|Giants linemen scoff at Packers' dirty tactics comments|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 17 January 2008 23:44|
The Green Bay Packers (14-3) gave the Giants (12-6) a little extra motivation for the title game Sunday, alleging that New York's blue-collar style sometimes borders on dirty football.
Giants center Shaun O'Hara was singled out by Packers defensive lineman Aaron Kampman for delivering a forearm to the back of his neck late in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's 35-13 win over New York on Sept. 16.
Kampman called the play dirty after the game and vowed O'Hara would not do it again.
When questioned on Thursday about the story that appeared in The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kampman tried to defuse the situation.
``I think that in my opinion, to talk about things that happened in the past doesn't make a whole lot of sense,'' Kampman said. ``I think it's a waste of energy.''
O'Hara used a little humor when confronted about being dirty.
``I try to shower daily and use deodorant, and every once in a while I will even throw in some conditioner,'' O'Hara said, adding there was no penalty on the play.
O'Hara downplayed the idea that he delivered a blow to Kampman's head, saying the lineman must have tripped.
``Football is about being physical on every level,'' O'Hara said. ``You learn it in Pop Warner. That is why you see a lot of moms worried about their kids going out to play football, because it is a tough sport, it's a man's sport. The physical team wins.
``That is probably the biggest thing that we talk about as offensive linemen, as an offense, as a whole, being physical and the physical team usually wins the game.''
Backup center Grey Ruegamer, a former Packer, laughed about the accusation.
``Any D-linemen calling offensive linemen dirty, that's stupid,'' he said.
Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride blew off the allegations.
``Any accusation of dirty tactics certainly sounds a little bit humorous because it's as far-fetched as I could ever imagine,'' he said. ``They're a hard-working, blue-collar group. They play the game from the beginning of the play until the whistle at the end, but trust me, I don't see any dirty play from any of our guys.''
Gilbride, however, doesn't deny his line is aggressive.
Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce noted that the Giants' 77 penalties were among the fewest in the league. They had only three for 28 yards in 21-17 win over Dallas in the NFC semifinal last weekend.
``If you are dirty, they get called or you get fined and I don't think we have guys getting fined every week by the NFL or being sent to the commissioner for disciplinary action,'' Pierce said. ``You can say whatever you want to say about us. It is a physical game. The whistle blows and it blows at the end of the play.''
While Packers coach Mike McCarthy saw Kampman being hit watching videotapes of the first game, he refused to comment.
``It was a very emotional game,'' Packers linebacker Nick Barnett recalled. ``They went out and played hard. We played hard. We don't back down from anything and they don't back down from anything. Sometimes you get personal fouls like that.''
There were four personal fouls called in the game.
Barnett, who doesn't deny that he sometimes plays past the whistle, said both teams have to be careful how far they go on Sunday.
``I don't do anything like that,'' Barnett said with a lot of sarcasm. ``I'm the cleanest player there is in the league.''
AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins in Green Bay, Wis., contributed to this report.