Rueben Randle Looks to Play Faster
Giants’ receiver Rueben Randle said he was surprised a bit when after scrolling through his Twitter timeline, he came across comments made by NBC sportscaster Cris Collingsworth about his work ethic.
For those who missed it, Collingsworth said during last week’s broadcast that people inside of the Giants organization had questions about the rookie out of LSU’s work ethic.
That criticism was news to Randle and many of his teammates, though Randle didn’t seem bothered by it.
“You can’t really focus on the outside,” he said. “As long as you know what is going on the inside and how your teammates and coaching staff feels, everything on the outside, you just have to let it stay (outside).”
“He’s a rookie, young guy and he’s getting it,” said receiver Domenik Hixon.
Hixon, who said he hadn’t heard the criticism of Randle’s work ethic until it was mentioned by a reporter, said that he and the rest of the veteran receivers try to set an example for their young teammates to help them become successful.
“Regardless of what young guy it is, we say this is how things are done around here and try to set a good example for them, coach them up and try to help them out any way we can,” he said. “When you come to the Giants’ facility, we’re working.”
Hixon thinks that Randle’s perceived sluggish work ethic is just a matter of him trying to adjust to life in the NFL. “ [He’s] just trying to get his feet underneath him with the schedule and everything. Probably one of the most odd things is at [the NFL level] you go home, you don’t go to class, so that’s your study time. That’s when you study tape and do different things like that. Just getting adjusted to the schedule.”
It’s also a matter of Randle recognizing that he’s facing more advanced competition at this level.
“A lot of times in college you just run by guys,” Hixon said. “Here, they’re just as fast as you, guys are studying film on you. I don’t care what college you went to, where you’re coming from, you’re going to have to adjust to it.”
“He’s young and he’s trying to figure out what it takes to compete and get mentally and physically ready for upcoming games,” noted Manning. “He has talent, he’s been working better, having an understanding of just how we work and how we prepare each week and he’s been getting more reps these last few weeks, so he’s doing a good job of putting everything together. He’s going to have to play for us whether it is this week or sometime, he’s going to have to make some plays for us, and I believe he can do that, he can help us out.”
Randle admitted that he has to learn to work a little faster within the scheme of things, something he was working to accomplish.
“I just feel like it is knowing what the defense is doing and speed up your knowledge of when the ball snaps, knowing what you got to do and the coverage that they are playing and the route that is run,” he said about what he’s trying to hone. “ The offense that we have here is complex and we have different routes and different coverages, so on the snap of the ball, the safety might do something different from pre snap. So you got to pick up things a lot faster.”
This week, Randle is working extra hard to be ready for a potential opportunity to see more snaps, as Ramses Barden, the third receiver, is not going to play until he passes the concussion protocol.
“I approach each week the same and continue to get into the playbook and gain the trust of Eli (Manning) and Coach (Kevin) Gilbride so I get more opportunities on Sunday when the time comes,” Randle said.
He also feels like things are starting to click between him and Manning.
“I think it is gaining each week, in practice I am going out there and making plays on scout team. My job is to (gain) knowledge of the playbook and take advantage of my opportunities.”
“We’ve got confidence in all the guys regardless of who is out there,” Hixon said. “Eli does a great job of preparing everybody, so it’s not just one guy he focuses on or corrects. He does that for everybody.”