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Giants 53-Man Roster: After “Challenging Day,” Giants Have A Team

Coach Ben McAdoo explains some of the team’s decisions

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants
Ben McAdoo
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo admitted on Saturday that choosing a 53-man roster wasn’t easy.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” McAdoo said. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night (the preseason-ending 40-38 victory in New England) really made it tough on us.

“It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Here are McAdoo’s thoughts on some of the decisions the Giants made. The full 53-man roster, as of Saturday night, is below.

On choosing Geno Smith over Josh Johnson ...

“It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

On choosing Aldrick Rosas as the placekicker ...

“We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games. Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

On keeping undrafted free agent offensive tackle Chad Wheeler ...

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.”

On cutting Will Tye ...

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well. That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

On keeping Shane Smith after not carrying a fullback last season ...

“We wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

On cutting veteran defensive end Devin Taylor ...

“Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

On rookie linebacker Calvin Munson, another undrafted player who made the team ...

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective. He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.”

The 53-Man Roster


Quarterback (3)

Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Davis Webb

Running back (4)

Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa, Shane Vereen, Wayne Gallman

Fullback (1)

Shane Smith

Tight end (4)

Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams, Matt LaCosse

Wide receivers (6)

Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris, Roger Lewis Jr., Tavarres King

Offensive line (8)

Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart, Brett Jones, D.J. Fluker, Chad Wheeler


Defensive tackle (4)

Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jay Bromley, Robert Thomas

Defensive end (5)

Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Romeo Okwara, Kerry Wynn, Avery Moss

Linebacker (6)

Jonathan Casillas, Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, Keenan Robinson, J.T. Thomas, Calvin Munson

Cornerback (5)

Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Ross Cockrell, Michael Hunter

Safety (4)

Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, Nat Berhe

Special Teams

Placekicker — Aldrick Rosas

Punter — Brad Wing

Long Snapper — Zak DeOssie