Wide receiver Darius Slayton has officially made the transition from being the “next man up” to becoming one of the New York Giants’ most trusted and reliable receivers.
In a 31-26 loss to the Lions, the rookie finished the game with two receptions for 50 yards and a team-leading two touchdowns, marking the first time in his young career that he has hauled in more than one touchdowns in a game.
Slayton, who has caught 16 of 26 pass targets this year, is now tied with tight end Evan Engram for a team-leading three receiving touchdowns on the season and leads the Giants’ wide receivers in that category.
“He’s a really good player,” Jones said. “I think he’s come up for us and made a lot of big-time plays. I think we all have a lot of trust in him.
“Obviously, he’s super talented and his speed and just athleticism, but he’s shown to make those contested catches, the tough catches with people on him. So he’s done a great job for us.”
Wide receiver Golden Tate also spoke to the importance of the growing trust that Jones is placing on himself and Slayton to make challenging catches.
“It says a lot,” Tate said. “The relationship between all the receivers and D.J. (Daniel Jones) is getting better. It’s something we’re continually working on.”
Tate said that Slayton has done a good job of not dwelling on his mistakes and continuing to learn the nuances of the pro game.
“It’s exciting to see him have a short-term memory,” Tate said. “We completely believe (in) him, and I believe Eli (Manning) is doing a great job of teaching him the game – so is (Alex) Tanney.
“I see him on the defenses out at practice during that period, and he’s back working. You see other guys back there working as well. He wants to be good. He’s taking that approach every single day.”
Slayton, who seemed pleased with what he contributed, said he wished he could have done more to influence the outcome more in the Giants’ favor.
“I mean, I am just out there trying to help my team win, you know,” Slayton said.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make enough to win today, but I guess, just did a solid job.”
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For this reason, Slayton chooses to see the areas for improvement instead of the moments of success. The Giants and Slayton had a chance to score on a couple of third-and-fourth down plays in the end zone late in the game but came up short
“Yeah, the first one – I mean, I felt like he hit me before the ball got there,” Slayton said.
“I guess we will see on film or whatever, but on the second one, that’s me. It was a zero blitz, and I have to look quicker for the ball. I didn’t even see it in the air; it was already past my head. That one is on me; I have to see that their blitzing and that we can’t them all up and make sure I get my head around.”
Slayton said that taking advantage of those types of opportunities late in the game will help the team be more successful in the future.
“Just more consistent execution,” he said. “You know, I feel like we made a lot of plays, obviously like you said four touchdowns. You say, ‘a great game,’ but whatever. But we didn’t execute well enough to win.
“So I think this is the small things, you know. Just picking up a few yards here or there, making catches opposed to dropping them – like I did before the half, but just little stuff like that.”
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