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Upon Further Review: Latest on Safety unit

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Here now, the Giants' daily safeties report.


NEWS
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The position that has been constantly headlined this summer was back in the news today. Tom Coughlin discussed several safety-related subjects on his conference call, a day after the Giants dropped a 28-18 decision to the Jets in the MetLife Bowl. The Giants will conclude their preseason schedule Thursday night at New England.

The good news was that third-year pro Cooper Taylor and rookie Landon Collins, who missed the victory last week over Jacksonville with toe and knee injuries, respectively, made a positive impression in their return to action. Taylor had three solo tackles and the Giants' only sack in a reserve role. Collins started and also had three tackles (two solo).

"Both of those guys made some plays; yeah, they did," Coughlin said. "They got up there and tackled. Cooper Taylor got a sack coming off the weak side and Collins had some nice plays and some hits. He made a nice tackle. They got out there, they played, they got that experience in and are no worse for wear."

But the Giants remain thin at the position. Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson and Justin Currie have suffered season-ending injuries, and Nat Berhe, who was expected to contend for a starting job, underwent surgery to rrepair a calf issue.

Berhe has expressed on social media his desire to return this season, but Coughlin isn't certain that's possible.

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**"I think there is more information trying to be gathered," Coughlin said. "There (are) decisions that have to be made, and of course there is a very short amount of time to make them in. So I appreciate very much Nat's optimism. I wish it had a bigger factor on the healing process, because he has been in a good frame of mind ever since last spring. For whatever is going on down there, it wasn't to be, and so now that he has had some further work done, I hope that we can rectify that situation."

In their continuing effort to fortify the back of their defense, the Giants will bring in old friend Stevie Brown, who was released Friday by the Houston Texans. Brown played for the Giants from 2012-14 (he spent the 2013 season on injured reserve). Brown set a franchise record with 307 interception return yards in 2012.

"We're going to bring him in and give him a physical," Coughlin said. "The thinking behind that is to try and improve that position. This goes for every team in the league, but if there is a player that, in this case we know this player well, but if that player can come in there and help us, then we're interested."

*Coughlin also discussed several topics that were not safety-related. Victor Cruz has yet to play this preseason, missing the last two games with a strained calf muscle. Coughlin was asked if he expects Cruz to practice this week.

"Not as far as I know," Coughlin said. "I have not been told that. Progress, yes, but he has not definitely been given the green light."

The Giants open their regular season two weeks from tonight in Dallas. Would Coughlin have an issue playing Cruz if he hasn't participated in a preseason game?

"Well, everybody has issues with it," Coughlin said. "You need to practice, you really do. You are not going to be as efficient as you can (be). So I'll just say that that wouldn't be the preferred way."

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*The Giants' unfortunate run of injuries began last night before the opening kickoff, when defensive end Robert Ayers hurt his ankle and was unable to play. Rookie offensive lineman Bobby Hart (ankle) and cornerback Josh Gordy (hip) were hurt during the game. Coughlin was asked for an update on Ayers.

"I'm staying away from that," Coughlin said. "I don't know a whole lot more. They were all sent out to get MRIs and that type of thing this afternoon. I haven't heard anything back. Let me put it that way at this point in time."

*The offensive line, certainly one of the keys to the Giants' fortunes this season, was given a mixed review by Coughlin. The most notable developments up front was that center Weston Richburg missed the game with a knee issue (he was replaced by Dallas Reynolds), and Geoff Schwartz played extensively with the first team at right guard.

"In spurts, we did fine and other times we didn't do fine," Coughlin said. "We didn't keep as clean a pocket as we've been keeping back there in the two previous games. I give credit to the Jet defensive line and linebackers; they did a very good job in terms of pressure. And as I've said, some things we did well and other things we didn't do as well, so one of the objectives for us in the game was, knowing full well what we were going up against in terms of pressure, to make sure that that was an exceptional learning experience.

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Photos from the Giants Preseason Week 3 matchup with the Jets

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"Of course, you're always trying to hurt pressure, because there is a sense of vulnerability if you can get the ball thrown and caught with the run after the catch and that type of thing. So I think we did some things well but not consistently."

*One player who caught Coughlin's eye was rookie defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, who had a pair of tackles.

"He has done a good job to this point in time and we are obviously thinking more and more about how we might be able to utilize him to a further extent," Coughlin said. "So he is a young man that we have high expectations for.

"Obviously, he has had a chance to practice and he has had a chance to learn more in the system and look at himself on tape and his coach has been able to make the corrections with him. Again, that accumulative effect is what you are trying to accomplish in professional football, even throughout the course of the entire season. So he definitely has improved. There is still, of course, a lot of work to be done, but he has improved."

"Of course, you're always trying to hurt pressure, because there is a sense of vulnerability if you can get the ball thrown and caught with the run after the catch and that type of thing. So I think we did some things well but not consistently."

*One player who caught Coughlin's eye was rookie defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, who had a pair of tackles.

"He has done a good job to this point in time and we are obviously thinking more and more about how we might be able to utilize him to a further extent," Coughlin said. "So he is a young man that we have high expectations for.

"Obviously, he has had a chance to practice and he has had a chance to learn more in the system and look at himself on tape and his coach has been able to make the corrections with him. Again, that accumulative effect is what you are trying to accomplish in professional football, even throughout the course of the entire season. So he definitely has improved. There is still, of course, a lot of work to be done, but he has improved."

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