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: Giants 00:02:23
The Giants arrived for training camp Thursday and SNY's Ralph Vacchiano was there to report on the team's expectations for 2017.

Dec 22, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) takes the field for action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 24-19. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 22, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) takes the field for action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 24-19. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants DT Damon Harrison is hoping to get to the quarterback more often this season after tallying 2.5 sacks in 2016.

"I didn't have many sacks last year," Harrison said as the Giants arrived for training camp. "I'm working my butt of this offseason, or I have been, so moving forward I change that. So if you ask me one thing that I've taking from last year, I didn't have any sacks."

Harrison acknowledged that his strength and speed will play a role in improving his sack totals, among other factors.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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Daily News Live: Giants camp 00:03:44
Giants training camp opened on Thursday and the DNL panel debates whether they are true contenders for the Lombardi trophy this season.

 (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)
(William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Justin Pugh still remembers sitting on the bench at the end of the Giants' 38-13 playoff loss in Green Bay, looking up at the scoreboard and thinking "That's not us."

"That's not this team," he recalled thinking as the Giants reported for training camp on Thursday. "The score didn't reflect how that game went. So I'm excited to get back to that point. I'm excited to go and play those teams, play in the big games, get back to the playoffs, and get back to where we need to be as an organization -- which is playing for a fifth championship."

Tags: Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. believes he will become the highest paid player in the league, he said in a video on UNINTERRUPTED. 

"I believe that I will be hopefully not just the highest-paid receiver in the league, but the highest paid, period," he said.

Beckham sat down for the UNINTERRUPTED video on Monday to discuss his football and his career.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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Giants WR Sterling Shepard is embracing the expectations as the Giants prepare for the 2017 season.

"I see no reason for us not to be a good team," Shepard said on Thursday. "It just all comes back down to doing what we do at practice and coming to work every day with an attitude to win."

Shepard, who will again be teamed with Odell Beckham, Jr. and will be joined by free agent acquisition Brandon Marshall, thinks Marshall can help him on the field.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Eli Manning has been the NFL's most durable quarterback, but even he is going to have to make some concessions to age.

That might be the biggest challenge facing the 36-year-old quarterback, according to Giants GM Jerry Reese. He has made 199 consecutive starts dating back to 2004 - 211 including the playoffs. To keep that streak going this season, there are a few adjustments he's going to have to make.

"Eli has to take care of himself and get himself ready to play mentally and physically," Reese said. "When guys get up in age, you have to take care of them when they get up in age. There are a few guys on the squad that coach McAdoo and our staff, we've talked about 'OK, let's make sure these guys get to the game, get to the season.' You've got to protect them in some ways."

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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ben McAdoo hopes a story about a sex-crazed lion who was rescued from a Mexican circus in the 1970s and a poem from the 19th century can provide some inspiration to the Giants as they begin their quest for Super Bowl LII.

Both of those featured prominently in his first address to his players after training camp opened on Thursday morning. McAdoo said he read the Rudyard Kipling poem "If" to his age 25 and under players. Then he told the story of Frasier the Lion to his "experienced players, our 26 year olds and above."

The story of Frasier - dubbed "Frasier the Sensuous Lion" - was certainly an interesting one to share. He was something of a sensation in Los Angeles in the early 1970s after he was rescued from a Mexican circus at the old age (for a lion) of 19. He was near death before he was purchased by an L.A. zoo, where he was nursed back to health...

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JRSportBrief: Giants SB-bound? 00:01:24
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR discusses the possibility of the Giants making a Super Bowl run.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the Giants reported to training camp early Thursday morning they all seemed to have their eyes sharply focused on the trophy case in the lobby. They are intent on adding a fifth Super Bowl trophy to the case. And they have many good reasons to believe they can.

But there's still one big reason to be skeptical about their chances, and it's really the issue on which this entire season can turn. If the Giants are really going to be Super Bowl contenders there's only one way that can happen:

They're going to need dramatic improvement from their beleaguered offensive line.

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 (Bill Kostroun/AP)
(Bill Kostroun/AP)

Giants owner John Mara, who praised WR Odell Beckham, Jr.'s work ethic last month, elaborated on why he wants Beckham to be a Giant for life.

"Listen, he's as exciting a player as we have had on this team in my lifetime, and he brings a lot of energy, a lot of big plays to us," Mara told Steve Serby of the NY Post. "And when you cut through everything else, he actually is a really good kid. He does a lot of wonderful things off the field that people don't know about. He needs to work on controlling his emotions a little bit more. But when he is on the field, the other teams have to pay attention to him."

"And he strikes fear into the eyes of the other team," Mara continued. "As long as you have that ability, he makes your team better. He just adds a lot to us. We really haven't had a player like that here for a long time."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa was in attendance on Thursday as the Giants began training camp.

Odighizuwa, who appeared to be hinting about retirement back on April 3, had attended the Giants' offseason workouts in mid-April but did not attend minicamp -- which head coach Ben McAdoo said was an excused absence.

On April 3, Odighizuwa had tweeed what appeared to be a farewell statement. He wrote "At the point and time I believe it's in my best interest to take sometime to get away from the game." He even apologized for announcing that on Twitter, but added "this is the best platform to express something of the things that has been on my mind for a while."

The next day, Odighizuwa seemed to backtrack a little when he tweeted how he's "grateful to be a part of BIG BLUE." Two days later, Giants co-owner John Mara said that Odighizuwa was "still on the team," but otherwise declined comment. A team source indicated only that Odighizuwa was having some "personal" issues.

Tags: Owa Odighizuwa
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Is this Eli's last chance? 00:02:35
The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not this season will be Eli Manning's last chance to win a third super bowl for the Giants.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There isn't a lot of uncertainty in the Giants' lineup, but there are still some lingering questions as they head into a pivotal year. They are coming off an 11-5 season and are expected to be a Super Bowl contender. But they are far from a powerhouse team without any flaws.

So you've undoubtedly got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part I:

Tags: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Paul Perkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants safety Duke Ihenacho believes the rival Cowboys completely botched the situation with Lucky Whitehead, who was recently cut and claimed off waivers by the Jets. 

Whitehead, 25, had been involved last week in an apparent case of mistaken identity, where he was initially implicated for shoplifting. Ihenacho took to Twitter to lash out at the Cowboys for getting rid of the innocent player. 

Tags: Dallas Cowboys
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Loud Mouths: Ralph Vacchiano 00:05:05
SNY's NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths to play a round of Boom or Bust on the upcoming NFL season.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There isn't a lot of uncertainty in the Giants' lineup, but there are still some lingering questions as they head into a pivotal year. They are coming off an 11-5 season and are expected to be a Super Bowl contender. But they are far from a powerhouse team without any flaws.

So you've undoubtedly got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part I:

Tags: Bobby Hart, Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Jason Pierre-Paul, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo will focus on improvement and efficiency in his approach towards the upcoming season, writes Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

In accordance with the team's "Make Gains: 1%" motto, players are being encouraged to always take steps forward rather than backward, even if they are minimal gains. 

Among other changes, McAdoo will shorten each night of camp by one minute to maximize efficiency. He also already introduced shorter classroom meetings and a new nutritionist, and on the field, he started a new position flex period to allow players to try different positions.

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Will Odell be a distraction? 00:04:36
The panel debates whether they think Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to be a distraction to the Giants or if he will become a team leader.

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

High expectations meet the Giants heading into training camp, and they come from past Super Bowl champions who believe the team can do great things this season.

Participating at a charity golf event to support the Ottis Anderson Scholarship Fund, Billy Ard, a guard on the 1986 Super Bowl champion Giants squad, thinks just making the playoffs isn't enough this season. 

"I think this should be a championship-type team," Ard told The Post's George Willis. "It's not just getting into the playoffs and lose in the first round. This should be an NFC Championship type of team and I think anything less would be upsetting to management, the fan base and the players."

Former wide receiver Stephen Baker, who also played with the 1990 Super Bowl Giants, believes it was a good step for this current squad to make the playoffs last season. However, the end result should make them want to go further this year...

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon
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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants' confidence heading into this season comes largely from the fact that they return almost every key player from an 11-5 season. That means, as players report to camp on Thursday, very few positions in the lineup are up for grabs.

There are some, though, and the battles for those spots could be fierce, even if they're not very high-profile. Here's a quick look at the five biggest battles that will take place during camp...

Tags: Bobby Hart, Darian Thompson, Geno Smith, Jay Bromley, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Giants' Super Bowl aspirations hinge on the belief that they will build off last season when they went 11-5 and made the playoffs for the first time in five years. They also hinge on the belief that the players who played so well last season won't go backward, and those that overachieved will step back up.

So here's a look at some of the key players whose performances could be key to the Giants' 2017 fortunes. Some underachieved last season, some overachieved, and some are newcomers with big shoes to fill.

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NY football character concerns 00:01:51
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein go Boom or Bust on whether they think the New York Jets or Giants have bigger character issues to address.

Giants WR Roger Lewis had his OVI charge in Licking County, Ohio dismissed on Monday, reports James Kratch of NJ.com.

According to the report, Lewis has ultimately been fined $150 with additional court fees for driving in marked lanes, while also getting an extra $25 fine for having tinted windows.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. works out at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. works out at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. took a trip to Texas on Saturday to visit a nine-year old boy who is dealing with a rare form of cancer, according to ESPN.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

Four years ago, Giants GM Jerry Reese put a Super Bowl "countdown clock" on a board outside of the Giants' locker room. It was a bold move, a premature one, and maybe a little bit crazy too. It looked ridiculous when the Giants finished that season 7-9.

There's no way he'd repeat that public relations nightmare and pull that old clock out of the trash bin.

But for the first time since that season, he certainly could.

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Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. (Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. (Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants WR Sterling Shepard will try to improve on dropped passes and yards after the catch this upcoming season. 

While hosting a Hyundai NFL Youth Camp in Waldwick, N.J., Shepard told NY Daily News' Pat Leonard it was uncharacteristic play dropping as many passes as he did last season (4). 

"I definitely think (I had) too many dropped balls," Shepard said. "I came out of college and I had only dropped six balls my whole career, so that was something I felt I definitely needed to hone in on over the offseason. So I've been catching a lot of balls, and I also wanted to work on a lot of after-the-catch stuff. I feel like I could have gotten a lot more YAC yardage than what I did, just from the (film) review I did."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
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Giants rookie TE Evan Engram (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)
Giants rookie TE Evan Engram (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants are a veteran team primed for a Super Bowl run with very few obvious holes in their lineup. But that doesn't mean the rookie class won't have a chance to help out.

Ben McAdoo, now entering his second year as Giants head coach, hasn't been shy about leaning on young players and he's got several who could have an impact as he gets set to open training camp on Thursday. Not many jobs are open at the moment. But that could change. And there are definitely roles the rookies can fill.

So with that in mind, here's a look at the Giants' Class of 2017 and their potential impact on the 2017 season and beyond:

TE Evan Engram (first round, 23rd overall)

He was simply dazzling in the spring, with teammates (and coaches) marveling at his speed down the field and his ability to make difficult catches. He seemed to have instant chemistry with QB Eli Manning and was far more sure-handed than any of his recent predecessors at his position. Even his blocking skills drew praise (though it's early and the pads haven't been put on yet). Let's face it, though: He's here because of his receiving skills and the Giants plan to use him a lot, definitely down the field and maybe in the red zone. He'll be the starting tight end, and the only thing that could limit his production is the fact that the Giants seem loaded at receiver. If Odell Beckham, Jr.Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard all stay healthy, there may not be a lot of balls left over for Engram to catch...

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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants safety Landon Collins fired back at Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who recently predicted Dallas would repeat as NFC East champions.

"I commented right under his picture. I said, 'I highly doubt that,'" Collins said Friday, according to NJAM. "They do not control the East. That's over with. We're going to have a run for it, but they're not going to win. I can tell you that much. We're definitely going to take over."

The Giants, who swept last year's season series from the Cowboys, finished 11-5, losing to the Packers in the first round of the playoffs. The Cowboys finished 13-3, had a first round bye, and then lost to the Packers in the divisional round.

Tags: Landon Collins
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Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said at a charity event on Thursday that he believes the Giants can improve upon last season's success, reports Brian Heyman of Newsday.

"I feel like no spot is weak," Pierre-Paul said. "I feel like with the players that we have, as long as we all work together, we'll be undefeated. Nobody can defeat you when you all are working together."

Most of the team's defense from last season remains the same besides the loss of Johnathan Hankins, and they've added offensive players like veteran receiver Brandon Marshall and rookie Evan Engram.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul
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 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

Giants star WR Odell Beckham Jr. wants to meet with 9-year-old cancer patient Jayro Ponce after receiving pleas on social media. 

The first attempt to reach Beckham was from Amarillo, Texas radio personality Tommy Joe who wrote on his "Hacker Morning Show" Facebook page pleading the 24-year-old to meeet with his biggest fan. 

"Jayro is a fighter, hero and loved by many! As we all know he is battling cancer. ...With the power of God, Miracles, Radio and Social Media I think we can make this little guy smile at this point in his life," Tommy Joe wrote. "His dream is to meet New York Giants Odell Beckham. PLEASE help me try to make this happen."

Beckham Jr. didn't see this post directly. Instead, he received the plea from Danny Richburg, the father of Giants center Weston Richburg. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg
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Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants' secondary as the best going into 2017. (Seth Wenig)
Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants' secondary as the best going into 2017. (Seth Wenig)

Pro Football Focus has the ranked the Giants' secondary No. 1 in the NFL. 

Elsewhere,The Yankees beat the Twins and immediately after made a trade to aid in their playoff run, Carmelo Anthony wants to be traded to the Rockets and the Mets drop another game to the Cardinals. 

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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Tight end production was dismal for the Giants last season. Can their first-rounder turn things around in 2017? Here's a closer look at what to expect...


Projected StartersEvan Engram

Projected BackupsWill Tye, Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams

Tags: Evan Engram, Jerell Adams, Will Tye
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants' secondary first among all 32 teams this upcoming season. 

The main reason for the ranking was PFF's breakout player of 2016 in S Landon Collins. The Defensive Player of the Year runner-up lead in the Giants for the second straight season in tackles (125 combined) while totaling four sacks, five interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

Collins was also named to the 2016 Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team, and earned his first Pro Bowl nod in his sophomore campaign. 

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Giants' great, Mark Bavaro, liked his former team spending their first round pick on TE Evan Engram as the team's recent players at the position have not worked out. 

Speaking at a golf event benefitting the Ottis Anderson Scholarship Foundation in West Orange, N.J., Bavaro told The Post's George Willis it is about time the Giants acquired a playmaker at tight end. 

"The way the game is today, you need a big pass-catching tight end, a guy who can run like a wide receiver," Bavaro said. "That's the way the game is. But for some reason they wouldn't get anybody."

Tags: Evan Engram
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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott could reportedly be suspended one or two games stemming from a 2016 domestic violence accusation and was reportedly involved in a separate altercation at a bar in Dallas on Sunday.

Elliott received a report from the NFL regarding its investigation, and he is expected to submit a response soon, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

A former girlfriend of Elliott, according to ESPN, accused him of assaulting her multiple times in a span of a week, however charges were not filed against Elliott, according to ESPN.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys
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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

WR Brandon Marshall said he requested his release from the Jets because he couldn't deal with the team not having a chance this season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Marshall was on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show Thursday, where he admitted his former team wasn't going to have a good 2017 season, and he didn't want to be a part of it.

"I wouldn't have made it through an entire season, knowing we didn't have a chance," Marshall said. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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 (Matt Cashore)
(Matt Cashore)

The Giants are hoping they can convert rookie DT Jarron Jones to offensive tackle, per Pro Football Talk's Curtis Crabtree

Jones said that coaches approached him near the end of OTAs expressing their interest to change his position. That change happened immediately as the next day he switched to the offensive side of the line. 

"Right before the end of OTAs, the coaching staff pulled me into the office and said they wanted me to switch. The next day I was taking snaps at offensive tackle," Jones said. "If you get that vote of confidence to switch positions, I'll take it."

The reason for the switch is due to Jones's physical attributes. Standing at 6-foot-6, 316 pounds, he is quick on his feet and has the arm length (35 1/2" inches) to block. He was also rated as an offensive lineman coming out of high school.

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Giants team up to fight hunger 00:01:18
GEICO SportsNite covers the New York Giants' collaboration with Rise Against Hunger on Wednesday to package 20,000 meals for the hungry.

GEICO SportsNite covers the New York Giants' collaboration with Rise Against Hunger on Wednesday to package 20,000 meals for the hungry.

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Giants rookie TE Evan Engram (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)
Giants rookie TE Evan Engram (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram is ready to get the season started and wants to make an impact in New York in his first season on the field. 

The Giants selected Engram with the 23rd overall pick in the draft after he recorded 65 receptions (eight touchdowns) for 926 yards in his senior season at Ole Miss. As training camp approaches, Engram said he hopes to be an impact player in year one. 

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

The Giants flaunt one of the highest-paid defensive lines in all of football. Can they live up to their contracts? Here's a closer look at what to expect...


Projected StartersJason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson

Projected BackupsRobert Thomas, Romeo Okwara, Jay Bromley, Avery Moss, Kerry Wynn, Owa Odighizuwa

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Damon Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jay Bromley, Olivier Vernon
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New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison hitting practice dummy during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison hitting practice dummy during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Giants defensive end Damon Harrison defended wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s decision to skip organized team activities in the spring.

"As long as [he] can still do what he needs to do to be prepared for the season," Harrison said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football, according to the New York Post's Thomas Lipe.

"Have you seen him this offseason? [He looks] awesome."

Tags: Damon Harrison, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon
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New York Giants tackle Justin Pugh (67) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Andrew Weber)
New York Giants tackle Justin Pugh (67) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Andrew Weber)

Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh took to Twitter to take some playful jabs at the Jets and their fans, but not before Jets defensive Muhammad Wilkerson chimed in.

Tags: Justin Pugh, Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Giants are looking to turn around their running game in 2017. Here's a closer look at what to expect...


Projected StarterPaul Perkins

Projected BackupsShane Vereen, Wayne Gallman, Shaun Draughn

Tags: Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen
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 (Julio Cortez/AP)
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Giants WR Brandon Marshall has been working with QB Eli Manning via FaceTime as the team prepares for the start of training camp.

Marshall signed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Giants this offseason after he was released by the Jets.

Near the end of a recent FaceTime session with Manning, Marshall says he'd like to work with him one or two more times before training camp starts.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

In his first year in the NFL, Giants' CB Eli Apple has impressed his mentor, New England Patriots CB Logan Ryan, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

Both alumni of Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, N.J., the two corners co-hosted a Thursday Night Lights Football Camp this past week where Ryan commended Apple on his performance in his rookie campaign.

"That guy blows me away with the amount of big games he's played in and how young he is," Ryan said. "Like I said, he's a lott better and more mature than I was at 20 or 21 years old."

Tags: Eli Apple
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Former Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, believes the Giants have the team to win the Super Bowl this season, per Christian Red of NY Daily News. 

Jacobs knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl having notched two in his eight years with the Giants. For this year's Giants to make it to the championship game, he thinks its the offensive line that makes or breaks the team.

"If the offensive line can block, I've got (the Giants) in the final game," Jacobs said at mariano Rivera's charity golf outing at Winged Foot Golf Club Monday. "If the offensive line can come alive and they run the ball a little more effectively this year than they've done in the past, I think there should be no one out there to stop the Giants."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
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Manning on Marshall and OBJ 00:02:25
SNY's Willie Colon catches up with Giants QB Eli Manning to talk about Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr. and Big Blue's offensive line.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is not annoyed with Odell Beckham after the receiver missed the team's OTAs this spring. 

Manning said on "The Jim Rome Show" that he and Beckham are in constant communication, and he was aware Beckham was going to miss the workouts and spend time in California. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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Manning on Marshall and OBJ 00:02:25
SNY's Willie Colon catches up with Giants QB Eli Manning to talk about Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr. and Big Blue's offensive line.

SNY's Willie Colon catches up with Giants QB Eli Manning to talk about Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham, Jr., and Big Blue's offensive line.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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Colon talks Giants with Marshall 00:04:30
SNY's Willie Colon chats with Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall about his off-season workouts and playing with Odell Beckham Jr.

SNY's Willie Colon chats with Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall about his off-season workouts and playing with Odell Beckham, Jr.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr.
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Odell Beckham Jr is the eighth-best player in the NFL according to NFL Network. (Seth Wenig)
Odell Beckham Jr is the eighth-best player in the NFL according to NFL Network. (Seth Wenig)

Odell Beckahm Jr. was named the eighth best player in the NFL by NFL Network

Elsewhere, the Nets held press conferenced for Jarrett Allen, Timofey Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell, the Mets trade rumors continue and the Yankees get a much-needed victory.  

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 (Brad Mills)
(Brad Mills)

New Giants S Duke Ihenacho has been thoroughly impressed with his new teammates as he transitions into his new defense, per Dan Duggan of NJ.com. 

Ihenacho spent the past three seasons with the Redskins, so naturally, he looked at his new teammates with distain during his time there. However, he has found that they are not a bad group after all.

"When you're on the other side, you just see these guys as the enemy," Ihenacho said. "You don't know the guys so you have a little more animosity toward them. I would have never though that a lot of these guys were pretty cool people - just genuine, down-to-earth people. Because when you're on the other side, you just never know. But just being in the facility and being around the guys, it's been a surprise."

Tags: Duke Ihenacho
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