Giants TE Larry Donnell has worked on a lot of things since last season ended. He is holding the ball 'high and tight' to prevent fumbles, and position coach Kevin Gilbride Jr. thinks his blocking has improved.
"I think he can be a pretty special player, but there's a lot of improving that is going to have to take place in order for him to be that special player," Gilbride said. "The good thing is, he's working toward it, and he's starting to understand that he could be a pretty special guy as well."
Donnell also has to learn to deal with the wear and tear of the NFL season. He started quickly last season but had only two touchdowns in the final 12 games as a knee injury seemed to slow him down. The 265-pounder has been bothered by an Achilles tendon in the offseason and training camp and he is only starting to find his stride.
Donnell averaged 82% of the snaps through the first 11 weeks, but played just 69% over the final six games, due to run-blocking and ball-security concerns. 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 he improves his blocking, his snaps should rise and that should result in an increase in production.