In the hunt to start alongside safety Landon Collins, it appears that Curtis Riley might be gaining an edge. Riley started at safety for a second straight day in training camp, quite an accomplishment as the safety pairing alongside Collins has been in flux all training camp for the New York Giants.
Collins is a given to start, there is no denying that as the safety enters his fourth year in the league and already has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice. But where he is a definite at safety, opposite Collins in the Giants back end has been a question mark all offseason and into training camp. Riley might just be set on answering that question.
At least, he appears to be gaining ground in the safety competition battle.
An undrafted rookie free agent out of White Plains, NY, Riley has just 11 appearances over the past two years in what has been a couple of injury-riddled years in the league. When he was waived by the Tennessee Titans this offseason, the Giants signed him in March and it looks like he might be the team’s starting safety.
“I just have to keep doing things consistently, doing everything that I’m doing right now. Have to make sure I’m making all the right calls,” Riley said on Tuesday. “Can’t go out there having any of these technical errors and stuff like that. Just have to be consistent, that’s the main thing.”
Riley spoke after the Giants finished their joint-practice session in Michigan with the Detroit Lions.
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In two years in the league, Riley, a former safety out of Fresno State, has 12 career tackles, two passes defended and one interception. He hasn’t had a start year in the NFL.
Of his assimilation into the first-team alongside Collins, Riley said that “We’re trying to build a chemistry together so I know what he’s doing, I know how he sees things, he knows how I see things. We’re trying to make sure we’re on the same page with everything.”
Head coach Pat Shurmur didn’t exactly go over the top in his assessment of Riley, admitting that he spent most of his time with the offense during Tuesday’s joint-practice session. There seems to be promise in Riley’s game though and Shurmur seems willing to give the young safety a shot at making the position his own.
“It’s hard to say. I was on our offensive field all day today, so I’ve got to really go back and grind on what our defense did today. I got reports that he did well,” Shurmur said. “That’s the downside for the head coach. You’re only seeing half the team until that last long period when you’re doing the extended drives. But, he’s playing well, he was playing well prior to his hamstring deal, and now he’s getting back out there.”