Tag:New York Giants
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:03 am
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Kurt Warner had big impact on Coughlin in 2004

Tom Coughlin (left) got some much-needed help from Kurt Warner in 2004. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- While Kurt Warner only started nine games when he played for Tom Coughlin in 2004 during his only season in a Giants uniform, his impact lasted much longer than that. And it’s not just the wisdom he imparted on Eli Manning who took over the starting quarterback position for good the next season.

No, it’s the wisdom Warner imparted on Coughlin that ultimately made him a better coach.

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As the Newark Star Ledger writes in an interesting story, Warner used to sneak into Coughlin’s office several times a week -- at the risk of being labeled a mole by his teammates -- and talked about football issues and about life as his coach tried to figure out how to connect with the rest of the team.

“I saw a great man, a great coach, but I also saw a man who, for some reason, didn’t know how to combine those parts of his personality when it came to football,” Warner told the paper. “He could connect with his family on such an intimate level, but had no idea how to connect with his players. He was struggling badly.

“Tom was searching for the right way to lead without compromising his principles. I wanted to help. I thought I could help. I tried to help.”

As the paper writes:
But before Warner left, Coughlin asked him for a favor: “Go home and make a list of all the things you think I need to do better as a coach,” Warner recalled Coughlin saying, “and don’t hold back.”

Warner did as he was asked, scribbling “page after page after page,” he said. “There were times when I was worried that I would hurt his feelings or damage our friendship,” Warner said. “But deep down I knew he’d never hold it against me as long as I did it with his best interests at heart.”

On Friday, Coughlin acknowledged he had reached out to Warner for help.

“I have such great respect for Kurt because of how he earned everything he got and because of the professionalism he showed as we transitioned to Eli,” Coughlin said. “I welcomed any thoughts he had on how we might improve.”

Make sure to click the link and read the rest of the story. It gives you a rare insight into a football coach who’s in desperate need of help and a player who was willing to do it.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:28 am
 

Giants.com posts ad declaring Super Bowl champs

You might see the same thing in the Pats locker room. (Giants.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are hundreds of preparations that go along with the Super Bowl. Hats and t-shirts are made, speeches are written and interstitial ads on websites are created. In the case of Giants.com, that ad was accidentally placed live on the site a touch early. Like, today.

If you visited Giants.com during the day on Saturday, you might have seen this ad, which gave you the option to represent your team strat via social media, shop for championship gear or just continue on to the site.

"It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl," the NFL said in a statement. "In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night."

Fortunately, this is the Internet age and someone snapped up a picture of the mistake. That's precisely what this is -- every team in the Super Bowl would create the same ad (you best believe the Patriots have one ready) but someone at the Giants website turned it live too early.

And now it's going to be a motivational tool for Bill Belichick and a perceived slight at the Patriots.

It's not, but that's how it's going to look.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:18 am
 

CBSSports.com's Super Bowl XLVI predictions


Super Bowl XLVI Preview: Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another title?

Gregg Doyel

I've never felt so good about a pick in my life, because I've never seen anything as rock-solid as the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants have already beaten the Patriots this season, at New England, and they did it despite the unavailability of leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and 1,000-yard receiver Hakeem Nicks. Plus, the Patriots weren't playing that game with receivers Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater forced to play key roles at defensive back, as will be the case Sunday.  

Forget what Vegas is saying. Everyone else is saying the Patriots will lose ... which is why I feel 100 percent certain that the Patriots will win. When everybody's convinced they're right, I'm convinced they're wrong. History shows people just aren't that smart.

Final score: It'll be a slugfest, but the Patriots will win 42-38.

Mike Freeman

Initially, I thought the Giants would actually beat the Patriots handily. Eli Manning would look at the Patriots defense, lick his chops, and light that defense on fire. Tom Brady would get harassed, an injured Gronk would be controlled, and Wes Welker would have a solid though not dominating day. It was all shaping up to a healthy Giants victory.

Then at the beginning of this week the Giants started chirping. And chirping. And chirping some more. It was a jab-fest for them with the team’s main message being they could get to Tom Brady both physically and mentally.

Normally, as Tom Coughlin would say, talk is cheap but this is Brady who thrives on talk and doubters. I’ve seen it happen with Brady on more than a few occasions. Not to mention the Patriots are on a revenge tour. I think the Giants would have been better served shutting the hell up. I know they are talkers. I know the Giants thrive on emotion and yapping but don’t pull on SuperBrady’s cape.

The Giants will still win but their mouths just turned this game from a comfortable win for them into one of the tightest Super Bowls ever.

Final score: Giants, 28-27

Clark Judge

I’ll take the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, and here’s why: Because they’re more balanced than New England, they’re hot, they’re confident and they have the pass rush to flummox the usually unflappable Tom Brady.

Oh, yeah, they also won their last two vs. the Patriots – including a 24-20 defeat this season.

But it’s that pass rush that convinces me. The Giants can bring pressure with their defensive line, allowing everyone else to drop into coverage, and if you don’t think that will affect Brady you weren’t watching the Giants shred Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Brady struggled in his last two starts vs. New York. He was sacked seven times, hit on countless other occasions and had more turnovers (4) than touchdown passes (3). He also lost both games. That counts for something, and I say it counts for a Giants’ victory.

Final score: Giants, 24-17

Pete Prisco

Quarterback and pass rush.  

That's the key to winning in the NFL these days. Get a great thrower and have a lot of guys to knock down the other team's thrower. The New England Patriots have the great passer in Tom Brady, but they lack the great pass rushers. The New York Giants have a very good passer in Eli Manning, but they have a lot of pass rushers.

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That's why the New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI. This time, unlike the last time they played in a Super Bowl, the Giants aren't huge underdogs. What I can't figure out is this: Why they aren't they favored.

The Giants are the better team. 

It's a tribute to Brady that the Patriots are here, but in watching him play the Giants in the past, he isn't the same Brady when he faces that the New York defense. Like I wrote this week, the Giants seem to be in his head. In the Giants' victory this season in Foxboro, Mass., Brady looked ordinary.  

That's the big edge for the Giants. They have the pass rushers. They don't fear Brady. They rattle him. That's why the Giants will beat the Patriots again in a Super Bowl. 

The NFL is all about quarterback and pass rushers -- and the Giants will show on Sunday. 

Final score: Giants, 31-24

Paul Dehner

Forget Gronkowski's ankle. Forget Aaron Hernandez. The defining story line of Super Bowl XLVI will be how the Patriots offensive line handles the intense Giants pass rush. Recent history of all New York's opponents on their postseason run insists that's more of a fleeting wish than a likelihood. The Giants have pounded every quarterback in their way into submission and eventual defeat. Tony Romo was sacked six times, Matt Ryan twice, Aaron Rodgers four times and Alex Smith three. The opponent didn't matter.

Tom Brady's only the next in line. When Brady can't throw, the Pats don't go. The Giants front four is coming and there isn't too much Brady can do about it. Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of the Giants own the rare ability to disrupt timing -- the ultimate equalizer in the new, pass-happy NFL. They'll do it again on Sunday. That's the reason they'll loft the trophy.

Final score: Giants, 21-17

Alex Raskin

Another scoreless first half — like the one the New England Patriots and New York Giants had back in Week 9 — is improbable, but another defensive battle isn’t. Everyone is rightfully talking about each team’s respective high-powered offense. However, this game will be won on the defensive side of the ball and the Giants are up to the challenge.

New York has forced and recovered five fumbles in the postseason and the secondary has played significantly better since the Week 15 loss to the Washington Redskins. Throw in the Giants’ reliable linebackers and fearsome pass rush, and the advantage swings heavily in favor of the NFC Champions.

The Patriots’ defense intercepts passes and buckles down in the red zone, but the Giants’ big-play offense has a way around that. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham allow quarterback Eli Manning to throw touchdown passes from anywhere on the field by going over or underneath opposing coverages.

Final score: Giants, 24-16

Will Brinson

It absolutely terrifies me that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- is on the Giants bandwagon. Eighty-five percent of the public money is on the Giants. Almost everyone at CBS is picking the Giants. Everyone outside of Boston is picking the Giants. It makes sense, because New York's front four is going to get pressure on Brady.

The Patriots best offensive weapon, Rob Gronkowski, is going to be limited. And how are the Patriots going to defend Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham? Not with Julian Edelman playing defensive back. Of course, the problem with all this is that the entire world's betting against the combination of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That's somewhat illogical. Two things are going to make this a very close game: Gronk's ankle forcing him to stay in and block and Vince Wilfork turning into an animal for the second straight game. (Wilfork's my darkhorse for MVP.) In the end, though, it's going to come down to who has the ball last and I think it ends up being Eli.

Final score: Giants, 27-21

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Super Bowl Coverage (AP)

Josh Katzowitz

Seems to me like the buzz this week in Indianapolis is how the Giants will beat the Patriots for the second time this season. And for reasons I’m having a hard time explaining, I don’t think that will happen. Give New England coach Bill Belichick two weeks to figure out how to beat the Giants, and I think he does it.

Obviously, New York has some solid advantages. The Giants front four will provide plenty of issues for the Patriots as they try to keep Tom Brady untouched. Eli Manning shouldn’t have a problem picking on New England’s secondary. And assuming Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t 100 percent effective, New England’s offense will be a little less versatile.

So, really, the Giants should win.

But I can’t pull the trigger on predicting them to do so. And I don’t know why. Which, I guess, isn’t much of answer why I’m picking the Patriots to win. I just kinda think they will.

Final score: Patriots, 24-22

Ryan Wilson

It's hard to believe that Vegas has had New England as the favorites for nearly two weeks now because almost everybody likes New York. Never mind that Giants have issues in the secondary and Tom Brady is a future Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl winner, New York's front four somehow makes up for all that.

Four years ago, the Pats came into this game undefeated and unstoppable. The Giants' pass rush changed all that. And that's what happened this season, in Week 9, when the two teams met. We get the feeling that New England won't be able to protect Brady on Sunday either.

Meanwhile, Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career even without much of a running game behind him. The Patriots' defense has been better in recent weeks but they still struggle in both phases. And that's bad news if Brady isn't his usual self.

Final score: Giants, 24-21

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:17 pm
 

The official Super Bowl XLVI injury report

By Josh Katzowitz

On Friday evening, the NFL released the final injury report of the 2011 season.

Here it is in all its glory:

Giants

PROBABLE:RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), S Tyler Sash (foot), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), LB Jacquian Williams (foot)

Patriots

QUESTIONABLE: T Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Patrick Chung (knee), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle), DT Kyle Love (ankle), G Logan Mankins (knee), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (illness, back, foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), LB Tracy White (abdomen)

PROBABLE: WR Deion Branch (knee), C Dan Connolly (groin), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), T Matt Light (illness), WR Matt Slater (shoulder)

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:54 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:01 pm
 

Gronk practices Friday without limp, questionable

Gronk remains quite popular and is questionable for Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

As the Gronk turns is Indy's second-most popular soap opera, but things are starting to look up for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who practiced on Friday without a limp and is listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Alex Marvez, the Patriots pool reporter, writes that Gronk worked out in "gray sneakers" and a  “Yo Soy Fiesta” t-shirt. Bill Belichick was, naturally, a little less specific.

"He practiced yesterday. He didn’t do anything today," Belichick said. “We’ll see where he’s at on Sunday, but hopefully [he’ll play]. I saw no setbacks. He’s still making progress.”

This was New England's final tune-up of the week, as they'll skip any actual practice on Saturday.

“We’ll have meetings and we’ll do some reminders and things like that in our hotel but we’re not going to actually practice,” Belichick said.

Belichick also believes the team, without the extra day of practice, is fully prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl matchup.

"I think we’re ready to go," Belichick said. "We’ve worked hard this week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in practice, and we had good practices back [in Foxborough, Mass.] last week. We went through some mental-review things out there [Friday]."

One of the more interesting things to come out of Friday's practice was Belichick's participation -- according to Marvez, he literally got down on the ground with his team and worked as an offensive lineman trying to draw coverage teams offsides. 

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Coughlin not concerned Giants are too cocky

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The seven days leading up to the Super Bowl feels more like seven months when you're looking for stories that haven't been beaten into the ground by Wednesday. It must be even more interminable for the coaches and players who have to endure it.

Before the Patriots left New England, Tom Brady told fans gathered at a pep rally that “We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and "hopefully" we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

The New York media ran with Brady's words -- ESPNNewYork.com's headline: “Brady planning victory party," The New York Post: “Tom’s taunt,” and the New York Daily News went with: “Tom’s talkin’ trash.”

Brady, of course, was asked about it once he arrived in Indy.

“Well, it was a pep rally,” he said smiling. “People were pretty excited. Certainly players were excited. I know 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well. It was great to see the support. We get great support, home and away, and hopefully we have some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night.”

Full Super Bowl Coverage
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck echoed Brady's sentiments when asked about it at Tuesday's Media Day: "Man, it was a pep rally," he said. "What was he supposed to say? I don’t think it’s Tom doing anything but getting fans riled up."

On Friday, it was Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's turn. He was asked whether he worries about his team being too cocky.

“I’m not sure what you’re referencing," he said. "I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but, to be honest with you, I don’t know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’s quotes. I think it’s just a matter of our team has played good football against a great football team. We always focus our team on confidence enough to get there and confident enough to get back. That’s the way we look at it.”

Mercifully, there's just one more day until the Super Bowl is here.


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:50 am
 

Like Coughlin, Belichick has no plans to retire

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that he tells players that when they think their career is over to "play two more years. ... Because the rest of your life is a long time."

Full Super Bowl Coverage
No idea if that tenet holds for head coaches, too. On Friday, in his last meeting of the week with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if there was a chance he'd retire should New England win Sunday. It would be Belichick's fourth championship since 2001 and further solidify his Hall of Fame credentials on a career in coaching that began with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

“Right now, I’m really thinking, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said. "I enjoy all the aspects of the job. I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions, those kind of things.

"I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience."

He continued: "I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working. It’s fun to address those challenges on a daily basis, so right now I’m really focused on the game and that’s where my energy is going to go, toward doing the best I can for the New England Patriots against the Giants on Sunday.”

If Belichick's words aren't convincing enough, his newfound effusiveness appears to be. So for now, the 59-year-old ain't going anywhere, sharing the sentiments of his counterpart Sunday, Tom Coughlin.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco asked Coughlin after the Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game if, at 65, he had any thoughts on calling it quits.

Retire to do what?” Coughlin said. "I feel good … I still love what I do."


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:44 pm
 

Fewell has led Giants past early-season woes

Perry Fewell has led New York's defense past a number of early-season injuries (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Surrounded by the media this week, Perry Fewell could reflect on August and September and talk about the adversity the Giants defense faced, when New York couldn’t keep its players healthy, and about the adjustments the team needed to make at the time.

Since the Giants will face the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in two days, Fewell doesn’t necessarily have bad memories from those uncertain days. At the time, though, it must have been maddening for the Giants defensive coordinator.

“It was a bad thing for us defensively,” Fewell said. “What it allowed us to do, though, was put young players on the field who normally wouldn’t play. A Jacquian Williams played a significant amount of time. A Greg Jones went on the field and played a significant amount of time. Spencer Paysinger, he played. It gave guys some experience that normally wouldn’t have gotten that experience. We won some games and we lost some games. But we found out who we were at the end.”Thomas

In training camp, though, the Giants had to wonder if the defense would have enough players to field a team. Among the early-season (or training camp) injuries: Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin, Jonathan Goff, and Clint Sintim. The avalanche of injuries wouldn’t end.

“It was all of us trying to figure out a way to make that work throughout the season,” Fewell said. “That was an ongoing process. The thing about it was that each week, somebody else went down. We were never able to develop consistency during that stretch.

“When we played some of the young guys, we found out what they could do and what they couldn’t do. I said, ‘OK, let’s put the pieces back and see if we can make these pieces work the way I think they can work.’ And it happened.”

Though Fewell hasn’t gotten much play this year as a future head coach -- in an offseason when most teams hired first-timers to run their squads -- his performance this season in New York should raise his profile even more. He interviewed for a few head coaching jobs last year, but he didn’t draw much, if any interest, following the 2011 regular season.

Could be because the Giants ranked 27th in yards allowed this season. Could be the three-week stretch where the team allowed 49, 38 and 34 points in losses to the Saints, Packers and Cowboys, respectively. After that Saints game, though, is when Fewell began to change the attitude of his unit by angrily berating his underperforming players.

Full Super Bowl Coverage


“He’s not a screamer,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s not a cusser. But he was animated and he said some things that were heartfelt. They were true, and it needed to be said. We didn’t have a good performance that week, and we needed to be called out. He holds himself accountable, and he holds all of us accountable.”

After the 2010 season, Fewell received good marks during his head coaching interviews with the Browns, Broncos, 49ers and Panthers -- though he did pull an 0-fer in actually landing the jobs -- but teams who needed new leadership seemed to forget him about this year.

Fewell thinks about that sometimes. He wonders if he’ll ever get his shot.

“It’s always beena goal of mine,” said Fewell, who went 3-4 as the Bills interim coach in 2009. “To win the Super Bowl is No. 1. Then, if that opportunity presents itself in the future, I would love to become a head football coach. But I saw the good and the not so good about it. To be a football coach is to get in and work with the players and see exactly what you can do with them and get them to reach their potential. Sometimes as a head football coach, you’re not able to do that. You’re an administrator, you’re a facilitator. You don’t always get to grind with them and have the fun things in the meeting room that’s really rewarding in this profession. Hey, I’m happy I’m doing what I do.”

But there’s also the chance that Fewell could benefit from his extra exposure this week. Maybe accomplishing his ultimate goal will lead him to another of his most important ambitions.

“I think it gives me more marketability,” Fewell said. “Now I have the experience of coaching in the Super Bowl, knowing what the preparation is like for Super Bowl week. That adds value to what I can do.”

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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