Osi Umenyiora was all smiles when he returned to the Timex Performance Center this week.
After restructuring his contract on Friday, he was back on Monday and palling around with his teammates like you'd expect defending Super Bowl champs to do.
So what changed in him, some would wonder.
Well, nothing, says the man himself.
"It's not a different Osi Umenyiora," he said on NFL Network Tuesday night. "It's just sometimes things are being portrayed not accurately. It's nothing different in what I've been saying before. People thought it was one thing when in actuality it was another. So everything is OK. I'm happy to be here, I'm happy to be around my teammates, and we're going to focus on winning the games."
The good will includes general manager Jerry Reese.
"Me and Jerry have always been cool," he continued. "Obviously, business is business, and out here in this type of atmosphere, sometimes you have to do some things to get your point across. But at the end of the day, I understood him, he understood me, and we were able to move forward."
"Forward." That's precisely the direction he and his teammates can go now with the issue resolved so they can focus on more important questions like how to learn from 2008, the last time the franchise followed up a championship.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good you are in the regular season," said Umenyiora, who missed the entire 2008 season with an injury. "The playoffs are what's important. We went 9-7 last year and ended up winning the Super Bowl. I think that year we like 12-4 and we were eliminated in the first round. So you have to be playing your best football towards the end of the year. It was good to play well during the regular season, but it's more important to play well in the playoffs."
**>> VIDEO: At his fourth Celebrity Billiards Tournament charity event, Justin Tuck recently discussed literacy in America and the future of the New York Giants. [SI.com]
*"It's about building a great educational background," Tuck said. "My dad was a carpenter growing up and he never built a house starting with the ceiling. He always started with the groundwork, he always started with the foundation. And the same thing if you want to have great educational success, you've got to start with the foundation. I think every educational success story started with reading and writing."
*>> Osi Umenyiora's teammates are happy to leave his contract situation in the past. [Mike Garafolo, The Star-Ledger]