New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle served up a plate of mixed success in 2013. He led the Giants in receiving touchdowns, yet also recorded more than four receptions in a game just twice. Randle bleeds potential but the consistency level just wasn’t there last season.
In 2013, Randle caught 41 passes for 611 yards and six touchdowns.
A big reason for the offense’s struggles last year was the lack of a second legitimate target on the outside beyond Victor Cruz. Nicks was a shell of his former self and Randle just wasn’t quite ready for the nod. Nicks is now now gone, which leaves a lot of the burden on the shoulders of Randle, who is entering just his third season. However, if this spring is any indication, Randle may cement himself as a bona fide threat and serious No. 2 receiver this year.
New York’s wide receiver coach Sean Ryan gushed about Randle’s focus this spring in a recent article from ESPN New York reporter Dan Graziano. Here is a piece of the quote from Ryan:
“I’ve seen a difference in his seriousness towards his work. This spring, I thought he was locked in. I thought he did a good job learning the new offense. Like I said, he’s got some football intelligence to him. Things come to him. He sees things pretty well. But I thought he really worked hard at being locked into the meetings and on the field as well. I noticed a difference in him.”
Another school of thought is that Randle may be much more comfortable in new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo‘s system. The offense relies less on reads from the wide-outs. Randle and Eli Manning were too often not on the same page a season ago and their miscommunications usually led to big interceptions.
New York’s other options at wide receiver come in the form of Jerrel Jernigan, Mario Manningham and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants scooped up Beckham with their first-round draft pick and fully expect him to be an immediate impact performer for this offense.
Either way, much of New York’s offensive success this season will depend on the performance by Randle. He really needs to step into a major role for the Giants and become a consistent target for Manning on each and every play.