Especially catching the football. He worked hard in that department, getting maximum use out of the Jugs machine, but now it’s a mental game.
“I feel like I have a different set of hands,’’ Williams said of his 18 receptions, good for 130 yards after not catching a pass his senior year at Boston College. “I feel like I have a better grasp on how the catching mechanism is supposed to work.’’
Now comes Step 2.
“It’s not really anything physical, it’s mental,’’ Williams said. “You come into the league and it’s like, ‘I was catching passes from college quarterbacks, but now this is Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, who is throwing balls to Odell Beckham who has something crazy going on with his hands. He can catch them with one hand and I couldn’t even begin to think of how to accomplish that. It’s definitely a mental game, just having confidence that you are capable of it. Once you have that then you can really start working on actually catching the ball.’’
The story added that Williams is an intelligent player and is going to pick the brains of veteran running backs like Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy this offseason, along with his continuing dialogue with Giants’ veteran back Rashad Jennings. Any improvement in the pass-catching game could give Williams the edge to a more significant role next year. Jennings is approaching old age in terms of RBs (will be 30 in March) and was banged up in 2014.
Tom Coughlin has been told that he will return to Giants in 2015, but still has a meeting with John Mara today about potential staff changes.
The Giants have played much better in the second half and have been aided by WR Odell Beckham Jr. and his bust-out rookie season. QB Eli Manning and the rest of the offense seem to have a much better grasp of OC Ben McAdoo's system than they did in preseason and in the early part of 2014. Perhaps the fall comes on the defensive side.
McCoy initially feared it was something serious, based on the way he went down. Other players knelt around him, hoping it wasn't. McCoy eventually arose and limped off the field on his own power. He wanted to go back into the game, but the clock was winding down by that point.
The Eagles' Pro Bowl running back avoided a scare. The question now is whether that was his final carry with the team.
That question might seem absurd considering that McCoy, 26, rushed for 99 yards on Sunday to finish with 1,319 yards this season. It was the second-highest rushing total of his career, with both seasons coming under Chip Kelly. He was named to his third Pro Bowl in six seasons last week.
But McCoy is due to be paid $9.75 million with a salary-cap number of $11.95 million in 2015. That's a hefty price for a running back, and McCoy admitted that his future goes through his mind sometimes - especially after the Eagles jettisoned DeSean Jackson last offseason.
McCoy said he wants to stay and seems open to restructuring his contract after a down year. HC Chip Kelly came out Sunday and said he wants Shady back in the fold for 2015, so a departure seems unlikely at this point.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 17. Jennings is expected to rejoin the lineup in Week 17. His return kills any daily fantasy appeal for Andre Williams.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Giants RB Andre Williams (shoulder, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 17. Rashad Jennings is probable, so Williams has already lost his Sneaky Start appeal.
It's not exaggerating to say there's no one in the league playing the receiver position better than Beckham is playing it at the moment. He runs great routes, has great speed, catches everything and offers the ability to run trick plays where he lines up in the backfield because he can run with the ball or even throw it. He had only two catches for 28 yards in the Week 6 whitewashing in Philadelphia in which Victor Cruz went down. But since that game, Beckham has 1,048 yards and 10 touchdowns in only nine games. He can be as good as he wants to be. Remember, he's doing this after missing almost all of the offseason program, all of training camp and the first four games of the season due to a hamstring injury. In the grand scheme of things, at the NFL level, he has barely even practiced.
Don't be surprised if Beckam's ADP lands in the late 1st/early 2nd when 2015 fantasy drafts get rolling.
Sunday, December 21, 2014, 2:33pm
Andre Williams draws the start and will carry the load at RB.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 16. Jennings has been ruled out. Andre Williams will be a decent start against St. Louis, though he’s only averaging 2.88 YPC against all teams not based in Tennessee. He’s a workload play, not a matchup/production play.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) missed practice again Thursday. Consider Jennings doubtful to play in Week 16. Andre Williams will be a decent start against St. Louis.
Giants beat writer Dan Graziano on WR Odell Beckham: ...what we're watching with Beckham on a weekly basis (a daily one, in fact, when you take into account his practice antics) is a player gifted with such raw athleticism that he stands out on a field whose other occupants are also world-class athletes. He's impressive in all facets. He runs great routes. He has great hands. He plays bigger than his 5-foot-11 size would indicate, because he has the ability to outjump defenders and locate the ball in the air before they do. He has the blazing speed you've seen. Really, from a raw talent standpoint, he's the total package. What he's doing is even more incredible due to the facts that he missed all of training camp and the first four games of the season with a hamstring injury, and that he and Victor Cruz played only two games together. Eli Manning is targeting Beckham pretty much all the time, and it's working. Expect to see a lot of him.
Since his season started in Week 5, Beckham is the #2 fantasy receiver, averaging 7.1 catches for 97 yards and 0.9 TD. He will be drafted in the 1st or 2nd round in 2015 fantasy drafts.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Consider Jennings doubtful to play in Week 16. Andre Williams will be a decent start against St. Louis.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced Tuesday that the neck injury that knocked Colt McCoy out of last Sunday’s loss to the Giants won’t heal in time for him to play in the final two games of the season and that he’ll be placed on injured reserve as a result.
“I was impressed with Chris,” said HC Jay Gruden. “I think Chris has earned the right to get more chances as a third down back.”
With the season lost, it could be time to give other players looks to prepare for 2015. Many beat writers in the offseason thought Thompson may beat out Roy Helu as a third down back to start the season but injuries prevented that. It looks like Thompson could see more work in role. Silas Redd was also impressive in the passing game last week.
Receiver Rueben Randle did not start Sunday and was benched for the entire first quarter — the second time in the past three games he has been disciplined by Tom Coughlin.
“That’s between Rueben and I,’’ the coach said after the 24-13 victory over the Redskins.
Two weeks ago, Randle did not play in the first quarter in Jacksonville because he was late to a team meeting earlier in the week. This time, Randle again ran afoul of Coughlin.
“Things not always going to go your way, so when adversity hits you, got to pull through and make the best of it,’’ Randle said.
This is a troubling slide for Randle, who has had a disappointing season and has shrunk as rookie Odell Beckham Jr. has ascended, the story pointed out. He let the first two passes thrown his way slip through his hands and ended up with two receptions for 30 yards. He did make a difficult, in-traffic 18-yard grab in the fourth quarter on third-and-8 to set up Beckham’s third touchdown. Eli Manning said it throws off the rhythm of things when referring to Randle.
Redskins QB Colt McCoy was taken to the locker room after his first series in Sunday's game against the Giants. McCoy, who was questionable because of an aggravated nerve in his neck, was hit hard at the end of a scramble on Washington's opening possession.
Robert Griffin III took over in place of McCoy. RGIII completed 18-of-27 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown Sunday, but it wasn't enough. After the game, coach Jay Gruden said he's not sure who will start against the Eagles on Saturday, according to the story. The article went on to say before naming a starter, Gruden said he wants to watch the film and learn more about the extent of starter Colt McCoy's injury. He wants to see how badly McCoy aggravated the neck injury that caused him to leave the game after the first series.