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New York Giants News and Notes: Keith Rivers, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora And More

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. With the Giants working out this week at the Timex Performance Center, there are some things to discuss with media access to players and, on Thursday, to general manager Jerry Reese. Here are some snippets stemming from player quotes and more to start off your Friday morning....

Keith Rivers Ready for New Opportunity | Train-a Thought
"I’ve always been a great sideline to sideline player. In Cincinnati, I wasn’t able to do that. It was a situation where I was plugged in just to be just another guy as opposed to letting me do what made me the ninth pick and what made me special. So I’m excited to be with Coach Fewell; he’s a guy who lets guys play to their strengths and lets them excel."

I don't know why, but I have a funny feeling about this guy. A good funny feeling.

Justin Tuck vows to eliminate injuries by training harder after he 'laxed' last year |

And speaking of the CBA, that's part of the reason Tuck has been working hard this offseason. You see, he believes his injury-plagued 2011 season (in which he missed four games because of neck and groin issues and also had problems with his shoulder once again) was a result of not being in good enough shape. "I'm just working harder," he said. "Last year, with all of the uncertainty around football, I might've laxed a little bit in my regimens. But I guarantee you that won't be the case this year."

It's interesting to ponder how many of the Giants' many injuries in 2011 were due to the lockout. Not that we have much to complain about at this point, though. news: Giants ponder contract extension for Osi Umenyiora

Are we in for another spring and summer fueled by Umenyiora-based contract bickering, specialized last offseason? This time around, the hope is for a resolution, possibly in the form of a new deal. "There's been a little bit of talk," Giants general manager Jerry Reese told the New York Daily News. "It's on our plate."

Boley could be the man in middle of Giants defense
Yes, anything can happen, and Boley moving from the weak side into the middle of the Giants defense is certainly a possibility. The team recently re-signed Chase Blackburn but it’s unlikely he’s being penciled in as the starter, and left over on the roster are Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones entering their second NFL seasons. The real reason why a move by Boley into the middle makes some sense is the trade bringing Keith Rivers from the Bengals. Rivers has played on the weak side his entire four-year NFL career.

Giants' Travis Beckum further along in rehab than 'ACL buddy' Jake Ballard |
Forget that Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard are both tight ends on the same team who tore the same knee ligament in Super Bowl XLVI. Never mind their lockers are next to each other and that they’ve become close friends. Heck, don’t even listen to Beckum when he said he and Ballard are "ACL buddies." Pretend they’re two injured players on different recovery schedules. Because that’s precisely what the Giants’ doctors and trainers are telling them now that Beckum is far more advanced in his recovery.

Jones' comeback inspires teammates - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
Jones, whose jersey number is now 43, has done some jogging, light running, backpedaling and lateral drills while continuing to rehab his leg under the Giants’ supervision this week. While he hasn’t done much more than a rehabbing player on injured reserve might do at this time of the year, Jones has still impressed and inspired his teammates. The safety has noticed teammates watching him on the field and in the weight room. "It is inspiring man," said cornerback Terrell Thomas, who is rebounding from a torn ACL injury suffered last preseason. "It really is. Look at me, I am nothing compared to him. This guy [nearly] had his leg amputated and for him to be running around, the Giants giving him another shot, it shows so much respect that the Giants organization has for him and how much hard work he has put in to get to this stage."

Giants QB Manning looks forward to 2012, and SNL - Yahoo! Sports
It's preparation 101, which is exactly the way Manning is approaching his upcoming appearance May 5 as the host for Saturday Night Live. In typical Manning fashion, he asked NBC for a game plan before agreeing to become the latest sports celebrity to do the show. In a wide-ranging locker room interview on Thursday, Manning said he served as a sounding board for his brother, Peyton, during his free agency, laid low the past two months to rest after a long 2011 season and his goal now is simply to get himself ready for a season in which the Giants will be hunted as the league's defending champions.

New York Giants Justin Tuck Speaks Out Against Bounty Programs - The Daily Fix - WSJ
Star New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck was plagued by a stinging neck injury early in his Super Bowl-winning season. He spoke out against bounty programs, arguing that there is a major distinction between players who exploit the fact that an opponent is playing injured by being tough on him and players who intentionally hit an opponent with the sole intent of worsening the injury and taking them out of the game.

World Champion New York Giants' Justin Tuck Hosts 4th Annual Celebrity Billiards Tournament Presented By RXR - PR Newswire - The Sacramento Bee
New York Giants two-time Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck will host his 4th Annual Tuck's Celebrity Billiards Tournament presented by RXR, a leading New York Tri-State real estate operating company, on Thursday, May 31st. The fourth annual fundraiser will once again be held at Slate NYC and continues to be the signature event of New York's summer charity scene. The celebrity-packed competition will feature over 30 stars vying for the title as part of an effort to support a fundraising initiative for the Pro Bowler's major charity platform, Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy.

Speaking of worthwhile events.....

This year's Fordham Football Dinner is literally a "Mara-thon."Ann Mara, the beloved wife of late Giants owner and distinguished Fordham alumnus Wellington Mara, will be honored with the prestigious Walsh Award at the annual celebration of Rams football on Friday night, April 27, at Jumeirah Essex House (160 Central Park South) in New York City. Dan C. Somma (GSB '66) will receive the Mara Family Award. The Walsh Award and Mara Family Award both honor members of the Fordham football family for their dedication and contributions to the program. The Mara Family Award is named in honor of the family of Wellington Mara, the '37 Fordham product who served as a manager of the famed "Blocks of Granite" teams, while the Walsh Award honors the memory of William D. Walsh, Fordham College class of 1951 and namesake of the Walsh Athletic Training Center, as well as the Walsh Family Library on the Rose Hill campus.