Weston Richburg was one of the bright spots on the Giants' offensive line last season, but that's not the way he saw it. The Giants center wasn't happy with his overall performance, which was due in part to an injury that he never revealed.
Richburg said he tore ligaments in his right hand in the Giants' second preseason game. He played the entire season with the injury, which eventually needed surgery.
At least now the 25-year-old says he's healthy in what for him is a contract year.
"I'm not really looking at anything contract-wise," Richburg said. "I'm just looking at how last year went. I'm a much better player than I was last year. That'll be motivation for me going into this year."
Richburg didn't miss a game last season, and when told on Thursday that he played well, he responded "No, I didn't."
"We spent the last two days watching negative plays and dissecting (film)," he said. "You find a lot of things that you want to get better at. That's the only good thing about watching those. You get a list of things you need to improve on."
Improving on them will be important for the former second-round pick (2014) because he's entering the final year of his rookie contract (at a salary of $1.085 million). The Giants could have some salary cap issues next season, with a big raise due to receiver Odell Beckham on his fifth-year option and the need to re-sign (or replace) guard Justin Pugh.
Center is a valuable and, at times, expensive position. Richburg will need to convince the Giants he deserves some of their cap space, too.
"I can only control what I can control," Richburg said. "If I don't take care of business, I'm not going to see (a big contract) like that. I'm going to work on myself, do everything I can to make myself better and in turn, make our team better."