Monday, August 25, 2008

Giants To Ask 1986 Team To Come Out Of Retirement, Just To Be Safe

East Rutherford, NJ (Aug. 25) - Stung by the loss of defensive end Osi Umenyiora for the season to injury, and with the pressure to return to the Super Bowl mounting, the New York Giants have not only asked DE Michael Strahan to come out of retirement, but are on the verge of asking the entire 1986 team to do so as well.

The '86 Giants, who routed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI, are seen as the "safest" backup plan, with injuries mounting and continued distrust in quarterback Eli Manning festering.

"Given the events of the past few days, and with young Eli still trying to prove to his detractors that last year was no fluke, we feel that the 1986 Giants offer a solid, trustworthy fortification to this year's squad," Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said in a statement released this morning. Tisch added that '86 QB Phil Simms "has way more credibility", at this juncture, than Manning, and that Simms elicits more trust in his teammates than Manning. "But this is no slap in Eli's face," team spokesman Dennis Ribant said. "This will take a lot of pressure off Eli. He can learn from Phil."

The '86 Giants will assume pretty much all roster spots for now, until head coach Tom Coughlin and his staff "have a better comfort level" with the '08 squad, according to Ribant.

Strahan, who retired after the Giants' Super Bowl upset over the New England Patriots last February, agreed to consider coming out of retirement after Umenyiora suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Jets over the weekend. But while Strahan mulled it over, sources say that Tisch decided to go "one step further" and bring back the 1986 championship squad.

"Steve doesn't do things half-ass," said friend Barry Heller. "If he's going to start bringing Giants players out of retirement, then you can bet he'll bring the best of the best. No pussy-footing around," Heller said of the resurrection of the '86 Giants.

Current Giants running back Brandon Jacobs says he welcomes the input of new teammate Joe Morris, 47, the team's leading rusher in 1986.

"How can I NOT learn from someone like Joe?," Jacobs told reporters in the locker room yesterday. "Why, just a few minutes ago, Joe was telling me things about fluid on the knee and post-concussion syndrome that I had no clue about. And I'm sure that when he called me 'Honey', it was just a term."

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