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Giants troubles against Jets kick returner explained


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Ledger: Falcons KR gets special attention

by Colin Stephenson

Friday October 12, 2007, 7:00 AM




Atlanta's Jerious Norwood averages 30.8 yards per kickoff return and Giants special teams ace David Tyree compared the 5-11, 202-pound, second-year running back to another quick, second-year back the Giants just got a close look at.


"He's similar to Leon Washington (of the Jets)," Tyree said. "He's just very fast. He's not a scatback, Warrick Dunn-type guy, but at the same time, he can go if you give him a seam.


"If we're not going to get the hang time (on kickoffs), if we're not going to get off the blocks like we need to do, and those guys are getting running starts, they're going to go (for a touchdown)," Tyree said. "Anybody in the league can do that."



Of course, Washington, who leads the league with an average of 36.2 yards per kickoff return, burned the Giants last Sunday with his second kick return touchdown of the season, a 98-yarder up the middle in the third quarter. He also nearly broke another one in the fourth, a fact that displeased coach Tom Coughlin.


The Giants are currently allowing opposing teams an average of 26.5 yards per kickoff return, 29th in the league.


"We just have to do a better job," Coughlin said yesterday when asked about the special teams' breakdowns. "We have to put people in the right spots. ... You can do a better job of placing the ball, of hanging the ball up (on the kick), maybe maneuvering the type of kick that you do... A lot of it is getting off the individual blocks, particularly our case from the back side. We have to get off the blocks better than we have."


Kicker Lawrence Tynes, who Coughlin said on Monday had three good kickoffs and three bad ones against the Jets, said the entire kickoff operation needs to be better, from the kick, to the coverage to the tackling.


"We need to have a better day," Tynes said. "We need to help our team out."


Tynes explained that part of the problem against the Jets was the fact that because of the direction the wind was blowing, the Jets -- who know all about the winds inside Giants Stadium -- knew what side of the field Tynes was going to have to kick the ball to, and thus were able to quickly set up their return blocking.


Since the game against the Falcons will be in a dome, Tynes said, the wind won't be a factor in his directional kicking.


WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), and RB Derrick Ward (ankle) didn't practice, but all are expected to play Monday.¤... Rookie WR Steve Smith (broken scapula) did some individual work, catching passes from the machine and doing some running. He is out for the game, but said he believes he's a "week, week-and-a-half " away from being back.


LB Keith Brooking (hamstring), TE Alge Crumpler (knee/ankle), and LB Stephen Nicholas (ankle) did not practice for the Falcons.¤... The Giants signed RB Quinton Smith to the practice squad.


If it's that easy, why do the G-men have a hard time getting past the 20? Must not know the wind in their own stadium. :rolleyes:

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If it's that easy, why do the G-men have a hard time getting past the 20? Must not know the wind in their own stadium. :rolleyes:

exactly- and why are they ranked 31st in KO coverage? no one is aggressive to the ball with the possible exception of Blackburn.

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