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Giants News 07/26/2006


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Giants near full strength

Wednesday, July 26, 2006




The Giants will be at least close to having their entire rookie class in place for their first training camp practice Friday in Albany, N.Y.


Sinorice Moss (second round), Gerris Wilkinson, Barry Cofield and Guy Whimper (fourth-rounders) and Charlie Peprah (fifth round) have agreed to deals with the team.


Agent Tom Condon, who represents first-round pick Mathias Kiwanuka, is expected to speak with the team today. Seventh-round pick Gerrick McPhearson also remains unsigned.


Superdome looks good


NEW ORLEANS -- NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue toured the hurricane-damaged Superdome on Tuesday with Saints owner Tom Benson and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and was encouraged with the progress that has been made.


Though repairs are ongoing, Tagliabue was impressed. He had said during earlier visits he had concerns about how long it would take to get the facility reopened.


"I think there are some terrific features in the renovation," he said, describing an overhaul of the Superdome's concession areas and luxury suites. "There's a feeling of openness, freshness."


Blanco described the transformation as "nothing short of a miracle" and a symbol not only of tragedy but rebirth.


Still, Superdome officials hope to find a corporation to buy naming rights to the facility before the Saints open at home against Atlanta on Sept. 25.


More than 18,000 of the city's residents sweltered in the Superdome for days following Hurricane Katrina.


Bengals extend Jones


CINCINNATI -- Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones agreed on a six-year, $40 million contract extension, the team said.


The total value of the contract would make Jones the fourth-highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL behind Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace and Walter Jones.


Jones, 26, was the Bengals' first-round draft pick in 2002.


Gallery sidelined


NAPA, Calif. -- Robert Gallery's return to left tackle temporarily was put on hold when the Oakland Raiders placed the third-year offensive lineman on the physically unable to perform list.


Gallery, the No. 2 overall pick in 2004, injured a quad muscle working out last week. Though the injury is not thought to be serious, team trainers and coach Art Shell opted to take a cautious approach.




Former Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson signed with the 49ers, who will convert their fourth-round pick into a running back. ... First-round cornerback Antonio Cromartie did not show for the Chargers' first practice of training camp.




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Giants know it won't be picnic



Wednesday, July 26th, 2006


ALBANY - The speech Tom Coughlin gives today at the Giants' training camp-opening picnic will likely be brimming with optimism. After all, he returns nearly everyone from a team that won the NFC East title last season.

He also added enough key players through free agency and the draft to ensure that the 23-0 playoff embarrassment they suffered at home against Carolina isn't likely to happen again.


Of course, optimism and high expectations haven't always been kind to the Giants. Just ask the Giants of 1987, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2003.


"I'm excited, but every time I'm on a team that people predict will be competitive, traditionally we haven't been," said receiver Amani Toomer, a Giant since '96. "I'm not skeptical. I'm really excited in one way. But at the same time, I know we just can't go through the motions."


With that in mind, the work officially begins tomorrow when the players report to Albany and have their first team meeting. Two-a-days kick off at 8:40 a.m. Friday.


And when they do, here are five new (or relatively new) players to watch during the four weeks of training camp. The entire season may very well hinge on quarterback Eli Manning, but how these five do this summer might hint at how far the Giants can go:


LB LAVAR ARRINGTON: If he's the L.A. he was in 2002-03 when he had 17 sacks, the Giants got themselves the steal of the free-agent market. If he's the L.A. of 2004-05, when injuries and trouble with coaches held him to just one sack, he's just a big body filling space on the strong side.


S WILL DEMPS: Is he an average player who looked better in a great Baltimore defense? Or is he a great player who was overshadowed by more famous teammates? Demps, despite just four career interceptions, thinks it's the latter. If he's healthy (he's coming off a partially torn ACL), the Giants will find out.


DT JONAS SEAWRIGHT: The biggest hole on defense will likely be filled by this 6-6, 340-pound rookie. Not much was known about him before the draft when Coughlin tossed his name into the nose tackle competition. He might be the favorite over Damane Duckett, Junior Ioane and rookie Barry Cofield.


CB SAM MADISON: Much-maligned Will Allen is gone, and in his place is this former Dolphin who is four years older and has two interceptions over the last two years. That's one more than Allen, but how much of an upgrade he is remains to be seen.


WR SINORICE MOSS: Do good things come in really small packages? The Giants think they found a very good thing in this 5-8 dynamo. At best he's their No.3 receiver, but if he is as good as advertised, they will find plenty of room to let him showcase his speed and skills.




The Giants were close to signing their third-round pick, LB Gerris Wilkinson, last night. He should sign by today, according to his agent, Kenny Zuckerman. The Giants were also expected to have deals done with LT Guy Whimper (fourth round), S Charlie Peprah (fifth) and CB Gerrick McPhearson (seventh) by the time players report to Albany tomorrow.




Vic Carucci's Tuesday Huddle

By Vic Carucci

National Editor, NFL.com



Whether he's underrated or not, Sinorice Moss is taking the underdog role.

-- Sinorice Moss already is testing out the motivational force that will drive him during his NFL career. Despite being the Giants' second-round draft pick, which indicates he is expected to be a success, Moss intends to play the everyone-thinks-I'm-too-short-to-be-in-this-league card. "I've had a lot of doubters since I've been a little boy," he said. "So it's just important for me to keep working hard so I can show the world I can play football on this level." For what it's worth, Sinorice, I think you can.




Ranking the offensive lines, team-by-team

Doug Farrar / FootballOutsiders.com


15. New York Giants


"It was horse(bleep) on my part. I let the team down. Embarrassing. That's what I call that - embarrassing. Embarrassing to my team, to my family, to everybody. Ridiculous. I can't tell you why." — Giants' left tackle Luke Petitgout, after drawing five false start penalties in the team's 24-21 overtime loss to Seattle, November 27, 2005


So ... isn't coach Tom Coughlin supposed to be the NFL's No. 1 "discipline guy"? And if that's the case, how can the Giants' line, under the direction of their good general, display such a wayward sense of order? The G-Men ranked second in the NFL in false starts with 24, with 11 alone in the aforementioned loss to the Seahawks, and were tied for third in the league with 24 holding penalties.


Petitgout is the prime offender, though he's better than average when he's going at the snap (instead of before it). Fellow tackle Kareem McKenzie is serviceable against the run and the pass. Guard Chris Snee flashes perhaps the most potential — the Boston College grad was a Pro Bowl alternate in his second season. It's worth mentioning that the Giants' line ranked 10th in Adjusted Line Yards, but first in 10+ Yards. Although not entirely conclusive, this statistical leaning favors Tiki Barber over the line as the primary reason for the success of their running game. That, and the "tackling prowess" of the Kansas City Chiefs.




Questions hit defense

Offense holds little surprise for Coughlin, but 'D' in need of work


Newsday Staff Correspondent


July 26, 2006


ALBANY -- The Giants convened here last July and not even most of the players knew what they had as training camp began. Six weeks later, the Giants hit the ground running and produced an 11-5 season that few hard-core fans could have expected.


Everyone knows what the Giants have now, particularly on offense, where the team heads into camp with all of its starters returning and only one new wrinkle, speedy rookie Sinorice Moss (provided he signs before practices begin Friday, which is all but certain).


Tom Coughlin will be looking for more consistency from Eli Manning and the offense, but the coach may be looking more intently at his defense over the next six weeks hoping to see real improvement over last year.


New faces abound, from linebacker LaVar Arrington to safety Will Demps to cornerback Sam Madison, each of whom will play a big role in lifting the Giants' 27th-ranked pass defense out of its malaise.


Arrington has already talked like a Pro Bowler, despite missing two of the five minicamp workouts in June with Achilles tendinitis. "I feel like the swagger is coming back," he said last month. "That went away because of where I was."


Arrington meant that he was stuck in limbo with the Redskins, going from being one of the league's top pass-rushing linebackers to a disrespected, oft-injured afterthought under Joe Gibbs and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.


There are plenty of other players under coordinator Tim Lewis who will be under the microscope from Friday onward: second-year cornerback Corey Webster, who comes in as the projected starter on the right side in place of Will Peterson; Osi Umenyiora, who has the challenge of following up his breakout season; and the unnamed nose tackle, who could come from an unheralded group that includes untested Jonas Seawright and Damane Duckett as well as fourth-round pick Barry Cofield.


As much as Coughlin knows what he's working with heading into 2006, he also knows the NFC East has gotten stronger. The Giants have as brutal a first six games as any team in the league, starting with the Eli-Peyton matchup on Sept. 10.


"We start with a team that was 13-0 at one point last season," Eli Manning noted recently. "You start 0-1 and you know there's no way you can go 0-2."


Last year at this time, even the Giants wondered what they had in Manning and several other areas. Now, with the players set to report tomorrow, they know. So does everyone else, which doesn't make the journey any easier.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.



Moss agrees to Giants' terms




Original publication: July 26, 2006




Giants second-round wide receiver Sinorice Moss, the one player the team thought might hold out, agreed to terms last night on what is believed to be a four-year, $3.51 million contract.


Moss received $1.91 million of guaranteed money from signing bonuses, guaranteed base salaries and an incentive tied to minimal playing time.


Moss will probably sign his contract tomorrow when players have to report to training camp at the University at Albany. That should be a load off general manager Ernie Accorsi and coach Tom Coughlin's minds, since Moss is represented by Drew Rosenhaus, an agent who doesn't think twice about holding players out of workouts.


The next toughest signing could be first-round defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, represented by Tom Condon. But Accorsi and Condon have a strong working relationship, so any unlikely absence should be a short one.


Also agreeing to terms yesterday was fifth-round safety Charlie Peprah, also to a four-year deal. Peprah is expected to get a signing bonus of approximately $158,000. Third-round linebacker Gerris Wilkinson could agree to a four-year deal.


"It should be done by today," Wilkinson's agent, Ken Zuckerman, said. "We're just trying to figure out the up-front money."


Fourth-round defensive tackle Barry Cofield last week signed a four-year deal that included a $405,000 signing bonus. Fourth-round tackle Guy Whimper and seventh-round cornerback Gerrick McPhearson also remain unsigned, but are expected to arrive on time.


Tagliabue tours Superdome: Commissioner Paul Tagliabue toured the hurricane-damaged Superdome with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and was encouraged with the progress that has been made. Though repairs are ongoing, Tagliabue was impressed. "I think there are some terrific features in the renovation," he said, describing an overhaul of the concession areas and luxury suites. "There's a feeling of openness, freshness." Superdome officials hope to find a large corporation to buy naming rights to the facility. Doug Thornton, regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome, said he is optimistic a sponsor could be lined up before the Saints' home opener Sept. 25.


Chiefs' Law says he's healthy again: Kansas City cornerback Ty Law says he is completely recovered from the severe foot injury that has plagued him the last two years. Although he said he was still hobbled by the injury last season with the Jets, Law managed to intercept a league-high 10 passes for then-coach Herman Edwards. Now he's armed with a five-year, $30 million contract and playing again for Edwards, Kansas City's new coach and a former Pro Bowl cornerback himself. "There's a lot of knowledgeable coaches out there who know football," Law said at an introductory news conference. "But Herman can give it to you from a player's perspective. And fortunately for me, he's played my position and he's played it well." While working together last year with the Jets, the two developed a rapport. "I really admire his toughness," Edwards said.


Panthers set Meadows free: Carolina released offensive tackle Adam Meadows, allowing him to attempt a comeback as an unrestricted free agent. A former Indianapolis Colt, Meadows signed a five-year contract with the Panthers worth $15 million in 2004. But he retired just two weeks into training camp that year, citing chronic pain in his surgically repaired shoulder. Meadows didn't receive any of the $15 million in the deal, voluntarily returning his $2.5 million signing bonus.


TV station sues Browns: A TV station sued the Cleveland Browns after the team said it would break the station's contract to broadcast preseason games and other programming. The Browns are upset because the station, WOIO-TV, aired a 911 call placed by team owner Randy Lerner's sister, Nancy Fisher, after she found her 6-year-old daughter drowned in a creek on July 9.


Extra points: First-round pick Michael Huff signed a $22.5 million, five-year contract with Oakland that guarantees the former Texas Longhorns safety $15 million. ... The Bengals offered left tackle Levi Jones a six-year, $40 million contract extension that includes $16.3 million in guaranteed money. Jones will sign the offer today, agent Kenneth Zuckerman said. The extension makes Jones the fourth-highest paid tackle in the league, the agent said. ... Michael Robinson, the former Penn State quarterback hoping to make the NFL as a running back, signed with San Francisco. Robinson was the Big Ten's offensive player of the year last season. ... San Diego opened training camp without its first-round pick, cornerback Antonio Cromartie from Florida State.







July 26, 2006 -- The Giants selected seven players in this year's NFL Draft and the one they're most excited about as far as making an immediate contribution is Sinorice Moss. The diminutive speed receiver from Miami is expected to add a dimension to the offense and there won't be any delay in getting the process started.


Moss yesterday agreed to terms on a four-year, $3.51 million contract that ensures the second-round pick will report on time tomorrow to the University at Albany for his first NFL training camp.


The deal includes $1.9 million in guaranteed money in the form of signing and option bonuses and also $100,000 in incentives. The Giants had Moss rated as the No. 1 receiver available in the draft and they traded up in the second round to nab him with the 44th overall pick. He immediately became a favorite of coach Tom Coughlin, who sang his praises early and often. Moss will compete with Tim Carter for the No. 3 receiver spot.


Defensive tackle Barry Cofield, a fourth-round pick from Northwestern, signed earlier in the week and the Giants expect all of their other lower-round picks to be signed and in camp on time. The status of defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, the first-round pick from Boston College, is less certain, as movement in the first round has, as usual, been slow.



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