If anyone out there bought a Gerris Wilkinson No. 59 jersey, it's now a collectors item, as Wilkinson will be switching to 58 next season, after Michael Boley bought his old No. 59. Wilkinson is hoping that the change in jersey number will also bring about a change in fortune, as he's been beset by injuries over his short career. Matt Mosley offers his opinion, which I pretty much agree with, that Wilkinson looked like a very promising player during the Super Bowl season, but injuries have derailed his career to this point. Hopefully the number change coincides with some good luck on the health front, and allows Wilkinson a chance to compete for the starting middle linebacker job this year. No. 58, unlike many other numbers (as Ed has been detailing) has a pretty good history for the Giants, recently being worn by defensive leader Antonio Pierce, and even more notably worn by Carl Banks in the 80s and 90s.
Justin Tuck says that he likes being on the "hot seat" and claims that the Giants were spoiled last year. I get where Tuck is coming from, and I'm glad to see that he's trying to use the embarrassing finish last year as extra motivation for this upcoming season. Also, Kudos to Justin for never using his injury as an excuse. Call me crazy, but I think that if Flozell Adams hadn't (cheaply) tripped him, a healthy Tuck would have single-handedly swung one of those close losses to a victory (Arizona or San Diego, perhaps). A 9-7 season with a playoff berth would have looked a lot different than an 8-8 season that ended in two brutal blowouts. It wouldn't have fundamentally changed what the Giants were, though, which was a flawed team that got blown out far too many times to have been considered a contender. In a way, maybe it's better that Tuck was hurt and the Giants didn't sneak into the playoffs. So, thanks, Flozell...I guess.
Finally, Ed posted Tom Coughlin's reaction to John Wooden's passing the other day, but Tara Sullivan of NorthJersey.com has a more in-depth piece about what Wooden meant to Coughlin. If anyone read Coughlin's book about the 2007 season, they know that Wooden had a big influence on him, and this article is a nice reminder of that. R.I.P. Coach Wooden.