Giants vs. Panthers: 3 storylines to watch

Cam Newton.

The Giants finally play a game with some meaning, even if it’s actually meaningless in regards to the standings.   

Tomorrow’s tilt in Carolina may not mean anything as far as the regular season win-loss column, but it means something to Big Blue in that they’ll get to finally see what they have in terms of talent.  

So much focus has been on what the Giants have lost — and what the Eagles have gained — that head coach Tom Coughlin is looking forward to facing the Panthers and finally get the focus back on the playing field. He said practices are needed, but real game action is the real way to evaluate talent.  

“Without a doubt [pre-season takes on more importance]. You hit it on the head because we haven’t had any practices to really evaluate,” Coughlin said. “There’s a great chance to play for a lot of guys.”   

Coughlin said he has no set amount of plays for the starters, but figures they’ll at least get 15-18 plays or about a full quarter of action. Coughlin added that three of the four quarterbacks will see action [Eli Manning, Sage Rosenfels and David Carr] which means second-year quarterback Ryan Perrilloux will most likely be the odd man out. Perrilloux has impressed the Giants brass though, and Coughlin said whoever doesn’t play, will in the second preseason game.   

The Giants have plenty of question marks heading into Saturday night’s game and Coughlin hopes they answer some of them immediately. He said he’s aware of the new faces — and old faces lost — but hasn’t yet decided if he’ll allow the new fill-ins extra work so they can adjust to the gameplan.      

“We’ll take into consideration any [new] players and any with [physical] limitations,” he noted. “But more playing time is not necessarily [given to new starters who might need longer to get acclimated] because there are a lot of players to evaluate.”   

What to watch for

1. Will Cam Newton show starting ability?

This isn’t about the Giants, but the most interesting storyline may be what we see from No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton.

The defending Heisman Trophy winner and national champion will likely play backup to Jimmy Clausen Saturday, but he’ll get plenty of snaps — including some with the first-team offense.

He will be without Steve Smith, but new Panther Jeremy Shockey will get a chance to play against the team that drafted him.

We’ll have to wait and see how Newton handles playing in a pro-style system.

2. Which receiver takes Steve Smith’s spot?

As of right now it’s Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Michael Clayton, Jerrel Jernigan, Devin Thomas, and Duke Calhoun vying for that vaunted slot receiver position.

And that’s not even counting Ramses Barden, who’s nursing an injury.

All of those guys will be playing a lot of snaps in this game, so we should at least get some idea of who is playing well. It’s a crowded field, but with no tangible leader of the pack, yet. 

3. Which of the young linebackers shines?

General manager Jerry Reese has been lambasted for not making a free agent splash at the position.
Outside of weakside linebacker Michael Boley and defensive lineman-turned strongside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, the Giants’ linebackers average just 1.3 years of NFL experience.

Reese said he’s comfortable with what he has at linebacker. Now is the time for the youngsters to reward his faith.  

Follow Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8 for live updates from Giants training camp.


Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…


Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…


Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…


Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…


Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.


PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…


Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.


Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…


10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.


Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.


Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.


Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.


In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.


Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…


Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…


These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…