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Even optimistic Tyree sees time with Giants ending

September 2, 2009

 

By TOM ROCK tom.rock@newsday.com

 

 

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David Tyree(85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New EnglandPatriots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII footballgame at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008

 

 

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David Tyree's optimism has always driven him. For years he was considered a flop as a widereceiver - just a special teams guy - until one February day when hemade the most amazing catch in Super Bowl history.

 

Hehad been a Pro Bowler as a special teamer before that play, but The Catch in Super Bowl XLII made him an icon. What it didn't make him wasa go-to receiver.

 

Not even Tyree's optimism can break down that reality. The veteran spoke unflinchingly earlier this week about tonight's preseason game against the Patriots and how he was prepared for it to be the final time he wears a Giants helmet. He essentially said he knew that the next time he pins a football to the side of his head, it likely won't be against an "NY" logo.

 

It would have been poetic for Tyree - an almost certain casualty of the cut downs when the team goes to 53 players this weekend - to make his final Giants appearance against the Patriots. But a hamstring injury that popped up late last week will keep him from doing that. Instead, Tom Coughlin said, Tyree will not even make the trip to Foxborough and not get to look into the faces of the Patriots fans whose hearts he broke.

 

"The medical people have decided that he's not ready," Coughlin said.

 

Not ready for football. But clearly Tyree is getting ready for life after the Giants.

 

"Even if you say you don't think about it, the reality exists," Tyree said."This journey has had its bumps along the way but nonetheless, it's the journey that matters. That's what brings so much excitement. I know Iam not done. Wherever I am playing, that's where I will prosper."

 

Making that catch should have been a springboard for Tyree's career. Instead,injuries have crippled his progress in the last 19 months. He had knee surgery last spring which, coupled with a hamstring issue when he tried to return, kept him from playing at all in 2008.

 

And he's battled some nagging injuries this summer: a groin, a hip, and most recently the hamstring that kept him out of Saturday's game against the Jets as well as this week's practices. " the timing is terrible he said"

 

The reality is that Tyree would likely have had trouble making the roster last season had he not been put on the physically unable to perform list. And with the influx of young receivers this preseason, Tyree's role has been even more limited.

 

"How many times have I even got the ball thrown my way? Six times in a game?" he asked. "That's what they're looking for in a guy like Ramses Barden and a guy like Hakeem Nicks. You know there's potential there but you want to see what you can get. I'm a guy that's always been dependable and I'm going to go out there and make plays on special teams."

 

Tyree told people he was looking at the Pats game as a "last hurrah," a final chance to run onto the field in the only NFL uniform he's ever worn. Even with his optimism, Tyree was all but conceding his future with the team.

 

Notes& quotes: Coughlin didn't commit to how long the starters would play tonight, but said normally he goes about a quarter with them inthe final preseason game. Coughlin did say he hopes to play both QBs Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar;neither played against the Jets last week . . . At the team's kickoff banquet, 2008 season awards were presented: Team MVP went to the five starting offensive linemen, Offensive Player of the Year was Eli Manning, Defensive Player was Justin Tuck, Special Teams Player was Jeff Feagles and Rookie was S Kenny Phillips.

 

 

 

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Finals days in NY Giants uniform might be approaching for David Tyree, Sinorice Moss

 

by Mike Garafolo/The Star-LedgerWednesday September 02, 2009, 8:53 PM

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Chris Faytok/The Star-LedgerDavidTyree, who made the famous clutch catch against his helmet in theGiants' Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, says his time with theGiants has been 'nothing short of a dream.'For months now, David Tyree has been asking for his Super Bowl XLIIhelmet back. It's been on display at the Pro Football Hall of Famesince shortly after it played a key role in the greatest play in SuperBowl history.

 

"That's not a bad place for your helmet to be," the Giants' veteranwide receiver said as he once again petitioned a member of the team'spublic-relations staff to retrieve the memento from Canton, Ohio. "ButI still want it back."

 

While Tyree is inquiring about his historicequipment, Sinorice Moss is searching for an explanation about playingtime after seeing less of the field against the Jets last week than heexpected.

 

"There are questions that need to be answered," the 2006second-round pick said. "It would be ideal to get those questionsanswered."

 

These were the public gripes of the wide receivers on the rosterbubble as the Giants approach Thursday night's game against thePatriots -- the fourth and final game of the preseason. With final cutslooming on Saturday, there's a chance both Moss and Tyree could be intheir final days with the Giants.

 

If the team keeps six receivers, as it has for each of the firstfive seasons of the Tom Coughlin era, at least one of the two figuresto be cut. The first five slots are pretty much guaranteed to go toDomenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and the two rookiereceivers Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. That seemingly leaves onespot for Moss, Tyree or Derek Hagan, who had an impressive trainingcamp.

 

While Moss was clearly agitated about having lost an opportunity tostate his case against the starters, Tyree was smiling and laughingwith reporters. The fact he was sidelined with a hamstring injury thatwill also keep him out Wednesday night against New England (the team hemade Super Bowl history against) didn't appear to discourage him at all.

 

Nor did the possibility he'd be unemployed this weekend.

 

"I'm excited for a lot of reasons," Tyree said. "There's a certainlevel of unexpectancy. Just not knowing brings a level of excitementfor me."

 

Tyree is clearly not in denial like many players who say they're not thinking about getting cut.

 

"Even if you say you don't think about it, it's just the reality ofit," Tyree said. "It's just you know what the circumstances are whenyou get into them."

 

Moss took the opposite approach and said the thought of being cuthasn't crossed his mind -- not even as he watched Nicks and Bardenenter the game with the starting offense. The 5-8, 185-pound Mossbelieved the rookies and Hagan were given his chance to prove he canimpress the coaches in a live game, not just during non-contact drillsin training camp.

 

"Anybody can go out there and catch a pass in practice. That's whywe do practice," Moss said. "But it's about getting an opportunity in agame and showing it. I can go out there and catch five or 10 passes aday (in practice). But I feel like it would be a lot better if I wouldbe able to do it in a game. ... That's a very, very big thing for me."

 

Moss didn't address the issue with coach Tom Coughlin, who said "he's welcome to come and speak with me any time he wants."

 

Only minutes after Moss was expressing his bitterness toward thecoaches, Tyree was practically absolving them in advance for cuttinghim. (To be fair, they kept him on the roster last season through kneeand hamstring injuries when they could have worked out an injurysettlement at any point.)

 

Tyree's last game in a Giants uniform might have been an uglypreseason loss to the Bears 12 days ago. But that won't be the memoryhe takes with him.

 

"What a joy it was to be a part of something so great from day one,"the 2003 sixth-round pick said. "My experience here has been nothingshort of a dream. To be placed in team history and sports history,where do you go from here?

 

"But at the same time, my love for this game hasn't died out yet andI really feel I still have something great to add onto my career andlegacy."

 

 

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You know, I don't remember a time when the Giants called on Tyree and he not deliver big. If you look at some of the games he's had in a Giants uniform (not even talking about the SuperBowl, even) he had some pretty nice games for a guy buried on the depth chart who was always considered a Special Teamer. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he catches on with a team like the Dolphins and continues his legacy of coming up aces when you least expect it.

 

There HAS to be room for a guy with tremendous character, great work ethic, and unrivaled desire like Tyree on any team. I just can't bring myself to really believe he's no longer going to be a Giant. At least he will never be forgotten. He is one player that will always be in Giants lore.

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It's sad, and I'm going to miss Tyree. He didn't have all that much to give, but he gave us all of it.

This guy has Coach written all over him. Take care Tyree... Um, Moss. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

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It's sad, and I'm going to miss Tyree. He didn't have all that much to give, but he gave us all of it.

 

Yeah, I'm going to miss him as well.

 

He wasnt the best WR we had on the team, so he made his living on special teams for his time with the Giants. Unfortunatly the cards just didnt fall his way and with DeOssie, Thomas and Blackburn all emerging as great ST players and with Tyree being injured the past couple of years he's value has dropped with the team. I see him getting picked up later in the season as an emergency WR/ST player when some team takes a hit to their WR core.

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