Mar 262010
 

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.”

Mar 252010
 

Dave Tollefson Re-Signs With New York Giants: According to press reports, restricted free agent defensive end Dave Tollefson has signed his 1-year, $1.684 million tender from the Giants.

The Giants have eight other unsigned restricted free agents. Restricted free agents can sign tender offers with other teams until April 15.

Article on Defensive End Osi Umenyiora: Giants’ Osi Umenyiora Battling Hip Problem by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on Center Shaun O’Hara and the Offensive Line: Return of O-line No Surprise to O’Hara by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

NFL Network Pre-Draft Piece on Giants: The NFL Network focused on the New York Giants yesterday on their show NFL Total Access. See the video at NFL.com.

Article on Former Giants’ WR Plaxico Burress: Tom May Pay Visit To Plaxico by Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post

Quotes: Head Coach Tom Coughlin on DE Osi Umenyiora: “I haven’t had a sitdown with Osi, but Osi came into the offseason program with a smile on his face, working his tail off. I think he’s in a good place…It’s a competitive game. People earn what they have, and Osi is an excellent football player. He’s got nothing to worry about in terms of going out and competing. It’s just a mindset, and I believe he’s in a good mindset now.”

Coughlin on S Kenny Phillips: “Kenny’s rehab is going very well, but he’s in stages. He can’t even go out right now and just run. He’s still being very well-structured there. He’s started to (work out), but it’s not a do-anything-you-want-to-do type of a deal…Like all people coming off that surgery, he’s got to be kind of brought along. I don’t foresee (the medical staff) just saying, ‘Go ahead’ (at the start of camp). The restrictions could be one-a-day. I hope not, but that’s the way it could be.”

Coughlin on S Antrel Rolle: “Antrel Rolle is a guy who had an outstanding year. He’s very athletic. He’s an excellent football player.”

Mar 242010
 

Jerry Reese Talks Giants: General Manager Jerry Reese was interviewed by Sirius Radio yesterday. Reese commented on defensive end Osi Umenyiora, the Giants’ linebacking corps, punter Jy Bond, safety Kenny Phillips, last year’s free agent acquisitions, and offensive tackle Will Beatty. For snippets from the interview, see Despite “Chatter” Reese Says Osi Will Return by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News.

Umenyiora Participates in Offseason Program: According to Newsday, Head Coach Tom Coughin says that disgruntled DE Osi Umenyiora has been participating in the Giants’ offseason strength and conditioning program.

Mar 232010
 

Steve Spagnuolo Signs Darcy Johnson and Kevin Dockery: The St. Louis Rams, coached by former Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, have signed unrestricted free agents TE Darcy Johnson and CB Kevin Dockery.

Johnson and Dockery would have been restricted free agents if they were tendered by the Giants, but they were not, thus making them unrestricted.

Earlier this offseason, the Rams also signed unrestricted free agent DT Fred Robbins.

Giants Receive No Compensatory Draft Picks: As expected, the Giants have received no compensatory draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft for their free agent losses last offseason.

Last offseason, the Giants lost WR Amani Toomer, HB Derrick Ward, OC Grey Ruegamer, DE Renaldo Wynn, and S James Butler. Those losses were offset by the additions of DT Chris Canty, DT Rocky Bernard, LB Michael Boley, S C.C. Brown, and OG Tutan Reyes.

Mar 192010
 

New York Giants Sign Australian Punter: The Giants announced yesterday that they have signed street free agent punter Jy Bond, an ex-semi-pro Australian Rules Football player. Terms of the deal are not yet known.

The 30-year old Bond was with the Miami Dolphins from April-June last year.

Jeff Feagles Believes He Will Re-Sign With Giants: Despite the Giants signing Jy Bond yesterday, unrestricted free agent punter Jeff Feagles believes he will re-sign with the Giants.

“We’re in negotiations, so that’s a good thing,” Feagles told The Daily News. “Oh yeah, and there’s no rush at this point. They’ve got other priorities right now and we’re trying to get some things worked out. It’s no big deal.”

“It’s just taking a little bit of time,” Feagles told The New York Post. “It will all work itself out.”

When asked about Bond, Feagles responded, “They want to create some competition for me and I am open to that. I’ve been competing for 22 years. Another year won’t make a difference.”

Mar 182010
 

New York Giants and Jeff Feagles at Contract Impasse: According to The Star-Ledger, the Giants and unrestricted free agent punter Jeff Feagles are at a contract impasse. Relying on an unidentified source, the paper claims that the two sides are not close on money.

Feagles’ gross (40.7 yards per punt) and net (36.0 yards per punt) averages were on par with his performance in 2006-07, but not his Pro Bowl season of 2008, when he averaged a 44.0 gross and 40.2 net.

The Ledger is also reporting the Giants will work out former Australian rules football player Jy Bond today. Bond was with the Dolphins from April to June last year.

Ware and Chandler Re-Sign With Giants: According to the NFLPA, exclusive rights free agents HB D.J. Ware and TE Scott Chandler have signed their one-year tenders with the Giants.

BBI Draft Chat With DraftCountdown.com Completed: BBI hosted a one-hour draft chat session with Scott Wright, founder and president of DraftCountdown.com, yesterday. The transcript of the chat session is available in The Corner Forum section of the website.

Mar 162010
 

New York Giants Offseason Program Begins: The Giants’ “voluntary” offseason strength training and conditioning program began yesterday.

“It is a fun day, it’s something you look forward to,” said QB Eli Manning. “The last couple of weeks (I was) kind of itching to get back and see all the coaches and your teammates and getting back to work and getting ready for this upcoming season. We have a lot of work to do and we’re excited about getting back to it and seeing how we can improve. Some guys you’ve seen over the last couple of months. Some guys you’ve talked to. And then there are other guys you haven’t seen or talked to as often. It’s good to see everybody and see what everybody’s been doing and how their little break’s been. You see the energy and enthusiasm in all the players.”

“They tell us to take a month off and after that slowly get back into it and get your fitness and your weightlifting work in, so when you come in here you’re ready to go and you’re not starting from scratch,” Manning said. “You have a little momentum to build on. That’s good. You can see guys have been working and they’re ready to get going.”

“I think guys understand after the season we that had – which was a disappointment – that we have to work that much harder in order to make this season a success,” DT Chris Canty said. “It’s definitely exciting, seeing all the guys again, getting everybody back in the building and getting everybody working toward our common goal this year, which is winning a championship…It’s reflective of how many guys we have here on the first day. There are guys that have been here for a couple of months now. Guys understand what’s at stake and how hard we have to work.”

“It’s like the first day of school again,” TE Kevin Boss said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of guys. I’m excited to see everyone…It’s nice to get back with everyone and get back in the weight room together and try to make up for the disappointing season. I think we’re all excited to get back to work. We’re all frustrated with the way the season ended up and it’s going to be a good offseason. I think guys are excited to work hard.”

New York Giants Will Open New Stadium: The Giants won a coin flip to determine if the Giants or Jets would open the new stadium in the Meadowlands this season. The secret coin toss was held Friday at NFL offices by NFL Commission Roger Goodell. However, representatives from neither team were allowed to attend.

The Giants will open the regular season at home on Sunday, September 12. The Jets will host their first home game the following evening on Monday, September 13. As a consolation, it was also announced that the Jets would host the first preseason game in the new stadium.

The NFL schedule will be released in early April.

“We look forward to playing the first regular season game ever in the new stadium,” said Giants’ Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon. “We have a great new home, and it’s right next door to Giants Stadium, a building that housed our three Super Bowl championship teams. We look forward to building the same legacy for our new stadium, and it starts on September 12.”

Article on CB Aaron Ross: Aaron Ross Ready For Upcoming Season With New York Giants After Coming Off Three Separate Injuries by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on Safety Kenny Phillips: Kenny Phillips Not Worried About New York Giants Signing Safety Antrel Rolle by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Quotes: Safety Antrel Rolle on why he signed with the New York Giants: “When I went to New York, I got the same feeling I got when I was being recruited out of high school to the University of Miami. It’s just a feeling of feeling like this is where you belong. It’s just a feeling of comfort and feeling like that’s where you need to be. I think I made a pretty good decision when I attended the University of Miami and I’m just following my gut instinct and I became a New York Giant. So I think it’s going to work out for the best. I’m pretty sure it will.”

Rolle on what Head Coach Tom Coughlin said to him: “Coughlin pretty much sat me down and told me eye to eye that he wants me to be that guy, to be that leader that he knows I can be. Lead by example, and pretty much bring that intensity, bring that attitude and that swagger to the defensive backfield. Just be myself. He told me to bring my ‘A’ game every day, and just to be a leader. That’s something that I am already. There wasn’t anything he was asking that can’t be delivered on my behalf.”

CB Aaron Ross on safety Antrel Rolle: “That was a great addition for us. Antrel, he’s a Pro Bowler. He’s a great player. All the way since he was in college in Miami he was one of my favorite players when he was at corner. Now he’s at safety. He did a tremendous job when he was with the Cardinals. So…Welcome!”

QB Eli Manning on QB Jim Sorgi: “I know Jim. We’ve been around each other a few times over the past few years. I’ve never worked with him, but Peyton speaks highly of him. I’m excited about having him here. He knows football and he’s been in the league for a number of years. I’m excited about working with him and seeing how we can improve. Jim’s a smart guy and a guy who studies and prepares and does everything he has to do, not only to get himself ready, but he helped get Peyton ready, also. He watched film and offered his ideas, so I’m looking forward to working with him to see what we can do to help out the team.”

Sorgi on being with the Giants: “It’s different, seeing some of the faces and not knowing the names – and not knowing the exact way things go and how things are done here. I caught on pretty quickly. I talked to Eli a few times and I saw him today for about 10 minutes. We’re going to get this thing rolling quickly, as soon as possible, and try to get on the same page and build a cohesive unit so we can get this thing rolling.”

Mar 102010
 

Giants Sign Quarterback Jim Sorgi: The Giants announced yesterday that they have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Jim Sorgi. The deal is reported to be a 1-year contract.

For the past six seasons, Sorgi has served as Peyton Manning’s backup with the Indianapolis Colts. Sorgi was released by the Colts last week.

“Jim demonstrated in the meeting room with our coaches that he is very sharp and a very good student of the game, which you would expect after spending six years backing up Peyton,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He is used to spending the amount of time that is necessary in preparation. He was involved in the study and preparation and everything that Peyton does, so he will be outstanding in the meeting room with Eli.”

“I had a great time working with Peyton, and I learned a lot, obviously,” said Sorgi. “The experience was invaluable as far as my development as a professional. I hate to see my time in Indianapolis come to an end, but I am as excited about working with Eli as I am sad about leaving Peyton, and I look forward to working with Eli and helping him any way I can. I have been fortunate to work with Peyton, who has one of the greatest minds in the game.”

Sorgi visited the Giants on Monday, but press reports and comments from Sorgi’s own agent seemed to suggest that the Giants were not thrilled with the condition of his right shoulder, an injury that caused the Colts to place him on Injured Reserve in December. The New York Post reported on Tuesday the injury was a torn labrum, and while Sorgi did not have surgery performed on the shoulder, the Giants felt he should have.

However, yesterday after he was signed, Sorgi’s agent said, “(Sorgi) cleared everything physically (with the Giants); it was just clearing up what happened last year and talking through it. He didn’t fail any physical or anything like that.”

“I thought my workout was excellent and my shoulder felt great,” said Sorgi. “I just need to continue to work on maintenance with (my shoulder), but I want to be a player the Giants can count on to get the job done if need be. I am excited to be here.”

Mar 092010
 

Fred Robbins Signs With Rams: Unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Fred Robbins has signed with the St. Louis Rams. The deal is reportedly a 3-year, $12 million contract.

Robbins was a starter for the Giants for the past six seasons. He now re-joins Rams’ head coach Steve Spagnuolo, his former defensive coordinator with the Giants.

Jim Sorgi Visits But Does Not Sign: Unrestricted free agent quarterback Jim Sorgi, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts last week, visited the Giants yesterday. He also took a physical and it appears that there are concerns regarding a right shoulder injury that landed him on Injured Reserve late last year. Sorgi did not have surgery on the shoulder, but he is apparently experiencing some issues. The New York Post is reporting that the Giants felt Sorgi should have had surgery to repair a torn labrum that has been bothering him for several years.

“Their team doctor expressed some concern about the shoulder,” said Sorgi’s agent. “He’s fine. Our doctors said everything is fine. But our doctors aren’t the Giants’ doctors.”

“(Monday) morning after the workout I thought things were really looking promising,” said the agent. “But there are different doctoral opinions that are in the way. Jim feels good. Everything is fine on our end. But again, I can’t stress this enough, our doctors are not their doctors.”

“There’s interest on the Giants’ part,” said Sorgi’s agent. “And we’ll continue to talk. Nothing is imminent.”

Rhys Lloyd Signs With the Vikings: Unrestricted free agent kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd (Carolina Panthers) was scheduled to visit with the Giants today but he signed with the Minnesota Vikings yesterday.

Mar 082010
 

David Carr Agrees to Terms With 49ers: According to various media reports, unrestricted free agent QB David Carr has agreed to terms with the San Francisco 49ers. NFL.com is reporting that the deal is a 2-year contract.

Carr had spent the last two seasons as Eli Manning’s primary backup. Aside from Manning, Rhett Bomar, last year’s 5th round pick, is currently the only other quarterback on the roster.

Quarterback Jim Sorgi to Visit Today: According to various press reports, unrestricted free agent QB Jim Sorgi will visit the Giants today. Sorgi was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Friday. He has been a backup quarterback with the Colts for six seasons. He was placed on Injured Reserve last December with a shoulder injury.

Kickoff Specialist Rhys Lloyd Scheduled to Visit on Tuesday: According to The Daily News, unrestricted free agent kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd (Carolina Panthers) is scheduled to visit the Giants on Tuesday. However, Lloyd will first visit the Minnesota Vikings today and if the Vikings sign him, he obviously will not make it to New Jersey. Lloyd would have been a restricted free agent if tendered by the Panthers, but he was not.

Article on the Giants and Free Agency: Signing LB Morrison Would Be Giant Help by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post