Good morning, New York Giants fans! The latest 'Big Blue Chat' podcast is now available for download at our Podbean home page and via iTunes. This week, Pat Traina (Bleacher Report/Inside Football) and I discuss OTAs, the injury to Will Beatty, Ereck Flowers and the offensive line in general.
Give us a listen and let us know what you think.
OT Jake Long visits with Giants
In case you missed it, this news broke Thursday evening, first reported by ESPN's Dan Graziano. Here are a couple of quick thoughts.
This is definitely interesting, but don't assume that because the Giants had long in for a look-see that they will sign him. We don't know the condition of the twice-torn ACL in his right knee or when Long would be available to begin practicing. We don't know what sort of contract the four-time Pro Bowler wants. Long will have some options if he wants to continue playing. We don't know if he sees the Giants as a place he would like to be.
We know the Giants are paper-thin at offensive tackle and signing Long sounds good in theory, simply because of how good Long was when he was healthy. A reminder, though. If he was still that player he would have been signed by someone long ago. Also, with all the complaints about the Giants and injuries do you want the organization to take a risk on a guy with major injuries in back-to-back years?
Call him Dr. McKenzie
Former Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie will soon have a new title -- Dr. McKenzie. He is on track to receive Masters of Education in Professional Counseling in 2016 from William Paterson University's College of Education, after which he will pursue his doctorate.
"I'd been in counseling prior to my retirement," McKenzie said. "I saw how beneficial it was. To have that support, to have someone to talk to about different things I thought was very healthy. I thought if I could do the same thing in a similar capacity helping other players as well retired armed services members, I wanted to that."
McKenzie's admirable, and important, aim is to provide counseling to athletes once their careers are over.
From Radio Rolle to Radio Beckham
Antrel Rolle is gone to the Chicago Bears, and his highly entertaining weekly radio spot on WFAN is gone as well. Well, Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham is stepping into that radio void, and will have a regular spot with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio New York.
Beckham: Double coverage won't work
Speaking of Beckham, he expects additional attention from defenses this season. With the other receivers the Giants have, however, he expects that it won't matter.
"I definitely expect to receive a lot more attention," Beckham said Wednesday after looking as explosive as ever in the Giants' first organized team activities (OTA) workout of the year. "But it's just not going to work."
Hakeem Nicks looking for past glory
It seems like a long time ago that Hakeem Nicks was the Giants' No. 1 wide receiver. After a couple of down seasons with the Giants and a year as a backup with the Indianapolis Colts, Nicks is still hoping to find the magic again. He is now with the Tennessee Titans.
"(I'm) motivated, determined and ready to work. I am ready to bring it all and lay it on the line, man," Nicks said. "I just want to get back in the rhythm of being talked about as one of the best receivers in the league, as I was in the past. I believe I can, but I need to go out there and prove it. No need to say words."
Vereen: No knowledge about DeflateGate
Of course someone had to ask new Giants and former New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen about DeflateGate. His response:
"I had no awareness of anything that was going on," Vereen told the Daily News on Wednesday. "I looked up to Tom. I still do. I think he's a great player. I have the utmost respect for him as a player and as a person. I guess everything will sort itself out."