John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The first preseason game is popping up on the horizon and the Giants will be missing some guys this week. DE Justin Tuck (back) missed practice yesterday and may not be available for the game. In the interim, the Giants have moved Cullen Jenkins into the LDE spot and inserted veteran Shaun Rogers in Jenkins spot at RDT.
“He’s a tough guy to block no matter where he is.,” said Tom Coughlin of Jenkins yesterday. “He’s very effective, very good. Moves well. Just gives us a nice piece of versatility to be able to play him basically wherever we need.”
The other starters will be Mathias Kiwanuka at RDE and Linval Joseph at LDT. Expect the two rookies – DE Damontre Moore and DT Jonathan Hankins – to see some action from the second quarter on. Coughlin said the starters would play “about a quarter.
Tuck has been asked to play a bit of ‘stand-up’ to help him generate some pass rush momentum. Coughlin commented that it was nothing new, but could be a sign of things to come:
“He’s probably been doing that for the past five to seven years. Just to move him around, get him into position, bring him in different spots. There are multiple guys who can play that role, but he’s been doing it with the first team.”
On the offensive line, four of the team’s five starters from last year will be entrenched in their spots come Saturday: Will Beatty at LT; Kevin Boothe at LG; David Bass at C and David Diehl at RT.
Chris Snee (hip), the RG and anchor of the line, is still rounding into shape after coming off PUP this week. James Brewer was taking the majority of the snaps in Snee’s absence until Tuesday, when he left the field with an apparent concussion. Second-year OL Brandon Mosley, a fourth-round choice out of Auburn, will play in place of Brewer.
Mosley, like Brewer, was predominantly a tackle in college, but has been working at guard this summer. He missed all of last year with an ankle injury and told me last week that he’s not just focused on making the club, he wants to make an impact as well.
“He’s had some very good practices,” Coughlin said of Mosley. “He occasionally suffers from a lack of experience when something new confronts him. He’s been impressive. He’s a tough kid. He’s battling.”
Rookie Eric Herman, a late-round pick in this year’s draft has been elevated to the second team at RG.
S Cooper Taylor (hamstring) will not play Saturday, so we’ll have to wait to see what the Giants’ plans are for him in terms of where he will line up and how he’ll be used.
WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) appears to be coming along, but how many snaps he’ll get this week are still debatable. The Giants will likely play him a series or two. With Rueben Randle around and glut of hopefuls behind him, the team might want to limit Nicks and take a longer look at some of the others this week.
TE Bear Pascoe will be the FB. Coughlin said he has full confidence in Bear’s ability to handle the position:
“He’s done it in big games and he’s done it through the playoffs. He’s been there before and that’s fine. He’ll do a good job.”
Many teams these days are scheduling scrimmages against other NFL squads to change things up and keep training camp fresh. Coughlin was asked if he has considered bringing another team in to mix it up with his Giants. He said he had done it in the past, but not recently. He was questioned about his reasoning….
“Well, it’s why and then why not?We have 90 or 86 or whatever we have. We have plenty of work to do right here. It’s very early in camp. You’d like to think we’d be a little more refined. You bring another team in here and I don’t know that you’re going to get as many snaps as these guys get every day. You also have to be very, very much aware of who you’re working against. We used to do this all the time. Years ago everybody did and so on and so forth and then it kind of disappeared a little bit and I think most people feel like the four preseason games are plenty, but if there’s an advantage, then I think people go ahead and do that.”