Like Shane Vereen said, everybody "Relax", OK? Sure, the Giants have been awful this preseason, especially on offense. Yeah, the offensive line has major issues. OK, they're paper thin at pretty much every position. And yes, the regular season is now just 11 days away.
Wait. What was I saying? Oh, right. Relax and stop panicking. There's still another preseason game to go. Yeah, maybe the starters won't play much. And the Giants do have a bunch of nagging injuries already.
You know what? Never mind. Let's just get to the Q&A …
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A lot has been made about the ineptitude of the Giants O-Line. What sort of additions or changes could be made to improve it? -- @Roto_Wizard
A lot has been made about it. In fact, it's been one of the biggest storylines of the summer. The line has struggled mightily and the only group that's struggled more is the backup offensive line. So what can be done about that?
Nothing. At least, not much.
The Giants did just re-sign tackle Will Beatty, and have pretty much told him that the starting right tackle job is his for the taking. It's unclear just how much of an improvement this will be, though. Beatty was a better-than-you-remember left tackle for the Giants. But he's now 31 and last May he tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights, which led to him tearing the rotator cuff in his shoulder while undergoing rehab in November. His last game was the last game of the 2014 season. So who knows what he's got left or how he'll physically hold up?
Really, though, the Giants have nothing else. Their top backup was Bobby Hart, but the second-year pro has struggled in his time with the starting lineup while left guard Justin Pugh has been out. And while it's nice that the Giants keep saying they'll scour the waiver wire and look at the tackles and guards that other teams cut, does anyone really expect a starting-caliber lineman - or even a real quality backup - to be just cast aside? If one is, there's probably a good reason for that.
So what you see is likely what you're going to get. The best hope is that the more the Giants' linemen play and play together, the more they'll improve.
I don't trust Nassib. You think they will look for a vet Backup QB? Eli still tough but he is 35 -- @tonymaff
I've said many times before that I think the Giants would be better served to have a veteran backup - someone who's played before, who has experienced live action, and who won't be experiencing an NFL game for, really, the first time if he's called on to step in for Eli Manning in a key stretch of the season. Yet the Giants have remained committed to Ryan Nassib as their backup for several years.
Whether they are still committed to him is a good question. Remember, they put in a waiver claim for Zack Metenberger back in May, and he could've given Nassib a run for the money for the backup job. The fact that they did, when the new coach was the old offensive coordinator who would've worked closely with Nassib for a couple of years, may be an indication that Ben McAdoo at least is open to trying someone else.
That said, there aren't a lot of good veteran options on the market, and there probably won't be many released in the final cuts. Plus, at this point, a new quarterback of any kind would need time to learn the Giants' offense, which would mean they'd have to keep Nassib around anyway, just in case Manning got hurt in the first couple of games.
So, to answer your question, I think the Giants will look, but I don't expect them to find anything. I think the most likely answer is that Nassib will be Manning's backup again.
Which running backs will the Giants keep? -- @Neilschoolnik
Start with the starters: Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen (who is locked into the third-down/two-minute role). And you can bet they'll keep Paul Perkins, because they're not going to cut him after drafting him in the fifth round.
After that it's a little murky. I would've said Andre Williams, and he's probably still the favorite, since McAdoo has said really nice things about him ever since getting the Giants job. Williams even looked like a new man in the preseason opener when he rushed nine times for 41 yards.
And then? Well, in Buffalo he gained just 15 yards on six carries and lost a fumble. Then on Saturday against the Jets he took just two snaps with the offense and didn't run or catch the ball once. McAdoo said that was just part of the plan, that he wanted to look at other players. That, of course, is always what coaches say. You'd think he'd need to see more of Williams, especially after his miserable second season. Plus, it's not like he saw a lot of Perkins (14 snaps, 4 carries, 8 yards), Orleans Darkwa (11 snaps, one carry, minus-3 yards) or Bobby Rainey (nine snaps, no carries, one 4-yard catch) - the other three running backs on the team.
I still think they'll keep Williams over Darkwa and Rainey, who's best chance to make the team might be as a return man. He's a former fourth-round pick and the Giants don't usually give up quickly on players they draft that high.
Who do you think will, and who do you think should be calling the plays for the Giants offense -- @TheKeysuccess
I don't know, but I wish Ben McAdoo would just tell us. I think he's enjoying this little game of cat-and-mouse with the press.
Seriously, the end result is a bit of a mystery. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan called the plays in the first two games. In the third, McAdoo called the plays. Oddly, Sullivan was down on the field for the first half of that game and then in the booth for the second half, so clearly there's a little bit of experimenting going on.
I have always thought that McAdoo would eventually call the plays, and I will stick by that for now. But admittedly I'm far less sure of that than I was when camp started. As for who should call the plays? With all due respect to Sullivan, who I think is a terrific coach will actually make a fantastic head coach someday, I think it has to be McAdoo.
Remember, the success of the offense the last two years is a huge reason McAdoo got the job. The Giants liked McAdoo's head-coaching potential, but they loved the way Manning has thrived in his offense and they didn't want to mess anything up for their 35-year-old quarterback heading into the home stretch of his career. Letting Sullivan call the plays likely wouldn't mess anything up, but it's McAdoo's offense. Nobody knows it as well as he does. He was successful calling the plays the last two years (when the Giants' offense ranked 10th and eighth in the NFL). Why change anything?
I'd stick with what works.
The end of preseason always provides interesting cuts. Who can you see as possible surprises? -- @richnyc18
Not only does the end of preseason provide interesting cuts, but they are often even more interesting - and surprising - when it involves a new coach. A new coach has his own ideas about which players fit into his plan and system. There will be guys he likes that the old coach didn't, and vice versa. So I'd bet anything that somewhere on the roster is a guy that was kept around mostly because of Tom Coughlin that McAdoo will decide not to keep.
And really, who knows who that will be? I'm not sure you'll see him cut anybody really crucial, mostly because this isn't exactly a deep team. It's impossible to find a first-string player anywhere that he could afford to cut at this stage. But there are a few players to wonder about.
A lot of people have speculated about Mark Herzlich, because many thought he was a Coughlin favorite. But he's a very valuable special teamer and has played a lot at linebacker this summer, so I'd be surprised if he's going anywhere. The fact that Williams didn't touch the ball on Saturday got my attention and made me wonder if McAdoo had given up on him. But I still don't think the Giants will cut a former fourth-round pick, and as I wrote earlier, it's not like the guys behind him on the depth chart played a lot. And then there's Dwayne Harris, who was the Giants' third receiver last season. Assuming Victor Cruz is healthy he's now the fourth receiver at best, and it looks like Tavarres King and Geremy Davis have passed him on McAdoo's depth chart. Harris, interestingly, has only taken eight snaps on offense this summer - all in the opening preseason game.
Could they cut him and let Rainey be their main return man? Probably not, considering they signed Harris to a five-year, $17 million contract just one year ago and it would actually cost them an extra $1.5 million in cap space to cut him. But if nothing else it sure does look like he's now relegated to just special teams.
I know, you asked for possible surprises and I just basically talked my way out of saying any of those three will be cut. I do think there will be one surprise name on the cut list on Saturday just because that often happens when there's a new coach. But … well, if I knew who, it wouldn't be a surprise.