Through the use of video and occasional chats with running backs coach Craig Johnson, New York Giants rookie running back Paul Perkins saw every OTA practice. He just didn’t participate in them due to an NFL rule prohibiting him from joining the team until his class at UCLA had graduated.
Perkins is now back with the Giants, having participated in the first two days of mandatory minicamp, and the fifth-round pick is aiming to make up for lost time.
“I had an iPad with all the plays and a script with what they were doing each day,” Perkins said. “And then (running backs) coach (Craig) Johnson would call me periodically throughout the week to see how I was doing - and coach (Ben) McAdoo, as well.
“I definitely wish I was here, but it definitely helped me more so than not having it and just watching.”
Perkins did all of the drill work during practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. He took very few reps during offense vs. defense periods, though.
“Paul has watched every practice,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We had a chance to catch up with him at night. There are some rules that you can communicate at night in watching the practice, being able to go through and look at the installs and study the book. Certainly, it is not as good as being here, but he has some catching up to do.”
The Giants have five experienced backs plus Perkins, which offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said “gives us some good problems to have in terms of saying who’s going to be the individual or individuals who are going to carry the football.”
Perkins was considered a great value in the draft when the Giants were able to select him in the fifth round. He may be the running back of the future for the Giants. Right now, though, he’s just a rookie trying to figure out what’s going on.
“There’s no substitute for the reps,” Sullivan said. “I know there was communication - you try to coach him up as best you can while he’s finishing school in California – but, obviously, if guys could just get it off of the film or off of the book, then I wouldn’t have a job. So he needs to be out there and get those reps. And he’s a young man that we’re very excited about. (We’re) glad that he’s here, glad that he’s a member of the Giants. He just needs to get those reps, and it’ll be great to have him go full-speed ahead for us in training camp.”