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New York Giants News and Notes: Mini Camp Hump Day Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. It's Hump Day, so let's take care of some business first--there are just twelve weeks until the start of the 2012 NFL season. That's really not far away--it's maybe a family vacation, a few rounds of golf, some trips to the pool, maybe a few days of work and around 24 cases of beer away. Oh wait, I forgot how hot this summer was going to be--make it 36 cases. Anyway, mini-camp is this week, so there is a lot to talk about--the least of which is Jake Ballard being cut, and then snapped up by the Patriots like the last bowl of chowdah in the dinah. Seriously, have you ever seen teams act so quickly to grab our players? I'd be surprised if Ballard ever plays a down in New England--he's more likely an expensive informant. Let's see what else is going on this morning...

After being waived by NY Giants, Jake Ballard is picked up by New England Patriots - NY Daily News
Instead, the Patriots scooped him up. New England now owns Ballard’s rights and must pay his $540,000 salary this season. It seems likely that the Pats will stash him on their own PUP list, then move him to injured reserve and retain sole rights to sign him for 2013. The Giants have not said why they cut Ballard and tried to get him through waivers, rather than just carry him on their 90-man roster all summer. Presumably, they just didn’t want to use a roster spot on a player who would not contribute in 2012.

NY Giants' David Diehl's arrest for DUI is part of a larger problem, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell needs to act - NY Daily News
And in the aftermath of another drunk-driving arrest for pro football, and with history over the last 15 years where two NFL players driving under the influence have killed people with their cars, we hear that the league has tried mightily to give Commissioner Roger Goodell the right to raise the level of discipline for arrests such as these under the league’s Substance Abuse Policy, but that it is the players’ union that has resisted. Then Goodell needs to try harder, even if it means reopening the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Goodell has become as powerful as any of our modern commissioners, especially with the sweeping powers he currently has over bad off-the-field behavior in his sport. Are we supposed to believe that in the area of drunk driving by NFL players, it is the players’ union pushing him around and calling the shots?

Rivers eager to show he's a steal - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
The Giants like Rivers’ potential, which has been slowed by injuries. He missed all of last season with a wrist injury that required surgery. He has been hindered in the past by a broken jaw, a calf injury and plantar fasciitis as well. Now he is ready to prove what he can do when healthy.

I wasn't at mini-camp, but I have a good feeling about this guy.

Giants Minicamp Practice Report: Day 1 | Train-a Thought
The Giants? Well, they’re not exactly in bad shape as they knew they were going to be without Ballard this season. They hope that the trio of Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe, and rookie Adrien Robinson can come along quickly enough to replace the production at tight end. They’re also hoping that, at some point Travis Beckum, who’s recovering from a torn ACL, is able to come back at some point this year as well. And you thought the off-season was boring?

Justin Tuck beefs up facemask, adds diagonal bars -
New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck doesn't want to make it easy for you to grab his facemask. Tuck dealt with that problem last season, when he suspected opponents were attempting to aggravate a neck injury by sticking their hands in his helmet and yanking. That's why Tuck went with a busier facemask design last October that included six horizontal bars as opposed to the standard four. Now Tuck is going next level with the whole operation, apparently determined to turn his head into a fortress of solitude.

New York Giants camp outlook: Champs talk dynasty - NFL - Sporting News
The Giants firmly believe they are the team that finished the 2011 season on a rousing six-game winning streak—culminated by a 21-17 upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI—and not the team that was 7-7 late in the year and labored to even qualify for the postseason.

Dynasty? Isn't this a team that might not finish higher than third in the NFC East? That's what all the "experts" are saying.

Giants tackle Will Beatty's back issue due to strenuous work in weight room |
Will Beatty went from doing practically no physical activity following surgery to repair a detached retina last year to partaking in what he called "Olympic drills" at the start of the Giants’ offseason workouts. Beatty’s back quickly told him power cleans and such weren’t a good idea.

Giants' Shaun Rogers not worried about missed time in spring |
Some might have looked at the Giants’ re-signing Rocky Bernard on Monday as an indication they’re starting to think Shaun Rogers’ injured elbow will prevent him from ever playing a down for them. To which Rogers pretty much said today: Chill, it’s only summer. Er, spring.

New York Giants News: Team Needs to Address Running Back Situation - International Business Times
The departure of Jacobs now forces the Giant's running game to lean on the injury-prone Ahmad Bradshaw and their unproven first round draft pick, David Wilson. Other than Bradshaw, the six other running backs on the roster have a combined total of only 347 career rushing yards.

Eli Manning concerned for David Diehl following DWI arrest -
"I'm obviously concerned for my friend and feel bad that he’s going through this," Eli Manning told the New York Daily News on Monday. "I wish nothing had happened. I hope that everything gets worked out and that he's okay."

NFLPA running new version of 'Safe Rides' program -
and New York Giants offensive guard David Diehl was arrested in New York on Sunday for driving while intoxicated. In light of these arrests comes a report from Mike Freeman of that the "Safe Rides" program, which was made available to players who needed transportation home, was shut down.

Mike Sullivan says Bucs won’t try to copy Giants offense | ProFootballTalk
It’s reasonable to suspect the Tampa Bay offense will have a New York Giants lean. But new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said (via that such expectations would be premature. The former Giants quarterbacks coach emphasized the wide-ranging experience of the rest of the offensive staff, but the reality is Tampa Bay has some of the parts to copy the Giants template (which, if you’ve noticed, isn’t a bad idea).

The Top 5: Players Who Just Missed A Championship - SB Nation New York
Before we get to the feel-good, sentimental choices, we'll start with Barber, whose sudden downfall in his professional life, personal life and relationship with his former team and its fans is not such a feel-good, sentimental story. But he was a great player who retired the season before the Giants won their third Super Bowl. Barber spent 10 years with Big Blue (1997-2006),

Zulgad's Roundup: Sage Rosenfels left to wonder what might have been - Minnesota Vikings news | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities – Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers)
"It was difficult in the sense that I was rooting for them, but every game they won I was thinking to myself ... I could have been the holder in that championship game, because I was the holder, and I could have been Steve Weatherford running down the field and (saying), 'We're going to the Super Bowl,'" said Rosenfels, who is back for a second stint with the Minnesota Vikings.

But then we would not have had that epic Weatherford moment (gif please, Fester)

10 things you didn't know about Tech coach Al Groh |
Here are two numbers that should impress even the math-challenged. Groh is preparing for his 46th year of coaching in his 15th stop. A Super Bowl champion and a former head coach at Wake Forest, Virginia and the New York Jets, Groh is entering his third season at Tech.

Camp Good Days to host event featuring the New York Giants' Mark Herzlich - Greece, NY - Greece Post
Camp Good Days and Special Times’ Chairman and Founder, Gary Mervis, has announced it will host a special event, "Life, Cancer and the NFL…An Evening With NY Giants’ Mark Herzlich," at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, at the Rochester Plaza Hotel, 70 State St., Rochester.

Jason Witten's new nickname: Judge - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas
I just watched the New York Giants go and celebrate at the White House so I had to get out and practice. I know some of those other people were playing hooky the rest of the day."

Ha! Twelve weeks until you lose the season opener, Jason. Happy Hump Day, fellas.