Jul 312009
 

Giants Sign Clint Sintim and Will Beatty: The Giants announced yesterday that they have signed both their second-round draft picks: LB Clint Sintim and OT Will Beatty. Terms of the deals are not yet known.

All nine draft picks, except for WR Hakeem Nicks (1st round), are now signed.

Giants Waive Two: In order to make room for Sintim and Beatty on the 80-man roster, the Giants yesterday waived WR Micah Rucker and LB Kelvin Smith.

Pierce to Testify Before Grand Jury Again Today: As expected, linebacker Antonio Pierce testified before a Grand Jury in Manhattan yesterday. Pierce provided his version of events regarding the shooting incident where ex-Giant wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally wounded himself in late November.

Pierce will continue his testimony today.

“Mr. Pierce’s grand jury presentation is ongoing,” said Pierce’s lawyer yesterday. “He hasn’t completed his testimony. And in respect to the process, it’s appropriate for neither me to comment any further or for Mr. Pierce to make any statements at this point. We expect the grand jury testimony to continue tomorrow and, at that point after that, we’ll make a statement.”

Pierce also could face felony gun-possession charges after allegedly taking possession of the firearm after the incident.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Guard Rich Seubert: Guard Rich Seubert’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Jul 302009
 

Antonio Pierce to Testify Before Grand Jury Today: Linebacker Antonio Pierce is scheduled to testify before a Grand Jury today in order to provide his account of what transpired at the Manhattan nightclub last November when former Giant Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself. Burress testified before the Grand Jury yesterday.

As reported earlier, Pierce faces possible felony gun-possession charges for allegedly taking possession of the firearm that wounded Burress after the incident.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Linebacker Clint Sintim: Linebacker Clint Sintim’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

NFL Network Video Pieces on the Giants:

Article on RT Kareem McKenzie: McKenzie Learned That It’s Hard to Make Smart Choices by William C. Rhoden of The New York Times

Jul 292009
 

John Mara Defends Antonio Pierce; NFL Looking Into Matter: Giants’ President and CEO John Mara issued a public statement yesterday in defense of linebacker Antonio Pierce. Pierce is facing possible weapons charges for his involvement in a November 2008 nightclub incident where former Giants’ wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself. Pierce allegedly took possession of the firearm after the incident.

“We have refrained from making any public statement regarding the legal proceedings against Plaxico Burress out of respect for the process,” said Mara in the statement. “Our organization, including Antonio Pierce, has cooperated fully with the police and the DA’s office from the outset of their respective investigations. However, since the District Attorney’s office has seen fit to publicly discuss the details of the potential case against Burress and has suggested it will seek to charge Antonio, we feel it is necessary to offer the following:

“While we in no way condone Antonio’s decision to be in a nightclub in Manhattan less than two days before a game, we cannot understand the DA’s position that Antonio is subject to criminal charges. When this incident occurred, Antonio reacted out of concern for the health and well-being of Plaxico Burress. His first priority was to make sure Plaxico received proper medical attention for what very well could have been a life-threatening wound. There was no criminal intent on the part of Antonio, who was thrust into this predicament simply because he accompanied Plaxico that evening and because he made the decision to immediately take Plaxico to the hospital. We believe it is unwarranted for the DA’s office to press criminal charges against Antonio under these circumstances.”

Meanwhile, Pierce could also face a fine or suspension from the NFL. When a League official was asked if the NFL was investigating the Pierce situation, the response was, “We will follow developments in the case. We have no other comment at this time.”

Giants Close to Deal with OT William Beatty: According to NFL.com, the Giants are nearing a deal with OT William Beatty, the team’s second-of-two 2nd round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Only Beatty, WR Hakeem Nicks (1st round) and LB Clint Sintim (2nd round) remain unsigned of the Giants’ nine picks.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Tight End Michael Matthews: Tight End Michael Matthews’ New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Quotes: Tom Coughlin on Eagles’ Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson, who passed away yesterday due to cancer: “It is a sad, very sad, day. I talked recently to (Eagles’ Video Director) Mike Dougherty and asked him to let Jim know that I was thinking about him, and I had dropped Jim a note to let him know as well. Forget about what kind of coach he was…he was an excellent, excellent defensive coach, and he trained others to be the same. We know what Steve Spagnuolo meant to us. We had great respect for Jim, and he had great respect for us. I didn’t know Jim personally, but we would always talk to each other, mostly about the NFC East and what a great, competitive division it is. It was a respectful critique about what great players, coaches and organizations there are within the division. In talking with people who worked with Jim, you sense what a class act Jim was. He was great to work with and for, and he had his priorities in order. His players loved to play for him and his coaches loved to coach with him. It is a sad day for the National Football League to lose somebody the quality of Jim Johnson. It is a sad note on which to start the season. He coached right up to the very end.”

Jul 282009
 
Key Questions Heading into the 2009 New York Giants Training Camp

The New York Giants are one of the very best teams in the NFL and have few question marks.  Under Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, the Giants have a nice little run going.  In the past four seasons, the Giants have made the playoffs every single year and have earned two NFC East Division titles, one NFC Championship, and one NFL Championship.  Barring catastrophic injuries to key players, the Giants are likely to add to their laurels in 2009.  The Giants are a relatively young football team that should continue to get better as it matures.   This is a golden age of Giants football.

(1) Will Bill Sheridan Be a Good Defensive Coordinator?: It’s a major jump and transition from position coach to coordinator.  Many fail.  Bill Sheridan has worked under Tim Lewis and Steve Spagnuolo.  Coughlin made a mistake when he hired Lewis, but made a very good decision when he hired Spagnuolo.  How will this decision turn out?

(2) Can the Giants Avoid the Injury Bug?: No team in the NFL, including the Giants, can expect to reach the Super Bowl if key players miss significant time or are not as effective due to injury.  Serious injuries to Eli Manning, a starter on the offensive line, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, or Corey Webster could prove devastating.

(3) Will the Giants Peak at the Right Time?: In the 2007 season, the Giants were peaking at the right time; in 2008, they were not.  Now there are all kinds of explanations why they didn’t in 2008, but all that really matters is that they were not playing their best football in January.  The Giants will make the playoffs in 2009.  That’s not the issue.  It’s what they do once they get there that matters.   This team is now in the same category as the New England Patriots – anything less than another NFL title will be a disappointment.

(4) Are the Giants’ Young Receivers Good Enough?: There are two question marks surrounding the revamped receiving corps: (a) is there enough talent, and (b) is there enough experience?  Regarding the first issue, the Giants have enough talent in other areas of the roster to still win and make the playoffs with the current group of wide receivers.  But when January rolls around and the Giants face do-or-die, lose-and-you-are-eliminated situations against top defensive teams, will this group be good enough?  What if the Giants play the Eagles again in January?  Can these guys get open against their corners?  Will they deliver in the clutch in pressure-packed situations?  The other issue is even if these players are good enough to succeed in the NFL, are they good enough to succeed THIS season?  The Giants probably have THE most inexperienced group of wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL.  Guys like Kevin Boss and Steve Smith seem like they have been around for a while, but they have only played two seasons.  Domenik Hixon caught one NFL pass before last season.  Michael Matthews and Darcy Johnson have few NFL catches.  Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Travis Beckum, and Ramses Barden are very green.  How many bad passing plays will occur because a receiver didn’t run the right route or didn’t use the proper technique?  It will happen.  The question is how often?

(5) Can Adam Koets Handle Back-Up Center?: The Giants did not re-sign Grey Ruegamer.  It appears the team is high on Adam Koets as his replacement as a back-up center.  If he can handle the position, it would be a very good development as Koets would be a player who could handle tackle, guard, and center.  If Koets cannot handle the transition, the Giants would most likely be forced to move Rich Seubert or Chris Snee to center if Shaun O’Hara got hurt.

Five questions?  That’s it?  Well it is for me this year.  What about the linebackers you ask?  Or running back?  Or back-up offensive linemen?  The kicker?  I’m not worried.  The Giants defensive line and secondary is so good that they could, if necessary, cover up for a multitude of sins at linebacker, if that were the case.  But Michael Boley, who will miss training camp with a hip injury, will return and round into form when it matters most.  I look for a good year from Antonio Pierce.  Clint Sintim and Bryan Kehl will press for playing time.  Don’t forget about guys like Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn too.

Running back?  The Giants are loaded at the position.  It’s just a matter of how the touches are divvied up.  Back-up offensive line?  I’ve already mentioned the question of Koets at center.  I like Kevin Boothe at guard (he struggles more at tackle).  Guy Whimper has played well at tackle.  And the Giants drafted the talented William Beatty in the second round.  The Giants should be fine with Boothe, Whimper, Koets, and Beatty as long as Koets can handle center.  The kicker?  Lawrence Tynes gets too much grief.  He’s pretty solid.

Believe me, like the Yankees in their heyday, the question is not if the Giants make the playoffs, but what they do once they get there.  This is a very, very good football team.  There aren’t many potential trouble spots.  If Sheridan was a good choice (big if) and the team stays relatively healthy, the Giants are as good as anyone in the NFL.  They are strong on both lines and have a franchise quarterback and very good secondary.  They also have a rock of stability and knowledge in Tom Coughlin.  That’s as good as it gets.

Jul 282009
 

DA to Seek Charges Against Antonio Pierce: According to The New York Post, linebacker Antonio Pierce could face jail time for his involvement in the November 2008 shooting incident in the Manhattan nightclub where former Giant wide receiver Plaxico Burress wounded himself. After Burress accidentally shot himself, Pierce allegedly took possession of the firearm and could face charges as the result.

“The DA’s office has confirmed that they are going to seek charges against Antonio,” said Pierce’s lawyer. A felony weapons charge carries with it a mandatory three and a half year prison sentence.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Linebacker Chase Blackburn: Linebacker Chase Blackburn’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Kicker Lawrence Tynes: Kicker Lawrence Tyne’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Giants 2009 Preview: Training Camp Preview: Healthy Osi Umenyiora, New Defensive Coordinator in Giants’ Mix in Albany by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Jul 242009
 

BigBlueInteractive.com Q&A With Writer Director of “Big Fan”: Robert Siegel, the writer/director of the new movie Big Fan, has kindly agreed to respond to questions from members of BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI). Fans should submit their questions here in “The Corner Forum” section of the website. We  will forward to Mr. Siegel what we consider the best 5-10 questions.

Robert Siegel is a writer/director based in New York. He is the author of numerous screenplays, including “The Wrestler”, starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. From 1996 to 2003, Siegel was editor-in-chief of the satirical newspaper The Onion. “Big Fan” is his directorial debut.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Center Shaun O’Hara: Center Shaun O’Hara’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Giants and Ravens Mentorship Programs: In the N.F.L., What It Means to Be a Man by William C. Rhoden of The New York Times

Jul 222009
 

Star-Ledger Q&A With Quarterback Andre’ Woodson: Quarterback Andre’ Woodson’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Wide Receiver Ramses Barden: Wide Receiver Ramses Barden’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Linebacker Bryan Kehl: Linebacker Bryan Kehl’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Cornerback Corey Webster: Cornerback Corey Webster’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Giants’ 2009 Season Preview: This Time, Giants Lament ‘Bitter, Bad, Disgusting’ Lost Chance by Tom Pedulla of USA Today

Article on WR Mario Manningham: Proving the Skeptics Wrong by Mike McLain of the Tribune Chronicle

Article on Giants’ Uniforms and New Practice Facility: Uni Watch Field Trip: An Afternoon at the Meadowlands by UniWatchBlog.com

Notes and Quotes: Giants’ President and CEO John Mara said the Giants have no interest in QB Michael Vick, who was officially released by the Falcons.

Mara on WR Plaxico Burress: “It was frustrating. (His absence) was certainly a big factor (last season), but on the other hand, the year before, we don’t win the Super Bowl without him.”

Mara on where the Giants will hold training camp after this year: “We have the option to go back (to Albany) if we want, but we also have the ability to have it down here (in the Meadowlands) now. We have the facilities to do it. It’s something we will talk about later this summer and make a decision.”

Jul 162009
 

Star-Ledger Q&A With Halfback Danny Ware: Running Back Danny Ware’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With H-Back Travis Beckum: Rookie Tight End Travis Beckum’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Offensive Lineman Adam Koets: Offensive Lineman Adam Koet’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Defensive End Mathias Kiwanuka: Defensive End Mathias Kiwanuka’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Defensive Tackle Chris Canty: Defensive Lineman Chris Canty’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson: Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Cornerback Kevin Dockery: Cornerback Kevin Dockery’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on the Giants’ Young Players: New York Giants: Top 10 Prospects by Chris Steuber of Scout.com

Jul 082009
 

Linebacker Michael Boley Suspended for Season Opener: It has not been a good start for newcomer linebacker Michael Boley.

Boley has been suspended without pay for the team’s regular-season opener against the Washington Redskins for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Boley’s suspension begins September 5th. He will be eligible to return to the team on September 14th.

According to press reports, the NFL suspension is due to a domestic incident that occurred 14 months ago in May 2008, when Boley was arrested for physically assaulting his wife.

Boley underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip on June 24th. The recovery time for the procedure is expected to be 8-10 weeks. Thus, Boley is likely to miss all of training camp and much of the preseason.

Boley was signed to a 5-year, $25 million contract in March when the Giants lured him away from the Atlanta Falcons at the start of free agency. According to press reports, the Giants knew that Boley might be facing disciplinary action from the NFL when they signed him.

Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was suspended for one game last season by the NFL for physically assaulting his wife.

Star-Ledger Q&A With Offensive Tackle David Diehl: Offensive Tackle David Diehl’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Jul 062009
 

Scout.com Interview with Defensive Tackle Chris Canty: NFL Exclusive: Chris Canty by Ed Thompson of Scout.com

Star-Ledger Q&A With Offensive Lineman Kevin Boothe: Offensive Lineman Kevin Boothe’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Defensive End Dave Tollefson: Defensive End Dave Tollefson’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger Q&A With Safety Michael Johnson: Safety Michael Johnson’s New York Giants Summer Questionnaire by Michael Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on Halfback Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw Looking Forward to Season by Jed Lockett of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph