Wide receiver Mario Manningham has yet to officially sign his new contract with the San Francisco 49ers, but that hiccup aside, it remains highly unlikely that he returns to the New York Giants. Instead, Big Blue appears poised to head into the 2012-2013 season with Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan battling for the #3 spot.
A healthy Hixon would seemingly lead the charge and be the man to beat in such a scenario, but going into his second season with the team, Jernigan actually feels like he's the man whose job it is to lose.
"It’s pretty much a business now and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go out there and show everybody what I can do. I’m thankful that Coach Coughlin and Jerry Reese are giving me an opportunity to step up to the plate and be the next man," Jernigan said. "Coach will do the evaluation in the offseason and during camp and stuff so we’ll see … but I’m approaching it like I’m the third receiver.”
In his first year with the team, Jernigan hauled in a grant total of 0 catches for 0 yards. However, if you're looking for a silver lining there, it's the same stat-line produced by Victor Cruz in his first season with the team. Then again, Cruz finished his first season playing five fewer games and eventually ended up on Injured Reserve (IR).
If Jernigan is serious about this opportunity, and it'd be foolish to believe he wasn't, the first thing he'll have to do is prepare and produce well enough to shed the nickname given to him by head coach Tom Cough: One Play JJ.
Is this another incredible success story waiting to happen? Time will tell, but you've got to love his confidence.
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