Giants TE gets high praise from HC Brian Daboll for major offseason progress

nfl: houston texans at new york giants, lawrence cager

The New York Giants may have themselves an underrated option at tight end entering the 2024 NFL season.

As Michael France of Fan Nation’s Giants Country revealed on Saturday, Giants head coach Brian Daboll recently had nothing but positive remarks for soon-to-be fifth-year pass-catching TE Lawrence Cager, saying this about the impression his offensive weapon has left on him thus far this offseason:

“I’ve been very happy with Cage,” Daboll said about Cager.

“Probably one of the most improved players throughout the offseason that we’ve had relative to playing fast, being able to use his speed, not thinking, being in the system here for a little bit.”

“I’ve been very happy with his progress,” Daboll said. “He’s got a great schedule. He has come in really early. He’s taken to the coaching from (tight ends coach) Tim Kelly. He has had a really good camp.”   

Giants: Lawrence Cager’s experience at WR could make him a valued TE option in 2024

new york giants, lawrence cager

Cager started his football career as a wide receiver for the New York Jets in 2020. Over the course of his first three seasons in the NFL, the 6-5 talent played in a total of 10 games, sporting a 60 percent catch percentage behind 15 receptions for 153 receiving yards and one REC touchdown all at wideout for the Jets, Cleveland Browns and Giants.

Once the Giants had a full season with him in their ranks in 2023, Cager matched his receiving TD total (1) while improving his catch percentage to 80 percent on the previous campaign. There has not been a large sample size on the Georgia product despite having four years under his belt in the NFL, but from what he’s shown, Cager has good hands that complement his large frame.

Where Cager can give the Giants offense a boost next season if given the opportunity

Cager can help the Giants gain first downs in 2024. They produced the fewest first downs in the air in 2023 (141) and also mustered up the fourth-fewest red zone touchdowns in the passing game (15). New York’s dynamic outside wide receivers Malik Nabers, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Darius Slayton will do the bulk of the work catching TD passes while curling out to the corners of the end zones next season.

However, the middle of the end zone is where Cager can be effective as a clear-cut target that gets left open when opposing secondaries employ double coverage on other options or get tricked in play-action scenarios. He can also use his 220-pound size to truck defensive linemen and defensive backs from the 1-3 yard line off of dump-off passes.

As much as the Maryland native has impressed coach Daboll thus far, he will still have his work cut out for him to earn significant time behind, or over starting TE Daniel Bellinger and second-stringer Theo Johnson next season. However, should one, or both struggle on the campaign and the Giants’ offense scream for a fresh jolt of energy from a needed source, Cager could answer the call based off of the good graces he’s earned last spring and this summer.

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