Amani Toomer Vents: WR Amani Toomer, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on February 27, spoke to the press yesterday at a charity event in East Tampa, Florida. It was the first time Toomer addressed the press since before the playoff defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles on January 11.
“I’m going to enjoy being a free agent, explore all my options and see what it all comes down to,” said Toomer. “I’m pretty excited, I got some good responses so far, so I’m pretty excited to see how it’s going to turn out.”
When asked if the Giants have been in contact about a new contract, Toomer responded, “My agent and them have been talking a little bit, but I just think the way the season ended and how they started going away from me at the end of the year, I think it ultimately hurt the team and I think contributed greatly to our situation right now, being out of it…I just think the last couple of games I wasn’t a big part of the offense and we lost…a big percentage of the games (that we lost at the end of the year). I feel like you can’t tell me (that) didn’t play a big role in it. I think it did.”
Toomer said he was unsure why he was not a bigger part of games once the Giants lost WR Plaxico Burress. “The first game (without Burress) I had one of my best games of the year,” said Toomer. “From that game on, I don’t know what happened…I mean, I was in the game plan, but you have different reads and stuff like that, and it just didn’t work out for me…What ended up happening was a decision – and I don’t know from what level it (came) – was made and that’s kind of what happened.”
Toomer was asked if the way the season ended for him tainted his view of the Giants’ organization. “I don’t think so,” replied Toomer. “It’s just disappointing. It just seems like some of those games, it didn’t seem the same. Last year, when everybody’s jobs were on the line, everything was pedal to the metal. All of a sudden, this year, it’s a different kind of feeling…I just think the way in which we approached some of these games, I questioned it going in. I didn’t say anything because I wanted to try to make it work out. But in the end, ultimately my suspicions came true. And at the end of the (playoff loss to the Eagles), after the other game (the regular-season loss to the Eagles), I wasn’t surprised at all. I felt like our approach wasn’t the same as it was last year.”
A reporter suggested to Toomer that the Giants might not think he has a lot left. “They didn’t think Kurt Warner had much left,” responded Toomer. “See him now. They didn’t think Kerry Collins had much left. See him now. I could go back to the list. Ike Hilliard. I could go on and on. But ultimately, there are other teams and hopefully I’ll get another chance to play.”
Toomer was then asked if he was open to returning to the Giants. “Oh definitely,” said Toomer. “Always. But I definitely think, with the current situation, I don’t think I can go back.”
“I think toward the end of the season, it became very apparent (that a decision has been made by the Giants), especially after coming off one of my best games of the year and, all of a sudden, I get my playing time cut in half when we played the Eagles the first time,” said Toomer. “It was a statement to me.”
“It doesn’t really make much sense when you think about it,” continued Toomer. “And ultimately, us not being able to throw the ball effectively and keep the defenses off-guard…I mean, they try to rely on the offensive line. And I think our offensive line is great, but they’re great when we mix it up. You do one thing or the other, every offensive line struggles. I think that’s kind of how it ended up.”
Toomer then took a shot at Head Coach Tom Coughlin when he was asked if he should have spoken up. “No, because no matter what, they have an agenda,” said Toomer. “They’re going to go through what they’re going to do. I could talk until I’m blue in the face. It’s not going to make any difference. I know after dealing with the head coach, that’s kind of how he is. You can talk to him and do all of that, but if he has something in his mind, that’s what’s going to go on.”
“I look at it this way – there are many years when I was on the right side of politics,” continued Toomer. “This year, I ended up being on the wrong side. Now, I can’t get mad at that. It works for you sometimes, it works against you sometimes…There have been times when they emphasized me and there are times when they didn’t. This was one of the times they didn’t. They moved out receivers for me, so it all comes full-circle. You can’t get mad at it; it’s just how the business works…I definitely don’t think it’s my time (to be phased out).”
“It’s hard not to get emotional because I’ve been there so long, but I’ve seen it happen many, many times before to other players,” said Toomer. “It’s part of the business. We have a disagreement – they have one opinion of me and I have another. When a relationship is good, it’s good; when it’s not, it’s not.”
Toomer was then asked doesn’t QB Eli Manning decide who gets the ball, not the coaches. “Yeah, but I don’t think he’s back there footloose and fancy-free,” responded Toomer. “They have an agenda. They have their little quarterback meetings on Thursday for a reason. And they don’t just have them and not have the receivers and anybody else who’s involved in the offense around for a reason.”
Toomer was asked what the agenda of the coaches was. “The agenda was they wanted to see what the younger guys could do,” replied Toomer. “I think (the young receivers) did a good job, but they hurt the team by going to one side (of the field). Even when Plax is in there, if we don’t go to both sides, we’re not usually as successful. We’re successful when we’re going both ways and the teams can’t game plan against me – not because of me, but because they’re not throwing to me.”
“They tried to do it earlier in the season, but I kept playing well and keeping myself in the mix, so to speak, and then all of a sudden they didn’t let me play myself out,” said Toomer. “They pulled the rug out from under me…I was fighting it for as long as I could. I kept making big plays and I felt like, if they kept throwing to me, I’d keep making big plays. So I feel like they made a decision that, ‘We can’t keep him sticking around. We’ve got to turn the page. We can’t just keep letting this go on and on.'”
Jacobs Talks Contract: HB Brandon Jacobs, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on February 27, said yesterday there is nothing new with his contract situation. However, he told The Bergen Record that he thinks he will re-sign with the Giants before he becomes a free agent.
Jacobs said he will not sign his tender if the Giants Franchise him, meaning he would hold out until a new long-term contract is signed.
Giants Lose Another Coach to Rams: Giants’ Defensive Quality Control Coach Andre Curtis has been hired by Rams’ Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo, the Giants’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was hired by the Rams earliier this month. Curtis will most likely will be a position coach on the Rams, but what position he will coach has not been determined/announced yet. Curtis was hired by Head Coach Tom Coughlin in 2006. A quality control coach breaks down and analyzes tapes of an upcoming opponent, and is involved in self-scouting and special research projects.