Notes from New York Giants’ 20-16 preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers

0
359

OFFENSE:

With Charles Brown protecting Manning’s back side, it appears that offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, is proceeding cautiously in his quest to rebuild the Giants’ “broken offense”. For those making a big deal about Manning’s lack of downfield passing; relax, it makes no sense for McAdoo to put his quarterback in harm’s way, just to make a point in a preseason game. The running game appears to be working just fine, with under-the-radar pickup Rashad Jennings looking like a bargain signing.

Personally, I have seen enough from Andre Williams to know that he will be a factor in the regular season. The kid runs hard, so it would be wise to limit his carries moving forward to avoid injury. Kendall Gaskins can catch the ball out of the backfield, and rushing for 46 yards last night puts him ahead of Michael Cox on the RB depth chart in my opinion.

Corey Washington caught another touchdown, this time from Curtis Painter in the red zone to put the G-men ahead. Washington has to be considered in the mix at the wideout position, along with Marcus Harris, who did not catch a pass. Veteran Marion Manningham could not get separation from the Pittburgh defensive backs, and it looks like the Super Bowl hero is falling behind in the wide receiver rotation. Gun to my head right now, I think that Manningham does not make the 53-man roster.

Rueben Randle continues to look lost in the offense, and I have not seen improvement in Randle’s game over last season no matter who is throwing the ball to him. With the exception of Victor Cruz, the wide receiver rotation looks like a work in progress. Maybe the emergence of Odell Beckham, Jr. will create a comfort level that does not exist currently, as the three wideout concept has not generated much offense. Maybe McAdoo will focus attention on a traditional two back set with Henry Hynoski leading the way for Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams.

The offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link, so when Will Beatty replaces Charles Brown, we will have an idea of how good the unit can be. So far the unit is battling inconsistency, but it is not being over powered on a regular basis like last season. A lot will depend on Will Beatty’s return, if that solves the left tackle problem, then the unit should become better instantly. Keep in mind, however, that Beatty is returning from a serious injury and needs adequate time for recovery.

The tight end position will continue to be a battle with no player standing out. Kellen Davis had a nice nine-yard catch and looks like a possible receiving threat. Adrien Robinson had another pedestrian game, and as I have said all along, can he be trusted with the starting position? So far it’s Larry Donnell’s job by default, even if he had a false start penalty.

One final note on Nassib; the second-year quarterback ought to take a look at game film of Phil Simms to Mark Bavaro to see how a seam route should be thrown.

DEFENSE:

Perry Fewell needs to manage Jason Pierre-Paul’s snap counts moving forward in the preseason. JPP looks like he is recovered from the past two injury-plagued seasons, and there is no reason to push him this preseason. Robert Ayers played inside on pass rushing situations that gives the Giants more flexibility along the defensive line. Johnathan Hankins took a little time to get his sea legs under him going against All Pro Maurkice Pouncey, but he eventually did and played well.

I thought Jay Bromley looked good too as well as Markus Kuhn. This year, the defensive line should be measured on its ability to apply pressure on the quarterback, with less emphasis on sacks. New York’s stout secondary will be able to hold its own against most receiving corps.

Jayron Hosley struggled again with penalties and blown coverages, so Zack Bowman continues to look like he will make the final roster. Charles James II clearly sits on the bubble, but if he gets cut, the second-year cornerback will end up on someone’s roster. Hosley has an impending four game suspension, which probably does not sit well with the front office. And we have not seen Trumaine McBride yet.

Quintin Demps was used in a three safety set, as well as to rush the passer. With Cooper Taylor and Nat Behre in the mix, in addition to Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, do the Giants keep five safeties?

Mainly the questions on the defensive side of the ball center around what players are staying and starting, a good problem to have.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Brandon McManus kept even with Josh Brown in the kickoff competition. Both made a forty yard plus field goal and extra point, so the competition moves forward. According to OverTheCap.com, Brown will make a $225,000 roster bonus, in addition to $1 million in salary, should he make the team. McManus will make the rookie minimum of $420,000, which is something to keep in mind as cuts near. Only $100,000 of Brown’s contract is guaranteed.

Steve Weatherford had another good game, with two punts inside the 20. And long snapper Zak DeOssie had a pair of nice open field tackles in punt coverage. It also seems that the Giants cleaned up the protection issues on the punt team that cause Weatherford to have a punt blocked against the Buffalo Bills.

Quintin Demps finally was able to return a kickoff and showed why he is a threat to break off a long run at any time. Despite being hit early, Demps bounced off two would be tackles for a 23-yard return. Charles James II was given an opportunity to field punts in the absence of Trindon Holliday and Odell Beckham. He promptly muffed a punt that led to a 38-yard Shaun Suisham field goal.

Previous articleChicago Bears reinstate Martellus Bennett
Next articlePackers rest starters, fall to Titans 20-16 in the rain