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The focus of cheap talk

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

    Nov 22, 2005
    Posted: Jan. 16, 2008

    Green Bay - Aaron Kampman didn't want to talk about it Wednesday. He took the rather diplomatic approach of not providing the New York Giants with anything that could be deemed bulletin-board material.

    But what happened to Kampman during the Week 2 matchup with the Giants - and the immediate aftermath - said all that needed to be said.

    About the Giants and their style of play. And what the Packers are going to contend with in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

    With 3 minutes 22 seconds remaining in the Packers' 35-13 victory at Giants Stadium, Kampman was blocked to the ground by Giants center Shaun O'Hara. As backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen was sacked, Kampman started to get up when O'Hara delivered a forceful forearm to the back of Kampman's neck.

    Kampman, one of the most gentlemanly players in the game, responded by flipping O'Hara on his back and nearly punching him. But Kampman had the self control to stop himself. After the game, however, Kampman's displeasure couldn't be halted.

    "I had a player that did something real dirty to me," Kampman said after that game. "This was stuff that he shouldn't be doing and he won't do it again."

    O'Hara was not in the Giants' locker room Wednesday in New York. No matter, really. The Giants' method of operation - tough, physical football that approaches the line of dirty play - is no secret in NFL circles.

    "I'm going to tell you, we saw it on film," New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said after facing the Giants in the regular-season finale. "It wasn't no secret. They push, they hit late, they come at you and try to take you out. That's the way they play."

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. When Harrison - who has twice been voted the league's dirtiest player in a player poll conducted by Sports Illustrated - questions your tactics, then you've arrived if your goal is to be a physical team.

    And that's exactly what the Giants try to do, week in and week out. And their game plan against the Packers will be no different. Not in the least.

    "I think this is going to be the most physical game that any of us have ever played to this point," Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress said. "It is going to be physical even when guys are lying on the ground with guys taking cheap shots and things like that. This is the game to get to the Super Bowl and this is the game that you have to win to get there. It is just going to be a tough game all the way around."

    The Packers' coaches, especially on defense, have been warning their players all week about keeping their cool against the Giants.

    "It's a big emphasis, especially with so much being on the line in the game," said defensive end Cullen Jenkins. "We're aware that they do that stuff and we expect them to try it again. It's just up to us to keep our cool and not give them anything cheap. That's what they want to do - they want to bait you into giving them the 15 yards. We just have to keep our cool, you know? Not let it happen."

    Jenkins is hearing the lesson loud and clear this week. Against the Giants, he got into skirmishes on three occasions and one, a retaliation against O'Hara for a two-handed punch to the face, drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

    Linebacker Brady Poppinga also was flagged for a personal foul after he retaliated against Burress for hitting an unsuspecting A.J. Hawk from behind after the play was over - on the second play of the game.

    Of the six personal-foul penalties the Packers were assessed this season, two were against the Giants.

    Then there was the play where wide receiver Amani Toomer, after being shoved by linebacker Nick Barnett, tried to get revenge by diving at Barnett's knees.

    "That's how they play," said defensive tackle Ryan Pickett. "They do a little extra stuff after the whistle, things like that. It's a part of football, but they seem to do a little extra. You've got to keep your eyes on them. We just have to take it to them, not sit back and wait, because they get you on fouls and things like that. It's stuff we've seen all year, but they do it as a group."

    The first time around, the Packers didn't face running back Brandon Jacobs due to injury. But they are well aware of his trash-talking tendencies after he was involved in a handful of post-play confrontations in last week's victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

    The Packers have seen the film. They have been warned by their coaches. Now it's up to them to follow Kampman's lead and resist the Giants' bait.

    "Oh yeah, they do some stuff after the whistle," said defensive tackle Corey Williams. "We're going to beat them between the whistles. We ain't going to take no cheap shots at them. The shots we're going to take at them are going to be legal shots. They'll be hard, but they'll be legal."

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