New York Giants legend Amani Toomer recently gave his take on the state of the Giants’ roster. Toomer, a Super Bowl champion, spoke to the New York Post and made headlines for what he said about the team’s playmakers. Amani Toomer referred to the Giants’ wide receivers as a “lacking” unit.
Amani Toomer was hard on the Giants’ receivers. His criticisms were harsh- but they were valid. Toomer’s statements were accurate. The Giants’ wide receivers are lacking. Toomer made a few more specific statements on individual players and most everything he said was true.
The Giants’ “Lacking” Wide Receiver Group
The Giants’ wide receivers heading into 2020 are Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton. This is a solid receiver corps, but it is indeed lacking. Mainly, the Giants are lacking a true number one receiver. That go-to guy for Daniel Jones to depend on all game is not there. Of course, New York had that but traded Odell Beckham Jr while his price was still high. That was a move that looked quite ridiculous at the moment but now seems to have been the smart move.
Regardless of whether or not the Giants were right to trade Odell, they are still lacking an explosive receiving threat. You could even argue the Giants’ best receiver is their running back.
Amani Toomer and I agree- there is potential in one of the Giants’ receivers to emerge as that true threat. Toomer said he thinks Slayton is the guy that “has the most upside.’’ Darius Slayton had an excellent rookie season. If he can take that next step in 2020 then he can blossom into a legitimate threat as New York’s number one wideout. But Slayton is more likely to thrive as a really good number two receiver.
Amani’s next criticism is again, highly accurate. When discussing the duo of Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard, Toomer stated, “I think Golden Tate is just a tougher version of [Shepard]. Basically they’re the same receiver, but Golden Tate is a tougher version of him.’’
Toomer tells no lies. Shepard and Tate are both similarly-sized slot receivers. Neither of them is particularly great at separating from defenders, but they both are sure-handed and reliable. Both receivers are explosive after the catch, Tate a little more than Shepard, though. Overall, Toomer is right. Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate are essentially the same players. One could argue that having two players so similar in the same offense creates dysfunction. Both of these players excel in the slot, but more often than not they are forced to alternating playing outside where they are less effective. This is something that the Giants will need to fix in the future to give Daniel Jones a more consistent offense.
Amani’s Peculiar Criticism Of Sterling Shepard
Amani Toomer did make one point that I do not necessarily agree with, though. When discussing Sterling Shepard, Amani said “I’m a little disappointed with Shepard, I don’t know.” He then continued, saying, “My dad always used to tell me, ‘He’s hell when he’s well, he’s just sick all the time.’ That’s what I think when I think of him. He’s just always, there’s always something hurt, or something.”
The reason I disagree with Amani here is that Shepard is not at fault for this. Sterling has not disappointed me by being concussed. Sure, he missed a lot of time in 2019 dealing with injuries. But those injuries were concussions that could have dramatic effects on Sterling’s long-term health. It’s not like he’s missing four weeks with a sore hamstring. He’s been dealing with bruises on his brain. In fact, Shepard, in my opinion, is one of the tougher players on the Giants.
In 2017, the Giants were ravaged with injuries. In the same game, Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, and Sterling Shepard were injured. Beckham, Marshall, and Harris’s injuries were all season-ending. Sterling managed to recover rather quickly from his injury and come back three weeks later. It was a pretty nasty ankle sprain for Sterling, and in a completely lost season that ended in a 3-13 record. Sterling plays through injuries when he can.
Overall, Amani Toomer was harsh, but he was accurate. He gave his opinions and I do not agree with everything he said, but he is correct in stating that the Giants’ wide receiver corps is “lacking.” Hopefully, in a new offensive scheme, Daniel Jones and the Giants can get the best out of their receivers and find success on offense in 2020.