Jun 202018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (May 11, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © 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: Running Backs

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: The New York Giants have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw’s final season with the team in 2012. The Giants’ leading rushers since that time have been Andre Brown, Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings (twice), and Orleans Darkwa. More telling are the overall team rushing stats with the Giants finishing 29th, 23rd, 18th, 29th, and 26th in the NFL from 2013 to 2017. Last season was a continuation of this mediocrity with the Giants averaging 96.8 yards per game and scoring only six rushing touchdowns. There were four games where the Giants didn’t even rush for 50 yards and nine games where the team didn’t reach 100 yards rushing. The overall numbers are a bit inflated too by the meaningless season-finale against the Washington Redskins where the Giants rushed for 260 yards.

The Giants’ top four rushers in 2017 were Orleans Darkwa (751 yards, 5 touchdowns), Wayne Gallman (476 yards), Shane Vereen (164 yards), and Paul Perkins (90 yards). The Giants’ sixth rushing touchdown came from Eli Manning. The receiving yards for the backs were from Vereen (253 yards), Gallman (193 yards, 1 touchdown), Darkwa (116 yards), and Perkins (46 yards). Darkwa and Gallman actually were respectable, averaging 4.4 and 4.3 yards per carry respectively. But on a team that finished 21st in overall offensive yardage, 26th in rushing yardage, and 31st in scoring, nothing on offense ever felt like a “strength,” including the running attack.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants decided not to re-sign Orleans Darkwa (who had a plate removed from his leg in May) and Shane Vereen (who also still remains unemployed). Paul Perkins tore his pectoral muscle in the offseason, was waived/injured, and placed on Injured Reserve. Thus the only returning halfback appears to be Wayne Gallman unless the Giants are keeping an eye on Darkwa’s health status.

The Giants signed street free Jalen Williams in January, veteran free agent Jonathan Stewart in March after his was cut by the Panthers, and rookie free agent Robert Martin in May. But the biggest offseason move the team made was drafting Saquon Barkley with the #2 pick in the entire 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants have only drafted two running backs in their entire history this high: Tucker Frederickson #1 overall in 1965 and Skippy Minisi with the #2 pick in 1948.

Shane Smith is the only returning fullback, though tight end Rhett Ellison can play the position in a pinch. The Giants also added a couple of H-Back types who can play fullback in ex-Viking Kyle Carter and rookie free agent Garrett Dickerson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: With General Manager Dave Gettleman throwing around phrases like “gold jacket” and “touched by the hand of God,” needless to say, the expectation level for Barkley has been set incredibly (perhaps unrealistically) high. And while the Giants have had some very good running backs in their history, including Frank Gifford, Tiki Barber, Tuffy Leemans, Rodney Hampton, Joe Morris, Brandon Jacobs, and Ahmad Bradshaw, given the team’s flagship franchise status, one would have to say that the list of top-notch running backs in team history is relatively short and a bit underwhelming. A Giants’ running back has only led the NFL in rushing four times, and that came in 1936, 1943, 1944, and 1951.

For the Giants to draft a running back with the #2 pick, and in the process pass over a number of potential “franchise” quarterbacks, Barkley needs to be damn good. No strike that. He needs to be great. It would be a disappointment if Barkley does not immediately become one of the NFL’s best backs and eventually challenge Tiki Barber’s 10,499 career rushing yards and Barber’s 5,183 career receiving yards.

The first step in doing that is staying healthy. Running backs get hit more than any other player in the NFL. Barkley is built like a tank, but in order to do the things he needs to do, he must stay on the field. Step two is keeping his head on straight and not letting the immense pressure get to him. That’s easier said than done. All eyes will be on Barkley. Every time he touches the ball, many will expect something special. Barkley readily admits he often tried to do too much on a given play during his career at Penn State. Take what the defense gives you. The big plays will come. In the meantime, eschew the bright lights of the big city and focus on football.

The good news is this: Barkley appears to be the real deal. The early returns from the OTAs and mini-camp is he is practically uncoverable by linebackers and even some safeties. At the very least, Barkley should be a major asset in the passing game, provided he can develop a rapport with Eli Manning, a quarterback not known for his screen and swing passes. What will be interesting to see is how effective he will be running the ball. The Giants really haven’t been a top-notch running team since 2008, when the team led the NFL in rushing. Can the Giants move out of the bottom tier into the upper tier of rushing in just one year? The expectation is that Barkley will finally force teams to respect the Giants’ running game, and thus open things up for Manning, Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard in the passing game. In the last three seasons, the Giants have scored a total of 17 rushing touchdowns, or an average of less than six per season. That needs to change too.

Finally, the temptation will be to keep Barkley on the field on every play. The Giants must constantly evaluate his wear-and-tear. They want him to last more than five years in this League.

ON THE BUBBLE: The key questions here are how many halfbacks will the Giants keep? And is there a roll for a fullback in Pat Shurmur’s offense? With Barkley likely to receive the overwhelming bulk of the playing time, the Giants may decide to go light at halfback and go with Barkley, Jonathan Stewart (who they paid big money to be a mentor), and Wayne Gallman. The players clearly on the bubble include Jalen Simmons and Robert Martin. It’s anyone’s guess at this stage if Shurmur is leaning towards a roster spot for a fullback like Shane Smith or Kyle Carter.

FROM THE COACHES AND PLAYERS: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher on Saquon Barkley: “He’s a special player. Special player. Guy that, any single down, is going to create a lot of matchup nightmares for coordinators in this league and players in this league.”

Linebacker Alec Ogletree on Saquon Barkley: “A guy that comes to work the right way. He’s a true professional, even at a young age. He’s always asking questions and you can just tell he loves football and loves to learn and do the right thing.”

Tight End Rhett Ellison on Saquon Barkley: “He’s a humble guy. He just comes in and he works. Anytime you have a rookie, especially a first round pick like that, and they come in just ready to work with their head down, that’s the best you can ask for. Obviously, it’s hard to tell when you’re playing in underwear to see the physicality of the game. But I’d say his work ethic and just his humility is pretty cool.”

Saquon Barkley on what it takes to be a good running back: “I think it is instinct. Actually breaking down film and watching the David Johnson’s and Le’Veon Bell’s, instinct is one thing, but also what (Jonathan Stewart) has been teaching me, it is how to set up your blocks. For me, I did it so natural in college that I didn’t even notice I was doing it. Now, understanding and seeing the play before it develops and seeing the linebacker overflowing, that is how you set up cutback lanes. A guy who does it the best is Le’Veon Bell. I was watching him this morning and how he was picking up blocks. I think you have to be versatile as a running back. Catch the ball in the backfield and be able to block. Be able to run in between tackles and outside of tackles. If you really think if the three backs, the top five backs, that is what they are able to do. They block, catch the ball in the backfield and are able to run the ball. Just the way they set up their blocks. That is what it takes to be a top back in the NFL. ”

PREDICTIONS: I can’t imagine the amount of pressure that is on the shoulders of Saquon Barkley. There are fans who didn’t want him who will mock him every time he doesn’t break off a big play. Gettleman has Hall of Fame expectations. But there is an aura about this kid. In the age of “look at me,” Barkley seems like an old-school throwback who knows he is good but is more interested in the overall success of the team. Veterans have been impressed with his humility, work ethic, intelligence, and skillset. I think there will be grumblings early from fans, especially since the NFL schedule makers have the Giants opening with the very tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense. But I look for Saquon to get better and better as the season progresses, with his earliest impact coming in the passing game as the new offensive line will take some time to build cohesion.

Overall, it’s extremely difficult to see an offense with Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley not being explosive. As long as Eli Manning has some gas left in the tank and the offensive line can become somewhat respectable, then this should be a very fun offense to watch.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Stewart, and Wayne Gallman at halfback. Given the fact that the Giants keep adding H-Back types, I think it is safe to say they may keep one as a fullback candidate. I have no idea who that will be however.

Jun 122018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (May 29, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 12, 2018 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 3-day mandatory mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. All 90 players on the current roster were present.

“All right, so first day of mandatory mini camp,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I told the players this and really it’s the case, it’s really OTA 11 in my mind because anytime they come on the field with their helmets on, it’s about the ball, it’s about the ground and it’s about getting yourself better. They handled today just like they have the other OTAs, so good work, was very competitive. You saw at the end there – everyday we do a situation and today was the two-point play and the defense did a good job with those two-point plays today.”

The mini-camp will continue with practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (recovering from ankle surgery) has been cleared to practice. On Tuesday, he participated in individual and walk-thru drills, but not team drills. He also fielded punts after practice.

“He ran maybe three or four routes, but he looks good coming out of his breaks,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “From what I have seen, he looks sharp and ready to go.”

Safety Landon Collins (recovering from offseason arm surgery) wore a non-contact jersey and did not participate in full-team drills.

Defensive linemen Josh Mauro (unknown) and R.J. McIntosh (unknown) and linebacker Avery Moss (unknown) did not practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team offensive line was left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, right guard Patrick Omameh, and right tackle Ereck Flowers.
  • The second-team offensive line was left tackle Nick Becton, left guard John Greco, center Brett Jones, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Chad Wheeler.
  • The starting safeties were Andrew Adams and Curtis Riley.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a redzone touchdown against cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Curtis Riley.
  • Fullback Shane Smith made a nice catch in the flat, tipping the ball to himself and then heading up-field.
  • Quarterback Davis Webb overthrew wide receiver Roger Lewis, Jr. but then came back with a nice throws to wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Kalif Raymond.
  • Wide receiver Marquis Bundy made a nice play on an underthrown pass by quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas went 8-for-8 on field goal attempts, many of them from long distance.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley toasted linebacker B.J. Goodson on a wheel route and quarterback Eli Manning hit him downfield for the touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard beat cornerback Eli Apple along the sideline and made a nice catch on a pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple, cornerback Donte Deayon, linebacker Mark Herzlich, and defensive lineman D.J. Hill all broke up passes. Late in practice, safety Curtis Riley, safety Orion Stewart, and linebacker Thurston Armbrister broke up 2-point conversion attempts.
  • Defensive back Curtis Riley made a nice break-up of a sideline pass intended for wide receiver Hunter Sharp.
  • Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo made a number of nice plays, including beating cornerback Eli Apple.
  • Notes and observations from minicamp practice (6/12) by John Schmeelk of Giants.com
  • Who stood out at Giants minicamp? (6/12) by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

B.J. HILL SIGNED…
The New York Giants have signed defensive lineman B.J. Hill, one of their two 3rd-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, to a 4-year contract. The only two remaining unsigned draft picks are running back Saquon Barkley (1st round) and defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh (5th round).

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed free agents tight end Scott Simonson, offensive tackle Jarron Jones, and cornerback Kenneth Durden. The team also waived offensive tackle Tyler Howell and waived/injured cornerback Aaron Davis (hamstring) both rookie free agents who were signed after the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 26-year old, 6’5”, 255-pound Simonson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders waived him in June 2015 and he was then signed by the Carolina Panthers. He spent all of 2017 on Injured Reserve with a back injury. Simonson has played in 18 regular-season games with one start. He has one catch in his NFL career.

The 24-year old, 6’6”, 320-pound Jones was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. A collegiate defensive tackle, the Giants moved him to offensive tackle, but cut him in early September 2017. Jones then spent time on the Practice Squads of the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in 2017. The Cowboys waived him in May 2018.

The 26-year old, 6’1”, 180-pound Durden was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Raiders’ Practice Squad before being cut in September 2017. The Tennessee Titans then signed him to their Practice Squad and cut him in October 2017. Durden has not played in a regular-season game.

GIANTS AND LIONS TO HOLD JOINT PRACTICES IN AUGUST…
The New York Giants and Detroit Lions will hold joint training camp practices at Detroit’s headquarters and training facility in Allen Park, Michigan on August 14-16. The two teams play a preseason game on Friday, August 17 at Ford Field.

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

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

ARTICLES…

Dec 172017
 
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Brad Wing, New York Giants (December 17, 2017)

Brad Wing – © USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 29…
The New York Giants gave the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at MetLife Stadium and had New York’s special teams not cost the team 11 points, the Giants probably would have pulled off the upset. In the end, the Eagles had defeated the Giants 34-29. With the loss, the Giants fell to 2-12 on the season.

New York’s offense started the contest off on fire as the Giants scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game en route to a 20-7 start. The Giants drove 75, 75, and 80 yards. Running back Orleans Darkwa capped off a 13-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown. However, the extra point was blocked by the Eagles. Quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Tavarres King for a 13-yard score on a 10-play drive. Then early in the second quarter, Manning connected with wide receiver Sterling Shepard on a short pass that Shepard broke for a 67-yard scoring strike.

For their part, the Eagles started off strong with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on their first possession, aided by a 32-yard pass interference penalty on safety Darian Thompson, as the Eagles briefly went up 7-6. But then the Eagles were forced to punt twice and turned the football over on downs when the Giants stuff a 4th-and-1 rushing attempt from the Giants’ 44-yard line.

The game began to turn at this point midway through the second quarter. Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis was intercepted at the Eagles’ 43-yard line and returned 37 yards to the Giants’ 20-yard line. Five plays later, Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles hit tight end Zach Ertz for a 10-yard score as Philadelphia cut the lead to 20-14. After a three-and-out by the Giants, Brad Wing’s punt was blocked, setting up the Eagles on the Giants’ 18-yard line. Three plays later, Foles threw his second touchdown, this one from 13 yards out to tight end Trey Burton. The Eagles now led 21-20.

The Giants got the ball with 2:15 left before halftime and managed to regain the lead as New York drove 65 yards in 11 plays to set up a 28-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. At the half, the Giants led 23-21. Manning set a career high for passing yards in the first half of a game with 252 yards.

The Eagles regained the lead at the the beginning of the third quarter by driving 64 yards in 11 plays to set up a 28-yard field goal, giving them a 24-23 advantage. After a three-and-out by the Giants and a 34-yard punt by Wing, Philadelphia went up 31-23 as they drove 59 yards in five plays and culminated the possession with a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

To their credit, the Giants responded with a touchdown drive with Manning finding King for a 57-yard score to cut the lead to 31-29. However, Manning was sacked on the 2-point conversion attempt. After the Eagles went three-and-out, the Giants were handed an opportunity to take the lead as the team drove into field goal range early in the 4th quarter. But the Giants’ special teams melted down again as Rosas’ 48-yard field goal was blocked. This momentum swing continued as the Eagles then drove 60 yards in 14 plays to set up a 20-yard field goal that extended their lead to 34-29 with just under four minutes to play.

Needing a touchdown, the Giants started the next key possession at their own 20-yard lines with 3:51 left to play. The Giants managed to move the ball into the red zone and set up a 1st-and-goal situation from the 9-yard line. Unfortunately, New York was stopped and turned the ball over on downs with 43 seconds left to play. The Eagles were forced to punt but the Giants got the ball back with only 13 seconds left on the clock. The game ended two plays later.

Manning finished the game 37-of-57 for 434 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. His leading targets were Shepard (11 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown) and tight end Evan Engram (8 catches for 87 yards). King only caught two passes, but they went for 70 yards and two scores. Running back Wayne Gallman carries the ball eight times for 39 yards and also caught six passes for 40 yards.

Defensively, the Giants surrendered 341 net yards (108 rushing and 233 passing). The Giants only had one sack (by defensive end Olivier Vernon) and did not force a turnover.

Special teams were a disaster. The Giants had an extra point, punt, and field goal blocked.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring), safety Nat Berhe (hamstring), quarterback Davis Webb, running back Paul Perkins, wide receiver Hunter Sharp, offensive guard Damien Mama, and linebacker Jeremy Cash.

Wide receiver Tavarres King (concussion), linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), and safety Landon Collins all left the game with injuries and did not return.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The New York Giants’ 12 defeats tie the franchise season record, set in 1966 (1-12-1), 1974 (2-12), 1980 (4-12), and 1983 (3-12-1).

The Giants dropped to 0-10 in NFC games and 0-5 in NFC East games.

The Giants’ 29 points was their highest total since a 35-30 loss to the Eagles on January 3, 2016.

The 23 points scored by the Giants in the first half was their highest first-half total since the December 7, 2014 game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Giants gained 504 yards, their highest total since they finished with 525 yards in a victory against San Francisco on October 11, 2015.

For the first time this season, the Giants scored on their first possession.

The Giants did not have a takeaway for the fifth time this season. They are 0-5 in those games.

The last time the Giants had an extra point blocked was September 2001.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s 57 pass attempts were the second-highest total of his career; he had 63 attempts at Philadelphia on December 22, 2016.  The 37 completions were the third-highest total of Manning’s career. The 434 yards were the fourth-highest total of his career.

Manning has now thrown 51 touchdown passes vs. the Eagles, his highest total against a single opponent. He has thrown for 49 scores against the Dallas Cowboys.

ARTICLES…

Nov 302017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 23, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison (elbow) and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist) did not practice on Thursday.

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness) and linebacker Calvin Munson (quad) fully practiced.

THE COORDINATORS 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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday.

Oct 082017
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (October 8, 2017)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 22…
It just keeps getting worse and worse for the New York Giants, who lost their fifth consecutive game on Sunday, falling 27-22 to the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants also lost four of their five active wide receivers to injury as Odell Beckham (fractured ankle), Sterling Shepard (ankle), Brandon Marshall (sprained ankle), and Dwayne Harris (fractured foot) left the game and did not return.

The injuries to Beckham and Marshall looked very serious. The Giants are officially reporting that Beckham fractured his ankle. ESPN is reporting that Beckham may undergo surgery as early as today or tomorrow. The NFL Network is reporting that the team believes Beckham broke his fibula. He will need to undergo an MRI to ascertain any ligament damage.

The game itself was sloppy and difficult to watch. The Giants squandered a 9-0 1st-quarter lead, and yet another 4th-quarter lead as the team was up 22-17 late in the contest.

After the teams exchanged punts to start the game, New York went up 2-0 as a botched snap by the Chargers was knocked out of the end zone for a safety. After both teams punted again, the Giants went up 9-0 on Orleans Darkwa’s 23-yard touchdown run, capping a 5-play, 64-yard drive. The play marked the first time a Giants’ running back scored a rushing touchdown this year. But the Chargers overtook the Giants on the scoreboard before halftime with an 8-play, 77-yard touchdown drive and a 12-play, 49-yard field goal drive. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to running back Melvin Gordon and place kicker Nick Novak kicked a 20-yard field goal. The Giants twice squandered excellent field position in the 2nd quarter – starting one drive at their own 45 and another at the Chargers 39-yard line – coming up with no further points in the first half.

The Giants went three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. The Chargers drove to the Giants’ 14-yard line, but Rivers’ 3rd-and-7 pass was intercepted by safety Darian Thompson in the end zone. It was the first pass the Giants have picked off all season. The Giants then re-gained the lead on a 9-play, 80-yard effort, culminating with a perfect quarterback Eli Manning 29-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Roger Lewis. Giants 16 – Chargers 10.

But the defense could not hold the lead as the Chargers responded with a 12-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to tight end Hunter Henry. It only took five plays (and 75 yards) for the Giants to move ahead again. Under duress, Manning found a wide-open Beckham for a 48-yard score. After a delay-of-game penalty, the Giants’ 2-point conversion attempt failed and New York led 22-17 with 13:31 to go in the game.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Chargers got the ball back again with nine minutes to play. Los Angeles moved the ball 48 yards in 11 plays to set up a successful 31-yard field with just under five minutes to go. Then came disaster. On 2nd-and-7, Manning’s high slant pass to Beckham fell incomplete. It was on this play where Beckham got seriously injured. On the very next snap, Manning was sacked and fumbled the ball away at the New York 11-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, Rivers found Gordon again out of the backfield for a 10-yard score. The Chargers now led 27-22 with three minutes to play.

However, by this point the Giants were down to only one wide receiver – Roger Lewis. The offensive line, which struggled all day in pass protection, allowing five sacks, imploded on the last possession with two penalties. Manning’s desperate 4th-and-10 pass from the Chargers’ 48-yard line was intercepted with less than 50 seconds to play. Game over.

The erratic Manning finished the game 21-of-36 for 225 yards, two touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 lost fumble. The only player with over 30 yards receiving was Beckham with 5 catches for 97 yards. Against Los Angeles’ 31st-ranked run defense, the Giants had their best rushing game of the season with Orleans Darkwa rushing for 69 yards on eight carries and Wayne Gallman rushing for 57 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 382 total net yards, including 124 yards rushing and 258 yards passing. The Giants have now allowed 100 yards rushing or more in five consecutive games to start the season. The Giants only forced one turnover and did not sack Rivers.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were running back Paul Perkins (ribs), center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), quarterback Davis Webb, tight end Matt LaCosse, defensive tackle Robert Thomas, and cornerback Michael Hunter.

Wide receivers Odell Beckham (fractured ankle), Sterling Shepard (ankle), Brandon Marshall (sprained ankle), and Dwayne Harris (fractured foot) left the game with injuries and did not return. A number of Giants were in and out of the line-up with injuries including cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, linebacker Jonathan Casillas (burner), safety Landon Collins, and running back Orleans Darkwa (lower body – calf?).

Quarterback Eli Manning also had x-rays taken on his neck, but they were negative.

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

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants fell to 0-5 for only the fourth time in franchise history. They lost their first nine games in 1976, their first five in 1987 (three of them strike-replacement games), and their first six in 2013. In those seasons, they finished, respectively, 3-11, 6-9, and 7-0. The Giants were also winless through their first five games in 1947 (when they started 0-7-2) and 1966 (0-4-1).

The Chargers broke a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Giants lost their fourth consecutive game to the Chargers, and now trail in the all-time series, 7-5.

Quarterback Eli Manning’s ninth pass attempt was the 7,000th of his career. He is the seventh quarterback in history to throw at least 7,000 regular-season passes.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo will address the media by conference call Monday afternoon.

Oct 052017
 
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Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

INJURY UPDATE…
Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), and defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle) did not practice on Thursday.

“We have to be concerned (about Pierre-Paul and Vernon),” said Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “I mean, our two top guys are ailing a little, but this is the NFL. Guys are going to get hurt, so we have to have other people step up. We have to prepare if we don’t have them. I’m hopeful that we get both or if not both, at least one.”

Wide receiver Odell Beckham (finger/ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

Running back Orleans Darkwa (back), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) fully practiced.

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…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and select position coaches and players will address the media on Friday. There is no media availability on Saturday. The Giants play the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Oct 042017
 
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Giants fans tailgating in Tampa – Photo courtesy of Jim in South Florida

INJURY UPDATE…
Center Weston Richburg (concussion), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/knee), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday.

Running back Paul Perkins (ribs), running back Orleans Darkwa (back), wide receiver Odell Beckham (finger/ankle), and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe) practiced on a limited basis.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner and signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio off of the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also signed center Anthony Fabiano to the Practice Squad.

Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016). The Giants added to and released Skinner from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. He also was signed to the 53-man roster in October and again in December. Skinner was cut by the Giants in September 2017 and re-signed later that month.

Halapio was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has bounced around different leagues and teams including the Patriots (2014), Boston Brawlers (2014), Denver Broncos (2014–2015), Arizona Cardinals (2015), Brooklyn Bolts (2015), and Patriots (2016) again. The Giants added him to their Practice Squad in September 2016 and again in September 2017. Halapio has not played in an NFL regular-season game.

Fabiano was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2016), Cleveland Browns (2016), and Washington Redskins (2017). The 6’1”, 303-pound Fabiano played in four games with one start for Cleveland in 2016. Fabiano is an athletic lineman who lacks ideal size and strength.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM. The team’s coordinators and select players will also address the media after practice.

Oct 012017
 
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Nick Folk, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (October 1, 2017)

Giants lose at the buzzer again – © USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 25 – NEW YORK GIANTS 23…
The losing continues for the New York Giants as the team fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. For the second week in a row, the Giants blew two 4th-quarter leads and lost the game on a walk-off field goal. The Giants are still win-less on the season with an 0-4 record.

New York went three-and-out on its first two possessions of the game. Tampa Bay took a 7-0 lead after driving 56 yards in four plays, culminating with a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston to wide receiver Mike Evans. The Giants responded by driving to the Bucs’ 30-yard line, but an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4 resulted in a turnover on downs. Two plays later, tight end O.J. Howard scored on a 58-yard reception to make the game 13-0 (the extra point was missed).

The Giants punted the ball away on both of their next two possessions. The Buccaneers punted once and missed a 46-yard field goal. New York finally got on the board in the second quarter with a 30-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas after an 11-play, 52-yard drive. Tampa Bay went three-and-out and the Giants cut into their lead again when quarterback Eli Manning ran for a 14-yard touchdown, closing out a 7-play, 62-yard drive. But the Bucs added to their advantage late in the first half by driving 73 yards in 12 plays to set up a 20-yard field goal. It could have been worse as the defense held after facing 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. At the half, Tampa led 16-10.

The Buccaneers missed a 49-yard field goal on their initial possession of the second half. The Giants then took the lead on their initial possession by driving 61 yards in 11 plays. Rookie running back Wayne Gallman scored on a 4-yard pass from Manning. Giants 17 – Bucs 16.

Tampa Bay went three-and-out and the Giants had a chance to extend their lead but Rosas missed a 43-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter. The Bucs turned the ball over on downs on 4th-and-2 from the Giants’ 35-yard line with safety Landon Collins breaking up the pass. The Giants could not move the ball and punted. Worse, reminiscent of last week’s lost against the Eagles, Brad Wing shanked punt only traveled 15 yards. It only took Tampa Bay four plays to drive 57 yards with Winston throwing a touchdown pass from 14 yards out. The Buccaneers now led 22-17 (the 2-point conversion failed) with less than eight minutes to play.

To New York’s credit, the offense responded with an impressive 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison on 3rd-and-goal. The big play on the drive was a 42-yard strike to wide receiver Odell Beckham. Unfortunately, the 2-point conversion failed and the Giants only led 23-22 with 3:16 left to play.

The defense could not hold the lead. Tampa Bay gained 59 yards in nine plays with a crucial 26-yard pass on 3rd-and-1. Place kicker Nick Folk – who missed an extra point and two field goals in the game – then nailed the 34-yard field goal to win the game with no time on the clock.

Manning finished the game 30-of-49 for 288 yards, two touchdowns passing, one running, and no interceptions. His leading receivers were Beckham (7 catches for 90 yards) and tight end Evan Engram (6 catches for 62 yards). Gallman was the leading rusher with 11 carries for 42 yards. Manning was not sacked in the game.

Defensively, the Giants did not force a turnover and only accrued one sack.

The Giants had no return yardage. Rosas missed a field goal and Wing shanked a punt.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were RB Orleans Darkwa (back), RT Bobby Hart (ankle), QB Davis Webb, TE Matt LaCosse, DE Avery Moss, LB Deontae Skinner, and CB Michael Hunter.

RB Paul Perkins (ribs), OC Weston Richburg (concussion), and DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) left the game with injuries and did not return.

WR Odell Beckham (finger) and DT Damon Harrison (bruised knee) were injured but later returned to the game.

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

  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • WR Brandon Marshall (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Ben McAdoo will address the media by conference call Monday afternoon.

Aug 092017
 
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Stansly Maponga, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Stansly Maponga – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 9, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eleventh summer training camp practice on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants waived/injured offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. To fill that vacant roster spot, the team signed rookie offensive lineman Corin Brooks (University of Texas – Permian Basin).

Dunker was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. Brooks is an athletic but raw, small-school prospect who lacks ideal size. He is versatile, having played both tackle and guard. Brooks was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2017 NFL Draft but waived in June.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), wide receiver Kevin Snead (lower body), defensive tackle Robert Thomas (“sore”), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), cornerback Mykkele Thompson (quad), and safety Ryan Murphy (lower body) did not practice.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Beautiful day, 80-plus and sunny with a slight breeze. Two days before a game, the intensity was slightly down but I thought for the most part they were still competing. No pads, but they were in shells.

Small note about the layout of practice and this team’s approach to Special Teams…a TON of time is spent on this phase. Gidie made a note that the Coughlin era did not spend nearly this amount of time on specials and that McAdoo appears to run a much more organized, regimented practice. It is a very smooth process from start to finish.

  • K Aldrick Rosas has such a powerful leg. There is a trend in the league right now with kickers. They are MUCH better athletes than I remember watching growing up. Rosas fits the mold, he definitely spends time in the weight room and the trajectory of his kicks shows. He has the inside track for the number one job as long as he doesn’t mightily struggle in preseason games.

Offense Notes:

  • The talk of the day from the “story” side of things will be Chad Wheeler and his short stint with the number ones. I don’t think there is any speculation deserved on him being in an under-the-radar competition for the starting LT spot. He has been impressive, which we have noted a few times, but no way is this team giving up on Ereck Flowers yet. Wheeler was beat badly by Olivier Vernon on his first play, and may have gotten away with a hold on the next. However this is important for his maturation process, to see what a top half of the league DE actually plays like. He is one of my focal points for Friday night, something he is really pumped about.
  • The newly signed OL Corin Brooks looks like a guard, that is my first impression based on just checking him out and going through individuals. I don’t think he got on the field with the offense today.
  • WR Sterling Shepard looks to be getting better each day, he faced off in some one-on-one drills. He made a nice body-adjusting catch where again, he seemed to have zero hesitation on his ankle.
  • WRs Darius Powe and Roger Lewis are competing for a spot. There is a chance both will make the roster but I think it’s slim. Powe offers more size and strength and I think more reliable hands. Lewis is the better, looser-hipped athlete who will make the big-play that raises eyebrows. He has also been good for an obvious drop pretty much every day and appears to be misreading defenses on his option routes. If it comes down to special teams, Lewis will win out.
  • TE Evan Engram lined up split out wide against LB Jonathan Casillas one play in 11-on-11. He didn’t get the ball thrown his way but it was a very simple 4-5 steps before he was running deep leaving Casillas in his rear-view mirror. If this kid can get match-ups like that in space….
  • TE Matt LaCosse with ANOTHER impressive catch. No, you aren’t reading yesterday’s report, or the one before that, or the one before that. This kid is getting it done every day. I hope he gets some first-team looks in games over the next few weeks. While we are discussing backup TEs, I am still waiting on Colin Thompson’s first drop because it hasn’t happened yet.
  • The offense had a bit of a sloppy day. Eli Manning didn’t see DE Olivier Vernon on a zone blitz as he dropped in to coverage, throwing a near INT on a 5-yard pass. Weston Richburg sailed a snap over Manning’s head soon after, and Paul Perkins dropped an easy pass in the flat later on.
  • RB Wayne Gallman isn’t getting a ton of reps, but he showed a jump cut today that most backs can’t do. LeSean McCoy is the master of the jump cut if you need a visual, and Gallman caught a ball while twisting in the air, landed, and jump-cut his way to a TD. Not sure many people even noticed it but again, most backs can’t move like that.
  • RB Khalid Abdullah’s main weakness is unplanned movement. He looks strong and explosive when he is running straight ahead without adjustment. But when he has to innovate on his own, react to a defender, or turn his body to get a pass away from his body he looks very unnatural.

Defense Notes:

  • Soon after I spoke about not knowing or understanding if LB Stansly Maponga can fit in this scheme, he goes out and has a day. He showed a strong pass rush presence against OT Adam Bisnowaty. He gets his pad level really far down and his weight plus lower body strength makes him hard to alter. He may get caught in the number’s game but he does have versatility on his side.
  • DT Damon Harrison seemed to uptick a bit today despite not being in full pads. I will stand by my statement I made a few weeks ago. He is the most important player on this defense. If he stays healthy, he alone will keep this run defense competitive.
  • And I hate to sound like I am wearing blue-colored glasses, but I strongly believe this defense can be the best in the league. There are stars and potential stars everywhere. Seeing Harrison eat double teams with ease, then watching the DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon rush the edge, with arguably the best top three CB combo in the league and a budding star in Landon Collins…I think NYG fans need to soak this up. This might be the best defense in a long time that this team has had.
  • Two LBs at the bottom of the depth chart looking up are Deontae Skinner and Curtis Grant. Both are straight-line guys with stiffness when moving laterally. In addition, I don’t see the quick, easy reactions to the offense right after the snap. They are a step behind. The contrast between them and a guy like B.J. Goodson when it comes to instincts is blatantly obvious.
  • DE Olivier Vernon looks great, albeit against tackles that may be a step below what he will face most Sundays. What I like about him, and something I always look for in pass rushers during the scouting process, is his ability to stay low, balanced, powerful, and quick. He values run defense as we saw last year and I predict we will see more sacks than what he put out in 2016. They have him standing up on some plays, something I think he prefers.
  • Did S Duke Ihenacho move up on the depth chart over Andrew Adams? Looked like he was 2nd-string guy today. I don’t have much on him but he does have more experience than every safety on this roster and a lot of coaches around the league like a guy back there like that.

Three Standouts:

  • CB Donte Deayon: I can tell Spags really likes this kid both from how he treats him in practice and what he says about him to the media. There are guys that some coaches quietly root for, and Deayon is one of them. He plays all out, all the time. He follows his assignments. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is rarely out of position. That sounds good for a 5th/6th corner. His size limits him in a lot of areas but there isn’t a guy on this team that can stick to Odell Beckham the way Deayon has showed.
  • QB Eli Manning: It’s time we talk about him a tad. He has become so reliable and consistent year to year that NYG fans likely take him for granted. McAdoo said this has been Manning’s best camp when it comes to understanding the offense and it’s intentions, completing passes, and teaching others. I think it is fair to suggest this may be his best year yet. It was nice to see Manning walk off the field with TE Evan Engram after 11-on-11 talking about what to do when he starts checking down/scrambling. That relationship will be HUGE for this offense.
  • TE Rhett Ellison: When Ellison was drafted by MIN, the primary focus was him blocking and aiding the Adrian Peterson show. He never quite got to expose himself as a receiver consistently. Knowing how much Manning uses the TE in any scheme he’s in and how reliable Ellison looks like as a route runner and pass catcher, I think he may be THE safety blanket that Manning could have used last year.

Our video today includes an interview with OT Chad Wheeler

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • WR Sterling Shepard adjusted well to a deep ball from QB Eli Manning against CB Valentino Blake.
  • PK Aldrick Rosas was 3-for-4 on field goal attempts.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a slant pass to WR Sterling Shepard in front of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Then WR Odell Beckham, Jr. wrestled away a Manning pass over the middle from CB Donte Deayon.
  • CB Michael Hunter defended a QB Josh Johnson pass intended for WR Dwayne Harris.
  • QB Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass to WR Keeon Johnson.
  • FS Darian Thompson made a diving pass break-up of a long pass from QB Eli Manning to TE Evan Engram.
  • WR Roger Lewis made a diving, toe-dragging reception of a pass from QB Eli Manning for a touchdown. But then Lewis dropped a pass from Manning before making a leaping catch down field from QB Josh Johnson.
  • S Landon Collins broke up a QB Eli Manning pass coming on a blitz.
  • WR Travis Rudolph beat CB Valentino Blake on an out route.
  • Chad Wheeler received a few first-team snaps at left tackle, but was beaten badly by DE Olivier Vernon on his first snap.
  • QB Josh Johnson hit WR Roger Lewis for a touchdown against CB Valentino Blake.
  • QB Davis Webb participated in his first 11-on-11 drills of the summer. He threw a strike to WR Kevin Norwood on the right sideline, but struggled to move the ball after that.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’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:

GIANTS ON ESPN RADIO…
The following New York Giants officials and players were interviewed by ESPN Radio on Tuesday:

  • Team President/CEO John Mara (Audio)
  • General Manager Jerry Reese (Audio)
  • Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Audio)
  • QB Eli Manning (Audio)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Audio)
  • LG Justin Pugh (Audio)
  • S Landon Collins (Audio)

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Thursday. The Giants play a home preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday. The twelfth and second-to-last public training camp practice will be held on Sunday, starting at 11:10AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Aug 052017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 5, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their eighth summer training camp practice on Saturday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), and linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol) did not practice. Shepard did warm up before practice and did some light running.

“I made some pretty good progress over these last few days,” Shepard said. “Been in the training room, getting ice. The swelling went down, so I got to run around a little bit today. It feels really good. If it was game day, I could easily go, but I have a little bit of time, so they want to take it slow… I have never really rolled my ankle before, so I didn’t really know the process and how it was going to go. Those first two days, I was feeling like I was going to be out for a little longer than what I know now.”

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Practice was closed to the public today. Overcast skies, minimal wind, very comfortable temperature.

Special Teams Notes:

  • Mike Nugent showed better loft and distance on kickoffs than Aldrick Rosas. Who knows if they were actually trying to let loose or not.
  • A lot, and I mean a lot, of attention is put on special teams. We got to see plenty of 1-on-1 battles with these guys going all out on each other. They were practicing blocking on the move, where the offensive player runs to a spot, turns around and goes head to head with a downhill defender that had a 15-20 yard head of steam. The bubble guys need to show something here. DE Kerry Wynn was beating everyone he matched up against. S Trey Robinson stood out a couple times. S Landon Collins got involved twice and even in a simple drill like this, his ability stands out. RB Wayne Gallman’s lack of presence showed, he may have a hard time factoring as a blocker at his size. LB Calvin Munson stood out, consistently getting rave reviews from coaches.

Offense Notes:

  • As I left the practice facility, QB Davis Webb was working on deep throws and footwork associated with them with two of the Giants support staff (ball boys). This was a solid 20 minutes after practice. TE Rhett Ellison was on another field working on his technique out of his stance, getting into his routes.
  • One thing I see wide receivers Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall do very well is that they attack the ball in the air. They don’t sit back and let it come to them; they alter their weight and attack. Very important that your top guys do that. Marshall overwhelmed CB Valentino Blake on a pass near the back of the end zone; there was no chance for Blake – he looked like a kid trying to defend his dad and that is not a knock on Blake.
  • TE is a very crowded group. Colin Thompson keeps jumping out at me. I think there is no shot he makes the team, but he is a legit practice squad candidate. The team brought him in as a blocker, but he moves much better when running routes than I initially thought. Soft hands, been catching almost everything thrown his way. This TE group in camp is very solid.
  • I put more attention on the two rookie OTs, Adam Bisnowaty and Chad Wheeler. Wheeler does a great job post-snap. He gets out of his stance quickly and easily. Very good body positioning, knee bend, and set up. Honestly, he is better than Ereck Flowers when it comes to that part of the process. Bisnowaty is a little more sluggish and unsure. He didn’t keep his feet moving against Kerry Wynn today and it made him look silly. He was facing the ground on a couple of occasions, showing he is over-committing and lunging while bending at the waist. Body wise, Wheeler simply needs more muscle as I have been saying. Bisnowaty too, but you can tell he has spent more time in the weight room.
  • OT Ereck Flowers had a solid day but his over-lean and wrap-around the defender’s neck in pass protection flared up twice from what I saw. OT Bobby Hart was schooled by DE Pierre-Paul again, winding up on the ground. OG John Jerry, when I had the vantage point to really zero in on him, didn’t get beat at all. He is a very large man with athletic legs. He is without a doubt the starting RG over D.J. Fluker.
  • Geno Smith vs. Josh Johnson battle goes to Geno today. He is looking more and more confident with each day that passes. His arm is much more lively than Johnson’s.
  • TE Matt LaCosse with another nice TD catch today. Natural hands on the move with a huge wingspan, nice weapon to have especially in that area.
  • WR Kevin Snead body catches everything. Amazing to see the difference between him and Beckham and how they approach catching the ball.
  • RB Orleans Darkwa’s avenue to making this team is likely the short-yardage back. He is bigger and stronger than the other guys. Without Darkwa, there really isn’t any sense of power in that backfield. If the team doesn’t think he can handle that job, I wonder if the 4th RB is even currently on this roster.
  • WR Roger Lewis doesn’t get a ton of WR reps with the first or second group. I’m wondering if he is actually that far down the depth chart or they are just trying to get the bubble guys more reps to fully evaluate. He did drop an easy TD on a short slant pass and his routes aren’t crisp. But I really like how Lewis moves. Very twitchy, loose, and strong. I think he has the potential to be a top tier gunner in this league on special teams.
  • WRs Darius Powe and Travis Rudolph might be competing for one spot. We have highlighted Rudolph already, his ability to do everything right stands out. But he doesn’t separate downfield at all and he isn’t physical enough in traffic to be a factor. Powe has the size but I’m not sure he can separate from NFL DBs. He doesn’t have long speed and there isn’t a lot of quick-twitch to him underneath.

Defense Notes:

  • The team’s #4 CB has to be Michael Hunter. I’m saying this right now with a lot of confidence, there are teams in this league where he could start. He is so consistent when it comes to trusting his footwork and length while attacking the ball. He is breaking up multiple passes every day. NYG has an outstanding CB group, maybe the best in the league if Eli Apple takes the expected step up.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins ignores size completely. He shows no hesitation when going after WR Brandon Marshall. He is so fast to diagnose and react. He sniffs out screens and crossing routes in a blink. And I love how hard he competes for the ball in the air.
  • DT Jay Bromley made a couple nice plays against the run today. He beat D.J. Fluker badly on one running play which would have resulted in a 4-yard loss. He is a very large, long guy. There are tools to work with there, it will just be a matter of him showing consistency when it comes to technique and awareness.
  • The question with the DT group will be how long guys can go before needing a break. Damon Harrison started to break down a little towards the end of last year, Robert Thomas was limping around between plays today with what appeared hamstring/back soreness (just speculating). Dalvin Tomlinson looks like he is still trying to figure it out mentally, as he hasn’t been able to get off blocks at all. Jay Bromley is very inconsistent as I noted.
  • I put the eye on FS Darian Thompson today as best I could. Not sure how these guys are coached, so take it with a grain of salt. But he was very good at keeping track of receivers in his area. Keeps his head on a swivel and won’t get fooled by the QB. His lower body moves very fluidly. I haven’t seen him tested deep though.
  • The one concern I have is that these DBs don’t get a lot of work defending deep passes. In live action, the team’s offense almost never throws the ball downfield more than 20-25 yards. A guy like Thompson needs to work on that part of his game, as does CB Eli Apple, and it’s not happening much if at all in practice.
  • DE Kerry Wynn had a very good day. He made an impact on 1-on-1 special team drills and during live team drills from his DE spot. He is a guy that the coaches know they can depend on. I am leaning towards his making this 53 man roster. He is definitely ahead of DE Devin Taylor right now.
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul is dominating Giants OL during live drills and one-on-one’s – no matter who he is matched up against and no matter where he is lining up.
  • Each day that passes, I am leaning more and more towards DE Owa Odighizuwa not being in the final picture. He did beat OT Jarron Jones a couple times, but other than that there is too much rigid lower body movement and a severe lack of reaction/quick twitch. Unfortunate but he just doesn’t seem to have it.

Three Standouts:

  • TE Evan Engram: By far his best day of camp so far. We got to see a few special catches. With defenders draped all over him, twice he made a TD catch while barely sneaking in before the sideline/out-of-bounds line. He plays super-fast but under control. He keeps on catching everything and there isn’t a defender on this team that is built for covering him. He is exciting in this short-pass offense.
  • S Eric Pinkins: This kid is certainly making a name for himself. Very impressive physically with his combination of size and speed. At 6’3/230 with zero bad weight, he brings a different level of physical prowess to the secondary. He can be a special teams demon which should get him on this 53-man roster, but I like him as a backup safety as well. There is a ton of upside here and if the team is patient, we may see something big.
  • OG Jessamen Dunker: You know, this kid needs a year of weight room work from what I can see. He doesn’t quite fill his pants yet. But he plays strong. His lower body mechanics and athleticism are as good as any of the OL on this team. And he showed great hand placement and strength in one-on-ones. I want to say he is a lock for the practice squad but if he goes out and impressed in the games, I say there is a shot he is the last OL on the 53-man roster. He really is impressive.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 7-on-7 drills, quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in the left corner of the end zone.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a diving touchdown catch from quarterback Eli Manning in the corner of the end zone. Manning later found Engram again for another touchdown in front of safety Darian Thompson. Engram caught three touchdowns during 7-on-7 drills.
  • Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie broke up passes intended for tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Travis Rudolph, respectively. Jenkins later defended a slant pass from Manning to wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson found wide receiver Kevin Snead in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins intercepted a quarterback Josh Johnson pass intended for tight end Matt LaCosse.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. Smith then hit tight end Jerell Smith down the right seam and wide receiver Darius Powe despite tight coverage.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson broke up a short pass intended for running back Orleans Darkwa.
  • Running back Paul Perkins fumbled during 11-on-11 drills after being hit by cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman had a pass deflected off of him that was intercepted by linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich later broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Cornerback Michael Hunter knocked down a pass on a crossing route.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up a fade pass from quarterback Geno Smith to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Saturday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants are off on Sunday. The ninth training camp practice will be held on Monday, starting at 11:10AM. This practice is NOT open to the public. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.