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Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Pope preaches patience with Myers

By Kieran Darcy

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Through eight games, Brandon Myers has been one of the most disappointing players on the New York Giants.

But it's not all Myers' fault, says longtime tight ends coach Mike Pope.

"A good bit of that has been the pace of the defenses we've played, we've had to keep (him) in the protection a little bit more," Pope said Tuesday. "The other thing is that our wide receivers have kind of been our nuts and bolts and that's where a good part of our passing game, the reads begin out there."

Myers, signed as a free agent to replace the departed Martellus Bennett, had 79 catches for 806 yards last season for the Raiders -- the fourth-most receptions in the NFL for a tight end. But in half a season with the Giants, Myers has just 23 catches for 265 yards, putting him on pace for a 46-catch, 530-yard year.

Ironically, Pope said Myers has "made some really good progress as a run-blocker." But they were certainly hoping he'd be a much bigger weapon in the passing game.

That may come in time, said Pope.

"It's taken him some time to learn this offense since he just showed up here," Pope said. "I think we're the fifth offense he's had all the way back to college, because when Carson Palmer went out to Oakland, they kind of adapted what he had done in Cincinnati. It's taken him a little bit of time to unlearn offenses he's been in and we have a lot of option route running in our offense, and that's something that just takes a number of reps.

"He's been a very solid catcher, he hasn't dropped the ball and the chemistry that has to develop when you have an option-type offense takes a while between the quarterback and that receiver."

The Giants have gotten very little passing-game production from the other tight ends on the roster. Bear Pascoe has five catches for 32 yards, and Larry Donnell has three catches for 31 yards.

Donnell almost scored his first NFL touchdown Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, but couldn't keep his feet in bounds.

"The play he made the other day was kind of indefinable, to run out of the back of the end zone when you're wide open," Pope said. "You can't manufacture [experience] in a player. In some cases it has to be an experience where things don't always go well and you learn from those things. ... We do see the talent and he is a huge human being."

Adrien Robinson, who Pope talked up during training camp, has been active for just two games because of a foot injury and has yet to record a catch.

"He certainly has the physical structure," Pope said. "As a young player who hasn't played a great deal, when players of this kind miss practice -- you don't learn to pilot the space shuttle in a flight simulator. That's the thing he hasn't had the chance to do, actually get in the activity, in the game situations."