New York Giants: odell beckham jr.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. finished his rookie season with a bang.

The dazzling wide receiver from LSU had 12 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown in the New York Giants' 34-26 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 12 catches equaled his best total of the year, and the 185 yards were a career high. All that despite Beckham saying he battled nausea during the game.

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Alex Goodlett/Getty ImagesNo receiver has had a better 12-game start to his career than the Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. (13), who finished his rookie season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 TDs.
Beckham's final numbers on the season -- 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 TDs -- were outstanding. But when you factor in that he missed the first four games with a hamstring injury, they turn spectacular.

In fact, Beckham set an NFL record for most receptions and receiving yards in a player's first 12 games in the league. That should blow your mind if it hasn't already.

It's only 12 games, but we could be witnessing the emergence of an NFL superstar.

"I felt the year went well," Beckham said, in perhaps the understatement of the year. "There's still so much I can look back on and say, I wish I had done that or I wish I had done this. But it was great to get in and to be able to learn and experience things and just get a year of experience under my belt."

Beckham sent us into the offseason with a couple of more highlight-reel plays to savor. His acrobatic grab late in the third quarter, reminiscent of "The Catch Heard Round The World" against the Dallas Cowboys five weeks ago, set up a Giants field goal that cut their deficit to 24-19.

Early in the fourth quarter, Beckham caught a short pass from Eli Manning and dusted two defenders to take it to the house, a 63-yard score that pulled the Giants within 31-26.

There was no taunting penalty called on Beckham after the touchdown, like there was last week in St. Louis, but there certainly could have been. A few yards from the goal line, Beckham turned around and backpedaled into the end zone, looking at the chasing Eagles defenders before turning back around and firing the ball at the wall behind the end zone.

Beckham also fired his helmet off his head after taking a hard hit on an incompletion in the first half. The Eagles defender could have been flagged for pass interference and/or an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, but Beckham could have been flagged for taking off and throwing his helmet, too.

"I play with my heart on my sleeve," Beckham said. "I do my best to control it, and sometimes it gets the best of me, and that's part of the learning experience -- learning how to control your emotions and play through the whatever you want to call it, getting targeted and getting hit, teams trying to take you out. Whatever it is, just learning to play through it, and that's part of the game."

That Beckham admits he has work to do on this is a promising sign. An even more promising sign is his play on the field, which should result in him winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

In next year's regular-season opener, he'll have a chance to break another record. Beckham tied former Dallas Cowboys receicer Michael Irvin on Sunday for the most consecutive games with at least 90 receiving yards (nine).

"Any time you get put in a category with a great like that, a Hall of Famer, it's an accomplishment," Beckham said. "It's an honor and it's a privilege to be in the same boat as him."

Beckham bullish on Giants' O going forward

December, 26, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Odell Beckham Jr.'s electrifying rookie season will come to an end Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But the rookie wide receiver thinks next season could be even more special, with a healthy Victor Cruz alongside him and a year of experience under his belt.

“Sky’s the limit,” Beckham said Friday. “You can’t really put a limitation or expectations on it. You can see it. Vic, Rueben (Randle), Larry Donnell, Rashad (Jennings), myself and Eli (Manning) -- why would you not want to have one of the best offenses in the league?"

“Obviously as a competitor, your goal is to be the best,” Beckham added. “I would expect everybody else on the offense to feel that we should be the best.”

Beckham wants to finish the season strong. He enters Sunday with 79 receptions for 1,120 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 11 games.

Following the season finale, he hopes he will be added to the Pro Bowl roster as a first alternate.

After that, Beckham plans on training this offseason with Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry and Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill –- both former LSU teammates and friends. And he said he would like to attend a few camps, including Manning’s annual passing camp.

Beckham said he already knows one thing he wants to work on to enhance his game and budding career.

“Patience,” the 22-year-old said. “Just patience. If you find a way to let this game slow down to you, it will come and be a lot easier. Throughout the season, it did that. The biggest thing for me will definitely just be patience.”

It also sounds as if Beckham hopes the referees will have some patience with him Sunday if he gets into the end zone. He will likely continue to celebrate any touchdowns he scores despite being penalized for taunting last week, after spinning the ball in the end zone.

“Just don’t get a penalty,” Beckham said of his celebrations. “That is really up to the refs. Like I said, I don’t feel like it should be a penalty but it was. Just be mindful of the tendencies of what they may call or whatever could be close or cutting it close, don’t step near the line.”

He will toe the line, though, when it comes to playing hard and having as much fun as he can Sunday.

“Just finish strong,” Beckham said. “It is something that has hit me throughout the season. Every time I step onto the field, you never know when it could be your last. Go as hard as possible. That is what I plan to do Sunday.”
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. is so good, he might need only three-quarters of a season to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Beckham is now the favorite to win the award at 1-2, according to odds released by Bovada on Wednesday. Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is the second choice at 2-1, followed by Panthers wideout Kelvin Benjamin (7-1) and Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (25-1).

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The Giants' young phenom was not available in the locker room after practice Wednesday, but veteran teammate Antrel Rolle was asked whether Beckham should win the award.

"There's no doubt about it," Rolle said. "There's been some rookies out there obviously making some splash -- Mike Evans, a couple other names. But what Odell has done in a short period of time -- obviously he battled some injuries at the beginning of the year, but the sky's the limit for this guy. I think what he's done for this team and just for the league itself has been phenomenal, and I'm not just saying that because he's my teammate."

"Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl, you name it -- I definitely put him up there right now with the elite receivers in this league," Rolle added.

Despite missing the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season with a hamstring injury, Beckham has 71 catches for 972 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games.

Evans, in three more games, has fewer catches (59) and yards (948), and just two more touchdowns (11).

Beckham's per-game averages of 7.1 receptions, 97.2 receiving yards and 0.9 touchdowns are the highest among rookies in a season dating to 2001, per ESPN Stats & Information.

"He's been playing at a high level these last few weeks," quarterback Eli Manning said. "Hopefully he can continue to make plays for us."

Manning was a little more diplomatic when asked about Beckham's Rookie of the Year candidacy.

"I haven’t seen all the other performances, so I’m probably not qualified to give that answer," Manning said. "[Beckham's] played very strong and played well for us, and so definitely should be in contention, I would think."

Beckham already owns the Giants' record for receiving yards by a rookie, breaking Jeremy Shockey's record of 894 yards. Barring injury, he almost certainly will surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season this Sunday in St. Louis, but the Rams' defense should pose a challenge -- they haven't given up a touchdown the past three weeks and are ranked 10th in the NFL against the pass (232.4 yards allowed per game).

"I think there’s a physical challenge every week for the number of roles that [Beckham] plays," coach Tom Coughlin said. "But this certainly will be one, and each week he grows and develops and he sees new things, and that may very well be the case this week."

The best news of all might be that, despite all the attention Beckham is getting, he hasn't developed a swelled head, according to his quarterback.

"No, I think he’s done a good job," Manning said. "He practices hard. He does a lot of things correctly. ... He’s done everything the right way."
New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his best game yet Monday night, with eight catches for 156 yards against the Indianapolis Colts.

Now he faces his biggest challenge so far -- a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, and more specifically the Legion of Boom.

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Seattle's secondary was the primary reason the team won the Super Bowl last season, and it's a strong unit again this year -- headlined by cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman may be lined up opposite Beckham frequently on Sunday, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning believes the rookie is up to the challenge.

"Yeah, I think Odell Beckham has done some really good things," Manning said Wednesday, on a conference call with reporters. "I think he is up for whatever challenge is thrown at him. And he is still growing as a player, but I think he definitely does some good things and we need him to keep getting better and keep making plays for us."

Beckham has only played in four NFL games, missing the first four of the season because of a hamstring injury that also sidelined him for the entire preseason. But he's obviously a fast learner. He already has three touchdown catches, in addition to the breakout game against the Colts, and appears to be Manning's best weapon now that Victor Cruz is out for the rest of the year.

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And Beckham is looking forward to facing Sherman & Co. this weekend.

"These are the games you live to play for, the moments you live to play for -- to go against the best of the best, to go against Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks and the L.O.B." Beckham said. "Why not embrace that opportunity? Why not take the challenge, accept it and face it?"

It won't be easy. The Seahawks' defense is ranked sixth against the pass this season (221.9 yards per game), and fourth against the run (83.0). Starting cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Kam Chancellor both missed last week's win against the Raiders due to injury, but at least Chancellor is expected to return this week. Meanwhile, Sherman currently sports the fourth-highest rating of all cornerbacks in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

"I am never going to back down from anyone," Beckham said. "He has some experience. He is a big, athletic guy that wants to press at the line. Those are all things he does well, so you have to try to find, as few as there are, you have to try and find those weaknesses that he has. At the end of the day, it is football. You have to go out and play football and give it your best. Whatever happens, happens."

Neither player lacks confidence, that's for sure. This will certainly be a fun matchup to watch.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Looking for a bright side to the New York Giants' lopsided, 40-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night?

Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his first 100-yard game as a pro, with eight receptions for 156 yards.

Yes, much of that came late in the game, with the outcome really no longer in doubt, but Beckham looked good nonetheless.

"To me, it means nothing without a win [though]," Beckham said. "I made a few plays, but, like I said, at the end of the day it's still a loss."

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Al Bello/Getty ImagesRookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his best game as a pro on "Monday Night Football," catching eight passes for 156 yards.
Beckham had just one catch for 19 yards in the first half -- a half in which the Giants had eight offensive possessions but managed to accumulate only seven first downs. Seven of those eight possessions ended with a punt, as the Colts took a 16-3 lead into the locker room.

His big play came in the third quarter -- a 59-yard catch and run that set the Giants up for their only touchdown of the game. On a first-and-10 from the Giants' own 16-yard line, Eli Manning connected with Beckham on the right sideline, and Beckham then darted between two defenders to get downfield.

The only surprising thing was that Beckham -- known for his explosive speed at LSU -- was caught before reaching the end zone. It actually looked like he pulled up a little bit before being tackled at the Colts' 25.

"I got in the open field, and I kind of just felt my legs, just they weren't there with me," Beckham said. "So I'm looking around making sure there was nobody who was gonna come strip the ball. Just get as many yards as you can, get down and move on to the next play."

The 12th overall pick, who missed the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season with a nagging hamstring injury, admitted he's not back at full speed yet.

"It's still kind of just getting there right now," Beckham said. "I'm doing the best I can to maintain what I've gone through already, but I wouldn't say that it's all the way there yet. It's still a work in progress."

Speaking of a work in progress, this Giants offense has plenty of work to do. Manning ended up throwing for 359 yards on the night, but he barely completed 50 percent of his passes (27-for-52). He overthrew receivers on a few occasions, to be sure, but his receivers also let him down with several drops.

Wideout Rueben Randle, who started opposite Beckham, was targeted 11 times -- the same amount as Beckham -- but finished with just four catches for 49 yards. On the Giants' lone scoring drive of the first half, they were forced to settle for a field goal after Randle dropped a pass that hit him right in the hands on a third-and-7 from the Colts' 20-yard line.

"I was just trying to run before I caught the ball," Randle said. "I was trying to check and see where the DB [defensive back] was, and then my focus got away when the ball came. I gotta do a better job with that."

Randle was far from the only guilty party, though. On this night, there was plenty of blame to go around.

Odell Beckham looks like go vs. Falcons

October, 1, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It looks like Eli Manning will have a new weapon to throw to this coming Sunday.

Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who missed the New York Giants’ first four games of the season because of a hamstring injury, practiced Wednesday, and it sounds like he’ll play against the Atlanta Falcons.

“I feel good,” Beckham said, flashing a big smile. “Just looking forward to that opportunity, and getting a chance to finally run out on the field.”

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AP Photo/Bill KostrounFirst-round pick Odell Beckham looks to be fully recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him from making his pro debut.
Beckham was officially listed as limited, but said he did everything. Prior to practice, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham will be part of the game plan this week.

“We’re in that phase,” Coughlin said. “What we obviously need to do is to see some hard back-to-back practices, one after the other, which I expect we’ll accomplish this week.”

The Giants’ offense, under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, has looked better as the season has progressed, scoring a combined 75 points in consecutive wins over the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins.

But there is room for improvement -- the Giants are ranked 16th in the league, right smack in the middle, in both rushing yards (120.3) and passing yards (231.3) per game.

Manning is sixth in the NFL in Total QBR, and third in completion percentage for passes thrown 10 yards or fewer (76.8). But he has completed just two passes of more than 20 yards.

“I hope that he can be a big weapon for us,” Manning said of Beckham. “He definitely has a little burst of energy, a burst of speed. He can be a deep threat, can win on some underneath stuff. Can get him hopefully throwing some short passes and he can break it for some big plays. We’ve got to just keeping working. “

Fellow wide receiver Victor Cruz said Beckham has “a ton of ability.” Beckham caught a touchdown pass late in practice Wednesday, on a deep post route.

“We just need more of that -- we need more plays like that to be able to keep defenses honest,” Cruz said. “I think Odell can provide that, I think Rueben [Randle] as well can provide that, and it’s just a matter of us hitting our spots.”

The Giants will be facing one of the worst defenses in the league statistically on Sunday. The Falcons are ranked 30th in opponent passing yards per game (276.3), and 28th in opponent rushing yards (153.5).

If Beckham does play, you might see a lot of him, despite all the missed practice time early in the year.

“He’s been in every meeting. I would expect him to know everything,” Coughlin said. “I wouldn’t shy away from that. He’s demonstrated an ability to handle whatever’s thrown at him, he’s done that throughout.”

With Beckham back, the Giants are a remarkably healthy team a quarter of the way through the season. Not a single player on the active roster sat out practice Wednesday.

Just three other players were limited: linebacker Jon Beason (foot/toe), linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) and punter Steve Weatherford (ankle).

Giants Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. participated in individual drills Monday. Beckham, the team’s first-round draft pick, hasn’t practiced since injuring a hamstring on July 22, the very first day of training camp. “They said he did all right, and maybe they can extend it a little bit tomorrow, I hope,” coach Tom Coughlin said. The highlight of Beckham's day was a one-handed catch on a pass from Eli Manning. “He’s out there running around, doing individual (drills), that’s all I saw,” Coughlin said. “Did he look fast? He probably wasn’t full speed today, but he did some things. I won’t be able to ascertain anything until he takes some team stuff.” Fellow wideout Victor Cruz (knee) was given a day off as a maintenance day, but Coughlin said Cruz will practice Tuesday.
  • The injury report was a long one. It included wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (knee) and Marcus Harris (hip) -- both are expected to return Tuesday as well. Also sitting out: fullback John Conner (concussion), tight ends Daniel Fells (knee) and Xavier Grimble (hamstring), running back Peyton Hillis (foot), wide receiver/kick returner Trindon Holliday (hamstring), cornerback Jayron Hosley (foot), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder) amd linebacker Jon Beason (foot).
  • Third-string quarterback Curtis Painter worked with the second team, while backup QB Ryan Nassib took snaps with the third team. Painter had been working with the 3s, and Nassib with the 2s, but Painter played extremely well Saturday against the Steelers. “Curtis certain did earn it, but I never put them in any kind of order for you and I won’t do it now, either,” Coughlin said. “They both have worked with the seconds, they both have worked with the threes and we will decide later in the week how we are going to play.”
  • Wide receiver Corey Washington -- a long-shot at the start of camp, but with two touchdown catches in the team's first two preseason games -- had a phenomenal practice. Working with the starters, he had three consecutive catches during a 2-minute drill and made a jumping grab over cornerback Zack Bowman near the sideline. Fellow wideout Rueben Randle made an amazing one-handed 50-yard catch in the back of the end zone from Manning with Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown draped all over him.
Rueben Randle led the New York Giants in touchdown receptions in 2013. Now, that's a little like being the tallest dwarf, since he only had six of them and the Giants' offense was so bad that no one else could come up with more than four. But still, the Giants' 2012 second-round pick has flashed the ability to make a play. He has the size and the physical skills needed to be a good NFL wide receiver. His issue, to this point, has been consistency of concentration.

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Julio Cortez/AP PhotoIn 16 games last season, Giants WR Rueben Randle had 41 receptions for 611 yards and 6 touchdowns.
"Intelligence, he's got that," Giants wide receivers coach Sean Ryan said last week. "For me, the battle with him is consistency, and I think he's addressed it in this offseason in the way he approaches his job. I've seen a difference in his seriousness towards his work. This spring, I thought he was locked in. I thought he did a good job learning the new offense. Like I said, he's got some football intelligence to him. Things come to him. He sees things pretty well. But I thought he really worked hard at being locked into the meetings and on the field as well. I noticed a difference in him."

With Hakeem Nicks gone off to the Colts in free agency following a very disappointing year, the Giants are looking for more production from Randle on the outside. They drafted his fellow former LSU wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., in the first round, but Beckham is a rookie with much to learn. Randle is in his third NFL season, which is generally thought to be a big one for wide receiver development.

There's also a school of thought that the new offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo will help Randle, who seemed to struggle to be on the same page as quarterback Eli Manning in some high-profile incidents last year that resulted in interceptions. Former coordinator Kevin Gilbride's offense relied on option routes, and the ability of the wide receivers to identify the same coverages as Manning did at the line of scrimmage. Randle had issues with that and could theoretically thrive in a simpler scheme, though Ryan disputes the idea that the change in coordinators will make things that much easier for receivers.

"Yeah, I think maybe that is oversimplifying, because you're always going to face route adjustments versus certain coverages," Ryan said. "Maybe this offense doesn't have as many, but he's still going to have to face those same decisions. In terms of the volume of route adjustments, there's probably a little less in this offense. But there's always going to be certain routes that we're going to run versus certain coverages, and post-snap they're still going to have to see it just like the quarterback sees it and be on the same page. So it's still going to be a part of the game, just probably not as much."

Ryan also said he's been trying to work his receivers all over the field and in different positions, which has in some practices resulted in Randle getting some work out of the slot.

"That's a big target running down the middle of the field," Ryan said of the 6-2, 208-pound Randle. "And that's something that we've certainly talked about and talked to him about, so it's possible."

Meantime, the key for Randle once training camp starts up next month is to maintain the focus he showed throughout the spring and apply it once games start. The Giants are expecting big things from Randle in his third NFL season.

Sizing up Giants' return options

June, 23, 2014
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The New York Giants ranked 26th in the NFL in punt-return average and 27th in kickoff-return average in 2013, so it's little surprise that they spent part of their offseason focus on those areas. They signed return men Quintin Demps and Trindon Holliday in free agency and drafted wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has kick-return and punt-return experience, in the first round.

This gives them options for fixing one of their biggest problems, which they like.

"You've got three different types of returners when you talk about Beckham, Holliday and Demps," Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn said last week. "Obviously, with the speed of Holliday and the shiftiness, the undersized guy. And then you've got Demps, who's got a little more size and does that the straight-line speed. And then you've got Beckham, who's probably a combination of the two. We're real happy with all three of those guys."

Quinn said Beckham would work at punt returner and kick returner as the Giants figure out what the rookie can do and also prep him to play a major role on offense. He said they wouldn't be afraid to put him in the game as a returner just because they also play to use him at receiver.

"I think he'll be ready for anything we ask him to do," Quinn said. "A lot of times it gives those guys confidence and they progress on and they end up being offensive or defensive players down the road."

Quinn also said Holliday would work on both punt returns and kick returns, and he mentioned holdover receivers Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan as being in the mix. Demps, it would seem, is slated for kick returns only, and his role on the defense at safety could be larger than initially expected due to the suspension and release of Will Hill.

"Demps, we're real excited to have him," Quinn said. "He's been consistent in this league and explosive. He's a legitimate No. 1 kickoff returner for us. He runs with good size, and he has a real good understanding of the schemes. A real leader, coming in likely to start and contribute on special teams."

Holliday is only 5-foot-5, and while offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said he'd been a "pleasant surprise" as a contributor at wide receiver in the spring program, he's going to have to make the team as a return man. He has incredible speed but has had some issues with fumbling in his previous stops.

"His speed's an asset, that's for sure," Quinn said. "He's a strong guy for his size. Ball security obviously will be his biggest focus once we start putting pads on and start knocking him around a little bit. I haven't seen anything yet. I've been pleased with the way he's been tracking the ball. It's been a big focus on catching the punt and getting started, but I've been pleased with that."

Beckham, Manningham making progress

June, 18, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Mario Manningham both gave New York Giants fans a reason to be excited on Wednesday.

Beckham got his first live reps after being held out during organized team activities and the first day of the Giants' three-day minicamp this week. Manningham isn't practicing with the team yet, but told reporters he expects to be the same player he was, once he's 100 percent healthy.

The Giants are counting on at least one, and maybe both, to be significant contributors this season.

Beckham, the team's first-round draft pick last month, has been limited this spring by a sore hamstring. He sat out entirely the past couple of weeks, and only participated in position drills Tuesday. But the Giants finally threw him into the fire Wednesday, inserting him into 11-on-11 action.

His first couple reps came with Eli Manning and the rest of the starters, with Manning misfiring in Beckham's direction on one play.

Later on, Beckham was back on the field -- this time exclusively with the second unit -- for several more plays, including a touchdown catch in a red zone situation.

"I felt good," Beckham said. "I felt a little tight during the beginning of practice. ... I got loose towards the end of practice, was able to open up a little bit."

The touchdown came against reserves, but Beckham made a very sharp cut to the inside and was wide open in the end zone, making it easy for backup quarterback Ryan Nassib.

And we haven't seen the real Beckham yet, according to the rookie. "No, definitely not top-speed right now," he said. "But it’s getting up there. It’s about 85 [percent], somewhere around there."

Manningham did some running as well Wednesday, but on an adjoining field, under the watchful eyes of the Giants' training staff. He is still working his way back from the torn ACL and PCL he suffered with the San Francisco 49ers in Dec. 2012.

Yes, Manningham played in six games for the 49ers in 2013. But it turned out he hadn't fully recovered -- Manningham had just nine receptions for 85 yards, wound up back on injured reserve last December, and had his knee scoped again in January.

The Giants signed Manningham to a one-year, $795,000 contract in March, hoping the 28-year-old can regain the form he displayed in his first stint with the team, from 2008 to 2011 -- including that 38-yard fourth-quarter catch in Super Bowl XLVI that no Giants fan will ever forget.

He didn't make nearly as big an impact in San Francisco, but did have 42 catches for 449 yards in 2012 before suffering the knee injury. "They were a better team with him on the field, believe me," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Two years ago, before he got hurt, he made a big difference with them."

Manningham said Wednesday that he believes he can still be the player he once was with the Giants.

"I know I'm gonna be all right when [training] camp starts," Manningham said. "Just trying to build the confidence back, [and] every day and every week it gets better."

He'll always be remembered for his Super Bowl catch, but don't forget, Manningham had 60 receptions for 944 yards and nine touchdowns in 2010.

If he can give the Giants even half of that in 2014, and if Beckham plays like a first-round pick, this offense could be very difficult to stop.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- What's new for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning this offseason is... well, just about everything. Having run basically the same offensive system since he arrived in the NFL in 2004, Manning this year is learning a whole new system under new coordinator Ben McAdoo. It has changed quite a bit about his preparation.

"It has definitely felt different," Manning said Tuesday after the first day of minicamp. "There's a lot of learning. The past several years, you never had too many surprises. You could be positive how it was going to turn out or what a guy might do versus this coverage or thinking about protections and stuff -- all of that was second nature. Now, you kind of have to slowly think through it the first time you're doing some things."

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson"Everything [on offense] is happening a little quicker, so I think that's a positive," Eli Manning said.
All of that said, Manning believes things are going more smoothly this week than they went for the offense in OTAs. He said Tuesday was the fourth time the Giants have had an "Install One" practice day, meaning the fourth time they've practiced the offense as though the plays were new, and he sees a difference.

"It should be second nature to us now," Manning said. "Calling plays, everyone should know what they're doing, no mistakes, playing a little bit faster, getting up to the line of scrimmage quicker, getting the ball snapped without as much thinking. I think we did a pretty good job today. I thought the tempo was good. It was hot and we ran a lot of plays, but I thought we had a good tempo and felt a little more confident with everything, with the adjustments, the changing of the plays. Everything is happening a little quicker, so I think that's a positive."

Manning is working with a relatively new group of running backs. Peyton Hillis was on the team last year, but free-agent signee Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams were not. Manning said the backs have a lot to work on in terms of blitz pickup and catching the ball out of the backfield in the new offense, but that he likes their progress. As for the wide receivers, he's still without first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr., who has a hamstring injury, and Mario Manningham, who's rehabbing his knee. But in general, Manning thinks, the receivers should find things simpler in this offense than they did in the one Kevin Gilbride used to run.

"There are a lot of different plays and a lot of different things going on, but maybe not as much reading as a receiver," Manning said. "If you know what the play is, then you should be fine. It's just about getting open. You don't have to make as many decisions, probably, as a receiver, but there are still a lot of things to it. We're still fine-tuning a few things."

The Giants still have five weeks until the start of training camp and 12 weeks until the start of the regular season, so there's plenty of time to work out the kinks. Manning is a seasoned-enough veteran to enjoy progress even if it's a bit slow, and to know there's time to get everything right.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It is extremely important to the New York Giants and their new offense that 32-year-old veteran right guard Chris Snee return from his various surgeries and remain fully healthy this season. To that end, the Giants held Snee out of team drills during Tuesday's minicamp practice and could hold him out all week to protect his surgically repaired elbow.

Snee was out on the field for the entirety of the morning practice Tuesday, but he worked on the side with team trainers, just running. He said his surgically repaired hips are feeling great, but that the team is just being cautious with the elbow as planned all along.

Snee
"You saw what the [San Antonio] Spurs did, right? Rested some older guys? We're following that blueprint," Snee joked after practice. "Everything's been good so far. But at this point in my career, if they say, 'Take a breather,' I'm going to take a breather."

Snee said the elbow surgery he had after the season was more involved and required more rehab than he initially thought it would, and that's why he and the team put in a plan to back him off of some spring practices. He believes he'll be 100 percent ready when training camp begins next month, and he said his hips feel fine. He lost 35 pounds last season to help his lower body recover from its latest surgery, dropping down to 275 pounds. He says he's now back up to 300 and planning to gain 10 more by training camp to return to his playing weight.

"The plan with him is to see if we can get the elbow right so that he feels comfortable and confident," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We won't be in a rush in that regard. He's played enough that we can get him healthy and get him right back to where he was. We know what we have there."

What they don't know about Snee is what they have in terms of his ability to hold up for an entire season. That, it seems, will remain a question until he actually does it.

Some other notes from the first day of minicamp:

Also working on the side were left tackle Will Beatty (leg) and wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee), who are hoping to return in time for the July 22 start of training camp. Middle linebacker Jon Beason, who broke his foot in OTA practices last week, attended meetings with the team in the morning but was not on the field. The Giants said his foot will be immobilized for the next six weeks, after which he'll begin his rehab.

First-round wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did some individual drills but was still out of team drills due to a hamstring injury. "He was able to go. Whether he could hit that top speed was another question. Why take a chance on it right now?" Coughlin said. "I’d like to have him practicing. That’s how you learn – you practice. He’s done all of the studying, he’s good in the classroom, but he’s got to get out here."

Running back David Wilson was out there, running around and catching passes. Wilson remains hopeful that he can be cleared for contact drills by the time training camp starts next month.

W2W4: Giants minicamp

June, 16, 2014
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The New York Giants begin the final phase of their offseason program Tuesday with the start of a three-day minicamp in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This will be the last time they're all on the field together until they start training camp July 22. Here's a look at what we'll be watching during these final three days of June practice:

[+] EnlargeEli Manning
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY SportsThe Giants are looking for Eli Manning and the offense to make progress in learning Ben McAdoo's system.
Progress with the new offense: It's clear by now that quarterback Eli Manning is healed from his April ankle surgery and practicing as he normally would practice this time of year. That means that the Giants should be making as-planned progress in new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense. That progress has been somewhat haphazard to this point, as it's reasonable to expect. While the passing game concepts might be simpler under McAdoo than they were previously, the run-game concepts appear to be more complex. What little we got to see of the new offense in organized team activities (OTAs) looked disorganized and confused. Again, that's all understandable, and I would expect to see more of the same this week. But Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff want to see progress -- want to see things begin to look smoother. And while there will still be no pads or contact at this point in the offseason program, the expanded practice time should allow for some visible progress.

Middle linebacker: With Jon Beason out with a foot injury, who will take over his responsibilities in the middle of the front seven? Has Mark Herzlich advanced enough since last September to handle it? Can Jameel McClain move inside to a larger role than the one for which he was signed? Is rookie Devon Kennard a legitimate candidate? Much of what the Giants do on defense relies on Beason's ability to get and keep things organized. How organized will it look without him?

The offensive line: Who's getting more first-team snaps at center, J.D. Walton or Weston Richburg? Can Chris Snee practice every day, or are his surgically repaired hips slowing him down? And who's getting the left tackle reps with Will Beatty out? The offensive line remains the biggest issue this team faces in 2014, and the sooner things start to look settled there, the better.

Odell Beckham Jr.: The Giants' first-round pick missed a chunk of OTA time due to a hamstring injury, and it's unclear whether he'll participate this week. I still don't think we'll be able to make any judgments about the speedy wide receiver until we see him against real competition and can tell how he's going to react to physical press coverage. But just getting him on the field with the rest of the offense would be a benefit, if only to keep everyone else in their proper positions and working on plays that involve Beckham's downfield speed.

Tight ends: They're going to need one. Is Adrien Robinson looking like a real candidate? Is Daniel Fells? Are there different roles possible for guys like Kellen Davis and Larry Donnell as blockers? The Giants' weakest position group bears watching until we get a better handle on the ways in which its members can be expected to contribute.

OTA No. 9: Beckham Jr. still sidelined

June, 12, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants held their ninth of 10 offseason training activities (a.k.a. voluntary practices) on Thursday, and the big news was starting middle linebacker Jon Beason being carted off with a foot injury.

But, on the other side of the ball, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. -- the team's first-round draft pick -- was held out entirely because of a hamstring injury.

Beckham also sat out last Thursday's OTA, the previous one open to the media. But Beckham said he feels "a lot better" this week.

"I was running around today, running routes [on the side] and dancing in the locker room," Beckham said. "So I feel pretty good."

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the team is just being cautious with Beckham, given the time of year. The wideout hopes to be cleared to participate in next week's three-day mandatory minicamp.

"I’m pretty sure next week I’ll be back up and running," Beckham said.

The other Peyton: Running back Peyton Hillis sat out Thursday with a muscle strain. Hillis said he suffered the injury during the team's first OTA, but tried to play through it.

"Strained [it] a little more this past Thursday," Hillis said. "But been getting better, been getting healthy, hoping to make it out there by minicamp."

Coughlin said Hillis is in "fabulous shape." He is one of six running backs currently on the roster, along with David Wilson, Rashad Jennings, Michael Cox, Andre Williams and Kendall Gaskins.

The 28-year-old is the most accomplished of the bunch, having rushed for 1,177 yards with the Cleveland Browns back in 2010. Hillis ran for 247 yards (3.4 yards per carry) in seven games with the Giants last season. The team re-signed him to a two-year, $1.8 million contract during the offseason.

O-line update: Charles Brown, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Brandon Mosley and Justin Pugh was the team's first-string offensive line at the start of practice, from left to right.

Chris Snee was present and in uniform, but did not participate in team drills, with Mosley filling his spot at right guard. The same thing happened at last Thursday's OTA. The team is giving Snee some days off as he works his way back from offseason hip and elbow surgeries.

Mixed bag: Ryan Nassib continues to get most of the snaps after Eli Manning, with Curtis Painter just getting a couple here and there.

The second-year man from Syracuse has looked good at times, but Thursday was a day to forget.

Nassib threw three interceptions -- the first by safety C.J. Barnett, the second by cornerback Charles James and the third by safety Cooper Taylor.

On the bright side, Manning finished the day with a flourish, connecting deep with wideout Rueben Randle on the first play of a two-minute drill for a practice-ending touchdown.

But Manning had his forgettable moments as well, including a dropped shotgun snap, a pass batted down by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and several incompletions.

Coughlin admitted that the new offense, under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, is still very much a work in progress.

"It's slow, to be honest with you. The progress is slow," Coughlin said. "But steady. There are some days, of course, which are better than others. But we're getting there. There's a lot of things that have to be converted in the guys that have been here's minds, and the new people who have not been in a system such as this have a lot to learn."

Beckham sits out OTA on Thursday

June, 5, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants' first-round draft pick, was held out of the team's OTA on Thursday with a sore hamstring.

Beckham said he first felt the pain at the end of practice on Tuesday. "Just sore. My hamstring is pretty tight," he said. "But it felt pretty good today, two days later. Just typical soreness."

Beckham
The 12th overall pick did not sound very concerned about the hamstring issue, saying, "I'll probably practice tomorrow." But Giants coach Tom Coughlin was less optimistic.

"He may be [out] longer than that," Coughlin said. "You’re talking about a skilled athlete with a twinge, he may be longer than that."

Beckham Jr. was very durable in college, for what it's worth, playing in all 40 games during his three years at LSU.

Also missing in action: Fellow wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan was not present at the Giants' facility on Thursday, due to a death in the family.

Right guard Chris Snee was in uniform but sat out 11-on-11 team drills. Coughlin indicated it was a scheduled rest day, with Snee coming back from offseason hip and elbow surgeries.

Brandon Mosley, the team's fourth-round draft pick in 2012, played right guard with the first unit in place of Snee. Charles Brown played left tackle in place of the rehabbing Will Beatty. Center J.D. Walton, left guard Geoff Schwartz and right tackle Justin Pugh rounded out the starting O-line.

On the end: Eli Manning completed passes to three different tight ends Thursday during 11-on-11's -- Adrien Robinson, Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells.

Robinson in particular has looked good during the OTAs the media have been permitted to watch this spring, and Coughlin praised both Robinson and fellow tight end Larry Donnell following Thursday's practice.

"I think [Robinson's] done a really good job, in terms of just learning again, not many mental errors. I’ve been really impressed with that," Coughlin said. "[Larry] Donnell the same way. The guys have learned it, they’ve picked it up, they’re out there, they seem to be much more natural, not a lot of plodding. It seems like they’ve grasped what we want done, and let’s just hope they keep going."

The Giants desperately need one or more of these tight ends to step up. The five tight ends currently on the Giants' roster (including undrafted rookie Xavier Grimble) had a combined six catches in the NFL last season.

Return game: Wide receiver Rueben Randle, cornerback Walter Thurmond, and wideouts Victor Cruz and Trindon Holliday were the four players returning punts on Thursday, in that order.

(Thurmond muffed one punt, by the way.)

The three kick returners were safety Quintin Demps, Holliday and running back David Wilson.

Wilson was not yet been cleared for contact this week, as he had hoped, but he was a little more involved in Thursday's practice than he was a week ago. And Coughlin sounded optimistic about Wilson being cleared for training camp.

"Progress has been made, so it’s not a negative report at all in our opinion," Coughlin said. "He’s probably right where he should be."

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