Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls.
Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
GIANTS MUST CONCENTRATE ON STARTERS IN FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAME VS. THE JETS
IS PRECIOUS LITTLE TIME REMAINING
It is rapidly approaching
the time when experimentation is over, when fiddling with starting lineups has
come to an end, when head coach Tom Coughlin has to scan over his potential starters
and, well, just pick ‘em.
know enough about all his players by now, and he knows how the veterans have performed
not only this summer by last season, and, well, it's time.
matters more crucial, Friday night's opponent (7:30) is the other franchise that
called MetLife Stadium its home, the New York Jets, and while there is less love
lost than years ago, it is still essential for the mental well-being of the players
that they win.
The players on both teams,
"It's going to be a hard
game," said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. "We're going to play hard
and they are going to play hard. We both really, really want to win this one."
The Giants, despite absolutely horrific performances in their first three games,
are undefeated, this coming after a 27-point fourth quarter created by third-stringers
and scrubs to beat Indianapolis, 27-26, and if you think it was accomplished against
the Colts' starters, think again. It was sandlot football, and undoubtedly neither
coach was doing David Wilson-type back flips over the victory.
said that the "ones," coach-speak for the first-teamers, will be "25
to 30 snaps" in Friday night's game, and that includes quarterback Eli Manning,
who has played ineffectively so far and who has been knocking on the door marked
"Forget It" since training camp started.
he breaking down? Is the end approaching to his brilliant career? Well, he isn't
particularly quick, but he never was. So that must be the breakdown suffered by
the offensive line. But there are players who Coughlin would like to see get some
turns with the "ones," notably wide receivers Corey Washington and Marcus
Harris and another rookie, running back Andre Williams.
would hope the coach has some plans for second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib, who
engineered the winning comeback in Indianapolis, and regardless of the opposition,
what you do in that case is concentrate on the mechanics and the poise of the
He isn't going to start the
game. Coughlin wouldn't do that to Manning. But he might get in as the second
quarterback and the staff might keep him surrounded by several of those "ones"
when he does play. It's the right thing to do. He needs to get the feel of a first-team
You won't see No. 1 draft
pick Odell Beckham Jr., who is still troubled by a sprained hamstring. But you
will see left tackle Will Beatty, although perhaps not as much as you might expect.
Last year's No. 1 pick, right tackle Justin Pugh, has been working at left tackle
this week and he might get a few serious looks there. Hey, it couldn't be any
worse, and it might be the start of something big.
tight end (although in truth the Giants don't really have one) might be Adrien
Robinson, who made a couple of snazzy catches in that fourth quarter last week.
"He did some things well," Coughlin said, and now the trick is to see
if he can keep doing them. This is his third year, and probably his last chance,
Cornerback Truman McBride seems
likely to earn a start since the regular, Prince Amukamara, will miss the game
with a groin pull. "McBride has made some plays and he deserves more chances,"
Coughlin said. He did not mention much about Beatty, who suffered a broken leg
at the end of last season and made his first game appearance against the Colts
- not a good one, it should be added.
POINTS - Second year safety Cooper Taylor will need surgery on his foot (sesamoid
bone) and might be placed on Injured Reserve, which at this time of the year means
automatically missing the full season. ... The sesamoid is a common injury to
this team - middle linebacker Jon Beason suffered one in OTAs and has been rehabbing
nicely, still insisting he will make it to the season opening Sept. 8 against
the Detroit Lions.
Other players who
did not practice Wednesday - and are not expected to face the Jets -- include
cornerback Jayron Hosley (foot), Trindon Holliday (hamstring), offensive linemen
Charles Brown (shoulder) and James Brewer (back), running back Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot)
and tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring).
The Giants are 2-1 to make the playoffs, according to Las Vegas, (the Eagles are
the resounding pick at 2-3, and the Dallas Cowboys are 12-5. ... The Redskins
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