July 24, 2009

Change of address

What ... you thought the NFL Draft was the only entity capable of change?

Turns out that Newsday has revamped its entire website as a way of ushering in the beginning of training camp. OK, there may have been a few other reasons that nudged the transformation. But around here we equate everything with football season.

One of the changes means that this is no longer the address for this blog. To get updates and read about the Giants, you have to go here now:

www.newsday.com/giantsblog

You might also want to check out this Giants page which isn't the blog but has all of the old stories and lots of photo gallaries for you to check out. I'm sure the gallaries will be bursting with new images once camp starts in a week or so. That URL is:

www.newsday.com/sports/football/giants

So be sure to change all of your bookmarks and join us in the new digs. To kick things off, we'll have a live chat pre-training camp on either Thursday or Friday next week.

See you there!

July 9, 2009

Danny Ware told he was "killin' it"

That's what the Giants' running back had to say on his latest blog post last week. You can read the entire post here. He writes about getting some good feedback after OTAs and minicamp.

"A couple of coaches told me I had an outstanding mini-camp, they said I was killin’ it, but not everybody will say something to you. They don’t wanna blow your head up, they want to keep me humble and working hard."

Ware also talks about staying in NJ to train at the team's facility so he can study tape and get some pointers from the coaching staff through the training staff.

Another Giants blogger, Fred Robbins, writes that he's working out twice a day these days in anticipation of training camp. Robbins wrote on an earlier blog about his knee surgery (he called it "microfracture" at one point but that detail has since been removed) and at the end of minicamp he was moving around pretty good, doing some running in the end zones.

Doesn't sound like Fred is a fan of training camp.

"Training camp isn’t a fun time but it’s not supposed to be. It’s the worst part of the season but it’s supposed to be hard so when it’s time to play the games you’re ready."

July 7, 2009

Giants knew Boley would be suspended

According to a person familiar with the Giants' thinking, the team was aware that Michael Boley would face league discipline stemming from the incident last May when he was charged with battery on his wife. They went ahead and signed him anyway to a five-year, $25 million deal (or was it four and 15/16 years?) as one of the first free agents they targeted when the clock struck midnight to start free agency.

And so today's news isn't much news for the team. It was announced that Boley has in fact been suspended for one game without pay for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. He'll sit out the opener against the Redskins and is eligible to return to the team on Sept. 14.

According to a source, Boley's legal issues with the battery charges were not resolved until late in 2008 and the league’s disciplinary review began in December. The decision on the one-game suspension was announced today, but the source said it was made earlier in the offseason.

I wonder if knowing that a suspension was coming had any influence on the decision to surgically repair the torn labrum in Boley's hip last week, a procedure that carries an 8-10 week recovery period and could have cost Boley a chance to play in the opener anyway.

July 3, 2009

Remember when?

eli-manning-0706-32.jpg
Howard Schnapp, Newsday

You can click below to see pictures from an upcoming TV commercial featuring Kenny Phillips, Domenik Hixon and Eli Manning. In the commercial they re-enact some of their best training camp memories.

Well, it's nice that football players get to do that in front of TV cameras. But the rest of us have to settle for blogs. So I'll put this question out to you and let it sit for a while while we continue on with down time this summer:

What's your fondest training camp memory?

Did you see a play and recognize it at a key point later in the season? Spot the potential of an up-and-coming player before the rest of the world jumped on the bandwagon? Get that autograph from your favorite star?

Tell us about your memories from either Albany or Hofstra where the Jets held camp for many years. And have a great 4th, 5th and 6th of July! Enjoy the 7th too!

Kenny Phillips re-lives his rookie season

Speaking of commercials (see the Brandon Jacobs one below), here are a few pictures from a photo shoot for Reebok this week in which Kenny Phillips, Domenik Hixon and Eli Manning re-enacted training camp stories.camp3.jpg

I'd love to hear about this one where Hixon seems to be slapping a bound-up Phillips across the face with his glove.

Click below for a few others from the photo shoot in Memphis. The ads are for Speedwick, Reebok’s premiere training shirt which will be worn by all 32 teams in training camp in a few weeks.

That's Speedwick. By Reebok. And I'm a XXL if anyone cares.

Continue reading "Kenny Phillips re-lives his rookie season" »

Is Brandon Jacobs a first-rounder?

He is in this new ESPN commercial where he's joined by fellow RBs Clinton Portis and Maurice Jones-Drew as first-round selections in a fantasy draft.

Gosh, Jacobs standing next to Jones-Drew is quite a sight.

July 2, 2009

Coughlin orders General to move

Tom Coughlin is in Iraq and appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends with his friend and Giants fans Gen. Ray Odierno. Coughlin spoke about Odierno's prospects as a player for the Giants.

“He tells me he is a tight end and he blocked more than anybody else," Coughlin said. "We’re thinking about moving him inside to tackle to be honest with you!”

Coughlin also spoke about the troops he and three other NFL coaches have met during this USO Tour.

"I’ve been so impressed and so inspired by the attitude," he said. “I know that the troops think we’re here to inspire them, but, believe me they inspire us as well.”

June 25, 2009

Giants announce training camp schedule

Lots of two-a-days to make up for the late start and the crunched time between the preseason opener on a Monday Night and the second preseason game in Chicago on Saturday night.

2009 New York Giants Training Camp Schedule

August 3 (Mon.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 3:15-5:15 p.m.

August 4 (Tues.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 3:15-5:15 p.m.

August 5 (Wed.)
No Practice

August 6 (Thurs.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 7 (Fri.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 8 (Sat.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 9 (Sun.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 10 (Mon.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 11 (Tues.)
No Practice

August 12 (Wed.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 13 (Thurs.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 14 (Fri.)
Practice #1: 8:35-10:35 a.m.
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 15 (Sat.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 16 (Sun.)
Practice: 10:00-11:30 a.m. (Jog-Thru)

August 17 (Mon.)
NFL Preseason Game vs. Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

August 18 (Tues.)
No Practice

August 19 (Wed.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 20 (Thurs.)
Practice #1: 9:10-10:10 a.m. (Jog-Thru)
Practice #2: 6:05-8:05 p.m.

August 21 (Fri.)
Practice: 10:25-11:25 a.m. (Jog-Thru)

August 22 (Sat.)
NFL Preseason Game @ Chicago, 8:00 p.m.

August 23 (Sun.)
No Practice

August 24 (Mon.)
Practice: 2:35-4:35 p.m.

August 25 (Tues.)
Practice: 8:35-10:35 a.m.

Camp Ends

June 18, 2009

No 11-on-11 chart for this practice report

In fact, there's hardly anything at all to report. The doors opened to the final workout of the minicamp at 11 and by 11:34 the practice ended. Then Tom Coughlin gave an 18-minute speech to the team before dismissing them for the summer.

Part of the message was for the team to remember what happened in January and let it drive them as they work toward next season. He even pointed to the Lakers as a team that used a disappointing end to one season to catapult itself to a championship the next.

More on that in the paper tomorrow.

There were no plays to write about in practice as the offense and defense never met. Justin Tuck and Chris Snee were not at practice, each excused for family obligations. Kevin Boss spent some time in the training circle.

Still plenty of injured players. Three rookies did not play a single snap during the minicamp: William Beatty, Clint Sintim and Travis Beckum. Coughlin again expressed his disappointment in that as well as all of the other soft-tissue injuries that have kept more than a dozen players on the sideline.

June 17, 2009

Time is now officially on the Giants' side

On the day when the Giants announced a partnership with Timex for the naming rights of the new training facility, team president and CEO John Mara said there have been talks regarding the naming of the new $1.6 billion stadium across the parking lot.

"I wouldn’t say that we’re close but we are having discussions with several companies about that,” Mara said. “At least we’re seeing some interest out there.”

The 15-year deal with Timex – the new facility is called the Timex Performance Center – is worth about $3 million per year according to a person familiar with the agreement. The naming rights for the stadium will cost significantly more and Mara said the pricetag on that venture has not dropped in light of the recent economic downturn.

Mara also said he expects to have a naming rights deal in place when the stadium opens for NFL games in the fall of 2010.

“It’s more important to get the right deal,” he said. “If that means waiting beyond the opening of the building, we’ll do that. But I don’t think that will be the case.”

Mare also announced that sponsorship for three of the four corners of the new stadium have been finalized – Verizon is the newest sponsor joining MetLife and Anheiser-Busch – and he hopes to have the fourth completed this fall.

The Timex deal doesn’t only include the naming of the facility. Timex will also be a gameday sponsore as stops in play at Giants games will now be announced as “Timex Timeouts.” There will also be a Timex countdown to kickoff outside the new stadium so tailgating fans can know how long they have to find their seats inside.

The Giants are looking into other ways to make money in these tough times. Timex logos will be on their practice jerseys beginning in training camp; this is the first year NFL teams are allowed to sell that space. And Mara said the team continues looking into a partnership with lotteries in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

With the new facility nearly complete – a few cosmetic features still need to be added and the grass fields need to settle in – Mara said the Giants could move all or part of their training camps from Albany to the complex. The Giants have only this summer remaining on their contract with the University of Albany to hold camp up there. Mara said the team has not yet had discussions, internally or with other entities, about the location of future training camps.

Frisky business

The boys got a little fiesty today as a UFC battle broke out for a few seconds. Even the police were called in. OK, it wasn't that bad and a couple of NJ state troopers just happened to pull up to catch a glimpse of the workout moments after the altercation. But still, in a camp that's been devoid of much drama, it was good stuff.

The fight was between Dave Tollefson and Darcy Johnson. It happened on a screen pass from Eli Manning that he threw away. Somehow Johnson wound up on top of Tollefson. Johnson tried to get up but Tollefson held onto his leg for an attempted takedown. At first it looked like they were joking around, but then Tollefson came up and threw a punch at Johnson. Then Johnson threw one back. By then most of the rest of the team had jumped in to break things up. And that was that.

Oh, and Johnson caught a TD on the final play of the practice in a red zone drill. He probably dedicated it to Tollefson.

A few other notes from the practice: Corey Webster was doing some individual drills, which is more than he had been during this minicamp. He was still held out of team work.

A couple of really nice catches to talk about. Hixon made an over-the-shoulder grab on a deep pass from Manning in 11s, a step ahead of Barksdale's coverage. The next snap was a pump&go to Manningham down the left sideline. Barksdale was there and broke it up, but the ball went off his hands, bounced off his foot as he was falling down, and went right into the waiting hands of Manningham for a reception.

Hakeem Nicks continues to look very strong and made some nice catches, including one on a low throw from Carr that was almost off the turf. In 7s in the red zone, Steve Smith made a nice catch in the back of the end zone and managed to get both feet down in bounds (though I would have reviewed it). And Ramses Barden showed off his height by going up for a pair of catches on high balls out of the reach of the shorter CBs.

Click below for the charting of the 11-on-11 snaps. The only other thing the team worked on was punt returns. The returners were, in order: Hixon, Manningham, Hixon, Bradshaw.

A few more notes on the stadium naming situation and other money-making ideas the Giants are considering in a little while. Check back!

Continue reading "Frisky business" »

Lots of injuries in Day 2 of Giants minicamp

Sorry for the delay. We were held up attending the press conference for the naming of the training facility -- the Timex Performance Center -- right after locker room access. I'll feed you some info on that later, but first let's go back to the morning practice.

At one point there were 14 players in the rehab area all receiving various forms of treatment andaaron_ross_0706_95.jpg stretching. The names that were new to the area: Kevin Dockery and Andre Brown (although it looked like Brown was back in action later in the workout). Returning to action was Aaron Ross, who said he stayed out of Tuesday afternoon's session with an injury to the top of his foot. "Want to be precautious," he said.

Barry Cofield looked good doing some running and some cutting on his surgically-repaired knee. He later said he sometimes forgets which knee he had the surgery on until he looks down at the scar. He said he'll be ready for the start of training camp and he's being held out of the minicamp mostly so that no one accidentally rolls over onto his leg and causes damage to it. He said people tend to lump the surgery he had with the one Fred Robbins had -- Robbins said his was a microfracture -- because they were done on the same day. But while Cofield's was a little more advanced that a routine three-week-recovery scope, it was certainly less that what Robbins had. Cofield said he's running and cutting at 100 percent speed, and he looked like it on the field.

Speaking of knees, Brandon Jacobs blew past the defense on teh first 11-on-11 snap. When he got to safeties coach Dave Merritt about 30 yards down the field he shouted out "Ain't got no knee issues, I can run now!" Good to hear and good to see for Giants fans.

You can read about the 11-on-11 snaps below. In 7-on-7s, Andre Woodson threw a tight spiral on a long pass to Domenik Hixon over Aaron Ross that was probably the prettiest play of the session. Second-place goes to Hakeem Nicks, who beat Sha'reff Rashad deep in 11s, had to slow down for a ball that was underthrown by Rhett Bomar, and made a nice catch with Rashad closing in on him and nearly in his face. Good concentration by the rookie and, of course, nice hands.

There was also a pass from David Carr to George Wrighster that was bobbled up in the air and caught by Ahmad Bradshaw, who happened to be nearby.

C.C. Brown had what was, by my count, the first interception of the minicamp. He picked off a pass from Eli Manning in the end zone during red zone snaps in 11s. The pass was intended for Hixon.

As far as kickoff returns today, the Giants focused on it twice. The first time the returners (and their lead blockers in parenthesis) were, in order: Bradshaw (Ware), Hixon (Manningham), Nicks (Bodiford), Ware (Bradshaw), Hixon (Manningham), Nicks (Bodiford), Bradshaw (Ware), Manningham (Bodiford). The second time there were only two kicks: Bradshaw (Ware) and Manningham (Bodiford). I guess with the defense this good the Giants don't expect to be returning many kickoffs this season.

On to the 11 on 11s, then stay tuned for updates on the naming rights deal and other business matters!

Howard Schnapp, Newsday

Continue reading "Lots of injuries in Day 2 of Giants minicamp" »

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