For the third year, current NFL players have voted to offer their ranking of the 100 best players in the league heading into 2013, and two Giants made the latest installment, which was unveiled on NFL Network this week. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul came in at No. 55, down from No. 24 in 2012, while wide receiver Victor Cruz was ranked No. 58 after previously being voted No. 39.
“I think of Jason, I think of freakish athletic ability,” former Cowboys guard Derrick Dockery said on NFL Network. “I think of explosiveness. If you don’t bring it every play, you will get embarrassed.”
Tampa Bay offensive tackle Donald Penn also lauded Pierre-Paul, who had eight tackles and a sack against his Buccaneers in their 2012 meeting.
“He’s a specimen,” Penn said. “He’s one of those beasts. His arms are so long I think if he stands straight up, he could scratch his knee without bending down, and that causes a lot of problems for a tackle. As a tackle, you’ve got to get your hands on him first, and Pierre-Paul is hard to get your hands on first because his arms are so long.”
Five members of the Giants earned a nod in 2012: WR Hakeem Nicks (90), DE Justin Tuck (62), Cruz (39), QB Eli Manning (31), and Pierre-Paul (24).
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Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz
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Believe it or not, we’re less than three months away from the Giants’ first preseason game. And with the new season sneaking up, CBS Sports this week took a look at where everyone stacks up across the NFL, ranking the top 100 players.
Senior columnist Pete Prisco, composer of the annual list, included three Giants in the NFL Top 100 – Jason Pierre-Paul, Eli Manning, and Victor Cruz. Unlike some outlets that base their rankings on production from the previous season, Prisco looked at where they rank heading into 2013, and here’s what he had to say:
21. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants: “He didn’t have the kind of year the Giants hoped he’d have. He looked heavy and wasn’t as explosive. But he remains as talented a pass rusher as there is in the game.”
28. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: “He didn’t have the season the Giants expected, but there were a lot of reasons why. He’s still one of the best.”
72. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: “He had 86 catches and 10 touchdowns, but he wasn’t as good as he was in 2011. He seemed to struggle with all the extra attention at times.”
Three quarterbacks made the top five, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, who came in at No. 1 for the second consecutive year. And while we’re on the subject of rankings, the crew at CBS Sports also counted down the best front offices in the NFL. The Giants came in fourth in that department behind the Ravens, Patriots, and Packers.
“I’m putting a premium on winning a Super Bowl recently, which this team has done twice,” Jason La Canfora wrote. “And they’ve done it despite a regime change with Jerry Reese expertly taking over for Ernie Accorsi, which I think gets overlooked and underappreciated. The strong hand of ownership, supporting coach Tom Coughlin through rough patches, has been vital as well.”
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Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz
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The debate doesn’t stop at the NFL Draft. That’s where it begins.
Shortly after the 254th selection of the NFL Draft is announced Saturday night, NFL Network will debut its first installment of Top 100 Players of 2013. For the third straight year, current players have voted to determine the list, which will be unveiled in increments of 10 beginning Saturday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET and ending with the top player crowned in late June.
Five members of the Giants earned a nod in 2012: WR Hakeem Nicks (90), DE Justin Tuck (62), WR Victor Cruz (39), QB Eli Manning (31), and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (24).
Here’s a complete look at 2012′s ranking:
100. RB Chris Johnson, Titans
99. C Ryan Kalil, Panthers
98. RB Willis McGahee, Broncos
97. OT Donald Penn, Buccaneers
96. LB D’Qwell Jackson, Browns
95. QB Tim Tebow, Jets
94. RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
93. CB Cortland Finnegan, Rams
92. FB John Kuhn, Packers
91. QB Tony Romo, Cowboys
90. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
89. DE Dwight Freeney, Colts
88. RB Michael Turner, Falcons
87. LB London Fletcher, Redskins
86. RB Darren Sproles, Saints
85. LB NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
84. DE Chris Long, Rams
83. RB Fred Jackson, Bills
82. OT Joe Thomas, Browns
81. DT Vince Wilfork, Patriots
80. WR Jordy Nelson, Packers
79. Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles
78. LB Derrick Johnson, Chiefs
77. WR A.J. Green, Bengals
76. OL Carl Nicks, Buccaneers
75. TE Jason Witten, Cowboys
74. QB Joe Flacco, Ravens
73. CB Johnathan Joseph Texans
72. LB Lance Briggs, Bears
71. WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles
70. QB Michael Vick, Eagles
69. CB Carolos Rogers, 49ers
68. DE Elvis Dumervil, Broncos
67. OT Joe Staley, 49ers
66. S Earl Thomas, Seahawks
65. WR Roddy White, Falcons
64. G Logan Mankins, Patriots
63. LB LaMarr Woodley, Steelers
62. DE Justin Tuck, Giants
61. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers
60. RB Darren McFadden, Raiders
59. OT Jake Long, Dolphins
58. LB Jonathan Vilma, Saints
57. DE Trent Cole, Eagles
56. WR Greg Jennings, Packers
55. CB Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
54. LB Brian Cushing, Texans
53. TE Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
52. LB Von Miller, Broncos
51. LB Brian Urlacher, Bears
50. QB Peyton Manning, Broncos
49. C Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
48. WR Devin Hester, Bears
47. WR Mike Wallace, Steelers
46. CB Champ Bailey, Broncos
45. FB Vonta Leach, Ravens
44. DE Jason Babin, Eagles
43. TE Vernon Davis, 49ers
42. OT Jason Peters, Eagles
41. QB Matthew Stafford, Lions
40. QB Cam Newton, Panthers
39. WR Victor Cruz, Giants
38. DT Ndamukong Suh, Lions
37. RB Steven Jackson, Rams
36. CB Charles Woodson, Packers
35. WR Steve Smith, Panthers
34. LB Tamba Hali, Chiefs
33. RB Matt Forte, Bears
32. G Jahri Evans, Saints
31. QB Eli Manning, Giants
30. QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
29. LB James Harrison, Steelers
28. RB Frank Gore, 49ers
27. LB Clay Matthews, Packers
26. DE Julius Peppers, Bears
25. RB Arian Foster, Texans
24. DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants
23. WR Wes Welker, Patriots
22. RB Ray Rice, Ravens
21. TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
20. LB Ray Lewis, Ravens
19. S Troy Polamalu, Steelers
18. RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles
17. DE Justin Smith, 49ers
16. S Ed Reed, Ravens
15. WR Andre Johnson, Texans
14. TE Jimmy Graham, Saints
13. DE Jared Allen, Vikings
12. RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
11. LB Terrell Suggs, Ravens
10. LB Patrick Willis, 49ers
9. DT Haloti Ngata, Ravens
8. RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings
7. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
6. LB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
5. CB Darrelle Revis, Jets
4. QB Tom Brady, Patriots
3. WR Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. QB Drew Brees, Saints
1. QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers
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Tags: Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Victor Cruz
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For NFL hopefuls that either performed poorly at the scouting combine or didn’t participate at all, there are always college pro-day workouts to showcase their talents. With the combine having wrapped up in Indianapolis this week, coaches and scouts now hit the road and visit colleges around the country for the next round of evaluations.
For lower-profile players, these workouts could boost their stock in the upcoming draft. Just take a look back at Osi Umenyiora and Victor Cruz, writes NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt, to see how their professional careers were boosted by their pro days coming out of Troy and UMass, respectively.
“Umenyiora, who did not go to the combine, had a knockout performance at Troy’s pro day, running in the 4.65-second range and showing good athleticism and speed,” said Brandt, the former vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960-89. “Consequently, the New York Giants made him their second-round choice in the 2003 NFL Draft.”
Since his pro day in 2003, Umenyiora has been named All-Pro twice in his career to go along with two Super Bowl rings. Meanwhile, Cruz wouldn’t be drafted coming out of college in 2010, but he showed enough to the Giants that he was signed as a rookie free agent. The rest is history.
“A UMass product who was not invited to the combine, Cruz worked out at two different pro days ahead of the 2010 NFL Draft — once at his own school and once at Boston College,” Brandt continued. “He didn’t have great speed (running the 40 in 4.52 and 4.47 seconds at Boston College), but teams got to see what he could do as a route runner; they got to see that he had quickness and the ability to catch the ball. He went undrafted, but eventually stuck with the Giants, becoming a key figure for the team that won Super Bowl XLVI.”
As of Friday, the 2013 pro days are officially underway. Here is a look at the upcoming schedule:
March 1: Purdue, Texas-El Paso
March 4: Alabama-Birmingham, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota State, Troy
March 5: Auburn, Buffalo, Harding, Jackson State, Missouri Southern State, Northwestern, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tuskegee, Youngstown State
March 6: Alabama A&M, Duquesne, Eastern Washington, Kent State, Mississippi State, North Alabama, Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Texas Tech, Wisconsin
March 7: Arizona, Arkansas-Monticello, Clemson, Furman, Idaho, Illinois, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Syracuse, Washington State
March 8: Arizona State, Cornell, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Missouri State, Montana, Mount Union, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Southern Mississippi, TCU, Texas A&M, Wofford
March 11: California (Pa.), Central Michigan, Penn State
March 12: Delaware State, Florida, Jacksonville State, Kansas State, Lehigh, Monmouth, Oklahoma State, Portland State, Toledo, Towson, Tulane, UCLA
March 13: Alabama, Central Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Washington
March 14: Arkansas State, California, Delaware, Fort Valley State, Georgia Tech, Grambling State, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Tulsa, UNLV, West Alabama, West Virginia, Wyoming
March 15: Arkansas, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kansas, Oregon State, San Jose State
March 18: Air Force, Albany State (Ga.), Houston, Howard, Idaho State, Indiana, Memphis, Montana State, Valdosta State, Villanova, Virginia Union, Wake Forest
March 19: Florida A&M, Florida State, Louisville, Richmond (with Liberty), Sam Houston State, San Diego State, Virginia
March 20: Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Ohio, Sacramento State, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky
March 21: Boise State, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico State, Old Dominion, Stanford, Stony Brook, Temple, William & Mary
March 22: Missouri Western, Tennessee State, Vanderbilt
March 25: Duke, Iowa, Middle Tennessee State, Stephen F. Austin
March 26: Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, Notre Dame, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas
March 27: LSU, South Carolina, SMU, USC
March 28: BYU, Central Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Yale
March 29: Southeast Missouri State
April 2: Columbia
Tags: NFL Draft, Osi Umenyiora, Victor Cruz
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Just another day in Hawaii.
On the last offensive play for the AFC all-stars, Houston’s defensive end — who played some tight end in college — lined up outside, and naturally, the Giants’ own pass rusher was there to cover him. Pierre-Paul won the jump ball thrown by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the right side of the end zone and came down with the interception, capping off a 62-35 NFC victory.
“That interception by JPP in the end zone was pretty impressive,” Cruz told NBC after the game. “I know I’m biased, but that was pretty impressive. All these guys played great. It was great all week long hanging out with these guys, and it was an honor to play in this game.”
Along with Pierre-Paul, Cruz, Manning and Chris Snee represented the Giants in Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium this year.
After Pierre-Paul sacked Denver’s Peyton Manning to begin the second quarter, Eli Manning took over on the ensuing possession for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and completed 16 of 23 passes for 191 yards, an interception and two touchdowns, including a nine-yard strike to Cruz to give their side a 17-14 lead. It was all NFC after that.
Cruz finished with 96 yards and a Pro-Bowl record 10 catches, but it was Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph who took home MVP honors after hauling in five receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown.
“The energy level was high,” Cruz said. “The effort level was there. Guys were really putting some hits on people, not to hurt them but just playing solid football. And I think it was indicative of us wanting to keep this game alive and keep this game in Hawaii for years to come and I think we really proved that out here today.”
Tags: Chris Snee, Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz
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In a season that fell short of the playoffs, the Giants still provided some memorable moments from 2012, including Eli Manning’s 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in Week 7.
Keeping the magic of the Super Bowl run the previous year alive, the late strike to beat the Washington Redskins in MetLife Stadium is nominated for the 2012 Bridgestone Play of the Year.
From a pool of 20 moments, fans can rank the top 10 performances before the winner will be revealed during the “2nd Annual NFL Honors” awards special on Saturday, Feb. 2, the night before Super Bowl XLVII.
Hosted again by Alec Baldwin, the full list of awards presented from the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans will be:
AP Most Valuable Player presented by Papa John’s
AP Coach of the Year
AP Offensive Player of the Year
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year presented by Pepsi Max
Pepsi Max Rookie of the Year
GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year
NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year presented by SAP
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
AP Comeback Player of the Year presented by Lenovo
AP Defensive Player of the Year
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year presented by Pepsi Max
FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
Bridgestone Play of the Year
“Greatness on the Road” Award presented by Courtyard Marriott
Salute To Service Award Presented by USAA
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Tags: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz
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The National Football League today announced the five finalists for the 2012 GMC NEVER SAY NEVER MOMENT OF THE YEAR. The “GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year” is the best moment or play of the year that represents determination and perseverance.
Wk 3: Torrey Smith Leads Ravens To Emotional Win
Wk 5: Drew Brees Tops Record In Saints’ First Win
Wk 6: Peyton Manning Directs Broncos To Comeback Win
Wk 7: Victor Cruz’s Late TD Lifts Giants Past Redskins
Wk 14: Kirk Cousins Completes Redskins’ Comeback
Fans can vote for one of these five moments on www.nfl.com/gmc through 9:00 PM EST on Thursday, January 24 to determine the 2012 GMC NEVER SAY NEVER MOMENT OF THE YEAR.
The winner will be presented the 2012 GMC NEVER SAY NEVER MOMENT OF THE YEAR award in New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII, at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, 9-11 p.m. EST on CBS. Read more »
Tags: Victor Cruz
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Here is a sampling of Giants records set and milestones reached in 2012:
» TOM COUGHLIN (83) surpassed BILL PARCELLS (77) for the second-most regular season wins in Giants history among head coaches, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE OWEN (153).
» QB ELI MANNING (211) became the Giants’ all-time leader in touchdown passes (PHIL SIMMS, 199). Manning threw 26 TD passes in 2012, his fourth season with at least 25. He is the only Giants QB to reach 25 touchdown passes in at least three seasons.
» WR VICTOR CRUZ collected 86 receptions for 1,092 yards with 10 touchdowns. Cruz is the first player in club annals to post at least 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and 10 TD catches in a season.
» Rookie RB-KR DAVID WILSON set a single-game franchise record with 327 all purpose yards in Week 14. Wilson became the first player in NFL history with at least 200 kickoff return yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game.
» S STEVIE BROWN amassed an NFL-best 307 interception-return yards, a Giants franchise record. His eight interceptions tied for the second-most in the league.
» Cruz caught a game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass from Manning in Week 7, the longest game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes of a game in franchise history.
» Gained 604 yards of total offense in Week 2, the second-most in team history (609, 12/3/1950).
For records and milestones set around the NFL, CLICK HERE.
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Tags: Bill Parcells, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Phil Simms, Steve Owen, Stevie Brown, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz
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Every week Giants.com posts its production of “Sights and Sounds,” and each time we get a glimpse into life on the sidelines during an NFL game.
So you could imagine the reaction to Henry Hynoski’s first career touchdown in Week 17 when he proceeded to charge like a rhinoceros, as he has been compared to, for his end zone celebration. His teammates, like the rest of us, could only sit back and enjoy the show.
“It was awesomely bad,” center David Baas said on the sideline before congratulating the second-year fullback.
Even the salsa dancer approved.
“I liked it, I liked it,” said Victor Cruz, sitting next to Hynoski when they returned to the bench. “The crazy thing is how long he had that in the back pocket. You know he had that thing in the back pocket.”
After the game, Hynoski admitted, “I had it in the back of my head since the start of the season. I came close a couple times this year, but didn’t really get the opportunity to use it. I had it stored away in case it would happen.”
Hynoski’s celebration also made waves outside of MetLife Stadium and was dubbed “The Hy-noceros” by an NFL.com vote that asks fans to name a play on a given week.
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Tags: David Baas, Henry Hynoski, Victor Cruz
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QB Eli Manning: 260 yards shy of 4,000 passing yards in the 2012 regular season.
WR Victor Cruz: Two touchdown receptions away from 20 career receiving touchdowns.
WR Hakeem Nicks: 274 yards shy of 4,000 career receiving yards; three touchdown receptions away from 30 career receiving touchdowns.
TE Martellus Bennett: 11 receptions shy of 150 career receptions; 43 receiving yards shy of 1,500 career receiving yards.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw: Three rushing touchdowns away from surpassing Ron Johnson (33) on the Giants all-time rushing touchdowns list and tying Frank Gifford for seventh on the Giants’ all-time list.
DE Osi Umenyiora: 5.0 sacks away from 80.0 career sacks.
DE Justin Tuck: 1.5 sacks away from 50.0 career sacks; Two forced fumbles away from 20 career forced fumbles.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul: 2.5 sacks away from 30.0 career sacks.
DT Rocky Bernard: Two tackles away from 400 career tackles.
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Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Martellus Bennett, Osi Umenyiora, Rocky Bernard, Victor Cruz
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