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Backfield, linebackers taking shape for Giants on cutdown day

New York Giants running back Andre Brown (35)

New York Giants running back Andre Brown (35) tries to escape from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Courtney Greene (36) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) Credit: AP Photo Stephen Morton

Andre Brown was asked what his goal for today would be.

“First,” he shouted, “be a Giant!”

The day is halfway over and it looks like he may achieve that goal.

As the Giants trim their roster to 53 players, we’ve already been able to determine many of the cuts and roster moves through sources, other reports and the Tweets of players and agents. One of those cut is running back D.J. Ware, the veteran with two Super Bowl rings. His departure likely means that both Brown and Da’Rel Scott will make the final roster and play behind Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson.

“They both played a lot of special teams and showed speed and some power on special teams, which is a real plus,” Tom Coughlin said yesterday of Brown and Scott. “I think both of them distinguished themselves.”

Their big job will likely be as a third-down back protecting Eli Manning on passing plays and then also catching passes. Brown, who is bigger than Scott, will likely get that job.

“I think they are a work in progress, but they’re definitely making progress,” Coughlin said of their pass protection.

Another player who was cut because of a logjam at his position was linebacker Greg Jones. As a rookie he was thrust into a starting role in the opener against the Redskins last season, but he was quickly replaced. This summer the Giants tried moving him outside. While he performed well on special teams, there was really no place for him on the defense. There is a possibility that if the Giants use the new short-term injured reserve rule next week that he could return.

As for some other crowded positions, the Giants have cut Marcus Thomas and Dwayne Hendricks at defensive tackle, which, depending on the medical evaluations of Shaun Rogers and Marvin Austin, could mean they are keeping Markus Kuhn.

At defensive end they also waived Matt Broha and Craig “Don’t Call Me Leonard” Marshall with the intentions of bringing them back on the practice squad according to reports. Adewale Ojomo, who led the team in preseason sacks and sack predictions, has made the team. What that means for Adrian Tracy, who has been injured, is uncertain at the time.

At wide receiver, the Giants waived Dan DePalma, David Douglas and Isaiah Stanback. That leaves a group of wide receivers that includes Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan and Ramses Barden who likely saved his job with back-to-back performances in the last two preseason games. There has been chatter about the Cowboys wanting to snag Douglas if he hit the waiver wire. We’ll see what happens there.

Also, the Giants waived LB Jake Muasau, put CB Bruce Johnson (shoulder) on injured reserve – that’s the third time in three seasons he’s landed there – and waived sixth-round pick Matt McCants who struggled in the last preseason game. They cut TE Larry Donnell, but it sounded like he was a practice squad candidate. OL Selvish Capers was also cut.

New York Sports