Dec 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Michael Cox (29) runs with the ball against the Washington Redskins in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame Game Countdown: 29 Days


 

Hall of Fame Game: 29 Days away.

Who’s stood out at number 29 for the New York Football Giants?

Myron Guyton: 467 career solo tackles, starting FS on 1990 Super Bowl team, “among four former NFL players filing a lawsuit claiming the league didn’t properly protect players from concussions”. 

Sam Madison: finished 12-year NFL career with Giants from 2006-2008. Despite being placed on Injured Reserve in the midst of the Giants Super Bowl run, Madison is the owner of a SB ring. A broadcaster with the Dolphins, Madison worked with the Ravens defensive back unit during the 2014 offseason.

Tito Wooten: The number one overall pick of the fourth round supplemental draft in 1994. Tito Wooten started 47 games for the Giants and recorded 221 tackles and 7 INT’s before going on to finish his career with one final season with the Indianapolis Colts in 1999.

Currently at number 29 for the Giants is tailback – Michael Cox.  A running back that spent some time at the university of Michigan where he struggled to see the field before transferring to to UMass and having his only productive college season, gaining 773 yards from scrimmage and 5 TD’s.

With the Giants, Michael Cox started one game last season and had 55 yscrm, while returning kicks for 436 yards at 21.8 y/rt.

This season, with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr, Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps, Michael Cox is going to have competition at kick returner. However, the Giants backfield is wide open. The Jints drafted the supremely talented Andre Williams in the fourth round. However, David Wilson is coming off neck surgery and Peyton Hillis is someone that Cox could potentially out work for a roster spot. Rashad Jennings is a RB the Giants are counting on highly, but this is an opportunity for number 29 to step up and show he belongs in the New York Football Giants backfield.

One number 29 that stepped it up was–Alex Webster. Here’s a video put together in the Giants.com series titled, Giants Chronicles: Alex Webster–A look back at the playing and coaching career of Giants Great Alex Webster (1931-2012). Excellent video.

Unfortunately, Alex Webster passed away in 2012.  Here’s an excerpt from his obituary in the New York Times story, Alex Webster, Giants Running Back and Coach, Dies at 80:

A burly presence for his era, at 6 feet 3 inches and about 230 pounds, Webster, known as Big Red, gained key yardage in the Giants’ high-powered offense. When he retired after the 1964 season, he held the Giants’ major career rushing records, having run the ball 1,196 times for 4,638 yards and 39 touchdowns in his 10 seasons.

He now ranks in the Giants’ top five in those three categories. He was also adept at catching screen passes and had 17 touchdown receptions.

Playing at halfback and later fullback, Webster was twice an all-N.F.L. selection. He was chosen twice for the Pro Bowl, teaming at times with quarterbacks Charlie Conerly and later Y. A. Tittle, and with receivers Frank Gifford, Kyle Rote and Del Shofner.

“I was not the fastest of ball carriers,” Webster noted in“Giants in Their Own Words” by Richard Whittingham. “Long yardage was not my plan. I think I probably hold the record as a running back for getting caught from behind.”

Gifford recalled how Webster looked terrible in his first drills as a Giant during the summer of 1955. But Webster became a force when the team had its first scrimmage.

“He was so strong at 230-plus pounds that it was impossible to arm-tackle him,” Gifford recalled in his memoir “The Whole Ten Yards,” written with Harry Waters.

“People either bounced off him or he ran over them. Every time he got the ball, he turned into a grinding machine.”

And, as Gifford recalled it, Webster was “an amazingly good receiver.”

It was hard to cut off there, as it’s truly a must read. These days, a lot of fuss is made about players being in shape and giving maximum effort–this next quote from Frank Gifford is just perfectly anti-today’s NFL:

“He was always amazing to me,” Gifford told The Palm Beach Post in 2008. “He was always in the worst shape of anyone who ever played, probably. He smoke and drank, not to excess, and then he’d come out and play a whole game and run over people. He was one tough dude.”

What a great number 29.

Is it football season yet?

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Tags: 29 Alex Webster Michael Cox Myron Guyton New York Giants Sam Madison