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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw, Chase Blackburn Not Practicing Today
Excerpt: "As expected, running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) isn't practicing today.
Bradshaw is on a one-practice-per-week schedule and practiced yesterday. He's been on the routine the last couple weeks since injuring his foot against the 49ers and said yesterday he fully expects to play Sunday against the Steelers.
On the other hand, linebackers Chase Blackburn (hamstring) and Jacquian Williams (knee) haven't practiced all week and almost surely will not play Sunday.
Blackburn, the team's starting middle linebacker, hasn't missed a game this season and sustained his hamstring injury against the Cowboys last Sunday. Mark Herzlich will likely start in his place.
For Williams, it would be the third straight game he's missed since injuring his knee against the 49ers.
The other players on the injury report were on the field participating in some capacity during the media access period of practice this morning.
Safety Kenny Phillips (knee), center David Baas (ankle/elbow), safety Antrel Rolle (concussion), and linebacker Keith Rivers (calf) were all practicing after being limited yesterday. Bear Pascoe (ankle) did not practice yesterday, but looked to be participating today.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps) were practicing after going full yesterday." Read more...
Giants' Perry Fewell Made Adjustments After Reviewing Final Sequence Of Plays Vs. Cowboys
Excerpt: "The Giants' 29-24 win in Dallas last week came down to the Cowboys' final possession, a sequence in which they ran nine plays in the game's final 44 seconds.
The key play, of course, was the overturned 37-yard touchdown to Dez Bryant, when the receiver landed out of bounds by a fingertip. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell found areas to learn from while breaking down the entire series.
"We went back, and I studied it," Fewell said Thursday. "I made some adjustments into what we need to do and how we can play that sequence better, but I thought they had a nice answer to what we tried to counter with."
Punter Steve Weatherford did a nice job booming a deep, out of bounds punt that put the Cowboys at their own 30-yard line to start. A 13-yard completion to tight end Jason Witten advanced them to their 43-yard line, and after a spike to stop the clock, quarterback Tony Romo was working with a second-and-10 at the 43 with 25 seconds to play.
Fewell praised the plays the Cowboys strung together at this point: A 16-yard completion to Bryant on an out-breaking route, followed by a 4-yard completion to Witten on another out-breaking route. That set up a second-and-6 from the Giants' 37-yard line, the play on which Bryant ran an out-and-up past cornerback Corey Webster into the end zone. Coach Tom Coughlin said afterward he wondered, "How in the world does somebody, in that defense, get behind someone?"
Fewell's answer: "It was a pressure called, and so some people were playing the pressure and they thought that we made a coverage check, and some people were playing a coverage. So that’s why he was out there like that." Read more...
Giants, with Stevie Brown Playing Well And Kenny Phillips Returning, Likely To Use Three Safety Look
Excerpt: "It is a conundrum coaches welcome without hesitation. Never, they say, is there a limit for talented players at any position. It falls on them to arrange the pieces successfully.
That is the unforeseen and enviable challenge Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell faces this week. Starting safety Kenny Phillips is set to make his return Sunday against the Steelers after missing nearly five games with a sprained MCL. His replacement, Stevie Brown, the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week, has made a persuasive case for a permanent role on defense. Then there’s the other starting safety, Antrel Rolle, who will play Sunday after passing the league-mandated concussion protocol.
Fewell’s solution? The three-safety package the Giants regularly utilized last season with Phillips, Rolle and Deon Grant to get his best 11 players on the field.
“Because Stevie’s come on like this, it gives me more ideas to have the three-safety package and now we can go forward with that,” Fewell said." Read more...
Giants' David Diehl Will Retake Starting Right Tackle Job vs. Steelers
Excerpt: "Sean Locklear said he got the news Wednesday, from Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty: David Diehl will return to his starting right tackle job this week, and Locklear will be moved to jumbo tackle duty.
"He said, 'You're not being benched because of your play,' " Locklear said of his conversation with Flaherty. " 'You’ve been playing good; you’ve done everything we’ve asked. It’s just the guy can’t lose his job from minor injury.' I kind of expected it, I just didn’t know when it was going to happen. He’s been here 10 years; he’s started virtually every game. So I understand where they are coming from."
Locklear said Diehl is taking all the reps with the first team in practice this week, in preparation to start against the Steelers. They split the reps the past few weeks.
Diehl sprained his MCL in the Week 2 win against the Buccaneers and missed the next three games. Diehl returned for the 49ers game but has been the jumbo tackle the past three weeks -- the first time in his 10-year Giants career he's played but did not start.
"It’s tough, but it’s the position I thought I was going to be in coming into the season," Locklear said of the move. "But you know, things happen. Had a chance to actually get in there and play, and now it is kind of back to where I thought it was going to be. I’m happy I’ll be that sixth guy, so I’ll still get some reps. I won’t completely just be out of the loop." Read more...
Power Outage At Hotel Prompts Steelers To Fly In Sunday Morning For Giants' Game, Instead Of Saturday Night
Excerpt: "The Steelers will leave for New York on Sunday morning and depart Sunday evening. NFL teams are required to travel the day before a game. The league allowed the Steelers to alter their plans because the hotel the team is booked to stay at in Jersey City was still without power as of Thursday afternoon.
Pittsburgh will fly at 9 a.m. on Sunday and arrive in New York about 90 minutes later, well ahead of the scheduled 4:25 p.m. kickoff. The team will charter home later Sunday night." Read more...
Giants' Kenny Phillips Says He'll Play Sunday vs. Steelers
Excerpt: "Kenny Phillips believes the coaching staff will let him decide whether he plays Sunday against the Steelers. If they do, he says, he'll definitely be on the field.
"I'm going this week. I'm going this week," Phillips said. "I do feel confident. It's been a long, long process, I feel. But I feel like it's good enough for me to get back there and make some plays."
Phillips sustained a sprained MCL in the first quarter of the Giants' Week 4 loss to the Eagles and has missed the last four games. He returned to practice last week in limited fashion and has participated fully the last two days.
Phillips said it's not a matter of "rust" in getting back onto the field. For him, there's more of a mental obstacle to overcome. He insisted that he has to feel confident in moving with fear, such as making his breaks. So far, the confidence is there to make his return, he said.
"I think they're going to limit my amount of reps throughout the week, maybe in the game, I'm not sure," Phillips said. "But when I'm out there, I'm just going to go 100 percent."
His replacement, Stevie Brown, has made Phillips' absence easier to overcome. Brown leads the NFL with seven takeaways. He had two interceptions and a fumble recovery against the Cowboys Sunday, and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week as a result. The Giants are 4-0 in the four games Brown has started." Read more...
Ahmad Bradshaw Says Giants "Feel Like We Can Spark New York" After Hurricane Sandy
Excerpt: "When the Giants take the field at MetLife Stadium this Sunday, running back Ahmad Bradshaw sees a unique opportunity to uplift the area, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The superstorm has affected millions of people and caused billions of dollars of damage to the community the Giants represent.
"We feel like we can spark New York," Bradshaw said. "Just what we do, what we’ve done. I think we can also help everybody in New York and New Jersey that’s going through this." Read more...
NFL, NFLPA Pledge $1 Million To Red Cross For Hurricane Sandy Relief And Recovery
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have teamed up to pledge $1 million to the American Red Cross for relief and recover efforts in the Northeast.
The superstorm affected millions of people and caused billions of dollars in damages.
All broadcasts of NFL games this week, starting with Thursday Night Football, will include pre-game and in-game messages pointing fans to the American Red Cross website (redcross.org) and text-to-give line (text REDCROSS to 90999 to give a $10 donation).
At each game, including Giants-Steelers Sunday at MetLife Stadium, a special announcement will recognize those affected by the storm, and a salute will be given to first responders and others assisting relief efforts.“
We are pleased that NFL owners and players have joined together once again to support communities and families impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a joint statement.
“This contribution on behalf of all 32 clubs and players throughout the league will help the American Red Cross assist people in need in the affected areas. We salute the dedication of those who have been working so hard on the rescue, relief and recovery effort.”
Giants' Antrel Rolle Returns To Practice, Chase Blackburn Still Sidelined
Excerpt: "On Wednesday, Tom Coughlin said safety Antrel Rolle would need to pass the league mandated concussion protocol before returning to the field. It appears as though he has.
Rolle missed practice Wednesday, but is out there today. He suffered the concussion late in the Giants' 29-24 win over the Cowboys Sunday.
Fellow starting safety Kenny Phillips was also practicing. Phillips returned to practice in limited fashion last week and practiced fully yesterday for the first time since sustaining a sprained MCL against the Eagles in Week 4." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Diehl In, Locklear Out At Right Tackle
For eight games, Sean Locklear was a steady presence on the Giants offensive line, first at left tackle and then at right tackle.
But now, apparently, it's time for the veteran to move into the role the team originally intended for him.
This Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Locklear will serve as the team's jumbo tackle. David Diehl, meanwhile, will return to his old position as the team's right tackle after spending three weeks as the jumbo tackle.
Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty told Locklear of the move on Wednesday, he said.
"He said, 'You're not being benched because of your play," Locklear told reporters Thursday. "You've been playing good; you've done everything we've asked. It's just a guy can't lose his job from minor injury.'
"I kind of expected it, I just didn't know whe it was going to happen."
Indeed, with the exception of his recent three-game stretch as the Giants' jumbo tackle, Diehl has started throughout his 10-year career. He lost his job back in Week 2, after suffering an MCL injury against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Diehl missed three games thereafter before returning as a backup." Read more...
Kenny Phillips: "I'm Going This Week"
For four weeks, Kenny Phillips has been able to do nothing but watch.
The Giants safety has been sitting out with a sprained MCL in his knee, watching as backup Stevie Brown went from journeyman to star, making four interceptions in four games as opponents have tried to test him
And now, Phillips is ready to join the party. On Thursday, the safety announced that he expects to play on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I’m going this week,” Phillips said. “I do feel confident in my knee. It’s been a long, long process, but I feel like it’s good enough for me to get back out there and make some plays.”
That means that for the first time since the start of the season, the Giants’ safety rotation is completely healthy. Phillips practiced for the first time in nearly a month last week, and he’s continued to progress this week; he worked through his first full practice on Wednesday then went through a limited session on Thursday.
Safety Antrel Rolle also worked through a limited session Thursday, his first action since suffering a head injury on Sunday in Dallas. Rolle said he didn’t know if he’d suffered a concussion, but he still needed to pass the league’s protocols for such an injury before returning to action.
“I went through the tests and everything, and I’m back out here to work,” Rolle said.
It all gives the Giants an overabundance of depth at safety. Phillips and Rolle began the season as undisputed starters, but Brown’s play has forced him into the Giants’ long-term plans." Read more...
Tuck: Steelers' OLine "Gets Away With Murder"
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked just 13 times this season. And Justin Tuck knows why.
And to the Giants’ defensive end, it has something to do with bending the rules. Tuck made that clear Thursday.
“I hope we get some holding calls, because they have gotten away with murder,” Tuck said, according to ESPN. “They’ve done a good job protecting Ben. They don’t hold on every play, but we’ve seen a whole lot of it.”
If Tuck’s description of the Steelers’ violation sounded familiar, it’s because just three weeks earlier, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said something similar about the San Francisco 49ers, saying that defensive tackle Justin Smith “sometimes gets away with murder” by relying on defensive holding." Read more...
New Flight Plans For Steelers
The Steelers have struggled to win games on the road throughout this season. But this week, they’re struggling to get to the game.
Because of hotel issues, Pittsburgh will not come to the New York City area on Saturday night, as most NFL teams do. Instead, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers will head to New York City just a few hours before the game on Sunday." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
Brown on Giant Roll As Phillips Set To Make Return
Excerpt: "All those games, all those plays made by Stevie Brown, all were seen by Kenny Phillips with just a tinge of wonderment and envy.
Phillips started the first four games of the season, did not have a single interception and then missed the next four games with a strained knee ligament. His replacement stepped in and suddenly leads the NFL in turnovers with seven thanks to five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. From afar, Phillips was thinking “that could have been me’’ or something along those lines.
“Of course you have to say that,’’ Phillips said yesterday. “In my mind, I’m thinking like, ‘If I was there, they probably wouldn’t have threw it. I don’t get that lucky.’ You know what I’m saying. But like I said, he’s making the plays and he’s catching the ball, so my hat’s off to him.’’ Read more...
Rolle Set To Start After Hurting Head vs. Cowboys
Excerpt: "Giants free safety Antrel Rolle said he was “dinged up at the moment’’ when his head crashed to the turf at Cowboys Stadium last Sunday, but he has been cleared to return and was listed as a limited participant in Thursday’s practice. Rolle hasn’t been told if he did suffer a concussion, but he is on schedule to start, as usual, against the Steelers.
“Nah, I wasn’t really concerned,’’ Rolle said. “I knew what I was feeling at the moment. Just got dinged up a little bit. But as far as full-consciousness, I knew what was going on full well and everything like that, and I’m back out here.’’
Late in the Giants’ 29-24 victory over the Cowboys, Rolle raced over in pursuit of Dez Bryant but pulled up when he saw that Bryant was not going to be able to make the reception.
“I was trying to avoid a collision,’’ Rolle said. “Once I saw the ball was falling I just tried to avoid him and I didn’t want to get any penalties because I was coming. I was coming to do damage.
“And once I saw that he wasn’t catching the ball I was trying to do my best to avoid him. My foot hit Webby [Corey Webster] as I was going down and it messed up my fall a little bit and had me all out of whack. But I’m all right.’’ Read more...
Giants Hope To Hasten Healing Process With Big GameTuck considered that and liked the thought.
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck said he really hadn’t thought about it before Thursday, when it was brought to his attention. So much of the New York/New Jersey area has been crippled and adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy that, come Sunday, they will welcome the diversion that the Giants playing the Steelers might bring.
“That is a good point,’’ Tuck said. “I think a lot of people will kind of be lingering on what we do on Sunday, kind of get their minds off the effects of Sandy and hopefully we can oblige.
“We got a very veteran football team that understands that situation. We have been through it with Katrina and New Orleans coming up here, when our owner died, we’ve had some tragedy here and played through it and been successful. Hopefully we can rise to the occasion again this week.’’
It is likely that a good part of the region will not have power in their homes and thus will not be able to watch the Giants look to extend their four-game winning streak against the Steelers. Still, the game goes on and Tom Coughlin said when the time is right he will address this unique situation with his team." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants Feeling Obligated
Excerpt: "Taking responsibility
Tom Coughlin was asked by a reporter Thursday whether the Giants sense any special responsibility this week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"There's no question about that," Coughlin said after practice. "We haven't talked much about that. There will be a time and place for talking about that."
All indications are the Giants-Steelers game will be played as scheduled late Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Pittsburgh was forced to change its travel itinerary because the Jersey City hotel the team had booked is without power and does not expect to have it restored in time.
The Steelers reportedly will fly to Newark early Sunday morning and spend time at an area hotel going over final details before taking buses to the stadium. They plan on departing for Pittsburgh immediately following the game. The Giants hope to provide "a little joy" as Eli Manning indicated Wednesday with what they do against the Steelers.
"We feel like we can spark New York," Ahmad Bradshaw said. "Just what we do, what we've done, I think we can also help everybody in New York and New Jersey that's going through this." Read more...
Ditrani's Pro Picks: Week 9
Excerpt: "After another dreadful week, you'd think it was time for a change.
But since we have no Tim Tebow or Nick Foles in the wings, we will continue on in the Mark Sanchez/Michael Vick mode.
Game of the week
Steelers over *Giants, getting 3 1/2 — Luckily the Giants have the red-hot Lawrence Tynes, because this appears to be a field-goal game." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Q: All cleared?
Q: In a situation like that, do they say that he had a concussion and he’s cleared?
A: I don’t know. I think when you leave the game under that circumstance, you must pass the protocol.
Q: But he’s fine?
A: We’ll see tomorrow. He worked well today and he seemed to feel real good.
Q: Kenny Phillips also?
A: He practiced today.
Q: He’s on schedule?
A: I hope so. He was limited today.
A: He did a few things, limited.
Q: After the Cowboys game, you said the pass defense was kind of loose. When you guys look back at it, what did you see as contributing to that?
A: Well, we gave up a lot of yards. We have to do a better job in coverage. We have to contest every ball, challenge it.
Q: Witten had a lot of those catches.
A: Did he? Really? Him again? Can we go forward, please? This way, we’re going into this game.
Q: Can your experience against Jason Witten help you against a guy like Heath Miller.
A: Absolutely. They’re very, very comparable. He lines up as a receiver and does a great job for them.
RE: Rushing Roethlisberger
A: You do feel like you know what you want to do. He does extend the play. As I see it, there haven’t been as many this year. He definitely has that ability. Of course, over the years, he’s thrown the ball in all kinds of positions with all kinds of people draped all over him. He’s still done very well.
RE: Difference in Steelers passing game in new offensive system
A: I think the ball comes out quicker.
Q: Is the loss of Chase (Blackburn) less severe this week, because they use so many three wide receiver sets, or is it still a big concern?
A: Well, it’s going to be a concern, always. In terms of the energy with which he gets people lined up and plays the game. Hopefully, that’ll be picked up by the guys that are in there. Any time you take a player of that caliber out… It’s happened here in the past. The next guy comes along and plays very well. So, that’s what we expect.
Q: This next guy is a guy that you guys have been very high on for a while, right?
A: Mark (Herzlich) has done a good job.
Q: You guys look at him as a starter in waiting?
A: I hope so. That’s what these young guys aspire to be. You see no reason why he couldn’t be.
Q: For the first time in a while, the kickoff return game didn’t look as explosive. Was he (David Wilson) tiptoeing?
A: No, not really. There are different degrees of burst, in terms of trying to set things up. Some things happened in front of him that he may not have anticipated, or we may not have anticipated. I think that’s what took away from it. He still ran it up in there.
RE: Steelers pass defense
A: Of course they get a lot of pressure up front, their corners do an outstanding job of challenging and getting up in your face.
Q: It’s pretty aggressive play from the secondary.
A: Very aggressive.
Q: Is there any special responsibility that the team feels this week, after the storm and everybody here digging out?
A: Well, I think there’s no question about that. We haven’t talked much about that. There will be a time and place for talking about that. I think the devastation is part of our world. Our players have gone through a little bit. I don’t know the extent of the damage of their homes, but I know the majority of them have been without power. That’s just a small sample of what’s going on in this part of the world and the reason people will have smiles on their faces for a few hours on Sunday afternoon.
Q: Any special accommodations that you’ve had to make to players, because of the lack of…
A: We adjusted the schedule. We fixed the schedule. This is our first day of absolute, normal in-season schedule.
Q: Have you heard back from the league on the clock operation? Are you still expecting more to come?
A: It would be great if I did.
OC Kevin Gilbride Presser - 11/1/2012
"Gilbride: You have to be on top of your game. I grew up fishing. When I was in Houston, that’s what we faced. Everybody in our division did it, from the Steelers, to the Ravens, to the Browns at the time. So, it’s a well-designed scheme, they do a great job of seeing how you’re protecting and then they attack very intelligently. Then they mix it up with a very good, complimentary package. You have to be at your best. The good thing is they mix it in with some two-man. Which is, if you’re lining up to defend against the blitz all the time, all of a sudden, you’re holding these guys in and they’re playing two-man coverage while you’re sitting there, holding the ball. So, there’s a reason they’ve been good for a long time.
Q: Does it help having so many veterans? How does that help them?
A: Well, there’s a reason for it. It allows them to have a lot more flexibility and their ability to be adapting from week-to-week, based on your protection schemes. So, there’s no question that they’ve utilized the cumulative intelligence that they have over there. They do a nice job.
Q: You look at these two franchises, four of the last seven Super Bowls have been won by them. Obviously, Eli and Ben. Is there something about those two guys that makes them winners, or helps the team win?
A: You know, it’s funny. Their styles are different, but they’re both very talented players. I just think, speaking to our guy, he’s a hard-working guy, he’s an intelligent guy. I’ve always asked a lot of the quarterbacks, as much as they can handle and he can handle a lot. I think he does a great job of deciphering what’s going on and is able to get our guys either a good run or a good pass, or adjust the protection accordingly. Ben is very physical, very unique with his size, arm strength and he’s able to perpetuate plays because he’s hard to bring down. You have two very talented quarterbacks and that’s a great place to start.
Q: Both teams seem to be, “let’s run the ball, and see how that combination of balance-”
A: Yeah. Both teams have become more passing teams in the past few years. That’s when they’ve had their success.
Q: When you talk about how impressive they are, how important is it for the wide receivers to get open really quick and releasing off the line for this game?
A: I don’t know that it’s more so this game, than any others. I think they’re going to get a challenge from these guys who are very physical, their DBs. They do a great job of getting up in your face and trying to slow you down from getting off the line of scrimmage. So, you have to do a good job of technically getting off. Obviously, the longer it takes, the more time the quarterback is holding the ball, and the more effective the pass rush is. We’ll have our hands full. They do a nice job.
Q: With (Ahmad Bradshaw’s) foot, how much more time do you spend trying to build a three-man rotation?
A: We go in, waiting to see how he feels on game day. The nice thing is, because he’s not practicing a lot, you get a lot of practice time for those other two guys. It’s giving them some exposure that they might not normally have gotten in a practice week, and you hope that when the game comes, that if you have to use them an extensive amount, that they’re able to handle it. Certainly, Andre is looking like he’s making the strides necessary. David’s coming along, he’s still a little bit behind in some areas, but he’s improving. So, the more that they expand their knowledge, the more confidence you have that you can depend on them and not just limit their roles.
Q: You saw Nicks do once-a-week, now you’re seeing Bradshaw do it. Is there a difference between a wide receiver doing it, and a running back? Is it more detrimental to a running back?
A: You saw it the other way. You saw Bradshaw for the last few years, now you’re seeing it with Nicks. That’s a good question. I don’t know, because both have such demands, physically on movement that I guess it comes down, when you have enough command intellectually, and you have enough technique, and then you’re not held back by not practicing. I think everyone suffers when they’re not out there. They are both plugged in mentally. They’re both very, very attentive. They very much are involved intellectually in trying to grasp the things necessary to get themselves ready for the game. So, from that standpoint, I think they’re doing the best they can, but it’s never as good as doing it. There’s no question. Really, Hakeem has missed all of spring, all of camp. He finally got going in the Tampa Bay game, and then he got hurt again. So, there is no question that it’s slowed down what he’s able to do. Of course, being able to only practice once-a-week, and even that, it’s limited what we’ve asked him to do with. It’s about helping him. He’s doing the best he can under those circumstances. That’s all we can ask.
Q: Polamalu is going to miss his fifth game. So, he’s missed more than he’s played. Do they do things differently without him?
A: A few, not much. I think that he’s just the wild-card in the thing. I’m not sure that he’s actually doing necessarily what was designed for him to do. I think he just kind of freelances out there. He has a great feel for what’s going on, his anticipation is unbelievable. Sometimes, when he’s supposed to be over here, that’s the design of the defense, then all of a sudden, he felt the play was going over there and he ran over there. Usually, unfortunately for most offenses, he’s right. He makes a lot of great plays. I think you heard (Steelers Defensive Coordinator ****) LeBeau’s acceptance speech into the Hall of Fame. He gave great credit to Ryan Clark for the difficult job of getting Polamalu lined up. He’s a phenomenal player, has much talent that’s hard to deal with. It’s the unknown of, he should be over here, why is he over here? He does a great job with that. Some of it is disguise, some of it is just intuitive feel for, “I think the ball is going over here, why am I going over there?” He just goes there. Usually, he’s right.
Q: Are Nicks and Cruz best when they’re both on the field?
A: No question.
Q: How does that manifest itself?
A: One is an outside guy and obviously he can contribute much more significantly when it’s single-high and that’s the thing. When they go to high, you have to depend on Victor to win when he goes on the inside. We can switch up when we do some things. For example, last week was a lot of two-man. Your inside guys are the guys that have to win for you and usually when they’re playing very, very well, that causes them to make an adjustment. Now, that gives Hakeem his chance to do well. Last Sunday, probably out of the 65 snaps, I’ll bet you 50, we were against a two-high. There’s no question that they play off each other. Sometimes, you get to the point like last year when those two are playing really well. It’s not necessarily a double, it’s certainly a focus on those two and that’s where that third guy has to come through for you. Like last year, when Manningham did such a nice job for us, because of what was happening.
Q: Going back to that game-winner against the Redskins, on the transcripts, Hakeem indicated he knew Victor would be clear. What does that mean?
A: Well, you hear them say it’s too high. Really, it’s cheap two-high. The safety has been sitting down all game long. We just hadn’t timed it up right. Where the safety is two-high on the right side, but to his side, they were dropping the safety down. So, it’s what we call quarters coverage. It’s a zone, but he’s zoned off not to play the traditional two-deep. He was trying to play anything intermediate. So, when he’s the outside receiver, he saw the safety drop. He knew he had one-on-one with the corner, but he also knew that there was going to be a great chance with our streak package. That’s the first option. If you just have the intermediate route, but not on that particular play, the first read is to run through. As soon as the safety dropped down and the nickel is here, it was like a double, but then they’re flat-footed. So, he just split it.
Q: Hakeem knew that from across the field?
A: Well, he was on that side.
Q: He was on his side? So they worked out…
Q: It’s like rocket science.
A: Well, it’s where you start. I know it sounds complex, but if that’s all you start, that’s all you do. In certain packages, that’s what we do. That’s the stuff that … 25 years in this league. That’s how we always start it out. So, when that component was called, you’ve got a chance for a big play. If what we called was a hook route, they would have played it perfectly. He would have dropped down, with one guy inside and one guy outside. We guessed right on that one.
Q: That unspoken communication between the receivers and the quarterback, do the best of the tandems know what each other is doing as well?
A: They should, because they know based on the coverage what the response should be. So, as they see what’s happening, they’ve got to see the whole picture with the guy over there, but also the safety and the nickel inside. They know why this, they probably get the ball if the quarterback is reading this right or the ball is probably going to the other person. So, I don’t necessarily think they know what the other one is thinking. They should be reacting the same way. It should be a coordinated reaction.
Q: Halfway through the regular season, how would you assess the offense as a whole?
A: As a coach, you’re always looking to see everything. We didn’t have a great game, so this is not a great time to be asking me. If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would have said we’re playing great. We didn’t have our best game this last week and I certainly have to give Dallas a lot of credit for that. I think we certainly had plays out there to be made. You’re always looking… I think we’re protecting very well, I think we’d like to be more consistent in running the ball. I think we’ve been good in three of them. Two and a half of the last four games, which has been good, but we didn’t beat the two-high in coverage last week in the way in which we had phenomenal success in the past. So, you’re asking me something that’s been tainted by the last game. When you’re top-three or four in the league, you think we’re doing a lot of things right. You’re never content and you always want to get better. I think we can be better in every area, to be honest with you.
Q: Getting open versus the scheme that they have, Nicks said that he feels much more confident in his knee than he’s ever felt. How important is that? Maybe show it on Sunday, that he’s improving?
A: That’s the key thing. We’re going to see it on Sunday. Hopefully, we will. I think the more he feels better, the more he’ll be able to play up to his full potential. When you have Hakeem playing at his best, he’s a formidable force to deal with out there. I don’t think we’ve seen him at his best, except for that Tampa Bay game, when he’s starting to come back, then he got hurt again. It was a big setback.
Q: With David Wilson, is that kid of normal rookie bumpiness?
A: Some guys transition much more quickly. I think in certain things, based a lot on their experience in college. What was asked of them? Certain guys were asked a lot of things and they transition more easily to the pro game. So, the guys who are just tailback runners, you don’t have to catch the ball much, they don’t have to pass protect much, and of course, that’s an intricate part of what we do here.
Q: Was there anything in the scouting up to the draft that you can pick up? Maybe through the testing, how well he may pick up?
A: I think that’s part of it, yeah. It’s not an exact science. I think you’re trying to project who can transition quickly, but also who is going to be the significant contributor not just right away, but down the road.
Q: Is your tackle situation staying the same?
A: I don’t think we’ve made a decision, but they’ve pass protected very well. They’re doing a pretty good job. So, it’s hard to make a change, because of that. We certainly appreciate all the things that David brings to the table.
DC Perry Fewell Presser - 11/1/2012
"Q: With three healthy safeties, how do you get them all on the field?
A: We’ll find a way. All of them are good players. That’s a good problem to have that Kenny (Phillips) is back. We lost a couple of linebackers. Hopefully we’ll get a couple of those guys back.
Q: Is Phillips back to being the starter?
A: We haven’t determined that. I think (Stevie) Brown’s been playing really well right now. Stevie’s hard to unseat right now. We’ll find a way for Kenny to be on the field.
Q: Do you think you can implement the three safety coverage with those guys?
A: Definitely, because Stevie’s come on like this, it gives me more ideas to have the three-safety package and now we can go full-bore with that.
Q: Is it true that that was not in your plays before Stevie Brown’s emergence?
A: Yes, that is true. Initially, we were using
, as a linebacker, to alternate as a big safety. Since he went down, and Stevie’s emerged, we get Kenny back, our plans can totally focus on a three-safety package with three good players in there.
Q: Was Jacquian playing the Deon Grant role?
A: He had the Deon Grant/
part of the package when he would come in. We modified it a little bit based on skill, etc. We kind of used him in that sense.
Q: It’s good to be surprised sometimes by your players?
A: Yeah, it really is. Stevie showed that he was good in the spring from the post and he could go attack the ball in the air, and he showed he was good in the half-field, and he could go attack the ball in the air. Then at camp, he kind of settled off a little bit. You didn’t see as much as you saw in the spring. You put him in the ballgame, against Carolina he picks one, so I’m telling the safety, “Don’t get hurt, because this guy’s going to pick another one.” Somebody gets hurt, he goes in the ball game, and he picks another one. It is good to be surprised. I am very happy and excited for him and happy for our football team.
Q: Did you know anything about him before he got here?
A: A little bit. I knew he played at Michigan. I knew his history from that standpoint. He worked out for us, but I didn’t know him personally, no.
Q: You’ve mentioned before that when you need to check something in your notes, you go to Chase Blackburn. With Chase not available, how will Mark Herzlich’s notes be?
A: Mark Herzlich copies Chase’s notes so we’re cheating. Don’t tell our teachers and professors that we’re copying Chase’s notes to make sure we have it right. Definitely Mark is a good student from Chase.
Q: What is your confidence level in Mark if Chase can’t go this week?
A: I think Mark will do an outstanding job for us. He’s been right there; he sits beside Chase in the meetings. When I ask questions, if he gets it wrong, Chase looks at him like, “What are you talking about?” He feels the pressure in the meetings, okay. I think he’ll do an outstanding job. He’s done it before, so it’s not like it’s new to him. He’ll just be more excited to do it.
Q: Is it possible Chase plays?
A: You have to ask the medical people that. He didn’t practice today. We have tomorrow and Saturday, but you’ll have to ask the medical people and Tom.
Q: When you guys look at the passing yardage you gave up to the Cowboys, what are some of things you can take from that moving forward?
A: We had a coverage breakdown on the 58-yarder. That was poor communication and we just had a coverage bust. I don’t know why we had those busts against Dallas like that, but it happened. And then we had some poor technique on some of the other big plays that occurred. We felt like we could have prevented some of those if we would have played our techniques longer and better.
Q: Tom said he was kind of surprised that Dez got behind the coverage.
A: It was a pressure called and so some people were playing the pressure and they thought that we made a coverage check and some people were playing a coverage. So that’s why he was out there like that.
Q: On the last play, you had four guys on the goal line. Looking back, should you have had that setup on the Dez play?
A: It was too early for that. If you look at the sequence of what they did, they had a nice sequence because they threw an out cut and then they ran another out cut and then they ran an out and up and it was too early to have the four guys back at that point in time. So we went back and I studied it. I made some adjustments into what we need to do and how we can play that sequence better, but I thought they had a nice answer to what we tried to counter with.
Q: How do you work on bringing Ben down?
A: You’ve got to ask Jerry Palmieri to get our guys in the weight room more because Big Ben is truly Big Ben. He has a nice little move that he makes on guys. When you try to wrap him, he tries to throw you off or he does throw you off. So we have to do a great job of wrap tackling. We have to do a great job of driving our feet when we get a hold of him and can tackle him, but he’s been a problem for everybody in this league for a number of years and he’s an outstanding quarterback, as you well know.
Q: Does he have a better than average pump fake?
A: I think he has a better than average arm and pump fake. I’ve seen him zip some slants in there and I went like, ‘Wow.’ That’s why he’s two-time Super Bowl winner. You don’t play him every year, so you see him, but you don’t study him as much as you do when you’re playing an opponent and he’s an impressive guy. He’s a big man that stands in the pocket and if he has to leave the pocket, he can throw on the run.
Q: How much has their offense changed with Haley as the offensive coordinator?
A: From the old Pittsburgh that I used to prepare for and know, it’s changed quite a bit. It seems like that there’s more of an emphasis in the pass game, but they still can run the football and they’re very effective in running the football and there’s a lot of quick gains. There are a lot of screens. There’s a lot of variety in the offense that you didn’t see in the past.
Q: Are there things that Jayron Hosley can take away from the Dallas game?
A: No doubt. You fail to realize he’s a young rookie and he’s learning every day and he’s getting a little better every day and every experience is a new experience. For him to go against Miles Austin, Miles Austin is a really good receiver and Miles taught him a couple of things in that game that he’ll take moving forward. So every time that he lines up, every snap that he takes, he learns and he tries to get better. http://www.giants.com/
Giants Power Rankings Round-Up: Chasing the Falcons
Excerpt: "Usually this little power rankings
exercise revolves around where the New York
Giants stack up against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins
, but Big Blue is so far out their division rivals' league this year that we've had our eye on another team: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons
At 7-0, the Falcons have been riding the undefeated record to Power Rankings dominance all year. After watching the Giants stumble through two victories the last few weeks we hardly expect that to change. Let's take a look:
This week's ranking: 2
Last week's ranking: 2
Their comment: Seven times in nine New York seasons Tom Coughlin has gone 6-2 or better in the first half. Only twice has he won at least five in the second half.
Our comment: And again, the Midseason Swoon storyline rears its ugly head. Actually, we're kind of surprised we haven't heard more about it.
This week's ranking: 4
Last week's ranking: 4
Their comment: Do they know how to win in the new Cowboys stadium or what? They own the NFC East right now.
Our comment: Yes, yes we do own the NFC East right now. And always. Still don't like being ranked behind the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, but the showing against the Cowboys wasn't exactly "shoot-up-the-ranks" kinda stuff." Read more...
Giants' Kicker Lawrence Tynes Named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month
Excerpt: "Fresh off the heels of Stevie Brown's NFC Defensive Player of the Week award
, New York
Giants kickerLawrence Tynes
has brought home the NFC
Special Teams Player of the Month award after going 13-14 on field goal tries.
Tynes was particularly on point last week, nailing all five of his field goal tries and effectively beating Tony Romo
and the Cowboys himself. Final score 29-24, with Tynes kicking 17 of those points. Surprise, surprise, a kicker also won the AFC award (Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders)." Read more...
Giants Have $2.2 Million In Cap Space, Seventh Least In NFL
Excerpt: "New York
Giants General Manger Jerry Reese
is known for playing things close to the salary cap and at the rough midway point of the 2012 season we see no exception: only six NFL
teams have less cap space than the Giants $2.2 million. The Jacksonville Jaguars
lead the league with $20.1 million and the San Francisco 49ers
bringing up the rear with a mere $579,000.
Hat tip to the boys atProfootballtalk.com
, who present these NFLPA numbers
(i.e. not the League's version) of the numbers just in case things start to rattle near todays 4 p.m.NFL
trade deadline." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Spotlight On...Under The Radar Roster Moves
Excerpt: "Stevie Brown couldn't cut it with the Oakland Raiders or Indianapolis Colts, who haven't exactly been NFL pillars of strength in recent years. Now, Brown just won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and he leads the league in turnovers.
Victor Cruz was an undrafted free agent who may end up being the best wide receiver in New York Giants' franchise history.
Henry Hynoski was an undrafted fullback out of Pittsburgh. Now, he might just be the premier blocking fullback in the NFL and could be headed to his first Pro Bowl.
Sean Locklear wasn't wanted by the Washington Redskins, a team with an atrocious offensive line last season. He has played well at left and right tackle for the Giants this season, even if David Diehl is now returning to the starting lineup.Martellus Bennett spent four
unproductive years in Dallas. Now, he looks like the best Giants' tight end since Jeremy Shockey." Read more...
Kevin Gilbride: "I Think We Van Be Better"
Excerpt: "The New York Giants
are fourth in the league in yards per game (396.8) and third in points per game (29.2). This, though, does not seem to be a good time to ask offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride for a state of the offense summation.
"We didn't have a great game [against Dallas], so this is not a great time to be asking me. If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would have said we're playing great. We didn't have our best game this last week and I certainly have to give Dallas a lot of credit for that. I think we certainly had plays out there to be made," Gilbride said. "I think we can be better in every area, to be honest with you." Read more...
Three-Safety Package Making A Return To Giants' Defensive Arsenal
Excerpt: "The three-safety package the New York Giants
employed so often in 2010 and 2011 with Antrel Rolle
, Kenny Phillips
and Deon Grant
is about to be re-introduced to the team's defensive playbook.
With Kenny Phillips declaring that he is ready to return to the lineup
for the first time since injuring his knee in Week 4, and super-sub Stevie Brown
leading the NFL in takeaways with seven, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell admitted Thursday he will be dusting off the three-safety look to get them all on the field.
Fewell said that he will "go full-bore" with the three-safety look.
"All of them are good players. That's a good problem to have that Kenny (Phillips) is back," Fewell said. "Initially, we were using Jacquian Williams
, as a linebacker, to alternate as a big safety. Since he went down, and Stevie's emerged, we get Kenny back, our plans can totally focus on a three-safety package with three good players in there." Read more...
The Giants Take The Field In The Middle Of A Tragedy: Week 9 Preview
Excerpt: "The Giants are playing well and could be headed back to the NFC Championship. Will the tragedy distract them this week or solidify them?
Pittsburgh at NY Giants - The Steelers are dealing with a lot of injuries this season and they have not beat any quality teams. They're getting old on defense and need to address that this offseason.
The Giants are one of the best teams in the NFC yet again. They have an elite QB, elite WR and above average RB on offense. Add that to their defensive line and they're a dominate team. They have a weakness at CB and need to keep that covered up with the D-Line and by putting up points on offense.
Giants win." Read more...
Giants' Mid-Season Report Card
Excerpt: "With the Giants at 6-2 at the mid-year point for a third straight year under head coach Tom Coughlin, let’s take a look back at how things have fared.
Quarterbacks - A
Sure the weekly numbers every week haven’t always been eye-poppers, but if you’re looking for another reason besides the offensive line that the Giants have a league-low seven sacks, look no further than Eli Manning, whose maturity as a quarterback has helped his team more than it’s hurt.
Whereas a couple years ago Manning had an unusually high number of interceptions because he tried to make plays when there were none to be made, he’s learned to have more patience since then. That includes throwing the ball away, rolling away from pressure, and overall just being smart on just about every play.
Running Backs: B
While the running game is improved from a year ago, there are still too many yards being left out there on the field, and those yards are coming as a result of starter Ahmad Bradshaw’s lack of patience in following his blockers and letting things develop in front of him. Years of foot and ankle problems appear to have robbed Bradshaw of his one-time electric burst to the outside.
Meanwhile, Andre Brown is the opposite– he’s enjoyed the success he’s had because he’s more patient in letting his blocks develop. Rookie David Wilson is a work in progress who still needs to demonstrate to the coaches that he can pass block before he gets more snaps; unfortunately for him and the Giants right now, whenever he comes onto the field, his presence telegraphs the play. He should be more of a factor though as the season grinds on." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
PFTs Week 9 Picks
Excerpt: "The good news last week? MDS gained only one game on me. The bad news? MDS got only seven of the 14 games right.
Yep, that 12-1 performance from yours truly in Week Seven is now the chunk of filet between a moldy pair of 6-8 slices of counterfeit Wonder bread.
At one point, it was looking disastrous. Thanks to the Giants, Broncos, and 49ers, a nauseating 3-8 start was salvaged. Sort of.
This week, we again disagree on only one game. And it all comes down to Monday night.
For the year, I’m now 73-45, and MDS is 69-49.
Steelers at Giants
The Steelers have played well at home and badly on the road this season, and that will continue against the Giants, who will win their fifth in a row.
Giants 28, Steelers 17.
: It’s a simple formula in New York. Play great against great teams. Play not-so-great against not-so-great teams. The Steelers currently fall closer to the former category.
: Giants 35, Steelers 27." Read more...
PFF 3TFO: Steelers @ Giants
Excerpt: "Normally, a meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants would be dominated by stories of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Rooneys and the Maras, and two franchises that have won four of the past seven Super Bowls. However, given the events of the past few days, Sunday’s game will seem far from normal. Here’s hoping that these two teams can give the people of the Tri-State Area a reason to cheer at the end of a tough week.
New York has generated an absurd 16 takeaways in its four-game winning streak, en route to a +13 turnover margin that is tied for first in the NFL. However, it can’t count on the same success against the Steelers, whose six giveaways are tied for the lowest mark in the league. Pittsburgh is hoping to reverse its fortunes on the road, where it is 1-3 this season. Let’s take a look at three matchups that will unfold in front of an emotionally-charged MetLife Stadium crowd.
Cowboys Strip Dez Bryant Of Primary Punt Returner Role
Eagles Hold Players Only Meeting