LINEBACKER NO LONGER A NEED OR A WEAKNESS FOR GIANTS
"The New York Football
Giants are famous for their mid-eighties to early-nineties linebackers – the
“Big Blue Wreckin’ Crew”, if you will.
Giants players Mathias Kiwanuka (94), Derrick Martin (C), and Chase
Blackburn (93) wait on the sidelines during practice for the NFL Super Bowl
XLVI in Indianapolis, February 2, 2012. The New York
Giants will play the New England Patriots on February 5. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes
(UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Things have changed in the game, but the defensive memories haven’t. The
upcoming date in March (Free Agency) is usually the preamble to the annual
calling for a new face at linebacker that will hopefully be deemed a
Jersey's of past playmakers at the position can still be seen at any Giants
sports event: Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Gary Reasons and Pepper
Johnson to name a few. One quite important point is that these great linebackers
played in a base 3-4 defense. Their role was more heavily relied-upon for
pressure than current years’ 4-3 base defense. The 3-4 actually puts a premium
tag on the linebacker position as far as importance (cue the "they should switch
to a 3-4" chatter).
Since the New York
Giants actually became well-known for their fearsome pass-rush, the reality
of the need for a big-name LB has (to the doubt of many) diminished. The 4-3
base utilizes the stress of pressure from the front four. It is, without a
doubt, why the fact that a defensive end getting drafted in the first round is
no longer such a joke for this franchise. “You can never have too many pass
rushers” was a firm belief of since-retired Giants General Manager Ernie
Accorsi, and it’s worked for the types of defenses run here as of late –
especially with Defensive Coordinators Steve Spagnuolo and Perry Fewell.
The current roster of linebackers: Michael
Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Chase
Blackburn, Jacquian Williams, Greg
Jones, Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger, Jonathan
Goff and Clint
Sintim aren’t “Big Name/Game” guys. They are, rather, hard-working,
team-oriented, blue-collar, give-all-they’ve-got players that don’t mind coming
off the field in the heavily-used nickel and dime packages. They play special
teams and take pride in doing anything to contribute to a positive outcome for
the New York Football
Team. They’re humble guys with big hearts for football…and they “fit” on this team.
It’s a hard time to decide upon the future of some of these linebackers as
General Manager, Jerry Reese prepares for March and Free Agency, then April and
the 2012 NFL Draft.
Neither has “Linebacker” in the pressing “Need” column.