Austin Mack impresses Giants with gritty play

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It was hardly a big-screen case of “Austin Mack, whatever,” on draft day.The undrafted wide receiver from Ohio state worked his way into the Giants’ practice squad, then continued to work to be added to the active week 6 roster. first real impact as an NFL player in last Sunday’s win over Washington, contributing to a 50-yard reception and a potential touchdown that was negated by the replay.

Mack’s role for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia is still unclear, likely depending somewhat on Golden Tate’s availability as he returned from team discipline and a knee injury sustained in practice on Thursday.

“It has been hard work. I really focused knowing it wasn’t going to be easy, ”said Mack, who finished with four receptions for 72 yards in the Giants’ 23-20 win over Washington. ” At the end of the day, [my mindset] was just to come in and work hard, put your head down and wait for an opportunity.

“Whenever there was an opportunity, just try to maximize it and keep competing every day.”

Austin Mack
Austin MackGetty Images

The Giants have already enjoyed immense success with an undrafted wide receiver, Victor Cruz, and they would obviously be delighted if Mack could manage to make that kind of impact.

Giants coach Joe Judge described Mack earlier this week as “definitely a scrappy guy” and someone who “plays and does things” on the pitch, whether it’s blocking or making tough receptions. . Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert added that Mack has also impressed the coaching staff with his willingness to serve as an “executor” in both the running game and on special teams.

“He keeps showing up,” the judge said. “He’s a guy who may not blink all the time but does something that jumps out at you. He just keeps playing after the game and he shows up regularly.

Not bad for a player who only managed a 4.59 second time on 40 yards before the draft. He was not selected after totaling just 79 receptions for 1,050 yards in four seasons at Ohio State, sometimes playing behind future NFL receivers Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Parris Campbell and others.

“This guy has won everything he’s got so far,” Judge said. “He keeps coming to work every day and gives us reasons to put him in the field.”

Mack caught 50 yards on the sideline Sunday from Daniel Jones, the Giants’ longest passing game of the season. He also appeared to have a 10-yard TD reception later in the first quarter, but his first NFL score was overruled when replay officials ruled his knee was lowered to the 2-yard line as he was heading towards the end zone.

“Obviously it was very disappointing, but it just means that I hope that in the future I can have another chance,” Mack said. “I thought I was in there, I wouldn’t lie, and then I saw the replay and I was like ‘OK’. Then Wayne [Gallman] had to [run] it for six.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but exciting, I hope for the future to come that I will have more opportunities.

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