Archive for the ‘New York Giants’ Category


With the ball on the 50-yard line, Justin Tuck lined up over right tackle D.J. Fluker in a three-point stance with his left hand down. It was 1st-and-10 early in the first quarter and Tuck was already starving for a sack. He fired off the line at the snap with a slight bounce on his right foot before raising his arms up and engaging with Fluker. He then redirected left, keeping his hands low in the process and sliding underneath the big palms of the blocker in typical Tuck fashion. Moving past the waist-bending Fluker, he lowered his pad level and kept his arms down to his side, giving little surface area to the blocker as he slid around the corner. He had quarterback Philip Rivers in his sight. Rivers was stumbling but managed to find ground at the last second and throw a pass to his outlet receiver off of play action. Tuck was a half-second shy of a sack.

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So, which Victor Cruz will we get this year? And which Eli Manning will we get this year? And which Hakeem Nicks will we get this year? *shrugs shoulders, prays to gods above*

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Mike Pope doesn’t need to know the name or the jersey number of his tight end. He just needs to know how much time he has to coach him up into a highly productive member of the New York Giants.

Pope, who head coach Tom Coughlin once called “the best tight ends coach in football,” has been coaching the position in New York sine 1983. He’s coached big and small names into some of the league’s best tight ends over the course of the last three decades. This season he has his work cut out for him, because the Giants once again have a new tight end. His name is Brandon Myers, and he’ll be the team’s third different starting tight end in three years.

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Let me be abundantly clear up front here: the frightening quotes you see below which will cause an outbreak of soiled pants in New York (or at least moderately more soiling than usual) is likely little more than rhetoric.

You see, during contract negotiations, gaining leverage is often a game of public optics. And in this case, if Victor Cruz can be made out to be Gotham’s evil villain, then the odds of him caving and accepting whatever number is currently on the table will grow, even if it’s just a little bit.

OK, ready? Turn away if you have a weak stomach…

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You know how I know that we’ve reached the point in free agency where it’s probably just about time to forget about free agency? Brandon Jacobs. That’s all. Just Brandon Jacobs.

Sure, there are still notable veterans still lingering on the open market. Charles Woodson will eventually be given a warm, comforting home, because in today’s NFL when passing is what all the cool teams are doing, guys who can defend passes are pretty valuable regardless of their age. For a similar reason, Dwight Freeney and John Abraham will be employed eventually too, because there’s a level of pain they can still bring off the edges to pressure the guys who throw passes, though it’s more of a minor back pain now instead of a raging headache.

But Brandon Jacobs? That’s a thing that could happen? And in New York?

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alec ogle2

Will the Giants draft their own Ogletree of life?

The Giants will select a linebacker at some point in this year’s draft. But will that pick come 21 days from now, or 22 days from now?

When we’ve discussed middle linebackers thus far during our adventures in questions and answers in these team-by-team draft previews, the focus has often remained on Manti Te’o. I’ll partly admit that’s because I — like all of you — have been caught up in the chatter over the many factors around Te’o that are far removed from the football field. But mostly, there’s genuine intrigue about him, and I still believe that would exist even without the fake dead girlfriend cluster-mess.

That interest has percolated because given his specific skillset, and his top end speed that’s far removed from the quicks of, say, Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman, it’s difficult to determine if Te’o is worthy of a first-round grade. At the very least, the draft discussion around Te’o has been intriguing, and often heated.

But what if you’re a middle linebacker-needy team like the Giants, and none of the first-round options at the position are appealing? Where do you turn next in the mid-to-late rounds? Eric Kennedy from Big Blue Interactive has a few ideas.

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Well, sort of.

The Giants applied a first-round tender to Victor Cruz, meaning he’ll be paid $2.879 million for the 2013 season, though any team that desires Cruz — which is most teams — will have to sacrifice a first-round pick. As we saw with Mike Wallace last year, that first-round price is often enough to scare teams off. The true wide receiver needy teams can invest in another young receiver during the draft and pay much less than the contract Cruz will ultimately demand.

That’s great, but right now with their cap room hovering around the $1 million mark, the Giants need to free space to even pay Cruz’s minimal tender salary. Veteran offensive tackle David Diehl has a rather charitable solution.

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