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Mailbag: Rookie playing time; committing to the run


Mark in New York: How do you feel about the Giants playing a lot of their rookies?

John Schmeelk: It's unclear how may more rookies you want the Giants to play! Shane Lemieux and Andrew Thomas are starting on the left side of the offensive line. Matt Peart is rotating in at right tackle. Xavier McKinney played a season-high 38 snaps last week. Carter Coughlin played a career-high 81% of the defensive snaps against Arizona and that was more than any Giants' edge rusher or linebacker other than Blake Martinez. Tae Crowder has a prominent role on the defense as an inside linebacker in passing situations. He played 45 defensive snaps and seven on special teams. Cam Brown plays at least as many special teams snaps than anyone on the roster, and his role in the defense is expanding. Darnay Holmes was hurt last week, but normally he is the team's starting nickel cornerback. Aside from seventh-round pick Chris Williamson, who was recently released from the practice squad, Brunson is the only rookie from a 10-player class who is not getting a lot of snaps.

Luke in New York: We all know that its difficult to win a game if you lose the turnover battle; but do you think the Giants should have continued to try to establish the run despite being down big in the middle of the third quarter? Although the Cardinals geared up to stop it all game, I was expecting a heavy dose of the run, given that Jones was likely not 100% and Arizona did not come in with a scary rush defense.

John Schmeelk: The Giants continued to try to run the ball. Even after going down, 20-0, in the third quarter, the Giants kept it on the ground for four of the seven plays on their touchdown drive. On their next drive, the Giants ran nine yards on second-and-10. After an Arizona field goal, the Giants ran it on first-and-10. They did not give up on the run. Their biggest issue was failing to convert a lot of very reasonable third downs (including a third-and-1 and third-and-4 on those two drives) that could have lengthened their possessions and allowed a bigger commitment to the run game.


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