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Giants Q&A: Golden Tate hoping for more playing time in future

Giants wide receiver Golden Tate against the Minnesota

Giants wide receiver Golden Tate against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Golden Tate must be happy to be back, right?

Actually . . .

The wide receiver, who made his Giants debut after serving a four-game PED suspension, seemed frustrated about his lack of a significant role in the offense. He caught the first pass of the game in the Giants’ 28-10 loss to the Vikings but then caught only two more in the rest of the game, none until deep into the fourth quarter.

Asked if that is the kind of playing time he will have going forward, Tate smirked.

“You know I hope not,” he said. “I hope not. I want to be out there as much as possible. But we’ll see. It’s the first week back for me. I hope my role increases, but we’ll see.”  

How unhappy is Pat Shurmur with the officiating this season?

Very. Twice in his postgame news conference on Sunday, he was asked about calls against the Giants, and twice he told reporters to “hold that thought.” In other words, Shurmur is trying to avoid a fine for being critical of the officials, but he clearly is near his limit.

“I’m going to get to it at some point,” Shurmur said of a rant that clearly is percolating, “and it’s going to be epic.”

Which plays on Sunday pushed Shurmur closer to the brink?

Probably the lack of a pass-interference call on the third-down fade to Evan Engram (which Shurmur could have challenged if he felt that strongly about it; even Engram said it was not penalty-worthy), the low hit at the legs of Daniel Jones on which Nate Solder was flagged for a hold, and the unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on DeAndre Baker.

Yeah, what happened on that one? What naughty words did Baker say to draw a flag?

He said he didn’t use any foul language. “I just yelled ‘Let’s go! Let’s go!’ ” Baker said. “No profanity or anything like that.” It clearly was enough to be interpreted as taunting, though. “Just competing and being a little chippy,” Baker said of the play early in the third quarter that turned a third-and-8 in Vikings territory into first-and-10 at midfield. “I was surprised. Just have to tone it down a little bit.” Four plays later, Adam Thielen caught a 9-yard touchdown pass against Baker to make it 24-10.

What happened on the safety?

After Jabrill Peppers forced a fumble by Dalvin Cook at the 1 to stop a touchdown run in the second quarter, the Giants’ first play was a handoff to rookie running back Jon Hilliman, who was swallowed up in the end zone by the Vikings for a 1-yard loss and two points. “That just sucks,” guard Kevin Zeitler said of the execution. “They did a little changeup and we didn’t get it picked up. It’s as simple as it is. They took advantage and we have to go to work to make sure that never happens again.”

Who’s the dude with the hair?

That’s rookie inside linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, who was promoted from the practice squad because of injuries at the position. He did not start, but at the end of the game, he was flying around the field making plays.

He finished with three tackles, including one for a loss, which might be enough to earn him an increased role in the defense on a short week against the Patriots.

As for the hair, Tauaefa does remind one of former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who, like Tauaefa, is of Samoan decent. He’s also Tauaefa’s favorite player.

Any good firsts for Giants?

Rookie receiver Darius Slayton caught his first career touchdown pass, a 35-yarder against Pro Bowl corner Xavier Rhodes. Second-year defensive lineman RJ McIntosh registered his first career sack, one of three by the Giants’ defense.

With Brian Heyman

New York Sports