Bradshaw, Nicks, and Baas ruled out for today
The Giants announced last night that leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), leading receiver Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), and starting center David Baas (knee) did not make the trip to New England and are out for today’s game.
The Giants activated receiver Ramses Barden off the physically unable to perform list.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who exhibited concussionlike symptoms after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate at practice Thursday, made the trip, indicating he could play.
On the Patriots side, defensive lineman Ron Brace was activated, filling the spot opened when the team released Ross Ventrone Thursday.
Brace, a second-round draft pick out of Boston College in 2009, started the season on the physically unable to perform list after elbow surgery in January. The 6-foot-3-inch, 330-pound Massachusetts native began practicing Oct. 18, during the bye week, the first day he was allowed to do so.
On Friday, Brace said he was eager to play.
“It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a good 10-plus months now,’’ he said.
Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin are rivals today, but for three years they were part of the same staff - Belichick as defensive coordinator and Coughlin as receivers coach for the Giants.
Though they were on opposite sides of the ball, they worked together often and were able to learn from one another.
“That was a really a good situation for me,’’ Belichick recalled. “As a defensive backfield coach and a defensive coordinator, you work a lot with the receiver coach - one-on-ones, seven-on-seven drills - and also you talk to each other about ‘we’re playing this technique - what do you see, what can we do better or how would you attack it?’
“It was constructive.’’
Coughlin describes the relationship similarly.
“Bill and I had a very, very good working relationship,’’ he said. “We always had a really great attitude about helping each other, and whatever we needed, we got from the other guy.
“If I was asked to demonstrate some routes or put ourselves in position where perhaps it might have some man coverage adjustments that the secondary needed to see and be able to adjust to, we were more than happy to do that.
“I really do feel like the way in which we worked was something that became - for our entire team - a good example for the rest of our coaches and players in terms of cooperating so that we might be the best that we could be.’’
Coughlin came to the Giants in 1988; Belichick, who had been with the organization since 1979, had risen to coordinator a couple of years earlier. After New York won Super Bowl XXV over the Bills in 1990, Belichick got his first head coaching job, in Cleveland, and Coughlin became coach at Boston College.
They haven’t coached together since, but their friendship is intact - even though Coughlin’s Giants upset Belichick’s Patriots in the Super Bowl four years ago, ending the shot at an undefeated season.
“He’s been a good friend and a guy that I have great respect for,’’ Coughlin said.
Connect the dots
The connections between the Patriots and Giants don’t end with Belichick and Coughlin. Former New England special teams ace Larry Izzo is in his first season as New York’s assistant special teams coach. Markus Paul, who was on Belichick’s initial Patriots coaching staff as assistant strength and conditioning coach, has the same role with the Giants. And New England defensive line coach Pepper Johnson won two Super Bowls as a linebacker with the Giants, with Belichick as his coach.