Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence looks on during the first...

Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence looks on during the first quarter of a game against the Jets at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 8. Credit: Brad Penner

Dexter Lawrence wants the Giants defense to crank it up.

The rookie defensive lineman said the unit has not been “loud enough” so far this preseason. In the two games already played, they have been overlooked and underscrutinized, mostly because the spotlight has been shining so brightly on the team’s offensive players and quarterbacks in particular.

Now, though, it’s time to get noticed. It’s time to get rowdy. It’s time to be deafening in Thursday night’s third preseason game against the Bengals.

But what does that mean, to play loudly? A rock band, sure, that makes sense. An NFL defense?

“Just come out strong,” Lawrence said. “Putting our dominance on the field early and keeping that consistent all game. Don’t let them have any confidence.”

That would be loud. And it’s a level on the amplifier that this group has yet to attain.

They haven’t been awful, but they haven’t been awesome either. Against the Jets the starters allowed a touchdown drive to open the game and against the Bears they allowed Chicago’s second-stringers to drive for a field goal.

Both of those drives could have been squashed earlier. Against the Jets, safety Jabrill Peppers let a would-be interception go through his hands early in the possession. Against the Bears, the Giants would have had them facing third-and-9 early on were it not for a roughing-the-passer penalty against Lorenzo Carter.

Either of those plays – the pick or the sack – would have qualified as loud. Instead, they are remembered more for what they allowed. Points.

Against the Bengals, the goal is to avoid that.

“I think they have to make sure they’re over-exaggerating their communication, being in all of the right spots, playing with the right leverage,” Pat Shurmur said of what he wants from the group. “Upfront, when the other team is throwing the ball, we have to be disruptive and get pressure on the quarterback.”

The defense will be playing without a few projected starters. Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree has missed almost two weeks with a calf injury, rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker has been out a week with a knee. For the most part, though, the group that plays Thursday night will be the ones who play on Sept. 8 in Dallas.

Ogletree, who at the start of training camp boldly stated that the Giants can have a top 5 defense this season, thinks they are on track for that goal.

“I think we are on the right steps to where we want to be as a defense and as a team,” he said this week. “You can’t just talk about it, you have to go out there and do it each and every day. Like I’ve said, we continue to grow as a defense and get better at communication and everybody is coming together really well.”

Now all they need to do is be loud enough for people to notice.

Notes & quotes: The Giants waived WR Da’Mari Scott before heading to Cincinnati for the game … Shurmur said there will be no adjustments made in the offensive play-calling against a Bengals defense that is led by new coordinator Lou Anarumo, the Giants; defensive backs coach from a year ago. “Nine times out of 10, when you go somewhere and say, ‘I know this guy,’ it screws you up, I really believe that,” Shurmur said. “It’s going to be the Bengals playing the Giants, and we just happen to be coaching on opposite sides. It’s obviously a preseason game, so we’re all not showing our hand yet” … Asked what he wants to see from rookie QB Daniel Jones in his third preseason outing, Shurmur said: “Just play good football. Take the snap. When you’re asked to throw passes, get completions. When you’re asked to run the ball, hand the ball off and lead your team into the end zone.”

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