New York Giants: corey washington

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Those who were hoping for a big final game from undrafted New York Giants rookie wide receiver Corey Washington will be disappointed. Washington is among the inactives for Sunday's season finale against the Eagles.

A preseason star who caught a touchdown pass in each of the Giants' first four exhibition games in August, Washington finishes his rookie season with a grand total of five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in the games that actually counted. Asked a few weeks ago what Washington had to do to play more on offense, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he had to perform better in his role on kick and punt coverage units before earning that right.

Washington complained to Newsday this week about disappointment in his role during his rookie season. And while the inactives list doesn't come with an explanation, it's entirely possible that Coughlin has benched Washington for this game in part because of those public comments. Coughlin does not take kindly to players airing complaints about their roles in the media, and has praised safety Stevie Brown, for example, this year for keeping his own playing-time gripes in-house.

Running backs Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings are both active for the Giants, as are backup running backs Orleans Darkwa and Chris Ogbonnaya. The Giants will have only four wide receivers -- Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle, Preston Parker and Kevin Ogletree -- active for their final game of 2014.

The full list of inactives for Sunday's Giants-Eagles game at MetLife Stadium:

GIANTS

 

EAGLES

 
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Right? You guys ask, like, all the time why New York Giants rookie wide receiver Corey Washington isn't getting more reps on offense. Even with Rueben Randle in the doghouse, Kevin Ogletree was in the game ahead of Washington on Sunday, and those who remember Washington's preseason heroics continue to wonder why.

Washington
Well, Giants coach Tom Coughlin talked about it Wednesday. And while you Washingtonheads out there may not like the answer, you can rest assured there is a reason Washington remains so far down on the depth chart. It just has nothing to do with his ability to actually play wide receiver.

"My standard operating procedure is that I'd like the fourth and fifth wide receivers to be outstanding contributors on special teams, and we're not there right now," Coughlin said. "That would help a lot."

Coughlin said Washington hasn't done a good enough job on the punt return and kickoff return teams to warrant a promotion to a larger role on offense, even though he spoke highly of his ability to perform when put into the game at wide receiver.

"No. He does a good job and can play multiple positions, and from the standpoint of knowing what to do, he's done that from Day 1," Coughlin said. "But he does have to become better at his job."

So there's your answer, folks. Washington's path to more playing time on offense is being blocked by his failure to excel on punt and kickoff returns.

Told you you wouldn't like the answer.
As I head to the Pacific Northwest for the New York Giants' Week 10 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, I am pleased to find that your #nygmail Twitter questions are coming with me.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I do. I think Odell Beckham Jr. is a clear bright spot in this offense who, since he's returned from his hamstring injuries, has shown he can handle anything they ask of him. He's got speed. He runs good routes. I don't think I've seen him drop a ball all season, even in practice. He appears, based on the very limited sample size to date, to be the real deal from a talent standpoint. And I think he will get better. He had that long 59-yard catch Monday night where he kind of pulled up and started protecting the ball instead of stretching to run all the way to the end zone, and after the game he said his legs didn't have any more to give on that play, so he decided just to make sure nobody stripped the ball from him.

First of all, smart play in the moment. Second of all, it speaks to the fact that this kid didn't have a training camp and is likely to be better next season when he's had a full offseason to get his legs in shape. As for moving him around the formation, they believe they can do that, and it will come with time. But from what we've seen, I believe he can handle even more than he's been asked to handle so far.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I think it's entirely possible that the Giants will find more opportunities to work undrafted rookie wide receiver Corey Washington into the offense more going forward. What I don't think is that they'll force it just because he caught a garbage-time touchdown Monday that was reminiscent of the preseason performances that got him on the team. Nor do I think they'll force it just because Preston Parker dropped a bunch of passes Monday. I think, when it comes to Washington, that the Giants will do what's best for Washington, and add more to his workload as they become convinced he can handle it.

I don't think they have any inclination to throw him to the wolves in the Seattle secondary this week, for example, and it's possible they could set back his development if they did that. Also, he's not going to play the slot position, and while it sounds simple enough to move Beckham there, Beckham is the higher priority and they're going to be cognizant of making sure they don't do anything to hurt his development either. Washington is a young, raw player who's shown promise. But the Giants aren't interested in rushing guys into roles for which they're not ready, regardless of how they look when nothing's at stake. I think it's possible Washington will develop into something, but to this point he's still a project, and the Giants will be patient as they continue to help him hone his game.
@DanGrazianoESPN: Good question. Bennett Jackson, the Giants' sixth-round pick, was on the practice squad, but he is yet another casualty of the cornerback injury mess, as he was placed on the practice squad/injured list a few weeks ago, ending his season along with those of Prince Amukamara, Walter Thurmond and Trumaine McBride. Jackson is not an option for them again until next year.
@DanGrazianoESPN: To be clear, this remains a big "if," because there's still a half of a season to go and the Giants' owners aren't looking to fire Tom Coughlin and replace him as head coach. However, your question presumes that they finish the season poorly and decide to make a change, which is of course possible. If that were to happen, obviously Harbaugh and Bowles would be names that would be kicked around, because they're likely to be among the very top head coaching candidates this coming offseason. I don't know how the Giants' hierarchy feels about either of them, so I can't speak to their chances. But my gut tells me that Harbaugh wouldn't be among their favored candidates because they tend to like stability in that role, and he doesn't seem to offer that. Not that they'd rule him out, but it's just my opinion that the volatility that comes along with Harbaugh wouldn't fit with what the Giants tend to seek in a head coach.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I'm going to assume this is a question about general manager Jerry Reese and not the coaching staff, which I addressed in the last answer. Fundamentally, my answer on Reese has not changed. I do not believe the Giants would even entertain the thought of changing GMs and I believe Reese to be totally safe. I believe he's ultimately responsible for the current state of this team because his terrible draft record has failed to produce foundation pieces on which to build. But the Giants don't make changes at GM and I believe they will let Reese continue to have the job and hope the 2013 and 2014 drafts start to bear fruit.

Thanks for all of your questions. Catch you Sunday from Seattle.
Rodgers-Cromartie
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is active and expected to play for the New York Giants here Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Rodgers-Cromartie was listed as questionable after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday and being only a limited participant Friday due to continuing leg and back injuries.

It remains to be seen how much Rodgers-Cromartie will be able to play. He was in and out of the Giants' Week 4 and 5 games due to leg injuries, and he left last week's game for good in the second quarter due to back spasms that the team said were related to the ongoing leg problems. Zack Bowman will fill in for Rodgers-Cromartie when he's not on the field, but if Rodgers-Cromartie can play at all, he'll have a tough time containing top Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant if he's less than 100 percent.

On the offensive side of the ball, newly signed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree is active and rookie Corey Washington, for the first time, is not. Due to last week's season-ending injury to Victor Cruz, the Giants have only four wide receivers active for the game -- Ogletree, Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr. and Preston Parker -- and are likely to deploy a run-heavy game plan that leans on the tight ends as blockers and receivers.

The full list of inactives for Sunday's game here at AT&T Stadium:

GIANTS
RB Rashad Jennings
WR Corey Washington
OL Brandon Mosley
OL James Brewer
OL Adam Snyder
DE Kerry Wynn
DT Jay Bromley

COWBOYS
LB Bruce Carter
RT Doug Free
DE Jack Crawford
QB Dustin Vaughan
S Jakar Hamilton
DT Davon Coleman
OT Donald Hawkins
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A sudden rash of injuries has left Tom Coughlin and the rest of the New York Giants' coaching staff shuffling pieces around in advance of Sunday's key division matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Coughlin addressed a few of the issues in his Wednesday morning news conference:
  • Jennings
    As expected, running back Rashad Jennings will miss a second straight game with his knee injury. The Giants have a bye next week and play a "Monday Night Football" game in Week 9. Asked whether Jennings might be back for that game, Coughlin said, "I hope so. I can't tell you that for sure, but I would hope." Rookie Andre Williams is likely to start in Jennings' place again, but as you saw Sunday night, he shares the workload with Peyton Hillis, whom they trust more on passing downs.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie continues to struggle with leg and back injuries. Coughlin said Rodgers-Cromartie would practice Wednesday, but added, "What can he do? You'd have to put it in the 'limited' category." Rodgers-Cromartie was not on the field for the portion of practice that was open to the media, which indicates he may not have practiced after all. Zack Bowman would fill in for Rodgers-Cromartie if he can't play Sunday.
  • With Walter Thurmond and Trumaine McBride now both out for the season, Jayron Hosley will be the nickel cornerback. It's an opportunity for the 2012 third-round pick, who missed the first four games of this season on a drug suspension, to prove he belongs in the league after a disappointing first couple of years.
  • Coughlin said Preston Parker, who filled in as the slot wide receiver when Victor Cruz went down Sunday night, will get an opportunity with Cruz and backup slot receiver Jerrel Jernigan out for the year. But Coughlin also said there might be some game-planning adjustments to account for the relative abilities of the players they have left at wide receiver. Rookie Corey Washington could conceivably see more looks, and Coughlin said he hoped newly signed Kevin Ogletree would be able to help this weekend.
  • Cruz made a brief visit to the team facility Wednesday morning, but he did not stop to talk to reporters and the team was on the practice field while he was here. Cruz had surgery Monday to repair the torn patellar tendon in his right knee.

More to come after practice and Wednesday's open locker room session.

Preston Parker gets his chance at WR

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17
4:30
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jerrel Jernigan was not a "starting" wide receiver officially. But the New York Giants are in three-wide receiver sets on the vast majority of their offensive plays, and with rookie Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined to start the season, Jernigan was playing a significant role as one of the outside receivers in those three-wide sets.

Parker
Jernigan went on injured reserve Tuesday, which means his season is over. Beckham, who still hasn't practiced with the team since July 22 because of a hamstring injury, isn't ready yet. So the Giants need someone else from their bench to fill that spot opposite Rueben Randle when Victor Cruz goes into the slot. And first up will be Preston Parker.

"He will have that opportunity," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday. "He's been in the league. He's very quick. He's played before. He's got a good attitude about it. He's a tough guy, and hopefully he'll make a strong contribution."

Parker made the team as a bench wide receiver and a punt returner because of injuries to punt-return options Beckham and Trindon Holliday. Parker caught one 29-yard pass in relief of Jernigan in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. He caught 40 passes for 554 yards and three touchdowns as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, but he played in only two games in 2012 and was out of football last season.

"It's an opportunity," Parker said. "It's an opportunity for me to take advantage of and try and make something happen. I remember I was at that high, and I went through those lows and now I'm back to that high again. You have to appreciate that."

The other options at wide receiver right now are undrafted rookie Corey Washington, who became a preseason cult hero with his 6-foot-4 frame and the four touchdown passes he caught in the exhibition games, and Julian Talley, who was added from the practice squad Tuesday. Parker gets the first shot at replacing Jernigan because of his experience. Washington has been used sparingly, when the team goes to four-wide sets and occasionally at the goal line.

Beckham again worked on a side field Wednesday. There's almost no chance he plays Sunday against Houston, and because the Giants' next game is only four days later, he's not likely to see the field in Week 4 either.

Big Blue Morning: The Undrafteds

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
8:00
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Good Tuesday morning to you. We're back on a regular-season schedule and back to regular 8 a.m. ET posts to get your day started with a New York Giants fix. The Giants don't practice again until Thursday, so we'll have to get by Tuesday and Wednesday with stuff I learned Monday at practice. But I think we can do it.

I spoke Monday with defensive end Kerry Wynn and wide receiver Corey Washington, who made the team as undrafted rookies out of Richmond and Newberry, respectively. Wrote about Wynn here Monday. Unlike Wynn, Washington didn't sweat out the whole day Saturday to find out whether he'd made the team. Washington said he'd given Giants player development director David Tyree his new cell phone number, and Tyree texted him early Saturday morning to tell him he'd made it.

"Smart move, young man. Congrats. Time to get to work," was Tyree's text message to the rookie.

Washington caught touchdown passes in each of the Giants' first four preseason games. Season-ending injuries to Marcus Harris and Mario Manningham cleared out some spots, and Washington and Preston Parker both made the team as wide receivers. Washington said Monday that he has been working in practice in four-wide receiver sets and in the red zone, where his 6-foot-4 frame certainly makes him an interesting option. (He's on special teams, too, of course.) The Giants are likely to leave Washington on the bench and go with Jerrel Jernigan for now in their three-receiver formations.

Giants veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said he wasn't surprised to see a pair of undrafted rookies make the roster.

"I've never seen a group of rookies this good in terms of responding to criticism and wanting to use it to get better," Kiwanuka said. "You're talking about guys who, when you tell them, 'This is what you're doing wrong with your technique,' their response is to want to go out on the practice field, or stay after practice and work on it. That's what makes you a pro."

Just six more days until the Giants open their regular season Monday Night in Detroit against the Lions.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mario Manningham was not one of the 15 players on the cut-down list Tuesday when the New York Giants reduced their roster from 90 to 75 players, but that doesn't mean he's making the team. The Giants still have a lot of sorting out to do at the wide receiver position before final cuts are made Saturday, and Manningham and his balky knee still have to show they belong.

Manningham
"He's had some spurts the last couple of weeks where he's done some things on the practice field, but it hasn't carried over into games," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after Tuesday's practice. "He'll get another chance."

The Giants used Manningham a fair bit with their first-team offense in Friday night's preseason game against the Jets, and they're likely to give him a good look in Thursday's preseason finale against the Patriots. First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener, camp star Marcus Harris was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and there remain some open spots on the roster at wide receiver.

"Any of the guys who are left know it goes from 75 to 53," Coughlin said. "You're ending up in a numbers game, and it is competitive."

Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Beckham are sure things to make the roster at wide receiver. Jerrel Jernigan, who's been running with the first team in Beckham's place all summer, looks like a strong bet as well, especially since he's Cruz's primary backup at the slot receiver position. Undrafted rookie Corey Washington has caught a touchdown pass in each of the Giants' first four preseason games and has obviously helped his cause. Preston Parker, who caught 40 passes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 but was out of football last season, appears to be the primary punt returner right now with Beckham and Trindon Holliday hurt, and that could help him earn a spot as a wide receiver as well. Julian Talley also survived Tuesday's cuts and therefore remains a candidate to be kept.

The Giants are likely to keep four tight ends when they cut the roster to 53 on Saturday, which might make it tough to keep six wide receivers, but if they need Parker for punt returns (or as a reserve wideout) while Beckham gets healthy, they may not have a choice.

Regardless, the numbers game doesn't seem to favor Manningham unless he blows the Giants away with a strong showing Thursday night. Maybe the fact the opponent is the Patriots, the team against which Manningham's career highlight came, will inspire him before it's too late.

New York Giants cut-down analysis

August, 26, 2014
Aug 26
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Most significant move: Marcus Harris had done enough to make the New York Giants at wide receiver, but he suffered an injury in Friday's preseason game and has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. The Giants and Harris said Friday his injury was to his shoulder, but in placing him on IR on Tuesday they announced it as a hip injury. Harris will have to miss the entire 2014 season. The injury and resulting move open up a spot for someone such as Corey Washington or Preston Parker to make the team at receiver. Veteran wide receiver Mario Manningham, who continues to struggle with a knee injury, also survived Tuesday's cuts, though he remains likely to be cut when the roster is reduced to 53 on Saturday.

Injuries change the plan: Usually, players cut in this first wave aren't practice squad candidates, but guys such as Charles James and Jerome Cunningham could be exceptions. The Giants certainly didn't want to cut James on Tuesday. But they've had so many injuries on the offensive line in the past week -- Geoff Schwartz, Brandon Mosley, James Brewer, Charles Brown -- that they find themselves having to keep back-of-the-roster offensive linemen (A) so that they have enough to use in Thursday's preseason finale and (B) in case one of them (Rogers Gaines?) ends up having to be on the final roster. So there could be an offensive lineman or two cut Saturday who's a less likely practice squad candidate than someone who was cut Tuesday.

Giants' cuts: K Brandon McManus, CB Charles James, TE Xavier Grimble, TE Jerome Cunningham, LB Spencer Adkins, DE Emmanuel Dieke, LB Justin Anderson, S Kyle Sebetic, CB Ross Weaver, WR Travis Harvey, OL John Sullen, S C.J. Barnett, DT Everett Dawkins, S Cooper Taylor (placed on season-ending injured reserve), WR Marcus Harris (placed on season-ending injured reserve).

New York Giants' projected roster

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
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One final projection of the New York Giants' 53-man roster before the final cuts are made Saturday:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
Nassib's performances in the past two preseason games make the Giants far more confident about keeping him -- and only him -- as the backup to Manning.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

Hillis' sprained ankle could help Gaskins and Michael Cox make the team if it lingers, but if they're picking between Cox and Gaskins for that fourth spot, Gaskins looks like the better player so far in camp. Tom Coughlin also keeps saying that the fullbacks can play running back, and they have been using Henry Hynoski all over the formation in practice, so it's possible they could carry just three here, especially if they can get Gaskins on the practice squad.

FULLBACK (1)

It's a camp battle between Hynoski and John Conner, and I don't think the Giants will keep both. There was even some talk early in camp that they could go without a fullback, but the continued poor showing by the tight ends likely has put that to bed.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Marcus Harris is ahead of both Washington and Parker, but he injured his shoulder Friday night and is likely to miss the start of the season, if not more. Parker sneaks onto the list this week because (a) with Beckham's hamstring injury continuing to be a problem, they may need to carry six wide receivers just to have five and (b) Parker is the primary punt returner right now with Beckham and Trindon Holliday laid up.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Donnell, Davis and Robinson each got exactly 14 snaps in the first half Friday night, and Robinson was the only tight end in the game on the successful two-minute drill at the end of the first half. What's it all mean? Really just that no one has separated himself in this group. Davis was the starter ahead of Donnell for the first time Friday, but there's still no clarity on this situation.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
Geoff Schwartz's injury has created a real mess here, as he projects to miss a significant amount of time due to a dislocated toe. The most likely scenario is that Richburg ascends the starting left guard role, but Mosley remains a question mark at right guard, which is why Reynolds (who can play center or guard) enters the picture here. Jerry could claim one of the starting guard spots, but at the very least, he becomes a more valuable reserve. Brewer, who once appeared gone for sure, becomes more valuable as an all-around backup. And the missed opportunity for Eric Herman, who's suspended for the first four games for a drug violation, looms even larger.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

Very few changes here, though if Kuhn's leg injury ends up costing him practice time, it could open up a spot for someone like defensive end Kerry Wynn to make the team. Bromley has looked surprisingly good in games so far and could slide in for Kuhn in the defensive tackle rotation for the short term.

LINEBACKERS (6)

Kennard has been so good so far that, if they only keep five, you wonder about Paysinger's spot a little bit. Williams is the starter at the weakside spot, even in the base defense, as long as he can stay healthy. And Kennard is a first-teamer right now on the strong side, with McClain manning the middle in place of the injured Beason. I wonder if Kennard could keep the spot ahead of McClain even once Beason comes back. Herzlich is on the squad for special teams, where he has great value.

CORNERBACKS (5)

It helps the numbers that Jayron Hosley will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a drug violation. If he does make the team, the Giants will have to clear a spot for him in Week 5. This group could also swell if the Giants decide they need to keep sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson and/or Charles James for special teams. It's going to be tough to make the Giants' roster as a corner this summer, though recent injuries to Amukamara and Bowman could result in a short-term spot opening.

SAFETIES (4)
Cooper Taylor's toe injury is serious enough to keep him out for a long time, possibly even the whole season. That's unfortunate for Taylor, but it helps Berhe and likely helps someone at another position, such as Charles James at cornerback or Adrien Robinson at tight end. The Giants like to have a balanced roster -- 25 offensive players, 25 defensive and three specialists -- but that's not a requirement.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Brown isn't home-free yet, as Brandon McManus is hitting bombs in practice and has shown well in games. But Brown hasn't done anything to lose his spot, and as long as he remains reliable, my bet is he keeps it.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sitting here wrapping things up from MetLife Stadium and taking your #nygmail Twitter questions on the 4-0 New York Giants. Some of these questions came in before Friday night's game, so please bear that in mind, as I did when answering them after it.

@DanGrazianoESPN: No. And either third or fourth. I think they're clearly behind Philadelphia and Washington on paper, and Dallas' offense is light years better than theirs. The problem the Cowboys have is that their defense looks horrible, so flip a coin there for third and fourth place between them and the Giants. Now, this is all just about predictions on paper. The Giants are very well coached and don't appear to have a brutal schedule. And I'm not much good with preseason predictions anyway. But you asked. @DanGrazianoESPN: You're right that Rueben Randle had been having a quiet preseason, as had almost everyone on that Giants' first-team offense. Which is why it was nice for the Giants to see Randle cap off Friday night's first-half touchdown drive with that 15-yard touchdown catch from Eli Manning. Randle is a key component of what they need to do on offense this season. As of right now, he's the most established threat they have on the outside with Victor Cruz in the slot. Mario Manningham looks to be slowed by his knee problems, Odell Beckham Jr. has been sidelined all camp with his hamstring problems, and they're looking for answers out there. If they can truly count on Randle to play well and be consistent, that's a massive help. For me, he's miscast in this new offense, since he's more of a vertical threat and they want to operate in short range. But if he can use his size to create separation quickly and win his matchups, he could be a major factor. We haven't seen enough this preseason to know which way to bet on that. @DanGrazianoESPN: I don't think so, but obviously it's more precarious for Tom Coughlin now than it was a year ago. If the Giants miss the playoffs again, that would be five times in the last six years, and you do start to wonder how much longer the fact that they won the Super Bowl in the other carries him. I have thought since that Super Bowl that Coughlin would coach this team as long as he wanted to. And in truth, he's one of the best coaches in the league and they're unlikely to be able to replace him with a better one. But if things bottom out here and they start having to think about Eli Manning and his future with the team, there exists the possibility that they decide to start from scratch with new leadership. It's not something they want to think about, but it's not out of the question. As for Manning, he's signed through 2015, and he's unlikely to be replaced next offseason or at all. Again, they're not likely to find a clear upgrade on the market. If they go 8-8 and miss the playoffs, I imagine they'd avoid sweeping changes. But if they fall apart and go 4-12 or something like that, all bets are off. @DanGrazianoESPN: It was very interesting that Marcus Harris got (by my count) eight snaps as an outside receiver with the first-team offense Friday night. It was very unfortunate for Harris that he hurt his shoulder and now may not be able to cash in on the opportunity the Giants clearly wanted to give him. He said after the game that his shoulder injury should only cost him 3-to-4 weeks and that he hopes it doesn't cost him a roster spot. But we shall see. As for Corey Washington, who's now caught a second-half touchdown in all four of the Giants' preseason games, it's telling that he wasn't in the game Friday until the fourth quarter. That tells me they rank him behind other options right now, including Harris, Manningham, Jerrel Jernigan and others, in spite of his height and his strong performance so far in preseason games. I've been putting Washington on my Monday roster projections, and honestly he'd be hard to get through waivers after catching four preseason touchdown passes, so he might make it for that reason. But there's still a lot to sort out for the Giants at receiver. Thanks for your questions and enjoy the remainder of your Saturday.

Observation Deck: New York Giants

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
11:05
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It took only three weeks, four preseason games and 37 pass attempts, but New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning finally threw a touchdown pass Friday night.

Manning's final play of the Giants' 35-24 exhibition victory over the New York Jets was a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rueben Randle that capped off a successful two-minute drill by the Giants' first-team offense. After the way things had gone so far this preseason -- and in this game -- they needed it.

Here are some other thoughts on the Giants' fourth preseason game:
  • Until that two-minute drive, on which Manning was 7-for-10 for 91 yards and Victor Cruz caught three passes for 52 yards, the pass protection had been a major issue. Left tackle Will Beatty struggled mightily in his second game of the preseason. Left guard Geoff Schwartz went down with a dislocated toe. And Manning was under siege all night. It was no excuse for the terrible decision and throw he made on the fourth play of his final drive, which resulted in an interception that was overturned because the defender had stepped out of bounds. But Manning had trouble getting into a rhythm because his protection was a mess.
  • Backup quarterback Ryan Nassib looked sharp once again, throwing touchdown passes to Henry Hynoski and Preston Parker in the third quarter, and he looks like a strong bet to win the No. 2 quarterback job ahead of Curtis Painter.
  • Parker, by the way, continues to work as a punt returner with Odell Beckham Jr. and Trindon Holliday out, and a strong showing as a receiver helps his case to make the final roster. Also helping that case could be a bad break for Marcus Harris, who was getting significant work with the first-team offense Friday night before a shoulder injury knocked him out of the game.
  • Hynoski, by the way, looks as though he has a role to play in the offense, even though they're not using a fullback much in these preseason games. Hynoski can be used in a variety of ways, especially as the Giants continue to have questions at tight end.
  • Speaking of tight end, Kellen Davis got 14 first-team snaps, Larry Donnell got 14 and Adrien Robinson got 14, including all 11 in that two-minute drill during which the Giants didn't substitute. Davis was the starter, and five of Donnell's snaps were in two-tight-end formations with one of the other two on the field. Donnell also was flagged for a holding penalty and an illegal block in the back (which was declined). Still no clarity here.
  • Reserve defensive end Damontre Moore made his presence felt in the second half with a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery. Moore continues to make plays when given the chance, but the Giants are still working with him on playing more under control and avoiding penalties.
  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul left the game briefly with a knee injury but did return to action. Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (lower leg) and cornerback Zack Bowman (triceps) left the game with injuries and did not return.
  • And of course, Corey Washington caught a touchdown pass for the fourth straight preseason game, because that's apparently a thing.

W2W4: New York Giants

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
12:00
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The New York Giants (3-0) and the New York Jets (2-0) square off in their annual preseason meeting Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.

1. Time for the starters to show something. We've said this every week so far, but so far Eli Manning and the Giants' first-team offense hasn't shown anything encouraging in the preseason. There's some hope that the game-planning they've done for this game (where they didn't do any for the first three) might help the new Ben McAdoo offense look more in sync, though the Jets' tough defense could negate some of that. Giants coach Tom Coughlin hinted last weekend that Manning and the offense might not be able to take their accustomed breather in next week's preseason finale if he doesn't feel they've played well enough to deserve it. So they certainly should be motivated.

2. The offensive line. This seemed to be Coughlin's greatest source of consternation in practice this week -- the idea that he still doesn't have a five-man starting line combination with which he feels comfortable. Left tackle Will Beatty should play more than he did in his preseason debut last week, but if the Giants retain questions about how much they can expect of him, you wonder if you'll start seeing right tackle Justin Pugh over there. Pugh moved to the left side a few times in practice this week, with guys like Geoff Schwartz and Brandon Mosley getting reps at right tackle and rookie Weston Richburg playing guard. Watch to see who gets the snaps and at which positions on the line as the Giants continue to play around with this critical area.

3. Looking for playmakers. Will we see unproven wide receivers such as Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, who have been preseason stars, play with the first team at wide receiver? With first-rounder Odell Beckham Jr. still sidelined, the Giants are looking for answers on the outside. Not only could guys like Washington and Harris make the team with a strong showing, they could earn surprisingly large roles early in the season. Starting tight end remains up for grabs, and there still could be time for Jerry Reese favorite Adrien Robinson to overtake Larry Donnell. And there's still a lot to sort out at running back behind starter Rashad Jennings. Anyone who plays well in this game will set himself up nicely as roster cuts and other final decisions loom next week.

Practice report: Young WRs keep it going

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
6:10
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. was on the sidelines for the second consecutive day Wednesday, but fellow wide receivers Corey Washington and Marcus Harris continue to impress.

Washington and Harris both got some first-team reps and caught practically everything thrown their way. Washington continues to use his height (6-foot-4) to his advantage, hauling in a couple of touchdown passes on fade routes in the back corner of the end zone.

Washington did have one glaring drop during a two-minute drill at the very end of practice.

Harris made several catches as well on a day in which the Giants' offense looked crisper than it has for much of the summer.

Here are a few other observations from Wednesday:
  • Beckham was joined on the sidelines by cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin), cornerback Jayron Hosley (foot), running back Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), wide receiver Trindon Holliday (hamstring), tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring), offensive lineman Charles Brown (shoulder) and offensive lineman James Brewer (back). None of them are expected to play Friday night against the Jets. Coach Tom Coughlin also revealed that injured safety Cooper Taylor (foot) will be having surgery, and it's possible he'll be placed on injured reserve.
  • The Giants continue to do some shuffling on the offensive line. We saw a new configuration at one point Wednesday, with Justin Pugh shifting from right tackle to left tackle, rookie Weston Richburg at left guard, J.D. Walton at center, Brandon Mosley at right guard and Geoff Schwartz at right tackle. Pugh also got some snaps at left tackle on Tuesday. Schwartz, the presumed starting left guard at the beginning of training camp, played some right guard on Tuesday and moved over to right tackle for the first time on Wednesday. "We just want to mix them around, make sure that guys can be flexible enough to move," Coughlin said. Part of the reason for these shifts is the absence of both Brown and Brewer, who are second and third on the depth chart at left tackle, behind Will Beatty. But the Giants' offensive line alignment is clearly not settled at this point, which is a little worrisome.
  • The Giants' tight ends continue to be underwhelming as a whole, but undrafted free agent Jerome Cunningham made a couple of nice plays Wednesday, earning praise from Coughlin. An undrafted free agent from Southern Connecticut State, Cunningham signed with the Giants just two weeks ago, and has a neat back story. More on him on the Giants blog Thursday.
  • Eli Manning did throw one interception Wednesday, and it was to Jay Bromley, of all people. The 6-foot-3, 306-pound rookie defensive end took a pass to the chest and held on, the latest good play by the third-round pick, who's having a good preseason.
  • In the highly competitive position battle at place-kicker, incumbent Josh Brown took a step back Wednesday, missing a long field goal attempt on the last play of practice -- not the kind of taste you want to leave when you're trying to hold off a strong challenge from the very strong-legged Brandon McManus.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants return Saturday night to Indianapolis, where the greatest catch of Mario Manningham's life helped them win the Super Bowl three seasons ago. Manningham doesn't want to talk about it.

Manningham
"I'm not really thinking about that anymore," Manningham said before Giants practice Wednesday. "I'm trying to make some new memories."

He's also trying to make the roster. After spending two injury-plagued seasons with the 49ers in the wake of that Super Bowl victory, Manningham re-signed with the Giants this offseason. At the time, it was assumed that they signed him with a plan to use him. But watching him in practice makes it obvious that his knee isn't healthy yet. And since they signed him, the Giants drafted wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round and have seen unheralded youngsters such as Marcus Harris and Corey Washington drastically outperform their Super Bowl-hero veteran in camp and preseason games.

"There's always competition," Manningham said. "This isn't the 1960s. There are going to be wide receivers out there. We're not just going to run the ball the whole game. So I'm just going to do what I've got to do, which is just make plays."

That would help, and an offense that's looking to make more of them in these preseason games could use a jolt from a motivated Manningham. But when the Giants signed him, they knew there was a chance that his physical situation might keep him from being able to help. They took a flier on an old friend at a position where they had a need. But that need might be filled by others if Manningham doesn't pick it up soon in practice. He says he's comfortable running routes and not thinking about the knee, but he clearly lacks the speed and explosiveness he had earlier in his career, and there are others moving past him on the depth chart.

"I'm not worrying about that," Manningham said. "I'm just going out and controlling what I can control. I'll leave it up to the coaching staff to decide."

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