JAY RATLIFF PRAISES GIANTS, SAYING COWBOYS NEED TO DO LESS TALKING
"Year in and year out there's talk about how this is the season for either the
Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles. And year in and year out, each team buys
into the media hype and allows their ego to get the best of them. Cowboys nose
Ratliff said on Friday that enough is enough; it's time for America's Team
to quiet down and stop comparing themselves to the New York
Giants, but to use Big Blue's success as motivation.
“Honestly, we don’t have room to talk,” he said. “The Giants are the Super
Bowl champions. They’ve won two Super Bowls in the last five years. We just need
to be quiet and do our jobs. Nothing else.”
In the same breath, Ratliff did a little talking, saying he expects big
things from certain players and continued by praising their defensive backs.
But, yeah … they plan on quieting down at some point.
“We’re not going to sit here and talk about what we’re going to do this year
or all the expectations everyone else has for us,” Ratliff said. “I think the
attitude for us this year needs to be we’re going to be quiet. To put it
bluntly, we’re going to shut up, not say a thing and do our
It's a bit of an oxymoron, but a tad bit more humility than we've seen out of
anyone from Dallas in at
least the last 10 years. It's also unlikely that this gag order remains in
place, and the first to break it will almost certainly be owner Jerry Jones.
That said, enjoy the quiet while you still can. Monday is only 12 hours away,
which means we're only 12 hours away from the next round of Cowboys (and Eagles)
DESPITE ELI MANNING'S LONGEVITY, GIANTS PLACE HIGH VALUE ON BACK UP QUARTERBACKS
"As much as backup quarterback is an overlooked position in New York
(in blue anyway), it is an ever-important role.
Rewind to the New York
Giants’ 1990 regular season when MVP quarterback Phil Simms went down in
Week 15 with a broken right foot. Then-reserve QB, Jeff
Hostetler stepped up and owned the part – right through Super Bowl XXV.
Giants fans don’t ponder this as much with Eli
Manning under center. Easy E has started in 119 consecutive games – all
while taking a pounding during a number of those games. The epitome of his
toughness, most will agree, was publicized throughout January’s NFC Championship
Many tend to forget back in 2007, during the Week one game versus the Cowboys
when LB Anthony Spencer hit Manning on a 2-point conversion attempt, injuring
the quarterback’s left (non-throwing) shoulder. Initially, it was reported that
#10 would miss four to eight weeks with a sprained/bruised AC joint; he hasn’t
missed a single regular season game since. Every serious football
fan knows how the 2007 season ended for Manning and the New York
Considering the last number of years and all 32 teams’ QB/injury situation,
one has to realize how significant that reserve role justly is. The case of
Hostetler is rarer than it is reality.
Division rival QBs Tony Romo and Michael Vick both succumbed to injury at
some point in the last two years. Collectively, their teams went 9-10 with them
in medical bay receiving treatment.
Ask fans from the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Kansas
City Chiefs, (even the Oakland Raiders early on in 2012 will chime in) if a
capable backup is/was a need for Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford,
Matt Cassel, (and then, Jason Campbell). Ernie
Accorsi could have told you so too.
"I always said the most important guy on your team is the quarterback and the
second most important is the backup," remembers Ernie
Accorsi, retired GM of the New York
Giants (and Cleveland Browns). "I wanted (Kurt) Warner as soon as we got
(Eli) Manning. In Cleveland in 1988, we had (Bernie) Kosar, (Gary) Danielson and
Mike Pagel. Kosar and Danielson got hurt so I picked up (Don) Strock. We had six
quarterback injuries. All four got hurt – Kosar twice – and we made the
playoffs. You can't do that today. You can't afford that."
There are, of course, stories that aren’t played out so horribly. Matt Schaub
went down and then his backup (Matt Leinart) went down – putting rookie T.J.
Yates in as the only quarterback to come in under center and have the team
continue to play pretty much the same (more due to a fabulous running game that
was hitting on all cylinders). Again, as with Hostetler (and Steve Young), it’s
Bear in mind, those teams with no true starter at quarterback or ones with
ongoing quarterback controversy aren’t being introduced as part of this
Since no controversy is remotely near this gun-slinger position on the New York
Giants, it’s safe to say Eli
Manning’s health is a hotter commodity than QB David
Carr and QB Ryan
Perrilloux. This remains fact since the Giants tend to carry only two
quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.
Since Carr has the actual regular season game experience of 11 years, it’s
pretty much a lock that the spot is his. However, Carr is 32-years-old and is
now signing one-year contracts; this won’t go on forever and at some point,
he’ll retire. The Giants will need to secure a reliable backup before that time
hits. Question is will they groom him from within or try to grab someone in free
agency as they’ve been doing?"EXPECTATIONS WILL SOON BUILD FOR MANY GIANTS' HOPEFULS
"Each season, certain New York
Giants players sell their NFL-licensed jerseys off the rack like the powers-that-be
were about to close the sports stores forever. Then, there are some players that
have to have their jerseys custom-made by fans as they’re not deemed “popular”
enough for mass production. What about other players – those that really aren’t
even at an imminent popularity juncture?
The first-string guys for Big Blue will always be the ones that ensure the
appeal of the franchise. Sometimes, through injury, the back-up players become
more than role players and contribute enough to now be front line men. Again,
what about those role-players that rarely get their time, but flash when they
Every diehard fan has their underdog that they root for. That one player that
they wish would get a chance to get out there and show the skills that are
possessed to actually be on the field every down. For some, it starts while
watching them during a particular part of their college career, for others it
grows with the draft coverage, and with many it is solidified through training
camp drills and explosions of brilliance there or even in preseason.
Once an affinity for an expectant breakout player is attained, it’s a bit
hard to let go until it’s finally realized on the playing field that such a
player hasn’t lived up to what was once a reachable greatness. Majority of the
time, disappointment sets in and the realization that had been with the coaches
and scouts is now in the head of the loyal fan. Then, another possibility is
eventually chosen to place hope in.
Why do some of the big blue faithful look deeper into the roster for players
to cheer for? The Giants themselves thrive on the underdog role. Does the fan
base embrace and follow suit, looking for the next guy that will rise up and
become the best-selling jersey? It’s not an unrealistic theory.
This allegiance and hopefulness isn’t focused on particular skill positions
either. It isn’t geared towards one side of the ball. Backup offensive linemen,
special teams players and even third-stringers/rookies that were almost practice
squad material get mad love from Giants fans. Several of the recipients of said
affection may have been heroes at some point. They may have made a game-changing
play. They may have briefly received some attention from media outlets or
opposing teams. They may have even helped the team gel and possibly win in the
absence of the true #1 for a time period.
Whatever the real reasons that the fans continue to find a place in their
hearts for roster long shots (some of the on the roster, but with reduced
blue-chip roles), the fact remains that it’s a real part of being diehard. Poll
a few writers and commenters here and the results are sure to back up almost
Heck, as a side note: I'm even willing to put a few of my “hopefuls” out
there for you to crack on. Along with many others, I happily applauded/continue
to cheer on: LB Nick Greisen, QB Jared Lorenzen and LB Chase Blackburn. Past
roster hopefuls: RB Delvin Joyce (thought he was going to be the next Dave
Meggett), CB Frankie Walker (yeah, he perpetually angered us too), S Charlie
Peprah (yup, the one in Green Bay now), and WR Michael Jennings (fast kid, gold
grills & pimped-out Chevy's). Currently I have yet to give up on WR Ramses
Barden, LB Mark
Herzlich (those that know me, know I’m not bandwagon with Mark & flipped
out when we signed him, undrafted) and OL Mitch
Petrus (I remain solid in saying he reminds me of Rich Seubert at
Mock away, G101’ers."FOR FIVE GIANTS, THIS WILL BE A MAKE-OR-BREAK SEASON
"Heading into the 2012 season, the New York Giants have talent at nearly every
position on the field. The depth chart is filled with young, promising players
that have the potential to become indispensable aspects of the team's future.
That being said, in the NFL, talent does not always translate into
Several players on the Giants' roster possess physical attributes that
suggest they have the potential to become significant contributing members of
the team. However, for one reason or another, these players have not yet
harnessed their potential at this point in their respective careers. Below, we
will examine five players that need to show improved production in the
upcomingseason in order to keep their current position on the roster.
Barden (WR) – When one looks at Ramses
Barden, it's hard to imagine how the team could possibly have a hard time
finding a role for him within the offense; however, he only has 15 catches in
three seasons with the Giants. Barden stands 6'6" and weighs 224 lbs. Although
he has seen limited playing time in his short career, his length makes him a
tough match-up for almost any defender, and his stature allows him to make some
improbable catches. Furthermore, Barden has developed into a relatively
effective run blocker on the perimeter. His long arms allow him to quickly
engage defenders on the line of scrimmage and block them down the field.
However, Barden has yet to demonstrate the speed, quickness, or route running
ability necessary to create separation from defenders on the outside. He has
shown the ability to play in the slot and find the soft spots in zone coverage;
but, he does not have great hands and tends to drop passes that should be
caught. In fact, in Week 16 against the New York Jets, Barden played so poorly
that he was made inactive for the remaining five games of last season.
If Barden wants to make an impact in 2012, he must stay healthy and improve
his catching ability. He is not going to get any faster, so he most likely will
never be a threat down the field. But if he can show he has the ability to make
plays with his hands, he could become a red-zone target for Big Blue this
season. Barden is never going to be covered by any opposing defenses' best
player, so if he can get on the field, he will have the opportunity to use his
size to make plays. This season is most likely his last chance to become a
productive player before the team decides to move in another direction.
Beckum (TE) - Travis
Beckum tore his ACL in last year's Super Bowl, and could begin the season on
the PUP. Needless to say, the fourth-year veteran out of Wisconsin is coming
into this season at a disadvantage to the several players the Giants have added
to the tight end depth chart.
Beckum is an undersized tight end (6'3"/ 234 lbs) that makes up for it with
above average athleticism. He has good hands and is a decent route runner;
however, he struggles in knowing where he is on the field and has trouble
finding the soft spots of a defense. Although Beckum does bring versatility to
Big Blue's passing attack, his size makes him a liability in the run blocking
With Martellus Bennett, Bear
Pascoe and Adrien
Robinson lining the depth chart, the team now has several options at the
tight end position. If Beckum does not have a break out year this season, it is
likely that the team will stick with the bigger, more versatile tight ends on
the roster in both Bennett and Robinson for the foreseeable future.
Rivers (LB) – Keith
Rivers was the ninth overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals; however, his career has been plagued
by injuries up until this point. That being said, Rivers has an incredible
combination of size, strength, and athleticism. He tackles well in the open
field and is athletic enough to be effective in both man and zone coverage
Rivers is in a contract year, so he has every incentive to become a
productive, contributing member of the Giants' defense; but that will depend on
whether he can learn the defense or not. He is a new member of a linebacker core
that is filled with young, promising players that all have more experience in
Big Blue's defensive schemes.
The Giants are in a win now mode, so if Rivers does not demonstrate his
ability to play within the confines of the defense during training camp, he will
have to wait to get on the field during the season. He has as much ability as
almost any other NFL linebacker, but if he does not show increased productivity
this year, we may not see Keith
Rivers back on the roster in 2013.
Hixon (WR) - Domenik
Hixon is coming off two torn ACL's in consecutive seasons. As a player who
does not have great size or strength, he relies heavily on his speed to be a
productive NFL wide receiver. With his history of suffering major knee injuries,
it is unknown whether we will see the same burst from him that he has shown in
Hixon is currently competing for the third wide receiver role with Rueben
Randle and Jerrel
Jernigan. Although reports indicate he has looked good in offseason
workouts, with young options behind him on the depth chart, it will be difficult
for Hixon to hang onto the number three receiver role for an entire season. In
order for him to see significant playing time, Hixon must play well early on to
the point where he becomes an integral aspect of the offense. Otherwise, the
team will likely go with younger players in 2013.
Will Beatty (LT) - The fourth year
veteran out of UConnplayed relatively well at left tackle for the first nine
games of last season, but he suffered a detached retina in his right eye that
caused him to miss the remainder of the year. Furthermore, Beatty has not
participated in the the Giants' offseason programs because of back issues.
When healthy, Beatty has an impressive combination of both size (6'6"/ 319
lbs) and athleticism. He has good technique and is relatively strong at the
point of attack, which makes him a more than serviceable pass blocker. However,
Beatty needs to gain more strength in order for him to become an effective run
blocker as well. Given time and experience, he has the potential to become a
very good player.
The issue with Beatty is that his health is a question mark. Back problems
are generally considered a bad omen for offensive linemen. Unfortunately for
him, he plays a position that is vital to the protection of the team's franchise
player in Eli
Manning. If Will Beatty can not stay healthy for the upcoming season, the
team will most likely seek a more stable option at the left tackle position.
The 2012 New York Giants will be a formidable adversary for every opponent
they face, However, like every other NFL team, there are players on the roster
that must answer serious question marks in the upcoming season in regards to
their performance and productivity. It will be intriguing to follow the progress
of these players throughout both training camp and the regular season."http://www.giants101.com/
BIG BLUE VIEW
2007 GIANTS VS. 2011 GIANTS: FULLBACKS
"As we continue our position-by-position comparisons of the New
York Giants Super Bowl-winning teams from 2007 and 2011 let's look at the
unsung position of fullback.
Basically, that means we put the 2007 battering ram, Madison Hedgeock, up
against 2011 battering ram Henry
Droughns played a little fullback in 2007, and Bear Pascoe
filled in last season when Hynoski was out of the lineup.
2007 Regular Season
Hedge**** -- 6 receptions, 45 yards
2011 Regular Season
Henry Hynoski -- 12 receptions, 83 yards
Hedge**** was a 6-foot-3, 266-pound bruiser of a fullback. He could catch the
ball, but his game was all about blasting people out of the way to clear space
for Giants running backs. When the St. Louis Rams
released him after one game in 2007 general manager Jerry Reese made a critical
move by snatching him off the waiver wire. Hedge****'s work really helped make
the Giants running game special.
When the Giants look at Hynoski, 6-foot-1, 266 pounds, I believe they see a
Hedge**** clone. Hynoski can be the same type of physical, crunching blocker
that Hedge**** was. Only Hynoski has not gotten to the point where he does the
job as consistently as Hedge**** did before injuries took their toll on him.
Hynoski has the tools, and the attitude, to reach that level. He isn't there
2007 GIANTS VS. 2011 GIANTS: RUNNING BACKS
"Let's continue our comparison the the New York Giants
Super Bowl-winning teams of 2007 and 2011 today by looking at the running backs.
Jacobs and Ahmad
Bradshaw were members of both of these teams. We already knew, though, that
the running games of the two teams were much, much different. The numbers back
that up. The Giants of 2007 were dominant running the ball. The Giants of 2011
were a pass-first team that was pretty much happy to get help, any kind of help,
from the running game.
The numbers are below.
2007 Regular Season
Brandon Jacobs -- 202 carries, 1,009 yards (5.0 yards per carry), 4 TDs; 23
receptions, 174 yards
Derrick Ward --
125 carries, 602 yards (4.8 yards per carry), 3 TDs; 26 receptions, 179
Droughns -- 85 carries, 275 yards (3.2 yards per carry), 6 TDs; 7
receptions, 49 yards
Ahmad Bradshaw -- 23 carries, 190 yards (8.3 yards per
carry), 1 TD; 2 receptions, 12 yards
2011 Regular Season
Ahmad Bradshaw -- 171 carries, 659 yards (3.9 yards per carry), 9 TDs; 34
receptions, 267 yards
Brandon Jacobs -- 152 carries, 571 yards (3.8 yards per
carrry), 7 TDs; 15 receptions, 128 yards
D.J. Ware -- 46
carries, 163 yards (3.5 yards per carry); 27 receptions, 170 yards
The Giants ran the ball way, way better in 2007. Jacobs was better than he is
now. Derrick Ward provided a great complement, and Bradshaw found his way into
the rotation for the playoffs.This one is clear. ADVANTAGE:
NY GIANTS AND ROSTER BUILDING: NOT GETTING ENOUGH CREDIT
"Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports recently a piece entitled 'Right Way To Build Roster Depth,' and did not include the
defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants
among his top five teams in his discussion.http://www.bigblueview.com/section/news
At first blush, that is ridiculous. You don't win two Super Bowl titles in
five seasons and be competitive every season if you don't know how to rebuild a
roster depleted by injury, free-agent defections, retirements, etc., year after
Kirwan has broken his debate down into 10 categories. I have no clue how
Prisco came up with them, but so be it. For the sake of argument, here are all
10 and my thoughts on how the Giants check out in each.
1. A backup quarterback who can go at least 2-2 if he had to take over for
a month straight.
Does anybody really want to see David Carr play quarterback for the Giants
for a month? I thought not. Thing is, Carr is not exactly chopped liver. He is a
former No. 1 overall selection who has attempted 2,264 passes in his career.
Granted, Carr's career has been a disappointment and his career record as a
starter is 23-56. That, however, is 79 career starts and Carr has never lined up
during a regular season game with a team like this. Personally, I think Carr can
go 2-2 over a month with this team.
2. A second running back who could be a 1,000 yard back if he had to take
over or at least generate 75 yards of offense a week as a runner and
He hasn't played a down yet, but the Giants did just draft David Wilson in
the first round. It isn't the running with the ball or catching it part I worry
about with Wilson. It is the blitz pickups and ball security.
3. A third wide receiver who could go in for a starter down and generate
4-6 receptions a game as an X or a Z.
Yes, the Giants lost Mario Manningham. And yes, we have been over the
scenarios and the players who have an opportunity to step up ad nauseum. And
yes, it is most definitely not clear which player will step up.
While we don't know which player it will be, I think it's hard not to believe
that SOMEONE will step up and fill that role. Ramses Barden has the ability.
Domenik Hixon has done it before. Jerrel Jernigan and Reuben Randle are young,
exciting players. Shoot, it could be an undrafted free agent like Brandon
Collins. No, the answer is not obvious. The answer, though, is on the
4. A second tight end who could be a legitimate threat as a blocker or
The Giants are still trying to figure out who their FIRST tight end is going
to be, but they have addressed this issue. Either Bear Pascoe or Martellus
Bennett will be No. 1, and as a No. 2 I think both would fit Prisco's criteria
quite nicely. Long-term, Adrien Robinson was drafted to be that kind of
So, again we don't know exactly what the answer will be. We do, however, know
that the Giants have tried to address this.
5. Two experienced backup offensive linemen. A swing tackle for either
side and an inside player for the guards/center. Experience required because
they will not get many reps in practice until injuries occur.
We know there is some concern about left tackle Will Beatty, both because of
his back issue and because of how long it has been since he has been able to
take any practice reps. Do the Giants have those two experienced backup lineman
Prisco refers to? Well, they have the swing tackle. That is why Sean Locklear,
in his ninth season, was signed. Do they have the experienced guard/center?
Well, that depends. They difinitely do if Mitch Petrus beats out Kevin Boothe
for the left guard job. Otherwise, Petrus is the primary backup. Inexperienced
or not, I don't think the Giants should feel badly about that.
6. A third defensive tackle already in a rotation that could play a whole
game well if a starter went down.
Yes, the Giants have this. The recently re-signed Rocky Bernard fills that
role for New York, a role in which he excelled last season. There is also Marvin
Austin, the second-round pick a season ago. Don't count on much from
seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn, who has yet to practice due to injury and
work visa issues.
7. A pass rush specialist that could play some run down situations if a
starter went down.
Well, gee. The Giants do have this Osi Umenyiora guy. I think he might be an
adequate fill-in. Oh, and they have this Mathias Kiwanuka character who has
played a little bit of defensive end during his career. I think the Giants are
8. A fourth corner back that could bump up to the nickel corner if that
player had to replace an injured starter.
This is not a spot that should be a concern. Justin Tryon, Michael Coe and
Antwaun Molden are experienced players. Jayron Hosley was drafted in the third
round. There is also Brandon Bing and undrafted free agent safety/cornerback
Janzen Jackson. There are plenty of talented options here.
9. A third safety that can start or provide a defense with an opportunity
to play some ‘Big Nickel' when needed.
Let's grant that this is a concern entering training camp, mostly because
long in the tooth veteran Deon Grant is no longer a Giant. Second-year man Tyler
Sash has the inside track on this role. Free-agent acquisition Stevie Brown has
drawn some praise. There is also free-agent acquisition Chris Horton. No one
knows for sure, though, if any of those players can fill the role
10. Four core special team players that could help on offense or defense
in a pinch. That is a total of 14 players not listed as starters that become the
most important people on a roster when injuries take starters off the field.
Which teams look the most ready to answer the challenge of roster depth?
I think the Giants have these guys, maybe even more than four of them. You
can probably list Chase Blackburn, Tyler Sash, Greg Jones, Michael Coe and
Justin Tryon as core special teams players. Mark Herzlich might also be one of
these players. Maybe Domenik Hixon still fits in this category, as well.
There are question marks, and decisions to be made in training camp, but in
the end I don't think Prisco gives the Giants enough credit for how they have
constructed their roster.
THE RED ZONE
EIGHT PLAYERS TO WATCH AT GIANTS' TRAINING CAMP
"Sure, the New York Giants don’t open training camp for
over a month, but there are plenty of intriguing players on the defending
champs’ roster who will be under the microscope for various reasons this
Here’s a brief look:
Terrell Thomas, CB: Coming off a serious knee injury
suffered during a 2011 preseason game against the Chicago
Bears, Thomas is out to prove he can return to his former
greatness, when he was on the verge of exploding as an All-Pro candidate. He’s
been working hard to be ready and is sure that nothing will hold him back, but
he will command the most eyes this summer because the defense needs him back…
Prince Amukamara, CB: The kid was not only the victim of
last year’s lockout, keeping him away from valuable NFL education, but he
suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his foot and didn’t get on the field until
November. When he did play, he showed flashes (if memory serves, he nabbed an
interception on his first pro series), but he also looked lost at times and,
well, like a rookie with very little preparation. This year, he’s had a full
off-season and the 2011 first-round pick should push for snaps, and press at
least one veteran, or he’ll feel the heat from rookie Jayron Hosley.
Marvin Austin, DT: In essence, he hasn’t played organized
ball since 2009 after a college suspension in 2010 and a pectoral injury that
forced him to miss the 2011 season. He has looked pretty good in OTAs and seems
to have fully recovered the surgical injury, but Austin will still be pushed. If
he proves worthy of his second-round stature, he’ll be in the rotation.
Mark Herzlich, LB: The second-year player could play a key
role in the NY Giants defense in 2012. In fact, he could wind up as the starting
middle linebacker. Sure, the team lists Chase Blackburn as the No. 1 MIKE right
now, but Herzlich could overtake him. However, he will have competition from
second-year pro Greg Jones and free agent Keith Rivers. Even if Herzlich doesn’t
start, he’ll have plenty of time on the field in various defensive looks.
Justin Trattou, DE: Now that Dave
Tollefson has left via free agency, Trattou may have the inside
track on the fourth defensive end spot vacated by the underrated fan favorite.
Trattou was on the NY Giants’ practice squad last season and is poised to break
out, with little competition ahead of him.
Domenik Hixon, WR: He had a torn ACL in
2010, then another in 2011 and has missed the better part of two seasons. This
year, Hixon has his sights set on the No. 3 wide receiver job (No. 2 if Hakeem Nicks is out of action longer than expected), as well
as returning punts. Can he? Will he? The team is anxious to see what he can do
this summer, and the smart, hard-working and experienced veteran is anxious to
show what he can do for the team.
James Brewer, T: Though Brewer was on the inactive list for
the entire 2011 season he’ll be in the mix for the starting left tackle job. If
he can do what the Giants want expect, he would add flexibility on the offensive
line. And with Will Beatty still shaky following eye surgery and a bad back,
inconsistency and the lack of a killer instinct, the release of Kareem McKenzie
and David Diehl’s recent DWI arrest Brewer will be on the Hot List this
Will Beatty, T: He’s not on the bubble for a roster spot,
but Beatty needs an excellent, aggressive camp or he could lose that left tackle
spot. There are plenty of others who could get a chance — guys like Brewer,
Diehl and maybe even free agent Sean Locklear — if Beatty fails to show the
coaches what they want to see. Beatty also missed OTA time with a back problem
and is coming off season-ending eye surgery, another in a long string of
injuries in just three seasons. Note: the fourth-year veteran has just 16 starts
under his belt, 10 of which came last season."
PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY
BLACKBURN STILL HAS THE EDGE FOR GIANTS' MLB SLOT
"Even though the Giants traded for former No. 9 overall pick Keith
Rivers from the Bengals the week before they re-signed Chase
Blackburn, it appears that Blackburn is a starter now and Rivers is
not. They don’t play the same position technically, although Rivers could be
used inside in training camp as a backup to two spots. He also would play behind
WLB Michael Boley, whom GM Jerry Reese hinted
could be moved inside. Boley says he believes he is the weak-side linebacker
going forward, and it appears that Blackburn, the late-season hero who came off
his couch to start for the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning defense, remains in line
to play a lot of snaps again. Health obviously will be a factor, but Rivers
could earn a role as a sub-package linebacker. Observers say that Rivers has
looked good so far, but that the Giants’ LB depth is quite strong, which could
limit the bench players’ possible reps."
PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS
NFL ROOKIE SYMPOSIUM BEGINS TODAY IN IN OHIO
JAY RATLIFF SAYS IT'S TIME FOR THE COWBOYS TO "SHUT UP" AND WORK
FUJITA ASKED GOODELL: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, ROGER"?
STEVE SMITH: PANTHERS DON'T NEED PLAXICO BURRESS
PLAXICO BURRESS TAKE A SHOT AT MARK SANCHEZ