Giants’ Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins suffering growing pains


By themselves, they might be tolerable.

But together, they represent a problem.

The Giants’ defensive backs are quickly trending toward the latter.

“When I think about our whole secondary, you go back and watch the games that we didn’t play as well as we would have liked and [hear], ‘Gosh, I wish I would’ve had that play back, I wish I would’ve had that play back,’ ” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said before practice Saturday in preparation for Monday night’s game against the Seahawks. “And we have five guys playing, and they all want two plays back? That’s a problem.

“But that’s where we’ve been. ‘If I could get those two plays back, I played pretty good.’ But there’s five of us playing, and now that’s 10 plays. We’ve had the results we’ve had because of it. We gotta get rid of those plays.”

The Giants’ 671 passing yards allowed is smack in the middle of the NFL at 16th-most, though that number would likely be much higher if they didn’t face huge deficits and allow opponents to run the clock out on the ground.

Deonte Banks gives up a touchdown catch to Ronnie Bell during the Giants' loss to the 49ers.
Deonte Banks gives up a touchdown catch to Ronnie Bell during the Giants’ loss to the 49ers.
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They’ve allowed 7.3 yards per passing attempt and quarterbacks own a 96.2 passer rating against the Giants, both of which are 10th-worst in the league.

Two rookies are starting at cornerback in first-round pick Deonte Banks and sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins, and their early returns leave much to be desired.

But Banks holds a different sentiment than his position coach.

Tre Hawkins (right) gives up a touchdown catch to Marquise Brown during the Giants' loss to the Cardinals.
Tre Hawkins (right) gives up a touchdown catch to Marquise Brown during the Giants’ loss to the Cardinals.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“We’ve answered [the challenge] for sure,” Banks told The Post. “It’s always gonna be, ‘Oh, growing pains and all that,’ but we’ve answered it, for sure. We’re out there playing. We’re not out there bulls—ting. We’re trying to play and make plays.”

Banks has been targeted 14 times, allowing six completions for 52 yards and a 77.1 passer rating, strong numbers just three games into his career.

But there have also been the moments that Henderson alluded to, like when 49ers receiver Ronnie Bell lost Banks in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown in the Giants’ Week 3 loss.

“[Banks] has done some really good things in coverage, especially when you see him 1-on-1,” Henderson said. “He’s got a special skill set. He’s still developing and finding his confidence, he’s growing.”

Hawkins, on the other hand, has struggled mightily. He’s been targeted nine times, allowing eight completions for 127 yards and a 155.8 passer rating.

Against the Seahawks on Monday night, the unit will get likely its biggest test yet in receivers DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

“We just keep going, we’re going to be straight,” Banks said. “Everybody’s gonna stay neutral, we’re good.”


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