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New York Giants' notebook, 06.02.09

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Here is a look around the Inter-Google at stories making the rounds after Monday's Media Access Day as our New York Giants continued OTAs.

Osi Umenyiora looked like his old self out at practice today and showed absolutely no signs of favoring his surgically repaired left knee. He said he felt like his old self, too. In fact, he added that he’s looking forward to picking up right where he left off in 2007, at the end of his Pro Bowl and Super Bowl championship year.

"I would hope so," Umenyiora said. "You never can tell what’s going to happen, but I still feel like I’m one of the best, if not the best defensive end in football right now. I feel quick. I feel explosive. I don’t feel like I should be stopped one on one. "If everybody else is doing what they’re supposed to do - like I anticipate them doing - then I’m going to get a couple of opportunities and I’m going to win those opportunities. I feel like I’m right where I need to be."

Umenyiora thinks the bitterness over how last season ended might be spurring the players to work hard and participate during OTAs.

"They should. I do -- and I wasn't on the football field," he said. "I was on the field, but I wasn't playing and I saw the way it ended. It was a team we should have beat and it was a team that, if the opportunity arises again, we will beat."

I love the fact that Osi is feeling good. I really don't love calling out the Eagles during a June OTA.

"No Plax, no Toomer -- it feels different without those guys," said Manning, "but I like this group. It's a competitive group. It's a group that works hard. Nobody's getting any special treatment. Nobody has an ego. It's a group that cares about everybody else. It's a good group." ...

And this is the big question that will hang over this team: Having decided not to pull the trigger on the (Braylon) Edwards trade (or one for disgruntled Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin), do the Giants have enough in this crop of inexperienced, underachieving wide receivers to get back to the NFC Championship Game?

"It's not exactly like starting over, but we are trying right now to get on the same page," said Manning. "I'm trying to learn their body language. I'm trying to talk to them on the field and in the huddle and in the meetings, trying to develop chemistry. You don't want any bad habits to develop."

And Manning said he's got to do some things differently, too. "There is more speed on the field, now, so I have to get the ball out quicker," he said.

For the first time in his career, Manning said he feels more like a coach on the field.

"With some of the young receivers and the young guys at quarterback, I'm just trying to get into it a little more with them and help them out and it's helping me out, too, getting to down the kindergarten level of the offense and keep the basics sharp," he said.