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.