Giants' Lineman Kicks Off Annual War Of Words With Eagles

Rachel GoldmanCorrespondent IJune 3, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 11:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles in the pocket during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New York Giants on January 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Eagles defeated the Giants 23-11. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the NFC East teams harbor more animosity toward each other than two high schoolers vying for prom queen.

But Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora upped the ante Monday when he told a reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger that the team will work extra hard this offseason to beat division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I was on the field, but I wasn't playing and I saw the way it ended. It was a team we should have beat and it was a team that, if the opportunity arises again, we will beat,” said Umenyiora, who was sidelined all season with a knee injury.

The Giants were squashed by the Eagles in the divisional playoffs, 23-11, and split the regular season games.

And while it was just one game in a 155-game rivalry, it came a season after the Giants defeated the Eagles twice and went on a surprise run all the way to the Super Bowl.

The games have almost always been close. In the past decade, there has not been one game where one team has scored more than 17 points greater than the other.

As players talked trash, the coaching staff and front office took action, picking up a slew of players they hoped would bring them revenge against 'Da Birds.'

The Giants brought in two veterans during the offseason—tackle Rocky Bernard from Seattle and end Chris Canty from Dallas to join the rest of the tested defensive line. The team also filled another hole in its defense with the acquisitions of Michael Boley from the Atlanta Falcons and rookie Clint Sintim from the University of Virginia.

Moreover, the Giants looked to bolster their offense with two promising wideouts—Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina) and Ramses Barden (Cal Poly).

But the biggest threat to the Eagles this season may be its own players.

In protest of his lack of new contract, cornerback Sheldon Brown has been protesting organized team activities. Similar antics by Lito Shepherd last season resulted in tension with the front office and his departure from Philadelphia earlier this year.