Bear Pascoe was the last Giants tight end standing at the end of the Super Bowl.
Fellow tight ends Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard each suffered tears to their anterior cruciate ligaments during the Giants' 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI. Beckum, who is utilized primarily as a slot receiver, was hurt in the first half. Ballard, more of a traditional tight end, went down early in the fourth quarter.
Pascoe helped out in both spots.
"You hate to see Jake and Travis get hurt like that," Pascoe said today as he cleaned out his locker in the Timex Performance Center. "I was confident I had prepared for both spots in the two-tight end sets. I knew Jake's position, I knew Travis' position. I knew the rest of the game when we got in any more two-tight end sets we'd bring in (tackle) Tony Ugoh as a tight end. I was very confident I could do that other position, Travis' position. There were no butterflies. I was very confident in what I had to get done. So I was ready to go.
"I felt I was ready if I needed to run routes, I knew what I had to get done there, or on the line blocking a defensive end or a linebacker, I had great communication between myself and Kareem (McKenzie) and David Diehl (the offensive tackles). There were no worries there."
Pascoe contributed in the Super Bowl even before his fellow denizens of the tight end room went down. Indeed, he caught MVP Eli Manning's first pass of the game, a four-yarder. He finished tied for third on the team with four receptions for 33 yards, with a long gain of 12 yards.
"That felt great to step in and keep our offense moving down the field with no setback," Pascoe said. "That was great – that kind of made the whole experience worth it."
Pascoe said playing in the Super Bowl was everything he hoped and expected it to be.
"It's just excitement to be in that game and finally play in the game you dream about your whole life," he said. "It was unbelievable. There were some nerves before the game. But after that first play, that first hit, it does turn into just another game. You're trying to do what you have to do to win."
In 2001, Beckum played in 13 regular season games and caught five passes, including a 67-yard touchdown vs. Green Bay. He added three catches in the postseason. Ballard had a breakout season, playing in 14 games with 13 starts. He was fourth on the team with 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns. Ballard missed two late-season games with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament, but returned to have five postseason receptions.
Beckum's injury was announced soon after left the field. He later returned to the bench area on crutches. Ballard walked off the field, but later collapsed when he tested his knee by running on the sideline. In the postgame locker room, Ballard said he had a meniscus cartilage injury. Further tests revealed the torn ligament.
"You wouldn't wish that on anybody," Pascoe said. "I know they're disappointed, but it's part of the game and it happens. So you have to accept it and move on. I know they're going to have a busy offseason of rehab and re-strengthening those knees and I know they'll do a great job at it and they should be ready to go next training camp.
Beckum and Ballard needed crutches to get around at yesterday's parade in Lower Manhattan and celebration in MetLife Stadium. Pascoe, who grew up on a ranch in California, had never seen anything like a parade up the famed Canton of Heroes.
"That was amazing," he said. "I definitely saw some interesting characters out there supporting the Giants. You thank them, you thank everybody for coming out. They showed great support for us in the Canyon of Heroes. And when we got back to the stadium, we had a big turnout there and that was absolutely amazing. The whole experience yesterday with the parade, City Hall and then back to Met Life Stadium for that ceremony was breathtaking."
*The Giants signed eight players as free agents. Each of them spent all or part of the 2011 season on their practice squad. The players are defensive back Brandon Bing, running back Andre Brown, offensive lineman Selvish Capers, wide receiver Dan DePalma, defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks (who played in one game this season), tight end Christian Hopkins, quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback and defensive end Adrian Tracy.
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