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Following what has been a tumultuous period of time following the NFL Lockout and the beginning of NFL training camps, the New York Giants open their preseason Saturday evening in Carolina against the Carolina Panthers (8 p.m. ET).
Giants' fans have been up in arms over the losses of Kevin Boss and Steve Smith via free agency, the releases of veteran offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert and an apparent lack of interest on the part of the Giants front office in pursuing any of the brand-name free agents who had been available.
Instead, while the NFL East rival Philadelphia Eagles and city rival New York Jets have made several splashy moves have been mostly silent, as general manager Jerry Reese has chosen to bank on untested young players he drafted the past several years.
Reese Thursday guaranteed that "we'll get into the playoffs and we'll make a run."
"We had a game plan and we are sticking to our game plan," Reese said. "We feel good about our roster."
Saturday night against Carolina, a team that won just twice last season and has a rookie head coach in Ron Rivera, we begin to find out if Reese has made the right choice.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said he expects his starters to play 15-18 snaps against the Panthers.
"When you go into your first preseason game there's an awful lot of things on your mind, but you want people free to show their ability," Coughlin said. "Organizationally, you want to be as sound as you can be, you want the substitution pattern to be understood completely. You want to hit hard. You want to run fast to the ball. You want people to take care, as soon as they have an opportunity be at their very, very best. Not be sloppy with the ball and control penalties in the first game. There will be a bunch of objectives for the first game."
The Giants will be looking to see which wide receiver will make an early bid to become the third receiver behind Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. They will also be trying to sort our the funning back situation behind Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, and will be looking for signs of continuity from their revamped offensive line.
The game will be broadcast on WNBC Channel 4 in New York, as well as: WNYT-NBC, Albany, NY; WTIC- Fox, Hartford, CT; WSTM-NBC, Syracuse, NY; WICZ-Fox, Binghamton, NY and WWTI, Watertown, NY.