As the legend of Odell Beckham, and his role in the New York Giants offense, continues to grow fellow wide receiver Rueben Randle has seen the ball head his way with less and less frequency in recent weeks.
In a Week 11 game against the San Francisco 49ers Randle was targeted 15 times and had seven receptions. In three games since that time Randle has been targeted just 10 times, with seven receptions. Last week against the Tennessee Titans he had just one catch in three targets for nine yards.
What does offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo think of the work Randle, in his third season, has done this year?
"He's been a little bit streaky. Some days better than others. We have a lot of confidence in him and expect him to continue to grow, get better," McAdoo said. "He's still a young player and we feel his best days are ahead of him."
Randle has a career-high 57 receptions, far more than the 41 he had last season. He is averaging only 10.8 yards per catch, however, down from 14.9 per catch a season ago. He also has only two touchdowns.
"I’m continuing to get open on film," Randle said after practice on Thursday. "I only control what I can control. The ball comes my way, I got to make a play. If not, I got to continue to work like it’s coming my way and be prepared when it does."
Randle, according to Pro Football Focus, ranks 85th among 111 wide receivers who have played at least 25 percent of their team's snaps in percentage of passes caught. His 57 receptions have come in 100 targets, a nice, easy percentage to calculate of 57 percent. By contract, Beckham has caught 72.8 percent of 81 targets and Preston Parker has hauled in 68.2 percent of passes thrown in his direction.
"I think that he's had games where he's played well, very well. Other games, not so well," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "You're always striving for the consistent performer and I think he would agree with that. Try to get better, that's the whole deal."
Is Randle the answer as the third wide receiver for the Giants in their three-receiver packages as they look forward, hopefully, to teaming Beckham and Victor Cruz from the beginning next season? The off-season will tell us a great deal about how the Giants view the answer to that question.
Here are a couple of other topics McAdoo addressed during his briefing with the media on Thursday.
On the option pass Odell Beckham threw Sunday vs. the Tennessee Titans, a play that had never before been used by the Giants during the Tom Coughlin era.
McAdoo said the Giants had the option play "oiled up" for a while, and that Coughlin had signed off on using it.
"Coach is involved in everything we do, absolutely. You don't ever want to make a call like that without the head coach being involved," McAdoo said.
On the career-best 24-carry, 131-yard performance last week by rookie running back Andre Williams.
"He had a nice day. It was good to see him get out and be explosive on the short yardage run in space. He looked like he was consistent with his courses. He pressed it, he had good vision," McAdoo said. "You give credit to the line, the tight ends and the receivers, they all blocked well for him. Henry (Hynoski) had a good day blocking for him. He took advantage of what was there and also gained some yards after contact, which was good to see."