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Giants head coach Ben McAdoo spoke with the media on Thursday. Here's what we learned...

  • He wants the Giants to have a physical camp, and the pads will be going on next Tuesday.
  • JT Thomas (hamstring), Jay Bromely (ankle), and Damon Harrison (knee) will start training camp on the PUP list, but none of their injuries are considered serious.
  • McAdoo needs to see Victor Cruz during the conditioning evaluation before determining if he's ready to practice.
  • There's high expectations for the team and the goal is a fifth Super Bowl title.
Tags: J.T. Thomas , Jay Bromley , Victor Cruz

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Giants players reported to training camp on Thursday. Here's what some of the players had to say...

-- Jason Pierre-Paul reiterated that he doesn't plan to wear a club on his right hand.

-- Landon Collins believes the Giants have the ability to be one of the best teams in football this season.

-- Rashad Jennings said Ben McAdoo is the right man for the job.

-- Justin Pugh said the Giants were good enough to make the playoffs last season.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul , Landon Collins

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The long summer break ends today for the New York Giants as they report to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for physicals and conditioning.

It will be the first summer in 12 years without former head coach Tom Coughlin at the helm. Ben McAdoo is now the head man and he is excited to get cracking.

"We started to establish our identity- without pads- but sound, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise," McAdoo said at the end of minicamp in June. "We know what it looks like now. We had a chance to sit down, we had a chance to define it and lay the foundation for when we do get the pads on."

The first training camp session will be held on Friday morning. The team will hold 11 practices over the next two weeks, which will be open to the public:

Friday, July 29: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Saturday, July 30: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Sunday, July 31: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Monday, August 1: CAMP CLOSED; no practice

Tuesday, August 2: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Wednesday, August 3: CAMP CLOSED

Thursday, August 4: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Friday, August 5: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Saturday, August 6: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Sunday, August 7: CAMP CLOSED; no practice

Monday, August 8: 11:10 a.m. - Practice

Tuesday, August 9: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Wednesday, August 10: 10:40 a.m. - Practice

Thursday, August 11: CAMP CLOSED; no practice

Friday, August 12: Giants vs. Dolphins, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 13: CAMP CLOSED; no practice

Sunday, August 14: 11:10 a.m. - Practice

Monday, August 15: CAMP CLOSED; end of training camp

Times and availability are subject to change. For more information and any changes to the schedule, visit the Giants' official website.

Tags: John Fennelly

New York Giants former head coach Tom Coughlin addresses the media during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Jim O'Connor/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants former head coach Tom Coughlin addresses the media during a press conference at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Jim O'Connor/USA Today Sports Images)

Tom Coughlin has taken a job with the NFL, reports ESPN's Jim Trotter.

The former Giants head coach is joining the NFL's football operations department

NFL Football Operations works, according to their website, to "ensure the intregrity, improve upon safety and enhance the fan experience of the game." It makes changes to the NFL rulebook, standards and practices to put out the best football product possible, as well as creating and enforcing league rules.

Tom Coughlin resigned as the New York Giants head coach this offseason after a third straight losing season.

His 12 seasons with the Giants produced 102 wins and two Super Bowl titles. He will be honored in the Giants Ring of Honor this season.


Team Rice quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (10) passes the football against Team Irvin during the first quarter of the 2016 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium. (Kyle Terada)
Team Rice quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (10) passes the football against Team Irvin during the first quarter of the 2016 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium. (Kyle Terada)

Eli Manning is Vegas' eighth favorite to win the NFL MVP this season at 25-1 odds, according to the online sportsbook Bovada.

The seven players ahead of Manning are all quarterbacks as well (Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer). Quarterbacks have won eight of the last nine NFL MVP awards, with the exception of Adrian Peterson in 2012.

Manning was sixth in the NFL last year in completions (387) and throwing yards (4436), while also being tied for second in passing touchdowns (35). He set career-highs in all three categories as well as quarterback rating and tied his lowest career interception total (14).

Manning's receiving corps this year will feature All-Pro wideout Odell Beckham, former Pro Bowler Victor Cruz (who is returning after being injured the last two seasons) and rookie Sterling Shepard of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Tags: Eli Manning

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants are Super Bowl bound this year, or at least Odell Beckham thinks so.

According to the New York Post, the star wide receiver delivered a motivational speech to a football camp at Boonton High School in New Jersey. However, his final words were the most inspirational to any fan of Big Blue.

"More important, go Giants this year! Super Bowl 51 in Houston. We will be there," Beckham told the young campers.

The Giants go into this season having added a couple hundred million dollars in contracts to the defensive side of the football, in addition to adding rookies like Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard, and Darian Thompson. Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Victor Cruz will also return from injuries that have kept him out for most of the last two seasons, while Ben McAdoo will take over as the team's new head coach.

Quarterback Eli Manning has also stated to the media that he is confident the Giants will make the playoffs this year. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Gians tight end Daniel Fells (85) participates in practice during minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Steven Ryan)
New York Gians tight end Daniel Fells (85) participates in practice during minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Steven Ryan)

Former TE Daniel Fells has announced his retirement from the National Football League in a post to Instagram.

"I wish I was heading into battle with my brothers as training camp starts up this week but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Although playing the game is no longer in the cards for me I'm grateful for the 10 year career that I was blessed to experience," he wrote.

Fells last played for the Giants last season, appearing in two games before being diagnosed with a staph infection. By the time Fells was admitted to the hospital, the infection was so advanced that doctors contemplated amputating his foot. While it didn't come to that, Fells has gone through at least 10 surgeries to treat the infection.

In 18 games with the Giants spanning two seasons, Fells caught 22 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns.

Fells saw the most success of his career in his three years with the St. Louis Rams, recording 69 receptions for 745 yards and five touchdowns over those three seasons.

Fells ends his career with 114 catches for 1,334 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Tags: Daniel Fells

New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)

The Giants' defense has a new look and feel to it on this eve of the opening of training camp, one that has many curious and others excited. After investing over $200 million in four players this past offseason, the club is hopeful that it will be money well spent.

The contracts of DE Olivier Vernon (5 years, $85M), CB Janoris Jenkins (5 years, $62.5M), DT Damon Harrison ($46.25M), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (1 year, $10M) and rookie CB Eli Apple (4 years, $15.1M) are designed to upgrade the defense after one of the franchise's worst performances in their nine-decade history.

Other imports, such as rookie safety Damian Thompson and linebackers Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard will provide depth, flexibility and talent to DC Steve Spagnuolo's unit that folded at crunch time, losing five games in the final minute last year.

These players will join a core that already includes veteran Pro Bowl CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a slew of recent draftees the team is hoping will gel and come into their own: LB Devon Kennard, DTs Johnathan Hankins and Jay Bromley, DB Bennett Jackson, DE Owa Odighizuwa and safeties Landon Collins, Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson.

With the majority of the offense set behind QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham, Jr., the onus will be on the defense to not only improve, but become a top unit in the league. They will be relied upon to protect those leads again this season, but this time around there will be no excuses.

Beginning on Friday, those new pieces will mesh with the old to formulate the future of the Giants. Spagnuolo, who had very little to work with in 2015, has more than enough to get the job done this season. He is looking forward to camp probably more than anyone.

"Jerry (Reese) and his staff have put together a group of guys that can compete against each other," Spagnuolo said at minicamp. "I think that any time guys know that there is competition and are being pushed, I think that everyone gets better, so that is a good thing."

The Super Bowl-winning coach is under no illusions. He knows no matter how good of a job he does, he needs to have the talent in order to reach his goals.

"I have always said this league is about players," Spagnuolo said in the same interview. "The more top-notch players you have, the better your defense is going to be. To me, it doesn't matter what scheme you put in, how much scheme you have and don't, players make plays. We have lived by production is at the ball, guys that get to the football will produce, we are looking for guys that can produce, but certainly when the quality of your talent is really good in some spots, you have to play towards those strengths and I hope that is what we do."

The Giants' offense will be exciting and are aiming to score 30 points per game. If they achieve that, the defense will still be under the gun given what happened last year.

They allowed team-record totals of 6,725 opposing net yards, 367 first downs, 236 passing first downs, 638 passes, 423 completions, 236 completions, and 4,783 net passing yards.

The Giants scored 420 points in 2015, the fifth-highest in franchise history, yet lost ten games. They scored 30 or more points in three of those losses. It is not unfathomable to think the defense will be much more effective and win some of those games this season. A three or four game tunraround is not a big ask, and it may be enough to win the NFC East in 2016.


San Francisco 49ers tackle Anthony Davis blocks San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports Images)
San Francisco 49ers tackle Anthony Davis blocks San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports Images)

Offensive tackle Anthony Davis, whom the San Francisco 49ers drafted with the 11th pick in 2010, is looking to get back into the game after a short semi-retirement. Davis last played in 2014, when he missed the last four games due to a concussion. He then sat out last season after questioning the Niners' desire to field a winning team while his brain and body healed.

Davis is still the property of the Niners by virtue of the long-term deal he inked back in 2013 that expires after the 2019 season, so any other team that wishes to vie for his services must acquire them via a trade.

The Giants, who were hoping to bring in veteran free agent Eugene Monroe to bolster their offensive line this summer, are likely interested, but how much would they be willing to pay to land a player that has not played in nearly two seasons in unknown.

Veteran NFL reporter Mike Garafolo tweeted that he believes Davis will remain with San Francisco once the league reinstates him.

The Giants will likely steer clear of Davis, who would only have value to his old team at this point of his career. He is reportedly in terrible football shape and would take an extended period of time for him to get back to normal.

In response to Garafolo's tweet, Rotoworld wrote:

"That would be smart of GM Trent Baalke. Last year's right tackle, Erik Pears, was one of the worst in the sport, and Davis has proven to be one of the top right tackles when on the field. It's anybody's guess what kind of shape Davis is in at the moment -- he was reportedly "badly out of shape" earlier this offseason -- but he's still just 27 (in October). He'd be a big upgrade to the 49ers' line."

That is, if he doesn't force a trade. Davis has burned a few bridges in Santa Clara. Baalke has to know that even if he gets Davis back and close to form that the player's heart would not be in his work.

A possible trade is still on the table. Whether that happens this summer remains to be seen. And whether the Giants, who are "comfortable" with their options at tackle for the moment, will jump into the fray. They have the cap space to maneuver, so anything is possible.

Tags: San Francisco 49ers , John Fennelly

A general view of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)
A general view of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)

The NFL and the players association have announced a new policy regarding game-day concussion protocol and discipline for clubs that violate the procedure.

Under the new policy jointly announced Monday, the NFL and NFLPA "will follow a strict and fair process to investigate incidents and determine appropriate discipline, including club fines and possible forfeiture of draft picks."

The league and the players union will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The probe won't reach medical conclusions; it will only determine if the protocol was followed. An arbitrator will handle cases where the league and union disagree and report to the commissioner.

Commissioner Roger Goodell retains sole discretion in determining penalties for violations of the game-day concussion protocol.

A first breach will require club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education and/or result in a maximum $150,000 fine against the team. Clubs will be fined a minimum $100,000 for subsequent violations.

There are additional penalties if the violation involves aggravating circumstances, and the commissioner may impose more severe financial penalties and require clubs to forfeit draft picks if it's determined that a club's medical team ignored protocol for competitive reasons. >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press


New York Giants quarterback Ryan Nassib throws a pass while New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks on during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants quarterback Ryan Nassib throws a pass while New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks on during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

Training camp is just days away and readers and fans are beginning to get back into football mode. Over the past few weeks, we have gotten several questions and inquiries regarding the upcoming camp and preseason.

There's a lot of talk the Giants will part ways with several veterans this summer. Who right now is on the roster bubble?

It may be too early to tell, but from where I sit, there won't be many surprises. On offense, the main roster battles will be at running back and possibly at right tackle. With the addition of rookie Paul Perkins and free agent Bobby Rainey, Andre Williams will have to have a stellar camp to remain with the team.

Marshall Newhouse is the current starter at right tackle. His main competition will be second-year player Bobby Hart now that free agent Eugene Monroe decided to retire. The Giants say they are comfortable with Newhouse, but are not deep along the offensive line in general, so if anything, they could be adding, not subtracting, in this unit.

A competition could also develop at tight end, with Larry Donnell returning and the team very high on players like Will Tye, Matt LaCosse and Jerell Adams. The Giants probably won't keep four tight ends, so LaCosse could be either going home or to the practice squad.

Will the Giants trade QB Ryan Nassib?

I think the window to do that has closed. First off, they only have Logan Thomas to back up Eli Manning if they dealt Nassib. Then there are questions regarding who would want him and how much they would be willing to give the Giants in return.

Since Nassib has never started an NFL game in his three seasons as a pro and will be a free agent after this season, his value is unknown. But given the amounts of money thrown at inexperienced quarterbacks this past offseason, it is not out of the question Nassib garners considerable interest.

The guess here is that the Giants keep Nassib this season, let him test the free agent waters next March and attempt to sign him back should no team offer him a chance at a starting role.

The Giants have a ton of new faces on defense this season. Who will be the team's defensive captain, or captains, this year?

You have to figure that LB Devon Kennard, a player the Giants drafted based on his leadership qualities, would be a strong contender. DE Jason Pierre-Paul may also be considered even though he is operating on a one-year contract. The team feels he has turned the corner on his maturity issues, so it wouldn'r be surprised if they tab him. Other contenders could be DT Jon Hankins or one of the new guys, such as DE Olivier Vernon or DT Damon Harrison.

Tags: Bobby Hart , Damon Harrison , Devon Kennard , Eli Manning , Jason Pierre-Paul , Johnathan Hankins , Larry Donnell , Marshall Newhouse , Ryan Nassib , Will Tye , John Fennelly

Team Rice quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (10) passes the football against Team Irvin during the first quarter of the 2016 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium. (Kyle Terada)
Team Rice quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (10) passes the football against Team Irvin during the first quarter of the 2016 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium. (Kyle Terada)

Giants QB Eli Manning was considered on the decline after the 2013 season after posting some of the weakest numbers of his career. His 69.4 QBR was the lowest of his career for a 16-game season and his touchdown-to-interception ratio was 18/27.

The Giants decided to bring in Ben McAdoo to replace the "retiring" Kevin Gilbride to reinvent their franchise quarterback. McAdoo did just that, with a little help from rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr., of course.

Eli has gone on to post back-to-back productive years with QBRs of 92.3 and 93.1 with 8,846 yards passing, 65 TDs and just 28 INTs. He was also named to the Pro Bowl last season.

But there is more to the numbers than meets the eye. Pro Football Focus ranks the Giants' QB play 20th in the NFL coming into this season, citing some weak numbers in areas they hold in high regard...

If we ranked the teams by how good their quarterbacks have been at their best, the Giants would be a bit higher than 20th in this category. In terms of PFF passing grade, Eli Manning's play has declined each year since 2011. For a 35-year-old quarterback on such a downward trend, it would be tough for Manning to turn things around in 2016.
If you just looked at his 2015 total yards and touchdowns, though, you may believe Manning is as good as ever. However, he recorded a career-high in passing attempts last season, which helped inflate those statistics. In reality, his 7.2 yards per attempt was the second-lowest mark for him over the past seven years. His average depth of target went down from 9.2 in 2014 to 8.1 in 2015. You would expect his completion percentage to increase with shorter passes, but that also declined (from 63.1 percent to 62.6 percent).

The analysis does not tell the whole story of why some of these numbers have remained stagnant or have sagged. One main reason for the decrease has been the absence of WR Victor Cruz, who has missed a full season and a half due to knee and calf injuries. Cruz was one of the NFL's top playmakers. Without him, the Giants have had had to shorten their routes, leading to a reduction in depth of targets.

The addition of pass-catching RB Shane Vereen, whose 81 targets were third on the club last season behind WRs Beckham (158) and Rueben Randle (90), also shortens the depth-per-target number.

Another factor is the quick drop Manning has been forced to take in order to cut down on sacks and QB hits. The offensive line has been in rebuilding mode the past few seasons and McAdoo has stressed that Manning deliver the ball quicker after the snap, so not to absorb a pounding every week.

This season should be different, however. The club has more confidence in its offensive line and more weapons at its disposal even without Randle, who has moved on to Philadelphia.

Manning will be looking deeper downfield more often now that the club has Cruz back and have added rookie WR Sterling Shepard to compliment Beckham on the outside. The Giants also hope for better tight end play with Larry Donnell cleared for duty, Will Tye returning and rookie Jerell Adams, a seam-splitter, projected to see action as well.

The loss of Cruz put undue pressure on Beckham, who responded better than any player could have been asked to, but hopes to improve on his 2015 catch percentage of 60.8. As a rookie in 2014, Beckham's catch percentage was 70 percent.

The Giants will be looking to balance their offense out a bit this year. They need to both run and pass the football more often and effectively. They should cut down on the pass/run ratio that was over 60 percent in 2015. Manning threw too often and sometimes too errantly. PFF is correct in that regard. This season, the offense should be deeper, with more balance and better on third downs and in the red zone.

Manning could end up setting some records and challenging for the MVP if all goes according to plan. The talk of any decline should peter out as the season unfolds.

Tags: John Fennelly

New York Giants four super bowl trophies on display in the lobby of Giants headquarters at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Jim O'Connor/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants four super bowl trophies on display in the lobby of Giants headquarters at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Jim O'Connor/USA Today Sports Images)

Formed in 1925, he New York Giants are the fourth-oldest existing NFL franchise, which began play in 1920. Only the Cardinals, Packers and Bears have been in the league longer.

Here are 10 things about the Giants that you probably did not know, or perhaps forgot, about the franchise that has been nicknamed Big Blue, the Jints and Mara Tech:

  1. Defensive end Michael Strahan (1993-2007) has worn Giants blue the most times, playing in 216 games. But do you know who is second in games played? It's former tight end and current Giants commentator Howard Cross (1989-2001), who laced up his cleats 207 times for the club. He is followed by DE George Martin (201), WR Amani Toomer (190) and QB Eli Manning (185), who pulled ahead of LB Lawrence Taylor (184) last season.
  2. Four quarterbacks lead the Giants in career fumbles, either recovered or lost: Manning (98), Phil Simms (93), Kerry Collins (61) and Charley Conerly (54). Running back Tiki Barber holds the franchise record for fumbles by a non-quarterback (54).
  3. Joe Montana's San Francisco 49ers are widely considered the team of the 1980s having won four Super Bowls behind their legendary signal-caller. However, the Giants defeated the 49ers three times in the postseason in the Montana era, knocking him out in two of the three games.
  4. The Giants played their home games at Shea Stadium in 1975 while Giants Stadium was being completed, sharing the no-frills venue with the crosstown Jets. The two teams did not play their first home games at Shea until October due to the Mets having rights to the facility until the baseball season was complete, although the Mets did not make the playoffs in 1975. The Giants finished 5-9 and 2-5 at home.
  5. The Giants have played the Washington Redskins the most times (168 games) of any opponent, winning 97, their most victories recorded against any opponent. The Giants have defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 83 times and the Cardinals, who have played in four cities over their history, 81 times.
  6. The team that the Giants have not been able to conquer consistently over time is the Dallas Cowboys, who have beaten the Giants 62 out of 109 contests. Other teams that have has success over the years are tthe Bears (19-28-2) and the Rams (15-26)
  7. The late Dave Jennings, who was a four-time Pro Bowler in his 11-year Giants career, punted 931 times during his tenure in Blue, nearly twice as many as Sean Landeta, who punted 526 times (though it should have been 527). Rodney Williams kicked the longest punt in franchise history (90 yards) on a Monday night game against the Denver Broncos on the road on Sept. 10, 2001.
  8. Manning's No. 10 will most likely never be worn by another player once Manning retires. Before Manning, No. 10 was worn by punter Jeff Feagles and QB Kent Graham before him. But Giants jerseys with the No. 10 on them have been worn by fans since the 1960's when the great Fran Tarkenton donned it from 1966-71. Linebacker Brad Van Pelt took over the number in 1973 and did it justice for the next 11 seasons, making the Pro Bowl five times.
  9. The 1965 NFL Draft has become emblematic to the Giants' futility of the 1960's and 70's. They possessed the top selection and took Auburn RB Tucker Frederickson, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie but would only play parts of six seasons due to a knee injury. By taking Frederickson, they bypassed several future stars. The 49ers took FB Ken Willard at No. 2, and the Chicago Bears then selected RB Gale Sayers and LB Dick Butkus with the third and fourth picks. Dallas took QB Craig Morton No. 5, and Baltimore snagged LB Mike Curtis at No. 14. The Cardinals drafted QB Joe Namath with the 12th selecion, but Namath chose to sign with the AFL's New York Jets. Just imagine if the Giants had drafted Namath ...
  10. In 1978, the Giants were 5-3 after eight games and were poised to challenge for a playoff spot. They lost their next three games and needed a win over the Eagles in Week 12 to bring their record back to .500 with four games to go. They were on their way to that victory, leading 17-12 in the final seconds when a miscommunication in the huddle led to QB Joe Pisarcik to run a play called in from the sidelines instead of taking a knee and letting the clock run out. The play led to a fumble, which was picked up by Eagles' DB Herman Edwards and run in for a touchdown to give Philadelphia a 19-17 win. The Giants would lose that game and go on to lose three of their final four games to finish at 6-10. Head coach John McVay would get fired, and, after a fan revolt of sorts, the Giants hired George Young as their GM. The backstory of why Pisarcik decided to go through with the play rather than take a knee, which his teammates begged him to do in the huddle. Here is what I wrote in a flashback piece in 2011:
Pisarcik's numbers were nothing to brag about, but the offense scored when they needed to. They were winning games that in years past, they would have lost. As we would find out later on, Pisarcik was going rogue on his head coach John McVay and his OC Bob Gibson by frequently changing the plays that were sent in. As the season went on, McVay threatened to bench Pisarcik if he continued this practice. Ironically, he did not change the play vs Eagles in which he famously fumbled, in fear of losing his job.

Click here for more insight on the Fumble of '78.

Tags: Eli Manning , John Fennelly

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The long summer break is making the clubhouse turn and is heading down the stretch. NFL training camps will open next week, ending a six-week drought of non-football activities for most teams. The Giants will report next Thursday, July 28, to the Quest Diagnotics Training Center for physicals and conditioning.

Unfortunately, that means we have one more week of prognostication and conjecture before there is any actual news to report.

The Giants head into camp in pretty good shape. All players are under contract for at least the upcoming season and the injuries are at a bare minimum.

The only injured player on the roster at the moment is RB Orleans Darkwa (leg), who is expected to participate in full come next Friday, the team's first practice. WR Ben Edwards (ACL) is the only player on IR at the moment and the Giants would love to keep it that way.

First-year head coach Ben McAdoo is fully focused and the team has appeared to to rally behind him as the new season approaches. He is determined to have a fit and more physically-able roster this season.

At the end of minicamp in June, McAdoo told reporters what he expects to see from his players when they report next Thursday:

"We set weights and we set body compositions for each guy, McAdoo said. "We take a look at them when they come in, we'll see the progress they make, and then we let them know before they leave and they have to sign off on it with their position coach on the weight and the body composition. They're both important. Different guys want to get a little bit leaner, and that's fine, as long as they can play their position at the necessary weight and body composition. It's not just weight- it's weight and body composition."

The Giants have led the NFL in a category called "adjusted games lost" the past three seasons. In short, the stat calculates how many games key players missed due to injury. That trend has to end if the Giants are to become contenders again.

The team will have many new faces in camp, both on the field and on the sidelines. One of the main additions is the new strength and conditioning coach, Aaron Wellman, who employs several unconventional training methods such as "tire pulls" and "bear crawls."

"Aaron's a guy that is a forward-thinker," McAdoo said this past spring. "He's advanced in the sports performance arena, but he also has an edge to him. He can be tough when he has to be. That's hard to find in this business these days. He's got a nice combination of both. We feel that he'll provide a nice lift to our program."

We will find out shortly if Wellman's regimen can stop the flow of unusual injuries and ailments that have plagued this team the past several seasons.

What also should help is the median age of the club has dropped over the past two seasons. The Giants have only seven players over the age of 30 on their camp roster and three of them are QB Eli Manning, K Josh Brown, and LS Zak DeOssie.

Tags: Eli Manning , Josh Brown , Orleans Darkwa , Zak DeOssie , John Fennelly

 (Mitch Stringer)
(Mitch Stringer)

OT Eugene Monroe is retiring, he announced in The Players' Tribune.

The Giants attempted to sign Monroe in June after he was released by the Ravens.

In addition to the Giants, the 49ers and Seahawks also discussed the possibility of signing Monroe, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported.

Monroe tweeted in June that he had offically left the Ravens organization and pledged to continue his advocacy for the allowance of medical marijuana in the NFL's banned substance policy.


 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. said in a recent interview with GQ that new Redskins CB Josh Norman followed him to the NFC East in order to 'stay relevant.'

"Yeah. For sure," Beckham said when asked if he was certain Norman jouined the Redskins because of him. "I mean, it's a smart business move for him."

"It goes back to what I'm saying," Beckham continued. "If I wasn't playing him twice a year, maybe people wouldn't bring it up as much," Beckham said. "But now it'll be a lot more media attention for him, attention that I don't really look for, attention that I don't need. The reason that he's become so relevant is because of me."

Beckham and Norman spent the majority of the Giants/Panthers game last Dec. 20 at MetLife Stadium attacking one another before, during, and after plays, witih Beckham receiving a one-game suspension for his actions.

Norman signed a five-year deal worth $75 million with the Redskins this offseason after being released by the Panthers.

The Giants and Redskins meet Week 3 at MetLife Stadium.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.

Key players for Jets and Giants 00:02:13
Jon Hein and Chris Carlin debate which players are most important for the Jets and Giants to be successful in the upcoming 2016 season.

As Giants fans prepare for the upcoming season, the Loud Mouths crew debates which player is going to be the most important for Big Blue to return to the postseason since their Super Bowl win in 2011.

Jon Hein says the key to the Giants season is going to be new cornerback signing Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins is entering his fifth season in the NFL at the age of 27. In his four years on the St. Louis Rams, Jenkins has amassed 257 tackles, 48 pass deflections, 10 interceptions and six defensive touchdowns. In his two years as the starting cornerback, he compiled 123 combined tackles.

The Giants signed Jenkins to a five-year, $62.5 million dollar contract this offseason, making him the seventh-highest paid cornerback in the NFL. New York allowed the most passing yards per game of any team in the league last year, and were tied for fifth in passing touchdowns allowed.

Chris Carlin instead sees the Giants key player as being rookie wideout Sterling Shepard. In his senior year at Oklahoma, Shepard had 86 receptions, 1288 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games. He was selected by the Giants with the 40th overall pick of the draft.

One person who is very high on Shepard is his new teammate Odell Beckham Jr. The star receiver of the Giants is expecting big things from the rookie and adding to the already Top-10 passing offense of the Giants.

"He's going to be a phenomenal player," said Beckham in a press conference at OTAs.

Shepard agrees.

"You look at it and there isn't a way we shouldn't be successful," Shepard said of the upcoming wide receiver core of him, Beckham and Victor Cruz. "You're going to see a lot of touchdowns between us three … I see us lighting up the scoreboard."

Tags: Janoris Jenkins , Sterling Shepard

Too soon to honor Coughlin? 00:01:33
Jon Hein and Sal Licata debate if it is too soon for the Giants to place Tom Coughlin in the ring of honor one year after his resignation.

On Tuesday, the New York Giants announced that three more prominent names would be enshrined into their Ring of Honor. DE Justin Tuck, former GM Ernie Accorsi and recently dismissed head coach Tom Coughlin will be formally inducted during a halftime ceremony on November 14.

The honor may seem a bit too soon for Coughlin, who was forced out by the team and could still possibly end up on an NFL or college sideline in the near future.

Coughlin appeared bitter after his departure and vented that sentiment in several interviews, which is still fresh in the public's mind. The fact that he still had full access to the team's facility while he was speaking out created an awkward situation for the club.

But the Giants have moved quickly to reel him in by placing him in their Ring of Honor, a rightful distinction for a man who served the team first as an assistant and then as head coach, earning three Super Bowl rings.

The Giants want to keep Tom around, even offering him an advisory position within the organization after deciding to cut him loose. Coughlin, still pondering and wrestling with his future, declined.

After the Giants replaced Coughlin with his offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, in January, the veteran coach interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles, two historically bitter rivals of the Giants. He ended up pulling out of both opportunities.

As his 70th birthday nears, the potential Hall of Fame coach may circle back and revisit the Giants' offer. Although nothing can ever be ruled out, it is more than likely that Coughlin will not be heavily pursued as a head coaching prospect going forward. The Giants have given him an inroad to get back into a speaking role within the organization.

One thing is certain. Coughlin has left his stamp on this franchise, an indellible one at that. The Giants know that, the fans know it, and now Coughlin must accept it now that his time as a coach with the club has come to it's conclusion.

Putting his name up on the Ring of Honor is an excellent start.


New York Giants Justin Tuck, head coach Tom Coughlin holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Eli Manning during the New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI victory parade in New York City (Andrew Mills)
New York Giants Justin Tuck, head coach Tom Coughlin holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Eli Manning during the New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI victory parade in New York City (Andrew Mills)

The Giants are set to honor three integral pieces of their latest championship teams to their Ring of Honor. Former coach Tom Coughlin, DE Justin Tuck and former GM Ernie Accorsi will have their names enshrined at halftime of Nov. 14 Monday night game vs the Cincinnati Bengals.

Accorsi was the club's GM from 1998-2006, succeeding George Young, another Ring of Honoree, who was the seminal figure in turning the Giants into a perennial contenter in the 1980's. Accorsi hired Coughlin as the club's head coach in 2004 and drafted Tuck, the team's future defensive captain and Super Bowl hero, in 2005.

The three men reacted in a release from the team on Tuesday morning:

"When you start working in the National Football League, this is not something you would ever dream could happen," Accorsi said. "I've seen these in different stadiums, and when you see all the great players and coaches up there, it's not something I ever thought could happen. I can't even put into words what an honor it is, especially with this franchise. It's overwhelming that someone who started at the bottom in this league could end up with some of the names up there, like Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford. It's just incredible for me to get this."

"It was a great privilege to be the 16th head coach of the New York Giants, and it's a privilege and a tremendous honor to be a part of those great names in Giant folklore that are in the Ring of Honor," Coughlin said. "It's something Judy (his wife), my family and I very much appreciate. The New York Giants, to me, is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL. We recognize the long history of the Giants and the greatest city in the world, the tremendous coaches and players that have represented the Giants over the years. It's a great honor to be included in the same breath with some of these prestigious former players and coaches."

"It's a great honor," Tuck said. "Anytime something like this is bestowed upon a person, you have to consider all the other guys up there, all the people that have paved the way for a small-town kid like me to have the opportunity to be put up in the rafters by what I consider to be the greatest football franchise there is. I don't think it's dawned on me yet how big a deal it is, but I'm sure that night there will be some emotions that come out and be very visible. I'm very, very excited about it."

Accorsi is credited with making the Giants a powerhouse by trading for QB Eli Manning and drafting such players as Tuck, OL Chris Snee, DE Osi Umenyiora, RB Brandon Jacobs, OL Davis Diehl, WR David Tyree and TE Jeremy Shockey.

Coughlin finished his 12-year tenure with the Giants last season. His 102 victories over that period places him second in franchise history to Steve Owen's 151. A man of class and principal, Coughlin injected a level of professionalism that makes the New York Giants the league's premier organization to play for.

Here is what the Giants' PR Dept wrote of Tuck today...

A third-round draft choice from Notre Dame in 2005, Tuck played in 127 regular-season games with 90 starts in nine Giants seasons. He was a defensive catalyst on the teams that won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, a two-time Pro Bowler, and four-time team captain. Tuck was credited with more than 500 tackles. His 60.5 sacks are officially the sixth-highest total in franchise history. Tuck also played in 10 postseason games. He had 5.5 sacks, including two sacks of Tom Brady in each of the Super Bowl victories, when a dominant defensive line was one of the vital components of the Giants' success.

The induction of these three figures increases the Giants' Ring of Honor to 42.


New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. yells to the fans before a game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USATSI)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. yells to the fans before a game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USATSI)

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

I have been receiving a lot of emails with the new NFL season approaching. People have been trying to pin me down on the number of wins the Giants will have this year. The question they should be asking, I tell them, is how many losses they will have. Considering how many games they blew in the fourth quarter last season (five), all they really need to do is protect leads more ardently at the end of games and they will be a playoff team.

Here are some popular questions I continue to be asked:

What will change under new head coach Ben McAdoo?

Not much on the surface. It looks as if McAdoo will hold on to the play calling responsibilities this season and let new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan concentrate on other things. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and special team's coordinator Tom Quinn are returning, so those units won't change much, either.

What will change is the way the team prepares. New strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman brings in a more rigorous training regimen which is designed to increase stamina and edginess. How his system will reduce the unusually high spate of injuries the Giants have incurred the past five seasons is still to be determined. Wellman and McAdoo still have to operate within the framework of the CBA, which places limits on the physical portion of workouts.

McAdoo is still keeping a lot of reminders of his predecessor, Tom Coughlin, around (such as the clocks being set five minutes ahead) and is even said to be more focused than Tom in many areas. He is beginning his tenure with more talent in the building than Coughlin had the last few years, so he is expected to succeed in his first season.

The defense has a lot of new faces, but are they better?

Well, it will be almost impossible to be worse. To say the defense was decimated by injuries in 2015 is a vast understatement. The team has cut ties with a lot of players that could not stay healthy and replaced them with fresh (and expensive) faces. That being said, no one knows how this new mix of free agents, rookies and untested players will mesh.

The defensive line got two top players via free agency in defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison. Right there, the level of talent has skyrocketed. Throw in full seasons from Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins and Owa Odighizuwa and the Giants should go from sieve-status to stalwarts up front.

Linebacker Jon Beason's retirement is addition by subtraction. His departure has allowed them to import some younger players with more upside in the middle. Keenan Robinson, Jasper Brinkley and rookie B.J. Goodson will compete for snaps in the middle this summer. Finally, the team will have stability and depth in the middle of the defense.

The embattled secondary gets three key new pieces: Janoris Jenkins and rookies Eli Apple and Darien Thompson. Add in the four players that never hit the field last year and the secondary will be markedly improved. They may even be impactful this season.

How much better can Odell Beckham Jr. get?

The answer is infinity. OBJ is one of the game's top playmakers and the best player the Giants have drafted since Lawrence Taylor in 1981. He can break every record in his path, but that may or may not help the Giants turn their fortunes around. In the 27 games that Beckham has played, the Giants are 10-17.

Last year, the Giants passed the ball nearly 61% of the offensive plays. Beckham was the target on 25% of those passes. He caught 96 passes but was targeted 158 times. Translation: Eli Manning became reliant on him and threw passes in his direction at times hoping for a positive outcome.

There is an efficiency to be improved upon here. The objective this season is to have OBJ be the centerpiece of their offense but get other players more involved.

Veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz is returning and the Giants are very high on rookie Sterling Shepard. They also have a few young tight ends that are being incorporated into the game plan. The Giants are also looking to balance the pass/run ratio and get the ball underneath to the backs more.

I don't see Beckham's numbers spiking upward because of this. He is a great player, no doubt, and he can do whatever the club needs him to do, but the reality is other people have to touch the ball in order for the team to become winners again.

Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , John Fennelly

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The Giants surprised many draftniks this spring when they chose Ohio State CB Eli Apple with the 10th overall selection in the NFL Draft.

Having lost out on several rumored targets such as Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd and Michigan State OT Jack Conklin, the Giants grabbed the highest-rated player on their board, which turned out to be Apple.

Many questioned the pick, as most had Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves higher than Apple, who was expected to be taken in the late teens or early 20s. The Giants had different ideas.

"Eli Apple, cornerback, Ohio State. A really good, young player," GM Jerry Reese said in a press conference after the first round of the draft. "Height, weight, speed. Big school. Only 20 years old. Has all the tools. He holds all the tools to be a starter. He was the highest-graded player on our board, beyond the guys with issues."

By "issues," Reese was referring to Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil, who was blown up by an internet video which showed him consuming marijuana through a gas mask. Tunsil began draft week a top-three prospect and was on the board when the Giants' turn to select arrived. The Giants instead went the safe route with Apple, who was a competitive player in a top program, but appears to lack the experience to make the jump to NFL starter.

In a recent article called "Five NFL Rookies Set to Disappoint in 2016" on the website Sportsnaut.com, Vincent Frank lists Apple as a prime candidate to under perform this season. Citing a lack of experience, even though Apple started for two seasons at OSU, Frank believes the Giants' secondary will be vulnerable this season if they put Apple on the outside in coverage.

The 6-foot-1 corner struggles diagnosing what the quarterback is doing early in plays, leaving him vulnerable over the top. Add in slow reactionary skills on the outside, and he's going to need help on the back end out of the gate.

Unfortunately, the Giants overpaid for CB Janoris Jenkins in free agency. He's also vulnerable to being beaten over the top, meaning that help will likely have to be thrown his way.

Without a truly elite cover safety on the roster, the Giants are going to struggle in coverage this coming season. Relying on Apple to play a large role would only magnify this further. The team would be best served by taking it slow with him.

Much of this is debatable as the author has no inkling of how the Giants plan to use any of their new additions. Jenkins is an active corner that is still on the upward trajectory of his career. What the writer fails to mention is that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is actually the Giants' No. 1 corner. Jenkins will likely be lined up accross from the opponent's second WR.

The Giants originally thought Apple could start his NFL career as the slot corner, a position he never played at Ohio State.

"I think he can play all over," Reese stated when asked if Apple could play in the slot. "He is big, he's over six foot. He's a 200-pounder, ran 4.4. He can play somewhere back there for us."

Thus far in OTAs and minicamp, Apple has been impressive. Let us not forget that he has gone up against top WR talent here with the Giants, a factor many pundits seem to forget. Apple was charged many times this spring with covering the great Odell Beckham, Jr. and mercurial rookie Sterling Shepard.

"He is still a rookie, so there has been a bit of a learning curve here, but I will say this, I do see a competitive guy there," DC Steve Spagnuolo said of Apple this spring. "I think that if you are going to play that position in this league, that is the first thing you have got to have, and I think that some of the guys around him have gotten confident in him."

"He has made a lot of plays here," Spagnuolo continued. "He has gone against Odell a couple times, and I guess the interesting question would be to ask Odell. Those guys usually have a better idea of the skills of the people they are going against, but we are pleased with his progress right now."

Apple, if anything, has shown a prowess for getting to the football and breaking up passes. He has also shown that he is not afraid to mix it up with receivers and may have to dial that back to prevent drawing penalty flags. Spagnuolo will have to hone Apple's skills a bit, but overall liked what he saw.

"What is interesting for a rookie, especially with that position, is when you get in the real game is the grabbing and tugging and some of that stuff you are not going to get away with, so I am always warning him about that, but at this point I would rather see him compete and do whatever he has to do to win."

Apple steadily made improvements as the offseason program went on. He realizes that the pro game is just as much mental as it is physical at times and plans to continue make adjustments.

"Just knowing where to line up, knowing different tricks," Apple told reporters at minicamp last month. "Every receiver presents something different, so you just have to be on top of everything."

As for the touching and grabbing, Apple knows he can get a reputation real quick in the league and is confident in addressing the issue.

"You just have to work on your feet. That is the main thing," he said. "Just making sure that you are watching yourself on film and try to get rid of the bad habits that you were doing in college. Whenever I am home, I am just doing little things with my feet and press technique, just trying to incorporate feet before hands."

Pundits and bloggers not close to the Giants are welcome to make these predictions, but those close to the team know differently.

Apple is a special player who gets better every time he takes the field. He may get schooled on occasion as a rookie, but the bottom line is the Giants have a player here -- one that will learn from his mistakes and make a difference on the Giants' defense.

Tags: John Fennelly

Former Giants LB Lawrence Taylor is shown talking to the media before Super Bowl 25 in 1991. (USA TODAY Sports)
Former Giants LB Lawrence Taylor is shown talking to the media before Super Bowl 25 in 1991. (USA TODAY Sports)

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

Former Dallas Cowboys talent guru and NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt released a list of the ten greatest NFL defensive players he's ever seen this week and the Giants' Lawrence Taylor was second behind the late Reggie White.

The list contains nine hall of famers and one future one and many of the selections are obvious ones:

10. LB Ray Lewis, 9. S Ed Reed, 8. DL Randy White, 7. DE Bruce Smith, 6. DL Bob Lilly, 5. DB Rod Woodson, 4. DE J.J. Watt, 3. LB Dick Butkus, 2. LB Lawrence Taylor, 1. DE Reggie White.

Can't really argue much with this list, but many feel that Taylor and White can be flip-flopped. White finished his career with 198 sacks despite playing his first two seasons with the Memphis Showboats of the ill-fated USFL. Taylor is credited with revolutionizing the linebacker position and turning the Giants into winners after two decades of embarrassment.

"I watched Taylor make plays all over the field for North Carolina in a game against Clemson during his senior year, and George Young, then-general manager of the Giants, also happened to be there," recalled Brandt. "We both flew back to New York on the same Eastern Airlines flight, since the Cowboys were playing the Giants the next day -- but we never spoke about Taylor's play.

In the 1981 NFL Draft, we tried to trade up for the first overall spot so we could grab Taylor, but it was not to be. I will always remember watching Taylor, with the Cowboys up 7-0 and about to score again, steal the football on a tackle. He was an unbelievable athlete who could have easily played running back, tight end or receiver. He had outstanding speed and never quit on plays."

The fact that the two players could have been teammates racks the imagination. In the 1984 Supplemental Draft, the Giants held the third pick and bypassed White in favor of OT Gary Zimmerman, a future hall of famer himself who never played a down in a Giant uniform. Zimmerman did not sign witht the Giants, who ended up trading Zimmerman's rights to Minnesota for two second round draft picks.

"Gary Zimmerman was there," Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who led the Giants from 1983-1990, would say later on. "I know I had a particular interest in Reggie White, too. I tried to put my two cents in, but we wound up taking Zimmerman."

Imagine White and Taylor on the same team? Whoa.

The rest of the list is very solid. Watt is one of the best defensive players anyone has ever seen. He has a lot of football in front of him, so his legend will continue to grow. Giant fans know how good Lewis and Reed were after getting stomped on by the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.

Lilly and his successor, Randy White, are unquestionably two of the best ever. Both were strong run stoppers and proficient tacklers. Neither had much to say on the field but were clearly omnipresent.

White could also have been a Giant, but ended up torturing them instead. The Cowboys selected White second overall in the 1975 NFL Draft with the pick the Giants sent them in exchange for QB Craig Morton. White went on to become a nine-time first-team All Pro.

Woodson was defensive back that could do it all as many football fans know. His greatness sometimes gets lost because he played for four teams over his seventeen year NFL career.

Bruce Smith was the first overall selection in the 1985 NFL Draft and went on to record the most sacks in the history of the league. Giant fans, however, will remember how OT Jumbo Elliott neutralized Smith in the running game during Super Bowl XXV.

Butkus had always been ranked number one until White and Taylor hit the scene. He was high-motor wrecking machine that teams tried to avoid at all costs if they could but Butkus would not allow that. If you watch his highlight reels now, most of the hits he delivered would draw flags in today's game but he was truly a seminal player.

Who's not on this list that probably should be? Well, Deacon Jones, for one. Many list Mean Joe Greene, Deion Sanders, Ronnie Lott and Jack Lambert as top ten greats as well.


 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

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

Qualifying for the playoffs in the NFL usually comes down to one or two games in the standings. In many cases, it's not how many games you win, but which games you win. There are tiebreakers that go past head-to-head record, such as division and conference records and the record vs common opponents.

In general, the objective is to win your division to avoid the mad scramble for the wild card spots. Last year, the Washington Redskins (9-7) won the NFC East and were the division's lone entrant in the postseason. The Giants finished at 6-10 but could have challenged had they been able to hold on to a few of the five fourth quarter leads they squandered in 2015.

The most frustrating part of the Giants' late game collapses is that they lost those leads with less than two minutes remaining in the game. That is not taking into account the Week 15 game vs Carolina, in which they came back from a 28-point deficit to tie the undefeated Panthers only to lose on a last-second field goal.

Only two of the Giants' losses were by more than six points. That, in the business world is called "correctable". The operation was competitive but simply did not have proper personnel to complete tasks to the fullest.

The culprit, of course, were injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Theie safeties were wiped out before the season even started. They lost their playcaller and captain, MLB Jon Beason, in first month and only had DLs Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins for a half-season each, and not at the same time.

The offense was successful in going out and getting leads, but sputtered in the fourth quarter when it came to sustaining drives. The running game could not grind out first downs and keep the clock running.

The defense was so thin personnel-wise they needed the offense to stay on the field longer and were usually spent by the fourth quarter. The Giants went to great lengths to augment their defense with both star power and depth. The odds of them getting decimated by the amount of injuries suffered over the past few years are very slim. So, there's that.

Health on defense is the key to this season. If they can do that, they'll win ten games. The offense appears to be on the verge of a breakout, so the objective here is clear. Not only get leads and keep them, but win the games against their NFC East opponents.

They Giants have gone 10-14 against the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins the past four seasons. They have not has a winning record in the division since 2009, when they went 4-2.

Going 6-0 or 5-1 in the division is the best way to turn things around and get back to the playoffs. QB Eli Manning is right. This is a playoff team. All they need to do now is start playing like one.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul , Johnathan Hankins , Jon Beason , John Fennelly

 (Robert Duyos)
(Robert Duyos)

Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. is the second biggest gamebreaker -- a player capable of making big plays -- according to analytics website ProFootballFocus.

In his 27 games in the NFL, Beckham has caught 187 passes for an average of 14.7 yards per reception, 25 of them for touchdowns.

He has caught 35 of his passes for over 20 yards, 14 for over 40 yards, and has tallied a reception of 80 yards or longer each of his two seasons in the NFL.

Beckham has earned a reputation for acrobatic and one-handed catches, and was ranked by the NFL Network as the 10th-best player in football.

He only ranked behind Rams RB Todd Gurley on PFF's list of gamebreakers, making him the highest-ranked wide reciever.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Giants wide receiver Dwayne Harris said quarterback Eli Manning and the offense are working on throwing the deep ball more often.

Harris told the Giants team site that the team will be utilizing its receiving corps of him, Odell Beckham Jr.Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz to throw the ball downfield more often.

"I think we're getting better just throwing the ball down the field more," Harris said. "We're definitely trying to work on throwing the ball down the field, throwing more deep passes. And [we need to get] the run game going. That's one of the key elements in our offense. We got it going later on in the season. We've just got to continue that momentum and keep carrying it in the beginning of this season."

Manning completed 13 of 40 passes that were between 21 and 30 yards downfield for 478 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions last season, according to ESPN. He went 2 for 10 for 75 yards and one touchdowns on passes thrown between 31 and 40 yards downfield, and was 2 for 2 for 122 yards and two touchdowns on passes thrown at least 41 yards downfield.

Manning's persistence with the deep ball is nothing new. In a three-year span from 2009 to 2011, Manning threw the deep ball in 15.15 percent of passes, which ranked sixth-most in the NFL in that time period, according to Pro Football Focus. Manning threw a deep pass 248 times in 1,637 total attempts, and the five players ranked ahead of him threw no more than 628 passes in a three-year span.

Midway through the 2013 season, he averaged six throws per game that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, according to the Wall Street Journal, though finished the year averaging 3.6 passes downfield. He threw the ball downfield 58 times out of 551 pass attempts in 2013 with six touchdowns and six interceptions.

Manning struggled with the deep ball in 2014. In total, he went 12-for-46 passing for 484 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions on passes longer than 20 yards, according to ESPN.

He threw the ball 21-30 yards 7.5 percent of the time and had a rating of -5.4, according to Pro Football Focus. (The NFL average for rating is 0.0.) He threw passes between 31-40 yards 2.8 percent of the time and had a rating of -5.1, and threw 1.9 percent of his passes for 40+ yards with a rating of 1.6.

Last season, he went 17 for 52 for 675 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions on passes longer than 20 yards. 

Beckham caught seven of his 96 receptions on passes thrown more than 20 yards, while former Giants WR Rueben Randle had six catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns on passes thrown at least 21 yards. Harris, who recorded 36 catches last season, had just two receptions that traveled at least 21 yards in the air.

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

I believe the Giants' passing offense could be a juggernaut in 2016 with Manning coming off one of his strongest seasons and Beckham finally settling into his position as the team's superstar. The addition of Shepard and the expected return of Cruz will put defenses at a disadvantage. Harris will be involved along with Geremy Davis, and don't forget the improved tight end unit.

What could end up happening is the short passing game with Shane Vereen and other running backs taking advantage of what defenses give them underneath while attempting to cover all of the wideouts who are stretching the field. Either way, the Giants' offense could be a 30-point-per-game enterprise, which would take much-needed pressure off of the defense this season. The temptation will be greater than ever to pass the ball 60 percent of the time again this year, but what they really need is more balance. Long passes are necessary and the Giants need to establish themselves there, but come the end of games, they will need to play keepaway with the run to secure leads and finish out ballgames.

Tags: Dwayne Harris , Eli Manning , Geremy Davis , Odell Beckham Jr. , Shane Vereen , Victor Cruz , Matt Eisenberg

Steve Tisch (left) and John Mara. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Steve Tisch (left) and John Mara. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Owning a professional sports franchise has always been a lucrative investment, but these days the word lucrative falls short whan talking about the amount of revenue and profit that teams and leagues are raking in.

Forbes Magazine released their Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams of 2016 this week and the numbers are staggering. The Dallas Cowboys, bought for $150 million in 1989, are currently being valued at a whopping $4 billion, a jump of 25% over last year's valuation. They are the first non-soccer franchise to top the list.

 

From Fox Sports:

The rest of the top 10 has the New York Yankees ($3.4 billion) in fourth place, followed by Manchester United ($3.32 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.2 billion), New York Knicks ($3.0 billion), Washington Redskins ($2.8 billion), New York Giants ($2.8 billion), and tied for 10th, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Francisco 49ers ($2.7 billion).

The average current value of the 50 most valuable teams is $2.2 billion, the highest to date, a 25 percent increase over last year.

 

In fact, 27 of the 50 teams on the list are NFL franchises, the league that is run by one Roger Goodell, who, according to Forbes, "has earned $145 million over the past four years, or $65 million more than the highest-paid player in the league during that time, Drew Brees."

The Big Blue rank as the ninth most valued franchise in world at $2.8 billion, a 33% increase over their 2015 value. The Jets came in at No. 13 at $2.6 billion.

The Giants are the third most valuable sports property in the New York market. The Yankees are still the kings with a business and branding model that is certain to continue growing. The Knicks are second as the most valued franchise in the NBA, hard as that might be to to fathom given how bad as they have been in recent years.

Tags: John Fennelly

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)

A Florida secretary who was fired for allegedly leaking Jason Pierre-Paul's medical records after his 2015 Fourth of July fireworks mishap is suing her former employer, denying she accessed the information and saying she has been defamed and libeled. She will seek damages in excess of $15,000.

On July 8, 2015, Adam Schefter of ESPN posted a tweet containing a picture of the Giants defensive lineman's medical records, confirming Pierre-Paul had severe damage done to his hand amidst reports he had blown a portion of his hand off after mishandling fireworks during a Fourth of July celebration. Although he did not reveal his source, Jackson Memorial Hospital would fire 14-year employee Brendan Jackson saying she violated policies and procedures related to patient privacy, confidentiality and disclosure of information.

Jackson denies and wrongdoing. The hospital administration has not publicly stated what role they believe Jackson to have played in the leak, but court documents reveal the secretary accessed Pierre Paul's charts four times without any apparent reason or authority.

Pierre-Paul would go on to miss the first half of the 2015 season for the Giants, playing the final eight games with a club on his hand. Pierre-Paul would then turn down a more lucrative contract from the Arizona Cardinals this offseason to sign a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Giants.

Pierre-Paul would also sue Adam Schefter and ESPN for posting his medical records, citing Florida state medical records statues and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The compensation sought in the lawsuit was unspecific but known to be in excess of $15,000 and demanded to see how Schefter obtained the medical records.

There is no public record of if or how the case was resolved.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul

Left tackle Ereck Flowers protects Eli Manning in the pocket (William Hauser)
Left tackle Ereck Flowers protects Eli Manning in the pocket (William Hauser)

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

Ask any Giant fan, pundit, reporter or casual observer what the Giants' biggest roster need is, and a good portion of them will respond: "Offensive line."

But the reality is the Giants' offensive line is not as bad as the public perceives. The website FootballOutsiders.com ranked the Giants' line 11th in overall run blocking and sixth in pass protection in the 2015 season. But it is the failure to land a top offensive tackle this offseason that has left many with doubts.

Last year, the Giants played the entire season with a rookie, first-round pick Ereck Flowers, at left tackle and a little-wanted journeyman in Marshall Newhouse on the right side. They will return this summer as starters along with center Weston Richburg and guards Justin Pugh and John Jerry.

Pro Football Focus is ranking the Giants' offensive line 20th overall going into the 2016 NFL season:

Key stat: Ereck Flowers allowed 69 pressures last year, the most among NFL offensive linemen.
The Giants are this high on the list due to some great play from their interior linemen. Justin Pugh's move from right tackle to left guard was a major success, as was Weston Richburg moving from left tackle to center. While John Jerry doesn't do much in terms of helping the run game, he has been relatively good in pass protection and didn't allow a sack or hit when he rejoined the starting lineup in Week 10. If Flowers can have a sophomore season similar to Jake Matthews' campaign, the Giants' line will be in fine shape outside of right tackle. If his sophomore season is more like Greg Robinson's, though, New York is in trouble.

The Giants could still bring in a veteran to either bolster the tackle position or to challenge Newhouse. Second year player Bobby Hart has been getting some reps at right tackle and we assume that will continue into training camp.

The Giants are bringing in a slew of new faces to challenge for roster spots this summer but few of them qualify as tackles. Emmett Cleary, a 6'7" 325 pounder out of Boston College who ended the season on the active roster, is returning.

Jake Rodgers, a UDFA who was cut by the Atlanta Falcons last summer and was signed by the Giants to the practice squad is another player coming to camp. The only free agent tackle signed by the team this offseason is Byron Stingily, a six-year veteran out of Louisville who has played in Tennessee and Pittsburgh.

The interior line positions behind Richburg, Pugh and Jerry will be an open competition between several players. Canadian Brett Jones is back to vie for the backup center spot, but will be challenged by Shane McDermott, the former Miami Hurricane who ended up on the Giants' practice squad last November after stints in Dallas and Carolina.

Veteran Ryan Seymour and former 49er Dillion Farrell will join Adam Gettis in the mix to secure a roster spot on the interior of the line.

Tags: Ereck Flowers , John Fennelly

Team Rice wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants signs an autograph for a fan during the 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports Images)
Team Rice wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants signs an autograph for a fan during the 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants will begin training camp on Friday, July 29, at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Eleven workouts will be open to the public.

The team will continue to provide close access to the players, including the traditional autograph sessions at the conclusion of practices. The team usually breaks up the sessions by position groups. There will be some changes, however, after last year's ugly display in which chlidren were put in danger by the surging throng attempting to get WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s signature.

From Pro Football Talk, July 31, 2015:

According to Tom Rock of Newsday, the large crowd seeking Beckham's signature led to chaos with several children "brought to tears" while being pinned to the barricades keeping them in line. A woman also had a seizure during the wait, only to have fans just step over and around her. She was treated and released on-site, per the Giants.

Another teenage girl in a body brace was also crying in pain while getting shoved in her broken back.

The bleachers where the fans were standing then buckled and caved several inches. Beckham and others were then taken away from the chaos and the bleachers were cleared of fans.

That very un-Giant-like scenario has forced the team to alter their autogragh policy for the future. Giants legends will continue to sign autographs for fans during the course of practice, but for the after practice sessions, the protocol is as follows:

Each day after practice, a rotating group of current Giants players will sign autographs for the first 400 fans age 12 and under. The autograph opportunity will take place behind the Kids' Zone area. All kids who are interested in the opportunity are encouraged to visit the sign-up table with a guardian immediately upon arriving at the practice so that they can receive a wristband. The sign-up table will be located immediately in front of the kids' autograph area, and all wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Once wristbanded, they can enjoy the rest of practice and are encouraged to return 30 minutes prior to the end of practice to be allowed into the autograph area. Kids must have a wristband to be permitted into the autograph area. There will not be a post-practice autograph session on August 5 or August 6.

It's a smart move for the organization: Pick an open area, limit the amount of autographs to be signed and give them out only to kids. As an adult, you don't really need an autograph, do you?

The only autograph I ever asked for as an adult was that of Richard Nixon. Why? Why not, was more like it. He didn't sign for me, anyway.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr. , John Fennelly

New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, center, is ready to oversee the team's offseason workouts. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, center, is ready to oversee the team's offseason workouts. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants released their 2016 training camp schedule Thursday afternoon. The players will report for physicals and conditioning tests on Thursday, July 28 with the first workout the next day. 

The Giants will practice 13 times from July 29-August 15 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, adjacent to MetLife Stadium. Practice times will be in the mid-morning at either 10:40 or 11:10. Fans will be able to attend 11 of the practice sessions, which are announced on the Giants website HERE.

Here is more information regarding camp from the Giants:

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR FANS VISITING TRAINING CAMP

Admission: There is no admission charge for watching training camp workouts.

Fan Guidelines: Practice sessions will be open to the public throughout training camp. Limited seating is provided alongside the practice fields. Restroom facilities, concession stands and a free kids' activity area will also be available.

Parking: Parking is free and is located in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. The lot will open to the public one hour before the scheduled start time of practice and the gates will open 30 minutes before practice begins. The parking lot will close one hour following the conclusion of practice. All fans attending practice will be subject to security screening before entering the seating area.

Rain Policy: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, thunderstorms and extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and will be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes in the daily practice schedule.

Autographs: A different position group or groups of Giants players will sign autographs for fans each day following practice.

Fan Information Number: (201) 935-9385


New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison was married over Fourth of July weekend, but he won't be celebrating it with a honeymoon to a tropical island.

Harrison, instead, is returning to New Jersey to work out and make sure he is in peak physical condition for Giants training camp.

"I don't want to feel like I'm entitled to be a Giant," Harrison said in a piece done by NJ.com. "I want to earn the right."

The former-Jet signed 5-year $46.3 million dollar contract this offseason with the Giants, but insists that the money won't change him or his work ethic. Instead, Harrison, who was rated by Pro Football Focus as the best run-stopping defensive tackle in all of football, says he is going to redouble his efforts off the field and remain focused to be the best player he can be.

"I know people say (they don't change after a big contract), to make it sound cool and whatever. But that's true to me," said Harrison. "I want to be great. I want to be considered the best at what I do. I don't come out here to be top three or one of the best. I come out here to be the best."

Harrison will be part of a revamped Giants defensive line that will include longtime Giant Jason Pierre-Paul on a one-year deal, fellow new signing Olivier Vernon who this offseason inked the richest deal for a defensive end in NFL history and fourth-year player Jonathan Hankins who recorded 30 combined tackles and a forced fumble the first nine games of the season last year before tearing a pectoral muscle and missing the rest of the season.

Tags: Damon Harrison

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown is congratulated by punter Brad Wing as he kicks a field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants kicker Josh Brown is congratulated by punter Brad Wing as he kicks a field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants, wanting no questions or drama in regards to their specialist positions this summer, locked up the final piece Monday when they inked punter Brad Wing to a three-year, $6.45 million contract. Wing is also the holder on field goal and PATs.

The club nailed down placekicker Josh Brown with a two-year deal worth $4 million in April. Long snapper Zak DeOssie, who had not missed a game in his first eight seasons with the team but was limited to just 12 games last season due to a wrist injury, was brought back for another season with a deal worth $1.1 million.

So why did the Giants sign Wing, who was very average in his first year with the club? Simple: He may not have the strongest leg in the league, but he is exactly what the team was looking for in terms of establishing field position.

The club feels it is on the right track, and Wing, an Austrailian with just two NFL seasons under his belt, is on his way up. He has shown marked improvement in his directional punting this spring.

"He is better directionally than he was," special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said of Wing last month at minicamp. "He is doing more things with the ball coming off of his foot, so I have been very pleased with what he has done this spring, he has been very solid."

With all the changes swirling around the Giants this summer, special teams appears to be status quo for 2016. The only exception being the punt coverage, but with Wing a more experienced punter this year, and the Giants' overall talent level rising accross the board, that should be less of an issue this season.

Wing placed 33 of his 76 punts inside the 20 last season, good for fifth-highest in the NFL, tying Brad Maynard's team record set in 1997 and 1998. Wing had 10 touchbacks and 21 fair catches, but the Giants allowed 10 YPA on 54 returns, 10th-highest in the NFL, so work is still needed in that area.

Wing is the only punter the Giants plan on bringing to camp this month. Quinn said there was no need to worry about Wing bearing all of the burden in camp.

"We take it off of him," Quinn said. "We use the machines and when we go punt return, we use the jugs just to make sure that we are not overloading him."

Asked if the punting strategy will stay the same as last year, Quinn said there was no real need to change things up with Wing.

"If that is what he does best," he said, "then we are going to cater to what the players do best and let them be their best."

Brown was eager to return to the team, and the Giants are pleased that he has decided to return. He made 93.8 percent of field goals (30 for 32), breaking his own franchise record of 92.3 percent set in 2014. He has a 91.7 success rate in his first three seasons with the team, and his 30 field goals were fifth-most in franchise history for a single season.

Last season, Brown made all three of his attempts from 50 or more yards, including a pair of 53-yarders. That ties the Giants record for 50+-yard field goals with Jay Feely, Steve Christie and Joe Danelo. Brown's eight field goals of 50 or more yards for the Giants is the second-highest total in team history; Danelo had nine from 1976-82.

As for the returner position, Dwayne Harris is the primary kick returner but the punt return duties are up for grabs. With Rueben Randle gone, the Giants will have a new player in that role this season.

Don't count out Odell Beckham Jr., but it's unlikely the Giants will want to expose him on special teams. With all the young legs on the roster this season, there are plenty of options.

Tags: Brad Wing , Dwayne Harris , Josh Brown , Odell Beckham Jr. , Zak DeOssie , John Fennelly

New York Giants tight end Jerome Cunningham (86) breaks away from New England Patriots middle linebacker Jonathan Freeny (55) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)
New York Giants tight end Jerome Cunningham (86) breaks away from New England Patriots middle linebacker Jonathan Freeny (55) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)

The New York Giants will wear blue jerseys with white pants for all of the team's regular season home games this upcoming season, the team announced Monday

The white pants will replace the traditional greys that the Giants wore with their blue jerseys in the past. New York has worn white pants in the past, including last season against New England and Washington.

For away games, New York will continue to wear the traditional grey pants paired with the team's white jerseys, except for the season opener in Dallas where the Giants will wear blue.

New York will wear grey pants during all four preseason games.

The Giants will wear their color rush uniforms in Week 16 against the Eagles, when they travel to Philadelphia for Thursday Night Football.


 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

The Giants have signed P Brad Wing to a three-year extension, the team announced on Monday.

Wing, who was already under contract for this coming season, agreed to a deal through 2019.

The deal includes $6.45 million in new money, including $3.725 million in guarantees, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com.

In his first season for the Giants in 2015 -- and second overall -- Wing's 76 punts traveled an average a 44.5 yards, with 33 of them landing inside the 20-yard line.

He was acquired from the Steelers last September.

Tags: Brad Wing

 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

Last summer during training camp, the Giants appeared to be set at the tight end position. Veterans Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells were poised to be the receiving and blocking options at that position for the upcoming season, but it was Will Tye who stood out.

Also in camp were three undrafted free agents -- Jerome Cunningham, a holdover out of Southern Connecticut State and and another Connecticut native, Tye from Stony Brook. and Illinois star Matt LaCosse. Cunningham made the Giants' 53-man roster while Tye and LaCosse were cut, ending up on the practice squad.

As the season progressed, Fells would be hospitalized with MRSA and eventually underwent ten surgeries on his foot in an effort to treat the infection. Donnell suffered a serious neck injury at midseason. Both players ended up on season-ending injured reserve, leaving the Giants with the unproven trio at tight end.

Cunningham played admirably, but it was Tye who had the breakout season, recording 42 receptions for 464 yards and 3 TDs in 13 games. He became a trusted weapon in the Giants' passing game and was named to the All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers of America after the season.

This year, Tye is aiming to build on that success. Fells and Cunningham are no longer with the club but his competition will be greater than before as Donnell has been cleared to return, LaCosse is still around, and the Giants are high on seventh-round draft pick Jerell Adams from South Carolina.

But none of this has has shaken Tye's confidence or his ability to make plays. From Rotoworld:

Giants.com's John Schmeelk said TE Will Tye "caught everything" during the offseason program. Schmeelk added Tye "showed remarkable consistency for a second-year player. "An undrafted sophomore out of Stony Brook, Tye came on strong filling in for an injured Larry Donnell late last season. He caught 32 passes for 368 yards and three scores over his final seven games and was the TE9 over that stretch. He needs to beat out Donnell for the lead role, but he has legit TE1 upside if given the opportunity.

The Giants' offense under Ben McAdoo calls for a strong presence from the TE position. In addition to the players mentioned above, the Giants also have UDFA Ryan Malleck from Virginia Tech and FB Will Johnson, who can sub as an H-Back, in camp this summer.

At the NFL Combine back in February, GM Jerry Reese mentioned Tye as if he were firmly in the plans. Tye's performance during the offseason workouts and minicamp did nothing to dispel that.

"Will Tye who came on, was on the practice squad, we brought him up and he really did a nice job for us," Reese said when asked what the TE position looked like going into the NFL Draft. "We expect him to continue to develop and grow and be a good piece for us at that position."

So far, the 24-year-old Tye is holding up his end of the bargain. He will be in the mix in the passing game, which is already overloaded with talent. WR Odell Beckham, Jr. is the top target, with rookie Sterling Shepard expected to be a prominent figure as well. Throw in the return of WR Victor Cruz, RB Shane Vereen going into year two and the emergence of players such as WR Geremy Davis, and the Giants could have a top-tier passing attack this season.

With the attention of defenses directed elsewhere, Tye has an opportunity to post big numbers with the Giants in 2016. And they're hoping teams pay little attention to the sure-handed kid from Connecticut.

Tags: Will Tye , John Fennelly

New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is likely to continue calling the plays, says former Giants coach Bill Parcells. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is likely to continue calling the plays, says former Giants coach Bill Parcells. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Giants first-year head coach Ben McAdoo, who called the offensive plays the past two seasons as Tom Coughlin's offensive coordinator, is likely to continue calling the plays as the head coach.

The club broke for the summer in mid-June with the question of who will call the plays, McAdoo or his offensive coordinator, Mike Sullivan, still unanswered.

Sullivan and McAdoo both danced around the issue when asked, saying that it will work itself out over time. But that is unlikely according to former Giants coach Bill Parcells.

"I don't know what he'll do, but I would imagine what he'll do,'' Parcells told The Post during a phone interview. "Most come into the job with the intention of doing it that way. I know some that have done it their whole career.''

McAdoo had not called plays until the Giants hired him as their OC in 2014. He is an ardent follower of his former boss, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, one of several NFL head coaches who call offensive plays.

"I think if the person who has just become the head coach is an offensive coach and has been used to calling the plays, most of those people, at least for the first few years, usually continue to call the plays,'' Parcells said. "I think back to my era with guys like [Joe] Gibbs and Bill Walsh and [Mike] Holmgren, those guys that were offensive coaches, they continued to call the plays for as long as I could possibly remember.''

Sullivan called the plays for two seasons as the OC in Tampa while serving under Greg Schiano and was a valued offensive assistant under Coughlin in various roles the past 12 seasons. He certainly has the experience, but McAdoo appears likely to hold on to this key responsibility.

"At the end of the day, we're going to do what is going to help us win, and there will be 100 percent support from me no matter what happens, and I think Ben will feel the same way, and again, all we care about is wins," Sullivan told reporters at minicamp last month.

"I think once ultimately to keep a rhythm with the quarterback and with the offense as a whole, and we'll see ultimately how it's decided, but again, that's down the road," said Sullivan. "Someone is going to call on September 11th, so we'll see. Hopefully a good one, for sure."

Ryan Nassib and Eli Manning walk together following Giants OTA's.  (Julio Cortez)
Ryan Nassib and Eli Manning walk together following Giants OTA's. (Julio Cortez)

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

When the Giants traded up in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft to select Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, some began to wonder what the team's long-term plans were at the quarterback position. GM Jerry Reese expounded Nassib's virtues but did reveal that he had hoped that Nassib would never have to play.

QB Eli Manning was on the other side of 30 and the Giants were still pondering whether he was worth a king's ransom to retain for the remainder of the decade.

If Nassib had not struggled through his first two seasons, he might have changed the Giants' minds on giving Eli a five-year, $101.5 million deal before the 2015 season. But Eli solidified his position with a solid 2014 season and a Pro Bowl worthy performance last year.

Now, Nassib, who has vastly improved over his three seasons in New York, is poised for free agency after this season and possibly a starting position with another team. Manning believes his backup is ready to start. The only issue is Manning is nowhere near ready to concede his position.

From James Kratch of NJ.com:

"I think Ryan's done a great job. He's a hard worker, he's smart," Giants starter Eli Manning told NJ Advance Media earlier this week at the New Jersey Offense-Defense Camp. "Just from watching him and how he prepares, how he makes plays in practice, his football mind and ability, there's no reason he can't be a starter."

Manning and Nassib spend an inordinate amount of time together, as do any NFL starter and his backup. "I rely on him and depend on him during the week in my preparation," Manning said, "getting on the same page and getting his thoughts on things, how he sees it. ... He's done everything the Giants have asked him to do."

Except start games, that is. That will be Nassib's goal come 2017. That is assuming nothing befalls Eli this season, who hasn't missed a game for the Giants since November 2004.

Nassib has been lighting it up in workouts this offseason, throwing with poise, presence and accuracy. His grasp of the offense is solid and the Giants are pleased with his progress. But they know they may never reap the benefits they saw when they selected him back in 2013.

"Very smart, very conscientious," said offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan of Nassib at last month's minicamp. "There's a tremendous relationship that he has with the quarterback [Eli Manning]. Those two guys work closely- meaning Eli- and Eli relies upon him, and he is improving with his decision-making.
There's a component that he adds in terms of mobility, in terms of being able to extend some plays, so now it's just a matter of him getting in a good rhythm. He has some different receivers he's working with to be able to execute, but we feel very comfortable having Ryan and I'm glad that he's here as our backup."

That will end this season, unfortunately. Nassib is sure to push aside any offer to remain with the Giants in favor of testing the lucrative waters of free agency. Seeing the amounts of money being thrown at inexperienced signal-callers this past winter, he would be crazy not to.

That would be a shame as the Giants would end up with nothing to show for their investment on Nassib. Where he could go and start is still unknown. There are several teams that could show interest, but as a starter? Time will tell. All we know is that the Giants believe he can and will gladly keep him in the fold if no team is willing to give him an opportunity.

Tags: Eli Manning

Fans tailgate prior to a game at MetLife Stadium.  (Julie Jacobson)
Fans tailgate prior to a game at MetLife Stadium. (Julie Jacobson)

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

Home field advantage was once a given in the National Football League. Across history, if you were headed to places like Dallas, Oakland, Green Bay or New England your chances of winning were highly unlikely.

But with the wave of new venues that have popped up over the past decade, crowds and stadiums have become more generic throughout the league. In some cases, you have to look twice to remind yourself as to whom the home team is. Throw in the increasing number of visiting fans in the stands (thanks to the secondary ticket market) and very few teams hold a true home field advantage these days.

The Giants, who began playing at MetLife Stadium in 2010, are one of the teams that lost the advantage they once held in their former home since making the move.

First off, the corporate name strips them of ownership. They used to play in Giants Stadium, their "house." Now they play in an oval concrete food court named after an insurance company that has to be redressed in their colors before every home game.

True Giant season ticket holders will debunk the notion that they have lost their home advantage. But those ticket holders are not the same dynamic that attended games at Giants Stadium. The implementation of personal seat licenses displaced, or reduced, the number of diehards in the audience.

Many of the ones who could afford to make the move are now forced to sell off tickets to defray the rising and prohibitive costs of attending the games. Those discarded tickets do not usually end up in the hands of Giant fans, hence the scores of visiting and lukewarm attendees at each game.

In addition, the audience spends a huge chunk of their time out of their seats, whereas, at Giants Stadium they had little choice but to sit and watch the game. Perish the thought. With all the concessions and amenities cluttering the concourses, many fans flock to enticing vendors during the action to avoid long lines at halftime.

So, the Giants like many other clubs, have to generate most of their own momentum at home. They are only 25-23 at home since MetLife Stadium opened in 2010. They have gone 3-5 at home in each of the last two seasons and have dropped five of their last six games against Philadelphia at the new venue.

Much of this, of course, is due to the Giants' overall decline over the past three seasons. They have finished 6-10 in 2014 and 2015 after going 7-9 in 2013. As the team improves, they will give the fans something to cheer about again.

Last year, the Giants scored 420 points, the fifth-highest total in franchise history. It was the sixth time they topped 400 points in a season. The highest total was recorded back in 1963, when the Giants racked up 448 points in a 14-game season.

But the offense was not the issue last season. The defense, which traditionally brought the fans to their feet at the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium, was one of the worst in franchise history. Fans were left covering their eyes instead.

The Giants surrendered 442 points in 2015, the second-highest total in franchise history (501 in 1966). 122 of those points were recorded in their last three games.

Big Blue has made a slew of changes to that defense over the past few months. With the new additions, they hope to resurrect the pass rush and increase their ability to make stops at key points in games, especially late in the fourth quarter.

If they can do that, the fans will sit in those seats and bring back the practice of rooting that defense on once again. True fans will hold onto their tickets for more games. Then, MetLife Stadium will become an advantage and the Giants can reclaim their "house."


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports Images)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports Images)

For draftniks who were holding out hope that the NFL Draft would be returning to New York City, it appears the wait will last at least another year.

Bob Brady, a U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the city of Philadelphia has been designated as the site of next April's draft.

"The NFL wanted to come here, which is a good start," Brady said in a phone interview with the Inquirer. "I talked with the mayor. The mayor had a concern about money because he didn't want to put the city in debt, rightfully so, so we had to go around and see if we could get some people that would help finance it, and I think we were kind of successful."

The NFL, on the other hand, has not announced or confirmed any plans regarding the draft.

Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications for the NFL, wrote in an email Thursday night that "we have no agreements with any cities to host future drafts."

It does follow the initiative the league set in motion two years ago when it decided to move the draft around. The 2015 and 2016 drafts were moved to Chicago after being held in New York City since 1965.

Philadelphia last hosted the draft in 1961, and had been the site of many drafts up until that point. Many other cities have been rumored to be future sites of the draft, mainly Los Angeles, but it seems as if New York is not in the league's immediate plans.

Tags: John Fennelly

Team Rice wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants makes a one-handed catch during 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)
Team Rice wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants makes a one-handed catch during 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)

In what has become an annual event for fans and the media, the NFL Network finished releasing its list of the "Top 100" players for the upcoming season.

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. was ranked No. 10 this summer, up 22 spots from last year's list. He is one of two Giants players to make the list this season. Quarterback Eli Manning, coming off one of his strongest statisitical seasons as a pro, was listed at No. 47.

It is no surprise Beckham is considered one of the league's elite players. He may have been ranked even higher had he not wigged-out against the Carolina Panthers in the Giants' Week 15 loss at MetLife Stadium when he drew three personal foul penalties and a one-game suspension.

Beckham was ranked 32nd on last year's list after a breakout rookieseason in 2014. Beckham finished last season with 96 receptions for 1,450 yards, which are both the second-highest single-season totals in franchise history.

Wide receiver Steve Smith holds the single-season receptions record with 107 in 2009, and teammate Victor Cruz set the single-season yardage mark with 1,536 in 2011.

Beckham's 13 receiving touchdowns tied him with Homer Jones, who caught 13 in 1967, for the single-season record.

Beckham has 187 receptions over his first two seasons, the second most of any player in NFL history. Only his college teammate at LSU, Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins, has more with 194. Keep in mind, Beckham was suspended one game in 2015 and missed the first four games in 2014, so it is very possible he could have been atop the list.

Beckham's 25 touchdowns over his first two seasons ranks him fourth all-time, but his 2,755 receiving yards are the most in league history over that period. He passed Randy Moss (2,726) in Week 17 last season.

"Until yesterday, I honestly didn't know that that record was broken," Beckham said after the season. "To be in company with Randy Moss, I can't ask for much more. He's a guy that I looked up to all my life ... probably have all his jerseys. To be able to do some of the things that I've done the past two years with this team, it's been very special."

Yes, it has. Now all Beckham and the Giants have left to do is to find ways to win football games.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr. , Victor Cruz , John Fennelly

The Giants are "definitely" a playoff team, according to quarterback Eli Manning, speaking at an event at Kean University on Wednesday morning.

"We added some great players in the offseason, we were aggressive in free agency," Manning said. "But still have a lot of our core guys especially on offense back, and I think we made some good moves on defense. So I think getting some guys back healthy and it's a matter of the talent's there, can we put it together, can we win the games and play our best football when we need to."

The Giants were a top-10 team in the NFL last year in offensive yards production and point production, but were last in yards allowed on defense and third-last in defensive touchdowns allowed.

The Giants spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in contracts on the defense this offseason, signing players such as defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebackers Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard. They also added cornerback Eli Apple, safety Darian Thompson and linebacker B.J. Goodson through the draft.

On offense, the Giants have more or less the same team with the notable exception of the wide receiving core, which will gain back Victor Cruz after he missed the past two seasons due to injury and drafting Sterling Shepard out of Oklahoma.

Tags: Eli Manning

Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)
Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)

The Giants made several moves this past offseason in an effort to upgrade their long-neglected linebacker corps, drafting Clemson's B.J. Goodson in the fourth round, and signing free agents Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard. They also opted to bring back Jasper Brinkley, who played admirably at MLB the second half of the season.

In addition to the mainstays Devon Kennard, Jonathan Casillas, Mark Herzlich and J.T. Thomas, the Giants hope find a formidable three out of this bunch. Not many experts believe they will but the team will forge ahead anyway.

Does that mean they won't pursue any new options should they arise? Probably not, which is why the question is being posed of whether recently-released Stephen Tulloch of Detroit is on their radar.

Tulloch underwent ankle surgery this past offseason and was cut by the Lions after this week after bring told in February he was not in their plans. They apparently waited until he was healthy to release him so that they would avoid paying him and injury settlement. Tulloch, a 10-year veteran who began his career with the Tennessee Titans, is now free to sign with any team.

From ESPN.com:

Tulloch, 31, was Detroit's leading tackler last season with 107 tackles. He had been one of the Lions' most durable players as well before tearing his ACL while celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers in 2014. He returned last season and became more of a two-down player, coming off the field in passing situations. Except for the 2014 season, Tulloch has had 100-plus tackles every year since 2009.

Tulloch is only a two-down player at this point of his career. Is he better than the players they have at this juncture? It's hard to say. If the Giants don't bring him in, someone else will -- perhaps Dallas or Philadelphia.

It seems like the Giants are high on Brinkley and Robinson. They feel pretty good about both for the short term. Goodson will be waiting in the wings, and his gestation period could end up on the field sooner than expected.

So the answer to the Tulloch question is simple: The Giants will look, but probably won't touch.

Tags: Devon Kennard , J.T. Thomas , Jasper Brinkley , Jonathan Casillas , Mark Herzlich , John Fennelly

New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)

Olivier Vernon signed for the Giants this offseason at five years, $85 million dollars, the most lucrative defensive end deal ever. It was part of a spending spree that saw New York give almost a quarter of a billion dollars in contracts on the defensive side of the ball.

However, Vernon says he isn't letting the pressure get to him. 

"It's how I've always been, never letting anything on the outside pressure me," Vernon told MMQB. "I'm true to myself, and being the player that I am. I'm not gonna start doing things I haven't done before, step outside the box or anything like that."

Vernon had 194 tackles, 29 sacks and four forced fumbles in four seasons with the Dolphins, three of which he was a starter for. However, despite the big contract he just earned, Vernon says he isn't changing anything.

"I've never changed anything about my work ethic," he said. "The last four years, I always had my foot on the gas pedal. I strive for greatness, to put my name in the books. That's what I want to establish."

Tags: Olivier Vernon

Jun 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Will Johnson (46) catches a pass during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Jun 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Will Johnson (46) catches a pass during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

By now, most fans and pundits are aware of the bold strokes the Giants made in free agency this past offseason, where they spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to upgrade their league-worst defense.

But the improvements and augmentations did not stop there. GM Jerry Reese, known for his under-the-radar moves, brought in several veteran players this spring that may end up helping the club as much as the big-ticket signings.

One such move is the acquisition of fullback Will Johnson, a fifth-year vet who played his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Johnson is a more natural fit at the fullback position than the Giants 2015 starter Nikita Whitlock, who played over one hundred snaps at fullback last year. Whitlock is a defensive lineman by trade while Johnson has played fullback and some tight end in his career.

Johnson did not touch the football often with the Steelers, but was a fine run blocker. He's a tough, physical player, the type of football player the Giants have lacked the past few seasons.


About Will Johnson....Johnson, 6-2 and 238 pounds, also plays H-back and tight end. He has played in 63 regular-season games with 21 starts, and in two postseason games with one start. Johnson missed just one game in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An outstanding blocker, his career totals include 31 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and eight rushing attempts for 14 yards and a score. In 2015, he played in all 16 regular-season games with four starts, and caught two passes for 16 yards and had four carries for seven yards and touchdown. All of his rushing attempts were in the season opener at New England.

Johnson joined the Steelers as a rookie free agent from West Virginia in 2012. That season, he played in every game, starting seven, and had a career-high 15 catches for 137 yards, including a one-yard touchdown vs. Washington on Oct. 28. The following year, Johnson played in 15 games with five starts. He had eight receptions for 41 yards, including another one-yard touchdown, vs. Detroit on Nov. 17. Johnson played in every game each of the last two seasons. (Giants PR Dept.)


The coaching staff will looking for ways for Johnson to help them this season.

"There's a lot of versatility- asking about Will Johnson- and the fact that he's done some things in line as a tight end. He's done some things moving into the backfield," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said last month at minicamp.

"You know, the more versatile our tight ends can be, that really helps our offense, whether they're able to stretch the field vertically and do things in the passing game. I would love for them to be able to move around and be smart enough to know where to insert and fit in the run game, and certainly pass protection is a big part of that, and he is a young man that is picking things up. There's been a learning curve- there's been some mistakes- there's been corrections, and there's been more mistakes, and then there's different corrections, but he's getting better and we're definitely glad he's here."

Getting the running game started and maintained throughout games has been a challenge for the Giants. Perhaps a player such as Johnson will be the key to unlocking things.

Their fullbacks the past few seasons were lacking in dynamics. Henry Hynoski was a fan favorite but did not bring much to the offense in terms of handling the football. The same goes for Whitlock. Johnson could end up becoming yet another option for Sullivan and the Giants to explore.

Tags: Will Johnsin , John Fennelly

 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

NFL insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that six players have been declared eligible for this month's supplemental draft, to be held on July 14. The most attractive name on the list is Ole Miss CB Tee Shepard, a high school star who began his college career at Notre Dame and ended it with a season in Mississippi.

The five other eligible players are long snapper Eddie D'Antuono and DL Ra'Zahn Howard of Purdue, RB Jalen Overstreet of Sam Houston State, Concordia DE Cameron Walton and WR Rashaun Simonise from the University of Calgary.

None of these players are likely to pique the Giants' interest. The draft works differently than the regular draft in that teams that want a player place a bid to the league indicating what round draft choice in the upcoming NFL Draft they are willing to give up for him.

Most teams simply pass and if interested, make an offer after the draft when the player becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Giants could be one of the teams that takes a flier on Shepard, but they seem to be already overrun with young faces in their secondary.

"Shepard is the most likely to be drafted," Rotoworld says. "He was considered one of the best players in the country coming out of high school but struggled through a turbulent college career that included stops at Notre Dame, Holmes Community College and Ole Miss. Shepard had originally planned to transfer to Miami of Ohio for the upcoming season but decided to enter the Supplemental Draft instead."

Clemson OT Isaiah Battle was the only player selected in last year's Supplemental Draft. He was taken by the Rams in the fifth round, was cut and then re-signed to the practice squad.

There have only been 43 players selected in the supplemental draft since the process debuted in 1977. It usually passes with no players getting selected. Before Battle, WR Josh Gordon of Baylor was the last player selected in the supplemental draft. He was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the second round in 2012.

The Giants have only dipped into the supplemental draft twice. The first and most notable was back in 1992, when GM George Young used a first round pick on Duke QB Dave Brown. Two years later, Young grabbed DB Tito Wooten out of Northeast Louisiana with a fourth-round pick.

Tags: John Fennelly

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)

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

July is the loneliest month in the NFL. Team facilities are usually dark, sans for the few players recovering from injuries that come in for treatments. The Giants wrapped up their on-field activities June 16 and announced Thursday that players aren't officially due back until July 28. That's when they open their 2016 training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

We know from recent events that July can be an eventful month in the NFL. Last year at this time, DE Jason Pierre-Paul blew a good portion of his right hand off in a July 4 fireworks mishap. You know the rest.

Head coach Ben McAdoo was asked in his parting session with the media about how he prepared his team for the break:

"We had a meeting last night, we had one before we left this morning, and we just had another quick one on the field," said the Giants' first-year head coach. "The veterans have taken the bull by the horns. Coaches obviously have had their thoughts. This is a key time for every club in the league right now- you build to this point. We feel that we could put pads on, give them a couple days off, put pads on, go out and practice for a couple weeks and be ready for the first game. But that's not the case- they have a little "prep-cation" coming up. They can prepare for what's coming down the road and we hope they all make smart and wise decisions."

The "prep-cation," as McAdoo called it, will be handled differently by each player, but the poor example set by JPP last year should serve as a reminder that idle hands can make way for the devil.

"No, I think we have a good locker room. We have a strong locker room. I trust them," McAdoo said, when asked if his perspective has changed now that he is in charge. "We educated them. They were listening, they were paying attention, they're buying in. They're excited for this upcoming season and I feel we'll make good decisions."

The veterans have responded. JPP made a PSA video regarding the danger that fireworks present. If you can't take heed after watching that, then you just don't get it.

RB Rashad Jennings told reporters that he was one of the veterans that spoke to the younger players about how to handle themselves off the field.

"Most coaches and most organizations are going to preach about the importance of taking care of yourself during the offseason. We all know how important it is to the success of the team," said Jennings. "And also, especially for the younger guys, I took the opportunity to make all first-year guys- rookies, first-year players- that they experience in their first NFL offseason to have a meeting with some of the veterans. [They met with] Myself, just to give some advice like how to take care of your body. Remind them that they've worked their entire life to get to this position and find themselves in one of these buildings, and how it could be taken away so quick."

The Giants have a young roster, a young 90-man roster, that is. Of the 90 players that will be in camp come the end of the month, 50 of them have just two accredited NFL seasons or less under their belts.


Eli Manning will play in his fourth Pro Bowl on Sunday (AP)
Eli Manning will play in his fourth Pro Bowl on Sunday (AP)

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

Andrew Luck's big deal further exemplifies the importance of a franchise QB.

The Indianapolis Colts broke the bank Wednesday when they signed Luck to a six-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $140 million. No one is shocked, but it was only a week or two ago when some genius wrote that Giants QB Eli Manning was grossly overpaid, which is complete nonsense.

Although the market price for franchise quarterbacks is not rising in scale along with the salary cap, QBs can expect to be paid top dollar in the NFL going forward. The Giants actually got a nice deal for Eli, who is poised to have his greatest season in 2016 at age 35.

Luck, who will turn 27 in September, was limited to just seven games due to multiple injuries last season. The ailing signal caller went only 2-5 in those starts. The Colts were forced to tough it out without him, managing to finish 8-8 in 2015. But the upside of having Luck for the next six seasons is too good for the Colts to ignore.

Dan Graziano of ESPN actually believes Luck could have held out for more:

Look, there's no crying for Luck here. The numbers set several records. The $87 million in injury guarantees ($47 million of which is guaranteed at signing) far surpasses the $65 million that Eli Manning got last year. The $23.3 million a year surpasses Aaron Rodgers' $22 million and Joe Flacco's $22.133 million. The $140 million total surpasses Jay Cutler's $126.7 million.
But it's not as great as it was supposed to be. The average salary is less than the $25 million many were predicting. The $47 million at signing is $13 million less than Ndamukong Suhgot. Pushing off $27 million of the guarantee into the third and fourth years is seen by people around the league as too risky to the player. It's a nice deal, not a great one.

But the bottom line is the Colts knew they had to pay to play. Having Luck in the fold increases their chances of getting to, and winning, the Super Bowl.

Here's why:

Since 2004, the year Eli, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and San Diego's Philip Rivers entered the league, a team with a franchise QB has won the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady of New England, Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger and Eli have all won the big one twice. The other four Super Bowls were won by Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson.

Under Rivers, the Chargers have gone 92-68 but have yet to reach the Super Bowl. But Rivers has thrown for 41,447 yards and 281 TDs in his twelve seasons after sitting behind Brees his first two seasons.

The path is clear. Teams are hitching their wagons to QBs and wisely so. They are hoping to cash in at the Super Bowl. While Peyton Manning bowed out after his Super Bowl win in January, the others mentioned above are all in line to compete for the championship this season.

Carolina's super hero Cam Newton will surely have a chip on his shoulder after a disappointing end to the 2015 season. He's also getting his top WR, Kelvin Benjamin, back this summer.

There could be some new faces entering the mix this year. Carson Palmer, now with his third team, the Arizona Cardinals, could finally get his chance at a ring. Matt Ryan, taken second overall in the 2008 draft, has played in all 126 games with the Atlanta Falcons, compiling a 74-52 record over that period.

This could be the year for Cincinnati's Andy Dalton or former No. 1 pick Alex Smith, now with Kansas City. The light could go on for Miami's Ryan Tannehill and don't discount Blake Bortles of Jacksonville, Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota of Tennessee.

The QB that many experts are predicting to break out in a big way is Oakland's Derek Carr, who has thrown for 7257 yards and 53 TDs in his first two seasons.

Is this the last year for Kirk Cousins in Washington? He was slapped with the franchise tag and must produce in order to receive a long-term deal from someone next March. The Vikings are a playoff-caliber team and Teddy Bridgewater's continued progress can only help them going forward.

Some franchise QBs have misfired and not much is expected from them. Sam Bradford, now in Philadelphia, has a loose grip on his job and clearly not the club's long-term solution after a trad for Chase Daniel and sacrificing a good portion of their future in order to draft Carson Wentz.

Detroit's Matthew Stafford could see his production drop dramatically without WR Calvin Johnson, who retired. Tony Romo of Dallas will also experience a drop after losing another season to injury. The Cowboys drafted RB Ezekiel Elliott in the first round this year and will lean on him to carry the ball 20 times per game, limiting the number of Romo's drop backs.

Chicago's Jay Cutler recorded his best QBR last year and will get Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White back at WR. He could be a sleeper.

Some other QBs to keep an eye on this season include the top pick in this year's draft, Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, Houston's Brock Osweiler and Robert Griffin III, now with Cleveland.

Some teams are in flux at the QB position going into this season. Denver will go with Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian until top draft pick Paxton Lynch is ready. The Jets are still waiting for Ryan Fitzpatrick to re-sign and will turn to Geno Smith and rookie Christian Hackenberg.

Buffalo has an interesting trio of Tyrod Taylor, E.J. Manuel and rookie Cardale Jones. Taylor is the starter, but who knows how this will turn out.

San Francisco hired Chip Kelly as their head coach but even he may find it hard to make something out of the Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick situation.

Tags: Eli Manning

New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) waits for the snap of the ball during mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser)

The object in any team sport is to score on your opponent more often than they score on you. If you keep that in mind when running a franchise, you have to make up your mind which you value more, offense or defense.

In the NFL, offense puts fannies in the seats, but defense wins championships. In the Giants' case going into this season, both units appear to be vastly improved on paper and now we will see how balanced a team they are.

The defense was the league's worst in 2015, so any improvement, be it in small or large increments will make for a better performance this season. The offense was sixth overall in the NFL in points per game at 26.2 and eighth in yards gained per game with 372. They also are looking to improve and have imported a glut of new talent over the offseason.

From Pro Football Talk:

Quarterback Eli Manning is happy that the offense has remained in place and sees room for improvement. Manning believes that adding rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard to the offense while also getting wideout Victor Cruz and tight end Larry Donnell back from injury will lead the team to put up even more points in 2016.

"We expect to be able score the ball," Manning said, via Rhett Lewis of NFL Media. "We feel like we can score over 28 points a game. That's what we want to do. We were close to hitting that last year."

The lead dog at WR will still be Odell Beckham, Jr. and Geremy Davis is said to be knocking on the door at a prominent role. Combine them with Cruz, Shepard and Dwayne Harris and the Giants look ready to go in the passing game.

The offense will also benefit from a strong backfield that has upgraded at fullback (Will Johnson) and added an exciting rookie in UCLA's Paul Perkins. The team has plenty of insurance for Donnell at TE this season should he get injured again with Will Tye, Matt LaCosse and rookie Jerell Adams.

But the offense will not be asked to carry the load alone this season. The Giants will need to stay healthy and win their battles on the defensive side of the ball.

"We should be able to get turnovers and stops and get more opportunities with the ball," Manning said this week. "So I'm excited about it."

A healthier Jason Pierre-Paul is joined by free agent Olivier Vernon in the pass rush and Damon Harrison was brought in to partner with Johnathan Hankins on the inside. Second-year player Owa Odighizuwa could be poised for a breakout season.

The club is bringing in three new linebackers to their veteran mix and have augmented the secondary with the addtion of rookies Eli Apple, Darian Thompson and veteran Janoris Jenkins.

The defense allowed 27.6 points per game in 2015, third-worst in the league, whiel surrendering a league-high 420.3 yards per contest. It would almost be impossible to top those numbers with this personnel group.


 (Mitch Stringer)
(Mitch Stringer)

The Giants have been making it known that second-year offensive tackle Ereck Flowers is cemented on the left side of the line. That declaration has scared away several potential free agents this offseason from signing with Big Blue.

The most recent talk has been that former Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe is still a possibiity for the Giants after resigning himself to the fact that he'll unlikely land a starting left tackle gig with an NFL team this season.

Monroe was let go for financial reasons by Baltimore earlier this month after trade talks with the Giants fell apart. Monroe missed 15 games over the past two seasons and then became expendable after the Ravens selected Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Monroe's other issue is his staunch advocacy for the legalization of marijuana, which is illegal in most states and therefore banned by the league. Monroe's contention is that marijuana is a safer alternative for pain management than the many opioids that are prescribed by team doctors. He has plucked down thousands of dollars of his own money to fund the research proving his claim is valid.

The Giants would like to add Monroe and slide him in at right tackle in place of Marshall Newhouse, and it could happen now that the 49ers and Seahawks are no longer interested in signing him. The 29-year-old is not the optimal pick, but if healthy, he can provide a stopgap for 2016 until the Giants find their RT of the future.

"If Monroe doesn't happen, the Giants could look again at Jake Long, although his signing would be unlikely," wrote Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. "There were questions about his desire last year and it's uncertain whether he would even be an upgrade over Newhouse at this point of his career."

"The only other potential starting option is with ex-Giant Will Beatty. But the bridge with Beatty (released earlier this offseason) is pretty much burned. Beatty would only return if he had no other options, and the Giants appear to be turned off by what they perceived as a lack of desire."

Those are not appealing options even if those players were eager to play. The Giants will likely place their focus on Monroe and continue to work with Newhouse and second-year lineman Bobby Hart.

Newhouse and Flowers were both rated very low on the list of NFL tackles last year by Pro Football Focus, and the Giants hold the opinions of that website in high regard. They understand fully that the tackle position is one in need of upgrading and bringing in a player such as Monroe on a team-friendly deal would be in their best interest.

Tags: Bobby Hart , Ereck Flowers , Marshall Newhouse , John Fennelly
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