New York Football Giants: Preseason Game 1 Breakdown
The Giants traveled to Charlotte to play the Carolina Panthers in their first preseason game to prepare for the 2011 NFL Season. We have a lot of work to do, and there were 77 guys who traveled to the game. About 60 played. Travis Beckum remained in New Jersey for treatment and there were a couple of shuffles made with the linebacking corps.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin entered the game emphasizing the need for guys to show themselves in this abbreviated window of opportunity. There are only three preseason games this summer, before the season opener on September 11. Final cuts come in three weeks, so there are a few guys who must show and prove while they have a chance.
As the preseason is truncated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement haggling, which lasted until August 1, the starters for many teams are playing more snaps in the first preseason game than normal. The following is a first-hand breakdown of my perception of each player who logged minutes vs. Carolina tonight.
His play-calling looks worse than it was last year. And that’s just not possible. They normally keep it vanilla in the preseason, but there better be “mar-ked” improvement in camp this week, or heads will roll. There was no continuity within the offense and the starters played three series tonight.
Eli has been rusty at camp. From people who I know have gone to East Rutherford to watch the team at the Timex Sports Complex, Eli has been missing targets and not crisp with his throws. He was not good tonight. Missed Nicks on a would-have-been touchdown route on a 3rd and 8 early, and basically only completed dumpoffs otherwise.
Sage took the bulk of the snaps with the second team and was pretty decent. Good completion percentage and nice touch on his passes, but he was staring receivers down like guys do strippers at their first bachelor party. If the Panthers had any decent corners playing tonight, he would have thrown two INT.
Young Ryan has a cannon for an arm, we know that much. He does know how to make reads, as he has run Pro-Style offenses since he was at LSU. This is basically a battle for 2nd string, as he does have more arm strength and more mobility than Sage.
Young Ahmad is healthy and ready to go, he was making his normal jitterbug cuts, but the line just doesn’t get the push. He only had a small handful of carries, no injuries, nothing to worry about individually from him.
Danny got most of the touches tonight and he looks a step faster than last year. The Giants really should use him more, but he is what he is, nothing spectacular, but won’t kill the team.
Jacobs was sprung for a nice run off Kareem McKenzie’s right hip, and it could have gone for much more than 15 had FB Bear Pascoe gotten a hat on a hat downfield.
Young Andre. Finally back off the non-contact Achilles’ injury last training camp. He actually looks faster than he ever was at NC State. I said it and apparently, after a couple of crisp runs, Bob Papa says that Tom Coughlin expressed the same. He could be key for us both in special teams and sub-packages.
Got a couple of touches, nothing special.
Typical rookie, dancing behind a line that was already failing to get a push. Scott can play, but he’s got to adjust to the speed of the NFL game if he’s going to contribute whatsoever in 2011.
Pascoe was good in the backfield last year, especially early on. Expect to see him in the backfield about 2/3 of the time. He’s a natural Tight End, and as such, he will get pass catching and blocking duties in some three WR packages.
Henry. Sounds like a fullback. He’s a masher. We’re gonna have a good time running the ball off the right side behind All-Pro Chris Snee, and having Dave Diehl back at Left Guard pulling (which he did on a nice run by Bradshaw early).
Beatty was not impactful in the running game, however there was no pressure on Eli Manning or Sage from his side while he was in the game. Beatty went on an eating binge during the offseason, probably mandated by the Giants — as he was too light in the cakes to play outside at left tackle last year.
Meredith is massive, but he hasn’t had enough reps. He may be called upon at times this year, because the Giants staff is only 80% sold that Beatty can do the job.
Diehl is better inside at Guard and he still executes trap blocks with the best of them. With the cutback ability of Ahmad Bradshaw, it was critical to upgrade the agility and strength of the LG position with Richie Seubert unlikely able to contribute even if he had not injured his knee in Week 17 vs. WSH last season. Diehl had a couple of nice pulls to the right side on runs.
Boothe is as wide as a house. He’s serviceable and a good backup when necessary. Giants got decent pushes in the run when he was in there.
Mitch looked lost at times. He was absolutely beaten off the ball on a jailbreak blitz and whiffed on a couple of pulls. He needs more reps, but he has the motor and the IQ.
Baas was beat off the ball a few times. Not completely disturbing, as he and Eli have only worked for 10 days. Once the cadence and snap counts are down, Baas is no slouch. He is a masher and will get the job done.
He did not botch any snaps, but was beat off the ball on a couple of plays. Pass protection was average.
Snee is Snee. Best Right Guard in football. Blocked as such.
Brewer came in late when the car salesmen were mostly in, not enough body of work tonight.
Like Snee, he is what he is. Best runs of the night by the Giants came off Snee and McKenzie’s side. That’s been the case the past 5 seasons.
Nicks had a few targets, but only one completion, with Eli missing him on a sure TD early. The passing game was very staid and very little effort was done to run more than slants and drags underneath the coverage.
Manningham was only targeted once by my count. Gilbride needs to do better.
Cruz tries hard. He won’t IMMEDIATELY replace Steve Smith, but he will be effective in the slot. He had a couple of nice plays on Special Teams as well.
Someone’s going to be the odd man out here. We have about 10 WRs on this team and 7 are capable starters. We’re supposedly going to commit more to the run this year, but carrying a ton of WRs is counterintuitive. Maybe someone is traded, but Hixon earned his right to be here, especially being the best return guy on the team currently. He had a few nice catches tonight.
Thomas has all the skills, but his route running isn’t precise yet. At 6’2″, 220 and speed/power, you want to see him develop. If he shows enough early on, he could be traded for a pick. But I like him and we should further develop his game.
Ol’ Stone Hands actually had a nice grab tonight on the sidelines. Will be interesting to see how the Giants work him in, as the apparent plan is to use him as a red zone target with his height.
Jernigan is our unveiling of DeSean Jackson without the douchy attitude and lack of heart to go across the middle. He’s eventually going to be the return guy here, but he’s not quite ready. He has speed to BURN.
WHY IS HE STILL HERE? He did try hard though, and had a couple of nice grabs.
Travis Beckum — INACTIVE
Young Jake was on the practice squad last year, a couple nice routes and catches, but he’s got to be quicker off the ball in the blocking scheme, both versus the run and pass. He couldn’t set the edge on the first Bradshaw run.
Daniel “Winter” Coats. Nothing special from him, but he was in with the 3rd stringers.
Fewell has to feel like a kid in a candy store. He has athletes galore and is drawing up so many different looks that most teams will be unable to adequately prepare for everything the Giants throw at them this season (barring injury). There will be times when you see Tuck, Umenyiora, Kiwanuka and Pierre-Paul…
ALL LINED UP LIKE FOUR HORSEMAN ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE AT THE SAME TIME.
The Panthers were intent on taking him away. He still had a couple of nice flushes and had contain the entire time he was in.
Osi Umenyiora — INACTIVE
MERCY. And tonight was no fluke, either. We saw what he was capable of in his one year at USF and we saw it late last year. I clamored to see him play and he didn’t disappoint last year. Now that he will get more reps and about 40 snaps per game even once Osi returns, he could easily get 10 sacks with his ability. EASILY. Absolutely obliterated Jordan Gross and enveloped Jim Clausen twice tonight.
Real Giants fans are glad we retained him. He’s a gem on special teams and he always gives you big effort in the pass rush when he gets out there.
Young Linval is a force. He should have played more last year, but Barry Cofield was so great that he couldn’t get many reps. He held the point against the run and had a couple of nice pushes in pass rushing situations.
The way he played tonight is the way he played when he was at Virginia. And although it was preseason, if he does this — being “disruptive” (which is the highest compliment you can pay to a DT), getting after the QB AND stuffing the run… the Giants will be reaping the rewards for that massive contract Canty has.
Young Marv just throws guys out of the way. He’s gotta improve his technique and shed linemen quicker, but he will get that this year. He’s gonna be disgusting inside. He lined up at DE a few times tonight.
Rocky looks like he’s fresh and in shape. Thankfully, because we re-signed him with money that could have gone to Boss or Smith.
Kiwi didn’t play for long, but he had a couple of nice stops.
Goff is making progress. Nothing negative, which is good.
Blew a couple tackles, but had a INT for TD and a couple of good hits (actually wrapping up, which most Giants DID NOT DO tonight).
Love this kid’s motor. Once his instincts and feel for the NFL game are down, LOOK OUT.
LOOK OUT FOR THIS GUY.
He must’ve gone on that cruise with Beatty, where Beatty reportedly gained almost 30 lbs in a week.
Webbie was not in for long. Had a pass get to Armanti Edwards on blown coverage by Ken Phillips, but Webster is not a concern.
Too many blown tackles for short duty tonight.
He who refuses to play Safety, and rightfully so — he blew at least 6 tackles tonight and was beaten miserably on 4 occasions in the pass. He better shore it up quickly, because when Prince Amukamara returns, he will be the odd man out.
Very nice tonight, although he blew a couple open field assignments.
He had excellent coverage all night. He might be the nickel or dime guy until Amukamara returns. Ross did himself no favors tonight.
JOHN LYNCH, JR. That’s all I need to say.
His open field instincts aren’t there yet, and he’s not great in coverage, but he is a ball hawk, and had a FF tonight.
Just getting work, staying healthy. Good thing he will be “back” this year and not at the line as much.
Young Ken is a year off his ACL rehab, so there are no excuses now. He missed a few assignments and didn’t wrap up tonight. But nowhere near as bad as Aaron Ross was tonight.
Naturally he gets hurt. No word if it’s a sprain, partial tear or complete tear. It looked bad. Very bad.
Dodge was NOT BAD tonight. He did have one line driver, but it was not in a bad situation. He drove the ball all night, although he out kicked the coverage once. He will be good eventually. I’ll put my name on that.
Weatherford came over from the Jets, which was a nice addition. He’ll push Dodge. Steve’s punts were good all night.
Tons of room for improvement as we get ready for Chicago.