When it comes to the kicking game, special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said the Giants are about 66 percent set.
“We have a guy that’s a good snapper and a good holder,” he said of veterans Zak DeOssie and Brad Wing, respectively. “Now, we just have to find a kicker.”
Aldrick Rosas may wind up being that guy. Although he has never played in the NFL and didn’t even play in the NCAA (he was at Southern Oregon University in the NAIA), he’s been the only kicker on the team’s roster for the last few months. Signed to a reserve/future contract in January, the Giants seem to be grooming him to possibly be the Week 1 kicker in 2017.
“We like working with Aldrick so far,” Quinn said on Friday at rookie minicamp, where Rosas will be a participant. “He’s got nice size [6-3, 232], a nice strong leg and he’s been highly accurate since he’s been here. He’s very coachable, so he’s been very good to work with.”
The Giants have had a strong of veteran kickers in recent years. Josh Brown and Robbie Gould handled the job last year. Now the team could hand the responsibility over to a rookie.
Quinn said he’s not averse to putting that kind of pressure on an unproven player.
“It’s very simple,” he said. “You have to be accurate. We’ve done a good job around here and we have to continue that trend . . . It’s always important that when you send a kicker out there, you get points. When you send him out there, you’re expecting him to make it. You’re not hoping that it’s in the range, you expect him to make it. Whoever lines up there will be accurate and be the guy that we can trust.”
In college, Rosas was good on 97.7 percent of his extra-point attempts, which included a string of 116 straight, and was 25 of 32 in career field-goal attempts. Kicking at Southern Oregon is a lot different than kicking for an NFL team, though.
“We will try and simulate him and then you have the preseason to go with that,” Quinn said of testing Rosas under pressure. “We’ve had a couple of nice young kickers in here with [Chris] Boswell and Brandon McManus. They’ve gone on to do well. It’s not always perfect with the young guys. Sometimes there’s going to be a little bit of hiccups. We’ll see where we go with that.”
The Giants have veteran kicker Travis Coons in this weekend’s camp as a tryout. He kicked for the Browns in 2015 and converted 28 or 32 field-goal attempts (in typical Browns fashion, his four misses were all blocked). Compared to Rosas, that’s a full NFL resume. But he hasn’t signed a contract with the team and isn’t yet on the roster.
Quinn also said the Giants might not bring in a veteran to training camp to compete with Rosas because there are so few opportunities in practices. Gone are the two-a-days and extra chances to work.
“If you start bringing in two or three kickers, it really waters it down,” Quinn said.
So for now, it’s Rosas’ job. Until he gives the Giants a reason for it not to be.