Friday Morning Report: Giants Prepare for Redskins

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

Working on a Monday night schedule is a bit strange for the Giants. Thursday is the Wednesday, Friday is Thursday, etc. Tom Coughlin held his presser yesterday and outlined what the team’s plans were: take one game at a time but this next one vs Washington was the “most important game of the season” for his team. He is under no illusions. The Redskins are one of the league’s hottest clubs right now:

“We’re excited. In the division, against the Washington Redskins, obviously a team that’s won two games in a row in the division, and feel very good about themselves. Following our game with them, they lost a couple of tough games to Pittsburgh and to Carolina, and they bounced back and scored 69 points in the last two weeks, so obviously they do have the ability to score. They’re 12, they’re offense is seventh overall, 26.8 points per game. They do an outstanding job of that. Defensively, they’re third in the league against the run. They’ve always been a very difficult, sticky, team against the run. Their pressure package has been turned up a little bit in the last couple weeks; that’s how we remember them playing. They’ve forced 22 turnovers. They have 14 interceptions. They’ve done an outstanding job along those lines. As I said, they’re 12, we’re 13. They’re 11th in kickoff coverage. They’re sixth in punt coverage. They have Banks as the outstanding returner. They have a well-rounded football team and we’re anxious to get back out on the field and start to work against this Washington Redskin team.”

The Giants defeated the Redskins 27-23 in their first meeting in Week 7. They needed last-minute heroics from QB Eli Manning and WR Victor Cruz to pull out the win. Yesterday, Manning was asked what he needs to do better this time around:

I had two turnovers last time in the game so we need to fix that. I thought we were very good at third-down last time. I thought we were pretty good in the red zone getting touchdowns. I thought we played pretty well most of the game, except for those two turnovers”.

C David Baas (shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), T David Diehl (shoulder), S Kenny Phillips (knee) did not participate in practice yesterday.

WR Domenik Hixon (ankle), CB Jayron Hosley (shoulder), LB Jacquian Williams (knee) were limited.

Coughlin told reporters that rookie RB David Wilson is heavily in the team’s plans: “Ratchet it up. He’s ready to go.”

He was challenged on the statement and simply said,”He’s got to go.” He then was reminded that “got to” and “ready to” go are different:

Maybe, but we’ve had people that have had to step up in the past when situations like this have arisen. We’ve put a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and it’s time for him. He’s a first round draft choice, a talented kid. He got some plays the other night, which was a good thing. We go from there.”

New additions RBs Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin practiced with the team for the first time yesterday. How much each will be able to contribute right away is the question.

“We’re going to get them on the practice field today and, basically, they’ll have some scout team reps, maybe a rep or two with the offensive team and we’ll go from there,” Coughlin said.

The Giants’ offense is always better with a healthy Hakeem Nicks doing what he does best – make big big plays. He is a rare commodity in the fact that he does not have to be open to make those plays. He can produce even in situations where he is double-covered, and that puts defenses at a huge disadvantage. Just ask the Green Bay Packers.

“He made plays,” said head coach Tom Coughlin when asked what he saw from Nicks the last week. “He made some plays for us. He made a heck of a play to score a touchdown. He made some other plays. He’s a very competitive guy, as you know. He really loves to compete and play. We saw more of that and we’re hoping with a little bit extra rest, we’re going to see more.”

GEICO SportsNite covers the Giants and what a healthy Hakeem Nicks means to the team.