Aug 062018
 
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Davis Webb, New York Giants (August 1, 2018)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 6, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their tenth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

GIANTS RELEASE FIRST DEPTH CHART…
The New York Giants have issued their first depth chart of the 2018 season. For details, see the Depth Chart section of the website.

GIANTS CUT CB TEDDY WILLIAMS…
The New York Giants have terminated the contract of cornerback Teddy Williams. The NFL Network is reporting that Williams, who has been away from the team for the last few days while dealing with a family health issue, had asked the team to release him so he can adequately focus his attention on the issue. Williams reportedly would still like to play for the Giants but he does not want to take up a roster spot.

The Giants signed Williams in March 2018 after he was cut by the Carolina Panthers. The 6’1”, 210-pound Williams did not play college football and was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2010-2011), Sacramento Mountain Lions (2012), Indianapolis Colts (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013–2014), Chicago Bears (2014), Jacksonville Jaguars (2014), and Carolina Panthers (2015–2017). Williams has played in 36 regular-season games with no starts. He spent most of the 2016 season and all of the 2017 season on Injured Reserve with knee and shoulder injuries, respectively.

INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Monday were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (maintenance day?), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (unknown), tight end Ryan O’Malley (unknown), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), cornerback William Gay (hamstring), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list).

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Darian Thompson and Curtis Riley received first-team reps at free safety.
  • With Sterling Shepard sitting out, Kalif Raymond received the bulk of his first-team snaps at wide receiver.
  • Wide receiver Kalif Raymond scored on a jet sweep, beating linebacker Lorenzo Carter to the pylon.
  • Safety Sean Chandler picked off an errant pass from quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • At one point in practice, the second-team offensive line was left tackle Chad Wheeler, left guard Brett Jones, center John Greco, right guard Chris Scott, and right tackle John Jerry.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley broke off a big gain on a screen pass.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning found tight end Rhett Ellison for a touchdown over the middle. Manning and Ellison also connected on a big gain between linebacker Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins.
  • Cornerback B.W. Webb intercepted quarterback Alex Tanney.
  • Recently-signed cornerback Leonard Johnson received some first-team snaps in the nickel defense as the slot corner.
  • Linebacker Avery Moss flashed during 1-on-1 pass rushing drills.
  • Olivier Vernon has had a very strong camp and the Giants are using him at both outside linebacker spots.
  • A blitzing linebacker Mark Herzlich picked up a couple of “sacks.”
  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep on a post route, but quarterback Eli Manning overthrew Beckham.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas made all of his kicks, including one from 50+ yards out.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Jul 122018
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 21, 2018)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Defensive Backs

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: Coming off a year in 2016 when THREE New York Giants earned All-Pro honors, everyone expected the secondary to be a team strength in 2017. Instead, there was turmoil on and off the field. The team’s top three cornerbacks were suspended for violating team rules and conduct detrimental to the team. 2016 1st-rounder Eli Apple regressed terribly, was benched, and started only seven games. All-Pro Dominique Rodgers Cromartie saw his pass defenses plummet from 21 and six interceptions in 2016, to just one pass defense and no interceptions in 2017. All-Pro Janoris Jenkins was nagged by an ankle injury that eventually landed him on IR and required surgery. The only bright spot at corner was the surprise play of Ross Cockrell, who the Giants traded for in September. It got so bad that Brandon Dixon ended up starting five games for the Giants.

At safety, All-Pro Landon Collins also regressed, bothered by a nagging ankle injury he suffered in early October and then fracturing his arm in December. While he made the Pro Bowl, he didn’t have the impact season he had the previous year. After spending his rookie season on IR, Darian Thompson started 16 games, but he lacked physicality and didn’t make many plays. Andrew Adams saw his playing time decrease, but still played in all 16 games with four starts. Nevertheless, Thompson and Adams combined for only eight pass defenses and one interception on the season. Once again, Nat Berhe was a non-factor with just 12 tackles in 15 games.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants cut Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in March and Brandon Dixon in May. Ross Cockrell and Nat Berhe left the team in free agency. Corner Darryl Morris remains unsigned and won’t be back.

The Giants signed free agents CB/S Curtis Riley, S Michael Thomas, CB Teddy Williams, CB C.W. Webb, CB William Gay, S Orion Stewart, and CB Chris Lewis-Harris during the spring as well as rookie free agents CB Grant Haley and S Sean Chandler after the draft.

The surprise move was the team selecting CB Sam Beal in the 3rd round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: The transaction wire this offseason was dominated by defensive back moves, but the ultimate success or failure of the secondary in 2018 will largely depend on whether or not Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Landon Collins can rebound. We’ll have to see where Jenkins’ head is after it was revealed that his brother allegedly killed a man in his home. Collins needed a second surgery to repair his arm fracture and was limited in the spring. Much media and fan focus will be on Eli Apple, who almost ran himself off of the team but so far has been acting and practicing much better. If Jenkins and Collins can revert to All-Pro form and Apple can become a viable starting NFL corner, then the other issues in the secondary will be much easier to deal with. If not, the Giants could be rough shape here.

The quick demise and subsequent release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left a huge hole in the secondary. Until the Supplemental Draft, Dave Gettleman’s approach at corner had been to sign quantity over quality, hoping to strike lightning in a bottle. That changed with the selection of Sam Beal. Nevertheless, the team still needs to identify a nickel corner.

At safety, who starts opposite of Landon Collins? During the last mini-camp, with Collins and Darian Thompson on the sidelines, ex-CB Curtis Riley and Andrew Adams were playing at safety with the first team. Newcomers Michael Thomas, Orion Stewart, and Sean Chandler also now join the competition.

ON THE BUBBLE: Other than Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, and Sam Beal, no one is completely safe. Eli Apple is likely to make it unless he has another mental implosion simply because the Giants are weak at the position and Apple still has a tremendous amount of upside. Not only do all of the other players have to worry about current competition on the roster, but look for the Giants to actively scan the waiver wire all summer. Some of the new journeymen vets are good special teams players and that will help their cause, most notably Michael Thomas.

FROM THE COACHES AND GM: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Curtis Riley: “Curtis is a guy that, we all know he’s played corner, so he’s got really great feet and hips and range. And the thing I’m probably most proud of him about is how he’s picked it up playing safety because that’s a change, when you go from playing outside, to go inside. And some of the checks and the communication and one minute you’re in the post, the next minute you’re down, or you’re playing in the half field, or you’re blitzing off the edge and some of the different duties that our safeties have to handle here. He’s done a really nice job with that. So, I’m excited for him, getting to training camp just like all these guys, and he’s competing his butt off with a group of guys that I’ve really seen grow over these last two months.”

Bettcher on William Gay: “A pro’s pro. He is a pro’s pro. Everything that when we talked about having Will join us, anyone that you talk to, loves his work ethic, loves the seriousness and the professional mentality that he brings to the room. He is going to ask great questions, going to be very engaged, has done a great job with some of our younger players. And (taught) some of our guys that are three- and four-year players, about how to have longevity in this league and play at a high level. He knows what a great defense looks like from the inside and we’re excited to have him here working with us.”

Bettcher on Landon Collins: “I look at him as a guy – we had some guys in Arizona, Tyvon Branch and before Tyvon we had Tony Jefferson who played strong safety for us who could play both high, could play down in the box, could cover tight ends, could blitz off the edge. That’s what I see with Landon, a guy who is very versatile in what he can do. You might see a snap where he’s down covering a tight end in the box, you might see a snap where he’s in the half field playing deep or in the middle of the field playing deep or you might see snaps where he’s blitzing off the edge. I think that’s the versatility a guy like him lends and that’s something that as you look and study defenses across the league and you talk to offensive guys of what gives them trouble, it’s players that have that versatility – that one snap they’re down in the box and the next snap they’re playing high. That kind of versatility gives offenses trouble and I’m excited to have a chance to work with him.”

Bettcher on Eli Apple: “Very talented player. I did like him when he was coming out in the draft, really liked his skill set. He’s a guy who can play man, who can press, who can play zone defense in space, who can break on the ball.”

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the competition at cornerback: “Well, it’s competitive. We were talking about it this morning. I was sitting with James (Bettcher), just going back over the roster. It’s going to be competitive to see whose going to be, in my mind, our third, fourth and fifth corner. We’ve got some candidates who are doing some really good things. And then they’re going to have to have a role. Certainly, when teams are in base and we’ve got Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and Eli (Apple) out there. But then when teams go to nickel, which is more than half the time, there’s going to have to be a guy step up. And we’ll just have to find the role, and whoever that guy is, we’ve got to do the things that fit what he can do best.”

General Manager Dave Gettleman on Sam Beal: “We’re very, very excited about getting Sam in the draft. He’s long, he’s very athletic for a corner, he has all the physical skills, he can carry the vertical, he has very good play speed, he shows instincts out there, he has ball awareness, he doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at his guy, and he is a very willing tackler. We just feel it gives us a really talented young kid with the ability to ascend.”

PREDICTIONS: As long as the injury bug doesn’t hit (a big if), the Giants are not in as dire straits here as many think. Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins are two of the best players at their respective positions in the NFL. Eli Apple seems poised for a rebound year. Acquiring Sam Beal in the Supplemental Draft was a bold move that may fill a glaring need. The two big questions are finding a free safety to complement Collins and a nickel corner. My guess is that William Gay takes on an Everson Walls-type leadership role and adequately handles the nickel spot. Curtis Riley, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, and Michael Thomas most likely will be battling it out for the free safety position, unless someone else shakes free on the waiver wire.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: We’re going to hear a common refrain from fans throughout the preseason… “Who are these guys?” My guess is that Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Sam Beal, William Gay, and Grant Haley make it at cornerback. At safety, Landon Collins, Curtis Riley, Michael Thomas, and the winner of the Darian Thompson/Andrew Adams competition. That being said, I would not be surprised to see one or two waiver-wire pick-ups in the defensive backfield.

Mar 142018
 
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Teddy Williams, Carolina Panthers (September 8, 2016)

Teddy Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

REPORT – GIANTS SIGN CORNERBACK TEDDY WILLIAMS…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants are signing unrestricted free agent cornerback Teddy Williams, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers on March 7th, to a 1-year contract. The 29-year old, 6’1”, 210-pound Williams did not play college football and was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2010-2011), Sacramento Mountain Lions (2012), Indianapolis Colts (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2013–2014), Chicago Bears (2014), Jacksonville Jaguars (2014), and Carolina Panthers (2015–2017). Williams has played in 36 regular-season games with no starts. He spent most of the 2016 season and all of the 2017 season on Injured Reserve with knee and shoulder injuries, respectively. Williams combines excellent speed with good size for the position. Good special teams player.

ALEC OGLETREE TRADE OFFICIAL…
The New York Giants trade with the Los Angeles Rams to acquire linebacker Alec Ogletree became official on Wednesday. The Giants traded way their 4th round compensatory pick and their 6th round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for Ogletree. The Giants will also receive the Rams’ 7th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“We’re very excited to have made the trade for Alec,” said General Manager Dave Gettleman. “He gives us our defensive quarterback. He was a two-time captain with the Rams, voted on by his teammates. He’s a leader, and that’s very important to us. Just as important, he’s a quality three-down MIKE linebacker. We’re just thrilled to have him. When you get a player of this quality, you can do it. Alec is 26. He’s young, he’s under contract for the next four years. We really thought he was a great guy to add.” 

The 26-year old Ogletree was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Rams. He made the All-Rookie team in 2013 and was named second-team All-Pro in 2016. Ogletree lacks classic size (6’2”, 235 pounds). He’s more of a run-and-hit and coverage linebacker who is very athletic and a team leader, being voted team captain twice with the Rams. Ogletree played both 4-3 outside and 3-4 inside linebacker for the Rams. In 2017, Ogletree started all 15 regular-season games he played in, finishing with 95 tackles, two sacks, 10 pass defenses, one interception, and one forced fumble. He’s averaged over 100 tackles per season in the NFL in five seasons.

Ogletree signed a 4-year, $42 million contract extension last year and is under contract through the 2021 season. Unless his contract is re-structured, Ogletree will count $10 million against the Giants’ salary cap in 2018.

JONATHAN STEWART MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL…
The transcript of Wednesday’s media conference call with New York Giants running back Jonathan Stewart is available in The Corner Forum section of the website.

PATRICK ROBINSON SIGNS WITH SAINTS…
The New Orleans Saints have signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Patrick Robinson (Philadelphia Eagles). Media reports had indicated that the New York Giants were interested in Robinson. The 30-year old Robinson was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The 5’11”, 191-pound defensive back has spent time with the Saints (2010-2014), San Diego Chargers (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016), and Eagles (2017).