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Giants morning report: Steve Spagnuolo looks back at 2008 Super Bowl

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New York Giants headlines for Saturday, 5/16.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here are some Giants-related headlines to get your Saturday started.

Giants new/old defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo appeared on a Philadelphia radio station on Friday. He talked a little about the past, and a little about the present.

He recalled how the Giants came up with the defensive plan that helped them defeat the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl:

"We were walking off of the field after the game, and it was Justin Tuck, as we walked through the end zone of Giants Stadium, he said, 'Coach, if we get the chance to play those guys again, let us just line up our top four guys and let us get after Brady,' " Spagnuolo recalled.

"In other words, [the defensive linemen] were convinced at that point, even though it was a close game, the score was very high, both teams played pretty good, they just felt like they had a lot of confidence and they could move that offensive line and put some pressure on Brady, and that helped going forward a month later when we played them in the Super Bowl."

Spagnuolo also talked about Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Sam Bradfordwhom Spagnuolo made the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft while he was head coach of the St. Louis Rams:

"Trust me when I tell you he's got all the skills, and I keep going back to the fierce competitor because I believe elite quarterbacks in this league have that," Spagnuolo continued. "You think of them all, the Aaron Rodgers, the Tom Bradys, the Peyton Mannings, Eli Mannings, they're all very fierce competitors. They love the challenge. They love to rally people around them, and Sam has that. I really believe that."

Spagnuolo considers Bradford a perfect fit for Chip Kelly's offense because he can make all the throws with a "top-notch" arm, is a "better athlete than people think" and operates best out of a no-huddle attack.

"I know he's going to do great things there," Spagnuolo added.

Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin believes the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East.

Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw ranks the division as Cowboys-Giants-Eagles-Redskins. Cowlishaw says "I like what the Giants have done. I see them as knocking on the door."

How did La'el Collins become a member of the Cowboys? Robert Klemko of 'Monday Morning Quarterback' offers a terrific peek behind the curtain at how the entire situation unfolded.

Defensive tackle Carlif Taylor, signed by the Giants following rookie mini-camp, played collegiately at Division II Souther Connecticiut St. He gave Pro Player Insiders the following scouting report on himself:

"With me, the Giants are getting someone that is going to give the 1000 percent on and off the field and a true team player. I played two different defensive fronts in my four years at Southern which makes me very versatile. I played across the whole line from a zero (technique) to a nine. My natural size gives me good ballast and makes me excel at stopping the run. Some reports (from scouts) relate my game similar to Leonard Williams from USC due to my athletic ability. I’m also a raw talent due to the fact that I only played one year of high school and still elevating my game giving me enormous potential down the line. A weakness of mine would be my pass rushing skills, which is not mediocre, but needs to be refined.  Ever since my pro day there it (Giants) felt like home. The facility is beautiful and so are the people there. It is truly an honor to call myself a Giant."

Matt Lacosse isn't the only undrafted free agent tight end who has impressed the Giants. Former Stony Brook tight end Will Tye caught the eye of Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin.

NFL teams have a bonus pool of $86,957 to use on signing undrafted free agents. NJ Advance Media has the numbers on the bonus money received by Giants UDFAs. The biggest bonus? Tulane offensive lineman Sean Donnelly, a 6-foot-8, 307-pound tackle, reportedly got $15K.

Former Giants tight end Jake Ballard on why he retired at the age of 26:

Being around football all my life and in the NFL, you see older guys in the facility or at functions throughout the year. Sometimes they're not much older than you or maybe your dad's age and they're 5-10 surgeries in - bad knees, can barely walk. Some have hip implants or knee implants and some people have head issues.

I was at the point where I was in so much pain that was all I could think about. Waking up every morning with pain, I just wasn't enjoying the game I used to love. I did that for a while and it became too much. At the time I was 26, no kids. I still don't have kids, but when I do I can't imagine not being able to play with them in the yard or show them how to pick up a basketball, throw a baseball or catch a football.