Posted by: hawaiianhaircut | 07/30/2010

Camp Preview: Defense

Corners

This position is going to be a major spotlight area for this team after the disaster of pass defense last season.  CWeb and Terrell Thomas look like they are going to be the opening day starters.  Webster played great football until parts of last season for 2 and half straight seasons, so I expect him to be back in full form.  Terrell Thomas showed last year he can be an impact player when given the chance, and its seems like he has beaten Ross for this spot.

Aaron Ross is a key piece in this unit.  If he can recover all the way from his injury prone past, he can be a very effective player.  He will probably never be a completely dominating defender, but he can be a playmaker.  The question with Ross is if his body can withstand the punishment.  Seems to be a popular question on this roster, no?

Bruce Johnson, DJ Johnson and Courtney Brown are competing for the next spots.  Bruce Johnson had moments last year that he looked like he was far ahead of the curve mixed in with moments any non drafted rookie would have.  Brown has played some in Dallas over the last couple seasons.

An important factor in the success of this unit will be the scheme the defense ultimately goes with. If the corners are playing off zone coverage, it will remain to be seen how effective they can be.  The fans have seen success in man to man situations with this group, so the jury is out on how much time is needed to adjust to the new scheme.

Safeties

Well it’s probably safe to conclude that since we have more safeties than corners, it must be an area of concern.  At this point, despite the early optimism over Kenny Philips’ knee,it seems the starters are going to be Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant.  Rolle is the guy with the pressure since the Gmen gave him a huge deal for a safety to bring his anti-C.C Brown game to town.  Deon might be a big signing as the year goes on.  He is a quality vet who hasn’t missed a game in his career.

Kenny Philips should be on the mend till a few games into the season.  Hopefully, he can continue on the path he was on to big things, but that may be a pipe dream.  Michael Johnson is fighting to keep a spot on a roster where he was a starter not too long ago. 

Michael Greco, Rashad Shareef and Seth Williams have a fight on their hands.  Shareef made the practice squad last season.

Chad Jones…till next year. Maybe.

 Linebackers

There seems to be an outline of who is going to start at the LB’s, but that isn’t putting anyone at ease.  At this point, looks like the starters are going to be Boley, Keith Bullock and Clint Sintim.  Boley looked good in limited action last season.  As with most positions, his health is a question mark. 

Bullock is a x factor. If his knee is fully recovered, he can be a playmaker in the middle.  We know he can provide leadership..the question is whether his sideline to sideline speed is still there after surgery at age 33.  It’s a relatively small risk since the Giants can release him for minimal dough.

Sintim is a player with upside but is still raw and unproven.  He is a guy that I can see easily being outplayed for the WLB spot in camp if he is not on his game.  Gerris Wilkenson will be in the competition for this spot, but lets be honest, he’s sure to come up short. Or get hurt in the first 2 minutes.

The rookie Dillard,  Zak DeOssie and Chase Blackburn will fight it out to back up the middle.  This season would be a good time for some improvement from Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff.  They should have plenty of chances to compete in camp. 

Adrian Tracy, the other rookie, will probably make the roster as well.  Kenny Ingram is probably just a guy.

There will be a good amount of competition at the LB and should be one of the better battles in camp.  Bullock and Boley seem to have at least two spots locked, but if another player steps up and seizes the moment, I can see any of these spots being up for grabs.

This will also be a the last chance for a couple of players who have been on the roster for a few seasons without accomplishing much.

Defensive Ends

Justin Tuck not only makes horrible Subway commercials, he will also be a starting DE in this defense this season.  The other spot seems to be a battle between Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi.  Kiwi has the upper hand from his performance last season, but Osi with his hip issues is still going to fight for the spot he thinks is his.

When healthy, I still think Osi is a better player than Kiwi, but his game in camp will tell the tale.  Kiwi will not give up his well earned starting spot easily.

I don’t expect much from JPP this season outside of situational pass rushing chances.  He will have a good chance to learn from accomplished players while he learns his craft.  He can backflip all the way to Dunkin Donuts to bring the vets breakfast.

Tollefson continues to outwork others to keep his spot over the last few seasons. Tommie Hill and Ayanga Okpokowuruk (naga..naga…nagana work here anymore) will fight it out for the last spots of pine. 

Defensive Tackles

Starters mean little at this position.  The Gmen seem stacked here with numerous large fat men to clog the middle of the field.  Expect the top line players to be some combo of Chris Canty, Jay Alford, and Cofield.  Lets hope Canty lives up to his hype and brings the pain this season for Olineman. 

Rocky Bernard was terrible last year, but will get a chance to show he is recovered and ready to contribute.  Rook Linval Joseph, Nate Collins and Dwayne Hendricks bring up the rear.  Joseph is a strong beast of a man, so maybe he might surprise some people in camp.

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