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    "One of the most interesting aspects of this upcoming season for the
    Giants will be how much production they get out of Keith Rivers, a former top-10
    draft pick who is trying to reach his potential after four rocky seasons with
    the Cincinnati Bengals.

    It sounds like Rivers feels he was held back a bit by Cincy's system and
    believes Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will tap into his ability.
    Rivers talks about his hope for a big season, as well as his passion for this
    area and traveling to others, in this edition of our Giants
    summer questionnaire

    What do you think about the system and the things youíve seen Fewell

    I think heís a helluva coach. Iím excited to work for him. We were watching
    some film today of the run (to the Super Bowl). It was amazing to see how heís
    been able to put guys in position to make big plays. A lot of places, they just
    plug you in and say, ĎWeíre paying you all this money; just do this.í You know?
    Heís like, ĎOkay, let me put this guy in the best position for him to make a
    play.í I like that. Iím looking forward to playing in a system like that.

    Youíve talked about how you had at least a little say when it came to
    the team to which youíd be traded.

    Well, there were a lot of moving parts to the deal. Like, there was an injury
    grievance. So everything had to go a certain way to get done.

    So were the Giants the most desirable spot for you?
    definitely. When that name popped up, that was definitely a name of excitement
    and arguably my favorite city. Iíve been coming to New York since I got to the
    NFL. I love New York and hopefully it stays that way. (Laughs)

    What is it about New York you love?

    Itís just got a great energy. I live in L.A. and Los Angeles is a great base.
    For a long period of time, L.A. is the best place to live. But New York is
    always great. Thereís no place like it. The energy is bar none. L.A. is mellow,
    chill and relaxed. New York is on the go, gives you a hustlerís mentality.

    When the trade was going down, you were coming back from Italy.
    Sounds like traveling is a passion of yours, no?

    I try to make a big trip once a year. Last year, I went to Paris, Amsterdam
    and London. This year, I went to the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Iíve really only
    been traveling like that since last year but I want to keep it going. I want to
    fill up the passport with stamps.

    Whereís the next stop?

    It all depends on the way football season ends. I would like to go to Africa.
    I want to watch the migration at some point. But that usually happens in the
    fall. If not there, I might do Paris and London again. Iím not sure. Maybe go to
    the Eastern Bloc.

    Favorite place youíve been so far and why?

    I like Paris a lot. I could see myself getting a place there. Itís like
    walking history. New York is the closest you can get to that kind of thing where
    itís old buildings. Going to Versailles, itís like, ĎThese guys built that?í It
    raises an interesting question: If you lived back then, knowing what you know
    now, would you be able to do what they were able to do then? Itís


    "John Mara probably knows this is going to sound like lip service, because it
    isnít often that overlords in a mercenary, cash-flow cartel express any concern
    about such trifling matters as long-term damage or body counts.

    But he sees these broken men Ė good men still in their 50s, men he has known
    since he was a kid, men who served his father faithfully Ė and their condition
    is ďheartbreaking,Ē to use his term.

    ďFor me, itís a personal thing, because I grew up with these guys,Ē the
    Giants CEO said of the retired NFL players who seek restitution from a league
    that Mara admits has underserved for too long. ďItís shocking to me to see guys
    who, when they were players, youíd say, ĎThis guy is going to have a good
    post-football career Ė very smart, has his degree. . .í

    ďAnd then itís 10 years later, and heís broke and out of work. It kills you
    to see that. It absolutely kills you.Ē

    If the anguish he showed over this issue today is an insincere act, this
    gentleman is a great loss to the theater.

    He came to Newark this morning to speak with our editorial board about the
    encroachment of a retail monstrosity across the parking lot from MetLife
    Stadium, and the traffic nightmare he is certain will result from the American
    Dream complex operating on football Sundays.

    Afterwards, Mara took some time to discuss what has become a largely
    underreported American nightmare, which involves hundreds Ė or perhaps thousands
    Ė of NFL alumni who are living with the debilitation of countless collisions,
    with limbs that no longer work, and with traumatic brain injury.

    Roughly 80 of them are presently filing lawsuits against the league, and
    while we cannot speak of the legal strength of these actions, even Mara knows
    where public sentiment will lie by the time it all plays out.

    Think of it: How long can we be bombarded with these heart wrenching
    distortions of such strong images of American manhood Ė Junior Seau, Dave
    Duerson, Andre Waters, and on and on Ė and accept the sanctioned mayhem of a
    league which seems to accept self-inflicted gunshots as the only liberation from
    decades of pain?

    For most of us, the root cause of this is fairly clear, and while Mara cannot
    speak of the legality of it, he isnít ignoring the connection, either. He points
    out that 90 percent of the time the Competition committee is in session, the
    discussion is on player safety. But theyíre still years behind studying the
    long-term effects of brain trauma, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

    Mara said, ďIím on the health and safety committee, we have more medical
    committees looking into it. Weíre just starting to gather more information about
    it. And Iím very confident weíre doing everything we can do right now to find
    out more about it.

    ďBut the notion in these lawsuits that we knew there were long-term effects
    and we withheld that information is ridiculous. Is there some kind of cause and
    effect? I donít know, Iíll let the medical experts tell you that; common sense
    would tell you that there is. But to say we knew it and withheld it, I really
    find that objectionable.Ē

    Of course, his sore feelings are somewhat secondary to the soreness of the
    NFL veteran who canít get out of bed every morning or remember the names of his
    kids, and Mara knows that. He also knows the volume of such casualties is

    ďIt is,Ē he said, with an audible exhale. ďAnd one of the reasons why we have
    a lot of people joining these lawsuits is that we havenít done a good enough job
    of taking care of retired players. Thatís an issue we need to come to grips
    with. We made a good start in this last CBA (by reducing full-contact practices,
    etc.), and by allocating all this money to the legacy fund.Ē

    That amount is $620 million, which is to be divided among 4,700 pensioners.
    Someone has been dragging their heels in getting it out to the guys who need it
    -- or their widows, in many cases -- but one of these days maybe theyíll get
    around to it.

    ďBut to me, the league as a whole hasnít done as good a job as we could
    have,Ē Mara repeated. ďAnd I see significant improvements in the future. But we
    still have to agree with the union on how to do this.Ē

    One more issue related to safety: Youíve probably heard by now that Mara told a while back that the competition committee was looking into
    eliminating kickoffs entirely.

    Whether this is a reaction to focus groups or the objections of the diehards
    on the radio chat shows is unclear, but now Mara says, ďI donít know if
    (eliminating kickoffs) will ever happen. But the new protocols we have about
    taking guys out of games if thereís any suspicion of a concussionĒ are doing
    what they were designed to do, and are always being reexamined."



    "After missing the final six games of the 2011-2012 regular season and then
    the playoffs with a detached retina, New York
    left tackle Will Beatty was looking forward to a healthy return in
    2012-2013. And although he declared his eye 100%, Beatty missed much of Big Blue's
    Organized Team Activities and mini-camp with a bad back.

    With training camp in Albany now only a few short weeks away, Offensive
    Coordinator Kevin
    is starting to become a bit concerned with not only Beatty and
    his injury, but the turnover along the offensive line.

    "We need him," Gilbride said. "He has got to be there. We have lost what
    amounts to three starters in the last two years on the offensive line. You can't
    keep doing that. Ö If you lose [Beatty] that means four starters in the
    offensive line. Then it doesnít matter how good your quarterback

    In addition to Kareem McKenzie, who remains a free agent, the Giants have
    also lost Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert over the last two seasons. Furthermore,
    the team has lost both Shawn Andrews (free agent) and Stacy Andrews (blood
    clot), leaving them with a significantly shuffled depth chart that now includes
    the new additions of Sean
    and Matt
    , and second-year center David
    , who also missed time due to injury a season ago.

    If Beatty is unable to participate in the early part of training camp, the
    Giants will be left with an interesting decision: do they again move David
    , who is now the right tackle, back to left tackle? And if they do, do
    they insert James
    or Sean
    , who are also both options for left tackle, to right tackle?

    It's like a game of musical offensive lineman Ö only it's not fun for anyone


    has proven himself to be one of the most versatile talents on the
    New York
    Giantsí defense; however, things werenít always going so well for him. A number
    of setbacks plagued him early on making it a difficult start to his career. He
    was unable to grow completely comfortable with his role on the Giantsí defense
    after being constantly moved from defensive end to linebacker. He had to deal
    with his brotherís motorcycle accident, and his career became threatened after
    experiencing a severe neck injury that caused him to miss the majority of the
    2010 season. Another injury kept him from playing in his first Super Bowl.
    Nevertheless, Mathias has persevered and refused to allow these incidents to
    have an impact on his future in the NFL.

    Kiwanukaís personal life has seen several positive changes which happen to
    coincide with his excellent production on the field. During this offseason, he
    witnessed the birth of his first child, and just recently got married. In football
    related news; Kiwanuka helped the Giants become Super Bowl champions, and
    received a three year contract extension worth $16.5 million. On top of that he
    can now concentrate on being a permanent linebacker rather than worry about
    whether he will be switched to playing defensive end again, although he is
    expected to line up as one occasionally in certain packages. Kiwanuka expressed
    how he feels going into his second season as a full-time linebacker to Mike Garafolo in his summer questionnaire.

    ďItís a big difference. I started to get more comfortable at the end of last
    year. But having the ability to go from one offseason to the next playing the
    same position, it means a lot. Itís getting there. I donít think Iíll ever be
    content with how Iím playing, but Iím still working on it and I feel 10 times
    more comfortable playing there.Ē

    Kiwanuka, who was played defensive end for the majority of his football
    career, is fully aware of the beating a player can take at both defensive end
    and linebacker. Because of his injury history, one may speculate that linebacker
    may be a safer position to play rather than defensive end. Kiwanuka was asked
    which position was better for his body.

    ďI donít think it matters because theyíre both high-impact positions in
    different ways. As a linebacker, thereís more space between you and the blocker,
    so thereís more momentum involved but itís a smaller guy youíre going against.
    Defensive line, there less space but youíre going up against a 300-pound guy. So
    I think it equals out at some point.Ē

    After experiencing what itís like to play in a Super Bowl and to get married,
    Kiwanuka reflects on which one he felt was more stressful.

    ďIím going to have to go with the wedding. Iíve been playing football
    for a long time; Iíve never been married before. I know what to expect on one

    Currently Mathias is spending time with his wife and newborn child as he
    awaits the beginning of training camp later this month. Like most fathers, this
    is time he values very much.

    ďItís been awesome. Itís the best experience of my life. Everybody says itís
    hard to explain what you feel and thatís exactly right. Thereís no way to
    explain it. Itís just unconditional love. Itís a great

    Itís certainly great to see a player who works so hard for his team to be
    rewarded with a new contract but also with a new family. Kiwanuka has been a
    team first player who has done everything the coaches have asked of him. Hereís
    to hoping the rest of his time in the NFL will be as rewarding as the last year has been for



    "According to ESPN, the New York Giants did not win the 2012 NFL offseason. ESPN's Matt Williamson, in
    fact, is of the opinion that every team in the NFC East had a better offseason
    than the defending Super Bowl champions.

    Williamson gave the Giants a C+ for their offseason work, calling it
    "somewhat curious" that the team did not use an early draft choice on an
    offensive lineman.

    The winner of the offseason? The Philadelphia
    , of course, who were one of three teams to get an 'A'. The others
    were the San Francisco
    and St. Louis Rams.

    Williamson practically gushed when discussing the Eagles:

    A year ago, everyone was raving about all the fantastic free-agent moves
    Philadelphia had made. But to me, this is the year they'll pay off, and the
    Eagles very well could end up as my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
    ... I expect Philadelphia to make good on the hype it received one year

    Williamson gave the Washington
    a B+ based solely on getting Robert
    Griffin III
    as their quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys
    earned a 'B'.

    Valentine's View: This is all old news for Giants fans, the same old
    song and dance. The Giants did not make the flashy free-agent signings or
    draft-day trades that inflate these kinds of ratings. They just took guys they
    believe will be good players in the draft and tried to fill holes with
    inexpensive, under-the-radar free agents.

    It's an approach that has worked pretty darn well for Jerry Reese and the
    Giants the past five years."


    "Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's Hump Day and you know what that
    means--time for our Hump Day countdown--only eight weeks until the start of the
    2012 NFL season. That's close enough to smell, isn't it? Wow. I'd better start
    doing my fantasy research, and speaking of that, I'm going to be starting a
    twice weekly column on BBV about fantasy projections and recaps, and even sooner
    than that we'll start discussing who to watch in the upcoming season. Okay, and
    now let's see if there are any Big Blue nuggets of news this morning...
    Rodgers is Ron Jaworskiís No. 1 quarterback | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports

    "When you watch every play, you really get a good feel for a
    player. Manning is one of the smartest, most aware quarterbacks in the NFL. His
    development over the last three or four years has been steady and consistent. He
    is now one of the top-five quarterbacks in the NFL."

    I have mixed feelings about this one, and I might might Eli at
    number 3 right now. Thoughts?

    Brandon Jacobs crucial for New York Giants -

    Bradshaw's health looms over everything. He has chronic foot
    issues and is coming off surgery in the offseason in which he had bone marrow
    taken from his hip and injected into his right foot. We don't have to tell you
    these are not the types of procedures you want associated with your starting
    tailback. Bradshaw is on track to take part in training camp, but the Giants
    must decide if they have enough cover at the position in the event their
    workhorse back is unable to stay on the field.

    Jersey megamall builder wants NFL teams lawsuit dismissed | Fox News

    The developers of a proposed megamall in northern New Jersey
    have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the state's two NFL teams, who
    claim the project in their backyard would create epic traffic problems and
    interfere with game days.

    Youth Football Camp coming to Howell, July 16-20 | | News

    Pat Dowling looks forward to running the New
    York Giants
    Youth Football Camp each summer. Dowling, the defensive
    coordinator at Point Pleasant Borough High School, will direct the Giants camp,
    which will make a stop at Howell Memorial Middle School, Adelphia Road, from
    July 16-20. This marks the campís sixth summer.

    Victor Cruz is
    accustomed to perfecting his craft, but this offseason he's honing his
    storytelling skills. The New York Giants wide receiver will release his memoir,
    "Out of the Blue," in one week. Cruz will stop by NFL Network studios on Tuesday
    to talk about his story and the Giants' chances for a repeat.

    safety tour announced -

    USA Football wants to drive home the importance of player
    safety with a "Protection Tour." The governing body for youth football in this
    country will stage the tour at four NFL team facilities, focusing on educating
    players and their families, coaches and others on preventive safety measures for
    young athletes. The tour begins July 21 at the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis
    training complexes. On July 24, it will visit the New York Giants
    facility, and four days later will be hosted by the San Francisco

    Camp marks eighth year in area |

    When the Manning Passing Academy first landed in Thibodaux
    and on the campus of Nicholls State University in 2005, Eli Manning was
    entering his second season as quarterback of the New York Giants. At the time,
    his much more famous brother Peyton
    was heading into his eighth season as the quarterback of the
    Indianapolis Colts. Now, seven years later, Eli Manning is entering his ninth
    season as the quarterback of the New York Giants and has two Super Bowl trophies
    and two Super Bowl MVPs (including one last year), and his brother Peyton
    Manning has one Super Bowl title, a Super Bowl MVP and is an 11-time Pro Bowl

    LeGrand has a new job: pitchman |

    Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand has a new
    job. The inspirational LeGrand was hired by Subway to appear in television
    commercials with New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck to
    promote the worldís largest restaurant chain. The commercials were filmed two
    weeks ago and will air this fall.

    Inks Deal to Air Giants Thursday Night Football in September -

    Donít look now, but the NFL season is just around the
    corner. Today, the league announced a deal for WPIX/Channel 11 to simulcast the
    NFL Networkís coverage of the New York Giants game with the Carolina Panthers
    September 20th in Charlotte.

    NFL Pick: New York Giants 2012 Season Preview and Prediction
    NFC EAST " Sports Chat Place

    I canít say it enough times that repeating is just plain
    tough and just getting out of the NFC this year is going to be as tough as I can
    ever remember but the Giants should be competitive and make the post season and
    as they showed last year that once you get to the playoffs anything is

    Wait, did someone just predict the Giants would reach the
    postseason? Didn't they read the NFL prediction playbook?

    Wes Welker, Patriots Remain $6 Million Apart On Contract:

    Wes Welker and
    the New England Patriots
    remain roughly $6 million apart with just over a week of negotiating time left
    for a new long-term deal. Welker was given the franchise tag of $9.5 million by
    the Patriots just before the start of free agency, a move that was supposed to
    buy time for the team and the receiver to get together on a new deal.

    Is it bad that the first thing I thought of was whether the
    Giants could snap Welker up in 2013?

    the 2012 ESPYS predictions - ESPN

    Prediction: Does LeBron take his talents to the stage one
    more time? Here's guessing ... no. Instead, ESPYS fans will love football just a
    little too much this year, and go Giants before going home.

    This prediction is for Best Team. And to me there is no doubt
    the Giants will outlast the Miami Heat, St. Louis Cardinals,
    Kentucky basketball, Alabama football, Baylor women's football and the L.A.


    "Today we move to the tight end position as we name our Big Blue View
    Preseason All-NFC East Team. Your choices are after the jump.

    Jason Witten,
    -- A
    seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Witten is still at the top of his
    game. He caught 79 passes a season ago for 942 yards. Witten has surpassed 1,000
    yards receiving three times in the past five seasons. Giants' fans know all too
    well how difficult Witten is to handle.

    , Giants
    -- Signed as a free agent with the Giants to escape
    Witten's shadow and get the chance to play full time. Right now, Bear Pascoe is
    technically the Giants starter but the Giants signed Bennett to start and be a
    weapon as a receiver and blocker. They will give him every opportunity. Bennett
    has 85 receptions in four seasons.

    Brent Celek,
    -- Celek has been a consistent performer for Philadelphia during his
    five-year career. He caught 62 passes last season, averaging 13 yards per catch
    and scoring 5 touchdowns.

    Chris Cooley,
    Cooley has 428 career receptions, but played only five games and caught 8 passes
    a season ago due to lingering effects of a knee injury. He caught 77 passes in
    2010. Cooley is reportedly healthy and 20 pounds lighter entering the 2012
    season. Cooley is only 29, and if his knee is sound he remains a tremndous
    security blanket for rookie quarterback Robert
    Griffin III

    Big Blue View Preseason All-NFC East Team

    Center -- David Baas, Giants [47 percent of the vote]
    -- Chris Snee,
    Giants [70 percent of the vote], Evan Mathis, Eagles [26 percent of the vote]
    Left Tackle
    -- Tyron Smith,
    [39 percent of the vote]"



    "In todayís blog bits, we hear from linebacker Spencer Paysinger, who last
    year came out of nowhere to not only make the 53-man roster, but who contributed
    week in and week out, be it on special teams or in special situations on

    Q. When you look back at your rookie season, did your accomplishments
    meet, exceed, or fall short of your expectations?

    A. I think it by
    far exceeded it. Obviously, everyone wants to make that key tackle in the Super
    Bowl or go to the playoffs in their first year. Ur the simple fact is that at
    this point last year, I still had no idea where I was going. I was still working
    out at my high school preparing for an uncertain future. I didnít know where I
    was going to go. To turnaround a year later and Iím the owner of a Super Bowl
    ring and Iím preparing for our next season, so I do think it exceeded all my

    Q. Is there more pressure on you this year than there was last

    A. I think thereís more pressure this year. For me, I am a
    West Coast guy who came over to the East Coast, where I am sure people didnít
    see many Oregon games. So I was kind of an unknown and was able to use that to
    my advantage. This year, people already know what I can and canít do, so itís
    pretty much on me to show them that Iíve grown as a player because if I donít
    show any growth, theyíre going to look for someone who has.

    Q. Tell me about your growth from the Super Bowl to the end of the
    spring OTAs.

    A. Iím actually bigger than I was last year and I was
    able to keep the same speed I had. In the off-season, I put on about 10-12 good
    pounds. Iím about 249 right now, and the coaches were excited about that. They
    said if I could stay around that weight and still perform, then hopefully, Iíll
    play a bigger role on special teams as well as on the defense.

    Q. How much better would you say your grasp of the playbook is right

    Mentally and playbook wise, the OTAs really helped the
    linebackers get a grasp on the defense in terms of what the defensive ends are
    doing, what the safeties are doing, and the scheme in general. We felt like last
    year when we were given these assignments, we werenít sure why we were running
    them, and what situations we had to run them. So having these OTAs really
    allowed us to slow down the playbook at key into what we needed to know.

    Q. You mentioned you might be given a bigger role on defense and
    special teams. What did you mean by that?

    A. As far as I know,
    just in talking to the coaches, in addition to getting reps at WIL, they might
    be seeing me as somewhat of a SAM as well. So I think they just want to make
    sure that they have are two or three deep at each position as we go into this
    camp. Once the preseason is done, if they find they have a couple of guys who
    know all the positions, that will just benefit the defense, and I feel like
    based on my OTAs, I can fill one of those spots.

    Q. At what point did you begin preparing for possibily adding SAM to
    your job description?

    A. I told (the coaches) even before we started
    the OTA practices that in the offseason, I took a liking to the SAM spot. I sat
    down and looked at what the SAM does, and I separated my studies to where one
    night I was looking at the SAM and the other the WIL. I have a pretty good idea
    of what the SAM does, and Iím starting to see that the SAM and WIL are somewhat
    similar, and I think that I can play both of them.

    Q. What is it about the SAM that appeals to you?
    A. Just
    looking to last year, we had guys like (Michael) Boley and (Mathias Kiwanuka)
    playing those positions. Boley was more so the pass defender ó they put him on
    tight ends they had him doing stuff with the running backs. At the SAM, they did
    a bit of that stuff too, but they were primarily a blitz and engage type of
    person. So I feel like (the SAM) has a bit more freedom in the defense, and I
    feel like one of its best attributes is to improvise on the field ó not
    necessarily to go outside of the scheme, but to know what you can and canít do
    within those schemes.

    Q. How will knowing the SAM position help make you better at the

    A. Just knowing whatís going on the other side other field. If
    I know hat heís seeing, then say on my side there are two receivers outside of
    me, I know what to expect and to look back to the opposite side of the field to
    see if theyíd anything coming across. If youíre able to play the complete field,
    youíll be able to play better.

    Q. What are some of the things that you think you will be able to do
    if you get those reps?

    A. Well, for example, I know a decent
    amount of stuff at the MIKE position, but say they threw me on the first
    preseason game and told me to make all the calls. Thatís something I havenít
    gotten many reps at doing, so itís something Iíd need time to learn. Truthfully,
    I think I could play all three positions if given the opportunity, and hopefully
    I do get the opportunity.

    Q. When the dust ultimately settles, where do you think your skill
    set will find its best fit?

    A. I think primarily I will be at WIL
    but will also see some reps at SAM. In the nickel packages and the two
    linebacker packages, I might see some reps at the MIKE position just to give
    some of the older guys a break, and to show the coaches that I can command the
    defense if given the opportunity. Within the nickel package, I could see myself
    playing both MIKE and WIL, and within the regular defensive packages, both SAM
    and WIL.

    Q. Do you ever look at the numbers at your position and say to
    yourself, ĎOh boy, they have a lot of guys there for only a few spotsí?

    A. Truthfully it is very easy to get caught up in the thought
    process. Iíve actually done that a couple of times ó Iím human, and when you see
    someone coming in that plays the same position as you, itís only natural to have
    those thoughts. But you know what? Me and Keith (Rivers) have grown very close
    in the short time heís been here, and Iíve been training with him out here in
    California a couple times a week. We actually quiz each other as to why we would
    run certain defenses. We talk about what each person would have, and weíve
    actually become very good friends. So when I think about the depth and the
    numbers in general, I donít think about whether my position is in jeopardy
    because I already know that I am an undrafted free agent, so I have to show up,
    no matter what. I think that so long as I know what I am doing and can show what
    I am doing out there on the field, then I should be good.

    Q. What kind of advice has Keith Rivers given you that you think is
    going to make you a better player in this, your second year?

    A. Heís
    shown me a few different tips such as how to read linemen, or what I should
    expect on the field if, for example, I see a running back doing an out, what
    should I expect from the receivers. Little things like that have really been
    helping me in my off-season program. Iíve been trying to see the field more
    clearly and slow things down for myself because sometimes I tend to get a little
    too excited. Iíve also had the opportunity to train with guys like Clay and
    Casey Matthews.

    Q. By the time this training camp ends, what goals, other than
    obviously making the 53-man roster, do you hope to accomplish?

    A. I
    want to show the organization and the City of New York that I have grown. I
    donít want to be considered ďthat rookie playerĒ any more because I feel like I
    can give something special to this team whether itís on special teams or being
    an active player on defense. Wherever I play, Iím going to give it my all and
    show people that I have grown."











    "LaDainian Tomlinson
    joined the cast of NFL Network's "Total Access" on Monday and kicked around some
    predictions for the upcoming season. Training camp is just around the corner,
    and it's never too early to make some predictions (which you all can use to rub
    in my face later, though New York Giants fans would
    never do anything like that).

    In fact, I'm brimming with so many prognostications, I'm going to spread them
    over two posts, one covering the NFC on Tuesday and another covering the AFC on
    Wednesday. That's 12 times to tell me how wrong I am, question how I even got a
    job here at and help me try to get that job at Entertainment Weekly that
    you seem to so desperately want me to get.

    And without further ado ...

    • Jay
      will have a monster year

      Only one Chicago Bears receiver has
      topped 100 receptions in a season during the club's nearly 100 years of
      existence. Brandon Marshall did it twice with Cutler in Denver. Now that Mike
      Martz's failed experiment is safely in the past, the Bears can join the rest of
      the leaders in the NFC North with a prodigious passing attack. (Sorry, the word
      "prodigious" has stuck with me after I heard Chris Berman utter it 239 times
      during the Home Run Derby on Monday night).

    • The 49ers will start the season 0-2

      The San Francisco 49ers have
      added a lot of aging talent (Randy Moss, Brandon
      , et al.), making their roster resemble the cast of one of those Garry
      Marshall flicks ("New Year's Eve" or "Valentine's Day"), but that won't be
      enough to prevent San Francisco from starting 0-2 against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Best-case
      scenario is 1-1. Let's face it, a plus-28 turnover differential will be nearly
      impossible to duplicate and the NFC West will be much more competitive. However,
      the 49ers will still win the division.

    • There will be no "redeem" in this

      Many figure the Philadelphia Eagles have
      learned their lesson from the previous season and will finally reveal themselves
      as a true "Dream Team." Not happening. Just look at the schedule. The Eagles
      open with the Cleveland Browns (win), but
      have the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, New York
      Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and
      Detroit Lions. After that, it's the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. The
      Eagles should be improved this year, but the brutal schedule could derail their
      season. But don't worry, Andy Reid's job is safe.

    • The Panthers will win the NFC South

      Division champs just don't repeat in the NFC South, so don't expect the New
      Orleans Saints (with all of their troubles) to come out on top. This year, it
      will be the Carolina Panthers (as I told
      Steve Smith during his visit to the Dave Dameshek Football Program). Scoff all you want
      right now, but remember me when the Panthers knock off the Giants in Week 3 on
      NFL Network.

    • Giants will improve their record, but
      won't make the playoffs

      The New York Giants finished with a 9-7 mark in 2011 but reached the playoffs
      after winning the NFC East. It was a fitting development, because Giants fans
      moaned after their 10-6 club missed the playoffs in favor of the 7-9 Seahawks in 2010. Look for history to repeat itself this
      year as the Giants improve their win total but just miss the

    • The Cowboys will win the NFC East

      The Dallas Cowboys would have won the NFC East last season if Miles Austin and Tony Romo could have connected
      on a critical third-down play late in the fourth quarter of a Week 14 home loss
      to the Giants. That game was part of a 1-5 fade down the stretch. This year,
      though, the team will close with five home games out of the final seven, a
      favorable set-up that should help propel the Cowboys to the postseason. No wild
      card for the Giants, though, as three teams from the NFC North will make









    "With training camp at the end of the month, spotlight focuses the tight end
    position -- sure to be one of the most watched competitions in training

    SPOTLIGHT: The tight ends

    THE COMPETITION: Bear Pascoe, Martellus Bennett, Travis Beckum,
    Adrien Robinson, Christian Hopkins, Ryan Purvis
    and Larry

    THE 411: Last year, the Giants
    replaced Kevin Boss with Jake Ballard. This
    year, the Giants hope to find another big target over the middle for Eli

    Pascoe has the most experience of all the
    healthy tight ends. Beckum is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the
    Super Bowl and might not be ready to play when the season starts.

    Bennett is the guy the team hopes will step into the role after signing
    him in free agency. But Bennett has to adjust to a new offense and show he can
    handle a bigger role and fulfill his potential. Bennett missed some time in OTAs
    due to a hamstring issue as the coaching staff wanted to see the tight end shed
    some pounds.

    The Giants drafted Robinson in the fourth round, but he is
    raw and missed OTAs to finish up in school. He may be at least a year away from
    contributing, but if he is really the "JPP of tight ends" -- as Jerry
    described him -- he'll show flashes and get better as the season

    The Giants like Hopkins, who has been on the practice squad.
    He has shown flashes of good hands and is a big body at 6-5, 277 pounds.

    WHAT THE COACHES ARE SAYING: "Except for Bear, there is
    nobody that has done it before," offensive coordinator Kevin
    said. "You are hoping to have Bear as a swing guy, a second
    tight end -- he could motion back and play the fullback position, give you what
    he has always given. you which is unbelievable toughness and somehow making
    plays that maybe you don't think that he should be able to make.

    always seems to make [those plays] for you -- not necessarily as your starting
    tight end," Gilbride continued. "But right now he is the starting tight end.
    Martellus was out and just barely got back. Adrien Robinson missed [OTAs]. So
    right now we have a long way to go at that spot."

    Gilbride, though,
    acknowledged that he thought Ballard could be a good blocker and perhaps an
    underneath target in the passing game before Ballard exceeded his expectations
    and became a bigger threat.

    "You are hoping Martellus [steps up]. ...
    That is why he was brought here," Gilbride said. "You are hoping that Adrien
    Robinson down the road would be the guy. If not, Bear is going to be the guy.

    "We have been able to do it in the past. We have to do it again.Ē

    CAMP PREDICTION: Pascoe enters camp as the starter and
    may be used more in the passing game out of necessity if Bennett isn't able to
    get comfortable in the new system by the time the season opener rolls around.

    Pascoe displayed an ability to catch balls down the middle in OTAs and
    minicamp, and the Giants could lean on him early on until Bennett works his way
    in and earns Manning's trust. Robinson might need this year to develop before
    becoming a factor.

    Beckum's impact all depends on his health and when he
    will be able to come back. Also, it remains to be seen how much the Giants use
    Beckum. When he was healthy last season, he wasn't utilized a ton as they leaned
    more on Ballard and Pascoe with blocking in mind as well. The Giants might also
    bring Beckum along slowly off his knee injury Ė- as they should with an ACL
    injury suffered in February -- so he might not start contributing until a few
    weeks into the season, if not later.

    Hopkins could be a dark horse since
    tight ends coach Mike Pope has been able to develop guys like
    Boss, Ballard and Pascoe. And because of that, you can't discount Purvis or
    Donnell either, but they could potentially end up on the practice squad.

    While Pascoe may be the guy Manning trusts in the passing game early on,
    the Giants also can use fullback Henry Hynoski as a
    short-yardage passing option if Bennett needs more time to get comfortable with
    the offense.

    Hynoski showed the ability to catch out of the backfield
    late last season. I think Manning will look to Pascoe early until he develops a
    rapport with Bennett or another tight end, and that gives Pascoe a step up on
    the competition and the opportunity to seize the job."







    If Drew Brees doesn't
    get the long-term deal he and the Saints have been haggling over,
    one report says he won't sign his franchise tag and will not
    report to New Orleans training camp.

    According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the Saints have offered a contract to
    Brees that would average $19.25 million per season, which would make him the
    highest paid player in history (Peyton Manning's deal with the Broncos averages
    $19.2 million per year).

    But Mortensen writes that Brees wants $20.5 million per year.

    Remember, the two sides have until Monday to strike a long-term deal before
    Brees has to play under the $16.6 million franchise tag. But if that doesn't
    happen and Brees actually holds out from training camp, there's no telling how
    long he'll stay away from the team.

    A few weeks ago, Brees said he'd never sit out the season because he loves the game too
    much -- which, at the time, seemed to give away some of his leverage (I
    personally thought it meant that the two sides were close enough to a new deal
    that Brees saying that wouldn't make much of a difference).

    According to Saints Rapid Reporter Larry Holder, the team hasn't heard from Brees'
    agent, Tom Condon, since early June after the Saints offered the latest

    With so much money on the table for Brees, it's hard to fathom any NFL player
    walking away from that kind of franchise-tag cash (thank goodness, though, that
    Brees does have other employment options).

    Unless Brees really believes in the principle of this stand-off. And if
    that's the case, the Saints might have to choose between Chase Daniel, Luke McCown or Sean Canfield as the
    2012 starting quarterback.

    Hey, at least they'd be cheap."
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    Thanks bro.

    G'morning all.

    ďBasically just stay with your man,Ē cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. ďFollow him everywhere you go. Even if he goes to the bathroom, follow him.Ē


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

      [quote user="BeatYale"]Thanks bro.

      G'morning all.[/quote]

      ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

        thanks Buckeroo....

        whats been up?....

        All good here....

        "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
        You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

          [quote user="GameTime"]

          thanks Buckeroo....

          whats been up?....

          All good here....


          Good to see you. Question, who's you favorite current player?
          ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

            Thanks Roanoke, drove through your neck of the woods this morning, a little wet!


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

              [quote user="Captain Chaos"]Thanks Roanoke, drove through your neck of the woods this morning, a little wet![/quote]

              We need the rain. We've been having thunderstorms without a drop of water for weeks.
              ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē MB Rule # 1


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 - 11:30 A.M.

                [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]

                thanks Buckeroo....

                whats been up?....

                All good here....


                Good to see you. Question, who's you favorite current player?

                Same old stuff going on here. Enjoying the summer so far.

                Hmmmm......I would like to sat Eli because I feel last season he made a real leap in his game by his mobility in the pocket. While he won't ever be mistakenasa running QB he made huge strides in side stepping and extending the play and a few "coordinated" runs, and throwing well on the run. Not just saying that because Jaws did. We saw it all season. Also this teams goes as Eli goes.

                If not for Eli I would have to say probably Tuck or JPP. Tuck I think has become a true leader. He also came to a crossroads last year and with the help of TC he made the right choices.

                There are so many players on the Giants I dig.

                "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
                You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch