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James Brewer looks comfortable at LG

For the NFL's final dress rehearsal, the Giants cast James Brewer in a role he had never before played.

But the early reviews say he looked the part.

Brewer, the Giants' 2011 fourth-round draft choice, is officially listed as a tackle but started at left guard on Thursday night in Foxboro against the Patriots. Leading up to the fourth and final preseason game, Brewer had experience at both tackle positions and even at right guard while cornerstone Chris Snee opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

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Snee returned two weeks ago, but injuries to fellow offensive linemen David Diehl and David Baas forced the Giants to shuffle their players. Brewer landed at left guard for the night. A week of film review and preparing for the season opener next Sunday will dictate where he sticks.

But for the time being, Brewer will play wherever asked after dressing for only eight games in his career.

"I felt pretty good at left guard," Brewer said after the 28-20 loss to New England. "I think after the first play got out of the way, I felt pretty confident as far as how I performed at that position."

That first play was a 15-yard pass from Eli Manning to tight end Brandon Myers, but it wasn't until the third drive that the offense found a rhythm. After two possessions that amounted to 19 yards on seven plays, the Giants put together a 10-play, 91-yard drive in 5:42 that ended in Manning's three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.

The time filling in for Snee acclimated Brewer to playing on the top line.

"During the spring, I was at right guard with the ones, so I've kind of been up there with them," Brewer said. "I kind of know how they talk and stuff like that. So it wasn't really an issue of talking and gelling or anything like that."

With 105 yards on 30 attempts, the run game broke the century mark for the second consecutive game, but the Giants gave up four sacks on the night. The offense also managed to go just 4 of 15 on third-down conversions while coaches tried different combinations on the line, including sliding Brewer over to left tackle.

What that means for Sept. 8th in Dallas remains to be seen, but Brewer proved to himself he is ready to start.

"I think tonight I definitely showed that I can handle the responsibility playing left guard with the ones," he said.

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