May 112019
 
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Mike Remmers, Minnesota Vikings (December 2, 2018)

Mike Remmers – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MIKE REMMERS
According to his agent, free agent right tackle Mike Remmers has agreed to terms with the New York Giants. Remmers was cut by the Minnesota Vikings in March.

The 30-year old, 6’5”, 310-pound Remmers was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2012), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012–2013), San Diego Chargers (2013), Vikings (2013), St. Louis Rams (2014), Carolina Panthers (2014–2016), and Vikings again (2017–2018). Remmers has started 59 regular-season games in the last four seasons, missing five games in 2017 with a concussion and lower back issues. While Remmers has experience at both tackle and guard, he played much better at right tackle in 2017 than he did at right guard in 2018. Remmers had back surgery in the offseason.

NEW YORK GIANTS WAIVE RB ROBERT MARTIN
The New York Giants have waived running back Robert Martin, who spent 2018 on the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants originally signed Martin as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May 2018 rookie mini-camp as a tryout player. Martin also flashed for the team during the preseason, carrying the ball 15 times for 97 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and one touchdown.

Feb 182019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 9, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

One year ago, we were in the midst of the endless offseason debate on whether or not the Giants should draft one of the top quarterback prospects or Saquon Barkley. Many – including myself – argued that Barkley was probably a luxury who the Giants could not afford given their extremely rare opportunity to select a potential franchise quarterback at the #2 spot. “It’s a quarterback’s league. You can get a very good running back in later rounds, but not a quarterback. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to nab a stud QB without trading up.” And so on.

From the start, Dave Gettleman did not hide his love affair for Barkley. There was no smoke. Some will say Gettleman made the safe pick in selecting Barkley, but I would argue that since most pundits and fans felt the Giants should have selected Sam Darnold, Gettleman was actually sticking his neck out as most would have understood taking the QB.

The Barkley vs. Darnold debate won’t be settled for some time. But the early returns are that Gettleman made the right call. With the full understanding that I will be accused of immense hyperbole, Saquon Barkley is the best young running back I’ve watched in my lifetime. At 51, I’m too “young” to have seen Gayle Sayers, Jim Brown, and O.J. Simpson. I saw Walter Payton in the latter stages of his career, not his prime. But I did witness the entire careers of Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson, Eric Dickerson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Adrian Peterson, and others. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t take any of them over Barkley, who combines better size/power base with Sanders-like moves, Jackson-like speed, Faulk’s hands, and without Dickerson’s fumbling.

Barkley has it all. He’s a big back who runs like scatback. He can run with power, make you miss, and run away from you. He doesn’t fumble. He catches the football like a wide receiver. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the football. His head is screwed on right. And in the “look at me” era, he just hands the football to the official after he breaks off a 50-yard touchdown. I can’t even imagine how dreadful and unwatchable the 2018 New York Giants would have been without him on the football team. The 22-year old Barkley is already the face of the franchise. Pray he stays healthy and has a long career because this guy truly is a generational talent. The last time the Giants selected a player with the #2 pick was Lawrence Taylor. Barkley has a chance to be viewed in that light.

On a bad team, behind a bad offensive line and blocking tight ends, Barkley accrued over 2,000 combined yards and 15 touchdowns. This also despite averaging 16.3 carries and 5.7 receptions per game. Let me emphasize that again, Barkley only touched the ball 22 times per game. In only three games did he have more than 20 rushing attempts. Yet he had over 2,000 combined yards! Amazing. Indeed, one could make a strong argument that Barkley was underutilized, particularly during the first half of the season.

Given those numbers, one would normally expect that the Giants’ reserve running backs would have seen a lot of action. First of all, surprisingly, the Giants only had one back-up halfback on the roster in Wayne Gallman. Secondly, Gallman was only on the field 15 percent of the time (as compared to Barkley’s 83 percent of all offensive snaps). Gallman only had 51 carries and 14 receptions all year. That’s an average of only four touches per game.

The only other back of note is fullback Elijhaa Penny, who primarily served as a blocker on 12 percent of all offensive snaps. He touched the ball only 15 times all year.

In summary, Barkley was THE reason fans watched the New York Giants in 2018. And he clearly is one of the very best players in the entire league.

THE MAN

Despite pressure to draft a quarterback, the Giants felt strongly that Saquon Barkley was the best player in the 2018 NFL Draft, selecting him with the #2 overall pick. Barkley did not disappoint, becoming only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage and breaking a number of franchise records. He also was voted to the Pro Bowl and named “Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year”, “FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year”, “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year”, and “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.” Barkley started all 16 games, rushing 261 times for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. The latter figure is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 merger. All of this despite playing behind a subpar offensive line. Barkley is a complete three-down back who can make an impact running and catching the football. He has an outstanding combination of size, quickness, and speed. A home-run threat every time he touches the football, Barkley has great vision, instincts, and balance. He makes defenders miss and can accelerate to full speed in a heartbeat. Barkley is big enough to run through and athletic enough to leap over tackle attempts. Barkley is a very good pass receiver who can hurt a defense down the field in the passing game. Outstanding kick returner. He did not fumble the ball in 2018. His biggest negative is that he will sometimes try to do too much and dance around instead of taking what the defense gives him. Excellent intangibles. Team leader with a good work ethic.

THE BACK-UP

Despite being the only other true halfback on the roster for the bulk of the season, Wayne Gallman only carried the football 51 times for 176 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Gallman was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Giants. As a rookie, Gallman played in 13 games with one start and carried the football 111 times for 476 yards (4.3 yards per carry). Gallman also caught 34 passes for 193 yards in 2017 and 14 passes for 89 yards in 2018. Gallman is a well-rounded cutback runner with good vision, elusiveness, strength, and speed. He has good hands as a receiver, but he needs to improve his ball security (a combined five fumbles in 2017 and 2018).

THE FULLBACK

The Giants signed Elijhaa Penny off of the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in September 2018. He ended up playing in 14 games for the Giants, with three starts, carrying the ball seven times for 25 yards and catching eight passes for 50 yards. The 6’2”, 234-pound Penny was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. Penny spent his rookie season on the Cardinals’ Practice Squad. He was active all 16 regular-season games in 2017 with no starts and finished the season with 31 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Though Penny lacks classic fullback size, he is a well-rounded player who can block, run, and catch the football.

THE MISTAKE

The Giants placed Jonathan Stewart on Injured Reserve in September 2018 with a foot injury. The 5’10”, 240-pound 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. The Giants signed Stewart in March 2018 after he was cut by the Panthers. He rushed for just 17 yards on six carries for the Giants. Injury prone, Stewart has not played a full season since 2011.

PRACTICALLY FORGOTTEN

The Giants signed Robert Martin to the Practice Squad in September 2018. The Giants originally signed the 5’11, 210-pound Martin as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May 2018 rookie mini-camp as a tryout player. Martin also flashed for the team during the preseason, carrying the ball 15 times for 97 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and one touchdown.

Paul Perkins was waived with a non-football injury in May 2018 and placed on Injured Reserve with a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered before the offseason program began. After a respectable rookie season, Perkins had a very disappointing sophomore season in 2017. Perkins saw both his playing time and productivity markedly decline. In 2016, Perkins played in 14 regular-season games with one start. He also started the playoff game. Perkins finished the 2016 regular season with 112 carries for 456 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and 15 catches for 162 yards (10.8 yards per catch). In 2017, Perkins started the first four games, but then suffered a rib injury and lost his starting job to Orleans Darkwa. He played in 11 games and finished the year with 41 carries for 90 yards (2.2 yards per carry). He also caught eight passes for 46 yards. Perkins was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Perkins has good vision, quick feet, and cutting ability. He is a tough runner, but his lack of size, strength, and power limits his game. He catches the ball well.

Jan 022019
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the state of his team after completing a 5-11 season (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: Happy New Year! It’s good to see everybody. I hope Santa made a visit, or you had some good potato latkes. It’s good to see everybody. I just wanted to open with a couple thoughts to get us going.

We’re headed in the right direction, I really believe that. We’ve had a year, we’ve done a lot of different types of things. Obviously we’ve done a pretty extensive overhaul with the roster. We consistently talked about culture and building a winning culture. Again, it’s a team that had to learn how to win again. So I feel really good about the foundation that we’ve started to lay. I’m not happy with 5-11, nobody is, but I feel good about where we’re headed. There’s eight franchises right now looking for head coaches and the common theme coming out of them was they needed to get in the right direction. Well, I feel very strongly and very good about it – and it’s easy for me to say it to you people that we are headed in the right direction.

As far as the team’s concerned, I’ve told you guys this and I mean it: there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t ask myself the question, have me and the personnel people given Pat (Shurmur) and the coaches enough players to win with? I ask that question of myself all the time because roster building is a 12-month deal. The season doesn’t begin, ‘this is the 53 and this is the 10 guys on the practice squad, and away we go.’ You have to constantly evaluate what you’re doing, so like I said, roster building is a 12-month season and I’m very conscious of that. Like I said, we had a significant overhaul this year. By the end. I think we had on the varsity, we had like 13 guys that had an NY on their lid last year. That’s it. That’s a pretty extensive overhaul. Not every move’s going to work out, oh by the way, as we’ve seen. The other part of it is, I believe in that definition of insanity – keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. It’s true, so you’ve also seen that we make a decision and if it’s not working, we will make a change. Again, we still have roster work to do, I’m not going to deny that for a moment.

Then the last thing I want to talk about before I take your questions, just to get it out there just so you guys understand, (QB) Eli (Manning) and I had a very extensive conversation on Monday. No holds barred, he took me in the low post and won, but the bottom line is it was a very honest and up front conversation. I’ll keep what was said private between he and I, but in terms of any question you’re going to ask me today, just so you understand – we will do what is in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. That’s the way we’ve operated since I walked in the door, and that’s the way we will continue to operate. What we’re trying to do here is build sustained success and that takes some brutal honesty and it takes some tough decisions. Then finally, just as a quick reminder, don’t ask me about contracts, don’t ask me about negotiations, don’t ask about any of that stuff because I’m just not going to respond. Ok? Alright, let the games begin.

Q: How do you evaluate the quarterback position when you look at a 1-7 start to the season and then four wins over the second half of the year, three of which were against backup quarterbacks? Eli seemed to play better, but the pressure was essentially off at that point after the 1-7. So how do you weigh those?

A: First of all, I don’t want to hear about ‘backup quarterbacks’, ‘we played backup quarterbacks’. We went 4-4 in the second half. Here’s what I would say to you, when you’re bringing in and installing a new offense, you’re looking at four to six weeks before everybody’s really on the same page, and it’s really the outlier, it’s six. It’s going to be the outside of six. We were having O-line issues, weren’t we in that first half? We made changes and I think that’s part of it, that you’ve got a comfort factor in terms of you’re on the same page, the offense is on the same page, and you’ve also got a comfort factor in that the O-line, putting Chad (Wheeler) out there, claiming Jamon (Brown). Jamon came in out of the bye, that’s when we got him. So doing those kinds of things, that settled everything down, the combination of those two, and I think that’s the reason that the offense started to click. I almost fell down when they told me we scored more points than anybody else in the division, which kind of blew my mind. They swore to us, so I hope I’m not lying to you. The distance that the offense came from Week 1 to Week 16, you think of the points – the backup quarterback that we played against, for example, (vs. Chicago), he didn’t play defense, and the other backup, Washington – those guys weren’t on the defense, they were on the offense, so you’re asking me an offensive question. At the end of the day, between the fact that they were able to get comfortable with each other and we settled the offensive line down, we scored points. I saw a graphic, I think we averaged 27-28 points a game the last half of the year, something like that.

Q: Are you committed to having Eli back next year?

A: Here’s what I’m committed to do. I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants. That’s what I’m committed to do. We’re in the evaluation process. I know that you guys want answers now, but very frankly, I didn’t come in yesterday. I’ve got to do what I do, which is get in my office and watch film. We’re going to meet this week with the coaches and get their evaluation. We’ll meet next week with pro personnel and get their evaluations and get their feelings on everything. That’s our schedule, and I will be watching film for the next who knows how long until my eyes bleed. That’s what I do. So, my commitment is to make this team the best team it can be and if that happens to have Eli playing quarterback, it does.

Q: Why do you feel good about the foundation? Why do you feel good about this team?

A: I’ll tell you this, and I know that I’ve said this before when we had our little fireside chats during the season and you guys looked at me like I was a little off, I feel good because, number one, winning in the NFL is not easy. It’s hard. Winning a game in the NFL is hard. If anybody tells you any different, they’ve never played, they don’t know the game. It’s very difficult. To go 1-7 for the first half of the year and to lose a number of close games, I think we tied for the league lead with 12 games decided by a touchdown or less, and it would’ve been 13 if the Saints didn’t score that late touchdown. To lose games like that, be 1-7 and to have the types of practices we were having where there was focus, there was energy, things were getting accomplished and the proof was in the pudding by what we did in the last eight games. That’s what encourages me, that’s why I think the foundation is right. You didn’t have any of the crap going on in the locker room that happened last year. There is nobody in this room that can argue with me on one point: this team did not quit. It was competitive as hell. That’s the start.

Q: You said you almost fell down when somebody told you that you led the division in points. Did you almost fall down when someone told you that you gave up the most points, too?

A: No.

Q: That was evident to you?

A: Well, that’s why you’re 5-11.

Q: Is that the main reason you think you’re 5-11?

A: We’ve got to continue to improve. It’s not easy to win games when you don’t have playmakers. We need to improve the defense, guys. Just like I looked you right in the eye last year and told you we’ve got to fix this O-line, we’ve got to get better on the defensive side.

Q: You inherited two big contracts with Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins. How would you evaluate those two, the way they played this year and moving forward?

A: I haven’t. This is what I’m going to do the next two weeks. My personal feeling is the biggest mistakes are made when you’re emotional. When the season ends, you’re emotional and you’re mentally cooked. So until I start watching the film, which is going to start today, I really can’t answer that question. It’s not fair.

Q: When you look at the moves you made last offseason, do you think you misjudged how close this team was to being competitive?

A: I didn’t misjudge it at all. That’s been asked before and I’ve thought about that. I had no illusions of what we were. None. You tell me why you think I misjudged it.

Q: If you know you’re going to be in a rebuilding process, you bring back Eli, you don’t draft a quarterback, you trade, give up a draft pick for (LB Alec) Ogletree, you bring in older veteran free agents, those types of things.

A: You’ve got to start somewhere. But by the end of the year, we had one of the youngest teams in the league. Listen, nobody likes losing. Nobody. Anybody in here like losing, you want to raise your hands? Nobody likes to lose. So what you have to do when you come in is you evaluate what you have and you say to yourself, remember, I’ve told you guys – I’m on that tight rope, and me in a tutu on a tightrope ain’t pretty. It’s the tight rope of you want to win now, you want to get those wins now because you’ve got a coaching staff whose fannies are on the line every Sunday, and you want to set the team up, the franchise up, for sustained success. We sat back, we made the decisions we made last year, and here we are. There’s some good stuff and there’s some stuff we’ve got to fix.

Q: You talk about not wanting to make judgments about players without looking at film. Last year at this time, though, you were very committed to Eli Manning. You said what you saw late in the season wasn’t a mirage. I’m just curious, is there a chance there will be a another starting quarterback next season for the Giants?

A: Listen, there’s a chance you and I are going to get hit by a bus. We’re going to do what’s in the best interest, we’re going to look at film, we’re going to evaluate everything. Everything’s on the table for us. Everything is on the table for us. Okay?

Q: When you look back at the evaluation process that led you to Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Omameh, do you have to do some self-scouting and go into this offseason differently?

A: We’ll go into this season because we have different issues. One of the biggest issues we had last year that we had to fix was what? The locker room. And both Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Omameh are true professionals, and they were brought here for a specific purpose, they were brought here for other reasons than their play. Just understand that. We feel like we’ve turned that corner, especially with this rookie class. (RB) Saquon (Barkley) is unique. I stood up here and you watched me drool all over myself in the pre-draft. It was ugly, wasn’t it? Things happen. I should’ve worn a bib from Joe’s Stone Crab. My point is, he’s unique and he’s special. So is (G) Will Hernandez, and (DL) B.J. (Hill), and (LB) Lorenzo (Carter), and (DL) RJ (McIntosh) is still growing up physically, (QB) Kyle (Lauletta) is in a different spot because of the quarterback position. But this is all part of the process. We’ll continue to vet guys out, we’re only going to bring quality people in here that hate to lose. That will stay the same. Obviously, we’re different than we were 12 months ago, we’re in a different place, so we’ll approach things somewhat differently.

Q: Last year when you evaluated Eli Manning, you hadn’t seen him play throughout the season, so you had to rely on the film. You’ve seen him take every snap this season, you see him in practices. Why do you need to go back to the film to form an opinion on what you just saw over the last four or five months?

A: I always want to be right. You always want to have your hole card and that’s me, that’s just my nature. I’m a film junkie, and there are things that I remember that happened that, oh, my gosh – that’s me. Understand this, and I think I’ve said this to you guys before: I am very intentional about how I operate. Very intentional. Methodical. Some people call me an Alta cocker (old man), whatever you want to say, but that’s just the way I am. I’ve been that way my whole career in the NFL. Very methodical about film watching and thinking about things in making decisions. I’m very intentional, that’s why I say yes, I watched every snap, but I want to watch the film and I want to have time to breathe.

Q: When you go back and you do this evaluation, obviously you’ve got guys like Eli Manning who have been playing 15 years, you’ve got some other guys who have been playing a couple years. When you do your evaluation and base it on everything, are you looking ahead or are you looking back at the entire body of work in terms of what they’ve done in the past, injury history and all that stuff?

A: Obviously, it’s different. When you’re looking at older players, you’re looking early, middle and late, did they fade? When you’re looking at younger guys, you’re looking for early, middle and late, did they improve? That’s what you’re looking for. It is a little different, I remember – I’m really going to date myself – back in 2000 when we brought in those three offensive lineman, Lomas Brown, Glenn Parker and Dusty (Ziegler). The big question for me on Lomas was what was he playing like in December because Lomas was long and lean. He wasn’t a power player, he was an athletic tackle, so I wanted to see is Lomas the same player in December that he was in September? When you’ve got older guys, you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to see if they fade or not. That’s why I will look and look and look and look until I have the puffs of white smoke coming out of my ears or my head or whatever.

Q: Pat Shurmur to us has been very supportive of Eli, saying he thinks he’s got years left, leadership, experience, makes the throws, all that stuff and pointed out that the last eight games, this offense scored a lot of points with Eli. How much will you take that into your evaluation of Eli that the head coach seemingly wants this guy back?

A: It’s part of it. This is not a dictatorship. I really am a big believer in collaboration. I’m not a dictator, I’m not. These are conversations that you’re going to have with Pat, that’s why I say we’re going to hear the coaches and what they have to say, we’re going to talk to the pro guys and what do they have to say, and then I’ll get my work done and we’ll get together and formulate a plan. Obviously it’s part of it. Pat’s had a lot of success with quarterbacks, so I’m certainly going to listen.

Q: When you and Eli had that conversation Monday, did the two of you come to conclusions, or did you leave it as the fluid situation that you’re portraying it to us?

A: We left it at that. We had a great conversation. He’s a mensch (a person of integrity and honor).

Q: I know you want to watch the film, but you when you watch this team every Sunday, what is your evaluation of your offense with and without Odell? What difference is that?

A: He didn’t play the last four games, right? Listen, the bottom line is you want him on the field. I have this crazy idea that he’s a great player, so let’s get him on the field. Unfortunately, he got the leg whip and those calves (quads) can be funny things, they really can. The offense did what it did with him and it did what it did without him.

Q: You guys obviously made a huge financial commitment to Odell Beckham just a few months ago. Are you committed to him being here in 2019 or are you open to trade ideas or anything as well?

A: We didn’t sign him to trade him, if that’s what you’re asking me.

Q: So he’ll be here?

A: You heard what I said.

Q: A year ago, you stood there and left very little doubt that you were committed to Eli. You were very strong about that, Pat was (too) a couple weeks later at his press conference. Today you’re saying you’re going to do what’s in the best interest of the Giants. Does that indicate a change in your feeling and commitment to Eli?

A: No, it isn’t. It’s funny, last year that was the question. That was the question, but if you think about it, the guy was running for his life last year. This year, we calmed it down. Once we got rolling, once everybody got comfortable with the offense, if you’re going to look at stats, it wasn’t too shabby what (Eli) did. Obviously, we want to win more games, and we’ve got to continue to improve the roster.

Q: How did he look to you in December?

A: In December? We scored 36, we scored 35, 27, scored 40. How does that look? He still can make the NFL throws. You know what I’m saying? He’s still got it.

Q: What would be the ideal scenario at quarterback going into next season? Would it be Eli and a first-round pick? Eli and you bring in another young player? Eli and a veteran free agent or just turning the page?

A: I can’t answer that question because I don’t know what the field is right now. I don’t know what the field is.

Q: How important is it for you to address the quarterback of the future of this team this offseason? Is that a priority?

A: Let me tell you something: if you make something a priority, you will make a mistake. It’s got to be within the flow of what you’re doing. You can’t force it, especially at quarterback. That’s why the guys in Carolina looked at me like I was out of my mind, you guys looked at me (like I was out of my mind). You get in the draft, you’re taking the best player — you’re not taking, ‘ I need a ___, so I’m taking a ___’. No. You do that, you’re going to make a mistake, you’re going to screw it up.

Q: The Giants have had one winning season in their last six. What is your message to Giants fans right now?

A: The message is what I’ve said to you before: we’re going in the right direction, we had a lot of competitive games and we’re getting better, and we’re going to continue to fix this.

Q: What is Kyle’s (Lauletta) future here? Are you still as high on him as you were (when you drafted him)?

A: We drafted him in the fourth round, he did some nice things in training camp. He did something silly in Hoboken or Fort Lee or wherever the hell it was (Weehawken). He’s developing, he’s like anybody else. I’m going to be a little bit of a jerk here maybe to some of you, how many of you guys wrote Pulitzer winning articles your first year as reporters? You understand what I’m saying? He’s a kid. I’m a kid, you’re kids, we make mistakes. None of us are perfect. Hopefully we learn, so to answer your question, Kyle’s a work in progress, just like me.

Q: When you traded Snacks (Damon Harrison), I believe one of the reasons you said was so the young guys could get some valuable playing time. How would assess what they did with that?

A: When we traded Snacks, part of the issue when Snacks was here was he played the one, we had Dalvin (Tomlinson) playing the three, and B.J. (Hill) playing the five techniques. Well, Dalvin’s a one technique and B.J.’s a three, so I’m very pleased with the change, to answer your question. B.J. came a long way. Pass rush is critical, as I’ve stated it a million times as we all know. B.J. had, I think, five and a half sacks, so he made some progress inside. Dalvin did what he does at the one, so for us, it worked out and those young guys are getting snaps. That’s the only way they’re going to get better. There’s a theory out there that young guys, once they get to 5,000 snaps, that’s when they’re really ready to rock and roll and that includes practice and game snaps and all that. I don’t know if I subscribe to it, but I’m just throwing it out there.

Q: On the decision to keep Eli Manning: Will that decision, though, involve money? Can he have the talent to play here, but if he makes too much money, he can’t be here?

A: I’m not going to go down that road with you. Obviously part of the salary cap is, players are not in vacuums when it comes to that salary cap. Nobody’s in a vacuum. You don’t say, okay, I’m going to sign this guy, I’ve got to sign this guy – no, wait a minute, you’ve got to look at your cap situation. But I’m not going to go there. Not going there.

Q: Eli’s father (Archie Manning) told ESPN that if Eli wants to come back that you guys need to win, that he can’t go through another season like this. Can you guarantee to Eli that you will have a winning team for him to want to continue to play here?

A: Really and truly, can anybody guarantee anything like that? Really? All you Yankee fans thought you were going to win 162 games this year (laughter). I knew better. All kidding aside, you can’t guarantee that. There’s no way. I wouldn’t guarantee that to anybody.

Q: Do you understand his point?

A: No, because Archie didn’t tell me.

Q: How do you respond to the ongoing idea that you should’ve taken a quarterback, regardless of how great Saquon was his rookie season?

A: I respond to it by saying, again, you’ve got to take the best player available. If you start reaching, you’re going to get into trouble. I’ll say it again: us taking Saquon was not a referendum on the quarterbacks, it was a referendum on Saquon – on the player he is, and on the person he is. If I was in that situation 100 times, I’d draft him 100 times.

Q: You have (Nate) Solder, you have (Will) Hernandez. Do you feel like the other three guys could be your starting line next year? Is it a big emphasis this offseason?

A: Here’s what I would say – first of all, don’t forget (C Jon Halapio) Pio, don’t forget Jon. He went down, unfortunately, in the second game. He was playing the best of anybody. So, don’t forget about Pio. I am always going to keep working on those lines, on those groups. You cannot have enough hog mollies, you can’t, because people get hurt. You can’t have enough. People looked at me in ’13, we took a defensive tackle in the first round, a defensive tackle in the second round, and I had people say, and maybe they’re right, ‘Gettleman has no idea what he’s doing’. I’m always going to do that.

Q: Why is this offseason different from year one for you? What is different about this process?

A: I think what’s different is we’ve got a better understanding of what Pat and his coaching staff are looking for, because you’re looking for scheme fits. Last year was not easy, because we’re moving to that 3-4 look – that type of 3-4 that Jimmy (Bettcher) wants to play. There’s different style players on it, and you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. That’s part of it. We have a better understanding of what the coaches are looking for and it makes it big. When I went to Carolina, it was a 4-3. We had played a 4-3 year after year. So for me, it wasn’t a big deal. The offense was not a big deal. It’s really the defense that’s different.

Q: So it is fair to say the challenges last year were on the defensive side of the ball?

A: Exactly, and you can only trade out so many guys. When you blow the whistle, 11 guys got to go out there — at least you want 11 out there.

Q: Did you see anything to make you waver, in your mind, that Pat Shurmur is the right guy for this moving forward?

A: Not at all. If anything, it reinforced my feeling about him a year ago when we went through the interview process. It was the steadiness, it was the message. We’re 1-7 and we have two practices during the bye week, I just was kind of amazed. Again, you guys may gloss it over, but I don’t know that you can really appreciate it. You’re (the media) there, and then you’re gone. You watch them stretch – what are you guys there, 15 minutes? Then you’re gone. To stand there for the next hour and 40 minutes, I wish you could’ve seen it. Just the way Pat and the coaches kept everyone on task, going in the right direction, understanding that, to a certain degree, maybe we were the little engine that could. We kept pushing that thing up the hill. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the right guy.

Q: Why did you feel the need to have a straight-forward conversation with Eli?

A: I have this crazy idea that I’m always going to be honest and straight-forward, and sometimes that gets me in trouble, but we won’t go there. Eli came in and he wanted to talk. I just have this crazy idea that if a guy asks me questions, I’m going to be honest with him. It wasn’t like he was called to the principal’s office. He came to see me.

Q: Why did you call him a “mensch?”

A: Because he is – the way he carries himself, who he is as a person, the way he respects the game. You know men in your life who are not mensches. You know what a mensch is. There’s no deviousness, there’s no duplicitousness, none of that stuff. He’s a mensch. Someday, I hope to be a mensch.

Q: Do you look at this as a rebuild? Is it a multi-year process you’re in to get back to being a Super Bowl contender?

A: I just hate the word rebuild. You just keep going, you just keep building. It’s really what we’re doing here. We’re doing our best to accumulate the talent that fits our schemes, and that understands how to play the game, and hates to flippin’ lose. That’s what it’s really all about, and we’re going to continue to do this and get it right. We’re going to fix it.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have officially signed the following players to reserve/futures contracts:

  • RB Robert Martin*
  • WR Brittan Golden
  • OT Jylan Ware*
  • OT Victor Salako*
  • DE Jake Ceresna
  • DE Myles Humphrey*
  • LB Jonathan Anderson
  • CB Ronald Zamort*
  • LS Taybor Pepper

*Martin, Ware, Salako, Humphrey, and Zamort were on the team’s Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Martin to the Practice Squad in September 2018. The Giants originally signed the 5’11”, 207-pound Martin as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May 2018 rookie mini-camp as a tryout player. Martin also flashed for the team during the preseason.

The 30-year old, 5’11, 186-pound Golden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chicago Bears after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2012 and 2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2012), and Arizona Cardinals (2013-2017). Golden played in 44 regular-season games with the Cardinals with one start. He has 18 career receptions for 293 yards and one touchdown. Golden also has experience returning kickoffs and punts.

The Giants signed Ware to the Practice Squad in October 2018. The 6’7”, 317-pound Ware was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders waived him before the 2018 regular season started. He has played in one regular-season game with no starts.

The Giants claimed Salako off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns in August 2018 and then signed him to the Practice Squad in September. The 6’5”, 316-pound Salako was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Practice Squads of both the Eagles and Browns in 2017.

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 Giants signed Humphrey to the Practice Squad in October 2018. The 6’3”, 238-pound Humphrey originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent most of September on the Ravens’ Practice Squad.

The 27-year old, 6’1”, 237-pound Anderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chicago Bears after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bears (2015-2017) and Arizona Cardinals (2018). Anderson played in 31 regular-season games with the Bears with three starts. He has 53 career tackles.

The Giants signed Zamort to the Practice Squad in October 2018. The 5’10”, 174-pound Zamort originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has not played in a regular-season game.

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.

Sep 072018
 
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Olivier Vernon, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Olivier Vernon – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – OLIVIER VERNON RULED OUT…
Not practicing on Friday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain) and linebacker Tae Davis (hamstring). Both players have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“It’s safe to say (Vernon) won’t make it this week,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll just worry about it week to week. He’s making great progress, so we’ll just have to see…We’re going to play with the guys that are healthy and we’ll see. Obviously you’d like to have OV on the field.”

Linebacker Lorenzo Carter (illness) fully practiced and is expected to play on Sunday.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed running back Robert Martin to the Practice Squad, two days after he was waived from the 53-man roster. To make room for Martin, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of defensive lineman Josh Banks.

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…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at home.

Sep 052018
 
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Evan Engram, New York Giants (July 26, 2018)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain) and linebacker Tae Davis (hamstring).

“(Vernon is) making great progress,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur before practice. “From what I’ve seen, he seems to be a fast healer, but he’s working his way back. I don’t think he will be out there today. He’s doing a good job of trying to get back. Certainly when we don’t have OV in there, we’ve got to compensate and maybe two or three guys have to do what he does.”

Tight end Evan Engram (concussion) and linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) practiced.

“Evan took the red jersey off,” said Shurmur. “He’s officially out of the (concussion) protocol.”

GIANTS SIGN NATE STUPAR, WAIVE ROBERT MARTIN…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker Nate Stupar, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Monday. The 30-year old, 6’2”, 240-pound Stupar was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Stupar has spent time with the Raiders (2012), Philadelphia Eagles (2012), San Francisco 49ers (2012–2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014–2015), and Saints (2016–2017). He has played in 63 regular-season games with nine starts, six of which came in 2016 when he accrued 58 tackles. Stupar missed 11 games in 2017 with a torn ACL. Stupar is a solid reserve linebacker who excels on special teams.

To make room for Stupar, the Giants have waived running back Robert Martin, who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after he impressed at the May 2018 rookie mini-camp as a tryout player.

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:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team’s coordinators will address the press on Thursday.

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

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

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

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

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

ARTICLES…

Aug 032018
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 3, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eighth full-team summer training camp practice on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

“Another morning practice, and tomorrow what we’re going to do is we’re going to go back to the afternoon and then we’re going to have a little barbeque after that for the families,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur after practice. “But, good work. You’ll notice I took the pads off them. Four days in a row here, I thought we banged really well the last two days, very physical, went back today to a lot of individual, a lot of isolated drill work, some ball security, ball disruption stuff, stuff you work on all the time but we put a little bit more of an emphasis on it. Then we got some good team work, especially stuff we did in the red zone. So, productive day, I thought it was very competitive, thought there was good energy, and now we’ll keep moving on.”

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN LEONARD JOHNSON…
The New York Giants have signed cornerback Leonard Johnson. The 28-year old, 5’10”, 194-pound Johnson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Buccaneers (2012-2015), New England Patriots (2015), Carolina Panthers (2016), and Buffalo Bills (2017). In six NFL seasons, Johnson has played in 77 regular-season games with 27 starts, including seven starts with the Bills in 2017, when he was the team’s slot corner. Johnson has five career interceptions, but the last came in 2014.

To make room for Johnson, the Giants waived cornerback Kenneth Durden again. The Giants signed Durden in June 2018, cut him, and re-signed him in July 2018. The 6’1”, 180-pound Durden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Raiders’ Practice Squad before being cut in September 2017. The Tennessee Titans then signed him to their Practice Squad and cut him in October 2017.

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

Cornerback William Gay (hamstring?) left practice early with his thigh wrapped.

Cornerback Teddy Williams was excused from practice due to personal reasons.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Giants were in helmets and shells today with no tackling.
  • Tight end Evan Engram appeared to beat cornerback William Gay deep down the field, but Gay was able to recover and knock the pass away.
  • Running back Jonathan Stewart picked up a blitzing cornerback Janoris Jenkins, but quarterback Eli Manning was still chased down by linebacker Olivier Vernon for a “sack.”
  • John Jerry was back at second-team right guard with Victor Salako now the third-team right tackle.
  • For the second day in a row, cornerback C.W. Webb, who has been taking some first-team snaps at slot corner, picked off quarterback Davis Webb. Later, Webb was picked off again, this time by linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong.
  • Brett Jones practiced with the first team at center and John Greco with the second team at center. Jon Halapio was back as the first-team center by the end of practice.
  • Safety Orion Stewart picked off quarterback Alex Tanney near the goal line on a deep pass intended for wide receiver Alonzo Russell.
  • Cornerback William Gay, who has been playing nickel corner and some safety, did a nice job of covering tight end Evan Engram in the end zone.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple broke up a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning intended for wideout Sterling Shepard.
  • Giants continue to split running back Saquon Barkley out wide as a receiving target with good success. He beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown on a slant route.
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown on a pass from a scrambling quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Running back Rob Martin flashed some explosiveness on a run up the middle. He also made a one-handed catch on a screen pass.
  • Wide receiver Jawill Davis made a sliding catch in the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Linebacker Connor Barwin continues to give second-string tackles Nick Becton and Chad Wheeler fits.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 3-of-4 on field goal attempts.

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

Jun 202018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (May 11, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © 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: Running Backs

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: The New York Giants have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw’s final season with the team in 2012. The Giants’ leading rushers since that time have been Andre Brown, Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings (twice), and Orleans Darkwa. More telling are the overall team rushing stats with the Giants finishing 29th, 23rd, 18th, 29th, and 26th in the NFL from 2013 to 2017. Last season was a continuation of this mediocrity with the Giants averaging 96.8 yards per game and scoring only six rushing touchdowns. There were four games where the Giants didn’t even rush for 50 yards and nine games where the team didn’t reach 100 yards rushing. The overall numbers are a bit inflated too by the meaningless season-finale against the Washington Redskins where the Giants rushed for 260 yards.

The Giants’ top four rushers in 2017 were Orleans Darkwa (751 yards, 5 touchdowns), Wayne Gallman (476 yards), Shane Vereen (164 yards), and Paul Perkins (90 yards). The Giants’ sixth rushing touchdown came from Eli Manning. The receiving yards for the backs were from Vereen (253 yards), Gallman (193 yards, 1 touchdown), Darkwa (116 yards), and Perkins (46 yards). Darkwa and Gallman actually were respectable, averaging 4.4 and 4.3 yards per carry respectively. But on a team that finished 21st in overall offensive yardage, 26th in rushing yardage, and 31st in scoring, nothing on offense ever felt like a “strength,” including the running attack.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants decided not to re-sign Orleans Darkwa (who had a plate removed from his leg in May) and Shane Vereen (who also still remains unemployed). Paul Perkins tore his pectoral muscle in the offseason, was waived/injured, and placed on Injured Reserve. Thus the only returning halfback appears to be Wayne Gallman unless the Giants are keeping an eye on Darkwa’s health status.

The Giants signed street free Jalen Williams in January, veteran free agent Jonathan Stewart in March after his was cut by the Panthers, and rookie free agent Robert Martin in May. But the biggest offseason move the team made was drafting Saquon Barkley with the #2 pick in the entire 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants have only drafted two running backs in their entire history this high: Tucker Frederickson #1 overall in 1965 and Skippy Minisi with the #2 pick in 1948.

Shane Smith is the only returning fullback, though tight end Rhett Ellison can play the position in a pinch. The Giants also added a couple of H-Back types who can play fullback in ex-Viking Kyle Carter and rookie free agent Garrett Dickerson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: With General Manager Dave Gettleman throwing around phrases like “gold jacket” and “touched by the hand of God,” needless to say, the expectation level for Barkley has been set incredibly (perhaps unrealistically) high. And while the Giants have had some very good running backs in their history, including Frank Gifford, Tiki Barber, Tuffy Leemans, Rodney Hampton, Joe Morris, Brandon Jacobs, and Ahmad Bradshaw, given the team’s flagship franchise status, one would have to say that the list of top-notch running backs in team history is relatively short and a bit underwhelming. A Giants’ running back has only led the NFL in rushing four times, and that came in 1936, 1943, 1944, and 1951.

For the Giants to draft a running back with the #2 pick, and in the process pass over a number of potential “franchise” quarterbacks, Barkley needs to be damn good. No strike that. He needs to be great. It would be a disappointment if Barkley does not immediately become one of the NFL’s best backs and eventually challenge Tiki Barber’s 10,499 career rushing yards and Barber’s 5,183 career receiving yards.

The first step in doing that is staying healthy. Running backs get hit more than any other player in the NFL. Barkley is built like a tank, but in order to do the things he needs to do, he must stay on the field. Step two is keeping his head on straight and not letting the immense pressure get to him. That’s easier said than done. All eyes will be on Barkley. Every time he touches the ball, many will expect something special. Barkley readily admits he often tried to do too much on a given play during his career at Penn State. Take what the defense gives you. The big plays will come. In the meantime, eschew the bright lights of the big city and focus on football.

The good news is this: Barkley appears to be the real deal. The early returns from the OTAs and mini-camp is he is practically uncoverable by linebackers and even some safeties. At the very least, Barkley should be a major asset in the passing game, provided he can develop a rapport with Eli Manning, a quarterback not known for his screen and swing passes. What will be interesting to see is how effective he will be running the ball. The Giants really haven’t been a top-notch running team since 2008, when the team led the NFL in rushing. Can the Giants move out of the bottom tier into the upper tier of rushing in just one year? The expectation is that Barkley will finally force teams to respect the Giants’ running game, and thus open things up for Manning, Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard in the passing game. In the last three seasons, the Giants have scored a total of 17 rushing touchdowns, or an average of less than six per season. That needs to change too.

Finally, the temptation will be to keep Barkley on the field on every play. The Giants must constantly evaluate his wear-and-tear. They want him to last more than five years in this League.

ON THE BUBBLE: The key questions here are how many halfbacks will the Giants keep? And is there a roll for a fullback in Pat Shurmur’s offense? With Barkley likely to receive the overwhelming bulk of the playing time, the Giants may decide to go light at halfback and go with Barkley, Jonathan Stewart (who they paid big money to be a mentor), and Wayne Gallman. The players clearly on the bubble include Jalen Simmons and Robert Martin. It’s anyone’s guess at this stage if Shurmur is leaning towards a roster spot for a fullback like Shane Smith or Kyle Carter.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Saquon Barkley: “He’s a special player. Special player. Guy that, any single down, is going to create a lot of matchup nightmares for coordinators in this league and players in this league.”

Linebacker Alec Ogletree on Saquon Barkley: “A guy that comes to work the right way. He’s a true professional, even at a young age. He’s always asking questions and you can just tell he loves football and loves to learn and do the right thing.”

Tight End Rhett Ellison on Saquon Barkley: “He’s a humble guy. He just comes in and he works. Anytime you have a rookie, especially a first round pick like that, and they come in just ready to work with their head down, that’s the best you can ask for. Obviously, it’s hard to tell when you’re playing in underwear to see the physicality of the game. But I’d say his work ethic and just his humility is pretty cool.”

Saquon Barkley on what it takes to be a good running back: “I think it is instinct. Actually breaking down film and watching the David Johnson’s and Le’Veon Bell’s, instinct is one thing, but also what (Jonathan Stewart) has been teaching me, it is how to set up your blocks. For me, I did it so natural in college that I didn’t even notice I was doing it. Now, understanding and seeing the play before it develops and seeing the linebacker overflowing, that is how you set up cutback lanes. A guy who does it the best is Le’Veon Bell. I was watching him this morning and how he was picking up blocks. I think you have to be versatile as a running back. Catch the ball in the backfield and be able to block. Be able to run in between tackles and outside of tackles. If you really think if the three backs, the top five backs, that is what they are able to do. They block, catch the ball in the backfield and are able to run the ball. Just the way they set up their blocks. That is what it takes to be a top back in the NFL. ”

PREDICTIONS: I can’t imagine the amount of pressure that is on the shoulders of Saquon Barkley. There are fans who didn’t want him who will mock him every time he doesn’t break off a big play. Gettleman has Hall of Fame expectations. But there is an aura about this kid. In the age of “look at me,” Barkley seems like an old-school throwback who knows he is good but is more interested in the overall success of the team. Veterans have been impressed with his humility, work ethic, intelligence, and skillset. I think there will be grumblings early from fans, especially since the NFL schedule makers have the Giants opening with the very tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense. But I look for Saquon to get better and better as the season progresses, with his earliest impact coming in the passing game as the new offensive line will take some time to build cohesion.

Overall, it’s extremely difficult to see an offense with Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley not being explosive. As long as Eli Manning has some gas left in the tank and the offensive line can become somewhat respectable, then this should be a very fun offense to watch.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Stewart, and Wayne Gallman at halfback. Given the fact that the Giants keep adding H-Back types, I think it is safe to say they may keep one as a fullback candidate. I have no idea who that will be however.

May 142018
 
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Adam Bisnowaty, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Adam Bisnowaty – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants made 12 roster moves on Monday, signing six mini-camp tryout players and waiving six players. The Giants signed running back Robert Martin, wide receiver Alonzo Russell, offensive guard Chris Scott, offensive guard Malcolm Bunche, cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, and cornerback Mike Jones.

The Giants have also waived tight end Stephen Baggett, offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty, linebacker Derrick Mathews, cornerback C.J. Goodwin, cornerback Brandon Dixon, and cornerback Bryon Fields.

The 6’3”, 206-pound Russell was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Bengals’ Practice Squad. The Bengals waived him in September 2017 and he was signed to the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in November 2017. He has not played in a regular-season game.

The 6’4”, 340-pound Scott was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The well-traveled Scott has spent time with the Steelers (2010−2011), Green Bay Packers (2012), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012), Tennessee Titans (2012), Buffalo Bills (2012), and Carolina Panthers (2013−2016). Scott has played in 45 regular-season games with 12 starts.

The 6’5”, 320-pound Bunche was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2015 NFL Draft. Bunche has spent time with the Eagles (2015), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2017), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2017). He has not played in a regular-season game.

The 5’10, 185-pound Lewis-Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bengals (2012-2016), Baltimore Ravens (2016), and Denver Broncos (2017). Lewis-Harris has only played in 33 regular-season games with no starts. He is a smart player who has experience at both nickel and outside corner.

Martin (Rutgers) and Jones (Temple) are undrafted rookie free agents.

The Giants drafted Bisnowaty in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Bisnowaty spent virtually the entire season on the Practice Squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in late December 2017.

The Giants signed Mathews to the Practice Squad in early December 2017. Mathews was originally signed to the Practice Squad of the Washington Redskins in November 2015 as an undrafted rookie free agent and spent time on the Green Bay Packers’ Practice Squad in 2016 and 2017.

Dixon was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2017 and the 53-man roster in November 2017. He started the last five games of the season and finished the year with 21 tackles, four pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Dixon was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Dixon has spent time with the Jets (2014), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Seattle Seahawks (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), New England Patriots (2015), New Orleans Saints (2015-2016), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2016-2017).

The Giants claimed Goodwin off of waivers from the Arizona Cardinals in early May. The 6’4”, 220-pound Goodwin was originally signed by the Pitttsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver after the 2014 NFL Draft. Goodwin has spent time with the Steelers (2014–2015), Atlanta Falcons (2016–2017), and Cardinals (2017).

Baggett and Fields were signed as undrafted rookie free agents by the Giants after the recently completed draft.

ERECK FLOWERS REPORTS TO OFFSEASON PROGRAM…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that right tackle Ereck Flowers has finally decided to show up for the New York Giants “voluntary” offseason program that began on April 9th.

ARTICLES…

May 122018
 
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Will Hernandez, New York Giants (May 11, 2018)

Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

MAY 12, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS ROOKIE MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The second day of the New York Giants rookie mini-camp was held on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Sixty-one (61) players – draft picks, signed rookie free agents, first-year players who have not completed a season of credited service, and street and rookie free agent tryout players – were in attendance.

“Day two. I think day one was very productive,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I thought the guys competed pretty well. They were able to take from the meeting rooms and the walk through to the field and really perform at a pretty high level for the first time out. We’ll try to add to it today. Because of the rain, we walked through inside. We’ll still try to go outside if we can. We will make it a game time decision whether we’ve got to come back inside here. But otherwise, I thought it was a pretty productive day, and we’ll just try to build on yesterday, today.”

PARTICIPANTS…

2018 NFL Draft Picks (6):

  • RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
  • OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
  • LB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
  • DL B.J. Hill, North Carolina State
  • QB Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
  • DL R.J. McIntosh, Miami*

*McIntosh did not participate in today’s practice due to a “mild medical condition.” He watched from the sidelines. “I’m dealing with a medical condition and I’m being treated for it,” said McIntosh. “I should hopefully be back soon.”

2018 Signed Rookie Free Agents (11):

  • WR Jawill Davis, Bethune-Cookman
  • TE Stephen Baggett, East Carolina
  • OC Evan Brown, SMU
  • OG Nick Gates, Nebraska
  • OT Tyler Howell, Missouri
  • DT Tyrell Chavis, Penn State
  • LB Tae Davis, Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • CB Aaron Davis, Georgia
  • CB Bryon Fields, Duke
  • CB Grant Haley, Penn State
  • S Sean Chandler, Temple

    New York Giants First-Year Players (8):

    • RB Jalen Simmons
    • WR Amba Etta-Tawo
    • OC Ethan Cooper
    • OL Adam Bisnowaty
    • LB Derrick Mathews
    • CB Tim Scott
    • S Orion Stewart
    • PK Marshall Koehn

    There were also 36 rookie and veteran tryout players in attendance.

    PRACTICE NOTES…
    Some snippets from various media sources:

    • CB Grant Haley broke up a pass and appeared to provide good coverage throughout practice.
    • Linebackers had problems covering RB Saquon Barkley as a receiver as he was too quick and fast out of his cuts.
    • QB Kyle Lauletta had a “rough” day with inconsistent accuracy and a couple of interceptions. He did do a nice job of recognizing blitzes and getting the ball out quickly.
    • LB Lorenzo Carter is quick off the snap and moves very well.
    • CB Tim Scott intercepted a pass from QB Kyle Lauletta. He also made a nice play defending a WR bubble screen.
    • LB Derrick Mathews had a one-handed interception.
    • RB Robert Martin – a rookie tryout player – showed a nice burst.
    • Tryout WR William Watson flashed with his route running, ability to adjust, and hands.
    • Tryout TE/H-Back Garrett Dickerson made a number of catches.

    https://twitter.com/Giants/status/995423370891137024

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