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After free-agent spending spree, Giants GM Jerry Reese can’t afford to be wrong

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 11:06 PM
giants-avail-presser.jpgRobert Sabo/New York Daily News Jerry Reese signed four of the best defensive free agents to contracts guaranteeing $114 million.

For more than three years, Jerry Reese has been a punching bag for the Giants’ biggest critics. He earned it by building three straight losing teams with a barrel of poor draft picks and decisions. Even John Mara put Reese on notice the moment he fired Tom Coughlin, telling everyone “Jerry knows this is on him.”

Then, in a span of 30 hours over the last two days, Reese changed the tone of the whole conversation by doling out $204 million in contracts and guaranteeing $114 million of Mara and Steve Tisch’s money to four of the best defensive players on the free-agent market. It was a bold move and an unprecedented spending spree and could transform the Giants if the money was truly spent on the right players.

And that’s the key: Reese better be right.

GIANTS SIGN DE OLIVIER VERNON FOR FIVE YEARS, $85 MILLION

There is no wiggle room in this and no time to build for the future, not with a 35-year-old quarterback and not with ownership (and a fan base) fed up by all the losing and missing the playoffs. The Giants GM has to be right that Jason Pierre-Paul (one year, $10.5 million, $8.5 million guaranteed), Janoris Jenkins (five years, $62.5 million, $29 million guaranteed), Damon Harrison (five years, $46.25 million, $24 million guaranteed) and especially Olivier Vernon (five years, $85 million, $52.5 million guaranteed) are worth every penny and will completely transform the NFL’s worst defense.

And the Giants still have some holes (most notably at safety, linebacker and receiver), so there still has to be more to come.

Never mind that Reese could end up paying with his job if he’s wrong. That was evident at Coughlin’s firing when Mara, with a nod towards Reese, said “You can’t hide from the record. It’s up to you now to get it fixed because the last three years are just not acceptable.” There are bigger stakes, like the potential to waste the final years of a franchise quarterback’s career, or the potential to give the Giants’ future salary cap headaches if these moves don’t work out.

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The good news is that on paper these moves look great. In 30 wild hours, Reese landed two of the top defensive ends (JPP and Vernon), the top cornerback (Jenkins) and maybe the top defensive tackle (Harrison) on the market. And his spending spree addressed the Giants’ biggest needs. Last season they couldn’t rush the passer, couldn’t stop the run with any consistency and couldn’t really cover the NFL’s best receivers.

Those guys can fix all that.

And think about this: The Giants had arguably the worst defensive line in football last year. Now, with JPP and Vernon on the ends and Harrison (350 pounds) and Johnathan Hankins (320) in the middle, they have the potential to have one of the best. There likely will be few corner duos that can match the pairing of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jenkins, too.

If the Giants had played even mediocre defense last year, if they could have just been OK enough to make a few more fourth-quarter stops, their 6-10 record could’ve easily have been 8-8 or better. If they had personnel like this in any of the last three years, surely Tom Coughlin would still have a job.

So they are better now. Much better. If everyone stays healthy and everyone plays like they did to earn this crazy money, they have to be a contender in the NFC East, at least.

Reese is counting on that even though this money frenzy is traditionally very out of character for the Giants. Even as recently as the day Ben McAdoo was hired, Mara admitted free-agent spending sprees were risky ventures, when he said “You can fill in some holes in free agency, but it’s still about drafting the right way.”

 

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Unfortunately for the Giants they didn’t just have “some holes.” They had many holes thanks to years of drafting the wrong way. And they had huge holes since they had very few young players ready to step up into a starring role. So they were forced to pay ridiculous prices. They made Vernon the highest paid defensive end in NFL history. They made Jenkins the second-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. They paid Harrison so much it blew the Jets out of the water, even though Harrison apparently wanted to stay with them.

But that’s what teams have to do in free agency. The Giants had no choice, and Reese had no choice either. They had to spend big, and they can only hope they spent smartly – since that’s what really matters in the end. On paper it all looks great. Certainly no one can question the Giants’ effort.

Now Reese can only hope that he put his boss’ money into the right players. Because he knows if his gamble doesn’t pay off, it’s on him.

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Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul has unfinished business

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul remains confident his mangled right hand won’t affect his play next year.

The Giants agreed, partially, offering him a one-year deal worth up to $10.5 million to prove what progress he has made in the nearly year’s time since a fireworks accident forced him to undergo an amputation of one finger and a series of surgical procedures on two others.

Related: Jason Pierre-Paul lifting weights without protective glove

The defensive end says that, next season, he won’t be hampered the way he was last season for one reason.

“The reason I came back to New York is because I have unfinished business,” Pierre-Paul told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “My hand won’t be an issue and I won’t play with the club.

“I’ll be back to the regular JPP, just missing fingers, that’s it. Other than that I’m ready to go, I’m fired up. I have no pain, nothing in my hand. I’m just rehabbing and getting as strong as possible. Even after I’m done rehabbing I’m still rehabbing. And I’m training right now. So at the end of the day the sky’s the limit for me. I’m only 27. So I’m happy, I’m content with what I have right now.”

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That club, which more resembled a massive oven mitt, compromised his ability to finish tackles, the one part of his game that evaded his otherwise successful return in the Giants’ final eight games of the 2015 campaign.

“To be honest, the only reason I played with the club last year is because my fingers wasn’t straight, you know what I mean? I was still going through that trauma stage and getting back. I wasn’t really supposed to play but, hey, a guy like me, it take a lot to keep me down, you know what I’m saying?”

The future of Pierre-Paul’s career -- not only with the Giants -- will depend on his success this coming season. If he can show the team that his old form remains, that he can pursue ball carriers and bring them down with the same ferocity he did prior to his accident, then he’ll have considerable leverage in angling for that long-term deal he has been hoping for.

“I have a lot to do,” Pierre-Paul said.

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Round 1's grades for 2016 NFL draft

 

 

 

CHICAGO – One player's social media accounts dominated discussion. Jerry Jones couldn't pass up on a potential star running back. And Denver may have found its quarterback not named Sam Bradford. It was a wild first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.

Here's a look at the 31 picks, with knee-jerk reactions and grades:

1) Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff This pick has been in pretty much since the Rams moved up dramatically from No. 15 to 1, even if they kept the mystery going for a few weeks. Goff is a rhythm passer who has spent three years in the “Bear Raid” offense, and there will be a transition to more of a pro system with a first-year passing coordinator and a second-year QB coach. Patie.

Jared Goff goes from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. (AP)


2) Philadelphia Eagles: QB Carson Wentz The impressive Wentz won two titles as a starter at the FCS level and has everything you want in a quarterback physically. He also is a mature, grounded person, and that will serve him well in a tough town. There's a crowd at QB with the Eagles, but if he's the best man for the job it will all sort out in time. It's a long road from Fargo to Philly, but if there's ever a town that can embrace the underdog … Grade: B

3) San Diego Chargers: DL/LB Joey BosaYes, linebacker. In the 3-4 scheme, Bosa will stand up and attack the quarterback from two feet instead of the two-point stance he rushed from all through high school and at Ohio State. He's a hard-charging, athletic and instinctive rusher, but the pick is odd considering the Chargers' rushers: Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Emmanuel. Bosa's laid-back attitude will work well in sleepy San Diego, but passing on Jalen Ramsey feels foolish. Grade: C+

4) Dallas Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott Presented a situation they might not have expected given the pick before, the Cowboys still took the player that team owner Jerry Jones has been rumored to be in love with for months. There was an internal debate over which player fit best here, but the Cowboys now have the most well-rounded RB prospect in years operating behind the league's best offensive line. Good luck with that, NFC East. This could help extend Tony Romo's career a year or two. Again, no Ramsey? Grade: B+

5) Jacksonville Jaguars: DB Jalen Ramsey – This is a dream scenario for GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, who now have upgraded their defense with a Day 1 impact defender. Ramsey is expected to play corner and nickel, and he also can impact special teams. What an unbelievable stroke of luck for the Jaguars, who hope to match their explosive offense with a competitive defense. Grade: A

6) Baltimore Ravens: OL Ronnie Stanley The Ravens had Stanley graded above Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil for some time now, so while the pick might be shocking to some. The athletic, smart Stanley can be a Day 1 starter at right tackle, which was a need, and take over for Eugene Monroe down the road. With Stanley and John Urschel, if nothing else the Ravens have perhaps the most intelligent offensive line in the NFL. Grade: B

7) San Francisco 49ers: DL DeForest Buckner – Chip Kelly and especially defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro (with whom Buckner is extremely tight) signed off on this pick early, and though there were other options for the team, this was a no-brainer. For the second straight year, the 49ers select an Oregon 5-technique, and this one was even better than 2015 first-rounder Arik Armstead. Buckner should be a star who can play a high volume of snaps and wreck blocking schemes. Grade: A-

8) Tennessee Titans: OL Jack Conklin The Titans did a lot of work on Laremy Tunsil and were roundly rumored to have been considering him with the first pick had they stayed put and not made a monster deal with the Rams. Now they trade up from No. 15, armed with plenty of ammo, to get … Conklin? This is wild. Perhaps the poorly timed video posted on a social media account belonging to Tunsil had some effect, but the Titans like the old-school grit of Conklin, who gives the Titans two gnarly anchors to protect Marcus Mariota and gear up the run game with DeMarco Murray. This is the exotic smashmouth they want to run. Grade: B-

9. Chicago Bears: LB Leonard Floyd The Bears leapfrogged the Giants, who were looking hard at some of the same players they were, including Floyd, so the move made sense from that perspective. But be suspicious of Floyd, who can be overpowered in the run game, is very lean and is in need of some pass-rush development. However, he has sky-high potential to hound the Aaron Rodgers of the world. A classic boom-bust pick. Grade: C

10. New York Giants: CB Eli Apple – Apple to the Big Apple. How about that? This is a surprise – not to see another Buckeye in the top 10 but to see a grabby, flawed corner who rated well below several others still available on other teams' boards. The Giants have starters in Janoris Jenkins and (we assume) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside, and Apple might not be a great fit in the nickel. Confusing. Grade: C-

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Seriously, this is too perfect. The Tampa kid comes up, and it fills a huge need. The Bucs' best corner by the end of the season was Sterling Moore, so that tells you what you need. Hargreaves likely would have been the pick at No. 9 had they not traded down, so they add the Bears' fourth-rounder and still get their guy. Hargreaves is a great cover corner who is small but highly instinctive. Grade: A-

12. New Orleans Saints: DL Sheldon Rankins – Some semblance of normalcy returns to the draft. Rankins was a player the Saints were connected with for months now, and it makes a ton of sense. Even with the Nick Fairley signing, that was not enough to solve their issue at the 3-technique. Rankins is an explosive interior rusher who can have an immediate impact in a few different spots, and he's a high-character player, which has been an area of focus for the Saints the past two seasons. Grade: A-

13. Miami Dolphins: OL Laremy Tunsil – The fall ends, mercifully. GM Mike Tannenbaum is not scared to make a wave in the draft, and he lands a player whose poorly timed Twitter hack might have caused his slide from the first pick to outside the top dozen. He's an athletic tackle, and it's not a glaring need with Branden Albert at left tackle, but 2014 first-rounder Ja'Wuan James might be tried inside if Tunsil impresses. Right now, he has to rebuild his image, but he's an exceptional talent. Grade: A-

14. Oakland Raiders: S Karl Joseph Instead of taking Myles Jack and his balky knee, the Raiders went with another medical concern in Joseph, who suffered a torn ACL after three games a year ago. But in those games, and in his Mountaineers career, Joseph established himself as an intense, instinctive hammer of a safety who has great ball skills and is a vocal leader. A classic Al Davis pick (reach?), even if he's been gone for years. The expectation was for Joseph to go later. Grade: C+

 

15. Cleveland Browns: WR Corey Coleman – The Browns' new regime has had a hard time hiding its love for Coleman, maybe the most explosive receiver in this draft. Fans might get nervous about hearing another Baylor receiver is coming to town, but there is almost no character concern about Coleman, who has overcome a lot in his life. He needs a quarterback, but maybe he and (former Baylor) QB Robert Griffin III can connect on some bombs. Coleman has great speed; drops have been his biggest bugaboo. Grade: B+

16. Detroit Lions: OL Taylor Decker – With the top three tackles off the board here, the Lions probably felt lucky to get Decker, even if we have him ranked a little lower. Still, he could step in right away – at right tackle (Michael Ola?), as an eventual replacement for Riley Reiff or at guard. He fits the mold of new GM Bob Quinn, who spent most of his career with the Patriots: tough, hard-nosed, durable and smart. Decker is a throwback. Grade: C+

17. Atlanta Falcons: SS Keanu Neal – We knew the Falcons liked him. We didn't know they liked him this much. Neal is a pile driver of a hitter – almost to the point where some scouts feared for his long-term safety. “Kiki” had grades all over the board from NFL evaluators; for as much athletic ability as he has, he also has limitations in coverage. Still, head coach Dan Quinn has a Kam Chancellor-esque enforcer in his secondary now. Grade: C

18. Indianapolis Colts: C Ryan Kelly – All along, the narrative was that the Colts needed a tackle, but the truth was the interior was the weakest spot. Kelly is a smart, tough, battle-tested, respected pivot who will be a great match mentally for Andrew Luck. A history of knee injuries for Kelly scared off a few teams, but he was universally praised for his strong virtues. A few ugly games aside, he's as solid as there is on the interior in this draft. Grade: B

19. Buffalo Bills: DL Shaq Lawson – As Rob and Rex Ryan continue transforming their defense more to the 3-4 schemes they've long used – separately and now together – Lawson is an important piece to the mix. He can get after the passer and should provide good support against the run, too. The Bills likely feel lucky he fell into their laps. Lawson might not be special, but he has potential to be a good player for a while. Grade: B+

20. New York Jets: LB Darron Lee – Almost a nickel safety-sized player, Lee is fast and highly athletic to match up with tight ends (um, New England perhaps?) and backs (say, Shady McCoy) right away. He's a good fit on a defense that has a lot of bulk up front, which should keep Lee clean from having to stack and shed linebackers, which is not his strength. Expect Lee to play at one of the inside spots in the Jets' 3-4 scheme, but he has versatility. Grade: B+

21. Houston Texans: WR Will Fuller – The Texans flipped a 2017 sixth-rounder to slide up a spot and guarantee they got the speed option they wanted. There were more complete receivers on the board, such as Laquon Treadwell and Josh Doctson, but the Texans wanted a vertical threat to complement DeAndre Hopkins. Now, with Hopkins, Fuller and Lamar Miller, the Texans have game-changing playmakers. Helps out Brock Osweiler tremendously. Grade: B-

22. Washington Redskins: WR Josh Doctson – Taking the receiver some thought the Texans should have taken, the Redskins add a pick and get a competitive bigger wideout to add to their till. Kirk Cousins now has a middle-of-the-field playmaker whose leaping ability will help with some of the off-target throws the Redskins have lived with. Doctson and Jordan Reed can work the middle, and DeSean Jackson has ownership on the deep routes. The Redskins' offense is evolving. Grade: B+

23. Minnesota Vikings: WR Laquon Treadwell – This makes too much sense. Teddy Bridgewater doesn't need a deep threat -- he needs a chain mover, and a physical one, such as Treadwell. This is an inspired choice that could reshape the Vikings' offense. He'll be a great No. 1 option in the red zone and is also the best blocking receiver in the draft by a mile. A great choice at this point of the draft. Grade: A-

24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB William Jackson III – The Bengals have invested a lot in their secondary – that's three first-rounders at the position in four years – but also lost a starting safety in the offseason. Depth is important, and the long-limbed playmaker Jackson is an interesting study who broke out last season by leading the NCAA in passes defended and was a star in the bowl game win against Florida State. It's a good value pick, and the Bengals show great patience in drafting for need a year in advance for the second straight year. Grade: B

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Artie Burns – Our least favorite pick to this point of the draft. Yes, Burns is a long-armed press corner with passion and he has overcome a lot in his life to get to this level. But there are teams that have stamped fourth-round grades on Burns, and he might not ever be better than a solid No. 3 corner. There were many better options here – perhaps in the front seven. Grade: D+

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Paxton Lynch (AP)


26. Denver Broncos: QB Paxton Lynch – The Broncos traded up aggressively for the second straight year to get their guy. Lynch will not be starting Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, and he might not be ready to be the guy until 2017. But he has a fascinating mix of two players – Brock Osweiler's size and Colin Kaepernick's arm and some of his athletic traits – that the team has been connected with in the past. Lynch is a project but one who could pay off tremendously once he acclimates to Gary Kubiak's offense. Grade: B

27. Green Bay Packers: DL Kenny Clark: The Packers have a history of taking front-seven defenders in the first round, and Clark helps right away. He adds a big body in the middle, which Green Bay needed after B.J. Raji said he's taking a hiatus from the NFL. Clark is an aggressive tackle whose effort won't be questioned. It doesn't solve Green Bay's inside linebacker issues – and the Packers did pass on Reggie Ragland to take Clark – but Clark does provide immediate help to the middle of the defense. Grade: B-

28. San Francisco 49ers: OL Joshua Garnett – So the 49ers moved up to this spot to take a passionate, smart, physical run-blocking guard. Sorry, but we're not jazzed. Garnett is one of the more fun players to talk football with – he's driven and intelligent – and he could start Day 1 at either guard spot. But does he fit with Chip Kelly's preference for lighter-footed offensive linemen? Garnett isn't a total slug, but he might have to take Kelly's renowned health regimen seriously to shape his body better. Grade: C-

29. Arizona Cardinals: DL Robert Nkemdiche – Nkemdiche was the top high school recruit in the country, dominated at times in the SEC, and could be a steal for the Cardinals near the end of the first round. It's reminiscent of the Tyrann Mathieu pick, which paid off in a big way for the Cardinals. Like Mathieu, Nkemdiche slipped in the draft due to off-field red flags. The most troubling incident was when he fell out of the fourth-floor hotel window. But the Cardinals are betting on his talent, which is massive. Grade: B

30. Carolina Panthers: DT Vernon Butler – GM Dave Gettleman's true colors are showing. He likes to build from the inside out, which was clear by letting Josh Norman walk and was very clear by taking Butler at a position of need. Carolina is stocked at defensive tackle with Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, but Butler's arrival protects the team against either one leaving via free agency after the 2016 season. At 323 pounds, have no illusion: Butler is not playing another position. He could be very good in time. Grade: B-

31. Seattle Seahawks: OL Germain Ifedi – Trading down five spots, the Seahawks got the player they wanted at No. 25. That's always great from a value perspective, and Ifedi has top-15 ability. It didn't always come to fruition at College Station, and it's unclear where Ifedi's best position will be after he struggled at times at left tackle. The Seahawks, as they usually do, gamble on a talent that other teams might not have rated quite as high. Grade: C+

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Pick-by-pick grades for the Giants’ 2016 NFL Draft

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, May 1, 2016, 6:00 PM

 

nfl-draft-football.jpgCharles Rex Arbogast/AP Eli Apple could develop into a replacement outside for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The Giants didn't get the linebacker they wanted (Georgia's Leonard Floyd) and they missed the offensive lineman most believed they coveted (Jack Conklin).

But they did get several pieces out of the 2016 NFL Draft. In perhaps the most pivotal draft of his career, GM Jerry Reese brought new tactics to the table, doing everything possible to stick to his draft board and avoid "need"-driven picks.

That led to a six-player draft class that makes sense on some levels, even if it confuses on others. Here are our grades for the Giants' draft picks.

 

Round 1: CB Eli Apple, Ohio State, B+

This almost certainly wasn't the ideal situation for the Giants, who watched the Bears and Titans leap past them for Floyd and Conklin, respectively.

But Reese made the best of it, scoring an athletic corner with plenty of upside. Sure, it would have been nice to trade down, but that's never as easy as it seems, and this franchise has rarely shown the mental agility to accumulate picks for later that way.

Apple fills an underrated need at slot corner, and while he may not be dominant early, in the years to come he could easily make Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie expendable if he develops into a quality coverman. The athleticism and talent in press-man coverage is there.

 

Round 2: WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma, B+

The Giants were almost certainly going to draft a receiver early on, because a replacement for departed Rueben Randle was needed and Victor Cruz remains no certainty.

Shepard fills that need, and concerns about his lack of size (5-10, 194 pounds) seem overrated. At worst, he'll be a reliable slot receiver, but the Giants believe he can do far more, shifting around the field and being a run-after-catch threat.

460237035.jpgSean Gardner/Getty Images WR Sterling Shepard plays bigger than his 5-10, 194-pound frame.

Shepard was perhaps the final "elite" receiving prospect available after a late-first-round run on wideouts,so you can't blame the Giants for scooping him up. Had they not taken Shepard here, they would have had to ponder relying upon Braxton Miller in the third round, and while the ex-QB, taken by the Texans, has talent, that would have been a risk.

 

Round 3: S Darian Thompson, Boise State, A-

This pick tells you a lot about what the Big Blue brain trust really thinks of the untested crew "competing" for the safety spot opposite Landon Collins.

That group, headed by Nat Berhe and converted CB Bennett Jackson, seemed an inadequate gamble a season ago, and Thompson provides a steadier alternative at a reasonable price. With 19 career interceptions, he's a ball hawk who complements Collins well, a veteran four-year starter.

The Giants could have pondered going offensive line here, but none of the options presents a compelling value as compared to Thompson.

 

Round 4: LB B.J. Goodson, Clemson, C

Perhaps the Giants' least worthwhile pick here. The Giants think the squatty Goodson can have a place as their middle linebacker, with the versatility to play other linebacking spots as well, but he seems to limited to do that, likely destined to serve as a two-down Mike.

It came at relatively high cost, as intriguing prospects were on the board, including athletic WR Malcolm Mitchell, who may play a role for the Patriots this season, and uber-strong DT Andrew Billings, later drafted by the Bengals.

Goodson, a less-than-athletic LB, may be emblematic of the Giants' struggles to develop drafted linebackers: The club has drafted LBs such as Phillip Dillard, Jon Goff and Greg Jones over the Reese Era and watched none of them stick. The Giants seem to value headiness and versatility at the position over athleticism, and that approach has yet to bear fruit.

 

Round 5: RB Paul Perkins, UCLA, A-

Given the Giants' relative depth in the backfield, with five veteran runners that the club claims it likes, the selection of Perkins makes little sense, creating a further logjam for carries.

But on its own merits, this is a terrific value pick: Perkins is a highly athletic back with underrated breakaway ability. The scouting rap on him is that he lacks size, but at 208 pounds, he weighs as much as Buffalo's LeSean McCoy, one of this era's few true workhorses.

giantsgrades2s-3-web.jpgOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images RB Paul Perkins was a great value pick for the Giants in the fifth round.

The Giants describe him as an "all-around" back, and while it won't likely happen this season, he could eventually erase the team's RB-by-committee approach.

This late in the draft, the Giants almost certainly weren't going to get a truly difference-making offensive or defensive linemen, so it's hard to blame them for taking a potentially useful running back.

 

Round 6: TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina, A-

The Giants have some depth here too, with 2015 starter Will Tye battling veteran Larry Donnell, and Jerome Cunningham waiting in the wings. But none of those players is a true star, so gambling on Adams, a terrific athlete with good straight-line speed for a tight end, does not at all seem a bad move.

Adams had limited receiving production in his final two seasons as a Gamecock, but he brings intriguing size (6-5, 247 pounds) and the athleticism and ability to high-point the ball that comes with being a former basketball player.

The Giants could wind up utilizing tight ends heavily this season, in part because of the uncertainty and lack of depth at receiver, so it does not hurt to have a big, athletic body with pass-catching upside.

And few players taken afterwards truly excite; the club could perhaps have deepened its WR corps with TCU's Kolby Listenbee, but while he brings straight-ahead ability, he may lack the change-of-direction ability to thrive in Ben McAdoo's West Coast offense. Listenbee, taken eight picks later by the Bills, also has injury questions due to a sports hernia, and the Giants avoided players with medical issues in this draft.

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New York Giants part ways with two players

 

 

The Giants cleared some room on their roster for incoming rookies by releasing a pair of players Thursday, parting ways with tight end Jerome Cunningham and safety G.J. Kinne.

Cunningham had eight receptions for 59 total yards in nine appearances for the Giants last season, seeing action mostly in the second half of the year after starter Larry Donnell was lost in their Week 8 meeting with New Orleans. But he became expendable after Donnell was given a health clearance to return, Will Tye emerged as their primary backup, and the Giants added Jerell Adams in the sixth round of the draft.

Also a veteran of the Jets and Eagles, Kinne was listed at the safety position, but also played some wide receiver and even quarterback in his career. In picking Boise State’s Darian Thompson, the team believes they have a prospect to build for the future in their secondary.

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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/15557871/bill-barnwell-offseason-report-cards-dallas-cowboys-new-york-giants-philadelphia-eagles-washington-redskins

 

This is the off season Report card for all of NFC EAST

 

 

 

 

It's getting very hard to post here....every type of image link is not accepted... I can not copy and paste without an error message

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30 Questions in 30 Days: Apple's place in CB depth

Posted 19 hours ago

giants.png Giants.com Latest News

Giants writers answer 30 questions in 30 days before the start of Training Camp!

 

Opening kickoff will be here before you know it.

 

With offseason workouts wrapped up, the New York Giants report back to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 28 for the start of training camp. As we count down the days until then, Giants.com staffers are answering 30 questions in 30 days to get you through the summer.

 

Question 12. How will Eli Apple fit into the cornerback rotation?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: The rookie is going to be on the field a lot, but I’m not sure he is ready to play the slot full-time his first year. He didn’t do it much at Ohio State, and adjusting to the NFL is hard enough without throwing a position change into the mix as well. With that said, I think Apple will play a lot outside and play more than 50% of the snaps over the course of the season. He was a first round pick for a reason.

 

DAN SALOMONE: If you have two corners, you’re short one these days in the NFL. Teams use three wide receivers more often than not, so you’ll see the Giants’ first-round pick more often than not in some capacity. Throughout the spring, the Giants looked at a variety of combinations with Apple, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins playing outside and inside.

 

>> READ: SUMMER Q&A WITH APPLE

 

LANCE MEDOW: The Giants will likely use Eli Apple inside and outside, depending on the matchups. During the spring, the team rotated corners at both positions so that, one, they’ll have a versatile secondary and, two, they’ll be able to evaluate who is more effective in each spot. In today’s NFL, you need three starting corners because more often than not the opposing offense lines up at least three wide receivers. That’s why Apple will see work all over the field.

 

 

Question 13. What will be the most hyped game on the Giants’ schedule?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: This is hard to anticipate because you don’t know what teams' records will be at the end of the season. I know the opener against Dallas will be hyped because it’s the first of the season against a hated division rival. I would also expect one of the final three games against NFC East rivals over the final four weeks of the season will be hyped if a division title is on the line. People will get excited to see the Giants play Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, too. All that said, I know the first game will be hyped so I’m going with the opener. The Giants need to get off to a good start, and winning in Dallas would be a great start.

 

DAN SALOMONE: We’ve waited 22 years to see New York vs. Los Angeles again in the NFL, so why not go all the way to London for it? Primetime games come and go every year, but the London game is an event with the full force of the NFL driving the buildup. From international media to promotions around the city, it’s a major deal on the league calendar. And if you remember, there was already plenty of juice the last time these two teams played -- on U.S. soil.

 

>> VIEW GIANTS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

 

LANCE MEDOW: Aside from the divisional games, Giants-Packers in Week 5 is clearly the matchup to circle on the calendar. In his first year as an NFL head coach, Ben McAdoo goes up against his mentor Mike McCarthy at Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football. That storyline alone will give the media plenty of material leading up to the game. McAdoo spent eight seasons in Green Bay, first as the tight ends coach (2006-11) and then the quarterbacks coach (2012-13), so the bulk of his NFL coaching career, thus far, was spent in the Cheese State. He’s built numerous relationships within that organization, which I’m sure will make it an emotional game. On top of that, the Giants and Packers have recently played in some classic contests in both the regular season and playoffs. There’s more than enough substance on and off the field that you might as well start up the hype machine now.

 

 

Question 14. Who will lead the Giants in interceptions this season?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: I’m going to go with Janoris Jenkins. Usually a safety is a safe (no pun intended) bet to lead a team in interceptions, but this year I like Jenkins. He is a gambler and is an expert at anticipating where a quarterback is going with the ball due to superior film study and instincts. In practice this spring he has played the ball in the air exceptionally well, and I think we’ll see a lot of big time plays from him in the fall.

 

DAN SALOMONE: Take your pick between Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins, two of the biggest play-making corners in the game. They both had five over the last two seasons, but I’m going with the newcomer Jenkins who will be looking to make his mark with the Giants. He was the MVP of spring and we saw why he was one of the most coveted free agents on the market this year. Whether he leads the team in picks or DRC does, we’ll see. But what we do know is that when they get the ball in their hands, they can take it to the house. They have 11 interception return touchdowns between them.

 

LANCE MEDOW: In three of the last four seasons a safety has led the team in interceptions and I think this year’s third round pick Darian Thompson will continue that trend. He only set a Mountain West Conference record with 19 career interceptions at Boise State and once again showed his knack for finding the football during OTAs and minicamp. With that defensive line playing in front of him, it will only help Thompson’s cause to lead the team in interceptions.

 

 

Question 15. Who will lead the Giants in tackles this season?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: Landon Collins, and it won’t be very close. The Giants will rotate their linebackers too much for one of them to lead the team in tackles. Collins will be on the field every down, and will play close to the line of scrimmage a bunch with Darian Thompson emerging as a center fielder. He will have plenty of opportunities to make a lot of tackles, especially if he improves on the angles he takes down the field.

 

DAN SALOMONE: I think it could be a race down to the wire between middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley and safety Landon Collins, last year’s team leader in this category. In his nine games as a starter in 2014, Brinkley notched 65, which would come out to around 116 if he started all 16. Meanwhile, Collins had 112 as the first rookie safety in Giants history to start an entire 16-game schedule. With that said, I’ll go ahead and give the edge to Collins, who could be in line for a big Year 2.

 

>> VIEW GIANTS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

 

LANCE MEDOW: In three of the last five seasons, a safety has led the team in tackles, and I think that position will continue to set the tone in 2016 with Landon Collins staying atop the leaderboard. Last season, Collins had 112 tackles (84 solo, 28 assisted) in 16 games as a rookie. With more comfort in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense and, potentially, this year’s third round pick Darian Thompson lining up next to him as a centerfielder, Collins will be in position to make plenty of plays this season.

 

 

Question 16. Which 1-on-1 matchup are you looking forward to seeing at training camp?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: This one is easy for me: Ereck Flowers vs. Olivier Vernon. I watched Odell Beckham Jr. take on Janoris Jenkins in the spring, but now I want to see the big guys go at it. My favorite part of training camp is watching the one-on-one O-Line/D-Line drills. Flowers is coming into his second season and is healthy after playing on a badly sprained ankle as a rookie. Vernon is a premier pass rusher. It will be a great test to see if Flowers is ready to take a big jump from his first year to his second.

 

DAN SALOMONE: Weston Richburg vs. Damon Harrison all day long. The best part of training camp is the first day of pads, and those two will be the center of my attention. That’s 648 pounds of action right there. We saw them go at it last year as opponents in the Giants vs. Jets game, but now they’ll be fortifying their respective lines as teammates. An underlying storyline is both are on the verge of breakout seasons that could lead to individual honors down the road.

 

>> VIEW GIANTS UNIFORM SCHEDULE

 

LANCE MEDOW: During training camp, my focus will be on the trenches where there will be plenty of battles between the offensive line and the new-look defensive line. The one matchup to watch is defensive end Olivier Vernon against left tackle Ereck Flowers, which will be a preview of what to expect in practice all season long. It will be a great test for Flowers, who is entering his second year in the league and looking to solidify the left side of the offensive line.

 

 

Question 17. Who is the most improved team on the Giants’ schedule?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: This is a really tough question. I’ll have to go with the Dallas Cowboys. They were not themselves last year due to injuries to their two best offensive players, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, and their best cover cornerback, Orlando Scandrick. If those three players come back healthy, along with the addition of Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys should be closer to their 12-4 record two years ago than their 4-12 season last year. The Baltimore Ravens getting healthy in the same way, including the return of Joe Flacco, puts them in this conversation as well.

 

DAN SALOMONE: The past two seasons haven’t been great for the Saints, but don’t sleep on a team that is used to double-digit win totals. Drew Brees is still Drew Brees and led the NFL in passing yards last season. But the main concern has been the defense, which finished last in scoring and second-to-last in yards in 2015. They addressed that side of the ball in three of the first four rounds of the draft, including Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. In between, they picked up wide receiver Michael Thomas, another Buckeye, in the second round. He joins a passing attack that was half of the most prolific quarterback duel in NFL history (Brees and Eli Manning combined for a league-record 13 touchdowns in last season's matchup in New Orleans). The Giants see the Saints again in Week 2, but this time at home.

 

READ: FACT OR FICTION: SCHEDULE DEBATE

 

LANCE MEDOW: I think the most improved team is the Chicago Bears. They finished 6-10 and in fourth place in the NFC North last season but in the offseason addressed one of their major issues in 2015: stopping the run. They signed free agent defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (Patriots) and linebackers Danny Trevathan (Broncos) and Jerrell Freeman (Colts). It will also be the defense’s second year under coordinator Vic Fangio, so there should be more comfort with the scheme after he implemented his philosophies in year one. As far as the offense goes, last year’s first round pick, wide receiver Kevin White, will pair with Alshon Jeffery after White missed all of 2015 due to a shin injury. The Bears also signed free agent tackle Bobbie Massie (Cardinals), which allows the team to move Kyle Long back to right guard.

 

 

Question 18. Who is one undrafted rookie to keep an eye on in training camp?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: I’m going to go with Ryan Malleck, who earned more and more snaps late in OTA’s and minicamp. The 6-5, 249-pound old school tight end from Virginia Tech showed good enough hands in the spring, and his body indicates he could be a good blocker on the edge. I want to see how physical he is once the pads come on.

 

DAN SALOMONE: I have to go with former Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon, subject of the best quote of spring. “He is 150 pounds or whatever,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said last month, “but I reminded him that power is mass times speed. So if he goes really fast, he is just as powerful as anyone.” The Giants currently boast two of the top three interceptors in Mountain West history. First is safety Darian Thompson, the all-time leader with 19, and third is Deayon with 17. In between is All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, who had 18 at Utah.

 

>> READ: SUMMER Q&A WITH KENNARD

 

LANCE MEDOW: If you’ve already caught the eye of the defensive coordinator during the spring, then you’re clearly doing something right. That description would fit corner Donte Deayon, an undrafted free agent out of Boise State. He had an impressive spring, highlighted by an interception return for a touchdown, and despite his small stature (5-9, 158), he’s one of the toughest players in camp. I’d keep my eye on him during training camp if you’re looking for a wild card to make the 53, as well as wide receiver Roger Lewis from Bowling Green and defensive end Romeo Okwara out of Notre Dame.

 

Question 19. Who had the best spring (OTAs, minicamp, etc.) for the Giants?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: Sterling Shepard and Darian Thompson certainly showed a lot in the spring, but I always hesitate to say a rookie was the best at anything in their first spring with the team. It’s also too easy to say one of the stars on the team. I’m going to go with a real sleeper and go with Will Tye. I thought he did a wonderful job all of OTA’s and minicamps adjusting his body to make difficult catches. He caught everything that came in his direction and showed remarkable consistency for a second-year player.

 

DAN SALOMONE: Newcomer Janoris Jenkins looked as good as advertised coming over from the Rams, but that’s to be expected from one of the most coveted free agents on the market this offseason. So I’m going with rookie safety Darian Thompson, the third-round pick out of Boise State. The Giants are counting on one of their young safeties to step up opposite Landon Collins, and the Mountain West’s all-time interceptions leader could be that player. He impressed defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo out of the gates at rookie minicamp and built on that momentum throughout OTA's and minicamp. More importantly, Spagnuolo liked that he wasn’t afraid to make a mistake going against veteran starters. We’ll learn more about the rookie in the preseason, but Thompson set himself up for an intriguing training camp.

 

>> READ: FACT OR FICTION: SCHEDULE DEBATE

 

LANCE MEDOW: There are a number of players who had impressive springs. Geremy Davis, Donte Deayon, Janoris Jenkins, Matt LaCosse and Darian Thompson, to name a few. If I had to pick one who I thought stood out from the rest of the pack, it would be Janoris Jenkins. His transition from the Rams to the Giants has been very smooth in terms of learning the playbook and meshing well with his new teammates in the locker room. Throughout the spring, he showcased the skills that made him an attractive free agent to the Giants, highlighted by his ability to cover and take away the football.

 

 

Question 20. What is the key offensive stat the Giants must improve in 2016?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: The Giants have to run the ball better, but that’s not more important than being better in the red zone. The Giants were 23rd in the league last year in touchdown percentage (48%) in the red zone. Running the ball better will make the team much better in the red zone, but as long as they get it in the end zone more, no one is going to care.

 

DAN SALOMONE: Back at the beginning of the offseason workout program, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan identified two key areas to improve in 2016: red zone and third down. The former is the primary concern due to a variety of reasons last season, the most important being turnovers. The Giants gave the ball away eight times inside the 20-yard line, tied with Atlanta for most in the NFL while the rest of the league averaged three.

 

LANCE MEDOW: For the key defensive stat question, I said stopping the run and for the key offensive stat, I’m singing the same tune: running the ball. The Giants finished 18th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (100.6), but the running game was inconsistent throughout the season and didn’t truly click until the last quarter of the year. This season, the Giants will look for more consistency across the board, specifically on first and second downs considering the Giants were 22nd in the league in third down efficiency (38%) and in the red zone where the Giants scored touchdowns just 44% of the time (tied for 29th in the NFL). An efficient running game will help to improve both of those stats.

 

 

Question 21. What is the key defensive stat the Giants must improve in 2016?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: Sacks or passing yards allowed is the easy answer here, but I’m going to go in a different direction and say third-down defense. The Giants were the second-worst third-down defense in football last year, allowing teams to convert nearly 47 percent of the time. This starts with better run defense on first and second down, and ends with better coverage and pass rush on third down. It doesn’t matter how they get it done, the Giants need to be better on third down if they want to win more games this year.

 

DAN SALOMONE: There’s no way around it: total yards allowed. There are hundreds of stats you could pull out for this, but they all funnel into the main one where the Giants finished at the bottom in the NFL last year. Whether that comes from more sacks, a stout run defense, the ability to get off the field on third down or anything else in between, they all go into the main issue for the Giants.

 

>> READ: ODELL ON TOP 100

 

LANCE MEDOW: A popular answer to this question will be getting to the quarterback, but I think it starts with the run defense. The Giants finished 24th in the NFL against the run (121.4 yards) in 2015 and that stat specifically impacted their third-down defense, which was dead last in the league. Opponents converted on third down 47 percent of the time. Stopping the run on first and second down is key because it will force your opponent into unmanageable third downs and aid your pass rush. When the former doesn’t happen, the opposing offense won’t feel the pressure.

 

 

 

Question 22. Which new Giant will become a fan favorite at training camp?

 

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fans love offense, so how can it not be Sterling Shepard? He is fun to watch, very quick, and will make plays. All the other newcomers are on defense, which doesn’t get the same love offensive players get during camp. Shepard will get plenty of full-time reps, and lots of opportunities to show Giants fans why he was worth the second pick in the draft.

 

DAN SALOMONE: I have to agree with Schmeelk and say Shepard as well. Nothing draws cheers at training camp like a good catch, and the rookie wide receiver will have plenty of those while running with Eli Manning and the first-team offense. Like Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz, who have taken him under their wings, Shepard has a star quality to him.

 

>> WATCH: VIDEO MAILBAG

 

LANCE MEDOW: I think undrafted free agent corner Donte Deayon could become a fan favorite at training camp. He’s already caught the eye of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who spoke very highly of the Boise State product during minicamp because of his toughness. At 5-9, Deayon reminds me of Charles James, who plays the same position and made a name for himself when he was with the Giants at training camp in 2013 and 2014.

 

Read the rest: http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/30-Questions-in-30-Days-Apples-place-in-CB-depth/216eaec6-5f00-4b84-96e7-63f5740d3671

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http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/15557871/bill-barnwell-offseason-report-cards-dallas-cowboys-new-york-giants-philadelphia-eagles-washington-redskins

 

This is the off season Report card for all of NFC EAST

 

 

 

 

It's getting very hard to post here....every type of image link is not accepted... I can not copy and paste without an error message

If you are using Google image search, you need to click the "view image" button and then right click and "copy image location". If you copy the image location link directly from the search results, you will get that error. Every time. Every image.

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If you are using Google image search, you need to click the "view image" button and then right click and "copy image location". If you copy the image location link directly from the search results, you will get that error. Every time. Every image.

I'm not

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Five things I think I think: Good, and bad, of the New York Giants offseason

By Ed Valentine

@Valentine_Ed on Jul 19, 2016, 7:00a 46

usa-today-9341994.0.jpg
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is almost here, so let’s assess the offseason the Giants had

Training camp begins in slightly more than a week for the New York Giants. With that in mind, let’s go through “Five things I think I think” about the offseason the Giants have had, and what they might mean for the team’s fortunes in 2016.

 

I think the air has been freshened

I will be the first one to admit that I think Tom Coughlin got the short end of the stick from the Giants at the end of last season. It’s an old argument, but I will always believe the cumulative failures by the Giants the last four seasons were more about talent — a distinct lack of it on the roster — than about coaching.

That said, the Giants made a decision and it appears to be working so far. One thing was certain at the end of last season — something dramatic had to be done. Here, in my view, is the biggest thing the change to Ben McAdoo as head coach has accomplished thus far. It has changed the vibe, freshened the air, if you will, around the entire organization.

The losing, three years of it, had gotten old. The arguing about who to blame had gotten old. The Band-Aid changes each year had gotten old. Arguing about Coughlin vs. Jerry Reese had gotten old. Maybe the Giants were stuck in the past, a past that was getting mustier and mustier with each losing season.

There was a different feeling, a different energy around the Giants in the spring. The air was fresh. It was new. They are, finally, looking to the future rather than trying to re-create the past.

 

I think they vastly improved the defense

The Giants made three expensive moves in free agency, and on paper each made the defense better. On paper, Janoris Jenkins is better than Prince Amukamara, Olivier Vernon is better than Robert Ayers and Damon “Snacks” Harrison is several light years better than Markus Kuhn or an aging Cullen Jenkins.

Eli Apple should be an upgrade over Trumaine McBride and Jayron Hosley, and I only use the word “should” because we haven’t seen him in a game yet. If he isn’t, that’s an issue. B.J. Goodson gives the Giants a potential middle linebacker of the future, and while there aren’t any obvious impact players at least there are more options at linebacker. At safety, whether it’s Darian Thompson or Nat Berhe starting next to Landon Collins, that has to be better than Brandon Meriweather or Craig Dahl.

Reality is, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo never had a chance last year. Unless Jason Pierre-Paul turned the clock back to 2011 and Jon Beason found the fountain of youth, the unit he was handed was never going to be anything other than awful. We know what happened.

This year, Spags and the defense have a chance. Maybe not to be dominant, that might be expecting too much. But, to be competitive.

 

I think they cleaned out the closet

The Giants’ locker room the past few season was not full of malcontents, that’s not what this section is about. It was, however, full of too many players who couldn’t help them, either because they were too old, too injured, too disinterested, or some combination of all three.

Jon Beason, Geoff Schwartz, Prince Amukamara, Cullen Jenkins, Rueben Randle and Will Beatty all fit into at least one of those categories — some fit into more than one. I will let you figure out for yourselves who belongs in what category. Fact is, though, the Giants were counting on too many guys to play key roles who couldn’t be counted on.

Finally, the Giants have moved on. In some cases, obviously, it cost the Giants an extraordinary amount of money, but it had to be done.

 

I think they set up a competitive training camp

Well, you say, every training camp is competitive. That’s true. There is always competition for jobs. Too many times in recent years, though, the players they had competing were, to be kind, less than desirable.

In recent years, how many players cut by the Giants have gone on to succeed with other teams? Give up yet? The answer is, not many. That, friends, is the rest of the league telling the Giants they didn’t think much of their players.

This time around, I think that is going to be different. The Giants have more NFL-caliber players than they can possibly keep at running back, tight end, wide receiver and linebacker. Yes, linebacker. Some of the players they cut will likely become useful parts for other teams. There are exciting young players competing for roster spots at safety, corner and the defensive line. So, real competition among real players deserving of being on NFL rosters. That’s different.

 

I think the tackle situation remains the biggest problem

Geez, Ed, it sure took a lot of research to figure this one out. This is the one place where the Giants have done virtually nothing, where the status quo from 2015 remains in place. And it remains a huge gamble.

At the risk of arguing against myself, since I have pointed out in the past that the Giants did well offensively a year ago despite the less-than-stellar play of their offensive tackles, I’m going to argue against myself.

Sure, the Giants finished sixth in scoring (26.3 points per game) and eight in total yards. But, they couldn’t run the ball when they needed to run it. They also had to rely on the quick-throw because Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse couldn’t hold up long enough to give Eli Manning opportunities down the field.

The Giants, as of now, are gambling that Flowers improves enough that they can feel reasonably comfortable leaving him out there on an island against the league’s better pass rushers. That, in turn, would allow them to give Newhouse more help.

I love Flowers’ athleticism and demeanor, and you can count me as optimistic that he will get better. If he doesn’t, and if the Giants struggle to block rushers off the edge, the offense won’t reach its full potential. And the Giants won’t win as many games as they could.

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Dem fellas have some fabulous man-tits. Especially Reese. #mantitsmatter

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Ben McAdoo asserts himself with Super Bowl goal for Giants while still paying homage to Tom Coughlin

 

new-york-giants.jpg Ben McAdoo at his first Giants training camp as head coach. (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, July 29, 2016, 12:29 AM

Tom Coughlin could command a room. Matter of fact, Coughlin could be so intimidating and so in charge, it often felt like he wanted to run you out of the room. His two Super Bowl rings hardly hurt the amount of respect players had for him, and when he spoke, everyone listened, or cowered, or both.

Ben McAdoo, 39, comes off differently, as a mild-mannered and steady personality, but one that borders on dry and emotionless, with a steely gaze at no one in particular as he rattles off coach-speak. He looks like a man who clearly eats, sleeps and breathes football, a Super Bowl XLV champ from his days as a Green Bay assistant, but more a humble product of Homer City, Pa., than a bully built for the Big Apple.

Perhaps McAdoo’s first training camp as Giants head coach will reshape that unassuming image quickly. Because he backed down from nothing on Thursday, asserting himself his own man and paying homage to Coughlin’s 12-year tenure, and most importantly receiving the strong backing of some key players.

“The way he commands attention in a room, how meticulous he is and the respect level he has for every single person, he’s definitely the guy for the job,” RB Rashad Jennings said of McAdoo. “Not every single person is able to have that type of authority in front of men.

 

“I’m sure everybody has a job and everybody has a boss,” Jennings added. “Sometimes you have a boss and when they speak, it’s like, ‘Uhhh.’ Then sometimes there’s a boss you listen to (Jennings stands at attention). He can command a room full of men, and that’s huge when you talk about being a coach in the NFL.”

McAdoo told his players in the Giants’ first team meeting of camp that “our goal is still to put the fifth trophy in the case.” He said that already in January, sure, but it mattered and meant more on Thursday that at this time of year, McAdoo still believes that this team can accomplish that lofty goal.

He didn’t have to talk Super Bowl on day one, but he did, and he put more pressure on himself by doing it.

new-york-giants.jpg Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo in 2014. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

“The other thing we addressed is those are just words right now,” McAdoo added. “It’s time for us to go out there, put the work in and earn it. It absolutely puts crystal clear, high expectations on the team, and that’s what we want. That’s what we’re here for.”

 

Maybe Coughlin’s shadow then won’t hover too ominously over the McAdoo era for too long if he is this confident, this focused on affecting the future rather than dwelling on the past, this eager to win a championship this quickly.

He’ll have to deliver results, but maybe the thumping, upbeat music McAdoo blasted in mini-camp was more a reflection of his attitude and makeup than anyone realized. Maybe his energy will be contagious.

“I’m ready to go,” McAdoo said before heading out to the sweltering Quest Diagnostics Training Center fields for player conditioning tests. “I went in and circled the first day we’re gonna get the pads on, practice four (next Tuesday). Can’t wait for it … (We) can’t start fast enough. (What I have to work on most is) patience.”

McAdoo’s hiring is clearly related to Eli Manning’s comfort in the offense nearing the final stage of his career. Still, NFL.com ranked McAdoo sixth in a list of the seven new NFL coaching hires this offseason.

McAdoo’s decision to keep the clocks on “Coughlin Time,” with every one permanently five minutes fast, was about as mature and encouraging a sign as there could be for the start of his Giants coaching tenure. So was the reason McAdoo gave for why he did it.

tom-coughlin-retires-giants-coach.jpg

“I like having a five-minute head start on everybody else,” he said. “We’re an east coast team. You never know when those five minutes are going to make a difference. I like the discipline part of things. I think being committed to discipline and being committed to poise goes hand in hand, and I didn’t know why we did it when I got here but now I do, and I appreciate it.”

Here was a proud coach, intent on establishing his own identity, admitting to being taught a lesson by his forced-out predecessor, whom McAdoo called “a tremendous leader.” McAdoo is also preaching his own mantra for the team’s identity as “silent, smart and tough, committed to discipline and poise,” but the players notice and appreciate his embrace of Coughlin’s positive past, too.

“I think it’s respect to somebody who is a Hall of Fame coach who has done so much for this organization and really exemplifies what Giant pride looks like,” Jennings said, “and to carry that over I think is an honor to him, and it keeps us on track, too. We had that moment collectively as a team … back in spring (when he hesitated to remember Coughlin was no longer the coach), but it’s a new era.”

 

It is difficult to predict how McAdoo will fare in this job because no one really knows who he is or what he can do. For now, all we have to go on are McAdoo’s forceful declaration that this Giants team is gunning for a championship, and glowing comments from players like guard Justin Pugh.

“Ah, I love Coach Mac,” Pugh said.

There was assurance on day one of camp at least that McAdoo knows the stakes, and that he does not fear them. He embraces them.

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Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard injured in Giants’ preseason game against Dolphins

ginjuries13s-1-web.jpg The field and seating area of MetLife Stadium. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 12, 2016, 9:28 PM

The Giants' top two picks from this year’s draft both sustained injuries in Friday night’s preseason opener, putting a damper on the positive contributions that Eli Apple and Sterling Shepard had made early in the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.

The team announced late in the second quarter that the defensive back Apple, Big Blue’s 2016 first-round pick, was having the outside of his left knee examined, while the wide receiver Shepard has a sore groin.

Shepard made an excellent diving 24-yard catch on a pass by Ryan Nassib to set up a Rashad Jennings 3-yard touchdown run on the Giants’ first offensive drive. Shepard was targeted four times but that was his only catch, underthrown a couple times by Nassib.

Apple received a ton of first-half reps and had two tackles on defense and was involved in special teams.

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Report: Giants K Josh Brown was arrested for domestic violence

 

 

The situation regarding suspended New York Giants kicker Josh Brown may have just been made a bit more clear. According to James Kratch of NJ.com, the kicker was arrested in May of 2015 on a domestic violence charge.

Kratch details the full arrest here, but states that the arrest happened at 3:20 p.m. on May 22, 2015 in Woodinville, Wa. The charge is a fourth-degree misdemeanor in nature.

Giants kicker Josh Brown released a statement on the matter, "While I do not agree with the suspension, I will accept it. 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."

 

Brown is suspended for the first game of the 2016 season for violation of the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.

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Eli Manning, Giants first-team offense can’t get anything going in preseason loss to Bills

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:56 AM

BUFFALO — Eli Manning and the Giants’ first-team offense generated almost nothing through four penalty-filled drives Saturday afternoon in the franchise quarterback’s first action of the preseason, low-lighting a 21-0 loss to Rex Ryan’s Bills at the newly-renamed New Era Field.

Head coach Ben McAdoo, now 0-2 to open his first exhibition season, stewed that Manning’s first-string unit “wasn’t very good, to put it politely,” most disgusted with the Bills’ defense pushing around his offensive line.

“I just finished talking to the team. I told them we worked too hard to put a performance like that on film,” said McAdoo, whose team has committed eight turnovers and 17 penalties through two games. “They were more physical than we were, that was obvious. We need to take a long look in the mirror and bounce back … (The Bills) had a lot of free runners at the point of attack, and they took it to us.”

Manning was just as disappointing, gaining only one first down on 4-of-9 passing for 44 yards on a 22-yard slant to Odell Beckham Jr. on Big Blue’s first drive. The preseason isn’t necessarily a predictor of the regular season, but the franchise quarterback wasn’t ignoring Saturday’s futility.

“You can’t freak out,” Manning said, “but you’ve got to understand there’s got to be some urgency, we’ve got to do some things better than we were today.”

The offensive line committed one penalty on each of the Giants’ first three drives, and the regular starters were the culprits, not backup Bobby Hart, who started at left guard for Justin Pugh (bruised shoulder). The first-team offense averaged just 2.1 rush yards on six carries by Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen.

giantsweb21s-1-web.jpg Eli Manning completes just four passes for 44 yards in his first preseason action of the summer. (Gary Wiepert/AP)

A false start by right guard John Jerry set back the first series, which ended when Manning overthrew Beckham down the left sideline on fourth-and-4 from the Bills’ 36-yard line.

A holding penalty by left tackle Ereck Flowers stalled the second drive. A holding penalty by center Weston Richburg and a Lorenzo Alexander sack past Flowers ended the third series. Manning took the blame for the sack, though, saying he didn’t move the pocket well enough.

“Penalties don’t make it easy to overcome, holding calls and those types of things, but there were also a couple opportunities where I could have done a better job of moving the pocket or finding that completion,” said Manning, who had not played in the Giants’ 27-10 home preseason opening loss to the Dolphins. “I had a couple missed throws, a couple missed communications. Those were all reasons for not sustaining drives.”

McAdoo responded by leaving Manning’s unit on for the first drive of the second quarter and leaving most of the line out for the full first half, saying: “They played longer into the game because they didn’t move the ball.”

Manning went three-and-out on his final drive, shaking his head after overthrowing Roger Lewis Jr. on third down, and was bailed out by a great Jerry block as he unknowingly nearly stepped into another crushing sack. “What we practice needs to show up on game day, and it hasn’t been,” McAdoo said. “We’ve been sloppy with penalties. We haven’t been taking care of the ball very well, and we had opportunities in practice to develop our physicality. From an offensive perspective it wasn’t there tonight.”

giantsweb21s-2-web.jpg Rashad Jennings and the Giants get stuffed by the Bills in their second preseason game. (Gary Wiepert/AP)

The Giants’ defense continued to make plays, at least. Second-year safety Landon Collins made three consecutive tackles on the Bills’ second drive on first, second and third down at the Giants’ goal line. Collins’ third-down hit forced a fumble by Bills fullback Jerome Felton that defensive tackle Damon (Snacks) Harrison recovered for a touchback in the end zone.

But Collins lost LeSean McCoy in coverage for a 13-yard TD to open the scoring with 12:58 left in the second quarter. An Andre Williams fumble of an exchange from backup QB Ryan Nassib gave Buffalo a 49-yard short field to punch in rookie RB Jonathan Williams’s one-yard TD run with 4:58 to play in the half.

Then rookie running back Paul Perkins missed a protection adjustment that left Bills corner Sterling Moore untouched off the edge to crush Nassib for a sack-fumble. The first team offense, though, is the major concern. The linemen heard McAdoo’s charge, and they know being physically overpowered is unacceptable.

“That’s definitely something we should be hanging our hat on, and sometimes I guess it was lacking, guys may have been tentative, whatever you want to call it,” right tackle Marshall Newhouse said. “That’s something that you’ve got to strike the match and get it revved up. It’s there.”

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Report: Giants re-sign Will Beatty

Will Beatty is back in blue.

According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the former New York Giants offensive tackle is re-joining the team.

 

The Giants brought back Beatty on a one-year contract. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, Beatty's deal includes $1.1 million in guaranteed money and $750,000 in incentives.

 

The Giants released Beatty last season and the two sides were not reported to be engaged in any contract talks prior to today's transaction. Per Garafolo, as of about one week ago, a deal between the two sides seemed extremely unlikely.

Beatty worked out for the team today and the Giants quickly decided they had seen enough to make him an offer right away, according to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post.

 

The Giants weren't the only team interested in signing Beatty for the 2016 season. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that Beatty had worked out for the Panthers and had an offer from the Jaguars. He also received interested from the Cardinals and Saints -- both teams wanted him in for a workout.

 

Although Beatty left tackle almost exclusively during his first run with the New York Giants from 2009-2014 (he missed the entire 2015 season), Beatty is not expected to compete with current left tackle Ereck Flowers. His clearest path to playing time will come at right tackle where he will compete with current starter Marshall Newhouse.

Before missing the entire 2015 regular season with a torn pectoral muscle, Beatty enjoyed his best season of his career in 2014. According to Pro Football Focus, Beatty graded out as a top-12 left tackle that season with above-average marks as a run blocker and pass protector.

If Beatty is healthy, it should take him no time to beat out Newhouse, who has struggled mightily this preseason after a disappointing season-long performance in 2015.

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When it comes to Giants, not a lot of depth

jets.jpg Giants quarterback Eli Manning needs to hope his offensive line protects him. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)
col_hdr_leonard.jpg?r=20160831002
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 5:57 PM

The Giants are like a lot of NFL teams right now: Depth entering the 2016 season is a concern.

You still would take an Eli Manning-led offense with Odell Beckham and hopefully a healthy Victor Cruz over a lot of other franchises’ top weapons. The revamped Big Blue defense also is exciting, with big preseason plays from Landon Collins, Jonathan Casillas, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Olivier Vernon, plus a determined Jason Pierre-Paul.

Offensive tackle Will Beatty’s re-signing on Tuesday, though, was a reminder not only of how the Giants are one injury away at so many positions from a major drop-off; it was also a wake-up call that there are still some critical position groups on Jerry Reese’s roster that aren’t up to snuff.

Specifically, the blocking failure of the Giants’ offensive line, tight ends and running backs has emerged as a major issue threatening to derail a strong start to the regular season. Because it doesn’t matter if you have a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback on your roster if he has no time to execute the plays he is calling.

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“We have the personnel to do it,” rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard said Tuesday of the offense’s ability to execute. “We have guys that are ready and hungry to play. I don’t feel like what has happened in the preseason is going to affect us in the regular season at all.”

They can only hope. The first-team offense’s preseason numbers with Manning under center are startling: 12 drives, four first downs, no points. The Giants’ pocket protection was in this position a few years ago. Longtime offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride basically was forced to take the fall.

McAdoo arrived from Green Bay in 2014 to run a new offense that worked more efficiently with what the Giants had. Reese drafted tackle/guard Justin Pugh (first round, 2013), center Weston Richburg (second round, 2014), tackle Ereck Flowers (first round, 2015) and guard Bobby Hart (seventh round, 2015).

Free agents John Jerry (2014) and Marshall Newhouse (2015) arrived, compiling the current starting five plus Hart, the Giants’ top reserve lineman, that have had an uneasy August after a difficult 2015 season. Backup tackle Byron Stingily is now on injured reserve with a concussion, to boot.

Giants re-signing tackle Will Beatty to one-year deal

Beatty is familiar and has Super Bowl pedigree, but the drop-off from the starting line to the reserves has been evidently dramatic this preseason, even with the first unit’s struggles with blocking and discipline.

That is one reason why McAdoo probably wants to see his first-teamers for at least a series or two in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.

Another would be that Manning has never played in fewer than three preseason games in any year since 2006. He sat out this summer’s first exhibition for the first time, so it’s possible he takes no reps Thursday. But more than likely he’s just as eager to move the sticks a few times in this final dress rehearsal before the Sept. 11 opener in Dallas.

After that, this game will be most significant for the Giants to get one final evaluation of their depth at some shakier spots: At quarterback, where backup Ryan Nassib has struggled; at tight end, where no one has asserted himself; at linebacker, where only Casillas has shown a ‘wow factor'; at safety, and at wide receiver and running back, where there are top players but the depth talent must be difference-makers.

Giants' Army inspiration can't defend Kaepernick's anthem stance

Where are the Giants most talented and deepest? Probably on the defensive line, with Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Vernon complemented by high-ceiling young pass rushers Owa Odighizuwa and Romeo Okwara, defensive end Kerry Wynn, and tackle Louis Nix making a late push to stick around past Tuesday’s first cuts.

At various other positions on the field Thursday, though, McAdoo needs to see fire and ferocity and a higher-level of play across the board.

“We’re obviously going to take a nice long look at some guys at the bottom part of the roster and give them an opportunity,” McAdoo said.

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Ex-NFL player Taylor arrested on DUI charge in Florida

21 / 26

 

3 hrs ago

 

 

 

© The Associated Press

 

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Highway Patrol says ex-NFL player Lawrence Taylor has been arrested in Palm Beach County on a DUI charge, the Palm Beach Post reports (http://pbpo.st/2cx7Pgv).

 

Spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky tells the newspaper that Taylor was arrested after a crash on Florida's Turnpike. Wysocky says more details will be released Saturday.

WPTV reports that Taylor, 57, was driving south on the turnpike from Beeline Highway about 5:20 p.m. when he became involved in a crash. The TV station says that Taylor switched lanes and hit a motor home and sideswiped a patrol vehicle.

Taylor was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail, WPTV reports.

Taylor, a retired linebacker, played 13 seasons with the New York Giants, helping the team win Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991.

In 2011, Taylor pleaded guilty in New York to sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to six years of probation.

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Giants kicker Josh Brown won't talk until Sunday, violating NFL's media policy

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2016, 9:32 PM
giants-brown-football.jpg Giants kicker Josh Brown says he won't speak until after Sunday's game. (Tom Canavan/AP)

 

Giants kicker Josh Brown did not speak with reporters on Friday, officially violating the league’s media policy.

Earlier in the week, Brown — who was arrested for domestic violence and accused of being violent toward his then-wife on over 20 occasions — said that he did not wish to speak until after Sunday's game against the Saints. When asked about Brown's silence, a team spokesman indicated only that Brown will speak Sunday.

The NFL media policy requires that players be “regularly” available during the game week, with the exception of two stars who only must speak to the press once per week outside of games.

The Giants kicker, who was suspended for the first game of the season, has only spoken to an in-house reporter since Aug. 18, when he referred to his May 2015 domestic violence arrest as “just a moment.” Later that day, the Daily News first reported the widespread accusations against Josh Brown, including that he pushed then-wife Molly Brown into a door while pregnant. No charges were filed stemming from that arrest.

Afterward, Molly Brown received a protective order against Brown; he was arrested for violating that order in July 2015.

Earlier this week Deadspin obtained obtained and published a letter by Robert W.H. Price whom Brown saw for anger management. Price opens that letter by saying, “Josh is participating in an anger management program with Elite Minds, LLC due to the type of domestic violence that he has perpetrated in the past.”

 

CELEBRATION FINE
Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz were each fined $12,154 for their celebration after Cruz’s game-winning touchdown over the Cowboys last week. As Cruz did his usual salsa dance, Beckham came over and acted like a photographer pretending to take a picture.

 

SNACKS LEADS THE WAY
Damon Harrison is settling in to his role as a leader.

Ben McAdoo revealed Friday that Harrison gave a “great” speech to the defense. Steve Spagnuolo asks someone to make a speech each week, according to Harrison, and tapped him on Friday. Jonathan Casillas was the first defensive player to give one.

 

Landon Collins said the speech was mostly about how Harrison worked his way up from being an undrafted free agent into the big-time player he is today.

“Snacks is a great leader,” Collins said.

Harrison said he had a similar role as a leader with the Jets last year, but no one knew about it.

 

Mara: Giants knew of allegations against Josh Brown

“It was the same thing with the Jets, it was just behind closed doors. You could talk to anybody there; it was the same thing,” he said. “I didn’t expect for it to happen here so soon, but apparently guys listen to what I have to say. I don’t know why, man.”

 

JPP QUESTIONABLE
Jason Pierre-Paul is officially questionable with a shoulder injury. The Giants didn’t practice Friday, but if they had, Ben McAdoo said Pierre-Paul wouldn’t have practiced. However, Pierre-Paul said Thursday that he will play against the Saints.

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Keenan Robinson getting Giants fired up to face his former team

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 12:23 AM

 

Keenan Robinson can’t wait to face his former team.

So it’s no surprise the linebacker — who spent his first four seasons in Washington before signing with the Giants in March — gave an impassioned speech to the Big Blue defense Friday that aimed to keep his teammates focused on their short-team goals: a 3-0 start to the season and a win over a division opponent Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

“I just speak from the heart, man,” Robinson said of his speech. “Every day, we have to come to work, no matter if we’re 0-2 like they are or 2-0. We have to make sure we put in the work, because every team in the NFL will come ready to play.

“We have to make sure we never overlook anybody.”

Earlier this week, Robinson was stirring the pot ahead of the Giants’ clash with Washington. Amid reports of fractures in the Washington locker room, Robinson offered insights from his own experience. “When I was there, three out of four years, it was the same thing,” he said. “Once they get down, they start pointing fingers.”

That didn’t go over well in Washington. For one, DeAngelo Hall told reporters he didn’t even know Robinson was playing for the Giants.

“I didn’t know he was on that team. You can print that,” Hall said, via ESPN. “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

It’s yet another trash-talking storyline in a week full of them for these two teams. Obviously, Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman’s ongoing feud has received most of the attention. But Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Washington receiver DeSean Jackson have traded barbs as well.

The buzz is palpable. And Robinson is itching to take the field and back up his words. According to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Robinson has been giving coaches and teammates pointers in the meeting room about what Washington likes to do on offense — bits of information he picked up during his time in D.C.

giants-cowboys-football.jpg Keenan Robinson played for Washington the last few seasons and after ripping old team earlier in week, he aims to help his new team keep focus heading into rivalry game Sunday. (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

“He’s all jacked up this week,” Spagnuolo said of Robinson, who saw his defensive snap count increase from 30 plays in Week 1 to 52 plays in Week 2 as he’s proven himself to the Giants coaching staff and carved out a role in nickel coverage and other sub packages. “He’s been really good that way.”

That Robinson gave the speech to the defense Friday is a bit of an abnormality. He’s only been with the organization for a few months.

But coaches nonetheless asked him to speak. And it truly is a testament to the trust the staff has in all the new free-agent defensive additions, who’ve already proved themselves as genuine leaders inside the Giants locker room.

Last week, Damon (Snacks) Harrison gave the speech to the defense before Big Blue took down the Saints. And secondary coach Dave Merritt Sr., who’s been with the Giants organization since 2004, also specifically mentioned defensive end Olivier Vernon and Jenkins as leaders for the Giants.

“The guys we’ve signed here that can step up and actually are not afraid to speak and say what’s on their mind,” Merritt said Friday, “that’s very comforting.”

Robinson said “it’s weird” that new guys have been the ones delivering the speeches and emerging as the vocal front men. But he credits the coaching staff for creating a culture in which that quirk can be a benefit.

“They still consider us leaders and guys that can step up and make an impact or step up and feel like they have a presence on this team,” Robinson said. “And that just shows how much they respect us, whether we’ve been here or not.”

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Odell Beckham Jr. meets Josh Norman again — and it’s up to Ben McAdoo to manage the mayhem

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, September 25, 2016, 1:56 AM

 

It’s here — the highly-anticipated rematch between Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman, a Week 3 matchup the Giants were so amped up for that Janoris Jenkins and Victor Cruz were trash-talking Norman and Washington even before they beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.

It’s here – the undefeated Giants (2-0) and winless Washington (0-2) in an early, must-see NFC East clash, with Washington players so desperate that Giants coach Ben McAdoo on Friday compared them to “hungry animals.”

Yes, it’s already out of control, and kickoff is still to come.

The main event, Beckham vs. Norman II, is producing pregame propaganda about how much Beckham has “grown” since last season’s embarrassing flip-out on this same MetLife Stadium turf. But the fact is no one can accurately assess if that’s true until Beckham demonstrates maturity on Sunday.

So far, the only evidence we have suggests neither Beckham nor Norman truly has “moved on,” as every coach and player tried to convince us this week.

The two nemeses spent the offseason trading social media insults: Beckham saying Norman is only famous because of a run-in with a star like him; Norman mocking Beckham as a baby and a one-catch wonder. On Wednesday, Norman chuckled when asked if he’s moved past Beckham’s spearing headshot last fall.

“God tells us to forgive all, so I’m working on that,” he said.

beckham-norman-football.jpg
In their meeting last season, Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman, then a member of the Carolina Panthers, tussled several times on the field. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Then Friday, Beckham tweeted a link to a Bleacher Report article – reposted on Beckham’s own blog – that suggested the Beckham-Norman rivalry could compare to Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier.

Beckham can’t help himself; Norman can’t either. Their GPS systems are both pre-programmed for a crash course Sunday at 1 p.m. in North Jersey.

“It’s mental warfare,” Beckham said of Washington’s plans to get under his skin. “It’s the art of war.”

The game won’t be boring, but it will have to be managed and controlled, which is why the No. 1 man to watch on Sunday won’t be Beckham or Norman – it will be Giants head coach Ben McAdoo.

McAdoo will be juggling several delicate, high-profile issues in front of millions of fans and viewers. Calling the offensive plays – as he’s done the first two weeks after two seasons as offensive coordinator – will be a distant third on his list of top three most important responsibilities in this game.

Number two will be his handling of Beckham. Number one will be his leadership in the matter of player protest against oppression, racial injustice and police brutality, which are serious and complex issues for a young, white, first-year head coach to navigate in just his third week on the sideline.

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Ben McAdoo will have his hands full Sunday trying to control Odell Beckham Jr. in what will surely be a heated affair. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

First, the matter of Beckham’s attitude: Tom Coughlin erred badly in Week 15 of last season by leaving Beckham on the field despite his immature antics, which allowed the fiasco to escalate to unprecedented levels.

Washington coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday he doesn’t think he’ll have to pull Norman off the field if the mayhem recurs because “I think it would be the referees that would do it.” But the officials didn’t step in last year. That was part of the problem.

Even if Sunday’s crew is on high alert, armed with the NFL’s new rules to enforce ejections in the event of major personal fouls, that does not excuse McAdoo and Gruden of responsibility for limiting the chaos.

Still, McAdoo’s collaboration with his players this week to send a socially-impactful message without involving the American flag is his most critical and complicated of tasks. It is also an undertaking that promises to help define McAdoo, only 39 years old, among his players.

“The league is a platform to make a difference. I encourage them to,” McAdoo said earlier this week. “I would like to be involved in that. Anything I can do to help. Still, I feel that you can make a difference outside of the anthem … I would like to do something outside of the anthem, (such as) actions, away from the facility, to give back and pay back to the communities.”

McAdoo welcomed Rashad Jennings and other Giants players into his office to promote dialogue on a sensitive issue. Jennings said the players intend to stand for the anthem on Sunday. Frankly, the team may not send any message on Sunday specifically. Maybe they’ll organize a mid-week event, if McAdoo wants their actions “away from the (Giants) facility,” to raise awareness.

But the blue-collar McAdoo, whose father worked in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania, will be a fascinating man to watch handling a difficult Sunday – one of high drama with Beckham vs. Norman II, heavy pressure facing a division opponent, and social significance above all.

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Report: Odell Beckham Jr. fined $36,000 for blindside hit

Odell Beckham Jr. has reportedly been fined $36,000 for a blindside hit on safety Kenny Vaccaro during the New York Giants' matchup with the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.

Via Jay Glazer of FOX Sports:

This news comes as Beckham prepares for his rematch with Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman. When they met last season (Norman was on the Carolina Panthers), Beckham was suspended for a game due to dirty hits he delivered on the defensive back.

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5 Giants of intrigue vs. Redskins (Week 3)Start SlideShow

Now that he has been punished by the NFL twice for these hits, Beckham will have a tough time avoiding a reputation as a dirty player.

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