2) Every now and then we are able to get it right once in a row.
“Ross- ??..did he have a sophmore slump? Is it me, or did he come on like gangbusters early in 2007, only to get more yawns than impact thereafter? Yes, the Giants use a lot of press coverage, so without the DL to keep up the pressure as last season wore on, we saw Ross exposed… At this point, it is not clear to me whether Thomas can offer even greater upside, given how he came on. So let’s see Ross do it, but we’d take either. Or both.”
“Speaking of closing fast, don’t discount the possibility that CB Terrell Thomas could eventually beat out Aaron Ross. Thomas is having a great start and closed very fast to step in front of Mario Manningham to pick off a Carr pass.”
3) Can you name four prominent first round draft choices who were lost to injury for the Giants during successful championship seasons for Super Bowl XXI, XXV and XLII? Yesterday we mentioned three: Kinard, Simms and Kiwanuka. But there is a 4th player, also a first rounder, who was lost to injury for one of these three championships. And he was a Pro Bowler too. Who did we leave out?! Hint, it was Super Bowl XLII… Jeremy Shockey. Almost a trick question, given how he was wasted as an asset that year anyway. Do you see a pattern– good TEs not getting enough touches? naah, couldn’t possibly be.
4) Pierce: “I am eager to go out there,” he said. “Like every year, I always come up with ways to push myself and ways to push my teammates and with everything that happened last year with the negative play in the playoff game and things that were said about me, I’m looking forward to looking those doubters in the eyes again and, like I always say, shut them up.”
We have the utmost respect for Pierce. He is an overachiever, an undrafted LBer who made it to the Pro Bowl and earned himself a championship ring. He has been the on-field General of this franchise’s defense EVERY season. As an avid studier of film, he knows formations and tendencies and will call out plays before they happen to fellow teammates, making everyone around him better. Case in point was LaVar Arrington, who was downright crestfallen when word got to him that Pierce had left the Redskins to go to the Giants in 2005. It took Arrington one year to get his tail up to NY to be with his former teammate in the middle. Before the fateful Achilles injury in Dallas that season, the Giants in 2006 had the early seeds of what could have been the most dominant defense in the league. The injury bug ripped through the team, one game after the next. Tuck and Strahan both were lost.
With all of that said, it is now 2009, not 2006. This is now the aging veteran Pierce. The one who got beat on the pass interference call to Watson which set up a 1st and goal for the Pats first TD of Super Bowl XLII. The one who could not handle Brian Westbrook out of the backfield. Spagnuolo adjusted and put a Safety on the RB on third down/obvious passing downs. Sheridan was the LBers coach, so he knows EXACTLY what he has and what he does not have in Pierce. Cold? Heartless? Age is not kind to LBers.
So Pierce has a chip on his shoulder. He’s playing with something to prove. He does not have anything to prove to us, his loyal fans. He simply has to prove to opposing NFL Offensive Coordinators that he won’t lose that half step in the second half of the season.
5) Amani Toomer has landed a job with the Chiefs. Hail Toomer. Warrior to the end. And just a reminder, you have not seen the last of him- we play the Chiefs Week #4.
6) Who is Vince Anderson? Garafolo reports that his stock is rising and he is competing seriously for that last Safety spot behind Phillips, Johnson and Brown:
“And finally, I mentioned Anderson up top and waited to the bottom to tell you he had an awesome afternoon. The undrafted rookie from Webber International (Fla.) got in front of Nicks on a fade and easily won a jump ball to knock it away. A few minutes later, he picked off a pass from Woodson that was badly behind the intended target. And finally, he showed good concentration to intercept a ball from Bomar that went through Moss’ hands. Nice way for Anderson, who converted to safety when he arrived in Albany, to get on the coaches’ radar.”