Rueben Randle has an NFL-ready skill set. But, does the New York Giants' rookie wide receiver have an NFL-ready work ethic? A somewhat disturbing report from the New York Post calls that into question.
It isn't really all that bothersome that NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth called out Randle during Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, saying that his "work ethic has been questioned a bit with the Giants."
What is bothersome is that when asked about Randle, the player the rookie should be trying to emulate indicated that Collinsworth was right.
"Rueben has to understand that this is a business now, it's not just come out here, lollygag, because you may not be getting as much reps as somebody else, that you shouldn't be giving as much effort,'' Victor Cruz told The Post. "He has to understand that each and every day he walks in here he's a professional and he has to perform no matter what's being asked of him.''
Cruz, we know, is a great player. Watch him practice, which I got to do during training camp, and you can see one of the main reasons why. He never takes a play off, giving quarterback Eli Manning and whatever corner back is assigned to guard him the best he has on every snap.
Randle has done a nice job returning punts, averaging 9.7 yards on six returns and fair-catching five others. Yet, the Giants were looking for much more than that this season from the 6-foot-3, 208-pound receiver. They were hoping he would become the vertical threat the Giants lost when Mario Manningham went to San Francisco. Yet, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden remain ahead of him -- far ahead, in fact -- on the depth chart.
Randle played only four offensive snaps against Philadelphia, and he has just one catch for 4 yards this season. He has played 36 total snaps, 27 in a the blowout of the Carolina Panthers, and been targeted four times.
He still has time this season to become that weapon in the passing game the Giants were hoping for. All of this stuff about his work ethic might just be a young man needing to mature and recognize that he is no longer playing a game, rather he is doing a job.
The Giants can only hope those things happen.