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#pounditSaturday, January 16, 2021

Articles tagged: New York Giants

Giants’ Sterling Shepard has great quote about rooting for Eagles

Sterling Shepard

The New York Giants have suddenly become huge Philadelphia Eagles fans, but wide receiver Sterling Shepard has made it clear he is not going to get carried away.

The Giants kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. In order to qualify for the postseason with their 6-10 record, New York needs the Eagles to beat Washington on “Sunday Night Football.” Shepard said after his team’s win that he’ll be rooting hard for Philly, but you won’t catch him wearing any Eagles swag.

“I won’t be caught dead in an #Eagles hat, but I’ll be at home rooting for them tonight with my family,” Shepard said, per Matt Lombardo of Fansided.

We’re sure the rest of the Giants feel similarly. It’s unnatural to root for a division rival, but the G-Men have no choice in this instance.

If the Eagles do win, the Giants would become the first ever 10-loss NFL team to make the playoffs. They may have gotten a big assist from Mike McCarthy to even be in this position, as the Cowboys coach made a crucial mistake in Sunday’s game.

Photo: Jeffrey Beal/Wikimedia via CC by S.A. 4.0

Giants fire OL coach amid rumor of fight with head coach Joe Judge

Joe Judge

The New York Giants made a surprising decision on Wednesday to fire offensive line coach Marc Colombo, and there are some wild rumors circulating about the circumstances surrounding his dismissal. The Giants say those rumors are completely unfounded.

After news surfaced that Colombo has been fired, Jason McIntyre of FOX Sports 1 said he was told Colombo and Giants head coach Joe Judge got into a fistfight on Wednesday morning. Colombo supposedly got the better of Judge and was fired on the spot.

Numerous NFL reporters and just about every Giants beat writer have shot down McIntyre’s report. According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Judge had recently taken on a more active role in trying to fix some of the team’s offensive line issues. The head coach also brought in his former colleague Dave DeGuglielmo as a consultant. Colombo was unhappy with the arrangement and had an argument with Judge, but it did not turn physical.

Despite numerous denials, McIntyre is standing by his source or sources.

Daniel Jones has taken 31 sacks this season, which is third-most in the NFL behind only Carson Wentz and Joe Burrow. The Giants need to get better with their pass protection, which is why Judge is trying to address the issues. Colombo coached an extremely successful offensive line with the Dallas Cowboys before following Jason Garrett to New York. It sounds like he took Judge’s recent moves personally.

We’ve seen flashes of Judge’s temper this season, like when he went off on officials in a recent game for picking up a pass interference flag. You can see that video here. Still, it would be a surprise if he and Colombo traded blows.

Giants reportedly bench Golden Tate due to ‘effort’ issues

Golden Tate

Golden Tate has been clashing with the New York Giants lately, and the team has taken yet another step to indicate just how far out of favor he has fallen.

According to Kim Jones and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Tate has not traveled with the Giants for Sunday’s game against Washington. A source cited “effort and performance” as the key reasons behind the decision.

Tate will be allowed to return to the team next week if things improve, according to the report.

The Tate drama has played itself out in public over the past week. Both Tate and his wife made clear their displeasure with his role in the offense last Monday, with Tate doing so through this celebration. The team took notice, and Tate was disciplined for that celebration. That seemed to be the end of it, but perhaps more took place behind closed doors during the week.

Tate has 22 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns this season. The Giants could potentially get out of the final two years of his four-year deal with minimal financial penalty after this season, and it seems increasingly likely that they might do that.

Giants discipline Golden Tate over touchdown celebration

Golden Tate

Golden Tate appears to be in the doghouse with the New York Giants.

Giants coach Joe Judge said Wednesday that Tate did not take part in the team’s walkthrough due to an internal matter, via Jordan Ranaan of ESPN. There was no reason given, but it was pretty clear in retrospect why the Giants were frustrated with the wide receiver.

Tate caught a touchdown pass Monday and used the moment to yell “throw me the ball!” at the camera. In addition, Tate’s wife ripped the Giants for his lack of targets in a post you can see here.

Naturally, teams don’t take too kindly to that sort of thing. Tate being held out of a walkthrough isn’t a huge punishment, but it definitely sends a message.

Tate has 22 catches and two touchdown receptions this season. He’s only been targeted six times in the past three games.

Golden Tate’s wife Elise rips Giants for not getting husband the ball

Golden Tate

The New York Giants did not make any moves at the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, and it’s safe to say that was a major disappointment for Golden Tate and his wife.

Tate has not taken on the type of role he envisioned for himself when he signed a four-year deal with the Giants prior to the 2019 season. After he caught a touchdown pass in Monday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the veteran receiver looked into the camera and said, “Throw me the ball!”

It seemed obvious that Tate was expressing frustration, but his wife Elise confirmed that in a social media rant. Mrs. Tate wrote on her Instagram story that Golden is constantly “WIDE OPEN” and needs to see more targets.

Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones has struggled for the Giants this season, which is one of the reasons Tate’s stats are not where they used to be. It’s a bit surprising that the Giants wouldn’t find a way to trade the disgruntled 32-year-old, though there may not have been any market for him.

You could argue that the Giants were robbed by a controversial call late in Monday’s game (video here), but that is a very small fraction of the problems they have had this season. Tate and his wife aren’t the only ones frustrated with how things are going in New York.

Referees change pass interference penalty on controversial Giants-Bucs 2-point conversion attempt

Antoine Winfield pass interference

The referees in the “Monday Night Football” between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers controversially changed their call on a 2-point conversion attempt late in Monday’s game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Giants scored on a touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to Golden Tate with 28 seconds left to make it 25-23. The Giants then attempted a 2-point conversion to try and tie the game at 25.

Jones threw a pass for Dion Lewis that was behind the back and fell incomplete after some contact from Antoine Winfield Jr.

The refs initially threw a flag for pass interference on Winfield, but they deliberated and later decided there was no pass interference.

The refs picking up the flag kept the score at 25-23 rather than give the Giants another shot at the tying 2-pointer. New York then attempted an onside kick that was recovered by the Bucs, who were able to run out the clock for a 25-23 win.

This was the second time in Week 8 we had a controversial pass interference question.

Did the refs make the right call in picking up the flag?

Jason Pierre-Paul issues warning to Daniel Jones, Giants

Jason Pierre-Paul

It has been well over two years now since the New York Giants traded Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the star pass-rusher remains as motivated as ever to show his former team that the deal was a mistake.

With the Bucs set to travel to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants on Monday night, Pierre-Paul told reporters on Friday that the “game definitely means something special to me.” He also noted how his former teammate, Eli Manning, is no longer New York’s quarterback. Pierre-Paul is not planning to show Daniel Jones any mercy.

“Eli’s not there no more, so I won’t have to pick him up and say ‘Eli, man, you good?’ I’m coming for their necks, man,” Pierre-Paul said, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. “They know that. Jason Pierre-Paul ain’t going nowhere. I’m going to Monday Night Football and going to destroy the Giants. That’s what I want to do as an individual. But I still have love for them.”

The Bucs have faced the Giants each of the past two seasons, but Pierre-Paul did not play in the game last year due to a neck injury. He says he was nowhere near full strength in the first matchup because he had multiple MCL injuries. He’s now “fully healed” and ready to show the Giants they never should have given up on him.

“You already know they made a mistake,” Pierre-Paul said. “When I left there, I got 12 1/2 (sacks) that year. When I came back from a broken neck, I got 8 1/2 that year. And I’m having an amazing season this year. It’s not that I’m trying to show them they made a mistake. It’s just a fact that I know I wasn’t washed up or finished up. So this (Monday), I have to show them. It’s my old team.”

Pierre-Paul has 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in seven games this season. His play is one of the main reasons the Bucs are 5-2, as their defense has been better than advertised while Tom Brady and the offense attract most of the headlines.

You can understand why Pierre-Paul is so fired up with the way he’s playing. Many believed he would never take the field again after he blew off part of his hand in a gruesome fireworks accident years ago. JPP then injured his neck in a car accident last year, though fortunately it was not as serious as it could have been. Every Sunday he’s on the field must feel like a treat, so those emotions are magnified when playing the team that traded him.

Giants bench No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas to start game

The New York Giants hoped to shore up their offensive line when they used the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft on Andrew Thomas, but they benched the former Georgia star to begin Sunday’s game against Washington.

Thomas was benched in favor of third-round pick Matt Peart. As ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan notes, Thomas did not play until the first snap of the second quarter. That could be an indication that the benching was for disciplinary reasons.

It’s unclear why Thomas didn’t get the start, but it would make no sense for the Giants to bench him for one quarter if they were unhappy with the way he has played.

Thomas locked up a starting role after Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season, but there was speculation that he might be able to take Solder’s job anyway. It will be interesting to see if the Giants reveal the reason for not playing him in the first quarter on Sunday.

Jalen Ramsey threw first punch with Golden Tate, Giants coach says

Jalen Ramsey

The NFL could hand down disciplinary action after Jalen Ramsey and Golden Tate got into a physical altercation on Sunday, but New York Giants head coach Joe Judge says his player was merely defending himself.

Judge told reporters on Monday that several players who witnessed the fight said Tate was defending himself after Ramsey threw a swing. The implication is that the Los Angeles Rams cornerback is the only one who threw a punch.

“Look, all I have to say is the account I got from a number of our players — there is a history obviously between them, and there was a punch thrown. Golden was defending himself,” Judge said, via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “I was told he wasn’t the one who threw the punch. And everybody involved was trying to break it up.”

The NFL, Giants and Rams are all looking into the incident, but Raanan reports that neither Tate nor Ramsey is expected to be suspended. Either player could be disciplined by his respective team even if the NFL does nothing, but Judge says he does not feel there is any need for the Giants to take action against Tate.

“Based on the information I was given and what I saw with my own eyes and what our players gave me, it didn’t sound like there was an immediate need for discipline,” Judge said. “But we’ll look into it if there is. Obviously we’ll always take care of our players.”

It was difficult to tell who started the fight, as players immediately gathered around to diffuse the situation. You can see a video of the scuffle here.

As Judge mentioned, there is a lot of history between the two players. Ramsey previously dated and had two kids with Tate’s sister Breanna. The two split last year, with reports indicating that Ramsey left her while she was pregnant.

Ramsey reportedly tried to confront Tate again outside the Giants’ locker room following the on-field altercation. That is something the NFL could take into consideration.

Tiki Barber highly critical of Saquon Barkley, says he ‘cannot pass protect’

Saquon Barkley

New York Giants fans are optimistic that Saquon Barkley will one day be considered the greatest running back in franchise history. The man who currently holds that title feels Barkley has an awful lot of work to do before he can even begin thinking about that.

During his CBS Sports Radio show Tuesday, Tiki Barber was highly critical of Barkley. The three-time Pro Bowler said Barkley may not even be an every-down back because he “cannot pass protect.”

“He cannot pass protect, and it’s starting to become glaring,” Barber said. “It’s probably the only issue he had to deal with coming into the NFL because he wasn’t asked to do it at Penn State. You see him diving on the ground, not sticking his head in people’s chests — it’s gonna be a liability. People see it now. It’s on tape and it’s gonna come out.”

Barkley is one of the stronger backs in the NFL, but Barber believes he is hesitant to hit people.

“Recognition is one (thing). And, two, you’ve gotta go hit a dude,” Barber said. “Saquon Barkley’s a big man. He doesn’t want to hit anybody. That’s frustrating to watch. I know he’s a great back, but he’s frustrating to watch trying to pass protect. … He’s a big back who wants to play small.”

The comments from Barber come on the heels of Barkley rushing for just six yards on 15 carries in Monday night’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former No. 2 overall pick eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his first two seasons, but many people are expecting him to explode in his third year.

Barber has shown in the past that he is not afraid to unload on star players. Perhaps his harsh analysis will serve as motivation for Barkley.