If you are lucky enough to get a step or two on Darrelle Revis, you'd better make it count.
On Saturday night, the Giants got that step and didn't. And it was one of the more disappointing plays of the night for Tom Coughlin.
"It's frustrating," he said on a conference call Sunday. "When the receiver is open downfield, you have to give him a chance."
In this case, the receiver was Odell Beckham Jr., who burned past Revis down the right sideline on the first play after the two-minute warning in the first half. But Eli Manning's pass faded out of bounds, and not even Beckham's now-famous contortions allowed him to either catch the ball or stay in the field of play.
"I think he just missed it," Coughlin said of Manning's pass. "When Odell was clearly behind him by four or five yards, then the ball had to be thrown in a different spot and it wasn't."
That the Giants punted on the play after the Beckham incompletion, got the ball back before the half ended and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown only compounded the disappointment.
Had Manning hit Beckham in stride -- or even put it close to his Spider-Man hands while in bounds with no safety behind him -- it could have been a touchdown, or at least led to one to give the Giants a potential 14-13 lead. Instead they went into halftime down 21-7.
"You're talking points off the board right there," Coughlin said. "That has to happen. You get somebody behind people and open, we have to be able to get him the ball."
It's a specific play, but one that also represents the kind that has irked Coughlin this summer.
Manning's longest completion of the preseason has gone for 19 yards, and that came on a check-down to Shane Vereen Saturday night. Beckham, the Giants' big-play man, finally contributed some receptions, catching five passes against the Jets, but none went for more than 8 yards. Last year, he averaged 14.3 yards. In the last nine weeks of the season, he didn't have a game without a reception of at least 29 yards.
"I like the ball thrown down the field, I like taking shots, I like all of those things," Coughlin said. "It's one thing to talk about it, another thing to do it. We just haven't done it and we haven't had that many opportunities. It's frustrating."
It also does not appear as if another of the Giants' long-ball threats will be available anytime soon. Coughlin said Victor Cruz (calf) has not been cleared to practice even though he is making progress. That likely means Cruz will miss Thursday's preseason finale and will head into the regular season without having seen any game action.
"I'll just say that that wouldn't be the preferred way," Coughlin said.
Notes & quotes: Coughlin also was unhappy with the rest of the game (aside from the 14-play, 85-yard touchdown drive by the starters). "Overall, it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be and there is a lot of work to be done," he said. . . . Coughlin did not have an update on defensive end Robert Ayers Jr., who injured his ankle in pregame warmups and had an MRI Sunday. . . . Coughlin confirmed that the Giants were giving safety Stevie Brown a physical on Sunday, but they had not signed him at the time of Coughlin's call with reporters.