Dexter Lawrence won’t set expectations for Giants’ defense

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New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence hasn’t seen much game action this preseason, but that is poised to change on Sunday.

Head coach Joe Judge has said his starters will play at least two quarters and potentially more, which has Lawrence feeling some excitement.

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“I’m excited,” Lawrence told reporters on Friday. “Coach said the starters are going to play more this game, so I’m ready to go out there and just get a good feel for game tempo type of things. Continue to work on the goals that we have, start fast, stop the run, and don’t beat ourselves, pretty much.

“Obviously, getting a feel for a game and getting the feel for 60-70 plays a game is different, so we’re all excited and ready to go out there.”

Although the Giants defense had a bit of a hiccup during joint practices with the New England Patriots this week, expectations for the unit remain sky high. They played at a high level under Patrick Graham a season ago and should be better in 2021.

Still, Lawrence isn’t about to set any particular goals or benchmarks. Rather, he remains focused on execution and consistency.

“Just to go out there and compete, that’s the only expectation that we have as a unit is to go compete and go give our all and not beat ourselves,” Lawrence said. “We know at the end of the day, it’s all about us and how we approach each and every second of the game. It’s just like we’re going to get work when we go out there.

“That’s not our expectation,” Lawrence added when asked if the Giants could have a top five defense. “Like I said, it’s just to put our heads down and work. Each and every day work, work, work. Whatever comes after that is what comes after that.”

That should be music to ears of both head coach Joe Judge and the aforementioned Graham.