Tom Coughlin said it. Eli Manning texted it.
Sunday would be Rueben Randle's opportunity.
There was little surprise when injured wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden were officially ruled out of Week 5's contest against the Browns due to injuries. Thus the Giants had time to prep players who were waiting in the wings. Players like the rookie Randle.
Manning took it a step further and set up a one-on-one film session with him on Thursday. It was the first time the two had met like that.
"He texted me," Randle recalled of the meeting which he said took about a half hour. "He said he was going to be watching film and I should come join him so I said I would be in there with him. We went in there and watched a lot of their blitzes and third down, things like that, just to be on the same page."
It worked as Randle led the team with 82 yards on six catches, four of which came on the Giants' first scoring drive of the game. The fourth was a five-yard gain that brought the ball to Cleveland's three-yard line, setting up Victor Cruz's touchdown on the next play.
"We needed some young guys to definitely step up," Manning said of Randle, who had one catch for four yards coming into the game. "Rueben Randle made some great plays for us and did some good things. That's obviously what we've expected of him and it's good to see it. He took some shots, took some hits, stayed tough and played well and that was exciting."
Randle's longest catch – a 36-yard gain down the left sideline – set up another touchdown late in the first half. Bringing the ball down to the four-yard line this time, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed into the end zone on the ensuing play to tie the game 17-17.
"We said that this would be Rueben's opportunity, that we needed him, that we counted on him today," Coughlin said. "I mentioned that and I thought he did play well. He made some key plays there when we were trying to get ourselves going with some momentum and he came through under those circumstances. I'll have to see the rest of the game, see what that was all about, whether he continued in that fashion or not. Again, he was one of those guys that needed to play well for us to win and he did play well and got us going."