O'HARA ALREADY MISSES BARBER
By DAN MARTIN
May 4, 2007 -- Shaun O'Hara hasn't played a game since Tiki Barber retired, but the Giants offensive lineman said things already are different without the running back around.
"For now, we haven't had much team activity, but when minicamp comes around and we get on the field, I think it's going to be very strange to not see [No.] 21 running around out there and coming out to practice," O'Hara said of Barber, who stunned many around the NFL by playing his final game last season. "It's already been weird to see somebody else get changed in his locker."
That somebody is DB Jason Bell. Though Bell may take Barber's stall, the more important issue is whether Brandon Jacobs can minimize Barber's loss on the field.
O'Hara, who signed a five-year contract in March to anchor the offensive line, said he believes the third-year player will be up to the task.
"Absolutely," said the center, who was at Madison Square Garden yesterday. The Rutgers product was on hand with Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano at the Frank McGuire High School Coaches Seminar.
"That's why he's here," O'Hara said of Jacobs, the bruising back who rushed for 423 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago as Barber's understudy. "Anybody that's met Brandon Jacobs and talked to him knows that he's never backed away from a challenge."
The Giants also brought in 28-year-old Cleveland castoff Reuben Droughns, who had 758 yards on the ground last year. But the majority of work figures to go to Jacobs, who is, in some ways, the anti-Barber, at 6-feet, 4-inches, 264 pounds.
"He's going to be our top dog," O'Hara said. "He has to be ready to go. The organization has put a lot on his shoulders. They have faith in him and so do we. Now it's up to him to fulfill his potential, and I think he can do that."