Victor Cruz scored the big touchdown in Saturday’s win over the Steelers, but there was a good chance that it could have been Rueben Randle. The second-year receiver was the target on Eli Manning’s first pass of the second drive and despite having a step on the defense he was not able to bring the ball in.
“It was just one of those plays you wish you had back,” Randle said. “If I came off the ball a little bit faster I would have been able to get up to that ball. It’s just one of those things you have to live with and come back and do better next time.”
Randle said he didn’t think the pass was overthrown, and blamed himself for his slow release. Later in the drive, though, he made a catch and turned a short pass on third-and-9 into a 16-yard gain. Three plays later Manning found Cruz.
“That felt good to at least make one play out of the few snaps that you get,” Randle said. “That was my whole thing. I knew my reps were going to be kind of limited but I at least wanted to make one play to show the coaches that I’m not just a practice player and I can show my skills in the game also.”
In this offense, he’ll have more chances coming. And the more he works with Manning, the more his chemistry with the quarterback will improve. Just as Cruz’ has.
“If you know this offense and you know Eli, I think it’ll kind of fall into your hands,” Randle said. “This type of offense is difficult, but if you work out right it gets pretty simple and you can score touchdowns.”
“As long as everybody is on the same page, we understand coverages, we understand what we’re seeing and we’re reacting quickly, we can be as high-powered as we can be,” Cruz said. “As long as we get Rueben on the same page and get Hakeem and get everybody flowing and that ball rolling, I think we’ll be a tough team to stop.”
Still, it was the one that got away that had Randle wincing a bit in the locker room.
“I’m supposed to make those plays,” he said, “so, I’ll go back to practice and do better and hope I make that next week.”