New York Giants wide receiver Anthony Dable had a quiet spring on the field, rarely having the ball thrown his way during OTAs or minicamp. The story remained pretty much the same throughout the early portion of training camp. If you have been paying attention to the goings on in East Rutherford, N.J., however, you have been hearing Dable’s name with increasingly regularity during recent practices.
“There’s a learning curve coming from where I’m from and adjusting to the NFL,” Dable said via phone on Thursday. “I knew it wasn’t going to be as quick as one day to another but now that I understand what the coaches want from me, now that I understand the playbook and I feel comfortable with it I’m starting to make plays. That’s why you hear my name.”
If you’re a Giants fan, or an NFL fan for that matter, you probably know Dable’s story. Born in France, Dable learned about American football from playing a video game as a teen-ager. He learned more about the game, which he first played at age 19, from watching videos.
Now 27, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Dable has been dominating competition in France and Germany for years. He signed with the Giants after a tryout that was arranged by ex-Giant Osi Umenyiora, who now works for the NFL in London as an ambassador.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that it has taken Dable some time to begin becoming a factor in a wide receiver competition that includes Geremy Davis, Rogers Lewis, Myles White, Darius Powe and Tavarres King.
Dable has had to adjust to NFL competition and to the schedule required of an NFL player. He has had to make a cultural adjustment to living in the U.S. He has also had to adjust to the spotlight, with constant interviews and with TV specials like TransferWise chronicling his every move. The clip below is from TransferWise.
Dable said he understands all the attention he gets.
“I understand that my story might interest people,” he said. “It’s a crazy story for me. I really just do it (the interviews and shows) so I can share my story with people.”
He seems to finally be settled in.
“I think I’m doing good,” he said “Now I’m really comfortable with the playbook and I’m playing at my speed.”
He said Thursday that he will “try to show out” against the Miami Dolphins when he gets his chance, which he expects to come in the second half.
“I can’t wait for the game to go out there and show what I’m capable of,” Dable said. “I’ve just gotta show them that they were right, that they made the right decision.
“Now that I play at my speed I definitely think I can make plays.”
Dable said working against cornerbacks like Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has really helped him learn his craft.
“You’ve definitely gotta be on your stuff, you’ve gotta be precise in your route and everything because guys like Cromartie and Jenkins they know what they’re doing,” Dable said.
He added that DRC has become somewhat of a mentor.
“He will come to me and tell me what I did wrong and the moment I gave away my route and where I was going to make it better,” Dable said.
Dable said he knew from his study of the NFL that he had the size and athleticism required.
“I knew that I had the measurables,” he said. “An NFL team gave me the chance and now that I’m starting to make plays in camp I’ve just gotta keep on doing the things right and make plays until the team believes in me and puts me on the field.”