HISTORICAL GIANTS' CLIPS: 1978 VS. EAGLES
"Historical New York Giants clips is a weekly Giants 101 feature that
takes a look back at vintage video of Big Blue, both in color and black and
white, over the course of their illustrious history. Whether it's a win or a
loss, the purpose of this feature is to help educate newer generations of Giants
fans and to bring older generations of Giants fans back in time. Enjoy.
Coming off a tough overtime loss to the Washington Redskins in week 11 of the
1978 season, the New York Giants desperately needed a win over the Philadelphia Eagles to get back to .500 and to keep them
in the playoff hunt. And after an interception late in the fourth quarter
courtesy of Odis McKinney, all Big Blue had to do was kneel on the ball to
preserve a 17-12 upset win. But that didn't happen…
As fans headed for the exits thinking the game was well in hand with less
than 30 seconds to go, quarterback Joe
Pisarcik took the snap on 3rd and 2, but rather than kneeling down to run
out the clock, attempted to hand the ball off to fullback Larry
Csonka. It was fumbled behind the line of scrimmage, picked up by cornerback
Edwards and returned for the game-winning touchdown. The play and the game
became infamously known as "Miracle at the Meadowlands."
Thinking that the game was over prior to the fumble, CBS commentator Don
Criqui had already begun to run/read the credits. Here was his call:
"It's Giants football now, third and two. We thank our producer Bob
Rowe, our director Jim Silman, and our CBS crew, spotter and statistician John
Mara and Tom McHugh here at Giants Stadium. As the clock winds down on the Philadelphia Eagles, a game they thought would project
them into a possible wildcard position, it would bring them 7-5 had they won,
but a late interception by the Giants will preserve a Giant victory, an upset
win as the Giants lead 17-12, we’re inside 30 seconds, the Eagles have no
timeouts … Wait a minute… here's a free football, I don't believe it! The Eagles pick it up and
Edwards runs it in for a touchdown! An incredible
The Giants would go on to lose three of their remaining four games, finishing
the season at 6-10, but that was the smallest of the stories that surrounded the
team in the final month of the season. Fans would turn on management,
demonstrating outside of the stadium in week 14 demanding change. Then, during
the final home game of the year, the protest would grow despite a 17-0 victory
over the St. Louis Cardinals. A Newark furniture dealer named Morris Spielberg
arranged for a plane to fly over the stadium with a banner that read: "15 Years
of Lousy Football —
We've Had Enough." As it passed, fans changed "We've had enough!" and the game
had to be temporarily stopped as a result.
Following the season, head coach John McVay's contract would expire and not
be renewed – he never coached in the NFL again. Csonka's contract was also up, and he would
return to Miami. Meanwhile, the team would eventually hire General Manager
George Young after offseason mediation, and he made an immediate impact,
drafting quarterback Phil Simms to replace Pisarcik.
Ray Perkins would coach the team for the next four years, and with the
exception of the 1981 season, the results were more of the same. However, it was
his hire of then defensive coordinator Bill
Parcells that would eventually lead the New York Football Giants back to prominence."http://www.giants101.com/
BIG BLUE VIEW
GIANTS' TOP 3 MOST UNDERRATED PLAYERS
"In all of sports there are stars on a team and players that contribute huge
roles and don't get the credit they deserve. There are three underrated players
who had huge impacts for the New York Giants last season , especially in their
push for the playoffs and Super Bowl title.
1. Mathias Kiwanuka
Kiwanuka plays a bigger role for the Giants than a lot of people realize.
This is a player that last season moved from the defensive line to linebacker,
and could go back to the d-line if a player is injured. Not many players in the
NFL can do that.
Last season Kiwanuka had 84 tackles, 64 of which were solo with 3.5 sacks and
The Giants recognize what Kiwanuka is capable of, and rewarded him with a
multi-year contract worth up to $21.75 million for four years. $10.95 million is
guaranteed and he'll be making a little more than $5 million a year until he is
a free agent in 2016.
2. Chase Blackburn
When the NFL lockout of 2011 ended the Giants did not bring back linebacker
Chase Blackburn. In fact, no team gave him a phone call.
When Blackburn didn't get the call, he didn't lose hope. He trained and
waited, believing someone would call him. Just before he was about to get a job
as a math teacher, the Giants called. The defensive line was riddled with
injuries and they wanted Blackburn back.
Blackburn went from missing 12 weeks of the season, to starting the final
four weeks. He played five games and had 26 tackles and one interception, which
was off Aaron Rodgers against the Green Bay Packers in Blackburn's first game
The biggest moment of Blackburn's return to the team was his game-changing
interception of New England Patriots' QB Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLVI.
The Giants made sure they held onto Blackburn for at least one more season
when they signed him to a one-year, $825,000 contract. He will be an
unrestricted free agent again in 2013.
3. Steve Weatherford
After a 2010 season of Matt Dodge woes, the Giants decided to bring in
veteran punter Steve Weatherford instead. It turned out to be one of their best
decisions in 2011.
Weatherford single-handedly helped strengthen the Giant's special teams,
especially in their push for the Super Bowl.
In 2011 he averaged 45.7 yards per punt. He stayed just as consistent in the
postseason, averaging 45.4 yards per punt. Weatherford played huge roles in the
final two games of the postseason against the San Francsico 49ers and the New
England Patriots by punting the ball deep into the opponents end of the
Weatherford has five years on his contract worth up to $12.75 million,
keeping him around until 2016.
The Giants were not favorites to win Super Bowl XLVI, but they did anyway.
The players mentioned above played some of the biggest roles and will continue
to do so in the years to come for New York."
NY GIANTS: BETTER OR WORSE ON PAPER?
"It's the time of year for NFL writers when creating lists, handing out
offseason grades and doing a variety of positional and team analysis type pieces
is the order of the day. The Sporting News recently posted its NFC
Offseason Grades. Here is what TSN said about the New York
Giants:2007 GIANTS VS. 2011 GIANTS: THE FINAL TALLY, BY THE NUMBERS
"The Super Bowl champion Giants have escaped the offseason relatively
unscathed. They were able to draft Wilson and Randle to replace the big-name
vets (Manningham and Jacobs) they lost. The key is having Hakeem Nicks,
who broke his right foot in May and underwent surgery, ready to go at the start
of the season. The Giants are in much better position to defend their
championship than they were after winning Super Bowl XLII."
Agree or disagree, Giants fans? Is this team, on paper, better than it was at
the end of last season? Or, do you look at the losses the team suffered and this
team just isn't as good heading into 2012?"
"In wrapping up our series comparing the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning New
York Giants teams let's turn back to the good folks at What If Sports. Back when we
started this little project I ran a simulated game between the two teams 25
times and found that the 2007 team won 19 of those games.
That, however, was not a big enough sample to get conclusive results from.
So, the folks at What If Sports agreed to use their equipment to run a full
study. They simulated games between the two teams 1001 times. The 2011 Giants
won 61.6 percent of the simulated games, with an average score of 29.2 to
A few numbers for comparison from the simulations:
2007 Eli Manning -- 20.9 completions, 35.9 attempts
(58.1 percent), 269.8 yards, 1.81 TDs, 1.56 INTs
2011 Eli Manning -- 23.3
completions, 33.5 attempts (69.7 percent), 326.8 yards, 2.62 TDs, 0.95 INTs
2007 Brandon Jacobs -- 11.1 carries, 59.4 yards, 5.4
yards per carry
2007 Derrick Ward -- 8.6 carries, 44.7 yards, 5.2 yards per
2011 Ahmad Bradshaw -- 12.1 carries, 44.1 yards, 3.7 yards per
2011 Brandon Jacobs -- 7.4 carries, 26.7 yards, 3.6 yards per carry
2007 Plaxico Burress -- 4.5 receptions, 66.4 yards, 14.9
yards per catch
2007 Jeremy Shockey -- 4.4 receptions, 56.4 yards, 12.9 yards
2007 Amani Toomer -- 3.7 receptions, 53.2 yards, 14.3 yards per
2011 Victor Cruz -- 5.1 receptions, 85.4 yards, 16.6 yards per
2011 Hakeem Nicks -- 5.0 receptions, 74, 0 yards, 14.7 yards per
2011 Jake Ballard -- 3.0 receptions, 45.8 yards, 15.0 yards per
2011 Mario Manningham -- 3.0 recpetions, 42.3 yards, 14.0 yards per
Offensive Line -- 2007
Tight End -- 2011 (you guys disagreed with me here)
Wide Receiver -- 2011
Running Back -- 2007
Fullback -- 2007
Quarterback -- 2011
Defensive Line -- 2011
Linebacker -- 2007
Cornerback -- 2007
Safety -- 2011
Special Teams -2011"http://www.bigblueview.com/section/news
THE RED ZONE
NY GIANTS' 2012 SEASON PREVIEW
Last year, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. However, can you argue
that they were the worst regular season team to ever win the Super Bowl. They
were the first team to win the Super Bowl despite single digit wins (9) and they
even had a negative points differential (-6), one of only 2 playoff teams last
season to have one (Denver). They barely made the playoffs and had to win their
final 2 games to do so.
At 7-7 heading into week 16, it said far more likely that Tom Coughlin would
be fired than that he would win his 2nd Super Bowl. In fact, had
Miles Austin not dropped a wide open touchdown in the Giants/Cowboys week 14
clash, the Giants wouldn’t have even made the playoffs. You can say the same
thing about a borderline “gave himself up” call in the Giants’ game against the
Cardinals earlier in the season that led to a Victor Cruz touchdown.
Of course, in the playoffs, everything changed. Eli turned into ELIte,
throwing to a great group of receivers, their running game finally got going
after ranking dead last in the regular season, and they got just enough guys
back from injury defensively that their amazing pass rush was able to shine.
Some think they have turned a corner and are now the elite team that they
weren’t during the regular season, as the Packers did after winning the Super
Bowl the season before.
I disagree. I think this was just a team that got hot at the right time, as
they did the last time they won the Super Bowl. They didn’t turn the corner and
become an elite team last time. Sure, they went 12-4 in the 2008 season, the
season after winning the Super Bowl, but their Super Bowl was followed by 4
straight seasons without a playoff win. It wasn’t like the Packers setting the
world on fire and going 15-1 last year. They’ve proven countless times that they
are not an elite team, just an above average team that can get hot at the right
time. I think they’ll more closely resemble the above average team they were
last year in the regular season, and in the regular seasons previous, than the
elite team that won the Super Bowl last postseason.
In a loaded NFC and a loaded NFC East, that could be trouble. No defending
Super Bowl champion has won a playoff game since the Patriots won back to back
Super Bowls in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. I don’t think the Giants are going to
be the ones to break that streak. In fact, considering they barely made the
playoffs last year, and that they’re in an improved division overall (Eagles
ended last year really well, Cowboys upgraded their secondary, Redskins got
RGIII), they might not make the playoffs at all this season. Every year, 5 teams
that made the playoffs the year before miss the playoffs the following season.
The Giants could easily be one of the 5 out this season.
Eli Manning had an amazing season last year. He threw for 4933 yards in the
regular season and played extremely well in the playoffs, carrying the team in a
way he had never done before. He definitely proved himself to be an elite
quarterback. However, after the Giants won the Super Bowl, I still argued I’d
rather have Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees because of their consistent
Eli was on their level last year, but before last year, his career high in
yards was 4021. Before last year, he might not even have been a top-10
quarterback. I need to see him do it once more before I’ll put him in that top,
top tier with the 3 guys just mentioned (for the record, brother Peyton is in
that tier too if fully healthy). Still, the Giants are in very, very good hands
with Eli. He’s at worst the 4th best quarterback in the league and
you can do a lot, lot worse than that.
The Giants have always been a good running team, so it was a real surprise
when they ranked dead last in yards (1427) and YPC (3.5) last season. That’s why
Eli carried this team in ways he had never before. He didn’t really have a great
running game to lean on. In the postseason, they got things together, a big part
of why they were able to win it all.
The Giants return starter Ahmad Bradshaw, but they lost Brandon Jacobs and
while his replacement David Wilson, their 1st round pick, is much
more talented than the aged Jacobs, he isn’t the short yardage bruiser that
Jacobs was. They could miss that. To replace Jacobs as a short yardage back, the
Giants have had DJ Ware bulk up from around 225 pounds to 240 this offseason.
He’ll see very limited work in specialized situations.
Bradshaw and Wilson, meanwhile, are very, very similar football players. In
fact, in my scouting report of Wilson, I actually gave him a Bradshaw
comparison, this of course being before the Giants took him. For that reason, I
actually didn’t like the Wilson selection because you typically want
complimentary players in a running back tandem. Still, Wilson is a talented back
who will help their running game get back on track.
After rushing for 1235 yards on 278 carries in 2010 (4.5 YPC), Bradshaw
rushed for 659 yards on 171 carries (3.9 YPC) last season thanks, in large part,
to injuries, which caused him to miss 4 games and be limited in several others.
Bradshaw has hardly been the picture of good health in the past in his career,
aside from the 2010 season, so Wilson will come in handy as they attempt to get
back to being a good running football team.
Eli Manning was definitely helped out by a great receiving corps last season,
led by the trio of Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham. In the Super
Bowl, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick told his defense to make Manningham be
the one to have to beat them. That backfired as he did with an amazing catch
against the sideline on what would eventually be the game winning touchdown
drive late in the 4th quarter.
Manningham is gone, after signing in San Francisco, but Manningham actually
only had 39 catches for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns as their 3rd
receiver last year so it’s not like he’s irreplaceable. Hakeem Nicks and Victor
Cruz were the key guys as they had 76/1192/7 and 82/1536/9 respectively and both
are back this season.
Nicks is the more sure thing between the two as he was a highly ranked
prospect coming out of college and has two years of great production as opposed
to just one for Victor Cruz, who came out of literally nowhere to finish
3rd in the league in receiving and pace the team in catches, yards,
and receiving touchdowns last year. Nicks was the better receiver of the two in
the playoffs, with 28 catches for 444 yards and 4 touchdowns, as opposed to 21
catches for 269 yards and 1 touchdown for Cruz. Barring any further setbacks
with his foot injury (he should be good for week 1), I expect Nicks to lead the
team in receiving this year, though don’t count out the Giants having two 1000
yard receivers once again.
The 3rd receiver this year is expected to be Rueben Randle as he
fills in for Manningham. Like Manningham, Randle will play outside opposite
Nicks in 3-wide receiver sets, with Cruz playing in the slot where he’s most
dangerous. Randle will compete with veterans Domenik Hikon and Ramses Barden, as
well as 2011 3rd round pick Jerrel Jernigan, but the Giants used a
2nd round pick on Randle in this past 2012 NFL Draft and considering
he was seen as a steal there and one of the draft’s most NFL ready receivers, he
should win that job.
Tight end, however, could be a problem for the Giants this year. Their Super
Bowl victory was not without losses as they lost both Jake Ballard and Travis
Beckum to torn ACLs. Those were their top 2 tight ends at an already thin
position. Ballard was not expected to be able to play at all this season, so
they cut him. He was then claimed on waivers by none other than the New England
Patriots, which pissed off Head Coach Tom Coughlin. Beckum, meanwhile, might be
able to play at some point this year but he’s pretty unproven with 26 career
With those two out, the Giants signed Martellus Bennett and used a
4th round pick on Adrien Robinson. When they signed Bennett, I
thought there was some real upside with him. Bennett was underutilized as a
receiver in Dallas behind Jason Witten, but was talented enough as a receiver to
go in the 2nd round in 2008 and he’s one of the league’s best
blocking tight ends. On top of that, Manning has always gotten the most out of
mediocre receivers like Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard at tight end before.
However, Bennett showed up to camp at 291 pounds and while he insists that’s all
muscle, that won’t help him separate from defenders. Robinson, meanwhile, is an
athletic freak and a strong blocker, but he caught just 12 passes in his senior
season at Cincinnati last year so the 2012 4th round pick is a major project who
won’t contribute much this season.
The offensive line was absolutely miserable for the Giants last year. I’m
amazed they managed to win the Super Bowl in spite of it because they didn’t
really get much better in the playoffs. Eli Manning was only sacked 28 times,
but that’s because he, like his brother, gets the football out very quickly (he
was sacked 11 times in 4 playoff games on top of that though). They were
ProFootballFocus’ worst rated pass blocking offensive line and 4th
worst rated run blocking offensive line. In the playoffs and regular season
combined, they allowed 250 quarterback pressures. On 840 pass plays, that’s one
every 3.4 pass attempts.
Their worst offensive lineman was David Diehl. Diehl played 10 games at left
guard and 6 games at left tackle and managed to rank among the worst at the
position at both. As a tackle, he ranked 64th out of 76 with a -22.0
(in 6 games), allowing 4 sacks, 6 quarterback pressures, and 20 quarterback
pressures, while committing 2 penalties. In 10 games at guard, he ranked
76th out of 77 with a -26.1, allowing 5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, 28
quarterback pressures, while committing 3 penalties. Including playoffs, in 20
games, he allowed 13 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 61 quarterback pressures, and
committed 6 penalties. His -58.1 overall rating was the worst among any player
at any position.
Diehl has been moved to right tackle this season. He’ll compete with James
Brewer, their 2011 4th round pick, for the right to start there and
he might move back to left guard and start there if he can’t win the right
tackle job. Diehl and Brewer are competing for Kareem McKenzie’s old job.
McKenzie was almost as bad as Diehl, allowing 9 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, 58
quarterback pressures, and committing 4 penalties in 20 games at right tackle.
He, not surprisingly, remains unsigned on the open market as of this writing and
may have to retire at 33 years of age.
Things were better aside from Diehl and McKenzie, but still not great. Chris
Snee was their right guard once again, allowing 6 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and
27 quarterback pressures, good for a -18.7 rating in 20 games. He’ll start there
once again. Opposite him, Kevin Boothe is penciled in as the starting left guard
with Diehl at right tackle, though he could lose his job to Diehl if Diehl can’t
win the right tackle job. Boothe played all over the line last season, including
center, and had a -19.0 rating overall with 3 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, 21
quarterback pressures, and 2 penalties, though he was a putrid run blocker. The
Giants would still be better off with Boothe as their starting left guard and
Diehl serving Boothe’s old role as a versatile 6th offensive
When healthy, David Baas played center last year. A natural guard, Baas
looked out of position at center last year, as he too graded out well below
average with a -11.3 rating. He allowed 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 14
quarterback pressures. Some expected them to take a natural center like Peter
Konz in the 1st round and move Baas to guard, but they didn’t do
that. In fact, they didn’t put much emphasis on the offensive line at all in the
draft, which was surprising considering how poorly they played last season. They
used a 4th round pick on the versatile Brandon Mosley and a
6th round pick on the raw, but athletic Matt McCants, but neither
will have much of an impact this season. At best, they’re going to be their
7th and 8th offensive linemen.
The only offensive lineman who wasn’t absolutely miserable for the Giants
upfront last season was William Beatty, who was actually pretty average with a
-1.2 rating. The left tackle allowed 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hits, and 24
quarterback pressures in limited action, but he had trouble staying healthy.
That’s been an issue for him throughout his career. A full season of him on the
left side will really help, but if he can’t stay healthy, they’ll probably use
Diehl there, which would be a nightmare again. Giants fans can hope Beatty stays
healthy all year and that Brewer plays well in his 1st year as a
starter and that some other veterans bounce back or maybe even that a rookie
steps up, but overall things are really bleak in front of Eli Manning. The
offensive line could also stifle their talented running backs once again.
The Giants had major issues at linebacker and with injuries in their
secondary, but their pass rush was so good that no one really noticed,
especially not in the postseason when their defense was just as big a part of
why they won it all than Eli Manning and the offense. Heading into 2012, the
Giants have a healthier secondary and added some talent at linebacker behind
their amazing defensive line.
The Giants get after the quarterback like no one quite can. Postseason
included, they had 59 sacks, 64 quarterback hits, and 211 quarterback pressures.
They frequently went with 4 defensive ends on the defensive line with Jason
Pierre Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Dave Tollefson, with their #4
defensive end Tollefson actually playing 575 snaps on the season (including
postseason). Meanwhile, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka blitzed more than almost any
4-3 linebacker in the league, doing so 328 times, as opposed to 251 times where
he dropped into coverage.
Tollefson is gone, but he actually played horribly. He graded out with a
-20.5 overall and managed just 5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits, and 13 quarterback
pressures on 355 pass rush snaps (5.6%). Converted linebacker Adrian Tracy (a
defensive end in college) may take his old role or the Giants could use
Kiwanuka, who has been a defensive end before in the NFL, on the defensive line
more often in 2012.
Jason Pierre Paul was their leader with a 39.1 rating, producing 17 sacks, 16
quarterback hits, and 39 quarterback pressures on 736 pass rush snaps (9.8%). He
also played the run better than every defensive end except 3 and graded out
6th overall. No other defensive end had ratings of 15+ as both a pass
rusher and a run stuffer and he also batted down 10 passes, something that
bothered Tom Brady a lot in the Super Bowl. He’s incredibly well rounded.
Justin Tuck wasn’t quite as good as JPP, but he spent most of the
1st half of the season injured and really caught fire late in the
year in the playoffs. Tuck was ProFootballFocus’ 9th ranked defensive
end in 2010 so if he’s healthy this year, the Giants’ pass rush will be near
impossible to stop even in base packages with JPP and Tuck lined up outside
opposite each other.
Umenyiora and Tollefson would line up on the defensive line along with those
two in sub packages. I already mentioned Tollefson’s struggles, but he’s gone.
Umenyiora, meanwhile, is back after getting a pay raise this offseason.
Umenyiora has been complaining about not being a starter and about his contract
for years, but an extra 2-3 million dollars seems to have shut him up,
definitely a good thing because of how talented he is. He’s terrible against the
run (which is why he’s no longer a starter), but he had 13 sacks, 7 quarterback
hits, and 29 quarterback pressures on 382 pass rush snaps, which gave him a
12.8% rate that actually led the team.
At defensive tackle, the Giants also have two talented defensive lineman who
can get to the quarterback. They don’t play much in sub packages, but Chris
Canty and Linval Joseph graded out with a 9.8 and a 8.1 respectively and while
they were above average both against the run and as pass rushers, they were both
better as pass rushers. Canty had 4 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 22
quarterback pressures, while Joseph had 2 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, and 23
Rocky Bernard was their top reserve last year and he was just resigned. He’ll
compete with 2011 2nd round pick Marvin Austin, who missed last year
with injury, and free agent acquisition Shaun Rogers for positioning on the
depth chart and he might not even make the roster. He was solid last year
though, but there’s definitely more upside with Austin. However, anyway you look
at it, this is an incredible defensive line that might be even better this year
with a healthy Tuck and the addition of Austin. In my opinion, this is the top
defensive line in the league.
Things aren’t nearly as good in the back 7, but good defenses are built in
the trenches. I’ve already mentioned Mathias Kiwanuka. He’s their most talented
linebacker. Not only is he a good blitzer, but he also was the 5th
rated 4-3 outside linebacker against the run. He’s terrible in coverage as a
former defensive lineman, but they don’t ask him to do that much. Overall, he
had a 10.3 rating last year, but, as I’ve mentioned, he may play more defensive
lineman this year.
The Giants traded for Keith Rivers to provide depth both inside and outside.
He didn’t play at all for the Bengals last year with a wrist injury, but he was
a solid starter before last year and he can help in coverage. He’ll also compete
for the starting middle linebacker job with Chase Blackburn. Backups Greg Jones
and Mark Herzlich will also be in that competition. Jones was a 6th
round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while Herzlich was undrafted, but the team is
high on both of them.
Blackburn is currently the favorite for the starting middle linebacker job.
He played well down the stretch last year and even had a game changing
interception of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, but there’s a reason why he was
available in November. He’s a career journeyman and a mediocre talent who could
easily struggle if counted on to start this year. Luckily, they have other
options should that happen, but not anyone that great. Rounding out the
linebacking group is Michael Boley, an average starter who graded out as such on
ProFootballFocus with a -0.4. Like Kiwanuka, he is terrible in coverage."
MARTELLUS BENNETT: ELI MANNING "AN UNSELFISH" QB
"The debate over whether or not Eli Manning is an elite
quarterback began last summer when he said that he would consider himself in the
same class as his brother, Peyton
Manning, and Tom Brady. Manning backed up
those comments by passing for nearly 5,000 yards while leading the New York Giants to their second
Lombardi Trophy with him under center.
"To quote one of our captains, you can't spell elite without Eli," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said of his
quarterback after a regular season win over the New England Patriots.
Another word you can't spell without E-L-I is "unselfish," which is the word
newly signed Giants tight end Martellus Bennett used
to describe Manning.
"Oh man, I don't think there's a better quarterback than him in the NFL right
now," Bennett told Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger during minicamp.
"Watching his approach to the game and the way he coaches everybody up and gets
everybody involved, I think he's an unselfish quarterback, which is what you
want. He throws a very catchable ball, which is always awesome. He's a great
guy, a great quarterback."
Bennett spent the first four seasons of his career as the No. 2 tight end for
the Dallas Cowboys behind Jason Witten, who averaged
122.5 targets per season over that span. Bennett, a former second-round pick,
was targeted 130 times total with the Cowboys, including a career-low 26 times
"I mean, he's just looking for the open guy," Bennett said. "It doesn't
matter who it is or what number you are. If you're open, he's going to hit you.
You have to be ready. That's what makes it so fun playing in this offense
because anytime you beat your guy, you know you could get the ball."
Bennett recently bulked up to 291 pounds; it will be hard for Manning to miss
him this season."http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG
COUGHLIN RELIEVED HE DIDN'T BOUNCE PITCH
"Tom Coughlin may not have thrown a strike to Russell
Martin, but the two-time Super Bowl champion coach of the New York
Giants was relieved he didn't bounce the first pitch prior to Saturday's
Yankees-White Sox game at the Stadium.
"It wasn't in the dirt," said
Coughlin, who was asked to throw out the first pitch by his alma mater as part
of Syracuse University day. "It was probably high and inside, but it was close
enough. I might have gotten the call."
Coughlin said. "You figure, here come the New York Yankees and they're waiting
for this old guy to get out of the way with the first pitch, I think you always
say, 'God, I hope I don’t bounce it up there.'"
This is the second time
Coughlin has thrown out the first pitch. He threw a strike to Jorge
Posada -- "a split-finger down the middle," he said -- after the Giants
won the title in 2007.
"When I did this before, (Derek)
Jeter said to me, 'You're getting up on the mound right?'" Coughlin
said. "I said, 'Yeah, I'm getting up on the mound.' And then one of the guys
said, 'Don't bounce it.'
"I said that to John Wooden
one time. I told him about what I was gonna do, and people saying you can't
bounce it. He said, 'I did that one time. I did it with the Angels one time.' I
said, 'How'd you do?' He said, 'I bounced it.'
"And then I said, 'They
wouldn't have booed you.' And he said, 'Yeah, they booed me.'"
played a lot of baseball growing up. He played in high school and then a summer
of American Legion ball following his freshman year at Syracuse.
played a lot of catch, and I got hit with a lot of line drives when he was
growing up. Believe me," said Coughlin, whose son Tim was
captain of the baseball team at Virginia.
The Giants withstood several
injuries to key players en route to capturing the Super Bowl this past season.
So how does Coughlin think the Yankees will fair without CC
Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Mariano
"I think they'll come through this very strong,"
An attempt was made to ask Coughlin about his
quarterback, Eli Manning, being ranked 31st on the NFL
Network's list of the top 100 NFL players.
"I don't know anything about
it," Coughlin said.
And with that, he left reporters to go take in the
ADRIAN TRACY READY TO SHOW VERSATILITY
"Adrian Tracy was a defensive end in college, a linebacker in
his first two seasons with the Giants and now is making the move back to
It's probably a good thing Tracy tries to emulate his
game after Mathias Kiwanuka, the Giants' hybrid
"I kind of fashion some of my game after Kiwi
because he plays both spots," Tracy said after helping instruct kids at
Chris Canty's football camp in Washington Heights. "I am not
shying away from playing linebacker or whatever the team wants me to do and
whatever they see me at. Versatility has allowed me to stick so far and being
able to play two positions is a good thing."
This season, the Giants are looking at Tracy at defensive end as they search for
replacement for Dave Tollefson, who signed with Oakland in
The 6-2, 245-pound Tracy has dropped his body fat and added
muscle for the move and is thrilled with the opportunity to potentially provide
Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi
Umenyiora a breather.
"It is awesome learning from these guys,
as far as how they dissect film," Tracy said. "I want to learn and be a student
of the game. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are the two of the best in the
league. So I am picking their brain left and right to try to see certain
situations that are going through their minds so I can pick up some things and
better my game."
Tracy was a defensive end while at William & Mary
and then was converted to linebacker after the Giants drafted him in the sixth
round in 2010.
Tracy spent his rookie season on injured reserve with an
elbow injury. He was on the practice squad last season and now will compete with
Justin Trattou to potentially take Tollefson's backup role.
"It was a process," Tracy said of the past two seasons. "My rookie year
I was hurt, so that was kind of a setback. And last year I think I was on the
practice squad just to learn and so they can see that I am able to play."
"On the practice squad we did everything like the regular team, except
we didn't play," Tracy added. "So we are grinding every day. And with my injury,
just to see if I was durable, if I could stand the whole 20-game season that we
had, I think that put me in good position ... them seeing what I can do."
In OTAs and minicamp, Tracy said he saw some time at linebacker in
certain packages, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said
Tracy has been moved to defensive end.
"We felt that he's more of a
defensive end," Fewell said. "After looking at him for the past year or so, we
feel that's his strength and we can make some progress with him playing
defensive end for us."
"He's really strong at the point of attack,"
Fewell added. "You'd be surprised at how Tracy is strong at the point of attack
–- much stronger than he physically looks. But I think he'll do well there."
Tracy says spending his first two seasons in the linebackers room has
helped him learn the entire defense.
Now he is ready to show that he can
replace Tollefson and help on special teams.
"That is all I can ask for,
the opportunity," Tracy said. "With my talents and the knowledge that I have
gained thus far, I think I am in a good position.
"The opportunity I
have is great and you can believe I will take advantage of it."
NY GIANTS SHAUN ROGERS: MY ROLE WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE COACHES
"For the better part of the last decade, the New York Giants have had one of
the most formidable defensive lines in the NFL. This season, with players like
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph,
Big Blue has the potential to have one of the best defensive lines maybe even of
With such a deep talent pool at the position, the signing of 33 year-old
Shaun Rogers in early April was quite peculiar to begin with. Although Rogers
played in all 16 games last season with the New Orleans Saints, he recorded only
14 tackles for the year. In addition, the Saints, knowing they were going to
lose several key players in free agency, still decided not to bring back the
Rogers is a big (6'4"/ 350lb) interior defensive tackle that is capable of
plugging up the middle and stopping the run, which was perhaps the only weak
spot for last year's defensive line. However, so far this offseason, Rogers has
been sidelined with an elbow injury that neither he, nor the team seems to
interested in elaborating upon. Furthermore, his injury is what prompted the
team to bring back Rocky Bernard, which ultimately resulted in the team waiving
Jake Ballard and subsequently losing him to the New England Patriots. Needless
to say, Rogers' career in New York has not gotten off on the right foot. Rogers,
when asked about whether he thinks he will ever see regular season action with
the Giants, seemed uncertain.
“That’s up to them to decide,” Rogers said. “I feel like I can play football at any point
in time. What my role is will be determined by the coaches and how they
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell normally carries four defensive tackles on
the 53-man roster. With Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, and Marvin Austin all
clearly ahead of Rogers on the depth chart, even a healthy Shaun Rogers would
have a hard time securing the last remaining spot on the roster. With Rocky
Bernard recently resigned and several rookies competing for playing time, an
injured Shaun Rogers would be of very little use to the New York Giants.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out in training camp.
Although Rogers produced very little for the Saints last season, General Manager
Jerry Reese obviously sees something in him if he was willing to waive Jake
Ballard just to keep Rogers on the roster. That being said, there have been no
reports that suggest the team expects Rogers to be ready for training camp. With
his age, lack of experience within Perry Fewell's complex defensive schemes,
health concerns, and position on the depth chart, their are serious question
marks about Shaun Rogers' overall value.
The team may be inclined to go with a veteran that already knows the defense
in Rocky Bernard, or maybe even seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn. However,
with such a deep and talented defensive end and linebacker core, the Giants will
most likely only carry four defensive tackles on the 53-man roster. Look for
this to become one of the more unexpected, yet interesting positional battles
during training camp."
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