Jealousy. Betrayal. Infighting. Insults.
Is this the plot of your mom's favorite soap opera?
No, it is just the best way to describe the insane situation going on right now with the New York Giant's defensive ends.
First, Michael Strahan decided that he didn't feel that the Giants were going to contend for a Super Bowl this year and has since been mulling retirement instead of reporting to training camp. An aging star thinking about retiring isn't all that odd, but then you throw in this odd phone tag exchange and things just get a little weird;
"Strahan left a phone message late last night for coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin returned the call at about 5 a.m. today and got Strahan's voicemail. As of right now, Reese has yet to talk to Strahan, and it's unclear if Coughlin has spoken to the six-time Pro Bowl selection"
Thankfully for the Giants, a perfect replacement for Strahan has just in the market, in the person of the recently released Simeon Rice. Losing the current sack leader among active players and gaining the second place guy doesn't sound like too much of drop off. Well, according to Strahan's good buddy/fellow defensive end Osi Umenyiora, it is actually a terrible idea. Smell a little bias in this one, especially considering Umenyiora and Strahan share an agent? Umenyiora has laid out quite the welcome mat for Simeon Rice in the past few days;
"We're not talking about Julius Peppers," Umenyiora said, comparing Rice to the Panthers' stud defensive end. "Simeon Rice is an outstanding pass rusher, but that's what he is."
"I'm not going to go so far as to call him, whatever, what a lot of other people have called him, but people say he's not the best run player," Umenyiora said. "I guess people gave him that reputation for a reason."
"That's kind of crazy, to ask me to move to left defensive end because Simeon Rice is coming in," he said. "It's ridiculous. He can't play left defensive end; that's where teams run the ball at. If the team asks me 'We need you to move to left defensive end because we need you at that position,' I will, but I'm not going to move to left defensive end because Simeon Rice is coming in."
So Osi...you do realize that this guy is probably going to be your teammate in a week or two, right? It might not be the greatest idea to diss his talent, call him one dimensional, and state your unwillingness to accomodate his being on the team, all in one interview. Listening to Umenyiora talk about Rice is like hearing a teenage girl ripping some young hussy that is moving in on a friend's ex-boyfriend. "Psst. I heard Simeon Rice stuffs his shoulder pads, pass it on."
All is not lost though. The Giants still have another promising young DE in Mathias Kiwanuka...oh, except that they moved Kiwanuka to LB, and have said he isn't going back. Well, I'm sure Mathias is doing pretty well at his new position, right? Yes, if you define "doing well" as "getting burned on a pass play by a guard";
The Giants did not practice yesterday but Kiwanuka was still smarting about what transpired in Sunday's afternoon session. Lining up for a field goal, holder Jeff Feagles put on a "Fire" call, which simulates a bad snap. Feagles took the ball, rolled to his right and fired a perfect pass to Seubert, who once played some tight end at Western Illinois. The burly Seubert went slightly airborne to make the catch, with Kiwanuka trailing.
"I think I got both feet off the ground," Seubert deadpanned. "I don't think [Kiwanuka] saw the ball. I guess I can jump a little higher than he can. They should honor me as a receiver now. Jeremy or me, there's no difference."
To recap...one of your starting DEs is threatening to retire, your other starting DE is talking smack about the first guy's potential replacement, and your third best pass rusher is getting burned by an offensive lineman on a passing play. Have fun with that Tom Coughlin.
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