• It’s official: The Hefty Lefty is the backup QB. Check out this bureaucratic quote by Coughlin: “He got into some circumstances allowing him to be in some situations that a lot of guys don’t get in throughout the course of his play time during the preseason, and he handled them well.”
  • Big game, writes Mike Garafolo. He compares this opener to the Sunday night opener against Philly in 1990, when we handled a Philly team with high expectations and sprinted off to a 10-0 start. Obviously, we don’t want to lose this one and have the Eagles and the Seahawks coming up.
  • Newsday’s NFC rankings, kind of in a college football style 1-16 list. The Giants pull in at #3 behind Carolina and Seattle (Bold pick, Newsday.) The Cowboys and Eagles are right behind at 4 and 5, and the Redskins (who were by far the best team in the division at the end of last year) pull in at 9.
  • Arthur Staple on Tim Carter and the number 3 receiver role in general. Interestingly, Carter said that Joey Galloway is a guy that he likes to model himself after. That’s a pretty good call. Staple writes that the Colts’ Brandon Stokely is the best third receiver in the game – just ask Jason Sehorn.
  • Great piece by Staple on Antonio Pierce, who, he says, just might be the most indispensable Giant. Pierce is an incredibly smart player; they say he sees the game through a coach’s eyes. Here’s Tim Lewis on him: “Any kid that sits and watches film on his own, coaches usually say, ‘He’s a student of the game.’ But [Pierce] is weird now. He’s different. He watches it through a coach’s eye, as if he’s calling the game.”
  • A position-by-position look at the Giants, via Newsday. Rather flattering and nothing that you didn’t already know before.
  • Staple on the defensive end situation. Also, a random Q & A in which he says that Shockey is actually the most underrated(ITAL) Giant. It’s a good point – the guy was really awesome last year, and might make another leap this year to become one of the biggest pass-catching threats in the league. Staple also writes that a 3-3 start wouldn’t be disastrous, at all.
  • Everyone’s healthy (except for Derrick Ward), writes Ernie Palladino. Couldn’t have come a moment sooner. He also talks about the preparation of Barry Cofield for his first start in the NFL – tough opponent.
  • So do Paul Schwartz, and John Branch.
  • Plax is motivated to become an elite receiver this year, writes Vinny DiTrani. On his on-field rapport with Eli, Plax says: “We did hit-or-miss a lot last year and hopefully we can minimize that number this year so we can make plays on the football field.” Eli’s rapport with Plax: yet another thing about this year’s version of the Giants that we can reasonably expect to improve over last year.
  • John Altavilla on Colonel Tom’s super-serious attitude. Colonel Tom claims that he doesn’t have a big ego, and that he just has a firm set of expectations that he believes in and expects to be met. Altavilla says that “the Giants Coach, with all his regulations and regimentation, just might be the most egotistical guy in the whole organization.” Interesting question.
  • The Daily News football preview, with articles on Eli, Tiki, the ridiculously tough NFC East, the Giants O, and the Hefty Lefty.
  • Ralph Vacchiano’s preseason AFC picks.
  • FootballOutsiders’ preseason power rankings, which have the Giants…13. The Eagles are 9, the Redskins are 12, and the Cowboys are 18.
  • John Clayton on the Giants tough schedule.
  • Michael David Smith with a terrific article on Eli Manning. I’d love to talk about this in more depth, but I have to go to work in a matter of minutes. I suggest you read it though.