By Paul Dottino
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Coach Tom Coughlin goes into the Giants' second preseason game tonight against the Jacksonville Jaguars without many more answers than he had the week before. The biggest mysteries remain the correct mix along the starting offensive line and how he's going to piece together the secondary.
The Giants' lackluster performance in Cincinnati, coupled with an ever-changing injury list, puts a greater emphasis on the quality of snaps the players take tonight at MetLife Stadium. In short, the Giants need to take a big step forward in their progress because the season is fast approaching.
Here are three of the areas you'll want to watch against the Jaguars:
THE RIGHT STUFF
Coughlin said he plans to start RG John Jerry and RT Marshall Newhouse along his offensive front. However, the coach also hinted he'd like to try Geoff Schwartz (foot) at both spots after the veteran was unable to make the trip to Cincinnati, before returning to practice this week. The coaching staff continues to be impressed with rookie LT Ereck Flowers' learning curve - he's appears to get better with his hand placement on a weekly basis - and once he squares up, the opposing defender is neutralized.
THE SAFETY DANCE
Rookie safety Landon Collins, the anticipated opening day starter, suffered a sprained MCL against the Bengals. Fellow rookie Mykkele Thompson sustained a ruptured Achilles in the game and Cooper Taylor battled a sore toe during the week. Thus, the Giants signed veteran free agent Brandon Meriweather (most recently of the Redskins), who will immediately jump into the competition for a roster spot - and maybe even a chance to start. Jeromy Miles and Bennett Jackson likely will run with the first team. Special teams ace Josh Gordy also ought to get some reps.
GOOD HANDS GUYS
Coughlin already knows, barring long-term health issues, that Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., and Reuben Randle are his top three receivers. He also has to lock down a spot for special teams demon Dwayne Harris, which likely leaves no more than two openings in the wide receivers room from among leading candidates James Jones, Corey Washington, Geremy Davis and Preston Parker. The coach plans to give plenty of chances to them in order to help him sort out the lower half of the depth chart.
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