Dec 052018
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (October 7, 2018)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – LANDON COLLINS DONE FOR THE SEASON…
Not practicing on Wednesday were safety Landon Collins (shoulder), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip), and linebacker Tae Davis (ankle).

The Giants announced late Wednesday afternoon that Collins will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Tight end Evan Engram (hamstring), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (rib), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck) practiced on a limited basis.

ALDRICK ROSAS NAMED “NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants place kicker Aldrick Rosas has been named the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Week” for his performance against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Rosas not only kicked a team-record, 57-yard field goal in the the game, but he also kicked what turned out to be the game-winning 44-yard field goal in overtime. He also kicked a 37-yard field goal in the 4th quarter.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

Nov 182018
 
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Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (November 18, 2018)

Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 38 – TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 35…
The New York Giants won their second game in a row and improved their overall record to 3-7 by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Quarterback Eli Manning only threw one incompletion, running back Saquon Barkley scored three touchdowns, and the defense intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown.

The Buccaneers significantly out-gained the Giants in a number of categories including first downs (31 to 19), total net yards (510 to 359), and net yards passing (359 to 196). But the Giants dominated the turnover battle (4-0). The Giants were 4-of-4 in red zone opportunities, while the Buccaneers were 4-of-5.

The Giants scored touchdowns on their first two offensive possessions of the game. Wide receiver Corey Coleman returned the opening kickoff 40 yards. Four plays later, Manning found wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for a 41-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 7-yard line. Two after that, Manning hit a wide-open Barkley for a 6-yard touchdown reception.

The Buccaneers drove 68 yards on their initial possession, but were stopped on 4th-and-1 on the 12th play of the drive, turning the ball over on downs at the Giants’ 5-yard line. The NYG offense then responded with a 12-play, 95-yard drive that ended with Barkley scoring from five yards out. The Giants now led 14-0.

After both teams exchanged punts, Tampa Bay cut the score to 14-7 with an 8-play, 64-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on 4th-and-goal. The Giants managed to drive the ball to the Buccaneers 37-yard line on the following possession, but Head Coach Pat Shurmur decided to punt the ball away on 4th-and-2. The Buccaneers threatened to score again before safety Michael Thomas intercepted Fitzpatrick at the Giants’ 13-yard line with less than 30 seconds before intermission.

At the half, the Giants led 14-7.

The Buccaneers received the ball to start the second half. On their second offensive snap, linebacker Alec Olgetree snatched a ball away from fellow defender cornerback Janoris Jenkins and returned it 15 yards for a defensive touchdown. The Giants were now ahead 21-7. Tampa Bay drove to the NYG 32-yard line on their second possession of the half, but Fitzpatrick was picked off in the end zone by safety Curtis Riley who returned the interception to the Giants’ 40-yard line. The Buccaneers bench Fitzpatrick after his third turnover.

A 23-yard run by Barkley helped to set up a 52-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas, giving the Giants a 24-7 advantage midway through the third quarter. However, the Giants’ defense then largely collapsed against quarterback Jameis Winston, who led the Buccaneers on four straight touchdown drives of 74, 77, 70, and 66 yards. Thankfully for New York, Manning and his offensive teammates also managed two touchdown drives of their own. The first was a 7-play, 71-yard affair that culminated with an 8-yard touchdown reception by Beckham on 3rd-and-5. The second was a 5-play, 67-yard drive, where the big play was a 54-yard gain by tight end Evan Engram. Three plays later, Barkley scored from two yards out.

Despite all of this, Winston’s 41-yard touchdown with less than two-and-a-half minutes left in the game cut the score to an uncomfortable 38-35. The Giants went three-and-out and Tampa got the ball back with 23 seconds to play. But Winston’s first pass of Tampa’s final possession was intercepted by cornerback B.W. Webb at the Giants’ 25-yard line, ending the game.

Offensively, Manning completed 17-of-18 passes for 231 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a QB rating of 155.8. Beckham was the only Giants’ player to catch more than two passes, catching four for 74 yards and a score. Barkley rushed for 142 yards on 27 carries. He scored on two runs and added another touchdown on a pass reception.

The good news for the defense was the four interceptions (including one for a score) and the stop on 4th-and-1 at the 5-yard line. But the defense allowed over 500 yards of offense and five touchdowns. The Giants accrued only one sack (by linebacker Kareem Martin).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were quarterback Kyle Lauletta, wide receiver Jawill Davis, center Evan Brown, defensive end R.J. McIntosh, nose tackle John Jenkins, cornerback Tony Lippett, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Defensive end Kerry Wynn left the game with a concussion and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants 38 points was their highest total since November 1, 2015, when they lost at New Orleans, 52-49. It was the most points they’ve scored in a victory since a 45-14 victory at Washington on September 25, 2014.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s 94.4 completion percentage is a Giants record in a game with at least 10 attempts.

Running back Saquon Barkley is the first Giants rookie to score on a reception and a run in the same game since wide since running back Butch Woolfolk vs. the Houston Oilers on December 5, 1982.

Barkley’s receiving yardage total for the season is 540, a Giants record for a rookie running back. David Meggett previously held the record with 531 yards in 1989.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.

Sep 272018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 23, 2018)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Thursday due to injury were tight end Evan Engram (knee), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), running back Jonathan Stewart (foot), and nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee).

“I wouldn’t be worried about Snacks,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’ll be there.”

Linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), and wide receiver Stacy Coley (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.

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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints.

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

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 162018
 
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Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (August 31, 2017)

Aldrick Rosas – © 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: Special Teams

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: Hired by the team in 2006, Tom Quinn somehow managed to become one of the longest tenured assistant coaches on the New York Giants. From 2006-2017, there was a revolving door of offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, and position coaches. But Quinn survived each offseason until January 2018 despite the fact that New York’s special teams were annually a sub-par unit. His last year may have been his worst. In 2017, the Giants were:

  • 31st in field goal percentage (72 percent).
  • 32nd in extra point percentage (87 percent).
  • 32nd in net punting (38.6 yards per punt).
  • 28th in kickoff returns (19.6 yards per return).
  • 31st in punt returns (5.5 yards per return).
  • 14th in kickoff coverage (20.5 yards per return).
  • 27th in punt coverage (10.4 yards per return).

In short, the Giants were a train wreck on special teams.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Punter Brad Wing’s statistics plummeted in 2017 and the Giants cut him in March. Punt/kickoff returner Dwayne Harris spent most of the season on IR and was also cut in March.

Place kicker Marshall Koehn was signed in January 2018. The Giants acquired punter Riley Dixon by trade from the Denver Broncos shortly before the draft. The Giants also signed punter Taylor Symmank in June.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Enter Thomas McGaughey as the team’s new special teams coach. Ironically, McGaughey served under Tom Quinn from 2007 to 2010. Even more ironically, the Panthers decided to let McGaughey walk when his contract expired as they wanted to promote former Giants’ linebacker Chase Blackburn to the position.

Riley Dixon replaces Brad Wing as punter. Both players were acquired by trade. Hopefully, Dixon works out better than Wing did. The 6’4”, 221-pound Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Broncos. In 16 regular-season games as a rookie, Dixon punted 89 times and averaged 45.7 yards per punt (41.3 yard net). He was named to the all-rookie team. In 2017, Dixon punted 73 times and averaged 45.6 yards per punt (40.2 yard net) with two blocked punts.

The 6’2”, 195-pound Taylor Symmank was not drafted in 2016. The Minnesota Vikings signed him in January 2017 and waived him in early September of that year. Symmank punted nine times during the 2017 preseason, averaging 42.9 yards per punt.

More media and fan focus is likely to be on Aldrick Rosas. The Giants gambled on the green kicker in 2017 and got burned. Rosas was 17-of-25 (72 percent) on field goals and 20-of-23 (87 percent on extra points). Most alarming was his inconsistency on field goal attempts from 30 to 49 yards out, where he was 7-of-14 (50 percent). Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants still have not signed a veteran to compete against him. Marshall Koehn was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Dolphins (2016), Minnesota Vikings (2017), and Cincinnati Bengals (2017), but he’s played in only one regular-season game with no field goal attempts. So the new coaching staff also appears enamored with Rosas’ potential. Will their patience pay off?

With Dwayne Harris gone, it is not clear who will return kickoffs and punts for the team in 2018. The diminutive Kalif Raymond ended up the leading kickoff and punt returner last season, but there is no guarantee that he will even make the 2018 squad. Even if he does, ball security is an issue with him as Raymond has seven fumbles in his 12 NFL regular-season games.

The good news is that it appears the Giants made a conscious effort to sign good special teams players in the offseason, including wide receiver Russell Shepard, safety Michael Thomas, wide receiver Cody Latimer, and cornerback Teddy Williams.

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone. Kickers don’t need to know schemes or playbooks. They are easily replaceable if a decent one hits the waiver wire. The 2019 7th rounder the Giants gave the Broncos for Riley Dixon is a conditional pick. So he’s not safe. The Giants kick and punt returners also may not be on the roster yet.

FROM THE COACHES: Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey on Michael Thomas: “Absolutely (one of the best special teams players in the NFL). Mike is the ultimate competitor, he does an outstanding job in the coverage game, he’s a smart player…Mike is a high impact player and we look forward to him making big plays.”

McGaughey on Aldrick Rosas: “I see a kid that was a rookie last year and like most rookies in this league, they’re inconsistent. It’s rare where you see a rookie that just comes in and just rips it up just walking through the door. He’s young and like Dave Gettleman always says, we’re not going to give up on talent. He’s a talented guy and there’s some things that he can do that a lot of people can’t do and I think there’s some talent there and we’re going to work with that talent.”

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on whether or not he would risk Saquon Barkley on returns: “He’ll perform return duties – typically, not normally your first returner.”

PREDICTIONS: Special teams studs Cody Latimer and Mike Thomas should really help the coverage units. More linebackers on the roster such as Lorenzo Carter should also help. Riley Dixon most likely will be the punter. If Aldrick Rosas is shaky in the preseason, look for the Giants to make a move either by trade or picking up a discarded veteran. Who returns kickoffs? Who returns punts? With so many unknowns, Thomas McGaughey is not in an enviable position.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: At this point, it would appear Riley Dixon will be the punter. The Giants obviously are pulling for Aldrick Rosas to nail down the place-kicking job. Are the returners even on the roster? If the answer is yes, Kalif Raymond probably makes the team.

Jul 122018
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 21, 2018)

Eli Apple – © 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: Defensive Backs

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: Coming off a year in 2016 when THREE New York Giants earned All-Pro honors, everyone expected the secondary to be a team strength in 2017. Instead, there was turmoil on and off the field. The team’s top three cornerbacks were suspended for violating team rules and conduct detrimental to the team. 2016 1st-rounder Eli Apple regressed terribly, was benched, and started only seven games. All-Pro Dominique Rodgers Cromartie saw his pass defenses plummet from 21 and six interceptions in 2016, to just one pass defense and no interceptions in 2017. All-Pro Janoris Jenkins was nagged by an ankle injury that eventually landed him on IR and required surgery. The only bright spot at corner was the surprise play of Ross Cockrell, who the Giants traded for in September. It got so bad that Brandon Dixon ended up starting five games for the Giants.

At safety, All-Pro Landon Collins also regressed, bothered by a nagging ankle injury he suffered in early October and then fracturing his arm in December. While he made the Pro Bowl, he didn’t have the impact season he had the previous year. After spending his rookie season on IR, Darian Thompson started 16 games, but he lacked physicality and didn’t make many plays. Andrew Adams saw his playing time decrease, but still played in all 16 games with four starts. Nevertheless, Thompson and Adams combined for only eight pass defenses and one interception on the season. Once again, Nat Berhe was a non-factor with just 12 tackles in 15 games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in March and Brandon Dixon in May. Ross Cockrell and Nat Berhe left the team in free agency. Corner Darryl Morris remains unsigned and won’t be back.

The Giants signed free agents CB/S Curtis Riley, S Michael Thomas, CB Teddy Williams, CB C.W. Webb, CB William Gay, S Orion Stewart, and CB Chris Lewis-Harris during the spring as well as rookie free agents CB Grant Haley and S Sean Chandler after the draft.

The surprise move was the team selecting CB Sam Beal in the 3rd round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The transaction wire this offseason was dominated by defensive back moves, but the ultimate success or failure of the secondary in 2018 will largely depend on whether or not Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Landon Collins can rebound. We’ll have to see where Jenkins’ head is after it was revealed that his brother allegedly killed a man in his home. Collins needed a second surgery to repair his arm fracture and was limited in the spring. Much media and fan focus will be on Eli Apple, who almost ran himself off of the team but so far has been acting and practicing much better. If Jenkins and Collins can revert to All-Pro form and Apple can become a viable starting NFL corner, then the other issues in the secondary will be much easier to deal with. If not, the Giants could be rough shape here.

The quick demise and subsequent release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left a huge hole in the secondary. Until the Supplemental Draft, Dave Gettleman’s approach at corner had been to sign quantity over quality, hoping to strike lightning in a bottle. That changed with the selection of Sam Beal. Nevertheless, the team still needs to identify a nickel corner.

At safety, who starts opposite of Landon Collins? During the last mini-camp, with Collins and Darian Thompson on the sidelines, ex-CB Curtis Riley and Andrew Adams were playing at safety with the first team. Newcomers Michael Thomas, Orion Stewart, and Sean Chandler also now join the competition.

ON THE BUBBLE: Other than Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, and Sam Beal, no one is completely safe. Eli Apple is likely to make it unless he has another mental implosion simply because the Giants are weak at the position and Apple still has a tremendous amount of upside. Not only do all of the other players have to worry about current competition on the roster, but look for the Giants to actively scan the waiver wire all summer. Some of the new journeymen vets are good special teams players and that will help their cause, most notably Michael Thomas.

FROM THE COACHES AND GM: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Curtis Riley: “Curtis is a guy that, we all know he’s played corner, so he’s got really great feet and hips and range. And the thing I’m probably most proud of him about is how he’s picked it up playing safety because that’s a change, when you go from playing outside, to go inside. And some of the checks and the communication and one minute you’re in the post, the next minute you’re down, or you’re playing in the half field, or you’re blitzing off the edge and some of the different duties that our safeties have to handle here. He’s done a really nice job with that. So, I’m excited for him, getting to training camp just like all these guys, and he’s competing his butt off with a group of guys that I’ve really seen grow over these last two months.”

Bettcher on William Gay: “A pro’s pro. He is a pro’s pro. Everything that when we talked about having Will join us, anyone that you talk to, loves his work ethic, loves the seriousness and the professional mentality that he brings to the room. He is going to ask great questions, going to be very engaged, has done a great job with some of our younger players. And (taught) some of our guys that are three- and four-year players, about how to have longevity in this league and play at a high level. He knows what a great defense looks like from the inside and we’re excited to have him here working with us.”

Bettcher on Landon Collins: “I look at him as a guy – we had some guys in Arizona, Tyvon Branch and before Tyvon we had Tony Jefferson who played strong safety for us who could play both high, could play down in the box, could cover tight ends, could blitz off the edge. That’s what I see with Landon, a guy who is very versatile in what he can do. You might see a snap where he’s down covering a tight end in the box, you might see a snap where he’s in the half field playing deep or in the middle of the field playing deep or you might see snaps where he’s blitzing off the edge. I think that’s the versatility a guy like him lends and that’s something that as you look and study defenses across the league and you talk to offensive guys of what gives them trouble, it’s players that have that versatility – that one snap they’re down in the box and the next snap they’re playing high. That kind of versatility gives offenses trouble and I’m excited to have a chance to work with him.”

Bettcher on Eli Apple: “Very talented player. I did like him when he was coming out in the draft, really liked his skill set. He’s a guy who can play man, who can press, who can play zone defense in space, who can break on the ball.”

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the competition at cornerback: “Well, it’s competitive. We were talking about it this morning. I was sitting with James (Bettcher), just going back over the roster. It’s going to be competitive to see whose going to be, in my mind, our third, fourth and fifth corner. We’ve got some candidates who are doing some really good things. And then they’re going to have to have a role. Certainly, when teams are in base and we’ve got Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and Eli (Apple) out there. But then when teams go to nickel, which is more than half the time, there’s going to have to be a guy step up. And we’ll just have to find the role, and whoever that guy is, we’ve got to do the things that fit what he can do best.”

General Manager Dave Gettleman on Sam Beal: “We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft. He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”

PREDICTIONS: As long as the injury bug doesn’t hit (a big if), the Giants are not in as dire straits here as many think. Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins are two of the best players at their respective positions in the NFL. Eli Apple seems poised for a rebound year. Acquiring Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft was a bold move that may fill a glaring need. The two big questions are finding a free safety to complement Collins and a nickel corner. My guess is that William Gay takes on an Everson Walls-type leadership role and adequately handles the nickel spot. Curtis Riley, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Michael Thomas most likely will be battling it out for the free safety position, unless someone else shakes free on the waiver wire.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: We’re going to hear a common refrain from fans throughout the preseason… “Who are these guys?” My guess is that Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Sam Beal, William Gay, and Grant Haley make it at cornerback. At safety, Landon Collins, Curtis Riley, Michael Thomas, and the winner of the Darian Thompson/Andrew Adams competition. That being said, I would not be surprised to see one or two waiver-wire pick-ups in the defensive backfield.

May 292018
 
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Odell Beckham and Eli Manning, New York Giants (May 21, 2018)

Odell Beckham and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 29, 2018 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.

“OTA 4, you got to watch it, it was a good day for us,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Coming off a four-day weekend, we had little bit of heat to it. We promised (defensive end Olivier Vernon) this was going to feel like Miami, and it did, finally. It’s always good when you add the elements to it. I told the players that we want to build a gritty team that can overcome the environment, and this is the first they had a little bit of heat and I think it was good, they pushed through it. So, again, just one more step closer to being a good football team. The guys competed well and we’ll get a chance to have two more of these this week.”

The six remaining OTA practices will be held on May 30-31, and June 4-7. There will be media availability for the June 4th practice. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 12-14.

INJURY REPORT AND ABSENTEES…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins did not attend Tuesday’s OTA. Head Coach Pat Shurmur did say that Beckham was “pretty close” to being cleared to return to practice.

Although he was held out of 11-on-11 team drills, safety Landon Collins (recovering from arm surgery) participated in individual and 7-on-7 drills. “(Collins) was out there competing in a limited basis and he’s trying to do everything he can as he finishes up his rehab,” said Shurmur.

Defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown medical issue) and linebacker Avery Moss (unknown injury) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Place kicker Marshall Koehn was 5-of-7 on field goal attempts, with misses from 41 and 50 yards out.
  • The starting defensive line was Dalvin Tomlinson at right end, Damon Harrison at nose tackle, and B.J. Hill at left end.
  • First-team offensive line combinations included Nate Solder at left tackle, Patrick Omameh at left guard, Brett Jones at center, John Greco at right guard, and Ereck Flowers at right tackle. The Giants also employed Will Hernandez at left guard, Jon Halapio at center, and Patrick Omameh at right guard.
  • John Jerry took reps with second-team at right guard and Chad Wheeler was with the second-team at right tackle.
  • Tight end Evan Engram beat linebacker Kareem Martin deep down the sideline and quarterback Eli Manning hit him with a perfect pass for the touchdown.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple knocked down a pass over the middle intended for wide receiver Cody Latimer.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond made a great catch on a deep pass from quarterback Davis Webb.
  • Tackles Nate Solder, Ereck Flowers, and Chad Wheeler worked together after practice was over.

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…

Mar 272018
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (February 18, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

AS OBJ TRADE RUMORS PERSIST, PAT SHURMUR AND DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESS MEDIA…
Conflicting media sources are reporting that the New York Giants are and are not fielding trade offers for Odell Beckham, Jr., the supremely-talented wide receiver who also has a knack for generating off-the-field controversy. Beckham is entering the last year of his rookie contract with $8,459,000 in salary. There have been unverified reports that Beckham intends to holdout until he receives an extremely lucrative contract extension.

The NFL Network is reporting that while the Giants are listening to offers from several teams, it is not clear that the Giants actually want to trade Beckham.

At the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Head Coach Pat Shurmur said he spoke with Beckham in California last week. “We just got an opportunity to sit down and talk,” Shurmur said. “I had a chance to share my thoughts on all topics Odell, other than football certainly, and it was a good visit. He showed me his favorite restaurants in town and we just got a chance to get to know one another. He’s a very charismatic guy, I think he really cares and I’m looking forward to working with him… We all understand this time of year (due to League rules) you can’t talk football, but there was a good meeting and I felt like I got to know him a little better. Again, the only way you get to know somebody is by visiting with them, and I got a good sense or a little better sense of who he is.

“I’ve got a good radar on people. I’ve got a good radar on what’s going on this morning here. I think that’s why it’s important as coaches and players and anybody that is working together that you get a chance to visit and get to know one another. I really don’t think you can know somebody by just seeing reports, reading reports, hearing what people think and say. I think it’s really important, especially in the player-coach relationship, that I get to know him.

“I think we always want weapons. Obviously, he’s been an outstanding player, especially the first three years. So certainly, we want really, really good players. We want guys that are passionate about playing the game, we want guys that understand the importance of relationships, which means they want to be coached, and we want guys that understand that it is important to be a good teammate. Those are the things that we are looking for in a player.”

The Giants’ offseason program begins on April 9th.

“It’s my understanding that he will be there,” Shurmur said. “We couldn’t talk about that, but I’m looking forward to seeing him when we get going.”

Beckham is coming off a serious ankle injury that he suffered last October and which required surgery.

“I think he is on track coming back from his injury,” said Shurmur. “All reports are he will be ready to go at some point here in the training… Ready to go as we get going, so there are steps he’s got to take, but all indications are he will be back healthy by the time we start playing in September.”

General Manager Dave Gettleman also addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday.

“I just want to make a couple comments and, please, I’m not talking down on anybody,” Gettleman said. “There are 53 guys on every active NFL roster. Football is the ultimate team game – 11 guys go out there, they blow the whistle, if you’re the defense and 10 guys do it right and one guy does it wrong, you’re looking at a touchdown. Same thing on the other side of the ball, and same thing on special teams. It is the ultimate team game.

“Every decision we make will be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I want you guys to understand something, I’m not going to discuss any aspects of contracts, I’m not going to talk timelines, I’m not going to talk progress. I’m not going there. I didn’t do it in Carolina and I ain’t doing it up here, plain and simple. One of the most important responsibilities that any GM has is to eliminate internal and external distractions. It’s my responsibility to create the atmosphere that allows players to play and coaches to coach. That is part of my job, and I really believe that. The other thing that I want you to understand is I’m not going to respond to hypotheticals, I’m telling you right now.

“So you’re sitting there saying, ‘Well, what is Dave doing? What is he talking about?’’ In the past two days there have been two reports about Odell that have been floated – that he won’t take the field without an extension, and the Rams are interested in trading for him. I understand the reports, people are going to print stuff, I get it. But, I want you to understand this – neither Odell nor his agent have contacted us regarding either report. So to be clear – I’m not going to respond to questions about either report, and as I stated earlier, every decision I make is going to be made in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. So, with that being said, let’s talk football.”

Gettleman was asked about a controversial video of Beckham that circulated recently on social media.

“What was your response to it?” Gettleman said. “It came out, it’s a video, I’m an old man and have bad eyes, I see this seven-second thing flashing in front of my face. All I saw was the pizza.”

Gettleman was then asked if he wants Beckham on his team.

“I’m not going there,” Gettleman responded and later added, “The bottom line is, Ernie (Accorsi) taught me this and I told you guys this, you don’t quit on talent. He’s on our team… The kid works his fanny off. His rehab is going terrific. He sends us pictures and video. He’ll send us a video of him running. He is an excellent worker.”

Some other issues addressed by Shurmur:

  • On if the Giants are rebuilding: “I don’t think that is the case. Dave and I have spoken about this and we really believe this, we want to make our team better one move at a time. I think that’s what we’re trying to do. I don’t believe that narrative that it’s a reboot, that it’s a rebuild. We’re trying to make this year’s New York Football Giants. I like saying that, New York Football Giants. The New York Football Giants (will be) as good as we can be going into September, and then we will continue to make moves as we go. This is not kind of a within boundaries-type deal when you shape the roster. It is constantly happening, and we’re going to constantly try to improve our roster. It is obviously on the front burner this time of year.”
  • On Eli Manning: “I’ve seen Eli in the building almost every day in the offseason. He’s the fittest, healthiest 37-year old I’ve been around, so I’m looking forward to working with him as well, as well as Davis Webb. I saw some good play (from Manning last year). I think, and we’ve spoken about this, there are some plays on there that can’t happen. But there is a lot of good quarterback play on there. And I think all things New York Football Giants, the guys that are going to be here that were here a year ago have got to play better, and we’re going to add some pieces that we think will help us. And I think Eli is no different. Certainly he is probably near the back part of his career than the front part, just because of age. I know that. But he has been very durable. We can all talk about quarterbacks or point to quarterbacks, even that I’ve worked with, that have had a hard time staying on the field. Eli has stayed on the field. Your availability is huge when you’re talking about a player. That just doesn’t happen. He takes very good care of himself, he lives a clean life, he works out, he stays fit throughout the season, and I’m sure that’s part of it.”
  • On drafting Eli’s potential replacement: “I think we are always looking for a young, generational quarterback and I think there are a couple examples of that out there playing, a couple in our division. So, yeah, that’s the urge.”
  • On Davis Webb and the team’s voluntary mini-camp (April 24-26) held right before the NFL Draft (April 26-28): “It’ll be a great way for Davis to showcase what he can do. He’s going to get a lot of reps, and he probably would anyway. I don’t want to make this sound like it’s a showcase for Davis Webb, but as a guy that we’re interested in seeing, he’s certainly going to get his fair share of the reps… I think we’re going to take in any information we can all the way up to the time we’re on the clock… I went back and watched his college film to compare him to the guys coming out this year. I went back and revisited my notes from a year ago and we had him rated highly. The unfortunate thing for me is that there’s just not a lot of him playing football in a Giants helmet, which would have been a good thing for me to see moving forward. That is what it is… There is no substitute for experience and even though he was here and didn’t play a bunch, he became experienced in ways that you can’t if you haven’t been there. I’ve got high hopes for him being a productive player in this league. It’s a little bit of an unknown. The advantage we will have though is we get that extra mini-camp right up to the draft.”
  • On Penn State RB Saquon Barkley: “He’s equally impressive like the quarterbacks we just talked about. When you watch his tape, you don’t see anything that he can’t do. As a running back, certainly he’s got to do the obvious, be able to run the ball and secure the ball and he’s done that and put the ball in the end zone, which he’s done. He’s really a pretty good pass protector in terms of protecting the quarterback; that’s an important piece, and then he can catch the football as well. He can do everything that you’re looking for in a running back, and he’s a terrific human being, as well. We got to spend some time at the combine, our people have been to see him and I’m certainly going to get to know more about him as we go, as well.”
  • On Notre Dame OG Quinton Nelson: “He is an outstanding player. They do a good job at Notre Dame developing their offensive linemen and he’s a local guy of sorts. That really shouldn’t matter, but the fact that he is local, we had a couple exposures with him and he’s wired the right way to play the position, and we certainly like him a great deal.”
  • On Ereck Flowers, who is being moved to right tackle: “I’ve actually had a couple (conversations with Flowers). The one that was reported was the one right after we signed Nate. It’s been good. I expressed to him that I knew he was a little bit hurt and he played all year. I think that’s an important piece. I kind of embraced him by saying I think he’s a tough guy, but I also told him that we brought in a guy that’s going to play left tackle and we want him to move over to right and compete to be a player there, and we’re hopeful that he is going to be one of our best five (linemen).”
  • On CB Eli Apple, who had both off-field and on-field issues in 2017: “We’re looking forward to working with Eli. It’s a clean slate. I think that’s safe to say. As we get to know everybody, it’s a clean slate. Again, we’re going to try to develop relationships with the players from the very beginning, or as soon as we can visit with them and try to work with them to be the best they can be. I think when you have sometimes younger players that are thrust into an NFL setting in a big town with a lot of attention, we’ve got to be willing to work with them in all areas of their game and their life, and Eli is a player that is no different than anybody else.”

Some other issues addressed by Gettleman:

  • On the team’s #2 pick: “Have we had calls (from teams seeking to trade for the pick)? Yes. But we haven’t set our board yet. It’s about when you’re drafting, when you’re signing unrestricted free agents, it’s all about value, it really, truly is… This is the second pick in the draft. We really have to picture this guy putting on a gold jacket because if we can’t picture that… I remember my very first year in the league when I was with the Bills, we had the third pick of the draft. Dick Roach, a hell of a DB coach, made the statement, ‘We’re not talking about, is this guy the third best player of this draft? Is this guy worthy of being the third pick of any draft?’ So that is the conversation that we are having. When we set the board and have our conversations, is that guy worthy of being the second pick in the draft? Can we picture him some day putting on a gold jacket?”
  • On if any quarterback taken with the #2 pick has to compare with with quarterbacks in other drafts: “You have to. It’s like when teams reach. (They say), ‘We need a defensive tackle.’ And they reach for a guy, and maybe he’s a really good two-down player, really good run player, and they’re hoping he’ll develop into a pass rusher. No, you can’t do that. You think about quarterbacks, the area code we’re picking in, does he make everybody else better? Is he the guy? Can he do what Eli did? Two minutes left in the Super Bowl and he takes that team down the field – boop. You’ve got to be able to picture that.”
  • On Penn State RB Saquon Barkley:  “It’s unusual, I’m telling you. He can string together moves and get in and out of stuff. It’s funny, I (evaluated) him right before I came down. He’s unique. No doubt about it. He’s big, he’s powerful, he can step on the gas, he’s got different levels of speed and he catches the heck out of the ball, and he sees the blitz pick-up stuff.”
  • On if the Giants are rebuilding: “It’s about winning. Someone told one of the reporters that I’m going to tear down. Let’s spend $62.5 million on Nate Solder, spending the money on Patrick Omameh, we’re not trading for Alec Ogletree if we’re in tear down, we’re not going that. It’s about we’ve evaluated the roster, we’ve developed a plan moving forward, it’s about winning now. Who wants to lose? I don’t.”

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

Michael Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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