It was a good night on Saturday as the New York Giants earned a solid 22-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. There were some positives to take from the Giants second preseason game and it all starts with the offensive line. The first team offensive line had a lot of playing time and looked impressive. Here's what Justin Pugh had to say about his group.
"The protection was good, we had some nice runs there, and it was a good night for us. We're headed in the right direction, for sure. Getting guys on the same page, there were a few passes that were a little off here or there, couple schemes where we could have blocked a little bit better, but we're definitely looking much better. There were some things that they did coming in that we knew that they would do and we picked them up. I'm excited for the guys and the direction we're headed."
Pugh on the return of Geoff Schwartz.
"It’s great having him back out there. A guy that struggled last year with injury. It’s tough to see a guy like that come in brand new and then go down and get hurt. It’s good to have him back out there, it’s great for the competition of the offensive line. Great job advancing everybody."
Here is Schwartz on his first game action since breaking his ankle last season.
"It was good to be out there. It's just nice. I feel like I'm back doing what I love to do. Game day is what you prepare for all week, and it's good to just be out there with my teammates just trying to get better. Just exciting to finally be able to do it."
Here's what Pugh had to say on the comments from former Giants lineman, Shaun O'Hara.
"Shaun is a great guy. I know he’s looking out for our well-being. He wants to be in that room still, you know what I mean. He’s very much a part of this group and I know he has love for us, so I know that he was just trying to tell us, ‘Hey guys, we need you out there, we need you practicing’ and that was the way of him getting it across. I spoke to him since then, everything is good. He’s good with the offensive linemen in that room, so there’s nothing to worry about with that situation."
Even though the pass protection was sound, Eli Manning struggled for most of the game. Here's what he had to say on the offensive performance.
"We've got to be better in the passing game, obviously. Too many incompletions. I thought we got into a decent rhythm, had some third down conversions, some third-and-long conversions with some different guys. Had some nice plays, just had a couple bad throws by me, a couple drops, just some things we've got to clean up and start executing and making the plays that are out there that we were close to making tonight."
On the other side of the ball, linebacker J.T. Thomas was impressive with five tackle, one for loss, and a sack/forced fumble. Here's what he had to say about the defense.
"I kinda just let things go and just trusted our coaches doing their job, laying things out for us. As a defense, I think we all took it upon ourselves to take it a tad bit faster today. As we continue to gel and the chemistry just really starts to click, I think we will start playing faster and making more explosive plays."
Linebacker Jameel McClain also thought the defense got better from its Week 1 performance.
"There definitely was some good progress. We definitely stepped up in a lot of places, but one area specifically where we can step up is third and one, third and two, those short downs. We can step up there and make those plays, but other than that, I've seen the defense take a big leap beyond what we had the first week."