Jan 312009

Goodell Discusses Plaxico Burress Situation: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked on Friday why the NFL has not suspended WR Plaxico Burress yet for wounding himself with an unlicensed firearm at a Manhattan nightclub in late November. Burress was subsequently arrested on two felony charges and suspended by the Giants for four games for conduct detrimental to the team.

Goodell suggested that the NFL has not acted yet because Burress does not have a history of legal trouble.

“We’re looking to deal with repeat offenders, and we may not wait for the legal process to conclude when we have repeat offenders,” Goodell said. “You can have a false accusation once, maybe twice. When you start getting into multiple accusations, you’re putting yourself in the wrong position, you’re making the wrong decisions, you’re in the wrong places. At that point in time, you’re reflecting poorly on the NFL, yourself, your teammates. That does damage for all of us.”

The NFL will likely await the outcome of the legal process in the Burress case before taking action. Extended prison time is still a possibility for Burress.

“I’m very firm on the fact that everyone deserves the opportunity to be defended,” Goodell said. “Everyone has the opportunity, if they make a mistake, to deal with that and deal with it within the legal process. We understand that many times our players are targets and we can’t rush to judgment. But again, multiple offenses over a period of time, you’re putting yourself in the wrong position and it reflects poorly.”

Jan 302009

Brandon Jacobs Wants Plaxico Burress Back: HB Brandon Jacobs made it clear yesterday that he thinks WR Plaxico Burress has changed and that he wants Burress to return to the team. Burress’ season ended in late November when he accidentally shot himself in a Manhattan nightclub. Jacobs is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on February 27 if he is not re-signed before then.

“Oh, no question,” Jacobs said. “If I’m here, I need 17 back on that roster.”

“He knows what happened to him,” said Jacobs. “He knows he’s, #1 lucky to be living today, for how close he came. He realizes that and he realizes the golden opportunity he’s got in front of him to be able to take care of his wife and his kid. I talk to Plax every other day. We text back and forth. He’s still Plax. He’s still the same person. But he’s got a different swagger about himself.”

“I think he’s changed,” said Jacobs. “You won’t ever hear anything from Plaxico as far as any kind of trouble with ‘team’. It’s all done. He’s finished. He’ll really be a different person.”

“If we had Plax on our team, we go 15-1 and we win the Super Bowl,” Jacobs said. “And I’m not afraid to say that and I’ll say it to anybody on any team. We had a different identity with him and we didn’t have enough time to change our identity to be effective at what we wanted to do – try to play a team differently. Teams – I’m not going to say stopped the run – but they did a little better each week because they had that eighth guy in the box.”

Jacobs says he does not blame Burress for the Giants’ disappointing finish to the 2008 season. “You can’t judge him for what happened because nobody really knows what goes on out in the street,” Jacobs said. “A lot of people don’t really know anything about what happened or how targeted we are. I’m not going to blame him from protecting himself. The guy is not a criminal. He shot himself. He didn’t shoot no one else and I think we should get off his case. And I think anybody in that situation should get off and be able to continue his career.”

Brandon Jacobs Talks About His Contract Status: HB Brandon Jacobs also publicly talked about his contract status yesterday. Jacobs said he was unsure about the status of talks, but that he was confident that an agreement will be reached before the start of free agency on February 27.

“I really want to be back,” said Jacobs. “I’d be fairly upset and angry if I’m not back, because that’s where I want to be. That’s the team I want to play on…I have no idea what’s going on there (but) I’m confident. When you know it’s something that you want, you just put it on the line and come out and get it done.”

The Daily News reports that a source familiar with Jacobs’ contract situation says while there have been some conversations, there have been no substantive talks between the Giants and Jacobs’ agent. Jacobs apparently has told others that he is seeking a deal similar to the 7-year, $45 million contract that HB Marion Barber received from the Dallas Cowboys. That deal included $16 million in guaranteed money.

The Daily News says the Giants do not appear to be willing to offer that much.

The Giants could place the “franchise” tag on Jacobs, though the team has not done that with a player since 1993 (LT Jumbo Elliott). The tag would virtually prevent Jacobs from signing with another team (right to match, two first round picks as compensation) and Jacobs would be guaranteed $6.6 million in 2009.

“I would be angry (if the Giants franchised me),” said Jacobs. “It would probably cause some problems. But it’s nothing that we couldn’t deal with…I don’t think the Giants would put that high of a number against the cap. I don’t anticipate that at all. I’m confident something will get done.”

Manning Responds to Toomer’s Criticism: QB El Manning responded yesterday to WR Amani Toomer’s criticism that he was not enough of a focal point of the Giants’ offense after the team lost WR Plaxico Burress for the season.

“Obviously, people are upset with how the (playoff) game turned out and we didn’t go as far as we wanted to,” Manning said. “Amani played and obviously we have a lot of young receivers. We had Steve Smith, we had these guys we tried to get in the action. They played well and made plays, so (Toomer’s) time probably did get cut some, but a lot of it wasn’t based on his performance or lack of. He’s played well for us and made big plays. And when we had three receivers in there, he was always in there. When we had just two, we kind of rotated Steve Smith in some and get a guy who’s been playing well (on the field)…We had other guys in there also, so everybody can’t get playing time. It’s just a matter of putting him in certain situations and you have to rotate a lot of guys in.”

Toomer is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on February 27 unless re-signed before that date. “Amani’s played well, he’s played great football for the Giants for a long time, (was a) No. 1 receiver and he’s made great plays for me and bailed us out of a lot of situations,” Manning said. “You hope a guy comes back, but you just know he’s been a great teammate of mine, he’s been great to play with and hopefully we can continue to play (together).”

Jan 292009

Amani Toomer Vents: WR Amani Toomer, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on February 27, spoke to the press yesterday at a charity event in East Tampa, Florida.  It was the first time Toomer addressed the press since before the playoff defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles on January 11.

“I’m going to enjoy being a free agent, explore all my options and see what it all comes down to,” said Toomer. “I’m pretty excited, I got some good responses so far, so I’m pretty excited to see how it’s going to turn out.”

When asked if the Giants have been in contact about a new contract, Toomer responded, “My agent and them have been talking a little bit, but I just think the way the season ended and how they started going away from me at the end of the year, I think it ultimately hurt the team and I think contributed greatly to our situation right now, being out of it…I just think the last couple of games I wasn’t a big part of the offense and we lost…a big percentage of the games (that we lost at the end of the year). I feel like you can’t tell me (that) didn’t play a big role in it. I think it did.”

Toomer said he was unsure why he was not a bigger part of games once the Giants lost WR Plaxico Burress. “The first game (without Burress) I had one of my best games of the year,” said Toomer. “From that game on, I don’t know what happened…I mean, I was in the game plan, but you have different reads and stuff like that, and it just didn’t work out for me…What ended up happening was a decision – and I don’t know from what level it (came) – was made and that’s kind of what happened.”

Toomer was asked if the way the season ended for him tainted his view of the Giants’ organization. “I don’t think so,” replied Toomer. “It’s just disappointing. It just seems like some of those games, it didn’t seem the same. Last year, when everybody’s jobs were on the line, everything was pedal to the metal. All of a sudden, this year, it’s a different kind of feeling…I just think the way in which we approached some of these games, I questioned it going in. I didn’t say anything because I wanted to try to make it work out. But in the end, ultimately my suspicions came true. And at the end of the (playoff loss to the Eagles), after the other game (the regular-season loss to the Eagles), I wasn’t surprised at all. I felt like our approach wasn’t the same as it was last year.”

A reporter suggested to Toomer that the Giants might not think he has a lot left. “They didn’t think Kurt Warner had much left,” responded Toomer. “See him now. They didn’t think Kerry Collins had much left. See him now. I could go back to the list. Ike Hilliard. I could go on and on. But ultimately, there are other teams and hopefully I’ll get another chance to play.”

Toomer was then asked if he was open to returning to the Giants. “Oh definitely,” said Toomer. “Always. But I definitely think, with the current situation, I don’t think I can go back.”

“I think toward the end of the season, it became very apparent (that a decision has been made by the Giants), especially after coming off one of my best games of the year and, all of a sudden, I get my playing time cut in half when we played the Eagles the first time,” said Toomer. “It was a statement to me.”

“It doesn’t really make much sense when you think about it,” continued Toomer. “And ultimately, us not being able to throw the ball effectively and keep the defenses off-guard…I mean, they try to rely on the offensive line. And I think our offensive line is great, but they’re great when we mix it up. You do one thing or the other, every offensive line struggles. I think that’s kind of how it ended up.”

Toomer then took a shot at Head Coach Tom Coughlin when he was asked if he should have spoken up. “No, because no matter what, they have an agenda,” said Toomer. “They’re going to go through what they’re going to do. I could talk until I’m blue in the face. It’s not going to make any difference. I know after dealing with the head coach, that’s kind of how he is. You can talk to him and do all of that, but if he has something in his mind, that’s what’s going to go on.”

“I look at it this way – there are many years when I was on the right side of politics,” continued Toomer. “This year, I ended up being on the wrong side. Now, I can’t get mad at that. It works for you sometimes, it works against you sometimes…There have been times when they emphasized me and there are times when they didn’t. This was one of the times they didn’t. They moved out receivers for me, so it all comes full-circle. You can’t get mad at it; it’s just how the business works…I definitely don’t think it’s my time (to be phased out).”

“It’s hard not to get emotional because I’ve been there so long, but I’ve seen it happen many, many times before to other players,” said Toomer. “It’s part of the business. We have a disagreement – they have one opinion of me and I have another. When a relationship is good, it’s good; when it’s not, it’s not.”

Toomer  was then asked doesn’t QB Eli Manning decide who gets the ball, not the coaches. “Yeah, but I don’t think he’s back there footloose and fancy-free,” responded Toomer. “They have an agenda. They have their little quarterback meetings on Thursday for a reason. And they don’t just have them and not have the receivers and anybody else who’s involved in the offense around for a reason.”

Toomer was asked what the agenda of the coaches was. “The agenda was they wanted to see what the younger guys could do,” replied Toomer. “I think (the young receivers) did a good job, but they hurt the team by going to one side (of the field). Even when Plax is in there, if we don’t go to both sides, we’re not usually as successful. We’re successful when we’re going both ways and the teams can’t game plan against me – not because of me, but because they’re not throwing to me.”

“They tried to do it earlier in the season, but I kept playing well and keeping myself in the mix, so to speak, and then all of a sudden they didn’t let me play myself out,” said Toomer. “They pulled the rug out from under me…I was fighting it for as long as I could. I kept making big plays and I felt like, if they kept throwing to me, I’d keep making big plays. So I feel like they made a decision that, ‘We can’t keep him sticking around. We’ve got to turn the page. We can’t just keep letting this go on and on.'”

Jacobs Talks Contract: HB Brandon Jacobs, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on February 27, said yesterday there is nothing new with his contract situation. However, he told The Bergen Record that he thinks he will re-sign with the Giants before he becomes a free agent.

Jacobs said he will not sign his tender if the Giants Franchise him, meaning he would hold out until a new long-term contract is signed.

Giants Lose Another Coach to Rams: Giants’ Defensive Quality Control Coach Andre Curtis has been hired by Rams’ Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo, the Giants’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was hired by the Rams earliier this month. Curtis will most likely will be a position coach on the Rams, but what position he will coach has not been determined/announced yet.  Curtis was hired by Head Coach Tom Coughlin in 2006. A quality control coach breaks down and analyzes tapes of an upcoming opponent, and is involved in self-scouting and special research projects.

Jan 282009

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Between This Super Bowl and Last, Justin Tuck Sees a Giant Difference by Mike Lupica of The Daily News

Editorials on Cardinals’ WR Anquan Boldin and the Giants:

Article on Former Giants FB Maurice Carthon and QB Jeff Rutledge: Cards’ Upset Bid Has Giant Feel by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Quotes: LB Antonio Pierce on if he thinks WR Plaxico Burress will play for the Giants again: “I think it comes down to how he goes about his business. He holds the decision. If he does everything he needs to do, I don’t think he’s played his last game as a Giant. Mentally and demeanor-wise, if they thought he was so bad, they would’ve never signed him to that long-term contract. He’s made some bad choices and that was a very bad incident. But once you get in trouble like that, everything else you’ve done gets magnified 100 percent. It’s like the stuff (Michael) Strahan had to go through with his wife. I know that Plaxico loves football. It’s all he knows. Sometimes when it looks like you might lose that opportunity, it can have a powerful effect on a person.”

Pierce on Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan: “Now he’s a boss…the boss. It should be fun. I know Bill is going to come with his own personality, his own style, of course he’s going to keep what we kept with Spags because it’s been so successful, but at the same time Bill Sheridan has got to be Bill Sheridan. You can’t ask him to be Steve Spagnuolo. When we get back to work I expect him to do his thing and put his own stamp on this defense. They’re different and I’m not going to say how, I think over time we’ll all see. That’s good. I don’t want to be the same. I don’t want Bill to be Steve Spagnuolo. That’s like asking Antonio Pierce to be somebody else.”

Pierce on the Steelers and Cardinals – two teams the Giants beat in the regular season – being in the Super Bowl instead of the Giants:  “I think it’s just a missed opportunity. You can’t whine and gripe. We didn’t take care of our business and they did. Those guys are deserving of it. They played good in the month of January. Like I always tell you guys, you’ve got to play well in the right month. We played well all regular season and didn’t play well in the offseason.”

Jan 252009

New York Giants Interested in WR Chad Johnson?: ProFootballWeekly.com is reporting that rumors “have floated” that the Giants “might be interested” in pursuing WR Chad Johnson of the Bengals. ProFootballWeekly.com however says that “some people in the organization” would oppose the move given concerns regarding Johnson’s character.

Article on Finding a Possible Replacement for WR Plaxico Burress: Finding a Wideout of Plaxico Burress’ Caliber Will Be No Small Order for Giants by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Article on Former Giants’ QB Scott Brunner: Where Are They Now? Scott Brunner Passes on Future With Giants by Ian Begley of The Daily News

Jan 242009

Giants Officially Announce Hiring of Jack Bicknell, Jr.: The Giants have officially announced that they have hired Jack Bicknell, Jr. as their new assistant offensive line coach. That vacancy was created when Dave DeGuglielmo left to become the new offensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins. Bicknell had served as Boston College’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach the past two seasons.

“He was the center (at Boston College) when I was there (as the quarterbacks coach from 1981-1983) and Doug Flutie was there,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He was a tough, totally unselfish player.”

“He was the offensive line coach at Boston College for two 10-win seasons,” said Coughlin. “They played in back-to-back ACC championship games with a lot of young guys in his second year. I have followed his career closely and I know very well of him and I think he will make an excellent addition to our staff.”

“He’s extremely excited about the opportunity,” Coughlin said. “He wants to come in here and learn about the National Football League. He’s very excited about his opportunity and very excited to work with (Offensive Line Coach) Pat Flaherty and (Offensive Coordinator) Kevin Gilbride. We look forward to having him here.”

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Bicknell said. “Obviously, the New York Giants are one of the top organizations in the NFL, and I feel like I am going to have a chance to work for one of the top head coaches in the NFL and for one of the top teams in the NFL. It really is exciting and at this point in my career it is something that I am looking to do. I have enjoyed working at the collegiate level, but I have never really had an opportunity to get into the NFL, and this is a chance for me to start to learn the NFL game and what that is all about.”

“(Coughlin) was basically the offensive coordinator (at Boston College when I was center),” Bicknell said. “He was the guy running the show, for sure, though he didn’t have that title. I just had the utmost respect for him. Obviously, we all know he is an unbelievable coach, but also to me he is just a great person. One thing you know about him is he is a very loyal person and very honest, so it was an honor to play for him, and I really look forward to working for him now.”

Update on WR Taye Biddle: As we reported yesterday, WR Taye Biddle was wounded in the hand and leg by gunfire in Decatur, Alabama on Sunday night. Earlier reports that said he was wounded outside his home were inaccurate as Biddle was in fact shot while leaving his mother’s house.

“Bullets started flying,” said Biddle. “I don’t know who, I don’t know (from) where and I don’t know why.”

Biddle said he underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his leg and to correct a broken knuckle in his hand.

Article on Former Giants’ Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: New St. Louis Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo is Grateful for His Time with the New York Giants by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Jan 232009

New York Giants Hire New Linebackers Coach: The Giants announced yesterday that they have hired Jim Herrmann to be their new linebackers coach. The position opened when Bill Sheridan was promoted to defensive coordinator on Monday.

Herrmann had served as the linebackers coach for the New York Jets the past three seasons (2006-2008). Interestingly, Herrmann was also the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan for nine years, where Sheridan served under him as a position coach for three seasons. Herrmann was the defensive coordinator at Michigan from 1997-2005 while Sheridan was the linebackers coach there in 2002 and the defensive line coach in 2003 and 2004.

“I’ve always been very much aware of Jim Herrmann and the job that he has done,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He was the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan for a lot of years and did an outstanding job. I was very impressed by not only the type of defense that they played but the aggressive style that they played. And he is a part of the Bo Schembechler tree. I have always been a great admirer of Bo Schembechler. I have had an opportunity to watch (Herrmann) as a collegiate coach. People who have worked with him, Bill Sheridan has worked with him, people that I have respect for in the business have coached with him and have nothing but outstanding things to say about him.”

“What I really look forward to is the fact that I believe he will hit the ground running,” Coughlin said. “He will make a great contribution to our staff. My goal in losing coaches was to replenish the strength of our staff to try to make us better from a standpoint of our offseason preparation and our thinking and our moving forward in the next year with our team to make us better, to strengthen us as a staff, and I think we have been able to do that.”

“I am excited to be a part of the Giants,” Herrmann said. “I have watched Coach Coughlin and his teams and the way they have played and how they win, and I like being a part of that. I have been a very close friend of Bill’s for a long time and we coached together before at Michigan, so I am looking forward to working with him again. I have always studied Tom and his teams and I look forward to being part of that organization because I know how hard they work and how their players work hard to win.”

Boston Globe Reports Giants Have Hired Boston College OL Coach: According to The Boston Globe, the Giants have hired Boston College assistant head coach and offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr. to be the team’s new assistant offensive line coach. The paper says the official announcement could come as early as today.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin had served as quarterbacks coach under Bicknell’s father at Boston College from 1981-83. And Coughlin succeeded Bicknell’s father as head coach at Boston College in 1991.

The Giants’ previous assistant offensive line coach, Dave DeGuglielmo, left the Giants last week to become the new offensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins. DeGuglielmo also coached at Boston College.

Another Giants’ Wide Receiver Shot: Unbelievably, another Giants’ wide receiver has been wounded by a gun. Taye Biddle, who spent most of the 2008 season on the Practice Squad, was shot Sunday outside his home in Decatur, Alabama.

According to a press report, Biddle was shot in the hand and leg. He was treated at a local hospital and released. The wound to Biddle’s left hand apparently required surgery yesterday.

According to Decatur police, though the incident is still under investigation, there appears to be no foul play on the part of Biddle. “There is no evidence to indicate that Biddle did anything to contribute, cause or provoke the shooting,” said the police. Biddle reportedly was heading to his car when he was hit by the gunfire.

The Giants issued the following statement: “We have been in constant contact with Taye over the last two days and we are thankful he was able to walk away from this incident with relatively minor injuries.”

DeOssie Added to NFC Pro Bowl Roster: Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, who is also the head coach of the 2009 NFC Pro Bowl team, has selected LB Zak DeOssie as his “need” player for the Pro Bowl. DeOssie was selected by Reid because the NFC team does not have a long snapper and DeOssie has worked with both NFC kickers – Giants’ punter Jeff Feagles and Giants’ place kicker John Carney. DeOssie works with Feagles on long snaps for punts during games, but he has also done some short snapping on field goals/extra points in practice for Carney.

“I am the luckiest kid on the planet,” said DeOssie. “I’m sitting at home and the next thing I know I am going to be playing in the Pro Bowl. It is very, very exciting. I am honored and flattered at the same time and it is great. I get to go out with Feags and John and we are going to have a great trip.”

“I think it is great and I think it is deserving,” Feagles said. “I think that he did a wonderful job, not only snapping the ball but in coverage and blocking…I think Zak is up there with all of them. He is very consistent, which is what you need at that position, and he has done a great job. I don’t ever have to think about what the snap is going to be. When I am back there the last thing I want to have to do is worry about where the snap is going to be and I’ve never had to do that with Zak. I am just real fortunate that he is really good.”

“I’m extremely happy for Zak,” Carney said. “He’s been riding a very blessed cloud lately. In his rookie year he goes to the Super Bowl and wins it. And in his second year he’s headed out to the Pro Bowl to snap around with a bunch of all-pros from across the league. He’s living a charmed life. He should go out and buy some lottery tickets.”

Aside from Feagles and Carney, DeOssie will join fellow teammates QB Eli Manning, RG Chris Snee, OC Shaun O’Hara, and DE Justin Tuck in Hawaii on the NFC Pro Bowl squad.

Jan 212009

David Gettleman Interviews for Browns’ GM Job: According to The Star-Ledger, Giants’ Director of Pro Personnel David Gettleman interviewed with the Cleveland Browns last week regarding the team’s general manager vacancy. Ex-Giants’ General Manager Ernie Accorsi is serving as a consultant for the Browns and most likely recommended Gettleman.

Gettleman’s chief responsiblity with the Giants is to evaluate players on other teams for free agency and possible trades.

Gettleman was interviewed by the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month for their general manager vacancy but the Chiefs filled the position with another candidate.

Giants Sign Defensive Tackle: The Giants have signed DT Anthony Bryant to a future reserve contract, meaning the 2009 roster.

Jan 202009

Giants Name Bill Sheridan New Defensive Coordinator: The Giants yesterday named Bill Sheridan the team’s new defensive coordinator, replacing Steve Spagnuolo who was hired by the Rams on Saturday. Sheridan has served as the Giants’ linebackers coach since 2005, serving two years under Spagnuolo and two years under his predecessor, Tim Lewis.

It is believed that Spagnuolo wanted to hire Sheridan as his defensive coordinator with the Rams.

“Bill is a very good football coach,” Coughlin said. “He does an excellent job of teaching, of reinforcing what we aspire to be with our defensive team. He’s coached our linebackers, he’s given a big assist to Steve in all that he has done. As a linebackers coach, you’re a central figure in the spoke, because you’re involved in the coordination of the front and the linebackers and then the back seven. He has done a good job of encompassing the entire defense and grasping the aggressive style.”

“Obviously, I’m thrilled,” Sheridan said. “I’m humbled but very, very excited and anxious to get going. I’ve prepared my entire career for this opportunity. I owe this to Tom Coughlin and Steve Spagnulo and the rest of the defensive staff – (Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks Coach) Peter Giunta, (Defensive Line Coach) Mike Waufle, (Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach) Dave Merritt, and (Defensive Quality Control Coach) Andre Curtis. This is nothing more than a reflection of the success we’ve had here.”

According to the Giants’ press release, Sheridan said he will keep Spagnuolo’s defensive system in place but will modify it according to his preferences and his players’ strengths.

“I’m sure, as much as anything, that’s Tom’s motivation for promoting from within, whether it was me or Peter Giunta – to keep the defense in place,” Sheridan said. “It’s obviously a proven, excellent system that Steve brought from Philadelphia. You’re obviously going to have a slightly different tint to it, because you have a different coordinator and will get different input from whoever Tom brings in from outside to complete the staff. But the system is in place and there’s a tremendous comfort level with the players.”

“We have good personnel,” Sheridan said. “Every team in the league has needs and we’re in the process of identifying those as we go into free agency. But there is no doubt we have an excellent returning nucleus, as we have had here. That is one thing (General Manager) Jerry Reese and the personnel department have done – we have gotten players, especially in the draft. We have excellent young players on defense.”

Sheridan said he learned much from Spagnuolo in their two years together. “Not just the scheme itself – the fundamentals of the scheme itself and the pressure package,” Sheridan said. “I think Steve did a great job of looking at our defense as our opponents did, with a self-scout mentality. He was always trying to be one step ahead with regard to how we were being viewed by our opponents.”

The Giants said in a press release that Coughlin interviewed both Sheridan and Giunta on Sunday. Both coaches were informed of Coughin’s decision yesterday morning.

“Both were very good,” Coughlin said. “Peter has been a coordinator before. I just felt in my gut that Bill would be the right choice. My questions to the two candidates were: ‘How do we get better? Where do we go from here?’ Both had very good answers, very solid, aggressive, going forward-type answers. And that’s the message that I want. The message that goes out there is we do have the New York Giant defense, we will play the New York Giant defense, we will recognize our players and our coaches that have attained a couple years of good, solid play here. And our intentions going forward are that we improve and be better. We’re excited about the opportunity to get this group together again and add some other players to the group and to improve.”

“We won 26 games here in the last two years,” Coughlin said. “Despite the fact that we’re all miserable, there is an inclination when that happens that you would stay within. Continuity is important to me, but the strength of staff is important, too. We’ve lost Steve, our coordinator, but it takes many, many people to be successful and to function properly. Of course, all the coaches on the defensive side of the ball did an outstanding job in working together. They worked very well together. There was great harmony on that side of the ball. I want to keep that, I want to keep the continuity, I want the players to know that the fact they have performed to a high level the last two years is, in a way, being rewarded. One of the coaches from the staff has been elevated to the coordinator’s role and the terminology will stay the same.”

“It’s good to know that there will not be many changes,” said LB Antonio Pierce. “Bill is a hard worker and is very familiar with the defense. Obviously, we did great things on defense over the last two seasons, and I am looking forward to what Bill will bring as defensive coordinator.”

“Coach Sheridan has been very in tune to everything we’ve done on defense over that last two seasons,” said DT Fred Robbins. “He should have no problem adjusting to his new role as defensive coordinator. It’s good that we will not have to start this whole defense over. We’ve been in it for two seasons and we’ve had success, we all know the system and it will be good to continue to work in it.”

“Coach Sheridan is a very knowledgeable football guy,” said DE Justin Tuck. “He’s a quality coach. It’s good that we kept it in-house so we can continue to improve on a successful defense. I’m very excited to see what coach Sheridan will do in his new role.”

Packers Out-Bid Giants for Capers?: According to ESPN.com, Head Coach Tom Coughlin targeted Patriots’ Special Assistant/Secondary Coach Dom Capers as his next defensive coordinator. Capers had served as Coughlin’s defensive coordinator in Jacksonville for two years. ESPN.com says Capers chose the Packers when Giants’ ownership hesitated over Caper’s salary demands.

However, The Daily News is reporting that Capers was never a favorite for the Giants’ position. The paper says Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s preference was to pick an in-house candidate.

Search Begins for New Linebackers Coach: With Bill Sheridan being promoted, the Giants will begin searching for a new linebackers coach.

“I’m now going to begin to find the best coach,” Coughlin said. “If it happens to be a linebackers coach, fine. We’ll progress that way and try to find the best coach. My position is always to strengthen. That’s my whole goal, to strengthen. The philosophy that I’ve always operated by, and it was developed a long, long time ago, is you do have to have a chain of command, so the process does work efficiently. But every guy, no matter what his job is, has to be doing it to the best of his ability and the players that he coaches have to play to the best of their ability in order for us to be successful. So for me, it’s the idea of strengthening, always trying to be aware of the people you have in place and how best can another coach suit the group that’s presently here, but add to us and help us be a better staff and a better team.”

Potential candidates include Giants’ Defensive Backs/Safeties Coach David Merritt and Giants’ Defensive Quality Control Coach Andre Curtis. The Star-Ledger is reporting that two unidentified sources say that Jessie Armstead, who serves as a special assistant/consultant to the coaching staff, is not a candidate.

Jan 192009

Giants Search for a New Defensive Coordinator: According to The Daily News, an unidentified team source says Linebackers Coach Bill Sheridan, Defensive Backs/Cornerbacks Coach Peter Giunta, and Defensive Line Coach Mike Waufle – all current defensive assistants with the Giants – are strong candidates to replace recently departed Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Newsday is reporting that Sheridan is in fact the leading candidate. There have been reports, however, that Spagnuolo may be targeting Sheridan for his defensive coordinator in St. Louis.

The Daily News says the preference among defensive players is to promote someone from the current staff in order to maintain the same defensive system. “Whenever a situation like that arises it’s always beneficial to have someone that you’re comfortable with,” said DE Justin Tuck. “We’ve been with this staff for four years, so we’d be comfortable with anybody that comes up from those guys.”

Patriots’ Special Assistant/Secondary Coach Dom Capers, who had been rumored to be under consideration, was hired by the Green Bay Packers yesterday as their new defensive coordinator.

Giants Will Pick 29th in First Round: With the Super Bowl participants set, it has been determined that the Giants will have the 29th pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. The draft will be held on April 25-26.