Giants’ Offense: Not enough time to put things together?

The Giants’ first team offense has looked way out of sync. There are questions around whether new OC Ben McAdoo’s offense is the right one for QB Eli Manning. Others are pointing to the offensive line – lots of new faces, but will it be improved. Plus, the TE logjam and the injury to WR Odell Beckham, Jr. have fans and pundits alike doubting the Giants can put this offense together anytime soon.

The Daily News Live panel discusses whether the Giants can put it together after major offensive struggles so far this preseason.

Giants’ OL: Mixing and matching to find the best five

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Throughout the preseason, we’ve all assumed the Giants were set at several positions along the offensive line. But recent events and comments from players and head coach Tom Coughlin have changed the perception of the unit.

Weston Richburg“I think the way we are is the best five guys are going to go out there,” said T Justin Pugh. “I don’t think it is a set five right now that you can say, “hey, these are the five guys that we are going to have.” If you are not playing well enough and someone behind you is playing better, they should get the opportunity to play.”

Center: JD Walton has been the starter from the beginning of camp. Suddenly, second-round draft pick Weston Richburg (pictured) is getting more reps with the ones. Coughlin has reiterated that you can never have enough people that can play center, so this spot is still being vied for.

Guard: Brandon Mosley has been the starter at RG and Geoff Schwartz has been the LG. Richburg has seen time at both positions. John Jerry and James Brewer have also been in there. Schwartz played on the right side in Kansas City last year. Coughlin did not rule out moving him or anyone for the benefit of the team.

“We would consider him to play any spot,” said Coughlin. “There’s no restrictions on what a guy can do. The combinations haven’t reached out to that for him, but if he had to go over there and play over there, I’m sure he could.”

Tackle: Will Beatty is the starter but he’s still rounding into shape after a broken leg. Charles Brown was brought in to back Beatty up and he’s now on the shelf with a sore shoulder. Solution: RT Justin Pugh has been taking reps at LT and Mosley has worked at RT.

“They’re all playing pretty much everywhere,” Coughlin stated. “You guys usually see everything, who was the right tackle? Mosley was the right tackle when that happened. You always attempt to be creative, flexible…”

The starting offensive line for opening day is still TBD. My prediction is that Richburg will be in there in some capacity. He is one of those top five Pugh talks about.

How I see it… LT: Beatty; LG: Schwartz, C: Richburg, RT Mosley, RT: Pugh

Weds. Morning Notes: Jets, cuts on the horizon

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants continue their workouts today in preparation for Friday’s Snoopy Bowl vs the Jets. Injuries will keep several players out of the game including WR Odell Beckham Jr., the club’s top draft pick in last April’s NFL Draft.

Head coach Tom Coughlin was asked if Beckham’s failure to stay on the field will effect his ability to help the team early on.

“Well, he’s been in every meeting. He knows the offense and he knows the terminology,” Coughlin said. “The stamina, endurance part, all of those kinds of things are all going to have to be accomplished.”

After Friday’s game, the staff will begin the process of paring down the roster. NFL teams are required to cut down to 75 players by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26.

The final cuts are due by 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, two days after the Giants close out the preseason vs New England. Practice squads can begin to be assembled the next day and will now consist of ten players instead of the traditional eight.

GEICO SportsNite: Tom Coughlin addresses the media, announcing Beckham will not play against the Jets on Friday.

Should the Giants have let Nicks go?

The Giants offense (or lack of it) has become a hot topic on television, talk radio, blogs and corner bars this summer. QB Eli Manning is just 7-for-16 passing for 49 yards thus far in preseason with 0 TDs and three sacks.

Starting WRs Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle have yet to get their preseasons going. Cruz has no receptions through three games and Randle has just one. Top pick Odell Beckham Jr. has not appeared in a game as of yet due to a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, former Giant WR Hakeem Nicks, who the team chose not pursue in free agance this past March, is having a fine preseason. looking a lot like his old self. He sliced through the Giants last Saturday with five catches for 53 yards.

LoudMouths Adam Schein and Sal Licata talk about Colts receiver Hakeem Nicks and if the Giants will regret not re-signing him.

Tuesday Notebook: Sense of urgency setting in

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Head coach Tom Coughlin is obviously perplexed by his team’s play this summer, but believes everyone in the building is working on trying to make things better. It appears the sense of urgency – especially on offense – is sinking in…

“I think the idea of them practicing with purpose and realizing what an excellent opportunity this is because when you win a game and the ones play like that and you come back out on the field and everybody understands that it wasn’t the way it should be, I think there will be, hopefully there’s great incentive and a sense of urgency about… we’re running out of time here for us to play well. That’s what I’m thinking.”

“I really don’t think there’s just one thing,” said QB Eli Manning, who is taking the majority of the heat for the offense’s ineptness. “I think we’ve got to start playing together and everybody doing their assignments. Just get in a great rhythm for the offense and what we need to do.”

OL Geoff Schwartz admitted that everyone to a man understands the overall performance of the offense has to improve.

“I think there’s urgency just with the way we played the other night,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with it being the third, fourth preseason game. We’ve just got to come out and put on film what kind of offense we want to be.”

WR Victor Cruz says the Giants haven’t fully revealed themselves yet and has a feeling things will get straightened out soon.

“We haven’t given a lot plays or tipped our hand on a lot of things that we have shown yet,” Cruz said. “It is still pretty base stuff, but we just have to do a better job of executing. I know our ones and twos didn’t do very well in the first half of the game, but we just have to do a better job of executing and getting the little things right, which is what we are working towards.”

On the injury front…

To read more of this story, click here

Report: Practice squads to increase

The NFL is expected to increase the size of practice squads from eight to ten players this season.

From Rotoworld:

“That opens up 64 more jobs across the league, and each team will now employ 63 players. Teams will love it, as they’re now able to stash even more potential talent and develop more youngsters across the season.”

NFL teams will of course have to trim their rosters to the mandatory 53 before formulating their practice squads. Any unsigned player who has not played in nine regular season games in a single season, or has not played on the same team’s practice squad for two consecutive seasons is eligible for a practice squad.

This could possibly lead to an increase in the official roster down the road. With the regularity of injuries and the specialization of positions, the league may have no other choice.

Is Eli not a West Coast guy?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Preseason 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.

USATSI_8033586_110579513_lowresTE: 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. To read more of this story, click here

Monday Notes: 3-0 Giants still a work in progress

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants will be back at practice today (sans fans) where head coach Tom Coughlin will be able to speak frankly to the players during practice. Today’s session will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices will be held at noon. The club will hold a closed workout on Thursday and then play the Jets at MetLife on Saturday Night. The Giants are the away team.

Big Blue may be 3-0 this preseason, but hey are not without their problems. Another inept showing by the first team offense and multiple injuries are just a few of the issues head coach Tom Coughlin is dealing with this morning.

“It is obvious,” said Coughlin on a conference call Sunday when asked what speicifically the offense needs to work on. “I think we have to work on a lot of things. Basically we have to work on everything.”

The injuries are mounting. CB Prince Amukamara will be going for an MRI on his groin today. S Cooper Taylor could be headed to IR with a foot injury.

Starting offense looks dreadful in Giants’ win over Colts

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

I’m sure there are Giant fans out there this morning that are attempting to find anything redeeming in last night’s comeback win over the Colts in Indianapolis. My advice to you: don’t bother.

The Giants’ new offense, which was supposedly ready to flip the switch and begin scoring in droves, was abhorrently inept in it’s debut. The horror story begins with QB Eli Manning (1/7 for six yards), who threw above, beneath and behind his receivers in a performance that has to have the Giants worried today. Seven of their ten possessions through the first three quarters went three-and-out.

The offense, which is designed to attack defenses with a blitzkrieg of quick strikes, appeared to be moving as if they were under water: sluggish, deliberate and predictable. It’s as if they were participating in a “carded” practice. You know, the ones where the defense knows the plays ahead of time?

“It wasn’t very impressive at all. We didn’t get a whole lot done,” said head coach Tom Coughlin after the game. “We had some things planned for some of their special pressures, we didn’t take advantage of that. We missed some throws that could have helped us, that may have gotten us the chance to get some movement. It is, it is disappointing but we’re going back to work. It’s all we can do, look at the tape, go back to work and put people in the same positions they were in in this ball game and hopefully they can achieve.”

It was hard to watch until the fourth quarter – aka Garbage Time – when the Giants’ reserves scored 27 points in the final ten minutes to erase a 26-point Colt lead and win the game. But, truth be told, most of the players on the field at that time will either be on the bench or on the street come September. It means nothing.

Each team drew 13 penalties, which is absolutely ridiculous. The officials have been mandated to uphold the letter of the law when it comes to defensive contact this preseason, and quite frankly, it’s gone a bit too far. Some calls were warranted, of course, but the majority of the flags should never have been thrown. It slowed the game down and limited it’s competitiveness.

Positives: Uh…wait. WR Corey Washington scored the winning TD for the third week in a row. TE Adrien Robinson actually had receptions of 33 and 26 yards. WR Marcus Harris had four more catches for a total of 41 yards. LB Jacquian Williams had nine tackles. LB Devon Kennard and DE Damontre Moore recorded sacks. Tom Coughlin did not need medical attention.

Negatives: Some others did need medical attention, however. CB Prince Amukamara strained a groin. DT Markus Kuhn had an elbow. T Charles Brown bruised a shoulder and S Cooper Taylor took a cart ride with an apparent foot/toe issue. Steve Weatherford punted nine times, which is absurd for a preseason game.  The Giants went only 4-15 on third down (27%) but scored on all three of their red zone visits.

Notes: The Giants’ ten longest plays of the night all occurred in the fourth quarter…former Giant WR Hakeem Nicks caught all five of the passes thrown his way for a total of 53 yards. He was flagged for taunting Giants’ CB Trumaine McBride after one catch. It looked playful enough, but the officials didn’t see it that way…S Quintin Demps had two KO returns for 63 yards with a long of 43, but fumbled one away….Rookie OL Weston Richburg played the most snaps on offense (48), mostly at center…the Colts had a chance to win the game with a FG in the final ten seconds, but P Pat McAfee’s 64-yard attempt went wide left.