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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Dodge grows into a Giant

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

The New York Giants drafted two Pirates this past April, Linval Joseph and Matt Dodge.

Joseph has yet to sign. Dodge inked a four-year deal worth almost two million dollars, contingent on him making the squad. He should do just that for several years, after Jeff Feagles retired and Jy Bond was cut.

Dodge was a guest instructor last week at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual special teams camp for punters, kickers and snappers.

ďI enjoy getting around some of the guys and sharing Godís love with these kids,Ē said Dodge. ďPunting a football gives me a platform to talk to these guys and itís an honor.Ē

Dodge was a hit with the Giants at the clubís minicamp after the draft. The former West Carteret standout still canít believe heíll be punting on Sundays.

ďItís been a whirlwind because itís certainly something that I didnít expect," he said. "Growing up and playing sports, if you would have asked me if I would play in the NFL, I didnít know what that was. For me to make a living punting the football, itís great and itís definitely a blessing.Ē

Former East Carolina coach Skip Holtz often bragged about the physical style that Matt Dodge brought to the game. Dodge was a chiseled specimen and has always enjoyed working out.

He once got his weight up to 245 pounds, but he felt he lost flexibility at that weight. Now, heís closer to a very solid 220 pounds.

Dodge is spending this summer getting set to head to camp at the University at Albany on August 1st.

ďIím really just doing what I have been doing," he said. "My position hasnít changed since high school, so Iím just preparing the same way. Itís more technical with the Giants, watching film and getting ready. Iím just trying to stretch and stay in shape.Ē

Itís one thing to play in the National Football League. Itís quite another when youíre playing in New York.

ďOne of the first things Coach (Tom) Coughlin said to us is that we were in one of the biggest markets in the world,Ē Dodge continued. ďYou donít get much bigger than New York. Iíve had Giants fans come out of the woodwork. Iíll be in a different state and theyíll know who you are.

"Iím really looking forward to it. To end up in the NFL, and in New York, Iím certainly blessed and I couldnít ask for anything else.Ē

Dodge told me that one of his friends was impressed that heíd be giving ďhigh fivesĒ to Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Dodge laughed at the thought, because if Manning is having success, Dodge wonít have to punt.

ďItís not like Iím going to go up and say, ĎNice three and out Eli, thanks for giving me a chance to punt it away,íĒ he joked.

Dodge says heíll continue his summer preparations, gearing up for August and the start of camp.

He was genuinely excited about getting the chance to work with the young players at last weekís camp.

The campers were just as excited about seeing Matt Dodge with the New York Giants come September!


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

08/06/2010 01:57 AM


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