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Giants vs. Browns: 8 reasons to watch the preseason opener

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No excuses! It’s Giants football and you need to be tuned in

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
James Bettcher talks to Alec Ogletree and other Giants defenders.
NorthJersey.com-USA TODAY NETWORK

I know, I know. There some fans who just can’t get excited about preseason games, who think “wake me up when the games count and I’ll watch then.” The New York Giants vs. the Cleveland Browns in an August 9 preseason opener? Nah, better things to do.

Well, there are lots of reasons to watch — and to be excited — about seeing the Giants in action.

It’s football!

This is the first time the Giants, the new and hopefully improved Giants, will play a game in 2018. Sure, it doesn’t count in standings. Still, it’s football. It’s your Giants. Baker Mayfield is on the other side. Why wouldn’t you pay attention?

You might see Saquon

Giants coach Pat Shurmur has been tight-lipped about plans for playing time, saying only that players will get “what they need” based on where they are in terms of their preparedness. I would be shocked if we see Odell Beckham Jr. I won’t be shocked if we see Saquon Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, for a series or two. You know you want to see him. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET. [How to watch]

You will see Davis Webb

In fact, you will probably see a lot of the second-year quarterback. We should have seen him get some snaps at the end of last season, but for a whole lot of messed-up reasons in a messed-up season we didn’t. You’ve been reading about his growth from his rookie season. Here’s your first chance to see it for yourself. [Webb being aggressively patient”]

Lorenzo Carter and B.J. Hill

You should be excited about what these two third-round picks can bring to the Giants defense. This will be the first chance for Carter, a linebacker, and Hill, a defensive lineman, to show what they can do.

The new schemes

You have heard a lot about the Giants revamped, more versatile offense. Same with their new hybrid defense, a base 3-4 with a ton of moving parts. The Giants are certain to keep things pretty vanilla tonight, and throughout the preseason, but you will be able to get an idea of how things have changed.

Position battles

All across the roster there are serious competitions for roster spots. Wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, safety, defensive line top the list — but they aren’t the whole list. See for yourself who steps forward and who steps back as players try to earn spots on the 53-man roster.

The revamped offensive line

We have been asking for a while now whether the Giants new offensive line is better than last season’s, or if it’s just different. Communication and chemistry in that group is still a . work in progress, but we get our first live look at whether or not GM Dave Gettleman collection of hog mollies will be able to do the job.

Will a star be born?

Or, at least a preseason superstar you fall in love with? There is always one, an unknown or unheralded player who becomes a preseason sensation. You won’t know who that is going to be unless you watch it for yourself.