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Trouble in Giant land?

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Trouble in Giant land?

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:59 pm

what do you think?

from http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/NFC/NFC+East/NY+Giants/Features/2008/edholm062608.htm

Giants won't see the light soon following a dark, strange offseason

By Eric Edholm (eedholm@pfwmedia.com)
June 26, 2008

The Giantsí problems are real.

At first I thought it was a New York thing.

Then I thought it was a post-Super Bowl funk that seems to befall many a champion.

Now, I am convinced that the Giants have some real issues that will hang over their heads before, and probably during, training camp in July and August.

Issues are not new to this team. Heck, they were a floundering club as late as mid-December last year, and things worked out pretty well, Iíd say. But weíve gotten past the warm fuzzies and the victory tours. Crazy to think that all happened about four months ago.

Thereís nothing new on the Jeremy Shockey front, but heís at the center of the mayhem. It appears heís trying his best to get out of New York, after a prior trade attempt fell through with the Saints around draft time. Shockey has said heís upset with the teamís treatment of him, starting with making him watch the Super Bowl in a private box rather than down on the sideline, and up through what he feels was the team disrespecting him. However you look at it, there is a distraction there ó and one that likely wonít get resolved until training camp.

There is the issue with Plaxico Burress, who has asked for a new contract. Although now he is singing a different, more conciliatory tune after initially having said he was upset with the progress toward a new deal, Burressí request signals a dash-for-cash approach that typically happens to a Super Bowl-champion team.

And it could lead to a trickle-down effect with other players. Brandon Jacobs is entering his final year and wants to be paid. Osi Umenyiora has clamored for a raise, saying the $41 million deal he signed at the end of the 2005 season now is obsolete.
Very little seems the same from that magical run back in January and February. Heck, even Super Bowl hero David Tyree and his amazing story might find himself pink-slipped when the final cuts are made.

Of course, the biggest news of the offseason was the retirement of Michael Strahan. From a football standpoint, itís considered a loss, but perhaps not as big as some people think. Theyíll miss his relentless pressure and first-class run defense, but the Giants are uniquely qualified to replace him. In fact, some people close to the team wondered whether the Giants could afford not to start Justin Tuck over Strahan had he returned for another season.

The part theyíll miss is Strahan's presence. Opponents had to account for him, and the media came to count on him. He was front and center, good or bad, and whether he was your friend or your foe (sometimes both in the same day), he always said what he had to say. Eli Manning is not a very talkative guy; his leadership comes in different forms. Antonio Pierce leads by example and can be an emotional and engaging speaker, but itís a lot to ask of him to take Strahanís role of the locker-room spokesman for the defense. Plus. Strahan just kept the place loose. The locker room was his domain, and suddenly the media will be looking for others to fill the silence.

Other issues have plagued the Giants this offseason. Ahmad Bradshaw, a player who some feel could challenge Jacobs for his starting role, is spending his summer vacation in jail, stemming from a juvenile incident. Although the NFL is unlikely to suspend Bradshaw for violating the conduct rules because the incident happened before he was drafted, this is a black mark. You donít want your running back in the pen a month before training camp. A reserve defensive back, Geoffrey Pope, was just arrested and charged with hitting a man over the head with a champagne bottle at a nightclub.

The salad days these are not.

The good news, of course, is that there is plenty of time to right the ship. The season still is a little more than two months away, and the Giants rallied from their troubles last season. The Strahan talk slowed things down in camp a year ago August, but it didnít derail the team. The annual injury bug hit, but it didnít stop the team from improving. And the weekly Tom Coughlin Watch was in full effect even as the Giants were preparing to face the Bucs in the first round of the playoffs.

All those things are behind the Giants, even amid new strains. And besides, maybe this is one of those teams that thrive on the bad stuff. Perhaps the lack-of-respect card can be played once more, even after a title. Heck, how many of you out there are picking the Giants to win another one? Do you even have them in your top five teams right now? Nor do I.

Itís dangerous and premature to label a team cursed or befallen so soon. Weíre barely a week into summer, and itís the time of year to pull out the microscopes and start examining things up close. Stories get overblown. Hearsay becomes gospel. Everything is rehashed.

I get that. But I also know trouble when I smell it. The Giants will not report to Albany with a clean slate. Instead of asking questions about repeating, with the idea that it really could happen, the media will focus on everything that has gone wrong since the Giants left City Hall Plaza on Feb. 5.

I know that Shockey will not go away quietly and that the Umenyiora negotiations could get testy. Losing Strahan is one thing; having your best pass rusher unhappy is a whole different ball of wax. And if Manning and Coughlin got sick of answering Shockey questions in minicamps, imagine what will happen come training camp when itís a lot hotter ó both literally and figuratively.

If the Giants come out of this in good shape, Iíll be very impressed. Maybe we can anoint them this generationís í77 and í78 New York Yankees, a team that appeared to thrive on the negative, internal or external. But until then, I am worried. This isnít your average New York thing.
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Re: Trouble in Giant land?

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:20 pm

Personally I think alot of this will be resolved in the next couple of weeks

I expect the Plax and Jacobs issues will be resolved well before camp

Osi will get a new deal; either this year or next.

Reese will try and resolve the Shockey situation before camp, I think there is a good chance it will.. If it drags into camp, alot will due to Shockey's end; Shockey will be fined and quite possible he may hold out all season.

Either way it is up to Shockey; he is under contract through 2011. If shockey wants to get back on board he is welcome, he is very much an asset to the team; but that seems to be very unlikely at this point

If Shockey gets traded, it will only be becasue Reese has gotten a good value deal; Shockey will not be given away.

The Shockey issue will not be a distraction to the team (although it will be a media field day); either he will be on board with the Giants or he won't. In either case the Team is moving on.
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Re: Trouble in Giant land?

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:26 pm

This is just a sportswriter turning little nothings (some) into a soap opera.

Things are fine in Giant Land. afro

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Re: Trouble in Giant land?

Post  deranged on Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:21 pm

NYG Hampton 27 wrote:This is just a sportswriter turning little nothings (some) into a soap opera.

Things are fine in Giant Land. afro

I agree. This article is making mountains out of molehills. They aren't so bad.

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Re: Trouble in Giant land?

Post  Pizan on Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:51 pm

I also agree.

"O M G! Eli got a new haircut, the Giants are screwed!"
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Re: Trouble in Giant land?

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:35 pm

Yep, it is doom and gloom to sell articles - pretty poor imho
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