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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Pierre-Paul says Giants are in Brady's head

By Dan Graziano

INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Giants' final media session of Super Bowl week wrapped up around 11:30 am ET on Thursday, which means we won't get a chance to talk to the players again until after the game Sunday night. But man, did these uber-confident Giants make the most of their media time.

 Jason Pierre-Paul
Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants defense sacked Patriots QB Tom Brady twice and hit him three other times when the two teams met in Week 9.
More than one Giants player has said New York needs to plan for a parade next week. The receivers have been open and honest with their opinions on a New England Patriots secondary that uses converted wide receivers as defensive backs. And on Thursday, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was so concerned with the Giants' pass rush in Week 9 that he was dodging phantom pressure:

"Yeah, he was reacting to pressure that didn't exist and he was just throwing the ball places that there wasn't a receiver there," Pierre-Paul said, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor. "So imagine us just getting there even faster and we're actually doing our jobs and getting there and getting hits on him."

Hey, look. The Giants have been yapping for weeks. There's no denying it. A team that so openly disdains the boastful, chirpy way in which the intrastate rival Jets have carried themselves for the past three years has been acting out of character, openly proclaiming the self-confidence that has fueled its five-game winning streak and carried it into the Super Bowl. And if the Giants lose the game, some will claim that they got too confident, gave the Patriots too much bulletin board material and opened themselves up to a letdown.

I'm not buying that, though. It'd be one thing if this were a team that had never been here before. But there are 15 Giants who were on the Super Bowl XLII team four years ago and a handful of others who've played in Super Bowls as well. They're not unaware of what they're saying or the way it might be perceived. They're not saying it to try to send a message or pump themselves up. They're saying this stuff because they honestly believe it to be true, and the way they've played over the past month and a half has continually proved them right.

It's temping to read the Pierre-Paul comments and say, "Uh-oh... that'll fire up Brady." But this is the Super Bowl. If the Patriots win, I highly doubt you'll hear Brady say after the game that the Giants' trash talk motivated him to play better. "They should be confident," he said of the Giants on Thursday, and he's right. Both of these teams should be. For some reason, the Giants just seem a little less shy about projecting it.