Andre Brown made a bad situation worse in his preseason debut and he hopes his mistakes don’t land him in coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Given that Brown didn’t fumble once in 73 rushing attempts for the Giants last season he’s probably safe for now.

Brown was shaking his head and telling himself he knows better after the Giants beat the Steelers 18-13 Saturday night. In the second quarter Brown took a pitch-out from Eli Manning on a play designed to go to the right side that never materialized because Brown without any contact failed to secure the ball as he looked up field to check the defense. Then Brown failed to recover the loose ball trying to scoop it up rather than falling on it.

“There’s no such thing as a good fumble’’ Brown said. “I was by myself a concentration thing. It was routine. I’m going to beat myself up about it. I’ve got to make sure I’m all right and hold onto the ball.”

Brown was heartened that the next time the Giants got the ball David Carr hit him for a pass for a 7-yard gain. Brown ended up carrying the ball three times on the possession gaining 17 yards.

“It concerns me it concerns Andre too’’ Coughlin said yesterday of the fumble. “I don’t care how long you played the game there are certain things that have to happen before you run the ball. Look the ball in — first you got to catch the darn thing and cover it up and put it away before you can go on to the next objective. To his credit he went right back in and did some good things.”

* Rookie offensive lineman Justin Pugh has been cleared after suffering a concussion last week in training camp allowing the first-round pick to resume practicing today. Two other players diagnosed with concussions last week — running back Ryan Torain and offensive lineman James Brewer — are close to being cleared Coughlin said. Also Coughlin said he expects defensive end Justin Tuck (back) to return to practice today.