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New York Giants notes, 11.20.08

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Here are a few New York Giants notes for a Thursday.

  • Running back Brandon Jacobs expects to practice fully today, and says he should be ready to play Sunday despite injuring his knee last weekend against Baltimore.
  • New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro says the most impressive thing about the Giants might be their workmanlike attitude, and pays tribute to Tom Coughlin for instilling it.

The Giants, and their coach, are proud of what they did a year ago, and they are fiercely proud of what they've done across this season's first 10 weeks, but they are not impressed by it, they are not satisfied by it, and they don't expect anyone else to be, either.

The overpowering characteristic that has shaped these 2008 Giants is this: As much as any defending champion in any sport in recent memory, it would be impossible to know what they would accomplish unless you already knew what they had accomplished. Even the Yankees of 1998-2000, when you walked in their clubhouse, there was a regal air to the way they conducted their business. They were professionals and they weren't exactly braggarts, but there was a distinct, subtle message evident when you walked in their midst.

There is none of that with the Giants. To talk to them, up and down the roster, is to encounter a team that could just as easily have been 9-7 with a first-round ouster in last year's playoffs instead of a team that won three road games then staged the greatest upset in the history of the Super Bowl, then as an encore came roaring out of the starting gate 9-1. That is a tribute to a unique assortment of players.

And a greater tribute to a head coach who is quietly asserting a place for himself among all the men who have ever held his office in the history of the Giants. He is already one of the four heads on the franchise's Mount Rushmore, alongside Bill Parcells, Jim Lee Howell and Steve Owen, the other men to win championships going back to 1925. The longer he stays, the more games he wins, the more he maintains success, the higher on that list he is going to crawl.