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Giants coaches and legends buzzing about rookie tight end


Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram has turned heads this offseason:

Add offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan to the list of people excited to see rookie tight end Evan Engram strap up for the first time in training camp.

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Last week, former center and Super Bowl XLII champion Shaun O'Hara said Giants fans have not seen this type of playmaking ability at the position since Jeremy Shockey, the franchise's last tight end drafted in the first round until Engram was selected 23rd overall this past April. This week, Mark Bavaro, who defined the position as well as toughness in the Bill Parcells era, called Engram “unbelievable” and “impressive” in a story in the New York Post.

They're all seeing what Sullivan has witnessed since Engram arrived at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Along with the addition of veteran Rhett Ellison, the offensive coordinator has the weapons at tight end to make defenses sweat a little more when preparing for an offense that also includes Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall out wide.

"It is exciting," Sullivan said. "It is exciting because you can add another dimension to the offense, another personnel grouping that the defensive coaches that we'll be going against this season have to prepare for. And you look at the skillset of those individuals. A guy like Rhett Ellison … has very dynamic, in-line blocking skills but also has great mobility and did some great things in the spring.

"Of course, with Will Tye and Jerell Adams coming back, they have another year under their belts. Their maturity should be something that ought to help us. And of course, Evan Engram, our No. 1 draft choice, is just a dynamic, explosive, very fast playmaker but also someone who can put his hand down and get the job done. He's willing, he's physical, so that type of multiplicity by having those players is going to help us a lot offensively."
Sullivan was encouraged by his tight ends in the spring, but you can only tell so much during non-contact OTAs and minicamp practices. The same goes for his offensive tackles.

"Bobby Hart and Ereck Flowers both are to be commended for sticking around all throughout the winter," Sullivan said. "They stayed here in East Rutherford and worked hard in the weight room with our strength and conditioning staff – and it showed. Ereck certainly looked leaner. His initial quickness was improved. I saw a lot of the same things from Bobby. ... I'll be anxious to see how that transpires in training camp. But in terms of their technique, in terms of their knowledge of assignments, they both did a great job."

The Giants report to training camp on July 27 and will put the pads on for the first time shortly after that. And that's when the evaluations really begin for an offense charged with two goals for this season.

"Number one, ball security. You can't score points, you can't do the things you want to do offensively if you're not taking care of the football," Sullivan said. "The two teams that finished in the top of the league in terms of ball security last year (New England and Atlanta) both went to the Super Bowl, so that's a great stat. Secondly, points. That's the most important thing we do, score points. We didn't do the job last year. So we made that an emphasis and we're trying to do all the things with various personnel groupings, formation schemes, etc. That's how we put more points on the board."

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