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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Jerry Reese Wonders If Giants Should Have Rested Hakeem Nicks Longer
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks was never able to play at 100 percent strength this past season. And it's now clear that his injuries were a larger issue for the offense than the Giants let on.
Nicks broke a bone in his foot in May, but his season was really derailed by the knee injury he suffered in the Week 2 game against the Buccaneers. After missing the playoffs, general manager Jerry Reese admitted today that the team should have taken a different approach to his recovery and return.
"Hakeem Nicks has been one of the linchpins in our offense. He was banged up, and I really think it took its toll on our offense and what we are trying to do," Reese said on ESPN Radio today. "He was trying to fight through it. But in hindsight, I think if we had to think about it again, maybe we would have taken him out a little quicker than we did. But that is neither here or there at this point. But I do think it affected the quarterback's play some."
The Giants have pointed to that Tampa Bay game -- before Nicks was hobbled by the knee injury -- as an example of what Nicks and Victor Cruz could have done in tandem this year. Nicks made 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown in that game, while Cruz finished with 11 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown.
But Nicks never got to realize that potential this year. He sat out the next three games, hoping then that the rest would allow him to be healthy for the stretch run. He was given a few different timetables for recovery, the shortest two weeks and the longest eight weeks, and was confident in his track record as a quick healer." Read more...
NY DAILY NEWS
Excerpt: "Left out of the postseason, the Giants must look ahead to the 2013 season. And they’ve decided where they’ll start it: Here in New Jersey.
Giants' 2013 Training Camp Will BE Held At Team Headquarters In NJ
After 16 years of heading north to the University at Albany, the Giants decided this week they’ll stay at team headquarters in East Rutherford for training camp this summer.
The Giants’ run at Albany began in 1996, interrupted only by the lockout in 2011, when they held camp at their new Timex Performance Center for the first time. They won Super Bowl XLVI that season. This could be the beginning of a new pattern for the Giants, though they did not say this was a permanent move.
“We are fortunate to have a facility in the Timex Performance Center that allows us to hold training camp here,” co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a statement released by the team. “We will evaluate our training camp situation on an ongoing basis and certainly would not rule out a return to Albany in the future if it makes sense for both parties.”
University at Albany athletic director Lee McElroy added that if the Giants decided in the future to camp out of town, the school “would be interested in once again serving as their home away from home.” Read more...
GM Says Giants Should Have Rested Injured Nicks
Excerpt: "The Giants tried to squeeze everything they could out of Hakeem Nicks’ injured body before finally taking him out of the game plan in the season finale.
Now GM Jerry Reese says the Giants should’ve sat their top receiver down much sooner than that.
Reese, speaking on "The Mike Lupica Show" on ESPN Radio on Friday, said it was clear that Nicks’ struggles with the left knee injury he suffered in the second week of the season “took its toll on our offense”. Nicks sat out for three games early in the season, but returned to play a full-time roll in the next 10 before playing only one play in the Giants’ season-ending 42-7 win over the Eagles.
“In hindsight, I think if we had to think about it again, we would’ve taken him out a little quicker than we did,” Reese said. “But that’s neither here nor there at this point.”
Nicks admitted earlier this week that soon after he slammed his knee into the turf near the end of the Giants’ 41-34 win over Tampa on Sept. 16, doctors told him something in his knee was torn and that he’d need 6-8 weeks to recover. He believed he was a fast healer, though, and the doctors conceded that a return in two weeks or so was possible.
On Oct. 14 he was back on the field for the Giants’ 26-3 win in San Francisco, but it was clear he wasn’t the same player. He was still dealing with the aftereffects of offseason foot surgery, stemming from a broken right foot last May, and after having 14 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown in the first two Giants games, he had just 39 for 455 yards and two touchdowns the rest of the way." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST
GM: Sitting Nicks Might Have Paid Off
Excerpt: "Would the Giants have been better off shutting down Hakeem Nicks, hoping he could heal his body for the stretch run?
Week after week, Nicks pushed himself onto the field, dealing first with a surgically-repaired right foot and later with a balky left knee that was often swollen and sore. He had just one game all season — Week 2 against the Buccaneers — in which he resembled the big-play receiver the Giants have come to expect. It was in that game Nicks hurt his knee.“Hakeem Nicks has been one of the linchpins in our offense,’’ general manager Jerry Reese said yesterday on ESPN New York 98.7. “He was banged up, and I really think it took it’s toll on our offense and what we are trying to do. He was trying to fight through it.“But in hindsight, I think if we had to think about it again, maybe we would have taken him out a little quicker than we did. But that is neither here or there at this point. ... But I do think it affected the quarterback’s play some.”If Nicks had been shut down for an extended period, perhaps he would have been stronger down the stretch, rather than fading out. He finished the season with 53 receptions for 692 yards and three touchdowns. He missed three straight games (at Carolina, at Philadelphia, vs. the Browns) early in the season when the knee became an issue. In Week 16 at Baltimore, he failed to catch a pass in a game for the first time in his career. He was on the field for only one play in the season-ending victory over the Eagles.After the Eagles game, Nicks said he does not anticipate needing surgery and was looking forward to resting his foot and knee." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants' 2013 Training Camp Close To Home
"The Giants this week informed University at Albany athletic director Dr. Lee McElroy and the city’s mayor, Jerry Jennings, that they will hold their 2013 training camp at the Timex Performance Center, their year-round headquarters here.
The team trained in Albany last summer and 16 of the previous 17 years. The Giants held training camp at the Timex Performance Center in 2011, a season that ended with their victory in Super Bowl XLVI.
“The University at Albany and the Capital Region have been great hosts for us during our training camps,” Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara and Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said in a joint statement. “UAlbany truly has been the summer home of the Giants. We are grateful to Mayor Jennings and to Dr. McElroy and his staff in the athletic department for making us feel welcome and providing the resources we needed to prepare for the season. We are fortunate to have a facility in the Timex Performance Center that allows us to hold training camp here. We have told Mayor Jennings and Dr. McElroy that we will evaluate our training camp situation on an ongoing basis and certainly would not rule out a return to Albany in the future if it makes sense for both parties.”
The Giants first trained in Albany in 1996 and their 16 camps at the school are the most at any site in their 88-season history.
“It has been a tremendous experience for our city to have the Giants here,” Mayor Jennings said. “We value our relationship with John Mara and Steve Tisch and their organization, and I have told them they are always welcome. This is Giants country, and we wish them nothing but the best.”
“We have enjoyed serving as the summer home of the New York Giants,” Dr. McElroy said. “The relationship has provided us with yet another avenue to promote our great university and what we feel is a first-class athletic program and group of student-athletes. We certainly understand the Giants’ desire to remain at the Timex Performance Center, which is a state-of-the-art training facility. We have assured Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch that if they ever decide to take their training camp away from East Rutherford again that we would be interested in once again serving as their home away from home.”
"We're proud to have hosted the New York Giants summer camp for 16 seasons," said University at Albany President Robert J. Jones. "We will miss the excitement and engagement the team brings to our campus, and we extend our best wishes to the Giants for next season."
The dates for the Giants’ 2013 training camp will be announced later this spring when the preseason schedule is finalized."
Giants Add 13 To Reserved/Futures List
Excerpt: "The Giants today announced the signing of 13 players to reserve/future contracts, including six who ended the season on the team’s practice squad: tackles Matt McCants the Giants’ sixth-round draft choice last year, and guard Levy Ad****; Stephen Goodin;tight end Larry Donnell; defensive end Matt Broha; and cornerback Laron Scott.
Also signed was quarterback Curtis Painter, who started eight games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2011 – the year Peyton Manning was hurt and prior to Andrew Luck’s arrival. A sixth-round draft choice in 2009, Painter spent three seasons with the Colts (though he saw no game action in 2010). He completed 140 of 271 passes (51.7 percent) for 1,624 yards, six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Painter signed with the Baltimore Ravens on April 19, 2012. In the preseason he completed 39 of 68 passes (57.4 percent) for 400 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. But he was released on Aug. 31 and spent the season out of football.
The other additions are linebacker Jake Muasau, who played in three preseason games for the Giants last summer; wide receiver Brandon Collins, who was in camp with the Giants and did two short stints on their practice squad early in the season; cornerback Trumaine McBride, a 2007 seventh-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears who has played in 48 NFL games, most recently with the 2011 Jacksonville Jaguars; wide receiver Kevin Hardy, who was in the New Orleans Saints’ training camp last summer; guard Michael Jasper, a 2007 seventh-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills who spent most of that season on their practice squad and was in camp with Tennessee last year; and defensive tackle Bobby Skinner from nearby Montclair State, who was briefly in the camps of the Giants and Detroit Lions last summer." Read more....
Excerpt: "Stat lovers will utilize tight endMartellus Bennett’s 2012: 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns as their base to claim that the 6’6” pass-blocker isn’t a premier tight end. Well, to that the statement can be made another: Not yet.
Giants' Offseason Priorities: Big Blue Needs A Black Unicorn
What is getting lost while perusing #85’s numbers is two-fold. First, Bennett was used in his prior system (in Dallas) as a blocker and infrequent pass-catcher (four years, 31 games started, 85 receptions and 846 yards with four touchdowns). Second, the New York Football Giants don’t use tight ends as most teams do. They continue to use them as blockers first as well as receivers – a dual role. For his first year in the Giants’ system with quarterback Eli Manning, Bennett came close to matching his career stats with the Cowboys – all while not missing a game and playing while injured and in moderate to severe pain at times. There’s a heart of a Giant in there. This is only part of why he needs to stay in blue. The 25 year-old has a brilliant sense of humor, conducts himself the Big Blue way off the field and just wants to get better on the field.
Even better, he wants to stay here and appears to believe in the system.
"I could sit here and tell you I would, but it depends on what it is," Bennett said. "You never know until the moment comes. But yeah, that is something I would do. A hometown discount? Yeah….I would think that they would want me to stay. My first year in the offense, my first year as a starter, I thought I did pretty well. I could have did a lot of things better but it’s so much room for growth, and I finally got a taste of a little success. Hopefully, they want to keep me around, but if not, you never know in this league. I'm about to start having kids and stuff. My kids need to make friends, and I don’t want to be moving all the time. I would love to have a 4 or 5-year deal…every game you play, 32 teams are scouting you, so you never know who is watching, who loves you and who doesn’t. It only takes one team. But I love being a New York Giant, I love the city, I love the people here, and I think it would be the best place for me." Read more...
It's hard to expect any player to return to form after multiple knee surgeries and being out of the game for two seasons. However, if Thomas does choose to return to Big Blue, a position change may be in order. General manager Jerry Reese said yesterday that he may consider moving Thomas to safety in 2013.
If Terrell Thomas Returns, Giants May Move Him To Safety
Needless to say, it's been a rough past two seasons for New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas. After tearing his ACL against the Chicago Bears in the 2011 preseason, Thomas re-injured his knee just a few days into training camp this year and was once again placed on the season-ending injured reserve. It was Thomas' third ACL tear of his career, which is usually a bad omen for skill position players.
"We haven't had much conversation with (Terrell Thomas) as of late, but we'll definitely reach out to him and see how he is and see if he's going to be able to make another comeback," Reese said. "He may be one of those guys that at this point in his career, if he does get back on the field, you might have to move him to a different position like safety instead of playing corner. A couple of ACL's playing corner, man, that's tough to do."
Thomas may appear to be a little undersized for an NFL safety. His 6'0"/ 190 pound frame pales in comparison to the likes of Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips, who each have at least 16 pounds on Thomas; however, before his injury, Thomas led the Giants with 101 tackles in 2010. He's a great tackler in the open field and is not afraid to give up his body to support the run defense. If he shows the ability to play run defense next training camp, Thomas' ball skills may be better utilized as an over-the-top defender as opposed to a cover corner." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
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