John Fennelly, Lead Writer
With 12 of the team’s 90 players not dressing for tonight’s game, the Giants will be able to get some longer looks at the bottom of their depth chart. I will be focusing on several areas and players that have piqued my interest since the spring..
While people are wasting time on some fictional QB battle between Ryan Nassib and David Carr, I will be looking at the other areas where the Giants needed improvement. The place to start is the offensive line, but this won’t be the game to gauge that improvement. Four of the five starters from last season (David Diehl, Kevin Boothe, David Baas and Will Beatty) will start the game.
With Chris Snee not quite ready for competition, second-year lineman Brandon Mosley will get the start at RG. The team’s top two reserves, and starters of the future (James Brewer and Justin Pugh) are both out with concussions, so the only players to watch here are Mosley and rookie Eric Herman.
Bear Pascoe will start at FB in place of Henry Hynoski and be relieved by Ryan D’Imperio, but don’t expect expanded roles for either. At TE, Brandon Myers and Adrien Robinson give the Giants a different dynamic at the position. Unless my eyes have deceived me this summer, Myers reminds me of a bigger Wes Welker (color me crazy) and Robinson could end up being the ‘JPPof TEs’ as Jerry Reese promised. They have both looked very impressive in camp and I believe both will be pleasant surprises.
The RB by committee experiment begins tonight. I suspect Andre Brown will be asked to push the pile while Wilson provides the change up. This could be Da’Rel Scott’s last summer to show the Giants hat he can do because rookie Michael Cox has turned some heads early on in camp.
Without JPP and Tuck tonight, it’s going to be interesting on the ends. Cullen Jenkins will probably start in Tuck’s spot and Shaun Rogers will be at DT along with Linval Joseph. That makes Mathais Kiwanuka the top DE in the lineup. He’s finally back where he belongs, so let’s see if he’s still got his pass rush moves. The fun part will come when rookies Damontre Moore and Jonathan Hankins get in the game. The Giants could be looking at a couple of big time players in those two.
There are nine LBs in camp and you can basically interchange most of them since they all seem to be at or near the same talent level. The starters appear to be Keith Rivers at SLB, Spencer Paysinger at WLB and Mark Herzlich in the middle. None of this is cast in stone, however. The rest of the group – Dan Connor, Jacquian Williams, Aaron Curry, Kyle Bosworth, Jake Muasau and Etienne Sabino – are all in the running for either starting roles or roster spots. Without a doubt, the most open competition in camp.
In the secondary, the pressure is on Corey Webster at LCB. He’s coming off a horrible 2012 and the Giants can’t afford a repeat. The good part about the corners this year, is that Prince Amukamara is much more aggressive and confident. Also Aaron Ross is back and he’s looking much more cozy this time around. The safeties are more settled than in years past. Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash make for a solid group.
The bad part about tonight is we won’t see Terrell Thomas or rookie safety Cooper Taylor, who are both nursing hamstrings.
The first game for new PK Josh Brown. The Giants’ like the power of his leg and hope get more touchbacks and long FG attempts this season….The KR and PR spots are still open. The big question is will the Giants expose Wilson on kickoff and Randle on punts. Other candidates may get some looks tonight: Cox, Scott and Jernigan on kickoffs and Jayron Hosley and Jernigan on punts.