Tight End Larry Donnell of the New York Giants is one of many players projected to have a “breakout” year in the upcoming 2015 NFL season. Having flashes of brilliance during the 2014 campaign, Larry Donnell is determined to become the starting tight end for the New York Football Giants. The Giants’ coaching staff believes that the 6’6” Donnell has the potential, as does Donnell himself, but a marginal overall performance last season, gave cause for concern that Donnell needed to improve more.
Even after catching three touchdown passes, in a nationally televised, Thursday night game against the woeful Washington Redskins, Donnell presented the Giants more with a liability than an offensive asset. Though his speed was a plus against linebackers, his blocking was inept and often stymied the ability of quarterback Eli Manning and wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Victor Cruz, to move downfield.
After the week four, Thursday night game, Donnell’s beacon of potential began to dim and over the course of the season, the Giants coaching staff held Donnell on the sidelines, in favor of more proficient blocking tight ends, Adrien Robinson, and Daniel Fells. As a result of his inability to be an effective blocker, Donnell evolved into a “downs” player, entering the game usually on second down.
Donnell, drafted out of Grambling in 2012, was converted to tight end, as a result of his 6’6” frame and his speed. Spending 2012 on the practice squad and 2013 riding the bench, he mastered the complexities of the offensive scheme. 2014 saw Donnell display his wares, much to the delight of the coaches, but after the captivating week four performance, Donnell’s ability became lackluster and frustrating to many.
“We want to see him step up in the areas that are not natural for him, the blocking areas, for example,” commented coach Tom Coughlin. To alleviate the frustrations and inabilities that may hamper his potential in 2015, Donnell called upon a reliable resource to help him overcome the roadblock that plagued him in 2014. During the off-season Donnell knew changes had to be made, and he would enlist the aid of his trainer from his days at Grambling, to rid himself of his lackluster skills.
With a potentially improved ground and passing game in the mix for the Giants in 2015, Larry Donnell hopes his improved blocking skills will enable him to be a part of the Giants’ high powered offense.