The Giants are headed into their fourth and final preseason game this Thursday with a ton of questions hanging over them, and many of those questions promise to remain unanswered.
Head coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday the starters will play "very little" and that many will be on a "pitch count". With this team searching for an identity, he is more interested in looking at the backups and the potential backups vs New England this week.
"I am very interested in that, how they handle that, the situation," said Coughlin. "Some of the roster spots are definitely—decisions have to be made. It’s spelled opportunity. When you get a chance to play like this—have a game in which you can amass 60 snaps or something along those lines, plus special teams, would be a good thing."
Two players that will not see the field will be WR Victor Cruz (calf) and MLB Jon Beason (knee). Of the two, Coughlin seemed more optimistic that Beason would be back sooner.
S Stevie Brown is pleased to back in Giant Blue these days and the feeling seems to mutual. Coughlin is hopeful some vintage play from Brown will help address the tumult in the club's secondary.
"I’m looking for him to play," Coughlin said. "I’d like to see the Stevie Brown we had the year he had, what, (eight) interceptions or whatever that was. That’s what I’d like to see and that’s what we’re trying to get a feel for—where he is with his game and just see him play. Just put him in that position and see what happens."
Punter Steve Weatherford avoided the Turk on Tuesday when the Giants waived his main competition for the job, Robert Malone. That doesn't mean the club is back in love with him.
Coughlin said that Weatherford has been a little too consistent for his liking and that he, like everyone else, is still competing vs the waiver wire.
"He’s been off and on. He’s had some good ones and he’s had some that aren’t so good," Coughlin said.
Coughlin said that he, nor anyone else in the Giant organization has examined DE Jason Pierre-Paul's hand.
Coughlin on what makes him optimistic about the defense this year...
"Well, I think that you focus on different people, different people on different days have shown the ability to do certain things. What we’ve got to do is take what we have and match it up with what they can do well. And then situationally, be able to utilize them. So I’ve seen things along those lines that are things that are positive. But there’s no doubt, we’re going to have to prove it against the best competition in football. It’s all in front of us."
QB Eli Manning on not having any live game reps with Cruz this summer:
"We’ve just got to see. Hopefully he can get back healthy where he can get back practicing. We’ve had limited practice reps with him. I thought he looked good and looked sharp before the calf injury. Hopefully he can come back and get healed up and be back to his normal self. Yeah, there’s still some work to do with Victor. Again, getting familiar with the offense, the timing of certain routes. It’ll be a work in progress, but that’s okay. We’ve got a long season. We’ve got time to work and practice and get better at things."