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Giants’ roster moves put pressure on DB coach Jerome Henderson, OL coach Bobby Johnson

Veteran coaches have busy week ahead getting new players ready for Week 1

Cleveland Browns Training Camp
Jerome Henderson
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Before the New York Giants began trimming their roster to 53 players and building their practice squad, yours truly asked coach Brian Daboll about the balance of upgrading the roster while still having enough time to new players ready for Week 1.

“I think when you bring these guys in, the sooner you bring them in, the better. Throughout my years of coaching, there’s been times when I got players as a position coach on a Wednesday and had to get them ready to play on a Sunday,” Daboll said. “So, I think our coaches are well versed on that. The biggest thing is to try to improve and upgrade at as many spots as you can, whether that’s one guy, five guys, however many that is. It certainly puts a lot on a position coach and a coordinator, but that’s our job.”

As the Giants have made a dizzying number of moves — particularly along the offense line and the secondary — during the past week they obviously have not worried even a little bit about the compressed time frame they have to get players ready for Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

The Giants have three defensive backs, cornerbacks Justin Layne and Nick McCloud and safety Jason Pinnock, who were not with the team during the preseason. They have two more, safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Fabian Moreau, on the practice squad.

On the offensive line, they have added two players who were not with them until after initial roster cuts — Jack Anderson and Tyre Phillips. One of them could emerge as the starter at left guard as early as this Sunday.

The Giants have made it brutally obvious that they were uncomfortable with the depth — or lack thereof — they had on the roster at those two positions throughout the summer.

They have also made the jobs of secondaries coach Jerome Henderson and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, both veterans at their crafts, complicated as the Giants prepare for the Tennessee Titans in six days.

Martindale has been effusive in his praise of Henderson, saying “I think he’s the best secondary coach there is in the league.”

The 15-year NFL coaching veteran and former NFL player is likely to have a busy week. Layne, McCloud and Pinnock could all be active Sunday. Jefferson and Moreau are possible practice squad elevations, especially Jefferson since he has spent nearly four years in Martindale’s defensive system and might understand it as well or better than anyone on the roster.

Johnson is a 27-year coaching veteran who was with Daboll in Buffalo. He got quality play out of an injury-riddled, constantly evolving, offensive line throughout the preseason. Let’s see if he can get Anderson and Phillips ready to contribute on Sunday.

I have thought all along that one of the most impressive things about the coaching staff Daboll put together is the amount of NFL experience throughout the group. That experience, especially for Henderson and Johnson, is currently being put to the test.