View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012 - 8:22 P.M.

07-10-2012, 11:26 AM
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</font></u><font color="#0000FF"><u><font size="4">NEWS

</font></u></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>
<div><div><div><div><div class="entry-content"><div class="entry-content">
DALESSANDRO: GIANTS' OWNER JOHN MARA DISCUSSES NFL BRAIN INJURIES (http://www.nj.com/ledger-dalessandro/index.ssf/2012/07/giants_owner_john_mara_discusses_nfl_brain_injurie s.html)

"John Mara probably knows this is going to sound like lip service, because it
isn’t often that overlords in a mercenary, cash-flow cartel express any concern
about such trifling matters as long-term damage or body counts. <div class="entry-content">

But he sees these broken men – good men still in their 50s, men he has known
since he was a kid, men who served his father faithfully – and their condition
is “heartbreaking,” to use his term.</p>

“For me, it’s a personal thing, because I grew up with these guys,” the
Giants CEO said of the retired NFL players who seek restitution from a league
that Mara admits has underserved for too long. “It’s shocking to me to see guys
who, when they were players, you’d say, ‘This guy is going to have a good
post-football career – very smart, has his degree. . .’</p>

“And then it’s 10 years later, and he’s broke and out of work. It kills you
to see that. It absolutely kills you.”</p>

If the anguish he showed over this issue today is an insincere act, this
gentleman is a great loss to the theater. </p>

He came to Newark this morning to speak with our editorial board about the
encroachment of a retail monstrosity across the parking lot from MetLife
Stadium, and the traffic nightmare he is certain will result from the American
Dream complex operating on football Sundays. </p>

Afterwards, Mara took some time to discuss what has become a largely
underreported American nightmare, which involves hundreds – or perhaps thousands
– of NFL alumni who are living with the debilitation of countless collisions,
with limbs that no longer work, and with traumatic brain injury. </p>

Roughly 80 of them are presently filing lawsuits against the league, and
while we cannot speak of the legal strength of these actions, even Mara knows
where public sentiment will lie by the time it all plays out.</p>

Think of it: How long can we be bombarded with these heart wrenching
distortions of such strong images of American manhood – Junior Seau, Dave
Duerson, Andre Waters, and on and on – and accept the sanctioned mayhem of a
league which seems to accept self-inflicted gunshots as the only liberation from
decades of pain? </p>

For most of us, the root cause of this is fairly clear, and while Mara cannot
speak of the legality of it, he isn’t ignoring the connection, either. He points
out that 90 percent of the time the Competition committee is in session, the
discussion is on player safety. But they’re still years behind studying the
long-term effects of brain trauma, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. </p>

Mara said, “I’m on the health and safety committee, we have more medical
committees looking into it. We’re just starting to gather more information about
it. And I’m very confident we’re doing everything we can do right now to find
out more about it.</p>

“But the notion in these lawsuits that we knew there were long-term effects
and we withheld that information is ridiculous. Is there some kind of cause and
effect? I don’t know, I’ll let the medical experts tell you that; common sense
would tell you that there is. But to say we knew it and withheld it, I really
find that objectionable.”</p>

Of course, his sore feelings are somewhat secondary to the soreness of the
NFL veteran who can’t get out of bed every morning or remember the names of his
kids, and Mara knows that. He also knows the volume of such casualties is
growing. </p>

“It is,” he said, with an audible exhale. “And one of the reasons why we have
a lot of people joining these lawsuits is that we haven’t done a good enough job
of taking care of retired players. That’s an issue we need to come to grips
with. We made a good start in this last CBA (by reducing full-contact practices,
etc.), and by allocating all this money to the legacy fund.”</p>

That amount is $620 million, which is to be divided among 4,700 pensioners.
Someone has been dragging their heels in getting it out to the guys who need it
-- or their widows, in many cases -- but one of these days maybe they’ll get
around to it. </p>

“But to me, the league as a whole hasn’t done as good a job as we could
have,” Mara repeated. “And I see significant improvements in the future. But we
still have to agree with the union on how to do this.”</p>

One more issue related to safety: You’ve probably heard by now that Mara told
Giants.com a while back that the competition committee was looking into
eliminating kickoffs entirely.</p>

Whether this is a reaction to focus groups or the objections of the diehards
on the radio chat shows is unclear, but now Mara says, “I don’t know if
(eliminating kickoffs) will ever happen. But the new protocols we have about
taking guys out of games if there’s any suspicion of a concussion” are doing
what they were designed to do, and are always being reexamined."</p></div>

(http://www.nj.com/ledger-dalessandro/index.ssf/2012/07/giants_owner_john_mara_discusses_nfl_brain_injurie s.html)

GIANTS' SUMMER QUESTIONNAIRE: DT ROCKY BERNARD (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/07/giants_summer_questionnaire_dt.html)

"Thirty-three year-old Rocky Bernard isn't the same player he was when he
was in Seattle -- where he accumulated 29 sacks in his first seven seasons.
Bernard didn't register a sack in 16 regular-season games in 2011, but he came
up with a huge sack against the Falcons in the wild-card round and delivered his
signature sack dance from his time with the Seahawks to top it off.

The defensive tackle entered the offseason a free agent and heard from a few
teams, but the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/06/giants_waive_jake_ballard_re-s.html">Giants
brought him back in time for minicamp in June</a>. We talk to Bernard about the
uncertainty during his offseason, the development of Marvin Austin and his sack
dance in our latest installment of the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/summer_questionnaire/index.html">Giants
summer questionnaire series</a>.

You were a late signing.
How does it feel to be back with the Giants?</p>

It's good to get back to practice, get back to working with all the guys,
just getting back to football mode.

Do you think missing some of
the offseason will hurt you?</p>

Not really. I'm a veteran guy. The defense is pretty much set from the last
couple years so I pretty much in tune, I worked out on my own.</p>

What were your expectations going into the offseason as a free

I didn’t really have any expectations. I kind of just soaked in the moment of
the game and everything. I don't know, I didn't really know what to expect. You
never know – it could be the end so I was just taking it whichever way it went

Did you think it would be the end of your career?</p>

No, I kind of had an inkling that I would have a chance to come back. I just
think the timing of it was – I had some things I had to take care of back home
so I think it was more of a timing thing.</p>

Marvin Austin's been out of football for basically two years. How do
you see his development coming along?</p>

He's been out for two years so he's going to get a lot of work in during this
training camp. It'll be a little different than before, than in years past so I
think he just has to put in the work and the effort to really catch up to speed.
He just has to grow off what he was able to do last summer and build off that.

With all the attention given to the defensive ends, do you feel like
you tackles are overlooked?</p>

[Laughs] I wouldn't say that. When you have a bunch of great players around
you like that you just take it in stride, really. I just try to go out there and
perform when I have the opportunity without the recognition.</p>

You had a dance after your sack against the Falcons in the playoffs.
Where did that come from?</p>

I've been doing back since I was in Seattle. I haven't done it much in New
York, it was more in the Seattle days.

How did it come

I just did it one day and all my teammates were excited about it so I just
kept doing it.

Are we going to see a dance off with Victor

Oh, no. I'll stay away from that."</p>


</div></div><u><font size="4">NY DAILY NEWS


<div><div><u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u>

</div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>

<u><font size="4">WALL STREET JOURNAL</font></u>



<u><font size="4">THE NEW YORK TIMES</font></u>


<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html">http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html
<u><font size="4">GIANTS 101</font></u>

THINGS LOOKING UP FOR GIANTS' MATHIAS KIWANUKA (http://www.giants101.com/2012/07/10/things-looking-up-for-new-york-giants-mathias-kiwanuka/)

"<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Mathias Kiwanuka" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/mathias-kiwanuka/" rel="tag nofollow">Mathias
Kiwanuka</a> has proven himself to be one of the most versatile talents on the
New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/)
Giants’ defense; however, things weren’t always going so well for him. A number
of setbacks plagued him early on making it a difficult start to his career. He
was unable to grow completely comfortable with his role on the Giants’ defense
after being constantly moved from defensive end to linebacker. He had to deal
with his brother’s motorcycle accident, and his career became threatened after
experiencing a severe neck injury that caused him to miss the majority of the
2010 season. Another injury kept him from playing in his first Super Bowl.
Nevertheless, Mathias has persevered and refused to allow these incidents to
have an impact on his future in the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/).

Kiwanuka’s personal life has seen several positive changes which happen to
coincide with his excellent production on the field. During this offseason, he
witnessed the birth of his first child, and just recently got married. In football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
related news; Kiwanuka helped the Giants become Super Bowl champions, and
received a three year contract extension worth $16.5 million. On top of that he
can now concentrate on being a permanent linebacker rather than worry about
whether he will be switched to playing defensive end again, although he is
expected to line up as one occasionally in certain packages. Kiwanuka expressed
how he feels going into his second season as a full-time linebacker to Mike Garafolo in his summer questionnaire. (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/07/giants_summer_questionnaire_li_1.html)</p>

“It’s a big difference. I started to get more comfortable at the end of last
year. But having the ability to go from one offseason to the next playing the
same position, it means a lot. It’s getting there. I don’t think I’ll ever be
content with how I’m playing, but I’m still working on it and I feel 10 times
more comfortable playing there.”</p></blockquote>

Kiwanuka, who was played defensive end for the majority of his football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
career, is fully aware of the beating a player can take at both defensive end
and linebacker. Because of his injury history, one may speculate that linebacker
may be a safer position to play rather than defensive end. Kiwanuka was asked
which position was better for his body.</p>

“I don’t think it matters because they’re both high-impact positions in
different ways. As a linebacker, there’s more space between you and the blocker,
so there’s more momentum involved but it’s a smaller guy you’re going against.
Defensive line, there less space but you’re going up against a 300-pound guy. So
I think it equals out at some point.”</p></blockquote>

After experiencing what it’s like to play in a Super Bowl and to get married,
Kiwanuka reflects on which one he felt was more stressful.</p>

“I’m going to have to go with the wedding. I’ve been playing football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
for a long time; I’ve never been married before. I know what to expect on one

Currently Mathias is spending time with his wife and newborn child as he
awaits the beginning of training camp later this month. Like most fathers, this
is time he values very much.</p>

“It’s been awesome. It’s the best experience of my life. Everybody says it’s
hard to explain what you feel and that’s exactly right. There’s no way to
explain it. It’s just unconditional love. It’s a great

It’s certainly great to see a player who works so hard for his team to be
rewarded with a new contract but also with a new family. Kiwanuka has been a
team first player who has done everything the coaches have asked of him. Here’s
to hoping the rest of his time in the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) will be as rewarding as the last year has been for


WPIX/CHANNEL 11 TO SIMULCAST NEW YORK GIANTS, CAROLINA PANTHERS GAME WEEK 3 (http://www.giants101.com/2012/07/10/wpixchannel-11-to-simulcast-new-york-giants-carolina-panthers-week-3-game/)

"Good news for those of you in the New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) area who still do not have NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) Network –
the league announced on Monday that WPIX/Channel 11 will simulcast the week
three matchup between the New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) Giants and Carolina Panthers (http://www.giants101.com/tag/carolina-panthers/), beginning with their own pre-game show
at 7:00 PM EST.

“In keeping with our commitment to offer the best local programming, PIX11 is
extremely happy to be partnering again with NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) Network to provide New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) over-the-air to fans,” said Eric Meyrowitz, vice
president/general manager.</p></blockquote>

The game will be called by the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) Network team of broadcasters Brad Nessler
(play-by-play), Mike Mayock (game analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline

The September 20th meeting between the Giants and Panthers will be a Thursday
night game and the second primetime game for Big Blue over the first three weeks
– they open the season against the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, September 5th at
8:30 PM on NBC. The following week they travel to Philadelphia to face the
Eagles for yet another primetime game, airing on Sunday, September 30th at 8:30.
That game will also be on NBC.</p>http://www.giants101.com/

<u><font size="4">BIG BLUE VIEW</font></u><span id="entry_flag_counts_2011/12/23/2655531/friday-five-with-pat-traina-jets-giants-edition" class="flag-counts"><span class="light"></span> </span><span id="entry_flag_links_2011/12/23/2655531/friday-five-with-pat-traina-jets-giants-edition"></span>

GIANTS' DAVID WILSON TALKS TO SB NATION (http://www.bigblueview.com/2012/7/10/3147919/video-david-wilson-new-york-giants-sb-nation-youtube) - VIDEO

"This is a great interview from SB Nation YouTube with New York Giants (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/new-york-giants)
first-round draft choice David Wilson (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/152687/david-wilson),
which was done during the rookie premiere event in Los Angeles.

The interview, including a shout-out to Big Blue View, is below. Excerpts,
for those of you who prefer to read rather than listen, are after the jump.</p>

</p><div class="entry-body">

Wilson on being selected by the Giants:</p>

"Being a part of the Super Bowl champions and they took you with their first
pick, so they are expecting a lot of you and they want me to contribute right
away. ... I'm putting my foot in the door and once I put my foot down I'm gonna
go north. Not north and south, just try to go north."</p>

Wilson said the other Giants' running backs made him feel "comfortable" upon
his arrival.</p>

On the New York/New Jersey area:</p>

"In Virginia you can look for miles in the the distance. In New York you can
look about 10 feet."</p>

On teaming with <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/16768/ahmad-bradshaw">Ahmad

"He's a powerful running back and hard-nosed, but he's not the biggest guy,
either. We'll complement each other and, although we aren't the biggest guys we
run hard. That's all you can ask for out of a running back is to run hard when
he has the ball."</p>

On competing in the NFL:</p>

"It gets trimmed down to the best of the best. Every week you've got to bring
your 'A' game," said Wilson."</p>NY GIANTS' NEWS AND NOTES: ESPY'S, MATHIAS KIWANUKA, JOSH GORDON (http://www.bigblueview.com/2012/7/10/3148733/new-york-giants-news-and-notes-espys-mathias-kiwanuka-josh-gordon)

"Good morning, New York Giants (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/new-york-giants)
fans! Here is your Tuesday morning notebook.<div class="entry-body">

<a href="http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/Big-Blue-nominated-for-ESPY-Awards/3d2aa4b1-28b3-4a17-b8c0-f18fb1e9fe78">Big
Blue nominated for ESPY Awards</a>
The New York Giants are up for three ESPY
Awards, including Best Team, Best Coach/Manager, and Best Championship
Performance. Vote now before the show airs Wednesday, July 11.</p>

<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/07/giants_summer_questionnaire_li_1.html">Giants
summer questionnaire: Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka | NJ.com</a>
Life is good
for <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2229/mathias-kiwanuka">Mathias
Kiwanuka</a> right now, and that hasn't always been the case.

multiple switches from defensive end to linebacker and back, his brother's
motorcycle accident and a neck injury that robbed him of most of the 2010 season
and had him thinking about life after football, the former first-round pick is
now enjoying his role as a full-time linebacker, participated in a Super Bowl
victory after sitting out the previous one with a leg injury, received a nice
contract extension this offseason, witnessed the birth of his first child and
got married this past weekend.</p>

<a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8143170/2012-nfl-supplemental-draft-wr-josh-gordon-hold-pro-day-tuesday-source-says">2012
NFL supplemental draft -- WR Josh Gordon to hold pro day Tuesday, source says -
Former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has declared for
Thursday's supplemental draft, is scheduled to hold his pro day on Tuesday at
the Houston Texans (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/houston-texans)'
training facility, according to a league source.

Multiple NFL teams are
expected to attend, and the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Gordon is expected to be timed
in the 40-yard dash in the 4.4s or better.

One NFL scout said Gordon
could go as high as the second round, and he is considered a rare talent as far
as supplemental drafts go."</p></div>

<u><font size="4">INSIDE FOOTBALL</font></u>


<font size="4"><u>THE RED ZONE</u></font><font size="4">
<font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.theredzone.org/</font> (http://www.theredzone.org/)
GIANTSFOOTBALLBLOG</u></font>" (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/08/giants-own-all-time-lead-in-playoff-berths/)
<font size="3">http://www.giantsfootballblog.com/</font> (http://www.giantsfootballblog.com/)</u>
<font size="4">
</font><font size="4"><u>GIANTS GAB</u></font>

<a href="http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/happy_fourth_of_july/11149598">
</a><font size="3">http://www.giantsgab.com/</font> (http://www.giantsgab.com/)

<u><font size="4">GMEN HQ</font></u>

NY GIANTS' WIDE OUTS (http://gmenhq.com/2012/07/09/new-york-giants-wide-outs/)

"Last year actually began with the New York Giants wondering how they were
going to fill all the WR spots on their roster with healthy players. Steve
Smith had been injured in ’10, Mario Manningham was again injured, and so was
Domenik Hixon. The position was one of pure speculation. Now it is their
greatest strength.

Hakeem Nicks is a special player. He is Michael Irvin without the attitude
and the antics. He is big, strong, and has huge hands. Hakeem is a match-up
nightmare for most teams, and coupling him with a few other special players has
made him, and will continue to make him, a dangerous threat anywhere on the

Victor Cruz had the best year any wide receiver has ever had for the New York
Giants. Just that statement alone takes a minute to digest. An un-drafted free
agent who had to sit his first year due to injury, not only made the team, but
made the team better and more explosive. Cruz has medium speed, but a quickness
and shiftiness that allows him to beat anyone at anytime.</p>

Ramses Barden is 6' 6? receiver that was originally supposed to play the role
of Plaxico Burress. Ramses entering his 4th year has a total of 15 receptions
and seems to be having trouble not only staying healthy, but learning to play
big time football on a consistent basis. Playing wide receiver in the NFL
requires more than catching a ball, it is precise route running, running hard to
influence players away from the intended target, and effective blocking on
running plays. Ramses often has been a healthy scratch from games, leading one
to believe his practice sessions or film grading is not up to Giants

Domenik Hixon is entering his 7th season, but has missed many games due to
injury. Hopefully Domenik can return to the team fully healthy this year and
not only add to his receiving numbers, but bolster the return game as well.</p>

Jerrel Jernigan is a 5’8? 189 pound speedster out of Troy. He showed some
flashes in the return game towards the end of this season and will look to
bolster those numbers this season. He should make the team easily and add great
depth to the Giants passing attack.</p>

Added to the equation for this training camp are the following: Brandon
Collins 5’8? a rookie out of SE Louisiana, Dan DePalma, 5’11? from West Chester,
David Douglas 6’1? from Arizona, Julian Talley 6’1? from Massachusetts, and they
welcome back Isaiah Stanback a four year man from Washington at 6’2?.</p>

The big addition here is Rueben Randle 6’2? 208 from LSU. Randle showed very
well in mini camp.. He is hands catcher, and will compete with Hixon and the
others to replace Mario Manningham who now resides in San Francisco</p>

The Giants receiving corps will be a strength again this year. With Hakeem
Nicks taking it a bit easy and slow in the upcoming training camp, not only will
more guys get reps in camp, but in the pre-season games as well. This will be
another great watch in camp. Who will step up this year?"</p>http://gmenhq.com/

<font size="4"><u>YARDBARKER</u></font>

2012 NY GIANTS' MAKE OR BREAK CANDIDATE: WILL BEATTY (http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/2012_new_york_giants_make_or_break_candidate_will_ beatty/11186098)

"Will Beatty (http://www.rantsports.com/search/?cx=partner-pub-1362184578149106%3A0810558991&amp;cof=FORID%3A10&amp;ie=UT F-8&amp;q=will+beatty&amp;sa=Search&amp;siteurl=www.rantsports.c om%2Fnew-york-giants%2F&amp;ref=&amp;ss=1546j1500100j4)has
had a lot of expectations throughout his<a href="http://www.rantsports.com/new-york-giants/"> New York
Giants</a> <span style="BACKGROUND: none transparent scroll repeat 0% 0%; COLOR: darkgreen; FONT-SIZE: inherit; FONT-WEIGHT: inherit" id="itxthook0w0" class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxthookspan">career</span> (#). He is
a former second round pick in 2009 and was expected to take over along the
offensive line at some point. He’s battled injuries throughout his career and
now is the time where he needs to take the next step and be healthy for an
entire year and show whether or not he can play at the NFL level otherwise the
team is going to have to search for an answer at the tackle position.

Beatty was drafted in 2009 and started in
four games and played in all 16 as the third tackle/tight end spot. In 2010,
Beatty broke his foot in the first game of the season and missed eight games. He
came back and started the last two games. Last season he started the first ten
games before a detached retina ended his season.</p>

A detached retina is never a good thing,
no matter who you are or what you do, let-alone a tackle who’s supposed to
protect the blindside for Eli Manning. Right now David Diehl (http://www.rantsports.com/search/?cx=partner-pub-1362184578149106%3A0810558991&amp;cof=FORID%3A10&amp;ie=UT F-8&amp;q=david+diehl&amp;sa=Search&amp;siteurl=www.rantsports.c om%2Fnew-york-giants%2F&amp;ref=&amp;ss=1925j3705625j2) probably has the left tackle spot with
Beatty on the right. Don’t sleep on James Brewer (http://www.rantsports.com/search/?cx=partner-pub-1362184578149106%3A0810558991&amp;cof=FORID%3A10&amp;ie=UT F-8&amp;q=james+brewer&amp;sa=Search&amp;siteurl=www.rantsports. com%2Fnew-york-giants%2F&amp;ref=&amp;ss=1438j1172604j5) pressing Beatty for time or even veteran
Sean Locklear (http://www.rantsports.com/search/?cx=partner-pub-1362184578149106%3A0810558991&amp;cof=FORID%3A10&amp;ie=UT F-8&amp;q=sean+locklear&amp;sa=Search&amp;siteurl=www.rantsports .com%2Fnew-york-giants%2F&amp;ref=&amp;ss=1744j1954278j5).</p>

Beatty has to prove he can be a tackle in
the NFL, otherwise he will not be on the Giants after this coming up season. If
he can’t do the job, you can see the Giants using their first round pick in 2013
on a tackle. The offensive line was a question mark throughout the season
especially in the running game. When the line clicked, the team clicked. Beatty
has to prove he can be a part of it."</p><font size="3">http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56</font> (http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56)
<font size="4"><u>
<font size="3">
</font></u></font><font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.grantland.com/</font> (http://www.grantland.com/)


</u><font size="3">http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/stories</font> (http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/stories)<u>

<a href="http:///">http://nygreporter.com/

<font size="4"><u>NFL.COM</u></font>

DALLAS COWBOYS WIN NFC EAST AND OTHER PREDICTIONS (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a730ac/article/dallas-cowboys-win-the-nfc-east-and-other-predictions)

"LaDainian Tomlinson (/players/ladainiantomlinson/profile?id=TOM683150)
joined the cast of NFL Network's "Total Access" on Monday and kicked around some
predictions for the upcoming season. Training camp is just around the corner,
and it's never too early to make some predictions (which you all can use to rub
in my face later, though New York Giants (/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) fans would
never do anything like that).
<div id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_1595" class="art-content">

In fact, I'm brimming with so many prognostications, I'm going to spread them
over two posts, one covering the NFC on Tuesday and another covering the AFC on
Wednesday. That's 12 times to tell me how wrong I am, question how I even got a
job here at NFL.com and help me try to get that job at Entertainment Weekly that
you seem to so desperately want me to get.</p>
<h3 id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_1594">And without further ado ...</h3></div><div id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_1596" class="article-location"><div id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_979" class="articleText"><div id="article-template" class="col span-10">
<div class="top-six">
<ul><li class="blue">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content"><span><a id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_1314" class="player-flyout" href="/players/jaycutler/profile?id=CUT288111">Jay
Cutler</a> will have a monster year</span>

Only one Chicago Bears (/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) receiver has
topped 100 receptions in a season during the club's nearly 100 years of
existence. Brandon Marshall did it twice with Cutler in Denver. Now that Mike
Martz's failed experiment is safely in the past, the Bears can join the rest of
the leaders in the NFC North with a prodigious passing attack. (Sorry, the word
"prodigious" has stuck with me after I heard Chris Berman utter it 239 times
during the Home Run Derby on Monday night).</p></div><li class="white">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content"><span>The 49ers will start the season 0-2</span>

The San Francisco 49ers (/teams/sanfrancisco49ers/profile?team=SF) have
added a lot of aging talent (Randy Moss, <a id="yui_3_5_0_1_1341965646515_1317" class="player-flyout" href="/players/brandonjacobs/profile?id=JAC705688">Brandon
Jacobs</a>, et al.), making their roster resemble the cast of one of those Garry
Marshall flicks ("New Year's Eve" or "Valentine's Day"), but that won't be
enough to prevent San Francisco from starting 0-2 against the Green Bay Packers (/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) and Detroit Lions (/teams/detroitlions/profile?team=DET). Best-case
scenario is 1-1. Let's face it, a plus-28 turnover differential will be nearly
impossible to duplicate and the NFC West will be much more competitive. However,
the 49ers will still win the division.</p></div><li class="blue">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content blue"><span>There will be no "redeem" in this

Many figure the Philadelphia Eagles (/teams/philadelphiaeagles/profile?team=PHI) have
learned their lesson from the previous season and will finally reveal themselves
as a true "Dream Team." Not happening. Just look at the schedule. The Eagles
open with the Cleveland Browns (/teams/clevelandbrowns/profile?team=CLE) (win), but
have the Baltimore Ravens (/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL), Arizona Cardinals (/teams/arizonacardinals/profile?team=ARI), New York
Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers (/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) and
Detroit Lions. After that, it's the Atlanta Falcons (/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL), New Orleans Saints (/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO), Dallas Cowboys (/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) and Washington Redskins (/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS). The
Eagles should be improved this year, but the brutal schedule could derail their
season. But don't worry, Andy Reid's job is safe.</p></div><li class="white">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content white"><span>The Panthers will win the NFC South

Division champs just don't repeat in the NFC South, so don't expect the New
Orleans Saints (with all of their troubles) to come out on top. This year, it
will be the Carolina Panthers (/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) (as I told
Steve Smith during his visit to the Dave Dameshek Football Program (http://davedameshek.nfl.com/2012/06/28/ddfp-73-steve-smith-live-in-studio-66/)). Scoff all you want
right now, but remember me when the Panthers knock off the Giants in Week 3 on
NFL Network.</p></div><li class="blue">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content blue"><span>Giants will improve their record, but
won't make the playoffs </span>

The New York Giants finished with a 9-7 mark in 2011 but reached the playoffs
after winning the NFC East. It was a fitting development, because Giants fans
moaned after their 10-6 club missed the playoffs in favor of the 7-9 Seahawks in 2010. Look for history to repeat itself this
year as the Giants improve their win total but just miss the
playoffs.</p></div><li class="white">

<div class="top-six-image">
<div class="top-six-content white"><span>The Cowboys will win the NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys would have won the NFC East last season if Miles Austin (/players/milesaustin/profile?id=AUS467198) and Tony Romo (/players/tonyromo/profile?id=ROM787981) could have connected
on a critical third-down play late in the fourth quarter of a Week 14 home loss
to the Giants. That game was part of a 1-5 fade down the stretch. This year,
though, the team will close with five home games out of the final seven, a
favorable set-up that should help propel the Cowboys to the postseason. No wild
card for the Giants, though, as three teams from the NFC North will make


<font size="3"><font size="4"><u>YAHOOSPORTS</u></font></font>

<font size="3">http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl</font> (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl)

<font size="4"><u>FOX SPORTS</u></font>

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/new-york-giants/67056">http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/new-york-giants/67056

<u><font size="4">NBCSPORTS</font></u>


<font size="4"><u>CBSSPORTS</u></font>


<u><font size="4">SI.COM</font></u>


<u><font size="4">ESPN.COM</font></u>

BY THE NUMBERS: 2011 NEW YORK GIANTS (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8146981) - VIDEO

<font size="4"><font size="3">http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyg/new-york-giants</font> (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyg/new-york-giants)<u>


<a href="http://stats.profootballweekly.com/team/giants/">http://stats.profootballweekly.com/team/giants/
<font size="4"><u>
</u><font size="3">

<font size="4"><u>PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS</u></font>

<font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.profootballfocus.com/</font> (http://www.profootballfocus.com/)

</u><font size="3">
REPORT: WITHOUT LONGER-TERM CONTRACT, BREES WON'T REPORT TO TRAINING CAMP (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/eye-on-football/19554003/report-without-long-term-contract-drew-brees-wont-report-to-saints-training-camp)

"</font></font>If Drew Brees (/nfl/players/playerpage/235197/drew-brees) doesn't
get the long-term deal he and the Saints (/nfl/teams/page/NO/new-orleans-saints) have been haggling over,
one report says he won't sign his franchise tag and will not
report to New Orleans training camp.

According to ESPN's (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8153671/drew-brees-new-orleans-saints-skip-training-camp-contract-sources-say) Chris Mortensen, the Saints have offered a contract to
Brees that would average $19.25 million per season, which would make him the
highest paid player in history (Peyton Manning's deal with the Broncos averages
$19.2 million per year).</p>

But Mortensen writes that Brees wants $20.5 million per year.</p>

Remember, the two sides have until Monday to strike a long-term deal before
Brees has to play under the $16.6 million franchise tag. But if that doesn't
happen and Brees actually holds out from training camp, there's no telling how
long he'll stay away from the team.</p>

A few weeks ago, Brees said he'd never sit out the season (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/eye-on-football/19425768/drew-brees-id-never-sit-out-the-season) because he loves the game too
much -- which, at the time, seemed to give away some of his leverage (I
personally thought it meant that the two sides were close enough to a new deal
that Brees saying that wouldn't make much of a difference).</p>

According to Saints Rapid Reporte (https://twitter.com/LHolderCBS/status/222791595219623938)r Larry Holder, the team hasn't heard from Brees'
agent, Tom Condon, since early June after the Saints offered the latest

With so much money on the table for Brees, it's hard to fathom any NFL player
walking away from that kind of franchise-tag cash (thank goodness, though, that
Brees does have other employment options (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/eye-on-football/19446931/video-drew-brees-drives-a-cab-talks-concussions)).</p>

Unless Brees really believes in the principle of this stand-off. And if
that's the case, the Saints might have to choose between Chase Daniel, Luke McCown (/nfl/players/playerpage/493008/luke-mccown) or Sean Canfield (/nfl/players/playerpage/565146/sean-canfield) as the
2012 starting quarterback.</p>

Hey, at least they'd be cheap."

</p><font size="4"><font size="3">


FORMER RUTGER'S PLAYER ERIC LEGRAND GETS ENDORSEMENT DEAL (http://http://www.northjersey.com/sports/161883435_RU_s_LeGrand_has_endorsement_deal.html)

LAWYER DISPUTES CHARGE AGAINST ADRIAN PETERSON (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/07/09/sports/football/ap-fbn-vikings-peterson.html?_r=1&amp;ref=football)

COWBOYS NOT EXPECTED TO SIGN SPENCER TO EXTENSION (http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescription/tabid/61/EntryId/27385/Report--Cowboys-not-expected-to-sign-Spencer-to-extension/Default.aspx)

FANS MAKING IT CLEAR THEY WANT LOWER PRICES (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/10/fans-making-clear-that-they-want-lower-prices/related/)

"</font></font>The push to give NFL fans who attend games more continues to overlook that
they’d prefer to simply pay less.

The point was hammered home for us on Sunday night and Monday morning, when
ia space-filling item about the steady drop in paid attendance since 2007 (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/08/after-peaking-in-2007-nfl-attendance-steadily-has-declined/)
racked up more than 150 approved comments.</p>

But since in many respects the NFL sets the agenda for its coverage by
talking not about dropping prices but by adding bells and whistles, no one in
the media seems to be sensitive to the burgeoning uprising of fans who are
voting with their wallets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfypiO3nbHU).</p>

And so, while it’s critical to make the in-stadium experience at least as
good as the home experience, the bottom line is the bottom line. Unless and
until owners are willing to give up some of the windfall that comes from $13
tubs of stale popcorn and one beer that costs more than a six-pack at a store,
more and more people when faced with the prospect of schlepping to the local
stadium will borrow a quote from Lee Corso (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M35SPhRD0Iw) and stay home."</p><font size="4"><font size="3">PFT PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS: NO 31 COLTS (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/09/preseason-power-rankings-no-31-indianapolis-colts/related/)

"</font></font>The good news is, the Colts should be exciting.

The bad news remains, exciting isn’t nearly the same thing as good.</p>

There’s a new attitude coursing through Colts camp, which there should be
after last year’s 2-14 train wreck. When you’re replacing guys at every
meaningful level of the organization, a sense of renewal and optimism is natural
and necessary.</p>

Whatever else he does, No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6439/andrew-luck) at least gives the Colts
evidence of a plan they lacked last year, when Peyton Manning (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1493/peyton-manning)’s neck problems led to the
attendant problems of a Curtis Painter (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5244/curtis-painter)-led offense and the
painful-but-inevitable departure of an icon.</p>

Being able to stink for a single season and to be rewarded with one of the
more polished passers to come out of college in years was a nice consolation
prize for the Colts. If you’re going to replace a Manning, this is the way to do

But even Manning needed a 3-13 rookie season before he could deliver on his
promise, and it’s unfair to count on anything else from Luck in 2012.</p>


Even if it’s for the short-term, the Colts do have two very good pass-rushers
in place after re-signing Robert Mathis (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1568/robert-mathis) to a four-year, $36 million
contract and resisting the urge to purge veteran Dwight Freeney (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1517/dwight-freeney).</p>

That’s a start, as changing over to a hybrid 3-4 system will be a major
upheaval anyway. The ability to get after a quarterback is the first step toward
any defense being respected or respectable, and that’s probably a lot of the
reason Mathis and Freeney are two of the few old parts retained.</p>

New coach Chuck Pagano brought a few guys he knows from Baltimore, in hopes
that adding familiarity speeds the transition to a new program. Defensive end Cory Redding (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1885/cory-redding), defensive tackle Brandon McKinney (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4109/brandon-mckinney) and safety Tom Zbikowski (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4736/tom-zbikowski) will help install the system.
There are a few other pieces in place to build with, as linebacker Pat Angerer (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5880/pat-angerer) and free safety Antoine Bethea (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3998/antoine-bethea) give them acceptable
starting-caliber players.</p>

It’s not a bad start. It’s also necessary that a lot of these guys play over
their heads, because they could be on the field more than they’ve had to in the


Gone are the days when the Colts could easily light up scoreboards.</p>

Even if top pick Andrew Luck shows the kind of progress other rookie
quarterbacks have in recent years, it’s still going to be difficult for him
because of the lack of supporting cast.</p>

They kept wide receivers Reggie Wayne (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1496/reggie-wayne) and Austin Collie (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5176/austin-collie), and it’s a good thing they
did, because many of the rest of the offensive jobs are a mystery.</p>

Not only did they lose wide receiver Pierre Garcon (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4945/pierre-garcon), tight ends Dallas Clark (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1509/dallas-clark) and Jacob Tamme (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4885/jacob-tamme) and running back Joseph Addai (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3646/joseph-addai), but also steady offensive
linemen Jeff Saturday (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/1549/jeff-saturday) and Ryan Diem.</p>

They’re trying to fill in with as many kids as possible, and that will come
with the predictable growing pains. After Luck, their next two draft picks were
tight endsCoby Fleener (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7418/coby-fleener) and Dwayne Allen (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7452/dwayne-allen). Third-round speedster T.Y. Hilton (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7558/ty-hilton) is the closest thing to a threat
at wide receiver out of this year’s draft, and it’s hard to expect much from him
this year.</p>

It’s a situation where you’d like to be able to lean on a running game, but
neither Donald Brown (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5133/donald-brown) nor Delone Carter (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6516/delone-carter) inspire much confidence, and a
patchwork offensive line doesn’t create much either.</p>


Where to begin?</p>

All they really changed is changed is everything, getting rid of one of the
best quarterbacks in league history, so they could start fresh with a fleet of
new faces starting with Andrew Luck.</p>

Throw in a new General Manager (Ryan Grigson), a new coach (Chuck Pagano),
new coordinators (Bruce Arians on offense and Greg Manusky on defense), a new
defensive scheme, and a load of new players, and it’s a full reset for a team
that was one of the models of consistency for the previous generation.</p>

Nine straight years of double-digit victories (including an amazing seven
straight 12-win seasons) made the Colts under Manning and general manager Bill
Polian a paragon of success, a role model for what they’re trying to do

But Polian was a known commodity when he took over the Colts, and there are
precious few of those here in any capacity anymore.</p>

Camp battles.</p>

The cornerback position is kind of a mess, and they’re adopting an all-comers
approach to the position.</p>

Jerraud Powers (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5139/jerraud-powers) is fine on the right side —
not great, but fine — but who starts opposite him is very much up in the

Kevin Thomas (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5891/kevin-thomas), a former third-round pick,
worked with the ones through the spring, but they tried to create as many
options as possible. That included trading for Cassius Vaughn (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6151/cassius-vaughn), claiming guys off waivers
and combing through the street free agents. It’s a process that is far from

They’d love it if someone from the group of Delone Carter/Mewelde Moore (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/77/mewelde-moore)/Vick Ballard (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7615/vick-ballard)/various others could push
running back Donald Brown, but at the moment it’s his job to lose.</p>


The Colts can crow about a new era all they want. But dumping all the
veterans to clear the decks for the new guys will likely lead to another long

After going 2-14, it’s hard to imagine things getting worse, but the build
could be slow. They open at Chicago, and the Bears have the kind of defense that
will test the well-publicized maturity of Luck.</p>

But then they host Minnesota and Jacksonville, a soft landing after a tough
start. The schedule isn’t overbearing, with enough games against their fellow
travelers at the bottom of the league that they could steal a few.</p>

The reality is, this year’s priority will be for Luck to show he’s capable of
the long job in front of him, and developing some of the many young parts around

If that means a few more wins, fine. But they’re a year or two worth of solid
acquisitions away from even approaching their old form, and that’s if Luck meets
every expectation. If they could match the kind of four-win jump Cam Newton (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6491/cam-newton) helped achieve in Carolina last
year, it would be reason for a party. But Luck doesn’t have nearly the kind of
parts around him Newton did, which could make that kind of improvement more than
anyone could fairly expect."</p><font size="4"><font size="3">ONLINE NFLPA SHOP OPENS, PROVIDES APPAREL FOR EVERY PLAYER, REVENUE STREAMS (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/eye-on-football/19552323/online-nflpa-shop-opens-provides-apparel-for-every-nfl-player-revenue-streams)

"</font></font>The NFLPA will announce on Wednesday the opening of an online store -- the
NFLPA Shop -- featuring on-demand, licensed apparel for every single NFL player,
CBSSports.com has learned exclusively.

The online store (<a href="http://shop.nflpa.com">to be located at
Shop.NFLPA.com</a>) will provide three distinct benefits to individual NFL
players: every single player (not just the most marketable ones) will have
ready-to-sell items in the store, NFL players will receive up to 70 percent of
the net proceeds for products sold, and players will be able to sell autographed
memorabilia via consignment and auction, with the proceeds going directly to
players or player-designated charities.</p>

NFLPA Shop will also feature my personal favorite sports gear item: the
jersey t-shirt. (Mrs. Brinson won't let me go to the grocery store in an actual
jersey, oddly enough.)</p>

"The unique thing about the whole shop is that now you can go online and
order merchandise from a player that you really love. It can be an offensive
lineman, a defensive lineman, it doesn't really matter," 49ers tight end Vernon
Davis told CBSSports.com (listen to his full interview in the podcast below).
"You can get their merchandise with their name on it, their number, it's going
to be fantastic."</p>

In terms of providing individual players revenue, the NFLPA Shop is an
interesting exercise in marketing an individual's brand: each NFL player will
have a customizable page with that player's products showcased. That means for
fans of that player -- regardless of position, popularity, etc -- there's a
one-stop shopping point for merchandise.</p>

And while no one thinks that the majority of NFL players are hurting for
money, the NFLPA Shop provides an additional revenue stream for individual
players. Licensing fees and operating costs will obviously come off the top, but
a player's ability to market himself via Twitter, Facebook or whatever other
means can now equate to 70 percent of the net proceeds.</p>

"[The shop] gives an opportunity for every NFL player that's not a marquee
name on a team," NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said. "For that person not just
to be marketed but for that person to generate some additional royalty

For elite players, making money on their name is nothing new. But for the
average player who doesn't have a pile of endorsements or already-personalized
gear online, this means a chance to increase brand management and put some coin
in their pocket as well.</p>

"It's just amazing to see something like this is being invented," Davis said.
"I think my teammates will really appreciate this because now their families can
go online and order merchandise with their number on it and they don't have to
worry about going to outsiders and getting something made when they can just go
right online to the shop and get the merchandise."</p>

Additionally, try Googling "Autographed [Player Name] Football" (or "Jersey")
and see what pops up. It's probably going to be an independent seller of sports
memorabilia, Amazon or eBay. It's not going to be that player actually getting
rewarded for their autograph or, more importantly, that player selling his
autographed memorabilia to benefit a pre-selected charity.</p>

It'll also be interesting to see how much of a bite the union's shop can take
out of the NFL's shop: both offer men's, women's and children's Nike jerseys
(along with other Swoosh gear) in addition to unique memorabilia and myriad

</p><font size="4"><font size="3">

G-Men Surg.
07-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Thanks RF !

07-10-2012, 12:29 PM

Thanks bro.

07-10-2012, 12:42 PM

Thanks bro.


07-10-2012, 12:43 PM
Thanks RF !


07-10-2012, 01:37 PM

as always many thanks Roanoke!</P>

Cool Papa B.
07-10-2012, 02:41 PM
You da man, Roanoke! Thanks for the post.

07-10-2012, 03:12 PM

as always many thanks Roanoke!</p>


07-10-2012, 03:13 PM
You da man, Roanoke! Thanks for the post.