<
>

Rueben Randle fine with not being one of the 'flashy' receivers

Rueben Randle could play a key role for the Giants, especially as long as Victor Cruz is unable to play. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Odell Beckham Jr. is on the cover of Madden and is featured in a Foot Locker commercial with Victor Cruz.

Beckham Jr. and Cruz -- who has his own array of endorsements and was in HBO's "Ballers" -- are two of the most popular receivers in the league.

Hidden in their shadows is teammate Rueben Randle. And he likes it that way.

While Beckham Jr. makes the unthinkable one-handed catches and Cruz has the signature salsa touchdown celebration, Randle is the no-frills Giants receiver who could play a vital role this season.

“I’m perfectly fine with that,” Randle said when asked about not being as flashy as Cruz and Beckham. “I have never been the flashy guy. My situation is kind of fine with me. Those two guys can take the spotlight. We just want to play football anyway. That is my main focus and I am going to keep it.”

Randle’s knee tendinitis is under control at the moment and he feels good going into the season. And that’s a great thing for the Giants considering Cruz has been unable to get back on the practice field with a troublesome left calf injury.

Cruz has only been able to run in the pool, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Considering that Cruz will have to practice in order to play against Dallas on Sunday night, the Giants could very well start the season without the shifty receiver.

That means Randle will have to step up even more opposite Beckham Jr., although Randle’s role figured to be pivotal this season anyway with Cruz attempting to return from major surgery on his right knee.

Randle proved in spurts last season that he can produce significantly with Cruz out. He had seven receptions for 112 yards against San Francisco in mid-November. Randle closed the season out with six catches for 132 yards and one touchdown against St. Louis and six receptions for 158 yards against Philadelphia in the final two games.

“It has definitely been done before,” Randle said of the offense playing without Cruz. “We would definitely love to have him out there, but we’ve got to prepare. We’ve got to be able to come out and get a win.”

Entering his fourth season, Randle is coming off a career year in which he had 71 catches for 938 yards and three touchdowns. He is looking to take another step forward.

Randle missed some time early in camp with tendinitis but is ready to go. And while Randle doesn’t have his own glitzy off-field endeavors, the receiver might find himself in the spotlight on Sunday night in Dallas -- especially if Cruz is unable to play.

“I feel pretty good,” Randle said. “I don’t feel rusty at all. I feel fresh. That is the way I want to feel coming into Week 1. There are some pretty good players in their (Dallas) secondary, so I look forward to the challenge.”

“I always challenge myself no matter what the situation is,” Randle added. “Just try to be a better player than I was the year before.”