Here are three takeaways from the Giants’ 17-14 preseason loss to the Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
1. The heavy usage for Devontae Booker in the first quarter was an indication the Giants know Saquon Barkley is going to participate in increased action for the first time this week. Booker ran the ball six times for 27 yards, scored a touchdown on a 1-yard leap and caught two passes for 13 yards before giving way to Corey Clement in the second quarter. It was a strong showing for Booker, running behind the all-reserve offensive line.
2. Carter Coughlin remains an intriguing prospect for the Giants. He had a third-down pass rush for a sack of Case Keenum for a 9-yard loss in the second quarter, once again showing he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. Coughlin is being tried at inside linebacker, a new spot for him. Dropping in coverage, he was rightfully called for a pass interference penalty when he crashed into tight end Jordan Franks. In the second half, Coughlin hustled down for a tackle on punt coverage.
3. The Giants have an Eli who can run. It’s Eli Penny, the fullback, who almost never gets the ball in his hands. He has 59 career rushing attempts, but 31 of those came in 2017 with the Cardinals. Penny has 28 rushing attempts in three seasons with the Giants. He had gains of 9, 9 and 7 yards (the first run was called back by a holding penalty) the first three times he touched the ball. Already a valuable special teams player, Penny can be more than that, if needed.