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Umenyiora's silence speaks volumes

FILE - Osi Umenyiora heads to the locker

FILE - Osi Umenyiora heads to the locker room. Credit: John Dunn

Osi Umenyiora has been showing up for offseason workouts with the Giants, but his smile that Tom Coughlin referenced earlier in the week might just be a façade. In his first public comments since expressing unhappiness with his role on the team, Umenyiora issued a series of "no comments" Thursdaythat made it clear he was biting his displeased tongue.

"I think for the most part, I can't sit over here and give you the robotical, mundane answers," Umenyiora said when questioned about the true meaning behind those deflective, no-comment answers.

"If you ask me a question, I really feel like I'm going to say exactly how I feel. Saying how I feel is really a foolish thing, to come out and say what I feel publicly. It's gotten me in a lot of trouble with the team. It's gotten me in a lot of trouble with the fans. And I think it's setting a bad example for my teammates. I think it's not the right thing to do."

Umenyiora was demoted to a third-down player late last season, and in a series of interviews leading up to the Super Bowl, he said he would rather retire than go through a season like that again. He met with general manager Jerry Reese and Coughlin during the offseason, and their message was he should compete for a starting job and not be given one in February or March.

The Giants also have made it clear that they see Umenyiora as a part of their future. He has three years remaining on his contract.

If he wants it, there is a blueprint to leave the Giants; it was provided by Jeremy Shockey, who grumbled, groused and tantrumed his way out of New York. But even while suggesting his frustration, Umenyiora said he will not become a distraction.

"I'll never be a problem here," he said. "I can't see myself doing that. I have too much respect for the organization. I love my teammates. I feel like they deserve better than that. I feel like they deserve better than me coming out and speaking out like that. I think it's best to move on like that."

Notes & quotes: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who had surgeries on his feet and right ankle after the season, said he expects to be running in May and that he feels "10 times better" than he did while playing in pain for most of 2009 . . . RB Andre Brown, who ruptured his Achilles in training camp, said he is able to run and cut at full speed and that doctors have told him the tendon is healed. But he added he still has mental obstacles to overcome in terms of cutting and trusting the ankle . . . DT Jay Alford, who missed last season with knee surgery, said he is working out three of the four days each week. He said skipping the fourth day is just a precaution.

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