Tag:Jerry Reese
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:27 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 11:28 pm
 

Osi plans to stay "really quiet" in offseason

UmenyioraBy Josh Katzowitz

Osi Umenyiora almost had a nasty breakup with the Giants before the beginning of 2011. With two years left on his contract that would pay him $3.125 million for 2011 and $3.975 million for 2012, Umenyiora wanted an extension and a raise, but the Giants declined to do so.

Then, they said he could seek a trade before the organization changed its mind, and eventually, Umenyiora underwent arthroscopic surgery that kept him out of the season’s first three games.

Luckily for both sides, Umenyiora played well once he returned, and the Giants won the Super Bowl.

And Umenyiora isn’t looking for a fight this offseason, telling Sirius XM NFL Radio (via the NY Daily News) that he plans to be “really quiet.”

He still wants a long-term deal, but he’s not going to push for it publicly any more.

“I ain’t going to say nothing,” Umenyiora said. “I don’t need that.”

No, because it got pretty nasty last offseason, especially when he claimed that Giants general manager Jerry Reese reneged on a promise to pay him. Umenyiora also expressed regret signing a six-year deal as a rookie, because “things in the NFL change so fast.”

For now, though, Umenyiora will sit and wait to see if the Giants make a move toward trying to pay him more money.

“I could see things going either way,” he said. “I could see where they would want to keep me. I could see where they would want to trade me. I am going into the last year of my deal, so they might want to get some value back.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to stay here and finish out my career, but it’s a business and they’re going to do what’s best for them, and I have to try to do what’s best for me.”

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:21 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:06 pm
 

Giants defensive mindset comes from the top down

Pierre-Paul points the way for the New York defense. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Everyone wants you to believe that Super Bowl XVLI is similar to the Giants-Patriots matchup from 2007. It makes sense -- the ferocious pass rush Tom Coughlin's squad brings to the table is so similar to the dominant 2007 defense. That's not some hapless circumstance though: it's a result of a carefully-crafted personnel plan that starts from the top up and permeates the entire organization.

Ask anyone on the Giants roster or coaching staff about what kind of attitude defines that defense, a unit that hasn't given up more than 20 points since Week 15, and you can tell there's a universal feeling within that group about the way they play. Right now that feeling could be described as "confidence." Or something ... else.

“Right now we have a badass mentality," safety Antrel Rolle said Tuesday. "That’s the way we like to look at it, that’s the way we want to keep it, and we’re very confident in our approach. But most of all, I think we’re very smart in our approach, meaning that everyone is on the same page at the same time and we have a clear understanding of what every guy is doing, not only yourself. So, you know, we’re a very intellectual team, and we take pride in that.

"But, at the same time, when the bell goes off on Sunday, we’re in attack mode. That’s the way we look at it."

The Giants struggled badly throughout much of the year on the defensive side of the ball (the Seahawks hung 36 on them in New York and they lost to the Redskins twice; that's all you need to know). Rolle acknowledged as much. But they shut out the Falcons offense in the divisional round and put the brakes on the previously white-hot Packers before handling the 49ers, reminding everyone of the 2007 unit that generated so much pressure from their front four.

But since 2007, the organization's seen a few important changes Perry Fewell replaced Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator. Jerry Reese moved into Ernie Accorsi's spot as general manager. The organization's managed to not change though, primarily in the way they seek out and identify defensive players with a similar mindset.

"I think Jerry Reese and Mark Ross in our scouting department do a great job of identifying Giant defensive-minded football players," Fewell said. "And that came long before I came here. They've always had a good talent for doing that. The one thing that I can really talk about is pride, and 'Giant Pride.' When you step into the Giant defensive meeting room -- they make you write an essay about what it's like to be a New York Giant. And why do you want to be a New York Giant defensive football player."

Really?

"Yeah, that was not something I was accustomed to doing," Fewell said. "When I heard that they make the rookies do that, I thought it was really unique and different. So there's a lot of pride that goes along with being a New York Giant and being a defensive football player and I think that's permeated throughout the years with the Strahans and the Lawrence Taylors. It goes back more years than I've been there."

Think about that: you get your first job as a professional in your chosen vocation and when you get to work, you have to write an essay about why you want the job you've been chosen to do. It's insanity. But it's also a testament to the way the Giants build their defense.

So is the work the Giants do in the later rounds. There's no Victor Cruz (a shocking breakout as an undrafted free agent) on the defense. But there are a slew of slam dunks from the last 10 years of Giants drafts, whose talent allows the Giants to get hot at the right time.

"Our scouts are really the unsung heroes of this whole process. They are the lifeline," Reese said. "They go out for 185-200 days a year on the road, scouting. They unearth these players and bring them to our attention. We have a chance to look at these guys too. It’s all about us. The winning is about us as an organization. Our scouts and our players do a tremendous job. Our coaches do a tremendous job. I’m just happy for the organization as a whole."

Reese should be. Since 2003, the Giants have used their first pick in the NFL Draft on defense every single year, save twice: in 2004 when they took Philip Rivers (and swapped him for Eli Manning) and 2008, when they took Hakeem Nicks. Both those moves worked out OK, but it's the defensive selections that really stand out.

Mathias Kiwanuka, Aaron Ross, Jason Pierre-Paul and Prince Amukamara are all first-rounders taken by the Giants who either start or see tons of playing time. Corey Webster, a second-round pick, was the Giants first selection in 2005. Osi Umenyiora was a second-round pick in 2003, and Justin Tuck was a third-round pick in 2005.

What is it, exactly, though that the Giants look for when pursuing these guys?

"Ability," Tom Coughlin said. "The way in which we define the positions and evaluate the players according to the positions that they play. I'm not going to go into detail on how they're evaluated, but we stick strictly to our philosophy, our grading system and being as objective as we possibly can."

Coughlin's answer might sound like coachspeak. (Technically, it is.) But his point about "ability" actually points more to the Giants heavy desire to draft pass-rushers on a frequent basis. Accorsi did it when he ran the team, and Reese does it as well. Having four guys on the line who can generate pressure and turn up the heat on opposiing quarterbacks without having to send additional blitzers is precisely what makes the Giants defense so terrifying.

And Coughlin, like everyone else with the Giants, had a look of pride on his face when asked what differentiates the Giants defense and its specific players from other teams.

Don't expect him to call the the unit "badass." But he clearly feels the same way as Rolle. And it's a sentiment that's shared from top to bottom in an organization, and the reason why this unit's capable of looking like an elite defense.

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Posted on: October 2, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Victor Cruz's non-fumble leads to controversy

V. Cruz thought he was giving himself up, but Arizona thought not (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It was clear that Giants receiver Victor Cruz thought he was giving himself up when he went to the turf untouched at midfield with 3 minutes to go in the New York-Arizona game, and his thought process was clear because he released the ball before getting up and preparing to run the Giants next play.

He thought he was down, and that was the end of it.

The Cardinals weren’t so clear on the matter, though, treating it like a fumble, recovering the ball and taking over possession leading by three points. Or so they thought.

Except, the officials ruled that Cruz, much like a quarterback sliding feet first, had given himself up, and since they had ruled that way, it was a non-reviewable call, despite Ken Whisenhunt’s best intentions. On the very next play, Eli Manning threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks to give New York the 31-27 victory.

So, did the Cardinals get hosed on the call? According to some, yes, they did.

First, the rule states the official shall declare the ball dead when a runner is out of bounds or if he kneels down or falls to the ground and makes no effort to advance. Which is kind of what Cruz did. Maybe. Except it’s a judgment call, and it’s up to the officials to decide if the runner was actually in the process of taking a knee.

Wrote Mike Pereira, former head of officiating on his Twitter account: “In my opinion it should have been ruled a fumble … If you have possession of the ball and you take a knee thats giving yourself up, cruz stumbled.”

So, a judgment call. Did he kneel down, or did he stumble?

“Yeah,” Manning told reporters after the game, “we got a break on that one.”

Said general manager Jerry Reese, via the New York Daily News:  "I'm not sure what the rule is, but that wasn’t the only thing that helped us win the game."

That’s true, and for its part, Arizona didn’t make a big issue of it afterward, saying the team had made too many other mistakes (like, for instance, giving up the touchdown to Nicks immediately afterward). "We don't make no excuses," Darnell Docket said, via Rapid Reporter Craig Morgan. "We just feel we beat ourselves."

But if the Cardinals feel like they got screwed a little bit, I wouldn’t blame them a bit.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Despite no new money, Osi ready to play

UmenyioraPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora has his way, he’ll make his 2011 debut Sunday when New York travels to Arizona for Sunday’s game.

Of course, if Umenyiora had his way, he’d also be making more than the $3.125 million he’s scheduled to earn this season.
 
But despite the ongoing contract dispute with Giants general manager Jerry Reese. Umenyiora said he has stopped contemplating his next financial move. He just wants to play again.

"Money can't be a motivator for you on the actual football field," Umenyiora said, via the New York Daily News. "That's not the way I've ever been. We'll have the offseason to think about that. But not right now."

Umenyiora has been out of action since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in August that was supposed to keep him out three to four weeks. It’s been a little longer than that, but this week was the first week Umenyiora practiced all three days, so it seems there’s a pretty good chance he’ll suit up and step out on the field.

Osi's road back
He’s listed as questionable and he was limited in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but Umenyiora seemed fairly confident he would be in the lineup. Especially since defensive end Justin Tuck is ailing with groin and neck injuries and also is questionable to play after only practicing Friday.

And while Umenyiora’s contract issues probably won’t be in the forefront of Umenyiora’s mind, it probably will be hard to erase it completely.

"I feel like I'm constantly disrespected," he said. "I always feel like I need to prove myself. This season is no different from next season or the season before."

He means that in the most general way possible and it wasn’t specifically pointed at Reese and the Giants front office. He also said that if the Giants take him on the trip to Arizona, (which, according to Giants Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, he did), he’s definitely going to play.

And if Tuck can’t play -- and that seems likely -- the Giants are going to need Umenyiora for a squad which continues to have major injury problems on defense.

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Responses vary regarding Steve Smith signing

Smith

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The reaction to the Eagles signing of former Giants WR Steve Smith has stirred emotions across the NFC East. We thought it was a strong signing by Philadelphia’s front office, and it was interesting that Smith revealed that the Eagles showed “MUCH more” interest than the Giants did in signing him.

That led to Giants fans lambasting Smith -- coming off microfracture surgery on his knee that could keep him out the early part of the season. Smith wrote Thursday on his Facebook page: "Instead of cursing at me and wishing my family and my knee harm, i wish you could understand that i truly wanted to stay here but that the giants DIDN'T want me here unfortunately.. thank you to my true fans for standing by me and offering your support during this time.”

Steve Smith's Eagles signing
Even some of his old teammates got into the act.

Via the Philadelphia Daily News, Giants CB Terrell Thomas tweeted the following: "Hate to see a [Steve Smith] sign with any team. But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass ain't GREENER* on the other side.”

*As an aside, I think that tweet would have been more effective if Thomas had put “ain’t” in all caps instead of “greener.” Like this: “But glad we get to play against him two times a year and show him the grass AIN’T greener on the other side.” See what I mean?

Meanwhile, New York coach Tom Coughlin pointed out to reporters that Smith’s surgery was performed by a Giants team doctor, and the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch tweets that Coughlin sounded betrayed by that notion. Coughlin also said the Giants never had a chance to match the Eagles offer of one year, $4 million ($2 million of that guaranteed) and that Smith’s representation told the Giants they would have a chance to counter. He said it was akin to competing in a race that you didn’t know had started yet (to be fair, though, the Giants had plenty of time to sign him once free agency began).

We have yet to see how Eagles RB LeSean McCoy -- who engaged in a Twitter war with New York DE Osi Umenyiora, which then led to Smith getting involved and posting a pretty sweet picture of him celebrating the Giants Super Bowl victory while featuring an empty Eagles trophy case (as you can see in the above picture) -- reacts to his newest teammate. But Smith is pretty sure everything will be cool between the two.

"Yeah, it’s going to be funny," Smith said Wednesday night during a conference call with reporters. "I’m going to go up to LeSean the first day I see him and just shake his hand and give him a hug and tell him that was all just Twitter beef and it was just all in fun. And you know, it’s just a great rivalry and I’m thankful to be a part of it. And having switched sides it’s a little different but still it will be exciting to see what it’s like on this side.”

The Newark Star Ledger’s Mike Garafolo also had interesting analysis on why the Giants let Smith get away to an intra-divisional rival, writing, “I'm completely baffled on this one. What is going on in the Giants' front office? I mean, seriously, what is going on right now? I'll tell you what's going on: for the first time, Jerry Reese's seat must be getting warm. … How do you let Smith become so discouraged by your efforts to retain him that he goes to see your arch rivals?”

Garofolo then argues that Smith was a potentially valuable asset who the Giants should have squared away (even if Smith had to miss half the season while recovering from his surgery).

Instead, Smith goes to the Eagles, and once he gets his hug from McCoy, he can begin the process of finding a place in a WR corps that includes DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. The Eagles just got a little bit stronger, while the Giants, competing for the same NFC East title, potentially let a star get away.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 6:23 pm
 

A displeased Umenyiora will report

UmenyioraPosted by Josh Katzowitz

DE Osi Umenyiora is not a happy man, and his displeasure is pointed at the Giants as he tries to force a new contract from his team. He also believes New York has reneged on a promise to provide him with more money, and that doesn’t sit well with him.

Which is why he planned on holding out from training camp. Until he determined the Giants were going to fine him $30,000 a day if he missed practices.

That’s why Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin writes that Umenyiora will report to camp Saturday night and be ready to go.

But he’s still not happy with his situation.

“No one reached out so hey, we’ll go in and do what we have to do,’’ Tony Agnone, Umenyiora’s agent, told the New York Post. “Nothing in the situation has changed.’’

Umenyiora’s contract still has two years remaining at $3.125 million in 2011 and $3.975 million, and the Giants don’t seem to be interested in renegotiating.

More from the Post:

Umenyiora remains angry that the Giants have not come up with more money that he insists was promised him, or that Reese hasn’t traded him away.

Asked how Umenyiora will deal with Reese, Agnone said “They won’t speak.’’

Asked if he was surprised that the Giants did not reach out in any way to try to satisfy Umenyiora, Agnone said “Very surprised, surprised by the whole situation. But I shouldn’t be.”


But teammate Justin Tuck insists that Umenyiora isn’t angry.

 “I think he realizes this is a business and he’s doing what he feels is best for him. My biggest concern he doesn’t do something that’s going to hurt Osi. We all have been in situation where we wish we could take stuff back. Osi’s a smart guy, he knows what he’s doing.”

As does Agonene, who told CBSSports.com's Clark Judge that he's trying to protect his client.

"(Shaun) O'Hara and (Rich) Seubert had contracts, and they got released," Agnone said, "and Brandon Jacobs had a contract and it was reduced. Does this only work negatively, and not positively?"

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 12:51 pm
 

Osi-McCoy feud picks up rather quickly

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

This LeSean McCoy-Osi Umenyiora feud has gotten really nasty in a very short period of time.

We already told you about how the feud began (Umenyiora, in a sworn affidavit to be filed next month, explains how he feels he got screwed by Giants GM Jerry Reese, McCoy responded by calling him soft and overrated, and Umenyiora responded to THAT by calling McCoy a “she”).

But Umenyiora still apparently was upset by the slight made by the Eagles RB. In part, it’s because McCoy has had a fair bit of success vs. the Giants, but also because this isn’t the first time the two have had words with each other.

"I mean, he’s a girl, man. Who does stuff like that?" Umenyiora told the Newark Star Ledger. "If he has more of these things to say, he can say ‘em to my face. Don’t be no Twitter gangster, man.

“I hate him, he hates me, period.”

I can understand why McCoy would feel like he’s got the best of Umenyiora, because McCoy rushed for 175 yards on 24 carries in two games last year vs. New York, but I can’t figure out why McCoy would drag himself into this potential court case. Unless he truly IS a Twitter gangster.

“I feel things like that stay on the football field,” Umenyiora said. “Off the field, we respect each other because at the end of the day we’re all brothers. But he decided to take it so far that there’s no going back from it now."

Or you could take the attitude of Giants WR Steve Smith, who’s scheduled to be a free agent. You could just post the picture that you see below, and that should end any conversation with McCoy.

Giants celebrate world title

Photo courtesy of Steve Smith.

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: June 17, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Umenyiora wants out of NY, McCoy mocks him



Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE: Via the New York Times' Mark Viera, Umenyiora responds to McCoy's tweet: “She can say whatever he wants about it."  The "she" in question? McCoy, who Umenyiora also calls "Chihuahua" and "Lady GaGa." Apparently, these are popular names for McCoy among members of the Giants defenseNow it's a party.

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora wants out of New York. And he has taken it a step beyond relaying his feelings through the media. In a sworn affidavit to be filed in federal court next month as part of the players' antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, Umenyiora states that Giants general manager Jerry Reese didn't keep promises to renegotiate his contract.

In April, Umenyiora testified:
In early April 2008, approximately two weeks before the start of the New York Giants offseason conditioning program, I ... had a meeting with the general manager of the New York Giants, Mr. Jerry Reese.

After about an hour of discussing my current contract, as well as the contracts of other defensive ends currently playing in the National Football League, Mr. Reese told me that two years from the start of the 2008 league year, if I was currently playing at a high level, we'd either renegotiate my current contract so that it would be equal to that of the top five defensive ends playing or I would be traded to a team that would do that.

Before leaving the meeting, I asked Mr. Reese twice if he was absolutely sure that would be the case. He then told me that he was an honest and church-going man and that he would not lie, which I believed to be the case. Under the penalty of perjury these statements are true and accurate.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the NFL Players Association feels that Umenyiora has "suffered irreparable harm," and it's a primary reason the NFLPA sought out Umenyiora as one of its plaintiffs in the Brady vs. NFL antitrust case.

You'd expect the players to stick together on this issue because, ultimately, the decision will affect all of them. Well, you'd expect wrong. Upon hearing the news that Umenyiora accused the Giants of breaking promises, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy tweeted the following:

"Overrated n soft 3rd best d-line on his team honestly."

As Philly.com points out, McCoy carried 24 times for 175 yards in two games against the Giants last season, averaging 7.29 yards per carry. But Umenyiora racked up 11.5 sacks last season, good for seventh-best in the league. Maybe that still makes him the third-best defensive lineman on the Giants, but he's still no slouch.

McCoy, we'd imagine, remains unimpressed.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com