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    NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 5:00 P.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

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

    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    GIANTS-PACKERS GAME PREVIEW: A LOOK AHEAD TO SUNDAY'S GUT CHECK FOR THE GIANTS

    "A bit of a different format this week because I wrote a box for the paper in
    which I broke down five big passes Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers had
    against the Giants last year and what
    could be done to fix them. It was supposed to run on Thursday along with a story
    on the secondary.


    But then, Michael
    Strahan showed up
    . So we moved it to Friday.




    And then, Perry
    Fewell got "(angry)."
    So we bumped it to the weekend.




    Now, I have something else I'm working on for Sunday's paper, so needless to
    say I did the breakdown and can't find a spot for it. So I'm dumping it here.
    It'll serve as my defensive matchups to watch.




    In addition to the ones you should be watching up front, of course.




    "Yeah, we’re going to get after (Rodgers)," end Jason Pierre-Paul said today,
    joining Fewell in saying this defense is coming for Rodgers. "We’re tired of
    losing. It’s frustrating so we have to go out and play as one."




    So look to see if the pass rush can get home. And also watch the back end to
    see if mistakes from last year (which are outlined below) can be cleaned up.




    * * * *




    SUNDAY'S GAME: vs. Packers, 4:15 p.m., Fox




    PLAYERS TO WATCH




    Offense: It sounds like the Giants might be planning some
    double moves and other things to bait the Packers' DBs. All week long, I got the
    impression they're seeing an opportunity to hit some big plays.




    Read between the lines on this quote from QB Eli
    Manning
    .




    "They’ll disguise a few things, but it’s more of their defensive backs and
    safeties like to play aggressive. It’s a lot of man-technique where they’re just
    playing the guys," Manning said. "They see something, they’re jumping. Their
    outside guys will squat a little bit, trying to break up some of the routes.




    "Charles Woodson is very aggressive. He’ll leave his zone
    and go into another one when he sees something. And obviously if you can see
    that and predict that, they’ll leave guys open. They leave areas open to hit
    completions. It’s just a matter of having the time to see that and recognizing
    it."




    Same question, WR Victor Cruz.




    "You just have to stay kind of disciplined to your route," Cruz said. "and
    understand we have certain things in place to take advantage of that and
    understand they want to be ball hawks, be hungry and attack the ball."




    Asked about Woodson being particularly aggressive and leaving zones, Cruz
    said, "There are things on film where he would just leave a man by himself when
    he sees another guy open the quarterback's going to potentially throw the ball
    to. He'll just leave and attack that. Sometimes, he comes up with big plays,
    interceptions and big hits. Other times, he gets beat. It's a gamble he likes to
    take. Hopefully we can see that and react to it."




    Defense: See above ... and below.




    THE LINE: Packers by 7. Over-under 52. (You
    know where I'm going
    on this one. Down with the ship, maybe? Hey, I'll stand
    by that pick and actually have come to believe this team is confident and will
    be ready to play. Will it be enough, though?

    ONE MORE THING: I know a lot of people have been asking
    about when Fewell rushes only three. He was asked about that on Thursday and
    basically said you can't bring the house on every down.


    "I change based on down and distance. I change based on some tendencies," he
    said. "We try to give different looks. Basically, I think we didn’t play very
    good technique on Monday and that lead to some of the problems that we had. But
    we try to concentrate on all phases of that so that we’re not just vanilla in
    certain areas and we’re not only pressuring certain areas. We try to give the
    quarterback different looks as we prepare for different quarterbacks."




    * * * *




    And now those defensive plays I promised. Enjoy.




    On Dec. 26 last year, the Giants were hammered by the Packers 45-17 in a game
    they badly needed get into the postseason.




    "We just executed really well," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw
    for 404 yards and four touchdowns, said yesterday. "We had tight windows and we
    came up with the catches and throws we needed to make."




    Considering only a few things have changed on both sides of the ball, the
    Giants must fix the issues that led to six passes of 20 or more yards that day,
    especially since they gave up five against the Saints on Monday. Here’s a look
    at what went wrong on five long completions in Lambeau last year and how it can
    be corrected:




    THE PLAY: An 80-yard touchdown from Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelson. A little over 7 minutes into the game, it was
    7-0 Packers.



    WHY IT HAPPENED: For starters, Matt Dodge’s first punt since
    DeSean Jackson’s game-winning return the week prior went off the side of his
    foot for only 25 yards to the 20. Then, S Antrel Rolle tried showing blitz to
    confuse Rodgers. "I’d like to think he kind of bit on the play-action a little
    bit," Rodgers said Wednesday. The combination of the poorly-timed fake, the fake
    handoff and S Deon Grant’s cheating to the right gave Nelson a free run from the
    line of scrimmage to the end zone.




    HOW TO FIX IT: Stay disciplined. Rolle cheated forward.
    Grant, who had the deep half, favored the outside receiver. Rodgers is good
    enough; he doesn’t need help making it easy.




    THE PLAY: A 26-yarder from Rodgers to WR Greg Jennings to
    set up a touchdown run that made it 21-14 Packers after the Giants had fought
    back from 14-0 down.




    WHY IT HAPPENED: The Giants were in a Cover-3 defense, which
    means both corners bailed at the snap. Grant had the short side of the field
    underneath CB Corey Webster but was late getting into his drop. It seemed he was
    waiting for the running back to emerge. After Jennings made the catch, he eluded
    a slipping Webster to pick up the final 16 yards.




    HOW TO FIX IT: Whether it was designed or worked out between
    Grant and LB Michael Boley at the line, as they often do, covering the backs
    shouldn’t be the main concern. The downfield threats are the ones that will kill
    the Giants. And like on Saints
    WR Marques Colston’s 50-yard catch-and-run
    on Monday, Webster has to tackle
    or at least slow down the receiver after the catch.




    THE PLAY: A 21-yard pass from Rodgers to TE Tom Crabtree to
    put the Packers in field-goal range. Mason Crosby then hit a 31-yarder to make
    it 24-14 Pack early in the third quarter.




    WHY IT HAPPENED: The Giants appeared to be in a Cover-2 zone
    and played good coverage here. But a possible mixup on the left side of the
    D-line allowed Rodgers to escape to his right. Rolle had to choose whether to
    cover Crabtree, come down on the running back or respect Rodgers’ ability to
    run. While he was deciding, Rodgers hit Crabtree, who ran for an additional 15
    yards.




    HOW TO FIX IT: Don’t let Rodgers escape. Easier said than
    done, we know. But when a guy who can throw like that also has a chance to
    scramble and run, well, it’s just not fair to Rolle or anybody covering.



    THE PLAY: A 33-yard completion from Rodgers to WR Donald
    Driver on the first play after the Giants had trimmed the lead back to a
    touchdown.




    WHY IT HAPPENED: CB Terrell Thomas was to Driver’s outside
    as he broke his pattern inside. Rodgers delivered inside and Driver made a
    diving catch.




    HOW TO FIX IT: This was good design and execution by the
    Packers. Nelson ran a deep cross over the middle, drawing Grant forward. That
    gave Driver and Rodgers the inside hole. Grant probably has to stay deep there,
    but that’s easy to say while watching from afar. Like the Saints, the Packers
    have multiple threats, so it’s often a matter of picking your poison.




    THE PLAY: One play after Driver’s catch, Jennings got deep
    for a 36-yarder to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, it was 31-17.




    WHY IT HAPPENED: Jennings dipped his shoulder to get a clean
    release outside of Webster. Still, it wasn’t bad coverage, Webster was even
    (illegally) grabbing Jennings’ hand and the blitz almost got to Rodgers.




    HOW TO FIX IT: Tip your cap to Rodgers for a fine, quick
    throw and to Jennings for an outstanding grab. Then, line back up and try to
    make a play the next time."

    GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM LIKELY TO MISS GAME VS. PACKERS

    Excerpt: "Wide receiver Mario Manningham will likely be out Sunday after missing
    another practice today and is listed as doubtful on the Giants' injury report.


    Manningham, who on Thursday said there are “things
    floating” around in his knee
    but gave himself a 50-50 chance of playing,
    tried to give it a go today, stretching with teammates and doing some light
    jogging. But ultimately “it’s uncomfortable to run” for him, and he decided to
    sit out the remainder of the session.




    “I’m not at full speed, and that’s my strength,” he said.




    Manningham said he isn’t nervous about the injury, and the best treatment for
    the knee at this point is rest. He also acknowledged for the second time this
    week that surgery is a possibility, though for after the season.




    “We have to see after the season,” he said. “Whatever I need to do, that’s
    what I need to do.”




    Last week Manningham said he was going to play against the Saints, but after
    a short warm-up routine a couple hours before the game, he was ruled out.




    Manningham said there isn’t “a lot” of pain in his knee, but he’s not at 100
    percent.




    In the aftermath of a dismal showing against the New Orleans
    Saints on Monday night, there wasn’t much good to take from the
    49-24 blowout loss.
    One good thing, however, was Jason Pierre-Paul’s play —
    particularly his intensity and effort. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and
    coach Tom Coughlin noticed and spoke highly of the second-year defensive end —
    going as far as to show a clip of a Pierre-Paul hustle play to the entire
    team.




    Pierre-Paul, who leads the Giants with 10½ sacks this season, was happy with
    the praise and thinks he was deserving.




    “Yeah, it’s nice to hear it,” he said. “He gave me props when props were due,
    so that’s good to hear.”




    Earlier in the week, safety Kenny Phillips said he expected
    to see a fine from the NFL for his hit on Saints TE Jimmy Graham, but it appears
    the league won’t punish him for the hit, which drew a 15-yard unnecessary
    roughness penalty.




    “Christmas is coming, so maybe they’re taking it easy on me,” Phillips
    joked." Read more...


    **

    AHMAD BRADSHAW PRACTICES FOR GIANTS; MARIO MANNINGHAM SITS OUT

    Excerpt: "Ahmad Bradshaw, who has said he plans on playing this Sunday, practiced today
    for the first time since fracturing his foot against the Dolphins in Week 8 the
    day before Halloween. Though Bradshaw said he'd rather not have to practice, Tom
    Coughlin said the running back would need to practice at some point this week in
    order to play on Sunday so this, obviously, is a huge step in the right
    direction -- though we'll find out later how much he participated.


    During stretching Bradshaw got attention from trainers and tried on a couple
    different cleats before settling on a pair. He then jogged some and participated
    in drills during the media portion of the practice." Read more...

    GIANTS' PERRY FEWELL ANGERED BY DEFENSE AGAINST SAINTS, VOWS UNIT WILL IMPROVE AGAINST PACKERS

    Excerpt: "Justin Tuck had a hand on Drew Brees. That was all he’d get. The New Orleans
    Saints quarterback slipped out of Tuck’s grasp, rolled right, evaded Linval
    Joseph and flipped a 15-yard pass to Pierre Thomas. Tuck said he wanted to pound
    the ground in frustration but had to keep playing. Except he didn’t.


    While Brees was making a play near the right sideline, Tuck was still between
    the hash marks, slowly getting to two knees, then one, then both feet while he
    bowed his head in disgust.




    “I’ll be honest with you, you’re the first reporter to notice that, but I’ve
    had two players say the same thing,” Tuck said Thursday, during a quiet moment
    in the doorway of the Giants’ locker
    room. “They asked me to sit down (for a chat).”




    Perry Fewell noticed. He definitely noticed.




    The Giants defensive coordinator, a player-friendly coach who rarely calls
    out his guys in public, was fired up in his weekly session with reporters
    Thursday after Monday’s
    blowout loss to the Saints
    in which his unit gave up seven touchdowns.




    Fewell was still hot about a lot of things, though the ones that angered him
    most had little to do with X’s and O’s. It was effort, drive, determination and
    fire — or a lack thereof — that got this usually mild-mannered coach worked
    up.




    “I was (angry), okay?” Fewell said. “I was getting them going Monday night
    and we’re getting going this week. So player-friendly or not, it’s all about
    winning. … And I think they got the message and they understand what’s on the
    line for us.”




    What’s on the line is a chance to turn this potential freefall into a
    turnaround by handing the Green Bay Packers their first defeat. The biggest key
    to doing that is stopping Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s passing game, and the
    best way is to hit him.




    Teams realize that’s the Giants’ specialty, which is why they’ve been
    throwing max protections at them and chipping their ends.




    Fewell doesn’t care. He’s seen his linemen beat double- and triple-teams in
    the past.




    He wants to see that again. And he believes he will." Read more...

    GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM SAYS THERE'S "STUFF FLOATING" AROUND IN HIS KNEE

    "Giants wide receiver Mario
    Manningham’s knee isn’t improving much and his chances of missing a second
    straight game increase with each day of practice missed.


    “Not much,” Tom Coughlin said when asked if Manningham is making progress.
    Coughlin added: “They’ve put some medicine in there, they’ve drained it, but
    there is an injury there. They’re trying to manage it and he’s trying to manage
    it but it’s not working to everybody’s favor.”




    Manningham told reporters there are things “floating” in his knee and that
    season-ending surgery is a possibility. On the other hand, he said he’s 50-50
    for Sunday’s game against the Packers. So there’s that.




    Sometimes pieces of meniscus cartilage can float around in a knee, but
    Manningham said he's had the menisci* in both of his knees removed.




    “I got some issues on the side and a little in the front (of the knee),”
    Manningham said. “Eventually, I’ll be all right. Right now I’m not 100
    (percent).”




    Meanwhile, Hakeem Nicks isn’t worried about his head or his ribs and says
    he’ll be back to work on Friday. The Giants’ wide receiver said doctors merely
    told him to take it easy today to make sure he’s symptom-free after experiencing
    headaches on Wednesday.




    “They wanted to make sure because it’s the head,” Nicks said after sitting
    out today’s practice. “But I knew initially it wasn’t a serious concussion. They
    told me to just chill today.”




    Nicks said he didn’t have a headache on Monday after getting hit by Saints
    safety Isa Abdul-Quddus. He’s not sure why he experienced one on Wednesday.




    As for his sore ribs, which were a result of that hit and another one
    earlier, Nicks said, The ribs are bruised but they’re okay. … I probably won’t
    even pad ‘em.”




    * * * *




    LB Michael Boley (hamstring) returned to practice and worked in a limited
    capacity. That’s a huge development for the Giants if it means he’s playing on
    Sunday. This defense badly needs him back on the field.




    S Antrel Rolle (back) returned to practice and worked fully. He said he won’t
    miss Sunday’s game. He also said of the Packers, “They can be beat.” (That’s
    what I said!
    Sorta…)




    WR Victor Cruz (hip), DE Justin Tuck (ankle) and S Derrick Martin (hamstring)
    all practiced fully after being limited on Wednesday.




    LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) is still in a boot. Coughlin said he likely won't
    play.




    *Stay in school kids. I knew Latin class would pay off one day."

    GIANTS' PERRY FEWELL IRATE AFTER DEFENSE'S PERFORMANCE VS. SAINTS

    Excerpt: "Perry Fewell has been known around these parts as a players’ coach.


    Not this week.




    Today, during his weekly session with the media, the Giants’ defensive coordinator was clearly
    still steaming about Monday’s
    blowout loss to the Saints
    in which his defense gave up seven touchdowns –
    four from Drew Brees through the air and three on the ground – refused to
    respond to New Orleans’ intensity level and even quit on a few plays.




    Fewell never raised his voice, but he was stern in his message and critical
    of the players’ effort and intensity level.



    “I was (angry), okay?” Fewell said. “I was getting that going Monday night and
    we’re getting going this week. So player-friendly or not, it’s all about
    winning. It’s all about being successful on the football field. And I think they
    got the message and they understand what’s on the line for us.”




    Fewell would not divulge how he got his message across this week, except to
    say he carried “a big stick” the past few days.




    That was his plan for getting his players ready to face Aaron Rodgers and the
    Packers this week, only six days after Brees picked them apart.




    “We look forward to the opportunity to play these guys. That’s my confidence
    level,” Fewell said. “We’re going to show up and we’re going to play on
    Sunday.”




    And then, the big one on what this team must do to Rodgers.




    “More so than discipline, we just have to get after his (butt), okay?” Fewell
    said. “And if we do that and he scrambles then that’s the price he’s going to
    have to pay because we’re going to hit him. We’re going to hit him.”




    Fewell just wants to see his defense play aggressive football once again. He
    didn’t see that in New Orleans and in fact witnessed the exact opposite a few
    times.




    Some of his guys
    flat-out quit on plays
    .




    After missing a sack on Brees, Justin Tuck lay on the turf. Linval Joseph
    then missed Brees, which could’ve given Tuck an opportunity to catch up if he
    had continued with the play. Later, on Pierre Thomas’ touchdown run, Corey
    Webster stopped and pivoted in frustration long before Thomas crossed the goal
    line.




    Fewell saw both of those, and maybe even a few more.




    “No doubt,” he said. “And that was disheartening. As a football coach, as me
    being the coach and the leader of the defense, that was disheartening. … We
    don’t coach pulling up short and we’re not going to accept pulling up short. So
    we won’t pull up short again.”




    Fewell isn’t buying any of the excuses for the lack of a pass rush. The
    different schemes and max protections, yeah, they make it more difficult – but
    not impossible. Fewell has seen his guys fight through double- and triple-teams
    before. Tuck has made a habit of doing just that the past few years.




    But not lately. The Giants have only three sacks in the past three games.
    Regardless of what the offense is doing, Fewell wants to see his guys get to the
    passer.




    “Sometimes you have to will yourself to win,” he said. “You can’t always
    scheme an opportunity for them to come free. … Sometimes you just have to beat
    blockers, you have to beat a double-team. I’ve seen that many times. Some of our
    guys are able to beat double-teams and we just haven’t been doing that.”




    The will and desire simply haven’t been there.




    “We need to play with more energy, we need to play with more passion,” Fewell
    said. “That was a game against a playoff football team; we have aspirations of
    being a playoff team. Sometimes it’s just the will to get it done. And we didn’t
    will ourselves to get it done.




    “That’s what I can’t explain: why we didn’t will ourselves to get it done
    because we prepared well enough to get it done and we just didn’t do it.”




    Fewell is trying to change that this week.




    “We all have an internal drive. That’s why we play this game,” he said. “It’s
    nothing that I do or that I say because these guys are professionals. They got
    this level and they’re competing at the highest level of competition because
    they have something within them.




    “Sometimes you have to give them a kick in the (butt) to get that motor
    going. Sometimes you’ve got to give them a good shake to remind them of what’s
    at stake and what we’re playing for, but they all have that will. You’ve just
    got to stoke that will up a little bit.”




    Tom Coughlin tried doing that this week by pointing to the effort Jason
    Pierre-Paul put up all game long.




    “I think that spoke volumes,” Fewell said. “I didn’t have to say anything
    because everybody knew.”




    And now he hopes all of his guys know.




    “That team was fresh, they were hot, they were in their home environment,
    they got on us, they hit us in the mouth and we didn’t respond,” he said.
    “That’s what I’m more disappointed about than anything else. We didn’t respond.
    We have an opportunity to stand up and respond to a team that came out and was
    on fire and we didn’t do that. And I expect us to do that this coming
    Sunday.”

    GIANTS' MICHAEL BOLEY PRACTICES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE INJURING HAMSTRING

    For the first time since straining his hamstring late in the first half of
    the Giants' loss against the 49ers almost three weeks ago, Michael Boley was on
    the practice field Thursday.



    The middle linebacker was limited, participating in only a couple reps during
    each period, but it was a significant step in the right direction for a team in
    dire need of some help at linebacker especially with Mark Herzlich most likely
    out Sunday.




    "It’s a big relief," Boley said. "I haven’t had to many hamstring problems,
    but as I’ve heard, they’re tricky. They can be good one day and not so good the
    next, but to come out today and get some good work was pretty good."




    Although a hamstring injury can be unpredictable and he hasn't tested the
    hamstring with full sprints, Boley said he's "on pace" to play this weekend,
    though he won't be sure when he'll know one way or the other. Boley remains
    cautious and said he isn't putting extra pressure on himself given the Giants'
    three-game losing streak, which began when he got injured, and how good the
    Packers offense is.




    "With an injury like this you have to play it by ear," he said. "It’s kind of
    like a gradual thing. Take it one step at a time and build it up.




    "If I play Sunday, I’ll play the whole game."

    NY DAILY NEWS

    BRADSHAW THINKS HE "SATISFIED" COUGHLIN'S PLAYING REQUIREMENTS

    Excerpt: "Ahmad Bradshaw would do just about anything to play on Sunday against the Packers, even break his already broken right foot.


    “Just cut it off,” he said on Friday.




    Luckily, it doesn’t look like the Giants will have to take such extreme measures, because Bradshaw is finally showing progress. He practiced for the first time in a month on Friday, fulfilling one of coach Tom Coughlin’s requirements for returning to action. Coughlin has said multiple times over the last few weeks that Bradshaw would need to practice before he played, and now the tailback has done that.




    “I think I satisfied him, and I satisfied myself,” Bradshaw said.




    Bradshaw did individual drills during the portion of practice that was open to the media, and he said he felt little soreness. That was good news, especially since he removed most of the extra padding that had been protecting his foot in previous weeks just minutes before warming up.




    He said that the multiple layers of tape, padding and special sneakers were “just squeezing on the bone,” which protected the injury but also hurt.




    “I took all of it off,” he said, “and it felt perfect.”




    Bradshaw is officially questionable on the Giants injury report, so there remains a chance he may not play. Coughlin indicated that the team would watch how Bradshaw recovered from his first practice time in nearly a month before making a decision




    “He did OK,” Coughlin said. “He went out and worked. He’s telling me all the things I want to hear, but he did OK. He did all right. We’ll see how he is in the morning




    “I saw what I saw, and that’s what I’ll go on. And what the trainers and doctors tell me in the morning. We’ll listen to that and then we’ll make a decision.” Read more...


    **

    AFTER PERRY FEWELL'S BLITZ, GIANTS "D" MAKES STAND FOR COACH

    Excerpt: "With more passion, fire and purpose than his players have shown
    recently, Perry Fewell ripped
    into his defense on Thursday the way he once expected it to rip through
    opponents. He hammered its hideous performance. He questioned its will to win.
    He accused his players of quitting.

    Best of all, one day before he did it publicly, he did it to
    their faces. Then something remarkable happened.


    They listened. Nobody tuned him out.


    Maybe it won’t turn out to be enough to save the season. Maybe
    this is just the last desperate stand of yet another Giants defensive
    coordinator destined to lose his job. Maybe it’s only more words from a team
    that likes to hear itself talk.


    But when Fewell got his strong, angry message across to his
    players on Wednesday morning, when he delivered the “kick in the butt to get
    that motor going” and the “good shake to remind them of what’s at stake” down
    the stretch that begins Sunday against the undefeated Green Bay Packers, he had
    one big thing in his favor:


    This team that has chewed up and spit out two of their last
    three defensive coordinators still seems to be very much on his side.


    “Absolutely. Wholeheartedly,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka
    said. “There’s no doubt in my mind and I don’t think there’s any doubt in this
    locker room.”


    “We still believe in Coach Fewell just like it was Day 1,” added
    captain Justin Tuck. “I haven’t
    seen any evidence of anyone going against him. We’re still as attentive in the
    meetings and listening to what he has to say as we were on Day 1.”


    If there ever was a time Fewell was going to lose support of his
    team, it would be now. A unit that dreamed of being a top-five defense sits an
    unfathomable 28th in the NFL rankings. The once powerful pass rush has
    disintegrated. The linebacker corps is loaded with mistake-prone rookies. The
    confusion that has enveloped the secondary only seems to be getting worse.


    For a few weeks, it looked like his players’ support was
    actually waning, and not just because of the 49 points and near-record 577 yards
    they surrendered in New Orleans. Even before that, they had begun to talk more
    openly about Fewell’s “scheme” and their need to “adjust” to what opponents were
    doing – historical buzz words players use when they feel a coach isn’t doing his
    job.

    That’s what happened when the end began for Tim Lewis back in 2006.
    Those buzz words were present for most of Bill Sheridan’s
    one-year reign in 2009, too. But in one angry rant (“I was pissed, OK?” Fewell
    said), Fewell put a stop to all that nonsense, separated himself from his
    predecessors, and put the focus back on the players where it has always
    belonged.

    “Sometimes you have to will yourself to win,” Fewell said. “You
    can’t always scheme an opportunity for them to come free. Obviously we need to
    play with more energy. We have to play with more passion. Sometimes it’s just
    the will. It’s the will to get it done.” Read more...

    GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM IN DOUBT FOR SUNDAY'S GAME

    "M ario Manningham would like to be on the field Sunday against
    the Packers, but right now, that doesn’t seem possible.

    The Giants’ fourth-year wide receiver did not practice
    Thursday. He said he did some light running, but his knee was “weak” and
    “unstable” due to “stuff floating around in there.” He added that there is a
    possibility that he will need season-ending surgery.


    “They’ve done stuff about it,” said coach Tom Coughlin.
    “In other words, they’ve put some medicine in there, they’ve drained it, but
    there is an injury there. We’re trying to manage it, and he’s trying to manage
    it, but it’s not working in everybody’s favor.”


    Manningham first experienced swelling in his knee before the
    Week 10 loss to the 49ers. He got through the game – and also played against the
    Philadelphia Eagles the following week – before sitting out on Monday against
    the Saints.


    He gave himself “a 50-50 chance” of playing against Green Bay.
    But when asked about season-ending surgery, he said, “I don’t know. We’ll have
    to see. I’m not sure yet. I’m just trying to strengthen my knee and do what I’ve
    got to do to get back as soon as possible.”


    BOLDER BOLEY


    LB Michael Boley
    (hamstring) practiced for the first time since mid-November, taking a handful of
    snaps and working through a limited session. He did not fully test his
    hamstring, but he believes he is on pace to return to action this Sunday. “It’s
    a building process,” he said. “It’s getting there, though.”


    Boley said that if he does return against the Packers, he will
    be prepared to play the full game. That will be important, too, because starting
    rookie MLB Mark Herzlich (right
    ankle) has already been ruled out for this weekend, Coughlin said.


    NOTHING TO LOSE


    The Giants will take a three-game losing streak into Sunday’s
    game, but according to veteran Deon Grant, that doesn’t
    mean the team will feel overwhelming pressure. “We’ve lost three straight,” the
    safety said. “Pressure’s on them if anything. They’re the ones trying to go out
    there and have an undefeated season.”


    HEAD IN GAME


    Wideout Hakeem Nicks missed
    another practice, but it was merely a precaution against any concussion-like
    symptoms. “I’ll be out there at practice,” he said. . . . Ahmad Bradshaw
    (foot) said he went through a walkthrough, but Coughlin still insists that the
    tailback must practice more before being ready to play Sunday. . . . S
    Antrel Rolle
    (back), CB Derrick Martin
    (hamstring), WR Victor Cruz (hip)
    and DE Justin Tuck (ankle)
    all returned to full practices."

    HAKEEM NICKS TO RETURN TO PRACTICE FRIDAY, MARIO MANNINGHAM STILL NOT SURE

    Excerpt: "Two Giants wide receivers spent Thursday's practice session on bikes. One
    expects to be ready for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. The other
    one isn't so sure.


    Hakeem Nicks, who missed his second straight day of practice, plans to be
    back on the practice field tomorrow. Mario Manningham, however, continues to
    have knee troubles and may once again sit out another game.




    Nicks sat out practice as a final precaution for any concussion symptoms. He
    arrived at the facility on Wednesday complaining of headaches and was quickly
    put through the concussion protocols. He was fine after that, coach Tom Coughlin
    said, but the training staff still suggested he rest for one more day.




    "The doctors said that he should rest for a day and make sure that there are
    no headaches reoccuring," Coughlin said. "As far as I know there's no headache.
    We should get him tomorrow."




    Nicks agreed, and promised that "I'll be out at practice tomorrow."




    The news wasn't nearly as good regarding Manningham. The fourth-year wideout
    missed Monday's loss to the Saints, and he hasn't practiced yet this week. He
    said he tried to run on Thursday, but his injured knee was "weak" and "a little
    painful."




    He is hoping to avoid that, and even gives himself 'a 50-50 chance' of
    playing on Sunday. But asked about season-ending surgery, he said "I don't know.
    We'll have to see. I'm not sure yet. I'm just trying to strengthen my knee and
    do what I've got to do to get back as soon as possible." Read more...

    NY POST

    GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW "READY TO GO"

    Excerpt: "Ahmad Bradshaw sat on the practice field at the Giants headquarters and had a
    trainer peel layers of protective padding off his right foot before getting up
    and bouncing around on his feet.



    Next came the shoes. Equipment manager Joe Skiba brought out three pairs for
    the fifth-year running back to test, before he decided on the right one.




    When the Giants (6-5) lined up to practice Friday for Sunday’s home game
    against the Super Bowl champion
    Packers (11-0), Bradshaw was in the backfield ready to work out for the first
    time since breaking a bone in his right foot on Oct. 30 against the Miami
    Dolphins.

    Bradshaw expects to be in the lineup when the Giants attempt to snap a
    three-game losing streak and end the Packers’ run at perfection.



    “I feel good,” Bradshaw said after practice. “How are you feeling?”




    Coach Tom Coughlin was a little
    more cautious discussing whether Bradshaw will be ready Sunday. While saying his
    starter looked good and said all the right things, Coughlin said the deciding
    factors on whether Bradshaw plays will be how his foot feels on Saturday and
    whether doctors will clear him to play.




    “I’m happy to be out there, man,” Bradshaw said, who was listed as
    questionable for the game. “I felt great. I plan on doing whatever I have been
    doing, like the last weeks I did play. Hopefully, I can handle everything.”




    The Giants have struggled rushing this season even with Bradshaw. He had a
    team-high 440 yards rushing before his injury and the only 100-yard rushing game
    the Giants have posted this season, a 104-yard game against Buffalo, the week
    before he was hurt.




    The Giants have 195 yards rushing in the three games Bradshaw missed, with Brandon Jacobs carrying much of
    the load.




    Bradshaw believes he showed Coughlin enough to get him into the game on
    Sunday.




    “I am ready to go, man,” he said." Read more...

    SERBY AND HALE PREVIEW GIANTS VS. PACKERS GAME - VIDEO


    **

    RANTING COORDINATOR VOWS HIS DEFENSE WILL POP BACK

    Excerpt: "Perry Fewell sounded yesterday like Lawrence Taylor imploring Giants
    everywhere to play like a bunch of crazed dogs. This was on the heels of a game
    in which his defense simply played like dogs, in which he saw several
    unconscionable instances of surrender from players beaten down and resigned to
    defeat.



    “We don’t coach pulling up short, and we’re not gonna accept pulling up
    short,” Fewell said, “so we won’t pull up short again.”




    Fewell is on fire and under fire because there is a season on the line and
    jobs on the line as Aaron Rodgers and the Perfect Packers arrive for the start
    of this crossroads five-game season. Tom Coughlin whiffed when he hired Bill
    Sheridan as defensive coordinator and got another chance to get it right with
    Fewell — who got it all wrong against Drew Brees and the Saints.

    Now we find out whether Fewell can be part Bill Belichick and part Steve
    Spagnuolo and impose his will on his defense so much that his defense can
    remember how to impose its will on the quarterback.



    “I was [ticked], OK?” Fewell said.




    Now we find out what kind of motivator he is. Because on Sunday, his players
    need to show up ticked, OK?




    “We’re gonna get to the quarterback. We’re gonna get it done,” Fewell
    said.




    Against a quarterback who is mobile and deadly throwing on the run.




    “We just gotta get after his [butt], OK?” Fewell said. “If we do that, OK?,
    and he scrambles, then that’s the price he’s gonna have to pay ’cause we’re
    gonna hit him,” Fewell said. “We’re gonna hit him.”




    No Osi Umenyiora? No excuses.




    “We still have enough in the room,” Fewell said.




    But it’s also on Fewell to give them a plan and make the right adjustments to
    overcome the maximum protection schemes that have slowed the Big Blue pass rush
    to a halt.




    “I’m gonna coach better, and they’re gonna play better,” Fewell said.




    He was asked if the team has ever seen him this angry.




    “I don’t think so,” Fewell said.




    “Sometimes you gotta give ’em a kick in the [butt] to get that motor
    going.”




    Now we find out what his players think of him, how much they believe in him,
    whether they have his back. Defensive captain Justin Tuck remembers how Sheridan
    began losing support in 2009 when he took on Umenyiora. He was asked how sure he
    is the same thing won’t happen now under Fewell.




    “I’m not sure,” Tuck said, “but I know one thing — we’re gonna keep fighting,
    and we still believe in Coach Fewell just like it was day one. We still are as
    attentive in the meetings and listening to what he has to say as we were day
    one.”




    Fewell believes that where there is a will, there is a way." Read more...

    GIANTS KNOW THEY HAVE TO LIGHT UP SCOREBOARD

    Excerpt: "Given the matchup on tap for the Giants, they are advised to score early and
    often if they are going to have any shot at staying close to — much less
    entertaining any notion of knocking off — the NFL’s lone unbeaten team.



    “If we’re going to have to go blow-for-blow,’’ receiver Victor Cruz said
    yesterday, “then that’s how it’s got to go.’’




    Attempting to go blow-for-blow with the Packers is probably as smart as
    trading punches with a young Mike Tyson, but the Giants just might have to live
    dangerously. The Packers are humming along at a league-high 34.7 points a game
    and nothing in the Giants’ defensive DNA suggests that average is going to get
    reduced by even a tenth of a point. Drew Brees, with the greatest of ease,
    dropped 49 points on the Giants and now comes an even hotter quarterback with an
    even greater array of weapons at his disposal.

    You like the chances Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium of the hole-filled
    Giants linebacker corps and confusion-packed secondary against the laser-like
    passing of Aaron Rodgers?



    “They are a good team,’’ Eli Manning acknowledged, “but if we play our game
    to the best of our ability and potential, we feel like we can hang with anybody
    and figure out a way to get the win.’’




    Figuring out a way to get the win no doubt starts with figuring out a way to
    at least 30 points, and even that might not be enough. The Giants must lean on
    their offense, which at this point in the season has to carry a defense that is
    having trouble pressuring the quarterback and covering the receivers, an
    unhealthy combination against anyone and potentially embarrassing against
    Rodgers. It sure looks as if Manning has got to loosen up his right arm, let it
    rip and hope the Giants can find their way through a shootout with one more
    point.




    “We’re going to have to put up points,’’ receiver Hakeem Nicks said. “They
    got a high-scoring offense and they’re going to put up numbers so we got to make
    sure we put up numbers to stay with them. ‘’




    Mario Manningham, the usual starter opposite Nicks, isn’t going to play with
    an ongoing knee issue. Perhaps Ahmad Bradshaw returns to add spark to the ground
    game. No matter who or how, the Giants are going to need points aplenty, and it
    is possible to score on the Packers. They’ve allowed 23 points to the Panthers,
    27 to the Vikings, 38 to the Chargers and 26 to the Buccaneers, and in all those
    games it wasn’t the case of tag-on points at the end of a rout.




    The Packers have a load of playmakers on defense, led by linebacker Clay
    Matthews and cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams. The Packers lead
    the league, by a wide margin, in interceptions with 22 and they’ve returned
    three for touchdowns.




    But impenetrable they are not. The Packers are yielding 105.5 yards a game on
    the ground and an average of 4.9 yards per rushing attempt. They’ve allowed 19
    touchdown passes — the Giants have allowed 16. The Packers are surprisingly-weak
    on third down, with their defense allowing conversions at a rate of 43.4
    percent.




    “They have given up some plays over 20 yards in the pass game, something we
    can all take note of,’’ Tom Coughlin said." Read more...

    BOLEY SAYS HE'S READY TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS

    "Michael Boley has maintained the past few weeks he will not rush back onto
    the field before he believes his strained hamstring is healed to the point the
    Giants linebacker can play at a high level and not be at risk for re-injury.



    The time, he insisted, must be right.




    It looks like Sunday against the mighty Packers is that time — and Boley
    isn’t looking for any cameo appearance.




    “If I play Sunday, I’ll play the whole game,’’ Boley said.




    That is the best news the Giants could get, considering the state of their
    sagging defense and especially their shaky linebacker position.







    Rookie Mark Herzlich took over in the starting lineup for Boley the past two
    games, but Herzlich will miss at least a few weeks with a sprained ankle.
    Another rookie, Greg Jones, will be needed after he lost his starting job
    earlier this season.




    Boley was having his finest season in his three years with the Giants, not
    only directing his teammates making the defensive calls but also with his
    play-making ability. It is no coincidence Boley has missed the past three games
    and the Giants have lost them all.




    Boley, for the first time in a month, yesterday was able to get onto the
    field and practice on a limited basis. He’s on track to make his return this
    weekend.




    “I got a couple of reps each period, trying to test it out, not trying to
    overdo it,’’ Boley said. “Came out pretty good, no setback, so it’s looking
    pretty good. It was a big relief. I haven’t had many hamstring problems but as I
    heard they’re real tricky. They can be good one day and not so good the
    next.’’ Read more...

    MANNINGHAM GETS WEAK IN THE KNEE

    Excerpt: "The hope is pretty much gone that Mario Manningham will be able to play on
    Sunday against the Packers. Now the Giants are hoping the receiver doesn’t have
    to miss the remainder of the season because of an ongoing issue with his
    knee.



    “I’m weak. I feel weak,’’ Manningham said yesterday. “Just trying to
    strengthen it.’’




    The Giants haven’t ruled Manningham out, but he hasn’t practiced and he
    doesn’t sound as if he feels he is in any shape to play. He said he has some
    loose bodies “floating’’ around his knee, which is causing the swelling.




    “There’s a little something, eventually I’m going to be all right but I don’t
    know when I’m going to come back,’’ he said, adding, “I’ve got to see, not sure
    yet’’ when asked if he will need surgery.







    “They put some medicine in there, they drained it but there is an injury
    there,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said.




    The news is more encouraging for Hakeem Nicks, the Giants’ other starting
    receiver, though he did not practice yesterday for a second straight day. Nicks
    was advised by the team’s medical staff to take another day off after he
    complained of a headache coming out of the loss to the Saints in New Orleans.
    Nicks was leveled on a brutal hit by Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, a shot that
    led to a rib contusion for the receiver. The concussion protocol tests were
    administered and it was determined Nicks did not suffer a concussion.




    “No serious issue,’’ Nicks said. “They wanted to make sure because of the hit
    but I knew initially it wasn’t a serious concussion. They told me to just chill
    so I listened to the doctors. I’ll be back out there [today].’’




    As for his ribs, Nicks said they are bruised but “I probably won’t even pad
    ’em.’’ Read more...

    AIKMAN: SHRINKING GIANTS STILL HAVE AT PLAYOFFS

    Excerpt: "This just in: The Giants season is NOT over.



    After back-to-back demoralizing losses to the Eagles and Saints, taking their
    losing streak to three, it seems the sky in the Giants’ universe might be
    falling. Yet Troy Aikman, the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the
    Cowboys, has a dose of perspective for Big Blue faithful.




    “I don’t think it’s as bad as it seems,” said Aikman, who will call
    Giants-Packers this Sunday on Fox. “They counted on some games to be wins that
    they didn’t win. But they’re still in a good position, if somehow they can
    believe that and go out and play. Confidence comes from having success on the
    field, and that’s what they need.”

    It won’t get any tougher than Sunday, with the 11-0 Packers at MetLife
    Stadium vying to continue their run to becoming just the third team in NFL
    history to finish a regular season undefeated. But, in turn, if the Giants –
    who, remind you, are 6-5 and just one game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East –
    can come away with a win, the confidence boost will be immense.



    “Two weeks ago I thought the two teams with the best chance to beat [the
    Packers] would be Detroit on Thursday and New York this week,” Aikman said,
    recognizing the Packers handily beat the Lions on Thanksgiving, 27-15.
    “Primarily because those are the teams that are capable of getting after Aaron
    Rodgers without bringing extra people. I know [the Giants] have struggled with
    that lately, but they’re capable at any time to cut it loose.”




    Somehow, the Giants previously heralded defense has been lackluster this
    season, ranking 28th out of 32 teams by giving up 381.6 yards per game. The
    mighty pass rush has also only recorded one sack in the past two weeks, as the
    Giants have been outscored by a combined 67-34.




    And it doesn’t get any easier with Rodgers in town. The 27-year-old
    quarterback, with already one Super Bowl title under his belt, is in the midst
    of one of the best seasons in NFL history.




    “Any time you got a QB as hot as Rodgers is, with the weapons they have,”
    Aikman said, “it makes up for a lot of problems on your ball
    club.” Read more...

    GIANTS STUNNED '98 BRONCOS

    "It was Dec. 13, 1998, the 13-0 Broncos invading Giants Stadium for a chance
    to move one step closer to history against the 5-8 Giants. The defending
    champion, John Elway Broncos were 12 1/2-point favorites over the Kent Graham
    Giants.



    “Nobody gave us a chance,” Graham said yesterday. “They were really good. I
    remember going in early in the morning and trying to watch film before practice.
    I told my wife, Courtney, ‘I don’t know if we can beat them, they’re that good.’




    “It was our Super Bowl,” Amani Toomer said yesterday.




    Let it serve as an example for the 2011 Giants Sunday against the Perfect
    Packers.

    The Broncos were not at their best, but found a way to grab a 16-13 lead late
    in the fourth quarter. Graham, pinned deep in his end, moved the Giants to
    midfield. Toomer lined up wide right outside Chris Calloway with Ike Hilliard in
    the slot inside Joe Jurevicius on the other side.



    “Overcast ... it was cold ... and we just really never got on track,” former
    Broncos tight end and CBS’ Shannon Sharpe recalled. “We didn’t take them
    lightly. They just played flawless football and we didn’t.”




    Toomer ran a go route.




    “I just remember running straight,” Toomer recalled. “There was a guy from
    Ohio State, Tito Paul, covering me.”




    Michigan vs Ohio State.




    “I remember going into the game thinking I wanted to pick on him,” Graham
    said. “I remember throwing it thinking, ‘OK, I think it’s got a chance.’ I knew
    Amani — if you threw it up to him, I had great confidence he was gonna come up
    with it if he had a chance.”




    He had a chance in the right corner of the end zone.




    “Kent just threw it up,” Toomer said. “I did not have him [Paul] beat. The
    ball was inside and behind. I slowed down. I jumped inside the defensive
    back.”




    “I couldn’t tell whether he caught it or not,” Graham said.




    He caught it.




    Giants 20, Broncos 16.




    “I had muffed a punt before the drive began, then I picked it up and ran
    backwards,” Toomer said. “I knew I had to do something to make people forget
    about that.”




    And when he did, Giants Stadium erupted. So did the Giants. Graham recalls
    Howard Cross and Corey Widmer, among others, storming out to midfield to
    celebrate.




    “I fell back almost in shock,” Graham said. “It was like I fell in a pool or
    something. I kinda just remember having my hand up in anticipation of whether or
    not it was good. I fell back thinking, ‘I can’t believe we did it!’




    “My dad was on the sideline, which was pretty cool. I just remember saying to
    him, ‘Hey Dad, I don’t know if this is good enough’ because you got Elway over
    there.’”




    Sharpe recalls thinking the same thing.




    “The greatest come-from-behind quarterback who ever walked the sideline was
    on our side,” Sharpe said.




    But no comeback this time for the Mike Shanahan Broncos.




    “I just remember Mike coming in the locker room, he was disappointed,” Sharpe
    said. “He said, ‘This doesn’t change our long-term goal.’ ”




    Which was repeating as Super Bowl champs. Which they did.




    “It ruined our hat day,” Sharpe said. “We didn’t have to wear helmets. It
    [the loss] made us come in on Monday. Up until that point, we hadn’t been in on
    Monday and Tuesday for three months!”




    So there you have it — nine seasons before the Super Bowl XLII Giants shocked
    the Perfect Patriots, the Jim Fassel Giants shocked the Perfect Broncos.




    “It was probably the most emotional and probably the highest point in my
    career,” Graham said.




    Does Graham have a message for the 2011 Giants?




    “They probably don’t need a message from me,” Graham said. “[Manning’s] done
    this before. And he’s done it on a much bigger stage in the Super Bowl. They
    know what they’re doing. They’ve done this before. He can beat ’em. I think they
    got a chance.”

    THE BERGEN RECORD

    MARIO MANNINGHAM AILING

    Excerpt: "Mario Manningham’s right knee is not responding the way he hoped it
    would.



    The Giants may have to play without one of their two starting wide receivers
    for the foreseeable future if nothing changes, beginning Sunday against unbeaten
    Green Bay.




    Manningham did not practice Thursday for the second straight day, admitting
    his injured knee is "weak, not stable" and there’s "some stuff floating around"
    in it.




    Surgery is also a potential option on the swollen joint to help ease the
    problem, but Manningham offered up a "50-50" proclamation about his availability
    against the Packers.




    Coach Tom Coughlin said there has not been much progress with Manningham.




    "They’ve p
    “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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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    Thanks RF! I wish our receivers could all be healthy at once. This injury to Manningham could have huge consequences considering he's in a contract year....

  3. #3
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.



    Thank Ro...




    they need a dramtic turnaround on defense to even think about being competitive in this game.




    I just hope their performance has the apprearance of them actually playing like the give a ****. They need more than 3 or 4 guys on D would really want to play hard....




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

  4. #4
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    [quote user="NY_Eli"]Thanks RF! I wish our receivers could all be healthy at once. This injury to Manningham could have huge consequences considering he's in a contract year....[/quote]

    This has been a year like no other I can recall.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

  5. #5
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    [quote user="GameTime"]

    Thank Ro...




    they need a dramtic turnaround on defense to even think about being competitive in this game.




    I just hope their performance has the apprearance of them actually playing like the give a ****. They need more than 3 or 4 guys on D would really want to play hard....




    [/quote]

    You are absolutely right. Lose, but lose playing instead of laying down
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    Thanks RF !
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.

  7. #7
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    [quote user="G-Men Surg."]Thanks RF ![/quote]

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






    # 80

  8. #8
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    [quote user="NY_Eli"]Thanks RF! I wish our receivers could all be healthy at once. This injury to Manningham could have huge consequences considering he's in a contract year....[/quote]

    Kiwi, TT, Mario, SS , Goff just to mention the ones out of the top of my mind. Very disturbing to see it becuase it only causes turmoil between player and FO to get a " fair " deal done and signed.
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.

  9. #9

    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    Thanks for todays news RF

  10. #10
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011 - 9:05 A.M.

    [quote user="britishblue2"]Thanks for todays news RF[/quote]

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






    # 80

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