The first day Rueben Randle showed up for rookie minicamp, the coaches began talking about how good he looked — albeit with reservations. He was still a rookie after all.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said after Randle’s first practice in blue that he looked “smooth” but was “obviously thinking [too much].”
But after an entire offseason, Randle and rookie first-round pick David Wilson, are ready to show what they can do in a game. They’ll get the chance Friday night in the Giants’ preseason opener against Jacksonvile.
“[Our first preseason game] means a lot,” Randle said. “[We will] be able to show the coaches what we’re capable of doing and I think they’ll gain more confidence in us, and more trust in the players around us, so it’s going to be a big step for us.”
Randle could end up playing in the slot as the third receiver behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz once the season starts. But Nicks, who is still recovering from a broken foot, is unlikely to play Friday. Randle said he wasn’t sure how that would affect his playing time.
“They haven’t talked to us about it,” he said. “We just continue to focus on this practice week and maybe a little bit later in the week, coach will talk to us about it.”
There’s also a good chance Randle will see time returning punts. Preseason will be a good chance to audition players for the role vacated by Aaron Ross, and Randle is an early favorite.
“He covers more ground that it appears because he’s a long, smooth strider,” special teams coach Tom Quinn said. “But he does have the ability to stick his foot in the ground, from what it looks like in practice.”
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