The Giants lost to the Colts this past weekend. Don’t be too concerned. The sample size was not large enough and Coughlin doesn’t game plan for these games. Additionally, a few key players were out. Mostly it was Eli Manning underperforming. He has historically not played too well in the preseason, and turns it on when it counts. But given last year’s off year, at some point you can get concerned, but not yet.
The running game flashed, and Nicks looked ok, if not great. Cruz was injured, but should be back for game 1. I would have liked to have seen more from Randle but for some strange reason they gave the snaps at Cruz’s slot position to a guy who won’t make the final roster.
Speaking of the roster, some good players will get cut. The fact that the Giants need to keep 3 QBs, since Nassib is nowhere near being ready to see playing time in a real game, makes roster decisions even tougher. Many have written on the battle between Rogers and Austin for a spot as if Patterson has that rapped up. Despite a decent game by Patterson I’d bet on him being the man out, but not sure both Rogers and Austin can still find a spot. It is almost unfathomable that a high second round pick like Austin will be cut, but he has shown very little in his extended audition. My assumption is also that Kuhn will spend the year stashed on the disabled list.
Linebacker and Safety also have interesting roster decisions. Sash was deemed to be on the way out before playing a great game against Pittsburgh. With Mundy added from Pittsburgh and a 5th round draft pick used on Cooper, the thought is that Will Hill is out. I hope that is not the case. Hill will not count towards the roster for the first 4 weeks, as he sits out a suspension for substance abuse, but his unreal athleticism is on display whenever he is on the field. As I posted many times last year I think he is a future star that they should not give up on. The suspension will allow them 4 more weeks to make a decision. It’s not entirely impossible that Cooper gets put on the practice squad since injuries have limited his time. Alternatively, he could have some fake minor injury allowing the Giants to store him on IR for another year. Since Rolle is unlikely to be back next year given his high salary, stocking safeties makes sense. At linebacker, it will come down to reclamation project Curry or Bosworth for the final spot. I don’t see them carrying 7, given the tight roster.
A couple of injuries in the Colts game could have an impact on the roster as well. Bass is out for 3-6 weeks with a knee injury and Diehl is out 6 weeks with a thumb injury. Diehl is no longer quick enough to play tackle anyway so 1st rounder Pugh better be ready. When Bass got injured the Giants rotated the line and Diehl went to Guard. Now Cordle is in at center. I suspect they will PUP or IR Diehl sitting him for the first 6 weeks (even though he could be ready by week 3) allowing an extra roster spot to be open.
At DE it’s time to figure out if Ojomo can play against the first line team. He dominated the 3rd stringers but it’s like the great minor league baseball hitters that can’t cut it in the majors. Coughlin should send him out against the 1s for a series to see if it is real. If it is, he could potentially unseat the promising Adrian Tracy as JPP, Kiwi, Tuck and Moore are locks.
At cornerback this will be an interesting and telling week for Terrell Thomas. He has a high ceiling and a low floor. A few of the backups look good a CB like McBride, so it will be interesting. He gets his first snaps in 2 years this weekend against the Jets and Giants fans are routing hard for him.
Some say pre-season games are meaningless. The results certainly are. The Giants won against Pittsburgh, but did not play well. The big season concerns of stopping the run and running the football did not appear to be addressed. You would hope that a healthy Snee and potentially Pugh will make the difference on offense and JPP should help materially on defense.
The issue on defense, however, seems to be the very mediocre Line backing core. Herzlich is a great story but mediocre talent. He accomplished nothing. I have to hope that Connor will be a better answer as he looked decent in his time there. The most disappointing was Jacquian Williams. While he can still be a situational 3rd down guy, he can’t play the run and was getting pushed around out there.
The star of the game was rookie DE Damontre Moore. He was borderline dominant. It will be exciting to see him team with JPP for years to come. Hopefully the Giants won’t be too loyal to over the hill Justin Tuck.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com