Private Meeting with Eli Manning Helped Rueben Randle Get on Right Track
The question last week about his work ethic seemed to catch rookie second-round draft pick Rueben Randle by surprise. But rather than show any anger about it, he did what any mature NFL player would do.
He kept his mouth shut, went to work with his quarterback, and proved his critics wrong.
For those who might have missed it, a mini firestorm began to surround Randle last week when during the Sunday night football broadcast of the Giants-Eagles game, NBC commentator Cris Collingsworth mentioned that there was a concern inside the Giants’ organization about Randle’s work ethic.
That concern, as it turned out, was not about how hard the rookie out of LSU worked, but rather, how efficiently he went about his business. Moreover, it was a concern that apparently flipped a switch on inside of Randle’s head as he finished as the Giants’ leading receiver with 82 yards on six catches, including a long of 36 yards.
“All we worry about it is what is going on inside the building,” Randle said when asked if Collingsworth’s words inspired him any. “What is said on the outside can’t really affect us. We are one team and as long as we know what is going on around here I think that’s all that matters.”
The rookie, who first learned of Collingsworth’s criticisms through Twitter, admitted that at times he’s been feeling his way around as far as the preparation that needs to be done to excel.
“That is part of being a rookie–you have to learn,” he said. “That’s why you have the older guys here to take strides from them and then with those guys just continue to build.”
The lessons learned from the older guys translated into production for Randle this week, who saw his reps increase with both Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden sidelined.
“It felt pretty good,” he said of his showing this week. “I just came in and did my job. It wasn’t anything special, just an opportunity came that I could take advantage of. I guess it just proves what I can do, without a doubt. I just wanted to come out and just prove my ability to my coaching staff and my teammates.”
It was a one-on-one meeting this week called by quarterback Eli Manning that Randle said really helped him function so well this week. During that meeting, which Randle estimated lasted about a half hour last Thursday, the quarterback went over a bunch of things on film, with Manning giving his young receiver tips on how to handle it.
“We went in there and watched a lot of their blitzes and third down things like that just to be on the same page,” Randle said.
The receiver smiled and shook his head when asked if Manning had been dead on with his advice, and he praised the offense’s leader for backing up his talk on the field.
“It does make the job easier when you have someone throwing as accurately as Eli. I think it plays a bit of a role but what it all boils down to is it really shouldn’t matter who is the quarterback, you just have to go out there and make the plays.
“He has a lot of knowledge of the game and he knows what he wants to do and that is why the receivers have to be on the same page as our quarterback. We want to go out there and succeed.”
They’re certainly off to a good start.