Sep 222020
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 14, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS PLACE SAQUON BARKLEY ON INJURED RESERVE…
As expected, the New York Giants have placed running back Saquon Barkley on Injured Reserve. Barkley tore the ACL, partially tore the meniscus, and sprained the MCL in his right knee in the game against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. He will soon undergo surgery in a few weeks once swelling in his knee has gone down.

To fill that vacancy on the 53-man roster, the Giants signed cornerback Ryan Lewis from the Practice Squad. The 6’0”, 195-pound Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). Lewis has played in 20 NFL regular-season games with two starts, accruing 43 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception.

The Giants also signed linebacker Jermaine Grace to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of offensive lineman Tyler Haycraft.

The 26-year old, 6’1”, 223-pound Grace was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2017 NFL Draft. The much traveled Grace has spent time with the Falcons (2017, 2018-2019), Indianapolis Colts (2017), Cleveland Browns (2018, 2019-2020), and Seattle Seahawks (2018, 2019). Grace has played in 24 regular-season games with no starts, accruing eight tackles.

Haycraft was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

NEW YORK GIANTS ASSISTANT COACHES ADDRESS THE MEDIA…
Video clips of the media sessions with the following New York Giants assistant coaches are available at Giants.com:

  • Quarterback Coach Jerry Schuplinski (Video)
  • Running Backs Coach Burton Burns (Video)
  • Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert (Video)
  • Tight Ends Coach Freddie Kitchens (Video)
  • Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo (Video)
  • Defensive Line Coach Sean Spencer (Video)
  • Outside Linebackers Coach/Senior Assistant Bret Bielema (Video)
  • Inside Linebackers Coach Coach Kevin Sherrer (Video)
  • Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday. Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 212020
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 20, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

CONFIRMED – SAQUON BARKLEY DONE FOR THE SEASON…
As expected, the New York Giants officially confirmed that running back Saquon Barkley tore the ACL in his right knee against the Chicago Bears and will be lost for the remainder of the 2020 NFL season. The NFL Network is reporting that in addition to tearing his ACL, Barkley partially tore his meniscus and strained his MCL, the latter not needing surgical repair. Barkley is expected to undergo surgery in 2-4 weeks once swelling/inflammation goes down.

The NFL Network is also reporting that wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a turf toe injury against the Bears and is expected to miss “some time.” Turf toe injuries can take weeks to come back from and usually linger the rest of the season.

GIANTS BRING IN DEVONTA FREEMAN…
The New York Giants are bringing in free agent running back Devonta Freeman as a possible roster fill in for the loss of running back Saquon Barkley. Freeman is currently going through the team’s COVID-19 testing protocol.

The 28-year old, 5’8”, 206-pound Freeman was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. In six years with the Falcons, Freeman played in 77 regular-season games with 59 starts, rushing 951 times for 3,972 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 32 touchdowns. He also caught 257 passes for 2,015 yards and 11 touchdowns. Freeman missed most of the 2018 season with knee and groin injuries. His productivity fell to 656 yards on 184 carries (3.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in 2019. The Falcons cut Freeman in March 2020.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears (the video is also available on YouTube):

Q: We saw the news about Saquon tearing his knee. How do you feel like this impacts you guys and the structure of your offense going forward? Obviously he was going to be a very big part of that. You can use him in a lot of different ways and now you remove that piece. I’m curious what you think this means for the offense.

A: First off, losing a player who is such a good teammate and someone who’s such a hard worker on the field will impact the team in a lot of ways. Saquon is a tremendous player. We have even more respect for him as a person. I personally hate it for this guy, as hard as he’s worked and as much impact as he’s had for this team. I know our team has similar feelings as well. I talked to a number of players already. I would say this, in terms of how we game plan and scheme, our focus will always change week by week. Regardless of how our roster looks, we’re always going to do what’s best for the team going forward to match up with the specific opponent. The guys that are on our roster, we’re going to have to find ways to put them in positions of strength and find ways to match up with our opponent favorably.

Q: Besides a physical loss, is this a major emotional loss? Losing a guy like Saquon, coaches always say next man up, but I don’t know if it’s possible to have a next man up when it’s Saquon Barkley involved

A: I think it’s emotional for any of your players. You know how hard these guys work. You know how important it is to them. Not to mention how it impacts directly their own lives and their families’ lives. There’s definitely some emotion attached to losing any player. Saquon’s obviously no different. He’s been voted a captain on this team, he’s very important to the team, he speaks for the team. He always holds the best interest of the team first. He exemplifies what it is on and off the field for us. We’re going to miss having him on the grass, but we’re going to keep him involved as much as we can going forward.

Q: I know you made Wayne Gallman inactive yesterday. I’m just curious the decision that went into that. How do you balance him and Dion’s role with maybe looking in free agency to fill the gap with Saquon out?

A: In terms of the active/inactive conversation, that always goes into different sides of the ball as well. You only have so many guys you’re allowed at the game, so we have to look at the total role. The way the offensive game plan is put together, the way the kicking game pieces fit. There’s a lot of things that go into that. In terms of what we’re doing roster wise, we’re always looking at who’s available on the street anyway. We’re always looking at setting up workouts for free agents, just to get them in the program and get a look at them. We have the flex rules with the practice squad. That will impact some of the guys we have in our program anyway. We’re exploring all options right now.

Q: Nobody has come out and said this, is Saquon out for the year?

A: Yes, Saquon will be out for the year.

Q: After the 0-2 and losing Saquon, how do you kind of get everybody back on track quickly?

A: Our guys are on track, they are really focused. We’ve had good productive meetings today. The culture we want to have in this building is the one we have. That’s to go to work every day. Every week is a new week, everybody’s 0-0 right now going into week 3. We have a good opponent coming to town right now with the Niners. They’re going to give us a tremendous amount of challenges that we have to be ready to face. We’re focused on getting ready to work. We’ll be on the field Wednesday and we’ll be on the field practicing.

Q: How do you expect Saquon to come back from this adversity?

A: First off, I’m not a doctor. I’m sure they are going to give him the best medical care possible. This guy is a tremendously hard worker. I can tell you right now I already know he is going to work as hard as possible. The only thing I was able to share with Saquon. I was a non-athlete, I tore my ACL. I was able to get back on the field. It didn’t really affect in any way my play. I wasn’t very good to begin with. I would just say in terms of, you look at some of the other guys around the league who have been able to come back from ACL’s and have tremendous seasons those next years out. I think you can focus on there’s a lot of top athletes and with the medical care they get right now. This is a young guy who is very physically gifted. There are good doctors out there, he is going to get the best medical care possible. We have a great training staff to help rehab him along the way. We’re going to do everything in our position as coaches to keep him involved mentally sharp Then when we finally get a chance to get him back on the field physically, obviously we’re going to gear everything around his specific plan to get him going full speed at the right rate. I tell you what, I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, I won’t fall asleep on 26, it’s going to be a hell of a story.

Q: There’s a report that Shep has a turf toe injury. I don’t know if you can confirm that or whatever you can say about his status.

A: I have to check back with Ronnie (Barnes). We have a number of guys seeing doctors today like they do after every Monday. Some for normal bumps and bruises, some for other things that may have limited their action in the game yesterday. He did have a lower limb injury yesterday in the game. Tried to come back early in the second half and wasn’t able to finish. We’ll see where that is right now. I can’t speak for Shep in terms of how he feels. I haven’t been able to sit down with him and talk with him directly about that yet. I’m going to check with our training staff after this meeting and see where things are at going forward.

Q: There was the fourth down play where you kept the offense on the field. It looked like Nick Gates never put his hand on the ball. Just curious what happened there.

A: I think he was out there over-communicating looking for a check.

Q: You guys have been grinding for a while now. You get two weeks in, you come as close as you did yesterday, rallying through emotional highs and lows. Does it get to a point from your perspective where you need to see tangible results. Are you seeing those results that you can actually look at with your coaches and players and say, ‘look, I know we’re not winning these games but this is what you’re doing properly’? How does that translate to getting that first win?

A: Winning is all about doing your job well for 60 minutes with the right fundamentals. Knowing the assignment and technique you should play every play with. There’s no magic wand, there’s no secret formula. It’s about doing your job well. I would say this, there’s a tremendous amount of evidence we have been able to show our players on tape to where they can see the improvement coming along. There’s some things on tape that they can very visibly see that this is what puts us behind, we can’t make these mistakes. We have to handle better the way we’ve practiced and the way we prepared for it. I’m very pleased with the progress our guys are making. Obviously you come out of a tough loss of any week, Monday is always a frustrating day. The gear is to move forward. I think one thing we have to keep in mind is the NFL is really a league of extremes. Week by week, somebody is the best team in the world or the worst team in the world. We have to make sure we stay steady on our course of having daily improvement, which leads to weekly improvement, which ultimately will make us a better team by the end of the season. That’s our goal, to improve every week as a team and keep everyone on the right track building this program.

Q: With Saquon out, do you think Daniel Jones feels this will make him think he needs to do more? If that’s the case, do you as the coach need to remind him you have to play within yourself? There’s nothing you can do to try to be a hero because the best player on offense is now out.

A: I can’t speak for Daniel and how he feels right now, to be honest with you. However, I will say, we have 53 guys on our roster, we expect everyone to do their job to the best of their ability every single week. I don’t think anyone has to do anything outside their realm. They have to do exactly what their job is and do it to the best of their ability.

Q: What do you make of the fact that so many players got hurt in Week 2? So many tissue injuries. Do you think that’s related to the offseason that we just saw here? Connected to that, I wanted to ask you about the Niners complaining about the turf at MetLife Stadium? I’m wondering if you guys noticed anything in Week 1 when you played the Steelers?

A: I’ll start with the turf question. Our guys have been on that turf. We had camp in the stadium, that was our home for that month or so. We had our players on the turf every day for some kind of walk thru competitive practice. Leading up to the game last week, not a single player said anything negative along the way to me at all about any of the facilities, specifically the turf. I’ve been on it myself, obviously with the team. I think it’s a good surface. It’s our home and we’re excited to play there next Sunday. In terms of the soft tissue injuries around the league, there’s probably different factors that go into that. I’d probably be out of place right now to give any blanket statement for the league. There was definitely a concern with us as coaches coming in without preseason as to what position it would put our players in. We obviously put a large focus on our own conditioning. We put a large focus on our own recovery. Based on how we train these players and get their bodies ready for not only the physical contact that’s in the game but also the conditioning their muscles need to sustain and recover. One thing we talked about as a team last week, especially us coming off a shorter week, is the recovery from Week 1 to Week 2. Again, no one’s had the opportunity to be through any type of full game until Week 1. There’s a cumulative effect that happens with your body, it’s just natural. The shock your body goes through coming out of any game, it takes a couple days to recover anyway. If you haven’t been through that kind of stress and physical demand, it takes a little bit longer to recover. That being said, there’s a lot of injuries that conditioning has absolutely nothing to do with. What Saquon went through yesterday, that’s just something that happens. That doesn’t have anything to do with conditioning or how hard he trained or anything to do with that. That’s just an injury that sometimes happens. It’s very unfortunate to everybody involved. The soft tissue stuff are things you really have to look out for. The pulls, some of the tears of the hamstrings and quads, some of the things of that nature. The Achilles and things along those lines. We were very careful with our players throughout training camp. Made sure we built their tolerance and get their bodies’ endurance ready for the rigors of a season. More importantly, get them ready to recover from game one to game two. That’s something we put a lot of focus in with how we train our guys in practice.

Q: What have they told you about the likelihood that Saquon is able to get back to 100 percent? If there is sort of a timeline of when that may be?

A: They haven’t told me anything. What I told you earlier, he’s done for the year, that’s the only timeline I’ve worked off of right now. Everybody is unique in these situations. That’s one thing I can tell you from personal experience as well as working with other athletes that have gone through this. Everybody’s body recovers differently. I would say this, his body is in a phenomenal spot, that it’s going to be able to recover very well with the treatment they will give him. That being said, I don’t know what his body is going to go through, no one does. I just know this guy is committed. He is going to work really hard and he is going to do everything he can to get back. We all have full confidence in the medical care he is going to get. We all know this guy’s work ethic is going to carry him on through. We look forward to getting him back on the grass obviously next season. We’re excited to get him back at that point.

Q: Where do you get the explosive plays without him? You haven’t had a ton of them already in the first few games, but who do you need to step into that role and make those big plays?

A: Without giving you some sort of blanket answer, it’s going to come from everybody on our roster. Every offensive player has to be ready to step up and make plays when their number is called. Daniel’s job is to distribute the ball, I’m just going to keep it pretty simple with that. As coaches, we have to find inventive ways of getting the ball to our guys in space.

Q: You talked about everybody needing to do their jobs. Obviously one of the groups is the offensive line. Did you see progress from your offensive line on Sunday as opposed to what we saw on Monday?

A: Absolutely, yes, absolutely. I thought they did a better job of getting downhill in the running game, getting the run started, getting a hat on a hat. There’s obviously some continuity that’s forming with that unit. Andrew and Cam, both these guys have seen the top pass rushers in the league the last couple of weeks. They are going to continue seeing them over the next couple of weeks. You can definitely see improvement with those guys. They are rising to the challenge for us. We’re far from a finished product right now. We have to keep that in mind as a team. It’s about the daily improvement going forward. Yes, I definitely saw improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 with our offensive line.

Q: Obviously I know you’re not going to say exactly what you’re going to do to replace Saquon. Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis are the next running backs in line. What do you like about those guys, what are their strengths, what gives you confidence that they can be part of the solution to this problem?

A: I say it all the time, we have confidence in every player on our roster. Wayne and Dion are definitely guys that will factor in. We’ll work to their strengths, they are two different types of backs. Both of them have a degree of toughness. Wayne’s got that long speed, get him ranging out and get him really moving. Dion’s got that real good short area quickness and burst to get going. He does a great job of finding small seams and getting through the hole. They are both different guys, we’re going to have to work with what they do well to give them an opportunity to be successful. Coming from the backs and the fullback Eli Penny, who has got some ball handling experience in the past. We have Rod Smith on the practice squad right now. There’s a number of players in our program we are going to be working with. We’ll see where the future takes us elsewhere throughout this long season in the NFL. There’s always a lot of roster movement.

Q: I’m not suggesting there is any kind of hot seat or anything like that. I would be an idiot to do that. For you, your coaches, your players, the organization, do you need to get a win?

A: In the NFL we’re only paid for production, so every week we need to get a win.

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:

NOTES…
The Giants have lost five consecutive games to NFC North teams since 2018.

The Giants fall to 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season and for the seventh time in eight years.

RB Saquon Barkley did not catch a pass in the game, ending at 30 his Giants-record streak for the most consecutive games with a reception by a running back to start a career in a Giants uniform.

It was the first time in QB Daniel Jones 14 career starts that Jones did not throw a touchdown pass. His streak with at least one scoring throw in 13 consecutive games to start his career is the fourth-longest in NFL history, behind Kurt Warner (23), Baker Mayfield (17), and Brad Johnson (15). Jones was stopped two games shy of Y.A. Tittle’s franchise record of 15 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday. The assistant coaches will be available to the media on Tuesday.

Sep 172020
 
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Jason Garrett, New York Giants (August 23, 2020)

Jason Garrett – © USA TODAY Sports

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Golden Tate (hamstring), LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring), and S Adrian Colbert (quad) were limited in practice on Thursday. LB Tae Crowder (hamstring) fully practiced.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube/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 New York Giants practice on Friday (11:30AM-12:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 142020
 
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Darius Slayton, New York Giants (September 14, 2020)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 26 – NEW YORK GIANTS 16…
Despite the game remaining close for three quarters, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled away in the 4th quarter and soundly defeated the New York Giants on Monday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants begin the 2020 NFL season 0-1.

What killed the Giants was their inability to run the football combined with two very costly interceptions by quarterback Daniel Jones. The defense also crumbled at inopportune times, including after both turnovers and late in the first half. Running back Saquon Barkley was held to an abysmal six yards on 15 carries. Indeed, Jones was the team’s leading rusher with 22 yards as Giants’ running backs only combined for seven yards rushing.

The Giants received the football to start the game, picked up two first downs, but were then forced to punt. However, New York was handed a golden opportunity when Pittsburgh’s returner muffed the punt and the Giants recovered the loose ball at the Pittsburgh 3-yard line. But the Giants could not get the ball into the endzone after a 1-yard run and two incomplete passes as they settled for a 21-yard field goal.

After both teams exchanged three-and-outs, the Steelers tied the game at 3-3 when their 13-play, 59-yard second drive resulted in a 41-yard field goal. The Giants responded with an impressive 6-play, 75-yard possession that culminated in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton. Early in the second quarter, the Giants led 10-3.

The Giants forced another three-and-out by the Steelers. With momentum clearly in New York’s favor, Jones threw his first bad interception on the first play of the subsequent drive. Linebacker T.J. Watt fooled Jones when he dropped into coverage and the Steelers had the ball at the New York 36-yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a 10-yard touchdown. Pittsburgh missed the extra point and the Giants led 10-9.

After two punts by the Giants and one by the Steelers, Pittsburgh got the ball back at their own 22-yard line with 1:32 left before halftime. Unfortunately, the New York defense could not prevent the Steelers from easily marching 78 yards in eight plays to take a morale-sapping 16-10 lead into halftime. Roethlisberger threw a 13-yard touchdown pass with just seven seconds left on the clock.

Nevertheless, the Giants were still very much in the game. After the Steelers picked up one first down to start the third quarter, they were forced to punt. The Giants then began a marathon 19-play possession that started at their own 9-yard line. Despite no running game whatsoever, the Giants converted on 3rd-and-14, 3rd-and-1, 4th-and-1, 3rd-and-6, and 3rd-and-3 to keep the drive alive. Disaster struck when on 2nd-and-3 from the Pittsburgh 4-yard line, Jones scrambled to his left, was hit as he threw, and the pass was picked off in the end zone by a defensive lineman for a touchback. The 19-play, 87-yard, almost 9-minute possession resulted in no points. It was a devastating turn of events.

Predictably, the Steelers took advantage of the huge momentum switch as they drove 62 yards in nine plays to set up a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Steelers now led 19-10 and the Giants were clearly in trouble.

The game was all-but-officially decided on the next two series. Despite starting their next possession at their own 40-yard line, the Giants went three-and-out. The Steelers then drove 75 yards in 11 plays to take a commanding 26-10 lead with 5:23 to play. New York drove for a garbage-time touchdown, ending with Slayton’s second touchdown catch on 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line with less than two minutes to play. The two-point conversion and subsequent onside kick failed. The Steelers then ran out the clock to preserve the win.

Offensively, the Giants were held to 291 total net yards (29 rushing, 262 passing). The team did convert 8-of-15 times on third down (53 percent) and 1-of-1 on 4th down. Jones completed 26-of-41 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was the leading rusher with 22 yards on four carries. The leading receivers were Slayton (6 catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns), Barkley (6 catches for 60 yards), and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (6 catches for 47 yards).

Defensively, the Giants allowed 349 total net yards (141 yards rushing, 208 yards passing). Pittsburgh scored on five of their 10 offensive possessions (three touchdowns and two field goals). The Giants did not force a turnover on defense. Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence each had sacks.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
With teams now allowed to activate two players from the Practice Squad on game day, the Giants activated OL Chad Slade and S Sean Chandler.

Inactive for the game were WR Golden Tate (hamstring), OG Shane Lemieux, OT Jackson Barton, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB T.J. Brunson, LB Cam Brown, and LB Tae Crowder (hamstring).

The Giants reported no injuries from the game.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge will address the media by conference call on Tuesday afternoon.

Sep 102020
 
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Markus Golden, New York Giants (August 2020)

Markus Golden – Courtesy of New York Giants

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LB Markus Golden (illness) was the only player to not practice on Thursday.

WR Golden Tate (hamstring), TE Levine Toilolo (hamstring), LB Tae Crowder (hamstring), and DB Adrian Colbert (illness) were limited.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Friday (11:30AM-1:15PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 082020
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS WAIVE DEANDRE BAKER…
The New York Giants have waived cornerback Deandre Baker, who has been on the Commissioner’s Exempt List since July 27th due to his legal troubles. At the team’s request, Baker had not participated in any team workouts this offseason. Baker was charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm from an incident that occurred in Florida in May. If convicted, Baker faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to life.

The Giants drafted Baker in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Baker had an up-and-down rookie season for the Giants. He started 15 of the 16 games he played in, receiving 87 percent of defensive snaps, and finishing the year with 61 tackles and 8 pass defenses. He did not intercept a pass.

GIANTS VOTE FOR TEAM CAPTAINS…
New York Giants players voted six of their teammates to represent the squad in 2020:

Offense: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley

Defense: DL Dalvin Tomlinson, LB Blake Martinez

Special Teams: S Jabrill Peppers, S Nate Ebner

GIANTS SIGN TWO, CUT ONE FROM PRACTICE SQUAD…
The Giants have signed RB Rod Smith and CB Ryan Lewis to their Practice Squad, and terminated the Practice Squad contract of WR Derrick Dillon.

The 28-year old, 6’3”, 236-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He was released by Seattle in October 2015. The Cowboys claimed him off of waivers and he played with the Cowboys until the end of the 2018 season. The Giants signed Smith as an unrestricted free agent in May 2019 and waived him from Injured Reserve in September 2019. He then spent time with both the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders in 2019. Smith has played in 55 regular-season games with two starts, rushing 101 times for 364 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He also has caught 30 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown.

The 26-year old, 6’0”, 195-pound Lewis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017), New England Patriots (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2019), Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Miami Dolphins (2019), and Washington Football Team (2020). Lewis has played in 20 NFL regular-season games with two starts, accruing 43 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception.

The Giants signed Dillon as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Wednesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

Sep 032020
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 3, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS HOLD FINAL INTRA-SQUAD SCRIMMAGE…
The New York Giants held their second and final intra-squad scrimmage at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday afternoon. Some notes from the scrimmage:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass to WR Alex Bachman.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, S Jabrill Peppers and CB Darnay Holmes broke up passes intended for TE Evan Engram and WR Darius Slayton, respectively.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Colt McCoy threw a touchdown pass to WR Derrick Dillon.
  • In full-team drills, RB Saquon Barkley picked up good yardage behind a block from LG Will Hernandez. Jones then completed a pass to WR Sterling Shepard. Barkley slipped a tackle by LB Devante Downs for another good gain. Good pass protection by LT Andrew Thomas against OLB Markus Golden as Jones threw to TE Evan Engram inside the 5-yard line. Good pressure from OLB Lorenzo Carter and DL Dexter Lawrence. Giants settle for 25-yard field goal as Jones goes 3-of-3 in passing on drive.
  • On first play of next drive, DL Leonard Williams “sacked” Jones. Holmes breaks up a endzone pass intended for Slayton. PK Graham Gano kicks 44-yard field goal.
  • On next possession, starting from 29-yard line, Jones throws short pass to Engram. RB Dion Lewis runs for 3 yards. Jones then finds  Engram for 1st down on 3rd-and-3. Barkley then runs for 15-yard touchdown on 1st-and-10, following Hernandez and TE Levine Toilolo.
  • On next drive from 9-yard line, Barkley runs for 3 yards. Jones’ pass intended for Slayton in the end zone falls incomplete with Carter pressuring the QB. Jones throws touchdown pass to Engram against Peppers.
  • McCoy throws a perfect deep pass to WR Corey Coleman over CB Dravon Askew-Henry. LB T.J. Brunson made a nice play in coverage. McCoy throws a touchdown to WR C.J. Board despite being interfered with by CB Brandon Williams.
  • QB Cooper Rush completes passes to WRs Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor. Gano kicks 42-yard field goal.
  • Rush throws to TE Garrett Dickerson against S Sean Chandler on a nice catch-and-run pick-up. DB Chris Williamson broke up a pass intended for RB Wayne Gallman.
  • QB Alex Tanney sacked by LB Kyler Fackrell (versus OT Matt Peart) and DL Niko Lalos (versus OL Kyle Murphy) on back-to-back plays.
  • Drive re-set. Tanney completes passes to Coleman, TE Kaden Smith, and a touchdown pass to Bachman.

https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1301584162449620992

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the scrimmage were safety Xavier McKinney (left foot fracture), linebacker David Mayo (torn meniscus in left knee), right guard Kevin Zeitler (load management?), linebacker Blake Martinez (unknown), linebacker Tae Crowder (unknown), wide receiver Golden Tate (hamstring?), wide receiver David Sills (unknown), and safety Montre Hartage (unknown).

GIANTS TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
The Giants have traded away their 7th-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos for cornerback Isaac Yiadom. The 24-year old, 6’1”, 190-pound Yiadom was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Broncos. In two years with Denver, Yiadom played in 29-regular season games with nine starts, accruing 61 tackles, seven pass defenses, and one interception.

GIANTS PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN MARA…
The transcript of John Mara’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s post-scrimmage press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players after Thursday’s scrimmage are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants are off on Friday and Saturday. Teams must reduce their rosters to 53 by 4:00PM on Saturday. Teams may establish a practice squad of 16 players on Sunday.

Aug 282020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (August 28, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS HOLD INTRA-SQUAD SCRIMMAGE…
The New York Giants held an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Some notes from the scrimmage:

  • Players were not allowed to live tackle and bring the ball-carrier to the ground.
  • 1st-team offensive faced 1st-team defense, with back-ups mainly playing against back-ups.
  • WR Corey Coleman returned the opening kickoff. The 1st-team offense went three-and-out on its first possession. DL Dexter Lawrence deflected the first pass. WR C.J. Board returned first punt.
  • OG Shane Lemieux sprung RB Wayne Gallman for a 43-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-1.
  • RB Javon Leake returned the second kickoff. OLB Lorenzo Carter “sacked” QB Daniel Jones. Jones then connected with WR Darius Slayton for about a 40-yard gain. Carter then “sacked” Jones again. PK Graham Gano connected on 47-yard field goal. (Carter beat LT Andrew Thomas and TE Levine Toilolo on his two sacks).
  • WR Derrick Dillon returned the third kickoff. LB Tae Crowder had nice pass defense on RB Deion Lewis. Board returned the second punt.
  • After picking up a first down, the starting offense was forced to punt. Board returning the third punt.
  • C Tyler Haycraft looked good moving downfield and throwing a block on a screen pass to RB Saquon Barkley. Board returns fourth punt.
  • CB James Bradberry has good coverage on incomplete deep pass to Slayton. RB Dion Lewis ran for a 1st down. CB Darnay Holmes made a diving break-up of a Jones pass to WR Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-3. Board returns punt.
  • OLB Markus Golden “sacked” QB Colt McCoy. CB Grant Haley then broke up a pass intended for WR Derrick Dillon to force the punt. Board muffs punt.
  • Carter picks up another sack, this time against RT Cam Fleming (Jones fumbled the ball on the play, but the play was ruled dead). DL Leonard Williams then “sacked” the quarterback (Carter was close again). Board returns punt.
  • McCoy hit wide receivers Austin Mack and then Corey Coleman for first downs during the two-minute drill. Gano kicked a 40-yard field goal right before halftime.
  • QB Cooper Rush started the second half. Defensive holding was called on CB Jarren Williams on 3rd down. Gallman converted on another 3rd down. Gallman finishes drive with 5-yard touchdown reception from Rush.
  • 4th-down “sack” by OLB Carter Coughlin was erased by defensive holding call on CB Christian Angulo. Gano finished the scrimmage with a 41-yard field goal.
  • A 1-hour replay of the scrimmage will be aired on Saturday on New York NBC4 at 6PM and online (Giants.com, Giants.com App, and Giants.com YouTube channel) at 7PM.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the scrimmage were safety Xavier McKinney (left foot fracture), linebacker David Mayo (torn meniscus in left knee), tight end Evan Engram (“load management”), linebacker Blake Martinez (unknown), safety Jaquarius Landrews, and tight end Rysen John (unknown).

“On Blake, no, there’s no update based on what we talked about last night,” said Head Coach Joe Judge after the scrimmage. “In terms of Evan, look honestly, we’ve just been pounding him so much in practice that we’ve really kind of backed off a little bit with load management. It wasn’t just him. We made decisions going in in terms of how we were going to use all of our players. These are things we look at in terms of total reps they’re taking at practice, some of the GPS numbers we get from our strength staff and training staff. It was a calculated decision tonight that we just said hey, you know what, tonight’s a night, even if it was a regular practice, we may have backed off Evan a little bit. We made the decision tonight. There were a lot of other guys we had to evaluate, so we wanted to make sure they got maximum reps and we pulled back a time limit for everyone.”

CB Darnay Holmes (“lower body”) was injured during the scrimmage, but reporters at the game did not believe the injury to be serious.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s post-scrimmage 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 after Friday’s scrimmage are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants are off on Saturday and return to practice on Sunday.

Aug 172020
 
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New York Giants Training Camp (August 17, 2020)

New York Giants Training Camp – Courtesy of New York Giants

AUGUST 17, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media and team sources:

  • Quarterback Daniel Jones was very sharp in 1-on-1 drills, throwing six “touchdowns.”
  • Quarterback Colt McCoy was also sharp in 1-on-1 drills, throwing eight “touchdowns.”
  • Cornerback Darnay Holmes continues to have a strong camp.
  • Wide receiver C.J. Board made a couple of impressive catches, including a leaping touchdown reception in the back corner of the end zone over cornerback Jarren Williams on a pass from quarterback Colt McCoy.
  • Wide receiver Alex Bachman looked very quick and scored three touchdowns in practice.
  • In team drills, cornerback Darnay Holmes made a diving interception in the end zone on  a pass from quarterback Daniel Jones intended for wide receiver Golden Tate. Jones and Tate did connect on a couple of touchdowns during team drills.
  • Quarterback Daniel Jones found wide receiver Derrick Dillon for a touchdown over cornerback Dravon Askew-Henry.
  • Offensive tackle Cam Fleming impressed in 1-on-1 drills.
  • Wide receiver Corey Coleman (knee), tight end Evan Engram (foot), and linebacker Ryan Connelly (knee) showed no ill-effects from last year’s injuries and all moved around well. Coleman in particular looked sharp, including a touchdown catch from quarterback Daniel Jones against cornerback Jarren Williams.
  • Wide receiver Binjimen Victor beat cornerback Corey Ballentine for a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Daniel Jones.
  • Linebacker Cam Brown recovered a fumble during 7-on-7 drills.
  • Linebacker Blake Martinez broke up a pass intended for tight end Levine Toilolo.
  • Defensive lineman Leonard Williams was disruptive on a couple of running plays.
  • The Giants provided an excellent 27-minute overview of today’s practice, which is available on YouTube.

INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Grant Haley (unknown) worked on the sidelines but did not practice.

GIANTS CUT CHANDLER CATANZARO, SIGN DAYLON MACK …
The New York Giants have released place kicker Chandler Catanzaro. His release was expected with the anticipated signing of place kicker Graham Gano. The Giants signed Catanzaro in July after the team released place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

The Giants also signed defensive lineman Daylon Mack, who was waived by the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions earlier this month. The 23-year old, 6’1”, 340-pound Mack was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He played in one game last season.

Catanzaro was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2014-2016), New York Jets (2017, 2019), and Carolina Panthers (2018). Catanzaro retired from football in August 2019 after struggling in the preseason against the Giants. In five NFL seasons (2014-2018), Catanzaro was 119-of-142 (83.8 percent) on field goal attempts and 182-of-196  (92.9 percent) extra point attempts. Sixty percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

CB DEANDRE BAKER ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR SEPTEMBER 15 …
Broward County, Florida has set the arraignment for cornerback Deandre Baker for September 15th. Baker is currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List due to his legal troubles. At the team’s request, he has not participated in any team workouts this offseason. Baker is charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm from an incident that occurred in Florida in May. If convicted, Baker faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to life.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at YouTube.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice again on Tuesday evening (5:45-7:30PM), with Head Coach Joe Judge and select players also addressing the media earlier in the day.

Aug 072020
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (August 6, 2020)

Sterling Shepard – Courtesy of New York Giants

BBI GUEST APPEARANCE ON GIANTS HUDDLE PODCAST…
In a wide-ranging discussion of current issues surrounding the New York Giants, Eric from BBI joined John Schmeelk on the Giants Huddle Podcast at Giants.com on Wednesday afternoon. The audio for the show is available at Giants.com and YouTube.

AUGUST 7, 2020 SAQUON BARKLEY CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants running Saquon Barkley addressed the media on Friday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):

Q: Does this feel like starting over with this franchise? Last year was sort of a bridge with Eli and Zak around and sort of a link to the history. Now it’s all new guys.

A: Yeah, I would definitely say it’s a fresh new start. I heard you guys talking with Shep earlier about history. I do think we are doing a great job of, especially when we are in zoom meetings, understanding the history, understanding the guys before us. There is a tradition here. Like you said, Shep is the longest tenured Giant and he has only been in the league for five to six years, I guess. It’s a fresh new start, we are learning every single day, on the offensive side and on the defensive side. Learning a new scheme and system and trying to focus on the little things to get better every single day. Capitalize on the things we are able to do.

Q: When you study the history of the franchise, is it with an emphasis that we have to create the next chapter in the history?

A: I wouldn’t say there’s an emphasis of we have to create the next chapter. You have to understand your history and what we’re known for. The Giants are known for being tough, physical and doing the little things right. That’s something that Coach Judge and all the coaches have made a focal point for us in the short time that we have been here. That’s what we try to attack every single day and try to get better every single day.

Q: Have you spoken to Ezekiel Elliott about playing with Jason Garrett? Does his success make you excited about the prospect of playing for Jason Garrett this year?

A: I have not talked to Zeke directly about how he’s been coached by Coach Garrett or the system and stuff like that. I’m definitely good friends with Zeke and we respect each other, but I haven’t reached out. Zeke has had a lot of success. Not only Zeke but the running backs before him, McFadden, Murray, Barber, the list goes on. I think ever since Coach Garrett has been the head coach or OC, they have been at the top in the running game every single year. I wouldn’t say their success excites me, just what we have. I love our coaching staff, I love the energy they are bringing, and the attention to detail they are emphasizing for us. It’s only been small, it’s only been through walkthroughs, but I’m really excited.

Q: What’s the biggest area of growth you have seen with Daniel compared to a year ago? How excited are you about going into this season, his second year, with you two together?

A: Definitely excited for DJ. We definitely got a lot closer from this point where we are from him being a rookie to us actually hanging out, working out together and stuff. He’s a hard worker, he’s a heck of a player, he’s very talented. You just grow, not just saying system-wise but as a player. Being more comfortable from your rookie year to your second year. I know for myself from my first year to my second year how much more comfortable I was just being in the locker room and talking with the guys. That’s where you are going to grow, and you are going to continue to see him grow in that area. He’s a talented player and hard worker and I’m really excited to see what he is going to do this year.

Q: Have you noticed him stepping up and being that vocal leader going into this camp? I know it’s tough with just the zoom meetings. Now that you guys are back together, have you seen him take up that leadership role as a quarterback?

A: Yeah, I have definitely seen him take up that leadership role. You can see it through his work ethic. I have seen him work out a couple times. You just know he is taking that step. I am really excited for his growth. I am really excited to see what he is able to do this year.

Q: This has been a year where you guys have had to adapt. Aldrick was let go after the car accident. Today the Broward County prosecutor’s office filed charges against DeAndre Baker, so I assume he is not going to be around this season. How difficult has this whole year been?

A: Obviously there have been some things going on within the world and everything. At the same time, we are presented with an opportunity to get better every single day. That’s what we have to do. That time that we do have, we have to follow the procedures, especially with our masks. Try to keep everyone safe, because at the end of the day you are not just protecting yourself, you are protecting everyone in this building. You have to focus on that and then when we are on the practice field, we are out there to work, try to work at a high level and each rep get one percent better each day.

Q: Is it disappointing to see some of the guys have the off the field problems?

A: I’m not really going to be speaking on that. I’m just focusing on coming in here working every single day. Trying to grow as a leader and get better every single day to help my team.

Q: What do you want to see from yourself going into year three?

A: What I want to see from myself is just growth. I feel like I have been saying this answer so much in my first two years. I’m really focused on trying to get better in every area of my game. I feel like I have so much more room to continue to grow and there is so much I can continue to add to my game. I would say some big focal points are pass pro, in between the tackles, outside the tackles, catching the ball, ball security. Every single day, try to focus and try to get better in every area of my game. I am a big stickler when it comes to stuff like that. Definitely when our coaches sat down, they really have us focused on the details and all the little things matter. That’s the focus and where I want to improve my game, which I guess you could say is everything.

Q: Did any of your offseason training come about specifically because of the high ankle sprain?

A: No. To be completely honest, my approach was to try to get bigger, stronger, faster, which I think I was able to accomplish this offseason. Those injuries, the high ankle injury I had last year, that comes with the game. I got caught in a bad position at a bad time. It’s those other injuries that I want to try to take care of. Make sure I am hydrated right, make sure I am stretching. Make sure I am working with our trainers, and PT. Obviously when we are back into the regular season, all the extra stuff I do on the outside. Just try to focus on all the little things that I can control. The injuries that you can’t control, that’s just part of the game that I love. Hopefully I can stay away from that.

Q: How hungry are you to be a part of a winning team? Your success personally aside, it’s now been a few years since you have been a part of a team that finishes with a winning record?

A: That’s the motive. That’s why we come in every single day and why we work every single day, to get better every single day, one percent better. Yes, do we want to have a winning record? Yes, that’s every team. I’m a big believer, I know what we are getting taught and what’s going on now, that’s not going to happen if we don’t take care of the little things. I want that and if I’m hungry for that, which I am, I have to focus on today. Right now, after this meeting, get some nutrition and go into meetings and try and learn and get better in the system and this offense.

Q: When you look at this time right now, there are a lot of expectations that are very low outside of your building. New head coach, second year quarterback in a new system, things like that. What do you see as reasons for optimism? You have been around the team that’s lost. What tells you that this could be different?

A: What tells me this could be different, one, it’s a brand-new year. It’s a fresh start. From what I have seen in these first couple of days is we are steps ahead, in my opinion. We are coming in, we’re locked in. Are mistakes being made, yes, that’s part of the nature of learning a system and learning a new offense. We have what I believe is really great coaching staff starting with Coach Judge to Coach Garrett and so on down the line. They are doing a tremendous job of having us focusing on the little things and focused on situational football, which I think is a part of our game we can improve on from this year to last year.

Q: How much thought did you give to opting out? What is your level of concern with playing a season in the middle of all this?

A: Great question. To be completely honest, I believe in our training room and our team and facility and our owners. They have done a tremendous job of putting the procedures in place and giving us the right equipment to make it as safe as it could be. I want to say thank you to those guys because they are doing a really good job and every single day, they put us in the best position to stay healthy and safe to be able to compete at a high level.

Q: How concerned are you that you might not make it through the full season? You see what’s going on in baseball and there have been problems along the way? How much is that something you guys talk about and think about?

A: When you see the stuff that is going on in baseball, I guess you could say it crosses your mind. We talked about this as a team, we have to focus on how we can take advantage of this. How we need to stay committed to the procedures of wearing a mask and even when outside following the procedures to stay as healthy as we can. There hasn’t been that much talk in the locker room. We talked about it a little bit, what happened in baseball. The only way we can handle it and try to focus on the season is by focusing on us and making sure we are following the procedures to try and stay healthy.

Q: What has it been like this training camp when you are not at the facility? What would you be doing at night that you are not doing now? What’s missing from the nighttime and how are you following the protocols?

A: In camp, it’s really similar. The only thing that’s different is you are allowed to be in the hotel or your house. Instead of going to a hotel, I go home. In camp, it’s different. When the season starts, you just have to be smart. If you want to go grab a bite to eat, you have to be smart. When fans come up and ask you for pictures or an autograph, that’s something that I have seen happen to me, I have to make sure I’m wearing my mask and make sure they are wearing a mask. Obviously, still be polite. That could be that little situation that could take a turn for the worst. That’s definitely in the back of your mind. Just go in every single day and try to do the best you can. Still try to live the life that you love to live. Just do it in a smarter way because you’re not just protecting yourself, you are protecting the people in your home. When you come here, you are protecting everyone in this facility and everyone that they have at home.

AUGUST 7, 2020 STERLING SHEPARD CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard addressed the media on Friday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):

Q: I wanted to ask you a little bit about some of the things that happened in the offseason, your participation in the “I am George Floyd” video. Were you surprised at how quickly the NFL responded to that? Can you just tell us a little bit about how that came together and how that’s going to continue through the season?

A: Yeah, Mike Thomas had approached me about it, and I’m very supportive of it. That was something that I was very passionate about. I’m very supportive of change in the right way. That’s just kind of how it came about and how I heard about it. But yeah, moving forward as a team, we have things in place that we’re getting out to these communities and getting active. That’s something that I wanted to do, was take action.

Q: Are you going to wear a name or initials on your helmet, and do you know which ones yet if you are?

A: We haven’t really discussed it as a team yet, but we want to be unified. That’s something that we’ll talk about as a team.

Q: Just to get back to the first question, were you surprised about how quickly the league responded to that? I think it was probably within 24 hours that they came out with their own video.

A: Yeah, I think the impact of the video was pretty big. I expected them to handle it in the right way, and it seems like they did.

Q: You saw all of the opt-outs around the league. You have two young children. Did you give any consideration to opting out yourself? And your thoughts on the players who did?

A: I’m supportive of all the players that did. Everyone is going to make a decision based on what’s going on around them in their household, and make the decision that’s best for them. That’s the way we approached that as a family. We sat down and talked about it, and I made the decision that was best for my family.

Q: Along those same lines, what are you doing during camp? Are you going home at the end of the day? Are you staying at the hotel?

A: Yeah, I’m staying with my family. I have to get up a bit earlier because I’m not by the stadium, but yeah, that’s the decision I made to be with my family.

Q: How much of a conscious decision is it going to be to sort of limit activities when you’re not at the facility so you’re not exposing yourself, as much as you can control?

A: Yeah, for the past few months, I’ve been with the family not really doing much anyway. It’s kind of continuing the same thing. Just chilling with the family. It’s good family time.

Q: No Eli (Manning), no (Zak) DeOssie. You’re the longest-tenured member in that locker room and really the longest-tenured football player in all of New York, including the Jets. What does that mean? What does that come with? Did it come quicker than normal? You were “Young Shep” last year. Now I guess you’re “Old Shep”.

A: Yeah, I might have to shake the “Young Shep” off. I was thinking about that. I did not know that about the whole New York with the Jets and everything. But yeah, just set a good example for the young guys and kind of teach them about some of the different rivalries that we have and how important those games are to the New York Giants as an organization.

Q: You tell me, does Leonard (Williams) count? He’s been in New York one year longer but he changed teams. Does he count or are you the old guy?

A: Leonard’s up there, but if you’re talking about our team, I guess I am at the top.

Q: In terms of this offense, for you, I should have done the math but for how many new offenses, new wrinkles that you’ve had to learn since you’ve been here, what do you like about it? What have you seen from the guys you’ve trained with, obviously, with Daniel (Jones) and Saquon (Barkley) and Evan (Engram)? What has you most excited about what the new system brings?

A: Yeah, it’s an offense that utilizes everyone’s skill set. It’s a lot of moving pieces as well, which I like about it. I like to move around the field and the guys that I’ve played with like to move around, too. It makes it tough on defenses. Yeah, those are some of the things that I like about it, just being able to utilize everyone’s skill set.

Q: Do you feel like you guys have gained an understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish yet, or is that still ongoing?

A: Yeah, it’s still in the works. I’m proud of the guys and the way that everyone has been approaching each day. It’s a lot on us right now with all of the information being shoved at us. We’re kind of on a time crunch. I’m proud of the guys and the way we’ve been working.

Q: For you, I don’t know if we’ve ever even asked you this, but what does the idea of being a captain on the team mean? Have you ever thought about yourself being voted as a captain here since like you said in your previous answer, you’ve been a young guy, young guy, then all of a sudden, you’re kind of a veteran here?

A: If that’s what ends up happening and that’s the way my team sees me, then I’ll be happy to wear that badge and take that role. I’m happy with whatever role. I can lead in different ways, like I have for the last four years that I’ve been here. Whichever role they have me in, I’m going to find a way to lead.

Q: Have you spoken to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott or any of the other Cowboys players about what it’s like playing for Jason Garrett and what to expect during the season?

A: No, I actually haven’t. I was going to reach out to Zeke at some point, but I never got around to it. I like to get my own view on the coaches and how they operate. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing these past few days.

Q: Just as a quick follow-up going back to the start, did you speak with Joe Judge at all about the Black Lives Matter video or social justice causes? I was wondering what his reaction to all of that stuff was.

A: No, I didn’t talk about that specifically, but we did have a talk as a team.

Q: You’ve had some time to spend with Daniel this offseason. You’ve worked with him a whole bunch. What do you expect from Daniel Jones 2.0, and what were those workouts like when you guys worked in New Jersey, and he also held the ones in Texas?

A: They were good. We were just trying to get down some of the material. Now that we’re here, that’s pretty much all that we’re focused on. All that stuff is behind us. Some of the things we were working on, Coach has added some of the little nuances in, different route techniques. Some of the stuff we thought we were doing right, but just fine-tuning those things. We’re really just focused on getting these plays down and getting down what the coaches like and getting on the same page with each other.

Q: What are your expectations for him? What are you expecting from Daniel Jones in his second year?

A: Just to continue to do what he’s doing. He’s going in the right direction. He comes in here and works his butt off every single day. If we keep doing what we’re supposed to do as a unit and he continues to work as hard as he’s been working, I feel like he’ll be doing great.

Q: I want to go back to a question that was asked earlier about you being the longest-tenured Giant here. With the departure of Eli and Zak, kind of like all the history that carried over from year to year, from generation to generation, has kind of evaporated. What are you doing or what can you do, I mean you haven’t been around long, but you are the longest-tenured guy. How are you as a team re-capturing some of that history, starting to develop an understanding and appreciation of that history from recent years?

A: When we were going through the OTA period on the Zoom calls, the coaches would have some trivia questions for us, so we did this Kahoot! challenge to kind of get guys going and understanding the history of the organization. Those were some of the different ways that we’ve already began to teach some of these newcomers and guys that really don’t know much about the history of the Giants, a way to get them caught up.

Q: How important is that to know the history of the team? Some guys come in and they’re all about ball. But I get the impression just from talking to some guys over the years that they don’t really learn the history of the franchise. The Giants are one of the most storied franchises. How much of an emphasis is being put on that?

A: Yeah, I think it’s very important to know the history. You have to know what the guys before you have done and how they played football, and to continue to play that way because that’s what this organization was built on and that’s what it’s used to. I think it’s important and the coaches do as well. That’s the reason they had us doing those different Kahoot! challenges and trivia questions.

AUGUST 7, 2020 LEONARD WILLIAMS CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams addressed the media on Friday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):

Q: What has this offseason been like for you? When you got the franchise tag, was it your intention to get a long-term deal to stay with the Giants and what happened with that?

A: I think it’s always in the player’s interest to get a long-term deal, but that’s something that worked itself out between my agents and the organization. I’m just happy to be here, play with this team again, and learn about the guys that I’ve been with since last year. I got to know them a little bit more and play again with them this year. I’ve just been training hard and was ready for anything to happen. I was just trying to stay ready so I didn’t have to get ready.

Q: Was it disappointing to not get that deal and to be playing on another make good kind of contract year?

A: I wouldn’t say it was disappointing. I kind of knew the situation I was coming off of last year. I think it’s actually a good opportunity for myself. I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I’m not looking at it as something that’s bad. I’m looking at it as an opportunity.

Q: Obviously, the trade got a lot of criticism from outsiders and the franchise tag kind of got some criticism. Do you feel like you have anything to prove this season?

A: I wouldn’t say I have something to prove necessarily. I think the coaches know and my teammates know what I bring to the table or I wouldn’t be here. I definitely still feel like I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder at the same time, though. I’m ready to just go out here and play the best that I can. It starts today. It starts one day at a time. I’m not looking towards the future or next offseason or what’s going to happen a year from now. I’m just trying to get better right now and see what I can do for my team.

Q: You’ve obviously been in the league for a few years. Do you think there’s another level you can reach?

A: Definitely. I’m definitely still a young player in this league. I feel like I still have a lot in the tank. I still feel like I have a lot of years left in me to play in this league. I think I just need to keep going and take it day by day like I said.

Q: Eli Manning retired, Zak DeOssie retired, Bilal Powell is not here anymore. Leonard Williams is the New York football player who’s been in New York the longest. Obviously, you changed teams, but you’re the guy who’s been here the longest, the longest New York NFL player. What do you like about playing here? People are hard about this city, with us, with the fans, everything is scrutinized. Do you like it or do you almost wonder sometimes what it would be like somewhere else?

A: No, I love it. It’s a great media market. It’s crazy to think, first of all, that I’ve been here the longest. I’m only 26 years old. That makes me feel really old that I’ve been here the longest in New York. But yeah, it’s a great media, it’s a great city, great teams in this area historically and things like that. It’s great to be in a city like this, and you can take advantage of it if you can.

Q: Quick follow up. You’re on that Non-Football Injury list. Do you know how it happened, what happened, and when you expect to be back?

A: We can’t really talk about injuries. If somebody wants to get more information on that, you might have to bring it up with Coach (Joe) Judge or someone else on the team. I’m definitely making strides on it and doing the best that I can to get out there with my teammates.

Q: Two-parter for you. One, your first impressions of Sean Spencer, the d-line coach, what’s it been like working with him and getting on the field with him? Two, with this being kind of such a big prove-it year for you, is there something about this scheme and this system that makes you think this could be a breakout season for you?

A: Yeah, I love the scheme. I feel like our DC, Pat Graham, I feel like he’s a genius when it comes to x’s and o’s and stuff like that. I also love working with Coach Spencer so far. I like his energy and the way he coaches his guys. He’s real hands-on. He has that loud, deep voice that as a d-line coach, it’s kind of something that I like. I like it.

Q: I saw this offseason that you and Richard Seymour had gotten together and did some training. I’m not sure if it went beyond that initial meeting, but I’m just curious how that came about, what did you look to learn from him, what kind of parts of your game did you guys kind of focus on?

A: Richard Seymour is a good guy. He basically worked with my agent back in the day, Eugene Parker. I’m kind of working with his son now. They kind of linked us together. I went to Atlanta and met up with him. He brought me into his home, we watched film together. We just talked man to man about football and life and stuff like that. I feel like he’s just a mentor to me at this point. We’ve been able to keep in touch throughout the offseason and up to this point.

Q: With the film you watched together, did you watch him, did you watch you or both? What from his game can you bring to yours?

A: Not just mine or just him, D-line film in general and stuff like that. A little bit of both mine and his. He’s a really big, tall dude who uses power and I just feel like he was trying to teach me some of the things that he did. We worked out and stuff so he could see my body type and how I move and my strengths and stuff like that. He was giving me feedback and advice.

Q: We all want instant gratification no matter what profession we are in. How have you been balancing your desire to really take your game to the next level but at the same time realizing it’s a process. Coming over to a new system, a new team and having to learn it and then on top of that learning a new playbook and then having to learn a new playbook all over again.

A: For me, I definitely understand it’s a process. I got traded midseason, I had to learn a whole new team, a whole new system halfway through the season last year. Now I’m learning a whole new team and a whole new system. Every year is a new team, and now it’s a new system again. I understand it’s a process, not just with the system but in general, it’s a process. I don’t let too much outside noise get to me, I just try to work hard, keep the blinders on and keep working and doing what I can do.

Q: Right now, it’s projected that the starting defensive line is going to remain unchanged. It’s going to be yourself, Dexter and Dalvin. How important is that continuity and what have you seen in this new system that has benefitted the group as a whole.

A: I don’t know what’s set as far as who is starting. All I know is we have been competing and pushing each other and I think in general that’s going to fuel the team to be great and to be better. When you have young guys that are dedicated to working hard and getting better, it’s a great way to drive each other. I definitely respect those guys in the room, and I think we all have great respect for each other and we learn from each other.

Q: How are you expecting to be deployed in this defense? Are you expecting to play all over like last year? How exactly did you hurt your hamstring coming into camp?

A: For the second part, like I said, you might have to bring that up to Coach Judge or someone else in the building because we’re not talking about injuries. I’ve just been working on it and getting better. I’ll be out there with my teammates when I can. For the defensive part of it, it’s only week one. We are still installing a bunch of defenses. So far, I have been seeing myself in a few different positions. At the same time, I am not fully 100 percent with the injury. I’m sure stuff will change when I am back to 100 percent and once stuff gets fully installed. There is still week one stuff going on, it’s still an introduction to the defense to the team.

Q: If the schedule were normal, you would be a couple days away from your preseason opener. Do you think that the team and players will miss anything by not having preseason games? Do you need those couple of thumps against another team to get ready? Do you think everybody can roll into the regular season and it will be football as normal?

A: I’m not sure, I think it will be a little bit of a change and a challenge. I think some of the preseason games definitely help for younger guys who have never played in the NFL or younger guys who are working to make the team. It gives the coaches an opportunity to see them in a live game type of environment. At the same time, I think the team is doing a great job of creating that competitive environment to see everybody’s best. We’re making do with what we have. The coronavirus is affecting everybody in the world and we’re not excluded from that. We are doing the best we can.