EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Going into the season, defensive tackle was supposed to be a deep position for the Giants.
Eleven-year veteran Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), elevated into a starting role prior to the start of the 2012 campaign due to a season-ending injury to Chris Canty, will not play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. As a result, rookie Markus Kuhn and second-year man Marvin Austin will see increased snaps next to third-year pro Linval Joseph.
Talk about an opportunity.
“I think I will be called upon and I believe I’m ready for the challenge,” said Austin, who spent all of last season on injured reserve. “It’s just like I said, I’ve just got to go out there and play football. I know I’m a good football player, that’s what I’ve been doing. Now it’s just time for me to go out there and show it.
“I’m going to play more reps, so it will give me a chance to get more acclimated to just going out there and playing full speed. I’ll be ready.”
Said Kuhn: “I have to step up now since Rocky’s down. I’ve been practicing all week like I always have, now it’s time for me to prove I can do even more.
“I mean, I played in the first game and I’ve always played in some snaps. Now I know I’ll have increased snaps. I always felt like the more I played, I’m in there, the better I can get as well.”
Coach Tom Coughlin was asked to give his opinion on the two young tackles.
“(Marvin’s) got work to do. He’s got a ways to go,” Coughlin said. “Each week he gets a little bit better and his opportunity will be there again. For us to accomplish what we want to, he’s going to have to play well.”
“(Markus) has done okay, he’s done okay,” Coughlin said. “He’s a good, young prospect. He works hard, he’s physical. He’s done alright.”