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Larry Donnell is emerging as the starter at tight end for the Giants

Giants tight end Larry Donnell practices during team

Giants tight end Larry Donnell practices during team training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Aug. 16, 2013) Credit: James Escher

The Giants entered training camp with an unsettled situation at tight end, but it appears Larry Donnell is emerging as the team's starter. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo gave Donnell a vote of confidence on Tuesday, and Donnell has received more practice time with the first team, so he could be the player to take over.

Donnell isn't preoccupied with his place on the depth chart.

"I don't really give that too much thought," he said. "I just go out and do what I can with the opportunities I have and make progress and do the things I need to do to put myself in the best situation. We have a good group of guys and we're all working toward the same goal. My goal is just to make the best of my opportunities."

Donnell was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling in 2012, and spent that year on the Giants' practice squad. He made the regular roster last year, but played mostly on special teams. He had just three catches for 31 yards, playing spot duty behind Brandon Myers, a disappointment during his one and only season with the Giants.

"Things are coming along, but there's still a lot to learn and a lot of things to do," Donnell said. "But the more you do it, the more comfortable it's becoming. That's how I want to continue to grow."

Donnell likes playing in McAdoo's West Coast system, which involves plenty of passes to the tight end. But if there's one part of his game that needs work, it's his blocking.

"I'm a taller guy, so just to get the pad level down is something I try to work on," the 6-6, 265-pound tight end said. "It's the little things that I need to focus on."

Donnell said he uses some of the pointers given to him in 2012 by former Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, who now plays for the Bears. Bennett is the same height and weight as Donnell.

"He showed me a lot of things and told me a lot of things that I've used," Donnell said. "You look at some of the things he did here and what he's done . There's a lot to like about his game."

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