John Fennelly, Lead WriterPreseason game No. 3 revealed a few things, but not much when it comes to position battles, especially on offense.
The lack of production from the first and second team offense (seven three-and-outs in the first ten possessions) prohibited us from seeing any meaningful progress. The only thing we learned about the offense is that it needs a ton of work – and fast.
Anything accomplished after halftime by the offense has to be taken with a grain of salt. Most of the defenders on the field during the Giants’ historic comeback on Saturday will either be cut or on the tail end of the Colts’ roster.
TE: The Giants were only 2/12 passing in the first half with only Larry Donnell seeing a target (which was incomplete). The rest, you can keep, even though it was fairly positive. Adrien Robinson had two big catches late, which was encouraging, and Kellen Davis had a nice TD catch. I think Daniel Fells (knee) will factor heavily into the mix when he returns to practice this week.
QB: Put your fandom in your back pocket at look at Eli Manning objectively. He stunk on Saturday. Throwing short passes has never been his strength and it looks like it’s still not. He looks uncomfortable in this new offense and I’m guessing they’re going to have to modify it a bit and scale back on the “west coastiness” of the system. He can’t do it. It’s not the right system for him. He doesn’t move well enough and does not have the finesse or “touch” to throw the ball short with accuracy. It has helped Ryan Nassib a great deal because he is not a pocket passer. But Eli looks like a fish out of water here. I hope he proves me wrong. As for the backup spot – Nassib outplayed Curtis Painter on Saturday, but again, it was all done during garbage time.
OL: I didn’t like what I saw from the first team, mainly because they were not able to sustain the run early on. It happens, but I expected the Giants to least be able to run the football on Saturday. Will Beatty’s return was a short one (15 plays) but he looked to be moving ok. Weston Richburg, the team’s second-round pick in last April’s draft is making a case for him to be a starter, but where? RG Brandon Mosley has played well, too. Center JD Walton could be in trouble, but I haven’t heard anything to that effect…yet.
WR: Should Corey Washington be the Giants No. 3 WR? Most fans will say yes, but let’s be fair: He appears to be fine sideline guy, but when it comes to shedding defenders in other parts of the field, we have to see more of him to make a determination. Marcus Harris is just a good football player. He’s got the make the roster.
PK: Throw this past week out because neither had any FG attempts. John Brown had two PATs and Brandon McManus had one. Three of the five KOs went for touchbacks.
KR/PR: Quintin Demps will be forgiven for his fumble because he had two excellent returns. WR Preston Parker was the only other player to line up at either return spot and he didn’t make much of the few opportunities he had to make a play.
Defense: Like I have said over the past few years, when Jacquain Williams is healthy and utilized properly, he will produce. Things will get interesting when MLB Jon Beason (foot) returns. Jameel McClain will stay on the field, but either Williams or rookie Devon Kennard will become a sub. I don’t remember the last time the Giants had too many LBs…do you?
Very encouraged by some of the players the Giants brought in this past offseason. LB Spencer Adkins is on the roster bubble, but he looks like a player. S Thomas Gordon, a UDFA out of Michigan, could be a keeper, especially now that Cooper Taylor will be out. Kelcy Quarles finally saw significant time at DT. There’s no question in my mind he will be picked up if the Giants let him go…