High Round Talent On Display
CoachesSecondary / Corners: Peter Giunta (3rd year)
Some young players on the New York Giants have yet to get on the field and make a contribution like cornerback Jayron Hosley or tight end Adrien Robinson. Some young players are starting to see more playing time and slowly they are beginning to make an impression like Cooper Taylor and Demontre Moore.
The two things that these players all have in common is that they are young draft picks and do not cost the franchise a lot of money.
For the past couple of years, the cornerback position for the Giants has been scared by injuries. From Terrell Thomas and his multiple ACL injuries, Prince Amukamara with a concussion earlier this season; to the loss of Aaron Ross?for the season due to a back injury?earlier this month and Corey Webster, who lately,?has been fighting off a groin injury.
It has been a rare occurrence when all of the Giants cornerbacks have been at a fully-healthy state, but they have managed well.
It's a short week for the Giants as they hope to stop their season from freefalling completely out of control tomorrow night when they take on the Chicago Bears in hopes of finding their first win in what seems to be the longest NFL season of all time.
The Bears have lost two straight games after starting the season 3-0,?but have a formidable offense with QB Jay Cutler, who is having a steady year,?along with weapons such as RB Matt Fore, WR Brandon Marshall, and former Giants TE Martellus Bennett.
And one theme was apparent throughout the whole 10-minute interview: The only thing that matters is when the pads come on.
But Fewell did say he likes where the unit is right now.
And for a team that did not make the playoffs in 2012, there are a plethora of storylines as new faces and veterans in need to reviving their image return to the field.
1. The health of Hakeem Nicks
Two days ago, Woodson left his visit with Denver without receiving a contract offer, but the two sides reportedly remained in contact.
In addition to the Broncos, Woodson, 36, has visited with the Raiders, the only team known to have made an offer to the free agent.
Offensively, the team re-signed left tackle Will Beatty and added Brandon Myers to replace Martellus Bennett, who signed with the Chicago Bears. Also making the lineup is first-round selection Justin Pugh, who is penciled in at left guard, as well as Victor Cruz, who has yet to re-sign with the team for the coming season.
That sentiment was echoed by ESPN's top NFL Draft insiders this week, as both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. project New York to bolster its secondary with the 19th selection Thursday night.
In his final mock draft, McShay writes the Giants will select cornerback D.J. Hayden out of Houston.
At No. 19, Kiper projects the Giants to draft cornerback Desmond Trufant from the University of Washington. The 6-foot, 190-pound former Huskie impressed at the NFL Combine, solidifying his status as a first-round talent.
NFL.com compares Trufant to Cardinals cornerback Antoine Cason, praising him for his size, athleticism and short-area foot quickness. However, experts believe he'll have to improve his overall strength on the professional level.
The Giants have been connected to a number of different players with the 19th selection in April's NFL Draft, most of which has centered around the team's moves during free agency.
Among the names floated around have been Tyler Eifert, the tight end from Notre Dame, Alec Ogletree, the linebacker out of Georgia, and Datone Jones, the defensive lineman out of UCLA.
From Matthew Cohen SNYGiants contributor:
Well the Giants found their number 2 cornerback.
Well, the odds have changed ... at least for Webster
Center David Baas and Webster have each agreed to take pay reductions in order to stay with the Giants and give the team some much-needed cap space for the off-season.
Because of the Giants' salary cap situation, the Giants may not be able to afford the players' salary for the upcoming season.
Webster, 31, is due $7 million in 2013, $9.8 million against the cap, and is entering the final year of his contract. Diehl, 32, is slated to make $4.475 million, a cap hit of about $6.9 million.
Countless times, the Giants gave up huge plays in the secondary, especially on third down, which kept the opposing offense on the field.
Big Blue was near the top of the league in giving up passing plays of more than 20 yards. Stevie Brown had a breakout season, but that was pretty much all the positive recognition this unit received.
As the media gathers in New Orleans, New York Giants players are watching from their couches as a new king of the football world is crowned on Sunday.
Owner John Mara and GM Jerry Reese expressed their dismay with the team missing out on the playoffs this season. Obviously, change is on the horizon.
Whether it's via free agency, the draft or trades, the Giants need to upgrade their pass rush, which will allow their linebackers to focus more on stopping the revent and their defensive backs on generating turnovers.
The heart and soul of the Giants D: the defensive line. Let's begin there.
With three years before he hits the free agent market, Giants general manager Jerry Reese is considering new ways to use ?to use Thomas, including moving him to safety.
"Terrell obviously has the multiple knee surgeries so he will have to tread lightly on that and see where he is physically," Reese said on Thursday during an interview on WFAN. "Right now, he is still rehabbing. We will definitely reach out to him and see where he is and see if he is going to be able to try to make another comeback."
Phillips, who has missed nine games this season due to knee injuries, including the last three, said after practicing all week he feels ready to return to the field.
He felt that way last week, however, and was ruled out.
The obvious area of emphasis was the very first drive in which the Giants allowed Andy Dalton to hit A.J. Green on 56-yard touchdown pass in which the secondary looked completely confused.
Stevie Brown was supposed to slide over in coverage, but Corey Webster should have realized, according to Giunta, what was going on as the veteran guy.
For the G-Men, it's a chance to get revenge for Jerry Jones' comments following his Cowboys' win in the season opener and extend their lead in the NFC East. A win would situate Big Blue at 6-2 and potentially three games better than the runner-up.
For the Boys, it's an opportunity to sweep the series against New York for the first time since 2007 and make ground on the division-leading Giants. Both Dallas and Philadelphia are sitting at 3-3, with the Eagles facing a tough one vs. Atlanta.
When asked about how he plans to attack Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who shredded Big Blue for more than 300 yards and 3 TDs in the season opener, Fewell said there's not much you could do about "classic Tony."
"I just think he had a really good game against us in the first ball game.? He made some plays with his feet, which is classic Tony, and stayed alive.? I thought he and Dez (Bryant) hooked up and did a good job, and he brought (Kevin) Ogletree in the game and he did a good job against us.? I think that they had a good plan and they executed their plan better than we played."Fewell said this time around, the secondary has made tremendous strides. Corey Webster and Antrel Rolle are getting healthier, as his Kenny Phillips. In his place, Stevie Brown has collected a team-high 3 INTs.
The defensive backs will continue to incorporate more press coverage into their repertoire, which has proven to be a solid method of late.
Nicks, who has missed each of the team's last three games, took part in individual drills and a jog-through.
Here's who did not participate in practice:
Martellus Bennett?(knee),?Rocky Bernard?(quadriceps),?Chase Blackburn?(hip),?Andre Brown?(concussion), Hakeem Nicks?(foot, knee),?Kenny Phillips (knee),?Corey Webster?(hand, hamstring).
Here is the rest of the report:
Probables:?Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck). Wide receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion). Cornerback Corey Webster (hand). Defensive end Adewale Ojomo (hamstring).
Johnson would have a banner game (5 catches for 146 yards) but he had an 87-yard TD reception thrown in there (on a tipped pass over Terrell Thomas and Antrel Rolle) to pad his stats.
The Lions were without starting QB Matthew Stafford?(shoulder). Then the Giants knocked his backup - Shaun Hill - from the game with a broken left forearm, which paved the way for third-stringer Drew Stanton - who almost pulled off an upset.
The secondary struggled throughout most of the regular season, ranking 29th in pass yards per game allowed with 225.1. Luckily, Eli Manning made a habit of putting up those same numbers?often better?against opposing pass defenses.
With the Miami Dolphins coming to town, cornerback Corey Webster knew his assignment before the Giants discussed their gameplan.
Webster will be paired against Brandon Marshall no matter where the Dolphins? big wide receiver lines up Sunday.
I think we are still going out there and doing the same thing. Our goals are the same. We just need guys to step up and Ross has been in that position before. He has been a starter and has been preparing like he was a starter even when he wasn?t. My role doesn?t change at all. It is just to go out there and help my team win games and get better. That is just what we do.
How did Antrel look in the nickel against the Jets?
Well that should quiet some of the complaints that Jerry Reese wasn't doing enough to get players to restructure their contracts.
Garafolo is not sure when this occurred, but theorizes that it must have been before August 4, as they were able to practice, unlike Jacobs.?Garafolo also suggests that the Giants are now $3.5 million under the cap.
We sure hope so.? Two years in a row the NY Giants have gotten what the franchise deems as a true play maker. No one wants to see a good player loosing playing time; however, I am pumped to see first round pick Prince Amukarmara fight for a starting spot.
The draft can unfold in many unique ways.?? Everyone was sure that at pick No. 19 the Giants would go Offensive lineman due to the fact that all the ?skill players? would be long gone that fit the Giants system.
But in reviewing that draft here in 2011, I can't help but catching myself on the glaring error the Giants may have made in the first round.
How you ask?? By using the fundamentals of the game and showing the world they know how to tackle. ? Including quarterbacks!
This past week, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Philips and Deon Grant showed the world why the New York Giant defense gets the "Most Improved" award in 2010.?? The 3 safeties combined for 11 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 QB hit, 2 pass defended.
Sunday night, big brother takes on little brother, but if the NY Giants are going to stand a chance of taking down the very pissed off Peyton Manning, they better bust out the NASCAR scheme on a regular basis.
NASCAR is when Osi, Tuck, Kiwi, and JPP take the field at one time.? In Fewell's hybrid system, Kiwi can lineup as a defensive end or a linebacker.? I'm not sure why it took so long for Fewell to let the dogs lose against Carolina, but now that we've seen it, we want it and we want it often.
When Rolle signed with the team, he stated that he was one part of the NFL?s best safety duo, and I would have to agree.
Thanks in part to a healthy defensive line and a new defensive coordinator whose specialty is the secondary, I am semi-boldly predicting that Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips will combine for at least ten interceptions.
If you?ve been paying attention over the past two days, you
are well aware of the mounting injuries infesting the Giants locker room.? The injuries are hampering nearly every
position group and with September fast approaching, the Giants front office has a mess on its hands.
"He?s got to be the guy we paid,? said Reese. ?He?s got some play-making ability. He?s got to keep it between his ears, keep it right in his head."
"He?s got all the tools to be a really great corner. But he?s got to get it in his head, ?I?m a great corner and I can play against anybody.? When he falls short sometimes, I think he has a mental lapse in his head about something.?
Webster is pumped about the new help he's getting at safety (Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant) and is enthusiastic about playing for new DC Perry Fewell.
Lately, he's been gaining a reputation for picking off passes and taking them to the house.....
That's all behind him now.? He is entrenched as the Giants' primary CB, starting all but three games the past two seasons (Webster had a sprained knee in December of 2009).
Last week at mini-camp, Webster had the look of a veteran ready to lead.? He is pleased with the hiring of Perry Fewell as the defensive coordinator, who has installed a scheme that focuses on creating turnovers.
"Yeah, he's very energetic," Webster said of Fewell, "He wants us to fly around, be around the ball. The guys are happy out there trying to get the bad taste of last year out of our mouths."
By now all Giant fans are aware that going to New Orleans is a homecoming for Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs and Corey Webster. Eli saw many??games in the Superdome, while watching his dad Archie Quarterback the Saints, and his two brothers Cooper and Peyton Quarterback in high school and college. This however will be Eli's first shot to Quarterback (using quarterback as a verb this often just doesn't feel right, but I'm a simpleton and don't know other words) in his hometown stadium. Every game has a subplot and the Eli homecoming along with Shockey's revenge seemed to be the headliners, that is until I read this?post by Patricia Traina?.
This is the tale of two friends, Webster and Jacobs, who met at age 9, played basketball and football together and wound up being drafted together as well. It goes beyond that, including a tale of heroism, when one man saved the others life. In fact it's such a Disney like piece that while reading it a bird actually tried to fly into my apartment (I presume to sing to me like they do in all Disney flicks), but unfortunately he hit the glass window and now lays dead on the street...so there's that.
Give me a shut down cornerback over a hard-hitting safety any day of the week. While Corey Webster may not be a ?shut down? corner quit yet, he has developed into the best cover corner on the team and one of the most important players on the defense.
The 2005 second round pick looked to be a bust until he picked it up during the Giants? late season run to Super Bowl 42. Webster?s career highlight to this point is his overtime interception of Brett Favre that set up Lawrence Tynes? NFC Championship-winning field goal, Favre?s last pass as a Packer. If not for a little Eli Magic, Webster would currently be remembered as the guy who fell down, allowing Randy Moss to catch the Super Bowl 42 winning touchdown pass.
Some were unsure whether his great playoff performance would carry over into the 2008 regular season. Well the season is over and it seems that Webster has finally put it all together (to the tune of $43.5 million over 5 years). Along with 2007 first round pick Aaron Ross and 2008 second round pick Terrell Thomas, Webster is part of a young and exciting stable of cornerbacks. But at this point, there is no question as to which is the most valuable. The Giants feel comfortable with Webster guarding #1 receivers, Ross guarding the #2 guy and Thomas in the nickel. If anything were to happen to Webster, Ross would suddenly be faced with guarding premier wide receivers and Thomas would be thrust into a starting role. As excited as I am about Ross and Thomas, I do not think they are ready for that type of challenge.
With Kenny Phillips coming into his own and Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas and Michael Johnson continuing to develop, Corey Webster could be the anchor of an excellent young defensive backfield for years to come. If the pass rush is as ferocious as many think it will be, the improved defensive backfield will see an increase in interceptions, giving the Giants a more balanced, more tenacious D.
Good move by Jerry Reese. Webster has developed into one of the league's better young corner backs.
Hat tip to 'Adam G' for the link.
Corey Webster has been awesome through the first couple of games. I wasn't sure who we saw in the postseason - a mirage or the real Webster - and thought we would see a little of the new and old Webster. But the old one appears to have left town because I'm seeing a cornerback that's smart, savvy, polished and athletic - everything the Giants hoped he would be. With every one of these games in which he plays solid coverage, his price goes up. It'll be an interesting situation when free agency approaches for Webster.Garafolo talks about the Plaxico Burress situation, as well as the differences between this year's Giants team and last on Big Blue View.
R.W. McQuarters sat out of morning practice again today, leaving Domenik Hixon to return the punts, backed up by Ahmad Bradshaw.
Usually Sinorice Moss has backed up Hixon, but today Ahmad Bradshaw did. The focus of the exercise was punt coverage, not returns.
Corey Webster and Aaron Ross are starting at corner, while Sam Madison and rookie Terrell Thomas are competing for the nickel.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said the Giants will "ride the hot hand" when it comes to which tailback they roll with each week.