Giants Make Hard Choices to Cut Down to 53 Man Roster

September 3, 2011

NEW YORK – This is always a very difficult time of year for the Giants coaches and staff. I’m sure they would have loved to have kept everyone on the team but it just isn’t the way things work in the NFL. The Giants were forced to cut a bunch of players today in order to cut down to the mandatory 53 man roster. Head Coach Tom Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese can finally exhale after making some very difficult decisions but I’m sure they will also monitor the careers of the players they cut. This is one of the most difficult parts of the job for these men, without question. Having to tell a man that he didn’t make the team, when you know he has given you 110% on the field is a terrible chore but a part of the business. You can view the final roster here Roster or simply click the roster tab on the top toolbar of our website.

Fans were speculating all week about who would be cut and who would make the team. I try not to get into those conversations out of respect for the players but I will answer a direct question if someone asks my opinion about a player. When you’re looking at all of these guys on paper and see you one or two at a certain deep position on the team, you have a pretty good idea if they will be on the final roster or not. A perfect example is the defensive end position. The Giants literally have four guys who could be starters at the position with DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (he is a hybrid, I know). Trying to make the Giants final roster at the defensive end position would be a herculean task for any player. There were some cuts that were surprises, like there are every year and some cuts that sting a little more then the others.

I would like to personally wish the players well, who did not make the cut. It’s a shame that everyone can’t make the team based on their hard work and desire. It is never fun saying goodbye to a player who has given his all. Keep your head up and keep working hard. It might not be your time today but dreams do come true! Don’t give up!

The Giants will face the Washington Redskins next Sunday 9/11/11 at 4:15 PM EST for their first regular season game. Be sure to come back and check out our “Game Notes” each and every week throughout the season.

Were you surprised by any of the cuts made or with the Giants final roster?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Giants Roster Shakeup Continues as Regular Season Nears

August 25, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants have come a long way since Monday night. The only problem is they have headed in the wrong direction. I’m one of the most positive Giants fans you will ever come across and even I’m concerned now. Giving a pep talk doesn’t really mean anything when we are discussing the talent on the roster. That speaks for itself and it always confuses me when people talk about staying positive when the team loses star players due to injury. Positivity has nothing to do with on field production. I’m a positive guy but the reality is that the team needs to get some talent on the field and quickly because we are about two weeks away from the start of the regular season.

The Giants have lost CB Terrell Thomas, CB Bruce Johnson, CB Brian Witherspoon and DT Marvin Austin for the entire 2011 season. Johnson and Witherspoon were cut because of their injuries. Rookie CB Prince Amukamara will also be out for 6-8 more weeks due to a fractured foot. Over the past week, the team has also cut CB Woodny Turenne, S Cary Harris, WR Sam Giguere and LB Kenny Ingram. Has anyone else noticed the large amount of defensive players that have either been cut or landed on the season ending IR list? Of course you have. That is why I am concerned and a pep talk just won’t cut it for me at this time. The one player currently on the roster that I would like to see get some playing time is CB Brian Jackson. I have been the only writer I’ve seen so far talking about Jackson (6’0″ 212 pounds) and calling for him to get a shot. He is a quality player and wonderful human being and someone you want on your team. I hope he gets a chance to win over the coaches and fans this year.

The Giants have addressed the massive loss of talent by signing three players over the past week. The new signings include CB Brian Williams, S Derrick Martin and DT Jimmy Kennedy. The Giants also re-signed S Deon Grant, which could end up being one of the most important signings this offseason. The backfield still has a lot of talented guys back there but depth is the real issue. I doubt if GM Jerry Reese is done bringing in players. He is using a pragmatic approach to dealing with these injuries and quite frankly, I don’t think there is a better way to handle it. I also agree that a few of the younger players will need to step up this year and contribute to the team. They may be thrown into the fire but how they react to that will decide their future with New York. It doesn’t seem fair to these players but hey, life isn’t always fair.

On a sad note, the Giants have officially sold the naming rights to Giants stadium. Fans will now have to tolerate it being called the MetLife stadium for the next 20 years. Of course, the true blue fans (like me) will forever call it Giants stadium.

How would you solve the recent issues facing the New York Giants?

RD – nygreporter

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!


Steve Smith to Eagles Will Hurt More Then You Think

August 16, 2011

NEW YORK – It has been about a week since the news broke about WR Steve Smith going to the rival Philadelphia Eagles. I didn’t write an entire article on this subject because I was still in a state of shock and denial about it for most of this time. It is time for me to give this topic a full article. Now, I know the Giants have some great young WR’s on the team and I know it is time for them to step up. But we are talking about Steve Smith here and not some run of the mill player. Smith is a Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl player who was QB Eli Manning’s favorite safety valve. Manning must be fuming at the reality of losing so many of his familiar faces on offense (Smith, Boss, Hedgecock, O’Hara, Seubert, Andrews). I think the game on Saturday showed that he was rattled and will need to put in a lot of work with the new guys before he can settle down.

Giants fans were absolutely disgusting in their remarks to Steve Smith after hearing the news. Some were wishing him dead or for him to get a worse injury then the one the 26 year old is already mending. I couldn’t believe some of the venom being thrown at the man who just 24 hours earlier was a fan favorite. Of course, I understand their anger about him going to a division rival and you could compare it to breaking up with a loved one and saying things that you don’t really mean. I was honestly shocked too by the news that he would accept that deal and jeopardize the New York love he had received so deeply. Apparently, there were some things that did not make it to the press about his situation and following his exodus from Big Blue, there were a ton of back and forth remarks that raised some eye brows. The Giants say they offered him a $35 million dollar deal last year and Smith’s camp says that it never happened. Someone is lying but fans will have to wonder who it is. It’s just plain ugly, either way you look at it.

I think we can all agree that WR Hakeem Nicks is the No.1 WR on the team. The one thing I am certain of is that the Giants do not have a better No.2 WR then Smith on the team. A lot of fans will say that Mario Manningham is better then Smith but I disagree. I am not saying that Manningham is a bad WR at all. In fact, Mario is one my favorite players on the team and can handle his business with the best of them. What I’m saying is that Mario hasn’t done what Smith has done yet. Is the potential there? Sure it is. But we will need to see what happens on the field before making a final assessment. Some will say that Manningham would have taken the No.2 WR spot anyway and that Smith would be the No.3 guy. OK, let’s look at that then for the sake of argument. As far as there being a better No.3 WR on the team, there isn’t. There just flat out isn’t anyone who matches up with Smiths talent that deep into the roster and if you think there is, you’re kidding yourself. Smith holds the all-time single season receptions record for the New York Giants with 107 and until another WR comes close to that kind of production, I simply cannot compare them to Smith.

Steve Smith was the first interview ever for nygreporter. I cannot ever thank him enough for doing that for me (thank you to N.S. and Smith’s agent again for helping set that up). I will forever be a fan of his for that reason (except when he plays the Giants of course) and will always consider him a first class guy off the field. You can check out the interview I did with him here: Steve Smith Interview 3/6/11, nygreporter Edition 0001

Now that you have had some time to really think about the Steve Smith departure, what are you thoughts about it?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2011 Preseason Game 1: Giants vs. Panthers, Game Notes

August 14, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants lost to the Carolina Panthers last night 20-10 in their first preseason game. The Giants defense scored the lone touchdown within the first two minutes of the game on a interception by LB Michael Boley. That was the highlight of the game in North Carolina as far as I’m concerned. The Giants defense had four sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles in the game. Not a bad night at all except the also gave up 20 points and 342 total yards of offense. I saw some things I liked and things I didn’t like about this group but the G-men were certainly giving up a lot of big plays. DE Jason Pierre-Paul was the defensive MVP last night by getting 2 sacks during his limited playing time. LB Michael Boley could also be in that discussion for having a 56 yard INT for a TD. Panthers QB Cam Newton looked very good in his first game (8/19 – 134 yards) and I’m sure the kid will be a star at some point.

The offense did not look very good at all. There were a few big plays but the majority of the game was played sloppy and out of sync. During the first quarter, the Panthers were able to get a ton of penetration through the offensive line and knocked QB Eli Manning down more then once. It was clear to me that Eli was not relaxed at all and seemed to be playing nervous football. Manning is a guy who is known for keeping his cool and playing smart football, so it was a bit unnerving to see him rattled like that. He also cannot properly slide when he takes off running and I would advise against him ever doing that again. The offensive line only gave up 2 sacks but the pressure they allowed was evident the whole game. The offensive MVP was WR Domenik Hixon, who provided the team with a spark when they were down. The Giants could not buy a first down for most of the game (3-16 on 3rd down) and managed to get 298 yards of total offense.

The darkest news about the team comes from the special teams. I was truly convinced that this group of guys would be twice as good as they were last year. GM Jerry Reese carefully selected players and coaches that we all felt would improve the special teams play. We were all wrong. Granted, it is the first preseason game and there was a lot of rust to work off but man were they bad last night. K Lawrence Tynes missed two FG’s (55 and 37 yarders) and had one blocked going 1-4 on the night, P Matt Dodge was unsensational in his punting and the players were missing tackles and blocks all over the field. I have no idea what coach Tom Quinn is doing with this group but he needs to make changes and fast. We are less then a month away from the regular season and at this rate, the Giants might have the worst special teams in the NFL.

Let’s take a look at some of my game notes from last night.

QB Eli Manning – Easy Eli did not have a good game with his limited playing time going 4-9 for 36 yards, 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP is the talk of the town after getting 2 sacks and looking extremely comfortable in a starting role.

LB Michael Boley – Boley had a nice game and of course, the only touchdown for Big Blue on a 56 yard INT in the 1st quarter.

WR Domenik Hixon – It was good to see Hixon back on the field after last seasons injury. He lead all WR’s with 86 yards and had a good game.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw had a few nice plays and finished the game with 21 yards on 5 carries.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had a nice 14 yard catch but saw limited playing time. He will be a force this year.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi did not look comfortable playing LB and I wish they would cease using him in that capacity. The man is a DE.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes had a very bad game. Fans can excuse the missed 55 yard FG attempt but missing the 37 yarder is inexcusable.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Brandon had a decent game on short time with 16 yards on 3 carries.

WR Jerrel Jernigan – The rookie did not have a very good night as a returner. However, I think he can and will improve. Seeing him wear No.12 was a bit weird.

LB Mark Herzlich – Undrafted rookie and fan favorite Herzlich had a good game and seemed to be anxious to make plays. He also had a forced fumble in the game.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge has not shown me anything different from what he was doing last season. Strong leg with no accuracy.

What did you think about the Giants performance in the game last night?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!


Giants Lose Half of their Starting Offense in 2011

August 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants might have to change their name to the New Look Giants this season. The team has been hit with a string of bad news (karma is a female dog) in recent weeks and the team has lost half of their starting offense. The news about WR Steve Smith going to the rival Eagles yesterday sealed the deal for me. I have been a very big fan of GM Jerry Reese and have showered him with praise since the first year he came to the team. But even my faith has been shaken by the mass exodus of pro bowl athletes in 2011. Think about this for a moment, the Giants have lost OL Rich Seubert, OL Shaun O’Hara, TE Kevin Boss, FB Madison Hedgecock and WR Steve Smith. All five of these guys were starters in an offense that requires eleven men. You do the math.

The Giants also lost some other quality guys such as OL Shawn “Fan Fav” Andrews, DT Barry Cofield (who also went to division rival, the Redskins). They are in a contract battle with all pro DE Osi Umenyiora, they lost CB Bruce Johnson to injury and cut him. They signed TE Ben Patrick who turned around and retired on them and they have lost their 1st round pick CB Prince Amukamara for two months. When it rains, it pours. There were other transactions made but these mentioned are the big deals and the team still hasn’t addressed all of the free agents that need signing. The Giants play their first preseason game in two days and will need to get a ton of new players up to speed on the playbook and the system. I’m not sure how they will fair but I wish them good luck with that.

I cannot remember a year in recent memory where the Giants lost so many quality players within a one month period of time. I’m not sure if there ever was a similar situation in team history. Yes, the team has signed some players but they hardly replaced all of the talent the team lost. I hope Jerry Reese knows what he is doing because this will be an unrecognizable group of players on the field to the true blue fan. The fact that the team was six million dollars over the salary cap certainly plays into the mix but that also begs the question of why? Who was watching the salary cap and allowed this to happen? Rabid fans have been calling for the head of Jerry Reese and for changes in the front office as a whole. I will keep my opinions to myself until I see what the team does in 2011. I will not panic but I am certainly deeply concerned.

What are your thoughts about the recent roster moves made by the Giants?

RD – nygreporter.com

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The New York Giants Official Website Makes Big Changes

June 30, 2011

NEW YORK – Many Giants fans got a big surprise yesterday when they tried to visit the New York Giants website. The Giants have removed there old website in favor of a new one. During the late afternoon yesterday, the changeover occurred. The site looks wonderful aesthetically and appears to have a lot more video for fans to watch. It came as a surprise to most fans because there was no notice of the change prior to it happening. The functionality and overall shine of the website is much improved and fans will like the way it looks. There appears to be a clear cut programming schedule for Giants web events and shows. I like this format but hope they will also allow for some spontaneity in content.

A couple of issues have upset some fans (I’ve been getting emails and messages via twitter about this). The biggest one is the fact that fans have completely lost their old accounts. Giants fans will have to create an entirely new account, complete with screen name and password. Another change that was a bit of a let down, is the fact that there will no longer be any Giants fan blogs allowed. I think this will prove to be a big mistake because fans were really enjoying the ability to interact with each other. The old school message board that still remains has become outdated and unfulfilling after experiencing the fun of having used the other format. Also, if you had contributed any articles or stories to the old website, you have lost all of your work because it was deleted during the change over. Some fans would have liked the opportunity to save those stories for their personal archives.

In summary, I think Giants fans will eventually learn that the new website is a great source for Giants news and information. It has removed the fan interaction aspect, which I still believe is a mistake. By separating themselves from the fan in the age of social media, the Giants have clearly transformed the website into a two dimensional news destination instead of a thriving fan community. Instead of removing the fan interaction, I would have generated and encouraged more interaction between the fans, players, staff and writers. I understand that fans can still use facebook or twitter but why give away all of that web traffic when Giants.com could be the place to be? The evolution of modern sports websites will only occur when they realize that they have the power and stop relinquishing it all to these third party websites. They need to stop using the main website to export popularity to these third party websites and start using the third party websites to import more fans to them. Of course, this is only my opinion and social media philosophy.

What do you think about the new official website for the Giants? Do you prefer the new style or the old one?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


The Giants Have Some Decisions to Make This Week

June 7, 2011

NEW YORK – The talk of the town this week is without a doubt Plaxico Burress. Since being released from prison yesterday he was one of the hottest topics on the internet and the world of sports media in general. Most Giants fans felt a chill run up their spines when Burress emerged wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap. One could not escape the thought of it being a hint that he plans on signing with the rival Philadelphia Eagles. While everyone keeps asking the question about whether or not the Giants should re-sign Burress, most forgot to ask if Burress wants to re-sign with New York.

Besides the Burress madness sweeping the city, another question that must be asked revolves around the current group of Giants wide receivers. What is the state of the WR’s already on the roster? That answer is simple, the state of the New York Giants WR’s is strong. Could the team use a proven veteran like Burress for depth on the team? Absolutely. Do they need Burress on the team to define that position? Absolutely not. Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham have proven to be perfectly capable of handling the job. Not to mention some young talent with Victor Cruz and the rookie Jerrel Jernigan waiting in the wings for their shot. There are a handful of other WR’s trying to fight for a roster spot as well, so there is no shortage of wide receiver talent on Big Blue.

Many fans have been crunching the numbers and showing QB Eli Manning’s progress with and without Burress on the team. It is nice to see some numbers but I think it goes beyond all of that. There is a ton of data to consider before making a big decision like this. Plaxico Burress will be on an NFL team this season for certain. Hopefully, he doesn’t go to a rival team and play against the G-Men twice per year but if he does, so what? The Giants will deal with it. He won’t be any more of a threat then say DeSean Jackson or Miles Austin. The Giants have a very scary secondary, so I say bring it on. GM Jerry Reese is no fool and if he chooses not to bring back Burress, you can bet he has a very good reason. With all of this being said, I want to make it known that I believe Plaxico deserves another chance in the NFL. I hope he can reunite with Giants. If he doesn’t sign with Big Blue, then I wish him well with his new team. The NFL lockout has now reached 88 days and is actually affording Burress some R&R before he has to get down to business. My advice to Burress is to enjoy it while it lasts and I would like to say good luck to the Giants on having to make a very tough decision.

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!