ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Watching the New York Giants tight ends at training camp these days is pretty simple – there’s Bear Pascoe.
With four of the five tight ends at camp sidelined by minor injuries, Pascoe has gotten almost all the work. Whether it’s one practice or two, the second-year pro has been the main target for quarterbacks Eli Manning, Jim Sorgi and Rhett Bomar, and he is loving every exhaustive second.
The performance has impressed coach Tom Coughlin and put Pascoe on the road to earning a spot on the roster.
“I think anyone should welcome this,” Pascoe said Wednesday between practices. “It’s a chance to get better and a chance to show how hard I can work and that I’m a guy who can last, that I have durability and toughness. I can take that pounding and keep going.”
Kevin Boss has the Giants’ starting job nailed down despite ankle and hamstring injuries.
There are one or two other spots open, and second-year pros Travis Beckum (hamstring), Scott Chandler (hip flexor) and rookie Jake Ballard (hamstring) aren’t doing themselves any good watching from the sidelines at the University at Albany.
“I feel terrible when I look out there and see just Bear out there,” Boss said. “I feel terrible for him. It’s real hard to watch and sit back there and not be able to help him out.”
Surprisingly, Pascoe says he feels great. There might be a little tightness in his calves, but other than that, he’s healthy and has improved with the added workload.
Pascoe expects a lot out of himself. He just missed making a diving catch in practice Wednesday morning. While he could have blamed fatigue, he didn’t.
“It hit my hands, I should catch it, that’s the responsibility as a wide receiver and tight end,” Pascoe said. “If it is in our area, we should come down with it.”
Tight ends coach Mike Pope teased Pascoe about his workload before practice.
Pascoe’s real first name is McKenna, the name of a priest who married his parents. Everyone started calling him ‘Bear’ as a youngster because he was just a lot bigger than his friends.
Pope likes the idea of mixing up Pascoe’s names.
“Coach Pope was playing around before practice when we were stretching,” Pascoe said. “He’s like on one play I am going to call ‘Bear’ and on the next I’ll call ‘McKenna.’ We’ll fool the defense.”
Actually, Pascoe hasn’t gotten all the work. Offensive lineman Herb Taylor took a snap or two at tight end and was told to run a 10-yard out. He ran a 20-yard seam pattern and remarkably had the ball thrown in his direction, but never came close to getting his hands on it.
Pascoe laughed about the play, noting Taylor does a much better job blocking than him.
Sorgi said the craziest thing is that Pascoe has not asked the coaching staff for a break. He just says he is ready to go, which is great for team morale.
“He is the kind of guy who will be out there every day, the kind of guy who will fight his butt off for you no matter the situation,” Sorgi said. “You need those guys. You want a guy like that on your team because you know if you need a play at the end, you can count on that guy to do the right thing.”
A Fresno State product, Pascoe spent most of last season on the Giants’ practice squad. He got a chance to play four games late last season, catching one pass and getting a start when the team opened a game in a two tight end formation.
“If I can keep working and improving like I am and show Coach Coughlin my good work ethic, most definitely I think I can earn a spot on this roster,” he said. “I am planning on it.”
Updated August 12, 2010