November 20, 2018

Giants Don’t Look Super

September 06, 2012

East Rutherford, NJ - The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants wanted to pick up right where they left off last year when they faced division rivals Dallas Cowboys Wednesday night in front of the largest sold out (82,849) crowd at MetLife Stadium. Unfortunately, the offense looked like they were still in pre-season mode and the defense gave up too many big plays in losing 24-17 to open up the 2012 football season.

After both teams went three and out in their initial possession, the Giants, starting on their own 13 behind Eli Manning (he completed 3 passes for 53 yards) gets down to the Dallas 29 yard line. Rookie running back David Wilson running left fumbles killing the drive. Wilson, sat alone at his locker after the game clearly upset at his overall performance.

"I don't think this day could have been any worse," he started. "I did bad, I fumbled and then we lost." The Cowboys failed to take advantage of the New York miscue as they attempted a 4th and 1 run that was snuffed by Antrel Roll.

The first time Dallas got the ball in the second quarter, it led to the only New York lead of the night. With Tony Romo in the shotgun looking for Kevin Ogletree, Romo's pass sails over Ogletree's head and is intercepted by linebacker Michael Boley at the 47. Boley scampers down to the Dallas second yard line before getting tackled horse collar style resulting in a penalty and placing the ball on the one-yard line. Didn't matter as running back Ahmad Bradshaw loses three yards on the first two rushing attempts. Manning then throws an incomplete to Victor Cruz and they settle for a 22-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. The short yard running game that haunted them all of last year once again prevented them from scoring a touchdown.

Said head coach Tom Coughlin "we had been very good in goal line sequences against Dallas. I don't know whether the scheme flattened us out. That wasn't a great way to start."

New York's defense continued to play well until the waning moments of the first half. Dallas began at its own 27 with 3:34 remaining. Seven plays and 73 yards later, Romo finds Ogletree for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Romo completed 5 passes for 60 yards during the drive. The Cowboys took the lead they would never give back.
The Cowboys extended the lead in the third quarter as Romo and the offense slowed the Giants pass rush with quick passes. Romo would connect with Ogletree again as he gets behind cornerback Corey Webster, this time for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The nine-play, 80-yard score put Dallas up by 11 (14-3). Ogletree would end his night with 8 catches for 118 yards and the 2 touchdowns. Bradshaw closes the gap to four (14-10) after his 10-yard run caps a nine-play, 89-yard drive. Dallas ended the third quarter with a 33 yard Dan Bailey field goal (17-10), as the Giants looked to continue a winning streak in which teams have won the Super Bowl since 1999 won the opening game the following year. It would not happen.

With Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara out with a leg injury, Michael Coe took his place in the starting line-up. Coe would pull his hamstring in the fourth quarter and his replacement Justin Tyron was victimized by Romo for what turned out to be the Cowboys final touchdown. Changing the play at the line of scrimmage, Romo throws a pass to Miles Austin as he gets behind Tyron. Austin pulls the pass down and races into the end zone for the 34-yard score.

Manning finds ex-Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett with a nine-yard touchdown pass with 2:42 left and had one more opportunity to get the ball back. Dallas faced a third down and 12 situations on their own 34 after a holding penalty. Tyron gets victimized once again giving up a 13-yard catch to Ogletree.

Dallas gave the Super Bowl champions plenty of chances to win the game as they were penalized 13 times for 86 yards. The normally reliable Victor Cruz struggled as he dropped 3 passes that would have given his team first downs.

"We gave ourselves a chance there at the end of the game. We just took way too much time for us to score," said Coughlin. "We certainly are capable of playing much better."

He turned down the invitation to be on Dancing with the Stars, but New York Giants wide receiver extraordinaire Victor Cruz could not pass up an invitation to take his salsa dancing skills to Broadway. Fresh off his stellar performance (10 catches, 142 yards) in the 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Cruz shuffled his feet at the Modell's Times Square location to the delight of a crowd of Giants fans. He talked about the origin of his touchdown celebration, how exhausted he was after the team clinched the NFC Championship and being part of his very first Super Bowl. Oh, he also gave an example of the dance he hopes to display at some point during the game that will take place February 5th in Indianapolis.

Because high school and college rules prohibited end zone celebrations, Victor Cruz had to wait until he made it to the pros to express his excitement after scoring a touchdown. He caught everyone's attention when he hauled in 3 touchdown passes against the Jets in the 2010 pre-season game. Ironically, he didn't get his salsa on after any of the catches. A hamstring injury sidelined him for the rest of that year. When Steve Smith signed with rival and division foe Philadelphia the following season, Cruz was given another chance to display his talents. The Eagles were the first team to see his moves after he splits two of its defensive backs and scampered 74 yards for the touchdown. The Salsa Shuffle was born.

"My grandmother said I should do a dance when I score a touchdown." He wasn't quite sure if she would like It. "Once I got her approval, I had to keep it." It has taken the city and the NFL by storm.

With the rainy and windy conditions facing both teams in the championship game, it was a little surprising that the Giants offense would put the ball in the air as much as they did. Victor Cruz was Eli Manning's favorite target in the first half. They connected on 8 passes for 125 yards but you could tell he was wearing down as the game went on. He only caught 2 passes for 16 yards in the second half, dragging himself off the turf as the game went on. "I was exhausted," he said. The exhaustion faded the minute Lawrence Tynes 31-yard field goal sailed through the uprights sending the team to the ultimate game. Cruz was seen jumping up and down euphoric in his celebration.

Victor Cruz and his Salsa Shuffle was not part of the New York Giants when they beat the New England Patriots in 2008. He was part of the team that beat them last year when the Patriots were undefeated. Cruz will make it a point to talk to members of that 2008 squad to find out what the next 2 weeks will be all about.

"Come Thursday I will ask guys and get their take on it. How they feel about the game and how they are going to handle everything."

They say familiarity breeds contempt. That said, Cruz doesn't know which team has the advantage given they have played each other as often as they have over the last couple of years.

"We've seen each other a lot. We're very familiar with each other. They understand us well and we understand them well. It's going to come down to who makes the most plays."

Victor Cruz is hoping to do his Salsa Shuffle for the first time this postseason on the biggest stage and the biggest game of his career.

East Rutherford, NJ - The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants were coming off their opening night loss against the Dallas Cowboys in a game that seemed like it took place last year. Big Blue faced a surprising Tampa Bay Bucs team that was coming off an impressive Week 1 win over the Carolina-led quarterback, Cam Newton. It was a homecoming of sorts for former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano who has a history with the Giants, the team he rooted for while growing up in North Jersey.

Tampa Bay wanted to set the tone right from the start as it decided to let its defense take the field after winning the coin toss. The move backfired as Eli Manning connected on 2 passes to Hakim Nicks for 48 yards leading to a Lawrence Tynes 37-yard field goal. The Bucs bounced right back with a field goal of their own as quarterback Josh Freeman completed a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Vince Jackson. It began a first half that saw Freeman lead Tampa Bay to a 24-13 lead as their defense picked off Manning three times. The last pick returned 60 yards by Eric Wright. Manning committing the cardinal sin for a QB looking directly to the receiver he was trying to connect with.

Not helping matters were injuries to David Diehl, (knee) Domenik Hixon (concussion) and Ahmad Bradshaw (neck).

Said head coach Tom Coughlin about losing three key players on the offense, "it puts you in a state for a while where you're trying to settle down. It happened so quick. You gotta give people credit. People really did step forward and play very, very well under the circumstances and gave us a chance to win."

When the Bucs extended the lead 27-13 it looked like the Super Bowl Champions would start the year losing their first two games. New York crept within eight after two more Tynes field goals (36, 38) ending the third and starting the 4th quarter. Like the game against Dallas, they could not get in the end zone the two times they were within the Tampa Bay 20. Then, just like he did all of last year, Manning engineered a 4th quarter comeback leading to a 41-34 victory.

Down 27-19, Manning finds Victor (Salsa) Cruz down the right side for an 80-yard touchdown catch and run. Cruz played with a heavy heart losing his grandmother earlier in the week. His customary Salsa Dance in the end zone had a special meaning.

"Right as I was done, I kind of looked up and held my hands up to her, letting her know that one was for her," he would say after.

Manning did not stop there and the defense, sparked after safety Kenny Phillips blasted Vince Jackson on a pass attempt over the middle, got the offense the back quickly.

The Giants took the lead (34-27) when Manning marched them downfield as tight end Martellus Bennett came up big catching 2 passes for 47 yards. The last, a 33-yard touchdown grab. The lead was short-lived as the Bucs tied the game on a spectacular catch by wide receiver Mike Williams. With Tampa's QB Josh Freeman in the no-huddle, shotgun offense, he hauls a pass to the end zone in the left corner. Williams jumps over cornerback Justin Tryon and brings down the 41-yard touchdown. With 1:48 left and staring at the potential of overtime, Manning made sure that would not happen.

Eighty yards away did not deter Manning and the offense. In order, Manning hits Ramses Barden for 24 yards. Hakeem Nicks was next catching a 50 yarder to the Bucs 11. Andre Brown scampers down to the 2-yard line, falling down before crossing the end zone in order to keep the clock running. The Bucs allowed Brown to score on the next play giving the Giants the lead but also giving the Bucs one more chance to score with 31 seconds left. It almost happened.

Freeman, who finished his day throwing for more than 240 and two touchdowns, finds Jackson again for 19 yards. Williams strikes again, making what looked like a completed pass that would have given the Bucs the ball on the Giants 16. The play was reversed and ruled incomplete and Freeman's next pass was picked off by linebacker Michael Boley ending the game.

It was a tale of two halves for the entire team. Three Manning interceptions led to a 24-13 deficit as the defense struggled. Then, sparked by the Phillips blast, the whole team woke up. Manning finished throwing for 510 yards the second most in Giants history. Nicks and Cruz caught a combined 378 yards. All this after losing three important parts of the offense.

Said Coughlin: "the first half was very disappointing. A lesser group of men I think would have had trouble. I'm just happy to be one and one."

Giants Hold Off Buffalo

October 16, 2011

East Rutherford, NJ - They were not going to let it happen two weeks in a row. The New York Giants were in the same situation against the surprising Buffalo Bills (the real New York State team) that they were in against the Seattle Seahawks last week. This time, instead of turning the ball over in their last possession, the Giants put the winning points on the board, courtesy of a Lawrence Tynes 23-yard field goal with just over a minute left in the game. Still, like they did last week, the Giants once again made a crucial mistake with a chance to put 6 points on the board before the winning kick.

Last week, in their last drive that would have given them a lead over Seattle, they got called for a false start at the 5-yard line. Eli Manning would then force a pass to Victor Cruz and the pass tips off his hand and gets returned for a touchdown. Sunday at the 17-yard line, tackle Stacy Andrews gets for a false start. This time, they decide to keep the play calling simple, leading to the winning score.

The Giants put the first points on the board the second time the offense took the field. Starting on their own 31, Manning (21-32, 292 yards and no turnovers) leads them to a 9 play, 69-yard drive ending in a 1-yard touch down run (the first of 3) by Ahmad Bradshaw. He would finish his day with 104 yards on 26 carries, his first 100-yard day this year. With Brandon Jacobs missing his second straight game with a sore knee, the Buffalo defense keyed on Bradshaw but the offensive line did a good job of opening holes. Said Bradshaw, "I'm very proud of our offensive line. The front did a great job for me to push it in on the goal line."

The Bills didn't waste any time showing everyone why they are one of the top teams in the AFC. They scored quickly on their next 2 possessions in a big way. First, Fred Jackson rumbles 80 yards tying the game at 7. The last couple of yards, he stumbles, but the Giants defense could not bring him down. Then, at their own 40, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick connects with Naaman Roosevelt for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Both plays took less than 3 minutes. It could have set the tone for the defense for the rest of the day, but Big Blue tightened up the rest of the day. Said head coach Tom Coughlin, "we had a couple of lapses on defense with the big plays. But we settled in there."

New York took a brief 3 point halftime lead (17-14) after Tynes' second field goal and Bradshaw's second touchdown run, but the Bills sent the teams to the locker room tied at 17 after a Rian Lindell long 49-yard field goal. Buffalo out-gained the Giants in the running game 125 to 46 but Fitzpatrick only threw for 99 yards. The Giants defense had to make adjustments while the offense needed to open up the running game. They did both in the second half.

The Giants took a 7 point lead (24-17) midway of the third quarter as the tandem of Manning and tight end Jake Ballard continue to click. In the 10 play, 75-yard drive, they connect on passes totaling 31 yards. It ends in Bradshaw's last touchdown of the day. Ballard finished his day with 5 catches for 81 yards. Said Ballard of the chemistry between the two, "you do what Eli expects of you to do and you're going to get the ball." With Fitzpatrick moving the ball from their own 41, he looks for Stevie Johnson deep down the left sideline. Corey Webster steps in front for the interception (his first of the day) returning the ball to the Bills 48. Looking like they would put more points on the board, Tynes attempts a 51-yard field goal that gets blocked. The lead would stand up until the fourth quarter as the defense did not give up any points in the third.

Buffalo would not go away quietly. They came from behind trailing New England by 21 points so it surprised nobody when Fitzpatrick moves them 51 yards in 11 plays after the block as Johnson catches a 9-yard touchdown pass. Webster would then pick off his second pass of the day as Fitzpatrick tested him again looking for Johnson on another deep pass to the left side. Not only did Webster snatch the pass but as he is returning the pick, Johnson gets called for a 15-yard face mask penalty. The Giants begin their game-winning drive on their own 27. A beaming Webster talked about his defense. "We didn't start off well early on giving up the two big plays. Other than that, we kept on fighting and ultimately we got the 'W'."

The New York Giants have the luxury of a bye week hoping they can get healthy on both sides of the ball. Jacobs' knee is a real source of concern. Justin Tuck is still battling neck and groin problems. First-round draft pick Prince Amukamara ran last week and might be ready when they face the Dolphins at home October 30th. Wearing a Yankee cap, Ballard said it best when asked how important it was to win going into the bye week. "It's huge. If we had lost this game, we would have had to wait two weeks to play again."

East Rutherford, NJ - It's not the way the New York Giants wanted to start against the lowly, winless (0-4) Cleveland Browns. After winning the coin toss, Big Blue coughs up the ball as running Ahmad Bradshaw gets hit by his own lineman Chris Snee.

Said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin of the play, "when you look at the tape, it was a little more freakish than you think."

Two plays later, Trent Richardson runs 15 yards for the touchdown. The next time Cleveland touches the ball, rookie QB Brandon Weeden finds wide receiver Josh Gordon as he runs right past Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn for the 62-yard touchdown. First, safety Stevie Brown creeps towards the line of scrimmage anticipating a run play, then the other safety Antrel Rolle was late helping out in the coverage. Blackburn could not catch up with Gordon. Before the 79,911 sold out crowd could get settled, the home team trailed 14-0.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning would cut the lead in half (14-7) after taking the team on an 11-play, 92-yard drive ending in a three-yard touchdown pass to Victor (Salsa) Cruz. Manning completed six passes for 61 yards. Cleveland also contributed to the drive with a 13-yard pass interference penalty. The Browns extended the lead (17-7) on a 32-yard Phil Dawson field goal. New York used its next long drive to put more points on the board but could only come away with a Lawrence Tynes 29-yard field goal cutting the Browns lead to seven (17-10) and Manning's last pass falling incomplete to receiver Rueben Randle.

The Giants defense had given up 156 yards in the air to Weeden and 56 yards on the ground by Richardson to start the game. Cleveland was looking to add to those stats and extend the lead as they moved down to the Giants 25 yard line. That's when the defense came up with a big play. Weeden overthrows Gordon into the hands of Brown who returns the pick 26 yards. Manning then finds Randle on a deep pass for 36 yards before Bradshaw runs it in from four yards out tying the game at 17.
New York's special team then gets into the act when they kick off next to the Browns. Will Hill forces a Joshua Cribbs fumble and that man, Brown, scoops it up on the 29-yard line. At 1:27 later, Manning finds Cruz for the second time all alone in the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown. Penalties continued to hurt Cleveland on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they committed two miscues ultimately giving the ball back to New York with .17 left in the half. After a 12-yard run by Bradshaw, Manning looks to hook up with Randle again as Browns Buster Skrine is called for pass interference. Tynes then kicks his second field goal of the day giving Big Blue a 27-17 halftime lead.

The Cruz (Salsa) show continued in the third quarter after their first possession. From the shotgun, Manning (25-37, 259 yards, 3 TDs) once again finds Cruz alone in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass, his third and final for the day. With the lead 34-17, Cleveland looked to make a run similar to the way they began. The Giants defense would not let that happen.

Big Blue allowed a Dawson 41-yard field goal reducing the lead to 14 (34-20) with a little more than a minute to go in the third. Manning would then throw his only pick of the day as the pass intended for Cruz gets popped in the air by Sheldon Brown. Usama Young comes up with the ball. Weedon gets the Browns down to the Giants 5 yard line looking to close the gap to seven when his next pass is intercepted by Blackburn in the end zone. On the play before, Weedon's pass attempt gets batted right back to him by Justin Tuck. Weedon finds tight end Jordan Cameron which would have been a 13-yard touchdown pass bringing the score to 31-27. The score was nullified for an illegal forward pass. Six plays later, Giants rookie David Wilson puts the game with a 44-yard touchdown run for the 41-27 final score.

It was a record-setting day for Bradshaw, as he finished the day with 200 yards on 30 carries. Cruz salsa'd his way to three touchdown catches for a meager 50 yards. Big Blue got major contributions from back-ups on sides ball. Offensively, Little used wide receiver Rueben Randle pitched in with six catches for 82 yards, while Brown shook off his early miscue to come up with big plays on the defensive side.

They will need all of those components when they travel cross-country to face the San Francisco 49ers the team they beat last year on their way the winning the Super Bowl.

East Rutherford, NJ - With major areas in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut still under ruins due to Hurricane Sandy, the New York Giants wanted to give temporary relief to their fans when they hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. After beating the Dallas Cowboys last week to improve to 6-2 (2-2 in the division) Big Blue wanted to start the second half of the season on a good note knowing that under head coach Tom Coughlin they have played 64 second half games losing 37 of them. In the first eight games under Coughlin during those years, they played 72 games winning a stunning 53. So what team would show to face a Steelers team making its first appearance at the Met-O-Lands?

The Giants second half struggles seemed to continue at the start as they couldn't generate anything offensively. When it looked like they were ready to make a move, Eli Manning threw his customary interception into double coverage.

Manning had moved the team from its own 16 to the 41-yard line before trying to get the pass to Victor (Salsa) Cruz. The Steelers would take advantage of the turnover as QB Ben Roethlisberger marched them down using 11 plays, 58 yards ending in a 4 yards touchdown pass to wide receiver Emanuel Sanders.

The Giants would then go on an eight play drive going 62 yards ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown. The drive was aided by a pass interference penalty by Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis. With the ball on the second-yard line, Manning tries to thread the needle to Cruz which falls incomplete. However, Cruz is hit late by safety Ryan Clark giving the Giants first and goal. Cruz laid on the turf with bruised ribs, left the game on his own power before returning the next time New York had possession.

New York took its first lead of the game (14-7) as the defense, possibly spurred on by the Cruz late hit, forced a Roethlisberger turnover. At the Giants 32, Big Ben goes back to pass and is hit by Osi Umenyora. Linebacker Michael Boley picks up the fumble and scrambles 71 yards for the score. Pittsburgh would add three more right before the half after New York's Lawrence Tynes missed a 51-yard field goal. Roethlisberger completed two passes totaling 47 yards setting up the Shaun Suisham 30-yard field goal cutting the lead to four (14-10).

The Steelers looked like they were going to strike at the start of the third quarter when Chris Rainey returned the kick-off 68 yards to the Giants 35 yard line. They would gain only one yard on the drive as Justin Tuck came up with his second sack of the game forcing them to punt. They extended the lead to seven (17-10) after Manning hits tight end Martelllus Bennett for 33-yards. It sets up a Tynes 50-yard field goal.

Roethlisberger then had a Manning moment of his own resulting in an interception. Giants cornerback Corey Webster steps in front of Mike Wallace to pick off the pass, leading to Tynes' second field goal of the day (23 yards) to put them up 20-10. That lead was short-lived in a very fast way as Roethlisberger, from the shotgun hits Wallace on a quick pass and he turns on the afterburners.

Fifty-one yards later, he's in the end zone bringing the Steelers within three (20-17). The Giants gave Pittsburgh the ball back failing to get a first down on their next possession and looked to tie or retake the lead. With the ball on the Giants third-yard line, Pittsburgh sets up for a game-tying field. Instead, they fake it as holder Drew Butler flips the ball behind to Suisham who is tackled for a one-yard loss. Another New York three and out gave Pittsburgh another opportunity to take the lead and this time they didn't waste it.

The Steelers began on their own 49 with 8:55 left looking to atone for their earlier miscue. Roethlisberger uses a combination of runs (35 yards) and passes (29 yards) to move them downfield before Isaac Redman runs it in from one yard for the game-winning score. With 4:53 left and Manning's recent history, the Giants were once again thinking about a last-minute victory. Unfortunately, it would not be as Manning (10-24, 125 yards) could not pull it off as once again like the previous possessions of the last quarter they could not convert a first down. With all that, the Giants were still in the position to get another shot if they could get the ball back as they had all 3 timeouts left. Pittsburgh had the ball with 2:55 needing one first down to come away with the win. The Giants used two of their timeouts stopping the Steelers has the only gained one yard. That's when Roethlisberger finds Redman once again for 16 yards. Game over.

It was an emotional day for the Giants, knowing they were playing in front of fans, many of them who would leave the stadium to return to no heat, hot water or electricity. Big Blue wanted to send them home on a good note.

Said head coach Tom Coughlin afterward, "what we were trying to do was give them a few hours of enjoyment in a very, very difficult time. To let them know we understood the mass difficulties that were facing our neighbors. That many, many people were fighting to survive. I hope the message came through we were trying."

They came up short.

Giants' Picks Appear to be More Strategic

The 2013 NFL Draft held last week at Radio City Music Hall further revealed the differences between the direction of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. For the Giants, they continue to show an organization that has been a model of consistency on and off the field (with the exception of the Plaxico Burress fiasco), while the New York Jets continue to be a dysfunctional group from the owner to the head coach and its players. The new General Manager John Idzik is trying to change the direction of the team so he can't be judged at this stage. Suffice it to say though, the moves he's made up to this point has all the making of adding to the soap opera atmosphere.

Two years ago, the New York Giants won its second Super Bowl under head coach Tom Coughlin. Last year, they failed to make the playoffs. Looking to shore up its offensive line, General Manager Jerry Reese took Justin Pugh the 6-4, 301lbs offensive lineman from Syracuse University with its first pick hoping not only to protect Eli Manning but to improve the team's running game. Reese then got defensive with his next two picks taking Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins 6-2, 320lbs and defensive end/linebacker Damontre' Moore Texas A & M 6-5, 250lbs. Moore does come with some baggage, as he was arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession. Reese is hoping his age (21) and playing with veterans will enable him to excel in putting pressure on opposing QB's. With Manning having a relatively healthy career, Reese raised eyebrows by using its 4th pick to take QB Ryan Nassib another 'Cuse alumn. Reese compared him to Andy Dalton and says Nassib has the "it" factor. At 6-2, 227lbs Nassib led the Orangemen to an 8-5 record and defeated Geno Smith (more on him later) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Two of the last three draft picks were on offense with guard Eric Herman 6-4, 320lbs from Ohio and running back Michael Cox 6-1, 214 lbs from UMass. Reese is hoping he can be a sleeper as scouts like his size and are impressed with him catching the ball out of the backfield. The last defensive pick was Richmond's safety Cooper Taylor 6-4, 228lbs who comes to the team with health issues including a knee injury in 2011 and a pec tear in 2012. His size intrigued Reese as he could also be used in a linebacker role.

Said Reese, "I can envision him on special teams with that size and speed."

The New York Jets drafted Mark Sanchez four years ago and he immediately proceeded to take them to within one game of the Super Bowl in his first two years. The "Sanchize" was thought to be a Jet for the rest of his career. The last two years has turned into a recurring nightmare for him and the team. They have missed the playoffs the last two years as the roster has been turned into a virtual minor league team due to injuries and trades. Most recently the trade of the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis. The Tim Tebow experiment was a total bust and his saga ended Monday when he was released by the team. That said, Idzik took 6 of 8 offensive players hoping that whoever is under center will be able to get the team in the end zone. A place they hardly saw all of last season.

The Jets began its draft night by taking CB Dee Milliner replacing Revis and hoping he can be at least half the player Revis is. That may be possible as Revis is coming off major knee surgery. Milliner, 6-0, 201lbs from Alabama will have a tremendous amount of pressure on him especially if Revis comes back strong with his new team Tampa Bay. At 6-3, 294lbs, Sheldon Richardson from Missouri was taken as their second pick. The defensive lineman has been touted as an effective run stopper. The Jets next six picks were all on the offensive side of the ball. The team had Radio City buzzing when they selected QB Geno Smith 6-3, 218lbs from West Virginia. Smith is now part of a QB roster that includes Sanchez, newly signed free agent David Garrard, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms. Sanchez will clearly have to show signs of his first two years if he wants to be the starter when the season begins. At least Sanchez will not have the circus that was Tebow around him. Whoever is under center, they will be hoping that the final draft choices will lead to an effective passing and running game. Offensive guard Brian Winters 6-4, 320lbs from Kent State, offensive tackle Oday Aboushi 6-6, 310lbs from Virginia and offensive lineman William Campbell 6-6, 310 from Michigan rounded out the picks. How they handle the transition from the college game to the pros will remain to be seen. The Jets like Aboushi's versatility and although listed as an OL, Campbell is expected to be switched to the defensive side of the ball. Trading with New Orleans, the Jets picked up four-year veteran running back Chris Ivory. Idzik likes the fact that Ivory is a "physical runner" who has size and speed. Ivory will be looking to take over from the often injured Shonn Greene who was not retained by the team after declaring for free agency.

The 2014 Super Bowl will take place at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey the home shared by both the Giants and the Jets. No home team hosting the game has ever played in the game. By the recent actions of both organizations, one team, the New York Giants has a better chance of getting to the big game. Unfortunately for the New York Jets, they will be lucky to finish the year with a decent record. The Giants have to deal with the re-signing of wide receiver Victor Cruz which could affect how successful they could be. The Jets, aside from the quarterback issues, are also dealing with Santonio Holmes coming back from a major injury and not having a possession receiver.

Training camp for both teams is going to reveal so much more than their draft picks.

What will be the aftermath following the Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor fight?

WHAT'S THE 411SPORTS: POPPIN – PART 1

• The Jimmy Butler saga continues. At last count, the Miami Heat and the L.A Clippers were vying for Jimmy Butler’s services. What’s complicating Butler’s trade is that Gorgui Dieng must be part of the deal.

Q. Will the Minnesota Timberwolves deal Jimmy Butler before the start of the NBA season?

Kyrie Irving is the man! First, Jimmy Butler, now it’s Anthony Davis that says he wants to play with Kyrie Irving in Boston. According to league sources, Davis will probably end up with the Celtics or the Los Angeles Lakers.

Q. Let’s dream a bit, can you imagine a Boston team with Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Anthony Davis? If not Boston, where would you rather see Anthony Davis?

• Billed as one of the most significant fights in UFC history. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor had their very anticipated showdown and Khabib won.

Q. What was not expected was the fight’s aftermath. Should the fight organizers have been more prepared for a potential melee?

WHAT'S THE 411SPORTS: QUICK BITES

LeBron James was considering joining the Toronto Raptors before he finalized his move to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, it seems both sides were interested in reaching an agreement.

• The family of NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau has settled their wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL. Seau died from suicide at the age of 43; his death followed a long battle with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head.

Drew Brees passes Peyton Manning as NFL's all-time passing leader: New Orleans Saint quarterback Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning's record of 71,940 career passing yards with a 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith in the second quarter of a game against Washington. New Orleans defeated Washington 43-19, ouch!!!

WHAT'S THE 411SPORTS: POPPIN – PART 2

• Former Louisville men’s basketball head coach, Rick Pitino, has been promoting his new book, entitled Pitino: My Story. He says he never wants to coach basketball again.

Q. Do you believe Pitino?

• Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul has taken offense to the criticisms of fellow teammate, Carmelo Anthony, calling the criticism of Melo disrespectful.

Q. Do you think Chris Paul is right that the media may have gone too far with their assessment of Carmelo Anthony?

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

What’s The 411’s Photo of the Week is a photo of Saquon Barkley making a touchdown during the New York Giants game against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium.

NY SPORTS REPORT

• We have a preseason look at the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.

• New York Yankees Update: The Yankees made it into the ALDS and will play the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 tonight.

• Discord has visited upon the NY Giants.

Q. Are the New York Giants on the brink of falling apart?

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Odell Beckham, Jr., a game changer, didn’t get enough looks in the Game 2 loss

KEISHA: So we're going to move from the hard courts of the NBA and we're going to go to the Gridiron of the NFL and we are going to talk about one of our favorite teams and one of our favorite players at least mine, and that's Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., told Kimberly A. Martin of Yahoo Sports that he feels like he can help out much more in the passing game to steer the Giants in the right direction.

Mike, do you think that Odell Beckham is being utilized enough or is it the team's 1 - 2 to start that is causing Beckham to search for answers?

MIKE: Well, the first game he was certainly utilized enough in the game against Jacksonville, no question about it against the toughest defense in the NFL, right now, that certainly he played a very good game and I thought that they gave him enough opportunities throughout that game. And then, of course, Game 2, I didn't think that they gave him, they looked at him enough in that loss where they lost that second game of the season. But, I felt like in Week 3, the offense was really clicking on all cylinders. And, I think a lot of that had to do with the offensive line. If the offensive line is playing well, there's no question that Eli Manning is going to get more and more opportunities to get Odell Beckham, Jr. the ball. The guy is a game changer. There's no question about that and they need him, you know, they certainly need him but Keisha what I'll finish with is it's going to be a tricky road for the next month of the Giants, you know, they face the New Orleans Saints and then they go and they have to play the Carolina Panthers they back that up on a short week against the Philadelphia Eagles and then play the Atlanta Falcons. Now, these are four teams that wound up making the playoffs last season, 3 out of the last four years, I think three of those four teams with the exception of New Orleans has won the NFC.

KEISHA: I think the Saints were out last year right there.

MIKE: Yeah, exactly. They lost to Minnesota (Vikings). I think in that crazy last-second miracle game. But I think for the Giants this is going to be a tough road ahead and it's going to be a tough test for Pat Shurmur and Odell Beckham, but I think that the biggest question mark they have is the offensive line at that offensive line, which really started to come around and that win against Houston if it's starting to play a lot better than Odell Beckham certainly will be happy.

KEISHA: Yeah, definitely. I agree with you. I think that his, Odell's frustrations or his sentiment was based on that Dallas (Cowboys) game Week 2 where he only had four receptions in 51 yards. And I think you know the Giants offense has struggled scoring for the past couple of seasons. I mean the last time they scored 30 points in the game was January 3rd, 2016.

That's a lot of football to happen and you can't score 30 points when you have an Odell Beckham Jr., when you have a Sterling Shepherd. At one point, they had Brandon Marshall, but he was gone within like the first couple of games of the season but when you have an Evan Engram when there's talent that you know, it's one of the best receiving corps in an NFL in if you can't score 30 points, there's an issue. The offensive line really rebounded and played well on the third game against the Houston Texans and there was a shift in the line where Ereck Flowers was sidelined. He was benched and that was a sigh of relief and probably jubilation for most of us who just really are shaking our heads as to why Ereck Flowers has been allowed to start this long. But, the offensive line is key. And you know, I think Odell was probably, maybe if you read between the lines he was talking to Eli because Eli has overthrown him or short-thrown him or haven't seen him wide open.

So it's going to be imperative for Eli to be able to notice and fairly quickly because even with the better play from the offensive line, he's not going to have tons of time to just sit and scan for like 30 seconds, 10 seconds or whatever. So, you know Eli's got to make sure that he sees the field see it quickly and get and delivers the ball to him. And with Odell, it doesn't have to be a pinpoint precise pass just throw it somewhere in his area, he's gonna get it with those big hands he's got. And, then also, you know, it's going to be up to the offensive coordinator Mike Shula to make sure that he is running an offense that's going to get Odell involved. I mean and it doesn't necessarily I don't think you have to force feed it to him. I think because you have Sterling Shepard and you have Evan Engram who presents enough of a threat that you can pass the ball, so you're not forced feeding and showing your hand all the time.

So, you know, if the game against the Houston Texans was any indication that how the season's going to go, Odell is going to be happy, Giants' fans are going to be happy. We're gonna win some games, maybe make a push for the playoffs and all will be right in New York City.

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