Steve Smith to Eagles Will Hurt More Then You Think

August 16, 2011

NEW YORK – It has been about a week since the news broke about WR Steve Smith going to the rival Philadelphia Eagles. I didn’t write an entire article on this subject because I was still in a state of shock and denial about it for most of this time. It is time for me to give this topic a full article. Now, I know the Giants have some great young WR’s on the team and I know it is time for them to step up. But we are talking about Steve Smith here and not some run of the mill player. Smith is a Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl player who was QB Eli Manning’s favorite safety valve. Manning must be fuming at the reality of losing so many of his familiar faces on offense (Smith, Boss, Hedgecock, O’Hara, Seubert, Andrews). I think the game on Saturday showed that he was rattled and will need to put in a lot of work with the new guys before he can settle down.

Giants fans were absolutely disgusting in their remarks to Steve Smith after hearing the news. Some were wishing him dead or for him to get a worse injury then the one the 26 year old is already mending. I couldn’t believe some of the venom being thrown at the man who just 24 hours earlier was a fan favorite. Of course, I understand their anger about him going to a division rival and you could compare it to breaking up with a loved one and saying things that you don’t really mean. I was honestly shocked too by the news that he would accept that deal and jeopardize the New York love he had received so deeply. Apparently, there were some things that did not make it to the press about his situation and following his exodus from Big Blue, there were a ton of back and forth remarks that raised some eye brows. The Giants say they offered him a $35 million dollar deal last year and Smith’s camp says that it never happened. Someone is lying but fans will have to wonder who it is. It’s just plain ugly, either way you look at it.

I think we can all agree that WR Hakeem Nicks is the No.1 WR on the team. The one thing I am certain of is that the Giants do not have a better No.2 WR then Smith on the team. A lot of fans will say that Mario Manningham is better then Smith but I disagree. I am not saying that Manningham is a bad WR at all. In fact, Mario is one my favorite players on the team and can handle his business with the best of them. What I’m saying is that Mario hasn’t done what Smith has done yet. Is the potential there? Sure it is. But we will need to see what happens on the field before making a final assessment. Some will say that Manningham would have taken the No.2 WR spot anyway and that Smith would be the No.3 guy. OK, let’s look at that then for the sake of argument. As far as there being a better No.3 WR on the team, there isn’t. There just flat out isn’t anyone who matches up with Smiths talent that deep into the roster and if you think there is, you’re kidding yourself. Smith holds the all-time single season receptions record for the New York Giants with 107 and until another WR comes close to that kind of production, I simply cannot compare them to Smith.

Steve Smith was the first interview ever for nygreporter. I cannot ever thank him enough for doing that for me (thank you to N.S. and Smith’s agent again for helping set that up). I will forever be a fan of his for that reason (except when he plays the Giants of course) and will always consider him a first class guy off the field. You can check out the interview I did with him here: Steve Smith Interview 3/6/11, nygreporter Edition 0001

Now that you have had some time to really think about the Steve Smith departure, what are you thoughts about it?

RD – nygreporter.com

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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

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Update: Giants Sign More Players, Continue Training Camp

August 2, 2011

NEW YORK – Giants fans across the country let out a collective sigh of relief yesterday, when RB Ahmad Bradshaw agreed to the terms of a new four year contract worth $18 million dollars. This is very good news for Big Blue and basically locks down the running back position, as far as being set for the season. After the G-Men made so many moves on the defensive side of the ball, it was clear that some work had to be done on the offensive side. The Giants are set at QB with Eli Manning and they brought in former Giants QB David Carr to back him up this season. They are fine at the WR spot, even without WR Plaxico Burress returning to the team. WR Steve Smith is the final priority signing at that position and I expect that to get done soon. So the QB, RB and WR positions are set. The special teams group has also had a significant upgrade and I’m very excited to see them perform on the field.

The two offensive areas that still need work are the offensive linemen and the tight ends. The Giants did address the tight end position yesterday by signing the very good blocking TE Ben Patrick. Patrick is a big strong man who comes to New York via the Arizona Cardinals. His one year deal could mean that the team is skeptical about re-signing one of their other tight ends. Kevin Boss is still unsigned and Bear Pascoe will mostly be playing FB according to sources. That leaves TE Travis Beckum as the likely odd man out. The team will have to figure out what role Beckum will be play during training camp and make a decision based on his willingness to adjust.

We also have the DE Osi Umenyiora situation heating up to record highs. Osi made it very clear that he prefers to stay with the Giants but wants a fair contract offer. I have to say that I want Osi to stay too. Fans seem to be split on the topic of Umenyiora. Half would love for him to stay, while the other half perceive him as a trouble maker. Osi spoke to the AP last night via email and wanted to clear his name and let the fans know that it bothers him to be perceived as a “bad guy” for simply wanting a fair contract. I have to agree with him. But there is no denying that there seems to be something wrong with either his communication skills or the public relations people giving him the advice. I can understand both sides of the coin and hope the team can work something out with him.

First round draft pick CB Prince Amukamara, WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss remain the big three players who have yet to sign new contracts. The team has been battling the salary cap this entire free agency period and I’m sure that GM Jerry Reese is working on a creative way to sign these three guys. With the first preseason game just 11 days away, I hope they can agree on something soon. Be sure to check back today for any updates on team transactions.

Have you attended a New York Giants training camp practice this year? Do you plan on attending one?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Update: Giants 12 Days Away From Preseason, Osi to Leave?

August 1, 2011

NEW YORK – When I flipped over the month of July on my calendar this morning, the realization that football games are really close hit me. The G-Men are only 12 days away from hitting the field to play their first preseason game of 2011. It is hard to believe that after all of the lockout madness we endured, the season is right around the corner. The Giants have a very small window of opportunity to prepare for the Carolina Panthers who they play on August 13, 2011 at 8:00 PM in Carolina. Everything goes into warp speed after that until the first regular season game, which is less then a month away from the first preseason game on September 11, 2011 against the Washington Redskins.

The Giants hope to have some of their crucial players signed very soon. RB Ahmad Bradshaw is still shopping his services around the league but seemed to get thrown for a loop when the Bengals decided to re-sign RB Cedric Benson and the Redskins brought in RB Tim Hightower. Bradshaw was expected to visit both teams before the news broke yesterday. The news that they went elsewhere for running back help must have been hard to swallow. I really hope Ahmad Bradshaw remembers who took a chance on drafting him, when all of the other NFL teams passed him by. I hope he remembers who stuck by him during all of his legal issues, which included jail time after he was already with the team. I hope he remembers who believed in him and who needs him now. Money cannot buy loyalty and the Giants organization has certainly shown loyalty toward Bradshaw over the years. Yes, he should be paid a fair salary but he shouldn’t try to play them for fools either. Come Home Ahmad, where you are wanted. WR Steve Smith is also a priority signing that has yet to happen.

QB David Carr could not contain his excitement when he tweeted that he would be returning to New York for “round two”. The news broke yesterday afternoon that he will be returning to the Giants. I am very happy that the team decided to get a serious backup QB for Eli Manning. At the same time, I am very concerned that the Giants felt the need to bring in a serious backup QB for Eli Manning. With the Giants offensive line in question after releasing two of the five starters and a solid backup, it does beg the question about the teams confidence in the replacements and if they can adequately protect their franchise QB. The offensive line is my biggest concern for the 2011 season.

DE Osi Umenyiora was given permission to seek a trade today. This puts an end to all of the speculation and gives Osi exactly what he asked for. The team is having issues staying under the salary cap and just didn’t have the money to appease Osi’s demands. The Giants will surely get something in return for him, either a player or draft picks. Rumors are saying he could be worth a 1st or 2nd round pick at minimum. I am going to miss Umenyiora if he goes and I want to wish him well where ever he ends up. Also, the Giants first round pick, CB Prince Amukamara remains the only rookie not signed yet by Big Blue.

What is your biggest concern for the Giants as of today August 1, 2011?

RD – nygreporter.com

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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

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Giants Training Camp Opens, Rookies Get Jersey Numbers

July 29, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants are going to have a very busy day. The workers at the stadium are busy getting all of the equipment together and the players are working out the butterflies in their stomachs. It’s a rainy morning in the New York area and scattered thunderstorms are expected throughout the day. If the weather is bad, the practices will be moved indoors and closed to the public. Fans also have to remember to arrive early if they plan on attending training camp tomorrow because it is on a first come, first serve basis. Some Giants players were at the facility as early as 7:00 A.M. getting physicals and the twitter accounts of fans were buzzing with anticipation. It is sure to be a great day in East Rutherford.

Getting back to the physical and mental work of practice is a tremendous step in the right direction. The players have a short period of time to get into football shape and the rookies have almost no time to memorize an NFL playbook. The only thing that balances out these disturbing facts, is that it is a league wide issue due to the lockout and not just something the G-men will be dealing with. The front office will be working hard to make sure the team can re-sign the valuable players who are still without contracts. The coaches will concentrate on coaching.

There are big names floating around out there today. RB Ahmad Bradshaw still hasn’t agreed to the contract terms and RB Brandon Jacobs is said to be working with the team to restructure his contract, a classy move by Brandon. DE Osi Umenyiora is a hot topic and he wants to be paid a fair wage equal to his on-field production. WR Steve Smith is still on the mend but should be a priority signing for the Giants and TE Kevin Boss could make his way back to the team very soon. These players equal a ton of production for the Giants and will need to return in order to maintain the balance that already exists. The team and the fans are still a little woozy from the players who have already been released, if the players above don’t sign, we would essentially be looking at an entirely new team.

There are other players who need to sign contracts but the guys mentioned above are the big names. The team still needs to sign the majority of their 2011 draft picks and also get them acclimated to the Giants way of doing business. Be sure to check back with us later in the day for transaction updates and players moves.

Let’s take a look at the jersey numbers the rookies will wear.

1. CB Prince Amukamara – No.20

2. DT Marvin Austin – No.96

3. OL James Brewer – No.78

4. LB Greg Jones – No.53

5. RB Da’Rel Scott – No.34

6. WR Jerrel Jernigan – No.3

7. S Tyler Sash – No.39

8. FB Henry Hynoski – No.45

9. LB Mark Herzlich – No.58

Do you plan on attending a training camp session this year at the Timex Performance Center?

RD – nygreporter.com

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


Giants Getting Ready to Get Down to Business

July 28, 2011

NEW YORK – Giants owner John Mara said he expects to have a “naming rights” deal in place for the stadium before the season begins in September. I’m sure that we will hear news on this very soon, within a week or so. This might seem like a small piece of business considering all of the madness going on with the players but fans better familiarize themselves with it. They will be looking at it for a lot of years to come. As I’ve said many times, it will always be Giants stadium to me but the thought of calling it the MetLife stadium for a decade is vividly unappealing. However, I understand why the Giants and Jets need to do this, I just wish it could be named the JetBlue stadium or Green Giant stadium.

Then we have training camp opening tomorrow at the Timex Performance Center for the first time in team history. The training camp practices will be open on a “first come, first serve” basis because of the lack of space. There will be a capacity of about 2,000 fans allowed to enter, so be sure to get there early if you want to get in. Also, be sure to bring a few bucks for the parking (camp itself is free) and any merchandise you want to buy. You can bring photo cameras with you but no video cameras. It is always a good idea to bring some water and snacks with you too if you have kids. It really is a unique experience that I recommend to all Giants fans.

Fans can expect a ton of player news to drop during the day today. Be sure to come back and catch up on all of the news with us. I expect some of the players to be released today and maybe get a few of the current players on the roster re-signed. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Brandon Jacobs and TE Kevin Boss top the list for today. WR Steve Smith, DE Osi Umenyiora and DE Mathias Kiwanuka have to be crucial re-singings as well. These six guys make up a ton of production for Big Blue. Stay tuned for the good and bad news that is sure to follow at some point today.

Are you excited about the 2011 NFL season kicking off soon?

RD – nygreporter.com

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