Lawrence Tynes was, to say the least, not happy after he took a helmet in the thigh that went un-penalized Saturday night when he had a field-goal attempt blocked. Tynes should be OK, according to various reports.
"What happened to the ‘defenseless player’ (rule)?" Tynes asked after the Giants’ 20-10 loss to the Panthers. "I mean, I don’t care if he tipped the ball or not, you still shouldn’t be able to hit a kicker with his plant foot on the ground."
"I never left my plant foot, so I don’t understand where the hell the rule is?" he said. "That was the epitome of the defenseless player."
If Osi Umenyiora was still wondering why the Giants haven't been in a rush to cave in to his contract demands, he may have gotten an answer Saturday night.
It was only the preseason opener, but for the first few minutes it was the Jason Pierre-Paul show for the Giants, as the second-year defensive end gave a taste of what might be coming. He had two sacks in the Giants' otherwise unimpressive 20-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, nearly had a third and forced a bad throw that turned into a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Michael Boley.
He was way too much for Jordan Gross, the Panthers' nine-year veteran left tackle, to handle. And he looked comfortable starting in Umenyiora's spot at right defensive end.
"I thought I played pretty good," Pierre-Paul said. "I knew what I was supposed to do and I was just out there executing. I came out, and I wasn't nervous. I knew the play calls, and I caught on very well. I just felt good. It felt very good."
At least, so says Newsday columnist Bob Glauber.
In many ways, the demoralizing events of the past two weeks play right into the emotional wheelhouse of Tom Coughlin . Don't think so? Well, we're talking about a coach who relishes going into a season with low expectations for his team -- at least from the outside -- and the convulsive roster upheaval that has turned the Giants into an NFC East afterthought is all the more reason for skeptics to dismiss the Giants.
Just the way Coughlin likes it.
The simultaneous whittling away of the Giants' talent pool and the Eagles' stunning post-lockout haul of free agents have made an already precarious opening to the preseason even more treacherous. Put it this way: Other than the people inside the locker room and diehard fans, you won't find many people giving the Giants even a puncher's chance this season.
Which is fine with Coughlin, because he prefers the underdog -- and understated -- role. Always has, always will. Coughlin -- whose favorite expression is "talk is cheap, play the game" -- no doubt will play to the skepticism again, employing the us-against-the-world theme he so often promotes.
Excellent Q & A with the Giants' starting strong-side linebacker. Here is a sample:
Q: Do you think this is a legitimate Super Bowl championship team?
A: I know this is a legitimate Super Bowl championship team. The only thing that remains to be seen is for us to go out there and prove it week in and week out. If we all stick together, and play unselfish football the way that we've been playing and the way that we're capable of playing, there's no telling how far we can go.
Q: Then what are people missing?
A: The day-to-day ... not being able to be in here and to be in meetings and to be out there on the practice field on the sidelines and watching the plays being executed. And then once the games start, I think people will have a better feel for what's going on.
Q: Why was this the most appealing spot for you in free agency?
A: Because this is a team that knows how to win, and wants to win. And I was here the year that we won a Super Bowl, and I know that the guys in that locker room know what it takes and are willing to do everything they can to get back there.