3 Players Who Must Impress the New York Giants Coaching Staff in OTAs
While the contact in OTAs is light, Marvin Austin, James Brewer and Jerrel Jernigan can't afford to take these activities lightly.
These three players are all members of the Giants 2011 draft class, and each must find a way to produce in 2013. Specifically for them, it needs to begin in OTAs.
While unlikely, a poor showing at these voluntary workouts from these three underachievers could easily lead to being left off the training camp roster.
Austin and Brewer have contributed next to nothing in their first two seasons, and while Jernigan has tasted some action with the kick-return game, there is no room for error for them in their third go-around with Big Blue.
Usually these non-contact activities give the coaching staff a chance to see how the rookies pick up the playbook and what kind of shape the veterans are in, but the magnifying glass is squarely on these three men.
Nobody is showing up at MetLife Stadium with "Marvelous Marvin" posters, as Austin has been far and away the most disappointing of the three.
When your team's website has your career highlight as "Austin tore his left pectoral muscle in a preseason game vs. Chicago (8/22) and underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 30," it's not good.
By the G-Men drafting Johnathan Hankins, adding veteran Cullen Jenkins and expecting heavy competition from Markus Kuhn and Shaun Rogers, Austin can easily fall down the depth chart.
These OTAs are the most important days in his professional career, and the once-promising draft pick must impress the Giants brass and help them remember why they chose him two years ago.
On the other side of the line, there's Brewer.
Brewer has only played in eight games—not starting any—in his first two seasons, and it's becoming put-up or shut-up time for the third-year tackle.
The Giants see David Diehl passing the torch to rookie Justin Pugh this season, and David Wilson is taking on his first season as the featured back, so options for Brewer making a name for himself could be dwindling.
He'll need to leverage OTAs by displaying his understanding of the playbook and by having a young-veteran presence.
Younger guys like Brandon Mosley and Matt McCants will also be trying to upstage Brewer this spring.
Brewer really needs to have a mistake-free OTAs and convince coach Tom Coughlin that he should be a part of their future.
When it comes to Jernigan, the Giants are still figuring out who he is, and the best way to use him.
He was a passing threat in college, but at 5'8" in the NFL, his impact has mostly been felt on special teams.
With Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz not in the OTA mix yet, Jernigan must capitalize on the extra attention from the coaching staff.
More pressure is put on his shoulders as Ramses Barden was given another chance with a one-year contract, and Rueben Randle is expected to be the Manning's third option.
Jernigan is probably competing to be a featured special-teamer, but could very likely be the successor in the slot if contract discussions with Cruz go south.
This year is a make-or-break year for him, and a lot will depend on his performance this spring and summer.
Talent alone has gotten Austin, Brewer and Jernigan to the NFL, but things haven't quite clicked yet for each of them.
They can begin to change that with impressive showings in OTAs.
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