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Land of the Giants: Football on today's menu

After we seemingly debuted the Big Blue View Food Channel Thursday (Don't know what I'm talking about? See the comments in this post) I hope you guys are ready to get back to football today. I have a whole plateful of it for you.

  • With the rash of recent offensive coordinator firings around the NFL I know some of you secretly (or not so secretly) have been wishing Kevin Gilbride would join the list of the unemployed. Well, KG's not going anywhere. At least, he's pretty sure he isn't. (Oh, and I know I have just opened myself up to a slew of 'Fire KillDrive' comments).

"I checked the fine print of my contract to make sure that it was OK," Gilbride said.

KG was also asked what head coach Tom Coughlin said to him about the firings.

"He said, 'Just make sure you mind your p’s and q’s. You could be next.' (laughs) No, he didn’t say that," Gilbride said. "From a coach’s point of view it is somewhat disturbing because they haven’t even played a game, you gotta give them a chance, but that is the way it is. You just don’t know – it’s like a relationship between a man and a woman. Behind closed doors you don’t know what is going on."

  • Giants' middle linebacker Antonio Pierce was his typical, testy self in a meeting with reporters Thursday. Short answers, not much in the way of helpful quotes. He was much more expansive in a one-on-one chat with Michael Eisen of, though. Here is a snippet of Eisen's conversation with Pierce, in which AP is probably more candid than he has been about his performance in a long time.

"Physically, mentally and emotionally, I am as ready for this season as I have ever been," Pierce said today. "Physically, I feel great, no problems with my foot or whatever that was (in the preseason). Mentally, I feel like I'm very sharp. It seems like the more and more the years go on, the game is slower and slower. It's like I am in the matrix sometimes in my head, I can just see things a lot slower. Being in the same defense for three years and working with the same group of guys in this locker room on defense, it makes everything easier, because I know my surroundings. It's not an uncomfortable situation, like when I came in here in '05 - for one, fitting in and two, figuring out the guys around me."

Pierce led the Giants in tackles each of the last three seasons. It would certainly be four in a row had he not suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the 13th game of the 2005 season. He was a Pro Bowler in 2006 and a catalyst on a Super Bowl champion the following season. But Pierce is well aware of the perception some share that he has declined.

"I thought about it hard this offseason," he said. "I went back and I watched all 16 games I played in (he missed one game with a quad injury) and it's one of those things where I can't let two or three plays dictate my whole season. I asked was I consistent, did I give my team a chance to win every week? Hey, you don't win every play. There is not a player on this team that succeeds 100 percent in a game.

"I didn't look at this year as a redemption year. I look at it like I want to be considered as I always do, as one of the top five linebackers. You have to go out there and shoot for perfection. At the end of the day you know you are not going to get that in a game, but I have to set my standards and my goals a lot higher."

Good stuff from Eisen and, finally, from Pierce.

  • Back to Gilbride for a second. He was, of course, asked if the process of evaluating wide receivers is still ongoing.

"It definitely is. And I think certainly a lot of questions have been answered in our minds – I don’t want to necessarily announce it to them – exactly what we are doing and who is going to be where. But I think some things have clarified themselves. Some things are still definitely ongoing," Gilbride said. " And quite candidly, I think some guys are in a position they will probably play more this Sunday but as the year goes on maybe other guys will become more and more an integral part of what we are doing. At least, that’s kind of what I think is going to happen. ...

" I think we kind of feel like they all have their strengths and they all have their areas that we still need to get better at. And so that is why, as I said, I can see certain guys right now we think are ahead, but maybe in another five or six weeks maybe some other guys that we think maybe physically can be better at that."

That's a long-winded way of saying you could see a whole lot of Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith now. And, maybe, a whole lot of Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden later.

28. DE Osi Umenyiora -- Maybe the ballots were passed out immediately after the Giants' Super Bowl win.(Agreed. No way he is the Giants' best player).

46. DE Justin Tuck -- Way too low. At this point, I'd rank him ahead of Umenyiora. He's the most respected voice in the Giants' locker room. (Once again I agree. Osi still has the big rep, but I stand by my belief that Tuck is right now the better player).

50. QB Eli Manning -- I'd have him at least 20 spots earlier. And I'd probably put him ahead of McNabb.(Matt Mosley, you are my hero today. There is no way you can put Eli at 50 and McNabb at 22. I can see putting them in the same neighborhood, but I guess Eli will always be a guy who doesn't put up numbers and doesn't get much love).

53. G Chris Snee -- He's quietly emerged as one of the best in the league. Good to see him get recognized.(Snee is the best player on a Giants line better as a unit than as individuals).

  • RealClearSports aggregates NFL power rankings from a variety of sources and comes up with the Giants as the third-ranked team in the league by their formula.

  • Mosley also has five things to watch in Sunday's Giants-Redskins game.
  • Chase Blackburn will start Sunday in Michael Boley's spot.
  • Coughlin lends support to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

From the Giants:

When the Giants open the season at home Sunday against the Washington Redskins, Coughlin will wear a pin to help increase the public recognition about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The pin depicts a gold ribbon.

"It’s just my way of recognizing children who have cancer and what their families go through and how much support, both financial and emotional, is needed to help families that are in this predicament," Coughlin said Thursday. "There are so many wonderful and great causes. But this is one that is very close to our family. If in some way we can call greater attention to it by some small thing that we do, then so be it. I want the significance of the pin to be recognized."