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Offseason Workouts Begin

Mr. P

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EAST RUTHERFORD - The Giants today took their first formal steps toward the 2010 season when the players reported to the Timex Performance Center for the beginning of the team's offseason conditioning program.


"It's like the first day of school again," tight end Kevin Boss said. "It's been a while since I've seen a lot of guys. I'm excited to see everyone."


"It is a fun day, it's something you look forward to," quarterback Eli Manning said. "The last couple of weeks (I was) kind of itching to get back and see all the coaches and your teammates and getting back to work and getting ready for this upcoming season. We have a lot of work to do and we're excited about getting back to it and seeing how we can improve.


"Some guys you've seen over the last couple of months. Some guys you've talked to. And then there are other guys you haven't seen or talked to as often. It's good to see everybody and see what everybody's been doing and how their little break's been. You see the energy and enthusiasm in all the players."


While the reunions were fun for everyone, the Giants reported to work with a steely determination. It was just 10 weeks ago that they lost to the Vikings in Minnesota, 44-7, to end the 2009 season with a disappointing 8-8 record. The Giants began the season with five consecutive victories and, to a man, they believe that more accurately reflects their talent and attitude than the 3-8 finish.


But the players know they have to back up that faith with their performance on the field. And the six-month trip to opening day began today in the weight room.


"I think guys understand after the season we that had - which was a disappointment - that we have to work that much harder in order to make this season a success," defensive tackle Chris Canty said. "It's definitely exciting, seeing all the guys again, getting everybody back in the building and getting everybody working toward our common goal this year, which is winning a championship."


Canty said the Giants "absolutely" have a chip on their collective shoulder.


"It's reflective of how many guys we have here on the first day," Canty said. "There are guys that have been here for a couple of months now. Guys understand what's at stake and how hard we have to work."


"It's nice to get back with everyone and get back in the weight room together and try to make up for the disappointing season," Boss said. "I think we're all excited to get back to work. We're all frustrated with the way the season ended up and it's going to be a good offseason. I think guys are excited to work hard."


Manning said they can still learn much by studying the 2009 season.


"We'll go back and review things and see where we need to improve and see what we did well," he said. "You'll look back at it. But the season as a whole, you kind of forget about it. You look at some individual pieces of it to analyze and to improve on. We're excited about this upcoming season."


Strength and conditioning coaches Jerry Palmieri and Marcus Paul instructed the players to completely rest for a month after the season ended. The players then began individual workouts that got progressively more intense as the beginning of the conditioning program approached. Some players worked out at the Giants headquarters.


"They tell us to take a month off and after that slowly get back into it and get your fitness and your weightlifting work in, so when you come in here you're ready to go and you're not starting from scratch," Manning said. "You have a little momentum to build on. That's good. You can see guys have been working and they're ready to get going."


Manning finished the season with 317 completions in 509 attempts (62.3 percent) for 4,021 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.1. The completions, percentage, yards, touchdowns and rating were all career highs. He has not yet thrown a football, nor is he certain when he will. That decision will be made in consultation with Mike Sullivan, who is the new quarterbacks coach after serving for six seasons as the wide receivers coach.


"I have to meet with Coach Sullivan and go over our schedule and plan out these next few months - decide when we're going to start meeting and when we're going to start throwing," Manning said. "I'm sure he has an idea and we know what we've done in the past. But I'd say probably in April we'll start throwing a little bit."


Sullivan is not the only new face in the quarterbacks meeting room. Jim Sorgi, who spent the previous six seasons as backup to Manning's brother, Peyton, with the Indianapolis Colts, was signed last week to compete with Rhett Bomar for the No. 2 quarterback job. Sorgi replaces David Carr, who is now with the San Francisco 49ers after spending two seasons with the Giants.


"I know Jim," Manning said. "We've been around each other a few times over the past few years. I've never worked with him, but Peyton speaks highly of him. I'm excited about having him here. He knows football and he's been in the league for a number of years. I'm excited about working with him and seeing how we can improve.


"Jim's a smart guy and a guy who studies and prepares and does everything he has to do, not only to get himself ready, but he helped get Peyton ready, also. He watched film and offered his ideas, so I'm looking forward to working with him to see what we can do to help out the team."


Sorgi was just as excited as the returnees to be here.


"It's different, seeing some of the faces and not knowing the names - and not knowing the exact way things go and how things are done here," Sorgi said. "I caught on pretty quickly.


"I talked to Eli a few times and I saw him today for about 10 minutes. We're going to get this thing rolling quickly, as soon as possible, and try to get on the same page and build a cohesive unit so we can get this thing rolling."



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Which is why I kinda side owith the player on this whole labor dispute. These guys are the ones risking life and limb out on that field. It is known that football players live shortend lives due to the beating they take playing the game. And those lives are usually filled with discomfort from all the beatings they take.


pay them

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Which is why I kinda side owith the player on this whole labor dispute. These guys are the ones risking life and limb out on that field. It is known that football players live shortend lives due to the beating they take playing the game. And those lives are usually filled with discomfort from all the beatings they take.


pay them


...and caviar, and Bentleys, and Penthouse apartments, and... it all balances out. :TU:

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this was clipped from Gregg Easterbrook's weekly football column. Some interesting numbers in here:



Owners, Players -- Please Don't Kill the Golden Goose: Though there's some fear of an NFL strike or lockout in 2011, I wouldn't worry: Both sides are still at the public-bluster stage, and real negotiations have not yet commenced. The owners and the union would be total, utter fools to kill the golden goose with a strike or lockout. Then again, folly is a grand theme of history.


The first salary cap, in 1994, was $49 million in today's dollars. The 2009 cap was $128 million, 2.6 times larger in just 16 years. In 1994, an average NFL player's income was $800,000 in today's dollars, while about $27 million was spent on payments to retired players. This season the average pay was $2.1 million per player, while nearly $200 million went to retired player payments. How many professions do you know, including surgery, in which real-dollar income and payments to retirees are rising so fast? Money to active and retired players is way up because football is so popular -- and because the labor peace that has prevailed since cooperative bargaining began in 1993 insures television there will be a product to air. That makes television willing to pay premium prices. If a strike or lockout spoils this arrangement, why should television pay a premium in the future?



This is a good time to remember that when the current CBA was signed in 2006, the late NFLPA president Gene Upshaw was ridiculed in the press as a lapdog because he didn't throw bricks through windows and didn't want to harm the fortunes of his industry, attitudes that old-media types (who have done such a fine job with their own industries) wag their fingers at as insufficiently confrontational. Owners exercised their option to end the 2006 agreement two years early because when the dust settled they realized what a fabulous deal Upshaw's final CBA was for the players, who now get 60 percent of NFL revenues and whose average pay has risen 48 percent in the last four years alone. If Upshaw's 2006 deal was bad for the players as old-media types contended, why were the owners so eager to cancel the agreement?


The current bluster is silly on both sides. DeMaurice Smith, who replaced Upshaw, needs to look macho, and so is using the worn union macho position of outrage at the slightest suggestion of any concession. Isn't assurance of future pro football salaries rising at a somewhat slower rate a lot better than a year with no football and no pay at all, followed by the networks' reducing their future offers? In the NBA, owners and players have taken turns shooting at the golden goose, and the result is a declining salary cap. The NFLPA would be extremely foolish to risk starting a salary decline in the NFL, and NFLPA members would be foolish to prefer angry rhetoric over numbers in their bank accounts.


Meanwhile, the owners are crying woe is me -- after stepping off their private jets. The super-rich owners, such as Jerry Jones and Pat Bowlen, are complaining about the revenue-sharing deal by which the top 15 teams each send about $7 million per year to the bottom 15 teams, whose owners are merely rich. Owners in markets like Denver and Dallas should stop griping and sustain a revenue-sharing system that keeps the competition strong, and the fans and networks interested. Sure, $7 million is real money -- but it's only one bonus blown on a flopped free agent. By crying to the NFLPA over sums the players know are trivial to super-rich owners, the owners only reduce the credibility of their positions.

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