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Some initial personnel thoughts

Sy'56 : 8/4/2014 6:51 am
Watched the game live last night for once, main focus was on the 2nd and 3rd stringers on both sides. Unlike most, my favorite parts of these games are in the 3rd and 4th quarters when the rookies and bubble-guys are playing their hearts out in an effort to make a living playing football. Keeping track of every team's depth chart is a lot of work, but it helps to stay on top of it all during the preseason to know where the roster battles reside so that when the roster cuts start happening, you have a good feel for who you want a team to go after. That said...here are some initial bullet-note-type thoughts on the game last night. Will try to re-watch it later in the week.

NYG

-Andre Williams was the best offensive player in the game performance-wise. I was young when Rodney Hampton played for NYG, but he has a similar look from what I recall. He sure is big and physical but he gets to the line fast. Quick acceleration for such a thick back. Also has the ability to make himself smaller than what he is, always finding the crease to fall forward and/or break the extra tackle. He'll be a big part of the NYG offense by season's end.

-Ryan Nassib looks night and day different from a year ago. So much more confident and showed better reaction than what I recall. His release was still hesitant at times, which was my biggest gripe last year. But I like how he looked in week 1 of a new offense. I think this scheme fits his abilities more and an entire offseason devoted to NYG rather than the draft appears to have made a difference. What a sigh of relief it would be to have a young backup with ability.

-Marcus Harris was up against backups but he was clearly on another level than the guys he was playing with and against. Aggressive and quick, he made some plays in traffic. In a quick-paced offense, you need tough guys catching the ball and there is no way around it. Harris has the mental and physical capabilities to make this roster as a backup.

-Hard to evaluate the OL without re-watching. But Geoff Schwartz was severely outplayed by Bills DT Kyle Williams on a few occasions. He looked very lethargic. On the other hand, Brandon Mosley looked athletic and powerful. Justin Pugh looks strong, real strong. I think NYG can confidently say he'll be a very reliable piece for a long time if he can avoid the injury bug. Weston Richburg looked OK, pretty much what I expected. Athletic but not much of a presence. He was blown up by backup LBs on a few occasions. Love his ability in space though, he can really get out there.

-DE Kerry Wynn and Jay Bromley looked very good in their respective debuts. One thing I wanted NYG to add was a tougher, more physical approach on defense. Both of these guys showed quickness out of their stance but they also beat guys up with their hands. They were up against some big maulers too. DaMontre Moore is going to be a factor this year. He may be the best pure edge rusher on this team by season's end. His explosion off the snap is a weapon. Still doesn't have the power presence to hold ground against the run but thats not as important considering what is on the Giants DL right now. If they can have him rush the edge on passing downs and let the big guys take care of the inside stuff, he could be an important piece.

-LBs didn't look bad at all. Need to re-watch them but I thought Ronaldo McClain played the inside gaps well. I think he'll be exactly what he has been. A limited but solid role player. Jacquian Williams could be THE guy of this unit. He still has the elite speed and movement ability, but he looked more stout and powerful. He'll never be an elite strength guy, but if he can be just strong enough, he has the potential to be the best front seven player on this team and I mean that. He has the range of any LB in the game right now, and we already know he can cover the flat and seams well. Devon Kennard has received a lot of publicity in the past week or two but he didn't stand out to me. Again I need to re-watch him a bit.

-Loved what I saw out of Walter Thurmond. I think he'll be the best value FA signing that NYG had this offseason. Very physical, very quick reaction.


BUF

-My main focus for BUF was the O-line. Seantrel Henderson started the game at LT and got plenty of snaps. His off the field struggles are widely known but wow, he has all the talent in the world. He moved awfully similar to my favorite LT in the league, Jason Peters. He'll be an interesting guy to watch. Cyril Richardson, whom I wanted drafted by NYG, played a solid game at RG. He consistently drove guys back a few years as a run blocker. The footwork on pass protection was fine, but he wasn't left alone that often. On the flip side, Cyrus Kouandijo struggled. He was blown up on several occasions, had a very hard time sticking to his man. He gave up 2 or 3 sacks I believe.

-Robert Woods is going to benefit big time by having Sammy Watkins along side of him. Outstanding route runner and catches anything near his body. Those two guys are going to be productive receivers for a long time. If EJ Manuel can't get it done with them this year, they need to look elsewhere for a QB.

-Kyle Williams remains to be one of my top 2 or 3 DTs in the game. He is such a good player every time that defense is on the field.

-The LB combination of Brandon Spikes and Nigel Bradham is really good. Imagine they could have had Kiko Alonso in that group as well? This team has the makings of a high-quality front seven. LB Randall Johnson is a guy that kept popping off the screen. Aggressive, big, fast downhill LB that blew a few plays up. Didn't check on his coverage ability though.

-Didn't put the eyeball on their secondary much. However S Duke Williams, one of my favorite safeties from the 2013 class, shined all night. He won't get a starting nod in BUF but he should see plenty of action. And if an injury pops up that gets him on the field, watch out.
Nice writeup Sy.  
baadbill : 8/4/2014 7:09 am : link
I don't know enough to allow me to evaluate individual OL play. But they sure struggled in their two series against Buffalo's #1 D. I was particularly interested in Walton's play. I've always felt that great C play was critical to a great OL. Supposedly he was showing great stuff before his serious injury and I'm keeping my fingers crossed he makes a strong presence - and forces Richburg to G for the next 5 years.

But I noticed you didn't mention him. I'll look for your thoughts after you get the chance to watch again. Thanks for the write up.
I'm going to let  
That Said : 8/4/2014 7:13 am : link
the O-line have a couple of more weeks together before I get nervous.
That Said  
mushroom : 8/4/2014 7:18 am : link
agree completely as long as Eli doesn't get killed in the process.

Nice stuff, Sy  
Montreal Man : 8/4/2014 7:18 am : link
Thanks.
Nassib...  
silverfox : 8/4/2014 7:19 am : link
...looks much more comfortable in a west-coast type offense than he ever did under the Kildrive system. He seems very much suited for it, and in fact looked every bit as comfortable (if not more) at times than Manning.
Good stuff Sy. Thanks.  
Big Blue Blogger : 8/4/2014 7:21 am : link
I think you mean Jameel McClain. Luckily, the wacko from Alabama never got here.
Eli didn't seem to be pressured much  
Randy in CT : 8/4/2014 7:35 am : link
(nor Nassib) however the line seemed to struggle getting any push for the RBs. Sort of a blanket statement because there were so many lineman out there but that was my impression.

Didn't finish watching the game though.
Biggest OL plus  
mushroom : 8/4/2014 7:37 am : link
for the most part no immediate pressure from the inside
mcadoo and eli  
SBlue46 : 8/4/2014 7:42 am : link
Against a good D..like bills 1st unit...we were missing
te help...eli was getting pressure and we need a fast
out guy....donnel was ok...eli passes to sideline..and
throwing too hard will be problem...will have ints
Encouraging first game  
Mark from Jersey : 8/4/2014 8:26 am : link
O & OL in particular need time to gel. TE position makes me nervous, particularly from a blocking standpoint. RBs looked good.
Eli has to limit his movement to the pocket  
JOMO25 : 8/4/2014 8:34 am : link
When you're that poor of an athlete, nothing good ever happens whenever he moves more that 5 yards.
Rolando McClain? This must be your first write-up... ( :  
barens : 8/4/2014 8:43 am : link
Really fascinating watching Henderson on Buffalo, and a real head scratcher as to why he was only a co starter at Miami, not to mention at right tackle. Whether or not JPP is saving it for the regular season, he still went up against a rookie, no excuses for not having more success.

On the flip side, I know it's just a couple of series in preseason, but Prince Amukamara looks very confident out there, very nice to see.
I realize this is only  
COLT46 : 8/4/2014 9:39 am : link
the first preseason game, but the one player who made his presence known repeatedly was Marcus Harris. It was also good to see Andre Williams take his skills to the next level so comfortably. I'd like to see what Michael Cox can do with some better blocking up front.
RE: Rolando McClain? This must be your first write-up... ( :  
Curtis in VA : 8/4/2014 9:46 am : link
In comment 11792794 barens said:
Quote:
Really fascinating watching Henderson on Buffalo, and a real head scratcher as to why he was only a co starter at Miami, not to mention at right tackle. Whether or not JPP is saving it for the regular season, he still went up against a rookie, no excuses for not having more success.

On the flip side, I know it's just a couple of series in preseason, but Prince Amukamara looks very confident out there, very nice to see.


Actually, it was Ronaldo McClain. At least make your correction correct. =)
Ryan Nassib  
Jimmy Googs : 8/4/2014 9:50 am : link
He has clearly improved. He looked good on the move and I thought he did a good job of continually looking downfield. He has to keep composure with guys in his face, or at least go to check down quicker.

But after years of watching Giant backup QBs look like "chickens with their heads cut off" in preseason games, at least Nassib has some nice promise.

Interesting and welcome comment about Mosley  
cosmicj : 8/4/2014 9:55 am : link
Thanks, Sy.
Darn it!!!  
barens : 8/4/2014 9:58 am : link
.
Thurman did not look good to me  
Reale01 : 8/4/2014 11:26 am : link
I didn't watch him that closely, but surprised you would say he looked good. I did think that Bowman looked good.

BTW - Not saying I am worried about Thurman.
Williams was impressive  
GGGmen : 8/4/2014 12:59 pm : link
But looks nothing like Rodney Hampton. Hampton is tall and Angular. Williams is short and stocky. How many here remember Hampton's first Pre-Season Carry? TD!
Rodney Hampton was "tall and angular"?  
Greg from LI : 8/4/2014 1:03 pm : link
Was there more than one Rodney Hampton? Because the guy who played for the Giants was 5'11".
What you want first in a punt returner is ball security-  
Bobby Epps : 8/4/2014 1:07 pm : link
after your D forces a punt, you don't want to fumble it and put your D back on the field. Second, you want to pick up some return yardage.

Preston Parker looked good fielding 2 punts- no bobbling and very clean handling.

Then got return yardage. BUT, IMO has no 2d gear or burst- showed same level of speed throughout his return.

Wonder if anyone else on the team who provides ball security plus a burst to get good return yardage on punt returns.
I'm with Sy.  
Red Dog : 8/4/2014 1:23 pm : link
I want to see the young guys play and see how they do.

And many of them did well last night.

Andre Williams really looked good.

Seantrel Henderson could have been a nice pick for the G-men instead of a Corner who won't make the roster this year in the 6th round. The GIANTS still have nothing but rejects from other teams for back up OTs, and that could be a real problem later this season.
I agree about Kennard  
Greg from LI : 8/4/2014 1:24 pm : link
I was looking for him given all the chatter, but he was quiet.
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