Corey Washington is apparently just as frustrated as many New York Giants fans are about his lack of playing during his rookie season. Washington, who was a pre-season sensation with four touchdown catches, expressed his feeling to Tom Rock of Newsday.
"Every time I get my opportunity, I embrace it," he said. "I catch everything. I don't know what it's going to take. I can only control what I can do." ...
"People have been asking me," Washington said. "I just give them the shoulder [shrug] like, 'Don't ask me, I'm not the front office.' ''
Washington, 6-foot-4, 214 pounds, caught 10 passes in the pre-season. During the season the Giants lost Victor Cruz and Jerrel Jernigan to injuries, and did not have Odell Beckham for the first four games. Washington, though, has watched as journeymen Preston Parker and Kevin Ogletree have taken snaps that he -- and many fans -- hoped he would get. Washington has played just 57 offensive snaps this season and caught five passes, four of those late in a blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Thirty-two of those snaps came in weeks 3 and 4, a blowout win over Washington and the loss to the Colts.
He bluntly admitted to Rock that "I'm not happy."
It goes without saying, of course, that many Giants' fans aren't, either.
I know without even waiting for, or looking at, the comments that will come that this topic will fire up the anti-Tom Coughlin rhetoric.
Here is how I see the whole Washington thing. Coughlin has talked about Washington needing to be better on special teams. Personally, I don't believe that what Coughlin is saying is that Washington has to be better on those teams BEFORE he gets chances on offense. I believe he is saying that since he is a backup who has to play on those teams he is hoping Washington will become more impactful there.
Coughlin has also said Washington knows what to do on offense but that he has to "become better at his job."
Rightly or wrongly, the view here is that someone -- maybe Coughlin, maybe offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, maybe wide receivers coach Sean Ryan, maybe quarterback Eli Manning -- doesn't yet trust that Washington CAN do the job, even though he knows how to do it.
One thing I do feel strongly is that while Washington's frustration is understandable, it probably isn't advisable for a kid who is lucky to be in the league as an undrafted free agent from Division II Newberry College to be going public with complaints about playing time.
Would I have liked to see Washington get more snaps this season? Certainly. As often as I have defended Coughlin against the "he hates young players" rhetoric, there is one criticism I believe he is open to. He doesn't hate young players. He hates using players when he isn't sure they understand and can execute their assignments. There are times, I believe, when Coughlin sees what some young players CAN'T yet do and fails to take full advantage of what they CAN do. This is something Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots is a master of.
There have to be situations, like red zone and short-yardage, or specific routes the youngster runs well. There certainly have been missed opportunities to get Washington on the field at least a bit more often.