Panthers vs Giants in Preseason Game 1 tonight

We pardon the interruption to our regularly scheduled castigation of Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese to bring you… FOOTBALL! 

Alas, it is the first game of preseason.  Suit’em up!  GO GIANTS!!!!

The talk about all the moves, which we know is important, clearly takes a back seat to the REALITY of the games.  Let’s see if we have some good reasons to get excited about our 2011 season.  Some things we will be looking for…

Offense
1) How does Beatty look at LT?
2) Eli taking snaps from Baas.
3) Eli’s accuracy- any improvement in the offseason?  Mechanics?
4) How does Hixon look, ~16 months after ACL surgery?
5) Does Jacobs still look spry (he always looks spry in Aug-Sep)?
6) TE- can Pascoe make the transition to the line from H-Back?

Specials
7) Is Larry Izzo (the new special assistant hired to remove Quinn’s head from his butt) helping with better schemes?
8) Which is better- Weatherford’s consistency or Dodge’s distance?
9) How does Jerrel Jernigan look on returns? And other players?

Defense
10) How do Joseph and Austin look? Can either player start any games for us this season?
11) Is JPP picking up where he left off, making impact plays?
12) Is Herzlich going to make the squad?
13) Is there anyone at LBer that can make an impact play? …Bueller? …Bueller?
14) Has Phillips’s range improved?  Are the gloves off?
15) Aaron Ross says he has not felt this good since 2007. Does it show?
16) Is Canty going to finally deliver returns on that contract? How does he look?

There are some other players we eagerly look to see in action.  Tyler Sash, Da’Rel Scott and Jarriel King hopefully can stick.  The FB Hynoski is getting press, so we want to see what he looks like.  These guys are the future, the gravy. 

Amongst returning players who we need to see improvement: Ross, Canty, Manning, Goff and Beatty.  Basically Giants fans fall into one of two categories: either they are not sold on the direction of the team, as evidenced by the 2008-2010 underachievement and 2011 roster challenges, OR they believe that the stuff on paper matters far less than what the guys can do on the field (which is a completely open book).  I fall into the former.  If you fall into the latter category, then you MUST see guys like Ross, Canty, Manning, Goff and Beatty make significant strides.  Note how we do not really care about guys like Snee and Tuck because we know they will deliver (assuming they remain healthy).  Those are the known knowns.  What we as fans need is for 

Beatty to protect Manning’s blind side.
Manning to lift the play of his team.
Ross to be the #1 pick of 2007 that makes our set of CBs super.
Canty to plug up the middle and get pressure on the QB inside so that the speed rushers have an easier time getting to the QB.
Goff (OR ANYONE, HEEELLLLPPPP!) to elevate his game so that LBer is not such a weak link on the defense.

Coaching really does not matter significantly for Fewell and Gilbride in the preseason.  They should not be showing their range of plays now, and merely want to see how the younger players are executing their assignments.

Pat Hanlon and I will be tweeting during the game.  Follow me this evening, we’ll have a good time chatting the Giants.  Last thought: NO INJURIES PLEASE.    

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