Here are some of the stories regarding our New York Giants that are making news this morning around the Inter-Google.
Ernie Palladino figures rookie Will Beatty, starting at right tackle for the injured Kareem McKenzie, will have his hands full Monday night with Andre Carter.
Beatty, making his second start, is not nervous about his assignment.
"I got my first start jitters behind me," Beatty said today, "and now I can go with the rest of the vets and perform."
Not to give him any new jitters, but the Giants need him to do that in a big way when he plays right tackle against the Redskins in an NFC East game that will be critical to their postseason aspirations.
Beatty, the 2009 second-round draft choice from Connecticut, will step in for Kareem McKenzie, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee in the 45-38 loss to Philadelphia last Sunday. Tom Coughlin said Monday that the team's medical staff said McKenzie would be sidelined "a couple weeks." Although Coughlin pointed out then that McKenzie is traditionally a fast healer, Coughlin said today nothing that has happened since then has changed that prognosis.
So Beatty looks to step up and play well in a big game. He started and played the entire game against Arizona on Oct. 25, which McKenzie missed because of a groin injury, and played the entire second half last week against the Eagles.
"I think I did pretty well," Beatty said. "I had (right guard) Chris Snee helping me a lot, more than anyone should be in a game. So now I need to make sure that I know what I am doing and I am making calls out there and am participating in the actual call making and things along those lines."
"He is a good, young football player," Coughlin said. "We have asked him to play a number of spots. He has played left tackle, he has played tight end, right tackle and has done a good job. He is going to have to do another good job.
With the struggles of the Giants' defense, the offense is well aware of the added pressure it faces.
"We don't know what's going to happen with the defense," receiver Steve Smith said. "We just know we want to score every time. We feel that's what we need to do. We want to be the phase of the game that picks up everybody else."
They may need to, considering the Giants are giving up 25.4 points per game - the fifth-worst average in the league. But the way Eli Manning and his receivers are playing, they are also confident they can beat anyone in a shootout. They're averaging 26.2 points (eighth best in the NFL) and have scored 30 or more in three of the last four games.
On Monday night, they will face a Washington Redskinsteam that has the NFL's seventh-best defense. But with all the big-play weapons the Giants have, they don't feel like they can be consistently stopped.
"Absolutely. We feel like we should be scoring every time," Smith said. "We're disappointed when we don't."
"We have a lot of confidence in one another right now," added left tackle David Diehl. "Just looking at last week, we did so many good things and we still left some things on the field."
Most of the confidence comes from Manning, who is on pace for his first 4,000-yard season. But he gives credit to his unheralded receivers, who have turned the Giants' passing attack into a quick-strike machine. Manning has completed 17 passes of 20 yards or more in the last four games. The Giants (7-6) are among the NFL leaders in big passing plays - tied for third with 51 passes of 20 yards or more.
"I knew that's something we really wanted to improve on in the offseason," Manning said. "I said back then I think we're going to have some more big plays just because we have more speed and explosiveness at the receiver position than we have in the past. Some of it is individual efforts. It's not like we're just throwing the ball deep. Some of it's short passes and the guys are breaking tackles and making big plays."
My take: That offensive explosiveness, and the relative youth at the skill positions, is one reason to feel good about the future of this team. Regardless of what happens in the last three games.
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