John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Today is August 31, which is Player’s Day Off. Today is also the day NFL teams can begin to assemble their 10-man practice squads (after 12 p.m.).
Yesterday, the Giants announced their 53-man roster with little fanfare or surprise. I was pretty much on target in my prediction, missing only the cutting of TE Kellen Davis and the retaining of UDFA DE Kerry Wynn.
“There were a lot of good, competitive positions, even going into Thursday night’s game with New England,” head coach Tom Coughlin said Saturday as per the Giants’ website. “Many of the young guys were competing, not only for roster spots but for the practice squad. That is an important concept as well. It is in the best interest of the clubs to be able to go to their practice squad, if the need is there, for a player who has been in your meeting rooms the entire summer and fall.”
The only real surprise to me was Wynn. He played quite a bit this preseason (mostly in the second half of games) and the coaches apparently liked what they saw out of him. He is only one of two UDFAs to crack the roster this season (WR Corey Washington is the other.)
“I like the fact that he has very good size (6-5, 264) and he runs well,” Coaughlin said of Wynn. “He flashed in the preseason and he is a young prospect that works hard, studies hard. We think he has a lot of upside.”
Washington and Wynn are the kind of young players with stories that keep Coughlin, who turns 68 today, coming back year after year.
“They’re great stories and that’s what this thing is all about,” Coughlin said. “Your needs are much deeper than seven picks in the draft or sometimes you’re not in position to help yourself in free agency because of the cap, so this is still the source. And when a young guy comes along and they look like they’ve got a high end, you’re excited about it. Especially when they work hard, they study hard, it’s important to them and they have great desire. You can see it on some of these kids’ faces that this means so much to them, and quite frankly it re-energizes me.
The majority of the players waived by the Giants the past few days are eligible for that practice squad under the new rules. We will report on that as it develops.
The roster is now at 53, but it is in no way the final cut. During the week, the team will surely make a few changes to accommodate for injuries i.e. OL Geoff Schwartz may be placed on short-term IR.
The team begins Week One of the regular season with a morning practice on Monday. MLB Jon Beason, who spent the summer on the PUP list, is expected to be on the field.
“He’s ready to practice,” Coughlin said. “You need that kind of dynamic leadership. The guy loves the game, he loves to play it. He’ll have the biggest smile on his face come Monday when he trots out there.”