The smoke has cleared after the Giants first preseason game and we still arent any closer to knowing exactly what this years Giants linebackers core will look like. While the names on the field likely will not change, the questions about how effective this group will be still remain.
The Giants started Mark Herzlich at middle linebacker with Keith Rivers and Spencer Paysinger on the outside. In nickel defenses, Herzlich and Rivers came off the field and Jacquian Williams came on. Aaron Curry and Dan Connor played with the second team while Kyle Bosworth took most of his snaps with the third stringers.
Grading how the Giants linebackers performed in their first big test is a difficult task. The group generally performed well in coverage, however at times, they looked out of sync on running plays, giving up some big chunks to the Steelers on the ground in the first half. While it may not have been a perfect showing from the group, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin sounded positive about the what he saw on Saturday night:
“I think there were flashes. I really do,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know if there’s any one particular individual that made enough plays or a whole lot of plays in order for me to say that. But we were steady. We didn’t give up a touchdown so somebody was doing a good job in there.”
The key for this group is going to be how they can perform against the run, an area that the Giants struggled with last season on defense. As the Ginats approach their second preseason game againast the Indianapolis Colts the coaching staff will be keeping their eyes on who can make a statement and possibly rise above the rest of the pack.
Making the matchup even more intriguing is the fact that former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw may be on the field for the Colts this week against his former squad.
Tags: Aaron Curry Dan Connor FanSided Jacquian Williams Keith Rivers Kyle Bosworth Mark Herzlich New York Giants NY Giants NY Giants Linebackers NY Giants Training Camp Si.com Spencer Paysinger Sports Illustrated Tom Coughlin