POSTED: Wednesday September 9th 2009

Giants Notebook, September 9, 2009

By Michael Eisen

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. – A confluence of factors strongly suggest the Washington Redskins will pour their defensive energy into stopping the Giants’ rushing attack when the teams meet in the season opener in Giants Stadium on Sunday.

The Giants led the NFL with 2,518 rushing yards in 2008, including 262 yards in two games against the Redskins. They enter the new season with a young and relatively inexperienced group of receivers. Washington will likely try to shut down Brandon Jacobs and the ground game and put the fate of the Giants’ offense in the hands of Eli Manning and the receivers.

And the Redskins might have that capability. Last year, Washington was fourth in the NFL in total defense (allowing 288.8 yards a game) and eighth against the run (95.4). But the Skins didn’t stand still. They added one of the NFL’s best run-stopping defensive tackles in Albert Haynesworth, a free agent acquisition from Tennessee who played in the last two Pro Bowls. First-round draft choice Brian Orakpo, a linebacker from Texas, is another key defensive addition.

If the Giants are to successfully run the ball, the offensive line must give Jacobs room to run through the Haynesworth-bolstered Washington line. Jacobs has a healthy respect for Haynesworth, but isn’t intimidated by him.

“He’s a human being, he walks on two feet and he bleeds,” Jacobs said. “He puts his pants on one leg at a time. I mean he is a great player, don’t get me wrong. Probably one of the most dominant players in the NFL, but there is no reason to go in there and only think about him. They have a whole defensive team and they are very good at what they do. We are just looking forward to going out and executing against them.”

Jacobs led the Giants with 1,089 rushing yards last season. Haynesworth is new to the NFC East, but he has an idea what it takes to slow down the Giants’ 264-pound power back.

“You just have to tackle him – that’s it, pretty much,” Haynesworth said. “There are no secrets or anything like that. You just have to hit him and wear him out. Just hit him as much as you possibly can.”

But Haynesworth suggested focusing too intently on Jacobs could create problems for the Redskins defense.

“Whenever you have a Manning behind center you always have to worry about them,” said Haynesworth, who played against Peyton Manning in the AFC South for seven years. “They can put the ball anywhere. So you want to make them somewhat one-dimensional. But one-dimensional is still dangerous. Even if you can take away from their run, they still have him back there. So either way, you just have to play a mistake-free football game.”

The Giants have faced Haynesworth only twice. In 2002, he was a rookie and had no tackles in a limited role. Three years ago, he had five tackles (four solo) in a Titans victory in Nashville. Last year, Haynesworth had a career-high 8.5 sacks among his 75 tackles. With Haynesworth leading the way, Tennessee was ranked seventh in the league in defense and sixth against the run.

“This is what was amazing to me,” Washington Coach Jim Zorn said. “He is 340 pounds. When he warms up, he runs like any other, say, linebacker would run. He can really move the 340. That is what is interesting about this guy. He is big and he likes to play. He loves to penetrate. He likes to be physical and those are things that are making him an outstanding defensive tackle in this league.”

“Albert is a tremendous player,” said center Shaun O’Hara, who will share the task of blocking Haynesworth with guard Rich Seubert. “(He is a) perennial Pro Bowler and I think in our eyes he was brought to the Washington Redskins to stop our run game. That’s the challenge ahead of us”

While the Redskins’ run defense added a key player, the Giants’ rushing attack lost one: Derrick Ward, who ran for 1,025 yards last season, now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ahmad Bradshaw is the new No. 2 back behind Jacobs. Danny Ware is behind Bradshaw.

The key figures in the Giants’ ground game believe Ward’s departure will not result in a decrease in productivity.

“We are not taking anything away from Derrick - obviously he was a tremendous back for us,” guard Chris Snee said. “We like the guys that we have coming back up front, at tight end and (fullback Madison) Hedgecock is back. Obviously Brandon is going to get his share of the load and we are confident in Ahmad and Danny that if we give them just the slightest crack they will be able to find a hole and get through it. We are confident with those two guys.”

“We are going to do our thing,” Jacobs said. “Ahmad, Danny is very talented, there is no reason why we should drop off a half a notch than what we were last year. We should be up higher a notch because we are a bit younger now. Derrick is a tremendous talent. I love Derrick like a brother from another mother, and all of you guys know that, but we can’t take credit away from Ahmad and Danny. We can’t throw them under the bus and (say) that they can’t do it. It’s not good, so we know what those guys can do in this locker room and I think we are going to be fine.”

They’ll get a chance to prove it right out of the box on Sunday. So the questions remain: Will the Redskins load up to stop the run? And if they do, can the Giants move the ball and score?

“We would have to expect that to a certain extent, but it probably would be a good thing if they did that,” said coach Tom Coughlin.

Asked why, Coughlin said, “I think we have had some experience down the field this preseason and certainly that would be one thing that you could do to answer that.”

“I think we have receivers who can make plays,” Manning said. “Guys who can get down the field, guys who can break tackles and we are going to see what the defense is doing and make our adjustments. If I can get us in and out of good plays, I think we have the guys out wide who can be explosive and get down the field and do some great things.”

They’ll get a chance to do just that on Sunday.

*Four players did not participate in practice today: cornerbacks Aaron Ross (hamstring) and Kevin Dockery (hamstring), offensive lineman Adam Koets (ankle) and rookie linebacker Clint Sintim (groin).

Ross has been sidelined for most of the last month and did not play in the preseason.

“It’s day-by-day – that’s the only thing I can report,” Coughlin said.

Dockery’s injury is new, though Coughlin said it is not serious.

“We’re just being very cautious with that,” Coughlin said. “He’s sore. We’re going to make sure it doesn’t get to be anything more than that.”

*Defensive lineman Chris Canty, who missed all four preseason games with a hamstring injury, is not on the Giants’ injury list.

“We’re going to build this up as we go and see how he is,” Coughlin said. “We have to watch this, obviously. Anybody that has done as little as he’s done in preseason, you have to be very careful of that.”

*Practice squad defensive tackle Anthony Bryant had heat issues and was cramping following practice. He was taken to Hackensack Hospital for treatment and observation.

*Sunday is Giants Alumni Day. Approximately 75 former Giants players will attend a reception Saturday night in the Timex Performance Center and will be introduced at halftime on Sunday. The group includes Hall of Famers Frank Gifford and Harry Carson, as well as George Martin, Pete Gogolak, Bob Tucker and many others.

Jeweler John Paradiso designed a commemorative pin for the event. The silver pin depicts one of the Giants’ most popular logos: A quarterback poised to throw a ball atop an end view of Giants Stadium. The pin includes a blue “ny” and says, “GIANTS ALUMNI, Final Huddle at Giants Stadium, September 13, 2009.”

*The Giants are teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Stadium Club in Giants Stadium. Giants Alumni, including Martin, Howard Cross and Sean Landeta, are scheduled to make appearances throughout the day.

The Giants hope their fans can contribute 800 units of blood to help the Red Cross maintain a sufficient blood supply. 

All presenting blood donors will receive a limited edition Giants Calendar, a picture of their name in lights on the Giants Stadium scoreboard, and a free pound of coffee compliments of Dunkin’ Donuts. Six lucky donors will be randomly selected to win an autographed football, and one donor will win a pair of tickets to a Giants home game this season.

Most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds or more are eligible to donate blood every 56 days.  Sixteen year olds can donate blood with parental consent. 

Everyone interested must make a blood donation appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE.  A limited number of appointments are available.

*Martin, who in 2007-08 walked across the nation in support of thousands of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who are now sick as a result of their service at Ground Zero, is walking for them again. On Sunday, he will be joined by several of his former teammates and other NFL alumni, 9/11 workers, police and firefighters and other supporters as he walks 13 miles from the George Washington Bridge New York to Giants Stadium.

Martin’s initiative, “a Journey for 9/11”, has raised nearly $3 million to help fund medical monitoring and treatment for these workers who now suffer from a wide variety of debilitating physical and psychological conditions. From Sept. 16, 2007 to June 21, 2008, the Martin walked from New York City to San Diego – 3,003 miles through parts of 13 states and Washington, DC – to raise awareness about and funds to help mitigate the medical crisis now faced by 9/11 workers.

Martin’s walk on Sunday will begin at 10 a.m. on the New York side of the bridge. It will end at Giants Stadium at approximately 2 p.m., about two hours before the Giants and Redskins kick off. Top fund raisers will participate in a tailgate party outside the stadium before joining Martin in a pre-game walk across the field just prior to the start of the game.

The walk is open to members of the public. Participants must register in advance by visiting or by contacting 877-WALK-911 (877-925-5911).  The registration fee to join the walk is $35.  All registered walkers are encouraged to arrive and meet Martin and other former Giants where the bridge meets Henry   Hudson Drive in Fort Lee, N.J. at 9 a.m.

*The Giants are 47-32-5 in season-opening games. The 47 victories are the third-highest opening day total in NFL history, behind only Chicago (50) and Green   Bay (49). The Packers and Bears face each other Sunday night in Green Bay.

*Coughlin is 8-5 in season openers, including 2-3 with the Giants.

New York Giants 2009 Preseason

Media Schedule, Day-by-Day



Thursday, September 10

11:35 a.m.-1:25 p.m. – Practice

After Practice – Tom Coughlin available on field

1:40-2:25 p.m. – Player Interviews

After Practice – Coordinators available


Friday, September 11

11:15 a.m.-12:55 p.m. – Practice

After Practice – Tom Coughlin available

1:15-2 p.m. – Player Interviews


Saturday, September 12

No scheduled availability


Sunday, September 13

Regular Season Opener: Redskins at Giants, 4:15 p.m.


Monday, September 14

2:15-3:00 p.m. – Player Interviews

3:05 p.m. – Tom Coughlin, TPC Auditorium




Normal In-Season Weekly Media Schedule



2:15-3:00 p.m. – Player Interviews

3:05 p.m. – Tom Coughlin, TPC Auditorium



No scheduled availability



11:00 a.m. – Tom Coughlin available, TPC Auditorium

11:35 a.m.-1:25 p.m. – Practice

1:40-2:25 p.m. – Player Interviews; Eli Manning Available

T.B.D. – Conference calls with opposing team



11:35 a.m.-1:25 p.m. – Practice

After Practice – Tom Coughlin available in TPC Field House

After Practice – Coordinator availability

1:40-2:25 p.m. – Player Interviews



11:15 a.m.-12:55 p.m. – Practice

After Practice – Tom Coughlin available in TPC Field House

1:15-2 p.m. – Player Interviews



No scheduled availability



Game Day


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