Jan 032021
 
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Leonard Williams, New York Giants (January 3, 2021)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 23 – DALLAS COWBOYS 19…
The New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys 23-19 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon. The Giants finished the 2020 regular-season with a 6-10 record (4-2 in the NFC East). If the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Washington Football Team on Sunday night, the Giants will win the NFC East and will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs.

Leading 20-9 at the half, the Giants almost let this game slip away, including some gut-wrench moments late in the 4th quarter. But defensive lineman Leonard Williams dominated with 7 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 quarterback hits, 3 tackles for a loss, and one pass defense.

The Giants received the ball to start the game and impressively drove 78 yards in six plays to take a quick 6-0 lead (the extra point was missed). A mixture of passes from quarterback Daniel Jones and runs by running back Wayne Gallman set up a 23-yard end around by wide receiver Sterling Shepard that went for the score.

Dallas picked up two first downs on their initial drive and then were forced to punt after a 3rd-down sack by linebacker Blake Martinez. However, the Giants gave the ball right back when Gallman botched a handoff from Jones. The Cowboys recovered at the New York 27-yard line. The Giants defense held when Williams sacked quarterback Andy Dalton on 3rd-and-8 from the 14-yard line. Dallas kicked the 38-yard field goal to cut the score to 6-3.

For the next six consecutive drives (three by each team), the Giants and Cowboys struggled to move the ball. New York picked up three first downs and Dallas could not pick up one. All six of these possessions ended with punts.

Midway through the 2nd quarter, the Giants’ offense began to click into gear again. New York drove 65 yards in six plays with Jones finding Shepard for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Shepard also caught a 21-yard pass earlier on this possession. Giants 13 – Cowboys 3.

The Cowboys finally began to move the ball themselves, driving 44 yards in 10 plays to set up a 46-yard field goal. Giants 13 – Cowboys 6.

With 2:13 left on the clock before halftime, New York decided to remain aggressive. It took just four plays for the Giants to drive 75 yards, the two big gains being an 18-yard pass to Shepard, followed by a 38-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Dante Pettis. The Giants now led 20-6 with under a minute to play. Unfortunately, the defense allowed Dallas to gain 35 yards in 45 seconds, setting up a successful 57-yard field goal as time expired.

At the half, the Giants led 20-9.

The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out by the Cowboys to start the 3rd quarter. However, two plays later, on 2nd-and-10, a pass from Jones intended for tight Evan Engram bounced off of his hands and was intercepted at the Dallas 38-yard line. Worse, Cowboys’ momentum continued to surge as Dallas drove 62 yards in 10 plays to cut the score to 20-16. Running back Ezekiel Elliott scored from one yard out.

The Giants gained two first downs before an illegal crackback penalty called on Shepard pushed the Giants back, leading to a punt. The Cowboys then began a long, 13-play, 62-yard drive that was finally stopped by linebacker Kyler Fackrell’s 8-yard sack on 3rd-and-9 from the Giants’ 10-yard line. Nevertheless, the 36-yard field goal cut the score to the slimmest of margins early in the 4th quarter. Giants 20 – Cowboys 19.

After both teams exchanged punts, with another sack by Williams, the Giants put together a key 8-play, 48-yard possession that ended with a clutch 50-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. Shepard caught another 21-yard pass from Jones on this drive. Giants 23 – Cowboys 19 with six and a half minutes left to play.

Starting at their own 25-yard line, the Cowboys began a potential game-winning, marathon, 17-play possession that took over five minutes off of the clock. All looked lost when Dallas was able to set up a 1st-and-goal from the 7-yard line. But Williams sacked Dalton for a 10-yard loss. Then on 3rd-and-goal from the 17-yard line, safety Xavier McKinney intercepted Dalton in the end zone with 1:15 left to play.

However, the game was not over and Gallman gave New York fans a huge scare when he fumbled on an 8-yard gain on 2nd-and-5. Gallman recovered the loose ball at the New York 39-yard line. The Giants then knelt on the ball to run out the clock.

Daniel Jones finished the game 17-of-25 for 229 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His leading receiver was Shepard, who caught 8 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown (he also ran for a 23-yard touchdown). No other Giants had more than two catches. Gallman carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards.

Defensively, the Giants sacked Dalton six times: Williams (3), Martinez (1), Fackrell (1), and defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson (1). The defense was also credited with nine tackles for losses and six pass defenses. Linebackers Martinez and Tae Crowder were each credited with 11 tackles.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
P Ryan Santoso was activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were WR Golden Tate (calf), OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, CB Madre Harper, and P Ryan Santoso.

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:

POST-GAME NOTES…
If the finish in first place, they will be the first six-win playoff team in NFL history.

The Giants ended a seven-game losing streak to Dallas. They had last defeated the Cowboys in December 2016.

The Giants won despite finishing 0-for-7 on 3rd-down conversion attempts. This is the first time the Giants won a game without converting a third down since the 1970 merger.

This was the fifth game this season in which the Giants did not allow a first half touchdown.

This was the first time in wide receiver Sterling Shepard’s 5-year pro career that he scored two times in a game.

The Giants finished the season with 40 sacks, their highest total since they had 47 in 2014. Leonard Williams led the team with 11.5 sacks, the most by a Giants’ player since Jason Pierre-Paul’s 14.5 in 2014.

Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson became the first Giants defensive player to begin his career with the Giants and start each of his first 64 games in the league since the NFL went to 16 games in 1978.

Kicker Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal with 6:27 remaining in the 4th quarter was his 30th consecutive successful attempt, a franchise record. Gano made 31-of-32 attempts this season, a .9687 percentage that is the second highest in Giants history. In 2018, Aldrick Rosas made 32-of-33 attempts, a success rate of .9696. Gano kicked his fifth field goal this season of 50 or more yards, including four against the Cowboys. That is a franchise single-season record.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Saturday, the Giants activated linebacker Kyler Fackrell and cornerback Madre Harper from Injured Reserve. To make room for these two, the team placed fullback Eli Penny (illness) on Injured Reserve and cut quarterback Joe Webb.

The Giants placed Fackrell on Injured Reserve in early December 2020 with a calf injury. Up until that point, he had played in all 11 games, starting eight, and accruing 30 tackles, three sacks, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. Fackrell was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. The Giants signed Fackrell an unrestricted free agent from the Packers in March 2020.

Harper was placed on Injured Reserve in mid-December with a knee injury after playing in nine games with no starts. He was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Harper off of the Practice Squad of the Raiders in late September 2020.

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.

The Giants signed Joe Webb to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in December 2020. Webb was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent time with the Vikings (2010-2013), Carolina Panthers (2014-2016), Buffalo Bills (2017), Houston Texans (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020).

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

Dec 272020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (December 27, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE RAVENS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 13…
The New York Giants were soundly defeated 27-13 by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the team’s third loss in a row, dropping their overall record to 5-10. But because both the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team both lost, the Giants are still alive for the NFC East title.

The game was not even as close as the two touchdown differential would suggest. The Ravens out-rushed the Giants 249 yards to 54 yards. In total, Baltimore held a 432 to 269 yard advantage over New York and dominated time of possession 35:09 to 24:51.

Baltimore never punted in the first half, scoring on all four of their offensive possessions. Every one of these methodical drives was 10 plays or more and 60 yards or more:

  • 13 plays, 82 yards, 6-yard touchdown pass
  • 10 plays, 65 yards, 2-yard touchdown run touchdown
  • 13 plays, 60 yards, 20-yard field goal
  • 10 plays, 65 yards, 28-yard field goal

Meanwhile, the Giants only had three offensive possessions in the first half:

  • 3 plays, 3 yards, punt
  • 5 plays, 23 yards, punt
  • 11 plays, 64 yards, 31-yard field goal

At the half, Baltimore held a commanding 20-3 lead, but it felt even worse with the Ravens out-gaining the Giants 282 yards to 95 as the Ravens ran 44 offensive plays to the Giants 18. In fact, the Giants only ran three offensive plays in the entire 1st quarter, not including two false start penalties.

Both teams exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants then drove 66 yards in 13 plays to set up a 42-yard field goal and cut the score to 20-6. However, the Ravens put the game to rest on the ensuing possession with a 7-play, 59-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the 4th quarter. Baltimore now led 27-6.

Aided by a roughing-the-kicker penalty on 4th-and-23 and three defensive penalties, the Giants drove 76 yards in 15 plays to cut the score to 27-13 on quarterback Daniel Jones’ 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Unbelievably, this was Jones’ first touchdown pass since Week 9 against Washington. However, the drive took over six minutes to complete with the 4th quarter about half over.

The New York defense finally forced a three-and-out, but the Giants could not convert on 4th-and-19, turning the ball over on downs at their own 35-yard line with less than five minutes to play. The Ravens reached the New York 1-yard line but fumbled the ball away at the 2-minute warning. The Giants finished the game by turning the football over one downs again on an incomplete 4th-and-7 pass at their own 44-yard line.

Daniel Jones completed 24-of-41 passes for 252 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He was sacked six times and officially hit 11 times. He did not fumble the ball. His leading targets were Shepard (9 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown) and tight end Evan Engram (7 catches for 65 yards). The Giants were held to a measly 54 yards on 12 carries, with running back Wayne Gallman carrying the ball six times for 27 yards. The Giants were 1-of-10 on 3rd down conversions.

The defense recovered one fumble, but that turnover was not created by a forced fumble. The Giants did not sack the quarterback and only hit him three times. The Giants also did not defend a single pass or make a tackle for a loss during the entire game. The Ravens averaged 6.2 yards per rush on 40 carries. There were a lot of missed tackles. The Ravens were also 8-of-11 (73 percent) on 3rd down conversions.

The special teams allowed an 17-yard and 19-yard punt returns and a 23-yard kickoff return to the 41-yard line.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were WR Golden Tate (calf), FB Eli Penny (illness), OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, and DE R.J. McIntosh.

The Giants reported no injuries but TE Evan Engram looked dinged up at the end of 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:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants have lost 10 or more games for the fourth consecutive season.

The Giants lost their third consecutive game and each defeat was by at least 14 points.

The Giants trailed at halftime, 20-3, the fourth consecutive game they scored three or fewer points in the first 30 minutes.

The Giants have scored only two touchdowns in the three-game losing streak and they have not scored more than 20 points in five consecutive games.

The Giants ran just three offensive plays in the first quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is their lowest total in an opening quarter in at least the last 40 years.

Place kicker Graham Gano has succeeded on 29 consecutive attempts, a streak that is both a career best and ties the Giants’ record with Josh Brown, who succeeded on 29 straight attempts in 2014-2015.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Dec 212020
 
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New York Giants Offense (December 20, 2020)

New York Giants Offense – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 6…
The Cleveland Browns soundly defeated the New York Giants 20-6 on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fall to 5-9 and remain one game behind the 6-8 Washington Football Team in the NFC East with two games left to play. The Giants now have had seven losing seasons in the last eight years.

The Giants were minus three key players, including quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle/hamstring), cornerback James Bradberry (COVID-19 issue), and cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee). As you would expect given the final score, Cleveland dominated statistically, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (24 to 14), total net yards (392 to 288), net yards rushing (106 to 74), net yards passing (286 to 214), and time of possession (34:03 to 25:57). Neither team turned the football over and each team only had seven possessions (not counting the Giants kneel down at the end of the first half).

The Giants received the football first with running back Dion Lewis returning the opening kickoff 48 yards to the Cleveland 48-yard line. New York was able to pick up two first downs and reach the 8-yard line. However, instead of kicking the field goal on 4th-and-5, Head Coach Joe Judge called a fake field goal with punter Ron Dixon’s pass intended for center Nick Gates falling incomplete. The Giants turned the football over on downs at the 8-yard line.

On their first possession, the Browns then drove from the 8-yard line to the New York 43-yard line. On 4th-and-2, quarterback Baker Mayfield’s pass was deflected by defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. Thus, the Browns also turned the football over on downs. The Giants responded with their only scoring drive of the first half. Back-up quarterback Colt McCoy threw a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton on 3rd-and-6 to the Cleveland 18-yard line. However, the Giants could get no closer and settled for a 37-yard field goal to go up 3-0.

Cleveland took the lead for good on their second possession of the game, driving 75 yards in 13 plays, culminating with a 2-yard touchdown pass to a wide open tight end Austin Hooper on 3rd-and-goal. Browns 7 – Giants 3.

Each team had three possessions in the first half. On New York’s third and final possession, the Giants gained 68 yards in 12 plays but were stuffed on 4th-and-2 running play from the Cleveland 6-yard line. On three red zone trips in the first half, the Giants only came away with three points. Worse, Cleveland made the Giants pay by driving 95 yards in 10 plays. Mayfield threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry (the Browns missed the extra point).

The Browns led 13-3 at the half.

The Browns received the ball to start the second half. They picked up one first down and punted (Cleveland’s first punt of the game). The Giants then drove from their own 14-yard line to the Cleveland 44-yard line. Judge decided not to game on 4th-and-4 and Dixon’s punt pinned the Browns at their own 5-yard line. That ended up being moot as Cleveland – for the second time in the game – drove 95 yards for a commanding 20-6 advantage on running back Nick Chubb’s 1-yard run on 3rd-and-goal. The 14-play marathon drive took over eight minutes off of the clock and by the time the Giants got the ball back, there was less than 13 minutes left in the game.

On New York’s second drive of the half, they picked up one first down before stalling. Cleveland also picked up one first down before punting. With 6:25 left in the game, the Giants began their second and final scoring drive, moving 56 yards in nine plays to set up a 39-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. Browns 20 – Giants 6.

The Browns recovered the ensuing onside kick, picked up one first and took three minutes off of the clock before punting. When the Giants go the ball back on their final possession, there was only 65 seconds left on the clock. The Giants ran four more plays before the game ended, 20-6.

The Giants really only had six legitimate possessions in the game. McCoy completed 19-of-31 passes for 221 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. His top targets were Slayton (4 catches for 74 yards), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 51 yards), and tight end Evan Engram (4 catches for 46 yards). Running back Alfred Morris carried the ball seven times for 39 yards and running back Wayne Gallman carried it nine times for 29 yards.

The defense did not force a turnover. Cleveland’s seven possessions resulted in three touchdowns, three punts, and one turnover on downs. Dexter Lawrence had the team’s only sack.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATION, INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
QB Clayton Thorson (COVID-19 replacement), CB Jarren Williams,and CB Quincy Wilson were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle), CB Darnay Holmes (knee), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, and LB T.J. Brunson.

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 and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Nov 302020
 
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

NOVEMBER 30, 2020 JOE JUDGE PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge addressed the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 19-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Q: Obviously, Daniel Jones with the MRI, what do you expect?

A: There are actually more question marks than answers right now, to be honest with you. We got some of the information back from the doctors, but a lot of that is we have to wait and see how this guy responds in a couple of days. Can he move around the field and can he do anything? I’d say, listen, my approach on every injury is always the same. It’s always number one, can the player hurt it worse by playing? Is it pain tolerance or is there a risk for serious injury? That’s number one. Number two, can the player defend himself on the field at a level necessary to do their job effectively? Until we can answer those two questions with absolute certainty, we won’t have any answers on what we’re going to do in terms of this week. I know Daniel’s going to do everything he can to get on the field. But sometimes as coaches, you have to make a decision to maybe protect the player from himself and kind of get through their competitiveness.

Q: Was it a strain? Was it a pull? What exactly was it?

A: I’m not the doctor. I’m not going to go ahead and try to put a label on it, to be honest with you. But it was enough that we had to remove him from the game yesterday. We’ll kind of see where he is going forward.

Q: When Daniel came back into the game, who made that decision? What did he tell the trainers that made him feel okay and safe enough to go back in and try again?

A: Well, they examined him on the sideline, and they thought that there was a chance for him to go back in. He was obviously pushing to get back into the game and go out there and be with the team and try to do something to help the team. He pushed to get back in there. He was cleared medically. But once he got out there, he couldn’t do what was necessary to play the rest of the game, so he had to take himself out at that point. Obviously, that’s something we support him fully with. I talked to him before putting him out there as well.

Q: How much do you factor in that there are four more games after Sunday and hamstring injuries can linger? Does that factor into the equation?

A: Yeah, that’s always part of it. Again, I kind of go back to the first two things I said. It’s just short-term putting him on the field, can he hurt it any worse? I don’t think you want to look at it in terms of this game is not as important as maybe another game coming up. To me, it’s always that one game season. You don’t want to do anything stupid that’s going to risk the player and lose him long-term. But I’ll let the doctors kind of decide what the short-term risk is.

Q: Do you have any plans to bring in another quarterback, maybe just to the practice squad to have another arm or someone on deck?

A: Yeah, we are. We’re actually talking about that right now as an organization, kind of looking through a list of guys. Obviously, the priority is to get somebody in here as quickly as possible to get him through the protocols and go through that kind of cadence to get him even eligible for Sunday.

Q: Of the guys who were here in training camp, is Alex (Tanney) the only one who is free?

A: It would be him or Cooper (Rush). To be honest with you, I have to check and see where Cooper is exactly right now. I haven’t gone through all of those lists yet. We had those conversations. We just wrapped up meetings with the players. I’m going to jump back into some personnel discussions when this call is over.

Q: Message to the team going forward starting this week against Seattle, with or without Daniel, what’s your overall focus?

A: Daily improvement. That sounds like a broken record right there, but that’s what we have to do every day. We’re keeping the focus small in terms of what we have to do individually to help the team collectively. That’s it. We have a tough game, a tough opponent this week. We have to get ready. Obviously, it’s that quick turnaround to go out there and go out west. We have to do everything we can to get ourselves ready. It’s going to be a tough opponent, great challenge going to Seattle.

Q: You’ve seen around the league and you saw what kind of happened with the Broncos. Would you consider having a quarterback, a third guy, being remote for the time being, just to sort of keep him safe and going that way?

A: Obviously, what happened with the Broncos this week, I think every team in the league had similar conversations. We did as well Saturday night at the hotel. Considering in the future, not only just the quarterback position, but several key positions throughout the team, is it worth keeping those guys isolated and having them Zoom in for the meetings? That’s definitely something we’re discussing right now. That is something we’re considering. Right now, we have two guys, quarterbacks, with live arms at practice. We’ll see where Daniel is going forward when we get some more information. Talking about adding a fourth to that group, there’s a possibility of that. We still haven’t finalized whether or not we want to bring them in or keep them at the hotel. I would think the initial conversation would be whoever it is we bring in, just due to the fact that they haven’t been with the team or maybe any team for some period of time, you’re going to want to get them around the team at some point, to at least get out there and throw, take snaps, and be around the guys in some capacity.

Q: Have you done anything in regards to keeping your guys separated at certain positions? I know you said you mentioned it but have you done anything to date or is that something you might have to alter?

A: I’d say as far as day to day in the building, yeah, it starts with going virtual with the meetings. Then when we’re in the building, kind of separating guys throughout the big team meetings, some of the smaller position meetings as well. Everything to when we’re traveling, where we put guys on busses, where we put guys on the plane, how we set up the locker room. We’re trying to do everything we can to get everybody as spaced out as can be. Now that only goes so far. At some point, they have to be in an individual period standing next to each other throwing balls, catching balls. They have to be in a team setting where it’s 11 on 11. You can only do so much for so long, but everything that we can do, we are doing.

Q: Jumping on that a little bit, you guys were down to one quarterback on Sunday. I’m curious is there someone in the building that is kind of like your emergency quarterback? Is that Golden Tate or was there somebody you were ready to throw out there if it came to it?

A: There’s always a list of guys that want to be in your ear reminding you they played quarterback in high school. I remind them I did the same thing, and I’m also not playing on Sunday. But we always go ahead and have a few contingency plans, whether it’s one of the running backs, one of the tight ends even, or possibly some of the receivers we put together in certain packages. We’ve already seen Golden throw passes in games. We’ve also had packages with other guys doing different things. Jason (Garrett) is working with the offense right now and putting everyone’s skillset in terms of how we can use different guys in different situations to find an advantage.

Q: What do you like about Clayton Thorson? He’s been with you guys, I think you signed him in September, what do you like about him as a quarterback?

A: He’s a big, strong dude. He has a big arm. He shows a lot of awareness back there, he’s a competitive guy. You can go back to his college tape and see how this guy really plays in the game. He’s kind of got that scrappy mentality to him, kind of digs and claws for what he has, and that’s kind of showed up at practice as well. He’s done a lot of things at practice that have impressed us to this point. He’s shown a level of development that we’re pleased with where he’s moving to.

Q: Can you just talk a little about the difference of maybe expectations for a quarterback like Colt, either coming in cold not having the reps, and then possibly having a week to prep for an upcoming opponent?

A: The expectations are always the same, to be able to go in there and execute whatever we ask you to. Listen, not everyone is going to have every snap throughout the week with practice. That’s just the reality of the NFL. Colt has to take advantage of every rep that he does get, and he gets a significant amount working against our defense. We try to keep everything as tied in offensively with what maybe we’re working with the opponent and what our own offensive techniques are, so that all of our guys come to work and progress with what we’re doing. You may be running a card for what the Bengals are doing, but we can go ahead and associate that with what’s our route combination? What’s our protection slide for the line? What’s Colt’s progression on that play, so that way, he’s getting work as well as our defense at the same time, and we’re all getting a look at what we have to look at. I’d say for Colt, he came in the game and, listen, it was a tough thing coming off cold off the sideline. But he came in, did some really nice things for us, made some tough throws in tough situations, made some good runs for us. Look, he’s a vet, he has a lot of experience. He goes out there with a good amount of savvy, can really manage a game. But we’ll set the game up however we need to, whether it’s Daniel, whether it’s Colt, whether it’s Clayton, whoever it ends up being, in terms of working to their strong points.

Q: Do you have any update on (Kyler) Fackrell and (Nate) Ebner?

A: Fackrell has the lower leg injury right there. We’re going to wait and see how he looks also later in the week. Again, this first day up, everyone is sore, everyone is tight. We’ll see how it looks come Wednesday and Thursday. Ebner, again, he looks like he’s going to rebound pretty fast. One thing being around Nate for a long time is he’s kind of like the girl who has eight kids and can tell you she’s pregnant before she’s taken a test. He kind of knows what’s going on with his body. Walking off at halftime, he was able to kind of relay to me what the injury was kind of similar to and what he was thinking about it. Sure enough, that’s exactly what was confirmed by the doctors today. I’ve been around that guy for a long time. He’ll do everything he can to get back this Sunday.

Q: With Seattle being your next opponent, have you guys set the research for tonight? Have you assigned guys different things to be looking for to pick up tendencies since it’s something that is unfolding live for you?

A: We haven’t had to assign anything special, but everyone already has their areas of what they have to research. We do use a lot of the TV games anyway to try to find different views of things. There’s things you can pick up on TV you can’t on a coaches’ copy. This obviously being a division game, we’ve already played Philly twice though. Being Seattle, it kind of sets up pretty nice. It’s kind of a little bit different. The entire league is shut down, we’re all working from home today. I’m home right now. We’re already grading the tape, meeting the players via zoom. Tonight, we’ll be able to sit down. We’re watching Monday Night Football, but you’re actually working ahead. It’s not a bad change up and a break in how we’re doing it. It would be good for our guys to listen to communication. It will be good for the guys who are looking for certain things that may be coming up on their sideline or substitution patterns. A lot of times you get from the TV view different angles of guys. Seeing different views and clearer shots that may apply to how you’re going to coach the technique of your team.

Q: As far as the schedule, are you using the same philosophy that you did when you went to L.A.?

A: Yeah, we are. We talked to the captains and some of the older players when we got back from L.A. I wanted immediate feedback on what they thought about it. The immediate feedback tied into also the next week. It really is a week-long process. We got back from L.A. on Monday. I talked to them on Wednesday morning on how they felt about it. I checked with them the following Monday and kind of saw if they thought it was beneficial, the way the previous week went. They all did, they liked it a lot. We’re going to go back with the same mentality. We’ll go out to Seattle early on Saturday morning. We’ll land, we’ll have a walk-thru at a local high school to get the guys up and moving. Get some blood pumping through their legs. We’ll go to the hotel, we’ll have some quick meetings. Get them off their feet and get them some sleep. After the game on Sunday, we’ll go back to the hotel and stay overnight. We’ll wake up on Monday morning and fly back. What we found last time that helped more than anything, instead of taking kind of almost that red eye type of flight coming back. You are worn down, you’re tired. You get a short night of sleep Sunday into Monday. You’re tired on Monday, and it catches up to you on Tuesday. All of the sudden, by the time you hit Thursday, you get that reciprocal wear and tear on your body where it sets you back a little bit. We saw with this, getting a good night’s sleep on Sunday, waking up fresh on Monday. Everyone got home by call it 8 o’clock. We’re actually going to get home a little bit earlier this time, we’re going to leave a little earlier. We’ll get everyone home, get a good night’s sleep. Wake up fresh on Tuesday and get rolling forward. It worked out well for us last time, so we’re going to use the same schedule for the most part.

Q: You mentioned that the Daniel Jones’ MRI provided more questions than answers. Was there a sigh of relief that it was not a significant hamstring tear? Are you confident that if this is a one-week thing, it’s not more than a one-week thing?

A: I couldn’t give an answer on if it’s one week or more than one week right now. I’m not qualified and, to be honest, the doctors I talked to today don’t have a crystal ball to look through either. I would say this, this is a tough dude. He is a tough guy. He is a very competitive guy and he wants to be out there. If we gave him the option today, he would jump out there, I’m sure, with duct tape on his leg and try to go at it. That being said, we have to give this guy a few days to get out there on the field and see if he can move around, see if he can do something. The time will tell based on when he can get out there and properly defend himself and execute the game plan effectively. I can’t give you any definite answer on that. There’s not much to really hide on this. To be honest with you, with these types of injuries, we just have to give the player a few days to get out there and see what it really is. The day after, there’s going to be some swelling. It’s going to be tight, there’s going to be issues that show up. We have to see how he reacts from a couple days of treatment and what we can do to get him going on the grass.

Q: You mentioned a few times you want to make sure the injury doesn’t worsen if you play him. Hamstrings are notorious that they can get worse. With a guy like Daniel Jones, who uses his legs so often, is that a different framework for him versus maybe more of a pocket quarterback?

A: I wouldn’t say that necessarily. Would it maybe change some of the things we would call in the game plan? Possibly. If we felt this wasn’t something he could hurt worse, or something he can go out there and still defend himself but just playing a little bit different with the play calling, I would have no issue putting him out there with that. There’s going to be guys rushing at him to try and take his head off. I want to make sure I don’t put a guy out there in a position where he can’t defend himself. That’s just not fair to him. He’s going to go out there with a lot of courage and he is going to want to stand back there. We’ve got to evaluate and make sure we do the right thing by him.

Q: Do you expect to have the three guys on the COVID Reserve List available this week? Does the fact that you’re remote the first couple of days impede your ability to evaluate them early?

A: It really won’t affect our evaluations as coaches. Tomorrow will actually be their third day of the ramp up period. They will be on the field. They were on it today, they will be on the field again tomorrow with our trainers and the medical staff. Wednesday, when we’re all back, we should have a chance to possibly see them. We’ll get more answers on where they’re at. They have to go through a series of cardiac testing, some other standard procedures to make sure they are clear on everything. I know all the guys are getting stir crazy being isolated right now, and they are anxious to get back. The one thing we’ve got to really make sure with these guys is they have missed a significant amount of time as far as being out there training, being on the field. We had the bye week, that kind of carried over into last week of them not being in the building. This isn’t just like they missed one week of practice and they came on back. These guys have been dealing with something physically for over a week now. They have been sitting in a position where they have been out, they haven’t been active. We can’t just bring these guys back in the facility and, okay, they are full go. We have to see these guys move around, make sure their condition level is up. Make sure we’re not putting them at a risk of soft tissue injuries and things of that nature because they haven’t been out there moving around. Our training staff will put them through a series of things tomorrow to kind of gauge where they’re at. Also, see if they are clear to practice with the team. Assuming everything goes well, we do look forward to getting them back this week, if that’s possible. As soon as we can have them back, we’re going to look to incorporate them moving the forward as best we can.

Q: James Bradberry, whatever he was tending to last week, is that something that you consider now behind him and that’s not a concern as far as his availability for Seattle and other games?

A: I really couldn’t answer that. It’s a family matter with him. I don’t want to go into his personal business. If anyone on this call was dealing with the same thing, we would encourage them, go take care of your family and make sure everything is good. James did a great job last week for us of staying engaged. He was in all the meetings through zoom. He showed up and had a good practice on Friday. He played a good game for us. He’s a guy who is getting a game ball for the way he had to handle last week. He really made a lot of sacrifices and was able to combine personal adversity and some sacrifices to make sure he was still there for the team. He did a really nice job for us in that. I’m really proud of the way he handled that. To be honest with you, I hope for his family’s sake and for everyone’s sake that he doesn’t have to deal with it again. If it comes back up and he does, same as last week, we’ll support him. Make sure we’re in a position to help with whatever he needs.

Q: Can Colt McCoy run the same game plan you normally would and just put Colt in there with the same kind of plays? Do you guys have to adapt your game plan to Colt? Kind of like the way you have run the ball differently with Wayne (Gallman) than with Saquon (Barkley)?

A: The first part of the question is no. We don’t have to change the offense. We can put him in there and we can run our offense. If Colt is taking the snaps, maybe there will be a few different things that Jason (Garrett) determines are good to run with Colt, yeah, absolutely. It doesn’t matter exactly what it is. It’s based on the opponent and what our players do well. We’re going to try to find the best way to use their strengths. As the guys put the game plan together for this week, as we talk through different scenarios, I’m sure there may be a different wrinkle here or there at some point. That’s not just because of what there is a limit of. We ran our offense yesterday with Colt and Jason called it off the same play sheet and the same way. Colt went out there and executed and did a good job for us.

Q: Is he capable of doing the RPO’s? I saw Jason called a couple of those yesterday?

A: Yeah, Colt’s got a history of running the ball. He’s an athletic quarterback. He’s a tough dude, he’s a gritty dude. Just yesterday, he was running the ball. You go back earlier in his career, he did the same thing. Through college, high school and all that stuff. Colt is a gritty dude. Put the ball in his hand, put him on the edge and let him run around, throw the ball from the pocket. Run some RPO’s, some zone reads. There’s not much we have to change in the offense. Colt is very good as far as adapting to new schemes and different things. He goes out there and he has a very clear vision of what’s going on with the opponent. He does a great job through practice with us and during the week of giving input back to me and Pat Graham in terms of what the defense is doing against him and how he sees it and what’s tough. Maybe something he sees as a tendency or tip that we go ahead, and we adjust going into the game plan. Colt is a very smart player. He uses a lot of his experience as a strength. We plan on him doing that going forward.

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 assistant coaches will address the media on Tuesday. The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 252020
 
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Xavier McKinney, New York Giants (November 23, 2020)

Xavier McKinney – Courtesy of New York Giants

NOVEMBER 25, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
CB James Bradberry (family matter) did not practice on Wednesday. WR Sterling Shepard (hip/toe) was limited in practice. OG Kevin Zeitler (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart to the Practice Squad. To make room for Griffin-Stewart, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Corey Coleman.

The 24-year old, 6’5”, 260-pound Griffin-Stewart is a rookie free agent who spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers in 2020. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad in late October. Coleman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. The Giants signed Coleman to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2018. He ended up playing in eight games with one start. Coleman missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL knee injury.

HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Thanksgiving. The New York Giants practice on Friday afternoon (12:20-1:45PM). Head Coach Joe Judge, the team’s coordinators, and select players will also address the media.

Oct 232020
 
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“Thank You Sir, May I Have Another!” – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 22 – NEW YORK GIANTS 21…
The New York Giants snatched defeat from the claws of victory on Thursday night as they watched a 21-10 lead late in the 4th quarter vanish in minutes as the Philadelphia Eagles won 22-21 in dramatic style. The Giants fell to 1-6 on the season and have now lost 13 of their last 14 games against the Eagles.

Despite the closeness of the score, the Eagles significantly out-gained the Giants in first downs (27 to 17), total net yards (442 to 325), and net yards passing (359 to 187). The Giants did out-rush the Eagles (160 to 96), but 80 of those yards came on one run by quarterback Daniel Jones. The Eagles also won the turnover battle (3 to 1).

Philadelphia received the ball to start the game and promptly marched 75 yards in 11 plays, the possession culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Carson Wentz. The Giants gained one first down and punted on their first possession, pinning the Eagles down at their own 11-yard line. After an 8-yard sack by safety Jabrill Peppers on 3rd-and-9, Philadelphia punted and Peppers returned the ball 14 yards to the Eagles’ 39-yard line. On the very next snap, Jones threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate and the game was tied at 7-7.

The Eagles followed that up by driving 57 yards in 13 plays on their third possession, setting up a 31-yard field goal that regained the lead 10-7. Both quarterbacks exchanged interceptions on the next two drives, with cornerback James Bradberry picking off Wentz in the end zone for a touchback. After each team punted, running back Dion Lewis fumbled the ball away to the Eagles with less than 50 seconds to play in the half. Fortunately for New York, the Eagles missed a 29-yard field goal with 15 seconds on the clock.

At the half, the Eagles still led 10-7.

Neither team could pick up one first down on four consecutive drives to start the 3rd quarter. On the first play of the Giants’ third drive of the second half, Jones broke off an 80-yard run which should have resulted in an 88-yard score, but he tripped over his own feet and was tackled at the 8-yard line. Nevertheless, three plays later, running back Wayne Gallman scored from 1-yard out after an Eagles’ penalty and the Giants led 14-10.

Both teams went three-and-out again late in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles then began an 8-play, 66-yard drive that ended on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-goal at the Giants’ 3-yard line. With momentum on their side, the Giants appeared to put the game away with an impressive 15-play, 97-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jones to wide receiver Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-goal. The Giants now led 21-10 with 6:10 left to play.

However, a New York defense that has struggled all year late in halves did so once again. The Eagles quickly drove 78 yards in four plays to cut the score to 21-16 (2-point conversion failed). New York was flagged with two penalties on this drive, including an illegal contact infraction that wiped out a sack. The big play was a 59-yard pass by Wentz to the New York 14-yard line.

The Giants got the ball back with 4:34 to go in the game. Gallman gained 24 yards and two first downs on the first two plays of this possession. It appeared the Giants would put the game away on 3rd-and-7 when Jones hit tight end Evan Engram for what should have been a big first down but Engram dropped the ball. The Giants were forced to punt.

Philadelphia started their game-winning drive on their own 29-yard line with 2:02 left in the game. Again, it was far too easy for the Eagles as they drove 71 yards in six plays. The score came after a penalty on a perfectly-thrown 18-yard touchdown pass on 1st-and-goal against Peppers. The 2-point conversion failed again, but the Eagles led 22-21 with 40 seconds to play.

The Giants did have one final shot to set up a game-winning field goal, but their first play resulted in a penalty, their second play resulted in an 8-yard completion, and their third play resulted in a sack-fumble-turnover to end the game.

Jones finished the game 20-of-30 for 187 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and one fumble. His leading targets were Shepard (6 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown) and Engram (6 catches for 46 yards). Jones rushed for 92 yards on four carries. No other player gained more than 34 yards on the ground.

The defense allowed two long, late 4th quarter touchdown drives to lose the game. The Giants picked up three sacks (Peppers, linebacker Markus Golden, and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence). The Giants also got 10 hits on the quarterback and defended seven passes.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

STERLING SHEPARD ACTIVATED OFF OF INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants activated wide receiver Sterling Shepard off of Injured Reserve on Thursday afternoon. Shepard was placed on Injured Reserve on September 23rd with a turf toe injury.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATIONS, INACTIVES, AND INJURY REPORT…
The Giants activated WR Alex Bachman and LB Trent Harris from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were WR C.J. Board (concussion), CB Darnay Holmes (neck), S Adrian Colbert (shoulder), TE Eric Tomlinson, OT Jackson Barton, DE R.J. McIntosh, and DE/LB Jabaal Sheard.

RB Devonta Freeman (ankle) left the game in the 3rd quarter.

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 and select players will address the media by conference call on Friday.

Sep 232020
 
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Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (December 29, 2019)

Devonta Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS SIGN DEVONTA FREEMAN, PLACE STERLING SHEPARD ON IR…
The New York Giants have signed free agent running back Devonta Freeman. 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.

“He had a good workout for us yesterday,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “We watched his tape from the past few years. Obviously, we have familiarity, (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome Henderson was in Atlanta with him. He really spoke highly of the character he brings to the team, the kind of teammate he is in the locker room. I think he’s got some juice left in the tank. We’ll give him the opportunity to prove that.”

“At this point, we have to get him on the field and see where he’s at. We had a brief workout with him yesterday. Obviously, there is a difference in working out shaping and playing shape. We’ll have to see where he is physically and then we have to see mentally how he is with all the things we’re putting in this week. We just want to make sure we put him in a position where he can be successful. We don’t want to throw him out there and have him not be prepared because of lack of time. We’re going to do everything we can to help catch him up.”

The Giants have also placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard on Injured Reserve with a turf toe injury. He is eligible to be reinstated to the roster after missing three games. Shepard was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Shepard started all 16 regular-season games as a rookie, catching 65 passes and scoring eight touchdowns, but missed five games in 2017 with various ailments. In 2018, Shepard caught 66 passes for 872 yards and four touchdowns. In his fourth year in the League in 2019, Shepard had his worst season, playing in 10 games and finishing with team-leading 57 catches for 576 yards (10.1 yards per catch) and three touchdowns. He missed six games due to two career-threatening concussions.

Lastly, the Giants signed center Javon Patterson to the Practice Squad. The 23-year old, 6’3”, 307-pound Patterson was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL  Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He missed his rookie season with an ACL injury. The Colts waived him on September 5th.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
S Adrian Colbert (quad) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Linebacker Carter Coughlin (hamstring) fully practiced.

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

Coach Judge also broke down game film for fans. See video on YouTube.

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

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

Sep 072020
 
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Joe Judge, New York Gaints (September 1, 2020)

Joe Judge – Courtesy of New York Giants

NEW YORK GIANTS RELEASE DEPTH CHART…
The New York Giants have released their “unofficial” depth chart for Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season. For details, see our Depth Chart section of the website.

GIANTS SIGN TWO MORE TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to the team’s Practice Squad:

  • OL Chad Slade
  • S Sean Chandler

The Giants cut Slade from the 53-man roster on Sunday. The team originally signed him to a reserve/futures contract in January 2019. While he surprisingly made the team, he wasn’t active for any game. The 6’5”, 315-pound Slade was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Houston Texans after the 2015 NFL Draft. Slade spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve and the 2016 and 2018 seasons on the Practice Squad of the Texans. In 2017, Slade played in five games with three starts (two at right guard and one at tight end) for the Texans.

The Giants also cut Chandler from the 53-man roster on Sunday. The Giants originally signed Chandler as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. Chandler made the team and played in all 16 games in with no starts. He finished 2018 with 18 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass defense. In 2019, Chandler spent time both on the 53-man roster and Practice Squad. He  primarily served on special teams, receiving only 3 percent of all defensive snaps. He played in 13 games and finished the year with seven tackles.

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

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

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

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

New York Giants Training Camp – Courtesy of New York Giants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sterling Shepard – Courtesy of New York Giants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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