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New York Giants notes: Jacobs, Shockey and everything in between

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Lots of things to talk about today regarding our New York Giants as they prep for Sunday's showdown with the New Orleans Saints.

So much, in fact, that it's tough to know where to begin. I guess this is what happens when you step away for a day. Anyway, I think I will begin with ...

Brandon Jacobs stuff

Tom Coughlin was asked about Jacobs expressing frustration with his performance, and strongly defended the running back.

"I don’t know what people keep talking about turning around. The guy had some outstanding runs the other day. He had the numbers in terms of rushes. He had the usual number of power runs that he has. I don’t think there is anything for Brandon to be down on," Coughlin said. "This keeps coming up. I don’t know what the expectations are. He is a power runner and that is what he does. If you are talking about the goal line – it was good penetration and he didn’t get the opportunity to get into the end zone. But he will continue to work at that and continue to study and continue to look at himself. And he continues to be a vital part of our offensive team.

I happen to agree with the point ESPN's Adam Schefter made Tuesday, regardless of whether we think Jacobs has played to his full ability thus far in 2009.

SCHEFTER: "These days, teams need two backs to win. The Giants have them. To me, it doesn't much matter who's the workhorse. They're both going to play a major role this season."

Jeremy Shockey stuff

Great work by our man CJ Wednesday in discussing the volatile former Giants tight end. You had to know, however, that Shockey's name would come up again before Sunday.

Here is Saints' quarterback Drew Brees talking about Shockey.

"Shock’s been great. Coming here last year was tough for him because we signed him literally the day before training camp. He was just coming off that broken leg. He wasn’t cleared to play fully yet, then five days into camp he hurts his groin, then he’s got the sports hernia, ankle injury soon after that. It just never seemed like the guy was able to stay healthy. With him out, we just didn’t get a whole lot of time to spend together on the field to get the timing down," Brees said. "This offseason we put in a lot of time together and with the preseason. I feel like now I am confident in everything that he does and I feel like we are very much on the same page. I just see him getting better every week."

Saints coach Sean Payton was asked if Shockey, who has a team-high 18 receptions, is still the same dominant force he was early in his career.

"He is a big target and he is explosive. He still runs well," said Payton. "He is quick in and out of his cuts. Those are all things that you still see, especially now that he is healthy."

By the way, here is a Shockey vowing revenge on the Giants BEFORE they had even traded him. By the way, make sure you check Ernie Palladino's comments here Friday about Shockey. You will enjoy them.

Other Stuff
  • Domenik Hixon says losing his starting job at wide receiver won't be an issue. Ernie Palladino speculates that Hixon might return to his former role as the Giants primary kick returner this week. If you have been here a while you know that is the exact scenario I have been hoping for. Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks pushing Hixon into the background as a receiver, and allowing him to focus on what he does best -- return kicks -- makes the Giants more dangerous.
  • Steve Smith has begun to convince people around the NFL that he really can be a No. 1 receiver. "He's always open, always catches the ball and he scores touchdowns," said ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, who played quarterback for 14 seasons in the NFL. "I'm confused. I no longer know what a No. 1 receiver is. I say that sarcastically. "I mean, if that's not a No. 1, what is? The guy has been better than Plaxico Burress."
  • Adam Schefter expects the Giants' defense to acquit itself well Sunday against the Saints' high-powered passing attack. "The Giants' defensive line is good enough to make up for some of the injuries in the secondary. And defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan and defensive backs coach Dave Merritt should be saluted for the fine work they've done. The Giants' defense is as solid as their organization."
  • Has Mathias Kiwanuka been the Giants best defensive end this season?
  • Former Giants 'Touchdown Maker' Stephen Baker still making a difference
  • NY Giants running back Danny Ware wants to play 'so bad"
  • Robbins: Defense needs to be flawless