Friday, January 13, 2012
Giants line not responding to B.J. Raji
By Jane McManus ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants offensive lineman knew what questions were coming Friday afternoon after practice. So Chris Snee approached it with humor when asked if he heard Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji said his group wasn't the toughest.
"I was upset about it all night. I couldn't sleep, really tossing and turning," Snee said wryly.
With the Giants set to face the Packers in an NFC divisional game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET though, Snee got serious about what Raji, a New Jersey native, said earlier this week.
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"All kidding aside, no one cares what B.J. had to say," Snee said. "Sometimes when you're young and you make it to a Pro Bowl and then to a Super Bowl and you have your own commercial, you feel the need to talk. We'll do our talking on Sunday."
Raji was speaking Thursday in Green Bay, and was asked to assess different parts of the Giants offense. By his assessment, the Giants running backs were a physical group, the offensive line, not so much.
"I'm not saying they're soft," Raji said of the offensive line, "but they're not the toughest group I've been against."
Giants center Davis Baas had one basic response to all questions on Raji, and repeated it until reporters got the message.
"Honestly, I don't care," Baas said. "I'll do my talking on Sunday with my pads. I don't care. He can say whatever he wants to say, it doesn't matter."
Last week before the Giants faced the Falcons in a wild-card game, Justin Tuck used the word "dirtbags" when talking about Atlanta, which dominated several news cycles leading up to the game -- to Tuck's irritation. Snee referred to that when asked to guess at Raji's motivation for disrespecting a group right before facing them in such a high-stakes game.
"I read his earlier comments saying their team doesn't talk and we're doing all the talking," Snee said. "But he's giving the quotes. I don't understand the double talk there, but whatever you have to do to get yourself psyched up. Personally, it's the divisional round so that's what I'm excited about."
Offensive lineman Kevin Boothe said everyone is entitled to an opinion. "This is America," he said but added that it wouldn't affect the way the Giants prepare for the game.
At the end, Boothe was asked if there was anything worse that you could say about an offensive lineman. He smiled a little.
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.