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Players to watch vs. Patriots


1) WR Hakeem Nicks – Evoking his patented "we'll see" phrase, Tom Coughlin was noncommittal on whether Nicks would see the field for the first time this preseason. However, signs are pointing that way. After practicing for the first time last week, Nicks dialed it up and went full speed on Monday. His mended foot's response, though, will dictate if he'll get any reps against the Patriots or wait for his first game against in the opener, which is only a week away.

"It looks pretty good," Nicks said after Monday's practice at the Timex Performance Center. "I'm supposed to be able to take some live snaps this week. That's what coach told me yesterday when I asked him. Doctor said the same thing. So that's what we look forward to doing."

2) CB Michael Coe – Presumably the starter in place of injured Prince Amukamara, Coe is on the verge of his third season with the Giants and enters with his greatest opportunity yet. The special teams standout now has a chance to solidify his role on the defense and play opposite Corey Webster.

"I think the coaches prepare everybody to be a starter," Coe said earlier this week. "We have a slogan, 'Always work like a champion.' Coach Pete (Giunta, the secondary/cornerbacks coach) always tells all the DBs to always prepare like a starter. You can't be shocked to be out there. You always have to prepare like that. Coach Coughlin and all the staff prepare us well for that every week. I think all the guys out here, regardless of where you are on the depth chart, we prepare like a starter."

3) DE Adewale Ojomo – Undisputed sack leader of the Giants this preseason, Ojomo isn't taking that title lightly, nor his skills. The undrafted rookie out of Miami has 3.0 sacks in three games -- 2.0 against the Jets and another versus the Bears. There's not much room on the roster for another defensive end, but Ojomo is making the decision harder with each game he plays.

"No, I haven't really been surprised," he said. "I just believe in myself, believe in the coaching that I'm getting from coach Robert Nunn, what I'm getting from these guys, that's it. I wouldn't be surprised if I went out and had a couple more sacks this game. It's not surprising to me."

4) WR Ramses Barden – It took until his fourth preseason for Barden to find the end zone in a New York Giants uniform. Nonetheless, he broke through against the Bears, leading the team with three catches for 46 yards. Barden has shown flashes before, but it's always been a matter of consistency and staying healthy. No one knows that better than Barden, who will look to put up some more numbers in the final game of the preseason.

5) WR David Douglas – Battling the numbers game, Douglas had an impressive performance against the Bears in the third preseason week, despite having a 37-yard punt return and a 36-yard reception negated by holding penalties. He looked confident as anyone back returning punts, and special teams is where rookies, especially undrafted ones, need to make their marks.


As part of the Giants' partnership with Melanoma Exposed (TM), free skin cancer screenings will be held at the Giants vs. Patriots pre-season game on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit Melanoma Exposed is an educational campaign – led by leading melanoma advocacy groups, former professional football coach Bill Cowher and Bristol-Myers Squibb – to raise awareness of melanoma and its risk factors and to encourage people to get screened.

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