All the talk around the New York Giants during training camp -- at least the talk that hasn't been about the brief fight between Justin Pugh and Damontre Moore, the latest news on Jason Pierre-Paul, or the problems at safety -- has been about wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz both practicing every day.
There has also been some talk about the depth at wide receiver and the competition for the final two roster spots. No one, however, seems to be talking about a talented Giants' wide receiver who had a pretty good season in his own right during 2014. That, of course, would be Rueben Randle.
The 24-year-old Randle caught 71 passes last season, second on the Giants to Beckham. With so much attention focused by the media on the health of Cruz and Beckham, the 24-year-old Randle has been virtually unnoticed thus far. The Giants can only hope that the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Randle is also overlooked by opposing defenses worried about all of the other options at the disposal of Eli Manning this season, and that Randle can make them pay.
"I just want to get better everyday. Whenever I take the field, I just want to get better and improve myself in this offense. That’s what I want to do," Randle said.
In his three seasons in New York, Randle has done that. He had 19 catches as a rookie, 41 in 2013 and 71 last year. The complicated attack that caused so many communication issues between Randle and Manning during his first two seasons is a distant memory. Randle caught 58.2 percent of the passes thrown his way last season, with five interceptions (three in Manning's five-interception game vs. the San Francisco 49ers). In 2013, those numbers were 53.9 and eight.
The Giants are hoping that Randle can finally attain consistency, both on the field and off, and reach the full potential they saw when they made him a second-round pick in 2012. Randle has three 100+ yard receiving games last year. He also had three games of two or fewer catches. And was twice suspended for the first quarter of games.
"He's got the tools to be a complete receiver," wide receivers coach Sean Ryan said Monday. "It's consistency. Every single play every time he's in, whether it's practice or a game he's got to give us 100 percent effort and be focused on it.
"To me the guy's a player."
Ryan hopes that whatever issues have impacted Randle in the past won't be repeated. "The past is the past," the receivers coach said. "Lessons have been learned and I expect nothing but the best from him this year."
The possibility of Randle, Cruz and Beckham all playing together -- and playing well -- should excite Giants fans and give nightmares to opposing defensive coordinators.
"On paper I think we're all exciting, but it's all about making sure we understand what we want to do and have an understanding of this offense so that we can play together well and help this offense move," Ryan said. "We all should be able to play our roles in this offense. We all understand that we all are play-makers and there's going to be a lot of things for us to learn and improve. Coach McAdoo is going to do a great job, I'm sure, of spreading the ball around for us."
The more often the good Randle shows up in 2015 the more options McAdoo will have.