One last blog before I leave the coziness of the press box here at New Meadowlands Stadium. I wrote a little bit in the previous post about the Giants’ touchdown run from the 1. Here we’ll talk about the Giants’ stop of the Steelers from the 1 at the end of the first half. And it had a lot to do with a big play by Rocky Bernard.
Those are words that weren’t strung together an awful lot last year: “big play” and “Rocky Bernard.” He spent most of the year struggling with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. He had surgery in the offseason and is looking to prove that last year, his first with the Giants, was not typical for him.
“We were in the huddle and we knew they didn’t have any time outs,” Bernard said of the stop on which he and Linval Joseph (but mostly he) stuffed Mewelde Moore on third-and-goal from the 1 on a play that started with 12 seconds left. “We figured Hey, if they were going to go for it, if we get a stop here the half would end. They should have gone for the field goal.
“It’s the preseason,” he added. “I guess they were trying to get their offense moving. It doesn’t count.”
It certainly counts for Bernard, who got a hearty handshake from Tom Coughlin on the way into the tunnel for halftime.
Bernard said because of the scheme the Giants defense was in, he knew it was up to him to stop the run.
“I could tell by their alignment they were going to try to run it and stuff it up in the middle,” he said. “I just hunkered down and made a play. I was over guard. I tried to stay stout in there. Usually you’ll be in goal line at the 1-yard line but we pretty much stayed in our base defense.”
“Yeah, it was a nice play,” he said when prompted. “It’s all good.”