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Tag:Mark Herzlich
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Giants celebrate their win on plane ride home

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- I’m leaving for the airport in five minutes so I can be whisked away home. Here’s hoping my plane ride is entertaining as the Giants jaunt today.

This from the YouTube account of linebacker Mark Herzlich
.


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Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 4:55 pm
 

Faulk, Herzlich among Super Bowl inactives

Faulk

By Josh Katzowitz


INDIANAPOLIS – We’re less than two hours away from kickoff, and the inactive lists have been released. Among them are Patriots running back Kevin Faulk and Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich.

Here are the lists:

Patriots

Ron Brace, Ryan Mallett, Shane Vereen, Donald Thomas, Gary Guyton, Kevin Faulk, Nick McDonald

Giants

Ramses Barden, Da’Rel Scott, Mark Herzlich, Jim Cordle, Justin Trattou, Jimmy Kennedy, James Brewer

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 7:47 pm
 

Herzlich: Take that cancer!

By Josh Katzowitz

Mark Herzlich, as you might know, is kind of a bad ass. He survived cancer and became a solid member of the Giants defense toward the end of his rookie season.

And he is playing in the Super Bowl. Which he kindly pointed out in the following tweet that pretty much says it all.

Herzlich tweet

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Herzlich + Week 17 film room

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The holiday season's had us off our game when it comes to podcasting (you try talking into a microphone when you've got 14 family members screaming in the background), but we've got a long one to get you through your Friday right now.

Andy Benoit joins Will to break down the NFC East "championship game" on Sunday night and compare/contrast Eli Manning and Tony Romo.

Ryan then chats up Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich about his first year in the NFL, being in the thick of a playoff hunt and how his work with Gatorade prepared him for the NFL.

Then Will and Andy break down all the remaining big games and discuss whether the Bengals can upset the Ravens, if the Jets are actually worthy of the playoffs, if the Broncos deserve to get beat by Kyle Orton, if Cam Newton's first year is the best rookie season ever, and much more.

Finally, Wilson talks to Michael David Smith of PFT about the Lions finally making it back to the playoffs and the week that was in the NFL. It's a jam-packed, holiday bonus show.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: November 23, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Film Room: Giants vs. Saints preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



With a December Monday Night schedule that could make viewers implode from boredom, we at least get to say goodbye to November with a compelling, playoff-implicating NFC matchup. This warrants a classic five-part breakdown.


Saints offense vs. Giants defense
1. Giants pass-rush vs. Saints pass protection
This is a glaring mismatch. New Orleans has the worst pass-blocking offensive tackle tandem in football in Jermon Bushrod (left side) and Zach Strief (right side). Bushrod is slow and has awful technique. Strief is just slow. The sack numbers do not reflect this because Drew Brees is a magician when it comes to getting rid of the ball quickly and moving in and out of the pocket.

Brees, like most star quarterbacks, gets rid of the ball thanks to shrewd presnap reads. But where he’s really elite is in going through his reads. Brees can scan three or four different receivers on a simple five-step drop. He recognizes and anticipates receiver-defender relationships as fast as any passer in the game.

Because so much of what Brees does is based on quick timing and rhythm, it’s not necessarily wise to blitz him. Instead, the objective is to force him to exhaust his progressions. It’s 50-50 that the pass protection can hold up long enough for him to do this (if Brees were a typical quarterback, it’d be more like 25-75). The Rams did this in their Week 8 upset of the Saints.

The Giants’ defensive ends are several grades better than the Rams’. They’ll pressure Brees with four rushers.

2. Saints WR’s vs. Giants secondary
In Week 8, the Rams thrived with physical press coverage aided by safety help. The Giants secondary delivered terrific press coverage in their win at New England a few weeks ago. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more of that Monday night. The Saints have four quality wide receivers: Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore.

With a matchup nightmare like tight end like Jimmy Graham, most of the Saints’ formations involve only three of those wideouts. But whatever the pieces, they can -- and do -- align in all different spots on the field.

This is one reason it’s enticing to play press-man against them. Instead of trying to figure out the litany of formations and route possibilities, a defensive coordinator can put a safety or two over the top and tell his cornerbacks to just jam the hell out of whoever they line up against.

But when defenses can mix in zone coverages, they obviously give themselves more options. With rookie Prince Amukamara now healthy, the Giants might be one of the few secondaries in the league versatile enough to do this against the Saints.

With Corey Webster shadowing DeSean Jackson most of last Sunday night (Webster has shadowed the opposing No. 1 receiver regularly this season), Amukamara and Aaron Ross played inside and outside across from him. Both men played man and zone principles.

The Giants also have a multipronged tool in safety Antrel Rolle. He’s rangy in space and, as a former cornerback, adept at playing all coverages as the nickel slot defender.

3. Saints’ savvy run-pass tactic
Don’t be surprised if the Saints frequently throw out of running formations Monday night. Jimmy Graham is extremely effective running routes from a traditional tight end stance, and fullback Jed Collins is capable of catching passes in the flats. We think of the Saints as a spread offense, but Brees is averaging about 10 pass attempts per game out of two-back formations, and 10 of his 23 touchdown passes have come from such sets.

The run formation approach gains potency because the Giants starting linebackers struggle in coverage. Those struggles manifest drastically if Michael Boley (hamstring) is still out. Boley’s replacement, Mark Herzlich, was fantastic against the run last Sunday, but he was badly exposed when dropping back in coverage.

The linebacking issues are significant enough that the Giants may even be compelled to play their 4-2-5 nickel defense against the Saints base offense (they’d be treating Graham as a wide receiver). In that case, Sean Payton would have his array of running backs pound the rock behind monstrous All-World guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans.

The run formations could also aid New Orleans’ proficient play-action game (Brees was 17/19 for 212 yards and two touchdowns off play-action fakes against the Falcons in Week 10). It’s a myth that you need to establish the run in order to set up play-action.

In reality, defenders are trained to react to movement; play-action will work if the fake and the offensive linemen’s initial movements are executed well, regardless of how a team has been running the ball. That said, those fakes and movements are obviously more believable when the offense is lined up in a run formation.

Giants offense vs. Saints defense
4. Giants run game woes
The Giants will not advance deep in the playoffs if their run game does not get going. A typical Brandon Jacobs run these days involves the 265-pounder stumbling a yard behind the line of scrimmage, bumping into his own blocker, fighting for a yard-and-a-half and then pissing off every player around him by bumping into body after body as he tries to prove his manhood by ferociously picking himself up off the ground before other players can unpile, all the while barking emphatically about ... what, exactly?

How lucky are the defenders that this isn’t four years ago, when Jacobs was actually productive?

The Giants need a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw in the worst of ways. Of course, the rock-firm scatback’s presence would only present a greater opportunity for a rejuvenated run game -- not the assurance of one. Bradshaw was averaging just 4.0 yards per carry before his foot injury -- 0.7 yards below his career average.

New York’s problems start up front. And they may not be solved this week. Center David Baas has struggled with lateral run-blocking in tight spaces. Saints defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin is not an ideal opponent to face when trying to correct this. Thirty-one-year-old left guard David Diehl is showing signs of decline. This week could be tough, as the Saints defensive ends are excellent in run defense, particularly when crashing inside.

If the Giants offensive line can somehow break even in this matchup, New York’s fullbacks and tight ends will likely have opportunities to work against a Saints linebacking corps that’s without leader Jonathan Vilma (out since the start of the month with a knee). The Saints would almost need to commit eight to the box at that point. Roman Harper might be the best pure in-box safety in the NFL, but if the Giants can compel him to focus heavily on the run, they’ll impeded his blitzes, which are one of the Saints’ best weapons in pass defense (see item 5).

5. Saints blitzes
A big reason Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams blitzes so much is he knows his down four linemen cannot consistently collapse the pocket on their own. Don’t expect that to change much Sunday night (even though the Giants offensive tackles struggled mightily against the Eagles).

The difference between Williams’ D and other blitzing defenses is that Williams’ D blitzes hard. His blitzes often involve six pass-rushers instead of just five. And because one of those six rushers is usually a defensive back (Harper is phenomenal in this facet, as his 6.5 sacks on the season attest), and because nickel linebacker Jonathan Casillas has crazy speed and acceleration downhill, New Orleans’ blitzes are exceptionally fast.

Expect Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard to be big factors Monday night; as slot targets they’ll be Eli Manning’s hot reads against these blitzes.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 12 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: November 20, 2011 10:56 am
 

Giants Mark Herzlich to make first start Sunday

Herzlich, a cancer survivor, will make the first start of his NFL career against the Eagles(Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

By Mark Herzlich's junior season at Boston College, he was an All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and the NFL appeared to be the next step in a successful football career. Instead of entering the draft, Herzlich returned to school for his senior year, but didn't play a down after he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma.

He returned the following season but was only a shadow of his former football-playing self, and understandably so. Herzlich wasn't selected in the NFL Draft and that seemed to be the end of his professional career. But the Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent and now, 11 weeks into his rookie season, Herzlich, a cancer survivor, will make his first NFL start when New York faces Philadelphia Sunday night.

“It comes hand in hand,” Herzlich said, via the Newark Star Ledger's Jorge Castillo. “The better I play, the better my story gets. Obviously, my goal right now, and in general, is just to play better. I’ve beaten cancer, it’s in my past, but at the same time I continue to be proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Herzlich, who appeared in nine games this season on special teams, gets a chance to play linebacker with Michael Boley doubtful due to a hamstring injury. But this isn't like Little League, where Herzlich's opportunity is less about his talents and more about letting everybody get on the field. He's earned it.

“Watch out for Herzlich now,” fellow linebacker and Boston College alum Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s going to play well.”

Adds Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell: “Mark is a go-getter. He is one of those 100 percent guys that if he sees something, he is going to go smack it and ask questions later.”

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:53 am
 

Mark Herzlich signs with New York Giants

Posted by Will Brinson

Undrafted free agents have been talking with teams since Monday night, and there was some chatter late in the evening that former Boston College star and undrafted linebacker Mark Herzlich had signed with the Ravens. He refuted that Monday night on Twitter, and used the same medium to announce that he was joining the New York Giants.

"Decision is made I will be a #GIANT can't wait to get to #NYC," Herzlich tweeted on Tuesday morning. "Thank you for everything."

Herzlich, for those that are somehow unaware, was once the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year before battling cancer, recovering and returning to start for Boston College his senior season.

It's a mildly emotional story, yes, which makes New York a good town for him.

More importantly, though, the team is a good fit for Herzlich. Tom Coughlin is a no-nonsense guy and a huge fan of BC products (he got his first head coaching job with the Golden Eagles way back in the day). And, of course, the Giants have a need for linebacker, particularly following the probably departure of Keith Bulluck.

Herzlich went undrafted because of (obvious) medical concerns, but there's absolutely no questioning his talent, toughness, leadership and drive to succeed; the combination make him a solid upside signing for the Giants.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:09 am
 

Monday features flurry of rookie (non) signings

Posted by Will Brinson

Monday night -- theoretically a calm night based on the timeline we heard about earlier in the day -- got pretty spicy pretty quickly as rookies came into play a little sooner than expected.

NFL Senior VP of Public Relations Greg Aiello confirmed to CBSSports.com that teams can use Monday night to talk and negotiate -- but not sign -- with drafted and undrafted free agents. (Yes, that means that Mrs. Brinson is going to hate the as-yet-created Undrafted Free Agent Tracker as much as she dislikes Brett Favre.)

Of course, "talking with" and "actually signing" don't have to be entirely mutually exclusive. For instance, a number of big-name undrafted free agents tweeted on Monday night that they were already locked in with certain teams.

"I'm a Saint twitter! New Orleans here I come!!!!!!!" Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel tweeted.

Kendric Burney out of UNC tweeted that he's "staying home" and gave a shoutout to "Panther nation." (You can make the connection right?)

A number of other high-profile-but-undrafted players were immediately linked with teams.

Mark Herzlich had reportedly signed with the Ravens, but then tweeted that he has "not signed with anyone yet and is still making [his] decision. Weslye Saunders, a tight end out of South Carolina who once seemed like a lock for the first round, is reportedly heading to Pittsburgh.

None of these "non-signings" are "official," of course. But that's what suddenly made a would-be relaxing -- relative to the day's activities anyway -- evening on Monday night turn into a torrent of tweets related to (and from) various UDFA's who found their way onto rosters.

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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