The Giants have been adding players to their roster almost daily since free agency began on March 12, signing an NFL-high 13 free agents from other teams and re-signing ten of their of their own.

Add in the seven draft picks they will likely retain this season, and the club's 53-man roster will contain at least 20 new faces.

Giants.com's Michael Eisen asked head coach Tom Coughlin yesterday if it is a challenge for him as a coach to assimilate so many new veterans onto the team at the same time:

“Absolutely, it is. You’ve got a big part of our football team that has not been through our routine, the way we do things, the presentation of our values and our principles, what we believe in, how we work, how we practice, how they are to come to work. So we have a lot of basic, fundamental teaching to do. It is definitely a year of transition, no doubt. I think that it must be recognized in terms of the due diligence that’s been done by pro personnel, (assistant general manager) Kevin Abrams and by (general manager) Jerry (Reese)."

The turnover in personnel will bring an entirely new beginning not just for the new arrivals, but for the holdovers and core players remaining from 2013.

“I said all along that the stimulation here, even for our veteran players, for Eli (Manning) to re-focus and to be energized by new, the new learning, the new presentation of material, the different terminology, the things that must be mastered before you even get out of the huddle. I think all of those things are stimulating," added Coughlin.

[sny-details title="For the full interview, click here..."]

Q: Are you more concerned with X’s and O’s, learning the offensive and defensive systems, or getting the new players accustomed to the culture you’ve created here and what you expect of them?

“The culture’s going to change, too. The culture will change. Now, the principles and the values will not change, but how we go about our business has to change, because we have so many new people that have to be integrated into the system. Am I concerned about the X’s and O’s? Yes, I’m concerned about the X’s and O’s. That whole situation in terms of the new system and our new offensive coordinator (Ben McAdoo), those things are all going to have to be presented to our team, both veterans and new people. It puts them basically in the same boat, because they’re all learning from scratch, there’s no advantage to anybody.

“Our defense has learned an awful lot about our players and how to best utilize them. We rose from 31st to eighth (in the league rankings during the course of the 2013 season), but there are a lot of changes on the defensive side of the ball. We, again, have to be in a position where we’re evaluating our talent so we know how best to go ahead and try to utilize them. Everywhere in the organization there has to be a marching to a little bit faster step, if you will, just to be able to incorporate new people in a short amount of time and to learn not only a new system on the offensive side of the ball but the defense will change according to our personnel. Now terminology isn’t going to change, but they will have new things to learn.”

Q: You alluded to this, but you have a lot to accomplish and a relatively short time to do it all. Does that make it even more challenging?

“It’s a challenge, but that’s alright. That’s good. That’s part of the challenge. We don’t have any less time than anybody else, but nevertheless, people will look at the fifth preseason game (the Hall of Fame Game) and hopefully that becomes an advantage for us. I think it’s necessary to say that perhaps the few extra practices that we’ll have will help us and then the ability to evaluate new arrivals, how particular players fit in, that’s going to be very important as well.”

Q: When the offseason began did you anticipate this much of a roster overhaul?

“It was easy to see the number of free agents that we had. That part of it was. And again, we’re all a part of the evaluation process and our team from a year ago was evaluated and the difficult assignment of making decisions on personnel takes place. Then to go out and execute it is extremely important, because if you’re going to follow through on your process and bring players in that are going to make a difference, and obviously we’ve gone through some of that and we have a ways to go, but nevertheless, that’s what this is all about.”

Q: You have brought in four offensive linemen (Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, John Jerry and Brown). Do you have an idea what position each will play, or do you plan to look at them at different spots?

“I think we have an idea where they should go. Again, we’ll have to adjust on the fly, but we need to get started in that process, no doubt, because that’s a major aspect of it. You know, the defensive line has changed also.”

Q: In addition to the newcomers, you have Chris Snee back after he played only three games last season. How important is that to have him here for the new guys, both on the field and from a leadership standpoint?

“It’s critical, in my opinion. We start out with Chris the last couple years and were not able to finish and all of a sudden he’s gone and that aspect of his leadership is removed. So now you have not only the loss of him as a player, but the loss of him in terms of his leadership role in the classroom where he helps all these young guys.

“You have a two-fold deal, because now you’ve got a lot of people striving to play in positions that they may not have a lot of experience playing - I’m talking about last year’s team. But they don’t have anybody really to rally around. That one personality, the guy who literally has taken over since (Shaun) O’Hara left, the idea of keeping the focus in the offensive line room where it should be. We need that aspect, but we also need the toughness, we need the physicality, we need the player and what he brings to the table as much as anything else. His presence will lend a lot.”

Q: Do you believe the offensive line had to be upgraded this offseason?

“Sure it did. You saw when we lost (David) Baas and Snee at the same time, we had two new people to integrate right now after what, three games? You had to go through that process with these guys. As young people, you’ve got to go play. They have to go play. It doesn’t happen any other way. One of the guys that really helped us that we will miss is Kevin Boothe, because of his flexibility.”

Q: You also revamped the secondary with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond, Quintin Demps and Bowman. Was that another target area for you?

“No doubt. The corner position more than the safety position. The fact that Antrel (Rolle) and Will Hill and Stevie Brown and Cooper Taylor (are returning at safety), that makes a lot of sense being able to come back and have those guys together. But to get (Trumaine) McBride back, to have Dominique, to have Thurmond, to have Zack Bowman, to have guys who have played and played at the highest level, been in big games - sure they have to learn the Giant way, but they’re talented and they can help us.”

Q: You have brought in a lot of players from teams that were successful last season, including Denver, Seattle, Kansas City and New Orleans. Is that important?

“They’ve been in winning organizations and they’ve been on the field in good times and bad, so they’ve been able to recognize it for what it is. Hopefully, the winning part is going to dominate in terms of what they bring to the table with the people that they will be surrounded with.”

Q: Another player from a background in winning is (linebacker) Jameel McClain (from Baltimore). Do you expect Jon Beason and him to provide leadership on defense?

“Beason’s role, having had him here for (12) games a year ago and having him back is very important, simply because of the way that Antrel and Beason were able to work together. It kind of inspired one another and therefore inspired everybody on the defensive side of the ball. That’s something we very much wanted.”

Q: When we talk on Thursdays during the season and discuss the opposing teams, it seems every one of them has a dangerous return specialist you have to stop. Now you have (former Bronco) Trindon Holliday, who’s obviously very explosive. He’s had some fumbling issues. When he was here to sign his contract, he said the two of you would get “real acquainted” regarding ball security. What was that conversation like for you?

“Spend a lot of time together. You said it. It was really simple and he accepted it and he knew what I was talking about in the bat of an eye. All that other stuff is tremendous, but the number one thing that you have to do, and you always talk about it terms of a punt returner, is ball security. Catch the ball, secure the ball for us, if nothing else. That’s something that Rueben (Randle) has done and done well. He’ll always be in that position where we can use him with regard to that, but if we can get somebody who gives us a little bit of the spectacular - I mean, when you sit down and talk about this guy’s track speeds, are you serious? He runs 100 meters in 9.98 (seconds) or whatever the heck he ran. It’s fun to think about. Go ahead, outkick the coverage, please do. Not only for kickoff returns, but for punt returns. What it would mean to us to have some field position, a short field all of a sudden, and take care of the football, play good defense, get turnovers for us on that side of the ball, not beat ourselves, how about that one for a theme? That would be a very nice thing.”

Q: Have you ever had a return specialist with this kind of potential?

“David Wilson on kickoff returns, there is no doubt about him. Dominik Hixon was a good punt returner. But this is really an exciting thing, especially for this present group of special teams coaches who haven’t had one. They haven’t had a returner like this.”

Q: And you also added Quintin Demps, who was third in the league last year in kickoff return average.

“He’s a kickoff returner who puts it up in there, he’ll lay it up in there, no doubt. Now those are real exciting. What was really interesting to me was having Bowman talking about helping on special teams, to think about Thurmond helping on special teams. There’s no reason why your starting corners and safeties, who are outstanding football players, can’t go out there and stop the opponent’s gunner from getting down the field. It’s two against one and it helps our football tremendously to have people that can do that. We’ve got to put that in everybody’s mind, too. We’ve got to get that done this year. We play against an awful lot of great returners, punt returners or kick returners, every week. But we also play against some outstanding gunners and when you look at what the Super Bowl winning team (Seattle) provided in terms of people that were outstanding gunners, who were able to cover the way they did, there’s no field position after those guys get off the line of scrimmage and make a play.”

Q: The Giants started six different running backs in 2013 – David Wilson, Da’Rel Scott, Brandon Jacobs, Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox and Andre Brown. Do you think you will have some stability there with the acquisition of Rashad Jennings?

“I think he’s an all-around back. Whatever question I asked when I was looking at the tape got answered. In other words, he went 80 (yards for a touchdown last season for Oakland in a game at Houston). Is he fast enough? He goes 80. Does he catch it out of the backfield? Yes. Does he run the screens well? Yes. How is he from scrimmage as a runner? Good. First and second down, can he play on third down? Yes, he can. What does he need? Well, he’s 230 pounds with a great attitude. He needs a little work on his pass protection, but I think we can get that done. I think he’s an all-purpose guy that fits us very, very well.

“All in due time with David (Wilson). Just pray, you’re praying that he has a return to excellent health and that the doctors are totally convinced that he is recovered and ready to go. When that time comes, you’ll have another contributor who, if he gets a step, he’s gone."

Q: Is your attitude now that you can’t count on Wilson and if he comes back, it’s a bonus?

“I’m counting on him, but I am not going to put him in any circumstance until it’s an absolute that he’s 100 percent. I’m not going to mess with that one.”

Q: What are your thoughts about Mario Manningham returning to the team after two years in San Francisco?

“It was exciting and fun to talk to him, because he’s so pleased to be back. He is more mature, physically and otherwise. He wants to be here, he wants to help us win. He’s more appreciative of his first tenure here and he certainly wants to make it even more productive this next time back – even for a guy who will go down in history as having made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history.”

Q: Robert Ayers started three games at right defensive end last season for Denver. Your incumbent left end, Justin Tuck, signed with Oakland. Can Ayers play on the left side?

“Sure, he can. He’s played right, he’s played left, he’s played inside on third down, he’s played in a lot of spots. He’s a powerful player. He’ll be very, very good against the run. I really, quite frankly don’t think there are any tight ends that will block him. He’s really got exceptional hand position, does a nice job with that, and he can be used in a versatile manner and he has consistent effort. He’s got the hunger and the desire and he’ll make up for a lot with hustle.”

Q: You lost several players that you coached for a number of years…

“I love what Kevin Boothe’s done for us. His contribution, you look at last year, everybody goes 'woe is me.' If it wasn’t for that kid, you could go around and talk about 'woe is me.' Great kid, very smart, will do anything you want him to do, exceptional character. He worked the room as well as anybody, was versatile in positions, great for your team, all of those things. No doubt.

“Justin Tuck has had superb playoffs when we’ve won Super Bowls and he has been a major contributor in all capacities, even in ’11 when it started with the Jets game. Go back and look, he played very, very well from that point right through the end of the season. He’s been an excellent, excellent football player, leader, person. I’m going to miss him. I’m going to miss them all. You miss the ones that you don’t have once they’re gone. But you understand the nature of the game.

“We’re going to miss Linval (Joseph). God bless him, but we’re going to miss him. We know what the game is. There’s only so much (money). They’re making decisions about how you’re going to try to operate with multiple numbers rather than a few. These things happen. What are you going to do?”

Q: How has it been working with a new group of offensive coaches?

“It’s good, because if nothing else it’s a reflection. If you take the guys that I’ve kept on the offensive side of the ball and kind of maneuvered them around into different spots, except the offensive line, you know what I mean. It’s good because you watch the guys, they’re learning. They’re like sponges. It’s a foreign language, there’s no doubt. Ben’s done a very good job of introducing every aspect of it to the staff. He’s done an excellent job with that. It’s been good and it will be good for the players, because they’re going to have to sit up in the front of their seats and get it.

“I’ve been in the same system since 1988. We have incorporated whatever we can from our system that we’ve always had here, but there’s a lot of new terminology. There will be lots of new teaching just in terms of the way in which it’s presented, which will force people to study and to learn and to be anxious. When the huddle breaks you’ve got to go do it. They’re going to have to learn it to be able to do it. The plays will become familiar to them once they recognize what the responsibility is. You have to be able to talk it, discuss it and communicate. That’s different.”

Q: You’re always excited about anything to do with football, but has all this change energized you a little bit?

“It challenges you. Yes, it energizes you, because you’re disappointed in last year and you want to change it, but you know the amount of work that has to go into it. Also know that our veteran players coming back, their attitudes, they have great attitudes, they’re coming in to change. There’s no question about it. What I recognize, what I see, what is necessary, how we tweak what we’ve done in the past. The very first year of this new CBA we won the world championship. Every year as you go on, tweaking it, maximizing your production, knowing full-well what you have. One practice a day, the manner in which you begin in shells (not full pads). Your players definitely must grasp the idea that even though it’s just one practice a day, you’ve got to maximize your intensity for the entire day. Otherwise, you’re not going to get it. You’re not going to be where you should be. That’s where I think the understanding and the energy has to come from.”

Transcript courtesy Giants public relations dept.[/sny-details]

Tags: New York Giants

GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on OBJ 00:03:28
The Football Night in New York panel discusses Odell Beckham Jr.'s comments on the officials following the Giants' loss to the Steelers.

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants lose 00:01:35
Ben McAdoo, Odell Beckham, and Eli Manning comment on the team's lack of offensive production following a 24-14 loss to the Steelers.

PITTSBURGH -- At the start of what Ben McAdoo called "real football," he better hope he didn't just see the real Giants' offense.

But unfortunately for him, 12 games into the season, it sure looks like that what it is.

It remains the biggest mystery of the Giants' season, and at this point very likely the key to their demise: What has happened to what was once, and was supposed to be again a top-10 offense? The Giants gained an embarrassing 234 total yards in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Steelers.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)

PITTSBURGH -- It takes a lot to wipe the smile off of Victor Cruz's face, but the Giants finally found a way by ignoring him Sunday.

The Giants' former star receiver didn't have a single pass thrown to him during the Giants' 24-14 loss to the Steelers. Eli Manning threw 39 passes in the game to seven different targets, including 25 to three other receivers. But nothing went toward Cruz, despite the offensive struggles.

Asked if that was frustrating, Cruz said, "Take a guess."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham runs after a catch against Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham runs after a catch against Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

PITTSBURGH -- Odell Beckham Jr. has had it with the officiating crew that he believes mishandled the Giants' 24-14 loss to the Steelers on Sunday -- the same crew he dealt with in his last two games against his nemesis, Josh Norman. He implied their rocky history has tilted the playing field against him.

And he believes they should be banned from officiating any Giants games again.

"It's not like I'm sitting here saying the refs are the reason we lost the game, but there's plenty of (bad) calls in the game and anybody can go watch the film. Anybody," Beckham said. "Anybody can go watch the film and see exactly what was going on. I don't know. I don't really think that we should have this crew any more when the Giants are playing with the past history and everything that's gone on."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Will Tye, Ralph Vacchiano
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown catches a touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins during the first half at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown catches a touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins during the first half at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

Antonio Brown edged good buddy Odell Beckham Jr. in their personal showdown, catching six passes for 54 yards and an acrobatic scoring grab at the back of the end zone. Tight end Ladarius Green added six receptions for 110 yards, both career highs, and a touchdown as the Steelers (7-5) won their third straight to keep pace with Baltimore atop the AFC North.

Manning completed just 24 of 39 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the red zone for the Giants (8-4), whose six-game run ended with a thud. Beckham was largely a non-factor despite a game-high 10 receptions for 100 yards.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashad Jennings, Sterling Shepard
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Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

THE GAME: The Giants (8-3) vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: Cloudy and chilly, with temperatures in the upper 30s or low 40s. There's a small chance of a little rain, but at least it doesn't appear there'll be much wind.

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Vacc's 3 Keys: Giants-Steelers 00:03:53
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano identifies three keys for a Giants victory on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv:

THE GAME: The Giants (8-3) vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: Cloudy and chilly, with temperatures in the upper 30s or low 40s. There's a small chance of a little rain, but at least it doesn't appear there'll be much wind.

WHAT IT MEANS: A lot. And a lot of different things. First, the Giants need to win if they have any hope of winning the NFC East. The Cowboys' comeback win in Minnesota on Thursday night made that a longshot for the Giants as it is. If they win, though, they'll remain two back and then if they beat the Cowboys next week they'd be one back with the tie-breaker and three games left to play. A loss in Pittsburgh, though, and the Giants will be three back with four games left and even if they beat the Cowboys next week the division is likely out of reach. The wild card race, though, may be their's to lose if they win in Pittsburgh. If that happens they'd be at least two games up, maybe three, with four to play. That's a virtual lock. But regardless of all that, this is a benchmark game for the Giants. Yes, they've won six in a row, but the competition hasn't exactly been stellar. Their December schedule represents a big step up in class and even though the Steelers have been erratic, beating them in Pittsburgh is the Giants' toughest challenge since their back-to-back trips to (and losses in) Minnesota and Green Bay, right before their winning streak started.

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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) warms up before a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) warms up before a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about Victor Cruz's effectiveness and how the Giants use Sterling Shepard.

Tags: Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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Odell Beckham's production has been limited by the fact that teams such as the Eagles are double- and triple-covering him. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Odell Beckham's production has been limited by the fact that teams such as the Eagles are double- and triple-covering him. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about the Giants' offense lack of explosiveness.

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Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about the state of the Giants offensive line.

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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | | Archive Posts

When one thinks of a New York Giants-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup they envision a hard-hitting affair between big bodied linemen and linebackers. That may have been the case in years past, but the game has changed immensely in this decade. The biggest matchup in this Sunday's upcoming game between the two legendary franchises will likely take place between two 5"10" speedsters.

The Steelers' most explosive player is WR Antonio Brown, the 5'10" four-time Pro Bowler who has been virtually unstoppable the past several seasons. Fantasy players know Brown well and in legacy leagues, he rarely lasts past the first few selections. In DFS, Brown is one of the highest-valued names. He'll cost you, but he's usually worth it.

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, John Fennelly
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The Wild BJC asks on Twitter: "31st in NFL rushing yards thus far, will this eventually hurt the Giants down the stretch or can they keep winning via pass game and defense?"



Ralph Vacchiano: Conventional wisdom insists that a team can't win in December (especially in the Northeast) or on the road in the playoffs by throwing the ball on offense alone.

At some point it needs to run the ball to control the clock and pick up the tough first downs. It needs to play defense, too...


Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:25
Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants much maligned defense.

Giants defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants' much maligned defense.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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Taylor James on Twitter asks: "Is Jerry Reese still on the hot seat?"



Ralph Vacchiano: No, I'm pretty sure he's safe now. I'd say John Mara and Steve Tisch are pretty happy with six straight wins, an 8-3 record, a likely playoff berth and - if nothing else - a relevant December. They kept Reese around to turn the franchise back in the right direction after three straight losing seasons. Barring a total and stunning collapse down the stretch, that's exactly what he did...

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GEICO SportsNite: Eli, Big Ben 00:03:32
Sterling Shepard talks about his targets, while the panel debates Eli vs Big Ben.

GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:25
Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants much maligned defense.

 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

When the leaves begin to cover the ground here in the East in late November, you can bet the NFL contenders are getting their running games in order. The Steelers are a prime example. Yes, they have an explosive passing game, but they know it's their running game that will propel them towards the postseason.

That running game is led by one of the best backs in the league in Le'Veon Bell, the fourth-year man out of Michigan State who came into this season still rehabbing from MCL/PCL surgery. He missed the first three games of the season due to another drug-related suspension and it's taken him a while to find his footing in this offense that was passing the ball nearly 65 percent of the time the first nine games of the year.

But that's changing as Bell has been heating up of late. The past two weeks, he rushed for 120 and 146 yards against Indianapolis and Cleveland respectively, and added 77 more yards in those games via 12 receptions. He is looking more and more like the weapon the Steelers had back in 2014, when Bell was a first-team All-Pro.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Landon Collins has been named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Month for November, it was announced Thursday.

He is the first Giants player to win the award since Jason Pierre-Paul in December 2011 and the first safety in Giants history to win the award.

The 22-year-old Collins, who won back-to-back defensive Player of the Week awards earlier this season, had three interceptions, five passes defensed, one sack, and 30 tackles (23 solo) in November.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins
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GEICO SportsNite: Vereen returns 00:01:45
Giants players and coaches react to Shane Vereen practicing with the team for the first time since he was incapacitated with an injury.

GEICO SportsNite: Beckham 00:00:48
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. speaks about his ability to match up with Steelers stud Antonio Brown.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's thumbs up for Odell Beckham. Literally.

The Giants' star wide receiver gave the thumbs up sign when asked how his injured thumb was feeling on Wednesday. He injured it in the Giants' win in Cleveland on Sunday and was briefly forced to leave the game. He did return, though, and finish his six-catch, 96-yard, two-touchdown performance.

He wasn't on the Giants' injury report Wednesday and was able to participate in their light practice. He also said his thumb was "good," though he added that it definitely hurts.

"Every time it hits there," Beckham said. "In the game, I was going down to the ground and I had my hand over the ball. They tried to rip the ball and just ripped straight thumb. It doesn't feel good. I don't think you really notice how much your thumb bumps into stuff or gives out of its movement until you have one that's hurt and you bump it into a table.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants' struggling offense could soon get a boost with the return of running back Shane Vereen.

Vereen returned to practice with the team on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a partial tear of his triceps muscle in Week 3. And he's far enough along in his recovery, according to a team source, that the "hope" is he'll be ready to play in the Giants' showdown with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 11.

"Man, I wish I knew, honestly," a clearly excited Vereen said after practice. "It's up to the doctors. I am progressing, doing everything that they have me do each and every day, just trying to take baby steps and hope enough of the baby steps will be to getting back on the field."

Vereen has been on injured reserve since his injury, but he will become the Giants' "designated to return" IR player as long as he's added to the active roster some time in the next 21 days. Giants coach Ben McAdoo would not put a timetable on Vereen's return - he said that will be up to the medical staff - but he was clearly excited by the idea.

Tags: Shane Vereen, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

As the "real football" begins this weekend, the Giants are in fantastic position. They still have a shot at winning the NFC East -- especially if they can beat the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 11 -- and they have a strong hold on at least one of the NFC's two wild-card spots.

With five games to go, though, their lead of two games isn't fully secure -- especially considering how difficult their schedule is down the stretch. Here's a look at the state of the wild-card race, and a look at the division race, too:

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants released their injury report on Wednesday. The following players were listed...

Did Not Participate in Practice

  • S Nat Berhe (concussion)
  • LB Mark Herzlich (concussion)
  • DE Owa Odighizuwa (knee)

Limited Participation in Practice (Less than 100 percent of a player's normal repetitions)

Tags: Brett Jones, Dwayne Harris, Justin Pugh, Mark Herzlich, Marshall Newhouse, Nat Berhe, Owa Odighizuwa
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 12, the league announced Wednesday morning

Pierre-Paul recorded three sacks, seven total tackles, three tackles for loss, and had a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown in New York's 27-13 win over Cleveland on Sunday.

The award marks the fourth time Pierre-Paul has been named the Defensive Player of the Week, putting him third in Giants history behind only Lawrence Taylor (9) and Michael Strahan (5).

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:02
Giants quarterback Eli Manning discusses the prospect of facing his draft classmate Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shakes hands with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shakes hands with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants are getting some help on beating Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers by learning from Eli Manning's champion brother Peyton.

Peyton, a two-time Super Bowl champion who retired after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in February, visited the Giants' facility on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan

Eli is facing the Steelers for the fourth time in his career, the first since 2012. Eli is 1-2 in those games, while Peyton, including the playoffs, went 4-1 in his career against the Roethlisberger-led Steelers, including a win in last year's AFC Divisional Game. Peyton threw for 1,250 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception in those matchups.

"He gave some insight," Eli said to Raanan. "Just some stuff that was successful; he's played Pittsburgh a lot over the years. Played 'em last year in the playoffs. So just had a few tips or ideas that may fit into our system."

Tags: Eli Manning, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Seattle Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins (47) runs during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Kyle Terada)
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins (47) runs during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Kyle Terada)

The Giants have promoted S/LB Eric Pinkins from the practice squad, while RB Orleans Darkwa has been placed on the injured reserve list, the Giants announced Tuesday evening.

Darkwa has been dealing with lower leg soreness, and has not recorded a carry since New York's 23-16 loss to the Packers on Oct. 9. The running back has only appeared on special teams in the last four games. 

On the season, Darkwa has carried the ball 30 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Tags: Orleans Darkwa
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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Odell Beckham, Jr. could remain the Giants' punt returner when they face the Steelers this Sunday, head coach Ben McAdoo hinted after Sunday's game.

"We'll take a look at it. We'll talk to him in the game plan meetings this week," McAdoo told reporters. "He's sure-handed back there. He's electric with the ball in his hands."

Bobby Rainey began this past Sunday's win against the Browns as the punt returner, but was replaced by Beckham after fumbling one away in the first half.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants on FNNY 00:03:49
The Football Night in New York panel discusses Eli Manning?s arm and the Giants' offensive potential moving forward.

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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

The first three months of the Ben McAdoo Era couldn't have worked out much better for the Giants. They are 8-3, the second-best record in their conference, and well-positioned for their first playoff berth in five years. They are rolling, coming off their sixth straight victory.

Everything is good. Everyone is happy. But the rookie coach still gave his team this warning:

"It's December football," he said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "This is where the real football begins."

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On this week's Giants Goal Line, SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses another so-so win for the Giants, as well as the Odell Beckham Jr show, as Big Blue survived in Cleveland to beat the Browns and claim their 6th straight win. Plus, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post calls in to chat about whether or not the Giants are better or worse than their record, and whether or not they are serious contenders as the calendar flips to December.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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The Giants' Odell Beckham celebrates after scoring against Clevleeand Sunday.
The Giants' Odell Beckham celebrates after scoring against Clevleeand Sunday.

Odell Beckham Jr. was targeted 11 times and had six catches for 96 yards with two touchdowns during the Giants' 27-13 win over the Browns on Sunday.

Last week against the Bears, he only had five catches for 46 yards on seven targets, leading to concern the Giants weren't using their top playmaker enough.

Beckham had a 32-yard catch-and-run off a slant pass in the second quarter fora score, and a 4-yard TD reception with 5:10 to go as the Giants put the winless Browns away. He had a 41-yard catch before his second TD. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Giants QB Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes Sunday during the Giants' 27-13 win over the Browns in Cleveland.

He completed 15 of 27 passes for 194 yards overall, had zero interceptions and was sacked just once.

Two of Manning's touchdown passes were to Odell Beckham, Jr. -- a 32-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter and a four-yard reception with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul celebrates as he runs into the endzone from his touchdown interception against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul celebrates as he runs into the endzone from his touchdown interception against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recorded three sacks and returned a fumble for a touchdown to help lead the Giants to their sixth straight win with a 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Kerry Wynn, Olivier Vernon, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants driving 00:03:28
Marc Malusis and Chris Lopresti discuss the important factors in the Giants' win and how far Big Blue can actually ride this momentum.

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants rolling 00:01:10
Eli Manning, Ben McAdoo, and Jason Pierre-Paul speak following the team's 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, two to Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jason Pierre-Paul returned an interception for a score as the Giants defeated the Browns 27-13 Sunday in Cleveland.

Tags: Eli Manning
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New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins trashed Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. on social media after Sunday's 27-13 win.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Janoris Jenkins
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The Giants' Nat Berhe covers a punt against the Eagles earlier this season. (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)
The Giants' Nat Berhe covers a punt against the Eagles earlier this season. (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants safety Nat Berhe left Sunday's Giants victory over the Browns in Cleveland due to a concussion.

Earlier this season, Berhe missed four games recovering from a concussion. When he returned, he told NJ.com that he would not change his hard-hitting style. 

"Is that going to change how I tackle? Probably not," Berhe said. "I've watched the hit and it was just one of those things where it just happened. It is what it is.

Tags: Nat Berhe
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Oct 23, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson on the sideline against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 23, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson on the sideline against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

THE GAME: The Giants (7-3) at the Cleveland Browns (0-11) at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. 

THE WEATHER: Despite some clouds early in the day, the game time weather calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s with a slight wind. 

Tags: Cleveland Browns
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Vacc's 3 Keys: Giants-Browns 00:04:06
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano identifies three keys for a Giants victory on Sunday over the winless Cleveland Browns.
THE GAME: The Giants (7-3) vs. the Cleveland Browns (0-11) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. ET

THE WEATHER: Not bad, actually. Temperatures in the mid-40s, light winds. Considering it's Cleveland and it's almost December, it could be a heck of a lot worse.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) blocks for quarterback Eli Manning (10) during game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium. The Giants defeated the Rams 17-10. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) blocks for quarterback Eli Manning (10) during game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium. The Giants defeated the Rams 17-10. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | | Archive Posts

The Giants are coming off two straight games in which they gained over 100 yards on the ground. This week, they face one of the league's worst run defenses in the Cleveland Browns, who are allowing 144 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. They have also surrendered 13 touchdowns on the ground.

The Giants will try to exploit that with a running game that has shown some signs of life the past few weeks. Pro Football Focus has suggested that fantasy football owners consider inserting RB Rashad Jennings in their lineups this Sunday.

Tags: Cleveland Browns
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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants defense will have its hands full with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., a 6-foot-4, 240-pound dual threat wide receiver.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: NY Giants 00:01:22
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and head coach Ben McAdoo discuss the matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) hits Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after a pass for a personal foul during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA TODAY SPORTS)
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) hits Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after a pass for a personal foul during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA TODAY SPORTS)

Giants DE was fined $18,231 for a roughing the passer penalty he took last week against the Bears, according to SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Tags: Olivier Vernon
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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Here's a hypothetical question: What scares you more -- going on the road to play an 11-0 team or going on the road and playing an 0-11 one?

This Sunday, the Giants will visit the 0-11 Cleveland Browns. In the nine decade history of the franchise they have never faced a team that was 0-11 or worse.

The closest they have come was back in 1960 when they hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Yankee Stadium. That game ended in a 31-31 tie and was Dallas' only non-loss in their 0-11-1 inaugural season.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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The Giants released their injury report on Thursday. The following players were listed...

Did Not Participate in Practice

  • LB Brett Jones (calf)
  • OL Justin Pugh (knee)
  • DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee)
  • OL Marshall Newhouse (knee)

Limited Participation in Practice (Less than 100 percent of a player's normal repetitions)

  • WR Dwayne Harris (wrist)
  • WR Roger Lewis, Jr. (concussion)
  • G Adam Gettis -- (Calf )
  • RB Orleans Darkwa -- (Lower Leg)
Tags: Brett Jones, Dwayne Harris, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Pugh, Marshall Newhouse
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