There was a time when this game between the Giants and Jets would have meant a lot to Damon Harrison. Or at least to his coach.
“Everything was a big deal, everything,” Harrison said of playing for the Jets under Rex Ryan. “He made you believe that every game, every snap, everything mattered, as do a lot of coaches. But it was just a little different with Rex, and he wanted the “Snoopy Bowl” more than some others.”
Ah, the Snoopy Bowl, complete with the bronze statue of the cartoon character himself — a silent spokesman for MetLife — which goes to the winner. But we can be certain that when Ben McAdoo opened Giants training camp talking about adding another trophy to the case, it didn’t have a big nose and floppy ears.
Now, with Harrison a Giant, he has a much different perspective about the “Snoopy Trophy.”
“I couldn’t remember the name of it until somebody just told me,” Harrison said.
That’s because the Giants’ biggest concern in Saturday night’s game is not the Jets, but the Giants. After two preseason losses behind lackluster performances — the last, a 21-0 loss to Ryan’s Bills that forced McAdoo to admit that he could find no positives from the offensive play — the Giants don’t need a trophy so much as something to help them head into the regular season with the same confidence with which they opened camp.
“We talked a little bit after the game and some emotions were flying around and we put it in perspective earlier in the week,” McAdoo said. “We challenged them with the workload ... They responded in practice.”
Now they must bring it to the game.
“It’s another opportunity to get out there with your teammates and get ready and prepare for the season,” running back Rashad Jennings said. “At the end of the day we have to, as an offensive unit, go out there and leave a good taste on the field. Start fast, finish strong, play every play fully and eliminate the self-inflicted wounds and give ourselves the right energy that we deserve to have going into the season.”
This may be their last chance to do it before the games start for real. McAdoo hasn’t yet announced his plan, but traditionally coaches either sit their starters or play them for just a small segment of the fourth preseason game. That’s why this third game always has such importance. And why, after two duds, this one in particular has some urgency for the Giants.
“I thought we had a good week of practice,” Eli Manning said. “The tempo was better, fixing things and cleaning up things. The practice was better. We just have to put the practice onto the field. We have to do it on game day and make the plays when they count.”
Notes & Quotes: McAdoo said G Justin Pugh (shoulder) may be held out of a second straight game … The Giants plan to use both Josh Brown and newly-signed Randy Bullock as their kickers in the final two games.