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Kiwanuka Has "No Doubts" He Is A Starter

Time for some non-Domenik Hixon related New York Giants news.

  • I mentioned the other day that Osi Umenyiora is playing the good solider about his current status as a second-team defensive end. Well, Osi's competition for that spot, Mathias Kiwanuka, is blunt about not making it easy for Umenyiora to reclaim the job.

    Kiwanuka also isn’t budging in his expectations.

    "No. 1 is winning the games, No. 2 is staying in the lineup," he said of his priorities. "There are no doubts that’s where I belong. I’m focused, I feel like I’m capable, I’m ready to fill that role. After that, just play football and let everything take care of itself."

    That doesn’t mean Kiwanuka anticipates chaos and backstabbing among his fellow linemen.

    "We can maintain a friendly competition because that’s where we need everybody’s minds to be – in that position in order for us to get our best foot forward," he said. "You get everybody in the right mindset to know, ‘When I’m on the field, I’m the best player out there. I’m going to pass rush, I’m going to run stop, I’m going to react as such.’"

    It might be a "friendly competition," but it is serious business for Kiwanuka. He can be a free agent after this season, and he knows big numbers could mean a big pay day. And he has to be on the field for that to happen.

  • Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News was relatively unimpressed when he got a real in-depth look around the New Meadowlands Stadium earlier this week.

    It’s gray. Really, really gray. The gray is everywhere. All the seats are gray. The steel on the outside is gray. The concrete in the stairwells and on the concourse is gray. The press box is gray.

    The skies were blue, but I’m sure that’ll change in the fall.

    It’s not only the color scheme that jumps out, either. It’s the design. It’s big, gray, very boxy and lacking in charm. I’ve seen every NFL stadium in the country and a majority of the baseball stadiums, too. And while I concede that most football stadiums lack the personality and charm that baseball stadiums tend to have, many of them have something. This one does not.

    Maybe that’s because the Giants and Jets differed in their opinions on the design - - the Giants, from what I’ve heard, wanted something more retro, maybe in red brick, while the Jets were going for a more modern steel and glass look. Maybe because two teams share the stadium they simply had to go for neutral in every way to keep the peace.

    The result, though, is a stadium without flair or personality. It’s a big, gray box. Of course, the old Giants Stadium wasn’t exactly bubbling with personality either. It was known mostly for a swirling wind. But that one didn’t cost $1.7 billion either, much of which was funded by Personal Seat Licenses paid by the fans.

    I sort of agree with Ralph about the lack of personality. Without doubt, that is the price both the Giants and Jets are paying for sharing the building and needing for it not to look like it belongs solely to one or the other.

  • Amani Toomer was at the stadium Wednesday to promote his entrance into the New York City Marathon for charity. The former Giant great had a bitter taste in his mouth when he left the team, but says that is gone.

    "I'd been with the team for 13 years. If you have a 13-year relationship with anything, the breakup is going to be very hard," said Toomer, an aspiring broadcaster the Giants hired to co-host the draft-night broadcast on their web site. "But cooler heads prevailed. Everybody's happy and I'm excited to be back here and part of the Giant family. I don't have any regrets about what I did."