EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ben McAdoo appears set to attack the preseason similar to the way he did last year when he was a rookie head coach for the New York Giants and handle his stars carefully.
Quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. sat out the preseason opener both years. They’re expected to play the first quarter and possibly into the second in the Giants’ second preseason contest of the summer on Monday night in Cleveland.
“We’d like to give [Manning] a good chunk of playing time, into the second quarter,” McAdoo said. “We’ll take a look at it as it goes.”
Manning lasted 19 snaps last year in the second preseason game. He came onto the field for one series in the second quarter before turning into a spectator on the sideline.
Beckham played 16 snaps in that shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills last year. He played the entire first quarter but was not on the field at all in the second.
It will likely be similar against the Browns. McAdoo said they’ll take it “series by series,” and then went with his patented line that they’re going to be consistent but treat everybody differently.
The only Giants starter who might not see action on Monday night is cornerback Eli Apple. He’s been dealing with an ankle injury and spent most of the past few practices watching.
The Giants did not practice Saturday and instead used it as a recovery day.
McAdoo appears intent on trying to get all healthy players on his roster into the contest. He said “ideally” all four quarterbacks would see action. He wouldn’t, however, reveal the quarterback rotation and who is next in line after Manning.
Josh Johnson received the first shot in the preseason opener, followed by Geno Smith and Davis Webb. Johnson and Smith have alternated days working with the second and third-team offenses throughout training camp.
Based on the rotation this summer, it's likely that Smith gets on the field Monday night before Johnson. Whether Webb gets into the game seems to depend on how it all unfolds. McAdoo does not appear intent on favoring the rookies in order to get them more reps in game action.
“We play some guys a little longer than other guys,” he said. "But basically the guys that are fighting for guys, you want to give them an opportunity to earn the job. Age doesn’t matter.”
The floor for what the Giants are trying to accomplish as a team don’t appear especially high. This is just the second preseason game of the year.
It will be the start of three games in 11 days for the Giants.
“We want to stack some successes with the way game management went last week. We had 11 guys on the field each play, and that is easier said than done in the first preseason game,” McAdoo said. “Just keep continuing to build. Go [from] good to great on defense. Offense be more productive. We’re going to have everyone in the mix there.”