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Kicker Bryant Out 3-4 Weeks; Tryouts to Begin

Jim Fassel no longer even bothers trying to deny the

Giants' special- teams curse.

"It's amazing to me," he said yesterday after announcing that kicker Matt

Bryant likely will miss three to four weeks, pending results of an MRI, after

injuring his right hamstring on a 43-yard field goal Sunday against the

Dolphins.

The team will bring in five kickers for tryouts today and sign one to kick

against the Patriots. For now, Bryant will stay on the roster, meaning someone

must be released to make room.

Fassel said he hopes to sign a kicker with NFL experience. Veterans on the

market include Jeff Chandler, Brett Conway, Jose Cortez, Neil Rackers and Danny

Boyd.

The Giants had three kickers in the spring but released Owen Pochman (who

later signed with the 49ers) and put Mike Hollis on injured reserve, leaving

only Bryant.

Punter Jeff Feagles, who missed from 29 yards on his first field-goal

attempt after 16 years in the NFL, said he is retiring as a place-kicker. "I

think my field-goal days are over," he said.

Shockey: I'm Not Sorry

Tight end Jeremy Shockey was unapologetic about the 15-yard taunting

penalty that temporarily stalled the 17-play drive in the third quarter that

ended on Jeff Feagles' missed field-goal attempt.

Shockey admitted he threw the ball at cornerback Sam Madison at the end of

a 16-yard completion. He said Madison continued battling him after the whistle

blew.

"I heard the whistle blow, and he's hitting me," Shockey said. "He ain't

stopping, why should I stop? . . . I ain't backing down from anybody."

Shockey said his high profile as a colorful player on the field and

interview subject off it might make him a target for opposing players and a

focus of officials' attention.

Blue Notes

It appeared that backup end Keith Washington, who was in for Michael

Strahan, was caught out of position chasing Ricky Williams on the reverse that

James McKnight turned into a 68-yard TD run...On the 24-yard pass to tight end

Randy McMichael on the clinching drive, Strahan dropped into coverage and

followed a receiver as McMichael drifted alone into the right flat . . . Jim

Fassel said there were no significant injuries Sunday other than the one to

Matt Bryant . . . The Giants climbed out of 32nd place (to 29th) in total

defense but still are last in passing defense at 273.5 yards per game.

New York Sports