June 2014


New York Giants running back David Wilson is looking ahead to a July 21 exam of his surgically repaired neck that he hopes will clear him for contact in time for training camp. Wilson had a season-ending neck injury in Week 5 last year and underwent surgery this offseason. Wilson has made no attempt to hide his anxiousness regarding gaining medical clearance to resume a full range of football activities that includes contact.
This offseason, Shutdown Corner's Frank Schwab and Eric Edholm will look into what is overrated and underrated in all aspects of the NFL. We fully expect your angry emails and comments that are sure to follow. OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED: NFL record UNDERRATED Eric Edholm:  San Francisco 49ers’ 18-game road win streak, 1988-90 If there’s a team streak that is as unbreakable as they come, it’s this — and unlike my overrated choice (see below), there isn’t a fluky thing about it. It would not shock me if, 50 years from now — God willing I am around to find out — this one remains atop the mountain. Starting in Week 13 of the 1988 season, a 48-10 thumping of the San Diego Chargers, through the end of the 1990 season, the 49ers did not lose on the road. Not once. In 18 games. Think about that. To put it in perspective, only two teams the past four NFL seasons have finished better than 6-2 on the road, and no team has had more than a combined 18 (in 24 road games) than the current 49ers. But Bill Walsh’s San Fran predecessors were the true road warriors, and I am not sure any team will top what they did over those three seasons. The closest since then has been 12 straight by the 2006-2008 New England Patriots, and that one ended with a thud when Tom Brady got hurt to start the '08 season. What’s crazy is that the 18-game streak actually could have been longer, too — and a break or two in each game, it could have stretched to a whopping 26. Although it's not a part of the record, we also can't overlook the 49ers' win in the 1988 NFC championship game at Chicago, plus their two Super Bowls played on neutral fields, during that run. The 49ers’ three road losses before the streak started were by one, one and three points (in overtime); the streak ended with the 1991 opener, a 16-14 loss at the defending-champion New York Giants, and the 49ers’ next four losses away from home that season were by three, six, three and seven points. In the 18 straight road wins, the 49ers outscored their opponents by double digits in 10 of them. Incredible. Frank Schwab: Don Hutson's 29 points in one quarter
The Baltimore Ravens signed five players to their 90-man roster Friday and waived three.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle went to three Pro Bowls in his career, two as a member of the Giants. Yet for as good as he's been of late, his position coach thinks the 31-year-old Rolle is only scratching the surface of his potential. "Antrel is now starting to understand and develop as a safety," said David Merritt, the Giants' defensive backs coach.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has had his hands full trying to get quarterback EJ Manuel ready for the season. They all want the ball, and that's what you want as an offensive coordinator.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- The New York Giants linebacker unit, at one point widely regarded as a weakness, has quietly transformed into a strength on the team. The transformation began last year, when the Giants acquired middle linebacker Jon Beason in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. This offseason, they added Jameel McClain during free agency, re-signed Spencer Paysinger, and drafted Devon Kennard in the fifth round. No, it's not necessarily a Hall of Fame group akin to Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, etc., but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes how the unit has come together.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- The New York Giants cut their minicamp short Thursday, dismissing the players after a morning walk-through and then a late morning stretching session that coincided with a steady rainfall. "We had a lot of goals, a lot of things that were objectives in this camp: the integration of the new people, whether it be draft choices or free agents that we brought in," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's fully open right now to all five guys," said tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride, who is tasked with getting Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell, Kellen Davis, Daniel Fells and Xavier Grimble up to speed for the competition.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- In his first face-to-face interview with the media, New York Giants first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo spoke about how things are coming together. "They have a good feel for what we're looking for at this point," McAdoo said. He also kept correcting reporters who referred to the offense as being "his" and praised fellow coaches -- Pat Flaherty and Lunda Wells (offensive line), Craig Johnson (running backs), Kevin M. Gilbride (tight ends), Sean Ryan (receivers) and Danny Langsdorf (quarterbacks) -- for providing valuable input in merging the Giants' previous system with the one he brought from Green Bay. The chance to take ownership of the new offense is something that the position coaches say they've embraced.
Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff did so emphatically on Thursday, the final day of the Giants' minicamp. Coughlin instructed all 90 of the players to ''be responsible.'' ''You tell them a lot of stuff, most of it is private,'' the veteran coach said. The Giants are installing a new offense under coordinator Ben McAdoo, so players took their playbooks with them, a few of them stored on iPads, the rest in notebooks.
Last February, Walter Thurmond and Robert Ayers finished their season as Super Bowl opponents. Five months later, they are on the same defensive unit and will play their home games at MetLife Stadium, where Thurmond's Seattle Seahawks trounced Ayers and the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, cornerback Thurmond and defensive end Ayers continued to get acquainted with their new teammates as the Giants conducted their second day of a three-day minicamp. ''I'm getting more comfortable, but I've felt comfortable since Day One,'' said Thurmond, the fifth-year player from Oregon.

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