Giants head coach Ben McAdoo likes the direction his team is heading in, despite a lackluster preseason.
“I feel like we’re building a strong football team,” McAdoo said. “We created a foundation and we keep adding to that foundation. The fundamentals are coming, the physicality is coming. We’re not where we want to be just yet, but thank goodness we’re not where we used to be.”
The question is if the passing or running game has looked worse in the exhibition games, even if they don’t mean anything. Ryan Nassib has seen the majority of time at quarterback but has only completed 15-of-46 passes. The running game has been stagnant, which may have seen its low point on Saturday when Rashad Jennings had six rushes for a total of minus one yard. The practices and camps have been a learning experience according to running back Shane Vereen.
“I think there have been a lot of good things and we have also had our ups and downs, as most teams do during camp, but I definitely think it has been a good learning experience, not just for the young guys, but also for the vets,” Vereen said.
In the preseason, Vereen has eight carries for 29 yards, with 19 of them on one run. Jennings has 13 rushes for 20 yards, including an 11-yard dash. Paul Perkins has 49 yards on 14 rushes, and Andre Williams has run for 56 on 15. Bobby Rainey is the leading rusher, having amassed 87 yards on six carries, including a 67-yard run against Buffalo.
“I know offensively we would like to be better than what we have been as far as the preseason games are concerned, but I think in practice we are working on the little things and we are growing to be the offense we are expected to be,” Vereen said.
On the 33 completions by Giants quarterbacks, there have been receptions made by 18 different receivers. Rookie Sterling Shepard has caught two passes for 25 yards, one a 24-yard reception and the other for a single yard. The wide receiver doesn’t feel there’s any reason to be upset about the lack of targets in exhibition games.
“It is preseason, so you don’t want to show everything that you have,” Shepard said. “It is kind of hard to get frustrated about not getting any balls this early, so I don’t think anyone was really frustrated about it.”
Shepard, the Giants second-round pick out of Oklahoma, feels that the offense will come around.
“We have the personnel to do it,” Shepard said. “We have guys that are ready and hungry to play. I don’t feel like what has happened in the preseason is going to affect us in the regular season at all.”