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Eli wants more from offense in Preseason Week 2

Posted Aug 19, 2015

Giants.com's Dan Salomone highlights seven things we learned at Wednesday's media hour

1. Cruz has a calf strain, will not practice.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz will not practice today due to “little strain in the calf area,” coach Tom Coughlin said before Wednesday’s training camp session at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Coughlin added that it was “not at all” related to the season-ending knee injury he suffered in 2014, rather that it was “probably dehydration, little bit of that.”

Cruz, who did not play in the Cincinnati game, said last week that he would like to take a few snaps in at least one preseason contest before the regular season kicks off in less than a month.

2. No ligament damage for Selvie; injury notes.

Veteran defensive end George Selvie left Monday’s practice with a knee injury, and after a players’ day off, Coughlin said Wednesday that there was no ligament damage.

“He gives everything he’s got,” Coughlin said. “I don’t really think he’ll be too long. He can’t go today, but I think he’ll be back soon.” Meanwhile, safety Cooper Taylor was unable to go on Monday with a toe issue but expects to return fully today. Fellow safety Nat Berhe (calf) and Prince Amukamara (groin) are working their way back “little by little,” while wide receiver Rueben Randle (knee tendinitis) is not ready to work yet.

3. McAdoo: two-point conversions will be more prevalent in NFL.

Because the extra point has been moved back to the 15-yard line and the two-point conversion remains on the two-yard line, coaches and coordinators might have more of an incentive to go for the latter, especially considering weather, late-game pressure, penalties or all of the above. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo thinks there will be more two-point conversion attempts, and the Giants will be prepared.

“You always put a lot of time into two-point plays because the information is hard to get; they weren’t very prevalent,” McAdoo said. “But now they’re going to be more prevalent, so your time may be a little more well spent because you’ll have more options, more recent tape to look at it. You won’t have to dig back four, five years at times to find something. So you’ll be smarter with your time, but we’ll be ready. We’ll have plenty of options down there.”

4. Eli: Let’s put some points on the board.

Quarterback Eli Manning was as disappointed as anyone about gaining just 28 yards on 15 plays in the first preseason game, but that’s why you have training camp. With the team preparing for their second game on Saturday at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Manning talked about what he wants to see from the offense.

“Obviously, put some points on the board and get some drives going, sustain some drives,” Manning said. “Hopefully be able to get out there, set the tempo, play fast with the offense, get some first downs and get into a good rhythm with the offense.”

5. Wide receiver competition is up in the air.

Offensive coordinators will take as many wide receivers as they can get. But with a final 53-man roster, that’s not exactly the case. Decisions will have to be made in the coming weeks, and while players like Cruz and Randle are limited, opportunities are there in a deep group.

“I see it as it’s all up in the air right now,” McAdoo said. “There’s a lot of guys in, a lot of guys out, a lot of opportunities for young guys. It’s who takes advantage of it that’s going to get the nod, I would think.”

6. Rookie Hart building momentum.

Rookie seventh-round draft pick Bobby Hart saw time on Monday with the second team at right tackle, where he started the last two seasons at Florida State and won a national championship. Hart, who has experience at both guard and tackle, is looking to become a factor as the Giants find the best five players to man the offensive line.

“Bobby is a young, talented man,” McAdoo said. “He’s a rookie and has to figure some things out. But I think he has some ability, and at some point in time, maybe he’ll help us.

7. Darkwa, too.

Running back Orleans Darkwa, who scored his first NFL touchdown last season in Week 16, led the Giants in rushing in the first preseason game, carrying the ball nine times for 52 yards, and scored the lone touchdown for the offense. But his success goes beyond the one game, as Coughlin was quick to point out that he’s had “a couple good weeks.”

“Last year his special teams were outstanding,” Coughlin said. “He’s always been a pretty good—he’s run the ball on scout team for us, and done a nice job of that, too. So he has some power, he has some punch, he’s run the ball up in there for us. You know he gives you some more flexibility. Thinking about having a guy who can run behind the line of scrimmage and can play special teams.”