I am not sure why Coughlin thinks it's so important to get the offense on the field for 12-15 plays in the last preseason game this evening. I guess he's done it this way in past years, but still... Granted that the team has not been playing well offensively, but is 12 or 15 plays really going to make a difference? If they weren't ready before I doubt that playing 1 or 2 series against the Patriots scrubs (Bellichick plays even fewer starters than most other coaches do in that last preseason game) is really going to make much difference in their preparedness for the regular season. You could get an injury to a key player, though it is also true that if you play only a series or two the risk of injury is also small. But still - all it takes is one play to lose a key player. Which probably means that the starters will play cautiously to avoid injury, which would further erode any potential gain that would accrue to them from practicing against guys with live ammo, so to speak. (Not a cheap Aaron Hernandez reference.... I would never be so crude as to do that).
There are still some roster spots open and some competition. Terrell Thomas has looked good but only played one preseason game. Did he show enough and does he have enough of a pedigree to bypass McBride and James who have both played pretty well all camp. I would like to see the Giants find a way to keep James who has great speed.
Teams usually carry 6 WRs, which would mean that after Nicks, Randle, Cruz, Murphy and Jernigan, Barden would make the team. But he really hasn't showed much this summer and he is slightly hurt, so I wonder if the Giants would cut Barden and keep an extra player somewhere else, just in the interest of keeping the best 53 on the roster. Maybe they carry an extra TE and Donnell makes it in place of Barden. Or maybe the Giants carry an extra DT, because they have all showed something in camp.
On the DL, especially at DT, it's really a battle and someone capable is going get cut. If the Giants carry only 5 DTs, Jenkins, Joseph, Patterson, Hankins are sure to make the team. That would leave Austin, Patterson and Rogers to fight for 2 spots. Patterson has looked really strong to me and Austin finally showed talent at the end of the Jets game, which means that Rogers is out. Will Giants carry 5 DEs? Kiwanuka, JPP, Tuck and Moore are the first 4 and Trattou, Ojomo and Tracy all showed some good ability. To me Trattou showed the most on the field, but Giants have always liked Tracy. An argument for keeping Trattou is that Tracy is on the light side, as is rookie Moore. So Giants might go for the more bulky Trattou, if they even keep 5 DEs at all.
On the OL, I had Cordle penciled in as backup C, but I think he lost his job in the Jets game. He got knocked to the bench off that performance, so if Brewer (or someone else) shows that they can handle the G position reasonably well, Cordle may lose his spot on the team. After the 5 starters there is Diehl, Brewer and Moesly. Then perhaps the rookie Herman or McCants, Capers or someone off another roster if the Giants want to carry 9 OL-men. It really shows how the weakness of the team might be the OL. I like the talent on defense, even if they finished 31st in the league last year. But if the OL can't block, it could really sink the whole offense and the team. Maybe the Giants judge that the 9th OL-man that they would carry will never dress and is really not NFL-ready, so they instead carry 8 OL-men and pray to the good lord that they stay healthy. That would open up another spot somewhere else, once again under the best-53 theory regardless of position. Of course that leaves Giants thin at OL and vulnerable to injury, especially during the time when Baas and Diehl are out. Cordle may make the team by default. Anybody know if Lomas Brown is still available for emergency fill-in duty?