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New York Giants’ Kevin Gilbride on Rueben Randle: “He Has Stepped into a Leadership Role”

June 13th, 2013 at 6:50 PM
By Doug Rush

Over the last few weeks, some of the main stories dominating headlines have been about Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and their absence from the New York Giants.

Even with Nicks back this week, others had to step up in the first-team reps and catch passes from Eli Manning, thus allowing Louis Murphy and Jerrel Jernigan playing time that normally they might not see. It also allowed former second round pick Rueben Randle to take first-team reps, even though he is slated to be the team's number three wide receiver and should see quite a bit of playing time in 2013.

In his rookie season, we all saw flashes of why Randle was called one of the most NFL-ready receivers in last seasons draft, as he hauled in 19 catches for 256 yards and three touchdowns, with his longest catch of the season at 56 yards. Randle was mostly used as the team's number four wide receiver behind Nicks, Cruz and Domenik Hixon, who left the Giants to sign with the Carolina Panthers in the spring.

So now with Randle stepping in and ready to take on a much greater role, he impressed media members in attendance at the Giants OTA's and at mini-camp this week, plus he impressed his offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride with how he has handled himself, as he told Kieran Darcy of ESPN New York.

"Rueben you saw emerge from a guy that showed flashes at times and always caught the ball well, but maybe didn't always run the routes as precisely, as crisply as you wanted, didn't have quite the understanding you wanted," Gilbride said. "[Over the past month] he looked like a guy that's been here for five or six years. He really benefited from the opportunity." 

Despite only being his second year in the NFL, the long-time coach also said Randle benefited from being in East Rutherford and taking reps with Eli Manning at camp.

"His whole demeanor, his whole professionalism was outstanding," Gilbride said. "Now, is that because [Nicks and Cruz] weren't here, or because he got more reps, I don't know. But he certainly stepped into a leadership role. Not only did he grow, he kind of became the bell cow of the receiving corps. He was first in line and did all those things. That was not what we saw last year, not by a long shot. So to see him grow like that was a great step forward for him that will help us down the road."

Over the last two years, the Giants lost two key receivers to free agency in Steve Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and Mario Manningham to the San Francisco 49ers in 2012; both of which haven't had the same production since they left the Giants. But both guys were key pars of the Giants offense that helped, especially Manningham in the postseason that lead to the Giants winning Super Bowl XLVI.

When asked if Randle was going to be involved in the offense, Gilbride was very quick to answer with enthusiasm about the second-year pro out of LSU.

"Oh, he's gonna play. He's gonna play a lot," Gilbride said. "He'll play first, second down, he'll be an outside receiver for us — whether he's at the X or the Z, he's gonna play. He's looking like he deserves to be out there for significant time." 

If Randle lives up to what is expected of him, he might be able to surpass the play of Manningham and be an even better receiver in what could be a very high octane and explosive Giants offense in 2013.

photo credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz

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8 Responses to “New York Giants’ Kevin Gilbride on Rueben Randle: “He Has Stepped into a Leadership Role””

  1.  kujo says:

    He stepped into the leadership role, and then proceeded to fall face first into the leadership table, knocking over the leadership papers and leadership pencils, as well as upending the leadership chairs. All because of that darned narcolepsy…

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      i was gonna say something similar. My ways in tune to the fact that last time we had a WR saying the whole ‘leadership’ thing, he skipped OTA’s.

      I’ve been giving this team a hard time, because I think that they’re going to be ok. Nothing great in all honesty, but I hope i’m surprised by them. I just see another 7-9 to 9-7 season.

      •  kujo says:

        Yeah I’m not as sanguine as others, but that’s sort of my modus operandi anyway. I’m unconvinced about our LBs; I’m unconvinced about our DBs; I’m unconvinced about our OL; I’m unconvinced about our 3rd-5th receivers. There’s a lot of uncertainty. Not saying it’s all gonna turn out bad, but I’m not going to get my hopes up until this Cruz situation is resolved** and I see what this OL is going to look like.

        **The Cruz thing is probably the single biggest reason I am so down in the dumps about this team. It’s totally illogical, because the rest of my question marks are legitimate, while the emotions I feel about his pseudo-holdout are just that: my emotions. He’s sucking the fun out of the offseason for me.

        •  BigBlueGiant says:

          Funny, I could care less about the Cruz situation. and in the end, I think we don’t end up signing him longterm.

          Everything else you said… I will agree with. I said in a post earlier in the week, that this is the year that JR realizes that we need a LB.

          •  kujo says:

            Disagree. I don’t think Reese values the position enough to make the sort of investment you are presumably talking about. Not with bigger needs (probably) at CB and possibly DE.

          •  Dirt says:

            Dude won Super Bowls with Reggie Torbor and Chase Blackburn as starting linebackers.

            You can read that as he’ll see he needs linebackers. I’ll read it that as he doesn’t give a sh|t.

  2.  Dirt says:

    Killdrive sucks. I’m not sure why there’s any other commentary on him.

  3.  rlhjr says:

    Reese has assembled the best group of nobodies at the linebacker position since 2007. This team goes nowhere until next year. They may be fun to watch but nothing special. The next draft will finish the work.

    The defensive and offensive lines both need one more stud. The defensive backfield needs another corner to go with Prince.
    At least one linebacker of note is required, and perhaps a find at outside receiver. If somehow Fewell got lost I would consider that a bonus.

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