Monday, August 16, 2010

Tonight's Game

They used to call Giants-Jets the game for town braggin' rights. But to use that term here seems kinda dumb, considering the starters will play only a quarter or so, as is the custom with preseason openers.

That's okay, though, since we'll all get a first look at some of the more important issues facing the Giants. Here's a rundown:

INJURIES: A small battalion will sit on the sidelines with injuries, including LB Keith Bulluck (knee), WR Steve Smith (groin), WR Sinorice Moss (leg), G Rich Seubert (hand), G Chris Snee (knee), S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Michael Johnson (back), WR Tim Brown (groin and hamstring), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), TE Kevin Boss (hamstring), TE Jake Ballard (hamstring), and possibly TE Scott Chandler (hip flexor).

THE STORYLINES: Running Backs -- We'll get our first look at how Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have recovered from their surgeries. Bradshaw has had by most accounts a very good camp, but he still needs to prove he can run and cut against heavy tackling. It will be interesting to see him take that first hit and see how he reacts. Also, we might get some small idea of how Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride plan to use each guy. If Bradshaw takes the first set of carries, there's a chance he'll be the starter. Look to see if Jacobs has that old power up the middle, and whether he hits his holes with authority.

DBs: Ought to be fun to watch Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant team up in the first quarter. But better to watch backups Mike Greco and Sha'reff Rashad, as they're battling injured Michael Johnson for the third spot. Rashad hasn't been mentioned much, but Greco made some plays early in camp. Aaron Ross should see time at cornerback after Terrell Thomas finishes up. And keep an eye on Bruce Johnson, who made some plays at the end of last week as he continues his own push at nickel.

OL: Will Beatty gets his first chance at left tackle, though David Diehl will start. With G Rich Seubert out, Diehl will probably get some work at left guard, where he ultimately could end up if Beatty wins the left tackle battle. Guy Whimper and Mitch Petrus will see work at both guards since Chris Snee is also out. The fifth-round rookie Petrus is having a good camp and, by some observations, looks like a starter in the near future. How close? We may get an idea tonight.

WR: Ramses Barden has made some spectacular catches in drills. Now he needs to do it in a game. Given that Steve Smith is out, he may get extended time and he needs to do something with it. The coaches would love to see him rise to active gameday status, but he has to find some consistency first. At the injury-depleted tight end spot, DE Dave Tollefson has taken some practice snaps there. Let's see if Coughlin uses him in a game.

Return Game: Andre Brown has been healthy all camp and will get his first shot at kickoff return, along with DJ Ware. Aaron Ross will return punts, as will Victor Cruz, the rookie wide receiver who burst into the forefront last week as he stepped up his game.

The Rookies: DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Linval Joseph will get a good look as a tandem. But more important, see if Pierre-Paul gets penetration against what should be comparable competition opposite him. He came into camp raw, but seems to be developing at a good pace. Joseph could make a great case here for a big role in the inside rotation. MLB Phillip Dillard has been all but invisible in camp. He'll probably get some time here, though. Sixth-round DE Adrian Tracy has made some plays. And seventh-rounder Matt Dodge will want to show some consistency of punts with that big leg of his. As for the undrafted, WR Victor Cruz, CB Seth Williams, and WR Duke Calhoun are all worth watching.

The Stadium: It's had plenty of shakedowns already with a college lacrosse tournament, Bon Jovi, and most recently Brazil-USA soccer. The hope is that most of the kinks, such as ill-placed directional signs, have been worked out and everything goes smoothly. Will be interesting to see how the exterior lighting works.

That's it. I'm going to put up the live blog so you guys can talk, so look for that just before gametime.



  1. Thanks for the rundown Ernie. Who do you think will get more time at QB, Sorgi or Bomar? Also, what about Lewis at PR? I am completely pumped and this day will not go fast enough. Really hoping for good things out of this team tonight. Still pulling for my Husker, Dillard, to put it all together. It may take time for him, this defense different than that of the Pelini defense from what I can tell.

    Off the subject though, at some point, I want to know more about your effect on baseball (i.e. managerial firings, poor weather, blown deadlines, etc). I finished your article on Fewell in the Maple Street Press and saw the blurb about you. By the way, great article, really enjoyed it!

  2. CE718:

    Way too many incidents to relate, but suffice to say writers were not real happy to see me. They'd boo me when I walked into the press box. Also had one writer who offered to pay my day's salary if I would just go home. Another called me "Cloud", short for "Black Cloud" because bad things would happen when I was around. Just as one example, I was there for the Yankees' seven-hour rain delay against the Nationals last year. And that wasn't the worst thing I'd conjured up.

    Maybe I'll write a book about it someday.

  3. Ur article was AWESOME in the Maple Street Press, enjoyed the read and definately learned a thing or two.

    Excited for more Ern game breakdowns and LIVE BLOGGING!!! Are u attending tonights festivities? I have been offered tix and would love to blast the place (looks boring and seats in the upper deck look like they are in the last row of the old meadowlands) but preseason games and Jersey are not my thing.

  4. With so many starters out from the O-Line, this game will be a showcase of just how 'good' or 'bad' is our depth at that position which will be a major factor to the running game. Not sure if we will be able to gauge whether Jacobs, Bradshaw, and Brown are truly back from injury if these guys do not take care of business from their end.

    The defense, on the other hand, will be very intriguing with Bullock as the only potential starter out of tonight's game. I don't expect the Giants to show their defensive hand, but I do expect to see a very active Giants defense.

  5. Ernie, I would read that book. I love hearing about baseball lore, especially from the writers.

    Haj, I am too excited to see what our depth is like along the Oline. Very encouraged regarding our rookie guard, Petrus, given Ernie's opinion of his ability.

  6. As I was flipping through the channels last night I came across one of the 2009 college bowl games (22 Nebraska vs. 3 Texas). I always like watching college games with players that Giants drafted so I could get a good feel for them. We all know that P. Dillard played for Nebraska so I was excited to just watch him the whole game. This kid was all over the field, flying to the ball and making tackles in space. Grant it there were a couple of times he went to where the plays where he wasn’t in position to make a play but I can accept that. This guy is going to be good and could possibly a great LB for the Giants. His motor never stopped once in the game. I didn’t realize how fast he was but he can cover TE’s as well side to side pretty well. Did I mention he was fast.

  7. That was actually the Big 12 champ game Dominick. You know that an argument exists that Dillard made Suh better. He does have a big motor, but had a great coaching staff at Nebraska. Hopefully, Fewell can rev Dillard's engines a bit. He has the intangibles to be very good and I really hope as a Husker fan that Dillard pulls it all together and turns himself into a 4th round gem.

  8. Time to start my preseason mantra chant: No injuries, no injuries, no injuries, no injuries....

  9. I with gggg-men on the injury front. Guys have dropping like flies this year all around the League. As for tonight's game, I doubt we'll learn much. First preseason game is mostly a joke. The first team is barely in at all and plays super conservative in order to minimize the injuries and/or not give "too much away" regarding their plays. Especially with an old school coach like Coughlin. What we see tonight will only barely resemble what we'll see in the regular season. This is more a practice than a game. But I'm sure Jets fans will treat it like the Super Bowl if their third stringers beat our third stringers.

  10. Countdown to first game 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Ernie - the rumor out of Tampa is Ward might get cut. Do the Giants make a play? I would think Reese would at least give him a lookover.

  12. Hey Wayno! - Here's an article all about your favorite Giant.

  13. BS, Why would they cut Ward? Ward and Cadillac are the only two runners they have. I doubt they would be trying to pinch more pennies. The answer is yes but it isnt gonna happen.

  14. I will believe it when I see it. My prediction is after getting pushed around on some plays and only getting about 1/2 his normal reps with so much talent at DE, the old Osi that sounds like a spoiled petulant child will come out.