Some great news on the injury front: Ahmad Bradshaw is back to running after offseason ankle & foot surgery. He said it was the first time in months that he has run without the nagging fear of re-injuring his feet. Bradshaw is one of the most important players for the Giants next year, after seeing their running game take a major step back last season. I've been on board the C.J. Spiller bandwagon as much as anyone, but it's important to remember that despite running on an injured ankle and an injured foot, Bradshaw ran for a career high 778 yards & 7 TDs, and much more impressively averaged 4.8 yards per carry. For his career, he's averaging 5.2 yards per carry over 253 attempts, which are pro bowl caliber numbers. If Brandon Jacobs continues to struggle next year, the Giants may have to turn to Bradshaw to be more of a regular running back, and his health will be an important concern all year. For what it's worth, Bradshaw says he believes the Giants backfield will be fine next year, amid rumors that the team may be targeting Spiller.
Speaking of talented young Giants with injuries: Hakeem Nicks says that he played last season with a broken toe. Nicks was easily the most impressive rookie wide receiver the Giants have had since I've been following the team, and the fact that he did it on a broken toe is incredible. Maybe I'm reading too much into Nicks' rookie year, but I really believe he can enter the upper echelon of NFL receivers as early as next season. I see him becoming the Randy Moss to Steve Smith'sWes Welker.
On another note: Matt Mosley wonders if anyone "remembers the Giants." I alluded to this in my last post, but the Giants have been awfully quiet this off-season. From a bloggers' perspective, it certainly makes the 'job' more difficult than it would be writing about any of the flashier teams in the division (or the other locker room). From a fans' perspective, however, I love it. The Giants front office knows it doesn't need to be flashy, it just wants to quietly put together a good football team, and let the talking be done on the field. I'm fine with that, even if it means I have to link you guys to news about Lawrence Tynes being honored by Scotland every now and then.
Finally, Eli Manning says he is "hoping for the best" for Ben Roethlisberger. Just another opportunity to remind you all that the Giants were pretty close to taking Big Ben before making the decision to trade for Eli. They're both very good QB's, both have experienced Super Bowl success, and both would have been good on-field choices for the Giants six years ago. But, with the latest allegations against Big Ben, you have to wonder: if he's running into all this trouble playing in Pittsburgh, what kind of trouble could he get himself into in New York. Whether you love or hate what Eli does on the field (and as a Giants fan it's become increasingly hard to be in the latter camp), you have to love the way he handles himself off of it. Ernie Accorsi took a lot of heat for that draft, but I think it's becoming pretty clear that he made the right decision.