NFL Season Kicks Off Tonight, Giants Still Plugging Holes

September 8, 2011

NEW YORK – The 2011 NFL season has finally arrived after one of the worst off seasons I can ever remember. The two big downers were the lockout, which lasted about five months and more recently the injuries that have plagued the Giants before the season even started. The lockout was a drain on everyone associated with the NFL, including the fans who had to endure the constant threat of this season being cancelled. A lot of people were hurt financially, while the big boys argued over billions of dollars. Thankfully, with no time left to spare, both sides came to an agreement and here we are now, just hours away from the 2011 kickoff (Packers vs. Saints at 8:30 PM EST). The rest of the league will have their games played this Sunday.

The Giants mass injury epidemic is the other significant event that has occurred over the past month or so. With the recent news about the G-men losing LB Jonathan Goff for the year, it really starts to hit home when you realize that a good chunk of our defense are 2nd string players and rookies. I have a lot of faith in our players and they know they need to step up but the time for talk is over and they must perform on the field. The Giants brought in a bunch of players for workouts over the past 48 hours to try and plug some holes, including familiar faces with LB Chase Blackburn and LB Kawika Mitchell. Rookie LB Greg Jones will be practicing with the first team and will most likely get the chance to start against the Redskins this weekend. The Giants have lost 8 players (about 15% of the team) due to season ending injuries, two of them got cut and six landed on the IR list, they also have two players currently on the PUP list.

What does all of this mean? It means that fans should just sit back and watch the game on Sunday. I’m completely drained from all of the theories and analysis. When it gets this close to the first game, I tend to relax more because there is really nothing more you can do but play the game. There will be plenty of time to breakdown the Giants performance and speculate on the rest of their 2011 opponents but for now, enjoy the game. We know the situation the team faces with a lack of personnel and we will see how they adapt to that. It will be impossible to separate the significance of the date this Sunday (9/11/11) on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the start of the NFL season for most teams. There will be tributes everywhere you look, as there should be and I’m sure that George Martin will be out there walking for the 9/11 first responders. There will be a lot of emotion this weekend and a ton to digest. Never Forget! The Giants vs. Redskins game kicks off at 4:15 PM EST on Sunday.

Do you think the Giants are prepared to compete for a playoff spot in 2011?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


Giants Lose Half of their Starting Offense in 2011

August 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants might have to change their name to the New Look Giants this season. The team has been hit with a string of bad news (karma is a female dog) in recent weeks and the team has lost half of their starting offense. The news about WR Steve Smith going to the rival Eagles yesterday sealed the deal for me. I have been a very big fan of GM Jerry Reese and have showered him with praise since the first year he came to the team. But even my faith has been shaken by the mass exodus of pro bowl athletes in 2011. Think about this for a moment, the Giants have lost OL Rich Seubert, OL Shaun O’Hara, TE Kevin Boss, FB Madison Hedgecock and WR Steve Smith. All five of these guys were starters in an offense that requires eleven men. You do the math.

The Giants also lost some other quality guys such as OL Shawn “Fan Fav” Andrews, DT Barry Cofield (who also went to division rival, the Redskins). They are in a contract battle with all pro DE Osi Umenyiora, they lost CB Bruce Johnson to injury and cut him. They signed TE Ben Patrick who turned around and retired on them and they have lost their 1st round pick CB Prince Amukamara for two months. When it rains, it pours. There were other transactions made but these mentioned are the big deals and the team still hasn’t addressed all of the free agents that need signing. The Giants play their first preseason game in two days and will need to get a ton of new players up to speed on the playbook and the system. I’m not sure how they will fair but I wish them good luck with that.

I cannot remember a year in recent memory where the Giants lost so many quality players within a one month period of time. I’m not sure if there ever was a similar situation in team history. Yes, the team has signed some players but they hardly replaced all of the talent the team lost. I hope Jerry Reese knows what he is doing because this will be an unrecognizable group of players on the field to the true blue fan. The fact that the team was six million dollars over the salary cap certainly plays into the mix but that also begs the question of why? Who was watching the salary cap and allowed this to happen? Rabid fans have been calling for the head of Jerry Reese and for changes in the front office as a whole. I will keep my opinions to myself until I see what the team does in 2011. I will not panic but I am certainly deeply concerned.

What are your thoughts about the recent roster moves made by the Giants?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


Update: Giants Have a Solid Day in East Rutherford, More Signings

July 31, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants went back to work yesterday and continue to work on improving the team. They signed a few new players and have sent out offers to WR Steve Smith, RB Ahmad Bradshaw and TE Kevin Boss. None of the three mentioned players have signed yet but at least there is a starting point to negotiate. Signing those three offensive players is an absolute priority. Prince Amukamara still isn’t signed but the team expects to get him into camp soon, per Coach Coughlin. And NFL teams can now cease pursuing WR Plaxico Burress, who signed a one year deal with the Jets today. The Giants however, went out and signed three more players last night. Big Blue signed OL Chris White, who is a seven year NFL veteran, OL Brant Clouser who is a rookie from Villanova and TE Christian Hopkins who played a couple of years in the UFL.

Fans had an opportunity to see the players on the field last night, as the team started preparing for the season. There is a ton of work to do in a very short period of time due to the lockout. Nobody understands this better then the coaches and the players. Giants.com provided fans with some terrific coverage of the practice and activities yesterday. I encourage all of our readers to go to their site and look through the photos and videos they have there. It really gives fans an inside look at what is going on and a first look at the rookies wearing Giants blue.

All-Pro defensive end Osi Umenyiora showed up at camp last night after receiving a letter from the team notifying him they would be charging him the standard $30,000 fine per day he holds out from his commitment. Osi’s agent said he does not want to speak to GM Jerry Reese and that he still wants a new contract or trade. Osi must realize how deep the G-Men are at defensive end and the fact that they are all signed already. He must feel disrespected by this fact but continues to approach the situation the wrong way. It’s easy for us to speculate because it isn’t our money tied up but Osi still needs to have a cool head when talking to his bosses. The Giants will be back at practice this evening and I hope we see some of these guys signed and suited up to play ball.

GM Jerry Reese really deserves some credit for dealing with a bad situation. Fans have to understand that the team was $6 million dollars over the salary cap when the free agent frenzy began. I continue to see fans throwing darts at Reese for not doing enough but I ask those fans to really take a long hard look at what he has accomplished with little wiggle room. I think they will see that he addressed a lot of areas that needed work including the offensive line and punter situation. Yes, he isn’t signing the flashy names but he is certainly signing solid players who keep their mouths shut and go to work. I applaud you Jerry Reese for handling team business with a visionary approach in gaining quality players.

What do you think about the state of the New York Giants as of today?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


Update: Giants Close Out Insane Week in the NFL

July 30, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants closed out an insane week last night by making a few more moves and signing the bulk of their rookie class. CB Prince Amukamara is the sole rookie that has yet to sign but the team expects to remedy that sometime today. GM Jerry Reese said there will be no long holdout on Princes behalf. The six rookies who did sign with the team yesterday include DT Marvin Austin, OL James Brewer, S Tyler Sash, WR Jerrel Jernigan, RB Da’Rel Scott and LB Jacquian Williams. I’m very excited about the team signing these guys and the fact that Amukamara will be signed soon. There is one player out of this bunch that remains a mystery man in my opinion. Fans haven’t heard much about LB Jacquian Williams, which has really got me curious. We’ve been hearing about all of the other picks and have even become familiar with their names but Williams is almost an after thought for some reason. That should make your radar pop up and say “Who is this kid?”

The best news of the day came when fans learned about RB Brandon Jacobs stepping up and restructuring his contract to remain with the team and give them room to sign other crucial players. You can say what you want about Jacobs but it doesn’t mean I have to listen to you. I have been a fan of Brandon’s since he first arrived and never wavered in my opinion about him staying with the team. I have seen a bunch of fair weather fans calling for his head and asking the team to get rid of him, which made me sick. Jacobs has proven he wants to remain in New York and has officially become a Son of New York with this latest unselfish move. Thank you Brandon for being a man and putting the team first. I will be buying your authentic jersey to wear during the 2011 season and I encourage all of our readers to do the same.

Big Blue also went out an signed a Punter yesterday. The moment the team signed veteran punter Steve Weatherford yesterday, the Matt Dodge clock began ticking. I have nothing against Matt Dodge personally and if anyone wanted him to do well, it was me. But the inconsistency cannot be overlooked and regardless of having a strong leg, you have to be consistent in the NFL. At the very least, there will be competition at the punter position in this years training camp. Most fans welcome the change.

The Giants will hit the practice field today as training camp opens up to the public. The players spent most of yesterday taking physicals, checking equipement and attending meetings but the time has come to get on the field and do some work. The coaches must feel like it is the first day of school because Giants coaches truly love their jobs. The weather channel expects no rain today, so the fans should be fine if they plan on attending. Fans must remember that if it rains, the practices will be brought indoors and then closed to the public, so be sure to check the weather if you plan on attending or driving long distances to check it out. Coach Tom Coughlin also met with former Giants WR Plaxico Burress last night for about 90 minutes. GM Jerry Reese said that the meeting went well and fans will now have to wait and see what Plaxico decides to do. I would like to have him back but I do not think our entire season depends on what he does. The Giants have a lethal group of WR’s regardless if  Plaxico in the mix or not. Stay tuned Giants fans for more news to come later in the day.

What do you think about the recent roster moves made by the Giants?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!


New York Giants Continue to Reshape Team with More Moves

July 27, 2011

NEW YORK – The New York Giants had a wonderful day by any measure of success in obtaining undrafted rookies yesterday. However, they also caused some waves among Giants fans by releasing some “fan favorite” players. After the news broke about the teams plans to release C Shaun O’Hara and OL Rich Seubert, the team followed up with more bad news by not coming to terms with OL Shawn Andrews. That means three offensive linemen have been cut or released in one day. This has left fans scratching their heads because it was very evident that the offensive line needed help before these cuts. They did re-sign OL Kevin Boothe to a two year deal but he is primarily a backup. The Giants have also reportedly agreed to terms with OL/C David Baas (6’4″ 330 pounds) who played his first six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Fans have come to trust GM Jerry Reese and I’m sure he has a plan but this is asking for a whole lot of trust.

Fans awoke today to more bad news, when they read that DT Barry Cofield will be leaving the team and going to the Washington Redskins of all places. Reports have him signing a six year deal with the division rival. This is another move I just don’t understand. Barry Cofield had become one of my favorite players because all he did was shut his mouth and do his job. The coaches must have seen something that I didn’t because Barry appeared to be the only steady rock in the middle of that defensive line. I truly wish him well and hate that he will be playing across the line from us for at least six years.

The Giants have been working hard to re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw and believe it or not, the team had been talking with WR Plaxico Burress for much of the day yesterday. Coughlin even came out and said he did not mind speaking to Burress, which he will do today. I’m not sure how realistic it is to think Plaxico will return to New York after all of the bad things he said about not wanting to play for Coach Coughlin but crazier things have happened in the past. It is unclear who the G-Men will target in free agency after clearing up some cap space by releasing all of these players. They may have to just sign all of their own players and only get one or two free agents off the market. The Giants have just placed the offensive linemen position on top of the “need” chart by making all of these moves. I’m very surprised they didn’t take measures to replace them prior to announcing the cuts. That only tells me that GM Jerry Reese must be targeting at least one big time offensive lineman from free agency. The madness is far from over so stay tuned for more updates fans.

Are you surprised by all of the player moves Big Blue has made so far?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


New York Giants to Release Seubert and O’Hara

July 26, 2011

NEW YORK – What a shock is was today to hear the names Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara mentioned with player cuts. These two gentlemen made up 40% of the starting offensive line. These two guys have been with the team for a very long time and the announcement today said that both would be released within the next day or two. It felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. My first question was why? In both cases, it appears that injuries played a role in the decision to release them. Knowing that still doesn’t take the sting out of actually hearing it out loud and realizing another era of Giants football has come to an end.

There are some who think the Giants will re-sign one or both of these guys to to less expensive contracts. It would be wonderful if their theories came to fruition but it still won’t change the fact that things will never be the same again. This is simply the beginning of the end. I really respect these “good guys” and hope that something can be done. Reports say the team will save $5.3 million dollars by making these roster moves. Regardless of these cuts, they would still be over the cap limit by about $1 million dollars. Another thing to consider is that losing two quality players at crucial offensive line positions, seriously jeopardizes QB Eli Manning’s Iron Man streak.

Center Shaun O’Hara is 34 years old and has played 12 years in the NFL. He played four seasons with the Cleveland Browns and the last seven years with the Giants. Shaun is a three time Pro Bowl player and Super Bowl Champion. OL Rich Seubert is 32 years old and has played 11 seasons in the NFL, all of them with the New York Giants. Seubert was an undrafted player who worked his way up from the bottom and was extremely valuable as an interchangeable lineman. His hard worked paid off and led him all the way to becoming a Super Bowl Champion. I understand that both of these men are no spring chickens but I truly believed they had a few more years left in them.

I do not want to speculate on replacement players because I think it would be rude to do that so soon. Quite frankly, GM Jerry Reese must have a plan we don’t know about because there doesn’t seem to be enough players on the current roster to fill the void. It took me a couple of hours to write this article because the news was so sudden and unexpected. I still don’t fully believe this is happening. I would like to personally say thank you to both Rich and Shaun for all of the great years they gave the team and the fans. You will both be sorely missed.

How do you feel about the news that C Shaun O’Hara and OL Rich Seubert will be released from the team?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please Support The Wounded Warrior Project by Clicking Here, You Are Not Forgotten!!


Big Blue is Making Waves Early in the Free Agency Pool

July 26, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants have started making roster moves. The biggest signing of the day was Boston College star LB Mark Herzlich. This is a kid that seems to charm everyone he meets and he has also shown his inner strength by beating cancer. I do not want to focus too much on him beating cancer (awesome story) because I’m sure this young man wants to put that all behind him and focus on the future. I hope other sports writers will leave him alone about that too. Let the kid play football now.

Giants GM Jerry Reese continues to show why he is an elite general manager in the NFL by having a great morning in the free agent market. The collection of undrafted rookies he has made deals with all bring unique talents to the table. Of course, Herzlich was projected to be a first round pick before he got sick and I have been hearing a lot of good things about this fullback Hynoski.

I will list a few of the players below but this is by no means the complete list. These are just a few players the team has worked on this morning. You can absolutely expect the list of players to grow but I thought I would give our readers a taste of what the day has brought so far. You can expect the madness to continue throughout this week and all the way up until the season starts. The two biggest needs for Big Blue are linebackers and offensive linemen.

Let’s take a look at some of the players the Giants were able to grab today.

1. LB Mark Herzlich – 6’4″ 250 pounds, Boston College

2. FB Henry Hynoski – 6’2″ 260 pounds, Pittsburgh

3. DB David Sims – 5’9″ 200 pounds, Iowa State

4. DT Martin Parker – 6’2″ 303 pounds, Richmond

5. LB Spencer Paysinger – 6’3″ 235 pounds, Oregon

6. DE Justin Trattou – 6’3″ 250 pounds, University of Florida

Which player are you hoping the G-Men will re-sign out of the current Giants free agents?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please visit www.hampscamp.com and donate/contribute to Rodney Hampton’s charity for the kids!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers