Highly offensive – former Giants shine throughout

When the Giants face Philadelphia Sunday at Giants Stadium, they'll encounter a Sean Landeta-less Eagles team for the first time since 1998. Landeta, 41, is in St. Louis again this season, where he is playing his 19th NFL season for the Rams, for whom he played in 1995 and '96.<BR><BR>

Landeta is among many former Giants playing for the 31 other NFL franchises this season. Below is a list of each of those offensive players, including his current team, height, weight, college, NFL experience and his seasons spent with the Giants. Next week, The Giant Insider will evaluate the former Giants defensive and special teams players who are working elsewhere.

QUARTERBACKS

Danny Kanell; Denver; 6-3; 218; Florida State; sixth season; 1996-98.

He hadn't played professional football since the 2000 season, when he was one of Chris Chandler's backups in Atlanta. In the interim, he played first base for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League. He signed with the Broncos in the offseason and was waived in training camp, but was brought back to provide veteran insurance behind Jake Plummer and Steve Beuerlein.

Tommy Maddox; Pittsburgh; 6-4, 220; UCLA; seventh season; 1995.

He has played pretty poorly overall since his three-touchdown performance in a season-opening victory over Baltimore, but he has at least helped Steelers fans appreciate that Kordell Stewart now calls Chicago home. The Steelers still haven't committed major money to the ex-XFL star, though. If Pittsburgh continues to struggle as the midway mark approaches, look for former Lion Charlie Batch to push Maddox for the starting spot.

RUNNING BACKS

Greg Comella; Houston; 6-1, 248; Stanford; sixth season; 1998-2001.

The Giants miss the intense Comella a lot less this season than they did during 2002, when rookie replacement Charles Stackhouse routinely blew assignments and also made physical mistakes. Comella, who signed a five-year, $6 million contract with Tennessee after the 2001 season, was waived by the Titans after catching just 10 passes in 12 games and failing to be the brutal blocker they needed ahead of a fading Eddie George. Comella has played sparingly with Houston since signing with the Texans just before the season started.

Tyrone Wheatley; Oakland; 6-0; 235; Michigan; ninth season; 1995-98.

The enigmatic ex-Michigan star has been a lot less effective since rushing for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns for the Raiders in 2000. The bigger, bruising Wheatley is still a competent change-of-pace partner for smallish starter Charlie Garner. Unfortunately for Wheatley, Al Davis believes rookie Justin Fargas, a third-round draft choice out of USC, has a bright future.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

Jonathan Carter; Jets; 5-11; 180; Troy (Ala.) State; third season; 2001-2002.

This speed demon won't get much of a chance to be more than the fourth receiver for Herman Edwards. Simply put, Santana Moss is a better version of Carter. Curtis Conway has struggled, but Carter hasn't moved past him on the depth chart, despite Conway's demotion.

Dan Campbell; Dallas; 6-5; 263; Texas A&M; fifth season; 1999-2002.

Though they have young talent developing at tight end, the Giants miss his leadership and Campbell's calming influence on impulsive Jeremy Shockey. Campbell has not yet made much of an impact as a receiver for Bill Parcells, but he is a very capable blocker. Campbell signed a three-year, $3.5 million contract during the offseason.

Joe Jurevicius; Tampa Bay; 6-5; 230; Penn State; sixth season; 1998-2001.

Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell still catch more passes, but don't record many more important receptions than Jurevicius, one of the premier red-zone receivers in the league. He is in the second season of a three-year, $3 million deal, but will probably seek starter's money after the 2004 season based on how much he has raised his national profile. It's a good thing he's 6-5, or Keyshawn might've had to dust off the short, underdog material he tried to use against Wayne Chrebet.

Ed McCaffrey; Denver; 6-5; 215; Stanford; 13th season; 1991-93.

His production has finally slipped due to the development of second-year receiver Ashley Lelie and the return of tight end Shannon Sharpe. "Easy Ed" showed last season, though, that he is still a capable player. After missing all but one game of the 2001 season due a broken leg sustained against the Giants, McCaffrey caught 69 passes for 903 yards and two touchdowns in 2002.

David Patten; New England; 5-10; 190; Western Carolina; seventh season; 1997-99.

The Arena Football League alum caught a career-high 61 passes for 824 yards and five scores in 2002, a year after his Super Bowl XXXVI heroics. Patten stretches the field for former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick. He starts opposite another underrated receiver, Troy Brown.

Brian Kozlowski; Atlanta; 6-3; 250; Connecticut; 10th season; 1994-96.

Kozlowski will apparently be employed as long as Dan Reeves, who first worked with the former Division I-AA standout with the Giants in 1994. Kozlowski continues to provide plenty of special teams help for the Falcons. He won't catch too many balls behind emerging starter Alge Crumpler, but he caught as many passes in the Falcons' first five games (six) as he did during the 2002 season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Scott Gragg; San Francisco; 6-8; 315; Montana; ninth season; 1995-99.

He has cut down on his false starts and holding penalties. Though the Niners have had more difficulty this season protecting Jeff Garcia, Gragg has become a solid right tackle in San Francisco. He is in the third season of a six-year, $18 million deal.

Roman Oben; Tampa Bay; 6-4; 305; Louisville; eighth season; 1996-99.

The quiet left tackle has finally found a home with the Bucs, after the Browns were convinced he wasn't worth keeping in order to protect Tim Couch's blind side. He has continued to keep Brad Johnson pretty clean in his second season with Tampa Bay. If not for the salary cap, the Giants' offensive front could include Oben at left tackle, Jason Whittle at left guard, Chris Bober at center, Ron Stone at right guard and Luke Petitgout at right tackle.

Ron Stone; San Francisco; 6-5; 320; Boston College; 11th season; 1996-2001.

Stone earned his third straight trip to the Pro Bowl in 2002, and remains one of the best run-blockers in the NFL. Healthier, he seemed more consistent in 2002 than he did during his last season as a Giant. He is playing the second season of a four-year, $9 million deal.

Mike Rosenthal; Minnesota; 6-7; 315; Notre Dame; sixth season; 1999-2002.

After one year as a serviceable starter, he tried to break the bank before this season. He settled for a two-year, $1.8 deal with the Vikings. He starts for them at right tackle.

Jason Whittle; Tampa Bay; 6-4; 305; Southwest Missouri State; sixth season; 1998-2002.

Aside from Chris Bober, he was the Giants' most versatile offensive lineman. Though fifth-round draft choice David Diehl has proved to be one of the steals of the NFL Draft, the Giants would've kept Whittle if they weren't so cap-strapped. He signed a four-year, $6 million deal with Tampa Bay.

EDITOR'S NOTE: All of the offensive players listed next are not currently under contract with an NFL franchise, but are expected to try to continue their respective careers. They include QB Dave Brown (1992-97), WR Thabiti Davis (2000-2001), TE Pete Mitchell (1999-2000), RB Joe Montgomery (1998-2001), OT Toby Myles (1998-99), FB Craig Walendy (2000), RB Damon Washington (2000-2001) and OT Chris Ziemann (2000).


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