Giants vs. Steelers: 3 things to watch

Damontre Moore, left, is looking to shed his reputation as only a pass rusher. Credit: Getty Images
Fans will get a look at Damontre Moore, left, in his first action since being taken in the third round this April.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants open the preseason with a trip to Pittsburgh Saturday night (7:30 p.m., NBC).

Quarterback Eli Manning likely won’t see much more than a series or two, nor will many of the offensive or defensive stars. But there are plenty of battles elsewhere as the team gets real-time action for the first time since December’s disappointing end to the regular season.

Three things to watch for …

1. Which burgeoning pass rusher steps up?

Last preseason, undrafted rookie defensive end Adewale Ojomo was the star of the defense as he tallied four sacks in the four games. A cynic would point out he did so against most teams’ third and fourth stringers, but the proof was there that Ojomo has a natural burst around the edge. He’s struggled in the early portion of camp during live team drills, but Ojomo could be the type of player who plays best when the action is for real. Along with Ojomo, there are a couple of other pass rushers who will look to make a name for themselves, like third-year player Adrian Tracy and rookie Damontre Moore. The former has been a special teams standout so far but will get a chance to show his wares as an edge rusher, while the latter was one of the most heralded pass rushers in college last season at Texas A&M.

2. Running back by committee

When the Giants released their unofficial depth chart last week, much was made about displaying two starting tailbacks — David Wilson and Andre Brown. Wilson, a second-year player who was mainly used as a return specialist last season – albeit one of the best in the league – wants more added to his plate. He will get the chance to show he can be the featured back with Ahmad Bradshaw in Indianapolis. Brown is a fourth-year veteran with just 75 career carries and is just as green as Wilson (71 career carries) despite his two extra years in the league. They’ll both likely see short work since it’s the opening preseason game, but when they’re in there, they will get a good test because the Steelers play an aggressive 3-4 defensive front and are traditionally stingy against the run.

3. Stepping out of the shadows

Starting receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have a stranglehold on the top two spots, as well as Manning’s full trust. It’s now up to the others on the roster, a group that includes Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan and Louis Murphy, to show the coaching staff they are worthy of being the No. 3 wideout. Randle seemingly has the inside track after a solid rookie campaign last season, but Jernigan and Murphy are better deep threats in a Giants offense that likes to go vertical. Randle has really taken advantage of the extra reps he got when both Cruz and Nicks skipped the voluntary spring workouts, and has impressed Manning with his route running and footwork along the sidelines. But Murphy is explosive and has elite speed, which has been flashed at times during 7-on-7 passing drills. Jernigan, meanwhile, has the most years (four) in the system, but has yet to differentiate himself from the rest of the pack.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…