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    "Historical New York Giants clips is a weekly Giants 101 feature that
    takes a look back at vintage video of Big Blue, both in color and black and
    white, over the course of their illustrious history. Whether it's a win or a
    loss, the purpose of this feature is to help educate newer generations of Giants
    fans and to bring older generations of Giants fans back in time. Enjoy.

    Coming off a tough overtime loss to the Washington Redskins in week 11 of the
    1978 season, the New York Giants desperately needed a win over the Philadelphia Eagles to get back to .500 and to keep them
    in the playoff hunt. And after an interception late in the fourth quarter
    courtesy of Odis McKinney, all Big Blue had to do was kneel on the ball to
    preserve a 17-12 upset win. But that didn't happen…

    As fans headed for the exits thinking the game was well in hand with less
    than 30 seconds to go, quarterback Joe
    took the snap on 3rd and 2, but rather than kneeling down to run
    out the clock, attempted to hand the ball off to fullback Larry
    . It was fumbled behind the line of scrimmage, picked up by cornerback
    and returned for the game-winning touchdown. The play and the game
    became infamously known as "Miracle at the Meadowlands."

    Thinking that the game was over prior to the fumble, CBS commentator Don
    Criqui had already begun to run/read the credits. Here was his call:

    "It's Giants football now, third and two. We thank our producer Bob
    Rowe, our director Jim Silman, and our CBS crew, spotter and statistician John
    Mara and Tom McHugh here at Giants Stadium. As the clock winds down on the Philadelphia Eagles, a game they thought would project
    them into a possible wildcard position, it would bring them 7-5 had they won,
    but a late interception by the Giants will preserve a Giant victory, an upset
    win as the Giants lead 17-12, we’re inside 30 seconds, the Eagles have no
    timeouts … Wait a minute… here's a free football, I don't believe it! The Eagles pick it up and
    runs it in for a touchdown! An incredible

    The Giants would go on to lose three of their remaining four games, finishing
    the season at 6-10, but that was the smallest of the stories that surrounded the
    team in the final month of the season. Fans would turn on management,
    demonstrating outside of the stadium in week 14 demanding change. Then, during
    the final home game of the year, the protest would grow despite a 17-0 victory
    over the St. Louis Cardinals. A Newark furniture dealer named Morris Spielberg
    arranged for a plane to fly over the stadium with a banner that read: "15 Years
    of Lousy Football
    We've Had Enough." As it passed, fans changed "We've had enough!" and the game
    had to be temporarily stopped as a result.

    Following the season, head coach John McVay's contract would expire and not
    be renewed – he never coached in the NFL again. Csonka's contract was also up, and he would
    return to Miami. Meanwhile, the team would eventually hire General Manager
    George Young after offseason mediation, and he made an immediate impact,
    drafting quarterback Phil Simms to replace Pisarcik.

    Ray Perkins would coach the team for the next four years, and with the
    exception of the 1981 season, the results were more of the same. However, it was
    his hire of then defensive coordinator Bill
    that would eventually lead the New York Football Giants back to prominence."



    "In all of sports there are stars on a team and players that contribute huge
    roles and don't get the credit they deserve. There are three underrated players
    who had huge impacts for the New York Giants last season , especially in their
    push for the playoffs and Super Bowl title.

    1. Mathias Kiwanuka

    Kiwanuka plays a bigger role for the Giants than a lot of people realize.
    This is a player that last season moved from the defensive line to linebacker,
    and could go back to the d-line if a player is injured. Not many players in the
    NFL can do that.

    Last season Kiwanuka had 84 tackles, 64 of which were solo with 3.5 sacks and
    one interception.

    The Giants recognize what Kiwanuka is capable of, and rewarded him with a
    multi-year contract worth up to $21.75 million for four years. $10.95 million is
    guaranteed and he'll be making a little more than $5 million a year until he is
    a free agent in 2016.

    2. Chase Blackburn

    When the NFL lockout of 2011 ended the Giants did not bring back linebacker
    Chase Blackburn. In fact, no team gave him a phone call.

    When Blackburn didn't get the call, he didn't lose hope. He trained and
    waited, believing someone would call him. Just before he was about to get a job
    as a math teacher, the Giants called. The defensive line was riddled with
    injuries and they wanted Blackburn back.

    Blackburn went from missing 12 weeks of the season, to starting the final
    four weeks. He played five games and had 26 tackles and one interception, which
    was off Aaron Rodgers against the Green Bay Packers in Blackburn's first game

    The biggest moment of Blackburn's return to the team was his game-changing
    interception of New England Patriots' QB Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLVI.

    The Giants made sure they held onto Blackburn for at least one more season
    when they signed him to a one-year, $825,000 contract. He will be an
    unrestricted free agent again in 2013.

    3. Steve Weatherford

    After a 2010 season of Matt Dodge woes, the Giants decided to bring in
    veteran punter Steve Weatherford instead. It turned out to be one of their best
    decisions in 2011.

    Weatherford single-handedly helped strengthen the Giant's special teams,
    especially in their push for the Super Bowl.

    In 2011 he averaged 45.7 yards per punt. He stayed just as consistent in the
    postseason, averaging 45.4 yards per punt. Weatherford played huge roles in the
    final two games of the postseason against the San Francsico 49ers and the New
    England Patriots by punting the ball deep into the opponents end of the

    Weatherford has five years on his contract worth up to $12.75 million,
    keeping him around until 2016.

    The Giants were not favorites to win Super Bowl XLVI, but they did anyway.
    The players mentioned above played some of the biggest roles and will continue
    to do so in the years to come for New York."


    "It's the time of year for NFL writers when creating lists, handing out
    offseason grades and doing a variety of positional and team analysis type pieces
    is the order of the day. The Sporting News recently posted its NFC
    Offseason Grades
    . Here is what TSN said about the New York

    "The Super Bowl champion Giants have escaped the offseason relatively
    unscathed. They were able to draft Wilson and Randle to replace the big-name
    vets (Manningham and Jacobs) they lost. The key is having Hakeem Nicks,
    who broke his right foot in May and underwent surgery, ready to go at the start
    of the season. The Giants are in much better position to defend their
    championship than they were after winning Super Bowl XLII."

    Agree or disagree, Giants fans? Is this team, on paper, better than it was at
    the end of last season? Or, do you look at the losses the team suffered and this
    team just isn't as good heading into 2012?"


    "In wrapping up our series comparing the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning New
    York Giants teams let's turn back to the good folks at What If Sports. Back when we
    started this little project I ran a simulated game between the two teams 25
    times and found that the 2007 team won 19 of those games.

    That, however, was not a big enough sample to get conclusive results from.
    So, the folks at What If Sports agreed to use their equipment to run a full
    study. They simulated games between the two teams 1001 times. The 2011 Giants
    won 61.6 percent of the simulated games, with an average score of 29.2 to

    A few numbers for comparison from the simulations:

    2007 Eli Manning -- 20.9 completions, 35.9 attempts
    (58.1 percent), 269.8 yards, 1.81 TDs, 1.56 INTs
    2011 Eli Manning -- 23.3
    completions, 33.5 attempts (69.7 percent), 326.8 yards, 2.62 TDs, 0.95 INTs

    Running Backs
    2007 Brandon Jacobs -- 11.1 carries, 59.4 yards, 5.4
    yards per carry
    2007 Derrick Ward -- 8.6 carries, 44.7 yards, 5.2 yards per
    2011 Ahmad Bradshaw -- 12.1 carries, 44.1 yards, 3.7 yards per
    2011 Brandon Jacobs -- 7.4 carries, 26.7 yards, 3.6 yards per carry

    2007 Plaxico Burress -- 4.5 receptions, 66.4 yards, 14.9
    yards per catch
    2007 Jeremy Shockey -- 4.4 receptions, 56.4 yards, 12.9 yards
    per catch
    2007 Amani Toomer -- 3.7 receptions, 53.2 yards, 14.3 yards per
    2011 Victor Cruz -- 5.1 receptions, 85.4 yards, 16.6 yards per
    2011 Hakeem Nicks -- 5.0 receptions, 74, 0 yards, 14.7 yards per
    2011 Jake Ballard -- 3.0 receptions, 45.8 yards, 15.0 yards per
    2011 Mario Manningham -- 3.0 recpetions, 42.3 yards, 14.0 yards per


    Offensive Line -- 2007
    Tight End -- 2011 (you guys disagreed with me here)
    Wide Receiver -- 2011
    Running Back -- 2007
    Fullback -- 2007
    Quarterback -- 2011
    Defensive Line -- 2011
    Linebacker -- 2007
    Cornerback -- 2007
    Safety -- 2011
    Special Teams -2011"









    Last year, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. However, can you argue
    that they were the worst regular season team to ever win the Super Bowl. They
    were the first team to win the Super Bowl despite single digit wins (9) and they
    even had a negative points differential (-6), one of only 2 playoff teams last
    season to have one (Denver). They barely made the playoffs and had to win their
    final 2 games to do so.

    At 7-7 heading into week 16, it said far more likely that Tom Coughlin would
    be fired than that he would win his 2nd Super Bowl. In fact, had
    Miles Austin not dropped a wide open touchdown in the Giants/Cowboys week 14
    clash, the Giants wouldn’t have even made the playoffs. You can say the same
    thing about a borderline “gave himself up” call in the Giants’ game against the
    Cardinals earlier in the season that led to a Victor Cruz touchdown.

    Of course, in the playoffs, everything changed. Eli turned into ELIte,
    throwing to a great group of receivers, their running game finally got going
    after ranking dead last in the regular season, and they got just enough guys
    back from injury defensively that their amazing pass rush was able to shine.
    Some think they have turned a corner and are now the elite team that they
    weren’t during the regular season, as the Packers did after winning the Super
    Bowl the season before.

    I disagree. I think this was just a team that got hot at the right time, as
    they did the last time they won the Super Bowl. They didn’t turn the corner and
    become an elite team last time. Sure, they went 12-4 in the 2008 season, the
    season after winning the Super Bowl, but their Super Bowl was followed by 4
    straight seasons without a playoff win. It wasn’t like the Packers setting the
    world on fire and going 15-1 last year. They’ve proven countless times that they
    are not an elite team, just an above average team that can get hot at the right
    time. I think they’ll more closely resemble the above average team they were
    last year in the regular season, and in the regular seasons previous, than the
    elite team that won the Super Bowl last postseason.

    In a loaded NFC and a loaded NFC East, that could be trouble. No defending
    Super Bowl champion has won a playoff game since the Patriots won back to back
    Super Bowls in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. I don’t think the Giants are going to
    be the ones to break that streak. In fact, considering they barely made the
    playoffs last year, and that they’re in an improved division overall (Eagles
    ended last year really well, Cowboys upgraded their secondary, Redskins got
    RGIII), they might not make the playoffs at all this season. Every year, 5 teams
    that made the playoffs the year before miss the playoffs the following season.
    The Giants could easily be one of the 5 out this season.


    Eli Manning had an amazing season last year. He threw for 4933 yards in the
    regular season and played extremely well in the playoffs, carrying the team in a
    way he had never done before. He definitely proved himself to be an elite
    quarterback. However, after the Giants won the Super Bowl, I still argued I’d
    rather have Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees because of their consistent

    Eli was on their level last year, but before last year, his career high in
    yards was 4021. Before last year, he might not even have been a top-10
    quarterback. I need to see him do it once more before I’ll put him in that top,
    top tier with the 3 guys just mentioned (for the record, brother Peyton is in
    that tier too if fully healthy). Still, the Giants are in very, very good hands
    with Eli. He’s at worst the 4th best quarterback in the league and
    you can do a lot, lot worse than that.

    Grade: A-

    Running Backs

    The Giants have always been a good running team, so it was a real surprise
    when they ranked dead last in yards (1427) and YPC (3.5) last season. That’s why
    Eli carried this team in ways he had never before. He didn’t really have a great
    running game to lean on. In the postseason, they got things together, a big part
    of why they were able to win it all.

    The Giants return starter Ahmad Bradshaw, but they lost Brandon Jacobs and
    while his replacement David Wilson, their 1st round pick, is much
    more talented than the aged Jacobs, he isn’t the short yardage bruiser that
    Jacobs was. They could miss that. To replace Jacobs as a short yardage back, the
    Giants have had DJ Ware bulk up from around 225 pounds to 240 this offseason.
    He’ll see very limited work in specialized situations.

    Bradshaw and Wilson, meanwhile, are very, very similar football players. In
    fact, in my scouting report of Wilson, I actually gave him a Bradshaw
    comparison, this of course being before the Giants took him. For that reason, I
    actually didn’t like the Wilson selection because you typically want
    complimentary players in a running back tandem. Still, Wilson is a talented back
    who will help their running game get back on track.

    After rushing for 1235 yards on 278 carries in 2010 (4.5 YPC), Bradshaw
    rushed for 659 yards on 171 carries (3.9 YPC) last season thanks, in large part,
    to injuries, which caused him to miss 4 games and be limited in several others.
    Bradshaw has hardly been the picture of good health in the past in his career,
    aside from the 2010 season, so Wilson will come in handy as they attempt to get
    back to being a good running football team.

    Grade: B

    Wide receivers

    Eli Manning was definitely helped out by a great receiving corps last season,
    led by the trio of Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham. In the Super
    Bowl, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick told his defense to make Manningham be
    the one to have to beat them. That backfired as he did with an amazing catch
    against the sideline on what would eventually be the game winning touchdown
    drive late in the 4th quarter.

    Manningham is gone, after signing in San Francisco, but Manningham actually
    only had 39 catches for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns as their 3rd
    receiver last year so it’s not like he’s irreplaceable. Hakeem Nicks and Victor
    Cruz were the key guys as they had 76/1192/7 and 82/1536/9 respectively and both
    are back this season.

    Nicks is the more sure thing between the two as he was a highly ranked
    prospect coming out of college and has two years of great production as opposed
    to just one for Victor Cruz, who came out of literally nowhere to finish
    3rd in the league in receiving and pace the team in catches, yards,
    and receiving touchdowns last year. Nicks was the better receiver of the two in
    the playoffs, with 28 catches for 444 yards and 4 touchdowns, as opposed to 21
    catches for 269 yards and 1 touchdown for Cruz. Barring any further setbacks
    with his foot injury (he should be good for week 1), I expect Nicks to lead the
    team in receiving this year, though don’t count out the Giants having two 1000
    yard receivers once again.

    The 3rd receiver this year is expected to be Rueben Randle as he
    fills in for Manningham. Like Manningham, Randle will play outside opposite
    Nicks in 3-wide receiver sets, with Cruz playing in the slot where he’s most
    dangerous. Randle will compete with veterans Domenik Hikon and Ramses Barden, as
    well as 2011 3rd round pick Jerrel Jernigan, but the Giants used a
    2nd round pick on Randle in this past 2012 NFL Draft and considering
    he was seen as a steal there and one of the draft’s most NFL ready receivers, he
    should win that job.

    Tight end, however, could be a problem for the Giants this year. Their Super
    Bowl victory was not without losses as they lost both Jake Ballard and Travis
    Beckum to torn ACLs. Those were their top 2 tight ends at an already thin
    position. Ballard was not expected to be able to play at all this season, so
    they cut him. He was then claimed on waivers by none other than the New England
    Patriots, which pissed off Head Coach Tom Coughlin. Beckum, meanwhile, might be
    able to play at some point this year but he’s pretty unproven with 26 career

    With those two out, the Giants signed Martellus Bennett and used a
    4th round pick on Adrien Robinson. When they signed Bennett, I
    thought there was some real upside with him. Bennett was underutilized as a
    receiver in Dallas behind Jason Witten, but was talented enough as a receiver to
    go in the 2nd round in 2008 and he’s one of the league’s best
    blocking tight ends. On top of that, Manning has always gotten the most out of
    mediocre receivers like Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard at tight end before.
    However, Bennett showed up to camp at 291 pounds and while he insists that’s all
    muscle, that won’t help him separate from defenders. Robinson, meanwhile, is an
    athletic freak and a strong blocker, but he caught just 12 passes in his senior
    season at Cincinnati last year so the 2012 4th round pick is a major project who
    won’t contribute much this season.

    Offensive line

    The offensive line was absolutely miserable for the Giants last year. I’m
    amazed they managed to win the Super Bowl in spite of it because they didn’t
    really get much better in the playoffs. Eli Manning was only sacked 28 times,
    but that’s because he, like his brother, gets the football out very quickly (he
    was sacked 11 times in 4 playoff games on top of that though). They were
    ProFootballFocus’ worst rated pass blocking offensive line and 4th
    worst rated run blocking offensive line. In the playoffs and regular season
    combined, they allowed 250 quarterback pressures. On 840 pass plays, that’s one
    every 3.4 pass attempts.

    Their worst offensive lineman was David Diehl. Diehl played 10 games at left
    guard and 6 games at left tackle and managed to rank among the worst at the
    position at both. As a tackle, he ranked 64th out of 76 with a -22.0
    (in 6 games), allowing 4 sacks, 6 quarterback pressures, and 20 quarterback
    pressures, while committing 2 penalties. In 10 games at guard, he ranked
    76th out of 77 with a -26.1, allowing 5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, 28
    quarterback pressures, while committing 3 penalties. Including playoffs, in 20
    games, he allowed 13 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 61 quarterback pressures, and
    committed 6 penalties. His -58.1 overall rating was the worst among any player
    at any position.

    Diehl has been moved to right tackle this season. He’ll compete with James
    Brewer, their 2011 4th round pick, for the right to start there and
    he might move back to left guard and start there if he can’t win the right
    tackle job. Diehl and Brewer are competing for Kareem McKenzie’s old job.
    McKenzie was almost as bad as Diehl, allowing 9 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 58
    quarterback pressures, and committing 4 penalties in 20 games at right tackle.
    He, not surprisingly, remains unsigned on the open market as of this writing and
    may have to retire at 33 years of age.

    Things were better aside from Diehl and McKenzie, but still not great. Chris
    Snee was their right guard once again, allowing 6 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and
    27 quarterback pressures, good for a -18.7 rating in 20 games. He’ll start there
    once again. Opposite him, Kevin Boothe is penciled in as the starting left guard
    with Diehl at right tackle, though he could lose his job to Diehl if Diehl can’t
    win the right tackle job. Boothe played all over the line last season, including
    center, and had a -19.0 rating overall with 3 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, 21
    quarterback pressures, and 2 penalties, though he was a putrid run blocker. The
    Giants would still be better off with Boothe as their starting left guard and
    Diehl serving Boothe’s old role as a versatile 6th offensive

    When healthy, David Baas played center last year. A natural guard, Baas
    looked out of position at center last year, as he too graded out well below
    average with a -11.3 rating. He allowed 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 14
    quarterback pressures. Some expected them to take a natural center like Peter
    Konz in the 1st round and move Baas to guard, but they didn’t do
    that. In fact, they didn’t put much emphasis on the offensive line at all in the
    draft, which was surprising considering how poorly they played last season. They
    used a 4th round pick on the versatile Brandon Mosley and a
    6th round pick on the raw, but athletic Matt McCants, but neither
    will have much of an impact this season. At best, they’re going to be their
    7th and 8th offensive linemen.

    The only offensive lineman who wasn’t absolutely miserable for the Giants
    upfront last season was William Beatty, who was actually pretty average with a
    -1.2 rating. The left tackle allowed 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, and 24
    quarterback pressures in limited action, but he had trouble staying healthy.
    That’s been an issue for him throughout his career. A full season of him on the
    left side will really help, but if he can’t stay healthy, they’ll probably use
    Diehl there, which would be a nightmare again. Giants fans can hope Beatty stays
    healthy all year and that Brewer plays well in his 1st year as a
    starter and that some other veterans bounce back or maybe even that a rookie
    steps up, but overall things are really bleak in front of Eli Manning. The
    offensive line could also stifle their talented running backs once again.

    Grade: C


    The Giants had major issues at linebacker and with injuries in their
    secondary, but their pass rush was so good that no one really noticed,
    especially not in the postseason when their defense was just as big a part of
    why they won it all than Eli Manning and the offense. Heading into 2012, the
    Giants have a healthier secondary and added some talent at linebacker behind
    their amazing defensive line.

    Defensive line

    The Giants get after the quarterback like no one quite can. Postseason
    included, they had 59 sacks, 64 quarterback hits, and 211 quarterback pressures.
    They frequently went with 4 defensive ends on the defensive line with Jason
    Pierre Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Dave Tollefson, with their #4
    defensive end Tollefson actually playing 575 snaps on the season (including
    postseason). Meanwhile, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka blitzed more than almost any
    4-3 linebacker in the league, doing so 328 times, as opposed to 251 times where
    he dropped into coverage.

    Tollefson is gone, but he actually played horribly. He graded out with a
    -20.5 overall and managed just 5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, and 13 quarterback
    pressures on 355 pass rush snaps (5.6%). Converted linebacker Adrian Tracy (a
    defensive end in college) may take his old role or the Giants could use
    Kiwanuka, who has been a defensive end before in the NFL, on the defensive line
    more often in 2012.

    Jason Pierre Paul was their leader with a 39.1 rating, producing 17 sacks, 16
    quarterback hits, and 39 quarterback pressures on 736 pass rush snaps (9.8%). He
    also played the run better than every defensive end except 3 and graded out
    6th overall. No other defensive end had ratings of 15+ as both a pass
    rusher and a run stuffer and he also batted down 10 passes, something that
    bothered Tom Brady a lot in the Super Bowl. He’s incredibly well rounded.

    Justin Tuck wasn’t quite as good as JPP, but he spent most of the
    1st half of the season injured and really caught fire late in the
    year in the playoffs. Tuck was ProFootballFocus’ 9th ranked defensive
    end in 2010 so if he’s healthy this year, the Giants’ pass rush will be near
    impossible to stop even in base packages with JPP and Tuck lined up outside
    opposite each other.

    Umenyiora and Tollefson would line up on the defensive line along with those
    two in sub packages. I already mentioned Tollefson’s struggles, but he’s gone.
    Umenyiora, meanwhile, is back after getting a pay raise this offseason.
    Umenyiora has been complaining about not being a starter and about his contract
    for years, but an extra 2-3 million dollars seems to have shut him up,
    definitely a good thing because of how talented he is. He’s terrible against the
    run (which is why he’s no longer a starter), but he had 13 sacks, 7 quarterback
    hits, and 29 quarterback pressures on 382 pass rush snaps, which gave him a
    12.8% rate that actually led the team.

    At defensive tackle, the Giants also have two talented defensive lineman who
    can get to the quarterback. They don’t play much in sub packages, but Chris
    Canty and Linval Joseph graded out with a 9.8 and a 8.1 respectively and while
    they were above average both against the run and as pass rushers, they were both
    better as pass rushers. Canty had 4 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 22
    quarterback pressures, while Joseph had 2 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 23
    quarterback pressures.

    Rocky Bernard was their top reserve last year and he was just resigned. He’ll
    compete with 2011 2nd round pick Marvin Austin, who missed last year
    with injury, and free agent acquisition Shaun Rogers for positioning on the
    depth chart and he might not even make the roster. He was solid last year
    though, but there’s definitely more upside with Austin. However, anyway you look
    at it, this is an incredible defensive line that might be even better this year
    with a healthy Tuck and the addition of Austin. In my opinion, this is the top
    defensive line in the league.

    Grade: A


    Things aren’t nearly as good in the back 7, but good defenses are built in
    the trenches. I’ve already mentioned Mathias Kiwanuka. He’s their most talented
    linebacker. Not only is he a good blitzer, but he also was the 5th
    rated 4-3 outside linebacker against the run. He’s terrible in coverage as a
    former defensive lineman, but they don’t ask him to do that much. Overall, he
    had a 10.3 rating last year, but, as I’ve mentioned, he may play more defensive
    lineman this year.

    The Giants traded for Keith Rivers to provide depth both inside and outside.
    He didn’t play at all for the Bengals last year with a wrist injury, but he was
    a solid starter before last year and he can help in coverage. He’ll also compete
    for the starting middle linebacker job with Chase Blackburn. Backups Greg Jones
    and Mark Herzlich will also be in that competition. Jones was a 6th
    round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while Herzlich was undrafted, but the team is
    high on both of them.

    Blackburn is currently the favorite for the starting middle linebacker job.
    He played well down the stretch last year and even had a game changing
    interception of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, but there’s a reason why he was
    available in November. He’s a career journeyman and a mediocre talent who could
    easily struggle if counted on to start this year. Luckily, they have other
    options should that happen, but not anyone that great. Rounding out the
    linebacking group is Michael Boley, an average starter who graded out as such on
    ProFootballFocus with a -0.4. Like Kiwanuka, he is terrible in coverage."





    "The debate over whether or not Eli Manning is an elite
    quarterback began last summer when he said that he would consider himself in the
    same class as his brother, Peyton
    , and Tom Brady. Manning backed up
    those comments by passing for nearly 5,000 yards while leading the New York Giants to their second
    Lombardi Trophy with him under center.

    "To quote one of our captains, you can't spell elite without Eli," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said of his
    quarterback after a regular season win over the New England Patriots.

    Another word you can't spell without E-L-I is "unselfish," which is the word
    newly signed Giants tight end Martellus Bennett used
    to describe Manning.

    "Oh man, I don't think there's a better quarterback than him in the NFL right
    now," Bennett told Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger during minicamp.
    "Watching his approach to the game and the way he coaches everybody up and gets
    everybody involved, I think he's an unselfish quarterback, which is what you
    want. He throws a very catchable ball, which is always awesome. He's a great
    guy, a great quarterback."

    Bennett spent the first four seasons of his career as the No. 2 tight end for
    the Dallas Cowboys behind Jason Witten, who averaged
    122.5 targets per season over that span. Bennett, a former second-round pick,
    was targeted 130 times total with the Cowboys, including a career-low 26 times
    in 2011.

    "I mean, he's just looking for the open guy," Bennett said. "It doesn't
    matter who it is or what number you are. If you're open, he's going to hit you.
    You have to be ready. That's what makes it so fun playing in this offense
    because anytime you beat your guy, you know you could get the ball."

    Bennett recently bulked up to 291 pounds; it will be hard for Manning to miss
    him this season."








    "Tom Coughlin may not have thrown a strike to Russell
    , but the two-time Super Bowl champion coach of the New York
    Giants was relieved he didn't bounce the first pitch prior to Saturday's
    Yankees-White Sox game at the Stadium.

    "It wasn't in the dirt," said
    Coughlin, who was asked to throw out the first pitch by his alma mater as part
    of Syracuse University day. "It was probably high and inside, but it was close
    enough. I might have gotten the call."

    Any butterflies?

    Coughlin said. "You figure, here come the New York Yankees and they're waiting
    for this old guy to get out of the way with the first pitch, I think you always
    say, 'God, I hope I don’t bounce it up there.'"

    This is the second time
    Coughlin has thrown out the first pitch. He threw a strike to Jorge
    -- "a split-finger down the middle," he said -- after the Giants
    won the title in 2007.

    "When I did this before, (Derek)
    said to me, 'You're getting up on the mound right?'" Coughlin
    said. "I said, 'Yeah, I'm getting up on the mound.' And then one of the guys
    said, 'Don't bounce it.'

    "I said that to John Wooden
    one time. I told him about what I was gonna do, and people saying you can't
    bounce it. He said, 'I did that one time. I did it with the Angels one time.' I
    said, 'How'd you do?' He said, 'I bounced it.'

    "And then I said, 'They
    wouldn't have booed you.' And he said, 'Yeah, they booed me.'"

    played a lot of baseball growing up. He played in high school and then a summer
    of American Legion ball following his freshman year at Syracuse.

    played a lot of catch, and I got hit with a lot of line drives when he was
    growing up. Believe me," said Coughlin, whose son Tim was
    captain of the baseball team at Virginia.

    The Giants withstood several
    injuries to key players en route to capturing the Super Bowl this past season.

    So how does Coughlin think the Yankees will fair without CC
    , Andy Pettitte and Mariano

    "I think they'll come through this very strong,"
    Coughlin said.

    An attempt was made to ask Coughlin about his
    quarterback, Eli Manning, being ranked 31st on the NFL
    Network's list of the top 100 NFL players.

    "I don't know anything about
    it," Coughlin said.

    And with that, he left reporters to go take in the


    "Adrian Tracy was a defensive end in college, a linebacker in
    his first two seasons with the Giants and now is making the move back to
    defensive end.

    It's probably a good thing Tracy tries to emulate his
    game after Mathias Kiwanuka, the Giants' hybrid
    linebacker/defensive end.

    "I kind of fashion some of my game after Kiwi
    because he plays both spots," Tracy said after helping instruct kids at
    Chris Canty's football camp in Washington Heights. "I am not
    shying away from playing linebacker or whatever the team wants me to do and
    whatever they see me at. Versatility has allowed me to stick so far and being
    able to play two positions is a good thing."

    This season, the Giants are looking at Tracy at defensive end as they search for
    replacement for Dave Tollefson
    , who signed with Oakland in
    free agency.

    The 6-2, 245-pound Tracy has dropped his body fat and added
    muscle for the move and is thrilled with the opportunity to potentially provide
    Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi
    a breather.

    "It is awesome learning from these guys,
    as far as how they dissect film," Tracy said. "I want to learn and be a student
    of the game. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are the two of the best in the
    league. So I am picking their brain left and right to try to see certain
    situations that are going through their minds so I can pick up some things and
    better my game."

    Tracy was a defensive end while at William & Mary
    and then was converted to linebacker after the Giants drafted him in the sixth
    round in 2010.

    Tracy spent his rookie season on injured reserve with an
    elbow injury. He was on the practice squad last season and now will compete with
    Justin Trattou to potentially take Tollefson's backup role.

    "It was a process," Tracy said of the past two seasons. "My rookie year
    I was hurt, so that was kind of a setback. And last year I think I was on the
    practice squad just to learn and so they can see that I am able to play."

    "On the practice squad we did everything like the regular team, except
    we didn't play," Tracy added. "So we are grinding every day. And with my injury,
    just to see if I was durable, if I could stand the whole 20-game season that we
    had, I think that put me in good position ... them seeing what I can do."

    In OTAs and minicamp, Tracy said he saw some time at linebacker in
    certain packages, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said
    Tracy has been moved to defensive end.

    "We felt that he's more of a
    defensive end," Fewell said. "After looking at him for the past year or so, we
    feel that's his strength and we can make some progress with him playing
    defensive end for us."

    "He's really strong at the point of attack,"
    Fewell added. "You'd be surprised at how Tracy is strong at the point of attack
    –- much stronger than he physically looks. But I think he'll do well there."

    Tracy says spending his first two seasons in the linebackers room has
    helped him learn the entire defense.

    Now he is ready to show that he can
    replace Tollefson and help on special teams.

    "That is all I can ask for,
    the opportunity," Tracy said. "With my talents and the knowledge that I have
    gained thus far, I think I am in a good position.

    "The opportunity I
    have is great and you can believe I will take advantage of it."


    For the better part of the last decade, the New York Giants have had one of
    the most formidable defensive lines in the NFL. This season, with players like
    Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph,
    Big Blue has the potential to have one of the best defensive lines maybe even of
    all time.

    With such a deep talent pool at the position, the signing of 33 year-old
    Shaun Rogers in early April was quite peculiar to begin with. Although Rogers
    played in all 16 games last season with the New Orleans Saints, he recorded only
    14 tackles for the year. In addition, the Saints, knowing they were going to
    lose several key players in free agency, still decided not to bring back the
    12-year veteran.

    Rogers is a big (6'4"/ 350lb) interior defensive tackle that is capable of
    plugging up the middle and stopping the run, which was perhaps the only weak
    spot for last year's defensive line. However, so far this offseason, Rogers has
    been sidelined with an elbow injury that neither he, nor the team seems to
    interested in elaborating upon. Furthermore, his injury is what prompted the
    team to bring back Rocky Bernard, which ultimately resulted in the team waiving
    Jake Ballard and subsequently losing him to the New England Patriots. Needless
    to say, Rogers' career in New York has not gotten off on the right foot. Rogers,
    when asked about whether he thinks he will ever see regular season action with
    the Giants, seemed uncertain.

    “That’s up to them to decide,” Rogers said. “I feel like I can play football at any point
    in time. What my role is will be determined by the coaches and how they

    Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell normally carries four defensive tackles on
    the 53-man roster. With Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, and Marvin Austin all
    clearly ahead of Rogers on the depth chart, even a healthy Shaun Rogers would
    have a hard time securing the last remaining spot on the roster. With Rocky
    Bernard recently resigned and several rookies competing for playing time, an
    injured Shaun Rogers would be of very little use to the New York Giants.

    It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out in training camp.
    Although Rogers produced very little for the Saints last season, General Manager
    Jerry Reese obviously sees something in him if he was willing to waive Jake
    Ballard just to keep Rogers on the roster. That being said, there have been no
    reports that suggest the team expects Rogers to be ready for training camp. With
    his age, lack of experience within Perry Fewell's complex defensive schemes,
    health concerns, and position on the depth chart, their are serious question
    marks about Shaun Rogers' overall value.

    The team may be inclined to go with a veteran that already knows the defense
    in Rocky Bernard, or maybe even seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn. However,
    with such a deep and talented defensive end and linebacker core, the Giants will
    most likely only carry four defensive tackles on the 53-man roster. Look for
    this to become one of the more unexpected, yet interesting positional battles
    during training camp."












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

  • #2

    thanks for the news Roanoke!

    stay cool!



    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 2012 - 12:45 P.M.

      [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

      thanks for the news Roanoke!

      stay cool!


      ONLY 98 here at the moment, like Spring compared to yesterday
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1