I had a moment to ask Giants defensive lineman and American treasure Jimmy Kennedy about B.J. Raji’s remarks on the toughness of the offensive linemen. My first question was if it can be effective.
“It all depends on how weak the bunch is,” he said. “I think our bunch is strong enough to react to whatever. They brush it off. It is what it is … It all depends on how the person takes it. If they can get in your head with the stuff that they say, then why not throw it out there. It’s just another advantage to the game. If I know a guy has a weakness why not exploit it? And if it’s a question of making a guy say ‘I don’t know, are we tough? Can we do something together?’ then yeah.”
But Kennedy said he has no doubts about the toughness of the Giants’ linemen. In fact, he pulled them aside this week and told them to do something that tough offensive linemen rarely do: Wear sleeves.
“I told our offensive line to collectively wear sleeves,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t know you had to be not tough because you have sleeves on. I mean, if I’m warm I’m gonna be warm enough to beat that ---.”
Some of the other Giants defensive linemen were also surprised that Raji played the toughness card.
“That’s one thing you don’t want to do is question somebody’s toughness,” veteran defensive tackle Rocky Bernard said. “We’ll see on Sunday if he believes the same thing.”
Chris Canty, who played against the Giants for four seasons in Dallas and has been here for three, said he disagreed with Raji.
“That’s interesting to go about it that way,” he said of the comments. “I’ll put it this way: I wouldn’t do that. But some guys do. Some guys do that to get themselves going. I don’t know the motivation behind the comments that were made. We’ll see on Sunday.”
Both Canty and Bernard insisted there is little chance of Raji’s remarks affecting the Giants players. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll completely brush them off, or even be laughing about them when they are on the field Sunday.
“It won’t bother them,” Bernard said. “They’ll probably remember it though.”