After holding penalties, Jim Cordle happy to still be a Giant

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin reacts

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin reacts to a call during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. (Dec. 3, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Jim Cordle was initially upset that he let the team down. Then, after a while, he started to worry that he’d let himself and his NFL dreams down.

The backup offensive lineman was concerned he might not have a job to come back to this week after a pair of holding penalties on kickoff returns cost the Giants in Monday’s 17-16 loss to the Redskins. On some teams, mistakes like those would lead to being waived or cut.

“At the bottom of the roster you have to be able to contribute on special teams,” Cordle told Newsday on Wednesday from the Giants' locker room where he still had a stall. “I didn’t sleep much. I’m glad I’m still here.”

Ironically it was his play on special teams – kickoff return in particular – that Cordle said was the difference between him making the team and sticking around and Mitch Petrus, who was waived twice by the Giants.

“Kickoff return is something that I’ve been a part of for some time,” he said. “This year, me and Mitch were battling and I was on kickoff return so that was a little more versatility. To me that was a deciding factor. Well, now, if I’m going to be negative on kickoff returns, what’s the point of keeping me around?”

Perhaps the Giants did consider waiving Cordle. They were one of two teams to put a waiver claim in on Petrus, who was let go by the Patriots this week. He wound up awarded to the Titans.

As the Giants practiced on Wednesday, Cordle was not only back with the team but he was back blocking on the kickoff return unit.

“The way it looks now is, I guess I’ve done enough to where they say it was a mistake, it was a bad game, and I’ll be able to come back and help in the future,” Cordle said. “They put me back on. Obviously it can change as we go forward in the week. It’s something I love to do and I do feel terrible about making those mistakes. I do believe in myself that I can get the job done.”

But, as one of the guys at the bottom of the roster, Cordle knows his leash is short.

“You’re only as good as your last play,” he said.

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