Ben McAdoo is so enthralled by the kicking competition between Aldrick Rosas and Mike Nugent that for a moment he was almost rooting against his own offense.
That was in the fourth quarter on Friday’s preseason game against the Steelers when the Giants were down by eight and driving.
“We had the ball on the 35-yard line,” McAdoo said on Saturday. “I wanted to kick it there, but I also wanted to give the guys the chance to go down and score to give us a chance to tie the ballgame.”
The Giants turned the ball over on downs at the Steelers’ 35.
The game was not without other kicking opportunities, including Rosas’ 52-yarder. It was, Rosas said after the game, his first kick from 50 or more yards since high school. He also connected on a 27-yarder while Nugent was good from 30 and 45.
“It was exciting for [Rosas] to get out there and see him make that kick,” McAdoo said of the 52-yarder. “All the players around him were excited, too.”
Rosas and Nugent remain stride-for-stride with each other in the competition, which is sure to be cranked up throughout the remainder of training camp.
“The positive thing,” McAdoo said, “is we have one heck of a battle going on at the kicker spot.”
The Giants allowed seven sacks in Friday’s game, including three to Josh Johnson who was playing behind the starting offensive line. McAdoo, though, said that was not entirely the fault of the blocking.
“It wasn’t all the offensive line, but we did have some push,” McAdoo said, defending a unit that is under scrutiny this preseason. He chalked the sacks up to “some wide receiver errors,” the quarterbacks holding onto the ball too long and Geno Smith at one point running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage.
Still, seven is way too many.
“We need to eliminate the number of sacks that we had in the ball game,” McAdoo said.
The Giants seemed to start the game off well on offense with a 7-yard run by Paul Perkins, but McAdoo wanted more. “Perkins was one-on-one with the safety, and we need more than seven yards there,” he said. “He has to make him miss, and he has to run him over. We have to at least get a first down on that play” . . . McAdoo said many of the players who sat out Friday’s game with injuries — including WR Sterling Shepard (ankle), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger) — will begin getting “back in the mix” at practice on Sunday . . . Rookie LB Jimmy Herman, who was signed on Friday, was waived. He played two special teams snaps for the Giants on Friday night.