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Giants’ Evan Engram knows he needs to be better

After rough game on Monday, Engram gets support from Joe Judge, Jason Garrett

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Evan Engram doesn’t need Tiki Barber to tell him he needs to be better than the New York Giants tight end was on Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Engram had a drop, a critical offensive pass interference penalty, appeared to have a miscommunication with Daniel Jones on a goal line passing play and struggled as a blocker in the Giants’ 26-16 loss.

“I definitely want to and need to be better in all phases,” Engram said on Friday. “Definitely hold myself accountable.”

Here is Engram on his blocking struggles:

“There were just details I have to clean up — footwork, hand placement, head up, eyes up, leverage,” Engram said. “Blocking is a lot of small things that I definitely had to clean up.”

Engram is in his fourth season and he has always been a receiving tight end with questionable blocking skills. The Giants’ new coaching staff, though, isn’t ready to toss in the towel on Engram’s ability to do more than be a receiver.

“We believe Evan can be a complete tight end. He’s demonstrated that at different times throughout his career, and certainly during our time together in training camp up to this point We don’t see him as a one-dimensional player who’s only a receiver,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said on Thursday. “We see him as a guy who can do all the things necessary to play tight end in this league, and his willingness to do that is something I think is really positive for our team.”

Head coach Joe Judge has promised to be supportive of players in public, no matter what he may say to them on the practice field or how hard players get coached in private. He did that Friday when asked about Engram.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Evan. This guy fights his butt off. I don’t want to take a few isolated plays and try to magnify that into being the total picture of the guy,” Judge said. “I’m going to tell you something right now, he’s a guy that hits the field every day and this guy goes 100 miles an hour. In the passing game, the run game, pass blocking, whatever’s asked of him, when he’s on special teams, this guy goes full out to the wall for us every day.

“Look, we have a lot of confidence in Evan. He’s an integral part of our offense. He’s a key part to our team. I look forward to having him for the rest of the season. Look, this guy, he works too hard not to improve on a daily basis. I’m very pleased with how he comes to work every day.”

When healthy, Engram has at times over his first three seasons been the Giants’ best receiver. The Giants need that version of their 2017 first-round pick to show up Sunday.