2011 New York Giants Linebacker Group

February 21, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants linebacker group needs an upgrade. This is something that is a long time coming and something I expect the team will address in this years NFL draft in April. I mean no disrespect to the current Giants linebackers and I think they did a good job in 2010 but the team needs an all pro linebacker to compliment the rest of the defense. New York loves it’s linebackers and fans have stopped being polite and started demanding a top caliber linebacker for the team.

The problem I see with assessing the Giants linebackers are all of the question marks. It would be easy to make the hard choices if GM Jerry Reese and Coach Coughlin had seen all of them perform on the field but that is not the case. Some of these guys have had real game time experience and some of them haven’t. The injury bug hit the LB group just as hard as the rest of the team in 2010. Couple that with having one of the youngest LB corps in the NFL and you can see where I’m going with this. If the Giants can shore up the linebacker position by the start of this season, then the Giants defense is going to be a top 3 defense in the NFL.

Although the expectations may be somewhat unrealistic, the fans still want what they want. I would not be surprised if the Giants brought in a young and proven free agent LB before the season starts. The DE’s are solid and the safety position is squared away. You can be sure the LB’s and DT’s will be thoroughly addressed this off season. Another idea that is picking up steam is the Giants getting another stud CB as well.

Let’s take a look at the Giants linebackers as of today 2-21-11.

1. Jonathan Goff, 6’2″ 236 pounds – Goff was given the opportunity to replace all pro LB Antonio Pierce when he retired after the 2009 season. Goff did a good job at the middle linebacker spot but he wasn’t spectacular. He finished as the second best tackler among LB’s in 2010 behind only Michael Boley. I’m not sure if he will be the starting MLB at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season but it certainly will not be because he did not give it his all. He was also only one of two linebackers that played in all 16 games and remained fairly healthy in 2010.

2. Michael Boley, 6’3″ 225 pounds- Boley has been a great signing for the G-Men and lead all linebackers in tackles last season. This guy hits hard and seems to be all over the field trying to get to the ball. I expect him to have another good season in 2011 and establish some consistency to an area of the team that really needs it. Boley was also the only other linebacker who played in all 16 games in 2010.

3. Gerris Wilkinson, 6’3″ 231 pounds – Wilkinson has had an up and down career for years with Big Blue. He has been plagued by injuries for most of his young career but has enough talent to keep him on the roster. It feels like Wilkinson has been on the team forever but it has only been five years now.

4. Keith Bulluck, 6’3″ 235 pounds – Bulluck is the crafty veteran and he was brought in last season to bolster a LB group that seemed to be in trouble. He had a decent 2010 season for the time he was on the field but once again, he was a player who was effected by injuries. There are questions about him being with the team in 2011 because the Giants will most assuredly address the linebacker group as they look to get younger and faster. Still, I believe the G-Men need a veteran player to be a leader in the locker room and teach these youngsters how to be an NFL LB.

5. Clint Sintim, 6’2″ 256 pounds – Sintim is a player who coaches and fans will need to see more of on the field. Once again, the recurring theme for Big Blue is injuries, injuries and more injuries. Sintim played in 9 games in 2010 but should see more playing time in 2011 if he can stay healthy. The guy is a physical specimen and someone who has the talent and heart to make it big in the NFL.

6. Phillip Dillard, 6’0″ 245 pounds – Dillard missed most of his rookie season with an injury but was getting a lot of praise from the coaches during training camp. He was extremely vocal and seemed to grasp the middle linebacker role rather quickly. Could he be a possibility at the middle LB spot for the 2011 season? Sure, why not. Dillard is one of the guys that fans and coaches have not seen enough of on the field to make an intelligent decision about his future. I am rooting for this young man to do well.

7. Chase Blackburn, 6’3″ 247 pounds – Blackburn is hands down the best special teams player on the roster and one heck of a backup linebacker. His value to the team cannot be underestimated and fans have come to love him for the effort he gives on the field and his lack of complaining when things don’t go his way. He was banged up a bit in 2010 but I expect nothing less then another solid season from this man in 2011.

8. Zak DeOssie, 6’4″ 249 pounds – In the immortal words of the legendary film “Animal House’, Zak DeOssie is a legacy member of Big Blue because his dad played on the team back in the day. DeOssie has made a name for himself as the long snapper and a solid backup linebacker when the situation arises. He has been with the Giants since being drafted by them and continues to be a solid contributor for the team.

9. Adrian Tracy, 6’2″ 248 pounds – Tracy missed his entire rookie season due to injury in 2010 and still needs to show coaches and fans what he can do. I’m not sure what to expect from him but I’m hoping he has healed up and can help out the team in 2011.

10. Kenny Ingram, 6’6″ 229 pounds – Ingram is currently on the reserve future list and he is someone the fans were rooting for before the 2010 season started. He was no doubt brought in for depth and his status for the 2011 NFL season is up in the air for now.

What are your thoughts on the Giants linebackers and what would you do to improve this squad?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


New York Giants Will Focus on Depth and Improve in 2011

February 10, 2011

NEW YORK – There is no denying the fact that the New York Giants are a very talented football team. I have been one of the fans that said the amount of injuries the team had in 2010, seriously effected their play on the field. The Giants placed 16 players on the IR List in 2010. I’m not so sure that argument applies any longer, after seeing the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl with 15 of their players residing on the IR list. I like to believe the Giants are a deep team but maybe we have all been wrong. After back to back injury plagued seasons, fans have to wonder just how deep the team really is and what coaching changes need to be made in the conditioning department. The Giants went 8-8 in 2009 and 10-6 in 2010 respectively.

Giants GM Jerry Reese is a draft guru and I’m sure that he will be focusing on depth this year. He will certainly address the offensive line (which did an outstanding job in 2010) and get more talent to help out in that area. OL William Beatty, OL Adam Koets and OL Mitch Petrus are three guys who fans might see more of in 2011. He will focus on improving the cornerback position and quite frankly, he should. Why have a defensive coordinator who specializes in DB’s and then not get him at least two more players of his choosing to coach? This seems like a no brainer. I am comfortable with the safeties on the team but the cornerback position seems to need a little depth. CB Terrell Thomas has been outstanding on his side of the field and lead the team in tackles in 2010.

The linebacker position is another area that must be on the team radar. The current linebacker group has a lot of talented players but they certainly don’t have a Lawrence Taylor playing back there. The G-Men need the next LT to be thrown into the mix and lead that group of young men. Fans still need to see how LB Clint Sintim and LB Phillip Dillard work out but bringing in a young veteran “Patrick Willis” type of player should be a priority in my opinion. As crazy as it sounds, the Giants might need to throw another wide receiver into the mix too. It was painful to see WR after WR go down with injuries and I would not want that to happen again in 2011. NFL teams need two No.1 and two No.2 WR’s on the team these days for just that very reason. Every fourth and fifth WR should be able to start as a No.3 on any NFL team. This is an ideal situation for all NFL teams and hopefully something Big Blue can pull off.

The one area of the team that needs the most help is also the only spot on the team that does not have depth. I’m talking about special teams and boy do they need work. P Matt Dodge and K Lawrence Tynes should both be concerned for different reasons. Dodge should be concerned because of his inconsistent rookie season and Tynes might feel the heat of a team needing a change at the kicker position. The return specialists also had their fair share of problems in 2010. Special teams coach Tom Quinn should also be very concerned about his job in my opinion.

Regardless of the injuries or depth issues, the New York Giants have enough talent to make the playoffs. There is no reason why they should have been watching the playoffs on TV this season with their 10-6 record. I will not guarantee anything or jinx the team but I would be shocked if the G-Men were to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year. If that were to happen, there would be big changes in New York for 2012. What do you think?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2010 New York Giants: NYG Notes 08/04/10

August 4, 2010

Hello Giants Fans,

There have been some extremely interesting items in the news this past week or so regarding the Giants. The most recent being the news of Plaxico Burress’ release date of 2-3 weeks from prison on a work release program. The possibility of bringing Burress back to the Giants is very unlikely, unless he wants to play for the league minimum with zero guarantees. Would you take Plaxico Burress back if he could get in shape by the game, following the bye week? At the league minimum for eight games? What would you do?

Giants fans everywhere have been waiting all day for the Hakeem Nicks news. Nicks was sent to a Manhattan hospital to be checked out for a possible hyperextended leg. The team is expected to discuss this more when they know more about it. Losing Hakeem Nicks for any length of time would be a huge loss for the team. He is a favorite sleeper among fantasy football owners for 2010 and had a very good rookie year last season. So far, it looks like the MRI says he is fine.

I must also add that Mike Francesa did an absolutely wonderful show yesterday LIVE from the New York Giants training camp. What a treat is was for Giants fans to see all of those interviews with the players and coaches and owners. Mike always does it right and that is one show that every Giants fan looks forward to. The nygreporter was on his Giants training camp show last year as a call in. Mike and I talked about the Giants time of possession game and how it could effect their overall record. If you recall, the Giants defense on paper in 2009 was off the charts before all of the injuries started happening. Some like him and some don’t but I think he is a good guy.

– In other sports news today, New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, hit his 600th home run today off of Shawn Marcum in the 1st inning of a day game against the Blue Jays, at Yankee Stadium. He is only the seventh player in MLB history to reach the No.600 HR plateau and he is also the youngest to ever do it at 35 (his birthday was last week). Congrats Alex!

RD – nygreporter.com

PLEASE SUPPORT THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT!!

Let’s take a look at some of the recent news about the New York Giants.

– WR Hakeem Nicks is sent to a Manhatten hospital from training camp. The MRI comes back fine.

– WR Plaxico Burress to be released from prison in 2-3 weeks on a work release program. He will seek to play in the NFL once again.

– QB Eli Manning looks as calm and cool as ever. He is having a good camp and I expect him to improve on his 2009 numbers.

– LB Phillip Dillard continues to impress his peers and coaches with his natural leadership abilities. Dillard is very animated and vocal when talking to the defense.

– DC Perry Fewell is an extremely good coach. He was very thorough when I saw him at camp on Monday. He confirms that he will be experimenting until the regular season begins.

– S Kenny Phillips begins the season of the PUP list. He dresses for practice but does not participate. He looks to return soon.

– LB Keith Bulluck is bringing some of the nasty back to Big Blue. If he remains healthy in 2010, the Giants got a steal. Plus, Bulluck really wants to play in New York.

– Rookie S Chad Jones was put on waivers, then cleared waivers and is now on the Giants non-football related injured reserve list.

– The Giants signed veteran S John Busing to bolster their safety corps.

– The Giants are awarded DE Alex Hall off waivers from the Eagles.

– OL Rich Seubert has not had a beer in five days.

– RB Andre Brown looked fast and fluid during the morning practice. He will be fighting for the third strong job for now.

– CB Aaron Ross has been back on the field and playing well so far. it was good to see him running around out there during practice.

– Rookie DE Jason Pierre-Paul continues to get rave reviews from the coaches and players.

– DE Osi Umenyiora has matured to a level where he can’t be touched. I expect a terrific year for the new and improved humble Osi.

– Rookie punter Matt Dodge continues to get some coaching from the legend Jeff Feagles. I hope the Giants hire him full time.

– Backup QB Jim Sorgi was a bit shaky when I saw him during the morning practice on Monday. The backup QB spot still concerns me.

– The YES network’s Mike Francesa Show, did a LIVE broadcast yesterday from the New York Giants training camp in Albany.

– Head Coach Tom Coughlin is impressed with how many players arrived at camp in shape. He also said the team has a lot of work to do in a very short period of time.

– The Giants did not practice on the field today. They remained indoors at meetings and the weight rooms.

– The Giants will have their first “full pad” practice tomorrow on 8/5/10 at the University of Albany.


NY Giants Sign Rookies Dillard and Tracy 6/22/10

June 22, 2010

The New York Giants stayed busy on Tuesday by signing two players from this years draft class. A pair of rookies, LB Phillip Dillard and LB Adrian Tracy, both signed with the team today. The terms of their contracts have not been disclosed yet. The two linebackers join rookie safety Chad Jones, as the only three draft selections to sign with the team so far. We expect the rest to follow suit shortly. Just yesterday we were discussing who the possible odd man out would be, if the G-Men decided to sign only six out of the seven draft picks. I am officially out of the discussion because I saw LB/DE Adrian Tracy as the odd man out and I was clearly wrong about that. The fact that Jerry Reese signed these two LB’s makes me feel better. As I said, I want to see all of the Giants players doing well and that includes rookies.

The New York Giants will certainly have enough depth at the linebacker position going into training camp and why not? This could end up being one of the “epic” battles in training camp lore. There are only so many positions available and nobody knows that better then the rookies. Three out of the seven draft picks are signed, leaving only DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Linval Joseph, OG Mitch Petrus and P Matt Dodge unsigned for right now.

– Phillip Dillard, LB – 4th round draft choice in 2010 – signed

– Adrian Tracy, LB – 6th round draft choice in 2010 – signed

I would not be surprised to see more players added to this list sometime today. Check back for updates.

Do you like the way Giants GM Jerry Reese has handled the off season thus far? Which of these rookies do you think will impact the team the most in 2010?RD – nygreporter.com


New York Giants 2010 NFL Draft RECAP

April 25, 2010

The 2010 NFL Draft is officially over and we can now step back and take a look at what the team has. Like a child ripping through his/her Birthday presents like a chainsaw, fans were getting one surprise after another. This was one of the most fulfilling drafts in recent memory. Even though my player predictions were wrong fifty percent of the time this year, I am still walking away from it knowing that the team got better. With that in mind, the joy of doing the research and scouting fades away. The New York Giants have seven new players to welcome and see what works best. This is about as exciting a group of players as the team has had in a long time. Training camp in Albany can’t come soon enough if you ask me. There are going to be some epic battles on the defensive side of the ball at the linebacker and defensive lineman positions.

My thoughts on each player selected this year. DE Jason Pierre-Paul could be the new Javon Kearse. The guy is a tremendously gifted athlete who is eager to learn. That is the kind of combination that spells solid NFL career. I can’t wait to see him on the field. DT Linval Joseph can be as good as he wants to be. The big guys in the middle have one of the toughest jobs in the NFL. There is a lot to absorb both physically and mentally in the trenches and I think Joseph is up to the task. S Chad Jones, who I believe was a steal in the third round, will prove to be a very valuable pick in the future. This kid has been on my radar for months and I’m very happy that Jerry Reese was able to grab him where they did. I think it’s safe to say that the safety position has been addressed by the G-men. LB Phillip Dillard seems to be a player that will get some time to show what he can do. He had a very good combine workout and should be in the LB fight for a starting role. OG Mitch Petrus is a big guy who fills a need area. The Giants definitely needed some depth on the offensive line and now that have it. I thought the team would have come away with a Center as well but one thing at a time I guess. LB/DE Adrian Tracy is a guy who they will be experimenting with in a couple of different positions. He also had a good combine workout and is a gifted athlete. P Matt Dodge was brought in to add some fire in the Punter competition. All-World punter Jeff Feagles is uncertain if he can continue for another year after 22 in the NFL. Jy Bond and Matt Dodge will battle it out in training camp, if Feagles can’t go another year

I want to be clear about my feeling on the new three day draft event too. I do not like this new system at all and I hope the NFL goes back to the traditional 2-day draft weekend schedule. It was a nice experiment but really way too drawn out. Having a 3-day draft weekend is like staying that extra day in Las Vegas, nothing good can come from it. Not to mention the fans on the West Coast who were probably really upset that it was 3:00 PM when the draft kicked off Friday. Please go back to the 2-day draft weekend NFL, why mess with something that wasn’t broken?

Here is a recap of who the New York Giants selected. Nicknames provided by the NYG Reporter (you heard the nicknames here first, spread the word).

ROUND 1 – DE Jason “Wild Thing” Pierre-Paul, 6’5″ 270 pounds, South Florida

ROUND 2 – DT Linval “The Anvil” Joseph, 6’4″ 328 pounds, East Carolina

ROUND 3 – S Chad “Keepin’ Up With The” Jones, 6’2″ 221 pounds, LSU

ROUND 4 – LB Phillip “Hardcore” Dillard, 6’0″ 245 pounds, Nebraska

ROUND 5 – OG Mitch “Rock” Petrus, 6’3″ 310 pounds, Arkansas

ROUND 6 – LB/DE Adrian “Yo” Tracy, 6’3″ 248 pounds, William and Mary

ROUND 7 – P Matt Dodge “Viper”, 6’1″ 225 pounds, East Carolina

What do you think about the New York Giants 2010 NFL Draft? What grade would you give them for this year? I am giving Jerry Reese and Co. an “A”. Welcome to New York!

RD – NYGReporter.com


New York Giants Draft LB Adrian Tracy in Round 6

April 24, 2010

The New York Giants select LB Adrian Tracy with the 184th overall pick in round six. He is 6’3″ 248 pounds and played at William and Mary college. Jerry Reese has been killing his picks all weekend. He gave the linebacker position a double tap to be sure it was taken care of. This 2010 NFL Draft reminds me of the 2007 NFL Draft. The Giants will be walking away with playmakers and extremely strong young men. Reports have swirled about DT Joseph and OG Petrus being two of the strongest physical players in the entire draft. It is a shame that the media isn’t giving Jerry Reese more credit for this draft. It seems like I have heard very little about the New York Giants all weekend while watching it LIVE.

I really like the team taking a chance on a linebacker this late in the draft. Hitting this position twice just shows how serious the front office is about creating some competition during training camp in 2010. I’m extremely excited to see which player rises to the occasion and becomes the new middle linebacker on Big Blue. I am confident that the G-men have drafted no less then three future starters for the team.

What do you think about the New York Giants sixth round pick of LB Adrian Tracy? Check out his impressive combine workout on NFL.com before you make your decision.

RD – NYGreporter.com

PS – ESPN has cut to commercial on three different New York Giants draft picks. Roger Goodell needs to explore his options about who airs the NFL Draft from now on. I was mad enough in round two but you have got to be kidding me now? Really ESPN?


New York Giants Draft OG Mitch Petrus in Round 5

April 24, 2010

The New York Giants have selected OG Mitch Petrus from Arkansas with the 147th overall pick in round five. He is 6’3″ 310 pounds and athletic. Jerry Reese must have a crystal ball or lucky horseshoe on him at all times, because this guy knows how to draft football players. Besides surprising a lot of the Big Blue faithful with taking four straight defensive players, Jerry Reese has also won over the majority in his fourth straight year as the Giants GM. There is a future GM of the Year award in your future Jerry, leave an open space for it over the mantle. I love watching the methodical War Room do their thing. This is one big chess game and the Giants have been addressing areas of need with surgical precision. There has not been a dull moment once this year.

The Giants needed to grab an offensive lineman (Yes, I have been talking about it all weekend) and they pulled the trigger. They take an offensive guard in round five and inch closer to closing out the final day of the 2010 NFL Draft. I would not be surprised to see another offensive lineman taken or a cornerback. The Giants next draft pick is 184th overall in round six. There is no way to know what Jerry Reese is going to do. The man is in the zone this year and it’s a pleasure to watch it unfold. Welcome to New York Mitch!

What do you think about the New York Giants fifth round selection of OG Mitch Petrus? Here is a link to his CBS Sports player profile.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1116400?tag=DraftTrackerTableData;DraftTrackerTable147

RD – NYGReporter.com


New York Giants Draft LB Phillip Dillard in Round 4

April 24, 2010

As a special surprise to the New York faithful, former Giants TE Mark Bavaro announced the Giants fourth round pick, LB Phillip Dillard. He is 6’0″ 245 pounds and played the ILB position with Nebraska. The Giants continue their defensive assault by grabbing a fourth consecutive defensive player. This was certainly a need for the team and something I knew would come sooner or later. We will have to do a little homework on Dillard and see where this inside linebacker fits into the scheme. I’m more convinced the Giants will make the current LB’s fight it out in training camp for the starting role. It’s nice to see a new player thrown into the mix.

Jerry Reese is having an outstanding draft so far through four picks. This might actually be a record for the Giants though. I cannot remember them ever taking four defensive players in a row. It is clear that Jerry Reese wants new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to succeed. This is a wonderful example of a GM setting up his DC for success. Once again, Mr. Reese does not hesitate to attack a problem area and close the book on it. By Monday morning, Giants fans will have to nitpick at player depth at certain positions, because we all know that Jerry Reese has done everything he can do to improve this squad.

The Giants next pick in the fifth round at the 147th pick overall. I don’t see how Big Blue doesn’t go with an offensive lineman in round five. I have been saying this since round three though, so don’t mind me. I didn’t see them taking a DE in round one and it messed up the rest of my picks. With the remaining 3 picks, a CB is almost guaranteed for new DC Perry Fewell. Does that mean that the team will come away with only two offensive picks out of seven? Welcome to New York Phillip!

What do you think about the New York Giants selecting LB Phillip Dillard in the fourth round. Here is some video of him on the CBS Sports player profile.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/563119?tag=DraftTrackerTableData;DraftTrackerTable115

RD – NYGReporter.com


Welcome to the NYG Reporter!

March 6, 2010

This is a website for New York Giants fans and writers to come and discuss New York Giants football. There is nothing left out of the discussion here concerning the G-Men during the season and off season. We are looking to build a strong network of solid New York Giants writers.

We have been featured on CBS Sports, USA Today, Giants.com, Giants 101, SB Nation and bleacher report just to name a few. The goal was to create a stress free environment for Giants writers to come and share their thoughts and strategies, without feeling suffocated or pressured to constantly write new material for the site. All are welcome here, from the established and seasoned sports writer, to the beginner trying to make sense of it all. Welcome to the NYG Reporter!

This site was born on March 6, 2010. I hope you decide to check us out and stay a while!

Robert Domaine – nygreporter.com