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Tom Coughlin's big thing in preseason was fewer turnovers

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin looks on in

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin looks on in the first half of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Aug. 16, 2014 in Indianapolis. Credit: Getty Images / Joe Robbins

There wasn't a lot to like about the Giants' offense this summer, but Tom Coughlin found one positive.

"The big thing happening in the preseason, which is not shocking, but the reason we won a couple games is because we didn't beat ourselves," Coughlin said Monday. "If you look at the numbers, you can see that. So that is something we can hang our hat on, regardless of what the statistics are."

The three Giants quarterbacks did not throw a single interception. They were the only team in the NFL without one, and they (and the Bills) played one more game than anyone else. The offense did lose three fumbles, but none of the running backs put the ball on the ground at any point in the five games. The Giants led the NFL with 40 turnovers last year and their differential of minus-11 was 29th in the league.

"I have confidence we're doing the right thing," Coughlin said. "Definitely, we have areas to improve in. I think we will improve, I think we will get better as time goes on."

Gilbride: Jury still out

Now that the preseason is complete, what does NBC Sports analyst and former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride think about what he saw from his former team?

"I honestly don't think it was really an accurate barometer of where they are or how good they could be," Gilbride said.

That doesn't mean he thinks they'll be fine, just that there wasn't enough game-planning in the preseason to make a good evaluation. One element of the offense certainly should be improved. "The running backs are far superior to what we had last year," Gilbride said. "It's not even close."

The biggest key, Gilbride said, figures to be the line.

"I think they've added five different guys on the offensive line, and it remains to be seen whether they're the right five," he said. "If you give Eli [Manning] sufficient time, he's going to perform . . . There is a transition that's going on; there's no question that's a process that takes time. How far along and everything else, it remains to be seen how far they've evolved."

Giant steps

Tuesday was the first day teams could put players on injured reserve with a designation to return. The Giants did not use it but are likely to with G Geoff Schwartz by the end of the week . . . The Giants were reportedly close to signing veteran G Adam Snyder, a former 49er, Tuesday night.

New York Sports