Giants prepare for preseason game vs Colts
Last year, Rueben Randle was a second-round draft pick for the
New York Giants, Stevie Brown was an unproven free agent safety and
Michael Cox was a graduate student in training camp at the
University of Massachusetts.
Now Randle has more of a defined role with the Giants receiving
corps, capitalizing on the off-season experience he gained during
the absence of starters Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
Brown, previously cut by two different NFL teams, is the strong
safety after collecting a team-high eight interceptions.
Cox, the seventh-round draft pick, was the Giants’ leading
rusher in the preseason opener last Saturday against
The Giants are preparing for their second preseason game against
Indianapolis on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. All three realize
that they have a chance to contribute against the Colts and during
”I know I definitely don’t want to take a step back,” said
Randle, who was a standout at LSU before joining the Giants last
year. ”I want to keep moving forward. I want to become more of a
Randle caught 19 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns last
season, starting one game and seeing action in all 16 contests. He
said that he worked hard in the offseason, just in case Nicks or
Cruz would not be ready. Even with both of the Giants’ top
receivers in camp, Randle is still doing his due diligence.
”I feel like I’m a better receiver now,” Randle said. ”I did
a lot of work on my strength and conditioning.”
Randle said that he feels so strong that he’s willing to take on
another role with the team.
”I’m ready to return punts if needed,” Randle said. ”I’m
willing to do anything.”
Brown was a nondescript player for both Oakland and Indianapolis
in his first two NFL seasons, but flourished last year after
injuries catapulted him into a starting position a month into the
season. Brown, a product of Michigan, ended up with eight
interceptions, second-best in the entire league, earning a new
contract with the Giants. Brown could have been a restricted free
With Antrelle Rolle unavailable with an ankle sprain, Brown has
become the leader of the secondary. It’s a complete turnaround from
last training camp, when he was practically unknown.
”It’s definitely different,” Brown said. ”I didn’t have to do
any interviews with this many people last year. I just got to eat
lunch and go back inside. But it’s definitely a little bit
different. Coaches talk to you in a different way. Players talk to
you in a different way.
”I’m trying to be a little more vocal. It’s not about seeing if
I can just make the team. It’s now about this team needing things
from you and expecting things from you.”
Brown was asked if he was expected to repeat last year’s
”There are always going to be questions,” Brown said. ”Until
you become established and do it year-in and year-out, you’re
always going to have questions. People wonder if you’re just a
one-year guy. I believe that I still have to go out there and prove
Brown said that he misses having Rolle alongside of him in the
”It’s really crazy,” Brown said. ”Trell is not someone to
miss practice, miss games or anything, so to not see him out there
for two days in a row is definitely different. He hates it. He
wants to play and practice. That’s just the way he is. He wants to
do everything. I told him, `Dude, it’s preseason. Relax.’ But he’ll
be here soon enough.”
Cox spent four years at Michigan (Brown’s alma mater), before
transferring to UMass for his final year of eligibility. Cox was a
redshirt freshman at Michigan in 2008 and was granted another year
by the NCAA after getting his degree. He had only 19 carries in
three seasons at Michigan, but rushed 198 times for 715 yards and
five TDs last fall for the Minutemen in their first year as an NCAA
Division I program.
Cox had nine carries for 33 yards last Saturday against the
Steelers with a long run of 12 yards.
”I guess I still have something to prove,” Cox said. ”I
really hadn’t thought about it much. I knew that if I got my
chance, I’d manage to figure it out. That’s how I feel now. I’m
going out there and do everything I can to show my skills and make
this team. Hopefully, the coaches saw something and I’ll be out
there again. I now have one game of experience. I do feel a little
more confident, but it’s only one game.”
The Giants struggled with their rushing attack against the
Steelers, gaining just 84 yards on 33 carries. Second-year
speedster David Wilson, expected to be the starter now that Ahmad
Bradshaw is gone (and will be active for the Colts against his
former team this weekend), had just 16 yards on five carries.
Andre Brown, another veteran, had 23 yards in four attempts, but
had a costly fumble. Third-year pro Da’Rel Scott had 12 yards on 10
attempts, leaving the door wide open for someone like Cox.
Giants running back coach Jerald Ingram didn’t think it was a
major cause for concern.
”I think we’ve got a good group,” Ingram said. ”Competition
is the best thing. We’re pretty excited about what we have at that
position. We’ve had success in the past and that’s where we’re
trying to keep a balance here. I think they’re all excited about
having the opportunity.”
Ingram likes what he’s seen so far from the 6-foot-1, 222-pound
”He’s a very talented young man,” Ingram said. ”He has the
ability to do certain things. Like all young running backs, he has
to learn the system. We went through that with David (Wilson) last
year in the same situation. Michael has to feel comfortable with
learning our offense. And we have to feel comfortable with him that
we can trust him in most situations. But he does show us a lot of
Cox hopes to show more of that talent on Sunday night.
NOTES: Terrell Thomas made another step in his remarkable
recovery. After suffering two ACL tears, Thomas was getting looks
with the starters at cornerback alongside Prince Amukamara . Dan
Connor was with the first unit at middle linebacker, the first sign
that Connor may have the upper hand over Mark Herzlich for the
starting nod there .TE Larry Donnell made a catch, then went down,
clutching his left knee. His status was unknown . Former Giants RB
Brandon Jacobs, now an unrestricted free agent, was on hand
watching practice. Jacobs, who still ranks fourth on the Giants’
all-time rushing list with 4,849 yards from 2005 through 2011,
scoring 56 touchdowns, played sparingly last year for San Francisco
and was released before the end of the season.