For eight months Giants fans had been holding it in. Finally, when Matt Dodge came onto the field in the first quarter of Monday night’s game against the Bears, they let him have it.
Dodge was greeted by a resounding chorus of boos, the disgust of the fans pent up since Dodge kicked the ball down the middle of the field to DeSean Jackson last December.
To his credit, Dodge was able to collect himself and booted a 63-yard punt to the opposing 5.
“I would imagine a 63-yarder that pinned them to the goal would help,” Tom Coughlin said of the reception Dodge received. “First of all he has to prove it and I understand that, but it would be good to think that a guy playing in that uniform at home would be well received by these fans.”
Dodge has looked pretty good this preseason as he competes with Steve Weatherford for the job with the Giants. There is a belief that the Giants are hoping Dodge can win the job. They certainly appreciate the way he stood up to the challenges of his rookie year, even if they were disappointed by those pitfalls.
Justin Tuck said he was not surprised that Dodge was met with such hostility on Monday.
“I knew it was going to happen,” he said. “Come on, it’s Giants Stadium. Everyone remembers the Philly kick. But I was glad to see him throw that all out of the way and kick a ball 60 yards, a perfect ball.”
Tuck said he’s been impressed by the way Dodge has handled the competition for his job. And he’s also been impressed by his performance.
“I tell him this: If you keep kicking balls like that you won’t have to worry about them booing,” Tuck said. “They’ll be saying your name just like they were saying Feagles’ name.”