Giants likely to choose Josh Brown as kicker

Though the Giants may not have much of a use for a kicker with this season’s offense, they have, for now, selected veteran Josh Brown for the job over rookie Brandon McManus (NBC Sports, August 26)

According to a league source, McManus will be waived, though the New York Times reports he will likely be claimed on waivers in no time.

“I think McManus has got a real big upside once it all starts clicking for him,” Tom Quinn, Giants’ special-team coordinator, said.

Punter Steve Weatherford wished McManus well on Twitter:


Wed Notes: Giants to reduce roster by 15 today

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Today is the day NFL teams are required to reduce their rosters from 90 players to 75 by 4 p.m. With all the injuries the team has experienced, it’s anyone’s guess who will be on that list. Head coach Tom Coughlin gave no insight into any roster moves on Tuesday.

The roster is still wide open right now. The Patriots will primarily play backups vs the Giants on Thursday, but Coughlin told reporters he intended to play his starters approximately 15-18 snaps. It looks like the five preseason games this summer were needed. But, by the same coin, it may not have been enough.

“Coming in, I thought maybe it was, but when you look at the number of practices, I don’t think so,” Coughlin said when asked if the preseason was too long. “We needed the work. We needed to be out here together, too.”

The inability of first round draft pick Odell Beckham, Jr. to practice in full and play in any preseason games has frustrated him this summer.

“I think he is very frustrated. His whole personality is held in check because he is not able to do the things that he wants to do,” Coughlin said of Beckham. “He and I, both our personalities are held in check.”

So, when will Beckham be ready to play?

“I am afraid to speculate because whenever you do that, it doesn’t seem like it works out,” said Coughlin. “I just wait to be told.”

GEICO SportsNite: Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning discuss the recent injuries suffered by Giants players and how it will give other players an opportunity.


It looks like ‘TE by committee’ for Giants

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

At the beginning of camp, the Giants’ plan at TE was to have one or two players emerge from the pack and take over the lion’s share of the load.

With two weeks to go before the Giants kick off the regular season in Detroit, no one has distinguished themselves, leaving head coach Tom Coughlin talking TE by committee as roster cuts near.

“That is not necessarily what the plan was,” said Coughlin. “But the plan has evolved to that, where people can be utilized for their skills in different ways…the expectations were that the two young guys would develop and grow and that the two veteran players would be stabilizers and do the things that they have done well.”

Translation: the Giants are leaning towards keeping four TEs. Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson being the young guys and Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells the veterans.

Fells is perhaps the most well-rounded of the bunch, but he banged up his knee in the first preseason game and missed the next two weeks.

“He’s a pretty steady guy,” Coughlin said of Fells. “That is the best I can say. He knows what to do. He was effective on some of the plays you are describing or reaching for. I think he did a pretty good job.”

Xavier Grimble, a UDFA out of USC, missed most of training camp with a hamstring issue. Jerome Cunningham has gained praise from Coughlin but is not expected to make the cut. Grimble could end up in IR or the practice squad. Cunningham is PS eligible as well.

O-Line getting short on viable options

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The growing concern in Giants’ camp these days is — guess what? — the health and depth along the offensive line. With LG Geoff Schwartz in Carolina having his toe examined, Will Beatty (leg) getting slowly integrated back into the LT spot and back ailments to Brandon Mosley and James Brewer, the Blue is in a quandary with few viable options to turn to as they approach their final preseason game this Thursday.

Head coach Tom Coughlin was asked if more bodies were the answer to the problem. His response emphasized quality over quantity.

“I don’t know if it’s bodies,” said Coughlin. “We need the guys that we have back. We are not going to find any new people anywhere, I don’t think.”

Schwartz’ injury is the most serious, He could miss significant time. Some are speculating that he could be placed on recallable IR, meaning he’ll miss half the season.

Coughlin said Mosley and Brewer were both seeing doctors today and had no update on their conditions or time frames for their return. Beatty has been working steadily at LT. Second-year Justin Pugh will play RT this season unless something else goes awry.

At practice, the ones were rookie Weston Richburg at LT for Schwartz. JD Walton at center with John Jerry getting some run at RG for Mosley.

Coughlin was asked how much Jerry, who missed a good chunk of the offseason program, could handle right now.

“He can go a good half. Maybe more. This was a nice day to be out here working. He seemed to do okay today,” said the coach.

Odell Beckham Jr. will not play Thursday

Odell Beckham Jr. will not play on Thursday, Tom Coughlin said.

Beckham has been battling a hamstring injury all training camp and is yet to appear in the preseason game.

“How about practicing before you play?” Coughlin said on Monday.

The starters will get just 15-18 snaps in the preseason finale, Coughlin said.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

No sense rushing him now. He knows the playbook but does not have the reps or timing down as of yet.

My guess is they continue with Jerrel Jernigan and Rueben Randle in the outside with Victor Cruz naturally in the slot.

Corey Washington can get some looks as well, especially in the red zone.

Mosley, Harris, Brown not practicing; Prince on the field

Brandon Mosley, Marcus Harris and Charles Brown are not practicing on Monday.

Justin Anderson, Trindon Holliday and Odell Beckham Jr. are also not on the field.

Prince Amukamara is on the field and practicing, but Trumaine McBride is getting some reps with the cornerbacks on the first team.

Backup to start against Giants…

Monday Notes: Hillis returns but many are still out

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

It wasn’t all bad news at Giants’ practice on Sunday. The offensive line, the team’s most sensitive sore spot this past offseason, is taking on some water, but there are positives in other areas to report.

RB Peyton Hillis practiced for the first time in three weeks and could be available for Thursday’s game vs New England.

Rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. again did not practice with the team. Trainers held him out, working on the side.

“You know as much as I do,” head coach Tom Coughlin said to the media Sunday when asked about Beckham. “You are out here watching him every day, too. That’s all I can tell you. I would like to see the young man practice before he got into the regular season. That would certainly be a good thing.”

OL Brandon Mosley (back) left practice and was relieved by John Jerry. Coughlin did not know the severity of the injury.

“His back tightened on him,” Coughlin said. “He came back ready to go and all of a sudden, I saw him over there stretching and that’s what it was.”

CB Zack Bowman, who left Friday’s game vs the Jets with an upper arm injury, returned to practice. OL Geoff Schwartz (toe), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), OL James Brewer (back), OL Charles Brown (shoulder) and WR Marcus Harris (shoulder) all sat out Sunday’s workout.

Schwartz will head to North Carolina today to have his toe evaluated.

WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), CB Prince Amukamara (groin) and CB Jayron Hosley (foot) did individuals.

Richburg will likely play LG in Schwartz’ absence

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants knew their offensive line was a mess after last season. Depending on who you ask, it’s still a mess two weeks before the start of this season.

On the first day of free agency, they signed LG Geoff Schwartz to a four-year, $16.8 million deal as the first step in rebuilding the line.

Schwartz dislocated his toe in Friday’s win over the Jets and is expected to miss at least a month. So it begins…

“We don’t want to lose anybody and losing Geoff is a major disappointment,” Tom Coughlin said on his Saturday conference call. “Let’s not jump to conclusions, let’s see what happens when the evaluation is completed as to what the length of time is involved.”

The Giants’ second salvo this past season in addressing the line was drafting Weston Richburg in the second round. They were hoping to have both players in the lineup come opening day, but that’s not going to happen now. Richburg will likely take Schwartz’ spot on the line until further notice.

“We have done various experiments with people at different spots and Richburg has been in there,” Coughlin said. “John Jerry has been in there now and played substantially last night. So we have had the chance to maneuver people around. Dallas Reynolds has played guard as well, so we will just continue to operate in that fashion and hopefully there will be no setback and we can hopefully continue.”

Coughlin was just being cautious. Richburg is probably his best option.

“(Richburg) is taking a lot of snaps and he did get a lot of snaps last night. He did alright last night. He plays a number of positions whether it be both guards or both guards and center on any one given night, so he has had to adjust to both sides of the center and the center position as well. He did okay last night and he is a talented young man that is in a position where he is going to have to help us.”

Sunday Notes: Injuries, new practice squad rules and the roster

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants will be out on the practice field this morning to begin a short – and hectic – final week of the preseason. They will practice Monday and Tuesday and take Wednesday off before closing out the preseason against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium Thursday Night.

They must trim the roster down to 75 players by 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The final cuts are due by 4 p.m. next Sunday, August 31. Teams can also begin to assemble their ten-man practice squads at that time.

Injuries are playing a major role in the formation of the roster (we’ll have more on that tomorrow). Some tough cuts will be coming, but the Giants can keep up to ten players on the practice squad this year.

According to the NFL, the new practice squad criteria are as follows:

First, a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a Practice Squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of Practice Squad service.

Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.

So, in short, all rookies – draftees, UDFAs and first-year players – are eligible, plus players that fit that very confusing standard of accrued seasons. The Giants can also go out and sign players that were released by other teams and, vis-a-vi other teams can sign their guys.

Once the practice squad is formed, teams can poach players from other practice squads, but only if they add them to their 53-man roster. This gives the Giants some leverage with players they want to keep that may not be ready for the season.

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