GIANTS' MARIO MANNINGHAM SAYS STRENGTH OF WIDE RECEIVER CORPS IS IN ITS YOUTHFUL HUNGER
"Mario Manningham just couldn't quite do it.
He was asked to tout the "We get no respect" card again — just days before he
and his Giants
teammates depart for
Super Bowl XLVI — and came close. Television reporters with cameras over their
shoulders and microphones in their hands wanted to know if this group of Giants
wide receivers was the best in the game. No, not the game. The entire NFL.
"In some people's eyes, we're second," Manningham said, before adding: "To
Green Bay. Or the Saints. I feel like we're up there with Green Bay. That's who
I feel like we're up there with."
There is little doubt left that the Giants' trio of wide receivers — Hakeem
Nicks, Victor Cruz and Manningham — are among the elite units in the NFL.
Simmering beneath the surface is a small desire for respect, but for right now
they are content to let their exact worth be determined by debates in bar rooms
and sports talk radio.
The group is young and craving its first Super Bowl title. Because remember:
None of them were around four years ago for the Super Bowl XLII win over the New
"Not saying (other teams) aren't hungry, but we're hungry because we're so
young," Manningham said. "We haven't been here before — none of us, ever played
a playoff game. My first year (in 2008), I was inactive, but there's nothing
like being out there playing. Yeah, I feel like we like being young. Not
sticking out like we did the whole year as a receiving corps. I feel like they
know who we (are) now."
One of the biggest pieces to the success of the unit so far this season, has
been the absence of egos. Something that rarely is found in NFL meeting
"Swallow your pride and just know what you're here for," Manningham said.
"You're here to win. As long you're winning, you can't complain."
For Manningham, it has been particularly gratifying to see the Giants wide
receiving unit reach new heights this season. When the year began, many only saw
Nicks as the team's lone threat and imagined plenty of games where quarterback
Eli Manning would be shut down.
Instead, Cruz emerged alongside of Nicks as the team's biggest deep threat.
Manningham has added an extra dynamic — especially in the playoffs, where he has
caught a big late-game touchdown in every win.
Now, three years after the Giants parted ways with their last big-time
receiver Plaxico Burress after his gun incident in a Manhattan nightclub, the
team is flourishing at the position again.
"I feel like ever since Plax left, that's how it always is," Manningham said
when asked if people will start believing in the wide receiver position now.
"Every year, we've found a way to show everybody how good we can be and how good
VETERAN PATRIOTS CONTINUE TO DISMISS SUPER BOWL XLII TALK
Add three more veteran New England Patriots — running back Kevin Faulk, tackle
Matt Light and receiver Wes Welker — to the list of those who have no interest
in revisiting their Super Bowl XLII loss.
Light good-naturedly dismissed questions about that game twice with a wink.
"I don't even think I was here in 2007," Light said.
Later: "Again, I don’t think I was there for that one."
All three of the players were with the team in 2007, among the seven
holdovers currently on New England's 53-man roster.
Faulk couldn't understand why the subject of seeking revenge for that game,
in this year's Super Bowl XLVI rematch, was even brought up.
"Why? How?" Faulk said. "Four years ago. So we were out here for four years,
worrying about the New York Giants
doesn't make any sense."
He added: "We could take more from the game we lost against them in the
regular season than the Super Bowl four years ago. That has no turnover at
all." Read more...
JASON PIERRE-PAUL SAYS TIME'S ALREADY DRAGGING BEFORE SUPER BOWL XLVI
"On Friday, Jason
Pierre-Paul said last week seemed to be taking forever
. The follow-up
question was about what he expected the two weeks before the Super Bowl to feel
GIANTS' CENTER DAVID BASS STILL RFECEIVING TREATMENT FOR NECK ISSUE, EXPECTS TO PRACTICE TOORROW
“Yeah, we’re going to be ready for that (game, too),” the Giants’ defensive
end said then.
Oh, he’s ready. With 10 days left before kickoff, this time period feels like
it’s dragging for Pierre-Paul.
“It does. I’m ready to play,” he said today. “Just see who’s going to be
Super Bowl champions.”
Still, Pierre-Paul realizes the down time is valuable for some people,
seven players who sat out practice today
: center David Baas (abdomen/neck),
wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring),
linebacker Jacquian Williams (foot), linebacker Chase Blackburn (calf), running
back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and cornerback/returner Will Blackmon (knee).
“It’s kind of a time for everybody in here to get right, give everybody in
here time to get healthy and do what they have to do to get healthy,”
Pierre-Paul said. “We have to be ready man. Monday we get out there and then
media day, three days, and other than that the last three days we have to
practice hard. And it’s going to be a great Super Bowl.”
* * * *
TE Jake Ballard (knee) said he’s feeling much better. He’s been open and
honest with his injury and the look he gave when he said that indicated he’s
truly feeling much better."
"Chase Blackburn was listed on the injury report as having a calf injury, but
based on all the various bumps and bruises he's had, he wasn't sure which the
Giants would mark him down with.
IN GIANTS-PATRIOTS REMATCH, PATRIOTS' FANS FEAR HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF
Still, he's confident he'll be ready to go full speed tomorrow.
"I was out today, for whatever reason it was just one of those days, I don't
know what they put me on the list for, but it's just one of those days," he
said. "I'll be back tomorrow, I'll go everything, i'll be fine tomorrow."
Blackburn said there wasn't any ailment in particular that's bothering him
more than the other and that there should be no lingering issues come game time.
For C David Bass, who was out of practice with an ab contusion he suffered
against the 49ers, he said he's also still receiving treatment for a neck issue
that surfaced in early December, but that, like Blackburn, expects to be active
in practice tomorrow.
The injury report was amended to add his neck injury.
"I got my neck issue and it should be fine," Baas said. "I mean, massage, ice
all the normal stuff. But yeah, it'll be good, should be back out there tomorrow
Tyler Sash, who suffered a concussion against the 49ers, said that he passed
all the requisite tests and that he "should be fine." The injury occurred in the
fourth quarter on Sunday.
Mark Herzlich, who returned to practice last week from fractured ankle, but
was inactive vs. 49ers, added this: "Feeling good. No problems with the ankle.
It's like a numbers thing right now so we'll see kind of where the numbers out
everyone and then if i can help, then great."
Excerpt: "Eleven days to go and they’re already rattled in Boston.
The fear fairly reeks from the headlines: “There’s no way Patriots lose to
Giants again, right?” “Will the mistakes of Super Bowl XLII come back?”
And this curious downer, which seemed less a comment on the past than a
prediction of the future: “Patriots can’t avoid Super loss to Giants.”
Actually, the Boston sports writer meant to chide fans and players to
remember their Super Bowl Alamo — a 17-14 loss to the Boys in Blue in 2008 — so
as not to repeat the past in their Feb. 5 rematch in Super Bowl XLVI.
But New Englanders, especially sports fans, have long memories (see “Bambino,
Curse of, 1920-2004”). “There are a lot of people here who wanted San Francisco
to win (in the NFC Championship),” said Boston native and Patriots fan Eileen
Marr, “because we’re afraid of the Giants.”
There it was. Plain and simple.
New England blinked first.
If you think there’s more than a little whiff of fear in the frigid New
England air or concern about — dare we say it — the curse that haunted the Red
Sox for 84 years after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, then you’d be
And it’s not just the writers. Anxiety is already bubbling up on Patriots
message boards. One fan wrote to the Boston Herald, “giants are scary, brady
will be on the ground a lot, eli is much better than he was 4 yrs ago.”
Another wrote, “giants are peaking right now, pats are not.”
And a third added, “history will repeat itself, AGAIN! … Giants are good on
both sides of the ball, hope we have the schemes to overcome this team, just
being real about it.” Read more...
SUPER BOWL LINKS: FUTURES BETS AT 80-1 ODDS HAS VEGAS WORRIED ABOUT A GIANTS' WIN
Excerpt: "When the Giants lost four straight between weeks 10 and 13, Las Vegas sports
books boosted the odds on a futures bet for a Giants Super Bowl win to 80-1. Now
bookmakers are worried about their exposure if the Giants win
, according to
a New York Times article today.
In sports betting, futures bets are bets on a sport's champion made well
before the championships, with odds varying according to developments along the
way. The Giants were at 30-1 just after last year's Super Bowl, according to the
Times, but that losing streak made the odds shoot up.
Anybody holding a betting slip at 80-1? Comment below." Read more...
##HAKEEM NICKS, DAVID BAAS AMONG THOSE NOT PRACTICING TODAY
Excerpt: "According to a projected injury report the Giants released Wednesday, three
players -- WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and S Tyler Sash
(concussion) -- would have been held of practice. That is, of course, if they
But they're practicing today and six Giants are not participating. Nicks, who
missed a few plays on Sunday when landed on his right shoulder when he was
tackled, and Bradshaw are not practicing. They are joined by four surprises.
The four are C David Baas (likely an abdominal contusion he suffered Sunday),
CB Corey Webster (hamstring), CB/PR Will Blackmon (unknown), and LB Chase
Blackburn (perhaps a stinger he suffered on Sunday).
Sash apparently has passed the concussion tests and is practicing." Read more...
AS GIANTS' LAWRENCE TYNES LINES UP FOR PLAYOFF FIELD GOALS, AMANDA TYNES FACES PRESSURE AS KICKER'S WIFE
"By now, Amanda Tynes knows what a good kicking “operation” looks like. And it
doesn’t start with the low snap that nearly skidded off the wet Candlestick Park
grass Sunday evening as her husband lined up for the
second NFC Championship Game-winning kick
of his career.
So she looked away.
Amanda never saw Steve Weatherford calmly control the ball. She never noticed
him place it in the perfect spot. Never witnessed Lawrence’s foot make contact
or the ball sailing through the uprights.
She only saw, in her mind, the rain blowing in different directions,
Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy
Cundiff badly shanking a potential tying kick
against the New England
Patriots earlier in the day, family friend Matt Allen running with the ball
after Trey Junkin’s low snap in 2003, Lawrence’s miss against the Falcons from a
similar distance and, perhaps in the recesses of her memory, his two misses
before the made 47-yarder at Lambeau Field four years earlier.
“Settle down,” her husband tells her now, leaning on one elbow on the floor
of the living room in the family’s Bergen County home, three days after that
31-yard field goal sent the Giants
Super Bowl XLVI.
“I’m a professional.”
These professionals are also regular folks, with regular families that have
regular nauseous feelings in times like these. Their wives want it badly for
their husbands, for their careers and for their friends. It’s arguably more
nerve-wracking for them than the players because they have no control over the
And to be the wife of a kicker, perpetually the least-appreciated member of
the roster who’s either a goat or hero … and nothing in between?
“People are like, ‘You have the hardest job.’ I’m usually the calmest person,
but in the playoffs, I’m not,” Amanda said as her 4-year-old sons, Caleb and
Jaden, pieced together a puzzle nearby. “Abby Manning was like, ‘My stomach was
in my throat. How did you do that?’ I told her I almost fainted.”
Just like four years ago, when Amanda had trouble looking up after the
misses in Green Bay.
Watching alone in an apartment in Clifton about five
months after the birth of her sons (and an extended hospital stay because they
were born two months premature), she let out a muted yelp after the final kick,
ran into the bedroom where the babies’ nanny was and jumped on the bed in
The Giants were going to the Super Bowl — or as Caleb and Jaden now call it,
the “Super Goal.”
This year, Amanda and her “support group” consisting of Kimberly Jacobs,
Megan Tollefson and Laura Weatherford traveled to the road playoff games. The
wives who have been through the Super Bowl process before understand the
enormity of it, so they’re much more nervous than the first-timers.
“Everyone was kind of on edge this past week,” she said. “Kim was sitting
next to me and she was talking about forgetting (her son) Brayden’s belt to
karate. It’s no big deal, we do it all the time.
“And she just loses it. I knew at that point …”
Even the kids were feeling the pressure.
Caleb, who along with Jaden attends a Montessori school, had a young girl
walk up to him, point her finger in his face and say, “Your daddy better win on
“She’s in first or second grade,” an exasperated Amanda said. “I asked,
‘What’s that girl’s name?’”
Lawrence interjected, “That’s where it starts. You know she watches football
with her dad.”
It’s all somewhat funny at this point because Tynes made the kick. Had he
not, things might have been different. If he didn’t have that third shot in
Green Bay (and made it), he realizes he probably wouldn’t be a Giant right
These are the things that pass through Amanda’s mind.
“Afterward they said (Sunday’s) games were decided by two chip-shot field
goals. There’s no such thing!” Amanda exclaimed. “In those conditions, I was
worried about extra points.”
During that final field goal, Kim held her hand, Megan had her arm and Laura
pretty much enveloped her. Like Kim with the karate belt, one emotion took over
after the screams and hugs told her Lawrence ignored the swirling winds and
trusted his left-to-right pregame read.
She began bawling.
Brandon Jacobs ran over, grabbed all of them by their rain-soaked ponchos and
lifted them over the railing and onto the field. Amanda, guided by Giants vice
president of communications Peter John-Baptise, found Lawrence, hugged and
Wearing her pink wool hat with the No. 9 on the front, as well as her pink
poncho, she unknowingly posed for photos with an expression dubbed “ugly cry
face” by Lawrence and Steve Weatherford.
“He texted me a picture of myself, ‘How about this ugly cry face?’?” she said
of Weatherford. “So I found the one of him and texted back, ‘How about your ugly
cry face? And your chin strap was stuck on your head. That’s a double
Said Lawrence: “That’s what makes the game so fun, that reaction right there.
Grown men in uniforms celebrating like kids.”
This time, Amanda and Lawrence are bringing the kids to the Super
While Jaden tends to get a bit distracted by stadium big screens and a search
for a mascot the Giants don’t have, Caleb understands the game a bit. Both boys
remind Lawrence to “kick it high and far, Daddy.”
In the end, they might be professionals, but they’re also fathers.
And if Lawrence needed a reminder, he needed only to hear how Amanda, unable
to sleep on the red-eye flight home Sunday, was watching a local newscast with
live shots of the players leaving the Giants’ facility. Like Kim Jacobs, Kate
Snee and a few other wives seated around her, she knew her husband had to hurry
the kids to school.
Once again, she was nervously rooting for him.
“The reporter says, ‘None of the guys are really stopping to talk,’ and said
specifically, ‘We tried to talk to Lawrence Tynes but he waved and went on,’?”
Amanda recalled. “I’m like, ‘He better be waving. He has to get home!
“?‘Don’t stop! You need to get home! Go!’?”
GIANTS' LAWRENCE TAYLOR SAYS HE'S LEARNED FROM HIS EXPEIENCES
"As the Giants
prepare for their fifth
Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, the most prominent member of the
franchise’s first two championship teams is trying to piece his life
Lawrence Taylor was interviewed on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” which will
air tonight at 9 pm. In the interview Taylor addressed his 2010 arrest for
having sex with a 16-year-old girl. He was sentenced to six years probation as
part of a plea agreement, in which he pled guilty to the misdemeanors of sexual
misconduct and patronizing a prostitute.
“This is an underage girl but all I could do is ask the question, how old are
you?” Taylor said. “That’s all I could do. That’s all I could do is ask the
question. Now, whether or not the girl was under-age, yes, okay, she turned out
to be underage. I’m sitting in the dagum police station and wondering, ‘Oh wow,
what time am I going to be let out of here? If I can play golf, I’ve got a tee
time at 7 o’clock.’ I didn’t realize how serious it was until we sat down and
had an interview.
“What was I thinking? According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking and she reminds
me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half. We, as boys, think that we
can do certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when
we were younger, and sometimes my decision process is not very good. I make
mistakes and I make bad decisions. Do I wish this had gone another way and that
that day had never happened? Of course I do. The embarrassment I gave my family,
the embarrassment of myself.”
Taylor admitted he’s had difficulty adjusting to life after football, which
has included a number of arrests and, for years, a drug problem. He said he’s
been clean for 13 years.
"As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as
defense and stuff," he said. "I know what every player is supposed to do. I know
where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I
know where I’m supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game. The problem
with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions
and that’s the process that I’m going through now.
“For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as
playing in New York. I could do what I wanted to do as long as it was still
within the law. Life…sometimes it just throws you some curves and just have to
realize that this is a different time and different age and you have to tell
yourself to be a man, boy."
The Hall of Fame linebacker also lamented the NFL’s offensive evolution and
strict rules against certain contact.
“They still play defense in the NFL? I didn’t know that,” he said. “I thought
it was a free-for-all. Everybody just run, run, run. The only people I see
playing defense right now is the New York Giants defensive line.
“How do you instill fear into a player if you can’t make contact – I mean
serious contact – with him? Guys, we used to hit where guys would be blowing
snot bubbles. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s how you make a player scared
to play you. When I was playing back in the days, I always prided myself on
being a very clean player but thorough. When I went through you, I went through
you. I want to go through because that’s how you make people say, ‘Well, I
really don’t want to be hit by him so many times.’”GIANTS AND PATRIOTS DON'T PRACTICE, BUT RELEASE INJURY REPORTS
"The Giants and Patriots enjoyed a rare Wednesday off today, but the teams
still released projected injury reports for those interested.
In the case of the Giants, if they were to have practiced today WR Hakeem
Nicks (shoulder), S Tyler Sash (concussion) and Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) would have
been held out. DE Osi Umenyiora would have been limited.
Nicks was driven onto his right shoulder on a tackle against the 49ers, but
was back on the field a few plays later. Sash didn't return after suffering his
concussion Sunday, but Tom Coughlin told reporters on Monday that he was feeling
better on the flight back to Newark after the game. Bradshaw has only practiced
once a week since returning from a fractured foot injury in the first week of
Umenyiora has been limited in practice since returning at the end of the
For the Patriots, only one player -- and a prominent one -- would've been
held out if they were to have practiced today: TE Rob Gronkowski. The
second-year tight end, who has 20 touchdowns this season including the
postseason, suffered an ankle injury against Baltimore on Sunday and his status
for the Super Bowl is up in the air.
A whopping 12 Patriots would have been limited today.
WR Wes Welker (knee)
WR Deion Branch (knee)
S Patrick Chung
LB Rob Ninkovich (hip)
G Logan Mankins (knee)
LB Brandon Spikes
T Marcus Cannon (ankle)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
DL Kyle Love (ankle)
T Sebastian Vollmer
LB Tracy White (abdomen)
Both teams will practice tomorrow."http://www.nj.com/giants/