Good morning fellow Giants fans. Today is the Friday before the first NFL Sunday and it's feeling pretty amazing--of course, that's if you aren't concerned with the mounting injuries to our defense. As Ed reported on Thursday, Justin Tuck is questionable for Sunday's opener against Washington with a neck injury. I'm trying not to speculate what it would mean if Tuck sits, and, well, "questionable" means it's 50/50 and it's better than "doubtful" or "out" right now. Meanwhile, we have a game to play. The Giants have been chomping at the bit to start this season after another dramatic late-season collapse in 2010, followed by a lengthy lockout and then a shortened preseason. And we as fans have been anxiously awaiting Sunday's kickoff as well.
Before I get to the stories floating around the Web, I wanted to pass along some interesting quotes from players and coaches Thursday.
Head coach Tom Coughlin, when asked how he can be so confident in rookie Greg Jones starting at middle linebacker:
"Because I know he's a physical football player that loves to play, wants to do right, that will spend the time and the energy. We all understand that he's going to make mistakes. Hopefully they are going to be mistakes that the other guy doesn't capitalize on."
Brandon Jacobs, on how important it is to establish the run:
"It is super important to come out right away and stuff it down people's throats and make them respect the run. We have Hakeem and Mario and Hixon and then they can get off as well. It starts with the running game always."
With Steve Smith down the turnpike, it is surely more important than ever for this team to run the ball effectively. And then there is this from our favorite special teams coach, Tom Quinn, when asked who might return punts:
"There's a couple - Jernigan, Hixon, we rep a lot of guys back there. We're comfortable with all of them."
I'm not sure what bothers me more, the fact that he's using the J-word, or that we're still using the Q-word.
Redskins look to end Giants’ domination - The Insider - The Washington Post
The Washington Redskins have lost nine of their past 10 meetings with the New York Giants, and they haven’t beaten New York at FedEx Field since 2005. Why? New York defensive lineman Justin Tuck says the Giants just have the Redskins’ number. Tom Coughlin says his team has just been fortunate enough to edge Washington in those close meetings.
LaRon Landry will miss opener, blames himself for hamstring setback - The Insider - The Washington Post
Washington Redskins strong safety LaRon Landry confirmed that he will miss his team’s season opener against the New York Giants on Sunday after a setback in his rehab of a strained right hamstring. The safety also backtracked on tweets he posted that criticized the team’s medical staff. Instead, Landry took full responsibility for the setback, which he experienced while running Saturday.
New York Giants 2011 outlook: Echoes of glory ringing | SILive.com
Big Blue’s defensive front is one of the biggest reasons I think the team is headed for a big season after missing the playoffs for the second straight year despite a 10-6 record.
And that's why we need 91 out there. Well, a healthy 91. It also means JPP's role will be a much more important one.
Jets' Burress expecting an emotional return Sunday - Houston Chronicle
Elijah Burress wakes up every morning, finds his football-playing father and asks him the same question. "He wants to know, 'Is it Sunday yet?'" Plaxico Burress said smiling, thinking of his excited 4-year-old son.
Does anyone else find it interesting that Burress' kid's name is Elijah?
Michael Strahan: Tiki Barber's reputation likely scared NFL teams away - NFL - Sporting News
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber may be puzzled why no team wants to give him a shot at returning to the NFL at age 36 and after four seasons out of the league, but it's not that much of a mystery to one of his former teammates. Michael Strahan, who was Barber's teammate for 10 years on the Giants, believes the reason teams aren't interested in Barber is related more to his personality than his age.
Tom Coughlin's Giants are depleted by injuries, need to start well and beat Redskins
If the Giants don't beat the Redskins, there will be trouble at the Meadowlands. The questions will be fast and fierce. If the Giants can't beat the Redskins, seemingly the weakest team in the division, with Rex Grossman at quarterback, who can they beat among those first six teams on the schedule?
Exactly, which is why this first game is so important. For example, take the Packers/Saints game from Thursday night--two teams with potent offenses but also with stout defenses wound up beating up on each other, 42-34. And the Giants have both teams on their schedule this season. But it starts with Game 1 on Sunday. Let's get the party started, fellas.