While appearing at Southern Connecticut State University alongside wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride fielded a wide range of questions on Monday night. Among them were inquiries about wideout Victor Cruz and which role he'll play on offense during the 2012-2013 season.
Ending all the previous speculation, Gilbride said Cruz would remain the slot receiver.
“[The slot receiver] was what Cruz was this year. He can play the outside, but he was much more proficient inside," Gilbride said. “You need that third guy. Hopefully, if not one of our returning veterans, Randle will be able to give us what we’re looking for.”
In other words, it will be an open competition between Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden, Domenik Hixon and Rueben Randle for the second outside spot. And although it's not necessarily a scenario that benefits the 5'9'' Jernigan, whom head coach Tom Coughlin once jokingly referred to as "One Play JJ", Gilbride feels he has the mental tools required to learn and adapt to the new position.
Gilbride also touched on the offensive line and the potential alignment, saying David Diehl at right tackle and Kevin Boothe at left guard will likely be the configuration.
"That would certainly seem to be the most likely way to do it," Gilbride said. "Those are your five guys starting. If we keep Beatty healthy, he's already out now. You have five starters but you got to get some guys behind that come to the forefront in case one of them goes down."
Finally, the offensive coordinator answered some questions on the newly signed Martellus Bennett, saying the tight end has everything necessary to make a big impact for Big Blue.
“I think he has the chance to be a very good all-around player; blocker, receiver, the whole bit,” Gilbride said. “He just hasn’t done it to the satisfaction of the Dallas people. We look at him and we see as a guy that physically has the chance to be very good.”
The Giants have done a great job amassing bodies that can fill in at a number of different positions, and they continued to do that through the 2012 NFL Draft. Ultimately, one word comes to mind: Dynamic.
So long as the offensive line can stay healthy this season, New York's offense could very well field more firepower than we've seen of any Giants team in recent memory.
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