Dec 122018
 
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Russell Shepard, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Russell Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Odell Beckham (quad) practiced on a limited basis. Safety Curtis Riley (wrist) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants terminated to the practice squad contract of punter Brock Miller on Monday. The Giants filled that roster vacancy by signing defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton to the Practice Squad.

The 25-year old, 6’3″, 315-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in September 2017 and he spent time with the New Orleans Saints in 2017 and 2018. Hamilton has played in two regular-seasons games with one start.

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

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

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

Dec 102018
 
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Alec Ogletree, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 40-16 victory over the Washington Redskins (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I’ll try to update you first on some of the injuries of note. Odell (Beckham) came in today, felt a lot better than he did Friday and Saturday. He received some treatments over the weekend, so he feels better and we’ll just see where that takes us. It’s too early to tell. Rhett Ellison, as you know, had an ankle sprain during the game, feels better, we’ll just see how the week progresses for him. Then Curtis Riley had a wrist sprain that they’re getting checked out. I don’t have any details on that at this point. Beyond that we’ve just got a little bit of game wear and tear. Not much to add after last night, it’s fun to win a game – fun to win a game in that fashion. It’s very rare you ever get to 40 to nothing on a team, that’s a very unique experience, it’s hard to do, and I credit our players for getting us to that point. They did an outstanding job of playing hard. Things sort of bounced our way, but we made enough plays along the way to take advantage of some of the things that we had to. As I say every Monday, we’re back in the moment, we’re getting ready to play Tennessee, and we’re finishing up the corrections from yesterday. Monday’s, in my mind, are more important than Wednesday. You have to clean up things. That’s why it would be extremely rare they get a ‘Victory Monday’ because I think this is an important day to fix the things that may show up as we finish the season. With that, I’ll try to answer your questions.

Q: What do you value about Alec Ogletree, both as a leader and as a player?

A: You sort of answered it in your question. He’s a leader because he has courage and he does the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, doesn’t care about the consequence, but in order to be a leader you have to be really good at what you do. He’s had a chance to get turnovers, I think he played one of his better games. Again, he’s played well, he’s playing better and better and better, I guess I could say. He’s played well throughout the season, but he’s playing better and better, and that’s a credit to him.

Q: Are you giving him an offensive package? He has five receptions.

A: Yeah, we joked about that. Sure, I’d love for him to play offense. (Laughter)

Q: Was it just kind of a process for him to get used to this defense and the system?

A: No, I think he’s played well throughout. It’s easy as you look at a play, and a player has high expectations, to maybe look at a play or two that doesn’t go well and say he’s not playing the way he should, but Alec has played steady throughout the season and played very well. He’s just made more impact plays probably in the past few games, but his presence has been felt throughout the season.

Q: Eli (Manning) said yesterday he thinks the offense is starting to run through Saquon (Barkley) more and more. Obviously the success you’ve had since the bye, was there a tipping point where you saw something and thought that was the direction that would yield the best results?

A: I think it’s all connected. I’m an old offensive lineman, and I understand the importance of blocking. I can remember when Lorenzo White and Andre Rison and Bobby McAllister were getting praise for doing what they do, the five of us (linemen) sat in the corner, drank one more beer, and were just happy about the fact that we were winning games. It starts up front, and I think our guys are doing a better job blocking, which helps the run game. It’s much easier as a play caller also to call runs when you’re gaining yards, and when you hand the ball to a runner that can score touchdowns. I thought his touchdown run, I’ve never seen him run that fast, even in college. I think there’s data to tell us that was pretty fast. And everything plays off itself – it helps the play action, it helps the quarterback, his feet are clean because they think it’s a run, so it all plays off itself. If we’re playing right, then we need to be able to run the ball.

Q: What did you see when you looked at your wide receivers, the way they’ve contributed as blockers?

A: There’s some terrific blocks. I thought Sterling Shepard, he had some terrific blocks. The one long run, he kind of slid back and blocked 36, and that was the key block that sprung Saquon, and then on Saquon’s next run, he flipped around and saw 24 and had a good block that helped spring him even further. That’s his nature, he’s gritty, he’s tough, he understands the importance of being a good blocker and he found his way in the end zone as well. Two Shep’s and a Bennie scored for us, but the group themselves, I thought they did a good job.

Q: Size-wise, you don’t have the biggest receivers out there.

A: I think they’re typical of what receivers look like. There’s some certainly that are bigger and some are smaller, but I’ve never thought that we’ve had a small group of wide outs.

Q: This offense, the way you’re playing now, do you think it bucks a trend in the league, and if so, are you ok with that?

A: I really don’t care about trends in the league. I think we as coaches have to do what’s best for our team based on the players that we have, but from the beginning of time, a team that can run the football has a better chance to play good team offense. I really believe this, and we just played two really outstanding defenses. We saw what the Bears did last night against the Rams certainly, and we were able to score against them, and I really thought the Redskins defense is a top-tier defense in the league. But defenses are too good if you just start the game dropping back and throwing them. I think you’ve got to be able to run the ball throughout, and it helps not just for your offense but for your whole team. I don’t know if that’s bucking a trend, but I think that we as coaches all know that.

Q: You drafted Saquon where you did and have said many times why you valued that pick at that position. Do you think no matter who your quarterback would be, that if you draft a Saquon number two and he’s the kind of player he is, that it makes sense to tailor a lot around this guy as opposed to whoever the quarterback is?

A: It all goes hand in hand. You just can’t put Joe Schmo in at quarterback and think you’re going to win games. You’ve got to have a guy that can play the position. But the best friend of a quarterback is really the running back, because he can take some pressure off of him, but the running back can’t do it unless you block for him, so it’s all connected. That’s what we’re seeing. I think from an offensive standpoint we’re seeing a much better connection, that’s the way I would phrase it, since the bye – blocking, running, throwing, scoring points. I think in the last five weeks we’ve scored over 30 points a game, which in the first eight would have been tough to say, so it all goes hand in hand.

Q: What did you think of (Evan) Engram bouncing back coming off an injury?

A: Yeah, bouncing back from injury, I thought he did a terrific job. He had some explosive gains, he did a good job in the run game as well, got a couple knockdowns. It was good to see him have success. I’m rooting for him because I think he really works hard at being a good player. The guys that really work hard at it – right is right, you’ve got to go out and do it – but the guys that really work hard at it, I’m pulling for to make sure that they do well.

Q: Isn’t that second part especially important for him? If he’s putting some guys on the ground in the run game, that can enable the play caller to have him on the field?

A: Sure, more situations, absolutely. I think that’s, really unless you’re the quarterback, sometimes when you run reverse, it is what he has to do. Unless you’re the quarterback, everybody has to block for the runner. Everybody does, so tight ends certainly – it’s in everybody’s job description, and especially tight ends.

Q: You said there was data on Saquon’s fast run?

A: No, I’m just looking at it, but I know that they take data. There’s people that look at that kind of stuff, but when I was watching the run and then saw it again on the tape on the train ride home, just my naked eye and it looked like he was running pretty fast.

Q: It was the fastest running back touchdown this year. 21.91 miles per hour.

A: Somebody told me that. It all goes hand in hand. Everything’s connected.

Q: What was it that you guys did so well up front defensively when you looked at it?

A: Yeah, I thought we did a good job in the run fits, which was important so you didn’t allow Adrian (Peterson) to go that way fast. The one thing about Adrian, if he hits it, he can do what Saquon did on his run, so we were able to make him kind of have to move his feet side to side, which then negates all his skill and ability, so the run fits were very good. Then I thought we tackled better. I think we had a couple that kind of spit out, one comes to mind where the back backed up, or it spit out and Jackrabbit did a good job of a one-on-one tackle that could have been a big run if he missed it. Really in the run game, it comes down to run fits and tackling, and I think we did those two things better than we did at times in the last couple of games.

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 improved their all-time regular-season record against Washington to 100-68-4 to become the first NFL franchise with 100 regular-season victories against another franchise.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s 197 passing yards increased his career total to 55,142. He is the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 55,000 passing yards.

Running back Saquon Barkley extended his Giants rookie record by increasing his season total to 1,124 rushing yards. Barkley’s 1,000-yard season is the 24th in Giants history, and first since Ahmad Bradshaw’s 1,015 yards in 2012. Barkley’s 1,124 yards is the highest total by a Giants back since Bradshaw ran for 1,235 yards in 2010.

Barkley scored his 13th touchdown (nine rushing, four receiving), a new Giants rookie record. He had been tied with running back Bill Paschal (12 in 1943) and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (12 in 2014). Barkley has five touchdowns from scrimmage this season of 50 or more yards, the most ever by a Giants rookie.

Barkley’s four receptions increased his season total to 78, breaking a tie with tight end Jeremy Shockey (2002) and moving into second place on the Giants’ rookie list. Beckham is first with 91 catches in 2014.

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

Dec 092018
 
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New York Giants Offense (December 9, 2018)

A Good Day – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 40 – WASHINGTON REDSKINS 16…
The New York Giants improved their overall record to 5-8 by destroying the Washington Redskins 40-16 on Sunday afternoon at FedExField in Maryland. The game was 40-0 in the 3rd quarter when the Giants pulled out some of their key starters. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. also did not play in the game due to a quad injury.

The bulk of the first quarter was pretty ugly for both offenses. The Redskins and Giants each punted three times to start the game with both teams each only picking up two first downs.

The New York avalanche of points began late in the first quarter when free safety Curtis Riley picked off a a deflected pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez and returned it nine yards for a defensive touchdown. Then after a three-and-out by Washington, the Giants went up 10-0 by  driving 43 yards in nine plays to set up a 35-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

After the Redskins went three-and-out again, the Giants blew the game open on the first ensuing offensive snap. Running back Saquon Barkley ran away from the Washington defense on a 78-yard touchdown gallop. Giants 17 – Redskins 0.

It only got uglier for Washington. Linebacker Alec Ogletree picked off a deflected pass at the Washington 28-yard line and returned it to the 10. On 3rd-and-goal, quarterback Eli Manning found a wide open wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a touchdown and a 24-0 advantage. The Redskins went three-and-out, and spurred by a 52-yard run by Barkley, the Giants got into the endzone again right after the 2-minute warning when Manning threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bennie Fowler. Still the Giants were not done. The Redskins went three-and-out and the Giants got the ball back with 56 seconds left on the clock. A 39-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram set up the Giants at the 5-yard line. New York settled for a 23-yard field goal as time expired.

At the half, the Giants led 34-0.

Both teams exchanged punts to start the second half. On New York’s second possession of the third quarter, the Giants drove 81 yards in nine plays, culminating with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wideout Russell Shepard. The extra point was missed, but the Giants were now up 40-0. The Redskins benched Sanchez and the Giants began to pull some of their starters.

The rest of the game anti-climatic and a bit sloppy, reminiscent of a preseason contest. Washington’s next drive ended on a failed 4th-and-2 conversion attempt at the New York 22-yard line. The Redskins got the ball back when Giants back-up quarterback Kyle Lauletta’s second pass of the game was intercepted, setting up Washington at the New York 33-yard line. Five plays later, Redskins back-up quarterback Josh Johnson scrambled for an 8-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempted succeeded. Giants 40 – Redskins 8.

New York went three-and-out. The Redskins cut the score to 40-16 after a 79-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to wide receiver Jamison Crowder, and another successful 2-point conversion attempt. The last Washington threat ended with under five minutes play when safety Michael Thomas picked off Johnson in the end zone. The Giants then ran out the clock.

Manning finished the game 14-of-22 for 197 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions for a QB rating of 132.0. His leading targets were Barkley (4 catches for 27 yards) and Engram (3 catches for 77 yards). Barkley carried the football 14 times for 170 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants accrued five sacks and and three interceptions. Linebacker Olivier Vernon (1.5), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (1.0), safety Sean Chandler (1.0), defensive end Josh Mauro (1.0), and linebacker Kareem Martin (0.5) all got to the quarterback. The interceptions were by Riley, Ogletree, and Thomas.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), quarterback Alex Tanney, tight end Garrett Dickerson, center Evan Brown, nose tackle John Jenkins, cornerback Tony Lippett, and safety Kenny Ladler.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • LB Alec Ogletree (Video)

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

Dec 062018
 
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James Bettcher, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

James Bettcher – © USA TODAY Sports

LANDON COLLINS PLACED ON IR…
The New York Giants have placed safety Landon Collins on Injured Reserve with shoulder injury that will require season-ending surgery. To fill the roster vacancy, the Giants signed safety Kenny Ladler from the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed punter Brock Miller to the Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Ladler to the Practice Squad in November 2018. The 6’1”, 200-pound Ladler was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bills (2014-2015), Edmonton Eskimos (2016-2017), and Washington Redskins (2018). Ladler has played in seven regular-season NFL games with no starts. Five of those games came with the Redskins in 2018. The Redskins waived him in November.

Miller went undrafted in 2014. While he has worked out for a number of teams since then, he went unsigned until the San Francisco 49ers signed him in 2017. But they cut him after the 2017 NFL Draft. Miller spent some time with the Jacksonville Jaguars before last year’s AFC Championship Game, but he did not play.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
With safety Landon Collins (shoulder) being placed on Injured Reserve, the only player on the 53-man roster who did not practice on Thursday was linebacker Tae Davis (ankle).

Linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck/foot) practiced on a limited basis.

Tight end Evan Engram (hamstring), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (rib), and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip) fully practiced.

Running back Jonathan Stewart’s three-week practice period has expired, meaning he will remain on Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season. Stewart was placed on IR in September with a foot injury. He was designated for return last month, which opened a three-week window in which the Giants had to make the decision of whether or not to place him on the active roster.

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:

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

Dec 032018
 
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Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Aldrick Rosas – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 30-27 overtime win over the Chicago Bears (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: So the one guy that left the game and didn’t come back was Tae Davis with an ankle sprain. We had a couple other guys that were in and out, and if you’re interested in that along the way here, I can talk about it. Again, Tae will most likely be available this week, but we’ll have to see. Other than that, it was a good team win, took us a little longer to win than we liked. The message after the game: toughness and resiliency in a sport where that’s demanded, we were able to display that yesterday. We didn’t do enough things well enough throughout the game and there’s plenty mistakes that need to be cleaned up, and we’re getting that done today. But in the last month, we’ve won three games, and we’re just fighting forward, looking forward to the opportunity to go down and play a division game against the Redskins this week. I’ll try to answer your questions.

Q: Is Sterling (Shepard)’s status up in the air this week (ribs)?

A: By all accounts, he’ll be there, so we’ll see.

Q: How is Saquon (Barkley) feeling today?

A: Fine. He had a little pad adjustment, so he’s fine.

Q: How do you feel when you see him hurdle a guy? Is there any part of you that doesn’t want him to do that or is it part of his repertoire?

A: No, if he can advance the ball, I think that’s a good thing. He really runs under control, he’s got outstanding body control and the fact that he can do that, I think, is amazing. But no, you certainly don’t want a player to do anything reckless and get himself hurt.

Q: You looked like you sat Curtis Riley for a couple series or he was banged up, and Sean Chandler was in there, Michael Thomas was in there. Is that a position that’s in flux?

A: We’re trying to rotate a little bit there just to make sure we’ve got the right people on the field at the right time. Then you saw (Curtis) go back in when Landon (Collins) was in and out. I think it’s important, the way our roster is right now on the backend, I think it’s good for us to get all those guys in the game.

Q: What was your assessment of the onside kick when you went back and saw it on film? It was said there may have been a missed block, and do you think Odell did everything he could?

A: Yeah, I think we just didn’t execute that very well. We would have liked to have seen better blocking in the front line, which would have created more separation for the back line. I think maybe Odell sort of misjudged the pace of the kick, which kind of put him a little bit behind it, and then he tried to do, based on what I saw, what you would do to the kick if it was closer to the sideline, bat it out of bounds. In my mind, we just executed that play poorly. On the flip side, Chris Tabor, their special teams coach, was my special teams coach in Cleveland, so we worked together. I know he’s a very good special teams coach and they executed that play well. They executed well and we didn’t, that’s really the gist of it.

Q: With this offensive line, are you now going into games thinking more progressively than trying to be defensive with that group?

A: No, I think as you start to play behind an offensive line, you have more confidence just as the play caller, there’s certain things you can maybe get to a little quicker. Keep in mind, I think that was as good a front as you’re going to ever play. I think they’re an outstanding group. We had two sacks before the half in just pure drop-back situations, which there’s always contributing factors in sacks. We missed on a twist and then the second one, and then we were just trying to set up the heroic run for Saquon, that’s what we were really trying to do there. We were trying to back it up so he had further to go. No, I think they’re playing better, I really do. They accept the challenge each week to protect for the passer and then also help the runner have room to run, and I think they’re playing better together. I think a lot of it is because they’ve played together longer, like you said.

Q: You’re very in tune with offensive lines for a lot of reasons. What identity do they have? What kind of group do you think they are?

A: I don’t know, somebody asked me the question last week about what I want the identity of our team to be or our offense (to be). I think they need to be physical, number one. They’ve got to be smart, and then they’ve just got to do their jobs. It’s certainly important to block your guy. Most often, offensive linemen are playing against guys that are better than them physically. There’s times you draft a defensive lineman and move him to offense, you don’t see many guys playing offense that get moved to defense. That’s why the coordination of combination blocks and getting to the next level and doing what we can to work together, in most scenarios, it’s five guys trying to get four guys blocked initially, so that’s where the coordination comes in. First off, you’ve got to be able to block your own guy, but then the coordination of working together.

Q: You moved Kyle Lauletta up to the number-two spot yesterday. Was that any indication he’s closer to being ready to go into a game and be comfortable playing?

A: Yeah, I think that’s a fair evaluation of that. Behind the scenes, we’re watching. We evaluate every step every player takes, everything they do all the time, and I’ve said all along he had a long way to go. He came from a small program, he did enough things in the preseason to say he’s good enough to make our team, but we needed to see more from him in order to feel confident in giving him a jersey, and he’s done some things behind the scenes that have given us more of that confidence.

Q: When you say he has ‘made progress’, what does that mean? What can a QB do behind the scenes or on the practice field when he’s working with the scout team to get to that next level?

A: Practice field, working with the scout team, how he prepares, what he looks at in his preparation, the interaction we have with him. ‘Hey, it’s third-and-five, what play do you like?’ Just the interaction you have with a quarterback, it’s pretty in-depth, and we’re fortunate to have a terrific quarterback room here, so just the things that we see as coaches. That’s really what it is.

Q: Does anything change now with your quarterbacks in practice in terms of who is taking scout teams reps, second-team reps?

A: No, and again, because you don’t get to see it and I don’t know how much you’ve ever seen, the starter gets the reps and the two guys that are backups take the scout team reps. Then the individual work and the drill work and all the things necessary to get yourself ready to go, that’s part of, in my opinion, what makes a good backup – being able to go in and execute with very few reps. That’s where experience plays in, that’s why (Alex) Tanney was ahead of Lauletta, in my mind. We’re in a situation now where we feel comfortable with both of them doing it. That’s really it, because you can’t get two quarterbacks ready. You only run 50 or 60 team plays a day, you don’t have enough time to get two guys ready to play. That’s why you have a starter and that’s why you have backups.

Q: Can you shed any more light on the timing of the decision? A week ago it seemed like you said Tanney was ahead of Lauletta. Why this week to make the change?

A: Because I thought it was time, that’s why. That’s the timing of it. We don’t always tell you everything we’re thinking. If you ask me a question, I’ll tell you. Nobody asked me how close he was to Tanney.

Q: You seemed to feel a week ago that Tanney didn’t deserve to be jumped over, he deserved a shot.

A: I didn’t say that. I said don’t dismiss the fact that Tanney could go in and do it. I didn’t give you an order, I didn’t give you the distance between the two. That’s what I said.

Q: Is there an internal plan to get Kyle game reps to evaluate him?

A: We’re trying to win every game we play. You can look at this a lot of different ways, there’s a lot of models to developing a quarterback. A year ago in Kansas City, the only game (Patrick) Mahomes played was the last game of the year that had nothing to do with their playoff status. But they had seen enough to say we’re going to do this with this quarterback, and do this with this quarterback. The models are all different when you develop quarterbacks. We have a starting quarterback that we believe in. We put him out there because we believe he’s going to lead us to victories, and then behind the scenes, much like every other position, we’re developing those players. It’s just like you guys are experts at your job, deciding what the story line is, writing a story and doing your thing – this is our job, this is our profession, this is what we do, we try to develop young men. We do it behind the scenes.

Q: What can a quarterback gain by being active even if he’s not playing? Is there any benefit for Kyle?

A: I don’t think so. Tanney was on the sidelines just as in tune as if he had a uniform on. In my mind, the only thing is you’re one ankle injury from being in there. If they both don’t train to be ready to play, then they’re selling themselves and this organization short, and based on what I’ve seen and based on the way they train, both guys each week get themselves ready to play.

Q: You talked about how Tanney was one level, Lauletta was another level, and now you feel comfortable moving Lauletta up. That’s two and three. Two and one – is there a huge gap between Lauletta and Eli now still?

A: I don’t know that, and you’ll only know that if and when Lauletta gets in the game. I think that’s where you see that. In my mind, Tanney and Lauletta are both valid choices as backups now. You guys can stack them how you want.

Q: Are you open to playing Lauletta before this season is over if you think he gives you the best chance to win?

A: If he’s active to play and for whatever reason the way the game is going, for whatever reason I feel like he gives us a better chance to win, then he’ll go in. But that’s the case for all positions.

Q: Starting him?

A: Eli is our starter.

Q: Eli will start the rest of the year?

A: Eli is going to start this week against the Redskins. I don’t want to get into a play on words here. Eli’s our starter, and we have two backups. Last week, Lauletta dressed as number two.

Q: Are you open to having Lauletta start at some point this season?

A: I want to win every game we play, starting with the Redskins. That will be with Eli as our starter.

Q: If Kyle doesn’t play in a game?

A: Yeah, then he’ll stand there and watch.

Q: You weren’t here last year, there was a young quarterback who didn’t get in a game, so then all you’re evaluating is practice tape. Now you’ve had the chance to work with Kyle every day. Can you determine without him playing in games whether or not he’s the answer?

A: That’s a decision for down the road. We’re determining what they can do all the time.

Q: You’ve mentioned you’re having young players develop everywhere, but you’re seeing Sean Chandler play, Tae Davis play, all these other guys play.

A: Way different than the quarterback position.

Q: You expect Kyle to be the number two this week?

A: There’s a good chance he’ll be the number two this week. Then we’ll visit next week and we’ll talk again. Good chance.

Q: Obviously you’re focused on the Redskins, but is there no discussion as a coaching staff or you with Dave (Gettleman) about down the line? You’re not making any plans for the last three games after this one?

A: Nope, we’re trying to win this game. We’re trying to get 8-8 one game at a time and then see what happens from there. We have all types of discussions behind the scenes, it’s very fluid. Dave and I talk throughout the week, I have conversations with John (Mara), Steve (Tisch), we’re always talking about this team, evaluating or really talking about who played well, who needs to play better as we move forward, this and that. There’s always conversation about what happened, where we’re going, short and long term plans, but again I would never share that with anybody. But don’t be surprised by the answer because that’s something that we all do all the time regardless of your role. As head coach, I’m obviously involved in all of those. When I was a coordinator, I was only involved with the offensive part of it. Those conversations are happening all the time.

Q: So it’s fair to say that the hypotheticals we’re bringing to you, you may already be having those hypothetical questions behind the scenes but you’re just not ready to present those answers?

A: And I may never present those answers. There’s billion-dollar businesses that have issues of the day they don’t share with the world and I don’t think our business is any different.

Q: Mathematically, the likelihood of making the playoffs, you’re not eliminated from anything.

A: That’s right. It’s amazing for some of you to probably come to grips with, but we’re not.

Q: Right, at the moment. But at some point, is that part of the discussion in your mind that if that happens, then maybe we shift gears?

A: Maybe we will at that time, but if we do, then that’s a question and an answer for a different time. I think that’s fair. Are you all good with that?

Q: The guys that missed last week, any chance they’re coming back (this week)?

A: The two that I’m looking at right here, Evan Engram and Lorenzo Carter, we’ll have to see. We’re hopeful, but we’ll see.

Q: You have a decision to make on (Jonathan) Stewart. Have you made that decision yet?

A: We haven’t. I think we have until Thursday, so we’ll have to make that decision by Thursday. We all know what that means, right? We either have to make a decision and put him on the active roster or he’ll be down for the year. We have a couple of days and we’ll have a couple conversations as we go.

Q: What would bringing him back add to a room with Saquon and Wayne Gallman?

A: We appreciate everything he’s done. He’s been around, he’s been in the room, so his presence has been felt all year. That’s partly why he was here. Everybody in the building thinks the world of who Jonathan is as a person and a player, and all along he’s had a good impact on our young rookie running back who has been asked to carry the load. We appreciate that about him. This really on Thursday just becomes a business decision and we’ll just have to see how it fits roster-wise.

Q: Three-quarters of the way through his rookie season, what’s your evaluation of Saquon and how the season has gone for him?

A: I think he’s had a positive impact on our team. I said it early and I really believe it, he’s got a generational spirit in terms of how he competes and I have not been, WE have not been disappointed in (any) way. He’s extremely talented running the ball, catching the ball, he blocks well, we’re doing what we can to give him the football so he has an impact on the game, and I think he has. Last week someone was talking about how he has great production and the answer he gave was, I’m just trying to continue to work on the little things, just keep being you. If that’s your mindset, then we’ll try to encourage that along the way because great players that have that mindset and are worried about getting a little bit better, then I think that’s good for us.

Q: On defense finishing out the game in overtime:

A: They did a good job of working their way down the field, but we had some guys like OV (Olivier Vernon) had his best game by far and I thought he had an impact on the game. B.J. Hill got sacks and was disruptive. I thought Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) competed throughout, and then Tree (Alec Ogletree) had the two interceptions. He’s going to want to move to tight end now. Couple guys on defense make catches and now they want to play offense, which is good. We had some guys, we did some things in the game that were really, really good throughout the game. The game got tied at one point, but at the end of the game when we needed to get a stop, we did. But there were things within the game that were really good, and I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that those guys had positive a contribution.

Q: Janoris has really flipped his season on its head here. What has he done differently the last few weeks?

A: He just competes and keeps the noise out, that’s it. He’s a tough sucker and I appreciate his spirit, too, because he just keeps competing. Every once in a while people get beat, but he just keeps fighting, competing. He tackled me once. I just like the way he competes, and you’re all becoming well aware I’m fond of the competitive guys and he’s a competitor. I was glad that he was able to be the focal point of that last throw and he was able to disrupt it the way he did. That’s good.

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

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

Dec 022018
 
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Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 30 – CHICAGO BEARS 27…
The New York Giants blew a 10-point lead against the Chicago Bears with less than two minutes to play, but persevered to win the game in overtime, 30-27, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 4-8.

The Giants jumped out to a quick 7-0 advantage when linebacker Alec Ogletree intercepted a pass from quarterback Chase Daniel at the 8-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. Then both teams exchanged punts twice before the Bears tied the game by driving 70 yards in 10 plays. Daniel hit tight end Adam Shaheen for a 2-yard score.

Momentum continued to swing in the direction of the Bears as quarterback Eli Manning was picked off on the ensuing drive, setting up Chicago near midfield at the end of the first quarter. However, the Giants got the ball back when Ogletree intercepted his second pass, this one at the New York 14-yard line, returning it 20 yards.

After the Giants went three-and-out twice and the Bears once, Chicago took the lead on a 7-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. The Bears now led 14-7.

The Giants punted for the fifth time in the first half on the ensuing possession. The Bears went three-and-out and New York received the ball with 1:14 before halftime. Although the Giants only picked up 18 yards, place kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked a 57-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. It was the longest field goal in New York Giants’ team history.

At the half, the Bears led 14-10.

The Giants started the second half on a high note. After receiving the kickoff, the Giants picked up 26 yards on three plays. Then the Giants ran a trick play that had wide receiver Odell Beckham pass the ball to a wide-open wide receiver Russell Shepard for a 49-yard touchdown. The Giants now led 17-14.

After forcing the Bears to go three-and-out, the Giants put together a 13-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a Manning-to-Beckham 1-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Giants were now up 24-14 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Bears picked up two first downs on their subsequent drive but were forced to punt. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Bears finally managed to put together a scoring drive by moving the ball 56 yards in seven plays to set up a 36-yard field goal. Giants 24 – Bears 17.

With just over nine minutes to go in the game, the Giants drove the ball from their own 8-yard line to the Bears’ 30-yard line. However, a 9-yard sack on 3rd-and-8 took the Giants out of field goal range. The ensuing punt was downed by the Giants at the 2-yard line. On Chicago’s first offensive snap, cornerback B.W. Webb forced wide receiver Taylor Gabriel to fumble, which was recovered at the Chicago 13-yard line by safety Sean Chandler.

At this point, it appeared the game was all but officially won. But New York did not manage the clock well in the final 2:19 of the game. The Giants lost six yards and settled for three points after only taking 30 seconds off of the clock. Still, New York was up 27-17 with 1:49 left to play.

The Bears’ first score was aided by a 32-yard pass completion and 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Chandler. This moved the ball to the New York 8-yard line where Chicago was forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal with 1:13 left.

Then disaster struck when a less-than-aggressive Beckham did not handle the onsides kickoff. The Bears recovered at the Chicago 47-yard line. The Bears completed a 23-yard pass on 4th-and-3 down to the New York 9-yard line with 11 seconds to play. After two incompletions, Webb was called for pass interference, giving Chicago a 1st-and-goal situation at the 1-yard line with three seconds left in the game. The Bears then ran their own trick play, a halfback pass by Tarik Cohen to wide receiver Anthony Miller with no time on the clock.

The game was tied 27-27 and headed to overtime.

The Giants won the toss. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 29 yards on the first play of the drive. On 3rd-and-2, Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for an 8-yard completion to the Chicago 30-yard line. The Giants only manged four more yards, but it was enough to set up a successful 44-yard field goal by Rosas. The Bears now needed to score on their ensuing possession or lose the game.

The Bears kept things interesting by gaining 10 yards on 4th-and-7. Then on 4th-and-8 from the Chicago 40-yard line, the Giants came with an all-out blitz. Daniel threw a deep ball to wideout Taylor Gabriel, but cornerback Janoris Jenkins had perfect coverage over the middle and knocked the ball away to win the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 19-of-35 for 170 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His leading receivers were tight end Rhett Ellison (4 catches for 42 yards) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 28 yards). Barkley rushed for 125 yards on 24 carries.

Defensively, the Giants forced three turnovers. Ogletree picked off two passes, one which he returned for a score. The Giants also accrued five sacks, three by defensive lineman B.J. Hill and two by linebacker Olivier Vernon. The Giants were also credited with 10 tackles for losses and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were tight end Evan Engram (hamstring), linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip), quarterback Alex Tanney, center Evan Brown, nose tackle John Jenkins, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ribs), linebacker Tae Davis (ankle), and safety Landon Collins (shoulder) were all dinged up in the game.

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

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

Nov 282018
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
The only player to not practice on Wednesday was tight end Evan Engram (hamstring).

Defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip), linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck), linebacker Tae Davis (ankle), cornerback Grant Haley (hamstring), and safety Curtis Riley (shoulder) were limited in practice.

Wide receiver Cody Latimer, who is currently on Injured Reserve due to a hamstring injury that he suffered in October, returned to practice. Latimer has missed five games and must sit out eight before he is eligible to return to the active roster. After the game against the Tennessee Titans on December 16, the Giants will have three days to decide whether to activate Latimer or keep in on Injured Reserve.

Latimer joins running back Jonathan Stewart as players on injured reserve who have been designated for return/returned to practice. Stewart is eligible to rejoin the roster now. If the Giants do not make that moved by December 6, Stewart must remain on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed tight end Hakeem Valles to the Practice Squad. The 26-year old, 6’3”, 250-pound Valles was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Detroit Lions in 2017-2018. Valles has played in 15 regular-season games with one start, and has caught two passes for 11 yards.

To make room for Valles, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of Marshall Koehn, who the Giants had re-signed last week. Koehn was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Dolphins (2016), Minnesota Vikings (2017), and Cincinnati Bengals (2017). The Giants signed Koehn to a reserve/futures contract in January 2018, but waived him before the season started.

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

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

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

Nov 212018
 
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B.W. Webb, New York Giants (November 18, 2018)

B.W. Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday was defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion). There were no other players listed with injuries.

SAQUON BARKLEY NAMED “NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been named the “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. In that game, Barkley rushed the ball 27 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 10 yards and a touchdown.

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…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Thursday (Thanksgiving). The Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nov 192018
 
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Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants (November 18, 2018)

Dalvin Tomlinson – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 38-35 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I don’t have much to add from yesterday, except I will say on the injury front, Kerry Wynn is in the concussion protocol. I know we announced that last night. And then once again, knock on wood, we just have some normal wear and tear, so we’ll see where they’re at when we get to practice on Wednesday. Some soreness, but nothing really to report. It was a good win, we’ve got many, many things to clean up. I’m sure you’ve got questions about how the game was played, but we found a way to win and to do it in front of our home crowd was fun. We’ll just try to build on it as we get ready to play Philadelphia.

Q: You had nine different pass-catchers yesterday. How valuable was that in your scheme to spread the ball around in helping Eli in the passing game?

A: It’s super important. When you have that many guys touch the ball, I think it’s good. If you think about it from a defensive perspective, then they’ve got to make sure they play us true. Obviously teams do things to take away Odell (Beckham) and we were trying to get him the ball throughout the game, and we got a couple explosive plays out of him early and late, but in the middle there, for those guys to catch passes is very important. Stat sheets are what they are, but typically if it plays out where a lot of guys are touching the ball and your main runner is gaining yardage, it’s a good thing.

Q: Out of the bye week there seems to be enhanced commitment to the run, you started the game with three straight runs. Was there something you saw specifically that made you want to do that?

A: No, I think all along we’ve talked about how important it is to get the run game going. In that first series there, we had some effective runs and then we hit a long play action pass, so I think it’s all connected. That’s the way I would like to play every game, get ahead and then be able to stick with the run because it has a good effect on the game. At times, the game doesn’t play out that way and you have to go a different direction, but the way it played out yesterday is the way you’d like them all to work. You want to win certainly, but to be able to run the ball consistently. For those of you keeping track, Saquon (Barkley) had 29 touches, more runs than catches, so he had his production.

Q: Saquon mentioned that one thing that was different for him yesterday was he found a pace, he called it, he got a feel for the offensive line. Is that what you’re talking about, establishing it early? Does a running back feel a rhythm when he gets the ball in those types of areas?

A: Yeah, you would have to ask him to define what he’s talking about. When you can start out the game running the ball effectively like we did, I think it’s a good thing. When you don’t start out running the ball effectively, then you’re picking and poking and trying to find the right runs, because we had a bunch of runs that we can choose from. When you start hitting on the ones that you feel like should be good against a defense, that may be the pace or the rhythm he’s talking about.

Q: After watching it on film, what do you come away with from the defense? Four turnovers, but 35 points and a lot of long passes.

A: Yeah, a mixed bag. The turnovers certainly are important, we really had five when you talk about the stopped quarterback sneak. I think in our three wins, we’re plus-eight in turnovers, and in our seven losses we’re like minus-eight. I pointed that out to the team and it’s very important. Those turnovers are key, especially when (Alec Ogletree) turned one into a touchdown. That’s excellent. Throughout the game, there was some good play. This team just put up 500 yards the week before, so this team finds a way to move the ball. They fell victim to the turnover again and that affected the outcome, but there are some things within the game that we need to clean up whether it be coverage, pressure, run fits. It’s no different than on the offensive side, which there’s certain things we need to clean up there, as well.

Q: What happened on the touchdown pass to (Mike Evans)? I’m sure in that situation that’s the last thing you want to allow, the deep touchdown with two and a half minutes left.

A: Yeah, we were in a coverage that should make that not be the case, but they got behind us and made a good throw.

Q: What do you think of the job B.W. Webb’s done since the Eli Apple trade when his role expanded?

A: He’s done a good job. I’ve gained an appreciation for him throughout this season, very competitive guy and he’s done a good job for us inside and outside. We played against some really receivers, I was with (DeSean Jackson) and (Mike Evans). This was a good crew of receivers, and he battled really hard.

Q: How do you balance as a guy who’s going to design what you want to do on offense, each game you have a game plan even though you have some things you want to do every game. You say you really want to run the ball early and stuff like that, but then you go against the Eagles this week and they possibly could be decimated in their secondary. So there, you want to run the ball and you want to attack their weaknesses and maybe not go down a path you want to go down?

A: We have to play offense and do it in a way that makes sense for us against the opponent we’re playing. Going into this past game, there were a lot of questions about their pass defense, but we started out running the ball. I think there are some fundamentals you have to stick to when you play offensive football, but I would consider us game-plan-specific in a lot of ways. We’re going to try to do the things, especially early, that we think will help us move the ball down the field, but it always involves running the ball to some degree, and I think that’s important.

Q: From your perspective, what has been the biggest difference for Eli (Manning) these last two weeks?

A: It’s all coordinated. When you can run the ball and play action, a lot of times that helps the protection, and then I think our guys have protected better. It all starts up front and I think the last two games were our best two games for that crew.

Q: Why has it worked up front better in your mind? The last two games when you watch your offensive line, why has it worked?

A: I think we’re playing better as a unit, and we added one new player.

Q: Does one new player have that much of an impact?

A: He can. The new player has played better, (Jamon Brown) I think has done a good job coming in here and contributing in a positive way. They found a way quickly to work well together. We still had a couple breakdowns last night, but for the most part, I think they’ve played their best two games as a unit, and we can see the impact it has on a football game. I’ll go back to what I said and you can probably quote it to me, we’ll go as far as that line will block for us, and they’ve blocked better the last two weeks. That’s contributed.

Q: I know Philly has their fair share of problems lately, but you play them and the Bears. Are you curious to see how your team performs when the level of competition will theoretically go up, at least record-wise, from the teams you’ve beaten?

A: We battled the so-called front part of our schedule extremely well. We had one game that got away from us, so we’re going to go down there and battle. Level of competition – like I’ve said in the past, I feel like we go into every game with the idea that we’re going to try to win it, and I feel like we can win it if we play well. I’m looking forward to playing Philadelphia. It’s going to be a competitive game, as we all know. They took it to us the first game, we did some things in that game that you can’t do if you want to win against any type of team, and they’re a good team. They certainly have had their struggles of late, they’ve got injuries like we all have to some degree, but I’m looking forward to playing them.

Q: The season could have gone haywire. It hasn’t, and there’s at least a little bit of buzz about the potential for the division. No one is running away with it. How much do you embrace that or kind of temper it? What do you do as a head coach?

A: I embrace it because we’re playing this thing just the way you have to play it. We own a poor record in the first half, but you keep playing. I keep answering the same questions about it, you keep playing and you keep improving. You never know what happens. You can never tell what’s going to happen, and that’s why you keep playing and that’s why it’s important for our locker room not to get ill. If you lose a game and you battle, you’ve got to find a way to come back and make the corrections, and move on to the next one. You can’t let that game create an illness on your team, and I think our guys have listened to that message. I think the leadership in our locker room is good, and we’re just going to try to battle this thing all the way to the end because that’s what we do. That’s what we do as coaches and players, that’s why we’re in this for the competitive spirit of this with the goal of winning each game, and then we’ll let everyone that does the math add it up at the end.

Q: Do you ever allow yourself to look back and say, ‘Man, if we just had that one play or that one win’?

A: No, I don’t. I don’t like to do that. I like to leave my feet right where they’re at. We’ll work on this press conference then I’ll move on to something else. I don’t look back. I just don’t. As we go through this and as a coach, you think about things that could have played out better. I played in a Super Bowl, I wish we would’ve won but we didn’t. You move on. You just can’t do that, and I think that’s part of that message that we give to the players – just keep going. Make today the best it can be. This should be the best day of corrections of the season, is what I told them. That’s why I don’t like ‘Victory Mondays’. I just don’t believe in them, because you have to settle all debts, you have to clear the slate from the day before and other than weightlifting and such, this is as important of a day as Wednesday because some of the things we have to clean up could show up against Philadelphia. And if you don’t make these corrections in a real structured way, then I think you set yourself back.

Q: Is that a lesson you had to learn as a player or a coach, just to stay in the moment? Or you’ve always been like that?

A: I think it’s been reinforced throughout my life, but I’ve always been this way in every sport I ever played in, in everything I’ve ever done. You can’t worry about yesterday. If you failed yesterday, let’s find a way to succeed today, and you just keep moving. Taken a lot of punches, and thrown a lot of punches, so you just keep moving. That’s what you have to do. If we played two or three games a year, we wouldn’t have to worry about that, or you don’t have to have that kind of mindset. But when we play a long season like we do, that’s got to be the mindset. Just keep rolling and add it up at the end.

Q: How do you handle Thanksgiving week with your team? What’s your philosophy?

A: What we’re going to do on Thursday is we’re going to work in the morning, I’m going to compress the walk-thru and it’s going to butt right up to practice. We’re going to work in the morning and the players will be out of here by noon so they can enjoy time with their families. Coaches will probably be out of here by (1 o’clock). Just like it was really important for us this week to recognize the armed forces and what they’ve done, I think it’s really important – this is my favorite of all the holidays. It’s a meal, there’s no gifts, it’s family, you get to practice or play around a meal, which is great. I’m fond of this holiday, and I also like it because it’s a little tweak in the schedule, and by this time of year, I think a little tweak in the schedule is good for the players. Then we’ll come back Friday, normal Friday, and then practice in the morning Saturday, get on the bus, and head down the turnpike.

Q: Landon (Collins) had to get re-evaluated (for a concussion) today, is that right?

A: Yeah, I think he’s going to be fine. I can’t say that one hundred percent, but I think he’s going to be fine.

Q: Do you enjoy the atmosphere at the Linc (Lincoln Financial Field)?

A: I do, because it’s a highly emotional, competitive environment. I’ve played there a couple times as the visitor, I certainly played there 13 years as the home team, and the fans are into it.

Q: Do you talk to your players, some of whom have not experienced this kind of atmosphere?

A: No, I think most venues are that way when you’re on the road, but I know the Eagles fans intimately. They love their team.

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

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

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

Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

At the half, the Giants led 14-7.

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

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

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

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

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

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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