It was an unusual twist on Tom Coughlin's standard review the day following a game: The best news he had concerned two injured players.
Everything's relative, of course. But it seemed last night that Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley might have suffered serious injuries in the Giants' 26-3 victory over the Jets. But Coughlin said on a conference call today that wasn't the case.
Bradshaw, the Giants' leading rusher the previous two seasons, was X-rayed during the game and was limited to three carries. Coughlin said Bradshaw was still being examined, but has a "right hand contusion." He didn't say if Bradshaw will practice tomorrow or be available for the preseason home opener Friday night vs. Chicago.
Hosley, the third-round choice in this year's draft who electrified the crowd with a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown, wore a protective boot on his right foot following the game. While that sometimes indicates a fracture, Coughlin responded to a question about Hosley by saying, "They're going to deal with it as a turf toe kind of an issue. It's a toe issue. Hopefully, nothing will turn up in terms of all the tests. And then it's something that's going to be very sore, there's no doubt. How he is able to deal with it will indicate how fast he can get back o the practice field."
Hosley said he didn't know when he was injured and disagreed with post-game speculation that he was hurt high-stepping into the end zone.
"I was running, and I didn't feel anything at that point," Hosley said. "It was just green grass and the fans screaming. I was just going for the touchdown, that's it."
After watching the tape, Coughlin couldn't tell when the injury occurred.
"He had a couple of punt returns and that play (the interception)," Coughlin said. "He only played seven plays from scrimmage. As far as I know, he did not clarify when it happened."
As for the game itself, Coughlin was not exactly doing cartwheels. "You're always happy to win," Coughlin said. "However, there's an awful lot of things that have to be corrected."
Perhaps no area needs to be addressed more forcefully than a rushing attack that produced only 58 yards and 1.8 yards a carry. In two games, the Giants have 184 rushing yards and an average of 3.2 yards an attempt.
The individual numbers last night were unsightly. Rookie David Wilson led the Giants with 26 yards on eight carries. D.J. Ware had 15 yards on 11 carries, Andre Brown 10 on four attempts, Da'Rel Scott seven on three and Bradshaw finished with two yards. Wilson, Ware, Brown and Scott all tied for the Giants' long run of the night – seven yards.
"The biggest thing, I felt like I had no missed assignments, went out and executed," said Wilson, the first-round draft choice who has led the 1-1 Giants in rushing in each of their two preseason games. "I had a couple close ones. One of them, the guy kind of grabbed my jersey. I have to credit him on his strong fingers, but I was just trying to go out there and get better each week. Last week I had mental errors, and this week, not to my knowledge, we'll go back and watch film, but not to my knowledge did I have any."
"We had a couple of decent runs, as I said, David had a nice run, Andre Brown had a nice run that was called back," Coughlin said. "Da'Rel Scott had a couple of runs where he ran up in there hard, although we didn't have a lot of yardage to show for it."
Perhaps it's indicative of the current state of the running game that in Coughlin's runners rundown his most pointed praise was for fullback Henry Hynoski – who gained two yards on his first-ever NFL carry. But Coughlin hinted Hynoski could get the ball more in the future.
"The short yardage pick-up by Henry, although not a lot of distance, was a plus for us," Coughlin said. "We've not always, in the last couple of years, been very good in that area. That was a plus. It gave us one more form of a weapon to be utilized in that circumstance. That was a good thing."
Overall, the Giants gained 230 yards and averaged 3.9 yards per play.
"From an offensive standpoint (we had) nothing consistent, and that was bothersome to me," Coughlin said.
Coughlin was bothered by two plays in particular, one of them on special teams. The first was an overthrown Eli Manning pass that was intercepted by safety LaRon Landry in the second quarter.
"It was kind of a throwaway," Manning said of the pass that flew over Rueben Randle's head. "I didn't want to throw it, just throw it over the head of the receiver, and try to get it more out of bounds than what happened. So, I didn't want to throw it to the receiver. I just have to make it more obvious, and throw it out of bounds."
"Our field position was good there, we were almost at midfield, we would've had the opportunity to drive the ball down and do some more work offensively instead of turning it over right back to them," Coughlin said.
The coach was also displeased that Steve Weatherford's punt was partially blocked by Aaron Maybin. The Jets took possession on their own 46-yard line, but couldn't take advantage of the 21-yard punt because Hosley soon picked off Mark Sanchez's pass and scored on the return.
"Certainly the blocked punt creates a big issue for you," Coughlin said. "Usually when a punt gets blocked, the team that had the punt blocked loses the game. We were fortunate that that didn't happen."
Beginning tomorrow, Coughlin and the Giants will get back to work so they win games more with proficient play and less with good fortune.
*Coughlin said linebacker Mark Herzlich (hip pointer) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (hamstring), each of whom left the game, will be sore.
"They need to get back out on the field, and they both know it," Coughlin said. "It's a shame that that happened, especially as quickly as it did last night without many reps. I'm hoping they can play through some of this."