The New York Giants made a massive addition to their offense when the team acquired tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders.
The acquisition gave quarterback Daniel Jones a legitimate weapon opposing defenses will have to plan for, and it gives the other wide receiver targets more opportunities to gain separation in their routes. Waller joined a receiving corps that already featured a healed Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson and rookie Jalin Hyatt. Parris Campbell is also not one to sleep on either.
Waller brings a massive amount of talent to the team. Though he was hurt last season, Waller has recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards twice in a single season. The only Giants tight end to record 1,000 yards receiving was the legendary Mark Bavaro, and that was back in 1986.
The 31-year-old knows expectations are high.
"I feel like with what I’ve done in my career so that expectations are going to be high for some people because I’ve shown what I’m capable of doing," Waller told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. "I embrace that and I realize that I don’t try to live off other people’s expectations but more so set a standard for myself. And I live by the standard the team sets because if I live up to that, then odds are I’ll meet expectations, exceed expectations, whatever it may be.
"But yeah, the expectations are going to be there, I know they’re there. But it’s not something that I’m allowing to take up too much space in my mind."
Waller’s first regular-season appearance with the Giants is set to be against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. However, he was listed as questionable with a hamstring issue before the matchup.
Coming from an "anti-Cowboys household," Waller has a good understanding of bitter rivalry between both organizations.
"It adds a little bit more fun to it going on the field knowing like growing up at home watching these teams battle for years and years and years and seeing how cool it was to me as a kid and now as a man being able to just go out there and be a part of what I thought was amazing when I was a kid," he said. "Things like that are really cool, and it just makes me even more grateful for the opportunity."
Waller has been a member of the organization for about six months and has already immersed himself in the culture that head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen have helped recreate after a few years of being in the bottom half of the NFL.
"For me, it’s just doing right by people first and foremost. You hear how high class of an organization the Giants is, and then you get here and you get to experience that and how they treat people," Waller said.
"It’s just top of the line and it’s a fun culture. It’s a culture that you want to show up and come to work every day. That was created by Daboll and Joe Schoen. They make it a priority to allow players to have fun while they’re working while also working hard and holding yourself to a higher standard."
The Giants player became the latest NFL athlete to partner with Invisalign. He told Fox News Digital that the Invisalign treatment helped him take care of some of the issues with his teeth.
"The partnership with Invisalign came together pretty organically. I had some gaps in between my teeth. So, once it was proposed to me, I was like I feel this would be the perfect fit," he said. "I’ll start the season and things are getting pretty hectic. The care I’ve been able to receive from them has been solid.
"They work on my schedule, whether it’s virtual – whatever I need. I’ve been in good hadns so far. I’m just grateful for this opportunity."