new york giants
Giants would be worthy playoff hosts — even with losing record: Pete Carroll
Colt McCoy has what it takes to rally Giants
Daniel Jones works on injured hamstring with game status in doubt
Giants bracing for Seahawks’ ‘big monster’
At the start of the week — in some ways similar, in other ways very different for Colt McCoy — inside linebacker Blake Martinez approached the Giants’ backup quarterback with an admission.
“The first thing I told him was, ‘I’m happy I don’t have to go against you on Friday,’ ’’ Martinez said Wednesday.
Part of the Giants’ practice regimen late in the week is a “Fast Friday’’ period, where McCoy, running the scout team, goes against the starting defense.
“He does kind of the whole two-minute drill and that type of stuff, and he tries to do certain plays, no-look passes, all these type of things,’’ Martinez said.
By all accounts, McCoy gives Martinez and the first-team defense all the looks and challenges they need to best prepare them for the game ahead.
What comes next is not a drill. Not for McCoy. Daniel Jones did not practice on Wednesday, instead working with trainers as he deals with a strained right hamstring incurred in last week’s 19-17 victory over the Bengals. Jones escaped a devastating soft tissue injury but he is highly unlikely to be able to play Sunday in Seattle, where the first-place (yup, that’s right) Giants face the first-place Seahawks.
“I’m excited for him to get that opportunity,’’ Martinez said.
The Giants (4-7) are on a three-game winning streak and now step up in competition after facing three straight teams with losing records. McCoy can be seen as a liability.
“No, you can never look at yourself that way,’’ McCoy said. “I think that’s why scout team is valuable. You’re not necessarily getting your team’s offensive reps but you’re getting reps. But you’re right, running our offense, executing our offense and what we do is all mental for me, at least up to this point it has been.
“There’s nothing like live reps. You’re right.’’
McCoy’s aggressive, hang-in-there style is often not conducive to durability. He missed the final three games in 2011 with the Browns after being diagnosed with a concussion. He missed the final two games in 2014 with Washington because of a neck injury. On Dec. 3, 2018, McCoy completed all four of his passes in a “Monday Night Football’’ loss in Philadelphia before his season ended when he suffered a fractured right fibula, his leg whipping around and slamming into safety Malcolm Jenkins.
McCoy, a 10-year NFL veteran, did not appear in another game for 10 months. In his most recent start, Oct. 6, 2019, he completed 18 of 27 passes for 122 yards and one interception in a 33-7 loss to the Patriots.
No one can be sure how McCoy will respond in his first start in 14 months and his fourth start in the past three years. He took the first-team reps on offense Wednesday, with a few sprinkled in for practice-squad quarterback Clayton Thorson.
“I have a lot of confidence in Colt,’’ head coach Joe Judge said. “Look, I’ve been able to coach against this guy and now he’s with us, you get to see how competitive this guy is. He’s got a lot of instincts, a lot of savvy, he draws on his experience. He’s a tough dude. He’s mentally tough, he’s physically tough, he’s a guy that’s very well-respected on this team, in the locker room and on the field. The guys really like Colt, they rally around him, just like they do Daniel.
“I always talk about you want a quarterback who’s gonna step in that huddle and have 10 sets of eyes looking at him, knowing this guy is going to give them the answer. I think Colt’s that guy, and Daniel’s that guy.’’
Jones after a turnover-prone first half of the season settled into a groove, with no turnovers in his last 10-plus quarters. McCoy is not as big, does not possess as strong an arm, is not the running threat Jones is and, until the third quarter last Sunday, had not taken a snap in this offense in a real game.
“Just be myself,’’ McCoy said of his approach. “Daniel’s played at a really high level the last three weeks, I think that’s why it’s so frustrating for him, because you can see the growth that he’s made.
“Just being prepared. That’s the name of the game. That’s why the Giants brought me here. That’s the expectation, if your number’s called, if you’re a quarterback, receiver, on the other side of the ball on defense, when you got to step up, you got to step up. I just got to be mentally prepared for whatever happens.’’
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