Apr 292021
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 3, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS PICK UP 5th-YEAR OPTION ON SAQUAN BARKLEY…
The New York Giants have announced that they have picked up the 5th-year option on running back Saquon Barkley’s rookie contract. Barkley is now signed through the 2022 season. The NFL deadline for exercising the 5-year option is May 3rd.

Barkley’s initial rookie deal signed after he was drafted in 2018 was a 4-year, $31 million contract. He will now also earn $7.217 million in guaranteed salary in 2022.

The Giants placed Barkley on Injured Reserve in late September 2020 after he tore the ACL, partially tore the meniscus, and sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2. He finished the season with 19 carries for 34 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and six catches for 60 yards.

The Giants drafted Barkley with the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He became only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage and breaking a number of franchise records. He also was voted to the Pro Bowl and named “Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year”, “FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year”, “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year”, and “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.” Barkley started all 16 games, rushing 261 times for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. The latter figure is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 merger. 

After that stellar rookie season, Barkley endured a forgettable sophomore season as a pro. The high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 3 nagged him much of the remainder of the season. Playing soft and tentative at times, Barkley did not show signs of his old self until December. Nevertheless, Barkley still rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He also caught 52 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns. 

2021 NFL DRAFT BEGINS THURSDAY…
The 3-day 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29th:

  • 1st Round: Thursday, April 29th (starts at 8:00PM)
  • 2nd-3rd Rounds: Friday, April 30th (starts at 7:00PM)
  • 4th-7th Rounds: Saturday, May 1st (starts at noon)

The Giants currently have six picks in the 7-round draft, including:

  • 1st round (11th pick, 11th overall)
  • 2nd round (10th pick, 42nd overall)
  • 3rd round (12th pick, 76th overall)
  • 4th round (11th pick, 116th overall)
  • 6th round (12th pick, 196th overall)
  • 6th round (17th pick, 201st overall)

 

Jan 252021
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

The potential trajectory of New York Giants’ 2020 season changed on September 20th. On that day, the team lost its best player, and arguably one of the top 10 players in the NFL, for the season. Many fans still don’t fully understand what a massive loss that was for the team. Saquon Barkley changes the way other teams defend an entire offense. He was the only player on the Giants who was a threat to score every time he touched the football as a runner or receiver.

Unfortunately, there is a growing group of fans who argue that Barkley was not worthy of the #2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft based on talent alone. This is revisionist thinking. Very few were saying that after his historic rookie season where he gained over 2,000 yards on an offensive team otherwise devoid of talent, especially on the offensive line. Before we proceed further, please watch his rookie highlights. Now one can argue that a rebuilding club should not take a running back with the #2 pick, that the Giants should have traded down for more picks, or selected a position with a longer shelf life, but there is no disputing Barkley’s talent. Once he was removed from the 2020 New York Giants line-up, the entire complexion of the team’s offense changed for the worse.

The franchise seemed somewhat unprepared for the potential loss of Barkley. They did not seem enamored with the other options on the roster and immediately signed Devonta Freeman off of the street. In Week 3, Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis embarrassingly carried the ball 10 times for 17 yards. The coaching staff instantly favored Freeman over Gallman. Freeman carried the ball 11 times for 33 yards in Week 4, 17 times for 60 yards in Week 5, and 18 times for 61 yards in Week 6. Then Freeman hurt his ankle early in Week 7 and was also effectively lost for the season. The Giants signed Alfred Morris off of the scrapheap and were forced to turn to Gallman, who started each of the final nine games.

Gallman’s story is a curious one. Drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo, Gallman fell out of favor with Pat Shurmur and then early on with Joe Judge. But when Judge finally turned to Gallman, the 4th-year pro responded by rushing 147 times for 682 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. This despite only carrying the ball more than 12 times in a game just four times and more than 18 times just once. Indeed, it seemed as if Gallman was being underutilized for much of the second half of the season.

After Gallman’s 147 carries, quarterback Daniel Jones was the second leading rusher on the team, both in terms of carries (65) and yardage (423). The over-the-hill Alfred Morris become Gallman’s primary backup, averaging six carries per game in the final nine games. He finished with 55 carries for 238 yards and one touchdown, surprisingly averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Dion Lewis served as the 3rd-down back, carrying the ball just 29 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback Eli Penny only played in seven percent of all offensive snaps, touching the ball just eight times.

Overall, the Giants finished 19th in rushing, averaging 110.5 yards per game. The ground game was abysmal to start the season and improved markedly as the year progressed until December. No Giant had more than 28 yards rushing in the first two games and no Giant had more than 49 yards rushing in the first four games. Jones was the team’s leading rusher in four of the first seven games of the season. When the Giants ran for over 100 yards in a game, their record was 6-3. When the Giants ran for less than 100 yards, their record was 0-7, including the 0-3 stretch in December. Long story short, when the offensive line played well, the Giants were able to run the football and won football games. When the offensive line faltered, the Giants lost. Team running backs only scored nine rushing touchdowns.

One thing to keep in mind as we move forward: since Gallman, Morris, and Lewis are all now free agents, it is quite possible that none of New York’s top three running back ground gainers in 2020 will be on the roster in a few months.

THE DEVASTATING LOSS

The Giants placed Saquon Barkley on Injured Reserve in late September 2020 after he tore the ACL, partially tore the meniscus, and sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2. He finished the season with 19 carries for 34 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and six catches for 60 yards. The Giants drafted Barkley with the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He became only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage and breaking a number of franchise records. He also was voted to the Pro Bowl and named “Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year”, “FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year”, “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year”, and “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.” Barkley started all 16 games, rushing 261 times for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. The latter figure is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 merger. All of this despite playing behind a subpar offensive line.

After that stellar rookie season, Barkley endured a forgettable sophomore season as a pro. The high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 3 nagged him much of the remainder of the season. Playing soft and tentative at times, Barkley did not show signs of his old self until December. Nevertheless, Barkley still rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He also caught 52 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns. Barkley is a complete three-down back who can make an impact running and catching the football. If healthy, he has an outstanding combination of size, quickness, and speed. A home-run threat every time he touches the football, Barkley has great vision, instincts, and balance. He makes defenders miss and can accelerate to full speed in a heartbeat. Barkley is big enough to run through and athletic enough to leap over tackle attempts. Barkley is a very good pass receiver who can hurt a defense down the field in the passing game. He has only fumbled the ball once in his career. His biggest negative is that he will sometimes try to do too much and dance around instead of taking what the defense gives him. Excellent intangibles. Team leader with a good work ethic. It remains to be seen if he can regain his old form after his serious 2020 knee injuries. And after two injury-plagued seasons in a row, Barkley needs to prove he can stay healthy.

THE STAND-INS

The Giants placed Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve in November 2020 with ankle and hamstring injuries. He was also placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List in December. The 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 and the Giants signed him in late September 2020. Freeman played in five games with the Giants, starting four, and finished 2020 with 54 carries for 172 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 58 yards.

In his fourth NFL season, Wayne Gallman had his best campaign despite starting the season as an afterthought. It was only after injuries to Saquon Barkley and the newly-signed Devonta Freeman that the coaching staff turned to Gallman. He ended up playing in 15 games with 10 starts, carrying the ball 147 times for 682 yards (4.6 yards per rush) and six touchdowns. Gallman also caught 21 passes for 114 yards. Gallman was drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Giants. As a rookie, Gallman played in 13 games with one start and carried the football 111 times for 476 yards (4.3 yards per carry). But Gallman saw his playing time drop significant during Pat Shurmur’s reign, carrying the ball only 80 times for 286 yards in 2018-2019. Gallman is a well-rounded cutback runner with decent vision, elusiveness, strength for his size, and speed. He has good hands as a receiver, but he will fumble (seven career fumbles).

The Giants signed Alfred Morris to the Practice Squad in late September 2020 and the 53-man roster in November 2020. Morris ended up playing in nine games for the Giants with no starts, carrying the ball 55 times for 238 yards (4.3 yards per rush). The 5’10”, 222-pound Morris was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2015), Dallas Cowboys (2016-2017, 2019), San Francisco 49ers (2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2019). Morris has played in 114 regular-season games with 70 starts. Morris was second-team All-Pro in 2012 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014. Nearing the end of his career, Morris has good size and power, but what movement skills he once had have clearly faded. He is not used much in the passing game.

Dion Lewis played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2020 with no starts. He finished the year with 29 carries for 115 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for for 127 yards and one touchdown. Lewis served as the team’s primary kickoff returner, averaging 22.4 yards per return and fumbling twice. The 5’8”, 195-pound Lewis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Lewis has spent time with the Eagles (2011-2012), Cleveland Browns (2013), Indianapolis Colts (2014), New England Patriots (2015-2017), and Tennessee Titans (2018-2019). The Giants signed Lewis in March 2020 after he was cut by the Titans. Strictly a smaller, 3rd-down-type back, Lewis has good quickness but lacks the overall dynamism for the role he plays. He also had an issue with fumbling in 2020.

THE LONELY FULLBACK

Eli Penny was placed on Injured Reserve in early January 2021 due to an undisclosed illness. The sole fullback on the team for the past three seasons, Penny played in 14 games in 2020, rushing the ball six times for 15 yards (2.5 yards per carry) and catching two passes for 20 yards. The 6’2”, 234-pound Penny was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Penny off of the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in September 2018. He has played in 44 regular-season games for the Giants with four starts. Though Penny lacks classic fullback size, he is a well-rounded player who can block, run, and catch the football.

PRACTICE SQUAD

The Giants signed Taquan Mizzell to the Practice Squad in November 2020. The 5’10”, 185-pound Mizzell originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Chicago Bears (2017-2018), and New Orleans Saints (2019-2020). Mizzell has played in 12 regular-season games, serving as a running back, wide receiver, and kick returner.

Sandro Platzgummer was allocated to the Giants in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. Platzgummer played for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League.

The Giants signed Rod Smith to the Practice Squad in early September 2020 and cut him three weeks later. The 6’3”, 236-pound Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2015-2018), Giants (2019), Tennessee Titans (2019), and Oakland Raiders (2019).

Dec 032020
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 20, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

DECEMBER 3, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) and LB Cam Brown (illness) did not practice on Thursday.

“We had positive reports on (Jones) yesterday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “Obviously, we have to kind of see a little bit more from him today. The plan is to get him out there with the trainers, move him around a little bit, throw a little bit, see where that progresses to and what that allows him to do later in practice today or maybe what that shows what we can do with him tomorrow. Again, there are still a lot of questions more so than answers right now. I know he’s doing everything he can to get back and be with the team. He’s preparing tirelessly, he’s in the building, he’s doing everything he can like it would be any other day. I know mentally where he’s at. We just have to check physically where he’s at and make sure we make the right decision for him.”

WR Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot), WR Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder), LB David Mayo (knee), and S Nate Ebner (knee) were limited in practice.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE…
The New York Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of safety Chris Williamson, who the team drafted in the 7th-round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

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 New York Giants practice on Friday (11:50AM-1:20PM). Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will also address the media.

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.