EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 3-0 preseason record can’t mask the New York Giants’ problems.
There are major concerns on the offensive end for the Giants, who play two more exhibition games before the season opener against the Detroit Lions Sept. 8.
Quarterback Eli Manning appears lost in new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s West Coast system. Manning is 1 for 9 for 6 yards in two games he has played.
Coach Tom Coughlin would never criticize his franchise quarterback, but Coughlin knows that there has to be changes with Manning and the offense.
“Any time you set up something like the offense, you expect them to be at certain points along the way,” Coughlin said Sunday during teleconference. “It is disappointing to not be advanced where we are. I don’t think there’s any way else to put it. We’ve had some unproductive games in the preseason. We have yet to be able to come out and play well. Is that a concern? Sure, it’s a concern.”
The Giants couldn’t muster much of a running attack in a 27-26 victory against the Colts on Saturday until the fourth-quarter comeback.
Free agent acquisition Rashad Jennings, who looked so promising after his 73-yard touchdown jaunt a week prior against the Pittsburgh Steelers, managed 17 yards on seven carries against the Colts. Rookie Andre Williams, the team’s fourth-round draft pick out of Boston College, who showed a ton of promise in the early preseason, gained 19 yards in eight attempts against the Colts.
“It’s obvious that we have to work on a lot of things,” Coughlin said. “We have to work on everything. We didn’t throw well. We didn’t run it. No one was open. We had protection breakdowns. Just getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. Things have to be done and we only have a three-day practice week.”
The Giants play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Friday night.
“We don’t have the time to work on just one or two things,” Coughlin said. “We have to try to improve on all areas. Not enough plays are being made by our offense. All of a sudden, the preseason is flying by and we still have a lot left to accomplish.”
Coughlin also cited a lack of cohesiveness between an offensive line that is made up mostly with newcomers.
“They need to work together,” Coughlin said. “They have to communicate together with just split second timing. The results have been frustrating.”
Coughlin said he has not decided yet on a first-string offensive line, thus the reason why second-round draft pick Weston Richburg was used at center and both right and left guard Saturday night.
“Just because five guys trot out there doesn’t mean they’re the first unit,” Coughlin said. “It’s a work in progress. We’re looking at all possibilities.”
Coughlin was asked if there was a sense of urgency with the offensive first unit.
“There better be,” Coughlin said. “Nothing is written in stone. We still have some work to do along those lines.”
There were positive signs that came out of Saturday’s victory.
Second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib was solid, completing 11-of-15 passes for 158 yards, engineering the two late touchdown drives. Nassib might have taken a step ahead of veteran Curtis Painter for the right to be Manning’s understudy.
Free agent receiver Corey Washington caught three passes, including the game-winning touchdown from Nassib with 55 seconds remaining. Washington now has a touchdown reception in each of the Giants’ three preseason games and the lanky undrafted free agent from Newberry College has definitely enhanced his chances of making the 53-man roster.
Coughlin wasn’t thrilled with his defense, either.
“We weren’t able to stop them in any consistent fashion at all,” he said. “We had a play here and a play there, but by and large, it wasn’t what we expected out of this particular game for our team.”
NOTES: S Cooper Taylor suffered a foot injury that Coughlin deemed as serious. “It’s a significant injury, extensive, and he’s going to be out for quite some time,” Coughlin said. CB Prince Amukamara suffered a groin strain and is headed for an MRI Monday. “Whenever you have something like that, you’re concerned.” It appears as if Amukamara, the former first round pick from Nebraska, will miss the rest of the preseason.
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