DANNY AND GALLANT
Bumpus: How Seahawks can contain ‘explosive’ Giants TE Evan Engram
Dec 5, 2020, 12:08 PM
Despite being 4-7 and averaging the fourth-fewest yards per game in the NFL this year, the Giants’ Week 13 contest with the Seahawks is a matchup between division leaders as New York currently leads the poor NFC East division.
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But even with the poor offensive numbers and under .500 record, the Giants still do boast some talent on offense, primarily in the passing game.
Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant that there’s one Giants playmaker who the Seahawks must try to take away early on.
“They’ve got a guy on offense, (Evan) Engram, the tight end, who is pretty good,” Bumpus said.
Engram, 26, was a first-round pick in 2017 and so far in 2020, he has 44 catches, 476 yards and one touchdown. He’s also coming off his best game of the year as last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Engram caught six passes for 129 yards.
His overall numbers may not be that impressive, but Bumpus said that’s really not Engram’s fault.
“I feel like if he played on any other football team that’s not in the NFC East, he’d be getting some love, man,” he said. “He’s got some wiggle, he lines up outside, I’ve seen him beat (defensive backs) one-on-one over the top.”
Bumpus said he and former Seahawks safety and coach Paul Moyer talked to New York Post columnist Paul Schwartz on Hawks Live, which airs every Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle at 7 p.m., and Schwartz said Giants fans don’t like Engram for various reasons. Bumpus said he doesn’t understand that at all.
“I’m like man, there’s something going on in New York because I watch his film and I just see a guy who is explosive, he’s got some wiggle, his routes are nice, he has hands, he had 126 yards last game,” Bumpus said. “He might not have had the greatest season thus far, but the guy can play.”
Bumpus said Engram presents a tough task for the Seahawks defensively as he can line up both outside and on the offensive line at the traditional tight end set.
“There’s a lot of packages where they go with two tight ends or even three tight ends, so the Giants want to play big boy football and he’s a big reason,” Bumpus said. “He can get on the second level, he can get deep and catch the football. I like Engram. You have to look after this dude.”
So, who will ultimately be tasked with defending Engram?
“Traditionally you’d say your strong safety, but our strong safety (Jamal Adams) doesn’t play the traditional role, right? He’s more of an in the box ‘I’m going to blitz you’ (guy),” Bumpus said. “So I’m going to say the linebackers. It’s going to be (Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright) when he’s coming across the middle, when he’s releasing from the traditional tight end spot.”
What do those two veterans need to do to get Engram off of his game?
“They have to re-route this dude and if they re-route him I think they can slow him down,” Bumpus said, “And then after that if falls on the safety. But initially, I think it falls on the linebackers. If Jamal Adams doesn’t blitz and he’s playing the flats then he’s going to get a piece of him, but I’ve got to go second level with (the linebackers).”
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