With Hakeem Nicks on the sidelines, there’s been an opportunity for another Giants receiver to assert himself opposite Victor Cruz.
The problem is, they’ve taken turns impressing during camp, leaving open the question who the third will be when Nicks returns.
“Ironically enough it’s been a little bit of everyone,” Cruz said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “It’s going to be tough for these coaches. I’m glad I’m not a coach or anybody working up top because it’s going to be tough to pick one of those guys.
The alternate view is that none of the group that includes Ramses Barden, Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan and rookie Rueben Randle have done enough to separate themselves.
With starters expected to play an entire half tonight against the Jets, it’s a good opportunity for one of them to make the job his, against a defense with top corners.
“It’s a huge test to go against the potentially top two corners in the league and to get some solid work against them,” Cruz said. “We’ll really see where you stand as a team and we’ll get some self-analysis to see how you are as an individual against those guys.”
Vacchiano said that Randle’s played the best in the games, but hasn’t had much work with the starters. Barden has teased before in the preseason, and Hixon has had a good camp working with the ones in Nicks’ place.
“I don’t know if there’s just one guy right now,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “I think there are a number of guys. I think these preseason games are big, when you see them against live action, against good corners, see their releases, and see if they’re doing a good job getting open.
“It’s always a good problem to have as a quarterback, [to] have a number of receivers who can come in and play well for you.”
Having a committee is always a better theory than practice, and if one of them doesn’t begin to move away from the field starting tonight, the Giants might wonder why they didn’t keep Mario Manningham, who is now one of the No. 1s in San Francisco.