We now have a preseason game to use to gauge some of the depth on the New York Giants roster. With that in mind, here are some ‘things I think’ as the Giants begin another week of preparing for the regular season.
Offensive line thoughts
There was a lot of gnashing of teeth about the play of the Giants’ offensive tackles on Friday night against the Detroit Lions. This is what I tweeted about that on Saturday:
Too many people freaking out about NYG OT depth after Friday. Have you all forgotten that Tyre Phillips did a good job in that role last year, and he is still on the team? Phillips did not play last night.— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) August 12, 2023
Yes, what we saw from Matt Peart, Korey Cunningham, and Wyatt Davis wasn’t good. But, chill a little.
Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal are the starters — and let’s not get into a Neal debate right now. The third tackle on the roster is Tyre Phillips, and he did a good job in that capacity a season ago. Davis is a guard who was playing tackle only because Phillips and Devery Hamilton were unable to play. At best, Peart or Cunningham will be the fourth offensive tackle on the 53-man roster. If either even makes it, which is anything but certain.
Personally, I was more concerned about the idea that neither Ben Bredeson nor Joshua Ezeudu, competing for the left guard job, seemed to distinguish themselves on Friday. The Giants need one of those players to grab that job, and off what we saw Friday neither has.
Coach Brian Daboll thought Bredeson and Ezeudu were OK.
“I thought for the most part they did a good job. They protected inside out. I thought (center) John Michael (Schmitz Jr.) did as well. The three of them communicated well with one another. They got some movement at the line of scrimmage inside there. It was a first game, a typical first game, but those guys worked well together.”
For what they are worth, Bredeson earned a 63.9 Pro Football Focus and Ezeudu a 51.5. Bredeson surrendered a sack in 21 pass-blocking snaps, and Ezeudu a sack and a pressure.
One other thought. Second-year player Marcus McKethan should do more this week as he ramps up after coming off PUP. I am interested to see how the Giants deploy him.
A kickoff return idea
Friday night we saw one of the things that is going to happen with the new kickoff rule. That is a lot of short kickoffs, either hoping to get the ball to bounce or daring the return team to run the ball back.
Unless kickers get proficient at being able to land the ball where no one can catch it, which would cause chaos — and increase injuries — the play is going to be boring.
I have an idea. Why not make the kickoff 9 on 9? Spread the field, put an emphasis on speed. That would lead teams to use smaller players rather than tight ends and linebackers — likely lowering violent collisions and probably limiting injuries.
Plus, it would put excitement back in the play.
The NFL won’t do it, but I’m curious what you think of that idea?
Maybe I’m just thinking the worst, but I couldn’t help feel like Daboll not being willing or able to give any information on wide receiver Collin Johnson, who suffered a knee injury Friday night, might be bad news for Johnson.
I hope not. I don’t know if Johnson can make the team, but he deserves the chance to make it/not make it on the field. Johnson was having a great training camp a year ago before tearing an Achilles tendon. He has been good this spring and summer, as well. I would hate to see the opportunity taken from him by another injury.
I thought former Lions’ GM Rick Spielman took a cheap, inaccurate swipe at Kayvon Thibodeaux recently. In case you missed it:
I know effort was a thing that was questioned in Thibodeaux’s pre-draft process. We didn’t see any signs of lack of effort a season ago, and to my eyes there have not been any so far this year.
I have never watched Aidan Hutchinson practice, but I don’t see effort being an issue with Thibodeaux.