The common fan might not know who Jim Cordle is, but after tonight, they may be able to, as he will be making his first ever startt at center for the New York Giants when they play the New York Jets on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium.
Most of Cordle's time in the two seasons he has been with the team has been on special teams; serving as an extra blocker on the field goal and extra point team. But due to David Baas' suffering an MCL injury that could keep him out up to six weeks and Kevin Boothe shifting back to guard due to David Diehl's thumb surgery, Cordle knows he has a golden opportunity to impress the coaches, fans and teammates when he steps onto the field.
"To be out there with the first group is exciting," Cordle said Thursday. "And for me, I still consider it playing for my job. Looking at it that way, it's an opportunity for me to do that."
The Giants could have kept Boothe at center and replaced Diehl's left guard spot with either James Brewer, Selvish Capers or Brandon Mosley, but as he told Kieran Dacry of ESPN New York, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin really liked what he saw from his center in practice and felt like it was time to give the former Ohio State Buckeye a chance at the NFL level to see if he can produce.
"We're really excited about the way Cordle played the other night," Coughlin said earlier this week. "Hopefully he'll keep that going."
One thing that Cordle mentioned about being a positive to him was the amount of experience that will surround him on the offensive line, as Boothe and Chris Snee have started in plenty of games for the Giants and can help Cordle along the way. Plus, he knows how important it is to work and get the ball to Eli Manning under center.
"Chris and Kevin do such a good job communicating," Cordle said. "Hopefully I can help out and not be a drop-off from Baas. They have such a routine down of when they're switching twists or when they're getting the guard over on the linebacker, things like that. But we use the same vocabulary so hopefully they understand it. With the under snaps you've got hand placement and where Eli has his hands, what's his motion of accepting the snap. But you pick it up pretty quick," Cordle said. "And in shotgun snaps Eli just wants consistency, which I can give to him."
Baas has gone public in saying that he will be shooting to return to the Giants for their Week 1 regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 8, but it's not a given since his injury was diagnosed with a 3-6 week return time frame, so if it goes more towards the six week time, Cordle could be the guy at center when the Giants play Dallas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. But for the time being, Cordle is focusing on the Jets and performing well against them.
"I've probably thought about it," Cordle said, smiling. "I don't know how it's going to work out, but it's in the back of my mind. I'm playing for a roster spot this game, just to stay around here. We'll see, when opening night comes up, what the lineup is."
If Cordle plays well with the first team offense, he likely will get another start in the Giants final preseason game this coming Thursday night at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.
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