When Giants safety Nat Berhe walked out of MetLife Stadium on Sunday evening, he felt like a starter. He'd played the fourth quarter after Stevie Brown was benched and it seemed as if the job would be his moving forward.
When he showed up for work the next day, though, he learned a pretty big lesson on life in the NFL.
"As a rookie your eyes are really big," he said. "You think you're there, and you find out real quickly."
Veteran Quintin Demps took almost all of the snaps at safety with the starting defense at Tuesday's practice and most likely will get the starting nod on Thursday in Washington. Berhe said he was disappointed, but also excited about what he was able to accomplish on Sunday.
"It was exciting," he said. "It felt good being thrust out there and knowing what to do. It was like 'Whoa, this is the moment they talk about, and I'm glad I'm ready.'"
Berhe will be a special teamer and a backup again on Thursday. Brown likely will be on the sideline, too. Demps will get to make his first start as a Giant. He made six starts last year for the Chiefs, the only six of his career.
Demps started his NFL career in Philadelphia, though, so he knows a little about DeSean Jackson, the speedy receiver now playing for Washington. They were roommates when they were with the Eagles.
"Everybody in the league knows DeSean is going deep," Demps said. "The bottom line is to be deeper than the deepest."
With Jackson, that can mean taking an extra step or two back to make sure he doesn't get behind you.
"All he does is run," Demps said.
Demps hasn't had much playing time with the defense since the regular season started, but he said he has a good feel for the unit.
"I've been preparing like a starter," he said. "I feel good. I think my best foot will go forward."