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Cover 3: Players to watch vs. Steelers

Posted Aug 7, 2017

Three Giants writers discuss the player they are most interested in seeing Friday night in the preseason opener:  


The New York Giants kick off the preseason Friday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. It’s the first game for Big Blue in seven months, and we know you’re anxious to see how the players and team are coming along.

With that said, here’s the question of this week’s Cover 3:

Which player are you most interested to see in the first game action of the year?

JOHN SCHMEELK

I’m going to go with Ereck Flowers. We have seen him in padded practices, which have given us a better feel for what he can do. An in-game situation against a live opponent, however, is the only true way to judge if he has made the necessary technique adjustments to improve his play at the position. How he handles the Steelers’ pass rush at left tackle is something I have been looking forward to since last season ended. 

DAN SALOMONE

I’m going with the talk of training camp: B.J. Goodson. The second-year pro is not only running with the ones, he’s in charge of calling the plays as the new middle linebacker. That’s a major responsibility for Goodson, who steps into a defense that allowed a league-low 25 offensive touchdowns in 2016. Furthermore, Goodson played only 13 defensive snaps last year as a rookie fourth-round draft pick.

The good news for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is that Goodson has checked all the boxes to this point. With the help of Super Bowl XLII champion Antonio Pierce, who is assisting the coaching staff, Goodson has brought a physicality to camp practices, which All-Pro safety Landon Collins said is setting the tempo for the defense. Getting a vote of confidence from a player of Collins’ caliber means a lot for Goodson, who has 10 players relying on him on every snap. Doing so in a live setting, though, is a whole different ballgame. Let’s see what he can do under the lights.

LANCE MEDOW

Safety Darian Thompson hasn’t played in a NFL game since Sept. 18, 2016 (Week 2).  That was when he suffered a foot injury and, a few weeks later after re-aggravating the injury, was placed on season-ending injured reserve.  Thompson was sidelined for the majority of last preseason due to a shoulder injury.  Given his limited resume and the fact he’s in line to start opposite Landon Collins, I’m most interested to see how Thompson fares in the first preseason game because last season was essentially a redshirt year.  Thompson was known as a ball hawk at Boise State, which makes him an ideal complement to Collins. But the more experience the two have together in a game, the better off they’ll be once the regular season starts.  Any player in position to start or returning from an injury is an ideal candidate to keep close tabs on during the first preseason game, and Thompson fits in both categories.