Watching and listening to DeAndre Baker this summer, no one would have reason to question his confidence.
“It still ain’t a question,” the rookie cornerback, who was selected late in the first round, said on Thursday.
At least not for him. Others, however, might be slightly less certain after he has struggled for two weeks. According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks have a perfect rating of 158.3 when throwing at Baker. The Giants thought they were getting the best cover corner in the draft when they moved up to take him with the 30th overall pick. So far, he’s been a sure thing only for the other guys.
“I know what I’m capable of,” Baker said.
The Giants hope they do, too. They’re sticking with him, defensive coordinator James Bettcher said.
“He’s got to believe in what he does best and go do it,” Bettcher said. “As a young player in this league, whether you are a first- , second- , or third-year player sometimes as well, there is certainly a confidence thing. But it’s knowing when to do what ... Some of it is experience and some of it is confidence.”
Baker doesn’t have a whole lot of at least one of those.
“We just have get in tune to the game,” he said. “Can’t be perfect ASAP, so we just have to work our way up to it.”
Daniel Jones will have one of the Giants’ top receivers at his disposal for his starting debut on Sunday. Sterling Shepard was a full participant in Thursday’s practice and later cleared from the concussion protocol by an independent neurologist. Shepard missed last week’s game against the Bills with a concussion he suffered in Week 1 against the Cowboys. “He’s really explosive with the ball,” offensive coordinator Mike Shula said of Shepard. “We have to give him a chance to do what he does best” … WR Cody Latimer (concussion) remains in the protocol and WR Bennie Fowler (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday … G Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) was limited.