CINCINNATI - It's Nassib Time!

Yes, the preseason begins on Friday night, and with it comes the annual opportunity for the Giants' backup quarterback to see extended playing time.

Being stuck behind one of the most durable players in the history of the league severely limits the number of snaps Ryan Nassib gets once the regular season begins in September. So while these preseason games are relatively meaningless, they represent a significant and rare chance for Nassib.

"Obviously, this is my chance to play and go into the games knowing that I'm going to have playing time," said Nassib, who was 14 the last time anyone other than Eli Manning started a game at quarterback for the Giants. "It's something you look forward to."

Nassib is pretty firmly established as Manning's understudy and likely will see the bulk of the reps in this game. But he also knows he has to show progress.

"Just take what we've been working on and take it out on the field," he said."In the preseason you don't game plan as much as you would in the regular season, so it's really just to show how your training is kicking in . . . I still think I still have a lot to prove." Flowers ready

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After two days of practicing against the Bengals, first-round pick Ereck Flowers will get a taste of game conditions as the starting left tackle. He'll play after dealing with a hip flexor injury last week. "It's going to be good for me to play any game I dress up in," Flowers said. "I'm not the type of guy to want to miss games. It's a big deal."

Coughlin's message

Tom Coughlin had a message for the younger players on the roster. "Play hard, give great effort, let's see what you've got," he said. "Plenty of spots out there to be [won]. You've seen the guys that are competing for starting jobs. Hopefully all that is going to do is get better."