Monday, July 28, 2008

Plaxico Burress needs to Practice

Adversity is what helped lead the Giants to a triumphant Super Bowl win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots. The 2007 version of the Giants had their leader, Defensive Captain as Michael Strahan on their roster. This year the Giants will look for leaders of the team, and frankly one of them should be Plaxico Burress.
Last year Plaxico played through injury and even without practicing he was still able to be Eli Manning's go to target while catching a team leading 12 Touchdowns in the regular season as well as the game winning Super Bowl touchdown. Burress probably does have a sore ankle but he should be practicing. Training Camp is a bonding experience for the players, or atleast it sure was during my High School football days. The other Giants probably resent that Plaxico does not have to go through Tom Coughlin's intense practices at SUNY Albany.
Plaxico needs to do more than sit on an exercise bike, but rather needs to be running routes and also learning any changes that may have been made the Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride's system. Burress should go out for the morning practice and then seek treatment on the ankle all afternoon. Even though Plaxico was Eli's best Wide Reciever, their connection could improve with more time on the practice field. During the season this relationship is not that easy to build up, because teams are focused on individuals match ups for the upcoming Sunday.
The point is Plax needs to step up like the leader he is and practice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Plaxico Burress is making the correct decision

This off season for Big Blue has led to much tribulation for some of their players, including Plaxico Burress. Plax has been seeking a new deal in the Randy Moss- Terrell Owens range of around seven or eight million dollars per year.
Plaxico has told various New York reporters that he will report to camp at SUNY Albany on time with the rest of his veteran teammates. This is setting the correct precedent to show up to camp instead of trying to negotiate a new deal through the media.
Shaun O'Hara, who is becoming more and more of a leader, has said that Burress should show up in camp on time and do everything that is asked of him. This really shows the Giants how committed Plaxico is to the team.
Plaxico is like any WR in the league in that he always wants the ball, but he really is not Prima Donna when it comes to his off the field actions. He is no TO or Randy Moss, who have both have caused controversy off the field. Plaxico though, played the entire year not only in pain, but injured.
Burress really showed off his poise in the Super Bowl--after being shut down after the opening drive, he was still able to score the winning touchdown. New Yorkers will always remember the call by Joe Buck: "Manning lobs it, Burress alone, TOUCHDOWN New York!"
In the NFC title game he roughed up Corner back Al Harris with his 11 catch game. That game, he seemed to be able to make cuts that a receiver should not be making on a bum ankle. Burress just wants the best for his team, which is for them to win Super Bowls.
Plax deserves a long term extension with the Giants, and he wants to be in NY provided that the Giants take care of him. This makes sense because the Giants gave him his only Super Bowl title. He is a threat both over the middle and also down the field for Eli to stretch the offense.
In effect, he is an offensive threat and a vital part of this offense. And if the Giants keep him happy, he will be here for years to come.

Giants add O-Line Depth with Tackle Shane Olivea

Recently, I called for the Giants to add depth on the Offensive Line. And they did, adding former Charger OT Shane Olivea.
Olivea played his high school football in Lawrence, NY (roughly 20 miles east or so outside of New York City), so he is familiar with the New York metropolitan area. He played his college ball at THE Ohio State University where he won a BCS title as a starting Tackle. Therefore, he has experience in a big time program.
Shane has already been a starter in this league for a playoff team as a member of the Chargers. His acquisition should add depth to a highly productive unit that helped New York win its third Super Bowl in twenty-one years. Olivea will back both Giants' starting tackles, David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie. The signing will allow the Giants takes pressure off of lone back-up Guy Wimper.
The only problem with the Olivea signing is his backgound of substance abuse. These difficulties led to his release by the Chargers in February. General Manager Jerry Reese believes that the Giants locker room, ripe with steady veteran leadership, will help Olivea stay out of trouble and focused on the football field.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

We are 2 months until Kickoff

I am as excited as I can be on July 4th, a day to honor America and celebrate the freedom that we enjoy in this country, which is really unlike any other. Today is also George Steinbrenner's birthday, and I am grateful he has built the Yankees back into a powerhouse during my life time.

But let's cut to the chase, we are 2 months away from the New York Football Giants(note to editor don't change it to New York Giants) opening up their title defense in East Rutherford, NJ against the Washington Redskins. To say that I have been looking forward to that moment when Eli and company present their third Super Bowl banner to New York, New Jersey,and Connecticut. The Giants are more than a New York team. They play in New Jersey and are popular in NY, but also many do not know that they did play in New Haven, CT. I also have purchased a banner and will hang it up on September 4th.

The Giants now have a big bandwagon that is occupied to capacity with fans who were casual fans turning into die-hards all of the sudden. I intend on going up to SUNY Albany for a day (about 3.5 hours north of the Metropolitan New York area in which I reside) and expect to see that place full. I went before the 2005 season to see new free agent acquisition Plaxico Burress and was amazed by the Giants practices.

The G-Men though, can't have a let down, and as I have said before need to be motivated by adversity. People want to call their championship a fluke. They want to say whatever about Eli and his inconsistency. This Giants team has to still be hungry because if not, they will miss the playoffs in the high powered NFC East. This division has produced all four wild card spots over the last two seasons.

When rookies Kenny Phillips and Terrelle Thomas report to camp, they need to listen up and realize that they are no longer the stars of the U and USC respectively, but rather will have to fit in within the locker room of veterans. I look to see Antonio Pierce and Eli Manning show their leadership to them of the expectations of being a New York Giant, on and off the field.

I look to see the Giants scouts properly evaluate who should be in the starting role, who will be in the back up spots. Most of all, I look for Tom Coughlin to not be satisfied and have the idea of "playing with house money after last years Super Bowl win". That playoff run excited a city, a metropolitan area, and even the country with their emotional ride through the playoffs, but there is still more for this team.

They are now the team who has a bulls eye on them because everyone wants to beat the Giants. Michael Strahan always said "Every time you put on this uniform, you do it for each other". That is the response that should be taken as football is a team sport. It is not about being a prima donna off the field and causing distractions. Giants, you are in the business of winning football games and making the headlines for your on the field actions.