Dottino: Coughlin May Have To Re-Evaluate His Lineup
By Paul Dottino
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EAST RUTHERFORD – Many of the players were chuckling on the sideline by the end of the 24-21 overtime loss to the Jets in the teams’ third preseason game.
Maybe it was the only appropriate reaction to a strange ending that saw a clutch Josh Brown field goal send the game into overtime – and then two iced Jets kickers, a missed field goal that counted and one that did not, and a Giants fumble.
And maybe it was the only way for the Giants to forget that safety Stevie Brown suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the first half. Ditto for cornerback Jayron Hosley, although he left with an injured ankle. Both players were going for MRI tests Sunday.
Here is how the Giants fared in three of the most important angles in the game:
1. The O-Line. Coach Tom Coughlin may have to re-evaluate his lineup. He used starting center Jim Cordle and right tackle Justin Pugh into the third quarter. Pugh appeared to hold up okay, but it was a rough night for Cordle, specifically against the starters in the first half.
Left tackle Will Beatty had a nice block on the Giants’ first snap of the game (and don’t leave out the block by WR Hakeem Nicks on the outside) as David Wilson rumbled 84 yards for a touchdown. Otherwise, there was no room for the running game.
Even though Eli Manning only took one first-half sack, he was pressured far too often as the Jets complex defensive front (primarily out of a 3-4 scheme) gave the Giants fits.
As pleased as Coughlin was with Cordle’s play against the Colts the previous week, he was hoping the young lineman would repeat his performance and solidify the position while David Baas (knee) is sidelined. Instead, the coach likely will consider moving left guard Kevin Boothe into the middle – but can he trust Brandon Mosley, James Brewer or Cordle at left guard? Which means he ultimately might give Cordle another chance at snapping.
2. Making A Comeback. A big thumbs up for cornerback Terrell Thomas, who fared well while playing nearly two dozen snaps as part of the sub package against the Jets.
Yes, he had a missed tackle, but seemed to be active and was in on three hits while playing slot corner. Thomas said he felt fine afterward and did not come out with anything that should keep him from practicing. Only time will tell if his body agrees with him, but it looks as if he will be ready for work Tuesday and the Giants can expect him to play in Thursday’s preseason finale at New England.
Pass that test without any physical issues and it’s a good bet he’s on the final 53-man roster.
3. One More Time? Starters Dan Connor, Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers were active and helped themselves with a solid first half.
The Giants also got a lot of second-half snaps for Jacquian Williams and Kyle Bosworth – both were flying around and often found themselves in the fray. Mark Herzlich also picked up his play, with a sack, a knocked down pass, and a fumble recovery.
Of the top six linebackers on the depth chart, only Aaron Curry – who did not take any snaps until late in the game – failed to help himself. He has to be considered on the bubble at this point, especially because Bosworth has shown to be an asset on special teams.
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