MMQB Mail: Tweeters' convention, Tyree tidbits, much more
Giants receiver David Tyree said he has no desire to play anywhere else
Vikings personnel seem to think John David Booty has tremendous potential
Teams let Mike Shanahan visit their camps out of respect and for his knowledge
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Sorry for the late column today, and a couple of notes before I get into one of my favorite people in the NFL, David Tyree.
Thanks to the 50 to 60 folks who came out for the Tweetup last night at the minor-league baseball game in Troy, N.Y., and thanks to the people at the TriCity ValleyCats for setting up the extravaganza.
Some great questions came from the crowd. We had a guy from Toronto and another from Cooperstown come in, as well as the locals. "There's nothing like being able to press the flesh,'' said Adam Schefter, who joined Ross Tucker, Bob Papa, Albert Breer and me in spending 90 or so minutes with the people. "These are the diehard fans, and it's nice to come face-to-face with them instead of just Tweeting with them.'' He's right. Good people, fun people, interested people. We had a good time. Looking forward to next Monday's Tweetup at Victory Field in Indianapolis, prior to the Indianapolis-Columbus minor-league game in downtown Indy.
Schefter, by the way, is due for a Tweet-tervention. He's ridiculous. He never gets off Twitter. When the Giants handed him his sideline credential at camp this morning, they listed his affiliation as: "ESPN/Twitter.'' In one month, as of 3 p.m., he's up to 1,005 Tweets. Someone get him a ticket to Betty Ford.
Today's the day Ross Tucker and I part after a week together. After 1,400 miles in the car together, the big lug can wear on me, and me on him. But it's been a great education to have a conversant, bright, optimistic-but-not-cloying former player in the car to tell you what's what in the NFL. So thanks for the company, Ross. Now I go solo for the last two weeks of the journey, starting tomorrow in River Falls, Wisc., with the Chiefs.
David Tyree makes it clear he does not want sentimentality to play one iota of a part in his fate with the New York Giants this summer. Just because he made the most famous play in the history of the franchise, and probably the most incredible play in the history of the Super Bowl, means nothing to him in August 2009. And it shouldn't. The famous ball-Velcroed-to-helmet catch that keyed the winning drive in the Giants' shocking 17-14 upset of the Patriots in the Super Bowl 18 months ago is a lifetime memory, obviously. In this camp? Unimportant.
"It shouldn't be a factor,'' he told me at noon today. "It shouldn't. Not at all. This camp is not about the Super Bowl won a couple of years ago. It should be all about the one we want to win now.''
Tyree missed last season after recovering slowly from offseason knee surgery, and it may have been for the best. The Giants would have had to whack a healthy receiver in early November, when Tyree was almost ready to play. Instead, the team put him on IR and let him heal for the 2009 season.
The Giants took two receivers in the top 100 picks of the draft -- Hakeem Nicks (round one) and Ramses Barden (three). That duo, along with the standout of this year's offseason program, 2008 third-round receiver Mario Manningham, comprise what could be a formidable roadblock for Tyree. Maybe an insurmountable one.
Add Eli Manning-favorite Steve Smith, with Domenik Hixon also a fairly sure thing for the final 53, and throw the perennially disappointing Sinorice Moss into the mix, and that's six receivers ahead of Tyree. Obviously, Tyree has the edge of being the team's most experienced and dangerous special-teams player, but at 29 he knows Giant brass will have to consider whether it's smart, for example, to dangle Moss in trade with a wideout-needy team like the Jets or Cowboys and keep Tyree as a special-teamer and insurance receiver.
"I compete as a receiver,'' Tyree said, "but I do bring something different to the table that the other wideouts don't. It's not like I'm going to be the one, two or three anyway [first, second or third receiver]. I never have been. But the Giants have always been fair to me. I trust them to make the right decision for the franchise. The only way I look at it is, I have to go out there and make every play count. Every route counts.''
I asked: "So what if you get the knock on the door, or the phone call, in the next few weeks, the bring-your-playbook-and-see-the-coach call? And it's over here?''
"I don't prepare for it, but I know it's a reality,'' Tyree said. "Every year I've been here, since I was drafted [sixth round, 2003], I've been considered a fringe player. Nothing's changed. They've brought in some receivers, and all you can do is go out every day and show the coaches you belong and you can help them win.''
He said he has no desire to play anywhere else, "but I've got two or three years of really good football left in me. If it can't be here, and the Giants have one of the deepest rosters in football, not every other team is so deep. I know there's a place for me somewhere. I really, really hope it's here.''
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