Giants rookies glad to not get the call

Former Pitt fullback Henry Hynoski made the cut, and will likely see a decent amount of playing time.

On NFL draft day, an athlete’s biggest dream is to hear his phone ring. But on NFL cut day, a phone call from his team is the last thing he wants to hear.    

Luckily for a select few of Big Blue’s rookies and young vets, their phones stayed quiet well past last Saturday’s 6 p.m. cut-down deadline and are now a part of the 53-man roster. Now, instead of worrying about where they’ll work next, they can start focusing on their opening day opponent — the Redskins.   

“When we came in [Monday] we got right to work and got right to Washington,” said undrafted rookie fullback Henry Hynoski, who survived cut day. “It is intense around here and everybody is down to business. We are getting ready to go out and have a great game this week.”    

The Giants have 10 rookies on their roster, including seven of their draft choices. Due to the injury bug hitting them early, especially on defense, head coach Tom Coughlin said he’ll have to depend on many green athletes. Many of his newbies will be forced into action — and they better be ready for the workload.    

“It better be a good thing, it has to be a good thing,” he said of the forced youth movement. “They bring vitality, they bring energy and I just hope we can get it down, chain it down and get it in the right direction.”    

Rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich, who also made the cut, said he thinks the younger players can hold up their end. Herzlich, whose defeat of cancer has been much publicized, is one of four rookie linebackers who will fill many voids.   

The versatile Herzlich can play all three linebacker spots and has also shown his special teams prowess. Coughlin said it’s guys like Herzlich who can help the Giants fight through the injury-depleted roster.  

While Herzlich said simply making the roster was never the goal. Now he wants to contribute to the team in the regular season and is well aware of what lies ahead.       

“Everything picks up from here on out. The speed picks up a little bit and even [Monday] there was a little bit of [larger] sense of urgency in terms of getting things done right, getting things done fast,” Herzlich said. “I think that just carries over [from training camp] and we had that great intensity during camp. I think that helped build up to this week … this week it’s all about business.”   

Herzlich may not see much action at linebacker, but his special teams effort will most definitely be on display. The former Boston College standout wasn’t a regular on the return units, but said he’s enjoying this newfound role in the pros.   

Fellow rookie linebacker Spencer Paysinger agrees that special teams will play a huge role this season and is proud that he’s part of a unit in which so many rookies and young veterans play a prominent role. The former Oregon Duck got some noticeable looks at weakside linebacker when starter Michael Boley was nursing a sore back. Paysinger played well in the veteran’s absence but knows his money will be earned tracking down shifty return men.   

Paysinger said each of his fellow rookie linebackers have a niche to hone this season.   

“We have four rookie linebackers and I don’t think there is any other team in the country that kept four rookie linebackers,” said Paysinger. “All of us individually have something we can bring to special teams. Mark [Herzlich] is a bigger guy who can run down the field. Jacquian [Williams] can cover people and Greg [Jones] is really good inside the box and I can do a couple things, so we all bring something to the table.”  

Come Sunday, the Giants’ youth movement gets their chance to show just how much they can bring.     
Big Blue notes
 
» Last Saturday’s cut-down day kept all the marginal players on pins and needles until the 6 p.m. deadline passed. Herzlich and his fellow rookie teammates tried all they could to keep their minds occupied.

“I was with Tyler Sash, Spencer Paysinger and Henry Hynoski for breakfast at IHOP and we tried to get our minds off of it by gorging ourselves with pancakes,” said Herzlich. “Then I went to Chili’s and sat by myself for the afternoon watching the [Boston College] football game because I couldn’t find it on TV anywhere else. … When six o’clock rolled around and I didn’t get a call, it was the most anticlimactic happy ending that you could think of. It was an ‘All right my phone didn’t ring, let’s go celebrate,’ type of thing.”     

Paysinger said he was just as nervous as Herzlich: “I was a little nervous because it is a business. If you do well or you do bad, cuts have to be made,” said Paysinger, who added he waited by the phone most of the day. “I got a call at about three or four o’clock that said I was good but something could change before five or six o’clock. When 6:01 came, I kind of let the air out.”  

Despite being a rookie, Paysinger said he knows cuts are the nature of the business, so he was prepared for any scenario: “I do know it is a business. I have seen some pretty good players get cut,” he said. “Watching the cut status on Twitter and seeing some players get cut, I was surprised that some guys got let go. At the end of the day, it is a business and I am glad to be here.”  
 
The former Oregon Duck added he hated to lose the number 49 jersey he donned in training camp because of its sentimental value but added it’s a good trade off because it means he made the team: “My [workout] shorts and stuff say 55 but truthfully I wanted to keep 49 because of my grandmother’s birthday being April 9th,” Paysinger said. “But league rules say that if a 50 number is open, a linebacker has to fill it before you can give out 49 or another number.”    

» Tight end Jake Ballard wasn’t so worried, as he expected to make the roster: “I knew what I could do. Maybe I was a long shot but I knew I could block and surprise them in the receiving game and that’s what I did and I played well in the preseason games,” Ballard said, adding he uses every slight as motivation. “I definitely have a chip on my shoulder. It started my senior season at Ohio State. Coach Coughlin always says, ‘play like you’re a 21-year-old kid trying to make the team’ and that’s my mindset every day.”   

Ballard also said he understands why fans are worried about the tight end position, sans Kevin Boss: “Absolutely [I understand their angst because] when you lose a player like Kevin Boss [who] is a great player and caught a lot of balls for us last year,” Ballard said. “I guess it is hard for fans to realize that when he leaves, there is not going to be anybody here to replace him [but] I’m not saying anybody is trying to replace him. We are just trying to help out the team the best we can. We are going to try hard to fill a void. I think these three guys [Ballard, Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe] all have something to bring to the table and I think that we are going to do well together.”


Follow Tony Williams on Twitter
@TBone8 for in-depth Giants coverage all season long.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Protesters say new Met Opera is anti-Semitic

Protesters, including a former mayor and governor, gathered outside of the Metropolitan Opera on Monday afternoon to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

John Idzik: 'We did a ton of background'…

Given John Idzik spent the previous five years with the Seahawks before he joined the Jets last January, there is a comfort level for the organization.

NFL

Jets add sizzle to struggling passing game with…

The Jets’ trade for Percy Harvin may have an air of desperation on the surface, but at 1-6 this season is hanging only by a thread.

NFL

Jason Pierre-Paul: 'We've got to regroup' during bye…

“We’ve got to regroup and figure out what went wrong,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “When we come back, we want to be a great team.”

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…