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    "Joe Martinek is a Jersey kid through and through. After setting the
    state's all-time career rushing record at Hopatcong High School, Martinek went
    on to Rutgers where he began his career as a tailback and gained a career-high
    967 rushing yards and tallied nine touchdowns his redshirt sophomore season in
    2009. But his numbers took a dip his final two seasons as he moved over to

    After going undrafted, Martinek brings that versatility to one of the few
    teams remaining in the NFL with a traditional fullback in Henry Hynoski. He
    talks about that versatility, being a Jersey kid and his transition to the NFL
    in the latest installment in our Giants
    summer questionnaire series

    How has the transition from college to pro been going so

    It's going good. My goal is just to get to continue to get better everyday,
    be better than I was yesterday and the more time I get into the playbook, the
    more time I'm on the field. And seeing how the older guys do it, it makes it
    easier for me and makes more confident in what I'm doing. So the more we do it
    and obviously the more we do things, the more we study the playbook, we'll be
    more comfortable.

    You're coming into the NFL as player with experience as both a
    tailback and fullback. Where are you lining up most?

    I'm doing a mix. I'm doing some running back, some fullback, special teams so
    a little bit of everything.

    Does playing a couple different
    positions complicate things a little bit?

    Right now probably a little bit because I got to know two positions right now
    so that aspect is hard just to remember because on one play I can have two
    different assignments, but playing the fullback helps me play running back and
    then running back helps me know what the fullback's supposed to do. so it's
    harder right now, but at the end it helps each other.

    position do you envision yourself playing?

    I envision myself playing wherever coaches want me to play. I always knew I
    was going to have to play special teams – that's going to be a huge part for me.
    I've always seen myself as a running back my whole life. I've been playing that
    position since I was five years old.

    You're a Jersey kid. Is it
    any more special getting an opportunity on a hometown

    Yeah, it is. I didn't grow up a Giants fan, but all my
    friends are Giants fans and they're all excited about the Giants signing me.
    It's a blessing, but it's just the beginning. My goal is to make this team."



    "New York
    Giants LB/DE Mathias
    was perhaps the best player on the team that nobody talked about
    last season. While players like Jason
    and Victor
    had breakout seasons and garnered all the media attention, the
    seventh-year veteran out of Boston College quietly had 84 tackles in his first
    full season at the strong-side linebacker position, which was good for the
    fourth highest total on the team.

    Although Kiwanukawas drafted as a defensive end, he has long been recognized
    as the most versatile player on the Giants defense. Kiwanuka is very quick off
    the edge and has deceptive strength, which allows the team to use him in several
    different roles. He possesses the unique ability to play linebacker in a 4-3
    defense, or as a down linemen on the defensive line. However, with the immense
    talent and depth the Giants have had at the defensive end position throughout
    Kiwanuka's career, the team has had issues finding a way to get him on the

    Last season, Kiwianuka played relatively well at the strong-side linebacker
    position. But this offseason, many fans have debated whether defensive
    coordinator Perry
    would be best suited shifting the teams 2006 first-round pick back to
    defensive end. Below, we will examine three reasons why it is imperative that Mathias
    plays the majority of his snaps at the strong-side linebacker
    position in 2012.

    Would Be the Fourth Defensive End On the Depth Chart

    – Out of every area on the Giants' roster, defensive end is perhaps the most
    talented and versatile position. Although it is debatable whether Mathias
    is the fourth best defensive end on the team, he would almost
    definitely be the fourth defensive end on Perry
    's depth chart.

    With a healthy Justin
    and Jason
    , Kiwanukacould be the third best defensive end on the team. The
    argument can be made that because Kiwi is good against the run, while still
    being an explosive pass rusher, he is a better all-around DE than Osi
    . However, within the context of the Giants' defense, the third
    defensive end is utilized as a pass-rushing specialist, mostly on third

    As explosive of a player as Kiwi is off the edge, Umenyiorais by far a
    superior pass rusher as a down linemen. With nine sacks in only nine games last
    season, Umenyiora proved that he is still and elite pass-rusher in this league.
    So for the purposes of the Giants defense, Kiwanuka would be the fourth
    defensive end on the depth chart. It would make little sense to take away his
    responsibilities as a LB to put him in a reserve role elsewhere.

    Kiwi Is the Team's Best Strong-Side Linebacker – Even
    if one could make the argument that Mathias
    would be an important asset to the team as a DE, he is
    unquestionably the team's best strong-side linebacker. Some have made the
    argument that because of the Giants depth at linebacker, it may be prudent to
    move Kiwi back to his natural position and let the younger players get a chance
    to prove themselves.

    Many casual football
    fans see linebacker as one position. However, in reality, linebacker is actually
    three completely different positions within one category.

    The strong-side linebacker (SAM) plays on the strong-side of the offense,
    generally lining up on the tight end. If there is no TE, the SAM splits the
    space between the end of the line of scrimmage and the slot receiver. His
    responsibilitiesinclude, but are not limited to, filling his gap on run plays,
    covering tight ends and backs out of the backfield (in man coverage), or
    dropping into short zones on passing plays. The SAM gets his initial read from
    the tight end on whether the play is a run or pass.

    The middle linebacker (MIKE) usually lines up directly over the center and
    his primary responsibility is to stop the run. The Mike linebacker should be
    involved in almost every tackle when the ball is on the ground. On pass plays,
    normally he just drops into short zones over the middle of the field, or may
    have to cover a back out of the backfield on a blitz. The Mike normally reads
    the guard position to get his initial run/pass read.

    Finally, the weak-side (WILL) linebacker is generally on of the more athletic
    players on the field. He lines up on the weak-side of the formation and his
    primary responsibility is to contain and plug up cut-back lanes on rushing
    plays. In the passing game, the Will linebacker is expected to cover anyone from
    a slot receiver to a back out of the backfield. His initial run/pass key
    normally comes from the tackle position.

    As you can see, in a 4-3 defense, each linebacker position has different
    responsibilities with different reads on every play. With that, the Giants depth
    chart is deep at both the weak-side and middle linebacker positions. However, on
    the strong-side, it could be argued that Greg
    is the next best SAM on the roster after Kiwanuka. So if defensive
    coordinator Perry
    decides to make Kiwi more of a down linemen in 2012, it would entail
    putting some of the younger, more inexperienced linebackers in an unfamiliar
    role. That would most likely be more trouble than its worth.

    Continuity – In Mathias
    's previous six seasons, last year was the first one in which he had
    a defined role within the defense. In his previous years, Kiwi was used as a
    third defensive end (2008 as the exception) and as a linebacker. Kiwi was
    constantly being moved around and was never able to fully commit himself to
    either position, which limited his productivity.

    For the Giants to be successful on defense, it is imperative that Perry
    retains the ability to move Kiwi around to different places on the
    field.Kiwanukais a dangerous player that must be accounted for by opposing
    offenses, so by moving him around it can create confusion at the line of
    scrimmage for quarterbacks. Look for him to be a down linemen in the team's
    NASCAR package.

    That being said, there must be some sort of balancing act in how Kiwi is
    utilized. He can not be moving from DE one week to LB the next and then back to
    DE after that. He has to have a defined role within the defense that clearly
    lays out his responsibilities on every play. He should progress nicely in his
    second season at the SAM linebacker, but for that to happen, he must be afforded
    the opportunity to see the vast majority of his snaps at that position in


    "Mark Wahlberg has long been known as a devoted Boston-area sports fan. His love
    for both the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots has been well documented,
    and like many other hardcore fans, he has a strong emotional attachment.
    However, that emotional attachment soared to another level following Super Bowl XLVI when the
    actor erupted on his friends and wife, kicking them out of the house in disgust
    as the New York
    Giants hoisted the Lombardi Trophy … again.

    "She was so upset I wasn't able to make it up to her until Valentine's Day,"
    Wahlberg said. "She said, 'You know, you're never watching the game again [at
    home],' but now she just hopes that the Patriots make it back to the Super Bowl
    so she can go on, like, a week vacation."

    Wahlberg admits he's ashamed of his actions, especially screaming at his
    wife, Rhea Durham, when she told him to calm down, but goes on to add that it's
    just part of being a fan.

    "It was bad. I always tell myself I'm not gonna get upset, but you just can't
    help it," he added.

    Marky Mark wasn't the only celebrity angry with the outcome of the game;
    Gisele Bundchen, wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, also went on a post-game
    , blaming her husband's teammates for not playing up to his level of
    greatness. Alas, Wahlberg says ole Tom seems to be doing just fine.

    "[Brady's] doing good. He handled it better than I did. He came to visit me…
    and Tom feels, like, they're gonna win this year," Wahlberg

    Could you imagine what would happen in Boston if the Giants somehow managed
    to defeated the Patriots in another Super Bowl? The destruction might be so
    severe that they literally wipe themselves right off the map.


    "You hear the debates all the time as to who the best quarterback in the NFL is right
    now, whether a quarterback is "elite" or not, and why a quarterback can or can't
    be considered a "franchise" signal caller. New York Giants' Eli
    was one of the most polarizing candidates for the debate going into
    last season. Last season, after Manning won his second Super Bowl and silenced
    the majority of his critics, the debate has shifted towards guys like Tony Romo
    and Matt Ryan.

    Today at Giants 101, we rank the twelve best quarterbacks in the world going
    into the 2012 NFL season.
    Factors considered include (but are not limited to): accomplishments in the
    league, pure passing ability – accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence,
    performances in big games and clutch circumstances, the player's value to their
    team, as well as the direction their career seems to be moving in going

    NOTE: Peyton Manning will NOT be included in this list
    because it is very hard to estimate just how much of an effect his neck injury
    will have on his play this season and going forward. Andrew Luck and Robert
    Griffin III are also excluded from the list as rookies.

    1. QB Aaron
    – Green Bay Packers

    The best player in football right now, Aaron
    has a chance to not only have a better career than his Hall of Fame
    caliber predecessor Brett Favre, but with his unbelievably complete skill set
    and already impressive list of accomplishments it's not a stretch to say that
    Rodgers is capable of being one of the four or five best quarterbacks to ever
    play the game. Accurate with the ability to fit the ball into very tight
    windows, Rodgers is also very athletic, an extremely capable passer on the run,
    and a guy with a work ethic that may even exceed his immense talent. The total

    2. QB Eli
    New York

    Here are the facts: Eli
    has beat Tom Brady,
    a man widely considered as one of the five best quarterbacks to ever play the
    game for his two Super Bowl rings. He made more plays than Brady when it counted
    in both games, and outplayed him in the fourth quarter. Eli
    has two Super Bowl MVPs. Eli
    has raised his level of play a notch in clutch situations – whether
    it be in the fourth quarter or in playoff games. Eli
    is the most successful quarterback in Giants history and is only
    about halfway through his NFL career. They say the true measure of a quarterback is
    how much he can improve the talent around him. Well, take a look at the careers
    of Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, and Kevin Boss in their time with Manning and
    without Manning and you'll get the idea.

    Just look at what Manning was able to do last year with an injury riddled
    offensive line, one of the worst running games in football, and an inconsistent defense that came on late
    in the year. In short – if you want to be in position to win championships, you
    want Eli
    under center.

    3. QB Tom Brady
    – New England Patriots

    The second half of his career may not have been filled with as much
    postseason success and accomplishment as the first, but Tom Brady
    is still one of the most accurate, consistent, and poised passers in the NFL game. He
    took a team with a very shaky defense to the Super Bowl last season and was just
    a drive away from his fourth Super Bowl ring. Clearly one of the best signal
    callers in the game, but also one of the best signal callers to ever take a snap
    in the league – Brady has been surrounded with some impressive weapons down in
    New England and still has a legitimate shot to make a run at one or two more
    Super Bowls before the end of his career.

    4. QB Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints

    Extremely accurate and the type of quarterback to rarely have two bad games
    in a row – Breesbroke Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season in 2011
    with 5,476 and is clearly the nucleus of that explosive New Orleans offense.
    He's completely mastered the Sean Payton offense and has shown the ability to
    overwhelm opposing defenses with his quick decision making and precise accuracy
    on short and intermediate throws. The Saints need to lock this guy up for the
    last four to five years of his career here if they want to remain relevant in
    the NFC will all the issues surrounding their franchise.

    5. QB Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

    A two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger is one of the more unique
    passers in football.
    He's almost the size of the defensive ends trying to bring him down and one of
    the most creative signal callers in the game when he is forced to leave the
    pocket or make something positive out of a broken play. Roethlisberger'smost
    admirable traits may be his combination of both physical and mental toughness,
    as he's one of the league's most fierce competitors and someone who inspires
    teammates around him. He takes good care of the football and rarely puts his football
    team in bad situations, but also shows the ability to pull them out of those
    very situations.

    6. QB Philip
    – San Diego Chargers

    He may be coming off a rough season, but there's no question in my mind that
    Phillip Rivers is one of the best pure passers in the game. He's extremely
    accurate, very good with his pre-snap reads, and instinctive. The 2008-2010
    Phillip Rivers was without a doubt a top five passer in the league. He's taken a
    step back, but when you look at what he's done over the course of his career,
    the type of offensive line play he got last season, and the type of competitor
    he is, it's hard to see Rivers not bouncing back in 2012.

    7. QBTony Romo
    – Dallas Cowboys

    His struggles in advancing in the postseason are well documented, but Tony
    has been one of the more effective passers in the league over the past
    three seasons. He's athletic, very good at throwing the football on
    the move, accurate, and knows how to manipulate opposing defenses to his
    advantage. Romostill has got to show that he can make the big plays when it
    counts most, but it's hard to overlook this guy's talent and ability to move an
    offense up and down the football field. If he truly wants to be considered elite
    however, he will have to take the next step and advance Dallas in the

    8. QB Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

    His strengths come in his knowledge of the game, work ethic, and
    competitiveness on and off the field. That's not to see Ryan doesn't have the
    skill set of the league's elite – he's got more than adequate arm strength and
    throws those vital intermediate routes accurately. But his intangibles set him
    apart, and he's a guy you can count on consistently as the leader of an offense.
    He's led the Falcons to the playoffs in three of his first four NFL seasons and
    while the future certainly looks bright for MattyIce, he's another player that
    is now under the microscope as the pressure is on to win a playoff game and take
    the next step in his career.

    9. QB Matthew
    – Detroit Lions

    He's known for his rocket arm and ability to make difficult throws in tight
    windows, but Stafford is also becoming an efficient passer with a TD-INT ratio
    of over 2.5 and one of the most productive seasons for a quarterback in NFL history with
    over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdown passes. It's all about health with Stafford,
    and just how far along he gets in his development and how far he can lead these
    Lions team will depend on how much of an affect injuries have on his time on the
    field and practice field. Ton of potential, but has got to stay on the football
    field to continue to improve as a football player.

    10. QBMichael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles

    Dynamic, explosive, and very capable of taking over a football
    game, it was just a couple of years ago that Mike Vick was in contention for the
    NFL MVP award
    with an incredible 2010 campaign with over 3,000 passing yards and 650 rushing
    yards, along with 30 combined touchdown passes and rushes in just 12 games.
    Health and consistency are issues here, but Vick is one of the most dangerous
    players in the league when he's on the field.

    11. QB Matt
    - Houston Texans

    One of the league's more underrated quarterbacks, Schaub is a good decision
    maker that takes care of the football but also shows good aggression and accuracy as a
    passer. He shows good football IQ and has been very productive for the Texans,
    although injuries have certainly held his career back at times, including last
    season where many felt that Houston could have made a real run at the Super Bowl
    if he wasn't forced to shut it down for the season.

    12. QB Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers

    Yes he's young, yes he only has one year in the league – but Newton is coming
    off one of the most impressive rookie campaigns in NFL history, and
    did it all with a limited group of offensive weapons outside of Steve Smith.
    Newton threw for over 4,000 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also rushing for over
    700 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Just astounding numbers for a first
    year player who shows the confidence, poise, and competitiveness of a ten year
    veteran to go along with his athleticism and big arm. Cam Newton has everything
    you look for in a franchise signal caller – if he can stay healthy, and keep his
    focus on football,
    he will quickly become one of the top passers in the National Football



    "Our friends at have put together a list ranking which
    NFL teams have the league's best cornerbacks
    . Let's discuss. places the New York Giants No.
    11 on its list of the league's 32 corrnerback groups. I have zero problem with
    that, really. Corey Webster
    is very good, but probably not a guy you would call a 'shutdown' corner. There
    is reason to be optimistic about everyone else in the group, yet also questions
    about each player.

    Look at the rest of the list, though. Do the Philadelphia
    really belong at No. 3, even with the writer admitting that the
    Eagles secondary "underwhelmed" a season ago? How do you feel about the Dallas Cowboys being
    No. 4?

    On the flip side, it's pretty hard to argue with the New York Jets at No.
    1. Love them or hate them, you have to be willing to admit how good Darrelle
    is. Antonio
    would be the best corner on a lot of teams around the league, as


    "Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's officially July, which means training
    camp starts a few short weeks from now. Man, does that have a nice ring to it or
    what? Of course, that also means we need a jackhammer to uncover the rocks where
    news is hiding. But alas, we've done it, even if that means there are stories
    about bitter actors who are Patriots fans.
    Let's have a look....

    week: Evaluating Eli Manning - NFC East Blog - ESPN

    Manning is an
    enigmatic fantasy quarterback. He's ranked sixth among quarterbacks by our
    experts in their preseason rankings. But according to the average draft position
    data on this site, he's the ninth quarterback being taken in early mocks and not
    going until the middle of the sixth round.

    Still not much love for Eli in fantasy-land? Middle of the sixth round??? I
    have a feeling he's going to wind up being a higher ADP than what they are
    projecting. What do you guys think?

    Bennett: Eli Manning 'an unselfish' QB -

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

    Bennett has new opportunity with Giants -

    Though he was
    behind Witten on the Dallas Cowboys'
    depth chart over the past four seasons, playing time was never an issue for
    Martellus Bennett. A 2008 second-round pick out of Texas A&M, Bennett played
    in nearly 40 percent of the Cowboys' snaps as a rookie and nearly half the
    team's snaps in 2009. According to official playing-time documents, Bennett
    logged 1,778 snaps in his 60-game career with the Cowboys, but was mostly an
    afterthought in the offense.

    Wahlberg Banned From Watching The Super Bowl At Home -

    Mark Wahlberg has been banned from watching the
    Super Bowl at home with friends following a fight with his wife after his
    beloved New England Patriots lost to rivals the New York Giants in
    February. The passionate Boston, Massachusetts sports fan was so upset when the
    Giants won he kicked all his pals out of his house and then yelled at his wife
    Rhea Durham when she told him to calm down. The movie star admits he has
    regretted the confrontation ever since and now he accepts he may never be able
    to watch his Patriots in the football final if his wife is at home.


    punter Weatherford savoring Super Bowl win | savoring, super, weatherford - The

    is living the good life in the NFL. The former University of
    Illinois standout is doing the punting for the world champion New York Giants,
    so you could say he’s sitting on top of the world. He has a Super Bowl ring and
    a place that can serve as his comfort zone. Believe me, the second item seems
    just as important to the 29-year-old Weatherford as the first one.

    has no one signed Ryan Grant? - Yahoo! Sports

    Despite having two
    1,200-plus rushing seasons under his belt, unrestricted free agent Ryan Grant
    remains unsigned. "He’ll clearly play for somebody this year," said Grant’s
    agent Alan Herman....."We’re not really thinking about Green Bay at this point."
    Other teams, however, including the Lions, Steelers, Dolphins, Redskins, Broncos, Raiders, Colts and Giants
    need help at running back.

    Dallas DOOMSDAY
    Shootout 3 - featuring the DALLAS COWBOYS & NY GIANTS

    If it
    has always been your dream to play next to your NFL heros...well put down your
    video game controller because this is your chanceto play WITH them. No, not on
    the football field. On the basketball court. A very limited number of fans will
    be against their NFC East rival. You will not only have the opportunity to go
    head to head with these gridiron athletes, but you will also have the
    opportunity to be coached by a Cowboys & Giants Legend. Each player will
    play a minimum of 1 quarter of the game.

    This game was played on Saturday, but I wanted you all to see it because it
    seems like a really odd event, especially because it's played in New Jersey and
    is very much a Cowboys' event. But also because, if you pay enough money, you
    can play ball with these guys."



    "It has been a frustrating spring for German-born defensive tackle
    Markus Kuhn, the Giants’ seventh-round draft pick. Due to visa
    issues, Kuhn was reduced to being a spectator at the team’s OTAs and spring
    minicamp, an occurrence he said was not fun. Come July 26, Kuhn is hoping it
    will be an entirely different ball game for him.

    Q: Given that you weren’t able to practice on the field with your
    teammates, how much do you think that set you back?

    A: I definitely
    would have liked to get some reps –that would have helped me. Every time you can
    practice, you can get better. But I did what I could when it came to learning
    the playbook and knowing the plays, staying in shape, and stuff like that. I’ve
    done what I could, but I definitely missed not being able to participate in the
    OTAs and the minicamp. The thing I least like to do is miss practice.

    Q. What could you do?
    A: I was here in the facility, but
    I was not allowed to do any of the physical stuff. I was able to look at the
    playbook, so that’s why play-wise, I know all that.

    Q: Where does your visa situation stand now and will it be resolved
    by training camp?

    A: I have all my papers ready. You can’t go
    straight from a tourist visa into a work visa. You have to leave the country and
    go to the American Embassy in Germany, hand in your papers, and then you get a
    stamp and visa that allows you to work in the US. Then when I re-enter the US,
    I’m almost American.

    Q: Will that trip back home to Germany out a crimp in your training
    before camp?

    A: No, I don’t think so. I can train in Germany and
    I’ll go see my family for a week or so. Then I’ll probably go to North Carolina
    State, my university, and train there at my school facility because it’s my only
    physical address that I have in the U.S. right now.

    Q: It’s kind of surprising that this took as long as it did. Was this

    A. Well, I’m only like the second or third European to
    be drafted, so no one really has a prepared process to follow.

    Q: Yes, but how is it that other foreign-born athletes can touch down
    and play in sporting events?

    A: Those guys come from other
    professional sports or leagues, so their paperwork has been filed that allows
    them to leave their countries and play in the United States. I talked to
    (Matthias) Berning from the Jets – he’s a German as well — and he had a lot of
    visa problems at the beginning too. It’s not as easy. But if this is the worst
    that I have to go through, then it will be all over soon.

    Q: So assuming all goes well for you, how quickly do you think you
    can catch up on everything you missed?

    A: So far I’ve overcome all
    the struggles I’ve had to go through so just as soon as this is all cleared,
    I’ll show up at training camp in the best shape I can possibly be in, and go
    back to work.

    Q: You’ve been seen hanging out with punter Steve Weatherford in
    recent weeks, who like you is a gym rat. Have you guys competed to see who has
    the upper hand?

    A: (Laughs). Well I hope I hope I have the upper
    hand over a punter when it comes down to strength. What’s kind of amazing is how
    the President of the United States knew all about him. When they went to visit
    at the White House, Steve told me that the President said, ‘Oh you’re the ripped
    punter.’ So he’s pretty well known for his strength. But he’s a great guy.

    Q: So you’re a couple of peas in a pod?
    A: (Laughs). I
    think our personalities are similar. We’re both a little goofy, but we still
    like to work hard and I think we have our focus on the right thing, and that’s
    making sure we’re in the best shape and that we continue to work oat our crafts.
    It doesn’t matter how much money you make or how many awards you win. You can
    always improve and if you remember that, you will grow as a player and as a



    Will Hill should’ve been an early to mid-round pick last year based on his
    performance in college and his athletic ability. After recording four
    interceptions and proving his worth on special teams, the 6-1, 207-pound safety
    left school a year early to begin his NFL career, Mike Garafolo of the Newark

    Hill’s 2010 suspension for an undisclosed
    violation of team rules, a run of posts on his Twitter account in reference to
    marijuana use and sex with prostitutes, the company he was keeping at the time,
    the negative impression he gave teams during interviews and a few other concerns
    all proved to be too many red flags.

    Hill went undrafted. And unsigned. All season long.

    None of the 32 NFL teams was willing to give Hill a shot at any of their
    1,700-plus available spots on their rosters or practice squads, even with a deal
    that didn’t include any guaranteed money.

    TheGiants, who signed him to a
    minimum contract with no guaranteed money after he attended rookie minicamp in
    May on a tryout basis. So far, Hill has impressed Giants safeties coach David
    Merritt and the coaching staff on the practice field.

    But more importantly, as he readies himself for training camp later this
    month, he’s had an incident-free couple of months in which he’s said all of the
    right things.

    “I know I made mistakes and I had to learn from my mistakes and that’s what
    the year off did. I had to sit back, think and become a better young person,”
    Hill said. “It’s been a hard time. Many nights crying, many nights just
    wondering, ‘When is this going to happen?’

    “But people were like, ‘Will, you’re a good athlete. Become a better person
    and everything will happen.’?”

    Giants general manager Jerry Reese, who
    says he’s had “man-to-man” talks with Hill, before and after the team signed
    him, about his past and what’s expected of him in the present.

    “We’ve had
    guys with some checkered backgrounds who have come here and have done pretty
    well,” Reese said. “So we’re hoping these kids can get their head on right, do
    the same and help us win some games.”



    "Voters: Dr. Bill Chachkes, Kel Dansby, John Fennelly, Chris Johnson, Dan
    Orlando (Sports
    World Report
    ), Rich Resch, Craig Santucci, Dan Stack, Jon Wagner

    Eli Manning

    Votes received: Everyone ranked Eli #1.

    Resch: The NFL is a passing league, so most of the top-tier
    quarterbacks are going to be the most important player on their team. In the
    Giants’ case, it’s a no-brainer. With Big Blue’s style of play (and the NFL in
    general), so many games are going to come down to the last drive. Who would you
    rather have as your field general in those situation than the two-time Super
    Bowl MVP who broke the NFL record for fourth quarter touchdowns?

    Aside from his historic play in the clutch, Manning had his best statistical
    season last year. He also became the NFL’s new Iron Man despite playing behind a
    revolving-door-offensive-line. He has developed into a team leader and has
    become everything that could have been expected from a first overall pick. In
    terms of Giants lore, he’s already among the elite.

    Orlando:This may seem like an obvious choice for the top
    spot and that’s because it is. If there are still Manning doubters out there,
    then they must be Eagles fans.

    Manning nearly threw for 5,000 yards last season. Why? Because all of a
    sudden the Giants were a pass first team. He had a great supporting cast to work
    with as far as weapons were concerned, but his concentration and ability to
    throw ridiculously precise passes made the 2011 season special.

    His grit will likely be needed during the coming season. With the offensive
    line in flux, he may be exposed to more pressure than he would like.

    Chachkes:Without Eli there is no “2 SB’s in 5 years.” He
    rapidly matured in 2007 and 2008, slumped slightly in 2009 and part of 2010, but
    came back strong this year and is finally “Elite” like Delta Force. This could
    be the year he surpasses his brother Peyton.

    Fennelly: If they lose him, I’m not sure how much David Carr can help at this stage of his career, especially
    after sitting the past few seasons.

    Wagner:Almost by default, the #1 QB will be #1 on this type
    of list for most teams. But go back and watchlast season, from Week 1 to the
    Super Bowl, and see how obvious the choice is to put Manning atthe top of this
    list for the Giants.

    Johnson:The Giants go as Eli goes, simple as that.

    Stack:Duh! Without him, no Super Bowls are possible.

    Santucci: Enough said.

    Previous posts: #2:
    Jason Pierre-Paul
    Justin Tuck
    Victor Cruz
    Hakeem Nicks
    ,#6: Michael
    Chris Snee
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    Antrel Rolle
    Steve Weatherford
    who received only one vote





    "The New York Giants enter the 2012 season with confidence after winning the
    Super Bowl. Despite their achievements, the Giants running game was a major
    flaw throughout the season and only improved down the stretch and into the
    playoffs. GM Jerry Reese addressed the lack of depth by drafting RB David Wilson
    in the 1stround and also signing free agent RB Joe Martinek. Gone is
    Brandon Jacobs, who signed a one year deal with the San Francisco 49ers and
    supplied needed production, especially when Ahmad Bradshaw was

    With the additions of Wilson and possibly Martinek to the group
    of Bradshaw, Ware, Scott, Brown and Hynoski; have the Giants done

    Let’s take a closer look at these players and who will likely
    make the 53 man roster, also a possibility of the Giants adding a RB at the end
    of training camp:

    Ahmad Bradshaw:
    Barring serious injury, Bradshaw will be the starter
    and will handle the bulk of the carries. Again the key component here is
    Bradshaw staying reasonably healthy as he has had issues for
    the past 2 seasons. If Bradshaw can stay healthy, the Giants
    will have a solid RB and depth behind him. Unfortunately; the Giants should not
    assume that Bradshaw can endure a 16 game schedule without any
    injuries along the way and be as productive as he was in 2010 when he carried
    the ball 276 times for 1235 yards and 8 TD’s.

    The 1stround pick has all the whistle and bells to
    be a very potent weapon for the Giants this season. Arguably, the fastest RB in
    camp, Wilson also possesses soft hands and is looked upon as a
    threat out of the backfield as well as running the ball. The Giants will find a
    way to utilize Wilson’s talents and give him enough playing
    time to be a solid contributor.

    Da'Rel Scott: Entering
    his 2ndfull season, Scott needs to instill to the Giants coaching
    staff that he is an important component to the Giants running game and also in
    special teams. The talent is there for Scott, however; the
    drafting of Wilson indicates to me that the Giants do not have
    the confidence that Scott could be a quality backup to

    DJ Ware: Ware has
    underachieved and for that I feel that he is on the bubble.
    Ware has been relatively useless in the running game as a
    Giant, accumulating 324 rushing yards in four seasons, and his time might be

    Andre Brown: A member of the Giants practice squad,
    Brown needs to show the Giants coaching staff that he can be a
    contributing factor to the Giants offense; or he could end up back on the
    practice squad; or worse (released).

    Joe Martinek: The
    coaching staff really likes him, especially OC Kevin Gilbride,
    who singled out Martinek for being very versatile. If the
    former Scarlet Knight makes the team, he would do so because of his potential to
    play both the FB and RB positions and his
    overall game, as Martinek can run, catch, block and also play
    on special teams. If Martinek doesn't make the team, expect him
    to resurface on the practice squad.

    FB Henry Hynoski: Hynoski
    would have to have a pretty bad preseason to lose his starting job. The
    former undrafted free agent out of Pitt looked good last season, and should have
    the full support of the coaching staff moving forward.

    Realistically, the
    Giants will most likely carry only four running backs this year given
    Bradshaw's injury history and also they will look to improve
    the NFL's statistically worst rushing attack a year ago. Unless there is an
    unforeseen injury to Bradshaw and/or Wilson;
    or an absolute total collapse in development on Scott’s part;
    all three should make the team. The remaining two roster spots will go to
    Hynoski and Martinek. Ware
    and Brown will be released, traded or in brown’s case;
    returned to the practice squad. I give the edge over Martinek
    due to his versatility and energy he could bring to the Giants. As for the
    Giants adding another RB by the end of training camp; it’s a
    possibility, but unlikely. The only way I see this happening is if an injury
    occurs to any of the top 3 candidates."





    As we count down the days to training camp, Around the League will examine
    one player from every team set for a breakout campaign in 2012. We've wrapped up
    the AFC and are moving through the NFC. Next up, the New York Giants.

    Moving out of Jason Witten's shadow could
    result in big season for Martellus Bennett

    Though he was behind Witten on the Dallas Cowboys' depth chart
    over the past four seasons, playing time was never an issue for Martellus
    Bennett. A 2008 second-round pick out of Texas A&M, Bennett played in nearly
    40 percent of the Cowboys' snaps as a rookie and nearly half the team's snaps in
    2009. According to official playing-time documents, Bennett logged 1,778 snaps
    in his 60-game career with the Cowboys, but was mostly an afterthought in the

    As we noted last
    , Bennett was targeted just 130 times with the Cowboys, or 7.3 percent
    of the time he was on the field. The surprising thing is Bennett took advantage
    of his limited opportunities, catching 85 passes (good for a 65 percent catch
    rate) for 846 yards with four touchdowns in 60 games.

    With the Giants losing both Travis
    and Jake Ballard to serious
    knee injuries in Super Bowl XLV (and Ballard lost to the New England Patriots in an ill-advised attempt to
    sneak him onto injured reserve), the only other tight end with any experience on
    the Giants' roster is Bear Pascoe, who is more of
    a blocker with just 22 career receptions. Bennett signed a one-year, $1.8
    million contract in March, but according to a source with knowledge of the
    contract, he can earn an additional $700,000 in incentives tied to playing time,
    receptions and touchdowns.

    The biggest question seems to be about whether or not Bennett, after bulking
    up to 291 pounds, is simply too bi
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1