Speaking with reporters, Tom Coughlin summarized his message to his players on the eve of their six-week break before training camp:(1)
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Calvin Pace said that the Jets are “getting back to square one” on defense this year.
“As if it’s the first day Rex is here so we just reinstalled the defense from the ground up,” he said.
Normally, declarations about starting from scratch follow on the heels of a spectacular bottoming out. But despite the overwrought, sky-is-falling narrative surrounding it, the Jets’ 8-8 season last year doesn’t qualify.
Rex Ryan appeared spry and svelte on "Costas Now". Two years after gastric lap band surgery, he’s down from 340 pounds to 256.
Tom Coughlin just signed a contract extension through 2014. He has won two Super Bowls in his eight seasons as Giants’ head coach, which was also true of Bill Parcells when he abruptly resigned several months before the 1991 season.
In an ESPN Sports Poll, which, I believe, simply asked fans, “What’s your favorite N.F.L. team?” the Giants ranked 3rd, at 7.1 percent. They were bested only by the Cowboys (obviously) and the Packers.
Despite all the mugshots and perp-walks though the years, and even the lesser self-imposed humiliations like that Nutrisystem commercial, L.T.’s legend is still intact, safely preserved in the ‘80s highlight videos celebrating his greatness, in which football talking heads proclaimed we were watching a player who had changed the way the game is played.
The good news: Joe McKnight bulked up this offseason in the hopes of vying for more carries and more regular role in the offense. He’s at 216 pounds now, up from 198 last year. When the season starts, he hopes to be in the 205-210 range.
It's still anyone's guess what the Giants' linebacking corps will look like this season.
Chase Blackburn is penciled in as the starting middle linebacker at the moment, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Keith Rivers, Greg Jones and Mark Herzlich will compete for the position. Earlier in the offseason, general manager Jerry Reese mentioned Michael Boley, which basically means that every linebacker other than Mathias Kiwanuka and Jacquian Williams is a candidate for the job.
Another data point on how concussion awareness has evolved, and the tangled web between head injuries and everything that has ever happened on a football field: It turns out that Matt Bahr was suffering the after-effects of a severe concussion when he kicked the game-winning field goal that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl in 1990.(1)
You’ve probably heard about this little dust-up: Kurt Warner, the former star quarterback who took a mysterious sabbatical from his stardom as a Giant, expressed misgivings about having his children play football.(1)
Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff, without indicating the full extent of his vision, said he plans to use Tim Tebow on special teams a lot this year. The Jets already announced that Tebow will be the upback/personal protector on the punt team, thus making him the most famous upback/personal protector in the history of the league. He will likely see action on other units as well.