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Random observations from Giants-Steelers preseason game[the star ledger]

Mr. P

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The defensive line appeared especially impressive. Tackle Rocky Bernard looked like the player the Giants thought they signed last offseason, particularly on the goal line stand at the end of the first half. He made two plays that saved seven points.


Adrian Tracy helped himself last night. The sixth-round pick from William & Mary was all over the place in the second half. He’s undergoing a position shift from defensive end to linebacker, but his athleticism and pursuit skills were on display. He could not pull down Dwayne Wright on the Steelers’ final touchdown run, although he did a nice job shedding a block to get in position. In the fourth quarter, Tracy was able to penetrate the line into the Steelers’ backfield.


Whatever you want to say about Rhett Bomar – and his performance was uneven – you cannot question his toughness. Bomar took some serious hits. On the deep pass to Steve Smith, Bomar was hit hard during the follow-through, which affected the accuracy of the throw.


Ahmad Bradshaw ran quick and hard. He did not start, but appeared capable when he entered the game. He was sharp throughout the touchdown drive. Andre Brown also looked good on the ground. Brown was much more physical than the first game, which could be witnessed on the first drive in the fourth quarter.


Speaking of that drive, the Giants cannot take so many plays at the goal line to score a touchdown. The two calls Victor Cruz received were generous. Although Cruz was interfered on the pass interference, it’s hard to determine whether the pass was going to be caught. Brown did an admirable job going over the top for the touchdown.


The entire operation went smoothly on the Giants’ lone field goal. Despite all the attention Matt Dodge has received as a punter, he also serves as a critical role as the team’s holder. Zak DeOssie delivered a smooth snap and Dodge cleanly held the ball for Lawrence Tynes.


Neither kick returner distinguished himself, but Brown displayed more speed than Gartrell Johnson. Aaron Ross’ 45-yard punt return was impressive. Victor Cruz appeared unsure as a punt returner between calling for a fair catch in space and failing to call a fair catch when he muffed the punt.


The rush defense struggled in the third quarter. The Giants could not get the Steelers off the field. This was most evident on Isaac Redman’s touchdown run. Linval Joseph could not penetrate at the point of attack, and John Busing failed to make a tackle shy of the goal line.


Wide receiver Tim Brown had space and made a nice catch on a pass in the fourth quarter, but Bomar led him too deep. On the next play, Bomar showed impressive mobility. The drive concluded with a poor punt by Dodge, who continued his inconsistency.



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