As a result, the line is going through some changes. David Diehl slid over to Seubert's spot at guard. With Will Beatty out until November, Shawn Andrews is next in line to play tackle, which he did yesterday. Tom Coughlin said Diehl and Andrews would alternate at tackle, but that is only if Koets is out.
Today, the Giants have a midday practice followed by press sessions with all three coordinators. The next game is Sunday in Houston against the high-flying 3-1 Texans.
Reporters got an opportunity to speak with Texans coach Gary Kubiak via conference call yesterday morning. Kubiak is well aware that his offensive line is facing a daunting challenge after the Giants' 10-sack deluge last week vs Chicago.
"We have our work cut out for us," said Kubiak. "Everything starts with trying to find a way to keep your quarterback upright. That performance last week was one for the ages, it was unbelievable. We're going to have to hunker down and find a way to keep our quarterback upright the best way we can and go from there. It definitely starts with protecting the quarterback."
Houston is also hurting at WR, where superstar Andre Johnson is nursing a sore ankle. Johnson did not play Week 4 against Oakland and is only doing individual drills thus far this week. WR Jacoby Jones (calf) also did not practice yesterday. Kubiak was optimistic both would play vs the Giants Sunday.
Tom Coughlin cannot afford to expect anything less. He said the Giants must prepare as if the Texans are at full strength. He started his presser with his assessment of this week's opponent:
"The Houston Texans – an outstanding football team that played very well. As you well know, they're 3-1 – their only loss is to Dallas. We've studied all of these games. They made an outstanding comeback at the Washington game. Number one rushing team in the NFL and the number one rusher. Outstanding zone scheme, play action pass off of the run game. Last week they stuck exactly to what they wanted to do against Oakland – running the ball and throwing play action. They didn't get any sacks, they didn't have any turnovers, so they played a very good football game. Oakland did come back and it was a very good game, but they were able to win, so... A team that is good against the run, a team that is very good rushing the ball, outstanding personnel – big receivers, fast receivers. We all know that Johnson is in whatever category he's in. He was inactive last week with the high ankle and we'll all have to see how that goes, but a very good kicking game, outstanding return game. If Jones is out, Anderson seems to be their punt returner. Slaton is the kick returner. He's a blur – he's very fast. A good team."
Both coaches did not ignore the fact that Sunday will be the 2010 debut of LB Brian Cushing, who sat the first month, suspended by the NFL for violating the league's steroid policy. Cushing, a New Jersey native by way of USC, was the Texans' first round selection in last year's draft and went on to be named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kubiak: "It's good to have him back, and obviously we've missed him on the defensive side of the ball. It's nice to see him in the meeting room a few minutes ago, being ready to go. He'll go right back to work and there'll be some rush there from that standpoint, but I know no one is working harder. The biggest thing is that you can't make up those four games of snaps that everyone else has played in this league, and those are things you worry about. He's too valuable to this team, and we'll put him right to work."
Coughlin: "They've talked about his aggressive play. They like to bring him in making a five-man rush. He does a good job in coverage when he drops. He was rookie defensive player of the year, so…"
In other news, Coughlin said the team would wait a bit longer to decide Mathais Kiwanuka's fate for 2010. Kiwanuka has a bulging disc in his neck that will keep him out for indefinite period. The Giants went through a similar injury with LB Antonio Pierce last year. Pierce returned perhaps too early from the injury and not only was ineffective, it ended his career. Conventional thinking here is that Kiwanuka will be shelved for the season and his reps will be split among Jason Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollefson.
Coughlin also had praise for several players. He liked the way RB Brandon Jacobs looked vs the Bears ("I thought he ran with power. I thought he ran hard.") and is really high on the progress of some others, specifically Pierre-Paul.
"He's made good progress. Good progress. I thought last week was his best – ready for the game, awareness, and I thought he responded well. It's too bad we lost the interception, but he's making good progress. He feels better about it, too. He's more confident in his learning."
Jason Pierre-Paul [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-de-jason-pierre-paul.mp3|titles=10.6 DE Jason Pierre-Paul]
Steve Smith [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-wr-steve-smith.mp3|titles=10.6 WR Steve Smith]
Mario Manningham [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-wr-mario-manningham.mp3|titles=10.6 WR Mario Manningham]
Ahmad Bradshaw [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-rb-ahmad-bradshaw.mp3|titles=10.6 RB Ahmad Bradshaw]
Eli Manning [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-qb-eli-manning.mp3|titles=10.6 QB Eli Manning]
Houston QB Matt Schaub [audio:http://snygiants.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/10-6-texans-qb-matt-schaub.mp3|titles=10.6 Texans QB Matt Schaub]
Quotes, audio courtesy Giants Communications Dept.