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Giants Now: Giants legends return to training camp


Giants legends visit training camp

The Giants had several franchise legends stop by for a visit at Quest Diagnostics Training Center this week.

On Monday, two-time Super Bowl champion defensive linemen Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka visited training camp and spoke to the entire team.

"First off, Osi (Umenyiora), Kiwi (Mathias Kiwanuka) and Justin (Tuck) coming back and talking to the team, that was huge for us," Head Coach Joe Judge said on Tuesday. "I've said it from the beginning, this is a different organization, there is a connection between past players, past history of these teams and the players that sit in these chairs today. It's important our players understand and have respect for the history that they come after.

"They have to understand what's happened, the players who did it, and the culture and the standards that remain consistent throughout those great times of this organization. Without going into direct specifics of what they said, I would just say that everything you could ever ask to be said to a team and needed to be said, they covered. Covered very direct from a player's perspective, very strong message, it was very well received."

"I heard from a lot of players, a lot of coaches, I could say from my own perspective of the impact it had on the team in terms of understanding the standards, the expectations of former players, this is different," Judge added. "Some organizations, you kind of come and go. This is one of the different ones where history matters, history carries over. In terms of former players coming back here, if anyone hasn't heard my voice yet, I hope they hear it now, I want them back.

"I want them here, I want them involved with our team, I want them here at practice, I want them in meetings, I want them around our players, I want our players to understand the pressure they should have on them from past players who achieved great things here. I want these guys in this program. They were here before us and the history of this program will go on after we're gone here. I want them to understand they are valued, they are respected and they are important to the players who are currently on this roster and our current players have to understand the significance the players played in establishing the culture here."

The three defensive linemen were not the only former Giants to visit camp this week. On Wednesday, Super Bowl XXI Phil Simms came by the facility and was seen chatting with Judge prior to the start of practice. Simms then spoke in front of the team following the conclusion of practice.

In addition, Umenyiora helped Bob Papa break down the Giants' first practice in pads on Tuesday's edition of 'Giants Training Camp Report presented by Investors Bank', which can be found here.

Notebook: Giants' teaching moment; Golladay update

In one respect, it was the most indelible episode in training camp, a hard hit followed by two retaliations and the entire Giants team coming together on the practice field in an outsized rugby scrum. And Joe Judge treated it with sufficient gravity, ending the workout early after putting the players through strenuous conditioning drills.

But in another regard, the much-publicized explosion of anger, pushing and grabbing was, for Judge, like every other drill, instruction or play that occurs on the field – a teaching moment. While those watching practice might have focused on the physical mayhem, the coach was attentive to the players' decisions and how they could negatively impact the team in a different setting.

"I'd say in terms of what happened in practice yesterday is it's important that we learn from it, that we can't do anything that's going to cost our team in a game," Judge said in his news conference today. "We coach on all aspects of the game to eliminate penalties, whether that's enforcing holdings on one-on-ones between receivers and DBs, offsides on offense or defense, false starts, whatever it may be. Listen, the result of having something like that happen is going to be 15-yard penalties, ejections from the game and, for players and coaches specifically, fines.

Giants sign TE Tommy Stevens, WR Andy Jones

The Giants announced they have signed wide receiver Andy Jones and tight end Tommy Stevens.

Jones, 6-1 and 217 pounds, was released by the San Francisco 49ers on July 27. He played 11 games for Houston and Detroit in 2017-18. In the second of those seasons, Jones played in eight games with three starts and caught his career total of 11 passes for 80 yards and one touchdown, a four-yarder from Matthew Stafford at Buffalo on Dec. 16.

Jones entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Dallas in 2016. He has also spent time with the Texans, Lions, Dolphins and 49ers.

At Jacksonville University, Jones played in 41 games and had 144 receptions for 2,120 yards (14.7-yard avg.) and 17 touchdowns.

View photos of new Giants wide receiver Andy Jones.

Stevens, 6-5 and 235 pounds, played quarterback at Mississippi State in 2019 after playing his first three seasons at Penn State. He played quarterback, running back and wide receiver for the Nittany Lions.

Stevens was selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, No. 240 overall, by the New Orleans Saints, who converted him to tight end. He was waived on Sept. 5, signed to the Saints' practice squad the following day and released on Nov. 10.

Ten days later, Stevens was signed to the Carolina Panthers' practice squad. The Panthers moved hm back to quarterback. Stevens played five snaps in the season finale vs. New Orleans on Jan. 3 and rushed for 24 yards on four carries. Carolina signed him to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 2 and waived him on June 1.

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