Giants vs. Steelers: 8 things to watch for

Posted Aug 8, 2014 highlights eight things to look out for as the Giants face the Steelers Saturday night

1. Patterns starting to emerge.

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The Giants excelled at times and struggled during others in last weekend’s Hall of Fame Game against the Buffalo Bills. The starters will see slightly more time on the field on Saturday as coaches gather more film on the team, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses heading into the 2014 campaign.

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2. How the back end of the depth chart performs. 
While the first and second teams take slightly more reps, the preseason is all about seeing what the bottom of the roster can do. “I still want to see, if we can, everyone who is dressed,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “If they are able to play, I would like to see them all.”

>> Giants vs. Steelers Broadcast Info

3. Ryan Nassib’s development. 
Last week the No. 2 quarterback completed 7-of-12 passes for 139 yards, the bulk of which came on a late 73-yard touchdown to Corey Washington that turned out to be the difference in the Giants’ 17-13 victory. “I thought that Ryan, for the most part, did a good job,” Coughlin said the day after the game. “The one interception that was overruled, I thought, was a very bad play. I am not sure why that happened. For the most part of it, he did direct his team and he did throw the ball well enough and I am sure he is looking forward to continuing his development and getting in the game next week and having more opportunities.”

>> Giants vs. Steelers Broadcast Info

4. Tight end rotation.
If there was one, the pecking order in the tight end competition hasn’t changed much as each player has shown a flash or two at times this summer. “They will be rotated through again,” Coughlin said. “Kellen Davis is a guy that got work late in the game the other night, and he’ll get more work this week, too.”

5. Running back depth. 
In addition to David Wilson being advised this week to quit playing football due to a neck and spine condition, fellow running back Peyton Hillis will be out for “a little while” with an ankle/foot injury. Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams made an impressive one-two punch last week, but who else can handle part of the load? Kendall Gaskins and Michael Cox are there, and Coughlin repeated throughout the week that the fullbacks can play running back as well.


6. If players like Marcus Harris and Corey Washington can carry over success. 
The two wide receivers fighting for roster spots had good showings against the Bills and followed up with a successful week of practice, drawing the attention of coaches, teammates, fans, and media alike. But the NFL is all about consistency.

7. Tablets on the sideline. 
The coaching staff is still working out the kinks of using tablets on the sidelines during games as opposed to the old-school three-ring binders. “I thought it was really effective,” wide receivers coach Sean Ryan said. “It’s a good teaching tool. I thought the guys were able to see it. It’s a little bit clearer for them than the old photographs were so I thought it was really good. The guys seemed to like it. I think it’s going to be a real useful tool for us down the road.”

8. Longer extra points. 
For the next two preseason games, NFL kickers will be attempting extra points from the 15-yard line (opposed to the standard 2-yard line) as part of a league experiment. Giants kicker Josh Brown was the first one up with the temporary rule change, knocking in both of his 33-yard extra points in the Hall of Fame Game. >> KICKER JOSH BROWN LIKES CHALLENGE