Eli Manning Getting Up To Speed With New Offense

Eli Manning

Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had to learn new offensive this offeseason. It has been a good challenge Manning said according to Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News.

“It’s reenergized me,” he said. “I’m trying to speed up the process of getting comfortable in the new system. I don’t have 10 years. I have a few months.”

Eli Manning intends to improve his numbers from last season, a disappointing stretch in his career. He also recognizes the urgency of learning Bob McAdoo’s system after spending 10 years under previous coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Despite two Super Bowl victories in that decade, Manning maintains that he is inspired to return to form in 2014

There are 10 days left before camp now. Manning plans to work out over the next week, review the offense and fine-tune his throwing motion. He suffered a high left ankle sprain in the 2013 season finale, and underwent arthroscopic surgery on April 10. He insisted that he was fine and did not have limits during offseason workouts.

The 90-degree heat finally broke Friday afternoon after a lightning storm. Manning noted that he wears no helmet or pads during the passing academy, and that the East Rutherford dog days and an opportunity at a redemptive season stand before him.

“I kind of like getting in this heat,” he said. “It’s a good warmup.”

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Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants

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Safety Will Hill Loses Appeal, Will Be Suspended For Six Games

Giants safety Will Hill lost his appeal and will be suspended for the first six games of the season for yet another failed drug test, Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger reports..

Hill will be able to return on Oct. 13, a day after the Giants play the Eagles in Philadelphia. Hill has now been suspended for both performance enhancing and recreational drug use three times since being signed by the Giants in 2012.

Giants Release QB Josh Freeman

Minnesota Vikings v New York Giants

Quarterback Josh Freeman, a first-round draft pick by the Bucs in 2009, lasted about six weeks with the Giants as they released him today according to Jordan Raanan of the Newark Star-Ledger.

It was clear Thursday during OTAs that Freeman didn’t really factor into the team’s plans. He spent most of the team drills with a helmet in his hands. On one occasion when he did get on the field, the Giants were unable to get aligned properly and never ran a play. Freeman was immediately pulled in favor of Curtis Painter

There were some serious concerns within the Giants organization about Freeman’s ability to pick up the new offense. That combined with Manning and Painter’s quick recoveries likely nudged them to this decision.

Draft night with Justin Pugh

The other night I had the unique and awesome opportunity to sit down with Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh on Thursday night of the draft. Justin was there courtesy of Conair for Men who was keeping him looking polished and professional around the draft with their new Twin-Trim Beard and Mustache trimmer.

I sat down with Justin after the Giants had selected Odell Beckham at 12 and both of us agreed it was solid choice for the organization. With new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo coming in and implementing the west-coast offense, Beckham should fit in nicely. Justin also spoke about the team’s “next man up” mentality. He believes that brining in a guy like Beckham will foster the necessary level of competition that will force Ruben Randle to step up and become a dangerous weapon in this offense. When I asked him about what other positions the Giants needed to address through the draft he mentioned that we would be looking to select and OL, TE, DL and LB. He also mentioned that he wanted another offensive lineman to take under his wing and mentor in the same way he was mentored last season. It seems as though the Giants filled out some of the more glaring needs in the second and third days of the draft taking Richburg and Bromley with our second and third picks. I also love the selection of Williams in the fourth; I think he has the potential to be the steal of the 2014 draft.

Now having the unique opportunity to ask Justin whatever I wanted, I had to find out if Eli was as big of a prankster as everyone says. And of course, right on que Justin told me someone had changed his phone to all Chinese that morning and he suspected Eli was the man responsible for it.

Then in the spirit of the draft I asked Justin what it was like going through the entire process and everything that occurred leading up to him being selected. He spoke about how it was a very exciting, emotional and humbling experience to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. Although he was not sure where he would end up, Justin said by the time draft night arrived he was certain it was between a handful of teams at the end of the first round. Justin also said being able to share this experience and the moment with this family was easily the greatest part of the draft.

I tried not to bring up last season because I knew it was a sore sport for him and Giants fans alike but I asked him where he was most comfortable playing on the offensive line; Pugh was drafted as an OT and started 16 games at RT last season because of the offensive line needs. Justin said that although he spent last season at RT, he is willing to play whatever position he is needed at and is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to win. He has carried that sentiment this offseason and in his pre-season training taking on a leaner approach for the upcoming season and packing on 10lbs of pure muscle.

One of the bigger concerns I have as a fan going into this season is how the team is going to replace the leadership of Justin Tuck; a guy who has been the heart and soul of this defense for the last several seasons. When things start to go south, as they did for a large stretch of last season, there are certain cornerstone players that the team looks too to lead them back into the light. Justin, on the other hand, didn’t seem too concerned. While he addressed that losing Tuck is a big loss, he felt confident that the team has the players who can step up and fill that void. Citing guys like Jon Beason and Eli as two of the guys who will play an integral part leading this team next season.

Overall speaking with Justin was awesome. He was really happy to speak with a genuine fan like myself. I have been a staunch Giants fan my entire life and when I found out I was going to have this opportunity I decided to deck myself out with all my G-Men gear. So I showed up to the event wearing my NY Giants T-shirt and hat with a Super Bowl XLVI pin affixed. Unfortunately the majority of people did not share my exact sentiment on dress choose and instead chose to suit up. Justin did not pass on the opportunity to compliment and take a jab at my attire. After cracking a few more jokes and some small talk, I wished Justin the best of luck in this upcoming season and said my goodbye, and my hand is still hurting from his handshake.

Giants Select WR Odell Beckham, LSU

Well the 2013 Giants offense was broken according to John Mara — and Jerry Reese made a bold move to try and fix it with the 12th pick of the draft. LSU WR Odell Beckham is essentially going to be a Hakeem Nicks replacement that can also return punts and kicks. The theme to the 2014 NY Giants apparently is versatility, because the Giants have brought in 3 other guys that can return punts and kicks too. Should be an interesting camp this summer with lots of competition.

Here are Beckham’s highlights.

Previewing the 2014 New York Giants Schedule Release

Jason Pierre-Paul

The New York Giants had a horrid start to their 2013 season, dropping their first six games and missing the playoffs yet again. Head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning will be back at it in 2014, though, and if their defensive adjustments work out, they could once again be competing for the NFC East division crown.

If the Giants are in fact going to rebound in 2014, they’ll need to improve on their mediocre 4-4 mark at home of a year ago. It won’t be easy, as the New York Giants schedule includes the Cardinals, 49ers and Colts, who all had winning records in 2013, while the Falcons and Texans are rebounds candidates that should also pose a challenge in New York.

The real challenge could be on the road for Big Blue, however, where they were just 3-5 in 2013. The Seahawks, Lions, Jaguars and Titans stand in their way, with Seattle as the lone formidable opponent.

All 2014 Opponents

Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Making the Case for Teddy Bridgewater

What happened? What’s going on here? The New York Giants even considering taking a quarterback at 12?! That’s insane! Hear me out.

Let’s start off here. For the past couple of seasons, mock drafts everywhere had put Teddy Bridgewater as the number one pick for the upcoming draft in May, regardless of the team potentially picking at the spot. And that had been the consensus No. 1 pick up until a couple months ago, but why?

Sure, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel are great quarterbacks in their own, but what jolted them above the former Louisville star? Some may argue that the infamous Pro Day brought down Bridgewater down a bit, and one day the Giants may be thanking the football gods for it.

Now I personally think Manziel will actually succeed in the league (in the right system), and will probably not be available at No. 12. However, that shouldn’t be a problem. What Bridgewater brings to the Giants is much more than what Johnny Football ever could.

First, let’s look at the new Giants Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo. At this point, every Giants fan knows what he wants to bring to the team, the West Coast offense, and he’s going to need the right quarterback for the role. Eli Manning, a quarterback known for throwing the ball downfield, whether that be to his teammates or the other team, will certainly not be acclimated to a run & gun offense that the WC system McAdoo plans to incorporate in 2014.

Let’s also keep Manning’s “elite” stats in mind, and his tenure in the NFL. In his 10-year career with the Giants, he has thrown for 35,345 yards 229 touchdowns. Of course, you can’t keep those out. A very small minority can say they have had the career Manning has enjoyed. With two Super Bowl MVP’s on his resume, it’s hard to be tough on him. But let’s keep some things in mind. Manning is 33 years old, and as tough as it may be for Giants fans to hear, he has maybe three to four solid seasons left, and thats if he can lower his interception totals. He has thrown 171 interceptions in his 10 seasons. Right, that’s an average of 17.1 interceptions per season, ouch.

So let’s look into what the Giants organization keeps reiterating to fans this offseason. Since the latest free-agent signings in March, Jerry Reese and co. has come out and preached about their “youth movement” and how this team will have a completely new look this upcoming season. Hm, Manning is 33, and is coming off a 27 interception season in 2013.

Bridgewater brings the perfect mix of athleticism to get out of a broken pocket if necessary, and has the field vision and arm strength to get the ball into his playmaker’s hands (i.e. Victor Cruz). Now don’t get me wrong, people. In no way am I stating that Bridgewater is a better quarterback than Manning is right now. What I am saying is that Bridgewater could bring an added dimension to the new offense of the Giants in 2014, or 2015, whichever Tom Coughlin prefers. I wouldn’t have a problem with Bridgewater taking a year to backup Manning to get his feet wet in the NFL without being thrown to the wolves. However, I wouldn’t be against him starting this season either, as he has all it takes to come in his rookie year.

And let’s please get this out of the way, Ryan Nassib nor Curtis Painter is the future of the Giants offense. Nassib is simply a poor-man’s Manning, and that’s being hopeful. Painter, at the age of 28, is a lost cause at the quarterback position and still shocks most fans that he still has a job in this league.

To add to that little tidbit of young quarterbacks on the Giants, according to NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Bridgewater perfectly resembles current Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Now how do the Giants and Packers have ties? McAdoo. He was just last season the quarterbacks coach for the Packers, and from 2006-2012 the tight ends coach in GB. Now if that doesn’t scream “match”, I don’t know what does.

Bridgewater would present exceptional value at No. 12 for the Giants in may, more so than Aaron Donald or Eric Ebron. What is the most important position in the NFL? 32 out of 32 GM’s in the league would tell you it is the quarterback, and simply no one could argue that. There could certainly be a surprise on Draft Day in May, but it could end up being for the best for Big Blue.

Christian Nelson is a writer for Giants Gab. Check out his Google+ for more articles on New York Giants Football. 

New York Giants Add Tight End Kellen Davis

kellen davisOn Friday, April 4th, the New York Giants went out and signed yet another player that competed in Super Bowl XLVIII. Kellen Davis, a Tight End that spent most of the 2013 campaign with the Seattle Seahawks as the backup to Zach Miller, will be brought in with hopes to compete for the starting position this season. And with the current players at the position, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Davis has been playing in the NFL since 2008, where he spent five seasons with the Chicago Bears. After the 2012 season, Davis was released from the team. He was then signed onto the Cleveland Browns‘ practice squad in 2013, but was later released as well. Shortly thereafter, the Seahawks scooped him up, where he appeared in 15 games with one touchdown on three receptions.

The Tight End position is severally lacking experience on the Giants roster. Currently, the Giants’ three TE’s are Adrien RobinsonLarry Donnell, and Daniel Fells. 

It will be interesting to see where this pickup brings the Giants in the NFL Draft in May. Davis is not a player that can come in and register 60 catches and 8 touchdowns, but will provide a blocker at the position in hopes of the resurgence of the power running game for the Giants in 2014.

Christian Nelson is a writer for Giants Gab. Check out his Google+ for more on New York Giants football. 

Report: New York Giants Interested In Chris Johnson

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans

Earlier this morning, reports came out from Fox Sports that the New York Giants, along with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets, are interested in Tennessee Titans‘ running back Chris Johnson. Stay tuned on Giants Gab for updates on the potential addition of the former pro bowler.

*UPDATE (12:47pm): Chris Johnson has been officially released from the Titans, and is now free to sign with any team in the NFL.

**UPDATE (3:57pm): According to Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys are not interested in bringing in Johnson, and are content with DeMarco Murray as their starting back.

***UPDATE (4:42pm): The Record’s Art Stapleton has suggested that the Giants aren’t a possible suitor for Johnson’s services.

Christian Nelson is a writer for Giants Gab. Check out his Google+ for more on New York Giants Football.