EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Giants’ offense has struggled in the preseason, and no group more than the line.
The only time Ben McAdoo’s team ran the ball effectively was in the opener against Miami, which did not play its starting defensive line.
Quarterbacks Eli Manning and backup Ryan Nassib have been under intense pressure and have been sacked eight times. New York is ranked last in the preseason in average total yards, passing, first downs and third-down efficiency. It is next to last in average points.
While some may be worrying, McAdoo seemingly isn’t. He said the line of left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Justin Pugh, center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse was close to breaking some plays against the Jets in the 21-20 win Saturday night.
McAdoo also insisted the line can’t be judged when it enters a game without a regular-season game plan.
The Giants coach, however, admitted there is room for improvement.
“The pocket integrity needs to improve in the pass game, and I think it has gotten better,” he said. “We took a step back on a few plays last week, but overall the pocket integrity has been better the last two games. Run blocking is something that we need to improve on. It’s not just the offensive line; it’s the tight ends, it’s everybody.”
Pugh, who missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, returned to practice Monday.
Pugh said the Giants have not audibled much in the preseason. For example, he said when a safety plays close to the line of scrimmage, the play will be changed. He added the line is the same as last season, and the running game picked up in the second half.
On some plays, the offense had a tight end against a defensive end and that was a mismatch. He also noted that Manning did not play in the preseason opener.
“The No. 1 thing we have to do is keep 10 upright, we know it is going to make him feel good,” Pugh said. “It is something that we have to continue to get better at.”
Pugh believes things will work out. The guys on the O-Line work hard and he says there is chemistry.
“To overreact in the preseason is something that I would not urge you guys or the fan base to do,” Pugh said. “Obviously, you want to see successful runs, you want to see explosive plays and that’s something that we have to get better at as well. I’m not going to sugar coat it and say everything has been perfect, because it hasn’t. I think we’re going to get this thing right. I know we are.”
Tight end Will Tye, the free agent who became the starter last season after Larry Donnell was injured, said film work can show whether your hand placement is too high or too low, and whether the footwork is correct.
Game planning also helps. A lot.
“There’s a difference, that’s for sure. You can definitely feel it,” Tye said. “You’re more zeroed in on that defensive end or linebacker that’s going to guard you or try and hit you. You can focus in a little more instead of jumping around at different details.”
NOTES: LB Jonathan Casillas bruised his ribs against the Jets. There were no breaks. He hopes to be ready for Dallas on Sept. 11. …Jerry (ankle), CB Leon Hall (concussion), S Darian Thompson (shoulder), TE Will Johnson (burner), and linebackers Keenan Robinson (back), Jasper Brinkley (knee), and B.J. Goodson (concussion) did not practice. ..S Mykkele Thompson (concussion) returned to practice along with Pugh.
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