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    "It started with an answer to a question about the pass rush well in front of
    Kenny Phillips.

    “We haven’t gotten sacks in a while but we still have a great pass rush and
    they’re ready to get after it,” the Giants’ safety said today after practice. “I
    like our matchups, I like our chances and I think we’ll be successful this

    For the rest of the session with reporters, Phillips made it clear he’s got a
    very good feeling about the Giants’ chances against the Jets and for the rest of the season.

    “A player talking up his own team?” you ask. “What’s the big deal? Happens
    all the time. For Antrel Rolle, it’s a weekly ritual.”

    Well, yeah, but it’s rare to see Phillips speak so confidently. That’s why
    his words carry weight. Well, that and the fact the last time he puffed out his
    chest was before the game against the Patriots – a game, if you can recall that
    far back, the Giants won.

    Like yours
    , Rolle
    and a few others, Phillips has seen some giddy-up in the Giants’ gait this week.
    And he likes it.

    “I’m not really that guy,” he said of his being such a public boaster. “I
    just watched the way we practiced this week, I listened to the guys, I just feel
    like we’re ready. I really think so.”

    He continued, “Like the morale, you would think after losing five of the last
    six that guys would be down, but you can tell guys are really buying into it,
    buying in to the defense and into the whole Giants organization. Practice has
    been crazy. Guys have been running around, just having fun. And I think that’s
    something we have to get back to – having fun – and that’s what we’re doing. I’m
    really positive, I feel positive about this week.”

    The next reply from Phillips hammered it home: “I mean, it’s going to be
    something special this week.”

    Funny, because Santonio
    Holmes said similar things on Wednesday
    when he said the Giants’ secondary
    misses a lot of tackles and can be beat over the top.

    Asked if those comments are “disrespectful,” Phillips replied, “Yeah you
    could say that. I think it’s very disrespectful, But at the same time, he’s
    entitled to his opinion. We feel a certain way, we’re not going to put it in the
    media or whatever but we’ll have it in the back of our heads when we’re out
    there playing. And he knows that.”

    Phillips isn't surprised by the chatter
    that began in Florham Park
    and was volleyed
    back by the Giants
    on Wednesday.

    "That's just the Jets," he said. "They talk a lot; we don't. That's all it


    "2:22 PM UPDATE -- After practice, Coughlin said Bradshaw didn't
    practice because he practiced yesterday and "did a lot." So there wasn't a
    setback or anything. Expect Bradshaw to be out there Saturday. Also, Jake
    Ballard said he has a partially torn PCL and definitely will not play on
    Saturday. He said he hasn't been able to run on it and had a similar injury his
    junior year at Ohio St. He was out for two weeks with that injury.

    Ahmad Bradshaw's weekly practice routine had been consistent since returning
    from a fractured foot: practice on a limited basis the last session of the week
    after not practicing the entire week.

    This week, the customary schedule has been inverted. After practicing
    yesterday, Bradshaw is not practicing today in what is the Giants' last practice
    of the week before their game on Saturday. Yesterday's limited participation was
    a surprise especially since Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw would not practice so
    whether this was scheduled today or there was a setback won't be known until
    Coughlin addresses the media in a little after practice.

    The other five non-participants didn't practice yesterday: WR Mario
    Manningham (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), TE Jake Ballard (knee), RB DJ
    Ware (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle).

    Manningham said he missed yesterday's practice for precautionary reasons and
    he fully expects to play Saturday, but not practicing this week could be a
    signal that he won't be on the field Saturday. Again, Coughlin may clear that


    "The proximity of the Rutgers’ campus and Eric LeGrand's suffered his neck
    injury at MetLife Stadium led Justin Tuck to reach out to him and take him out
    to dinner one night a while back.

    The fact they’re still in touch is simply because the Giants’ defensive
    captain and the inspirational LeGrand hit it off.

    “He’s a pretty good guy, man, considering his circumstances,” Tuck said
    today, as he wore a LeGrand shirt during his session with reporters to discuss
    Giants-Jets. “The motivation I get from him is tremendous.”

    Tuck has dealt with neck, groin, toe and ankle issues this season. All of
    them have combined to knock him out of four games and limit him to only three

    Obviously, none of it compares to what LeGrand deals with on a daily

    “For a guy to be in the situation he is and to be as upbeat and as encouraged
    about his future as anybody I know that can walk,” Tuck said, “I think that’s
    pretty encouraging. … It’s hard not to root for a guy like him.”

    story and a terrific photo of his riding onto the field
    with his teammates
    before the game against West Virginia in October helped land him on the cover of
    this week’s Sports Illustrated.

    “We talked about it a little bit,” Tuck said. “He’s excited about it.”

    Tuck said LeGrand will attend Saturday’s game. Asked if LeGrand is a Giants
    fan, Tuck replied, “No question. He’s smart.”

    Or not. Thanks to the 150 tweets (well, at least it seemed like that many) I
    got in response to that quote on Twitter, we can say with certainty LeGrand is a
    Broncos fan.

    * * * *

    Tuck said earlier this year the "selfish" part of him is worried about his
    stats. But over these next two games, he's trying not to let that affect

    "It hasn’t happened that way this year," he said in reference to his making
    big plays. "It’s not like we’re not out there trying to make it happen. It just
    hasn’t happened. So I’m not going to allow myself to get down on that fact; I’m
    just going to keep pressing forward.

    "My numbers aren’t going to be what they’ve been in past years. But we’ve got
    two more games here and my focus is making the best of these two games and
    forgetting the last 14."

    * * * *

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) did not practice today after working in a limited
    capacity on Wednesday. Neither Tom Coughlin nor Bradshaw seemed concerned.
    Bradshaw indicated he simply switched the one day he worked.

    "Just to get it over with," he said. "I want to be as healthy as I can for
    this game. I wanted to freshen up on some things to be prepared."

    * * * *

    No changes anywhere else in the practice report.

    Still out were: TE Jake Ballard (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), WR
    Mario Manningham (knee), RB D.J. Ware (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle).

    Ballard said he's likely out this week with a partial tear to the posterior
    cruciate ligament (the one in the back of the knee). He tore it before during
    his time at Ohio State. He's hopeful he'll be back next week to face the

    Umenyiora, as expected, won't play. Coughlin didn't seem overly concerned
    about Ware. Manningham seems to be up in the air at this point. The final injury
    report, which usually comes out two days before a game, won't be released until


    Excerpt: "On Wednesday, Perry Fewell said Prince Amukamara wasn’t able to execute a
    “complex” coverage on Santana Moss’ touchdown for the Redskins. Asked what was
    so complex about the call, Fewell basically said he didn’t want to give away the
    strategy there.

    With a laugh, he concluded: “Merry Christmas!”

    Today, Prince Amukamara took a similar approach, saying, “He’s the (defensive
    coordinator). He made the call and we just played it.”

    And that was it. No Christmas wishes.

    “Sorry, I celebrate Kwanzaa,” the son of Nigerian immigrants said before
    adding, “No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding.”

    Well, at least the Giants’ rookie
    cornerback is still in a joking mood after a rough week that began with his
    seemingly being benched
    for the second half of the game against the Redskins

    I say “seemingly” because even Amukamara isn’t sure why Deon Grant went in,
    and stayed in, for him.

    “My coach didn’t tell me, ‘We’re sitting you because you’re not playing
    well.’ They just told me they were going with a different package,” Amukamara
    said. “I don’t know. I thought they were putting Deon in just so they could fit
    the run better. If that was the case, if I was benched and that’s what I felt
    like I was, I was extremely (ticked) off. I definitely took this week of
    practice with a different mindset.

    “It always (stinks) to let the team down. I just have to make sure it doesn’t
    happen again.”

    Amukamara, like all rookies this season, is in a tougher spot than first-year
    players usually encounter. The lockout wiped out the offseason, meaning they've
    had less preparation than normal. Plus, he missed practically all of training
    camp and the first eight games with a broken bone in his foot.

    "He’s learning on the run and (the benching) is not an indication of the
    kid’s skill level," Fewell said. "I think the kid is going to be a fine football
    player, but it’s a fast game and there are a lot of things to learn in a little
    bit of time."

    Amukamara said he’s “known for my perseverance,” so he vows he won’t be
    broken by Sunday’s game, in which he also allowed Jabar Gaffney to spin outside
    of him for a 16-yard gain on third-and-14. And that came after he
    gave up a 74-yard completion against the Cowboys
    the previous week.

    Amukamara had an idea he’d be grilled a bit this week, so he’s avoided
    reading or watching any reports.

    “You can’t be upset by what you don’t see,” he said with a grin.

    The only thing he’s experienced is lots of support from teammates Corey
    Webster, Aaron Ross and Antrel Rolle, who have all been benched (or in Rolle’s
    case, moved from corner to safety) at one point or another. All of them
    responded, whether immediately (Ross with two interceptions against the Eagles
    in Week 3) or down the line (Webster in the ’07 playoff run).

    “Ross just told me it’s just how you bounce back that matters,” Amukamara
    said. “Same thing with Rolle. He said it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish" Read more...



    Excerpt: "It's in the undercurrent of all the talk, and at times it's been up-front as
    the focus of the conversation: Will the Jets ever pull as much respect, love and
    devotion as the Giants around here? As the Jets and Giants get ready to play
    this matchup's most meaningful game ever, with playoff berths on the line for
    both teams, this larger question looms.

    Jets coach Rex
    Ryan brought it out in the open on Monday
    by pointing out that the Jets have
    had the more recent success, going to a pair of AFC championship games in years
    the Giants failed to make the playoffs, saying his team wouldn't play "little
    brother."


    Excerpt: "Four-year-old Elijah Burress plays with the six footballs almost daily, the
    prized mementos his father has dutifully jogged over and handed to him each time
    he scored a touchdown at MetLife Stadium this season.

    Plaxico Burress hopes to earn more for his son on Christmas Eve. Coyly, the
    Jets receiver suggested he’d like to score
    “once, twice, maybe three or four” times against the Giants this week.

    The rebound from Burress’
    20-month prison sentence
    for illegal gun possession has been punctuated by
    moments of significance. This week is near the top of the list.

    Burress will play his former team, the team he belonged to when he
    accidentally shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan night club three years ago,
    on Saturday. The next morning, the 34-year-old will be at home in Totowa with
    his wife, Tiffany, and in-laws, watching Elijah and little sister Giovanna, 2,
    open presents and sing along to the Christmas DVDs stocked in their house.

    Burress, who has been a walking scouting report on his ex-team this week,
    predicted that “somebody is going to wake up with a bittersweet Christmas, and
    it’s not going to be me.” But with that statement came a recognition that, on a
    level that trumps wins and losses, this Christmas could never be

    No matter the circumstance of this football season, what has meant most to
    Burress is the foundation and renewed bond of family.

    “I’m treating this season with that college attitude, just enjoy it and have
    fun, it’s the best time of your life,” Burress reflected in a quiet moment this
    season. “And I get to do it in front of them, and nobody is going to deserve it
    more, being happy and smiling, being genuinely happy in the heart, than
    them.”


    Excerpt: "Kevin Gilbride has a chance to finally return the punch. All these years
    later, the schedule sets up perfectly for the Giants' offensive coordinator to settle the
    score a generation later against the old man who stained his name.

    First, he gets Rex Ryan and his ordinary-looking defense when the Giants play
    the Jets on Saturday. Then, he gets his
    twin Rob Ryan when the Dallas defensive coordinator and the equally shaky Dallas
    Cowboys finish the season in the Meadowlands in a game that could decide the NFC

    That’s two Ryans in a row, with a chance to knock the entire family out of
    the postseason and send a holiday greeting directly to a Kentucky horse farm and
    their old man, Buddy. If Gilbride were the kind of man who held a grudge, he’d
    be wiping the drool off his moustache.

    Except, well, he’s not.

    “I try hard not to allow that,” Gilbride told The Star-Ledger on Wednesday.
    “This is so much bigger for the team and the organization. (Rex and Rob) do a
    great job, they have good schemes, they have good players. That’s what the focus
    is on.”

    So Gilbride isn’t about to punch back now, even if he is the one person among
    all the
    phony trash talk this week
    who actually has an axe to grind with someone.
    Think about it: He is a 60-year-old football lifer who helped win a Lombardi
    Trophy with the Giants, an underrated and oft-criticized coordinator who has
    engineered some of the league’s better offenses over the years.

    But, thanks to the cantankerous father of the Jets’ head coach, Gilbride will
    always be known as the assistant Buddy Ryan sucker punched on the Houston
    Oilers’ sideline. He is forever trapped in a 15-second video clip that surfaces
    every time two coaches have a public disagreement.

    Does it bother him? Damn straight it does.

    “The last thing you’d like to be is stained with an incident that you’re
    sorry it happened,” Gilbride said. “But the rapport I had with the father was
    nonexistent from the beginning.

    “When (the punch) happened, I was shocked by the whole thing,” he said. “You
    try to hold your poise and your self-control. It’s not always easy, but
    fortunately some guys grabbed me right away — or who knows what might have

    How he handled the incident, however, helped shape him as a coach. Ryan was
    the supposed tough guy, lunging at him on the sidelines, but Gilbride was the
    real man in that confrontation, the one who backed off for the good of this

    Rex Ryan, as brash as he is, doesn’t seem to have his father’s mean streak.
    Gilbride said Wednesday they have a cordial relationship. But it was two days
    after the punch in 1994, when the world was expecting an apology, that Buddy
    Ryan threw a gas can on the flames.
    “Kevin Gilbride,” he said, “will be
    selling insurance in two years.”

    It’s been 17 years, and no, he’s not taking damage-assessment calls. That
    doesn’t surprise his old head coach in Houston, because Jack Pardee saw
    something in the way Gilbride handled an awful situation that year.

    “Buddy was always an idiot,” Pardee said in a phone interview from his Texas
    ranch. “He put some good teams together — actually, he put some good defenses
    together — but he wasn’t a good team coach. He was always one of those coaches
    who put guys against each other.

    “What happened wasn’t Kevin’s fault — he handled it well. He just didn’t want
    to be pushed around. Who could blame him for that? Buddy wasn’t the only one who
    was going to stand his ground.”

    Rex Ryan, in interviews since becoming Jets coach, has praised Gilbride’s
    accomplishments while laughing about what his father did that night, saying that
    he thought “I’m destined to coach 1-AA football the rest of my life” when it
    happened. But it wasn’t funny in Houston. The Oilers had won 11 straight games
    that season, including the game with the punch — a 24-0 win over, ironically,
    the Jets — but never won again after the punch, flaming out in the playoffs.

    Gilbride was gone, too, moving to Jacksonville and then San Diego — his one
    shot as a head coach — to Pittsburgh and Buffalo before landing with the Giants
    in 2004. He is a popular target among fans when things go wrong, but deserves
    credit for an overachieving offense.

    This is a unit that lost five starters from last season and dealt with
    injuries to top running back Ahmad Bradshaw, receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario
    Manningham, and center David Baas."


    "Hakeem Nicks stood confidently at his locker today, saying he knows how to
    respond “off a game like the one I had” against the Washington Redskins on
    Sunday, when he dropped three passes, including two that would’ve been

    “Just confidence,” the Giants’ wide
    receiver said. “You’ve got to have a great week of preparation, still be
    confident in what you’re able to do out there and go out there and do it. Ain’t
    nothing to think about.”

    Nicks is confident, all right. And he’s not alone.

    He and the Giants’ other two top receivers hardly backed down when asked
    today about Darrelle Revis and the Jets
    secondary as the teams approach Saturday’s matchup, which both badly need to win
    to make the postseason.

    Nicks believes he’ll have a chance to make plays, Mario Manningham said Revis
    and Antonio Cromartie are products of the Jets’ system, and even Victor Cruz got
    into the act by saying the “Revis Island” has been open for business this

    “Yeah, teams aren’t really scared anymore. He’s had to earn his money this
    year and teams aren’t really backing down,” Cruz said. “I feel like we’re going
    to do the same thing until he physically stops us, and we’re going to spread the
    ball around.”

    It was a
    day of trash talk in East Rutherford
    and Florham Park today, so it’s not a
    shock that players were yapping. Still, it was rather surprising the Giants’
    receivers were talking so pointedly about a player most believe to be the best
    cornerback in the NFL.

    Most, that is, except Nicks.

    “He’s decent,” Nicks said, though he later added Revis is “great.”

    Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine leaned toward the latter.

    “If that’s where they want to go with the football,” Pettine said, “they’re
    welcome to.”

    Given the Giants’ ups and downs in the running game, they don’t have much of
    a choice. They have to throw the ball and it’s not like they can just allow
    their No. 1 receiver (even though Cruz has more yards) to be taken out of the

    But that might be impossible for any cornerback, including Revis, to do
    against Nicks.

    The former first-round pick has proven over the past few years that he’s open
    even when he’s covered. By that, we mean he’s among the best at using his body
    to create space and catches the ball away from his body, thanks in part to his
    4XL-sized hands.

    “He’s got great hands,” Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said when
    asked about Nicks making catches with defenders on him.
    “He usually adjusts
    to the ball — last (game) notwithstanding — very, very well. He’s outstanding
    with making the transition to where the ball is so that’s certainly his
    strength, but he’s also a very strong and powerful receiver.”

    It’ll be strength vs. strength in the Nicks-Revis matchup.

    “He looks like he has a command of where his leverage is and where his help
    is coming from,” Gilbride said of Revis. “He overplays certain things and if
    you’re sloppy in something and you’re tipping it, he’s all over it. ... He looks
    like he’s strong and because when he grabs you, guys don’t move anymore.

    “If you’re careful and working very hard, then you should have a chance. If
    you don’t, you’re going down fairly easily.”

    Both Nicks and Cruz relayed
    the same message: They have to work to get open when they face Revis.

    “He’s a guy you’re not going to just flat-out beat,” Nicks said. “You’ve got
    to make plays. If you make plays, you’ll be good.”

    Expect the Giants to do some things to free up Nicks, like putting him in
    motion, running “rub” routes at the line to cross with another receiver, and
    even lining him up in the slot — things they’ve been doing recently to get him
    away from double teams. (Also, on a separate note, watch for Cruz to run some
    double moves against the ever-aggressive Cromartie.)

    Moving Nicks around means Manningham, who didn’t practice today because of a
    knee injury but expects to play Saturday, and Cruz should get some chances
    against Revis.

    Not that they’re afraid.

    “It’s just quarterbacks get too scared to throw it his way, I feel like,”
    Manningham said. “You can’t just go off what you heard. What word on the street
    is, ‘Yeah, he’s a good corner.’ But if you don’t challenge him he’s going to
    continue to be that.”

    Keep going.

    “It’s not their corners, man,” he said. “It’s just their schemes on defense.
    Corners don’t really mean nothing.”

    Even Cruz knows Revis means something.

    “Not only is he good athletically, but he watches a lot of film,” Cruz said.
    “He knows what you’re going to do, he knows the routes we like to do on certain
    down-and-distances. He picks up on tendencies.

    “We just have to be disciplined. We can’t show any of our stuff. We have to
    get to the right depths and use the right technique against them and we should
    come out okay.”


    "The first words bandied back and forth between the Giants and Jets came at 11 a.m. today, of course — the
    appointed time for Tom Coughlin to meet reporters each Wednesday.

    “I just say, regardless of the talk, it will be decided at one o’clock
    Saturday afternoon,” Coughlin said. “Talk is cheap, play the game. That is the
    way I’ve always believed.”

    That’s how the Giants coach prefers it: He would like his team to let its
    play on the field do the talking. And that was Coughlin’s attempt to defuse the
    hoopla surrounding Jets coach Rex Ryan’s declarations earlier in the week that
    his team is better than the Giants and isn’t going to play “little brother” to

    As it turned out, Coughlin just earned another jab from Ryan.

    “Well yeah, that’s the old saying, ‘Talk is cheap, money buys whiskey.’ I
    understand that,” Ryan said about three hours later, when made aware of
    Coughlin’s comments. “And that’s the truth, but I don’t care about Tom Coughlin
    or anybody else. I know what I believe and I don’t care if it’s acceptable and
    everybody — I really don’t care. I’m worried about my opinion, this is how I
    feel and quite honestly I could care less what anybody thinks.”

    Though Coughlin has predictably steered clear of direct banter, a few of his
    players engaged in the verbal game today — much of it about trash talk itself.

    Brandon Jacobs, who received a degree in sociology from Fairleigh Dickinson,
    offered his diagnosis of Ryan’s bombastic nature.

    “I think they’re trying to fulfill something, put something in people that
    may not be there,” Jacobs said.

    “Chirp if you want,” said Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie, a former
    Jet. “That’s up to the individual that wants to go ahead and talk. I don’t think
    it’ll have any outcome on the game itself.

    “Unless he’s going to suit up, I don’t really see any difference.”

    Coughlin won’t be in uniform either come Saturday, but each coach’s
    philosophies have been on full display this week.

    “Whatever Coach Ryan has to do to get his players motivated to play, I’m with
    that,” said Jacobs, who added he sometimes uses an opponent’s trash talk as
    motivation, depending on the situation, and likely would engage more often if he
    played for Ryan.

    “That’s what he chooses to do, that’s how he handles his team. He and Coach
    Coughlin are two different guys that handle their teams differently.”

    Since Ryan arrived in early 2009, he has had few secret goals. One of those
    has been to turn New Jersey and New York into Jets territory. And this week, he
    pointed out how his team had reached the past two AFC Championship games while
    the Giants missed the playoffs.

    But for McKenzie, that isn’t enough to claim territorial supremacy — not when
    the Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl in more than 40 years.

    “Which team has had the most recent success in terms of winning a
    championship?” McKenzie asked a reporter.

    The Giants, the reporter responded.

    “Plain and simple, there it is.”

    He then continued.

    “When you say most successful, have they accomplished the goal of winning a
    championship?” he asked, alluding to Ryan’s repeated guarantees of winning the
    Super Bowl.

    No, the reporter said.

    “Well, both teams have fallen short then.”

    While Saturday’s meeting will have everything an NFL showdown could have — a
    turf war with playoff ramifications late in the season — don’t expect a Jets
    takeover anytime soon, no matter the result. Or so says Jacobs.

    “They’re going to need a hell of a lot more than this game to make that


    "After the disappointing loss
    to the Washington Redskins
    in which they showed little fire at times, the Giants seemed to be motivated during
    today’s practice. During the portion open to the media (individual drills only),
    the players and coaches were energetic and encouraging of one another.

    It apparently continued for the entire session.

    “Everyone was flying around. The energy level was top-notch,” safety Antrel
    Rolle said.

    “That’s something that we need to have day in and day out and not let it fade
    away no matter what the circumstances are.”

    Rolle indicated there was a new message being spread this week.

    “Just more energy and everybody hold everyone else more accountable,” he

    “If you need to pick another guy up a little bit, pick him up. If you need to
    critique him a little bit, that’s fine, go and critique him. But we need to as a
    collective effort and that’s something (Coughlin has) been putting a lot of
    emphasis on this week.”

    ?In a development that should please Rolle, who said
    everyone needs to practice, RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) put in limited time today
    after Coughlin indicated he wouldn’t work at all.

    Bradshaw had been practicing only one day per week as he manages a stress
    fracture in his foot.

    Also likely pleasing Rolle was DE Justin Tuck’s practicing and not being
    listed on the injury report.

    With TE Jake Ballard (knee) sidelined, the Giants need TEs
    Travis Beckum (chest) and Bear Pascoe (ribs) to play on Saturday. Both practiced

    Beckum said he doesn’t have a break in the sternoclavicular joint, but it was
    “too sore” for him to play against Washington. “I didn’t have full range of
    motion,” he said.

    Pascoe said tests revealed no break in his ribs. He suffered the injury when
    he was bent backward by several Redskins defenders after making a catch.

    RB D.J. Ware (knee) was a surprise addition to the injury
    report. He didn’t practice, though indications are his issue isn’t serious.

    WR Devin Thomas (neck) practiced only a few days after being
    carted off on a stretcher. He merely suffered a burner, though he wasn’t sure at
    first that was the case.

    “I’ll say like 2 minutes before I could really get my motions back,” he said.
    “It wasn’t severe as I thought it was.”


    Excerpt; "Plaxico Burress wants to win this week's game against the Giants to help the
    Jets' playoff chances. The Jets receiver also wouldn't mind putting on a show
    against his ex-team.

    "I definitely want to get in the end zone once, twice, maybe 3 or 4," Burress
    said. "I’m going to try to play lights-out football. My goal is to go out and
    play the best game I’ve played to this date, this season, from a personal
    standpoint, and more from a what we need as a team (perspective). If we want to
    get into the playoffs and make the run that we believe we can, we need to go out
    and play our best football."

    Burress played four of his 10 seasons for the Giants. After serving a
    20-month prison sentence for illegal gun possession, he visited with a handful
    of teams, including the Giants and the Steelers, but picked the Jets. This week,
    does he hope to make the Giants wish he were still on their roster?

    "They know what type of player I am, there’s no doubt about it," Burress
    said. "The coaches that are over there, some of the players, they know me in
    games like this. When your back is against the wall and all those kind of
    things, I think they know what kind of effort they are going to get out of me on
    Saturday."


    "In a development that really shouldn't surprise anyone, David Baas will
    return to the starting lineup as the Giants' center on Saturday against the Jets, according to someone informed of the
    team's plans for the offensive line.

    The person, who requested anonymity, said Baas isn't experiencing any major
    issues after practicing in a limited capacity today. He'd been sidelined the
    past three games with neck issues that led to intense headaches.

    The Giants rushed for 301 yards in the three games without Baas, the
    free-agent acquisition who has dealt with multiple
    injuries and a quick adjustment
    period this season. Kevin Boothe, who filled
    in at center, will likely slide to left guard. Mitch Petrus, the second-year
    lineman who has done an admirable job, will head back to the bench.

    Of course, things could change if Baas suddenly experiences issues once
    again. But for now, the
    $27.5-million man
    is on his way back to the middle of the Giants' line.

    I repeat: $27.5 million. Though the Giants have done well in his absence, you
    don't pay a guy that kind of money to sit on the bench.

    * * * *

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) did some work in practice today after all. He was
    listed as being limited.

    Also limited: Baas, TEs Travis Beckum (chest) and Bear Pascoe (ribs), WR
    Devin Thomas (neck) and S Derrick Martin (back).

    A surprise addition to the injury report was RB D.J. Ware (knee). It's
    unclear how serious his issue is.

    Players who also didn't practice: TE Jake Ballard (knee), WR Mario Manningham
    (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle). Manningham
    said he will play.

    * * * *

    For the Jets, these players were limited: WR Plaxico Burress (illness), DB
    Marquice Cole (knee), DL Mike DeVito (knee), RB Joe McKnight (shoulder/elbow),
    OL Brandon Mooore (hip) and DB Eric Smith (knee).

    WR Jeremy Kerley (illness) did not practice."


    Excerpt: "Earlier today, when Tom Coughlin was asked about the first round of Rex
    Ryan's bravado, he offered this:

    "I just say, regardless of the talk, it will be decided at one o’clock
    Saturday afternoon. Regardless of what is said. Talk is cheap, play the game,"
    he said. "That is the way I’ve always believed."

    NY Jets head coach Rex Ryan talks about
    Saturday's upcoming showdown with the Giants and makes a case for Jet fans to
    wear green to MetLife Stadium. 12-21-11 (video by Tim Farrell/The
    Watch video

    When notified of the "talk is cheap" comments, Ryan once again defended
    the way he's approaching this game
    . On Monday, he said that the Jets have
    undoubtedly been the best team in New York over the last two years and on
    Tuesday, Ryan said that if the Jets lose to the Giants the blame would fall
    squarely on his shoulders.

    "Well yeah, that's the old saying 'talk is cheap, money buys whiskey' I
    understand that," Ryan said. "And that's the truth but I don't care about Tom
    Coughlin or anybody else. I know what I believe and I don't care of it's
    acceptable and everybody -- I really don't care. I'm worried about my opinion,
    this is how I feel and quite honestly I could care less what anybody thinks."

    Ryan began to drum up fan sentiment for the game, opening his press
    conference by encouraging Jets supporters to make it as much of a home field
    advantage as possible. He said that the fans will be given white towels to wave
    and that he hoped it would be an atmosphere similar to the 37-0 regular-season
    finale win over the Bengals in 2009 that propelled the team into the playoffs.

    When asked if anyone in a blue shirt should be stopped at the gate, Ryan said
    he would normally pop off on something like that, but that he'd hold his tongue
    this time.



    "Tom Coughlin and Eli
    have been together longer than every current coach-quarterback
    combination in the NFL other than Bill Belichick and

    They have won a Super Bowl together and Saturday they can take a huge step
    toward making the playoffs for the fifth time in their eight years if they can
    beat the Jets. Then, with a victory over the Cowboys in the final game of the
    season the Giants will be NFC East champs for the third time in the
    Coughlin-Manning era.

    But if the Giants miss the playoffs for the third straight season with
    another collapse after another 6-2 start, then the Coughlin-Manning tandem could
    be over.

    Manning is not going anywhere — he signed a seven-year, $106.9 million
    contract in 2009 that runs through the 2015 season. Coughlin is signed through
    next season, and the Giants historically don’t let their head coach go into the
    final year of his deal, so he will either be extended or fired after the season.
    The next two weeks may determine Coughlin’s fate.

    Manning on Wednesday endorsed Coughlin continuing to coach the Giants for

    “I say definitely,” he said. “Our focus is on this season and this game.
    Right now, that’s all we can worry ourself with. If we play the way we’re
    capable of playing, everything else will work itself out.”

    That means get in the playoffs and Coughlin gets a new deal.

    Manning was asked why Coughlin is a good coach.

    “I think he’s passionate about football, about doing well,” he said. “I think
    he prepares himself, he prepares his players very well for each opponent and
    getting ready.”

    Manning has been unwavering in his support of Coughlin through the years, but
    these next two games are crucial. They will affect more than just Coughlin. If
    he is fired, it will affect the lives of his assistant coaches and their
    families. And a new coach always likes to bring in new players, especially those
    he has coached.

    Manning may be the only Giant capable of saving Coughlin’s job. He has to
    play great for the Giants to win because the defense, especially the secondary,
    has been so bad.

    When Manning doesn’t throw a party, the Giants can’t win." Read more...



    Face it, Jets fans. If this comes down
    to a battle of quarterbacks, Eli Manning is going to
    outduel Mark Sanchez. He has
    had a remarkable season, carrying the Giants to dramatic victories with
    crunch-time heroics while masking the team’s weaknesses.

    Manning will
    have to account for the disguises and blitzes of the Jets’ complex defense, but
    Michael Vick didn’t
    seem to have much of a problem with them, and Manning is a lot more adept at
    deciphering coverage schemes. More often than not, Manning has the defense on
    its heels. And his pocket presence is so good that he can make a few subtle
    steps to avoid pressure and still be aware of his open receiver.

    said, Manning wasn’t that sharp against the Redskins. It was his worst
    statistical game in three years, and the offense sagged along with him. If he’s
    not at the top of his game, the Giants aren’t going to win. Manning, though,
    seldom turns in two straight clunkers. His bounce-back ability is pretty

    Now, if Manning was facing the Jets’ defense of the last two
    seasons, he could have problems. But it isn’t, no matter how much Rex Ryan
    wants to build it up. Aside from Darrelle Revis, no
    one is playing at the elite level.


    The injury to Jim Leonhard has
    exposed the Jets’ coverage problems in the middle of the field. Always a little
    vulnerable against tight ends, they had no answers for the Eagles’ Brent
    on Sunday.

    Unfortunately for the Giants, they aren’t in a great position to exploit the
    situation. Patriot killer Jake Ballard won’t
    play, and backup Bear Pascoe is hurting.
    So how do they expose safeties
    Eric Smith
    and Brodney Pool? Probably
    by spreading the Jets out with three wide receivers. While all three are more
    outside receivers who don’t run a lot of crossing routes, at least that would
    involve everyone in the secondary.

    Victor Cruz, out of the
    slot, has the speed to stretch the defense the way the Eagles did, and Manning
    leads the league in 40-yard-plus passing plays.

    Then there is Revis and how you approach him. The Giants should respect him
    but they still have to challenge him. Otherwise, they take Hakeem Nicks, their
    best receiver, out of the equation and leave winning the game up to Cruz and Mario
    bring the house!

    Perry Fewell has been
    calling defense like Perry Como. You can just
    picture him snuggled up in one of the old crooner’s sweaters as he goes with the
    more passive approach, hoping not to expose himself in the back.

    All that is fine if the Giants are getting pressure from their front four and
    covering with seven. More often lately, they’ve been getting pressure with their
    front one, Jason
    . And any quarterback with four seconds to scan the field is
    going to find holes in the zones. That is not going to change. As Tom
    said on Monday, the Giants have tried all sorts of coverages to no

    So what is Fewell to do? Como has to become Cujo. Fewell has to dial up a few
    more blitzes, especially on third down. Admittedly, it’s a little risky. For
    instance, go back to that third-down play when the Cowboys were trying to put
    the game away late in the fourth quarter. Fewell rushed eight, essentially
    leaving man coverage in the back. The Cowboys had the right play call, and Miles
    zipped past Aaron Ross.
    He was wide open, but Tony Romo overthrew him,
    and Austin was unable to make the catch. The Giants’ season would have died
    right there.

    But what’s the alternative? If Sanchez gets into a rhythm, he can be very
    good. But Sanchez is streaky. Fewell has to force the issue and turn Sanchez
    into the mistake-prone quarterback he was against the Eagles, when he had two
    picks and a lost fumble, giving him 20 turnovers for the season. Fewell has to
    take away the easy throws the Jets like to give their quarterback, perhaps by
    playing more press coverage, something CB Corey Webster does
    better than playing off the receiver. And, since the Jets haven’t been a
    downfield passing team all year, and don’t have much sheer speed at WR, he can
    probably respect the deep ball a little less. It’s just no time to sit back and
    take it.

    The Jets will be determined to get Plaxico Burress
    more involved against his old team with his emotions running high. Burress has
    had only one catch in the previous two games, a garbage-time grab for a TD on a
    nine-yard fade route, and just four catches for 42 yards in his last four

    It’s not apparent who will be covering Burress, but it’s starting
    to sound as though the Giants consider him a more dangerous guy than Santonio Holmes.
    Webster is better suited to cover Burress, who has had some problems gaining
    separation lately. Webster has done well against big receivers such as Brandon Marshall
    and Larry Fitzgerald
    and he doesn’t mind mixing it up physically.

    Burress is most dangerous
    doing what he did to score the Giants’ game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl
    XLII. He remains a huge, red-zone target and he has bolstered the Jets’
    efficiency in that area. In fact, with precision and timing more of a factor
    than speed down there, the Jets lead the league in red-zone offense, converting
    at an 89.4% clip with 32 TDs and 10 FGs in 47 possessions.

    The Giants’
    offense has been pretty effective in the red zone as well, with Nicks a very
    slippery coverage assignment, but their red-zone defense ranks just 21st in the
    league. They’ve given up 31 TDs and 15 FGs in 55 opponent possessions. It’s
    where the game could be decided."


    "Excerpt: "Brandon Jacobs
    called Plaxico Burress a
    “dangerous weapon,” Antrel Rolle hyped his
    play in the red zone and Aaron Ross
    proclaimed that he is once again one of the league’s finest wideouts.

    Giants spent Wednesday heaping compliments upon their former teammate, building
    up the Jets’ big receiver. But come Saturday at the Meadowlands, Big Blue will
    do everything possible to tear down the one-time Giant.

    “How he’s going
    to play, I have no idea, but I know he wants this game as bad as I do,” said
    tailback Brandon Jacobs, one of Burress’ closest friends on the Giants. “It’s
    definitely one that means a lot to him. We can’t let that happen.”

    upon a time, Burress meant everything to the Giant franchise. He was Eli
    ’s favorite target and the hero of Super Bowl XLII. But he also
    battled injuries and off-the-field issues that didn’t jive with Tom
    ’s no-nonsense style.

    And now, 14 games into a 2011 campaign
    that began with rumors that Burress might return to his former team, nobody on
    Big Blue seems to miss him, a point that the Giants hope to drive

    “He’s a good player and all,” wideout Mario Manningham
    said, “but we didn’t need to take that road.”

    The Giants already had
    plenty of weapons, which is exactly what Eli Manning had said during training
    camp. When talk of Burress returning to Big Blue began, the quarterback did
    something he rarely does, openly saying that his receiving corps needed little
    extra help."


    Excerpt: "Rex
    is full of jokes. Now, he’s on the verge of becoming one.

    That’s what former Giant Michael Strahan
    thinks. The Fox analyst spent the entire week listening to the Jets coach brag
    about how his team is better than the Giants, and ripping Strahan’s old team for
    two straight playoff-less campaigns.

    And the ex-NFL star can’t help but laugh.

    “It’s a fine line whenever you have to talk that much,” Strahan told the
    Daily News during Wednesday’s Ugly Sweater party hosted by BlackBerry. “Once it
    kind of seems like a joke, it becomes a joke to your own players.”

    And Ryan’s act is a joke that Strahan is already tired of hearing. He pointed
    out that the Giants, not the Jets, are the ones who are just four years removed
    from a Super Bowl title, and he pointedly added, “It’s all about winning rings
    for me.”

    “If I have to walk into a room and tell you how bad I am, I’m probably not
    that bad,” Strahan said. “If I’m comfortable in my own skin, I shouldn’t have to
    convince people of my words. That’s the whole thing with Rex I look at. At some
    point, you just look and go ‘enough is enough.’ ”

    Also at some point, Strahan added, all the Battle of New York chatter becomes
    pointless. Will it really mean anything if Rex’s 8-6 Jets beat the 7-7

    Not as far as Strahan is concerned.

    “The biggest thing is actually winning the Super Bowl, not being the best
    team in New York,” Strahan said. “At this point, the way both teams are playing,
    it’s not hard.”


    Eli Manning finished
    fifth among NFC quarterbacks in the fan voting for the Pro Bowl, behind Green
    Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New
    Orleans’ Drew Brees, Cam
    of Carolina and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford.
    The only Giants who finished in the Top 5 were C David Baas, DE
    Osi Umenyiora
    and S Antrel
    ."



    "Sure, Kenny Phillips heard what Jets receiver Santonio Holmes said about the
    Giants secondary: How you can make plays over the top against them, how they are
    poor tacklers.

    There was no confusing Holmes’
    : The Giants can’t stop the pass.

    “There’s nothing we can do about it, what he’s saying, what he sees is not
    going to win or lose a game,” the strong safety said. “Still got to go out there
    and play so [Saturday at] one o’clock we’ll find out.’’

    That’s all well and good, but when a competitor rips into you doesn’t that
    cross a line?

    “Yeah, you could say that, I think it’s very disrespectful,’’ Phillips said
    Thursday. “He’s entitled to his opinion, we feel a certain way, we’re not going
    to put it in the media but we’ll have it in the back of our heads when we’re out
    there playing. And he knows that.

    “Makes no sense to get into a war of words. It’s pointless. Everybody’s

    Yeah, like the Giants and Jets. They’re different.

    “That’s the Jets,’’ Phillips said. “They talk a lot. We don’t. That’s all it

    Phillips said he feels a positive energy around the team, even though the
    Giants have lost five of their past six games to back themselves into a
    playoff-contention corner.

    “The morale in here is great,’’ Phillips said. “I think it’s going to be
    something special this week.’’

    It’s been something special leading up to the game with yapping from both
    sides. Justin Tuck sounded bemused by all of it.

    Asked what’s at stake this weekend, Tuck said, “Playoffs. I could care less
    about bragging rights. Last time I checked the mayor of New York ran the city.
    New Jersey I think is (run by) Gov. Christie; doesn’t he have a lot to say about
    what goes on in New Jersey? I don’t see me making no rulings on anything; Rex
    Ryan, either.

    “We want to win the game regardless but it’s not like if we beat them I’m
    going to be seeing guys at a steakhouse, Del Frisco’s, see [Mark] Sanchez and
    say ‘Guess what? We beat you.’ C’mon man, who cares? The only thing I care about
    is getting another one of those shiny things on my finger. That’s the only thing
    we play this game for anyway.

    "Ask Rex Ryan, is he cool with going to the championship game two years in a
    row? Guarantee you he’ll (give up) two of those for playing in a Super Bowl and
    winning it.’’

    As for Sanchez, Tuck didn’t exactly go overboard singing the praises of the
    Jets quarterback.

    “He does a great job of managing the game,’’ Tuck said. “Sometimes he can get
    rattled when you take away his run game, but if he can hand the ball off to
    Shonn [Greene] and they can get him into those third-and-short situations and he
    can throw those short passes and get in a rhythm, they are going to present a
    huge problem, especially with his mobility.’’


    "Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis responded to the Giants wide receivers' trash
    talk by brushing it aside.

    "It don't matter what I say, it doesn't matter what other receivers say, if
    it's on paper, it's on paper," Revis said. "You have to go out there and play on
    Sundays and you have to prove it. You just gotta prove it."

    Revis was asked if the comments by Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks get him fired

    "I don't even know who this guy is, really. So, no," Revis said. "Whoever
    said what. I'm not entertaining it. If I wanted to watch entertainment I'd look
    to a reality show or something. Watch TV."

    Revis was asked about Cruz's comment that "teams aren't really scared
    anymore" to throw Revis' way.

    "I mean I'm not a monster so why would anybody be scared? I don't know," he

    Revis said his only memory of Cruz is from the preseason. Nicks
    on Wednesday called Revis a "decent" cornerback

    Revis' fellow cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, said the Giants receivers have
    had success because opponents have allowed them to.

    "They do some good stuff. But they get a lot of free releases, we don't do a
    lot of free releases in our defense," he said. "We get in your face and make
    sure we jam you and do the things we need to do."

    Cromartie said he hopes the Giants keep talking.

    "I like people getting riled up, I hope so," he said. "I hope they keep
    talking, I hope they talk on Saturday too on the field."


    "There was actually a line to get on the stationary bicycles Thursday

    There were too many injured players and not enough bikes off on the side, as
    the healthy Giants hit the field for practice.

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

  • #2

    thnaks Ro......

    I have been chided by another board member that I am the kind of fan who creates "the rivalry" because I saidI want the Giants to beat the green footlicking ****** bags.....

    Is that so bad?????

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


    • #3

      [quote user="GameTime"]

      thnaks Ro......

      I have been chided by another board member that I am the kind of fan who creates "the rivalry" because I said*I want the Giants to beat the green footlicking ****** bags.....

      Is that so bad?????

      [/quote]Nah, how can anyone have any perception of the Jet's other than that? I would of wished for us to face any other team in the league on Sat under these conditions EXCEPT for the Jets.


      • #4

        [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="GameTime"]

        thnaks Ro......

        I have been chided by another board member that I am the kind of fan who creates "the rivalry" because I saidI want the Giants to beat the green footlicking ****** bags.....

        Is that so bad?????

        [/quote]Nah, how can anyone have any perception of the Jet's other than that? I would of wished for us to face any other team in the league on Sat under these conditions EXCEPT for the Jets.[/quote]

        Losing Saturday will suck for so many other reasons than just the season being tanked. Coversely a win will be so much more than just a win to keep the season alive.....

        "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: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011 - 11:40 A.M.

          [quote user="GameTime"]

          thnaks Ro......

          I have been chided by another board member that I am the kind of fan who creates "the rivalry" because I saidI want the Giants to beat the green footlicking ****** bags.....

          Is that so bad?????


          Accuracy can never be bad, even though truth often hurts.
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011 - 11:40 A.M.

            [quote user="GameTime"][quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="GameTime"]

            thnaks Ro......

            I have been chided by another board member that I am the kind of fan who creates "the rivalry" because I saidI want the Giants to beat the green footlicking ****** bags.....

            Is that so bad?????

            [/quote]Nah, how can anyone have any perception of the Jet's other than that? I would of wished for us to face any other team in the league on Sat under these conditions EXCEPT for the Jets.[/quote]

            Losing Saturday will suck for so many other reasons than just the season being tanked. Coversely a win will be so much more than just a win to keep the season alive.....


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