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Kyle McCord catches flak from New York Giants WRs coach in offseason 'Hard Knocks' episode

On3 imageby:Andrew Graham07/09/24

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The New York Giants, with the No. 6 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, brought in Ohio State star wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. for an interview at the combine. And that meant for as much as the spotlight was on Harrison, it was on his 2023 quarterback at Ohio State, Kyle McCord.

That spotlight wasn’t one that showed McCord in a great light, at least as far as Giants wide receivers coach Mike Groh was concerned in the bits of the interview shown in HBO’s offseason edition of Hard Knocks. Talking through a clip from a Buckeyes victory at Wisconsin in 2023, Groh wasn’t shy about one of McCord’s throws.

Harrison had beaten his man in single coverage, getting open for what should’ve been a touchdown. But McCord under threw the pass and Harrison came up empty. Groh asked Harrison what he’d say to his younger, relatively inexperienced quarterback coming back into the huddle.

“I don’t say nothing to quarterbacks. I don’t say nothing to quarterbacks,” Harrison said.

Groh was then unvarnished in his assessment.

“I mean that’s a sh*t throw, right?” Groh said.

Harrison’s response was well drilled, pointing out he can still try to make a play and the onus is on him to get it done.

“I can make a play, still. I will never say anything to the quarterback,” Harrison said. “Always blame it on myself, I should always make the play.”

In an earlier part of the clip, Groh drew attention to McCord’s predecessor — CJ Stroud — and how that made the situation that much more of a pressure cooker for the quarterback, who transferred to Syracuse in the offseason.

McCord got plenty of negativity during the season

McCord shocked many when he left Ohio State and entered the transfer portal in December, eventually joining the Orange. And he knew there’d be plenty of backlash to his decision — not that he didn’t hear stuff throughout the season.

But he knew paying attention to naysayers hoping to shoot him down during and after what was ostensibly a successful season, albeit one that failed to live up to expectations in Columbus, would be foolish. McCord dove into how he handled the departure during an interview on “The QB Room” podcast.

“And I think I kind of saw it first hand with CJ [Stroud]. He got a lot of criticism in his time at Ohio State and he goes on to be the No. 2 draft pick and is arguably having one of the best rookie years of all time. And I think he talked about early on, he said regardless if you do good, bad or indifferent, people are going to have something to say,” McCord said. “So I think this year I’ve just been doing a good job of blocking it all out and understanding it’s part of the position, especially at a school like that. There’s going to be a lot of noise, and so a lot of the time you just kind of let it roll off your back and like I said, I think the truth will always prevail.”

After he announced his decision to transfer, McCord recalled media outlets reaching out to him, family and friends and trying to suss out why he’d transferred, only to be rebuffed. Then he’d see stories proclaiming to know the reasons that he transferred.

He understands that’s somewhat par for the course when keeping things close to the chest, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a little grating.

“Yeah, I didn’t really say too much. After I left I kind out my statement and kept the reasons close. Kind of in my inner circle. I’ve had news outlets hit me up. I had a news outlet from Columbus that hit me up to do a story, and I didn’t answer it. Hit my family up to do a story, they didn’t answer it. Hit people up in my circle, nobody answered. And then the next day you online and they have an article published of ‘The five reasons I left’ and you read them and it’s just a bunch of BS,” McCord said. “And they’re just kind of pulling at strings at that point and the narrative, you know people read that and think that’s true and so they start believing and posting and it just kind of snowballs. When you don’t really speak up about it, it is what it is. But I think the truth will always reveal itself.”