Giants rookie RB wants to embrace key special teams role in 2024

NCAA Football: Purdue at Northwestern, tyrone tracy, new york giants
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Somebody needs to return kick-offs for the New York Giants in 2024, and rookie running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. sees nobody better than himself for the job.

Per Giants radio host John Schmeelk on X, Tracy Jr. recently attested to being a gnat in special teams coordinator Mike Ghobrial’s ear about getting a healthy dose of kick-off return opportunities next season (h/t Joshua Schulman of GMENHQ):

“I’m in Coach [Michael] Ghobrial’s ear every day trying to tell him to let me kick off return. And we do it in practice, so I’m doing good and getting good reps over time. I’m a rookie, so I’m still making sure that I’m doing every single thing the right way. Making sure that I’m putting good stuff on film for the coaches to be like, ‘This is why we should put him back there,’ instead of me just saying put me back there. To say the least, I’m super excited about this role and the opportunity ahead of me,” Tracy Jr. said.

Giants: Rookie RB Tyrone Tracy Jr. has a solid history of kickoff returns from college days

East Rutherford , NJ — May 10, 2024 -- Running back fifth round draft pick, Tyrone Tracy Jr. as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks.
Credit: Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tracy Jr. turned 16 kick-off returns in his final college football season at Purdue in 2023 into 408 return yards. He brought one of those returns to the house on the campaign. His workload in special teams for the Boilermakers did not hinder him from managing 113 carries in the backfield on offense and turning them into 716 rushing yards overall.

The 24-year-old ball carrier could help a Giants team that earned the fourth-fewest returns (13) and generated the fifth-fewest kick-off return yards (249 yards) in 2023. They were also one of only 10 NFL teams with fewer than 10 gains of 20-plus yards in such opportunities (7) and did not have a single big burst of 40 or more yards to show for.

A special teams role could keep Tracy Jr. active and ready for backfield snaps in 2024

Nov 18, 2023; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. (3)(New York Giants) breaks a tackle by Northwestern Wildcats defensive back Rod Heard II (24) for a touchdown run in the third quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

New York needs to address the special teams woes that weighed them down last season. Implementing their rookie RB in such a role, even in a more limited capacity to feel things out at the beginning of the upcoming campaign, has very little risk in comparison to the reward it could yield. Further, seeing that offseason acquisition Devin Singletary is slated to be the featured back in the offense, deploying Tracy Jr. in special teams could keep him warm and ready to step in for spot snaps behind quarterback Daniel Jones when called upon.

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