Saturday, June 14, 2014
Wideouts give thumbs-up to new offense
By Kieran Darcy
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin admitted Thursday that the progress of installing the new offense is "slow." But it hasn't taken the wide receivers long to get excited about it.
"I’m liking it, it’s going to be pretty exciting," Rueben Randle said Thursday, after the team's second-to-last organized team activity. "Coach [Ben] McAdoo has done a great job putting us in positions to make plays and using our abilities. We still have a lot of work to put in out there on the field, but as far as now, we’re in a good spot."
Rueben Randle says the scheme being installed by new coordinator Ben McAdoo is "pretty exciting."
Randle has a chance to establish himself as a starter this season, with Hakeem Nicks now a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Randle had 41 catches for 611 yards and six touchdowns in 2013, his second year in the league.
The offense being implemented by new coordinator McAdoo is less reliant on the wideouts making their own reads based on how the defense is playing, and that suits Randle just fine.
"Everything is pretty much black and white, it’s simple. What you have [called] is what you run," Randle said. "Just takes a lot of things off our minds and go out there and play football and just use your ability to get open. That’s what we’re doing."
Jerrel Jernigan sounds upbeat as well. The three-year veteran finally had a breakthrough late in 2013, with 19 catches for 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Giants' final three games.
Jernigan lined up as the team's third wide receiver during Thursday's OTA, and spoke positively about the new offense afterward.
"I think it’s an offense that fits my game," Jernigan said, "and also spreads the ball out to everyone and gives everybody the chance to make plays."
The Giants used a third-round draft pick on Jernigan back in 2011, but gave him very little playing time until the end of last season. He had just three catches in his first two years with the team.
The biggest difference for Jernigan this coming season might be mental. "It got my confidence back up," Jernigan said of his finish to last season. "Not because it was down, but you know, sitting on the sidelines for a long period of time, not really getting any reps here -- it just got my confidence up a lot for me to come in [with] this year."
Fellow wideout Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants' first-round draft choice last month, has been sidelined by a sore hamstring the past couple weeks. But the team is expecting big things from the 12th overall pick.
There is a learning curve for any rookie entering the NFL, and Beckham Jr. admits McAdoo's offense is more complex than the one he played in at LSU. But the hamstring injury doesn't limit him in terms of studying the playbook.
"It’s actually not that bad once you get into it and you break it down by formation and things like that," he said. "It’s really not that bad. It’s just a lot of memorization."
Beckham Jr. hopes to be cleared to participate in next week's three-day mandatory minicamp, which begins Tuesday.