Junior titan Daniel Bellinger takes classes at TE University

On the day he was enlisted—April 30, to be exact—Daniel Bellinger listed the tight ends he was watching especially closely. Travis Kelsey in a passing match. George Keitel in a game of scrolling and running. Dallas Guedert for his comprehensive technique.

Less than two months later, Bellinger was hanging with well-known NFL players, as well as with several other tight ends. The Giants are hoping some of what Bellinger picked up during that brief stay in Nashville will accompany their most promising debutante to the field this season.

“It was unreal, because a year ago I’d watch these guys on TV, just waiting for the opportunity,” Bellinger told The Post. “The next year I talk to these guys, chop things up, talk about football and see how they do things. It was really cool.”

After his first spring job with the Giants and before reporting to his first NFL training camp, Bellinger traveled in late June to Vanderbilt University to participate in the second Tight End University, a specialty camp and brainchild of Kelce, Kittle and former NFL champions. Broadcaster Greg Olsen turned. For three days, Bellinger — a fourth-round pick from San Diego State — rounded up other rookies, mid-level veterans and established stars and analyzed all things.

Putting his horror aside as best he could, Bellinger digested everything he could and the results are showing so far this summer.

Daniel Bellinger
Daniel Bellinger
AP

Scene 45 in blue in short and medium passes, mostly from Daniel Jones, during the first four days of Giants camp indicates how the coaching staff views Bellinger. It mostly runs off the beaten path and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if this was where Bellinger lines up on 9/11, when the Giants opened their season against the Titans in Nashville – you guessed it -.

“I see how they do it,” Bellinger said, recalling what he got from Tight End University. “It’s so technical in the details that once I can work on those minute details, it’s so small, one step can take you 5 yards of class to gain 10 and 20 yards.”

Bellinger said the “best thing” he felt broke from tight convention was listening to Kelsey, the Chiefs’ star, talk about reading and responding to what the defense had to offer.

The player he admits he was most excited to meet was Darren Waller, a 2015 sixth-round pick from the Ravens who has developed into an explosive force to capture the Raiders’ pass. Bellinger is from Las Vegas, so Waller is his hometown.

“Personally, he’s a lot bigger than I thought,” Bellinger said. “He’s 6-6 years old, he’s a great guy. He’s making these release moves, he’s crazy. Try to learn some things from him.”

giants
Daniel Bellinger
AP

Bellinger is 6 feet 5 and 255 pounds which is the size he needs. The new front desk system believes Bellinger will be more of a blocker ability and views its modest production as a college receiver—68 receptions for 771 yards and five touchdowns in 31 games—as a function of limited opportunity, not limited ability.

There was a flagrant nod from Bellinger when the San Diego state stats were mentioned.

“I got that question a lot in college,” he said, “Numbers and Numbers.” “How do I look at it, ‘How do you help a team win,’ right? If that means I’ve received 1,000 yards, okay, but if that means I’ve received 100 yards and have to get my hands in the dirt–whatever it takes is for me to Ours to win is how I see it. In college, we didn’t get that many numbers, but we had the most wins last season, so for me it’s about winning and all it takes to win.”

In fact, the Aztecs were 12-2 in 2021, with Bellinger earning 31 high-ranking passes.

Bellinger reported his first camp in the NFL and was promptly placed on a list of physically unable to perform, with a quadruple injury. This surprised him a little. “I knew when I was working on it I was doing everything I could to get rid of it,” he said. Bellinger sure cleared up on day one and didn’t miss a shot.

The same can’t be said for Ricky Sales-Jones and Jordan Akins, the two new season finalists for the team, who have lost some time so far. At this point, it would be annoying if Bellinger didn’t show up as the taut first party—although, to be fair, he hasn’t been involved in a fully lined up practice yet; who comes on Monday.

Not every beginner can fight for first place. Bellinger is excited about this.

“Oh yeah, I feel a huge opportunity for that,” he said. I’m grateful for that but I took advantage of that opportunity. ”

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