It's been a good run for the Giants. The Super Bowl champions received their championship rings and can add a visit the White House to their summer itinerary. But behind the scenes, the defending Super Bowl champions have begun working on their defense of their title. "All those things are wonderful experiences," said head coach Tom Coughlin of the parties, rings, VIP treatments, and visibility he and his players have enjoyed because of their winning pro football's biggest title. "(Offensive lineman) David Diehl mentioned closure. It's probably not quite closure, but it's time to move on. You can sense it and you can feel it." That's what the Giants have been doing as on May 23, the team kicked off the first of nine organized team activities (OTAs) at their headquarters in East Rutherford, NJ. The defense of their title won't be easy. For starters, the have been questions about who will replace key contributors to their championship team, such as receiver Mario Manningham, running back Brandon Jacobs, and defensive end Dave Tollefson, just to name a few. While these questions won't be answered for some time yet, Coughlin believes that the OTAs will lay the groundwork for individual candidates to stake their claim into earning roster spots. "All of these workouts are important for everybody to get back into a football mentality," he said. "The development is real important -- just to learn the new language is really critical to be able to come and execute. All this stuff is very, very important, obviously, to the development of our team." Another question facing the Giants is their motivation after reaching the sport's pinnacle. Coughlin and his players didn't seem too concerned about motivation being an issue. "I think we must raise the bar for our own performance, whether it is in the meetings, on the practice field, (or) on the game field," Coughlin said. "I'd like to see everyone come in here -- the young players, the new players -- (and) understand the New York Giants championship culture, which is over the door to the locker room, and try to raise the level of how we do everything so that it is championship level." Thus far, the players in the locker room seem to have the right mind frame regarding their defense of their title. "It doesn't matter how many we win, we're always going to want another one," said linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, one of the veteran leaders on the team. "I think we're in a good spot. Yeah, we enjoyed the championship. We have the rings and they look nice, but we're ready to move on."
- Tom Coughlin
- the Giants