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New York Giants Notes: The Who Loves Tiki Barber Edition

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[EDITOR'S NOTE: Notice the byline on the notebook this morning? That is a new one for Big Blue View. Mike Farley joins us today, and I am happy to have him here. Mike comes to us from GMen Den, and he will be handling these notebooks several days per week. Welcome him aboard!]

Good morning, Giants fans. We'll get to that headline in a bit. But first, let's find out more about the latest on Steve Smith's injury and how second year wideout Hakeem Nicks plans to deal with potentially being double-teamed on Sunday.

Giants WR Steve Smith could miss at least Sunday's game vs. Cowboys with strained pectoral muscle
It appears as if Giants slot receiver Steve Smith could miss at least the Cowboys game Sunday with what the team is calling a strained pectoral muscle sustained while extending for a ball over the middle during Thursday's practice. The worst-case scenario isn't good. Michael Strahan tore a pectoral muscle in 2004 and missed the remainder of the season. It's also the injury that landed offensive lineman Kevin Boothe on the physically unable to perform list until this week. The Giants are nervously awaiting test results.

That's not the best news we can hear on the Friday before the game. But we should hopefully know more today. Meanwhile, Nicks is not too worried about being the main man on Sunday. He had this to say Thursday when asked about Smith potentially sitting out:

"Personally, I don't change my game. I still do what I have to do, but I'm pretty sure coaches and guys will do a good job of stepping up." He was then asked if he (Nicks) could expect the same type of coverage with Smith out and he was nonchalant about it, saying "Pretty much, yes."

At least we know we have Mario Manningham on deck, who has also tortured the Cowboys over the last couple of years. But losing a Pro Bowl guy like Smith could potentially throw a wrench into the offense.

Osi Umenyiora, Giants defense are class of league in hard hits -
When Jon Kitna leads the Dallas Cowboys into New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday instead of injured Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo, it will be the latest reminder of the damage caused by a revived New York Giants defense.The Giants, riding a five-game winning streak that vaulted them into the NFC East lead at 6-2, made Romo the fifth quarterback they've sidelined this year when he suffered a broken collarbone during a 41-35 loss in their Oct. 25 NFC East matchup. He joined the Carolina Panthers' Matt Moore, the Detroit Lions' Shaun Hill and the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler and Todd Collins as passers who were no longer intact after being belted by Giants defenders.

It's been two games (and three weeks) since the Giants last knocked out a quarterback, and they are facing the same offensive line that allowed Michael Boley to essentially end Tony Romo's season. But have you noticed that none of the hits by the G-men have been dirty hits, ala James Harrison? Perry Fewell has these boys hitting hard and playing the game the way they are supposed to be playing it, without any of the fines, penalties or other bad words that go along with dirty play.

Oh, and how about this bit of advice Fewell gave Jason Garrett yesterday about coaching in his first game, and having his offense face Fewell's defense again:

"Have fun."

That's a good one.

North Carolina says former Tar Heels, current New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks; San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis among five who proved improper benefits - ESPN New York

Apparently Nicks thought it would be nice to "give back" and help provide gifts to lure players to his alma mater of North Carolina. The story is a bit confusing and doesn't offer much detail, but hopefully this thing won't blow up in Nicks' face. At least this line of the article was encouraging:

The school identified all five people in reinstatement requests sent to the NCAA as part of the process to clear players in the probe.

And what would a season be without another comment from the always-lovable Tiki Barber.

Tiki: Coughlin should be coach of the year right now - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
It wasn't long ago that Tiki Barber said Tom Coughlin was losing his grip on the Giants locker room. Now, with the Giants riding a five-game winning streak and atop the NFC, Barber is praising his old coach. When asked to make his midseason award picks for coach of the ear, the Yahoo! Sports analyst chose Coughlin on a video on Yahoo! Sports.

"You know what, five wins in a row after starting the season looking for his job, the coach of the year right now is Tom Coughlin," Barber said. One of the other Yahoo analysts jokingly screamed out, "oh no he didn't!" "He has the New York Giants playing unbelievable football," Barber said. "Oh yes I did. I've always said he is a good coach, now he is finally proving it."

Is the guy just an idiot or does he think he can gain back fan appreciation after that cascade of boos he was bathed in for the Ring of Honor ceremony last month? I think the bottom line is, we all could care less what Tiki says or thinks.

Enjoy your Friday, folks!