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Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:08 pm

Milwaukee paper: Giants are a dirty team


http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/football/giants/blog/

FROM NEWSDAY.com:

We thought this article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel today was a little over the top in terms of its anti-Giants tone:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=708346

Here are our thoughts on this article: Are we supposed to believe the Packers never take cheap shots at opponents? They never hit anyone out of bounds? They never punch people in a dog pile?

We can't put a lot of stock in the comment by Patriots safety Rodney Harrison that "It wasn't no secret. [The Giants] push, they hit late, they come at you and try to take you out. That's the way they play."

That remark comes from a man who has twice been voted as the league's dirtiest player by his peers (a fact noted in Journal-Sentinel article).

Finally, take note of this comment by Packers defensive tackle by Corey Williams: "Oh yeah, they do some stuff after the whistle. We're going to beat them between the whistles. We ain't going to take no cheap shots at them. The shots we're going to take at them are going to be legal shots. They'll be hard, but they'll be legal."

The Packers sure are painting themselves as princes aren't they?

Agree? Scroll down and send us a comment.

Please. This is right up there with TO crying like a biatch. This is pro football. There was nothing I read in that article that ANY team would do from time to time. I for one am glad to hear that the NYG have a rep for being physical. That's what it's going to take to win this game.



"We can't put a lot of stock in the comment by Patriots safety Rodney Harrison"

Uh, why not? I'd put Harrison's comment in the category: it takes one to know one.

As far as I'm concerned, this can be answered objectively - which teams lead the league in personal foul penalties? Are the Giants among the league leaders? Maybe we can get Arthur to track that one down for us.



Whatever they have to write to try and get their team up for a big game they will do.

I just wish they would play the game already before the Green Bay media and ESPN report that they saw Favre walk on water.

I'm not surprised, when I think dirty player, I think Eli Manning. I forgot, didn't Model Sportsman Harrison use a little hgh to improve his game?



That's one way for Green Bay to lose the respect of football fans everywhere. Whine like babies because they were caught committing personal fouls and tried to say not me.

And Rodney Harrison - the guy who was suspended for HGH but everyone conveniently forgets about it while every baseball player is splashed across headlines every week.

Did he forget Meriweather hitting Hixon out of bounds and the refs calling Toomer on a personal foul when he was 10 ft away from Meriweather as he tripped - and the Pats didn't even say thank you to the refs or the NFL.

Hey Packers - I guess you guys have no cahones - thanx for making excuses of why you're going to lose before you lose.

LOL
We'll see Saturday when Eli goes crying to his brother because neither of them made it to the superbowl.

Oh and shall I remind you Giant fans of week 2? AND that was in New York. Eli's little fingers are gonna freeze when he gets off the plane in Wisconsin

GoPack.... give me a beak about the 2nd week .... Nothing that was done during the season counts anymore in the post season. PROVEN in the past two weeks by the Giants, by beating two very good teams and also being picked to lose in the first round of the playoffs.



Hey GoPack.

Good thing you remember week 2. At least you can enjoy the memories while you're hanging with your fellow fans blaming the loss on the dirty play of the Giants.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:08 pm

Michael Strahan is not muy macho

Justin Tuck told a throng of reporters that, while he will brave the sub-zero temps in Green Bay in short sleeves, he predicted that Michael Strahan would be dressed in "layers."

Strahan confirmed that report. "I'm not trying to impress anybody," he said at the close of his media session. "I guarantee you that Justin Tuck's goosebumps will be bigger than his muscles."

Weather reports for Sunday are getting more dire -- lower temps, lower wind-chills, chance of snow -- but TC and the gang are not saying much about it. And, frankly, since the Packers practice indoors, what difference does it make?

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:09 pm

The Giants do not think they're dirty

The offensive linemen who were called out as dirty players by a few Packers in the story linked below (that's internet guru Mike Casey who posted that, along with his strong opinion on the subject) chuckled that Aaron Kampmann and a couple other Green Bay players, along with Rodney (Pot, Meet Kettle) Harrison of the Patriots, labeled the Giants a dirty team.

"Truthfully, I don't know what they're talking about," Chris Snee said. "They want to take anything as a cheap shot, I mean, we play hard, we play to the whistle, just like they do."

Informed that Harrison chimed in, Snee laughed. "I certainly don't want to hear it from that guy," he said. "I can show you five examples on tape of him hitting someone in the back or after the play."

"Who cares?" Rich Seubert said. "It's football. I've been hit from the side, in the back before. You got to deal with it."

Kampmann said Shaun O'Hara hit the Packers DE in the back of the neck after a play... And maybe hit Kampmann in a very uncomfortable place on another play.

Seubert decided to ask his teammate, whose locker is nearby.

"Shaun, did you really hit Kampmann in the ----?"

"With both hands," came the reply. A joke, of course.

"We were the least-penalized team of the (12) going into the playoffs," Antonio Pierce said. "If you're dirty, you get called. Or fined. Or the league calls you up and has a disciplinary hearing. They can say whatever they want to say."

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:20 pm

Burress ready for Harris...


http://blog.nj.com/ledgergiants/2008/01/burress_ready_for_harris.html

Plaxico Burress knows what kind of game this is going to be - a physical one. And he's expecting nothing less from Packers cornerback Al Harris.

"He's a Pro Bowl corner and they say when you get voted to the Pro Bowl you're one of the elite guys in the league," Burress, who has yet to make a trip to Hawaii in his first eight NFL seasons, said yesterday. "They're going to come out and play us the way we know they're going to come out and play us, so it's going to come down to me and him."

Last time that happened, Harris nearly scored a TKO.

On the first play of the Packers' Week 2 win at Giants Stadium, Burress blocked Harris and wound up with a torn tendon in his pinky. To this day, the finger stays bent and won't extend.

But the big blow came later in the game when Harris stepped on Burress' ankle, resulting in a torn deltoid ligament - the injury that has hampered him in games and kept him out of most practices this season.

"Yeah, he stepped on my ankle and that's basically where it all started," Burress said. "But we're just having fun out there. We're just competing. I beat him for a touchdown and he ran out there the next play and was ready for me.

"It's going to be a battle. He knows it and I know it. It's going to come down to who's better on the outside."

And who's stronger and more aggressive.

"Oh, it'll be physical," Burress said. "He's a good player, he's a strong corner and he can run. They're going to come out and match us up, so at some point, it'll be me and him."

So will he come out of this matchup healthy this time?

"Yeah," Burress said with a laugh. "That would be good."

MG

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:21 pm

.and Smith ready for Bigby
Posted by Mike Garafolo January 17, 2008 3:05PM
Categories: Playoffs
http://blog.nj.com/ledgergiants/2008/01/and_smith_ready_for_bigby.html


Plaxico Burress isn't the only Giants receiver who's preparing himself for a physical Packers secondary. Rookie Steve Smith suffered a broken scapula when he was hit by cornerback Jarrett Bush and safety Atari Bigby. Bush doesn't play much anymore, but it's Bigby that Smith singled out today when asked about playing the Packers again.

"Bigby is the one that got my shoulder, so I'll try to get up on him and get a nice little crackback (block) or something," Smith said. "Show him that I'm here, baby."

Before anyone could miscontrue Smith's feeling's on the matter, he clarified that Bigby's hit wasn't dirty.

"It wasn't a cheap shot; it was a good hit," Smith said. "He got me."

Still, he wants to get his shots in there.

"I just have to show him I'm here. Make my presence felt," said Smith, who has seven catches for 77 yards in the postseason. "I'll be right there, right in his face. I'm not going to talk smack, but I'm going to let my play talk."

Smith said he isn't bitter. He's just still frustrated he missed more than a quarter of the season because of Bigby's hit.

"Exactly. They're the reason I was sitting out for six weeks until I hurt my hamstring," Smith said. "That's big; that's important to me - to show what I can do."

***

Okay, here's your update on what the injured guys did today:

*CB Aaron Ross (shoulder) was limited, but he did more than yesterday according to coach Tom Coughlin. And while he continues to work with only one hand during individiual drills, I'm here to report that, as he was gathering his laundry today, Ross fully extended his right arm toward the ceiling while pulling the sleeve of his shirt out.

"Yes, tell them I did that," he said with a laugh.

*CB Sam Madison (abdominal injury) did some work in individuals, Coughlin said. But I was there for individuals and, trust me, he did very, very little. Doesn't look good for Madison right now.

*RT Kareem McKenzie (ankle) practiced fully. Looks like a go for him, but how mobile will he be?

*Burress (ankle) was limited. The usual story here.

*CB Kevin Dockery (hip), as I mentioned earlier, didn't practice and won't play in this game.

MG

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:28 pm

Do Giants use dirty tactics?

http://fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/nfl?cnn=yes

The Giants' method of operation - tough, physical football that approaches the line of dirty play - is no secret in NFL circles. The Packers' coaches, especially on defense, have been warning their players all week about keeping their cool against the Giants. The first time around, the Packers didn't face running back Brandon Jacobs due to injury. But they are well aware of his trash-talking tendencies after he was involved in a handful of post-play confrontations in last week's victory over the Cowboys.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:29 pm

So Wilfork stuck his fingers in there because words hurt him? Didn't realize he was such a big man baby.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:29 pm

"Do Giants use dirty tactics?"

Doesn't that mean it's complaining?

"But they are well aware of his trash-talking tendencies after he was involved in a handful of post-play confrontations in last week's victory over the Cowboys."

Good natured between rivals... huh?

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:18 pm

Rob Neyer- Ranking the best second basemen

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob
Today we continue our series of ranking the best players at each position, with an eye on the next five years ...

Last season there was one great second baseman and a passel of good ones. Chase Utley was the great one, but aside from him there were 10 everyday second basemen with OPS's between .805 and .875, and worthy candidates Howie Kendrick and Ian Kinsler weren't far behind. How to sort through all of them? Well, fair or not, I'm going to summarily dismiss (for the moment) anybody who's 30 or older this season, which eliminates Jeff Kent (40), Placido Polanco (32), Brian Roberts (30) and Orlando Hudson (30). That still leaves nine candidates.

Player Age OBP SLG OPS+ WARP
Chase Utley 29 .410 .566 145 9.3
Robinson Cano 25 .353 .488 120 9.2
Kelly Johnson 26 .375 .457 117 6.7
Dustin Pedroia 24 .380 .442 112 5.3
Ian Kinsler 26 .355 .441 109 5.4
Howie Kendrick 24 .347 .450 108 2.0
Dan Uggla 28 .326 .479 108 7.9
Rickie Weeks 25 .374 .433 108 3.5
Brandon Phillips 27 .331 .485 105 7.6

That last column is a new one: WARP, Wins Above Replacement Player, arrives courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and incorporates defensive value (in the form of Fielding Runs Above Replacement, which I believe is a generally worthy metric). Kendrick and Weeks both drop quite a bit with the inclusion of FRAR, while Uggla and Phillips both move up quite a bit.

The biggest mover, though, is Cano, who's credited with 50 FRAR, a gigantic number for a second baseman. Even if you don't believe he was that good with the glove, he still has to rank as one of the two best second basemen in the majors, right? Considering the league in which he plays?

For me, the options are clear: If you're looking for a second baseman for the next five years, you must choose Utley's bat or Cano's youth, and all the rest is just fighting over table scraps.

I'll take Cano, because I don't think we've yet seen his best work and because he plays in the toughest division in the toughest league. So here's how I've got them, with (as usual) the last spot held open for the next great second baseman who hasn't established himself yet. Remember, we're talking about value over the next five seasons ...

1. Cano
2. Utley
3. Pedroia
4. Phillips
5. Johnson
6. Kinsler
7. Weeks
8. Kendrick
9. Hudson
10. ????

One could definitely make the case for Roberts instead of Kendrick or Hudson, and maybe even Weeks (because of the latter's poor defense). The real surprise here is Johnson. He got a late start, but his hitting seems to be legitimate and defensively he's better than most. I'm not at all sure he'll have a better career than Weeks or Kendrick, but I do think he'll have a better next five years.

I gave Mr. Neyer's credit for picking Robbie over Pedrioa and Utley.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:49 pm

Take 2: Giants vs. Packers

By Scouts Inc
Insider

Thursday, January 17, 2008


http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/features/take2?gameId=280120009

Earlier this week, our scouts filed their advance scouting report on this week's matchup between the Giants and Packers. Now they're back with a second look.

Matchup to watch
N.Y. Giants LDE Michael Strahan vs. Green Bay RT Mark Tauscher
What stands out most on film of the Giants defense is the performance of Strahan, who continues to play at an astonishing level. Strahan still has great snap anticipation, initial quickness with speed to bend the edge and close on quarterbacks from out wide. He has active hands to separate and disengage when working a blocker's edge, and effectively uses leverage as a power rusher. Strahan is a crafty veteran who feels pad pressure well, reads blocking patterns and squeezes rushing lanes with good body position.

Tauscher is an overachiever who has proved to be amazingly consistent throughout his career. He uses good technique, hand placement and leverage to compensate for a relative lack of strength and power. He can struggle against quality speed rushers and bull rushers, but he mirrors athletic defensive ends and neutralizes double moves effectively. He's an unsung contributor and a big reason why Favre has stayed so healthy all these years. Though Tauscher will need occasional help from a tight end or chipping back. Bet the house that Green Bay will account for Strahan on every snap in passing situations.
How will the Packers handle the Giants' pressure packages?
New York's approach to attacking opponents with the blitz has changed since these teams first met this season, back in Week 2. Similarly, Green Bay's run game has undergone drastic changes since then. Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo implements a blitz-heavy scheme that puts the squeeze on opposing quarterbacks, but the Giants also have the ability to drop seven into coverage and pressure with just a four-man rush. That's because in most matchups DEs Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan both merit double-team attention. Spagnuolo figures to pressure the pocket with zone fires that attack the interior pocket, creating one-on-one situations for either Umenyiora or Strahan and helping mask weaknesses in the Giants secondary.

Even success in that area guarantees nothing against QB Brett Favre, who has been masterful in head coach Mike McCarthy's scheme, a spread that relies on principles of the West Coast offense. The experience of OTs Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher usually allow Favre to operate without much interference, but he still is dangerous under pressure because of is his quick release. That said, expect the Packers to design their protection schemes to protect Tauscher and put a heavy emphasis on identifying the location of the middle linebacker. Also, a game plan that features heavy doses of RB Ryan Grant can help neutralize New York's explosive pass rush and wear down Umenyiora and Strahan. If Favre gets time in the pocket, he could have a big day against an average Giants secondary.

Can QB Eli Manning continue to play at a high level against a good Packers defense?
One of the strange truths related to the growth of Manning has been the injury to TE Jeremy Shockey. In the past when his protection broke down, Manning usually looked to Shockey, too often forcing throws into tight coverage. But since Shockey was lost to season-ending leg and ankle injuries, Manning has dutifully read through his proper progressions, leading to more consistent play. Credit the Giants' other targets, who are no slouches. When WR Plaxico Burress has his head in the game, he's as dangerous as any receiver in the NFL. WRs Amani Toomer and Steve Smith have also been productive and extremely reliable in possession roles in recent weeks. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will continue to lean on a power rushing attack to move the chains and set up play-action opportunities for Manning.

The Packers have a fast, aggressive front seven, but season-ending injuries to DTs Johnny Jolly and Colin Cole have led to occasional struggles against the run. Though DT Ryan Pickett has been a force inside, Green Bay's linebackers have had a hard time separating from blocks off combination patterns because of the interior line's inability to control opposing offensive linemen. Gilbride can be expected to skew his play-calling to the right, where RT Kareem McKenzie and RG Chris Snee should overpower the edge of the Packers' defense in New York's Power "O" zone rushing scheme. C Shaun O'Hara must consistently seal off the inside and the guards need to limit upfield penetration from the second level. Can the Giants' secondary stay with the Packers' wide receivers?
In Week 2, Favre got the ball out quickly against man-to-man coverage, effectively avoided pressure in the pocket and was patient waiting for opportunities to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers. Moreover, the Packers played without WR Greg Jennings, a dynamic player who attacks at all levels and become an exceptional red zone weapon. Green Bay's versatile unit of receivers also includes WR Donald Driver, WR James Jones and TE Donald Lee. Not only do the Packers force opposing coaches and players to be mentally sharp with their widely varied formations, they can create more confusion (and better matchups) because that core quartet of receivers can align at different spots in any combination within the formation.

The Giants finished the regular season ranked 11th in the league in pass defense, but they have been hit hard by injuries in the secondary (most notably, CBs Sam Madison and Aaron Ross). New York relies heavily on its pass rush and pressure schemes to offset deficiencies on the back end. Ross, at least, is expected to play Sunday after dislocating his shoulder Sunday. But even with Ross on board, the Giants will have their hands full matching up in the secondary against the Packers' spread offense. Expect McCarthy to attack deep vertically, challenging FS Gibril Wilson, SS James Butler and CB Corey Webster. New York needs a huge game from its banged-up, limited secondary in Green Bay. The Giants aren't likely to overcome even a few big downfield plays.Scouts' Edge

The Scouts Inc. Position Advantage
QB RB WR OL DL LB DB ST Coach



Favre is one step away from yet another Super Bowl, while the Giants -- who have won nine straight games on the road -- are peaking at precisely the right time. A few questions remain: Can Manning continue to play with the consistency he's exhibited to this point in the playoffs? How will Spagnuolo match up with Green Bay's spread offense?

Both teams are playing with a tremendous amount of confidence and executed remarkably well on offense. Don't be surprised if the outcome hinges on special teams play in what likely will be frigid weather conditions Sunday night in Green Bay. This has all the makings of a classic NFC Championship game with Favre turning another page in an amazing, storybook season. We think he and the Packers will find a way to win a tough, physical game at Lambeau Field to punch their ticket to Glendale and Super Bowl XLII.


Prediction: Packers 27, Giants 20

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:51 pm

Giants much improved since first meeting, but so are the Packers
Kidd




After breaking down the game tape of the Week 2 matchup between the Giants and Packers, here's a list of things to watch for in Sunday's NFC Championship game.


http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/insider/news/story?id=3201385

Osi Umenyiora and the Giants know how to pressure the passer.
• In the first meeting between these teams,, New York's defense was awful. Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's new scheme, which relies on multiple pressures, was a work in progress. But now the Giants are better able to line up and attack weaknesses in Green Bay's protection schemes. Players understand the system and Spagnuolo has a better feel for his personnel. Giants defenders are put in more favorable situations, and they're reacting instead of thinking. Expect Spagnuolo to feature some multiple-zone fires that attack the interior offensive line, allowing either RDE Osi Umenyiora or LDE Michael Strahan one-on-one blocking situations on the edge.

• Probably more than any defense in the NFL, Green Bay is willing to play man-to-man in the secondary. CB Al Harris usually matches up with an opponent's No. 1 receiver, with CB Charles Woodson covering the No. 2. The Packers can roll coverage toward Giants WR Plaxico Burress on the back end while singling up the less dangerous WR Amani Toomer on the opposite side. The strategy also allows SS Atari Bigby to be used more often near the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender. But we think Green Bay will mix things up Sunday, covering Burress with Woodson at times, in hopes of confusing or delaying QB Eli Manning's coverage reads.

• With TE Jeremy Shockey out, the Packers will change up their coverage concepts against the Giants. Green Bay usually relies on front-four pressure and quarter coverage schemes (four-deep) on the back end. But against an offense that has become more diverse and less predictable, defensive coordinator Bob Sanders likely will break from his base scheme more frequently. Green Bay's linebackers can cover a lot of ground off zone drops and create tighter windows for opposing quarterbacks on short and intermediate throws. And because the cornerbacks are so physical, the timing and rhythm of the Giants' passing game could be disrupted.

Second Helping Just like it did for the NFC title game, Scouts Inc. offers a list of things to watch for in the AFC Championship Game.
Williamson: Chargers-Pats, Round 2
• Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has established a balance within the structure of the scheme, helping to improve Manning's consistency over the last few weeks. In Week 2, Shockey played a key role in New York's passing attack, especially off waggles. He was instrumental in creating mismatches by moving all over the formation. But Manning often locked in on Shockey, using him as a crutch instead of reading through his progressions. (Manning also played through a second-degree shoulder separation in that game.) Without Shockey, Manning has involved other playmakers, making the offense more dynamic and less predictable. Expect Gilbride to move around Burress to create better matchups for both Toomer and WR Steve Smith. TE Kevin Boss also could be a factor in the red zone.

• In Week 2, Green Bay unleashed a variety of zone-blitz pressure schemes to attack the pocket and force Manning off his landmarks, a strategy Sanders likely will revisit Sunday. Film study of Manning over the last few weeks shows a much more confident pocket passer, especially with regard to his accuracy on downfield throws. By attacking inside and pushing Manning off his spots, the Packers could draw his eyes to the pass rush -- and away from his targets downfield. And scheming to flush Manning from the pocket only makes sense against a quarterback who tends to get rattled and throw across his body (often resulting in game-changing mistakes) when forced to run.

Greg Jennings

David Stluka/Getty Images

The Giants will have to make sure they know where Greg Jennings is on every play.
• QB Brett Favre has been masterful in getting rid of the ball quickly and into than hands of his playmakers (WRs Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones and TE Donald Lee), allowing them to make the most of their considerable run-after-the-catch ability. And because Jennings didn't play in Week 2, that group is even stronger this time around. But plenty has changed for New York's defense in that time, too: Spagnuolo still can rely on an explosive four-man rush, but he has become more aggressive, trusting his players to execute his blitz packages. The Giants' zone-blitz schemes, in particular, will put a lot of pressure on the Packers' protection schemes and individual linemen, especially LT Chad Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher. Expect Green Bay to counter New York's pass rush with a lot of screens to RB Ryan Grant.

• In their first meeting this season, the Packers relied on multiple spread offensive groupings ("11," "10" and "12") and a short, controlled passing attack to set up the run against the Giants. Green Bay will spread the field with different formations--two-by-two, bunch, three-by-one, empty backfield--and shift out of one into another to keep a defense on its toes. The Packers also align different receivers at multiple positions within the formation, forcing an opposing secondary to scramble to identify and match up against multiple-receiver sets.

• Another key change since Week 2 has been the emergence of Grant and Green Bay's running game. Grant gives the Packers a lot of flexibility in that he's effective running inside or out wide on zone stretch plays. The Giants linebackers mostly were able to key on the pass in Week 2, but the threat of Grant will force them to be extraordinarily disciplined in both their play recognition and gap integrity.

• The Giants will rely heavily on RB Brandon Jacobs, likely attacking the Packers downhill and over the powerful right side of the offensive line. Also, keep an eye on RB Ahmad Bradshaw, whose elusiveness and speed offer a nice change of pace to Jacobs. Bradshaw always seems to pick up positive yards, and he has the ability to transform what would be a short gain for most other backs into an explosive downfield play.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:56 pm

Giants Vs Packers in Nfc Championship



Green Bay is playing man-to-man in the secondary. CB Al Harris usually matches up with an opponent's No. 1 receiver, with CB Charles Woodson covering the No. 2. The Packers can roll coverage toward Giants WR Plaxico Burress on the back end while singling up the less dangerous WR Amani Toomer on the opposite side. The strategy also allows SS Atari Bigby to be used more often near the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender. I think Green Bay will mix things up Sunday, covering Burress with Woodson at times, in hopes of confusing or delaying QB Eli Manning's coverage reads.

In Week 2, The Green Bay Packers unleashed a variety of zone-blitz pressure schemes to attack the pocket and force Manning off his landmarks, a strategy Sanders likely will revisit Sunday. f Manning over the last few weeks shows a much more confident pocket passer, especially with regard to his accuracy on downfield throws. By attacking inside and pushing Manning off his spots, the Packers could draw his eyes to the pass rush -- and away from his targets downfield. And scheming to flush Manning from the pocket only makes sense against a quarterback who tends to get rattled and throw across his body (often resulting in game-changing mistakes) when forced to run.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:03 pm

I think Green Bay will be playing man-to-man in the secondary. CB Al Harris usually matches up with an opponent's No. 1 receiver, with CB Charles Woodson covering the No. 2. The Packers can roll coverage toward Giants WR Plaxico Burress on the back end while singling up the less dangerous WR Amani Toomer on the opposite side. The strategy also allows SS Atari Bigby to be used more often near the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender. I think Green Bay will mix things up Sunday, covering Burress with Woodson at times, in hopes of confusing or delaying QB Eli Manning's coverage reads.

In Week 2, The Green Bay Packers unleashed a variety of zone-blitz pressure schemes to attack the pocket and force Manning off his landmarks, a strategy Sanders likely will revisit Sunday. Manning over the last few weeks shows a much more confident pocket passer, especially with regard to his accuracy on downfield throws. By attacking inside and pushing Manning off his spots, the Packers could draw his eyes to the pass rush -- and away from his targets downfield. And scheming to flush Manning from the pocket only makes sense against a quarterback who tends to get rattled and throw across his body (often resulting in game-changing mistakes) when forced to run.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:53 pm

Ranking the best second basemen



http://myespn.go.com/s/conversations/show/story/3201580

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today we continue our series of ranking the best players at each position, with an eye on the next five years ... Last season there was one great second baseman and a passel of good ones. Chase Utley was the great one, but aside from him there were 10 everyday second basemen with OPS's between .805 and .875, and worthy candidates Howie Kendrick and Ian Kinsler weren't far behind. How to sort through all of them? Well, fair or not, I'm going to summarily dismiss (for the moment) anybody who's 30 ...

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jerrymcl89 (19 minutes ago)
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Cano is kind of the anti-Jeter, in that most systematic analyses show him to be a better fielder than the people who watch him regularly think he is. Jeter gets credit for making some spectular looking plays, and rarely looks terrible in the field, so people don't notice how many balls are just out of his reach. And Cano does look lackadaisical at time, so they may remember that over all the routine looking plays he's making.

Of course, I suppose it's also possible that Jeter's limited range is the precise reason Cano makes a lot of plays.
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shankweather
shankweather (37 minutes ago)
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I know this is off topic, but concerning the Lincecum v. Gallardo debate: I'm surprsied there was so little support for Gallardo. Here are BP's Translated Pitching Stats for the two (adjusted for league and ballpark):

Gallardo: 3.43 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 134 IP
Lincecum: 3.95 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9. 177.2 IP

I realize there is more to these pitchers than what they did in 2007, and that Lincecum's stuff grades slightly better. But when you look at those numbers and then realize that Gallardo is 2 1/2 years younger than Lincecum, I think they have to be considered even at the very least. If I was offered them both and they were both healthy, I personally would choose Gallardo.
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AndrewChelton
AndrewChelton (47 minutes ago)
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One more general note...isn't it funny how these lists make so much sense right now, but 5 years from now, we'll say why in the world was Player A and/or B or C on this list?
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mmandelker
mmandelker (49 minutes ago)
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I think Pedroia at #3 is the true WTF? moment. His 112 OPS+ is not that far superior to the 108 posted collectively by Kinsler, Kendrick, Uggla, and Weeks. And when you throw in his Fenway / I-Fear-Jim-Rice fueled splits (a sterling 122 home vs. Nefi-Perez-in-a-care er-year 77 road) . Add in the fact that Kendrick and Weeks could become beasts at the plate and improve in the field (hey didn't somebody just write a blog about good defense equaling natural ability plus repetition?) and you just can't make the argument for Pedroia in the top three, top five is most likely pushing it. But he is white and stubby and stubbly and his team is wicked... but wait is this a Neyer piece?
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bagwell4NLmvp9428
bagwell4NLmvp9428 (51 minutes ago)
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Dan Uggla has the second most power of any 2B. He has to be on the list.
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AndrewChelton
AndrewChelton (55 minutes ago)
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I have a feeling Rickie Weeks will need to be bumped up that list a spot or three, even with the shoddy defense. I think his bat is about to take off.
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scruffz
scruffz (57 minutes ago)
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Where is Aaron Hill?
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jnr98
jnr98 (58 minutes ago)
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Yankee bias!!! (kidding, Rob, I swear).
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engelhar14
engelhar14 (58 minutes ago)
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How about Mark Ellis? He had a WARP of 8.4 and 50 FRAR. He consistently is considered one of the best defensive second basemen. He will be 31 next year, so he is not the best, but should be in the discussion.
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JCornflower77
JCornflower77 (1 hour ago)
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If Rickie Weeks can play at least near average defense, I would have to believe that the only 2B in the majors that would be more valuable would be Utley and Cano. His ceiling looks to be a .380+obp/25-30hr/30- 40sb player offensively.
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richparm
richparm (1 hour ago)
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It is apparant there is a lot of personal bias here Rob.
What about other second basemen like AAron Hill 25 steady improvement offensively and a WARP of 7.5 and FRAR of 33 OBA 333 slg 459
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DaveTheGrue
DaveTheGrue (1 hour ago)
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YvM, the line I usually hear on Cano is the same thing: good range, great arm, but seems to mentally lapse every now and then. But over the last couple years he seems to be a dozen-errors-per-(fu ll)season fielder, which dosen't seem to me to be terribly high. So I wonder if he really does have concentration problems, or if it just seems that way whenever an error happens because he has a nonchalant style in general.

As for defensive metrics, I tend to go by BP's because they are conveniently denominated in runs, but there's a fair bit of disagreement out there if you look for it.
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bluedemondave
bluedemondave (1 hour ago)
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WTF !!! Where is Neifi Perez ?!?!?
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brocmiller1
brocmiller1 (1 hour ago)
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I know why Uggla is not in there. OBP. You are talking to Rob Neyer, remember? ANyways, I think Johnson should be 3 or 4, and I think you have drastically overrated Pedroia. Maybe 5 or 6 for him, behind Johnson and Kinsler.
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YanksvsMets
YanksvsMets (2 hours ago)
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Rob, I certainly trust BP as a reliable source, but I was curious if other defensive metrics rate Cano so highly? As a Yankee fan he seems (to my eyes) to be very good defensively, but hear a whole range of impressions from announcers who admonish his "lack of concentration" and then praise his raw talent at other times. So of course, back to stats - is BP in line with others?
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jt304
jt304 (2 hours ago)
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Asdrubal Cabrera? I mean, he's no Utley, and he might get moved to short, but I think he belongs in the discussion...
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Sinfonian11
Sinfonian11 (2 hours ago)
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Rob, I find it curious that Uggla ranked 3rd in WARP last season, and didn't even crack your top ten. He's right in his prime at 28 years old, and his power numbers are hurt somewhat by playing in Florida. Care to comment on why he didn't make the cut?

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:55 pm

A Yankees Blog by Journal News beat writer Peter Abraham
A-Rod to receive Munson Award


http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

Alex Rodriguez and David Wright were named as additional winners of the Thurman Munson Award.

They will join Melky Cabrera of the Yankees, former Astros star Craig Biggio, Knicks guards Jamal Crawford and gold medal skater Kristy Yamaguchi at the 28th annual awards dinner on Feb. 5 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.

The dinner is a fundraiser for the AHRC New York City Foundation. Call (212) 249-6188 for information.

————

On Wednesday, I blogged about a rookie orientation program that the Red Sox run for their players and wondered why the Yankees didn’t do the same sort of thing.

I learned a little more about the program today. The players stayed with host families in the area for a few days. The program included a meeting with Terry Francona, a media-relations seminar from Peter Gammons (who else?) and a motivational talk from UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun.

The idea is to get the top prospects familiar with Boston and the expectations before they get called up. The Red Sox modeled their program after one Cleveland developed.

Again, why don’t the Yankees do this? I know from talking to young players that New York can be overwhelming when they first get called up. The Yankees would be wise to develop their own winter program.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:56 pm

1. MackNova January 17th, 2008 at 6:32 pm

They should. It makes a lot of sense, but maybe they don’t want the kids introduced to all of the nightlife opportunities. Who knows.
2. emobacca January 17th, 2008 at 6:33 pm

The Giambino should run the rookie orientation program, he would show the kids the stuff they really care about
3. Old Yanks Fan January 17th, 2008 at 6:33 pm

A phew Phil phacts phor phanatic phans oph phantastic baseball:
1) Cashman said B4 the season, Hughes would NOT see the bigs in 2007
2) due to injuries, multiple slumps and that fact that we were all but out of the PS by the ASB, Hughes was brought up in an act of desparation (along with signing the multi-million dollar abscessed butt).
3) After 6 innings of no-hit ball, he strained a hammy, a bad injury for a power pitcher, as hammy injuries linger even after they are ‘healed’.
4) During rehabing his hammy, he sprained his ankle.
5) When finally ‘ready’ to pitch, he was thrown into the hardest fight for the PS the Yankees have had in over a decade.
He finished the season with a:
4.46 ERA — just slightly better then league average
1.28 WHIP - Beckett (1.23), Sabathia (1.27)
.698 OPS — everyone he faced basically hit him like Tony Womack.

So….. Mr. I Miss Bernie asks: What if his ERA is over SIX in 2008?

My guess is IMB will actuall post a Link, a Stat or even a Fact before Sir Phillip Hughes Esq. posts an ERA over 6!
Agreed?

P.S. The last we saw of Phil was trying to save a Post season elimination game. His line:
5.2 IPS / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K
4. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Rodriguez gets the Munson Award, huh? Just like Rodriguez to hog the spotlight again. Next, he’ll be trying to make the Yankees “his team”.

Congratulations to alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and the rest of the winners on a great award named after a
great player and team leader. Diane Munson should be officially named “The First Lady Of The New York Yankees”. She’s a fine lady, that I had a chance to meet a long time ago, along with Kay and Bobby Murcer.
5. filthy slider January 17th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

maybe cashman can do it now that he has no G.M.
duties.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:02 pm

I still think the Twins will trade Santana before spring training opens, and right now, I believe the Mets are the favorites, followed by the Yankees and then the Red Sox. I don’t think Boston will improve its offers, but I think the Mets will, and at that point, they’ll get him, unless the Yankees finally relent.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

Post  RedMagma on Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:23 pm

If the Mets do cave and add Martinez to the deal, I'll be hoping that Hank's love of the spotlight forces him to beat the Mets offer.

I really don't want to see everyone but Pelfrey gone.


I understand your point but in no way do I want to see Santana go to that other team in New York.

I'd puke.


All I'm saying is that for the Yanks to beat a Martinez/Gomez/Guerra/Humber/Mulvey package, they'd cripple their farm for several years. Add the extension they'd have to give Santana and I'd think they'd be capped out. Even the Yankees have to have an operating budget, and adding the most expensive hitter and pitcher in history would test those limits.


















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soundadvice2k7
soundadvice2k7 (33 minutes ago)
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I am sure all the Red Sox have to do is ask and Mitchell will go after some more non-Sox players.
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ronerdmann
ronerdmann (35 minutes ago)
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"World Series MVP Mike Lowell is willing to give blood if that's what it takes to be tested for human growth hormone."

Meanwhile, when David Ortiz was asked to comment, he pretended to get a call on his cell phone and walked away.....
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NESportsDominate
NESportsDominate (40 minutes ago)
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Another one of the many reasons why no current Red Sox players were in the Mitchell Report: responsible veterans like Mike Lowell on the team.

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Re: Hey GoPack.

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