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GIANTS FACE OTHER 'L.T.'

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.nypost.com/sports/giants/28448.htm" target="_blank">New York Post</a>

    By DAN MARTIN

    September 23, 2005 -- The only time Michael Strahan ever played against LaDainian Tomlinson was in the Pro Bowl. But what Strahan has seen as the Giants get ready to face the San Diego running back Sunday has made quite an impression.

    "On film, he's scary," Strahan said yesterday. "I've never seen someone as quick, fast, powerful. He's probably the best all-around player in the league."

    It's an opinion widely held around the Giants' locker room, despite Tomlinson's slow start this season: He has 124 yards and is averaging less than 3.3 yards per carry.

    "It doesn't matter what his stats are," said linebacker Antonio Pierce, who leads the Giants with 16 tackles. "He's a game-breaker and he can do that at any time. We'll try to wear him down."

    The Giants defense has been solid during the team's 2-0 start, but that was against the questionable offenses of Arizona and New Orleans. Neither had a player as dangerous as Tomlinson, who rushed for 30 touchdowns over the previous two seasons and has three already this year.

    He will be a test for the revamped defense, which was ravaged by injuries a year ago and has gotten production so far from unexpected sources William Joseph and Kendrick Clancy, who picked up his first career sack last week in the 27-10 win over the Saints.

    "He's probably the best player in the league," Clancy said of Tomlinson. "He can catch, block and run the ball. He can do everything but throw the ball."

    Clancy and his fellow defensive linemen will be in charge of at least slowing down Tomlinson, and there undoubtedly is more confidence that can be done now than there would have been before the season began.

    Clancy and Joseph have exceeded expectations and have made life significantly easier for the Giants linebackers. The difference has been noticed.

    "We have our defensive line back and injury free," Carlos Emmons said. "That allows us to make plays. We really couldn't do that last year."

    Not with backs running unimpeded into the defensive secondary and the entire unit in tatters. But this has been a different run defense so far.

    Despite that early success, San Diego is almost certain to try to break through that line and get Tomlinson going.

    "He's a huge part of our offense and the best player on the field," said San Diego QB Drew Brees, who could take advantage of the Giants' still-struggling pass defense. "So he needs to touch the ball as much as possible."

    That's what the Giants are ready for.

    "We know what they're going to try to do," Emmons said. "He's not touching the ball enough, so they want to fix that."

    That means even more work for Joseph and Clancy.

    "We've done well the first two games, but there are 14 more to go," Clancy said. "Whether we can keep it up, time will tell."

    Pierce said he believes they can.

    "[The defensive line is] out to prove people wrong," Pierce said. "It started with Strahan and the talk that he was 33 [years old] and coming off an injury, but they've shown what they can do."
     

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