Giants receiver Rueben Randle taking advantage of opportunity

Rueben Randle had three touchdowns last season, including two against the Eagles in the season finale. Credit: Getty Images
Rueben Randle had three touchdowns last season, including two against the Eagles in the season finale.
Credit: Getty Images

Starting wideouts Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have been in and out of the Giants’ rotation this week for varying reasons, so for Rueben Randle it’s been a great opportunity to take full advantage of the extra reps.

The second-year pro has made a name for himself during the early portion of Big Blue’s training camp with acrobatic catches and punishing blocks, while also taking advantage of the rapport he’s formed with quarterback Eli Manning.

“I think he has a lot more confidence in me to make plays for him,” Randle said. “I think with any quarterback they want to have confidence in you to make plays and that’s coming with me and Eli.”

Cruz missed the entire offseason organized team activities (OTAs) program due to a contract dispute and Nicks was recovering from knee issues and his own unknown OTA hiatus, so Randle used the extra reps as a way to improve his game.

Randle acknowledged he’s not disillusioned about overtaking either of the two in the starting lineup, but reasoned his current position is beneficial to all.

“It’s definitely a gift because as only a second-year guy in the league I’m learning so much from them,” said Randle. “They’re always teaching me something, so when I do become a No. 1 receiver, whether it’s on this team or on another one, I’ll just take what they taught me and keep pushing forward and getting better as a player.”

As Randle continues to progress, he thinks this season can be a big year for both himself and the Giants offense.

“I’ve been playing faster [and] been more explosive out of my breaks,” said Randle. “It’s always a great feeling to work so hard and see results. When I come out here in practice and work hard every day it’s to make the actual games easier. That way you have a lot more success on the field.”

The past two days on the practice field might be Randle’s unofficial coming-out party as he’s dazzled the crowd and impressed the coaching staff with numerous long touchdown catches. During an 11-on-11 drill against the first-team defense, Randle hauled in a 50-yard, over-the-shoulder touchdown from Manning, as he beat both cornerback Corey Webster and safety Antrel Rolle. Randle also caught a handful more red-zone touchdowns against the starting defense and had several other dazzling catches along the sideline with perfect toe-tapping footwork.

“He’s made some outstanding plays,” said head coach Tom Coughlin. “There was one [play] in the team drill in the left corner [where] the jump ball post [route] in the middle of the field was a nice play.”

Such efforts are becoming the usual for the former LSU star, who credits his big spring and summer to an additional offseason workout regimen aside from what the Giants offered. Randle honed his skills at the Sonic Boom Academy in New Orleans where he added strength and speed, while fine tuning his conditioning under the sweltering Louisiana sun.

“They do a lot of things in the receiver workouts to make us more explosive. The main thing why I go down there is to work on that, because I felt that was the one thing that was lacking in my game,” said Randle. “I’ve always been fast but he’s helped me in becoming faster and more explosive and more difficult to cover because I’m honing my techniques to become a more balanced receiver.”

Big Blue notes …

» Former Giants cornerback Sam Madison has been a welcome addition to Coughlin’s arsenal of assistant coaches and staff. Madison has been working with the defensive backs, and to a man, they’re all excited to have him in the mix. The veterans, in particular, are happy to have Madison around, as a handful of them were with the Giants when Madison was still here.

“I love it,” cornerback Aaron Ross said. “Man, that’s like the big brother. My rookie year when I came in Sam took me under his wing and kind of showed me the ropes, taught me what to do, taught me how to take care of my body, how to study, how to take notes. He’s doing exactly the same thing he was doing in my rookie year. Sam, that’s a huge bonus to our secondary, especially the corners.”

“It’s infinity times infinity [on Madison’s impact],” fellow cornerback Corey Webster said. “To have him back [on the sidelines] he can see everything now. It’s harder when he’s on the field, too [as a player], and trying to get himself better. But now he’s on the side watching, and he can critique, can be very critical and I use the constructive criticism to ultimately make my game better.”

Ross said one guy who is benefitting from all the vets and former players around is Prince Amukamara.

“It’s still the same Prince as far as his personality but it’s a different Prince on the field,” Ross said. “He’s really matured on the field. I think he’s understanding the game a little more. As far as Prince being Prince, with him it’s like I never left. He’s like the little brother of the group. But on the field he’s impressing a lot of people. He’s understanding what’s going on. He’s looked like he’s feeling very comfortable out there.”

» The Giants defensive line is undergoing a bit of transition, as Jason Pierre-Paul is still recovering from back surgery, Justin Tuck is in an apparent decline and vets like Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard are no longer with the team. But for Ross, he believes this version of Big Blue’s front four will be as good as he’s ever seen.

“We’re loaded. It seems like anybody you put in from the D-tackles [defensive tackles] to the D-ends [defensive ends], doesn’t matter. [Adrian] Tracy is coming along, [and Demontre] Moore, the young guy, too. Tuck and them are already proven,” Ross said. “But when you see the young guys come in and it seems like there’s not a drop off, that’s something to look forward to. We can go in there and go 100 miles an hour and then take a play or two off and there’s not a huge drop off in performance. … And for us [defensive backs], all I have to do is cover for three or four seconds. I know if I can do that then we’ll get the quarterback scrambling or we’ll get him on the ground. It’s huge for our secondary.”

» Webster also has high hopes for Big Blue and thinks this could be a special season.

“We want to get the rings. Everybody wants to be a champion team,” Webster said. “You’re only as good as your last game. … I think we have the pieces to be a great defense as well as a great team — the offensive side of the ball as well. I think we’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle. We’ve got leaders who have to lead by example and doing what we’re supposed to be doing. … It pisses you off, [and] it should piss you off [for another team to use the Giants’ locker room for the Super Bowl should they not qualify]. That motivates you [and is] just fuel to the fire. We’ve used somebody’s locker room, so we don’t want it to happen to us. We’ll do everything in our power, work hard, all the little things in between and hopefully that will help.”

» The Giants practiced in shoulder pads on Tuesday. They’ll have Wednesday off to recuperate before going to full pads on Thursday.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8 for updates from training camp.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.