NFC East: DeAndre Wright

Rookie surprise: Giants CB Bruce Johnson

October, 7, 2009
10/07/09
12:00
PM ET

NFC Rookie Surprise: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

 
 AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
 Bruce Johnson returned his only interception of the season 34 yards for a touchdown.
Former Miami Hurricanes cornerback Bruce Johnson had to endure the frustration of not being drafted after once being projected as an early- to mid-round prospect. He didn't wow anyone at the combine and he was barely a top-30 corner heading into the draft.

But when I arrived in Albany, N.Y., in August, Johnson was constantly making plays in training camp. You could tell right away that he was better than sixth-round draft choice DeAndre Wright -- and Tom Coughlin found a spot on the 53-man roster for him. With Kevin Dockery slowed by a hamstring injury, Johnson became the nickel corner to start the season. He had a forced fumble in his first regular-season game against the Redskins and he followed that up with a pick-six against the Cowboys the following week.

On the interception against the Cowboys, he lured Tony Romo into thinking he was in one-on-one coverage with Roy Williams and then he bailed out at the last second and jumped underneath an out route that Patrick Crayton was running. It was a veteran move by an undrafted rookie -- and he raced to the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.

The Eagles have a fifth-round draft pick named Victor "Macho" Harris who's already cracked the starting lineup at free safety, but I think Johnson had made the bigger impact early in the season. Dockery has returned to the lineup, but I don't think he'll be able to hold off Johnson for long. Johnson's just a very heady player who Coughlin already has a lot of faith in.
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The only thing I've seen him do wrong is get confused on a route the Chiefs ran near the Giants' goal line. On that play, Michael Boley raced back and broke up the pass. Johnson already has eight tackles, three pass deflections, a forced fumble and an interception. I don't think this is beginner's luck.

Some familiar names on Giants' practice squad

September, 7, 2009
9/07/09
9:59
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Here's a look at the New York Giants' 2009 practice squad -- for now: RB Allen Patrick, QB Rhett Bomar, S Vince Anderson, CB DeAndre Wright, S Sha’reff Rashad, DT Anthony Bryant, FB Nehemiah Broughton, TE Kareem Brown.

Brown and Broughton are the two players who didn't go to training camp with the Giants.

The Star-Ledger had a report Sunday indicated that former Bucs third-round choice Alex Smith (TE) was in town for a visit. Smith had been traded to the Patriots for a fifth-round choice in April, but he was released Saturday by the Pats.

Giants: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
6:34
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Biggest surprise: I guess Sinorice Moss actually making the team would qualify as somewhat of a surprise. He thought his days with the team were numbered, but he had two touchdowns in the Giants' final preseason game. The fact that Moss and Derek Hagan are both on the final roster is pretty surprising. The Giants now have seven receivers on the 53-man roster. That could certainly change if they make a move before the season opener or immediately after. I'm mildly surprised by Darcy Johnson making the team over Mike Matthews, who has played in every game the past two seasons. Matthews was traded to New England for a conditional draft choice. Johnson has more athleticism and his blocking's improved. Interesting to see the Giants release both Rhett Bomar and Andre' Woodson. They were both pretty bad in the final preseason game. I'm sure general manager Jerry Reese will try to sneak Bomar through to the practice squad. I'm a little surprised about former Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans getting cut. I don't think the Giants will be able to get him on the practice squad.

No-brainers: Cornerback DeAndre Wright looked OK early in camp, but he was exposed in the preseason. The Giants love to keep draft picks, but I'm not sure Wright will even be considered for the practice squad. He was outplayed by an undrafted player named Bruce Johnson, who made the 53-man roster. I also think safety Travonti Johnson is a no-brainer. Every time I looked up, Johnson was giving up a deep ball. And he didn't bring enough on special teams.

What's next: The Giants will be scouring the waiver wires to see who ends up getting cut along the offensive and defensive lines. With defensive tackle Jay Alford out for the year and Chris Canty still nursing a hamstring injury, I think Reese will keep his eye on some rookes who were released from other teams. And it's not like they have tremendous depth on the offensive line. I think Cliff Louis had every chance to make the team, but he made far too many mental mistakes. And the penalties didn't help. Glad to see defensive tackle Dave Tollefson grab one of the final spots. Interesting to see Leger Douzable make the roster. He may have been the last man in -- or maybe it's Hagan.

Jumping the gun on Giants' cuts

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
5:27
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Through various news outlets (including this one), the Giants' cuts have been trickling in all afternoon. Here's what the Daily News was reporting as of 5:10 p.m. ET. No huge surprises, but it does look like the Giants will release reserve quarterbacks Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar. General manager had indicated that Woodson was having the better training camp, but the former Kentucky player wasn't able to take it to the field in preseason.

After spending a fifth-round pick on Bomar, I'm sure the Giants would like to get him through to the practice squad. It's a bit of a surprise the Giants kept Darcy Johnson over Mike Matthews, who was the better blocker. I watched Johnson limp through a practice in Albany and sort of wrote him off.

We'll see if the Giants try to get defensive end Maurice Evans through to the practice squad. He sort of flashed early in training camp, but we haven't heard much from him lately. Not a surprise that cornerback DeAndre Wright will probably be released. He received a lot of opportunities, but he gave up too many big plays.

The Giants will put defensive tackle Jay Alford on injured reserve and then put linebacker Michael Boley on the suspended list. And don't think this will be a "final" 53-man roster. Jerry Reese will watch the waiver wire closely and see if he can add some depth in the defensive line.

Friday Beastlines

June, 19, 2009
6/19/09
10:52
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com staff

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Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

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