This year's two Super Bowl coaches - the Brothers Harbaugh - held a joint press conference this morning in New Orleans....

Opening Statements:

John: “Welcome, thanks for coming. I just want to start by saying what an honor it is for both of us to be here with each other, no question about it. What a very exciting moment it is, but even more than that, for our families to be here. For our mom and dad, sitting right over there, Jack and Jackie and for Grandpa Joe – 97-years-old and going strong – grandpa Joe Sepidi and Bob Sepidi, our uncle, and Chad, our cousin. Any other family members out there? Thanks for being here and just as far as our team goes, we will be doing a normal Friday practice. We’re going to head over to the Saints facility, which Jim has been great about and the Niners organization, giving us an opportunity to get over there and take advantage of that facility, which has been good for us. We’ll be early, a little earlier than normal, and we’ll be long gone before they get over there. It will be a normal Friday practice with things we do on Friday, and we’ll be moving on from there.”

Jim: “I concur.”

On which brother took more risks growing up:

Jim: “My memories of this season right now and what got us here, and how hard it was to get here, tremendously excited to be here. Looking very much forward to the game, the competition, but as I look back on the season, the greatest share is how our players played. Going back to our very first game in Green Bay, Randy Moss catches a big touchdown, Alex Smith has a great game, David Akers kicks a 63-yard field goal. We were down here just a couple of months ago playing in New Orleans and Ahmad Brooks, huge interception in that game that really turned it. Donte Whitner had an interception for a touchdown. Colin (Kaepernick), the way he was prepared and ready to step in in the big Monday night game against Chicago, and has done such a terrific job. Really happy for his success. The way our players have played, that is why we’re here, not because of any coaching decisions or any way that we were when we were kids. Really a credit to those men, and looking forward to the game.”

John: “I concur.”

On whether they could work together as coaches:

Jim: “Definitely, I would work for him.”

John: “I concur. No question about it and we’ve had that conversation in the past. It just never really worked out timing-wise. I’d love to work for Jim, I’d love it. It would be the greatest thing in the world. We almost made it happen at Stanford at one time. It would be an honor to have him on the staff, he’s a great coach. You always try to get great coaches, and there are none better than Jim Harbaugh, and I mean that seriously. There’s no better coach in the National Football League than this guy right here.”

Jim: “Well, Jack Harbaugh.”

John: “True.”

Jim: “I got a chance to work for my dad at Western Kentucky. My dad worked with us at the University of San Diego as our running backs coach and also was our running back coach at Stanford when Willie Taggart took the head coaching job at Western Kentucky. He left before the bowl game, and my dad coached for us for three weeks at Stanford as well, so I definitely know we could do it.”

On what it’s like sharing the Saints facility this week with the 49ers:

John: “It was just a plus going over there. Tulane had done a good job. They’re in the process of rebuilding their football stadium. They’re building a brand-new facility there for their football program. It’s under construction right now. They’re doing a great job preparing their facility as it stands, but we needed to be on the grass. We needed to have 100 yards, and we really wanted a field. It was a big plus for us over there. It’s good for player safety, it’s good for their health and to get in the game feeling like they need to feel.”

On whether they’ve had a moment to think about the disappointment that would come on Sunday if they lost:

John: “Yes. You do think about that. Obviously, in any game that’s something you think about. It’s not really about, Jim was pointing this out before, but it’s not really about how we’re going to feel. Every coach, every player, everybody in the organization, when you win, it’s jubilation. And when you lose, it’s just bitter disappointment. So much goes into it, and it will be no different in this game, probably even on a greater scale because of the opportunity to win the championship. A lot of hard work has gone into this. A lot of plays have been made. A lot of sacrifices have been made. Great competitions have been won and adversity has been battled through by both teams. For the side that comes up short, it’s going to be a bitter disappointment. That’s how football works. That’s how life is, and we understand that.”

On whether John wants to protect Jim as the older brother:

John: “No, not at all. I suspect he feels the same way. It’s about the teams. We are fiercely loyal, there’s no doubt. We all say that. Not just of one another and we always have been. That’s definitely not ever going to change, we will continue to be fiercely loyal and protective of one another, but also of our teams. Jim had mentioned earlier in the week, he talked about the band of brotherhood, the brothers that will take the field. St. Crispian’s Day speech, he’s got it memorized, it’s unbelievable. It’s brilliant. That’s true; the band of brothers will be the brothers on the sideline. It will be the Ravens sideline; it will be the 49ers sideline. That will be the band of brothers in this competition.”

On being from Toledo:

Jim: “Were you born in Toledo, too? I was born in Toledo. We know the Maumee River. We know the Ohio Valley. That’s where we’re from. The week has not been any different from my standpoint or our standpoint than a normal week of football during the season. The players may have a different opinion on that but coaching-wise it’s been very much the same. You’re in a dark room; you’re watching tape, watching the Baltimore Ravens, studying them. Then get with the players, getting out on the practice field. That’s been wonderful. We’ve had great practices. Meetings have been really crisp. We’re getting a good understanding of what our plan is going into this game and all the while just thinking about the most exciting thing, when that ball is kicked off on Sunday for the game. We understand it’ll be a great challenge, it’ll be a great task. If we were to win this game it would be well earned. That’s really all we’re thinking about and focused about and can’t wait for. I’m really excited to be here.”

On how the players will rise to the moment to win the game:

John: “Because they have to if you’re going to win the game. You made the point. If you look at the Niners games their whole season, look at the Ravens playoff games and the whole season it is about the players. It’s about the players playing well, playing their best, not just making big plays. Big plays are going to be a determinant of every single game, but who makes those plays those will be the memorable moments. But it will be all the little plays in between that make the difference. Guys that are in the right gap. Guys in the right place in coverage, spacing, assessing the route correctly, blocking, tackling, handoffs, quarterbacks center exchange, throwing. Every little thing kicking, covering kicks, every little thing that goes into football is going to determine the one true champion and who wins this game. It’s going to be 60 minutes of great football, because you’ve got two fundamentally very sound football teams playing whose total focus is on this one moment, this one game. Within that plays will come. Plays will come to guys and guys will make plays. The guys that make those plays will end up winning the game.”

On their commonalities and differences in philosophies:

Jim: “Philosophical commonalities? I would be hard-pressed to spell philosophical right now.”

John: “I know he can’t spell commonalities. I would hope that you see it in the way our teams play. To me that would be the biggest compliment and the biggest return. Just watch the two teams play. Watch the way the players conduct themselves, the things they say. Watch the way they practice. Jim talked about their practices, ours have been the same. Meetings have been phenomenal. They’ve been that way all year, nothing has changed. We’ve come out here and had the same week we had every single week, hopefully just a little bit better.”

On whether there will be a post-Super Bowl bear hug:

John: “I’ve given absolutely no consideration to the postgame hand shake or bear hug or anything else. I haven’t thought about that for one second. Have you, Jim?”

Jim: “I have not.”

On Jim’s son, Jay Harbaugh, working for the Baltimore Ravens this season:

Jim: “I’m really really thankful and proud at the same time that Jay is doing what he loves to do. That is a real blessing and he’s doing it with the Baltimore Ravens with a tremendous organization, great coaches around to mentor him and to teach him, especially John being there and hiring him and I hear he’s doing a phenomenal job which again I’m really proud of. This week I haven’t been talking to him or calling him or anything. I’ve sent him a few texts just letting him know how I feel about him and I don’t want to give reason for people to think I’m talking to him. I’m really proud of what he’s doing, I’ve heard he’s done a great job and that means the world.”

John: “I’m appreciative that Jim allowed Jay to come out. I’ve obviously known Jay his whole life. He did a great job at Oregon State. He was trained by Mike Riley there as a student coach for all those years. He’s far better than we’ve anticipated and I knew he would be great at what he does. The way we looked at it, we talked about the philosophical difference or whatever; I think that may well tip the scale that might be our edge, Jay. He’s really good. He’s a hard working guy. I guarantee he’s excited about the game and competing and all those things just like he should be.”

On whether the teams are gaining energy from New Orleans:

John: “I think our guys really understand the whole dynamic here, just like everybody does. Everybody in America understands (Hurricane) Katrina and New Orleans and the renaissance as you put it and all those things. We drive the buses to all those different places and we get a chance to look at some of the neighborhoods and things like that. You can tell guys are looking at it. It is important and I have a great respect for the people of New Orleans. More than that though is the people that we deal with in the hotel and things like that. The people who are working with us, the security and the people who work at our hotel, they’re just great people. They have smiles on their faces, they’re excited to be doing and really building relationships with these people because we’re with them all week. To me, that’s when we get a chance to talk to the people of New Orleans.”

Jim: “I would say the same thing. Just meeting people here with the hospitality has been tremendous. I like the way they talk. There have been a lot of great Super Bowls here – you look back at the highlights of the 10 Super Bowls that have been played here. Big, big games. We’re understanding it – players, coaches, and me personally. Just the enormity of it. The world’s biggest sporting event each year and what it has become – a vision of the fathers of this game and the vision they have for this spectacle. They have mastered that. We’re just proud for the awesomeness of every effect that everybody does such an amazing job. It’s great to be a part of. Now, we want to win.”

On how often they communicate during a season and any insight that they provided one another that they wished they had not:

John: “I know Jim hasn’t provided me with anything that I can remember (laughs). I don’t think it really applies. Whatever we talked about, he’s been very helpful. We’ve run into some things, whether it might be schematic or just being a head coach and being in position. Even beyond that, just the normal personal stuff that any two brothers would talk about in terms of life and family. Just all those kinds of things. That’s probably, by far, 95+ percent of our conversation. I think too much has been made of that – really nothing that would apply to the game. It just goes back to the players, Jim is exactly right. It’s going to be the guys out there on the field, whose faces are marred with blood, sweat, and dust. Those will be the guys who will determine the outcome of this game and nothing we talked about over the last couple of weeks will change anything.”

Jim: “I can’t think of anything that would give us an advantage that we had talked about over the past couple of years.”

On what they have learned from their mother that they apply to their coaching career:

Jim: “There is no one in the family who has more competitive fire than my mother. She competes like a maniac. She has just always believed in us, and I think that is the most important thing to me. She believed in me, John, and Joanie, and took us to games and played catch with us, shot baskets with us, and just believed in us.”

John: “She was not happy with us when we made a goal out of chicken wire when we were about 13 years old, and we shot all of the windows out of the garage door. Remember that? They were glass. She called dad in on that one. All the things that Jim said are absolutely true. No one would fight harder for us than our mom, no matter what the situation was, or teach us how to have each other’s back and be there for one another, whether it was a little scrape in the neighborhood or something like that. She basically made it very clear that we were to have each other’s back no matter what, and that was our mom. She was with us every day. Dad worked a lot. When he was around we would hang out with dad, but mom took us to practices and all that. Mom was with us all the time. The other thing is that she is a highly intelligent, very thoughtful lady. We grew up with those kinds of conversations. We may have been talking football with dad in the basement, but mom was talking about other things. There were a lot of things going on in our world during the ‘70s, and mom was always tuned in on those kinds of things and brought up conversation that helped make us well-rounded people as we grew up.”

On how Jim Harbaugh’s stint under Mike Ditka helped mold him into what he is today:

Jim: “Those were formidable years for me and signature years to be in Chicago. To be drafted in the NFL, and play for the legendary Mike Ditka, doesn’t get any better than that. I spent seven years – a lot of great years and a lot of great games. A lot of high highs and a lot of low lows. Doesn’t get any better than this kind of feeling. In some places, big disappointments. There were a couple that were top five in my life, but that’s football and that’s life. I look back on that, and what do they mean to me with shaping the rest of my life with the Chicago Bear organization and the people I met there and what the organization and Coach Ditka did for me? I don’t think there is a percentage to put on it. Those were signature years for me.”

John: “Just as far as my prospective on it, when you’re watching your brother compete at that level. I have a video that Morgan Cox has that one of his brother’s buddies took of his brother when he was snapping the ball for the winning field goal against Denver in ‘86 there in Mile High. He was a nervous wreck, contorting himself in every direction you can imagine until the ball went through the uprights and celebrating like crazy. It brought back memories for me, and I can just remember living and dying, along with our parents and Jonnie, with every single snap that Jim ever took as an NFL football player, whether it was Chicago or Indianapolis, or all the other places he was at. That is how it is when you’re family. To watch a family member play, I think you are far more nervous than they are by far. That’s how I always felt. I was just always completely and enormously proud of what he was doing as a player and how he was competing. Even in the moments you just mentioned. I think the greatest moment for me through that whole thing was, maybe a couple years later, gaining so much respect for Coach Ditka. Now, I don’t know him that well and I just know what Jim says about him. Now, we’re all a fan and when he came out and said it was the wrong thing and he said didn’t handle it the right way, it probably cost him his team a little bit there. As a coach, we all learn so much hearing another coach talk about something like that. And the way Jim handled that moment and he was just rock solid. He just came back and kept competing with the respect for all that, even in a situation that isn’t all that fair. I learned a lot at the time, and I think would think a lot of players would, too, if they understand handling that situation.”

Jim: “It was more than fair. I shouldn’t have thrown the interception. Still kicking myself for that.”

On whether building relationships with their players is what got them this far:

John: “That’s part of it. What brought us here is guys playing really well and playing good football games. Just like they do, we have a rough, tough, hard-playing football team that made plays when they had to. That’s really what got us here. Good coaches coaching really well. We learned growing up that if you’re going to be a teacher, all great teachers make it about their students, right? Our dad told us that coaches are teachers first, which I know that they are. I know Jim has a great relationship with his players. You would always like to think, as a coach, that you’d strive for that and that’s really important. Any time a player knows that a coach is in his corner, has his back, and wants what is best for him and wants him to do well, you’re going to be more effective and players are appreciative of that.”

Tags: Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Super Bowl, Super Bowl XLVII
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 (David Kohl)
(David Kohl)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's gotten lost in Daniel Jones Mania, but Eli Manning is having a pretty good summer, too.

The veteran starter - who is still the Giants starter - has been solid during the preseason so far in the three series that he's played. This time, in a 25-23 win in Cincinnati, Manning had a deceptive performance, going 4-for-8 for 41 yards. But two of those incompletions were drops by receiver Cody Latimer, including one in the end zone that forced the Giants to settle for a field goal on Manning's lone drive.

Manning is now 9-of-13 for 86 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. It's a small sample size, obviously, but good for a passer rating of 113.0.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (David Kohl)
(David Kohl)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Maybe Baker Mayfield really was surprised when the Giants drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall. But nobody should be shocked anymore.

The 22-year-old rookie quarterback continued his stellar preseason by putting on another show in the Giants' third preseason game in Cincinnati on Thursday night. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 141 yards, playing the final 20 minutes of the first half.

Through three games, he's 25-of-30 (83.3 percent) for 369 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That's a passer rating of 140.1.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The third preseason game used to be the big test for the starters. But that's just not the way it is anymore. Even Pat Shurmur, who believes the preseason still has value, doesn't expect to play his starters very long in Cincinnati tonight.

He said he expects things to go much like they did the first two games. That means no Saquon Barkley. No Sterling Shepard. Eli Manning will get a series, maybe two, and the starting offensive line will get that, plus maybe another series with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Then Jones will go until halftime.

In the second half … well, make sure to have your roster handy. You'll need it.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

One of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones' biggest supporters just so happens to play for the other New York football team.

Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder attended Duke University, the same school that Jones attended. The two never played together at Duke, but Crowder has become friendly with his fellow Blue Devil since Jones entered the league.

"I've built a relationship with him, I text him from time to time and we worked out a little bit in the offseason," Crowder said. "So that's why I know... he has the potential to be a great quarterback in this league."

Tags: Daniel Jones, Jamison Crowder
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Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) walks out of the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Nov 25, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) walks out of the tunnel before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

He played in 15 games last season, starting in 13 while posting his best career numbers. He even had a two-interception performance. But B.J. Goodson's time with the Giants could be up very soon. 

That's just the feeling one gets when looking at the Giants' linebackers situation heading into Week 3 of the preseason against the Bengals Thursday night. Goodson hasn't been working with the first team next to Alec Ogletree, as many may have expected to start training camp. 

Instead, it has been Tae Davis who has taken over that role with the Giants. He was a longshot out of Tennessee-Cattanooga to make the 53-man roster in 2018, but he accomplished that feat. Now the Giants' coaching staff seems to be very high on him, and him sitting out along with Ogletree in Week 2 against the Bears this past Friday proves that. 

Tags: B.J. Goodson, Scott Thompson
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Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns QB (Ken Blaze)
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns QB (Ken Blaze)

A day after quotes came out in GQ where Baker Mayfield took a shot at Giants rookie Daniel Jones (with Mayfield later attempting to walk back those comments), the Browns QB expanded on those comments while also saying he reached out to Jones to clear the air.  

During the GQ interview, Mayfield was quoted saying "I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones. Blows my mind." Mayfield also said "Some people overthink it. That's where people go wrong. They forget you've gotta win."

It was unclear whether the second quote alluded to Jones.

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Sep 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; XFL chief executive officer Oliver Luck stands in a tunnel and watches the game during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports (Ben Queen)
Sep 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; XFL chief executive officer Oliver Luck stands in a tunnel and watches the game during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports (Ben Queen)

The XFL has announced the eight new team names and logos for its inaugural season. 

It will be the New York Guardians that will represent the tri-state area with what looks to be a charcoal grey and red as their team colors. Here are the rest of the teams...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE TEAMS 

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Aug 17, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) walks to the tunnel before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Aug 17, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) walks to the tunnel before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Odell Beckham Jr. had more criticism for his former team when he let loose in an interview published Tuesday by Sports Illustrated.

The in-depth piece by Ben Baskin shared more of Beckham's frustrations with the trade that sent him from the Giants to the Browns.

Beckham told SI that New York had better trade offers but shipped the star wide receiver "to die" in Cleveland.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Wayne Gallman, Zak DeOssie
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Daniel Jones on Baker's comments 00:00:56
Giants QB Daniel Jones reacts to critical comments by Browns QB Baker Mayfield, saying "everyone has a different way of doing things."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Welcome to your new world, Daniel Jones. Get used to it.

Baker Mayfield may have been wildly out of line when he ripped the Giants for making Jones the sixth overall pick in the draft, but the truth is he's just the latest in a very long line of Daniel Jones critics. Giants fans seemed horrified by the pick. Many in the media crushed it.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 17, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) on the sideline in the first quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Aug 17, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) on the sideline in the first quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

The Baker Mayfield-Daniel Jones comments saga continued on Tuesday with Mayfield walking back his statement that it "blows my mind" the Giants drafted Jones sixth overall back in April. 

"I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones," Mayfield said in a lengthy interview with GQ's Clay Skipper.

Now, with media outlets aggreagating the story everywhere, Mayfield decided to comment under Barstool Sports post to defend himself. Here's the full quote...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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Daniel Jones on Baker's comments 00:00:56
Giants QB Daniel Jones reacts to critical comments by Browns QB Baker Mayfield, saying "everyone has a different way of doing things."

Daniel Jones was diplomatic on Tuesday when asked to respond to the swipe taken at him by Browns QB Baker Mayfield.

"I try not to listen to much that's said," Jones explained. "I think I've done a pretty good job of that. ...I'm focused on what I'm doing here.'

On the method Mayfield took while bashing him, Jones said "I'm not sure I'd do it that way."

Jones added that he doesn't view the swipe as "a main motivator" for him to prove people wrong, that he doesn't know Mayfield, and that the comments from him came "a little bit" out of left field. 

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Jun 4, 2019; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs a drill during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Ken Blaze)
Jun 4, 2019; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs a drill during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

If you thought Odell Beckham Jr. was done going off about the Giants, you were wrong.

The same day comments emerged from Beckham's teammate Baker Mayfield where he took a shot at Giants QB Daniel Jones, Beckham was quoted in a wide-ranging piece on the Browns for Sports Illustrated where he claimed the Giants had better trade offers but sent him to the Browns "to die."

"This wasn't no business move," Beckham said. "This was personal. They thought they'd send me here to die."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Danny Abriano
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Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) signals to his running backs against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) signals to his running backs against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Despite never playing the Giants during the regular season and not even occupying the same conference (let alone division), Browns QB Baker Mayfield seemingly has Big Blue on the brain. And his latest shot came at the expense of Daniel Jones.

During an interview with GQ's Clay Skipper, Mayfield's eyes were drawn to a SportsCenter segment about the Giants. And he unloaded. 

"I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones," Mayfield said. "Blows my mind."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Danny Abriano
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Shurmur on third preseason game 00:00:59
Pat Shurmur spoke about the importance of seeing backups play in the third preseason game where starters usually get the majority of time.

The third preseason game for NFL teams has traditionally been the one in which teams will give the majority of snaps to their starters. But for Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, he may be choosing to take a different approach.

"Generally speaking I see us playing the game a lot like the first two, Shurmur said. "I still think we've got some guys that are in the second and third group that we've got to see play."

After their game against Cincinnati, Big Blue will wrap up their preseason schedule with a game against the Patriots on Aug. 29.  

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Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) celebrates after his interception with defensive end Josh Mauro (97) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) celebrates after his interception with defensive end Josh Mauro (97) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Following the departures of some key defensive players, Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree is expected to be a presence both on and off the field this season. It's one thing to go out and play well, but being a leader in the locker room requires the ability to mentor the younger players on the roster. 

There's no shortage of those in Giants camp this season. After taking Daniel Jones sixth overall, Big Blue spent the next five picks on players on the defensive side of the ball, including DT Dexter Lawrence

Ogletree's had a keen eye on the rookies, and likes what he's seen through the first two games of the preseason.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Dexter Lawrence, Oshane Ximines
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Chicago Bears didn't play a single starter against the Giants on Friday night and Mitch Trubisky and Khalil Mack probably won't play this preseason at all. It's the same in L.A., with Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. Saquon Barkley probably won't play this summer either, and Le'Veon Bell has already been ruled out.

A decade ago - less, even - such a mass sit-out would have been unthinkable in the preseason. Players played in increasing amounts in at least the first three games. Coaches felt they had to, in order to get ready for the regular season.

So what happened?

Tags: Avery Williamson, Eli Manning, Le'Veon Bell, Neville Hewitt, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) participates in drills in front of tight end Scott Simonson (82) and tight end Garrett Dickerson (89) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) participates in drills in front of tight end Scott Simonson (82) and tight end Garrett Dickerson (89) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

When Evan Engram was drafted by the Giants two years ago, he was viewed as an enigma at the tight end position. It was unheard of to see a tight end post a 4.42 40-yard dash and a 36-inch vertical. In the receiving game, he was already being viewed as a linebacker's nightmare to cover. 

But there's more to being a tight end then being a big body up the middle for your quarterback to throw to. 

Engram has been working on being a better blocker since joining the Giants, and he believes he's going to bring a much improved game in that aspect this season.

Tags: Evan Engram, Scott Thompson
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

In addition to missing the first four games of the regular season due to a suspension for taking a banned substance he said was for fertility, Giants WR Golden Tate is now in concussion protocol.

Tate was targeted twice and reeled in one catch during Friday night's game against the Bears, with head coach Pat Shurmur saying on Sunday that Tate suffered the injury at some point during the game. 

The Giants' fifth game of the regular season -- the one Tate is eligible to return for -- is Oct. 6 against the Vikings.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Danny Abriano
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Giants talking practice 00:01:26
Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur and WR Sterling Shepard on today's practice, Shepard returning to action and Daniel Jones' development

Shortly after he fractured his left thumb July 25, Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was steadfast in his belief that he would return for the Sept. 8 opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

More than three weeks later, Shepard's outlook remains optimistic.

Seen without his non-contact yellow jersey Sunday afternoon at Giants practice -- the first time since the injury -- Shepard showed further signs of progression as he works back for the 2019 season.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Corey Coleman, Golden Tate, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard
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Nov 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (11) runs after the catch in the second quarter against Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Nov 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (11) runs after the catch in the second quarter against Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

With the Giants' receivers depleted entering the season, many have wondered if GM Dave Gettleman would find a way to bolster the group before the start of the season. So far, that hasn't been the case, but there are options out there. 

One of them is Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell, who SI's Albert Breer reported as on the market. Treadwell, a former first-round pick back in 2016, hasn't really panned out in Minnesota. However, he does have a Giants connection in Pat Shurmur, which is why NJ.com's Matt Lombardo brought up the idea that Gettleman may want to call the Vikings on the Ole Miss product. 

Treadwell shouldn't cost too much for the Giants, which is a pro in this case. Being that he hasn't lived up to his first-round choice, the Giants could probably get him for a late-round draft pick. Also, maybe a change of scenery is what Treadwell needs with the Giants, as he's currently stuck behind elite receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Daniel Jones was impressive again, for the second time in two preseason games, so of course Pat Shurmur got the question again: With the way Jones is playing, is there any way he could compete to take Eli Manning's job by Opening Day?

Then came Shurmur's familiar dance, where he says "No" without actually saying "No," and closes the door while making it look like it's still open. This time he even made it seem like it wasn't his decision, as he deferred to John Mara. He even added, for good measure "I just get a sense once in a while that when I answer those questions nobody believes me."

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When the Giants scouted Daniel Jones they were convinced he had a little Eli Manning in him. They saw that same calm, even-keeled personality that Manning has - the ability to appear unflappable when things start to go wrong.

On Friday, Jones showed them they were right.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jones on his second game 00:01:20
New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones discusses his miscues and how he'll learn from them after playing the Chicago Bears.

Both Giants quarterbacks had strong first-half performances on Friday night against the Bears.

Eli Manning got things started, systematically moving the first-team offense down the field on a touchdown drive. Manning was 4-4 for 42 yards on the drive, capping it with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Bennie Fowler to put the Giants up 7-0.

That would be Manning's only drive of the night.

Tags: Eli Manning
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May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (97) during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (97) during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Rookie Dexter Lawrence came to the Giants with a nearly unblemished football record.

The defensive lineman has no notions of changing his status with the Giants.

Big Blue is viewed more in the short term as a rebuilding franchise, but Lawrence set the bar high for his career with the team. He wants a plethora of titles. 

Tags: Dexter Lawrence
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver TJ Jones (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver TJ Jones (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Checking the box score after the Giants' first preseason bout against the Jets last Thursday, it wasn't Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, or Russell Shepard that led the receivers columns. 

It was TJ Jones. 

The five-year veteran, who spent all his NFL seasons with the Lions after being drafted in the sixth round back in 2014, finished the night with six receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. His score came on a back-shoulder pass from Alex Tanney that Jones tracked down perfectly and fell into the end zone to tally six points on the board. 

Tags: Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur looks on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur looks on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The news surrounding Giants camp this week is WR Golden Tate having to serve his full four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy. 

Tate was confident that the details in his case would have the suspension exonerated, but that wasn't the case given the league's no tolerance mindset when it comes to PEDs. The veteran wideout explained that he let the NFL know immediately when he found out there was a banned substance in the prescription, yet that wasn't enough to change his verdict. 

"I just thought, after we looked at the facts in the situation, that the NFL would be understanding," Tate said. "But because it's a no-tolerance policy, they, I guess, upheld the suspension."

Tags: Cody Latimer, Corey Coleman, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Sep 16, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders punter Johnny Townsend (5) punts the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 16, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders punter Johnny Townsend (5) punts the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Two nights before the Giants' second preseason game against the Chicago Bears, the team has made a change at punter.

The Giants claimed Johnny Townsend off waivers from the Raiders.

To make room for Townsend, the team waived rookie punter Ryan Anderson, an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers. 

Tags: Riley Dixon
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) talks with the media before the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) talks with the media before the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Giants co-owner John Mara got straight to the point Tuesday after practice when asked about the quarterback situation between veteran Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones, saying he hopes "Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field."

His sentiments trickled into Wednesday's post-practice availability, where Jones faced the inevitable question.

What did he think about Mara's comments?

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning
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Golden Tate reacts to NFL ruling 00:01:35
Golden Tate reacts to the NFL upholding its 4-game suspension of the WR. Tate explains his trust in his doctor that led to taking the drug.

One day after Golden Tate received his appeal fate from the NFL, which upheld the Giants wide receiver's four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, he opened up on the decision following Wednesday's practice.

Among his comments, Tate said he is considering taking legal action against the doctor who prescribed him the drug.

"We are definitely looking into it, we are kind of examining all of our options," Tate said.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Golden Tate, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate makes a catch during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate makes a catch during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Giants won't be able to see veteran WR Golden Tate until Week 5 of the regular season after his suspension appeal for his violation of the NFL's PED policy failed. 

But there are more implications to Tate's verdict other than him simply sitting out the first four weeks. 

It was reported yesterday that Tate will be losing $464,706 of his $1.975 million base salary for missing time. However, former agent and CBS Sports' Joel Corry says he'll also be missing out on $558,235 of his signing bonus and $176,471 of his roster bonus. 

Tags: Golden Tate
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) throws a ball to fans after the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) throws a ball to fans after the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Golden Tate will officially be serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy, as he has lost his appeal.

Back in April, Tate failed a drug test, which came about a month after he signed his four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants. The reason for failing the test came from a fertility drug that he said "contained an ingredient that is on the league's banned substance list," and noted not knowing about that when he was prescribed it by a fertility planning specialist. 

Tate said that he "immediately discontinued" the use of the drug, and reported his actions to the league's independent administrator. In fact, he did that before failing the drug test in the first place. 

Tags: Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Giants CEO hopes Eli hangs on 00:01:00
New York Giants President and CEO John Mara was asked about his QBS and said, "I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field."

After Daniel Jones impressed many with his perfect touchdown drive in his first NFL series last Thursday, the hype surrounding the No. 6 overall pick reached an all-time high. The critics and naysayers took a backseat to those jumping on the bandwagon of Jones being Eli Manning's successor.

Now fans really want to see what Jones can do in a real game after seeing a glimpse of what he can do. But, for Giants co-owner John Mara, that day hopefully won't come this season. 

He wants to see Eli Manning on the field at all times. And Jones on the bench.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Saquon understands Giants' plan 00:00:48
It's always a delicate balance between playing or not in the preseason for star players. Shurmur and Saquon discuss the running back's plan.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley did not appear in the team's preseason opener last week, a 31-22 victory over the Jets. 

As far as the rest of the preseason goes, head coach Pat Shurmur is playing his cards close to the vest.

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Following the first week of the exhibition season in the NFL, the optimism surrounding both of New York's football teams is through the roof. 

The Jets' Sam Darnold led a single drive that was near perfect, as the second-year pro was 4-for-5 passing with a touchdown. The Giants' once looked down upon rookie QB in Daniel Jones was one pass better, as he was 5-for-5 passing with a touchdown.

So... Giants vs. Jets Super Bowl?

Tags: Daniel Jones
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers is one of three Giants players that played on an NFL team that will live in infamy.

Peppers was the Browns' first-round pick at the 2017 NFL draft. His first win as a professional football player wouldn't come in his rookie year as the Browns became only the second team in league history to go 0-16 that year.

But Peppers, who was traded to the Giants this offseason in a deal that sent wideout Odell Beckham Jr. the other way, recently revealed that he has fond learning experiences from that brutal season. He's happy it happened and takes positives from it.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Jabril Peppers, Kevin Zeitler
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Aug 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (6) after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (6) after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Giants' wide receiver corps just can't catch a break.

Midway through practice, WR Amba Etta-Tawo fell awkwardly on a catch and he looked to have a leg injury as he got carted off the field. Well, the Giants announced Monday that Etta-Tawo actually tore his Achilles on the play, and is now out for the rest of the season. 

Etta-Tawo was signed to the Giants yet again this offseason due to the injuries to the group. He was with the Giants back in 2017 when he was signed to their practice squad. He landed on the Texans as well as the Birmingham Iron in the AAF last season as well. 

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Eli Manning still has the support of Phil Simms

Regardless of what Giants brass and head coach Pat Shurmur says about there not being a quarterback competition between Manning and rookie Daniel Jones this summer, it'll still be a topic of discussion leading up to the regular season. 

Observers of the G-men are picking their sides between the two QBs and among those doing so is one of the team's former quarterbacks in Simms.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) reacts during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) reacts during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

When the Giants traded star receiver Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns on March 12, the haul brought versatile safety Jabrill Peppers back home.

Peppers, who rose up the football ranks in New Jersey via Paramus Catholic High School before heading to Michigan for three years and embarking on his NFL career in 2017, debuted Sunday with the Giants in a 31-22 win over the Jets.

The first look for Peppers in the starting defense yielded mixed results with Jets quarterback Sam Darnold going 4-of-5 passing for 68 yards and a touchdown, but the third-year defensive back keeps his head up as he and the Giants move further into the preseason.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Janoris Jenkins, Sam Beal
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine (25) participates in drills during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine (25) participates in drills during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

As the Giants returned to the practice field on Sunday, it was without first-rounder Deandre Baker

Head coach Pat Shurmur noted after the session that Baker had actually gone for an MRI on his knee after feeling something during warm-ups.

"In his individual warm-up type stuff, (he felt) something with his knee," Shurmur told NJ.com's Matt Dunleavy. "We are just checking it out with a MRI. No information on that right now. He's getting it checked out."

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Daniel Jones makes statement 00:01:04
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano makes it clear that the impressive debut of Daniel Jones could start a QB controversy for the Giants.

Daniel Jones may have dazzled in his Giants preseason debut, but head coach Pat Shurmur is not ready to give any credence to an open quarterback competition. 

"We're not going to play the what-ifs," Shurmur said Friday on a conference call. I would say this: Nothing has changed. This is the first game and I expect Daniel to play well, go out and improve and for the people that don't know him, impress them. 

"We expect that from him, we expect that from Eli [Manning], we expect that from everybody. Expectations have not changed."

Tags: Eli Manning
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Daniel Jones makes statement 00:01:04
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano makes it clear that the impressive debut of Daniel Jones could start a QB controversy for the Giants.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New York has fallen out of love with Eli Manning over the last few years, through all the losing and the pounding he's taken from his critics. The only thing that's saved him from a full-blown Quarterback Controversy is the lack of a viable alternative on the Giants' roster.

But that's all changed now.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Parry Nickerson (43) attempts to tackle New York Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine (25) on a kickoff during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Parry Nickerson (43) attempts to tackle New York Giants defensive back Corey Ballentine (25) on a kickoff during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The past few months have not been easy for Giants rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine

The sixth-round pick out of Division II Washburn was shot the night he was drafted, taking a bullet to his glute, while his best friend was killed in the incident. The shooting forced Ballentine to miss rookie minicamp while simultaneously coping with the loss of his friend. 

Despite the unfortunate circumstances and late start, Ballentine has impressed throughout training camp and that continued Thursday night against the Jets in the preseason opener. 

 

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) celebrates after throwing a touchdowns pass with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) and offensive guard Will Hernandez (71) during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) celebrates after throwing a touchdowns pass with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) and offensive guard Will Hernandez (71) during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Daniel Jones entered his first NFL game on Thursday night to a smattering of cheers - a welcomed change from the reception he's gotten since the Giants announced him as the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

And after the way he played in his debut, he might not have to worry about being booed anymore.

Tags: Eli Manning, Russell Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Evaluating Jones' performance 00:00:45
Daniel Jones had a good showing in his first preseason game. Pat Shurmur was content with the rookie QB.

The spotlight was set on Daniel Jones as he stepped on the MetLife Stadium turf for the first time in his Giants uniform. Everyone wanted to see how the No. 6 overall pick, one that was criticized by the lots, would react to the big stage in his inaugural snaps in the NFL.

He was perfect -- literally. 

Thanks to a weather delay, Jones only lasted one drive for the Giants, but he didn't disappoint. He was a perfect 5-for-5 for 67 yards, and it was capped off by an absolute strike to Bennie Fowler in the right side of the end zone for his first career touchdown. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) warms up before the preseason game between The New York Giants and The New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

With all eyes on Daniel Jones, the Giants' rookie quarterback shined during his first preseason drive as a member of Big Blue.

Jones' night began on the Giants' second offensive possession. After Eli Manning led an uninspiring three-and-out drive, Jones took the field with the rest of the first-team offense, or least the way the first-team offense was comprised on Thursday.

Tags: Eli Manning
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May 29, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterbacks Alex Tanney (3) and Kyle Lauletta (17) throw the ball back and forth during Organized Team Activities. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/Northjersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 29, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterbacks Alex Tanney (3) and Kyle Lauletta (17) throw the ball back and forth during Organized Team Activities. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/Northjersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Everyone's talking about the New York Giants' quarterback controversy. Featuring a trusty veteran and an upstart draft pick, preseason reps may be the best way to figure out who makes the team, and who is let go.

Oh, you thought we were talking about Eli Manning and Daniel Jones? Nope.

The real quarterback competition on the Giants is the one that nobody is talking about -- Alex Tanney vs. Kyle Lauletta. The two quarterbacks are dueling for one spot on the roster as the third-string QB, but that doesn't mean the battle doesn't have high stakes.

Losing either quarterback would involve reneging on a team investment. Of course, most fans know that Lauletta was a fourth-round draft pick just last year, and at one point, the heir apparent to Manning. He even saw a small sample of game action last year, a rarity for a rookie QB on the Giants.

Tags: Alex Tanney, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Kyle Lauletta
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How will Jones perform vs. Jets? 00:00:44
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones will make his debut against the Jets in their 1st preseason game. The Thread hopes he comes out slinging.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Some may call it arrogance, but Dave Gettleman definitely has had a quiet confidence about the Giants team he's built for this season. His critics say he did more to tear things down. He believes he's built the foundation back up.

There's a long way to go before anyone knows who's right, but the Giants will take the first steps over the next four weeks in the preseason, which opens for them against the Jets on Thursday night. Here's a look at what Gettleman and everyone else will be watching for, as they search for signs of just how good (or not) this Giants team can be:

1. How ready is QB Daniel Jones?

The plan is for the Giants to ride Eli Manning this season, far enough that Jones never has to see the field. But plans can change, and quarterback controversies have a funny way of just happening. Whether one does, depends a lot on the ability of Jones.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

When James Bettcher looks at the pass rushers on the Giants defense, he sees something that few others do. He sees potential. And he insists "We will never be limited by expectations of others."

That's good. Because those expectations are dangerously low.

The Giants had the second-worst pass rush in the NFL last season, with a paltry 30 sacks. Then they traded away Olivier Vernon, who had a quarter of that total (seven) and didn't bring in a proven replacement.

Tags: Lorenzo Carter, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

During Tuesday's episode of First Take on ESPN, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark expressed his thoughts on Tom Brady's contract history.

"Tom Brady should have been the top-paid quarterback in this league for over a decade," Clark said. "Tom Brady should have made more money throughout his career than any other quarterback that's playing this game... But the fact that Eli Manning has made so much more money than Tom Brady, it legitimately makes me sick."

The 42-year-old Brady recently signed a two-year extension with the New England Patriots worth $70 million through the 2021 season. He will become the NFL's sixth-highest-paid quarterback this season at $23 million.

Tags: Eli Manning
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