Tag:Lawrence Taylor
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: January 25, 2012 7:48 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 11:05 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

For as great as Lawrence Taylor was on the field he has been just as troubled off it. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

In January 2011, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pled guilty to two charges of sexual misconduct. Two months later, Taylor received six years probation.

On Wednesday, the former Giants great joined James Brown and Cris Collinsworth on Showtime's Inside the NFL for his first extensive sit-down interview since his sentencing last March.

Taylor spoke about his 2010 arrest: "As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as defense and stuff. I know what every player is supposed to do. I know where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I know where I’m supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game. The problem with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions and that’s the process that I’m going through now."

Taylor's life away from football has been a tumultuous existence. He was once asked what he could do that no other linebacker could, and he replied, "drink." But alcohol wasn't his biggest vice. He used drugs during his playing days and it got worse after he retired in 1993, writing in his autobiography that "I saw coke as the only bright spot in my future (after football)."


James Brown and Cris Collinsworth recently sat down with Lawrence Taylor to discuss his sentence for solicitation of a minor, his battles with substance abuse as well as modern day defense in the NFL. 

Taylor told Brown and Collinsworth that "I cannot stress enough that this has not been a great ordeal for me. And I’m quite sure this is not a great ordeal for the girl.  And it’s not a good ordeal for my family – my wife, especially. I hear it every day, every day, every day. ...

"What was I thinking?" Taylor asked. "According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking and she reminds me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half. We, as boys, think that we can do certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when we were younger, and sometimes my decision process is not very good. I make mistakes and I make bad decisions. Do I wish this had gone another way and that that day had never happened? Of course I do. The embarrassment I gave my family, the embarrassment of myself.

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that, ‘Hey, I’m a chronic bad person. I’m just going out and doing.’  I just get caught up and sometimes you think, you know life is not the same way it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago. As an athlete, they may overlook a couple things.

"No. Nowadays, you guys are on 24-hours-a-day so everything that happens is actually exploited a little bit more or is blown up a little bit more and more people know about it. So now you have to really discipline yourself. For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as playing in New York.  I could do what I wanted to do as long as it was still within the law….Life…sometimes it just throws you some curves and just have to realize that this is a different time and different age and you have to tell yourself to be a man, boy."

Taylor said that "There is always a heart desire to do the right thing" but conceded that "as easy as football is to me…is as hard as life is to me."

He also talked about today's NFL compared to the one he left nearly two decades ago, as well as his thoughts on the Giants' return to the Super Bowl.

This week’s episode of Inside the NFL premieres tonight, January 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 4:27 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.11.11: Osi could return Monday



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Looks like Chargers LT Marcus McNeil will miss the first two preseason games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his knee. "It’s one of those things if you were working through May and June," Norv Turner said, "some of that gets out of the way earlier.”
  • Steelers rookie Baron Batch tore his ACL at practice Wednesday, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wonders if it occurred because the team practiced on artificial turf. Remember, Heinz Field is natural grass, because the Steelers believe it cuts down on injuries.
  • As we’ve all been taught, pimping ain’t easy. Especially if you’re the guy who set up Lawrence Taylor with his prostitute.
  • After being suspended for all of last year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, former Falcons DB Jimmy Williams has been reinstated by the league.
  • The Dolphins would prefer their fans NOT to post videos of practice online, thanks very much. You know, the whole competitive disadvantage thing.

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:03 pm
 

LT ruled 'Level 1 sex offender' by NY judge

Posted by Will Brinson

The final (hopefully) ruling in the Lawrence Taylor saga is here, and the Hall of Fame linebacker has been ruled a Level 1 ("low risk") sex offender by a New York judge.

Per the Associated Press, Rockland County Court Judge William Kelly passed along the ruling despite the prosecution's request that Taylor be classified as a Level 2 sex offender.

"The difference between Level 1 and 2 is almost minuscule because of the notification that has already gone out to the world," said Kelly.

The judge also added that Taylor "would be awfully foolish to go out and do this again."

Taylor, who wasn't present at the hearing, was recently sentenced to six years of probation. Following that sentencing, he made some pretty bizarre/awkward/creepy remarks about the nature of prostitution. (The appearance was later classified by his agent as "should not have happened.")

Taylor, who was arrested for felony statutory rape in May, originally pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

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Posted on: March 24, 2011 9:45 pm
 

LT's agent on TV spot: 'Should not have happened'

Posted by Will Brinson

Lawrence Taylor was recently sentenced to six years probation for a pretty reprehensible crime -- having sex with an underage prostitute.

Following his sentencing, Taylor appeared on FOX News' Studio B with Shepard Smith and said some things about the nature of prostitution that are kind of mind-blowing:



His agent, Mark Lepselter, joined WQAM in Miami with Sid Rosenberg on Thursday to talk about LT's situation.

When asked about the interview, he basically said the same thing we all thought: "Whoops."

"I'm never one to pass the buck. I will say that I wholeheartedly agree there were some things internally that should not have happened. I'll leave it at that. I don't disagree."

Translation: someone got fired QUICK after that interview. As they should have -- it's one thing for you client to get sentenced for having sex with an underage prostitute. That's on LT. But whoever let him get on live television and defend it deserves to get canned.

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 3:30 pm
 

LT responds after guilty plea

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I so badly want to mock former Giants star Lawrence Taylor – who pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and for having sex with an underage prostitute – for the thoughts he expressed in his interview with Fox News Tuesday, via ESPN New York . but remember, he had sex with a 16-year-old girl.

So, I’ll simply present to you some of Taylor’s most head-shaking, eyebrow-raising quotes.

“I didn't pick her up at no playground. She wasn't hiding behind the school bus or getting off a school bus. … That's not my M.O. I've been around kids and people all my life. I'm not the cause of prostitution. And sometimes I make mistakes and I may go out there . . . This is a working girl that came to my room. And I don't know what her age was. I asked her age. She told me she was 19. It is what it is."

More from the story:

"It's the world of prostitution," he said during the Fox News interview. "You never know what you're going to get. Is it going to be a pretty girl, an ugly girl or whatever it's gonna be."

Or a young girl? Smith asked.

"You can only ask," Taylor said. "I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate."

Taylor said he had "no beef" with the girl.

"I'll take my punishment like I should, but my problem is at home with my wife, so that's really the only one I have to answer to," he said in the interview.


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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 22, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Lawrence Taylor receives 6 years probation

Posted by Will Brinson

Back in January, Lawrence Taylor pled guilty to sexual misconduct and having sex with an underage prostitute.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced by the New York court system to six years of probation. Taylor will also be required to follow the rules that apply to sex offenders, though the level of his status won't be determined until April 12, at a hearing.

Allred would not say if the girl plans a lawsuit against Taylor, but said, "We look forward to representing her as she continues her fight for justice."

She said Taylor "should be in the hall of shame, not the Hall of Fame."

The girl was 16 - under the age of consent - when she met Taylor last May. Speaking outside the Rockland County Courthouse, she denied she was a prostitute and said another man, whom she called Rasheed, forced her to go into Taylor's Montebello hotel room by punching her in the face.

She said Taylor should have been able to tell she had been beaten and that she was underage.

"I believe Mr. Taylor could see my face and how young I was," she said. "I did what he told me to do because I was afraid what would happen if I didn't."

She added, her voice breaking, "I am upset that he will not go to jail for what he did to me."

The girl arrived with celebrity lawyer Allred, who described her as "a sex-trafficking victim." The girl, now 17, has been identified in court and by Allred only by the initials C.F.

The judge in the case ruled, however, that such statements are only permissible in cases involving felonies, and Taylor was being sentenced based on a pair of misdemeanors.

Taylor said when he pleaded guilty that the girl told him she was 19. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said Tuesday that Taylor "did not intend to patronize a prostitute who was under legal age."

He apologized on Taylor's behalf to Taylor's wife, family and fans.

Aidala criticized Allred for exposing the girl to the public eye, saying, "This young woman is being victimized once again."

All sex offenders have to report their addresses annually and report changes within 10 days.

Aidala persuaded the judge to modify some of the probation restrictions generally imposed on sex offenders. For example, the judge said Taylor would be allowed to bring his young son to school or to a park. He also agreed to a 1 a.m. curfew for Taylor instead of 11 p.m.

In addition, Taylor will be permitted to serve his probation in Broward County, Fla., where he lives.

Kelly offered Taylor a chance to speak in court before the sentencing but Taylor declined, saying, "I'm fine, judge."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Taylor pleads guilty, gets no jail time

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Former Giants great Lawrence Taylor avoided jail time today after he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges that stem from his May arrest for felony statutory rape.

That’s the report from the Associated Press after Taylor pleaded guilty to charges of sexual misconduct and patronizing a prostitute.

Taylor could have received up to two years in prison, but instead, he got six years of probation and he must register as a sex offender.

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