New York Giants: Kyle Bosworth

Giants add seven to practice squad

September, 1, 2013
Seven of the players who failed to survive Saturday's final roster cut-down were named Sunday to the New York Giants' practice squad. They are:

DE Adewale Ojomo

DE Matt Broha

OL Stephen Goodin

OL Eric Herman

WR Marcus Harris

WR Julian Talley

CB Charles James

Since practice squads can including up to eight players, that obviously leaves one open spot, which the Giants could use to sign someone else or, if they add a veteran running back or safety in the coming days, to shift someone from their current 53-man roster there. Linebacker Kyle Bosworth, who was cut Saturday, caught on with the Dallas Cowboys, who are the Giants' Week 1 opponent.

Giants cuts: Curry released

August, 25, 2013
The New York Giants reduced their roster to 75 by releasing linebacker Aaron Curry and 13 others.

Curry, the former fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Seahawks, was hoping to revive his injury-plagued career with the Giants. But Curry saw just 12 snaps at linebacker during the Giants' 24-21 overtime loss to the Jets on Saturday night. Kyle Bosworth passed Curry on the depth chart, logging 31 snaps at linebacker against the Jets.

In addition to Curry, the Giants released FB Ben Guidugli, WR Brandon Collins (who will serve a four-game NFL suspension at the start of the season), WR Terrence Sinkfield, TE Jamie Childers, TE Chase Clement, OL Michael Jasper, OL Austin Holtz, LB Jake Muasau, LB Etienne Sabino, DT Frank Okam, DB Laron Scott, DB Junior Mertile and DB Alonzo Tweedy.

The Giants also placed S Stevie Brown on season-ending injured reserve as well.

Practice report: Randle strikes twice

August, 20, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With Victor Cruz in a walking boot on crutches, Rueben Randle went to work with the first team on Tuesday.

Even though they were going up against a scout defense in preparation for the Jets, Eli Manning hit Randle twice on deep bombs for potential touchdowns. Randle beat Terrence Frederick on the first would-be touchdown. The second came on an impressive over-the-shoulder catch on Charles James, who had decent coverage.

[+] EnlargeRueben Randle
Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY SportsRueben Randle
Brandon Collins returned from injury and saw quite a few snaps with Louis Murphy (leg) and Ramses Barden (knee) out of practice.

Antrel's rolling: Antrel Rolle is nearing a return to the practice field. While he did not practice, he looked very good backpedaling and shuffling sideways in an individual drill (I shot a video, and I know it looks like it was taken a million miles away but hey, I tried!).

He looks like he could be back in practice perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

O-line shuffle: The Giants unveiled their new starting offensive line with David Baas out. Will Beatty was at left tackle, David Diehl at left guard, Kevin Boothe at center, Chris Snee at right guard and rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle. The second team featured Selvish Capers at left tackle, Eric Herman at left guard, Jim Cordle at center, Brandon Mosley at right guard and James Brewer at right tackle.

MLB race: Dan Connor was still working with the first team at middle linebacker, with Mark Herzlich working with the second team. We'll have to see if one can pull away from the competition on Saturday against the Jets. If Connor gets a half to work with the first team, that could work in his favor.

Elsewhere at linebacker, Kyle Bosworth got some snaps with the second team and made a nice play, rejecting a short side pass from Manning intended to go out into the flat... James just broke up a deep but slightly underthrown pass for Hakeem Nicks... After an incomplete pass to Kevin Hardy, Will Hill and James, both of them in coverage on the play, playfully jawed with Hardy.

Herrmann: Linebacker jobs up for grabs

August, 3, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A full week into training camp, all three Giants starting linebacker jobs remain open.

Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers are the first unit, according to the first unofficial depth chart of the summer, released by the team on Thursday. But that is far from set in stone one week before the team's first preseason game, in Pittsburgh next Saturday.

"There's competitions all along the board, really," linebackers coach Jim Herrmann said prior to Saturday's practice. "And to me, that's really good. Because if they're all getting better, we're gonna be better."

[+] EnlargeSpencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Mark Herzlich
John Munson/The Star-Ledger/USA TODAY SportsWith Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Mark Herzlich at LB, teammate Mathias Kiwanuka says the Giants' defense is high on potential.
"Playing linebacker's not easy," Herrmann continued, "and there are injuries that happen, and the next guy that steps in is just as talented as the guy that had to take a week off."

Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley, starters for the majority of last season, are gone. Herzlich and Paysinger, both undrafted, are entering their third seasons, but have just seven NFL starts between them.

Rivers, a former No. 9 overall draft pick, started six games for the Giants last season but has been injury prone in his four-year NFL career.

There are some intriguing prospects on the second unit. Jacquian Williams has shown flashes of great potential in his first two seasons, but is working his way back from a knee injury. Dan Connor started eight games for the Cowboys last year. And Aaron Curry is a former No. 4 overall pick trying to resurrect his career.

The third-stringers are Kyle Bosworth, Jake Muasau and rookie Etienne Sabino.

"It's been great competition, and the guys, the group, the room, they're all good guys," Hermann said. "There's nine good men there, and they all understand they're competing, but they're also trying to help each other get better. As a coach I can't ask anything more from them."

As for practice on Saturday, Herzlich made the biggest play of the day for the linebackers. During a two-minute drill at the end of practice, Herzlich dived for a deflected pass from rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib, hauling it in for an interception. That can only help him in his quest to secure the starting middle linebacker job.

That said, Hermann indicated Saturday that the Giants could have two different starting linebacker units -- one for first and second downs, and another one for third downs.

"To me the ballgame's broken up into two phases," Herrmann said. "First and second down, and then to me third down is a completely different game, because the majority of the teams in this league are gonna throw the ball every play on third down. And so your mind-set's different, the guys you put on the field are different."

He has some inexperienced players vying to play important spots, but Herrmann sounds excited about what he's working with.

"We have a lot of guys who fit into different little roles," Herrmann said, "which is exciting for them, because they may not be a starter on first and second down, but come third down they can be a starter because of their talents."

Best Giants camp battles

July, 31, 2013

Tom Coughlin says he has never had a training camp competition as wide open as the one he currently has at linebacker.

Linebacker is just one of the positions where there will be competition. Here's a look at the best camp battles for the New York Giants:

1. Linebackers.

The competitors: MLB Mark Herzlich, OLB Keith Rivers, OLB Spencer Paysinger, OLB Jacquian Williams, MLB Dan Connor, OLB Aaron Curry, LB Kyle Bosworth, MLB Jake Muasau, LB Etienne Sabino.

The 411: Herzlich, Rivers and Paysinger are the starters so far in camp. Williams, Connor and Curry make up the second team. Herzlich and Connor are competing to replace Chase Blackburn, and it appears like it's Herzlich's job to lose thus far. Paysinger definitely has a chance to hold on to a starting spot. If Rivers can stay healthy, he can do some of the things Michael Boley did. When healthy, Williams can be a three-down linebacker and his speed and athleticism allows him to cover tight ends. Curry is a wild card.

What they're saying: "They told us nothing is set in stone, everybody has to work," Paysinger said of the coaches' message. "They say that when it comes to the depth chart, it can change any day, that we dictate how the depth chart goes. If one person has a great day, he might be going with the ones, if a person slips up a little bit, he might be going with the twos and threes."

2. Right tackle.

The competitors: David Diehl, Justin Pugh, James Brewer.

The 411: Diehl is the front-runner due to his experience and is the starter right now. Pugh was drafted for a reason with the team's first-round pick. Jerry Reese said there was initial concern about Pugh's arm length for the tackle position. However, the Giants will see what Pugh can do at right tackle with the second team. Brewer has been getting first-team reps at right guard while Chris Snee makes his way back from offseason hip surgery, but Coughlin says Brewer is in the mix.

What they're saying: "David Diehl is a highly motivated guy in the first place and competition always brings out the best," Coughlin said.

3. Backup defensive tackle.

The competitors: Shaun Rogers, Johnathan Hankins, Mike Patterson, Marvin Austin, Markus Kuhn, Frank Okam.

The 411: The Giants loaded up at defensive tackle in an effort to stop the run this season. Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins will start at defensive tackle. There will be stiff competition for the spots behind the starters. When motivated and healthy, Rogers is a load. He and Hankins, the team's second-round pick, have been working with the second team. Patterson and Austin have received third-team snaps. Austin, the team's second-round pick in 2011, is going to have to fight for a roster spot. Kuhn, who impressed the coaches last season, is on the PUP list.

What they're saying: "He's been healthy for the first time," defensive line coach Robert Nunn said about Austin. "He's where he needs to be right now. He just can't disappear when the pads come on."

4. Fourth defensive end.

The competitors: Adrian Tracy, Damontre Moore, Justin Trattou, Matt Broha, Adewale Ojomo.

The 411: With Osi Umenyiora gone, the Giants need a fourth pass rusher to emerge to play behind -- and sometimes alongside -- Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Tracy is the leading candidate for the fourth end spot, but Moore, the team's third-round pick, has impressed early. Until JPP is healthy, both Tracy and Moore could see snaps as the third and fourth ends.

What they're saying: "We've got some young guys that have to show up," Nunn said. "They look good when they're running around with no pads on, but you still see some things that get you excited."

5. Running back.

The competitors: David Wilson and Andre Brown.

The 411: Wilson and Brown technically are competing for the starting spot. But Wilson is the starter in camp and should be the starter for the season. Still, the two running backs likely could share carries with the hot hand getting the majority of the carries in any given game. Brown is expected to resume his role as goal-line back as well.

What they're saying: "David is a different style of back than we've ever really had here at the Giants over the years," quarterback Eli Manning said. "A lot of speed and explosiveness. Both of them [Wilson and Brown] are different style runners and we'll kind of understand that and put them in to do things that they are best at."

Camp preview: Linebackers

July, 23, 2013
As training camp approaches, we're counting down to camp by taking a look at the Giants, position by position.

Position: Linebacker.

Projected starters: OLB Jacquian Williams, MLB Mark Herzlich, OLB Keith Rivers.

Projected reserves: MLB Dan Connor, OLB Spencer Paysinger, LB Aaron Curry, LB Jake Muasau, LB Kyle Bosworth, LB Etienne Sabino.

New faces: Connor, Curry, Bosworth, Sabino.

Going, going, gone: Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn.

Player to watch: Williams. He took things slowly in OTAs and minicamp with a PCL injury suffered from last season. If he can remain healthy this season, Williams could emerge as the team's most important linebacker. He is capable of playing all three downs and being the linebacker used by Perry Fewell in passing situations alongside a third safety/defensive back that could potentially be Ryan Mundy, Cooper Taylor or Terrell Thomas. Rivers is capable of doing the same but the Giants have always liked Williams' speed and ability to cover tight ends. The question is Williams' health and if he can show his potential over a full season in a starting role. If Williams misses any time due to injury, Rivers' importance only increases that much more. And the team is counting on Rivers this season already. Paysinger, who worked with the starters in the offseason, is a dark horse. Any time Williams misses means more time for Paysinger.

Potential strength: Youth and speed. The Giants lost a lot of experience this offseason when they released Boley and Blackburn left in free agency. And Mathias Kiwanuka is moving back to defensive end. But they should be a quicker unit with Williams and Rivers playing more snaps. The Giants also are confident Herzlich or Connor can handle the middle linebacker duties Blackburn had last season. If Curry shows any of the potential that made him the fourth overall pick in the draft in 2009, Jerry Reese will have a steal.

Potential weakness: Experience and health. Boley and Blackburn helped the Giants win a Super Bowl just two years ago. Both were an extension of Fewell on the field. The Giants lost a lot of starting experience. Also, health is a major factor with the Giants linebackers. Williams missed six games and Rivers missed five last season due to injuries. Those two are going to be key to whether the Giants' linebackers have a successful season. But if they miss any time, Paysinger and Curry will have to step in. And there's the unknown at middle linebacker as well.

Wild card: Herzlich. He enters camp as the starter at middle linebacker and he'll have to hold off Connor and possibly Curry as well. He has impressed coaches thus far with his handle on the defense and poise in the huddle. While the middle linebacker may play two downs and then come out on passing situations, Herzlich has the potential to be a factor against the run –- an area the Giants have put great emphasis on this offseason.

Let us know what your thoughts are on the linebackers entering camp.

Herzlich among early leaders in LB stakes

June, 6, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' starting defensive line, even without the injured Jason Pierre-Paul, is essentially set in stone. Same goes for the secondary.

The linebacker corps is a whole 'nother story. All three jobs appear up for grabs, as we reach the end of OTAs and look forward to next week's mandatory minicamp.

We've spent more time on newcomers with interesting backstories the past couple of weeks -- Aaron Curry, a former first-round draft pick, and Kyle Bosworth, a nephew of Brian Bosworth.

[+] EnlargeMark Herzlich
Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsMark Herzlich intercepted Eli Manning during seven-on-seven drills Thursday.
But it's Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger who are serving as the Giants' first-team linebackers right now.

That's a pretty inexperienced group. Rivers just joined the Giants last season, and Herzlich and Paysinger each have just two NFL seasons under their belts (with only seven starts between them). But head coach Tom Coughlin sounded excited about his linebackers following Thursday's practice.

"Well it’s a good thing," Coughlin said. "There’s real good competition."

Herzlich, playing the middle, had an interception of Eli Manning during seven-on-seven drills Thursday -- the only day reporters were allowed to watch this week. Turns out it wasn't the only big play of the week.

"The other day, Keith Rivers made a heck of a play in a two-minute drill," Coughlin said. "Herzlich’s made some plays -- two days in a row now he’s intercepted balls.

"I think the guys, they’re anxious to make the contribution. They know the position is open, and I think that’s motivated them in a very positive way to have a good spring and to give us strong feelings about where we are."

Herzlich is trying to go from being just a feel-good story -- the former Boston College star has overcome cancer -- to being an impact player in the NFL. Paysinger is a fellow undrafted free agent who started three games last season, including in Week 15 and Week 16, and is trying to make the same leap.

The Giants have asked Paysinger to learn both the strong-side and weak-side positions.

"Me and Mark, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to learn the defense in and out, studying together. Buying dry erase boards to take home and just draw up plays," Paysinger said. "Pretty much internalizing the playbook to where it becomes second nature -- cause if you know your stuff, you can play that much better."

Linebackers coach Jim Hermann spoke positively about Paysinger on Thursday.

"The biggest thing I’ve seen is his maturity level," Hermann said. "He’s comfortable with the information now, and now he can go out and take the next step forward because he’s anticipating plays faster and faster."

But Hermann also said that "every single guy has done a good job," and made it sound like the starting jobs will remain up for grabs. Herzlich and Paysinger may be the front-runners to replace Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley, but the Giants do have lots of other options -- including free agent acquisition Dan Conner, and Jacquian Williams, who is recovering from a knee injury and did limited work Thursday for the first time this spring.

"This is basically a new group of guys. I think the biggest thing right now is, we’re going out and learning what to do, and competing," Hermann said. "And to me the competition is going to keep going and keep going and keep going, which is gonna make us all better."

It'll be a position to watch, from now until the regular season opener on Sept. 8. Can the young linebackers do the job?

"It’s a great feeling," Paysinger said. "Just because you’re building a relationship with the guys on the field -- you’re talking to the DBs, the safeties, the D-linemen, trying to pretty much earn their trust.

"A lot of those guys have been on this team for years, and they’ve earned their stripes. I feel like it's my time, Mark’s time, even Keith’s time to step up and show we can handle this."

Giants add nephew of 'The Boz' to roster

May, 30, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants added a pair of players to their roster late Wednesday, signing linebacker Kyle Bosworth and tight end Chase Clement.

Clement played for LSU but went undrafted this spring, while Bosworth started just five games in three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- not exactly earth-shattering moves.

[+] EnlargeKyle Bosworth
AP Photo/Julio CortezKyle Bosworth, nephew of Brian Bosworth, signed with the Giants on Wednesday.
But Bosworth is the nephew of Brian Bosworth, a.k.a "The Boz," the former All-American and media sensation. So, not surprisingly, reporters flocked to his locker following the Giants' fourth OTA of the offseason on Thursday.

Kyle played in all 16 games for the Jaguars last season, starting five, with 37 tackles and an interception. He was a restricted free agent, but Jacksonville decided not to tender him.

"I was very surprised," he said. "We had a new GM come in, and they said that they wanted to go in a different route."

Kyle said the Giants and Eagles were the first two teams to call once he became available. He worked out for the Giants on Wednesday, and signed Wednesday night.

Coach Tom Coughlin was asked about his two new players following Thursday's practice. "We felt like they made a nice fit," Coughlin said. "Bosworth being a linebacker, special teamer, and Clement being a guy that we can use not only as a tight end but as a fullback-type guy. So multiple position guys."

Brian Bosworth was one of the biggest personalities in sports in the 1980's. He starred at the University of Oklahoma from 1984 to 1986, and is the only player in history to win the Butkus Award -- given to the nation's top linebacker -- twice.

But "The Boz" made even more waves with his mohawk haircut and his controversial behavior, including riding a helicopter to his first NFL practice with the Seattle Seahawks.

Kyle has grown his hair long over the past couple years, but says he is very different from his famous uncle.

"I’m a little flamboyant, but on the field," he said. "Off the field I’m very reserved."

Kyle and his identical twin brother Korey both played linebacker at UCLA, but both went undrafted. Kyle has found a foothold in the NFL, but says he has hardly spoken to his uncle since joining the league in 2010.

"It's been unfortunate, because of who he was," Kyle said. "Things happen in family situations, everyone has personal things -- I know he got divorced and he's remarried and he's got things going on in his life.

"Back in high school it was a different story. He was there all the time, he’d be watching the film, watching all the practices and stuff like that, and really getting involved and letting us know different techniques and stuff. But it’s been very few [times] in the NFL."

Regardless, Kyle has has already lasted longer in the NFL than his uncle, who retired just two games into his third season due to a shoulder injury.

Now he will try to prove to the Giants that he can contribute at linebacker, in addition to special teams.

Kyle has one other claim to fame. His fiancee is Kara Keough, who has appeared on the Bravo reality show "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Her mother, Jeana, was one of the original stars of the show.

Kyle has never appeared on screen -- but he would like to.

"We tried to do a wives and girlfriends thing with Bravo in Jacksonville," Kyle said. "My fiancée approached Bravo, and we actually had a meeting out in California. But I guess Jacksonville is just not the city to hold a reality show like that."

New York, on the other hand, might be the perfect fit.

"Yeah, I’m all up for it," Kyle said. "I know that there’s different restrictions with teams and stuff, you gotta get clearance. But I’m all good for it."

Will Tom Coughlin be? That's a whole 'nother story.