Happy Wednesday, New York Giants fans! There will be some good articles heading your way today, but in the mean time, enjoy your first coffee over the following morning headlines.
Ricky Ray? Blue Bomber Bruce Johnson has heard of him. Never seen him play, though. Except on film, that is.
On Thursday, Johnson will get up-close-and-personal with the future hall-of-fame quarterback when his Bombers host Ray and the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL season-opener for both teams.
Johnson will be part of a green-as-grass Winnipeg defensive backfield, one of three players filling in for injured starters.
“I hear they say he’s a good quarterback,” a casual-sounding Johnson said of Ray. “Has a good deep ball, can look you off and everything. But with film and everything, I think we’ll be fine with what we have out here.”
Dave Diehl's Pro Bowl jersey hangs near the trophy case at Brother Rice High School. The recently retired NFL offensive lineman returned to his alma mater on Monday to help coach the Crusaders' youth football camp.
"I was once in the exact same position as them. I came to these same camps," said Diehl, who wore No. 66 for 11 seasons with the New York Giants.
"It's awesome for these kids to see someone from the neighborhood who has come out of this program and had great success," said Badke, who graduated from the school at 10001 S. Pulaski Road in 1992.
The New York Giants ranked 26th in the NFL in punt-return average and 27th in kickoff-return average in 2013, so it's little surprise that they spent part of their offseason focus on those areas. They signed return men Quintin Demps and Trindon Holliday in free agency and drafted wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has kick-return and punt-return experience, in the first round.
This gives them options for fixing one of their biggest problems, which they like.
"You've got three different types of returners when you talk about Beckham, Holliday and Demps," Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn said last week. "Obviously, with the speed of Holliday and the shiftiness, the undersized guy. And then you've got Demps, who's got a little more size and does that the straight-line speed. And then you've got Beckham, who's probably a combination of the two. We're real happy with all three of those guys."
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