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TE Jerome Cunningham making most of opportunity

Posted Jun 8, 2015

TE Jerome Cunningham is seeing first team reps at OTAs, after spending most of last season on the practice squad

Meet Jerome Cunningham.

He’s a 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end who went undrafted out of Southern Connecticut State in 2013 and is still looking to play in his first NFL game.

The former Owl spent last summer with the Giants before being waived and subsequently signed to the practice squad, where he spent most of the season until making the active roster for the final two games. However, he did not suit up.

>> WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM OTA'S

But now, with a full offseason, he is seeing increased reps during organized team activities at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center while fellow tight end Larry Donnell, who had a breakout campaign in 2014, deals with Achilles tendinitis.

“I’m just out there with the number ones just getting a lot of reps and doing well,” Cunningham told Giants.com. “The first week didn’t go so well, wasn’t going so smooth, but the second week, [I’m] starting to get comfortable with the offense and starting to move around a lot faster.”
The Giants crossed the midway point of OTAs this week, wrapping up their sixth of the allotted 10 practices on Thursday. They resume Monday for the final four.

>> 10 VIDEOS TO RECAP THE WEEK AT OTA'S

Cunningham said his strengths are his receiving skills and speed, but he needs to improve his ability to block in the run game, which he’s using OTAs to correct before training camp later this summer.

“It’s a combination of putting your hands and feet at the right positions at the right time,” Cunningham said. “You can have the right footwork, but if you don’t also have the right hand placement, it’s not going to work. So you have to find the right balance, and that’s the process I’m going through right now. Hopefully I can get that down before training camp comes around.”

In the meantime, he’s building a rapport with quarterback Eli Manning, and the two have connected on some highlight pays so far this spring.

“When he’s looking at me, I can sense that he’s going to throw to me, and even if he looks away, I know what I have to do to get open,” said Cunningham, who caught 61 passes for 690 yards and seven touchdowns at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-12. “So if he does come back to me, I can still receive a pass. It’s nice to actually get those reps so you can build that chemistry.”