Fearless Prediction: Giants-Redskins

Game Snapshot

KICKOFF: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

SURFACE: Grass

TV: ESPN (Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden)

KEYS TO THE GAME: First down is critical for the Giants on

both sides of the ball. Defensively, they want to back Redskins QB

Jason Campbell into long passing situations after watching

Philadelphia average 7.1 yards on first down last Sunday. Campbell

is playing efficiently as the passing game has picked up in the

absence of RB Clinton Portis. Quinton Ganther will start his second

consecutive game. Offensively, the Giants’ pass protection is a

concern with Washington boasting a tandem of double-digit sackers

in Andre Carter and rookie Brian Orakpo. New York averaged just 3.3

yards per carry in a Week 1 victory over Washington, but RB Brandon

Jacobs needs to be given an opportunity to set up play-action.

FAST FACTS: The Giants have had nine different starting

combinations on defense this season. … Campbell has a 92.3 passer

rating with 11 touchdowns in seven games since being benched at

halftime in Week 6.

Personnel News

Giants:

  • C Shaun O’Hara received a $15,000 fine for his role in the

    game-ending melee last week against Philadelphia. O’Hara and

    Eagles DE Trent Cole engaged in a shoving match that resulted in

    Cole being ejected with eight seconds left after he took a swing

    at O’Hara’s head. O’Hara said that he will appeal the fine, but

    that he might not hear back concerning his appeal until the end

    of the season.

     

  • RT Kareem McKenzie (knee) did not practice on Thursday and is

    not expected to play on Monday night against Washington. If

    McKenzie doesn’t go, William Beatty, who filled in for McKenzie

    last week after he left the game, is expected to get his second

    career start.

     

  • CB Corey Webster (knee) was held out of Thursday’s practice.

    Coach Tom Coughlin remained hopeful that Webster was still “day

    to day,” but he also didn’t rule out the possibility of moving

    Aaron Ross, who last week started at safety, over to cornerback.

     

  • WR Mario Manningham was not at the team’s facility on

    Thursday. The second-year receiver was reportedly experiencing

    flu-like symptoms, so the team sent him home to rest. He was

    expected back to work on Friday.

     

  • DE Mathias Kiwanuka was voted as the winner of the ninth

    annual George Young Good Guy Award by the Giants’ chapter of the

    Professional Football Writers of America.

    The award, named for the late general manager of the

    Giants, is given annually to honor a Giants player for his

    consistent and outstanding cooperation with the writers who cover

    the team on a daily basis.

    Kiwanuka, in his fourth NFL season, distinguished himself

    by being constantly available to the media. He is the second

    member of the defensive line to receive the award since its

    inception in 2001. DE Justin Tuck won the award in 2007.

     

  • S Kenny Phillips, who was placed on injured reserve after

    having knee surgery following Week 2, paid a visit to the Giants’

    locker room today. Phillips said he’s feeling “great” but is

    still a couple of months away from being cleared to do any

    running.

     

Redskins:

  • CB DeAngelo Hall took limited practice on Thursday for the

    first time since spraining his right knee on Nov. 22 at Dallas.

     

  • FB Mike Sellers took limited practice on Thursday for the

    first time since being hospitalized on Dec. 6 with internal

    bleeding in his left thigh.

     

  • DT Albert Haynesworth took limited practice on Thursday after

    missing three of the past four games with a sprained left ankle.

     

  • OT Stephon Heyer didn’t practice on Thursday because of a

    flare-up in his long-ailing right knee.

     

  • DT Cornelius Griffin was limited on Thursday because of an

    ailing knee.

     

  • S Kareem Moore was limited on Thursday with an ailing ankle.

     

  • K Graham Gano kicked field goals but not kickoffs during

    Thursday’s practice because of a bursa problem in his right foot.

     

Inside The Camps

Giants:

The Giants haven’t seen the Washington Redskins since Week 1

of the NFL season, which seems like an eternity considering the

promise each team began the year with. So when these two teams get

together for their Monday night matchup, the Giants’ offense is

going to have its hands full with a defense that is ranked seventh

in the league and is first in the red zone.

“They have always been a very aggressive defensive front,”

said coach Tom Coughlin. “They do a good job of attacking. They are

a solid front, now. The secondary is aggressive; the safeties are

very aggressive.”

Coughlin was asked how relevant the information from the

first game was as far as helping prepare his offense. He said that

while there was some relevancy, things have changed.

According to Giants quarterback Eli Manning, one big change

is that the Washington defense has jelled.

“They have kind of stayed within the same game plan,” said

Manning. “You have seen some young guys emerge and really play

well. It is not like they are doing a whole lot of things

differently. They don’t change things up much so everybody knows

what they are doing and they are very sound in their defense.”

One guy in particular who has been a difference maker for the

Redskins has been rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo, whom the Redskins

play mostly at strong-side linebacker but who also moves to

defensive end on third down situations.

With the Giants expected to not have right tackle Kareem

McKenzie in the lineup because of a sprained MCL, rookie Will

Beatty will step in and help protect his quarterback. It won’t be

easy, though, as the Redskins’ defense is out to make Manning’s

night miserable.

Manning, however, said it doesn’t matter how many yards he

throws for as long as the Giants find a way to win. And he believes

that they can win this game if they stick to their game plan and

play fundamentally sound football.

“It’s about going out there and playing your best for four

quarters and putting your team in a situation to win games,”

Manning said. “Right now we’ve got a big one coming up against

Washington. I don’t care if I throw for 100 yards or 300 yards. As

long as we win, that is when you are satisfied.”

Redskins:

The Redskins confirmed executive vice president Vinny

Cerrato’s resignation.

In the statement released by the team, Cerrato made some

notable omissions in thanking the club for his time there.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great coaches

such as Joe Gibbs, Greg Blache and Sherman Lewis,” Cerrato said.

He cites the defensive coordinator and the offensive

consultant but not embattled Jim Zorn, the coach he and Dan Snyder

hired 23 months ago.

In the newsy part of the statement, Cerrato said that he and

owner Dan Snyder “agreed that the franchise needs someone different

in this position.”

Cerrato has been Snyder’s right-hand man for 10 of the 11

seasons the owner has run the Redskins (save 2001 when Marty

Schottenheimer forced Cerrato out). Washington has made the

playoffs three times, including in 1999 with a team that was put

together by Charley Casserly, Cerrato’s predecessor.

The Redskins are in the midst of their fifth losing season

during Cerrato’s second tenure that lasted not quite eight years.

“Of course, I am disappointed with this year’s results, but I

strongly believe that with outstanding draft picks and encouraging

performance by our younger players, we have laid a strong

foundation for the franchise,” Cerrato said.

Snyder called his buddy “the consummate optimist” and said he

“has always made decisions based on what would be the best for the

team.”

Bruce Allen was seemingly destined to become the general

manager of the Washington Redskins, the job he was given on

Thursday.

As a teenager, Allen was nearly tossed from the sideline

during a Redskins game for cursing at the officials, causing his

father, coach George Allen, to deny he knew him to avoid a penalty.

As an adult, Allen built the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that

the Redskins victimized for their only playoff victory this decade.

Allen believes passionately in, well, passion, as did his

late father, the Hall of Famer who turned the long-moribund

Redskins into winners in the 1970s.

“The greatest thing is the passion, love what you’re doing,”

said Allen, who ran the Oakland Raiders’ front office from

1995-2003 before spending five seasons with the Bucs. “I worked at

a gas station on Route 7 by Tysons Corner. A car pulls up and it

was (my father). He didn’t like the way I came out of the gas

station. Whatever you’re doing, have a passion for it.”

Asked why he wants to work for Redskins owner Dan Snyder,

Allen said, “I like Dan for his passion.”

Allen sounded just like his father when he talked about the

key to success.

“The principles of football in my mind are simple,” said

Allen, who wore a burgundy and gold tie to his press conference.

“It’s a team. It’s 53 men, an entire staff, everybody in the

building going in the same direction for one common purpose and

that’s to win.”

He wasn’t a big winner with Oakland (77-74 and three playoff

seasons during his nine years) or Tampa Bay (38-44 and two playoff

seasons in five years), but Allen did produce the Raiders’ only

Super Bowl team of the last quarter century and the Buccaneers’

only consecutive winning seasons since 2001-02.

Allen, 54, is credited for fixing the Bucs’ salary-cap woes,

but in doing so he rid the roster of longtime standouts Warren

Sapp, John Lynch and Simeon Rice.

He also traded malcontent Keyshawn Johnson for more

productive fellow receiver Joey Galloway and revived the careers of

receiver Antonio Bryant and defensive end Greg White but gave

quarterback Chris Simms a huge contract, which turned out to be a

big mistake.

And while the Bucs won the NFC South in 2005 and 2007, they

were bounced from the playoffs each time, scoring just 24 points in

home losses to Washington and the New York Giants. Only one of

Allen’s 47 draft picks in Tampa Bay, guard Davin Joseph, has been

chosen for a Pro Bowl. And only one of his 34 free-agent signings,

punter Josh Bidwill, has been similarly honored.

Allen’s first year in Tampa was his worst. He gave big

contracts to such past-their-prime veterans as offensive linemen

Derrick Deese and Todd Steussie and running back Charlie Garner,

and drafted a bunch of busts, headed by first-round receiver

Michael Clayton, who has four touchdowns in six years.

When the Bucs lost their final four games to miss the 2008

playoffs, Allen and coach Jon Gruden, a prime candidate to coach

the Redskins in 2010, were fired.

“Bruce Allen is a great football mind and an even better

person,” said Gruden, now an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night

Football. “He is a leader and a great fit for this job. He’s a big

reason why I had any success in coaching.”

Allen, a player agent before becoming an executive, has used

his year off to visit former opponents around the league.

“Hopefully learning (and) having more experience, we can make

sure we have less mistakes and more correct decisions,” Allen said.

Allen’s track record was better in Oakland, where he was

named NFL Executive of The Year in 2002, when the Raiders capped

three straight AFC West titles with the conference championship.

“He’s a proven winner,” Snyder said. “He has a great passion

for the game, a passion for winning. He’s a great communicator. He

has a tireless work ethic. He works around the clock. It’s an added

bonus that he understands the tradition and heritage of the

Washington Redskins.”

On that point, there’s no argument. Allen referred to some

members of his father’s famed “Over The Hill Gang” as “extended

family.”

Bubba Tyer, the Redskins’ trainer for 37 years before

retiring after last season, remembers throwing Bruce and his

brother George, the future Virginia governor and senator, out of

the training room for spitting tobacco.

“If he’s as dedicated as his dad (was), as one-dimensional

about winning as his dad (was), we’ll be fine,” Tyer said.

Allen, who was fired along with Gruden after the 2008 season,

was evasive when asked about hiring Gruden or former Denver coach

Mike Shanahan, to replace the embattled Zorn, saying he’ll spend

the final three weeks of this season evalating everything about the

Redskins.

PREDICTION: Redskins 23-19