The 49ers talked all week about revenge. In the NFL revenge talk is unprofessional. As Paul Newman said in The Sting: “Revenge is for suckers,” and that is what the 49ers were yesterday – suckers.
They may have forgotten who they were dealing with. The New York Football Giants are one of the few teams in the NFL that you do not put into a corner.
They go to the draft every year and sign free agents. They hold training camp and practices just like everyone else. Last time I checked, there was a weight room at TIMEX. The Giants have big, strong, tough guys, too. A bunch of talk isn’t going to deter them. In fact, it wakes them up.
Talk is cheap. Play the game. That is what the Giants do. They play the game. They are still the champs until Roger Goodell gives the trophy to another team.
GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Eli Manning and Antrel Rolle following the Giants’ impressive victory over the 49ers.
Wednesday Morning News and Nuggets: Giants Back Home
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
The Giants are off today as they transition their preseason training from UAlbany back to the Timex Performance Center where practices resume tomorrow. Practices will not be open to the public.
With the upstate portion of training camp officially over, the Giants are back in New Jersey where they can sleep tight in their own beds for the rest of the year. The mattresses at UAlbany were being blamed for just about everything, from being too small to even being the cause of back injuries.
“We’re big humans. Every bed is small,” TE Martellus Bennett told reporters yesterday. “You can’t put a damn dinosaur in a twin-sized bed. … A normal-sized human jumps into a regular-sized bed and it fits perfectly. Large, big humans jump in a regular-sized bed, the bed’s too small. My back doesn’t hurt. My back feels great. I have a great back.”
Others, such as OT Will Beatty and DT Linval Joseph had complaints about the mattresses, but both believed they will be fine once they got back home.
On the injury front, DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot) and DL Martin Parker (herniated back disc) were ruled out for the season by the team. The Giants signed journeyman DT Carlton Powell to fill one of the open roster spots.
WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) will resume practicing in full on Monday with the team. League rules prohibit him from practicing with the club until then – he has to wait three full practices after being activated from the PUP list. WR David Douglas (quad) sat out again and WR Ramses Barden (ankle) also missed practice, prompting the annual questions about his durability….
“He’s had that problem with his ankle and foot combination. He had a little trouble feeling really strong off of that one foot so they held him today. I hope that’s it,”Tom Coughlin said.
Others not practicing in the final workout at UAlbany: LB Michael Boley (hamstring), CB Michael Coe (hamstring) and LB Jacquian Williams (hip). Also missing in action again was DE Justin Trattou, whose heel is still healing. No word on when anyone will return. DT Marvin Austin was in NYC geting tested for his back, which had acted up overnight. Coughlin appeared concerned, given all the recent injuries to his defensive line.
“I’m praying that when the phone call comes, it’s a good one – that it can be controlled and all that business. But I haven’t heard a word, not since he left,” Coughlin said of Austin. He then commented on the sudden lack of depth at the position…
“I’ll say this to you. I thought we were as deep there as we were at any position on the team and it’s not that way right now.”
The issue can be partially resolved by activating DT Chris Canty from the PUP list. In interviews yesterday, Canty was not sure if and when that would happen.
Coughlin offered some solace to the faithful by lauding the play of DT Dwayne Hendricks, who had two sacks and another tackle for a loss against Jacksonville:
“He can see that there’s opportunity. He goes a million miles an hour. I have the utmost respect for that kid; that kid works his ever-loving off. As a matter of fact, I use him as an example. If you’re going against him, you better be going full speed or he’s going to make you look bad. I’d love to see him play well in the games. Like the other night, he’s smart enough to figure out how to beat somebody and he did that a couple times the other night and made plays.”
The LoudMouths debated the Giants’ thinning corp of defensive lineman on the air yesterday…
Tuesday Morning Update: Farewell to Albany?
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
Today marks the Giants’ final workout of the summer at UAlbany. They will come back down the Turnpike tomorrow and resume the remainder of their preseason workouts at their headquarters at TIMEX.
Will today be the last Albany sees of the Giants? Both CEO John Mara and head coach Tom Coughlin are proponents of getting the team away for camp and each has complimented UAlbany for their support and hospitality. But UAlbany does not have an indoor facility for the Giants to train in inclement weather, and with the growing number of teams opting to stay home for training camp, the Giants may just have to scrap the trip for logistical purposes.
Yesterday’s practice had a few absences due to injury, but LB Michael Boley’s hamstring is one that is beginning to wear on Coughlin:
“We’re scratching our head on that one. I just keep looking at time going by. It’s not a very good subject.”
LB Jacquian Williams (hip), OT James Brewer (back) and CB Michael Coe (hamstring) also did not participate. DTs Martin Parker (back) and Shaun Rogers (leg) were sent to NYC to be evaluated at the Hospital for Special Surgery. More to come on that.
SNY Giants Insider Mike Garafolo reports with more from UAlbany:
The Giants reported to camp in Albany today and were greeted by the usual cadre of reporters. Here are some highlights from those sessions…..
“I enjoy coming to Albany. I think it’s fun to have roommates and staying in dorms. I went to summer camp when I was 10 years old and I kind of feel like I get to go to summer camp at 31. So that’s fun for me and I think that it’s a great team bonding experience. It will be fun with the Olympics going on this year. When the competitions are going on at night, you get to get a bunch of guys in the same room and cheer for the US. So those types of things are fun when you have dorms rather than being in a hotel.”- QB Eli Manning on the advantages of training away from home.
“I really just want to kick those guys’ a—es. You know what I’m saying? That’s what it’s all about, you know? I mean, we’re cool, but we ain’t that cool. I kind of got some ill feelings towards them. It’s a game. Every game is the same way. I kind of hate everybody, honestly, in the NFL.” - TE Martellus Bennett on if their were any ‘weird’ feelings after playing his whole career in Dallas.
“It kind of comes naturally with the position. I’m all for it. I’m all for helping guys out. I’m all for being an example for the younger guys. Teaching them the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of the NFL from what I know thus far in my career. We’ll see how it goes. We’ve got some good rookies, we’ve got some good young guys on our team, some level-headed guys, so I think we’ll be quite alright.”- WR Victor Cruz on becoming one of the team’s leaders.
“This football team is aware of what the distractions can be whether we’re in closer to New York City or we’re up in Albany. It’s still going to be distractions here. I don’t really buy into the fact that just because we moved camp a little bit further north that there’s still not going to be distractions. There’s going to be distractions here. What we’ve got to do is just make sure we do our part in limiting those. That has nothing to do with whether we’re here or there. I think because we have a veteran football team, we have a team that’s poised and understands what it takes to win and hopefully we’ll do the right things to eliminate those.”- DE Justin Tuck on if there will be less distractions in Albany as opposed to NYC.
“I’m sure we’ll find some distractions. I’m sure you guys will find something to make a distraction, but I mean, everything is in the right place right now. So, looking forward to it.” – LB Mathias Kiwanuka on the suggestion that the Giants have no distractions this year.
Most of the beat writers hustle-up the last few days before the break and get as many interviews as possible. They know from experience that once minicamp is over it could be six weeks before they have access to the team or players again.
The veterans we have heard from ad nauseum this year already. But how about some stories about the exciting and interesting players the Giants have picked up this spring?
Don’t sweat it. SNY insider Mike Garafolo and Pat Traina of Inside Football have you covered.
*Mike recently posted an interview with safety Will Hill, a top-ranked high school player out of Jersey that went off the rails at the University of Florida. As a result, his behavior led to him not being drafted by the NFL. After a year of reflecting how he blew up his football career, the Giants are bringing him to camp. READ
*Another local trying to make the team this summer is Rutgers’ RB Joe Martinek, who also went undrafted. The Giants love his competitiveness and are hoping he shows them enough in camp to stick around. From Jorge Castillo of the Ledger…. READ
*Pat writes about the lonely summer of seventh-round draft pick DT Markus Kuhn, who is still trying to gain his work visa so he can work out and play with his new team. READ
*She also sat with second-year LB Jacquian Williams who, with one year under his belt now, should come out flying in 2012….READ
The other day we posed two trivia questions and here are the answers….
Who wore No. 56 before Lawrence Taylor and what was LT’s original number?
The answer is center Jim Clack. Taylor entered training camp in 1981 wearing the uniform number he wore at UNC – 98. He requested No. 56 because his favorite player was Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, the Cowboys’ colorful linebacker.
The circumstances of the how Clack surrendered to number to LT are unclear. He switched to number 58 in 1981, which was his fourth and final year with the team after coming over from Pittsburgh via a trade in 1978.
Why did Phil Simms wear No. 11?
Simms wore No. 12 throughout his amateur career but when he came to the Giants in 1979 that number was taken by backup QB Jerry Golsteyn. Simms did not ask for the number. He took No. 11 in camp instead and did not change when Golsteyn was released before the season.
Simms told me once he had No. 11, he saw no need to change back to 12.
Uniform numbers 11 and 56 have both been retired by the Giants.
Here is today’s question: Who were the starters on the Giants’ defensive line in 1996 and who led the team in tackles….?
Today is Flag Day and it also wraps up the Giants’ three-day mandatory minicamp over at TIMEX. Yesterday, our man Jimmy Kempski was there and provided an inside look at the action (READ).
We may have covered the Patriots’ signing of TE Jake Ballard ad nauseum here, but has been a main topic of conversation throughout Giants’ minicamp. Although Ballard was not scheduled to return due to injury, he was still well-liked and many feel he was signed away by New England simply to spite the Giants.
SNY Insider Mike Garafolo was at TIMEX yesterday with more on the loss of Ballard:
Tom Coughlin, who was clearly irritated over the Ballard situation, said Tuesday’s that practice was “pretty sharp”. He also commented that CB Corey Webster (hamstring) was being held out so he be ready for training camp. DE Osi Umenyiora was limited because he was “sore” (from what?)…
Below is the transcript of Coughlin’s media session commenting on the progress of some first and second-year players:
Being one year older than the Mets and having grown up in Flushing, I find myself still stunned by the Mets’ first no-hitter in their fifty-one year existence. Don’t know why, but I never thought I’d see this happen. Buuuut.…the Mets never cease to amaze, always providing their fans with something they’ve never seen before and this no-no could not have come at a better time in team history.
Congratulations to good guy Johan Santana and Met fans everywhere who have painfully suffered through a half-century of close calls. Our man Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog and the SNY team have great coverage of the historic event, so click on over.
In case you were on a bender yesterday and had no access to the multiple streams in which we deliver you your Giants news, the team brought wayward DE Osi Umenyiora in from the cold by restructuring his moldy contract. The two-time Pro Bowler agreed to a deal that will pay him approximately $3 million in bonuses and incentives on top of his scheduled $3.975 million salary.
SNY insider Mike Garafolo appeared on The Wheelhouse yesterday to discuss
It is ballooon!!! TE coach Mike Pope revealed this week that free-agent TE Martellus Bennett, who the Giants are counting on in the absence of Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, is grossly overweight.
“He weighed in at 291 pounds last week. So I think that is probably a little too big for his legs to carry,” Pope told reporters. “We run a lot more than he might have been accustomed to. Plus we are in the middle of a weight program and the combination of those two things has caused him, especially, to have some problems with his hamstrings. He can’t afford to miss time, either. Because he needs every possible rep he can take.”
We were tipped off at the time Bennett was signed by the Giants that his work ethic was questionable. His deal is only for one year, a so-called “show-me” contract. So far, he’s not off to an impressive start.
The Offense Has to Keep the Ball Away from the Other Team’s Quarterback
How many times do we hear announcers say that the offense has to keep the ball away from the other team’s quarterback? This is usually accompanied by some picture of the other team’s QB sitting on the bench or throwing the ball (what else would they be doing?).
Why is this idiotic? Well this strategy does work in football. It just only works in what the rest of the world calls football, not in American football. You see in soccer, you can kick the ball back and forth the entire game. There are no first downs. You can, theoretically control it the whole game. If you score once and control it the rest of the game, you can win. This used to work in college basketball as well before the shot clock was implemented.
In American football, eventually you either score, turn it over, punt or the half ends. There is no other outcome. Eventually (unless the half ends) the other team gets the ball.
Let’s look at 2 games:
Game 1, Team A’s offense does not control the ball well. There are 12 possessions for each team in the entire game. Team A scores 3 points per possession and Team B scores 7 points per possession. Team B wins 84-36.
Game 2, Team A’s offense controls the ball. There are only 4 possessions for each team in the entire game. Team A scores 3 points per possession and Team B scores 7 points per possession. Team B wins 28-12.
The ball control strategy doesn’t allow Team A to win. They just lose by fewer points.
Barring a huge number of successful onside kicks, each time will have a roughly equal number of chances to score. The focus should be on scoring as many points when you have the ball as you can and on trying to prevent your opponent from doing the same.
Now, obviously, if you have a lead, running out the clock is a solid strategy. You can actually prevent the other team’s QB from ever getting the ball again. But if the game is tied (as it always is at the beginning of the game) or if you are behind, you need to focus on outscoring the other team, not on holding on to the ball. So the next time you hear some idiot announcer repeating this blather, hit the mute button.