Will Tye Embracing First NFL Offseason

Posted Jan 12, 2016

WILL TYE EMBRACING FIRST NFL OFFSEASON

Indianapolis, home of the NFL Scouting Combine since 1987, is a week-long showcase every February that allows coaches, general managers and scouts an opportunity to evaluate the best college football players in the country before the upcoming NFL Draft.

More than 300 prospects were invited to last year’s combine, including 18 at the tight end spot.

Will Tye was not one of them.

At the 2015 NFL Draft, held in Chicago for the first time since 1964, 19 tight ends, including 15 combine participants, heard their names called.

Again, Will Tye was not one of them.

It wasn’t until Tye attended the Giants’ post-draft rookie minicamp in May that he finally proved to an NFL team he could play at the highest level. He signed on May 11th.

“I knew I’d get a shot,” he told Giants.com. “When I got there, I had to basically do everything I could to be noticed every day, no matter if it was catching everything, making every block, or not messing up on any play.”

Fast forward to January 3, the last day of the 2015 regular season. Tye makes five receptions for 67 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown, the Giants’ first of the game.

The undrafted rookie out of Stony Brook finished his first year in the NFL with 42 catches for 464 yards and four scores. That’s 10 catches and 196 yards more than Baltimore rookie Maxx Williams, the first tight end to hear his name called at April’s draft.

“I think he continues to get better,” Tom Coughlin, who recently stepped down as coach, said of Tye midway through the season. “He’s done a nice job when called upon as a young player. He obviously can handle it.”

“It’s really gratifying. I still don’t believe it, yet,” Tye said. “Every day I come here to work and I’m like, is that Eli [Manning] next to me? Maybe this isn’t work. It feels really good to be a part of something special.”

As he approaches his first NFL offseason, Tye hardly sounds like a player who’s satisfied with a small taste of success. To the contrary, the Middletown, Connecticut, native is using his strong rookie campaign, and the chip on his shoulder, to fuel him over the spring and summer months.

“I want to get better at every phase of the game,” Tye said. “I want to get bigger, faster and stronger. I’ll do everything right, for sure, so I can come back and be better.”

Tye, who led all rookie tight ends in receptions, yards and touchdowns, has always excelled as a receiver. In his two years playing for the Seawolves under head coach Chuck Priore, Tye caught 79 passes for 1,015 yards and nine touchdowns.

But it’s his blocking and his technique inside the trenches that Tye says he’ll be spending extra time on over the next few months.

“For blocking, I’m going to work on footwork, that’s huge,” Tye said. “It helps to be strong, for sure, but blocking is all technique. Having a square stance and staying low. You can work on that just in your room.”

It takes a little more than an hour to get from Stony Brook University to MetLife Stadium. Tye, who plans on staying local for his offseason workouts, says the distance between the two is much more than just a 65-mile drive.

“It’s night and day,” Tye expressed. “Just from the business standpoint; just that alone. Period.”

It isn’t all work this offseason for the 24-year-old. Tye hopes to plan some type of trip with a group of college buddies. He also says he’s working on doing some football camps with another Giants’ tight end, second-year pro Jerome Cunningham.

Tye also plans on catching up with his second love – cinema.

“I’m going to watch every movie,” Tye jokes. “I’ve missed out on a few. Whatever comes out, I’ll be at the movies every Friday with the biggest popcorn I can find.”

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