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What we learned from Giants’ position coaches this week

Golden Tate’s role, Xavier McKinney, progress from Daniel Jones, more

New York Giants v Washington Football Team
Austin Mack
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Getting an opportunity to talk with New York Giants position coaches, which we do every couple of weeks, is always informative. Here are some of the things we learned from those coaches on Tuesday.

“The team, the team, the team”

With wide receiver Golden Tate, unhappy with his limited role throughout the first half of the season, back with the Giants this week wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert was asked if the Giants would make any effort to appease Tate by intentionally targeting him early in games.

The answer? No.

“There’s no individual ‘quote-unquote’ over the team. We always stress that. Whatever works for our offense is what we’re going to go with regardless of who’s out there on the field,” Tolbert said.

“All the receivers I’ve ever coached, they all feel like they can be open and catch the ball. That’s what they do. If you show me one receiver who doesn’t want the ball, you show me the first one.”

Specifically in regards to Tate, Tolbert indicated strongly that the veteran wide receiver is simply going to have to accept whatever role the Giants have for him.

“With Golden you keep preaching to him about the team, the team, the team. I have a phrase I always use with those guys — I say if you think you’re getting open and you don’t get the ball just keep getting open. Just keep getting open, we’ll find you,” Tolbert said.

“Maybe what it used to be when Golden was at other places he probably got more looks. Our first and foremost deal here is about the team and whatever role that is … whatever’s best for the team, that’s what we’re going to do. That’s what Coach Judge brought to the New York Giants organization.”

Austin Mack, enforcer

That’s how Tolbert referred to the undrafted rookie — a characterization I have never heard used before when it comes to a wide receiver.

“Austin has been doing what he’s been doing since Day 1. He’s a hard worker, he’s a smart guy, he’s really tough, he’s the enforcer in the run game and I was glad to be able to see him make some plays in the passing game,” Tolbert said.

“I tell them to try to do what I did a hundred years ago. When I played receiver I was a wide blocker, I wasn’t a wide receiver. When I was in the game it was to go block. I try to get those guys to do the same thing.”

‘Encouraging’ work from Daniel Jones

That is how Giants’ quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski saw Sunday’s turnover-free performance from Daniel Jones.

“Really encouraged by the way he played this past Sunday. He did a really good job for the most part of taking care of it and getting the ball out quick and taking what the defense gave him. Certainly encouraging,” Schuplinski said.

There were, though, two instances were Jones put the ball on the ground that did not result in turnovers. Schuplinski said ball security continues to be a priority.

“It’s a challenge. Every day. Every week. We’ve been working on it really hard since the start of training camp,” Schuplinski said.

“It’s not easy because the defenses and everyone else is really good in this league and the rush is really good in this league … those guys are coming at him pretty good. They’re trying to attack him, they’re trying to get the ball. It’s not easy because of the pressure we face and the things people try to do to stop us. You got big guys coming at you all the time. I don’t think it’s an easy fix. It’s something that we’re continuously working on every day.”

Xavier McKinney’s role to be determined

The Giants have had success in recent weeks with Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love working at safety. Rookie second-round pick Xavier McKinney, out all season with a fractured foot, will soon be back in the mix at that position.

How will he fit?

“That remains to be seen. We’ll have to see once we get him back and how he’s feeling and how he’s playing. We’ll hopefully get him back real soon and get him introduced into the package some way, some fashion. I’m not sure yet what that looks like,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said.

“Jabrill’s been playing well. Logan’s playing well. Love has done a good job for us as well. We’ve gotta find a way to get him [McKinney] mixed in with that group and I’m sure Pat [Graham] will have some great ideas for that.”