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    Nov 2006






    "Terrell Thomas was held out of the Giants' organized team activities and their
    mandatory minicamp this week, but when they open training camp on July 27 there
    isn't a doubt in his mind about whether he'll be participating.

    "I'll be out there," he said. "No limitations."

    That is, of course, unless the Giants want to play it safe with the
    cornerback, who is coming off a torn ACL.

    "They pay me," Thomas said chuckling. "I got no choice."

    Thomas said he plans on going to California in the coming weeks and training
    with fellow USC Trojans and others, including Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Matt
    Leinart, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, whom he works out with out with every year.

    Thomas said he expects to enter the season as the starting cornerback
    opposite Corey Webster and it's a matter of registering as many reps as possible
    between now and the start of the season; he says he's already overcome the
    injury mentally.

    "The biggest thing is I trust my knee to throw in the dirt," Thomas said.
    "I'm not hesitant at all. It's more just I need more reps out there, just
    running around and putting my body in different situations that you can't really
    do on the side."

    With Aaron Ross in Jacksonville, the Giants are hopeful Thomas can return to
    his usual form, which resulted in five interceptions in 2009 and 2010.

    "He's in our plans," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "We have a
    back-up plan also in case he's not ready, but he's heavily I our plans and again
    we'll have to wait until Albany to see which plan we go with, but like anything
    that we try to do we have a Plan A and a Plan B and he is in Plan A."

    * * *

    Marvin Austin hasn't played a game in two seasons; he was kicked off the
    football team at North Carolina before his senior season and tore his pectoral
    in preseason last August. Yet, Fewell still has high hopes for the defensive

    "He excited me last year in training camp and the preseason games," Fewell said.
    "He's different than the other defensive tackles we have because he has
    legitimate speed, quickness and get off and so I'm going to have to learn how to
    use Marvin a little differently than how I use Linval Joseph and Shaun Rogers
    and Rocky Bernard because I think that he can really cause some offensive line
    some problems with the some of the things he can do."

    Asked if he looked like he put on some weight and needs to improve his
    conditioning, Fewell said he isn't worried.

    "It'll be up to Marvin now to come back in peak condition so these next five
    weeks that he has off, I would assume that he will really crank it up and get
    into better condition," he said. "Right after practice today he was on the
    elliptical, he was working. I know we've talked about him being the best
    possible condition he can possibly be in order to get peak performance and we
    expect that."

    Fewell added, "You know what? He doesn’t look big besides
    [generously-listed-at-350-pounds] Shaun Rogers."

    * * *

    Dave Tollefson is now an Oakland Raider, which means Fewell is taking
    applications for a position on the NASCAR package front. An obvious candidate
    would be Mathias Kiwinuka, who lined up at defensive line on several occasions
    this week at minicamp.

    "Obviously, losing Dave was a blow for us, but we do have a plan and Kiwi
    will rotate and play some defensive end," Fewell said. "More? I don't know, that
    remains to be seen, but he's definitely going to be in that rotation."

    Fewell also highlighted Adrian Tracy and Justin Trattou as possible


    "Kevin Gilbride has coached his fair share of dynamic weapons in his five
    seasons leading the Giants offense. He's had Tiki Barber, Ahmad Bradshaw and
    Brandon Jacobs at running back; and Plaxico Burress, Hakeem Nicks and Victor
    Cruz at wide receiver to name a few.

    The list is long and accomplished, but Gilbride doesn't believe he's ever had
    a piece to utilize quite like rookie running back David Wilson.

    "I don't know if we've had a guy as explosive, regardless of the position,
    here," said Gilbride of the Giants' first-round pick. "Tiki was a tremendous
    all-around back, Brandon would give you something, Ahmad gives you toughness,
    but this guy's got the explosion I'm not sure how many guys in the league have."

    Gilbride, entering his sixth season as Giants offensive coordinator, added
    that it's early and Wilson has plenty of learning to do before he can transfer
    his skill set to when it matters most, but during the team's three-day minicamp
    this week Wilson provided a dose of his potential by consistently darting to the
    outside and turning the corner out of the backfield.

    "There are guys in this league who have physical credentials and you say,
    'Oh, why can't he play?' Because he can't learn." Gilbride said. "I don't think
    David's that case. I think he's going to learn, but right now he's very
    definitely in step one."

    Gilbride contrasted Wilson to second-year running back Da'Rel Scott, whose
    straightaway speed is perhaps tops on the team and is different than the
    shiftiness Wilson brings.

    "A waterbug kind of a guy, that's what he looks like to me," Gilbride said of

    * * *

    With or without Jake Ballard officially on the roster, Gilbride knew he
    wasn't going to get on the field in 2012 and he'd need to find another starting
    tight end for the second straight season.

    With the timetable for Travis Beckum's return still in question, his top
    options presently are Bear Pascoe and Martellus Bennett, but with Bennett
    nursing a minor hamstring injury, the starting spot belongs to Pascoe.

    It's very similar to the position Gilbride found himself in last year.

    "Right now we got a long way to go with that," Gilbride said. "In fairness
    when we lost Kevin Boss [last year], I kind of was thinking, 'Woah, where are we
    going to go.'

    "You're hoping Martellus, that's why he was brought here. You're hoping
    Adrien Robinson down the road will be the guy, if not Bear's going to be the
    guy. Somebody's got to do it."

    Ballard's inability to play in 2012 didn't make his loss to the Patriots
    easier for Gilbride.

    "He'll be sorely missed," Gilbride said. "We knew we weren't going to have
    him this year, but he was a guy that could've been a starter for a long time so
    now somebody else has got to step up."

    * * *

    Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Hakeem Nicks has recorded statistics
    that compare to the league's best to begin a career, becoming Eli Manning's
    go-to target in the process. But even with his early success, Gilbride said the
    foot injury that has Nicks out for about 12 weeks came at an inopportune time
    during his career.

    "The thing that's a tragedy here is that there were so many things that we
    were looking forward to really developing with him and really taking advantage
    of this time to really focus on developing his entire skill set.

    "This was going to be a great chance for him to really, really – us to go
    another step ahead for him. But there's nothing you can do, you can't do it.
    He's hurt and he's not there."

    Gilbride said he hopes Nicks will be ready for the season opener, if not
    training camp.

    "I'm hoping. I got my legs crossed, my knees are hurting from praying," he

    With Nicks out, Gilbride said he's been impressed with Rueben Randle's speed
    and threw a name out there that most don't recognize: Brandon Collins.

    Collins, a rookie out of out Southeastern Louisiana, made a few catches in
    traffic during Tuesday's practice and Gilbride admitted he didn’t know much
    about him going in.

    "I've seen more quickness than anything," Gilbride said. "Good speed, great
    quickness, but also picking up the offense pretty quickly."

    * * *

    The similarities between Victor Cruz and Julian Talley are almost too easy.
    Both are wide receivers out of UMass, both are from New Jersey and both signed
    with the Giants as undrafted free agents.

    The two are even close friends, but Gilbride put the brakes on assuming the
    two are the same on the field.

    "Victor is just a thicker, more muscular, type of guy," Gildbride said.
    "Victor's run-after-the-catch right from the first year kind of stood out. We
    haven't had a chance to assess that [with Talley]. I'll get a better – I think –
    feel for him maybe two or three weeks into training camp. Right now it's hard
    for me to make a good judgment on him."





    As the Giants went through their three-day minicamp that ended Thursday, they
    might as well have posted a sign outside the locker-room door that read, “Quiet!
    Defending Super Bowl Champions at Work.”

    When they gather again for training camp in Albany on July 26, it should be
    one of the dullest camps a defending Super Bowl champion has ever had. Even Osi
    Umenyiora won’t be able to complain.

    If David Diehl hadn’t gotten behind
    the wheel of his BMW and been nabbed by police in Queens last Sunday with twice
    the legal limit of alcohol in his system, then the Giants would have floated
    under the media radar, unlike the other team in town, which has people charting
    how many times Tim Tebow lines up under center in practice.

    You know it’s
    a slow news week at minicamp when the only indignation Tom Coughlin can muster
    is about losing tight end Jake Ballard to New England in a waiver move. Ballard
    probably isn’t even going to play this year because he’s recovering from a knee

    “We don’t mind when we aren’t the main focus. We weren’t the main
    focus last year. But we were the main focus in Week 24,” Giants safety Antrel
    Rolle said. “That’s the only thing that matters.”

    There are no
    self-esteem issues with the Giants. Winning a Super Bowl can have that effect on
    a team. They don’t need the attention or want it. The way the Tebow-Mark Sanchez
    thing is playing out with the Jets, it could be Week 8 of the season before
    anybody notices what’s going on with the Giants.

    “We’re focusing on what
    we can do to make ourselves better in the locker room, in the meeting rooms and
    on the field,’’ linebacker Michael Boley said. “The Jets seem more interested in
    what they can do off the field. We don’t thrive on the attention. When you go to
    work you’re focused on the task at hand.”

    The last time the Giants were
    coming off a Super Bowl victory, they were just as talented and confident. They
    steam-rolled to a 10-1 record before Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself
    in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub. That derailed the repeat plan.

    Diehl incident happened three months before the first snap of the season. It
    will be long forgotten by the time the team hits the field. It won’t have the
    type of impact that the Burress incident had.

    With 20 of 22 starters
    returning, plus a significant number of backups from the Super Bowl team, the
    Giants are a good bet to defend their title. The most significant factor for the
    Giants is whether they can maintain the same mentality that they had when every
    game became a must-win after that Week 15 loss to Washington last

    Coughlin was practically gushing when he talked about how well
    the Giants played during that run to the Super Bowl.

    “We’re talking about
    giving up 14 points a game,’’ Coughlin said. “You’re going to win a lot of games
    if you can do that. “We had one turnover and we were averaging 116 yards

    If the Giants can manage that again, surely they’ll be back on
    everybody’s radar."


    "There were times throughout the Giants’ three-day minicamp when Keith
    felt strangely confused.

    The Giants coaches would call the
    first-unit linebackers onto the practice field, and, instinctively, Rivers would
    grab his helmet. A moment later, he would put it down.

    “You’re used to
    going out with the ones; it’s been that way for the past seven years,” Rivers
    said on Thursday, a few hours after minicamp ended. “So sometimes you hear the
    ones, you think you’re going out there. But you’re not. Now, you’re going out
    with the twos.”

    For Rivers, those moments have been the low point of a
    frustrating spring.

    It’s a sobering notion that Rivers has dealt with
    throughout the Giants’ offseason training program. Just four years ago, the
    Cincinnati Bengals selected him ninth in the 2008 draft after a dominant
    four-year career at USC and immediately installed him at outside linebacker. But
    now, Rivers is a Giants reclamation project and he knows it. After watching
    Rivers underachieve for three seasons — and not play a down in 2011 due to a
    wrist injury — the Bengals dealt him to the Giants for a fifth-round

    Rivers, 26, understood Cincinnati’s frustration. His failures
    outweighed his accomplishments with the Bengals, and he admits that he never met
    the team’s expectations. Rivers never played a full season or made more than 77
    tackles. Perhaps even worse, he had just two sacks, two interceptions and one
    forced fumble as a Bengal.

    “I wasn’t out of position, didn’t miss
    tackles,” he said. “I just did what I was asked to do, kind of, in every
    situation. I was never really... big-play.”

    But he can be big-play, he
    says, and he hopes the change of scenery will allow him to show that ability. At
    6-2, 240 pounds, he’s still an “athletic guy” who can “flip his hip,” according
    to defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. And after blowing it in Cincinnati,
    Rivers is driven to prove that he can be a standout defender.

    “I was the
    ninth pick in the draft,” Rivers said Tuesday. “(Play) anywhere near that, and
    that (trade) is beyond a steal. It’s armed robbery.”

    Thing is, Rivers
    still has plenty to prove to Fewell. The Giants may have stolen Rivers, but they
    still aren’t sure how he will fit in on a loaded defense that returns the three
    linebackers who started Super Bowl XLVI — Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn and
    Mathias Kiwanuka.

    And while Fewell said he has “high hopes” for Rivers,
    the defensive coordinator didn’t exactly gush over the linebacker’s performance
    in OTAs and minicamp.

    “We’ll have to wait until training camp and the
    preseason games,” Fewell said, “but I did see flashes of excellence in his

    Rivers knows he will need to show more in training camp, and he
    expects to be reminded of that whenever he watches the first-unit linebackers
    take the field without him.

    “It gives you the energy and desire,” he
    said. “You want to get back to going out with the ones.”


    "Kevin Gilbride has had a long list of talented, fast running backs at his
    disposal in his six seasons as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. But he’s never
    had one quite like this.

    His first impressions of David Wilson, the
    Giants’ first-round pick out of Virginia Tech, have been off the charts so far
    during spring drills and the full-team minicamp that wrapped up on Thursday
    afternoon. Gilbride glowed about Wilson’s speed and particularly his

    He even said Wilson might already be one of the most
    explosive backs in the league.

    “I don’t know if we’ve had a guy as
    explosive, regardless of the position, here,” Gilbride said. “I don’t know if
    we’ve seen quite the darting, the explosiveness in short bursts that we’ve seen
    with him. That’s kind of exciting to see.”

    Gilbride acknowledged the
    rookie still has a lot to learn about the Giants’ offense and how to protect Eli
    Manning, but Wilson’s uncommon talents obviously had him dreaming about his
    potential. He said that “explosiveness” was more than he saw in Tiki Barber or
    even current starter Ahmad Bradshaw.

    “There’s a long way to go before
    you can tap into it, but it looks like there’s something that he can give you,”
    Gilbride said. “He’s got some excitement that I don’t know if we’ve had that
    kind of guy. In this guy you’ve got the kind of explosion that I’m not sure how
    many guys in the league have.”

    No holding back Terrell Thomas

    CB Terrell
    Thomas, trying to make his way back from a torn ACL that cost him all of 2011,
    did mostly individual drills at minicamp, but promised he’ll be “full go” when
    training camp opens on July 26.

    “I’ll be out there,” he said. “No

    The Giants’ doctors may limit his work, but Thomas said
    his knee feels like it could handle a full workload.

    “The biggest thing
    is I trust my knee right now to throw it in the dirt,” he said. “I’m not
    hesitant at all.”

    A few other notes from minicamp (and there’s more to

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) said he “felt great” after
    minicamp. He also was limited, but said that was mostly precautionary. … A
    couple of names to watch for the summer. Gilbride praised rookie WR Brandon
    Collins, and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell liked what he saw from veteran
    safety Stevie Brown. … Fewell said he “would love” for Chase Blackburn to win
    the MLB job this summer. Blackburn will certainly begin camp as the


    "Don't get Kevin Gilbride wrong; the Giants' offensive coordinator loves Bear

    He just never expected Pascoe to wind up emerging as the Giants' starting
    tight end. Yet that's how things looked at the end of the Giants' three-day

    "Except for Bear, there's nobody that's done it before," Gilbride said
    Thursday. "You were hopingto have Bear as a swing guy, a second tight end that
    could motion back and play the fullback position, give you what he's always
    given you which is unbelievable toughness and somehow making plays that he
    shoujldn't be able to make.

    "Not necessarily a starting tight end, but right now he's a starting tight

    Pascoe is the starter by default, in what's turning into a dicey spot for the
    Giants. With Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum injured, the Giants hoped to find a
    tight end answer in free agent signee Martellus Bennett. But Bennett, a former
    Cowboy, has struggled with a hamstring issue throughout minicamp.

    When minicamp ended Thursday, Bennett said he planned to take a few days off
    to rest the hamstring, the return to training.

    Rookie Adrien Robinson, meanwhile, faces a stiff learning curve after missing
    all of OTAs to finish classes at Cincinnati.

    "You're hoping Martellus (is the guy); that's why he was brought here,"
    Gilbride said. "You're hoping Adrien Robinson somewhere down the road. If not,
    it's Bear."

    Then again, for all this fear, Gilbride knows it's too early to panic. After
    all, wasn't it just last year that a certain Jake Ballard emerged from nowhere
    to catch 40 passes and beat the Patriots? Gilbride realizes that, too.

    And that realization gave the coach one final chance to lament the loss of
    the injured tight end to New England.

    "Right now, we've got a long way to go at that spot," he said. "In fairness,
    when we lost Kevin Boss, I was thinking where are we gonna go? I thought Jake
    could be that guy. He looked like he coud be a big strong blocker. Like I told
    you guys, he exceeded. He'll be sorely missed. We knew we weren't going to have
    him this year, but he was a guy who could have bene a starter down the

    Ahmad Bradshaw did not handle a
    boatload of carries during the Giants' three-day minicamp. But don't worry about
    the Giants' most experienced tailback one bit.

    "I feel great," he said Thursday. "I got (a procedure) in the beginning of
    March. They said it would take like three months and I'd be fine. I was ready in
    like a month and a half, and I'm ready to go."

    Bradshaw said he could have done more in camp, but he didn't mind taking it

    "I could have," he said. "I just want to take it slow. Just see how my foot
    reacts to a lot of pounding. That's what I wanted to do for the OTAs and that's
    why I was so active."

    Bradshaw said he does not plan to see any doctors during the break, because
    "I feel my foot is fine."

    It's all a good sign for a Giants team that lacks experienced tailbacks. With
    Brandon Jacobs in San Francisco, the injury-prone Bradshaw is the lone tailback
    with big-game experience. He's backed by veteran D.J. Ware, second-year man
    Da'Rel Scott, promising first-round pick David Wilson and untested Andre

    safety Tyler Sash did not do anything in the three-day minicamp as he continued
    to work his way back from a severely injured hamstring. He said that he has not
    even "attempted to run yet," but promised "I'll be good to go by (training)

    Sash still also hopes to nail down a job alongside Kenny Phillips and Antrel
    Rolle in three-safety alignments. And even though he hasn't taken the field
    recently, he believes he can still grab the spot.

    "Safety is a lot more than just being out there on the field," he said.
    "You've got to know what you're doing."

    To that end, Sash said he is planning to train with teammate Antrel Rolle in
    Miami over the next few weeks.

    "That's a good edge," he said.

    He also plans to start running in "the next couple weeks."


    "When the Giants drafted Prince Amukamara
    in the first round of the 2011 draft, they thought they had added a tough,
    physical cornerback to their roster. And now, they are finally seeing that

    Amukamara, 23, is still not fully recovered from the broken foot that
    hampered him throughout his rookie season, but he has still impressed Tom
    throughout the Giants’ three-day minicamp.

    “It’s a whole different year for him,” Coughlin said Wednesday. “Really. He’s
    had that experience, and a lot of that naive is behind him. He’s doing a good
    job. Hopefully, he’s going to continue.”

    Amukamara has participated in seven-on-seven drills and team drills, although
    the corner said he’s still not going “full full.” But Amukamara seems more
    comfortable with the defensive schemes, and Coughlin thinks that will allow him
    to finally fulfill his potential.

    “If he gets himself in a position and he knows what he’s doing, we’ve seen
    that other aspect, the physical part of (his) play,” Coughlin said. “As a
    collegiate player (at Nebraska), that’s what he was.”

    TE Travis Beckum said his surgically
    repaired knee felt “great” on Wednesday, one day after he ran for the first time
    since he tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI. He admitted to feeling “a little
    weird” on Tuesday just after he completed his running, but it was all cleared up
    by Wednesday morning.

    Beckum said that what he felt was “not necessarily discomfort, just a feeling
    that I hadn’t felt in a while — kind of weird just because of the whole patella
    situation. I kind of felt something on my patella, right where my scar was.
    Today I didn’t feel that, so I’m assuming it’s just breaking up the scar tissue.
    My knee feels great.”

    Beckum had surgery in February to repair his ACL and torn meniscus. As part
    of the surgery, the doctors used part of his patella tendon as a graft to help
    rebuild and strengthen his ACL.

    The Giants plan to rely on a host of players
    in their return game, including rookie Rueben Randle, second-year man Jerrel
    Jernigan, and the always-dangerous Victor Cruz. All have handled punt returns in
    minicamp, and Coughlin expects things to stay that way.

    “We would like to have a committee of guys,” Coughlin said. “So it is a
    matter of having three, four, or five guys that can do it.”

    DT Chris Canty (left knee) said he will be
    “ready to roll” come training camp. . . . Tyler Sash (hamstring) is
    “progressing,” Coughlin said, and the safety should be back by training camp. .
    . . CB Corey Webster said the injured hamstring that has kept him out all spring
    is not serious. . . . DE Osi Umenyiora was held out of Day 1 of camp because “he
    said he was sore,” Coughlin said. Umenyiora returned on




    "As coach Tom Coughlin finished up his three-minute and nine-second parting
    message to the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw sprinted off the field. A few minutes
    later, Bradshaw explained his alacrity in making a quick getaway.

    “It’s great to be free,’’ Bradshaw said.

    Free is what the Super Bowl champions are, as they concluded a three-day
    mandatory mini-camp Thursday with a one-hour practice. The rookies will stay
    around for another week, but that didn’t stop Coughlin from issuing his annual
    warning as he bid adieu to his veterans until the July 26 report date for
    training camp at the University at Albany.

    “It’s great to be free,’’ Bradshaw said.

    Free is what the Super Bowl champions are, as they concluded a three-day
    mandatory mini-camp Thursday with a one-hour practice. The rookies will stay
    around for another week, but that didn’t stop Coughlin from issuing his annual
    warning as he bid adieu to his veterans until the July 26 report date for
    training camp at the University at Albany.

    “Make sure that you are thinking in everything that you do; everything that
    you say, every place that you go,’’ Coughlin said. “Be safe, be smart, and let’s
    make sure that we are all able to get together at the end of July.’’

    That message no doubt resonated more forcefully than usual, given the events
    of the past week, when longtime offensive lineman David Diehl was arrested and
    charged with drunk driving, a glaring example of what can go wrong.

    “Especially young guys don’t understand what this next six weeks is about,’’
    Justin Tuck said. “It’s about building off of what we did in this mini-camp and
    OTAs and make sure we don’t have any lapses.’’

    Unlike the Mark Sanchez production of Jets West, There will be no formal
    Giants passing camp in the coming weeks, but Eli Manning said he plans on
    getting together with a few of his receivers who remain in the New York/New
    Jersey area for some throwing and catching, not wanting to go cold-turkey until
    training camp.

    Cornerback Terrell Thomas, coming off knee surgery, is headed home to
    California, where he said he will test his coverage skills against several
    veteran NFL receivers: T.J. Houshmandzadah is a regular at this annual West
    Coast workout, with former USC quarterbacks Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Matt
    Cassel also in attendance. Thomas said he also plans to work against former
    Giants receiver Steve Smith.

    “He’s a great competitor, a guy I battled with since I was 18,’’ Thomas

    Coughlin won’t take off as long as his players, but he will get a chance to

    “I’ll be excited about the first little bit of time that we get away,’’
    Coughlin said. “But give me a couple of days and I’ll start thinking about what
    is coming at the end of July.’’

    Tuck said he enjoyed the limitations in the offseason program, which included
    far less contact and on-field work than previously allowed under the old
    collective bargaining agreement.

    “I like this CBA, I think this CBA is huge for veterans,’’ Tuck said. “It
    might put younger guys behind the eight-ball a little bit because they don’t get
    as much work as we did when we were younger, but I think it’s gonna help prolong
    a lot of guys’ careers.’’

    Second-year CB Prince Amukamara reiterated his goal is to be a starter this

    “There’s no point in being drafted and sit on the bench,’’ Amukamara said. “I
    want to be on the field for most of the snaps. I hope that wasn’t a bold

    Coughlin, asked if he is confident about these Giants, said: “I certainly am.
    You are talking about the world champions. I have every confidence that they
    will come back just as inspired to want to play at their very best.’’

    Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is hoping WR Hakeem Nicks (broken foot)
    can make it back for training camp.

    “I got my fingers crossed; my knees are hurting from praying,’’ Gilbride

    Perry Fewell said he believes his defense can be better in 2012 than it was
    last season.

    “I found this out about our New York Giant football players is that if they
    take a stand and they’re mentally into it and I’ll use the term, if they’re ‘all
    in,’ we can be whatever we want to be,’’ he said."


    "The elephant in the room has been replaced by a rabbit. Thunder has been
    replaced by Lightning. A Streetcar Named Ire has been replaced by a Speedboat
    Named Desire. Goliath has been replaced by David Wilson.

    “I don’t know if we’ve had a guy as explosive — regardless of the position —
    here,” Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said as mini-camp ended
    Thursday. “I think Da’Rel Scott gives you a guy that probably in a 100-yard dash
    may be able to beat him, but I don’t know that you see quite the darting, the
    explosiveness and short burst that you see with [Wilson].”

    Brandon Jacobs would take a linebacker’s breath away with the force of his
    264-pound fury. If the Giants are right about Wilson, he will take their fans’
    breath away.

    “This guy’s got the kind of explosion that I’m not sure how many guys in the
    league have,” Gilbride said.

    The pre-Jerry Reese Giants missed on Jarrod Bunch and Tyrone Wheatley and Ron
    Dayne, all first-round draft picks, but The first impressions around the Timex
    Performance Center about the Giants’ latest top pick will make the rest of the
    NFC East uneasy with worry that Eli Manning may now have the kind of lethal
    weapon he has never had in his eight seasons.

    “If you leave a sliver, or a peek of a gap open, he is a young man that can
    see that sliver or that little peek of a gap, and accelerate through that hole
    before you can close that gap up,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said, “and
    be gone.”

    There is the tiny matter of Wilson learning the playbook first, so he doesn’t
    get Manning killed when he spells Ahmad Bradshaw.

    “Obviously, he has the ability to run the ball and make some big plays, but
    unless he understands a lot of our checks and protections and change of
    protections, Until you have a great grasp of that, you’re not gonna be able to
    get on the field,” Manning said. “But it seems like he’s learning and picking up

    Wilson used to catch and pick up rabbits in Danville, Va., as a hobby.

    “I like him a lot,” Justin Tuck said. “We’re gonna attack him in training
    camp to make sure he’s still holding that ball, but as far as things we like to
    do and him being an impact this season, I think he’s gonna really upgrade our
    running attack. I look at him as a great third-down back too.”

    Chase Blackburn can’t wait to see Wilson in pads in training camp.

    “He reminds me of LT when I first came into the league a little bit, just the
    speed and like the vision and stuff,” Blackburn said.

    Wilson smiled broadly when he heard that one.

    “Hope I have the same career — or better,” he said.

    I told him if he somehow were to have a better career, I would drive him to
    Canton, and he laughed.

    “Gotta get some gas. … I’m competitive, so I’m gonna get after it,” Wilson
    said. “You always gotta try to be the best, that’s how I figure it.”

    Wilson proudly said he led the nation in yards after contact at Virginia

    “I’m going in expecting to make an immediate impact,” Wilson says.

    He isn’t one of those Dancing With the Stars backs.

    “He’s more of that one-cut-hit-the-hole kind of back, which I like,” Tuck

    Prince Amukamara was quick to check out Wilson’s highlights and backflip
    video on YouTube.

    “If I was scouting him, I would just say he’ s some person who hits the hole,
    and when he hits it, he hits it hard, and he doesn’t lose a step … especially
    when he cuts, he continues his acceleration, and he seems like a very tough

    Wilson is Tiki Barberesque at 5-foot-9, 206 pounds.

    “He’s almost like a [LeSean] McCoy a little bit,” Linval Joseph said. “He’s
    very quick, very crafty.”

    Bradshaw promised to take the kid under his wing.

    “He’s talented, he’s fast, he’s shifty, he can read holes, he can read
    blocks, he has a lot of talent,” Bradshaw SAID.

    Wilson turns 21 today, but don’t expect a wild celebration.

    “I don’t drink,” he said. Music to the Giants’ ears, especially this

    As coach Tom Coughlin finished up his three-minute and nine-second parting
    message to the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw sprinted off the field. A few minutes
    later, Bradshaw explained his alacrity in making a quick getaway.



    "Justin Trattou won’t judge his success with the Giants at this point by where he
    sits on the depth chart.

    If the Franklin Lakes native worried about the
    names ahead of him at defensive end — a collection of the league’s very best at
    the position – that would be a losing proposition.

    So Trattou is not preoccupied with the idea of matching the skill and
    playmaking ability of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias
    Kiwanuka, at least not yet.

    He does not harbor grandiose delusions of beating them out for playing

    What Trattou is out to do this summer is put himself in position to
    eventually join them.

    "There’s no doubt about it: this is the best defensive line in the NFL –
    period," Trattou said after the Giants completed their three-day minicamp
    Thursday and went their separate ways until reporting to training camp July 26
    in Albany, N.Y. "So, being on this team, watching and playing with them, it’s
    definitely a group that I want to be a part of. If you can be a part of this
    group of defensive ends, you can play on any team in the NFL."

    The former North Jersey Player of the Year in high school for Don Bosco and
    captain at the University of Florida now has a Super Bowl XLVI ring to go with
    championship jewelry he had earned with the state champion Ironmen and national
    champion Gators.

    Undrafted yet undeterred, Trattou made the Giants last summer and spent part
    of his rookie season on the active roster, seeing action on special teams in six
    games, including the 2011 opener at Washington.

    Now the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder wants to challenge a year later for a spot in
    defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s defensive end rotation, notably the one
    left vacant when Dave Tollefson departed via free agency and signed with the Oakland Raiders.

    "At this time last year, I was still sitting on the couch [without a team],"
    said Trattou, 23.

    "Last year I got to camp trying to learn the playbook and play football at
    the same time. This time around, it’s just about going in there and playing.

    "That’s just huge and I definitely won’t take this for granted."

    Trattou and Adrian Tracy are vying to replace Tollefson, and Fewell believes
    doing so would help solidify the front without disrupting Kiwanuka’s presence at

    "Since Dave Tollefson is gone, we’re looking to fill that spot, that role,"
    Fewell said. "A guy like Trattou. A guy like Tracy. I’ve said, hey, we lost Dave
    and Kiwi is always an alternative choice to go there, but if one of those guys
    can come on then we don’t have to tax Kiwi to go there.

    "So that’s how we look at those guys and what we’re trying to find out."

    Trattou is hopeful of providing an emphatic answer with his play both
    defensively and on special teams, which is where his quest undoubtedly

    "I’m realistic to the point that JPP, Tuck, Umenyiora and Kiwanuka, those are
    big money guys and All-Pro caliber players," he said. "They’re going to get
    spots obviously, but in my role whatever it may be, whether it’s giving them a
    rest here and there or something else, I’m going to go in there and try to make
    as many plays as possible.

    "I think if I can get myself in the mix, and keep getting better every day.
    That’s my goal – to be just like them."






    "Giants General Manager Jerry Reese looked out a window at the team’s training
    facility one day last summer and quickly became confused. He knew that
    Manchester United, the British soccer power, was training at the facility ahead
    of its match with all-stars from Major League Soccer, but he had no idea what
    the players were wearing.

    “Ronnie, what’s that strap on their back?” Reese said
    to Ronnie Barnes, the Giants’ vice president for medical services. Barnes

    “That’s a G.P.S. device,” he told Reese. “And we
    should have them, too.”

    The reason, Barnes said, was simple. Technology, the
    Giants hope, will ultimately help optimize a player’s ability while reducing the
    risk of injury, essentially telling the team when a player is physically ready
    to be at his best. Now, after dabbling with the use of heart-rate monitors
    before last season, the Giants are pushing forward with the idea, an outlier
    among N.F.L. teams.

    In recent off-season workouts, the Giants used
    heart-rate monitors, G.P.S. devices and hydration/nutrition monitoring to better
    evaluate how much energy a player had exerted and how quickly he was recovering.
    While similar technology is widely used by soccer teams around the world, as
    well as by athletes in individual sports, like runners, few professional sports
    teams in the United States have shown an interest.

    “Football is really the last bastion of sports, where
    you don’t really look at that,” Barnes said. “Yet we train them like heck, and
    we don’t really know whether they’ve recovered or not.”

    He added: “I’m looking into the future. We’ve known we
    need to do this, and I feel like we’ve begun to pioneer a little bit with our
    players and within the league.”

    It is a multilevel operation. Tracking a player’s
    heart rate allows the team to see, among other things, at what points and during
    which drills a player is at maximum exertion, and how often he reaches that
    point. Testing hydration levels allows the team to see if a player is showing up
    to practice with full energy and if he is replacing the fluids he loses — if he
    is not, he may be more prone to injury. Using G.P.S. devices allows trainers to
    see the distances run by specific players during workouts — data that can be a
    powerful comparison tool for coaches and front-office executives.

    For example, G.P.S. data from a recent Giants workout
    showed that Da’Rel Scott, one of several running backs competing for carries,
    ran the most among the backs. When Barnes mentioned that to Tom Coughlin, the
    coach was intrigued, considering all of the backs were doing the same drills.

    “It really lets you see exactly what you — and just
    you — are doing,” offensive lineman Kevin Boothe said of the technology.

    Generally, the number of players involved in a workout
    makes specific attention impossible.

    “Currently, Couch Coughlin comes to me and says, ‘Do
    you think the team looks tired?’” Barnes said. “Or the players come to me and
    say, ‘Our legs are dead.’ And I’ll go up and say, ‘Coach, the guys are telling
    me they’re really tired.’”

    Barnes laughed and continued: “And usually he says to
    me, ‘Well, we haven’t done that much!’ But then he’ll make adaptations based on
    what I’ve told him. With this setup, I’ll be able to tell him, yes, they are
    tired — and also that, say, Ahmad Bradshaw is particularly tired and here’s

    About 35 Giants players volunteered to wear the
    devices during workouts, as well as give urine samples to measure hydration. The
    players also answered standardized survey questions designed to give context to
    the data. The Giants worked with Timex — one of their corporate partners and the
    maker of the devices — as well as the Korey Stringer Institute, which is a part
    of the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, to conduct the

    Each morning, players went to a table outside the
    locker room to pick up their equipment. The heart monitors were worn with a
    strap across the chest, and a G.P.S. watch went on each player’s wrist. Before
    each workout the players answered questions about how they were feeling that
    morning — tired? thirsty? — then headed to the weight room or practice field.

    During workouts, data could be tracked in real time on
    laptop computers. At one point an observer staring intently at the screen
    noticed most of the heart-rate lines had gone flat. When she looked up with
    alarm, she chuckled; the players were standing in a circle, idly stretching.

    After a recent workout, Boothe returned his equipment.
    A staff member then asked him several questions, requesting he use numbers to
    rate his level of exertion, thirst and pain, among other feelings.

    “When did you go to sleep last night?” Boothe was
    asked. He thought for a second. “Ten-thirty,” he said. “When did you get up?”
    “Six-thirty,” he said.

    For linebacker Chase Blackburn, answering candidly was
    a challenge: “The crazy part for me was them asking what we’re eating. This time
    of year, the off-season, I’m not used to telling people, Yeah, I had pumpkin pie
    or whatever.”

    Wide receiver Victor Cruz said reactions to the new
    devices varied. “At first, to be honest, it was kind of annoying. Guys didn’t
    want to put extra stuff on,” he said, noting that athletes are creatures of

    But Cruz generally embraces technology — “I’ve got
    everything, the laptop, the iPad,
    the iPod,
    I’ve got it all,” he said — so he began trying to figure out how the data could
    help him.

    “Seeing at what points my heart rate peaks and things
    like that will make it easier for me to tailor my own workouts when I’m not with
    the team,” he said.

    Cruz also recognized the safety aspect of the
    technology. He has vivid memories of the shock he felt when he heard that
    Stringer, a lineman with the Minnesota Vikings, collapsed and died from
    complications related to heat stroke after an off-season practice in 2001.

    “They didn’t have these tests before, and they didn’t
    know where it came from until they did an autopsy,” Cruz said. “You don’t want
    it to have to be like that.”

    Still, the biggest obstacle for widespread use in
    football remains simple logistics: How can these devices fit under a bulky set
    of shoulder pads? While some companies, like Under Armour, have produced apparel
    with similar technology embedded in it, those products have received mixed

    Barnes said the Giants were in discussions to find a
    way a device could be worn with the players feeling little to no intrusion. He
    added that he hoped the team would be able to use the technology in a
    significant way this season.

    Either way, he plans to do a presentation for the
    players at training camp based on the data gleaned from the off-season program.

    “I’m ambivalent about the players’ reception of it at
    the moment because they all think they’re the biggest, fastest and strongest,
    and that they’ve gotten here without any kind of help,” he said. “They’re wrong.
    We’re slowly but surely cultivating them, and they’ll buy in. I really believe

    He added: “We’re not going to stop doing it. It’s
    going to become part of the Giants’ culture.”


    "On Sunday, 79-year-old Pat Browne Jr. won the Corcoran Cup– known as the
    “Masters of Blind Golf”–held annually at Mount Kisco Country Club in Westchester
    County in New York.

    It was the 24th time he had won it.

    The two-day event, which benefits Guiding Eyes for the Blind, has been
    hosted by Giants quarterback Eli Manning for the past six years and has raised
    more than $10 million since its inception in 1978. The money allow the nonprofit
    school to breed and train its guide dogs and partner them with the visually
    impaired, the blind and children with autism. (Guiding Eyes places more than 180
    dogs annually around the country.)

    Manning became involved with Guiding Eyes as a favor to Browne, a longtime
    Manning family friend, and has since championed the organization’s mission.
    “These people and their families are able to lead normal lives because of the
    Guiding Eyes dogs,” Manning said on Monday. “Whether it’s at their job or in
    their personal life, or even for the parents of autistic children now able to
    adjust easier with an animal by their side, it makes it so worthwhile for me to
    be involved.”

    Long before losing his vision as a result of an automobile accident in 1966,
    Browne, who like Manning is from New Orleans, was an exceptional high school
    athlete, lettering in both basketball and golf. He attended Tulane University,
    where he was the captain of the school’s men’s basketball and golf teams.

    Browne’s competitive spirit was not diminished by the loss of his vision. “I
    had never even heard of such a thing as a blind golfer,” he said on Sunday. “My
    original goal was to play with friends on the weekends, but once I learned that
    there were others like me out there, the idea that I could compete again was too
    powerful to ignore.”

    He retired in 2010 after almost 50 years as a practicing lawyer and banking

    Browne said he listened to all of Manning’s games, and that he wondered why
    New Yorkers had not always been supportive of their quarterback.

    “I remember playing golf at Winged Foot with [Manning] before he won that
    first Super Bowl, I thought people were sort of rude to him,” Browne said. “Now,
    when we play together, everyone falls all over him, and they surely better. Eli
    is not only a winner, he’s a fine young man.”


    GIANTS 101


    "Although the New York Giants have several positions that will be
    fought for during training camp, perhaps the most contested starting role on the
    roster is at the third linebacker position(either MLB or WLB depending on where Boley plays). Last
    offseason, the team added three rookies in Jacquian Williams, Greg Jones, and Mark
    . Furthermore, this offseason Big Blue acquired Keith
    from the Cincinnati Bengals for a fifth round draft pick.

    The depth chart is beginning to get crowded with young, talented
    players; and it has become evident to Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell that he
    is going to have to make several tough decisions throughout the course of
    training camp. While addressing the media yesterday, Fewell stated the

    "Our linebacking corps a year ago was young and inexperienced. They were
    talented, but there was an area of concern because there was no OTAs, mandatory
    mini-camp, etc. With a year under their belt, with some playing experience, they
    look bigger, they look stronger, they look faster, they’re more knowledgeable,"
    Fewell said. "I think we’re a better unit, linebacker unit, than at the end of
    the 2011 season. I think we have depth at our linebacker unit this

    The hardest decision Fewell will have to make will be on Chase
    , the seventh year veteran out of Akron. Blackburn spent the
    majority of last season as a substitute teacher in Dublin, Ohio.It was not until Week 11
    that the team brought him back to replace rookie Greg Jones, who had been
    struggling. However, Blackburn went on to play relatively well for Big Blue;
    making several key plays throughout the duration of the regular season and into
    the playoffs.

    The issue with Blackburn is that he is no loner competing with inexperienced
    rookies for playing time. The Giants currently have two solidified starters at
    linebacker in Mathias Kiwanuka (SAM) and Michael
    (WLB/MLB). Blackburn
    currently has a hold on the MLB position; however, players like Jacquian Williams and
    have both been through a full season complete with a Super
    victory; and undoubtedly have a better understanding of the defense
    than they did a year ago. Furthermore, if Keith Rivers returns to form, he would be more than capable
    of starting for Big Blue. While addressing whether Blackburn can hold onto the
    starting MLB spot, Perry
    Fewellhas this to say:

    "I can’t say he’ll stay there permanently, but right now Chase is our guy and
    no one’s clearly beaten him out for the position," Fewell said. "Chase has some
    distinct advantages over some of the other guys. I said to the defense in our
    meeting, if I want to re-write my playbook, I would get Chase’s notes and
    re-write our playbook. He has been the best extension of me so far because he
    probably knows as much about our defense and how to make the calls and run our
    defense as any of those linebackers, with the exception of Michael
    right now. That’s pretty good."

    Look for Chase
    to begin the season with a relatively significant role within the
    defense. He may very well start week one; but if not, do not be surprised to see
    him in short yardage situations against the run. That being said, Blackburn is
    not the long term solution at MLB. There are younger, more athletic players on the
    roster who if they can learn the defensive schemes, will be better suited to
    help the team; and therefore, surpass Blackburn on the depth chart. It is more
    than likely that Chase
    's knowledge and experience earn him a spot on the 53-man roster;
    however, there is a distinct possibility (maybe even a near certainty) that his
    role will diminish as the year progresses."


    "Being a first round pick for any team means there will be high expectations.
    You could say the stakes are even higher when it is the defending Super Bowl
    Champions making you there selection. This years Super Bowl Champs are the New York
    Giants, and they chose running back David
    from Virginia Tech to be their choice at #32 overall.

    Offensive Coordinator Kevin
    began coaching in the NFL in 1989 with the Houston Oilers. Needless to say,
    he's been around some incredible talent. With the Giants alone he has coached
    the likes of Tiki
    , Ahmad Bradshaw, Plaxico Burress and Hakeem Nicks – all of which
    possess some special qualities. Although he's only had a short time to work with
    first round selection David
    , he's given high praise to the rookie. Coach Gilbride already feels
    that Wilson has certain aspects of his game that separate him not only from the
    aforementioned Giant greats, but from most players in the league.

    "I don't know if we've had a guy as explosive, regardless of the position,
    here, Tiki was a tremendous all-around back, Brandon would give you something,
    Ahmad gives you toughness, but this guy's got the explosion I'm not sure how
    many guys in the league have," Gilbride said.

    The one quality that really stands out to Gilbride is Wilson's explosiveness,
    something that perhaps this Giant offense has been lacking especially among the
    running backs. Gilbride further observed that the rookie has been doing a superb
    job of turning the corner and bursting up the sidelines. With the addition of
    Martellus Bennett and his ability to turn his man inside expect Wilson to find
    the edge often and exploit the outside of the defense.

    The high expectations aside, the coaching staff is aware that
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  2. #2
    All-Pro Captain Chaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Alexandria, Va


    Thanks Roanoke!!

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    [quote user="Captain Chaos"]Thanks Roanoke!![/quote]

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

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