Slater NJ.com: Why it looks like Giants’ Joe Judge era could get off to a great start in 2020 season — if it happens
Giants.com: Nate Burleson predicts Giants will win NFC East in 2020
NFL Network's Nate Burleson predicts the New York Giants will win the NFC East in 2020 (Video)
Schwartz NYP: Giants mailbag: DeAndre Baker faces position battle in best-case scenario
Traina SI.com: Reader Mailbag | Gauging Success, a Role for Eli Manning and More
Schmeelk Giants.com: Giants Huddle | Hakeem Nicks
John Schmeelk talks to Hakeem Nicks about his career with the Giants and the team's magical 2011 Super Bowl run (Audio)
Traina SI.com: Running Backs Preview: Giants Needs to Work Saquon Barkley Smarter, Not Harder
Vincent Rapisardi: The New York Giants feature Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton as their main options at wide receiver. But is that unit good enough in order for quarterback Daniel Jones to take the next step? (Video)
Giants.com: Inside the Film Room: David Diehl analyzes OT Matt Peart
David Diehl, a two-time Super Bowl champion offensive lineman, breaks down the tape of Giants third-round pick Matt Peart (Video)
Schwartz NYP: Giants will need these young edge rushers to step it up
Brooks NFL.com: Kyler Murray will win 2020 NFL MVP; plus, LeBron James a HOF TE?
Lombardi The Athletic: From the GM’s Eye: The NFL’s hiring system is broken
“The New York Giants recently hired special teams coach Joe Judge from the Patriots as their head coach, even though their own special teams coach Thomas McGaughey, who is African American, is one of the league’s best and brightest. This is not a knock on Judge as a coach or a potential head coach. It’s more of an example of how things operate in the coaching search. McCaughey has more experience than Judge, played briefly in the league and started coaching when Judge was still in high school. McGaughey has been around successful programs and has paid his dues in the coaching ranks. Yet he never had a chance. Why? Many might say because he is a minority, which might have some truth, but it’s also because McGaughey was not electable to the media or fans. While special teams coaches are never going to be household names that fans will get excited about, Judge had some cache because of his association with the Patriots, which helped John Mara, the president of the Giants, get him elected. McGaughey might be the better coach, but coming off two losing seasons, he was just not electable. The fact that Judge retained McGaughey on his staff based on the recommendations of Mara and the front office is a telltale sign the Giants recognize he is a quality coach, but to them he’s not electable for a bigger gig right now.”
Maaddi AP: NFL QBs holding passing sessions minus bonding activities
Jeremy Fowler ESPN: Two veteran free agents who have had markets despite not signing -- Jason Peters, Everson Griffen. Both have had strong interest from multiple teams (Cardinals believed to be among those for Griffen). Both staying patient, waiting for right opportunity.
QB Data Mine: Josh Allen missed all eight of his throws that travelled further than 40 yards downfield, making him the least accurate shot play passer in the NFL
Murphy Buffalo Rumblings: 91 players in 91 days: Quarterback Davis Webb
Simmons Panthers.com: Is Stephen Weatherly the most interesting player in the NFL?
Cabot Cleveland Plain Dealer: Browns sign 5th-round center Nick Harris to his 4-year rookie contract worth about $3.6 million
Owning Dallas Morning News: Film room: 3 dark-horse players with the best chance to make the Dallas Cowboys’ roster
Klis 9News Denver: Broncos positional outlook: Receivers
Heilman Denver Post: Broncos film study: Arkansas DE McTelvin Agim’s versatility gives Vic Fangio another defensive line asset
Demovsky ESPN GB: A Love package? A run defense fix? Packers answer key questions
Owaczarski Mil JS: Packers offensive lineman John Leglue's workouts attract curious eyes
Wood Mil JS: Mike Pettine's Packers run defense 'played our worst game at the worst time' in blowout loss to 49ers
Wilson Houston Chronicle: Texans 'encouraged' by Will Fuller's progress
Hardwig Naples Daily News: Naples' Michael Walker rides along with Minshew Mania with Jacksonville Jaguars
Teicher ESPN KC: Chiefs see Patrick Mahomes as advantage if fourth-and-15 proposal passes, Andy Reid says
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Hirschorn SI.com: The NFL will Probably Miss Out on the Next Austin Ekeler
Fernandes Herald Tribune: Lamp hoping to light up the NFL
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Long Rams.com: Rams DC Brandon Staley has big plans for Jalen Ramsey
Jackson Miami Herald: Jimmy Johnson, former GMs and players are all in on Dolphins. Even talking dynasty
Daniels Providence Journal: SOMETHING SPECIAL: TE Devin Asiasi, the Pats’ third-round draft pick, has what it takes to be a great one
Deshazier Saints.com: New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis staying the course amid uncertainty
NEW YORK JETS
Adam Schefter ESPN: Jets are signing former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to a one-year deal, sources tell ESPN. Jets GM Joe Douglas was a Ravens’ scout in 2008, when Baltimore drafted Flacco in round one. Now Flacco will rejoin Douglas, and compete for the backup job when he’s healthy and ready
Manish Mehta NYDN: Source confirms Joe Flacco has agreed to 1-year deal with Jets (as AdamSchefter said). It’s for $1.5M with a chance to earn up to $4.5M in 2020.
Flacco will provide Sam Darnold with a quality veteran presence. He’s not expected to be fully healthy from neck surgery until Sept
Jets QB depth chart:
1) Sam Darnold
2) Joe Flacco
3) David Fales
4) Mike White
5) James Morgan
Flacco is expected to take part in training camp on a limited basis as he recovers from neck surgery
RV SNY: Source: The Jets have no intention of trading Jamal Adams
Gary Myers: The latest just now from my Jamal Adams source: "The Cowboys are seriously in play now that they confirmed the Jets want 1st and 3rd round picks for Adams."
'Boys $5.6M under cap and need to get long-term deal done with Dak to lower his $31.4M franchise number to sign Adams
Mullin Phillyvoice: What they're saying: Did the Eagles have a successful offseason? Depends who you ask
McLane Phil Inquirer: Eagles hoping medical staff changes will reverse dubious injury numbers
Pryor ESPN Pittsburgh: Steelers limit ticket sales in anticipation of social distancing
Adamski Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Once a strength, plenty of questions for Steelers WR group in 2020
Branch SF Chronicle: 49ers’ Raheem Mostert bulking up for bigger workload
QB Data Mine: Russell Wilson threw five accurate passes further than 40 yards past the line of scrimmage. He only threw one inaccurate pass that deep, making him the most accurate shot play passer in the NFL.
Condotta Seattle Times: Seahawks to sign Carlos Hyde to one-year contract
Brady Henderson ESPN Seattle: The Seahawks agreed to a deal with running back Carlos Hyde, per AdamSchefter. They had an offer out to Devonta Freeman but moved on to Hyde, who will be an early-down complement to Chris Carson. That was a need with Rashaad Penny in serious danger of starting the year on PUP
John Clayton ESPN 710 Seattle: What the Carlos Hyde signing means for the Seahawks’ roster
Condotta Seattle Times: Russell Wilson may want Seahawks to sign Antonio Brown, but a lot would have to happen first
Condotta Seattle Times: Seahawks roster analysis: Who could make the cut on Seattle’s defense?
Encina TB Times: Devin White focused on leading Bucs defense forward
Wyatt Titans.com: Titans DL Jeffery Simmons Feeling Good, Ready to Make Even Bigger Mark in Year 2
Treash PFF: Why USC’s Kedon Slovis is the best QB in the PAC-12 and one of the top 10 in college football
Frederickson Denver Post: Colorado State’s Warren Jackson appears next up as NFL-bound Rams wide receiver
Weiler Tallahassee Democrat: Terry’s desire to round out game made NFL decision easy
Adamski Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Shaka Toney’s turn to serve as Penn State leader, provide NFL-caliber pass rush
Football Outsiders: Part IV of the Football Outsiders Dynasty Rankings is here. Teams 21-30.
“No. 29: 1956-1963 New York Giants
Peak Dynasty Points: 18
Average DVOA: 14.0%.
Top-Five DVOA: 18.1%
Record: 73-25-4 (.735)
Head Coaches: Jim Lee Howell, Allie Sherman
Key Players: HB Frank Gifford, T Rosey Brown, DE Andy Robustelli, DE Jim Katcavage, LB Sam Huff, S Jimmy Patton
Finally, a Giants entry that does not begin with "Steve Owen was really good!" Owen's last NFL championship appearance was in 1946; his best ideas had become commonplace throughout the rest of the league. The Giants finally had to let go of the long-time fan favorite and legend after 1953. Technically, they replaced him with Jim Lee Howell, who was solid enough as a coach, but he wasn't the strategist or tactician that Owen was. He left that to his coordinators, a couple guys you may have heard of -- Vince Lombardi on offense and Tom Landry on defense. Howell mostly let his assistants do much of the actual coaching, while he served more as an administrator and general. Full credit to Howell for dragging Lombardi out of Army and moving Landry from player to coach, but I'm fairly sure I could coach a team if I had two of the best minds in the history of football running things for me. You can find the prototypes of the Cowboys' 4-3 defenses of the 1970s and the Packers' sweeps and pulling guards of the 1960s in the Giants of the 1950s.
It also helped that the Giants were loaded with superstars. Under Howell, they boasted Hall of Famers Sam Huff, Andy Robustelli, Rosey Brown, Emlen Tunnel, Don Maynard, and Frank Gifford. The last one is a big deal -- Gifford, a college star from Los Angeles who did not get along well at all with Owen, found a lot more success with Howell and Lombardi in charge. Lombardi moved Gifford from defensive back to halfback, where he became a perennial Pro Bowler as a receiving/running combo player, regularly appearing near the top of the league in yards from scrimmage. Couple that with Charlie Conerly as a league MVP quarterback, and Huff serving as the anchor point for a 4-3 defense designed to stop the powerful rushing attacks of Jim Brown and the other stars of the day, and you had a championship-caliber team.
This specific breakdown of Giants teams is kind of an odd amalgamation of two eras. The Giants made three title games in four years from 1956 to 1959, beating George Halas' Bears before losing a pair of title games to the Colts, including the legendary Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958. And then you have the Giants who made three straight title games from 1961 to 1963, falling to the Packers twice and the Bears once. But between them, there was a ton of turnover. Lombardi left for the Packers in 1959; Landry left for the Cowboys in 1960. Howell retired in 1960. Conerly got old fast and was replaced late in 1960. Gifford suffered an injury so devastating in 1960 that he had last rites given to him in the locker room; he would miss the next two seasons. That's a lot of turnover.
But Y.A. Tittle came in to play quarterback in 1961, an improvement over Conerly -- he would win multiple MVP awards in New York and was the career leader in every meaningful passing category when he retired after the 1964 season. Del Shofner came in as flanker the same year, and the duo set franchise records that lasted until very, very recently. Allie Sherman came in first as offensive coordinator and then as head coach; not as legendary as Lombardi by any means, but still winner of back-to-back Coach of the Year awards. Because the transition between the two eras was relatively painless, it counts as one consecutive run for the purposes of the dynasty rankings.
To sum these Giants up, they were the best team in the NFL East in a time when the absolute best football was being played in the NFL West. That led to plenty of championship opportunities, but only one title to their name. Still, that has them as the second-best Giants run of all time, only behind…”
“No. 28: 1925-1930 New York Giants
Peak Dynasty Points: 12
Average DVOA: 20.1%.
Top-Five DVOA: 25.0%
Record: 57-21-5 (.717)
Head Coaches: Bob Folwell, Doc Alexander, Earl Potteiger, Roy Andrews, Benny Friedman, Steve Owen
Key Players: TB Benny Friedman, FB Jack McBride, B Jack Hagerty, T Steve Owen, C Joe Wostoupal, C Mickey Murtagh
As you know, this offseason the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded for Rob Gronkowski, pairing him with Tom Brady to try to find a return to relevance. This has led to a lot of jokes about the Buccaneers just importing all of the Patriots' old players, giving them a fresh coat of paint, and calling them a brand-new team. And that brings us to the 1920s New York Football Giants.
The NFL had tried to put a team in New York before 1925, to limited success. The New York Giants baseball team had tried, but folded before playing a game. The New York Brickley Giants (sometimes known as the Brooklyn Giants, and sometimes as Brooklyn's Brickley Giants -- brand identity was somewhat spotty in the 1920s!) left the league after just two games. So, when the league turned to Tim Mara to kickstart football in the Big Apple in 1925, it was a real risk of his $500 investment. And indeed, that first year was a struggle -- not on the field, where they went 8-4 (albeit with an SRS-to-DVOA conversion of -0.1%), but in the financial department. It wasn't until a home-and-home series with the famous and popular Chicago Bears that the Giants got into the black. Halas' boys drew over 70,000 fans to the Polo Grounds, more than quadrupling New York's average attendance. You can thank the Bears for professional football succeeding in New York.
The Giants improved in our estimated DVOA in 1926, but 1927 is the season they really were put on the map. They won the league championship that year, going 11-1-1 and allowing just 20 points all season long, including 10 shutouts. Yes, offensive football was worse in the 20s, with teams scoring just 9.1 points per game, and the nature of teams coming and going gave any squad that had a bit of money and stability an advantage, but ten shutouts is still an astronomical number; it would be the equivalent of allowing 62 points in a season in 2019's offensive environment. They key behind this defensive juggernaut? Money! Tackle Cal Hubbard was brought in for the astronomical price of $150 per game; paired with Steve Owen, New York had easily the best defensive line in the league.
And that should be where this story ends. Hubbard didn't like the big city and ended up being traded away. The Giants fell to 4-7-2 and a -4.2% estimated DVOA in 1928, and things looked bleak. Mara knew what he needed to get his team back to competitiveness again, however -- tailback Benny Friedman, who led the league in both passing and rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, he was a member of the Detroit Wolverines, who had finished third in the league. Bringing him to New York wouldn't be easy.
So Mara just bought the Wolverines. Straight-out bought them, and disbanded them. He then cut his own worst players and replaced them with Wolverines stars like Friedman, Joe Wostoupal, Bill Owen, and Tiny Feather. The newly Wolverized Giants went 26-5-1 over the next two years with these outside ringers, with estimated DVOAs over 35.0% and two second-place finishes, pulling themselves across the 10-dynasty point line, all thanks to the power of the pocketbook.
The NFL of the 1920s was like that; not quite a joke, but certainly not a respected league either, where a few talented players drawn to one location by deep pockets could dominate. Amateur football was where it was at; those players played with more intensity and integrity than their professional counterparts, or so it was said. It's worth finishing this capsule by noting that public opinion really started swinging around in 1930, when a team of Notre Dame legends, coached by Knute Rockne with the Four Horsemen in the backfield, came to the Polo Grounds for a charity game. Everyone thought it would be a blowout, and it was -- in favor of the Giants; a 22-0 stomp that led Rockne to call the Giants the greatest football machine he had ever seen. If you had to put one pin in a moment where public opinion began to feel that professional football was a legitimate thing and not a sideshow, that would be it.”
Football Perspective: The Grand List, part 10
“730. Odell Beckham (2014-Present)
New York Giants, Cleveland Browns
Beckham broke the sports internet with his famous catch on Monday Night Football, but his talent goes far beyond a poster. He has good straight speed and quick cuts, and he’s an elusive runner. That makes him a terror after the catch. Combine that with his complete lack of fear over the middle, and he is one of the most deadly slant route receivers ever. OBJ obviously has great hands and can make flashy plays, but he sets himself up for those plays with immediate separation and acceleration out of his cuts and by winning off the line of scrimmage against man coverage. Through his first three seasns, he averaged 1551 yards and 13 touchdowns per 16 games. After injury, he was less dynamic but still capable of being a productive receiver, with over 1000 TRY in every healthy season.
708. Rosey Grier (1955-1966)
New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams
A key member of two Fearsome Foursomes, Grier did a lot of the dirty work so that his teammates could get the glory making plays in the backfield. This was the case when he played with Hall of Famers and all stars in America’s two largest cities. Indeed, Jim Katcavage, Andy Robustelli, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, and Lamar Lundy all owe him a very nice coffee mug, or whatever is an appropriate gift for an 87 year old badass. A behemoth, playing around 300 pounds in an era when that was not at all common, Grier simply consumed offensive linemen. He won a title with the Giants and, while he wasn’t too popular with Pro Bowl voters (just two selections), he managed to pick up all pro honors in five different seasons.”
Fennelly Giantswire USA Today: Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin reflects on Super Bowl XLII
“Super Bowl 42 has been on a couple of times,” said Coughlin. “I just wanted to make sure David Tyree made that catch. So I went back and looked at it again. It was a lot of fun watching that, it really was. It brought back fabulous memories.”
“One of the things I loved the most about Super Bowl 42 and that run was that when you look back, FOX had the game and their experts were all on. And from the first playoff game on, nobody picked us to win,” remembered Coughlin. “Not one game. Not in Tampa. No way in Dallas, they had beaten us twice. No way that the Giants were going to beat Dallas. And they certainly can’t beat Favre in Green Bay. There’s no way. They are going up there and it’s -27 (degrees). How can they win? And they can’t beat the Patriots. There’s no way. I remember Jimmy Johnson picked the score, 34-14 or something like that. And every one of them was wrong every time.”
“I remember I got chastised for playing my starters against New England in Week 17,” said Coughlin. “My whole point was that we are the New York Giants and there’s no way history is going to look back at this and say that the Giants didn’t put their best foot forward against a team that was vying for an undefeated season.”
Glauber Newsday: Lawrence Taylor's devastating hit on Joe Theismann left some lasting impressions
Zagorski PFJ: Bobby Douglass and his 1972 Run for a Record
Turney PFJ: How One Mann Became a Mighty Oak for the Lions (Sorry for Mixed Metaphor)
Giants Birthdays 5-23
Ken Avery RLB D12-(Future) Southern Mississippi 1966 NYG 1967-1968 5-23-1944
1968 Giants Profile KEN AVERY
"You can spot it real early with some players, and sometimes you can be fooled by what you see. But the Giants believe that Ken Avery is the real thing and that he won't disillusion them about his prospects of developing into an outstanding linebacker.
At an even six feet and 220 pounds, he is not as big as most linebackers, but he is muscular, combative, and eager. Sometimes too eager. Which is why he got fooled a couple of times last year. But the point is he learned.
Though he came to camp unheralded, he won a starting job. He immediately impressed everyone with his drops on pass coverage - vital for a linebacker - and also his strength against the running game. He not only isn't afraid to stick his nose in there, but he comes in there strong enough to bust up the interference line and then has the pursuit to finally get to the ball carrier.
The Giants drafted Ken as a future in 1966. A native New Yorker, he played his college ball at Southern Mississippi."
-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1968
Bengals.com: (9-03-2017) Still together after all these years
“It starts out as a story about black and white roommates. But in the end it's simply a story about teammates in stripes.
Al Beauchamp and Ken Avery, who still say, "Love you," when they hang up the phone, plan to attend the weekend festivities of the Bengals 50th anniversary season as well as Sunday's opener at Paul Brown Stadium just like they spent six seasons with the club at the dawn of the franchise.
"It was always, 'When you see Beauchamp, you see Avery. When you see Avery, you see Beauchamp,'" cackles Beauchamp from Atlanta.
Not long ago Beauchamp needed to retrieve a password to one of his devices. He was asked, "Who is the person closest to you?" He said, "Ken Avery,' and when that didn't match he remembered it was his mother's maiden name.
"They would joke around with us," booms Avery from Nashville. "They'd call us 'Salt and Pepper.' Or they'd say we were like that show with Bill Cosby and the white guy … Each one held their own on the TV shows. Ironically, we were doing the same thing."
When they were playing with the Bengals, Avery lived near Miami and Beauchamp stayed one offseason.
"He came down and hung around the house and got to be friends with my neighbors. They loved him," Avery says. "I'd hear he'd be back in town the next year or something and he'd be staying with one of my neighbors. That's how much they loved him."
The teammates were both born during the D-Day spring of 1944, Avery arriving first in New York City as the son of one of the world famous Rockettes and Beauchamp coming 31 days later in Baton Rouge, La., to the mother with the maiden name he would lose when he was ten.
"I was in elementary school," Beauchamp says. "Until then I thought death was where you went away for a while but you came back."
They've been together since that night before a game at Nippert Stadium in the earth-shaking fall of 1969 of the Vietnam Moratorium, the Amazing Mets, Pete Conrad wisecracking while walking on the moon, and both of them learning linebacking under Paul Brown in the second year of his expansion Baby Bengals. Cosby's iconic TV series co-starring Robert Culp, "I Spy," had been off the air for a year but fresh in the mind of an uneasy nation always, it seems, grappling with race.
But not Beauchamp and Avery. Or Avery and Beauchamp. Not this night as the Bengals checked in at the Hilton Netherland in downtown Cincinnati. There appeared to be a snafu with the rooms. Beauchamp approached the front desk and said there was no problem, he didn't care who his roommate was, and he had a guy and …. He didn't know it, but the same guy was right behind him coming up to say the same thing.
"It was Avery. That's how we went through the next seven years." Beauchamp says.
Avery isn't as clear when it happened or when. It just happened naturally and, fresh, to the team, it was a chance to spend more time learning the playbook with a starter steeped in the scheme.
"I had Horst Muhlmann," Avery says of the eccentric kicker. "I probably requested out of there."
It turns out their impromptu meeting at the front desk made a spot of news. It seems they were the first integrated roommates in the very brief history of the Bengals.
"It was a bigger deal that was made than it was to us. It was not a big deal for us," Avery says. "Nobody said anything to us about it."
It made only news in the news. No one else gave a damn. From Bengals founder Paul Brown, who integrated the pro game 20 years before, to Bob Johnson, their first ever draft pick who came from the all-white SEC. Avery, who came from the NFL's Giants, wonders if because they were an expansion the youthful Bengals looked at everything not bound by tradition.
"That's the last time we ever talked about race," Beauchamp says. "We never mentioned it again. No one ever said anything to us."
Johnson, the second-year center who would locker between Beauchamp and another black college star when Lemar Parrish arrived a year later in 1970, can attest to that.
"You get drilled by a black guy on one play and you get drilled by a white guy on the next play, there's a commonality there," Johnson says. "It's pretty easy to sit down to lunch with a guy after that because you've already had some intimate contact. Sports is the great leveler. By the time we got to Cincinnati, that stuff was all old news."
Still, it was 1969 …
Martin Luther King had been dead barely a year. The inner cities still had fresh and visible scars from rioting. The school busing issue had raised temperatures in the north to southern climes. The bantam governor who had declared "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever," won five states and got 13.5 percent of the vote for president the previous November.
And the first time Tennessee's Johnson lined up with a black player had been a week before he got to Cincinnati at the College All-Star Game. Avery, who moved to Florida in his teens, never played with a black guy or tackled one until the Giants drafted him out of Southern Mississippi in 1966. LSU gave only hand-me-downs to the black players down the road at Southern University in Baton Rouge, not scholarships. A coach told Beauchamp if LSU took black players he'd be there.
So until the Bengals called in the fifth round in 1968, Beauchamp never had a white teammate and never played against one. He's not sure he even had a white friend until he sat down at the Bengals training table.
How right is Johnson about sports? These guys didn't blink and together they helped Brown build the greatest expansion team in pro sports of their time.
"When they wrote about us sometimes they got it wrong," Beauchamp says. "They'd say Avery was from Southern and I was from Southern Mississippi. I'd tell him, 'Hey, Avery. You're the first white guy to ever play at Southern.'"
Avery wouldn't have minded. He was up for new things. He admits he's what they called a free-thinker back then. His parents were dancers and he didn't mind telling the newspapers that he used some elements of ballet to train, a rather Avant-garde approach in the late '60s, although he wanted to make it clear he didn't wear the tights or tutus.
"I had grown up around all kinds of people in New York," Avery says. "The schools were segregated, but after school we played in the streets and never had a problem. When we moved to Florida it was a shock to the system."
Avery grew up in the Manhattan of the '50s, at 124th Street and Amsterdam, a block from Harlem. He played stickball with blacks, Hispanics, you name it. The only difference was seemingly their favorite players. Avery stood for Pee Wee Reese and Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle until he was about 12 or 13 and had such a bad experience with Mantle he vowed he would always sign an autograph if he ever became good enough to get asked.
It came in handy since he broke into the NFL with the 1967-68 New York Football Giants. When they let him go early in 1969 and Brown picked him up, Avery gravitated to the high-pitched chatter of Beauchamp, his fellow linebacker who could make you laugh while playing a deadly serious brand of athletic linebacker.
"Everybody loved him. Great guy. Upbeat. Laughing. A big laugh," Avery says. "He's a funny dude."
But Avery found out that Beauchamp also knew his stuff He figures that's the main reason they ended up not only rooming together the night before games, but also for the eight weeks of training camp in Wilmington College's Pickett Hall. In that '69 season when he came over from the Giants, Avery was learning on the run and Beauchamp tutored him in the system.
"He's quick-witted and smart. I appreciated that," Avery says. "He really knew the game. It didn't look like he would be up on the game, but he was. He played well. I don't why he never made All-Pro. He was certainly an All-Pro caliber linebacker. Especially on passing plays."
Bob Johnson is just one of a few teammates who refer to the 6-2, 237-pound Beauchamp as "a beautiful athlete." An outside linebacker, he could run all day, and get there as fast as anyone starting 83 straight games on three division winners. "When we had a basketball team during the winters he was the best player," Johnson says. His last game for Cincinnati before they traded him to St. Louis was Paul Brown's last in the 1975 playoffs and his 15 career interceptions are still the second most by Bengals linebacker next to the 16 of Reggie Williams. He always felt a connection to Brown. it was Beauchamp that helped carry Brown off the Riverfront turf when they won that first division title.
The funny thing about it is, Johnson says, the 6-0, 227-pound Avery was a completely different player than Beauchamp. Avery was an inside type, a shorter, stubby guy and strong who buttered his bread in the running game and teamed with Beauchamp and middle linebacker Bill Bergey to form the backbone of a defense that helped forge that first AFC Central title the year after he arrived in 1970. By the time they moved on to Jim LeClair and Ron Pritchard after the '74 season, Avery had started 42 of his 83 Bengals games.
"Avery was a reliable guy. He was always there for you. And he'd hit you," Beauchamp says.
They were so different and so similar.
"We had the same goals, the same values, the same upbringing. We were looking to accomplish the same things," Avery says. "His dad whipped his ass for the same things my dad whipped my ass for."
Avery's mother re-married when he was in high school, about the time Beauchamp was learning no one comes back home after they die. In the Scotlandville neighborhood of Baton Rouge he watched his father raise eight of them in a three-bedroom house working two jobs, at Standard Oil and a juvenile detention center.
"He was the only adult in the life of eight kids and he took care of us, fed us, clothed us. He did everything he needed to do for the family," Beauchamp says. "We loved one another. We had to … The one thing we did was sit down and eat dinner together as a family. Everyone at the table at six o'clock. Not 6:05. When the streetlights came on, we had to be in the house."
Beauchamp's coaches had connections at LSU and he worked in the weight room, where a coach gave him a thick book of colleges and told him, "You pick it out and I'll recommend you. If we had you guys on our team, you'd be at LSU." One day his father looked at him and said, "Al, Southern is two miles down the road. That's where you need to go to school."
So now it's only four years later and it's Beauchamp and Avery and Avery and Beauchamp.
"I didn't know Avery that well," Beauchamp says. "I never looked at people as a color … My thing was how could I hate someone I didn't know. We're all human beings, that's how I looked at it.
"Avery and I just got along. We'd go over the plays and talk football."
But they didn't just room together. Beauchamp remembers a night in Cincinnati when they went to what was basically an all-black nightclub. Which wasn't exactly new for them.
"That happened a few times," Avery says with a laugh.
Except this time an angry woman confronted Beauchamp and asked why he had brought his buddy.
"I told her, 'I'm going to bring him over here and I'm going to have him talk to you and then I'm going to come back and you tell me what you think," Beauchamp says. "When I came back I asked her, 'What did you think?' and she said, 'I like him.'"
When the legends gather this weekend, they'll have some catching up to do. But not Beauchamp and Avery. Not Avery and Beauchamp. It didn't just end after leaving a room key in Cincinnati or Houston or Wilmington.
After a year with the Cardinals, Beauchamp retired and stayed in Cincy so his kids could get through school and ran a trucking facility before he was transferred to Atlanta in the mid-80s. After Avery played 14 games with the '75 Chiefs, he went back to Florida and got into the transportation business. He did a lot of work with the PGA and one of his stops for 20 years was the Atlanta Golf Classic and that usually meant a reunion.
When Hurricane Andrew forced Avery to look elsewhere for business in the early 1990s, he moved to his wife's neck of the woods and settled on a farm in Nashville where he's a contractor. Beauchamp has found his way there a few times and just like their relationship, it's not exactly how you draw it up.
"I said to my wife, 'Let's go somewhere.' She said, "Where?" says Beauchamp about a day 13 years ago. "I said, 'I don't know. We're going to get in the (truck) and drive.' When I got (on the road), the first thing that hit me was,' Hey. Avery. Go to Nashville. Because every time we've been to Nashville we always have a great time."
Beauchamp had been to the farm once or twice before but it's not exactly on the highway and he had a tough time trying to recall exactly where it is. They stopped a few times and asked some people so they wouldn't spoil the surprise. After they drove through a field Beauchamp thought looked familiar and crossed what he calls 'a little lake," he pulled up in the yard
It turns out they were both surprised. He and his wife had driven into the middle of Avery's 60th birthday party.
"They just started singing 'Happy Birthday.' I jumped out of the truck and ran around while they were signing it," Beauchamp says. "He didn't know what to do. We just hugged, man; we just hugged and squeezed one another. It just happened that way. We didn't plan it and they didn't plan it."
Just like that night back at The Hilton.
Avery swore his wife planned the Beauchamps' perfect arrival.
"He came around the corner of my barn hollering," Avery says. "I couldn't believe it."
This upcoming weekend is a bit more planned. They had set it up back in June. They would come in for the opener, excited to see the two Kennys and Isaac and all the rest.
"We had the same principles. Nothing about hate or anything involved looking down your nose or being disrespectful to any human being," Avery says. "Treat people like you wanted to be treated by yourself."
"Beauchamp and Avery," Beauchamp says. "Avery and Beauchamp."
Tom Costello LB UDFA-Miami NYG 1964-1965 5-23-1941
Tom Costello, was a free‐agent rookie from Flushing, Queens, coached in high school by the Giant publicity director, Don Smith.
Aug. 17 1964 (AP) “The New York Giants, already hurting for linebackers, discovered Monday that Jerry Hillebrand, last year's outstanding rookie, has torn ligaments of the left knee and will be out of action for two or three weeks. Hillebrand had been expected to replace veteran Sam Huff, who was traded off to Washington Redskins in a cloud of ill feeling. Hillebrand was hurt in the exhibition loss to Green Bay Saturday night. Huff will be wilh the Redskins against the Giants Saturday night at Cornell in the third exhibition game of the season, while the Giants will alive rookies at two of (he three linebacker positions. Bill Winter, the regular corner linebacker, has not recovered from a knee; operation during the winter. Only Tom Scott, 31, Is healthy. Lou Slaby, up from the taxi squad, will play the middle spot and either Tom Costello, 6-3 and 218 pound rookie from Dayton, or Bob Taylor, a defensive end, will play in one corner.”
Jay Feely PK 2005 NYG 2005-2006 5-23-1976
Lorenzo Freeman NT W- 1991 NYG 1991
Born 5-23-1964 Died 10-10-2016
Bob Greenhalgh FB D29-San Francisco 1949 NYG 1949 Born 5-23-1924 Died 10-26-1997
Noah Mullins HB FA-1949 NYG 1949 Born 5-23-1918 Died 10-31-1998
(GREEN BAY) - “The New York Giants passed the Green Bay Packers to defeat at City stadium Sunday afternoon - as expected. The pregame script was followed almost to the letter as Chuckin' Chuck Conerly hurled four touchdown strikes - an achievement simplified somewhat by the Bays' inexperienced pass defenders. The final score was Giants 30, Packers 10 - but don't let it fool you. The 21,051 fans saw the Packers move within striking distance - 24 to 10 - with 12 minutes left on a brilliant 57-yard punt return by little Ralph Earhart for a touchdown, but then Mr. Conerly stepped in to remove all doubt. He pitched three times for 82 yards, the last going for 23 yards to Bill Swiacki in the end zone for the Giants' last TD. The Packer offense Sunday just wasn't. It moved inside the Giant 20 once all afternoon - to the 19 - and came out with a 27-yard field goal by Ted Fritsch. Earhart's great dash, which took some of the sting out of defeat, came after three minutes had elapsed in the fourth quarter. Ralph took the Giants' punt on the Packer 43, wheeled to his right for 10 yards or so and then started playing leap frog over the Giants. Getting a spot of blocking here and there, Earhart was bounced around between the Giant 45 and 30 and finally zig-zagged toward the center of the field and into the clear toward the goal line. The 165-pound Earhart got a tremendous ovation, but the stadium was soon silent as the Giants scored again in just five plays. The Giants got off to a 7 to 0 lead in the first quarter when Gene Roberts caught the first of three TD passes - the starter for 45 yards. They made it 10 to 0 before the quarter ended on Ben Agajanian's field goal from the 31. The Packers moved from this FG to one of their own - Fritsch's boot on the third play of the second quarter, climaxing a 66-yard drive. The Packers killed two Giant touchdowns just before the half when Ted Cook intercepted a Conerly pitch in the end zone and Damon Tassos recovered Roberts' fumble after he traveled 61 yards on a Conerly pass. The Giants made it 17 to 3 early in the second half when Conerly, trapped behind his line, hurled a 44-yard bullet-like strike to Roberts, who caught the ball behind Jug Girard on the two-yard line and stepped over. Five minutes later, Conerly passed 10 yards to Roberts for another TD. Earhart's run and Conerly's pass to Swiacki completed the scoring. The aforementioned script also heralded a duel between Conerly and the Packers' great halfback, Tony Canadeo. Conerly's exploits produced the points, but Canadeo's drew the cheers. The 30-year old Italian wheelhorse rolled up 71 yards in 14 attempts and finally had to be helped off the field after being injured returning a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Canadeo, who had been playing some on defense besides toiling on offense, remained in this once (on an earlier kickoff he was removed for Jack Kirby just before the boot) and caught Agajanian's kick on the five and juggled the ball as he ran toward the 20. The ball squirted out of his hands and Tony dove for the ball on the 24 just as three Giants smashed in. Everybody in the park knew Canadeo was hurt. Despite the resulting knee injury, Canadeo went in for an offensive series and then was removed. At that, he wanted to go in again. Canadeo now has gained 715 yards in 135 attempts in eight games for an average of 5.3. He needs 284 yards in the last four games to snap Steve Van Buren's league record of 1,008. The crowd gave the officials a pretty good going-over - with boos, that is. The payoff came early in the second half and easily was the turning point of the game. Ray Mallouf went back to punt on his 37 on fourth down. Packer tackle Paul Lipscomb slammed in and slipped just as he leaped up to block the ball, falling into the punter. The officials called a roughing-the-kicker penalty (15 yards) and Lipscomb and the Packers all but blew their tops along with the partisan crowd.
The Giants scored on the next play to make home matters worse. In the third quarter, Cook caught an eight-yard pass from Stan Heath. Noah Mullins (a former Bear, incidentally) punched Cook in the face as he "pushed" him out of bounds.
Two officials were standing nearby but nothing was called. The battle grew hot in the third quarter when the officials ejected the usually-quiet Larry Craig and the Giants' John Canady for what the officials signaled a double personal foul. Early in the game, the Packers' Jay Rhodemyre got the usual knee in the head and he had to remain out the rest of the way. Statistically, the Giants had a big advantage in total yards gained, 456 to 288, but the Packer line was as tough as ever. The Bay wall permitted the Giants only 94 yards by rushing while the Packers were making 127. The big difference was in passing, Conerly gaining 347 yards on 15 completions in 28 attempts. Conerly had comparatively soft pickins' what with Jack Jacobs and Irv Comp both out of pass defensive action with injured knees. Cook was the only experienced man in the defensive backfield and he had to be saved for offense. The Giants took advantage and kept aiming passes toward Ken Kranz, Heath and Girard - all newcomers to defense. As expected the Giants' receiving thorn was Roberts, who caught seven for 225 yards and three TDs. Cook and Nolan Luhn ran even, each catching four for 62 yards. Heath completed seven out of 20 for 71 yards and Girard made five good out of 15 for 90 yards. Despite all of the aerial talent, there wasn't a completion the first 10 minutes of the game as the two clubs sparred around. Girard punted three times and Mallouf twice and each club produced one first down on 19-yard runs, Bob Cifers for Green Bay and Roberts on a lateral to Coates for the Giants. Lightning struck in a hurry, however, after Girard's third punt. Roberts moved behind Girard and took Conerly's pass for a 40-yard gain to the Packer 45. Then, on third down, Roberts took Conerly's throw on the 30 and outran Girard and Cook for the first TD. Agajanian's kick was good. Heath made his first appearance at quarterback and his second down pass was intercepted by guard Don Ettinger on the Packer 20. Coates and Roberts rushed to the eight,but a holding penalty and three incompleted passes brought forth Agajanian whose field goal boot was perfect from the 31. As the game moved into the second quarter, the Packers uncorked a drive to the Giants' 19. Cifers was bumped back to the 20 on the first play but Girard and Luhn combined for a 35-yard aerial gain to midfield. Girard then tossed to Earhart on a screen pass up the middle for 23 yards. Canadeo banged out five through center to the 20 but Bob Summerhays was held to one. After a third down pass from Girard to Kelley went incomplete on the goal line, Fritsch kicked his FG from the 27. The Giants next decided to gain on short passes. Conerly tossed four to Bill Swiacki for 12, 8, 16 and 8 to the Packer 25, thus forcing the Bays back into a five-man line. The Packers had hoped to stop Conerly before he could throw with six men up front but the shifty Conerly was getting 'em off anyway. On second down, Cook moved into the end zone nicely to intercept a Conerly pass aimed at Roberts. Canadeo, Forte and Summerhays combined their rushes for 28 yards and two first downs near midfield but an offside penalty and two incompleted passes forced Girard to punt. Mallouf punted back and the Packers started another drive just before the half ended. Girard caught Cook on a neat 21-yard play and Canadeo busted up the middle for 16 yards, the last five yards coming on sheer drive. The passing stalled again and Fritsch tried a field goal from the 45. The ball sailed far enough but was a shade wide. On the last play of the half, Conerly and Roberts worked a 51-yard pass play. Roberts caught the ball on the 50 and Heath caught him on the Packer 7 from behind. Roberts fumbled under a batch of Packers and Tassos recovered to save a possible TD or FG. Receiving and starting on their own 20 as the second half opened, Heath hurled to Luhn for 11 yards for a first down before Girard had to punt. The Giants also were forced to punt, but the officials called the roughing-the-kicker penalty on Lipscomb. With new life on the Packer 44, Conerly swept to his right and just before being smashed under a mess of tacklers unleashed a strike to Roberts for a TD. Agajanian's kick was automatic. The Giants were soon back in Packer territory - this time on a 30-yard runback of Girard's punt to the Packer 30. Tassos ended this threat by intercepting a Conerly throw on the five and lumbering back to the 16.
After being told in no uncertain terms about Mullins' slugging of Cook, the officials evened everybody's temper by calling penalties on the next two plays.
Anyhow, Forte fumbled on the Packer 32 and Bill Austin recovered. The Giants had a TD in seven plays, making the score 24-3. After Swiacki took a Conerly pass for eight yards, Roberts ran all the way to the Packer 6 as the Bay tackling went haywire. After Craig tossed Coates back four yards and Cook broke up a pass, Conerly pitched to Roberts for a TD. The teams exchanged interceptions and punts as the battle moved into the fourth quarter. Cletus Fischer grabbed Heath's throw on the Packer 29 but Buddy Burris reached up for Conerly's toss almost on the same spot. Forte's 11-yard run was the only good gain until early in the fourth frame when Fritsch reeled off 12 yards to the Giants' 31. Girard passed to Luhn for 10 to the 21 but the Bays lost the ball as four plays, including three passes, failed. Earhart pulled his great punt runback four plays later. A bit unhappy, the Giants passed back to another TD. Conerly fired to Roberts for 20, to Coates for 36 and then to Swiacki the last 23 yards. Agajanian couldn't kick the extra point when the pass from center went bad. Canadeo's fumble set up another Giant TD but Cook ended the threat by intercepting on the five and returned to the Packer 33. Near the end, Heath completed a 16-yard pass to Cook, a 20-yarder to Bill Kelley who fumbled after making the catch, and a 17-yarder to Cook”
Green Bay Press Gazette (11-13-1949)
Francis Peay RT D1-Missouri 1966 NYG 1966-1967 Born 5-23-1944 Died 9-21-2013
Cameron Athletics HOF: “ A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Peay played football for Cameron from 1963-64, under Hall of Fame Coaches Leroy Montgomery and Charlie Dean. He was an offensive right tackle for CU and measured 6’5” 230 pounds. His team finished 8-2 and averaged just over 230 rushing yards per game, most of which were gained to the right, behind Peay. He transferred to the University of Arizona before finishing his college career at the University of Missouri, where he was an All American. Peay, who was referred to by UM sportswriters to be a “mountain of a man” was a second round selection and No. 10 pick overall in the 1966 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He played eight years in the NFL, splitting time between New York, the Green Bay Packers, and the Kansas City Chiefs. After his playing career was over, Peay served as the head coach for Northwestern University from 1986-1991. He passes away on Sept. 21, 2013 at the age of 69.”
Missouri HOF: “ Has completed six years as the head football coach at Northwestern University, after standout seasons as a tackle at Missouri and in the NFL. A Pittsburgh, Pa., native, Peay lettered in 1964-65, and won all-Big Eight and all-America plaudits as a senior when Missouri ranked third in the nation in rushing offense and won the Sugar Bowl over Florida, and Heisman Trophy QB Steve Spurrier. He was the Big Eight's "lineman of the week" following MU's 17-6 win over Minnesota that season, and later was a first-round choice of the New York Giants in the 1966 NFL Draft, and later played with the Green Bay Packers (1968-72) and Kansas City Chiefs (1973-75). He was named to MU's all-Century Football Team last fall, and lives in Barrington, Ill.”
1967 Giants Profile FRANCIS PEAY
"While he was in there last season, Francis Peay was rated by the opposing coaches as the most promising rookie lineman to come into the league. But a foot injury sustained about mid-year sidelined him the rest of the way, and he will have to continue his education this season.
A 6-5 specimen with a powerful physique from the torso up but with legs like a basketball player, he likely will add weight to his 250 pounds. The Giant staff believes he's strong on technique and needs consistency now to develop into a top tackle."
-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1967
"Fran was the Giants' top draft choice for 1966. He moved right in as a starting tackle until an injury sidelined him.
Under the supervision of Rosey Brown, the Giants expect much of this big, fast, strong prospect."
-1967 Philadelphia Cards, No. 117
NYT: Giants Deal Peay to Packers for Crutcher, Wright (4-17-1968)
“ The New York Giants made a trade yesterday with the Green Bay Packers, which on the face of it appears to be a great coup for New York. Francis Peay, the offensive right tackle in whom the Giants no longer had much interest, went to the Packers for Tommy Crutcher, a linebacker, and Steve Wright, an offensive tackle.”
Inside NU: “ Peay played college football at the University of Missouri, where he was an All-American offensive tackle. He was the tenth overall NFL draft choice in 1966, going to the New York Giants. He had a nine year NFL career with the Giants, Packers and Chiefs. When his playing career ended, he joined the coaching staff at Notre Dame. After two years at ND, he moved on to Cal, where he spent three seasons coaching defensive line and outside linebackers.
In 1981, he came to Evanston as an assistant coach working with outside linebackers. He worked under newly hired head coach Dennis Green, who inherited the largest mess of a program in the history of Northwestern. During the early 1980s, Peay worked his way up to defensive coordinator. It was during this period that NU ended its infamous losing streak, and managed to restore some respectability to the program.
When Dennis Green left NU for the San Francisco 49ers in spring 1986, Peay was named interim head coach. During his interim season the Wildcats won four games, their best season in over a decade. Players campaigned for him to be retained, so the administration gave him a five year contract.
Peay’s tenure was doomed practically from the start. The “interim” tag he carried during his first season made the massive challenge of recruiting at NU even more difficult. The department was hampered by major financial problems, which made it difficult to attract and retain quality assistant coaches. Facilities were improving, but still badly lagged our Big Ten peers. NU’s nonconference schedules of the era included primarily major conference opponents, with very few “cupcake” games. During his era, the administration even sold a home conference game against OSU to Cleveland Stadium. These factors, coupled with Peay’s lack of Green’s offensive prowess, caused the program to stagnate. His final record at NU was 13-51-2.
Despite the challenges, Peay always worked tremendously hard for NU. He was an eloquent spokesman for the program, espousing the core Wildcat values of combining top-notch academics and athletics. He was widely seen as a man of integrity, and never had any notable scandals during his tenure. He was also a pioneering figure, as only the second black head coach in Big Ten history (there have only been four to date).
Peay’s tenure included some nice highlights. His 1986 victory over Illinois was the team’s first win in the series since 1977, and helped to put the rivalry back on even terms (He went 3-3 vs. the Illini). The 1986 season also featured a huge home win over Michigan State, a team that would win the Big Ten in 1987. Peay coached and/or recruited many of the best Wildcat players of the past 30 years. These include Bob Christian, Richard Buchanan, Eddie Sutter, Len Williams, Lee Gissendaner, and Matt O’Dwyer.
His greatest impact was off the field, where he was a father figure to his players. This role was never more important than in 1989, when he helped them to cope with the death of teammate Jeff Hiller. Hiller, a defensive lineman, drowned in Lake Michigan after his freshman season.
Another huge Peay moment happened in 1988, when he hired a new running backs coach. He found a savvy, experienced young coach from North Carolina named Randy Walker. Walker worked with Peay for two seasons, developing a love for NU and its values during that time. Walker would eventually return to NU as head coach, and would complete the task that Peay hoped to achieve – making NU a consistent winner.“