It's not always his friend. He threw his headgear to the ground Monday, frustrated after dropping two consecutive passes in morning practice.
"A lot of frustration, man. Not happy with my performance, flat out. Not ashamed to say it," he said.
Tyree, who has not played in a game since the one that made him famous, is trying to come back from injuries that cost him the 2008 season. He had knee surgery after the Super Bowl and was placed on the physically unable to perform list when training camp opened in 2008. A hamstring injury kept him on the sidelines; the Giants placed him on injured reserve in early November.
Now back on the field, the seven-year veteran out of Syracuse isn't pleased with his own early returns.
Tyree dropped a sideline pass from David Carr during 11-on-11 drills, then missed an opportunity to make a leaping catch after his defender fell down. That's when the helmet came off and got sent skittering across the grass.
"There's some frustrating things going on with the body, but when it comes to catching the football, that's what I'm paid to do," Tyree said.
"Dave made a nice catch here today," Coughlin said. "Hopefully he's working his way back into it."
"David's a guy who knows the offense, knows what's going on. He's a guy you can trust," Manning said. "When you get in games, he makes plays for us. You take a year off, you have to get back to focusing on the ball and putting everything together and I know he will."
Having to sit out the season after his Super Bowl heroics was particularly frustrating to Tyree, who held on to Manning's fourth-quarter desperation pass by securing the ball against his helmet as he fell to the ground with Patriots safety Rodney Harrison draped all over him. What became known as "The Catch" set up Manning's winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the final minute.
"Last year was probably the toughest thing I've been through as a whole, you know, getting to a climactic moment in my career and not being able to put something on top of that," he said. "I just feel like I'm not built to be on the sideline watching football. I'm supposed to be playing it."
When asked if the helmet he tossed Monday was the same one he wore during the Super Bowl, Tyree laughed and said the team still had it.
"They keep sending my helmet everywhere except to my house," he said.
During the interview before a crowd of reporters and cameras, Brandon Jacobs approached from behind and deposited his 2-year-old son Brayden on Tyree's shoulders. The move caught the receiver off-guard, but he didn't bobble the toddler.
"No, I can't drop that," he said. "I'm good with catching kids."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press