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New York Giants 53-man roster: Giants keep 4 QBs on initial roster

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The New York Giants initial 53-man roster http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/aldrick-rosas-jersey , one which could begin changing as soon as the waiver claiming period ends at noon on Sunday, is full of surprises. Including the fact that, for now, the Giants are keeping four quarterbacks.Let’s start with this from my Saturday afternoon Twitter mentions.Yes, umm, yes it does. Andrew Adams and Darian Thompson are out at safety. Chris Lewis-Harris, Leonard Johnson and Grant Haley are out at cornerback. Mark Herzlich, after years of seeming to hang on to his Giants career by a fingernail, is out. Roger Lewis Jr., whom we have been telling you for months was in trouble, is out. Giants roster cuts 2018: S Darian Thompson waived/injuredGiants roster cuts 2018: Linebacker Mark Herzlich reportedly releasedGiants roster cuts 2018: DL A.J. Francis among notable cutsGiants roster cuts 2018: Kalif Raymond out, Hunter Sharp likely punt returnerGiants roster cuts 2018: WR Roger Lewis, S Andrew Adams released“As I’ve said, I feel like we’re on the right track,” coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement released by the team. “We had a competitive training camp that forced us to make some tough decisions. We will continue to look to improve the roster in any way we can.“This day is never easy because you are dealing with people who have made a commitment to your program, and while we all understand the reality of the business we’re in, it doesn’t make it any easier. “When we started camp, I told the players that my hope for all of them is that if they don’t make our roster, I want them to make somebody else’s. So that’s my desire for the men we parted ways with today.”The Giants surprisingly kept all three backups for Eli Manning — Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta and veteran Alex Tanney.Four undrafted rookies and first-year players (center Evan Brown, safety Sean Chandler, linebacker Tae Davis, and running back Robert Martin), plus defensive tackle Josh Banks, a second-year pro who was signed as a rookie free agent in 2017 and spent the entire season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.The Giants can begin assembling a 10-man practice squad once at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, an hour after the waiver period expires.Let’s go through the full 53-man roster and offer some initial thoughts.OffenseQuarterback (4) — Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta, Alex TanneyValentine’s View: Quarterback intrigue marked the final half-hour or so before the 4 p.m. roster deadline. There had been speculation all day that the Giants might be trying to get something in exchange for Tanney. As the deadline approached, there was speculation that the Giants were working the phones trying to find a taker for one of their young quarterbacks, probably Webb.Even though Webb has been the No. 2 quarterback throughout camp, he wasn’t drafted by Shurmur and Dave Gettleman. He may also have more value than Lauletta right now because he is a second-year player. The roster will continue to evolve, and I can’t imagine that the Giants will keep four quarterbacks long-term. Something is going to give there.Running back (5) — Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Jonathan Stewart, Shane Smith, Robert MartinValentine’s View: For weeks we have been wondering if one of the Giants’ young running backs, probably former Rutgers Scarlet Knight Robert Martin, could play well enough to force the Giants to keep an additional running back. Turns out, that is exactly what happened. We had always wondered if the Giants would keep fullback Shane Smith. They did.Tight end (4) — Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams, Scott SimonsonValentine’s View: In my final 53-man roster projection I had Simonson making the cut. It makes sense purely because the Giants will be relying heavily on two-tight end sets in their offense. They are built to try to run, to try and control the clock with the run and the short passing game, then look for the home run ball. Simonson is a blocking tight end who might help them there.Wide receiver (5) — Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/will-hernandez-jersey , Russell Shepard, Hunter SharpValentine’s View: What happened here is precisely what we thought was going to happen. Russell Shepard made the roster because of his ability to help on special teams and as a receiver. Roger Lewis Jr., obviously not a favorite of the new Giants regime, has been cut. Hunter Sharp won the competition with Kalif Raymond to be a return man/reserve wide receiver.Offensive line (9) — Starters: Nate Solder (LT), Will Hernandez (LG), Jon Halapio (C), Patrick Omameh (RG), Ereck Flowers (RT); Reserves: John Greco, Chad Wheeler, John Jerry, C Evan BrownValentine’s View: I figured nine offensive linemen were going to make the roster. I just didn’t figure Brown, the undrafted rookie free agent center from SMU, was going to be the ninth. After the trade of Brett Jones, though, it is logical because Brown is a pure center and the veteran Greco is a guard who can play center. I still believe this is an area where the Giants could look to free agency or the waiver wire in hopes of finding a veteran swing tackle. One of these backups, probably either Brown or Greco, might not be on the roster for long.DefenseDefensive line (5) — Starters: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill; Reserves: Kerry Wynn, Josh BanksValentine’s View: Stunning. The addition of Banks to the roster rather than veteran defensive tackles A.J. Francis and Robert Thomas, both of whom I had making the roster, is one that came out of nowhere. I figured the Giants might choose between Francis and Thomas, but not cut both. And keeping Banks, a player who drew little attention during training camp or the preseason? Not sure anyone, including Banks, saw that coming. But, hey, having a guy on the roster with the last name Banks can’t be a bad thing, right?Linebackers (9) — Starters: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Olivier Vernon, Kareem Martin; Reserves: Lorenzo Carter, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Connor Barwin, Tae Davis, Romeo OkwaraValentine’s View: Mark Herzlich’s surprisingly long run with the Giants is over. Calvin Munson is gone after a season. Not a real shock that Okwara made the roster. Shurmur has been praising him recently, and with Vernon’s status uncertain due to his ankle injury, Okwara could give them some pass rush presence. Davis played well in the preseason finale against the New England Patriots, but his addition to the roster is another of Saturday’s many surprises.Cornerbacks (4) — Starters: Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple; Reserves: B.W. Webb, Donte Deayon, Valentine’s View: Whoa! You had the feeling all along that the Giants would be searching the waiver wire for help at corner, but I didn’t think the moves would be this extensive. Chris Lewis-Harris had seemed to play his way into a spot, but the Giants thought otherwise. They also moved on from veteran Leonard Johnson and undrafted rookie Grant Haley. I have to think Haley lands on the practice squad. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants use their No. 2 waiver wire priority to add to this position.Safeties (5) — Starters: Landon Collins, Curtis Riley; Reserves: Michael Thomas, William Gay, Sean ChandlerValentine’s View: More big changes. Darian Thompson waived/injured and Andrew Adams also sent packing. The Giants chose to keep the 33-year-old Gay and the undrafted rookie Chandler. They know what they are looking for http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/b.j.-goodson-jersey , and the skill sets of Thompson and Adams weren’t it. This is what happens when you go 3-13 and change regimes. I’m not sure I fully agree with cutting Adams, but he wasn’t James Bettcher’s cup of team and that’s that.Special teamsPlacekicker — Aldrick RosasPunter — Riley DixonLong-snapper — Zak DeOssieValentine’s View: No surprises. Rosas earned the placekicking job. I believe, though, that he will be on a short leash. Early struggles could send the Giants looking for a veteran upgrade. The second half of the season is going to be an important one for the New York Giants. They’re not pushing for a playoff spot, but these next eight games will help give a glimpse into what the Giants have heading into the 2019 season. While the defensive side of the ball will have a focus on what players will be there next year, the offense has the players (for the most part) and needs to focus on how to use the talent at hand better than it has been during the 1-7 start. Let’s look at some steps the Giants can take to get the offense on track in the second half.Figure out the offensive lineThere’s no other place an offensive breakdown can start than where the offense most often breaks down. The left side of the offensive line has not and likely will not change. Nate Solder is financially locked in as the left tackle and Will Hernandez is the legitimate bright spot on the line. Outside of those two spots, though, nothing has been good or consistent. Ereck Flowers was benched. Patrick Omameh was benched. Jon Greco might be on his way back to the bench.The Giants claimed guard Jamon Brown off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams last week. Brown is just 25 years old and started all 16 games from the Rams in 2017, but a suspension to start the season and good play from fill-in Austin Blythe made Brown expendable. Last season Brown played the most snaps (1,077), had the second-fewest blown blocks (18, three behind Andrew Whitworth’s 15 on 155 more snaps), and allowed just one sack, per the Football Outsiders Almanac. He might be in line to start for the Giants as early as Monday night against the 49ers. If that’s the case, it will be the the fourth different starting combination the Giants have used this season. It will also have three different starters than the Week 1 lineup. For a unit where continuity and communication are important, that’s not great turnover to have.2018 Giants OL startersWeekLTLGCRGRTWeekLTLGCRGRTBrown is on the last year of his rookie deal, so if he does play well and the Giants want to keep him, they’ll have to re-sign him. If that’s not the case, the Giants might still be looking for three new starters on the offensive line come the offseason. That won’t be an easier task than it was this past offseason.Any complaints about the running game also fall into this category.Get in motion, pick up the paceLast season with the Minnesota Vikings, Pat Shurmur used pre-snap motion to create mismatches with the defense. This season, that’s gone away. Per Sports Info Solutions charting, the Giants use pre-snap motion on the ninth-lowest percentage of plays in the league.But they also have the sixth-biggest difference between yards per play with motion and yards per play without it. This should be an easy element to add to the offense since it’s something they have used at times already and it’s something Shurmur used way more often in his last stop.If the Giants aren’t going to use motion to make defenses uncomfortable, then maybe they can start to use pace. As it stands right now, the Giants are one of the slowest teams in the league when it comes to the pace of the offense, per Football Outsiders. On situation neutral plays — basically non-garbage time — the Giants run the 28th quickest offense in the league. At any point in the game when the score is within six points either way, the Giants are the 32nd-fastest offense.When the deficit gets to seven points or more, the Giants turn into the league’s fifth-fastest offense and that is when the unit has been the most dangerous and done its most damage. Since the Giants don’t change personnel as much as expected, getting to the line quicker and using pace to create mismatches for the likes of Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley would help.The Giants don’t have to turn into the Chip Kelly Eagles (though, Shurmur was that team’s offensive coordinator), but a combination of limited misdirection, whether it be play-action or pre-snap motion, and a slow pace is the exact opposite of what’s happening with the evolution of modern offenses.Reinvent the wheelSaquon Barkley’s role in the passing game has been underwhelming at best over the first half of the season. He’s still been more productive as a receiver than a runner (minus-3.78 Expected Points Added on the ground and 13.1 EPA on pass targets), but his receiving production could be even better. He’s consistently targeted as a check down option and only recently has he gotten more work past the line of scrimmage.The easiest way to get Barkley involved past the line of scrimmage and limit the time needed to pass block is the wheel route. By EPA, the wheel route is one of the most efficient routes in football and when done correctly out of the backfield it sets the running back up with a matchup that’s nearly impossible for the defense to win.What makes the wheel route so hard to defend is that the defense usually has a linebacker on the running back when it’s man coverage. The route starts like it’s going to be a flat route, which gets the opposing defender moving horizontally, and then the running back turns up the field. There aren’t going to be many linebackers who can go from lateral movement to chasing a back on a vertical route. There are fewer who would be able to keep up with an athlete like Barkley.On this play, the Rams used it inside the 10-yard line and got Todd Gurley on linebacker Anthony Barr. When Gurley got out of the backfield, Barr had to stop and try to read Gurley’s break, but there was none and Gurley was able to run past him up the seam for an easy touchdown.The wheel can work on its own at any part of the field, but it can be opened up even more when there’s a route combination with it from the receiver on the same side. Typically that’s a slant or hitch that creates a natural pick that adds an extra element the defender needs to get through on his path to the running back. The Carolina Panthers used this on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Devin Funchess ran a quick slant and turned to get in the way of the linebacker while Christian McCaffrey ran an uncontested wheel out of the same side and had a clear path to the end zone.Opposing defenses against the Giants will already be focused on the slant potential from Odell Beckham, so adding a layer to that with a Barkley wheel outside of it creates a dangerous combination that shouldn’t be able to be defended. On this note, the Giants should use more combinations with Beckham and Barkley on the same side of the formation, wheel or not.Getting Barkley more efficient targets will help open up the passing game for others (more than a good running game would). The ability to gain yards on quick passes is something the Giants have tried to accomplish, but getting those routes open past the line of scrimmage will be significantly more useful than the high volume of dump offs Barkley has seen in the passing game so far.

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