Wilson: “I’m doing well”

Giants RB David Wilson (neck) will be out until at least next Monday when he meets with doctors after his latest setback.

He’s been tweeting his progress to his followers.

Good to see he’s in good spirits, but you know the old saying…”the mind may be willing, but the flesh may be weak.” Not with Wilson. We expect him back soon.

“Left practice early yesterday but everything turned out to be fine once the Dr. Looked @ me plus I passed all physical examination. I find out more on Monday 🙏 #gottagetback #pocketrocket”

Camp Risers: Kennard, Donnell, Thurmond making their mark

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

questOn this off day, it’s time to reflect on who had made an impression thus far at Giants’ camp and who has not.  Yes, there is still a long way to go until first cuts (from 90 to 75 by August 26, and then to 53 by August 31), but it’s never too early to take the team’s temperature.  The five preseason games will reveal a lot, too, but for now let’s cover what’s been going on…

“Good Vibrations,” the song I have traditionally started my summer off to for the past 47 years. Some of the players have given off those good vibrations in camp this summer are rookie LB Devon Kennard, TE Larry Donnell and CB Walter Thurmond III.

Kennard looks like a seasoned veteran out there – confident, savvy and quick to the ball. How he fell to the fifth round of the draft is puzzling, but who cares? He’s in blue now and just be thankful. The Giants have noticed, too. Kennard is getting a ton of reps at several positions. When Jon Beason comes back from his foot injury (he was running on a treadmill yesterday) he’ll be the MLB.

Free agent signee Jameel McClain, who looks fairly confident himself this summer, will be one OLB and unless my eyes need to be checked, Kennard should be the other. You finally have some LBs, Giant fans.

To read more of this story, click here

Morning Report: Speedsters on the shelf

The Giants are off today, but will resume workouts tomorrow and Friday before heading out to Canton on Saturday for their preseason opener vs Buffalo on Sunday night.

Injuries ruled the day on Wednesday, with WR Odell Beckham Jr. learning more about his troubled hamstring and RB David Wilson sustaining a “burner” to his surgically-repaired neck.

GEICO SportsNite: SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano reports from Giants camp on latest injuries to David Wilson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle.

To read more of this story, click here

Coughlin 7/29

The Daily Coughlin: Strahan, Wilson and Thurmond

Tom Coughlin’s presser on Tuesday was dominated by questions about former DE Michael Strahan, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

For Coughlin's comments on Strahan, click here...

Q: You [Coach Coughlin] and Michael [Strahan] had an interesting relationship over the years. What does it feel like for you to see how he began and now going into the Hall of Fame?
A: Incredible pride. Michael Strahan was a great football player. He had ability and was taught right from the beginning. He practiced hard, ran to the ball, was a great example for the younger guys in doing that, and excellent in the classroom. He was a dynamic leader and had one of those magnetic personalities where everyone was attracted to him. He was a superb player on the field in both the pass and the run. Yeah, we didn’t necessarily see eye to eye right away, but thank goodness we won Michael over. We spent some time together and went through some times that were good and bad. I think that he appreciated the fact that what we were trying to do was in the best interest of everybody and the team and being the best we could be. He became an outstanding captain and very good in the leadership council. He did a great job with us that way. Couldn’t be more proud of him as he made the transition out of football to life and how successful he’s been in the business he’s in now. To his family, mom and dad, nothing but congratulations and happiness for this wonderful, wonderful recognition. To be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a wonderful thing and gives us another great Giant. When we go out there and pass through the Hall of Fame, we can see the bust of another great Giant football player along with all the others.

Q: Was seeing eye-to-eye with Strahan, however you managed to accomplish that, one of the keys you think to that first Super Bowl?
A: No doubt, I think it was because of the fact that Michael was so strong in the locker room. I think also the way in which our organization handled that summer when he didn’t come right into camp and we still expressed the fact that – I know Michael and I had conversations in which I said, without a doubt, that we’d love to have him back but only if his heart was in the right place, and it was when he came back. Nobody was cheering harder in that last drive (of Super Bowl XLII) than Michael Strahan. Very, very proud of him, a very proud day for the New York Giants.

Q: Do you think he was rare because he played as well against the run as he was a pass rusher?
A: Rare, very rare. Not only that, but as he got into those 14, 15 years, he took his weight down. He was probably 252-254 [pounds], still playing with that kind of power over those right tackles with that punch and that great extension against the run. Just a great love of the game and competing with tremendous pride. His thought about fear of failure – I mean that’s a great motivator.

Q: Did his personality kind of influence you as you progressed in this job? He has such an infectious personality.
A: Well, so do I.

Q: You do, too. I’m just saying, the two of you playing off each other and just growing together.
A: Well he’s definitely himself and I try to be myself. The thing that I picked up on right away is that he’s one of the classic – I mean he has a great time with anybody if he wants to bust their chops, but he can take it. And they come right back at him; they can’t wait to get at him and he was always great with that, too. No hard feelings, in other words.

Q: He’s been gone for six or seven years now, but it seems like he still has a large shadow on this team.
A: Well only because when he comes over. He struck up a relationship with Damontre [Moore]. He was always here for [Justin] Tuck and all the guys in that room. Last year in the fall, we had him over and he sat in with the defensive coaches, sat in there with the players. We haven’t been able to get him over here yet this year, but I’m sure we will. I’m sure we will.

Q: It’s hard to take a young player and say, “look, you could be like Michael,” but is that a good goal to have for some of these young defensive ends? You know, “look what he did; maybe you can do some of that too.”
A: That’s a great goal. He sets a great example, let’s face it. The way he practiced, studied, worked at it. Very opinionated, no question about it. Very loquacious, one of those personalities that had a lot of fun but could get serious and could ask serious questions. You have to respect that. Always.

Q: How does it feel to have a guy that you coached now be a Hall of Famer?
A: It’s a wonderful feeling shared by our whole staff. What a great feeling.

Q: Does it also amaze you that he’s now a guy that even in retirement you will lean on to set an example? That’s a long way for a guy who I would imagine at first you weren’t sure where this was going to end up.
A: I don’t know what you’re trying to get me to say. I think I talked enough about that part of it. No matter what he felt like, he came to work and he worked hard and went out and played hard. I think that once he realized that we were all doing that and trying to do the best we can, there was never any friction after that. That last year was a tremendous experience for everybody.

Q: You got to go through the Hall last year when Bill [Parcells] went in. Are you going to take the team there this year?
A: Yes. We’re going there and we’ll travel through. The hotel is about an hour away and we’ll send the team on their way and we’ll stay for the ceremony.

Most of the other questions were directed to the injuries of the day. RB David Wilson went down after catching a pass and running into one of his linemen. Wilson was just recently cleared for action after undergoing neck surgery in the offseason. The injury – you guessed it – was to his neck, a “stinger”, or “burner”. He was sent off to NYC for observation after practice.

Coughlin was non-committal on the status of Wilson’s condition.

“We’ll hear what they (the doctors) have to say first,” he said. “We were all praying that he wouldn’t have an issue and come back to work. He was cleared, as you know. We’ll see. I’m not going to speculate what it is and see what the doctors say.”

Three WRs (Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham, Jr and Trindon Holliday) missed practice Tuesday due to various leg injuries. Coughlin said Beckham, who is not due back until next week at the soonest, came to speak with him today.

“We just had a discussion. Just player-coach, trying to get to know each other a little better. I see his frustration and he sees our frustration. But don’t make it more than what it is,” said Coughlin. “It’s a coach wanting a player on the field and a player wanting a player on the field. It’ll happen and when you’re cleared to go, you’ll go. You’re going to earn the respect of your teammates by what you do on the field and how well you study and work right now.”

Randle was held due to a sore hammy of his own. Holliday had an undisclosed leg ailment. TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring) returned to duty after missing several workouts.

Coughlin was asked his early impression of CB Walter Thurmond III, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl-winning team last February.

“He’s an aggressive player,” the coach said. “He comes from a program that just won. He’s done a nice job at the nickel and a nice job at the corner…but the fact that he was graded very well and we felt that he could be an upgrade was the most important thing (when signing him).”

JPP said this weekend, "I feel like I’m at, I’d say, 75%" and is pain-free.

Is JPP back? The signs are there…

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Giants’ DE Jason Pierre-Paul has gone on an odyssey of sorts since his Pro Bowl season of 2011 when he recorded 16.5 sacks. Injuries to his back and shoulder have reduced the former wunderkind to just a shell of his former self.

But after sinking to unforeseen depths the past two years (only 8.5 sacks in 27 games), JPP is crowing that he’s ready to return to superhero status.

“My mind. I’m 110 percent. I’m not worried about anything,” JPP said last week. “My main goal is to start the season off healthy, which I am, get some preseason games in and play some football. I feel like I’ve been out for a year.”

He’s say he feels better than he has since the end of the 2012 season.

“I came here for minicamp (last year) and I felt terrible and then that’s when I had to go get surgery. That was a long time. Three years ago, right? But now I’m back and ready to go. I’m ready. It is what it is.”

To read more of this story, click here

Is a 70% completion percentage asking too much of Eli?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

New QB coach Danny Langsdorf said yesterday the Giants want to raise their completion percentage to around 70 percent from the 57.5 percent mark Eli Manning logged last season.

“We’d love to be there at 70 percent, it hasn’t been done very often. That’s the ultimate goal,” Langsdorf told reporters on Monday. “But we want to raise his (Eli’s) completion percentage for sure. I don’t know about the history, maybe because they took more shots downfield, but we’d love to shoot for 70. I think it’s been eight or nine times maybe. I think Brees maybe has done it a few times lately but that’s an impressive statistic if you look at the history of the league. That’s what we’re gunning for is 70%.”

That could easily be achieved with the calls for shorter passes and screen plays that new OC Ben McAdoo plans to implement this season. Eli has traditionally been one of the league’s top deep passers. That philosophy has made him both famous and infamous at the same time.

His “home run” mentality has won him two Super Bowl MVPs, but it has also doomed the Giants when a more conservative approach would have gotten the job done. He’s led the NFL in INTs in three of his ten seasons as a pro.

So, can Eli shift that philosophy and become a more efficient passer? Paul Schwartz of the Post says history is against him…

“Consider that Manning’s best season as far as accuracy was 2010, when he completed 62.9 percent of his passes. He’s gone down every year since and dipped to 57.5 percent in his horrid 27-interception 2013 performance. Even at his best, Manning, operating a more high-risk, high-reward offense, was never close to the NFL leaders in completion percentage. His career 58.5 percent is fairly pedestrian.”

From GEICO SportsNite: Eli Manning accepts the challenge of completing 70 percent of his passes this year, while the Giants are frustrated with Odell Beckham Jr.

Tuesday Notebook: With Beckham down, Mario could be ‘X-factor’ at WR

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants will practice today under at QDTC under clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Monday’s practice was in full pads, but only lasted about an hour as head coach Tom Coughlin opted to use the remaining time for another “recovery stretch.”

If you want to anger Coughlin, give him a rookie that misses valuable time in training camp due to an injury.

Two rookies, first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr., and UDFA TE Xavier Grimble, both missed practice again on Monday with sore hamstrings. Coughlin would not comment further on when either would be back, but you count them out of this week’s preseason opener Sunday night vs Buffalo in Canton.

Coughlin knows this is something he cannot control, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him to swallow. He’ll have to play the hand he’s been dealt, which isn’t exactly a bad one.

Mario ManninghamThe WR ranks are still teeming with players ready to take Beckham’s reps. Julian Talley, Travis Harvey, Preston Parker, Corey Washington, Trindon Holliday, Marcus Harris and yes, Mario Manningham, are all in camp and catching passes.

Manningham is back after two seasons in San Francisco in which he tore his ACL and PCL, costing him a chance to play in the Super Bowl two years ago and then continued to hobble him last year.

The Giants decided to bring Mario back in hopes he can recapture the connection he formed with QB Eli Manning during his first tour with Big Blue. Two problems, however. He is – by admission – still recovering from the knee surgery, and the Giants he is coming back to are a different team. They have a load of new faces and a brand, spanking new playbook.

“We are getting back on the same page, knowing we have a new offense, knowing that we have been away from each other for a couple years,” said Mario of his rapport with Eli. “It will take a little bit of time. We are working on it.”

Although Manningham appears to be as fluid as many of the young bucks vying for a roster spot, he knows he’s a ways away from being comfortable on the field.

Coming in and out of my breaks, knowing I have the injury, it is taking me a little bit of time, but every day, as I said, it is getting better and better. Coming out of my breaks, that is it, just want to come out of my breaks smooth and fluid like I was… I have to knock a couple cobwebs off, but I am getting there.”

It could be that Manningham, not Beckham, becomes the player the Giants rely on in 2014 to supplement Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle at WR. He knows that won’t just be handed to him on reputation alone.

“What happened is in the past. This is still a new team to me. New faces. New staff. New offense. I am going out there like I want to make this team, not like I already made the team or I got drafted here. I have something to prove also.”

That comeback could be just what the Giants need as they seek to offset the possible loss of Beckham for an extended period of time.

Coughlin 7/28/14

The Daily Coughlin: Let’s get physical

The Giants practiced in full pads this afternoon at QDTC for the second consecutive day. Head coach Tom Coughlin was all for his team getting physical this early in training camp.

“You have to put the pads on. You are not going to get it done with shorts and t-shirts” Coughlin said after practice. “It’s a physical game and it has to be played upfront, it has to be technically sound, and you must be able to physically be in the position where you are making the blocks or you are defending. We have always put tremendous stock on what is up front with our offensive line and our defensive line as a measure of literally the strength of our team. We are glad to be in the pads and as each day passes, they are challenged to be more physical. We always talk about being smart because we don’t want anyone to do anything stupid that costs us a player, but the physical aspect of the game is something we have to definitely get back to.”

The first preseason game is this Sunday vs the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, so Coughlin is starting to formulate his strategy on who will play and how the game plan will be structured.

First question: where will new OC Ben McAdoo be – on the field or in the booth?

“He’s downstairs,” said Coughlin definitively. Both of the previous OCs under him (John Hufnagel, Kevin Gilbride) were usually on the sidelines.

To read more of this story, click here

Monday Morning Report: First game week starts today

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants went through their first padded practice yesterday with no major setbacks. They will be in full pads again today. The team will practice every day this week with the exception of Wednesday as they gear up for their preseason opener this coming Sunday in Canton vs Buffalo.

The padded practice went over well with the offensive and defensive linemen, who have been basically going through the motions until now.

“You have to hit,” said LG Geoff Schwartz before Sunday’s practice. “That’s part of our game, you‘ve got to be able to hit. As much as some people might not like it and we have a longer camp this year, you still have to kind of put the pads on and get your technique down. It’s just about practicing smarter. When you’re younger you’re a little more out of control and all over the place. Now I know what I need to work on so I can go out there and get it done.”

Veteran DT Cullen Jenkins also welcomed the contact and the wearing of the pads.

“Huge,” said Jenkins when asked how important it was to practice in full gear. “Not just from getting out there and getting different looks, just challenging each other. From a defensive line standpoint, we want to challenge the offensive line and I’m sure they have the same approach with challenging us. If we give each other the toughest looks we possibly can, it’ll make the games easier.”

The competition for the starting PK job is heating up. Brandon McManus, the challenger, told reporters yesterday that he’s recently been burying FGs from 70 yards and beyond.

Josh Brown is coming off his best year as a pro but said he was not surprised the the club brought a second kicker to camp.

“No,” Brown told reporters on Sunday. “Every year you’re looking to be in what puts you in the best place to win the Super Bowl so it’s my job to make them feel as if they made the correct choice in signing me to a two-year deal. A lot of people have asked me, ‘You have just had the best year of your career, how does that make you feel?’ It doesn’t change the business aspect of this sport so I hope that what I’m doing and what I did last year and also the other attributes that I bring with experience and wisdom, that those things will also weigh in my way.”

OT Will Beatty (leg) is ahead of schedule. Beatty has been participating in full and appears to be ready to assume his starting role as the team’s LT.

“As I’ve been saying all along, he’s been doing more work than he actually was supposed to do from the day he got here,” head coach Tom Coughlin said after practice. “As far as I know, there are no issues. All he’s done is keep working and keep working.”

Rookie TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring) did not practice Sunday, missing out on the padded drills. Other TEs saw extensive work, with Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis making some nice grabs. For those interested, Adrien Robinson still seems rusty. He had a catch, but also had a drop.

Rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring) was on the field again, but did not participate.

From GEICO Sportsnite: Coughlin talks about the injury concern with first-round draft pick Odell Beckham, Jr. and the competition at kicker.


Torn Achilles could spell end of the road for former Giant CB Ross

The Baltimore Ravens have placed former Giants CB Aaron Ross on injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon. From Rotoworld:

It’s a procedural move after Ross tore his Achilles’ on a conditioning test earlier this week. He’s done for the year and will struggle to attract interest next offseason as a 32-year-old coming off a major injury. Dominique Franks will compete for Baltimore’s No. 5 corner job.

It’s a shame this very talented athlete has gone on to have a very spotty NFL career due to injuries. Ross, at times, showed glimpses of his natural talent but never really lived up the the first round pedigree that made him Jerry Reese’s first pick as GM.

The Giants made Ross the 20th overall pick in the 2007 draft and he appeared to be on his way to being a stalwart for the Giants in his rookie season. He was a member of both the Giants’ recent Super Bowl teams, but most will remember Ross being the player that had two seasons (2009, 2013) stolen from him by hamstring problems.