EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The Giants' offensive line has provided more questions than answers in this training camp, but coordinator Ben McAdoo expects a positive resolution to all of the unit's issues.
"I'm excited for the offensive line," McAdoo said today in his first meeting with reporters since camp opened on July 30. "I think they're growing and they're ahead of where they were last year. The saying is, 'We're not where we want to be, but thank goodness we're not where we used to be.' From a physicality standpoint and communication standpoint, they're growing."
McAdoo entered camp with five players in different positions on the line. Left tackle Will Beatty would have been a holdover, but he tore a pectoral muscle in May and is sidelined. Justin Pugh (right tackle to left guard) and Weston Richburg (left guard to center) are in new positions. Rookie Ereck Flowers, the team's first-round draft choice, is the left tackle. Free agent signee Marshall Newhouse has been the starting right tackle. Geoff Schwartz, who missed all but two games last season with toe and ankle injuries, is penciled in at right guard, but missed much of camp before returning this week.
"He did so-so," coach Tom Coughlin said of Schwartz's return to practice earlier this week. "Trying to get him to go every day. His second day wasn't as good as his first. But hopefully he gets better."
"I need to see Geoff play," McAdoo said. "He's coming off of a major injury. He needs to get back out on the field and needs to do it on a consistent basis."
Schwartz isn't the only lineman to miss practice time. Flowers (hip flexor) and Richburg (knee) sat out some workouts, and Newhouse left practice early on Sunday with a heat-related issue.
Ideally, the coaches want their top five linemen to practice together every day to build the communication and continuity that is so important on any offensive front.
"In a perfect world, that's how things work, but this isn't," McAdoo said. "It's far from a perfect world and our philosophy here is next man up. We don't think twice about it."
"I just want to find the five guys that work best together, as soon as we can," said Coughlin, whose team hosts Jacksonville in preseason game No. 2 on Saturday. "Whether it's the second, third preseason game. There's a certain number that we're going to have to depend on, and they're going to have to be versatile enough to play in some different spots. And so, obviously, I'd like it to happen fast, but you've had a guy like Schwartz that hasn't practiced much. You have Marshall, (who) has been out a day or so. So we've had some of that."
One of the players the coaches are taking a long look at is Bobby Hart, the seventh-round draft choice from Florida State. Hart played guard the first two weeks of training camp but has worked at tackle this week.
"We're trying to bring a couple of young guys around," Coughlin said. "We're trying to get Hart going. And he's had some good days, and days that are not as good. So I'm looking for some consistency in his play as well."
"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 may be able to help us."
- Coughlin said wide receivers Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle will not practice today.
Cruz has what Coughlin called, "a little strain in the calf area." Randle has not practiced since last Tuesday in Cincinnati because of tendonitis in his knee. "We thought Randle was going to be ready to go today, but he's not going to practice today," Coughlin said.
Coughlin said Cruz's issue is unrelated to his torn patellar tendon, which was surgically-repaired last year.
"No, not at all," Coughlin said. "Probably dehydration, little bit of that."
- Defensive end George Selvie, who left practice early on Monday after suffering a knee injury, does not have ligament damage. "Had a little tissue, little strain," Coughlin said. "He gives everything he's got. I don't really think he'll be too long. He can't go today, but I think he'll be back soon."
- Cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) and safety Nat Berhe (calf) continue to make steady progress in their recoveries.
"They're little by little," Coughlin said. "Little by little, they're doing it. You don't see much of them in the team stuff, but they're working their way back in there, which is good. They take all the jog-through and all that business, they take. And some of the individual. Hopefully, we can advance that part of it."
- Coughlin on the professionalism of quarterback Eli Manning: "How high does it go? What's the number you want, 1-10? … 11."
- The Giants were awarded defensive tackle Jimmy Staten off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Staten, 6-4 and 311 pounds, was Seattle's fifth-round draft choice (172nd pick overall) in 2014, from Middle Tennessee State. He was waived at the end of training camp last year and was signed on and off Seattle's practice squad four times. The Seahawks re-signed him on Feb. 4 and waived on Monday. He had two tackles in Seattle's preseason opener last week vs. Denver. At Middle Tennessee, Staten played in 49 collegiate with 35 starts and was a team captain as a senior. He finished his career with 100 tackles (46 solo), 7.0 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks and one pass breakup.
To make room on the roster, the Giants released another defensive tackle, Carlif Taylor of the Bronx and Southern Connecticut State.
Photos of DT Jimmy Staten who the Giants acquired from Seattle on waivers