Curtis Riley making push for starting safety job
At the start of training camp, the Giants were rotating Curtis Riley, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams and Michael Thomas at free safety. Over time, it has become apparent that the competition for the starting spot is really between Thompson and Riley.
Right now, it’s a one-horse race.
With Riley nursing a hamstring injury last week, Thompson got to start vs. the Cleveland Browns. He didn’t play particularly well, and he is now on the shelf with his own hamstring injury. Riley is back, working with the first team, and a strong showing Friday against the Detroit Lions could cement his spot as the starter.
“I just got to keep being consistent, doing everything I’m doing right now,” Riley said on Tuesday. “Got to make sure I’m making all the right calls; I can’t go out there having technical errors and stuff like that. Just got to be consistent, that’s the main thing.”
An undrafted player, Riley spent two years as a reserve cornerback with the Tennessee Titans. He came to the Giants this season, and they moved him to the safety spot. He impressed in the spring, and now has a golden opportunity in front of him.
“I’ve never seen something like it, never been a part of it, never heard of it,” Riley said of the four-way free safety competition. “But it’s good, though. It’s a good thing to always have competition, that’s what the NFL is about. We got to come every day and compete, because if I show up and I’m on a roller coaster of being good or bad and being down one day, that’s not good, because that could lead to a big play. I got to make sure I’m consistent every day. We’re all battling, they’re making sure they are consistent every day, and we leave it up to the coaches and the upstairs (football decision-makers).”
A good performance this week by Riley could put the competition to rest.
Shurmur: Beckham “did great”
Odell Beckham Jr. participated extensively in team and individual drills on Monday.
“He did great,” Shurmur said. “You’ve watched him all summer here, competing at practice. If you create the same setting, it’s just against a different team, then you’re just out there practicing, and that’s what he did.”
Wayne Gallman: “Competition makes you better”
Second-year running back Wayne Gallman is looking for a role in a backfield that will include No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley and an accomplished veteran in Jonathan Stewart. Shurmur said Tuesday that he is “gaining an appreciation for what he is as a runner, a pass catcher, and a blocker.”
Gallman is just trying to get better.
“The competition makes you better,” he said. “You want competition regardless of the fact even if you were the starter and everyone down the list weren’t going to start at any time, but still you want that competition in terms of being a better player for yourself. Also, you want that competition because you know you’re going to have competition throughout the year and wanting to be the best running back corps in the league.”
OLB Connor Barwin (soreness), running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring), tight end Ryan O’Malley (ankle), linebacker Thurston Armbrister (hamstring), and wide receiver Travis Rudolph (quad) did not practice Monday.
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