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From USA Today


Please, let training camp come soon...


Arrington making good initial impressions with Giants


Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce has always held former Redskins teammate LaVar Arrington in high regard.


So it comes as no surprise that the sixth-year middle linebacker played middle man, helping sell general manager Ernie Accorsi, coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Tim Lewis on signing Arrington.


Arrington, 28, is primed to make the most of his new beginning. Arrington was relegated to a reduced role last season by a knee injury and the impression that he too often freelanced outside assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams' disciplined scheme.


"Knowing LaVar personally and as a player, I felt the media reports coming out of Washington about his play weren't true," Pierce says. "I told Ernie Accorsi, Coach Coughlin and Coach Lewis that when he's healthy, LaVar is one of the most explosive linebackers in the game."


Arrington has impressed his new coaching staff and teammates with his offseason work habits and attitude.


"He's playing with a huge chip on his shoulder to prove what he can do when he's healthy," Pierce says. "That, along with the other parts we've added on this defense, creates a great vibe."


Arrington has always been best blitzing off the edge. Lewis plans to keep opposing quarterbacks on edge by deploying Arrington in creative ways in concert with defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. The club also signed cornerbacks Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters and safety Will Demps.


"(Lewis) made it very clear that he wanted me to be closer to the line, which means I'm closer to the quarterback," Arrington said at his introductory news conference. "Physically, I am in the prime of my career. With the wisdom that I have, having a new beginning, being in a system where I am wanted and I'll be used, I can see myself exceeding what I have accomplished thus far."


Pierce notes an unexpected dividend a revamped defense has already paid. He says third-year quarterback Eli Manning has raised his game, in part as a result of facing tougher competition from a shrewder defense on his own team.


"It's not just Eli playing pitch-and-catch with his receivers in practice anymore," Pierce says. "Now he's going to be more game ready and won't struggle with some of his reads, because practices are more like what he's going to see in games now."


The hope is Pierce's winning sales pitch will pay off big time.


"Super Bowl. Nothing less," Pierce predicted this spring for the Giants. "I don't know why we shouldn't say that. We know what we've got, so why not think about the Super Bowl?"


No hang-ups about receivers


Donovan McNabb says his receivers are highly motivated to disprove doubters who cast them as an ordinary group since you-know-who moved on to the Cowboys.


"Just sit back, relax and enjoy," McNabb said during a June 6 news conference. "I have never been in a situation where I would talk bad about my receivers. I have full confidence in my receivers.


"People have been talking about my receivers ever since T.O. (Terrell Owens) showed up, and they will continue to do that now that he's gone. We use that as a little motivation going into each year, each game and each practice to make ourselves better."


Todd Pinkston and Reggie Brown are the starters. Greg Lewis and Jabar Gaffney back them up.


The Giants piece is a bit of rehash, but reinforcement is good.


The McNabb quote is classic:"I have never been in a situation where I would talk bad about my receivers." Oh no? :LMAO:

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