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Posted 31 August 2018 - 06:15 PM

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 11:24 AM

Giants waive QB Davis Webb in shocking move; breaking down who Big Blue claimed

Sep 02, 2018 | 8:40 PM

Dave Gettleman: Dragon slayer.

The Giants GM on Sunday stunningly waived second-year quarterback Davis Webb, nicknamed “Dragon” as a rookie by Eli Manning. And in doing so, Gettleman revealed the succession plan for his 37-year-old quarterback to be as mythological, fantastical and non-existent as the creature inspiring Webb’s namesake.


Gettleman, it is now even harder to believe in hindsight, drafted Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in April’s draft, despite Manning’s age and declining performance — and without confidence in the only other QB on the roster at the time of the draft, Webb, Jerry Reese’s third-round 2017 pick out of Cal.

The Jets, meanwhile, happily at No. 3 plucked Sam Darnold, who so far has demonstrated plenty of the qualities necessary to be a potential franchise-changing quarterback — enough to warrant a top-10 selection, for sure.



And yet here was Gettleman on Saturday, gauging the trade market for Webb and eventually releasing him Sunday without ever having seen Webb play a regular season NFL game, leaving just rookie fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta, 22, out of Richmond and veteran journeyman Alex Tanney, 30, as backup QBs on this roster.

Webb, 23, is no stranger to adversity, having battled both Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes for playing time at Texas Tech before transferring and thriving for a final year at Cal. Webb did, however, have his legs pulled out from under him by the Giants late last season.

Ben McAdoo was planning on playing Webb in the final four regular season games, but once McAdoo was fired, the Giants abandoned the plan under interim coach Steve Spagnuolo, leaving new coach Pat Shurmur to evaluate Webb with no game tape to his name.


Webb outperformed Lauletta this preseason, but it makes you wonder how long ago Gettleman and Shurmur actually decided to move on from Webb if he was taking second team snaps all training camp and preseason — and started with the ones and played well in the second game in Detroit — but still was released.

And so it is that after the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles laid out the modern blueprint for contending — a cheap starting QB (Carson Wentz) on a rookie contract that opens team cap space, and a solid experienced backup (Nick Foles) just in case — the Giants in 2018 will start Manning and his $22.2 million cap hit and back him up with one career NFL regular season appearance (Tanney, 2015, Tennessee Titans).

And this in a win-now year. But so be it: this is officially now Gettleman’s team.

Think about how odd this is: Reese was general manager from 2007 through 2017, and there are now no QBs on the roster from his regime.

The Giants’ 53-man roster after Sunday’s action includes 29 players acquired or drafted by Gettleman, 23 players brought here by Reese, and one courtesy of Ernie Accorsi from that franchise-changing 2004 draft.


Only 10 Reese draft picks remain on the roster: Zak DeOssie (2007), Odell Beckham Jr. (2014), Ereck Flowers (2015), Landon Collins (2015), Eli Apple (2016), Sterling Shepard (2016), B.J. Goodson (2016), Evan Engram (2017), Dalvin Tomlinson (2017) and Wayne Gallman (2017).

The Giants are in especially high turnover after Sunday, when Gettleman claimed six players off waivers — castoffs from other rosters — and released six of his own players, including Webb, to make room.

Along with Webb, other Giants who made the initial 53-man roster on Saturday but got cut Sunday were guard John Jerry, wide receiver Hunter Sharp, tight end Jerell Adams, defensive tackle Josh Banks and corner William Gay.

As replacements, the Giants claimed off waivers defensive lineman Mario Edwards (Raiders), center Spencer Pulley (Chargers), wideout Kaelin Clay (Bills) and three corners: Michael Jordan (Browns), Kamrin Moore (Saints) and Antonio Hamilton (Raiders).

The Giants also signed eight players to their practice squad, all of whom they had released Sunday: DE Avery Moss, LB Calvin Munson, DB Grant Haley, WRs Alonzo Russell and Jawill Davis, TE Garrett Dickerson, RB Jhurell Pressley and OT Victor Salako.

Here are some notes on the newest Giants:


DL Mario Edwards (Raiders) — 6-3, 280 pounds

Edwards, 24, a 2015 Oakland second-round pick out of Florida State, has 71 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 30 games (24 starters). It’s unclear where exactly he will fit in the scheme. Could hold a place for suspended Josh Mauro.

C Spencer Pulley (Chargers) — 6-4, 308 pounds

Pulley, 25, a former teammate of Pat Shurmur’s son, quarterback Kyle, at Vanderbilt in 2015, started all 16 games for the Chargers last season after appearing in 16 his rookie year of 2016. Replaces traded Brett Jones.

CB Michael Jordan (Browns) — 6-1 200 pounds

Jordan, 25, a former undrafted free agent out of Missouri Western State, has 40 tackles and five passes defended in 20 games (three starts) with the Rams (2016) and Browns (2017). Giants corner depth needs help.

WR Kaelin Clay (Bills) — 5-10, 195 pounds

Clay, 26, is a player Gettleman also had signed in April 2017 in Carolina. The 2015 Tampa Bay sixth-round pick out of Utah has just six career catches for 85 yards but has 42 punt returns for 393 yards and two TDs in two seasons with three different teams (Ravens 2015; Bills and Panthers 2017). He also returned 14 kickoffs for Baltimore. This cost Sharp his roster spot.

CB Kamrin Moore (Saints) — 5-11, 203 pounds

Moore, 21, New Orleans’ sixth-round pick this past April out of Boston College, is a rookie looking for a second chance after being waived by the Saints.

CB Antonio Hamilton (Raiders) — 6-0, 190 pounds

Hamilton, 25, a former undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State, has 15 tackles and zero passes defended in 12 career games (no starts) these last two seasons with Oakland.

#353 jerseygiantfan


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Posted 04 September 2018 - 02:21 PM

Leonard: Pat Shurmur fails to clarify what the Giants’ plan is after waiving Davis Webb; plus notes on Saquon Barkley and Olivier Vernon

Saquon Barkley is all systems go for Sunday’s Week 1 opener against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars. The left hamstring strain that sidelined the rookie No. 2 overall pick the second half of the preseason will not limit him.

“I definitely think I’m ready for a full (work)load the way I’ve been preparing, the way I’ve been practicing,” Barkley said Monday during the Giants’ first open locker room of 2018. “I’m excited for the game, excited to get the season started.”


And so Barkley begins his journey to justify the Giants’ selection of him instead of a quarterback, a decision that proved increasingly risky and perplexing with Sunday’s release of second-year QB Davis Webb.

Confusion and concern linger about the team’s backup and succession plans for quarterback Eli Manning, 37, and while head coach Pat Shurmur was receptive to being second-guessed on Monday, he did not do much to clarify those questions.


Shurmur insisted the Giants “do” have a plan for life after Manning, “it’s just not what everybody outside our building had predicted the plan was.”

Still, it’s not clear what exactly that plan is, other than placing full confidence in Manning playing higher quality football than he has been for many years to come.

Shurmur does see positive qualities in rookie fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta: “I like the fact that he’ll decide what he’s looking at, see it and pull the trigger. He’s very decisive in what he does. He’s a gamer of sorts.”

Pat Shurmur failed to clarify the Giants plan post-Eli Manning. (Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images)


Still, this felt like more of decision against Webb than for Lauletta. In their actions and words Sunday and Monday, the Giants vocalized essentially that they don’t think Webb is very good.

Shurmur, asked point blank if he felt Lauletta and journeyman veteran Alex Tanney had outplayed Webb this preseason, said: “We feel like they are better choices for us now, yes.”

Webb took second-string QB reps all summer and even performed well in the second preseason game in Detroit starting with the ones.

“People started to assume because he’s taking the second-string reps that he’s the second-string quarterback,” Shurmur said.

The coach declined to say when he had arrived at the conclusion to move on from a 2017 third-round quarterback who had never appeared in an NFL regular season game: “There’s no reason for me to talk about when.

“Keep in mind, in practices, we had a lot of opportunity to watch all the players compete,” Shurmur said. “It’d be just like me talking in detail about why we didn’t keep the other 39 guys or whatnot. So it is what it is. There are so many things about (Webb) that are good: he’s an outstanding worker, cares about the game a great deal, and hopefully he’s gonna get another opportunity.”

That is where Shurmur is wrong, though. Cutting Webb is not the same as waiving any of the other players. This is all tied in to the organization’s decision to pass on a quarterback with the second overall pick without any other plan. The goal of winning again now is a good one, but it’s dangerous to do it at the potential expense of the future.

“It’s just not what everybody outside our building had predicted the plan was.”

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Shurmur wouldn’t even name his No. 2 quarterback Monday.

It sounded like it could be Tanney, despite his one career NFL regular season appearance in 2015 with the Tennessee Titans, because the coach said: “Here’s the thing with a veteran backup quarterback: they can go in and function with very few reps. And I think that’s an attribute that I look for in a guy who could potentially be a backup to a guy like Eli. Because they don’t get very many reps during the training sessions.”

Shurmur simultaneously said he would be “very comfortable” with putting in Lauletta, as well, but that doesn’t seem to be the plan. On Tuesday, in fact, the Giants are bringing in veteran QB Matt McGloin for a workout, per NFL Network.

McGloin, 28, at least has appeared in 13 career games with one start in 2016 for the Oakland Raiders. And he was recently released by the Chiefs and Kansas City coach Andy Reid, who gave Shurmur his first NFL coaching job in 1999 with the Eagles. Shurmur was on Reid’s staff through 2008.


Stud defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle) is in jeopardy of missing the Giants’ opener against Jacksonville. Vernon was not on the sidelines for the first practice of the week and was not seen in the locker room. If Vernon sits, third-round rookie Lorenzo Carter out of Georgia could be featured even more than already anticipated.

“He was in the training room getting treatment,” Shurmur said of Vernon. “We’re hopeful, but we’ll just have to see. But the fact that he was inside today tells you that -- you know -- he wasn’t out here.”

Tight end Evan Engram, meanwhile, remains in the concussion protocol but was doing normal work early in practice wearing a regular jersey, which is encouraging that he’s progressing well toward Sunday.

Linebacker Tae Davis worked on the side at the start of practice.

“Evan was out here working, as you saw,” Shurmur said. “He’s still in the protocol, but we’re hopeful.”


In addition to McGloin, the Giants on Tuesday are bringing in undrafted rookie KR/WR Quadree Henderson (Pitt) for a workout, according to a source, as well as DE Daeshon Hall (one game with Panthers last year) and KR/WR JoJo Natson (seven games for Jets in 2017), per The Athletic. Henderson also worked out for the Giants prior to the draft. He was released recently by the Steelers.

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:54 PM

Davis Webb goes unclaimed, to now sign with Jets practice squad

ByDAN SCHNEIER  87 minutes ago

Davis Webb will look to continue his NFL journey with the crosstown rivals of the New York Giants who share a stadium -- the New York Jets.

After going unclaimed by all 32 teams on waivers, in spite of a cheap rookie contract with salary cap hits under $400,000 for the next two seasons, Webb has reportedly signed with the Jets' practice squad, according to beat reporter Brian Costello. Players on the practice squad may be signed by another NFL franchise at any point. It is quite the fall for Webb who went from 2017 third-round draft choice to a member of another team's practice squad in just about 16 months.

It has also certainly been a hectic few days for Webb who went from taking every single rep behind Eli Manning as what appeared to be the clear-cut No. 2 quarterback and possibly the future starter of the Giants to released, unclaimed, and searching for another opportunity. 


On Monday after Giants practice, head coach Pat Shurmur defended the team's decision to release Webb in favor of rookie Kyle Lauletta and journeyman Alex Tanney as the two quarterbacks behind Manning.

"There was no reason for me to talk about when, but while he was taking the second-team reps, I mentioned a long time ago there was no depth chart behind Eli," Shurmur told Giants reporters after Monday's practice. "We were trying to figure out who the guys playing quarterback behind Eli were going to be. He got a lot of reps and that's why people assumed he was going to be the second-string quarterback, but it didn't play out that way."

When pressed about how Webb could get released after earning Shurmur's praise following his preseason start against the Detroit Lions first-team defense, the head coach hinted that game tape from the week of joint practices that included scrimmages may have played a factor.


"No, I thought he played better than he did in the week previous," Shurmur said of Webb's performance against the Lions. "Keep in mind Detroit practices, our practices here, we had a lot of opportunity to watch all the players compete. It would be just like me talking in detail about why we didn’t keep the other 39 guys or what not. It is the way it is. There are so many things about him that are good, he’s an outstanding worker, he cares about the game a great deal, and I’m hopeful he’s going to get another opportunity."



Shurmur also made it clear that where a player was drafted will not play a role in how the roster is constructed.

"Really, at some point, regardless of where you’re drafted, once you’re settled in as a player on the team, that kind of goes away," Shurmur said. "We’re all out here trying to earn a spot every day, players and coaches. So, at some point, whether you’re drafted in the third round or the fifth round, that sort of goes away at some point and you play it out.  

"Let’s forget for a minute he was a third-round pick. He was on our team as a Giant and we watched him go through what we do in training camp and what we do in practice and we made a decision to move on and go with the other guys. Let’s forget for a minute that he was a third-round pick. I really do mean that. At some point, that all goes away."

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 01:05 PM

Leonard: Eli Manning's and Giants' offensive futility is unacceptable now after all the moves they've made

Sep 16, 2018 | 11:25 PM

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Unacceptable.

The Giants are not allowed to put a product this poor on the field anymore. This 20-13 loss to the Cowboys was too much.

Not after a 3-13 season in 2017. Not after blowing up their front office and coaching staff and retooling the roster around Eli Manning to make a playoff run now. Not after drafting Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall to jumpstart the offense. Not with Odell Beckham Jr. healthy and capable of taking over games.


How then, could this happen on Sunday night, on national television against an unimposing Cowboys team? How could GM Dave Gettleman overhaul this roster in his preferred image and rid the locker room of last year’s bad influences, and assemble a team so similarly lifeless and hopeless on offense and prone to huge mistakes?

Not only does this type of performance not suffice for a team with playoff aspirations. It doesn’t even suffice for an NFL team with aspirations of simply winning a game. Naturally, plenty Giants players were ticked off.

“Just not good enough,” Manning said. “Obviously guys are disappointed, some guys are getting frustrated — as we should. But we can’t let that affect our preparation or our practices. We’ve got to bounce back. … Nothing is going to get fixed by complaining. We just need to step it up, make a difference and fix some things.”


The futility of Pat Shurmur’s offense is most jarring, of course, with Manning checking down all of his passes even when he has time, and the offensive line proving ill-equipped to handle even the simplest pass rush ploys, surrendering six sacks.

“We didn’t do anything well enough on offense to win this game,” Shurmur said.

Rookie guard Will Hernandez added: “It’s just unacceptable. We have to get better, and we have to win.”

Janoris Jenkins and the Giants defense did set the night’s ugly tone by giving up a 64-yard Dak Prescott touchdown pass to Tavon Austin on the Cowboys’ third play from scrimmage. Jenkins said he slipped.

James Bettcher’s D, despite settling in through the middle of the game, also did not force a turnover and then allowed Prescott to engineer a 14-play, 82-yard fourth-quarter drive to eat up 8:23 of clock for an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown at 5:51 to shut the door on the game at 20-3.

The offense’s ineptitude, though, was this game’s story and especially striking coming off of Ben McAdoo’s offense’s embarrassing performance last season. Except on Sunday night the Giants had a healthy Beckham and their prized new back in Barkley and still were easily bottled up.

“Obviously guys are disappointed, some guys are getting frustrated — as we should."Eli Manning


Manning’s drought to open the season without a touchdown pass dragged to 118 minutes and 28 seconds until he hit Evan Engram for an 18-yard TD to draw within 20-10 with 1:32 to play.

And the Giants’ offensive players and Shurmur acknowledged that the Cowboys simply sat back with two deep safeties and forced the Giants to throw underneath. And save for a 37-yard completion to Cody Latimer (his first target of the season) in the third quarter, the Giants couldn’t push the ball down the field.

Sterling Shepard didn’t have a single target until two minutes remained in the first half.

“You’ve just got to get it to your playmakers and you’ve got to make a play. That’s the bottom line,” Shepard said when asked how to combat the Cowboys’ defense. “I couldn’t give it to you schematically on how to do that, but when I look at it, that’s what I see: just get it to your playmakers and let ’em go make plays.”

After Ben McAdoo’s 2017 Giants lost 19-3 here in Week 1, Sunday’s lack of production felt especially nauseating because the Giants paid Beckham all that money on his contract extension but weren’t able to free him or target him frequently enough to take advantage of the talent that erupted for 11 catches and 111 yards in the Week 1 20-15 home loss to the Jaguars.

“Whatever it is we need to do, we need to find it soon,” Beckham said. “They just outplayed us, plain and simple.”

It began with Manning frequently checking the ball down early, often to Barkley, even when he had good protection from his line. But that protection would not last. Manning eventually took hits and sacks from all sides, sacked four times in the first half alone.

Nate Solder, Hernandez, Patrick Omameh and Ereck Flowers all were victimized by DeMarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton and the Cowboys’ front. Hernandez’s mistake led to a Manning third-quarter fumble. Fullback Shane Smith also was responsible for two sacks surrendered in one drive alone late in the first half.

Center Jon Halapio was seemingly the only lineman not directly victimized on a pass rush, but when he badly injured his right leg and was carted off in the third quarter, it took backup center John Greco only two plays to get beaten on the rush. Lawrence flushed Manning from the pocket, and Manning took a major hit from LB Jaylon Smith.


Linemen like Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg were bid good riddance essentially when the Giants let them walk in free agency in the offseason, but those were two good players and the line that remains so far has been worse.

The Giants’ offense gained only 79 yards in the first half on 32 plays, good for 2.5 yards per play. They went 2-for-9 on third downs in the half, largely because either Manning consistently threw the ball below the first-down marker or because the Cowboys disrupted with pressure up front.

Barkley tied a rookie record with 14 receptions but it amounted to only 80 yards, mostly on short checkdowns. He broke seven tackles, Beckham broke three and Wayne Gallman broke one, but it wasn’t enough.


“Every time you lose it sucks,” Barkley said.

Until Barkley’s 10-yard run on their final drive of the first half, in fact, Manning was the team’s leading rusher with two carries for three yards — both on fourth downs. Confusingly, Shurmur punted on 4th-and-1 down 7-0 in the first quarter from the Giants’ 48-yard line but a couple drives later went for it on both 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ 35 and 46 yard lines, getting both.

Why draft a running back No. 2 overall and not be confident in gaining that first down on the 48? Or better question: why draft a running back over a QB of the future if your team isn’t close to ready to winning now?

Shurmur’s team, unlike McAdoo’s last year, at least showed it wouldn’t quit when Michael Thomas recovered an onside kick fumbled by the Cowboys’ Blake Jarwin and the offense put up 10 late points. But the outlook is bleak.

Since 1990, only 28 of the 231 teams (12 percent) that started an NFL season 0-2 have made the playoffs in the current playoff format, per Elias Sports Bureau. In that time, the Giants have started 0-2 in eight different seasons and made the playoffs only once, in their 2007 Super Bowl winning season with Tom Coughlin as coach.

NBC also showed a stat that teams who start 1-1 have a 41% chance of making the playoffs since 2002, while teams that fall to 0-2 have only an 11% chance of making the postseason in that time span.

The Giants can’t be thinking about the playoffs, though, and they probably won’t have to at all this season. They should be thinking about putting a competent product on a football field and winning a game.

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 10:25 AM

Raissman: Giants coach Pat Shurmur better learn to dish up some real talk or he'll wind up another McAdoo

Sep 22, 2018 | 11:05 PM

Pat Shurmur would have been better off feeding media whale Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa a few spontaneous, substantive answers rather than sticking to coach-speak script during his recent weekly WFAN interview.

The spot was similar to the sessions Shurmur holds with boss scribes who cover the Giants. During his press conferences, seen on MSG, Shurmur does not present a tough guy façade behind the microphone. He does project a likeable, grounded presence.

Yet the coach has willfully chosen to put reporters on a starvation diet. They ask the same questions in different ways and get mostly nothing out of him. Once in a while he’ll react by rolling his eyes or asking a reporter what he or she is trying to get at.

Shurmur knows better. He definitely knows the difference between direct, meaningful answers and the crap he’s been serving up.

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At one point during his spot with the pontiff, (he also asked the same question multiple times in different ways and couldn’t get one straight answer) Shurmur said: “I apologize. This probably doesn’t make for a very good interview. I get it.”

Think about that. Shurmur is getting paid to do these FAN interviews with Francesa and admits his answers are not very good. Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. In an interview last January with veteran NFL writer and former Daily News NFL columnist Gary Myers, Mike Holmgren who hired Shurmur to coach Cleveland, said the coach let the Cleveland media bug him.

“He read everything. He knew everything that was said,” Holmgren told Myers. “I told him, ‘You can’t let it get to you. Don’t create an adversarial situation.’ I tried to counsel him that way.”

“If he couldn’t handle the Cleveland media, what’s gonna happen in New York?” Myers wrote.

The answer to that question will come even more into focus should the 0-2 Giants fall to 0-3 by losing to the winless Texans on Sunday. After a week of the media playing the blame game (Is it Eli or the offensive line?), would a loss force Shurmur to be candid when it comes to dissecting another debacle? Or would he circle the Big Blue wagons and be even more evasive and scripted?

Up to this point, Shurmur has done nothing to cultivate any media allies. Should the Giants continue to lose, when expectations were once so high, he’s going to need some. Recent history shows this. When his world was tumbling down, no one in the media had Ben McAdoo’s back. He had not created any relationships or media allies. McAdoo had done nothing to keep anyone from piling on or being a conduit for his side of the story.

If Shurmur doesn’t alter his media style, he could find himself alone on the same island.


It’s not only Shurmur who is getting paid by local radio suits in return for delivering nothing.

Todd Bowles (ESPN-98.7) fits into that category. So does Eli Manning. When it comes to radio interviews, the Giants QB is the highest paid. Radio moles say Manning gets between $180,000 and $225,000 for appearing a few minutes each week with Francesa during the football season.

That’s more dough than most of the on-air personalities make in a year.

Bowles and Shurmur ain’t making that kind of moo-la-dee. Their radio earnings are likely part of their overall coaching contracts with the Jets and the Giants. The brass at 98.7 and FAN believe these Giants and Jets paid interviews attract added listenership.

Over many moons no one has ever proven to us that this premise is true.

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