While much has been made about the Giants’ early schedule, it may not be as bad as it seems.
But don’t tell the coaches that.
The defending champs began with the first Wednesday game in 64 years (of the 93-year-old NFL), followed by an 11-day layoff for a Sunday afternoon game in Week 2. Then it was a quick turnaround and road trip to Carolina this past Thursday night. Now they pack up again and play in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
Rough for coaches. But there’s an upside for players.
“It’s actually been pretty nice, to say the least,” Cruz said. “We had a couple of weekends off to get our legs back and we’ve been playing well. That’s always a good sign. In the irony of it, it’s been pretty nice.”
That’s a testament to Tom Coughlin and his staff, which is driven by routine. Coughlin went as far to thank his coaches in his locker room speech following the 36-7 victory over the Panthers.
To their credit, both coaches and players have been thrown out of whack in the first quarter of the season but adjusted accordingly. The Giants currently sit at 2-1 and return to nothing but Sunday games, except for Monday Night Football against Washington in early December.
“It’s a little different,” Manning said. “Two of the first three weekends, we’ve had off. That’s a little different. I think everybody’s glad that we’re finally back to our normal routine for the next few weeks. We have a normal schedule. I’ve enjoyed the time off, we’ve had good work, and I’m excited to be back at practice, and getting ready to play Philadelphia.”
Tags: Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz
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Giants players talk about what it’s like to play in a tough rivalry game on the road in Philadelphia…
QB Eli Manning
“It’s a great atmosphere. It really is, it’s tough and it’s loud and the fans are unique. It can be a fun place to play, and we just got to go in there and we got to have great communication between our offensive line…I got to be loud and if we’re making checks and making different calls, everyody’s got to be on the same page. It always makes the experience of playing in Philadelphia very interesting.”
WR Hakeem Nicks
“I’m definitely looking forward to Philly, it’s a big game for us; rivalry game. They know us, we know them and I’m looking forward to it.”
WR Victor Cruz
“It’s pretty crazy. Obviously those fans don’t like us very much and they make sure we hear it every time we’re out there, we’re warming up and coming out of the tunnel. Every snap, every play, it’s intense. You can cut the tension with a knife in the stadium. It’s always a great place to play when you’re under that pressure and you feel good about and you want to go out there and make a play.”
LB Mathias Kiwanuka
“There’s always an emphasis when you have two teams in the division that we’re rivals, we see each other twice a year every year. We know that our playoff hopes could come down to this game, they feel the same way. They don’t need anymore motivation, and neither do we. We know we have to win this game and they feel the same way so that’s all the motivation we need.”
Tags: Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Mathias Kiwanuka, Victor Cruz
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Another road game in primetime has The Bulldog gearing up.
Ahmad Bradshaw, who missed last week’s game in Carolina due to a neck injury, said he’ll be ready for Sunday night’s game in Philadelphia.
“You can guarantee it,” the running back told Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “You can guarantee I’ll be there. I’m a fighter and I’ll be out there fighting with my team.”
After the Giants’ 36-7 win in Carolina, Bradshaw hopes to keep the momentum going as the team looks for its third win in a row.
“We’re going to go in with confidence,” Bradshaw said. “We’re going to go in ready to win. We know the Eagles can play at any time. They can be a great team; they can be one of the best teams out there at any time. And our plan is to go in with a great game plan and attack. We’re the away team. We play good away. We’re not worried about that. We’re ready to go.”
Bradshaw also said he doesn’t expect anything different in terms of his usual workload along with Andre Brown, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns in his place last week. Coupled with wide receiver Ramses Barden’s breakout performance with Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon sidelined, Bradshaw had faith in the team’s depth to get the victory.
It also never hurts to have No. 10 back there.
“It starts with Eli Manning,” Bradshaw said. “He gets us going. He gets the offense going, and when the ball is in his hands, I don’t think anybody on this team has any worries. With us guys, everybody takes a loss, everybody gets hurt, a teammate gets hurt on every team. We just have on this team a lot of guys who are willing to step in and play their role. Just like Andre against the Panthers, he had a great game, he stepped in and he stepped up for us. We’ve seen a lot in Andre in that game, and I’m glad he had that game. It gave him a lot of confidence.”
» Cruz-in’ back to career-making spot [Paul Schwartz, New York Post]
Lincoln Financial Field is the home of the Eagles but it was where Cruz was born, in an NFL sense.
» Tuck’s R.U.S.H. charity turns five [Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPNNewYork.com]
Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Justin Tuck, Victor Cruz
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