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Giants begin critical week, wonder “What are we missing?”

Heading into third preseason game, Big Blue has a lot of work to do

New York Giants v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Coach Ben McAdoo said Sunday that “no one’s panicking here” after a pair of dismal performances by the New York Giants in the team’s first two preseason games. The coach has insisted the team is practicing better than it is playing, saying Saturday that “what we practice needs to show up on games days, and it hasn’t been.”

The players understand that it is time for them to put together a better effort on the field.

“What are you doing here?” veteran offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse said. “Why are you here? Are you pushing yourself? Trying to get better and making your teammates better? The little things in football end up becoming big things. We have plenty of time here, that’s unquestioned. We have a lot of smart guys, but to really get together, it’s a grand thing, a big thing. We acquired a lot of new pieces, a lot of guys on the same page, a lot of guys on fire and really just hungry. We’ve got to go back and look at the film and just figure out, ‘Hey, what are we missing with this performance?’ That’s it. I think there are good things to glean from it. It might not seem like it now, but it’s never as bad or as good as it looks. There are things we can take from this, but we have to move forward and get better.”

Veteran linebacker Mark Herzlich was asked if the two poor efforts had dimmed the optimism surrounding the team.

“We’d much rather learn from wins, obviously. But, you know we’re not discouraged in the slightest,” Herzlich said, adding that fans shouldn’t be discouraged, either.

“I don’t think they should put much stock in this. The final score is bad. We want to score points and stop them (on defense), obviously. But, we’re seeing flashes of some really awesome stuff and that’s what’s going to be full frontal when we get going against the Cowboys.”

First, the Giants have to face the New York Jets on Saturday in the third and usually considered most important preseason game. It is when starters will play the longest. The Giants will go through a dress rehearsal week, where they practice and plan as though this were a regular-season game.

Newhouse said this week’s game is “the one that most closely resembles a regular-season game.”

“You want to have your buttons buttoned up and your shoes tied tight and ready to go,” Newhouse said.

Off of their first two performances, the Giants have a lot of work to do this week to get there.