2012 Pro Bowl Weekend Coverage: Let’s Go NFC!

January 29, 2012

NEW YORK – As all of you probably know by now, there will be no Giants playing in the Pro Bowl because they will be playing in the Super Bowl. Still, QB Eli Manning and DE Jason Pierre-Paul were voted in as starters. Both of those guys deserved the honor but so did a few guys who were not voted in. WR Victor Cruz might be right up there on the top of the list. You could make an argument for CB Corey Webster, S Antrel Rolle and P Steve Weatherford. Most of the Giants lost considerable time with injuries or they might have made the squad too, like DE Osi Umenyiora, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck and TE Jake Ballard. Still, I’d rather see them all in the Super Bowl.

What can Roger Goodell do to make the Pro Bowl more interesting? One idea is to use it as a tool overseas to showcase the players. This will never happen because the game doesn’t mean anything other then the honor of being voted in. This would discourage new fans overseas and hurt the NFL inevitably. Perhaps more awards need to be given out such as the UFC does with individual bonus pay for a variety of awards. The NFL should do more of the old school things like defensive lineman challenge and skills contests over the weekend. I would also include a ‘Strongest Man in the NFL’ contest, a ‘Smartest Man in the NFL’ contest and a ‘Fastest Man in the NFL’ contest. I’m sure I will watch some of the game but there is no masking the fact that players do not want to get injured in this game and risk their contracts. And who can blame them?

I’m not sure if this is a game that should be played by the highest paid athletes in the game. I believe all Pro Bowlers should have to attend the festivities and be available for press and what not. Let the Pro Bowlers actually enjoy the event with their families and have some player only activities and meals set up for privacy. The question that remains is what kind of a game will be played? Perhaps an old school gridiron game in throwback uniforms but using the most promising prospects in college football? This game should be transformed into a meaningful event using old school gear and uniforms. The Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams MVP’s of the game win cars. Only then can you take this overseas to truly show the history and tradition of American football. Each game ticket can include a 4 hour DVD of game footage from that years Pro Bowl players. They can be handed out at the stadium, something well produced. Pro Bowl players have permanent decal on helmet the entire year following the Pro Bowl. Return to Hawaii once every 5 years. Give the Pro Bowl players diamond chains with the diamond charm of the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl logo or whatever it is that year. Something to go with a Super Bowl ring.

What are your suggestions on how to make the Pro Bowl more interesting and worth while to the fans and players. What is your final score prediction? I’m predicting an NFC win over the AFC by the score 47-35.

RD – nygreporter.com

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12/23/11 Christmas DAC Day 23, 2012 NFL Draft

December 23, 2011

NEW YORK – Hello Giants fans, I know it seems way too early to start talking about the draft but it is in fact only 4 months away. The NFL will hold the draft in April 2012 at Radio City Music Hall as usual and fans will be giving their expert advice, all month long, to anyone who will listen. I will be no different on here, telling you what I think and what is needed. The first area of need continues to be the offensive line. They need more depth at this position and protecting Eli Manning is worth the first round pick. Manning is having a career year and they need the blue wall up to protect his NFL Iron Man streak. I would start the entire draft by picking up a 10 year beast in the middle. I have been talking about grabbing a first round offensive lineman for two years now. With Manning getting into his 30’s, this investment makes sense now more then ever. What do you think?

The next area I would focus on is the running back position. I love the guys we have on the team but injuries have forced me to look at the Giants depth. Drafting a young and strong RB to keep in the stable would be a smart move right about now. If anyone can find the diamond in the rough in round two, it’s Giants GM Jerry Reese. I know it may seem odd that I would use the first two picks on offense, when the defense was so decimated by injuries this season. But The offensive line is what allows the offensive machine to get into sync and the RB situation was illuminated when both Jacobs and Bradshaw missed time. Ware and the rookie Scott were the only two options remaining and the Giants rushing attack is ranked at the very bottom of the list. The numbers simply don’t lie.

I honestly would not be surprised to see Big Blue draft a OL, RB or LB in round one. I’ve narrowed it down to those three positions. Now things can certainly change with transactions and trades as the draft gets closer. So this is strictly a pre-pre-pre-draft analysis for our readers. I think when the team gets back all of those injured players and you see them on the field, what I’m saying now, will make more sense. The G-Men are stacked at a bunch of positions but it has been so long since fans have seen these guys play together, they actually forget the squad. I wouldn’t mind seeing them bring back the Andrews brothers either, Shawn and Stacy as a real insurance policy for the offensive line.

These are my early draft assessments for the New York Giants. I will list the Giants area of need and show seven rounds by position. You are all welcome to write your own in the comment area and if you know of specific names, that is even better. I love checking out players that our readers inform us about. Remember these are just my opinions, so don’t rip my head off if you disagree with me. I’ve added a few player names for you to check out on your own, name and college.

DAC Analysis

New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Needs by Position.

1. Offensive Lineman – Barrett Jones or DJ Fluker, both from Alabama maybe?

2. Running Back – Chris Polk from Washington?

3. Safety – Ray Ray Armstrong from University of Miami or Trumaine Johnson from Montana.

4. Linebacker – Keenan Robinson from Texas or Bobby Wagner from Utah State. 

5. Offensive Lineman – Alex Hurst from LSU or maybe Xavier Nixon From Florida?

6. Cornerback – Greg McCoy from TCU or Tashaun Gipson of Wyoming.

7. Kicker – Randy Bullock from Texas A&M, Caleb Sturgis from Florida or Quinn Sharp from Oklahoma State are all good prospects.

What are some of the needs you see on the Giants and what positions are in the most need?

RD – nygreporter.com – Merry Christmas!

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New York Giants Memorial Day Weekend News

May 28, 2011

NEW YORK – We have entered the 78th day of the 2011 NFL lockout. There still hasn’t been any real progress in resolving the lockout and here we are now during Memorial Day weekend. In fact, the NFL has cancelled the 2011 rookie symposium in Ohio, something that has benefitted rookies for years by giving them first hand knowledge of what to expect in the pros and how to conduct themselves off the field in order to protect themselves from the wolves (both male and female). Perhaps, Big Blue team leaders can take the Giants rookies under their wings and break down the “real deal” knowledge on being an NFL player.

The NFL also decided to make some rule changes to the game. These changes were immediately criticized by the players and media alike. I’m not going to list them all here but let’s just say they are concerned about “player safety” in the most violent game on the planet. Throughout all of this, we still have Roger Goodell stating that an 18 game season is going to happen. Well, he isn’t really saying it out loud directly but he is certainly preparing the teams and players psychologically for the inevitable change to the game. I’m still not sure how I feel about this after seeing the Giants have over 25 players land on the IR list the past two seasons. More games seem to equal more injuries to most experts.

Steve Smith was recently in the news talking about his progress in rehabbing his injury. He said things are going well and he is ahead of schedule. Some Giants players are on vacation this weekend and enjoying some R&R in beautiful and tropical locations (you know who you are). The Giants announced the 10 winners of their fan contest and QB Eli Manning was dissed by being left off the top 100 player list (this list is a joke) that was in the news this past week. Head Coach Tom Coughlin held his annual Jay Fund golfing event and Eli Manning continues to organize “player practices” to try and stay in shape. There isn’t much more football news except to say we are less then 15 weeks away from the first scheduled regular season game against the Redskins. Keep your fingers crossed that there is a season Giants fans.

What do you think about the NFL and owners making all of these changes to the rule book and also canceling the rookie symposium? Enjoy the weekend!

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants Field of Dreams at the Meadowlands

March 16, 2011

NEW YORK (nygreporter.com) – The New York Giants christened their brand new stadium this past season in 2010. It was a 10-6 year and they missed the playoffs in a year when an NFL team made it into the playoffs with a 7-9 record, no I’m not kidding. Makes you wonder. The new Giants stadium (which all Giants fans will call it forever) is a massive structure and outfitted with all of the newest technology. This stadium should stand strong for many decades and it looks like all of our dreams were dashed at the news that the Jets wanted to split the costs and continue to stay in the guest bedroom for the next few decades. That is the New York Giants house and always will be.

The story gets better. New Meadowlands stadium (official name) won the bid to host the 2014 Super Bowl. This will be the experiment of a lifetime to see how a cold weather Super Bowl performs against their warmer climate counterparts. It sounds like it is a long way off but the truth is that it’s 3 short years away from being a reality. I predict that the physical ticket sales to the game will be the highest price tickets (this includes the street value) in Super Bowl history and it will hold that record for quite some time. New York and New Jersey are going to go absolutely nuts once this event rolls around. The parties at the surrounding bars and hotels will be seen from space. Talk about field of dreams, can you imagine the city if the Giants are playing in that Super Bowl? What if they were playing the Jets? The thought of a subway series at the New Meadowlands stadium is a big idea and a big deal. It would be off the charts.

I know the topic of the new stadium has been discussed many times before but I have been hearing extra chatter from the Jets fans lately and wanted to be sure to mention how the Giants let them stay there for over 30 years. Giants fans are not talkative or obnoxious. They revel in the fact that the Mara and Tisch families have kept things classy and remain committed to the sport in general. We will include a message below to the fans from the owners that was posted on Giants.com over the weekend, after the 2011 NFL lockout began. Will the Giants get to play on that brand new field once again in 2011 or will the lockout ruin this season? I remain optimistic that they will work something out soon. What do you think?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org

Message to Giants fans from John Mara and Steve Tisch

We are as disappointed as you are in the developments of the past week and the current state of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. For there to be no CBA in place today is extremely disappointing, given the amount of time and hard work and the numerous conversations devoted to achieving an agreement, not just in the last two weeks but over the last two years. We are not happy about that and we certainly understand and appreciate your unhappiness and frustration. Where we are today serves no positive purpose for you, for our players and for the National Football League. Although we had hoped and expected to have an agreement by now and are disappointed that we do not, we remain as committed as ever to returning this process where it belongs, which is the negotiating table. We are convinced that what we have stated many times remains true, that there will be a new agreement and there will be a 2011 NFL season. It is just a matter of when we are able to reach an accord on the current issues. The impatience and the displeasure we know you are feeling is completely understandable. We can only assure you that the point of the entire process is to make our game as strong as it can possibly be and to enable it to continue to grow for the good of everybody – the league, the players and the fans. The last thing we wanted is for the business end of our sport to play out this way. We know people frankly don’t care how owners and players manage their business. These negotiations distract and detract from what is most important to all of us: the game.

We are doing all we can to return the focus as quickly as possible to where it belongs, the field of play.

Read more: http://www.giants.com/news/headlines/story.asp?story_id=44796#ixzz1GmD5aDD6
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2011 NFL Draft: New York Giants Top 15 Prospects

March 2, 2011

NEW YORK – The closer we get to the NFL Draft in April, the more analysis you will read about or watch on your television. What we have done here today, is to take the top 15 draft prospects for the New York Giants and list them below. The player names will be in no particular order. Now when I say top 15 prospect, what I mean is information floating around the internet and mock drafts everywhere. Also, included are main stream media breakdowns and nygreporter member input on the area they see as having the most need. All of this information is current as of today 3-2-11.

I have not changed my mind about drafting a true OL/C or LB in round one, although the DT position is starting to look awfully good too. I do not think the team will take a RB or CB in the first round. However, I do think both of those positions will be addressed within the first five rounds. Which of the 21 free agents should the team sign? You have to ask yourself, is the need at LB greater then the need for a new CB? Is filling in a blatant weak spot on the offensive line at Center, a bigger need then getting another RB? Well, I’ll tell you that RB is going to be an issue soon. What the Giants need in my diagnosis is a middle bear. You have Brandon Jacobs as the papa bear big and strong. Then you have Bradshaw as the smaller type RB, what we need now is the middle sized one at 6’0 230 pounds. RB Mikel LaShoure seems to fit that mold perfectly physically but a round one pick?

I love most of the changes that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made. I extremely dislike the changes made to the NFL Draft however. Starting the 1st round of the NFL Draft on a Thursday is a fan failure. Go back to the original format of having it over the weekend. Make it convenient for the working man and family man to get inside Radio City Music Hall with his kids or watch it on TV live. If the CBA talks breakdown for some reason, the NFL Draft will be the highlight of a lockout laden season for many fans. The NFL Combine coverage is great as usual by the way.

As I have mentioned in the past, everyone has an opinion. What you have below is an honest assessment and pool of players of whom I expect one, to be the New York Giants top pick this year. Unless the team makes some drastic transactions for players at certain positions this off season, I would venture to say that the player who will be at training camp in Albany is listed below.

Let’s take a look at the top 15 prospect names and positions.

1. Akeem Ayers, LB – 6’4″ 255 pounds – This guy seems to be one of the top 5 fan favorite picks. You see Ayers name all over the boards but I’m not sure he will be around come the 19th pick the Giants have in round one.

2. Mike Pouncey, OL/C – 6’4″ 310 pounds – Pouncey is a solid player who would also fill a need at the Center position. The G-Men don’t take offensive linemen in the first round very often so this might be a stretch.

3. Tyron Smith, OT – 6’5″ 285 pounds – This guy seems to be a big pick among the draft “experts”. I do not see the Giants taking a OT in the first round when the team has a handful to workout already.

4. Mark Ingram, RB – 5’10” 215 pounds – Ingram comes from a football family and was named the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. There are a ton of people who think this guy will be one heck of an NFL player. He is the highest rated RB in the draft. Would the Giants trade up for him? Possibly.

5. Anthony Castonzo, OT – 6’7″ 305 pounds – Castonzo is another main stream media favorite. I just don’t see the Giants taking another OT in round one unless they plan on converting him to OL/C.

6. Nate Solder, OT – 6’8″ 314 pounds – Solder is a mix between fan favorite and media pick. He is a huge man and will certainly help out any NFL offensive line, once he gets the pro game down.

7. Nick Fairley, DT – 6’4″ 298 pounds – This is my long shot pick. The Giants would have to give up about 3 picks total to move up and grab Fairley. Getting Fairley is very unlikely to happen but an exciting prospect anyway. He is the top ranked DT in the draft and some would argue that he is the best player available in the entire NFL Draft.

8. Justin Houston, LB – 6’3″ 260 pounds – This is a new guy on my radar and someone the fans have pointed out to me. The Giants are looking for a LB and if this guy is rated high on their boards, Jerry Reese will surely grab him if he’s available. He looks to be a possible hybrid player.

9. Jimmy Smith, CB – 6’2″ 205 pounds – Smith is considered the third best CB in the draft. He has good size and comes from a good program. I’m not sure the team will take a CB in round one.

10. Brandon Harris, CB – 5’11” 195 pounds – Harris is right behind Smith on the talent chart and if Big Blue takes him in the first round I would be surprised.

11. Aldon Smith, LB – 6’4″ 258 pounds – This is one of the quite guys, staying just below the radar but a guy who could help the Giants. The G-men might have to pull the trigger and grab this kid.

12. Prince Akumamara, CB – 6’0″ 205 pounds – Just like with Fairley, the Giants would have to move up to get the Prince before their 19th pick came around. CB Patrick Peterson should be gone well before this guy too.

13. Corey Liuget, DT – 6’3″ 300 pounds – The 2011 NFL Draft is stacked at the DT position. The  talent in round one might be too deep to pass on. The team seems to be preparing for changes at the DT spot this year too over free agency.

14. Marcell Dareus, DT – 6’3″ 309 pounds – Dareus will probably be gone by the 19th pick but you can bet the Giants will take him if he is still around. This guy will plug up the middle for years.

15. Stefen Wisniewski, OL/C – 6’3″ 313 pounds – This is a favorite pick of mine. Some think he will drop to the Giants in round two. I hope he does drop that low because he is a 10 year NFL Center from everything I’ve read. If all 14 names above were taken, do you grab him?

Out of all of the 15 players listed above, please tell me who you would like to see most. Players like Fairly are a long shot, so try to stay reasonable.

RD – nygreporter.com – 1 year anniversary 3-6-11

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org

The NFL Owes Giants and Vikings Fans a MNF Game

February 11, 2011

NEW YORK – Many football fans will remember the brutal winter of 2010. This had to be one of the worst winters on record and it caused chaos for some NFL teams just trying to play football. The New York Giants were one of the most effected teams, having been stranded in airports twice during away games. The crown jewel of the 2010 NFL winter issues had to be the roof collapsing in Minnesota under the weight of tons of snow. Can you guess who was scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings that very same evening in the Metrodome? If you said the New York Giants, you would be correct.

Not only was the game re-scheduled to a bizarre double Monday night game schedule (the game started at 7:20 PM EST) it was also moved to Detroit. Worst of all, the fans were not able to watch the game on TV because ESPN would not allow another game to air at the same time. Forget about the CBA talks, something needs to be done to address this issue so it never happens again. The NFL also owes the Giants and Vikings fans a Monday Night Football game each in compensation. The NFL is smart enough to add a clause to contracts that allow for more flexibility of airing rights due to natural disasters. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has to address this further and make amends to the fans who were looking forward to a great game and also missed the opportunity to see history as QB Brett Favre broke his Iron Man streak at 297 games. I would suggest that the NFL at least write in a clause that states, in the event of an emergency, fans can watch their teams play on the internet. This wouldn’t solve the issue but it is a start.

Some fans may have moved on and forgotten about this issue but not me. I was very angry when I couldn’t watch my team play a game because of advertising contracts. It is absolutely ridiculous and something that sorely needs correction. The NFL needs to recognize that the fans of today are much smarter then ever before and it looks bad when they know why things like this go down. Do the right thing and fix the problem before it happens again. There are only 16 games per regular season and fans look forward to seeing each and every one of them. I am confident the NFL will make amends and not allow this to happen again.

RD – nygreporter.com


Possible NFL Schedule Change; 16 to 18 Games

August 25, 2010

Well hey there New York Giants fans and NYGReporter Supporters (has a nice ring to it huh?), no this article is not specifically Giants related, it effects the entire league. So, I am stepping outside my usual shell and reporting on a larger scale. Well, not so much reporting, more addressing. The difference? Reporting I might say “The NFL is considering changing the schedule from 16 to 18 games” (which it is), but in addressing that I am going to say “The NFL should change the schedule from 16 to 18 games”. See the difference?

While this almost seems like a thesis statement (do you like the scholarly new college goer wording?) it is not. However, I do strongly believe that in order for the National Football League to progress forward it is necessary to expand to 18 games. And here’s why:

  1. Preseason Games: There are too many of them! Everyone knows the 3rd one counts the most, but none of them actually count at all and considering 3 Giants have had head injuries in this preseason alone I think we can all do without two of them.
  2. Injuries: Everyone keeps saying it will create more, but did anyone stop to think it will create less? Well not exactly, but it may give guys enough time to get back, especially if the season still starts the same date it will allow two extra weeks of healing time. Just a thought.
  3. Competitiveness: If we push more division games toward the end of the season it will ensure competition. Plus, who knows maybe it will allow some bubble teams to make up ground.
  4. NFL Expansion: Everyone knows Goodell’s plan to bring the NFL world wide, the extra games could mean an extra bye week or even just more time to go more places.
  5. Competing with other Leagues: No, no other football league has a chance, but the MLB and NBA and NHL all have longer seasons and less offseason waiting around time. I know the waiting builds suspense but right around now I just don’t want to wait any longer for football and the thought that I could be watching games that matter is enticing.

So anyways, this is simply my opinion, I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter but from a fan’s perspective, I would like to see more hard hitting, meaningful football. ESPN reports that owners are “eagar” while the players “aren’t so sure”. There is a lot that goes into this change. Ultimately, I wish we would all focus on the collective bargaining agreement rather than the schedule. Schedule changes are aimed to take place in 2012, the bargaining agreement is due up this year. Prioritize league, prioritize.

Josh Berman – nygreporter.com