Preseason over, Shurmur has Giants focusing on Jaguars
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With the preseason behind them, Pat Shurmur has given the New York Giants three days off and told them to start focusing on the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While many players may not be going far from the team's facility, they have been given film of Jacksonville to study before returning Monday.
New York finished a 2-2 preseason Thursday night with a 17-12 loss to the Patriots when all of the starters rested.
Players did a little lifting and running Friday before being sent home. The coaches will spend the next day cutting the 90-man roster to 53 for the regular season. A 10-man practice squad will be added once the front office tweaks the final roster with cuts and additions from the waiver wire.
General manager Dave Gettleman has promised the team will work the wire. Coming off a 3-13 season, New York has the second pick on all players waived.
"We've got a decent idea of the direction we're going to go with things, but we still have some conversations," Shurmur said Friday. "I told that to the players, it's a credit to them. Every year, the players want to make it tough on us as to this guy or that guy. I think sometimes, you're right, you can be in a situation where it's pretty cut and dry. But I think we've had some guys that have played themselves into the mix."
The Giants' roster is not deep, so it's unlikely Shurmur is going to have to shed any major talent. He plans to meet with all players cut and says he will tell them where they need to improve and to be ready in case a roster spot opens.
For those who remain, the opener at home is Sept. 9. Some preparations have already started.
"We have sort of leaned towards Jacksonville in some of our drill work, even though we didn't say, 'hey, this is a Jacksonville play' or 'this is Jacksonville's defense,'" Shurmur said. "It's out there, and I'm sure some of them will look at it, but we'll get them re-centered on Monday."
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who was 21 of 30 in the preseason, started looking at the Jaguars a couple days ago.
"Their front seven is talented, their back four is talented," Manning said of the team that blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against New England in the AFC title game in January. "They have a good scheme and they do it very well. They play fast and are in the right spots. It will be fun to pick coach Shurmur's brain and see what plays we will have installed and what's the best way to attack them."
The season opener will be the first time the Giants will try to put all their weapons on the field.
Odell Beckham Jr. did not play in the preseason as Shurmur took a cautious approach with his star receiver coming off a broken ankle in early October. Halfback Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, missed the final three preseason games after injury a hamstring on Aug. 13.
NOTES: Shurmur gave backup quarterback Davis Webb the night off against the Patriots because he felt the second-year pro had enough snaps. He threw 53 passes in three games. Rookie Kyle Lauletta and veteran Alex Tanney played against New England. ... LB Alec Ogletree said the new 3-4 defense is slowly coming along. "We got a good group of guys that come to work every day and do the right things. This up- and-coming week will be a really big test of how close we are to be the defense that we want to be."
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