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‘Things I think’ before the Giants face the Browns

Playing time on Sunday, Dave Gettleman, roster competition, more

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Your New York Giants face the Cleveland Browns in Game 2 of their preseason Sunday afternoon. Here are some ‘things I think’ as we wait for that game.

Playing time vs. Browns

Joe Judge was coy on Friday about whether starters would play Sunday vs. the Cleveland Browns. He said he didn’t know, but I know Judge well enough at this point to be pretty sure he did kno wand just didn’t want to divulge the answer.

Thing is, I really don’t care one way or the other if Daniel Jones plays. Or the starting defense.

The Giants just got two days of good, physical work in joint practices with the Browns. Does Jones really need a series or two on Sunday? Does the first-team defense really need a series or two?

I would like to see the young offensive line get a bit of playing time, similar to the trio or series that group played vs. the New York Jets. The rest of it makes no difference to me.

Jordan Ranaan is now reporting Jones won’t play.

That’s fine with me.

Canton trip

Judge took the Giants to Canton on Saturday, using part of an off day to steep players in the history of the game with a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Love this.

Judge leans heavily into the history of the Giants franchise. This an extension of that. It’s amazing how many current NFL players really aren’t versed in the history of the players who came before them, even though they should be.

Oh, and this is another example of Judge not exactly being a miserable ogre in dealing with his players.

Roster thoughts

As I wrote my recent 53-man roster projection I kept coming up with more questions than answers.

There are a number of interesting things swirling around in terms of the initial 53, far beyond who the Giants will bring in to help provide offensive line depth.

Elijhaa Penny and Cullen Gillaspia are both working as first-team special teamers. Two fullbacks on the 53-man roster?

Rookie running back Gary Brightwell has been getting first-team special team reps.

Linebacker Trent Harris has been getting a lot more front-line snaps that I expected. Watch for him on Sunday.

I will be watching to see if David Sills gets some special teams reps. A commenter raised the point that many fo the recent acquisitions could be the Giants setting themselves up with players who would allow them to keep Sills, who is not an accomplished special teamer. I have also had that thought. Sills can help his chances to showing some special teams acumen.

Dave Gettleman’s future

I had originally intended to make the GM’s future with the Giants beyond 2021 the focal point of today’s post. Then, I more or less said everything I had to say in Saturday’s mailbag. Here is what I wrote:

“I think eight or nine wins and NOT making the playoffs is the gray area where John Mara and Steve Tisch have to sit down and go through a painstaking, unemotional evaluation of exactly how the season went.

“How did the Giants get to where they end up? Did the season start well and end badly, or vice versa? How did the big decisions on Daniel Jones and the offensive line pan out? Did the free-agent signings pan out? Were there injuries that derailed everything? Does ownership come out of the season feeling like there is a core of players and a decision-making tandem (Gettleman-Joe Judge) that can eventually take them to championship contention?

“Mara didn’t issue a playoff mandate when he spoke to media this week, but he really didn’t have to. It’s been four seasons since the Giants had a winning record — since they have even come close to a winning record. That has to change.

“It’s time for us to start winning more games,” Mara said.”

Mara and Gettleman both know that things can’t go on indefinitely without better results on the field. Let’s see how the season plays out.