Saturday, September 14, 2013

N.Y. Giants: The Confounding Situation At Linebacker

From the desk of:   DO IT FORTHE DUKE

NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS: What's A Middle Aged Giants Fan Like Me To Think?  Long Gone Are The Days When Big Blue Dominated With Hall of Fame Linebackers And A Smash Mouth Running Game.

These Days, Giants Football Is About The Defensive Line And Eli Manning's Arm.  It Confounds Our Basic Programming From Twenty-Five Years Ago......

Big Blue's shortcomings at linebacker start with Jerry Reese's staunch commitment to maintaining depth on the defensive line, and his reluctance to spend a high draft pick on a linebacker.

Compounding the issue, Michael Boley didn't pan out exactly the way the Giants wanted, and were forced to cut his salary last off-season.  He was solid, but underwhelming.  Prior to signing MLB Allan Bradford earlier this week to replace Connor, the Giants were left with Mark Herzlich as their lone remaining middle line backer.  Keith Rivers, Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams are the outside guys, who so far, are an unremarkable bunch.

Allan Bradford was originally Tampa Bay's sixth round pick of the 2011 draft, and was eventually cut.  He was then reclaimed by his old college coach from USC, Seattle's Pete Carroll, and entered the season as the Seahawks back-up MLB.  In a twist Giants fans should know, Pete Carroll switched him in college from linebacker into a running back.  Back playing linebacker, he came to the Giants  by clearing waivers, and will start right away.  That's a precarious situation to say the least, especially heading into a game against Peyton Manning.

Last week against Dallas, the Giants played a lot of nickel packages, which only meant two linebackers were on the field at any given time.  How well did that work?  Tony Romo was 36 of 49, for 263 yards and two touchdowns.  The middle of the field was available to the Cowboys all night, and the Giants, as usual had no answer for tight end Jason Witten - not at linebacker at least.  So what do you think Peyton Manning will do against a suspect line backing crew?


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