The P Posted December 10, 2009 Share Posted December 10, 2009 It’s been nine weeks since Travis Beckum caught a pass. And it’s been six weeks since a ball was even thrown in the tight end’s direction. That ball never got there. It was intercepted by Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel to set up the second of Philly’s five touchdowns in their rout over the Giants last month. “He just made a good play. He read it the whole time,” Beckum, the second of the Giants’ third-round picks in April’s draft, said Wednesday after the first practice in preparation for Sunday night’s rematch with the Eagles. “It’s a veteran going against a rookie. A lot of times, the vet’s going to win.” Right now, the Giants need this rookie to start acting more like a veteran – or to at least start winning matchups with more experienced defenders – because this is the time of year they were hoping he’d step up. The team figured it might take Beckum a while to get adjusted to the NFL level, so they had hopes he would come on strong late in the season, a la Steve Smith during the Super Bowl run two years ago. And like Smith, Beckum is capable of working the middle of the field, which means he could be a closer option for Eli Manning than the deep passes to the outside of the field. “When the wind starts to swirl out here and it gets cold in November, December,” general manager Jerry Reese said of Beckum after the draft, “a shorter pass to a guy who can get open on the inside, a bigger target, will probably help our quarterback.“ Reese also described Beckum as a “nightmare” of a matchup for linebackers and safeties. But that’s assuming teams will allow such players to cover Beckum. The Giants have discovered many defenses are treating Beckum as a wide receiver, not a tight end, meaning they’ll swap a linebacker for a defensive back once they see Beckum enter the game. The Cowboys didn’t do that in Week 2, so Beckum was slated to be a part of the game plan this past weekend. But that plan was scrapped when Beckum experienced soreness in his groin during Friday’s practice and left the workout to prevent a pulled muscle. “He can contribute,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “There’s no doubt about that.” Beckum, who had all of his five catches for 35 yards from Weeks 3-5, said of the game plan against Dallas, “I had my plays in there. It stinks (the injury) had to happen then.” Manning said the Giants will “have to see how (the Eagles) play certain things” before it can be determined whether Beckum will be a factor against Philly. But Manning believes Beckum is starting to get more comfortable with all of the blocking and movement involved with being the Giants’ second tight end. Beckum, who has mostly lined up as a wide receiver when used this season, must improve in those areas to line up, and run routes over, the middle of the field. “They’re shorter throws. The ball’s not in the air as long,” said Manning, who has struggled over the past two games and could be headed to another late-season slump in cold, blustery weather. “So maybe that’s a factor I’ll have to look at.” Beckum, meanwhile, will have to look at the Eagles’ defensive scheme so he doesn’t get fooled by a veteran like Samuel once again. “It’s hard to read what they do because they’re so savvy,” Beckum said. “(Samuel) was about 6, 7 yards off. I pressed him and he backed up for a second and just broke on it.” Beckum believes in the weeks since that moment, he’s become a more experienced player worthy of a chance to make an impact. “I’ve been patient all year,” he said. “I’m just waiting for my chance to come out and show everyone what I’m capable of doing.” http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2009/12/ny_giants_looking_for_rookie_t.html Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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