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Five Things To Watch ( N.Y. Giants)
Five Things To Watch
August 19, 2004
Defensive posture: Installing a new defense takes time when six players in the front seven have never played for the Giants. But allowing 311 yards in the first half against the Chiefs, and missing tackles along the way, wasn't a good first step.
Monk's the man: This is middle linebacker Quincy Monk's third year with the Giants, but the first two have been relatively anonymous. No longer. He's the first option on the strong side if Nick Greisen and Carlos Emmons can't get back on the field. This is his chance to impress.
Competition is good: Tom Coughlin's decision to start Eli Manning means the rookie does have a chance to win the starting job. If he plays well, supported by an experienced line, it's possible neither Manning or Coughlin will ever look back.
Get me a yard: Ron Dayne looked like Barry Sanders against the Chiefs, showing the open-field explosiveness Giants fans have been waiting for on touchdown runs of 29 and 67 yards. But Coughlin wants more. He wants Dayne to push through piles on third and 1. Dayne may discover that you just can't please some people.
Big catch: Aside from Ike Hilliard and Amani Toomer, the receiving corps is in flux. Tim Carter is making Coughlin angry by nursing a hamstring injury. James McKnight and rookie Jamaar Taylor have also been limited by injuries. So the door is open for Willie Ponder, David Tyree, Avion Black, Ataveus Cash and the best receiver of them all in camp, fifth-year pro JaJuan Dawson.
May the odds be ever in your favor.