It was not easy for the New York Giants and head coach Tom Coughlin to get down to the 53-man roster limit on Saturday. The team made some interesting, and very difficult, decisions.
Coughlin spoke about the difficulty of some of the decisions.
“Some of the guys are really hurt. Some of them were shocked. This is a day when their expectations – you teach them to aim high and they pretty much all aimed high. There was some reality there, too. When you tell them that this time around, unfortunately, it’s not going to work, it’s a difficult thing," Coughlin said. "It’s part of the business. I’ve done it for a lot of years. We do things as a team here. It doesn’t get any easier. It’s not as pleasant a day as some. But it has to be done. There’s tremendous, tremendous pressure on the clubs to get the right combination of people. It’s not just positions, it’s people. It’s the right combinations of people in the right spots so you can have the kind of quality examples and leadership that you need. That’s what’s difficult about a guy like Clayton going. If I was a young guy, I’d be following him around.”
Here are the five most interesting decisions the Giants made:
1. Steve Weatherford over Matt Dodge: This is probably always the decision the Giants were going to make, but Dodge made it interesting with an excellent preseason. The second-year punter will go somewhere and — probably — wind up having a long, successful NFL career.
2. Keeping four rookie linebackers: The Giants kept undrafted free agents Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger, and draft choices Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams. They cut 2010 draft picks Phillip Dillard and Adrian Tracy. The play of the four rookie linebackers was one of the most exciting things about the Giants preseason, and the youngsters were rewarded. They will have to perform, especially on coverage teams.
3. David Carr over Sage Rosenfels: The Giants had a tough choice with two veteran backup quarterbacks. That they chose Carr, who was Eli Manning’s backup in 2008 and 2009, really was not a surprise. Rosenfels carried a $3 million price tag, while Carr makes the veteran minimum of $860,000. If Manning goes down for an extended period of time the Giants are in trouble, anyway.
4. Keeping Da’Rel Scott: The seventh-round draft choice appeared ticketed for the waiver wire until he busted off a 65-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Add that to his 97-yard touchdown run from scrimmage and Scott had the two biggest offensive plays of the Giants’ preseason. Can’t cut that kind of speed and productivity. Scott beat Andre Brown for the fourth running back slot.
5. Keeping Bear Pascoe: The tight end/fullback had an awful preseason. He is a blocker who couldn’t block. I still think Pascoe might be on the bubble today as the Giants work the waiver wire.