Rueben Randle responded to criticism of his work ethic by having the best game of his young NFL career on Sunday, catching six passes.
The New York Giants philosophy of "next man up," seems to continue to work for them. Last year it was Victor Cruz. So far this year Ramses Barden and Andre Brown have had success stepping in when other players went down. Sunday, it was rookie wide reeiver Rueben Randle with an opportunity to come through in that role and he did, getting 82 yards on six receptions which were both team highs.
"It felt pretty good. I just came in and did my job. It wasn't anything special, just an opportunity came that I could take advantage of," Randle said.
Randle's work ethic was scrutinized during the past week. The second-round pick from LSU had just one reception entering the game against Cleveland, thinks he proved his worth on Sunday.
"I guess it just proves what I can do, without a doubt," Randle said. "I just wanted to come out and just prove my ability to my coaching staff and my teammates."
During the week, Randle spent some time one-on-one with Giants' quarterback Eli Manning watching film of the Cleveland defense. Manning was impressed by Randle's work on Sunday.
"Rueben Randle made some great plays for us and did some good things," Manning said. "That's obviously what we've expected of him and it's good to see it. He took some shots, took some hits, stayed tough and played well and that was exciting."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin also praised Randle's play on Sunday.
"We said that this would be Rueben's opportunity, that we needed him, that we counted on him today," Coughlin said. "I mentioned that and I thought he did play well. He made some key plays there when we were trying to get ourselves going with some momentum and he came through under those circumstances."