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5 players to watch against the Bengals



The best photos from the Giants-Bengals Joint-Practice


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The Giants drafted Ereck Flowers ninth overall with the belief that he could one day be their franchise left tackle. They just didn't know it would be so soon. Starter Will Beatty, who hasn't missed a game since 2011, tore a pectoral muscle that required surgery in May and will keep him out until at least late October.

While we see how long starters play in Friday's preseason opener in Cincinnati -- coach Tom Coughlin said usually it's just one or two series -- Flowers will make his NFL debut as part of a new-look offensive line which will go a long way in determining the Giants' success this season.

"I think you just throw everything at him," quarterback Eli Manning said this week after joint practices with the Bengals. "We'll look at the film today and if there were mistakes we'll make the corrections. We'll get on the same page. I have to continue to communicate and look at the film and see how we can do a better job just being quicker, making all of our calls, and getting up there and getting the ball snapped."


From cornerback to safety and now possibly the nickel, the Giants are throwing everything at Bennett Jackson, a second-year pro who spent his rookie season on the practice squad injured reserve after being drafted in the sixth round. It's all part of the plan to find the best safety tandem after the Giants returned no starters at the position from a year ago. While players rotate in and out, keep an eye on where Jackson lines up.


"To move from corner to safety and pick up all the terminology and run fits and things of that nature, and still come out and play nickel a little bit—that says a lot about him," veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. "So he's definitely been doing a good job."


Wide receiver Geremy Davis, the Giants' sixth-round pick from the University of Connecticut, carried over the momentum he built in East Rutherford to Cincinnati this week. Seeing reps with the ones, Davis is proving he is more than a special teamer and has shown his receiving ability on numerous occasions, including making a tough touchdown catch over cornerback Adam Jones in Wednesday's scrimmage with the Bengals.

"I think I've been doing pretty well," Davis said. "[Wide receivers] coach [Sean] Ryan is doing a good job of coaching all the wideouts and telling me what to do on this release or this stance or this route; he's consistent with it, and he's definitely making me a better wide receiver, too."


The preseason is the backup quarterback's season. While starters don't traditionally play the entire game, backup quarterbacks take their most important reps in the preseason, where Ryan Nassib enters his third year in such a role behind Manning.

"Very, very important," Coughlin said about Nassib this preseason. "For his development, yeah, this is where, again, he takes that next step. He took a nice step a year ago and hopefully he'll do it again this preseason." * CB JAYRON HOSLEY*

Dealing with injuries, inconsistency, and a suspension throughout his three years in the NFL, cornerback Jayron Hosley, a former third-round draft pick, is trying to turn over a new "leaf" this season. In a new scheme under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Hosley has been playing more on the outside as opposed to past seasons when he was often used as a slot corner.

Additionally, some injuries in the secondary, including fellow cornerback Prince Amukamara, will provide plenty of chances on Friday to show a "different" Hosley.

"I'm hoping," Coughlin said. "He certainly came back in excellent condition and I think he's very serious about it right now and he's trying and he senses this is a critical, critical camp for him. We're all hoping he comes through in the fashion we thought of him when we drafted him."

Players on the Cincinnati Bengals

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