Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here are some stories of interest for you on a beautiful summer Saturday morning.
NFL.com news: Owners, players make progress, aim to seal deal next week
Various sources on both sides said Friday that owners and players are expected to reach an agreement in principle early next week, ending the longest work stoppage in league history without losing a game. All the major hurdles have been cleared, and the lawyers and staff for both parties will meet over the weekend to review the details and language of the potential deal.
Lockout fallout: Expect injuries to go up, level of play to go down - NFL - Sporting News
When the NFL lockout ends, the challenge of returning from a long layoff begins. How the lockout will impact the quality of football this season remains a strongly debated issue.
Da’Rel Scott was very eager for the chance to work with LaDainian Tomlinson — not just because of the teaching lesson the five-time Pro Bowl selection would provide but also because Tomlinson was Scott’s favorite running back growing up.
Except Scott left that last part out.
"I didn’t tell him that," the Giants’ rookie running back said with a laugh today after a workout at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville. "We’re kind of like buds now. I can’t tell another man that, so I keep that to myself.
"It was just a blessing, just having him help me out. He’s a great back, a future Hall of Famer. I was just very blessed to be there."
This has been the weirdest off-season ever for NFL rookies. At this point Giants fans should not care who players like Scott are learning from -- even if it is players from that 'other' team that shared New Meadowlands Stadium.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara of the Giants would be my pick here if the question were "Which one will have the best career?" (Which it could have been, since I make up the questions here, but I decided instead to focus on the immediate future.) I think the Giants are very good at easing players in, especially on defense, and providing them with a nurturing environment in which coaches and veteran players contribute positively to their development. I think you're seeing it already with guys like Will Beatty and Jason Pierre-Paul, who haven't taken on starter's roles yet but could in the near future as long as their development continues. And I think you'll see Amukamara blossom into a star in New York at a similar pace. But in 2011, I think you see him in a rotation with the Giants' other cornerbacks, and I'm not sure he'll be on the field enough to out-impact the guy I'm picking.
Make no mistake, Prince Amukamara is eager to begin his professional career. He champs at the bit. He still feels somewhat raw as a cornerback. After all, he didn't dedicate himself to being a corner until his sophomore season at Nebraska. Even so, he was the 19th overall pick, by the New York Giants, in last April's NFL Draft.
"I feel like there's a lot more I can learn, and I think that's scary, because that just means I can be that much better than I think am now," Amukamara said Saturday in Lincoln. "I definitely have a lot of upside and potential. That definitely excites me. I'm really excited to work with the Giants' staff and have an opportunity for them to accelerate and improve my knowledge of the game and my talents."
NFC East: Oldie but goodie - NFC East Blog - ESPN
Projecting the best 30-and-over player in the division at the start of the 2014 season.
Of the NFC East players who will turn 30 before the start of the 2014 season, I predict the one that will still be going the strongest is Eli Manning of the New York Giants.
It was no easy call, considering that the current quarterbacks of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are only one year older than Manning is. And there were, of course, other players and positions to consider. But the rules of today's NFL help quarterbacks first. Manning, like big brother Peyton, doesn't take a lot of sacks. The Giants have surrounded him with good receivers and a good running game and, I assume, will make sure to fix the offensive line before it gets too brittle. I also think Manning has shown steady improvement every year. (And yes, I know about last season's 25 interceptions. I think there's a decent chance that number was an aberration.)