Now Commenting On:

 (Andrew Weber)
(Andrew Weber)

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

Giants DT Damon Harrison is gearing up to face his old club, the Jets, for the first time this Saturday night. It will be a bit strange for him, since he recently said that he still had some "Jet blood in him".

"Well I mean, I played a few games as a Giant since that comment, I would like to think," he said on Thursday when reminded of the comment. "Yeah, it's coming along nicely. Again, it's still different, I'm a guy, I don't like change at all, I like consistency, I like everything to be the same every single day. I definitely have been embracing it a whole lot more now."

Harrison has been in both locker rooms and was asked to compare the two.

"Oh man, I really can't get into comparisons, it's really not fair to either side to even do that," said Harrison. "These guys, I'm just still getting to know them so it wouldn't be right for me to formulate a solid opinion on them yet, but so far so good."

And what about this rivalry, which most recent players on both sided really don't buy into? Harrison played that down, too.

"I wouldn't call it a rivalry; I think it's more for the fans," he said. "And you know, a respect thing around the town, seeing each other out, the Giants and the Jets but as far as Cowboys-Giants and Jets-Patriots, it's not that kind of rivalry."

Harrison said the rivalry angle was played up much more under Rex Ryan than it was under current head coach Todd Bowles.

"Everything was a big deal (under Rex)," said the man Ryan named "Snacks". "Everything. He made you believe that every game, every snap, everything mattered, as do a lot of coaches. But it was just a little different with Rex, and he wanted the Snoopy Bowl more than some others."

Now that he's a Giant, does he hate the Jets?

"I don't hate them at all, I don't hate too many teams in the league," said the amiable Harrison. "It's just a game, it'll be fun to get out there and play with my former teammates and some guys I consider family."

The teams play each other every year in the third week of the preseason, and Harrison thinks the first game against his old club would be better if it were a regualr season game.

"I kind of hate that it's a preseason game," he said. "Because, again, all games count, preseason or not but it would be that much more fun and exciting if it was a regular season game and if it was a year ago."

The Jets defensive line was a very close-knit group in Harrison's four seasons with Gang Green. He, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and others are still in touch frequently.

"Well the D-line, we talk, I'm going to say every other day; Muhammad (Wilkerson), Sheldon (Richardson), Leonard (Williams), T.J. Barnes, Stephen Bowen. I'm sure it would be more if we weren't in camp but I talk to those guys all time, not only the D-line but a lot of the guys on offense and defense."

Harrison has gone up against the Jets' offensive line for years in practices, but now he'll see them in a game setting for the first time. He was asked who he looks forward to facing most this Saturday.

"It'll be fun to have on a different jersey and go up against them. It'll be weird at first, but hopefully (center Nick) Mangold gets to play, because we've always had some good battles. He's still one of the better centers in the league and you know that'll be the last time before his last preseason game."

Tags: Damon Harrison

Giants kicker Josh Brown was cited for violating a restraining order two months after his original arrest, according to the Kings County Prosecutor's Office.

Brown was originally arrested in May 2015 for a domestic violence incident with his then-wife.

He was ordered to remain 500 feet away from the residence, but reportedly pulled into the home's driveway. He was not arrested for breaking the restraining order, but was cited.

Though Brown has said the domestic violence arrest was an isolated case, SNY's NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reported that, according to police, there were more than 20 difference instances.

Brown is suspended by the league for one game, and the NFL said that they had a hard time working with Brown's former spouse and the police to obtain information.

Giants co-owner John Mara broke his silence earlier this week and spoke on the decision to keep Brown on the roster.

Tags: Josh Brown

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It has been a long, agonizing 22 months since Victor Cruz played in an NFL game, and the sounds of him screaming and the sight of him holding his knee as he was carted off the field in Philadelphia on Oct. 12, 2014. Since then there has been much optimism followed by great disappointments, fast starts followed by sudden stops.

Now here he is, apparently healthy and recovered from that knee injury, from last year's calf surgery, and from the sore groin that has sidelined him the last two weeks. He has proclaimed himself "ready" for action on Saturday night against the Jets, in what will be one of the most important games of his stellar career.

This is, undoubtedly, his last chance to prove he's healthy enough to help the Giants on Opening Day. In many ways he's playing for his NFL career. He doesn't need to produce. He doesn't need to be his old self. He just needs to show he's physically capable, and to get out of the game without getting hurt.

He is undoubtedly the man to watch on the Giants' side of this intra-city rivalry. And it won't just be fans watching. His teammates are dying to see him in action, too.

"It will be fun," said Giants running back Rashad Jennings. "Look, what would you feel like? Aren't you excited to see him play too? Everybody is asking because you are excited. Well listen, I am human just like you all. I want to see it too. That's my teammate. That's someone who is explosive, who changes the game and is going to be a big part of this offense and this team. So of course we want to see him out there."

So, starting with Victor Cruz, here are three things to watch in the Giants' game against the Jets on Saturday night:

1.) Cruz control

Everything about this is exciting to watch, from the ovation he gets from the Giants fans in the crowd to the smile on his face to the burst in his step.

I'm sure we'll all overanalyze every cut he makes and catch he makes (or doesn't make), but this isn't really about that. This is about seeing Cruz out on the field, seeing if he looks anything like he used to look, and seeing if his body can hold up to even some limited play.

That last part is the key, because Cruz's body has betrayed him several times over the last few years. Red flags will go up if he tweaks anything at all.

2.) Holding the line

Suffice to say the Giants' offensive line has given everyone plenty of reasons to worry this preseason, and it isn't just because of the much-maligned right side of the line.

It won't help them that LG Justin Pugh (shoulder) might sit out again, but it sure would make everyone feel better if they could give a much better performance than they did last Saturday against the Bills.

The right side needs to be better at opening up holes in the running game. LT Ereck Flowers needs to have fewer problems in pass protection. And they all could use fewer penalties. They'll have a full half and maybe more to work all that out, even though that won't be easy against the Jets' difficult defensive line.

3.) Just for kicks 

Now that the Giants have defended their defense of Josh Brown and made it clear that he's not going to be cut for anything but on-field reasons, the next step is to see if the newly signed Randy Bullock can really prove to be competition for the incumbent.

Brown is by far the more accomplished of the two, steadier and more accurate over his career. So most likely Bullock is only here to compete for the Opening Day job while Brown is suspended. Still, no one has closed the door to Bullock beating out Brown, even though that feels like a longshot.

Bullock's performance in the final two preseason games will help determine if he gets that chance. It'll also determine whether he's the Opening Day kicker, or whether the Giants will scour the waiver wire to bring in somebody else.

Tags: Ereck Flowers , Josh Brown , Justin Pugh , Rashad Jennings , Victor Cruz , Ralph Vacchiano

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

MIAMI (AP) A Miami federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by New York Giants lineman Jason Pierre-Paul against ESPN over disclosure of his medical records from a 2015 fireworks accident.

Pierre-Paul attorney John Lukacs said Judge Marcia Cooke issued her ruling Thursday after a hearing on ESPN's motion to dismiss. The case is set for an August 2017 trial.

Pierre-Paul was hospitalized in Miami after the Fourth of July accident, which caused serious injury to his right hand. The lawsuit claims ESPN and a network reporter violated his privacy and Florida medical confidentiality laws by posting the records on social media.

The network argued that the records merely bolstered a news report. An ESPN spokesman said the network does not comment on pending litigation.

Pierre-Paul is listed as the Giants' starting left defensive end.

Copyright 2016 by the Associated Press

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul

Ben McAdoo answers questions during a news conference after a preseason NFL game against the Buffalo Bills. (AP)
Ben McAdoo answers questions during a news conference after a preseason NFL game against the Buffalo Bills. (AP)

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

After two lopsided losses in the first two preseason games, the Giants are taking measures to stop the freefall against the Jets at MetLife Stadium this Saturday night. Head coach Ben McAdoo told reporterd Thursday that he challenged the team by setting a more physical tone at practice this week.

"We talked a little bit after the game and some emotions were flying around and we put it in perspective earlier in the week," said McAdoo. "We challenged them with the workload yesterday and coming out with the pads on and being in the pads for three hours with some conditioning and throwing a lot of situations at them. They responded in practice."

The team will work on Friday, something they normally do not do the day before a game. McAdoo said the troops will be out on the field.

"Fresh Friday," he said. "We try and challenge them in as many ways as we can between the ears and keep it simple from the waist down...we get out there and go through, we play the game before we play the game on Fridays. Tomorrow is launch day for us. We try to launch and rev them up and get the speed going 80 percent or so and get everything functioning again and get it firing and get ready for the game day."

McAdoo said he has a plan for the final two preseason games, but they aren't set in stone.

"As a general proposition, we would like to take our starters into early in the third quarter," he said. "We will evaluate it at halftime and see how it goes and then different guys based off of where they are physically. We may give a little bit more or give a little bit less, too."

As we all know by now, WR Victor Cruz will see action on Saturday night. How many reps he'll get are unknown. CB Eli Apple (leg) practiced again on Thursday and will likely play vs the Jets. He has been working at LCB but may be asked to take some reps in the slot.

McAdoo said "we will see" if LG Justin Pugh (shoulder) will play this week. He sat out last week's game in Buffalo and was spelled by Bobby Hart.

Rookie safety Darian Thompson, who has come in and wrested the FS job from a crowded group of hopefuls, will not play due to a shoulder injury. McAdoo said the team is evaluating him.

"We say week-to-week, but to me it's hour-to-hour," McAdoo said of Thompson. "I know the game is very important to the young man and he wants to be out there and help his teammates and contribute. He is getting as many mental reps as he can right now. That part of it is important to him, but we will take a look at him next week, too."

Nat Berhe will likely start next to Landon Collins in Thompson's place. Veteran Leon Hall and others will also see time.

McAdoo said WR Geremy Davis (hamstring) is "working to get out there" but he is unlikely to play this week. McAdoo also said that both kickers Josh Brown and Randy Bullock will get work.

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Andrew Weber)

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

The time has apparently arrived for Giants WR Victor Cruz to finally get back on the field again, in a live game, providing the unexpected. Cruz is expected to play in the Giants' preseason game vs the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night.

"I'm ready," Cruz told reporters on Thursday. "Obviously it's been a long time coming. I had a good week of practice, everything feels great so I'm just excited to put that out there on the game field for the first time in a long time."

Cruz last played in a game on October 12, 2014 vs the Philadelphia Eagles, the night he tore a pateller tendon and missed the remainder of the season. Last summer, Cruz was prepared to make his comeback when he sustained a calf injury that kept him off the field all season. He was asked if his absence has seemed like an eternity.

"For lack of better words, yes," he said. "It feels like a long time since I've been out there. Last week was kind of fun for me to dress up and obviously not play but to warmup with my team, put that jersey on again and feel like an athlete again. It was a good feeling and now it comes to life."

After nearly two years, Cruz will be back on the field, back in the flow of the Giants' offense. This Saturday, the opponent or the venue doesn't matter. For many, he may be back on the football field playing in a meaningless game, but its anything but meaningless to him.

"I think this one is more of just the game. This one is crossing so many hurdles, so many barriers," said Cruz. "So many ups and downs that I had to face to get to this moment. Now, I'm just ready to relax and go play some football again. To me, this game is bigger than just the game. Although it's just a preseason game, for me, mentally and emotionally, physically, it's more than just a football game."

Cruz has had so much success against the Jets over his career both in the preseason and in the regular season. It is only fitting he make his return against the Giants' intra-city rival.

"It's the story of my life," he said. "You can't write it any better than this. This is the way my career has gone. It's the way my professional career has gone. The Jets preseason game has always been some type of landmark situation for me, so here we go again."

This will also mark only the third time he and Odell Beckham, Jr. will be on the field at the same time and the first with both Beckham and rookie Sterling Shepard. Both of those players have been sharp in practice this summer, but Cruz is just getting his footing back. He was asked where he feels he needs to improve.

"I think it's continuing to get a feel for the routes, the route combinations, the spacing," he said. "Continuing to work on catching the football, being explosive, continuing to catch the ball, running after the catch. Just getting that consistency back is the last part of it now. Understanding what I'm getting out there on the field from a coverage perspective and then working backwards from there. Everything is going in the right direction, I just want to continue to stack and build on that."

As per head coach Ben McAdoo says that Cruz will get into the game early and would "love to get his hands on the ball." How many snaps he'll see is still uncertain.

Tags: Victor Cruz

 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said on Thursday that he's "very optimistic" Victor Cruz will play on Saturday.

Cruz practiced for the second straight day on Wednesday, and judging by the reviews it sounds like he's now just a few days away from playing in his first game in nearly two years.

"Victor looked great," Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "He has had two strong days, got a lot of balls thrown to him. I'm excited about where he is, and hopefully he will have his opportunity against the Jets."

The game against the Jets could be Cruz's first game since Oct. 12, 2014, when he suffered a painful knee injury in a game in Philadelphia. He attempted to come back last summer only to miss the entire season with an injured calf.

Now he's attempting to come back again, but he missed two weeks with what he called a "sore groin." Cruz hasn't spoken publicly since his return to practice, but Sullivan made it sound like Cruz didn't miss a beat.

"There was the suddenness, the explosiveness, the things that I have in mind, visions of 2011 in terms of that type of quickness," he said. "So obviously that is something to be excited about, and again, we're just progressing and hoping for the best. We're not trying to get overly excited or put too much pressure, just taking it one day, one rep, at a time; and he's certainly shown some flashes over yesterday."

The Giants, of course, know better than to count on Cruz. Their top two receivers undoubtedly will be Odell Beckham, Jr. and rookie Sterling Shepard when they open the season in Dallas on Sept. 11.

If Cruz is healthy then his workload figures to be limited. At the moment, he's likely competing for the third receiver job at best -- at least initially. Because as excited as the Giants are that Cruz may actually be nearing a return, Sullivan made it clear he knows his receiver still has a lot of work to do.

"Not to give any indication that he's way off by any means, but I think there's a crispness that comes with repetition," Sullivan said. "I think the more he gets out there, the better that'll be. I think he certainly progressed to get a lot of good things (Tuesday), good things today. So I'm excited about that, and then keep your fingers crossed and certainly pull for him."

Tags: Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn during the 2014 Hall of Fame game against the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn during the 2014 Hall of Fame game against the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown's one-game suspension for his role in a domestic violence incident from 2015 has been a prominent storyline at Giants camp this week.

Giants CEO John Mara stood by his decision to retain Brown, even after additional allegations and details emerged regarding Brown's behavior, in a statement on Wednesday. While the allegations are still being investigated, Mara stuck to his guns in keeping Brown, saying he was giving Brown the benefit of the doubt based on the evidence at hand.

The Giants signed veteran kicker Randy Bullock to not only replace Brown for the season-opener against Dallas on Sept. 11, but to challenge Brown in the long term.

Asked if Brown would be waived due to the allegations, Mara said, "That is going to be a football decision. There will be a competition and that will be up to the coach. It is going to be determined on the field."

That competition is now in the hands of special teams coordinator Tom Quinn, who told reporters on Wednesday that he and Brown had not broached the origin of his suspension.

"It came out like a year ago, so it's kind of been lingering, but you know obviously, everyone is against it," Quinn said of the incident. "He hasn't brought it up and I haven't brought it up, so we've kind of left it at that."

Quinn said that Brown has been "the same guy" the past week and planned to give Brown and Bullock equal reps in Saturday's game against the Jets. The 37 year-old Brown has been the Giants kicker since 2013. Bullock, a fourth-year veteran, kicked two seasons for the Houston Texans and last year for the Jets.

"It's really been just one day," Quinn said about Bullock. "He finally got the chance to work with the operation, the two different snappers and the whole line being in there, so that's a little bit different. Hopefully we can get him comfortable with the operation so he can show what he can do. We liked him, we played against him late last year, so we had tape and we had to face him when he was kicking off and field goals, and obviously he did a good job last year, so we're anxious to see what he can do."

Bullock has been given the impression that he is here for more than one game and will be given the opportunity to challenge Brown for a roster spot. Quinn said that is the case with all players in camp.

"I think with everyone up until the final cuts, and after the final cuts, you're going to scout the waiver wire and you're going to see who the 53 best players for this team are at whatever position," Quinn said. "You try and make yourself the best possible you can be. It's always open for competition."

Quinn is uncertain how the ongoing competition will pan out. The decision may ultimately come from upstairs; special teams coordinators are usually on the outside looking in when it comes to forging the final 53-man roster.

"Well, you really don't know who you've got for Week 1 right now," he said. "There are some times that it gets thrown kind of upside down on you when the 53 comes out and so, as special teams coordinator, you're always rolling with the punches and adjusting to see what you've got and how you'll put it together to fit a team together on the first day."

Tags: Josh Brown , John Fennelly

GEICO SportsNite: John Mara 00:01:48
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down all the action from Giants camp including president John Mara speaking out on suspended kicker Josh Brown.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One week after the NFL suspended Josh Brown, and 15 months after the Giants first learned of his domestic violence arrest and a history of allegations from his ex-wife, John Mara finally defended his decision to re-sign the embattled kicker, saying he was "comfortable" with the move even though domestic violence is an issue "we take very seriously here."

Speaking after days of pressure from the media to explain the presence of Brown on his team and complaints from fans after a police report revealed the kicker's ex-wife had accused him of "more than 20" instances of domestic violence, the Giants co-owner insisted that he was "aware of all the allegations and, I believe, all the facts" about Brown's situation when they gave him a two-year, $4 million contract in April. He added that "Nothing has happened in the meantime to make us question that decision."

And if Brown is cut before or after he serves his suspension on Opening Day, Mara said it would be "a football decision" only.

"The easiest thing in the world for us to have done would've been to say 'Let's find another kicker,'" Mara said. "But I'm trying to be fair to him as well. I think he's trying to do the right thing and he deserves an opportunity to show he can do the right thing."

Mara declined to get into specifics of why he believes Brown is worthy of that chance, despite his arrest for grabbing his ex-wife, Molly's wrist and ugly allegations from her that he threatened their children, threatened to kill her and had kicked her in the past. Mara insisted "We did our homework here" and added "We had a number of conversations with a number of different people."

Then he said the Giants made their decision based on the fact that they had.

"One thing that you learn when you're dealing with these issues is there's a big difference between allegations and convictions and indictments," Mara said. "It's very difficult sometimes to sort through all of that and make informed decisions. … A lot of times there are attempts to make these cases black and white. They're very rarely black and white. You very rarely have a Ray Rice video."

It was clear that this wasn't an easy decision for Mara, nor was it easy for him to deal with the fallout over the last week. He defended how his organization views domestic violence, saying they have had training programs in place for all employees for years and have been out in front of the issue "long before this became a hot-button topic."

"This is an issue that is very personal to a lot of us," he said. "In this particular case, as an employer, it's a complicated and emotional issue, and you have to make decisions based on the facts and circumstances that are presented."

And once he made that decision, he knew it would be difficult to defend - especially to the women in his organization and his family.

"I'm painfully aware of that," he said. "I have four daughters and seven sisters and I know I've got to face each one. These are not easy decisions. It's very easy to say 'Guy's been accused. Get rid of him. Terminate him.' But when you're sitting at the top of an organization and you're responsible for a lot of people you better make more informed decisions than that."

Mara admitted he has heard some complaints from fans over the past week. He also said Brown has been going to counseling "for a couple of years". He added "Josh knows what's expected of him and it's been made pretty clear. … He's been a good citizen since he's been here. He's had conversations with a number of us. I'm confident that he's going to continue to conduct himself in a manner that we expect him to."

Meanwhile, Mara's only regret seemed to be that he didn't speak up sooner, leaving the impression that the organization was ducking all questions about domestic violence and Brown. As for why he chose to speak up on Wednesday, Mara said "I don't know. I think it's such a complex and emotional issue, I just felt like the time was right. Truthfully I probably should've done it a couple of days ago."

"I think this is an organization that always tries to do the right thing," Mara added. "I don't know that we always get it done, but we try."

Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants outside linebacker J.T. Thomas (55) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)
New York Giants outside linebacker J.T. Thomas (55) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)

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

J.T. Thomas was back at practice on Tuesday after spending nearly the entire offseason with a hamstring injury. Thomas was the team's WILL linebacker last season after signing a three-year, $12 million deal but his season was cut short by an ankle injury, which landed him on IR in December.

A lot has transpired since then. The Giants have brought in several new faces to bolster the linebacker unit. Kelvin Sheppard, Keenan Robinson and rookies B.J. Goodson and Ishaq Williams are all in camp and are ahead of Thomas at this point.

But it is Jonathan Casillas who is standing in Thomas' way in reclaiming his old job. Casillas has been lights out at the WILL position in Thomas' absence and has taken complete ownership of the role.

The developments have not been lost on Thomas, who understands the business end. Now that he is healthy again, he ready to contribute wherever and whenever he can.

"Last couple days, I've just been focusing on how I can help this team be better," Thomas sad on Tuesday. "This is a good ball club, and we have the potential to be great. I want to see where I can help us the most. I'm anxious to get involved in the competition. We have a great room, great coach. Coach Bill McGovern, who's been doing great for us. Trusting Spags in the process. Fortunate enough to have a defensive coordinator two years in a row. I'm just looking forward to growing in this organization and in this defensive system."

If Thomas can return to form, it will only make the unit better and deeper, which has become an issue given all the injuries the club has endured the past few seasons.

Head coach Ben McAdoo has stated that he wants complete football players and will take the "best 53" come cut time. Thomas is not only an asset at LB, but on special teams. His vocal style is an added plus to a team that is seeking leadership.

"I think one of my strongest attributes is just being able to be versatile," said Thomas. "So whether it's on defense or special teams, whatever role that I'm put into, I believe that I can thrive and be a leader. But, of course, I think that if I can help us get off the field and play less downs and help us be a better defense, that'll be great."

Thomas is unlikely to crack the starting lineup. Casillas has been a standout thus far at WILL and Devon Kennard, who may possibly be named the captain of the defense, is cemented in at the SAM. The MLB spot is still being contested by Jasper Brinkley, Goodson and Sheppard, so Thomas will have to begin the season coming off the bench.

"I think everyone brings something unique to the table," Thomas said of the gorup. "I think there is a very competitive room, and I don't think anything is in stone. I don't think anyone is in a position to be comfortable enough to say I'm the guy, because there are so many guys who can play in the room. So like I said, I look forward to competing more than anything. Making guys earn their check every week. That's what it's all about. It's the game."

The Giants are pleased Thomas is back in time to make a case for a job. Competition makes everyone better and the more capable players they have on the roster, the better prepared they will be to contend.

Tags: J.T. Thomas

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) reacts to missing the game tying field goal in overtime against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)
New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) reacts to missing the game tying field goal in overtime against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)

When the Giants signed Christian Peter back in 1996, it was one of the most controversial decisions in franchise history. He was the poster boy for domestic violence back then, so toxic that seven months before signing him Wellington Mara wouldn't let the Giants draft him. The Patriots did, then dumped him four days later because of the depth of his troubled past.

The decision was offensive to many, as the Giants knew it would be. But at least once their interest in Peter was discovered they stood up and took the heat. They answered questions about their reasons and opened up about the decision.

So why aren't they doing the same with their decision to stick by Josh Brown now?

It's a fair question as the Giants' decision-makers continue to duck questions and ignore pleas to explain their decision to stand by their 37-year-old kicker who received a controversial one-game suspension for his arrest on a domestic violence charge. Days after that suspension was handed down last week, SNY and others obtained the police reports that detailed "more than 20" accusations of domestic violence against Brown by his ex-wife. Even though Brown had described the incident as "just a moment," it clearly looked like much more than that since police had been called to his home multiple times.

The NFL then offered a flimsy excuse for why it only suspended Brown for one game when it had previously established a six-game minimum for first-time domestic violence offenders, noting a lack of cooperation from Brown's ex-wife and police. But at least they offered their excuse. The Giants have remained disturbingly silent on whether they had read the police report before signing Brown to a two-year, $4 million contract in April. We're all left to wonder if they were aware of all the allegations, if they didn't believe them, or if they just didn't care.

New coach Ben McAdoo did talk at first, saying "I do support Josh as a man, a father, and a player". That support was uncomfortable enough, since shortly after he was hired he told the New York Post that "Domestic violence is something that we're all cracking down on in this league. That's something that's important to us as an organization, important to me as a man, and important to me as a coach." At the time McAdoo threw his support behind Brown last week, the world only knew of Brown's arrest for a seemingly (and relatively) minor incident in which he grabbed his ex-wife's wrist.

Then came the police report, the 911 calls, the accusations and the troubling history. And then McAdoo decided he wouldn't talk anymore.

So it's a mystery whether McAdoo, who said he knew nothing of Brown's situation until after he was hired as coach, had been told about Brown before he spoke out against domestic violence in that interview published a few days after he was hired. And had McAdoo read the police report, which includes an allegation that Brown threatened one of his children, before he supported his kicker as "a man" and "a father"? Or did the Giants not bother telling their new coach everything he needed to know?

It's their right to stay silent, of course, but the problem with that is that the NFL has made a lot of noise about taking domestic violence seriously after years of either ignoring the problem or butchering their attempts at punishment. And the Giants, despite having signed plenty of troubled players over the years - including some with histories of domestic violence - have always portrayed an image of being above the fray when it comes to the NFL's criminal and character issues.

But if they're going to continue to do that, and to insist that they - like the NFL - take domestic violence seriously, then silence isn't good enough in this case. They owe an explanation of why Brown, in light of that incredibly disturbing police report, is still on their team.

And for all we know, they may have a good reason. They don't have to cut Brown. Criminal charges were dropped and the NFL issued its suspension, so the Giants aren't required to punish him even more. They also can believe his side of the story too, if they choose. But they need to explain why they believe him, or don't believe the police report, or why they don't care. They've set the bar high for themselves when it comes to the character of their employees. They need to say why Brown clears it, or why it doesn't matter to them that he doesn't.

If they want to talk about taking the high road, they need to own it when it looks like they're choosing another path so they can keep the most accurate kicker they've ever had. And while they're at it, they should explain what McAdoo knew and when, because as they continue to let him squirm under questioning from the press, it sure looks like the organization hung the new coach out to dry.

The Giants certainly aren't be the first team to bring in a talented player with a checkered past, or to look beyond what they read a police report. It wouldn't be the first time they had done it either. But an explanation is still necessary. They need to stand up and say what it is about Brown and his situation that makes keeping him worth all this trouble.

If they don't, it will be impossible to take the Giants seriously the next time they tell us how important the issue of domestic violence - and character in general -- is to them.

Video: GEICO SportsNite: Giants suspend Brown for opener

Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano

GEICO SportsNite: Giants update 00:01:40
Ralph Vacchiano discusses the latest news on Victor Cruz, the Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman feud and new kicker Randy Bullock.

Ralph Vacchiano discusses the latest news on Victor Cruz, the Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman feud and new kicker Randy Bullock.

Jerry Barca joins DNL 00:04:16
Jerry Barca joins the DNL crew to talk about his new book 'Big Blue Wrecking Crew,' about the 1986 New York Giants Super Bowl season.

Jerry Barca joins the DNL crew to talk about his new book 'Big Blue Wrecking Crew,' about the 1986 New York Giants Super Bowl season.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants are currently dealing with a crisis at placekicker as Josh Brown is facing a one-game suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy, leading them to sign veteran K Randy Bullock on Monday.

The question is whether or not Bullock is here to fill in for Brown for Week 1 against Dallas or if there's a longer-term plan in mind.

"We're looking for the best 53 in Week 1," head coach Ben McAdoo said on Tuesday. "If he's one of them, then we'll go with it."

The Giants had been criticized for not addressing the Brown saga sooner and on their own. Initially, Brown had said the domestic violence incident was an isolated one, but since the suspension was announced last week, information as surfaced that there were as many as 20 incidents reported by Brown's wife.

Now, the Giants and McAdoo -- who have supported Brown -- are mum over the affair. Given their "zero tolerance" policy on the subject, many are reading between the lines and wondering if the club is planning on releasing Brown.

"I've said everything that I'm going to say about Josh," McAdoo said. "I respect that you have to ask that question, but my comments stay my comments....I made my statement."

McAdoo said the team decided not to go with the inexperienced Tom Obarski, who incidentally missed a 27-yard FG against Buffalo last Saturday.

"We saw a guy out there that had some experience," McAdoo said. "We brought him (Bullock) in for a workout and he did a nice job. We decided to make a switch."

What exactly the club liked about Bullock, who kicked for the Jets last season, was more than what the young Obarski could provide. Plus, if they, or the league, further discipline Brown, Bullock is the better choice to take over the job full-time.

"The ball jumped off his foot. He had a nice workout yesterday," McAdoo explained. "He has had some experience. He had a good workout."

What will become of Brown, who signed a two-year, $4 million contract in April, is still unknown. But the reality is his one-game suspension will be seen as too lenient should the new allegations turn out to be true.

Tags: John Fennelly

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano hosts the first-ever episode of Giants Goal Line on the Audio Network.

Today, Ralph discusses his 3 biggest storylines from camp - Josh Brown's suspension, Victor Cruz's status and the struggling offensive line.

Later, Ralph chats with SNY Giants' writer John Fennelly about DE Olivier Vernon, and how head coach Ben McAdoo will handle Big Blue's running backs.

We've now made it easier for you to listen to all of's original podcasts. If you're a fan of the Mets, Jets, Giants, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, or college basketball and recruiting, just subscribe to the Audio Network on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

Tags: Josh Brown , Olivier Vernon , Victor Cruz , John Fennelly , Ralph Vacchiano

Victor Cruz is confident he'll be full speed in practice Monday and ready to go opening day. (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
Victor Cruz is confident he'll be full speed in practice Monday and ready to go opening day. (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

Latest Update (Aug. 23)

Cruz is expected to practice Tuesday and Wednesday with no limitations, and the goal is for the receiver to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Jets, Ben McAdoo told reporters Tuesday morning.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him. It was nice to see him in a uniform in pregame the other day," said McAdoo.

Previous Reports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - After watching his second game of the preseason, Giants receiver Victor Cruz said it would be "a terrible move" to write him off for Opening Day.

Cruz, 29, still sidelined with a groin injury, took what he said was "absolutely" a positive step towards his much-anticipated return when he warmed up with his teammates before the Giants' otherwise-miserable 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday afternoon.

He was out there in full uniform, running routes with the receivers, catching passes from Eli Manning, and even fielding a punt. He said it made him feel like a football player again for the first time in the last two weeks.

"I was just excited to put a jersey on, run around out there a little bit," Cruz told SNY on his way to the team bus. "It made me just feel like an athlete again, running around, being with my teammates, being in an 80 jersey."

Even better, Cruz emerged from the warmup healthy. No pain or soreness in his groin, or in his surgically repaired calf or knee.

"I felt good," he said. "Route running felt good. No pain, no setbacks. So that's a positive thing."

So what's next? After many false starts over the last two weeks, Cruz believes he is ready to return to practice when the Giants hold their next full practice on Monday.

"Definitely," he said. "That's the plan. Yes. I have some work to do tomorrow, but I'll be out there Monday."

And for those that are betting against him being in the Opening Day lineup on Sept. 11? Go ahead, Cruz said, because "That would be a terrible move."

Tags: Victor Cruz

New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. (Kim Klement)
New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. (Kim Klement)

When Tom Coughlin ran things in East Rutherford, New Jersey, his main message to his team was to finish. Finish routes, finish blocks, finish drives, finish games. Under new head coach Ben McAdoo, that message hasn't been invoked as much, but center Weston Richburg is reviving it to help straighten out the floundering offensive line.

"It needs to be to 'finish'," Richburg told reporters Monday when asked what the personality of the offensive line needs to be by Week 1. "We want to finish each play and from there finish each game and that consists of being physical, having a mean attitude and really getting after people."

The line's physicality is being questioned after it has struggled to win the trenches in the first two preseason games. Richburg said that it is too early to panic and that there is still plenty of time to right the ship.

"It is the second week of the preseason," Richburg said. "It takes a lot to get the run fits together and we still have two preseason games, two preseason weeks to get some good work in, so we saw some things on film that we are looking forward to going out and working on getting better."

The Giants are coming into this season with the same five they finished last season with -- Richburg at center, Justin Pugh and John Jerry at guard, and Marshall Newhouse and Ereck Flowers at tackle. Pugh did not play against Buffalo last week due to a sore shoulder.

Richburg said the Giants actually have an advantage this summer due to the continuity of the line. They are still adjusting under new offensive line coach Mike Solari.

"I don't think he is going to lose his cool," Richburg said of Solari. "He is able to motivate in the appropriate way and in the appropriate time. "He focuses on the tiny details and I think that carries over to us. We want to pay attention to every small detail that we can and try to make ourselves the best."

McAdoo is also staying cool, and Richburg was asked what the new head coach's reaction was to the play of the line.

"Learn from it," he said. "We need to learn from what we did. Like I said, we saw some different looks that were good to challenge us and show us what we need to work on and now it is time to move on from that."

Move on and move fast. Otherwise, the Giants' offense, which ranked eighth in the NFL last season, will struggle, and the team will ironically have to rely on the defense this season to stay afloat.

Tags: Ereck Flowers , John Jerry , Justin Pugh , Marshall Newhouse , Weston Richburg , John Fennelly

New York Giants safety Darian Thompson (27) during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Giants safety Darian Thompson (27) during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Ed Mulholland)

Rookie safety Darian Thompson suffered what a source said was a "bruised" shoulder on Saturday in Buffalo that may be bad enough to keep him out of this Saturday's game against the Jets.

The Giants revealed the injury on Monday, telling reporters that Thompson is "week to week". That was alarming considering there are only three weeks left until the opener and Thompson, a third-round pick, has emerged as a near lock to win one of the starting safety jobs.

But a source insisted it might not be that bad, though a shoulder bruise could be painful and restricting enough to keep him out at least through the weekend. It was unknown how extensive the bruise was. The Giants did not reveal any specifics of the injury and coach Ben McAdoo was not available to speak to the media on Monday.

Another safety, Mykkele Thompson, also got hurt in the Giants' 21-0 loss in Buffalo. With both of them out, second-year pro Nat Berhe was on the first-team defense as the Giants went through what was essentially a walkthrough practice on Monday. He could end up starting next to Landon Collins this Saturday against the Jets.

After that, the Giants will have only one preseason game remaining before their regular-season opener in Dallas on Sept. 11.

Tags: Darian Thompson , Mykkele Thompson , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets kicker Randy Bullock (8) kicks a field goal against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets kicker Randy Bullock (8) kicks a field goal against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

The New York Giants have signed kicker Randy Bullock on Monday, as first reported by The Record's Art Stapleton

The team also announced that K Tom Obarski has been waived.

Bullock appeared in 11 games between the Jets and the Texans in 2015, and made 19 of his 23 field goal attempts while hitting on 22 of 25 extra points. 

The team's starting kicker, Josh Brown, will be suspended for Week 1 stemming from a domestic violence incident from 2015 in which his ex-wife said he was physically violent with her over 20 times, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

Obarski, who has never kicked in a regular season game, missed a 27-yard field goal in Saturday's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Josh Brown

New York Giants middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley (53) talking with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. (William Hauser (USA Today))
New York Giants middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley (53) talking with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. (William Hauser (USA Today))

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

The third preseason game is known as the 'dress rehearsal' for the regular season. It usually features more extensive reps for the starters while the backups and roster hopefuls watch anxiously from the sidelines.

The Giants are expected to play their starters in this Saturday night's game against the Jets for the better part of the first half, if not all of it and beyond. That means practicing this week as if they were playing a regular season game.

The club will treat Monday like a Tuesday, which is usually an off day, but with so much work to do they will hold a workout, which is expected to be light. They will practice Tuesday and Wednesday in full in preparation for the Jets, who will be physical, something the Giants have not been thus far in their preseason games.

Head coach Ben McAdoo wants to ramp up the physicality this week, especially on offense, where the Giants have appeared slow and disoriented.

"I think it's time its fundamentals and physicality need to pick up," McAdoo said on his Sunday media session with reporters. "I think there's some signs in practice, the half-line drill, and the 9-on-8 and 8-on-7, the physicality is there and it shows up. We have to carry that over and we have to keep working on it in practice and carry it over and it's got to show up on game day. A lot of the things, and a lot of the mistakes that we're making, we're not making in practice, we just need to have the confidence to carry those over to game day."

There won't be much time to evaluate the players on the end of the roster. This game will be the last chance for 15 players to make their case for a job as teams must trim their rosters to 75 players by Aug. 30.

The team basically knows who their starters and direct backups are going to be, with the exception of just a few positions. The offense appears set, which is both a good and a bad thing considering the manner in which they have performed thus far.

On defense, the MLB spot is still up for grabs where Jasper Brinkley is fending off Kelvin Sheppard and rookie B.J. Goodson for the moment. There are also several special teams' spots to be determined. With their top returner, Dwayne Harris, hobbled by a knee bruise, the Giants will take long looks at some others.

Tags: John Fennelly

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Garrett Hartley (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants will work out kicker Garrett Hartley on Monday, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, as they look to find their replacement for Josh Brown, who will be suspended for Week 1 stemming from a domestic violence incident.

Hartley, 30, has appeared in two games since 2014. He has made 85 of 104 career field goals in five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and one season with the Cleveland Browns.

Brown was suspended due to a domestic violence incident from 2015 in which his ex-wife said he was physically violent with her over 20 times, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

The Giants still have Tom Obarski, who missed a 27-yard field goal in Saturday's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, on their current roster.

"We haven't had time to sit down and talk about the game with Jerry (Reese) and really talk about those things," head coach Ben McAdoo said on Saturday regarding the potential of the Giants bringing in another kicker. "But you never say never."

Tags: Josh Brown

Giants coach Ben McAdoo has a lot to digest after two poor preseason games. (William Hauser)
Giants coach Ben McAdoo has a lot to digest after two poor preseason games. (William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after the Giants' ugly, 21-0 loss in Buffalo, Ben McAdoo wasn't ready to panic, but he wasn't anymore thrilled with his team's performance after watching the film. That was especially true up front, along the offensive line and with the tight ends who were clearly pushed around by the Bills' defensive front.

McAdoo insisted that "assignments, fundamentals and physicality all need to pick up." But he wasn't ready to make any lineup changes - yet.

 "We're not going to have any kneejerk reactions," McAdoo said. "Nobody's panicking here."

Here are a few more highlights of his conference call with the media on Sunday afternoon:

Victor Cruz will return to practice on Monday, as he told SNY on Saturday. Now, the Giants won't hold a full practice on Monday. It's more of a walkthrough and a "corrections" practice like they would normally do on Tuesday during a regular season game week. The real test for Cruz will come Tuesday when the Giants have a full practice. There is hope he'll be able to go without limitations, but that'll depend on how he does on Monday.

"We're going to put him back out there," McAdoo said. "He got some work in today. We'll put him back out there (Monday) and work him back into it."

■ WR Dwayne Harris had an MRI on his injured knee and McAdoo said he "checked out fine," but is a little bit sore.

■ LG Justin Pugh (shoulder) will "jump back in" to practice on Monday, McAdoo said. CB Eli Apple (knee) will return to individual drills.

■ Second-year pro Bobby Hart, filling in for Pugh on Saturday and playing a little tackle with the reserves, "got better," McAdoo said. "We need to see more consistency from him, but he did improve."

■ McAdoo doesn't seem too worried about backup QB Ryan Nassib, who was terrible on Saturday and wasn't good in the preseason opener either. "I still have confidence in Ryan," he said. "I know he can go out there and play at a high level. We need to run the ball around him better. We need to protect him."

■ McAdoo was completely noncommittal on young kicker Tom Obarski, who blew his "golden opportunity" to compete for the Giants' Week 1 kicker job by shanking a chip-shot, 27-yard attempt on Saturday. Will the Giants dump him and bring in another kicker to compete since they'll need someone to kick in Dallas while Josh Brown is suspended? "You never say never," McAdoo said. "We haven't had time to sit down and talk about the game with Jerry (Reese) and really talk about those things. But you never say never."


Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Victor Cruz

GEICO SportsNite: Giants blanked 00:01:41
Ralph Vacchiano reports from New Era Field with Giants postgame reaction to the team's 21-0 preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Big Picture

Breathe easy everybody, because the big picture is that the Giants' ugly 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills Saturday doesn't matter at all. Yeah, the offense was disturbingly bad, and sure the first-team defense got pushed around a bit by Buffalo's second-string offense, and OK the … well, yeah it was bad. But seriously, there are still three weeks until the opener and the Giants' starters get another big chance to fix their problems on Saturday against the Jets when they'll likely play into the third quarter. So don't worry. Really, don't. Or at least try not to worry. … OK, worry a little, but don't panic. Yet.

Game ball

When Ben McAdoo was asked if there were any positives he could take from the game, he said "No." I mostly agree. So really, there should be no game balls to anyone. But if you must, then give it to RB Bobby Rainey who reeled off a 67-yard run in the fourth quarter. That accounted for more than 40 percent of the Giants' offense in the entire game.

The good

OK, there were a few good things. Not many, but a few. The best player on the field early in the game was probably LB Jonathan Casillas, who might be Giants' only every-down LB. He has really good speed, which wasn't really noticeable last year when he battled so many injuries. There was an early play where he chased down Bills RB LeSean McCoy on a sweep towards the sidelines where he reminded me of Antonio Pierce. And he did it along the goal line a little while later to stop QB Tyrod Taylor. … S Landon Collins has similar sideline-to-sideline speed and he keeps showing he can hit, too. Both were on display when he came across and hammered Bills FB Jerome Felton to force a fumble (that DT Damon Harrison recovered). … Want to make people in the Giants organization smile? Mention the name of Owa Odighizuwa. They're convinced he's going to be a big surprise as a situational pass-rusher playing the old Justin Tuck role of a guy swinging between end and tackle (and maybe sometimes linebacker). He did it all Saturday afternoon and got some pressure on the quarterback. Only one tackle and one quarterback hit, though, so he needs to turn that promise into production. … There's good and bad with rookie CB Donte Deayon, but I'll put it under "good" because he's a 5-9, 160-pound rookie defying the odds. He made a terrific play in the second quarter to stick with a would-be touchdown pass over him to WR Greg Little. He kept fighting for the ball all the way to the end of the play and dislodged it enough that it was ruled no catch on the officials' review. Of course, the Bills saw something and went right back at him on their next offensive play and Little caught a 19-yard TD over him on a similar route. … Don't forget Rainey's 67-yard touchdown run. He came out of the pile and broke a couple of tackles early on a play that easily could've ended at the line of scrimmage.

The bad

Where to begin? Oh, I know - on the offensive line. The right side is still a problem. There was no push in the running game at all when they were out there. Not that the rest of the line was better, but it was particularly noticeable when the Giants tried to run behind RG John Jerry and RT Marshall Newhouse. No wonder five of the seven rushing attempts when the Giants starters were out there went for 1 yard or less. They also had three penalties in the first three series, which is unacceptable, and the pass protection was spotty. The pocket collapsed quickly around Eli Manning, and when Ryan Nassib was in the game it was a bigger problem since he's not as good at getting the ball out fast. Yeah, they were missing LG Justin Pugh, but his replacement, Bobby Hart, was hardly the only problem. The line was a mess. … The tight ends weren't exactly a help here. Larry Donnell whiffed or got beat on several blocks that blew up run plays or led to pressure on the quarterback, and he's actually the better blocker when compared to Will Tye. It's a bit of a problem that neither of the Giants' primary tight ends are accomplished blockers, especially with Will Johnson (stinger) out. … It's hard to evaluate RB Andre Williams due to the O-line mess, but losing a fumble didn't help his cause. … The first-team offense had one first down in four series. One. They can't have any streaks like that, even in the preseason. … CB Janoris Jenkins looked great speeding in on a blitz in the first quarter, heading right for Taylor - until the quarterback turned and Jenkins overran him. The result was a 59-yard pass to tight end Charles Clay who was covered by middle linebacker Keenan Robinson - a tough matchup when the quarterback has that much time on a deep route. … On a 90-degree day with the offense sputtering, the Giants' first-team defense was probably gassed. Still, it wasn't a good look for them that the Bills' second-team offense went on a 10-play, 59-yard march in 5:45 down the field for a second-quarter touchdown. They shouldn't have been that gassed that quickly. … This summer job audition for backup Nassib is not going well. Coming off a poor performance in the opener he started 0 for 7 in this game and finished 2 for 12 for 25 yards. Some of it was pressure, but some of it was just bad throws. He's in no danger of losing his backup job, but he sure isn't inspiring any confidence. … Bye, Tom Obarski. The backup kicker was supposed to get a "golden opportunity" to win the Opening Day kicker job with Josh Brown suspended. It turned out, thanks to the poor offense, he only got one kick - a chip-shot, 28-yarder in the fourth quarter. He pushed it wide left. He may get another chance in camp, but if he can't make that kick in a preseason game there's no way McAdoo will trust him on Sept. 11 in Dallas.

The rest

Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was calling the plays again. I was sure McAdoo would call his own plays since it's his offense, so consider me surprised. But that's two straight games now, so it looks like play calling will be Sullivan's job. … Fourth-year pro Tavarres King was the third receiver with the first-team offense. He caught one 8-yard pass. Rookie Roger Lewis (no catches, five targets) was the next receiver in the game when Odell Beckham came out. … Robinson started at MLB. Jasper Brinkley started the previous week. That battle should go to the end of camp. … CB Eli Apple (knee), LG Justin Pugh (shoulder), WR Geremy Davis (hamstring) and DE Kerry Wynn (groin) were among the Giants who did not play. But they did make the trip. Injured players didn't travel, for the most part, with the Giants under Tom Coughlin - especially for meaningless preseason games. … Dwayne Harris, who seems to have lost his No. 3 receiver job but is still valuable as returner and gunner, injured his knee in the second quarter. X-Rays were negative, but he will have an MRI on Sunday. … S Mykkele Thompson suffered a concussion in the second quarter.

Up next

The Giants return home to get ready for their all-important third preseason game, the annual tilt against the Jets on Saturday. The starters figure to play into the third quarter and it's their best chance to round into any kind of form before the opener since many won't play much (or at all) in the preseason finale five days later. That said, this is an enormously important week for Victor Cruz ,who was out in uniform and on the field during warmups on Saturday, but desperately needs to be on the field, in uniform and actually participating in practice this week and in the game on Saturday to prove he's ready to be factored in to the Giants' plans on Sept. 11 in Dallas. No, this isn't a make-or-break week and he's not fighting for his NFL career - and as Cruz told SNY, it would still be a "terrible move" to count him out. But it's doubtful the Giants would use him much in the finale against second-, third- and fourth-stringers (who might be playing a little overly hard in their fight to make a roster). Also, the Giants have to really be sure Cruz (groin) is ready before they start building a game plan with him included. So if you don't see Cruz this week or in the Jets game, don't plan on him being a factor in the first game. If he doesn't practice at all this week the Giants might have to at least think about the possibility of having him open the season on short-term injured reserve.


Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Victor Cruz

The Giants' Olivier Vernon (54) didn't get to Bills QB Tyrod Taylor, but eventually was able to sack backup E.J. Manuel later in Saturday's game. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)
The Giants' Olivier Vernon (54) didn't get to Bills QB Tyrod Taylor, but eventually was able to sack backup E.J. Manuel later in Saturday's game. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Now that the sun has set on the Giants 21-0 preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Giants fans are likely resetting their expectations for the upcoming season.

Many of the shortcomings that plagued the Giants the last two seasons were still evident: the offensive line, running the football, ball security, penalties, third down and red zone efficiency, field position and time of possession.

On defense, the pass rush appeared to be better, but still needs work. Against mobile QBs all afternoon, the Giants registered three sacks and five QB hits. Olivier Vernon had a sack against backup players. Keep in mind, the Bills were without their starting LG and LT, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn.

The linebackers, especially Jonathan Casillas, looked fine but Keenan Robinson got lost on a corner blitz by CB Janoris Jenkins that failed, allowing TE Charles Clay to get past him for a 57-yard gain. Robinson has struggled against the pass this summer and that play will stick in the coaches' minds, despite having six tackles in the game.
The secondary, especially the starters, played fairly well but did not have to contend with the Bills' star WR, Sammy Watkins (foot), who did not play. Eli Apple sat out due to a leg injury and young Donte Deayon showed some mettle in coverage, even though he eventually was exposed.

But it was the offense that is concerning everyone at the moment. The offensive line is still not winning off the snap. The holes for the running game are few and far between, practically non-existent, and the pass protection is shoddy. Take into account the Bills were without DE Kyle Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and OLB Manny Lawson and it was the Giants' starters vs the Bills' second- and third-teamers up front.

The lack of success in the trenches threw the offense for a loop and kept them off balance all afternoon. The objective was to open the game with a long drive as they did the previous week against Miami, but the quarterbacks were rushed and the backs were stuffed.

That made it difficult for the coaches to evaluate the youngsters properly, which was an objective going into this game. Saturday's game against the Jets will be dress rehearsal for the season and many of those young players are unlikely to play, which will complicate things a bit. The first roster cuts are due Tuesday, Aug 30, three days after the Jets game. The final cuts will come Saturday, Sept 3, two days after the final preseason game against the Patriots.

Players on the bubble....

WR Roger Lewis, a UDFA out of Bowling Green, is a player the team sees as ascending but was targeted five times against the Bills but did not record a reception...Veteran RB Bobby Rainey helped himself with a 67-yard run in the fourth quarter but still looked a little shaky on kickoffs, which could be an issue if Dwayne Harris (knee) misses any time...Third-string QB Logan Thomas played the final two series and was intercepted twice. . . .LB Ishaq Williams had seven tackles (three solo), while another Notre Damer, Romeo Okwara, had a sack and other QB hit. K Tom Obarski, expected to fill in for Josh Brown in Week 1, missed a 28-yard FG in the fourth quarter. There are also several offensive linemen who need to be evaluated. It appeared no one played up to snuff on Saturday. The starters are set, and Bobby Hart is exptected to make the roster, but the other spots are wide open as no one seems to have stood out.

Tags: John Fennelly

Eli Manning and Odell Beckham had a hard time connecting on the field Saturday. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)
Eli Manning and Odell Beckham had a hard time connecting on the field Saturday. (Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Don't panic. But be concerned.

That seemed to be the general consensus coming from the Giants after they gave an absolutely hideous offensive performance in a disturbing, 21-0 preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. The starting offense, with both Eli Manning and Odell Beckham back in the lineup, gained just 48 yards and one first down in four series. By halftime, the Giants' total had dipped to just 37 offensive yards.

They were up to 166 by the time the game was over, but 67 came on one Bobby Rainey fourth-quarter run.

It was not a pretty sight for new coach Ben McAdoo, who helped the Giants rank 10th and eighth in total offense during his two years as offensive coordinator. His offense is a big reason he was tabbed as Tom Coughlin's successor.

But now his offense has averaged less than 200 yards (196.5) and scored 10 total points in two games.

"I told them we worked too hard to put a performance like that on film," McAdoo said, moments after addressing his players. "They were more physical than we were, that was obvious. We need to take a long look in the mirror."

Asked if there were any positives, McAdoo simply said "No." And it's really hard to argue. Their starting offensive line committed three penalties in the first three drives, and left tackle Ereck Flowers gave up a sack. The run game produced 13 yards on seven carries with the starters in the game - and that actually sounds way better than it really looked. Andre Williams picked up 11 of thosen a 3rd-and-19 shotgun draw.

Five of their other six carries gained one yard or less.

Manning just 4 of 9 for 44 yards - 22 on his lone first-down completion to Odell Beckham. Ryan Nassib was 2 of 12 for 25 yards, which actually wasn't bad considering his 0-for-7 start. Take away Rainey's run and the Giants gained just 35 rushing yards on 18 carries.

The deeper you go into the numbers, the worse they look.

Of course, there's no reason to be really alarmed. The Giants have had awful preseasons before and two years of terrific productivity under McAdoo's direction would certainly justify any faith. Plus don't ever forget that in the preseason there is minimal game-planning. And rather than constantly getting the ball to their playmakers - like Beckham, for example - part of Manning's job in the preseason is to try to spread the ball around and give everyone a little work.

But still, they shouldn't look as bad as they did. There should've been some positive to take out of the game, somewhere. That's particularly true of the first-team offense, which McAdoo said "wasn't very good, to put it politely."

 "What we practice needs to show up on game day," McAdoo said. "And it hasn't been."

And yet …

 "You can't freak out," Manning said. "But you've got to understand that there's got to be some urgency, and we've got to do some things better than we were doing today."

The urgency has to come next week, which running back Rashad Jennings correctly said is "a dress rehearsal for the regular season." They will add a little more game-planning this week and have a full week of practice on a semi-regular-season schedule, all leading up to the game next Saturday against the Jets when the starters traditionally play into the third quarter.

By then some of the worry spots have to get better. The offensive line - which in fairness was missing left guard Justin Pugh - has to start providing a push in the run game and do a better job of not leaving Manning on the run.

And the turnovers have to stop. There were four more in this game. And the offense can't string together so many three-and-outs. In this game they were so bad they had only a 20:15 time of possession.

Not surprisingly, considering the temperatures were near 90 throughout the game, the Giants' starting defense - which at one point gave up a touchdown drive to the Bills' second-team offense - looked completely gassed.

"Well, the good thing is it is preseason," said defensive end Olivier Vernon. "I'm pretty sure we all have confidence in all of us. We just have to realize that some things happened, so right now we have to go back to the drawing board. We have a lot of room for improvement."

They do. And they have to improve quickly, because all that confidence the Giants have - especially in their offense, with all its weapons - won't mean much if they keep playing like they just did.

 "You have to earn the right to feel confident," Jennings said. "Or else you're just blowing smoke."



Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Ralph Vacchiano

GEICO SportsNite: Giants blanked 00:01:41
Ralph Vacchiano reports from New Era Field with Giants postgame reaction to the team's 21-0 preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Box score

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

The second half of a preseason game doesn't really matter much. For Giants fans, they better hope the first half of Saturday's game in Buffalo matters even less. Big Blue was anything but Big in their loss to the Bills.

In fact, the organization has to be nervous right now. The club looks unprepared and played "sloppy" again as if they were simply going through the motions. No speed and no sense of urgency. Coach Ben McAdoo told reporters at halftime that he couldn't find any positives coming out of the first half. Whoa.

The first-team offense was shoddy, even pathetic at times, against a Buffalo team that was without several key players. QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham made their preseason debuts, but outside of a 22-yard hookup, couldn't light a spark under a flat offense that featured poor play by the offensive line.

The 22-yard pass was the only first down the offense could muster. The Giants only gained 27 net yards in the first half with two lost fumbles and four punts. The Giants did not reach the red zone and went 1-for-6 on third downs. They also comitted six penalties in the first half for 50 yards and held the football for a little over nine minutes to the Bills' 20 minutes and change.

The only scoring opportunity in the first half was in the first quarter when they went for it on fourth-and-2 on the Buffalo 35. Manning overthrew OBJ down the right sideline.

The offense would not be heard from again until midway through the fourth quarter after RB Bobby Rainey rambled 67 yards to the Buffalo 30, which set them up for a trip to the red zone. But the Giants could not convert on a third-and-7 from the Buffalo 10. Tom Obarski, who the Giants hope will handle the kicking duties in Josh Brown's absence in Week 1, then missed a 27-yard FG attempt, keeping the Giants off the scoreboard.

QB Ryan Nassib went 2-for-12 passing for 25 yards in relief of Manning (4-for-9, 44 yards) and looked worse than he did in against Miami last week, if that is possible. The Giants have to be concerned, even though Nassib had little asssitance. Logan Thomas, the team's third QB, was 2-4 with two INTs

The starting defense appeared to have a bead on things, shutting down the Buffalo offense early. But it then allowed two TD drives, one led by QB Tyrod Taylor and the other by backup E.J. Manuel. The Bills led 21-0 at the half and it could have been worse.


LB Jonathan Casillas looked the part, anticipating and appearing in the Bills backfield often....The Giants rewarded punter Brad Wing with a new contract before the season, which was a good move considering the way the offense has been playing. He's going to have a Pro Bowl season at this rate.


They can't run the football and the overall blocking is pitiful. Granted Justin Pugh was out, but still....Ball security continues to be an issue and so are penalties. I know it's the preseason but the discipline seems lacking. It was difficult to gauge the offensive skill players because the Bills' defensive line pushed the Giants' O-line backwards on nearly every play. TE Larry Donnell, who has been working on his blocking, obviously needs more work as he whiffed on several attempts....The Giants went 1-11 on third downs, not exactly the way they drew things up coming into camp.


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

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) kicks a field goal against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) kicks a field goal against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The domestic violence charges against Josh Brown, stemming from an incident with his wife in May, 2015, were dropped in part because of the "tumultuous" level of cooperation investigators received from Molly Brown and their inability to get statements from corroborating witnesses, according to a document obtained by SNY.

In a letter from Richard Anderson, the senior deputy prosecuting attorney of Kings County (Wash.) to Deputy Joshua Lambert of the sheriff's office, Anderson indicated they did try to investigate both the incident on May 22, 2015, where Brown allegedly grabbed his wife's wrist during an argument, and the "more than 20" past instances of domestic violence that Molly Brown had alleged against the Giants kicker. Anderson wrote they "had a number of meetings with the victim to get more information about the alleged incidents and other incidents that would have corroborating evidence that we could use at trial."

Some of the witnesses that Molly told prosecutors about, the letter said, included her sons, parents and "several friends/neighbors who the victim told us she spoke with/ran to after incidents of violence between them."

However, the letter said, "As you know, the nature of the anticipated testimony from these individuals is such that a jury would have extreme difficulty finding the defendant guilty unless we were able to produce these witnesses at trial. … Absent statements from them, we are unable to assess the strength of the victim's testimony and whether it would be sufficient to carry our burden of proof."

Anderson also wrote "I am aware … that the victim's level of cooperation with you and law enforcement has been tumultuous because of her ongoing relationship and interactions with the suspect, and I know it has been very challenging to obtain the requested information."

The NFL ran into the same problem in its investigation into Brown's past, as the league explained in a statement it released on Friday explaining the reason why the kicker received only a one-game suspension. The league said that "despite multiple attempts to speak with her about this incident and her previous statements, she declined to speak with us." Because of that, the NFL said, "we were limited in our ability to investigate these allegations."

The NFL also said it requested additional information from local law enforcement, but that request was declined. That led the league with "insufficient information to corroborate prior allegations."

The Giants have yet to explain how much they knew about Brown's past and whether they had that information before they re-signed him a two -year, $4 million contract in the offseason. Giants GM Jerry Reese declined to comment when approached by SNY on Saturday and Giants co-owner John Mara also said he had "nothing to say," though he added "Check with me next week. Maybe I'll change my mind."

Giants coach Ben McAdoo also declined to address to new revelations, saying "I said everything I had to say on Thursday about the Josh Brown situation" On Thursday, McAdoo said he wasn't aware of Brown's domestic violence arrest and impending suspension until he became the head coach in January. He also said he stood by his kicker saying he supported Brown "as a man, a father and a player". He also added "We treat these situations on a case-by-case basis."

Brown, on Thursday, declined to address the details of his arrest or the domestic violence incident, referring to it several times as "a moment." Asked on Saturday if he would address the allegations in the police report, he said "No, I'm not going to speak about any of it."

Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants running back Andre Williams (44) rushes the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants running back Andre Williams (44) rushes the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

BUFFALO, New York -- Eli Manning will make his preseason debut on Saturday afternoon, and for him the goal is the same as it's been in almost every preseason game of his career: Don't get hurt.

Really, the idea that Manning needs preseason at this stage of his career is silly, even if he does want at least a little action to get himself warmed up. Mostly, his presence is a help for everyone else, most notably the young receivers looking to earn his trust. It helps the rest of the first-team offense, too.

But no matter how he does, no matter the result, the only important thing is his health since he is still, by far, the most indispensable player on the Giants. So that's the most important thing to watch on Saturday afternoon when the Giants play Rex Ryan's Buffalo Bills.

And here are three other things to watch, too:

1. The offensive line: The first-team line was OK, but not great in the opener. Once they went out, though, things were terrible. That just reinforced the notion that this Giants team is dangerously thin in way too many spots. Now, it appears that LG Justin Pugh will miss this game with a shoulder injury and second-year pro Bobby Hart will take his place. What will that do to the line? And will this be Hart's shot to convince Ben McAdoo he deserves a chance to compete for a starting job? The coaches have talked about Hart having a chance to push Marshall Newhouse at right tackle, but that never really happened. A good performance on Saturday and maybe they give him a second look.

2. Andre Williams and Paul Perkins: All indications are that Rashad Jennings will be the Giants' No. 1 running back on Opening Day, but Williams sure looked like a different runner in the opener when he gained 41 yards on nine carries. He ran harder than I remember him running last year and made better cuts. Not bad for a preseason debut and if it keeps up maybe he could steal some of Jennings' carries. As for Perkins, the rookie, he had an impressive seven carries for 36 yards. It's still hard to see exactly where he can fit in in the Giants' running back rotation, but if he has a good summer, McAdoo might have to figure it out.

3. Tom Obarski: It's the beginning of what McAdoo called "a golden opportunity" for the other Giants' kicker in camp who would like a shot at the Opening Day job when the embattled Josh Brown will serve his one-game suspension for his domestic violence arrest. Obarski is a total unknown who spent last summer in Bengals camp, but McAdoo promised he'd kick a lot on Saturday. This is a straight-up audition for him to prove to the Giants they don't need to scour the waiver wire for a veteran for the opener. These aren't exactly high-pressure kicks, so who knows if Obarski can even do enough to win the job? But this is the start of his only shot.

Tags: Eli Manning , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants Helmet and ball in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Giants 27-10. (William Hauser)
New York Giants Helmet and ball in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Giants 27-10. (William Hauser)

The Giants (0-1) travel to Buffalo on Saturday afternoon to take on Rex Ryan and the Bills (0-1) in their second of four preseason games against the AFC East.

Last week, the Giants lost to the Miami Dolphins at home, 27-10, in a game in which QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr. watched from the sidelines. The Giants led the game, 10-0, in the first quarter behind their starters.

The Bills fell short in a 19-18 loss to Indianapolis last week, stopped on the game's final play - a two-point conversion after the Bills scored a touchdown as time expired.

Kickoff: 4:00PM Eastern

TV: My9, NFLN Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross

Radio: WFAN 660AM, SiriusXM 226 Paul Dottino, David Diehl, Roman Oben

Giants vs Buffalo in the Preseason: It is the second time in three years the two teams meet in the preseason. On Aug. 3, 2014, they defeated the Bills, 17-13, in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Giants lead the preseason series, 4-1. They also won in 1977, 1990 and 1991. The Bills prevailed 23-17 in 1974. The Giants last played a preseason game in Buffalo in 1990.


Who's out/in for the Giants....WR Geremy Davis (hamstring), TE Will Johnson (stinger), CB Leon McFadden (bruised lower leg), LB J.T. Thomas III (PUP, hamstring) and DE Kerry Wynn (groin) are all out and will not travel to Buffalo. WR Victor Cruz (groin), LG Justin Pugh (shoulder) and CB Eli Apple (knee) all made the trip but it remains to be seen if they will see any action. DT Jay Bromley (ankle) was activated off the PUP list this week. DB Matt Smalley (shoulder) was waived/injured and replaced by DB Joe Powell out of Globe Tech in New York.

The Bills will be without the starting left side of their offensive line against the Giants. LG Richie Incognito (ribs) and LT Cordy Glenn (ankle) are out, and CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, WR Greg Salas and DT Alameda Ta'Amu are unlikely to play as well.

Giants Notes

Manning and Beckham will be seeing their first game action since Week 17 of the 2015 regular season....Bobby Hart will likely start in place of Pugh at LG...The Giants will be taking a long look at several players at the MLB spot...Kelvin Sheppard, Jasper Brinkley and rookie B.J. Goodson should all get solid reps there Saturday...Andre Williams and rookie Paul Perkins are expected to see extensive action again at the RB position.

The Giants are eager to see more of their young TE group. With Larry Donnell and Will Tye almost locks to make the roster, the club will give ample snaps and targets to Matt LaCosse, Jerell Adams and Ryan Malleck this preseason.

With K Josh Brown facing a one-game suspension, Tom Obarski should see the lion's share of the placekicking duties against the Bills and for the remainder of the preseason if he works out.

Bills Notes

Recent roster moves...08/16/2016...LB Manny Lawson was moved to the active roster. Lawson is facing a one-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. DT Marcell Dareus' four-game ban is the result of a missed drug test. Both players are eligible to play in the preseason.

08/15/2016...RB Karlos Williams was moved to the active roster and former Atlanta Falcons LB Kroy Biermann was signed. DT Brandon Deaderick and DT Alameda Ta'amu were also added to the roster. LB IK Enemkpali was released (waived/injured) as were DT T.J. Barnes and WR Leonard Hankerson.

The Bills' top two draft picks, DE Shaq Lawson and LB Reggie Ragland, will not be on the field Saturday. Lawson (shoulder) is on the PUP list and will be out until midseason. Ragland tore his ACL two weeks ago and will miss the entire 2016 season.

Starting RT Seantrel Henderson (Crohn's disease) in currently on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List and will likely start the season there. Jordan Mills will be the Bills' RT.

Rookie QB Cardale Jones, selected by the Bills in the fourth round (No. 139 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, passed for 162 yards and a touchdown in his debut last week against the Colts. 

Tags: John Fennelly

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Andrew Weber)
New York Giants kicker Josh Brown (3) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Andrew Weber)

The NFL has released a statement regarding Giants' kicker Josh Brown's suspension.

Police reports and 911 calls from his then-wife describe incidents in which he was physically abusive more than 20 times, including when she was pregnant. >> Read more...

The NFL's statement said that his former spouse declined to speak with the NFL and, over a 10-month investigation, the league was also rebuffed by local police in their search for more information.

Brown has been suspended for one game by the league. >> Read more...

The full statment from the league follows:

In May 2015, the NFL was informed by the New York Giants of Josh Brown's arrest for an incident in his home involving his then wife. We began an investigation into the incident and circumstances surrounding it.

In the course of the League's investigation, our investigators became aware that his wife had filed a statement with the county court alleging previous altercations between the spouses. However, despite multiple attempts to speak with her about this incident and her previous statements, she declined to speak with us. We understand that there are many reasons that might have affected her decision not to speak with us, but we were limited in our ability to investigate these allegations.

Over the course of the 10-month investigation, we also made numerous requests-as late as this spring-to local law enforcement officers for information on the case and previous allegations. They declined those requests for information.

As a result of these factors, our investigators had insufficient information to corroborate prior allegations. In addition, no criminal charges were brought forward regarding the incident in question or prior allegations. The NFL therefore made a decision based on the evidentiary findings around this one incident as provided to us by the District Attorney.

The NFL made a finding that Mr. Brown had violated the Personal Conduct Policy. We did so based on the evidence of this one incident as presented in the police report, Mr. Brown and his wife's statements to police that evening, and his statements in interviews with the NFL.

The NFL Personal Conduct policy allows for discipline to be imposed even when criminal charges are not presented. It further allows for us to consider both aggravating and mitigating factors regarding discipline for domestic violence.

After reviewing the evidence in this one incident, we imposed a one-game suspension for violation of the personal conduct policy.

Mr. Brown and the NFLPA appealed this discipline, but the decision was upheld by a hearing officer.

Brown's one-game suspension will keep him out of Week 1, but allows him to participate in training camp and preseason games.

Tags: Josh Brown

 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The Giants have announced their inactives for Saturday's preseason game against the Bills in Buffalo.

WR Geremy Davis (hamstring), TE Will Johnson (stinger), CB Leon McFadden (bruised lower leg), LB J.T. Thomas III (PUP, hamstring), and DE Kerry Wynn (groin) are all out and will not travel to Buffalo.

WR Victor Cruz (groin), LG Justin Pugh (shoulder), and CB Eli Apple (knee) all made the trip.

However, Cruz is not expected to play.

Tags: Eli Apple , Geremy Davis , J.T. Thomas , Justin Pugh , Kerry Wynn , Victor Cruz

GEICO SportsNite: Brown 911 Call 00:03:11
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reports on Josh Brown's suspension and reacts to the 911 call from the Brown residence.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Josh Brown described the domestic violence incident that got him suspended by the NFL as "just a moment."

According to the police report, it may have been much more than that.

The report, obtained by SNY from the Kings County (Wash.) Sherriff's Office, said that the "moment" actually took place over two consecutive nights in which police were called to the home shared by Brown and his now ex-wife Molly. It also said that Molly told police the Giants kicker "had been physically violent to her on more than 20 different instances", including when she was pregnant, and that she had a protection order against him back in 2013.

Brown, 37, was arrested on May 22, 2015 for grabbing his wife's wrist and causing "pain, bruising and a small abrasion", according to the police report. He was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence - charges dropped by the Kings County prosecutor five days later.

In the police report, Molly Brown described several horrifying scenes, including one from April 2015, just one month before Brown's arrest, when he allegedly threatened to punch her and said "I want to knock you out so bad."

She described another incident in April 2014, telling police "he pushed her into the large mirror in their bedroom and then threw her on the floor and jumped on top of her, holding her face down into the carpet," according to the report.

Molly Brown described another incident from February 2014, in which she said Brown got into an argument with her son, Kobe, and "kicked in the bathroom door" which "flew open and hit Kobe in the arm," according to the report. She added that Brown kicked the door so hard "it broke off the hinges of the door and cracked a large portion of the door jam."

In 911 calls from Molly Brown, also obtained by SNY from the Kings County Sherriff's Office, she told the operator on the first night that Brown had "got in my son's face" during an argument with Kobe, 16, who is also Brown's stepson. In the call on the second night she said she locked herself in her bedroom after Brown had grabbed her wrist.

The police report said that Molly "appeared to be genuinely scared of her husband" after police arrived on the second night after an argument that she said began over finances. The report also stated that once police decided to arrest Brown, the kicker "continued to sit in the chair and argued that he was not under arrest." Only when deputies grabbed him "by the arms" did he finally stand up and comply.

In an interview with detectives six days after the incident, Molly went into even greater detail, according to a transcript obtained by SNY. She alleges that Brown even threatened to kill her several times, and that he has kicked her in the past.

Brown was also suspended due to an assault charge in 2001, when he was a kicker for the University of Nebraska, reports Tom Rock of Newsday.

During that incident, Brown allegedly threw a woman -- his ex girlfriend -- to the ground before punching a man.

The Giants declined comment on the details of the 2015 police report, through a team spokesman, and neither Brown nor his agent could be reached for comment. Brown said earlier on Thursday that he informed the Giants about the incident the day it happened, though it's unclear how much detail they were given or how much they knew when they re-signed him to a two-year, $4 million deal this offseason. 

Brown was given a one-game suspension by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, presumably because of this incident. According to a league source, the NFL was aware of all the details in the police report, had heard the 911 recordings, and had seen the transcript of Molly Brown's interview with detectives before informing Brown in June that he was facing a suspension.

In a press conference earlier on Thursday, Brown declined to discuss what happened between him and his ex-wife.

"First of all, I'm not going to go into detail about anything," Brown said. "My major concern is my three kids, and the things that are put out there, and the things that are being said. Like everybody's aware of, this moment happened over a year ago. The case was dropped five days after the moment happened, and we've moved forward with our lives at this point."

The fact that charges were dropped by the Kings County prosecutor five days later was the reason Brown appealed the NFL's decision to suspend him and why he has continued to say he disagrees with that punishment.

Giants coach Ben McAdoo, who had previously stated his support for the NFL's crack down on domestic violence, said he wasn't aware of Brown's situation until he was officially named coach in January. He declined to specifically discuss what about Brown's case made him willing to welcome him back to the team, but McAdoo said "My stance (against domestic violence) stays the same. I'm a father, I'm a husband, and my stance on personal conduct stays the way it is. Stays consistent, and it stays strong. But I think it's important for an organization and the locker room to take it on a case-by-case basis."

Tags: Josh Brown

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

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

The Giants will have a "speed practice" on Friday before they shuffle off to Buffalo for their Saturday afternoon preseason game against the Bills. Head coach Ben McAdoo said some players that did not participate in full at practice this week may still see action during the game.

"We're not walking through tomorrow, we're going to have a speed practice tomorrow," McAdoo told reporters Thursday. "So we're going to go out, we're going to be on and off the field in about 55 minutes, and get some speed work in. If guys can go out there and participate in speed work, then they have a chance to play."

Usually, players who watch the scrimmages from the sidelines don't see a ton of action in games, especially in the preseason. McAdoo was asked if it was fair to say if players that players who missed Thursday's workout would be declared out for Saturday.

"It would be fair to say, but like we talked about yesterday, this isn't the league for fair," he said. "So we'll see how it goes tomorrow. Again, every day and every night, when you wake up the next day, things change. So you have to take a look at how guys get through their workout today and how they recover for tomorrow morning and take your latest and greatest information and go with it there. You never want to say when guys are out when you don't know for sure."

That includes WR Victor Cruz (groin), we assume, but no one is expecting to see him on the field in Buffalo. Still, the team is holding out hope as time is not on Cruz' side after missing so much time the past 18 months.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he could go tomorrow," McAdoo said. "Maybe the first practice back after Buffalo. We'll see how it goes."

OL Justin Pugh (shoulder) was "progressing" according to McAdoo, but with all the questions regarding the depth of the offensive line, it would behoove the team to get longer looks at some of the backups. Bobby Hart has been filling in at RG for Pugh the last few days.

WR Geremy Davis (hamstring), rookie CB Eli Apple (strained leg muscle), DB Leon McFadden (bruised lower leg), TE Will Johnson (burner) and DE Kerry Wynn (groin) have all been convalescing this week, so it's doubtful any of them will play.

Who will play this Saturday are QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham, Jr., who will play with the starters. Neither star took a snap in last week's 27-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

"It's good to get the first group out there. A chance to knock the rust off," said McAdoo. "We played a few snaps in that first game but to get out there with Eli and Odell and get the whole group together and work the instincts. Anticipation is exciting."

How long the "ones" will play this week is still unknown. McAdoo was not very forthcoming on the exact number.
"We have a generic snap count for the ones, for the twos, and for the threes," he said. "Then we adjust it on a case by case basis after that. After we take a look at the injury report and building up guys for the game."

McAdoo said the Giants will do a little more gameplanning for the Bills this week. Last week against Miami, the coaches were more focused on getting everyone lined up and getting reps than they were on strategy.

The Bills will be ready and it will be a good test for the Giants, who had a hotly contested game there last season. Two of the team's top free agent pickups, DE Olivier Vernon and DT Damon Harrison are very familiar with the Bills from their days in the AFC East, but still, the Giants want to be ready.

"Buffalo is a tough place to play," McAdoo said. "It's a tough crowd. They're loud. It's a physical football team and we're going to have our hands full."

In roster news, the Giants waived DB Matt Smalley, who was signed after a tryout earlier this year. Smalley dislocated his shoulder on Monday and is expected to end up on IR after he clears waivers. The club signed unheralded DB Joe Powell, who played college ball at Globe Tech in New York, to fill the roster vacancy.

Tags: Victor Cruz

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, didn't want his franchise quarterback to play in a game last week against crazy, blitz-happy coach Rex Ryan. So Andrew Luck sat out the preseason tilt against the Buffalo Bills.

The Giants have no such worries. Or if they do, they aren't saying. Because Eli Manning will be on the field when the Giants play Ryan's Bills in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.

"I am looking forward to getting out there," Manning said on Thursday. "And for me, I haven't taken a hit or had some live action in a long time, so I am looking forward to getting out on the field, seeing what we can do with this offense, getting some live work."

Manning will likely take a hit or two against the Bills because, as the Giants know, Ryan doesn't shy away from being aggressive, even in meaningless preseason games. Certainly the Giants haven't forgotten the Giants-Jets preseason game in 2010 where Jets linebacker Calvin Pace knocked Manning's helmet off with a big hit that left the quarterback bloodied and needing stitches on his chin.

Manning never blamed Ryan - though many others in the organization did. He even absolved him again on Thursday afternoon. "That wasn't his fault," Manning said. "He didn't do anything wrong. That was on me, so that was a good lesson that I learned on that. It wasn't because he came on some outrageous blitz or did anything wrong."

And so, unlike Irsay, Manning has no reservations about facing Ryan's defense in a game that doesn't count.

"You treat it like every other game, like every other preseason game," Manning said. "You go out there, try to do your job, play at a high level and just understand --- obviously I have been going against a Rex Ryan defense a bunch, regular season, preseason when he was with the Jets, so you have to understand that they are multiple, they like to bring some pressures and some blitzes and it is our job to get the ball out on time and be prepared for everything."

It will be a good test for the 35-year-old Manning who was held out of the Giants' preseason opener last week. Manning wasn't thrilled about that, by the way "You have to listen to the coach's orders," he said. "It's not something that I ideally like." It was made worse last week by a miscommunication where he was first told he didn't have to dress for the game, so he "got a full workout in and a run" only to later learn he had to dress and help his receivers warm up.

Manning doesn't need a lot of practice, but he likely will only get the second and third preseason games to get into his rhythm and routine. Most likely he won't play much in the fourth preseason game, if at all. And with Victor Cruz still sidelined and his status unknown, he's got a lot of young receivers - Sterling Shepard, Geremy Davis, Roger Lewis - that he needs to work with in game situations as much as he possibly can.

"I think the preseason games are very helpful," Manning said. "Every rep, every practice rep. You get certain concepts and certain routes, but going against different technique, different looks, different forms of defense, you are going to get a different reaction. So I think every live rep counts a little bit extra when you get in the game."

And if that game comes against Rex Ryan? Well, that's no big deal to Manning who never disliked the former Jets coach as much as so many of his old teammates once did.

"I find Rex funny," Manning said. "I think he is a good coach, I think he has a good scheme and like I said, I think he is very entertaining. Every run in I have had with him, he has been very nice and always had something creative to say."

Tags: Eli Manning , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants Helmet and ball in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Giants 27-10. (William Hauser)
New York Giants Helmet and ball in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Miami Dolphins defeat the New York Giants 27-10. (William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- A very healthy start to camp has turned into something more familiar with the Giants - a long list of players standing on the sidelines. Among the players not working on Thursday were receiver Victor Cruz (groin), cornerback Eli Apple (knee), guard Justin Pugh (shoulder), tight end Will Johnson (burner) and receiver Geremy Davis (hamstring).

Don't panic, though. It's still early, though it's hard to imagine any of them will play in the Giants' preseason game on Saturday in Buffalo. Better they sit out now, though, than on Opening Day, which is now less than 3 ½ weeks away.

Meanwhile, here are the three things I was watching at practice today:

1. Can Victor Cruz's "bounce back" day lead to him actually practicing?

Well, no. And I guess that's not surprising anymore. The Giants continue to talk a good game about Cruz's progress and how he's doing more and more on the sidelines - including some zig-zagging today instead of straight-ahead running. Ben McAdoo optimistically added that "I wouldn't be surprised" if Cruz took part in what the coach described as a "speed practice" scheduled for Friday. If not then, then maybe Monday when they return to the practice field for regular drills. But at this point, who knows? Cruz is out with no concrete timetable for a return, and the optimism has yet to really be backed up by any facts.

2. How is Justin Pugh doing and can Bobby Hart take anyone's starting job?

Pugh remained out of practice on Thursday and likely won't play on Saturday. Hart, the Giants' 21-year-old seventh-round pick from 2015 filled in for Pugh again and will almost certainly start for him in Buffalo. He really is holding his own in practice, though it's obviously hard to tell without full hitting and full pads. The 6-4, 334-pounder will get a terrific chance against the Bills to show what he can do. He had no shot, of course, of beating out Pugh, but the right tackle job of Marshall Newhouse remains an entry point for anyone that wants to compete for a starting job. The Giants have always been open to the idea of Hart pushing Newhouse if he shows he's worthy.

3. Who is Tom Obarski, and will he be the Opening Day kicker?

Obarski, the only other kicker in Giants camp, is a completely untested option for the Giants. He's looked good in camp when he's been given a chance to kick and "seemed steady," McAdoo said. The real test, though, will be what McAdoo called "a golden opportunity" to show his stuff, beginning this Saturday in Buffalo. The Giants have no choice but to take a long look at him so they can decide if he's good enough and trustworthy enough to be thrown into a very tough spot on Opening Day in Dallas. McAdoo wouldn't commit to anything that far out, of course, and it's still a better bet that the Giants will turn to a veteran, rather than throw a kid into a very big game.

Tags: Ralph Vacchiano

Kicker Josh Brown has been suspended for the Giants regular season opener. (Kim Klement)
Kicker Josh Brown has been suspended for the Giants regular season opener. (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants kicker Josh Brown confirmed on Thursday that his one-game suspension was due to the domestic violence incident he was involved in with his now ex-wife in 2015.

Brown referred to the incident as a "moment" and said the charges were dropped five days later.

His arrest occurred on May 22, 2015 in Woodinville, Wa., according to a report Wednesday night by NJ Advance Media. The report said that after an argument between Brown and an unnamed victim at a house he shared with his wife, the kicker was booked into the county jail on a fourth-degree domestic violence charge -- a misdemeanor --and later released on $2,000 bail.

The police report, according to NJ Advance Media, said the victim called 911 to report an assault and had redness and a small cut, "possibly from a fingernail" on her wrist. The report said Brown grabbed her wrist while she was picking up the phone.

The 37-year-old Brown had issued a statement through the Giants on Wednesday in which he said he disagreed with the NFL's decision.

"While I do not agree with the suspension, I will accept it," Brown's statement read. "I have exhausted the appeals process and have no other options along those lines. I will continue to work hard for this team, and I have tremendous confidence in my teammates and in my ability to move on and contribute to the team."

The Giants, who Brown says he alerted of the incident the day after it happened, re-signed the kicker to a two-year, $4 million contract in April. The NFL wouldn't have been able to impose discipline until after Brown's case had been resolved in the court system, and then he would've had time to appeal. That's why he was able to play in all 16 games last season after this incident occurred.

Now, Brown is eligible to participate in preseason practices and games leading up to the start of Week 1 of the NFL season. He would then be eligible to return on September 12, after the Giants opening game in Dallas. He will forfeit $72,058, or 1/17th of his $1.225 million base salary.

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

The Giants have one other kicker on the roster, Tom Obarski, out of Concordia St. Paul, signed this past offseason. Obarski spent last summer with the Cincinnati Bengals but was cut at the end of camp. Whether or not the Giants look to bring in another kicker for just one game is unknown.

Tags: Josh Brown

Kelvin Sheppard looks on at the action during the Giants preseason game against the Dolphins.  (William Hauser (USA Today))
Kelvin Sheppard looks on at the action during the Giants preseason game against the Dolphins. (William Hauser (USA Today))

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

Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, signed by the Giants this past April as one of those "second or third wave" free agents GM Jerry Reese likes to refer to, is attracting a lot of attention at training camp this month.

The six-year veteran who was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of LSU by the Buffalo Bills, is pushing hard to not only make the Giants' roster, but to make an impact on their defense.

"He's an instinctive guy," head coach Ben McAdoo told reporters on Wednesday. "He gets football and has a nose for the ball. His energy impacts everybody out there. He's a big energy guy."

Sheppard comes in on a one-year, veteran minimum deal ($760K) after spending the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins where last year he recorded a career-high 105 tackles in 14 games started. The Dolphins chose not to re-sign Sheppard even though he finished second on the team in tackles.

Critics said that he was subpar against both the run and the pass. The Giants were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Sheppard in a backup role but he's shown so far that he might be more than that. He was running with the first team at middle linebacker on Wednesday at practice.

"I don't see him being behind anyone out there," McAdoo said when asked if he was lagging learning the playbook. "He's a football get-it guy."

The Giants like his versatility and the possibilities he brings to their defense. He can play all three linebacker spots and can even be used as a nickel back in packages.

"Versatility is longevity in this league," added McAdoo. "The more you can do the longer you'll be around and the more you have to offer."

Sheppard is in a crowded mix at linebacker this summer. Jasper Brinkley is currently the starter in the middle, flanked by Devon Kennard and Jonathan Casillas on the outside. He is also in competition with veterans Mark Herzlich, Keenan Robinson, J.T. Thomas (who is on PUP) and rookies B.J. Goodson and Ishaq Williams.

"I believe that this is a true competition situation here. I don't think they are playing around with anybody's mind, or trying to do a mind game," Sheppard said on Wednesday. "I believe that it's true competition and every guy has to earn their reps. It starts with, one, being able to know what you're doing out there and, two, being able to go out and actually perform. So I think every guy's reps here are definitely earned."

He's certainly earning his reps this summer but the Giants will have some tough cuts at the linebacker position come September. Sheppard hopes to be on the 53-man roster after those cuts are made. He is high on the potential of the Giants' linebacker unit, which has been one of the league's most underperforming the past several seasons.

"One of the best in the league, if not the best," said Sheppard on how good the Giants' LBs can be this season. "From the starters to the depth that we have, I say that. The reason I say it is because you don't see this depth. We have right now seven guys that I believe have started real NFL football games, and I believe we can be one of the better corps, we just have to work at it."

He is doing all he can at the moment to make that happen.

Tags: John Fennelly

Rashad Jennings runs the ball during mini camp. (William Hauser (USA Today))
Rashad Jennings runs the ball during mini camp. (William Hauser (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After an offseason of obsessing about the right side of the offensive line, it seems everyone has found a new obsession: What will happen with Victor Cruz?

An overwhelming majority of the questions I received for this, the first (of many) SNY mailbags, had to do with the Giants' once-star receiver who, after nearly two years of trying to comeback from a knee injury and a calf injury, is now battling a "sore groin." The offseason assumption that he would be back as good as ever has been replaced by worry that he might not even make the team.

That worry is probably a bit premature, given that we've still got nearly a month to go before the Sept. 11 season opener in Dallas. But as I wrote last week, there's good reason to worry about Cruz given his recent history of injuries, his age, his lengthy time off, and the fact that almost exactly one year ago he suffered a seemingly minor injury that resulted him missing the entire season.

So let's get right to that and to several other questions you had for me via Twitter and Facebook:               

What are your feelings in regards to Cruz? Can he come back? - Mary Fox (via Facebook)               

Straight to the point and symbolic of about 25 other similar questions I received. The honest answer is I just don't know if Cruz can come back. It's hard not to root for him. He's been a terrific Giant and has always seemed like a good guy, and I know - from talking to him, his teammates and his personal trainer - that he has tried very, very hard to make it back from that devastating knee injury he suffered in Oct. 2014. I know people have criticized him in the past for concentrating too much on off-field activities, but that's always been ridiculous and unfair. The guy works. He trains harder and more often than is generally known.

But he's almost 30 and it sure looks right now that his body isn't holding up to the rigors of the NFL. By all accounts, he had made it almost all the way back from that knee injury when, last August, he suffered a minor calf injury that became something major. The same thing occurred again this year when he looked like his old self, right up until he suffered a sore groin.               

The Giants say that's minor, and that they won't give up on Cruz, and they're even hopeful of him returning to practice on a regular basis soon. But they said the same thing last year when the calf injury first happened, so I just don't know what to think.

I will say this, though: I think the Giants will give him ample opportunity to make his way back. And by that, I mean I don't think he's in danger of being cut at the end of the summer. First, remember he took a huge pay cut in the offseason so it's not like the Giants would save a lot of money by releasing him. Second, according to my math (and the math of the people at it would actually cost the Giants slightly more in cap space to cut him. I think if he's not ready for the opener he's more likely to land on the short-term injured reserve list.

Unless he or the Giants determine that he just physically can't make it back, in which case maybe they would cut him or he'd retire. I have no idea if they're even close to determining that, though. Right now they think it's a minor setback. I'll take their word for it, but I won't forget what happened when I took their word for it last year.               

Do you think Rashad Jennings will top 250 carries this year? -- @The_Gildz               

That would be something since Rashad Jennings career high was the 195 he had last year and he's 31. While I do think the Giants are prepared to make Jennings their No. 1 back and let him hold that role much more regularly than he did last season, I think 250 carries is a bit high. Remember, Shane Vereen is still the third-down back and he'll be the guy in the two-minute drills, plus Andre Williams is going to get a couple of series a game, either just to spell Jennings or to relieve him if Jennings is struggling or hurt.               

Also, I don't think the Giants want him to carry the ball 250 times. There will be some games where he gets 20, but my guess is he's going to average around 15. Now, granted, that would be 240, which is pretty close, but I think a number of factors - injuries, other backs getting hot, the flow of the offense - are likely to knock that number down a bit. Over the years the Giants have made it a point to use multiple running backs as a way of keeping everybody fresh for the end of the season and (hopefully) the playoffs. I assume that will be the case here, too.

Are the Giants really set on still keeping Andre Williams? -- @Djones1236               

Yes. Absolutely.  

First, remember this: The Giants don't give up on draft picks. Williams was drafted in the fourth round three years ago, which means it wasn't all that long ago that the Giants were really high on him. Yes, he was terrible last year. But he's still inexpensive talent with a lot of potential, so he's not going anywhere.

Second, McAdoo likes him. At the combine in February, about a month after getting the Giants' job, McAdoo said "I think a lot of people may be willing to give up on Andre. I think it may be early for that." And he predicted a "bounce-back year" for him.

I think - and some people in the Giants' organization agree - that Williams' awful 2015 was in part the product of how he was used, in that ridiculous four-RB rotation where nobody could get into a rhythm. It also didn't help that the line was not great at run blocking. Yes, Williams needs to rise above that and he didn't. But that's not a good reason to cut him.

So this year he will likely be the No. 2 RB behind Jennings, probably picking up 2-3 series per game - more if Jennings struggles or gets hurt. And the Giants still believe there's a chance that Williams can be the workhorse back of their future, too.

Do you have any concerns about the depth at QB? -- @davecarroll15               

I have a concern, but honestly I've had it for years. Nothing against Ryan Nassib, who is probably perfectly capable of being a good NFL backup, but my preference, is always to have a battle-tested veteran in that job. It's not always possible, but I'd feel better knowing the backup can step in, if necessary, and wouldn't play like a rookie. He'd ideally have game experience so he won't be awed by the spotlight or unnerved by the speed of play. That's what the Giants had for a while with David Carr as their backup.               

Granted, guys like that aren't always available, but in Nassib the Giants have nothing but an unknown. They know he knows the offense and he's looked good in practice and had some terrific preseason games (last week's dud notwithstanding). But he's only thrown 10 regular season passes, in mop-up duty, and every NFL player will tell you that the speed of the game in the regular season is much different than the preseason.   

Would it be too much for Nassib? Who knows? And that's the point. If Eli Manning ever were to get hurt and miss a few games, the goal of the Giants' backup would be to not make too many mistakes and keep the team afloat for as long as he's in there. A veteran is better suited to do that than a player making his first start who could be unnerved.               

Maybe Nassib wouldn't be unnerved. Maybe the moment wouldn't be too big for him. But nobody knows until he finally gets thrown into that fire.   

And if he can't do it … Who knows what else the Giants will have? Logan Thomas, the third-stringer, has done fine in camp, but he's even less proven. Besides, the Giants often carry only two quarterbacks.               

So the bottom line with this team is pretty much what it's been for years: Keep your fingers' crossed that Manning's consecutive games played streak keeps going all year long.               

Which UDFA's, if any, stand out for NYG so far? -- @AngryNYfan    

There have been a few that have stood out at a few different practices, but probably the most consistent one - and the one with the best chance of making the team - is receiver Roger Lewis. The undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green probably would've been drafted if not for a somewhat checkered past. But strictly measuring on-field stuff, he seems to have the hands and speed to stick around, even if he could stand to get a little bigger (6-feet, 196 pounds). He has gotten plenty of opportunities, looked great on deep passes, and even taken a few reps with the first team.

His status might hinge on the availability of Cruz for Opening Day. Then again, the way he's looked, he might make the team outright. What he does in the next few preseason games will tell that tale.               

As for some others, it's always difficult to tell in camp about linemen since the pads aren't on all the time and the hitting is minimal. But it's worth nothing that Greg Milhouse, a UDFA from Campbell, opened camp as a starter at defensive tackle. Granted, that's because Damon Harrison and Jay Bromley both began on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. But the Giants had other players they could've put in that spot. The fact that they chose Milhouse, straight out of Campbell, tells you they like him enough to give him a good long look.               

And one player I've really been impressed with is DE-turned-LB Ishaq Williams from Notre Dame. He's a bit of a project since, counting the Giants' preseason opener, he's only played in two actual football games since 2013 (he was among the suspended players in the Notre Dame academic scandal) and it won't help his cause that he's switching positions, no matter how similar they are. But he looks fast and instinctive and the Giants seem to be impressed with what he's done. He's probably got a better shot at the practice squad, but the Giants aren't exactly overflowing with quality linebackers, so you never know.

Tags: Eli Manning , Rashad Jennings , Ryan Nassib , Victor Cruz , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and wide receiver Odell Beckham before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and wide receiver Odell Beckham before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST HANOVER, NJ -- A very quiet Giants training camp got mildly disturbed on Wednesday by the shocking news that kicker Josh Brown would be suspended for the season opener for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. It was surprising enough that the mild-mannered, 37-year-old kicker violated the policy. It was mind-blowing that the reason -- reportedly an arrest on domestic violence charges in May 2015 -- was kept so quiet for so long in the social media age.

Maybe some more on that situation will come out on Thursday as the Giants hold their final practice before they travel to Buffalo for Saturday's game against Rex Ryan's Bills. That will be worth watching. And here are three other things to watch today:

1. Can Victor Cruz's "bounce back" day lead to him actually practicing?

The 29-year-old receiver remains both defiant and sidelined thanks to his nagging groin injury. He worked again on the side on Wednesday, but head coach Ben McAdoo said he had a "bounce back" day and Cruz said "we ramped it up a little bit." What does that mean? Nothing, really, until he gets back to practice and proves this groin injury really is the no-big-deal thing everyone is saying. He's unlikely to play on Saturday, but it wouldn't be ridiculous to let him get a practice under his belt this week so he can try to be a full-go next week -- you know, if he bounced back far enough and ramped things up enough to do it.

2. How is Justin Pugh doing and can Bobby Hart take anyone's starting job?

Pugh, the Giants' starting left guard, missed practice with a bruised shoulder that McAdoo would only say was serious enough to keep him out of practice. Hart, the second-year pro, took his spot with the starters. And though it hasn't made much noise since most assume the Giants' offensive line is set, coaches have praised Hart several times this summer. There was a time when it was thought he'd give veteran Marshall Newhouse a run for the right tackle spot, but that never really seemed like an open competition. It's probably not, but if Hart gets an extended look in Pugh's place and performs well, perhaps the coaches will have to take a second look at him.

3. Who is Tom Obarski, and will he be the Opening Day kicker?

The former Concordia College (Minn.) kicker figured to be just a camp leg, brought in to keep Brown fresh, when New York signed him to a reserve/future deal in January. He spent last summer in Cincinnati Bengals camp and was just doing the usual make-the-camp-rounds thing many kickers do at the start of their career. Then Brown was suspended and now the Giants need a kicker for their opener in Dallas on Sept. 11. Could it be Obarski? And how is he doing in camp so far? It seems much more likely the Giants will scour the waiver wire and bring in a veteran for a one-week rental. But if McAdoo likes this kid, who knows? Maybe he'll give him a shot in a very, very tough spot.

Tags: Bobby Hart , Josh Brown , Justin Pugh , Marshall Newhouse , Victor Cruz , Ralph Vacchiano

GEICO SportsNite: Cruz update 00:01:03
An update on Victor Cruz's injury status and when he plans on being back to practice with the team.

An update on Victor Cruz's injury status and when he plans on being back to practice with the team.

New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) blocks Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Deandre Coleman (62) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser)
New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) blocks Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Deandre Coleman (62) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser)

Justin Pugh missed practice on Wednesday with a sore shoulder.

Pugh reportedly told reporters that he was "OK," according to reporter James Kratch.

Tags: Justin Pugh

New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. (Kim Klement)
New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. (Kim Klement)

When the Giants chose Colorado State center Weston Richburg with the 43rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, they knew they were getting both a talented player and a solid citizen. GM Jerry Reese was aiming to bring in the next generation of team leaders and he was dead on with the selection of Richburg.

After a slew of injuries along the offensive line in his rookie season forced him to play out of position at guard, Richburg was moved back to center last summer and it was evident that he was the Giants' answer and the future at the position. The website Pro Football Focus ranked Richburg the No. 2 overall center in the NFL last season.

As he enters his third NFL season, Richburg has molded into the leader the Giants had hoped. This past offseason, he criticized linemates for their lack of dedication because his winter work regimen was more rigorous than their. Some took umbrage to the remark, but others chalked it up to his intensity and leadership.

His leadership become more prevalent with each passing game. In last Friday's preseason loss to the Dolphins when the second team offense struggled with Ryan Nassib under center, Richburg took control on the sidelines.

"I think I pulled my offensive line aside," Richburg told reporters on Monday. "I think we didn't really help him (Nassib) out that much and I think he was under pressure a little bit and we kind of made it rough on him. I can only handle the guys that we have in our room. We get together on the sidelines and try to straighten things out and get things right and that is the only thing I can really worry about. Maybe I don't know anything about quarterbacks, so I am not going to go there, but I can encourage and that is my job as a good teammate, to encourage and help guys get over things like that."

Notice Richburg said 'My offensive line'. He has taken ownership of a group of players, three of whom all have more accredited NFL seasons than he does. Only LT Ereck Flowers has less.

The Giants first team offense played fairly well against Miami last Friday, jumping out to a 10-0 lead despite their signature stars, QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham, Jr., watching from the sidelines. Richburg was asked to assess the first string's performance, which consists of himself, Flowers, guards Justin Pugh and John Jerry and RT Marshall Newhouse.

"I think we did some good things in the run game and that is what we wanted to come and do," he said. "We wanted to be physical and I know we talk about that all the time, but that really is the basis of what we want to do. I think we did some good things with our physicality. Communication, I thought, was good. I think we need to clean up the pass game a little bit and make sure we give whoever is back there plenty of time to make their throws and reads."

Still, it is Richburg's steady hand going forward the Giants are excited about. He is both a physical and cerebral figure in the offensive huddle. Now that he has his stature and has solidified himself as and integral part of the team's future, he has turned to mentoring his younger teammates.

"Every time they come over, they come to the bench and we all circle up and if we have any tips or if I see something that one of the centers did or something that a guard did, we are able to go in and give them suggestions and help them," Richburg said. "That is what we do during these preseason games, we really go over there and circle up when we are not out there and make sure we get things figured out with the younger guys."

And the Giants will need that. Even after several years of rebuilding the line and trying to fine-tune it, they are still considered mediocre ar best by a good portion of critics. Richburg hopes to change that.

The Giants opened the Miami game with a nine-play, 74-yard scoring drive, something that Richburg found encouraging.

"It did feel good," he said. "I think we went out and like I said, I liked the physicality we had and I also liked our communication. I think we did a good job up front. There are still things we need to work on, but I think it was a good start, for sure."

That it was, and with Richburg running things the Giants hope to have many more scoring drives just like it.

Tags: Weston Richburg

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

Former New York Giants general manager George Young was not selected as a Contributor Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017, as was announced Tuesday afternoon

The Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue were selected as the two finalists.

The contributor category was created in 2015 to give deserving candidates who never played the game a chance to have their contributions to the game and the league recognized by the Hall of Fame.

General Managers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf were the first two contributor nominees in 2015, while former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was the only nominee in 2016. All three were elected to the Hall of Fame.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Hall of Fame selection committee has been getting this wrong for years, but now that the new rules make it easier to induct "contributors," it's getting worse. It's almost impossible to believe they've nominated anyone for induction in Canton as a contributor while the late George Young is still kept out.

And the Contributors Committee - formed several years ago to stop oversights like this - just did it again.

The committee announced that former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are the latest finalists for induction in the "contributors" category - which basically gives them an easy pass straight into the Hall of Fame. They'll join former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, who was inducted as a contributor two weeks ago, and former GMs Ron Wolf and Bill Polian who had the honor last year.

But with all due respect to Tagliabue and Jones, how can anyone justify continually keeping Young out anymore? The late former GM of the Giants was the savior of the Giants franchise when he arrived as the GM in 1979 and stepped in the middle of the Mara family feud to fix an organization that had become a joke - and not at all a funny one to its fans. With a steady hand, some brilliant drafting, and one outstanding coaching hire, he built two Super Bowl champions. He also hired the two men (Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese) who would succeed him and build two more.

Without Young, who knows if the Giants - one of the NFL's flagship franchises, stationed in the media capital of the world -- would've ever stopped being dysfunctional? Without his touch (drafting the likes of Phil Simms, Carl Banks, Leonard Marshall, Joe Morris, and of course, Lawrence Taylor) it's doubtful they would've become the powerhouse of the 1980s like they were.

Young was named the NFL Executive of the Year five times in his career. He's even been a finalist for the Hall three times, but never made it in, mostly due to a flawed voting process that previously lumped contributors in with players, making it difficult for executives to get their due.

The new rules were supposed to change that, but for some reason Young keeps getting passed over. He probably should've been in the Hall before any of the three contributors elected the past two years, and before Tagliabue and Jones, too.

It's an omission that's hard to explain. And the halls of Canton just won't feel complete until the committee makes this right and finally lets Young in.

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

The New York Giants are one of the NFL's flagship franchises. They have a rich and colorful history stacked with legendary moments created by legendary players. In the 1950's they helped put the fledgling NFL on a par with baseball, producing some of the game's most celebrated personalities.

Then, in 1964, things changed. Age and poor planning sank the Giants to the bottom of the standings. Between 1964-1978 the once-proud franchise won only 74 games. To top things off, the co-owners - Wellington Mara and his nephew Tim - were engrossed in a bitter feud that furthered the team's demise.

In stepped in NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. His suggestion to hire Baltimore Colts executive George Young was agreed upon by both parties. It was the best decision, perhaps, in New York sports history.

Young would run the Giants from 1979 through 1997. His tenure would produce two Super Bowl championship teams and return the Giants back to prominence.

George Young was a fair, but tough manager. He made mistakes like most humans are prone to do, but he set the Giants on a course to succeed far into the future. His personnel decisions may be the best any GM has ever made.

It was Young who brought in Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. Other great football minds would follow. It is a who's who of NFL coaches: Charlie Weis, Mike Nolan, John Fox, Jim Fassel, Dan Reeves, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh, Sean Payton and Tom Coughlin. He is also responsible for hiring future GMs Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese.

The list of players Young drafted and signed is even more impressive. Phil Simms is one of the franchise's all-time leading passers. Amani Toomer surpassed all the club's career receiving records and Tiki Barber became the greatest offensive player in Giants' history.

Defensive end Michael Strahan is a recent inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mark Bavaro was a legendary tight end and a fan favorite.

The list of others is astounding: Leonard Marshall, Mark Haynes, David Meggett, Gary Reasons, Rodney Hampton, Rob Carpenter, Jim Burt, Bart Oates, Joe Morris, Carl Banks, Jumbo Elliott, Jeff Hostetler, Sean Landeta, Keith Hamilton, Brian Williams, Terry Kinard, Karl Nelson, Mark Collins, Pepper Johnson and Jesse Armstead.

Young's coup d'etat came in the 1981 NFL Draft when he chose LB Lawrence Taylor with the second overall selection. I need not tell you how that worked out....

As the Pro Football Hall of Fame passes over inducting Young as a "Contributor" in favor Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue, the Giants and their fans should take a moment to thank Mr. Young for his contributions to the franchise and the league. Young passed away in 2001, but his legacy clearly lives on. Just walk through the lobby of the Giants' headquarters and you'll see why.

It is only a matter of time before the voters realize Young's contributions and vote him in. Jones and Tagliabue are credited for taking the NFL to financial heights but it was Young who was one of the men who helped get them there with his deft, class, intelligence and perserverence.

Some of my favorite Young-isms....

"I never draft anyone too smart....If he's smart, he can find something to do other than to play this dumb game."

Young, weighed over 300 lbs in his prime: "I never draft a fat guy because I'm a fat guy and I know what it's like to get into shape."

Andre Williams rushes the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta (USA Today))
Andre Williams rushes the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta (USA Today))

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

Giants' third year RB Andre Williams ended the 2015 season with some very unimpressive stats and his future with Big Blue is in doubt. The former Boston College star who led the nation in scoring in 2013, took major steps back in his second season with the Giants after logging just two 100-yard performances and scoring seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2014.

Williams rushed for only 257 yards on 88 carries with one TD last season as a result of being pushed to the rear of the Giants' four-man, backfield-by-committee approach the team resorted to in their pass-first offense.

One of the reasons Williams ended up in the doghouse was his conditioning. He looked slow and overweight and was not hitting the line at NFL speed, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. If he was to avoid the roster bubble this summer, he would have to make some major changes.

He has. Williams dropped more than a dozen pounds this offseason, reducing his waistline from a 36 to a 31 1/2. He also has appeared faster and more elusive in training camp. Last Friday, in the Giants' preseason opener against the Dolphins, Williams rushed for 41 yards on nine carries but 28 of those yards came on two carries. There were instances where he still went nowhere and one of those was on the goal line.

The Giants have a very crowded backfield this summer with Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen occupying the top two spots on the depth chart. Williams is competing against Orleans Darkwa, free agent Bobby Rainey and rookie Paul Perkins for one of the backup roles.

Head coach Ben McAdoo has noticed the difference in Williams this season a

"Yeah, he's sleeker, definitely sleeker. Has a little more burst," said McAdoo last weekend. "He seems to be a man on a mission, so it's nice to see him respond with some carries last week. Let's see how he responds moving forward."

A mission to do what, he was asked.

"I think he wants to touch the ball," said McAdoo, who then commented on what he saw differently in Williams last Friday night.

"I think there were a couple of shots of him dipping in and running out, and showing nice burst there on the perimeter," he said. "Put his pads down, ran behind his pads. He's always done that, though, he's always been able to move piles, he's just a little sleeker now."

But will the new Williams find a prominent role in the Giants' offense again? First he'll have to make the 53-man roster. Jennings is the "bell-cow" back and Vereen is more of a receiver, so he and Williams are not in direct competition.

Williams will have to fend off Darkwa and Rainey since the team will be inclined to keep Perkins, who ran for 36 yards on seven carries against Miami. Darkwa is coming off a leg injury and Rainey has taken a hit after fumbling twice in the preseason opener.

It is a plus for Williams that he has shown dedication to his craft and the team has taken notice. Now the rest is up to him.

Tags: Andre Williams , Rashad Jennings , John Fennelly

New York Giants offensive guard Bobby Hart is helped off the field after being injured during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants offensive guard Bobby Hart is helped off the field after being injured during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports Images)

Second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart is somewhat of the unknown on the New York Giants' offensive line.

The seventh-round draft pick from Florida in 2015 is a lineman with versatility. He can play tackle. He can play guard. He can perform on either side of the line.

The problem is that he does not have a starting job.

New coach Ben McAdoo told Hart in the offseason that he wanted him to push veteran Marshall Newhouse for the starting job at right tackle.

So far, Newhouse is continuing to get the reps with the first team, leaving Hart playing mostly with the second team.

Hart played with the first team on Monday at right guard when John Jerry could not continue on a hot and humid day because of an illness.

"You have no choice," Hart said of the switch after practice. "It's something that I have to do for the team if that's what it comes down to, so I have to be sharp on that (guard) as well."

It's what backups do. But don't call Hart a backup. He doesn't like it. He sees himself as a starter, not matter what group he is playing with.

"That's my mindset," Hart said. "If I have a sixth-man mindset, that I'm the sixth man, that's not me. I was a starter in high school. I was a starter at Florida State. I plan to start here. If it comes down to it and coach McAdoo says that's what you role needs to be for the team, I'll accept that role and excel at that role. But my main role is to be ultimately a starter." >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

Tags: Bobby Hart , John Jerry , Marshall Newhouse
Login with Facebook Login with Twitter Login with