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Big Blue View mailbag: Kyle Rudolph, Tae Crowder, David Sills, more questions

The mail’s here!

We are quickly rolling through summer, and New York Giants training camp will be here sooner than you think. Let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag while we wait.

Aaron Racicot asks: I want to thank you for the fine job you and your staff do. I’m a daily reader. Like you, I appreciate excellent writers and agree there are few that I must read. I used to be a big fan of Dick Young and Mike Lupica. Who are some of your old favorites?

Ed says: Aaron, I’m old enough to remember the days when the Sunday newspaper was a special thing, choc full of both advertising and long features, opinion pieces and notebooks that were all weekly must reads.

Lupica was always a must read. I loved his style, even though I disagreed with him a lot. I was never a Dick Young fan. To me, Young always thought he was more important than the athletes he covered, and to this day that’s an approach I dislike. When I began to appreciate journalism, Red Smith was near the end of his career but I found a great appreciation for him. There was a time when I loved the New York Times sports section. The Washington Post when I lived in Maryland for a few years, as well. To be honest, I always thought my dream job would be as a sports columnist for the Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post or another of the major newspapers of the day. I always looked forward to the writing and story-telling that arrived weekly in Sports Illustrated. Back in the day, you didn’t get published in SI unless you were one of the best sports journalists in the country.

By the way, if you’re interested in a look at what it used to be like to be a big-time sports columnist, this is a cool read.

Thomas Tremba asks: Ed, I have two questions for you. First, any update on Kyle Rudolph’s progress after surgery? Second, would you agree that Tae Crowder may be one of the most underrated young players on the Giants if not in the entire league given the high praise Blake Martinez offered in a Jan. 2021 interview with “He’s a great player. I actually told him, you are probably one of the best rookies I’ve been around in this league.”

Ed says: Thomas, thanks for the questions. Let’s see if I can answer both.

When it comes to Rudolph, or any injured player, you have to understand that NFL teams are not required to release injury reports, update the progress of rehabbing players, or even acknowledge that a player is injured during the offseason. We can guess that players like John Ross and Cam Brown missed time during OTAs and mandatory mini-camp because of injuries, but the Giants are never going to confirm that.

The only Rudolph update this offseason was provided by Rudolph himself, when he told media that he “won’t miss any football” due to his offseason foot surgery.

I did learn that Rudolph is playing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. That began Friday and ends on Sunday.

As for Tae Crowder, I love the kid and I think he has a chance to be a good player. Still, players are given to hyperbole when talking about other players. Take that whole “best rookies I’ve been around” with a grain of salt. I’m sure Martinez thinks the kid is a good player. I’m also pretty sure he saw an opportunity to build the confidence of a young player, and took it.

Ronald Buchheim asks: Why haven’t you or practically anyone else projected David Sills as a prime candidate for the roster? He was set to make it last year before the injury. Why have Mack and Board jumped ahead of him in your opinion? Game experience?

Ed says: Ooooh, a David Sills question! So, Ronald, let’s talk about Sills and the realities of trying to make an NFL roster.

Sills was undeniably impressive during training camp last season. There were, of course, no preseason games. Sills, though, just kept making plays in practice after practice. That said, he was injured before roster cuts were made. We can speculate, but we have no way of knowing for sure whether or not Sills would have made the 53-man roster. We’ll probably never know.

The NFL is a harsh business. Reality is that Sills having been impressive for a two- or three-week stretch in training camp a year ago means nothing for his chances to make the roster this season.

I’m sure GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants’ coaching staff have that performance in their memory banks. Sills is going to need to duplicate it, though, and this time around he probably has a bigger mountain to climb.

There is a high-priced free agent wide receiver on the roster (Kenny Golladay). A first-round pick in Kadarius Toney. Established players in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Two former high draft picks in Dante Pettis and John Ross. Also, two young players in C.J. Board and Austin Mack who spent last season building equity with this coaching staff. And, yes, like it or not that equity matters. Coaches gain trust in players over time, and have a track record to lean on. Sills missed out on that last year.

Sills, of course, could force his way into the discussion if he picks up this year where he left off before getting injured in 2020. On paper, though, there is no real way to consider him a likely or “prime” 53-man roster candidate as of now.