Aug 122019
 
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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Wayne Gallman – © USA TODAY Sports

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AUGUST 12, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their thirteenth full-team summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complete public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT – DEANDRE BAKER “DAY-TO-DAY”…
Tight end Isaiah Searight (unknown), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner), defensive lineman Olsen Pierre (unknown), linebacker Alec Ogletree (calf), cornerback Deandre Baker (knee), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

“They did further tests on Deandre Baker’s knee, and it appears like it’s just day-to-day,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll see moving forward how much he can do and if we can get him ready to play… It’s a big relief, certainly. He’s been coming along real well, and to know that it’s not serious at this point is good.”

“I have no update (on Beal),” sad Shurmur. “Again, he is day-to-day, too. He’s making progress.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) and running back Jon Hilliman (concussion) participated with non-contact jerseys.

Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (unknown) had to be helped off of the field and left practice early.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Antonio Hamilton and Corey Ballentine received first-team reps at cornerback along with Janoris Jenkins.
  • LB Markus Golden had two “sacks” against the first-team offense.
  • CB Henre’ Tolliver broke up a long pass intended for WR Golden Tate.
  • QB Eli Manning connected with WR Bennie Fowler on a long pass down the left sideline.
  • LB Nate Stupar jumped a route and nearly picked off a pass by QB Daniel Jones.
  • WR Darius Slayton returned punts along with S Jabrill Peppers, WR Golden Tate, WR T.J. Jones, and WR Brittan Golden.
  • CB Grant Haley broke up a long pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Sterling Shepard.
  • QB Eli Manning hit TE Evan Engram for a big gain down the right seam. Manning then found RB Wayne Gallman on wheel route, beating LB Markus Golden. Manning finished 11-of-19 in practice.
  • QB Daniel Jones overthrew WR Alex Wesley on a 50-yard post pattern.
  • TE Garrett Dickerson made a one-handed catch of a pass from QB Daniel Jones.
  • During goal-line drills, CB Janoris Jenkins broke passes intended for TE Evan Engram and RB Rod Smith.
  • DL B.J. Hill stuffed RB Saquon Barkley on a red-zone run.
  • QB Daniel Jones looked off a receiver and then fired a short touchdown pass to WR Russell Shepard on a slant. Then Jones threw a touchdown passes to WR T.J. Jones on a fade and TE Garrett Dickerson. Jones finished 10-of-12 in practice.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Monday 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…

Aug 052019
 
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Deandre Baker, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Deandre Baker – © USA TODAY Sports

AUGUST 5, 2019 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 public training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived offensive guard Austin Droogsma and re-signed offensive tackle Malcom Bunche.

The Giants signed Droogsma after he impressed at the 2019 rookie mini-camp. The 6’4”, 345-pound Droogsma was a star shot-putter at Florida State. He has not played football since high school in 2012.

The 27-year old, 6’6”, 319-pound Bunche was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2015 NFL Draft. Bunche has spent time with the Eagles (2015), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2017), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2017). The Giants signed Bunche after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2018 rookie mini-camp, but cut before the season started. He has not played in a regular-season game.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Darius Slayton (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (unknown), linebacker Avery Moss (unknown), and cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (thumb) and cornerback Grant Haley (shoulder) participated with non-contact jerseys.

Defensive end B.J. Hill was excused from practice due to the birth of his child. Safety Michael Thomas and long snapper Zak DeOssie were excused in order to participate in NFLPA duties.

Offensive tackle Brian Mihalik (burner) left practice early.

MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The quarterbacks completed 14 of their first 16 pass attempts, primarily focused on the short passing game.
  • CB Deandre Baker broke up a long pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Golden Tate.
  • LB Ryan Connelly was unblocked o a blitz up the middle and “sacked” the quarterback; LB Alec Ogletree also got to the quarterback with an inside spin move.
  • QB Eli Manning threw a “perfect” deep pass to WR Cody Latimer over CB Janoris Jenkins.
  • CB Janoris Jenkins broke up two passes.
  • At one point in practice, Corey Ballentine and Deandre Barker were the first-team corners with Janoris Jenkins playing in the slot.
  • CB Corey Ballentine broke up a pass intended for WR Sterling Shepard.
  • QB Alex Tanney connected with WR Alex Wesley, who ran a good route and beat CB Grant Haley.
  • LB Kareem Martin got past LT Nate Solder on a blitz and forced QB Eli Manning to spike the ball into the ground.
  • In red zone drills, tight coverage from CB Corey Ballentine caused an incomplete pass from QB Daniel Jones to WR Bennie Fowler. But then Jones threw a touchdown pass to WR T.J. Jones against Ballentine.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, CB Grant Haley knocked away a QB Alex Tanney pass intended for WR Da’Mari Scott in the end zone.
  • QB Daniel Jones had a good day, completing 10-of-16 passes with three of those going to WR Bennie Fowler.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Monday 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…

Jul 042019
 
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New York Giants Helmets October 27 2013

JARED LORENZEN PASSES AWAY…
Former New York Giants back-up quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away on July 3rd due to heart and kidney issues. Lorenzen was 38 years old. The Giants signed Lorenzen as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2004 NFL Draft. He served as a reserve quarterback for four years, from 2004-2007, first as a third-string quarterback and later as the primary back-up to Eli Manning.

“Jared was a special person, and a beloved Giant,” said Manning. “He was an important member of our 2007 team, one that created its own destiny. Our thoughts are with Jared’s family and friends who loved and appreciated him so much. Just as our organization and our fans did. Jared was a great teammate and friend. We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together in 2004. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”

“I’m shocked to learn of Jared’s passing,” said former New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Jared had a fun-loving, yet serious attitude. He was a good athlete, he had touch and versatility, and he was serious about trying to get his weight under control. Jared got along well with his teammates, and he contributed a lot in his hometown. He worked with young kids in teaching them the game of football. My thoughts are with Jared’s family and the Giants family. It’s sad to lose a kid who tried so hard to play again.”

ARTICLES…

Jun 262019
 
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Spencer Pulley and Will Hernandez, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

Spencer Pulley and Will Hernandez – © 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: Offensive Line

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: It’s clear that General Manager Dave Gettleman took one look at the team’s offensive line and had the same reaction as fans. Justin Pugh (2013 1st rounder), Weston Richburg (2014 2nd rounder), and D.J. Fluker were allowed to walk in free agency during the 2018 offseason. John Jerry was cut before the season started. The Giants started the 2018 season with newly-signed free agent Nate Solder at left tackle, 2nd-rounder Will Hernandez at left guard, Jon Halapio at center, newly-signed free agent Patrick Omameh at right guard, and Ereck Flowers at right tackle.

This group did not play well and the offense struggled to score points before the bye week. In addition, Halapio broke his ankle in Week 2 and was replaced by John Greco and then waiver-wire pick-up Spencer Pulley. Flowers was benched after the second game and replaced by second-year undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler. Omameh lasted a bit longer, starting the first six games before being cut in November. Greco first took his spot, then newcomer Jamon Brown, who was claimed off of waivers from the Los Angeles Rams.

The 2.0 version of the 2018 offensive line thus included Solder-Hernandez-Pulley-Brown-Wheeler. The best thing that could be said of this group was that it wasn’t as crappy as the previous group. Team scoring improved, but Pulley and Wheeler were clearly weak links. Brown looked the part, but demonstrated the same inconsistency that led to him being cut by the Rams. And it rapidly became apparent that the desperate Giants dramatically overpaid Solder, who did play better as the season progressed. While Hernandez experienced the expected rookie growing pains, he improved and was named to the All-Rookie team.

Overall, for yet another season, the line remained the offense’s Achilles’ heel, with the free agent newcomers not playing as well as expected, and the team being forced to start two mid-season waiver-wire pickups.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants re-signed both Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley. The team did not bring back John Greco, and Jamon Brown signed with the Falcons. The Giants acquired guard Kevin Zeitler via a trade from the Browns and signed tackle Mike Remmers in free agency. Street free agents Chad Slade and Austin Droogsma were signed. Surprisingly, the Giants only drafted one lineman: George Asafo-Adjei in the 7th round. Rookie free agents Paul Adams and James O’Hagan were signed after the draft.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Heading into training camp, the expected starting offensive line is Nate Solder at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley at center, Kevin Zeitler at right guard, and Mike Remmers at right tackle. On paper, this appears to be the team’s best offensive line in almost a decade. Hernandez and Zeitler are arguably one of the best set of starting guards in the NFL. They are not just big, physical football players, but they play with professionalism and attitude. The Giants haven’t been in such good shape here since the days of Rich Seubert and Chris Snee.

The three other spots are a bit more unsettled. Nate Solder clearly did not live up to his contract. He’s also missed the Spring workouts due to ankle surgery. However, he is another veteran presence who gives the Giants more stability and reliability at the crucial left tackle position than Ereck Flowers and Will Beatty ever did. Moreover, the Solder-Hernandez tandem on the left side should play better in their second year together. Mike Remmers has bounced around the League, now playing with his seventh team. But the self-made journeyman parlayed his improving play into a 5-year, $30 million contract with the Vikings in 2017. He played well at right tackle for that team in 2017 but was more inconsistent at right guard in 2018. A recurring back issue that required offseason surgery was a factor in the Vikings cutting him in March. If Remmers is over his back issues (which caused him to miss Spring workouts), and if he can regain his 2017 form, the Giants will have massively upgraded themselves at right tackle with another professional, veteran presence. But those are two big “ifs”. Like the left tackle position, right tackle has been a disaster for the Giants for years.

Based on offseason comments by team officials, it was assumed that Jon Halapio would be penciled in as the starting center again. However, Spencer Pulley has been pushing him and splitting snaps with the first unit during Spring workouts. The starting center position appears to be very much up for grabs. The good news is that whomever starts, they will be tremendously aided by Hernandez and Zeitler on their flanks.

Overall, the main story line is this group needs to develop cohesion and chemistry quickly. Both starting tackles missed the mini-camp and OTAs this Spring due to injuries. With so few training camp practices, there is not much time for everyone to come together.

ON THE BUBBLE: There are currently 16 offensive linemen on the roster. The Giants will probably keep nine. Barring injury, Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Kevin Zeitler, and Mike Remmers will start. Both Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley should make it unless one of the younger centers push one off the roster. That leaves three spots for ten players. Chad Wheeler probably has a leg up on being the reserve swing tackle. But it will be a dogfight for those last few spots.

FROM THE COACHES: Head Coach Pat Shurmur on Mike Remmers: “I worked with Mike for two years. He is a pro, a real pro, and he played winning football for us in Minnesota. I knew a lot about Mike and then he started last year every game and played well. We were in talks with him, took a couple of physicals, just went through the process and signed him.”

Shurmur on Jon Halapio: “He was really playing well for us before he got hurt a year ago. So we had high hopes for him last season. It appears he has come back 100 percent and is back in there just like he was when he left us.”

Shurmur on George Asafo-Adjei: “We like him for all the reasons we liked him on his college tape. He is a powerful guy that has very good length. You can tell he is a very physical style player. That is important at that position.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula on the offensive line: “I think the guys that we’ve added over the course of last season and this season have brought a lot of character, intelligence, competitiveness, integrity to that room. I think it didn’t show as early as we wanted it to last year. I think it showed pretty well at the end of the year. I think we’ve kind of picked up, in fact improved since then. We are going to be leaning on them, they are going to be the starting point of our offense. Everyone knows we have Saquon, we want to run the football, we are going to be balanced. To do that it’s got to start with the offensive line. We want to run the ball, when we want to run it, we want to throw that ball when we want to throw it. To do that it starts up front. We are going to lean heavy on those guys.”

Shula on Chad Wheeler: “I think Wheels has done a really good job this offseason with our exposure with him. Again, I have only been around him for a year, but I think there is a big difference even with him and his approach. I think he, along with a lot of other guys, got better as the year went on. We all know that we were nowhere near good enough early in the year. We did a lot of good things even though it wasn’t good enough at the end of the year, but we were really, really close and trending in the right direction. He was one of those guys that falls in that category.”

Offensive Line Coach Hal Hunter on Kevin Zeitler: “You have to love Zeitler. He is a tough, hard nose guy. I have seen him play. I watched him play when he was in Cincinnati’s offense. He is a good football player. He brings a real toughness. He is all business… He is very demanding of guys around him in a positive way. You demand in yourself what you demand in others. I love that about him. I love everything about him, his personality and what he brings. He is so fun to coach.”

Hunter on Jon Halapio: “He made good progress during (the 2018 training) camp and great progress during the preseason. The way he was playing in the beginning of the Dallas game, that was shocking. He was playing really well. When you sit out all that time, you get so far behind physically and technically. Now he is back in the swing of things and he looks good. He is only scratching the surface. He is smart, tough and strong. He has athleticism and needs to continue to play at the position.”

Hunter on George Asafo-Adjei: “My son works at Kentucky. He works in the football office down there. We found out from the inside out – he talked about what a quality guy he was. He was probably the most respected guy on the offensive side of the ball. He talked about how he competed with Josh Allen on a day-to-day basis. He talked about his character, work ethic and his toughness. All of those things peaked interest. You watch him on tape and see that he has a lot of athleticism and power. He has a lot of toughness and plays in the best football conference in the country. We have some technical work to do. He is a rookie and you have to tell him to do something once and he goes on and does it right the next time. He picked up the offense much quicker than I thought he was going to. When you compare our offense to their offense, we have a lot more volume to it with a lot of the things that we were doing. We need to continue to work with him technically to get him up to speed but you have to like everything about him. When you read him, that is one of the first things that I found out. He had committed to Kentucky early and is a man of his word. When all those other schools came in like Alabama, that is legit. Those people tried to come in and recruit him. He gave Kentucky his word and didn’t go anywhere. He has some developmental potential.”

PREDICTIONS: Some fans have questioned me about why I am so upbeat about the 2019 offensive line since there remain some serious question marks at center and both tackle spots. I feel good because I see a group of professional, reliable veterans. For the last decade, the Giants haven’t just been bad up front, they’ve been dreadful. They were not only physically overmatched, they did not treat their jobs as professionals. And they certainly could not be relied upon.

I love our two guards. And whomever starts at center will benefit from them. Solder and Remmers aren’t pretty, but they get the job done. This group will show up to work, give you a full 60 minutes, and leave their opponents feeling sore the next day. I’ll take that any day.

My only concern is that with Solder and Remmers missing all of the Spring workouts, early-season cohesion and chemistry will be lacking. But both guys have been around the League for a long time and that will help. The Giants also have to pray Remmers’ back holds up.

There are Giants fans in their teens and 20s who have never seen their team field a decent offensive line. I think that is about to change. Don’t be surprised if both guards receive some Pro Bowl recognition.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Kevin Zeitler, Will Hernandez, Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Jon Halapio, Spencer Pulley, Chad Wheeler, George Asafo-Adjei, Paul Adams

(I realize this is tackle heavy, but it’s easier for a tackle to play guard in a pinch rather than the other way around. The Giants also need to groom a couple of young tackles).

Jun 202019
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (May 20, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 2019 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED…
The New York Giants have announced their 2019 training camp schedule. Only 10 practices will be open to the public. Rookies and select veterans report on July 22 and all players on July 24. The first practice will take place on July 25. All practices will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

Training Camp Schedule Open to the public:

  • Thursday, July 25: 2:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27: 2:45 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 28: 2:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 30: 2:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 31: 2:45 p.m.
  • Friday, August 2: 2:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 6: 10:45 a.m.
  • Sunday, August 11: 10:45 a.m.
  • Monday, August 12: 10:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 13: 10:45 a.m.

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, the Giants App, or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (extension 1070).

Admission: There is no cost to attend practice sessions. Fans wishing to attend practice sessions must register for complimentary tickets in advance. Fans may register for up to six (6) tickets per practice session. Once registered, fans will receive their tickets via e-mail and will need to present using their mobile device to gain admittance. While registering for tickets is strongly recommended to guarantee access, fans will also be admitted on a walk-up basis, if space permits. Gates open one hour prior to the start of each practice session. Accessible seating is available and may be reserved when you secure your tickets for a practice session. Ticket Registration will open on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Fan Parking: Parking is free and located in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. Lot K will open for parking two hours prior to the start of practice. The parking lot will close one hour following the conclusion of practice.

Inclement Weather Policy: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, the Giants App, or call the Training Camp Hotline at (201) 935-8111 (extension 1070) prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes to the daily practice schedule.

For more information, including a fan Q&A, see this article on Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Jun 102019
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (June 4, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS OTA PRACTICE #7 COMPLETE…
The Giants held their seventh voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Monday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The practice was not open to the media, but Giants.com provided the following summaries of the action:

The three remaining OTA practices will be held on June 11-13. Tuesday’s practice is open to the media.

ARTICLES…

Feb 112019
 
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Will Hernandez, New York Giants (October 7, 2018)

Will Hernandez – © USA TODAY Sports

One of the primary reasons why General Manager Jerry Reese and Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross were fired was their inability to satisfactorily address an offensive line that had begun to deteriorate during the Super Bowl season of 2011. For years, Reese and Ross invested premium draft picks and free agent resources at the position, but to no avail. Enter new General Manager Dave Gettleman, who initially won over the hearts and minds of many Giants fans tired of inept offensive line play by focusing much of public comments on the “hog mollies” up front.

So what did Gettleman do? He almost completely gutted the previous group. Justin Pugh (2013 1st rounder), Weston Richburg (2014 2nd rounder), and D.J. Fluker were allowed to walk in free agency. John Jerry was cut before the season started. Somewhat oddly, the only unrestricted free agent the team chose to re-sign was John Greco. Newcomers included Nate Solder (4 years, $62 million), Patrick Omameh (3 years, $15 million), and 2018 2nd-round draft pick Will Hernandez. Notably, Ereck Flowers (9th player taken in the 2015 NFL Draft), who the previous administration had refused to shift to right tackle, was finally moved to the spot that many argued would be his best position. The only real surprise coming out of the OTAs and training camp was that Jon Halapio beat out Brett Jones at center, with the latter eventually being traded to the Minnesota Vikings in late August. The new offensive line coach was Hal Hunter, a man with an uninspiring resume and who was also out of football in 2017.

The Giants started the season with Nate Solder at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Jon Halapio at center, Patrick Omameh at right guard, and Ereck Flowers at right tackle. This group did not play well and the offense struggled mightily to score points. Indeed, there appeared to be no measurable improvement over the previous pathetic groups. The Giants began the season 1-7, scoring an average of 15 points in six of those losses despite the presence of Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley.

Injury and an ineffectiveness soon led to shakeups up front. Halapio broke his ankle and leg in the second game of the season and was first replaced by John Greco and then Spencer Pulley, who was claimed off of waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers. The new regime also decided it had seen enough of Flowers and Omameh. Flowers was benched after the second game and replaced by second-year undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler. Omameh lasted a bit longer, starting the first six games before being cut in November. Greco first took his spot, then newcomer Jamon Brown, who was claimed off of waivers from the Los Angeles Rams.

The 2.0 version of the 2018 offensive line thus included Solder-Hernandez-Pulley-Brown-Wheeler. The best thing that could be said of this group was that it wasn’t as crappy as the previous group. Team scoring improved, but Pulley and Wheeler were clearly weak links. Brown looked the part, but demonstrated the same inconsistency that led to him being cut by the Rams. And it rapidly became apparent that the desperate Giants dramatically overpaid Solder, who did settle down more as the season progressed. (Unfortunately, it was the Giants’ failed attempt to land guard Andrew Norwell in free agency that led to the Giants acquiring both Solder and Omameh). While Hernandez experienced the expected rookie growing pains, he improved and was named to the All-Rookie team.

Overall, for yet another season, the line remained the offense’s Achilles’ heel, with the free agent newcomers not playing as well as expected, and the team being forced to start two mid-season waiver-wire pickups.

THE EVENTUAL STARTERS

The Giants signed Nate Solder as an unrestricted free agent from the New England Patriots in March 2018. Solder started all 16 games at left tackle but had an inconsistent season, struggling at times as both a run and pass blocker, particularly during the first-half of the year. The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In eight seasons, Solder has started 111 of the 114 regular-season games he has played in. He is a long, lean tackle with good overall athleticism. Solder was voted a team captain in his first year with the Giants.

In his second season with the Giants, Chad Wheeler was promoted to the starter at right tackle when the team decided to bench Ereck Flowers after the second game. Wheeler ended up starting 14 games at right tackle, but was a weak link on a unit that played better during the second half of the season. Wheeler was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. Not only did he make the team, but he ended up playing in 11 games with four starts, three at right tackle and one at left tackle. Wheeler is a hardworking, versatile player and a decent athlete, but he appears to lack ideal footwork, strength, and bulk to be a starter. He may be better suited as a back-up swing tackle.

The Giants selected Will Hernandez in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. While he had some growing pains, Hernandez, ended up starting all 16 games at left guard and was named named to Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. Hernandez lacks ideal height, but he is a big, tough, strong, powerful guard who does his best work in-line and not on the move. Hernandez is a mauler who plays with leverage and gets movement as a run blocker. He plays with an attitude and looks to finish his blocks and punish opponents. Hernandez lacks ideal foot quickness which hampers his game in space and, at times, as a pass protector, but he generally gets the job done.

The Giants claimed Jamon Brown off of waivers from the Los Angeles Rams at the end of October 2018. He was quickly inserted into the starting lineup, and played in the final eight games as the starting right guard. The 6’4”, 340-pound Brown was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Rams. Brown has played in 50 regular-season games with 38 starts. He was suspended the first two games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Brown’s size and strength is an asset in the running game, but he was too inconsistent in pass protection. He also needs to cut down on his penalties.

The Giants claimed Spencer Pulley off of waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers in September 2018. Pulley was inserted into the starting line-up in late October. He struggled in his nine starts at center and missed one game due to an injury. Pulley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Chargers after the 2016 NFL Draft. Spencer started all 16 regular-season games for the Chargers in 2017 at center. He also is able to play guard.

OTHER PLAYERS OF NOTE

Jon Halapio won the starting center job in 2018, but was lost early when he was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2018 after breaking his ankle and lower leg in the second game of the season. The injuries required surgery. 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 signed Halapio to their Practice Squad in 2016 and 2017. The Giants then added him to the 53-man roster in October 2017 and he played in 10 games, starting the last six at right guard. Halapio is stout and strong, but he lacks ideal overall athleticism. Versatile, he can play both center and guard.

The Giants signed John Greco in November 2017. In 2018, Greco played in 15 games with seven starts (five at center, two at right guard). An older, fading player, Greco struggled at both positions and was eventually replaced in the starting line-up by players acquired during the season. Greco was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He has spent time with the Rams (2008-2010), Cleveland Browns (2011-2016), and New Orleans Saints (2017). He’s a versatile player with experience at both guard positions and center.

Jan 172019
 
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Michael Hunter, New York Giants (September 1, 2016)

Michael Hunter – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS BRING BACK MICHAEL HUNTER…
The New York Giants have signed cornerback Michael Hunter to reserve/futures contracts.

The Giants originally signed Hunter as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent time on both the team’s Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2016. He also made the team in 2017 before being waived/injured in October 2017. The 6’0”, 192-pound Hunter played in six regular-season games for the Giants with no starts. Since leaving the Giants, Hunter has spent time with the New York Jets (2017), Denver Broncos (2017-2018), Buffalo Bills (2018), and Houston Texans (2018). He did not play in a regular-season game for any of those teams.

SAQUON BARKLEY, WILL HERNANDEZ, ALDRICK ROSAS HONORED…
The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) has honored three New York Giants for their performance during the 2018 NFL season. PFWA named running back Saquon Barkley “2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year.” In addition offensive guard Will Hernandez was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and place kicker Aldrick Rosas was named to PFWA’s All-NFC Team.

Oct 042018
 
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Mike Shula, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Mike Shula – © USA TODAY Sports

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

Nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee) and linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle) were limited in practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (back), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin) fully practiced.

GIANTS SIGN QUADREE HENDERSON TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed wide receiver/returner Quadree Henderson to the team’s Practice Squad. The 22-year old, 5’8”, 192-pound Henderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers waived him before the season started.

“Production (as a return man) – he’s a sure-handed guy,” said Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey. “He obviously had a lot of production in college and we like what we saw on tape and his pro day, like we saw there, so he has a lot of potential like any young guy that had a lot of production in college. We’d like to see what he does at the next level.”

To make room for Henderson, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, who was signed to the Practice Squad on September 26th.

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

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Carolina Panthers.

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Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (September 23, 2018)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 27 – HOUSTON TEXANS 22…
The New York Giants may have saved their season on Sunday with a 27-22 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston. It was the team’s first win on the season and the Giants are now 1-2.

Some drama began before the game was even played as it was revealed that the Giants had benched right tackle Ereck Flowers for Chad Wheeler. The Giants will also have to hold their breath as tight end Evan Engram left the game with a knee injury and he will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Statistically, the game was pretty even. The Texans out-gained the Giants in total net yards 427 to 379 and both teams accrued 21 first downs. But the Giants won the turnover battle 2-0 and were 3-of-4 (75 percent) in red zone opportunities. The Giants also held the ball 10 minutes more than the Texans as the Giants out-gained them in rushing yards 114 to 59.

The Texans received the ball to start the game. They drove the ball 69 yards in 11 plays to set up a 23-yard field goal. To the defense’s credit, they held Houston to three points after they had set up a 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line.

The Giants responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by running back Saquon Barkley. Quarterback Eli Manning kept the possession alive with two 3rd-down conversions to his wideouts. The Giants forced a three-and-out on the Texans’ second possession and the Giants added to their lead with a 44-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas after a 9-play, 58-yard drive. Giants 10 – Texans 3.

The Giants’ defense kept up the pressure on the Texans’ third possession, causing another three-and-out. The Giants then had their third scoring drive in a row by driving 64 yards in 10 plays to set up Rosas from 30 yards out. Big plays on the drive included a 19-yard catch by tight end Evan Engram and a 24-yard run by Saquon Barkley. Houston again went three-and-out and the Giants appeared to take firm control of the game with a 6-play, 71-yard drive that included a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard, a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, and a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison. Giants 20 – Texans 3 with the Giants scoring on all four of their first-half possessions.

The Texans did manage to add three points right before halftime by driving the ball 65 yards in nine plays to set up a 28-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

At the half, the Giants led 20-6.

The game got uncomfortably tight in the second half as the Giants’ offense was shut down for most of the rest of the game. The Giants were held to three first downs and 30 yards on their first four drives of the half, all ending with punts. Houston also cut into the lead again on their first possession in the 3rd quarter with a 54-yard field goal.

New York’s defense kept the game from getting tighter by forcing two turnovers. Defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Donte Deayon at the Giants’ 25-yard line. But Houston drove the ball deep again on their subsequent possession, reaching the Giants’ 8-yard line before a penalty and sack by defensive end B.J. Hill pushed the ball back to the 25-yard line. Then inside linebacker Alex Ogletree made an athletic interception in the end zone, resulting in a touchback.

After yet another three-and-out by the Giants, Houston drove 67 yards in seven plays with quarterback Deshaun Watson throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass with under eight minutes to play. The Texans failed on their 2-point conversion and the Giants led 20-15.

At this critical moment in the ball game, the New York offense finally came back to life. Manning threw a 23-yard pass to Shepard, a 17-yard pass to Ellison, and a 21-yard pass to Barkley. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-goal, Manning found Shepard over the middle for a 7-yard touchdown. The Giants now led 27-15 with just over two minutes to play. The Texans did make the game appear tighter than it was late by scoring one final touchdown with one second left.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 25-of-29 for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 132.3 quarterback rating. His top targets were Beckham (9 catches for 109 yards) and Shepard (7 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown). Barkley gained 82 rushing yards and one touchdown on 17 carries and also caught three passes for 35 yards.

Defensively, the Giants held what had been the League’s #1 rushing attack to 59 yards, with Houston running backs only gaining 23 yards on 14 carries (the other 36 yards were by the quarterback). The Giants also picked up three sacks, one each by Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman Mario Edwards. Wynn had a strong game with five tackles, a tackle for a loss, a pass defense, and a forced fumble.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, center Evan Brown, cornerback Michael Jordan, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Tight end Evan Engram left the game with a knee injury and did not return. He was wearing a knee brace after the game will undergo an MRI on his knee on Monday. “We don’t know how bad it is yet,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll just have to see.”

Running back Saquon Barkley (knee) left the game but returned.

Cornerback Antonio Hamilton injured his groin in warm-ups.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (Video)
  • LG Will Hernandez (Video)
  • LB Alec Ogletree (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)