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    NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

    THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER.

    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
    spot.




    “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
    don’t know.”




    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
    best player.



    “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
    Saturday.




    “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
    team.”




    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
    team.




    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
    left guard.




    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
    Kenny Phillips.


    “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
    week.”




    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.




    Like yours
    truly
    , Rolle
    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.



    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
    up."

    JUSTIN TUCK SAYS RUTGERS' ERIC LEGRAND IS AN INSPIRATION TO HIM

    "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.



    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
    sacks.




    Obviously, none of it compares to what LeGrand deals with on a daily
    basis.




    “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.”




    LeGrand’s
    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
    Broncos fan.




    * * * *




    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
    him.




    "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
    Cowboys.




    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
    Friday."

    GIANTS' PRINCE AMUKAMARA VOWS TO PERSEVERE AFTER BENCHING

    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
    strategy there.


    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
    happen again.”




    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.



    The Jets defensive players were handed their playbooks by coordinator Mike
    Pettine
    on Tuesday and there was Eli on the cover getting mauled by the Jets
    in last year’s preseason game.




    The violent picture - if the Jets used the shot a couple of frames later, it
    would have showed Manning as a bloody mess sends a clear message heading into
    Saturday’s crucial Jets-Giants game:




    Manning Must Go Down.




    The picture shows Manning defenseless with his arms outstretched. The Jets at
    least exhibited good taste not showing the blood.




    If the playbook picture had a bull’s-eye on Manning, then the Jets’
    motivational trick could be interpreted only one way: They’ve put a bounty on
    the Giants quarterback. Good thing they stopped short of doing that. Remember,
    Eagles coach Buddy Ryan was accused
    by Cowboys coach Jimmy
    Johnson
    in 1989 of putting a $500 bounty on quarterback Troy Aikman
    and a $200 bounty on kicker Luis Zendejas in the Thanksgiving game.




    Rex
    Ryan
    is a much more refined version of his father, and the league’s culture
    has drastically changed, so putting a bounty on Manning would be pretty dumb.
    But that’s not to say the picture of Manning won’t provide inspiration for the
    Jets to get after him again.




    Manning was hurt on a busted play – his forehead got busted up. He was going
    back to pass, and Brandon Jacobs
    bumped into him clearly thinking he was getting the ball on a run, forcing
    Manning’s helmet to lift up. The ball came flying out, Jets linebacker Calvin
    Pace
    crushed Manning from behind, knocking his helmet off. Safety Jim Leonhard’s
    face mask then appeared to scrape Manning’s forehead and the blood started
    gushing. Manning required 12 stitches to close a three-inch cut." Read more...



    GIANTS' LEADERSHIP AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM NOTHING TO SHOUT ABOUT



    "Bill Parcells once
    walked into the Giants’ locker room at halftime and threw trash at his players
    before smashing a garbage can against the wall. As he did, he screamed, “You
    guys belong here with the rest of this (trash).”




    The Giants were winning at the time. They were 13-2. They would soon win the
    first Super Bowl in franchise history.




    And it worked. A team that had sleep-walked its way to a 24-17 halftime lead
    against the Green Bay Packers at home in the ’86 regular-season finale won in a
    55-24 rout. Parcells knew that football is a game of emotion, passion and
    energy.




    More importantly, he knew that sometimes even championship-caliber teams need
    a strong kick in the butt.




    If ever there was a team that needed a good, swift kick, it’s this current
    group of Giants, who looked lifeless against the Redskins on Sunday and now face
    a do-or-die game against the remarkably arrogant Jets. They need something to
    get their attention, someone to shake them out of their slump.




    But their biggest problem is they have no one capable of doing the job.




    “Every once in a while somebody in here will say something,” said defensive end Dave
    Tollefson
    . “I’ve yelled myself. But you can’t be out of control. This is
    such a thinking man’s game. People think it’s all muscles and speed and power,
    but really it’s a chess match out there.”




    To an extent, that’s true. It’s certainly the approach of the men in charge.
    Tom Coughlin has
    delivered plenty of effective motivational speeches, but mostly he brings
    strength through preparation. He’s not likely to toss a trash can or kick down a
    door (“He might hurt himself if he tried,” Tollefson said).




    Eli Manning’s strength
    is in his calm c onfidence. A few years ago, his attempt at verbal leadership
    was ridiculed as “comical” by Tiki Barber (and he
    wasn’t alone in that assessment). Justin Tuck prefers
    leading by example, which he can’t really do when playing hurt. Antrel Rolle is
    learning you don’t become a leader just by making the most
    noise.



    To be the kind of leader to rouse a lifeless team at a critical moment takes
    a special person, and the sad truth of these Giants is there is no Antonio Pierce in
    the room to tear into his teammates and shock them out of their sorry play.
    There’s no Michael Strahan to
    implore them to “believe,” then carry them on his back. There’s no imposing
    figure like Harry Carson, whom
    players were once literally afraid to let down.



    When the going gets tough — as it has so often lately — there’s no one to
    shatter a blackboard, kick down a door, throw trash around the room.




    Maybe it would not work anyway. Maybe too much has changed. When veteran safety
    Deon Grant
    first broke into the NFL in 2000, he remembers how coaches
    weren’t afraid to “be all up your face, cursing you out.” Now?




    “It’s just different,” he said.




    “You’re dealing with grown men and professionals, so all that should not be
    called for,” Grant said. “You should be able to get your point across by just
    telling it like it is. Sometimes (screaming) comes through as disrespect. If it
    takes somebody to get up in your face and yell and all that other stuff, you
    need to go back to college.”




    Except that even grown men need a wake-up call sometimes, especially in a
    game of energy, passion and fight. The Giants get a good laugh at Rex
    Ryan
    ’s bluster, but he instills an arrogance in his team. He fires the Jets
    up by making them believe they’re better than maybe they are.




    The Giants’ coaches and leaders just aren’t that way. And that’s fine,
    because sometimes that works. But when it doesn’t, they have no one who can get
    away with a motivational tantrum. That’s something that can’t be faked.




    “You’re right,” Tollefson said. “There’s that thin line of a guy saying that
    and you’re like, ‘Come on . . . don’t be whoever you’re not.’ ”




    Still, it does seem like something the Giants need — especially if things
    don’t go right from the start against the Jets. Someone, preferably a player,
    needs to grab these players by the throat and scream “Wake up!” as soon as their
    shoulders start to slump.




    M aybe that’s what Coughlin was alluding to earlier in the week when he
    lamented the lack of “peer pressure” in his locker room.




    “I wish there was more,” he said. “I don’t know that necessarily that’s the
    way that it is in our league anymore, but I wish it was.”




    Unfortunately, Coughlin doesn’t have a Carson, a Pierce or a Strahan to
    deliver it, and he’s not going to flip over any tables on his own. The Giants
    need what they don’t have: a leader who will make sure that if they are going
    down, they’re going to go down with a fight."



    JETS USE PHOTO OF ELI MANNING BEING HIT BY CALVIN PACE AS PLAYBOOK COVER FOR MOTIVATION



    "Forget the bluster. The Jets will be out for blood on Christmas
    Eve.

    When Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace arrived at
    the team’s facility for meetings Tuesday morning, defensive coordinator Mike
    Pettine
    gave him a green binder with a photograph of Giants quarterback Eli Manning
    emblazoned across the cover. The picture captured Manning in mid-hit. His helmet
    was askew, his arms out wide. Blood would soon gush from a three-inch gash on
    his forehead.

    Pace smiled at the unmistakable image of the crushing blow
    he laid on Manning in August 2010.

    “It was cool to see it again,” Pace
    said. “Seems like it was so long ago.”

    Pettine charged his unit with
    reengaging the rival Giants in a blood war Saturday afternoon. Pettine reminded
    his linemen and linebackers that the quarterback, enjoying the best season of
    his eight-year career, would be the marked man at Met Life Stadium on Christmas
    Eve.

    “You have to make him uncomfortable. It’s just like his brother,
    man,” said Pace, referring to Peyton “If you let him sit back there clean, he’s
    the greatest ever, but if you get him to move around a little bit, get some
    hands in his face, I think it puts a little bit more challenge on
    him.”

    Manning never returned from the hit during the preseason game. He
    fell forward into Jets safety Jim Leonhard’s
    facemask. Blood dropped down his forehead as the quarterback lifted himself. He
    fell to one knee again. He signaled for a trainer, then jogged to the sideline
    where a medical staff member attempted to staunch the blood with a white towel.
    He insisted he was unaffected, but needed 12 stitches to close the
    wound.

    “I remember the crowd going ‘ooooooooo,’ ”Pace said, shaking his
    head. “I was thinking, ‘I hope they don’t fine me.’”

    The Jets, along with
    the rest of the league, are balancing aggressive attacks on pass-happy offenses
    while adjusting to rules set in place to protect the passers. Last week against
    the Eagles, the Jets absorbed two roughing-the-passer penalties on elusive
    quarterback Michael Vick. The
    second flag was thrown when defensive lineman Marcus Dixon leveled
    Vick. Ryan insisted his players are “very mindful” of the rules.

    Pace,
    who was fined $15,000 for an unrelated roughing-the-passer penalty in the 45-19
    loss to the Eagles, recognizes growth in Manning since the teams last met, but
    he also believes the formula to stopping the QB is to unsettle him.

    “You
    have to get people around him where you can maybe get a chance to tip a pass or
    force him to move in the pocket,” Pettine said. “Then you have to mix your
    coverages. You can’t sit in just one thing and let him read your
    mail.”

    Manning has withstood rushes throughout the season. He outdueled
    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and stared down
    Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers until
    the final minute, throwing for 4,362 yards and 25 touchdowns. in 2011 He has
    limited his interceptions to 15 this year and will seek to strafe the Jets’
    secondary.

    “In the year of the quarterback, he’s very quietly had a
    career year,” Pettine said.

    Ryan’s assistant coaches and coordinators
    regularly provide their players with motivational material, ranging from his
    raised voice to visual aids. Before the win over Kansas City two weeks ago,
    linebackers coach Bob Sutton left his
    players a sheet of quotations from military theorist Sun Tzu. They came under
    the heading: “Death Ground” and included the message, “You’re going to fight, or
    you’re going to die.”

    “They get us in the mind-set,” Pace
    said.

    Pace, meanwhile, will appeal commissioner Roger Goodell’s
    decision regarding the blow he laid on Vick. The hit in question occurred on
    Vick’s 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek.

    “I
    didn’t hit him in the helmet,” said Pace, who has 66 tackles and three forced
    fumbles this season.

    Ryan declined comment on the hit, but noted that he
    has instructed defenders to lower their target to comply with the new league
    orders

    “You have to hit the quarterback to win in this league,” Ryan
    said. “It’s not that you’re trying to maim the guy, but you’re trying to hit
    him.”

    WHO'S GOT THE EDGE IN THE IN THE MATCHUPS AS THE GIANTS AND JETS GET SET TO DO BATTLE ON CHRISTMAS EVE?

    "QUARTERBACKS


    Giants: Eli
    Manning
    is having the best season of his eight-year career, but too often
    he’s the only thing Big Blue has going. Manning already has thrown for 400 yards
    in three games, cut his interceptions from 25 last year down to 15, and might
    throw the best deep ball in the league. The sign of a great quarterback is that
    he makes the players around him better. Manning has done that with Hakeem Nicks and Victor
    Cruz
    . He has also brought the Giants from behind in the fourth quarter to
    win five games.

    Jets: Mark Sanchez has not
    progressed enough to the point where the Jets are comfortable putting the focus
    on him and letting him go win games. They still look to him not to lose games,
    although he seems to play his best in the fourth quarter. His numbers are
    respectable: 23 TDs and 13 INTs, two touchdowns and two interceptions fewer than
    Manning. Sanchez has not had the benefit of the offensive line play that helped
    him the first two years and until recently, the running game had not been
    extremely productive. He also does not have any receivers who can get deep. One
    year ago, it was fair to wonder if Sanchez was closing the gap on Manning. Not
    anymore.

    Edge: Giants. Why? Manning is having a career
    year. Sanchez is still a game manager.

    RUNNING
    BACKS
    Giants:
    They have the No. 32 rushing attack in the league,
    which is a huge disappointment. Ahmad Bradshaw
    missed four games and has only 548 yards, a big step down from the 1,235 he had
    last season. Brandon Jacobs
    missed two games and has just 513 yards. They each have gone for 100 yards just
    once this season. When they are healthy, they can still be a productive
    combination. Jacobs showed in Dallas two weeks ago when he ran for 101 yards
    that defenders want no part of the big guy when he’s running hard. Bradshaw can
    still be a home run hitter, but his longest run this year is only 37
    yards.

    Jets: Shonn Greene’s 941
    yards is the best total of his three-year career with two games left to go. He’s
    been much more productive lately he does have a history of doing his best work
    late in the season. He hasn’t yet developed into a reliable week-to-week player,
    but has rushed for at least 7 3 yards in each of his last four games and had a
    season-high 129 against the Chiefs two weeks ago. LaDainian
    Tomlinson
    ’s role has been cut back this year and he’s had some injury
    problems. He has rushed for only 195 yards after gaining 914 yards last season,
    and has just 32 receptions compared to 52 last
    year.

    Edge: Jets. Why? Greene is better than either
    Bradshaw or Jacobs.

    RECEIVERS/TIGHT
    ENDS

    Giants: Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are the
    first pair of Giants receivers to have 1,000-yard seasons in the same year. It’s
    no surprise with Nicks, who has the potential to be one of the best wideouts in
    the league. He still drops too many passes, but is explosive. Cruz has been a
    revelation after not catching any passes in an injury-shortened rookie season
    last year. Cruz is eighth in the league with 73 catches and Nicks is tied for
    12th with 70. Cruz is fourth in the league with 1,194 yards and is excellent
    picking up yards after the catch. He has earned Manning’s trust even though he
    drops too many passes. Mario Manningham
    began the season as the starter, but Cruz moved in when Manningham was injured.
    Jake Ballard has done
    a nice job taking over for Kevin Boss at tight end,
    but a knee injury will more than likely keep him out against the Jets. Bear
    Pascoe
    is more of a blocker. Travis Beckum has a
    hard time staying on the field. His 67-yard touchdown against the Packers was
    just a tease. He has only three catches this
    season.

    Jets: Santonio Holmes and
    Plaxico Burress
    have each caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Of course, neither did
    it as a member of the Jets. No Jets receiver is among the top 50 in receptions.
    Holmes (47 catches) and Burress (38) each have caught eight TD passes, but it’s
    been a quiet year for both. The Jets lack of speed has shut down any threat of a
    downfield passing game. Burress has been the red zone target the Jets were
    expecting, but he has only 30 catches besides the TDs. His size and wingspan are
    more important than speed when the field shrinks in the red zone. He has only
    one catch in the last two games. Holmes has only 604 yards in 14 games, hardly
    worthy of the five-year $45, million contract the Jets gave him after the
    lockout. Tight end Dustin Keller is the
    Jets’ most reliable threat and a Pro Bowl quality player. He has caught 50
    passes and has the only 100-yard receiving game of the
    season.

    Edge: Giants. Why? Nicks and Cruz are much more
    productive and explosive than Holmes and Burress.

    OFFENSIVE
    LINE
    Giants:
    The line has been unsettled all season due to injuries.
    Finally, in the last couple of games, the Giants have run the ball a little
    better with David Diehl at left
    tackle, Mitch Petrus at left
    guard, Kevin Boothe at
    center, Chris Snee at right
    guard and Kareem McKenzie at
    right tackle. Boothe moved in at center when David Baas was hurt, but
    if Baas is ready Saturday, he would likely return to center and Boothe would go
    back to left guard. When Will Beatty suffered a
    season-ending eye injury earlier this season, Diehl moved back to left tackle
    from left guard, where he had been switched this
    season.

    Jets: Rex Ryan prides himself on
    having an all-weather ground-and-pound offense, but it has taken until the last
    few weeks for the running game to get going. The O-line was the best part of the
    Jets the last couple of years, but Wayne Hunter has been
    shaky taking over for Damien Woody at right
    tackle. In past years, Rex Ryan called Hunter the best backup tackle in the NFL.
    That’s what he is – a backup. Sanchez, who has already been sacked a career-high
    32 times, gets hit way too much. Nick Mangold may be
    the best center in football. One of the marquee matchups Saturday will be left
    tackle
    D’Brickashaw Ferguson
    trying to stop Giants defensive end Jason
    Pierre-Paul
    .

    Edge: Jets. Why? Mangold is the best
    player on either line, otherwise it’s pretty even.

    DEFENSIVE
    LINE

    Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul is their second-best
    player after Manning and the second-best defensive player in this game behind Darrelle Revis. He
    has had a breakthrough season in his second year with 13.5 sacks. He’s virtually
    unblockable. Last week against the Redskins, he had an incredible 16 tackles. Justin
    Tuck
    has been slowed by injuries. At various times, it’s been his neck,
    groin and more recently his toe. He has missed four games and has just three
    sacks. Osi Umenyiora missed
    the first three games after knee surgery and will miss his fourth straight
    Saturday with an ankle injury. In the eight games he’s played, he has seven
    sacks. The injuries to Tuck and Umenyiora have ruined the three-man defensive
    end rotation that was supposed to make the Giants the best pass-rushing team in
    the league. Chris Canty, Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard are
    solid in the middle.

    Jets: Sione Pouha is a force
    in the middle, and it could be memorable if Brandon Jacobs tries to run over
    him. Pouha is the Jets’ best player up front, and the Giants are going to have
    to move him out when they try to run the ball between the tackles. No. 1 pick Muhammad
    Wilkerson
    hasn’t made much of an impact, with only two sacks. Mike
    DeVito
    has twice gone out with a knee injury and missed a total of four
    games. The Jets are seventh in total defense, but only 16th against the
    run.

    Edge: Giants. Why? Other than Pierre-Paul, the
    Giants’ line has not dominated since the New England game. The lack of
    consistent pass rush has exposed the secondary. But the Giants’ line still makes
    more of an impact than the Jets’
    line.

    LINEBACKERS
    Giants:
    It’s a long ways from the
    days of LT, Harry Carson, Carl
    Banks
    and Gary Reasons. Injuries
    have forced the Giants to rely too much on rookies. At various times, Mark Herzlich, Jacquian Williams
    and Greg Jones have started.
    Michael Boley was
    playing great until he suffered a hamstring injury in the loss to San Francisco,
    forcing him to miss two games. Mathias Kiwanuka’s
    versatility allows him to play down in passing situations. But the fact that Chase Blackburn,
    who wasn’t even signed until the week before the Dec. 4 Packers game, is now
    starting at middle linebacker, says it all.

    Jets: It’s a
    veteran group led by David
    Harris
    , who leads the Jets with 103 tackles. He also has four sacks and
    three interceptions. Bart Scott has not been
    an impact player in the three years since the Jets gave him a big free-agent
    contract. The Jets “can’t wait” for him to make a memorable play. Calvin
    Pace
    and Scott are tied with 4 ½ sacks. Aaron Maybin, a bust
    in Buffalo, makes up for Vernon Gholston, a
    bust with the Jets. Even though he was cut in camp and not re-signed until the
    fourth game, Maybin leads the Jets with six sacks. He has become their pass rush
    specialist and most pleasant surprise on defense.

    Edge:
    Jets. Why? They have playmakers, the Giants do not.

    DEFENSIVE
    BACKS
    Giants:
    It’s been a nightmare. They are 29th in pass defense
    and have been getting lit up on a weekly basis. They’ve missed cornerback Terrell Thomas, who
    has been out all season after tearing his ACL against the Bears in the
    preseason. Corey Webster is the
    only reliable corner. Aaron Ross
    gets picked on. Safety Antrel Rolle
    has created many more headlines with his mouth than with his hits on the field.
    He always seems to be trailing the play. In 30 games as a Giant, he has two
    interceptions, which is not so good for a free safety. The Giants are giving up
    257.5 passing yards per game and in a three-game stretch, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tony
    Romo
    each threw four TD passes against them.

    Jets:
    The Giants wide receivers have been yapping about Darrelle Revis, now they have
    to back up their words. One poor game against Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson has
    not made him vulnerable. He’s still the best cornerback in the league, but don’t
    expect Eli Manning to cut the field in half and not throw at him. Revis is a
    physical corner who will challenge the Giants wideouts off the ball. Antonio Cromartie
    is inconsistent and should be seeing a lot of passes coming in his direction.
    The Jets miss safety Jim Leonhard’s
    leadership and ability to get the players in the right spot. In the last two
    years, the Jets have given up 45 points in the first game he’s missed. Eric
    Smith
    can be picked on, especially when he’s trying to cover a tight end,
    which is the weakness of the Jets defense. Brodney Pool has taken
    over for Leonhard.

    Edge: Jets. Why? Any secondary with
    Revis has the edge

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Giants:
    Once in a
    while, it would be nice if Tom Coughlin can get
    something out of his return game. It seems forever since the Giants have had
    good special teams. They have a hard time covering it’s impossible to take DeSean Jackson’s
    game-winning 65-yard game-winning punt return out of the evaluation, even though
    it was last year. They’ve been searching for a productive returner since the
    days of Dave Meggett. Not
    having Domenik Hixon for the
    second year in a row after he suffered knee injuries has hurt. Punter Steve
    Weatherford, the ex-Jet, has been an upgrade over Matt Dodge. He’s
    averaged 46.3 yards, 11th in the league, and has put 22 inside the 20. He’s
    seventh with a 40.0 yard net average. With the new kickoff rules, Lawrence Tynes is
    13th in the league with 33 touchbacks. He is 16-of-20 on field goals with a long
    of 50.

    Jets: Mike Westhoff may be
    the best special teams coach in the league. Very innovative. The problem this
    year is too many fumbles on punt returns. That prompted the switch to Leonhard,
    but his knee injury playing defense ended that. It’s up to rookie Jeremy Kerley, who
    has averaged 9.4 yards and has showed some explosion with a long return of 53
    yards. Joe McKnight leads the
    NFL with a 32.3 average on kickoff returns, including a 107-yarder for a
    touchdown. T.J. Conley has taken
    over for Weatherford and done a good job with a 43.0 average (38.7 net) with 26
    punts inside the 20. Nick Folk has a big leg,
    but he’s not as reliable as Tynes.

    Edge: Jets. Why? They
    have the ability to make big plays in the return game.

    HEAD
    COACHES
    Giants:
    The pattern has been the same for just about all of
    Tom Coughlin’s eight seasons. The Giants get off to a great start in the first
    half and then collapse in the second half. They were 6-2 at the halfway point
    and just 1-5 since then. Why hasn’t Coughlin been able to fix this disturbing
    trend? But he does have a Super Bowl title and his guys do play hard for him.
    They are always prepared. He is an excellent game day manager despite his
    uncharacteristic slump in instant-replay challenges. It would be nice if he
    would impose his will on offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and
    force him to run the ball every now and then.

    Jets: Rex
    Ryan is entertaining and a good coach. He just hasn’t had a great year. He lost
    twice to Bill Belichick and
    had no answer for Andy Reid last
    week in Philly. His players love him and have his back. He takes the pressure
    off them with his trash talking, which makes him the focal point. He’s been to
    the AFC Championship Game in each of his two seasons and eventually should get
    to a Super Bowl. It just doesn’t look like it will be this
    year.

    Edge: Jets. Why? Coughlin has the Super Bowl ring,
    but he hasn’t won a playoff game in any other season with the Giants. Ryan is
    not as good a game day manager as Coughlin, but has won four playoff games in
    the last two years."



    GIANTS' JUSTIN TUCK SAYS HE'S READY TO ROLL AGAINST JETS



    Excerpt: "




    Justin Tuck’s name was
    not listed on the Giants’ official injury report on Thursday. That is no small
    feat, considering the litany of injuries the banged-up defensive end has battled
    since the start of the season.




    “I feel great . . . as in Tony-the-Tiger great,” Tuck declared after
    practice. “I probably feel better than I have all year. Honestly, I still have
    something left.”




    Mark Sanchez and the
    Jets’ offensive line have been, let’s say, vulnerable to opposing pass rushes,
    especially in recent weeks. For the Giants, there would be no better time for
    Tuck to regain some semblance of Pro Bowl form as a terrorizing bookend to
    breakout star Jason
    Pierre-Paul
    .




    Tom Coughlin said he
    similarly feels a big game coming from Tuck, who has just three sacks, 31
    tackles and no forced fumbles while appearing in 10 of the Giants’ 14 games.




    “I’ve been to a few Pro Bowls. I’ve had 10-plus sacks (in a season). But you
    can’t get caught up in that. At the end of the day, it’s winning. That’s all I’m
    focusing on now,” Tuck said. “I’m not going to allow myself to get down over
    (stats). It just hasn’t happened.




    “We have two more games here, and my focus is on making the best of these two
    games, and forgetting the last 14. . . . I’m not going out there just to be an
    extra body. If I go out there, I’m trying to make plays, and (believe me) those
    games are right around the corner. If they happen, I don’t know, but it won’t be
    because of lack of effort.”




    TIGHT SITUATION
    Tight end Jake Ballard (knee)
    does not expect to play Saturday, despite catching passes from Eli
    Manning
    before practice. Travis Beckum (chest)
    and Bear Pascoe (ribs) both
    participated on a limited basis.




    Even without Ballard, the Giants believe they can have success against the
    Jets’ linebacking corps, w
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  2. #2
    Moderator Mod_C's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    Using a photo of a bloodied Eli Manning for their incentive clearly shows why the jets will never "own" New York. That was a classless move to use an injury to a player as motivation for more of the same.

    Rex proves the adage that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


  3. #3
    All-Pro Captain Chaos's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    Thanks Roanoke!

  4. #4
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

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

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


  5. #5
    All-Pro GameTime's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.



    thanks Ro....




    you know I have been in Pascoe's corner to be a good NFL TE. I hope he can make a splash this weekend. Much like the Giants the jets suck at underneath coverage. I dont have much faith in Beckum for the routes Ballard ran. He is more of a down field threat....I hope anyway.




    Go Pascoe.....!!!!!!

    "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
    You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch

  6. #6
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    [quote user="GameTime"]

    thanks Ro....




    you know I have been in Pascoe's corner to be a good NFL TE. I hope he can make a splash this weekend. Much like the Giants the jets suck at underneath coverage. I dont have much faith in Beckum for the routes Ballard ran. He is more of a down field threat....I hope anyway.




    Go Pascoe.....!!!!!!

    [/quote]

    I am with you on Pascoe AND Beckum. Pascoe may be slow enough to make catches before the DB/LB can run back to where he is []

  7. #7

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    thanks RF

  8. #8
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    It all comes down to tomorow's game. It's time to separate the men from the boys. Thanks RF ! LEST GO G-MEN !
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.

  9. #9
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2011 - 8:15 A.M.

    [quote user="G-Men Surg."]It all comes down to tomorow's game. It's time to separate the men from the boys. Thanks RF ! LEST GO G-MEN ![/quote]

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


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