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Lorenzo Carter

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

After the Giants failed to generate pressure against the Dallas Cowboys, leading quarterback Dak Prescott's 405-yard passing performance in the season opener's 35-17 loss the past weekend, outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson and the New York staff hit the reset button ahead of Sunday's 1 p.m. matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

"I think everybody's looking for the same answer -- how are we going to get pressure on the quarterback?" Dawson said. "You've obviously got to make him uncomfortable, get the ball coming out faster and we've got to make him throw it under duress when he is going to throw it. And then, ultimately, we need to sack the quarterback and get there.

"So it's something that I think all the guys are hungry to get fixed, hungry to get answered. Came out and trained hard this week, so we've got to do a great job. Guys that can move, you've got to have a good aiming point, good plan on those guys and be able to get to them."

Tags: Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden
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Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.

The one thing that is certain about the Giants is that they are a team in transition -- or at least they will be soon. There's a new quarterback and a new era on the horizon.

How this season goes will determine how soon that future will come.

So yes, the Eli Manning-Daniel Jones dynamic and when/if the inevitable switch is made will be the dominant story of the Giants' 2019 season. There's no way to avoid that. But that isn't the only storyline to watch...

Tags: Eli Manning, Lorenzo Carter, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If there was one thing the Giants wanted to make clear after their first regular-season practice on Monday, it's that, "We're a better team than we were a year ago," as Pat Shurmur said. No Odell Beckham, no Landon Collins? It's no problem to them.

Yes, they were 5-11 last season so that bar isn't particularly high. And yes, there is an element of, "What else are they supposed to say?"

But the Giants really do seem to believe in addition by subtraction, that by removing a handful of big-name stars they've been able to build a better team -- no matter what the outside world thinks.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Kevin Zeitler, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Mike Remmers, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Oshane Ximines, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden (44) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

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

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

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

Tags: Lorenzo Carter, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The start to Giants training camp has been largely focused on the offense. Between the Eli Manning-Daniel Jones saga, the human highlight reel that is Saquon Barkley, and the multitude of injuries to the team's receiving corps, there are enough storylines there to keep the spotlight on that side of the ball.

However, the team's biggest training camp star plays defense. Second-year linebacker Lorenzo Carter entered the season with massive expectations on a team desperate for a pass rush, and his play has caught the eye of his peers and his coaches.

On the first day of camp, Carter blew up consecutive plays, first tackling Golden Tate behind the line of scrimmage on a reverse play, and then crashing the hole hard on a blitz before intercepting a screen pass intended for Barkley. Carter returned the interception for a touchdown, and although his teammates were quick to praise him, Carter was his typical humble self when asked about his big play.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lorenzo Carter, Saquon Barkley
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker draft pick Oshane Ximines (53) looks on during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

The Giants have agreed to terms on a rookie deal with third-round draft choice OLB Oshane Ximines, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed on Sunday. 

New York was expected to be pass-rush heavy this offseason, knowing they needed a big upgrade at that position. However, Ximines was their only draft choice to bolster the defensive line. 

During his time at Old Dominion, a smaller Division I school, Ximines put together some pretty impressive numbers. He had 32.5 career sacks and 176 total tackles with four fumble recoveries and one interception as well. In his senior year last season, he strung together 11.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss with 58 tackles and two passes defended. 

Tags: Lorenzo Carter, Olivier Vernon
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants made some big changes heading into the 2019 season -- the obvious being the departure of stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Olivier Vernon. But despite those losses, the Giants are confident that their change will be for the better starting this year. 

Will it be enough to fight for an NFC East division title?

Many know how tough the NFC East can be, with no team winning the division in back-to-back seasons since the Eagles won four straight from 2001-2004. The Cowboys were the winners last season at 10-6, but can they repeat? 

Let's see where the Giants sit on the list heading into training camp in a couple weeks...

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

After using 10 of their 12 picks in the NFL Draft this year, the Giants now have a much more complete roster as the schedule begins to shift over to OTAs and mini-camp.

Yet no roster is fully complete until they leave training camp with the 53 best players and despite adding 10 more players, plus the signings of several undrafted free agents, there are still some areas of weakness on the Giants' roster. 

Here some holes the Giants must fill after NFL Draft:

Tags: Chad Wheeler, Lorenzo Carter, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard
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1-on-1 with Deandre Baker 00:01:17
New York Giants traded back into the first round to take cornerback Deandre Baker. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks to the new draftee.

With the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft coming to a close, cornerback DeAndre Baker still had faith someone would take him before the end of the night. 

Then, he got a call.

It was the Giants, a team that liked him so much they traded with the Seahawks at No. 30 to nab the Georgia Bulldog.

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Lorenzo Carter
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Landon Collins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

INDIANAPOLIS -- If there's one thing that everyone in the Giants organization seems to agree on, it's that they lack playmakers on defense. With a few more, they've reasoned, they could've held on to win a few more games and their offseason conversation would be much different.

So why, then, do they seem like they're about to let their two best defensive playmakers walk away?

Tags: Curtis Riley, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Michael Thomas, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first time the Giants organization seemed to really begin thinking about what comes next at quarterback after Eli Manning was about three years ago. They still had plenty of time back then, but seemed to understand it would run out fast.

Still, they have declined to address that need ever since -- at least not in the first round of the draft -- and suddenly they are standing at the end of Manning's road. He's 38 and his contract is up at the end of the season, but the Giants have no replacement ready because they have continually kicked this hugely important decision farther and farther down the road.

And yes, even now, they might do it again.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Lorenzo Carter, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Lorenzo Carter talks rookie camp 00:00:42
Lorenzo Carter talks at Giants rookie camp, and discusses the ways he wants to fit in and the adjustments he needs to make to the NFL.

Giants 2018 third-rounder LB Lorenzo Carter has reminded everyone of the team's 2017 second-rounder DT Dalvin Tomlinson. It isn't their on-the-field play, but instead, what they play off the field. 

Tomlinson was known as the Renaissance Man for his extracurricular activities off the field that included playing a few instruments. Carter is the same way as he dabbles with the cello and tubs among others. 

"In elementary school, fifth grade, I started to play the cello and it stuck with me," Carter told reporters after the Giants' rookie minicamp over the weekend. "I love the sound of wood instruments, and I just fell in love with classical music."

Tags: Lorenzo Carter
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