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What we learned at Giants Media Hour (8/17)

Posted Aug 17, 2015

Giants.com's Dan Salomone highlights seven takeaways from media hour

1. Meriweather brings a “degree of toughness.”

On Sunday, the New York Giants added veteran safety Brandon Meriweather, previously of the Washington Redskins, to bolster their secondary after a string of injuries to the group. Shortly after signing, Meriweather immediately took the field at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center and practiced with his new team.

>> WATCH GIANTS PLAYER INTERVIEWS

“Brandon Meriweather, who we’ve played against before, he’s a very physical safety, comes down in the box very well,” coach Tom Coughlin said before Monday’s training camp practice. “He’ll bring a degree of toughness to our secondary, to that position, so we welcome him.”

2. The veteran safety was on the radar.

Regarding the thinking behind bringing in Meriweather, a former first-round draft choice and two-time Pro Bowler who was unsigned as of early Sunday, Coughlin provided a window into the process of how the free agent was acquired. Meriweather was placed on injured reserve last December with a toe injury, ending his eighth NFL season and third with Washington.

>> WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM TRAINING CAMP

“There’s a list,” Coughlin said. “Who’s available? Who isn’t? It happens every day. Some come off, some come on. He’s been on that list since the non-signing in Washington, but he did have the toe issues, which anybody and everybody in the league, I’m sure, was monitoring. He hasn’t worked out that many places, to be honest with you, so the timing is just about right for our need.”

3. Spags: defense thought too much in opener.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took the “onus” for the Bengals’ opening drive touchdown on Friday night in the first preseason game. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton completed all three of his passes, including a 3-yard touchdown to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, as the Giants went on to lose, 23-10.

“You know what I attribute that to? And we talked about it. I think they were thinking too much because they wanted to be right, and it’s the first game, and there’s a lot of youth on our side of the ball,” Spagnuolo said. “I think it was more that, look, we focused a lot on that and we’re talking about it now. I’m hoping in this next go-around, that it will be ‘think fast and just go.’ That’s what the defensive game is all about. I told them, don’t worry about making mistakes. Maybe I didn’t say that enough going into the game. If you’re a guy and you want to make the football team, and they’re always being corrected for an error, they want to be perfect. We’re going to chase perfection, but we’re going to rely on relentless. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

4. Cruz building up to preseason debut.

After traveling to Cincinnati for some limited work against the Bengals, wide receiver Victor Cruz took another step in his comeback from a 2014 season-ending knee injury. But despite feeling “no pain” and being able to practice, Cruz did not play in the first preseason game as a precaution. Whether or not he will play this week, Coughlin could not say, only that he is “going to practice.”

“He has to do things gradually, and he’s doing them gradually,” Coughlin said. “He’s getting to where he needs to be, and his mindset is outstanding. We brought him to the game [preseason opener at Cincinnati] for a reason. We put him into the workout in Cincinnati for a reason. He didn’t get a chance to play in the game, but he saw it. He was in it. He was involved. He was mentally involved, and he’s looking forward to going to the next step.”

5. Newhouse ready to go.


Right tackle Marshall Newhouse overheated during Sunday’s practice and was carted off early on a muggy day in East Rutherford. Before Monday’s training camp session, Coughlin updated his status, saying, “He seems he’s going to be ready to go. We have to watch him, but he’s going to be ready to go.”

6. Schwartz plans to play Saturday; Coughlin sees him as a tackle and a guard.

Stepping in for Newhouse at right tackle yesterday, Schwartz expects to practice the rest of the week, which means he will likely make his preseason debut on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Schwartz, who is coming off ankle surgery that ended his first season with the Giants, could come back and play either inside or outside on the offensive line.

“He’s played all those positions his whole career— both sides— so, wherever we need him,” Coughlin said. “He’s smart enough. He understands it. He can play multiple positions.”

7. Wade stepping up.

After notching the first interception of training camp practices, fourth-year defensive back Trevin Wade, who previously played in Cleveland and New Orleans, grabbed the first interception of the preseason when he picked off Cincinnati’s Keith Wenning in the fourth quarter and returned it 61 yards. Two days later, in the first practice back, Wade ended the two-minute drill by defending a pass from Eli Manning that he flipped up to a diving Bennett Jackson for the interception.

“Yeah, I’m glad you brought Trevin up, he’s done a nice job,” Spagnuolo told a group of reporters. “When a guy steps up, he’s around the ball, he’s making plays—he made a big one at the end, I think you have to recognize that. At first I don’t think anybody really knew where he was, as a player. But it’s good to see him, I’d like to see more guys do that.”