By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about today’s once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse.
Sure, they happen all over the world and pretty frequently at that. But what makes this one special (at least for those of us in the US), is that it’s the first eclipse in 99 years to have the path of totality — that is the area where viewers will see the sun completely blocked by the moon — cross from the west coast to the east coast.
But while the nerd in me is absolutely fascinated, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to talk football.
So, I thought it would be fun to look at a few roster battles and ask if some Giants will be eclipsed by players behind them on the depth chart.
Paul Perkins Vs. Orleans Darkwa
Perkins was named the Giants’ starting running back early in the off-season process. However, the first time the team took the field in a live game situation, he was out-played by the oft-injured Darkwa.
Granted, most of Perkins’ runs were sabotaged by poor blocking, but on that first seven-yard run, McAdoo wanted to see more.
"Perkins was 1-on-1 with the safety, and we need more than seven yards there," McAdoo said. "He's got to make him miss, he's got to run him over. We've got to at least get a first down out of that play."
He later added that he still has confidence in Perkins, but it’s clear that the second year back needs to step up and finish runs when he gets the chance.
John Jerry Vs. D.J. Fluker
Part of the reason why we have the first battle is because of this one. As noted earlier, the interior of the offensive line did not hold up well against the Steelers. John Jerry was was pushed back a couple times, effectively blowing up both runs by Perkins and getting Josh Johnson sacked.
While Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg both need to play better, Jerry is the only one facing direct competition for his starting job. D.J. Fluker was impressive with the second team, looking both competent (and eager) in pass protection and powerful as a run blocker. He also showed up as “nasty” consistently blocking through the whistle.
Could he show enough to force the coaches’ hands heading into the all-important third game of the pre-season?
Andrew Adams Vs. Darian Thompson
Adams already seems to be eclipsed by Darian Thompson. Adams emerged as the 2016 starter next to Landon Collins, but Thompson has already moved ahead of him on the depth chart.
Thompson admitted that he is knocking off rust following a rookie season lost to injury. Meanwhile Adams played well with the second team. Can he battle back and give Steve Spagnuolo a difficult decision to make when setting up the depth chart?
Mark Herzlich Vs. Calvin Munson
Mark Herzlich’s story is one for the ages. A former All-American linebacker laid low by cancer overcame all odds to make it to the NFL, and immediately contribute to a Super Bowl winning team.
But while he has missed practice with a “stinger”, 2017 undrafted rookie linebacker Calvin Munson has stepped in and made plays. His contribution to the final 53-man roster would likely be on special teams, but he has made his presence felt on defense as well by always being around the ball.
Herzlich is a great special teamer and locker room presence, and a competent back-up SAM linebacker, but if a player’s best ability is availability, could Munson overshadow Herzlich by simply being on the field?
Ultimately, its unlikely that any jobs will change hands in the second game of the preseason. However, the data will go into the hopper to be evaluated by the Giants’ coaching staff and taken into consideration for the cutdown from 90 to the 53-man roster after the final pre-season game. It will also be taken into consideration when building the depth chart to start the season.
All of these battles are being fought to make the team better. The Giants are intent on winning a third Super Bowl ring before Eli Manning’s career is out.
Fun fact: Did you know that the last bit of light before a total solar eclipse is known as the “Diamond Ring”? Maybe the 2017 Giants will take another step towards winning a ring of their own today.
If you are anywhere near the path of the eclipse today, DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! Even though it’s being blocked by the moon, there is still more than enough UV radiation coming off the Sun’s photosphere to literally cook your eyes if you stare at it for minutes at a time.
If you don’t have the special glasses to safely view the eclipse, you can build a pinhole projecter to watch.