Sash ready for possible start on Sunday

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
3:56
PM ET
Meet the next man up at the strong safety position: Tyler Sash.

Sash is expected to receive more playing time Sunday against the Cowboys if Kenny Phillips can't play. Phillips is doubtful for the game with a sprained MCL. If Sash gets the start at strong safety, it would be the first of his career after primarily playing on special teams this season.

"It's definitely exciting," Sash said. "Everybody here wants to play no matter what position they're at. It's definitely something I look forward to depending on obviously the situations in the game and what personnel groupings we have in. I might get a chance, we'll see."

Sash, a sixth-round draft pick, said he played about eight snaps against Green Bay while filling in for Phillips, the most he's played in a game this season on defense. While reps with the first-team defense are usually rare for Sash, he's found himself thrust into the action this week with it looking like Phillips will miss the game.

"This is the first time all year I've gotten actual reps during practice," Sash said. "So you build your confidence up during the week and everything you practice through the week you go out and execute that and trust your coaches and your teammates around you, make sure everyone is on the same page and just go out and play ball after that."

The rookie said he can do a little bit of everything with it comes to scheming, whether it's playing in the box or playing coverage in a Cover 2 or Cover 3 zone. The veteran group of safeties including Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant have given him advice and answered any questions he had.

Defensive end Dave Tollefson praised Sash and is confident that he will step up for the Giants in their showdown for first place in the NFC East.

"The way he handles himself at practice, meetings, he never seems like he's overwhelmed," Tollefson said of why he's confident Sash is prepared for Sunday. "He's a young pro. For some guys, that's a hard thing to do because you go from this superstar in college where you're basically doing everything and then it's like, well, you have to do special teams and now you have to play on defense. He's going to be ready man. He practices hard, which is a big part of it. You can't practice like you ain't going to play because if that happens when you do play you're going to get your butt kicked."

If potentially making his first start wasn't enough pressure, Sash knows that Sunday's game will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Giants get into the playoffs.

"I'm definitely excited. It's something we have to win this game," Sash said. "There's no way around it, it's Sunday night football, the stage is set and we have to go out there and just get the job done."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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