The New York Giants haven’t given their fans much to cheer for of late. So when tight end Evan Engram, who in his 2021 season debut against Atlanta, came off the field after a dropped pass, the crowd saluted him with a Bronx cheer that was hard not to hear.
“I don’t think that was deserved,” said quarterback Daniel Jones. “I think one tipped ball and I could’ve thrown it better at the end. I’m not sure I really understood that. He played hard all game and fought back from an injury a few weeks ago to be out here.”
Maybe so, but Engram, who led all tight ends in dropped passes last year, has been maddingly inconsistent despite having a world of talent and traits that make him a mismatch against linebackers and defensive backs.
But so far, that hasn’t happened with Engram, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2017, who is in the option year of his rookie contract.
Thanks to a combination of injury and performance, Engram hasn’t come close to living up to the expectations that come with his draft pedigree, and the Giants home crowd finally appears to have had enough.
“I’m never going to criticize the crowd – what, are you kidding me?” aid head coach Joe Judge when asked about Engram. “It’s our job to entertain them. It’s our job to please them. That’s the reality of what it is.
“In terms of our players and reacting to that, we’re supposed to have adversity--that’s the nature of what we do. We talked before about pressure, there’s supposed to be pressure in our job. That’s the reality of what we do and get paid for. In terms of reacting to something externally, we’ve got to focus on what we do each play and the process for being successful.”
Jones, who has also been the subject of some booing, said the team has not lost faith in Engram, who finished with two receptions on six pass targets for 21 yards.
“I think he knows how much we believe in him, how much I believe in him. Like I said, he’s a big-time playmaker for us,” Jones said.
“He’s made a ton of plays in the past and I have no doubt he’ll continue to do that as we get going in the season. I’ve got a lot of trust and a lot of faith in him personally and I know our team does as well.”
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