ET: What kind of camp and preseason has Jeremy Shockey had? Do you expect him to be a major factor in this game?
KP: Shockey and Eli have had quite a good connection during camp this summer. Despite all the talk about Shockey and Plax working out on their own in Miami, it sure didn't show in Albany. Expect Shockey to be the first or second option on most pass plays and to show up under the bright lights. When he's healthy and focused, which he is on both fronts, he's always a threat to be reckoned with.
Ed Thompson: With only two tight ends on the roster, how does that impact the offensive scheme, especially if one gets injured during the game?
Ken Palmer: Jim Finn can be used as an H-back or sub tight end, if need be. The Giants are certainly gambling a little by carrying only Jeremy Shockey and Visanthe Shiancoe, neither who are all that solid at blocking. If the Giants need another blocker on the line, they plan to use another offensive lineman, such as rookie Guy Whimper.
ET: How do you think Eli is going to handle the Manning-brother mania once he gets out there to take his first snap? Does he have the temperament to ignore it?
KP: Absolutely, positively. Eli will never face a tougher situation than he did when he traveled to San Diego in week three last season. He was calm, cool and unwavering in throwing for 352 yards in the most adverse of circumstances. According to teammates, facing off against his brother hasn't seemed to affect Eli in the least so far and it most likely won't Sunday night either. He didn't earn the nickname ‘Easy' for nothing.
ET: Which rookie is most likely to get noticed in this game?
KP: While all eyes will be on first-round pick Mathias Kiwanuka, who had a tremendous summer and will see some snaps at DE against Indy, the real rookie to watch is fourth-rounder Barry Cofield. The Northwestern product came right in and took the starting spot away from former first-round disappointment William Joseph. Cofield excels not only with his strength but his smarts, and could be a key to keeping Manning and Harrison under wraps.
ET: Tiki Barber made an interesting comment that he doesn't think he'll have the kind of numbers that he had last year. Why does he think that...and do you agree?
KP: For one, the presence of Brandon Jacobs will certainly lighten Barber's load. Tiki had an astounding 411 touches last season, a number that needs to be cut significantly. As a result it's probable that Barber will not repeat his 1,860-yard season, but we wouldn't rule it out either. With fewer touches Barber will be fresher and crisper at the end of halves and games this season and could quite possibly surpass his record-breaking numbers in less carries.