New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll has not been coy about the team’s wide receivers and their week-to-week competition for playing time.
“Whether it’s the highest-paid player, the lowest-paid player, the highest draft pick, an undrafted free agent – we’re going to go out there and let the guys compete it out,” Daboll told reporters on Monday. “One week doesn’t necessarily mean this is what’s going to happen the next week. I think everybody understands what we are trying to do as an organization in terms of continuing to get better, competing for spots, working as hard as you can work. “
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In Week 1, Kadarius Toney drew the short straw and saw just seven snaps. In Week 2, that was the role served by Kenny Golladay, the team’s highest-paid player, who took just seven snaps. Meanwhile, other receivers like David Sills have seen increased playing time.
This has been Daboll’s approach dating back to training camp and it doesn’t appear likely to change. How that’s interpreted is up for debate.
Daboll insists it’s because the group is deep, talented and competitive. Others believe it’s because the Giants lack quality depth at the position outside of a select few.
While Daboll would never publicly admit to the latter, what he’s doing in private seems to support that theory.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that Daboll has been busy FaceTiming free agent wide receivers and weighing his options.
Daboll has been FaceTiming with free agent wide receivers, according to a league source.
League sources also informed Wilson that Golladay’s attitude and effort haven’t been questioned, but that his ability simply doesn’t fit what the Giants are trying to do.
Under new coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen, they simply are trying to play the players they feel give the team the best chance to win right now. And their actions speak volumes about Golladay. They don’t think he can help them right now. Hence, why he isn’t playing more.
“It’s a bad contract, and they inherited Kenny,” a league source said. “Brian and Joe aren’t going to just play a guy because he makes a lot of money. He’s not their guy. They’re playing their guys. It is what it is. “
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“I haven’t heard anything bad about his attitude,” a source said. “It sounds like it’s a football decision only, nothing personal.”
The receivers, not just Golladay, have underperformed so far this season. It’s something even Sterling Shepard has acknowledged.
“We have to do better on pre-snap,” Shepard told reporters this week. “Guys have to know where to go. Too many times that, myself included, I was going the wrong way. Then you look at the clock and we have to hurry up, so that throws off a little bit of the timing. Especially in our room – it starts with me – we have a lot to work on. “
Dan Duggan of The Athletic outlined exactly what has gone wrong recently, highlighting issues with Golladay in practice.
There was a scene during practice last Wednesday that appeared minor at the time, but, in hindsight, seems telling. At the start of every practice, quarterbacks throw passes to receivers running routes on air. Golladay ran a go-route, and quarterback Daniel Jones launched a pass about 40 yards downfield. Golladay didn’t come close to catching the pass, which landed a few yards beyond his grasp di lui. It was impossible to tell initially if Jones had overthrown the receiver, but the reaction from Giants coaches signaled frustration with Golladay’s inability to catch up to an accurate pass.
The Giants don’t have much cap space and would likely have to create some in order to sign a free agent wide receiver. However, there are some intriguing options out there such as Will Fuller, Antonio Brown, TY Hilton and Mohamed Sanu.
Oh yeah… There’s also some guy by the name of Odell Beckham Jr., who will be healthy later on this season.