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Unknown Receivers Look to Make Impact

Sunday night when the Giants take on the Eagles (8:20pm on NBC) even the most loyal Giants fans may be caught saying things like: “Who the heck just caught that pass?” Now before we go any further, loyal fans of this blog may be wondering just who’s writing this post.

My name is Matt Canvisser, I’m a sophomore at Rutgers University, and I’m thrilled to be taking over GiantsBigBlueBlog. Giants season tickets have been in my family since the original stadium opened in 1976 and I’ve be going to (almost) every game since I was five years old. I love this team, I love to nickname the players, and I hope you enjoy my writing.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin has not enjoyed the slew of injuries that have plagued his receiving corps of late. Steve Smith is out for at least two more weeks with a torn pectoral, fan favorite Victor Cruz has been on IR most of the season, Sinorice Moss was waived with an injury settlement earlier this year and is ineligible to return, and Ramses Barden was just placed on IR with a foot injury.

So who is going to be catching balls from Super Bowl MVP Elisha Manning this weekend? You know a few of the usual suspects (Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Kevin Boss), but let’s take a look at some of the guys who will have fans of the NYG checking their programs.

Duke Calhoun #84
Calhoun was an undrafted free agent out of Memphis that made the Giants 53-man roster out of training camp. He was originally the sixth receiver on the depth chart and was only expected to play on special teams this year. Cue the NYG receivers dropping like the ratings of Lonestar, and Calhoun is suddenly the third receiver and figures to see plenty of action for the next few weeks. The NYG love three receiver sets, but that was with Smith, Nicks, and Manningham. Calhoun has yet to catch an NFL pass and is still an unknown commodity. If his name is any indication he’s sure to fight valiantly, just as he did in the Civil War.
Duke calhoun 

Derek Hagan #85
Hagan was re-signed this week after spending all of 2009 with the NYG as mostly a special teamer. He did catch eight balls for 101 yards and a touchdown last year, which would be comforting if you were talking about one game rather than an entire 16 game season. Originally drafted by Miami in the third round in 2006, Hagan was reportedly pushing for a bigger role on offense this offseason. He will challenge Calhoun for the third receiver spot and with an impressive showing could play himself onto someone’s roster for next year.

Travis Beckum #47
The Giants drafted pass-catching tight end Beckum in the third round of ’09 and really had no idea what they were going to do with him. He is best suited for the versatile “H-back” role, but the Giants don’t really utilize that position. They have shown looks where they line him up as a slot receiver and that’s where he can help this team the most right now. The NYG could put him in Smith’s old slot position and let him be the possession receiver. They need someone else to go over the middle and give poor Kevin Boss a break. Little tangent here, but honestly watch any catch that Boss makes. Nine out of ten times he gets absolutely hammered; the guy is a walking concussion magnet. So let Beckum absorb a little of that, you used a third rounder on him, might as well get some value for it.

If the Giants are going to beat the Eagles, these players will need to step up. You can be sure that Nicks and Manningham will be getting a lot of attention on the outside; so these guys will need to beat the single coverage applied to them and get open for Eli. They need to prove themselves to be reliable targets and gain the confidence of their quarterback, although every interception off a tipped ball is just another opportunity for a great “Eli Face”.

Eli face

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