Members of the New York Giants finally get to line up against an opponent other than themselves on Friday night. (Photo by Ryan Valentine/Big Blue View)
"The objective is always to win but it’s all about personnel," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "Hopefully we’re good enough and deep enough that the guys will get in the game and respond and enjoy themselves. I want them to play hard and give us a chance to do some evaluating and trying to figure out how people fit."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 10; 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
New York: WWOR 9
Play-By-Play: Paul Dottino. Color Commentary: Carl Banks. Sideline: Howard Cross
Giants: WCBS 101
Broadcasters: Rich Ackerman and Roman Oben Pre-Game: Anita Marks and Amani Toomer
WHO WON'T PLAY
The Giants have an extensive list of players who will sit out Friday night's game. The list includes:
Clint Sintim (knee, PUP), Travis Beckum (knee, PUP), Terrell Thomas (knee), Hakeem Nicks (foot), Chris Canty (knee), Michael Boley (hamstring), Jacquain Williams (hip), Da'Rel Scott (thigh), Rocky Bernard (knee), Will Beatty (back), Jake Muasau (hamstring) and Justin Trattou (ankle). Offensive tackle James Brewer is uncertain with a back injury.
WHAT TO WATCH
-- Wide Receivers: Undrafted free agent David Douglas has had an outstanding training camp thus far. Brandon Collins, another UDFA, hasn't been far behind. Can one, or both of them earn a roster spot? Can second-round pick Reuben Randle continue to develop and force his way into a role on the offense?
-- Middle Linebackers: It is pretty clear to the untrained eye that Mark Herzlich has outperformed Chase Blackburn thus far during training camp. Can he continue that into the preseason games and unseat Blackburn for the starting job? Friday night we begin to find out.
-- Running Game: The Giants were last in the league a season ago. Pay attention to the first-team offense to see if the Giants can get anything done on the ground.
-- Will Hill: The undrafted free agent safety from Florida has been the defensive star of camp and has been getting reps with the first-team nickel defense in the hybrid linebacker/safety role Deon Grant used to play. The Giants need to see in games what they have seen in practice from Hill.
-- Return Game: Particularly, the punt return game. Jerrel Jernigan appears to be No. 1 entering the preseason in both categories, and the jobs are likely his to lose. Jernigan showed promise late last season returning kickoffs. The only question will be his ball security on punt returns, which was an issue last season. Rookie Jayron Hosley could also factor here. There is always Domenik Hixon, but after two knee injuries you wonder how much the Giants really want him back there.
-- The Giants are 16-16 in the preseason under Coughlin, including 2-2 last season.
-- Coughlin was Jacksonville head coach from 1994-2002. He was 68-60 regular season, 4-4 in the playoffs.
-- Aaron Ross, a Giant for the first five years of his career, signed with the Jaguars as a free agent in the offseason.
-- After this game the Giants have only three more practices in Albany before returning to the Timex Performance Center.
A CAUTIONARY TALE
I know that some of you will, anyway, but try not to go crazy over one preseason game. A win or a loss makes no difference. An odd play call or a strange defensive front makes no difference. All the Giants are trying to do is put players in positions where they can evaluate them.