How do the Giants do it? Is it amazing scouting? Is it just luck?
All through my childhood in the 1970’s, the NY Football Giants never had good tight ends. Bob Tucker? Emery Moorehead? A notch better than our mediocre receivers.
But then the Giants stumbled across Zeke Mowatt, Mark Bavaro, and Howard Cross. Everything seemed to change in 1983 and the Tight End became synonymous with the New York Giants and their brand of football.
In 2002 the Giants drafted the temperamental, but extremely talented(beast)…Jeremy Shockey in the first round. But as luck would have it…when Shockey got hurt in 2007 the Giants never skipped a beat and inserted the baby-faced rookie, Kevin Boss. Boss stepped into the limelight and led the Giant to the Super Bowl with a handful of huge catches.
In typical NY Giants fashion when Kevin Boss contract was up…they let him go and dipped into the free agent pool, resurfacing with Jake Ballard. Who?
Ballard was a big blocking body at Ohio State and didn’t seem to fit the new tight end mold, so why replace Boss with Ballard? Turns out Ballard had very soft hands and made huge catches look easy(38 receptions for 604 yds) and yes…another Super Bowl. Amazing!
In 2012 the Giants money men felt that the Tight End position was not worthy of real money, so they came up with Dallas cast-off, Martellus Bennett. Bennett was a talker but surprisingly productive(55 receptions/626 yards) and big target for Eli Manning.
The Giants are now rebuilding in 2104 and are slowing progressing through their new offensive growing pains…yet lo and behold, a 6’6″, 265 pound specimen with soft hands has emerged as an unstoppable force. On Thursday Night Football in front of a National audience, Larry Donnell appeared out of no where and caught 3 touchdown passes. The former quarterback from Grambling State now has 4 TD’s and 236 yards.
And against the Redskins…it could have easily been Daniel Fells the back up Tight End. It’s the Giants magic at Tight End. Management has been letting tight end talent go for almost a decade now, yet they keep coming up roses!
NY Giants Rush, Featured Writer