OTAs: Murphy, Jernigan Look to Make Most of Opportunities

The Giants are preparing for their next reality check. You know, the one that will see how deep their WR corp is. With Victor Cruz still exercising all his options in his contract negotiations and Hakeem Nicks still rehabbing from foot and knee injuries, the Giants are using these early workouts to gauge the ability of their other receivers.

So, did Eli Manning like what he saw today from the back of the depth chart?

“Yeah. I hit Louis (Murphy) on a deep one. I got Rueben (Randle) in there. I got (Jerrel) Jernigan some catches. We’re getting everybody in there getting them a lot of reps, getting on time with them. We’re always going to get better. Whoever is on the field, we’re going to expect them to go out there and play at a high level. So I think the more guys you have who are experienced and ready to play different positions, the better off we’re going to be.”

Jernigan, entering his third season, has played little and produced less. He was pinpointed recently by OC Kevin Gilbride as one of the players the Giants would be seeking to turn the corner on their career this summer.

“I’ve been here three years. I know the offense and it’s time for me to go out there and make some plays and contribute to my team. I understand where he’s coming from,” Jernigan said.

He was asked if he felt any pressure to produce, especially with Victor Cruz’ Giant future still uncertain.

“No. I don’t think it’s pressure. I’m going into my third year. I agree with him. It’s time for me to go out there and start making plays and start helping my team out besides just special teams…I know all the offense. It’s time for me to step up, make plays and help Hakeem and Cruz when I’m out there…Until he (Cruz) comes back, I’ll be a Z out there making plays.”

Louis Murphy is in his first season with the Giants. He is early in the process of learning the Giants’ offense.

Q: When you have guys like Cruz, Nicks and Randle, are you confident you can contribute to this receiving corps?
A: Yeah. You’ve just got to come in with your confidence and come ready to play ball, ready to compete and just play ball.

Q: How different is this offense from what you’ve worked with in the past?
A: It’s a little different, but we’ve been studying the plays for about six weeks now without going out there. It just felt good to actually get out there and run through the plays. It’s definitely a little different, but I like it a lot. It does a lot of different things that works to my benefit.

Q: You can stretch the field.
A: Yeah. That’s what I like to do. I can do a lot of things. I can go inside, play outside. I can do it all. But they do like to stretch the field and I like doing that.

Q: When you got to go to the Manning Passing Camp, you were with Victor, Hakeem and Eli. How much did that help you?
A: That helped out a lot with getting the play calls, watching film with Eli, going through the plays, walking through and then doing two-a-days. So that was good to get down there with him and it was just learning how to catch the ball from him. Every quarterback throws the ball different and he throws a really nice ball, a great ball.

Q: I would imagine catching a ball from a Super Bowl MVP is good.
A: Yeah. He’s deceptive, too. It looks like it’s coming in easy, but it has some zip behind it. It’s good just learning that, too, just building that chemistry, too.

Q: That can probably do things for a receiver who is looking to progress in his career.
A: For sure. I’m just here just to make plays. Come in and help the team win. That’s my main goal.