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Are New York Giants Improvising Solution at Tight End as Fullback Henry Hynoski Sees TE Reps?

August 15th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Billy Javed

With three preseason games remaining, the New York Giants coaching staff find themselves at a critical midpoint prior to the start of the regular season. At such a juncture it's natural for some muddled positional battles to clear up while other unexpected ones emerge. The position of tight end was surrounded by great uncertainty entering the preseason and it appears that almost three games in, that is one battle that is not becoming any clearer.

Of the listed tight ends on the Giants' depth chart, none have been able to distinguish themselves as an all around pass catcher and blocker. For the time being Larry Donnell has been seeing the first team reps as he has been able to make dynamic catches in practice while also acting as a serviceable blocker on occasion. Unfortunately, the Giants are still not impressed and have improvised a potential solution, at least to the number two or third string tight end role. Possibly even the starter though that is unlikely, as this mystery solution doesn’t exactly have the length and vertical leap of even the worst tight ends in the league. He is however, a terrific blocker and apparently not so horrible at catching passes as the Giants are giving him a shot at tight end in practice and possibly even against the Indianapolis Colts.

So what is this miraculous potential solution for the crisis that is the tight end position? It’s not so much heavenly as it is prehistoric. Don’t look now but fullback Henry “Hynocerous” Hynoski has been seeing snaps at tight end for the Giants… with the first string offense. It was initially rumored that the Giants might not even keep a fullback in order to save a roster spot, but it’s now possible they keep Henry Hynoski as a fullback/tight end hybrid if he can catch on (pun intended). The only way to find out would be to test him through the remainder of the preseason and see how Hynoski responds.

As for Hynoski’s perspective on his new venture, he seems eager and excited about the opportunity to increase his value to the offense.

"I’m really asked to do a lot," he said. "Right now I can play fullback, obviously, running back, and tight end is something I feel I can do also. Getting into some routes, some inline blocking and that type of thing. In this league, the more you can do, the better. It certainly won’t hurt if I can expand my role a little bit more."

Those of you worrying that Hynoski is seeing first team reps, it is worth noting Adrien Robinson had a nice showing on Thursday as well. It was his second day in a row receiving heavy reps with the Giants first team offense. He was even split out wide against a cornerback if not for any reason but to resurrect the controversial “JPP of tight ends” comparison.


Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Adrien Robinson, Football, Henry Hynoski, Larry Donnell, New York, New York Giants, NFL

32 Responses to “Are New York Giants Improvising Solution at Tight End as Fullback Henry Hynoski Sees TE Reps?”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    fanfor55years says:
    August 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM
    This is football, not theoretical physics. It isn’t that complicated (despite everyone involved in the sport trying to make it seem so, much the way professors in the social “sciences” like to pretend that there’s something complicated about figuring out why one candidate for office outpolls another and that only complex scientific methodology will answer the question).

    This is a new offense. It takes some time for players to absorb it.

    Under the new CBA every team with any real degree of roster turnover will need to get into the second quarter of the season before things come together. There just isn’t enough practice time in pads any longer for coaches to get the players to learn everything and for the players on the field to coordinate their actions.

    The Giants’ defense is NOT new, and has an awful lot of talented and bright players on it. Defenses always start camp ahead of offenses. And the Giants’ defense is objectively better than their offense, even after the offense gets their act together (the Giants’ defense should be better than just about all the offenses in the NFL this season). That is a prescription for the offense having trouble in camp.

    The Giants’ preseason schedule has happened to match them up against some of the best defenses in the league (the Bills, the Steelers and the Jets) so it is likely that the offense, particularly before it starts to fire on all cylinders, will look bad. Those defenses, too, much like that of the Giants, is ahead of the Giants’ offense at this stage of the season.

    If Randle is having communication problems, McAdoo can fix that by simplifying the route options for the X-receiver. Two seasons ago when the team in total frustration just gave Randle a set route regardless of the defense he not only got open but he caught whatever was thrown his way and looked great doing it. He’s talented. It’s the coaches’ job to fit the scheme to his talent. But it’s too early to say he won’t “get” it. It may take another month or so, but unless his reads are more complicated than I suspect, he’ll be fine. It’s football, not even Newtonian physics, never mind the physics of uncertainty.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Shhhh. Don’t be so logical. The sky is falling!

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        I happened to think that the offensive problems have more to do with our secondary, has anyone noticed the names playing back there? That is as good a “no fly zone” as I have seen in a while, on any team. If only Hill had been around still, it would have been the best secondary in football, may still be even without him.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Using Hynoski as a tight end in running situations makes perfect sense. He’s a better on-the-move blocker than any of the tight ends on the roster and he may be a really good option in the Red Zone (Coughlin should stop with this Green Zone nonsense until the Giants actually become proficient inside the opponent’s 20-yard line) where he can block or chip and then manage a 5-10 yard catch by using his body to screen out a linebacker away from the ball. Clearly, he’s a more dangerous option for a defense than a typical extra tackle outside the regular tackle (and he’s a better roster “keep” than a guy like Brewer).

    Certainly seems worth trying.

    If Robinson is awakening it’s about time. He’s probably three bad weeks away from being dumped. But I will say again that it seems to me that between Robinson and Donnell if there is NOT real talent then the Giants’ brain trust (including McAdoo, who reviewed all of the offensive players immediately upon being hired) really blew it because they acquired two JAGs in free agency, didn’t sign Pascoe, and moved forward without drafting a tight end. They HAD to believe in Robinson and Donnell. So if those two fail I hope John Mara will know it’s a failure of his management and coaches, who made a bet that was based upon bad hole cards and hoping the draw went well.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      But I should add that I think the Giants’ brain trust is smart so we will start to see some belated progress from each of the young tight ends. Perhaps not as much as we’d like, but some.

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        I am continuing my TE self imposed “gag order” to day to avoid further lambasting.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          The fact that they’re trying Hynoscerous at tight end says that you are RIGHT to be ranting about those bums. Don’t worry about the lambasting. Fact is, so far they’ve shown very little of value.

          Just remember it’s early. And remember that we didn’t have Pro Bowl tight ends (far from it) in 2007 and 2011 (just in case anyone wants to claim Shockey was a worthy candidate please remember that he wasn’t very good in 2007 BEFORE he was injured). You can win with average tight ends who know how to do their jobs. Kevin Boss was underrated, but he was no star. Jake Ballard looked like a bum at this time in the 2011 season and most of us were upset about the lack of talent at tight end that season. It seemed to work out okay.

          •  skinnydoogan says:

            Shockey was loony tunes, but the guy could flat out play, I always liked him. I still remember his first catch as a rookie, running over about 6 guys and then getting up and yelling at all of them, and Boss was pretty good as well.

  3.  turkish says:

    Would be nice to see the 1′s move the ball at some point. It’s not the “start of camp”, camp is over. Four weeks later the offense is still looking poor.

    Also, it’s not just the handful of writers/bloggers you mentioned that feel the offense looks bad. Most are concerned, because it looks flat bad right now.

    •  turkish says:

      “But every day we look out onto the practice field and see interception after interception being tossed. Players are lining up in the wrong spot and running the wrong patterns.

      In the team’s two preseason games, the running game has flashed signs of life. The passing game hasn’t shown much. This much is indisputable.”

      •  turkish says:

        Good point though:

        “• San Diego Chargers
        Need proof that the preseason means nothing when installing a new offense. Look no further than at last year’s Chargers.

        San Diego’s first-team offense did not score a touchdown in the preseason. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw a pair of interceptions.

        All the Chargers did was finish fifth in the league in total offense. Rivers had perhaps his best season with 32 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. The Chargers finished 9-7 and qualified for the playoffs.

        That could easily be Manning and the Giants this year.”

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Those two articles are nothing but hedging by two reporters, one of whom is a guy for whom I have zero respect and the other of whom I’ve never heard. Who the hell cares what their opinions are? Neither knows any more about the sport that most of our posters.

      Of course it would be nice to see the starters move the ball. Let’s see what happens over the next 4-5 weeks before we start making real judgments regarding the offense. Anyone who thought this would be smooth was kidding himself.

  4.  James Stoll says:

    In fairness, this was precisely the conversation last summer. Don’t worry, it’s just preseason.
    At some point you have to believe what you see.

  5.  rlhjr says:

    This is what I have been waiting for. A few weeks back I said we’d be better off teaching our fullbacks how to be tight ends.

    Logic wins again. Perhaps the sky IS falling. This also opens the door to keeping both Conner and Hynoski Then after Donnell, there should be a battle royal for one or two more spot’s.

    You don’t let go of good players (Conner/Hynoski) to keep scrubs, wanna be’s and never will’s (Robinson) on your roster. Ski and the Terminator are pro’s.
    They will adapt and yield a respectable level of play and value.

    As far as intelligence of players go’s (Randle and others) I think a lot of us are defaulting to the “STUPID” train as soon as a player run’s the wrong route.
    We blame the WR and in truth we can only assume that they made the mistake and not the QB. Now some things to the trained eye are obious. And our QB is by no means slow. So I’m not blaming Eli at all. Randle is a special talent.
    He just needs to get on track and in tune. This kid is not a scrub.

    Bottom line the link between QB and receiver takes a while to develop. Changing offensive philosophy even simplifying the route tree doesn’t make things any easier for QB and receivers. Take away two a days and confusion reigns. The lack of practice is no small issue.

    Finally, there is a fairly large group of all people who learn better by doing rather than reading. Where do you read about your QB knowing how you will react to unexpected coverage or blitz, or being open? Answer: YOU DON’T.

    You learn that via experience and playing together for a season or two.
    Frankly us guy’s are a visual lot. We learn better by doing and seeing.
    It is only after we learn do we project and visualize. And that translates into playing lose rather that thinking a live play through. Just saying.

  6.  jb322 says:

    I think everybody needs to give the offense the benefit of the doubt right now. This situation kind of reminds me of when we brought on spags for the defense. It took awhile for the defense to gel but once it did, it was something special. I really believe that it will take until the 2nd or 3rd game of the season before we see the full offense. In that respect its a good thing we had an extra preseason game to hone the offense.

    As for the tightends, I don’t know what to expect from them. But part of me believes that the fact that Robinson was buried on the depth charts meant nothing. I really believe they wanted to see what they had in the other bodies before committing to Robinson. Sort of the same thing they are doing to the wide receivers. If I am right, then I would expect to see progessively more snaps for Robinson as we get further into the preseason. I really think that the Giants wanted to see some of the unknowns during these first two games to get a better feel for what they had. This does not bode well for Grimble since his injury has prevented him from participating in the last two games. I don’t see anything but practice squad for him.

    Finally, I do believe that there is something to be said about the level of competition the offense has played against so far. It has to be extremely difficult throwing against that secondary everyday and the Bills and Steelers are no slouches either. To that end, while the offense has looked shaky it probably will benefit them in the long run.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Interesting viewpoint. I don’t know if it’s right but with the extra preseason game where guys are playing could mean less than it seems like Painter being the backup tomorrow.

    •  James Stoll says:

      The difficulty is that the offense was bad and getting worse in 2012, so bad in 2013 as to be uncompetitive, and through 2preseason games it looks more like 2013 than anything else.
      That can all change of course but it will have to do so with lousy TEs, with vastly improved play from Will Beatty and the other as yet unknown offensive linemen (at least unknown in Blue), with a Randal getting it who for 2 years has done anything but, and with Beckum who has only just now started practicing. Rarely does everything that needs to go right, go right, so you almost have to expect one of these things to continue to bedevil the offense. Let’s just hope that more of the unknowns turn out for the positive than not

    •  rlhjr says:

      I agree with your line. In particular how the level of competition you play/practice against just makes you better. That is true in most every sport.

      Often the players themselves don’t notice how they grow when playing against people who are just straight better than you are. Good athletes have a tendency to unconsciously play up to the level of competition they are pitted against. It’s one of the laws of the jungle. But the more you play against superior talent the more you adapt and the better you get. Of course you will reach your atheletic cieling. But you will at some point be as good as you the individual and team can be.

      EVERYONE notices the growth when the team faces a squad not quite up to the level of play that they’ve been practicing /playing and struggling against. Prime example; The St Louis Rams.

      Robinson, not so much. But we’ll see.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    It’s funny that the TEs playing FB means there’s no way that we are thinking of keeping no FBs but trying our 1 FB at TE means death to TEs. I don’t think we know what any of this means yet. It could very well mean that if we keep a FB he must be able to provide some TE looks because there’s very little pure FB in this offense. Maybe it means what yall think. But I don’t think it’s clear at all yet.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      i think if Rhino plays well at the TE, we’ll only keep Donnell and Fells, at TE. And Robinson will be cut. This way it’ll make room for extra WR’s/

  8.  BigBlueGiant says:

    We all knew that this team was gonna go through growing pains with the new offense. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. My main concern is that these guys don’t pick it up fast enough and we bury ourselves early on like we did last season. This seasons schedule is REAL tough. There’s a stretch of games that are simply brutal. And if this offense can’t get it right by week 4 in Washington, we’re facing a higher draft pick than we did last year.

    Week 4 on this schedule is BRUTAL

    @ Philly
    @dallas (even though they blow, still a rival),
    BYE (thankfully)
    @ Seahawks

    real tough stretch there.

    •  James Stoll says:

      I don’t know why you don’t include the Lions and Cardinals in weeks 1 and 2
      The cards could be one of the top 3 teams in the NFC this year and with Stafford and Megatron, the Lions will be a handful

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        i was going to include them, and was also going to include the Texans who will also be much better as well.

        I was stating that the offense better get down by week 4 or else it might be too late with that stretch of teams. Because with about what? 5 weeks to go and this offense being a total mess i don’t see it righting itself by weeks 1 & 2

        week 1. Ebron catches 6 balls for 145 yds and 1 TD while ODB sits on the sidelines with a Hammy.

      •  rlhjr says:

        Add Ebron to that mix. Our secodary will get a week one examination.

        And Zona has cut their teeth on a steady diet of Frisco and Seattle.
        This goes back to what jb322 wrote about.

        Clubs like Arizona and a more disciplened Detriot are poised to chew up the Giants offensive and defensive fronts and spit them out. This club will have to hit the ground running.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I don’t agree. The skins have a new offense and are facing the same things we are. The Falcons have a new defense Philly is overrated and Dallas just isn’t good. I we can be 5-5, 6-4 through our first 10 games the last part of our schedule is very manageable.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think our first 3 games are tougher than weeks 4-7.

        •  BigBlueGiant says:

          oh GOAT. sometimes i wonder about you man. Are you all smiles and giggles? I appreciate the optimism, but you need to be a bit realistic.

          first off, Falcons going to be A LOT better this year. New defense or not. What good is pointing out that they new defense if our offense can’t generate any production?

          Skins, Philly and Dallas are ALL away games for those first few weeks. I dont care what their teams are like. Anything can happen in divisional away games. And Dallas won’t be as bad as you say, and Philly most certainly isn’t overrated. Maybe they’re not top 10, but they’re well coached and have a good system in tact there.

          Also, The skins will have BARN BURNERS out wide for them. Between, Garcon, Djax, Moss and Andre Roberts… i don’t care who’s in our secondary trying to keep pace with these guys is no easy task.

          If we’re 0-3 out of the gate for some reason… That Redskin game will determine our ENTIRE season.

        •  rlhjr says:

          I think an awful lot will be learned about the stoutness of both the offensive and defensive fronts these next two preseason games. Both Giant offensive and defensive lines should perform well this week against the Colts.
          Against Luck, the secondary will be tested. Bradshaw will be up for this one.

          The Jet game as much as some hate it, will reveal a lot about this club.
          They need to put up a fight vs. the Jet #1 offensive and defensive lines.

          Rex may be a clown, but his defensive and offensive fronts are not.
          Those kids can play. The Giants regulars will need to press the THROWDOWN button versus Ryan’s ruffians. On the other hand, the Giant secondary should blank Smith and the dog killer.

          And I think that’s a good thing. The Giants need to play a competitive game prior to regular season. Hopefully the Jets don’t willfully attempt to hurt any Giants. Bottom line, the Jet game should be all out for two quarters. No need to be afraid of them, or anyone else for that matter.

  9.  jb322 says:

    Reality check guys, Seattle just won the superbowl with an offense that is, in the the best of light, just slightly better than ours. Heck, I actually like ours better. So if we both have top five defenses, is there really that much separation from the two? All we need is Eli to halve his INT totals and we will be fine.

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