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Head coach Tom Coughlin concurred with Baas’ evaluation.
“He had a good day yesterday, seemed to be doing well today,” Coughlin said. “I always say you have to find out the next morning.”
Baas was replaced in the starting lineup by Jim Cordle, who was widely praised for his work against Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago.
“Jim Cordle has done a heck of a job,” Coughlin said. “He really has. The more working parts we can have, the better.”
“Jimmy Cordle has played very, very well,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. “Obviously, David is the starter, so you hope when your starter comes back you’re going to continue to play as well, if not better, and that’s what we will expect. I think David gives you some more experience and a guy that has earned the starting position for us. You’d like to think you’re going to get better, but part of the thing is the changes. All the changes just keep hurting the cohesiveness and the coordination, but David has been there with those guys before. He’s had David Diehl next to him. He’s had Kevin Boothe next to him, so I think the transition will be fairly seamless and fairly quick.”
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Guard Chris Snee is out for the season with a hip injury, but Baas, Boothe and Diehl would give the Giants a veteran threesome in the middle of the line.
“Honestly, I can only do my part,” Baas said. “There are four other guys on the offensive line with me (including tackles Will Beatty and Justin Pugh), there are other guys on the field. We all have to do that together. What I bring to the table is knowledge and any skills that I possess. If I can go out there, like I said, it doesn’t matter what play, if I can do something that can help this team win or bring a spark or anything I can do I’m going to go 100 percent and do that because we need a win.”
QUICK HITS >>
- Running back Peyton Hillis, who was signed on Tuesday, will be in uniform against the Vikings.
“He’s going to have to play,” Gilbride said. “The injury factor has been incredible, so he’s going to play some. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing and trying to judge exactly how much he can pick up in a short period of time. Fortunately, he’s a bright guy. He’s been down in Tampa Bay, which uses our system, so he’s more familiar than the average guy would be coming into a brand new situation. There’s a lot of nomenclature and terminology that he’s familiar with, so I think that’s going to expedite the process, but it’s still new. There are still some differences, so we’re kind of assessing it as we go, but right now he’s been impressive.”
- Hillis could split time with Brandon Jacobs, who rushed for a Giants season-high 106 yards last week in Chicago.
“The thing that (Brandon) did last week was inspirational, to be honest with you,” Gilbride said. “To see the toughness he displayed and the commitment he made to our football team to help us get that component of the game going. I know he’s going to give us everything he’s got.”
- Although the Giants’ league-leading 23 turnovers have commandeered much attention, they are also lacking on the other side of the equation with just seven takeaways, including four interceptions.
“The turnovers, you can talk all you want, but it has to happen,” Coughlin said. “It has to happen on the field. Take care of the ball, get the ball away from the other guy, get yourself in some field position, take advantage of it.”
“(We are) trying to make the players more ball aware and that’s all you can do,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “You’ve got to put pressure on the receivers. Your front and coverage have to work in harmony and when I say front and coverage work in harmony…if we’re playing man or whatever, we’ve got to do a good job of jamming the receivers to hold up the route getting down the field and then the rushes have got to do a good job of getting there. And if we’re playing zone we’ve got to do a good job of jamming the receivers so the rush can get there. Vice versa, if we’re pressuring… So we’ve got to work in harmony together.”
The defensive players believe forcing more turnovers could significantly enhance the Giants’ chances to get their first victory.
“I think that’s something that we need to improve on, obviously, and (it’s) definitely a focus point this weekend,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “We have to find a way to get the ball, go attack the ball and make the plays when the opportunities present themselves.”
- The Giants have faced several terrific return specialists this season – Denver’s Trindon Holliday, Kansas City’s Dexter McCluster and Chicago’s Devin Hester among them – and will try to slow down another this week in Minnesota’s Cordarrellee Patterson, who is second in the NFL with a 33,8-yard kickoff return average, including a 105-yard touchdown.
“What makes him so good is that he is big, strong and fast,” special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. “He’s bigger than most returners and he can stick his foot in the ground and get vertical in a hurry so you have to make sure you don’t give him a bunch of open windows because his vision is outstanding. He sees it, he hits it, it looks like a team will have him bottled up and he sticks his foot in the ground and comes back out the other side. We have to be really disciplined against him.”
- Cornerback Corey Webster (groin) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (illness) did not practice today. Webster, who has missed the last four games, hopes to play Monday night. Coughlin said he thinks the illness will not prevent JPP from facing the Vikings.
“You always wonder about that, it’s been beautiful, but that little change in the temperature, I don’t know,” Coughlin said. “He should be okay.”
- In addition to Baas, five players were limited: Jacobs (hamstring), cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (knee) and Jayron Hosley (hamstring), tight end Adrien Robinson (foot) and safety Cooper Taylor (foot).
- Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s reigning rushing champion and MVP, did not practice today because he has a sore hamstring. Left tackle Matt Kalil also sat out with a back injury.
- The Giants trail in the regular season series with Minnesota, 13-9, but lead the postseason series, 2-1, including a 41-0 victory in the 2000 NFC Championship Game. This will be the teams’ first meeting in MetLife Stadium. The teams last faced each other on Dec. 13, 2010, when the Giants won, 21-3, in a game that was played on a Monday night in Detroit’s Ford Field after the Metrodome roof collapsed during a snowstorm. That victory ended the Giants’ four-game losing streak in the series. The Vikings won their last four regular-season games in Giants Stadium, in 1994, 1999, 2005 and 2007.
- This is the Giants’ only Monday night appearance of the season. They are 22-33-1 on Monday night, including 7-8 at home. The Giants have played just one other home Monday night game in Coughlin’s 10 seasons as head coach, defeating St. Louis two years ago.