Daniel Bellinger springing RB with special block is unfamiliar feeling for NY Giants fans

NY Giants, Daniel Bellinger. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NY Giants, Daniel Bellinger. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The NY Giants’ running game has sputtered for ages, even after the addition of super back Saquon Barkley atop the 2018 draft. Blame Barkley for getting stuck in the injury mud all you want, of course, but inferior blocking has dogged any efforts by the top pick and his backups for years now.

Give Wayne Gallman a belated standing ovation for everything he managed behind that sieve of an NY Giants O-line, by the way. How’d that man squeeze through so many non-holes? Godspeed.

It wasn’t just the line that couldn’t handle run blocking or pass blocking for nearly a decade, though. There’s been precious little help coming from the tight end position, either. The NY Giants drafted a firm non-blocker/borderline wide receiver in Evan Engram with their first pick in 2017, and none of his backups made enough of a footprint on the field to justify increased playing time, either.

And so the Giants simply went without a road-grader from the tight end position for far too long, forcing fans to harken back to the days of Jake Ballard. Until, perhaps, Daniel Bellinger’s arrival changed everything.

Selected in the fourth round in 2022 and piling up the first-team reps early, Bellinger shrugged off a training camp injury to post an impressive performance in Thursday’s preseason opener. Sure, he caught a single five-yard pass, but what really stood out was his extra effort in the blocking game.

See if you can spot Bellinger springing RB Gary Brightwell for a run here. He’s the guy diving for a low block and sending No. 94 spiraling.

NY Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger can block, folks

And with that, No. 94 on New England handed his resignation letter to Bill Belichick and decided to pursue his true passion: interior design.

Bellinger’s Giants took home the Week 1 preseason victory on a late Graham Gano field goal, and outside of Kenny Golladay’s performance, Aaron Robinson’s struggles, and a redefinition of the word “taunting,” things mostly looked solid from a team that couldn’t get its bearings under Joe Judge.

Add Bellinger’s nasty streak to the list of things that went very right in Brian Daboll’s first showcase. No wonder Barkley was so happy every time the press stopped him on Thursday.