Friday, August 22, 2014, 12:50pm
Will we see unproven wide receivers such as Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, who have been preseason stars, play with the first team at wide receiver? With first-rounder Odell Beckham Jr. still sidelined, the Giants are looking for answers on the outside. Not only could guys like Washington and Harris make the team with a strong showing, they could earn surprisingly large roles early in the season.
Friday, August 22, 2014, 12:37pm
The Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Tiquan Underwood to a two-year deal after losing their top four receivers from 2013. You don't do that unless you expect him to make the roster. As of now he's on the outside looking in. The top three are Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. If the season started today, because of his return duties, undrafted rookie Philly Brown would be the fourth. Brenton Bersin would be the fifth in the team activated five. Odds are Carolina won't keep more than six receivers on their 53-man roster. HC Ron Rivera continues to harp that he wants to see one or two outside the top three step up. Underwood is one of those because of his elite speed, something the top three don't have and another reason Brown's stock has risen. That the opponent is New England is a bit ironic because the Patriots released him the night before their Super Bowl loss to the Giants during the 2011 season. Rivera is going to give the young receivers more opportunities. If Underwood doesn't step up, he could be in danger of being cut for the ninth time in his career.
McFadden is one of the most fascinating players on the team. We all know what he has done and what he is capable of. Yes, his career has been adversely affected by injuries. He has missed at least three games in all six of his NFL seasons and a total of 29 games due to injury. HC Dennis Allen has raved about McFadden, who re-signed with the Raiders for one season in March, saying the player has been dynamic. If McFadden has a resurgence, the Raiders' offense could soar especially with Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield as well.
This is one of the more interesting RB battles in the league since both players are talented and the Raider running game was better-than-decent last year with Rashad Jennings toting the ball. We feel Jones-Drew has the ability and the durability to lead the backfield in touches, though it may be an ugly RBBC to start the season.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 10:35pm
In the highly competitive position battle at Giants place-kicker, incumbent Josh Brown took a step back Wednesday, missing a long field goal attempt on the last play of practice -- not the kind of taste you want to leave when you're trying to hold off a strong challenge from the very strong-legged Brandon McManus.
Colts RB Trent Richardson’s first run of the preseason was for 8 yards, giving the indication that good things were to come with him. But he gained only 26 yards since then. The New York Giants, according to HC Chuck Pagano, loaded up the box on more than 20 of the first 30 plays of their preseason game last weekend. Richardson’s two longest runs -- 8 yards each -- came with Andrew Luck in the shotgun. Richardson's running with better instincts. It's just not showing up in the results, which is the determining factor.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 3:04pm
In preparation for Friday night’s fourth preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, Giants QB Eli Manning did his damage inside the 20-yard line today in practice. The two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback threaded touchdown passes to wide receivers Marcus Harris, Rueben Randle and Corey Washington, in addition to tight end Adrien Robinson.
Manning has had a quiet preseason as he continues to learn Ben McAdoo's quick-hitting offense, but if things start to click, he should have a bounce-back season. We're not expecting fantasy QB1-type numbers, but he could certainly be useful in a QBBC/streaming strategy.
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham missed practice on Tuesday, keeping his string of not completing a full training camp practice alive.
After the session, Beckham and the Giants said that the wide receivers injured hamstring was sore but they insisted that he didn’t suffer a setback in his recovery from the initial injury. He has, however, been ruled out.
Beckham will have starter's snaps waiting for him if he can just get healthy and prove to the coaching staff that he's ready to handle the workload. Jerrel Jernigan has not been impressive in camp after a strong finish to the 2013 season.
Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham returned to practice last week after a lengthy absence caused by a hamstring injury and raised hopes that he’d be able to make his preseason debut against the Jets this weekend.
Those plans may need to be put on hold, however. Multiple people on the Giants beat report that Beckham is on the sideline doing individual rehab work with other injured players while the rest of the team goes through practice in full pads.
There’s no word on a specific issue for Beckham, who had to leave Monday’s practice early after pulling up at the end of a sprint. The Giants said that Beckham, who didn’t return to practice, was fine but it seems that being fine and being able to practice are mutually exclusive in this case.
HC Tom Coughlin denied he knew anything about Beckham's potential hamstring aggravation in a spiritual exchange with the media yesterday. It recently came out that Beckahm won't play in the team's preseason game against the Jets, which is a key contest considered the final tuneup before the regular season. Beckham was apparently kicked in the leg Monday and is sore, but the team feels like he was not re-injured.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 8:02pm
Any little hop, skip or jump that Giants first-round pick WR Odell Beckham takes these days draws attention, even if it's the slightest bit out of the ordinary. That's what happens when the No. 12 overall pick in the draft misses almost four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury, and remains limited at practice.
Beckham did not participate in 11-on-11 drills on Monday. When he did take the field during a live portion of practice (7-on-7), he caught a pass near the left sideline and burst upfield.
After running into a defender, the playmaking wide receiver did an awkward hop and jogged -- very slowly -- to the makeshift sideline in the middle of the field. He stood there the remainder of practice.
Beckham did not take another rep the rest of the afternoon. He stood on the sideline and (at times) flexed his leg. The Giants, however, insist he did not aggravate the hamstring.
The Giants offense already has enough issues so this is the last thing they need. HC Tom Coughlin denied any knowledge of the situation in a pretty awkward exchange with the media. We'll continue to follow the situation.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 11:49am
A wealth of new talent at wide receiver has been getting a good deal of the headlines at Bills training camp. Despite the addition of receivers like Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams along with the emergence of fellow second year WR Chris Hogan, Robert Woods is leading the team in receiving through the team’s first three preseason contests.
Simply put when it’s come to game time, Robert Woods has been at the forefront of the passing game. More importantly Woods’ consistency has earned the trust of QB EJ Manuel during some of the game’s most critical moments.
“It’s big,” said Woods. “Just trying to be consistent and make the most plays on the field when I have the opportunity to. There are catches here and there, but as a wide receiver I just want to keep making those plays all game. I’m just trying to show my consistency and show the coaches I can do that every down.”
The new talent has had a positive impact on the passing game. Woods, who started each of the 14 games he played in last year, has yet to start in any of the preseason games. Nevertheless he leads the team with 11 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the receiving corps. Not starting has not shaken Manuel’s confidence that Woods will be on the field with the rest of the first team when the games count.
Woods was dropped to the second team in a surprise move when the Bills played the Giants back on Hall of Fame weekend. He's continued with the second team as Mike Williams moved to the first team. Woods will likely still see time as a WR3, but with Watkins suffering a rib injury, that time could increase.
Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:43am
Giants TE Adrien Robinson said, “I’ve been waiting for a chance to make plays like that.’’ The Giants have been waiting for it, too. Saturday night, the third-year tight end finally showed some of the potential general manager Jerry Reese was talking about two years ago when he called Robinson “the JPP of tight ends.’’
With the Giants facing a fourth-and-16 situation, Robinson broke open down the middle of the field — he said it was “like the Red Sea’’ — and hauled in Ryan Nassib’s pass for a 26-yard gain. On the next play, Nassib again found Robinson, this time for 33 yards. They were the two most significant plays Robinson has made in a Giants uniform.
Granted this was late in the game against backups, but the Giants need someone to step up at the position and this could at least give Robinson a shot to compete with the first team. So far this preseason, the Giants offense has been non-existent and could possibly use a spark by Robinson.
Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:28am
Colts WR Hakeem Nicks, whose first August had fallen somewhere in the gulf that resides between “blah” and “meh,” caught plenty of attention on Saturday night with a five-catch, 53-yard performance in limited duty against his former team, the Giants. Now, Nicks is catching praise along with those passes.
It would have played out as six catches for 86 yards for Nicks, but a 36-yard gain was wiped off the board due to Nicks giving a wave to cornerback Trumaine McBride during the play.
Nicks was not impressive in camp to this point but it looks like things are picking up for the veteran. Earlier in camp, we learned from Colt beat writers that Nicks would be the team's WR3 and when he came in Reggie Wayne would move to the slot with T.Y. Hilton and Nicks on the outside. For now, his fantasy value is still a bit limited.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 9:11pm
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:56pm
So far, to this point in the preseason, Giants QB Eli Manning hasn't shown us much. The Giants have trotted him out to make some calls at the line of scrimmage and mostly hand or throw it to his running backs.
With left tackle Will Beatty back protecting Manning's blindside on Saturday night, there are no more excuses. The Giants have their projected starting offensive line protecting their starting quarterback. They can now open it up (a little bit) and show some of their new passing attack.
They don't need to display everything. Some of the innovative stuff can be saved for the regular season, but some of the basics (deep sideline and vertical routes) can be practiced in a live game setting against the Colts.
Of course, we'll be watching and breaking it all down, because that's what you do with a quarterback working in a new system. You look for hints of what is to come in the regular season.
Two specific areas pointed out in this article to watch for are Manning's downfield throws and communication with WR Rueben Randle. So far in two games Manning hasn't thrown more than 10 yards. Last year communication with Randle wasn't great and as recently as Thursday in practice it lead to another INT so it's still a work in progress.
Friday, August 15, 2014, 7:23pm
Giants RB Andre Williams, the 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist out of Boston College, has made quite a one-two punch with Rashad Jennings and is looking like he could be more than a fourth-round draft pick. Williams is averaging nearly six yards per rush with a long of 21 yards and a three-yard touchdown run in the Hall of Fame Game. “I think he’s running hard,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “He’s picked up the offense quickly for a rookie and understands all his routes and blocking assignments and run techniques.”
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