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New York Giants News And Notes: NFC Championship Week Saturday Edition

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Good morning, New York Giants fans! We have reached NFC Championship Weekend. One more day until the Giants face the San Francisco 49ers with a chance to go to the fifth Super Bowl in franchise history. Let's look around and see what is being written and said as the game approaches.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Friday that tight end Jake Ballard did not re-injure the PCL that kept him out of the final two games of the season. Rather, Ballard's knee swelled after "a procedure" was done to it on Thursday. Coughlin was asked how Ballard's loss would impact the Giants offense if he can't play.

"He is very important, just as all are. He has had an outstanding year and made a big catch the other night which was very important," Coughlin said. "He is a guy that is really growing in the position and gives us a big strong body blocking and has done a very good job of catching the ball and getting open."

Ballard said Friday that he "should be ready to go for the game."

During his meeting with reporters on Friday, Eli Manning was asked what he appreciates about Coughlin.

"He has good messages. He has good things to think about," Manning said. "He's gotten better over the years when there was a time to relax and smile you do see him smile a little bit more now than eight years ago when he first came in. it's probably because we are winning a few more games than that first year also. We've gotten along well. I think he knows that I work hard at preparing each week, I'm going to compete to the last snap and I think that's his mentality with a lot of things also - prepare, work hard and a lot of times that's all you can ask for."

Rex Ryan Predicts New York Giants Will Reach Super Bowl - SB Nation New York
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn't always shower his crosstown rivals with love. But Ryan said Friday that he expects the New York Giants to win the NFC Championship Game and earn a bid to the Super Bowl.

Ryan told WFAN's Mike Francesa that he believes New York should be able to disrupt the San Francisco 49ers using a four-man pass rush, and he predicts the Giants will meet the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.

2012 NFL playoffs -- New York Giants Antrel Rolle wasn't always outspoken, family taught him to be leader - ESPN New York
Antrel Rolle wasn't always outspoken, but his family taught him to be a leader.

Justin Tuck's mid-career growing pains - NFC East Blog - ESPN

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- What do you do when your success comes before your adversity? You win the Super Bowl when you're 24. - Punter Power: Steve Weatherford's Football Workout
Want to train like a football player? NFL veteran Steve Weatherford shows you why punters make great role models.

Note: Click the link and look at that body. That guy is an NFL punter, for crying out loud! No wonder his average yards per punt this season was the best of his career.

Giants secondary has shut down Sanchez, Romo, Ryan and Rodgers in run to NFC title game - The Washington Post
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There were times this season when the New York Giants’ secondary looked like baffled Little League outfielders who let a popup fall between them.

Giants-Patriots Super Bowl is drool-worthy - Jon Friedman's Media Web - MarketWatch
A New York-New England match-up in the Super Bowl would thrill TV and the NFL, writes Jon Friedman.

NY Giants Mario Manningham says other defensive backs better than Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson and San Francisco 49ers secondary - NY Daily News
Mario Manningham has hauled in a touchdown pass in each of the Giants’ first two playoff victories, meaning the 49ers’ secondary will have more than just star receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to contend with in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.