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Giants vs Panthers game preview

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Giants vs Panthers game preview

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:01 pm

From Inside Football:
After what seemed like an eternity, the Giants are ready to suit up and get into some live action. Theyíll kick off their 2009 preseason slate against Carolina Panthers 8:15 P.M. The game is a rematch from last seasonís overtime battle that determined the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The Giants, who finished the 2008 preseason at 2-2, are expected to let their starters play for about a series or two before taking a long look at the younger players as they seek to shape up the depth chart.

The Giants are 32-24-3 in preseason openers since 1950. Last season the Giants went 7-1 during the regular season and 2-0 during the preseason in Giants Stadium.

The following players have been ruled out for Monday: CB Aaron Ross (leg), CB Corey Webster (hip), WR Steve Smith (knee), DT Rocky Bernard (hamstring), LB Michael Boley (hip/PUP), DT Fred Robbins (knee), and DT Chris Canty (hamstring).

WR Sinorice Moss (hamstring) and PK Lawrence Tynes (groin) are both scheduled to be in the game.

Coughlin, by the way, said he didn't have a timetable regarding the returns of Webster, Ross, and Canty.

Even though they ran some scout team work in their final full practice prior to the Carolina game, it's not so much about winning and losing for the Giants as it is about playing smart, mistake-free and energetic football.

"What youíre trying to do in the first preseason game is have energy, to have some organization, and to realize youíre going to play a lot of people," said head coach Tom Coughlin. " There will be mistakes ... the penalties, the illegal procedures. Try to stay away from that as much as you can, donít turn it over, and give yourself a chance."

Coughlin will let his starters play for about 12-15 snaps and said that he will try to get all four quarterbacks work in this game. One guy who will be on the hot seat is second-year man Andre Woodson, whom Coughlin praised today.

"Heís done very well. Heís really studied and worked his tail off all winter long, was there every second. Heís done a very admirable job at putting himself in a position where heís made a lot of throws now. He made some throws today, he just dropped the ball in."

Woodson' who's in a battle with Rhett Bomar for the third quarterback spot, used to have a bit of a hitch in his throwing motion which he's since worked to get rid of. His streamlined throwing motion, coupled with his comfort with the playbook, has translated well according to Coughlin.

"He is definitely a different guy. Heís confident, knows the offense, and makes the protection adjustment. Heís way out in front of the group heís usually withÖsometimes he canít get that communication to his own people, but he handles it properly. I canít say enough about what Iíve seen out of him. Just hope he plays well, thatís going to be the key, to go out there on the field and hopefully have the protection going that he can have a chance to perform."

WR Ramses Barden. He wasnít supposed to make much of a splash this early, but apparently no one told the rookie from Cal-Poly that as heís not only caught everything thrown his way, heís simply dominated his competition.

LB Bryan Kehl.Heís pretty much nailed down the starting weak side linebacker job thanks to having a strong camp. Kehl, by his own admission, needs to turn it up a notch in the intensity department, so letís see if his practice scuffle with Madison Hedgecock last week lit a fire underneath him.

TE Travis Beckum.Head coach Tom Coughlin said the kid is coming along in his blocking and Iím curious to see how well he executes that in a game and to see how offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride uses him.

WR Sinorice Moss.Itís "make or break" time for the Giantsí fourth year receiver, who needs a healthy and productive preseason in order to secure a roster spot. Moss missed some practice time late this past week with a hamstring injury, the same one that plagued him during the spring. However he's determined to make a go of it because he knows that this is it. He has looked good in practices. Will that translate onto the playing field? Stay tuned to find out.

WR Derek Hagan.He's looked good in camp, so Iíll be interested to see if his performance translates onto the field of play, where he developed a reputation for dropping balls. One area of his play worth watching is what he does on special teams, something Coughlin noted was Hagan's forte.

LB Clint Sintim. He hasnít gotten much ink, but this kid has quietly been having a solid camp and has earned some snaps with the oneís A dynamo in coverage, I still think that at some point later this year heís going to slowly take snaps away from Danny Clark.

OC Adam Koets. Heís had a rough time of it as the backup center. Has he finally gotten all the bad snaps out of him or will he continue to worry the coaches with more erratic performances?
The New ď5-1-5Ē defensive alignment. You generally wonít see much in the way of blitzing in preseason games, but Iíd have to imagine that at some point new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan might whip out his new 5-1-5 defensive alignment just to give it a test drive in live action. I personally canít wait to see it give offenses fits, you know, other than the Giants offense.

The kickoff / punt returners . Of all the positions on the Giants team, this one probably is the cloudiest. Domenik Hixon will probably get a few tries at this position, though early indications are that the speedy Mario Manningham is the early favorite to win one of the jobs.

Be sure to stay plugged into Twitter (Inside_Foootball) throughout game day, as Iíll be tweeting items of interest throughout the night. After the game, itís the triumphant return of ďHits, Misses, and MusingsĒ (my post game wrap up for those new to our coverage) and well as anything of note from the post game locker room.

Inside Football subscribers can look for our post game write up and analysis on Tuesday afternoon.

Readers are invited to share their thoughts on the game in our ďLetters to the EditorĒ forum. However, we ask that you hold your letters until AFTER the game.

ESPN and WWOR (Channel 9 in New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area)
Play by Play: Mike Tirico
Analysts: Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden
Sideline Reporter: Suzy Kolber

WFAN (660 FM) will be carrying the game live starting at 7:15 with the pregame show. Paul Dottino will handle the pre and post game programming. Bob Papa will be calling the game with Carl Banks providing color commentary. Howard Cross will be the sideline reporter.
Check out this article over at
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