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Manning to Manningham....TOUCH DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!


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Giants rookie WR Manningham not making progress


BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 16, 2008


ALBANY - A highly anticipated rookie receiver sidelined by injury? It's become as much a tradition for the Giants as rookie hazing or Tom Coughlin's annual bowling night. This year, Mario Manningham has followed in the gimpy footsteps of Sinorice Moss and Steve Smith.


When the Giants selected him in the third round out of Michigan despite off-the-field issues, the consensus was that they took a chance on him. If Manningham makes the 53-man roster later this month, the Giants will be taking a chance on him because of never-on-the-field issues.


"We just don't see anything," Coughlin said of Manningham, who has not practiced since July 28 with a strained quad and missed time in the spring with a hip flexor. "He can't practice, so you go on everything you understood about him when you drafted him. He's in every meeting, he does all that, but he doesn't get to rep it. For a young guy, they need to do that."


As frustrated as the Giants are with Manningham, he feels the same. He said he should be ready to return in the next few days, likely after the Browns game Monday night, and predicted he'll be available for the remaining two preseason contests.


As for the receiver injuries, Coughlin offered a theory last week. He said rookies at the position seldom understand the amount of running they'll be asked to do and sometimes arrive physically unprepared for the rigors. Manningham agreed with that assessment.


"They said no matter how good of shape you think you're in, you're really going to find out what kind of shape you're in," Manningham said. "They said when you can't run any more, run some more. Now I know."


Manningham said he has spoken with Moss, who also suffered a quad injury that nagged him through his rookie year in 2006.


"He said just try to get it better and don't go until you know you can go," Manningham said. "And take mental reps. Write stuff down. Knowing you can't be in the huddle, just look from the sideline and ask a lot of questions."


There have been plenty of people to ask on those sidelines. Manningham isn't the only injured receiver. Smith, Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress have all spent time on the sideline this preseason. Of those players, however, Manningham is the only one who hasn't yet proven himself on an NFL field.


With the possibility of winding up on injured reserve becoming an increasing option with every missed practice, Manningham said he knows it will be difficult to make the team in only two weeks.


"I don't know where I am on the depth chart right now," he said. "It really doesn't matter to me because I'm trying to get back out there to prove myself. I feel like I haven't even done anything yet."


Notes & quotes: Recently retired DE Michael Strahan attended practice last night, which is one more training camp session than he attended last year while he was still playing . . . With K Lawrence Tynes sidelined (knee), the Giants signed Josh Huston to handle the duties in Monday's preseason game and possibly beyond. The Giants could conceivably start the season without two of their biggest postseason heroes: Tynes and WR David Tyree (knee, PUP). Yesterday, Tyree said he is on schedule with post-surgery rehab but conceded that he might have to start the season on PUP ... Rain forced the Giants to move Friday morning's session into the basketball arena. Coughlin said he's been frustrated by the "ridiculous amount of time" spent considering the weather at camp.




Cleveland at Giants


8 p.m.



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