Jan 042011
 

John Mara’s Comments from Sunday: Following up on our “News and Notes” update from Sunday night, here are more quotes from Giants’ President/CEO John Mara after the Giants’ season officially ended in support of Head Coach Tom Coughlin:

“There was never any doubt that (Tom Coughlin) was going to be back next season – never any doubt in my mind, never any doubt in (co-owner) Steve Tisch’s mind, never any doubt in Jerry Reese’s mind,” Mara said Sunday.  “I told him that last week when I went in to see him and just expressed the support of ownership for him. I said, ‘Don’t listen to all of the nonsense that you’re reading about in the paper, you’re going to be back next year, we still believe in you, and we want you as our coach.’ He knew that coming into this game – regardless of what happened, he was going to be back.”

“I believe in the guy, I believe in stability, and you can’t build anything if you’re constantly making changes and firing people,” Mara said. “And that’s just not our culture, it’s not what we believe in and we know this guy is a good coach and we want him to lead us into next season.

“The players play hard for him and I think he’s very organized – he’s everything you want in a coach. I’m obviously disappointed that we didn’t make the playoffs. Everybody in this locker room is disappointed, but that doesn’t mean that you blow the whole thing up. I think we have a good, solid organization. I think that there are some things that we can improve on, but he’s still the guy that we want as our head coach.

“We kept reading the headlines and the stories from all of the esteemed tabloids in New York, but it was never a decision. I know Steve Tisch felt just as strongly as I did and he expressed the same thoughts to Tom.

“I don’t feel like every time there is a headline or a speculation about somebody’s job status that it is my job to step in and make public statements about it,” responded Mara when asked why he didn’t speak out sooner. “That’s not the way we run our business. We don’t give weekly updates about the status of the team or about how we’re feeling that particular week. We wait until the end of the season and then we comment on it. Once you start giving weekly status reports on the coach’s job status or the quarterback’s job status, I just think it’s a bad precedent and it’s just not the way we do business.”

“Finishing the way we did last season was about as disappointing as it could be because when you feel like you’re not competing, that’s pretty tough to take,” Mara said. “This year we competed all season long. It really came down to one bad half of a quarter for us, but I don’t think that when that happens it means you have to blow the whole thing up. Again, stability is something we strive for here. I think that the only time you make a change is if it appears like the players are not responding to the head coach and that is just not the case.

“Usually 10-6 gets you in, but four years ago we got in at 8-8 and probably didn’t deserve it then. Things tend to even out over the years, but it’s disappointing. We have nobody but ourselves to blame. We had that big lead against the Eagles and let it go by and if we had played better in the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter in that game, it’s a whole different story, but we didn’t so we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

“I felt like we had a chance to make a run this year, but it just didn’t work out that way. I’m proud of the way that the players battled through the injuries. We had a makeshift offensive line for most of the year, we’re playing receivers that weren’t even on the roster at the beginning of the season and they played hard and I think that’s a testament to the coach. In this society, everybody wants to fire the coach all the time. If the Yankees get knocked off in the playoffs, everybody wants to fire the manager. Well, we don’t do that here. He’s going to be our coach.”

John Mara on WFAN: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with Giants’ President/CEO John Mara is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Gilbride and Fewell Receiving Interest: According to ESPN, the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns have requested to interview Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell regarding their respective head coaching vacancies.

In addition, there are reports that the University of Connecticut is interested in Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride regarding their head coaching vacancy.

Coughlin Indicates No Imminent Changes to Coaching Staff: Head Coach Tom Coughlin was asked yesterday if he intended to make changes to the coaching staff. “Right now, I’m not,” replied Coughlin. “We’re just starting that part of it, but right now I have to say no.”

General Manager Jerry Reese was asked if he wanted Coughlin to make coaching staff changes. “Well, that’s part of the evaluation process,” replied Reese. “We start evaluating the players, we evaluate the staff, we evaluate the front office, we evaluate everything. We want to get better, we’re all a team, we want to see where we made mistakes and get better.”

“I think that’s something that has to be talked about,” said co-owner John Mara when asked about coaching staff changes. “I have no idea what Tom’s feeling is about that. Until Tom, Jerry, Steve, and myself and other people sit down, I really don’t know.”

“There may be other changes made,” said co-owner Steve Tisch. “Jerry, John and I haven’t discussed the changes, and Jerry, Tom, John, and I haven’t discussed any changes. This is really in a way day one of the 2011 season, and we’re in the process of getting over the 2010 season, and you can see our guys getting packed up and ready to take some time off. This is a great team that wants to play football, and hopefully we’ll be playing football in 2011.”

Injury Update – Seubert Vows to Return: OG/OC Rich Seubert, who suffered a serious knee injury against the Washington Redskins, vows to return in 2011. Seubert will undergo surgery today to repair a dislocated knee cap and a reported tear to his patella tendon.

“I’m not going to let an injury end my career,” Seubert said. “I love playing football. This is the best I’ve felt in a few years. So to make it to the end and then have this happen sucks. But we’ve got the best trainers, we’ve got the best doctors, and I’m not going to say ‘stop.’…They said I’m going to be on crutches for a couple weeks, but Dr. Warren told me this morning that it’s not like what I’ve done before – it’s not like I shattered my leg and I need seven surgeries to put it back together. The kneecap slid out and gave me a little problem and they can fix it. They told me that he’s 100 percent sure they’ll fix it. I’m happy.”

Meanwhile, in other injury news:

  • DE Osi Umenyiora (hip): Umenyiora will reportedly have hip surgery this week or next. One doctor recommended that Umenyiora have surgery on his hip flexor back in July but Umenyiora decided to play with the injury. The injury is reportedly related to the partially torn hip flexor Umenyiora suffered back in 2006. It is expected to take 2-3 months for Umenyiora to recover from the procedure.
  • WR Hakeem Nicks (toe): Nicks revealed yesterday that the toe he fractured was the same one he had surgery performed on in the offseason. “It was like a slight fracture,” said Nicks. “But it was the same toe – the big toe on my left foot – I’d been operated on in the offseason. So I have to sit down for a while.”
  • OC Shaun O’Hara (foot/Achilles): O’Hara said he expects to have surgery performed to clean out his ankle.
  • DE Mathias Kiwanuka (neck): “Kiwi has a significant neck issue and right now he’s just trying to see if he can resolve it with rest and hopefully that’ll be the case and we’ll see more of what kind of contract we can offer him,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “Do we offer him a one year deal so that he can re-establish his value or do we go in a different direction? We’ll see.”
  • S Chad Jones (leg): “Well, Chad is improving,” Reese said. “I still think he has a long way to go. We get videotape of his rehab sessions and I’m not a doctor, but it looks like he has a long way to go still.”
  • WR Domenik Hixon (knee): Hixon said the year on Injured Reserve may actually make him a better player. “To be honest with you, I think I’m going to be better,” Hixon said. “The reason I say that – all the studying I did this year. I had a lot of time to myself, watching games and just taking notes about different things. And kind of on the outside looking in, you got a different perspective.”

Roster Moves: The Giants signed six members of their Practice Squad to reserve/future contracts:

  • HB Charles Scott
  • WR Sam Giguere
  • OL Jim Cordle
  • DT Dwayne Hendricks
  • LB Kenny Ingram
  • CB Woodny Turenne

The Giants also waived/injured CB/Returner Will Blackmon off of Injured Reserve.

Bulluck Probably Won’t Be Back: LB Keith Bulluck, who is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, said he won’t return to the Giants unless he plays full time.

“(A full-time role is) the only way I’m playing football next year,” said Bulluck, who turns 34 in April. “This is the first time I’ve ever, since my rookie year and my second year in the league, come on and off the field. I’m someone that needs to be on the field all the time. That’s just how I feel. So yeah, that’s the only way I’d play football next year.”

2011 Opponents Set: The Giants’ 2011 opponents have been officially set:

Home:

  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Washington Redskins
  • St. Louis Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins

Away:

  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Washington Redskins
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

DE Justin Tuck on WFAN: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with DE Justin Tuck is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Another Chance for Burress?: Giants May Give Plaxico a 2nd Shot by Steve Serby of The New York Post

End-of-Season Notes: The Giants finished their season 10-6, their fourth double-digit victory season in Tom Coughlin’s seven years as head coach.

The Giants were 5-3 at home and 5-3 on the road, the fourth time in the last five years they’ve had a winning record as visitors.

The Giants finished 3-3 vs. the NFC East. Under Coughlin, the Giants have been 4-2 four times and 3-3 three times in division games.

Eli Manning was not sacked in seven games this season. The Giants allowed only 16 sacks all season, including four in the last nine games.

Eli Manning threw 31 touchdown passes this season, the third-highest total in franchise history after Y.A. Tittle threw 36 in 1963 and 33 in 1962.

Manning finished the year with 4,002 yards to become the first Giants quarterback with two 4,000-yard seasons. He threw for 4,021 yards in 2009. Kerry Collins (4,073 in 2002) and Phil Simms (4,044 in 1984) are the only other Giants to pass for more than 4,000 yards.

Manning set a franchise single-season record with 339 completions. The old record of 335 was set by Collins in 2002.

Manning tied a franchise record by throwing his 25 interceptions. Frank Filchock (1946) and Charlie Conerly (1953) were the other Giants quarterbacks to throw 25 interceptions in a season.

Ahmad Bradshaw  finished the season with 1,235 rushing yards, 88 less than he had in his first three seasons combined. It was the seventh-highest total in Giants history. Bradshaw finished with 1,549 yards from scrimmage, the highest total by a Giant since Tiki Barber had 2,127 in 2006.

Brandon Jacobs finished the season with 823 yards. Bradshaw and Jacobs are just the second pair of Giants teammates to rush for at least 800 yards in the same season. In 2008, Jacobs ran for 1,089 yards and Derrick Ward added 1,025.

Jacobs rushed for nine touchdowns this season. He now has 49 in his career, tying Rodney Hampton for second on the Giants’ career list. Barber is first with 55.

Mario Manningham finished the season second on the team (behind Hakeem Nicks) with 60 catches for 944 yards and nine touchdowns.

Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck tied for the team lead with 11.5 sacks apiece, the first time the Giants had two players with at least that many sacks since 2005, when Umenyiora had 14.5 and Michael Strahan finished with 11.5.

Umenyiora led the league with 10 forced fumbles, tying Jason Taylor’s record set in 2006 with Miami. The stat has been kept since 1994.

The Giants finished the season with 46 sacks, their highest total since the 2007 Super Bowl champions led the NFL with 53.

Quotes: Giants’ President/CEO John Mara on QB Eli Manning: “Obviously it wasn’t his best year. But he had a lot of tipped ball and we were playing with I don’t know how many combinations on the offensive line and how many combinations at receiver. So I don’t think we need to kill him for all the interceptions. He’s our guy going forward. He’s won before and we think he’ll win again.”

Jan 022011
 

Giants Win But Miss Playoffs: The Giants defeated the Washington Redskins 17-14 earlier today at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The win improved the Giants to 10-6 and assured them of a second-place finish in the NFC East. However, with the Packers beating the Bears 10-3, the Giants did not make the playoffs. The season is over for the New York Giants.

The game itself was rather uninspiring. The Giants accrued 325 yards of offense, but only 14 first downs. The Redskins gained 385 yards of offense and 20 first downs. Neither team could run the football particularly well with the Giants gaining 82 yards rushing to the Redskins’ 67 yards rushing.

Defensively, the Giants did force four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception). The Giants only turned the football over once (one interception).

The Giants scored on two of their first five drives of the game. After going three-and-out on their first possession, the Giants put together an 11-play, 78 yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by PK Lawrence Tynes.

New York’s next two drives ended with an interception by QB Eli Manning (off of WR Mario Manningham’s hands) and a punt after gaining 37 yards and two first downs. The Giants then went up 10-0 when New York drove 69 yards in nine plays with HB Brandon Jacobs scoring from two yards out.

Defensively, the Giants performed well until late in the second quarter. With just over three minutes to go before halftime, the Redskins drove 80 yards in seven plays to cut the Giants’ lead to 10-7 at the break. Before that, Washington had been held to only five first downs on their four other possessions. The Redskins did miss a 30-yard field goal on the second drive of the game. DE Osi Umenyiora also prevented what looked to be sure points after Manning’s interception when he sacked QB Rex Grossman, forcing a fumble that DE Jason Pierre-Paul recovered.

In the second half, both teams only scored once. The Giants only picked up three first downs in the second half. But one was a big one when Manning hit Manningham for a 92-yard touchdown on New York’s first possession of the second half. After that, the Giants’ offense did pretty much nothing as New York could not pick up a single first down on their next five possessions. The Giants also a 39-yard field goal after the Giants’ defense forced a turnover. New York didn’t pick up their second and third first downs of the second half until late in the 4th quarter.

In the second half, the Giants’ defense forced three turnovers, two punts, and two turnovers on downs. LB Keith Bulluck intercepted one pass, Umenyiora forced another fumble and recovered the football when he sacked Grossman a second time, and LB Jonathan Goff forced a fumble that S Kenny Phillips recovered. However, the Giants also allowed a long touchdown pass when Grossman found WR Anthony Armstrong for a 64-yard touchdown pass with with just under six minutes to play.

Up only 17-14, the Giants picked up two first downs before punting with just over two minutes to play. But the Redskins could only pick up one first down before being stopped on 4th-and-4. The Giants then kneeled on the ball to win the game.

Highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Seubert Suffers Knee Injury: Rich Seubert, who started the game at center for the Giants, was forced to leave the game in the first half with what looks to be a serious knee injury. The Star-Ledger is reporting that team doctors believe Seubert tore his patella tendon in addition to a dislocated knee cap. The injury not only puts into question Seubert’s ability to play in 2011, but his future with the team.

Mara Says Coughlin is Staying: John Mara, the President/CEO of the New York Giants, said after the game that Tom Coughlin will remain the head coach of the team.

“There was never any doubt he was going to be back next season,” Mara said. “There was never any doubt in my mind. There was never any doubt in Steve Tisch’s mind. There was never any doubt in the organization’s mind.

“I told him that last week. I said ‘Don’t listen to all the nonsense,” continued Mara. “You’re going to be back next season. We still believe in you and we want you as your coach.”

“The players play hard for him,” said Mara. “He’s very organized. He’s everything you want as a coach.  I’m obviously disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs. Everybody in this locker room is disappointed. But that doesn’t mean you blow the whole thing up.”

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Hakeem Nicks (toe), WR Duke Calhoun, TE Jake Ballard, OC Shaun O’Hara (foot/Achilles), OL Mitch Petrus, OL Jamon Meredith, DE Dave Tollefson (knee), and CB Corey Webster (ribs/knee).

Jan 022011
 

Does the Season End for the New York Giants Today?: Unless the Giants beat the Redskins AND the Bears beat the Packers today, the Giants season will end sometime around 7:30PM.

NY Post Q&A With OC/OG Rich Seubert: Serby’s Sunday Q&A with…Rich Seubert by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on the 2010 New York Giants:

Article on Head Coach Tom Coughlin: Giants Owe It To Coughlin On Sunday by Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on Players Who Might Be Playing Last Game as Giants: Giants Can’t See Signs by Paul Schwartz of New York Post

Article on Bob Papa: A Man of His Words: Play-by-Play is Bob Papa’s Work, Love by Zach Berman of The Star-Ledger

Jan 012011
 

December 31, 2010 New York Giants Injury Report: WR Hakeem Nicks (broken toe), OC Shaun O’Hara (foot/Achilles), DE Dave Tollefson (knee), and CB Corey Webster (ribs/knee) did not practice. Nicks, O’Hara, and Tollefson have officially been ruled “out” of the regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins. Webster is “questionable” for the game.

“They’re just sore,” Webster said of his ribs. “With ribs, when you sneeze, cough, whatever you do, you can feel them. I’m just trying to take the time and hopefully I’ll do everything that the trainers and the staff have been working with me and I’ll be good on Sunday. If I don’t think I can help the team or play like I normally play, then I don’t want to be out there or hurt the team in any kind of way. If I can go, like I said, then I’m going to try to be out there. I can’t put a timetable or percentage on nothing though. Just want to do everything I can do and work hard and hopefully I can be okay for Sunday.”

DT Chris Canty (neck) and CB/S Brian Jackson (knee) practiced on a limited basis. Canty and Jacks are “questionable” for the game on Sunday.

HB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle), DE Justin Tuck (chest), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), and S Antrel Rolle (ankle) fully practiced. All four players are “probable” for the game against the Redskins.

Offensive Line Changes for Sunday: With OC Shaun O’Hara (foot/Achilles) out, the Giants announced yesterday that Rich Seubert will start at center, David Diehl will start at left guard, and Shawn Andrews will start at left tackle.

Andrews will need another Toradol injection just to play. When he was asked if he will be able to play next season and beyond, Andrews said, “My passion says ‘Yes.’ My body? Me and my body we’re talking it out right now. We’re seeing where we are…I’ve worked my butt off too hard. Just making it back and getting picked up by the Giants I beat the odds. Being here and now that I love it, I don’t want it to be over…I’m doing what I need to do to make sure I can stay in for the length of the game. Of course I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I intend to finish the game and finish the game strong.”

The Giants will have to make a decision in a few months on whether to keep Andrews or not. He’s due a $3.5 million bonus in March in addition to a $3 million salary in 2011 and a $500,000 workout bonus.