PDA

View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2012 - 3:15 P.M.



RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 10:39 AM
<u><font size="4" color="#ff0000"><font size="6" face="Verdana"><font color="#0000FF">H</font>E</font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">R</font><font size="6" face="Verdana">E </font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">N</font><font size="6" face="Verdana">O</font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">W</font><font size="6" face="Verdana"> T</font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">H</font><font size="6" face="Verdana">E </font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">N</font><font size="6" face="Verdana">E</font><font size="6" color="#0000FF" face="Verdana">W</font><font size="6" face="Verdana">S</font>

</font></u><u><font size="4" color="#ff0000">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font size="4" color="#ff0000">. </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
NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
<font color="#0000FF">
PLAYOFFS 3 - 0: ON TO INDIANAPOLIS!
</font></font></u></font></font></font><u>
</u><u><font face="Verdana">
</font></u></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>
<div><div><div><div>
GIANTS' ANTREL ROLLE SAYS HE'S COOL WITH NBC'S ANALYST CHRIS COLLINSWORTH AFTER "BARBQUE" COMMENT (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_antrel_rolle_says_hes_c.html)

"In Week 14, Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster got mixed up on a call, allowing
the Cowboys' Dez Bryant to <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_antrel_rolle_continues.html">score
an uncontested 50-yard touchdown</a> against the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants)' confused secondary. Cris
Collinsworth, calling the game for NBC, said Rolle got "barbecued" on the
play.<div class="entry-content">


"Get out of here with that, man," Rolle said in the days after the
comment.</p>


Today, Collinsworth was here for some information gathering in advance of
calling Super Bowl XLVI. He and Rolle had a brief chat on the field, during
which both shook hands and seemed to be conversing with no issues.</p>


"We’re cool," Rolle said in the locker room after practice. "Like I said man,
there’s no hard feelings in this league. Sometimes people want to take things
and put spin on it or whatever the case may be, but there’s no hard feelings.
We’ve always gotten along."</p>


To be fair, there wasn't much spin put on Rolle's comments. He was upset with
the way he was portrayed because he felt he was the only one who played things
properly. He came down to play the hook area in a Cover-3, while Webster also
stayed short in a Cover-2 look. That left the deep left side of the defense wide
open.</p>


Rolle and Collinsworth have apparently hashed things out since then.</p>


"Same thing with your brothers and sisters. If you have a disagreement that
doesn’t mean you fall out forever," Rolle said. "We didn’t have a falling out,
just a disagreement. I said what I said, he said what he said. It’s over with.
We’re both men. We can take it."</p></div>PATRIOTS' RB KEVIN FAULK DISMISSES OSI UMENYIORA'S BAD BLOOD WITH MATT LIGHT (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/patriots_rb_kevin_faulk_dismis.html)

"It's been four years since these teams met in the Super Bowl, but Giants
defensive end Osi Umenyiora's feelings for Patriots left tackle Matt Light
evidently have not thawed.


"There's something he does that reeeeally gets under my skin," Umenyiora said
today in East Rutherford.</p>


Light walked through the Patriots locker room into the shower area before he
could be asked about Umenyiora's take on him. But running back Kevin Faulk, who
will be playing in his fifth Super Bowl with Light this year, waved off
Umenyiora's comments.</p>


"He tried to pull the same thing the last time, so," Faulk said of Umenyiora.
"It ain’t relevant to us right now, we’re going to play football. Whatever he’s
talking about, that’s bulls---."</p>


Faulk said he "never really paid attention" to Umenyiora's similar gripes
about Light before Super Bowl XLII. But he paid enough attention to hear them.
Is Light a dirty player, as Umenyiora alleged before the last Super Bowl and
perhaps hinted at again? Faulk scoffed.</p>


"This is the first I’ve heard of it," he said. "Well, my bad, this is the
second I’ve heard of it. From the same person, so that just lets you know."</p>


Right guard Brian Waters preferred to stay out of it, noting that any sort of
mind games are minor in the scope of a football game.</p>


"All the other little bitty games that are played through the course of a
game?" Waters, a 12-year veteran, said. "There definitely will be some of that
gamesmanship at some point. But honestly, if we know who to block, and the
physical part is finishing and putting out and not getting outworked, then I
feel like we've got a good chance . What he’s talking about, I don’t know. You’d
have to ask Matt, and I’m sure they’ll be able to explain a little bit better
than me."</p>


Giants defensive end Justin Tuck also stirred the pot a bit. Asked about
getting to quarterback Tom Brady, he explained, "the way to kill a snake is to
take off its head."</p>


Receiver Deion Branch chuckled good-naturedly.</p>


"Hey, if that’s their analogy that they’re taking, then that’s what it is,"
he said. "I think our job is to go out and protect that guy, protect that snake.
That’s Justin, he’s a great player. Trust me, we truly respect that guy, respect
what he’s doing for his team. But we can’t worry about that part, we have to
worry about what we’re doing. The snake will do his part."</p>GIANTS' OSI UMENYIORA VOWS TO "REKINDLE" RIVALRY WITH PATRIOTS' MATT LIGHT (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_osi_umenyiora_vows_to_r.html)

"Four years ago, Osi Umenyiora started the pre-Super Bowl XLII chatter by <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2008/01/osi_just_wants_brady_to_be_dir.html">accusing
the Patriots' Matt Light of some questionable tactics</a> in the Week 17 matchup
between the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants) and Patriots.


Today, in another parallel between the Super Bowl seasons, Umenyiora is doing
it again after <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants-patriots_game_review_th.html">a
late shove by Light on Umenyiora started a scrum</a> late in the second quarter
of the Giants' victory in Foxboro in Week 9.</p>


Apparently, the rivalry is as hot as ever.</p>


"Yeah, man, it is what it is. Me and him, I’ve actually fought him twice,
actual real fight on the football field, twice," Umenyiora said. "Me and him, we
have history. We’re going to rekindle it on Sunday."</p>


The last time Umenyiora talked about Light's tactics publicly, the two were
rather well-behaved in the Super Bowl. On that day in Glendale, Ariz., Umenyiora
had a sack and a handful of pressures as part of a relentless attack on Tom
Brady.</p>


But this past game, there was the big tussle after Light shoved Umenyiora
over Tuck following a sack by Jason Pierre-Paul. Part of what angered Umenyiora
in '07 was how Light shoved him late around piles, which could lead to lower-leg
injuries.</p>


No penalty was called on light (or anybody, for that matter) on the play in
Week 9. Umenyiora emerged from the pile with a smile on his face as he barked in
Light's direction.</p>


On the next series, the two traded shoves after a play. In the third quarter.
Light got away with a shove to Umenyiora's face mask, though he was so busy
putting his hands to his rival's chin that he missed Michael Boley looping
around for a sack and a forced fumble.</p>


"I don’t know what it is he does but it’s something he’s doing that really
gets under my skin," Umenyiora said, extending the "reeeeeealy" part. "And I’m
not that type of guy. He’s probably the only person I’ve ever foiught on the
football field.</p>


"I think he’s more important to his team than I am to mine right now so if we
can both fight we’ll both get kicked out and 'JPP' and Tuck will have a field
day out there."</p>


Umenyiora was joking on that last one, laughing through the end of that that
reply and the next one when asked if he'd actually take a dive like that during
the Super Bowl.</p>


"I’ll be good to go," he quipped of sitting out the game to ensure Light it
out as well. "I’ll be okay."</p>

##

PATRIOTS' VINCE WILFORK WILL POSE A CHALLENGE TO GIANTS' OFFENSIVE LINE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/patriots_vince_wilfork_will_gi.html)

Excerpt: "Vince Wilfork’s teammates know what Vince Wilfork’s opponents see, and they
don’t envy the guys lining up across from him.


“They’ve got a load,” New England Patriots defensive end Mark Anderson said
about the Giants’ offensive line. “Quick. His size, he looks like he might be
slow if you don’t know him, but once he gets on the field ....”</p>


The Baltimore Ravens could finish that thought, after the Patriots’
(generously listed) 325-pound defensive lineman took over <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/patriots_down_ravens_23-20_as.html">the
AFC Championship Game</a> last week. The game was vindication for a 31st-ranked
Patriots defense that had been doubted and criticized all season, deemed unfit
to make the Super Bowl, even with Tom Brady on the other side of the ball.</p>


And leading the charge was Wilfork, the “elder statesman” as coach Bill
Belichick called him, with a sack, three tackles for a loss and two key plays
that suffocated a critical fourth-quarter drive by the Ravens.</p>


He lined up not just inside but also at end. He ate up double and triple
teams. And he is now the problem of the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ offensive line.</p>


“I play hard every week,” Wilfork said. “Sometimes I make plays that are
noticeable, and sometimes I don’t. Last week was one of those things where the
plays I made were pretty good plays. But we have to turn the chapter.”</p>


Except Belichick thought Sunday’s performance was something extra special for
Wilfork, “one of his best games” in eight seasons as a Patriot — making sure to
note he’s had a lot of good ones.</p>


Belichick cited the infamous wild-card playoff loss to the Ravens in the 2009
season, when Wilfork excelled despite the outcome. Sunday, Belichick said, was
reminiscent. With the Ravens in Patriots territory late in the fourth quarter,
Wilfork tackled running back Ray Rice for a loss on third down, then plowed back
the center to pressure Joe Flacco into an incompletion on fourth down." </p>D;ALESSANDRO: GIANTS' JOHN MARA HAS BROUGHT HIS FATHER'S TEAM INTO A NEW ERA (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/dalessandro_giants_john_mara_h.html)

"Here’s a question that 50-something males don’t get every day: Did anyone
ever tell you that you really need to be more like your mom than your dad?


John Mara gave one of those sudden, staccato, high-octave chuckles that
lasted about five seconds.</p>


“Oh, no, please — that I cannot do,” the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ owner said, still unable to erase
the image of his mom — the redoubtable Ann — <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/after_giants_victory_ann_mara.html">giving
Terry Bradshaw the The Big Lecture</a> last Sunday at Candlestick.</p>


“But you know what the worst thing about that was — it wasn’t so much what
mom did, it was the expression on my face. It was like I was watching something
happen on live TV, and I’m powerless to stop it, and the cameras catch me
searching around for an escape. ...” </p>


No harm done, she’s still adorable, and he’s still the owner of the Super
Bowl-bound NFC champions. </p>


We only brought it up near the end of a 20-minute chin-wag Thursday because a
discussion detour about a certain team that shares MetLife Stadium proved beyond
any reasonable doubt that this guy is truly his father’s son — classy, gracious,
discreet.</p>


To wit: “The Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) still have a good
team. They just ran into a bad stretch, like ours was in the third quarter” of
the season, Mara said. “Remember, talent level is so even — it just comes down
to who stays healthy, who has the right staff, and who has the franchise
quarterback. </p>


“And if you have those pieces, you have a chance in the NFL. I think we have
them, and in nine days we’ll see whether it’s enough.” </p>


Okay, wait, let’s go one more round with this, now that Mara is headed to his
second Super Bowl as president and CEO, and can’t be touched by the Foghorns of
Florham Park: Shouldn’t the Giants feel just a little responsible for what has
happened to the Jets, just by setting the bar at the level that forces them to
overreach? </p>


“It’s always wrong to be influenced by (the competition) in the decisions you
make,” Mara said. “That’s why we strive to maintain stability — don’t worry
about the next day’s headlines, don’t go crazy over free agency just to own the
back page, make decisions for the long term. And we believe it’s the right
philosophy.”</p>


It’s this philosophy that punched the Giants’ ticket to Indianapolis, of
course. And Mara has been asked a lot lately whether that comes directly from
his dad, who has been gone nearly 6½ years now. </p>


When you talk about the history of the NFL’s flagship franchise, in a very
fundamental way, you are talking about the life of Wellington Mara — which in
football terms encompasses a lot of good, and a lot of not-so-good."
</p>

Yes, it’s hard to be objective about the league’s great Augustus, the fellow
who spoke softly but whose words helped shape the league over seven decades,
even as his own team floundered during “those very dark days, from ’64 to 1980,”
as his son called them Thursday.</p>


But now you sense that they’ve crossed over into another Giants era — yes,
permanently. It seems that even in this age of parity, you can rely on one thing
in this strange league: The Giants will always be competitive, they’ll always
have the ingenuity to rebound from the occasional 8-8, regardless of the
vicissitudes of the world’s most competitive sporting stage.</p>


And this is true for one reason: The guy at the top, The Duke’s son, is a
model of stability and rationality.</p>


“The one thing that motivates me is that rough stretch in the ’70s, which was
a torturous period for all of us, but especially him,” John Mara said. “The
memories from those years still burn within me. I never want to go back to that.
Yes, you’ll always have ups and downs, and you can’t win every year. But you can
contend every year — the Patriots have been able to do it. The Steelers. It’s a
place that we want to get to, and I think we can.” </p>


They’re getting closer, is our point. Even during a season in which we
expected mediocrity, every component in Mara’s organization found a synergy that
created this unlikely 5-0 blitz through the winter of 2012, and it has the
owner’s fingerprints all over it. </p>


In ’07-08, even though John had already taken over most of the operation’s
responsibilities years earlier, it still felt like his dad’s team, to an extent
— much of it was put together during the patriarch’s gentle years, even if we
all know how it was John Mara and Ernie Accorsi who had to talk him into Eli
Manning in ’03. </p>


But there can be no misperception in the case of this group. It’s John Mara’s
team. It would be worth finding out how Ann Mara feels about it, as she was
uniquely situated to see the transition, but the dear is recuperating from a
broken shoulder she suffered Monday after falling in church.</p>


“It’s painful, but you know she’ll try to work through it,” her son said.
“There’s no doubt she’s going to make the trip, though — you can bet on that.”
</p>


Analysts beware."</p>GIANTS VS. PATRIOTS SUPER BOWL: ANTREL ROLLE SOUNDS HUMBLER THIS TIME (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_patriots_super_bowl.html)

Excerpt: "Before playing the New England Patriots back in Week 9, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants_antrel_rolle_kenny_phil.html">Antrel
Rolle was the one</a> who said the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ opponents on their schedule should
fear them. He was the one who called pesky slot receiver Wes Welker human, and
the one who labeled the Patriots’ inflated offense “nothing spectacular.”


“I’m confident every week,” Rolle said back then. “That’s who I am.” </p>


Today, the same man stood before reporters with the same opponent looming.
But in a way, it didn’t sound like the same brash Giants safety from a few weeks
ago. </p>


“I get extremely nervous, I get extremely nervous before playing games,
sometimes to the point where I feel like I can’t even stand up,” Rolle said in
the middle of a bustling Giants locker room today. “It can be going against
whoever, and I’ll still feel the same way.”</p>


With the Patriots circling back for another crack at the Giants, it seems
Rolle has taken a different approach, from decidedly confident to tacitly
humble. Despite beating New England, 24-20, Rolle said there’s no confidence to
be gained from that. After heading home to Florida for a brief recess following
the NFC Championship Game victory, he said he touched down at the airport and
immediately sharpened his focus. </p>


Nothing about the Giants’ improbable five-game winning streak makes him feel
invincible, he swears, adding that “you never feel like you can’t lose. You can
only feel like you prepared yourself enough." Read more...
</p>ELI MANNING'S PROTECTION IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR GIANTS AFTER 49ERS SACKS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_patriots_eli_manning.html)

"Eli Manning stepped up in the pocket, assuming he had evaded San Francisco
49ers rookie sack sensation Aldon Smith barreling past right tackle Kareem
McKenzie off the edge.


A split second later, Smith blindsided him with the force of a Mack truck,
snapping Manning’s head back, forcing out a grunt from Manning drawn out on
slow-motion replay and flattening him face first for the 49ers’ fourth sack of
the game.</p>


No one would blame Manning if he didn’t get up. It was one of several jarring
hits the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ iron man found himself
on the wrong side of. But with the help of center David Baas pulling him up, he
was on his feet again and took two more sacks in <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_edge_49ers_20-17_as_law.html">last
Sunday’s NFC championship game.</a> He shrugged off each hit in his typical
indifferent manner, maintaining his poise in the pocket for 64 dropbacks. </p>


It was an example of courage and fortitude his coach and teammates raved
about afterward. It’s also something they don’t want to see on Super Bowl on
Sunday. </p>


“We’ve done a really good job the majority of the year of not allowing people
to get to the quarterback,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “(Sunday) night wasn’t that
type of an example. </p>


“There were too many hits on the quarterback. (Manning) stands in there and
he’ll take the blows, he’ll get right back up, he gets right back in the huddle.
He’s the same positive influence on everybody around him.”</p>


In the weeks leading up to Sunday, the Giants offensive line had protected
Manning well despite the lack of a consistent run game. The six sacks
surrendered against the 49ers were as many as the offensive line had allowed in
the four previous games combined. </p>


But the 49ers featured one of the league’s elite pass rushes — perhaps second
only to the Giants’ own — so the Giants’ offensive line should have an easier
time with the New England Patriots, who apply more pressure up the middle than
on the edges. However, that doesn’t mean New England — with two weeks at Bill
Belichick’s disposal — won’t find ways to get to Manning.</p>


“The challenge really lies in the talent they have on the defense — they have
a very stout, very good front and that’s the challenge,” guard Chris Snee said.
“We have two weeks to prepare for everything they throw at us, so there should
be no excuse.”
</p>In the teams’ first meeting in Week 9, the Patriots didn’t record a sack, but
Manning’s ability to avoid them came at a price. Manning was noticeably
uncomfortable for much of the game, throwing off his back foot a number of
times, including when he underthrew Mario Manningham in the endzone from the
5-yard line, allowing Kyle Arrington to intercept the pass late in the third
quarter.


A touchdown would’ve given the Giants a 17-3 lead. Instead, the Patriots
capitalized on the turnover, going 80 yards on seven plays in 2:41 to tie the
game at 10. </p>


Last week, the Patriots recorded three sacks against the Ravens — safety
James Ihedigbo, defensive linemen Mark Anderson and defensive tackle Vince
Wilfork each brought Joe Flacco down. And the Giants offensive line will have to
pay the most attention to Wilfork. </p>


Generously listed at 325 pounds, Wilfork has 2½ sacks in two playoff games
and has been a force in recent weeks — both at nose tackle and defensive end in
the Patriots’ 3-4 scheme — despite confronting plenty of double teams. </p>


And as tough as Manning is, a clean shot from the massive Wilfork would put
his patience and pain tolerance on the brink. </p>


“He’s a tough guy,” Snee said of Manning. “He kept getting up; he never got
discouraged with us. He was already positive about the situation, but I don’t
know if I would have been if I got hit in the head that much.”</p>GIANTS HAPPY TO PLAY PATRIOTS IN DOMED STADIUM (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_happy_to_play_patriots.html)

"When these two teams met in the Super Bowl in 2008, the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) surely would’ve loved to play
outdoors and have the elements play a role in stopping the explosive New England
Patriots offense. They ultimately didn’t need it in Glendale, Ariz., but with
the Giants’ run-first mentality, it wouldn’t have hurt.


This time around, the Giants have a prolific, pass-first offense of their own
and a vaunted pass rush predicated on speed, so they welcome playing Super Bowl
XLVI indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.</p>


“We can play in any weather, but we probably prefer to be in a dome with the
fast turf and not have to worry about Mother Nature,” RB D.J. Ware said. “And
that allows players to keep their gloves dry, keep their jerseys dry. Stuff like
that helps out as far as our offense goes.”</p>


The Giants were able to deal with the elements at soggy Candlestick Park on
Sunday, but the numbers show their offense plays better in domes. In three dome
games this season, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has averaged 360 pass yards
and the offense has averaged 445 total yards. </p>


This will be the Patriots’ first dome game this season.</p>


“That mud slows you down and sticks to your cleats, gets your shoes wet, and
you feel like you’re carrying around bricks,” Ware said. “It’s one of those
things where if you’re dry you feel faster and better. If you’re wet and
sluggish then it’s one of those long, grind-it-out games.”</p>


Safety Deon Grant, quite frankly, is tired of losing to wide
receiver Deion Branch in the playoffs. </p>


Grant, Branch’s teammate for three seasons in Seattle, has been knocked out
of the postseason two times by Branch — in Super Bowl XXXVIII as a member of the
Carolina Panthers and in a 2005 Wild Card game as a member of the Jacksonville
Jaguars. Both losses were against the Patriots." Read more... </p>ELI MANNING PRAISED BY TOM BRADY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/eli_manning_praised_by_tom_bra.html)

"The New England <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/veteran_patriots_continue_to_d.html">Patriots
have had no interest all wee</a>k in revisiting their memories of their Super
Bowl XLII loss to the Giants.


But one topic they had no trouble effusing on? How well Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) quarterback Eli Manning has been
playing.</p>


Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called Manning a "great quarterback," and
coach Bill Belichick said he’s had a "great year."</p>


"I’ve seen firsthand what he can do in the fourth quarter of these games,"
Brady said, referencing Manning's game-winning drives against the Patriots in
Super Bowl XLII and Week 9 this year. "He’s done a great job of bringing his
team back, a great leader — you always hear that coming out of New York. The
guys have a lot of respect for him, and so do I."</p>


In the teams’ November meeting, Manning threw for 250 yards and two
touchdowns — both in the final 3:03. Manning was without receiver Hakeem Nicks
and center David Baas in that game, while the Patriots lost safety Patrick Chung
and linebacker Brandon Spikes.</p>


Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork called the Giants offense "probably one of
the best offenses we’ve seen from every aspect." He said he has seen Manning
grow, particularly in the way he has eliminated "boneheaded mistakes."
</p>"Eli is playing probably one of the best footballs of any quarterback in the
game," Wilfork said. "(There have been) a lot of questions about Peyton; now his
little brother Eli, he has stepped it up big time. He can always be compared to
some of the greats in the game now because of his production. He took that team
over, and not saying he’s the only one, but his play alone moved them in the
right direction."


Brady said he was impressed by the way Manning handled pressure from the
49ers defense in the NFC Championship Game. Manning was sacked six times and
absorbed 12 hits, according to the box score.</p>


"He was getting drilled and just stood in there, kept making the throws,
trusted in his protection and came though when they needed him," Brady said.
"He’s certainly a great leader for that team and plays at an extremely high
level … and he seems to always do it down the stretch. I have a ton of respect
for him."</p>GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM SAYS STRENGTH OF WIDE RECEIVER CORPS IS IN ITS YOUTHFUL HUNGER (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_mario_manningham_says_s.html)

"Mario Manningham just couldn't quite do it.


He was asked to tout the "We get no respect" card again — just days before he
and his Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) teammates depart for
Super Bowl XLVI — and came close. Television reporters with cameras over their
shoulders and microphones in their hands wanted to know if this group of Giants
wide receivers was the best in the game. No, not the game. The entire NFL.</p>


He paused.</p>


"In some people's eyes, we're second," Manningham said, before adding: "To
Green Bay. Or the Saints. I feel like we're up there with Green Bay. That's who
I feel like we're up there with."</p>


There is little doubt left that the Giants' trio of wide receivers — Hakeem
Nicks, Victor Cruz and Manningham — are among the elite units in the NFL.
Simmering beneath the surface is a small desire for respect, but for right now
they are content to let their exact worth be determined by debates in bar rooms
and sports talk radio.</p>


The group is young and craving its first Super Bowl title. Because remember:
None of them were around four years ago for the Super Bowl XLII win over the New
England Patriots. </p>


"Not saying (other teams) aren't hungry, but we're hungry because we're so
young," Manningham said. "We haven't been here before — none of us, ever played
a playoff game. My first year (in 2008), I was inactive, but there's nothing
like being out there playing. Yeah, I feel like we like being young. Not
sticking out like we did the whole year as a receiving corps. I feel like they
know who we (are) now."</p>

One of the biggest pieces to the success of the unit so far this season, has
been the absence of egos. Something that rarely is found in NFL meeting
rooms.</p>


"Swallow your pride and just know what you're here for," Manningham said.
"You're here to win. As long you're winning, you can't complain."</p>


For Manningham, it has been particularly gratifying to see the Giants wide
receiving unit reach new heights this season. When the year began, many only saw
Nicks as the team's lone threat and imagined plenty of games where quarterback
Eli Manning would be shut down.</p>


Instead, Cruz emerged alongside of Nicks as the team's biggest deep threat.
Manningham has added an extra dynamic — especially in the playoffs, where he has
caught a big late-game touchdown in every win.</p>


Now, three years after the Giants parted ways with their last big-time
receiver Plaxico Burress after his gun incident in a Manhattan nightclub, the
team is flourishing at the position again.</p>


"I feel like ever since Plax left, that's how it always is," Manningham said
when asked if people will start believing in the wide receiver position now.
"Every year, we've found a way to show everybody how good we can be and how good
we are."</p>

VETERAN PATRIOTS CONTINUE TO DISMISS SUPER BOWL XLII TALK (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/veteran_patriots_continue_to_d.html)
</p>Excerpt: "Add three more veteran New England Patriots — running back Kevin Faulk, tackle
Matt Light and receiver Wes Welker — to the list of those who have no interest
in revisiting their Super Bowl XLII loss.


Light good-naturedly dismissed questions about that game twice with a wink.
</p>


"I don't even think I was here in 2007," Light said.</p>


Later: "Again, I don’t think I was there for that one."</p>


All three of the players were with the team in 2007, among the seven
holdovers currently on New England's 53-man roster.</p>


Faulk couldn't understand why the subject of seeking revenge for that game,
in this year's Super Bowl XLVI rematch, was even brought up.</p>


"Why? How?" Faulk said. "Four years ago. So we were out here for four years,
worrying about the New York Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)? It
doesn't make any sense."</p>

He added: "We could take more from the game we lost against them in the
regular season than the Super Bowl four years ago. That has no turnover at
all." Read more...
</p>JASON PIERRE-PAUL SAYS TIME'S ALREADY DRAGGING BEFORE SUPER BOWL XLVI (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/jason_pierre-paul_says_time_al.html)

"On Friday, <a>Jason
Pierre-Paul said last week seemed to be taking forever</a>. The follow-up
question was about what he expected the two weeks before the Super Bowl to feel
like.<div class="entry-content">


“Yeah, we’re going to be ready for that (game, too),” the Giants’ defensive
end said then.</p>


Oh, he’s ready. With 10 days left before kickoff, this time period feels like
it’s dragging for Pierre-Paul.</p>


“It does. I’m ready to play,” he said today. “Just see who’s going to be
Super Bowl champions.”</p>


Still, Pierre-Paul realizes the down time is valuable for some people,
including <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/hakeem_nicks_david_baas_among.html">the
seven players who sat out practice today</a>: center David Baas (abdomen/neck),
wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring),
linebacker Jacquian Williams (foot), linebacker Chase Blackburn (calf), running
back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and cornerback/returner Will Blackmon (knee). </p>


“It’s kind of a time for everybody in here to get right, give everybody in
here time to get healthy and do what they have to do to get healthy,”
Pierre-Paul said. “We have to be ready man. Monday we get out there and then
media day, three days, and other than that the last three days we have to
practice hard. And it’s going to be a great Super Bowl.”</p>


* * * *</p>


TE Jake Ballard (knee) said he’s feeling much better. He’s been open and
honest with his injury and the look he gave when he said that indicated he’s
truly feeling much better."
</p></div>GIANTS' CENTER DAVID BASS STILL RFECEIVING TREATMENT FOR NECK ISSUE, EXPECTS TO PRACTICE TOORROW (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_c_david_baas_still_rece.html)

"Chase Blackburn was listed on the injury report as having a calf injury, but
based on all the various bumps and bruises he's had, he wasn't sure which the
Giants would mark him down with. <div class="entry-content">


Still, he's confident he'll be ready to go full speed tomorrow. </p>


"I was out today, for whatever reason it was just one of those days, I don't
know what they put me on the list for, but it's just one of those days," he
said. "I'll be back tomorrow, I'll go everything, i'll be fine tomorrow." </p>


Blackburn said there wasn't any ailment in particular that's bothering him
more than the other and that there should be no lingering issues come game time.
</p>


For C David Bass, who was out of practice with an ab contusion he suffered
against the 49ers, he said he's also still receiving treatment for a neck issue
that surfaced in early December, but that, like Blackburn, expects to be active
in practice tomorrow. </p>


The injury report was amended to add his neck injury. </p>


"I got my neck issue and it should be fine," Baas said. "I mean, massage, ice
all the normal stuff. But yeah, it'll be good, should be back out there tomorrow
doing stuff." </p>


Tyler Sash, who suffered a concussion against the 49ers, said that he passed
all the requisite tests and that he "should be fine." The injury occurred in the
fourth quarter on Sunday. </p>


Mark Herzlich, who returned to practice last week from fractured ankle, but
was inactive vs. 49ers, added this: "Feeling good. No problems with the ankle.
It's like a numbers thing right now so we'll see kind of where the numbers out
everyone and then if i can help, then great."</p></div>IN GIANTS-PATRIOTS REMATCH, PATRIOTS' FANS FEAR HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/in_giants-patriots_super_bowl.html)

Excerpt: "Eleven days to go and they’re already rattled in Boston.


The fear fairly reeks from the headlines: “There’s no way Patriots lose to
Giants again, right?” “Will the mistakes of Super Bowl XLII come back?” </p>


And this curious downer, which seemed less a comment on the past than a
prediction of the future: “Patriots can’t avoid Super loss to Giants.” </p>


You think? </p>


Actually, the Boston sports writer meant to chide fans and players to
remember their Super Bowl Alamo — a 17-14 loss to the Boys in Blue in 2008 — so
as not to repeat the past in their Feb. 5 rematch in Super Bowl XLVI. </p>


But New Englanders, especially sports fans, have long memories (see “Bambino,
Curse of, 1920-2004”). “There are a lot of people here who wanted San Francisco
to win (in the NFC Championship),” said Boston native and Patriots fan Eileen
Marr, “because we’re afraid of the Giants.”</p>


There it was. Plain and simple.</p>


New England blinked first.</p>


If you think there’s more than a little whiff of fear in the frigid New
England air or concern about — dare we say it — the curse that haunted the Red
Sox for 84 years after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, then you’d be
right.</p>


And it’s not just the writers. Anxiety is already bubbling up on Patriots
message boards. One fan wrote to the Boston Herald, “giants are scary, brady
will be on the ground a lot, eli is much better than he was 4 yrs ago.”</p>


Another wrote, “giants are peaking right now, pats are not.”</p>


And a third added, “history will repeat itself, AGAIN! … Giants are good on
both sides of the ball, hope we have the schemes to overcome this team, just
being real about it.” Read more...</p>

SUPER BOWL LINKS: FUTURES BETS AT 80-1 ODDS HAS VEGAS WORRIED ABOUT A GIANTS' WIN (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/super_bowl_links_futures_bets.html)</p>

Excerpt: "When the Giants lost four straight between weeks 10 and 13, Las Vegas sports
books boosted the odds on a futures bet for a Giants Super Bowl win to 80-1. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/sports/football/on-a-futures-bet-las-vegas-loses-if-the-giants-win.html?hp">Now
bookmakers are worried about their exposure if the Giants win</a>, according to
a New York Times article today. </p>


In sports betting, futures bets are bets on a sport's champion made well
before the championships, with odds varying according to developments along the
way. The Giants were at 30-1 just after last year's Super Bowl, according to the
Times, but that losing streak made the odds shoot up. </p>


Anybody holding a betting slip at 80-1? Comment below." Read more...</p>http://www.nj.com/giants/
</div></div></div></div>
<font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS
</u></font><div><div>
GIANTS' SUPER BOWL XLII RING FROM TIFFANY'S ON SALE AT $49,995.00 AT CHAMPIONSHIP-RINGS.COM (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/giants-super-bowl-xlii-ring-tiffany-sale-47-995-championship-rings-net-article-1.1012895)

"Giants fans who are feeling nostalgic about Super Bowl XLII and have about 50
grand burning a hole in their pocket now have an opportunity to own a piece of
Big Blue history.
<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">


A diamond-studded Tiffany ring presented to the Giants
players after their upset of the previously unbeaten Patriots is up for grabs
for the bargain-basement price of $47,995 (http://www.championship-rings.net/2007_New_York_Giants_Super_Bowl_XLII_Ring_p/rnfl08giantspl.htm).

"For whatever reason, back in 2008,
we received eight players selling their rings within six months after they
received them," Tim Robbins (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tim+Robbins) of
Championship-Rings.net (http://www.championship-rings.net/Default.asp)said of the Super Bowl XLII
champion Giants. "The majority of them were still playing for the team, which is
rather unusual."

One of Robbins' clients scooped up the ring back then,
but last November, looking to make a few bucks and cash in on the holiday
season, decided to sell the ring, perhaps discouraged by Big Blue's mid-season
swoon. Now it's part of an inventory of about 1,200 championship rings that
range from NCAA championships to the Super Bowl.

Robbins says that rings
awarded to team staff members -- which may not be the same as the ones players
receive -- are easier to come across than player rings, and he was taken aback
by the number of Giants looking to unload the white gold and diamond ring,
manufactured by the famous silversmith that also crafts the Vince Lombardi
trophy each year.

"The Giants rings, being made by Tiffany, it was a
little surprising to see that many. But there are so many die-hard New York
Giants fans that it didn’t take that much time to sell them at all," he
said.

But this particular ring -- dubbed a "10-table ring" by Michael Strahan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Strahan)
because he wanted people to be able to see it from ten tables away -- is one of
the many victims of the slumping economy, Robbins points out, with no takers
after being on the market for nearly three months. Normally, because of the
rabid New York fan base, rings "don't have a tendency to last very long," he
says.

In 2008, when the ring was presented to the Giants, Tiffany &amp;
Co. said that it had a value of over $25,000. The face of the ring features
three Super Bowl trophies, one for each of the team's championships. One side
has the score of the game (Giants 17, Patriots 14) and the other says "Eleven
Straight on the Road," a nod to the NFL record set by the Giants in 2007.
Strahan, Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning), <a title="Amani Toomer" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Amani+Toomer">Amani
Toomer</a> and Shaun O'Hara (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Shaun+O%27Hara) made up a
four-player group who consulted on the design.

Who did the ring
originally belong to, you ask? Robbins won't disclose that sort of info
publicly, saying only that the player was not a starter in the Super Bowl.
"They’re all champions in my consideration," he says.

The privacy issue
is one his company stands by firmly, citing that players sell their rings for a
variety of reasons, not just due to financial hardship. "You have some players
where their religion prohibits them from wearing jewelery," Robbins said, "so
they just don't need the ring." But because who owned the ring factors into its
price, Robbins does provide complete information on the ring to potential buyers
who that call his Tennessee office.

"Championship rings are the best
investments in sports memorabilia," said Robbins. "It’s a commodity, it’s
symbolic, and it’s the most personal item you can have (tying you) to your team
or (favorite) player.

"And if you wear this out, it’s the best icebreaker
in the world."</p></div>
##

LUPICA: NO QUIT IN TOM COUGHLIN (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-coach-tom-coughlin-thinking-retirement-article-1.1012747)

"It is near 7 o’clock now, the last coaching meeting of the day over, at least
for now, and all that really means to Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) is that
he is one work day closer to Indianapolis. He has done this kind of work a long
time, and I know him a long time, but maybe only Tom Coughlin himself knows how
much another trip to the Super Bowl means to him. Even as he really only wants
to talk about how much it means to everybody around him.<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">


On the phone now I tell him about something a Giants fan I know said to me
the other day, the fan saying his words that if Coughlin wins this Super Bowl he
might “ride off into the sunset.”</p>


The answer comes at you faster than Victor Cruz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz).</p>


“I have honestly never thought about doing that,” he says. “And I’ll tell you
why: I am having the time of my life.”</p>


Then he is talking about his hero, Coach John Wooden (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/John+Wooden), who
always said that if it’s your choice, nobody has to tell you when it’s time to
walk away. That you just know.</p>


“I’ll say it again,” Coughlin, 65, says. “I’m having the time of my life. Our
job here isn’t done, obviously. But as a coach, this is what you’re always
looking for in sports, players who never stopped believing in each other, who
stayed together through tough times, who are playing their best, for and with
each other, when the games matter the most.”</p>


Coughlin laughs.</p>


“When I tell you how much I’m enjoying this,” he says, “that includes that
game we played against the 49ers the other night, two teams going at each other
that hard, two defenses going at each other the way they did. But I’m standing
there on the sideline, knowing that the season is maybe riding on the next play,
and all I could think was: This is where I want to be and where we want to
be.”</p>


He never worried about being fired. He doesn’t worry about going to the Hall
of Fame if he wins a second Super Bowl. He just worries about the Patriots, he
worries about going to Indianapolis. He coaches his team. He had some bad
finishes, he has, got fired in the media because of them. And Bill Belichick (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Bill+Belichick) won
his first playoff game since the 2008 Super Bowl against Tim Tebow (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tim+Tebow) a couple of
weeks ago.</p>


One thing does not change with Coughlin, even going up against Belichick: He
does not get out-coached. And maybe, if the Giants do it to the Patriots again,
we walk away from this season saying he did the best work of his life, whether
he is the oldest coach in the league or not.</p>


I ask him this question: Did he ever think that winning the way he did
against the Patriots four years ago was the best it would ever be for
him?
</p></div>“No,” he says. “You always think that next season is going to be great. At
least I do. I go into every season believing that if we stay the course and
believe in each other, that everything will come together all over again. I
do.<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">


That’s me. I’ll tell you something, I thought ’08 was gonna be our year, too.
After the Super Bowl. I thought we were going back. What were we, 11-1, before
(Plaxico) Burress got into trouble and threw us off?</p>


“I know all the other teams in the league probably think the same way. Most
of them, anyway. But I always believe it’s gonna be our year.”</p>


This sounds and feels like part of one long answer now, a longer answer to a
question I asked him in the interview room Sunday night, about how in the world
the Giants got from 7-7 to here.</p>


Coughlin says, “What we got reminded of here is that these things still
happen in sports this way. It know it sounds corny, but if you have the talent
and you work and strive and are responsible and accountable to each other and
get on the same page all the things you’re always taught to believe in sports
you can still get there. Doesn’t mean you always are going to get there.
But it can only start with the belief that you can, and a love of what you’re
doing, and each other.”</p>


He pauses, says, “Yeah, players have to take pride in the work they’re doing,
and in themselves, but they have to love each other, too. I’ve never been afraid
to say that.”</p>


He has never been afraid of much, and around here, that really so often does
start with being fired in the media. Only now he is this close to another Super
Bowl, saying again Wednesday night how the time is already flying by. But not so
fast that he forgets to enjoy this ride.</p>


“It isn’t just about the coaches and the players,” he says. “All you have to
do is look around to see how important it is to everybody in the Giants family.
I’m talking about the owners, about the people who work here in any capacity,
how it brings us all closer together. I’m talking about my wife, my children. I
see how important this is to them. Sometimes you can lose sight in sports of the
fact that it isn’t just happening to you, that an experience like this does
belong to your family, the Giants family, all our fans.”</p>


He has done this such a long time, 40 years, from the time he was a kid out
of Syracuse. Now he does work as fine as any he has ever done. Not thinking
about the end of the road, just the end of this amazing season. Time of his
life."</p></div></div></div>GIANTS' ELI MANNING MAKES PHONE CALL TO PUT VICTOR CRUZ ON ROUTE TO SUCCEED (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-eli-manning-phone-call-puts-super-victor-cruz-article-1.1012769)

"Victor Cruz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz) hadn’t
caught a pass from a quarterback in months, when his cell phone rang one day
during the NFL lockout. He looked down and saw it was Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning).<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">


It was not a call he was expecting to get.</p>


“I looked at it and I was like, ‘Eli Manning?’ Is this working?” Cruz
recalled. “It was cool to see his name pop up on my phone.”</p>


That was back when Cruz was an unknown, unsure of his spot on the Giants’
roster, and still hoping for his first reception in the league. This phone call
wasn’t just a thrill, though. It was one of the most important calls he ever
received.</p>


A few days later, Cruz was out on the field at Hoboken High School for the
start of a loosely organized — and much-ridiculed — passing camp organized by
the Giants’ franchise quarterback during the NFL lockout. Only 12 different
players showed up for the six, hour-long workouts in early May, and never more
than a few at a time.</p>


Cruz made all but one of the sessions, and nobody benefitted from them
more.</p>


“We got close,” Manning said. “We did a lot of slot work (with him) and
making decisions and reads and just talking through things. And obviously he’s a
guy who’s had a great season. I’d like to think that work paid off.”</p>


<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/ny-giants-ne-patriots-team-hottest-wags-gallery-1.1010607">VICTOR
CRUZ SCORES OFF THE FIELD TOO: GIANTS WAGs VS PATRIOTS WAGs </a></p>


“I could see his speed coming out of breaks and separation and catching the
ball with his hands, and I was like ‘This kid has got it,’ ” said veteran <a title="Michael Clayton (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Clayton+%28Football%29">receiver
Michael Clayton</a>, who also attended most of the camp. “So for me it was like
‘For me to make this team, I’m going to have to beat out Victor Cruz.’ ”</p>


What happened to Cruz next stretches the imagination the way he does
defenses. Cruz caught 82 passes for a franchise-record 1,536 yards and nine
touchdowns, salsa-ing his way into the hearts of Giants fans along the way.</p>


It was an incredible transition from where he was when Camp Hoboken opened,
as he was coming off a season spent on injured reserve, with only a big
preseason game against the Jets during his rookie year on his resume.</p>


That’s why he jumped at the chance to join Manning and then-backup
quarterback Sage Rosenfels (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Sage+Rosenfels) at
those workouts. They were joined, at different times by Clayton, Ramses Barden (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ramses+Barden), Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks), former
Giants tight end Kevin Boss (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kevin+Boss) and running
back D.J. Ware.</p>


They all tried to get more players to show up, but most of the Giants stayed
away. Meanwhile several other QBs, including the Saints’ Drew Brees (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Drew+Brees), were getting
more than half their teams to lockout workouts. Even Jets quarterback <a title="Mark Sanchez" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Sanchez">Mark
Sanchez</a> was drawing praise for luring more than a dozen teammates to fly out
to California for a camp he dubbed “Jets West.”
</p></div>But while some laughed at Manning playing catch in the rain with a handful of
teammates, the QB, as he has done all season, simply took the shots and went to
work. The workouts weren’t physically draining, but he kept his receivers
mentally sharp.<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 was a chance to hear the terminology again,” Cruz said. “After a while of
not hearing the plays you kind of lose it a little bit, so it’s good to hear the
play-calling, and knocking the dust off your legs a little bit, getting some
route running in. So I think it was productive.”</p>


“You can’t simulate that unless you’re together with wide receivers and
quarterbacks,” said Clayton, now on injured reserve with the Giants. “You have
to be together. That has to be. And that was.”</p>


In his first training camp as a rookie, Cruz he was so far down the depth
chart he didn’t get much of an opportunity to work with the franchise
quarterback. Then, when the season began and before he got hurt, he spent most
of his time working on the scout team.</p>


The chance to spend time with Manning, to “go there and run some routes with
him and just pick his brain a little bit” was priceless – even if he didn’t have
any idea how well it would all work out.</p>


“I just took advantage of it,” Cruz said. “I understood that if I go in there
and just throw with Eli and kind of build his trust a little bit, understand the
routes, understand where he likes to put the ball, I think I’d have a great shot
coming in because we would’ve already built a little bit of a rapport in the
offseason. I wasn’t really thinking too far ahead.”</p>


Even if he had, he never would’ve imagined he’d be catching passes from
Manning at a practice in late January, preparing for Super Bowl XLVI. Back then,
Cruz couldn’t even be sure Manning had his number. He said “it was huge for me
for my confidence just to have him call my phone.”</p>


Now, nearly nine months after those rainy workouts in Hoboken, the
quarterback calls Cruz’s number all the time."
</p></div></div>GIANTS' MATHIAS KIWANUKA FINDS ROAD TO SUPER BOWL TAKES HIM HOME (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-mathias-kiwanuka-enjoys-super-homecoming-article-1.1012774)

"Mathias Kiwanuka (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mathias+Kiwanuka)
was forced to sit out the Giants’ previous appearance in the Super Bowl because
of a broken leg, but missing this year’s championship game would have hit him
even closer to home.<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">


The Giants will travel to Indianapolis on Monday in preparation for Super
Bowl XLVI, bringing their starting linebacker back to his hometown with a chance
to be on the field this time against Tom Brady (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Brady) and the
Patriots.</p>


“It’s awesome. This is everything that dreams are made of,” Kiwanuka said
after practice Thursday at the Meadowlands. “This is America’s game, and it’s
the biggest game of the year and I get to do it at home and in front of my
family.”</p>


Kiwanuka, who won three state championships at Cathedral High School in
Indianapolis before starring at Boston College, clearly appreciates the
improbable run the Giants have embarked on since they were saddled with a 7-7
record on Dec. 18.</p>


The former first-round pick was the Giants’ starting strong-side linebacker
in 2007 after spending his rookie campaign at defensive end. Kiwanuka had 4½
sacks in 10 games that season before fracturing his left leg on Nov. 18,
requiring surgery.</p>


Kiwanuka, 28, said last week he spent the NFC Championship Game that year in
Las Vegas – instead of Green Bay – before standing on the sidelines and watching
the Big Blue defense terrorize Brady en route to a 17-14 upset of the previously
unbeaten Pats in Super Bowl XLII.</p>


Kiwanuka’s effectiveness gradually returned this season after he missed all
but three games in 2010 with a herniated cervical disk in his neck.</p>


Kiwanuka’s finest game this season might have come against the Patriots on
Nov. 6. He recorded a season-high 12 tackles (six solo) and picked off Brady for
his lone interception of the year in the Giants’ 24-20 win in Foxborough.</p>


“I think we did a good job of getting pressure,” Kiwanuka said. “They rattled
off 10 wins (in a row since the loss to the Giants) for a reason. . . . Our game
plan always is going to be the same. If we shut down the run and get to the
quarterback, we’ll be in a good spot.”</p>


And so will Kiwanuka."</p></div></div>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giant (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants)
</div>
<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>
GIANTS' UMENYIORA READY READY FOR FIGHT WITH PATRIOTS' MATT LIGHT (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_umenyiora_ready_for_fight_u7Rb2kjNiyLNgiysL 5LodI)

"Wanna fight?<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">


Osi Umenyiora didn’t exactly throw down that challenge to Patriots left
tackle Matt Light, but the Giants pass-rushing defensive end did admit there’s
bad blood between the two and came up with what he figured was a smart tradeoff
for the Giants for Super Bowl XLVI.</p>


“I think he’s more important to his team than I am to mine right now,’’
Umenyiora said Friday, “so if we can both fight and both get kicked out, and JPP
(Jason Pierre-Paul) and (Justin) Tuck will have a field day. I’ll be good to go,
I’ll be OK.’’</p>


Umenyiora was laughing when he said these two combatants have a history and
it’s not amicable. Umenyiora said he fought Light on the field in the last game
of the 2007 regular season and again in this year’s 24-20 Giants victory at
Gillette Stadium.</p>


“It is what it is, man, I’ve actually fought him twice,’’ Umenyiora said.
“Actual real fight on the football field, twice. Me and him we have history,
we’re gonna rekindle that on Sunday.</p>


“He wasn’t as bad in the Super Bowl but this past game we played we fought
again. I don’t know what it is he does but there’s something that he’s doing
that really gets under my skin. I’m not that type of guy, he’s probably the only
person I’ve ever fought on the football field.’’</p>


Umenyiora knows the key to this game from a defensive standpoint is putting
pressure on Tom Brady. Tuck said “The way to kill a snake is to take its head
off’’ then went on to explain that the Giants must make sure they put enough
heat on Brady to get him out of his rhythm. </p>


“He’s a very good quarterback, an excellent quarterback and they do a lot of
things to protect him, a lot of quick throws, their receivers run shorter routes
and he gets the ball out of his hands really, really quick,’’ Umenyiora said.
“It’s gonna be hard for us to get to him but whenever we have the opportunity,
because there will be a time we have the opportunity, we have to take advantage
of that.</p>


“Any quarterback, it doesn’t matter who he is, you put him under that much
pressure his performance is going to be affected. He’s one of the greatest
quarterbacks to ever play, anybody under that pressure is going to have a
problem and if we do he’s gonna have a problem.’’</p>GIANTS' RB BRADSHAW "READY TO GO" (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_rb_bradshaw_ready_to_go_y7cPDX3hXwhPHsYvS0Z ELK)

"
<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">


Ahmad Bradshaw, still dealing with his continuous foot problem, said after
Friday’s practice that he feels fine and will be ready when the Giants play the
Patriots in the Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis next Sunday.</p>


“Feels great,” Bradshaw said. “No problems, no set backs and I’m ready to
go.</p>


“This training staff and this team has looked out for me as much as they
could,” the starting running back continued. “Like I said, I feel great right
now and my injuries are no problem at all.”</p>


Bradshaw’s foot injury forced him to miss the first game against the Patriots
this season, a 24-20 Giants win on Nov. 6. But his memory is long enough to
remember being a rookie and the team’s leading rusher (45 yards) on Feb. 3,
2008, when the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. </p>


“It’s all about focus right now,” Bradshaw said. “When I was a rookie, I was
out there just trying to use my talents. Now, I know what I can do. I feel
comfortable right now, with the offensive confidence, all we can do is stick
together and make plays together.”
</p></div>WILLIAMS, NICKS, WEBSTER, AND BLACKMON SIT OUT PRACTICE (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/williams_nicks_webster_and_blackmon_8OdOSSK4lbTjqu aBGjxNXI)

"Giants rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams has not practiced the past two
days, doesn’t expect to practice Saturday, and is walking around with a large
boot on his right foot that goes nearly all the way up to his knee.<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">


That doesn’t look or sound promising, and if Super Bowl XLVI was to be played
Sunday, the Giants would list him as questionable to be able to make it.</p>


“Nothing serious, I’ll be ready for the game,’’ Williams said.</p>


Williams came out of the 20-17 overtime victory over the 49ers in the NFC
Championship with what he felt was normal after-game soreness in his right foot.
When the soreness lingered, he brought it to the attention of the Giants medical
personnel and he underwent an MRI exam, which revealed there were no broken
bones. The sprained foot was placed in the boot and there’s been no activity for
Williams all week.</p>


“Something that just snuck up on me,’’ Williams said. “Just a minor
setback.’’</p>


The Giants fly to Indianapolis on Monday and their first practice in the
Super Bowl city comes Wednesday. Williams said he is 100 percent certain he w

Voldamort
01-27-2012, 11:18 AM
Thanks for all the info,Great job again RF!!

nygsb42champs
01-27-2012, 11:45 AM
Thanks for all the news RF.

BigBlue1971
01-27-2012, 01:43 PM
thanks Roanoke!

lttaylor56
01-27-2012, 02:03 PM
Thank you Sir!

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 02:05 PM
Thanks for all the info,Great job again RF!!

[Y]

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 02:05 PM
Thanks for all the news RF.

[B]

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 02:06 PM
thanks Roanoke!

[Y]

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 02:06 PM
Thank you Sir!

I c ant wait for next week to get here

GameTime
01-27-2012, 02:28 PM
thanks Ro...</P>


going to get some sleeping pills, put in for vacation time, and wake upon the morning of the Feb 5th. I cant take this waiting......lol</P>

ashleymarie
01-27-2012, 02:30 PM
Thanks.

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 03:18 PM
thanks Ro...</p>


going to get some sleeping pills, put in for vacation time, and wake upon the morning of the Feb 5th. I cant take this waiting......lol</p>

WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK, it just gets worse

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 03:19 PM
Thanks.

[B]

NY_Eli
01-27-2012, 06:17 PM
Thanks RF! Exciting times!

RoanokeFan
01-27-2012, 06:35 PM
Thanks RF! Exciting times!

WAY [;)]

Cindy in INdy
01-27-2012, 11:22 PM
thank you and everybody hang in there...

RoanokeFan
01-28-2012, 09:54 AM
thank you and everybody hang in there...

[Y]

SanAntonioGiant
01-28-2012, 02:50 PM
Aldon Smith arrested for DUI