Tuesday, June 24, 2014
What Zack Bowman brings
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Newly signed former Chicago Bears cornerback Zack Bowman was one of the standout stars of OTA and minicamp practices for the New York Giants this offseason. He will have to fight for playing time, as he sits on the depth chart behind projected starters Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and slot corner Walter Thurmond. Bowman's signing felt like a bit of a surprise after the Giants had signed Rodgers-Cromartie and Thurmond and re-signed Trumaine McBride. But there is a reason they signed Bowman that goes deeper than the fact that he is a cornerback.
Bowman has also been a big contributor on special teams throughout his career. The Giants allowed a league-leading 655 yards on punt returns last season, and their 13.6 return yards allowed per punt was third-worst in the league. We talked here Monday about the help they needed on returns, but the Giants also needed some help covering punts better.
To that end, special teams coach Tom Quinn last week mentioned Bowman, sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson and returning cornerback Charles James as guys who have looked good in punt return drills this spring, and had particular praise for the addition of Bowman to the group.
"He does have the experience, and that's something you can't replace," Quinn said. "And he has the speed, so you combine those two, and he has good size for a corner, so he can go ahead and challenge the two guys that are trying to blow him up. That's one of the toughest things to do on special teams -- to beat two guys and get down the field to make the tackle. He's done it before in this league, done it at a high level, and we're excited to have him."