Mark Herzlih is one of several Giants who may see their role diminish.
Several New York Giants should be looking over their shoulders following a disappointing defeat in Dallas to open the 2013 season. Poor play by key players sunk Big Blue's hopes of stealing a victory on the road against a bitter rival. Now, New York must turn to some old and familiar faces to right the ship.
Week 1's performance was a dismal display of the type of football that head coach Tom Coughlin expects from his team.
A lifeless effort riddled by turnovers and penalties cost New York in the opener. The Giants showed they have blemishes and deficiencies in all three phases of the game. New York will look to shore up these weaknesses with different personnel moving forward.
Players can also lose their jobs in 2013 by no fault of their own.
The Giants have built solid depth in certain positions this offseason. This could lead to a talented backup winning over the coaching staff at some point this fall.
Some prominent names could be demoted in the coming weeks if their performances do not improve. Here are five New York Giants who are in danger of losing their starting roles early in the 2013 season.
James Brewer was a spot starter for New York in Week 1.
Brewer's benching is an inevitability, as center David Baas and tackle David Diehl both are set to return for New York in the near future. The Giants guard looked out of sorts at times on Sunday night and is best suited as a backup.
He wasn't the only player who had a subpar performance. Even New York's most decorated offensive linemen struggled on Sunday.
Chris Snee allowed two sacks against the Cowboys. If not for the fact that his children are Tom Coughlin's grandkids, he could be on this list as well.
Will Beatty was abused by DeMarcus Ware on a few occasions, which was to be expected. Rookie Justin Pugh also looked overmatched at times at the right tackle position.
The Giants are set to face a tame Denver Broncos defensive line this Sunday. They also should be able to plug David Baas in at center and return Kevin Boothe to his preferred position of guard. With the offensive line almost returning to full health, Week 2 will be a much easier test for this unit.
The Giants had 251 days to prepare for their September 8th contest in Dallas after finishing the 2012 season against Philadelphia.
With all that time on its hands, New York opened the season by throwing an interception on the very first play from scrimmage. Eli Manning found defensive end DeMarcus Ware on an atrociously conceived and executed screen pass.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is the main culprit for New York's often embarrassing performance on national television. Coincidentally, the Giants also ended the game on an ill-advised screen call by Gilbride.
With Manning picking apart the Dallas secondary and seemingly drawing close to an extraordinary comeback, Gilbride decided to handcuff his quarterback with another terrible play call.
After Manning found Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks with relative ease, whom did Gilbride turn to coming out of the two-minute warning? None other than Da'Rel Scott, who had two career receptions heading into the game. Scott's lack of awareness and poise in these situations led to another interception and effectively ended New York's comeback bid.
Gilbride has reached his end as the Giants' offensive coordinator. The team inexplicably was penalized on multiple occasions coming out of timeouts. These penalties were the result of an illegal shift and delay of game—confusion that can most logically be attributed to Gilbride's shortcomings as an offensive coordinator.
Herzlich continues to struggle in coverage.
Mark Herzlich was inserted early into the game after Dan Connor suffered a burner for the Giants. Herzlich can be considered a starter for now because of the ongoing murky middle linebacker situation for New York.
He is a solid run defender but continues to cripple this defense with his ineptitude in coverage.
The blame for this dilemma rests on the shoulders of general manager Jerry Reese, who failed to address the middle linebacker position adequately this offseason.
Herzlich is a hindrance when used frequently. Teams are aware of his inability to stick with tight ends and running backs in coverage. This makes him an exploitable target that the Giants cannot effectively work around.
Peyton Manning will be sure to pick on him when the Giants host Denver this Sunday.
The best way New York can halt this development is by keeping the former Boston College Eagle on the bench. Connor is not a major upgrade, but his experience and understanding of the game give him an edge over Herzlich.
Myers didn't show up until the game was in hand.
Contrary to popular belief, numbers in sports do often lie. On paper, Brandon Myers had a solid game in his debut with New York, recording seven catches for 66 yards and one touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Giants, he showed he has done little to improve on his terrible blocking since coming over from Oakland.
New York's well-documented issues in protection and run-blocking were worsened by the decision to sign Myers this offseason. The lack of aggression that he showed at the point of attack on Sunday makes it easy to see why he was the worst-rated blocking tight end in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus.
Along with his lack of improvement as a run-blocker was the fact that nearly all of his production came in the waning minutes of the game.
With less than two minutes remaining and the Giants trailing by 12, Myers accumulated four catches, 42 yards and his lone touchdown. His stat padding in garbage time is unlikely to impress anyone on the coaching staff.
Myers will only be as good as his blocking will take him in 2013. Judging by his Week 1 performance, that won't be very far.
With the weapons already at Manning's disposal, expect the Giants to gradually value Bear Pascoe's blocking prowess at the tight end position.
New York needs Jacquian Williams' speed on the field.
Spencer Paysinger has done well for himself in garnering a starting role to open the 2013 season. The former special teams standout worked his way onto the Giants defense and has been serviceable thus far.
Jacquian Williams, however, will ultimately replace Paysinger as a starter for New York.
Williams was a key contributor for the Giants as a rookie in 2011. Following its Super Bowl triumph against the New England Patriots, New York had lofty expectations for its promising young linebacker. A left knee injury, however, derailed his 2012 campaign and slowed his development.
Now that he is healthy, New York will be sure to value and utilize his skills.
Speed and quickness are almost nonexistent on the second level of New York's defense. Williams excels in these two areas.
In a pass-happy NFL, he figures prominently in the defensive plans for New York. Look for his role to expand almost immediately as the Giants get set to face a dangerous Denver passing attack.