Giants.com takes you around the locker room as the defending Super Bowl champs wrap up the preseason and prepare for the regular-season opener against the Cowboys.
Now that it’s over, DE Justin Tuck was asked about the mood coming off this preseason.
“It’s been a fun preseason; it’s been a different preseason. I’m excited to see who we’re going to have on this football team because those guys made our coaching staff, and Jerry Reese and his staff’s decisions pretty difficult. Heading into the regular season, I’m excited about it, I’m ready to get going, and we start off with the Dallas Cowboys and that’s going to be very exciting.”
Corneback Jayron Hosley updated his injury status (toe) and talked about his chances of playing against Dallas.
“I’m taking it day-by-day. Right now I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be ready, and the trainers have been doing a great job with me. The trainers have been doing a great job of getting me ready, getting me prepared to get back on the field as soon as possible. I’m feeling pretty confident about playing against Dallas.”
On and off practice squads his whole career, RB Andre Brown put together a solid performance in the final preseason game on Wednesday with 14 carries for 55 yards and two catches for 22. He’s been through this routine before as the roster will be finalized to 53 on Friday.
“A bad expert. I feel more comfortable though. I feel that other than the one fumble that I had, I feel as though I put a solid game together. I’m sure I’m capable of playing in the league. I know I’m going to be here or if it’s not here, I’m going to be somewhere and I know that I still believe that it’s going to be my year.”
CB Prince Amukara updated his ankle injury.
“Yeah, I’m out of the walking boot. I’ve been rehabbing, walking better, and it feels a lot better than it did last week. It’s only been six days, so we’re still taking it day-by-day.”
Meanwhile, DE Adewale Ojomo has relished the competitive environment on the defensive line.
“It’s been a great environment. It’s a process. It doesn’t just happen overnight. People don’t see what goes into it. Listening, adjusting and Osi and those guys and Coach Robert Nunn, so it’s just a lot of work. I wasn’t just going to come here because my senior year in college, I had one and a half sacks. Coming in here learning from those guys made a big improvement.”
Also trying to make the roster, WR David Douglas feels like he belongs in the NFL after an impressive training camp and preseason.
“I think so. I just took it day by day from the first day I got out here and that’s really all you can do coming in as a free agent and a rookie trying to make a team. I felt like I came out and I gave it my all every day and that’s really all you can do.”
Tags: Adewale Ojomo, Jayron Hosley, Justin Tuck, Prince Amukamara
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The general manager was recently profiled in The Pacer, the official newspaper of the college in his home state, and spoke about his journey from humble beginnings in Tiptonville to winning his second Super Bowl last season.
“I had to schedule my classes around football and make sure they were balanced. I had to work for my scholarship,” said Reese, who was a grad assistant and then a secondary coach at Martin from 1988 through 1993 after being named team MVP his senior season. “With my background and leadership qualities I learned at UTM by being part of a team, I still use those skills today.
“You’ve always got to dream big. I always dreamed of being head coach at UTM at some point and look where I am now.”
Charley Deal, a close friend and assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations, sees what he’s done today.
“For someone who came from his background, Jerry pushed himself and was hard on himself,” Deal said. “He worked around the clock to make himself better.”
» NFL.com and NFL Network analysts gave their 2012 predictions on stats leaders, MVP, rookie awards, and more. Jason Pierre-Paul appears to be on the short list for Defensive Player of the Year.
» Barden builds on momentum. [Kieran Darcy, ESPNNewYork.com]
» ESPN.com’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano continued his ranking of the top 20 players in the division. WR Hakeem Nicks came in at No. 6, with five players to go (one player announced a day).
Other Giants in the rankings so far:
8. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants
10. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
18. Osi Umenyiora, DE, Giants
20. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz
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Final preseason game. Starters on the bench. A 6-3 final score.
Steve Weatherford is jacked.
While a combined three field goals in 60 minutes of play might not be everyone’s favorite brand of football, it did give the punters a workout on Wednesday night as the preseason drew to a close.
There were 18 total punts in the defending champs’ victory, split evenly between the Giants’ Weatherford and the Patriots’ Zoltan Mesko. Weatherford punted nine times (seven in the first half alone) for a 52.0-yard average and a long of 64. He also had boots of 59, 52, 55, and 58 yards, with two downed inside the 20-yard line.
“Having a performance like that going into the regular season, it’s actually a boost of confidence,” he said after the game. “I was confident going into this game, but coming out of this game, I thought I punted really well. There are still some things I want to work on, but for the most part I’m happy walking out of here.”
The amount of punts wasn’t shocking to Weatherford not only because it was the final exhibition game, but also because it was against the Patriots. Despite two elite quarterbacks on each side, a matchup between two teams with a lot of history together often equates to a field position battle.
Case in point: Weatherford punted eight times in last year’s Week 9 matchup, pinning five inside the 20. Then again in Super Bowl XLVI, Weatherford had four punts, three of which were downed inside the 20.
“It was a field position game,” Weatherford said. “It usually is when we play these guys. I think about the last couple times I played them, we both have great quarterbacks – obviously Tom Brady wasn’t playing tonight – but when he is, it’s a field position battle. So tonight they relied on me a little bit, and I was happy with the outcome.”
Punting isn’t his only duty, though. Weatherford held Lawrence Tynes’ late 32-yard field goal, which wound up being the clincher in Wednesday night’s victory. It wasn’t exactly in the mud at Candlestick Park to win the NFC Championship, but it was good to get the rep in before the regular season kicks off in less than a week.
“Tynes has hit some bigger ones than that one,” Weatherford joked. “But it was fun to be a part of.”
Tags: Steve Weatherford
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