Good morning, New York Giants' fans! It's the first game day of 2013, as the Giants face the Pittsburgh Steelers in their preseason opener Saturday night at Heinz Field. There is plenty to read to keep you busy until then. Here is some of it.
'Humbled' Josh Brown ready to kick for Giants
Giants' placekicker Josh Brown was amazingly candid about the road that led him to the Giants during an interview with me this week. Here is a small part of what Brown said:
"Whenever I lost the job with the Rams it was probably the biggest blessing I could have ever had," Brown said. "I needed to re-structure how I did life in general, and how I approached my kicking, how I approached the craft. I always worked hard, but I’m learning that I wasn’t working hard enough."
If you haven't read the piece yet, please do.
Aaron Curry studying Carl Banks
Linebacker Aaron Curry, trying to resurrect his stalled NFL career with the Giants, has chosen to spend some of his spare time studying the way one of the best linebackers to ever don a Giants' uniform -- Carl Banks -- played the position.
"Just to see how it’s supposed to be done,’’ Curry said Friday. "If you look at the history of linebackers here in New York ... the tradition here really motivates you to do everything the right way."
Ryan Mundy set to face his old team
Giants' safety Ryan Mundy, who signed with the team as a free agent in the offseason, will debut Saturday night against the team he spent the first four years of his career with.
"It is kind of ironic that my first game as a non-Steeler happens to be against the Steelers,’’ said Mundy, a 2008 sixth-round pick out of West Virginia. "I’ve gone against those guys hundreds of times in practice, so I have an understanding of how they operate and their level of competitiveness and their physical capabilities. It’ll be a little weird standing on the other sideline, going into the visitor locker room, but once the lights come on and the whistle blows, I’ve got to play football."
Eli Manning praises Rueben Randle
Rueben Randle has had an excellent training camp. Quarterback Eli Manning recently spoke about the development of the second-year wide receiver.
"He has an understanding of our offense," said quarterback Eli Manning, who hopes to connect with Randle tonight in the Giants preseason opener in Pittsburgh. "He has always had natural ability.
"You tell him to run a go-route or run a comeback, he can do those things. But now he understands the concepts. Sometimes you run a certain route to get someone else open. He understands zone, what to do in man (coverage), what he has to do if it’s two-man versus two-zone and all the different reads and adjustments."
Andre Brown ready for key role
Running back Andre Brown enters the season expected to be a key contributor for the Giants, the first time in his NFL career that has been the case.
"Every year has been a different type of challenge, and the challenge this year, you know, is the biggest one yet," Brown said. "Now it's about attention to detail, reading the defenses, knowing the linebacker tendencies and knowing where the possibility of where a run's gonna go pre-snap. It's about just taking my game to another level where I'm not thinking out there, I'm just reacting. It's like, I've seen it, boom, and I'm reacting.
"Always have an answer to the test. I still feel like I've got a lot to prove."
Charles James bidding for roster spot
Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger has a fantastic portrait of James, an undrafted free agent from Charleston Southern, who is bidding for a spot as a reserve cornerback. Here is a snippet:
"God gives his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers," James said. "And I feel like I’m one of those guys — it’s going to be hard to knock me down."
More Giants' News
Paul Dottino: 3 Things To Look For In Giants-Steelers Preseason Game " CBS New York
Madison Returns to Giants, but Don’t Call Him ‘Coach’ - NYTimes.com
5 things to watch in the Giants' preseason opener | New York Daily News
Buccaneers' placekicking duties up for grabs - Yahoo! Sports
Apparently, Lawrence Tynes is injured and not a lock for this job.
Daryl Smith Puts On A Show In First Game
Smith, the former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker, is a guy yours truly thought the Giants should have pursued in the offseason.