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Which Giants will play in preseason opener? Pat Shurmur says players will get the time 'they need'

"I have a general blueprint in my brain as to how much I want guys to play and it changes as we go through the preseason depending on where they're at," the Giants coach says.

Head Coach Pat Shurmur of the New York

Head Coach Pat Shurmur of the New York Giants speaks to the media during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on August 6, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Mike Stobe

Grantland Rice wrote that it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. For observers of preseason NFL games, however, it’s not so much how you play but who plays. For the Giants, that remains to be seen as they prepare for their preseason opener on Thursday against the Browns.

“Every player will receive the consideration necessary with regard to their play time,” Pat Shurmur said on Tuesday.

The biggest questions surround the biggest names, naturally. Folks want to know how much if any they’ll get to see of Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, and Eli Manning. Shurmur said the coaching staff had discussions on those matters and will share them with the players leading up to the game.

“I think you have to give them what they need,” Shurmur said of deciding how much a player is used in a preseason game. “They’re all at different stages of being ready to play in Week 1, so we just try to balance it and make good decisions based on whether we think it’s right for them to be in the game.”

While this is the opener and it comes with a sense of a new beginning, it’s also the first of four preseason games. The Giants have a month to get ready for Jacksonville on Sept. 9 and other opportunities beside Thursday night to put their main pieces on the field.

“I have a general blueprint in my brain as to how much I want guys to play and it changes as we go through the preseason depending on where they’re at,” Shurmur said. “But you’d like to see them do something, and then you just see how it plays out.”

Salute to service

The Army football team visited Giants practice on Tuesday. Because of NCAA regulations that prohibit any special treatment, the players had to sit in the bleachers and could not be on the sideline during the workout. After practice, however, the entire Giants team trotted over to the area in front of them and gave them a salute. Odell Beckham Jr. even leaped onto the chain link fence that separated them and hung there SpiderMan style to their wild cheers.

“I have a fondness in my heart for the academies,” Shurmur said, noting he had an appointment to the Naval Academy before deciding to attend Michigan State. “These guys are terrific young men and at some point they may be defending their freedom, so I thought it was great out guys went over there and acknowledged that.”

Giant steps

WR Travis Rudolph missed a second straight day of practice . . .DB William Gat returned after missing several days with a hamstring injury … Alonzo Russell dropped a wide open deep pass from Kyle Lauletta early in practice but made up for it with two deep catches later in the workout.

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