With the third preseason game days away and the first set of roster cuts right behind it, the New York Giants are bound to make a pivotal decision regarding the defensive tackle rotation.
Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins have all but locked up starting roles, but the backups and rotational players have yet to be decided.
Vying for spots on the roster are 13-year veteran Shaun Rogers and Marvin Austin, a third-year player who has yet to impress the coaching staff.
Clearly, Rogers has a strong reputation in the league and when healthy can be a consistent contributor. Going up against the likes of Rogers, Mike Patterson and recent draft pick Johnathan Hankins, Austin is fighting an uphill battle because he needed to put together an even more impressive preseason performance just to be considered for a backup role.
After missing time last year due to injury, Rogers came to training camp 50 pounds lighter. On Sunday night, he helped limit the Indianapolis Colts rushing attack to a 2.7 yards per carry average. In 18 snaps, Rogers totaled three solo tackles.
"(Rogers) looked pretty good," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He kind of got going in there and showed some quickness. He penetrated. He knocked what I call the arch of the line back in our favor. he provided opportunities for us to push them back."
While Rogers, the seasoned pro, is showing he can still be a valuable part of the Giants tackle rotation, Austin is proving to be a lame duck on the field.
Throughout training camp and the past two preseason contests, Austin has failed to make a presence on the field.
Marvin Austin...time with #Giants looks like it may be coming to an end. No strength or power at point of attack. Where is the quickness?— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 19, 2013
Marvin Austin just missed a tackle. Went too low. Ankle tackles not going to get it done in the NFL!— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) August 19, 2013
Nunn says Tuck, Kiwanuka and Marvin Austin have had their best offseasons this year. But points out Austin has to prove it in pads— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) July 29, 2013
NY Daily News reports Giants 3rd year DT Marvin Austin's roster spot is in jeopardy. #nyg #giants Austin, the... http://t.co/TGRO6CcQHv— Ian Taubin (@InReeseWeTrust) August 17, 2013
The Giants will go with the player who can help the team right away, and that -- without question -- is Rogers.
Austin, a second-round draft pick who coming out of North Carolina had first-round talent, would likely catch on with another club looking to give him a second opportunity. But for now, it appears his future will not be in New York.
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