Q & A: Getting to know the Giants

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Starting today, we are hoping to bring you prior to each football game a quick question and answer with the editor of the Fansided team page the Panthers are playing that week. So this week myself and Andrew Llnicki, the Editor of G-Men HQ traded a few questions about the game Saturday night, how the team has been going so far in training camp and what to expect from the G-Men and the Panthers this season.

Basically this will just give you a few things to look out for which can help move the game along as some preseason games do get a bit boring.

First are the questions that he answered for me, followed by the questions I answered about the Panthers.

Q1. First off how long do you expect the starters to play in this game?

A. 15-18 snaps is what Tom Coughlin has said.  His cap is usually pretty dead on.

Q2. What are some of the key position battles to watch out for?

A. I’m interested in MLB, RB, and WR.  Everything else for the most part is taken care of.  LB Jon Goff will start, but Greg Jones of Michigan State might be one rookie that challenges him for the role.  At RB, Bradshaw and Jacobs are set.  But the #3 back could be up for grabs. D.J. Ware knows the system but Da’Rel Scott is very quick and has looked good at camp, and Andre Brown was re-signed and the coaching staff seems to think he looks better than when they drafted him in 2009. WR, with Smith gone the trio of Victor Cruz, Darius Reynaud, and Domenik Hixon will likely compete to fill in for the slot position.  Hixon is the play making veteran, but it will be interesting to see who gets that starting position between the two.

Q3. With the loss of your first round pick Prince Amukamara, how is the cornerback position shaping up?

A. They have their starters and SOME depth.  Bruce Johnson is out for the season and Prince really was needed to get to camp on time and start learning the scheme.  He has no experience and it was a key position for the Giants.  If Terrell Thomas or Corey Webster get hurt, there would be an issue at CB.

Q4. Who are some of the longshots that should be looking to make an impact in this game?

A.    Safety Tyler Sash has been impressive in camp.  The Giants like that 3 safety look a lot and he is the front runner to take over that position with Johnson and Amukamara on the mend.

Q5. Give us your 3 key players to watch during this preseason, whether they have something to prove, need to fill a hole on the team, or just need to bounce back this year?

A.    WR Victor Cruz again, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, and LB Mathias Kiwanuka.  Cruz because he had a huge preseason last year and made the team before heading to IR with a hamstring… he’s reportedly faster this year and has been a homerun hitter in catching long TD passes in practice.  I would mention WR Darius Reynaud as well but he’s such a bad returner that I really don’t want to hype him at all.  JPP — because he’s been on his technique more and combined with his raw abilities he could be a monster DE for the Giants this year.  Kiwanuka is a great pass rusher coming of a herniated disc… he’ll effect the defense if he can rebound and negatively set them back if he can’t.

Q6. Wide receiver Hakeem Nix is a former North Carolina resident playing in Chapel-Hill, so what do you expect from him this year?

A.    Brilliance as always.  Good hands, breakaway speed, and a nose for big plays when the Giants need it most. One of the best young receivers in the game and has a good report with Eli Manning heading into his 3rd year.

Q7. Prediction?

A. Giants win this one: 27-17

I see a very balanced attack with lots of short passes, a big running game, and some deep shots coming off play action fakes — in essence what the Giants need to do to win any given game.  The #1 and #2 defense looks good, but late in the game they let the Panthers back in.  Uber-typical from the Giants.

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