Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hixon & Starters Dominant in 37-34 Pre-Season Victory

Domenik Hixon is really making the most of his opportunity this pre-season. As the top 3 Giants wideouts continue to sit, Hixon continues to impress. He was the star of the game against the Browns on Monday night. He finished the game with 4 receptions for 63 yards and two TDs. He also ran back a kickoff following a safety for 82 yards to the end zone. All his scoring action happened in the crazy first quarter and the Giants never looked back.

The starters looked head and shoulders above the Browns' starters on this night. Browns starting QB, Derek Anderson suffered a concussion and hurt his wrist after he was sacked by Osi Umenyiora in the 2nd Quarter.

Danny Ware also showed some nice flashes of talent throughout the second half as he racked up 97 yards on the ground on 10 carries. He had also made a 59 yard kick off return.

Eli, who struggled in the first quarter in the Lions game, finished 4 of 7 for 52 yards and two scores.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Giants' WRs Still Ailing

The Giants have had a full training camp and have not had their full wide receiver corps healthy at all. The majority of receivers have been struck with nagging injuries that haven't allowed them to practice much at all. This could create a chemistry problem with QB Eli Manning. Just when Eli and the receivers seemed like they were really starting to click during last year's post season, this injury issue happens. Plaxico Burress has barely practiced at all until recently taking part in walk throughs. Amani Toomer and Steve Smith have had persistent injuries that have sidelined them for much of camp and Rookie Mario Manningham has been slow in recovering from a quad injury, frustrating the coaching staff.

Eli has also began to speculate if this will lead to a little rustiness early on. Here's an article that delves further into this problem from the Daily News by Ralph Vacchiano:

Eli Manning wonders when receivers will take the field

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Derrick Ward Article

Derrick Ward is in the midst of a pretty important training camp. He has to battle with backfield mates, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw for playing time this year. He proved last season that he could be more than just an insurance policy.
Ward is looking to show that he can be a an effective weapon despite being a part of a crowded backfield. He was almost a forgotten part of last year's team when he went down with a broken leg against the Bears. He made some big contributions when injuries struck the Giants backfield and made sure the offense didn't skip a beat. He hopes he can re-capture that short lived success and remind Giants fans that this could be a three headed monster rather than a two man show.

Mike Garafolo of The Newark Star-Ledger writes an article on Ward: New York Giants RB Derrick Ward Ready to Play

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Plax Suits Up

It was the first time all camp that you could catch Plaxico Burress wearing pads. After sitting out all of training camp so far due to a bum ankle, Plax finally hit the practice field yesterday. Burress seemingly hasn't practiced in about a full year as he didn't sniff the practice field since the very beginning of last year as he fought through injuries.

It was good to see Burress taking a step in the right direction, although he was only jogging some routes and participated in the walk throughs. The Giants got him back but did not have Toomer or Derrick Ward on the practice field. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Tom Coughlin said, "We’re going to have to see with them, they both have sore knees and are going to have to see the doctor." The team is hopeful Ward will return to practice Thursday as there is no practice to be held today.

While there is a lot of hype and attention surrounding Giants rookie Saftey Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas is flying under the radar a bit but has still impressed the coaches to this point. Here's a good read on the second round pick out of USC by Tom Rock of Newsday:

Giants Rookie Thomas is First-Class Second Rounder

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hixon Raising Eyebrows

The Giants knew they had considerable depth at WR but they didn't expect to see some players rise to the occassion in training camp. Domenik Hixon, a special teamer for most of his NFL career, has really stepped up while many of the top Giants WRs are nursing injuries early in camp.

Hixon was signed last year after being cut by the Broncos early in the season. He served as the team's return man and showed very good speed and had a couple returns for touchdowns. He was given a chance to be looked at more closely as a true WR option when Burress, Toomer, Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham all suffered injuries in Albany.

He has continued to wow the coaching staff and they now envision him as a potential deep threat WR due to his blazing speed. But Hixon wants to become a viable option for Eli and not just a player who sees afew snaps a game. He has an uphill battle to climb to get more playing time but it should be interesting to see what his role will be come time for the regular season.

Here's a nice article from the Newark Star Ledger by Jenny Vrentas that focuses on Hixon and how he's learning from fellow WR, Amani Toomer:

Hixon Learns from One of the Best

The Giants only conducted a walk through indoors due to unfavorable weather conditions.Those who did not participate include:
WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), WR Mario Manningham (quad), WR David Tyree (PUP - knee), RT Shane Olivea (back), LB Jonathan Goff (back), and CB R.W. McQuarters (undisclosed personal issue)

Some good news on the Giants rookie LB, Jonathan Goff. He had suffered a fractured transverse process in his back in the pre-season opener and the early indication was that he would be out indefinitely and possibly miss of all his rookie year. But now GM Jerry Reese has said he is hopeful that Goff will return in time for the last pre-season game.

Also, rookie DE Robert Henderson was cut after he suffered a serious ankle injury. He was drafted in the 6th round.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Plaxico Watch

Plaxico Burress has yet to practice during traing camp but don't think it's in relation to his off season contract demands. Burress has a bum ankle and doesn't want to play the season with a nagging injury like he did all of last year. We all know Burress does not need to practice to make an impact on Sundays but it would be nice to see him get some reps in with Eli soon so they can get their timing back down.

Burress comments on his current injury status after running some routes:
"I definitely want to be out there, but Plaxico Burress has to take care of Plaxico Burress. I’m going to make all the right judgments as far as my health, as far as my ankle before I go out there on the football field. When I get out there, I’m going to be running a hundred miles an hour with no restrictions."

Burress also watched as his agent, Drew Rosenhaus left Albany without a new contract. But Burress claims there won't be a problem if a deal was not reached by the start of the regular season. "For a guy like myself, when I’m on the football field, I’m concentrating on football," said Burress.

Jerry Reese still feels like a deal can get done soon but no real talks have been reported as of late.

Source: Newsday

Friday, August 8, 2008

Giants Lose Pre-Season Opener to Lions 13-10

The pre-season is officially underway for the Giants and things did not go as smoothly as they would have liked, especially with the first unit.

The run defense was great as the front line closed any running lanes and stuffed Lions Running Backs all night. The problem was limiting the big plays through the air. The Lions were able to put up 7 points on their first drive despite not gaining any significant yardage through the run game. There were missed tackles and blown assignments but it was still just the first pre-season game and it takes some time to shake off some of the rust.

MLB Antonio Pierce commented on the defensive play by saying, “Obviously, giving up seven points on the first drive is never a good thing. We did a good job against the run. With the big pass plays down the field, we have to work on that, but guys are running around and had a lot of energy. That’s a good thing. We’ve got more work to do. That’s why you play the preseason.”

The first team offense looked out of sync. Although Brandon Jacobs made a real pretty juke that faked out CB Brian Kelly and he busted out a 20 yard gain. Bradshaw and Ward were non-factors in their attempt to gain more carries.

There was indeed a Sinorice Moss sighting as he connected with Anthony Wright on a 46 yard bomb down the sideline to set up the Giants' first points of the night. WR Brandon London also made a very nice catch after the run and continues to impress the coaching staff.

Those who did not participate in the game were:
WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), WR Steve Smith (groin), WR Mario Manningham (quad), WR David Tyree (knee), OT Shane Olivea (back), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee), CB Sam Madison (sports hernia), and S Craig Dahl (knee).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bleacher Report

I have been writing articles on bleacherreport.com and here are some links to some of my work pertaining to the Giants. Enjoy.

NY Giants' Kenny Phillips Playing with a Chip on His Shoulder

2008 NFC East Preview

Mathias Kiwanuka Felt Jeremy Shockey's Pain Too

Jeremy Shockey's Gone from the New York Giants, but Who Will Step-Up?

Check out some of my other articles too. If you are in fanatasy football leagues I have a few articles with in depth rankings. Feel free to contact me with some feedback at gregory.caldarella@uconn.edu

First Pre-Season Game Nears

Thursday will mark the first pre-season game of the year for the New York Giants. The G-men will square off against the Lions and the coaching staff and players are looking forward to starting the action.

Coach Coughlin announced who would most likely be sitting on the sidelines for the pre-season opener:
WRs Plaxico Burress (ankle), David Tyree (knee), Mario Manningham (quad) and Steve Smith (groin) and CB Sam Madison (sports hernia)

It is also expected that G Chris Snee and T Shane Olivea will also be sitting out.
Some good news on Chris Snee as tests on his shoulder revealed some minor tendinitis.

Coughlin also confirmed that WR Amani Toomer and LB Danny Clark will be active for the game despite battling some injuries early on in camp.

Coughlin was asked some questions at camp the other day. Here are some of the transcripts of what went down:

Is this an important step for guys like Darcy Johnson and Mathias Kiwanuka and Derrick Ward, who have not been in a competitive situation for a long time?

For Darcy it is, for sure. For Kiwanuka and Ward, it is a preseason game and the idea there, of course, is to get sharp again for them, because they were forced to miss some time with injuries. Both have performed in practice very well and actually have not asked for one quarter, not one time. I mentioned to you what I thought would be the attitude of Kiwanuka early on and it proved out. He went right to the trainers and said, ’I think I can play.’

Who are some of the young guys that are impressive up here that you want to see in game action?
All of these rookies, obviously. As many of the rookies as we can. I would have to say that Na’Shaun Goddard of late, he has had a couple pretty good days of practice, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him. Guy Whimper. People who have had some experience need to play a lot. I think when you look at our safety position, you want to see a lot of those kids play. Warrick, you want to see him in action. Continuous advancement of Michael Johnson. You want to see the running backs, which we have some depth, I want to take a real good look at Kay-Jay Harris and Danny Ware. Obviously those young receivers are all going to get a ton of plays.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wilkinson Returns to Practice

Gerris Wilkinson has been on the PUP list since the start of camp and was finally cleared to hit the practice field. Wilkinson was expected to compete for the starting weak side linebacking spot but his slow start thanks to injuries have already put him behind. He practiced with the 3rd unit behind Danny Clark and Jonathan Goff.

With Wilkinson coming off the PUP list, David Tyree is now the only Giant currently on the list. Tyree's roster spot is up for grabs and his absence has led to others getting a chance to impress the coaching staff. The emergence of Domenik Hixon could spell the end of the road for the Super Bowl hero.

Chris Snee was not on the practice field Monday and Coach Coughlin said that he is having his shoulder examined (including an MRI). Hopefully this is just a precautionary measure for the rising young lineman who just received a hefty new contract.

Those not practicing on Monday included:
WRs Plaxico Burress (ankle), Steve Smith (groin), Mario Manningham (quad) and David Tyree (knee/PUP) and CB Sam Madison (sports hernia)

Monday, August 4, 2008


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Bradshaw Reveals Reason for Jail Time

Ahmad Bradshaw clarified why he had to serve 30 days in jail in June on Monday, saying it was due to two incidents that occurred in college.

He was arrested for underage drinking and resisting in 2004 and petty larceny after stealing a videogame at Marshall. "Both of them are the reason they kept this thing going since I was 15," he said. Bradshaw will not be disciplined.
Source: New York Daily News

8/3 Practice Report

Here are the players that sat out practice on sunday:
DEs Justin Tuck (foot) and Osi Umenyiora (hip), WRs Plaxico Burress (ankle), Amani Toomer (leg), Mario Manningham (quad) and David Tyree (knee/PUP), LBs Zak DeOssie (back) and Gerris Wilkinson (knee/PUP), CB Sam Madison (sports hernia), RT Shane Olivea and S Craig Dahl (knee)

Gerris Wilkinson really seems to be losing ground on the outside linebacker position battle while he is still on the PUP list.
Wilkinson Losing Ground

Kenny Phillips (leg) and Steve Smith (groin) both returned to the practice field today. Phillips was back on the second team unit as he was taking first team snaps earlier this weekend.
Giants Rookie Phillips Making Big Impact

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bradshaw Jail Time Not Over

Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw was fresh off his 30-day jail sentence for an outstanding incident that occurred during his college days at Marshall. He has now received word that his latest jail time will not be his last. According to the Bristol Herald-Courier, HB Ahmad Bradshaw is not through with his jail time. The paper says the sentence is that of 60-days and that Bradshaw will serve the remainder of the sentence (30 Days) after the 2008 NFL season. The league has commented on the matter and stated that Bradshaw will not face any kind of suspension for his actions which happened well before he was drafted into the league last year.

In contract talk updates, Plaxico Burress and the front office seem to have broken off contract talks at the moment. While Plax said he was optimistic something would get resolved before pre-season games started, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Burress' agent Drew Rosenhaus does not see Burress acting up in response to his contract demands.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Steve Smith Nagged by Injuries Again

Steve Smith has been hampered by a sore groin for much of the start of training camp. He sat out practice again today and there is no word yet on his return to the practice field. Steve Smith needs to get healthy as he cannot afford to miss much time this year. He is expected to be a big key to the Giants offense in their search of replacing Shockey's production. However, fellow wideout, Amani Toomer returned today and looked fine after nursing a leg injury.

Here's the List of G-Men who sat out practice today:

WRs Plaxico Burress (ankle), David Tyree (knee/PUP) and Steve Smith (groin soreness), DE Osi Umenyiora (hip), LBs Gerris Wilkinson (knee/PUP) and Zak DeOssie (back), CB Sam Madison (sports hernia) and OL Adam Koets (dizziness)

Here's a nice blog site from new Giant LB Danny Clark, he gives daily camp journal updates

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Giants Open Training Camp With Chip on Their Shoulders

The Giants have been used to playing with a chip on their shoulder but you figure that wouldn't be the case this year as they are fresh off their Super Bowl win. But it just seems that no matter what happens, nobody believes the Giants are for real. The Cowboys, Eagles, and Redskins have all received better reviews going into this year and the Giants are pegged as an overrated team yet again. Antonio Pierce and Justin Tuck have been very vocal about how they feel disrespected by off season comments and predictions. One Giants starter stated that the team is "motivated by the constant insults all offseason."

Training Camp News:
The top 3 Giants WRs all sat out practice yesterday as Plaxico is still nursing an ankle injury, Toomer has recently complained of swelling in the knee and Steve Smith left practice very early citing soreness.

Early word from camp is that rookie safety Kenny Phillips has been really impressive. He has also been delivering some pretty hard hits that have drawn the attention of the coaching staff. Head coach Tom Coughlin supposedly pulled him aside a couple of times to remind him that although he is excited to get going, it's still safety first for himself and his teammates.

Safety Craig Dahl will likely be returning to the Giants' roster sometime today. The reserve was cut last year after he suffered an ACL tear in the season finale versus the Pats. He had worked out for the Giants earlier this week but left without a contract but he should be getting the call very soon as it is speculated he will be signed shortly and he will continue his rehab with the team.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Stadium Will Have PSLs

Here's a copy of the letter sent out by John Mara and Steve Tisch regarding the implementation of Personal Seat Licenses at the New Meadowlands Stadium:

June 26, 2008

Dear Giants Season Ticket Holder:

As the Giants prepare to defend the Super Bowl championship, and with construction of a new state-of-the-art stadium and team practice facility well underway at the Meadowlands, these are exciting times for Giants fans.

The new stadium and practice facility are scheduled to open for the 2010 season and will offer Giants players, coaches and, most importantly, Giants fans the first-class facilities, services and amenities they deserve.

The stadium has been designed to provide fans with an unparalleled experience on Giants game days including: modernized food service, concessions, and restaurants; expanded team stores; tailgate zones, with improved tailgating facilities; upgraded and additional restrooms; Club seats with outstanding amenities; wider concourses; cutting-edge scoreboards that have in-stadium technology; and much more. The experience of getting to the stadium will be better too, with improved highway access, redesigned parking lots, and a new rail line serving New Jersey and New York. These improved amenities, together with the new state-of-the-art playing and training facilities, will position the Giants to attract championship-caliber players year after year.

At a cost of over $1.6 billion, the new stadium development is the largest 100 percent privately-financed stadium project in the United States. As with the other NFL cities that have recently opened new or significantly renovated stadiums, we cannot build these new facilities without the sale of "PSLs" (Personal Seat Licenses) to Giants season ticket holders. The net proceeds from the sale of the PSLs will be used to pay for the construction of the new stadium.

Once you purchase a PSL, you can control your seat for as long as the Giants continue to play in the new stadium. This means that, in addition to having the right to purchase the same season seats every year, you will also have the ability to transfer your PSL to other Giants fans, including to unrelated third parties.

We are working very hard to develop a program and process for the purchase of PSLs that will provide a broad range of choices to Giants season ticket holders. Here are a few things we can tell you now. Each seat in the new stadium will have a PSL. Over 90 percent of the upper level seats will have a $1,000 PSL. Less than 5,000 seats in the lower level will have a $20,000 PSL, which will be the most expensive PSL at the new stadium. The pricing of the PSLs for the other seats in the new stadium has not been finalized, but we hope and believe that you will be pleased with the options when we send more detailed information on the stadium’s PSL programs. You will begin receiving that information in a few weeks. The information will be sent out in stages so that our sales team can focus attention on every seat holder.

Thank you for your continued loyalty. Your ongoing support is sincerely valued, and it is the primary reason this new stadium will become a reality in 2010.

P.S. As the seat allocation process progresses, you can visit the new stadium’s website at www.NYG2010.com for updates.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Giants Show Snee the Money

OG Gets a 43.5 Million Extension

It appears that Chris Snee, the rock of the Giants' interior line will be around for awhile. He and his father-in-law (Tom Coughlin) have to be smiling today after the Giants forked over $43.5 million to Snee in the form of a 6-year contract.

That should make Eli Manning and the running backs happy as well.

In other news, the team announced they signed three draft picks: LBs Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff and QB Andre Woodson. This is a good sign for Woodson. That, and the release of another former Kentucky QB - Jared Lorenzen.

Strahan Joining Fox Sports

Michael Strahan wasn't unemplyed very long, was he? On Tuesday, he became the 5th wheel on the Fox Sports NFL Sunday team. Michael will join Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson in what promises to be a very entertaining show.

Michael wasted no time in providing insight. He took some well deserved shots at his former team and some of the current player issues.

Strahan said he wanted Tom Coughlin to be his first interview.

"And he better be five minutes early" said Michael, taking a playful jab at the strict rules Coughlin has about tardiness.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Martin's Amazing Journey

Ex-Giant George Martin completed his cross-country trek on foot to benefit 9/11 responders and their families

Carl Banks Talks NYG Football

Former NYG linebacker and current radio analyst Carl Banks checks in with his take on the current state of the Super Bowl champions.

Friday, May 16, 2008


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