No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts










    Excerpt: "
    Tramon Williams knows that the Giants receiving corps offers a little bit of

    "Big guys, small guys, quick guys, they have different dimensions about them
    that you have to look out for each and every last one of them," he said. "So
    that's kind of what brings the challenge, knowing what guy you go against."

    But in terms of Mario Manningham, who hauled in four passes for 68 yards
    and a touchdown last week, he knows exactly what to expect. Even though the
    emergence of Victor Cruz has scrambled the ranks at wide receiver, he doesn't
    expect Manningham to catch Green Bay's beleaguered secondary by surprise.

    "I guess his injury gave Victor a chance to step in and be that guy and
    Victor hasn't disappointed. Manningham is a good receiver, I think out of all of
    them, he's the fastest. He's a real quick guy, he's definitely one that flies
    under the radar. We've played them before, I know what he can do. He won't fly
    under my radar."

    Even though Cruz makes that focus difficult.

    "The publicity Cruz has gotten, it's hard not to focus on him. Cruz is a
    receiver who, he's good at the line and he's good at finding holes in the zone.
    Eli's good at getting the ball to him when he finds those holes."

    Williams called his performance this season "average" and said that the
    entire secondary is looking forward to moving on from a season where they
    finished dead last in passing defense, giving up just a hair under 300 yards per

    "I definitely see this as a clean slate to start off with and we're going to
    leave it all out on the field," Williams said." Read more...


    Excerpt: "Ahmad Bradshaw says his back issue that appeared on the injury report this
    week is no big deal.

    Oh, and the stress fracture in foot is doing just fine, thank you very

    “I’ve been taking something called ‘Forteo,’” the Giants' running back said today after being
    limited in practice. “It’s like a steroid or a protein that helps you grow

    The Forteo website
    says the product is designed for "men and postmenopausal women with osteoporosis
    who are at high risk for having broken bones."

    Yeah, I believe they have a new market on their hands.

    “The foot looks great, the fracture’s filling in with bone and we’re excited
    about it,” said Bradshaw, who’s listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the
    Packers. “(Forteo) helps with pain and fills the fracture with bone.”

    On another note, Bradshaw is a physical runner, so B.J.
    Raji’s comments about the offensive line
    not being physical enough surely
    didn’t sit well with him.

    “We know how tough we are,” Bradshaw said. “We bring physicality to the game
    every game we play. They’re great guys, the guys up front they take pride in
    what they do. We’re not worrying about what they’re talking about over
    there.”


    Even Steve Tisch couldn’t help but conjure up one similarity between the 2011
    Giants and the 2007, Super Bowl-winning team. And it has nothing to do with the
    players on the field.

    “I do because it’s the same leadership,” Tisch, the Giants Chairman and
    Executive President, told reporters today when asked if he has the same
    confidence in this team as the 2007 squad. “I think Coach [Tom] Coughlin has
    prepared this team for the Packers game. I can’t talk about beyond the Packers
    because I just don’t want to go there, but I think we’re ready for Green Bay in
    Green Bay Sunday afternoon and this is a very well-coached, well-prepared, very
    focused, extremely united team.”

    Tisch admitted that he had “personal frustrations” when the team was mired in
    a four-game losing streak and then lost to the lowly Redskins at home following
    a huge win at Dallas. He believes the win over the Jets was the turning

    “In a way, just because of the competitive nature of our relationship with
    the Jets, in its own unique way, it was kind of like a mini Super Bowl and it
    was a very important game,” Tisch said. “There was a lot more at stake than just
    a regular season game against the Jets. New York City; pride; Jets fans, Giants
    fans; two different cultures; two different mythologies. It was their home game
    [so it] added just an extra level of ‘we did it, we’re good, we’re moving on,
    let’s go.’”

    The 29-14 victory over their fellow MetLife Stadium tenants also did more
    than set the momentum the Giants have carried over since.

    “I think emotionally it solidified a lot of feelings,” he said.

    Despite the competitiveness between the “two cultures” and “mythologies,”
    Tisch said he didn’t take pleasure in watching the Jets implode as they have
    since failing to advance to the playoffs.

    “No, the Jets aren’t the enemy,” Tisch said. “We’re partners in this stadium,
    we are co-hosting a Super Bowl in 2014, we both have great football teams, great
    coaching, great players. A fan base that is divided amongst Jets fans and Giants
    fans. They’re our partners, not our enemies.

    “I’m thrilled where we are right now, where we find ourselves on the eve of
    traveling to Green Bay. The other seven teams that are in the playoffs this
    weekend I’m very happy for. It’s going to be great. This is a great weekend for
    football fans and for football players and for the eight teams at this stage of
    the playoffs. And I’m thrilled for those of us that get to play this

    Of the eight teams remaining, four have Super Bowl MVPs at quarterback – and
    knowing one is his gives him additional assurance going into Sunday’s game at
    Lambeau Field.

    “Let me break that down by saying I have tremendous confidence in Eli,
    week-in, week-out,” Tisch said. “Preseason, regular season, postseason. Knowing
    Eli does have the experience and that Eli has a great capacity to not get
    frustrated and to not get flustered and we’ve seen that for the last couple
    seasons. How focused he is. He’s finding his receivers and he’s playing with a
    tremendous level of confidence. I’m thrilled that he’s our guy and that he’s our
    quarterback and he’s taken us into the playoffs this weekend and hopefully


    "Chris Snee was apparently really troubled by Packers defensive lineman B.J.
    Raji’s saying the Giants’ offensive line
    very physical

    “I didn’t sleep all night,” Snee said today. “B.J. was just in my mind.”

    Okay, so I’m not exactly Sheldon Cooper. I can sense sarcasm pretty well, and
    I feel a lot of it right here.

    “All kidding aside, no one cares what B.J. had to say,” Snee said.
    “Sometimes, when you’re young, you make it to the Pro Bowl, you make it to the
    Super Bowl, you have your
    own commercial
    , you feel the need to talk. We’ll do our talking on

    That was the gist of what the offensive linemen had to say. Well, that and
    the fact they don’t care.

    “I don’t care,” center David Baas said.

    Yeah, I know I was just saying…

    “Honestly, I don’t care,” Baas said again. “I’ll do my talking on Sunday,
    with my pads. I don’t care. He can say whatever he wants to say. It doesn’t
    matter. I don’t care.”

    Right, as I was saying…

    “Don’t care,” Baas said.

    So he doesn’t care.

    “Because I don’t,” Baas said. “It doesn’t matter, truly. We’re going to do
    our talking on Sunday, period. End of Story. That’s all I’ve got.”

    Could there be a worse insult for offensive linemen than saying they’re not
    physical enough?

    “Sure, there’s a whole bunch of things,” Boothe said. “Dirtbags. I think (Justin)
    Tuck will let you know about that

    Boothe claimed Raji’s comments would have no effect.

    “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. This is America,” he said. “We
    have to play on Sunday and we’re happy to be in the position we are.

    “If you need extra motivation this time of year there’s something wrong with
    you. He said it, that’s fine, but it doesn’t change our preparation.”


    "I probably should’ve added the words “sort of” to the headline because this
    is going to be a catch-all kind of entry here.

    It’s been a crazy week and the increased coverage means we’ve already broken
    down most of the angles associated with the game. Plus, Jorge will be along on
    Sunday with another solid gameday breakdown of all of the matchups. So rather
    than repeat myself, I figured I’d clean everything up and provide you with some
    of the stuff we weren’t able to squeeze in over the past few days.

    * * * *

    SUNDAY’S GAME: at Packers, Lambeau Field, 4:30 p.m., Fox


    Offense: RT Kareem McKenzie didn’t have the greatest of days
    the last time he faced LB Clay Matthews. By my count, he gave
    up two pressures plus the sack and forced fumble.

    This past weekend, Troy Aikman said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride
    wanted to provide LT David Diehl with some help. On Sunday,
    look for the opposite.

    In the meeting between the teams on Dec. 4, the Giants often had TE
    Jake Ballard
    to McKenzie’s right to provide help on Matthews,
    especially when they wanted to take a shot downfield. They even had a funky line
    on a third-and-6, with Diehl basically serving as the tight end on the right
    side with Ballard as a wing next to him. That plan worked perfectly, as Matthews
    slanted to the right and got washed all the way to the inside. QB Eli Manning
    was hurried on the play because CB Charles Woodson got inside of Ballard to
    flush him out, but once Manning escaped Woodson, there was no one else there. He
    delivered a strike for an 18-yard gain.

    Long story short, watch for the Giants to provide some help with Matthews.
    And when Ballard stays in to block, see if it’s because they’re trying to take
    that deep downfield shot. Also look to see if the Packers learned from the film,
    use Matthews as sort of a decoy and bring pressure from the other side.

    Defense: I think we’ve covered the matchups here from front
    to back, so here’s something that didn’t make my
    story today on the race to QB Aaron Rodgers
    : Michael Strahan’s scouting
    report on the Giants’ pass rushers, courtesy of a conference call held by Fox
    the other day:

    On DE Osi Umenyiora: “He relies more on finesse, more on
    beating you around the edge. More edges and corners. Occasionally, he'll bull
    rush just to keep you honest, to let you know he has power. But he's gonna work
    your edges and try to strip the quarterback.”

    On DE Jason
    : “JPP is still raw. Jason's gonna run in, bull rush you,
    try to slip off and take whatever you give him. He's more a guy who's out there
    off of raw talent and natural ability and just taking what the offensive line
    give you. If he rushes you and he feels like you're leaning inside, he'll go
    outside. If he feels like you're leaning outside, he'll go inside.”

    On DE
    Justin Tuck: “Tuck is a guy who will set you up. Tuck is very
    smart and understands the best thing to do with his body. He's big enough to
    play inside, where he can control and use his speed as well as strength on
    attack on offensive guards. ... On the offensive tackle, he uses more of his
    power and more of his ability to set up his power. And then when the guy is
    ready for the power, Tuck has a great ability to slap your hands away and beat
    you around the edge.”

    Intangibles: I spent a good portion of the morning providing the
    opposing view
    for my pal Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, so
    check it out. We addressed some intangibles in there, such as the effect
    Pierre-Paul’s alleged guarantee.

    THE LINE: Packers by 7½. Over-under 52½.

    THE PICK: Maybe I’m a bit too influenced by ’07 here but to
    me the NFL playoffs are about momentum and confidence more than anything these
    days. And the way the Giants are playing on defense, I truly believe they can
    slow the Packers down just a tad. Field goals instead of touchdowns would be
    enormous. Perhaps I’ll regret this one on Monday but I can’t help it: Giants 26,
    Packers 23.

    ONE MORE THING: Usually, this is a game-specific thing but
    this week we’ll break form because I promised an update on former Giants’ OLs
    Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert, who were awesome in helping me with my
    retrospective look at the Giants’ victory in Lambeau four years ago.

    Neither player is officially retired, though both are leaning that way. In
    fact, that’s exactly what O’Hara said.

    “Some weeks, I feel like I can get out there and still do it,” he said.
    “Other weeks, I don’t.”

    Asked if this will be one of the weeks he’ll feel he can do it, O’Hara
    replied, “Yeah, I’m sure.”

    Meanwhile, Seubert has moved to California. His neighbors don’t know who he
    is and he joked they wonder what he does for a living that he can drive the kids
    to school and come back home for the rest of the day.

    “I tell them I’m looking for work,” he said. “It’s the truth.”

    Seubert, who said he plans to hunt prairie dogs in Cali (I'm not sure if he
    was serious), didn’t want his knee to tell him when he’s done playing. That
    might very well wind up being the case. If so, that’s plenty fine for a guy who
    battled his way to one honorable NFL career."


    "2:00 PM UPDATE

    The list is down to one.

    LB Mark Herzlich, who has been sidelined since fracturing his ankle against
    the Saints on Nov. 28, was the only player not practicing today and has been
    ruled out for Sunday. During the portion of the session open to the media,
    Herzlich was on the side doing some light jogging and agility drills.

    He said it was the most work he's done since injuring the ankle and if the
    Giants win Sunday he hopes to practice next week.

    "Last week when I tried to do some running, it didn't really work out too
    well," Herzlich said. "This week felt really good, pain-free."

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot/back), as expected, was practicing and is listed as
    probable for Sunday. It has been standard for Bradshaw to sit out of practice
    until Friday since he came back from a fractured foot, though this week was a
    bit more complicated due to a back injury he suffered against Atlanta. Tom
    Coughlin, however, said it was just a sore back and will not hinder Bradshaw.

    S Deon Grant (quad) and CB Corey Webster (hamstring) are both practicing
    after being listed as limited for Thursday's session. Both were limited today
    and are listed as probable for Sunday.

    DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) was also limited and is listed as probable.

    CB Aaron Ross (concussion) and D.J. Ware (concussion) practiced fully and are
    listed as probable."



    If you were to enter the Giants
    locker room during this joyous week, your attention would immediately be
    captured by a stall along the right wall, 10 feet from the entrance — the only
    one that is still festooned with the trimmings of Christmas.

    That holiday was, what, 19 days ago? Not here. You’ll still find bells,
    wreathes, stockings, outdoor lights (not those wimpy, blinky LEDs, either —
    heavy bulbs), and even a place mat that reads “Ho Ho Ho,” all of which
    apparently brings year-round joy to Steve Weatherford’s work environment.

    “I don’t care what the calendar says — I’m still living the dream, man,” says
    the punter. “So is (kicker Lawrence) Tynes — take a look at his locker, he has
    stuff up. We specialists are still inthe Christmas spirit. We’re in the business
    of giving out losses right now, and Green Bay is next. And it is better to give
    than receive.”

    Hark, a punter who talketh the trash.

    But that’s not what Weatherford is about, really.

    It’s hard to appreciate his particular craft, but it was easy to notice that
    this guy did his job as well as anyone during the annihilation of Atlanta. Most
    of us tend to think his world spins on power, distance and hang time, but the
    finesse and accuracy Weatherford demonstrated Sunday completely locked up the
    Falcons’ return game, and coach Tom Coughlin made a point of noticing.

    Curiously, the coach did this without mentioning Weatherford by name, and we
    got the distinct impression it was omitted because Coughlin was having trouble
    remembering it:

    “I thought the punter had a great day,” the coach said. “He punted the ball
    four times and there was no return yardage by (Eric) Weems, who is an
    outstanding returner. We were able to deal with a guy who is a game-changer
    without having any yardage from him.”

    Maybe this is what it’s like for a punter, who really lives on the edge of
    the football tableau, and remains nameless as long as he does his job.

    Case in point: “I have a special teams meeting in a little while,”
    Weatherford said. “Which I don’t really get much out of, to be honest with you.”

    We always assumed that the only coaching a punter receives is something like,
    “Kick it out of bounds.” And he replies with sarcastic gratitude, “Wow, thanks
    for the great tip.”

    “Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is in the pros,” Weatherford confirmed.
    “It’s not like baseball, where you have a hitting coach. There’s only one of us
    — we don’t (merit) our own coach, just a guy who films me in practice so I can
    check mechanics.

    “But if a guy isn’t doing the job, basically you just cut him and get another
    one. Or maybe you outsource it and bring in a kicking consultant, but that’s

    And so is Weatherford.

    The good-humored, 29-year-old Hoosier is not your average NFL punter. For
    starters, he is an athletic marvel, an All-American in two sports at the
    University of Illinois — football and track, with his decathlon talents taking
    him to prominence at the Drake and Penn Relays. And in terms of musculature, he
    is a beast.

    Example: Weatherford is only 6-2, 211 pounds, but can leg press 1,000 pounds
    12 times.

    Which means, basically, that the Giants’ punter can kick over a Smart car, if
    the mood struck.

    “Ha, that 1,000-pound leg press could be one of those myths that Steve has
    been sprinkling throughout the locker room,” harrumphed right guard Chris Snee,
    the unofficial king of the weight room. “But it does look like he lifts some
    weights, as much as he parades around here with his shirt off.”

    A less skeptical assessment: “Oh, I can definitely see that,” guard Kevin
    Boothe said. “The dude’s an action figure. You look in (the weight room), and
    he’s doing pull-ups all day — it’s ridiculous. And he does it because he thinks
    it’s fun.”

    The job — lately, anyway — has been a blast, no pun intended. Weatherford
    finished in the middle of the league in most categories, but think about it:
    Other than Victor Cruz replacing Steve Smith, has there been a more important
    Giants upgrade than Weatherford on special teams?

    If you’re unsure, think back to the image of Coughlin excoriating Matt Dodge
    as their 2010 playoff hopes went up in flames against Philly.

    Unlike his predecessor, Weatherford can drive it out of bounds when he needs
    to. He likens his craft to golf: He has a long-range game and a short-range
    game, “and even though I’m a terrible golfer, I have several clubs in my bag — I
    can hit it short and high like a 9-iron, or use a driver and hit it high and
    far. And like golf, if you’re off by a millimeter in your mechanics, you can
    look really dumb.”

    What number does he look at? Not coffin corners or fair catches or hang-time

    “Net punt,” he said. “If you hit it 60 and it’s returned 40, it’s like
    hitting a 20-yarder for a fair catch, and that doesn’t do us any good. So if I
    hit a 45-yarder that goes out of bounds, it’s like hitting it 70 and getting it
    returned 25, except there’s no chance for him to score.

    “Tom Coughlin likes that, for the simple fact that if executed correctly it’s
    a facet of a game that he doesn’t have to worry about.”

    It also saves him from the trouble of learning his punter’s name."


    Excerpt: "
    Osi Umenyiora was asked what’s the fastest he’s ever gotten to the
    quarterback. He took a breath, as if it would take him a while to recall. In 1.2
    seconds, he provided the answer.

    “1.7 seconds,” the Giants’ defensive
    end said. “San Francisco, 2007. Quickest I’ve ever been there. I was unblocked,

    If only it were that easy for the Giants’ defensive linemen this Sunday in
    Green Bay against Aaron Rodgers. Maybe if they were all unblocked, they’d
    consider it to finally be a fair fight against one of the quickest releases in
    the NFL.

    But that surely won’t be the case as the Packers try to neutralize the
    Giants’ best defensive weapon — their pass rush — by making sure Rodgers’ hand
    is empty by the time a blue helmet gets near him.

    The Giants’ pass rushers like to say it’s a “race to the quarterback” to get
    there before one of their teammates. This weekend, they won’t care which of them
    gets there first, as long as they do it while Rodgers is still holding the

    “We have some things that we’re trying to do on the back end to kind of get
    him to hold the ball a little bit longer, but the pressure is on our D-line,”
    Justin Tuck said. “Even when you can’t get to him, just to let him feel you,
    make sure you’re around him, maybe some batted passes. Things like that.”

    The last time the Giants faced the Packers, they did a decent job of forcing
    Rodgers to hold the ball at times. His average release from snap to delivery was
    3.0 seconds.

    But minus play-action passes, which take more time to develop, that number
    dips to 2.8. Eliminate a 5.6-second scramble on which Rodgers took his time
    because the Giants’ three-man rush didn’t hurry him at all — the end result was
    a 7-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver in the right side of the end zone — and
    the average dips to 2.7 seconds.

    Of the Giants’ 50 sacks in the regular season and playoffs, only 19 came in
    2.7 seconds or less. So their internal clocks tell them they have to get to
    Rodgers very quickly.

    Even if they try not to act like it.

    “You can’t think like that because you try to execute your moves quicker and
    it doesn’t work,” Umenyiora said. “I mean, it’s frustrating to see how quickly
    he gets rid of the ball at times but we have to know he’s not going to do that
    every time. At times, he’s going to hold the ball. And when he does, we’re going
    to have to get there.”


    Excerpt: "
    The Giants’ brand of football was
    left for dead. No longer were they able to run the ball with the same bravado,
    the same physicality that had become synonymous with the Tom Coughlin era.
    Consequently, they finished last in the NFL in rushing and relied heavily on the

    It reached the point that the offense was simply looking to avoid negative
    run plays. Expectations were lowered and egos were held in check.

    That was until last Sunday.

    In their 24-2 rout of the Falcons, the Giants mercilessly wore down the
    stingy Atlanta defense in the second half, jamming the run down their throats to
    the tune of a season-high 172 rushing yards.

    Just like that, Giants Football seems to be back — and it couldn’t have come
    at a better time as they head to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers’
    explosive offense Sunday.

    Yes, offense.

    It’s simple logic: The less time an offense has on the field, the fewer
    opportunities it has to score. And against an offense as potent as the Packers’,
    simply keeping it off the field — no matter how well the Giants defense is
    playing — may be the most effective method to limit it from scoring.

    What isn’t as elementary is figuring out how to execute that. Popular notion
    says an effective run game is the key to ball control, and such may be the case,
    but the Giants will look to control the ball it however they can against a
    Packers defense ranked last in the NFL this season.

    “That’s an objective that we always have and the key is how do you get that
    done? That’s the thing,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “The
    conventional wisdom, to be honest, was quite superficial and probably doesn’t
    hold much water — you run the ball. What you have to do is hold onto the ball
    and the only way you hold onto the ball, whether you’re running or passing, is
    to get first downs.”


    "The predicted high for Green Bay, Wisc., on Sunday is 27 degrees. The
    predicted low is 23. But regardless of the weather forecast, the Giants' receivers have already made a pact
    not to wear sleeves under their uniforms.

    "Hakeem started it after the Washington game, because he felt like we came
    out and we played a little tentative because we were worried about the cold and
    stuff like that," Victor Cruz said. "So we’ll come out no sleeves, and just
    mentally be ready to go."

    The Giants receiving corps didn't have its best game that day against
    Washington Redskins. Wearing sleeves with a game-time temperature of 29, and a
    wind-chill factor of 20, Nicks had a pair of drops while quarterback Eli Manning
    had his fifth-lowest passing yardage total of the season and the Giants scored
    just 10 points in the loss.

    "As a corps, we just came out and we were too worried about the cold, and
    worried about what we were going to wear and be warm out there," Cruz said. "As
    opposed to just focusing on what the task was at hand. And it kind of stopped
    our progress a little bit on the offensive end."

    Cruz said sleeves don't impede receivers catching the ball, because they are
    taught to make catches with their hands. It is more of a mindset, he said. They
    fared well without sleeves in their streak of three straight wins against the
    Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.

    The game-time temperature of 48 against Dallas in the season-finale dropped
    into the night, and there was rain. Cruz caught six passes for 178 yards and a
    touchdown as the Giants clinched the NFC East.

    "We went no sleeves that game," he said, "and as you can see, we did pretty


    Excerpt: "
    The big man’s face scrunched up and his lips pursed when he heard the latest
    round of smack talk flung at the Green Bay Packers’ defense.

    B.J. Raji knows they’re last in the NFL in total defense and that they’re
    just a shade better than the 2006 Indianapolis Colts, the worst defense to win a
    Super Bowl.

    But anyway ...

    The Giants’ receiving corps said
    statistically you guys aren’t that good ...

    “I’m from that side of the country, so the talking is never too much,” Raji
    said. “Their receivers are great ... but I don’t think any of their tight ends
    are in a position to say too much, they’re not their best players at that

    How physical are the Giants. Is that one of the toughest offenses you’ll

    “I mean, I played them once this year and once last year. I can only judge by
    my vantage point up front, not necessarily the most physical — their backs are
    pretty physical, but not the toughest O-line,” Raji said. “Not saying their
    soft, but not the toughest group I’ve been against.”

    Leave it to Raji, a 6-2, 337-pound nose tackle who grew up in Washington
    Township and starred at Westwood Regional High, to give it right back. But when
    it comes to Sunday’s NFC divisional round game against the Giants, he’s poised
    to lead the defensive line that has the power to shake up an opponent that’s
    been riding high for three weeks straight."


    Excerpt: "
    Every running back wants every carry. It's a point of pride to be the
    featured back. But as NFL teams continue to rely on a couple -- or more --
    running backs to burden the load, carries are spread more often than in the

    Such was the case with the Giants this season and now they are reaping the

    A season after carrying the ball 147 times, Brandon Jacobs had just five more
    carries this season and said he feels the best he's ever had this late in a

    "Oh, no question," Jacobs said when asked if this was the best he's felt. "I
    feel really good. And I don’t know the reason for that, but I feel good."

    It was apparent in the Giants' 24-2 win Sunday against the Falcons, in which
    he and Ahmad Bradshaw each had 14 carries and the Giants wore down a smaller
    Atlanta defense. Not only did Jacobs run with his typical downhill style, but he
    was able to use some speed to get to the outside on a couple runs, including a
    34-yard scamper, on his way to game-high 92 rushing yards." Read more...


    Excerpt: "One of the reasons the Giants’ players
    are confident they’re a different defense heading into this matchup against the
    Packers is
    the presence of Osi Umenyiora
    , who missed the first meeting with a
    high-ankle sprain.

    Though Umenyiora appreciates the sentiment but says the improved play of the
    defense of late is about more than him.

    “No, definitely not,” the Giants’ defensive end said today after practice.
    “We’re playing a lot better. I don’t know why but it seems everything’s coming
    together. On the back end we’re playing better, up front we’re playing better.
    The calls are coming in better. We seem to be playing a lot better than we were

    Umenyiora agrees his return would be a “logical” explanation but sees more to
    it. Since he returned the defense has eight sacks in two games. (Two of the
    sacks were his.)

    “As a defense, on the defensive line, we were playing well when I wasn’t
    there. I can’t attribute that success to me,” he said. “I feel for some reason
    everything is just coming together at the right time.”

    Umenyiora laughed when asked if he feels like his old self.

    "I never left, man, I never did. I was just hurt," he said. "Everybody likes
    to forget things but I don’t forget."

    * * * *

    Umenyiora was one of a few players to say today’s practice was a good

    “It was sharp,” he said. “The last couple of weeks we’ve had good practices.
    Today has been no exception and hopefully we finish it off strong tomorrow.”

    Tom Coughlin liked the energy level. So did linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.

    “The confidence level’s obviously high. The energy’s been there and the
    intensity,” he said. “Today was one of our best practices of the year. You had
    everybody flying around. Everybody who could be out there was out there. We’re
    getting ready to go.”


    Excerpt: "With snow blanketing the Green Bay area for the first significant accumulation
    of the winter, the Packers decided to stay indoors instead of practicing outside
    in the elements.

    Head coach Mike McCarthy said they managed to drop the temperature in their
    facility to a brisk 30 degrees — seven degrees warmer than the projected low for
    Sunday — and built up a sturdy wind from the exhaust fans.

    He said staying indoors was not because the outdoor field was not ready in
    time. They kept the doors open to the practice facility, allowing some of the
    snow and periphery winds to blow in and keep the temperature down.

    “(The field) could have been (ready), but the report coming out to practice
    was 25 mph gusts of wind and we’re expecting 6-8 mph winds on Sunday,” McCarthy
    said. “So we made the decision based on the weather.”

    Some Packers, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, said that they’d hoped for
    the cold weather and possible snowfall (there’s a meager 10 percent chance of
    precipitation on Sunday). McCarthy said that there was an increased focus in
    practice on handling the football in such temperatures.

    “It’s more of a challenge,” McCarthy said. “The ball takes on a different
    texture and I think it’s really important that the quarterbacks, in particular,
    (know) how they handle it.”

    And although there’s up to 8 inches expected to fall by tonight, the field
    should be spotless for Sunday.

    As is tradition, the team will recruit fans to shovel out the stadium and
    stands for $10 per hour throughout the day.

    Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was not at practice today.
    The funeral for his
    son Michael, who drowned
    an hour south of Green Bay in the Fox River Sunday
    morning, is at 2 p.m. Friday."


    Excerpt: "B.J. Raji believes that the Giants physicality stems from the players in the
    backfield -- namely Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw -- and doesn't have much
    to do with the five guys blocking for them.

    "I mean, I played them once this year and once last year. I can only judge by
    my vantage point up front, not necessarily the most physical -- their backs are
    pretty physical, but not the toughest o-line," Raji said. "Not saying they're
    soft, but not the toughest group I've been against.

    He felt the same way about the Giants tight ends, who "aren't in any position
    to say too much. They're not the best players at their position that we've

    "The backs are pretty tough," he said. "When Brandon is running, and Ahmad is
    always tough. When Brandon is running like Brandon, he's very tough to tackle."

    Raji, who was raised in Washington Twp. in Bergen County, said that Jacobs'
    size is such an anomaly that it requires a second look. Their defensive line,
    who regularly watches film on their off days at the facility together (Tuesday)
    had a cut-up video of Jacobs and Bradshaw from the last three weeks.

    And though Raji has high praise, he does not expect Jacobs to come in and run
    someone over, like he did
    against Charles Woodson
    a few years back.

    But he does expect Jacobs to be confident in doing so.

    "It's a new team, I don't anticipate that happening," he said. "But, I'm sure
    he's going to come out here very confident and being hopeful, but that's why we
    play defense. It's our job to do our job."

    Getting after Jacobs will be the key to slowing down that physicality,
    Packers tackle Howard Green said."


    Excerpt: "
    3:05 UPDATE -- S Deon Grant (quad), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), CB Aaron Ross
    (concussion), and DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) were limited in practice today.
    Tom Coughlin will address those injuries in his press conference shortly. Ware
    was also limited.

    The Giants are down to two non-participants at practice today.

    RB D.J. Ware (concussion) evidently has been cleared to practice and was
    participating in the portion of practice open to the media today. Ware sustained
    a concussion against
    the Falcons on Sunday
    when he tried to cut block defensive end John Abraham
    and was kneed in the head. He was woozy for several seconds afterward and was
    unable to keep his balance. He didn't return to the game.

    Ware has been solid as the Giants' third-down back in recent weeks, picking
    up blitzes and running the ball effectively when called on. If you remember, he
    scored the Giants' two-point conversion on a draw play that tied the game at 35
    against the Packers before Green Bay went on to win it with a field goal in 58
    seconds."


    Excerpt: "If you will be in the Green Bay area Friday morning, and have a winter hat,
    gloves jacket and the masochistic desire to shovel out an NFL stadium, the
    Packers are looking for your help.

    The are looking for up to 450 people Friday to help them shovel out Lambeau
    Field (which looked like this earlier
    ) as snowfall is blanketing the eastern edges of Wisconsin.

    Shovelers have been instructed, via
    a post on the Packers website
    , to show up at 10 a.m. at the Mills Fleet Farm
    Gate, located on the west side of Lambeau Field. Those interested must be at
    least 15 years old, the invitation stipulates, and will be paid $10 per hour
    once the job is completed.

    The Packers will supply the shovels."



    "Tom Coughlin and Bill Parcells are not
    best buddies, but there is no denying the Big Tuna’s influence when you examine
    Coughlin’s long and winding run with the Giants.

    Parcells, the greatest Giants coach of them all, won his first Super Bowl in
    his fourth season and his second Super Bowl in his eighth and final year. Who
    knows how many more he might have won for Big Blue if he had stayed around?

    Coughlin won a Super Bowl in his fourth season as the Giants’ head coach.
    He’s now trying to win another in his eighth season and would take a giant step
    toward that goal with a victory Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs
    against the defending champion Packers at Lambeau Field.

    Coughlin comes from the Parcells coaching tree, serving as Tuna’s wide
    receivers coach with the Giants from 1988 through 1990. If Parcells possessed
    the qualities that you would envision for the coach of the New York Football
    Giants, then there’s a lot of Parcells in Coughlin.

    “I just think he’s always been a very, very solid football guy,” Parcells
    told the Daily News this week. “Hard working, determined, competitive and he’s
    definitely his own guy as a head coach. I thought he had tremendous ability to
    lead when he was an assistant coach. I could tell when he organized our
    receivers. I thought he would have a chance to be a good head

    Although it seems like Parcells was around forever and that
    Coughlin has just gotten here, they have now coached the Giants for the same
    number of years. Coughlin is the oldest current head coach in the NFL at 65. All
    indications are he will surpass Parcells next year and become the second longest
    tenured coach in Giants history behind Steve Owen, who coached
    them from 1931-53.

    Just like Parcells was nearly fired by the Giants after he was 3-12-1 in 1983
    in his first season, Coughlin was nearly fired after the 2006 season. He changed
    his ways, lightened up with his players and won the Super Bowl the next

    When the Giants were in the midst of their annual second-half collapse this
    season, I felt Coughlin’s time with the team should be up if the Giants didn’t
    make the playoffs after their 6-2 start. It got as bad as 6-6 after a four-game
    losing streak, but then Coughlin saved his job and the Giants’ season by winning
    three of the last four.

    It was the third time the Giants have won the NFC East with Coughlin. They
    won it three times with Parcells, too.

    “When you’ve had a little slump like he had it, it’s tough to dig out,”
    Parcells said. “You’re just on a week-to-week basis. One bad outing or one bad
    play and you’re going home. It’s very hard to hold a team in there. He did it,
    to his credit.”

    The players showed their respect for Coughlin by not quitting on him. They
    might not have given maximum effort after the game got out of control in New
    Orleans, but they came back the next week and fought hard in the 38-35 loss to
    the Packers.

    That game might have been the turning point in the season. Even though the
    Giants lost on a field goal on the final play, the game gave them confidence
    going into the next week in Dallas, where they overcame a 12-point deficit in
    the final minutes.

    There are 15 players remaining from the 2007 team that went into Green Bay
    and beat the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. That means the Giants will
    not be overcome by the mystique of Lambeau.

    The lasting impression is not only Brett Favre’s overtime
    interception to Corey Webster, but
    the bright red frozen cheeks of Coughlin. He toughed it out in the sub-zero
    temperatures, setting the tone for his team.

    They rallied around Coughlin, just like the old Giants did for Parcells. He
    and Coughlin speak about once a year. “He will write me a note. We get along
    fine,” Parcells said. “He would regard me as a friend. We’ve never had any
    difference of opinion. I like him. He’s just not outgoing. He keeps to

    So is he a Parcells guy?

    “He’s his own guy. He’s had his own coaching career,” Parcells said.
    “Philosophically, I don’t think there’s a lot of difference.”

    The Jersey guy coached three teams after he left the Giants and then ran the
    Dolphins for a few years, but he’s still a Giant at heart. “I would think so. I
    grew up there. That’s the team I watched when I was young,” Parcells said. “I
    root for them.”
    Can they beat the Packers?

    “Sure, c’mon,” he said. “They are going to have to play pretty good on
    defense and get after the quarterback. It’s the same stuff. You can’t give up
    big plays. Take advantage of the opportunities you get. Time of possession is
    important for the Giants. Do I think they got a shot? It was 38-35 the last
    time. They got a shot.”

    It doesn’t surprise Parcells that Coughlin has lasted this long with the
    Giants. I asked Parcells if Coughlin is an old-school coach like he was. “I
    think Tom is pretty open-minded,” he said. “There’s certain things he believes
    in like all of us. Tom, (Sean) Payton, (Bill) Belichick, they’re about the same
    guys. It just shows up different. They think the same way.”

    They all earned a Master’s Degree from the Parcells Graduate School; they’re
    all in the playoffs this week and they’ve all won it all in the past. But now
    Coughlin is trying to win his second for the Giants, just like Parcells, the
    greatest Giants coach of them all."


    Eli Manning has it much
    easier than Aaron

    Where the Giants have looked to turn short completions into
    big plays lately, the bomb will be back this week for Big Blue. Green Bay’s
    secondary can be beaten for big plays down the field. In the December game
    between these teams, Manning tested the Packers from the first possession, when
    he hit little-used TE Travis Beckum for
    a 67-yard strike on the third play of the game.


    Defensive coordinator Dom Capers is a 3-4 guy,
    but he lacks the personnel in the secondary to get the most out of what was a
    more aggressive defense when the Pack won the Super Bowl and the secondary was
    considered among the best in the game. While Capers still has the courage to
    play a lot of man coverage on the corners, his safeties have continually vacated
    the middle, leaving QBs with easy throws to single-covered WRs down the seams.
    The Packers’ D seems always to be looking to make the big play, but their
    gambling exposes them. Manning’s pump fakes will be big weapons in his

    Of course, all that gambling does eventually hit a jackpot. The
    Packers led the league with 31 interceptions, averaging almost two per game,
    including one of Manning that Clay Matthews
    returned for six points when Manning was under pressure from a blitz.

    QB can’t lose sight of the linebackers, or even a guy like nose tackle B.J.
    dropping into coverage, because Capers loves to zone

    EDGE: Giants

    It’s amazing
    how the loss of one safety, Nick Collins, early in
    the season, could change everything about the Packers’ secondary. But it has.
    It’s not only that the secondary has been continually out of position but,
    without Collins as a security blanket Tramon Williams has
    gone from shutdown corner to pigeon.

    Some feel as though Williams has
    been trying to do too much. Combine some poor technique with, like the rest of
    the secondary, a compulsive gambling habit, and the same guy who came up with
    big plays in every playoff game last year has been giving them up, as he did
    against the Giants’ diet of post patterns in the first game.

    With a
    healthy Hakeem Nicks, Victor
    and Mario Manningham
    (also as good a blocking trio of WRs as there is), the Giants can attack the
    whole field. Cruz, who gets out of his cuts so sharply, has been in sync with
    Manning, while Nicks took advantage of the attention Cruz was getting from the
    Falcons last week to post a breakout game.

    The Packer DBs will have to
    tackle well, and when you think of that, you think of the veteran Charles Woodson. He
    may not be the standout he once was in man coverage, but he has a knack for
    knowing where to be. He is a big-game player and will be on Cruz, when the
    nickel package is on the field.

    That’s an optimum situation for the
    Giants, who would rather see Woodson isolated wide on a receiver.


    The Giants have their two
    big backs, Brandon Jacobs and
    Ahmad Bradshaw,
    running downhill with power. If the Giants can continue to set that kind of
    physical tone against the league’s next-to-worst run defense on Sunday, then
    Rodgers will be on the bench and Manning, who is so masterfully adept at
    play-action, can start outmaneuvering those Packer DBs.

    In addition,
    Capers doesn’t blitz until the Packers begin stopping the run (he loves to send
    inside linebacker Desmond Bishop) so
    the domino effect can be huge.

    The Giants’ running game is varied and the
    blocking schemes are often built to leave the backs one-on-one with the poorest
    tackling DB. It’s going to be up to the Packers’ inside linebackers, Bishop and
    , to scrape and penetrate so that they get to the spot first and don’t
    allow Bradshaw and especially Jacobs, to get their shoulders squared and their
    legs churning. The Giants ran to the right a lot last Sunday, which is straight
    in the direction of Green Bay’s best big-play OLB, Clay Matthews.

    unclear whether Brad Jones or Erik
    will be thrown into what has been a revolving-door spot opposite
    Matthews at ROLB.

    One other thing the Giants will try to exploit is the
    weakness of Hawk and Bishop in pass coverage. The Giants might have to use
    Bradshaw as a third-down back with D.J. Ware questionable with a

    EDGE: Giants


    The Packers were 27th in sacks this year and never developed a
    counterpart to Matthews. Nevertheless, they have to feel they can get a few
    things done against RT Kareem McKenzie.
    Not only did Matthews give McKenzie trouble in the first game, including a
    strip/sack, but the once-formidable pass protector allowed early pressure from
    the Falcons’ John Abraham last week
    and blew his assignment on the James Sanders blitz
    that caused Atlanta’s safety.

    The Giants like to get their receivers into
    patterns. If they have to give McKenzie help, it will take away from their
    ability to islolate a receiver downfield.

    The real battle up front will
    be when the Giants run the ball against the Packers’ 3-4 formation. C David
    , who missed the first game between these teams in December, had been
    considered a weak link, but the Giants have been able to run a lot of power
    stuff inside lately. Against the Falcons’ 4-3 last week, the Giants’ athletic
    guards, Chris Snee and an
    increasingly impressive Kevin Boothe, were
    able to get out in front of the play, bringing back memories of the Giants’ 2008
    Super Bowl O-line. The Giants even dusted off the counter trey for a big gain by
    Jacobs last week. One key for the Packers is having Ryan Pickett back at
    DE. The Packers, who allowed 4.7 yards per carry over the season, were gouged by
    second-string personnel of the Bears and Chiefs.




    Let’s start with this: Aaron Rodgers completed 68.3% of his
    passes for 45 touchdowns with six INTs this season. Last year’s Super Bowl MVP
    knows how to raise his game. He has seen and beaten every sort of coverage, and
    against some good pressure. He can make every throw, running to his right or
    left, across his body, with people in his face, etc.

    The Giants’ defense
    has the ability to affect Rodgers’ performance better than any team he will face
    in the playoffs, but they played great defense against him in the first game,
    forced him to make good decisions in the pocket and he still put up 31 points
    and got the win.

    Perry Fewell’s defense
    will likely rely on a four-man rush, mixing in an aggressive defense, hoping to
    get to Rodgers before he can get to them. He will have to use his ability to get
    the ball out quickly, perhaps with a three-step drop, and beat the Giants either
    by scrambling or throwing on the run.

    The Giants are a little dinged up
    (CB Aaron
    , S Deon Grant) and not
    much depth in the secondary, so the chances will exist, at some point, for
    Rodgers to exploit one-on-one matchups. They also have a few questions that must
    be answered. Can rookie DB Prince
    hold up? Can the Giants get away with their big nickel package,
    which will place a safety on a wide receiver?

    We know the Giants aren’t
    going to be scared going to Lambeau Field, but it will come down to whether the
    man pulling the trigger can play his game.


    Remember the
    early going of last year’s Giants-Packers regular-season game at Lambeau Field?
    The Packers sent fullback John Kuhn at the
    middle of the Giants’ defense and set a physical tone from the first

    That doesn’t mean Mike McCarthy will
    start grinding it out, but the run is more than just an afterthought in his

    He’s going to use it to try to slow down the Giants’ pass rush,
    give Rodgers the ability to use play-action, and on short yardage and on the
    goal line.

    In December, the Giants knifed through the line of scrimmage
    to stop five running plays for losses but even then, McCarthy didn’t abandon the
    run completely.

    The Giants linebackers weren’t all that stout against the
    run early this year. But the play of the defensive line has stopped rushers in
    their tracks recently, and the return of LB Chase Blackburn
    has brought back something of a lunch-pail mentality to the entire group,
    playing next to team leader Michael

    The Packers averaged around 97 yards a game on the ground with
    Ryan Grant
    and James Starks splitting
    the carries Starks is returning from an ankle injury.

    Grant got on a bit
    of a roll in Starks’ absence, but Starks was a key player in the Pack’s Super
    Bowl run last year, leading all rushers with 315 yards in the playoffs. In Brandon Saine, they
    have a third-down back with excellent hands.


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

  • #2

    Thanks RF, my one stop source for all News NYG!


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

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


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

        [quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks RF, my one stop source for all News NYG![/quote]

        [B] I'm thinking 42 - 28 GIANTS
        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

          [quote user="GameTime"]thank you Sir.....[/quote]

          [Y] ALL IN!
          “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: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

            [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]thank you Sir.....[/quote]

            [Y] ALL IN!

            is there any other way to be?....

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


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

              [quote user="GameTime"]

              [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]thank you Sir.....[/quote]

              [Y] ALL IN!

              is there any other way to be?....


              Not now, not this team.
              “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

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

                [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]thank you Sir.....[/quote]

                [Y] ALL IN!

                is there any other way to be?....


                Not now, not this team.

                not US fans either...!!!!!

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


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

                  [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks RF, my one stop source for all News NYG![/quote]

                  [B]* I'm thinking 42 - 28 GIANTS*
                  [/quote]We have to do it!! I like your numbers.

                  Here we go Giants, here we go--BIG BLUE!!
                  Here we go Giants, here we go--BIG BLUE!!


                  • #10
                    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

                    many thanks Roanoke! [B]

                    feel even better today bout the G-Men!

                    expect Fewell to have a suffocating defense for the Pack!

                    Go Giants!



                    • #11
                      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

                      A very pleasant read. Thank you. We can do this!!


                      • #12
                        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

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

                        [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]thank you Sir.....[/quote]

                        [Y] ALL IN!

                        is there any other way to be?....


                        Not now, not this team.

                        not US fans either...!!!!!


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


                        • #13
                          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 10:05 A.M.

                          [quote user="ashleymarie"]A very pleasant read. Thank you. We can do this!![/quote]

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


                          • #14
                            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 3:15 P.M.

                            Thanks RF !
                            " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.


                            • #15
                              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012 - 3:15 P.M.

                              [quote user="G-Men Surg."]Thanks RF ![/quote]

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