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Shepard targets fundamentals as his offseason focus

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Sterling Shepard discusses his offseason goals and lessons learned from his rookie year:

After being selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, wide receiver Sterling Shepard burst onto the scene and immediately contributed as a reliable target for quarterback Eli Manning.


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Shepard ranked second among all rookies with eight touchdown catches while finishing with 65 receptions for 683 yards. Shepard's play was critical for the Giants all season, leading to his All-Rookie selection by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Shepard understands there is a lot to improve upon moving forward.

"There is a lot to learn from," the Oklahoma product said. "At first I was trying to get used to the speed of the game. I got comfortable with the play. Now, it's just working on a little bit of technique and correcting some of the stuff that I feel like I need to correct from the season."

Technique is something that receivers are always trying to improve and perfect. For Shepard, it will be a focus this offseason.

"You definitely work on it throughout the offseason," he said. "You work with a lot of other guys, so you can pick up different techniques and different stuff to use."

Shepard has certainly had the guys to help him. Surrounded by three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and veteran Victor Cruz, Shepard learned each and every day.

"They taught me a lot of stuff," he said. "I can't just pin-point it down to one thing. Just different releases and techniques to use against the coverage. A lot of stuff like that."

With vets like Beckham and Cruz helping, the sky is the limit for Shepard, who got his first taste of the postseason this January.

"It was a huge learning experience for me," Shepard said. "Now I have that feeling and that taste in my mouth of losing in the first round. You have to bounce back next year and just keep that in the back of your mind."  

As Shepard continues to grow as a player, the future of the wide receiver is certainly bright.

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