The Giant Insider Online

Curtis Riley running with the ‘ones’ at free safety for Giants

The New York Giants have been in search of a partner for their All-Pro strong safety, Landon Collins for several years now and it might be possible they finally found one.

Curtis Riley was one of the many free agent secondary men the Giants signed this past offseason in hopes of finding safeties and corners to fill out their vacant defensive backfield. Riley had spent his first three seasons with the Tennessee Titans as a UDFA out of Fresno State playing a total of 11 games over three seasons.

The Giants honestly did not know what they were getting in Riley, but the picture is beginning to come into focus. He’s a player and currently he’s the team’s starting strong safety.

Riley missed the Giants’ preseason opener against Cleveland with a sore hamstring but he’s healthy again, lining up with the ‘ones’ in the team’s joint practice with the Lions in Detroit Tuesday morning.

“It’s hard to say,” said head coach Pat Shurmur when asked if Riley was beginning to separate himself form the others at free safety. “I was on our offensive field all day today, so I’ve got to really go back and grind on what our defense did today. I got reports that he did well. That’s the downside for the head coach. You’re only seeing half the team until that last long period when you’re doing the extended drives. But, he’s playing well, he was playing well prior to his hamstring deal, and now he’s getting back out there.”

Riley was working at slot corner for awhile but then the Giants decided to move him and his 6’0″, 205-pound frame over to safety with Darian Thompson (hamstring) out. So far, so good.

“He’s doing well,” said linebacker Alec Ogletree. “Like I said, there’s a lot of communication that goes on in this defense. Linebackers are talking to the safeties and safeties are talking to the linebackers and vice versa. It works hand and hand, all the safeties are doing well. In particular, Curtis is doing really well.”

The Giants have been exposed in space the past several seasons and were once again versus the Browns last week. they need better coverage in the middle of the field.  Riley feels he can provide that.

“I just have to keep doing things consistently, doing everything that I’m doing right now,” he said. “Have to make sure I’m making all the right calls, can’t go out there having any of these technical errors and stuff like that. Just have to be consistent, that’s the main thing.”

As for teaming with Collins, a monster box safety who is among the best in football, Riley is working on creating the right synergy.

“Me and Landon, we’re building a relationship because we’re the ones out there right now,” said Riley. “We’re trying to build a chemistry together so I know what he’s doing, I know how he sees things, he knows how I see things. We’re trying to make sure we’re on the same page with everything.”

 

 

 

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