2011 New York Giants Linebacker Group

February 21, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants linebacker group needs an upgrade. This is something that is a long time coming and something I expect the team will address in this years NFL draft in April. I mean no disrespect to the current Giants linebackers and I think they did a good job in 2010 but the team needs an all pro linebacker to compliment the rest of the defense. New York loves it’s linebackers and fans have stopped being polite and started demanding a top caliber linebacker for the team.

The problem I see with assessing the Giants linebackers are all of the question marks. It would be easy to make the hard choices if GM Jerry Reese and Coach Coughlin had seen all of them perform on the field but that is not the case. Some of these guys have had real game time experience and some of them haven’t. The injury bug hit the LB group just as hard as the rest of the team in 2010. Couple that with having one of the youngest LB corps in the NFL and you can see where I’m going with this. If the Giants can shore up the linebacker position by the start of this season, then the Giants defense is going to be a top 3 defense in the NFL.

Although the expectations may be somewhat unrealistic, the fans still want what they want. I would not be surprised if the Giants brought in a young and proven free agent LB before the season starts. The DE’s are solid and the safety position is squared away. You can be sure the LB’s and DT’s will be thoroughly addressed this off season. Another idea that is picking up steam is the Giants getting another stud CB as well.

Let’s take a look at the Giants linebackers as of today 2-21-11.

1. Jonathan Goff, 6’2″ 236 pounds – Goff was given the opportunity to replace all pro LB Antonio Pierce when he retired after the 2009 season. Goff did a good job at the middle linebacker spot but he wasn’t spectacular. He finished as the second best tackler among LB’s in 2010 behind only Michael Boley. I’m not sure if he will be the starting MLB at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season but it certainly will not be because he did not give it his all. He was also only one of two linebackers that played in all 16 games and remained fairly healthy in 2010.

2. Michael Boley, 6’3″ 225 pounds- Boley has been a great signing for the G-Men and lead all linebackers in tackles last season. This guy hits hard and seems to be all over the field trying to get to the ball. I expect him to have another good season in 2011 and establish some consistency to an area of the team that really needs it. Boley was also the only other linebacker who played in all 16 games in 2010.

3. Gerris Wilkinson, 6’3″ 231 pounds – Wilkinson has had an up and down career for years with Big Blue. He has been plagued by injuries for most of his young career but has enough talent to keep him on the roster. It feels like Wilkinson has been on the team forever but it has only been five years now.

4. Keith Bulluck, 6’3″ 235 pounds – Bulluck is the crafty veteran and he was brought in last season to bolster a LB group that seemed to be in trouble. He had a decent 2010 season for the time he was on the field but once again, he was a player who was effected by injuries. There are questions about him being with the team in 2011 because the Giants will most assuredly address the linebacker group as they look to get younger and faster. Still, I believe the G-Men need a veteran player to be a leader in the locker room and teach these youngsters how to be an NFL LB.

5. Clint Sintim, 6’2″ 256 pounds – Sintim is a player who coaches and fans will need to see more of on the field. Once again, the recurring theme for Big Blue is injuries, injuries and more injuries. Sintim played in 9 games in 2010 but should see more playing time in 2011 if he can stay healthy. The guy is a physical specimen and someone who has the talent and heart to make it big in the NFL.

6. Phillip Dillard, 6’0″ 245 pounds – Dillard missed most of his rookie season with an injury but was getting a lot of praise from the coaches during training camp. He was extremely vocal and seemed to grasp the middle linebacker role rather quickly. Could he be a possibility at the middle LB spot for the 2011 season? Sure, why not. Dillard is one of the guys that fans and coaches have not seen enough of on the field to make an intelligent decision about his future. I am rooting for this young man to do well.

7. Chase Blackburn, 6’3″ 247 pounds – Blackburn is hands down the best special teams player on the roster and one heck of a backup linebacker. His value to the team cannot be underestimated and fans have come to love him for the effort he gives on the field and his lack of complaining when things don’t go his way. He was banged up a bit in 2010 but I expect nothing less then another solid season from this man in 2011.

8. Zak DeOssie, 6’4″ 249 pounds – In the immortal words of the legendary film “Animal House’, Zak DeOssie is a legacy member of Big Blue because his dad played on the team back in the day. DeOssie has made a name for himself as the long snapper and a solid backup linebacker when the situation arises. He has been with the Giants since being drafted by them and continues to be a solid contributor for the team.

9. Adrian Tracy, 6’2″ 248 pounds – Tracy missed his entire rookie season due to injury in 2010 and still needs to show coaches and fans what he can do. I’m not sure what to expect from him but I’m hoping he has healed up and can help out the team in 2011.

10. Kenny Ingram, 6’6″ 229 pounds – Ingram is currently on the reserve future list and he is someone the fans were rooting for before the 2010 season started. He was no doubt brought in for depth and his status for the 2011 NFL season is up in the air for now.

What are your thoughts on the Giants linebackers and what would you do to improve this squad?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Giants vs. Jets Preseason Game Notes 8/17/10

August 17, 2010

Hello Giants Fans,

The New York Giants defeated the New York Jets, in the Battle for New York by the score of 31-16. I saw a lot of things that I did not like in this game and a couple of things that I thought were terrific. I’m sitting here with a page and a half of notes on the game that I will share with you. We will also discuss the post game comments from the players and coaches. Running back Brandon “The Bull” Jacobs, mentioned that the New Meadowlands stadium (the stadium is incredible) is now officially Giants stadium after beating the Jets. No Matter what name they put on that stadium or how much rent the Jets are paying to split the cost, that is still Giants stadium to the tri-state area and will be for generations.

Let’s take a look at some of my game notes and please feel free to comment in the area below, you do not need to be a member of nygreporter in order to leave a comment. These are simply my opinions on what I saw during the game. I do not mean to insult any of the players or coaches. I am just calling it like I see it.

– S Antrel Rolle intercepted QB Mark Sanchez’s pass in the first quarter. It was good to see the veteran making a play in his first real game with Big Blue.

– QB Eli Manning suffered a head laceration after a weird play where Eli lost his helmet and got whacked in the head by a defender. Manning needed 12 stitches but doesn’t have a concussion. He finished 4/8 – 77 yards.

– Special Teams mishap with rookie P Matt Dodge’s punt getting blocked. RB Andre Brown missed a block that allowed the defender to reach the ball. Special teams has issues.

– Rookie DE Jason Pierre-Paul had the only Giants sack in the game. He is going to be a stud when he learns the game completely.

– RB Brandon “The Bull” Jacobs scored a TD on a run from the one yard line. It took him three attempts before he could break the plain. Yes, he did score eventually but it gave me pause to see him fail twice in a row.

– Rookie WR Victor Cruz had a break out game. No.3 scored 3 TD’s and had 145 yards (the best rookie start since Terrell Owens rookie year). He is a local kid from New Jersey and is 6’1″ 200 pounds. He has also been a star in training camp this year. Overnight, he has become the NFL leader in yards (145 yards) and scoring (18 points).

– Why is CB Aaron Ross returning kick offs? Please stop using Aaron Ross as a returner.

– The special teams were very shaky last night. The team should address this area within the next week or so by adding a player.

– LB Chase Blackburn was carted off the field in the third quarter with a leg injury. Nothing new to report as of yet but I expect we will learn more this afternoon.

– LB Gerris Wilkinson had a good game and was making plays out there. He caused a forced fumble late in the game and lead all tacklers with six.

– WR Ramses Barden had a shaky game and looks like he will need to put in some more work to get experience. He had two receptions for 12 yards.

– The New York Giants defense had one sack, three interceptions and one forced fumble.

– Kicker Lawrence Tynes made his only FG (32 yards) attempt and made all four of his extra point attempts.

– Backup QB Jim Sorgi had a shaky start but ended up having a good game. His final stats were 8/15 – 146 yards and 2 TD’s.

– WR Derek Hagan had a good game. With the emergence of WR Victor Cruz, Derek Hagan and Sinorice Moss need to be concerned for their jobs. He gained 42 yards on three receptions.

– Backup QB Rhett Bomar handled the offense well and had a nice run for a first down late in the game to seal the win. Bomar was 6/7 – 67 yards and 1 TD.

– RB Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t do anything on the ground (-1 yard) but he did catch two passes for 58 yards.

– RB Andre Brown lead all Giants rushers with 26 yards on five attempts.

– Last night (8/16/10) was the first ever football game to be played in the New Meadowlands stadium. Giants win 31-16. Can we drop the word “New” from the stadium name and just call it Meadowlands stadium.

Despite the fact that the Giants beat the Jets, the offensive starters seemed a bit stale in the first quarter. This is something that had me thinking last night as I watched the first quarter. The running game needs to get on track and I expect the team to use a rotation until somebody steps up and produces consistently. Personally, I believe the number one spot could be filled by either Jacobs or Bradshaw. Both of them bring something different to the table and both are capable of starting. Special teams need work. The Giants second and third stringers clearly won this game, which would suggest that the Giants are a deeper team then the Jets.

The New York Giants will face the Pittsburgh Steelers next in their home opener. This Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 7 PM EST.

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants: Seven Rounds in Seven Days, Rd.3

April 18, 2010

Are you beginning to get excited Giants fans? We are now only 4 days away from the 2010 NFL Draft. All of our research and investigation of players will soon be over and we will finally know who the G-men had on their radar all along. Big Blue had a busy week last week, they signed a few players and seem to be just about ready to enter the War Room and lock it down. I anticipate one or two more moves, on the teams behalf, before the draft this Thursday night. I don’t think it will be anything major but you never know with Jerry Reese. I am still not counting out a possible trade on draft day but it seems unlikely given Reese’s history of holding onto his picks.

In case you haven’t read the previous “Seven Rounds in Seven Days” articles, what we are doing is comparing Ernie Accorsi’s last three years as GM with the team and Jerry Reese’s first three years as the new GM. We are not comparing these men to find a winner but rather taking a look at the past six years and what rewards have come from their work. There are no winners in these comparisons, we are just doing something entertaining for the fans leading up to draft day.

OK Giants fans, let’s take a look at the New York Giants third round picks from the past six years.

ROUND 3

Ernie Accorsi

2004 Draft – Round 3 – No picks available

2005 Draft – Round 3 – DE Justin Tuck

2006 Draft – Round 3 – LB Gerris Wilkinson

Jerry Reese

2007 Draft – Round 3 – DT Jay Alford

2008 Draft – Round 3 – WR Mario Manningham

2009 Draft – Round 3 – WR Ramses Barden and TE Travis Beckum

NYGReporter

2010 Draft – Round 3 – Position Prediction – Defensive Tackle

This is a difficult round for me to decide between Accorsi and Reese but once again, I have to give it to Reese. I’m giving Reese the nod in round three because he drafted double the players and all of them are still on the team. I also like the fact that he was able to get two picks in round three last year. Defensive end Justin Tuck is a huge pick of course and we need to give Accorsi credit for scouting him. I never envisioned the Giants as a team that did a lot of deals during the draft. But after seeing how many picks are absent from Accorsi’s final three drafts, is really opening my eyes. Until I laid everything out like this, I had no idea that the team had been consistently giving up that many picks.

Another thing that stands out in my mind is exactly how young the G-men are. The New York Giants are a very young football team and about to get even younger next weekend. If you take a look at our previous articles, where we take a look at every position on the team, you will see that a lot of those positions are extremely young. A player with only four or five years of NFL experience is considered the veteran in those areas.

What do you think about the New York Giants third round picks for the past six years? Who would you give the round three crown to between Accorsi and Reese?

RD – NYGReporter.com


2010 New York Giants: The Linebackers

April 9, 2010

I saved the best for last. Lets discuss the linebackers for a moment and see if we can figure out this situation. The New York Giants parted ways with defensive general Antonio Pierce and the team has yet to replace him. AP will sorely be missed from a leadership stand point and the NYG Reporters wish him well in all of his future ventures. The Giants still need a MLB though and many predict it will come on day one of the 2010 NFL Draft. You’ve heard the names, LB Rolando McClain, LB Sean Weatherspoon and a few lesser known LB’s are taking the spotlight across the web. In anticipation of the draft, (which is less then 2 weeks away) fans are scurrying to find out all of the information they can about major prospects. I am certain the G-men will come away with a linebacker no later then the second draft day. The New York Giants currently have eight linebackers on the roster.

This is another young group of guys on the team. There isn’t one player with more then five years of NFL experience under his belt. The possibility of adding another young LB via the NFL Draft could make Big Blue one of the youngest at that position in the NFL. LB Michael Boley is a solid player who after a rocky start with the team, has won over a lot of fans with his performance in 2009 (his first year with the team). LB Chase Blackburn is tied (with Michael Boley) for the most senior linebacker, with five years of NFL experience. Blackburn is a guy who I would like to see remain a New York Giant for his entire career. The guy can do it all and I never see him complaining about going to work. This might be a good time for the coaching staff to consider starting Blackburn this season at the MLB position. Clint Sintim should see an increase in his playing time in 2010. I expect great things in the future for Sintim.  LB Jonathan Goff, LB Gerris Wilkinson and LB Bryan Kehl will all have an opportunity to make a name for themselves on tape. That leaves LB Kenny Ingram as the odd man out, if they bring in another linebacker via the NFL draft or free agency.

Zak DeOssie, who was practically born to be a New York Giant, has blue blood running through his veins. His father, Steve DeOssie played many years for the New York Giants. Now that he has three seasons under his belt, I’m excited to see what he can do this year. Let me ask you all a question, is this the year that GM Jerry Reese decides to let the existing LB’s fight it out for the coveted starting role? There hasn’t been much free agent activity at the position thus far. The only linebacker I can say will be a starter for certain is Michael Boley, the rest are up in the air as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think about the 2010 New York Giants Linebacker Corps? Will the team use their number one pick on a middle linebacker or promote from within and draft a rookie linebacker on day two or three?

Here is a list of the current 2010 New York Giants Linebackers:

1. Chase Blackburn #57

2. Michael Boley #52

3. Zak DeOssie #51

4. Jonathan Goff #54

5. Clint Sintim #97

6. Gerris Wilkinson #59

7. Bryan Kehl #53

8. Kenny Ingram #43

RD – NYGReporter.com


Welcome to the NYG Reporter!

March 6, 2010

This is a website for New York Giants fans and writers to come and discuss New York Giants football. There is nothing left out of the discussion here concerning the G-Men during the season and off season. We are looking to build a strong network of solid New York Giants writers.

We have been featured on CBS Sports, USA Today, Giants.com, Giants 101, SB Nation and bleacher report just to name a few. The goal was to create a stress free environment for Giants writers to come and share their thoughts and strategies, without feeling suffocated or pressured to constantly write new material for the site. All are welcome here, from the established and seasoned sports writer, to the beginner trying to make sense of it all. Welcome to the NYG Reporter!

This site was born on March 6, 2010. I hope you decide to check us out and stay a while!

Robert Domaine – nygreporter.com