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What front will Giants play? “Yes,” and other takeaways from Patrick Grahamby Chris Pflum on August 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm
Giants.com The Giants’ DC on some of his players and how he’s going to use them The last time the New York Giants earned a trip to the playoffs, it was in 2016 and they were carried to the postseason on the back of an elite defense. In the years since, the Giants have seen their defense degrade. 2016 also happened to be the year when the Giants first hired Patrick Graham to coach on their defense. His first time with the franchise, he was hired to coach the Giants’ defensive line under Steve Spagnuolo, but this time around it’s his job to restore the Giants’ defense to its former glory as defensive coordinator. But that familiarity was one of the motivating factors behind Graham leaving the Miami Dolphins and taking the Giants’ job. “I think Joe [Judge] spoke on it earlier,” Graham said. “The Giants went through the process of contacting Miami, Miami granted permission, and we went from there. Obviously I have familiarity with Joe, we worke together in New England and so it presented an opportunity to work with the Giants, you know, I have familiarity with the organization, it’s close to home. So it’s been positive and I’m just I’m excited to be here now 2020.” Here are more takeaways from Graham’s videoconference with media on Tuesday. On the Giants’ defensive personnel The Giants’ defensive tackles The Giants’ defensive tackle group is probably the strongest position group on their whole roster, with a variety of big — and athletic — players for Graham to work and scheme with. He didn’t hesitate to let everyone know how excited he is to work with them. “What stood out to me about Leonard [Williams] is the fact that he’s been very very inquisitive. He wants to know why he should be thinking that, what he should be thinking ‘here’. Asking our opinions whether it’s me [or] coach Spence, just talking to us in terms of trying to find out how to be a better player. And so far he’s been working really hard, being real diligent in the classroom. From afar, I know that he’s been a productive player in this league. He’s a big body who has athleticism that plays with his hands, who affects the passer, who can play in the run game, and he can move up and down the line. “So right there is a big smile that comes on my face you’re dealing with something like that and can’t wait to get your hands on them and just get out on the field, see what he could do and be able to coach him. “Honestly I’m excited to be around him, to work with him. I’m excited to be around all the guys. I mean, we got guys that, from afar, I’m very interested in coaching these guys. Dalvin [Tomlinson] is a guy I’ve worked with in the past, I’m excited to work with all these guys, whether it’s RJ [McIntosh] AJ [Austin Johnson], Chris Slayton. I’m excited to work with all these guys.” “I met Dex before,” he added when asked specifically asked about Dexter Lawrence II, “during the combine, and I thought it was big then, or tall then. And then you go a whole year, you don’t see him, and I saw that before the game when Miami played the Giants and I realized okay. Yeah. This guy is pretty big. “Then you finally see him again after the hiatus off of football, you know, everything was over Zoom. He’s reduced to one inch box, and all of a sudden you see him walk in there, like “this dude is really big”. That was my main impression. He’s a pleasure to be around. He has a bubbly personality. I mean, I’ll say that counters my demeanor that’s usually not too bubbly. “So he as a way of keeping it light and I like that, I think a big part of being a coach and being a leadership role is being receptive to other people and how they are, and I think I like that about him. I know he worked so hard too, so I’m very excited to be around them. Very excited to see him out there on the field and get this thing going.” The pass rushers The Giants don’t have an “ace” pass rusher in the mold of Myles Garrett or Von Miller, but they do have a variety of young defenders with a variety of skill sets. Graham wouldn’t say precisely how he would use them, but he did say that he wanted to fit each into the defense according to his skills. “Not to be cliche, but it’s gonna be week to week,” Graham said. “I think during this development stage, we’re in a developmental stage where we’re trying to find out what we have. They all have unique skill sets and we have to figure out “okay is this guy better rusher on the inside? We stand them up on the inside. Is he a better rusher on the outside? Is he better from the left, is he better for the right? I think it’s gonna be some trial and error getting everybody on the same page and trying different packages, different schemes, and see how that plays out. “What is going to be the rotation, it’s too early to even talk about that stuff right now. But everybody’s going to get an equal opportunity and whoever ends up being up there is going to be based on they earned it during camp. “So this is going to be interesting and it’s going to be fun to work with these guys. I mean, I know this they all work hard. Brett [Bielema] does a great job coaching those Edge guys. “Coach Spence [Sean Spencer] does a great job of coaching the interior guys. So I’m really excited to see how it plays out.” The secondary Graham wasn’t specifically asked about many of his defensive backs, but leave it to Emory Hunt — long time friend of, and current contributor to, Big Blue View — to ask about a young player who has been somewhat forgotten in rookie CB Christian Angulo. Graham said, “I think Christian has a unique skill set, his size and he can run. So right there, the ability to play with some size, instead of us getting some mismatches, he can help [match-up with bigger receivers]. The big thing for him is the size, the speed, and then his willingness to learn. “Obviously there’s going to be a transition coming up those first year in the league, but we’ll see how it plays out, working hard, being diligent, listening to coaching, and going out there and getting conditioning.” On the scheme One of the big questions has been what the Giants’ defense would look like under Graham. The expectation has been that it would be “multiple”, but that’s a vague term and open to a wide variety of interpretations. Graham was asked what his “non-negotiables” are as a coach, as well as what the term “multiple” will mean for the Giants. Graham’s list of “non-negotiable” aspects of the defense were straight forward. Good technique, “attention to detail,” “toughness,” and “physicality” are all expected watch-words whenever a football coach speaks on what he is looking from his unit. But when he was asked about what kind of scheme and front he would run, he was refreshingly honest — with just a touch of dry humor. “Well, I always answer with “yes”,” Graham said when asked about what schemes he would run. “So you say 4-3, 3-4, 2-4, 3-3-5, whatever you want to say, I’ll say “yes.” I mean, I’m not trying to make a joke of it. We’re going to do what is best for what we have in terms of people, the personnel we have, and then what we think is best for the game. “I would say this, the game is mostly made up of sub plays. You look at the percentages, most of the time there’s three receivers out there. So I think you got to kind of look at it from a sub perspective and terms of how you’re going to deploy the guys and then go from there. But what is the 3-4, 4-3, 4-2-5? I mean they all have the basic football foundation in terms of defensive scheme. So they all kind of blend together in my mind.”
Photo Gallery: Giants’ training camp pictures, Tuesday, Aug. 11by Ed Valentine on August 11, 2020 at 9:17 pm
Matthew Swensen/Giants.com Here is a look at some of the photos from Tuesday’s New York Giants training camp practice. As always, these are provided by the team’s official website. Today’s camp coverage Giants’ roster moves: WR, Cody White, OT Jackson Dennis officially added Thomas McGaughey never considered not coaching this season Jason Garrett doesn’t want to talk about Dallas Cowboys, and more takeaways Cody White, WR, Michigan State: Scouting report Jackson Dennis, OL, Holy Cross: Scouting report
Giants’ roster moves: WR, Cody White, OT Jackson Dennis officially addedby Ed Valentine on August 11, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Cody White | Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports TE Kyle Markway, LB Mark McLaurin waived The New York Giants made the anticipated additions of two undrafted free agents, wide receiver Cody White and offensive tackle JacksonDennis, official on Tuesday. They waived tight end Kyle Markway and linebacker Mark McLaurin. White, 6-3 and 215 pounds, was signed as a free agent following the NFL Draft by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who waived him on July 29. He played in 35 games with 26 starts at Michigan State. He finished his career ranked seventh in MSU history with 143 receptions, 12th with 1,967 receiving yards and tied for 16th with 12 touchdown catches. White compiled 2,115 all-purpose yards (1,967 receiving, 85 punt return, 63 rushing) and had five career 100-yard receiving games. In 2019, he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after finishing fourth in the league with 66 catches, for 922 yards and six touchdowns, all career-high totals. Cody White, WR, Michigan State: Scouting reportDennis, 6-7 and 308 pounds, was signed by the Arizona Cardinals following the draft and was waived on July 26. Dennis played in 40 games with 24 starts in five seasons at Holy Cross. In 2019, he started all 12 games at right tackle for an offense that averaged 135.9 rushing yards per game and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. Jackson Dennis, OL, Holy Cross: Scouting reportMcLaurin, out of Mississippi State, spent last season on IR for the Giants. After cutting Markway, an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina, the Giants are still carrying six tight ends.
Thomas McGaughey never considered not coaching this seasonby Emily Iannaconi on August 11, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Thomas McGaughey | Matthew Swensen/Giants.com McGaughey also talked about his relationship with Joe Judge and evaluating players without preseason games New York Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the biggest takeaways from his session. No doubt about coaching this season About two years ago, McGaughey was diagnosed with periampullary cancer. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and is now in remission. Despite his health history, McGaughey never considered opting out of the 2020 football season even with the added concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic. “I did my best to be in the best shape I can and put the best things in my body so I’m not really concerned about it,” McGaughey said. “Just excited to be back and be around the guys and trying to take that next step to be better every day. To me, that’s most important. I’m not really worried about the health part. I just need to take care of myself.” McGaughey said that he takes extra precautions by trying to limit his exposure as much as possible, spending the majority of his time between work or home. A “perfect marriage” Head coach Joe Judge obviously brings special teams experience to the Giants as he served as the special team assistant/coordinator of the New England Patriots for eight years. Yet, McGaughey stressed that no one is stepping on any toes, instead calling his relationship with Judge a “perfect marriage.” “Joe is a football coach,” McGaughey said. “Make no mistake about that. He is not just a special teams coach, he is a football coach. He coaches it all. That’s the thing I enjoy about watching him work.” McGaughey described the conversations between the two as easy, straightforward and focused on the best thing for the team. “It’s been very enlightening and he has been outstanding,” McGaughey said. “I just look forward to getting the season going and watching him grow as a new head coach and seeing how far he can take us. Joe has a ton of experience and success in the league and we just sit down and come up with things that are good for the unit and just implement them. It’s a really good situation.” The challenge of no preseason games While the prospect of no preseason games is overwhelmingly positive for fans and players, it does introduce a challenging task for coaches trying to determine where players are best suited on the field. For McGaughey especially, the evaluation of returners is more difficult without the speed of game-time action. He said that the team is going to do simulations in practice, including catching the ball and making returns in an attempt to make the best out of the situation. “It’s hard because these young guys, normally they get the speed of the game so they get a little taste of it,” McGaughey said. “This year’s going to be hard for them to get that experience because you don’t have that game-like intensity. We have to do a good job of trying to simulate that in practice so that we can evaluate our guys.” Without preseason games, McGaughey said that he will be relaying more heavily on the college tape of young players in order to gain insight. “We’re going to have to lean heavily on college tape, but we all know there is a transition between college and the pros,” McGaughey said. “It’s going to be a difficult situation for all of us as evaluators to be able to make sure that we are making the right decision. But everyone in the league is in this same situation.” What Chandler Catanzaro offers With the release of kicker Aldrick Rosas this offseason, the Giants signed veteran kicker Chandler Catanzaro on August 1. The Giants brought Catanzaro out of retirement. The 29-year old brings five years of experience and last played in the league in 2018. He has kicked for the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. “Chandler is a guy who is a veteran kicker in this league,” McGaughey said. “He’s performed at a high level before. We’re just hoping to get him back to that level. He’s a hard worker, very conscientious. Hopefully we can get him rolling and get him up to par.” McGaughey said that Catanzaro experience kicking for the Jets is an added bonus. “You always want to have somebody who has experience kicking in the northeast,” McGaughey said. “That was huge. So obviously getting Chandler who has kicked in this exact stadium was a benefit.”
Jason Garrett doesn’t want to talk about Dallas Cowboys, and more takeawaysby Ed Valentine on August 11, 2020 at 6:52 pm
Jason Garrett and Daniel Jones at Tuesday’s practice. | Matthew Swensen/Giants.com Giants’ offensive coordinator meets the media for first time Eight months after being fired as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and accepting the New York Giants’ offer to be their offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett made it clear on Tuesday that he did not want to talk about his former team. After taking a moment to acknowledge the death of Steve Tisch’s daughter, Garrett said via videonconference that he was “grateful” for his time in Dallas, but that it was a “new day” and he wanted to focus on the task at hand of building an offense in New York. Garrett was asked to explain how things unfolded in Dallas when he was fired, but deferred, saying “I don’t want to talk about the past that way.” Here are some other takeaways from Garrett’s first meeting with New York media. Garrett’s first impressions of quarterback Daniel Jones ... “Great respect for Daniel from my first interactions with him ... There were so many great things said about him from the people at Duke. We admired his career and weren’t surprised one bit that he was taken in the first round and has had the success that he’s had up to this point.” ... “Playing as a rookie in the NFL is a challenge. Playing quarterback as a rookie is a real challenge. Daniel handled himself really, really well.” Garrett said Jones is “a joy to work with.” “There’s no question he is a football guy. He loves football. He’s always so prepared. He’s always studying his stuff, he always has great questions and wants to get better. My experience has been when you have that kind of approach and that kind of attitude, if you have some ability you’re going to keep growing and getting better every day.” Garrett said Jones “has got all the tools you’re looking for” in a quarterback. On adjusting to being an offensive coordinator again ... Garrett has been a head coach for 10 seasons, so returning to being an offensive coordinator only is different. Garrett said the chance to work with Joe Judge in New York, a place where he played as a backup quarterback for four seasons, was “too good an opportunity to pass up” because he has had “great admiration for this organization for a long, long time.” “Just excited about the opportunity that I have and the role that I have here with the Giants,” Garrett said. “I’ve learned so much from Joe and from others in this organization right from the start ... excited to work for him [Judge].” On all of the offensive linemen the Giants drafted ... The Giants, of course, selected Andrew Thomas fourth overall, Matt Peart in Round 3 and Shane Lemieux in Round 5. Thomas is expected to start, while the hope is the other two will become long-term fixtures on the Giants’ line. “We felt like they had the skillset necessary to do what we’re asking them to do,” Garrett said. “We ask our linemen to do a lot of things. Our linemen have to be athletic. They need to be able to run block on the second level. They need to be able to pass protect against the rushers in this league. These guys are all rookies. They’re learning on the run, we haven’t had a real practice yet ... their approach has been outstanding, we’re excited to work with them.” On coaching Saquon Barkley rather than coaching against him ... Garrett lauded Barkley’s professionalism. “Talk about a first-class person. Talk about someone who loves football, someone who wants to work hard and do everything he can to be the best player he can be, the best teammate he can be. He’s a sterling example of that.” Memo to Garrett: That’s all nice. Just remember to give him the rock when it matters. On the difficulty of evaluating players and building an offense this season ... This was a question from yours truly, aimed at asking about the lack of prep time relating to COVID-19. “The biggest thing you try to do is you watch any tape you have of players in the past to get a feel for that. We did that early on in this process,” Garrett said. “In regards to this process that we’ve been in since then a lot of Zoom meetings over the spring, that was the medium we had. No excuses. You find a way to install the offense over Zoom. ... “One of the things we try to emphasize to our players is we’re always evaluating them. We’re evaluating that old tape, we’re evaluating they do. How they handle themselves in a Zoom meeting, how they handle themselves in a real-life meeting, in a walk-through and a practice.”