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    "Will Beatty went from doing practically no physical activity
    following surgery
    to repair a detached retina
    last year to partaking in what he called
    “Olympic drills” at the start of the Giants’ offseason workouts.

    Beatty’s back quickly told him power cleans and such weren’t a good idea.

    “Once you have a history of back injuries, you want to stay away from certain
    drills,” the Giants’ left tackle said today before the first practice of
    minicamp. “I learned the hard way, but I did learn.”

    The lesson continues for Beatty, who sat out the entire OTA program and
    remains limited during this week’s minicamp. While he’s doing some drills,
    Beatty is not participating in the team portion of practice as he tries to get
    his back to quiet down.

    “I had so much time off I was actually trying to get myself in shape and
    doing more than I should’ve done,” Beatty said, adding: “Last year, (the back)
    was really bothering me but it never took me out of anything. I was having
    tightness and things like that. But this is the first time I missed OTAs because
    of the back.”

    The good news is his eye continues to not be an issue for him.

    “They’re giving me a nice little shield,” he said. “But other than that, it’s
    pretty much, ‘You’re good to go, just don’t get poked in the eye.’”

    * * * *

    I have to admit my practice report might’ve been a bit affected by the
    Jake Ballard news
    , which hit with about 15 minutes to go in the session. At
    that point, it was a scramble to get some information on that situation while
    also trying to keep my eyes on the field.

    That being said, I’ll give you the rundown as best I can.

    First, the injuries:

    --DE Osi Umenyiora did not practice today. The
    sort-of-official word is he doesn’t have an injury but is rather trying to pace
    himself so he doesn’t soon come up with one, if you catch my drift.

    --CB Corey Webster has a hamstring injury. That’s why he’s
    been sidelined during OTAs and again this week.

    --These guys sat out: S Tyler Sash (hamstring), TE
    Travis Beckum (knee), LB Clint Sintim (knee),
    DT Shaun Rogers (elbow), DT Markus Kuhn (work
    visa), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) and DT Chris

    --Beatty, S Kenny Phillips (knee), CB Terrell
    (knee) and DT Linval Joseph (ankle) were among
    those who did individuals but sat out team drills.

    * * * *

    Now to the action:

    --WR Rueben Randle looked really good out there today. And
    there would be gushing reports about him had QB Ryan Perrilloux
    spotted him running free up the right side through a confused secondary for what
    should’ve been an easy deep completion. Undrafted S Jojo
    followed a receiver into the flat along with another defender
    and seemed to react as if the blown coverage was on him. Whoever was to blame,
    it was ugly. Nicolas, who otherwise seems to have a pretty good grasp of things
    back there, would recover to provide help over top of CB Dante
    on a deep ball from QB Eli Manning to WR
    Victor Cruz that fell incomplete.

    --Back to Randle. He ran a smooth slant route to make a grab underneath
    Nicolas on a dart from Perrilloux and beat CB Prince Amukamara
    for catch on an in cut. He added a well-run crosser in front of Hughes. If you
    didn’t know any better, you’d think Randle was an experienced veteran out there

    --I still believe Amukamara will have to work on his toughness and
    aggressiveness, but the skills are there. You should’ve seen how quick he was to
    plant and close on a ball TE Bear Pascoe caught up the seam
    (nice touch by Manning on that one).

    --LB Michael Boley picked off Manning’s second pass of team
    drills (I had tweeted it was his first but I forgot about a short stop to WR
    Domenik Hixon he had thrown) when he played perfect coverage
    under a sail route by Cruz.

    --Solid session for rookie CB Jayron Hosley. He was as tight
    as he could’ve been to WR Isaiah Stanback on a comeback near
    the sideline. It was just a perfect ball by QB David Carr to
    slip that one in there. Later, in 7-on-7 passing drills, Hosley impressed his
    teammates by slapping the ball out of Hixon’s hands for a pass defensed.

    --Hixon lost that little battle with Hosley but showed he’d learned his
    lesson when he caught another pass away from his body to keep it away from the
    swipes of S Janzen Jackson.

    --Come on now, you can’t fool LB Chase Blackburn on that
    little counter pitch play. He was all over it.

    --Mixed results for WR Jerrel Jernigan today. We’ll start
    with the bad and work our way up. He looked indecisive on a deep route as to
    which side of CB Justin Tryon he should’ve taken. While he was
    trying to make up his mind, Manning chucked it to the outside. At that point,
    Jernigan broke inside and the ball fell incomplete. Later, he had a drop on a
    comeback. But toward the end of practice, Jernigan frustrated Boley with a grab
    right in front of the veteran.

    --Speaking of tough grabs, add another one to WR Ramses
    resume. He made the catch while two defenders (Jackson and S
    Will Hill) were colliding with one another and him. Again,
    there are parts of his game Barden needs to improve, but catches in traffic is
    an area of strength for him. Also, Barden was open on a sail route across the
    field from Cruz when Manning was picked by Boley.

    --I recently mentioned S Stevie Brown as being on top of his
    assignments in coverage during OTAs. He’s still on point in that department so
    far in minicamp.

    --LB Keith Rivers showed good speed covering TE
    Adrien Robinson on a crossing route in man coverage. Robinson
    made the catch, but Rivers would’ve been able to keep it to a short gain in a
    live game. That was a good play considering Robinson seemed to have good early
    position when he got into his route.

    --Safeties coach David Merritt was all kinds of ecstatic
    with a play Hill made to break up a short hook from Perrilloux to WR
    Brandon Collins over the middle. Hill was playing down low and
    waited as Collins found what appeared to be a soft spot inside of him. I’m not
    sure if Hill baited Perrilloux into throwing that ball, but that might’ve been
    what occurred because he waited until Perrilloux drew the ball back to break on
    the route. Either way, good reactions and instincts for Hill there.

    --I mentioned earlier WR Dan DePalma (hip) said he’d take
    some snaps in today and he did. He had a few catches in team drills, one of
    which was a tough grab with the much bigger LB Mathias Kiwanuka
    trying to knock it out of his hands. I heard some palm on flesh there, so in
    addition to being a difficult catch, I’ll bet that one hurt.

    --And finally, a guy who seems to always make a grab late in practice is TE
    Ryan Purvis. He had a reception on a good ball up the seam from


    "The Giants' plan for Jake Ballard was simple: knowing his chances of playing
    in 2012 were slim to none due to microfracture knee surgery in April, they
    waived him believing he would not get claimed and would eventually end up on
    their injured reserve list for the 2012 season. He'd then return for the 2013

    Today, the plan blew up in their faces.

    The Patriots, against whom Ballard suffered the torn ACL in Super Bowl XLVI
    that has him sidelined, claimed the tight end today before the 4 p.m. deadline,
    according to his agent Blake Baratz.

    "As I stated yesterday a "smart" football organization might claim
    @NYG_J_Ballard85 (Ballard) while he's hurt to own his rights. He's now a
    Patriot!" Baratz

    The 24-year-old Ballard walked into the Giants fieldhouse at 4:02 p.m. and
    remained in the facility for the remaining hour of practice evidently to say
    goodbye to teammates, coaches and the training staff.

    It's a calculated risk for the Patriots because Ballard may not return to his
    prior form and is due $540,000 in 2012. But he will become an exclusive rights
    free agent in 2013, which means that if the Patriots believe his recovery went
    well they would only need to offer him a three-year deal at the veteran's
    minimum salary and he would have no choice but to sign it.

    After appearing in just one game his rookie season in 2010, Ballard broke
    through last season in place of the departed Kevin Boss. He registered 38
    receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning score
    against the Patriots in Week 9. He had two catches for 10 yards against the
    Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI before tearing his ACL."



    "David Diehl said everything from his arrest
    on Sunday night on charges of driving while intoxicated
    through today has
    been “awful and this is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced in my

    Yet, the Giants’ offensive tackle
    stood at his locker today and fielded questions for over 8 minutes about the
    situation. While he declined to discuss the specifics of the ongoing legal
    matter, he talked about apologizing to his teammates for deflecting the
    attention from this week’s minicamp and forcing them to answer for him.

    Diehl also vowed to make amends for his mistake and correct it as best he can
    at this point.

    “My teammates, the coaches, the people in this organization know who I am,
    they know what I’m all about,” he said. “For 10 years (with the Giants), being
    the positive person I am and being the person who’s tried to set a positive
    example for everybody, this is the one time in my life I can sincerely have that
    regret where people are going to judge me on that. They’re going to question who
    I am as a person and a character but the only thing I can do is just like
    anything in my life, take this head-on.

    “I’m accountable for my actions, I’ve never made an excuse for my life, I’m
    going to sit here just like I am now, be a man, face up to things and make sure
    I become a stronger person from this and make sure I help other people out.”

    Asked how he plans to do that, Diehl said he’ll continue to do the charity
    work on which he prides himself while also using his experience as a teaching
    point for young men and women.

    The mentoring aspect is the positive Tom Coughlin is also trying to take from
    the situation.

    “David is very remorseful," the Giants' coach said. "He’s a very proud young
    man, as you know. He’s very sorry for what happened. He’s been an exemplary
    citizen for this organization, I think he understands it completely. He
    recognizes and he’s going to be a very, very good spokesperson for trying to
    help young people understand his mistake could be avoided in whatever way

    “David will take care of that part of it. He’s a guy we’ve always been able
    to count on and he’ll learn from his error.”

    Said Diehl, "It doesn’t matter whether you’re an athlete, if you’re anybody
    (famous). Nobody is above the law. Nobody is indestructible. And most
    importantly, everybody who’s in this situation learns from it."

    Diehl received the public support of his agent and a few players on Twitter
    the past few days. He got even more in the locker room today.

    “People make mistakes,” center David Baas said. “It’s unfortunate, but he’s
    the type of guy who will correct it and move on. We have the utmost respect for

    Right guard Chris Snee, Diehl’s teammate since 2004, said his immediate
    concern was that Diehl would be okay. He had no doubts Diehl would be able to
    handle the fallout.

    “When he comes in here, he’ll hold his head high and answer any questions you
    have,” Snee said. “That’s just the type of guy he is.”

    Diehl did just that a few minutes later, walking confidently into a large
    group of reporters and getting right into a three-minute opening statement.

    “It’s a mistake that I guarantee will never, ever happen again,” he said.
    “I’m going to help other people make sure they don’t make the same decision I
    made under the circumstance and I’m going to become a stronger person because of

    Later, he added, “I’ve worked extremely hard throughout my career to be the
    guy people look up to, to be the guy that’s a role model. I do more off the
    field in the community and for charity than I think anybody in this locker room.
    I’m going to make sure people see that side of me that I’ve always been, the
    character person I’ve been. The people who are around me the most know

    Though it’s unclear whether he’ll face a suspension, Diehl said he expects to
    hear from the league at some point.

    “I’m sure they will contact me,” he said. “I’m accountable for my actions,
    just like you guys. I’m not running, I’m not hiding, I’m a man, I can stand up
    for myself. And I’ll do the same thing I’m doing now.”

    * * * *

    Folks, this is a delicate dance we in the media have to do when it comes to a
    story like this. We don't want to sweep something serious like this under the
    rug but we also understand there are 89 other guys in that locker room you want
    to hear about. What I mean is I'm sure there's a growing contingent out there
    saying, "Enough already."

    To those people I'd say hang in there because we aren't forgetting about the
    rest of the story lines involving the Giants. Jorge Castillo and I spent every
    minute in the open locker room working to get tidbits on all things
    football-related, not just those involving Diehl. So stay with us for complete
    coverage of this three-day minicamp."


    "In a move that pretty much makes official what was clear back in February
    when Jake
    Ballard tore his anterior cruciate ligament
    in Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants have waived Ballard with a
    failed-physical designation.

    The transaction means Ballard is headed to the
    physically-unable-to-perform/reserve list once he likely clears waivers. The
    third-year tight end will likely eventually be placed on injured reserve, where
    he'd then remain for the entire season.

    "Thanks for (the) love everyone but don't worry, its a business," Ballard
    tweeted minutes ago
    . "I'm on the road to recovery, and I believe I'll be in
    a Giants uniform in '13"

    Even Ballard, who helped offset the loss of Kevin Boss last year by grabbing
    38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season, admitted
    recently there was a
    good chance he wouldn't play a down in 2012
    after undergoing surgery to
    repair his ACL and a microfracture procedure as well.

    Ballard's agent, Blake Baratz, noted on Twitter the Giants "did the
    (right) thing"
    by signing Ballard to a one-year deal as an exclusive-rights
    free agent this spring and "intend on him being with them for a long time."

    Ballard's fellow tight end Travis Beckum, who also tore his ACL in the Super
    Bowl, continues to hope he'll be back on the field at some point this season

    Meanwhile, the Giants have re-signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, whom
    they cut and then re-signed before last season. Bernard rejoins a corps of
    defensive tackles that is currently without starters Linval Joseph (ankle) and
    Chris Canty (knee), as well as newly signed Shaun Rogers (elbow), heading into
    this week's full-team minicamp. Canty and Rogers have sat out recent OTAs that
    were open to the media; Joseph has done light work on the side. Both Joseph and
    Canty had offseason surgeries.

    Bernard signed a four-year deal with the Giants before the 2009 season. He
    played the first two years under that contract before being unable to reach an
    agreement on a pay cut last summer. He
    was then re-signed
    in early August at the veteran minimum. Last season, he
    appeared in all 16 regular-season games and the team's four playoff games.

    * * * *

    The Giants have released a statement on David Diehl's DWI:

    "Obviously we are aware of the situation, although we have not yet had a
    chance to discuss it with David. Since it is an ongoing legal matter, we will
    refrain from comment at this time, although we will say that David has been an
    outstanding representative of this organization for the past 10 years, and
    nobody knows more than David does what is expected of our players both on and
    off the field."


    "David Diehl figures to address reporters at some point over the next three
    days during the team's minicamp, but the Giants' offensive tackle didn't wait that
    long to offer an apology for his arrest on charges of driving under the
    influence of alcohol.

    "I've worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and (Sunday) I
    fell far short of this standard," Diehl wrote on his Twitter account minutes ago.
    "I apologize to my family, my fans, my teammates, the New York Giants, and the
    NFL. ... I made a poor decision that I sincerely regret, and, as always, take
    full responsibility for my actions."

    Diehl did not enter a plea or make a statement in court today when he was arraigned
    in a Queens court
    . He faces up to one year in prison, though a likely plea
    deal means he probably won't serve any jail time. Diehl also faces a potential
    fine of up to $1,000.

    "Obviously we are aware of the situation, although we have not yet had a
    chance to discuss it with David," the Giants said in a statement today. "Since
    it is an ongoing legal matter, we will refrain from comment at this time,
    although we will say that David has been an outstanding representative of this
    organization for the past 10 years, and nobody knows more than David does what
    is expected of our players both on and off the field."



    "Jake Ballard returned to the Giants' practice facility on Tuesday afternoon
    exactly 24 hours after he was waived/injured by the defending Super Bowl champs.
    But his visit to Giants minicamp turned out to be just that.

    In a big surprise, Ballard was claimed off waivers by the New England
    Patriots, according to a Tweet from his agent, Blake Baratz. That prevented the
    Giants from putting Ballard on their Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) reserves
    list, which they planned to do, according to a team source.

    The Patriots now own the rights to Ballard and are on the hook for the
    $540,000 he's owed this season. Of course, Ballard is still rehabbing from a
    torn ACL in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots and microfracture surgery on
    his knee in February. He has said several times that it's likely he won't be
    able to play this season at all.

    So why would the Patriots claim him? That's unclear, though presumably
    they'll stash him on their Physically Unable to Perform list and later Injured
    Reserve at some point and retain his rights for 2013. Ballard will be an
    exclusivfe rights free agent after the season, meaning he won't even have the
    ability to field offers from other teams. If the Patriots want him back, he'll
    have no choice but to stay.

    The Giants have not said publicly why they cut Ballard and tried to get him
    through waivers, rather than just carry him on their 90-man roster all summer.
    Presumably they just didn't want to use a roster spot on a player they knew
    wouldn't play until 2013.

    Ballard, meanwhile, was still in the field house when Giants practice ended.
    The Giants would not make him available to the media. I assume Bill Belichick
    and the Patriots approved of their decision."



    "Jake Ballard knew he didn't have much of a chance of returning for the 2012
    season after he tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI. But he's still intent on
    returning to the Giants in 2013.

    His season officially ended on Monday when he failed his pre-minicamp
    physical and was promptly waived by the defending champs. Once he clears
    waivers, it's expected that he will be added to the Giants' physically unable to
    perform (PUP) reserves list, which would allow the Giants to retain his rights
    until next season while clearing a spot on the 90-man roster.

    They used that spot on Monday when they re-signed veteran defensive tackle
    Rocky Bernard.

    Ballard was a big bright spot for the Giants last season, filling a huge void
    at tight end by playing in 14 regular season games and caught a surprising 38
    passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns. He played in all four playoff games
    too, but tore his right ACL in the first half of the Super Bowl.

    He made a valiant attempt to convince trainers to let him back in the game by
    attempting to run on the sidelines. But he quickly collapsed and eventually
    needed surgery to repair the torn ligament and a microfracture procedure,

    Ballard said all along he'd likely need at least a year to fully recover.

    "I'm on the road to recovery," he said on Monday via Twitter. "And I believe
    I'll be in a Giants uniform in '13."

    Meanwhile, the return of the 33-year-old Bernard adds some depth to a corps
    of defensive tackles that had some question marks. Behind starters Chris Canty
    and Linval Joseph, the Giants have Marvin Austin, their second-round pick in
    2011, but he's coming off a torn pectoral muscle and due to injuries and a
    college suspension he hasn't played a game in three years.

    The Giants did sign veteran defensive tackle Shaun Rogers just before the
    start of the NFL draft, but the 33-year-old has missed much of the spring
    workouts with an elbow injury.

    Bernard, who was cut last summer by the Giants and then re-signed, played in
    every game for the Giants last season."


    "David Diehl, a two-time
    Super Bowl champion and a good Giants soldier on their offensive line for a long
    time, was arraigned for drunk driving on Tuesday, two counts of driving while
    impaired. He was behind the wheel of his BMW Saturday night on 35th Ave. in
    Queens. The police got a call about that BMW hitting several parked cars. The
    good news for Diehl and anybody else on 35th Ave. in Queens on Saturday night
    was that Diehl hit cars and not people.

    Diehl took a field sobriety test. The cops say he was over the legal limit
    for alcohol. It means in that moment Diehl was as dangerous to 35th Ave. as any
    NFL football player is hitting another player in the head.


    The NFL comes down real hard on a bad hits to the head now, is learning more
    every day about concussions, concussions being the polite way to talk about
    brain wounds. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, fines guys like James
    of the Steelers big when Harrison gives somebody a good shot to the
    head, especially since Harrison is one of the guys with priors in this area.

    Goodell is trying to make a violent sport less violent, as the whole world
    continues to educate itself more about the long- term effects of brain injuries
    to football players, and just how much years of taking blows to the head
    contribute to brain damage and depression, and how much of a connection can be
    made between these injuries and some of the suicides we have seen lately with
    ex-NFL players. Good for Goodell.

    Here he was on Monday in an interview with Peter King of Sports Illustrated,
    in King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column at

    “The head, neck and spine committee met back in early-to-mid February. I
    think we had 48 professionals in that room, leading doctors and scientists from
    institutions all over the world, virtually all of them unaffiliated with the
    NFL. I think the thing that strikes me the most about it is how much more we
    have to learn as a society, as a medical professional, as scientists. There’s
    still a lot of unknowns about the brain, either brain disease or brain trauma
    and how it reacts.”

    Goodell is right about that. There sure are a lot of unknowns about the
    brain. But there are virtually no unknowns about the danger of drunk drivers,
    who can kill you a lot quicker than the years of head trauma can. The National
    Football League knows this as well as you possibly can, because they have had
    DUI players behind the wheels of cars that killed people.

    A guy over the legal limit for alcohol behind the wheel of a car, in fact, is
    as dangerous as a football player like Plaxico Burress going into a crowded club
    and having a couple of drinks with a loaded unlicensed handgun in his pants.

    Leonard Little is a former St. Louis Rams defensive end, and a pretty good
    one. Little was driving home after a party in 1998, crashed into and killed
    Susan Gutweiler in St. Louis. Little’s level of alcohol measured 0.19%, a level
    in excess of the legal level of intoxication (0.08) in the state of Missouri.
    Little received four years’ probation and 1,000 hours of community service. He
    was able to return to football after an eight-game suspension. Susan Gutweiler’s
    situation — another victim of a drunk driver — remained unchanged.

    Stallworth is a talented, well-traveled NFL wide receiver, signed by the
    Patriots in March. Three years ago, March of 2009, Stallworth was driving home
    in his Bentley around 7 o’clock in the morning. His car struck and killed a
    59-year-old man named Mario Reyes, on his way home from work, on the MacArthur
    Causeway in Miami.

    It was reported that Stallworth’s blood alcohol level was 0.12, over the
    nationwide legal limit of 0.8. Stallworth made a plea deal, received a sentence
    of 30 days in the county jail, plus 1,000 hours of community service, two years
    of community control, and eight years’ probation. Goodell suspended Stallworth
    for the entire ’09 season.

    Stallworth then returned to pro football. Mario Reyes’ status remained
    unchanged, was the same as it was on MacArthur Causeway after Stallworth ran him

    This isn’t about whether David Diehl is a champion Giant or a good guy or a
    good teammate. He is all of those things and has been for a long time and was
    apologetic Monday. But on Sunday night, after what was reportedly a long day of
    watching soccer and having enough drinks to put him over the legal limit, he got
    behind the wheel of his car and started hitting other cars, and in that moment,
    he was more dangerous off the field than James Harrison or the guys on which
    Goodell has come down so hard have ever been on the field.

    Braylon Edwards got picked up for drunk driving when he was with the Jets and
    would never have missed a down if Rex Ryan hadn’t held him out of the first
    quarter of the next game the Jets were scheduled to play. At least Edwards
    didn’t hit anything. Or anybody.

    You get suspended four games in the NFL the first time you test positive for
    a banned substance. Harrison ended up paying fines to Goodell of $120,000 for
    what referees and the commissioner himself deemed to be illegal hits. Again,
    good for Goodell on all that.

    He is trying to clean up his sport as best as he can while holding on to the
    allure of the violence of that sport. “So much more to learn” about the effects
    of brain injuries, he says to Peter King.

    Nothing more to learn about the effects of drunk driving, which can kill
    somebody. But the only way it gets you suspended from the NFL is when it




    "What not long ago looked to be the start of a long and prosperous career with
    the Giants for Jake Ballard came to an end – for now – when the injured tight
    end on Monday failed his physical and was waived.

    To fill Ballard’s spot on the roster, veteran defensive tackle Rocky Bernard
    was re-signed. The moves come the day before the Giants gather for a three-day
    mandatory mini-camp to close out their off-season.

    If Ballard does not get claimed on waivers, the Giants plan on putting him on
    the physically unable to perform/reserve list, meaning he would not count on the
    roster and would be officially out for the entire 2012 season.

    Not long after he was waived, Ballard expressed optimism he will return to
    the Giants, writing on his Twitter account "Thanks for love everyone but don't
    worry, it's a business, I'm on the road to recovery and I believe I'll be in a
    Giants uniform in '13.''

    Ballard, after a breakthrough 2011 season, experienced extreme highs and lows
    in one day back on Feb. 5 when the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
    Ballard caught two passes in the game but in the third quarter went down with a
    devastating knee injury, suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and also
    damage to the meniscus cartilage. Ballard needed not only reconstructive surgery
    to repair the ACL but also microfracture surgery to repair the cartilage and the
    expectation was he would miss the entire 2012 season.

    The Giants had no place to put him on the 90-man roster for training camp but
    they could opt to re-sign him prior to the season if they believe he will be
    able to make a return in 2013.

    The 24-year old Ballard, undrafted out of Ohio State, replaced Kevin Boss
    last season as the starting tight end and turned into one of the Giants’ most
    pleasant surprises. He started 13 games and finished fourth on the team with 38
    receptions for 604 yards – a gaudy 15.9-yard average – and four touchdowns. He
    had five catches for 43 yards in the postseason. His 28-yard catch, followed by
    the game-winning touchdown grab with 15 seconds remaining, were key factors in
    the Giants come-from-behind victory Nov. 6 in New England.

    There were no expectations that Ballard would be able to play this season and
    the other holdover tight end, Travis Beckum, also tore his ACL in the Super
    Bowl. Beckum, though, is far ahead of Ballard in his rehabilitation and could
    get on the field this season. Needing to re-stock the tight end position the
    Giants signed Martellus Bennett from the Cowboys and used a fourth-round pick on
    Adrien Robinson out of Cincinnati.

    Bernard, 33, is entering his 11th NFL season and fourth with the Giants. He
    played in every game this past season and finished with 30 tackles, one forced
    fumble and one fumble recovery. Bernard’s place on the roster was seemingly
    going to be filled by another veteran defensive tackle, Shaun Rogers, but Rogers
    has been sidelined with an elbow injury and hasn’t participated in any OTA


    "Giants Super Bowl lineman David Diehl spun a super tale about his boozy
    fender bender before apologizing to the team and fans yesterday over his DWI

    The Big Blue tackle told cops he was pulling out of a Queens parking space
    when he was hit by another vehicle and knocked into a parked car.

    “I was driving a BMW and trying to pull out of a space while another car was
    pulling out,” he told cops, according to a prosecutor.

    But law-enforcement sources said that a drunken Diehl, 31, crashed his black
    BMW into two vehicles on 35th Avenue near 31st Street in Astoria at around 8:20
    p.m. Sunday after boozing it up at a nearby bar where he was watching a
    televised soccer match.

    Diehl later tweeted an apology.

    “I’ve worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and yesterday I
    fell far short of this standard,” Diehl tweeted.

    “I apologize to my family, my fans, my teammates, the New York Giants, and
    the NFL. I made a poor decision that I sincerely regret, and, as always, take
    full responsibility for my actions.”

    Cops said Diehl looked as if he had been blindsided by a linebacker after the
    crash. He was “unsteady on his feet,” reeked of alcohol and had bloodshot,
    watery eyes, according to court papers.

    Cops said Diehl’s blood-alcohol content was .18 percent, which is more than
    twice the legal limit.

    Diehl was charged with driving while intoxicated and released on his own
    recognizance. Diehl’s New York state driving privileges were suspended. His
    driver’s license is from New Jersey, where he lives.

    His next court date is July 26 — the first day of Giants camp.

    Diehl, whose family hails from Croatia, had come from nearby Scorpio’s on
    Broadway, where he had been watching Croatia defeat Ireland, 3-1, in the
    European Championships, officials said.

    Diehl enthusiastically tweeted, “Goooooaaaaaallllllllllllllll!!!!!” twice
    during the contest.

    He had also tweeted earlier in the day that he was at a charity golf
    tournament at the Westchester Country Club.

    Although no one was injured in the collision, the owner of one of the cars
    Diehl hit was upset.

    “Everyone’s saying how he did charity earlier that day,” said Ruth Goldman,
    whose husband’s Volvo got sideswiped in the collision.

    “That means nothing if you’re going to be an idiot after that. He had no
    business getting into that car.”

    The man whose back Diehl gets paid to protect also weighed in.

    “I’m obviously concerned about my friend and I feel bad for him that he’s
    going through this,’’ quarterback Eli Manning said during an appearance at the
    Guiding Eyes for the Blind golf classic at Mount Kisco Country Club.

    “I wish nothing had happened, but besides that I’m just hoping everything
    gets worked out and he’ll be OK.”



    "Now the Giants might officially have a distraction when they begin preparing
    to defend their Super Bowl championship later this summer.

    Offensive lineman David Diehl was charged with two counts of driving under
    the influence of alcohol, the Queens district attorney's office said Monday in a
    statement. He entered no plea at his arraignment and his case was adjourned
    until July 26 — the same day the Giants are due to report for training camp in

    The judge suspended his driver's license until then, pending prosecution, and
    Diehl could face up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, if convicted.

    Diehl did not speak to reporters as he left the Queens courthouse. He is
    expected to participate in the team's mandatory minicamp, which begins today and
    runs through Thursday at its East Rutherford
    training facility.

    Diehl issued a statement via his Twitter account Monday night, apologizing
    for the incident.

    "I've worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and [Sunday] I
    fell far short of this standard," he wrote. "I apologize to my family, my fans,
    my teammates, the New York Giants, and the NFL. I made a poor decision that I
    sincerely regret, and, as always, take full responsibility for my actions."

    "Obviously concerned about my friend," Eli Manning said at a golf outing at
    Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Country Club to benefit Guiding Eyes for the Blind. "I feel
    bad for him that he's going through this. I wish nothing had happened, but
    besides that, I'm just hoping everything gets worked out and that he'll be

    Diehl has started every game he has played in his previous nine NFL seasons
    and, as one of the Giants' most versatile linemen, the former Pro Bowler is a
    valuable piece up front in protecting two-time Super Bowl MVP Manning.

    Diehl has two years remaining on a six-year, $31 million contract he signed
    in 2008.

    A drunken driving arrest is a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy
    and its personal conduct policy, so Diehl could be facing a fine or

    The Giants released a statement Monday: "Obviously we are aware of the
    situation, although we have not yet had a chance to discuss it with David. Since
    it is an ongoing legal matter, we will refrain from comment at this time,
    although we will say that David has been an outstanding representative of this
    organization for the past 10 years, and nobody knows more than David does what
    is expected of our players both on and off the field."

    As a matter of procedure, the incident is expected to be reviewed by the NFL
    commissioner's office. It's believed this is the first offense for Diehl, which
    means a suspension for him would be unlikely, although that remains unconfirmed
    by the league.

    Among others, former Giants offensive lineman Kareem McKenzie was not
    suspended following his DUI in 2008.

    The report indicated Diehl's breathalyzer exam revealed an alcohol level of
    .182, more than double the legal limit of .08. The officer also stated Diehl
    said he was at a bar watching Croatia's soccer victory over Ireland in Euro 2012
    on Sunday afternoon.

    BALLARD WAIVED, BERNARD RE-SIGNED: TE Jake Ballard failed his physical and
    was waived, opening a roster spot for DT Rocky Bernard, who was re-signed after
    appearing in every game last season.

    Blake Baratz, Ballard's agent, said on Twitter he anticipates his client –
    out until at least midseason following ACL and microfracture surgery on his knee
    – would re-sign with the Giants and end up on the PUP list after today's 4 p.m.
    waiver deadline.

    That's provided no team claims Ballard, the team's No. 1 tight end last

    "Thanks for love, don't worry, it's a business," Ballard wrote on his Twitter
    account. "I'm on road to recovery, and I believe I'll be a Giant in '13."


    "The New York
    Giants announced on Monday that they have re-signed defensive tackle
    . In order to make room for Bernard, the team waived tight end Jake
    , who suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in Super Bowl XLVI. He was
    unable to pass the team's pre-training camp physical, which was conducted

    Considering Ballard is at least a year away from returning, it's possible the
    decision to waive him is procedural. It was never expected that he'd be able to
    pass a physical this early into his rehab, so if (and when) he clears waivers,
    he'll likely be brought back in some fashion – whether it's being placed on
    Injured Reserve (IR) or in another capacity that allows him to begin the season
    on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

    Bernard, meanwhile, will return to Big Blue for his fourth season with the
    team and 11th overall.

    In 16 games with the Giants a season ago, Bernard collected 30 tackles,
    forced one fumble and batted down three passes. After two relatively sub-par
    years with the team prior, 2011 was considered his best as a Giant. In 2012,
    he'll assume a leadership role as he helps mentor Big Blue's younger defensive
    tackles, which includes the returning Marvin Austin and rookie Markus Kuhn."


    "New York
    General Manager Jerry
    has created a defense built to effectively defend the high octane
    passing offensesthat many NFL teams currently possess. By having incredible depth
    at defensive line and a talented secondary, the idea is that the Giants should
    be able to defend today's modern offensive schemes.

    Over the last few decades, the NFL has transformed into a league that no longer
    represents an "old school" ground and pound style of play; but rather it
    encourages a high powered passing offense, with a complimentary rushing attack.
    The league's transition into this fast-paced style of play has caused the value
    of the traditional run-stopping linebacker to depreciate over time. The
    responsibilities of the linebacker position in the basic 4-3 defense have
    changed to include complex pass coverage schemes. This requires today's NFL linebacker
    to possess a more complete skill-set and higher football IQ than those of past generations.

    Many teams predicate their basic offensive schemes on using a combination
    of three and four wide receiver sets.The prototypical NFL linebacker
    is not capable of covering a slot receiver, and this causes many defensive
    coordinators to use more nickel and dime packages when defending teams with pass
    heavy offenses.

    To execute these packages, the Giants have invested heavily in elite pass
    rushers and cover corners; however the team is relying on low-risk/ high-reward
    players with unproven talent, but considerable upside to fill the depth chart at
    linebacker. That being said, an effective defense has eleven players all working
    together on the same page. If the linebackers are not doing their job, it can
    cause the middle of the field to be wide open for tight ends and slot receivers.
    For the Giants to have a formidable defense this season, it is imperative that
    their linebackers improve. Below, we will take a look at who Big Blue will rely
    upon to contribute to their linebacker core for the 2012 season.

    After signing a contract extension
    this offseason that will enable him to earn $21 million over the next four
    seasons, Kiwanuka is looking to improve at the strong-side linebackerposition
    after getting a year of experience under his belt in 2011. When evaluating
    Kiwanuka'sperformance during OTA's, Defensive Coordinator Perry

    It was good to see him show off, though, because he’s gained more knowledge
    and experience at the linebacker position, and his pass coverage has gotten
    better in the third session. He’s improved each session, but it got better in
    the third session. As he told me last week, he said "I’ve seen it a year now.
    I’m getting more comfortable. I’m going through an OTA now. I’m going to be

    If Mathias
    can stay healthy, he is the team's most versatile player on the
    defensive side of the ball. He has the ability to play strong-side linebacker
    and also play as a down linemen in the team's famous "NASCAR" set. Talent has
    never been the question for him. The issue is that the team has had problems
    finding a role for him to utilize his talent. After getting a year of experience
    at outside linebacker, look for an even more improved Mathias
    in 2012.

    - Boley was arguably the team's best
    player at the linebacker position last season. He served as the "defensive
    quarterback" by wearing the headset and communicating the play calls to his
    teammates. Furthermore, Boley led all Giants linebackers with 93 regular season
    tackles last year. He also proved to be instrumental in covering athletic tight
    ends throughout the season.

    Boley's role this season is currently undetermined. Although Chase Blackburn
    is slotted to start at middle linebacker, if he has a bad preseason, then the
    Giants could move Boley to middle linebacker and put Keith Rivers on the weak
    side. It will be interesting to see how this plays out during training camp.

    Chase Blackburn - For the majority
    of last season, Chase Blackburn was out of the NFL and working as a substitute teacher in Dublin, Ohio. It was not
    until Week 11 against Green Bay that the Giants brought him back to start at
    middle linebacker. Blackburn played relatively well after his return, and even
    made the interception that led to the Giants winning touchdown in the Super

    However, the team recently acquired former first round pick Keith Rivers from
    the Bengals for a fifth-round draft pick. If Blackburn has a bad preseason, the
    team could once again decide to move in another direction.

    Keith Rivers - The ninth overall
    pick in the 2008 NFL Draft missed
    all of last season due to a wrist injury. Although Rivers had star potential
    coming out of college, injuries have prevented him from fulfilling his full
    potential. When talking about how Rivers looked in OTA's, Perrey Fewell stated
    the following:

    It’s still a work in progress but he is an athletic guy. He can move, he can
    flip his hip. I want to push it quicker. He’s playing the Will linebacker for
    us. At some point in time, he’ll play some Mike linebacker for us as we continue
    in our OTAs. It’s how much can he digest and how much he can execute for us at
    this point in time. Coach Herrmann is doing a nice job at bringing him along,
    but at some point in time, we’re going to move him around a little bit

    If Rivers can master the Giants defensive schemes, his athleticism should
    enable him to become a starter at some point this season. Look for Chase
    Blackburn to start this year at middle linebacker, but do not be surprised if
    Riverstakes over either that role or weak side linebacker (with Boley moving to
    the middle) at some point during the season.

    JaquianWilliamsWilliams served
    primarily as the nickel linebacker last season. He has great speed, and proved
    effective in pass coverage against athletic tight ends. Although the log-jam
    ahead of him at the weak side linebacker position will make it difficult for him
    to become a starter in his second season, he will be extremely useful in passing
    situations. If he can improve his play against the run, he will be able to
    become more of an every down player as opposed to a situational one.
    Furthermore, look for Williams to be a major contributor on special teams as

    Mark HerzlichThe former ACC
    Defensive Player of the Year should add depth to the middle linebacker
    position.Herzlichis alongshotpossibility to start at middle linebacker if he
    can outplay Chase Blackburn and Keith Rivers in the preseason. However, the
    Giants signed him knowing he would be a project. IfHerzlichcan stay healthy,
    look for him to improve this season and maybe even become a major

    Greg Jones - The second year player
    out of Michigan State started eleven games at middle linebacker last season for
    Big Blue. However, the team replaced him with Chase Blackburn and never looked
    back. Perry
    had this to say about Jones:

    We’re going to try him on the outside. We like the young kid that we have,
    , playing middle backer. We’ll probably split the time with Greg a
    little bit there. If we try to expand Greg more, we think we can get a little
    more out of him in what he can do, so it’s a little bit of an experiment with us
    now. We’ll play him on the outside, and then probably later on in camp move him
    on the inside.

    Fewelldid not exactly give Jones a ringing endorsement when he said Jones is
    going to split time with an undrafted rookie in Jake
    during OTA's. If Jones can not learn to play both middle and outside
    linebacker, the team could decide to move on from him.

    , Clint Sintim, and Spencer Paysinger will also compete for roster spots.
    However, the team can not keep ten linebackers on the final roster. The major
    determining factor in who will fill out the bottom of the linebacker depth chart
    will depend heavily on who can contribute the most to special teams.

    Although the New York
    won the Super Bowl last season, they finished 25th in the league in
    points allowed and 27th in the league in total yards allowed. The inconsistent
    play from the linebacker position was a major contributing factor to those
    statistics. There are several questions that the team must answer throughout the
    duration of training camp in terms of who will make the team and what position
    they will play. However, with no more rookies being expected to contribute
    significantly, look for improved linebacker play from the New York
    in 2012."


    "Last night, New York
    Giants offensive linemen David
    was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. This morning, Diehl
    was formally charged with DWI.

    The following statement was released by Diehl via Twitter a short time

    "I've worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and yesterday I
    fell far short of this standard. I apologize to my family, my fans, the New York
    Giants, and the NFL. I made a
    poor decision that I sincerely regret, and, as always, take full responsibility
    for my actions."

    Diehl is a ten year veteran out of the University of Illinois at
    Urbana-Champaign. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and has been the teams' most
    versatile offensive linemen over the last several years because of his ability
    to play both guard and tackle positions.

    The New York
    Giants released the following statement regarding Diehl's arrest:

    "Obviously we are aware of the situation,
    although we have not yet had a chance to discuss it with David. Since it is an
    ongoing legal matter, we will refrain from comment at this time, although we
    will say that David has been an outstanding representative of this organization
    for the past 10 years, and nobody knows more than David does what is expected of
    our players both on and off the field.”

    Diehl is subject to the NFL Personal Conduct Policy as a result of his actions.
    However, because he is a first time offender, a suspension is unlikely."


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    Thanks Roanoke!!!


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 6:54 A.M.

      [quote user="Captain Chaos"]Thanks Roanoke!!![/quote]

      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 6:54 A.M.

        many thanks Roanoke!

        Ballard was a great find for 1 year at least! i like the guy and hopefully he does make it back here.



        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 6:54 A.M.

          [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

          many thanks Roanoke!

          Ballard was a great find for 1 year at least! i like the guy and hopefully he does make it back here.


          I hope his story as a GIANT is not over.
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 6:54 A.M.

            [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="BigBlue1971"]

            many thanks Roanoke!

            Ballard was a great find for 1 year at least!* i like the guy and hopefully he does make it back here.


            I hope his story as a GIANT is not over.

            agreed, I hope they re-sign him next year. He may not be the fastest guy, but he always seems to be open and makes tough catches


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 6:54 A.M.

              Plus 1, Im a big fan of Ballard also. Here's to a speedy recovery to ya Jake. I wont forget Bavarro jr. anytime soon. See ya next year in Blue !!!


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 716 P.M.

                Thanks for all the news RF.


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 - 716 P.M.

                  [quote user="nygsb42champs"]Thanks for all the news RF.[/quote]

                  “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1