Eli Manning did not play in Friday’s preseason opener because, as Ben McAdoo said, the Giants “have a pretty good idea of what Eli can do.” They wanted to see what backup quarterback Ryan Nassib could do, giving him the start and playing him the first three quarters. What they learned is that Eli Manning had better not miss any more games, preseason or otherwise.
Ryan Nassib threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, the three turnovers resulting in 17 Dolphins points in a 27-10 loss. He completed 7 of 15 passes for 75 yards and was also sacked four times.
“Overall as an offense, Ryan was right in line with everyone else tonight: it was a sloppy performance,” McAdoo said. “Anytime you have six balls on the ground and two interceptions, that’s not what we’re looking for.”
Nassib did well on the first possession with the starting offensive line in front of him, leading a nine-play, 74-yard drive for a touchdown. After that, though, it went sour pretty quickly.
“Obviously the turnovers were unacceptable,” Nassib said. “We put ourselves in some tough positions and we have to do a better job of bouncing back and making some plays, moving the ball and putting some more points on the board.”
“He was playing a little better with the first offensive line in there, then we started getting a little bit of pressure,” McAdoo said of Nassib.
Playing behind Manning, who has started 193 straight games for the Giants, Nassib rarely gets to play. In three seasons with the Giants, he has appeared in just five regular-season games and thrown just 10 passes. As a free agent at the end of this season, many assumed Nassib was hoping his preseason opportunities this summer would open eyes around the league and perhaps lead to opportunities to compete for a starting job next year.
After Friday’s performance, looking that far ahead might not be wise.
“I think personally, I’m just hungry to get to the next practice, get out there and get another opportunity to improve,” Nassib said. “Take away what happened tonight, learn from it and work on it to get better.”
Sully on the call
Mystery solved. At least for now.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan called the offensive plays for the Giants, something Ben McAdoo had kept under wraps since the days when he first assembled his staff this past winter. There has always been speculation over whether McAdoo, the offensive coordinator for the Giants the past two seasons, or Sullivan would be on the radio communicating with the quarterback.
“It was fine,” McAdoo said of Sullivan’s work. “We need to execute better.”
Of course just because Sullivan called the plays in the preseason opener does not mean he will during the regular season. McAdoo said he would experiment with different scenarios in the preseason before making a final determination for the Sept. 11 opener against the Cowboys.
Lightning ends Odell’s night
Odell Beckham Jr. was expected to play the first series or so for the Giants, but when the game was delayed 50 minutes by lightning, McAdoo decided to hold out his star receiver . . . McAdoo liked what he saw from second-year DE Owa Odighizuwa as a pass-rusher, although he hinted at some deficiencies in the run game. “He just has to let it rip,” McAdoo said of Odighizuwa. “He’s a talented young man . . . and he just has to go out there and let it rip and play fast and play aggressive.” . . . McAdoo said the fumble on the exchange between quarterback Logan Thomas and running back Paul Perkins appeared to be caused by the rookie running back. “It looked like we had a bad pocket there,” he said. “Looked like the quarterback put the ball in the breadbasket but the pocket didn’t look very clean.”