Lewis was set to start at weakside linebacker against the Texans in Canton in place of Dhani Jones, who was slowed early in camp by a tender hamstring.
What Lewis has going for him is he's smart, versatile (he backs up all three linebacker spots) and can play on special teams. He also might be the strongest linebacker on the team, even though he's one of the smallest at 6-1, 230. What Lewis does not have going for him is that Nick Greisen, Wes Mallard and Quincy Monk were all drafted by the Giants and all have been impressive enough to make the team.
Battling against those odds can be daunting, but Lewis seems exhilarated. "You're talking to Kevin Lewis,'' he said, breaking into a giggle. "I've kind of been at the bottom of the totem pole since I got here, so I'm challenged every day anyway. If there's someone better, guess what, you're gone.''
In the first two weeks of camp, Lewis was noticeable for making some big-time hits in live goal-line drills. He needed plenty of more big hits to keep himself around.
It was merely an afternoon practice in shorts, mainly designed to ensure the Giants knew what they were doing heading into the first preseason game. But when Jim Fassel saw something he didn't like, he started barking.
Fassel watched CB Ralph Brown come up with an interception and then saw most everyone on defense come to a stop, as if they all realized this was only a drill. Fassel hates that sort of nonchalance and he shouted obscenities onto the field.
"I hadn't blown the whistle,'' Fassel explained afterwards. Translation: Go hard until I tell you to stop.
As the first-year defensive coordinator, the Texans game was Johnnie Lynn's debut, and going in he did not know where he belonged. Literally. Lynn as the defensive backs coach was stationed up in the press box during games. For the preseason opener, he planned on being on the field and for the second preseason game he planned on seeing how he likeed calling the shots from the press box. Lynn isn't sure where he'll wind up once the regular season begins.