New England Patriots at New York Giants, August 28, 2014
The “Work in Progress” that is the Giants offensive will write another chapter on Thursday as the starter’s will see 15-18 snaps. Again, it’ll be about the team attempting to build consistency and extend drives.
With the way this preseason has gone, 15-18 plays may take the Giants into the third quarter.
Aside from the starters getting spot duty early on, all eyes will be on the reserves attempting to make the roster. Can anyone pull any kind of performance that allows them to stick on the final 53 or earn one of the 10 available roster spots?
How will guards Weston Richburg and John Jerry do in their first start of this preseason?
For an evaluation standpoint, the Giants should hope the New England Patriots run out their starting defense for at least a series or two, Richburg and Jerry will need the looks. Richburg will be starting on Monday night in Detroit; there’s a chance Jerry is, too. Prior to facing Ndamukong Suh and – maybe – Nick Fairley, the two will need some work against starting caliber players.
Can Mario Manningham make a last-second push for a spot on the roster?
In three preseason games, Mario Manningham has one reception while seeing the majority of his snaps versus backups. He’s come a long, long way from the player that once dazzled fans at MetLife Stadium. Manningham has lacked explosion and has created little separation. At this point, he’s a long shot to make the roster, but a strong performance against the Patriots may at least cause the coaches to mention his name twice.
Speaking to the media this week, Corey Washington said he was under the impression he’d see work with the second unit. That didn’t happen. While Washington has been a great story, until he shows he can play with starting caliber players, he won’t see a snap come the regular season. There’s a difference between burning Patrick Peterson on Sunday, compared to Charles James II and Bennett Jackson in practice. Washington needs to show what he can do and if he can make an impact on an injury deleted receiving corps.
Nassib has been near perfect since his demotion to the third team and has all but wrapped up the backup quarterback job. Nassib has made huge strides in training camp this year and has continued it on the field. Will he take another step on Friday, or regress? Being a young quarterback, it can go either way.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Connor Hughes – Preston Parker
With the placement of Marcus Harris on the injured reserve and continued question marks around Odell Beckham Jr., Preston Parker is one hit away from becoming a starter for the Giants. During his time in Tampa Bay, Parker was a serviceable wideout, he needs to show he can still be this player. The Giants no longer just need him to make plays as a returner, they need him as a wideout, too.
Eric Kennedy – Eli Manning
Yes, Eli Manning is my “player to watch” for the second week in a row. Eli is the key to the season. He has had one good drive in four preseason games, and that one drive could have ended with another mind-numbing, bone-headed decision by Manning. The Patriots don’t usually play a lot of their most important players in their preseason finale, but they may play most of their starting defense. We’ll have to see. And Manning surely will be under duress behind an offensive line that remains a sieve in pass protection. But Manning has to accept that is the way things are going to be in 2014. Jerry Reese didn’t fix this line. It is what it is. Manning will have to change his ways and learn to swallow his pride and take the sack or throw the football away. He has to become more of a game manager and rely on his defense and running game and not hurt his team with stupid mistakes. Against the Patriots, I want to see one more quality touchdown drive. Score, get off the field. Get ready for Detroit. Let’s end the preseason on a positive note, with some confidence.
THE INJURY REPORT:
- WR Odell Beckham Jr (hamstring)
- WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring)
- OT Charles Brown (shoulder)
- OT James Brewer (back)
- OG Brandon Mosley (back)
- OG Geoff Schwartz (toe)
- DT Markus Kuhn (ankle)
- LB Jon Beason (foot)
- CB Prince Amukamara (groin)
FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Tom Coughlin (on quarterback Ryan Nassib’s play the last two games): “It has boosted his confidence. He came off a so-so game and then played very well for the last two. He works at it. He’s a worker, a grinder and doesn’t have a lot of emotion, whether it be good or bad. He is just a hard working guy.”
THE FINAL WORD:
Connor Hughes - The fact the Giants are entering their final preseason game of the 2014 season and still don’t have a set offensive line formation is troubling, it can’t not be. The scarier part is that the line that trots out against the Patriots may turn out to be the best one, yet. The original line (Beatty LT, Schwartz LG, Walton C, Mosley RG, Pugh RT) had issues, so did every other variation that followed. It’s not like Detroit will go easy on them and the Giants have yet to put a consistent group out on the field. Personally, I think John Jerry has outplayed Brandon Mosley this preseason. I think Richburg has outplayed Geoff Schwartz. As sad as this may sound, and I said it above, the patchwork like that is sent out Thursday night may be the team’s best option. The biggest issue? What happens if someone goes down. At least the team has Charles Brown, I mean James Brewer, I mean Brandon Mosley, I mean… Mark Asper? Giants 28 – Patriots 20.
Eric Kennedy – The Giants and Patriots always seem to play in this final preseason game and this game really doesn’t usually have much meaning for the starters. Bill Belichick usually rests key guys and Tom Brady never plays in this game. Usually, Tom Coughlin wants to get 1-2 drives out of his starting offense and then sit them. The longer the offense struggles, the more drives they will be on the field. So the best thing for the starters is to put together one good drive to start the game. This game is more about who will make the final 53-man roster and who will make it to the Practice Squad. Look really good and you make the team. Look pretty good and you might not make it but another team may steal the player from the Giants who had hoped for that guy to stick around on the Practice Squad. Will the Giants be able to stash Kerry Wynn and Kelcy Quarles on the Practice Squad? Or will some other team sign them? Other random thoughts: So far, Jerry Reese’s offseason free agent moves to fix the offensive line all look pretty bad. Does Eli Manning have enough firepower to concern other teams with Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, and Daniel Fells/Larry Donnell? Why did Trindon Holliday survived the first cut? Giants 24 – Patriots 16.
BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, articles from BBI today:
August 26, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: Not practicing on Tuesday were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), OG Brandon Mosley (back), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), DT Markus Kuhn (ankle), LB Jon Beason (PUP – foot), and CB Prince Amukamara (groin).
The Giants received relatively good news on Schwartz, who was being examined by Dr. Robert Anderson on Monday. Schwartz will not need surgery to repair his dislocated right big toe. Schwartz will be in a boot for 7-10 days before beginning a rehabilitation program. After that, he availability will be determined on a week-to-week basis.
“This is just a minor setback,” said Schwartz. “I plan on attacking the rehab program so I can get back on the field as soon as possible with my teammates and help us win games.”
“He is very optimistic and hopefully it is going to mean the recovery is going to be as fast as possible,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “You know how I am. I hear the news and I say, ‘Okay, let’s see how this goes.’ Obviously you can’t rush him back but it sure would be good to get him back ASAP rather the other way around. It is not going to be easy for him. He is a big man.”
“I hope (Mosley returns soon),” said Coughlin. “He is up and moving, so that is a good sign…All I know is that hopefully (Mosley and Brewer) both will be back as soon as possible. They both feel better today.”
“I think (Amukamara) is (making good progress),” said Coughlin. “He is feeling pretty good.”
Brandon McManus Traded to Denver Broncos: The Giants announced Tuesday morning that they had waived PK Brandon McManus, along with making 14 other roster moves. However, before that paperwork was finalized, the Denver Broncos made the Giants an offer and traded for McManus. Though not officially announced, the pick is believed to be a conditional 7th round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.
“I think Brandon will kick in this league,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’s a very powerful young man. Needs a little bit of work on the finer kicks, but certainly he demonstrated his ability to kick it through the back of the end zone.”
August 26, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- RB Peyton Hillis (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
- DE Mathias Kiwanuka (Video)
- LB Mark Herzlich (Video)
- PK Josh Brown (Video)
Articles on the New York Giants Offense:
- Giants offense: How the little changes will help, but also take longer to perfect by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger
- Giants’ West Coast offense has an East Coast feel by Bob Glauber of Newsday
Article on WR Preston Parker: Meet the Giant who was broke and building tiki huts last year by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post
Article on the New York Giants Place-Kicking Battle: Why the Giants went with Josh Brown over Brandon McManus at kicker by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com
The New York Giants made 15 roster moves on Tuesday in order to each the NFL roster limit of 75 players.
The Giants placed safety Cooper Taylor (foot) and wide receiver Marcus Harris (hip) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Taylor is expected to undergo surgery to repair the sesamoid bone in his foot. Harris will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his hip. (Oddly, Harris’ injury had previously been described as a shoulder injury).
The Giants waived/injured linebacker Justin Anderson (hamstring) and defensive end Emmanuel Dieke (knee).
Lastly, the Giants waived the following 11 players:
- WR Travis Harvey
- TE Xavier Grimble (injury settlement)
- TE Jerome Cunningham
- OG John Sullen
- DT Everett Dawkins
- LB Spencer Adkins
- CB Charles James
- CB Ross Weaver
- S C.J. Barnett
- S Kyle Sebetic
- PK Brandon McManus
(UPDATE: In a late move, the Giants have reportedly traded Brandon McManus to the Denver Broncos for a conditional draft pick, reportedly conditional 7th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft).
The final cuts to the 53-man roster must be made by 4:00PM on Saturday, August 30th, the day after the Giants-Patriots preseason finale.