EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The current Giants roster includes three first-year players who arrived unheralded and undrafted and overcame the odds to make the team: tight end Jerome Cunningham, linebacker Uani 'Unga, as well as Nikita Whitlock, who played fullback, defensive tackle and on special teams in the Giants' 12-9 preseason victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night.
"Without a doubt, they flashed," Coughlin said. "They flashed and they followed through. It's not all the finished product by any means, but they are young and they do play hard. There hasn't been many big plays the whole fall (preseason), but Cunningham has made a couple of them, outstanding catches. Geremy Davis has made plays.
He's a special teamer. He's out there on the practice field every day. He's out there. Be out there on the practice field. Maybe we can make some progress if you're out there. It's hard to make progress when you're not."
Regarding Whitlock, Coughlin said, "What'd he make, two or three tackles on special teams the other night. That's the thing. He's a four-core special teamer (playing on the punt and punt return, kickoff and kickoff return teams). He's had them all, and knows full well why he's here."
Unga led the Giants in the preseason with 24 tackles (14 solo)
"You definitely do see the potential," Coughlin said. "He can run, he's physical, he's got some skill. He's got a deep skill level. He's got a lot to learn about the position."