Good morning, New York Giants fans. Here are your Thursday morning news and notes.
Injury Updates: Prior to practice Wednesday only running back Ahmad Bradshaw was expected to be held out. Turns out that wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) and Jerrel Jernigan (hip) also did not practice. Nicks told reporters he ran full speed Wednesday, however, and hopes to do more on Thursday.
Center David Baas missed Sunday's game in New England with a knee injury, but thinks there is a "good chance" he will play Sunday. The game has extra meaning to Baas, who spent the first six years of his career with the 49ers before signing with the Giants as a free agent this season.
"I think it will be kind of cool," Baas said. "It's going to be great, I think. It's going to be exciting. I don't think it's going to be weird. You're going to see those guys you played with and I'm happy for them. Even though I'm happy for them, it's a football game. It's going to be a battle."
The Giants know they face a challenge in San Francisco running back Frank Gore, who has five consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
"He's a great running back. I faced him in my career, I was in that division. He runs hard. He has the heart of a lion," said safety Deon Grant. "He just does things right. He knows how to read the holes. He knows how to fall forward when it's time to tackle him."
Antrel Rolle told reporters he has known Gore since their Pop Warner playing days.
"We all know what Frank can do with the ball in his hands. He is a very efficient, powerful and smart runner. His vision is excellent and he is an all-around back that you want in your backfield. We have to stay in our keys and be disciplined in what we do, play with attitude and physical attack mode," Rolle said. "It is going to take all of us to focus in on our keys and make sure that we are technically sound."
Giants' coach Tom Coughlin was effusive in his praise of the 49ers when he spoke to the New York media on Wednesday, and continued that theme during a conference call with Bay area media.
"They offer a lot of challenges. You're talking about a team that's 7-1, that has outstanding special teams play, defensively they're ranked in every category you can think of that's important - points allowed, red zone, they allow only 70 yards a game rushing," Coughlin said. "They have taken the ball away from the opposition some 19 times. The offensive team is sixth in the league in rushing. They do a great job of setting most of the things up that they do off of some kind of run action. Lots of combinations of personnel, so they cause a lot of concern and require very good preparation."
With a matchup against the Giants looming in two weeks, defensive lineman Justin Tuck has chimed in on what he thinks has gone wrong for the 3-5 Birds.
"I think everybody expected a little bit more," Tuck said on The Jim Rome Show, via the New York Post. "I think with the talent they have on their football team, they can be one of the most dangerous teams in the league. When they put it together, the thing I was quoted saying is, 'You can't buy championships.' And what I meant by that is, you've got to build chemistry.
"You can have all the talent in the world, [but] if you're not out there playing as one, if you're just 11 individuals, you're not gonna beat anybody in this league," Tuck added. "And I think right now that's some of the issues that they're having. Nobody can question how talented they are, nobody can question how good of a coach Andy Reid is. Everybody knows that. You need more than talent in this league, because every team has talent."
No more happy returns for Devin Thomas | New York Daily News
Devin Thomas found a home with the Giants as a kick returner this season. But now, he's lost that job.
Thomas told the Daily News that the Giants have demoted him as starting kick returner. They will likely go with rookie Da’Rel Scott and D.J. Ware as their primary return men on Sunday against the 49ers.
Thomas has mishandled a kick return in two of the last three games. After he muffed a third-quarter kickoff catch against New England, he was briefly replaced by rookie Jerrel Jernigan.
"I can be a stud back there," Thomas said. "But I'm a dud if I'm out there muffing returns."
"It caught me off-guard, but I'm not going to complain," he added. "I'm going to keep playing hard."
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