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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Big Blue Morning: The minds of linemen

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants

The news of the day: Lots of interesting stuff out of East Rutherford on Wednesday. Offensive lineman Will Beatty was remarkably open and honest about his psychological struggles with the pressure that has come with his new contract, and defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul was honest about his shoulder injury and his chances of playing again this season. Worthwhile reads, both, if I do say so myself. And here's that thing we promised you dredging up the 2004 draft again, with Eli Manning on his way to play in San Diego against the team for which he didn't want to play.

Behind enemy lines: Asked Wednesday about a San Diego Chargers offensive line that has struggled with injuries and changes this year, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said, "I like to look at stats, and they've only given up 22 sacks this year, fourth-fewest in the league. Yeah, they've had some injuries and some moving parts, but they've held together and they're playing well. We've got a huge task ahead of us." Our man in San Diego, Eric D. Williams, writes that the Chargers' offensive line is getting healthier in advance of this game.

Around the division: The questions coming into the season about the Eagles' defense weren't about whether it had enough good players as much as they were about how those players would fit into a radically new scheme. In my former life as NFC East blogger, I remember suggesting Trent Cole, in particular, as someone who was a candidate for a bounce-back season if he could grasp the new role and schemes. He has.

Around the league: My weekly shameless plug for my MVP Watch column, which I greatly enjoy writing. It includes no Giants (nor any other players on sub-.500 teams, including Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers), but maybe you'll enjoy reading some thoughts on some players on the other teams and their (slim) chances of knocking off Manning's brother for the MVP award.