This week's installment of 'Five Things I Think I Think' about the New York Giants has one central theme -- it's time for the Giants to turn the page on this season's failure and focus their efforts on getting ready for 2014.
That is another way of saying the 5-8 Giants, out of the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, need to let some of the young players they believe can be part of their future get valuable playing experience the final three weeks of the season.
Head coach Tom Coughlin is loathe to concede that the outcome of the rest of the Giants' games should take a backseat to player development.
"We're going to try as hard as we can to win football games and the guys who deserve to play are going to play and if there are some people that haven't been involved that can make a mark here in practice or whatever to gain what we think has earned them a right to have ‘X' amount of snaps, then that will take place as well," Coughlin said. "We're not going to change any of our objectives or goals."
That comment is likely to draw the ire of Giants' fans who want to see some of the kids get a chance to play. Understand, though, that Coughlin isn't the only NFL coach who would give that answer. NFL coaches are built to care only about the next game, not the game in two weeks, or the season that comes next year.
That said, at this point it would behoove the Giants to focus on the big picture. Besides, there is the argument to be made that those "guys who deserve to play" are the ones who got the Giants into their 5-8 mess in the first place.
Here are five young Giants who need to play.
Damontre Moore -- The 32 total snaps Moore got the last two weeks were nice. Now, how about 32 snaps per game for the athletic rookie defensive end? The right thing for the Giants to do is to shut down Jason Pierre-Paul for the remainder of the season. What is the point of him playing meaningless games with a damaged shoulder? Justin Tuck may or may not be back next season. Mathias Kiwanuka is no longer an impact player and despite his $4.375 million base salary next season the Giants need to strongly consider parting ways with him. That leaves JPP and Moore as the only holdover defensive ends sure to be back, and means Moore needs to be ready to assume a full workload in 2014. He may not be completely ready, but with the Giants out of the playoffs does that matter? Let him make his mistakes now.
Johnathan Hankins -- Big Hank has been getting 15-20 snaps per game in recent weeks. How about upping that to 25-30? Linval Joseph is a free agent at the end of the season. While the Giants should do what they can to bring him back there is no guarantee Joseph returns. Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson are good players, but both are aging veterans. Hankins, the second-round pick from Ohio State, is one day expected to be the anchor of the defensive tackle rotation. The more snaps he gets now the sooner he will be ready to handle that responsibility.
Jayron Hosley -- The Giants have waited nearly two full seasons to see the diminutive cornerback get healthy enough to be a contributor in their secondary. After Prince Amukamara there are no guarantees as to who the Giants will have at corner in 2014. Corey Webster should be gone. Terrell Thomas and Trumaine McBride can both be free agents. Hosley and McBride, who has earned his playing time, split time vs. the Chargers. That should probably continue. Another idea might be sliding Hosley into the slot vs. four-wide receiver sets to get him additional snaps.
Adrien Robinson -- Nearing the end of his second season with the Giants, nobody knows what the 2012 fourth-round pick can bring to the Giants at tight end. Injuries and other factors have limited him to two snaps in two seasons, and he has not been active for a game yet this season. It seems highly unlikely that the Giants bring back either Brandon Myers or Bear Pascoe next season, so it follows that they need to allow Robinson and Larry Donnell to get their feet wet. Why not de-activate Pascoe, let Donnell slide into his role and at least allow Robinson to function as the extra short-yardage tight end and see some special teams duty?
Brandon Mosley -- The 2012 fourth-round pick spent his rookie year on IR with an ankle injury, but played well during the preseason when he earned a +4.1 grade from Pro Football Focus. He has seen a handful of snaps recently as the jumbo tight end. There is virtually no chance David Diehl returns next season. Kevin Boothe is also a free agent. The Giants should part ways with both David Baas and Chris Snee. James Brewer has been unimpressive the past two weeks at left guard and may not be a long-term answer. Get Mosley in there, probably in place of Diehl, at least part of the time and find out if he can be part of the what needs to be a revamped offensive line in 2014.
- NFL Power Rankings 2013, Week 15: Giants out of contention, fall in rankings
- New York Giants' news, 12/10: Will Jason Pierre-Paul be shut down?
- 2014 NFL Draft Order: Giants currently have 12th overall pick
- Tom Coughlin still the right coach for the New York Giants
- Giants at Chargers Snap Counts: Or, how much did Damontre Moore play?