The Giants will not have played a game in nearly a month when their Pro Bowlers take the field in Sunday's all-star event. So they'll be hungry for some hitting. But there's always that question of just how hard the guys are supposed to play in this game. Sure the receivers and quarterbacks and other skill position players can go all out, but what about the linemen? Do they actually, you know, hit each other?
Luckily for two of the Giants' participants, Shaun O'Hara and Chris Snee, they already know the answer.
"It’s funny,” Snee said. “Shaun and I were one of the few guys that actually worked out everyday while we were in Hawaii. I can tell you that won’t happen this year. It is just a matter of going out there and still playing hard, if you go around and stand around you are likely to get rolled up on or get hurt. But it is not the same intensity as a real game, obviously.”
It's still football, though.
“When you wake up that Sunday and you head to the pregame meal you can’t help but turn into game mode,” O’Hara said. “You slow it down a little bit, everybody kind of starts to get a little serious. The real turning point for me was last year during the game when the fourth quarter began. You could feel it and you could sense everybody kind of turned it up a couple notches. Everybody kind of realized what was on the line for the winning team. The intensity definitely gets heated in the fourth quarter.”
“It is just the competitive nature of our team and the individuals,” Snee said. “We want to win. I noticed in the fourth quarter it got cranked up a little bit. By that time you are warmed up and you have been in your stance for three quarters. That is something that I haven’t done for a couple of weeks. You kind of knock off a little… you are able to increase your speed a little bit.”
By the way, this is the first time the Giants have had three players from the same position group selected to the Pro Bowl since 1962, when offensive linemen Rosie Brown, Darrell Dess and Ray Wietecha all went. Snee and O’Hara are the Giants’ first two-time Pro Bowl offensive linemen since Ron Stone was chosen in 2000 and 2001.