Lots and lots to talk about this morning on the final Friday before football for our New York Giants. So, let's get started.
- Super Bowl XLII hero David Tyree has signed a one-day contract with the Giants and will officially announce his retirement today. I am happy to hear this. I have always hoped the Giants would take care of Tyree once he decided he was done playing, and this is a good step toward doing just that. By the way, the team announced that Ike Hilliard is also retiring as a Giant.
- Here is something none of us should be happy about, though realistically it is something we should have been expecting. Safety Kenny Phillips, trying to come back from microfracture surgery for an arthritic knee condition, will begin training camp on the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list. As optimistic as Phillips and everyone else has sounded, this is the reality with KP. The Giants can't take any chances, and they can't be sure what -- if anything -- they will get from Phillips this season.
We are just doing that ... our medical staff can properly assess exactly where he is and what type of restrictions, if any, have to be placed," said [Giants coach Tom] Coughlin, who spoke with beat writers individually on Thursday. "The only idea behind this is to, again, make sure we do go slow and we do use the utmost precaution getting started because we don't want a setback and we want to move him along gradually."
- The Giants waived third-round draft choice Chad Jones for the purpose of placing him on the Non-Football Injury list. They claimed Alex Hall, an undersized (weight-wise) 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles. This is sort of an interesting move since the Eagles signed Hall this off-season, looked at him and let him go thinking he does not fit in a 4-3 defense. From 'JasonB' over at the Eagles blog, Bleeding Green Nation, here is a quote from Eagles coach Andy Reid about the release of Hall.
"Well, you obviously go through the roster and see the guys that you feel don't quite fit in to what you are doing schematically. I think Alex Hall will be a very good outside linebacker in a 3-4 front. We worked him as a linebacker, and also worked him as a defensive end. After the evaluation we just felt like his best thing would probably be a 3-4, and I think Alex can definitely play in this league and be very successful, he's just got to get into the right situation."
During his whirlwind media tour Thursday, Coughlin admitted to Mike Garafolo that locker room leadership is an issue, and that he has challenged some of his veteran players to step up.
"I've talked to a lot of guys, Justin (Tuck) being one of them," Coughlin said by phone from his office at the team's facility. "The awareness thing is there. The idea of leadership is obviously consistency and it has to do with being able to lead by example and to be a guy who's a positive influence on his teammates, who has the ability to only think in terms of what is best for the team."
"The challenge is out there. And there are many guys who are capable," Coughlin said. "And I think it's going to take the hard work of training camp and the grind guys go through - how we perform, act and speak when we're tired and when the dog days of camp come in - that's going to prove the emergence of guys who have the best interests of our team at heart and can, from that respect, be leaders."
- Coughlin also expressed confidence that newly-signed veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck is ready to contribute despite being just seven months removed from ACL surgery.
"(Bulluck) is a no-nonsense guy, an outstanding communicator," Coughlin said. "(He'll say) a few words in the huddle and he's a guy that will be someone who will be a good example and will lead by example. So therefore, we'll start him in that capacity. He's a veteran player, he's been around, been in a lot of big games, he's had great excitement, he's also had great disappointment. He's been healthy his whole career with the exception of this injury here, and we have every reason to believe after having worked him out that he's going to do nothing but get stronger."
[NOTE: A reminder that Inside Football's Pat Traina and I hosted 'New York Giants Talk' Thursday night. We had long-time Giants beat writer Ernie Palladino as our guest, and we covered a wide range of topics. If you missed the show, click the player below to listen.]