Aug/15/12 09:18 PM Filed in: Dwayne Hendricks
With 90 guys on the training camp roster it’s not easy for young players to get Tom Coughlin’s attention. Last Friday night in Jacksonville, Dwayne Hendricks definitely did.
The first-year defensive tackle, who spent most of last season on the Giants’ practice squad, had two sacks in the Giants’ preseason-opening loss to the Jaguars and he seemed to be having his way with Jacksonville guard D.J. Hall. It was exactly the kind of performance needed for a team suddenly besieged by injuries at that position.
And not only did Coughlin notice, but he wasn’t surprised.
“Well, he can see that there’s opportunity,” Coughlin said. “He goes a million miles an hour. I have the utmost respect for that kid. That kid works his ever-loving off. As a matter of fact, I use him as an example. If you’re going against him, you better be going full speed or he’s going to make you look bad.”
The 6-3, 305-pound Hendricks, an undrafted free agent out of Miami who grew up in Millville, N.J., understood what he accomplished on Friday. “It’s always good to make a name for yourself,” he said. He showed off what teammate Linval Joseph called his “sneaky strength” and also the use of leverage he had been working on with defensive line coach Robert Nunn.
Now, thanks to his performance and injuries to Chris Canty (knee), Marvin Austin (back) and Shaun Rogers (calf), Hendricks is the third defensive tackle in the rotation and not far from at least a temporary starting assignment. But, he added, he’s not done yet.
“Now I know that people know, so that only has to increase my play level too,” he said. “I know anybody that’s going to line up or watch the film is going to have heard of (Coughlin’s) comment, so I need to pick my game up also.”
“Hopefully now I’ve made a name for myself and I can just continue to build off of that and go in the right direction.”