Jeremy Shockey: "It's Not About Me"

First meeting since trade that sent him to New Orleans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    You may be fooled by the quote in the headline to this post, but it was actually uttered by the same Jeremy Shockey who once played for the Giants. You probably remember him as the guy who made sure that absolutely everything was about him, from decisions about where to practice to ripping his teammates and coaches to being the guy who did this while his team's kicker was missing a field goal against the Seahawks.

    He played some decent football, but has there ever been a multiple Pro Bowler more happily shown the exit than Shockey? Maybe Michael Vick, but there were a few Falcons fans who would have preferred he stuck around. Finding a Giants fan with good things to say about Shockey is about as easy as finding a Republican congressman with good things to say about Obama. And finding one who believes the story Shockey's peddling about this being just another game for him this weekend would be as fruitless as searching for Bigfoot.

    Part of the reason why is an interview that Shockey did before he was even traded to the Saints in July 2008. Three kid reporters from Newsday interviewed him that June, when trade winds were blowing hard, and current Giants beat writer Tom Rock dug up the tape and has the video on the paper's site.

    "If the team trades me. I promise you I will make them pay when they trade me. If I ever get a chance to play against a team that did trade me, it's not going to be a pretty sight."

    Also interesting: Shockey said if he could have picked a team other than the Giants to draft him, it would have been the Saints. 

    Also, also interesting: Shockey told an ESPN reporter this week that he hoped to have his best game of the season this week and gave an interview to the New Orleans Times-Picayune in which he spoke about how little respect he got from the Giants despite how much the team made off of his jersey sales.

    It's up to you to decide which version of Shockey is telling the truth about his desire for avenging his departure from the Giants, but it's safe to say this isn't just another game for the tight end. The hard part for the Giants is that he still isn't just another tight end, either, and they may not have an easy time covering him on Sunday.

    Michael Boley, their most athletic linebacker, won't be in the lineup because of an injury and rookie Clint Sintim has just one game under his belt. It was against the Raiders, so this will be his NFL debut. Ace safety Kenny Phillips is out for the season and the rest of the Giants secondary is going to have plenty to worry about with the Saints wide receivers. That may add up to chances for Shockey to cause the Giants problems.  

    Which is, of course, something they're used to. He'll just be wearing a different uniform this time.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.