vacation in upstate New York last week, I stopped in at Giants camp in
Albany to check up on former Pirates Damane Duckett and Guy Whimper.
Duckett is in his third year with the G-Men and is competing for a
starting spot at defensive tackle. Damane went undrafted out of ECU and
was picked up by the Panthers as a free agent. He was waived halfway
through the 2004 season and was quickly picked up by the Giants.
Duckett registered his first career NFL sack and was brought back for
the 2005 season where he played eight games and helped New York win the
NFC East. Damane says he is a more mature player now and understands
about being a professional. He said "I am staying in the classroom a
lot more, learning from other people and helping myself by listening to
the coaches and watching more film."
Damane is also keeping an eye on his former ECU defensive line mate Guy
Whimper. The Havelock native was drafted in the fourth round and is
trying to learn two positions on the offensive line. Whimper spends one
practice at left tackle, and the next at right tackle. He says it's
tough moving around, but it gives him a better chance of playing in the
Guy will get his first taste of NFL action Friday night when the Giants
visit the Ravens. And it will also give Duckett and Whimper a chance to
catch up with another former Pirate. Brian Rimpf started seven games at
right guard for Baltimore last season and is trying to win a starting
spot this year. He and Duckett should bump helmets several times Friday
In fact, NFL camps are filled with former Pirates. Vonte Leach
(Packers), Terrence Copper (Cowboys), and Ja'Warren Blair (Browns) are
a few of the guys who will try to impress their coaches in the
preseason and make the cut down to the final 53 roster spots. David
Garrard (Jaguars) and Rod Coleman (Falcons) are assured roster spots
and will try to get tuned up for the regular season.