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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012 - 11:11 A.M.



RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 11:04 AM
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</font></u><u><font color="#ff0000" size="4">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">. </font></u><font size="4">

</font><font size="4"><font size="6"><font size="4"><font color="#FF0000"><u><font size="6">NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
NFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
<font color="#0000FF">
PLAYOFFS 3 - 0: ON TO INDIANAPOLIS!
</font></font></u></font></font></font><u><font face="Verdana">
</font></u></font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>
<div><div><div><div><div class="entry-content"><div class="entry-content">
AHEAD OF SUPER BOWL XLVI, GIANTS HEALTHIER THAN THEY HAVE EVER BEEN THIS SEASON (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/ahead_of_super_bowl_xlvi_giant.html)

"The Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) are the healthiest they’ve
been all season at the most opportune time.


Six players are listed on the injury report for Sunday’s Super Bowl and all
are down as probable.</p>


Besides RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who had <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_ahmad_bradshaw_practice.html">practiced
in consecutive days for the first time since returning from injury on Wednesday
and Thursday</a>, all players practiced today. S Tyler Sash (foot) and DE Osi
Umenyiora (ankle/knee) were limited. </p>


According to the pool report, Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw was held out of
practice because his injured right foot “was a little sore.”</p>


“But he’s OK,” Coughlin said. “He’ll be ready. He got in two good days of
work prior to this. He’s prepared.”</p>


Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), Corey Webster (hamstring) and Jacquian Williams
(foot) all practiced fully for the second day in the row after being limited on
Wednesday. </p>


Williams’ foot injury was a storyline this week after he was walking around
the Giants practice facility in a boot, but he has maintained all along that he
will play and after two consecutive full practices he’ll surely be out there on
Sunday.
</p>According to the injury report, Sash is on the injury report after having his
foot stepped on during practice and leaving the field to have it wrapped and
said “I’m OK” after the practice.


The Giants will have a jog-through Saturday morning and meetings later on in
the day before their 11 p.m. curfew."</p>

SUPER BOWL XLVI: STAR LEDGER STAFFERS PREDICT WINNER OF GIANTS-PATRIOTS REMATCH (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/super_bowl_xlvi_star-ledger_st.html)</p>

"By now, you’ve practically heard it all. Every aspect of Super Bowl XLVI, on
both sides of the ball and even special teams.</p>


Deon Grant will be a factor in covering Rob Gronkowski and his
ankle.
Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/tom_brady_rattled_by_pass_rush.html">the
Giants’ pass rush will try to get Tom Brady to flinch</a> yet again. (Don’t
forget, we’re going to give you much more on that on Sunday.)</p>


Offensively, the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) can spread
out a defense with the best of ‘em. How will the Patriots cover all of them.</p>


And should they try to cover Victor Cruz will Julian Edelman, how will that
work out?</p>


Vince Wilfork up the middle? Yeah, David Baas had better be ready for that
matchup, and he’s going to need some help.</p>


And will the sharp Eli Manning from practice make his way to Sunday’s
game?</p>


These and other topics have been discussed ad nauseum. So in this Super Bowl
XLVI game preview, we’ll give you the staff predictions of those who have been
hustling here to provide you with the best possible coverage from Indy, with
predictions on how the game will unfold and which player will be the MVP.</p>


* * * *
SUNDAY’S GAME: Super Bowl XLVI, vs. Patriots, Lucas Oil Stadium,
6:30 p.m., NBC</p>


PREDICTIONS</p>


Here we go, in order of seniority:</p>


<a href="http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/izenbergcol/">Jerry
Izenberg</a>, Columnist Emeritus
Giants 17, Patriots 10
Jerry
says: “Offense wins games but defense wins titles and the Giants have
it.”
MVP: Eli Manning</p>


Tim Farrell, photographer
Giants 34, Patriots
21
Tim says: “The lack of a 100 percent Gronk has to slow the Pats
offense. Eli seems unflappable and now has two proven catch and run receivers in
Cruz and Nicks. Eli will catch and run with his second MVP
trophy.”
MVP: Eli Manning</p>


Kevin Manahan, reporter and former Giants beat
writer
Patriots 22, Giants 21
Kevin says: “Stopped
several times in the red zone by a stubborn Giants defense, the Patriots kick
five field goals, the last one as time expires. After winning a Super Bowl on
'wide right,' the Giants lose one on a kick down the middle."
MVP:
Stephen Gostkowski</p>


<a href="http://www.nj.com/ledger-dalessandro/">Dave
D'Alessandro</a>, columnist, barnstormer
Giants 34, Patriots
21
Dave D. says: "Because I have the most mysterious sensation that
Eli has a Simms-like 22-for-25 date with history — or something very much like
it — left in his arsenal."
MVP: Eli Manning</p>


Andrew Mills, photographer
Giants 34, Patriots
10
Mills says: “Perry Fewell unleashes a first quarter corner blitz,
Brady is blindsided (doesn¹t even have time to flinch) ... fumbles ... Kiwi is
there to recover and the Giants start the party early.”
MVP: Eli
Manning. “He’ll throw four TDs to earn his second Super Bowl MVP trophy.”</p>


Steve Politi (http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/politi/),
Columnist, er, Presentus
Patriots 34, Giants 27
Steve
says: “I picked against the Giants in each game during their run four years
ago. I owe it to their fans to do the same again. Tom Brady, dissed and
disrespected, will reclaim the title as best big-game quarterback in the NFL and
another MVP trophy.”
MVP: Tom Brady</p>


John Munson, photographer
Patriots 25, Giants
19
John says: “The Pats had their scare against the Ravens and are
going to get their revenge from four years ago.”
MVP: Rob
Gronkowski</p>


Mike Garafolo (https://twitter.com/#%21/MikeGarafolo),
Giants beat writer
Giants 31, Patriots 27
Mike says: “I
don’t think the Giants are afraid to speed this game up. This isn’t like the
matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Pack where they played keep-away. The indoor
track and the Pats’ porous pass D means a bit of a shootout could favor them.
Add a TD for each team on top of the 24-20 final from November and you have your
score.”
MVP: Victor Cruz (By the way, I’d like to thank the NFL for
selecting me as part of the MVP selection committee this year. It’s quite an
honor and I’m extremely humbled by it.)</p>


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

Brendan Prunty (https://twitter.com/#%21/brendanprunty),
staff writer and hoophead-turned-temporary-football guru
Patriots
35, Giants 22
Prunty says: “Have we been forgetting that Tom Brady
was still Tom Brady this year? Dude threw for over 5,200 yards and 39
touchdowns. Yet this week, everyone is acting like this guy is a washed-up
quarterback with a bum leg and sack fright. There's a little too much talking
being done by the Giants and a lot of dead air on New England's side. It's
always quietest before the storm hits.”
MVP: Wes Welker. We can’t
shut Prunty up here: “The Pats' two TEs got the TDs, but in the Week 9 meeting,
he caught nine balls for 136 yards. With everyone focusing on The Gronk, Welker
goes wild.”</p>


Jenny Vrentas (https://twitter.com/#%21/JennyVrentas/), Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) beat writer, former Giants beat writer
and the only Star-Ledger employee to pick the Giants in Super Bowl
XLII
Patriots 28, Giants 24
Jenny says: "No need for any
'We’re only going to score 17 points?' comments. This game will be
higher-scoring than that. The Patriots’ defense is the most-questioned unit in
this game, but it’s been getting stronger not weaker. Plus, despite the
Patriots’ denials all week, revenge for Super Bowl XLII will indeed be on their
minds.
MVP: Tom Brady</p>


Michael Fensom, Star-Ledger online editor, writer
Giants
27, Patriots 24
Fensom says: "With two weeks to prepare, Bill
Belichick and Tom Brady will bring some wrinkles against a Giants defense that
has been the best unit in the NFL since Week 16. That wrinkle, I think, will be
a no huddle offense. The Patriots didn't huddle on roughly 25 percent of snaps
during the regular season and that number will rise Sunday in an effort to
fatigue the Giants pass rush. The Giants, though, will eventually start to reel
in the Patriots. A seesaw second half will fall to the Giants because A.) their
defense is more capable of making plays and B.) Eli Manning will unravel a
Patriots defense that (still) lacks confidence.
MVP: Eli Manning</p>


Conor T. Orr (https://twitter.com/#%21/ConorTOrr/), Jets
beat writer
Patriots 29, Giants 27
Conor says: “As weak
as the Patriots are in the secondary, it will be interesting to see what Bill
Belichick can do with a scheme after an off week, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/bill_belichick_prepares_patrio.html">in
addition to an extended halftime</a>. Though the Giants come in with the hot
hand, there's something to be said about Tom Brady and Co. being a little
overlooked throughout the week.”
MVP: Chad Ochocinco</p>


Jorge Castillo (https://twitter.com/#%21/jorgeccastillo),
Giants beat writer
Giants 30, Patriots 20
Jorge says:
“The Giants' pass rush — from its NASCAR package to its phantom pressure — will
make Tom Brady uncomfortable as has been the case the last two times these teams
have met. On the other side, Eli Manning won't have trouble picking apart a
Patriots defense that struggled against Joe Flacco in the AFC Championship Game
to lead the Giants to their second title in five years – and leave the Patriots
without one since 2004.”
MVP: Eli Manning"</p>TOM COUGLIN SAYS GIANTS "HUMBLE ENOUGH TO PREPARE" FOR SUPER BOWL, YET "CONFIDENT ENOUGH" TO PERFORM (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/tom_coughlin_says_giants_humbl.html)

"It’s been interesting to me the past few days in receiving e-mails and tweets
from fans asking if the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) are a
little overconfident right now. I’m not sure whether that’s been reported
somewhere or if it’s just the sense a few are getting.


To me, they’re the same as they’ve been the past few weeks. They were very
confident heading into the game against the Green Bay Packers, for example, and
showed that Sunday they had every right to be.</p>


So in short: no, I don’t see this team being on the wrong side of the
****y-confident line.</p>


But enough about what I think. Here’s the take from a guy whose opinion you
truly want to hear. It’s Tom Coughlin this morning when asked if he feels his
team is overconfident.</p>


“I don’t. I’m not sure what you’re referencing,” the Giants’ coach said
during his press conference. “I mean, I know there are one or two quotes out
there but to be honest with you, I don’t know either one of them is any
different than Tom Brady’s.”</p>


By that, Coughlin meant <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/patriots_quarterback_tom_brady.html">Brady’s
saying at a pep rally on Sunday</a> in Foxborough, Mass., “Hopefully we have a
lot more people at our party next weekend.”</p>


As Justin Tuck noted, “It was a pep rally. What was he supposed to say?”</p>


The closest the Giants have come to any such talk has been when Chris Canty
told the fans to “get ready for a parade,” or when <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/antrel_rolle_says_giants_are_g.html">Antrel
Rolle said, “We’re going to win this thing.”</a></p>


All of it doesn’t seem like much. In this day and age, it’s enough to draw a
few headlines. But it’s nothing that has Coughlin concerned.</p>


“I think it’s just a matter of our team has played good football against
great football teams,” he said, “and we always pull for our team.”</p>


Then, he paused before delivering a pretty darn good line: “Humble enough to
prepare, confident enough to perform. That’s the way we look at it.”</p>


* * * *
Coughlin didn’t guess whether RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) will
practice today, though he did say <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_ahmad_bradshaw_practice.html">Bradshaw’s
working the past two days is “unusual”</a> and shows his level of enthusiasm for
this game.</p>

Coughlin expects all 53 players on the roster to be available come Sunday.
(Of course, only 46 will dress.)</p>


“Everyone wants to be a part of it at this point in time. No one wants to be
someone who’s not able to participate or be a part of this wonderful
experience,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had everyone on the practice field and
hopefully, God (willing), it’ll be that way come Sunday.”</p>


* * * *
Coughlin was asked about staying in the downtown hotel on Saturday
night, given how “condensed” everything is around here.</p>


“Well, it is, but I don’t know why there’s a lot of concern about us being
where we are,” he said. “We’re isolated. The second floor (of the hotel) is
completely secured for our players and our personnel. Our floors are off-limits
to everybody. They’re well-secured. There’s been outstanding rest for our
players. No one’s complained about not having a good night’s sleep, or if he has
it’s not because of noise or any other issue.</p>


“There is a great buildup to this game. There are more people in the street
than I can ever remember, which lets you know how exciting a time this is for
this great city and for people who will come watch this game.”</p>


He concluded, “I think it’s just a part of it. I don’t have any problem or
fear of that.”</p>##
</div>
GIANTS' ANTREL ROLLE FINALLY FINDS SOLID GROUND WITH HELP FROM SAFETIES COACH (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_antrel_rolle_finally_fi.html)

"The text message is saved in David Merritt’s phone for quick access.


That’s how much it means to Merritt, to Antrel Rolle and to the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ Super Bowl season.</p>


Antrel stay the course my young brother! Putting coaching aside you are
right where God would have you to be at this point in your life and career. Find
out through prayer WHY are you here? What lesson is to be learned or who are you
supposed to help here on this team or in this area!!! </p>


Merritt paused as he read the text aloud. </p>


“Now we’re going outside of football: ‘in this area,’” he said before
continuing. </p>


Know that God has US here for a reason &amp; sometimes a season. You may
get that chance to leave in the end but WE must finish this season the right
way, working unto God &amp; not man! </p>


This was 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 — roughly three hours after the Giants
inexplicably lost to the lowly Washington Redskins and 2½ hours following
Rolle’s ripping unnamed players who don’t practice through some hurts during the
week.</p>


At 7-7 and facing a second straight season without a trip to the playoffs,
Rolle was griping via text to the Giants’ safeties coach about the defensive
game plans and the lack of in-game adjustments.</p>


The key line in Merritt’s message (“You may get that chance to leave in the
end ...”) was in reference to conversations Rolle had with the Giants’ staff.
</p>


He was unhappy with his role as the nickel cornerback. He was angry and
considered Perry Fewell’s schemes inflexible. And for a few months by that
point, he was hoping his time as a Giant would soon be over.</p>


“He kept telling us he wanted out,” Merritt told The Star-Ledger.</p>


Now, not so much.</p>


In only a few weeks, the Giants’ loudest voice has gone from complaining to
offering only constructive commentary about every facet of the team, including
coach Tom Coughlin, with whom he’d previously clashed. He’s a content,
high-energy inspiration for those around him and his turnaround has galvanized
Coughlin as well as his teammates.</p>


Many were involved in helping Rolle through the process. None has gotten less
due so far than Merritt and his text-message therapy.</p>


“Dave Merritt has helped me a lot. We’ve had a lot of 1-on-1 personal
conversations, not anything about football, but about life in general,” Rolle
said Thursday. “And he’s also a huge reason why I was able to buy into playing
my role as a nickel (cornerback). I was extremely frustrated after the
Washington game.” </p>


According to Merritt, Rolle’s frustrations first boiled over after the
victory over the Arizona Cardinals in October.</p>


“There were a couple of things that happened during the game and I kind of
critiqued him on it,” said Merritt, who is the only defensive coach who has been
with the Giants since Coughlin arrived in 2004. “Although he played a fabulous
game, I just wanted to get a point across about technique. And from that point
on, we started butting heads a little bit.”</p>


So began a couple of contentious, delicate months. Rolle was hot and Merritt
tried to cool him down.</p>A linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and Cardinals from 1993-96, Merritt
understood Rolle’s gripes about Fewell not making in-game adjustments. Merritt
explained those changes couldn’t be made because the Giants had rookie
linebackers Jacquian Williams and Greg Jones on the field.


And during the Washington game, rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara saw a lot
of action in the first half.</p>


“You’re right in a sense. But at the same time, we’re right by not putting
all of this pressure on these young players,” Merritt recalls telling Rolle. “If
you start to say at halftime, ‘Let’s do this now,’ it’ll blow those kids’
minds.” </p>


Merritt wasn’t alone in trying to convince Rolle. Safety Deon Grant, general
manager Jerry Reese and his family all had conversations with him.</p>


And then, there was <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_antrel_rolle_has_change.html">the
chat he had with Fewell.</a></p>


“He said, ‘Trel, you have to think about it this way: You and Deon are tight,
right?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’?” Rolle recalled. “He said, ‘Y’all are like brothers.
How many more opportunities do you think he’s going to get to actually reach a
Super Bowl?’ And when I thought about that, it actually brought tears to my
eyes. </p>


“From that point on, I never saw the game about me. I never saw the game
about anything having to deal with me. I saw the game about my teammates, I saw
the game about Coach Coughlin and I saw the game most of all about Deon Grant.”
</p>


Rolle and Fewell are fuzzy on the timeline of that meeting, though it sounds
like it was right around the time of Merritt’s text message.</p>


And now, just listen to Rolle.</p>


“It really doesn’t matter to me if I play another down at safety again as a
Giant,” Rolle said. “As long as we have a ‘W,’ at the end of the day, I’m good
with that.” </p>


Merritt was asked if he sees any similarities between himself and Rolle. He
wanted to say yes so very badly, so he paused and tried to stifle a grin.</p>


“No,” he finally said with a laugh. “He’s so outgoing and I am not as
outgoing as he is. He doesn’t lack confidence. Maybe that’s the one thing I
identify with in what I do and what I can do as a coach.</p>


“But other than that, no. Not his swagger, not his dress. ...”</p>


Then again, maybe these two are more in tune than they think because, in
answering a question about butting heads with Rolle, Merritt said: “At the end
of the day, when you approach him after you’ve had that disagreement, you go
right back and say, ‘Do you understand what I’m saying? Is everything cool?’ And
as long as he can look me in the eye and say, ‘Yeah I got you, Coach. I’m
good.’” </p>


Sorry but we missed the last half of that. We were too busy snickering after
the “at the end of the day” part.</p>


“There ya go! That’s an Antrel-ism!” Merritt exclaimed. “As a matter of fact,
maybe he got it from me, to be honest with you.</p>


“I’m going to give it to him, though.”
</p>TOM BRADY'S QB SNEAK VS. GIANTS' D LINE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/tom_bradys_quarterback_sneak_g.html)

Excerpt: "The call for one of the most pivotal plays of the New England Patriots’ season
was changed at the line.


Tom Brady helped launch his team to the Super Bowl by launching himself over
the front line of the Baltimore Ravens defense on a fourth down at the 1-yard
line. New England needed this touchdown in the fourth quarter of <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/patriots_down_ravens_23-20_as.html">the
AFC Championship Game</a>, and Brady knew it.</p>


The quarterback sneak wasn’t the called play, guard Logan Mankins recalled,
but Brady audibled to it. He sprang up, extending the ball across the plane of
the goal line as he tumbled forward. By the time Ray Lewis’ helmet met Brady’s
back, the Patriots had taken back the lead.</p>


“He’s probably the best quarterback — and I shouldn’t say this because it
just adds fuel to his fire,” Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said,
“but he’s probably one of the better quarterback sneak guys in the history of
the game.”</p>


The art of the quarterback sneak — when to use it, what route to take, how to
win the battle for yardage — is a Brady trademark. This is just one play in the
Patriots’ complicated offensive arsenal, not guaranteed to be used in every
game. Yet without it, perhaps the Patriots would not be playing in Super Bowl
XLVI.</p>


Conversely, the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ ability to
stop it — in particular, a pair of fourth-down quarterback sneaks by Matt Ryan
in the wild-card victory against the Atlanta Falcons — has also greased their
playoffs run.</p>


“If you miss one of those plays in the game,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka
said, “you could say had it not been for this play, maybe we wouldn’t be
here.”</p>


In the championship game, every last play, and increment of yardage, matters.
This is a strength-vs.-strength matchup: If Brady lines up for the sneak, and
the Giants line up to stop it, who wins?</p>


Brady benefits from his 6-4 frame, which covers more than 2 yards if he were
to lie on the turf. But the sneak is as much mental as it is physical.</p>


Some sneaks are called, but Brady always has the option to audible to the
play at the line. He is looking for the soft spot in the defense: A crease, or a
defensive player abandoning his responsibility to try to make a play." Read more...
</p>TOM BRADY, ELI MANNING DIFFER ON THEM, BUT WRISTBANDS ARE NOW A COMMON TOOL FOR NFL QUARTERBACKS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/tom_brady_eli_manning_may_diff.html)

"When David Carr was in fifth grade, playing Pee Wee football in Bakersfield,
Calif., he struggled to remember the few plays that his coach had designed for
the team. Before one game, the coach handed him an index card with the plays
written out and numbered. Carr figured it was a study tool for him to use when
he got home. He looked it over.


Then he saw his coach peeling off pieces of clear packing tape.</p>


This is where Carr’s introduction to the playbook wristband gets … a little
hairy.</p>


“He wrote it by hand and took this clear packaging tape and taped it to my
arm,” said Carr, now the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ backup
quarterback. “It wasn’t even a wristband. It was just a card taped to my arm. By
the first 10 plays, I was sweating so much and it was soaked. The ink is running
down my arm. It was a failed experiment. And you’re in fifth grade, so you
barely have any arm hair at all and now you have this huge empty patch that
you’ve got to explain to everybody. Ugly.”</p>


It’s safe to say that these days, the playbook wristband is a lot more
conventional for NFL quarterbacks. Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI, New England
Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady will be seen numerous times checking his left
wrist before shouting out a play.</p>


In the new age of complex defensive schemes with a variety of different
looks, the wristband has become a quarterback’s best friend. Mark Sanchez of the
Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) began using one toward the end of his
rookie season and still wears it. So does the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben
Roethlisberger, San Francisco’s Alex Smith and Denver’s Tim Tebow.</p>


“I finally used it in Arizona,” said former St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals
and Giants quarterback Kurt Warner. “You’d love to have somebody call the play
to you (via the helmet radio), so you get to hear it one time. And then you get
to call it a second time, so it gets to process in your mind twice.”</p>


•?•?•</p>


The story of the information-packed wristband begins 46 years ago on a
kitchen table in suburban Baltimore, with an index card, a magic marker and a
lot of patience from a loving wife.</p>

As the 1965 season moved on for the Baltimore Colts, the team sustained
season-ending injuries to starter Johnny Unitas and then backup Gary Cuozzo. The
only option left was third-stringer Tom Matte, a running back by trade.</p>


“By 1965, I had been in the league four years, so I understood our offense
pretty well,” Matte recalled from his home this week. “But this was just a
helpful thing. (Offensive coordinator) Don McCafferty was the one that really
came up with the idea. He said, ‘Let’s make it easy on him.’ And he did — it
worked out very, very well.”</p>


Thanks to his wife, Judy — who he said “had smaller handwriting” — Matte was
able to wear a crude version of the wristband for the final two games of the
regular season and then the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.</p>


“We designed it for simplicity’s sake,” said Matte, now 72. “We had different
sets out of the backfield and it was supposed to help me know what was going on
when I was playing quarterback. I was last man standing, basically. … Everybody
is using them now. Whole teams have them.”</p>


The original wristband is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in
Canton, Ohio. Matte would play only five more years before retiring. More than
four decades later, he’s still amazed that it’s become as popular of a device as
it has.</p>


“It was something that was very helpful to me at that particular time and it
picked up,” he said. “I cheated my way into the Hall of Fame.”</p>


•?•?•?</p>


For the first five years of his NFL career, Eli Manning employed a wristband.
But beginning in 2009, the Giants quarterback began to assert himself more and
more as the central point of the offense. More freedom was given to him, and the
wristbands went by the wayside.</p>

“Eli takes great pride in being able to have all of the calls memorized,”
said Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan. “On the players’ normal day off on
Tuesday, I’ll fax him the formations and the plays for the game plan, because he
wants to get that stuff squared away, so we can visualize it.”</p>


That attention to detail has allowed Manning to no longer have to rely on the
wristband while in the huddles. It’s also the type of offense the Giants now
run. Complex offenses with drawn-out calls require more memorization and often
times quarterbacks need the wristband to cut down on time spent saying the play.
More time saved means more time to see the defense and make any last-second
adjustments.</p>


“When I was with Gary Kubiak in Houston, we had a lot of very wordy plays,”
Carr said. “Here, our offense is based on what the defense does. We don’t do a
lot of formations, we don’t have a lot of moving parts. It’s more on the
quarterback and your catalog of plays.”</p>


Sullivan also admits he’s fine with Manning not using one in part because of
a fear that it’ll come off and a defensive player will quickly stuff the
wristband in his pants. That’s why teams will generally code the wristband and
the playbook differently — in case either is lost or stolen.</p>


Most quarterbacks though say that the issues that arise from wearing the
wristband are few and far between. They know that the benefits to having more
time at the line of scrimmage to assess the defense and make snap changes in the
chaos of a game is a luxury.</p>


In New England, Tom Brady’s wristband is used as more of a secondary
guide.</p>


“It really is a means of backup communication in case the headsets go out,”
Brady said. “You have all of the plays on there. If for some reason the
coach-to-quarterback helmet system doesn’t work. It is pretty small, though I
have decent eyesight.”</p>


•?•?•?</p>


The biggest problem most players and coaches have to deal with? Someone
trying to steal the wristbands.
</p>

</p>

“When I was in Houston, we had a fumbled snap and I dived on it in the pile,”
Carr recalled. “And guys weren’t grabbing for the ball, they were going for my
wristband and trying to get it off. They’ll use any trick they can.”</p>


Sullivan admits that part of the reason he’s fine with Manning not using one
is the fear that it’ll come off and a defensive player will quickly stuff the
wristband in his pants. That’s why teams will generally code up the wristband
and the playbook different in case either one is lost or stolen.</p>


Most quarterbacks though say that the issues that arise from wearing the
wristband are few and far between. They know that the benefits to having more
time at the line of scrimmage to assess the defense and make snap changes in the
chaos of a game, is a luxury.</p>


Often times they don’t even think about the piece of fabric on their forearm
with a little white card in it. But when that moment comes where they need it,
most are glad it’s there.</p>


“I definitely did enjoy having that,” Warner said. “Where I could spend more
time at the line of scrimmage and seeing stuff and dictating stuff on my
own.”</p>SUPER BOWL HISTORY: HOW GIANTS AND PATRIOTS HAVE FARED (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/super_bowl_history_how_giants.html)

"<big>GIANTS</big>


<big>Super Bowl XXI</big>
1986
Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) 39, Denver Broncos
20
Pasadena, Calif.
Phil Simms set Super Bowl records
for consecutive completions (10) and highest completion percentage (88 percent,
22 for 25). He also passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants took
command of the game in the second half as Simms led four touchdown drives. That
left defensive captain Harry Carson to really only worry about when he would
dump the Gatorade bucket over Bill Parcells’ head.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XXV</big>
1990
Giants 20, Buffalo Bills
19
Tampa, Fla.
The Giants completely neutralized the
Bills’ no-huddle, high-scoring offense, countering with a steady diet of Ottis
Anderson (21 carries, 102 yards and MVP honors), and by executing a
high-percentage passing game carried out by Jeff Hostetler. That, and they
survived Scott Norwood’s would-be tying field goal, which drifted right from 47
yards out. The defensive game plan, devised by Bill Belichick, is included in
the Hall of Fame.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XXXV</big>
2000
Baltimore Ravens 34, Giants
7
Tampa, Fla.
Whenever the Giants had reason for
optimism, Jermaine Lewis squelched it. Lewis took the opening kickoff back to
the Giants’ 41, and two plays later, Brandon Stokley caught a 38-yard touchdown
to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead. And after Ron Dixon gave the Giants life with a
kickoff return for a TD, Lewis responded with his own — and the Ravens’ romp was
all but complete. This remains the Giants’ only Super Bowl loss.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XLII</big>
2007
Giants 17, New England Patriots
14
Glendale, Ariz.
Against the 18-0 Patriots, the Giants
were double-digit underdogs. But a superior defensive game plan that rattled Tom
Brady and stymied the record-setting New England offense helped pave the way for
one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. Eli Manning’s passes to David
Tyree and Plaxico Burress for a touchdown will forever live in Giants lore.</p>

<big>PATRIOTS</big>
</p>

<big>Super Bowl XX</big>
1985
Chicago Bears 46, Patriots
10
New Orleans
The upstart Patriots became the first
team to win three road playoff games to reach the Super Bowl, relying on a
plucky offense built around Craig James and Tony Eason. Plucky wasn’t nearly
enough, however, to overcome the powerful Bears, who had run roughshod over the
rest of the NFL throughout the 1985 season and did the same in the
Superdome.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XXXI</big>
1996
Green Bay Packers 35, Patriots
21
New Orleans
Bill Parcells’ final game with the
Patriots, as it turned out, didn’t end well. Drew Bledsoe threw for a pair of
first-half touchdowns and led another scoring drive in the third to pull New
England within 27-21, but Desmond Howard’s 99-yard kickoff return of the ensuing
kickoff distanced the Packers. Bledsoe threw four interceptions, then a Super
Bowl record.</p>
<div id="PageContent">
<div id="MainColumn">
<div class="full_entry entry_text hnews hentry item">
<div id="article">
<div class="entry-content">

<big>Super Bowl XXXVI</big>
2001
Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams
17
New Orleans
A very similar defensive performance for
a Belichick-coached team against a high-powered offense. The Rams’ Greatest Show
on Turf was bruised and battered by the Patriots — again, enough so that the
offense could make it a game. This time, Tom Brady played the star, calmly
driving the Patriots into position for Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning 48-yard
field goal.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XXXVIII</big>
2003
Patriots 32, Carolina
Panthers 29
Houston
Everyone remembers a second
game-winning field goal from Viniatieri, but that was made possible in large
part by the other kicker — Carolina’s John Kasay. After the Panthers had tied
the score on Hillsborough native Ricky Proehl’s touchdown catch, Kasay kicked
off out of bounds. The march for Brady and the Patriots began at their own 40,
and Vinatieri was good from 41 yards out.</p>


<big>Super Bowl XXXIX</big>
2004
Patriots 24, Philadelphia
Eagles 21
Jacksonville, Fla.
This figured to be the most
routine of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories — or so it would have seemed with
8:43 left and New England holding a 24-14 lead. But if not for Tedy Bruschi’s
interception on the Patriots’ 24, and Rodney Harrison’s pick with 9 seconds
left, the Patriots might have been wondering how they let this one slip away. As
it was, it was the third title in four years.</p></div>
</div></div></div>A DEEPER LOOK AT A FEW GIANTS, FROM FARMER MITCH PETRUS TO RODEO-LOVER BEAR PASCOE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/super_bowl_xlvi_a_deeper_look.html)

"It's easy to label Mitch Petrus as a backup offensive lineman. But did you
know he hopes to one day be flush with John Deere equipment? It's convenient to
only think of Chris Snee as the starting right guard. But just picture him
having to find a quiet moment with Tom Coughlin to ask about marrying the
coach's daughter. These are some of the eclectic stories of these Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/), beyond football.


THE FUTURE FARMER </p>


While he was at Arkansas, Mitch Petrus had a one-of-a-kind study guide: his
father.</p>


“When it came down when I had to find something to be interested in, it
couldn’t have been easier for me,” the Giants' backup guard said. “So when they
started talking about rice and commodities and stuff like that, I was like,
‘I’ve done this my whole life.’ My dad taught me a lot of it. So when I had a
question, I’d just go talk to my dad.”</p>


Growing up in rural Carlisle, Ark., farming was in Petrus’ blood. So when he
had to pick a major in college, it was a no-brainer — agricultural economics. He
says he’d like to own his own farm some day, when his NFL career is more
established.</p>


And, of course, finally put that degree to work.</p>


“I grew up on a farm, where we raised rice, corn and soy beans,” Petrus said.
“That’s what my area of interest was. I started out in kinesiology, but when it
came time to find something that I was interested in, (agriculture) came easier
to me. When they started using examples for commodities and stuff like that, it
was a breeze.”</p>


THE SECRET SOCIETY GUY</p>


That Kevin Boothe is one of the smartest guys in the Giants locker room is no
surprise. He owns a degree from an Ivy League school, after all. But how smart
is he? So smart, he can’t really tell you about the secret society he was in at
Cornell.</p>


The team’s center was a member of the famous Quill and Dagger honor society
reserved for seniors.</p>


“It’s just an honor society-type thing, more than anything,” Boothe said,
quickly cutting off his own answer.</p>


He still keeps in touch with some of the fellow classmates who joined him in
being inducted during his senior year of 2006 — though there are none in the
NFL. But being in the same company as other famous athletes, politicians,
writers and captains of industry was a surprise. Even to him.</p>


“To tell you the truth, I didn’t know too much about it, prior to getting
introduced to it,” he said. “It’s a good society and I’m honored to be a part of
it.”</p>


THE INSIDE GARDENER </p>


When his collegiate career seemed to be over, Dave Tollefson knew he had to
do something to support himself. He had bounced around two different colleges
before missing three seasons with a string of injuries. So in 2002, he did what
most Americans without a job and few prospects did.</p>


He got a job at Home Depot.</p>


“I was in the Inside Garden section,” the defensive end said. “It was cool
and it was a job. It was a time in my life when I was just trying to make enough
money and make ends meet. I had bills to pay and stuff. It was a good
job.”
</p></div>A year later, he was able to get back on the field and play at Northwest
Missouri State and begin his climb toward the NFL. And while he’s never been
back to the Home Depot on Meridian Park Boulevard in Concord, Calif., he learned
a lot about himself during that stint. Plus a few tricks he uses around his own
house in Nebraska these days.


“I make sure my lawn is green,” Tollefson joked. “I really try to do the best
job that I can to make sure it’s green. I make sure to use fertilizers and stuff
like that.”</p>


THE NECKLACE </p>


To this day, he is still amazed at the power of the speech.</p>


Jacquian Williams was an eighth-grade student at Horace Mann Middle School in
Florida. A holocaust survivor spoke at his school. It was a day that changed the
rookie linebacker’s life forever. For the last four years, he has worn a silver
necklace with a Star of David on it to keep her message of hope with him
always.</p>


“She was an older woman and she was telling me about her experiences,” he
said. “To go through so much adversity and get through it, that kind of put
everything into perspective. Being young and being able to understand that,
changed me.”</p>


He doesn’t display the necklace, generally keeping it tucked inside of his
shirt, but he always wears it. Williams never knew the woman or kept up with her
through the years, but even in the hubbub of Super Bowl Media Day, reflected on
the impact of her message.</p>


“I was young and I really didn’t know what to expect,” Williams said. “But
when I listened in, I was really touched by her.”</p>


THE TEAM ROPER</p>


It’s a staple in the rodeo world. Two riders on horseback charge out of a
gate and try to wrangle in a runaway steer. It’s called team roping, and Bear
Pascoe is pretty good at it. </p>


Actually, scratch that: He’s really good at it.</p>


“I grew up on a big cattle ranch, so I grew up doing it,” the Giants tight
end said. “Since I was old enough to walk, I was swinging rope. My dad rodeoed
quite a bit in his day, so I wanted to follow him. We did it as a family.”</p>


Growing up in the central California town of Porterville, Pascoe was a
natural at the sport at a young age. He won several first-prize pots, a couple
of champion belt buckles and even a pickup truck in high school. Pascoe will
still get on horseback to rope in renegade cattle every now and then, but isn’t
as intense as he once was. Though his own horse, Wicked, is his best friend.</p>


“I got a good horse at home, he takes care of me,” Pascoe said.</p>

THE PROPOSAL</p>It’s tough enough to muster the confidence to ask a father to marry his
daughter. But try popping the question before the question to the man who not
only might be your future father-in-law, but also controls your playing
time.


And yet, somehow Chris Snee wasn’t nervous when he prepared for his big
meeting with Tom Coughlin before proposing to his daughter, Kate.
Okay, not
totally nervous.</p>


“It was something that I thought had to be done,” Snee said. “And I’m sure he
was appreciative of that. So I went. I may have been a little nervous, but I
wasn’t expecting him to say, ‘No.’”</p>


By now, the story about how Coughlin drafted his future son-in-law in 2004 is
well-documented. Snee went to Boston College and began dating the Giants coach’s
daughter, Kate, after they met in their freshman year. It was during a theater
class — part of the academic requirements — where Snee spent the majority of his
time directing.</p>


But he must’ve made quite an impression on Kate, to whom he proposed after
joining the Giants.</p>


“Even my wife didn’t know a lot about me,” Snee joked. “She knew that I
played football, but she didn’t know I was a starter.”</p>


THE ‘LAW &amp; ORDER’ FAN</p>


If it were up to Prince Amukamara’s dad, he would’ve been battling opponents
in a courtroom instead of on the football field. Yes, the Giants rookie
cornerback had thought about becoming a lawyer, but not because of his father’s
urging.</p>

“I just really liked watching ‘Law &amp; Order’ and stuff like that,”
Amukamara said. “So I think that’s probably why I stayed with it for a little
bit. But after that the desire just died out.”</p>


When he first arrived at Nebraska, Amukamara was originally enrolled as a
political science major. But there were too many long papers to write, too many
theses to defend, so he switched to sociology. Not a bad move: He graduated in
3½ years.</p>


“There was a lot of writing and I realized it was not what I wanted to do,”
he said. “I’m definitely glad I switched. Political science was just not
me.”</p>


But reruns of the 20-year legal drama? Those he is still a fan of.</p>


“All the time,” he said."</p>

FOR MARA FAMILY, OWNING THE GIANTS HAS BEEN A STABILIZING FORCE FOR THE NFL, RICH HISTORY FOR TEAM (http://www.nj.com/super-bowl/index.ssf/2012/02/for_mara_family_owning_giants_has_provided_stabili zing_force_for_nfl_rich_history_for_team.html)</p>

"In many ways, buying the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) in
1925 was another of Tim Mara’s many bets.</p>


A bookmaker in the days when it was legitimate work, Mara paid $500 for the
franchise when the National Football League was in its infancy and baseball and
boxing overshadowed the sport.</p>


Eighty-seven years later, the Mara family’s hold on the Giants is still
strong as the team prepares to play in its fifth Super Bowl. Only the Chicago
Bears, owned by the Halas-McCaskey clan, have been in the hands of one family
longer than the Giants.</p>


The Maras’ enduring control — the family’s sole ownership ended in 1991 when
hotel magnate Preston Robert Tisch bought an interest in the team — is
considered a stabilizing force and also gives the Giants a rich history, a
sentimentality and a legacy that has become the essence of the organization.
</p>


"That continuity is critical,’’ said Joe Horrigan, vice president of
communications for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. "It’s vitally
important that the league has a number of these legacy teams.’’</p>


Horrigan said the institutional history, the knowledge and sacrifices that
come after years of experience is important to draw on. Longtime Wellington
Mara’s push for an NFL policy providing for television revenues to be shared
equally among the league’s teams, is an example.</p>


"He had everything to lose," Horrigan said. But Mara had the vision to see
that the league had to be strong for the teams to continue playing, Horrigan
said. "It’s living proof that doing what’s good for the majority works and
there’s a respect that comes when someone can say I’ve done it. I see the
rewards of it," he said. </p>


In the business world, consistency in management is often what keeps a
company running smoothly, makes an organization solid and a culture intact.</p>


The family ownership of the Giants brings a sharper focus, said Marc Ganis, a
consultant to many NFL teams. "It’s meant that there is a focus on the field and
a reinvestment in the team rather than any need to pull money out for the owners
or for acquisition costs," Ganis said. "(And) there is a focus on keeping this
team within the two families forever, so they operate it as a legacy business —
not as an entrepreneurial venture."</p>


Over nearly nine decades, the Giants have played in five venues, been led by
16 coaches and have won three Super Bowls. Its ownership has spanned two
generations of the Tisch family and three generations of Maras. That consistency
has helped to build one of the most respected and beloved organizations in the
National Football League. Today, the Giants organization is valued at $3
billion, according to recent estimates published by Forbes.</p>


EARLY YEARS</p>


From the start, the family’s attachment to the team was strong. </p>


When the stock market crashed in 1929, Tim Mara, the family patriarch,
suffered major losses. When the effects of the Great Depression took hold, Mara
worried he might also lose his football team. In 1931, he shielded it by turning
over the ownership to his two sons, Jack, 22, and Wellington, 14.</p>


By the 1940s, the Giants were a burgeoning powerhouse of talent. They reached
three NFL championship games and rode out World War II when many teams were
forced to fold or merge as players left for war.</p>

Professional football continued to gain popularity, and the Giants were part
of the reason why. The team’s glory years came during the 1950s when Giants
players like Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and Emlen Tunnell became household names.
Tim Mara died in 1959 as the team hit a low point. While the Giants struggled
with a series of retirements and injuries, other teams — Green Bay and Dallas
among them — were becoming greater NFL powerhouses during the 1960s. </p>


The Giants became the dogs of the league in the 1970s. John Mara,
Wellington’s son and the current Giants president, described those tough times
in a word: "abysmal." The team’s move to Giants Stadium in 1976 may have been a
bright spot, but the decade was marred by the team finishing last or
next-to-last eight times.</p>


"We became kind of joke," Mara said during a telephone interview this week
from Indianapolis. "Those memories haunt me."</p>


'THE DARK YEARS'</p>


On the field and off, the Giants were suffering. </p>


When Jack Mara died in 1965, his son, Tim, stepped into the role of co-owner.
The partnership between Wellington Mara and his nephew wasn’t an easy one
though. Giants fans who lived through it refer to the period as "the dark
years."</p>


In 1987, the feud got so bad that Wellington installed Venetian blinds
between the two owners’ luxury suites. His nephew countered by installing wood
paneling, according to an account published in Forbes magazine. Finally, NFL
Commissioner Pete Rozelle designated the team’s new general manager, George
Young, to act as an intermediary.</p>


Enter Preston Robert Tisch, one of the country’s most successful businessmen
who with his brother had created the multibillion-dollar Loews Corp. empire.
When Tisch approached his longtime friend Wellington Mara about owning a piece
of the team in 1990, Mara steered him to his nephew, whom he had heard might be
interested in selling his shares.</p>


The deal went through the next year when Tisch, known as Bob, bought 50
percent of the Giants for a reported $75 million in 1991, just before his 65th
birthday.</p>


While it was against league rules to have divided ownership, the deal was
grandfathered in because of Mara’s history with the league, and the confidence
that the two men would work well together, said Paul Tagliabue, who worked
closely with both men as NFL commissioner.</p>


"They had great respect for each other, and for each other’s
specializations," Tagliabue said. "Mr. Tisch always respected Mr. Mara’s acumen
in football and his knowledge of how to run a football team, and Mr. Mara always
respected Mr. Tisch’s acumen as a businessman."</p>


The differences that had hung over the Giants executive offices for so long
were finally resolved. A few years later, in 1995, Tim Mara died from Hodgkins
disease, relegating the long-running feud to a piece of team lore.</p>


PERFECT PARTNERSHIP</p>

The timing of the Mara-Tisch partnership couldn’t have been better.
Professional football was changing. As the NFL gained popularity, the scale of
the business grew. Wellington Mara, who had influenced the league’s growth as
much as he guided his own team, could see what was coming. It was important to
him that Tisch was experienced and skilled in business, Tagliabue said.</p>


Wellington Mara remained in charge of staffing decisions and league voting
while Tisch built up the Giants’ marketing and advertising departments. Ernie
Accorsi, a former general manager who remains close with the Mara family,
described Tisch as the "perfect partner’’ to Mara.</p>


For any other partnership — particularly in sports — a 50-50 split could mean
conflict, but it never was for Tisch and Mara. "(They) have gone exactly in the
opposite direction and actually build on each other’s strengths and
contributions," said Ganis, who knows the families personally. "Instead of
becoming a problem, it has become a great opportunity."</p>


In 2003, Mara turned control of the Giants over to his oldest son, John,
making him president and chief executive officer. On the Tisch side, it was
Steve, a Hollywood movie producer, who served as chairman and executive vice
president. (Tisch’s work includes "Forrest Gump’’ and "Risky Business.’’)</p>

In an interview with Forbes magazine the same year, Mara, who was often
described as a football purist, described how he had always focused on the
personnel side of football.</p>


"The league has changed,’’ the 87-year-old Mara told the magazine. "It’s
become a marketing powerhouse and a conglomerate, and there no place for
sentiment in a business like that."</p>


The Mara and Tisch sons worked together just as well as their fathers did,
according to people familiar with the families.</p>


"This was not a shotgun marriage — these are people who work well together,
recognize each other’s strengths," said Ganis, who said the sons clearly learned
from their fathers. "It’s an extraordinary partnership."</p>


Two years after passing management of the team onto his son, Wellington Mara
died. The other force behind the modern-day Giants, 79-year-old Robert Tisch
died three weeks later. </p>


Carl Goldberg, a real estate developer who worked with the families during
negotiations of the new MetLife Stadium in his role as chairman of the New
Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said working with the new partners, John
Mara and Steve Tisch was "a pleasure.’’</p>


"I was always struck by how well they communicated their ideas to one
another," said Goldberg, managing partner of Roseland Property Company, one of
the state’s leading residential developers. "They were very sensitive to each
other’s opinions and really tried to come up with one voice as to what the
Giants’ opinion would be on a specific issue."</p>


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

A FAMILY AFFAIR</p>


The Maras are a classic Irish Catholic family — large and tight-knit. Ann
Mara, Wellington’s 87-year-old widow, still gathers the family — she has 10
children and 43 grandchildren — together on Christmas Eve at the family
homestead in New York’s Westchester County. </p>


John Mara, a soft-spoken man who friends describe as grounded, has joked that
he has the job of running the Giants because he was "lucky’’ enough to be
first-born. And to many, he embodies many of the traits that made his father so
respected. "You never have a son that’s exactly like the father, but he’s as
close as you can get,’’ said Ernie Accorsi, the team’s former general manager.
"He’s the modern version of his father.’’</p>


John Mara responds personally to many telephone calls and letters that come
into his office from fans. "It’s important,’’ he said. "It builds up loyalty,
and it increases the feeling they have for the team.’’</p>


"You want to make them feel like they’re part of the family,’’ he said.</p>


And then, of course, there is the family.</p>


While Mara’s mother still holds the greatest share of the family’s ownership
in the Giants franchise, he and his siblings each own shares as well. John Mara
works in the front office with his brother Chris, who is senior vice president
of player personnel and Frank Mara, another brother, who is vice president of
community relations. Jonathan Tisch, another of Bob’s sons, is the
organization’s treasurer.</p>


"I have their trust,’’ said Mara, who also votes on behalf of his family.
"They know I’m acting in all of our best interests.’’</p>


But like the fans, Mara said his relatives often "let their feelings be
known.’’</p>


That was certainly the case last month when Ann Mara interrupted Fox analyst
Terry Bradshaw’s postgame interview with wide-receiver Victor Cruz after the
Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers. Tapping her finger into the former
quarterback’s arm, Mara scolded Bradshaw for always picking against the
Giants.</p>


Bradshaw playfully apologized, and Mara smiled and walked off camera.</p>


The very sentimentality that Wellington Mara feared was slipping away from
professional football is actually still part of the legacy his family carries
on.</p>


"We all take a lot of pride in this team," John Mara said. "When the team
runs out on the field every Sunday, I feel like they’re representing my
family."</p></div>GIANTS' ANTREL ROLLE HAS CHANGED SINCE MEETING, SAYS PERRY FEWELL (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_antrel_rolle_has_change.html)

"Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) defensive coordinator Perry
Fewell called Antrel Rolle into his office for a meeting at some point during
the regular season — Fewell estimated it to be in November, though neither could
remember exactly when.


The reason for the impromptu meeting was simple: Fewell didn’t like what he
was seeing in the safety-turned-nickel cornerback. He knew Rolle was upset about
his position change; Rolle had made public that he believed the nickel back
position wasn’t the best way to use his talents. </p>


So Fewell thought Rolle needed a reminder that the team is bigger than he is.
And he struck a cord by mentioning Deon Grant, Rolle’s best friend on the team,
and putting the team’s goal in perspective.</p>


“He said, ‘’Trel, you have to think about it this way: You and Deon are
tight, right?’” Rolle told The Star-Ledger, recalling the conversation between
he and Fewell. </p>


“I said, ‘Yeah.’ </p>


“He said, ‘Y’all are like brothers, right?’</p>

“I said, ‘Yeah.’ </p>


“He said, ‘How many more opportunities do you think he’s going to get to
actually reach a Super Bowl or win a Super Bowl?’ </p>


“And when I thought about that, it actually brought tears to my eyes and from
that point on I never saw the game about me. I never saw the game about anything
having to deal with me. I saw the game about my teammates, I saw the game most
of all about Coach Coughlin, and I saw the game most of all about Deon
Grant.”</p>


Fewell said he’s seen a change in Rolle since that meeting, which became
another step in Rolle’s steady evolution from disgruntled newcomer to Tom
Coughlin enthusiast over the course of a year.</p>


“I just wanted him to think about when we’re going out and we’re playing,
there are some guys that probably won’t get a chance to play anymore after this
year,” Fewell said. “And it could be your best buddy. It could be the guy you
sit next to in the meeting. </p>


“We got to think about team before we think about anything else. As a leader
— that’s what he is on our football team — he has to lead and not just for
himself, but for others. So I just wanted him to think about that as the leader
of our defense so he could really take in the total perspective.”</p>OSI UMENYIORA SPENT TIME WITH FAMILY INSTEAD OF ATTENDING MEDIA SESSION (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/osi_umenyiora_spent_time_with.html)

"Osi Umenyiora missed out on Wednesday’s media session so it was only fitting
that the media gathered around his podium a half hour before he appeared for
today’s session, waiting to shoot questions about him not being around to answer
questions Wednesday.


“Honest mistake,” Umenyiora said when the first question was fired his way.
“We had just went through the whole media day the day before so I wasn’t sure
that this was mandatory so I went to hang out with my family. </p>


“It was a mistake, a costly one, but a mistake none the less.”</p>


And by costly, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_osi_umenyiora_blames_mi.html">he
meant $20,000-worth of costliness</a>. Not pocket change by any means, even for
an NFL Pro Bowler. </p>


“Absolutely it is a big hit,” Umenyiora said. “I feed a lot of people. I am
responsible for a lot of people. That money could have went to a really, really
good cause. It is stupid to have to incur that type of fine for missing
something as simple as this, but at the end of the day I didn’t know it was
mandatory.”</p>GIANTS' GM JERRY REESE JOKES ABOUT BEING SMARTER THIS SEASON (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_gm_jerry_reese_jokes_ab.html)

"There is a fine line between success and failure in the “what have you done
lately” NFL, and Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) general manager
Jerry Reese knows it all too well.


This time last year, questions about his football team were abundant and they
continued into training camp and until the Giants turned things around with
their season on the line against the Jets on Christmas Eve. </p>


“It’s kind of funny when you’re 10-6 last year and you don’t qualify for the
tournament and you go 9-7, you win the division, qualify for the tournament,”
Reese said. “That’s the difference between being a smart guy and a not-so-smart
guy. Last year, I wasn’t so smart. This year, we win nine games [and] I’m
smarter. Go figure that.”</p>

Now, after constant criticism for making unpopular moves during the
offseason, Reese is back on the media and fans’ good side, one win away from
winning his second Super Bowl in five seasons.</p>


“In 2009, we thought we had a pretty deep team and we ended up 8-8, because
we went out and got some free agents,” Reese said. “That isn’t always the way to
do it. Everybody has different ways of doing things. We had a good nucleus of
guys coming back and we just felt like we needed to make the best football
moves. </p>


"Obviously, they’re not sexy moves. We signed a guard, we signed a center and
we signed a punter. That’s not really sexy, especially from a fan perspective.
Fans are fans and they like to see big names and see you look like you’re
stacking the deck, but we had good players already and we needed to fill the
holes we thought were there and we tried to do that.”</p>GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW WILL PRACTICE FOR A SECOND DAY IN A ROW (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/02/giants_ahmad_bradshaw_will_pra.html)

"Before Wednesday’s practice, the Giants’ first in Indianapolis, Tom Coughlin
was under the assumption that running back Ahmad Bradshaw wasn’t going to
practice as has been his typical weekly routine.

But Bradshaw said he wanted to be out there with his teammates and wound up
practicing Wednesday afternoon, though in a limited capacity. Bradshaw today
said that he’ll be practicing again this afternoon, the first time he’ll have
practiced on consecutive days since returning from injury in early December.



“Just to get my legs up under me," Bradshaw said. "We’ve been staying in this
hotel for the last couple of days, sitting on our butts in meetings and
everything else, so I just wanted to get my feet up under me and get out there
and have fun.

“I feel good. I’ll probably go today and sit out Friday and
Saturday.”</p>
<p

lttaylor56
02-03-2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks RF. We are fortunate to have had this blessed season from this team. Whatever happens Sunday...these guy's are champions in my eye's.

ashleymarie
02-03-2012, 11:54 AM
TY

NY_Eli
02-03-2012, 12:07 PM
Thanks RF! Since August, Coughlin has been preaching 'finish'. Now it is THE time to follow that mantra. I think this team will play with heart and passion!

lttaylor56
02-03-2012, 12:16 PM
That's all that we can ask from these guy's. I agree, they will give us that.

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 12:19 PM
Thanks RF. We are fortunate to have had this blessed season from this team. Whatever happens Sunday...these guy's are champions in my eye's.

I couldn't agree more. Win are lose, these guys make us proud to be fans of the New York Football GIANTS.

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 12:20 PM
Thanks RF! Since August, Coughlin has been preaching 'finish'. Now it is THE time to follow that mantra. I think this team will play with heart and passion!

Well said

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 12:20 PM
TY

[Y]

lttaylor56
02-03-2012, 12:26 PM
Thanks RF. We are fortunate to have had this blessed season from this team. Whatever happens Sunday...these guy's are champions in my eye's.

I couldn't agree more.* Win are lose, these guys make us proud to be fans of the New York Football GIANTS.
YES Sir!

BigBlue1971
02-03-2012, 01:58 PM
thanks Roanoke! [y]</P>


getting closer to "G" day! cant wait!</P>

Voldamort
02-03-2012, 02:15 PM
Great info once again!

GameTime
02-03-2012, 02:24 PM
<FONT color=#000080 size=6>THANKS RO.....</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6></FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>I AM FREAKING FLIPPING OUT!!!!!!!</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6></FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>ALL IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</FONT></P>

jomo
02-03-2012, 02:27 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</P>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</P>


All In!!</P>

nygsb42champs
02-03-2012, 02:42 PM
Great stuff RF!!!

Dover Giant
02-03-2012, 03:07 PM
Thanks great insight.Gives one more respect for the complexity of the game

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 03:56 PM
<font color="#000080" size="6">THANKS RO.....</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6"></font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">I AM FREAKING FLIPPING OUT!!!!!!!</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6"></font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">ALL IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</font></p>

No need to shout, I've turned the hearing aides up [;)]

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 03:56 PM
Great info once again!

Lots to be had this week

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 03:58 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</p>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</p>


All In!!</p>

I just can't stop believing we win this one. I'm not even sure it will be "close" but we keep focusing on what our D can do to Brady and Co. but how about what can they do to Eli and Co.?

GameTime
02-03-2012, 04:12 PM
<FONT color=#000080 size=6>THANKS RO.....</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6></FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>I AM FREAKING FLIPPING OUT!!!!!!!</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6></FONT></P>


<FONT color=#000080 size=6>ALL IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</FONT></P>




No need to shout, I've turned the hearing aides up [;)]
</P>


I cant very well type "I am freaking flippingout" in reg font. Doesnt have the desired effect....lol</P>

jomo
02-03-2012, 06:28 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</P>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</P>


All In!!</P>

I just can't stop believing we win this one. I'm not even sure it will be "close" but we keep focusing on what our D can do to Brady and Co. but how about what can they do to Eli and Co.?
You're right with that, very little talk about Eli and the O. He is at the perfect moment in his career to dismantle whatever belicheat throws at him. His weapons are substantial and he will deploy all of them. Still, if our D plays like it has been, the Pats have no chance. If we engage in a shootout, we give them a glimmer. All together now DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 06:44 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</p>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</p>


All In!!</p>

I just can't stop believing we win this one. I'm not even sure it will be "close" but we keep focusing on what our D can do to Brady and Co. but how about what can they do to Eli and Co.?
You're right with that, very little talk about Eli and the O. He is at the perfect moment in his career to dismantle whatever belicheat throws at him. His weapons are substantial and he will deploy all of them. Still, if our D plays like it has been, the Pats have no chance. If we engage in a shootout, we give them a glimmer. All together now DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!

In the last game, Bradshaw, Nicks, and Hynoski didn't play and we beat them. Now we have all three who will be playing in critical roles. Everyone is healthy (as that term is used in the NFL) so if we FINISH, we WIN!

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 06:45 PM
<font color="#000080" size="6">THANKS RO.....</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6"></font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">I AM FREAKING FLIPPING OUT!!!!!!!</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6"></font></p>


<font color="#000080" size="6">ALL IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</font></p>




No need to shout, I've turned the hearing aides up [;)]
</p>


</p>

Good point, Buckaroo
</p>


I cant very well type "I am freaking flippingout" in reg font. Doesnt have the desired effect....lol</p>

jomo
02-03-2012, 09:17 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</P>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</P>


All In!!</P>

I just can't stop believing we win this one. I'm not even sure it will be "close" but we keep focusing on what our D can do to Brady and Co. but how about what can they do to Eli and Co.?
You're right with that, very little talk about Eli and the O. He is at the perfect moment in his career to dismantle whatever belicheat throws at him. His weapons are substantial and he will deploy all of them. Still, if our D plays like it has been, the Pats have no chance. If we engage in a shootout, we give them a glimmer. All together now DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!

In the last game, Bradshaw, Nicks, and Hynoski didn't play and we beat them. Now we have all three who will be playing in critical roles. Everyone is healthy (as that term is used in the NFL) so if we FINISH, we WIN!
OK, Eli you are cleared to load the ordinace and fire when ready!!

RoanokeFan
02-03-2012, 10:11 PM
Holy compilation Batman!</p>


Awesome as always RF, thanks so much for making this so easy for us.</p>


All In!!</p>

I just can't stop believing we win this one. I'm not even sure it will be "close" but we keep focusing on what our D can do to Brady and Co. but how about what can they do to Eli and Co.?
You're right with that, very little talk about Eli and the O. He is at the perfect moment in his career to dismantle whatever belicheat throws at him. His weapons are substantial and he will deploy all of them. Still, if our D plays like it has been, the Pats have no chance. If we engage in a shootout, we give them a glimmer. All together now DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!

In the last game, Bradshaw, Nicks, and Hynoski didn't play and we beat them. Now we have all three who will be playing in critical roles. Everyone is healthy (as that term is used in the NFL) so if we FINISH, we WIN!
OK, Eli you are cleared to load the ordinace and fire when ready!!

We could have an offensive juggernaut about to be unleashed this Sunday