Three Vets Axed, Coach Added

In football talk, the Giants trimmed the fat on their roster for the upcoming season by parting ways with three veterans who contributed little in '08 and appeared destined for even lesser roles in '09.

The Giants terminated the contracts of three veteran players who ended the season on injured reserve – running back Reuben Droughns, cornerback Sam Madison and safety Sammy Knight.

In Droughns, Madison and Knight, the Giants released three players with a combined 33 years of NFL experience.

Droughns joined the Giants on March 9, 2007 in a trade with Cleveland for Tim Carter. He led the Super Bowl XLII champion Giants with six rushing touchdowns. He ran for 275 yards that season. Last year, Droughns did not have a rushing attempt, but he finished fourth on the team with 11 special teams tackles. He suffered a neck injury at Dallas on Dec. 14 and was placed on injured reserve two days later.

Madison played three seasons for the Giants after spending the first nine years of his career with the Miami Dolphins. In 2007, he played in seven games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams before breaking his ankle on Dec. 28 at Minnesota. Madison's interception of a McNabb pass in Philadelphia on Nov. 9 was the 38th of his career.

Knight joined the Giants last March 4 after stints with New Orleans, Miami, Kansas City and Jacksonville. He played in nine games and finished the year with 13 tackles (eight solo). When Knight was inactive at Cleveland on Oct. 13, it ended his streak of 160 consecutive games played. He has 42 career interceptions. Knight was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury in November.

Also, Tom Coughlin filled the final vacancy on his coaching staff by hiring Al Holcomb as the Giants' new defensive quality control coach. Holcomb comes to the team from Lafayette College. He replaces Andre Curtis, who joined Steve Spagnuolo's staff with the St. Louis Rams.

Holcomb, the newest member of the coaching staff, spent the previous three seasons as the defensive line coach at Lafayette. The Leopards' defensive coordinator, John Loose, worked with new Giants coordinator Bill Sheridan from 1992-97 and enthusiastically recommended Holcomb.

"Al Holcomb is a veteran coach who has been at the collegiate level his entire career," Coughlin said. "As a coordinator he has coached all three position groups (line, linebacker and secondary). John Loose called Bill Sheridan and said this is an extremely impressive football coach who is deserving of an opportunity like this if someone would give him a chance to interview – so we did. I was impressed with Al and with his whole thought process in terms of how he got in to coaching. He did not play football at West Virginia but became a G.A. at Temple right out of college. He has a master's degree and I think he will make a solid addition to our staff."

Holcomb previously coached at Kutztown University, Bloomsburg and Colby. In the summer of 2007, he participated in the NFL's minority coaching internship with the Jets.

"I am humbled and it is a great honor and a privilege to be a part of a great organization like the New York Giants," Holcomb said. "They have such a storied tradition and franchise and I am certainly looking forward to contributing and being a part of a great season. Coaching in the NFL was a goal of mine. This has been a lifelong dream of mine, to be honest with you."

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