Ball security and a few explosive plays in preseason games will be the key to him making the team. He’s been great in practice. Shurmur has made a point of saying it’s one thing to do it in practice and another thing to do it in games. I felt like he was talking about Kalif when he said that. Hope he takes one to the house on Thursday.
Kalif Raymond shows off some wheels Any wide receiver looking to land one of the few coveted jobs towards the bottom of the depth chart are going to have to be able to contribute on special teams, and they're going to have to have potentially game-breaking speed. Kalif Raymond has done both throughout this camp. Midway through Monday's practice, the Giants ran a jet-sweep to Raymond and he simply left rookie outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter in his dust while racing down the sideline for a touchdown. If Raymond is able to keep stringing together quality practices and big plays, it's going to be difficult to keep him off the roster.
Giants football returns to MetLife Stadium Thursday night as the 2018 NFL preseason kicks off against the Cleveland Browns, and there are several players needing standout performances during the exhibition slate to either to win a starting job or simply make the 53-man roster.
Wide receiver, and outside linebacker have become two of the more competitive position groups on the roster, while there might not be more opportunity for a young player to steal a starting job than at the nickel cornerback spot.
For many at all of the above position groups, making an impact on special teams as well as producing some big-plays that flash to the coaching staff on film will be the pathways to a roster spot.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, few receivers beyond those entrenched as the three starters -- Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Cody Latimer -- have shown as much big-play potential as Kalif Raymond.
"I'm looking for those home run opportunities," Raymond told NJ Advance Media. "I'm doing whatever I can to use my speed, and the quarterbacks all throw such great balls, it puts me in a position to go out there and make a play. I just know that whenever I go out there for a deep-ball, I'm expecting the ball to come. I've been looking up lately, and it's been there.
"It's huge for me to be able to have an impact on the game, and it's huge for the offense to be able to have that home run threat. It's also huge to have that deep-threat that can take the top off the coverage, when you have guys like Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham, and Hunter Sharp, and Amba. All these guys. They can make plays inside the field. If I can take it deep a couple times, it's going to really open it up for all of those guys. I think that's huge."
Raymond has consistently put on a show during this training camp, as one of the offensive standouts. Quite frequently, Raymond has been on the receiving end of long bombs from quarterbacks Eli Manning and Davis Webb. Whether it's a toe-tapping touchdown from Webb, or a diving 50-yard reception from Manning, Raymond seems to be gaining the trust of both the coaching staff and quarterbacks to blossom into a legitimate deep-threat in a system looking to frequently stretch the field.
Likewise, Raymond's chances at winning a roster spot are bolstered by the fact that he's likely the leader in the clubhouse for the kick return job.
If Raymond is going to secure a spot on the 53-man roster after catching one pass for 12 yards in six games for the Giants last season, he's going to have to carry over his dynamic playmaking ability as well as make an impact on special teams during the four preseason games.
Hunter Sharp returned the first kickoff and punt tonight. Also got a target on the first series. No action for Kalif thus far in the first quarter but he is getting some air time standing right next to the coaches waiting for his chance.
Finally got some action in the middle of the second quarter. Got one target where Webb threw a very high ball over the middle and Kalif short-armed it with a safety waiting to hospitalize him. Not sure it was catchable but Kalif definitely protected himself. Only other play of note was that he drew an illegal use of the hands penalty on the corner covering him that gave the Giants a first down. Sharp has gotten all of the return action so far.
Kalif was open for a TD at the end of the half but didn’t get it. Looked like he thought the ball was going to be in one place, wasn’t there so he turned inside and then the ball went where he originally thought it was going to be. Not sure whether Webb threw it late or Kalif just couldn’t find it.
Post by WCHC Sports on Aug 10, 2018 8:20:53 GMT -5
Davis Webb wouldn't afford Jerry Rice the opportunity to do enough to make a team if his roster spot was on the line. He was sailing passes left and right. Eli looked crappy too. I'd rather the Giants be good (and the Cowboys rival with them and beat them) than the Eagles... I think the Giants are still a bit over-hyped. Still, it's weird to the NFL to have them be a doormat team, even as a Cowboys fan.
Laughter is the best medicine except when you have E.D.
From an nj.com article this morning analyzing players who rose, players who declined, and players who held steady as a result of their performance in the exhibition game with the Browns last night:
Kalif was the first mention in the "holding steady" category.
WR - Kalif Raymond
After showcasing himself as a legitimate deep-threat during practice, Raymond was virtually a non-factor in the passing game against the Browns, failing to catch either of his two targets.
However, Raymond's ticket to the 53-man roster has always been his ability to be a contributor on special teams, and he did return to punts for 14 yards and was the No. 2 kickoff returner behind Hunter Sharp.
If Raymond is going to solidify his place as one of the five or six receivers on the 53-man roster, he's going to have to make more of a contribution in the remaining three exhibition games.
I taped the game and hope to look at the plays involving Kalif again. As I recall, there was no isolated on Kalif for any of his plays including the endzone play. Not sure if this miss was on Kalif or Webb but he was definitely not looking in the right direction as he seemed to be looking over his outside shoulder and it went to his inside shoulder and by the time he turned his head - too late.
It did appear on some plays that did not directly involve him, on the periphery, he was blocking his defender from getting into a running play. But that stuff isn't going to help him make the team - he's there for speed and breakaway potential. He did indirectly keep a drive alive when the Browns defender interfered with his route creating an automatic first down even though the ball wasn't thrown his way.