New York Giants’ players were shocked about the Marc Colombo firing

New York Giants, Marc Colombo

In the middle of the week, during the New York Giants’ bye week, Joe Judge’s team decided it was time to move on from offensive line coach Marc Colombo. When the news broke, it was a bit of a shock to the players in the locker room and players around the NFL.

The offensive line has been improving week after week during this season. Many players and coaches view Colombo as one of the league’s best offensive line coaches. It was not long until everyone found out what led up to the firing of Colombo.

Joe Judge spoke to the media

Judge finally spoke to the media about the Colombo firing. He decided to part ways with Colombo; it was the best for the Giants organization short term and long term.

“I spoke to the entire team last week. I spoke with the offensive line, I spoke with the captains, I spoke with people both individually and collectively based on the units,” Judge told reporters on Monday. “Again, we’re pretty transparent as an organization. If something happens with the team, we keep it in-house, but I speak very openly with the team about it.”

The Giants’ players have all bought into Judge as a head coach. The players were shocked, but at the end of the day, the player believes in what Judge has to do to keep the Giants’ culture.

What New York Giants’ players said to the media about the Colombo firing:

Evan Engram

“That entire situation is definitely above my pay grade,” tight end Evan Engram said. “As a player and as a team, we know that with Coach Judge, every decision he makes is in the best interest of the team. I know me personally and a lot of guys loved working with Coach Colombo and obviously wish him the best. But like I said, that’s the thing with Coach Judge. His best interest is always with the team.”

Leonard Williams

“Judge’s style of coaching is good for players who want to win and want to play hard, practice hard, and understand that your practice is reflective of how you play. Guys that are willing to buy into a program are going to do great under a system like that,” defensive end Leonard Williams stated.

“There’s obviously some guys who are a little bit harder to coach and a little bit harder to get to buy into systems. They might be a little bit harder to fall into line. At the same time, when you’re a part of this team, you kind of feel the atmosphere of everyone buying in. Even those guys that are a little bit harder to coach, once they see the rest of their teammates buying in, they will come along eventually, too. I think it’s a great way, the way we practice. I think it shows we have a tough team. I feel like after losses or wins we go right back to work. I think it’s a hard-hat type of team that wants to work and grind,” Williams added.

An outsider looking in, Colombo did not buy into Judge. He was an outlier. Judge wants players, coaches, trainers, everyone to be on the same wavelength. Judge wants everyone to buy into the Giants’ culture, and from what it sounds like, it’s either Judge’s way or the highway!

New York Giants: Leonard Williams playing at Pro Bowl level in 2020

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants are trending upward after a shaky start to the 2020 NFL season. New York has won three of its last five games, led by its stout defense that ranks tied-eleventh in the NFL in total sacks (25). Patrick Graham and the Giants’ defense has been a consistent strong point for the team this season.

One of the reasons for the Giants’ defensive success has been their defensive line. New York possesses one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL. Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, and Leonard Williams make up a beastly front trio for the Giants’ defense.

This year, though, the Giants have had one of their defensive linemen emerge and establish himself as one of the best in the game. Leonard Williams has had a breakout season in his second year with the New York Giants and is playing at a Pro Bowl level.

Leonard Williams Stats and Highlights

Former New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be playing his way to his second career Pro Bowl appearance. Of course, the Pro Bowl is happening in some virtual format this year, but players will still be honored for their special seasons by being selected to Pro Bowl teams.

In 2016, Leonard Williams made the Pro Bowl as a member of the New York Jets. This was Williams’s second season in the NFL. That season, Williams recorded 7 total sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 19 quarterback hits. Williams is on pace to beat each one of those marks this season.

Through 10 games in 2020, Williams already has 5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and 16 quarterback hits on the season. Williams is on pace to crush his career-high statistics this year. He has had an absolute breakout season in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme after a highly-disappointing 2019 season.

Last year, Williams was only able to manage 0.5 sack on the season. He failed to get home and bring down opposing quarterbacks, despite generating a high number of pressures. This year, though, Williams has turned those pressures into sacks at a higher rate and the Giants’ defense has benefited from this.

This will be a career year for Leonard Williams if he continues to play at this level. Playing on a franchise tag this season, Williams is in line for a lucrative contract extension this upcoming offseason. He seems to have earned one so far this season.

New York Giants: 3 players on defense who have surprised in 2020

New York Giants, Blake Martinez, James Bradberry

The New York Giants are entering their bye week with back to back wins against division opponents. The Giants are sitting at a 3-7 record, that might not sound the best, but the Giants are just a half-game back from first place in the division. In the last few weeks, the Giants have made some drastic improvements.

There is a lot to like about the Giants this season. The coaching for the G-MEN has been impressive, to say the least. We can give all the credit to the coaches, the players are going on the field and playing every week.

Three New York Giants players who have played above their weight-class:

James Bradberry

James Bradberry has been a solid cornerback throughout his career but would not consider him elite until his first season with the New York Giants.

With his first season with the Giants, Bradberry just isn’t one of the best cornerbacks in the NFC East, he is one of the best cornerbacks in the entire NFL. Through 10 weeks, Bradberry leads the NFL with 14 passes defended and three interceptions.

Dave Gettleman was the former general manager of the Carolina Panthers. Gettleman drafted Bradberry back in 2016 in the second round. Once Bradberry hit free agency this past offseason, Gettleman jumped all over him. Bradberry received a three-year deal, worth $43.5 million. What a massive signing by Gettleman this past offseason.

Blake Martinez

Blake Martinez was a tackling machine in Green Bay for years but never brought much else to the table. The Packers couldn’t have been more wrong.

Martinez is tied for the most tackles in the NFL through 10 weeks, but he has done much more for the Giants than that. Martinez has provided a rock in the middle of the defense and being the vocal leader of this Giants’ defense. This is what the Giants needed on the defensive side of the ball.

Dave Gettleman again made another great signing this past offseason. Gettleman signed Martinez to a three-year deal, just like he did to Bradberry. Martinez’s deal is worth $30 million over three-years. This Giants defense has found their leader for years to come.

Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams was a Pro Bowler his rookie season in the NFL but after that season never played up to his expectations. Why would Dave Gettleman give up a third-round and fifth-round pick for an average defensive lineman?

Williams was the final piece to the puzzle for this Giants defensive line. The Giants now have Williams, Dexter Lawerance, and Dalvin Tomlinson are the starters, with B.J. Hill getting solid playing time coming off the bench.

The Giants were not able to sign Williams to a long-term extension and were forced to give him the franchise tag. Williams’ franchise tag is worth $16.1 million.

Whatever your feelings about the trade for Williams, you can not deny that he has been one of the best players on this entire Giants team. Williams is playing as he did back in his rookie season. He is finally becoming that all-around playmaker Gettleman traded for in 2019. Williams currently is leading the Giants in sacks with five, tackles for loss with eight, and quarterback hits with 17.

Three reasons the New York Giants can get win number three on Sunday

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman

The New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, and they have a chance to win back to back games for the first time this season. The team followed up their first win of the season with close back to back losses to Philadelphia and Tampa – now, they’ll have a chance to change that track record and get revenge for their bad loss in Philly.

But why should we be confident the Giants will pull this one out?

Daniel Jones cutting down on turnovers

The most recent game for the Giants was the first one this season where Daniel Jones had one or more touchdowns and no interceptions. He also didn’t lose a fumble, getting him out of the game with no turnovers. Turnovers have been a big problem for Jones this season and have earned him plenty of criticism from fans.

During the team’s back to back losses picked up following their first win of the season, Jones threw three interceptions and lost one fumble. Taking more care of the ball is a different trend from the rest of the season, as Jones already has nine interceptions right now. If he can keep up the safer decision making, the Giants have a better chance of winning this one.

The Giants came close last time

The Giants should have won their first meeting with the Eagles. That’s not a biased statement, but the truth. The Giants only had to run the clock out and they would have walked away with a victory. However, the now infamous drop from Evan Engram cost the team a first down and the game ended as an unexpected loss.

These types of weird situations usually don’t happen twice. No one in the NFC East is a very good team this year and the Eagles should still be a beatable team. The Giants did alright the first time around when they played the Eagles. They made plays on offense just at the right time, and would have produced just enough to come away with a win if it wasn’t for the late drop that gave the Eagles another possession.

This time, the Giants might know better than sending the ball Evan Engram’s way if the team is in trouble late in the game.

High performance defense

Several defensive players for the Giants have stepped it up this season. One of them, linebacker Blake Martinez, is leading the league in tackles right now. Martinez has 92 tackles right now, an impressive accomplishment for a player that was considered a castoff from Green Bay and who faced skepticism after signing his deal with the Giants. Martinez had a big contribution to the Giants’ second win, with 10 tackles as well as an interception.

Another player stepping it up is Leonard Williams. He’s had sacks in back to back games and has had five so far this season. That’s a pretty big step up from his poor statistics last season after joining the Giants, and Williams has justified the team’s decision to keep him around for another year.

James Bradberry has taken up the top cornerback mantle from Janoris Jenkins and done good things in the role. He has 3 interceptions so far which ties him for 5th in the league and will likely be a factor in Giants wins going forward.

Can the Giants pull it off?

The Eagles barely managed a win in the first meeting between these two teams. That was with a home crowd at their backs and the advantage of facing a first time head coach with a new administration. This time, the Giants have a bit more familiarity with their opponent and experience crafting a game plan to face the Eagles. Daniel Jones also did better last time out avoiding turnovers and the top performers on defense haven’t let up in their performances.

There’s no guarantee that anyone will win any game in the NFC East this year, but it’s safe to say the Giants at least have a good chance to beat the Eagles and pick up their third win of the season on Sunday.

Two New York Giants defenders playing with elite numbers

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants have had a rocky start this season but picked up their second win when they defeated Washington on the road on Sunday. It’s the second time the Giants have beaten Washington this year and while they were only able to pull out a narrow win of three points, there’s reasons to think the result signals good things for the future.

Daniel Jones had a game without an interception, after a week where he was heavily criticized for his turnovers, and the Giants were able to get the running game going better than in some of their previous outings. However, many of the real top performers for the Giants are on their defense this season.

Two elite players for the Giants defense

It’s been a while since the Giants have had a star linebacker but it’s safe to say they have one now in Blake Martinez, who leads the league in tackles. He also has six tackles for a loss, which is more than his direct competitors for the leading tackler spot.

Martinez registered 155 tackles during his last season with Green Bay and it looks likely that he’ll break that mark by the end of this season given his current pace. It’s also worth giving some credit to the coaching staff. After all, this is a step up from Martinez’s performance in Green Bay and some fans were skeptical at first over whether he deserved the money. The staff likely had some role to play in the raise in performance.

Leonard Williams is another player that has picked up his performance this season, with 5 sacks so far. It puts him in the top 20 for the NFL’s pass rushers this season. The number may improve further based on what we’ve seen from Williams so far.

If these two players hadn’t stepped it up this season, it would have certainly reflected badly on GM Dave Gettleman and would likely have a negative impact on Gettleman’s job status with the team. But with these two additions becoming key members of the team, the Giants front office is faced with more complex and less clear decisions once we approach the offseason.

Leonard Williams New York Giants’ highest-graded player, according to PFF

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants‘ defense has far outplayed the offense so far this season. The Giants are a putrid 1-7, but they have lost their last four games by a total of 7 points. New York is keeping games close, but their offense has not been getting the job done in crunch time.

Patrick Graham’s defense is allowing only 24.9 points per game and 354.8 yards per game. New additions Blake Martinez and James Bradberry have been big difference-makers in the Giants’ new defensive scheme. But so far, the best player on the Giants’ defense, according to Pro Football Focus, has been a familiar and controversial face: Leonard Williams.

The New York Giants acquired Leonard Williams via trade last October for a third-round and a fifth-round draft picks. This move was heavily criticized as the Giants made this trade while out of the playoff race. Williams was also an impending free agent, making this trade feel like a win-now move when most fans felt the Giants should be rebuilding.

To make matters worse, the Giants and Williams were unable to come to an agreement on a long-term contract in the offseason. New York placed the franchise tag on Leonard Williams. This gave Leonard, essentially, one year to prove that he deserves a lucrative contract extension. So far, he has proven that he does indeed deserve to be locked up long-term.

Leonard Williams Stats and Highlights

Leonard Williams has performed as one of the NFL’s best interior defensive linemen in 2020. Williams has earned an 80.3 overall Pro Football Focus grade at the midpoint of this season, the highest grade on the Giants. Through 8 weeks, Williams has racked up 24 total pressures, tied for the seventh-most of all interior defensive linemen. But Williams has also been stout against the run, posting an 80.8 run defense grade, the fourth-best in the NFL at his position.

Leonard Williams has definitely improved his pass-rushing this season. Last year, Williams received plenty of criticism for totaling just 0.5 sack in 2019. Through 8 games, Williams has already blown that number out of the water, gaining 4 quarterback sacks so far this season. “Big Cat” also has 29 combined tackles and 9 quarterback hits this year.

Fans were highly critical of Dave Gettleman for making this trade last season. While fans will continue to criticize the general manager (whose seat is flaming hot at the moment), they are unlikely to criticize Leonard Williams anymore. Leonard has been excellent for the New York Giants and seems to slowly be turning into a fan favorite. The Giants should make a it a top priority to extend Leonard Williams this offseason.

The New York Giants need to be sellers at the trade deadline and nothing else

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the New York Giants find themselves in an interesting dilemma.

They aren’t a playoff-caliber team, not by a long shot, and yet they are still firmly in the race for the NFC East division title despite sitting at 1-5 on the season. Coming off a close win against the Washington Football Team last week, if the Giants win their second divisional game in a row Thursday night against the Eagles, they would be tied for first place in the division.

Getting a win on Thursday, however, could be potentially dangerous for the Giants. Not to say winning is bad, but the Giants being right in the thick of the NFC East race might prompt general manager Dave Gettleman to try and make a move to acquire a player at the trade deadline in an effort to win the division. That is the opposite of what the Giants should be doing, as they are a rebuilding team who needs to acquire more draft capital by giving away players, not the other way around.

Gettleman is widely expected to be let go after the season, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, and this could force him to go into desperation mode at the deadline. But, the reality is this team is nowhere near in position to be giving up more draft picks and future assets because they aren’t a win-now team, no matter where they are in the divisional standings.

The Giants only have five picks in the 2021 NFL Draft as is, after giving up a 5th in the Leonard Williams trade last year and a 7th for cornerback Isaac Yiadom right before the season started. The last thing they can afford is having even less draft picks to work with for this draft and potentially beyond, especially if there’s going to be a new general manager calling the shots.

There have been some players around the league rumored to be potential trade targets who could help the Giants, such as Cincinnati Bengals speedy wide receiver John Ross. The former first-round pick could provide a much-needed boost for the Giants lackluster passing game and give Jason Garrett an intriguing down-field threat to work with.

But, no matter who may be available via trade, the Giants need to resist the temptation and look at the big picture. Making a move at the deadline that would possibly help the team in the short-term would handicap them in the long-term, and that’s what this team should be focusing on. Is it really worth it for the Giants bring in a player who gets them to maybe 6-7 wins at best and buys them a first-round exit in the playoffs? Not only that but by winning the division, the Giants would have a late first-round pick and miss out on a lot of the top draft prospects, which would be a nightmare scenario.

The Giants need to be looking at players on their roster who they can potentially move for any semblance of value. Some possible options include wide receivers Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard, and outside linebacker Markus Golden. If they can draft picks for any one of those players, they need to pull the trigger and stock up for the future.

With Gettleman seemingly on his way out, Joe Judge and the Giants need to stop Gettleman from giving in and making another Leonard Williams-type trade in a last-ditch effort to try and save his job. This team needs to be focusing on building for the future, getting any value they can for expendable players who aren’t part of the long-term plan, and developing the young players they have on the roster currently.

Therefore, the Giants need to be sellers this trade deadline rather than buyers because the only thing they would be buying themselves is another ticket on the same carousel they’ve been riding since 2011.

New York Giants still confident that team is ‘right there’ after blowout loss

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

If there’s one loss that puts Dave Gettleman’s job in doubt, it’s this one. The New York Giants took on the 49ers who were missing plenty of players due to injury, and they were still dealt a blowout defeat. The Giants had their own injuries, sure. Saquon Barkley is out for the season and Daniel Jones had more rushing yards than his replacement. But few expected the final score to be as lopsided as it was.

Nor did they expect the Giants to have as bad a second half as they did. They only scored 3 points in the second half and none of the Giants’ running backs had more than 10 rushing yards. A performance like this gives something for detractors of Gettleman to point to. It’s an example of the team at its worst, during a year where Gettleman appears to be on his last chance.

But it’s still the same narratives from the players. Specifically, the idea that the Giants are close to fixing their problems and they just need a little more time. That they’re one step away from getting better.

Leonard Williams claims Giants are right on the edge of success

“I do think we do have a really good team and a tough team, and I never see any quit in this team. I believe that we’re right there and we just need to fix a few pieces and a few little gaps here and there and stop beating ourselves,” Leonard Williams spoke after the game. “It’s already hard to beat a team and it’s going to be harder when we’re making mistakes on ourselves as well, so I just think that we need to overcome a few of those mistakes that we’ve been making and just keep playing hard.”

The Giants have been trying to stop beating themselves for years. That narrative can only stick around for so long before no one believes it anymore. The team is in their first year under a new head coach, but perhaps more change is needed. If only because changing the head coach wasn’t enough.

It might be too late to bounce back much this season, but a loss like this and an 0-3 start may show that it’s time for the team to clean house in the entire organization… Not just within the coaching staff.

The optimism of the players on the field probably doesn’t come from an intentionally misleading place. All players in the NFL are confident in their skills, after all. But there’s a point when only the most diehard optimists can believe the team is really one step away from improving. This might be that point for the Giants.

Joe Judge and the New York Giants respond to embarrassing loss to the 49ers

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants suffered an embarrassing loss today to the San Fransisco 49ers. The 49ers, starting backup and reserve players all over, blew the Giants out 36-9 as New York’s offense never ran a single play in the red zone.

Head coach Joe Judge met with the media forty-five minutes after the game concluded. Presumably, Judge was chewing into his players after a pathetic Week Three performance that saw the team drop to 0-3, once again.

Joe Judge On The Plan Going Forward

The Giants have yet to stumble into a victory in 2020. New York’s 27-point defeat has left fans disappointed and uncertain about the team’s future. For Joe Judge, it is all about “day-to-day improvement.” Judge recognizes a “tough opponent” is once again on the Giants’ schedule entering Week Four, and the Giants need to be better than they were this week.

We’re not looking for excuses, not pointing fingers, not looking for shortcuts. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we will put a product on the field people of this area can be proud of. We’ll be working our butt off to improve the product going forward. – Joe Judge via Matt Lombardo

Judge and the Giants are making no excuses. He is holding himself and his team accountable and hoping to improve for the future. Judge plans to “go out there day by day and piece by piece to put this together.”

Leonard Williams

The Giants’ defense struggled to get off the field on third down all game. When asked about this Leonard Williams did not point any fingers, but noted that he needs to get to the quarterback faster and the team as a whole needs to do better.

Per Jordan Raanan, Leonard Williams stated that he thinks the Giants are “right there” and that they need to fix a few “small” errors/mistakes in order to turn things around.

Blake Martinez

Giants linebacker Blake Martinez also mentioned the small little things in his postgame press conference. He suspects they will “show up on the tape,” as does Joe Judge. However, many fans will likely agree that the tape is not needed to identify many of these mistakes.

Daniel Jones

In the first quarter, the Giants made a crucial mistake, turning the ball over on a pitch play to Evan Engram. Jones took the blame for this, stating that it was “just a poor pitch.” Jones and the Giants worked on that play all week in practice.

He also took accountability for his second turnover in the game. Jones conceded that his interception to Evan Engram in the second quarter was a “poor decision.”

Jones and the Giants are “disappointed” but their confidence has not wavered. The Giants must “take [the loss] and learn from it.” Moving forward, the Giants will continue to work hard and prepare for Week Four. Jones said “nothing” will change that. The Giants will try to “not let this situation define” them.

New York Giants: Silver Linings From Week One vs Pittsburgh

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants suffered a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. After getting off to a good start, the Giants squandered their lead and ultimately lost the game by two possessions. The final score was 26-16.

Despite this loss, there was plenty to like about the Giants’ performance in Week One. Some Solid performances on both sides of the football can encourage Giants fans heading into the second week of the season.

The Silver Linings

Daniel Jones

The Giants’ second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones, played a great game on Monday night. However, he did turn the ball over twice, and it cost the Giants big-time. But outside of those two turnovers, Jones was impressive as can be in Week One.

The Steelers possess one of the best defenses in the NFL. Their run-defense and pass-rush were elite last night. The Steelers held Saquon Barkley to 6 rushing yards and pressured Daniel Jones on 26 of his passing attempts. Jones was pressured 6 times more than any other quarterback in the NFL in Week One.

Despite having pressure in his face constantly, and despite not having a solid run game to rely on, Daniel Jones stood in the pocket and made some of the best throws of his career. Jones totaled 279 yards and 2 touchdown passes on 26 attempts.

Jones was particularly good when targeting the middle of the field. When targeting the middle, Jones completed 13 of his 15 passing attempts for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones was also superb on third down and carried the Giants’ offense at times. If Jones can continue to play at this level while keeping the turnovers down and receiving more help from his offensive line, 2020 could be the year Jones establishes himself as a franchise quarterback.

The Front Seven

The Giants enjoyed multiple impressive performances in their front seven. No one was more impressive than newly-signed inside linebacker Blake Martinez. Martinez recorded 11 tackles (tied for the most of all linebackers in Week One) en route to an 83.9 overall grade by Pro Football Focus. Blake Martinez played like one of the best linebackers in the NFL in Week One.

Lorenzo Carter also had one of the best games of his career on Monday night. Carter recorded 3 pressures, nearly had a sack, and earned an 81.5 overall PFF grade this week. His 3 pressures were tied for the team lead along with Leonard Williams, another player who had an impressive performance.

Leonard Williams recorded a sack and 3 pressures in Week One. Another interior defensive lineman also recorded a sack, though. Dexter Lawrence, the big hog molly out of Clemson started his second season off on the right track, earning a sack in an impressive performance.

The Giants’ defense was most impressive in Week One. The front seven was excellent, seeing multiple players have some of the best individual performances of their careers. This was especially important as the defensive secondary struggled to contain Ben Roethlisberger and his playmakers. The Giants will want to see their front seven build off of an impressive performance in Week Two, while also hoping to see some improvement from their young and inexperienced secondary.