John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Some storylines to follow as the Giants head into Week 3 of the preseason:
Middle earth…It looks like the Giants are leaning towards free agent addition Dan Connor at MLB. He has been playing with the first team for two weeks now and it doesn’t seem like Mark Herzlich can do much to reverse that at this point.
Calling Mr. Wilson…It’s been running back by committee thus far at Giants camp with David Wilson and Andre Brown splitting the carries. Yesterday, Jerry Reese told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd that he “expected” Wilson to be the Giants’ starting RB this season. Citing the history of injuries that have plagued Brown over the first four years of his career, Reese pretty much confirmed the Blue will be going to Wilson more often than Brown. But can he handle the load?
Dead zone….the Giants are 0-6 in red zone efficiency so far this summer. In fact, they’ve only scored one touchdown – a 57-yard catch and run by Victor Cruz against the Steelers. No one has stepped up and asserted themselves as a red zone threat. The TEs are not establishing themselves thus far this preseason and the running game is getting stuffed in small spaces and short yardage situations.
Trench feet….the objective this offseason was to get bigger and nastier on the line of scrimmage. So far, we’ve seen little change from last year. On defense, it just may be getting the right pieces in place. Not having JPP has hurt, but many believe that rookie Jonathan Hankins and veteran Mike Patterson may have to see more snaps. Both have looked impressive thus far. On offense, Chris Snee is rounding back into shape and Jim Cordle and rookie Justin Pugh gets their first starting assignments tonight.
Loose slots….With Victor Cruz (heel), Ramses Barden (knee) and Louis Murphy (leg) out and Hakeem Nicks still seeing limited snaps, the Giants will be getting a nice long look at their backup WRs tonight. Rueben Randle will begin the game on the outside across from Nicks, but there’s a golden opportunity for a slew of others to grab a roster or practice squad spot. Jerrel Jernigan is being pushed hard by Kevin Hardy and tonight is the night for Brandon Collins, Julian Talley, Terrell Sinkfield and Marcus Harris to show the coaches what they got.
Paint your wagon….the primary backup to Eli Manning is still undecided. Last week, David Carr made his bid while Curtis Painter watched. This week, it’s Painter’s turn. Odds are, Painter has to play lights out to win the job.