Second-year WR Rueben Randle comes into camp the favorite to win the third WR spot on the Giants’ depth chart. He’s angling for a bigger slice of the pie in the Giants’ passing attack. Through two practices, nothing’s changed. His progress is unfolding before our eyes.
“I’ve seen some good things out of Rueben. Hopefully he’ll keep it up,” said Tom Coughlin yesterday. The coach elaborated on Randle’s progress. He’s taking the coaches’ tutelage to heart and is justifying his high draft status.
“He’s worthy of it,” said Coughlin of Randle being selected in the second round last April. “And his spring was better and then he came back lighter and he looks good. He seems to be more serious, more intent. He had a lot to learn in that first year and it looks like some of the messages are getting through.”
Weight has never been an issue for Randle, but at 6’3″, but he doesn’t want to get into the habit of putting on weight he doesn’t need. He’s taking the svelte route.
“Obviously, he’s decided that he feels like he can be faster or whatever,” continued Coughlin. “He always came back at his assigned body weight. A little bit lighter this year.”
At last glance, Randle was assuming a bigger role on the offense. In last year’s finale vs the Eagles, he caught four passes for 58 yards and 2 TDs. He also finished the season as the Giants’ primary punt returner.
Randle is young (he turned 22 on May 7th) and has a bright future ahead. His learning curve is flattening out and being grouped with two other talented wideouts such as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz can only help his growth as a player. He spoke with reporters yesterday.
Has the game slowed down for you?
For the most part it has. Being in the system the whole year, I understand what needs to be accomplished, so, that’s a big part of that.
What do you think you’re able to bring to the table as far as being a strong third guy, maybe that they might have missed last year, how does that affect the offense for you?
I just want to go out there and make more plays, I think we left a lot of them out there last season that could have at least gotten us into the playoffs and had a chance to go into the Super Bowl so I feel like we could make up on that year and come out this season and make a lot of more plays.
At any point yesterday for the first training camp practice did you think back to last year and what your first rookie training camp is like?
Well, no, I just feel like I want to push forward and leave it behind. Just go ahead and push positive… go out here and make more plays, and leave my rookie year in the past. There were a lot of ups and downs so I just want to start out with a positive stance and keep pushing forward.
Do you think more about the ups or the downs? Was it a bad, good, indifferent rookie year?
I’m trying to keep on the positive and just build on those things and just continue to get better each and every day. That’s going to be the best for the team in the end.
Do you see yourself becoming a strong goal-line presence for them?
Man, that’s what they need me to do. I’ve got a lot of skill sets that’s going to help them, especially using my size… to go up and attack the ball so whatever they need me to do I’ll be willing to do it.
When you go into training camp, I mean, you were asked before about being the strong third receiver… do you sit there and say ‘No, I’m fighting for a starting job”?
I mean that’s my whole thing… just go out there and do what I’m supposed to do. I’m not really looking for a certain position or anything like that, so whatever they need me to do I want to go out there and do it, so, that’s kind of my whole part of going out there and playing.
Because you’ve got two guys ahead of you that are very well established…
Right, I’m just learning from those guys and they’re helping me to put me up so whenever the team needs me, calling me to make a play, I can go out there and make it.
Physically, after a year of the NFL, what do you think you’re better at, physically?
I feel like I’ve done everything, I can do everything pretty well now. I think I’ve learned from my mistakes and what I need to really work on, and just exploit those things to really get better overall.
Are you one of the guys that’s going to return punts or do you consider yourself the punt returner?
I want to be, but like I said, it’s up to the coaches. Just go out there and do the best I can… that’s the player that I am, so end of the day, it’s going to be up to them, so my job is just go out there and do what I’m supposed to do.
Why do you want to return punts?
I feel like I can exploit the punt return… you know a lot of guys know it’s the shorter guys that are usually back there but I feel like I can find a seam and hit it just like those guys can do also, so hopefully the coaches will see that as well. So if an opportunity comes, I’ll try to show them
Transcript courtesy Giants Public Relations