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    NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 3:40 P.M..

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

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

    NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS

    PLAYOFFS 1 - 0: ON TO GREEN BAY


    OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE PHILBIN FAMILY



    NEWARK STAR LEDGER


    PACKERS' QB AARON RODGERS SAYS GIANTS' DEFENSE ELIMINATED HOLES FROM PREVIOUS MATCHUP

    Excerpt: "
    For Aaron Rodgers, the pass rush is an obvious one. Every week the game plan
    hinges on protection and of course, against the Giants, containing the likes of
    Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul will be paramount.


    But in watching film, something else has been apparent to Rodgers. The gaping
    holes in the Giants secondary have all but closed up, perhaps a product of the
    rush itself. But either way, he's not expecting the yards to come easy.




    On that Dec. 4 matchup, Rodgers went 28-of-46 for 369 yards, four touchdowns
    and an interception.




    "They've been playing really well as a whole," Rodgers said. "There hasn't
    been those occasional holes that we saw a few weeks ago when we played them and
    we hit them, they kind of dropped a couple of coverages, there hasn't been those
    mistakes on their defense, they've been playing really sound together and it's
    going to be a tough challenge."




    The tight windows he'll have to hit in order to complete passes will depend,
    Rodgers said, on the kind of coverages the Giants will throw at him. Depending
    on whether they're ahead or behind, he's seen a similarity between the Giants
    and the Bears as far as coverage schemes.




    "If you're getting ahead in the game you can kind of dictate those coverages
    and situations a little bit better, playing from behind against a Giants or
    Bears team," Rodgers said. "They want to play that Tampa-2 coverage and keep
    everything in front of them. You get ahead of them, you force them to play a
    little 1-high. It just depends on the opponent.




    "If they're going to play rush four and man coverage or rushing four and
    playing zone coverage, there's tight windows regardless of what coverage you're
    playing against. It helps the team out if you can get pressure with your front
    four, it changes some of the things the offense is able to do, but we're going
    to play our game, hopefully slow them down up front a little bit and try and
    make some plays." Read more...



    GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW DEALING WITH SORE BACK

    "
    Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw,
    dealing with a stress fracture in his foot for a few months now, is listed as
    having a back issue as well on today's injury report.


    Indications are it's not serious and he's just a bit sore after Sunday's
    playoff victory against the Falcons. Bradshaw was one of three players to sit
    out practice today. He's been on a limited practice schedule since coming back
    from the foot
    problem that kept him out of four games
    , so he'll likely practice once
    before the week is over.




    Bradshaw is usually in attendance at practice even when he's not
    participating, but he wasn't on the field today.




    Also sitting out practice today were running back D.J. Ware (concussion) and
    linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle). It appears Herzlich will miss his sixth
    straight game, though he's hoping to return next week - once again, if there's a
    next week.




    Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) and cornerback Aaron Ross
    (concussion) were limited today. Ross said he's good to go for Sunday against
    the Packers."






    PACKERS' WR JENNINGS: "I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THEM GUARANTEEING A WIN"

    Excerpt: "
    Greg Jennings heard what Jason
    Pierre-Paul had to say following the Giants 24-2 victory over the Falcons last
    week
    , but he wouldn't exactly return fire.


    "I can care less about them guaranteeing a win," he said. And when asked if
    he would make one of his own, he said: "We guarantee we're going to do
    everything we can to prevent them from getting a win, how 'bout that?"




    Jennings, though, was the one who initially brought up the whole guaranteeing
    thing after he was asked about a
    post on his Twitter page shortly after the Giants defeated the Falcons
    ,
    setting up this highly-anticipated rematch.




    On Sunday, the wideout tweeted: "The team that kept us from our potential
    Super Bowl in 08 is back on OUR turf now.Trust me,we haven't
    forgotten.Here.We...GoPackGo! #BeGreat."




    And when asked if he thought that fired up the Giants, stoking a team that's
    playing arguably it's best football of the season, Jennings said:




    "After what we heard? Firing them up? And we didn't
    guarantee a win? I mean, I think they fired themselves up, didn't they? They
    kind of, my tweet was what my tweet said. I guarantee they remembered that game,
    they remembered coming in here and getting a win so I just voiced it. We
    remember too. We took the bitter end of that stick (or) bite of that sandwich so
    you know, again, they outplayed us that game. But that was, shoot, four, five
    years ago -- so two different teams now. They're playing some great ball, they
    put on some really good performances since the last two games." Read more...

    PIERRE-PAUL SAUS AGAIN GIANTS WILL WIN SUNDAY

    "
    Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul generated headlines after the emphatic
    24-2 NFC Wild Card win over the Falcons on Sunday by declaring the Giants would
    get another win this week in Green Bay against the defending Super Bowl
    champions.


    He didn’t shy away from the prediction during his media session Wednesday
    afternoon at Giants headquarters.




    “I think we’re gonna go out and win,” he said. “If our special teams, defense
    and offense play the way we played last Sunday, we should come out with a
    victory.”




    Pierre-Paul said his teammates haven’t had an issue with his declaration.




    “People came up to me and asked me what I said, and it came from the heart,”
    he said. “If we go out there and play like we are supposed to play, like we did
    last Sunday [against Atlanta], we’re gonna win.




    “In their right mind, who is gonna say their team is gonna lose, when
    somebody asks you that question? You have to go out there and say you’re gonna
    win, and we’re gonna go out there Sunday, and it’s gonna be one person that wins
    that game. And it’s a playoff game, so we’ll see.”



    ##

    GIANTS' HOT TOPIC: IS ELI MANNING GREATEST QB IN GIANTS' HISTORY?

    Excerpt: "
    If Eli Manning leads the Giants to a win over the Packers on Sunday, he will
    tie Phil Simms for the franchise record with six postseason victories. So, that
    got us thinking: Is Manning is the greatest QB in Giants history?


    We've come up with four candidates: Manning, Phil Simms, Y.A. Tittle and
    Charlie Conerly. We'll leave you the option of debating whether there is anyone
    else deserving of the honor in the comments section, but for comparison
    purposes, here are the QBs' stats and accolades with the Giants:




    Stats











    Charlie Conerly (1948-61) - 58-31-1 regular-season record,
    2-4 playoff record, 173 TDs, 167 INTs, 19,488 yards, 50.1 completion percentage,
    68.2 passer rating in 14 seasons with the Giants.




    Y. A. Tittle (1961-64) - 32-13-3 regular-season record, 0-3
    playoff record, 96 TDs, 68 INTs, 10,439 yards, 55.9 completion percentage, 84.7
    passer rating in 4 seasons with the Giants.




    Phil Simms (1979-1993) - 95-64 regular-season record, 6-4
    playoff record, 199 TDs, 157 INTs, 33,462 yards, 55.4 completion percentage,
    78.5 passer rating in 14 seasons with the Giants.




    Eli Manning (2004-present) - 69-50 regular-season record,
    5-3 playoff record, 185 TDs, 129 INTs, 27,579 yards, 58.4 completion percentage,
    82.1 passer rating in 8 seasons with the Giants." Read more...

    EX-GIANTS REFLECT ON NFC TITLE GAME FOUR YEARS AGO THAT HAD SO MANY LAYERS TO BEHOLD

    "
    In the week leading up to the NFC Championship Game four years ago, the
    Giants’ offensive line scoffed at the forecast of subzero temperatures in Green
    Bay and proudly proclaimed they wouldn’t wear long sleeves under their
    jerseys.


    “Dumbest thing I ever did,” center Shaun O’Hara said Tuesday.




    In moments such as the ones the
    Giants
    created that frozen day at Lambeau Field, the truth sometimes gets
    glossed over. As do mistakes, finer details and the perspective for what just
    occurred.




    So as the Giants prepare for their next trip to Lambeau this weekend in the
    first playoff game there since Lawrence Tynes kicked a 47-yard field goal to win
    it in overtime and send the Giants to the Super Bowl for an upset of the
    near-perfect Patriots, we decided to take a look back at some of those moments
    that might have been forgotten or not fully analyzed.




    Sure, there are stories about that frigid, minus-1 degree day (with
    windchills of minus-23) — the way it chapped Tom Coughlin’s red cheeks, caused
    O’Hara’s frozen helmet to crack when he collided with Nick Barnett, led Kevin
    Boothe to burn the plastic on his gloves while putting them too close to the
    sideline heater (he didn’t feel it; he smelled it) and froze the hair and mouths
    of the players only seconds after they had trotted on the field away from those
    heaters.




    And yes, everyone remembers Tynes’ kick ... and the one after that ... and
    the one after that he finally nailed after missing the first two. Brandon
    Jacobs’ running over Charles Woodson on the first offensive snap of the game?
    Yep, covered it. Corey Webster’s interception? What more can be said about that?
    Domenik Hixon’s recovering a punt R.W. McQuarters fumbled near midfield in the
    fourth quarter? Been there, dissected that.




    Below are a couple of moments assessed candidly from some
    players involved in that game
    . And since those on the current roster were
    only mildly interested in looking back because they’re trying to worry about
    what’s in front of them, we’ll rely upon those who aren’t suiting up for a game
    that will feature temperatures 20-30 degrees warmer than that day.




    They were eager to reminisce about, and provide new perspective on, the great
    plays, the bad calls, the moments of despair and even one rookie mistake that
    was nearly a critical one.

    PIERCE-ING A HOLE


    Many people recall Antonio Pierce fighting through three Packers offensive
    linemen to make a stop on a 1-yard screen pass that should’ve been an easy
    19-yard touchdown for Green Bay.




    Most don’t realize the play was even more impressive because Giants safety
    Michael Johnson goofed by following tight end Donald Lee to the left flat
    instead of tracking running back Brandon Jackson.




    “We do it in practice all week, he takes the right guy. In the game, he
    doesn’t,” Pierce said of the then-rookie. “When you’re dealing with young guys,
    you can anticipate that and know.”




    Pierce also knew the Giants were in man coverage, meaning nearly every member
    of the secondary was downfield with his back to the play. It was a terrific play
    call on a third-and-8 from the Giants’ 19-yard line with 1:52 left in the second
    quarter.




    “I saw the same thing everybody else saw: three blockers and the damn
    tailback,” Pierce said. “The only thing I was thinking was to do whatever I
    could to slip those guys and grab and claw and hold on.




    “I had a good grab on his jersey, like a kid in a toy store, you don’t want
    to leave and you hold onto your parent’s leg going out the door. Kind of like
    that.




    “I went down to his leg. I was holding on for dear life, thinking, ‘These
    boys better be comin’, they better be runnin’ on this one.’”




    Finally, help arrived from Jay Alford and James Butler to finish the
    tackle.




    Pierce knew he had contributed to holding the Packers to a field goal and a
    10-6 halftime lead. He didn’t realize at the time he had helped preserve
    overtime, or, frankly, how good a play he had made.




    “Until I got off the field, and the first person that said something to me
    was Harry Carson: ‘That was one helluva play,’?” Pierce recalled. “I was like,
    ‘Yeah?’?”




    Yeah.

    TOOMER TUMBLES


    The Frozen Tundra isn’t frozen these days. The playing surface at Lambeau
    Field is heated.




    “But everything outside of the field, the sidelines and the white, was ice,”
    Amani Toomer recalled.




    The Giants’ wide receiver learned that the hard way when he fell out of
    bounds after making a toe-dragging, 23-yard catch at the Packers’ 12-yard line
    with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Two plays later, Ahmad
    Bradshaw scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Giants a 20-17 lead one
    drive after the Packers had regained the lead.




    “I remember knocking the wind out of myself,” was how Toomer first described
    it.
    He fell on the ice?




    “Well, my lower chest hit the ground hard,” he said.




    After a long pause and a chuckle, Toomer clarified it was an area much lower
    than his chest that was affected.




    Ouch.




    A replay challenge by the Packers (the ruling of a completion was upheld)
    allowed Toomer to, uh, catch his breath. He ran a quick out for 8 yards on the
    next play to set up Bradshaw’s touchdown.




    “I knew my feet were in,” Toomer said. “I was upset, though, because if Eli
    (Manning) would’ve thrown a better pass I probably would’ve scored.”



    SEUBERT SUFFERS



    The Giants played the final quarter-plus without starting left guard Rich
    Seubert. He had a sprained knee, the severity of which was never revealed.




    For that guy to leave that game at that point, it had to be bad.




    “Grade 2 MCL sprain,” Seubert said Tuesday from his new home in California,
    where he was still unpacking boxes a few weeks after the move from Jersey.




    That injury usually keeps a player out for a month, if not more. Seubert
    would be back in two weeks to play in the Super Bowl. Grey Ruegamer finished the
    game for him.




    “I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “My knee was sloppy.”




    So it wasn’t a matter of pain?




    “No, by then my whole leg was frozen,” he said. “I didn’t really feel
    anything until I went into the shower and warmed up a little bit.”




    And then, he got dressed and put on the green tie Eli Manning had subbed in
    for the one he stole from the linemen as part of a practical joke.




    “Because we were playing Green Bay,” Seubert said, his tone suggesting he
    believed it was a corny joke by a corny jokester. “I still have it. I wore it to
    church last week.”



    A FAULTY FLAG




    Tynes’ second and third kicks probably shouldn’t have been necessary. The
    Giants scored what might have been a game-winning touchdown when Bradshaw went
    48 yards with 2:05 to play.




    Except for a holding penalty on Chris Snee that negated the play.




    “Chris would love it if you asked him about it,” O’Hara said.




    Snee is part of that crew focusing on the now. Those from then are the ones
    who can speak freely.




    “He didn’t hold,” Seubert said. “The ref saw what he saw. But he didn’t see
    the right thing.”




    O’Hara said the Packers’ Ryan Pickett drew the call by embellishing.




    “It was a flop. ... No doubt about it,” he said. “The guy reached out like he
    was going to make the tackle but he wasn’t going to make the tackle, so he
    flopped and threw his arms up. ... It should’ve ended the game right there.”



    BOWLED OVER



    And then, there was the bedlam after Tynes threw off his cape and ran onto
    the field without asking Coughlin if he should — precisely the kind of sign
    Coughlin wanted to see, to know Tynes was ready and could make the kick.




    He did.




    Players ran all over the field. Tynes ran straight to the locker room because
    he had “spent too much time in that damn cold.” Long snapper Zak DeOssie
    suffered a bloody nose when he collided with tight end Kevin Boss. Like
    Seubert’s knee injury, DeOssie didn’t feel much because of the cold.




    And somewhere on the field was Toomer — elated on the outside, panicked on
    the inside.




    “The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Damn, we have to go to the
    Super Bowl again,’?” he said, “because I was still shell-shocked by getting
    blasted by the Baltimore Ravens (in Super Bowl XXXV). It wasn’t a great
    experience for me. It was actually one of my worst football experiences
    ever.”




    This time, it would be different. And frankly, there was an upside Toomer
    immediately recognized that day.




    “Sitting on the sideline before the game thinking, ‘Man, it’s cold and one of
    these teams are going to the Super Bowl, either them or us. And it’s gotta be
    us,’?” Toomer said. “All game long, I was telling everybody, ‘It’s going to be
    warm in Arizona, it’s going to be warm in Arizona.’?”

    FORMER GIANTS LOOK AHEAD TO MATCHUP WITH PACKERS AND SEE ROOM FOR SUCCESS



    "Right now, Antonio Pierce will allow for only one comparison between this
    year’s Giants and the 2007 Super Bowl
    team.


    "What was the score of the regular-season game against the Patriots that
    year?" he asked today during a phone conversation.





    38-35.





    "What was the score of the Giants’ game against the Packers this season?"





    38-35.





    "Okay, and what was the score of the Super Bowl?"





    17-14.





    "You see what I’m getting at?"





    We do. The former Giants defensive captain says this has to be a defensive
    game for the current squad to beat Aaron Rodgers and the almost-perfect Packers
    in Sunday’s divisional-round matchup.





    "They’re not going to win going toe-to-toe with those guys," Pierce said.
    "How you win is the same way we beat the Patriots, you make it a half-court
    game, you play keep-away. You run the ball, you win the time of possession, and
    you limit the opportunities they have. If they do that, their chances are very
    good."





    Pierce isn’t the only recently retired Giant giving the team a chance.





    "It’s a slim chance," former wide receiver Amani Toomer said, "but just the
    fact it’s so hard to beat the same team twice, especially a team that’s not
    afraid of you at all and matches up with you well."





    By that, Toomer means the Packers are a bit beat-up on the offensive line,
    with tackles Bryan Bulaga (ankle, knee) and Chad Clifton (back, hamstring)
    dealing with nagging issues. Meanwhile, the Giants have Osi Umenyiora back and
    also have a fully healthy Michael Boley, who was limited with a hamstring issue
    in the teams’ first meeting.





    "They have a real issue dealing with the Giants’ defensive line," Toomer
    said, adding: "They’re a different team now."





    On the offensive side of the ball, Shaun O’Hara sees a more physical style of
    football – finally.





    "That’s what they’ve been striving for all season," O’Hara, the Giants’
    starting center for most of 2004 through last season, said of the 172 yards
    rushing against the Falcons. "To accomplish that, they can now take the same
    mentality with them to Green Bay. Everybody knows about Aaron Rodgers and the
    offense and what they’re doing, but the best way to keep Aaron Rodgers from
    scoring is to keep him on the bench."





    Which is precisely Pierce’s point.





    "If the Packers have 13, 14 possessions in the game, that’s not good for the
    Giants," Pierce said. "That team is that good, like the Patriots that year, as
    far as how good the quarterback is playing. The explosive offense, you play
    keep-away."





    And not give-away.





    "The one thing they cannot do, and they did a great job last week, and in the
    playoffs it’s gotta happen: you can’t turn the ball over," Pierce said. "Because
    that gives that team, a very explosive offense, one more possession."


    GIANTS-PACKERS HOT TOPIC: ARE YOU ALL IN?

    "
    It's the hot new catch phrase for Giants and their fans - "ALL IN" - or for
    the Twitterverse, #ALLin.






    Its origins, according to Giants PR man Pat Hanlon, was Justin Tuck's quote
    after the Jets game about everyone, even the hobbled Tom Coughlin, being ready
    to physically sell out, 100 percent: "Coach Coughlin is the same as all of us.
    We're all-in." (As an aside, though he says it's not related to ALL IN, Hanlon
    also recalled head coach Jim Fassell's move pushing all
    his chips to the middle of the table
    and saying "This team is going to the
    playoffs" back in 2000.)




    Well, it ain't "One
    for the thumb in '81,"
    but the Giants have certainly gone all-in with ALL
    IN. It is now on tens of thousands of fan towels. The Giants are Tweeting it, as
    are their fans - and you can win
    one of those towels
    if you follow the Giants on Twitter.




    So are you ALL IN? Show us how. Upload a photo or a video incorporating ALL IN with your
    obvious Giants love. Or drop down in this post and comment about what it means
    to be ALL IN for the Giants or about how you like the phrase or what seems to be
    inspiring its use for the team.




    And here's another activity for the end of your work day. Upload a photo of your
    Giants-decorated dorm room, school locker, book bag or office space, like that
    of NJ.com client services supervisor Jason Goldman above-right, who sports his
    ALL IN towel from Sunday's game while standing in front of his Giants-decorated
    cube."

    PACKERS HAVE EXCELLED IN REMATCH GAMES, WITH GIANTS NEXT

    "
    When the Giants line up against the Green Bay Packers beginning at 4:15 p.m.
    Sunday at Lambeau Field, there will be a sense of familiarity between the teams.
    Nearly five weeks ago, the teams met in the Meadowlands, the Packers
    keeping their unbeaten record intact with a 38-35 victory
    .



    For the Giants, the loss might be less of an issue than the fact the teams
    played at all, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since the start of
    the 2009 season, the Packers
    are 10-3 when facing an opponent for a second or third time
    during the
    regular or postseason. Under Mike McCarthy, the Packers are 16-7 in such
    situations.




    The Packers have excelled in the postseason in those situations, also. This
    week, for the sixth straight postseason game against an NFC opponent, the
    Packers will play a rematch game. Last season, the Packers beat the Philadelphia
    Eagles (Packers won in regular season), Atlanta Falcons (Packers lost in regular
    season) and Chicago Bears (Packers split in regular season) en route to the
    Super Bowl.




    Some other notes from around the country regarding Sunday's game:




    -- The nine-point spread
    initially installed on Sunday's game
    was a bit high, according to those
    sampled by the Journal Sentinel. The line came down to eight points today, with
    the Packers favored.




    -- The death of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's son has put
    Sunday's game in perspective. The
    Green Bay area is mourning
    , ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde wrote.




    -- McCarthy praised the performance by the Giants Sunday. He said that the
    Giants controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball
    , a key
    reason why the Falcons were beaten so decisively.




    -- Green
    Bay will hold a pep rally
    for the Packers Friday at 3 p.m., Fox11 has
    reported."

    http://www.nj.com/giants/

    NY DAILY NEWS


    ELI MANNING CAN MAKE SUNDAY ANOTHER IMPORTANT DAY IN GIANTS' HISTORY VS. AARON RODGERS AND THE PACKERS



    Excerpt: "Whatever list you make of the most important days in all of Giants history,
    one of them will always be April 24, 2004, when Ernie Accorsi made
    his draft-day trade for Eli Manning.




    This is what it was like in the offices at old Giants Stadium that day, after
    Accorsi had told A.J. Smith, the San
    Diego GM who had taken Manning with the first pick of that draft, that the
    Giants would draft Philip Rivers with
    the fourth pick, send Rivers and a boatload of draft choices, including the next
    year’s No. 1, to San Diego for Eli Manning.




    Smith had asked for Osi Umenyiora.
    Accorsi said no. Smith said he’d need a No. 1. Accorsi said yes. The two men
    made the same as a handshake deal over the telephone. Not long after they did,
    Archie Manning and
    Olivia Manning and
    Eli were on their way to Jersey from New York City.




    Accorsi was waiting for them. So were John Mara and two of his
    brothers, Chris and Frank. The late Wellington Mara was
    there, too, along with the late Robert Tisch. They had
    all been there with Accorsi as he closed the deal for a quarterback Accorsi
    believed could — and would — change everything for the Giants.




    “I can still see the Mannings coming through those old double doors that led
    to our offices,” Accorsi was saying Tuesday, on his way back from his hometown
    of Hershey, Pa., to New York City. “The minute the kid crossed the threshold, he
    was a Giant.” Read more...



    JPP, JUSTIN TUCK, AND THE GIANTS ARE TALKING AND PLAYING A GOOD GAME ENTERING NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME VS. PACKERS



    Excerpt: "Jason
    Pierre-Paul
    , in the euphoria of the winning locker room after the first
    playoff win of his young career, guaranteed the Giants will beat the Packers on
    Sunday. A throng of reporters then rushed to their phones and keyboards to
    spread his word.




    The next day, Justin Tuck was one of
    many Giants asked if he would offer a guarantee of his own. Instead of taking
    the bait, however, the veteran just smiled and shook his head at the silliness
    of it all.




    “Knowing you guys, you probably asked him a loaded question,” Tuck told the
    media. “And he just gave his honest opinion about it.”




    NY
    GIANTS PLAYOFF REWIND: A LOOK BACK AT BIG BLUE'S THREE SUPER BOWLS




    Tuck is right, but not about the “loaded question.” Pierre-Paul was just
    being honest.




    And honesty is the new policy around the Giants these days.




    There is dust collecting on those “Talk is cheap, play the game” T-shirts
    that Tom Coughlin gave out
    at the start of the 2007 season, when his career was riding on the hope that his
    players would shut up and stop complaining to the media at every turn. That team
    won a Super Bowl, of course, although it also had its noisy moments — such as Antonio Pierce’s air
    horn and Plaxico Burress
    Super Bowl guarantee.




    These Giants have taken talk to a new level — at least for them. They issue
    guarantees as if they’re all trying to be a new-age Patrick Ewing.
    Guarantees from Jerry Reese, Victor
    Cruz
    and Antrel Rolle all
    preceded Pierre-Paul’s vow on Sunday. And there’s more. Eli Manning said he was
    elite. Brandon Jacobs
    blasted the fans (both his own and the “loud, obnoxious” ones in Dallas). Tuck
    thought “most people” would call the Falcons offensive line “dirt bags.” Hakeem Nicks thought
    All-Pro Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was
    only “decent.”




    And on and on and on they go.




    “This team seems to be more inclined to speak their mind,” Tuck admitted. “I
    don’t see anything wrong with that. I don’t think it’s anything disrespectful. I
    encourage people telling the truth. If you feel that way, then say it. Or don’t
    say nothing. So it can either be me sitting up here saying ‘no comment’ or me
    sitting up here telling you all the truth.”




    The media will gladly take the truth any time an athlete wants to give it.
    Coughlin, of course, would prefer his players plead the fifth. He joked that
    next time he will be standing next to Pierre-Paul when reporters talk to him.
    His message to his team is “Let’s not get too carried away just yet.”




    But it’s too late. They’ve been carried away since Aug. 11 when Reese, while
    taking a public beating for an offseason of inactivity, vowed, “We’ll get into
    the playoffs and we’ll make a run.” Yes, he later said (many times) that it
    wasn’t a guarantee or a vow or a promise, that the media “spun” his words. But
    looking back at his quote, he never said “maybe.” Read more...



    GIANTS CAN STOP PACKERS' RODGERS WITH STEADY DIET OF JPP, OSI UMENYIORA, JUSTIN TUCK



    "In the year of the quarterback, the Giants have to stop perhaps the
    quarterback of the year.

    Aaron Rodgers set an
    NFL record this season with a quarterback rating of 122.5 with 45 touchdowns
    against six interceptions. The Giants came close to beating him once this
    season. Now they’ll have one more shot with a lot more on the line.

    Can
    they stop him? No.

    Can they beat him? They do possess a number of
    elements needed to pull that off. It will take near perfect execution, but here
    is one formula for getting that done:



    BRING THE HEAT
    What the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh said
    before the Thanksgiving Day game still pertains:

    “He’s playing at a very
    high level, but the way to stop him is to continue to hit him. We had a great
    game plan against him last year. He wasn’t able to come back in the game, and
    that’s one way to take care of business. Another way is to continue to be in his
    face and cause him problems — just don’t allow him to get in a rhythm.”




    This is where the Giants’ hope lies, that they can get to
    Rodgers with what has been the best pass rush in football the last three weeks.
    The Chiefs held the Packers to 14 points in handing the Packers their only loss
    with only one man — Tamba Hali — dominating.
    Jason
    Pierre-Paul
    , Justin Tuck and Osi
    Umenyiora
    have spearheaded a dominant D-line rotation that has allowed
    defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to drop
    seven players into coverage.

    In other words, make this a Super Bowl XLII
    reprise.

    “We were able to put a little pressure on him at times and get
    him off the spot. He wasn’t quite as accurate as he normally is,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel
    said. “We used five-man pressure, and Tamba Hali had a great game for us.
    They’re more effective with a four-man rush.”




    NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger
    thinks Fewell will have four defensive ends on the field at once at times,
    another Steve Spagnuolo
    tactic from ’07, and, at the least force the Packers to max-protect, eliminating
    a potential receiver.

    “What you try to do is, can you make him move, can
    you make him bring the ball down? Can you make him pump? Can you get a hand in
    his face where he doesn’t have clear vision?” Baldinger asks. “Those are the
    type of things you try to do, and I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league
    playing better than JPP. There’s no one who can handle him.”




    HOPE TO CONTAIN HIM
    The Giants will have to do a better
    job of containment, something the Chiefs did quite effectively. Rodgers is the
    most accurate quarterback in the league throwing on the run, moving to either
    his right or left (where he’s one of the best — ever). He was also able to pick
    up scramble yards, especially when the Giants played man coverage.

    It’s
    noteworthy, too, that the Packers’ line is healthy and will have both OTs, Bryan
    Bulaga
    and Chad Clifton, together
    for one of the few times all season.

    “But,” Baldinger notes, “the Giants
    are as healthy as they’ve been all season up front, and the Packers’ two tackles
    haven’t played in a long time.”




    A PRESSING ISSUE
    The Chiefs played press coverage (Greg
    Jennings
    didn’t play) and took the Packer receivers out of the
    game.

    ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck
    doesn’t think the Giants have the personnel to match up in press coverage all
    game.

    “To look back and say they had this formula that no one else had is
    inaccurate,” he says of the Chiefs’ game plan. “Here’s the other thing that
    people don’t know: People say, ‘Oh, the Kansas City Chiefs, they’re not any
    good.’ Well guess what? Brandon
    Flowers
    and Brandon Carr are
    really good players. The Kansas City corners are better than (Corey) Webster and
    (Aaron) Ross. People don’t know about them, but the reality is they’re
    better.”




    MIX IT UP
    The Packers may not have expected the Giants to
    play as much man-under coverage (with two deep safeties) in the first game.
    Fewell mixed that in with a lot of early zone. That Cover 2 approach worked for
    the Bears last year, but Rodgers can too easily carve up the middle of the field
    that way.

    Hasselbeck likes the man-under approach.

    “Generally
    speaking, that’s a difficult coverage to complete passes against," he said.
    "Generally speaking when you complete passes against it, it’s on some form of an
    out-breaking route. Because of the leverage, it’s difficult to complete
    in-breaking routes. You see a lot of people try to attack the middle of the
    field, but if you’re running some type of seam that bends to the post versus
    two-man, that’s still a difficult pass to complete.”

    That’s why tight end
    Jermichael Finley
    was so involved in the passing attack in the first game.




    DISGUISE, DISGUISE
    A central part of the game plan
    against the Falcons was not allowing Matt Ryan to
    feel he had a bead on the Giants’ coverage schemes. Ryan almost became
    preoccupied with Deon Grant’s pre-snap
    movements, for instance. That’s not as easy with Rodgers, who will take the
    clock down as long as he wants.

    “We knew we had to mix things up so he
    had to figure some things out, instead of him standing there looking and saying,
    OK, I know what they’re in and this is where I need to go with the ball,”
    Crennel said. “We didn’t do a lot of pre-snap looks but we mixed personnel
    groups on him and used multiple defensive backs a couple of times.”




    KEEP WITHIN REACH
    That means on the
    scoreboard.

    “If you fall behind, you can pack your bags and go home,”
    said Tuck, noting that the Saints and Packers are the best teams he’s ever seen
    “letting their athleticism take over games” once they’re in front.

    After
    the first meeting, Tom Coughlin said he
    had a number in mind in terms of what he thought the Packers would have to be
    held to in order to win the game. He didn’t say what that number was but it
    couldn’t have been 38, with the seven extra points coming on an Eli
    Manning
    pick six.

    The Giants proved they can trade points with the
    Packers, but that was at home, and with the emergence of their running game, it
    would be wiser to play a little more ball control in order to keep Rodgers on
    the sideline.

    “Everybody tries that, but those guys score so often,”
    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says.
    “They get seven possessions and score six times. It’s a good strategy, it’s a
    good thought when you sit down and strategize, but . . . short of keeping the
    football for 15 minutes of a quarter, you’ve got to find a way to slow him
    down.”




    AND FURTHERMORE
    It’s not just about how the Giants will
    try to stop Rodgers. It’s about how Rodgers will try to attack the Giants. Who
    will take away more from the first game?

    “How about if you’re the
    Packers. What’s your answer to that pass rush?” Hasselbeck asks. “If you look at
    them, maybe the best thing Green Bay has done all year long is the quick game.
    The ball comes out so fast, teams are for the most part afraid of the speed the
    Packers have so they’re not always up challenging the receivers. And so the
    offensive line can cut defensive ends and they aren’t pass-setting all game
    long. If you get into the quick game, it basically eliminates the pass
    rush.”



    AARON ROSS SHOULD BE OK WHEN GIANTS PLAY PACKERS



    "The Giants need as many healthy defensive backs as they can find Sunday when
    they play the Green Bay Packers, and it looks as if one of them will be Aaron
    Ross
    .



    The cornerback “should be fine” after suffering a possible concussion against
    the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and might even be available to practice on
    Wednesday, according to a source familiar with his situation. It is not known
    yet if he has officially been cleared to return to the practice field, but so
    far all indications are that he will be able to play in the divisional-round
    playoff game in Green Bay.




    As for whether or not Ross actually suffered a concussion, that’s also
    unclear. Tom Coughlin said
    Monday that the Giants were proceeding as if he had. Ross’ wife, Sanya Richards-Ross,
    tweeted after the game on Sunday that Ross “doesn’t have a concussion.”





    Whatever he had, Ross suffered the injury in a scary collision with Jason Pierre-Paul
    while both were diving for an interception in the third quarter of the wild-card
    playoff game. After a few minutes on the ground with teammates standing around
    him, Ross was slowly helped up and walked straight to the locker room.




    After the game, Coughlin said he believed Ross would be OK. He has since
    undergone the required concussion testing and will likely undergo a few more
    exams before he returns to practice.




    ROLLE PLAYER
    The Green Bay Packers scored 38 points on
    the Giants the last time they played six weeks ago. So why does S
    Antrel Rolle
    think the Giants won’t give up that many again?




    “You know, I don’t think it,” he said Tuesday on ProFootballTalk.com’s PFT
    Live. “I know it.




    “We’re a different team. We’re a better team. We’re a more focused team. It
    doesn’t matter what I say. We’re going to go out and just play come Sunday, and
    hopefully I stay true to my words.”




    SEEDS OF A SHOCKER
    History in the making? Maybe. No
    fourth-seeded team in the NFC has won a divisional playoff game at the No. 1
    seed since the playoffs were expanded in 1990 (0-8). No. 4 seeds are 4-14
    overall against the top seed in the divisional round, but all four wins were by
    AFC teams."


    NY POST

    CRUZ THE DADDY

    "Giants sensationVictor Cruz[/b]has another reason to celebrate — he has just become a dad for the first time. The 25-year-old wide receiver’s longtime girlfriend,Elaina Watley[/b], CEO of sports marketing and publicity agency Brand Infinite, gave birth in New Jersey on Monday to a baby girl they have namedKennedy[/b]. Cruz told Fox 5’sDuke Castiglione[/b], “It’s amazing just to see her and to hold her in my arms. It’s been an amazing feeling, and I can’t wait to raise her and teach her all the good stuff . . . Every time I’m out there, I’m out there running around for her and catching the ball for her, so she’s always on my mind.”

    GIANTS CAN USE CHIEFS' PLAN TO BEAT PACKERS

    "The How To Beat the Packers Big Blueprint is right there for Tom Coughlin,
    Kevin Gilbride, Eli Manning and Perry Fewell to see on the Kansas City game tape
    from Dec. 18. The Chiefs and their interim head coach at the time, Romeo
    Crennel, shocked the Perfect Packers 19-14 at Arrowhead Stadium that day.



    Crennel, a Giants assistant coach in the 1980s and ’90s, last night provided
    The Post with the How to Beat the Packers Big Blueprint:




    I — Pressure the Passer: JPP and the boys must be relentless
    again and bring the heat on Aaron Rodgers. Tamba Hali was a one-man wrecking
    crew with three sacks against reserve tackle Marshall Newhouse, and Rodgers was
    harried behind an injury-ravaged offensive line.

    Crennel, asked if Rodgers can be rattled, told The Post: “I think all
    quarterbacks can be rattled. But he’s difficult to rattle.”



    Did the Chiefs rattle him?




    “No, I don’t think we rattled him,” Crennel said.




    Can the Giants rattle him?




    “The Giants have a pretty good pass rush,” Crennel said. “With the way they
    rush, there’s a possibility.”




    Big Blue can rattle Rodgers with a four-man wrecking crew. The Chiefs blitzed
    just eight times.




    “Aaron does a good job of recognizing what defense you’re in,” Crennel said.
    “If you couldn’t get quick pressure on him, he was able to make plays down the
    field. He can also use his feet running away from pressure.”




    Fewell should let the big dogs do most of the hunting for him. Packers left
    tackle Chad Clifton will be back, no small thing.




    II — PRESS COVERAGE: The old Bill Parcells Giants would
    disrupt Joe Montana’s rhythm by jamming Jerry Rice and beating him up as often
    as they could. Star Packers receiver Greg Jennings missed the Chiefs game, which
    made life easier on cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr. Jennings will
    be back this week.




    “[Rodgers is] very accurate, and he’s very accurate even versus press
    coverage,” Crennel said. “A lot of times they throw a back-shoulder fade or
    back-shoulder throw. We were able to get a couple of [interference] penalties in
    those situations when he attempted that.”




    Why so much trust in his corners?




    “You have to believe in your corners’ ability and you have to feel like you
    can [put] some pressure on the quarterback,” Crennel said.




    III — NICKEL-AND-DIME THEM: Packers coach Mike McCarthy
    abandoned the ground game, even with the Chiefs daring him to run it. Rodgers
    had an off day and was plagued by several drops. The Giants will ask Chris Canty
    and Linval Joseph to clog the middle again, and remember, Justin Tuck and JPP
    are run-stuffers, too. That means Fewell can load up with coverage — even when
    the Packers line up with three receivers or less and try to run — hardly their
    bread-and-butter."

    THROUGH TRIUMPH AND DEFEAT, HE'S STILL SAME 'OL ELI

    Excerpt: "Eli Manning won’t leave.



    He won’t shuffle his feet or start leaning toward the door, won’t give off
    those obvious signs he wants out, though you know he does. Eli will never call
    off one of those surround-sound mass interview sessions on his own accord. He
    never, ever wants to look like the bad guy, like the impatient guy, like he has
    had enough of this and can he please get on with the rest of his day.




    And so, he waits. He answers. Perhaps the sheer blandness of his responses
    will dissipate the crowd, but no luck, the horde remains. When a Giants media
    relations intern makes it clear this is the last question, Eli stands and
    answers it. When the intern is ignored and another question is asked, Eli stands
    and answers it. He is not going to be the one to cut somebody, anybody, off, his
    natural politeness clearly evident.

    The public face of Eli Manning and the private face he shows to his teammates
    is not the same — but not so different, either. If John Mara woke up one
    morning, his body taken over by Jets owner Woody Johnson, and as a result of the
    switcheroo agreed to put his family’s team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,’’ the camera
    following Manning all day and night would not reveal much in the way of shock
    value. A prank here, a little dig there, but the essence of Eli is the same in
    front or behind the curtain.



    This doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for Manning and works for the
    Giants, who walk tall into Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the
    Packers at Lambeau Field, supremely confident their unassuming quarterback can
    stand up to Aaron Rodgers.




    Justin Tuck said the Giants will go as far as the defensive line and Manning
    will take them. Mara has said he never, ever lost faith this season because his
    team has “number 10.’’ A player who even after delivering an MVP performance in
    Super Bowl XLII was not always universally accepted is now three victories away
    from stamping instant Hall of Fame credentials on his resume.




    Through it all, Manning has been the franchise quarterback but never the star
    quarterback.




    His receivers know they are blessed to work with a sharp mind who will
    deliver the ball to them, but they better make the correct sight adjustments
    because Eli is a stickler for detail. His offensive linemen know he will make
    them look good by expertly checking out of bad plays that have little chance for
    success. The one difference: The receivers always laud Eli, the linemen always
    bust his chops.




    Manning’s 14-yard scramble — just four yards shy of his longest career run —
    escaping the clutches of John Abraham on the first touchdown drive of a
    masterful 24-2 playoff rout of the Falcons prompted more Eli-the-non-athlete
    jibes. Left tackle David Diehl called him “White Lightning,’’ and right guard
    Chris Snee had to pipe down after taking several good-natured shots a few days
    earlier about his quarterback’s “most awkward’’ running gait." Read more...

    NFC TITLE-CLINCHING KICKER GIVES GIANTS LEG UP

    Excerpt: "Justin Tuck had a smile on his face as he talked the other day about the
    pimple on the Mona Lisa, one of the few blemishes visible on the Giants’
    otherwise masterly 24-2 shellacking of the Falcons in the wild-card round
    playoff game at MetLife Stadium.



    It was the kind of thing that’s easy to overlook on a day such as that, when
    every aspect of the Giants’ arsenal was clicking. And truthfully, most of the
    79,909 people inside the joint probably forgot about it as soon as it happened,
    because they were busily celebrating a grand January afternoon. But there it is,
    on the official play-by-play:

    L.Tynes 32 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right, Center-Z.DeOssie,
    Holder-S.Weatherford.



    Yes, for the third time in four weeks, Lawrence Tynes had missed a field
    goal, and, sure, it was a chippie and, OK, yes, it would be good if he could
    leave those yips behind him when the Giants board the team charter for Green Bay
    in a couple of days.




    But it was Tuck who summarized what was probably on the mind of anyone who
    happened to notice, since Tuck can short-hand things almost as well as an editor
    looking for a back-page hook.




    “You kick a team into the Super Bowl,” Tuck said, “you’re going to have some
    leeway.”




    Yes, that is the niche that Tynes has, and forever will have. There are
    plenty of Giants held over from four years ago, veterans of the greatest upset
    in Super Bowl history: Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, others.
    And as we saw last Sunday, when so many alums prowled the MetLife grounds, when
    you win a Super Bowl for the Giants, you are always welcomed back as returning
    royalty.




    And that is all quite splendid.




    But Tynes is a part of two extra-exclusive fraternities that ought to have
    their own secret handshakes in addition to wallet-sized passes exempting them
    from ever having to pick up a meal or a beer again. He and Matt Bahr, after all,
    are the only two Giants to ever kick a football through a set of uprights that
    automatically punched tickets to the Super Bowl for the Giants. Bahr did it in
    1991, a 42-yarder that slew the 49ers and sent the Giants to Tampa to play the
    Bills.




    And it was Tynes’ 47-yard field goal 17 years to the day later, the last time
    the Giants visited Lambeau Fie
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  2. #2

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    [quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.[/quote]

    I feel better every day about our chances of winning this game. There is a quiet confidence fueled by three weeks of 60 minutes of team football. GO GIANTS!
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  4. #4

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.



    thanks Roanoke! [B]




    feeling better and better bout this team! if the d improves just a little from last week, we have an excellent chance to win this game!







    Go Giants!


  5. #5
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    thanks Roanoke! [B]




    feeling better and better bout this team! if the d improves just a little from last week, we have an excellent chance to win this game!







    Go Giants!

    [/quote]

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


  6. #6

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.[/quote]

    I feel better every day about our chances of winning this game.* There is a quiet confidence fueled by three weeks of 60 minutes of team football.* GO GIANTS!
    [/quote]God Bless This Team and give them the ability to overcome all adversities that come their way!!! Go Blue

  7. #7

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    Loved all the comments from our players, past and present. I'm a BELIEVER. GO GMEN!!!
    WIN GIANTS!! WIN IT ALL!!

  8. #8
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    [quote user="ashleymarie"]Loved all the comments from our players, past and present. I'm a BELIEVER. GO GMEN!!![/quote]

    How can we not believe?
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  9. #9
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.

    [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.[/quote]

    I feel better every day about our chances of winning this game. There is a quiet confidence fueled by three weeks of 60 minutes of team football. GO GIANTS!
    [/quote]God Bless This Team and give them the ability to overcome all adversities that come their way!!! Go Blue[/quote]

    Can we get an A M E N?
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  10. #10
    All-Pro G-Men Surg.'s Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 11:26 A.M.

    Great article on ex-giants reflecting back on the NFC title game .
    Thanks RF !
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.

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