Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Updated: September 22, 9:55 AM ET
Jeremy Maclin ready for Giants
By Ohm Youngmisuk
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Antrel Rolle says he wants to face Michael Vick and that he has confidence in covering DeSean Jackson if asked to.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin thinks the New York Giants safety, and all other Giants, should stop talking about the Eagles.
"He's just talking," Maclin told reporters in Philadelphia on Wednesday. "A lot of times, people talk, they are either insecure or scared. So you guys choose."
"They have no business talking because they haven't done anything in the last six times," Maclin added. "That speaks for itself. As far as us trying to (carry over that) momentum, it is a whole new game."
The rivalry between these two NFC East teams has been filled with talk. During the offseason, Osi Umenyiora and LeSean McCoy traded verbal barbs, with Umenyiora referring to McCoy as "Lady Gaga," among other jabs.
Steve Smith also posted a photo illustration of the Giants' celebrating their Super Bowl XLII victory next to an empty trophy case with an Eagles logo on it. This was before Smith joined the Eagles in free agency, which only added to the intrigue.
"I think it is a lot of intensity," cornerback Asante Samuel said of the rivalry. "It is a lot of trash talking and a lot of guys on the field that just hate each other. They just want to beat each other's head in. It is very competitive and has a long line of history behind. It is an ongoing rivalry that has a lot to it."
So far this week, Rolle, Justin Tuck and other Giants have said they want to face a healthy Vick, who suffered a concussion on Sunday.
Vick still has to pass his concussion tests before being officially cleared. But ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports that the Eagles believe he should be able to play Sunday, according to a team source.
"I want the best of the best," Rolle said on his weekly radio spot with WFAN on Tuesday. "And he is the best. I hope Michael Vick plays, because at the end of the day, I don't want any excuses when we go down to Philly and put it to them the way we will."
Team sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that Vick shared snaps with backup quarterback Mike Kafka with the first-team offense in Wednesday morning's walk-through, despite not practicing in the afternoon.
"If you are a competitor, you want a chance at the champ," linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "You want to be able to claim a real victory. You don't want it to be you knock somebody out, they weren't looking. You want it to be a real victory."
The Giants enter the game with several injuries of their own. They just lost wideout Domenik Hixon for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury and already are trying to make up for the losses of cornerback Terrell Thomas and middle linebacker Jonathan Goff. Wide receiver Mario Manningham also has a concussion.
Rolle was asked on Tuesday on his weekly radio interview whether he could cover Jackson if asked to. Rolle, who played corner early in his career, has covered some slot receivers this season with Thomas out.
"I have handled DeSean Jackson one-on-one before, and I don't see why I can't handle him again," Rolle said on WFAN.
The Giants are seeking redemption against Jackson and the Eagles, who have beaten them six straight times, including last year's unforgettable 38-31 come-from-behind victory that kept the Giants from winning the NFC East and making the playoffs.
Tuck said that heartbreaking loss -- the Giants blew a 31-10 cushion with 8:17 remaining, culminating with Jackson's game-clinching punt return touchdown -- will remain with him for the rest of his life.
Coach Tom Coughlin, though, wants his team to turn the page and to think about finishing against the Eagles. Last year, they lost both games to the Eagles after leading in the fourth quarter.
Rolle understands that the Giants won't win with words. They have to finish games against the Eagles, something the Giants haven't done since November 2008.
"The game's played on the field," Rolle said prior to Maclin's quotes coming out of Philadelphia on Wednesday. "It's not played with words. It's not played in the media."
"They respect us as an organization and we definitely respect them as an organization," Rolle added. "But at the same time, when the game is played, we are brutal and physical. At the end of the day we shake hands and part ways. All the trash talking, that doesn't do much, it's words."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.