Commentary

Bomar wants to be steady vs. Steelers

Backup looks to build off encouraging Monday night display vs. Jets

Updated: August 21, 2010, 3:48 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Rhett Bomar would love to have a Victor Cruz-type of game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in his first preseason start.

But for the most part, Bomar really wants to be like one person in the most meaningful game to date of his young career.

"Just go out there and make plays and make good decisions and play within our offense," Bomar said of what he wants to accomplish Saturday.

"Just be smart with the ball," he said.

"I'm trying to be like Eli."

With Eli Manning and Jim Sorgi out with injuries, the Giants' second preseason game will be the Bomar show. The second-year quarterback is the team's third-string signal-caller but he will be the New York Giants' only quarterback with a grasp of the offense. The Giants signed free-agent quarterback Dominic Randolph, who was in the team's rookie minicamp in May. But Randolph may see limited time in the fourth quarter. And then there's safety Antrel Rolle, who could be the team's emergency quarterback if need be.

So Bomar not only will start but he will likely play a lot against Pittsburgh. And he's not complaining one bit.

"It'll be great, playing with the [first-team] O-line and the receivers and everything like that, guys that I don't get to go with that much, guys with experience who have done a lot in this league," Bomar said. "It'll be fun."

Typically, Bomar only sees time with the third team. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad and hasn't seen significant action since his final college game at Sam Houston State in 2008.

But the Giants like what they have seen from the 6-foot-2, 224-pound quarterback so far this summer.

During the Giants' 31-16 win over the Jets on Monday, Bomar completed 6-of-7 passes for 67 yards. He also had a 23-yard scramble for a first down on a third-and-17 at the Jets' 28-yard line in the fourth quarter. On the next play, Bomar hit Cruz for a 5-yard touchdown.

"He played terrific when he got the chance," said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "I think that he needs to block out that he's not going in third, he's going in first, and just play. Because of the guys around him, he should feel even better about the way he looked last Monday night, which I thought was terrific."

With the first team running backs behind him and receivers like Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks to throw to, Bomar will get a taste of what it's like to be like Eli.

"He's a physically tough kid," Gilbride said. "No question about it. There's a lot of pressure on him because I'm sure he feels the weight of the world. Instead of looking at guys who he has been on the scout team with, he's looking at the starters in the eye and they're expecting him to lead and do the things that Eli would do, and it's not fair to expect that from him. He's going to have to do enough because he is the leader and he has to direct the things and say it with enough confidence that they feel good about where he is taking them."

WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT

The return of KP: Safety Kenny Phillips makes his big return to action against Pittsburgh. Phillips may only play a limited amount of snaps but he will be back on the field for the first time since last September at Dallas. The safety underwent microfracture surgery on his knee after that.

Man in the middle: New linebacker Keith Bulluck makes his Giants debut tonight. Like Phillips, he will probably not see a whole lot of playing time as he makes his way back from ACL surgery just more than seven months ago. But Bulluck will be able to show a little bit of what he can do in the middle, likely with the second team.

Rhett or not: Third-string quarterback Rhett Bomar gets all the playing time he can handle and more. With Eli Manning nursing a cut on his head and Jim Sorgi with a shoulder injury, Bomar will get a taste of what it is like to be a starter.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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