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Still getting in a few


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January 4, 2008 -- The fact Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, Tiki's twin brother, told The Post on Wednesday that Eli Manning “can be had" certainly was not lost on the Giants yesterday as they geared up for Sunday's NFC wild card game in Tampa.


“I can see why people would make a big deal out of a statement like that," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. “He shouldn't have said that, but I don't think it's going to effect the way we play or think going into the game."


Barber praised Manning's arm strength and his decision-making but mentioned that at times Manning throws bad passes.


“I don't know the reasons for that," Barber said. “He can be had, we know that.


“Just look at his percentages. At the end of the day, your numbers don't lie."


The Giants do not agree.


“Hey man, that's what he believes," receiver Amani Toomer said. “I don't believe that and nobody in this locker room believes that. You never try to reason with a defensive back, because their logic is just their logic."


Antonio Pierce took a playful jab upon hearing that Tiki plans on watching from the Bucs sideline wearing a Giants hat.


“I think that's against the rules," Pierce said. “Media is supposed to wear their own thing. He should wear an NBC hat."




The three starters injured vs. the Patriots - C Shaun O'Hara (knee), LB Kawika Mitchell (knee) and CB Sam Madison (abdominal muscle) - sat out of practice again, as did CB Kevin Dockery (hip flexor). O'Hara did some running on the side. There sure isn't rampant optimism any of the starters will be able to play against the Bucs. “It's frustrating but it's part of the game," Mitchell said. “[Wednesday] I had a little workout, it was encouraging. I feel like maybe I'll try to get one [practice] in this week, if I am going to play. You just want to play it safe, you don't want it to get any worse, just take your time with it, although we don't have a lot of time."


Dockery's injury puts the Giants in a sticky situation, especially if Madison cannot play. No Madison means Corey Webster starts and no Dockery means R.W. McQuarters moves in as the nickel back. Dockery did work on the side. “What he did was fairly impressive," Tom Coughlin said. ... Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride sounds confident Manning will come up big on Sunday. “I think if we protect and the elements allow he'll play well," Gilbride said, “and we have no reason to think the elements aren't going to give us a chance to play well."


Now when we win will he take it off? :P




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