New York Giants
Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
When the Giants plucked receiver Rueben Randle out of LSU in the 2012 NFL Draft, they were hoping that the 6-2, 208-pound receiver could bring a level of physicality to the receiving game that the team really didn't have since the days of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer.
However, Randle has been something of an enigma in terms of both his performance and his preparation. This season alone, he was twice disciplined by head coach Tom Coughlin for undisclosed violations of team rules, the result of each disciplinary action being a benching in a game.
This week, however, Randle buckled down and focused on his preparation. As a result, he finished with a career-high 132 yards on six receptions (out of six targets) and a touchdown, his best showing of the season.
"I think Rueben went into this game with the idea and the knowledge that we needed strong contributions from everyone," Coughlin said. "We needed to understand what may have likely happened from a defensive standpoint against us and that all people would have to make contributions, and he certainly did."
Coughlin, who praised Randle for the plays he made, including those he made as downfield blocker, reiterated his belief that the 23-year old receiver is an extreme talent who, when he works at his craft, can be a lethal weapon in the passing game.
That's exactly what Coughlin hopes to see out of Randle moving forward not just in the upcoming season finale, but next year and beyond as well
"The way in which he approached this game, I would hope he would stamp on the back of his hand to remind him of how he prepared for this one and how well he played. We need him to play like that; we need him to play at that capacity."
For as good as rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been for the Giants, he still is very much a work in progress that has seemingly become a special pet project of head coach Tom Coughlin.
Specifically, Coughlin hopes to work with Odell Beckham Jr. in finding a happy medium in expressing himself following a touchdown so that he doesn't risk rubbing opponents the wrong way.
"I think the one thing is that every time Odell plays, he learns more about the National Football League and he learns about the way in which he is being interpreted, some good, some bad," Coughlin said.
"He continues to try and want to do things the right way. We will continue to try to teach him, without taking away from his ability and his excitement and the obvious lift that he brings."
It's not an easy task, as Coughlin recognizes what makes Beckham so unique is his enthusiasm and passion for the game, and his level of compete to beat the man across from him on every snap.
However, that passion can sometimes lead to trouble, as Beckham and the Giants found out against the Rams. The rookie was flagged for a taunting penalty after his first touchdown reception in which he spun the ball a little too close to a defender for the officials' liking.
"That wasn't directed at anybody. I spun the ball in front of me. I don't think it was even past my feet," Beckham said after the game.
"I didn't quite understand the penalty, but it was something that was a penalty. Coach Coughlin addressed it with me and he said, "You know we can't get those,' and I completely understand. That's just being young and trying to learn the rules and what you can and can't do."
Beckham, who was at the center of a brawl on the Giants bench when Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree tried to pick the receiver up and body slam him to the ground on the Giants sideline, had a conversation with Coughlin on the team's charter flight home after the game about his exuberance and how it's perceived.
"I spoke to him on the way out on the plane about a couple of things I was interested in continuing to talk to him about and why I wanted him to learn as much as he possibly could," Coughlin said, adding, "[I want] to help him going forward because I want everyone to realize the quality of the young man, and not be offset by some of things that he has done.
How did the rookie react to his talk with the coach?
"He looked at me and said, 'Coach, stay after me.' He wants to learn and he wants to continue to improve and be better," Coughlin said. "I think he will and I think going forward, as he understands the professional game, that he will understand that some of the things that take place give the wrong message or send the wrong message."
Already Beckham is looking to grow from the experience. On his second touchdown, for instance, he simply handed the ball to an official before joining his teammates on the sidelined to celebrate, even though he still believes that his actions were not of any ill intent.
"I don't think spinning the ball in front of myself was taunting anybody, but that was what the penalty was for. I'll just have to learn, take from it and move on.
That's all Coughlin and the Giants can ask for.