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Fact or Fiction: WR Randle on returns


Rueben Randle will have the chance to return punts or kicks against the Jets.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - I think he'll do one or both. Coach Coughlin is going to want to explore all of his options in the return game and Randle has done an excellent job with ball security on his catches as training camp. He has even gotten over the bad habit of catching the ball too low. Now it's time to see if he can do it in a game.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I can see him doing one, but not both. Although the coaches are eager to see what the young players can handle, they don't want to put too much on their plates too soon. Randle will get a long look at receiver. He could, for example, return kickoffs vs. the Jets and punts next week against Chicago.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact – Everything is still on the table. At camp, the returners were exceptional in securing the ball, meaning the two missteps by Jerrel Jernigan and Jayron Hosley last week against Jacksonville were mental mistakes. Randle has good hands. In fact, special teams coordinator Tom Quinn says he sometimes can trust his hands too much and catches a return like a pass, instead of getting underneath. Put him back there. See what he can do. That's what the preseason is for.

David Diehl will play left tackle on opening night if William Beatty isn't back from injury.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - I'm not sure the Giants have many other options. Diehl was very good at left tackle when he played there for the Giants, and Locklear will fit in just fine on the right side. I don't think James Brewer is quite ready for a starting role yet. He needs some more NFL seasoning. Diehl is a known quantity and the Giants will be fine with him at left tackle.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - Diehl would be – by far – their best option at left tackle if Beatty is sidelined. Diehl has 65 regular season starts at left tackle. And moving Diehl to left tackle would enable Sean Locklear, who has been playing on the left side, to shift to right tackle, which he says is his best position.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact – Just like last year, Diehl will be there if you need him. He's comfortable there and has the experience. If Beatty can't go, Diehl is the best option back to left tackle, leaving Sean Locklear to man the other side. Additionally, I don't think it will happen soon, but James Brewer is a guy I always keep an eye on.

Jerrel Jernigan will catch four or more passes on Saturday night.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Jernigan had his best practice in a while on the final day in Albany, making a number of catches down the field on the sideline. He could be poised for a breakout performance, and the time is now to have one. The competition is fierce at wide receiver and performances in preseason games will go a long way towards deciding who will get playing time in the regular season. Jernigan needs to make his mark.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I think it's more likely the coaches will let Jernigan catch two punts, let him regain any confidence he might have lost when he mishandled one last week, and then let someone else do it.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - I'm not saying he can't or won't, but I just need to see it first. He made some outstanding plays in Albany, but couldn't get into the mix in the Jacksonville game with no receptions on two targets. It's just a matter of piecing it together for Jernigan.

Dwayne Hendricks will get significant playing time for the Giants this season.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - With their defensive tackles dropping like flies, Hendricks will have a great opportunity to contribute, and Coach Coughlin loves his work effort. I would expect him to be a rotation player behind probable starters Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - I say that with an asterisk, because it depends on factors that are beyond Hendricks' control. When will Chris Canty return? Is Marvin Austin healthy? Will Rocky Bernard hold up playing more snaps? Is Markus Kuhn a factor? Will Linval Joseph stay healthy? Hendricks could get significant playing time. I just don't know if he will.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact – It's amazing the way the NFL finds a way to humble a position that you thought couldn't get any deeper. With the injuries, any playing time will be significant for Hendricks, who has been waived and re-signed by the Giants four times since coming out of college in 2009. Despite having just one game of playing experience, Tom Coughlin dares anyone to go up against him in practice. He's paid his dues and having a pair of sacks last week will only further his case. While no one takes pleasure in injuries, Hendricks is a competitor and will relish the chance. The opportunity is there.


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