High Round Talent On Display
CoachesSecondary / Corners: Peter Giunta (3rd year)
But the defense also fell apart in the second half ? turning a somewhat close 17-0 halftime deficit into an insurmountable Panthers? lead.
Perry Fewell?s defense was focused all week on containing Cam Newton, just like the unit did last year in the Giants? 36-7 Week 3 win in Carolina. Newton however had other plans this go-around, as he burned Big Blue?s defense with both his arm and his legs.
He was asked today what he believes his role on the defense is these days.
"Like I said, I don?t know what the role is but I?m prepared for any time they call me," Ross said. "Prince went down in the Dallas game and they called my number and I was ready and prepared to go in and help the team try to make plays. If my number?s not called, I will be the supporting cast and if it?s called, I?ll be ready to go out there and ball."
Two days ago, Woodson left his visit with Denver without receiving a contract offer, but the two sides reportedly remained in contact.
In addition to the Broncos, Woodson, 36, has visited with the Raiders, the only team known to have made an offer to the free agent.
"No, I don't thinks so. My foot has been fine for a while. I think my main issue last year was mainly the knee, but I think that?s fine now. We?re going to keep on taking things the way we are now and making sure there won?t be any setbacks,"?Nicks said when asked if?there was anything going forward with the foot or the knee that may prevent him from playing at 100% this season.
"My body is feeling good. I still have a lot of time to still monitor and take care of it, so that?s what I?m doing now getting back in the groove of things." Asked if he was on schedule for the next phase of the condition program, Nicks said he was taking a longterm view on things.
When CB Aaron Ross left the Giants for greener pastures in Jacksonville via free agency last winter, he never thought he'd be back here with the Blue a year later. The Jaguars signed Ross to a multi-year deal worth close ot $10 million over three years. Realizing they overpaid for the underachieving CB, the Jaguars cut him after one.
From Rotoworld: "It was a nice paid vacation to Florida," said Ross, who collected over $2.25 million of a deal alleged to be worth $9.75 million over three years. He was released on March 8. "So yeah, I?m very happy to be back with the Giants," added Ross.
?It was a nice paid vacation to Florida ...?I had to think about the family, setting us up long term, so of course the money comes to mind ... But winning is everything, man. It takes the joy away when you?re losing, and the only thing to get you through it is the paycheck when you?re losing. So yeah, I?m very happy to be back with the Giants.?Ross spent his first five NFL seasons as a member of Big Blue, totaling 10 INTs, including four in 2011, the year prior to signing with the Jaguars.
The Giants have been connected to a number of different players with the 19th selection in April's NFL Draft, most of which has centered around the team's moves during free agency.
Among the names floated around have been Tyler Eifert, the tight end from Notre Dame, Alec Ogletree, the linebacker out of Georgia, and Datone Jones, the defensive lineman out of UCLA.
Ross,30, signed a three-year, $9.75 million contract before last year. He started nine of 14 games, making 65 tackles but no interceptions.....Although the move was likely based on performance and not money, Ross? release does create salary cap space. He was due a $4.04 cap number this year, but now will have only $666,667 of ?dead money? on the cap, creating more than $3 million of additional room. That puts the Jaguars nearly $30 million under the cap.....Ross came to the Jaguars after five years (two Super Bowl titles) and 10 interceptions with the New York Giants.
Does this open the door for a return to the Giants? Maybe, if he's willing to work cheap - very cheap. But the Giants might not want to go backwards. If a team that has $30 million in cap space doesn't want Ross, why would the Giants? Plus, Ross was injured far too often for the Giants' liking during his time here. At 30, I can't imagine his health won't become an issue going forward....
The secondary struggled throughout most of the regular season, ranking 29th in pass yards per game allowed with 225.1. Luckily, Eli Manning made a habit of putting up those same numbers?often better?against opposing pass defenses.
With Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara expected to be ready to contribute in time for training camp, the Giants likely viewed Ross as an unnecessary luxury.
Although Ross never truly lived up to the first impression left by his first round status and excellent rookie season, he certainly had plenty of bright spots. The former Texas Longhorn dealt with injuries and often drew the ire of fans during his five year Giants career, but carved himself a place in franchise history by being a starting cornerback on two championship teams.
He was out on the practice field today and showed no ill effects from his collision with teammate Jason Pierre-Paul last Sunday. Ross left the game with what was thought to be a concussion and was replaced by Prince Amukamara.
RB DJ Ware was also knocked out of the WildCard game vs Atlanta. Unlike Ross, he has not been cleared to practice. He is day-to-day.
QB Keeping 2: In 2011, NFL teams now have the luxury of dressing 46 players on game day. This essentially means that the 3rd string QB is no longer an ?emergency option.? The Giants have chosen to forgo the 3rd QB all together since 2008, and I?m not so sure that changes this season. Obviously Eli is the number 1, but he heads up a current corps of 4 talented signal callers.
David Carr (first pick ever of the Houston Texans in 2002) is my favorite to win the job, and not just because he is less expensive than the other veteran alternative. Yes he is about 2 million cheaper than Sage Rosenfels, but he is also equally talented and more versatile. Quite frankly, I expected him to win the starting job in San Francisco last year and I still think he will be a starter again in this league before he retires. Rosenfels may also be trade bait for another CB (more later).
Ross is ready to go. He says he hasn't felt this good since his rookie year. When asked how his health was, the 28-year-old was straight-forward:
"I'm not willing to do safety anymore," Ross said. "Wouldn't entertain it."Ross has been played at safety in the past, to uneven results. With the drafting of Prince Amukamara, the Giants are very deep at cornerback. ?However, Deon Grant is a free agent, so the Giants could use some more depth at safety.?
Word out of camp is that Perry Fewell expects Kenny Phillips to take a huge step forward in his second full year after recovering from knee surgery, so hopefully the need for a third safety will not be as great as last year.
We sure hope so.? Two years in a row the NY Giants have gotten what the franchise deems as a true play maker. No one wants to see a good player loosing playing time; however, I am pumped to see first round pick Prince Amukarmara fight for a starting spot.
The draft can unfold in many unique ways.?? Everyone was sure that at pick No. 19 the Giants would go Offensive lineman due to the fact that all the ?skill players? would be long gone that fit the Giants system.
But in reviewing that draft here in 2011, I can't help but catching myself on the glaring error the Giants may have made in the first round.
A: The best defensive backfield in franchise history.
The New York Giants secondary is for real.? They tackle, cause fumbles, cover big time receivers, intercept the ball and for the most part (Rolle) go about their business in a true, professional way.
How you ask?? By using the fundamentals of the game and showing the world they know how to tackle. ? Including quarterbacks!
This past week, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Philips and Deon Grant showed the world why the New York Giant defense gets the "Most Improved" award in 2010.?? The 3 safeties combined for 11 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 QB hit, 2 pass defended.
1. Ahmad Bradshaw
The stat that stuck out the most to me from Houston's week 1 win over the Colts was that the Colts allowed 257 yards on the ground. ?Undrafted Arian Foster piled up 231 yards and 3 touchdowns on 33 carries, good for 7 yards a carry. ?If Bradshaw, Jacobs and the Giants' rushing game are not able to put up significant yardage, we will learn a lot about the state of the Giants' offensive line.
After spending nearly the entire 2009 season on the sidelines thanks to a nagging hamstring injury, Ross is now battling plantar faciitis.? Both he and the team claim that he has made progress since the onset of the ailment and he has even been practicing quite consistently.
Injuries - 5 players key players came into camp recovering from recent surgery and at least 10 more have been injured this camp.? The offensive line is fragmented and the 2nd team defensive backs look, well....overwhelmed!
Q: You played through a plantar fascia injury last year, correct?A: Yes.Q: Aaron Ross is going through the same thing right now:A: Actually, his is a little bit different than mine. He has plantar fasciitis, which is a partial tear. I tore my plantar fascia completely. To tear it completely is actually better than to tear it partially. Once you tear it completely, it kind of takes care of itself and it doesn't matter. Just depends on how much pain you can play on.
Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News reported that there was no ligament tear in Ross' foot.
No word on a time frame for when Ross might return to action
If you?ve been paying attention over the past two days, you
are well aware of the mounting injuries infesting the Giants locker room.? The injuries are hampering nearly every
position group and with September fast approaching, the Giants front office has a mess on its hands.
"He?s got to be the guy we paid,? said Reese. ?He?s got some play-making ability. He?s got to keep it between his ears, keep it right in his head."
"He?s got all the tools to be a really great corner. But he?s got to get it in his head, ?I?m a great corner and I can play against anybody.? When he falls short sometimes, I think he has a mental lapse in his head about something.?
A 24-17 defeat is not exactly disappointing when you consider the circumstances.? New York played the entire game with a third string QB.? How many times have you witnessed a third string QB even play a series at the pro level, let alone an entire game?
That said, here's what we learned:
Today, he met with the pool outside of the Indian Quad at U Albany...
On what he is doing differently to prepare and maintain his body:
I'm taking better care of my body. I'm getting a little older, now. In college, I can go kill myself then go right to the house and go to sleep.
The Giants' 2007 first-round selection has been all over the place the first three days of camp.? He is pushing hard to get his old job back? - right cornerback - but that spot has been secured by another high draft choice, Terrell Thomas.
Paul Schwartz, New York Post:?The NFL is seriously considering expanding the regular season to 18 games, a plan that Giants players overwhelmingly despise. The main gripe from the players is that a longer regular season will increase injuries. Even if the preseason is reduced from four games to two, players argue that with two preseason games, coaches will need to see more of their starting players, increasing the wear-and-tear on the bodies of athletes already stretched to the limit.?
It seems like?the switch to an 18-game regular season?is inevitable, though the NFL Players Association will certainly have its say.?You have to remember?that injuries can happen at any time - just ask Domenik Hixon - and this is a move that?fans would support. After all, it's more football for them.?Everyone seems to be in favor of the expanded regular-season schedule. Everyone except for the players that is.?
With Corey Webster's (knee) status for Monday's game in Washington day-to-day as well, Ross' injury puts a severe strain on an already embattled unit.
Terrell Thomas will continue to start at one corner and Kevin Dockery would draw the start opposite him if Ross or Webster cannot go.
Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger has an interesting story on why Danny Ware's father (Danny Ware Sr) hasn't seen his son play an NFL football game....until tomorrow.
Ralph Vacchiano of the nydailynews.com has a story on how the Giants replace the "heart" taken out of the defense by MLB Antonio Pierce's injury.
According to Ralph Vacchiano, Coughlin emphasized that Ross ?is a corner?. And when he was asked if Ross could play another position in a game, he said ?Not at this point in time. But you never know.? Meanwhile Ross had this to say: ?I can (play safety),? Ross said. ?I don?t know if I?m going to or not, but I can. We haven?t sat down and talked about it yet,? Ross said. Whatever he has planned for me, I?m all in.?
Ross is now into his third comeback attempt and would probably do anything to see the field, including moving to safety. While I don't see the move happening this Sunday, it may come later in the season. With all the players now healthy the Giants will have to make some interesting decisions for there inactives. Most likely the usuals, WR Sinorice Moss, ?T Guy Whimper, ?G Adam Koets, WR Ramses Barden, and RB Gartrell Johnson will be on the list but they may now have to add DE Tollefson and one of the corners. With CB Bruce Johnson doing nicely at the nickel it's likely to come down to Dockery/Ross, but for now Dockery is also gunner on special teams, although he has struggled lately.
Ross was back in practice today and coach Tom Coughlin said? that he "seemed to work well." the Giants haven't officially activated him yet, but to see him finally working on the practice field has to be an encouraging sign for an ailing secondary.
Also, with Gerris Wilkinson going on the IR, the Gmen have signed youngster D.J. Johnson as a cornerback. Johnson, who was signed by the Broncos back in April, has been a practice squad player for them thus far this season.
"Just a leg issue, ?he is day to day"
"Tried to run, but had a setback, should be ready in a couple weeks"
Aaron Ross has been hobbled by a nagging hamstring injury, has not appeared in a regular season game and is practicing on a limited basis.
The question posed to me was...if he cant' play, why wasn't he placed on the PUP list? It doesn't appear he had any chance of playing before Week 6, which is the week a team must make a decision on a PUP player.? Did they keep him around to rehab him?? They're wasting a roster spot in the interim...
If you're a mets fan this is starting to sound dangerously like Jose Reyes's injury (behind the knee), something that forced him out for over three months. Football and baseball are very different sports and it's unlikely the injury lasts nearly as long, but one never knows. Ross had this to say about surgery
?I?m praying and hoping not,? Ross said. ?Myself or the doctor didn?t expect it to last this long. I thought I was going to be back for Game 1. Now I?m probably going to have to sit out Game 2. Very frustrating.?
Among those 5 topics Garafolo discussed, one was CB Terrell Thomas. Aaron Ross is out for the rest of the preseason, and with that, Thomas moves on the depth chart up to third corner. Look for Thomas to see a lot of field time, not only in nickel and dime packages, but base defense packages as well.
CB Kevin Dockery will start in place of the injured Ross.
Ross said he was about "80%", which isn't good enough to get him on the field this Saturday against the Bears in Chicago. He is aiming for the season opener Sept. 13 vs the Redskins.
"We'll see," coach Tom Coughlin said of Ross' status. "They're pretty optimistic today about it, but we have tomorrow and on Wednesday, we'll be able to tell where we are."Coughlin said Brandon Jacobs is "sore." and that the injury was an "ongoing thing" for Jacobs. Jacobs aggravated the injury he originally suffered against the Seahawks in yesterday's game when he landed awkwardly after a tackle. Coughlin said Jacobs has had several MRIs but didn't elaborate.
Jacobs didn't speak to reporters today but after yesterday's game said he could have gone back in.
Ross was removed for a few series in the second half on Sunday.
Coach Tom Coughlin said Ross played well aside from the 30-yard touchdown and said the decision to pull Ross was a temporary move.
CB Terrell Thomas (hamstring) has yet to play in the first two games this season, and is expected to practice in individual drills tomorrow.
CB R.W. McQuarters (calf) status is still uncertain, and it is not yet known if he will practice tomorrow.
Corey Webster and Aaron Ross are starting at corner, while Sam Madison and rookie Terrell Thomas are competing for the nickel.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said the Giants will "ride the hot hand" when it comes to which tailback they roll with each week.