EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- He has seen them all, has New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. A child of the 1990s, Beckham is no stranger to Internet memes, and since Sunday night he's seen the superimposed images of himself in his one-handed-catch pose on the Sistine Chapel, rescuing Steve Bartman from infamy, dunking over LeBron James... all of them. Pressed on Wednesday for a favorite, Beckham said he enjoyed the one where he's catching 50 Cent's shockingly errant ceremonial first pitch at a Mets game.

"That one gave me a good laugh," Beckham said.

[+] EnlargeOdell Beckham Jr.
Steiner Sports Odell Beckham Jr. has been getting plenty of attention this week for eye-popping Sunday night TD grab.
He's watched his brilliant touchdown catch several times, and in a serious moment Wednesday he said it "got me into my religious side." That likely came up in conversation with Giants player development director David Tyree, who told Beckham he thought that catch may have been better than his own famed "helmet catch" that helped beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

"I told him, 'No way. Yours was in the Super Bowl. Period,'" Beckham said. "Mine was just in a regular-season game. I still have to take my hat off to him for that."

The catch has obviously defined Beckham's week, as he hasn't been able to go anywhere without seeing it, hearing about it or being asked to talk about it. That includes autograph signings and other appearances he's made this week, and of course Wednesday's post-practice session with the media.

"It's definitely still there," Beckham said. "There's no way of denying that. For the most part, I'm just trying to get ready for this week. We do have another game coming up Sunday, so you've got to find a way to put it behind you at some point."

Wednesday he was asked to pose in front of his locker with the gloves he wears during games. They are sticky Nike gloves he's used since college, where he said he and his teammates were asked to offer feedback on them and he said they were among his all-time favorites. Some have pointed out that the gloves have a lot to do with Beckham's ability to make his one-handed catches, and he agrees.

"The gloves definitely help, but that's part of the game," Beckham said. "You're allowed to wear gloves. They're not against the rules, but they definitely do help."

Asked whether he could repeat the play bare-handed, Beckham said he didn't know, but he didn't rule it out. He's been practicing one-handed catches since high school, and spent time before practices at LSU competing with teammate and current Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry to see who could make the craziest ones. Landry has emerged as a strong young wide receiver option for Ryan Tannehill in Miami, and he and Beckham are enjoying each other's success from afar. Beckham's mission now is not to enjoy his own too much.

"Just continue to keep doing the little things right," Beckham said of what he does moving forward. "Obviously, as a receiver, we're supposed to catch the ball with two hands. So any time the ball's coming your way, catch the ball, and just keep continuing to get better each and every day."
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lots of New York Giants showed up on Wednesday's pre-practice injury report, but there seemed to be more good injury news than bad.

The only Giants who didn't practice due to injury were guard Adam Snyder, who injured his knee in Sunday's game, linebacker Jameel McClain, who did the same, and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who has been practicing on a limited schedule all season due to a knee issue. Safety Antrel Rolle also missed practice, and the team said that was due to a personal matter.

Linebacker Jacquian Williams (concussion), tackle Justin Pugh (quad) and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (calf), each of whom missed Sunday's game due to their injuries, were doing individual work at practice, which is progress for each of them. Guard Geoff Schwartz, who made his debut Sunday after missing the first 10 games of the season with a toe injury, was also a limited participant in practice.

And Odell Beckham Jr., the star of the week, was a full participant in practice in spite of the back injury he suffered at the end of Sunday's loss to the Cowboys.

"I was full-go today," said Beckham, who described his injury as "a bruise to the bone."

"It was sore after the game for sure and the next day and even yesterday, but it’s feeling a lot better today."

The Giants will have a practice Thursday morning before they're sent home to spend Thanksgiving with their families, then return for a full Friday practice before flying to Jacksonville on Saturday for Sunday's game there. At this point, the biggest question marks for Sunday are Snyder, Williams, Pugh and Jenkins, though the fact that the latter three are doing any work at all is encouraging.
DAVIE, Fla. – Few NFL players know New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as well as Miami Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry. The longtime friends were college teammates and roommates at LSU and, according to Landry, the pair talk daily.

That is why Landry has a unique and well-informed perspective on Beckham's amazing, one-handed touchdown catch in last Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Some are calling it one of the greatest catches in NFL history, and Landry agrees.

“We were walking through the airport when it flashed across to the screen. I wanted to immediately, my reaction, I wanted to scream,” Landry said. “But I’ve seen him make that catch countless times. It’s one of the things that we always worked on in college, just throwing to each other. So it’s wasn’t something that I didn’t expect he couldn’t do. He’s a freak.”

[+] EnlargeBeckham
Al Bello/Getty ImagesAs exciting as it was, Odell Beckham Jr.'s catch didn't surprise former teammate Jarvis Landry.
Landry texted Beckham while he was still playing Sunday night. They spoke about the astounding catch soon after New York’s game finished.

In many ways, Landry and Beckham pushed one another to become top receiver prospects in this year’s NFL draft. Beckham was a first-round pick in New York and Landry went to Miami in the second round.

Landry said he and Beckham started working on one-handed catches together at LSU and did it regularly during their college careers. It still remains an important part of both receivers’ pregame routine. Landry also said there was a highlight tape of cutups during his time at LSU with various one-handed catches by him and Beckham that is amazing to watch.

“For me and him, it was just one of those things that we always challenged each other with,” Landry said. “We were always so competitive with each other. If he made a catch, I wanted to make a catch. If I made a catch, he wanted to make a catch. It was just one of those things that allowed us to push each other in college and got us to this point right now and gave us the ability to make these plays that we’re making.”

Both rookie receivers are having productive seasons. Beckham has 41 receptions for 609 yards and five touchdowns; Landry has 49 receptions for 450 yards and five touchdowns. The pair continue to encourage each other from a distance.

“We talk literally every day, whether it's FaceTime, text or whatever," Landry said. "We talk and just kind of challenge each other mentally. We know the physical aspect is there. But I think our friendship and our brotherhood that we have is one of the strongest parts of our lives.”

Landry said he's proud of his close friend for making such an amazing play. He also explained Beckham is going through an adjustment this week becoming an overnight sports celebrity and a household name.

“Now he says he can’t even touch his phone,” Landry said of Beckham. “Every time he touches his phone it freezes because he’s getting texts and Instagrams and stuff like that. So I definitely think it’s a hectic time for making the ‘catch of the century.’”

Changes coming on Giants' D-line? Perhaps

November, 26, 2014
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin admitted the obvious on Wednesday: His team's pass rush has been a major disappointment this season.

"It is something that has been missing the majority of the time this year," Coughlin said. "The effectiveness of pressures, whether they come out of the secondary, the linebacker level, we have not been good with that.

"Plus, to be honest with you, we’ve had some missed assignments when those are called. The responsibility starts with me."

It may start with Coughlin, but it quickly extends to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the players themselves. Yes, Fewell could've called more blitzes against the Cowboys last Sunday, particularly on that final drive. But the guys up front have failed to live up to expectations this season.

Kiwanuka
Pierre-Paul
Starting defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka have a combined six sacks -- 3.5 for Pierre-Paul, 2.5 for Kiwanuka. Pierre-Paul had 16.5 in 2011 and Kiwanuka had as many as eight in 2008.

"We’d like to think we would be a better team with pressure," Coughlin said. "There are a bunch of guys up front that are supposed to be known for that."

Robert Ayers leads the team with five sacks and is also tops in quarterback hits (12) and quarterback hurries (24), according to Pro Football Focus. This despite the fact that he has played only 350 snaps. In comparison, Pierre-Paul has played 651 and Kiwanuka 558.

Ayers had gotten more playing time of late, until the game against the Cowboys, when he was in for only 20 of 55 defensive snaps and was not on the field for Dallas' game-winning drive.

When asked Wednesday if he felt he was benched, Ayers shrugged, then said, "I’m not the starter, so how can a backup be benched? The guys that started the game were the guys that played (at the end)."

"Ayers has had some success, (but) didn’t play very well last weekend," Coughlin said earlier.

For what it's worth, Ayers was credited with three of the Giants' six quarterback hurries against the Cowboys, despite the limited amount of snaps. And he received a positive grade for the game from Pro Football Focus -- in fact, he got the highest grade of any defensive player on the team.

"Maybe? That’s his assessment," Ayers said, when Coughlin's criticism was brought to his attention. "The way I viewed it was, there wasn’t any other game this season when the starters didn’t finish the game. If I was benched, I was benched. I don’t know."

Speaking of sacks, second-year defensive end Damontre Moore had one of the Giants' two against the Cowboys (Kiwanuka had the other). But Moore played only six snaps and has played only 167 on the season, despite being active for every game.

"Young Damontre, everybody wants him in the ballgame. He did have some success the other day with one sack," Coughlin said. "He should have been playing a little bit more."

When asked why we haven't seen more of Moore, Coughlin indicated that poor performances in practice are the reason.

"Because there are times, to be honest with you, during the week when you talk about confidence level, whether it’s assignment football or whatever -- for whatever reason, it hasn’t been something that we thought he knows exactly what he’s doing and so on and so forth," Coughlin said. "The practices have to fulfill the idea that we can go ahead and play him under all kinds of circumstances is what we’d like to do, not just on third down."

The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants' opponent this coming Sunday, have given up 43 sacks through 11 games, the worst total in the entire NFL. So if the pass rush is going to come alive this season, this would be the week.

But the Giants have just 19 sacks in 11 games, ranking them 26th in the league.

At 3-8 and virtually eliminated from playoff contention, perhaps it's time for the Giants to give guys like Ayers and Moore a bigger opportunity to show what they can really do.

How to build a better Rex Ryan

November, 26, 2014
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Like the quarterback he just returned to the bench, Michael Vick, Rex Ryan is a goner. He has five games left in his six-year New York Jets administration, and then he will likely do a little song and dance in someone's TV booth before re-emerging as a head coach with another team.

Rex will be remembered in these parts for delivering wildly entertaining copy, for blustering his way into two AFC Championship Games, and for ultimately being another nice guy who finished last. Even if his Jets finish 2-14 this year, we've seen worse runs in this market. Rich Kotite didn't make it to two victories in his second and final season with the Jets, and hey, he never advanced to the NFL's final four.

But for all of the staggering mistakes made by owner Woody Johnson and GM John Idzik, Ryan wasn't an innocent bystander here. He was terrible down the stretch of his Jets career, too, and if he hasn't learned from his own triple-bogeys, he will be certain to repeat them on his future owner's tab.

So what does Ryan need to do to improve at his job? Other than staying at least a dozen zip codes away from Johnson and Idzik at all times, how does Ryan make sure his second go-round as a head coach turns out better than his first?

Ryan can't get by on mere reminders from friends that Bill Belichick stunk in his first head-coaching shot in Cleveland. On the two-year anniversary of Ryan's Thanksgiving night debacle against Belichick's New England Patriots, the Jets' coach needs a kick in the butt-fumble.

We're only here to help. This is how to build a better Rex:

Take that TV job instead of a defensive coordinator's job


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Time is now for Giants to evaluate line

November, 26, 2014
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ESPN Giants reporter Dan Graziano says New York would be wise to determine how much talent it has on the offensive line over the course of the final five games.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- While it might be ludicrous to suggest the Seattle Seahawks are a one-dimensional team on offense, they are the No. 1-ranked rushing team in the league while ranking 30th in passing.

Still, the Seahawks, behind the two-headed rushing attack of running back Marshawn Lynch, who is fifth in the NFL with 852 yards, and quarterback Russell Wilson, who leads all QBs with 644 yards, don't care if you know their style.

Wilson
Go ahead, try and stop us, seems to be their mantra.

"They're a tough running game to defend," said San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. "They've got Marshawn Lynch, who we all know is, if he's not the best back in the league he's second to somebody, I wouldn't know who that would be. And then you've got [Wilson] back there who could pull the ball at anytime and become a runner himself."

In eight career regular-season games against the 49ers, Lynch has rushed for 687 yards on 152 carries, a 4.5-yards per carry average, with five touchdowns, trailing only the seven he's scored against the New York Giants.

Wilson, meanwhile, has rushed for 74 yards on 20 carries in four regular-season games against the Niners.

"So, it's like defending Lynch and his great running style, and when Wilson has the ball in his hand, he's like defending Barry Sanders with his quickness and speed and elusiveness," Fangio said. "He's a tough assignment. He's got more rushing yards than most of the running backs in the league."

And one of the biggest compliments.

QB snapshot: Eli Manning

November, 25, 2014
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A quick observation of quarterback Eli Manning and how he played in the New York Giants' 31-28 loss to the Cowboys in Week 12:

Manning
 Manning was pressured on 31 percent of his dropbacks Sunday night, which is right in line with what he has faced (29.8 percent) during the Giants' six-game losing streak. The difference Sunday was in the way he handled that pressure. Manning was 7-for-11 for 61 yards and no interceptions when facing pressure Sunday, as compared with 3-for-13 for 48 yards and two interceptions the week before against San Francisco.

The pressure isn't going anywhere. Manning's next two games are on the road against Jacksonville and Tennessee, teams that rank No. 3 and 4 in sacks so far this year. The Giants' offensive line continues to struggle with consistency. Manning will have to overcome quarterback pressure and run the offense in spite of it.
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The 2014 rookie receiver class might be the best ever; 23 pass-catchers could have 1,000-yard seasons.
video Will Hill was the best player on the New York Giants' defense last year.

If you'd forgotten that, then watching Hill cover Jimmy Graham and return an interception for a touchdown Monday Night to help the Ravens beat the Saints brought it all back home for you. Hill is a special talent, and he would undoubtedly be an asset to a struggling Giants defense that's especially banged up in the secondary.

But none of that means the Giants were wrong to release Hill in June after learning of his third drug suspension in as many seasons.

"When you run a business, you have to be able to rely and depend on people to be there when you need them to perform their duties," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said at the time.

And that's it. Releasing Hill had nothing to do with the Giants' feelings about drugs, about Hill personally or about his ability to help them win their Week 12 game. It was all about the Giants deciding, with good reason, that they couldn't trust Hill to show up for work. He misses games due to a drug suspension literally every single year. His next suspension would likely be for at least a full year, if not longer. You can't keep investing time and resources and a roster spot in a player who has proven he's not going to be able to play every game.

There are players all over the league who get injured and miss games every year, and it's easy for people to understand the idea of moving on from those players because they can't get on the field. This should be even easier to understand. Hill doesn't have injury issues, which wouldn't necessarily be his fault. He has bad-life-decision issues, which are his fault and which he has shown an inability and/or unwillingness to correct.

"Will knew the situation he put the Giants in. He forced their hand," Giants safety and Hill confidant Antrel Rolle said at the time of the suspension. "For him to keep moving himself in the wrong direction is not a good thing. It's too easy to do right to keep doing wrong."

The Giants are happy to see Hill succeeding in Baltimore, where he sat out the first six games of the season after his latest suspension. They liked him as a person and loved him as a player, and no one in their building is surprised to see him playing well. But in order to get the benefits of Will Hill, you have to accept the drawbacks -- the most significant of which is the likelihood that he tests positive once again for drugs and can't play for you anymore. The Giants decided they'd had enough of assuming that risk, and just because Hill had a big game Monday Night, it doesn't mean it was the wrong decision.

Giants' best hope now is to get to 8-8

November, 25, 2014
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Were the New York Giants in the NFC South, they'd be a game out of first place. But they are not, and their 3-8 record with five games to go means they're not going anywhere as far as the 2014-15 postseason is concerned.

But that doesn't mean they can't, shouldn't or don't have goals. Five games remain, and the Giants' goal is to win all five of them and somehow finish this season with a .500 record.

"No doubt," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said Monday. "Definitely, to try to win these last five, I think that's a great challenge, whether the playoffs are in the picture or not. We've got a job. We're football players. We have a job to do. Let's go out there and practice hard, compete and try to win every game you're going to play in."

The Giants have lost six games in a row, all to winning teams. The next four games on their schedule are against teams with losing records. They're 3-0 this season against teams with losing records, and their last couple of losses have been close, which helps them believe that actually winning a game here at some point is not an impossible goal.

But at this point, the Giants are all about trying to do something that helps them feel good about themselves going into the offseason and into 2015. They have struggled with injuries, tons of new pieces in key positions and a new offensive system this year, and they'd love to get to the end of this season feeling as though they're making progress.

"I think you look back to our 2006 season. We went 8-8. We weren't a very dominant team. And the next year without really much adjustment with players and personnel, we win a championship," Manning said. "I think that's kind of the way football goes. Being with the same crew for a year, two years, three years, it's going to make you stronger and more comfortable. We had some new guys on this squad, and hopefully we'll be able to stick together for a few more years and make something special. I think it can start right now. We've made some improvements. We're doing some better things. But it's not too late to get on a hot streak and get things rolling right now. It's not too late to get on a hot streak and feel good about what we're doing."
Happy early Thanksgiving!

Join us today at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT for ESPN NFL Nation TV's Spreecast as episode No. 33 gives a Turkey Day preview, revisits Odell Beckham Jr.'s insane three-fingered catch, and discusses several teams' futures given the varying quarterback situations they have inherited this season.

Host Coley Harvey (Cincinnati Bengals reporter) and co-host Mike Wells (Indianapolis Colts reporter) will be joined by Michael C. Wright (Chicago Bears reporter), John Keim (Washington Redskins reporter) and Phil Sheridan (Philadelphia Eagles reporter).

Plus, Rob Demovsky (Green Bay Packers reporter) and Mike Reiss (New England Patriots reporter) will debate in this week's "Main Event" about Sunday's big game at Lambeau Field that will feature MVP candidates Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Viewers are encouraged to log in and ask the panelists questions as well as contribute in the chat feature.

Odell Beckham Jr. hot commodity

November, 24, 2014
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[+] EnlargeOdell Beckham Jr.
Steiner Sports Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a big hit at an autograph signing one night after his impressive touchdown catch.

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Originally booked as an add-on to a Victor Cruz autograph signing, Odell Beckham Jr. became the main event at a Long Island mall on Monday night.

After the New York Giants wide receiver's amazing catch on Sunday night in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, fans rearranged their Monday night schedules to see Beckham in person.

Steiner Sports, which arranged the signing, didn't change its prices ($39 for Beckham and $69 for Cruz) but did capitalize on the demand of the moment by printing out and selling pictures of Beckham's grab. The company also charged $10 for an inscription such as "Greatest Catch Ever" or "Bend It Like Beckham."

Eric Levy, vice president of athlete relations for Steiner Sports, said that before Sunday night, the company had sold 125 autographs of Beckham. By the time Beckham sat down in the chair at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Monday night, it had committed to Beckham signing 300.

"We're running out of photos," Levy said. "We've already booked him for another signing to keep up with demand."

For Beckham, it has been a thrilling 24 hours that he says hasn't involved much sleep.


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