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    News, notes, rumors, and gossip: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL

    EXCERPTS FROM EXTERNAL NEWS ARTICLES REGARDING THE NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS ARE POSTED UNDER THEIR SOURCES. MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLES ARE POSTED UNDER THE "MISCELLANEOUS" SECTION AT THE END OF THE THREAD. LINKS FOR ALL LISTED SOURCES ARE INCLUDED TO ALLOW MEMBERS TO INDEPENDENTLY BROWSE AT THEIR LEISURE.






    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    A Giants' Victory May Be Toughest Task In Realizing Team's Slim Playoff Hopes

    http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2...be_toughe.html

    Excerpt: "The Giants’ cold retreat from the M&T Bank Stadium field Sunday night was one of their lowest moments of the season. Still, quarterback Eli Manning can imagine feeling even lower.

    "I can guarantee the worst feeling that we could possibly have," Manning said Monday, "is if we go out there, and don’t play at a high level, and all of those teams lose that we need to, and we don’t handle our business."

    Manning referred to the only scenario by which the Giants can make the playoffs as a wild card: A Giants victory, coupled with a Cowboys loss or tie, a Vikings loss and a Bears loss.

    Their playoffs destiny stripped from their hands with Sunday’s 33-14 loss to the Ravens, the Giants must prepare for the Eagles and then they must hope, since three of the four things that have to happen Sunday are firmly out of their control.

    "Stranger things have happened, obviously," coach Tom Coughlin said.

    Added Manning: "The scenario is very possible. It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen."

    He’s right: Two of the three outcomes the Giants need are favored in the betting lines, a Redskins win against the Cowboys and a Green Bay win at Minnesota.

    And the Lions are only three-point home underdogs against the Bears.

    But nothing matters if the Giants can’t figure out how to win a game, something that has seemed impossible for nearly all of the past 120 minutes of football they have played, in which the Giants have been outscored 67-14.

    It’s also true that just three weeks ago, the Giants dismissed the Saints by a 52-27 margin, and just five weeks ago, they dominated the Packers, 38-10. But their current state feels so dire that 10-year veteran Osi Umenyiora suggested if changes are going to be made this offseason, they should be drastic.

    "There is no individual, there is no aspect of the team this year that stood out," Umenyiora said.

    "People want to just talk about the pass rush. OK, well maybe we didn’t get 50 sacks like we did last year, but was the offense playing well? Was the special teams playing (well)? There was nowhere that was up to par, that was up to the standard that we set last year. So if they’re going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes." Read more...


    Eli Manning Admits Lack Of Practice Reps With Injured Hakeem Nicks HAs Hurt Timing

    http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2...keem_nick.html

    Excerpt: "Eli Manning has nothing but great respect for Hakeem Nicks, who has battled through foot and knee injuries during the offseason and season, missing just three games. But the Giants quarterback admitted the receiver's restrictions have contributed to the passing game being less viable this year.

    "I love Hakeem and the way he competes. He’s doing everything he can to be out there. He’s obviously dealing with a frustrating issue that’s limiting him a little bit," Manning said. "He’s out there trying to do his best, so we just have to keep working, try to get on the same page. He missed most of training camp, all of the off-season, so you don’t get that rep time. We don’t get practice reps. He gets a few reps, he’s not quite at full-speed. The timing is off on a few things, and it can make it hard to be as effective as you need to be and be on the perfect timing that is required to be really successful."

    In the 33-14 loss to the Ravens Sunday, Nicks was targeted three times and held without a catch for the first time in his four-year career.

    Nicks missed the offseason and most of training camp after fracturing a bone in his foot. The lingering knee injury developed in Week 2 of the season. In addition to Nicks, running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been on a restricted practice regimen this season while dealing with a bruised bone in his foot and, the past two weeks, a sprained knee.

    "You love the competiveness, the hanging in there and being there for the team," Manning said.

    "It can be tough when you’ve got four or five guys who don’t practice much during the week, if at all, and then show up on game day. Again, you love the toughness, you love the competiveness, you love the team attitude and doing whatever it takes. It’s hard to continue to play at a high level sometimes." Read more...


    Nick Foles Out With Broken Hand; Giants May See Michael Vick In Week 17

    http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2...roken_han.html

    Excerpt: "The Giants may face Michael Vick in Week 17, needing a win to keep their postseason chances alive.

    Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles has a broken hand and is out, coach Andy Reid announced to reporters in Philadelphia today, opening the door for Vick's return. Reid told reporters there is a "pretty good chance" Vick will start against the Giants, adding that he deserves the opportunity to play and is excited about it." Read more...

    Osi Umenyiora Says There's a 'High Probability" He's Not With Giants Next Season

    http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2...eres_a_hi.html

    Excerpt: "The Giants may be facing the end of their season in next week's home game against the Eagles. And Osi Umenyiora may also be facing the end of his Giants career.

    The 10th-year defensive end, never scared to be honest, admitted that he has thought about that possibility, even if it is out of his control.

    "Is there a high probability that I’m going to be playing somewhere else? I would say there is a high probability, and that’s just me being honest," Umenyiora said on a conference call with reporters today. "But I'm not certain of what's going to happen. Anything can happen; we can get in the playoffs. Anything is possible. But is there a high probability that I'm going to be playing somewhere else? Yes, and I think everybody knows that. We’re not going to kid ourselves."

    Umenyiora entered the league as a second-round pick by the Giants in 2003. The past few years have been tinged by a long-standing contract dispute with the team, finally resolved this past June by the Giants giving him a raise for 2012 -- with an easily voidable 2013 season that made it likely he'll be a free agent this spring." Read more...

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    NY DAILY NEWS

    Giants' Insider: Eli Says Blue Must Mann Up

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/fo...icle-1.1227011

    Excerpt: "His team has shown no fight the last two weeks. But quarterba ck Eli Manning expects the Giants to show something more against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    While a handful of players seem to have conceded the season, Manning said Monday that the Giants’ faint playoff hopes should motivate them against the Eagles.

    “I’ve got great confidence, from just talking to the offensive guys, we’re going to get after it,” he said. “We’re going to compete, we’re going to prepare this week, and we’re going to plan to go out there and play our best.”

    The Giants can still make the postseason if they beat the Eagles, the Cowboys lose to or tie the Redskins and the Bears and Vikings both lose. While that’s an unlikely scenario, Manning stressed that it’s very possible in “a crazy sport.

    “The worst feeling you could have is if all those teams lose and we don’t handle our business and lose,” he said. “You never know what can happen.”
    Tom Coughlin echoed that sentiment, saying the longshot playoff chances should “give us continued motivation, in terms of what can happen.” But the coach was hardly as optimistic as Manning." Read more...

    Myers: Super Run Coming To An End For Several Giants

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/fo...icle-1.1227007

    Excerpt: "The list of Giants active for both of the magnificent Super Bowl championships the last five seasons is down to the Core 11, a special group that will shrink even further in 2013.

    To steal one of Tom Coughlin’s favorite expressions, the Core 11 will regret looking back on the collapse of 2012 as an “opportunity lost,” not only because they were positioned perfectly to make a serious run at being the first Giants team to ever win titles back-to-back, but in New York sports history they would have been romanticized like the Core Four of the Yankees.

    This is likely the last run they make together and it’s not going to end pretty. Eli Manning and Coughlin are the cornerstones of the program and they will be around for a while, but some big names could be gone next year.
    Osi Umenyiora takes it for granted he will be gone. Will the Giants be willing to pay Justin Tuck $4 million next year when injuries have turned him into a declining player with just three sacks? Can the Giants possibly justify paying Corey Webster, who’s had a terrible season, the $7 million he is owed in the final year of his five-year, $43 million contract? David Diehl, tied with Umenyiora as the longest-tenured Giant with 10 years of service, could be gone. Ahmad Bradshaw is a productive player the few times a year he is healthy, but his foot and knee problems make him too unreliable to be the No. 1 back.

    Manning and the pass rush carried the Giants into the playoffs and then to the Super Bowl last season, but Eli has been far from elite the second half of the season and Umenyiora, Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul have not supplied the heat all season.

    Umenyiora threw the entire team under the bus Monday when he tried to defend the pass rush – down from 48 sacks last year to 32 this year – after he was asked if it was less likely he will be back in 2013 because of the losing.

    “Well, maybe we didn’t get 50 sacks like we did last year, but was the offense playing well? Was the special teams playing... There’s nowhere that was up to the standards that we set last year,” he said. “If they’re going to make changes, it has to be wholesale changes. Everybody has to leave. There has to be changes for everybody because nobody played above average this year.”

    That’s a fairly strong statement on the way out the door." Read more...
    Osi Nears End Of Line, And Suggests "Wholesale Changes" May Be Needed

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/gia...-may-be-needed

    Excerpt: "Osi Umenyiora knows his tenure with the Giants is running out. And now, as he prepares for what could be the end of his “wonderful, wonderful ride” as a Giant, he can’t help wondering if it’s also the end of the line for the rest of this Giants core.

    On Monday, one day after the Giants completely fell apart in Baltimore and all but knocked themselves out of playoff contention, Umenyiora said that Big Blue may need big changes. The veteran defensive end – and one of the longest-tenured Giants on the roster – didn’t insist on changes, but he did say that little tweaks will do nothing to fix a defending champion that looked decidedly average for much of 2012.


    “There’s no individual, there’s no aspect of the team this year that stood out,” Umenyiora said. “People want to talk about the pass rush, but was the offense playing well, was the special teams playing well? There’s nowhere that’s up to par.


    “If they’re going to be making changes, there has to be wholesale changes.

    Umenyiora wasn’t alone. Coach Tom Coughlin added that this offseason there will be “incredible investigation and study” into how the Giants’ big-play machine came up so small in big spots. Typically, he said, the Giants netted “six or eight or even more” big plays a game, but recently they’ve gotten “maybe one or two.”

    “The plays which we try to identify the night before a game, the plays which spark or ignite, we just haven’t had any,” Coughlin said. “The opponents have had them . . . some of the plays (the Ravens) made last night were those types of plays, the plays that spark a football team.

    The lack of those plays had Umenyiora echoing the tone of defeat that engulfed the locker room Sunday night. Technically, the Giants have not been eliminated from playoff contention, and as Coughlin said, “stranger things have happened.” Yet that was the farthest thing from Umenyiora’s mind.

    In the regular season finale against the Eagles, the Giants simply get “better as a football team,” he said. “After that, whatever happens happens.

    One thing almost certain to happen: Umenyiora will leave the team. He said “there’s always a chance” he will return, but there’s a “high probability” that he’s headed elsewhere. He added that he views himself as a starter, even though his paltry six-sack season coincided with the downfall of the ‘D’." Read more...

    Foles Out, Vick Likely Starter Next Sunday

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/gia...ts-next-sunday

    Excerpt: "The Giants won’t face the Eagles’ quarterback of the future next Sunday; they’ll face Philly’s old franchise. Eagles coach Andy Reid announced that rookie Nick Foles, who started six of the last seven games, has a broken hand and will not play next week. Michael Vick is expected to start in his place.

    “It changes the nature of how you prepare,” Coughlin said. “If that’s the case, then we will focus on Michael Vick.” Read more...


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    THE NEW YORK POST

    Giants Task vs. Eagles: Stop Vick

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giant...2TvBgJP3TyoxQM

    Excerpt: "The Giants’ paper-thin hopes of making the playoffs one year after winning the Super Bowl rest on beating the Eagles in the regular season finale and then receiving a ton of help. The Giants need to attend to their own business first and they will have to beat Michael Vick to do it.

    The Eagles yesterday announced quarterback Nick Foles suffered a hairline fracture in his right hand late in their 27-20 loss to the Redskins, putting him out of commission for this final game. That means coach Andy Reid must turn to Vick to start against the Giants.


    Vick hasn’t played since week 10, as he was removed from the lineup because of a concussion and when he was cleared to return, Reid opted to stay with the unproven Foles rather than the turnover-prone Vick. The third quarterback on the Philly roster is Trent Edwards.

    “It changes the nature of how you have to prepare, obviously for the two quarterbacks there’s a different scenario in terms of how you prepare,’’ Tom Coughlin said. “If that’s the case then we will focus on Michael Vick.’’

    This very likely is the last game for Reid and Vick with the Eagles, so it figures to be an emotional afternoon for them at MetLife Stadium.

    * DT Chris Canty came out of the loss in Baltimore with a sprained MCL and the knee injury is expected to keep him out of the final game.
    “We’ll have to see how he responds,’’ Coughlin said.

    * Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning played 54 games together, with Nicks getting at least one reception in every game, until this past Sunday.
    “I love Hakeem and the way he competes,’’ Manning said. “He’s obviously dealing with a frustrating issue that’s limiting him a little bit. He missed most of training camp, all of the off-season, so you don’t get that rep time. We don’t get practice reps. The timing is off on a few things and it can make it hard to be as effective as you need to be.’’

    * The Giants went with a four-linebacker scheme to stop the Ravens ground game but it didn’t work at all. Michael Boley wasn’t used much in the linebacker-heavy package.
    “He was having some issues for three weeks that we felt was not allowing him to play the way that he’s capable of playing,’’ Coughlin said.’’ Read more...

    Washington Trying To Follow Blue-Print

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giant...kO7D5D2QfQFLdN

    Excerpt: "This year’s Redskins look at last year’s Giants and ask: “Why not us?”

    Fresh off a 27-20 win at Philadelphia on Sunday, Washington is certainly doing a fine job of following the Giants’ blueprint — get hot at the right time — that won them a Super Bowl last season. The Redskins have won six straight games, their longest regular-season streak since 1996, and not even a knee injury to franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III could slow their roll.
    Even Washington’s Week 17 scenario is starkly similar to Big Blue’s last year: Beat the hated Cowboys at home in a game flexed to Sunday night by NBC, and the Redskins are both in the playoffs and champions of the NFC East.

    “It’s the same as the Giants last year — we like the pressure,” defensive tackle Barry Cofield said in the locker room Sunday after Washington improved to 9-6. “It’s how the good teams operate. You expect to win, and losing is extremely disappointing. We’ve gained that mindset at the right time, and we’re playing well enough to back it up.”


    Cofield is another link to the Giants, having played a key role for them as a reserve in 2007, when they heated up en route to a Lombardi Trophy that would have seemed unthinkable earlier that season.
    The same description could have been applied to Cofield’s current team just eight weeks ago. Coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Panthers that dropped the Redskins to 3-6, coach Mike Shanahan seemingly conceded the entire season by saying he would use the rest of it to “evaluate our players” for the future.

    That white-towel message didn’t go over well with Shanahan’s players — defensive tackle Lorenzo Alexander called it “disappointing” — but it obviously lit something in them. Even if their veteran coach didn’t appear to intend the comment as a motivational ploy, that has proven to be the result." Read more...


    Giants' Osi Points Fingers, Calls For Overhaul

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giant...e5H1ywwcOD6QjM

    Excerpt: "There will be changes following this season for the Giants because there always are, especially after a team fails to live up to expectations. Osi Umenyiora after 10 years with the Giants figures to be one of those changes.
    Umenyiora, 31, has been around long enough to know, as he says, there’s a “high probability’’ he will be playing for another team in 2013. But as he contemplates what figures to be his last game for the Giants — Sunday against the Eagles — Umenyiora is also wondering how the powers that be will determine who stays and who goes.“Where are they going to make the changes is the question,’’ Umenyiora said. “There’s no individual, there’s no aspect of the team this year that stood out. There’s nowhere that was up to the standards that we set last year. If they’re going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes. Everybody has to leave. There has to be changes for everybody because nobody played above average this year.’’Clearly, “everybody’’ is not going to leave. It looked as if Umenyiora would be gone following the Super Bowl victory, but he and the team agreed on a contract restructuring both sides could live with. The deal included an easily-voidable 2013 season. Unlike 2011, Umenyiora stayed healthy the entire season and, operating in a defensive end rotation behind starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, had six sacks, only one-half behind Pierre-Paul for the team lead.“I definitely have some very good years left in me,’’ Umenyiora said. “I haven’t lost any explosion. I haven’t lost any speed. I’m not happy about the way the season unfolded, but I’m happy about that.’’His goal, Umenyiora stressed, is to remain with the Giants but he knows that is a long-shot.“I think most people want to finish out their career with the team that they started and I fall into that category,’’ he said. “I would have loved to have finished my career here, but everybody is not so fortunate. Everybody is not a Michael [Strahan].“I’m just happy with the things I’ve done here and I’m happy with the things that I’ve accomplished here. If it does, in fact, turn out to be my last game, then it’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride and I’m just going to walk around in New York with my head held high because it’s been a great accomplishment playing for this organization and being able to do some of the things that we accomplished here as a team.’’As for what he’s looking for moving forward, Umenyiora said he’s looking to be a starter somewhere next season." Read more...

    A Long Shot, But Eli & Co. Could Get The Gifts They Need

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giant...KKF4YgEuysv1GP

    Excerpt: "This is a day for Christmas jeer, a day to assail them as New York Football Midgets for defending their Super Bowl crown with so little pride and fight and toughness, a day to wonder who hijacked Elite Eli, a day to rage at Big Blue for crimes against New York Giants bully defense, more Johnny Carson against the run than Harry Carson, more James Taylor than Lawrence Taylor terrifying the quarterback.

    This is a day for Giants fans to bemoan the lump of coal in their stockings, a day to curse Scrooge for making this a Blue Christmas. But when you have witnessed the hoisting of two Lombardi Trophies since February 2008, you are allowed to use this day to cling to the wisdom of Yogi Berra, even if it has gotten late for Eli Manning & Co: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. So this is a day to hope against hope that perhaps when Santa comes to a fork in the road, he will take it, and show up late Sunday night at the Timex Performance Center with a most improbable playoff berth.
    “The scenario is possible,” Eli Manning said yesterday. “It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen.”Wishful thinking, for sure. But for Giants and Giants fans, this is a day for one last Christmas wish.

    EAGLES at GIANTS (1 p.m.)


    Andy Reid’s last game as Eagles head coach. Michael Vick’s last game as an Eagle. What’s to keep Reid from ending his tenure the way he started it, in the first game of his second season on the road against the Cowboys, with an onsides kick that sparked a rout, and render MetLife Stadium horrified? What could have been a coronation could be an official elimination. LeSean McCoy is back, with fresh legs and a clear head. Spoiler alert: This is the Eagles’ Super Bowl.
    “We’re going to get after it,” Manning said. “The worst feeling you could have is if all of those teams lose and we don’t handle our business and we lose. You never know what can happen, it’s a crazy game, it’s a crazy sport.

    CHRISTMAS WISH: Giants win." Read more...


    Giants Ask For A Lot Of Help...And Some Answers

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giant...zETieQVjiPVShI

    Excerpt: "You think this is bad? Eli Manning can think of an even worse scenario for the Giants.
    That’s hard to fathom, as the road to the playoffs for Manning’s team is not filled with potholes, it’s barely been paved. After back-to-back losses by a combined 67-14, the Giants aren’t deserving of getting anything for Christmas other than a DVD of Super Bowl XLVI to remind them how to play like champions. Almost cruelly, they are not yet eliminated from this year’s post-season tournament but their chances of getting in are, in Tom Coughlin’s words, “remote,’’ which might as well be “nil.’’

    The Giants need to win on Sunday against the Eagles, who once again will have Michael Vick at the helm, and winning on Sundays has proven to be too much of a challenge for nearly two months. Then, the Giants need to see the Lions upset the Bears and the Packers beat the Vikings in order to stay alive until Sunday night, when they need the Cowboys to lose or tie the Redskins in what amounts to an NFC East title game in Washington.What could be worse than hoping for all this?“The worst feeling you could have is if all of those teams lose and we don’t handle our business and we lose,’’ Manning said. “You never know what can happen, it’s a crazy game, it’s a crazy sport. Obviously, the scenarios are very possible. It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen. These are three divisional games being played and in the division, you never know what might occur.’’ Read more...


    Osi Says If There Are Changes They Need To Be "Wholesale"

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giants...#axzz2G04EOmYP

    Excerpt: "There is one constant in the NFL – losing brings on change. The Giants are losing down the stretch of the season and change is inevitable, most likely including Osi Umenyiora, finishing up his 10th year with the Giants and almost definitely his last.

    Umenyiora, 31, has been around long enough to know, as he says, there’s a “high probability’’ he will be playing for another team in 2013. But as he contemplates what figures to be his last game for the Giants – Sunday against the Eagles – Umenyiora is also wondering how the powers that be will determine who stays and who goes. The Giants are not officially eliminated from the playoffs but they need to win on Sunday and have the Bears and Vikings lose and the Cowboys lose or tie.

    “Where are they going to make the changes is the question,’’ Umenyiora said Monday on a conference call. “There’s no individual, there’s no aspect of the team this year that stood out. If you want to talk about the pass rush … well, maybe we didn’t get 50 sacks like we did last year, but was the offense playing well? Was the special teams playing… Like where? There’s nowhere that was up to the standards that we set last year. If they’re going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes. Everybody has to leave. There has to be changes for everybody because nobody played above average this year.’’

    Clearly, “everybody’’ is not going to leave. It looked as if Umenyiora would be gone following the Super Bowl victory but he and the team agreed on a contract restructuring both sides could live with. The deal included an easily-voidable 2013 season. Unlike 2011, Umenyiora stayed healthy the entire season and, operating in a defensive end rotation behind starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, had six sacks, only one-half behind Pierre-Paul for the team lead.

    “I definitely have some very good years left in me,’’ Umenyiora said. “I haven’t lost any explosion. I haven’t lost any speed. So as a pass rusher that’s what you need and thankfully I’ve been able to maintain that and I’m just happy about that. I’m not happy about the way the season unfolded, but I’m happy about that.’’ Read more...
    Giants Will Face Vick In Finale

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giants...10nGvPioproOMP

    Excerpt: "The Giants’ paper-thin hopes of making the playoffs one year after winning the Super Bowl rest on them beating the Eagles in the regular season finale and then receiving a ton of help. To trigger any of the far-fetched scenarios, the Giants need to attend to their own business first and it looks like they will have to beat Michael Vick to do it.

    The Eagles announced on Monday that Nick Foles has a broken hand, putting him out for this final game, and coach Andy Reid said there is a “pretty good chance’’ Vick will get the start against the Giants. Vick hasn’t played since week 10, as he was removed from the lineup because of a concussion and when he was cleared to return, Reid opted to stay with the unproven Foles rather than the turnover-prone Vick.

    “It changes the nature of how you have to prepare, obviously for the two quarterbacks there’s a different scenario in terms of how you prepare,’’ Tom Coughlin said on Monday. “If that’s the case then we will focus on Michael Vick.’’
    The Giants are well-versed on dealing with Vick, who beat the Giants back in the fourth game of the season. This very likely is the last game for Reid and Vick with the Eagles, so it figures to be an emotional afternoon for them at MetLife Stadium." Read more...
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    THE BERGEN RECORD


    Giants' Notes: Umenyiora Leaves Door Open For Return

    http://www.northjersey.com/sports/18...or_return.html

    Excerpt: "When a team finishes a season the way the Giants have – losses in five of their last seven games and outscored, 67-14, in losing their last two – that usually leads to off-season changes.

    "Where are they going to make the changes is the question," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said Monday. "There’s no individual, there’s no aspect of the team this year that stood out. … So, if they’re going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes."

    With his contract set to expire, Umenyiora, 31, knows Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Eagles, barring a postseason berth, likely will be his final game as a Giant, though he didn’t completely rule out a return.

    "Is there a high probability that I’m going to be playing somewhere else? I would say there is a high probability, but that’s just me being honest," said Umenyiora, who only has six sacks this season. "But I’m not certain of what’s going to happen. Anything can happen. We can get in the playoffs. So, anything is possible."

    VICK AT QB?

    The Eagles will be without quarterback Nick Foles, who suffered a broken hand in Sunday’s loss to the Redskins. That means Michael Vick likely will start against the Giants in what is expected to be Andy Reid’s final game as Eagles head coach. Vick has not played since sustaining a concussion in a Week 10 loss to Dallas.

    "Obviously, for the two quarterbacks there’s a different scenario in terms of how you prepare," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "So if that’s the case, then we will focus on Michael Vick." Read more...

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    NEW YORK TIMES




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    WALL STREET JOURNAL


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    GIANTS.COM

    Upon Further Review: Playoff Chances

    http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs...8-90c4494fd90d


    "Eli Manning today managed to think of a scenario to make the Giants feel worse than they already do.

    “I guarantee you the worst feeling will be if all those teams lose, and we lose,” Manning said on a conference call today.

    He was referring, of course, to the Giants’ longshot playoff hopes. In order for them to claim the NFC’s sixth seed, the Giants, now 8-7, must defeat the 4-11 Philadelphia Eagles in MetLife Stadium and Minnesota must lose at home to Green Bay, Chicago must fall in Detroit, and Dallas must be defeated or tied in the prime time game at Washington.

    “The scenario is possible,” Manning said. “It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen.”

    So staying alive is one incentive the Giants have entering the Eagles game. Perhaps a stronger motivation is their desire to play better football. After an impressive 52-27 victory over New Orleans two weeks ago, the Giants have lost back-to-back games by a combined 67-14 (34-0 last week in Atlanta and 33-14 yesterday in Baltimore).

    Coach Tom Coughlin is far more concerned with ending the season with a well-played victory than wondering what the Vikings’ chances are of beating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

    “My reaction is really nothing other than I was focused on our game and I still am,” Coughlin said. “Whatever the scenarios represent, that’s fine. That should give us continued motivation, in terms of what can happen, and stranger things have happened, obviously. I would like to be playing better football than we’re playing right now and it’s going to take that in order to win our last game of the year and even give ourselves that opportunity. I have our focus completely geared on our business and we’ll work as hard as we can to rejuvenate our team, try to put ourselves in position where we can win a game and be 9-7.”

    That’s no easy task, because the Giants have played poorly pretty much across the board. They gained a total of 442 yards in the two losses; the Ravens gained 533 by themselves yesterday. The Giants combined for 21 first downs and held the ball for about 21 minutes in each game, their lowest figures in back-to-back games since they lost at Washington and – ironically – at Baltimore on Dec. 5 and 12, 2004, Coughlin’s first season as head coach.

    Defensively, they allowed the Falcons and Ravens to convert 69 and 61 percent of their third-down opportunities, respectively. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, those are the highest percentages given up by the Giants in consecutive games since the 1970 merger.

    They have faced halftime deficits of 17 points in consecutive games for the first time since the final two games of the 2009 season, when they were routed by Carolina and Minnesota.

    No one seems to have an answer as to why the Giants are suddenly playing poorly. Coughlin noted after the game yesterday that the team lacks confidence.

    “I have to agree with him on that,” defensive end Osi Umenyiors said. “The pedigree of this group is very, very good and for us to be getting beat the way we’ve been getting beat these last two weeks, obviously there’s something lacking. Is it physical talent? You can’t say it’s physical talent because we have the ability, but obviously it has to be something and so the only thing I think you can point to is confidence. It just doesn’t seem like we’re playing with a lot of confidence and it’s showing out there on the football field.”

    “We’re not making it easy on ourselves,” Manning said. “It’s just tough sometimes. Things aren’t the same. Not quite as open, not quite as easy, everything is a little tougher. I don’t think there is an exact reason. We’ve got some guys banged up, obviously, who are showing great toughness. You love the competiveness, the hanging in there and being there for the team. It can be tough when you’ve got four or five guys who don’t practice much during the week, if at all, and then show up on game day. Again, you love the toughness, you love the competiveness, you love the team attitude and doing whatever it takes. It’s hard to continue to play at a high level sometimes.”

    Coughlin emphasized again today that the players are working hard, during the week and in games.

    “I will say this: we tried, there was effort, there was no quit,” Coughlin said. “You could see that by end of the game, we had a goal-line stand and we also had a touchdown late. I thought our special teams represented us the way we wanted to be represented. I thought those guys hustled and worked hard.”

    The problem, apparently, is easy to spot but difficult to fix.

    “I do know for a fact that we just aren’t making any plays,” Coughlin said. “We went from a team that under normal circumstances made six or eight or even more big plays per game to a team that has maybe one or two. Last night, we didn’t turn the ball over, but we didn’t get any takeaways either. The plays which we try to identify the night before the game, as the plays which spark or ignite, we just haven’t had any. The opponents had them. Like I tried to explain, some of the plays that they made last night were those types of plays, the plays that spark a football team. Balls put in difficult spots for the receivers to catch, and even for the defense to get a piece of. They made catches of that nature last night. They made runs of that nature, they were running a lead draw late in the game that goes for 78 yards. That’s our inability to stop a basic football play. Those things, there are a lot of people playing. Everybody that’s playing, certainly our linebackers have been on the field for a great amount of time last night. You know what? Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much done as we thought we should. We’re not making any plays.”

    They will have one more chance to make them on Sunday and salvage what has devolved into a disappointing season.

    “I think we’ll be focused and we’ll be ready to play,” Manning said. “It’s the last game. We’re football players, it’s the last game of the regular season. This is our job. It doesn’t matter if you’re 0-15 or you’re 15-0, you prepare and you play. You try to play at the highest level that you can. I’ve got great confidence, from just talking to the offensive guys, we’re going to get after it. We’re going to compete, we’re going to prepare this week and we’re going to plan to go out there and play our best. Whether it’s our last game and if everything falls the way we want it to. Even if it is the last game, let’s end it on a high note. Let’s end it playing better football and at least you have something to be proud of.”

    *The Eagles announced today that rookie Nicks Foles, who has been their starting quarterback, broke a bone in his hand yesterday. Coach Andy Reid said he is leaning toward starting Michael Vick.

    “It changes the nature of how you have to prepare,” said Coughlin, whose team faced Vick in the Eagles’ 19-17 victory in Philadelphia on September 30. “Obviously, for the two quarterbacks, there’s a different scenario for how you prepare. If that’s the case, then we will focus on Michael Vick.”

    *Defensive tackle Chris Canty sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee yesterday.

    “We’ll see how it responds,” Coughlin said.

    *Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 39 yards after missing a game with a sprained knee.

    “Hopefully, there’s no setback,” Coughlin said."
    Coach Tom Coughlin Conference Call

    http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs...d-f6e55e91496d

    Coach Tom Coughlin speaks with the media a day after the team's loss in Baltimore

    Head Coach Tom Coughlin:
    If you’re waiting for me to say something, I don’t have a whole lot to say here. Except for the fact that as I looked at the tape this morning, I will say this: we tried, there was effort, there was no quit. You could see that by end of the game, we had a goal-line stand and we also had a touchdown late. I thought our special teams represented us the way we wanted to be represented. I thought those guys hustled and worked hard. I thought they were productive, I thought we had an opportunity on two occasions for a kickoff return of significance. There was an individual block that wasn’t made that kept it from coming out even further. I’m not very pleased with eight punts, but it kind of went along with the evening. We didn’t have many snaps and we punted the ball eight times, but we did cover on both kickoff and punts with a very, very good return man and we did a nice job of that, as I mentioned last night. So, not a lot to talk about, other than the fact that our special teams did okay. Our defensive team did not stop the run. They made a lot of very good plays on us. Some of them were just exceptional plays, they weren’t always an error in coverage or someone not getting their job done, but they made a lot of good plays. Quality football players made plays. (Ray) Rice made an outstanding play, his what we call “ram pass” down on a double slant kind of thing where he comes out of the backfield in terms of an angle and we made not enough. The David Wilson touchdown run was a very, very well-executed, outstanding football play. The play to Domenik Hixon for the score was good, too. But there wasn’t anything in-between there. When we did have some consistency, we did have penalties. The penalties, you be the judge. There were a couple of opportunities for us to do more and we didn’t. We weren’t able to get that done. We’ll just keep hanging in there and working hard and this certainly is adversity. This certainly is a difficult time for us, but we’re going to fight and we’re going to do everything in our power to prepare ourselves for Philadelphia, who played very well against Washington.

    Q: When you heard the playoff scenario, the multiple things that would have to fall into place, what was your reaction to that?
    A: My reaction is really nothing other than I was focused on our game and I still am. Whatever the scenarios represent, that’s fine. That should give us continued motivation, in terms of what can happen, and stranger things have happened, obviously. I would like to be playing better football than we’re playing right now and it’s going to take that in order to win our last game of the year and even give ourselves that opportunity. I have our focus completely geared on our business and we’ll work as hard as we can to rejuvenate our team, try to put ourselves in position where we can win a game and be 9-7.

    Q: Nick Foles reportedly has a broken hand. It’s possible that Michael Vick might be the starter against you guys this week. You’ve seen Vick many times before, but how does this change things for Week 17?
    A: Well, it changes the nature of how you have to prepare. Obviously, for the two quarterbacks, there’s a different scenario for how you prepare. If that’s the case, then we will focus on Michael Vick. RE: On if there is still a sense of hope to make the playoffs in the Giants locker room:
    A: We spent an entire week with hope. We spent an entire two weeks with hope. We didn’t play well, but it doesn’t mean that we weren’t aware of the circumstance, that we didn’t realize the situation and the hope. Why we’re playing the way we’re playing is something that I’m sure will be my responsibility when the season is over. I’m telling you that your perception of us not playing with hope and mine are not the same. Our weeks have been solid weeks in which people have been positive. Everything that we’ve done has been positive, but when we take the field, it’s been a different story. There are a lot of reasons maybe for that, which I’m not going into. Nevertheless, don’t tell us we haven’t had hope. We’ve had it.

    Q: You guys were almost in this exact same situation last year when you needed to win your last two games to make the playoffs. Did you figure out what was different last year versus this year?
    A: No, I haven’t spent any time on that. This is a different team, with different situations and a different year.

    Q: Henry Hynoski spoke about the effort on the practice field not translating to games. Have you ever coached a team where there’s been that much disconnect?
    A: Not in my most recent memory. I’m not quite sure of the answer to that question, but not in recent memory.

    Q: When you look at your personnel, many of them are the same, whether it’s the downfield plays offensively or the clutch plays, like strip sacks. Have you wondered why all of those have gone at once?
    A: Well, I do know for a fact that we just aren’t making any plays. I haven’t put it in those types of words or whatever, but we went from a team that under normal circumstances were six for eight or even more big plays per game to a team that has maybe one or two. Last night, we didn’t turn the ball over, but we didn’t get any takeaways either. The plays which we try to identify the night before the game, as the plays which spark or ignite, we just haven’t had any. The opponents had them. Like I tried to explain, some of the plays that they made last night were those types of plays. The plays that spark a football team. Balls put in difficult spots for the receivers to catch, and even for the defense to get a piece of. They made catches of that nature last night. They made runs of that nature, they were running a lead draw late in the game that goes for 78 yards. That’s our inability to stop a basic football play. Those things, there are a lot of people playing. Everybody that’s playing, certainly our linebackers have been on the field for a great amount of time last night. You know what? Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much done as we thought we should. We’re not making any plays.

    Q: Is that more of an off-season project?
    A: Oh, I don’t know. I’m sure it is. I’m sure it will be an incredible investigation and study.

    Q: On your end in terms of evaluating your players?
    A: Oh sure, absolutely. Absolutely it will be. Absolutely.

    Q: How’s Chris Canty’s knee and what’s the severity of the injury?
    A: He does have a sprain. It’s an MCL sprain. We’ll have to see how he responds.

    Q: You played a lot of different linebackers, and a lot of the four-linebacker sets. Did you think going in that it could be a risk to change up so much before the game?
    A: I don’t think it was. It was against one particular personnel combination that Baltimore was using. It was an attempt to have something more to say about the run, which obviously didn’t factor in.

    Q: Was there any health reason why Michael Boley ended up playing less snaps than any of the other linebackers?
    A: It was not necessarily a health thing. It had been a cumulative health thing; he was having some issues for three weeks that we felt was not allowing him to play the way that he’s capable of playing and that’s the reason we went into the game with, again, these different personnel combinations.

    Q: Is it more baffling or disappointing that some of these past Super Bowl champions and veterans for your team have not been stepping up at all?
    A: It’s perplexing, it’s disappointing, it’s frustrating and understand that it is to the players as well. It’s not just the coaches looking at it. It is to the players as well. We’d all like to have multiple answers for these things or singular, something that would turn it in the other direction. Let’s face it, we’re holding out that you can turn this thing right back again. We’re hoping that a game at home is going to allow us to do that. It is disappointing.

    Q: It seemed like the passing offense kind of slowed down after that mid-season hump:
    A: It wasn’t bad two weeks ago, now. You don’t get 52 points by not being oiled up in the passing game. The situation last night was: I think we missed some protections. We got the quarterback hit. We certainly did that at an untimely circumstance there, creating what, second and 25, whatever that was, early on. We did make a couple recovery plays, but we couldn’t make enough from that hole. We had some protection issues; we had some coverage, people getting open-issues. We had some issues with the ball not quite exactly where it needed to be. We had penalties downfield after a big play. There’s a lot of reasons why we’re certainly not as good as we should be.

    Q: How did Ahmad Bradshawa come out of the game physically?
    A: Hopefully there’s no setback.

    Q: A lot of players were talking about correctable errors early in the season, but did you feel that it was a lot of the same problems throughout the season?
    A: I would say no, but certainly there are some things that have reoccurred. Each game seems to bring a new series of things that have to be mastered.

    GIANTS 101

    Giants' Defense Admittedly Confused In Perry Fewell's 4 - 4 Defense

    http://www.giants101.com/2012/12/24/...s-4-4-defense/

    Excerpt: "In a must-win week 16 game, New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell decided to mix things up and experiment with a rare 4-4-3 (and 4-4-2-1) scheme. The idea behind the change was to slow down Baltimore Ravensrunning back Ray Rice, but things quickly backfired. Linebacker Chase Blackburn admitted after the game that there was a ton of personnel confusion, which resulted in a frequently "vanilla" defense.

    "It seemed like they had 13 guys on the field, and then two would run off. So we were in a messed up personnel, especially early," Blackburn said. "And then we basically had to stay more vanilla at times, because personnel were coming in so late."


    Not only did the alignment cause confusion amongst the players, who were not used to that style of defense, it also resulted in some of the Giants' most athletic players seeing fewer snaps than those that reside below them on the depth chart.

    Blackburn led the way with 79 snaps, which included several one-on-one's against Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, while Mark Herzlich (60), Jacquian Williams (36) and Spencer Paysinger (31) all saw more snaps than Michael Boley (21), who is widely considered the Giants most well-rounded and consistent linebacker." Read more...

    Giants' Tom Coughlin: "I Take Full Responsibility For This Team"

    http://www.giants101.com/2012/12/24/...for-this-team/

    Excerpt: "
    New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has seen his share of second-half meltdowns, but none of them come with as few answers as this one. After starting the season 6-2, the Giants have gone 2-5 and are on the brink of playoff elimination. And after being routed for the second consecutive week, the coach still has no answers … although he is taking full responsibility for the overall futility.

    "I take full responsibility for this team. I am the head coach. What's happened over the past few weeks is hard to explain," Coughlin said. "It's a very difficult time for all of us. What has happened over the course of the last couple of weeks is very difficult to explain. We had a resounding win against New Orleans and felt real good about ourselves. And then I have no explanation as to why we're in the position that we're in."


    If you ask retired linebacker Antonio Pierce, he'll tell you the team is "mentally drained." However, after another debacle in a must-win game, it might be something more than that. It seems like blasphemy to suggest a Coughlin-coached team has quit, but it certainly seems like they've given up. And with no other answers to be found, it appears to be a legitimate reason as any.

    Whatever the case may be, the coach has empathy for his players. And as much as he'd like to figure out why things have gone so far South, he's coming up as empty as the team has appeared on the field.

    "I feel badly for everybody in that locker room because I'm sure that none of them, they can't figure this thing out either. we don't look like a well-oiled machine offensively at all. We're just a very long way from being the team that played New Orleans," Coughlin said. "It's difficult. Very, very difficult. There are a lot of proud guys in that locker room that are looking to me for answers. The answers are not easy ones." Read more...


    Giants' Antrel Rolle:" "We're Going To Go Out Like Champions"

    http://www.giants101.com/2012/12/24/...ike-champions/

    The New York Giants showed almost no emotion on the field Sunday afternoon as they were annihilated by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14, but there was quite a bit of it in the locker-room after the game. Much of it came from veteran safety Antrel Rolle, who often speaks up when no one else wants to. And although he was visibly disappointed, he insisted the Giants have one last bit of fight left in them.

    “Our season’s not over yet," Rolle said, “so we’re going to go out like champions.’’

    Several of his teammates didn't share that same outlook. Instead, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul likened them to scared little boys who had been bullied and subsequently pissed themselves.

    “Do we deserve [the playoffs] by the way we played? Do we?" JPP said. “[Expletive], I don’t think so. We went out there and we pissed down our legs. There’s really nothing more I can say.”


    That's about as accurate and honest an assessment as you're going to get from anyone. But the NFL is a 16-game season, not a 15-game season, whether you're in it or not. And if nothing else, the Giants owe it to themselves and their fans to come out strong on Sunday afternoon and end the season on a positive note against an NFC East team that has no business even competing at this point.
    “There’s obviously something missing because this is not who we are, this is not our team but this is the team we’ve displayed two weeks in a row now," Rolle said." Read more...

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    Giants' Coach Tom Coughlin Calls Collapse Perplexing, ...Disappointing...Frustrating

    http://www.bigblueview.com/giants-vs...nce-transcript

    Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin didn't have any real answers the day after the New York Giants' second straight debacle, a 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that has all but totally imploded their hopes of reaching the playoffs and defending their Super Bowl title.

    Ordinarily I would write a post here giving some of my own spin, but in this case I think the questions and Coughlin's answers tell you pretty much everything you need to know. Here are a few snippets, and I will follow that by giving you the major questions and answers from Coughlin's Monday press briefing.


    [Read the full transcript on our 'Transcripts' page]


    Coughlin called what has been happening "perplexing, it's disappointing, it's frustrating," and said that "we just aren't making any plays."
    Coughlin also said "there was effort, there was no quit" and admitted that "This certainly is a difficult time for us."Here are some of the most pertinent questions and answers from today's media session.

    Q: When you heard the playoff scenario, the multiple things that would have to fall into place, what was your reaction to that?
    A: My reaction is really nothing other than I was focused on our game and I still am. Whatever the scenarios represent, that's fine. That should give us continued motivation, in terms of what can happen, and stranger things have happened, obviously. I would like to be playing better football than we're playing right now and it's going to take that in order to win our last game of the year and even give ourselves that opportunity."

    RE: On if there is still a sense of hope to make the playoffs in the Giants locker room:
    A: We spent an entire week with hope. We spent an entire two weeks with hope. We didn't play well, but it doesn't mean that we weren't aware of the circumstance, that we didn't realize the situation and the hope. Why we're playing the way we're playing is something that I'm sure will be my responsibility when the season is over. I'm telling you that your perception of us not playing with hope and mine are not the same. Our weeks have been solid weeks in which people have been positive. Everything that we've done has been positive, but when we take the field, it's been a different story." Read more...

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    Osi Umenyiora, Giants May Split

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/stor...last-game-team


    Excerpt: "Osi Umenyiora believes this Sunday could very well be his final game with the New York Giants.

    The defensive end is looking for a new contract after this season is up and expects it to come with another team that could give him a starting job as well.
    "Is there a high probability that I am going to be playing somewhere else?" Umenyiora asked on a conference call with reporters. "I would say there is a high probability and that is just me being honest. I am not certain of what is going to happen. Anything can happen.

    "We can get into the playoffs," Umenyiora continued. "Anything is possible. But it's a high probability that I'm going to be playing somewhere else and I think everybody knows that. Let's not kid ourselves."


    The Giants still can make the playoffs if they beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday and Minnesota, Chicago and Dallas all lose.


    But Umenyiora knows if the Giants (8-7) fail to make the playoffs one season after winning the Super Bowl there will likely be changes.

    "Definitely& but where are they going to make the changes is the question," Umenyiora said. "There's no individual, there's no aspect of the team this year that stood out.

    "There's nowhere that was up to the standards that we set last year," Umenyiora continued. "If they're going to be making changes, it has to be wholesale changes. Everybody has to leave. There has to be changes for everybody because nobody played above average this year."

    Umenyiora restructured his contract prior to the season in a deal that offered no franchise tag limitation and a voidable 2013 year was also added in order to create some cap room, sources confirmed to ESPN sports business analyst Andrew Brandt." Read more...

    Canty Suffers Sprained MCL

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/gia...s-sprained-mcl

    Excerpt: "New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty suffered a sprained MCL during the Giants' 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

    Canty re-injured the same knee that kept him out of the first six games of the season.

    "We will have to see how he responds," head coach Tom Coughlin said.

    The Giants play the Eagles on Sunday at home and are still alive for a playoff spot but need help. If Canty cannot play, the Giants will have to start Rocky Bernard at defensive tackle opposite Linval Joseph.

    "It's been better," Canty said of his knee after the game. "We have to go and get it looked at, and we will see what's what." Read more...


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    MISCELLANEOUS

    Report: Tebow Took Himself Out Of Wildcat

    http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescri...t/Default.aspx
    Last edited by RoanokeFan; 12-25-2012 at 07:44 AM.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

  2. #2
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    Merry Christmas RF! Thanks for the news!
    I, agree with Osi, changes need to be made, and he is one of the first. I thank him for volunteering.

  3. #3
    All-Pro FBomb's Avatar
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    Happy Christmas to you and yours, John....from Amy and I.
    #80

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    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBomb View Post
    Happy Christmas to you and yours, John....from Amy and I.
    Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas with your family.
    “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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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Giant View Post
    Merry Christmas RF! Thanks for the news!
    I, agree with Osi, changes need to be made, and he is one of the first. I thank him for volunteering.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. I think he's just kidding himself when he talks about HIS skill sets.
    “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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    Ho Ho Ho everyone and you and your loved ones Ro. Tks for a year of giving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashleymarie View Post
    Ho Ho Ho everyone and you and your loved ones Ro. Tks for a year of giving.
    Hope you and your family have a great Christmas
    “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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