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Moss Finally Figures Into Giants Plans:

From Ralph Vacchiano:

The Giants‘ defensive players were raving about receiver Sinorice Moss in the spring, how fast he was and how difficult he was to cover. They never told him that, of course.

“No, but they tell me to slow down half the time I talk to them,” Moss said. “But I can’t do that, man. I’m out here on a mission.”

Moss, the 5-8 speedster entering his fourth NFL season, is on a mission to prove his critics wrong and to once and for all show he can play in this league. His first three seasons have been a mess of injuries, lack of opportunities and failure to meet expectations. He’s heard the word “bust” far too many times.

But the coaches have often praised him for his work ethic far behind the scenes and for the positive outlook he has kept despite a seemingly dreary situation. In the spring, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride anointed Moss the No.3 receiver in this new-look passing offense.

As far as the 25-year-old Moss is concerned, that’s only the start.

“I’ve been so anxious really to just prove to people and to show people what I’m capable of doing,” Moss said. “But I feel like now this is the year that I have the opportunity to do it. I’m going to go out and do what I have to do, just whenever they get the ball in my hands, execute and make some plays.”

That’s exactly what Moss has failed to do in his first three seasons with the Giants. After Big Blue traded up to draft Moss in the second round in 2006, he suffered through an injury-plagued rookie season and then was undone by inconsistencies in camp and practice the last two years.

As a result of that, and his inability to break through on special teams – even though the Giants drafted him in part because he was a dangerous return man – he has had just 38 catches (for 403 yards) in his first three seasons. Last year he caught 12 passes for 153 yards. The Giants always knew he had the speed, but they weren’t always convinced he had the game to match.

However, that speed is what has kept him around.

“I think the sky’s the limit because of his speed,” said receiver Steve Smith. “He’s a threat to every defense because he’s got that vertical game.”

“He’s always been the speed guy,” added cornerback Corey Webster. “Now they have ways to try to get him the ball and to utilize his ability to stretch the field.”

Despite a great spring and a solid start to the summer, Moss still isn’t a lock for the third receiver spot. He will feel pressure from Mario Manningham, who also impressed the coaches this spring. And the Giants didn’t draft Hakeem Nicks in the first round to bury him on the depth chart.

Moss knows the competition, even for the two starting jobs, is wide open now that Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer are gone. To him, however, that’s no different than it is every year.

“I felt each year the same way, that I’m just going out there and working hard and doing the best that I can for this team,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunities this year and there’s been opportunities the year before. I approach this season like I approach every season, staying confident, being positive about my situation and going out there and continue to work hard.”

And if he can surprise a few people along the way, all the better.

“I hope so,” Moss said. “You have doubters, you have naysayers, people who don’t expect me to do anything. Hey, let them do what they do. I’m out here to perform and do what I have to do, and that’s helping this football team win games.”


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