If it looked as if the Giants were making a concerted effort to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. early and often last Sunday against the Browns, it was not an illusion.
“Every possible way we can get him the ball is schemed and we are trying like crazy to get it to number 13,” offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said Thursday. “News flash: Thirteen gets the ball, we’re a better offense!”
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That’s not always so simple.
“There was a lot more consistent two-high coverage, particularly whether it was man or zone with a safety over the top to 13,” Sullivan said of the Browns’ schemes. “We’re always trying to find ways to get him involved and look at different ways. Not just how he matches versus the coverage, but we can get him in different spots in the formation, not just always number one or number two, and in the slot.”
To try to figure out how the Steelers will play Beckham, Sullivan said they have gone to tape of the way Dez Bryant and A.J. Green were defended.
“There’s an anticipation of how that’s going to play itself out and you can try, as a coaching staff, to format things, have different concepts that will match that,” Sullivan said. “But then, ultimately, when Sunday comes around, they may change a little bit.”
Safety Landon Collins said he’s confident that cornerback Janoris Jenkins will be able to cover Steelers receiver Antonio Brown. He added that if Brown does get past Jenkins and comes into his territory, he’ll be ready.
“He’ll definitely get the shoulder,” Collins said. “I can’t take nothing off of him. I want to be a top safety, that’s what I’ve got to do. Hit him, make sure he doesn’t catch the ball and tackle him. Make him feel that presence.”
Three potential starting left guards for Sunday’s game — Justin Pugh (knee), Marshall Newhouse (knee) and Brett Jones (calf) — were limited in practice. Pugh is more likely to make his return next week against the Cowboys . . . Collins was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November, the first Giants safety to earn that award. He is the first NFL safety with at least 30 tackles, at least three interceptions and at least one sack in a calendar month since the Eagles’ Brian Dawkins in 2006.