The words alone send shivers down the spine of any Giants fan old enough to remember Ray Handley or his embattled defensive coordinator, Rod Rust. And even some current Giants understand their fans won't always like what they see.
"Perry Fewell's defense is made to bend, but don't break," Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas says. "We're going to give up underneath throws. That wasn't what the Giants' defense was known for the last couple of years. And I think that's going to be a hard adjustment for the fans and media to see.
"But I think the overall objective is to create more turnovers."
That's what's supposed to happen when the defensive scheme is a "Read and React."
It's not all "read and react" of course - in fact, several Giants defensive backs said Fewell has mixed in so many different coverages in his first camp as defensive coordinator that they have no idea how to label his scheme. But it seems that a softer, less aggressive, non-press coverage system will be a staple of his secondary when the new defense is unveiled in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers a week from Sunday.
The idea, the players say, is to force them to read a quarterback's eyes and to follow where the ball is going rather than to focus on the receiver. They believe that gives them a better chance to get the interceptions they were unable to get during their disaster of a season last year.
"It allows you to see what's going on," says new safety Antrel Rolle. "It allows you to see route concepts and things developing. It allows you to read and react. That's a good thing. You create more turnovers that way."
"When your back is to the ball it's easier to get out of position for that little split-second," cornerback Aaron Ross adds. "Now we're looking at the quarterback and we can react to the ball before even the receiver reacts."
That sounds good, in theory, but it also sounded the same in 1992 when Handley brought in Rust to fix a once-championship-caliber defense that was clearly showing its age. It was unpopular, it never worked and the players revolted. At one point linebacker Pepper Johnson even threatened that the unhappy players were going to run the defense on the sidelines themselves.
There was chaos as the gap between players and coaches widened. One 6-10 season and 367 points later, Handley and Rust were gone.
When I read stuff like this, it scared the hell out fo me. And now we all see why.