Aug 312008

New York Giants Cut Roster to 53: The Giants reduced their roster yesterday from 75 players to 53, as required by the NFL.

The following players were placed on Injured Reserve:

  • QB Anthony Wright (neck)
  • LT Guy Whimper (broken foot)
  • OC Digger Bujnoch (sprained knee)

The following 20 players were waived or had their contract terminated:

  • QB Andre’ Woodson
  • FB Robert Douglas
  • WR Brandon London
  • WR Marcus Monk
  • TE Jerome Collins
  • TE Eric Butler
  • OT Cliff Louis
  • OG Na’Shan Goddard
  • OG Andrew Bain
  • OG Kurt Quarterman
  • DE Wallace Gilberry
  • DE Alex Morrow
  • DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo
  • DT Jeremy Clark
  • LB Tank Daniels
  • LB James Terry
  • CB Geoffrey Pope
  • CB Darren Barnett
  • S Stuart Schweigert
  • PK Josh Huston

“As always, we try to keep the best 53 football players,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “I like this squad a lot – number one we have talented players, number two I believe they’re focused and still hungry with something to prove.”

“This is a very tough day,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “When you look into the eyes of the players you see three or four different reactions. On the one hand, there will be the guy who had no idea he was going to be released and he’s in a state of shock. Another is the guy who desperately wanted to make the team and probably did a pretty good job of camouflaging it a lot of times, but now there’s no camouflage whatsoever. He’s devastated. Then there are the eyes of the individual who kind of knew it was coming, is very gracious about it and wants to thank everybody for the opportunity that he’s had. Then there are the young guys who you can encourage and perhaps offer a practice squad position to. Those guys seem to come back off the floor once they know that there is going to be a practice squad opportunity for them should they clear waivers.”

“You have a lot of emotions and you have a lot of people that are anxious about this day,” said Coughlin. “You have some guys that come to the building here and it hasn’t sunk in why they’re here, so when they come up to you they’re in a state of shock. It’s an anxious day for the player. And it’s not a happy day for all of us here, because you’ve had so many people that have played and tried so hard and they’re not going to be a part of our team. That’s the unfortunate nature of the process.”

“Because every group of young men is a new group,” said Coughlin. “You become attached to them. You find out what they’re made of, you watch them practice and play and recognize the effort they give. No two circumstances are ever the same with regard to releasing the players.”

The Giants only kept two quarterbacks: Eli Manning and David Carr. “We’ll see how that goes,” Coughlin said. “Obviously, it’s a calculated risk. We studied all the numbers. There’s a 90 percent assurance you never get beyond the one (backup) quarterback. The thing about it is, with our kicker situation at this point in time, we felt like we needed to be able to protect some players and still be able to do the things necessary from the standpoint of placekickers.”

HB Reuben Droughns, CB Sam Madison, and CB R.W. McQuarters were considered to be on the bubble by some.  “There isn’t any doubt about them being good players,” Coughlin said. “They’re veteran players and they’ve seen an awful lot in this game and they’ve been able to react to it. Each individual is different.  From the standpoint of Reuben, we have a pretty good group of guys at running back and felt like they were all worthy of making an NFL team and they have so many roles that they can play. Reuben can be a fullback, he can be a running back, he can be a special teams player, he can be a short-yardage and goal line guy. He has a lot of hats he can wear.”

Five defensive players who started in Super Bowl XLII are no longer with the team: DE Michael Strahan, DE Osi Umenyiora, LB Kawika Mitchell, LB Reggie Torbor, and S Gibril Wilson. All 11 offensive starters from the Super Bowl return.

There are 11 new players on the squad: S Kenny Phillips, CB Terrell Thomas, WR Mario Manningham, LB Bryan Kehl, LB Jonathan Goff, QB David Carr, LB Danny Clark, DE Renaldo Wynn, Sammy Knight, DT Rodney Leisle, and PK John Carney. No undrafted rookie free agents made the team this year.

“I think most of the time if you go back and look, the roster turnover is in that area,” Coughlin said. “There is always change in some way, shape or form. The other thing is you’re always in a position where you’re trying to develop your young guys to come along. That’s always a factor. You’re counting on the veteran experience from the offensive side of the ball and hoping the new guys can become integrated as fast as possible to the sophistication to the in-season play. You just hope people can come together as fast as possible to make the kind of plays that are necessary to win.”

Eight players can be signed to the Practice Squad as early as today.

New York Giants Sign John Carney: The Giants yesterday signed PK John Carney.  Carney has played 20 seasons in the NFL, including kicking for both the Jacksonville Jaguars (8 games) and Kansas City Chiefs (5 games) in 2007.  He was not with any team in camp this summer.

PK Lawrence Tynes (knee) still has not returned to practice and PK Josh Huston was waived yesterday.

“We went with experience,” said General Manager Jerry Reese.

“When you go into your first game of the year, and you’re in the situation we’re in from the standpoint of our placekicker, there isn’t any question that in the back of your mind is the fact this is a veteran,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “That’s really the number one thing. John Carney has so much experience and been in this league for so long, kicked so many game-winning field goals and been in so many tight situations. It’s very difficult to overlook that part of it, especially when you’re week-to-week with your present kicker, a guy that’s kicked a 47-yarder to put you in the Super Bowl.”

“I haven’t found anything better to do yet,” Carney said. “I’ve been training and I feel good. I feel strong and healthy. I’m motivated to continue my career. I felt good about the way things worked out last year, when I filled in for an injured kicker down in Jacksonville. Then I finished the season with Kansas City and things worked out well. I felt confident if I continued to train and hope, I would get some more opportunities here in 2008.”

“This is a phenomenal team that had a remarkable season last year,” Carney said. “I was very proud to see the Giants pull off the amazing victory in the Super Bowl, and I feel honored and blessed to be here with the team right now.”

New York Post Q&A With DE/DT Justin Tuck: Serby’s Sunday Q&A With…Just Tuck by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on LB Antonio Pierce: Antonio Pierce Wants Extension, But Not Sensing Any Giant Love by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Aug 302008

August 29, 2008 New York Giants Injury Update: WR Domenik Hixon (back spasms), LT Guy Whimper (foot), OC Digger Bujnoch (knee), and DE Dave Tollefson (stinger) were all injured in Thursday’s game against the Patriots.

“Bujnoch is having the MRI,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He is at the hospital right now.  Hixon had muscle spasms, as you know.  Hopefully we can quiet that down so that he can be in position to work on Sunday…(Whimper) is in the same boat.  He is at the MRI right now.  Evidently he is still over at the hospital because I have not heard.”

“I think (Tollefson) will be fine,” said Coughlin.

LB Antonio Pierce, who missed the game and a number of practices with a back injury, says he will be ready this week.  “I am good.  I am 100 percent, ready to go,” said Pierce.  I will be on the practice field on Sunday preparing to beat the Redskins.”

When asked about PK Lawrence Tynes, who has missed the past two games, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “He obviously has not had the green light yet.”

Giants Must Cut Roster to 53 on Saturday: The Giants must cut their roster from 75 to 53 by 6:00PM on Saturday.

Article on WR Brandon London: Giants Wide Receiver London Hoping to Survive Cutdown Day by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on CBs Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters: Cutting Corners by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Aug 282008

Giants Finish Preseason With a Win: The NFL Champion New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 19-14 earlier tonight at the Meadowlands.  The Giants finished the preseason 2-2 and will face the Washington Redskins in one week at Giants Stadium in the regular season opener.

As for the game against New England, Head Coach Tom Coughlin decided not to play QB Eli Manning, QB Anthony Wright, WR Plaxico Burress, WR Amani Toomer, TE Kevin Boss, RT Kareem McKenzie, and DE/DT Justin Tuck.  Six other players did not play due to injury: LB Antonio Pierce (back), LB Danny Clark (groin), LB Jonathan Goff (back), CB Terrell Thomas (hamstring), OG Na’Shan Goddard (concussion), and PK Lawrence Tynes (knee).

In place of the regular starters were Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith at wide receiver, Kevin Boothe at right tackle, Renaldo Wynn at left defensive end, Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker, and Bryan Kehl at strongside linebacker.

The Giants held a 19-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.  Two late New England touchdowns cut the final score to a 5-point margin.

The Giants’ defense shutout New England’s offense (minus QB Tom Brady and WR Wes Welker) in the first half.  The Patriots’ first five drives of the first half only netted 45 yards.  And while their final drive of the first half accrued 71 yards, that possession (and the half) ended with an interception by CB R.W. McQuarters in the end zone on 2nd-and-goal from the 2-yard line.

The Giants, led by QB David Carr, moved the ball 80 yards in nine plays on their first possession of the game, the drive culminating in a 26-yard touchdown throw from Carr to TE Darcy Johnson.  Johnson broke a tackle and ran over defenders on the way to the end zone.  HB Brandon Jacobs had two key runs of 19 and 11 yards on this drive and HB Derrick Ward also gained 11 yards on another run.

“We had a flag route called and they brought two on the blitz and I turned around and caught the ball,” said Johnson.  “I turned around and a little guy tried to tackle my legs.  Last week I got tackled at the two-yard line and they chop blocked me.  I figured they were going to try to do that again.  I just stiff-armed them and saw the end zone.  The little dude tried to tackle me up high and I drove him for a couple of yards, especially when I saw the end zone was so close. I just wanted to make it in.”

The Giants’ next three drives were unproductive, including two 3-and-outs, but the Giants put together another touchdown drive on their final possession of the first half, marching 71 yards in 12 plays.  Carr found WR Mario Manningham for 12 yards on 3rd-and-4 and Darcy Johnson for 14 yards on 4th-and-1 before finding WR Sinorice Moss for a 9-yard touchdown catch.  PK Josh Huston missed the extra point.  Giants 13 – Patriots 0 at the half.

The Giants absolutely dominated the time of possession in the third quarter with two drives that resulted in field goals.  New England only had the ball for three plays and 90 seconds in the entire third quarter.

The first Giants’ drive went 54 yards in 13 plays and the second 64 yards in 18 plays.  However, on the first drive, the Giants had a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line and could not punch the ball into the end zone.  Huston’s 20-yard field goal extended the lead to 16-0.  Key plays on this drive were Carr’s passes to Manningham for eight yards on 3rd-and-7 and WR Brandon London for 11 yards on 3rd-and-3.  HB Danny Ware converted on two key third-down situations on the 18-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal by Huston.  Giants 19 – Patriots 0.

New England scored touchdowns on their final two possessions of the game.  The first being a 7-play, 47-yard drive that was set up by a 44-yard kickoff return.  The second drive was a 5-play, 18-yard effort that was set up by a 42-yard punt return.

The Giant ran off the last five minutes of the game with a 9-play drive.

“I thought that David Carr did a nice job tonight,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.  “We were able to rush the ball; we were able to do a few things early on.  Trouble on our special teams and our cover teams late, but we were able to hang in there and win a game.  We got a lot of people to play.  We saw a lot of versatility, so it is a good way to finish up the preseason for us.”

Carr finished the game 20-of-29 for 192 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.  Ware was the leading ground gainer with 49 yards on 13 carries, but HB Reuben Droughns (34 yards), Jacobs (32 yards), HB Ahmad Bradshaw (30 yards), and Ward (11 yards) all chipped in.

As for the receivers, Manningham caught 5 passes for 41 yards, Darcy Johnson had 2 catches for 40 yards, London 4 catches for 40 yards, WR Steve Smith 3 catches for 16 yards, and Moss 2 catches for 19 yards.

“I was just trying to contribute to my team as much as I could,” said Manningham.  “I was just trying to make plays and get better every play.  I felt tonight was a real good night to develop chemistry with the team.  I also felt we started to come together.  Even though the starters weren’t out there, the second and third strings were also contributing which is really important for this team to develop depth.  I felt we did pretty good tonight with so many different guys in.”

Defensively, DE Mathias Kiwanuka had a sack and DE Dave Tollefson and DE Renaldo Wynn shared a sack.

“Basically I felt good,” said Kiwanuka, who was recently moved back to defensive end from linebacker.  “I’m glad the change came early enough in preseason so that I could get acclimated to the position and get enough reps going into the regular season.  I have 100% confidence that I will get the job done this year.  It wasn’t 100% for me.  I know I’m not where I need to be.  I know I’m not where I can be.  I’m not playing up to my potential yet.  But for having one week of practice with my hand in the dirt, I felt good about it.”

Injury Report: WR Domenik Hixon left the game with back spasms. Also suffering injuries were LT Guy Whimper (turf toe), DE Dave Tollefson (stinger), and OC Digger Bujnoch (knee).

Giants Must Cut Roster to 53 on Saturday: The Giants must cut their roster from 75 to 53 by 6:00PM on Saturday.

Aug 282008

Injury Report: WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), LB Antonio Pierce (back), LB Danny Clark (groin), LB Jonathan Goff (back), and PK Lawrence Tynes (knee) are not expected to play tonight again the Patriots.

New York Giants 2007 Awards: At the Giants’ annual kickoff luncheon, the team honored the following players for their performance in the 2007 NFL season:

  • Team MVP: QB Eli Manning
  • Defensive Player of the Year: DE Osi Umenyiora and LB Antonio Pierce
  • Offensive Player of the Year: WR Plaxico Burress and the starting offensive line (LT David Diehl, LG Rich Seubert, OC Shaun O’Hara, RG Chris Snee, RT Kareem McKenzie)
  • Rookie of Year: Entire 2007 draft class (CB Aaron Ross, WR Steve Smith, DT Jay Alford, LB Zak DeOssie, TE Kevin Boss, OT Adam Koets, S Michael Johnson, and HB Ahmad Bradshaw) and rookie free agent TE Michael Matthews
  • Special Teams Player of the Year: LB Chase Blackburn

Article on QB Eli Manning: Book by News Writer Looks at How Giants and Eli Climbed to Top of NFL by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Notes: Giants’ starters are only expected to play about 10 snaps tonight against the Patriots.

Aug 272008
New York Jets 10 – New York Giants 7

Summary: Resiliency. The Giants of 2007 defined the term, after being counted out before the season even began, and every step of the way through a roller coaster season and playoff run. Everyone despairing over the loss of Osi Umenyiora, I recommend that you re-watch the Super Bowl Intro from last year, and take those words to heart. If you’ve given up already, then you have no idea what this team is made of. Is it realistic to expect a repeat or a deep playoff run when your two top defensive ends from a year ago are on the set at Fox and in a recovery room? Of course it’s not. Have we counted these guys out before? Whether you admit it or not, of course we have.

“We had teammates go down, and we never lost a beat.” – 2007 New York Giants

As for the game itself, it was as boring as you can possibly ask for with a side helping of sloppy. The Giants offense sputtered for most of the first half until a 13 play 63 yard effort that resulted in a missed FG from Josh Huston. Not nearly the train wreck I thought it would be upon closer inspection, the Giants simply looked out of sync and were a few missed blocks and assignments away from being the offense they need to be to play winning football this year. Game planning should help that considerably as well. Big Blue looked shaky offensively throughout the night, but again more out of sync than alarmingly bad. With the lack of practice time the starting unit has had, the passing game and offense overall will suffer until the entire team is healthy and practicing together.

Defensively, the Giants attacking defense looked strong right out of the gate, but the Jets put together two 7 play drives in the 2nd quarter in which the Giants pass rush slowed considerably. At first glance it appeared that defense was tiring and indeed a lack of depth up front will hurt this team (or any team for that matter) if the running game and the offense do not control the clock. I will say it again, it is only pre-season but when you see the Giants young talented and athletic front seven sucking wind midway through the second quarter it makes you stand up and take notice. Did the loss of Umenyiora deflate the team, or is the defensive line rotation that much weaker now that it’s top two ends are gone?

Now, the 2008 Giants have to replace two Pro Bowl caliber defensive ends and a perennial Pro Bowl TE if they hope to have a successful season. Strahan is not on the way, Osi is laid up after surgery and Shockey is frolicking with his old friend Sean Payton in New Orleans, certain life will be better away from the bright lights and big city.

“We have faced this challenge before, do you dare count us out again?” – Sam Madison. Well Giant faithful, do you?

Quarterbacks: Eli Manning and the Giants offense produced absolutely nothing on the scoreboard in the first half against the Jets, after looking strong right off the bat with a 13 yard out to Amani Toomer and a bullet to Domenik Hixon for 22 yards on a beautifully thrown corner route. Number 10 then just overshot Hixon, and then held the ball far too long on 2nd down, resulting in a 2 yard loss as Calvin Pace came free from his OLB spot. Four and a half seconds should be plenty of time to get rid of the ball Eli. Manning had no shot on the Giants second drive, as he was taken down on a badly missed blitz pickup and dropped for a 10 yard loss and saw a screen pass to Brandon Jacobs go for only 5 on 3rd and 17. I assume Dan Reeves was given honorary play calling duties on the Giants next possession. I could almost hear Reeves’ Georgia twang in the headset – “Let’s go ahead and go with three running playshs, one nice safe short pashs and a punt. I’m old, I hate New York and I have to call Tommy Maddox before night night time and make sure he’shs all tucked eenn.” Eli’s pass to his new favorite WR Domenik Hixon was nicely thrown over the middle in the traffic but once again the Giants went nowhere as the first quarter ended. The next possession wasn’t much better: 4 plays for 23 yards and a punt.

Overall Manning had a solid outing going 10-17 for 113 yards in a half of play. His first four drives ended in punts, but his passes were crisp and he again looked decisive and ready to play. Eli once again ran a nice 2 minute drive but was undone by Sinorice Moss on two consecutive plays inside the goal line. Adding to the train wreck on offense, Eli then stepped right into Calvin Pace as he was dropping back and was dumped for a 16 yard loss. Ugly end to one ugly half of football. On the bright side, Eli seems to really have perfected is his ability to hit the intermediate out route with timing and accuracy. With all of his weapons back soon, Eli looks ready to continue his progression into the upper echelon of NFL QBs.

David Carr went 2 for 2, so that’s good. He also looked yippy in the pocket again, taking two sacks almost immediately upon entering the game and almost falling down on the handoff that resulted in Ahmad Bradshaw’s three yard scoring scamper. Carr got sacked four times and quite honestly he looks likes he wants to be wrapped up and tossed around by big sweaty defenders.

Andre’ Woodson finally got to use his arms for something other than holding a clipboard or handing Eli water. Woodson’s release is sloooowww, as advertised, but he sets up quickly and has solid footwork. Despite going 3 for 8, Woodson hit Mario Manningham for 33 yards on a beautifully thrown go route and showed solid pocket awareness unlike his predecessor. Not too bad of a job for Woodson, though his debut was very short lived and he almost coughed up a bad INT deep in Jets territory. For what it’s worth, Woodson passes the eyeball test.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs once again let the mental aspect of his game slip, badly missing ILB David Harris on the Giants second drive, resulting in a quick sack of QB Eli Manning and a drive killing 10 yard loss. When the opposition rushes only 4, and 5 OL and a 265lb RB cannot pick it up, you’re going to be in for a long night offensively. Jacobs slipped trying to cut inside on a on a well designed screen on the very next play, opting to try to outrun a CB to the lane instead of taking it right at him. Jacobs seems to be developing a habit of hitting what he should and can avoid and trying to avoid what he should instead hit. I don’t know if it’s ego or lack of awareness, but his poor decision making has to drive the coaches batty at times. Jacobs looked inspired on the Giants next drive, ripping off a beautiful 19 yard counter that showed off his speed, cutback ability and power but then got stuffed on a 3rd and 1 as he ran too high and appeared to lose the handle on the ball for a second. Other than his 19 yard run, Jacobs struggled to get 7 yards on his 5 other carries.

Derrick Ward was the Giants most effective back against the hated green boogery stupid jerkface Jets. I’m sorry for the coarse language, but when Big E, our fearless editor, said of the Jets – “They are a second-rate team and their fans are turds” I just got really caught up in hating the Jets again. Ward looked like his explosion has returned after breaking his leg last year, as evidenced by his nifty 17 yard scamper through the Jets defense as the first half wound down. Ahmad Bradshaw continued his strong running from a week ago, bulling his way for 28 yards on 7 carries and the Giants’ lone touchdown of the evening. FB Robert Douglas won’t make this squad, but he is giving it everything he has, slamming into defenders and flying around on special teams. Danny Ware again ran hard, though he got only 4 carries. Ware does make the most of every carry though, slamming into defenders and always moving forward.

Wide Receivers: Domenik Hixon continued to make plays, hauling in 3 passes for 51 yards, including a perfectly timed route with Eli Manning for 22 yards on the game’s first possession. Hixon however misread CB Darrelle Revis’ alignment and failed to make an out cut on a 3rd down pass from Manning that fell just incomplete. Given Hixon’s penchant for learning from his mistakes, I doubt he misreads that again. Hixon made another nice 22 yard catch and run on a crossing route that he and Manning both read perfectly. It wasn’t a 3 TD night for Hixon, but he’s here to stay as a WR and it’s clear he and Manning are developing some chemistry. Amani Toomer made his return, brief though it was, nabbing a 13 yard out and calling it a night. If not for Plaxico Burress’ magically healing ankle, second year WR Steve Smith would win the first annual “Missing Camper Award” after missing weeks in Albany with various leg ailments. Smith made an impact in his return, hauling in 4 passes for 37 yards and providing the same type of solid route running and dependable hands he displayed as a rookie. Sinorice Moss caught a pass, but I find myself really indifferent to him. I think if I came home from work and saw him eating my food, I’d just assume it wouldn’t last and he wouldn’t make much of an impact on my pantry. My indifference was rewarded when Annoying Smurf smurfed the ball away on a smurfy pass from Eli Smurf that should have been a Smurfdown. 1980’s childhood flashbacks…not pretty…not ever.

Mario Manningham gets his own paragraph, for finally making his NFL debut. More of a stanza really, not a true paragraph, but Manningham certainly looked fluid and made a great 33 yard catch down the sideline from fellow rookie Andre’ Woodson. Pretty Good Mario (not yet Super Mario) did fail to hang onto a 4th down pass from Woodson that could have given the Giants a chance to keep driving for a late game score.

Tight Ends: The Jets’ 3-4 pressure schemes made it a bit difficult to judge Kevin Boss’ blocking early, as some of his routes took OLB Calvin Pace down the field and another left a gaping hole for Kerry Rhodes to arrive on a blitz and force a throw away by Archie’s most boring son. Boss did get a solid knockdown on a kick out block on rookie OLB Vernon Gholston, but the effort was wasted as OT Kareem Mackenzie failed to seal off Jets’ DE Kenyon Coleman. Boss had a solid seal block on Derrick Ward’s 17 yard scamper in the 2nd quarter, providing a great lane for Ward to burst through. Boss still struggles with his power, but his technique improves each week from what I can see. Darcy Johnson awoke from his Summer slumber and had a nice 10 yard gain to get the Giants within striking distance for Ahmad Bradshaw’s TD run.

O-Line: From the box score, I assumed the front five played a poor game as Giant QBs were dumped 8 times. I totally forgot about the David Carr factor guys, I apologize for doubting you. But upon further review, it was more the entire offense that seemed out of sync. The first sack on Manning was a coverage sack (throw it away little brother) and LT David Diehl simply could not stay with Jet DE Calvin Pace on a nice spin move as Manning moved up in the pocket. To be honest, I’m not sure who was to blame on 3rd and 12 as Safety Kerry Rhodes timed his blitz perfectly, forcing Manning to throw the ball away. Given that the Jets had three down lineman and walked up three LBs to the right side of the defense, it might just be a really well designed blitz that OL coach Pat Flaherty needs to address.

The front five again showed how well they can seal cutback lanes on Brandon Jacobs 19 yard counter, but on an off tackle run in the same series, RT Kareem Mackenzie failed to seal DE Kenyon Coleman. Coleman then got into the hole and forced Jacobs outside for a 1 yard gain on what was a nicely blocked play by everyone but #67. Eli was sacked on 3rd and goal when David Diehl gave ground to Calvin Pace, but that sack is on Eli for walking right into Pace. You’re off the hook Dave, I won’t have to take your lunch money…yet.

With the exception of the blitz by Kerry Rhodes, Eli had ample time to throw and Giant runners managed 5.1 yards per carry, so despite the early hiccups, all in all a solid effort but not the most precise one. I’ll toss you guys a mulligan, mostly because if any of you sat on me, it would hurt a lot.

The backups were not good early, as David Carr got dumped on his first two pass attempts. Guy Whimper played lazy football on the edge, showing decent footwork but once again not establishing a power base and lunging far too much in pass protection. OG Kevin Boothe again showed excellent feet pulling on a few runs, but he still struggles to finish blocks on the run. If Boothe can tighten up his technique and learn to explode into defenders instead of nudging them politely, he has a shot to be a keeper at LG. Mangini and his jerky Jets did blitz relentlessly in the second half, but this is the NFL and whining about the opposition being too aggressive…that just won’t happen here.

Front 7: Author’s Note: Given the varied fronts and personnel packages the Giants use under Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, I’ll be looking at the front 7 as a whole initially rather than separating the D-line and Linebackers. Hybrid roles such as LBs playing in a 3 point stance make analyzing the front 7 as one unit more cohesive. It may change as we move forward or from game to game.

Dear Justin Tuck, if you don’t stop playing so well my wife might think I have a man crush on you. (Note to self: find out if Tucky likes flowers). Brett Favre’s Lambeau Lambasting was immediately revisited on the second play from scrimmage when Tuck once again flattened out, read the play and stuffed Broadway Brett on 2nd down. Remember the Lions offense using rollouts and bootlegs and waggles (OH MY) and looking so gosh darn sharp? It’s over. Spags and DL coach Mike Waufle went to work, and it seems Mr. Tuck was paying attention and shut down the bootleg all by himself. The Giants swarming front 7 made it an easy 3 and out on their first series.

Then LB, now DE Mathias Kiwanuka combined with Tuck on the Jets next series to clamp down their side of the LOS and let the LBs and DBs clean things up on a Thomas Jones 5 yard gain. Not a flashy play, but the type of dirty work that separates the good defenses from the great ones. Favre’s next throw was high to a wide open Chris Baker, most likely the fault of MLB Chase Blackburn not getting enough depth in his drop and keeping himself between the QB and his target. Blackburn then got steamrolled out of the way on WR Brad Smith’s 20 yard catch and run. Exactly the type of play that injured starter Antonio Pierce made in the NFC Championship game last year. AP might be slow, look out of shape and blow air horns at reporters, but he makes the plays others don’t and seeing Blackburn fail on that screen reminded me once again how valuable #58 is to this defense.

Tuck did it again on the next bootleg attempt, correctly putting himself between Favre and his receiver, but no one was in the vicinity as Blackburn and OLB Gerris Wilkinson (I think it was 59 and not 55) both bit on an inside fake and got caught up in the wash. Newly anointed SAM LB Danny Clark then shot in on the next play, timing a blitz perfectly to bring down Leon Washington for a 2 yard loss. Kiwi continued his solid game, making an outstanding open field stop on Leon Washington on 3rd and 1 to force the Jets into a 4th and 1. Wilkinson showed a good ability to read his keys and be in the right spot (9 tackles on the night) but it seems his timing is just a bit off from so much injury time. Assuming he can stay healthy, I like Gerris’ ability to hold down a spot and play solid football for us this year.

How did the often overlooked tandem of Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield do? 58 yards on 26 carries for the entire game for the Jets. I’d say they did ok. The duo won’t get much publicity, but they consistently stack up the running game and kept the Jets’ QBs from having any pocket to step up into. Giant fans, don’t underestimate the importance of that ability when judging this defense.

Renaldo Wynn looked stout again against the run and will be counted on as a big time component now with the loss of Osi Umenyiora. Wynn was drafted as a DT out of Notre Dame, so his versatility will be a big plus for this DL rotation. Just for good measure, Wynn made an INT on a zone blitz as he dropped perfectly into the flat to come up with the turnover. DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo likely won’t make this team, but he’s a guy to keep an eye on for the practice squad. O.N. (like I’m spelling that name again) had some solid push up front and did stand out on a few plays.

Film Room Rewind: Not this week, this game stunk too much and Osi got hurt. I don’t wanna. FRR will be back weekly once the real games start.

Defensive Backs: At some point, the defensive backs should just refuse to meet or practice until the front 7 stops stealing all the glory. Corey Webster flew in on a Thomas Jones 5 yard gain to seal the edge, continuing his aggressive physical play from last season. I’m starting to believe Corey, don’t let me down! You’re still behind Corey Feldman on my list of Coreys but the good news is you have finally inched past Corey Haim. “The Lost Boys”…pffft, give me “The Goonies” and Super Bowl 42 any day. On Jet WR Brad Smith’s 20 yard gain, it appeared that CBs Kevin Dockery and Aaron Ross both read the play quickly, but Dockery was just blocked out of the play. More troublesome, is that CB Aaron Ross was easily blocked out of the play and gave no physical effort to make a tackle despite being further downfield than Smith when he was tackled. That is far from the physical brand of football this defense has grown to embrace. Webster was quasi-victimized, albeit on a penalty negated 29 yard pass to Brad Smith. Two-Three had nice coverage and tracked the ball in the air, but Favre made a nice throw and Smith made a one handed grab. Sometimes the opposition just makes a nice play, and that was one of those cases. Luckily an illegal shift negated the play and the Jets were forced to punt. Ross did make an outstanding physical play upending RB Thomas Jones for a 2 yard gain in the 2nd quarter so maybe Ross just started slowly when he watched Brad Smith scamper past him in the first quarter.

S James Butler was easily the most effective player in the secondary, playing close to the LOS, making 4 tackles and really providing a physical presence in the running game. It was easily the best game I’ve ever seen Butler play.

Dockery later got absolutely smoked by WR Jerricho Cotchery but it was again negated by an illegal shift. Before that completion though, Kenny “Bud” Phillips showed how even the most ballyhooed rookie can get eaten alive by a veteran QB. Favre looked #21 off easily, removing Dockery’s deep help and exposing the Giants secondary badly. Bud did get his feet under him, nearly decapitating Marcus Henry on a deep out in which he showed outstanding sideline to sideline to speed.

Terrell Thomas got victimized by fellow rookie Dustin Keller on a seam pass. Thomas had good position but just missed the ball. “Bud” made Keller pay on a quick slant when he slammed the rookie TE to the oddly shiny Giants stadium turf. Geoffrey Pope, have fun bagging groceries. If Pope makes this team I will be absolutely shocked. You don’t give up two long completions and the game’s lone TD to backup nobodies and expect to stick.

Special Teams: Honestly, very run of the mill, nothing big on the plus or minus side. Danny Ware did have a nice 38 yard return after the Jets broke the scoreless tie in the 2nd half. Josh Huston continued to be perfect on field goal attempts this pre-season. And by perfect, I mean he has yet to fail to miss one.

Coaching: Yes yes, it is preseason and I know the old line; hell I’ve parroted it for two weeks. I just didn’t get some of the play calls if this was the last real action this offense will have until Sept. 4th. Only the 2 minute drive at the end of the first half looked planned well. It really looked like Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride was just tossing things into his big hair and pulling out whatever didn’t get stuck.

JPog (Joey’s Player of the Game) – Given the overall crappiness of this game, I’d like to give myself the JPoG for sitting through this snooze fest but that is patently against JPoG rules as no friends for family members are eligible for the award. It’s not a big honor this week but I’ll give the nod to Gerris Wilkinson, who had a few plays where he was a step late but overall was in the right place at the right time and showed a really nice feel for the running game. Wilkinson also seems to have his blitz timing down and was all over the field in the second half. GW, you will be honored with an official “Wilkerson” jersey just in case you forget how to spell..wait what? Wilkinson? Well I already stitched the letters on, get used to your new name Gerris.

JBog (Joey’s Bum of the Game) – The aforementioned oddly shiny turf gets the JBoG this week. The turf reminded me of the last girl I mistakenly dated before I found my wonderful wife. It was too shiny, not a fun playing surface and just plain mean. Thankfully the overused Field Turf at the Meadowlands will only haunt us for 2 more seasons, as the New Meadowlands will open in 2010. Good riddance to bad turf.

Good Luck with your recovery Osi, we will miss you!!! Now we’ll see if “Resiliency” was a Fox marketing ploy or what truly defines the men in this locker room.

(Box Score – New York Giants at New York Jets, August 23, 2008)
Aug 272008

Michael Strahan Stays Retired: Recently-retired DE Michael Strahan has decided to stay retired.

“This has been one of the toughest nights of my life,” Strahan said from Greece yesterday. “But after long deliberation and throwing around a million scenarios in my head for the past day, I think it’s just best if I stay retired.”

“I have gone back and forth on this because as a player you’ll always want to play, you’ll never lose that urge to be out there,” said Strahan. “But I could only do this if I could commit 100 percent, physically, mentally, emotionally and I can’t do that. I’ve tried to convince myself and my body to give it one more year, but in the end I just don’t think I could turn it on like I need to again.”

Strahan told FOXSports that the team and he held discussions and said the money the Giants offered was enough to complete the deal. But he simply did not want to play anymore.

“I really love my life now,” said Strahan. “It’s great having nobody put a finger on me. You really put yourself through an awful lot in this league, more than people realize. I’ve got a great home at FOX now and I think it’s where I belong. I wish I could’ve had different news for Giants fans but I’ve known for a while I’m done.”

“We talked money, but the money was secondary to whether he was actually coming back,” said Strahan’s agent. “First, you have to figure out if you can come back and he never really got past that point.”

“I think he was close (to returning),” said his agent. “I think he was telling himself, ‘Hey, I can make a difference.’ But ultimately, you have to look at all the factors. And like I said before, after going out on top the way he did, he really separated himself from all of it. It just would have been too hard for him to get back to where he was.”

FOXSports is reporting that Strahan received a call early Monday from General Manager Jerry Reese at the urging of Giants’ Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch.

“We knew it was a long shot, but we owed it to ourselves to exhaust the possibility,” said Reese. “We appreciate Michael even considering ending his retirement. He has a new career in front of him and we wish him nothing but the best. As we all said when he announced his retirement, Michael was and is a great Giant.”

Umenyiora Undergoes Knee Surgery, Giants Put Him on Season-Ending Injured Reserve: As expected, DE Osi Umenyiora underwent surgery on the damaged meniscus in his left knee yesterday. And the Giants put him on Injured Reserve, officially ending his season.

“Regarding the surgical procedure on Osi Umenyiora, the doctors were very pleased,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “The surgery went well. The knee looked good. The prognosis is very, very optimistic for a full recovery.”

Umenyiora’s agent says Umenyiora’s surgery went well and that he is expected to begin running again in February 2009.

Injury Update: Not practicing again today were LB Antonio Pierce (back), LB Danny Clark (groin), LB Jonathan Goff (back), CB Terrell Thomas (hamstring), and PK Lawrence Tynes (knee).

WR Plaxico Burress (ankle) practiced fully for the second day in a row. “Yeah, I feel pretty good,” said Burress. “It’s something I haven’t been able to do in the past year, to go out and practice with no limitations. I worked this (Tuesday) morning and I wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be. It’s all positive that I can go out there back to back days. I’m going to get some treatment and see how I feel (Wednesday), but as of right now I feel pretty good.”

“(The orthotics) definitely helped a lot,” Burress said. “It’s something I’m still getting used to, but they do help a lot.”

Coughlin did indicate however that Burress probably won’t play against the Patriots on Thursday.

Giants Waive WRs Michael Jennings and Craphonso Thorpe, Place WR David Tyree on PUP/Reserve List: The Giants have waived WR Michael Jennings and waived/injured WR Craphonso Thorpe. They also placed WR David Tyree on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP)/Reserve List.

Tyree can return to practice between Week Six and Week Ten. When he returns to practice, within a 3-week period, he must be activated or placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. “At one point I argued with the decision, but I am still about three weeks away,” said Tyree. “I have been running routes and I have not had any drawbacks, which is good.”

Giants Claim Wide Receiver Off of Waivers: The Giants claimed WR Marcus Monk off of waivers from the Chicago Bears yesterday. Monk was drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Bears.

Giants Sign Linebacker: The Giants have signed rookie free agent LB James Terry (Youngstown State).

Aug 262008


By Eric from

Approach to the Game – New England Patriots at New York Giants, August 28, 2008: The preseason action and battle for jobs has really taken a backseat to the drama building around Giants Stadium since DE Osi Umenyiora injured his left knee against the Jets on Saturday.

First, let’s discuss the imminent loss of Umenyiora. Newspaper articles with medical experts say that if Umenyiora’s meniscus is repairable, he will definitely be lost for the remainder of the season. And the Giants have already said he would be out for the season (i.e., meaning they will put him on season-ending Injured Reserve). However, if the meniscus is not repairable (as is often the case), the doctors will remove it and there is a possibility that Umenyiora could return in a month or so. However, this is not ideal since the loss of meniscus would likely cause Umenyiora problems in the future. Everything ultimately depends on the state of Umenyiora’s meniscus. (And there is a chance that even if it is repaired, it will still have to be removed next year if it doesn’t heal properly).

Regardless, the loss of Umenyiora is a huge blow. There has been plenty of discussion about how you replace him. You don’t. Umenyiora is one of the very best defensive ends in football and you simply can’t replace him. Even if Mathias Kiwanuka plays as well as Umenyiora (which is entirely possible), it still severely affects the Giants’ pass-rush package as now instead of three top pass rushers (Tuck, Umenyiora, and Kiwanuka), you now only have two. That’s much easier for an opposing offense to deal with. Plus, the depth situation is no longer ideal.

Second, the loss of Umenyiora has forced the Giants to move Kiwanuka back to defensive end, his most natural spot. This was the obvious move. Dave Tollefson is not a starting-caliber defensive end. The domino effects here mean that Danny Clark will now start at strongside linebacker (not his preferred spot, but he said he will accept it) and probably ensures that Gerris Wilkinson will start at weakside linebacker. That means two-thirds of the Giants’ linebacking corps will be new, as will both starting defensive ends.

Third, adding even more fuel to the drama is the possible return of Michael Strahan. The vision of Strahan as a White Knight to save the day as Giants’ fans everywhere excited. Obviously Strahan returning to the fold would negate much (but not all) of the loss of Umenyiora. The question remains, however, does Strahan want to come back? The drama continues to build.

Oh, and by the way, the Giants are playing the New England Patriots on Thursday. And the team needs to cut its roster from 75 to 53.

What a week!

Giants on Offense: I’m not overly concerned about the lack of point production by the starting offense last Saturday. Eli looked sharp to me except for a couple of plays where he should have gotten rid of the ball sooner. The first- and-second-string offensive lines were not as bad as the sack totals indicate (some of the sacks were on the quarterbacks, or other blockers who failed to pick up the blitz). However, the Giants have had some issues with defensive back blitzes. The fact that the Giants are seeing so much of this in the preseason is good – it will help them better prepare for it in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Giants’ trademark ground game remains strong and deep. And with Plaxico Burress returning to practice and Steve Smith finally playing, the wide receivers corps – including the savvy Amani Toomer and emerging Domenik Hixon – should be very productive. We still don’t know what Kevin Boss and Darcy Johnson will bring to the table.

As for the back-ups, it was not a good outing for David Carr last Saturday. However, he still looks more like an NFL quarterback to me at this point than Anthony Wright. My guess is that Carr and Andre’ Woodson will be the backups.

As for the backs, I just can’t see the Giants cutting Danny Ware (what a find this guy has been). Ware can return kicks and run the football. My guess is Reuben Droughns will be released. But the Giants are incredibly deep and talented at his position. And don’t forget about FB Madison Hedgecock.

The Giants’ top four wide receivers will be Burress, Toomer, Smith, and Hixon. Mario Manningham flashed last week and will also make the team. That’s five. The Giants may only carry one more receiver, possibly two. Sinorice Moss is likely the sixth receiver. Again, this is a pretty deep and talented group. The Giants are going to have problems figuring out who to activate on game day.

Tight ends: Darcy Johnson finally looked better last week. My guess is that Boss, Johnson, and Michael Matthews are the three tight ends though the Giants still may scan the waiver wire.

The five starters on the offensive line are obviously set. The only questions here are how many back-ups to keep and who.

Giants on Defense: Just get out of the game healthy. No more injuries to the defensive line! The Giants still have two very dangerous pass-rush defensive ends in Tuck and Kiwanuka. And Renaldo Wynn is a decent back-up strongside end. But I wasn’t impressed with Dave Tollefson at all against the Jets. He’s still young and learning, but he doesn’t look particularly athletic for a weakside end. The Giants’ top defensive tackles will obviously be Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, and Jay Alford – all three have played well.

For better or worse, the Giants’ linebacking corps will be much different in 2008. Danny Clark will be the new starter on the strongside and Gerris Wilkinson the new starter on the weakside – though the labels don’t matter much as both can and will play strong and weak. With Kiwanuka at end now, there is one less body here to factor into the equation in terms of who makes it at linebacker. Still, a decision needs to be made regarding Jonathan Goff (back injury). Bryan Kehl and Chase Blackburn are the top reserves. Zak DeOssie long snaps. Is this the end for Tank Daniels?

The top five corners will make the team – Ross, Webster, Dockery, Madison, Thomas. R.W. McQuarters can play corner and safety, as well as return punts. He may make it too. The top three safeties will make it – Butler, Johnson, Phillips. Do the Giants carry a fourth? If so, will it be Knight or Schweigert?

Giants on Special Teams: Hopefully, Lawrence Tynes will be back soon. Josh Huston isn’t doing well at all. Kick and punt coverage is still critically important in determining who makes or doesn’t make the team.

Aug 262008

Giants Move Mathias Kiwanuka Back to Defensive End: With the injury to DE Osi Umenyiora, the Giants have officially decided to move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end. The Giants had moved the former collegiate defensive end to linebacker in 2007 and planned to keep him there in 2008 until the injury to Umenyiora.

“I talked with (Kiwanuka) yesterday and he was more than ready to do whatever we wanted him to do that was in the best interest of the team,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

“I am confident that I can get the job done and this is something I have been preparing for my entire life basically,” said Kiwanuka. “It is just that is what I have been doing for ten years. So take that and add two years playing linebacker, it is a big difference, but I am ready for it.”

“It is something that he, all of us, really wanted, but obviously we didn’t want these circumstances for (Kiwanuka) to get back in (the defensive lineman) room,” said DE/DT Justin Tuck. “It is a good thing for him; it is a good thing for this team. He is definitely a D-lineman at heart, and hopefully he can just come back in and not miss a beat.”

It appears that Danny Clark will start at strongside linebacker in place of Kiwanuka and Gerris Wilkinson will start at weakside linebacker. “(Clark and Wilkinson) have always flipped and played on both sides,” said Coughlin. “Clark will have opportunities to play at SAM, as will Wilkinson. (Bryan) Kehl has flipped around as well. But today Clark will work more at the SAM.”

“I did understand the complex deal with Kiwi and when Stray didn’t come back and that he may move out to end,” Clark said. “So I did understand that SAM may be an option, but I focused on the WIL linebacker. But I understand this is a business and I’m going to embrace it with open arms…I just go out there and bang with tight ends. I’m on the line more often and it’s less productive than weak side linebacker, because you have to fly around making plays on the ball and you’re more a D-lineman at SAM linebacker. But we have an opportunity to get off the ball and make some plays as well.”

Giants Reach Out to Strahan: Various press sources are reporting that the Giants have reached out to recently retired DE Michael Strahan to see if he would be interested to returning to the Giants for one more season.

The Daily News is reporting that General Manager Jerry Reese called Strahan’s agent yesterday. “They reached out and they talked to us about the possibility of Strahan returning,” said Strahan’s agent. “It’s something he’s thinking about.”

Strahan’s agent also told The Daily News that Strahan was not considering a return before the injury to DE Osi Umenyiora. However, Strahan’s agent said that Strahan “feels the ship isn’t even out of the harbor and they’re already taking on the cannons. He feels like maybe he should jump back in there.”

The Star-Ledger also talked to Strahan’s agent. “Have I talked to the Giants? Yes. Are we negotiating? No. Are they interested? Yes,” said Strahan’s agent. “If it wasn’t for the fans and Giants’ organization, he wouldn’t even think about coming back because after going out on top, winning the Super Bowl and all that, it’s hard to think about doing that again.”

Strahan’s agent told The New York Post, “Jerry (Reese) said, ‘Hey, you think Michael would have some interest? Obviously there’s not any Pro Bowl defensive ends out there except him. I’m sure there’s a part of him that wants to play. Do I think it’s a big part? No.”

1050 ESPN reported yesterday that several members of the Giants’ organization had contacted Strahan to ask about a comeback. Strahan supposedly said he was intrigued with the thought and did not close the door on the possibility.

Newsday is reporting that a team source confirmed that the Giants have reached out to Strahan.

According to The Daily News, the Giants offered Strahan a deal worth $6.5 million with incentives before he retired. There is speculation that Strahan would want at least $8 million to return and possibly more to even consider coming out of retirement. “Does he have a number in his head? I doubt it,” Strahan’s agent told The New York Post. “Do I think he’d eventually come to one? Yeah.”

“(Strahan is) on an island somewhere sipping pina coladas,” said DE/DT Justin Tuck. “I doubt football is the first thing on his mind today.”

At least publicly, Head Coach Tom Coughlin is denying involvement in any attempt to bring back Strahan. “There hasn’t been any discussion that I have been involved in there,” said Coughlin. “We are going to explore every option that is available. And the last time that I talked with Michael he had accepted his new challenge and was very happy about that. And I have not spoken with him at all since the (Browns’ preseason) game.”

Injury Update – Plax Practices: Aside from DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) and S Craig Dahl (knee), also not practicing yesterday were LB Antonio Pierce (back), LB Danny Clark (groin), LB Jonathan Goff (back), CB Terrell Thomas (hamstring), WR David Tyree (knee), and PK Lawrence Tynes (knee).

The good news was that WR Plaxico Burress (knee) practiced fully for the first time all year.

“I decided to pull the old car out of the garage and see how I felt today – get some of the dust off of it,” Burress said. “I felt pretty good. I’m feeling a lot better – a hundred percent. I didn’t have any limitations going either way, right or left. I jumped up and made a few catches. I’m just trying to get back to my old self – getting off the line full speed and being able to accelerate when the ball is in the air. I’m trying to get all the kinks out of the armor.”

“I forgot how tough it is to run routes when you’re a little bit winded in the two-minute drill, even though I didn’t go but a few plays,” said Burress. “It’s just good to get out there and run around again. I’m happy I can go out there and run without any pain. I’m basically trying to get into the best playing shape that I can and get my cardio up. I hope I feel pretty good tomorrow.”

As for Clark, he said his groin injury is not a big issue. “My health is not an issue at all,” said Clark. “I’ll be out there every snap this season fighting along the way. We’re just being very cautious and I understand being in year nine but the most important thing is to be ready September 4th.”

QB Anthony Wright (back) returned to practice.

Giants Waive Three Players: The Giants have waived WR D.J. Hall and S Miguel Scott. The team also waived/injured Craig Dahl, who tore the ACL in one of his knees in the game against the Jets on Saturday. Dahl had torn the the ACL in his other knee in December. The Giants waived him in February but re-signed him in late July.

Notes: The Giants need to make two more roster moves by 4PM today in order to reach the 75-player roster limit.

DE Osi Umenyiora is scheduled to undergo knee surgery today.

Aug 252008

Osi Umenyiora Out for the Season: The Giants received horrible news yesterday when the MRI taken on DE Osi Umenyiora’s left knee revealed a tear to his lateral meniscus. Umenyiora will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The Giants announced that he will be out for the entire 2008 NFL season.

“We just hope that the surgery goes well on Tuesday and that it is a full recovery and that he is even better than ever here shortly down the road,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “As for the rest of us, we received this information (Sunday morning). It was probably around noon I think when I talked to Dr. (Russell) Warren, and it was obviously the news I didn’t want to hear, but after listening to the explanation and Dr. Warren’s thoughts on it, I am convinced that this is the right procedure, the right way to go.”

“I tried to talk to the coaches about it and I assured the coaches that we will have to be at our best because our team will know before they come in here tomorrow because of the media and we have to do a great job of getting our players refocused and our thoughts on going forward,” continued Coughlin.

Umenyiora had surgery to repair cartilage in the same knee in college and experienced irritation in the meniscus in the opener last season.

When asked about the recovery time for Umenyiora, Coughlin responded, “It is an extensive injury that takes considerable time. I have heard it said four months, but again, probably each individual is somewhat different. The doctors have told me that this will be a four month recovery.”

Giants Might Be Able to Lure Strahan Out of Retirement?: According to The Daily News, an unidentified source “close” to retired DE Michael Strahan, says that Strahan would consider returning to the Giants if the team offered him $8 million and “a few kind words.” Strahan is currently vacationing in Greece.

“If the Giants make a sincere overture, it’s a good chance that Strahan would consider coming back,” the source said. “There are other things he has to take into consideration: the money and his contract with FOX. But if the Giants really want him, they have a shot. It’s not out of the question.”

However, according to The Daily News, as of last night, the Giants had not contacted his agent. And a source “close” to Strahan said he did not think the Giants would reach out to Strahan. Other sources “close” to Strahan told the paper they thought it was “doubtful” Strahan would return. Before he retired, the paper reports the Giants were not willing to pay Strahan more than $6.5 million plus incentives.

“Under the circumstances, I think it’s definitely worth exploring,” said Giants’ Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch. “Would I like Michael to be a New York Giant this season? Absolutely. Absolutely. Will he be? I have no idea. I don’t even want to put a percentage on it. But…if one of the potential solutions is to reach out to Michael, worst case, it’s certainly worth a phone call.”

“I’m sure Michael is happy with FOX, but he obviously loves the Giants, too,” said Strahan’s agent. “If they’re interested in talking to him, he’d discuss it with them. But right now, as I see it, you’ll be watching him on FOX this year.”

Editorial on Michael Strahan: If Osi Umenyiora is on Shelf, Giants Need Michael Strahan by Gary Myers of The Daily News

Giants Not Pursuing Other Place Kickers?: 1050ESPN reports three sources indicate the Giants’ potential interest in veteran kickers Jay Feely and John Carney is on hold because the team remains hopeful that kicker Lawrence Tynes (leg) will be ready for opening day.

Aug 232008

Umenyiora Hurts Knee in 10-7 Loss to the Jets: The Giants played an uninspiring game game in a 10-7 to the New York Jets earlier tonight at the Meadowlands. However, the big story of the game was the knee injury suffered by DE Osi Umenyiora.

Umenyiora twisted his left knee early in the second quarter. Umenyiora needed help getting to the sidelines and did not put any weight on his left leg. He was then carted off the field after being examined by the Giants’ team physician.

The full extent of the injury will not be known until an MRI is taken. X-rays at the stadium were negative. The Star-Ledger is reporting that the medical staff does not believe that Umenyiora suffered an ACL tear. The Giants are saying that Umenyiora’s knee locked up on him. Umenyiora did have problems with the meniscus cartilage in his left knee last year.

“I am thinking it is going to be okay,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin of Umenyiora’s injury. “We won’t know until tomorrow what exactly they will have to do if they have to do anything. We are just going to have to wait and see…The doctors told me there was no ligament damage.”

Also injured in the game was LB Danny Clark, who suffered a groin injury. No word yet on the severity of that injury either. S Craig Dahl (knee) and OG/OT Na’Shan Goddard (concussion) were also hurt.

As for the game itself, it wasn’t pretty for either team. The score was 0-0 at halftime though the Jets did have a 49-yard touchdown pass taken off the scoreboard due to an illegal motion penalty.

The Giants’ starting offensive had the ball five times in the first half. The drives were 7 plays for 35 yards, 3 plays for -2 yards, 4 plays for 28 yards, 4 plays for 23 yards, and 13 plays for 63 yards. On the last drive, PK Josh Huston missed a 42-yard field goal after QB Eli Manning was sacked for a 16-yard loss. Manning was sacked three times in the first half. He did not play in the second half and finished the game 10-of-17 for 113 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.

The Jets had the ball four times in the first half, but all four drives ended with punts.

“I didn’t think offensively we played very well,” said Coughlin. “We were down there in the tight green zone and didn’t come away with any points at all. Anytime you do that you are pretty much going to regret that toward the end of the game. Our defense, when you come off the first half and it is nothing to nothing, somebody is doing something decent. We didn’t protect the quarterback very well tonight on the whole and we have to look at that. Obviously that is a huge problem for us. I wasn’t very pleased offensively.”

The Jets received the ball to start the third quarter and put together a 17-play marathon of a drive that took over nine minutes off the clock. But the Jets were forced to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.

After the Giants were forced to punt, the Giants got the ball right back when DE Renaldo Wynn picked off a pass, setting up the Giants at the Jets’ 30-yard line. Six plays later, HB Ahmad Bradshaw scored from three yards out as the Giants took a 7-3 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Both teams then exchanged punts. A mediocre punt by P Jeff Feagles gave the Jets the ball at their own 49-yard line. The Jets then scored in two plays with pass plays of 27 and 24 yards. Jets 10 – Giants 7.

The Giants got the ball twice more in the game – once with just over 6 minutes to play and the last time with 1:45 left to go. But the closest the Giants got was the Jets’ 32-yard line on the former drive and the latter drive ended with an interception by QB Andre’ Woodson.