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    NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 4:15 P.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

    THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER.

    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    COWBOYS HOPE TO CONFUSE ELI MANNING ON SUNDAY, SAYS ROB RYAN

    "Few defenses have been able to befuddle Giants quarterback Eli Manning this season.
    The quarterback is fourth in the NFL in passing yards (3,705), fifth in
    touchdowns (23) and sixth in passer rating (96.0), which adds up to arguably the
    best season of his eight-year career.


    Rob Ryan, the outspoken Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, told reporters
    in Dallas that his defense’s goal is to confuse quarterbacks and “make them play
    left-handed.”




    And he thinks Dallas is going to be able to do that against Manning on Sunday
    night. Exactly how remains a question.




    “We’re going to find out Sunday night because we’re going to do it,” Ryan
    said.



    Whether Ryan will have linebacker and sackmaster DeMarcus
    Ware to aid in Manning’s befuddlement is up in the air.




    Ware, the NFL’s sack leader with 15, is still dealing with the effects of a
    stinger he suffered in the Cowboys’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday
    and was limited in practice today."

    GIANTS-COWBOYS GAME PREVIEW: A LOOK AHEAD TO SUNDAY'S HUGE NFC EAST BATTLE

    "This is going to be a bit redundant if you read Sunday's Giants gameday package. I did the gameday
    this week because Jorge is handling the Sunday story. Be on the lookout for
    that, by the way, because it should be a doozy.


    Anyway, as I was saying, I wrote a lot about Sunday's game already because
    our breakdowns are as comprehensive as they get. Still, I couldn't just skip the
    blog preview because I know we need a spot for all of your predictions.



    So here goes.




    * * * *




    SUNDAY'S GAME: at Cowboys, Cowboys Stadium, 8:20 p.m.,
    NBC




    PLAYERS TO WATCH




    Offense: We spent a lot of time the other day breaking down
    what David Diehl has meant to the Giants in his return to left
    tackle and about his
    reunion with his old nemesis
    in Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware.
    And rightfully so, because that should be a good matchup.




    But I realized after that story ran we probably overlooked RT Kareem
    McKenzie
    a bit.




    You see, Ware doesn't just line up on the right side of the Cowboys' defense
    (i.e. the left side of the Giants' line). He bounces all over the place and
    often attacks an opponent's right tackle. That would be McKenzie.




    Given the way McKenzie struggled last week against Packers LB Clay Matthews
    (by my count, he had three pressures and the sack/forced fumble against McKenzie
    while also getting around him for a near-safety), one would have to think the
    Cowboys would send Ware to that side often on Sunday. Look to see how the Giants
    are able - or unable - to block that up.




    Defense: In the interest of writing something that won't
    overlap with Sunday's breakdown, how about we take a look at what the Giants
    worked on in practice after it popped up as a trouble spot against Green
    Bay?




    It was their Cover-2 defense in the red zone, which was an issue when Packers
    WR Donald Driver had an uncontested touchdown after S Antrel
    Rolle
    didn't slide over to help and CB Corey Webster
    didn't sink far enough. As I broke
    down in my game review
    , what the Packers did was run the outside receiver
    (Jordy Nelson) on a short in cut. At that point, Webster should've released
    Nelson to CB Aaron Ross, who had the short zone near the hash,
    and dropped to help with Driver running the corner route behind him. The
    communication broke down between Webster and Rolle, who was back deep because
    Kenny Phillips had just left with a knee injury.




    This week, the Giants worked on those two-receiver combos and on how they
    would pass off, or stay with, receivers. Look to see if the Cowboys try to run
    the same combo the Packers ran. But also realize Dallas knows the Giants will
    adjust, so look for a different wrinkle thrown in there. What might that be?
    Well, my guess would be what's called (among other things) a "pivot" or "bounce"
    route by the outside receiver. That receiver might start running the in cut and
    then pivot or bounce (hence the names of the route) back to the outside.




    A route like that, which the Giants often run down near the goal line (think
    the interception
    against the Seahawks
    ) might take advantage of Webster's seeing the in cut
    and then dropping to cover the corner route, thus vacating the short zone. Look
    for Miles Austin or Laurent Robinson to be the
    WRs that run it, too.




    Then again, the Giants are probably anticipating such adjustments as well.
    It's a chess match, this game of football. And that's why we love it.




    THE LINE: Cowboys by 3½. Over-under 49.




    ONE MORE THING: Watch out for Cowboys KR Felix
    Jones
    . He had a 69-yarder against the Cardinals and nearly took it the
    distance."

    GIANTS RULE OSI UMENYIORA AND DAVID BAAS OUT FOR SUNDAY'S GAME AGAINST THE COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "3:41 p.m. UPDATED with the Cowboys' questionably listing five as
    questionable.



    Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and
    center David Baas have been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Cowboys, as
    expected, after a week in which they didn't practice.




    Umenyiora will miss his second straight game with a high-ankle sprain
    suffered against the Saints. Baas will also miss a second game with headaches
    that popped up shortly before Sunday's game against the Packers. Tom Coughlin
    has yet to give a detailed account of Baas' injury.




    Also ruled out were rookie linebackers Mark Herzlich (ankle) and Spencer
    Paysinger (hamstring).




    Meanwhile, safety Kenny Phillips (knee) is listed as doubtful. He
    ran on the side today
    but that's not enough to give him a decent shot to
    play on Sunday. Expect him to be downgraded to out on Saturday because he's
    unlikely to travel to Texas. Rookie Tyler Sash will probably see increased time
    in Phillips' absence, though Sash likely won't start. Deon Grant and Antrel
    Rolle will be the top two safeties.




    The Giants listed several key players as probable: running backs Ahmad
    Bradshaw (foot) and Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), linebacker Michael Boley
    (hamstring), wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee), defensive end Dave Tollefson
    (knee) and cornerback Prince Amukamara." Read more...

    GIANTS' MICHAEL BOLEY, AHMAD BRADSHAW, AND BRANDON JACOBS RETURN TO PRACTICE

    "1:49 p.m. UPDATE There I go talking out of turn again. Boley, Bradshaw
    and Jacobs are all listed as probable after working in a limited capacity
    today.



    Tom Coughlin was expecting Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs back to practice
    today. He was correct.




    Coughlin was hopeful Michael Boley would be back as well. His wishes were
    realized.




    All three players are practicing today as the team gets in its final full
    workout before Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Don't be surprised if all
    three are designated as questionable on the official injury report.




    Elsewhere, safety Kenny Phillips (knee) continues to run on the side. He
    believed he had a shot to play as of Thursday but it would seem he's more likely
    to sit out.




    Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) is still out of action and not
    expected to play. Same with center David Baas (head/neck), who wasn't on the
    practice field at all.




    Wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee) continues to practice and should be
    able to play. Same with defensive end Dave Tollefson (knee).




    Linebackers Mark Herzlich (ankle) and Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) remain
    out."



    **

    FOR GIANTS, KENNY PHILLIPS' INJURY COULD CAUSE PERRY FEWELL TO JUGGLE EVEN MORE ON DEFENSE

    Excerpt: "There were times last year when the Giants’ coaches didn’t know what their
    defensive backs were doing. And that was a good thing.


    “I’d look at ‘Trel’ (Antrel Rolle), I’d look at Kenny (Phillips) and before
    you know, we played our own coverage,” safety Deon Grant said Thursday. “The
    coaches would tell us, ‘Y’all fooled me. I didn’t know what coverage you were
    in.’

    “They just knew it worked.”




    Now the Giants’ defense isn’t fooling anybody, especially their
    opponents.




    One year after Perry Fewell was talking about not crying “over spilled milk”
    in regard to what the loss of Mathias Kiwanuka did to his defense, the Giants’
    defensive coordinator is trying not to focus on what injuries have done, and
    continue to do, to the looks he’s giving on in his back seven.




    Dating back to the loss of Bruce Johnson (Achilles) and Terrell Thomas (knee)
    in the preseason, the Giants have been missing a handful of cover players for at
    least a few weeks. Well, to be exact, they’ve lost …




    “Six corners and three ’backers,” Fewell said with a laugh.




    Yeah, that’s about right. While they all haven’t been lost for the season —
    Prince Amukamara is finally back in action, while Michael Boley is working his
    way back from a hamstring issue that kept him out of two games — the continuity
    has been affected.




    With Phillips’
    sprained knee threatening
    to knock him out of action Sunday against the
    Dallas Cowboys, Fewell and the Giants might be limited further in what they can
    put out there.




    “It definitely disrupts your continuity,” Fewell said. “We’ve covered this
    and we’ve covered this, but we have to go back and do that. You don’t expand as
    much as you’d like to and you try to make sure you’re fundamentally sound in
    what you do.”




    In some ways, Fewell has had to scale back.




    Last season, he ran an effective blitz in which a defender tied up a blocker,
    another one followed behind him and a third looped around from the other side.
    It was designed for the third player through to come free.




    Grant was sometimes that third player, and he laughed last year while
    agreeing, on paper, a blitz like that would seemingly take too long to get home
    in the NFL. But it often did, thanks to good coverage on the back end.




    This year, that blitz has been called only a handful of times. Its only
    appearance in recent weeks was against the Philadelphia Eagles — and it didn’t
    work.




    “Not taking anything away from guys still playing because he (Fewell) still
    calls an aggressive game,” Grant said, “but he’s definitely limited as far as
    what he can call.”




    Said Phillips: “The offense knows they can’t do this, they can’t line up in
    this. It’s a challenge for him but I think we’re doing a pretty good job. … It’s
    a trust thing. We have to show him.” Read more...

    GIANTS' PERRY FEWELL HOPES HIS RANT PAYS OFF THIS SEASON

    Excerpt: "Perry Fewell isn’t known for fiery rants and calling out players. If
    anything, he has the perception around the league of being a players coach. So
    it came as a surprise when in his weekly Thursday session with reporters before
    last Sunday’s game against the Green Packers, the Giants defensive coordinator blasted
    his defense
    for “pulling out” of plays and declaring that his defense was
    going to “get after (quarterback Aaron Rodgers’) butt.”


    The Giants' defense didn’t get after Rodgers’ behind enough as they allowed
    the Packers offense to score 38 points and go 61 yards in 58 seconds to set up
    the winning field goal as time expired, but Fewell isn’t regretting his comments
    — at least completely.




    “I just spoke from the heart,” Fewell said. “I didn’t try to demean our
    players or I didn’t try to demean anything about what we do or how we do it. I
    just tried to tell the truth, but I probably shouldn’t have said some things I
    said, but I just spoke from the heart.”




    Fewell, like coach Tom Coughlin and players have said, was pleased with the
    defense’s energy after being blown out in New Orleans. But the renewed intensity
    didn’t alleviate the sting of the team’s fourth consecutive loss.




    “We wanted the ‘W,’?” Fewell said. “We didn’t finish it. If we would have
    gotten the ‘W’ and finished it, obviously we would have been pleased. But I
    think we proved to ourselves that we can play hard for 60 minutes.”




    Fewell anticipates that to be the case Sunday night in what is so far the
    Giants’ most important game of the season.



    “I’m confident that it will make it to Dallas,” he said. “This is a big,
    important game for us. I think the players know that. We know that as a coaching
    staff we’re in a position to do some things that we like to do. I think the
    passion and the fire will be there.” Read more...

    GIANTS' SAFETY KENNY PHILLIPS SAYS CARTILAGE IN HIS KNEE "HAS IMPROVED EVEN MORE"

    Excerpt: "There was an upside to Kenny Phillips’ knee injury this week.


    Seriously.




    The Giants’ safety underwent an MRI to
    gauge the severity of a sprained medial collateral ligament suffered on Sunday
    against the Green Bay Packers and determine whether he had a shot to play this
    coming weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.




    While looking at the MCL – and the anterior cruciate ligament, which remained
    intact – Phillips saw the cartilage inside his kneecap, which had been repaired
    during microfracture
    surgery in 2009
    .




    And he liked what he saw.




    “It was a great look,” Phillips said with a grin. “I got a sneak peek at it
    and it looked real good. It improved even more. So that was a real good thing to
    see.”




    But back to the issue at hand. Phillips did some jogging and backpedaling
    outside today while his teammates practiced inside. He thinks he’ll do some more
    work on Friday but it doesn’t sound like he’ll practice." Read more...

    GIANTS' BRANDON JACOBS SAYS COWBOYS ARE AFRAID OF HIM

    "The chatter between the Giants and
    Dallas Cowboys leading up to their crucial meeting Sunday night continued
    Thursday, with some strikes from the Giants' end.


    Wednesday, it was the Cowboys’
    star linebacker DeMarcus Ware
    and cornerback Mike Jenkins going after two
    outspoken Cowboy haters: Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs.




    In response to Tuck calling Cowboys Stadium “a dump,” Ware said Tuck simply
    wishes he was a Cowboy like everyone else.




    Tuck doesn’t see himself in a Cowboy uniform – football or not.




    “Me wanting to be a Cowboy?” he asked himself. “Hmm, well I don’t wear
    Wranglers, I don’t wear cowboy hats or boots or those belts that – what do you
    call those? – yeah, the buckle belts. I don’t wear none of that. And I don’t
    need a star on my helmet to tell me I’m pretty good at what I do…I plan on
    retiring as a Giant.”




    Tuck said he doesn’t even recall calling the new Cowboys Stadium “a dump,”
    but he may have.




    “I’ll tell you what, if y’all find it, I’ll live up to it,” he said. “But I
    don’t remember it. Although if you want me to say it, I can say the stadium
    before this stadium they built was pretty…”




    He didn’t come up with an adjective, but you get the picture.

    On the other side of the locker room, Jacobs faced questions about Jenkins
    calling him a bully. Jacobs wasn’t phased – if anything, it was a compliment for
    the 6-foot-4, 260-pound bruiser.


    “I am a bully,” asserted, Jacobs, who for his part called Cowboys Stadium a
    beautiful palace. “They can call me what they want. I think people who call out
    bullies are afraid of bullies.”




    Does that mean he thinks the Cowboys are afraid of him?




    “If you call me a bully, that’s how I see it,” Jacobs said. “They’re just
    sitting back, waiting for us to come there and I think we’re going in there
    ready to play football.




    “If you go in there and bring it to them and keep bringing it to them all
    game long, somebody’s going to break, somebody’s going to break. Either the
    person who’s bringing it is going to be tired of bringing it or they’re going to
    get tired of trying to stop the person bringing it and they’re going to stop.
    Whoever wants it bad enough.”

    NY DAILY NEWS

    DC PERRY FEWELL EXPECTS SAME INTENSITY FROM GIANTS; DEFENSE ON SUNDAY

    Excerpt: "
    Perry Fewell did not
    like everything he saw on the videotape of Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the
    Green Bay Packers, but the Giants defensive coordinator saw enough to cool his
    fiery temper.



    One week after he ripped his team for failing to maintain its intensity in
    Week 13’s blowout loss to the Saints, a kinder, gentler Fewell spoke about the
    Giants defense on Thursday. He had seen an improved effort against the Packers,
    he said, and he is “confident” that he’ll see the same thing in this Sunday’s
    visit to Dallas.




    “I thought we played with more energy,” Fewell said. “We played with greater
    purpose last week. We look for them to play like that every week.”




    Fewell said the team “proved to ourselves that we can play a full 60
    minutes,” but he still needs his unit to play even better over the final quarter
    of the season. The Giants have been bruised and battered, defensive end Justin
    Tuck
    has been a shadow of his 2010 self and rookies and free agents have
    been tossed into key roles.




    All that has left little margin for error. Against the Packers, the Giants
    harassed QB Aaron Rodgers and
    held Green Bay to 3.2 yards per carry. Yet that same unit lost the game.
    Veterans Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster also
    miscommunicated in the second quarter — shortly after safety Kenny
    Phillips
    suffered a knee injury — allowing an uncontested 13-yard Donald Driver TD
    catch. Recently signed free agent Will Blackmon also
    gave up a big completion to Jordy Nelson to set up
    an easy game-winning field goal for Green Bay in the game’s final seconds.




    Tuck sees those plays and gets upset.




    “It makes me sick to my stomach,” he said of the Giants’ defensive
    woes." Read more...

    KENNY PHILLIPS HOPING TO PLAY FOR GIANTS SUNDAY NIGHT; WR MARIO MANNINGHAM GUARANTEES HE WILL PLAY

    "Kenny
    Phillips
    was initially told the sprained MCL in his left knee would take 2-3
    weeks to heal, but he’s still holding out some hope that he’ll be healed by
    Sunday night.



    The Giants’ safety thinks there’s a chance he’ll be able to play against the
    Dallas Cowboys, and even defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said, “We
    haven’t ruled Kenny out.” The doctors have told him “it’s depending on how you
    feel,” but so far he hasn’t felt good enough to practice the last two days.




    Phillips did get some good news about his left knee, though. The MRI he had
    after he suffered his injury Sunday night showed that his knee is better than
    expected after microfracture surgery two years ago. He said the MRI showed no
    swelling or fluid, and no damage other than the sprain.




    If Phillips can’t go, veteran Deon Grant will start in
    his place and rookie Tyler Sash would likely
    join the three-safety rotation.




    MARIO’S WORD
    WR Mario
    Manningham
    (knee) is again guaranteeing he’ll play on Sunday, although this
    time he means it. The injured receiver, who missed the game against the Packers,
    said, “I feel good, I feel ready to play” after two straight days of limited
    practice.




    “I’ll be out there,” he said. “I’m glad I can play.”




    Tom Coughlin added
    that Manningham “looks good, looks sharp, looks quick,” although he was eager to
    see how he’ll look and feel on Friday.




    READY TO GO
    Both RB Ahmad Bradshaw
    (foot) and RB Brandon Jacobs
    (hamstring) said they’re fine despite missing the last two days of practice.
    Both are expected to practice on Friday and both said they’ll play on Sunday. .
    . . DE Dave Tollefson
    returned to practice despite an injured right knee. “Unless you’re bleeding to
    death or something’s sticking out of your skin, get your (butt) back in there,”
    Tollefson said. “It’s go-time. So I’m fine.” . . . LB Michael Boley
    (hamstring) missed practice again, and Coughlin is hopeful he’ll practice on
    Friday. . . . LB Spencer
    Paysinger
    (hamstring) said he was held out of practice for “precautionary”
    reasons. . . . CB Prince
    Amukamara
    (back) was limited. . . . C David Baas (neck/intense
    headaches), LB Mark Herzlich
    (ankle) and DE Osi Umenyiora did
    not practice and will likely be ruled “out” on Friday. . . . For the Cowboys, LB
    DeMarcus Ware
    (neck) returned to practice and WR Miles Austin
    (hamstring) continued to practice. Both were limited on Thursday." Read more...


    NY POST

    GIANTS' RBS BRADSHAW AND JACOBS LISTED AS PROBABLE

    "Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) are listed as probable
    for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, with each Giants running back doing
    limited work in practice Friday.



    LB Michael Boley (hamstring) also did limited work in practice and is
    probable for the game.




    Boley, Bradshaw and Jacobs missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.




    WR Mario Manningham (swollen knee) is probable to return after missing two
    games, saying Friday, “I feel like I’m 100 [percent].”




    S Kenny Phillips (sprained MCL) is doubtful and almost certainly won’t play.
    C David Baas (headaches), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) and
    LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) are out.




    *




    OT Shawn Andrews, who learned last Saturday he had blood clots in his lungs,
    spoke about the episode. Andrews felt pain last week (coughing up blood in the
    shower last Friday) but resisted going to the hospital, shrugging it off and
    believing it was not anything severe.




    Finally, during a Giants meeting Saturday, the pain was overwhelming enough
    to send Andrews to the hospital, where he learned about the clots. Andrews said
    it could have been fatal if he did not seek attention.




    He now has to take injections for another two days, followed by further
    medication.




    “We’ll have an appointment scheduled within two to three months to see if
    they’re all gone,” Andrews said. “If not, take no more than six months and it
    should be gone.”




    Andrews said he can eventually play again.




    “No long-term impact at all,” he said. “I’m excited about
    that.”


    **


    TUCK IS "SICK TO STOMACH" GIANTS NOW BETTER ON O

    Excerpt: "There are names emblazoned up on high, circling the locker room where the
    Giants work each day, the Timex Performance Center, names of the greatest
    players in franchise history. Justin Tuck has glanced up at them many times.



    “This franchise, you look up at all these names in here, a lot of ’em are
    defensive guys,’’ Tuck said yesterday. “We’ve had some great defenses around
    here, my time here and obviously previous. This year, for whatever reason, our
    offense has been the superior unit. That’s not to say we haven’t had flashes on
    defense — we have. I think our offense has been the more consistent
    unit.’’

    The more consistent unit has at times been forced to carry a defense that is
    lagging far behind. This bothers Tuck.



    “It’s making me sick to my stomach,’’ Tuck admitted.




    There is plenty of evidence to explain why the Giants are bumping along at
    6-6, losers of four straight yet still readying for Sunday night’s first-place
    showdown with the Cowboys. The defensive problems top the list. Ninth in total
    offense and 29th in total defense? It’s a Giants world gone mad.




    If sanity doesn’t make the trip to Dallas the Giants can kiss their playoff
    hopes goodbye. Eli Manning’s offense is in high gear and no one will be
    surprised if he lights up the suspect Cowboys secondary for 28 points, or more.
    In the past, that was often more than enough, but in the present there are never
    enough points.




    “Everybody’s talking about how great we played against Green Bay, we still
    gave up 31 points,’’ Tuck said. “We got to build on at least the enthusiasm and
    the passion we showed.”




    What the Giants showed in the past two games is they could not stop the NFL’s
    offensive elite. In back-to-back losses to the Saints and Packers, the Giants’
    defense allowed 80 points — the official point total is 87, but one Packers
    touchdown came on a Clay Matthews interception return.




    In 23 defensive series in the two games, the Giants gave up 11 touchdowns
    (three rushing, eight passing), one field goal and 1,026 total yards. In the 23
    defensive series, the Giants managed to get off the field on three downs or
    fewer only twice, once on a three-and-out and another time on a second-down
    interception by Chase Blackburn.




    “It seems like we made the plays we’ve had to make and then given up plays
    that are just bonehead mistakes,’’ defensive end Dave Tollefson said. “That’s
    more frustrating than anything.




    “It’s just finding that rhythm. We really have had a hard time keeping
    constant pressure on offenses.” Read more...

    BIG BLUE DOWN WITH JPP

    "After all that has happened to the Giants, after all the injuries and all the
    soft, passionless, prideless, defense they played at the worst possible time,
    they assure us that they will show up Sunday night against the Cowboys as Big
    Blue Bullies.



    And so when Brandon Jacobs was informed Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins labeled him a bully, it was music to
    Jacobs’ ears.




    “I am a bully. ... I think people who call out bullies are afraid of
    bullies,” Jacobs said.




    If ever there was a time for the Giants to make the hated Cowboys fear them,
    to strip them once more of their manhood, it is now, with first-place and
    possibly the season on the line.

    “I’ll play Dallas out in the parking lot, man,” defensive end Dave Tollefson told The Post.
    “They love football in Texas, everything’s bigger in Texas, all that kinda
    stuff, but ... that place could be empty to me and it’s gonna be on like Donkey
    Kong,”



    There is nothing like a Brawl For It All with their backs against the Cowboy
    Stadium wall to awaken sleeping Giants.




    “The physicality that they bring to the game and we bring to the game. ...
    It’s kinda like two heavyweight fighters,” Tollefson said with a sadistic
    giggle. “You keep throwin’ punches, someone’s gonna eventually lose.”




    If every Giants defender brought the same unbridled joy for the game Jason Pierre-Paul brings every
    week, no one would be talking about Vince Young driving the ball down the
    defense’s throat at the end, no Giants fan would be fraught with concern over
    surrendering 49 points to the Saints or letting Aaron Rodgers spoil The Perfect Upset in the last
    minute.




    Pierre-Paul is, quite simply, the new Bully on the Block.




    I asked him yesterday if he could wreck or ruin a game at this stage of his
    young career.




    “Both,” the man they call JPP said.




    He has 10 1/2 sacks, which means he is the Giants’ counterpart to Ware.




    “I want to be that person, when it comes down to clutch time, my team could
    count on me getting the job done,” JPP said.




    He plays like his hair is on fire.




    “You just gotta love the game of football, man,” JPP said. “Not because they
    pay you to do it. You got to go out there willing to do it ‘cause you never know
    what might happen. You might not wake up in the morning, or you probably break a
    leg or some day this game’ll be taken away from you. Then, what are you gonna
    say? I can walk away from the game saying when I played I gave it the best shot
    I gave it.”




    He has become every quarterback’s worst nightmare.




    “I get better every day,” JPP said. “So, basically whatever you saw last
    Sunday, twice that. Double that.”




    How hungry will this defense be on Sunday?




    “We’ll be hungry,” he said. “You’ll be surprised.”




    In what way?




    “We’ll play to our full capability,” JPP said.




    Are you sure about that?




    “Yup,” JPP said, then vowed: “I wlll.”




    No one doubts he will.




    “He plays the game like it’s supposed to be played,” Tollefson said. “I’ve
    shook his hand and I’ve told him this straight up, like it’s a pleasure to play
    with him.




    “And he just refuses to accept mediocrity from himself and it’s just amazing
    ’cause he doesn’t talk about it. It’s not like he’s a rah -ah guy either. He
    plays his butt off man, and it’s impressive to watch.”




    It is a pleasure to play behind JPP.




    “He’s an animal, man,” cornerback
    Aaron Ross
    said.




    Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell
    estimated JPP played 70 snaps against the Packers.




    “We have to pry him off the field,” Fewell said. “We have to tell him, ‘Hey
    JPP, take a rest.’ He loves to play the game, and he plays the game hard and
    fast, and we think he can play harder and faster when he doesn’t play as much.”




    Pierre-Paul has become a marked man.




    “I think they recognize who he is and I think they respect him a little bit
    more than what they did earlier in the year,” Fewell said.




    Asked who the bullies are on the Giants defense, Tollefson said: “We all are,
    man. We all ain’t gonna take no trash now. Everyone on defense is. Ain’t nobody
    punkin’ out on defense.”




    Then let’s see some Bully Ball from here on out. It’s time." Read more...

    GIANTS' ASSISTANT FEWELL "SPOKE FORM THE HEART"

    Excerpt: "One week ago, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell showed a different
    side to himself for public consumption, lambasting his players for their effort
    and performance in a 49-24 loss in New Orleans.



    Fewell accused players of pulling up short on plays, which is another way of
    saying they quit on the field.




    One week later, Fewell looked back on his harsh words and has no regrets.




    “When you say, ‘Regret anything I said,’ I just spoke from the heart,’’
    Fewell said Thursday afternoon. “I didn’t try to demean our players or I didn’t
    try to demean anything about what we do or how we do it. I just tried to tell
    the truth, but I probably shouldn’t have said some things I said, but I just
    spoke from the heart.’’




    Fewell’s words did not go unheeded; his defense played with far more passion
    in last week’s 38-35 loss to the Packers. The defense allowed 31 points (the
    other touchdown came off an interception return) to Aaron Rodgers'
    offense." Read more...

    GIANTS' TUCK, JACOBS FIRE BACK AT COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "Memo to DeMarcus Ware: Justin Tuck doesn’t want to play for the Cowboys.



    “Nah, I plan on retiring a Giant,’’ Tuck said Thursday afternoon.




    The day after the
    Cowboys lobbed a few silly insults and accusations at the Giants
    , the Giants
    lobbed a few back at the Cowboys. What it all means is probably not much, not
    until Sunday night’s NFC East first-place showdown inside Cowboys Stadium.




    Ware, the NFL’s sack leader with 15, started this Wednesday when someone
    dredged up a two-year old quote Tuck supposedly made calling brand-new Cowboys
    Stadium “crappy.’’ No one has been able to find that quote but Ware took it to
    mean Tuck is jealous.




    “He says that because maybe he wants to play here,’’ Ware said. “Everybody
    wants to play for the Cowboys.’’




    Does Tuck want to be a Cowboy?




    “I don’t wear Wranglers, I don’t wear Cowboy hats, or boots or those belts --
    what do you call those? -- one of those buckle belts,’’ Tuck said. “I don’t wear
    none of that. I don’t need a star on my helmet for anyone to tell me I’m, pretty
    good at what I do.’’




    Tuck denies ever saying anything negative about Cowboys Stadium.




    “I tell you what, you’all find it I’ll live up to it,’’ he said.




    As far as the rivalry with the Cowboys, Tuck repeated a line he’s used, of,
    probably every season:




    “They hate us, we hate them, that’s always going to be the case,’’ Tuck said.
    “We just don’t like ‘em.’’




    The noise didn’t stop with Ware. Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins called
    running back Brandon Jacobs “a big bully’’ for the way Jacobs frequently
    expresses his dislike for the Cowboys.




    “They're gonna say what they're gonna say no matter what,’’ Jacobs said. “I
    am a bully. They can call me what they want. I think people who call out bullies
    are afraid of bullies." Read more...

    ROMO AND GARRETT HAVE FAMILY FEUD

    Excerpt: "
    It appears the Giants will face a team Sunday with serious trust issues
    between its head coach and Pro Bowl
    quarterback.



    The latest glaring sign — and lingering source of controversy — that Cowboys
    coach Jason Garrett isn’t all-in with
    Tony Romo
    came in the final seconds of regulation during last week’s 19-13
    overtime loss at Arizona.




    Garrett continues to be roasted nationally for icing his own kicker with a
    last-second timeout, an embarrassing gaffe that resulted in Dan Bailey then
    missing his second stab at a 49-yard field goal try and Dallas losing in
    overtime.

    But lost amid the uproar over Garrett’s inexplicable icing decision was his
    curious refusal — with two time outs and eight seconds left on the clock — to
    give Romo another chance to move Bailey closer than the Cardinals’ 31-yard
    line.



    It was yet another sign for the Cowboys (7-5) that Garrett, a former NFL
    quarterback, doesn’t fully trust Romo late in games to avoid killer mistakes or
    turnovers.




    Romo wasn’t buying into that notion yesterday, insisting Garrett has his back
    in crucial situations.




    But Romo seemed to admit Garrett doesn’t let him run the two-minute offense
    completely on his own, a restriction that would be highly unusual for another
    veteran quarterback with three Pro Bowl appearances on his resume.




    “Different teams have different ways of doing things,” Romo said yesterday.
    “I’ll take almost all the calls and go through it.”




    This isn’t the first time Garrett’s lack of trust has been an issue since he
    was promoted from interim head coach to the permanent job after going 6-2 in
    place of the fired Wade Phillips
    last season.




    After Romo turnovers cost the Cowboys potential victories over the Jets and
    Lions in the first four games this fall, Garrett put a leash on his quarterback
    during a Week 6 visit to the Patriots." Read more...

    THE BERGEN RECORD

    GIANTS HAVE ALL THE ANSWER IN WAR OF WORDS WITH COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "Brandon Jacobs has no problem being called a bully — especially by those he
    thinks are “afraid” of him.



    And Justin Tuck wants no part of being a Dallas Cowboy — not now and not ever
    — and doesn’t “need a star on my helmet to tell me that I’m pretty good at what
    I do.”




    They fired back at the Cowboys on Thursday, one day after they were targeted
    in a war of words before the Giants (6-6) travel to Dallas (7-5) this weekend
    for their NFC East showdown.




    “I am a bully. They call me what they want. I think people who call out
    bullies are afraid of bullies,” Jacobs said.




    He agreed with Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins’ assessment when he labeled
    Jacobs a “bully” for previous trash talk directed at the Cowboys — and took the
    comment as a compliment.




    Meanwhile, Tuck said he does not recall calling $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium
    a “dump.” That alleged remark from 2009 prompted Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware
    to say that Tuck was jealous he’s not a Cowboy.




    “Obviously, they got a pretty nice stadium,” said Tuck, who added that he’s
    “starting to get a little healthier” after registering his first sack Sunday
    since October. “And me wanting to be a cowboy? Hmm ... I don’t wear Wranglers. I
    don’t wear cowboy hats or boots or those belts buckles.




    “And I don’t need a star on my helmet to tell me that I’m pretty good at what
    I do.”




    Just to be clear, he added: “I plan on retiring a Giant.”




    The rhetoric has grown hotter with the bitter division rivals about to meet
    twice in the season’s final four weeks with the NFC East at stake." Read more...

    VINNY DITRANI'S NFL PICKS

    Excerpt: "There will be a lot of scoreboard watching going on around the NFL this
    weekend.


    You would think that entering the final quadrant of the season there would be
    some interesting head-to-head matchups involving contenders for division titles
    or wild-card spots. Yet the only one this weekend is Sunday night’s
    Giants-Cowboys game.




    So several in-contention teams will have to keep an eye out to see how their
    competition is doing while trying to take care of their own business.





    Game of the week




    Giants over *Cowboys, getting 3 1/2 — Giants never have lost in Jerry’s
    Palace (2-0) and Tom Coughlin never ices his own kicker." Read more...

    NY TIMES

    WEEK 14 MATCHUPS: OFFENSES TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS

    Excerpt: "Giants (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5)


    Sunday, 8:20
    p.m.
    Line: Cowboys by 3?.5




    A few weeks ago, Jerry Jones expressed regret about publically criticizing
    his semi-autonomous head coach Jason Garrett’s late-game decisions. Garrett took
    Jones’s contrition as a dare last week, refusing to call timeout as the Cowboys
    squandered the final 30 seconds of a tie game, then finally calling one just as
    Dan Bailey was in the process of kicking a would-be winning field goal. Bailey
    failed on his second attempt, but Jones stayed true to his word after the loss.
    “We had an alternative,” Jones said, fists balled, teeth grinding. “We could
    have run two, possibly three more plays there, but we have a lot of confidence
    in that kicker. It didn’t work.” Then came a steam whistle, some warning claxons
    and Jones slipped into a containment bunker until his reactor core
    stabilized.
    In fairness to Garrett, the Cowboys are playing much better than
    anticipated this season, and for every daffy clock management error against the
    Cardinals, there have been well-played fourth quarters against the 49ers, the
    Dolphins and the Redskins. Garrett just needs to make better late-game
    decisions, especially since they appear to be the only decisions he is allowed
    to make. Pick: Giants" Read more...

    MANNING KEEPS CALM AS INJURIES MULTIPLY

    Excerpt: "Shortly before the Giants took the field against the Green Bay Packers last
    Sunday, players began to murmur that two of their offensive linemen would not be
    available. Eli
    Manning
    took it as an occasion for some gallows humor.


    “All you can do is laugh and say, Hey, what are you going to do?” said
    Manning, who recalled that he was speaking with guard Chris Snee when he heard
    the news. “You can’t start crying or complaining. We have to midstream adjust.”




    It has been that sort of year for Manning. In the off-season, two of his most
    dependable receivers departed as free agents. So far this season, he has played
    behind a patchwork offensive line and with a first-string running back who has
    missed four games with an injury. But none of that has stopped Manning from
    having a standout season.




    As the Giants prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, Manning
    ranks fourth in the N.F.L. in passing yards (3,705), fifth in touchdown passes
    (23) and sixth in passer rating (96.0). A year after throwing 25 interceptions,
    Manning has thrown just 11 so far.




    That the Giants (6-6) are still in contention for the playoffs after losing
    four in a row is a testament not only to the relative fragility of the N.F.C.
    East, but to the sort of steadying ethos that permeates the franchise. That
    begins with Coach Tom
    Coughlin
    , but it is Manning who sets the tone in the locker room.




    “You’ve got a guy who’s been playing and hearing what we do for eight years
    now,” Kevin Gilbride, the offensive coordinator, said of Manning. “He’s heard it
    longer than any of them, so he’s been able to truly be an extension of us out on
    the field, and he’s been a catalyst in that means.”




    Over the summer, receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss departed for
    different teams, leaving behind inexperienced receivers like Victor Cruz and
    tight end Jake Ballard, both of whom went undrafted in 2010.




    But Manning has found comfort with those two. He has brought them along by
    guiding them during his regular Friday meetings, at which he breaks down film
    for the receivers and walks them through various game-day situations. As a
    result, Cruz has 1,076 yards receiving and 7 touchdown catches, and Ballard has
    3 touchdown receptions.




    As much as the Giants’ continued success might be traced back to Manning’s
    proficiency, his easy demeanor and confidence play important roles, too. In the
    huddle or the locker room, Manning can say a lot without actually saying a lot.




    “You’ve got a leader like that who’s calm and cool and collected,” receiver
    Devin Thomas said. “You just go out there and play your part. No one is
    overwhelmed. He just keeps it real simple.”




    Perhaps the biggest impediment for Manning has been the health of the other
    players on offense. The team’s top running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, sat out all of
    November with a broken foot, and the offensive line, which lost the mainstays
    Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara in the off-season, has been in flux because of
    injuries to David Baas, Will Beatty and Snee.




    In the middle of it all is Manning, who has remained as cool as ever." Read more...

    GIANTS 101

    NEW YORK GIANTS' VICTOR CRUZ: LOCALLY GROWN AND REPPIN'

    Excerpt: "The New York
    Giants are more well-known for drafting defense. No doubt. Once in a while,
    though, an offensive gem falls their way: Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Mark Bavaro,
    Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Eli Manning…and most recently, Hakeem Nicks.


    Then, there’s times when an undrafted free agent from the “mean streets” of
    Paterson, NJ ends up being an all-out Big Blue phenom.




    Victor
    Cruz
    went to Paterson Catholic High School where he played for the Cougars
    -as WR and DB- and recorded 19 touchdowns in his senior year there (they went
    undefeated). Since last year, I’ve spoken to local kids that went to rival
    schools in Lodi (Rams) and Saddle Brook (Falcons). All comments and memories
    seem to be similar: “that kid was fast,” “man, he burned our DB’s,” “he was hard
    to cover,” “we all knew he would go on to be something, but wow”… Some even said
    he was a quiet, but really, super nice guy. For those of you that aren’t
    familiar with the local area of Paterson, in Passaic County, NJ—do some research
    on it. This last tidbit is a compliment to Cruz’ character.




    From Paterson, Cruz went up to Brighton Academy in Maine for a post-graduate
    semester, then to U Mass where he didn’t start until his Junior year, but
    amassed 131 catches (4th all-time in team history), had 1,958 yards (5th in team
    history behind former NY Giant, Brandon London) and 11 touchdowns.




    Fast forward to 2010’s NFL Draft. No draft day story to tell for Victor
    Cruz
    . The now 25 year-old went undrafted. Not much was heard about him,
    except in local Jersey papers when the Giants signed him. Until August 16, 2010
    and a pre-season game vs. New York Jets. Three insanely convincing touchdowns, 145
    yards and burning speed. All of a sudden, Cruz was the topic around the water
    cooler. For weeks.




    Needless to say, he made the 53-man roster, but in very Giants-like luck, was
    placed on IR after only three weeks into the season with a hamstring injury.




    2011: Fast forward again, but this time through the fun that was the NFL Lockout,
    “training camp” and pre-season. Cruz begins the season listed on the depth chart
    as the #4 wideout behind Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon.
    However, through injuries (shocker), #80 quietly stepped up and confidently grew
    with his quarterback. He remains focused and poised, yet hungry for more. Victor
    Cruz
    (through NFL Week 13) is
    #4 again—in receiving yards in the league. 62 receptions for 1,076 yards and
    seven TDs with four more games to be played.




    So much for the folks who claimed the pre-season Jets game was a one-time
    thing and “just meaningless pre-season highlights.” Hope they’re all watching
    his route-running, his sideline footwork, and his concentration in the huddle.
    There’s probably one more source for intangible information on Victor
    Cruz
    , but he may not want to tell you.




    Right, Nnamdi?"



    **

    GIANTS' KENNY PHILLIPS DOUBTFUL; DAVID BAAS OUT FOR SUNDAY

    "The injury polka continues today as news emerges about the status of several
    New York
    Giants players for Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys.



    Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17)
    is tripped after a 7-yard gain in front of New York Giants safety Kenny
    Phillips
    (21) during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis on
    September 19, 2010. UPI /Mark Cowan
    Several sources report Giants safety, Kenny
    Phillips
    (knee), is doubtful as of now. While Phillips had noted
    that he was hopeful to play against the rival Cowboys, it looks as though he
    won't be able to go. This will put the onus on fellow safety, Deon
    Grant
    , to step-up in Phillips absence.


    Additionally, center David
    Baas
    is out for Sunday night. The headaches he experienced last
    week have been labeled as "migraine-type" and seemingly occur as a result of a
    neck injury Baas sustained earlier this fall. This looks to be something that
    might keep Baas out for some time.




    Defensive end, Osi Umenyiora (ankle) and linebackers,
    Mark Herzlich (ankle)
    and Spencer Paysinger (hamstring), are also ruled out against
    the Cowboys.




    On a brighter note, Mario
    Manningham
    , Prince Amukamara, Brandon
    Jacobs
    , Michael
    Boley
    , Ahmad Bradshaw, and Dave
    Tollefson
    are all probable for the game.




    Giants 101 will keep updating up through gametime."

    NEW YORK GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM EXPECTED TO PLAY SUNDAY

    "After missing two games with swelling in his knee and talk of surgery that
    would end his season, New York
    Giants
    wide receiver Mario
    Manningham
    has practiced each of the last two days and appears to be a go for this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys
    barring a setback.



    Jacksonville Jaguars Don Carey cant stop New York
    Giants
    Mario
    Manningham
    from diving into the end zone for a 26 yard touchdown in the
    fourth quarter at New Meadowlands Stadium in week 12 of the NFL in East
    Rutherford, New Jersey on November 28, 2010. The Giants defeated the Jaguars
    24-20. UPI /John Angelillo









    “(Manningham) has practiced for two days,” said Coughlin. “He looks good. He
    looks sharp. He looks quick. Hopefully there is no issue the next day. That is
    what you worry about. The swelling.”


    With only 34 receptions and 404 yards, Super Mario certainly isn't having the
    season he anticipated having, especially considering his contract expires at
    year's end. Still, there's no denying that when the ball is in his hands, he's a
    threat to take it all the way every time.




    Victor Cruz will still likely start opposite Hakeem Nicks, but Manningham
    will see the field plenty as the Giants routinely run three wide receiver
    sets.




    One thing Big Blue will look for Manningham to do upon his return is show
    route recognition improvement. He and Eli Manning seem to be on a different page
    frequently, and that's a trend that has continued for years now. With each game
    possibly the difference between making the playoffs and staying home, a mentally
    focused and physically healthy Mario
    Manningham
    will be a very important key."

    NEW YORK GIANTS VS. DALLAS COWBOYS: KEYS TO VICTORY

    "For as adamantly as the writers here on Giants 101 keep our fingers on the
    pulse of the New York
    Giants
    , there are those who do so for the Dallas
    Cowboys
    .



    Dallas
    Cowboys
    quarterback Jon Kitna (2nd R) is sacked by New York
    Giants
    safety Deon Grant (behind Kitna) as linebacker Michael Boley (L) and
    defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (R) converge on the play in the first half of
    their NFL football
    game in Arlington, Texas October 25, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES -
    Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)







    He knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Dallas
    Cowboys
    as well as any
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  2. #2
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    Thanks RF! The injuries continue to drain this team, but if Bradshaw and Boley play I love the giants' chances on sunday

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    [quote user="NY_Eli"]Thanks RF! The injuries continue to drain this team, but if Bradshaw and Boley play I love the giants' chances on sunday[/quote]

    I am confident Bradshaw and Boley will both play and I think Petrus and Blackburn will both put in solid performances on Sunday helping us win the first of two Cowboy outings.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  4. #4
    All-Pro GameTime's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 10:13 A.M.



    thanks Ro...




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

  5. #5
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 10:13 A.M.

    [quote user="GameTime"]

    thanks Ro...




    [/quote]

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


  6. #6

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.



    [y]




    thank you Roanoke!


  7. #7
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    [y]




    thank you Roanoke!

    [/quote]

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


  8. #8

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    Thanks for the news today RF

    let the games begin !!!

  9. #9
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    [quote user="britishblue2"]Thanks for the news today RF

    let the games begin !!![/quote]

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


  10. #10

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011 - 9:31 A.M.

    [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="britishblue2"]Thanks for the news today RF

    let the games begin !!![/quote]

    I wish it was at 1 EST*
    [/quote] SNF is always live on free TV here so i dont mind the late game. Saves me streaming it mate

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