Jul 272008
 
 July 27, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

July 26, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: To see the latest BBI training camp reports, please visit the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants’ Beat Writer Practice Reports: The following are brief practice reports provided by the NY/NJ beat writers who cover the Giants:

Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee – PUP), WR David Tyree (knee – PUP), QB David Carr (foot – NFI), and OL Jonathan Palmer (quad – PUP).

Head Coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday that Burress has a legitimate ankle injury and it is hoped that he will be back on the practice field by the middle of the upcoming week.

CB Sam Madison (sports hernia) and LB Zak DeOssie (back) did not practice in the morning, but did so in the afternoon.

Giants Waive DT Nate Robinson: The Giants have waived/injured DT Nate Robinson, who suffered a hamstring injury on Friday.

Article on the 2008 Giants: Are You Kidding? Super Bowl Champs Still Feel Disrespected by Don Banks of SportsIllustrated.com

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Living and Learning, Changing and Winning by George Vecsey of The New York Times

Article on QB Eli Manning: Jerry Reese: Eli Manning’s For Real by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on the Giants’ Passing Game: Giants Going Long by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Notes: With Plaxico Burress out, Domenik Hixon has been playing at first-team split end.

S Craig Dahl, who was waived by the Giants earlier in the offseason after tearing his ACL late in the 2007 season, is in Albany and may be re-signed by the Giants.

There are no practices today.

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Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 26, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Report)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

I apologize for this somewhat truncated report. The Giants decided that the lower practice fields had dried sufficiently to hold the afternoon practice there, so they moved the practice out of the Stadium and onto one of the two lower practice fields.

I can’t explain it. Maybe it was the fact that there was a stiff swirling wind blowing that tended to deflect passes. Maybe it was the change from the high crown of the Stadium field to the flat surface of the practice field. Whatever it was, QB Eli Manning was intercepted on his first two pass attempts — LB Antonio Pierce and CB Corey Webster. Eli also fell down on a handoff. Maybe he got stepped on by OC Shaun O’Hara. I couldn’t see.

Then QB Anthony Wright was intercepted on a diving interception by CB Terrell Thomas. QB André Woodson fared no better. He was intercepted by S Sammy Knight and S Nehemiah Warrick. Because of the limited vision that I, and most other spectators, have when the Giants practice on the lower fields, I can only speculate about some of the goings on.

Maybe after three practice sessions, the defense has figured out the offense’s scheme and its tendencies. Maybe the defense figured out what “Omaha!” means. Who can say?

I left about five minutes before the end of the practice because the skies went from sunny, to dark and threatening. The wind had shifted and I could smell the ozone in the air. I left because I knew that there was no shelter from the rain between the practice field where I, and perhaps 1,200 other people, stood straining to see the proceedings and the parking lot where our cars were located, about half a mile away. If the rain started while we were still on the lower fields, we would all be drenched.

Okay, as best as I can tell, here is what happened during the practice. By far, the least significant item is that I can now confirm my observation of last season that HB Ahmad Bradshaw is bowlegged.

WR Plaxico Burress was not dressed again and he was playing catch with David Carr while the Giants were warming up. Carr throws a nice hard tight spiral.

Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle’s squad was hitting the blocking sled. The sled was not the type that you lift and push along the ground. The part of the sled that you hit is spring-loaded and bounces back after you hit it. The idea of the drill is to get the players into the proper stance and hitting angle and then for them to maintain their balance after the hit. Defensive linemen have to engage their opposite number on the offensive line, then slide off the offensive players to either locate the ball carrier or the QB or, to maintain their position so that there are no gaps in the line for the offense to run through. That is what this drill appeared to be about.

In the 11 on 11s WR Domenik Hixon continued to make progress and there was an outstanding diving sideline catch by WR D.J. Hall and an equally impressive (from the sound of the applause) diving catch by WR Sinorice Moss. WR Brandon London and TE Darcy Johnson each had a pair of receptions. WR Craphonso Thorpe also made a sparkling catch from Wright, I think.

TE Kevin Boss had a disappointing miss of an easy catch that went right through his arms, but he made up for it with a sparkling reception where he jumped slightly and deftly plucked the ball out of the air with his hands while in almost full stride.

LB Bryan Kehl was playing MLB and LB Jonathan Goff was playing the weak side with the second team. I am going to wait awhile and let the personnel settle down before reporting on who is on the first, second, and third teams. PK Lawrence Tynes kicked an indeterminate number of field goals from indeterminate distances with indeterminate success.

As much as I hate the Cowboys, I have to say that if Jerry Jones owned the Giants he would have installed some large TV monitors around the practice fields so that the Giants fans who took the trouble to come to see the Giants could actually see them.

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Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 26, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Morning Practice)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

The practice was held on the stadium field again because the practice fields are wet. This may soon take on some significance because space is limited here. On the practice fields the team can really spread out onto adjacent fields. In the stadium they are cramped and I would not be surprised if Head Coach Tom Coughlin feels that even on Day 2 of camp that the team is falling behind. This morning’s practice, under sunny skies was in shorts and shells (minimum contact) and lasted the full two hours.

I think the most significant development of the practice was the improvement in the play of WR Domenik Hixon. He made some excellent receptions and was catching the ball naturally rather than fighting it. Perhaps his bad showing yesterday was just a case of first day jitters. He also has the inside track on KO returns. Others in that hunt are HB Ahmad Bradshaw, HB Derrick Ward, and WR Craphonso Thorpe. Thorpe made several returns and has some speed and elusiveness. Naturally, a very important consideration is whether he will hang onto the ball when he gets hit. That will have to wait until a real game.

Getting back to Hixon, he was covered by two defenders, but he made a diving catch of a deep sideline pass from Manning (about 30 yards in the air). It was probably the best catch of the practice. In the red zone… er green zone drill, Hixon caught a touch pass lofted by Manning. Hixon kept his focus and caught the ball in stride with hands outstretched well over his head despite good coverage from CB Aaron Ross. It was a graceful, Amani Toomer type catch.

TE Kevin Boss and TE Darcy Johnson continued to make catches with style and grace. This is encouraging to me.

Of course, nobody is going to duplicate WR Plaxico Burress’s style. Although he was not dressed this morning, he was again catching passes one-handed from the Juggs machine from about ten yards away. Yesterday the balls were aimed at his chest. Today the ball were aimed about a foot over his head and he was catching the balls to his left with his left hand and to his right with his right hand. If Shockey were still on the team, he would have come over and said, “Hey Plax, let me try that.” Today, so far as I could tell, everyone else just watched.

WR David Tyree and LB Gerris Wilkinson were not dressed either. As they had done yesterday, they trained on the steep, grassy slope (about 30 degrees on the far side of the stadium field. Under the watchful eye of a trainer they ran up the slope and across it to build up their strength and wind. Shades of Tiki and Jim Finn running up that high hill in New Jersey in the off-seasons several years ago!

There were some passes to WR Sinorice Moss, but he fails to make catches look easy. It seems to me that in order for Moss to be a successful receiver he has to use his agility to get wide open rather than to merely rely on his speed to get open. Because Moss is so short, the QB has much less margin for error than with a tall receiver like the 6-4 Brandon London who had an up and down practice. London caught a pass or two, but an André Woodson pass hit him in the numbers, bounced straight up into the air and was nearly intercepted, by (I am told) S Kenny Phillips.

HB Kay-Jay Harris is getting more carries than the rest of the running backs combined. I don’t know why. He has yet to do anything extraordinary. On one handoff he did show some nice lateral movement to his right. The Giants do take their running plays seriously. I noticed OG Rich Seubert pulling on one of them. HB Brandon Jacobs and HB Ahmad Bradshaw continue to impress. Bradshaw needs only about two strides to accelerate to full speed.

They continue to use WR Steve Smith and WR Mario Manningham on reverses. The Giants also had a flea-flicker that was not executed all that smoothly, but still resulted in a completion from Anthony Wright to Domenik Hixon, who had the sense to come back for it. Steve Smith may or may not have made a fine diving end zone catch of a touch pass from Eli over CB Kevin Dockery. I’m uncertain if the ball was caught, but it was a nice play by all concerned.

Quarterbacks: Manning continues to look good. André Woodson needs work on his deep passes. I don’t detect any horrible hitch in his throwing motion. QB Anthony Wright is thowing the ball accurately, but his timing is off. He is throwing the ball too late and often without sufficient depth.

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Jul 262008
 
 July 26, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

July 25, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Reports: To see the latest BBI training camp reports, please visit the Training Camp section of the website.

Giants’ Beat Writer Practice Reports: The following are brief practice reports provided by the NY/NJ beat writers who cover the Giants:

Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee – PUP), WR David Tyree (knee – PUP), QB David Carr (foot – NFI), and OL Jonathan Palmer (quad – PUP).

Not practicing in the morning were CB Sam Madison (sports hernia) and LB Zak DeOssie (back). But both practiced in the afternoon. LB Danny Clark (sports hernia) practiced in the morning, but not the afternoon.

DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka (leg) participated in both practices.

DT Nate Robinson left the afternoon practice early with a hamstring injury.

Notes: Aaron Ross and Corey Webster are starting at corner. James Butler and Michael Johnson are starting at safety. Danny Clark started at weakside linebacker in the morning; Chase Blackburn started there in the afternoon with Clark and Gerris Wilkinson out.

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Jul 252008
 
 July 25, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 25, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Afternoon Report)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

Another beautiful sunny afternoon in the low 80s. The Giants still in the SUNY stadium and in shorts and shells. I was in the stands in the shade.

The sign on the gate leading onto the playing field says, “Proper ID Required. NO strollers, coolers or Video Cameras.” I guess they could have added, “and no Bill Belichick either.”

P Jeff Feagles was back punting. He only works once a day. He was his old consistent self kicking beauty after beauty. LB Zak DeOssie was snapping the ball to him. I was surprised to see LB Chase Blackburn also working at long snapping. Clearly Chase is just learning. His first snap was from 13 yards away. Then he realized that it should be from fifteen yards, not thirteen. I figured out why Blackburn was learning to long snap when I saw OC Grey Ruegamer make a very low snap an then one that was too high and too slow.

It is too early to say anything about the offensive line. However, I really enjoy watching OG Rich Seubert. He is always smiling and always seems to be having a good time.

I spoke to soon about CB Corey Webster. This afternoon he did not have the streamer that was hanging from his waist this morning. I guess Colonel Tom noticed it and took it away.

QB Eli Manning continued to make good accurate throws this afternoon and WR Amani Toomer continued to look great. Toomer made one of the best catches of the afternoon a 20-25 yard leaping sideline catch. The three QBs really spread the ball around and just about everyone, WRs, TEs, and RBs made catches. It was very encouraging. Nevertheless, I caution everyone not to jump to conclusions. Especially in regard to new players on the team. Don’t cut anybody or send them to Canton just yet. Wait until they have had a few practices to get used to the system and wait until they play in full pads.

I generally mention whether the Giants are in full pads or in helmets and shells. I do this because IMO full pads are more restrictive. It is harder to throw a football, harder to catch it, and harder to extend your arms to defend a pass when you are in full pads. Thus, a good play made while wearing full pads counts more in my book than a good play made wearing shells.

There will be two practices tomorrow. I expect that they will also be with the Giants in shells. This means that contact will be more limited than in full pads. It has been Coach Coughlin’s style treat the first two days of practice as a Football 101 refresher course. Play will be restricted to going over the basics to make sure that all the players understand what they are supposed to do, before they are actually asked to execute the plays at full speed (full practice speed, that is, with limited blocking, no tackling and nobody falling down if possible).

QB André Woodson looked a lot better this afternoon than he did this morning. He appeared to be taking the snaps and making hand-offs without the problems he encountered this morning. He also limited most of his throws to short and intermediate passes, say 20-25 yards and he looked very accurate and in rhythm.

Speaking of rhythm, Eli connected with TE Kevin Boss on one of his patented diving sideline catches for about 17-20 yards. However, they also connected on a bunch of others that were not so spectacular. They were more like pitch and catch. To me, those pitch and catch passes are more desirable and ought to be the goal of all quarterbacks.

WR Mario Manningham was another player who did a lot better this afternoon than in the morning. He seems to have a better picture of where the ball was going and was a lot smoother in his technique. Of course, on an end-around, he was stopped cold by rookie first round pick S Kenny Phillips who was not fooled by the misdirection and held his ground (or didn’t realize what was going on and just held his position. I couldn’t tell.) In another end-around, the Giants didn’t have any luck with WR Steve Smith who was stopped well in the backfield by DE Justin Tuck. I’m not sure that Smith has enough speed for that type of play.

CB Corey Webster continued to play well defensively and TE Darcy Johnson continued to make catches in stride. TE Eric Butler and TE Jerome Collins also had their moments. HB Brandon Jacobs continued to show that he can run around end with speed and power. HB Danny Ware is also speedy. Perhaps a bit more speedy than HB Kay-Jay Harris who got a lot of carries this afternoon and who looked good catching the ball. These two guys will have to show something special if they want to run HB Reuben Droughns off the team. Reuben continues to show that he is just a good, solid third or fourth string running back.

In the 7 on 7s S James Butler made an excellent play, batting away an Eli Manning pass to WR Michael Jennings. LB Chase Blackburn also made a good play in the 7 on 7s. I couldn’t tell whether it was a pass defense or and interception of an Anthony Wright pass. Next, LB Mathias Kiwanuka made a fine pass defense of a Wright pass to TE Jerome Collins. Soon after that Corey Webster nearly picked off a deep pass from Wright to WR Sinorice Moss. If the throw had been two yards deeper, Moss would have had a long TD.

In the 11 on 11s, HB Derrick Ward was dressed and he showed that he can still run faster than Reuben Droughns. After that, it appears that CB R.W. McQuarters intercepted an Eli Manning pass. Woodson then found WR Brandon London who made several catches today. Woodson then threw to WR D.J. Hall who made an excellent adjustment to catch the ball. He also showed some of his speed.

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Jul 252008
 
 July 25, 2008  Posted by  Articles, Training Camp
July 25, 2008 New York Giants Training Camp Report (Morning Practice)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Marty in Albany

This is my 8th year writing camp reports for BBI. An institution?… or just institutionalized? You be the judge. Today is my birthday and I’m proud to celebrate it with the NFL Super Bowl champions.

For the first time that I can remember Head Coach Tom Coughlin, held the practice in the SUNY stadium rather than on the practice fields. Possibly this was because of yesterday’s heavy rains or possibly because it would be easier to contain the enormous number of media that attended practice. NFL Live was even setting up exterior shots on Washington Avenue. Look for a lot of TV coverage of today practices. In any case, the weather was hot and sunny and I’m sure the practice fields are now dry.

As expected, the Giants were in shells and shorts. WR Plaxico Burress, WR David Tyree, QB David Carr, LB Gerris Wilkinson, and OT Jonathan Palmer were all on the field, but were not dressed. Just before practice started Burress and Carr were playing catch and neither looked in distress. Then Burress caught about three dozen passes from the Juggs machine that was about ten yards away from him. He caught them all with his hands or with ONE hand and looked good doing it except for one that he dropped.

The best news of the practice is that QB Eli Manning looks great. His passes have zip. He is throwing tight spirals with the right amount of touch and height, and he is deadly accurate. What a difference from last year’s practice. His favorite receiver-no surprise-was WR Amani Toomer who caught at least half a dozen passes in the 11 on 11s and looks to be in mid-season form. He caught a 40 yard sideline pass that got cheers from the large crowd in the stands.

QB Anthony Wright is still a bit shaky. His passes wobble a bit, are a bit off-target, and he sometimes can’t find a receiver. Cut him some slack. It’s the first practice and there are plenty of new receivers.

QB André Woodson is a big strong-armed guy. He throws deep tight spirals without any apparent effort. The down side is that they are generally a yard too long for the receiver to catch. He was also having trouble with the mesh. HB Kay-Jay Harris and HB Danny Ware both had trouble taking handoffs from him. It would appear to be a combination of jitters and lack of practice. That is what training camp is for. I think he did well enough for his first outing and I would expect better hand-offs with more reps.

CB Aaron Ross covered his men like glue. It was nice to watch. CB Sam Madison was dressed and looked to be in decent shape. The rest of the young DBs are all big strong athletic looking guys: CB Terrell Thomas, S Kenny Phillips, S Terrance Stringer, S Nehemiah Warrick. We will have to wait and see if they can make plays.

Veteran FAs S Sammy Knight and LB Danny Clark were dressed, but I did not get a chance to see them do anything.

CB Corey Webster had a good practice. I think that Tom Coughlin has really changed the way he handles the players. Webster had a banner hanging from his belt that says “WEBY,” I think. The defensive backs have not worn such banners since the days of Jason Sehorn and Jim Fassell.

It bothers me when people say that we won’t miss Shockey. The crowd at training camp is generally not very vocal. At each practice session there are usually only about three or four plays that result in loud cheers and applause from the fans. I’d say about half of those plays have involved Shockey.

There must have been a lot of pressure on TE Kevin Boss to do well today. He made a catch in the 7 on 7 drills that impressed me. He went over the middle, lost LB Mathias Kiwanuka, caught the ball and made a nice spin move afterwards to continue on down the field. Kiwi played LB with the first team and he looks fast and did not look out of place. TE Darcy Johnson had two catches in the 11 on 11s and looked good.

WR Sinorice Moss had and excellent deep sideline catch even though he was well covered. The crowd appreciated it. He also managed to mess up an easy catch from Eli Manning and I think, fumbled away another ball that he was running with. He also let a ball that was a little over his head slip through his hands. The ball would have hit WR Brandon London in the chin if it had been throw to Brandon.

WR Domenik Hixon, WR Michael Jennings and CB R.W. McQuarters, caught a few punts with Jennings muffing one, I am told. As a receiver, Hixon is fast, but raw. We will have to see how he develops. The same can be said for WR Mario Manningham. He has obvious talent and decent speed, but like Hixon, he needs to get a lot more reps to be in a better position to catch the ball.

HB Brandon Jacobs, HB Ahmad Bradshaw, and HB Reuben Droughns looked just fine running the ball. Droughns and FB Madison Hedgecock also made catches.

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Jul 252008
 
 July 25, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

New York Giants Report to Training Camp: All of the Giants players reported to training camp yesterday.

The Giants canceled yesterday’s scheduled conditioning test. “Because of the rains, the fields are all soaked,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We were going to do some tempo running on the track rather than our normal conditioning test on the field. I did not want to tear up the fields or have guys pulling or straining muscles on a slippery field, but when we still had heavy rain at 12:30, I decided that we would just meet this afternoon. I am pleased with how the players showed up. We had just one player show up overweight, and that was by two pounds.”

Injury Report – Tyree, Wilkinson, Carr, and Palmer Placed on Injury Lists: Though there was no practice yesterday, the Giants released their first injury report.

WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), DE Osi Umenyiora (hip), LB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka (leg), LB Danny Clark (sports hernia), LB Zak DeOssie (back), and CB Sam Madison (sports hernia) will all be practicing only once per day to start camp.

QB David Carr (foot sprain), WR David Tyree (knee), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee), and OL Jonathan Palmer (quad strain) will not be ready to practice. Tyree, Wilkinson, and Palmer were placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Carr was placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List.

“I’m definitely not where I want to be,” Tyree said. “I would be lying if I said I am ready to get out there and be running with the team. So, I am not where I want to be but I am definitely on time and on schedule as far as the rehab process and that is what’s got me excited.”

“Gerris has soreness in his kneecap,” said Coughlin. “He dislocated his kneecap in camp last year, and the soreness he is experiencing now is connected to that injury, so we have to wait and see on him. David Carr strained his foot working out last week, and again, we are in a wait and see mode with him.”

“Our injury situation going into camp is pretty much what we expected, but it puts a greater premium on practicing efficiently and smartly as we start working, given the roster size (80 players),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

Jacobs Says He Won’t Continue Negotiations With Giants: HB Brandon Jacobs, who is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, says he will not continue contract negotiations with the team now that training camp has started. “I’m done. I’m finished doing it,” Jacobs said. “It’s camp time. I don’t want to be talking about negotiations or talking to my agent back and forth every chance I got. It’s camp time. I’m focused. A lot of people, I guess, still want me to prove that I can play 16 games. Why would I sign a deal that’s not fair rather than just play 16 games and prove myself and go through it in March?”

“Oh, I’m fine at playing at what I’m making this year,” said Jacobs. “I don’t have a problem at all with going out, playing at my salary and hitting the (free agent) market.”

“Yes, it is a very motivating thing for me that I will get the chance to go out and play in the last year of my contract,” Jacobs said. “Not that I want to do it, because this is where I want to be, no doubt about it. I would love to stay here and play here. It’s just that we’ve got a lot of guys. And I understand where they’re coming from. Why pay one when you’ve got three that are really producing?”

Giants Trying to Trade Sinorice Moss?: There is a report in the Miami Sun-Sentinel that says the Giants have been trying to trade WR Sinorice Moss all summer.

Article on the 2008 Giants: One Ring Not Enough for Manning’s Crew by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Notes: Former Giants’ quarterback Jared Lorenzen has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

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Jul 242008
 
 July 24, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

July 23, 2008 New York Giants Injury Report: WR David Tyree (knee) will not be able to practice when the Giants begin practicing at training camp on Friday. There is a chance he could be placed on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list at the start of camp, depending on how his medical evaluation goes today.

CB Sam Madison (sports hernia), LB Danny Clark (sports hernia), DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka (leg/ankle), and HB Derrick Ward (leg) may be limited early.

Article on QB Eli Manning: After Winning Super Bowl, Eli Manning Emerges from Peyton’s Shadow by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Article on TE Kevin Boss: Kevin Boss Ready to Fill Jeremy Shockey’s Shoes as Full-Time Starter by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Quotes: Safeties Coach David Merritt on the safety position: “Honestly, when I look at it right now, I see four starters. Don’t rule out the other two rookies that we have. Nehemiah Warrick, I can’t wait to see this kid in pads, because that’s what he is known for, for being an aggressive type tackler. To see this kid in pads, I look forward to that. Terrance Stringer, kid our of Tuskegee, I tease him all the time about Frank Walker, but the thing is that the kid is smart, this kid showed range, so I’m looking forward to see him in pads as well. I feel very good with our first four and hopefully these last two rookies can push up and maybe take a job.”

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Jul 232008
 
 July 23, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

Giants Agree to Terms With S Kenny Phillips: The Giants have agreed to terms with S Kenny Phillips, their first-round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, to a 5-year contract, worth reportedly up to $11.15 million.

Once Phillips is officially signed, all of the Giants’ seven draft picks will be under contract and ready to report to camp on Thursday.

Radio Interview With TE Kevin Boss: The audio of yesterday’s interview with TE Kevin Boss on radio station 99.9 FM The Fan (Raleigh) is now available at WRAL.com.

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Coughlin Can’t Wait by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on How the Giants Will Replace Shockey: With Jeremy Shockey Gone, Steve Smith and Others Receive Shot by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on TE Darcy Johnson: N.Y. Giants Fans Shouldn’t Forget About Darcy Johnson by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Quotes: TE Kevin Boss on TE Jeremy Shockey: “I learned so much from Jeremy last year. He is an incredible athlete, and I wish him nothing but the best. We have a good group of young tight ends on the team, and we are all anxious to put the pads on and get to work. I will miss Jeremy in New York. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”

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Jul 222008
 
 July 22, 2008  Posted by  News and Notes

Giants Trade Jeremy Shockey to Saints: In a move that had been speculated about since well before the Draft, the Giants traded disgruntled TE Jeremy Shockey to the New Orleans Saints yesterday. In return, the Giants received the Saints’ 2nd and 5th round draft picks in the 2009 NFL Draft. The deal will become official once Shockey passes a physical.

“We were kind of hoping he would get over it and change his mind because we weren’t really looking to trade him,” an unidentified high-ranking team official told The Star-Ledger. “The Saints held firm (to the offer they made before the Draft) and with camp set to begin we felt it was best to trade him…He was practically begging to be traded. He just didn’t want to be here anymore. We just felt if he came into camp with that attitude he would be disruptive and it would be a problem.”

“(New Orleans’ Head Coach Sean) Payton will use him,” said the official. “Sean was salivating to get him. He could have a great year, no doubt about it. How he deals with the New Orleans nightlife is another issue.”

“He just didn’t want to be here,” another unidentified team official told The Daily News. “It’s sad because he could’ve had it all. He could’ve finished his career here. But he just didn’t want to do it.”

The Star-Ledger is reporting that the Giants fined Shockey $25,000 for conduct detrimental to the team for his behavior during the full-squad mini-camp in June.

The Daily News is reporting that the only teams that pursued Shockey were the Saints and Dolphins. One unidentified source told The Daily News that a trade of Shockey for DE Jason Taylor was discussed but “the talks never got very far.” However, The Bergen Record is reporting that a three-way deal involving the Giants, Saints, and Dolphins that would have sent Taylor to the Giants was still being discussed on Saturday. The Record says the deal fell through when the Dolphins denied the Giants permission to talk to Taylor. Once Taylor was traded to the Redskins on Sunday, the Giants moved to finalize the deal with the Saints.

Meanwhile, officially, Giants’ officials had gracious things to say about Shockey.

“Jeremy Shockey was a great competitor and contributor during his years with the Giants,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “We wish him well in New Orleans.”

“Jeremy is a very talented football player who always played with great enthusiasm and great effort,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He was excited about playing. Jeremy always enjoyed being a physical football player and a tough football player. He’s an outstanding football player who plays the game full speed and plays the game the way it was meant to be played. He is a physical blocker who is a gifted athlete with the ball in his hands after receiving the ball down the field. I wish him the best.”

“Jeremy brought great energy to the game every time he stepped on the field,” said Giants’ President/CEO John Mara. “He had a close relationship with my father from the time we drafted him, and I had a couple of long conversations with Jeremy this spring and summer. From those conversations, it was apparent to me that a fresh start was the best thing for us and for Jeremy.”

“I really appreciate the effort that Jeremy gave on behalf of our organization,” said Giants’ Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch. “We had a special relationship, and I wish him nothing but the best…February 3rd must have been a very difficult day for him. I really hope from his point of view, this is the resolution he was looking for.”

“He didn’t want to be (with the Giants) and when you don’t want to be somewhere you have to find somewhere you’re happy at, from a personal standpoint,” said WR Plaxico Burress. “Me personally, I want him around. Jeremy’s probably one of the top reasons I came to New York. People talk about how we’re a better team without him, but those are the people that don’t know football. I hear that and it’s like, ‘You people are crazy. You’ve never played a down of football in your life, so what would you even know?’ The guy walks on the field and he demands a double team. Before he even straps it up and goes out to play, he’s already made the team better. Him going to New Orleans, he makes them one of the best offenses in the league.”

“For us, we made that run to the Super Bowl without him, so now we’ll see if we’re better without him over a 16-game schedule,” continued Burress. “People got the playoff run and winning the Super Bowl mixed up with what that guy did for that organization over the past six years he’s been there. That’s the breaking point for me. You win five games without the guy and all of a sudden it’s like the guy doesn’t exist. But he’s one of the main reasons why I became a Giant and why we got to the playoffs last year. I know for a fact we wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs if he hadn’t played at all. I’m more or less upset at the fact we could have traded him a long time ago.”

“For me, personally, it’s sad,” said LB Antonio Pierce. “A good friend, a great teammate. I think for the organization, everybody thinks it is a sad situation.”

Pierce was asked why it came to trading Shockey.“You know what? I really don’t know,” answered Pierce. “Here’s a guy, spent six years here (and) did everything. I mean, he was a Pro Bowler. His numbers speak for themselves. He even helped us this year. Everyone wants to put the blame on him or pick on him a little bit saying we were better without him. That’s not the case. We were 9-5 with Shockey. Shockey wasn’t happy. Obviously, the Giants, the front office people upstairs weren’t happy. You wish he could still be a New York Giant but that’s not what either one of the parties wanted. He wanted to get away. The Giants finally dealt him. So for me, personally, it’s sad. I think I speak for all my teammates when I say we’ll miss Shockey. The Saints are getting a hell of a player. He’s a great guy. He’s a great teammate. There’s more positive things to say about Shockey than all the negative things that the media portray him as.”

“He was more than just a tight end, he was definitely an offensive weapon,” said DE/DT Justin Tuck. “Teams definitely have to scout for him and put in packages just for him. Obviously we don’t have that now, but it’s a team thing. We got guys that are ready to step up and fill the shoes…It does hurt the team, but it was the right move for us…I’d much rather play with a guy who wants to be here than with a guy who doesn’t want to be here. Regardless of his talent. It gives us the opportunity to turn the focus where it needs to be. The team with the least distractions has a heads up on people who do have it. We can go into camp with the ball rolling.”

“It’s the business of football, it’s what happens,” said LG Rich Seubert. “You have to move on. We’ll be fine without him and best of luck to him wherever he goes.”

With Shockey traded, the Giants currently have five tight ends on the roster: Kevin Boss, Darcy Johnson, Michael Matthews, Jerome Collins, and Eric Butler. “We have five young kids who are all vying for the position,” said Coughlin. “The tight end position will be a very competitive position in training camp.”

Editorials on TE Jeremy Shockey:

Plaxico Says He Will Be at Camp: WR Plaxico Burress, who has made it publicly known that he is unhappy with his current contract, says he will report to training camp on July 24. Burress reported to the full-squad mini-camp in June, but did not practice at that time in protest. The Star-Ledger is reporting that the Giants fined Burress $42,000 for skipping five meetings at the mini-camp.

“I’m going to be at camp,” said Burress. “I’m going to get out and practice. I said that I may not have, but the smarter thing for me to do is to show up and show my teammates I’m ready to play football. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t have gotten to this point…We’ve been trying to get this thing done and it doesn’t seem like it’s really important to (the Giants). But it’s not the first time this has happened to a player, even a guy like myself who wants to be around and wants to retire a Giant. It never should have gotten to this point. I’m not saying I don’t want to be around. I don’t want to leave. That’s the most encouraging thing is I don’t want to leave. But there’s apparently more to it.”

“But they’re working hard to get it done,” said Burress. “I’m talking to my agent every day. I sat down and met with him today. I’m just waiting on a phone call.”

“The goal continues to be to try and get something done before the start of training camp,” said Burress’ agent. “I don’t know whether that’s going to happen. To the Giants credit, though, they’ve been working on it.”

However, two unidentified sources have told The Daily News that a new deal is not imminent. According to the paper, Burress is seeking $8-9 million per season and the Giants have “gone about as far as they’re willing to go.”

Giants Sign CB Terrell Thomas: The Giants have signed CB Terrell Thomas, their 2nd round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The only remaining unsigned draft pick is S Kenny Phillips (1st round).

Giants Officially Sign RT Shane Olivea: As expected, the Giants signed RT Shane Olivea yesterday after he passed his physical with the team.

Giants Sign OL Jonathan Palmer: The Giants have signed OL Jonathan Palmer. Palmer was recently waived by the Oakland Raiders.

Giants Waive Three Offensive Linemen: The Giants have waived the following three offensive linemen: Brandon Torrey, Dylan Thiry, and Andrew Bain.

Quotes: LB Antonio Pierce on TE Kevin Boss: “I think Boss is capable of (being Shockey’s replacement). We’ve only really seen four, five games of him last year really playing, starting at the end of the season. He gained a lot of weight this off-season, a lot of muscle. The guy looks strong. He was running routes real good in mini camp and OTAs. Now here comes the mental part. Is he going to be able to adjust? (For) sixteen weeks, alright now you’re the guy. You’re the starter. There ain’t no more, alright Shockey you need a breather or here comes our two tight end set. No, you’re the guy now, Boss. I think, from a mental standpoint, I think he prepared for it well this off-season, this spring, kinda hearing all the rumors about what was going on with Shockey. I think the development is going to be crucial for him. He’s going to have to mentally get in the playbook and prepare himself to be a starter for 16 games.”

Pierce on tight ends Darcy Johnson and Michael Matthews: “The good thing about (Matthews and Johnson), they have played. Darcy Johnson, I think he got activated the last three or four games in 2006 (and) got injured early in training camp last year. (He) was having a good training camp. He came back. He’s a guy who added some weight, was in the weight room all off-season, looks like he’s doing well from that standpoint. But, again, he’s coming off an ACL. Everybody knows that takes a good year and a half to two to recover. Matthews played a lot last year for us even when Shockey was healthy. We had that three tight end rotation. The guy can help you on special teams. He played in the playoff stretch. He’s a guy that’s gonna do the dirty work for you, can block. (You) can put them at the H-back, you can put him at the fullback position. He’s a guy who gives us a lot of different scenarios as far as where we can play him and how we can use him. Like I said, I don’t know what you’re going to do. Are you going to bring in a veteran guy to teach these guys because none of them have more than seven starts combined between all of them. So (Tight Ends) Coach (Mike) Pope, the tight ends coach, has got his hands full. I think he’ll do alright, though.”

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