Perhaps no receiver on the Giants is facing as big of an opportunity this year than Rueben Randle.
Randle, who is entering his third season, is projected to be a part of the three-wide out set that figures to be so prominently used in new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system.
A second-round draft pick in 2012, Randle has been one of those players who’s looked good in practice, but who’s had some issues transferring that production to the playing field. According to Pro Football Focus, Randle saw his percentage completion drop from 59.4 in his rookie season to 53.9 percent last season.
He was also the intended target on eight of quarterback Eli Manning’s interceptions, and had five dropped passes.
In this installment of Blog Bits, Randle talks about the differences for the receivers in the new offense and why he thinks there is potential for the receivers to become more productive.
Q: You look like you’re taking well to this new offense. How has it been complementing your skill set as a receiver?
A: It’s just allowing me to go out there and play. There’s not as much thinking going on—just go out there and make a play, line up and play ball.
Q: We’ve heard now from your teammates that there aren’t as many reads for a receiver to make in this offense. Can you quantify the number of reads in the old offense versus the new one?
A: It was definitely a minimum of three reads on certain plays (in the old offense). Now it’s like two max.
Q: Does the subtraction of one read really make that much of a difference?
A: Yeah, because now you don’t have to think as much. It’s either A or B, depending on the play, and it cuts down on a lot of miscommunications with the quarterback.
Q: Are the reads you have to make now more closely related versus last year when it might have been all over the map?
A: Yeah, it was all over the map last year. Everything now is pretty much here or there. Like I said, it cuts down on all the miscommunications between the quarterback and the receivers. Hopefully, we can turn some of those turnovers from last year into touchdowns.
Q: This offense also seems to put more of an emphasis on shorter passes. Do you like the challenge that creates?
A: Of course! It’s an opportunity for me to use my size and ability to create separation and go up and make plays. I think Coach McAdoo is doing a good job of putting us in situations to better our chances of making a play.
Q: It also looks like you’re going to be doing more downfield blocking in this offense than in the past, at least from what we’ve been able to see so far.
A: Yeah we run a lot screens and there’s the downfield blocking in the run game, so it all goes hand in hand. Yeah, I’d say there’s a little more blocking involved to the receivers’ game in this offense than in the past. We do a blocking drill every other day with (receivers) Coach (Sean) Ryan, so it’s something we’ve got to get better as a unit.
Q: Speaking of your coach, obviously with a new offense, there are some new techniques that are taught. Anything in particular that you feel is standing out?
A: Well in the receiving room in general, just staying low when getting in and out of our breaks. I think that’s something we’re trying to get better at right now, especially since we have a lot of routes coming back to the quarterback, a lot of crosses routes. We have to keep from standing too high and giving the defensive back a read on the quarterback, so that’s something we’re trying to look at.
Q: A lot of guys generally try to change their bodies – become stringer, lose weight, etc. Did you make any changes?
A: No, I stayed the same. But Coach actually wants me to lose weight.
Q: Really? Is it a lot?
A: No, not much–probably about four pounds.
Q: That doesn’t sound like much. Can four pounds actually make that much of a difference?
A: I suppose so if you’re too heavy. I don’t think two or three pounds matters but if you get up to six, even, eight, 10 pounds, then yes, you can definitely feel the difference. But hey, if that’s what the coach wants, then that’s what we have to give him.