Giants Hold Former Teammates Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks In High Regard

Intro: Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, two key cogs on the Giants’ Super Bowl run back in 2011-2012, will return to MetLife Stadium on Monday night. How do their former head coach and quarterback view the two Colts?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Ask Eli Manning about the presence of Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks during the Giants' 2012 Super Bowl run and the quarterback's vivid memory immediately kicks in.

Lucas Oil Stadium was the final site of the Giants historic year where Bradshaw was the "tough guy." Colts fans are now witnessing the guy who back then was helping Manning out "in protection," "caught the ball well" and chipped in the game-winning touchdown that evening.

Manning recalls Nicks' two-touchdown performance in the Wild Card round that season before the wide receiver turned in a 10-catch night during Super Bowl XLVI.

On Monday night, Manning will likely shake those two hands at the coin toss, having to look across at his former teammates for the first time in his NFL career.

Both Bradshaw and Nicks were on conference calls with New York media on Wednesday and the two were asked if Monday's game with the Giants might mean a little more given their history.

"Of course," Bradshaw said.

"Definitely," Nicks offered.

During Bradshaw's seven seasons in New York, he played major roles on two Super Bowl winning teams.

In the Colts Week Two preseason matchup against the Giants, Bradshaw was just a spectator.

That will change on Monday night.

"That was a family to me, at one time," Bradshaw said on the call of the Giants. "That was like home to me. Just to be able to go home, be around old fans of mine and play in front of old fans of mine and family, to get back and see those guys, be in that atmosphere, gives you a lot and makes me anxious to be ready for this."

Nicks also brought a championship pedigree from his time in New York to Indianapolis.

Super Bowl XLVI will be remembered most for Mario Manningham's spectacular 38-yard catch on the Giants game-winning drive but Manning certainly doesn't forget the 10-catch, 107-yard effort out of Nicks.

Now in Indianapolis, Nicks is in a search to play on that stage once again, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get back to that moment.

"We just have to go to bat for one another. That's what great teams do," Nicks says.

"I was a part of a championship team in New York so some of those things that were instilled in me are still with me and I carry them with me to this day. I know what it takes to get to this next level."

In making their return to MetLife Stadium on Monday, Bradshaw and Nicks are still the two most decorated players that stadium has ever seen.

Bradshaw's 18 touchdowns and Nicks' 14 scores rank first and second for the most touchdowns scored at MetLife Stadium.

Coughlin has popped in the game film this week and while he's not used to seeing those two on the other sideline, the Giants head coach is familiar with their style of play.

"They were tremendous football players," Coughlin says of Bradshaw and Nicks. "The way they're playing this year, there's no doubt that it sends us back a couple of years to when they were both here.

"Both of those guys meant a great deal to our team."

Some highlights from Ahmad's 2013 photo shoot.

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