During the first week of the New York Giants OTA's, leading receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have been missing in action. While everyone knows that Cruz is in the middle of contract negotiations, nobody is quite sure why Nicks is missing, and his agent won't go public with the reasoning.
Despite their absences, one person who is developing an early chemistry and connection with Giants' starting quarterback Eli Manning is Louis Murphy, who was brought in on a one-year deal to replace Domenik Hixon, who left via free agency to the Carolina Panthers.
In the Giants OTA's, Murphy has been impressing Giants coaches, players and media all over by showing off his speed and ability to read what the other is doing. It's something that Murphy told Sean Folger of Inside Football that he prefers being able to do on the field.
“He said to me ‘Hey, I saw your body language, I saw what you were doing,’ so as long as I define my movements he can read off of it,” Murphy recalled. He later said, “It’s a plus being able to be on the same page as him.”
In Murphy's first OTA with the Giants, he beat veteran cornerback Corey Webster down the field and hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass; which caught the attention of everyone in attendance, especially all of the media who were there because they all proceeded to plaster that all over Twitter.
Murphy also said he attributes developing that early bond and chemistry with Manning when he, Cruz and Nicks went down to Duke University to work out with his quarterback, just as how his older brother Peyton Manning brought his receivers from the Denver Broncos to work on timing patterns and pass plays.
Aside from the tremendous speed that Murphy is going to be able to show off in 2013, Manning told Folger that he loved his new wide receiver's work ethic and ability.
“Louis has come in and worked really hard. He’s got the desire and commitment to come in and bring another threat to his offense,” Manning noted.
Murphy was a former fourth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders back in 2009 and spent the 2012 season with the one Hixon left the Giants for, the Panthers. In his first two seasons in the league, Murphy showed the kind of ability he could possess by being a 500-600 yard receiver; in 2010, Murphy had 41 catches for 609 yards and two touchdowns.
With Manning though, Murphy may see an expanded role in the Giants offense, one that might see Manning go deep down the field for home run-type pass plays. If Murphy can hang onto the ball more often, Manning will surely continue to truth throwing the ball in Murphy's direction, maybe even late in games and give the Giants already high-octane offense another weapon.
Lots of people saw Murphy's potential in Hixon over the years especially because he was really quick, but two ACL injuries in 2010 and 2011 really hampered his progress. Murphy might be able to do what Hixon wasn't in the Giants offense.
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