A few other nuggets:
Steve Smith said that he and Eli Manning have spoken about getting together and throwing to stay sharp if the lockout still lingers by the time Smith is ready to run this summer. Both Smith and Manning are new fathers so the scheduling could be difficult, but it sounds as if Manning could be heading to LA in the near future to work with his otherwise healthy receivers.
Teams have locked out the players, which means they can’t be of any assistance to them during the lockout. That’s an issue when the player is your best receiver coming off major knee surgery. But Smith said he is able to see and speak with team physician Russell Warren who performed his surgery. He also said that while he isn’t communicating, the trainers he’s working with in California are keeping the Giants’ medical staff updated. Nice end-around. Of course, there’s nothing prohibiting players from reaching out to the teams. It’s the teams that are prohibited from responding. So who knows if the Giants are actually receiving those updates. (My guess is someone is.)
Michael Strahan said he had breakfast with Tiki Barber a few weeks ago and they were talking casually about how they were both in good enough shape to still be playing football. About four days later the news broke: Tiki was coming out of retirement. Strahan said he thinks it’s a great idea and said that unlike others who wore down, Barber left the game while still at the top of his profession and will be able to do it. As for his own comeback, Strahan laughed and said that even after running around with the kids at Chelsea Piers today he’d have to go home and ice his knees.
Steve Smith’s little brother, Malcolm Smith, had a terrific Pro Day at USC on Wednesday. The outside linebacker ran a 4.47 in the 40, apparently prompting the Giants’ scout on hand to tell Malcolm: “We didn’t know you were faster than Steve!” Well, maybe as of today he is since Steve isn’t allowed to run.
Malcolm Smith’s performance at the Pro Day may be enough to get him drafted; he’d been projected as an undrafted free agent. It certainly wasn’t enough to earn him an invitation to Radio City in April, though. But had he received one, Steve Smith said he’d have no problem with his little brother showing up. “I would just tell him to do what’s in his heart and what he feels,” Steve said. “That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s one of the best feelings in the world from what I remember. I would just tell him to do what’s in his heart.” Would Steve Smith hold it against any player for showing up at the draft despite being locked out? “That’s an experience that he’s been working his butt off for for however many years and it’s a great honor,” he said. “It’s not like you’re taking sides or anything when you walk up there. You’re just getting drafted.”
And finally, even though they had home field advantage, Smith and Strahan lost to Tony Gonzalez in the "Keep Your Grip" challenge set up by Vaseline MEN, which made a $25,000 donation in Gonzalez’s name to Youth on the Move, a non-profit organization that supports national youth football programs. Fans can try their skill at the video game the guys played by visiting KeepYourGripChallenge.com and playing to win prizes.