No NFL player could enjoy what New York Giants tight end Evan Engram endured on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. A lightning rod for frustrated fans the past few seasons, Engram was booed on the field and cheered for being taken off of it during the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Engram was asked point blank on Monday afternoon if he wanted to continue playing for the Giants, playing in front of fans who have obviously turned on him.
“I’m more focused on playing for my team and my teammates,” Engram said. “Obviously it’s not ideal, and it’s something that you don’t want to see or hear, but my focus is playing better football for my teammates and my team and giving our supporters something to cheer about.”
Fans would, of course, respond that Engram’s play has not been ideal, either.
Of the jeers, Engram said “I think I handled it pretty well. I stayed locked in to my job on the field. It definitely was an opportunity to be a distraction, but I didn’t let that get to me.”
Engram has never really lived up to his status as the Giants’ No. 1 pick (23rd overall) in 2017. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, but that was mostly by default. He had an awful season that included a career-worst 11 dropped passes, and career worsts in several other receiving categories.
Engram missed the first two games of this season with a calf injury. Sunday was his season debut. He has become a favorite target of frustrated Giants fans who have seen nothing but bad football — an NFL-worst 18-49 record — during Engram’s time with the team.
Engram had two receptions for 21 yards, but had a costly fumble and a drop.
“I caught the ball and I’ve just gotta turn upfield with better ball security,” Engram said of the fumble. “Every bad play in football there’s things that weren’t done right. On the play yesterday I didn’t have the proper ball security. When that stuff happens, when bad details and bad technique happens, bad results come.”
Engram, always a standup player who answers questions as well as he can whether they are positive or negative, understands the frustration of Giants fans.
“The fans deserve to see good football. They deserve to see winning football,” he said. “They’re honest fans, they’re passionate fans, and they deserve to see a good product on the field.”
Unfortunately, Engram’s miscues have too often been part of the reason they haven’t.