By Paul Dottino
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It’s not like coach Tom Coughlin’s job got much easier, but he likely got a bit more clarity about a few of his positions in Wednesday’s preseason finale — a 6-3 win over the New England Patriots.
The unfortunate part for Coughlin is not all of the answers turned out positive as he decides who must go, while cutting the roster from 75 to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m.
There may have been as many as five or six roster spots, deep within the depth chart, available going into the game. He and his staff could still have to debate the final two or three right up until the deadline.
Here is a review of the things we told you to watch:
1. Kick returns. This effort proved futile. Four preseason games in the books and the Giants haven’t identified a punt returner or kickoff returner who has proven he can get the job done.
It’s not always the return man’s fault, either, sometimes the rest of the unit did not do its job in holding up the other team’s gunners, etc. At this point, Coughlin’s likely to have the most confidence in asking Domenik Hixon to reprise his role on punts — neither Jerrel Jernigan nor Rueben Randle were able to distinguish themselves in last night’s game.
Kickoffs? Jernigan and Da’Rel Scott each got one try without anything that would make you think they are the answer — still assuming David Wilson may get the call here.
2. Cornering the market. Michael Coe, who likely will start on opening day against Dallas, wasn’t really tested. In fact, Dante Hughes — who has been buried on the depth chart in the preseason — had the best night of the corners vs. the Patriots.
Justin Tryon got much playing time and did okay. But Bruce Johnson (shoulder) was held out by injury and his inconsistent summer will work against him.
At least Prince Amukamara (ankle) and Jayron Hosley (toe) were walking around well along the sideline, so perhaps their recovery is well on its way.
3. Trenches. The backup offensive line had trouble throughout the evening and the Giants have to be combing the waiver wire to see if there are any available upgrades.
On the defensive side, Dwayne Hendricks had a terrific night and helped himself in the race for a spot among the defensive tackles.
Ditto for Adewale Ojomo, who forced a fumble that led to the winning field goal with 1:03 to play and looks to have taken away the fourth defensive end from Adrian Tracy (missed a chunk of the preseason with a hamstring injury).
Who should stay and who should go? Big Blue fans, make your case in the comments below…