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Michael:I've been a Giants fan for more than 20 years and I've never seen a punter with as strong a leg as Matt Dodge. I think we're going to regret cutting him. Why did (Tom) Coughlin choose Weatherford over Dodge?Ralph

Dear Ralph:
As Coach Coughlin said, it was very difficult choosing one punter over the other. Dodge and Weatherford each kicked well in training camp and in the preseason games. He didn't reveal his reasons, but I would guess experience and consistency had a lot to do with it. This is Weatherford's seventh season. He is a good directional punter and, as an added benefit, he will be Lawrence Tynes' holder now that Sage Rosenfels is on injured reserve. Dodge does have a very strong leg, but he was inconsistent during his rookie season, not just game-to-game, but often kick-to-kick. I do think Dodge will be a good NFL punter. But I don't know if he would be as good this season as Weatherford should be.


Da'Rel Scott was our most exciting player in the preseason with his two long runs (97 and 65-yard touchdowns, the latter on a fake punt). Do you think he'll still get to play in the regular season games?

Dear Patrick:
Not initially. Scott is fourth on the depth chart, behind Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and D.J. Ware. He's not ready to jump ahead of them. And yes, Scott was very impressive in the preseason. But you have to remember that his production was mostly against players who were cut on Saturday. It's a big step for a rookie to put up those kinds of numbers against NFL starters. Bradshaw was also a seventh-round draft choice and he got to play late in his rookie season. Perhaps the same will be true of Scott.


When will Osi Umenyiora be ready to play?

Dear Tom:
I don't know if anyone knows that answer. Tom Coughlin all but ruled Umenyiora (who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 19) out of the opener in Washington on Sunday. Umenyiora is constantly rehabbing and being evaluated and his status will be determined on a week-by-week basis.* *


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