Sam Beal
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

After missing all of last season with a shoulder injury, New York Giants cornerback Sam Beal is looking to make a big impression in 2019.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—With the exception of Janoris Jenkins and Antoine Bethea, the New York Giants defense consists of young and talented players, most of whom have less than four years of playing experience. Of the players projected to make the roster, only Jenkins, Bethea, and linebacker Nathan Stupar are the only players that are in their 30s.

One of the talented young players on the Giants roster is cornerback Sam Beal. He is entering his second season in the league. The Giants took Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft out of Western Michigan. Beal made second-team All-MAC in 2017. Adding Beal to the roster seemed to be low-risk, high-reward move.

But Beal’s 2018 season ended up serving as a redshirt season because a shoulder injury he suffered in training camp ended his season prematurely.

Despite not playing a single down last season, Beal benefited from being around the team and getting accustomed to what it takes to make it in the NFL.

Following one of the Giants organized team activities, I had a chance to speak with Beal, who turns 23 in August, about how it feels to be fully recovered.

“It feels good! I have my feet under me, and I feel I can be quicker than before,” Beal told Elite Sports NY when asked about how it feels to be fully recovered. “I feel the burst. So now all I have to do is put it all together on the field.”

Although Beal didn’t play a snap in 2018, being around an NFL team is an experience in itself. The young cornerback used last season as an opportunity to pick up little nuances of the game.

“To have a short memory,” Beal said when asked about what he learned during his redshirt season. “Sometimes a game or play doesn’t go as planned but you have to move and prepare for the next play or game.”

Beal showed that he can have a short memory during OTAs. While playing left cornerback with the second-team defense, he was beaten deep a few times by Cody Latimer and Reggie White Jr., but didn’t let that affect his focus.

Beal is excited to be a part of a young and exciting defense. The Giants have invested heavily in their defense through the draft.

“It’s fun to be a part of it knowing I’m going to be here and be around these great athletes,” Beal said. “We’re all going to elevate to our highest expectations. I know we’re all going to step up so it’s real fun.”

The Giants will certainly need Beal and the rest of the defense to play up to expectations. They face four teams that finished in the top 10 in passing offense last season (Buccaneers, Patriots, Packers, and Eagles).

General manager Dave Gettleman has spent the last two seasons revamping the secondary that fits defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s system. He believes the Giants have what it takes to be one of the better secondary’s in the league. Now it’s up to Beal and the rest of the unit to prove it.

Beal and the rest of the Giants will be back on the practice field at the end of July for training camp. They will look to make the 2019 season a successful one. Look for Beal to compete with first-round draft pick DeAndre Baker to be the starting left cornerback.

Even if Beal doesn’t win the starting cornerback job, he will play a pivotal role in the Giants defense for this season, and for years to come.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.