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TRAVELING BACK HOME, THIS IS ALL I HAD TIME FOR THIS MORNING, SORRY
NEWARK STAR LEDGER
GIANTS' TRAVIS BECKUM, BEAR PASCOE SET TO FILL IN FOR INJURED JAKE BALLARD
Excerpt: "Travis Beckum has caught only one deep ball all season long. And when he sat
out last week’s game with a chest injury, there was D.J. Ware going up the seam
with a pass floating his way.
The end result was an interception by the Washington Redskins off a tipped
ball, and Beckum was left to rue a potential missed opportunity.
“It (stinks),” said the Giants’ tight
end, who had a 67-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. “I mean, I got
that ball, what, the 13th game of the season? And he gets out there and the
first week he gets it.
“Obviously, I wish I could’ve played. But injuries are part of the game.”
And they continue to be for the Giants at tight end.
While Beckum is on his way back, Jake Ballard is on his way out.
The Giants’ starting tight end, a pleasant surprise this season for a team in
desperate need of a pass catcher after the loss of Kevin Boss, will miss his
first game because of a knee injury suffered Sunday. Ballard has a partially
torn posterior cruciate ligament, though he’s hopeful he’ll be ready to go Jan.
1 against the Dallas Cowboys.
That means Beckum and Bear Pascoe must buck up — and as you’ll see, we do
mean buck — for Saturday’s game against the Jets. Both players will battle
through injuries to play.
“It’ll take a lot more than that to take me out,” Pascoe said of his sore
ribs, which he suffered when he was bent backward after making a catch against
Washington. “I’ve been hooked harder than that.”
Hooked? By one of the steer at his family’s California ranch? Really?
“Well, I should say I’ve been bucked off harder than that,” Pascoe said.
“Does that help you?
Actually, yes. And Pascoe could help the Giants by offsetting the loss of
Ballard this weekend. The team didn’t sign a free agent, so it’ll be Pascoe, who
has made most of his 21 career starts at fullback, at the traditional tight end
“He plays hard and gives it everything he has,” Coughlin said. “He’s a tough
guy and he does everything you ask him to do.”
Pascoe has turned into a bit of a blocking specialist with the Giants, but he
believes he can be a pass catcher at the NFL level after grabbing a total of 85
catches and eight touchdowns in his last two seasons at Fresno State. The 6-5,
283-pounder has 10 catches for 122 yards in limited duty this season.
Pascoe had grabs of 14 and 12 yards after Ballard left Sunday’s game. On the
first one, he showed his athletic ability by leaping over cornerback Josh
Wilson. On the second one, he suffered his injury when Perry Riley and London
Fletcher high-lowed him.
Riley nearly pinned Pascoe’s left leg to the turf, which could’ve been
ugly." Read more...
DARRELLE REVIS BRUSHES OFF GIANTS' TRASH TALK
"A trio of Giants receivers made clear
this week they are not
afraid of Darrelle Revis or his eponymous island. The response from the Jets cornerback? Bring it.
“These guys can say whatever they want to say,” Revis said today. “You just
laugh at it. You laugh and say, ‘OK, we’ll see come game time.’”
That’s 1 p.m. Saturday against the Giants, in case you haven’t heard over the
crosstown chirping between these regional rivals.
In any game, including Saturday’s, the Jets like their chances pitting Revis
against any opponent. Widely considered the best cornerback in the NFL, Revis is
having an “amazing season,” coach Rex Ryan said. The two-time All-Pro has
surrendered only one touchdown in 14 games, on a play when he was supposed to
have some inside help.
But opposing receivers haven’t avoided challenging him verbally. Jacksonville
Jaguars receiver Jason Hill did it in Week 2, and then didn’t play because of a
hip injury. The Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham offered
various degrees of tweaking Wednesday.
“Whoever said what, I’m not entertaining it, so I’m not entertaining it,”
Revis said. “If I wanted to watch entertainment, I’d look to a reality show or
something. Watch TV.”
Revis has a preferred deferral tactic. Asked if he is motivated by the
players jabbing him, he said, “I don’t even know who this guy is, so, no.” He
didn’t specify if he meant Nicks, Cruz or Manningham. His impression of them, he
said, is that “they’re receivers, that’s what they are.”
Nicks, the Giants’ No. 1 receiver, had called Revis “decent,” though he later
added that he is “great.” Cruz contended Revis has “had to earn his money this
year” because “teams aren’t really scared anymore” of him.
“I mean, I’m not a monster, so why would anybody be scared?” Revis said. “I
Cruz, in his second year, has evolved from a preseason sensation to the
Giants’ leading receiver with 1,194 receiving yards.
“Whatever he says is one ear and out the other,” Revis said. “The only time I
remember this guy is in the preseason, that’s the only time I remember him.
Other than that, I don’t know the guy really well. Do I respect him as a player?
Yeah. You respect everybody you play against, but like I said, you have to line
up and play.”
It’s true that opposing quarterbacks have at times tested Revis this season.
The Miami Dolphins' Matt Moore threw at him 14 times, and his passer rating
toward Revis was an atrocious 11.01. The Buffalo Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick
targeted Revis 13 times last month with more success, yielding nine catches and
a touchdown, though none of the catches was more than 16 yards. Some of the
Jets’ calls are designed to funnel the ball toward Revis, because he is their
“Man, a lot of receivers talk about us, but they don’t ever have a big game,”
fellow Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. “If you look at those receivers
who have talked trash, what has happened? Nothing. One of them didn’t play and
the rest of them, there isn’t anything going on with them.”
Manningham contended that Revis and Cromartie, who both rank in the top five
in the NFL in a stat called burn percentage, are products of the Jets’ scheme.
But it’s that scheme that Cromartie predicted will give the Giants’ third-ranked
passing attack a new headache.
“They get a lot of free releases,” he said of the Giants’ receivers. “We
don’t do a lot of free releases in our defense. We get in your face and make
sure we jam you and do the things we need to do.”
Ryan expressed some surprise that Revis was a trash-talk target.
“I’d call out a lot more guys — that list would be a lot longer before I
would get to Revis,” he said.
But that’s a good thing, he added. The Giants receivers are competitors, and
they want to face the best. In Ryan’s opinion, that’s Revis. The proof comes
“It doesn’t matter what I say, it doesn’t matter what other receivers say,”
Revis said. “If it’s on paper, it’s on paper. You have to go out there and play
on Sundays — which this game is Saturday — and you have to prove it.”GIANTS' DAVID BAAS RETURNS, THOUGH OFFENSIVE LINE HAS BEEN STRONG WITHOUT HIM
"David Baas stood in his towel in the Giants’ locker room today, ready to hop in
the shower after his third practice since returning from a mysterious injury.
But he wanted to add one more thing before the interview was over.
“And they weren’t headaches,” Baas emphasized.
No, they were more than just headaches. The pain stemmed from his neck and
traveled to his head, causing “intense headaches,” according to the Giants. The
neck injury was enough to force him to miss the Giants’ past three games.
“It’s tough because a lot of the guys here, they haven’t been around me a
whole lot so they don’t really know what type of guy I am,” Baas said. “And I’m
not going to sit out with a headache. There was a lot more that I’ve been
pushing through all season. Things that have been going on were more serious. It
takes a lot for me to sit out. I pour my heart and soul out there for the
Now, after undergoing a series of tests and receiving effective medication,
he is set to start Saturday against the Jets. And usually having your starting center
and prized free-agent signing return from injury is unquestionably a boost for a
Yet, the statistics may prove otherwise.
With Baas out, the Giants’ offensive line had to undergo its second major
shift in as many weeks against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 4. Kevin Boothe,
who was replacing David Diehl at left guard after Diehl moved to left tackle to
replace Will Beatty the week before, shifted over to center. Consequently, Mitch
Petrus, who likely wasn’t even going to dress that afternoon, was inserted at
Despite the last-second adjustments, the offensive line arguably played better
without Baas, creating enough holes to generate the Giants’ first 100-yard
rushing game in four weeks. The production continued over the next two games, as
the team piled up its best three-game rushing stretch of the season.
Nevertheless, the Giants are maintaining they are better with Baas, who
signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract in August.
“I guess statistically we’re better than we have been in terms of yards per
carry, but bottom line is we went 1-2,” the versatile Boothe said. “Nobody cares
how much you run for if you went 3-0. If we went 3-0 and we ran for 20 yards
these last few weeks, it wouldn’t be an issue right now.
“We’re happy to have him back. It’s been good to see him out there on the
practice field working hard. I know that it’s been killing him to be out the
last few weeks. We’re excited to have him back. The role he’s in for, we know
he’s going to give it 100 percent.”
In stark contrast to the consistency the
Giants enjoyed along the line over the past few seasons, the constant personnel
changes have become almost routine this season. Baas’ return is just another one
on the list.
“Pretty much,” right tackle Kareem McKenzie said, when asked if the shifting
around has become second nature for the line. “It doesn’t matter who’s in there.
We have to be able to and play with whoever suits up. And that’s why I think
it’s crucial that everyone on the offensive line and everyone on the team
understands that in any given moment they can be called up to play.”GIANTS' KENNY PHILLIPS SAYS TEAM WILL EXPERIENCE "SOMETHING SPECIAL" AGAINST JETS
"It started with an answer to a question about the pass rush well in front of
“We haven’t gotten sacks in a while but we still have a great pass rush and
they’re ready to get after it,” the Giants’ safety said today after practice. “I
like our matchups, I like our chances and I think we’ll be successful this
For the rest of the session with reporters, Phillips made it clear he’s got a
very good feeling about the Giants’ chances against the Jets and for the rest of the season.
“A player talking up his own team?” you ask. “What’s the big deal? Happens
all the time. For Antrel Rolle, it’s a weekly ritual.”
Well, yeah, but it’s rare to see Phillips speak so confidently. That’s why
his words carry weight. Well, that and the fact the last time he puffed out his
chest was before the game against the Patriots – a game, if you can recall that
far back, the Giants won.
and a few others, Phillips has seen some giddy-up in the Giants’ gait this week.
And he likes it.
“I’m not really that guy,” he said of his being such a public boaster. “I
just watched the way we practiced this week, I listened to the guys, I just feel
like we’re ready. I really think so.”
He continued, “Like the morale, you would think after losing five of the last
six that guys would be down, but you can tell guys are really buying into it,
buying in to the defense and into the whole Giants organization. Practice has
been crazy. Guys have been running around, just having fun. And I think that’s
something we have to get back to – having fun – and that’s what we’re doing. I’m
really positive, I feel positive about this week.”
The next reply from Phillips hammered it home: “I mean, it’s going to be
something special this week.”
Funny, because Santonio
Holmes said similar things on Wednesday when he said the Giants’ secondary
misses a lot of tackles and can be beat over the top.
Asked if those comments are “disrespectful,” Phillips replied, “Yeah you
could say that. I think it’s very disrespectful, But at the same time, he’s
entitled to his opinion. We feel a certain way, we’re not going to put it in the
media or whatever but we’ll have it in the back of our heads when we’re out
there playing. And he knows that.”
Phillips isn't surprised by the chatter
that began in Florham Park and was volleyed
back by the Giants on Wednesday.
"That's just the Jets," he said. "They talk a lot; we don't. That's all it
is."GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW DOESN'T PRACTICE
"2:22 PM UPDATE -- After practice, Coughlin said Bradshaw didn't
practice because he practiced yesterday and "did a lot." So there wasn't a
setback or anything. Expect Bradshaw to be out there Saturday. Also, Jake
Ballard said he has a partially torn PCL and definitely will not play on
Saturday. He said he hasn't been able to run on it and had a similar injury his
junior year at Ohio St. He was out for two weeks with that injury.JUSTIN TUCK SAYS RUTGERS' ERIC LEGRAND IS AN INSPIRATION TO HIM
Ahmad Bradshaw's weekly practice routine had been consistent since returning
from a fractured foot: practice on a limited basis the last session of the week
after not practicing the entire week.
This week, the customary schedule has been inverted. After practicing
yesterday, Bradshaw is not practicing today in what is the Giants' last practice
of the week before their game on Saturday. Yesterday's limited participation was
a surprise especially since Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw would not practice so
whether this was scheduled today or there was a setback won't be known until
Coughlin addresses the media in a little after practice.
The other five non-participants didn't practice yesterday: WR Mario
Manningham (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), TE Jake Ballard (knee), RB DJ
Ware (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle).
Manningham said he missed yesterday's practice for precautionary reasons and
he fully expects to play Saturday, but not practicing this week could be a
signal that he won't be on the field Saturday. Again, Coughlin may clear that
"The proximity of the Rutgers’ campus and Eric LeGrand's suffered his neck
injury at MetLife Stadium led Justin Tuck to reach out to him and take him out
to dinner one night a while back.GIANTS' PRINCE AMUKAMARA VOWS TO PERSEVERE AFTER BENCHING
The fact they’re still in touch is simply because the Giants’ defensive
captain and the inspirational LeGrand hit it off.
“He’s a pretty good guy, man, considering his circumstances,” Tuck said
today, as he wore a LeGrand shirt during his session with reporters to discuss
Giants-Jets. “The motivation I get from him is tremendous.”
Tuck has dealt with neck, groin, toe and ankle issues this season. All of
them have combined to knock him out of four games and limit him to only three
Obviously, none of it compares to what LeGrand deals with on a daily
“For a guy to be in the situation he is and to be as upbeat and as encouraged
about his future as anybody I know that can walk,” Tuck said, “I think that’s
pretty encouraging. … It’s hard not to root for a guy like him.”
story and a terrific photo of his riding onto the field with his teammates
before the game against West Virginia in October helped land him on the cover of
this week’s Sports Illustrated.
“We talked about it a little bit,” Tuck said. “He’s excited about it.”
Tuck said LeGrand will attend Saturday’s game. Asked if LeGrand is a Giants
fan, Tuck replied, “No question. He’s smart.”
Or not. Thanks to the 150 tweets (well, at least it seemed like that many) I
got in response to that quote on Twitter, we can say with certainty LeGrand is a
* * * *
Tuck said earlier this year the "selfish" part of him is worried about his
stats. But over these next two games, he's trying not to let that affect
"It hasn’t happened that way this year," he said in reference to his making
big plays. "It’s not like we’re not out there trying to make it happen. It just
hasn’t happened. So I’m not going to allow myself to get down on that fact; I’m
just going to keep pressing forward.
"My numbers aren’t going to be what they’ve been in past years. But we’ve got
two more games here and my focus is making the best of these two games and
forgetting the last 14."
* * * *
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) did not practice today after working in a limited
capacity on Wednesday. Neither Tom Coughlin nor Bradshaw seemed concerned.
Bradshaw indicated he simply switched the one day he worked.
"Just to get it over with," he said. "I want to be as healthy as I can for
this game. I wanted to freshen up on some things to be prepared."
* * * *
No changes anywhere else in the practice report.
Still out were: TE Jake Ballard (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), WR
Mario Manningham (knee), RB D.J. Ware (knee) and LB Mark Herzlich (ankle).
Ballard said he's likely out this week with a partial tear to the posterior
cruciate ligament (the one in the back of the knee). He tore it before during
his time at Ohio State. He's hopeful he'll be back next week to face the
Umenyiora, as expected, won't play. Coughlin didn't seem overly concerned
about Ware. Manningham seems to be up in the air at this point. The final injury
report, which usually comes out two days before a game, won't be released until
Excerpt: "On Wednesday, Perry Fewell said Prince Amukamara wasn’t able to execute a
“complex” coverage on Santana Moss’ touchdown for the Redskins. Asked what was
so complex about the call, Fewell basically said he didn’t want to give away the
With a laugh, he concluded: “Merry Christmas!”
Today, Prince Amukamara took a similar approach, saying, “He’s the (defensive
coordinator). He made the call and we just played it.”
And that was it. No Christmas wishes.
“Sorry, I celebrate Kwanzaa,” the son of Nigerian immigrants said before
adding, “No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding.”
Well, at least the Giants’ rookie
cornerback is still in a joking mood after a rough week that began with his
seemingly being benched
for the second half of the game against the Redskins.
I say “seemingly” because even Amukamara isn’t sure why Deon Grant went in,
and stayed in, for him.
“My coach didn’t tell me, ‘We’re sitting you because you’re not playing
well.’ They just told me they were going with a different package,” Amukamara
said. “I don’t know. I thought they were putting Deon in just so they could fit
the run better. If that was the case, if I was benched and that’s what I felt
like I was, I was extremely (ticked) off. I definitely took this week of
practice with a different mindset.
“It always (stinks) to let the team down. I just have to make sure it doesn’t
Amukamara, like all rookies this season, is in a tougher spot than first-year
players usually encounter. The lockout wiped out the offseason, meaning they've
had less preparation than normal. Plus, he missed practically all of training
camp and the first eight games with a broken bone in his foot.
"He’s learning on the run and (the benching) is not an indication of the
kid’s skill level," Fewell said. "I think the kid is going to be a fine football
player, but it’s a fast game and there are a lot of things to learn in a little
bit of time."
Amukamara said he’s “known for my perseverance,” so he vows he won’t be
broken by Sunday’s game, in which he also allowed Jabar Gaffney to spin outside
of him for a 16-yard gain on third-and-14. And that came after he
gave up a 74-yard completion against the Cowboys the previous week.
Amukamara had an idea he’d be grilled a bit this week, so he’s avoided
reading or watching any reports.
“You can’t be upset by what you don’t see,” he said with a grin.
The only thing he’s experienced is lots of support from teammates Corey
Webster, Aaron Ross and Antrel Rolle, who have all been benched (or in Rolle’s
case, moved from corner to safety) at one point or another. All of them
responded, whether immediately (Ross with two interceptions against the Eagles
in Week 3) or down the line (Webster in the ’07 playoff run).
“Ross just told me it’s just how you bounce back that matters,” Amukamara
said. “Same thing with Rolle. He said it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish" Read more...
NY DAILY NEWS
JETS GET THE PICTURE ON ELI
"Eli Manning is the
cover boy on the Jets defensive playbook this week. It is not a flattering
picture and certainly not destined to be prominently displayed in the Manning
family album next to the keepsake snapshot where he’s hoisting the Super Bowl
trophy.WHO'S GOT THE EDGE IN THE IN THE MATCHUPS AS THE GIANTS AND JETS GET SET TO DO BATTLE ON CHRISTMAS EVE?