As the Giants completed their second week of OTAs, attention was again on non-football issues as Will Hill was waived and the NFL announced a four game suspension for Jayron Hosley for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse policy.
Strong safety Hill was waived on Monday and cleared waivers following the denial of his appeal and suspension for the first six games of next season. His third suspension in as many NFL seasons was the last straw for the Giants and the team decided to move on. Hill is reportedly being sued for damages to a house he rented in New Jersey. There have been reports that Hill signed with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football league, but he is not listed on the team’s roster. He will not be eligible to play in the NFL until week 7 of the 2014 season.
Third year cornerback Hosley was suspended upon denial of his appeal for a positive test last season. He is reported to have undergone substance abuse counseling and apologized to his teammates for the suspension, his first. Given the Giants depth at cornerback this season, Hosley will have a hard time making the final 53. His suspension make this task a magnitude of order more difficult.
Hill’s roster spot was filled with the signing of safety Kyle Sebetic, formerly of Dayton University. After a redshirt freshman season, Sebetic started four yearss for the Flyers and was all Pioneer League in his junior and senior seasons. The 5’11”, 194 pound Sebetic runs the 40 yard dash in 4.45 seconds and is expected to compete on special teams if he is to make the opening day roster.
Second year safety Cooper Taylor took some snaps with the first team defense in Thursday’s OTA practice. If he can stay healthy, Taylor is the player who can most benefit from Hill’s release. Taylor has added six pounds of muscle since his rookie year, which has not gone unnoticed by Head Coach Tom Coughlin, “You can see he’s a much bigger human being right now.”
Former South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton is scheduled for a tryout on Tuesday, June 10th. Possessing 5th or 6th round talent, Hampton went undrafted due to character concerns. Although cleared of any wrong doing, he was questioned by police in connection with an assault at a New York City night club in April. April was a bad month for Hampton as he was also arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following an argument with his sister. The charges were later dropped. Hampton projects as a safety in the NFL.
Linebackers Jon Beason and Jameel McClain are developing a strong rapport. Beason is in command in the huddle, and McClain is in sync with him, as the defense is adjusting based on how the offense lines up and shifts at the line of scrimmage. McLain’s coverage ability compliments Beason’s strong run stopping prowess.
“Sizable Progress” is the buzzphrase of the week in reference to the Giant offense. Reporters given access for the second time at Thursday’s OTA practice could see progress in picking up Ben McAdoo’s scheme, despite two receivers missing time. Rookie Odell Beckham sat out with a sore hamstring, and Jerrell Jernigan was absent due to a death in the family. Marcus Harris, Preston Parker, and Trindon Holliday all made the most of increased opportunities at wide receiver. Overall, the offense moved better and appeared to have a much firmer grasp on the plays.
Brandon Mosley, not rookie Weston Richburg, took first team snaps at right guard for Chris Snee, who was given the day off as part of his recovery from off season surgery. Charles Brown remained in the lineup for Will Beatty at left tackle. The rest of the starting offensive line: Geoff Schwartz, left guard; J.D. Walton, center, and Justin Pugh, right tackle. The appeared to be meshing well, and picked up blitzes from the defense without struggling, something Eli Manning will welcome in the regular season.
Tight ends Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson are reported to be taking naturally to McAdoo’s offense. Coughlin praised their “lack of mental errors” and “lack of plodding.” With expectations for the position especially low for the tight end position this season, one of these young players is in a position to make a surprise splash if they can stay on the field. The team is working out former Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Tom Crabtree next week. Crabtree, who has a pedestrian 22 career receptions for 323 yards and 5 touchdowns in four NFL seasons, played for McAdoo when he was tight ends coach in Green Bay and is familiar with the scheme he runs. Crabtree would prove a more valuable mentor to Donnell and Robinson than either Daniel Fells or Kellen Davis because of his familiarity with the offense.
Beckham commented that his sore hamstring is not a concern, maintaining that he played with similar soreness often at LSU, that the injury is not serious, and he was held out of the OTA practice as a precaution. Coughlin was not as optimistic, concerned that he may be out more than one day, “You’re talking about a skilled athlete with a little tightness, so me may be out longer than that (one day).”
David Wilson had the MRI on his neck on Wednesday, June 4th and was not cleared for contact. He has made significant progress in his healing from his January 16th surgery and is expected to be cleared following a scheduled pre-training camp MRI. Wilson was returning kicks during Thursday’s non-contact OTA practice.
The Giants report to training camp, at their practice facility in East Rutherford, on July 21st. Their first practice will be July 22nd.
All of the Giants draft picks have signed contracts except third round pick Jay Bromley. According to Jason Fitzgerald of overthecap.com, there is some flexibility in third round salaries, which may explain the delay. Bromley is expected to sign soon. Holdouts are a thing of the past since the rookie wage scale came into effect with the 2011 CBA.
Jets rookie Calvin Pryor, their first round draft pick, and a noted trash talker, stated this week that he hates both the Giants and the Patriots.
Punter Steve Weatherford attended the Bayonne High School prom this week with a Giants fan senior who tweeted him an invitation to be her date inscribed on a football back in April. Weatherford accepted and made good on the promise.
Former Giant Luke Pettitgout, who last played for the team in 2006, was arrested for the second time since August 2013, this time for punching a man at a New York City night club. The victim was in attendance at an event with Pettitgout’s wife Jennifer. Pettitgout’s 2013 arrest stemmed from a domestic dispute involving his with and the charges were eventually dropped. Pettitgout, 37, has been out of the NFL since playing the 2007 season with Tampa Bay, is being charged with misdemeanor assault. His wife is filing for a restraining order.
Another former Giant, running back Derrick Ward, who rushed for 1,000 yard in his last season with the team in 2008, claims the team allowed him to play at least twice after suffering a concussion and that he hid an additional five concussions from the team so he could play the next week. Ward also states that he frequently took pain killing injections to enable him to play in games and feared being cut if he did not. He believes he suffered at least ten concussions while playing in the NFL and has had some memory loss as a result. Ward has not been linked with either of the well publicized law suits pertaining to these two issues.
The Giants have one more week of OTA practices coming up with week, a mini camp on June 17th to 19th before breaking until training camp convenes on July 21st. Check back here for breaking news and a summary of the best of the third week of OTAs.