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Kevin Gilbride “Confident” Cruz Deal Gets Done, but Now is Jerrel Jernigan’s “Chance to Shine”

May 11th, 2013 at 9:40 AM
By Dan Benton

For the first time this spring, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride made himself available to the media. And rather than discussing any number of the 63 players who had just participated in day one of rookie mini-camp, the media immediately met him with a question about restricted free agent (RFA) Victor Cruz. Surprise, surprise.

"I have great confidence that it’s going to get done, so I don’t give it a lot of thought because I know he wants to be here," Gilbride said on Friday. "The people that have to resolve that does not include me."

Although Gilbride says he has "great confidence" that Cruz will soon return, he admitted excitement in his absence. Not because he doesn't want the Pro Bowl wide receiver on the field, but because it allows other players to step up and into his role to show what they're made of. Most notably, Gilbride said, is Jerrel Jernigan.

"I’ll be honest with you I’m kind of excited until he gets back. I’m certainly looking forward to him getting back. I don’t want to give any impression contrary to that, but certainly I’m looking forward to seeing Jerrel Jernigan and what he can do inside," Gilbride said. "I think it’s about time that he steps up and I think we feel he has enough ability and he’s been here now long enough. Until Victor gets back, he’ll be the main guy inside at the slot position."

Gilbride added that now is the chance for Jernigan to "shine." He also noted that their newest addition, Louis Murphy, will have his opportunities, but they will come on the outside. In Cruz's absence, Jernigan is the sole man in the slot.

"Really it’s JJ inside is the guy that… It’s going to be a great opportunity for him," he said.

No pressure.

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Tags: Football, Jerrel Jernigan, Kevin Gilbride, Louis Murphy, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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14 Responses to “Kevin Gilbride “Confident” Cruz Deal Gets Done, but Now is Jerrel Jernigan’s “Chance to Shine””

  1.  PittsburghJim says:

    Im sorry.
    I cannot stop laughing….

    Did we really sign a FA from FSU named “Mister Alexander”????

    Holy crow. How would he be introduced at his college graduation ceremony?

    “And now, with his degree in Early Childhood Development, may I present to you…. Mr. Mister Alexander…..” Classic

    PS He got hurt yesterday in camp. Too bad. Hope he’s ok.

  2.  rlhjr says:

    It would be really nice if Jernigan actually did step up. Injury is a nasty beast, and if he’s actually talented he makes for excellent depth and/or trade bait.

  3.  PittsburghJim says:

    Yeah, a WR named “Shaky”.

    What’s his middle name “Bad Hands”?

  4.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Pittsburgh Jim,

    What’s even funnier is the headline.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Just remember, I was told by a guy who really knows football that Dieuseul would have been one of the first three linebackers taken if he were taller than 5’10″ (just to clarify, he also said had he been 6′ tall he’d have been recruited to a big-time program so he’d have been in the spotlight rather than buried somewhere in Division III), and that Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh liked him enough to consider using a draft pick on him. Baltimore knows linebackers.

    I love what norm posted about Herman’s first day at rookie camp. We may have one of those Seubert-like snarling beasts who makes up for a lack of athleticism with strength and outright nastiness. If he turns out well we will all be singing Reese’s (and Ross’) praises in regard to what may go down as a truly spectacular draft.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Like I mentioned a few days ago, Sam Mills was left for dead because he was 5’8. The guy turned into a All Pro MLB. If this kid can play, that’s what counts.

      And I had Herman pegged as a psycho from the jump. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    Wait so Kiwi is going to be a mostly a fulltime DE but Moore is going to play the role joker role?

    I know more played a joker role his first 2 years in college but that was more of a Ware type of OLB/DE role because they played a 3-4. But Von Miller did play that same role and has successful transitioned to a 4-3 SLB. Interesting. We all assumed that LB wasn’t addressed but maybe Moore is our future SAM. He is only 250 and is a more natural fit than Kiwi ever was. Or maybe Moore handles the Joker role until he grows into his body. I just figure Moore was a DE only even with his background so this aspect is interesting. I remember thinking Jarvis Jones could fill a similar role and really both are similar size, Moore just has a much larger frame.

    •  rlhjr says:

      I think Reese has been looking for an attack linebacker for quite some time.
      Sintim, Wilkinson…..now he has Moore and maybe even Curry.
      Moore is basically a linebacker. But he is a natural pass rusher with a hand down…………..perfect.

      Moore was a taylor made pick for Reese, and no pun intended “Sam.”
      Otherwise, I’d have used a capital “T”………LOL A smart one this Jerry Reese guy. He’s finally found his guy.

      •  Sonny Mukhopadhyay says:

        I honestly thought/think so too, but its a bit odd to me.

        Fewells system doesn’t utilize LBs in that way, he uses them in a read and react style predicated on pass defense and run stopping (we can argue the results later, lol).

        Simply put, the scheme doesn’t have a place for an attack LB, but Reese seems to like them, and has, as you noted, brought in a few over the years.

        I’m not sure if Reese brings them in under the assumption that Fewell will adjust his scheme/system to take advantage of them, or if he brings them in, and the circumstances have prevented utilizing those skill sets.

        Either way, I don’t think Mara will get rid of Fewell is this years defense fails again, but I do believe that Coughlin and Reese may well do so.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Two guys who are going to open eyes at camp this year are Jernigan and Murphy. I don’t think the vast majority of the fans have any idea what we’ve got in these two.

    Murphy only has to have “decent” production for this team to become a major weapon, because if he can catch a few deep balls early he can be used forevermore as a tool to take the top off the defense and create lots of room for Nicks and his buddies underneath. The guy is a legitimate burner who CAN catch the ball. Great, great signing.

    And while I can only judge Jernigan by a good game he had in a preseason and a very good outing last year at one of the home games I saw, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the kid can play. Most think he’s a bust, but he has been behind Victor Cruz. That’s like saying Steve Young was a bust because he couldn’t beat out Joe Montana, or Aaron Rodgers was a bust because he couldn’t displace Brett Favre. I’m not comparing Jernigan to Young or Rodgers, but it’s unfair to say someone is no good when he’s buried behind a tremendous player who is producing so isn’t about to be benched by any sane coach. If Jernigan gets a chance he will produce.

    •  rlhjr says:

      I really thought the game was a bit too big for Jernigan at first. Suddenly, he was no longer the fastest most agile guy on the field each game. That takes some getting used to. And every good WR is not always a lights out punt/kick returner. He needs a chance to show. Maybe this is it.

  8.  rlhjr says:

    Along with Moore, the Giant defense could use some defensive backs who are able to blitz the QB and make other offenses respect that threat by getting home a few times. Introducing Cooper Taylor and Arron Ross.

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