While all the talk this off-season is being centered around how the Giants will have to please both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, with some thinking the team has the luxury to sign only one of them to a long-term contract (hence the reason why Cruz was tagged with a first-round RFA tender), the Giants may actually have an ace up their sleeve in Rueben Randle.
With experience and a chance for more playing time , Randle is expected to make more of an impact in 2013.
Randle’s 2012 stats are hardly eye-opening, as he recorded only 19 catches for 298 receiving yards and three touchdowns. When given the rare chance to start in Week 17 against the Eagles, Randle thrived. On that day, Randle posted four catches (catching all his targets) for 58 yards and two touchdowns, showing the potential that made him a coveted receiver coming out of LSU.
It is with that game that Randle offers the franchise some glimmer of hope that he can conceivably be a threat as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver. With the Giants also recently signing tight end Brandon Myers, the pressure will be lessened for Randle, as he gets set to take the next step in his game.
Coach Tom Coughlin is not one to rely on rookies, as he tries to ease them into action. With a year under his belt, the training wheels are expected to come off for Randle in 2013. If Cruz ever departs, then Randle will most definitely be thrown into the fire.
There is no mistaking the talent that Randle possesses. There is a reason why Randle was a second-round pick. With his size (6’2”” 208) and knack for running good routes, Randle should only get better in 2013.
While all Giants fans are on pins and needles about what the future holds for Cruz, at least the Giants will have a decent contingency plan in Randle.
Dan Stack | Featured Columnist