Osi Umenyiora Addresses the Media: Defensive end Osi Umenyiora addressed the media yesterday during media day at the Giants’ strength training and conditioning program.
“It’s gotten me in a lot of trouble with the fans and I think it’s setting a bad example for my teammates,” Umenyiora said of his recent tendency to vent his frustrations to reporters. “I think it’s not the right thing to do. So instead of giving you (media) guys pre-programmed, robotic answers – or coming out and saying things the way I feel – I think it’s just best I say nothing at all. I think that’s the best way going about things at this point in time.”
Umenyiora was asked if he has been guaranteed a starting position by the Giants. “I’m not even guaranteed my next breath, so I can’t sit here and be guaranteed anything,” Umenyiora replied. “I obviously had a conversation with (General Manager) Jerry (Reese) and I had a conversation with (Head) Coach (Tom) Coughlin. The things we talked about are going to remain between Jerry and me and Coach Coughlin.”
“I’ll never be a problem here,” Umenyiora said. “I just can’t see myself doing that. I have too much respect for the organization and I love my teammates. I feel like they deserve better than that. I feel like they deserve better than me coming out and speaking like that. I think it’s best for us to just move on.”
Umenyiora was asked if he expects to play for the Giants in 2010. “Yes,” said Umenyiora. “I would sure hope so. I have no plans of going anywhere else. I would love to be here. I stated before I love this team and I love my teammates. I’d rather be nowhere else. I come over here and Jay (Alford), Brandon (Jacobs), Corey (Webster) – these are my guys, these are my friends and I love them. The strength coach, Jerry (Palmieri), I love to work out with him. So I think being here is good.”
Umenyiora was also asked why he is attending the offseason program. “Look at this facility – it’s a wonderful facility,” Umenyiora said. “Jerry Palmieri is an outstanding coach and I love working with him. Obviously, I have a couple of things I need to work on with (Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie Barnes and the training staff. With the combination of all those things, there’s no better place than I’d rather be. Plus all my friends are here. Outside of here I’m a very lonely guy. I come here and I see all my friends. I work with them, I train with them. So it’s a very, very good time.”
“I thought I was a hundred percent last year,” Umenyiora said of his return to football after knee surgery in 2008. “But to be honest with you, maybe until about a month ago, when I was outside doing some pass rush drills and I (said), ‘Oh, now I’m really a hundred percent,’ because I felt strong and my legs felt stronger than they did last year. Mentally, you can tell yourself a lot of things. And last year I think mentally I was telling myself I was a hundred percent when in actuality I don’t think I was.”
Umenyiora was also asked about his performance last season. “I saw a lot of things with the entire defense that went wrong,” Umenyiora said. “I just can’t look at some things that I did specifically wrong. To be completely honest with you, I saw the same things last year that I saw before last year. For the most part, I played pretty well against the run and I’m a pass rusher – that’s what I do best and that’s what I’ve always done best – so I think last year as a defense we didn’t play well at all and some of the weaknesses that I do have against the run were exposed. People looked at that, because defensively we weren’t playing well at all. I don’t think I played that much worse than I did (previously). But obviously there are a whole bunch of things I need to get better at.”
Umenyiora said he likes new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. “I went back and watched the 2009 Buffalo defense and I watched how their defensive ends played,” Umenyiora said. “They get a little wider and they come up the field. I think that’s what I’ll be able to excel at.”
“Last year, we should have played a whole lot better,” he said. “The way everything ended, especially the last two games of the season, was just ridiculous…I think we’re very, very disappointed in the way we played last year. We disappointed our fans, we disappointed ourselves. And I think we should be motivated. We’ve done enough talking. It’s time to start playing.”
Gerris Wilkinson Moved to Middle Linebacker: Restricted free agent linebacker Gerris Wilkinson revealed to the media yesterday that the Giants intend to have him compete at the middle linebacker spot along with Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn. Wilkinson played middle linebacker in college for Georgia Tech.
“I would love to play middle,” said Wilkinson. “It’s what I did for two years in college and you just get so much action at that position…What I have in my mind is middle (linebacker) right now. That’s what they’ve talked to me about playing. That’s what I want to play.”
David Diehl Not Ready to Surrender Left Tackle Spot: There has been much speculation in the offseason that second-year tackle William Beatty may become the Giants’ new left tackle, replacing David Diehl. Diehl said yesterday that he does not intend to surrender the starting left tackle position.
“I’ve never been scared of competition,” said Diehl. “Without a doubt, (I believe the job belongs to me),” Diehl said. “Playing that position the last three years, it’s the position that I’m comfortable with. I’m approaching this as a starting left tackle. Until anything is taken away from me, until I lose anything, that’s the way I’m approaching things. Competition is fine. It’s only going to make me a better football player.”
Diehl was asked what if the coaches ask him to change to another position. “We’ll worry about that when it comes,” replied Diehl. “That’s hypothetical. It’s a guess. Who knows how things will work out? All I can do is take care of business and make sure I do everything I can.”
Injury Update: Halfback Ahmad Bradshaw had offseason surgery on both of his feet and his right ankle. He had screws inserted into both feet. Bradshaw says he expects to be running by the end of May.
“It’s something that was needed,” Bradshaw said. “As a running back you need your feet and every bone in them. Now I feel better than ever…It’s going to make it 10 times better. Last year it limited me a whole lot on my cuts and my speed. It limited me just not being able to do exactly what I wanted to do at the time, when I knew I could do it. I think it held me back just a little bit. I didn’t play with my feet (last year). I played with my heart. My feet were in a lot of pain last year. I just fought through it.”
Defensive end Justin Tuck had offseason surgery on his shoulder. “They put me in sections as far as, one week we’ll start doing this and next week we’ll introduce this,” Tuck said. “Next week it’s going to be something new. They haven’t told me yet, but every week there’s been an improvement from the week before. It isn’t as strong as it’s going to be. But the process is rolling and it’s going pretty well right now…I know I’m ahead of where they thought I’d be at this point.”
“I’m just listening to the strength staff and the training staff,” said Tuck. “This is my first time hurting my shoulder. I know how to deal with a knee, I know how to deal with a foot. I’m just listening to them and go off the suggestions they make.”
The Bergen Record also reported the following:
- Halfback Andre Brown: Coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon in training camp, Brown says he expects to be able to practice at Organized Team Activity (OTA) days in a couple of months. He said he is experiencing no problems with the injury.
- Defensive Tackle Jay Alford: Coming off knee surgery, Alford said he is about 85-to-90 percent back.
- Linebacker LB Michael Boley and Defensive Tackle Chris Canty: Both suffered multiple injuries in 2009, but both say they are 100 healthy now.
Quotes: Linebacker Bryan Kehl on how he thinks the linebacking corps will shake out in 2010: “My guess is they’re going to draft a middle linebacker. Maybe first round. I think first round. And they’re going to give that kid all the chance in the world to go take the spot. And then, they’re definitely going to give Chase (Blackburn) and Jon (Goff) their reps. And then, they’re definitely going to give Gerris (Wilkinson) and myself reps. And then, Michael (Boley) is going to be the WILL. And Clint (Sintim) will get every chance to be the SAM. That’s how it’ll be going into camp. That’s my prediction anyway.”
Halfback Brandon Jacobs on his goals for 2010: “I feel like I’m on the verge of where I can be that great back and not just a back who takes up a roster spot, like what I felt I was last year. I want to try to have this year be my breakout season. I want to rush for more yards than I’ve ever rushed for and score more points than I’ve ever scored. I have big goals for myself, and I’m going to wake the people up who fell asleep on me.”