Saturday, August 18, 2012
What I'll be watching: Giants-Jets
By Dan Graziano
The New York Giants play their second preseason game of the year Saturday night at 7 pm against the Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. (It's technically a Jets home game, in case you're wondering.) Here's a look at what I'll be watching...
Most closely: The tackles. Will Beatty is out again with the same back injury that's been bugging him since the spring. Based on his brief time as a starter last year, this is still a player who needs practice. And he's not getting any. The longer they go without Beatty on the field, the more the Giants have to wonder if the player they have been hoping could be their long-term answer at left tackle is someone on whom they can rely. If the answer is no, a solution must be found, and I don't think it's as simple as moving David Diehl back over from right tackle in the middle of the preseason. And even if it is or not, someone like Sean Locklear or James Brewer will have to show something on the left or right side to make the Giants think he can be their Week 1 starter. Beatty still could be that, of course, but the game is in 18 days and he can't get on the field. So I'll be watching to see how Diehl, Locklear and Brewer look blocking for the run and against Quinton Coples and the Jets' pass rush.
On the other side of the ball: Prince Amukamara. The Giants' second-year cornerback and 2011 first-round draft pick was picked on during the first preseason game against Jacksonville and said this week he expects more of the same while he works to prove himself. He's getting a chance with Terrell Thomas on the shelf, and the uncertainty that surrounds Thomas and his recovery from knee surgery means Amukamara is a starting corner for the time being. He's got a chance to look good against a banged-up Jets wide receiver corps tonight.
If I think of it: Jayron Hosley, at nickel corner and on punt returns... D.J. Ware vs. David Wilson for the backup running back spot... Mark Herzlich vs. Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker... Which receivers Eli Manning looks as though he trusts most, out of Rueben Randle, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and, yes, Martellus Bennett.