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Big Blue View - All Posts Your place for year-round New York Giants discussion and information

  • NFC East Roundup: Pay the man?
    by Jeff_Roberts on May 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Here’s the need-to-know news around the NFC East this week. The question is simple, yet complex. And the decision will shape the future of the Dallas Cowboys. Should they pay or should they not pay Dak Prescott? For Charles McDonald of Blogging the Boys, the answer is simple. Pay the man, he writes. McDonald’s argument? Prescott was a rare find: A legit franchise quarterback plucked in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft, whether the stats indicate it or not. Owner Jerry Jones seems committed, saying he sees “real upside” in the fourth-year quarterback. OK, Prescott did post a 96.9 QB rating last season, throwing for 3,885 yards and 22 TDs to eight interceptions. The Cowboys did win the division and reach the divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual NFC champion L.A. Rams. But are they $30 million-per-year-kind-of-committed? That is apparently what it’s going to take, according to reports coming out of Dallas. $30 million to $32 million per annum. Negotiations have been progressing, Dave Halprin writes. That’s aaaaaa lot of upside, even if he doesn’t turn 26 until this summer. Eli Manning suddenly seems like not so bad an investment, no? The Cowboys will have to decide soon. Prescott is in the final year of his rookie deal, and if they’re not interested, well, someone else will be. I mean, Geno Smith somehow is still in the league. (Right?) Here are some of the other big stories around the NFC East this week, so crack an adult beverage, give the burgers a flip and read this Memorial Day weekend: Dallas Cowboys Robert Quinn may not be the same player who registered 19 sacks in 2013. But the former Ram and Dolphin still brings value. Halprin explains the defensive end remains a solid contributor who will pose a formidable presence opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys are also getting a positive locker room figure and dependable veteran. And that certainly is an upgrade over the suspended Randy Gregory. Quinn cost Dallas only a 2020 sixth-round draft pick. Meanwhile, Prescott may not be the only Cowboy cashing in this summer. Ezekiel Elliott will get paid soon too, RJ Ochoa reports. The running back has run afoul of the league office a few times, sure. But he’s also led the NFL in rushing in two of his three seasons. And Jones thinks the league will not take any disciplinary action against Elliott, despite a recent incident involving security guards at a Las Vegas music festival. Ah, to be young and a Cowboy about to cash in. Philadelphia Eagles In the “It’s time to do right by…” edition of the NFC East notebook, we move on to The City of Brotherly Love and Malcolm Jenkins. Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton writes the veteran is vastly underpaid. Jenkins is the NFL’s ninth-best paid safety in annual value at $8.75 million. The final two years of his contract call for base salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million, neither of which is guaranteed. Not surpringly, Jenkins will not be attending OTAs, thank you. Gowton says pay the man. In fact, he writes: “The Eagles MUST pay him.” Meanwhile, Chris Long is no longer an Eagle or an active NFL player. But he’s still blowing smoke, as Alexis Chassen tells us. It comes in the same week that the NFL announced it’s studying the pain management benefits of cannabis. In good news for Iggles fans, Carson Wentz has no limitations during OTAs (at least not until he gets hurt again). Washington Redskins Reuben Foster was a Redskin for all of three snaps in OTAs. Then, down he goes. Out comes the cart. A torn ACL. So nothing has changed in DC, I see. The Redskins signed former second-round pick Jon Bostic to take his place, Hogs Haven’s Scott Jennings informs us. Speaking of which, James Faris asks if Case Keenum can exceed expectations and be better than a backup quarterback. Thanks for asking, James. But no, he cannot. So I guess it’s Dwayne Haskins’ team now. Bill-in-Bangkok is excited. And Alex Smith is throwing, even if he’s nowhere near ready to return to the field. But at least Smith, Keenum and Haskins don’t look like identical twins, as Manning and Giants’ first-round pick Daniel Jones do. So there’s that. […]

  • [Podcast] How the Giants defense can improve in 2019
    by Dan Pizzuta on May 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    What can the Giants do to take their defense to the next level in 2019? On the latest episode of the Big Blue View podcast, Dan Pizzuta and Chris Pflum break down areas the Giants defense can improve from 2018 to 2019. In 2018, the Giants had one of the league’s worst defenses, one that ranked 24th in DVOA, 26th in yards allowed per drive, and 27th in points allowed per drive. Topics on this episode include: Better third down defense Improvement on passes to the short middle area of the field (30th in DVOA) More consistent deep pass defense More versatility in personnel Likelihood of converting pressure into more sacks You can listen to the episode in your browser here, with the embedded player below, or anywhere you get your podcasts. Remember, if you enjoy the podcast, to hit those 5-star ratings and leave positive reviews, which help the podcast grow and be seen, especially through the less busy months of the offseason. Where to subscribe You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page. You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page. You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Finally, be sure to check out the home page for all of the shows across the expanding Vox Media Podcast Network. […]

  • Giants’ 90-man roster: In C.J. Conrad, did Giants find the next Jason Witten?
    by Ed Valentine on May 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Kentucky tight end went undrafted after heart ailment scare Jason Witten. The future Hall of Fame tight end terrorized the New York Giants for 15 seasons as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, until retiring before the 2018 season. He is returning after a year away and even at the age of 37 we will probably learn that the Giants still can’t cover him. Why am I resurrecting the Witten nightmare? Because University of Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow believes the Giants might have stumbled upon a way to turn the tables when they signed ex-Wildcats tight end C.J. Conrad as an undrafted free agent. “I always say C.J. reminds of Jason Witten,” Marrow said when I asked him for a comparison during a recent phone conversation. “You got one of the best players I think at that position coming out of college, but you got an even better person.” Let’s learn more about Conrad as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer. The basics Height: 6-foot-4Weight: 248Age: 23Position: Tight endExperience: 0 How he got here Marrow said that “for sure” Conrad should have heard his name called somewhere in the first five rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. There were eight tight ends taken in the first three rounds, and Marrow said he believes Conrad was one of the seven best tight ends in the draft class. “I think the Giants got a steal in getting this kid as a free agent, I really do. I think he’s a guy who’s going to play 8-10 years in the league. He’s exactly what you want in a tight end. He’s a good inline blocker, very good athlete,” Marrow said. “I look at some of the guys that got drafted and you look at his film and watch where he played and look at some of the guys that he blocked in this league and you tell me he wasn’t better than half of those guys that got drafted? You’ve gotta be kidding me.” So, what happened? In Marrow’s words, it was “that crap” about his heart that came up at the NFL Scouting Combine. Conrad was diagnosed with a heart ailment during his pre-Combine physical in Indianapolis. He was sent home and told to stop working out. Weeks later, a second opinion from doctors in Boston gave him the green light to return, saying the issue was only an enlarged pulmonary artery that required annual observation. That was good news, but the setback was enough to keep him from hearing his name called during the draft. “This heart thing, it kinda scared people off which was kinda messed up,” Marrow said. “I just think that information that came out I think it hurt him. I know it hurt him.” Conrad played in 35 games with a modest 80 catches at Kentucky. As a junior, he averaged 17.9 yards on 16 receptions. As a senior, he caught 30 passes, three for touchdowns, and averaged 10.6 yards per catch. Marrow said that Conrad “sacrificed a lot” in terms of personal statistics to help the Wildcats’ young offensive line. “He was very productive for us. He could have caught 50-60 balls a year if that’s what we wanted him to do. We had a young line and C.J. was such a good blocker and a good pass pro blocker that he sacrificed his own personal gain for the team. “But I know what a tight end looks like and I know what the NFL looks for and he is every bit of what the NFL looks for in a tight end. A guy that can play the Y. He can play the F. He’s a good inline blocker, he can block the 6 technique, the 7. He can trade down on the 5, the 4, you know, the big guys, and get to that second level to the ‘backer. “I played in the league myself [from 1992-95] and I watch tight ends. The hardest part is finding that complete tight end. I believe C.J. was one of the top five, six tight ends in the country that was complete.” ‘An even better person’ Let’s take a minute to highlight a couple of the things Marrow told me about Conrad. Marrow gave me all the standard “very smart player,” and “student of the game” and “comes in early during the week with a full school load and will put in extra time watching film” quotes that are typical of coaches promoting their players. There is, however, more. “Great kid,” Marrow said. “Will be a great person off the field for the Giants.” He pointed out that Conrad would spend part of his Tuesday off days during football season visiting children with cancer at a local hospital, that he compiled a 3.4 GPA in communications and that he, along with Giants’ sixth-round pick George Asafo-Adjei, were two of the players who “changed the culture” at Kentucky. “You aren’t going to get a better person,” Marrow said. “Most coaches don’t want their daughters to be around the facility or be around players. If any of my daughters came home and said they wanted to marry C.J. I’d be doing backflips. I’d know she was going to have a good husband.” 2019 outlook Perhaps Conrad was supposed to be a Giant all along. Conrad was part of an East-West Shrine Game team where Giants tight ends coach Lunda Wells was working with offensive linemen. He and Conrad got to know each other there. “I like Conrad,” Wells said during a spring media availability. “He’s tough. He’s smart. He can learn. He’s not a blazer, but he’s instinctive in the pass game. “It didn’t take a long time to figure out that this guy is very determined about being a really good player and I like that about him. He takes coaching very well. I really like that kid from what we saw over the three-day rookie minicamp.” The Giants have Evan Engram as their primary tight end. While the Giants used him inline on 243 of 475 offensive snaps (51.2 percent) in 2018 we know that Engram is not a blocker, that he has a skill set and body type that screams to be used detached from the line of scrimmage. Filling the traditional tight end roles for the Giants last season were veterans Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson. Competing for jobs are second-year man Garrett Dickerson and undrafted free agent Eric Dungey, a hybrid tight end/quarterback. Maybe Conrad doesn’t make it at all. Maybe he just proves to be Simonson, or an upgrade from Simonson, who had nine catches for the Giants last season and now has 10 in 34 NFL games. Maybe Conrad turns out to be Ellison, a 30-year-old seven-year veteran who had career-best years of 24 and 25 receptions for the Giants in 2017 and 2018. The thing about Ellison is while he’s a nice player that’s not a lot of production for a guy carrying a $5.75 million cap hit this year and a $6.25 million cap hit for 2020. Maybe, though, just maybe Marrow is right. Maybe, and this is jumping way ahead, Conrad turns out to be Witten. Or a reasonable facsimile. The Giants gave Conrad a $10K signing bonus and $40K guaranteed to sign as a priority free agent, and to Marrow that indicates “they saw something” in his play at Kentucky. “Here’s what I know. You can’t hide talent. I’m hearing out of that camp already that they’ve been very pleased with C.J. just from the people we know there,” Marrow said. “I really believe the Giants are going to see what they’ve got in the kid. The kid is real tough. C.J.’s going to play hurt. He just, to me, is everything that you want. “I know this. That tight end coach is going to come to like him. That o-line coach is going to like him and the coordinator’s going to like him because when you really see what he can do, and I think he’s just showing a little glimpse of it right now. I’m telling you this is no talk, I think the Giants really got a bargain in getting this kid as a free agent.&rdquo […]

  • Giants news, 5/24: Golden Tate lauds Daniel Jones’ “super, super strong arm”
    by Ed Valentine on May 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Let’s check your headlines before the holiday weekend begins Good morning, New York Giants fans! Golden Tate: Daniel Jones has “super, super strong arm” Wide receiver Golden Tate has been impressed thus far by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. “Dan the man, he’s looking good,” Tate said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “In my mind quarterback is the toughest position to play because you have to understand what each one of your guys are doing in addition to the coverages and the front and all sorts of stuff. He’s doing a good job. “Talent-wise, the guys got a super, super strong arm. He can move around a little bit.” Some of the interview is below. #Giants WR Golden Tate joined @charlieweissr & @BillLekas to talk about rookie QB Daniel Jones and having Eli Manning to learn from."I hope it's kinda like that Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers Situation eventually" AUDIO— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 23, 2019 NFL: Landon Collins called New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman a liar | Yahoo Sports Landon Collins isn’t backing off when it comes to slamming Gettleman. “Gettleman said things that he wanted to say,” Collins said. “He said he wasn’t going to trade [Beckham], and he traded him. We was all surprised by that fact because that’s one of the best receivers in the game and for him to do that and lie to everybody, it’s not a good look for players and for teammates.” Washington signs Adam Bisnowaty – ProFootballTalk Giants greats Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer petition to weed out marijuana ban by anti-doping agency | Eagles, Rutgers alums, too - BBV Mailbag Have questions about the Giants? E-mail them to, and the best ones will be answered in an upcoming mailbag. Thanks! BBV Podcast You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page. You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page. You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS […]

  • Austin Droogsma the Giants most unlikely hog mollie
    by Ed Valentine on May 23, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Former college shot putter trying to become NFL offensive lineman Hog hunting. That is one of the ways Austin Droogsma expected to be spending his time this spring. “I had some concerts planned with some friends that I was gonna go to, just kinda traveling around. Some beach days, some lake days, going out on the river fishing with my buddies,” Droogsma said. “I’ve been talking with a few guys about going on a hog hunt down in central Florida. Stuff like that. Just having fun. “Nothing even close to what this was.” “This” was an invitation to attend an NFL rookie mini-camp to try and become a professional football player. Appropriately, it came from the New York Giants — where hog-mollie loving general manager Dave Gettleman has spent a nearly a year and a half now looking under every rock in an effort to improve the Giants’ offensive line. To find Droogsma the Giants had to turn over a pretty big boulder. Listed at 6-foot-4, 345 pounds (more on that later), Droogsma didn’t play college football. He was a highly-recruited offensive guard coming out of Gulf Breeze High School, but after potential football scholarships with Florida State, Clemson and Mississippi State fell through he turned his attention to his “other” athletic endeavor — the shot put. Droogsma ended up accepting a track and field scholarship to Florida State, and became one of the country’s better collegiate shot putters. He never thought about returning to football ... until the Giants called him. “Not at all. Not at all,” said Droogsma. “I was planning on just kinda living my life for a year and then starting the process, going through the academy to become a police officer.” Instead, he is trying to learn to become an NFL offensive lineman, trying to learn to impede the mountainous men who line up across from him. Droogsma said it was “blindsiding” to get a call from the Giants, specifically from Charles Tisch of the Giants’ Football Operations Department. Droogsma said he was “cruisin’ down a back road” after having lunch with a friend when he got a call from Tisch asking him if he would be interested in attending rookie mini-camp. Droogsma said he “thought somebody was messing with me.” “I was waiting for him to ask me for my credit card,” Droogsma said. Once he figured out no one was messing with him, that the New York Giants really wanted to see if he could be a professional football player, Droogsma accepted the offer. The concerts, fishing excursions and hog-hunting were going to have to wait. He had less than two weeks to dust off his football skills and prepare for the mini-camp. When it was done, though, the Giants signed him to their 90-man roster. “I guess I showed ‘em enough to at least keep me around for a longer look,” he said. How did this happen, anyway? Droogsma still isn’t clear on the details. He still has questions about how it all went down. He said all he knows is the Giants have “some kind of database” that tracks athletes who were recruited to play college football but never did, instead choosing another sport. Per the Giants, that database is an in-house one maintained by the team’s Football Operations Department that flagged Droogsma as an athlete worth taking a look at. “I’m trying to make the most of the opportunity and just giving myself the best shot and trying to put myself in the best situation that I can,” Droogsma said. Photo by FSU Sports Information Austin DroogsmaCan he really do this? A handful of players have had successful NFL careers despite never playing college football. Nate Ebner played rugby and has had a seven-year career with the New England Patriots. So, it’s not impossible. Droogsma is enjoying being back in football, but that doesn’t mean fully making the transition is going to be easy. “It’s a lot of fun. There’s always going to be the ups and downs,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t necessarily belong because sometimes I just get so lost on things. The more in-depth details that are going to take more time for me to learn, things like that. I kinda feel like I’m getting left behind in that sense.” Droogsma was a left guard in high school and that is where he has been lining up for the Giants. Athletes practice their crafts to develop muscle memory, to develop the ability to react during games without having to think about what they need to do. Droogsma, obviously, does not have that muscle memory in football, though he believes it as “attainable.” “It’s just going to take me a few weeks to really settle in and get the hang of this,” he said. Droogsma said that right now his challenge is more mental than physical simply because of how much he has to learn. “[It’s] physically demanding because I’m just moving my body in different ways that I haven’t had to in years. Kind of re-training myself to do that, and doing different workouts that are geared more towards what we’re doing on the field as opposed to what I was doing for shot put in college,” Droogsma said. “The mental aspect is just being in the book, trying to learn and trying to get as much stuff as I can as quickly as I can so that I get caught up. The mental aspect of it inhibits my physical ability because if I’m thinking too much out on the field I’m not going to be able to be playing at full speed.” Becoming a football player again Droogsma is dealing with the complexities of an NFL play book, to the point of learning when to go left or right so that he doesn’t bang into the center and “look like an idiot on tape.” He is also in the process of re-shaping his body. He signed with the Giants weighing nearly 350 pounds, but they want him to be in the vicinity of 320-325 pounds. He’s down to 340 and working with the Giants training staff to take off the weight. He believes that right now he can “hang in” with some of the less-established players based purely on athleticism. He said he wants to reach the weight goal and get a better grasp on the playbook and the techniques he is required to execute and that he hopes by training camp that he will be able to “unleash what I feel is my full athletic potential.” Droogsma said he does believe his shot put training translates to blocking football players in some ways. “Footwork, hip rotation, ankle rotation, being able to flip my hips out and get out and run … keeping my weight back, keeping my balance all comes into play. They’re very similar in that sense,” he said. “Keeping a good center of gravity and having good balance are very, very crucial in both sports.” Droogsma said he has been getting a lot of “good, constructive criticism” from coaches that he knows is geared toward “making you better and helping you learn.” He was happy that at Tuesday’s OTA he heard a couple of “good jobs” from coaches. He called that “a big step in the right direction.” Droogsma knows there will have to be many more steps in the right direction if he is going to turn his “once in a lifetime opportunity” into a real job. “It goes back to the ‘do I belong here’ kind of thing,” he said. “At the same time they wouldn’t have brought me in if they didn’t see the potential for me to contribute. I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t think that I could be something.” Will this unusual hog hunt by the Giants pay off in the end by uncovering a useful player? Droogsma seems as curious as the Giants are. “I think it’s going to be an interesting and really fun time,” he said. […]


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