Giants coach Ben McAdoo not overreacting to O-Line woes
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo isn’t going to shake things up despite dismal performances in the first two preseason games, both losses.
Speaking a day after dropping a 21-0 decision to the Bills in Buffalo, McAdoo said Sunday that some backups are going to get chances to show what they can do this week.
The offensive line has to be the first-year coach’s biggest concern. It failed to generate much of a running game last season and the Giants didn’t do anything in the offseason to improve it.
Free agency was used to buy players for the league’s worst defense in 2015, with the hope being that the offensive line would improve with everyone coming back.
It hasn’t happened.
Left tackle Ereck Flowers, last year’s first-round draft pick, is not blowing anyone off the ball. Left guard Justin Pugh missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury. Center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse have not impressed.
Even backup Bobby Hart, a seventh-round pick who the Giants hoped would push Newhouse, has been inconsistent.
The bottom line is the line needs help and there is little help behind the top six.
The waiver wire might have to provide help after NFL rosters are reduced to 53 players on Sept. 3.
The Giants open the season on Sept. 11 at Dallas.
“We’re going to give guys opportunities to compete, but at the same point in time, we’re not going to have any knee-jerk reactions, no one’s panicking here,” McAdoo said. “We’re not going to rush to judgment on anything. We’re going to go out there, we’re going to get the pads on and we’re going to get to work.”
In the season opener against the Dolphins, the running game generated 125 yards in the first half on 23 carries. However, Miami had none of its first-team defensive line play in the game.
The Buffalo game was terrible. New York had eight rushes for 10 yards in the half.
McAdoo said the line has to improve on its fundamentals and be more physical, something he has seen in practice.
“We have to keep working on it in practice and carry it over and it’s got to show up on game day,” he said. “A lot of the things, and a lot of the mistakes that we’re making, we’re not making in practice, we just need to have the confidence to carry those over to game day.”
McAdoo expects Pugh to return to practice in some capacity this week along with cornerback Eli Apple and receiver Victor Cruz.
Cruz is expected to work Monday when the team does some conditioning, starts getting ready for the Jets and goes over corrections from Saturday’s game.
Cruz, who has not played in the opening two preseason games after missing all of last season, is expected to practice Tuesday when the team has a normal workout.
Apple hurt a knee in the preseason opener.
Wide receiver/return man Dwayne Harris had an MRI on the knee he hurt Saturday and it checked out OK. Trainers will examine him again Monday.
McAdoo was not certain whether the Giants would bring in another placekicker. Free agent Tom Obarski missed a short field attempt on Saturday in what was considered his golden opportunity to show the team he could do the job with Josh Brown suspended for the season opener.