Umenyiora Takes Flight From Giants Camp

Published on: 1st September, 2009

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Super Bowl Giants Football
Umenyiora Takes Flight From Giants Camp

New York Giants defensive ends Michael Strahan, left, and Osi Umenyiora walks out to the bubble for football practice Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 in East Rutherford, N.J. The New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)  | read this item

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New York — The New York Giants have enough problems so far this pre-season. Their offense is not balanced between the run and the pass, their defense is not settled at the linebacker position, there are injuries dotting all areas of the roster, and Tom Coughlin isn’t a happy camper. Now, Osi Unenyiora took the opportunity yesterday to not show up for practice. Initially, he gave no reason for his disappearance but did respond to a text message from Giants General Manager, Jerry Reese who sent a note asking if Umenyiora was okay. The defensive end, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, responded back to Reese that he was fine. He later came back to Giants Stadium and met with Reese and Coughlin.

 

The two-time Pro Bowler returned to the Giants complex last night and apologized for walking out on practice earlier in the day.

 

Umenyiora, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, had attended meetings in the morning at the team’s headquarters. He then left without talking to head coach Tom Coughlin and didn’t return for the workout.

 

“I made a mistake by leaving the facility,” he said in a statement issued by the team last night. “I was wrong. I came in here . . . and apologized and explained why I left the building. That will remain between us. I have no problem with our defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan or any of our coaches. That’s the end of it, as far as I am concerned.”

 

The Newark Star-Ledger, citing “informed” sources, reported that Umenyiora skipped practice after getting into a dispute with Sheridan. Sheridan reportedly criticized Umenyiora for making a mistake in Saturday’s game against the New York Jets.

 

Stay tuned. I suspect we haven’t heard the end of Umenyiora’s problem with Sheridan nor do I believe Umenyiora is the only player who may have some difficulty with Sheridan’s coaching style. Last year’s defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, was a popular and beloved coach whose success led to his getting the head job with the St. Louis Rams. Sheridan has big shoes to fill this season, both with defensive production and acceptance by his key players. Without that acceptance, Sheridan faces an uphill battle to win over the entire defensive unit, many of whom won a Super Bowl just two years ago with Spagnuolo as their mentor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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