There are many important battles raging at New York Giants training camp, but one that may be flying under the radar is at the tight end position where Bear Pascoe (also a fullback) is battling it out with Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell for the back-up role to Brandon Myers. And on Saturday, tight end coach Mike Pope indicated that all three will have their opportunities to shine this preseason.
His full transcript can be found below:
Question: Will Adrien Robinson be on the field this year?
Answer: Absolutely, and Larry Donnell; both of those guys. In this position of tight ends here, we have a revolving door in the meeting room because players continue to come through here. That’s the fun thing for me because I never look at that and say “ah geez, we just got this guy training…” That’s our job here. But the challenge of teaching and training these young guys, getting them in the program, is a lot of fun. Why I still do this, is exactly for that. It’s training and getting these young guys to do some things that they’ve never done before. It’s fun to watch that.
Question: So if Kevin Boss was still here you’d be retired?
Answer: Well, I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t mind if he was still here. But they move on. That’s just a part of it. It’s a young man’s league today. It’s not just this position, it’s happening all over. Fortunately, our personnel department collectively has been able to go out and secure players, either by trade, as we did in some cases, or free agents, as we did with Brandon Myers. They’ve been able to go out and find young players who really weren’t drafted and been able to bring them in and train them. It is a position that, because of the salary cap, that only very few persons get a high percentage of that salary cap. It’s a developmental position. There are a number of them in the NFL today. It’s important that you do get guys that are the right kind of guys that have the size and at least a high-end amount of talent. They don’t have to be superstars, because you’d be paying them high if they were. But you develop them and make them very good contributors to your football team. Generally these are the guys that are not prima-donnas. Every day is a “prove it” day for them. They kind of have that free agent mentality. In Brandon Myers, we’ve got a guy from the Raiders for whom this is the 5th offensive system he’s played in. Coming here, you’d think “he’s played in the NFL,” but he came in here with just the right attitude and gets mad at himself when he doesn’t execute things the way he knows they should be done. So we do have guys that are helping each other and coaching each other a little bit along the way. Bear Pascoe’s been a vital part of this, because he is the only guy here really who has playing time. Lose him and Hynoski early in our spring camps, and so Bear goes to fullback, but he’s still able to play tight end and all those other positions. Because he’s been through it, he can work with these young guys. He’s a real valuable asset. We take these young guys and try to grow them up. We want to get Adrien on the field. He’s a terrific target and runs well. We’d like to see if Larry Donnell can make a contribution. Certainly size and talent-wise, he has that. But he missed all the spring and mini-camps because of a broken foot, so he’s virtually just starting right now. So, how fast can those guys grow? The faster they grow, the more effective we’re going to be. I do think we have, size-wise, the biggest group I’ve ever worked with. These guys are 278, 280, 282, and they can run fairly well. We haven’t had that around here since I’ve been here. That’s since 1982. We haven’t had that size player. So that should add to our running game on the edge, and should enable us to block some of these defensive ends and some of these outside linebackers that are in this league now. Hopefully, with the quickness and speed of our running backs, that can be a huge contribution: the way we block the edge of the offense and are more effective in the run game.
Question: How good could a goal line set be with those two guys (Robinson and Donnell) if you can get them around?
Answer: Well, effective as run-blockers. But the other thing is even in the approach to the drill run. Here are two guys that can jump like gazelles. So if the ball goes up, I’m going to take the…on the fact that one of them has got a chance to get it. A lot of our defensive backs back there are six feet tall, and can’t possibly elevate with these guys. So if they can get the right things done, learn to read the coverage, and get in the right place so that the QB can trust them, then I think they can be very effective in the scoring zone.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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