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Rueben Randle gives Giants intriguing option on punt returns

Rueben Randle, a wide receiver out of LSU,

Rueben Randle, a wide receiver out of LSU, during the first day of Giants rookie camp. (May 11, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

One of the players special teams coordinator Tom Quinn seems most intrigued by is Rueben Randle. Although Randle hardly ever returned punts in college at LSU – Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu usually had that job in games – he does have a lot of the skills that the Giants look for from the position.

“I know that he’s done it in practice in college but he has been behind two very good punt returners, one that’s in the league and one that will be in the league soon,” Quinn said.

Randle hasn’t really busted one in practice yet, like Jerrel Jernigan and Jayron Hosley have. And at 6-2 and 208 pounds, he’s a little bigger than most premier punt returners in the league.

“I get that,” Randle said. “I think punt return is all about vision, seeing things and having the capability of making guys miss. You don’t have to be the quickest or the shiftiest, just have to have the vision to see the holes and just hit it.”

There are still things Randle needs to work on.

“He has very good hands,” Quinn said. “Sometimes he’s almost too confident with his hands and he catches the ball as if he’s catching a pass instead of getting up and underneath it. He covers more ground that it appears because he’s a long smooth strider, but he does have the ability to stick his foot in the ground from what it looks like in practice.”

And, one of the big prerequisites of the job, is that Randle wants to do it. Not everyone does.

“I do like punt returns,” Randle said. “It just shows your capabilities of making a play with the ball in your hands. Creating things. Having a few blocks out there and making an exciting moment for your team.”

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