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New York Giants Kicking Competition Personal, but All Business for Josh Brown, Brandon McManus

July 28th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Dan Benton

A year removed from arguably his best season as a professional kicker, Josh Brown suddenly finds himself in a heated competition for the New York Giants' kicking job. It's the first time in his NFL career he's truly had to beat someone else out for the starting job, but not something he's taken to heart. The 12-year NFL veteran understands it's a business and for the Giants, it's all about putting the best pieces together in an effort to return to the Super Bowl.

"Every year you’re looking to be in what puts you in the best place to win the Super Bowl so it’s my job to make them feel as if they made the correct choice in signing me to a two-year deal," Brown said on Sunday. "A lot of people have asked me, ‘You have just had the best year of your career, how does that make you feel?’ It doesn’t change the business aspect of this sport so I hope that what I’m doing and what I did last year and also the other attributes that I bring with experience and wisdom, that those things will also weigh in my way."

Despite his understanding of the business side of the NFL, Brown admits the competition is a bit personal. Not necessarily in an aggressively negative way, but the real-life implications of the competition absolutely make it hit home.

"There’s no Tonya Hardings going on out here. It is being cordial but there is an understanding that you’re trying to take something and I have three kids you’re trying to take it from, too. That’s personal," Brown said of Brandon McManus. "But that’s not his fault he’s here. He’s good and they chose to bring him in. It’s up to me to be efficient and apply the pressure to him personally."

For McManus, he sees things the same way, but from the other end of the spectrum. He understands he's been brought in not necessarily as a decoy, but to legitimately push for the starting job. And although that does make things a bit personal, he feels he and Brown have developed a good relationship on and off the field, and have a silent understanding between themselves.

"We're definitely friends on and off the field," McManus. "I think he can relate because when he came into the league he had to beat someone out. But we haven't had any issues and that's a testament to his character and who he is [as a person]."

Thus far throughout camp, both kickers have looked promising on field goals and kickoffs. However, McManus has yet to miss a single attempt from any range and also admitted on Sunday that prior to training camp, he was putting them through from 70 and 75 yards. It's something that may currently have him out ahead of Brown, but there is still a long way to go, including all five preseason games.


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18 Responses to “New York Giants Kicking Competition Personal, but All Business for Josh Brown, Brandon McManus”

  1.  kujo says:

    I think this is great! It’s a healthy competition between 2 very good placekickers, the existence of which helps this team enormously.

    If I was an NFL coach, I would bring in the best kicking (and punting) prospect I could every year to push the incumbent. We went YEARS accepting Tynes B/B- style of kicking without ever really presenting him with a challenger. Who knows if he would’ve risen to that occasion and improved his game, or been displaced by a superior talent that would’ve helped our team?

    Good on Coughlin (and/or Reese) for making this happen. Josh Brown was excellent last year because of how nonchalantly accurate he was, but if this guy McManus can give us that level of accuracy with the added boost of leg strength that Brown doesn’t have, he could finally have a weapon back there kicking for us.

  2.  Dirt says:

    People seem to be on the McManus train, but I’m not quite sold. Truth is, for the first time since Carney was the best kicker in football in 2008, I felt absolutely confident every time Brown lined up last year. He would have nailed that 51 yarder that Tynes missed short in 2012 against Philly which probably puts us in the playoffs. He’s got plenty of leg for most kicks, and the experience of kicking in the NFL in big time games.

    What kind of ice water does McManus have? I don’t know, and I don’t know if I want to find out.

    I remember the last time people were in awe over a young kicker’s leg strength around here. Then that guy put the final nail in the coffin of our 2010 season.

    •  Dirt says:

      All that being said, I’m all for competition as kujo so eloquently argues above.

      •  kujo says:

        Totally agree with your post, bro. I like Brown a lot, and would feel very comfortable with him as our kicker this year. But if we can do better…

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      This is the big question (re: McManus). My hope is that he has a few pressure chances in the preseason. Granted, the games don’t count, but he’ll still feel the pressure because it is the difference between unemployment and employment. It would be the best thing for him and the Giants.

      •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

        Best way to put pressure is to some how make the game depend on him. Then place him on the PS. Very comfortable w Brown, 2010 Punting still give me nightmares.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Brown had excellent numbers but I thought he missed 2 big kicks in the Carolina game and KC games that changed momentum. And neither of those were long kicks. Brown didn’t give me any more confidence than Tynes. I don’t think Brown is some type of big ice water kicker. So I don’t think we would be taking a big chance with McManus.

    There’s also a difference between a guy being drafted and basically given the job and a guy unseating a vet with nothing invested in him. Just like the Seahorn KR issue, we can’t be afraid to do something because something somewhat similar failed one time in the past.

    •  kujo says:

      Yeah, I’d put Brown at a B+ last year–he’s not one of the great ones that you know you can put in to win the game, but he’s a solid producer. If we can improve on that, great! If not, I feel fine rolling into the year with Brown.

  4.  kujo says:

    G101 is the only place I go to for training camp news. And I know Benton has his little spiders in the Quest Performance Center (in this analogy, Dan Benton is the Master of Whisperers, ala Lord Varys from “Game of Thrones”), so I’m gonna take the opportunity to request some insight into a couple of players I’d like to hear more about:

    1) Weston Richburg–He’s probably getting most of his snaps on the 2nd team, but does he look the part? Any goods/bads?

    2) Brandon Mosley– It looks like the RG spot been basically ceded to him at this point? Does he look to have earned it? We need a mauler there.

    3) Damontre Moore– We’ve got a lot riding on him taking that next step. How’s that looking?

    4) Stevie Brown– He’s coming back from injury, and could be the lynchpin of that safety group if he really is *back*. So, how does he look?

    5) Prince Amukamara– We never hear anything about him anymore–he’s so lowkey that he’s become a kind of assumed entity. But the Giants are going to have to make a decision about extending him in the near future.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Richburg looks like he has a lot of potential. He’s not great at any one thing, but he’s good at just about everything. Still learning though.

      Mosley has looked good. The fact that he’s gone relatively unnoticed is a testament to that. The less you hear, the better.

      Moore looks like a superstar in the making. He’s worked a lot on the mental side of the game and it’s translating to the field.

      Brown looks healthy, but hasn’t really stood out to me (or my people there) too much. Will have to focus more on him moving forward.

      Prince – Looks good. Is working on being more aggressive. Is really, tremendously going to benefit from DRC.

      •  kujo says:

        Good point on Mosley. I guess you don’t typically hear people gush about interior linemen.

        I think Prince is interesting, because his game is technically sound without being spectacular. I don’t look at him as one of these “shutdown corners” (/wildly-overrated term), but I see him as an above-average player. Having DRC on the other side of him is huge, because it makes Prince our #2 corner, and there aren’t many #2 corners as good as Prince. It’ll be interesting to see what we end up doing with Prince.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    2 FBs I don’t see any merit but I will just agree to disagree.

    Where I disagree with some is that I don’t think you need a FB to have a an effective running game. I think plenty of teams have proved that over the past 10-15 years.

    While TC is still the coach I really don’t think McAdoo was brought in to not run his offense. Looking at the practice reports and how players have been used it seems like McAdoo has been given pretty free reign. I guess we will start to see Sunday.

    •  kujo says:

      I am definitely done with this argument, as I’m sure you are. Suffice to say that there is a better chance than not that NEITHER of us will be proven right, as we will almost assuredly go with the 2-3 TEs/1 FB/4 RBs that we normally do.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        And you realize That Dan wrote and article about this very subject so this isn’t something I’m just creating.

      •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

        Just that there is really good talent at FB and very little at TE. Wish we could trade one one them for someone special.

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