Aug 312012
 
New York Giants 6 (2-2) – New England Patriots 3 (2-2)

By rnargi for BigBlueInteractive.com

Game Summary: Giants 6 Patriots 3. I remember these games.

When I was a kid, I used to watch the pre-season games on TV with my brother and Dad. I hate to admit this, but I rooted hard in the pre-season because I felt that the Giants had arguably their best chance to win against teams that weren’t playing many of their starters. I remember being absolutely pissed that even the other teams’ rookies and backups kicked our rookies and backups.

Last night it felt like one of those games I watched at 9 years old. For the most part it was bad players and bad football. Some of you are with me and remember those pre-season games. This used to be the precursor to a very disappointing season; a season we knew was coming and just had to take it.

Not anymore! The Giants are still one of the best teams in the NFL despite what amounts to a thin offensive line and possible thin cornerback and defensive tackle situations. The preseason is over and in the next couple of days 22 players will not realize their dreams of being a New York Giant as the team gets down to the final 53. As I see it, the following list of players should make the team, leaving only nine spots for the open roster:

OFFENSE:

QB – Manning, Carr
RB – Bradshaw, Wilson, Ware
FB – Hynoski
WR – Nicks, Cruz, Randle, Hixon
TE – Bennett, Pascoe, Robinson
OL – Beatty, Diehl, Locklear, Brewer, Snee, Boothe, Baas

DEFENSE:

DE – Tuck, Pierre-Paul, Umienyiora, Ojomo
DT – Joseph, Bernard, Kuhn
LB – Boley, Kiwanuka, Rivers, Williams, Paysinger, Blackburn, Herzlich
CB – Webster, Amukamara, Hosley, Coe
S – Rolle, Phillips, Hill

SPECIALS:

P – Weatherford

K – Tynes

LS – DeOssie

That leaves just 9 spots left for the final 22 to fight for. I believe Terrell Thomas will get on to the exemption IR slot. Other IR’d players are likely to be DT Marvin Austin and DT Shaun Rogers. DT Chris Canty will begin on the PUP list and S Tyler Sash will begin the season suspended for the first 4 games, which is why I put Hill down on the made the team list. It will be interesting to see what happens when Sash returns.

I’m not even going to list the stats of the game. None of them mattered. The only thing that mattered is that the coaches were able to see a lot of players in a lot of situations and now they have to spend the next two days figuring out who can help them more than others. Good luck, there is a lot of depth in a lot of places on the 2012 New York Giants. The other thing that mattered was that there were no apparent major injuries.

Significant Accomplishments, Offensive Players:

New York’s offensive starters (minus several that were rested) played four series into the second quarter. The Giants starters looked out of sync and couldn’t put a drive together. The real story was of the backups, however, as many jobs were on the line.

Hakeem Nicks finally returned to the lineup playing a couple of series and making one catch for six yards. By all accounts Nicks has been shining in practice and looks like he’s ready for the season coming off a broken bone in his foot. Now that he has game time under his belt with no setback, he should be ready to go against Dallas on opening night.

The most fun competition to watch last night may have been for the final running back slot. Bradshaw didn’t play, so David Wilson got the first shot at the Pats second defense (New England opted to sit starters on Wednesday). Wilson didn’t exactly light it up as he gained only 13 yards on 8 carries.

The opening drive of the 3rd quarter belonged almost exclusively to Andre Brown, who rushed 4 straight times for 37 yards. After a pass from Carr to Barden, Brown toted the rock 5 more straight times for 15 more yards. He also caught a 9 yard pass on the drive, which ultimately resulted in the tying field goal. Most impressively, Brown converted 3rd and 1 and 2nd and 1 plays. On the negative side of the ledger, Brown and Carr seemed to become confused on what appeared to be a direct snap to Brown and the ball fell between them and the play was aborted when Brown covered it.

RB Da’Rel Scott also played well, gaining 32 yards on 9 carries with 1 reception for 18 yards. Scott has also continued to work on kick returns, returning a kick in the game for 32 yards (23 net). That may be the thing that keeps Scott on the team, his value on specials.

D.J. Ware didn’t play much, which may mean he’s the clear-cut number 2 back which would anger Corner Forum contributor Joey in VA to no end.

One of the biggest question marks going into this season is the reworked offensive line. Jim Brewer doesn’t seem ready, as many thought he would be, to take over at RT. Will Beatty has a sciatic nerve issue that has had him limited a great deal this pre-season, and Sean Locklear is manning the LT position as the defacto starter for right now. Against the Patriots, Chris Snee was out and G Mitch Pretrus filled in. He was not very good. A poor attempt at one block led to a sack of Eli Manning. The running game didn’t do a thing in the first half.

One of the other bright spots on offense was WR Ramses Barden, who picked up where he left of last week by making four catches for 31 yards. Another catch was called back due to penalty.

Significant Accomplishments, Defensive Players:

The other area that was worth watching was the play of the defensive line. Before we get into that, however, it’s important to note that the players who served as the starters did a fantastic job all pre-season. New York’s first and second team defenses gave up just 24 points in the first half of the four pre-season games, a six point per game average.

I believe DE Adewale Ojomo made the team. He continues to make plays, evidenced by his late strip sack. I don’t know what that means for DE Adrian Tracy who has also flashed, but Ojomo seems to be this years’ Victor Cruz. That brings us to Matt Broha who also made a lot of plays this pre-season. I can’t see the Giants keeping all three of these guys. I believe Broha will be cut or at the most make the practice squad.

Middle linebacker Mark Herzlich is the heir apparent to Chase Blackburn. He had another impressive game last night, including a stop on a 3rd and 1 at the NYG 3 yard line. Ironically, the guy many people feel is on the bubble, Greg Jones, had his best night. Spencer Paysinger, who I thought didn’t have a prayer of making the team going into training camp, has had a solid preseason and LB Jacquian Williams is getting better and better. New York is on the verge of having the best linebacking crew in a very long time.

Significant Accomplishments, Special Teams:

Nothing of consequence to report. With both K Tynes and P Weatherford already playing at Pro Bowl caliber levels, the Giants special teams looks like it’s rounding into form. Jerrel Jernigan, Da’Rel Scott, David Wilson, Dominak Hixon and Ruben Randle appear to be in the mix for the returners, but I’d be lying if I said I had any clue that anyone has won a job outright.

Final Thoughts:

Well some cuts are already starting to leak, and word is that DJ Ware is already out. Instead of going back and amending my thoughts, I’m going to roll with them and comment about the results at a later date. I will amend this on Monday with my thoughts on the Final 53.

(Box Score – New England Patriots at New York Giants, August 29, 2012)
Aug 312012
 

New York Giants Must Pare Roster to 53 Today: By 9:00PM tonight, the Giants must reduce their roster from 75 to 53.

August 30, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report: There were injury updates on the following players yesterday:

  • DE Justin Tuck (shoulder): “We’re just keeping our eye on things,” said Tuck. “Making sure that we do our due diligence, and not let anything surprise us like last year.”
  • CB Prince Amukamara (ankle): “I’m out of the walking boot,” said Amukamara. “I’ve been rehabbing, walking better, and it feels a lot better than it did last week. It’s only been six days, so we’re still taking it day-by-day…I haven’t been able to run, but walking is good, and getting on my toes is good, and I couldn’t even do that three days ago so I’m glad that I’m progressing…The doctor was impressed with how quick I’ve been improving. He said that it’s still a day-by-day thing, and I need to start running and practicing first, and I haven’t done that yet, so after I get the ok from the trainers we’ll go from there…I’m thinking Week 2 is more promising, but I want Week 1 to be promising as well. They haven’t told me yes (about the Dallas game), they haven’t told me no.”
  • CB Jayron Hosley (toe): “We’re going to get some work out there when practice starts and see how it goes,” said Hosley. “I’ve done a little running on it earlier this week. It felt pretty good for the most part, just some small adjustments with the shoe and the padding, so I think I’ll be good for the most part…I’m taking it day-by-day. Right now I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be ready, and the trainers have been doing a great job with me. The trainers have been doing a great job of getting me ready, getting me prepared to get back on the field as soon as possible. I’m feeling pretty confident about playing against Dallas…(I feel it most) when exploding. That’s the concern right now…I want to practice on it; we’ll see how that goes.”
  • OT Will Beatty (back): “He practiced a little bit at the end of the week last week and it was encouraging and he’s continuing to work hard on his core and his conditioning and he seemed to be okay after having a few snaps in practice and so I’m really looking forward to seeing the continuation of this routine, this physical strengthening session that Will has started and he’s making some progress and I’m looking forward to seeing him on Saturday,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “I think if he continues to make progress, then we should be able to get him back for the (Dallas game).”
  • DT Marvin Austin (back): “I don’t have any more clarity, I know that there’s optimism,” said Coughlin. “I don’t know how long for Marvin, that they would feel it’s necessary to hold him. I can understand the longer the better. It’s a little bit frustrating because of the lack of time he had to spend on the field during preseason, and that definitely, definitely, is going to prevent him from being where he should be once he comes off of the injury. There are some issues that have to be dealt with there.”
  • CB Terrell Thomas (knee): “I wouldn’t even guess (when he will return),” said Coughlin. “I’m not capable of that. Medically it has not been indicated to me.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Thursday Media Conference Call: The transcript yesterday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

LB Mathias Kiwanuka on WFAN: The audio of yesterday’s WFAN interview with LB Mathias Kiwanuka is available at CBSNewYork.com.

Article on Cut-Down Day: It’s Nervous Time for Many Young Giants by Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com

Article on DE Justin Tuck: Giants’ Justin Can’t Tuck Away Memory of Missed Chance by Ralph Vacchiano of The Daily News

Article on DE Adewale Ojomo: Adewale Ojomo: The Would-Be-Giant Who Found a Way to Flash by Greg Hanlon of CapitalNewYork.com

Article on Phil Simms’ Views on the Giants: Simms: Giants Have What It Takes to Make Another Super Bowl Run by Justin Terranova of The New York Post

Aug 292012
 

Giants Win Snoozer 6-3: The best thing you can say about the Giants 6-3 win over the New England Patriots on Wednesday night at MetLife Stadium is that no one appears to have gotten seriously hurt and the Giants got some good practice reps. But the game was downright awful to watch. The Giants finished the preseason 2-2 and now get ready to face the Dallas Cowboys on September 5th.

Seventeen Giants (see below) did not play, including many key starters, especially on defense. However, the bulk of the Giants’ starting offense did play into the second quarter and struggled against the Patriots’ second-team defense. There were miscommunications in the Giants’ passing game and ineffectiveness in the running game.

The Giants only gained one first down and 27 yards on their first six possessions of the game. Each of these six drives ended with a punt. QB Eli Manning finished 4-of-8 for 29 yards. He and his receivers did not appear to be on the same page a few times. HB David Wilson was held to 13 yards on 8 carries.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ “starting” defense – minus the team’s top three defensive ends, two starting linebackers, and three of the team’s best cornerbacks – shutout the Patriots’ second-team offense in the first quarter. The Giants’ reserves did allow a 12-play, 51-yard drive in the second quarter that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by the Patriots. The Patriots were held to 111 total net yards in the first half.

At the half, the Patriots led 3-0.

New York’s best offensive drive of the game was their initial drive in the third quarter. Back-ups QB David Carr and HB Andre Brown led the Giants on a 13-play, 64-drive that ended with a 34-yard field goal by PK Lawrence Tynes to tie the game. The Giants also moved the ball well on their next possession, but were forced to punt after 11 plays and 54 yards. Their next two possessions went nowhere.

Defensively for the Giants, the Patriots were forced to punt the ball away on their first three possessions of the second half. A game that appeared to be heading to overtime changed in the Giants’ favor late in the fourth quarter when DE Adewale Ojomo sacked the Patriots’ reserve quarterback Brian Hoyer and forced a fumble that was recovered by DT Marcus Thomas, setting up the Giants at the Patriots’ 17-yard line. With just over a minute to play in the game, Tynes hit the 32-yard field goal to take the 6-3 lead.

The Patriots had one last chance to tie or win the game. They drove to the Giants’ 40-yard line, but CB Laron Scott intercepted Hoyer’s pass at the 1-yard line to end the game with 12 seconds left.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes and Quotes: Seventeen players did not play against the Patriots on Wednesday night: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand), OG Chris Snee (leg), OT Will Beatty (back), OT James Brewer (back), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), DT Shaun Rogers (leg), DT Marvin Austin (back), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin), CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), CB Jayron Hosley (toe), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Bruce Johnson (shoulder), and S Tyler Sash (ankle).

WR Hakeem Nicks did play and made one catch for six yards. “It felt real good to be out there for the first time this preseason,” Nicks said. “Went out there, got my feet wet, got a couple reps. It was exactly what I needed to know that I’ll be ready for next week. It was pretty much what I expected. No problem with the foot. It felt good, and I’ll be ready to start the season.”

LB Spencer Paysinger tweaked his ankle in the game but later returned.

Aug 292012
 

NFL Network Interview with S Antrel Rolle: The video of Monday’s NFL Network interview with S Antrel Rolle is available at Giants.com.

Giants.com Player Interviews: Video clips of interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Giants Annual Kickoff Luncheon: For information on yesterday’s Giants Annual Kickoff Luncheon, see the following Giants.com resources:

  • Alumni Man of the Year: Jeff Hostetler (Article)
  • Jeff Hostetler Accepts Alumni Award (Video)
  • DT Chris Canty at Kickoff Luncheon (Video)

Article on the Giants’ Linebackers: Giants’ Depth at Linebacker Good Problem to Have as Cutdown Day Approaches by Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR David Douglas and DE Adrian Tracy: David Douglas, Adrian Tracy on Bubble as Final Cuts Loom for Giants by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record

Aug 282012
 

By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com

Approach to the Game – New England Patriots at New York Giants, August 29, 2012: If you told most BBIers that in late August, after training camp is over and a week before the regular season starts, that only three Giant players would be on Injured Reserve at this point and they would be Justin Trattou, Martin Parker, and Brandon Mosley, most would have been pretty pleased – especially since Trattou’s and Mosley’s injuries are not really that serious.

But the injury situation is obviously more serious and complicated than that.  Chris Canty is on the PUP.  Terrell Thomas, Shaun Rogers, and Marvin Austin only may be a few days away from Injured Reserve.  And key players already have potentially season-long nagging injuries including Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosley, Will Beatty, and James Brewer.  One also continues to wonder about Justin Tuck’s neck/shoulder.  Two starting linebackers – Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka – are also a bit banged up but should be getting better.

It’s not a bleak injury situation, but it certainly is frustrating.  The real area of concern is obviously the corner position where the #2, #3, and #4 corners are hurt.  Do the Giants have the roster space and patience to keep Thomas on the 53-man roster?  Is it worth the gamble of losing someone else who can contribute now and/or in the future (a guy like Adewale Ojomo for example)?  Also, at defensive tackle, same question with respect to Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers.  If this was a rebuilding team, the answer would be easy.  But it’s not.  This is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.  The goal is to win now.

The Giants have some tough roster decisions to make.  And the Giants-Patriots preseason game could make those decisions easier or tougher.  At least 22 roster moves need to be made on Friday.

Giants on Offense: Eli Manning and the starters should see a couple of series – just enough to stay sharp.  I’d sit starters down right away – especially Eli and Victor Cruz.  Hakeem Nicks may see his first action of the preseason.  The temptation will be there to give him more snaps than he normally would receive in order to get him into game shape, but the Giants certainly don’t want to risk him hurting his foot again.  It will be interesting to see how much he plays.  Chris Snee (leg) did not practice all week which suggests he will not play on Wednesday.  If true, this will be a great opportunity for Mitch Petrus to impress, especially since he hasn’t looked real sharp this preseason.  It’s also another reason to get Eli out of the game sooner rather than later.

Aside from Petrus, more was also expected from Will Beatty and James Brewer.  Both have been limited by back issues.  Beatty still might be considered the starter at left tackle, but has yet to play in a preseason game.  He did get some reps with the first-team offensive line in practice this week however.  Will he play against the Patriots?  And how will his back hold up?  Brewer has looked good at times in the preseason and bad at others.  For some reason (probably to increase their flexibility and options), Brewer played at left tackle last week and Matt McCants played at right tackle.  When both had played the reverse sides, they performed better against the Jaguars and Jets.  Brewer missed practice (back?) on Monday.  Will he play on Wednesday?  The Patriots game will be huge for McCants and Jim Cordle.  If Stephen Goodin shows enough, he could end up on the Practice Squad.

There still is a big battle at wide receiver for playing time behind Cruz and Nicks.  Ramses Barden played well last week, but consistency is the key.  Can he do it again?  Domenik Hixon has been strangely quiet and has yet to return a punt or kickoff.  Is he safe?  The Giants love Rueben Randle, but it’s clear he still has a lot to learn.  He wasn’t on the same page with Eli against the Bears.  Where does Jerrel Jernigan fit into the puzzle?  Are the Giants really going to part ways with David Douglas?  He won’t make it to the Practice Squad.

David Wilson is the real deal.  Ahmad Bradshaw is a very important part of this team, but Wilson is a game-changer.  Wilson will push Bradshaw and that’s a good thing for both players, and most importantly, for the team.  But who is the third back?  D.J. Ware is the safest choice because he is the veteran.  But Da’Rel Scott has the bigger upside.  I would be tempted to cut Ware and re-sign him later if someone got hurt.   (I don’t think anyone is going to pick up Ware).  I don’t see a lot of potential in Andre Brown.

Lastly, I hope David Carr plays better this week.  He played like crap against the Bears.  The Giants need a backup they can trust.

Giants on Defense: Jason Pierre-Paul (back), Justin Tuck (shoulder), and Osi Umenyiora (knee) did not practice on Monday.  I would not play any of them.  I could care less if the Patriots won 45-0.

Interestingly, when the Giants made 15 roster moves this week, they kept all of their defensive ends.  That not only suggests that the starters may not play against the Patriots, but it also probably tells you that the Giants know other teams are waiting for Adewale Ojomo, Matt Broha, and Craig Marshall to be released.  I get the sense that some fans are frustrated with Adrian Tracy since he hasn’t played since hurting his hamstring against the Jets.  But keep in mind that he was impressive against the Jaguars and the coaches and players are really high on him.  The big question is this: is there room for both Tracy and Ojomo on the 53-man roster?  I also like what I see out of Broha.  Will another team snag him?  Is there a trade market for one of these backups?  Complicating matters is Tracy probably won’t play against the Patriots so Ojomo and Broha will have even more chances to impress other teams.

Inside, I think Markus Kuhn has made this team behind Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard (both of whom should get out of the Patriots game ASAP).  What the heck do the Giants do with Shaun Rogers (blood clot) and Marvin Austin (back)?  Rogers would be a great asset, but he might be too much of a luxury at this point.  Austin has done nothing, but do you want to keep the #2 pick out of football for three years in a row?  Would it be safer just to give the spot to Marcus Thomas?  The situation sucks.

The linebacker spot is pretty settled.  Paysinger has out-played Greg Jones.  And Herzlich probably did not do enough to unseat Blackburn in the short term.  We should see Jacquian Williams for the first time this preseason.  But unfortunately, still no Michael Boley.  And Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) will not play on Wednesday. Thank God for Keith Rivers!

At safety, the top three guys have been set for a long time: Kenny Phillips (who has really played well), Antrel Rolle (who has been surprisingly invisible), and Will Hill (a future starter if he stays away from drugs).  Tyler Sash will be suspended for four games.  Do the Giants keep Stevie Brown who has not stood out in the secondary, but has looked good on specials?

Cornerback.  The Giants may sink or swim at this position.  Is Terrell Thomas really still in the picture?  Or will his season be over in a few days?  How fast can Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley come back and how much will they be hampered by their nagging injuries?  Michael Coe looks like the best of the bunch after that.  I would not play Corey Webster.  Aside from Eli Manning, he might be the most valuable player on this team at the current moment.

Giants on Specials: I find it very, very interesting that David Douglas received so much playing time in the return game last week.  I’m still not sure who will be our returners on opening day.  I’m guessing David Wilson on kick returns but have no idea about who the punt returner is.  I was impressed with Douglas’ sure hands however.

Aug 282012
 

New York Giants Pare Roster to 75, Chris Canty Will Miss at Least Six Games: The Giants pared their roster from 90 to 75 yesterday as required by the NFL.

The Giants placed DT Chris Canty (knee) and TE Travis Beckum on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Canty and Beckum will not be able to come off of this list during the first six weeks of the regular-season.

“The only thing I can tell you is that we sort of expected that to be the case (with Canty being placed on the PUP),” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said. “We dealt with the thought of how fast he ought to come back, and it’s better for the player and team as well that he has this extra time.”

“I’m not going to say that I saw it coming,” said Canty. “Obviously I was optimistic about it. I feel good. I feel in pretty good shape considering all the factors. I stand by the position my knee is better than it was in November, December, January of last season, but ultimately this was a decision that was made in the best interest of the football team…I feel like I’m close. Obviously saying that my knee is in better physical condition. Not just the way it feels, but anatomically it’s better than what it was. But at the end of the day, the coaches and medical staff feel it’s in the best interest of the team for me to be on PUP right now. So that’s what we’re doing.”

OT Brandon Mosley (ankle) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

The contract of CB Antwaun Molden was terminated (5-year veteran).

The following 11 players were waived: HB Joe Martinek, WR Julian Talley, WR Brandon Collins, TE Ryan Purvis, TE Christian Hopkins, OT Joel Reinders, DT Carlton Powell, DT Oren Wilson, CB Brandon Bing, S Chris Horton, and S Jojo Nicolas.

The Giants will have to further reduce the roster to 53 on Friday.

Tyler Sash’s Suspension Upheld Again: S Tyler Sash, who has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing-drugs, met with the NFL Commissioner yesterday in and attempt to get his suspension overturned or reduced. According The Star-Ledger, the Commissioner refused to do so. Sash had formally appealed the suspension earlier this offseason as well.

Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were TE Travis Beckum (knee – PUP), OG Chris Snee (leg), OT James Brewer (unknown), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee – PUP), DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot), DT Marvin Austin (back), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin), CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (toe), and S Tyler Sash (ankle).

When asked about Tuck, Head Coach Tom Coughlin said, “Shoulder. It’s just a precautionary test to see exactly where he’s at, and what needs to be done, so he’s ready to go for the season.”

On Amukamara, Coughlin said, “He was hobbling around without the boot today.”

Hosley did some running and backpedaling yesterday. “It’s definitely getting better,” Hosley said. “The soreness went down a lot…It’s not where we need it right now. (I need to do) little more work and treatment.”

Boley did some running on the sidelines during practice. “It’s getting better,” Boley said. “I’m still just taking it one day at a time. I’m not trying to overdo it. The opener’s not too far away, but I still got a little ways to go. We’ll see when next week rolls around.”

Thomas will see the team doctor again on Wednesday. “It’s going great,” said Thomas who runs the risk of being put on season-ending Injured Reserve. “I’ve been running in the underwater treadmill. Got on an elliptical today. Squatting, lunging, doing everything like I was 100 percent and obviously we’re still taking it slow and hopefully I can get a good update from Dr. Warren and I can start running Wednesday or Thursday.”

“They want to save me for the long haul and I understand the process since I aggravated my injury, which I missed all last year so I don’t want to do that again,” said Thomas. “I’m just working my butt off to get back and help this team as much as I can.”

Sash was carted off the field during Sunday’s practice. “I’m good, my ankle, I basically had the same thing in college,” said Sash. “It has some bone spurs, and it locked up on me. I don’t really understand it as far as, if there’s cartilage, or if it gets in the joint, then it can cause it to lock up.. I had it once in college and I played three or four days later so I’m trying to play on Wednesday. It’s just something I have to work through, and I just need to loosen it back up.”

OT Will Beatty (back) and WR Jerrel Jernigan (leg) returned to practice.

“(Beatty) practiced,” said Coughlin. “It’s just day-by-day. We’ll see how he did, and how he feels later on today and tomorrow.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Monday Press Conference: The transcript and video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin are available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on CB Michael Coe:

Aug 272012
 

August 26, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday were WR Jerrel Jernigan (leg), TE Travis Beckum (knee – PUP), OG Chris Snee (leg), OT Will Beatty (back), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee – PUP), DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot), DT Marvin Austin (back), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin), CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), and CB Jayron Hosley (toe).

S Tyler Sash was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury. “His ankle locked up, is what they said to me,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after practice. “Otherwise, I have no idea. I’ll have to wait till I get inside.”

Regarding Umenyiora, Coughlin said, “Osi has some swelling, so we shut him down…It’s more precautionary than anything. He’s practiced every practice.”

Regarding Pierre-Paul, Coughlin said, “Getting better. He’s been getting better.”

And on Beatty, Coughlin said, “He did some things. He was down in the corner with the trainers. It’s good to see. It’s always based on what’s he like afterwards? What’s it going to be like? If anybody has had a bad back…”

Amukamara, who is wearing a protective boot, was asked what the trainers are saying about his injury. “Just that it’s a mild high ankle sprain,” said Amukamara. “They didn’t tell me an expected time of recovery, but how I feel right now is a huge improvement than how I felt yesterday and after the game, so we’re just taking it day by day…Rehab part is going to start tomorrow.”

Rogers talked about the possibility that his season may not be over. “Well, we did a little bit more due diligence, and got a little bit better prognosis,” said Rogers. “Hopefully there is some room left in there to get out there. We’re still in the process of making that decision…From what I understand, yeah, you don’t do too well playing on a thinner, or a thing of that nature. That’s really the issue, I guess.”

Hosley is out of his protective boot.

CB Brandon Bing (hamstring) returned to practice. OT Brandon Mosley (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Sunday Press Conference: The video of yesterday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on DE Adewale Ojomo: Giants’ Rookie DE Adewale Ojomo Turning Heads With Sacks by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger

Article on S Will Hill: Will Hill Finally Making Name for Himself on Giants by Tony Williams of Metro.US

Aug 262012
 

August 25, 2012 New York Giants Injury Report – Negative News on Amukamara and Austin: Head Coach Tom Coughlin addressed a number of injury issues during his conference call with the media yesterday:

  • CB Prince Amukamara (ankle): Immediately after the game, Coughlin said Amukamara’s high ankle sprain was “mild.” Now Coughlin is saying it is “moderate.” “Unfortunately (high ankle sprains are) longer than you would like them to be,” said Coughlin. “Depending on how much damage there is, and how much he can tolerate. There are always some lingering effects there. We’ll see, I really don’t know (how much time he will miss), I don’t have the answer to that…You see some (high ankle sprains) go on a long time. You see some come relatively quickly. It’s pain tolerance, it’s the position circumstances, and there are a lot of things that go along with it. This position (cornerback) needs to be able to open up quickly and run very, very fast, be able to start and stop quickly, be able to change directions on a dime. These young men playing this spot really need to have their legs under them. I don’t know, I’m not even going to throw one (a date) out there, because it isn’t documented by any medical people. If I were to say two weeks or three weeks, I would just be guessing.”
  • DT Marvin Austin (back): “He was doing well, and then he had a little setback,” said Coughlin. “It’s an issue again.”
  • CB Terrell Thomas (knee): “No. No (timetable for his return),” said Coughlin. “No (he won’t be ready for the opener)…He’s been working hard with the trainers in the training room. He feels confident that his knee has improved. I can’t tell you. No one has come to me and said he’ll be ready to go by this time, no medical people. We can continue to encourage and be optimistic, but other than that, there’s not much we can do.”
  • CB Jayron Hosley (toe): “(No update),” said Coughlin. “Hopefully they’re going to get him out of the boot, and maybe see what he can do in terms of light running. Hopefully shortly, in a day or two he’ll be doing that. I don’t have anything else to report.”
  • LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin): “He’s sore; he’s had a similar injury to this in the past,” said Coughlin. “Hopefully it’s not going to be too long, I don’t know what his status is going to be for this game that’s coming so quickly. We would project for the opener and get this under control.”
  • OT Will Beatty (back): “He’s had four good days in a row,” said Coughlin. “They feel pretty good about his strength, the direction he’s headed in. He’ll probably get some individual time early in this week to see where he is, and hopefully he can tolerate that, and we can increase the workload.”
  • HB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand): “We’ll see (if Bradshaw is ready next week),” said Coughlin  “His hand is definitely improving, not as fast as he would like, but what it is. We’ll have to see where he’s at as we get started this week.”

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Saturday Media Conference Call: The transcript yesterday’s media conference call with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

Article on HB David Wilson: Wilson Gives Giants Reason to Smile by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com

Aug 252012
 
Chicago Bears 20 (2-1) – New York Giants 17 (1-2)

By rnargi for BigBlueInteractive.com

Game Summary:

The Giants came into the game on Friday night missing a lot of pieces on both sides of the ball. Key players out of action for what is normally considered the most important pre-season game were RB Ahmad Bradshaw; WR Hakeem Nicks; and OT Will Beatty on offense; and DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Adrian Tracy; CBs Terrell Thomas and Jayron Hosely; LBs Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams; and DTs Chris Canty (PUP), Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers on defense. Several other piece parts were also out of action.

To make matters worse for the defense, CB Prince Amukamara left the game in the first quarter with what is being termed a “moderate high-ankle sprain.” Later, LB Mathais Kiwanuka left the game with a groin strain. Kiwanuka stated that it’s an injury that he also had in the past and will manage it in the same way, not expecting to miss the opener.

Despite the issues with players missing time, New York played well on both sides of the ball during the first half in which they left the field with a 17-7 lead. Notable stats during the first half:

  1. The Giants average starting field position was 10 yards better than Chicago.
  2. New York rolled up 188 yards on 13 first downs (though 3 were by penalty) and converted 3 of 7 third downs.
  3. New York also held Chicago to 101 yards, including just 72 yards through the air. Chicago converted just 3 of 9 third downs and had four drives end in 3 plays and out. Chicago also had a 4 play drive.
  4. The Giants commit four penalties for 30 yards, but did not commit a turnover.
  5. New York special teams blocked a punt which they converted into a touchdown towards the end of the first half.
  6. The Giants dominated the time of possession, holding the ball nearly 5 minutes longer than Chicago.
  7. New York had a couple breakdowns on kickoff coverage. On the two long returns by the Bears, each was aided by a missed tackle that should have been made.

All in all, the Giants played a solid first half of football.

Offense:

The first team offense started off slowly on their first drive, but picked it up after that as they scored on drives of 8 plays (field goal) and 10 plays (touchdown). The Giants running game looked good when they were getting to the edge, but not so good inside. Downfield blocking by WRs Victor Cruz and Dominek Hixon was excellent on the early long runs by RB David Wilson.

The passing game had no trouble with the Bears secondary, as it seemed they were able to throw with impunity anytime they wanted to. Giants receivers were open all half. Two of Eli Manning’s four incompletions were dropped balls and two were throwaways.

The second half offense was another story. New York could not get a drive going until the final possession of the game, going 3 and out four times and had two other drives of 4 and 5 plays. Until that final drive, New York only mustered three first downs and 39 total yards. The Giants punted six consecutive possessions and committed and interception on the final drive and kept the ball for just 11:19.

The Quarterbacks:

QB Eli Manning had his best game of the preseason as he completed 17 of 21 passes for 148 yards and his first touchdown of the year. Manning had little pressure at all. He wasn’t sacked and only took one hit on the night. Manning distributed the ball to 8 different receivers. Manning also drew a pass interference call in the end zone on an attempted fade to WR Ramses Barden that set up the Giants’ final touchdown of the game.

QB David Carr did not have a good night, completing just 7 of 16 passes for 76 yards and an interception. Carr missed on several passes to open receivers, but truth be told the Giants were constantly in long down and distance situations due to a stagnant running game during the second half. Carr was also under extreme pressure behind a shaky second-team offensive line, and took a big hit on his very first pass of the night in which he threw high to an open WR Isaiah Stanback. The play would have resulted in a first down had he been able to bring the ball down. Later, after a nice run by Da’Rel Scott for a first down at their own 42 yard line, Carr missed a wide open Jerrel Jernigan at the Chicago 40 as he threw the ball into the ground. Finally, he overthrew WR Rueben Randle on a go route on a first down play from deep in Chicago territory. Randle stumbled a bit on the route, and it may have impacted the play. Carr was only sacked once but he was hit at least three other times.

The Running Backs:

On the night, the running backs didn’t see a large amount of action as they rushed the ball just 17 times for a total of 72 yards. As mentioned, the Giants seemed fine running outside but had very little success up the middle. New York’s running game was hit or miss, but mostly miss, in relation to being able to play ahead of the chains. The Giants were unable to establish manageable down and distances on 2nd and 3rd down due to the anemic rushing attack, especially in the second half.

Rookie David Wilson had an outstanding night, especially on the edge. On the Giants’ second drive, Wilson had back to back runs of 20 and 15 yards and then a nice catch and run for 29 yards on the very next play. On the two running plays, Wilson had help with outstanding blocking from the WRs and TEs, but he also broke tackles to gain solid extra yardage after first contact. Wilson hits the hole quickly and seems to hold up well against contact to maintain his balance and gain those extra yards. Wilson ended the game with 49 yards on 5 carries and 2 catches for 26 yards. On Wilson’s first run, the Giants ran an interesting misdirection play to the right side behind pulling TE Bear Pascoe and FB Henry Hynoski. I do not recall that play being run in the Giants’ offense in the past.

RB Da’Rel Scott had a rushed 5 times for 16 yards, but did not have very much to work with after his 15 yard run. Scott nearly converted a 3rd and 14 yard play by gaining 12 yards on a screen pass in which he made some nice moves. Scott also blocked a punt on a nice rush from the edge.

D.J. Ware did not figure much in the game and Andre Brown had a forgettable night, gaining just 3 yards on 6 carries. Brown seemed to get the bulk of the goal line duties and other than bouncing his touchdown run outside for the yard needed for the score, Brown didn’t do much in the short yardage game.

The Wide Receivers and Tight Ends:

The Giants starting wide receivers played well on Friday night, and in particular Ramses Barden who may be on the bubble for a roster spot.

Barden caught all three passes thrown his way for 46 yards (team high for yardage), a touchdown, and he also drew a pass interference call on a fade route in the end zone. Barden’s solid game included a beautiful slant in which he turned around CB Charles Tillman with a nice fake to the fade. Unbelievably, it was Barden’s first touchdown ever in the NFL. The interference call he drew was also against Tillman.

WR Victor Cruz led the Giants with 5 catches worth 28 yards. Cruz dropped one pass. On David Wilson’s 15 yard run, Cruz made a key block on S Craig Steltz that left Wilson room to juke in the hole, shake loose and get down the sideline. Cruz is obviously ready for the season.

Rookie WR Rueben Randle is going to make a big impact on this offense. He only caught 2 of 5 passes thrown his way for 21 yards. He’s getting tons of playing time and if I were to guess, I’d say he’s going to be the starting #3 WR on the outside by the middle of the year and he won’t look back.

The rest of the receivers were a mixed bag, especially in the second half when Carr was missing them left and right. It wasn’t that they weren’t open, as evidenced by the Jernigan and Stanback examples noted above.

TE Martellus Bennett again proved his worth as a blocking TE, and also caught 3 passes for 15 yards. The Giants attempted to hit Bennett on a screen but the play never had a chance. Screens have been less than successful for a long time for the Giants, particularly middle screens.

Adrien Robinson had two catches on the final drive of the game and seems to have pretty good hands.

The Offensive Line:

The Giants once again started Sean Locklear at LT in place of injured Will Beatty. Locklear appears to have the inside track to the starting job as David Diehl continues to hold down the RT position that many thought James Brewer would inherit from Kareem McKenzie. Locklear looks fine in pass protection. On Friday he got to tangle with Julius Peppers and did an adequate job. I thought he got away with a hold on one play, however, in which he wrapped his arm around Peppers’ neck and ran him to the ground.

I wanted to get a good look at the Giants’ running game and how the starting offensive line was performing so I decided to take a look at each first half running play individually to see what was going on.

First Drive:

1st and 10 from NYG 16: New York was in an I formation with 2 wideouts and 1 TE to Eli’s left. Wilson followed Hynoski to the left behind a good push from Bennett and Locklear for a 4 yard gain.

Second Drive:

2nd and 12 from NYG 14: Giants overloaded the short side of the hashes with TE Martellus Bennett on the line about 3 yards outside Locklear with Hynoski and Pascoe “wishboned” 2 yards behind him. Wilson was the lone back in an “I” with Eli and Barden split outside on the wide side. The formation looked a lot like the old counter trey that the Redskins used to run in the 1980s. On the snap, Wilson began to the strong side behind Bennett, but pivoted and followed pulling TE Pascoe and FB Hynoski. LG Kevin Boothe pulled and got a great seal block on the LDE Julius Peppers, Hynoski disrupted the outside linebacker, and Pascoe led with a great block on the safety. Outside, Barden stayed with the block and took the CB down field and out of the play. Diehl crashed into the line then slipped off his block to get up field and put a lick on the MIKE linebacker. It was a very well executed play and gained 20 yards.

1st and 10 from NYG 32: Giants in a single back formation with 2 wide and a second TE, Pascoe, lined up as a slot receiver on the strong side. Bennett again was lined up next to Locklear. On the snap, Cruz slanted to attack the strong safety. Pascoe crashed down on the RDE and actually took out the SAM and DE. Locklear shifted to block the DT and Boothe pulled to lead Wilson. Boothe successfully blew up the MIKE and Cruz eliminated the safety leaving Wilson to run right past the CB and gain 15 yards.

1st and 10 at CHI 12: Giants in an offset I with Hixon wide on the short side. Pascoe came in motion to the left and then back to the right behind Bennett. On the snap, Bennett crashed inside on the DT while Boothe pulled to take out the SAM. Pascoe helped double with Bennett but didn’t need to. If he had cleared the SAM, Boothe would have been in the second level to take care of the MIKE. Hynoski did a great job of taking out the nickel CB who was run blitzing, routing him wide and out of the play. Brown was unable to make a cut in the hole and was dropped for a one yard loss. David Diehl was called for a hold that was very ticky tacky in nature.

Third Drive:

1st and 15 from CHI 15: Giants in single TE set to Eli’s left with two receivers and an offset I. The Giants faked a handoff to Wilson’s left with RG Chris Snee pulling. David Diehl left Peppers to crash on C David Bass’s man while Baas peeled off to take Peppers wide. Unfortunately, Baas and Snee collided a bit, slowing Baas down and by the time he got to Peppers it was too late and the end around to Hixon resulted in a 13 yard loss. Had Baas been able to get to Peppers, that play was wide open as every other defender was or was about to be engaged.

2nd and 1 from NYG 40: The Giants in an I formation with two WRs and single TE to Eli’s right. RT David Diehl pulled to his right around Bennett, who took the DE inside. Snee fired upfield and stoned the MIKE linebacker as Wilson followed Hynoski to the right behind Snee. Hynoski got enough of the SAM and Victor Cruz was able to turn the CB around allowing Wilson to gain 9 yards and the first down. Excellent blocking and running.

1st and 10 from NYG 49: Giants in a double TE single back set with two WRs. Chicago had 7 men in the box on this play. Somehow the MIKE linebacker was able to shoot the gap to make the play for no gain in the backfield. There was very little room on the right where Wilson was trying to go even without the pressure from the MIKE.

Fourth Drive:

2nd and 9 from NYG 43: Giants in an I formation with two WRs and single TE to Eli’s right. Giants tried to run a draw to Brown. Chicago again had 7 in the box but this time Locklear was unable to neutralize Peppers who got a great inside push. That rerouted Brown outside and right into the waiting LB who had beaten Hynoski. The play gained just 1 yard.

1st and 10 at CHI 34: Giants in an offset I with 2 WRs tight and one TE to Eli’s left. This play had legs. The Giants had caught Chicago with 5 linemen and 2 LBs. LT Locklear crushed Peppers inside to take him completely out of the play. Pascoe fired to the second level and chipped the MIKE before moving to blow up the SAM. Hynoski negated the DE to Peppers’ right and Snee had pulled to lead Brown. For some reason, Snee ran right past the MIKE and helped Pascoe seal off the SAM and the MIKE dropped Brown in the hole for a loss. That play looked like it was going to go for very big yardage. Instead, it was a 1 yard loss.

1st and 10 from CHI 19: The Giants were in the I formation with 1 TE and two receivers split wide. Again the Giants had Chicago with 5 down linemen and 2 LBs. On this play, the blocking looked solid except that Hynoski may have led Brown to the wrong hole. Diehl and Snee had done a very good job opening a hole that Hynoski could have made bigger giving Brown an opportunity. Instead, Hynoski went straight forward into the A gap, leaving nowhere for Brown to follow. Brown tried to bounce it outside but at that point the advantage was lost and he was tackled for a 1 yard loss.

Fifth Drive:

1st and 10 from NYG 33: Giants in shotgun with 5 linemen and 4 wide (Bennett about 3 yards wide of the line of scrimmage). Snee fired off the ball to get to the second level but missed his block on the SAM which resulted in Ware only producing a 4 yard gain. The rest of the line did their jobs.

Sixth Drive:

1st and goal from CHI 1: Giants in goal line formation with no wide outs and 3 TEs in an I formation. The key to the play was a great drive block by Pascoe on the DT while LG Kevin Boothe pulled to his left to absolutely bury the safety who was playing on the end of the line. Brown had a fairly easy run off left end for the 1 yard touchdown.

For the first half then, the run blocking was mostly effective, but the keys are the fact that the WRs, TEs and FB are playing key roles and doing their jobs effectively. As for the pass blocking, as mentioned there was very little pressure on Eli and the numbers speak for themselves.

As for the backup linemen, it’s another story. The most surprising problems are that it appears OG Mitch Petrus has regressed, and James Brewer doesn’t look like he’s even close to ready to play tackle.

The Defense:

Once again the Giants were missing three key starters and had three other key personnel come up with injuries on Friday night (Amukamara ankle, Kiwanuka groin, and Mark Herzlich shoulder). The defense didn’t seem to miss a beat until Amukamara went out and CB Bruce Johnson came in for him.

The first team defense played for just one half, and except for one drive kept the Bears at bay. Most laudable was the fact that the defense held Chicago running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush to just 6 yards on 9 carries. WR Devon Hester did gain 19 yards on an end around.

In the passing game, Jay Cutler only completed 7 of 17 passes for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. Other than the 59 yard touchdown drive, Chicago never got into an offensive rhythm .

The second and third team defenses didn’t fare so well, giving up drives of 7, 9, 8, and 11 plays spanning the third and fourth quarters, relinquishing 13 points and the lead. Chicago gained 187 second half yards.

Front 7:

The Giants starters were outstanding against the run on Friday night, limiting the Bears to just 29 yards on the ground with 23 of them coming from other than running backs. Without DLs Jason Pierre-Paul and Chris Canty as well as LB Michael Boley, the Giants started Tuck and Umenyiora on the ends with Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard at DT. Veteran Keith Rivers started on the weakside with Blackburn still manning the middle and Kiwanuka at SAM. Interestingly, the majority of the tackles all game, not just in the first half, came from the linebacker and safety positions. The starting DTs and DEs were in on just 5 tackles. The starting LBs and safeties were in on 15. That’s actually a good sign when you realize how well they bottled up the Chicago running game in the first half. The backup linebackers weren’t to be outdone, as Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich and Greg Jones all made multiple plays.

The key, however, may be Rivers who is playing with great speed from sideline to sideline and has really anchored the unit since the middle of training camp. The biggest question regarding Rivers was whether he could still be counted on in coverage and so far he’s been very good. If that continues and the secondary can get healthy, I see a big year for Antrel Rolle.

The starters didn’t get much of a sustained pass rush, and didn’t register a sack or a QB hit on Jay Cutler. DT Marcus Kuhn, who did see situational duty in the first half, managed to get to Cutler twice and played very well. He may well have earned himself a spot in the rotation with his solid game. DE Adewale Ojomo had a strip sack of QB Jay Cutler, but the Giants were unable to recover the ball.

Mark Herzlich was all over field and made his presence known once again on specials when he forced an Eric Weems fumble by fighting through a block and making the hit to jar the ball loose. Weems recovered after a mad scramble almost gave the Giants a first and goal at the Chicago 5 yard line. Herzlich still appears to be the heir apparent to the middle linebacker position, but he needs to stay healthy and put a string of decent outings together in order to unseat the plugger named Chase Blackburn.

It’s hard to believe now that linebacker wasn’t Mathias Kiwanuka’s drafted position. He’s gotten better and better and made a couple good plays at the line of scrimmage to stop Forte.

Defensive Backs:

As I write this, I realize that I don’t recall hearing Corey Webster’s name one time during the game. He started at the left CB position and then just disappeared. Going back to the game book, he wasn’t in on a single tackle or pass defensed, either. Honestly I cannot remember him being in on a single play. That is awesome! I would love for any team to disregard one third of the field any day of the week against the Giants.

Prince Amukamara was having a good game before going down with the high ankle sprain. He made a text book tackle to keep Brandon Marshall to no yardage after the catch on the play after he injured his ankle. His backup, Bruce Johnson, did not fare so well. On two back-to-back plays, Cutler targeted Johnson. On the first, Johnson stuck with the receiver on a crossing route and was able to get his hand in to knock the ball out at the last second. On the next play, however, he was burned badly by Marshall who scored on an easy pitch and catch with Cutler. Later, Johnson allowed the go ahead touchdown by whiffing on a tackle. In coverage on 3rd and 8, WR Joe Anderson caught a 3 yard stop route and ole’d Johnson who should have had him stopped short of the first down. Instead Anderson walked into the end zone for the score.

Michael Coe is small. Next to Brandon Marshall he looked like me and Eric standing next to Eli Manning. That said, he plays big. He’s a tough, pugnacious guy who isn’t afraid to get his nose bloodied and come back for more. He played much better than Johnson. He made a very nice play on a short pass to Marshall to get his hand in and try to knock the ball away but Marshall’s ability to shield the play and his strength allowed him to come down with the catch. I don’t think it would’ve mattered who was on Marshall during that play, that’s almost impossible to defend.

Has anyone else noticed how much more active Kenny Phillips is around the line of scrimmage? He was in on two more plays at or behind the line on Friday night. Phillips seems to be underrated by many because he’s not in on a lot of passing plays. Frankly, the less you see him in the secondary is an indication of how good his play is. No one throws deep on Phillips. Antrel Rolle hasn’t been in on as many tackles this preseason as normal, but I’m not sure if it’s scheme or lack of opportunity. I still haven’t figured out what Rolle’s position is going to be on this team, and with injuries mounting at the CB position it probably remains to be seen.

Special Teams:

New York had a couple of break downs on kickoff return coverage that resulted in two long returns and committed two penalties on David Douglas’ nice return. There were a couple other penalties (illegal man downfield and another for a false start) and a punt that was partially deflected. These errors need to be cleaned up, but the majority of them came from players that are trying out for positions. On the bright side, Tynes continues to look like an All Pro kicker, Steve Weatherford is just amazing, and the Giants committed no bobbles or fumbles. To further the good, RB Da’Rel Scott blocked a punt that was recovered by LB Greg Jones, setting up the Giants’ final touchdown. Also, as mentioned, Mark Herzlich forced a fumble on a kickoff.

Coaching:

The Giants obviously tried out a few more formations on both offense and defense as they ready for the regular season. There are a lot of positions still up for grabs and some players you’d hope to step up (like Ramses Barden, Da’Rel Scott, Marcus Kuhn) did and that will make the decisions harder for the coaches. Others are making it hard on themselves. Injuries keeping assured players out of the game are sometimes the only way that a player is going to get a chance to shine, and few if any of the back up offensive linemen and defensive backs are doing much to show they deserve a spot on this team.

Summary:

This is going to be one very interesting week and a half for the New York Giants. There is one game to go with the New England Patriots next Wednesday before final cuts need to be made and the bullets fly for real against Dallas. I believe a lot of the injured will begin to return this week or next, just like they did at the end of preseason last year. We’ll really know the extent of the injuries to Boley, Nicks, Austin, Beatty and others if they aren’t ready to go by next Wednesday. As for this particular game, I prefer to hang my hat on the fact that the starting teams, despite some big time injury losses, really dominated the Bears.

(Box Score – Chicago Bears at New York Giants, August 24, 2012)
Aug 252012
 

Amukamara and Kiwanuka Injured in Preseason Defeat to Bears: The Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants 20-17 on Friday night in the third game of the preseason. But the big story of the game was the potentially serious injury to CB Prince Amukamara. Amukamara was carted off of the field with a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of the contest. His status for the early part of the regular season is unknown. With Terrell Thomas still out indefinitely with his ACL injury and Jayron Hosley still ailing from a toe injury, the Giants have issues at the right cornerback position.

High ankle is the worst type of ankle sprain for an athlete. “I’m going to have to get more information,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after the game. “It’s not fractured. They were saying high ankle. Dr. Warren thought it was mild so that’s what was told to me. That term, high ankle, if it’s a mild sprain, perhaps it’s not going to take as much time to get back.”

“You talk to the doctors and they say (Amukamara is) gonna be fine, it wasn’t anything serious,” DE Justin Tuck said. “You see him get carted off and your heart drops for the guy because he’s finally getting his shot to be a big-time player for us. Hopefully it’s nothing that lingers, it’s something he can overcome real quickly.’

Also injured in the game was LB Mathias Kiwanuka, who suffered groin pull at the end of the first half. Kiwanuka said he might miss the next week and a half, but feels he will be ready for the season opener against the Cowboys.

LB Mark Herzlich also left the game after jamming his shoulder. He did not think he would miss any time.

As for the game, the Giants’ first team out-played the Bears’ starters 17-7 in the first half. The Giants’ defense only allowed 19 yards on the Bears’ first two offensive possessions. After a three-and-out of their own, the Giants’ offense drove 72 yards in eight plays to set up a 32-yard field goal by PK Lawerence Tynes. Rookie HB David Wilson starred on this drive with runs of 20 and 15 yards and a catch-and-run of 29 yards. Wilson impressively displayed speed, balance, and tackle-breaking ability.

The Bears responded with a 7-play, 59-yard touchdown drive. It was on this drive that Amukamara was hurt when tackling WR Devin Hester on an end around. On the next snap, Amukamara left the game after tackling WR Brandon Marshall. The Bears immediately began targeting Amukamara’s replacement, CB Bruce Johnson, throwing three times in his direction on the next four plays with the result being 21-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-8. After the game, Johnson said the touchdown was due to “bad technique” on his part.

As for Amukamara, Coughlin said, “I’ve got to give him credit. Even when he was injured, he made that tackle on the sidelines (on the Devin Hester end around). I don’t think anybody knew what the injury was and we couldn’t get him off the field fast enough and he didn’t go down. He played one more play. They went right at him and he made the play. So yeah, he’s had some injuries but he is a tough kid and I think he’ll come back from this as fast as possible. How fast that is, I’m not sure.”

The Giants crossed midfield on their next possession but were forced to punt. Then the Giants’ defense forced another three-and-out. The Giants then drove 58 yards in 10 plays to regain the lead, 10-7. The drive culminated with an 11-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Ramses Barden.

The Bears only gained one more first down and 19 yards on their final four possessions of the first half. Worse for Chicago, HB Da’Rel Scott blocked a Bears’ punt that was recovered at the Chicago 10-yard line. Two plays later, HB Andre Brown scored from one yard out and the Giants led 17-7 at the half.

The Bears’ reserves dramatically out-played the Giants’ back-ups in the second half as Chicago out-scored New York 13-0 in the third and fourth quarters. In six of New York’s seven second-half possessions, the Giants only gained 39 yards and three first downs. On the Giants’ last drive, trailing 20-17, the Giants did move the ball 65 yards (aided by a penalty), but their last desperate gasp ended with an interception by QB David Carr on a 1st-and-10 pass from the Chicago 13-yard line with just over a minute to play. Carr had been saved two plays later when a roughing-the-passer penalty also wiped out a bad interception. Carr had a terrible night, finishing 7-of-16 for 76 yards. His pass protection by the second-team unit was equally bad.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears’ offensive back-ups scored on three of their first four possessions of the second half with two field goal drives and a touchdown drive.

Manning had a strong night, finishing 17-of-21 for 148 yards and a touchdown. Wilson rushed for 49 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 26 yards. Barden caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. LB Keith Rivers flashed with five tackles.

Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: Fourteen players did not play against the Bears on Friday night: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand), WR Hakeem Nicks, TE Travis Beckum (knee – PUP), OT Will Beatty (back), OT Brandon Mosley (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee – PUP), DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot), DT Marvin Austin (back), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (toe), and CB Brandon Bing (hamstring).

Giants.com Player Interviews: Video clips of interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com: