Giants TE Larry Donnell's blocking had made him a liability. So the Giants pulled him from games on run downs, in lieu of better blocking tight ends Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson. Donnell didn't start three of the last five games.
Donnell knew his weakness, had a goal and attacked.
"I was trying to refine my game so I can be better in the run game. I did some things, changed it up a little bit weight-wise and all," Donnell said this week after the Giants' first organized team activity workout. "The big problem with me is my hands used to go too wide. People used to get their hands inside of me, inside my chest and I lost a lot of battles there."
"We want to see him step up in the areas that are not natural for him, the blocking areas, for example," coach Tom Coughlin said during last season. "And obviously ball security."
Donnell had four lost fumbles, in part because he often found himself with his feet off the ground and in compromising positions. But that's more a mental mistake than physical.
So the focus this offseason was on blocking. There was a lot to fix.
Donnell averaged 82% of the snaps through the first 11 weeks, but played just 69% over the final six games. He finished the season as the #11 TE in both standard and PPR formats, but did not crack 60 yards or find the endzone in the final six games. He had the 17th-most targets (5.2 T/G) over that span, after seeing the 7th-most (6.1 T/G) in the first 11 weeks. If his blocking and ball security improve, he should see his snaps rise, and in turn his targets and production.