Well, I'd guess into the third quarter for the starters. That's the standard for this point in the preseason. You won't be seeing Odell Beckham Jr. since the first-round pick has already been ruled out because his continuing hamstring issues.
Unfortunately there will be a fair few players not suited for this game. We have a few rookies on the sideline with our 3rd round corner McDougle indefinitely out. Shaq Evans is heading to IR and Jalen Saunders isn't practicing right now. Antwan Barnes can't get on the field and Dee Milliner is out for a month or so. Chris Ivory has also been limited this week, so we may not see a great deal of him either. We've just got Decker back into training along with Mangold, so they should play but I wouldn't be surprised to see them exit earlier than most starters.
How are the Giants playing this pre-season? what are your main concerns right now? What are the main aspects the Giants have to work on before the season starts?
I think we have a fair few concerns heading into the season. Our secondary got better with the addition of Pryor to safety, but got worse with the subtraction of Cromartie. With all the injuries we are experiencing we are currently playing with a safety at one corner spot and a 4th stringer at the 2nd.
So we need to get healthy and the performance level of our corners needs to improve. Geno also needs to cut down on turnovers and move the chains more consistently. Now he has a reliable target in Decker, that should make it easier. I still have my reservations about the offensive line too.
What would you say the Giants' biggest strength is this year?
The Giants secondary should be outstanding. DRC, Walter Thurmond and Prince Amukamara are excellent corners. Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown are solid safeties. Of course, the way the NFL is calling penalties in pass coverage that might end up being negated.
Tell me about the Geno Smith/Michael Vick dynamic. Do you believe Smith can/will be an effective NFL quarterback?
Do you believe he lasts the season as the starter, or when he struggles will the temptation to pull the trigger and insert Vick be too strong for Rex Ryan to resist?
I'd actually forgotten the addition of DRC for you guys, that should give you a great edge this year. Were you happy with that addition, any concerns about his tendency to get beat deep?
Big questions. I actually think Geno has a bright future, he works through his progressions and he can make every throw. He just needs to learn when to make those throws and when to tuck it. Towards the end of last season, he started to use his legs more, that enabled him to keep defensive fronts unbalanced. Lets be honest, he had absolutely nobody to throw to last year, we didn't have any elite receivers anyway and the decent receivers we did have all spent time on the sideline. I think we are in a great position where we can change things if Geno starts to seriously struggle, and if he does and Vick gives us the best chance to win, then he absolutely should be inserted into the starting line-up.
Talk to me about Eli Manning. I've seen some people say he looks disinterested at the moment and his love of football isn't clear to see? is that true? do you see that? Can he bounce back from a terrible turnover laden year in 2013?
Disinterested? Love of football isn't clear? Where the heck did you hear that nonsense? Certainly not from any reputable source that actually knows what they are talking about.
Now, has Eli played well recently? No. Is he still struggling to adapt to a completely new offensive system? Yes, just like all of his teammates around him. The whole transition will take time. The new offense is a radical change from Eli has done in the past. He also has new running backs, receivers, tight ends and blockers. So, it isn't easy.
Can he have a bounce back year? He certainly can. If the Giants can block for him, which they couldn't last year. If the receivers get open do things correctly, which didn't happen enough last year. If the running backs pick up blitzers and make some plays when the carry the ball, which also didn't happen enough last year.
Am I absolutely certain Manning will have a good season? No. I am not certain of anything with so much change to the Giants offense.
Despite the early struggles, though, I think there is plenty of reason to be optimistic.
I actually read it from Connor Orr in the Star Ledger, he referenced "outside analysts" as the ones calling Manning disinterested, so unfortunately no names to pass over. However that's always a cop out excuse for me, especially with Eli coming from such a football mad family.
How much blame would you actually put on Eli for last years under-performance? it looks as though everything went against him, receivers, running back, offensive line, I'm not sure any QB would thrive in that situation.
Where do you realistically put the Giants at the end of the season?