View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012 - 10:54 A.M.

01-18-2012, 09:13 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"><font size="4"><font color="#FF0000"><u><font size="6">NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
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</font></u></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font><font size="4"><font size="3">

DONTE WHITNER SAYS 49ERS WILL LET PADS TALK AGAINST "****Y" GIANTS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/donte_whitner_says_49ers_will.html)

"</font></font>Jim Harbaugh warned his players that the Giants would be in no short supply of
bulletin board material this week. So when Antrel Rolle declared that his team
could not be beat, it seemed right on cue. <div class="entry-content">

They expected things to go this way, fully anticipating a "****y" team. </p>

"I would say yes (they're ****y), even watching them when they were going to
play the New York Jets, I don't know if that's their philosophy, I don't know if
their psychologist up there is trying to get into our head or something but we
don't plan on taking the bait," safety Donte Whitner said. "We plan on going out
there, working, preparing the same way and when we get out there at the end of
the fourth quarter, let the chips fall where they may."</p>

On Monday, the same day Rolle's comments were made, Whitner posted this on
his Twitter page: “Out here in San Fran we'll let our Shoulder Pads do all the
talking … haha.” </p>

Added tackle Anthony Davis: “Are the Giants doing drunk interviews? Lol.”

But they were determined to leave it at that, predicting that Sunday, any
bravado will be answered on the field. Whitner, for example, was the one who
knocked out Saints running back Pierre Thomas last Saturday with a devastating
blow that knocked him out for the remainder of the game. </p>

"If you watch film and you see secondary guys out there getting physical
sometimes it gets into offensive guys' minds, sometimes they pay more attention
to the defender than they do to the football and that causes some drops, some
tips, some overthrows so hopefully that's why we do it," he said. "Because we
want that to be in their head." </p>

* * * </p>

It wasn't all tough talk here in Saints camp, though. Here's what Whitner had
to say about the trio of Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham: </p>

"I compare these guys to the receiving group up in Pittsburgh, the Saints and
Green Bay. They're all the same, they're all the same guys. These guys are
really good, they can all play the slot, they can all play the X or the Z, which
gives them opportunities to move guys around so that you can't double one guy or
get a beat on what they're doing. So, I would say these guys are at the top of
the league."</p>

"Now (instead of Victor Cruz) it's Hakeem Nicks, he's out there, he's making
a lot of plays, he's trying to set records for receiving yards and touchdowns in
the first couple games of the playoffs and that's the guy we're really going to
have to understand where he's at at all times." </p>

* * * </p>

Harbaugh said that TE Delanie Walker (jaw) would practice today but that he
wasn't sure about Sunday. He said he needed to see how Walker responded to
treatment and some extended work in practice. </p>

* * *
Harbaugh said that he's heard from Ronnie Lott and Steve Young this
week already. </p>

"Very very positive, very excited for the fellas," he said. </p>

* * * </p>

When asked what the biggest difference in the Giants now and when he beat
them back in Week 10, Harbaugh said: </p>

"Well, they were playing really good at that time and they're playing really
good now. I think they're a healthier team, then when we played them, but this
is a Super Bowl contending team and that's who they are, offensively,
defensively, special teams, a class team. They don't give you things, they don't
let you have what they want, they don't make mistakes." </p></div><font size="3">ELI MANNING LEAVE PRACTICE WITH STOMACH BUG</font> (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_qb_eli_manning_leaves_p.html)

"As the Giants began their week of preparation for the NFC Championship Game,
quarterback Eli Manning left today's practice early with what coach Tom Coughlin
called "a stomach bug."<div class="entry-content">

"Hopefully it is just a 24-hour deal," Coughlin said, "and he’ll feel better

Manning was in meetings all morning, and he participated in the jog-thru
period of practice and took a few reps, but was sent inside when he felt ill.
Back-up David Carr took over and said he took about 75 percent of today's

Manning was scratched from his usual Wednesday media availability. He has not
missed practice all season, but Carr said Manning's reduced reps shouldn't
affect the team during a critical week.</p>

"If he didn’t have the red-belt mastery of the offense then maybe, but he
does," Carr said. "It's not something that is going to affect him. The biggest
thing would be the players, the rest of the guys. So what I try to do is go in
and do exactly what he would do, keep it consistent, so their practice and their
Wednesday was as normal as possible, and I think that it was."</p>

Guard Chris Snee was also not overly concerned, saying that if anyone could
miss practice and play well Sunday, it is Manning. He said Manning was at the
facility Monday and Tuesday and has the game plan down.</p>

"I'm actually going to bring him some soup tomorrow," Snee said. "I’ll do
whatever it takes to make sure he is at full strength."</p></div><font size="4"><font size="3">
GIANTS' LB MARK HERZLICH RETURNS TO PRACTICE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_lb_mark_herzlich_return.html)

"</font></font>Late last week LB Mark Herzlich said if the Giants beat the Packers on Sunday
he hoped to return to practice this week. It wasn't a certainty, but Herzlich,
who was the only Giant not to make the trip to Lambeau, was optimistic after
working on his ankle pain-free. <div class="entry-content">

Today he's practicing for the first time since fracturing his ankle against
the Saints on Nov. 28, which forced him to miss the last seven games. Herzlich,
who had earned a starting spot when he was injured, was participating in the
routine drills with his fellow linebackers without any sign of hindrance during
the portion of the session open to the media.</p>

Herzlich's return left RB Ahmad Bradshaw as the only player sitting out
today, but that's to be expected -- Bradshaw only has only practiced on Fridays
since he has returned from a foot injury. Bradshaw was watching practicing from
a stationary bike. </p>

That means the Giants have everyone as healthy as they can get for this late
in a season and the healthiest they've been all season.</p>

The three other players on the Giants pre-practice injury report -- Justin
Tuck (shoulder), Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) and Corey Webster (hamstring) --
were also practicing during the portion open to the media."
</p></div><font size="4"><font size="3">49ERS KEY IN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AGAINST GIANTS WILL BE FIELD POSITION, TURNOVERS, AS IT HAS BEEN ALL SEASON (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/49ers_key_in_nfc_championship.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font><a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/17/why-the-niners-can%E2%80%99t-win-the-super-bowl/">Kevin
Lynch, San Francisco Chronicle</a>: The Giants have history stacked against them
as they look to finish this year's postseason run with two more victories: <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-beat-san-francisco-49ers-win-super-bowl-xlvi-ravens-patriots-worst-champion-modern-era-record-wise-article-1.1007642">No
team to finish the regular season 9-7</a> has ever won the Super Bowl. But
Sunday's opponent will also be swimming against an historical current. The San
Francisco 49ers entered the postseason with the No. 26 ranked offense in the
NFL, by total offense. The lowest a Super Bowl champion's offense has been
ranked by that metric has been No. 24, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the
Oakland Raiders in 2003. The 49ers have maneuvered around their shortcomings,
though, compensating with an insatiably forceful defense and razor-edged special
teams units. The 49ers finished No. 11 in the NFL in scoring -- thanks to the
defensive and special teams phases who provided starting field position in
opponents' territory an NFL-high 37 times -- while reaching 14 wins this

<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_19763511">Cam Inman, San Jose
Mercury News</a>: The 49ers turned opponents over 38 times during the regular
season, an NFL high that continued last weekend when they registered a plus-four
in turnover differential against the New Orleans Saints. The stat is
historically a predictor of success for NFL teams, but particularly for the
49ers. In postseason games in which they have the higher turnover differential,
the 49ers are 19-1.</p>

<a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/17/niners-taking-note-of-giants-pregame-chatter/">Eric
Branch, San Francisco Chronicle</a>: The Giants' confident declarations about
their level of play have been answered by the 49ers via Twitter. Donte Whitner,
the <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/17/donte-whitner-likes-to-hit-and-talk/">veteran
safety who has helped set San Francisco's confidence and physicality with his
hard hits and hissing barbs leveled at opponents</a>, responded by tweeting,
"Out here in San Fran we let our Shoulder Pads do all the talking….haha.”
Anthony Davis, formerly Rutgers' left tackle and outspoken tweeter, asked, "Are
the Giants doing drunk interviews? Lol.”
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">

D'ALESSANDRO: TREY JUNKIN NOT THE SCAPEGOAT IN GIANTS' 2003 LOSS TO THE 49ERS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/dalessandro_trey_junkin_not_th.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Nine years after the infamous climax to a historic collapse, you still blame
one guy. Go ahead, you can admit it: Around your household, which probably
hasn’t been the same since, you probably refer to it as Junkin’s Blunder or
Junkin’s Folly or anything that might describe a 7-yard snap that only travels 5
yards, vulgarities optional.

“All I know is,” Jim Fassel says now, “if anyone can blame that game on one
player, they didn’t watch the whole game.”</p>

Perhaps that’s the problem with the events of Jan. 5, 2003 — it wasn’t just
one game.</p>

It was an NFL playoff encounter with multiple subplots, an implausible
momentum shift, an unprecedented officiating blunder, and one scapegoat. His
name was Trey Junkin, a 41-year-old long snapper who contributed in a small but
profound way during the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ last
postseason visit to San Francisco — an epic, wild-card meltdown that punched the
ticket of a team that had a 24-point lead and a dormant death wish. </p>

And when the Giants’ litany of screw-ups resulted in a head-banging, 39-38
defeat, Planet Blue had its Bill Buckner. </p>

We always found that somewhat amusing — you blow a 38-14 lead with 20 minutes
to play and you blame the deep snapper? — and wondered whether Fassel shared
our, uh, amusement. Short answer: He does not, because you can’t find jollity in
the most agonizing defeat of a venerable career — especially one that defiled
his sturdy, seven-year tenure as Giants head coach.</p>

But he doesn’t share the dim-bulb cant that it’s Junkin’s fault, either.</p>

“People forget, Trey was our fourth long snapper that year,” the former
Giants coach said Tuesday from his home outside Vegas. “I didn’t cut any of ’em,
either — they were all injured. So the week before that game, I brought Trey in
because I knew him to be the consummate pro when I had him in Arizona (in
1996).”
</p><font size="3">AS GIANTS MAKE PLAYOFFS, TERRELL THOMAS MAKES PROGRESS OF HIS OWN</font> (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/as_giants_make_postseason_run.html)

"There’s no doubt Terrell Thomas would’ve rather been getting a jump on film
study of the 49ers Tuesday instead of running on an AlterG anti-gravity

However, considering it was the first time he ran since undergoing surgery to
repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in late September, it was a pretty good
day after all.</p>

“This is where the fun starts right now,” the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) cornerback said by phone from
California before his workout. He had been placed on injured reserve before the
regular season even began after <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/giants_lose_cornerback_terrell.html">tearing
the ACL in his right knee</a> for the second time. </p>

“This is when you start bending and really seeing the progression in the
knee,” he said. “Before, it was just working on the stability and getting
everything stronger around it.</p>

“The first time I tore my ACL, I never had any setbacks. Everything is going
to accordance so I’m just staying positive and trying to progress.”</p>

It’s a challenge for Thomas to stay upbeat these days. While the Giants are
two games into a potential Super Bowl run and on their way to his home state for
Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, Thomas is “in his own season,”
as he put it.</p>

The free-agent-to-be stayed away most of the past few months after his injury
in a preseason game against the Bears so he could focus on his rehab. But he
made an appearance at the team’s facility a few days before the wild-card game
against the Falcons. That Sunday, he was on the sideline during the pregame
before heading upstairs to the booth so he wouldn’t be a “distraction.”</p>

Though he claims it “wasn’t that tough” because he was there to provide
support, Thomas is dealing with the same issues many injured players experience
— they’re part of the team but can’t help but feel a bit detached.</p>

“The way they really came together this year, obviously we had our ups and
downs and struggled at times, but we played together. That’s the main thing I
missed most and the hardest part,” he said. “Last year, we were a roller
coaster. Sometimes we played as a team and sometimes we were all individuals out
there. But they’re all playing together right now. From offense, defense and
special teams and it’s working for them.</p>

“They had two (playoff) games to win and they did what they had to do.
They’re jelling and they’re hot right now.”</p>

Thomas says he never had a doubt this defense would get its act together,
even as he was sitting at home and watching the breakdowns against the Cowboys.
To him, they were mental issues, not physical ones, so he had a feeling they’d
be ironed out — and they have.</p>

“Not to say my teammates (stink), but just to make a comparison, if a guy
(stinks) or a team (stinks) but they get hot and they believe in themselves,
that’s all that matters,” he said. “They got that mental process out of the way,
they believe in themselves, they’re playing good ball right now and
communicating and having fun. You see that confidence just like it was when they
were winning in the beginning of the season.</p>

“The swagger is back and I don’t think they’re going to lose it.”</p>

Speaking of things Thomas doesn’t expect to be lost, he believes he’ll
maintain the speed and “spring” he had before the surgery. He’s been through
this rehab process before, went to the same surgeon and once again opted for the
cadaver ligament instead of the hamstring tendon as a replacement. Plus, he’s
seeing positive signs early on that have him believing he’ll be as good as

“When you’re able to do things three weeks ahead of schedule like I have,
it’s definitely a positive,” he said, adding this about the two rehabs:
“Comparing my knee from then to now it feels the same way.”</p>

The only question is whether the Giants will be the ones to potentially
benefit from such a recovery.</p>

In a little less than two months, he’ll hit the market as an unrestricted
free agent. If he’d stayed healthy, Thomas would’ve been in line for a big
payday, especially since he was working to make more plays on the ball and was
having an outstanding training camp before Jason Pierre-Paul collided with him
with 22 seconds left in the first half against Chicago. Now, it’s a bit
trickier, as the Giants or another team will have to make an offer based on the
projected recovery.</p>

So far, there have been no contract talks. The team is focused on the current
season, and Thomas is providing support.</p>

But pretty soon, he’ll get to feel included once again.</p>

“I’m getting excited. It’s my time now,” he said. “I got hurt and had my
surgery and now it’s my time. Once they win this game and go to the Super Bowl,
once the season’s over, it’s all about me hopefully re-signing with the Giants
and moving forward.”</p>

Thomas thanked the fans for lifting his spirits during his recovery, which is
why he's tried to keep them in the loop on his recovery via the blog on his website (http://www.terrellthomas24.com/). </p>

"My Twitter family (https://twitter.com/#%21/terrellthomas24) and
all my followers have made me feel appreciated and never made me feel lost," he
said. "I get countless tweets about, 'We miss you out there, can’t wait to see
you back on the field,' and so on and so on. I definitely appreciate it. I know
the truth behind it, I’m out here in LA rehabbing and in my own season but I
definitely feel and appreciate the support from my team and the Giants fans."

WHILE GIANTS SHINE IN GREEN BAY, MARAS STAR ON RED CARPET AT GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/while_giants_shine_in_green_ba.html)</p>

Excerpt: "He was walking down the red carpet at the Golden Globes, a march with the
Hollywood elite that millions would die to make. And all Chris Mara wanted was a
better glimpse of that damn TV monitor.</p>

There it was, so frustratingly close, outside the velvet ropes. Mara could
see that it had the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) game on. But,
thanks to his poor eyesight and all those view-blocking celebrities — Hey,
Tom Hanks, down in front! — he could barely make out what was happening a
few thousand miles away in slightly less glamorous Green Bay. </p>

“Did we just intercept that?!” Mara asked his wife. </p>

No, he was told. Giants cornerback Aaron Ross had just knocked down a pass.
It was still in the third quarter, the divisional playoff game between the
Packers and Giants still in doubt, and his talented daughter Rooney was wowing
the papar***i in a black Nina Ricci gown. But she was stopping every 10 feet for
another interview, and her dad was running out of patience. </p>

Rooney, the breakout star from “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” was
nominated for best actress in a drama — a field that included superstars Meryl
Streep and Glenn Close. Her father had missed his first Giants playoff game in
40 years to be at her side, a decision that ranked among the easiest in his

“Somebody said, ‘Jeez, you’re missing the Giants game,’?” Mara said, who
replied, “Yeah, this isn’t exactly a piano recital.” </p>

But he warned Rooney: He would not linger on the red carpet. It wasn’t
exactly like the photographers were waiting to se what the Giants’ senior vice
president of player evaluation was wearing (which, for the record, was a vintage
Brooks Brothers suit with a Johnny-O tie).</p>

So, as soon as he had an opening, Mara made like Victor Cruz and broke away
from the crowd. He hustled down the carpet and up to a suite in the Beverly
Hilton, where a couple of Sony executives told him that they’d be watching the
game. </p>

This is how Sunday went for Mara. If 45.1 million people watched the
Packers-Giants game, and another 16.8 million watched the Golden Globes, then
about a quarter of the country had some interest in what his family was doing.

Mara was desperate to watch both, and this led to one of the wildest days of
his life. He caught the first quarter in his hotel room, then watched most of
the second quarter in his daughter’s room."
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">IF THE GIANTS BEAT SAN FRANCISCO AND GO ON TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL, THEY WOULD BE THE WORST CHAMPION EVER, RECORD-WISE (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-beat-san-francisco-49ers-win-super-bowl-xlvi-ravens-patriots-worst-champion-modern-era-record-wise-article-1.1007642)

"</font></font>If the Giants march on to win the Super Bowl next month in Indianapolis, they
will bring glory to their blue jerseys and gild the careers of <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> and Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin). They
also will make history, and not necessarily the good kind, by becoming the worst
team ever to capture an NFL championship in any form.<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"><div class="story-body">

Since the Super Bowl era began in 1967, no team has won a Super Bowl with
such a lousy regular-season record, 9-7.</p>

In fact, there is only one NFL champion that had a comparably mediocre mark,
and that was the 1934 Giants (8-5), who upset the undefeated Chicago Bears in
the title game by wearing sneakers in the freezing rain at the Polo Grounds –
arguably more of a miracle than the 2008 win over the Pats. And even those ’34
Giants had a winning percentage of .615, compared to the .563 percentage of the
2011 version.

Three champions – the 1988 Niners, the 2007 Giants and the
2010 Packers – had 10-6 marks. Two Super Bowl losers, the ’79 Los Angeles Rams
and the ’08 Arizona Cardinals, were 9-7. The Cards came within 35 seconds of
beating Pittsburgh for the title, but then they didn’t. If the Giants win in San
Francisco and Indy, this would be fresh, sodden ground, a negative breakthrough
of sorts.

Should it come to pass, don’t expect much hand-wringing or
teeth gnashing over the feat. For one thing, no 10-6 team or 9-7 team was
cheated out of the playoffs this season in the NFC. The only possible
realignment that might have denied the Giants a spot would have been a combined
16-team conference with four berths, no wild cards.

From a competitive
perspective, the Giants clearly belong in the postseason. They’re healthy now,
on the upswing. They have the quarterback and pass rush to beat anyone. They
dismantled the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau. They’ve already beaten the Pats this
season and played the Niners tough.

But then there is the philosophical
question, one that no local fan in his right mind will stop for a moment to
consider: Do the Giants really deserve this shot?</p>

They were particularly lucky that the Eagles had a terrible start. Their
early opponents were soft. The Giants dropped four straight in the heart of
their schedule, from Nov. 20 to Dec. 4, and should have been buried.</p>

“We lost four in a row and still own our own destiny,” Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) said, after
the Giants turned themselves back around. “In this league, that’s

Extremely fortunate. Far worthier teams in the recent past –
the 11-5, fast-closing Patriots of 2008 come immediately to mind – were shut out
of the playoffs by a series of unfortunate tiebreaker scenarios.

So where
does that leave the NFL, a league that prides itself on the importance of each
and every regular-season game and has made a broadcasting fortune by milking
that 17-week concept?</p>

No doubt, just fine.</p>

League governors knew exactly what they were doing with this multi-layered
playoff system. Maybe the best team doesn’t always win the title anymore, yet
all but a few stragglers maintain postseason dreams and high Nielsen ratings
right up to the final Sunday. Then come the playoffs, where there is always a
place at the table for Cinderella among her more accomplished stepsisters,
particularly if Cinderella hails from a major market.

It no longer
appears such a long-shot notion that the Giants will become the worst team in
history to win an NFL championship. If they succeed, the NFL moves another step
further from the NBA, closer to Major League Baseball, in terms of the
randomness of its champions.

The system may not be fair, but it sells
like nobody’s business."
</p></div></div><font size="4"><font size="3">49ERS DEFENSIVE BACKS SETTING PHYSICAL TONE FOR DOMINATING DEFENSE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/49ers_defensive_backs_setting.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>The change in the San Francisco 49ers' attitude this season might be most
evident when the defensive backs gather in a team meeting room each week to
watch the highlight video from the previous game.

Secondary coach Ed Donatell counts and compares the number of "domination
hits" in a fierce and friendly competition among players. The challenge is for
each to deliver at least one crushing -- but legal -- blow on an opponent every

"We're not really trying to hurt people," safety Donte Whitner said. "But
when we play physical, people get hurt."</p>

The hard-hitting, ball-hawking secondary has created its share of imposing
images for San Francisco (14-3) this season, part of a defense that has carried
the franchise back to the NFC Championship Game for the first time in 14 years
to face the Giants (11-7) on Sunday at Candlestick Park.</p>

Whitner and fellow safety Dashon Goldson were a last-minute pairing in
training camp. Goldson seemed certain he wouldn't return after Whitner signed as
a free agent from the Buffalo Bills, even tweeting goodbye to 49ers fans only to
have the franchise re-sign him days later.</p>

The same might've been said for cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown.
San Francisco cut high-priced cornerback Nate Clements -- who received an $80
million, eight-year contract in March 2007 but never met expectations -- just
before training camp in favor of a duo that had its share of problems picking
off passes.</p>

Not anymore.</p>

General manager Trent Baalke's decisions in the secondary have turned into
49ers gold, building the back-end of a defense that led the NFL with 38
takeaways -- including a half-dozen interceptions each for Rogers and Goldson --
with a physical foursome that is drawing comparisons to the Pittsburgh Steelers
and Baltimore Ravens of recent years.</p>

"They really bring a tone-setting physicality to their tackling," 49ers coach
Jim Harbaugh said.</p>

Take last week for instance.</p>

Setting the stage for a collision-filled 36-32 victory over the New Orleans
Saints, Goldson walked out for the team's first practice wearing his game-day
eye black. Whitner put in his mouthpiece for the full-padded practice -- rare
for NFL teams this late in the season -- and warned his teammates about what to

"I told them, 'Get out of my way, because I'm going to hit everything that's
moving,'" Whitner said.</p>

He delivered on his promise."
<font size="4"><font size="3">
</font></font><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS
HAKEEM NICKS, GIANTS FEATURED ON COVER OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IN ADVANCE OF NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AGAINST 49ERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/hakeem-nicks-ny-giants-featured-cover-sports-illustrated-advance-sunday-nfc-title-game-49ers-article-1.1008014)

Excerpt: "Curses!<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 Giants now have more than just the 49ers and a soggy forecast in San
Francisco to worry about in advance of Sunday's NFC championship game at
Candlestick Park.</p>

Sports Illustrated, which has jinxed more than a few playoff runs during its
history, sent panic through the Big Blue faithful Wednesday morning when they
released this week's cover.</p>

Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks)' Hail
Mary grab at the end of the first half that helped spark the Giants' stunning
37-20 dismantling of the 15-1 Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday graces
this week's cover with the headline 'SURPRISE! SURPRISE! It's Giants vs. Niners
for a Ticket to Indy' set to hit newsstands Wednesday afternoon.</p>

According to SI, this is the first time the Giants have appeared on the cover
since Aug. 4, 2008. David Tyree (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Tyree) got the nod
back then for the magazine's NFL Training Camp preview issue coming off his
unforgettable catch to help Big Blue upset the Patriots in Super Bowl
XLII."

GIANTS' DB ANTREL ROLLE IS READY TO PREY ON 49ERS AND ISSUES A WARNING TO VERNON DAVIS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-db-anrel-rolle-ready-prey-san-francisco-issues-warning-article-1.1007644)

"When 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Vernon+Davis)
was watching the Giants-Packers game on Sunday, he admitted he “prayed” for the
Giants to win, so the NFC Championship Game would be played in San
Francisco.<div><div class="story-body">

His prayers were obviously answered. But Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle) warned
Davis that might not be a good thing for his team.</p>

“They better be careful what they ask for,” Rolle said. “Because their wish
has been granted.”</p>

During his weekly paid spot on WFAN Rolle said, “I can only hope he was
saying that because they wanted to get a home game,” and that did appear to be
the case. Davis wasn’t the only one praying for a specific outcome last weekend
either. On Monday, Giants receiver Victor Cruz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz) admitted
that San Francisco’s win over the New Orleans Saints “definitely works out in
our favor a little bit.”</p>

The Giants narrowly lost to the 49ers in San Francisco, 27-20, on Nov. 13.
Two weeks later they got hammered in New Orleans, 49-24.</p>

Not that Rolle really cared who the Giants would face — as long as they were
playing in the NFC title game.</p>

“I don’t give a damn who we’re playing, man,” Rolle said. “That’s my take.
I’ll take any opponent, any given day. That’s my attitude. If someone has a
problem with it, oh well. But that’s how I am. That’s how I was raised. I don’t
shy away from any opponent. My heart doesn’t pump any Kool-Aid, only blood. I’m
ready for whenever, however, whatever, however it gets to me. I’m ready for

So, since Rolle said “We can’t be beat” on Monday, who does he want the
Giants to face in Super Bowl XLVI — the Patriots or the Ravens?</p>

“I want the San Francisco 49ers,” Rolle said. “And we’re going to get them
this Sunday.”</p></div>MANNING AND COUGHLIN TWO WINS AWAY FROM SHOT AT THE HALL OF FAME (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-win-ring-years-eli-manning-tom-coughlin-super-shot-hall-fame-article-1.1007639)

"When Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) and <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> walked off the field after a terrible home loss to the Redskins in
December, nobody was comparing them to Vince Lombardi (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Vince+Lombardi) and
<a title="Bart Starr" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bart+Starr">Bart
Starr</a>, or Bill Walsh (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bill+Walsh+%28Football%29)
and Joe Montana (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Joe+Montana). Some still
wanted Coughlin fired. Others argued Manning still wasn’t “elite.”<div><div class="story-body">

Now, exactly one month later, the idea of Coughlin and Manning as football
immortals may not be as absurd as it once seemed. They are two wins away from
earning their second Super Bowl title together.</p>

And if they do, they might just cement future spots for themselves in the Pro
Football Hall of Fame.</p>

It’s not quite that automatic and it’s definitely premature, according to
several of the 44 members of the Hall of Fame’s selection committee who spoke to
the Daily News on Tuesday. But a second championship would go a long, long way
toward earning both men and eventual bust in Canton. Only one eligible
quarterback has ever won two Super Bowls and not been elected to the Hall — <a title="Jim Plunkett" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jim+Plunkett">Jim
Plunkett</a>. Six of the nine eligible coaches with two Super Bowl rings are in,

Coughlin and Manning have built impressive — but not quite immortal —
resumes, said the voters. A second title could make the difference when their
names eventually come up.</p>

“I think it does matter,” said Sports Illustrated’s Peter King (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Peter+King), a long-time
member of the selection committee. “Historically it has. But I don’t think
historically it’s meant that it makes them a lock.”</p>

“It can push a guy over the top,” added Vinny DiTrani (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Vinny+DiTrani), a
former long-time Giants writer and Hall of Fame voter for The Record (Bergen
County, N.J.). “If a guy has phenomenal numbers, it’s not going to hurt him. But
if you’re a guy on the edge, that’ll push you over.</p>

“How many winning teams did that guy play on or coach for? How many
championship teams? That comes into play.”</p>

It always has come into play as part of a larger equation when the selection
committee meets the day before each Super Bowl to whittle down a list of
finalists into that year’s Hall of Fame class. How much it matters is hard to
say, since the committee has changed many times over the years.</p>

The odds clearly go way up, though, for candidates with multiple titles —
especially for coaches and quarterbacks who almost always get historical credit
for those wins. The only quarterback to win two Super Bowls and not make the
Hall when eligible was the former Raider Plunkett (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Raider+Plunkett).
Among the eligible coaches, the Raiders’ Tom Flores (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Flores), Dallas’ <a title="Jimmy Johnson (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jimmy+Johnson+%28Football%29">Jimmy
Johnson</a> and San Francisco’s George Seifert (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/George+Seifert) (two
each) have missed. Bill Parcells (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bill+Parcells) is a
finalist this year.
</p></div>So even if the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI it’s too early to plan any trips to
Canton. About the only thing another ring will guarantee is that both men will
someday get a very serious look.<div>

“If they can pull this off, it will certainly add to their legacy and make
them serious candidates,” said David Elfin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Elfin), a
seven-year member of the committee who works for WUSA in Washington, D.C. “But
it’s not just about the rings.”</p>

“Two Super Bowls is one way to look at something, and it’s significant,” King
added. “But you have to look at more than that. This isn’t baseball where if you
hit 500 homers or you have 3,000 hits, you’re in. There isn’t a gold standard
you can reach as a player or coach. That’s why I hate to sit here and say ‘If
Eli wins a second Super Bowl he’s in.’ ”</p>

Even without the rings, Coughlin and Manning have built pretty good resumes.
Coughlin has a career winning percentage of only .557 (152-121, including
playoffs), but he ranks 19th in wins in NFL history. This will be his fourth
conference championship game, including one in his second year with an expansion
franchise. If the Giants win on Sunday, the 65-year-old Coughlin would tie <a title="Tom Landry" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Landry">Tom
Landry</a> for most road playoff wins of all time.</p>

Manning threw for nearly 5,000 yards this season, is well on his way to
re-writing the Giants’ record book and has already surpassed 27,000 career
yards. He won a Super Bowl MVP and engineered arguably the greatest final drive
in Super Bowl history. And at age 31, he could still have another 4-5 good years
left — maybe more.</p>

It’s possible both men would get Hall of Fame consideration some day even
without a second ring. King said the Giants’ wild run to Super Bowl XLII was
“one of the great playoff runs by a quarterback in NFL history” and Manning will
likely get “extra credit for that because of how ridiculous an accomplishment
that was.” That goes on Coughlin’s list of accomplishments, too.</p>

Their candidacies also may hinge on what happens next. If Coughlin doesn’t
retire, he could coach another 2-3 years and pick up 20-30 wins that King said
would put him “in the Hall of Fame stratosphere.” Manning’s numbers could come
close to those of his Hall of Fame-bound brother Peyton.</p>

Then again, maybe none of that would matter if they were both two-time
champions when their names were presented to the board of selectors. Maybe they
will have already done enough.</p>

“Championships do matter,” said Dave Goldberg (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dave+Goldberg), a
former Associated Press writer who has been on the selection committee for more
than 20 years. “They do to the point there are certain guys in the Hall that
have never won one, and people say ‘Why are these guys in there if they never
won a title?’</p>

“It’s not an automatic thing, but it can be a factor to people who might be
on the bubble a little bit,” DiTrani added. “If you have great stats you’re
going to get in. If you have really, really good stats, that might put you over
the top. But if you have those two rings and not the body of work to back it up,
it doesn’t matter at all."
</p></div><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-quarterback-eli-manning-turns-fit-york-ernie-accorsi-john-mara-archie-manning-thought-draft-day-article-1.1007703">GIANTS'
"The question to the Giants general manager, Jerry Reese (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Reese), was about
defensive pressure on Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning), the kind
he didn’t get from the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field, which is why he
seemed to have all day every time he needed to throw the ball down the field, no
matter how many yards he needed.<div><div class="story-body">

Me: “What game this season do you feel Eli faced the most pressure?” Just
because he is going to get more of that from the 49ers in San Francisco than he
ever got in Green Bay.</p>

Reese: “All of them. He’s the QB of the New York Giants. You know what I

When it was pointed out to Reese that I really did mean defensive pressure,
his answer came back this way: “Hard call. Most teams blitz us like crazy
because it is hard to get pressure in this league with four-man fronts

The better response, though, was the first one from Jerry Reese, about all
the pressure Eli has faced since he got to the Giants, since he wanted the
Giants coming out of Ole Miss, once it became clear that he didn’t want to go
play for the Chargers, that he wanted to come to the Giants, wanted the big
stage and big football history. Wasn’t afraid of the spotlight that came with
being the quarterback of the Giants.</p>

Eli’s agent, Tom Condon (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Condon), couldn’t
come out and say it in the winter and spring of 2004. But he sure wanted the
Giants all along, even knowing the Chargers had the first pick in the draft.
Condon knew how much Ernie Accorsi (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ernie+Accorsi), the
Giants general manager at the time, wanted Eli Manning. Still: No one was sure
until it was the Giants’ turn to draft that day in April of ’04 that the trade
with the Chargers, who had already taken Eli with that first pick, would

But it did happen. Of course Accorsi will always get his props for pulling
the whole thing off. But everybody in the league knows what one general manager
told me yesterday: “It doesn’t happen without Condon.”
If Condon wanted the
Giants all along, so did the Manning family. Which means Eli did. So the kid is
the great Giant who chose New York as much as it chose him. The other legendary
quarterbacks from Giants history were either drafted, or got traded here.</p>

Eli Manning wanted it all. Four years after he was drafted, he won it all,
won the Giants as famous a Super Bowl as anybody ever played. Four years later
he tries to beat the 49ers on Sunday and go back to the Super Bowl, maybe to
play the Patriots again. If it happens this time, it surprises nobody, certainly
not Eli himself.</p>

Nobody was surprised that he went into Lambeau Field in January and beat the
Packers again. And nobody should have been surprised that he and <a title="Victor Cruz" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz">Victor
Cruz</a> got together for that 99-yard touchdown on the day when the Giants
couldn’t lose to the Jets. Or that when the Cowboys game seemed to be going the
wrong way in the last game of the regular season, he got out of the pocket on
third down and threw one over 40 yards to Cruz like he was throwing it to <a title="David Tyree" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Tyree">David
Tyree</a> in the Super Bowl.</p><div>
<div class="story-body">

And when the Packers foolishly gave him a few extra seconds at the end of the
first half on Sunday at Lambeau, he threw his perfect “Flood Tip” jump ball pass
to Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks), put that
ball exactly where he had to, as if it was on some kind of string. He saves his
best for the biggest moments. He has that kind of game. You either do or you
don’t. He is the quiet one out of the Manning quarterbacks, and he is the one
who ends up being this kind of star in New York.</p>

“Sometimes it’s as if he doesn’t exist until he shows up on Sunday to be
quarterback of the Giants,” Phil Simms (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Phil+Simms) told me
yesterday. “Eight years in New York and his biggest controversy is saying he’s
elite. Unbelievable.”</p>

It wasn’t just that he didn’t want to go play for the Chargers, that Archie Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Archie+Manning) was
scared his youngest son would get stuck on a dead-end team the way he had gotten
stuck on one in New Orleans. Eli wanted to come here. He wanted to take his shot
here. Then his agent and Ernie Accorsi made it happen.</p>

Accorsi was on board with the trade. So was John Mara (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/John+Mara). So were John’s
brothers, Chris and Frank. But the late Wellington Mara (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Wellington+Mara)
wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t because he wasn’t sure about Eli Manning. It was
because of Mr. Mara’s immense loyalty, because Kerry Collins (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kerry+Collins) had
taken the Giants to a Super Bowl a few years before, and he knew that drafting
Eli would be the end of Collins.</p>

But finally on draft day, in the room with Accorsi and his sons, John Mara
said his father finally “weakened.”</p>

“He saw that we all had a conviction,” John said.</p>

The rest is history. Mr. Mara died in 2005. He did not see the Super Bowl
against the Patriots, did not see Eli honor the conviction of the people in the
draft room that day, April of ’04, did not see the pass to Tyree or the one to
Plaxico Burress (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Plaxico+Burress) in
the corner of the end zone that won it for the Giants, won what John Mara called
that night “the greatest victory in the history of this franchise.”</p>

They were all right, all the ones who thought Eli was made for the job, for
New York. He didn’t come to be a celebrity, just quarterback of the
<div><div class="story-body"><div><div class="story-body">
<u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u></div></div></div></div><div><div><div><div><div><div><div><div><div>
GIANTS' PASSING GAME COULD SLIP AGAINST 49ERS IF WEATHER IS BAD (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/giants_slop_of_horrors_G8j7IacI4zRRJM4tJ92RYN)

Excerpt: "There is zero percent chance the Giants will be able to operate their
high-flying passing attack at peak efficiency Sunday against the 49ers in the
NFC Championship. Anyone who thinks they can is all wet.<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 cohesive, rugged, old-school (think defense first) 49ers would be a
challenge no matter where and no matter what the conditions, but looming up
ahead is the true test whether or not the Giants are an all-weather team. After
a rousing 37-20 Divisional beatdown of the defending champion Packers in the
cold at Lambeau Field, go figure that a trip to northern California could be
fraught with soggy peril for the Giants.
</p>It is supposed to start raining on Thursday in San Francisco and not stop
until Tuesday. That’s five straight days of build-an-ark inducing precipitation.
The forecast for game day is 56 degrees and 70 percent chance of rain.<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">

This is not good news for the Giants, by far the more explosive team on
offense, a team that loves a fast track and has shown little ability to grind it
out on a slow surface. The natural bluegrass field at Candlestick Park is below
sea level and notorious for dampness when the sun goes down — even when it’s not
damp outside. No doubt it will be covered up all week but, the Giants and 49ers
can’t play on a tarp.</p>

The Giants, most specifically Eli Manning, usually thrive in domes, but to
get to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl XLVI, he and his
teammates will have to survive in the muck and mire, which adversely could
affect their big-play passing prowess. The Niners, built to pound away, were one
of just four teams this season to run it more than they passed it. </p>

First-year NFL coach Jim Harbaugh took a look at the quarterback he
inherited, Alex Smith, and determined that handing the ball to Frank Gore and
rookie Kendall Hunter and allowing Smith to manage a low-risk offense was the
way to go. </p>

It has produced sensational results. Smith threw 446 passes in the regular
season and the 49ers ran the ball 497 times. By contrast, Manning put it in the
air 589 times and the Giants ran it 411 times.</p>

Playing with a lead in their two playoff games, the Giants have balanced
themselves out, with 65 passes and 58 rushing attempts. The 49ers, knocked out
of their comfort zone and engaged in a shootout last week with the Saints, had
to lean on Smith for 42 passes. He completed 24 of them and made all of the
plays with his arm and legs down the stretch for a dynamic 36-32 victory to send
Drew Brees, and all of his passing records, home early." Read more...
</p></div>HIT ON MONTANA, BAHR'S FOOT BUOYED BIG BLUE IN EPIC '91 WIN (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/hit_on_montana_bahr_foot_buoyed_sTP6NiP03fCb2xGVv0 V3vI)

Excerpt: "It was halftime of the NFC Championship game, Jan. 20, 1991, and and this was
the moment the Giants — 30 minutes from turning a 6-6 halftime score into a
15-13 win and a berth in Super Bowl XXV — vowed to separate the men from the
49ers.<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">

There had been bad blood between the teams, dating back to a postgame melee
following a 7-3 49ers Monday night victory a month earlier in which feisty
placekicker Matt Bahr, noticing Phil Simms engulfed by angry 49ers, rushed in to
help protect his quarterback.</p>

“I remember the guys were saying if they had a chance to initiate some pain
on the 49er players, they were gonna do it,” Leonard Marshall recalled. “’If you
get a chance to stroke one of them, stroke ’em, and let ’em know
</p>That essentially had been the message from coach Bill Parcells and defensive
coordinator Bill Belichick. <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 time they get the ball,” Parcells told his defensive players, “we
gotta knock this Montana down right away.”</p>

With the 49ers leading 13-9 and a little more than nine minutes standing
between San Francisco and a third straight Super Bowl, Marshall’s predatory
instincts were directed at Joe Montana. Marshall beat left tackle Bubba Paris
with a swim move, then was cut by fullback Tom Rathman. Marshall began crawling
toward Montana, who had to step up to avoid a charging Lawrence Taylor. </p>

“[Montana] threw his left hand forward to tell [Jerry] Rice to keep running,”
Marshall recalled. </p>

Unfortunately for Montana, Marshall had gotten to his feet, and pulverized
him with a violent blindside hit. </p>

“By the time he extended his left hand, “ Marshall said, “it was ‘Lights Out

And the start of the Steve Young Era, because it was Lights Out on the
Montana Era in San Francisco. </p>

“He had a big damn chunk of grass in his facemask,” Marshall said. And a
bruised sternum and fractured little finger on his throwing hand. </p>

“I could hear him wincing,” Marshall said, “?‘Like, ‘Ohh, I’m in a lot of
pain,’ almost like he couldn’t breathe.”</p>

Still trailing 13-9, Parcells gave upback Gary Reasons the green light to try
a fake punt. </p>

“Bill,” Reasons had told Parcells, “this is there. What are we waiting
for?”
</p></div>PHIL SIMMS WARNS GIANTS ABOUT 49ERS RUN DEFENSE (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/forty_fied_cnN4WrwBFp4TC5fmce3Q9J)

"A word of warning for the Giants: Phil Simms said he thinks it’s ridiculous
to try to run on the 49ers’ defense.<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 49ers, to think that you’re going to line up and say, ‘We’re going to
run the ball and get it done,’ it’s crazy,” the CBS analyst and former Giants
quarterback said yesterday on a conference call. “I don’t think you can.”</p>

This season, the 49ers held teams to an NFL-low 77.3 rushing yards per game
(the next-best team allowed 92.6) and limited the Saints to 37 yards rushing in
Saturday’s playoff win. </p>

The Giants, who will meet the 49ers on Sunday for the NFC Championship,
rushed for a league-worst 89.2 yards per game before gaining 172 in their 24-2
Wild Card win over the Falcons and 95 in their 37-20 Divisional romp over the
Packers.Simms s</p>

aid he is impressed with the 49ers’ physical conditioning.</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">

“I think it’s what everybody says about them all year long is true: The
49ers, getting off the bus, they might be the best-looking team in the NFL,” he
said. “It’s incredible when I watch them. Everybody just looks like everybody
just came out of the weight room and they’re ready to go. </p>

“It says a lot about what they’ve done drafting-wise and how they train them
out there. But that defense, it’s going to be hard to run [against].”</p>

But Simms sounded hopeful about the Giants’ chances of moving the ball
through the air and had high praise for Eli Manning and receivers Hakeem Nicks,
Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham.</p>

“Really the strength of this Giants team is strictly the play-calling, Eli
Manning and I think a group of receivers that is top-notch in the NFL,” Simms
said. “The 49ers I think this week are going to face a better group of receivers
than they faced last week [against the Saints]. Just because we’ve seen it all
year long: When the Giant receivers catch it, look out. They’ve been tremendous
with the football in their hands.”</p>

Simms played in four Giants-49ers playoff games, winning two at the
Meadowlands and losing two in San Francisco. A 44-3 Divisional round defeat to
the 49ers in 1993 was the last game of his career.</p>

He was hurt for the Giants’ 15-13 NFC Championship win in San Francisco in
1991, when Jeff Hostetler was the quarterback.</p>

“I remember our playoff victories in our stadium, and of course I remember
the playoff losses out there too, which were pretty rough,” he said. “When we
lost out there, we took beatings, and we knew when the game was over, they were
the better team.”</p>GIANTS' CENTER BAAS A BRIDGE TO SAN FRANCISCO (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/baas_bridge_to_san_fran_ieprrpXrNwf4HtdvK2uwVI)

Excerpt: "David Baas was drafted out of Michigan in the second round of the 2005 NFL
Draft by the 49ers, one round after San Francisco, with the No. 1 overall pick,
selected Alex Smith, figuring he would be their franchise quarterback for the
next decade. <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">

In the past six years, Baas played in 92 games for San Francisco, starting
54. He knows quite a bit about Smith and the 49ers.</p>

This week, Baas hopes some of that knowledge can be imparted to his Giants
teammates, who on Sunday face the 49ers in the NFC Championship at Candlestick
</p>“Absolutely,’’ Baas said. “It’s nothing crazy, but like I did last time,
remind guys of what some of the personnel there is. Anything I can do to help, I
will. With me, personally, knowing those guys it’s still kind of always fresh in
your mind. You can remind people who these guys are and how they play.’’<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">

Based on their time together, Baas said he is not surprised Smith has helped
bring the 49ers this far. </p>

“With Alex I’ve always believed he’s had it in him,’’ Baas said. “He just
needed a lot more guys to believe him and I feel like he’s got that.’’</p>

Baas, 30, already has been in this position this season, having schooled his
first-year teammates the week leading up to the 27-20 loss to the 49ers on Nov.
13. Before that game, guard Chris Snee noticed Baas “hugging guys and having
that little cuddle-fest they have on the field.’’ Snee rolled his eyes but then
said, “He spent six years there. I would imagine if I ever leave here and come
back it would be the same thing.’’</p>

Admittedly, Baas felt something different before that game, a 27-20 loss in
San Francisco. </p>

“I usually don’t go out early on the field, but I went out early before
warm-ups. It was nice to see some of the guys and everything,’’ he said. “That
was that, kind of got all the emotions out that time, and this is a business

Baas has never expressed any hard feelings about the 49ers not making a big
play for him in free agency, making it easy for him to accept the Giants’
five-year, $27.5 million contract offer." Read more... </p></div>TUNA HOOKED BY ELI AND BIG BLUE (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/tuna_hooked_by_eli_and_big_blue_GeO0kTp94b1YUK0n4n KChK)

"Bill Parcells likes this 49ers team, says it reminds him of his 1990 Giants
who charged into Candlestick Park and ruined the three-peat dreams of the Joe
Montana 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and went on to win their second Super
Bowl against the Bills.<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">

But he also likes this Giants team better than this 49ers team.</p>

“I’m expecting them to win,” Parcells told The Post. “Why wouldn’t I be? You
forget the game last week already?”</p>

What does he base this on?</p>

“I think the Giants have a better quarterback. I think the Giants have the
better receivers. The Giants have a better overall pressure defense. ... That’s
what I think,” Parcells said.
</p>Parcells is told about the rainy, windy forecast that could mean the Giants’
version of the Mud Bowl that sabotaged the 1982 Jets in Miami.<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">

“If I got a good team, where do you want to play? You want to play in the
Bronx Zoo? We’ll play,” Parcells said. “Good teams are good teams because
they’re adaptable.”</p>

But wouldn’t adverse conditions favor the power-running 49ers? </p>

“If they are better, it favors ’em,” Parcells said. “If the Giants are
better, it favors them. That’s football. We’re all playing in the same place,
aren’t we?”</p>

But what about the Giants’ speed advantage with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz?
With Osi Umenyiora? Eli Manning’s edge over Alex Smith?</p>

“Listen,” Parcells began. “The elements have historically always been a great
equalizer. But that doesn’t mean it’s to one team’s advantage or the other. I
always looked at it: The worse the weather was, the better it was for my team. I
practiced in it. We were ready for it. We knew how to play in it. We tried to
minimize mistakes in our territory and try to play the game in the other team’s
territory. You gotta teach your players how to play in those kind of games.
That’s coaching.”</p>

Indeed, the Tuna is Hall of Fame worthy because he was never a fish out of
water when confronted by a wet (or windy) forecast.</p>

“I might do wet-ball drills with my quarterback. ... I would do that during
the season anyway,” Parcells said. “I’d do some wet-ball drills with my kickers
and snappers ... and I would make sure everybody wears the right shoes.”</p>

He is certain Tom Coughlin, his receivers coach on the Super Bowl XXV Giants,
will be ready.</p>

“No doubt,” Parcells said. “Absolutely no doubt.” Parcells paused and added:
“This is not Tom’s first rodeo, you know.”</p>

Nor is it Manning’s. </p>

“He’s got good genes,” Parcells said. I ask Parcells, whom I have known since
1984, if he is surprised that Manning is playing at this (elite) level.</p>

“Were you around in 07,” Parcells said, “or were you just starting out?”</p>

Parcells always has liked Manning. </p>

“Listen,” he said, “what’s not to like? He stays on the field first off,
which separates him from half of these guys playing. He hits what he’s throwing
at. He’s a good leader. When the game’s tight and on the line, he’s at his best.
What do you want from the guy?”</p>

Parcells was thoroughly impressed with the Giants’ 37-20 win over the
Packers. He parroted the concern in Apollo Creed’s corner at the end of a brutal
first round with Rocky Balboa in the first “Rocky” movie: “That sonova***** over
there doesn’t know it’s a show!” Parcells recalled. “He thinks it’s a fight!”
Then he added: “That’s what I think a little bit about the Packer-Giant game.
The Packers found out the Giants knew that wasn’t a

01-18-2012, 10:36 AM
Git ya hands off that Lombardi,,,,it's reserved for NYG. Thanks RF!

01-18-2012, 10:50 AM
Git ya hands off that Lombardi,,,,it's reserved for NYG. Thanks RF!


01-18-2012, 11:03 AM
Gosh, how I look forward to and love reading your daily reports, RF. Thanks again and again.

01-18-2012, 11:05 AM
Gosh, how I look forward to and love reading your daily reports, RF. Thanks again and again.


01-18-2012, 12:34 PM
Thanks for posting Roaknoke, Enjoyed the Junkin Pieces. Bondy from the daily news writes some garbage about how we'll be the worst team to win a championship? He seriously couldnt write a better story 5 Days before an NFC Championship game? SMH....

G-Men Surg.
01-18-2012, 12:40 PM
Great article on Parcells ! Thanks RF !

01-18-2012, 02:45 PM
Great article on Parcells ! Thanks RF !


01-18-2012, 02:46 PM
Thanks for posting Roaknoke, Enjoyed the Junkin Pieces. Bondy from the daily news writes some garbage about how we'll be the worst team to win a championship? He seriously couldnt write a better story 5 Days before an NFC Championship game? SMH....


Cindy in INdy
01-18-2012, 04:09 PM
thank you for these articles. I admit, the rule of "3" has come into effect. I now can say that we
a. beat 3 Ryans
b. have had 3 "helmut on the head" catches
c. the last 3 opponents to beat the Falcons
went onto the Super Bowl
please correct me if I am wrong

01-18-2012, 04:13 PM
thank you for these articles. I admit, the rule of "3" has come into effect. I now can say that we
a. beat 3 Ryans
b. have had 3 "helmut on the head" catches
c. the last 3 opponents to beat the Falcons
went onto the Super Bowl
please correct me if I am wrong

Sounds right to me. We've beaten the Patriots and Packers at home, where "they never lose." So now we're going to San Francisco where" they never lose." Sound familiar?

Cindy in INdy
01-18-2012, 05:02 PM
so excited, trying to buy tickets to Media Day at Lucas Oil, first time you can sit in the stands and watch interviews. What do you think?

01-18-2012, 05:48 PM
so excited, trying to buy tickets to Media Day at Lucas Oil, first time you can sit in the stands and watch interviews. What do you think?

I think you should buy some tickets since the GIANTS players you adore will be there [;)]

01-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Speaking of Indianapolis - has anyone heard anything abouthow and when the Giants will distribute tickets should they advance to the SuperBowl?I have received zero communications from the Giants since an email regarding the home playoff game tickets, a few weeks ago.Why are season ticket holders being left in the dark?

01-19-2012, 10:40 AM
Speaking of Indianapolis - has anyone heard anything abouthow and when the Giants will distribute tickets should they advance to the SuperBowl?I have received zero communications from the Giants since an email regarding the home playoff game tickets, a few weeks ago.Why are season ticket holders being left in the dark?

It might be that it would be seen as presumptuous to discuss Super Bowl tickets before we win on Sunday. There will be plenty of time after Sunday for the information to flow and tickets to be purchased. Don't we normally use a lottery system anyway?

01-19-2012, 11:09 AM
Not so. The last time they went to the SB I knew before the NFC game that I was not picked in the lottery. The only time I won tix was for their first trip in 86. Obviously had to wait until the NFC championship before booking air tickets, so I would not say "there isplenty of time" - timinggetsvery tight! In '86 Igot on a plane just before the snow hit andpreventedsomefansfrom ever reaching Pasadena. </P>

It seems to me that it would be helpful and courteous for the Giants to simply announce WHEN we will learn whether or not we hit the lottery, so that we can be prepared to book travel arrangements immediately.</P>

The complete vacuum of information WILL causerumors and gossip to start.</P>