Travis Beckum thinks Hakeem Nicks is good. Really good.
So even if the Eagles double him, Beckum still says Nicks can get his. And if not, someone else can benefit from all the coverage being focused in on the Giants’ main playmaking receiver.
“I don’t know if you’ve been watching him but ... he’ll hold his own,” Beckum said Friday.
Nicks, who has hauled in 11 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown so far this season, figures to see plenty of the Eagles’ star-studded tandem of Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Asked to describe the differences between Asomugha and Samuel, Hicks replied, “They got two different styles. Asante likes to play off the ball, he’s a savvy vet. He likes to stick his nose in there and watch the quarterback, he likes to play the receiver through the quarterback. Nnamdi is different. He likes to play up in your face get his hands on you early, but it’s gonna be competitive.”
Nicks said he expects to see both corners, but expects he may be able to go one-on-one against Asomugha.
“You’d like to think that they would stick to their gameplan,” Nicks said. “They got a good secondary, so in my eyes they’ll stick to their gameplan. And we gonna stick to our gameplan.”
The Giants’ gameplan could be alerted if they don’t have the services of Mario Manningham (concussion), who missed the entire week of practice. It’s been well-documented that Victor Cruz, Brandon Stokley, Devin Thomas and potentially rookie Jerrel Jernigan will likely be asked to take on increased roles if Manningham is unable to go.
Cruz lined up in Manningham’s position opposite Nicks, and says he’s preparing this week like he’s the starter. That would mean Stokley, who just made his Giants’ debut on Monday night, should see plenty of snaps in his customary slot position.
Head coach Tom Coughlin said Stokley has been able to pick up the team’s gameplan.
“We have to,” Coughlin replied when asked if his receivers are going to be able to gain separation against Philadelphia’s vaunted secondary.
“We are going down to play as well and it is a great opportunity for them.”
But when it all comes down to it, the Giants are going to need a big day out of Nicks, and he knows it. He just doesn’t want to place the entire burden on himself -- or at least he isn’t think that way.
“I’m gonna just stick to the gameplan, play the game,” Nicks said. “You know, we practiced accordingly as if those guys wasn’t gonna be up. Those guys had a good week of practice -- Victor Cruz, Devin Thomas -- so we gonna adjust accordingly.”