Oct 4, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman Ereck Flowers (74) in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the fourth quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech defeated Miami 28-17. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches on Flowers: ‘Some of the worst technique I’ve seen’

Coaches at the Coaches of Offensive Line Clinic said Giants rookie Ereck Flowers has bad form for a lineman, according to MMQB’s Greg Bedard. (May 24, 11:52 p.m.)

Bedard said in his column he recently spent a weekend at the clinic in Cincinnati and spoke to several coaches about Flowers.

“Some of the worst technique I’ve ever seen in a player drafted that high,” one coach told Bedard.

Flowers may see immediate time with the Giants after LT Will Beatty sustained a torn pectoral that will sideline him 5-6 months.

The Giants drafted Flowers with the ninth pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He started 29 games with Miami and missed one game last season due to minor knee surgery.

“He played for one of the best coaches, Art Kehoe, and his technique was terrible,” another coach told Bedard. “That tells me he doesn’t take coaching well. That’s a big problem because all of the recent tackles have struggled making the transition.”

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Not much of a revelation as far as I’m concerned. Many offensive linemen coming into their first pro camps are stripped down and then retaught the pro way. The Giants’ offensive line coach, Pat Flaherty, has a four decade-long resume and has made Pro Bowlers out of much lesser prospects.

Flowers can block in both the run and pass game. At Miami, he used his size and ability to get the job done, and he did. The talent is there. If it wasn’t, the Giants would have gone with Andrus Peat with the 9th overall pick.

The NFL is littered with players that have had to be retrained to fit their club’s needs. Offensive line, especially. Technique is usually ingrained into rookies when they arrive at camp.

Flowers brutalized opponents at the college level. He showed both prowess and intelligence. The fact that he didn’t do it all by the proverbial book is unimportant. Show me an offensive lineman that does. This is a non-story as far as I see. Flowers will be fine.


Key to Giants’ 2015 success lies in hands of 2014 draft class

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants are relying on their 2015 draft class to come right in and help the club get back into playoff contention. We agree that has to happen, but what the Giants really need to happen is to have their 2014 class continue to grow into solid pros. These players were all chosen for both talent and leadership and the Giants are hoping they mature quickly.

Here’s a breakdown of the group:

USATSI_8225415_110579513_lowresWR Odell Beckham Jr. – Not sure where he can improve without setting more NFL records. OBJ is currently considered one of the top WRs in the NFL after playing just 12 games. The Giants would settle for a repeat performance from their young star in 2015. Over 16 games, that would equate to a All-Pro season of 121 receptions, 1.740 receiving yards and 16 TDs.

C Weston Richburg – He’s been penciled in as the Giants’ starting center this spring. The injury to Will Beatty should not affect that. Richburg was the top center in the 2014 draft and the Giants snagged him in the second round. Management and the coaching staff are confident he can step up and anchor the line for the foreseeable future.

DT Jay Bromley – Not heavily used in 2014, Bromley will be afforded every opportunity to win a starting spot this season. He will be high in the rotation along with Jon Hankins and Kenrick Ellis. We won’t know how much Bromley has progressed until we see him at camp. The Giants seem confident Bromley is their man in the middle by not taking an interior lineman in the draft.

RB Andre Williams – We were told his weakness was a lack of receiving ability. We were also told he was a powerful, short-yardage runner who could break one off now and then. Both turned out to be true. Williams only gained an average of 3.3 yards on 217 rushes, but scored seven TDs and was effective in short-yardage and got better as the season wore on. He also showed some improvement in the passing game, catching 18 balls for 131 yards, 8.1 yards per reception.

LB Devon Kennard – Had 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 12 games as a rookie, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He won over the fans and coaches in training camp and solidified his status as one of the team’s top defensive players. The Giants love his versatility to play all three LB positions as well as defensive end and we may see him play all over the field in 2015.

DB Nat Berhe – Nicknamed “The Missile” by coaches for the way he launches his body at the opponent, Berhe will be vying for a starting safety spot, hopefully alongside this year’s second-rounder, Landon Collins. Berhe is a valuable player on special teams and could very well find himself starting at free safety on opening day.

DB Bennett Jackson – Originally a cornerback, Jackson, who spent his rookie season on IR after microfracture surgery, has been switched to safety for 2015. We don’t have a lot of live data on Jackson, especially at safety, but he will get a shot at making the team this summer.

WR Corey Washington (UDFA) – Made the club after a monster preseason only to see hardly any action during the regular season. The Giants saw his playmaking ability as a huge attribute, but the rest of his game is still very raw. Washington will have plenty of competition this summer at WR, so if he can’t improve his techniques and play special teams to the degree required, he won’t make the team.

DE Kerry Wynn (UDFA) – Many were surprised Wynn made the cut last summer. But he did not disappoint when called upon, and finished the season with a string of strong performances. He will have to continue to hone his game if he is to make the club again. The Giants have a slew of DEs on their roster these days.


Giants could show interest in Jake Long

The Giants may look at free agent OT Jake Long after they lost LT Will Beatty for 5-6 months with a torn pectoral muscle, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. (May 22, 9:30 a.m.)

Long suffered a torn ACL last season and played just seven games for the Rams in 2014. St. Louis cut the former No. 1 pick in March before he was due $4 million guaranteed.

Beatty had started 47 of the Giants’ past 48 games before sustaining an injury Wednesday that would leave him sidelined for the first few months of the season.

New York drafted tackle Ereck Flowers in the first round and guard Bobby Hart in the seventh round to bolster their offensive line. The Giants also signed OT Marshall Newhouse, who has played 62 games in the past four seasons with the Packers and Bengals.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

It would certainly be interesting to see what Long has left. It can’t hurt. Its is said that he has had some setbacks in his latest rehab stint that has kept teams away.

Long is only 30, but he is an old 30. He has expressed interest in extending his playing career. The first overall pick out of Michigan in 2008 NFL Draft by the Dolphins, Long (6’7″, 322) was heralded as the prototypical NFL left tackle. He delivered by being named to the Pro Bowl n each of his first four seasons in Miami.

Long left the Dolphins in 2013 for the Rams, signing a four-year, $34 million contract. But his inability to stay on the field led them to release him after he ended the season on IR for the fourth consecutive year with another torn ACL. Over his career, Long has also suffered back and biceps injuries.

The Giants would only need him for one year, though. Whether he is willing to risk his health on a one-year, veteran flier is the question. Many feel Long would rather retire than play for veteran minimum, which for an 8-year veteran is around $870K. The Giants could sweeten the deal with incentives and bonuses, but that would depend on Long passing the physical and then proving he can still do the job to some reasonable facsimile of his old self.


Beatty out 5-6 months, setting back Giants’ O-line plans

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The injury bug has bitten the Giants early this season, with LT Will Beatty going down with a pectoral injury on Wednesday. The Giants confirmed on Thursday that the expected recovery time for Beatty is five-to-six months, which means he would miss at least the first half of the season.

So, do the Giants have the depth to absorb his absence? Uh….maybe, maybe not.

The team has a lot of options at the guard position, but very little at tackle, especially LT, where Beatty has been the starter 47 of the Giants’ last 48 games.

The plan before Beatty’s injury was to move RT Justin Pugh inside to one of the guard positions and let first-round selection Ereck Flowers break in at RT. That’s not likely to happen now.

It appears Pugh will stay at RT, since he is not LT material, and Flowers will have to battle veteran free agent Marshall Newhouse for the LT position. Unless Flowers proves himself early, the Giants could be in trouble.

To read more of this story, click here


Two Giants crack Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 list For 2014

A pair of New York Giants cracked Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 list for the 2014 season: wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins.

Beckham, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, landed at No. 13 on the list. Hankins took the No. 69 spot after a standout sophomore campaign.

Beckham hauled in 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns despite missing the first four games of the year. Additionally, he forced the seventh-most missed tackles of any wideout and caught 70 percent of the passes thrown in his direction.

Here’s what PFF had to say about Beckham’s incredible rookie season:

Incredible rookie season for a guy who didn’t play in the first four weeks of the year. Beckham quickly made his presence felt causing Atlanta plenty of problems, but it wasn’t until Week 12 where he really hit his stride. Then, spurred on by a catch that will live long in the memory of all who saw it, he was as good as any receiver and well worthy of all the praise that came his way.

Hankins made the loss of Linval Joseph unnoticeable, proving to be a stout defender against the run and an equally imposing interior pass rusher, evident by seven sacks. He was an integral part of the Giants’ revamped defensive line group.

Here’s what PFF had to say about Hankins’ breakout season in Year 2:

Didn’t just replace Linval Joseph but acted as an improvement with his ability to contribute whatever the offense did. Initially there was a feeling he’d just be a run clogger but as the season went on delivered more and more pressure, with his ability to control blockers plain for all to see. 700 snaps might be the bar going forward for a guy who can impact every down.

Sam Spiegelman

It’s no shock OBJ cracked PFF’s Top 101, but Hankins was a welcome surprise, especially with a perennial Pro Bowler in Jason Pierre-Paul playing right beside him. Of course, both of these two recognized players are expected to play even more critical roles entering a very optimistic 2015 season in New York.

Beckham showed off incredible hands and the speed to take the top off opposing defenses, and suddenly silenced the critics calling for Eli Manning’s job. With a healthy Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and a more seasoned Larry Donnell, the Giants are very much a dangerous passing team that should compete for one of the best aerial attacks in the NFL.

Hankins made Joseph’s departure forgettable and provided the Giants’ defensive line with stability up the middle. A solid presence at the defensive tackle spot allowed a healthy Pierre-Paul to return to form. His pass-rush prowess was an added benefit, meaning he could stay on the field for more situations because of his versatility against both the run and the pass.

Nov 30, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara walks stands on the field prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mara commends Kraft for accepting NFL punishment

Giants President John Mara said Patriots owner Robert Kraft did the right thing by accepting the NFL’s punishment of the Patriots from DeflateGate. (May 21, 12:04 a.m.)

Kraft rescinded his appeal of the NFL’s punishment, which was a $1 million fine and two lost draft picks. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFLPA are still appealing Brady’s four-game suspension.

“Robert has always put the league first and I’m sure that was a big part of his decision not to appeal and drag this out any further,” Mara said. “I have a lot of respect for Robert Kraft and I believe he did the right thing here.”

Mara told Newsday he spoke with Kraft after the NFL announced its punishment, but did not discuss the conversation’s matters.

Oct 19, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants tackle Will Beatty (65) in game action against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.  Dallas beat New York 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Beatty injured while weightlifting, out 5-6 months

Giants left tackle Will Beatty will reportedly miss 5-6 months after undergoing surgery for a torn pectoral muscle (May 20, 3:11 p.m.)

According to Beatty’s agent, since the pectoral injury was a ‘clean tear,’ Beatty could return on the shorter side of the estimate — five months instead of six (May 20, 6:25 p.m.)

Beatty, who has started 47 of the Giants’ past 48 games, suffered the injury while lifting weights.

New York drafted OT Ereck Flowers with the ninth pick in this year’s draft, and he and Justin Pugh could fill in at left tackle for Beatty (May 20, 2:56 p.m.)

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

It just shows you that anything can happen. You can’t have enough depth, and although the Giants have been adding talent and depth to their offensive line, the injury to Beatty is going to difficult to sustain. As inconsistent as he has been over the past two seasons, he is considered the anchor of the offensive line.

I know what you’re going to say: “Why didn’t the Giants take a chance and draft La’el Collins in the seventh round in the draft?” Coulda, woulda, shoulda…

Well, they did take a offensive lineman in that round in Bobby Hart of Florida State, but he is being slated for a backup guard spot. That is, if he makes the team.

A pectoral injury can be a season-ender as we saw with CB Walter Thurmond III last season. He tore a pec in Week 2 and was placed on season-ending IR after an operation. To read more of this story, click here