Giants move on after drug suspensions in secondary
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants recently learned two members of their secondary were suspended by the NFL for failing drug tests during the offseason.
Starting free safety Will Hill received a six-game suspension, and the Giants quickly waived the talented player on Monday after his third drug-related offense in as many years. On Wednesday, third-year cornerback Jayron Hosley was slapped with a four-game suspension that begins at the start of the regular season.
The loss of Hill and Hosley - players who both started at one point in the Giants' secondary last year - was a blow to the Giants.
''It's as disappointing as heck,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday at the second set of organized team activities (OTAs) at the team's training center. ''But we move on. That's the way it has to be. When you run a business, you depend on people being there for you. It's a sad day for both of these guys. The whole organization is disappointed by them.
''If this is your job and you're willing to jeopardize your job for some other reason, then maybe it's time for you to find a new job. Their minds aren't in the right place.''
Third-year cornerback Hosley got six starts in 2012, collecting 40 tackles and one interception. He saw plenty of action as the Giants' fifth defensive back.
''We all make mistakes,'' said Hosley, drafted in 2012 by the Giants in the third round out of Virginia Tech. ''There's a consequence in everything you do. I can't dwell on mistakes. I want to apologize to the ownership of the Giants, because they believed in me.
''My teammates, we go on the field every day, go to battle every day. I didn't want this to be all about me, because it takes away from the team. I have to move on. I dealt with the issues when it initially happened. Right now, it's not about what I'm doing outside of football. My focus is on football.''
Hosley reiterated he doesn't have a drug problem and got counseling after it was learned he failed the drug test last season.
''It's something that happened last season,'' Hosley said. ''The ball just didn't bounce my way. I'm dealing with the issue. I'm not going to dwell on what happened. I'm moving on. I'll face the suspension and move on.''
Starting strong safety Antrel Rolle, the unofficial team leader of the secondary, expressed his disappointment in both teammates.
''It's too easy to keep doing the right things than to do something wrong,'' Rolle said. ''Will Hill is like my little brother. He's a great guy and a phenomenal talent. But for him to keep moving in the wrong direction is just sad. It stings like hell. Will and I had several conversations about doing the right thing. They're grown men. They should know right from wrong.
''It is a bad reflection on us and does us no good. When you hear about things like this, you're disappointed and it goes a lot deeper than football. It goes to the individuals themselves.''
Rolle said he had a conversation with Hill after the Giants released him.
''I tried to encourage him and told him to keep his head up,'' Rolle said. ''Will should take full responsibility for what he's done. It might not be over for him. I hope it's not. If he does get another shot with someone else, he has to know that it's his last shot.''
Coughlin said the situation allows for others to get on the field, like second-year safety Cooper Taylor.
''He's a much bigger human being than he was last year,'' Coughlin said of Taylor. ''This is his second time around with us. I think he has an excellent opportunity to contribute in a lot of ways.''
Taylor, a second-year player out of Richmond, worked a lot in the offseason in the weight room to get bigger and stronger. He says he's at 232 pounds, up from the 225 he played at last year.
''It's definitely an opportunity for me to play,'' Taylor said. ''It's tough to see Will go. He was a great player for us, but this is an opportunity for me to step up, try to compete and show what I have. I think I keep improving every day. I want to be more of a physical presence.''
Coughlin said recent free agent signing Quintin Demps will get the opportunity to gain more playing time in the secondary, both as a safety and nickel back, as well as a possible return man.
''He's going to get a lot of looks,'' Coughlin said. ''He's going to get his chances.''
The Giants will hold OTAs next week for three straight sessions.