EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The headline may be a bit of a stretch, but Bear Pascoe is once again proving to be one of the most useful, and underrated, players on the Giants.
New York Giants
Pascoe's natural position is tight end, but with the knee injury to fullback Henry Hynoski suffered last week at the team's first OTA of the offseason, Pascoe has now stepped into Hynoski's spot.
"We’re very confident that Bear, no matter what role we place him in, he does an outstanding job," coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday. "Bear has had opportunities to play in that slot, B tight end, Y tight end, and he’s always done a nice job. So he’s a guy that’ll learn it, and he’ll be very much into what’s happening."
"It’s a bit of a challenge," Pascoe said, of playing different positions. "But this is something that I’ve done since my second year here with the Giants. It just allows me to be on the field a little more, and wherever they need me to be. I’m just glad I can step in and keep our offense going and hopefully not missing a beat."
The 27-year-old will be entering his fifth season with the Giants, after being drafted by the 49ers in the sixth round in 2009 out of Fresno State and subsequently waived.
He has played in 46 of 48 regular season games the past three years. Last season he had only four receptions for 35 yards, but that included a touchdown catch against the Eagles in Week 4. In 2011, he had 12 receptions for 136 yards in the regular season, plus a six-yard touchdown catch in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, and four receptions for 33 yards in Super Bowl XLVI.
Hynoski is aiming to be back by the Giants' regular season opener on Sept. 8. And Coughlin didn't rule out the possibility of bringing in another fullback at some point this summer. "If there’s a qualified guy, we would consider it," the coach said.
But at least for now, Pascoe will have an increased role on the field. He hopes it leads to more opportunities once the regular season gets under way, but that's not his primary goal.
"This is kind of what I do. This is my role," Pascoe said. "The more I can do, the better it is for the team. It’s one of the reason I’ve been here for five years, is I have versatility.
"I want to be that No. 1 guy and stuff, but I’m here to help win games. It’s whatever I need to do to help us win games."