The Giants return to work on Wednesday with an eye towards preparing for Saturday night’s tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And while cut-down day is still two weeks away (Sept. 1), there are still many players already on the bubble due to injuries or ineffective play. Saturday’s home opener exhibition has no employment effect on the likes of Eli Manning or Odell Beckham Jr., but for the guys on the fringe, it means everything.
One guy who may be obscure to the casual fan, but is increasing his chances of steady employment every day is cornerback Trevin Wade, who has impressed the coaches with a great work ethic in practices and solid play in the preseason opener. Wade, a fourth-year journeyman who’s working on his fourth team, is a former seventh-round pick of the Cleveland Browns.
He’s not a household name, but he’s certainly earning the respect of teammates and coaches for grasping the opportunities in front of him. Wade seized his chance when starter Prince Amukamara (groin), reserve Chykie Brown (knee), and veteran Trumaine McBride (hamstring) missed all or most of last week’s game.
“He’s done a nice job,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said of Wade. “He’s stepped up when guys go down. He’s around the ball a lot, making plays. We recognize that. … At first, I don’t think anybody really knew where he was, as a player, but it’s good to see him do some things. I’d like to see more jump on that chance.”
The Giants currently have 11 corners on their roster, which means at least two will not make the roster. The starters are already entrenched with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Amukamara. Brown should be back soon, and McBride is already back practicing. And that’s not including veteran Jayron Hosley, who has also impressed coaches with his focusing on becoming a better outside corner than his customary slot position. Those aforementioned should all be safe, which means the more reps Wade can get to impress, the better his chances.
The ascending Wade noted he treats every chance as another way to hush the doubters.
“'I come with a chip on my shoulder every day,” said Wade, who has felt underrated since his days in high school. “Every day I am out here [and] I am thankful to be out there. I am going like it’s my last day.”
His positional coach, Tim Walton, said it helps guys like Wade when they have the opportunity to cover teammates like Beckham and Victor Cruz on a daily basis, because should they have any success doing so, it raises the intrigue of the coaching staff.
“It is a great pleasure to have those guys out there because our guys have to work hard [and] they have to be really prepared,” Walton said. “Those are two elite receivers, so when you go against them every day, that helps us get better so we can be better prepared for [game days].”
Walton also said mixing and matching his group is helpful, because the more you can do, the more it helps the team – and helps a player keep his job.
“You have to understand all facets of the defense, because when it is your time to cover, when it is time to pressure, when it is time tackle, you need to do that well,” said Walton. “It’s ideal that you be very involved with the overall scheme with the defense ... The thing we stress is being complete football players.”
Whether he's been making plays on his own, or setting up teammates, Wade has indeed been a complete football player for Big Blue this summer. The sky’s the limit for him should he continue to ascend.
Big Blue notes:
-Wade’s journey is a long one, as he was waived by New Orleans on Sept. 16 and spent the season’s last two months on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. Wade has played 15 career games – 13 with Cleveland in 2012, and two with the Saints the following year.
-The list of notable players still not practicing include wide receiver Rueben Randle (tendonitis), safety Landon Collins (knee), andcornerbacks Prince Amukamara (groin) and Jayron Hosley (concussion).
-Safety Nat Berhe (calf) is seemingly on the cusp of participating again, as he worked some individual drills during the last session.
-Team president John Mara announced that the Giants will wear a patch on their jersey to honor his mother and the franchise’s matriarch, Ann Mara, as well as a helmet sticker with Frank Gifford's No. 16. Mrs. Mara passed away on Feb. 1, and Gifford died on Aug. 9.