INDIANAPOLIS — This was a good day for the Giants, who finally returned to the business of football by going back to the practice field ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI showdown with the Patriots.
I’ve already filed a couple of dispatches from this morning’s media availability, including Tom Coughlin‘s sneaky sense of humor, Steve Weatherford‘s unlikely YouTube fame and Chase Blackburn‘s spin through the Super Bowl news cycle.
I spoke to a bunch of other guys, too, so let’s just empty out the notebook before turning the page, shall we?
- I asked offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride if he noticed during the preseason anything different about QB Eli Manning that helped explain his steep drop in turnovers. “I think there was an intensified focus on not throwing interceptions,” Gilbride said. ” … In practice, normally you say you don’t want to drop it off, ‘I can always do that,’ but maybe we had to reinforce that aspect, and that was kind of our point of emphasis with him this offseason and in training camp.”
- Gilbride also puffed his chest a bit when I asked if he took pride in helping make the Giants — traditionally a team built around the running game — into a feared passing unit. “I enjoy it, there’s no question,” he said. “We’re changing the culture.”
- This is kind of random, but I spoke with Evan Pinkus, who handles photo duties for the Giants with his father, Jerry. Pinkus said more than 100 members of the organization were in the team photo taken Tuesday after Media Day. He said his biggest challenges were socks that weren’t pulled up and Osi Umenyiora‘s fear of heights. “Osi didn’t want to be up top because just about when I was going to take the picture, I noticed he was in the front row.” Let’s see if Bill Belichick can work Umenyiora’s acrophobia against him.
- Of course, Umenyiora made other news Wednesday.
- Finally, I asked Justin Tuck if his memorable abuse of Patriots guard Logan Mankins in Super Bowl XLII can serve as a psychological advantage Sunday. Tuck wasn’t buying it. “That was four years ago,” he said. “I’m a better player than I was four years ago, and he’s definitely a better player than he was four years ago.” OK then.
– Dan Hanzus