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New York Giants News And Notes: Amukamara, Herzlich Impress Fewell

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Good morning, New York Giants fans! The big news this morning is that the NBA is back, but of course we are not here to talk about the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics playing when the NBA season opens Christmas Day. We are here to talk about whether or not the Giants will still be playing meaningful games by that time. So, let's get to it.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell spoke highly on Friday of Prince Amukamara and Mark Herzlich, the two rookies who made their debuts on defense last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Amukamara:

"I'll give Prince a lot of credit. When he went in for that first play, he wasn't actually supposed to go in at that point in time. Antrel Rolle was dinged on the play and we were going to put in Coe. At that point in time, Coe had been dinged a little bit too and Prince had his helmet on, he was ready to go. Prince took off and went on the field, got the defensive call and went and played the call. So he was ready," Fewell said. "We didn't tell him he had to be ready, he was ready to go. So this week I know he'll be ready because he's gotten more practice reps and as I told you guys over the last couple of weeks, he's done things in practice every week to get us excited.

"I'll just say this. I'm glad to have him in the fold now and I'm glad that he's playing more reps for us. The guy can make plays and that bodes well for us."

On Herzlich:

"First, I was really proud of him because we put him in a position to go out and really play in his first pro football game as a starter. Against a good run team, I thought Mark was physical. I thought he was commanding in the huddle. I thought he was decisive in his reads," Fewell said. "I thought he gained a lot of respect from his teammates by the way he played that football game. Obviously, there are some things that he was to work on and he will work on in that pass game. But I was very pleased with how he played the run and how he fit the run and how he commanded our defense."

Due to Will Beatty's detached retina the Giants will likely start David Diehl at left tackle and Kevin Boothe at left guard Monday against the New Orleans Saints, even though they aren't admitting that yet. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was asked Friday how much of a concern the shuffling is.

"You always have concern, whatever the position change is that takes place. Obviously up there it can have an impact everything. Not just passing game, but everything, run game, pass game, protection of the quarterback, what have you," Gilbride said. "You're concerned and you just hope that whoever you put in there is going to rise up and play the way you think he can, or he wouldn't be on the team. We wouldn't put him in in the first place. We're confident. We have some guys in the backup role who can play."

Valentine's View: On the plus side, can the line play worse than it did a week ago? Probably not, no matter who is in there.

Diehl, for his part, has toed the line and not admitted that he will be playing left tackle Monday. If he is, though, he says he is ready for the challenge.

"I've done this before. This isn't the first time, as they say, the old cliché, this isn't my first rodeo. This isn't my first time, if I have to, that I've had to move positions in the middle of the season," Diehl said. "That's part of being the type of player that I am. I'm an accountable guy. I'm a football guy. And I've always been a guy who will do what's best for this team to win games. That's the case come this Sunday. I'm going to out there and scratch and fight and claw and go out there with a chip on our shoulder and get ready to go."

Jacobs loves Giants fans
Brandon Jacobs did not exactly apologize to Giants fans.

But he seemed to make an effort—unsolicited—to reach out to them Friday,

"We got a lot of people that’s pulling for us," said Jacobs in response to a question about the Cowboys’ victory on Thursday. "We got a lot of great fans that’s out there that want us to go out there and do good. So for all the people that have supported us from Day One, we got to go out there and do our best for them."

Giants still control fate in the NFC East, but their recent play gives no one confidence they can win the division - NYPOST.com
Yes, the Giants have control, although they certainly appear to be losing it. Momentum comes and goes in a season, and at the moment it’s nowhere in sight for a team riding a two-game losing streak and making yet another injury-induced lineup change for Monday night’s game at New Orleans. The Saints are 4-0 in the Superdome and have the potential to blow out anyone in their indoor playpen. After that, the undefeated Packers come to town, so it could be a two-game deficit in the division by the time the Giants head to Dallas for the first of two games against the Cowboys in the season’s final month.

This is a team that desperately needs something to go right. Instead, the Cowboys pulled off another rousing victory the same day the Giants’ starting left tackle, Will Beatty, was having surgery to repair a detached retina. The way things are deteriorating, you have to wonder if the Giants somehow all got to the dessert table too late to get that last piece of pecan pie.

"You guys make it seem like it’s so bleak,’’ said Kevin Boothe, who will move in as the starter at left guard as part of the domino effect of losing Beatty. "But we’re still in a very good position, we’re in for a fight and there’s no better place you’d rather be. The guys in this locker room know everything we want is in front of us. We’re not dead. As crazy as it sounds to some, we’re not dead.’’