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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2011 - 10:00 A.M.



RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 09:59 AM
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</font></u><u><font color="#ff0000" size="4">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">. </font></u><font size="4">

</font><font size="4"><font size="6">TIME FOR THE 12TH MAN TO BE HEARD
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</font></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>

GIANTS' NEWER PLAYERS WANT TO KNOW THE FEELING OF THE POST SEASON (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_newer_players_want_to_k.html)

"The remnants are scattered all over the practice facility, images of players
hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after a historic upset of the then-undefeated New
England Patriots.


That was just four years ago, but in East Rutherford it may as well be four
decades.</p>


The Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) advanced to the postseason
again the next season, in 2008, but entered reeling after starting the season
11-1 and quickly were bounced in the first round.</p>


That’s all the Giants have to show for playoff appearances since winning the
franchise’s third Super Bowl. And while such a “drought” can be tempered by the
fact that quarterback Eli Manning, defensive end Justin Tuck and a host of
holdovers remember the good times, it shouldn’t be forgotten that a significant
portion of the roster hasn’t been able to experience what the playoffs feel like
firsthand. The revved-up intensity; the spotlight; the emotion. That group
includes 21 players who have entered the league over the past three years — and
the entire wide receiving corps.</p>


“We just want to be there,” third-year wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said. “It’s
been a goal of mine since I’ve been here, and now it’s right before us and we
got our opportunity to get it.” </p>


In all, 20 players on the current roster were on the Giants’ last playoff
team in 2008; 17 were members of the Super Bowl team the year before. Others,
such as safety Deon Grant, have been to the playoffs and the Super Bowl with
other clubs. </p>


A few veterans, such as linebackers Mathias Kiwanuka and Zak DeOssie, were
youngsters on the 2007 Giants team; Kiwanuka was in his second year and DeOssie
was a rookie. Both said there was one player who stood before the team and put
everything in perspective as they set on making their improbable run through the
playoffs with three road victories and a triumph over the heavily favored
Patriots.</p>


“I guess you could say I was spoiled,” DeOssie said of winning a Super Bowl
his rookie season. “You know who put it in perspective for me, was Jeff Feagles.
He said the furthest he had ever made it in 19 years was a divisional round
game.”
</p>Feagles, the Giants punter from 2003-09, had been in his 20th season in the
league and was the oldest player to play in the Super Bowl until Matt Stover
broke his record in 2010.


“He said he had played with guys or he knows guys in the league who have
played 10, 15 years and never even been to the playoffs, so for us to be here in
this situation, it was something we had to take advantage of,” said Kiwanuka,
who finished the 2007 season on injured reserve after breaking his leg. </p>


“Hearing that from an older, experienced guy kind of put things in
perspective, and you start looking around the league and you think if a guy’s
been with one or two teams and neither of those teams have never had been to the
playoffs in recent history, that means you didn’t even get a sniff of it. So it
was very important we did the most that we could and the same with this
situation.”</p>


Players this week said the coaching staff and veterans have set out to remind
them how rare and fortunate it is to have an opportunity like they will Sunday
night. </p>


One of them has been safety Antrel Rolle, who wasn’t with the Giants before
last season but went to the Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008, and
did his best Jeff Feagles impression recently.</p>


“He said, ‘You rookies don’t know what it feels like to be in the playoffs,
it’s just a great feeling and everybody plays at a different level,’ ”
cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “He said unless you’ve been there, you don’t
know how it feels and to just keep working hard.”</p>


“We have a lot riding on this,” Rolle said this week. “We have everything
riding on this.”</p>GIANTS-COWBOYS GAME PREVIEW: A LOOK AHEAD TO (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-cowboys_game_preview_a_1.html)
THE BATTLE FOR THE NFC EAST (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-cowboys_game_preview_a_1.html)

"I'm late here because I got caught up watching the BYU-Tulsa game. What a
finish there. I'm not sure how that game would matter any less if there were a
playoff system, but I digress.


Speaking of playoff systems, the NFL has a great one. And the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants) and Dallas Cowboys will battle for
the right to get into said playoffs. It should be a good one, and I'd expect the
most raucous crowd we've seen at MetLife Stadium so far.</p>


I'm already on record as saying <a href="http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=20039983">I smell an easy
Giants victory here</a>. Though I dropped that on SNY on Tuesday before I knew
<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_aaron_maybin_not_fined_fo.html">the
extent of Hakeem Nicks' hamstring issue</a>, I'm going to stick with it.</p>


Folks have been asking if I sense the same pep in the Giants' step this week
as I did a week ago. I've been telling them it's not as noticeable as it was a
week ago but that doesn't mean it's not there.</p>


Tom Coughlin was pleased with what he saw.</p>


"Because we practiced well and we’re geared towards a big game and I can feel
the enthusiasm as it grows," he said today. "Everybody knows it’s a game of
execution against two teams that seem to play incredibly close games every time
we play."</p>


* * * *</p>


SUNDAY'S GAME: vs. Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC</p>


PLAYERS TO WATCH</p>


Offense: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_jake_ballard_ruled_out.html">With
TE Jake Ballard down</a>, the onus is on TE Bear Pascoe to fill
the void. He didn't have a catch last week against the Jets and I just don't
think that'll be good enough this week.</p>


What the Cowboys did the last time these teams played, especially late in the
game, was double-cover all three receivers and leave Ballard 1-on-1. He hurt
them late with a touchdown catch and a grab to put them at the 1-yard line
before Brandon Jacobs scored the game-winner.</p>


How'd the Cowboys double-cover all three receivers? Well, they put two guys
on Victor Cruz in the slot and then had a safety over the top of Hakeem Nicks
and Mario Manningham. (More on the Cruz double coming on Sunday. Don't miss that
story.) Again, that left Ballard alone. Figure the Cowboys will do plenty more
of that, especially with Ballard on the sideline.</p>


Also, WR Ramses Barden was hard on himself following the
game against the Jets, in which he had a rough first half. Look to see if the
Giants lean on him (as well as TE Travis Beckum) a bit more to
help ease the loss of Ballard.</p>

Defense: DE Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks
and, by my count, two pressures in the teams' first meeting. On those plays, LT
Doug Free got no help from a back or tight end. In the words of
Coughlin the day after the loss to the Eagles when he was talking about people
downplaying Philly, "Helllllloooo?"</p>


On his sacks, Pierre-Paul beat Free once to the outside (on the safety) and
once to the inside, so Dallas really needs to provide help on both sides of
Free.</p>


THE LINE: Giants by 3. Over-under 46.</p>


ONE MORE THING: Veteran OG Derrick Dockery, a familiar face
to the Giants because of his six seasons with the Redskins, will get the start
at LG in place of the injured Montrae Holland.</p>


* * * *</p>


The Cowboys are listing QB Tony Romo (hand) as probable after he practiced
again in a limited capacity. LB DeMarcus Ware (neck) is also probable after
practicing fully.</p>


Here's Dallas' full injury report:</p>


QUESTIONABLE: LB Sean Lee (wrist/illness), RB Felix Jones (hamtsring), S
Danny McCray (ankle), NT Josh Brent (knee), WR Kevin Ogletree (knee) and WR
Andre Holmes (hamstring).</p>


PROBABLE: QB Tony Romo (hand), LB DeMarcus Ware (neck), NT Jay Ratliff
(ribs), CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder), WR Laurent Robinson (shoulder) and P Mat
McBrian (left foot)."</p>GIANTS' JAKE BALLARD RULED OUT FOR DALLAS GAME (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_jake_ballard_ruled_out.html)

Excerpt: "tight end Jake Ballard, who caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown in
the team's comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month, has been
ruled out of the rematch.


Ballard didn't practice all week and the team has designated him as "out" for
Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Ballard is dealing with a partially torn
posterior cruciate ligament (the one in the back of the knee). He said earlier
this week he was told <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_jake_ballard_not_making.html">it'll
be a 2-to-4 week recovery process</a>, which means he might be able to return
next week — if there is a next week.</p>


"It's extremely frustrating," Ballard said. "Sitting out last weekend was
really tough. I thought there'd be a chance to get back for this game, but it
hasn't turned out that way. This is a playoff game for us. We have to win and
get in.</p>


"It's killing me right now. Sitting and watching practice all week is driving
me crazy."</p>


Also ruled out was linebacker Mark Herzlich, who hasn't played since
suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Saints on Nov. 28. (More on him
below.)</p>


Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) is listed as questionable after
practicing in a limited capacity for the third straight day. He's expected to
play and be part of the rotation with Jason Pierre-Paul, who will get the
start.</p>


“He seemed to do okay each day,” coach Tom Coughlin said." Read more...
</p><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font>

GIANTS' NICKS HAS NO SETBACKS, READY TO FACE COWBOYS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/giants-hakeem-nicks-setbacks-appears-ready-cowboys-article-1.999187)

"If Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks) can
duplicate his previous effort against Dallas on Sunday - the one in which he
exploded for a season-high 163 yards on eight receptions in the Dec. 11 Giants
win - Big Blue could catch a playoff berth.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Of course, the Nicks who appeared on the field in Big D earlier this month
wasn’t nursing a sore hamstring like the one Nicks is dealing with right now.
The injury caused him to miss two practices this week, but Nicks was back on the
field Friday, practicing his cuts, testing his speed, taking passes from <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> in light drills.</p>


Nicks said afterward he wasn’t limited in any way.</p>


Best of all, he said, “there wasn’t no setback.”</p>


Thursday, Nicks had said there was “no doubt” he would be playing Sunday
night. Twenty-four hours later, he backed up that claim by acknowledging he was
“confident” he can be the playmaker Big Blue needs to ring up points against DeMarcus Ware (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/DeMarcus+Ware) and
Co., along with his Giants receiving corps.</p>


“I pushed it to where I will at least have an idea where I will be on certain
routes and certain plays,” Nicks said of his practice. “I’m confident. I’m
confident that I’ll be able to get the job done. If I’m out there, I’m going to
be full-go.”

Mario Manningham (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mario+Manningham),
who has battled a knee injury, also practiced Friday.

<a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a>, never one to be long-winded with reporters, said Nicks “did all
right” and “moved around well.”

Asked if he would have to develop a
different game plan due to Nicks’ injury, the coach frowned.

“I don’t
want to game plan around any of that stuff,” Coughlin barked. “I want to let ’em
play. Go play the game. I’m confident (Nicks is) going to give it all he’s got,
I’ll tell you that. He wants to play in the worst way.”

One thing that
Nicks wasn’t complaining about was the decision to move Sunday’s game to an 8:20
start. More time to rest and let his hamstring heal. More time to get his legs
warmed up and loose, and to get additional treatment during the day, if
necessary.

“Treatment, rest, and when Sunday gets here, let’s go,” said
Nicks. “(Friday) was the test to see where I’m really at. No setbacks. I feel
like it’s getting better each day. We’ve still got a day and a half. With me
still treating it, I think that will be fine. Right now, I feel like I’ll be
able to go out and do what I can do.

“We know what’s at stake,” continued
Nicks. “Our running backs are going to contribute. Eli’s going to do his part. I
know the defense is going to come to play as well. We’re equipped to do whatever
it is we need to do to win the game.”</p>BETWEEN TONY, ROMO, JERRY JONES, AND JASON GARRETT, THERE'S NO REASON TO LIKE THE COWBOYS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/york-hates-dallas-cowboys-article-1.999193)

Excerpt: "Did you have to ask, really? Of course we desperately despise the Cowboys in
New York. Here are 10 good reasons to hate Dallas:<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


1. Tony Romo (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tony+Romo) is ranked
fourth in the NFL quarterback ratings, an insult to Eli and to our
intelligence.</p>


Romo stands five spots ahead of Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning), which, we
all know, is ridiculous. Clearly, the ratings need an extra category called,
"Throwing away every important game the quarterback ever plays in.”</p>


2. The Garrett family hates Columbia University, and vice versa.</p>


Jason Garrett (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Garrett) is the
son of Jim Garrett (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jim+Garrett), who goes
down in history as arguably the worst coach ever at Columbia. In 1985, during an
0-10 season, Jim Garrett called the Lions “drug-addicted losers” during one
post-game tirade, and said, “They’re right back in the sewer again.” Of one
scholar athlete, Garrett said, “He’ll never punt for me again.”</p>


When Jim Garrett left at the end of that miserable season, his three sons,
Jason, John and Judd, all transferred from Columbia to Princeton. There, Jason
spitefully became Ivy League Player of the Year at quarterback and set the
conference record for career completion percentage at 66.5%. Columbia got one
bit of revenge: The Lions upset Jason and Princeton to snap their 44-game losing
streak in 1988. Roar, Lion, roar, and all that.</p>


3. Why, exactly, are they called America’s Team again?</p>


No matter what Rob Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rob+Ryan) blusters on
about, the fact remains that the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl in 1 6
seasons, and have captured exactly ONE playoff game in the last 15 years,
failing to qualify for the postseason in eight of those seasons. If this is
America’s Team, then the Cowboys reflect very poorly upon the Clinton, Bush and
Obama (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Barack+Obama)
administrations.</p>


4. Jerry Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Jones) is out of
control, even for Jerry Jones.</p>


He just won’t stop. The megalomaniac owner/GM showed up on the sideline of
the Cowboys’ game against the Eagles last week, updating the coach on Romo’s
bruised hand and on out-of-town scores. Jones recently went on a local radio
show, “The Ticket,” to assure everyone that he has no intention of reducing his
role.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


“When I bought the team I said there’s no way I could make the kind of
commitment that I’m making to buy the team and not have the final say relative
to the kinds of things that general managers decide. So I don’t see that at all.
What I do see is a better, straight-line way of making decisions and that has
been borne out over the years.”</p>


Not really. " Read more...</p>

OSI UMENYIORA LOOKS "OK" AT PRACTICE FOR GIANTS, SAYS COACH COUGLIN (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/osi-umenyiora-practice-giants-tom-coughlin-article-1.999190)</p>

"Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora) was
listed as “questionable” for Sunday night’s game.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Umenyiora did not talk with reporters Friday and is battling a high ankle
sprain that has caused him to miss the past four games.

<a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a> said that Umenyiora “seemed to do OK” during practice. Asked if he
would definitely play, Coughlin said, “You’ll have to see. I hope so. I do.”</p>


HURTS NOT TO PLAY
TE Jake Ballard (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jake+Ballard) (knee)
and LB Mark Herzlich (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Herzlich)
(ankle) are out for Sunday’s game.

The rookie Herzlich said he has a high
ankle sprain, like Umenyiora. He and Ballard rode stationary bikes Friday
morning, and neither was in holiday spirits about missing the winner-take-all
game against the Cowboys to decide the NFC East.

“The team has to take
care of the Cowboys,” said Ballard, adding that he might be able to play next
week if the Giants are in the postseason. “It’s extremely frustrating. I thought
there could be a chance to get back for this game, but it hasn’t turned out this
way. This is a playoff game for us. It’s killing me right now. Sitting and
watching practice all week, (it’s) driving me crazy.”

Added Herzlich:
“I’ll be starting running on Monday. I couldn’t do the pounding up until the
five-week mark. The end of this week will be five weeks. (There’s) a little chip
on the bone. That’s what kept me from doing the pounding. No surgery required.
It’s just not fun.”</p>


ONLY COUGHLIN HIT
Jets LB Aaron Maybin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Maybin) was not
fined by the NFL for the late hit penalty he received last Saturday night that
sent Giants RB D.J. Ware flying into Coughlin’s left leg. Coughlin was still
limping Friday at practice.</p>


COWBOYS’ INJURY REPORT
For Dallas, <a title="DeMarcus Ware" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/DeMarcus+Ware">LB
DeMarcus Ware</a> (neck), NT Jay Ratliff (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jay+Ratliff) (ribs) and
<a title="Laurent Robinson" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Laurent+Robinson">WR Laurent
Robinson</a> (shoulder) are probable and RB Felix Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Felix+Jones)
(hamstring) is questionable. QB Tony Romo (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tony+Romo) wore a thin
wrap on his right hand during the portion of practice that was open to the media
and is probable.</p>


HAPPY 100th
Sunday’s game will be the 100th meeting
between the Giants and rival Cowboys. Dallas leads the all-time series 56-41-2
(including postseason)."</p>
</div></div></div><u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u>
</div><div><div>
GIANTS AHMAD BRADSHAW EAGER TO FACE COWBOYS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/giants_set_to_release_fury_KRoKE3GTtM2aDqSRbnrmjI)

"Never has The Bulldog been more eager to bite than now.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


The Bulldog lost his way back home the night before the first Cowboys game
and found his way into Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse for the entire first
half.</p>


Tomorrow night, with the stakes piled as high as the Empire State Building,
The Bulldog can’t wait to be unleashed. The Bulldog feels GRRRRRReat, and he
barks: Just Give Me the Damn Ball and watch.</p>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM
OUR GIANTS BLOG</a> </p>


“When we run the ball we win, man,” Ahmad Bradshaw (/t/Ahmad_Bradshaw)said yesterday as the Giants
prepared for tomorrow’s NFC East-deciding clash at MetLife Stadium. “When we’re
successful with it, we have a good time out there.”
</p>The Bulldog deserved only scraps on Dec. 11 when Brandon Jacobs (/t/Brandon_Jacobs)rumbled for 101 yards.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


“I had a lot of excitement with it ... make the bad turn into good in the
best situations ... it happened, and it was done, and I just wanted to have a
lot of excitement for my team and for my running back teammates, we’re running
back brothers too,” Bradshaw said.</p>


But tomorrow night, the Cowboys get four quarters of The Bulldog.</p>


“Oh yeah. ... And we’ll see how they handle it,” he said.</p>


How do you think they’ll handle it? The Bulldog smiled and said: “I don’t
think it’s handleable.”</p>


The Bulldog said he hopes Coughlin throws him a bone.</p>


“Just to put my team on my back and be able to run the ball,” he
said."
</p></div>GIANTS' PASSING ATTACK READY FOR COWBOYS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/struggling_air_attack_recharged_inDH3mPkNgHUoAeHeH oSPN)

"The total for Eli Manning (/t/Eli_Manning)three
weeks ago against the Cowboys was 400 passing yards. Manning shredded the Dallas
defense, with two touchdown passes in the final three minutes-plus to give the
Giants a 37-34 shootout win.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Are the Giants again equipped to win a pass-heavy shootout tomorrow
night?</p>


“I feel like we’re equipped to do whatever it is we need to do to win the
game,” wideout Hakeem Nicks (/t/Hakeem_Nicks)said.
“We know what’s at stake.”</p>



The NFC East is at stake, as is possibly coach Tom Coughlin’s job. But while
the finest part of the Giants’ season has been their explosive and consistent
passing game, the air attack is in a different situation heading into tomorrow’s
NFC East showdown against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


The last two games, the Giants passing attack has been shaky. In their 23-10
loss to the Redskins, Manning threw for three interceptions. In the 29-14 win
over the Jets, Manning was 9-for-27, though to be fair, Jets star corner Darrelle Revis (/t/Darrelle_Revis)was partly
responsible.</p>


“I really don’t know what’s been different,” Nicks said. “We’ve just got to
start executing more.”</p>


Besides the recent pass problems, the Giants also have some personnel issues
for tomorrow. Tight end Jake Ballard, who was instrumental during the Giants’
rally to beat the Cowboys, is out because of a knee injury. Nicks (hamstring) is
probable and plans to play.</p>


The Giants still have Victor Cruz. And Mario Manningham, who missed the Jets
game with a knee injury, but is expected to return. Dallas’ secondary has
surrendered the NFL’s 10th-most passing yards. Without Ballard (38 catches, 604
yards), the Giants will use backups<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Bear_Pascoe">
Bear Pascoe </a>(10, 122) and<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Travis_Beckum"> Travis
Beckum </a>(three, 80).</p>


Offensive coordinator<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Kevin_Gilbride"> Kevin
Gilbride </a>said Ballard’s absence is critical, pointing to his performance at
the end of the first Cowboys meeting.</p>


“In the game in Dallas he was huge and as the game went on at the end and
that last drive, they started using a technique that I hadn’t seen until I
happened to be watching television and saw Romeo Crennel (/t/Romeo_Crennel)do it in Kansas City and all of a
sudden they were doing it,” Gilbride said. “They were putting two guys in like a
punt coverage against Victor and we couldn’t win with Victor, so we had to win
somewhere else. There were a couple things you could do but one of the things
and easy solution was to see if Jake could win and he made a huge play for
us.”</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Ballard also had an 8-yard touchdown catch on the Giants’ second-to-last
drive and two catches for 39 yards on the game-winning drive.</p>


“My knee’s just not ready yet,” said Ballard, who will miss his second
straight game. “It’s extremely frustrating.”</p>


As for Nicks, he torched Dallas in that game for eight catches and 163 yards,
and in his last three games against the Cowboys, he has racked up 22 catches for
353 yards and two scores. </p>


Nicks worked yesterday in practice.</p>


“I wasn’t limited at all on what I did,” he said."</p>

GIANTS' AMUKAMARA SEEKING REDEMPTION VS. COWBOYS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/more_prince_in_nfc_east_crown_duel_MWEfKiIcZ3TBYTx ePLRVAK)</p>

"Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell praised Prince Amukamara’s
performance in practice this week, and said the struggling rookie cornerback
could be on the field more in tomorrow night’s do-or-die regular-season finale
against the Cowboys. </p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


The first-round pick will be looking to atone for his poor play against the
Cowboys three weeks ago.</p>


“I’m definitely licking my chops, and I definitely want to redeem myself,”
Amukamara said yesterday.</p>



In the game in Dallas on Dec. 11, Amukamara was burned for a 74-yard
completion to wideout Laurent Robinson, a fourth-quarter play that helped the
Cowboys take a 27-22 lead. Amukamara then had a brutal game the following week
against the Redskins, and estimated he played just six snaps last week against
the Jets.</p>

“We’ll probably change up this week,” Fewell said. “Prince has had a very
good week of practice this week. So you may see more of him.”</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Said Amukamara, “I felt this week of practice was very good for me ...
mentally and just flowing to the ball. Whenever my number’s dialed up, I’ll be
ready.”</p>


* LB Mark Herzlich, who has missed the past four games with
a high ankle sprain and what he called “a little chip on the bone,” will be out
again tomorrow. But the rookie said returning for next weekend’s potential
playoff game would be an option.</p>


“That’s been kind of the hope the whole time,” Herzlich said. </p>


TE Jake Ballard (knee) also is out tomorrow. DE Osi
Umenyiora (ankle/knee) was limited in practice and is questionable.
After sitting out Wednesday and Thursday, RB Ahmad Bradshaw
(foot) and WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) participated on a
limited basis in practice and are probable. WR Mario Manningham
(knee) is probable.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


* Coach Tom Coughlin gushed last Saturday about how his
defense practiced heading into the Jets game.</p>


Coughlin said he also was pleased with how the unit looked the last few days,
too.</p>


“They had a good week of practice again. Good week.”</p>


* Jets LB Aaron Maybin was not fined for his late hit on
Giants RB D.J. Ware last Saturday."</p></div>GIANTS' WR HAKEEM NICKS ON TRACK TO FACE COWBOYS (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_wr_nicks_on_track_to_face_eWbPZk1BxKtf3KkiZ xoAkL)
</div></div></div></div></div></div>
Excerpt: "Working in practice Friday, Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said he did not
feel like his ailing hamstring caused him many problems.<div>


“Did some cuts, in and out. Bursted a little bit,” said Nicks, who did not
practice Wednesday or Thursday. “It’s a matter of me knowing it’s there, but it
wasn’t limiting me at all out there.”</p>


Nicks is listed as probable for Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys at
MetLife Stadium, and he has said he plans on playing. The third-year player has
done well against the Cowboys the previous three times he’s faced them, making
22 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns. In the Giants’ 37-34 win in Dallas
three weeks ago, Nicks had eight catches for 163 yards.</p>


“I think today in practice, that was the test to see where I’m really at. I
handled it pretty good. There weren’t any setbacks. Looking forward to Sunday
night,” he said. “I pushed it to the fact to where I would at least have an idea
of where I would be at on certain routes and certain plays. But there weren’t
any setbacks. That’s a good thing.” Read more...
</p></div>COWBOYS' RYAN BRINGS FAMILY TO SEE "WHEN WE WIN THE EAST" (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/cowboys_ryan_brings_family_east_GCR6yruCu8ln3wN0R9 5RcM)

"The family of Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is already in New York
to do some sightseeing before Sunday's NFC East showdown game with the
Giants.<div>


Ryan left no doubt that the biggest sight to see will be at MetLife
Stadium.</p>


“I want them to be there when we win the East, and I’ll probably steal a
couple of [championship] T-shirts and make sure they get them, because that’s
what we’re there for,” Ryan said Friday at the Cowboys practice facility.</p>


Ryan is the fraternal twin brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The Ryans
share a certain bravado in addition to DNA as Rob Ryan all but guaranteed a
victory for his family.</p>


“I know they’re going to see the Empire State Building, probably see their
Uncle Rex and Cousin Matthew [Russo, a retired FDNY fire marshal],” Ryan said.
“But they’re there to watch their dad become a champion, again. So that’s what
we’re going to do.”
</p></div><div><div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>
</div></div></div></div><div><div><div>
TONY ROMO LIMITED, BUT EXPECTED TO START (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/136469203_Romo_limited__but_Jones_says_he_will_be_ fine.html)

Excerpt: "Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was limited in practice by his sore hand
Friday for the third consecutive day, but he is listed as probable to play
against the Giants for the NFC East title on Sunday night.


"He's going to be playing at full strength," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told
KRLD-FM on Friday morning. "It's just a very big-time feel-good to know that
we're going to be going in with this kind of quarterbacking. He's had an
outstanding year." Rea more...</p>GIANTS' SECONDARY READY FOR REMATCH WITH COWBOYS (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Giants_secondary_ready_for_rematch_with_Cowboys.ht ml)

Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle insisted he was in the right place.

<div id="storybody">

Corey Webster insisted he, too, was in the right place.</p>


But that did not stop Dez Bryant from high-stepping into the end zone, having
hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass three weeks ago for the Cowboys after being
left wide open.</p>


That communication breakdown embodied how the Giants’ secondary was torched
Dec. 11 by Dallas, saved only by Eli Manning’s fourth-quarter magic and Jason
Pierre-Paul’s last-second blocked field goal.</p>


But the pass defense cannot wait for Sunday night when the Giants (8-7) again
face the Cowboys (8-7), this time playing for the NFC East title and their
season.</p>


The secondary is seeking redemption — and promising there will be no more
breakdowns.</p>


“We didn’t display what Giants’ defense really is, so we have a chance to go
out there and really redeem ourselves,” safety Deon Grant said. “We can show
that the roller coaster Giants are definitely behind us.”</p>


Tony Romo may have a bruised hand, but he runs the NFL’s eighth-ranked
passing attack (263.3 yards per game) with a number of weapons that include
Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Bryant and Laurent Robinson.</p>


The Cowboys compiled 321 passing yards and four touchdowns earlier this month
against the overmatched Giants’ secondary.</p>


But the defensive backs said that won’t happen again." Read more...
</p></div><u><font size="4">THE NEW YORK TIMES</font></u>
</div></div></div><div>
CHARGING FOR DOWNLOADS REST OF MONTH

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html">http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html
</a>
<u><font size="4">GIANTS 101</font></u>
</div>
GIANTS WILL BE WITHOUT BALLARD AND HERZLICH ON SUNDAY (http://www.giants101.com/2011/12/31/new-york-giants-will-be-without-jake-ballard-and-mark-herzlich-on-sunday/)

"In a game where all hands truly need to be on deck, the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with New York Giants" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york-giants/" rel="tag nofollow">New York
Giants</a> will be shorthanded on Sunday night.


On Friday, the team announced that tight end <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jake Ballard" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jake-ballard/" rel="tag nofollow">Jake
Ballard</a> (knee) and linebacker <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Mark Herzlich" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/mark-herzlich/" rel="tag nofollow">Mark
Herzlich</a> (ankle) will be out against the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Dallas Cowboys" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/dallas-cowboys/" rel="tag nofollow">Dallas
Cowboys</a>. For both Ballard and Herzlich, this will be the second straight
week each are out.</p>


Should the Giants win the NFC East and a host a playoff game next weekend,
both Ballard and Herzlich, who revealed this week that he chipped a bone in his
ankle, would be expected to play.</p>


Not all news is bad news, however. After practicing all week, defensive end
Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) is listed as questionable and should be active come
game time. Additionally, wide receivers <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Hakeem Nicks" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/hakeem-nicks/" rel="tag nofollow">Hakeem
Nicks</a> (hamstring) and <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Mario Manningham" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/mario-manningham/" rel="tag nofollow">Mario
Manningham</a> (knee) are both listed as probable. The same applies to running
back <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Ahmad Bradshaw" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/ahmad-bradshaw/" rel="tag nofollow">Ahmad
Bradshaw</a> (foot).</p>


A full list of inactives will be available right here on Giants 101
approximately two hours prior to kickoff."</p>GIANTS VS. COWBOYS: NFL WEEK 17 GAME PREVIEW (http://www.giants101.com/2011/12/30/new-york-giants-vs-dallas-cowboys-nfl-week-17-game-preview/)

"This is it. All the marbles are on the line Sunday night when the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Dallas Cowboys" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/dallas-cowboys/" rel="tag nofollow">Dallas
Cowboys</a> come into MetLife stadium to take on the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with New York Giants" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york-giants/" rel="tag nofollow">New York
Giants</a> in a one-game winner takes all showdown for the NFC East (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfc-east/)
divisional crown. Both teams are 8-7, and both can only get into the postseason
with a win in this game, as the Wild Card positions are officially off the table
to Detroit and Atlanta.

The Giants took the first meeting in thrilling fashion, storming back from
two possessions down with less than six minutes remaining in the game to win
37-34 on a <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a> blocked field goal in the final seconds.


<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a>, Tony Romo (http://www.giants101.com/tag/tony-romo/),
DeMarcusWare, <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a>, Miles Austin, Hakeem Nicks – want more names? The superstars
will be out in full force on Sunday night as the two long-time rivals leave
everything they have out on the field for the final postseason spot in the
NFC.</p>


GAMEPLAN</p>


Come out aggressive on offense from the first
possession</p>


The Giants are going to have a very rowdy, very enthusiastic crowd behind
them to start this game. It's going to be a difficult environment for Dallas to
walk into and find success early, and it's something the Giants would benefit
from greatly if they are able to take advantage.</p>


New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/)
needs to come out sharp and aggressive on offense, and let <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a> drop back and try and take the wind out of Dallas early. If the
Giants can come out and get on the scoreboard first, this New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/)
crowd will become all the more difficult for Dallas to deal with, and that could
really set the tone for the entire game as we've seen so many times in the
National Football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
League in what is essentially a playoff game.</p>


Putting Tony Romo (http://www.giants101.com/tag/tony-romo/)
and this Dallas offense behind the 8 ball after a hot start is the number one
scenario the Giants would like to see on Sunday night – as they will then be
able to unleash the wolves with a <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a>, Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, Osi Umenyiora front line in passing
situations.</p>


Look to neutralize Dez Bryant defensively</p>


Miles Austin is a pro-bowl caliber receiver, no question about it. He's
strong, agile and capable of damage after the catch, particularly in the red
zone. That said – Dez Bryant is the explosive, game-breaking receiver on this
Dallas offense that has the capability to dominate and break open a football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
game with just two or three touches of the football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) – similar to what you saw Victor Cruz do against
the Jets.</p>


If the Giants want to limit the big play in this game, it starts with
shifting the secondary's attention to wherever Dez Bryant is lined up. He has to
be a priority for this Giants defense.</p>


Incorporate more 3-step drops, swing passes, and the screen game
to take advantage of an aggressive Dallas front</p>


Everyone playing and coaching in this game knows exactly what Rob Ryan likes
to do defensively – switch up the looks he gives opposing offenses up front, and
bring blitzers from different angles and into different gaps to rattle the
quarterback and take him out of rhythm early.</p>


Now, the hard part is clearly doing something about it. I look for the Giants
to try and get the running backs in space with the swing pass, throw the quick
screen out to Nicks and Cruz, and allow <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a> to get back and hit the slant route over 1 on 1 coverage with
blitzers coming up the middle. If they can catch the Cowboys on a blitz
pre-snap, look for Manning to capitalize. </p>


Force Tony Romo (http://www.giants101.com/tag/tony-romo/)
to make plays from the pocket</p>


You heard it from Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and the guys along the Giants
offensive line all week. They want to keep Romo in the pocket as much as
possible in this game – as it's no secret he's most dangerous when he breaks
free to the outsides and can allow the coverage to break down downfieldand
suddenly find a man streaking 60 yards over the middle of the field.</p>


From the pocket, Romo is forced to look over Dallas' tall interior lineman
and make his reads quicker with (hopefully) pressure up the middle. This takes
away some of his playmaking ability and would certainly take some pressure off
this Giants secondary in the ballgame.</p>


THE GIANTS WILL WIN THIS GAME IF…</p>


They are efficient with their red zone opportunities and can limit Dallas'
big plays. The Giants can move the football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) on this Dallas defense – but have had a tendency
all year to trade touchdowns for field goals and miss out on opportunities to
pull away in football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
games. I don't think they will get away with that in a game of this magnitude
against an offense that can hit the quick strike touchdown with their
playmakerson the outside.</p>


The Giants have got to take advantage of their opportunities in this game.
They will come out with the crowd behind them and a lot of hostility and
pressure thrown in the face of the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Dallas Cowboys" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/dallas-cowboys/" rel="tag nofollow">Dallas
Cowboys</a>, and they need to take advantage of it.</p>


BIG GAME CANDIDATE - QB <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a></p>


Biggest game of the season, biggest game in the past three seasons for these
<a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with New York Giants" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york-giants/" rel="tag nofollow">New York
Giants</a>, Sunday night, a lot of energy, a lot on the line, and a lot of
pressure situations sure to unfold. If the Giants are going to come out and win
this game, <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a> has to be sharp, has to be the lethal <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a> he's proven to be in big spots, and has to lead this Giants team
through every tough spot in this football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/) game.</p>


Tall task – but what makes <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a> so great is his ability to shake everything else to the side and
lead his football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
team to victory in tough situations. He's a pro-bowler, one of the best signal
callers on the planet, and I fully expect him to come out and play like it.</p>


PREDICTION</p>


Unbelievable the way this season has unfolded for the NFC East (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfc-east/).
From the drama in Philadelphia, to the Giants looking like a top 6 or 7 team
after the first eight games, to a roller coaster second half for both Dallas and
New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) –
all leading up to one of the most highly anticipated football (http://www.giants101.com/tag/football/)
games in Giants history this Sunday night in East Rutherford.</p>


At the end of the day – this game will come down to the superstars. Big-time
players, big-time game – you know the old cliche. And it's never been more
fitting. I fully believe in <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Eli Manning" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/eli-manning/" rel="tag nofollow">Eli
Manning</a>, <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/jason-pierre-paul/" rel="tag nofollow">Jason
Pierre-Paul</a>, Justin Tuck, Hakeem Nicks and the other Giants leaders to come
in and throw everything they've got at Dallas in this game.</p>


Expect a classic.</p>


Giants 30, Cowboys 23"
</p><a href="http://www.giants101.com/">http://www.giants101.com/
</a>
<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>

NY GIANTS' NEWS AND NOTES: OSI, NICKS QUESTIONABLE (http://www.bigblueview.com/2011/12/31/2672348/new-york-giants-news-and-notes-osi-nicks-questionable)

Excerpt: "


Happy Saturday, New York Giants (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/new-york-giants)'
fans! Only about 36 hours to Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/teams/dallas-cowboys) for
the NFC East title and the right to advance to the playoffs. Basically, the
Sunday night game is the opening game of the playoffs since it is an elimination
game. Let's look around as what is making news today around the Giants.</p>


Giants coach Tom Coughlin said that both defensive end Osi Umenyiora (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/2262/osi-umenyiora)
and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/71294/hakeem-nicks)
did "okay" during practice this week. Both are<a href="http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-giants/2011/12/30/2671087/jake-ballard-injury-update-giants-tight-end-out-vs-cowboys-mark-herzlich-osi-umenyiora-hakeem-nicks/in/2425912">
listed as questionable</a>, while Jake Ballard (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/players/108531/jake-ballard)
is out for the second straight week with a knee injury.</p>
<p class="extend-divide"><a name="storyjump"></a>http://cdn1.sbnation.com/images/blog/star-divide.v5e9d7f1.jpg</p>



<a href="http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/trueblue/ware_coughlin_might_be_old_but_hes_tough/#When:18:50:28Z">Ware:
Coughlin might be old, but he’s tough</a>
"He’s old, so you hit an old guy
like that and he’s standing up, that’s pretty good."</p>



<a href="http://nyg.scout.com/2/1143694.html">Scout.com: Coughlin Should
Return</a></p>


Veteran Giants beat writer
Ernie Palladino pretty much echoes my thoughts on Coughlin. Here is how he put
it: </p>
<blockquote>


What if the Giants lose and finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs for a third
straight year? Will Mara's patience with the 65-year-old coach wear thin enough
for him to go searching for another head man? Might he eat the final year of
Coughlin's contract to woo a veteran coach not named Bill Cowher, who has said
time and again he's staying in television?

The answer here is no. If
Mara represents anything, it is the pride the Giants have in staying the course
and maintaining stability from up top until a situation becomes untenable. And
regardless of how this team finishes the season, the current situation hasn't
reached that point.

So Coughlin not only will likely stay, he deserves
to stay." Read more...
</p></blockquote>[/url]
TOM COUGHLIN: IS HE COACHING FOR HIS JOB THIS SUNDAY? (http://www.bigblueview.com/2011/12/31/2672348/new-york-giants-news-and-notes-osi-nicks-questionable)

"Is New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin coaching for his job on
Sunday? I don't believe he is, nor do I believe he should be. Coughlin's job
status is forever up for debate, and you can put me firmly in the camp that
believes Coughlin is a very good head coach who deserves to stay, regardless of
Sunday's outcome. If, that is, he chooses to stay.


This question was part of today's 'Friday Five,' with Pat Traina (http://www.bigblueview.com/2011/12/30/2669595/friday-five-with-inside-footballs-pat-traina). Pat agrees with me on this
one, and here is part of how she answered the question:</p>
<blockquote>


Coughlin, like the other 31 NFL head coaches was not able to put his team
through an off-season program. Even field there. However, look at all the
injuries he's had to deal with and then look at the fact that here it is, the
final regular season game of the year, and he has his team in the hunt for a
playoff berth. Now I know some might say, "So what? The Packers did that last
year."</p>


But here's the biggest difference, other than the fact that again, there was
no off-season. Coughlin has played perhaps more rookies this year than in all of
his years as a head coach of this team, and he's still managed to get them to
this point. I think there's a lot to be said about the job he and his assistant
coaches have done given the cards they were dealt.</p></blockquote>


Exactly. The Giants have really been little more than a four-man team much of
the season. Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul and Hakeem Nicks have
carried a roster riddled with inexperience in many spots. The Giants, it seems,
have been in makeshift mode all season, changing their lineup from week-to-week
and constantly trying to fit in new pieces.</p>


Of course, there has been inconsistency. The ever-changing group of players
on the field means that is inevitable. As does the forced use of so many young
players in critical roles.</p>


One thing that has been constant, however, is Coughlin's resolve. Yes, some
of the stinkers the Giants have played this season are hard to fathom. But, this
version of the Giants is not a dominant football team. Some of their players may
believe that they are, or should be, but they aren't. It is a team that has to
be at the top of its game to win, no matter the competition.</p>
<p class="extend-divide"><a name="storyjump"></a>http://cdn1.sbnation.com/images/blog/star-divide.v5e9d7f1.jpg</p>


At the beginning of the season I thought that if Coughlin could get this
Giants team, which seemed to have problems everywhere you looked, to the
playoffs that he should be a candidate for Coach of the Year. If they get in at
9-7 I don't think he will be getting Coach of the Year votes. If they go 8-8 and
fall one game short, does that mean he should be fired? I don't think so. What
it means, truthfully, is that the Giants are really an average football team
that just wasn't good enough.</p>


It is really obvious that the players in the locker room, despite Antrel
Rolle's occasional blabbering, respect Coughlin. Check the way Justin Tuck
responded to Coughlin's quiet urging last week, playing his best game of the
season when it mattered most. Check the way the players reacted (http://www.bigblueview.com/2011/12/27/2663342/new-york-giants-news-and-notes-justin-tuck-tcs-inspiration-and-more) to the toughness the 65-year-old
Coughlin showed Saturday when D.J. Ware slammed into him.</p>


A couple of weeks ago SB Nation listed Coughlin as one of the five coaches most likely to get fired (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/12/21/2651519/nfl-coach-hot-seat-steve-spagnuolo-st-louis-rams). The victory over the Jets<a href="http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/12/29/2667928/nfl-coach-hot-seat-steve-spagnuolo-norv-turner">
has taken him off that hot seat</a> in SB Nation's eyes. That has some merit, it
was a victory for the way the Giants organization -- and Coughlin -- conduct
their business.</p>


Am I blind to the fact that Coughlin has flaws? Of course not. He can be
loyal to a fault, sometimes sticking with veteran players too long. I have
questioned his choices for assistant coaches at times, and his allegiances to
guys who don't seem to be getting it done. As much as I have ranted about
special teams coach Tom Quinn the past couple of years, though, can you really
complain about the special teams this season?</p>


Look around the NFL. How many guys currently coaching in the league would you
rather have than Coughlin? Without naming names, you can probably make an
argument for five or six. That's pretty darn good out of 32.</p>


The Giants, whether you always agree with him or not, already have an upper
echelon coach -- even if he is an old man whose words and methods sometimes seem
incomprehensible. Those are not easy to find, and should not be cast aside
lightly.</p>


There is, however, the apparent possibility that Coughlin might walk away on
his own after this season.</p>


<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/don_banks/12/29/black.monday.primer/1.html">Don
Banks of SI.com took a look at the NFL coaching carousel</a> earlier this week
and speculated about that scenario:</p>
<blockquote>


I also don't think Tom Coughlin will lose his job in New York should the
Giants fall at home on Sunday to Dallas, thereby missing the playoffs for a
third straight year. By no means has Coughlin lost the respect of his team, and
the Mara-Tisch ownership is one of the most patient in all of football.


That said, I talked to one league source this week who maintains he
won't be surprised if Coughlin walks away after this season, playoff trip or no
playoff trip. Coughlin is 65, and the thought is that he has tired of coaching
every year on the hot seat, with one-year extensions being given by the Giants
to keep him out of a lame-duck situation. The source said he thinks Coughlin has
had enough of that arrangement and will leave on his own terms after this
season. I'm not convinced, however. I think Coughlin still loves coaching,
wouldn't know what to do with himself without it, and might have to be dragged
kicking and screaming from his corner office. My dollar says he's back in blue
in 2012.</p></blockquote>


I happen to agree with Banks. Coughlin, if he chooses, should be back with
the Giants in 2012. Perhaps with a few changes to the coaching staff and
definitely with some large changes to the roster.</p>


I still believe, though, that Coughlin can and should be part of the solution
for the Giants. He is not, in my mind, part of the problem.</p>Poll
<h5 class="poll-title">If the New York Giants lose to Dallas on Sunday what should
the Giants do?</h5>
<div id="poll_container_124253_886332926">

<ul class="poll-list clearfix"><li class="clearfix"><span class="radio"></span> <span class="option">Fire Tom Coughlin</span><li class="clearfix"><span class="radio"></span> <span class="option">Keep Coughlin, shuffle the assistant coaches</span><li class="clearfix"><span class="radio"></span> <span class="option">Keep Coughlin and overhaul the roster</span><li class="clearfix"><span class="radio"></span> <span class="option">Keep Coughlin and be patient, injuries killed this
season</span>[/list]</div><a href="http://www.bigblueview.com/section/news">[url]http://www.bigblueview.com/section/news
</a>
<u><font size="4">INSIDE FOOTBALL</font></u>

http://www.insidefootball.com/

<font size="4"><u>
GIANTS GAB</u></font>



<div><font size="3">http://www.giantsgab.com/</font> (http://www.giantsgab.com/)
</div>
<font size="4"><u>
YARDBARKER</u></font>


<font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56</font> (http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56)

<u>SPORTING NEWS

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

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

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

OUTGONG OWNER OF JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS LOOKS BACK FONDLY ON COUGHLIN ERA AT JACKSONVILLE (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8258f99f/article/departing-owner-looks-back-fondly-on-coughlin-era-in-jacksonville)

"Wayne Weaver is in a reflective mood these days, and not just because it's
the New Year.


After 18 years as the only owner the Jacksonville Jaguars (/teams/jacksonvillejaguars/profile?team=JAC) have
known, Weaver will hand the reins to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan on Jan. 4.
The occasion prompted him to share his memories with the team's official website (http://www.jaguars.com/news/article-1/Wayne-Weaver-QA/a755f280-4962-4d75-a4fb-0a52300b6ac3) on Friday,
and the front office of the New York Giants (/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) might want to
take note of what Weaver had to say about their head coach, Tom Coughlin.</p>


"Look at the first eight years with (then-head coach) Tom Coughlin. It was
our most successful time, but we didn’t do everything right and I learned a lot

BigBlue1971
12-31-2011, 11:12 AM
[y]</P>


thanks much Roanoke! </P>

NY_Eli
12-31-2011, 11:43 AM
Thank you RF! Happy New Year! [B]

NY_Eli
12-31-2011, 11:43 AM
edit - double post, lord forgive me

GameTime
12-31-2011, 11:47 AM
Hey Ro....</P>


thanks again for the info as always...</P>


Go Bug Blue!!!!!!!!</P>

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 11:51 AM
Hey Ro....</p>


thanks again for the info as always...</p>


Go Bug Blue!!!!!!!!</p>

[B] I feel a win on the horizon with towels a flyin'

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 11:51 AM
Thank you RF! Happy New Year! [B]

[Y]

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 11:51 AM
edit - double post, lord forgive me

I'll forgive you, but don't make it a habit[;)]

jomo
12-31-2011, 11:56 AM
RF, thanks for making this site more interesting and for allowing me to feed my Giants fix so easily with NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS etc.</P>


All the best of the New Year to you and the family. I'll be in the house screaming with you tomorrow. Go Blue! [B]</P>

GameTime
12-31-2011, 02:10 PM
Hey Ro....</P>


thanks again for the info as always...</P>


Go Bug Blue!!!!!!!!</P>




[B] I feel a win on the horizon with towels a flyin'
</P>


OK Buckeroo....wouldnt expect anything less from you.....</P>

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 03:09 PM
Hey Ro....</p>


thanks again for the info as always...</p>


Go Bug Blue!!!!!!!!</p>




[B] I feel a win on the horizon with towels a flyin'
</p>


OK Buckeroo....wouldnt expect anything less from you.....</p>

We have all the tool's we need. If we wan itt, it's ours.

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 03:10 PM
RF, thanks for making this site more interesting and for allowing me to feed my Giants fix so easily with NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS etc.</p>


All the best of the New Year to you and the family. I'll be in the house screaming with you tomorrow. Go Blue! [B]</p>

It's a lab or of love. All my best to you and yours for a wonderful new year. Health, Happiness, and Prosperity

G-Men Surg.
12-31-2011, 08:37 PM
Thanks RF !
ALL IN !!!!!!!

RoanokeFan
12-31-2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks RF !
ALL IN !!!!!!!
<font size="6">
ALL IN WE ARE!</font> [Y]