Pascoe: Tight Ends Will Survive Loss of Boss
With the departure of TE Kevin Boss to Oakland, the general consensus is that the Giants’ tight end position is in a state of doom.
However, Bear Pascoe, who is competing to replace Boss as a starter, thinks the unit — and the Giants offense for that matter – will be fine.
“I don’t think it needs to change,” Pascoe said about the Giants offense given the loss of Boss’ skill set. “I think we’ll be able to keep rolling right along once our new guys learn the system. When they do, I think we’ll just keep getting better and better.
“Kevin was a great player for us and we’re sad to see him go, but I think the rest of us can step in a kind of pick up where he left off.”
The question though is how the personnel is going to be deployed to pick up where Boss, who finished his four-year Giants career with 199 receptions for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns, left off. Currently Pascoe and Travis Beckum appear to be the leading contenders for the first and second tight end spots. The team also has Jake Ballard, who was on their practice squad last year; free agent hopeful Christian Hopkins, and newcomer Daniel Coats competing for reps.
The loss of Boss has enabled the coaches to try a fewer different combinations and looks. For instance, on one play Beckum might line up in the slot and Pascoe in the backfield as the move guy. On another, the Giants might have Ballard on the end of the line and Pascoe in the fullback spot.
“It gives us a chance to use our complete arsenal of weapons to our advantage,” Pascoe said of the different looks shown by the team so far.
As for his own development, the 6-5, 251-lb. Pascoe really hit the weight room hard this past off season, having gained muscle in his upper body. Last season, he filled in at fullback after starter Madison Hedgecock went down with a season-ending hamstring injury, and he did a good job holding down the fort.
However playing the position full time seems to be a thing of the past, as the Giants are looking to get rookie Henry Hynoski up to speed at the position.
Pascoe said he has fond memories of his time at fullback, but is looking forward to moving back to his more natural position of tight end.
“I was really getting the hang of fullback and was really enjoying it,” he said. “Like I told (running backs ) Coach (Jerald) Ingram, it really doesn’t matter where I play so long as I am on the field and helping the guys win games.”
Pascoe smiled when asked if there was anything technique wise he could take from his time playing fullback to improve his game as a tight end.
“I always try to play with my eyes up, and being able to see things a little differently from the fullback position, you’re able to see things a little more clearly,” he said. “I think I got better playing with my eyes up because you have to see where those linebackers are going, so I think that will help me quite a bit when I play tight end.”
The other thing that Pascoe believes is going to help him at tight end is employing the blocking technique taught by tight ends coach Mike Pope, a technique that’s designed to help taller players such as Pascoe ensure they win the leverage battle.
“He has us getting underneath a guy and picking him up instead of pushing him back. So that kind of helps as far as gaining leverage and going against these smaller guys and these big defensive ends that outweigh us a little bit. If we can get underneath their pads and really work on staying low, then we have the advantage.”