When the New York Giants picked up Rutgers RB/FB Joe Martinek as an undrafted free agent this year, I got the feeling he had a real chance to make the roster. Martinek was a talented runner at Hopatcong High School in New Jersey; he set the state record for rushing yards.
After splitting time at runningback and fullback at Rutgers, he just looked like a player the Giants want on their roster. A guy who is willing to lay it all on the line, give 110 percent every play and play multiple positions, including special teams.
“I envision myself playing wherever coaches want me to play.” Martinek said. “I always knew I was going to have to play special teams—that’s going to be a huge part for me. I’ve always seen myself as a running back my whole life. I’ve been playing that position since I was five years old.”
The Giants are pretty much set at the runningback position, and Henry Hynoski was impressive as the starting fullback last season, but Martinek could challenge “The Hynoceros” for that spot.
Patricia Traina of Inside Football Magazine noted Martinek had a good practice Sunday.
Martinek had a better showing today. The one thing I think people will appreciate about him is that he doesn’t make the same mistakes twice, which is a good thing. He’s also a very intense who when he steps out there on the field means business. Today’s highlights featured two runs, both as the single back. On the first, Martinek had nowhere to run as it looked like the left side of the offensive line didn’t get their men blocked up. On the second run, which ended practice, Martinek took the handoff, and darted around the formation and up the sideline for a nice gain. Martinek has twice now been the last man to touch the ball in practice.
Martinek has every opportunity to make the roster as long as he continues to show the heart and determination Tom Coughlin looks for in his special teams players and backups.
Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports.
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