Osi: Praise of opponents is often a decoy

Antrel Rolle didn’t name names, but Osi Umenyiora was surely one of the teammates he had in mind – along with others – when he said this week that the Giants are too lovey-dovey towards opponents when they talk about them in the week leading up to games. It was Osi, remember, who said he would call Robert Griffin III “Sir” prior to their last outing, who said he had given up on trying to get sacks against the Packers, and who last week spoke about not wanting to face the Redskins’ style of offense.

If Rolle was talking about Umenyiora, he might not have gotten the message because Osi was once again singing the praises of Drew Brees and the Saints on Thursday. Or maybe he got the message and chose to ignore it.

“That’s Antrel’s opinion,” Umenyiora said. “He’s one of our leaders. He’s one of the very good players we have on this team, so he’s entitled to that. But at the end of the day, if a guy’s a good player I’m going to call him a good player, period. That’s just the way it is. We’re playing against Drew Brees. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I’m going to say he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If anybody has a problem with that, I guess they’ll take that up with me in private.”

Umenyiora insisted he would never heap praise on a player who does not deserve it. But he also said that sometimes saying nice things about an opponent is just a decoy.

“Nobody’s in awe of anybody out here,” he said. “There’s definitely no carryover for that. I think a lot of times you like to build somebody up only to tear them down. You don’t want to give anybody bulletin board material. You don’t want to say ‘Oh these guys suck’ and then he comes out there and throws for 13 touchdowns on you. So if anything you want to err on the side of caution and say how good he is. And then go out there and knock his head off.”

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