Plenty of good, plenty of bad for our New York Giants through two preseason games. Here is my list of things to watch during the final two preseason games.
- Offensive Line -- For me, there are more questions with this unit than any other group on the 2010 Giants. How will the left side shake out? Will it be Will Beatty at left tackle and David Diehl at left guard, or can Rich Seubert reclaim his starting spot? If Beatty starts, can Diehl adjust? What is the status Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee? Who plays right guard if Snee can't go? Guy Whimper? Shawn Andrews? Kevin Boothe, if he ever returns from his torn pectoral muscle? Beyond Mitch Petrus, who will the backup linemen end up being? Other than Petrus, I'm not sure. Andrews and Seubert are probably safe, but I don't know about anybody else.
- Can Anybody Here Return A Kickoff? -- Maybe the question should be, can the Giants ever figure out how to open a hole for a kickoff return? Yet, I'm not sure they have found a guy who is a real threat on kickoff returns. Andre Brown doesn't seem to have the natural speed, and neither does Victor Cruz (sorry, Cruz-aholics). I know Gartrell Johnson is too slow. D.J. Ware has shown flashes, but he keeps taking shots to the head so he can't be counted on. I know the Giants don't want to put Ahmad Bradshaw back there -- he's too important to the offense. I would love to see Tiny Tim Brown get an opportunity to showcase his speed in that role. I'm not sure why the Giants did not give him a chance against the Steelers. Other than that, I don't know who the Giants can turn to. Certainly not Sinorice Moss. The way things are, maybe the Giants should let every kickoff go into the end zone and just down it. That might be their best strategy.
- Can Matt Dodge Get His Groove On? -- The rookie punter has been, to be kind, inconsistent in two games. Coach Tom Coughlin said the second preseason game was better than the first for Dodge, which is true. Three good kicks out of six is not good enough, though. I am rooting for the seventh-round pick from East Carolina to make it -- he does have the ability to boom more long punts than Jeff Feagles did -- but if he doesn't stop hitting those 30-yard punts that never get high enough to disappear off your TV screen the Giants will get out of Dodge. And get a new punter.
- Can The Giants Find Some Offensive Consistency? -- With the injuries to the offensive line, tight ends, receivers and quarterbacks the Giants have had to contend with during training camp and the preseason the offense is well behind where Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride would like it to be. We have seen some big plays the first couple of preseason games, but we have not seen any real sustained drives. The running game is also sputtering, though again there have been some good plays. This week, and this weekend's game against the Baltimore Ravens, is a big one for the Giants offense.
Linebackers -- Paging Clint Sintim! Paging Clint Sintim! Mr. Sintim, the season has begun and your job might be in jeopardy. Sintim, the second-year strong side linebacker, has been losing snaps to Gerris Wilkinson and Phillip Dillard of late. Reports Monday had Keith Bulluck working with the first unit on the strong side. Shoot, even sixth-round pick Adrian Tracy flashed more Saturday against Pittsburgh than Sintim ever has from the outside linebacker spot. The Giants believe in Sintim's play-making potential, but we haven't seen it yet. What are you waiting for, Clint? Are you really going to make us watch Wilkinson play in the regular season? As for the middle linebacker job, no clue whether it will be youngster Jonathan Goff or Bulluck at this point. The work Bulluck put in Monday on the strong side might, however, be an indication of what the Giants are thinking. This might be a case of Goff vs. Sintim with Bulluck manning whichever spot is left over.