Giants Offseason Part 2

Upgrades to the defensive line were not the only additions the Giants made this past offseason as there were other holes to fill. While the defense performed very well last season the linbacking unit had a lot to be desired. Going into the season last year the Giants were set to go with Gerris Wilkinson, Antonio Pierce and Danny Clark, not names that really blow you away. In addition Wilkinson’s inconsistent play and nagging injuries caused him to lose his starting spot which was eventually taken over by Chase Blackburn. Ideally players like Blackburn and Clark should be used as back-ups and it showed.

To upgrade this unit the Giants went out and with their first signing brought in Michael Boley formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, a linebacker who they believe fits their system nicely. Boley is a young player who fell out of favor in Atlanta after the defense changed under new head coach Mike Smith. His defensive system was more of a wait and see defense while Boley is much better suited for an aggressive defense. Prior to the switch in defense Boley was becoming quite a playmaker putting up terrific numbers such as his 2007 season where he recorded 109 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions. This switch should sound familiar to Giants fans as a couple of seasons ago Tim Lewis was running a disappointing defense that was more conservative, something the players  did not like. When Spags came over and implemented the new defense the production greatly increased and we hope to see that with Boley.

It was nice to have this addition as for the first time in quite a bit it looks like the Giants will have a real legitimate starting group of linebackers. There have been quite a lot of attempts to address the linebacker position, the most notable of which being Lavar Arrington a couple of seasons ago, but with none of these really working there is still a hole and hopefully Boley can turn that around. Things have not started out great for Boley as he sustained an injury that is expected to keep him out for part of camp and has already been suspended for the first game of the season.

Boley is an aggressive linebacker who can not only blitz but is athletic enough to do a good job in coverage, something the Giants haven’t had at linebacker in years. In addition he is a stout tackler and hopefully this addition can take pressure off of Pierce allowing him to return to the playmaker he was and helping the Giants defense become the most dominant in football. The final article will be recounting the draft to get everyone set for training camp which started today, but with the first practice slated for tomorrow.

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