February 2008

Note: Took a needed vacation this past week, hitting the tables in AC, so sorry for neglecting the blog.

According to Star Ledger, the Giants may be looking to trade for DeAngelo Hall.

According to two people with knowledge of discussions between the teams, the Giants are willing to give Atlanta their first-round pick (31st overall) in April’s draft in exchange for Hall. The people requested anonymity because of the private nature of the trade talks.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese declined to comment yesterday morning when asked whether the Giants have inquired about Hall, the eighth overall pick in the 2004 draft.

The Giants had hoped to make a run at the Seahawks’ Marcus Trufant and the Raiders’ Nnamdi Asomugha, according to one of the people familiar with the team’s off-season plans, but each was made the franchise players by their respective teams. The Giants would owe two first-round picks if they signed either player. Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel, who will become a free agent next Friday, is viewed by the Giants more as a player whose success is the product of New England’s defensive system than his own ability.

Hall, 24, is a fast, tough and talented player who had 17 interceptions in his four NFL seasons. However, he had a tumultuous 2007 season with the Falcons. In a loss to the Panthers in September, he drew three penalties on Carolina’s game-tying drive and then got into a shouting match with coach Bobby Petrino on the sideline. Hall was fined $100,000 and benched for the first quarter of the next week’s game for the incident.

Hall would be interesting get. Yes he could be a cancer, but with the veteran leadership on the team, I don’t see it as a problem.

Bob Glauber in Newsday reports Tom Coughlin will sign a four year extension worth about $5 million a year.

Two league sources familiar with the Giants’ situation told Newsday Monday that there are few hurdles left in negotiations, and that a deal could be completed sometime this week. One source said the contract will be a four-year extension through the 2011 season. No financial terms were disclosed, but the deal likely will average about $5 million — or perhaps slightly higher — per season.

Last-minute hang-ups could delay the extension, but if the two sides agree to the terms, an announcement could come within days, sources said.

The Giants would not comment Monday on the status of negotiations with Coughlin’s agent, Gary O’Hagan, who could not be reached for comment.

Coughlin’s original four-year deal with the Giants was to have expired after the 2007 season, but a year ago, he agreed to a one-year extension after the Giants went 8-8 and qualified for the playoffs. The Giants wanted Coughlin to agree to the one-year extension so he would not be coaching the final year of his contract in 2007 and be perceived as a lame duck.

Coughlin, 61, underwent a major soul-searching period last offseason, even consulting beat reporters and columnists about how to better interact with the media. He enacted several new measures with the team, including the appointment of a leadership council and the election of team captains. He was much more tolerant of the media during news conferences, and his more approachable and positive demeanor was welcomed by players, particularly veterans.

Linebacker Antonio Pierce was written up for animal neglect after his two pit bulls got out and one was underweight.

Giants middle linebacker Antonio Pierce was served with a sum mons yesterday for animal neglect based on the condition of one of two pitbulls that escaped from his Monroe Township home days be fore the Super Bowl.

The Middlesex County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a quasi-law enforcement group that investigates animal abuse cases, issued the lone municipal court complaint. Walt Mychal chyk, chief of the agency, said the neglect charge carries a fine upon conviction, but he cautioned against any comparison with Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback sentenced to a 23-month prison term after a federal dogfighting conviction.

“This summons is for neglect. There is no pitbull fighting or any of that nonsense here,” said My chalchyk. “After the dogs got loose, we found that one was underweight and had a respiratory illness. The other one was fine.”

It was Jan. 30 when Monroe Township animal control officer Frank Faraone was notified of two loose dogs and rounded them up. Mychalchyk said it was unclear at the time whom the dogs belonged to, but further investigation determined that they were owned by Pierce and appeared to have escaped a fenced enclosure by pushing open or nosing under a gate.

Faraone took one dog to a local shelter, but notified the SPCA that the second dog appeared underweight. That dog was taken to a veterinarian, who determined that it suffered from a respiratory illness, said Mychalchyk.

“Both dogs are now in a kennel. They are back in his (Pierce’s) cus tody, but he has them in a kennel,” said Mychalchyk. “I checked on them the other day, and both dogs are doing well.

The whole story is at NJ.com, but I am going to cut Pierce some slack on this. The person taking care of the dogs is at fault here.

This guy gets around, today he’s on CNBC. I guess The View may be next.

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The other day, congress passed a resolution commending the New York Giants on their great season.

The vote went 412-1, the once decending cast came from Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Murphy, a diehard Eagles fan who worked at Veterans Stadium as a security guard when he was 16, was the only House member to vote against it.

“As a former 700-level security guard and lifelong Eagles fan, I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for the New York Giants,” Murphy said Thursday. “The only thing worse would have been a resolution honoring the Dallas Cowboys.”

This whole story on Philly sportsmanship is in the Bucks Country Courier Times.

In the Washington Post, Jim Fassel apparently blamed the bloggers for his downfall.

I believe Jim Fassel to be a great guy, and I think he probably got treated poorly over the past month, and I would have been fine with him as head coach, but just today the real culprits behind his non-hiring emerged. Their names? Mister Irrelevant, Unsilent Majority, Hogs Haven, and the Curly R. From Fassel’s interview with the John Thompson Show this afternoon:

When I got the New York Giants job I remember telling my family that, ‘You know, you cannot hold the lead in these jobs in major markets.’ Because you’ve got bloggers, and they’re saying, ‘No, this isn’t the right guy, and that ain’t the right guy,’ and you can’t hold the lead, because you are going to take the hit. I mean, when you’re the lead dog, you’re going to take the hit. And I think the longer it went, the longer it went, the longer it went….

Yeah, we know, the longer it went, the more people named “Nate in the PDX” had a chance to gripe about your potential hiring, thus inevitably sabotaging you as a candidate. Fassel spoke highly of Dan Snyder throughout this interview, as he has in other interviews, but bear in mind that he’s basically accusing Mr. Snyder and his cousin, Vinny, of taking their cues from a pair of blogging brothers and a guy who spends all his time looking at Undrcrwn shirts on the Internet and coming up with jokes about private parts, plus RI commenters named PDiddy and dcsween and 4th Floor. I mean, at the very least have the courtesy to blame anonymous message board posters in addition to semi-anonymous bloggers.

More at the Washington Post.

On the official site, which may be the best site from any sports team, there’s another David Tyree article.

Before the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, Tyree was the Giants’ relatively obscure fourth wide receiver. Yes, he had been a member of the 2005 NFC Pro Bowl team, but that was for his exploits on special teams. In the 15 regular season and postseason games prior to the Super Bowl, Tyree had caught five passes. They totaled 50 yards and not one included a trip to the end zone.

That changed early in the fourth quarter, when Tyree caught his second pass of the game, a five-yard touchdown from Eli Manning that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead over the heavily-favored New England Patriots. Ten minutes later, the Giants faced a third-and-five when Manning and Tyree teamed up on a miracle play that will be remembered by Giants fans forever. Manning somehow escaped the clutches of three New England pass rushers, steadied himself and threw down the field for Tyree, who jumped up, secured the ball against his helmet when safety Rodney Harrison ripped his left hand off the ball, then held on despite being mugged by Harrison.

The 32-yard reception gave the Giants a first down at the Patriots’ 24-yard line. Four plays later, Manning threw the 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress that gave the Giants a 17-14 victory over the previously undefeated Patriots. The Giants were the NFL’s surprise champions. And Tyree was an instant folk hero who has been in perpetual motion since triumphantly leaving the field that night.

To briefly summarize, Tyree received some of the loudest cheers at last week’s ticker tape parade and Giants Stadium celebration, his great catch graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, he spent a day at the ESPN studios in Connecticut, jetted to California to appear on three national television shows, returned home to sit down with The New York Times, speak at a youth ministry at the Izod Center and then at the church where he worships. Oh yes, his wife, Leilah, is due to give birth to twin girls within a month. The couple has two young sons.

More at Giants.com.

The endorcements start. Eli is now in Gatorade’s League of Clutch commercial, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

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Art Staple on Newsday had this on his blog:

We’ll have a web story and one in the paper on the Shockey subject, and here’s the key part for now: Jerry Reese emailed me this response to a question about whether the Giants are shopping Shockey:

“He is our starting tight end.”

I’d say that stands pretty well. Shockey is still a valuable player, especially as a blocker — I think Kevin Gilbride could be pretty excited about the two-TE sets with Shockey and Kevin Boss for next season, especially since Boss has proven to be a very good pass-catcher and an improving blocker. Could be some very good decoy plays run out of those sets.

So don’t expect any type of trade. Besides the Giants need him IMO. Kevin Boss and Shockey can co-exist.

Not much going on today in Giant Land, so I figured I would put this up to make everyone feel happy.

As a caveat: This contains blue language and is not safe for work and parental guidance suggested and all that good stuff. If you get in trouble because of it, don’t come running to me.

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Also you can find his SB Preview here. [Also very blue].

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His blog is at TownieNews.com

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