Tom Coughlin and Trindon Holliday have already had "the talk."
The Giants' newly signed kickoff and punt returner is one of the most electrifying special teams players in the league, but he also has a nasty habit of putting the ball on the ground. He's had nine fumbles in the last two years as a punt returner. When it came to signing him to a one-year deal, that may have been the biggest sticking point in the negotiations.
"We had the discussions already," Holliday said after finalizing his contract. "He said him and me were going to get real acquainted with ball security. I don't have a problem with that. I've have had some miscues of handling the ball, but it's not going to take much for me to fix that."
It's apparently taking two people to fix the Giants' kickoff and punt return problems from a year ago. In 2013, they were ranked 27th in kickoff return yardage and 26th in punt return yardage. Over the weekend they signed safety and kickoff returner Quintin Demps, who finished last season as the third-leading kickoff returner. Now they also have Holliday, who was sixth in kickoff returns and 17th as a punt returner, scoring a touchdown in each.
"They told me they expect me to do both," Holliday said. "I'm going to work my way in and earn the respect from the coaches and the trust that I can get back there and do those things."
At 5-5 and 170 pounds, Holliday may not look like much of a football player. But the Giants were terrified of facing him when they played the Broncos in Week 2. With good reason it turned out. Holliday took a punt return 81 yards for a touchdown against them.
Of course Holliday is most known for his record-setting performance in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game against Baltimore on Jan. 12, 2013. He returned a punt in the first quarter for a 90-yard touchdown, the longest punt return in postseason history, then in the third quarter ran back a kickoff 104 yards for another score to become the first player in NFL history with a punt return touchdown and a kick return touchdown in the same postseason game.
That game, like Holliday's last with the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, ended in disappointment. He is now the fourth player to have played in the most recent Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium who can now call it home. The Giants have signed him, former Broncos teammate Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and former Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond, while the Jets have signed former Broncos receiver Eric Decker.
"It's great to get an opportunity to come out and be part of another team," Holliday said. "I'm signed to do a job and that's come in and help this team out on special teams as best as possible. I'll be ready to report. The team's going in the right direction. The Giants are trying to get back to their winning ways. This offseason has had some good things and I look forward to the rest."