Dodge not ready to get out of town after boos
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
The boos were unmistakable, and a reminder that the punter failed to kick the ball out of bounds in the closing seconds of December's meltdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.
If case you forgot, DeSean Jackson returned the punt 65-yards for a touchdown, capping a 28-point comeback in the final 7 1/2 minutes that allowed the Eagles to escape with a 38-31 win, a victory that helped Philadelphia capture the NFC East.
''It was pretty brutal,'' Dodge said, referring to the booing on Monday.
The positive for Dodge was he turned the jeers into cheers, hitting his first punt 63 yards.
''First, they were booing. And then, they were like, `Oh, he did a good job,''' Dodge said. ''It was pretty interesting. It didn't surprise me. I am getting kind of used to it. I just have to try to keep doing well and win them back over.''
After an inconsistent rookie season, Dodge is fighting veteran Steve Weatherford for the punting job.
Dodge is averaging 48.2 yards with a 37.0 yard net in his second preseason. Weatherford is averaging 50.5 yards with a 46.5 net.
''I think it is pretty close and we are punting well,'' Dodge said. ''(Weatherford) punts well all the time, so I have to step my game up just to be on the same field as him. I just have to keep working hard.''
A 10-year veteran, Williams is trying to learn the new system and the terminology.
''I would say that I am a very good player in this league and I have numbers to show it,'' Williams said. ''It is not about me. I can contribute to this team in more than one way, and I am just ready to get rolling.''
Aaron Ross is replacing Thomas in the starting lineup and it seems likely that safety Antrel Rolle will be the nickel back with fellow safety Deon Grant joining Kenny Phillips when the Giants employ five defensive backs.
Lawrence Tynes still does not know when he will be able to kick again. He hurt his right leg in the preseason opener when a defender felt into his leg blocking a field goal.
''To be 10 or 11 days out from where I was a week ago, I feel really good,'' Tynes said. ''I'm encouraged by it.''
Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd handled the placekicking against Chicago and he'll do it again against the Jets on Saturday.
Starting halfback Ahmad Bradshaw missed Thursday's indoor workout with a sore back. He was kicked in the game against the Bears. Also missing practice were running back Andre Brown (illness), receiver Duke Calhoun (hamstring), safety Brian Jackson (hip), quarterback Sage Rosenfels (illness/back) and Tynes. Receiver Domenik Hixon and linebacker Clint Sintim had scheduled days off as the recovering from knee surgery last year.
Coughlin said the starters will play the first half against the Jets.