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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012 - 3:17 P.M.



RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 10:34 AM
<u><font color="#ff0000" size="4"><font face="Verdana" size="6"><font color="#0000FF">H</font>E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">R</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">O</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6"> T</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">S</font>

</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
<font color="#0000FF">
PLAYOFFS 2 - 0: ON TO THE OTHER BAY!
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</u><u><font face="Verdana">
</font></u></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font><font size="4"><font size="3">
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<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 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 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 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 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">GIANTS' HOT TOPIC: VICTOR CRUZ'S INCREDIBLE EMERGENCE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_hot_topic_victor_cruzs.html)

"Victor Cruz had 82 catches, 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns in his first real
season of meaningful action with the Giants. He now owns the team's all-time
single-season receiving record for yards, and his year was often defined by huge
plays -- catching a 99-yard touchdown, beating Nnamdi Asomugha for touchdowns,
making juggling catches and plenty more.<div class="entry-content">


Oh, and <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_hot_topic_upload_your_e.html">his
salsa dance has become known</a> throughout the league and metropolitan area,
and even got him an invite to "Dancing with the Stars."</p>


Whether it has been feature stories, columns or game-day stories, plenty has
been written about him, as his success and emergence have been well-documented
by The Star-Ledger. </p>


So now, we thought we'd go back in time to give you a sense of just how the
second-year receiver from Paterson has evolved this season. Check out some of
the articles written about him and then drop down to the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_hot_topic_victor_cruzs.html#comments">comments
section</a> to talk about Cruz. What we want to know, Giants fans, besides your
thoughts on Cruz, is if you can think of an undrafted, possible sparkle to
record-setting star in such little time like Cruz has?</p>


• Aug. 17, 2010 (preseason): <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/08/giants_rookie_victor_cruz_livi.html">Rookie
Victor Cruz living a dream after catching three touchdowns against Jets</a></p>


• Oct. 30, 2010: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2010/10/giants_wr_victor_cruz_staying.html">Victor
Cruz staying positive despite season-ending hamstring injury</a></p>


• May 10, 2011: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/05/giants_qb_eli_manning_hosts_se.html">Victor
Cruz joins Eli Manning as QB hosts second week of workouts at Hoboken High
School</a></p>


• Aug. 13: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/giants_victor_cruz_is_ready_to.html">Victor
Cruz is ready to shine at receiver with Steve Smith gone</a></p>


• Aug. 26: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/giants_victor_cruz_aiming_to_c.html">Victor
Cruz aiming to make progress in critical role at wide receiver</a></p>


• Sept. 21: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/09/giants_victor_cruz_learning_to.html">Victor
Cruz learning to get Eli Manning out of 'hot' water</a></p>


• Sept. 25: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/09/politi_with_two_touchdowns_vic.html">Politi:
With two touchdowns, Victor Cruz energizes Giants, stuns 'Dream Team'</a></p>


• Sept. 27: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/09/giants_victor_cruz_makes_waves.html">Victor
Cruz makes waves with big plays against Eagles</a></p>


• Oct. 10: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/10/dalessandro_big_plays_--_both.html">D'Alessandro:
Big plays, both good and bad, continue to define Giants wideout Victor Cruz's
play</a></p>


• Oct. 16: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/10/dalessandro_giants_victor_cruz.html">D'Alessandro:
Victor Cruz has risen from Paterson to the NFL, driven by his father's memory
and mother's strength</a></p>


• Nov. 8: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants_victor_cruz_jake_ballar.html">Victor
Cruz, Jake Ballard developing into key players on offense</a></p>


• Nov. 16: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants_victor_cruz_learns_from.html">Victor
Cruz learns from night-club shooting he's far from anonymous</a></p>


• Dec. 14: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_wr_victor_cruz_becomes.html">Victor
Cruz becomes household name as he nears single-season receiving record </a></p>


• Dec. 25: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_vs_jets_victor_cruzs_99.html">Victor
Cruz's 99-yard TD vs. Jets gives Giants momentum</a></p>


• Dec. 25: <a href="http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_know_all_about_giants_vic.html">Jets
know all about Victor Cruz after loss</a></p>


• Dec. 28: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_victor_cruz_doesnt_thin.html">Victor
Cruz doesn't think he's a Pro Bowl snub</a></p>


• Jan. 1, 2012: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/as_giants_play_cowboys_for_nfc.html">As
Giants prep for Cowboys, Victor Cruz draws unprecedented attention</a></p>


• Jan 2: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/new_york_giants_victor_cruz_to.html">Victor
Cruz torches Dallas Cowboys' secondary</a></p>


• Jan. 3: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/dalessandro_victor_cruz_puts_g.html">D'Alessandro:
Victor Cruz puts Giants one step closer to their goal with his astonishing
play</a></p>


• Jan. 4: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/falcons_wr_roddy_white_says_vi.html">Falcons
WR Roddy White says Victor Cruz is in for 'rude awakening' and 'good pay day'
next year</a></p>


• Jan. 5: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/victor_cruzs_breakout_season_d.html">Victor
Cruz's breakout season doesn't surprise Giants</a></p>


• Jan. 6: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_wr_victor_cruz_turns_do.html">Victor
Cruz turns down 'Dancing With The Stars' offer, says maybe in the future</a></p>


• Jan. 8: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/victor_cruz_tony_gonzalez_high.html">Victor
Cruz, Tony Gonzalez highlight growth of Hispanic players in NFL</a></p>


• Jan. 8: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_victor_cruz_is_a_walkin.html">Politi:
Giants' Victor Cruz is a walking, breathing 'message of hope' for
Paterson</a></p>


• Jan. 16: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_49ers_victor_cruz_ea.html">Victor
Cruz eager for another dance with San Francisco's Carlos Rogers</a></p>


We posed the question earlier, and we'll ask it again: Can you think of
another player who has gone from undrafted, possible sparkle to record-setting
star in such little time?</p></div>ELI MANNING RETURNS TO PRACTICE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/eli_manning_is_back_at_practic.html)

"Tom Coughlin said he hoped it was just a 24-hour bug and Victor Cruz
dismissed any concern about it. All in all, the Giants weren't worried when
their Eli Manning couldn't finish yesterday's practice because of a stomach
illness and for good reason. Manning was back out on the field today during the
portion of practice open to the media and looked fine, doing his normal routine.



For the second day in a row, Ahmad Bradshaw is the only Giant not practicing.
</p>


Bradshaw, who has not practiced more than once a week since his return from a
foot injury, is expected to participate tomorrow.</p>


The other five players on yesterday's injury report -- LB Mark Herzlich
(ankle), Justin Tuck (shoulder), Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) and Corey Webster
(hamstring) -- are practicing today after being limited yesterday."</p>49ERS VS. GIANTS IS MATCHUP STEEPED IN HISTORY AND SUPER BOWL IMPLICATIONS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/49ers_vs_giants_is_matchup_ste.html)

"<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/don_banks/01/18/giants.49ers.history/index.html?eref=sihp&amp;sct=hp_t13_a2">Don
Banks, SI.com</a>: If you had wagered Nov. 13 that the matchup between the
Giants and San Francisco 49ers would be a dress rehearsal for the NFC
Championship Game, your recollection is strong. No teams have met more in the
postseason -- Sunday's game with tie an NFL record with the eighth meeting
between the teams, all since 1981. T<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/dalessandro_trey_junkin_not_th.html">he
matchups have produced agony and ecstasy for both sides</a> -- and success in
the Super Bowl. Between 1981 and 1990, four times the winner of the postseason
brawl between the clubs lifted the Lombardi Trophy. "There are a lot of memories
[of this rivalry], and they went from maybe the great, to the greatest, to the
worst," former Giants quarterback Phil Simms told SI.com. "I remember our
playoff victories in our stadium, and of course, I remember the playoff losses
out there, too. The games were awesome, and there was something very good about
it. We always knew somewhere along the line, it was going to be about us and
them there in the mid-to-late '80s.''<div class="entry-content">


SI.com (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1201/nfl-giants-49ers-playoff-history/content.1.html):
As an accompaniment to its Giants-49ers coverage, Sports Illustrated put
together a photo gallery depicting the postseason matchups between the teams
since 1981. A retrospective was also <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants-49ers_hot_topic_flashin.html">posted
earlier this week on NJ.com</a>.</p>


<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_19771333">Jerry McDonald, San
Jose Mercury News</a>: The 49ers secondary has received praise all week. The
unit leads the 49ers' determined defense from the back, with assured coverage
and a knack for creating turnovers. The unit will be tested by Eli Manning
Sunday, and safety Dashon Goldson will be hobbled. He <a href="http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/niners-talk/post/Goldson-held-out-of-practice-with-ankle-?blockID=633842&amp;feedID=2800">sat
out Wednesday's practice</a> with an ankle injury. </p>


<a href="http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/niners-talk/post/Walker-returns-Goldson-Ginn-Goodwin-sit?blockID=633774&amp;feedID=2800">Matt
Maiocco, CSNBayArea.com</a>: Delanie Walker, a valued blocker from the tight end
position, returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity. <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/18/te-walker-returns-to-practice-ginn-goodwin-sidelined/">Walker
is wearing special padding to help protect his jaw</a>, which he broke in two
places on Christmas Eve. Ted Ginn, who has an injured knee, and Jonathan
Goodwin, who has an injured left leg, sat out.</p>


<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/mark-purdy/ci_19771263">Mark Purdy, San
Jose Mercury News</a>: Alex Smith, the 49ers quarterback who led his team down
the field twice in the fourth quarter to beat the New Orleans Saints last
weekend, has been profiled ad nauseum. The Mercury News quotes former 49ers
quarterback Steve Young outlining Smith's progress. The San Francisco Chronicle
presents Smith <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/18/alex-smiths-career-couldve-been-far-different/">through
the analysis of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman</a>, like Young a
Hall of Famer. </p>


<a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2012/01/18/under-pressure-alex-says-eli-is-no-1-in-terms-of-scrutiny/">Eric
Branch, San Francisco Chronicle</a>: Smith and Manning are both former No. 1
overall draft picks, and Sunday's game will mark only the second time
quarterback's picked No. 1 will face off in a conference title game. Smith said,
though, that Manning faced a set of unique circumstances that he did not even
though they share a draft slot.</p>


<a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_19769433">Mike Taugher, San Jose
Mercury News</a>: Since a power outage cut the lights at Candlestick Park during
a Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers a month
ago, the city and PG&amp;E, the local power provider, have spent nearly a
million dollars to assure the incident will not be replicated.</p>


CSNBayArea.com (http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/niners-talk/post/Harbaugh-Giants-are-a-cruel-team?blockID=633926&amp;feedID=2800):
In his press conference Wednesday, Jim Harbaugh gave this assessment of his
opponents Sunday: "Class, class team that also is a cruel team. They don't give
you things. They don't let you have what you want."
</p></div>GIANTS-49ERS HOT TOPIC: GIVE US THREE REASONS BIG BLUE WILL WIN SUNDAY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants-49ers_hot_topic_give_us.html)

"Star-Ledger writers have been breaking down the X's and O's of this Giants-49ers matchup (http://www.nj.com/giants/) all week and will
continue to do so leading up to Sunday's NFC Championship. So you know about key
players and battles on both teams, but that doesn't always cover all of the
possible intangibles you might be thinking about: <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_49ers_weather_for_nf.html">the
weather</a>, the Giants' road-warrior mindset; the revenge tour, etc.<div class="entry-content">


So taking all things into consideration, it's time to get the good vibes
going, Giants fans. Here's your chance to turn the non-believers into believers.
</p>


It's simple: Tell us your top three reasons why the Giants will beat the
49ers on Sunday. Could be related to X's and O's; could be a trend; could
something involving a superstition; could be because NJ.com user Carbo (http://connect.nj.com/user/carbo/index.html) will pick the
Niners! Point is, it could be anything. Drop down to the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants-49ers_hot_topic_give_us.html#comments">comments
section and start talkin'."</a></p></div>
##

GIANTS VS. 49ERS: VERNON DAVIS A THREAT FROM EVERY ANGLE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_49ers_vernon_davis_p.html)

Excerpt: "With the San Francisco 49ers down 13-12 early in the fourth quarter, Vernon
Davis stood just off the line next to his right tackle in the double wing
formation — one of the countless ways the 49ers utilize their versatile tight
end.


At the snap, he released untouched into his shallow crossing route in front
of Giants rookie linebacker Greg Jones’ zone coverage. Actually, no one laid a
paw on him until he reached the goal line — 25 yards after he caught Alex
Smith’s pass.</p>


He concluded the catch and sprint by showing off his 4.38-second 40-yard dash
speed and freakish athleticism, leaping over safety Kenny Phillips into the end
zone to give the 49ers a 20-13 lead they would not relinquish when the teams met
the first time. </p>


For the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/), it was a devastating
blow in the game and a lesson learned for the remainder of the season. </p>


If the Giants have their way when the teams meet again on Sunday with the NFC
Championship on the line, Davis won’t get off the line untouched on any play,
let alone wide open. From the defensive line back to the safeties, the Giants’
goal is to be as physical as possible. </p>


“We have to keep hands on him,” said linebacker Michael Boley, who was lost
to injury halfway through the first meeting against the 49ers. “Whether he’s
coming from a regular tight end spot or split out, we have to always have guys
in his face.”</p>


The increased physicality has been a point of emphasis for the Giants in
recent weeks after a run of elite tight ends bullied defensive backs and burned
linebackers during their four-game losing streak in the regular season." Read more...
</p>

JERRY REESE HAS SEEN HIS CONVICTION TURN INTO VINDICATION (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/politi_giants_jerry_reese_has.html)
</p>Excerpt: "“It seems like people are in a panic about the perception (that) we are
not doing a lot. We had a game plan, and we stuck to our game plan.”



— Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) general
manager Jerry Reese, on Aug. 11 </p>


We were lions looking for blood that summer day, and Jerry Reese was like a
three-legged gazelle when he stepped in front of the microphones to answer
questions about what appeared to be the offseason from hell. </p>


His star defensive end was not practicing and demanding a trade. His starting
tight end had signed a fat contract with Oakland. His slot receiver had stunned
everyone when he took a one-year deal with Philadelphia — the latest of a half
dozen major moves by his bitter division rivals.</p>


So the tone of <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/giants_had_better_hope_general.html">the
press conference that August afternoon</a>? Put it this way: At least nobody
tossed a shoe. </p>


And it wasn’t just the media on the attack, either. The first comment on the
transcript of what the GM said that day — on the team’s own website — begins, “I
think Jerry Reese is blowing smoke up Giant fans’ buttocks.”</p>


Few people believed in Reese then, but one of them was watching with interest
from his Manhattan apartment. There are many qualities Ernie Accorsi liked about
Reese when he persuaded the young scout to leave his home in Tennessee and
become an executive in training at the team’s East Rutherford office.</p>


But his strength of conviction was tops on the list. Accorsi, when he held
the same job for the Giants, would spend hours listening to scouts read through
their reports on players. Many had far more experience than Reese, but when it
was his turn, there was no wavering in his beliefs.</p>


“All you can ask for in this business is to have conviction,” Accorsi said
over the phone this week. “If you have that conviction and it didn’t turn out?
Well, you can live with that.”</p>


Reese had that conviction and it did turn out. On a day when everyone thought
he was asleep at the switch, he told the world that the Giants would get into
the playoffs and make a run. </p>


And here they are." Read more...
</p>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)
</div></div></div></div></div><font size="4"><font size="3">
"</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.”
</p>


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
tomorrow."</p>


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
reps.</p>


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
season.


<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.” Read more...
</p>http://www.nj.com/giants/
<font size="4"><font size="3">
</font></font><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS
</u></font><div>
HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: GIANTS VS. 49ERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/players-recall-classic-playoff-battles-ny-giants-san-francisco-49ers-including-hits-left-quarterback-joe-montana-reeling-article-1.1008517)

Excerpt: "Bart Oates (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bart+Oates) had been on
one side of one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL and he wasn’t going to cross
over without a little initiation from his former foes and new teammates.<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 was treated pretty good because any time they started busting my chops I’d
say, ‘Do you remember a game back in January of ’‘91?’ ” Oates said, who joined
San Francisco in 1994 after spending nine seasons with the Giants. “It was the
’94 season but it was amazing, four or five years later, it stung like it
happened a month ago.”

From 1981 to 1994, the teams split their six
playoff meetings, with the Niners pulling ahead in the all-time playoff series
with a victory in 2003.

“Playing the 49ers was like getting the girl you
wanted to be with for the last 20 years of your life,” said <a title="Leonard Marshall" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Leonard+Marshall">Giants DE Leonard
Marshall</a>. “You were going to get the chance to prove yourself. The way we
took it, we couldn’t wait to get on the field.”

Here’s a look at each
game:

1981 Divisional playoff: 49ers 38, Giants 24
“I
guess I’ve become a little popular,” Joe Montana (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Joe+Montana) said after
his first NFL playoff game.

The Giants were in the playoffs for the first
time since 1963 and had just upset the defending NFC champion Eagles in the
wild-card round at the Vet. But they were about to become the first victim of
the Montana dynasty in the Niners’ first playoff game since ’72. Little did
anyone anticipate the rivalry that would come to pass over the next
decade.

The Giants dared Montana to throw deep. He did. The 49ers dared
rookie Lawrence Taylor (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Lawrence+Taylor) to
beat offensive guard John Ayers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/John+Ayers). He
couldn’t.

The 49ers’ task got easier when safety Beasley Reece (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Beasley+Reece)
couldn’t play with an injury. They shot out to a 24-7 lead and while the Giants
fought back, turnovers eventually did them in. Rookie safety <a title="Ronnie Lott" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ronnie+Lott">Ronnie
Lott</a> had two interceptions of Scott Brunner (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Scott+Brunner), who
had replaced the injured Phil Simms (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Phil+Simms) late in the
regular season.

1984 Divisional playoff: 49ers 21, Giants
10
The ’84 Niners rolled to a then-unprecedented 15-1 regular-season
record and closed the year as one of the most under-appreciated Super Bowl
champs of all time. The Giants, 9-7, during the year, began the postseason by
beating the Rams in Anaheim, but after spending Christmas practicing in Fresno,
they met their match.

Montana threw for 309 yards and three TDs. Dwight Clark (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dwight+Clark) burned
the Giants for nine catches, 112 yards and a touchdown. Gary Reasons (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Gary+Reasons)
intercepted Montana twice and Carson had a pick-six, the Giants’ only TD of the
game as their offense never got rolling
“We knew the price you had to
pay to win, but they were just at another level,” Marshall said. “I just felt
that once we graduated football school, we could compete with these guys. That
butt-whipping in ’84 would be the push that we needed as a team to grow
up.” Read more...
</p>DT CANTY, GIANTS EXPECT BLOODBATH VS. 49ERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-chris-canty-expects-bloodbath-49ers-article-1.1008477)

Excerpt: "Chris Canty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Canty) doesn’t
expect Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the 49ers to score very high in
style points.<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">


A week after the Giants dispatched a finesse Packers team, which came a week
after they routed a soft Falcons squad, Canty is expecting something a little
more, shall we say, bruising when they kick off Sunday evening:</p>


A 3,000-mile trip to take part in what will amount to an NFL street
fight.</p>


And Canty says, “Bring it on.”</p>


“Physical, physical,” the Giants defensive tackle said when asked what kind
of game he expects. “This is not going to be a cute football game. It’s not
going to be for the meek and mild. This is going to be a bloodbath.”</p>


Unlike the Giants’ past two opponents, the 49ers make no bones about their
physical style of play. They are a virtual mirror image of the Giants, which is
why Canty is expecting something along the lines of a steel-cage match this
weekend.</p>


“They don’t try and make it a secret, they want to beat you up,” Canty said.
“And we pride ourselves on being a physical football team. Something’s got to
give on Sunday. Something’s got to give, and this football team is preparing
itself to be able to put ourselves in a situation where we can be successful,
and a big part of that is going to be our physicality.”</p>


After holding the mighty Packers offense to just 20 points last week and
shutting down the Falcons completely in the wild-card round, Canty and the
Giants are playing with a level of brashness that has taken off like Google
stock.</p>


“We’re playing with confidence, understanding that if we perform at a high
level we can compete against the best of them,” Canty said. “I think the
confidence has taken us a long way. That’s something that’s definitely welcome
in this locker room.”</p>


The Giants will try to continue to channel their inner Road Warrior again
this week at a hostile Candlestick Park. And even though Canty would rather
entertain the Niners for the NFC title at MetLife Stadium, there is certainly
nothing intimidating about playing away from home for this group.</p>


“We got some experience in some tough road ballgames, not always turning out
the way we wanted them to, but we’ve had that experience nonetheless and we
played in tight ballgames before,” Canty said. “So having that experience
definitely means a lot for us going into this football game. I think this
football team has shown what it can do on the road, and we’re looking forward to
being able to demonstrate that again.”</p>


And what better way to pave their way for a trip back to the Super Bowl than
to knock off the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds on the road, no matter how bloody it
might get.</p>


“You enjoy an opportunity to compete,” Canty said. “We could play a football
game in Antarctica, it doesn’t matter. It’s just an opportunity to compete
against the best, and right now San Francisco is the best out there in our
conference, so we’re enjoying the opportunity to go out there and compete. We’ve
earned that right. Bring your hard hat and come to work.” Read more...</p>

NINERS' LEGEND JERRY RIC SAYS BRANDON JACOBS "SOFT" (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/san-francisco-49ers-legend-hall-famer-jerry-rice-calls-brandon-jacobs-oft-espn-article-1.1008489)</p>

Excerpt: "With rain expected Sunday in the Bay Area, former Niners great <a title="Jerry Rice" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Rice">Jerry
Rice</a>, in an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” said he thinks a muddy
track would favor the Niners because he views Brandon Jacobs (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brandon+Jacobs) as
“soft.”

“I like Ahmad Bradshaw (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ahmad+Bradshaw), I
like Brandon Jacobs,” Rice told ESPN. “But I feel like Brandon Jacobs is a
little soft. He can’t get away from a defender. The guy is 265, and it upsets me
when I see him get tackled by a guy that’s like 190 or 200
pounds.”

Jacobs did not speak to the media on Wednesday and is scheduled
to speak with them on Thursday.

Rice's credentials include three Super
Bowl rings and an NFL Hall of Fame induction.</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"><div class="story-body">


Jacobs, of course helped power the Giants to a win over the previously
undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.</p>


After rushing for a career-low 571 yards and a paltry 3.8 yards per carry
this regular season, Jacobs has raised his game in the postseason averaging 5.0
yards per rush." Read more...</p>

HEALTHY NICKS READY FOR MUDDY FIELD VS. 49ERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-hakeem-nicks-worried-weather-injuries-article-1.1008491)</p>

"Not many human beings, not even the swimsuit models in Sports Illustrated,
are objectified quite like pro football players. These athletes have become
little more than the sum of their body parts. Bettors and tweeters demand to
know daily the status of every joint and each ligament.</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"><div class="story-body">


Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning) has a
stomach problem. Nausea or intestinal pain, Eli? Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck)’s shoulder
still bugs him. He plays with the aches, yet isn’t quite the same. <a title="Osi Umenyiora" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora">Osi
Umenyiora</a> has a sore ankle and knee while Corey Webster (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Corey+Webster)’s
hamstring has been stretched too far.</p>


But then there is Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks), the hero
against Green Bay who attests to the good health of all relevant functions. His
strained hamstring has been swinging freely, like a freshly oiled screen door,
ever since the second Dallas game. His feet are ready to cut and run in the
Candlestick mud on Sunday. They just need to slip into cleats with extra-long
spikes. His huge hands, glove size 4-XL, are nimble as ever and prepared to make
another Hail Mary catch if required.</p>


“You can have large hands and not catch,” Nicks said Wednesday. “But I like
to pluck the ball out of the air when I see it.”</p>


Those steady hands, protected again by red gloves, will not be the problem
for Nicks against the Niners. He must worry instead about cornerbacks, safeties
and field conditions. San Francisco’s defensive backs did a good job last week
protecting against the big play from Drew Brees (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Drew+Brees), forcing the
Saints quarterback to check down to shorter routes throughout the game. Those
defenders like to strip balls, create turnovers. And Nicks will need to navigate
an extremely sloppy field, drenched by several days of heavy rain.</p>


Depending on his own thoughts and recommendations from the equipment manager,
Nicks may go to the shoes with spikes anywhere from a quarter-inch to a
half-inch longer, for traction. The Giants did that in Green Bay, digging deeper
into the frozen, natural turf. It’s hard to predict what will work best. Back in
1934, on frozen surface at the Polo Grounds, the Giants fared well with flat
sneakers against the favored Chicago Bears.</p>


Nicks has prepared a mantra for these less-than-ideal conditions: “Nose over
toes,” he says. If he leans forward, focuses on his routes, Nicks feels the edge
will be his.</p>


“Just have to pay attention to details and routes,” Nicks said, of the
predicted quagmire. “Being a professional, you play in all kinds of conditions.
It’s always a receiver’s advantage. We know what we’re doing on a route. The
defensive backs are just guessing.”</p>


Not surprisingly, at least one defensive back respectfully disagrees with
that assessment. Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle) says the
state of the field is a non-factor. “We play in muddy games, rainy games,” Rolle
said. “I don’t feel there are any advantages. (The receivers) know what they’re
doing when the field is dry, too.”</p>


A lot of people have been asking Nicks how he caught that ball in the end
zone against the Packers, the one that took all the air out of Lambeau Field.
He’s tired of talking about it already. That was last week, this is this
week. This isn't next week, either. Nicks knows he must focus on the work at
hand and not on the Super Bowl, a childhood dream. He joined the Giants three
years ago, missing out on the miracle in the desert. He is one win away from
Indianapolis now, from all the fuss and glory.</p>


The Giants are on a roll. So are the 49ers.</p>


“We always know what we’re capable of doing,” Nicks said. “When you doubt us,
we look forward to step up to the challenge, but we’re humble about it.”</p>


Humble and limber. Legs, arms, feet and hands reporting for duty."</p>

49ERS WHITNER HEARS NOT EVIL, THINK GIANTS ARE ****Y (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/san-francisco-49ers-safety-donte-whitner-thnks-ny-giants-****y-talkative-team-lets-shoulder-pads-talking-article-1.1008484)</p>

Excerpt: "Donte Whitner (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Donte+Whitner), the
safety who sent the Saints’ Pierre Thomas (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Pierre+Thomas) into
never-never land with a helmet-to-helmet stick, thinks the Giants may be a
little ****y.
</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 would say yes,” he said Wednesday. “Even watching them
when they were going to play the Jets. I don’t know if that’s their philosophy.
I don’t know if their psychologist is trying to get in our heads or something,
but we don’t plan on taking the bait. We plan on working and preparing the same
way and when we get out there in the fourth quarter, let the chips fall where
they may.”

Whitner had responded via Twitter Tuesday to the Giants’ early
bravado, saying, “Out here in San Fran we let our Shoulder Pads do all the
talking….ha ha.

“That's how we talk,” he said when asked about it
Wednesday. “I put on Twitter we talk with our shoulder pads. But they’ve been
doing that all year long, so it doesn’t surprise us. The coach (<a title="Jim Harbaugh" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jim+Harbaugh">Jim
Harbaugh</a>) even warned us that it was going to happen so we knew it was
coming. We’re going to continue going about it our way and they’ll go about
theirs.”

The media-savvy Harbaugh even mentioned the potential for a war
of words in his first press conference of the week. Then he told his team, which
seems to be taking it all in.

“He told us that their guys would probably
say stuff to the media, to just leave it alone. Because that’s their blueprint.
They have a big game and they talk and talk. We’re not going to do that. We’re
only going to talk on Sunday. They can say whatever they want. God bless them.
But we’re going to come prepared to win a football game.” Read more...
</div></div>[/url]</div></div></div></div></div>
</div>[url="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/hakeem-nicks-ny-giants-featured-cover-sports-illustrated-advance-sunday-nfc-title-game-49ers-article-1.1008014"]HAKEEM NICKS, GIANTS FEATURED ON COVER OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IN ADVANCE OF NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AGAINST 49ERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-hakeem-nicks-worried-weather-injuries-article-1.1008491#ixzz1jurYPEam)

Excerpt: "Curses!<div>


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." Read more...
</p></div>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants
<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><font size="4"><font size="3">
GIANTS BRACE FOR PHYSICAL 49ERS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/men_brace_for_physical_ers_ZaPKSBMxkJ63VmiFwUgYmI)



"</font></font>They knocked heads earlier this season and this week studied enough film to
see the carnage and almost feel the damage. No one ever said the 49ers cannot be
beat, but the Giants understand the physical challenge before them is unlike any
they have faced thus far in their exhilarating postseason run.
<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 leave nuance to others. The singular characteristic of how they go
about their business is one of sheer force.</p>


“They’re a tough team, very solid and disciplined in what they do,’’ fullback
Henry Hynoski said, “But you know what? So are we. We’re ready for it. It’s
gonna be a dogfight.’’

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

</p>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/sports/giants" target="_blank">COMPLETE GIANTS
COVERAGE</a> </p>


That description of Sunday’s NFC Championship game at what likely will be a
wet Candlestick Park might be tame. From the sound of it, the Giants are
preparing more for a steel-cage match than a football game to decide which team
gets to represent the conference in Super Bowl XLVI.</p>


“This is not going to be a cute football game,’’ defensive tackle Chris Canty
said. “It’s not going to be for the meek and mild. This is going to be a
bloodbath. That’s what it’s going to be. They do not try to make it a secret
that they try to beat you up. We pride ourselves on being a physical football
team. Something’s got to give on Sunday. Something’s got to give.’’</p>


The Giants did the giving on Nov. 13, losing in San Francisco 27-20 in a game
at the time they swore they should have won. Still, they came away impressed
that all of the talk about the punch the 49ers pack was legitimate.</p>


“After the last time we played them, we walked away saying that’s a very
physical team and the only way to beat them is to out-physical them,’’ Snee
said.</p>


There’s no doubt the 49ers were the tougher, rougher outfit in last week’s
36-32 Divisional win over the Saints. Safety Donte Whitner, with a legal
helmet-to-helmet blow, knocked running back Pierre Thomas out of the game in the
first quarter. Thomas became the seventh running back unable to finish a game
against the 49ers defense, a knockout record to make Mike Tyson proud.</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">


Former Giants quarterback and current CBS lead analyst Phil Simms said the
49ers might be the NFL’s most impressive-looking team coming off the bus. In
this case, appearance is not deceiving. Their defensive front is fierce, and
inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are swift and strong
magnets with their attraction to the ball.</p>


“They just have great players,’’ Snee said. “On the defensive line, All Pro
Justin Smith, the rookie Aldon Smith, the tackle, Ray McDonald, they’re all
great,” Giants left guard Kevin Boothe said. “And then the two inside
linebackers I feel are probably the best in the NFL.” </p>TOUGHNESS WILL PREVAIL ON SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/toughness_will_prevail_on_sunday_JiZ9HF3N53391sLRg ETBaI)

</div>


"The “No Toughness, No Championship!” signs have followed the Giants from
their old Giants Stadium headquarters to the Timex Performance Center.</p>


They might want to start plastering a new sign as we close in on Sunday’s NFC
Championship in San Francisco against the 49ers, which likely is to be
remembered more as the Blood Bowl than the Mud Bowl. </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">


“No Blood, No Championship!”</p>


“This is going to be a bloodbath,” defensive tackle Chris Canty said.</p>


The word from the West Coast, however, is that these 49ers would welcome a
Blood Bowl.

</p>“If that’s the kind of game this is gonna turn out to be,” Hall of Fame 49er
Ronnie Lott told the Post last night by cell phone, “it means it probably bodes
well for the 49ers because they’ve been in those kind of battles all year
long.
<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 they would say, ‘Hey, bring it on! You’re talking our language.’ I
don’t think they will shy away from something like that.”</p>


Tom Coughlin’s Giants are prepared to bleed every ounce of Giants blue as is
necessarily to reach the Super Bowl.

</p>“Most championship teams got to fight through some kind of adversity —
whether that’s injuries, whether that’s not playing your best early in the
year,” Justin Tuck said. “Toughness is just fighting through those things. Along
the course of a season like this, you’re going to have things did not go your
way, and it’s going to challenge you mentally, physically. It’s going to
challenge your togetherness as a football team. But all of that has to be ... I
guess, strong, to be a champion.”
<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">


How tough is your team?</p>


“We’ll find out,” Tuck said. “I think we’re pretty tough though. But we’re
going into the hostile environment of a team that’s pretty tough too, so we’ll
see. ... We’ll see exactly how tough we are this week.” </p></div>
WITH INCREDIBLE 10 1/2 MITTS, NICKS CATCHING FIRE FOR GIANTS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/with_incredible_inch_mitts_hakeem_JYGu318hPcihakXg tojWtI)



Excerpt: "You know what they say about guys with big hands? They make big catches — big
playoff catches, historic catches.
<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">


They catch passes off their helmets. They catch passes with one hand on the
bottom of the ball as it’s moving away from them. They catch passes with one
hand, then go around the back and switch it to the other hand.</p>


If a good man is hard to find, what value does the NFL place on a receiver
with big hands, deceptive speed and a driving desire to be the best football
player on the field?

</p>Giants fans will tell you there is no dollar amount that can be placed on
Hakeem Nicks, whose 10 1/2-inch hands are 3 inches larger than those of the
average man.
<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">


Packers fans will tell you there is no depth to the grief Nicks inflicted on
them late in Sunday’s first half with his “Hail Hakeem’’ 37-yard touchdown pass,
the one he pulled in with his size 4X, red Spider-Man-looking gloves.</p>


49ers fans are hoping Nicks misses the team plane for Sunday’s NFC
Championship because it’s becoming apparent the only way to secure those hands
is with police cuffs.</p>


It’s always been this way for Hakeem “Big Hands” Nicks.</p>


“He made a catch against Duke, a one-handed catch off his helmet, that when
he got to the sidelines I just looked at him and we just laughed,’’ Nicks’
former North Carolina teammate and good friend Greg Little of the Cleveland
Browns told The Post. “So when he made that catch against Green Bay, I just
said, ‘That’s just Hakeem being Hakeem.’ ’’ Read more...

</p>49ERS "GOING TO TALK ON SUNDAY" AGAINST GIANTS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/san_fran_we_will_do_the_talking_rHbdxfL9InaouYkLZZ MdfI)



Excerpt: "Donte Whitner thinks Big Blue have big mouths.
<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’ hard-hitting safety yesterday described the Giants as ****ier than
any team he has faced all season and vowed that San Francisco would “talk with
our shoulder pads” in Sunday’s NFC Championship at Candlestick Park.</p>


“That’s their blueprint — whenever they have a big game, they talk and talk,”
Whitner said. “We’re not going to do that. The game is played on the football
field. We’re going to talk on Sunday. They can say whatever they want, God bless
’em.” Read more...</p></div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
GIANTS NOT WORRIED ABOUT ANY WEATHER AGAINST 49ERS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/sloppy_stick_no_big_worry_for_big_LLZFkhdhxuiDaQCy 29fFaK)

Excerpt: "Giants fullback Henry Hynoski recalls playing high school football in
Elysburg, Pa., on a field that was “a pile of mud.’’ There’s rain in the
forecast for Sunday’s NFC Championship against the 49ers at Candlestick Park,
and that’s just fine with the rookie fullback.<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 found out it was going to rain [and] I kind of got excited,’’ Hynoski said
yesterday. “I’m a mudder. There’s really nothing fancy about me. We’re tough
guys on our team and we’ll accept any challenge because we’re just a bunch of
mudders.’’</p>


It is supposed to be rainy for days in the Bay Area, but the 70 percent
chance of rain from earlier in the week has been reduced to a 30 percent chance
of showers for Sunday. That can change, and the Giants are gearing up for a
sloppy playing field.
</p>“Even when it’s dry, it’s wet,’’ said backup quarterback David Carr, who
spent last season with the 49ers. “It’s one of those deals where you just have
to make sure you have the right cleats, make sure you’re sure of your footing,
make sure receivers are really focused on their fundamentals, in and out of
their breaks.’’<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">


Hakeem Nicks said if the field is muddy it’s an advantage to the receivers,
“because we know where we’re going on a route. [Defensive backs] are just
guessing or playing their coverage.’’ </p>


* There are six players on the Giants’ injury report and only one of them, RB
Ahmad Bradshaw, was not on the field for practice. All the
others participated on a limited basis: DE Justin Tuck
(shoulder), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), CB Corey
Webster (hamstring), QB Eli Manning (stomach bug) and
LB Mark Herzlich (ankle). Herzlich hasn’t played or practiced
since Nov. 28, when he suffered a high ankle sprain against the Saints in New
Orleans. </p>


“It’s up to the doctors, I can’t really make that decision,’’ Herzlich said.
“It feels good. I can accelerate. We’ll see.’’</p>


* LT Will Beatty paid a visit to the training facility and
said his recovery from surgery to repair a detached retina is on schedule. “It’s
100 percent recovery forecast,’’ Beatty said. “I’ll be back out for training
camp, for workouts, for the offseason program. The only unfortunate thing is I
get to miss the Super Bowl with the team.’’ Read more...
</p></div>MANNING MISSES PART OF PRACTICE WITH STOMACH BUG (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/gut_wrencher_rz55d12bKkc24VsrnphluJ)

Excerpt: "Dave Tollefson shrugged off any worries about the Giants' under-the-weather
quarterback. He figures there’s an Eli Elixir that will get him better
quickly.<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">


“It’s Eli Manning. He’s probably got some type of special, like, virus pills
that only Eli Manning can use,” the defensive end said yesterday. “I’d be sick
for two weeks, but he’ll be good [today].”</p>


Manning missed the latter part of yesterday’s practice with what Tom Coughlin
called “a stomach bug.” The coach said Manning worked in the beginning of
practice before leaving with only two more practices before Sunday’s NFC
Championship against the 49ers.
</p>“Hopefully it’s just a 24-hour deal and he’ll feel better [today],” Coughlin
said.<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 what if Manning doesn’t? If his bug doesn’t get squished, he could have
to sit out part of today’s or tomorrow’s practices as well. He could also be
dealing with dehydration or loss of appetite, which would affect him.</p>


Manning is surely the last player the Giants want to be dealing with
anything, and his teammates weren’t the slightest bit concerned. Guards Chris
Snee and Kevin Boothe said they were not aware Manning was ill.</p>


“He was in all the meetings and he was out there for the jog-through.
Mentally, he’s into it,” Snee said. “If there’s one guy who can miss a Wednesday
practice, mentally I think it’s No. 10. I’m pretty sure he was in here

Mod_C
01-19-2012, 10:43 AM
Busy news cycle

lttaylor56
01-19-2012, 11:08 AM
Thanks RF. Time for reckoning is getting closer. Let's go Blue

NYG4ME
01-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Thanks for posting!

ashleymarie
01-19-2012, 01:13 PM
Good Read. So happy Eli is back.

ANON837
01-19-2012, 01:33 PM
Appreciate the read. Gotta start my day the Big Blue way.

GameTime
01-19-2012, 01:48 PM
thanks Ro.....</P>


its getting closer......</P>

RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 02:33 PM
thanks Ro.....</p>


its getting closer......</p>

Hard to believe we came from being media-hyped "also ran's" before the season to top dog in the NFC East and now we're playing in the NFC Championship game. But here we are!

RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 02:33 PM
Appreciate the read. Gotta start my day the Big Blue way.


[B]

RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 02:34 PM
Good Read. So happy Eli is back.

He's made of pretty stout stuff, that Eli.

RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 02:34 PM
Thanks for posting!


[Y]

RoanokeFan
01-19-2012, 02:35 PM
Thanks RF. Time for reckoning is getting closer. Let's go Blue

Destiny awaits [;)]

derekunion28
01-19-2012, 09:17 PM
thanks rf

G-Men Surg.
01-20-2012, 01:27 AM
Thanks RF !

RoanokeFan
01-20-2012, 08:07 AM
thanks rf

[B]

RoanokeFan
01-20-2012, 08:07 AM
Thanks RF !

[Y]