accrued 1,469 receiving yards (723 with the Giants). Combined, Jennings had 25 career touchdowns (12 with the Giants).

“I had my most success here as a Giant, both on and off the field,” Jennings said. “It’s such a prestigious organization, and it was the last football team I played for that I felt just a part of home with. From front office top to bottom, and I couldn’t see myself if I’m able to, retire with any other team but the Giants.

“I got a chance to play with one of the most prestigious organizations in the NFL. I got to play under the leadership of a soon to be Hall of Fame coach in coach (Tom) Coughlin. The Mara and Tisch families are amazing. I got to play for some of the greatest fans in the NFL, playing in the mecca of everything. The locker room, my teammates. My locker was right beside Eli Manning’s. We still text today silly stuff. So the relationships in the locker room you can never take for granted.”

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

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

ARTICLES…

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

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

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

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

Oct 042017
 
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Giants fans tailgating in Tampa – Photo courtesy of Jim in South Florida

INJURY UPDATE…
Center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), wide receiver Odell Beckham (finger/ankle), and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe) practiced on a limited basis.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner and signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio off of the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed center Anthony Fabiano to the Practice Squad.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner was cut by the Giants in September 2017 and re-signed later that month.

Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants added him to their Practice Squad in September 2016 and again in September 2017. Halapio has not played in an NFL regular-season game.

Fabiano was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2016), Cleveland Browns (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017). The 6’1”, 303-pound Fabiano played in four games with one start for Cleveland in 2016. Fabiano is an athletic lineman who lacks ideal size and strength.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Sep 022017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53; TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 29 roster moves.

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

  • LB Mark Herzlich (burner)
  • DT Josh Banks (shoulder – torn labrum requiring surgery)

Players who were cut included:

  • QB Josh Johnson
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • RB Khalid Abdullah
  • FB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Jerome Lane
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • WR Ed Eagan
  • TE Will Tye
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OT Jarron Jones
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • OG Matt Rotheram
  • DE Devin Taylor
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Bobby Richardson
  • LB Deontae Skinner
  • LB Stansly Maponga
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB DaShaun Amos
  • CB Nigel Tribune
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • S Trey Robinson
  • PK Mike Nugent

The Giants also sent a conditional draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. The 6’0”, 191-pound Cockrell was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bills cut Cockrell in August 2015 and he then signed with the Steelers. In two seasons with the Steelers, Cockrell played in 31 regular-season games with 23 starts. He started all 16 games in 2016 and finished the year with 62 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He had two interceptions with the Steelers in 2015. Cockrell struggled with the Steelers this preseason.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night really made it tough on us. It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Regarding the competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson for the primary back-up job behind Eli Manning, McAdoo said,  “It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

Aldrick Rosas beat out veteran Mike Nugent for the team’s place kicker. “We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games,” McAdoo said. “Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

Five of the team’s six 2017 draft choices made the 53-man roster. Bisnowaty was waived despite being drafted in the 6th round. In addition, three rookie free agents are on the team: FB Shane Smith, OT Chad Wheeler, and LB Calvin Munson.

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective,” McAdoo said. “He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.

“Shane Smith – we wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

Last year, in his second season, Will Tye was promoted to the starting tight end spot at midseason after the bye week. He played in all 16 regular-season games, with 10 starts, and finished the year with 48 catches for 395 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and just one touchdown. Tye was originally signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2015, he played in 13 games with seven starts, and finished the season with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns. Tye was voted to the Pro Football Writers NFL All-Rookie Team.

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well,” McAdoo said. “That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four (tight ends) for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Last year, Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

“We felt it was best to put Mark on IR this year and give him an opportunity to get healthy,” McAdoo said. “He’ll still be involved with the team, whether it’s in the locker room, or in the meeting rooms. Mark will still be around to help the guys.”

Veteran DE Devin Taylor, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was also cut. “We have a lot of talented players in that defensive line room, a lot of depth in the room,” said McAdoo. “Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

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