FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Bobby Hart reshaped his body in the offseason and believes one improvement he made already has paid dividends in the preseason.
“Just overall strength,’’ said Hart, the Giants’ starting right tackle. “You can just feel it. Last year, I felt like there were times that I could get overwhelmed and lose technique where I’m trying to make up for lack of strength. So, I definitely can feel the strength, and it’s definitely made a difference.’’
Hart, though will not point to his added strength as proving anything just yet.
“We’ll get the real test when we play Dallas,’’ Hart said. “So, we’ll see then.’’
Hart figures to play just a bit in the first quarter Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Patriots, along with the rest of the offensive line. The spot next to him is in flux, with John Jerry not secure at right guard, as coach Ben McAdoo has tried Brett Jones and a little bit of D.J. Fluker in Jerry’s place.
“All those guys, they do a great job when they come in the game,’’ Hart said. “While being with the first team and playing with that guard definitely can help you, the way we practice and the way we do things — it’s no big deal if it’s something different.’’
Odell Beckham Jr. made the trip with the Giants to New England on Wednesday for the preseason finale. Beckham has a sprained ankle and will not play in the game, but traveling with the team is a positive sign, considering he did not attend the game against the Jets because the Giants medical staff wanted him to stay off his feet.
Another possible good sign: Beckham, not wearing a protective boot, was seen doing a quick little dance in the locker room, courtesy of LB J.T. Thomas’ Instagram. If Beckham is feeling good enough to strut a few dance moves, perhaps he will be ready to roll Sept. 10 when the Giants face the Cowboys.
The running game has not done much this summer, but it does look different, with the use of a fullback — usually rookie Shane Smith — as a lead blocker. Last season, there was no fullback on the roster.
“It’s different,’’ RB Paul Perkins said. “I mean, last year we did a lot of spread sets. The angles and the blocking is definitely different, but I think it’s definitely helping our team in the run game.’’
CB Eli Apple has not done much on the field, other than practice, in the preseason. He missed the game against the Browns with a sprained right ankle and last week against the Jets sprained his left ankle. So, Apple will not play vs. the Patriots.
“I think this preseason has been interesting with me, just trying to stay on top of my technique and be consistent out there,” Apple said. “Once again, it is just all about eye control. Sometimes it is just about me being locked in on every play.”
For the first time, there is only one roster cutdown, as teams on Saturday will go from 90 players to 53. In the past, there were cutdowns to 75 then 60 before the 53-man limit was reached. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he does not believe the flood of players on the market at one time will be chaotic.
“I don’t think that the players that are released between 90 and 75 are going to have a huge impact on the final rosters,’’ Belichick said. “Now I could be way off on that, but my sense of it is those players who — I think we can identify most of those players on every team. So whether they’re released last week, or this week or whenever it is, I think that’s probably about the same group of players. I don’t really see that as a big obstacle, personally.’’