New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Receives Support From College Coach

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants have more than one area that has to step up this season, but one of the first to come to mind is the secondary. At times, it seemed like opponents could pass on the Giants at will, both on shorter slant routes and on deeper ones near the sidelines. Part of the problem was the play of rookie DeAndre Baker. Baker had a rough rookie season – he would improve later on, but earlier in the year, there was talk pretty quickly about Baker not living up to his first round pick status.

Still, Baker is part of the team’s plans going forward. The Giants did bring in James Bradberry, but they also lost Janoris Jenkins, leaving them with Baker as the second ranked corner on the team once again if things pan out as expected.

But one name familiar with Baker thinks that the cornerback will adapt well to the challenge: Baker’s own college head coach, Kirby Smart.

“I’ll say this, there’s not many rookie corners that aren’t going to struggle in that league. It’s not like they’re giving out Rookie of the Year to corners real often. Because when you’re doing your job, you don’t get a lot of credit, and when you’re not doing your job, you’re a sieve. So it’s usually going to go to a pass rusher or a linebacker who can put great statistics up there,” Smart told the New York Post about Baker and his struggles.

“When you’re on the back end you’re the last line of defense so that’s what everybody sees. Those three corners who were picked [in the first round this year], they’ll probably be the same way. They’re going to be under the limelight a lot more. I know DeAndre will get better and he’ll keep working at it,” continued Smart.

The combination of Bradberry and Baker will be an entirely new one for the Giants, with the former being new to the team. It still remains to be seen how the two players will mesh together, but barring big changes, they enter the season as the number one and two cornerbacks respectively on the roster.

A step up from Baker seems to be the expectation going into his second year. He did, after all, show some improvement in the second half of 2019. Now, the main challenge for the second year player is to keep that trend going in 2020.