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.
COUGHLIN'S TEAM BECOMING MC ADOO'S
AS THE OPENER IN DALLAS DRAWS CLOSE
By Dave Klein
Slowly, and at times not so slowly, the Giants
have become Ben McAdoo's team, as he wrests it away from the shadow of former
head coach Tom Coughlin.
It's a long
process. Most of the players McAdoo has picked as starters for Sunday's season-opener
in Dallas were Coughlin's players. But there are a few significant exceptions.
--- For instance, middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who joined the team just
four days prior to the start of the 2015 season and played in 15 games - starting
the final nine - has been waived. In his place is a free agent signee, Kelvin
Sheppard - who is scheduled to start Sunday.
--- All six draft picks earned a spot on the final 53-man roster, while Coughlin,
as is well-known, didn't really like (or trust) rookies. The six are cornerback
Eli Apple, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, linebacker B.J. Goodson, tight end
Jerell Adams, running back Paul Perkins and free safety Darian Thompson. In fact,
one (Shepard) is scheduled to start Sunday night against the Cowboys in the WR-3
spot, the slot, while two others, Goodson (MLB) and Apple (LCB) are listed as
backups at their position.
--- The slow
evolution to a "McAdoo team" shows itself in players who have been released.
MLB Jasper Brinkley, who was signed just four days prior to the 2015 season and
played in 15 games - starting the final nine - was dispensed last weekend in favor
of a third quarterback, Josh Johnson, and it seems as though McAdoo will carry
three of them (including Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib) on the 53-man roster. Coughlin
didn't like to do that.
--- It may well
work out that both teams playing in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., will have
three "active" quarterbacks. The Cowboys have announced they will not
place starter Tony Romo (back) on Injured Reserve and thus will have rookie Dak
Prescott (6-2, 220, second pick in the fourth round) and Mark Sanchez, recently
acquired as a waiver pickup from the Denver Broncos. But the main assignment facing
the Giants' defense is to stop rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot, the fourth
overall pick in the draft this year. "He runs like a tank with no brakes,"
says a scout of the 6-0, 225-pound former teammate of Apple's at Ohio State.
For those who might have missed it, the Giants' 10-man practice squad has been
finalized. It consists of safety Andrew Adams, wide receivers Darius Powe and
Geremy Davis, cornerbacks Michael Hunter and Donte Deayon, offensive tackle Adam
Gettis, center Shane McDermott, quarterback Logan Thomas and defensive end Ishaq
Williams. ... Adams, Powe, Hunter, Deayon and Williams are rookies.
This will be the fifth season in the last 26 years that the Giants will open with
a game in Dallas (previously: 1995, 2007, 2012 and last year). ... Seems silly,
especially this year, because the date is 9/11 and that horrific terror attack
occurred in Manhattan, an easy view of MetLife Stadium with medium-strength binoculars.
... Former Giants' running back Andre Williams, who was released last Saturday,
has been claimed by the San Diego Chargers.
--- The Giants didn't practice Tuesday but McAdoo said that that past-and-present
offensive tackle Will Beatty worked out Monday "and did some nice things."
--- One of your correspondent's best
friends, Bruce Lowitt, has written a book that most sports fans should like. ...
It's called "The
Game Isn't Everything" and is a collection of 42 sports features, columns
and essays -about the coaches, players and fans who invest so much of themselves
into their sports and not so much about football, baseball, basketball, etc. ...
It's well worth reading, as it is well worth the $14.95 price. ... The book is
available through Amazon on-line. .
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