New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has a reason for why rookie cornerback Deandre Baker has struggled thus far.
Heading into this season, the New York Giants knew they had a void to fill at cornerback. On the opposite side of Janoris Jenkins, Big Blue once had Eli Apple, who they traded in 2018, and B.W. Webb, who they lost via free agency this past offseason. To combat the chasm, New York selected Deandre Baker out of the University of Georgia.
Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award last year for the nation’s top defensive back. However, despite what he was able to do in college, Baker hasn’t exactly translated his talents to the pros. The Giants are 24th in the league with 259.0 passing yards allowed-per-game, and the rookie has greatly contributed to that.
He always seems a step behind the receiver and even admitted after the Week 9 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that he’s had issues learning the playbook.
However, through all the struggles, head coach Pat Shurmur has a reason for why Baker has had problems thus far.
“It’s a much different game to the college game,” Shurmur said this week, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “In the college game they defend no-huddle so they stand in one spot, like he’ll play on the right or the left, he stands in one spot and waits for the offense to come out to him, and they have like 90 plays run at them. This is more strategic. There are fewer plays and more happening and there’s a lot to learn.
“He studies, but it’s also the spatial relationship of things happening, the speed of the game, the guys moving around, all that.”
Shurmur mentioned to the team prior to their loss to the New York Jets this past Sunday that some jobs could be on the line. Does that include Baker? If so, Sam Beal coming off injured reserve is perfect timing.
Maybe fans will see the second-year pro out of Western Michigan University more and more as the weeks progress.