Based on recent comparisons, Evan Neal and Wan Del Robinson could only succeed in their first week by playing a full workload of shots for the Giants.
Of course, expectations will be much higher than that low bar on Sunday when Neal starts the right tackle and Robinson spins at the receiver, but the Giants haven’t had much luck getting the season-opening effect from rounds one and two. Draft picks over the past three years. Injured Xavier McKinney didn’t play – rookie passer Kayvon Tebodeau was heading down the same path – and Daniel Jones, Toni Cadarius and Dender Becker barely contributed on the bench.
With Saquon Barkley running for 106 yards and landing out of the gates in 2018, the gold standard is Aziz Ogulari’s debut with three tackles and one sack, without much competition from day one starters Dexter Lawrence and Andrew Thomas. So, what justice can be expected of these two rookies on Sunday in Nashville, TN, against the Tennessee Titans?
“I’m comfortable with everything they ask me to do,” Robinson said. “I am not going to sit here and say I will do many things. All I can do to help us win is all I will do.”
Neil’s official debut may have been a little easier last week when the Giants struggled with Harold Landry (12 sacks last season) with a season-ending injury. Neal, seventh, allowed three presses on 37 shots to block passes in two pre-season games, but he couldn’t be sure if he was keeping alone because the passing dash only showed him key moves. Your Landry backup, Denico Autry, should provide a smoother start.
“That’s what I’ve been waiting to see,” Neil said. “I haven’t played a regular season game yet, so I’m excited to see what that comes out. I feel like I’ve had some good looks in pre-season, good competition and a lot of good experiences to learn from, so I feel like it’s going to be in the same first week.” “
Was there a particularly important lesson?
“I couldn’t rely too much solely on my athletic skills or my talent,” Neil said. “I’ve had to get more technical. I’m more comfortable with my sets of passes. I use my hands more, and I’m more balanced too, but I obviously have a lot of work still to do. I feel like my game is headed in the right direction” .
Neil’s parents will be in the stands on Sunday to appreciate the moment as “a testament to the hard work it took to get here,” but an entire section of Nissan Stadium could be taken over by Robinson fans. Up to 40 family and friends are expected, according to his father, who has also sent 20-30 text messages from other people in his hometown of Frankfurt, Kentucky, planning a 3-and-a-half hour drive to Nashville.
“There will be a lot of feelings,” said the young Robinson. “I’ll be excited. I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous. But at the end of the day, it’s just about playing football, and I can’t worry about that too much.”
Dale Robinson’s letter to his son before his NFL debut straight from the coach’s handbook.
“The mentality of my son and I is, ‘We made it, but we didn’t make it until we thrived,’” the elder Robinson told The Post. It’s only the beginning.”
Neal has plenty of support in the Giants’ locker room because Thomas walked in his shoes two years ago – playing a rookie in the first round of the draft from the SEC powerhouse. They will end the offensive line against the Titans.
“He just told me to focus on what’s happening on the inside – don’t dwell on what’s going on outside [the team]Neil said. “No matter what kind of product comes out on Sunday, the goal is to turn the page and then focus on getting better next week, and continuing to have positive growth as a player.”
Every Squad Giants move that occurred during training camp already provided enough “Welcome to the NFL” moments.
“You really see it as a business,” Robinson said. “This is really a job, and every day you really have to go out and earn it.”
Beginning of game days.