No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts






    "The sight of Brian
    Witherspoon writhing on the ground
    as the rest of the Giants’ defensive backs knelt in prayer was
    an all-too-familiar scene for a team that lost a bunch of cornerbacks, including
    Witherspoon, a season ago.

    It was certainly a poor way to begin the first of the 10 organized team
    activities sessions. But the workout continued for the rest of the team in a
    gathering (I’m running out of ways to say “practice” without saying “practice”
    because OTAs aren’t supposed to be called “practices”) that was short and
    limited in contact.

    "All of these workouts are important for everybody to get back into a
    football mentality," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Our first thing
    out here is we try to be safety-first. We don't have any pads on; we don't even
    have any shells on. We can go against each other a little bit in this phase.

    "But the development of these young guys is real important. Just to learn the
    new language is real critical."

    As you'll see below, some of the young guys are very early in the development

    A few notes from the session, and beyond:

    --The following players appeared to be limited in some form or fashion: RB
    Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), CB Corey Webster
    (unknown), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), LT Will
    (eye), DT Linval Joseph (ankle), LB
    Clint Sintim (knee), TE Travis Beckum (knee),
    CB Prince Amukamara (foot) and WR Dan DePalma
    (hip). Amukamara says he’ll begin running next week. DePalma revealed
    he had hip surgery this offseason after practicing through a torn labrum. He’s a
    guy a few veterans have mentioned as a possible breakout player, so we’ll keep a
    close eye on him when he begins working fully. It sounds like that won’t be
    until training camp, though.

    --TE Martellus Bennett left practice midway through with a
    sore hamstring. But that doesn’t stop the learning. “(The trainers) can wrap you
    over here,” TEs coach Mike Pope yelled toward Bennett, meaning
    he wanted him closer to provide instruction on what the other players were

    --These players were not in attendance: DT Chris Canty
    (knee), TE Jake Ballard (knee), TE Adrien
    (finishing school) and DE Osi Umenyiora, who
    has yet to make an appearance around these parts this offseason. (I'm guessing
    Ballard wasn't around because he comes in early for rehab. I'm not sure if
    Canty's absence on the field had to do with his knee, which he had scoped this

    --Here’s how the first-team offensive line looked: LT James
    , LG Kevin Boothe, C David
    , RG Chris Snee, RT David Diehl.
    Pretty much what we expected, save for Brewer in for Beatty. Expect Brewer to
    get plenty of reps at right tackle, too.

    --Your starting LBs were Mathias Kiwanuka, Chase
    and Michael Boley. Newly acquired Keith
    Rivers was working with the second team. Rivers received some instruction from
    defensive coordinator Perry Fewell because he was peeking in
    the wrong gap on a running play. On the next play, Rivers was upset with his
    drop into a zone when WR Jerrel Jernigan caught a ball on a
    hook inside him.

    --S Tyler Sash worked with the starters in Phillips'

    --DT Markus Kuhn (seventh round) was in action after missing
    rookie camp with a leg laceration. All's well, apparently, as he got up to bat
    down a pass late in practice.

    --CB Jayron Hosley, the team’s third-round pick, made a nice
    play in team drills when he slipped underneath WR Isaiah Stanback
    on an in cut from QB Ryan Perrilloux. Hosley was
    playing over top of Stanback but drifted even with him and then got inside his
    shoulder to get position and knock the ball away. Hosley showed good instincts
    on that play. A little later, though, he didn’t drop into a zone properly and
    allowed WR Ramses Barden to catch an easy intermediate pass
    near the sideline. “Get your depth,” secondary coach Peter
    said. And Hosley struggled to read a comeback route late in
    practice. His momentum carried him too far upfield on that play. “Watch the
    three-step (drop),” Giunta told him. In short, Hosley has the ability but like
    many rookies, needs to work on his technique.

    --With Witherspoon likely done for the season and CB Antwaun
    suffering an apparent hamstring injury today, depth at corner
    remains paramount for the Giants. One player who could help in that department
    is CB Justin Tryon, who was playing well last season before breaking
    his arm
    . Tryon looked pretty good out there today, including on one play
    when he defended a pass from QB Eli Manning to WR
    Victor Cruz on a double move. Tryon didn’t bite and stayed with
    Cruz as he ran the corner route. Giunta thinks it could’ve been an ever better
    play if Tryon had turned back to find the ball. “Play the ball and that’s an
    interception,” Giunta told Tryon.

    --Speaking of the coaches’ commentary, Giunta and safeties coach
    David Merritt liked what they saw from undrafted free agent S
    Jojo Nicolas on one play when he stayed on top of a deep pass
    from QB David Carr to WR David Douglas that
    fell incomplete, thanks in part to Nicolas’ coverage. On the next play, Nicolas
    came from down low in the box to cover the deep half of the field, as the Giants
    are wont to do with their safeties. Nicolas, who signed with the Giants in part
    because of fellow former Miami Hurricanes Phillips and Antrel
    , will have to fend off Will Hill and
    Janzen Jackson for a roster spot. That figures to be a very
    interesting competition.

    --RB David Wilson, the first-rounder, ran into the flat on
    one play when he should’ve run the short hook over the middle. Carr just pointed
    to the area in which Wilson should’ve been standing when he was left without a
    check-down option. This is all part of the learning process for Wilson.

    --On the play Molden was injured, veteran S Stevie Brown
    covered some serious ground to get to a deep ball up the sideline. He looks
    spry. S Chris Horton, another veteran free agent, isn’t moving
    so well and was saying in the locker room he doesn’t have a burst because his
    hamstring has been tight lately. There’s apparently a lot of that going around
    right now.

    --Perrilloux has really been throwing the deep ball well this spring. Today,
    he laid one on the hands of a diving WR Brandon Collins, though
    Collins couldn’t hold on. Yeah, I said Collins was diving, but Perrilloux didn’t
    have much to work with on that play. Trust me, it was a good ball.

    --OT Matt McCants, the
    sixth-round pick I wrote about on Tuesday
    , showed real nice balance on one
    play when he handled LB Jacquian Williams to one side and then
    stoned him as Williams tried to bounce the other way. McCants has looked pretty
    good so far. Again, the hitting isn’t live yet, so let’s not make any snap
    judgments on guys playing the more physical positions. In fact, that’s why you
    won’t see much here about the players in the trenches because it’s just too
    difficult to gauge them when no one is wearing any pads. But from a footwork
    standpoint, McCants has been sharp when I’ve spotted him.

    * * * *

    was asked about receiving the Outstanding Civil Service Award
    from the U.S.
    Army during a ceremony in Virginia this evening.

    "I think it’s a tremendous honor. I’m very humbled in receiving this honor,
    and I look forward to spending an evening with Gen. (Raymond T.) Odierno and the
    other people being honored," he said. "I have learned a little more what this
    honor is over the last week or so. It’s very humbling. It’s an honor to be in
    that company and to realize the historical significance of where we will be when
    this takes place tonight, where all the Chiefs of Staff have lived going way
    back to the 1800’s, and what this represents in terms of our support for the
    military, our men and women who serve our country.

    "If you think back going all the way to back to 9/11 and how that changed the
    way, I hope, all Americans feel about our armed forces, the changing of the way
    in which war is conducted and what (the military does) for us on a daily basis,
    so we can work in this great National Football League and all Americans can
    sleep under the blanket of freedom. It is a very, very humbling experience that
    I’m looking forward to."

    Asked what he's learned about the honor he's receiving, Coughlin replied,
    "Just the nature of what this represents. It’s the third-highest civilian honor
    that can be bestowed on any non-military persons. I’m deeply, deeply moved by

    * * * *

    And one final note: the Giants will be honored by President Obama at the
    White House on Friday, June 8. So, you know, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop
    on by."



    "An arbitrator has upheld the salary cap reductions the NFL placed on the Dallas
    Cowboys and Washington Redskins for this and next season.

    Stephen Burbank ruled today in favor of the league and dismissed the
    grievances filed by both teams. The Redskins lost $36 million over two years,
    and the Cowboys $10 million for overloading contracts during the uncapped 2010
    season despite league warnings against such maneuvering.

    The Cowboys and Redskins, who filed their grievances against the league and
    players association, said in a joint statement they would "abide by the
    arbitrator's decision to dismiss."

    "We will continue to focus on our football teams and the 2012 season," said
    the statement from the NFC rivals.

    Before the grievance was filed on May 10, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the
    reduction forced the team to "go into the future and get some of those dollars
    that we wouldn't have had to do had we not had that adjustment. So that will
    just create a challenge for us in the future."



    "He’s not quite sure how that very first full-speed, all-out tackle will feel,
    or how his body – and perhaps his psyche – will hold up when he begins that
    first backpedal while shadowing an elite receiver in Week 1.

    But Terrell Thomas does know this much: Come the start of Giants training
    camp in Albany, his right knee, the same knee that’s undergone two ACL
    reconstruction surgeries in the past six years, will be ready to go.

    “Training camp, I’ll be a full go, without a doubt,” Thomas said on
    Wednesday. “The way my knee’s feeling right now, I should be able to do
    everything by then.”

    Thomas made that statement shortly after providing the latest evidence of his
    recovery during the Giants’ organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday. Ten
    months after tearing his ACL in a preseason game, Thomas felt healthy enough to
    participate in the OTA session.

    He began by playing catch with safety Antrel Rolle, then did some drills with
    the corners. He did not participate in seven-on-seven drills, but the successful
    workout session still buoyed his confidence, so much so that Thomas insisted
    that he will be able to handle a full two-a-day load in training camp.

    “I feel my knee is ready to do all these things,” he said, “so I had to just
    jump right back in.”

    Thomas knows he needs the reps, because while his words exude confidence, his
    mind may remain fragile until he finally delivers on the field, in live action.
    The 27-year-old has spent the past few weeks insisting that he will reclaim his
    starting job opposite Corey Webster, rising above the defensive backfield

    GM Jerry Reese has stockpiled corners over the past two seasons, drafting
    Prince Amukamara and signing vet Antwuan Molden. But Thomas believes the
    four-year, $28-million deal he inked in March cements his position in the CB
    pecking order.

    “I feel that’s why they brought me back,” he said. “Obviously, come training
    camp, there’s going to be a lot of competition, with me, Prince, Corey, young
    guys, Molden. There’s no position set, except for probably Eli (Manning). But
    starting, that’s my mindset going into it.”

    “My best thing is to prove that the knee is 100% back,” he added, “not that
    the player is back.”

    He must prove the knee’s health to the Giants, and to himself. While Thomas’
    twice-rebuilt ACL held up in workouts Wednesday, he watched teammate Brian
    Witherspoon, another corner trying to return from a torn ACL suffered last
    preseason, collapse in a drill and get carted away. Coach Tom Coughlin said he
    is “afraid” that Witherspoon has reinjured his ACL.

    “It was heartbreaking,” Thomas said of Witherspoon’s injury.

    “That’s the hardest part, coming off an injury, especially when you see
    somebody with that injury,” he added. “When it’s time to go, that first tackle,
    that first blitz, that first coverage, that first fall, you’re going to be a
    little bit hesitant at first. It’s natural, you’re human.”

    Thomas hopes to work that out of his system in Albany.

    “Try to rep that out in camp,” he said, “so when Sunday comes, you’re not

    - I've already told everyone who was NOT
    at Wednesday's workout, but there were also two surprise players in attendance.
    TE Travis Beckum, who is still recovering from a torn ACL
    suffered in Super Bowl XLVI, was at the facility. He rode a stationary bike
    early on, then stood with his teammates during seven-on-seven drills.

    - Another surprise participant? Ahmad Bradshaw. Shortly
    after the Super Bowl, the Giants' top tailback had hinted that he might not
    participate in offseason activities, an effort to rest his chronically injured
    feet. Yet there Bradshaw was on Wednesday, doing drills with the Giants' other
    RBs and even taking a handoff during seven-on-sevens. Worth noting, however: He
    took of his helmet and watched from one knee as the tailbacks did some
    footwork-intensive agility drills, so he was resting his foot just a bit.

    - Perry Fewell said Chase Blackburn was the
    man to beat at middle linebacker, and that's what it looked like on Wednesday.
    Blackburn handled first-team middle linebacker duties during scrimmage action.
    He was flanked by Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael
    . Of course, it's very early in the process, second-year man
    Greg Jones is learning a new position, and new acquisition
    Keith Rivers is learning a new defense.

    - The Giants lost two cornerbacks in their first OTA session on Wednesday in
    Antwuan Molden (hamstring) and Brian
    (likely a torn ACL for the second straight season). On the
    bright side, some other CBs who battled injuries last season made it through
    practice unscathed. Michael Coe was fine, as was Justin

    Tryon, if you'll recall, was picked up by the Giants early last season and
    impressed Coughlin with his grittiness on special teams. But a broken arm landed
    him on injured reserve at the end of October.

    He was back yesterday, though, and he added that he actually could have
    played for the Giants down the stretch last season. He said his broken arm wound
    up healing in less than a month.

    Either way, Tryon is back now, and he'll compete with the Giants' bevy of CBs
    for playing time this season.

    - Second-year WR Jerrel Jernigan made several nice catches
    during seven-on-sevens, and he seemed far more comfortable than he was a year

    - WR Domenik Hixon was also back from the torn ACL that
    wrecked his 2011 season, and he seemed to be running fluidly. He was among the
    options fielding punts - along with Victor Cruz and rookie
    Reuben Randle - and he also ran a handful of pass patterns. In
    one instance, with Tryon in coverage, Hixon ran upfield about eight yards,
    stopped hard, then turned around to make the grab.

    He told me his knee felt "fine," and he wasn't tentative at all.

    "I felt good," he said. "Didn't even think about it."

    Hixon's also bulked up a bit for this season. Hixon told me he weighed around
    190 last season. Right now, he looks considerably bigger, and he said he weighs
    more than 200 pounds. His frame carries the extra weight well, and it doesn't
    appear to have cost him any speed or agility.

    - Rookie RB David Wilson got an earful from RB coach
    Jerald Ingram after running a shaky pass route, but the
    first-round pick did not seem too concerned afterwards.

    "It was more of a tip than a get-on," Wilson said. "Said I want to be more
    shallow. I was three yards from hash. He said be five yards from the hash. It
    was a small tip."




    "A year ago, a spirited player who was disappointed not to be selected in the
    NFL Draft was signed by the Giants to compete for a spot on the roster at
    fullback. That player, Henry Hynoski, became a role player as a rookie and
    helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI.

    A year later, the Giants signed another undrafted player to compete for a
    spot at fullback.

    Joe Martinek of Rutgers did a nice job during the recent rookie mini-camp.
    The competition and the stakes rise today when he participates in the Giants’
    first Organized Team Activity practice with most of the veterans on

    Hynoski will be looking to solidify his spot and Martinek will be looking to
    carve a niche for himself on the roster in a competition that won’t really get
    cooking until training camp this summer at the University at Albany. The
    fullback’s role in the Giants’ offense is primarily to block for running backs,
    pass-protect for the quarterback and catch an occasional pass out of the

    Mostly, it is about establishing a physical presence on the field, something
    that won’t really happen in an OTA. This is the first of 10 practices that go on
    without pads, without contact and without any 1-on-1 drills. The OTAs conclude
    with the June 12-14 veteran mini-camp.

    Head coach Tom Coughlin described Martinek as “very steady’’ during the
    rookie camp and said Martinek probably could play both fullback and running

    “Whatever they decide ... I’m willing to do whatever they ask me,’’ said
    Martinek, a native of Hopatcong, N.J., who said he did not grow up a fan of the

    “I was a fan of college football in general,’’ Martinek said. “I watched
    professional, any game that was on, but my town and my best friends are all huge
    Giant fans. It does help. I have family and friends and the Jersey support. I’m
    trying to make the most of this opportunity. I might not get another one.’’

    * Coughlin will be one of five to receive the Army’s Outstanding Civilian
    Service Award in a ceremony today at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia.
    The award will be presented by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Chief of Staff of
    the Army, a Giants fan who has developed a close relationship with Coughlin.

    The citation to be presented to Coughlin in part states his “consistent,
    outward public support of the U.S. Army and the military in general have had
    far-reaching positive impacts on the health and morale of our service members at
    home and deployed overseas.’’

    * Coughlin told the Florida Times-Union this past weekend he has not even
    thought about retirement.

    “I’m not mentally, not physically ready [to retire],” Coughlin said during
    his 17th annual Jay Fund golf tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., which raised
    $450,000 for families of cancer patients. “I feel I have good energy. I’m
    excited every day. The competitiveness, the nature of the business, is something
    that I’m still excited about. I don’t wander down that path. I don’t think about

    The Giants shortly will complete and announce a multi-year contract extension
    for Coughlin, who turns 66 on Aug. 31 and is the NFL’s oldest head


    "Tom Coughlin is not the retiring type.

    He will be, one day, but that day is not now and not soon.

    "I'm not mentally, not physically, ready [to retire]," the Giants coach told
    the Florida Times-Union this past weekend during his 17th annual Jay Fund golf
    tournament in Jacksonville. “I feel I have good energy. I'm excited every day.
    The competitiveness, the nature of the business, is something that I'm still
    excited about. I don't wander down that path. I don't think about retirement. I
    enjoy the situation I'm in. I appreciate the backing I've received from [Giants]
    ownership and the way the players have responded to our program.

    "I really don't feel any pull or tug in another direction. I look at it on a
    yearly basis. In our business, no matter how many years they give you on the
    contract, it's a one-year deal anyway."

    After winning his second Super Bowl in the past four years, Coughlin will
    soon be presented with a new state-of-the-art contract, most likely a three-year
    deal to replace the remaining one season on his existing contract. It is hard to
    imagine the issue of job security will ever again be a factor with Coughlin, who
    is 65 – he turns 66 on August 31, before the start of his ninth season with the

    Giants co-owner John Mara said last week there are no issues or hang-ups with
    Coughlin’s new contract and it likely will be announced shortly.

    Coughlin is the NFL’s oldest head coach but he shows no sign of slowing down.
    He told the Times-Union that his wife, Judy, has never asked him about

    “She's extremely supportive," Coughlin said. "[Coaching] grinds on the family
    a lot more than it grinds on the head coach."

    Eli Manning, the only quarterback Coughlin has needed with the Giants, played
    in the Jay Fund golf tournament, which raised $450,000 to support families of
    cancer patients. Manning told the Times-Union that Coughlin is noticeably more
    relaxed and no longer “a wild man’’ on the sideline.

    "I think some of that comes from the fact that a few players on the Giants
    have been there for seven, eight years," Manning said. "When he knows his
    players are prepared to play each game, he can relax, do his job and worry about
    coaching. He's toned it down, especially from that first year in 2004. He was a
    wild man on the sidelines. It was a shock for me to see, kind of out of control
    in a sense. But now he's a smooth operator, and I think a lot of it is because
    he has trust in his players."



    "Wide receiver Domenik Hixon, who is returning after two consecutive ACL
    tears, called it "devastating." He spoke, of course, of New York
    Giants cornerback Brian
    , who just moments after returning to the field for the first
    time since tearing his ACL a year ago, went down with what the team fears is
    another torn ACL … of the same knee.

    "I'm afraid it was an ACL again," head coach Tom Coughlin

    The Giants have had a string of players suffer multiple ACL tears in recent
    years, including the aforementioned Hixon, linebacker Clint Sintim and now
    Witherspoon. One positive Witherspoon can take away from this is that both
    Sintim and Hixon have fought their way back from back-to-back ACL tears and will
    be competing for a spot on the 53-man roster this season.

    Although no longer a death sentence for NFL players, dual ACL tears for Witherspoon put him at
    long odds to return. Whether or not the Giants place him on Injured Reserve (IR)
    or waive/injury him remains to be seen.

    In addition to Witherspoon, recently signed defensive back Antwaun
    was also carted off the field on Wednesday after suffering a
    hamstring injury.

    "It’s tough but I’ve been through this situation before so it’s good to know
    what to do," Molden said.

    Welcome back, Giants football!"



    "Less than 30 minutes into the New York
    ' first day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and already one player
    has gone down with what looks to be serious injury.

    While performing individual drills, cornerback Brian
    , who is coming off of a surgically repaired ACL, went down with
    an apparent and needed to be immediately helped onto a cart. He was promptly
    carted off of the field by trainers and staff.

    Witherspoon was a lost a season ago after tearing his ACL during the
    preseason. He had played quite well leading up to that point, and appeared to be
    a lock for the 53-man roster.

    In recent days, Witherspoon had been tweeting about his progress and desire
    to get back out on the field – to pick up where he had "left off." He had also
    shared several photos via Instagram of him vigorously studying the Giants'
    defensive playbook.

    Giants 101 will continue to update this as more information becomes


    "Organized Team Activities (OTA's) begin for the New York
    Giants today, and one of the many players who will be carefully watched is
    defensive tackle Marvin
    . After missing his rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle, and
    having been suspended for his senior year in college, it's imperative that he
    get off to a good start. Unfortunately, Ken Palmer reports that Austin
    will likely arrive at team facilities overweight and out of shape.

    "As much as they hope that Marvin
    will be ready to fill a spot in the DT rotation, that is far from a
    sure thing. We’ve heard that Austin has been on an eating binge and his weight
    has ballooned. Needless to say, the reports we’ve heard are that the Giants are
    none too pleased," Palmer writes.

    A few recent Instragram photos on Austin's account would refute Palmer's
    report, including a picture of the defensive tackle and head coach Tom Coughlin on
    the 17th hole at Sawgrass during the 17th annual Jay Fund Foundation golf tournament.

    Austin appears to be in relatively good shape, but that does not necessarily
    mean football
    shape. And after two years away from the game, there's undoubtedly some rust
    that needs to be worn off. But overweight? If he is, it's not by much … and
    nothing a few weeks at the team facilities can't fix.

    With the additions of Markus Kuhn (draft) and Shaun Rogers (free agency),
    Austin certainly has his work cut out for him if he wants to earn some playing
    time. Now healthy, he'll have to live up to the second-round draft pick the
    Giants used on him in 2011."


    "Nearly four months removed from their Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New
    England Patriots and confidence is beaming from the New York
    Giants. Veterans are talking dynasty, their head coach laughs at the notion of retirement and now their first-round
    pick, running back David
    , is predicting a repeat.

    While appearing at the Rose Bowl this past weekend for the NFLPA Rookie
    Premiere event, Browns running back Trent Richardson asked Wilson for a
    prediction on the upcoming season. Wilson did not hesitate in his response.

    “Super Bowl champs again!” Wilson said. “Against the Cleveland
    Browns, they got a good team. They picked up some players.”

    Obviously, Wilson's reply was a playful one aimed at poking fun at a friend
    and eventual opponent, but the confidence exuded is unquestionable. There's a
    lot of that going around New York right now and it's already worn off on the

    In addition to his prediction, Wilson shared funny moment with teammate and
    fellow rookie Rueben
    that showed an early bond between the two youngsters.

    “Would you please remove your helmet, please. For the interview,” Wilson
    asked. “People want to see the lov … oh no, put it back on!”

    What say you, Giants fans? Big Blue versus Dawg Pound in Super Bowl



    "The New York Giants are
    the defending Super Bowl champions. They have the trophy. The have their
    championship rings now. They have had a few months to enjoy the spoils of
    victory. It is time, though, for the Giants to focus on the 2012 NFL season.
    Probably past time.

    Coach Tom Coughlin said as much Wednesday after his team's first on-field OTA at the Timex Performance
    Center, saying "it's time to move on. You can sense it and you can feel it."

    The Giants did just that on the field Wednesday morning.

    "These workouts are important for everybody to get back into a football
    mentality," Coughlin said. "I just told the players: We have two OTAs this week,
    three next, four the following, we have the White House (visit), and then we
    have a mandatory camp. Before you know it, we'll be in training camp. We need to
    have a good focus, a good concentration now, a good learning - everybody kind of
    build themselves back up to football speed."

    Coughlin has now won two Super Bowl titles as coach of the Giants, and don't
    think he won't use the cachet from those titles to drive home his message to the
    players -- both veterans and youngsters. Coughlin was asked Wednesday about Justin Tuck's
    comments about turning the Giants into a dynasty. Here is what he said:

    "I think we must raise the bar for our own performance, whether it be in the
    meetings, on the practice field, on the game field. That's what I'd like to
    see," Coughlin said. "I'd like to see everyone come in here - the young players,
    the new players - [and] understand the New York Giants championship culture,
    which is over the door to the locker room, and try to raise the level of how we
    do everything so that it is championship level."

    NOTES: The Giants experienced their first injury of the season today
    when corrnerback Brian Witherspoon went down with another ACL injury.
    Witherspoon lost all of the 2011 season to the same injury."



    "I wrote Tuesday about the NFL rule change requiring additional leg padding.
    Well the league also voted to change the trade deadline and the injured reserve
    . Here is what they did with those rules:

    The owners also voted to move the trading deadline from after Week 6 to
    after Week 8, and to allow one "marquee" player placed on injured reserve to
    return to practice after the sixth week of the schedule and to the lineup after
    the eighth week. That player must be on the 53-man roster after the final
    preseason cut.

    It's about time the league changed the injured reserve rule. If you have been
    reading Big Blue View for a while, you know the ability to bring a player back
    or to use a baseball-style 'disabled list' is something I have campaigned for
    for years now.

    That change can only improve the quality of often watered-down NFL rosters
    toward the end of the long NFL season. How often in the past have players been
    placed on injured reserve when they would have been healed and available the
    second half of the season, simply because a spot on the 53-man roster could not
    be held for 8-10 weeks?

    You think maybe it would have helped the Giants last season
    to IR Prince Amukamara for the first half of the season rather than carry a
    player who could not play for eight weeks? How about Marvin
    ? I don't know for sure, but you wonder if he might have been healthy
    enough after suffering a torn pectoral muscle to contribute down the stretch
    last season?

    I'm sure there are examples like these on rosters of just about every team
    around the league, and I'm glad to see the league finally recognize


    "Entering the 2011 season, there were questions about whether or not 2009
    second-round draft pick Will Beatty, in
    his third season, was ready to step up and be the left tackle for the New
    York Giants
    . Beatty did a creditable job through 10 games before suffering a
    season-ending detached retina.

    In his first season as a starter, Beatty allowed four sacks and three
    quarterback hits in 10 games. He compiled a -1.2 overall score from Pro Football
    Focus -- sadly, the best among all Giants offensive lineman who played regularly
    a season ago. Beatty's +1.9 score for run-blocking was the only 'plus' grade PFF
    gave any regular Giants offensive lineman.

    Overall, Beatty was middle of the pack among offensive tackles graded by PFF,
    placing 30th out of 76 players who played at least 25 percent of their team's
    offensive snaps.

    The Giants have not yet announced any plans for how they will arrange their
    offensive line entering the 2012 training camp this summer. I have to believe,
    though, that there is little doubt Beatty will be returned to the starting left
    tackle role. The Giants showed last season that they don't want David Diehl in
    that spot any longer, and Diehl seems likely to wind up on the right side
    replacing Kareem
    in 2012. Second-year man James Brewer
    is not going to challenge Beatty, and neither are rookies Brandon
    and Matt

    So, there are two questions for Beatty. First, can he improve on a season
    during which he seemed to show some promise at the left tackle spot? Second, can
    he stay healthy and do the job for a full season?

    Again and again already this offseason we have talked about the need for
    improvement from the Giants' offensive line. If they are going to get that,
    Beatty needs to be part of the solution."


    Excerpt: "Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's Hump Day, and that means it's time for
    our calendar--just 15 weeks until the NFL season kicks off. I have to say, I
    have a good feeling about 2012. We have a strong, young team that, despite a few
    areas of weakness, should be on the upswing. Maybe it'll be like 2008
    again--where we dominated until someone shot himself in the leg, minus the part
    about someone shooting himself in the leg. Anyway, OTAs start today, so we
    should start to get a feel for some things--the least of which is whether or not
    Osi shows up and if anyone cares about that. Seriously though, the one thing you
    can count on with organized workouts is some fresh news material. So keep it
    here. With that, let's see what's happening..."


    "Remember that discussion we had Monday about mandatory knee, hip and thigh
    pads. Well, the NFL has made the knee and thigh pads mandatory, but not the hip
    pads. Apparently, this still has to be discussed with the Players Association
    before being implemented."










    "The buildup to this New York Giants season is
    starting just like last year.

    Cornerback Brian Witherspoon left
    practice Wednesday on a cart, and early indications from coach Tom Coughlin are
    that Witherspoon suffered an ACL injury, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New
    York Daily News. It's a crushing blow for the fifth-year undrafted player, who
    also tore his ACL before the 2011 season.

    Witherspoon was seen as a likely dime back and special-teams dynamo for the
    Giants last year before the injury. The Giants suffered a series of injuries in
    the secondary before last year, most notably to starting cornerback Terrell Thomas."






    "As far as Eli Manning is concerned, the fulfillment of teammate Justin Tuck's
    claim that the New York Giants can turn into an NFL dynasty began Wednesday with
    the first organized team activity.

    "It starts," Manning said, "right

    With player equipment limited to only
    helmets in this phase of OTAs, coaches conducted non-contact drills at the Timex
    Performance Center. And while nothing spectacular happened, the champions were
    indeed back on the field with some new additions, like first-round draft pick
    David Wilson.

    "Basically, it's a chance for the young
    guys to get out there and the coaches are trying to simplify things for them,"
    Manning said. "We've got new guys and we've got to get them used to our style of

    "It's getting used to how we practice,
    how we prepare. When we come to the practice field, it's all business and full

    While the two-time, Super Bowl MVP
    quarterback indicated he has dynastic dreams, he said the team simply needs to
    improve, starting with him.

    "I'm just trying to play at my level
    and my potential," Manning said.

    Tuck, though, reiterated his plans to
    collect three more rings to go along with the two he already has.

    "Why shouldn't we be (a dynasty)," Tuck
    asked. "I feel very confident in this team and this staff every year."

    And this year, a seasoned Victor Cruz
    plans to embrace a new role that Tuck and Manning already have: leader.

    "It's a unique situation," Cruz said.
    "I'm one of the older guys now, and the younger players look up to you. I'd like
    to think I can make an impression on the younger guys that through seeing the
    things that I do, they can see that things will happen through hard work."

    Cruz finished last season with 82
    catches and 1,536 yards receiving, which was a franchise single-season record.
    He also had nine touchdowns.

    But the feel-good, back-to-work day was
    not without an injury. In fact, in the opening minutes, fourth-year cornerback
    Brian Witherspoon went down in a simple position drill with yet another torn
    ACL. Witherspoon, who would have played in the secondary on passing downs and on
    special teams, missed all of last season when he tore the same one in the

    While on the ground, his teammates
    knelt in prayer.

    "It was heartbreaking," defensive back
    Terrell Thomas said. "It was just a Cover-2 drill, and the knee gave out. It's
    just tough to see because we know what he went through coming off an injury.
    You've got to go back out there and do it."








    Excerpt: "
    As training camp approaches, we take a look at the players on each team who
    will be most heavily scrutinized. The list contains a fair amount of
    quarterbacks — no stunner there — but we tried to highlight as many non-QBs as
    we could. The players highlighted range from rookies to veterans with 10 or more
    years of experience.

    In the fifth of an eight-part series, we look at the NFC East from the 2011
    order of finish:

    Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw

    Bradshaw is coming off a subpar season, and the Giants drafted their running
    back of the future in first-rounder David Wilson, who reminds some observers of
    Tiki Barber in terms of style. Bradshaw’s feet are a constant issue (he had
    offseason surgery on his right foot for a stress fracture), he never practices
    and running back is such a young man’s position that if Wilson is impressive
    there could be a very quick changing of the guard. Bradshaw, 26, has come up big
    in some critical situations for the Giants, but their loyalty to the former
    seventh-round pick will last only so long if he can’t stay healthy and

    Others worth mentioning: TE Martellus Bennett, CB Prince Amukamara." Read more...





    "So now the NFL will protect players by mandating thigh and knee pads for the
    2013 season, and while that sounds good it doesn't mean much if the league can't
    go beyond protecting players' bodies.

    I'm talking about protecting their heads, too, and let's not stop at
    concussions. I'm talking about players' attitudes towards injuries ... toward
    playing hurt ... toward life after football ... toward doing whatever they can
    to protect themselves from debilitating setbacks -- no matter if they're
    physical, mental or emotional.

    In essence, I'm talking about a culture that says you gotta play hurt. Well,
    no, you don't, because the NFL says so.

    "The days of tough it out, suck it up ... those days are over," said former
    cornerback Troy Vincent, the NFL's vice president of player engagement. "There's
    a process now. The athlete must engage. He must be able to take ownership."

    Vincent's comments come in the wake of the suicide of linebacker Junior Seau,
    a tragedy that provoked critics to wonder what the league is or should be doing
    to help players during and after their careers. Not enough, some critics
    believe, but Tuesday's vote to mandate pads is another step in a long process
    toward getting there.

    Some players will oppose it. Some players may mock it. And the NFL Players
    Association reportedly is against it until gaining more information on the

    But the rule is not going away, people. As a matter of fact, the league said
    that while it welcomes the cooperation of the players' union -- which it will
    approach now -- it will implement mandated knee and thigh pads whether the NFLPA
    endorses them or not.

    Look, pro football is a violent business, and we're just beginning to
    discover how violent. So steps must be taken to protect players, and those steps
    continued Tuesday with the NFL's action -- and while it's not a major change, it
    is one that could make a difference.

    "Hopefully," said Atlanta general manager Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL's
    competition committee, "you're going to move the needle [in injury prevention].
    And, if you're moving it 10 percent, you're still moving the needle."

    Vincent said he played his entire NFL career without knee or thigh pads. He
    wore only a helmet and quarterback's shoulder pads for protection because, as he
    put it, he felt faster and "skinnier" and, frankly, better suited for the pro
    game. The benefits, he admitted, were psychological, with Vincent undergoing
    three knee surgeries during his career. But now that he's retired, he believes
    the benefits don't outweigh the risks.

    "[Pads] is good," he said. "It's good for the game. I think we should be
    setting the example. It's the way it should be done." But it's more than
    players' bodies that need to be protected, and Seau's suicide at least has
    people talking about what could be next ... which is another part of this
    process. As Vincent pointed out, it's not so much players or former players who
    are interested in what can be done to help them; it's players' wives and family,
    with calls for grief counseling spiking after the Seau tragedy.

    "His death," Vincent said, "allows us as a league to become a partner in a
    broader messaging in things that plague our society ... [and] the NFL player is
    not exempt from those things. ... With all we've seen in public and stories
    there is no single reason why one commits suicide, but there may be signs of
    depression where we see spouses actually reaching out.

    "I always say want the truth about the player and what's going on his life?
    You have to go talk to his wife. Because she holds no punches. The guys? You
    don't do that because the six guys I'm talking to? I know there are only two
    starting cornerbacks, and if I say [I'm hurt] that's definitely a sign that
    something's going on. It's a sign of weakness, and that's got to change."

    Good luck there. The NFL can't change overnight what players have been taught
    for decades, but it must change eventually. There are too many stories of
    players suffering from significant head injuries or suffering from depression or
    committing suicide to ignore ... and the NFL knows it.

    Protecting a players' thigh or knee is the easy part. Changing his attitude
    about how to protect himself is the more significant hurdle, and don't look for
    that to happen anytime soon.

    But look for it to happen ... because it must.

    "It is our greatest challenge," said Vincent. "[You're taught that] you can
    never show a sign of weakness or tell anybody. So this is a culture shift. It's
    a social shift, which is why we have to do it at a younger age. It's an enormous



    "Earlier this month, New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended
    for the 2012 season
    for his role in the Saints bounty scandal. Last
    week, Vilma's attorney filed
    a defamation lawsuit
    against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

    complaint read, in part, that "Vilma seeks to recover damages for defamatory
    statements made by Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League.
    … Goodell, speaking publicly about certain Saints executives, coaches and
    players, in relation to purported efforts designed to injure opposing players,
    made public statements concerning Vilma which were false, defamatory and
    injurious to Vilma's professional and personal reputation."

    At issue:
    the league hasn't rele
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    I know it was just a joke to a fellow RB in conversation, but I don't like that Wilson "predicted" a SB repeat, people are going to blow it up way out of proportion.


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY,M,AY 23, 2012 - 2:16 P.M.

      [quote user="NYFan221"]I know it was just a joke to a fellow RB in conversation, but I don't like that Wilson "predicted" a SB repeat, people are going to blow it up way out of proportion.

      I do0n't see it as a "prediction" as much as good natured sniping at a former teammate
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1