--Both tight end Bear Pascoe, currently the Giants' fullback, and Madison Hedgecock, whom Pascoe replaced after the latter strained his hamstring last month, say that there is very little difference between playing tight end and fullback.
However, running backs coach Jerald Ingram respectfully disagreed with their assessment, at least in terms of how the Giants employ their fullback.
"Fullback is almost like a guard in the backfield," Ingram said. "It's probably one of the most underappreciated positions out there and one of the hardest positions to fill because you want that guy to block like a 300-pound offensive lineman, and there is no other position that runs seven, eight yards away from each other where one time you're going this way, and another you're going that way."
Unlike a tight end, a fullback often has to readjust on the fly to cover up mistakes or missed assignments that might otherwise lead to catastrophe.
"There are a lot of things that go into that position that some people don't even realize exist," said Ingram. "Sometimes you might end up blocking someone that wasn't your man. Fullbacks clean up after a lot of things. And those are things that Bear is starting to understand being back there and having to do them."
Ingram credited Hedgecock for being an ultimate team player and helping Pascoe expedite his learning process at the position. "He looks at things that Madison has had success with, and he's learning new things every day that are going to make him a better player," Ingram noted.
--One statistic that has likely been driving the Giants crazy has been the 11 interceptions thrown by Eli Manning in his first seven games.
The interceptions -- seven of which have been the result of tipped balls by the receivers -- have stirred some question as to whether Manning's mechanics might be off a bit this year or if there is something wrong with him.
While Manning will always state that he can get better at his craft, he said he didn't think that anything had changed as far as his mechanics were concerned, a sentiment echoed by his position coach, Mike Sullivan.
So what has been behind all the tipped balls that have gone for interceptions? Giants receivers coach Sean Ryan believes that his receivers need to pay a little closer attention to what they are doing to ensure that Manning connects with them.
"I think it comes back to the basics of football and route-running," he said. "If the route is supposed to be run at 12 yards, don't run it at 11 so that Eli knows where we're going to be.
"I think, No. 2, is when you talk to these (receivers), we're always working on getting in and out of our breaks, getting our eyes around, and getting our heads around to locate the ball -- that's the first thing you have to do. So it's our precision in our route-running and in finding the ball, and doing those things can help you stay away from the tipped balls."
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.