Kenny Golladay got used to receiving praise for big catches and touchdowns as a Detroit Lion; not blocks.
But he knows where he stands now with the Giants, what his role is and what it isn’t.
And the veteran receiver is proud that he contributed to the Giants’ Wild Card win in Minnesota with a crushing fourth-quarter block on Vikings corner Duke Shelley.
“I think it’s all attitude at the end of the day,” Golladay said Wednesday. “It’s a little different when you’re used to going out there making a whole bunch of plays. They normally cover the catches that you make.
“[But] me being in the position I am, anything good I do I think will be highlighted a little bit,” he continued. “And what’d I get four snaps last game? Out of those four, hopefully I am able to just leave my little stamp on it any little way. That’s all I can really do.”
Golladay, lashed out a bit in Week 2 when Brian Daboll initially benched him. It’s been a trying year struggling to contribute or to get on the field at all.
He deserves credit, though, for sticking with the dirty work and staying locked in when his name is called. And if anyone thought Golladay would check out, frankly, they just don’t know him.
“As far as checking out, I take a lot of pride in what I do,” Golladay said at his locker. “I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror to just be checked out. I’ve got a lot of football left. The last name on my back, I take a lot of pride in that. That’s kind of what it boils down to. And then [it’s for] these guys in the locker room.”
Golladay’s block on Shelley sprung Saquon Barkley for a 10-yard gain on a swing pass on the Giants’ game-winning touchdown drive. It also knocked Shelley’s mouthguard to the turf.
“I didn’t notice that until I saw the video,” he said with a smile.
Golladay led the NFL with 11 TD catches in 2019 as a Lion. The Giants showered him with money in free agency in 2021. And it would be an understatement to say the signing hasn’t worked out.
He only just caught his first TD as a Giant in Week 18 at Philadelphia from third-string QB Davis Webb while playing with the backups.
It was a humbling experience to say the least. Golladay stayed committed, though, and rose up to make a highlight reel catch over, of all people, former Lions teammate Darius Slay.
“I came up to him after the game and said it would be on you, the first one,” Golladay said. “We just laughed and joked about it. Nothing too crazy.”
He also admitted that he appreciated Daboll and his teammates raving about the block after the victory.
“Yeah, you could say that,” he said.
The fact is Golladay and the Giants know their time together is coming to an end. It would have come to an end already if his contract had allowed it. And this situation could have gone another, ugly way very easily.
It says something about what this team has built that it hasn’t, but mostly, it says something about Golladay — he deserves a bit more credit for his effort and professionalism than he’s gotten around here.