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Giants offensive line making progress through preseason



  1. Nothing "earthshaking" but Giants improved in second preseason game.**

The Giants were disappointed on both sides of the ball in their preseason opener in Cincinnati, where they thought the joint practices with the Bengals were better than their performance in the game. But after a week of working back home at training camp, the Giants made strides on Saturday night, defeating the Jaguars, 22-12, at MetLife Stadium in the second of four preseason games.

"I think we improved a little bit tonight; nothing earthshaking, but we did get a little bit better," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We're going to have to get a lot better. We came out throwing the ball, and obviously we were not as accurate as you'd like. We ended up throwing the ball away too many times, but we did have a lot of plays. A lot of people got experience out there tonight. [Backup quarterback Ryan] Nassib kind of fought his way through some tough goings early on and played better towards the end. I felt there were some outstanding individual plays, but again, it's in front of us. It's not all there right now, but to win is a good thing. To win at home is a good thing."

2. Offensive line seemed more comfortable.

Playing the first half, the Giants' first-team offensive line continued to build cohesion, especially on the left side with rookie tackle Ereck Flowers and guard Justin Pugh. Running to their side, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen turned in the starting unit's biggest runs of the night for 11 and 10 yards, respectively.

"Like I said last week, a lot of things went well for us last week that people really didn't get to see, like we were

just a foot off of blocking a guy and it would've gone for a touchdown," Pugh said. "So those are things that we saw and we were able to build off of that. Like I said, this is a great group of guys, great room, we're having a lot of fun playing with each other, everyone picks each other up and it's something that I am very excited about being a part of this and excited to see where it is going to go from here."

3. Defense played faster.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo put the onus on himself after his unit allowed a touchdown on the opening drive in Cincinnati. But that wasn't the case on Saturday night -- at all. The defense did not allow the Jaguars to get into the end zone, holding them to four field goals.

"I think we played better," Coughlin said about the defense. "Their first offense did a pretty good job. They hit us with that short yardage run, which is the one I remember the most. We're talking about trying to stop the run. I think they had 60] yards. We had [82], which is not where we should be. The way it comes down was a lot of snaps and probably too many passes, but for the most part we did okay against the run with the numbers being what they were. We played faster tonight.”[**

  1. Thomas let it rip against his former team.**

* *As a Jaguar last season, linebacker J.T. Thomas III turned in the best performance of his career against the Giants, who took notice and signed him in the offseason. With the roles reversed on Saturday, Thomas filled up the box score again, recording five tackles and a strip-sack that fellow linebacker Devon Kennard recovered.

"I think I concentrated on something that [defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] asked us to do earlier and that was to 'let it go and to play a little bit faster,'" Thomas said. "You've got guys taking in a new defense, sometimes you tend to slow down a little bit and that is something that [Spags] encouraged us to not do tonight and I think that is where we took a step forward as a defense."

Five standout performers in the Giants second preseason game vs. Jaguars

5. Big plays a "little off" on Saturday.

From the opening drive, it was clear the Giants wanted to get off to a fast start. On the first two plays, quarterback Eli Manning went deep to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. but came away with no completions. Overall, Beckham was targeted five times to no avail.

"I don't think we were far off on a number of them," Manning said. "I think we were pretty close, it's just about both of us getting back to being in that game situation and things were flying and just keep repping things and getting good looks at it. It's just a matter of being out there on the practice field and just keep working in these preseason games, keep working on things and we will get better. That's the point of preseason games, to see where we stand and get some of those things out of the way and see what you need to fix up and there are some things we've got to fix."**

Photos from Giants vs. Jaguars Preseason Week 2 at MetLife Stadium

  1. Schwartz benefitted from number of reps in preseason debut.**

Geoff Schwartz, who didn't play in the preseason opener due to his ankle, saw extensive action against Jacksonville, playing both right guard and right tackle. After the game, Schwartz said he felt good and was pleased the coaches put a lot on his plate.

"I need as many reps as I can just to get myself in game shape and just practice," Schwartz said. "Every time I did something today was something that I haven't done last year—I didn't play right guard last year. I haven't played right guard since 2013, so any reps I got today was extra reps to work on the things I need to work on. I'm not going to tell the coaches I don't want to go in. They tell me to go in and how you feel, and I go in. I was happy I was able to get a little more reps than I thought I would."**

Photos of the Giants 2015 official roster

  1. Safety depth took more hits.**

A week after Landon Collins hurt his knee and Mykkele Thompson's season ended with an Achilles injury, the safety depth took a few more hits on Saturday. Justin Currie fractured his ankle and Bennett Jackson sprained his knee.

"It's amazing with the way that's going," Coughlin said. "We earmarked it as a problem position for us with the safety position and we had two guys hurt tonight in that spot. Hopefully we'll get a couple of guys back to practice that weren't able to play. It's just hard to even comment on."

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