EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – An opening preseason game is not normally a landmark event for a player with Eli Manning’s achievements and experience. But the Hall of Fame Game to be played Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills is a little different, because the Giants will operate their new offense against another team for the first time.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz is eager to see the revamped attack in game conditions.
“It is a new offense,” Cruz said, “so we are excited to get out there and run our offense against someone other than ourselves and see how it goes and how other teams take and play it and what things we can do against other teams. As well as how we do against our own team to see what skills we have and see things that we can do right. It should be exciting for us.
“(We want) to go out there and be clean offensively and be concise, and try to have as few mental errors as possible and we will see happens.”
McAdoo has installed an offense that is fast-paced and features both a strong running game and shorter, well-timed passes. The offense has had several productive days in practice. But as Manning pointed out, it’s much more challenging to execute in a game. He has to hear the call from McAdoo, relay it to other players, get everyone lined up correctly, remain cognizant of the play clock, study the defense and…execute the play.
“We’ll be trying to get in and out of the huddle fast,” Manning said, “get to the line of scrimmage, get things declared and try to push our guys and see if we can have a quick tempo and see if that will help out our play.”
Cruz said he expects McAdoo to push the offense to execute at a fast pace when the starters are on the field.
“I think we are going to put us right to the test,” he said, “and see how well we know the offense, how well this thing can perform at a high level. I think right off the bat we will be, maybe not no-huddle, but a little bit more up-tempo.”
- Tom Coughlin was not prepared to say how long his starters will play Sunday, though they typically last just two or three series in a preseason opener. And the Giants play an extra preseason game this month.
“A lot depends on how the final version from the medical people comes to us,” Coughlin said. “Some areas or positions are a little bit stressed and others aren’t, so we’ll see how that goes. But we’ll have a minimal number for the starters. Now there are many positions that we’re trying to establish who that is. It’s not a given. In that regard, maybe guys will be playing more.”
- Manning will start at quarterback and backups Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter are both expected to play.
- This doesn’t exactly qualify as a surprise, but Coughlin’s objectives for the first game have changed little from year-to-year.
“It’s obvious that you don’t play a game without wanting to win,” he said. “But it’s the overall picture of the organizational things, the substitutions, the penalties – holding them to a bare minimum; don’t turn the ball over, don’t make the game a sloppy game. Establish some of the things we’d like to do. For example, I’d like to be able to run the ball and be able to do that in the first game this weekend as well. I’m sure Buffalo wants the same thing. So we have those kinds of goals, the specifics about it we’ll present to the team. Coming out of camp – we have not been here very long – have an opportunity to play a game, see what people are like under those circumstances, the enthusiasm, the energy, certainly come out of the game without injuries, all those things.”
- X-rays on rookie cornerback Bennett Jackson’s ankle revealed no break, but Coughlin said, “it’s a significant ankle sprain.”
In addition to Jackson, players missing practice today included running back David Wilson (burner), tackle Will Beatty (headache), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder), defensive end Robert Ayers (ankle), wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), linebacker Spencer Paysinger (concussion), receiver/return specialist Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and tight end Xavier Grimble (hamstring).