John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants return to practice this afternoon at Quest to begin a long week of practice and rehabilitation. The team will workout today through Wednesday, take Thursday off and practice once more on Friday before they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at MetLife.
Injury update…..WR Kris Adams underwent surgery to repair a fractured left ankle yesterday and OL Chris DeGeare is still being evaluated for a knee injury. More to come on those. As for the others, Tom Coughlin said he answers on most of them:
“I expect Justin (Tuck) to be back. I think (Justin) Pugh has been cleared and we’re going to find out about (Ryan) Torain tomorrow and hopefully (James) Brewer is getting very close.” said Coughlin.
Three players – DT Markus Kuhn, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and FB Henry Hynoski – are still on PUP and none are scheduled to come off this week.
Coughlin was asked yesterday if the Giants had difficulty getting back up to game tempo:
“Practice is one thing and the game is another. We all need to get up to speed with regard to that and not necessarily Eli for the position he plays, but the speed with which the opponent moves and the very fine line between outstanding execution and almost, and we’ve got to get where we’re executing with all three phases the way we need to be able to do it going into the season. So the challenge from game one to game two, of course, is to make these kinds of improvements and adjustments once we look at the tape.”
One major concern this summer is the blocking and protecting capabilities of the running backs. Coughlin seemed pleased with both David Wilson and Andre Brown this week:
“You know what, he had one very, very good cut block when he stepped up and took the blitzing linebacker on and he tried to carry that same route of execution out and the backer stepped over him one time. So he’s got to learn that you don’t cut people at the feet of the quarterback. That’s not going to accomplish anything. If you step up and take up the slack and you’re far enough away from the quarterback, you can use that as a changeup, but basically you’re going to have to stand in there. So he’ll learn that. They did a good job. Andre did a real good job of chipping last night and helping where it was obvious the help was needed.”
QB Ryan Nassib’s NFL career got off to an ugly start on Saturday. He was 1 for 4 for 29 yards with two sacks and was constantly under pressure. On third and long, the shotgun snap sailed past him and was recovered in the end zone for the only Pittsburgh touchdown of the night.
Naturally, he was playing with the third and fourth stringers in the fourth quarter but he still managed to regain his poise, which is a good sign. The one completion - a 29-yarder to Julian Talley – was a nice throw down the right sideline under pressure. Coughlin was asked if Nassib would get more meaningful snaps going forward.
“He needs to keep getting his feet wet just like anybody else does. It’s a brand new experience and we’ll keep that in mind as we set the order and the number of snaps as they are to be divided up for the next game. Now in truth, he got just as many snaps as anybody else. A couple of them were the victory formation at the end.”
RB Andre Brown fumbled an exchange from QB David Carr, then could not recover the ball even though it was near his body. Brown is supposed to being counted on to secure the football. Coughlin was asked if it concerned him:
“Naturally it concerns me and it concerns Andre too because it was careless. I don’t care how much and how long you’ve played the game. There are certain things that have to happen before you run the ball. You’ve got to look the ball in. If it’s going to be a toss or a pitch or a pass or whatever… first, you’ve got to catch the darn thing and put it away and cover it up before you can go on to the next objective. I’m sure he’s going to learn a lot from that and to his credit he went right back in and did some good things. So that idea of looking the ball in, I don’t know how that escaped last night, but for me, that was the whole reason for the turnover.”
Coughlin said there were “flashes” at linebacker but could not point out which players stood out, which is unfortunate because the tea needs to sort some things out at all three positions. All he could say was that the Steelers did not score an offensive TD, so “so somebody was doing a good job in there.”
At the MLB position, Dan Connor had three tackles and the starter, Mark Herzlich, only had one. Coughlin said calling the defensive signals was more likely why Herzlich is getting the first team reps but the overall play has room for improvement:
“In that position, the mike backer position gets the signals and calls the game as it comes off the sideline. So Mark had that opportunity. He does an outstanding job with that. We’re analyzing the linebacker play the entire preseason so that we can get the right people on the field in the right spots. So it’s ongoing and Mark, I’m sure, will be a guy that will tell you that we played pretty good last night, but we can all play better.”