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5 players to watch in Giants vs. Browns


After two days of joint practices, the New York Giants take on the Cleveland Browns this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. It is the second of three warm-up games as the NFL reduced the preseason schedule with the addition of a 17th regular-season game in 2021.

"I don't think as a coach you ever feel fully confident in where your team is conditioning-wise until you can measure it against somebody else on a field for a duration of time," coach Joe Judge said before Friday's joint practice. "In terms of where we are, I mean look, training camp's not what it used to be. The duration is different. The ramp up is different. You try to push your team to make sure they can stay on the field healthy and then play effectively for 60 minutes with good football position and fundamentals. That's the key part of what we're looking for. I thought that was a positive yesterday that showed up in our practice."

As the Giants continue to evaluate their roster, here are five players to watch on Sunday in Cleveland:

OT Matt Peart

While the Giants rested most of their starters on both sides of the ball last week, including quarterback Daniel Jones, Judge chose to play the first-team offensive line for a handful of series to start the game. That included right tackle Matt Peart, who bookends the offensive line opposite fellow second-year pro Andrew Thomas. Peart played only 150 offensive snaps as a rookie, so the Giants will make sure he can as many live reps as possible heading into the regular season.

LB Azeez Ojulari

The rookie second-round pick generated some buzz last week with holding his own against Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, last year's 11 overall draft choice who has more than 100 pounds on Ojulari.

"For his first game, he had some good plays, he had some bad plays," assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "There were plays against Becton and the fullback that I saw there, but it was okay. He has a lot of room to grow. I'm encouraged by the fact that he played hard, his conditioning's coming along, he's playing with his hands being physical, but he still has a ways to go just like most of us. It was encouraging that he got out there and came away, no penalties, no injuries, so that was encouraging."

Check out must-see photos from the joint practices between the Giants and Browns in Cleveland.

WR David Sills V

Sills, who has been a standout at training camp, hauled in a 37-yard pass deep down the sideline from third-string quarterback Clayton Thorson late in the first half of last week's game. Sills also drew a passing interference penalty that brought the Giants deep into Jets territory earlier in the half. Sills, who hadn't played a game since the 2019 preseason after an injury kept him out the entire 2020 season, led the team with 49 yards on three receptions.

"It was really good and exciting to get out there," Sills said. "It was nice to kind of get that first catch, first hit, kind of got the nerves going a little bit, but after that, it's kind of like, all right, let's go, let's go have some fun."

RB Sandro Platzgummer

Originally signed by the Giants as part of the NFL's International Player Pathway Program last season, the Austrian running back recorded his first NFL carry for a 3-yard gain in the fourth quarter. While noteworthy, it was outdone by his second carry, which went for 48 yards. No one was more excited on the sideline than fellow running back Saquon Barkley, who was seen jumping up and down in celebration.

"You know what, everyone likes Sandro, best way I can put it," Judge said. "Everyone likes him. He works hard. Everyone was glad to see his opportunity, and everyone was happy for him when he got in and made the most of it. I think you can boil it down right there. He's a guy that the players really respect and like. These guys in the program he's in, as far as some of the overseas players, it's always a different path for these guys, a different background. I think these guys understand and recognize he's from Austria, he's far away from home. There's some unique things about Sandro. He's really finishing up and finalizing being a doctor over in Europe, so there's a lot of things to him. He works hard. He doesn't say boo. He doesn't ever complain. He just comes in and does his job and the team respects the way he works. When anybody has success like that, I think everyone shares and enjoys it."

LB Carter Coughlin

A seventh-round draft choice in 2020, Coughlin has moved from outside to inside in his second season and appeared to thrive in the move on Saturday night. He recorded five tackles, including a strip-sack of backup quarterback Mike White in the third quarter.

"It's awesome that they're moving me around and allowing me to try out different things," Coughlin said. "It was a challenge moving from outside to inside, but the coaches and the other inside linebackers have been helping me a lot and that allows me to play fast and pick up on different things. Guys like (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) have been really helping me out and it's been a blast."

"I thought Carter did a good job for us overall," Judge said after the preseason opener. "He had a couple of things that we have to clean up and nothing was perfect with him, but in terms of a motor, Carter plays with a motor. He's got good athleticism, he has good play strength, he shows some instincts and obviously with us moving him back and forth inside and outside -- the inside is new to him. So there's a lot of things that for him he's experiencing for the first time, but I'd say he's flashed positively throughout camp."

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