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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Hopeful Prince Amukamara Will Return Thursday

September 18th, 2012 at 9:15 AM
By Casey Sherman

The New York Giants were without their second-year cornerback Prince Amukamara again against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Amukamara has missed both games this season with a high ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason. So far, after the two games this season, the Giants defense ranks 22nd in yards allowed through the air highlighting their lack of depth at the cornerback position.

Head coach Tom Coughlin told the media he is hoping Prince will recover enough to suit up this Thursday, and Prince's teammates and fans are hoping his return will improve the defense's struggle against the pass. Thus far this season the Giants secondary allowed Kevin Oggletree of the Cowboys to look like an all-star and they let the Buccaneers' large framed receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams box them out and out-jump them.

Prince Amukamara has been practicing with the team but so far hasn't shown that he is healthy enough to see action in a game. Coughlin is hoping to see improvement in Prince's ankle this week as he told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York.

"We'll see," Coughlin said. "He did work last week, as everybody knows, and he did have one really good day … (and) a couple of days where we had some issues, so we'll see how he is having been able to rest here.

"Hopefully he'll be a little bit stronger," Coughlin added. "Maybe perhaps play with a minimal amount of pain. We'll just have to see."

It appeared that Prince was going to be able to play against the Bucs, but Coughlin decided to give him another week to recover and instead third round pick Jayron Hosley was given the start across from Corey Webster. Coughlin was impressed by what he saw from the youngster on Sunday.

"He battled," Coughlin said. "He's a competitive, scrappy guy and flew around pretty good. I think he got a bunch of that stuff from the field [turf] in his eye and had to come out for a little bit, but he competes."

Coughlin also told the media the reason Justin Tryon was in the game over Michael Coe was because Coe was still dealing with hamstring issues, the same injury that resulted in him leaving early in the game against the Cowboys. Several other players including David Diehl and Domenik Hixon were injured during the game as well, and the Giants will look to get healthier on a short week before they play Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Corey Webster, David Deihl, Domenik Hixon, Football, Justin Tryon, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara, Tom Coughlin

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19 Responses to “New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Hopeful Prince Amukamara Will Return Thursday”

  1.  Dirt says:

    I’m not celebrating 22nd place. It’s not acceptable.

    But the commentary around East Rutherford over the last 13 days would lead you to believe it’s 32nd place and trending worse.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Prince needs to suck it up and play. But, thankfully, I think the Giants corners can match up pretty well with the Carolina receivers. Even if Prince plays, I’d put Hosley on Smith. Stop Smith and then it’s really whether you can contain Newton (no easy task).

    One of the things people are not noticing is that in their absolute commitment to stop the run Fewell has had Phillips generally cheating toward the LOS out of the two-deep look, just dropping back Rolle, and then depending upon two things: the pass rush bothering the quarterback so he has to hurry throws, and the corners holding their own when at least one of them always goes without help. With the exception of one Murray run that was the result of horrible tackling and a blatant hold on Kiwi, they HAVE stopped the run. It’s the second part of that approach that hasn’t been working. Let’s see if they make adjustments on Thursday night. Either the execution has to get better or the scheme has to be tweaked.

    •  jfunk says:

      I’d like to believe (hope), if Prince gets healthy & Webster wakes up, with Coe & Hosley getting spot duty, that this look could be pretty excellent.

      Just looking at the results so far, if we ran this exact scheme but had 20% better corner play the results should be nice.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think Prince playing is the coaches call. I don’t think they fell comfortable enough to just put him out there not close to healthy.

      Yeah I think you have to put Hosley on Smith with a safety over the top and just hop Webster maybe just looked bad because at their best Bryant and Jackson are top 10 maybe top 5 WRs. I don’t like Webster on Smith and Prince is not great match up either.

      I think Coe sits this game so Prince is likely to play. I think Prince is healthy enough, especially with 9 days to recover. Coe needs those all that time to get over the injury, otherwise the injury is going to linger.

    •  norm says:

      Get ready to see more of the same, scheme-wise, on Thursday.

      The strength of the Panthers offense is on the ground. They have a two headed monster at RB and their QB is as apt to beat you running as throwing. I expect Fewell will have KP lined up closer to the box again this week.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Agreed, but fans have to stop beating up Rolle when he “doesn’t get there” on sideline balls. Asking any safety to cover the entire field is a task that none can do well except for the rare guy like Reed who can almost read the quarterback’s mind and guess which side he is throwing to so the safety can start cheating over quickly.

        Notice that when Phillips DOES drop back into coverage the safeties have done a pretty good job.

        Playing safety against the quality quarterbacks in the NFL is mercilessly hard. Most fans have NO idea how few can do it well. They still think of safety as a position for guys who cannot cut it at the corner because they’re not fast enough. It’s a tough position unless the coaches have scouted the opposition SO well that they know the tendencies out of every formation and situation and put their players in the position to defend it, and then the offense does what is expected of them. Much of the time it doesn’t work that way.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      Expanding upon your point, the run defense didn’t look all that bad in the Dallas game. The Murray run and inability to score after the Boley interception are the key reasons that we aren’t 2-0. I hate to sound like a Fewell apologist. I’m not a cover-2 guy and make no mistake, Fewell is definitely a cover-2 guy. However, his defenses do tend to get better as the year goes on. My chief complaint is the lack of pass rush and lack of imagination in the pass rush. Even when only rushing four, you have the athletes to run an occasional stunt. Remember when Spags used to have Tuck line up at DE and then loop inside to rush up the center? JPP is more than athletic enough to do similar things. Getting Prince back on the field and adding a little **** to the vanilla defense would infuse some staunchness back into our D.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    As to the “development” of late draft picks on the offensive line, no one is mentioning two very important elements: first, offensive linemen generally have the longest careers in the NFL, some playing 12-15 years in the league quite successfully; second, interior linemen, unless they are in Nicks’ class, don’t get paid a lot of money.

    The consequence of the above is that you can work with a kid for 2-4 years getting him ready, know that he may give you a good decade of work thereafter, and know that his first contract after his rookie deal is almost certainly not going to break the bank. None of those notes hold true for high draft picks who turn out well. A guy like Jake Long is going to cost a fortune to retain. Heck, it is going to cost a lot to retain Will Beatty.

    So, drafting low picks (and grabbing UDFAs) for the offensive line is not at all a bad approach for a team trying to wisely manage their cap. You put 5-6 kids on that “development track”, watch them as Flaherty tries to bring them along, figure he may make a couple of them long-term assets, and march merrily along able to develop “good enough” offensive lines while not breaking your cap. Every once in awhile you take someone high (ie. Beatty) or grab a free agent (ie. Baas) whom you think can play for you for a lot of years and you recognize that you have to pay up there.

    Dirt’s right. Tom Coughlin won’t play someone who he isn’t confident can protect Eli, and every single one of us would agree with that approach. Eli is, IMHO, the MVP of the NFL and the top quarterback in this league, the biggest “winner” of them all. Better a “reliable” but not great set of tackles protecting him than a first-round draft pick who has to be quickly played to justify the choice even though Flaherty and Coughlin “hope” he can get the job done. But any of these youngsters (Brewer, Petrus, Cordle, McCants, Mosley, Capers) who can prove consistently in practice that they can handle the job, and who get Flaherty’s imprimatur, and confirm that in Coughlin’s eyes, will get a shot. It may be that only one or two of them will prove out, but at the price they’ve paid for them that would be a HUGE bargain, and would CONTINUE to be a bargain through at least their second contract.

    Jerry Reese knows what he’s doing. He’s a lot shrewder than many of you credit him with being.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      The nuances of the strategy is not lost on me. You make very valid and insightful points. The weariness factor comes into play when we are still using the word “if” regarding this cast. The cast seems to be growing as no one is graduating from this list of potentials. I had hopes for Petrus last year, but this off-season he treated us with a big dose of regression. Or maybe he just wasn’t that good to begin with.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        True, but we still don’t know enough about any of them to make a final judgment. If we get two average-to-just-above-average NFL players out of those six we will have done very well. I’m not about to say we will get that, but I’m also not about to say we won’t. And with the way this team is built a 15th-16th ranked O-line would be “good enough” to keep us competing for Lombardi Trophies for the remainder of Eli’s career.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    This game we should see the return of Jernigan and Scott to the active roster. One of them will replace Brown on KOs or maybe even both Brown and Wilson (depending on Wilson’s expected work load). Wilson will get chances because Brown is not use to playing so for him to carry a full #1 RB role from the start of the game is asking too much. Wilson will get some looks and maybe even Scott.

    I think it makes no sense to make Austin active if he’s not going to play. Kuhn and Austin combined for 4 snaps last game. I think Rivers will take one of their spots or Diehl’s if healthy. I thought 4 DTs should be active but I expected them to get more snaps. I think a better job has to be done managing Joseph and Benard’s snaps so they can better in the 4th quarter.

    I also think this might be a game to employ some different looks. Like Rivers (if healthy), Boley and Williams on the field together or some 3 safety looks with Will Hill. If for some reason we find ourselves down to just 3 healthy CBs, I rather see Hill or Rolle on the slot and Hosley outside.

  5.  Krow says:

    I’m not trying to denegrate our safeties. Nor do I underestimate the difficulty of a Cover-1 scheme. But Rolle is a high priced free agent … and Kenny Phillips is a #1 pick. Both of them are often … and rightly … touted both here and in the announcers booth.

    I would expect them to make a few more plays on deep balls if they’re as talented as we all believe them to be. They don’t have to break up every long pass. But it’s not unreasonable to excpect them to break up some of them.

    It’s only two games … I totally get that … but so far I can’t recall either one defensing a long ball.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Rolle saved the game on Sunday with the hit that knocked that ball loose. Phillips made a great play on a deep ball along the sideline in the Dallas game and almost killed jackson on Sunday with a perfectly-timed hit that seemed to make the Bucs stay away from the middle thereafter even though Chase couldn’t cover that area.

  6.  norm says:

    Just a couple of points to tie off my debate with Dirt from last night.

    It’s all well and good to propose that Reese should have been packaging multiple lower round picks for the opportunity to trade up for one or two higher ones – but how often does that happen in actuality?

    A bottom of the sixth round pick may indeed be “currency,” as Dirt suggests. But then again, so is a one dollar bill. You need to amass a whole lotta of those one dollar bills before you can actually redeem them for anything of value.

    The reality is that most NFL teams are not all that interested in stockpiling picks below the fourth round. Deals involving lower round picks usually see them packaged up with at least one higher one. So in the end you are essentially swapping high pick for high pick. It’s not as if all those low rounders are getting you any additional ones.

    As for the question of the best way in which a team should spend that sixth round “currency” if it’s not used in a trade, I’d simply point out the following: There’s not much that a single one dollar bill will buy you nowadays. Except a lottery ticket. Like Matt McCants.

    Also: I’ve become rather curious about this growing mythology of all of the NFL ready, plug ‘n’ play O-linemen that Reese has habitually passed up in the earlier rounds in lieu of drafting projects later on. Just who were these neglected gems, exactly?

    I myself have neither the time nor inclination to go back and research which O-linemen have been passed on by the Giants in the first three rounds during Reese’s watch. But if someone ever wanted to make that effort, I’d certainly applaud it.

    Without going back and looking, I’d venture a guess that there have not been all that many. Even 1st and 2nd round linemen have a learning curve that’s probably a minimum of one year. Which, admittedly, is one year less than many of the projects that Reese has drafted. But even a higher round O-lineman would still have the same high hurdle to clear with Coughlin before he ever saw the field. Namely: Can he be trusted to protect the $100 million franchise? So it’s entirely possible that the gestation period for a 1st or 2nd round O-lineman would still be longer on the Giants than it would on any other team.

    And that pretty much exhausts all that I have to say on this matter.

  7.  JimStoll says:

    putting Hosely on smith makes sense from a speed standpoint, but given that The Real Steve Smith is one of the best, most savvy receivers in the game you have to figure he’ll abuse him at least 2x — i.e., 14 points
    the Giants have done a pretty good job run defending but in both the Dallas and Tampa game (more Dallas than Tampa) there appeared to be cracks once the momentum and score swung decidedly in their favor
    where that leaves me is that this game will really turn on the giants scoring early and at least as often as Carolina
    with the Panthers’ running prowess, a running QB and one of the most elite receivers potentially being covered by a raw rookie, plus 3 days rest and only 1 day of practice, falling behind early could well be too much to overcoem

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