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Reader Mailbag: Roster Decisions and more

Roster decisions... who's standing out...what's next for the Giants and so much more is in this week's reader mailbag.

Roster decisions... who's standing out...what's next for the Giants and so much more is in this week's reader mailbag.

At this point, Ramdude, I’m not sure “dark horse” is the term I’d use since certain guys have been stepping up and bringing the heat. 

But some guys who are pushing for roster spots that I didn't think might make it initially are cornerback Jarren Williams, offensive lineman Tyler Haycraft (probably more of a practice squad guy at this point but an intriguing and versatile offensive lineman), and receiver Alex Bachman, whom as I’ve said before reminds me a LOT of Phil McConkey from the 1986 Super Bowl team.

I don’t think they sign anyone just yet, Kevin. I think Julian Love will replace McKinney in the starting lineup and I would guess that Montre Hartage’s chances at a roster spot just increased. Everyone is always so quick to think it’s necessary to sign a guy after a major injury. Often times the answer is right under your nose if you stop and look.

Great question, Cesar. The Giants have one of the most supportive ownership tandems in the NFL and encourage their players to get involved as much as possible.

A few years ago, you might remember when Olivier Vernon was the only Giants player to take a knee throughout the season. Although at the time ownership was said to have disagreed with Vernon’s choice to peacefully protest when he did (not that he chose to protest; there’s a difference), team ownership supported him and any other player who wanted to protest peacefully.

And look at last night's team video pledging solidarity. John Mara was part of the six men who spoke in that video. If Mara didn't believe in the cause, he would have stayed out of it.

What’s going on, Joey? I think it might be a stretch right now to expect Matt Peart to start ahead of Cameron Fleming for the simple reason that the coaches seem to want everyone cross-trained. 

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Sep 3, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants guard Shane Lemieux (66) during the Blue-White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium.

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Peart has mostly been a college right tackle and has only recently been getting some work at left tackle. I think once he comes a little more up to speed at both spots, that will help his chances of getting into the lineup. 

As for how I see the starting lineup, I think the center spot is Nick Gates’ to lose. And I don't see him losing it.

I disagree that Bradberry has been getting beat a lot. But look, this is a new defense, and they’ve only been running it on the field for what, a month? 

I’m not overly concerned about Bradberry, to be honest. He’s a pro’s pro, and I think he’ll show up when it counts.

Great question, Jon. I think barring injury, the corners that will make the roster are James Bradberry, Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes, Jarren Williams. I believe Chris Williamson is practice squad material. Remember that some of the guys slotted at safety, e.g., Montre Hartage and Julian Love, can play cornerback if necessary.

For sure, Rueben. Finishing blocks and getting one’s hands up in the passing lane should be something every offensive lineman does. 

Marc Colombo and Sean Spencer have been all over their respective pupils to make sure they are developing muscle memory in terms of finishing. Thus far, I would say the defense might be a little further ahead in that regard than the offense, but hopefully, the two sides will draw even within the week.

Good question and one I think they’re still trying to figure out. Cody Core did so much on special teams that they might need multiple guys to fill his role. And as of this writing, I'm not sure they've pinpointed who they're going to go with.

I think so. He can play both corner and safety, so that gives him a leg up over, say, for example, Sean Chandler, who’s mostly a safety.