When the unfortunate news came down yesterday afternoon that Giants safety Stevie Brown would be placed on season ending IR with an ACL tear, many Giants fans were left wondering, What’s next?
Coming at almost the same time as the news on Brown, was word that ex-Giants safety Kenny Phillips had been released by the Philadelphia Eagles. Initially Twitter blew up, with many Giants fans sending out a rallying cry for the Big Blue to bring back the former first round pick to step in for the injured Stevie Brown. On the surface, at least, the idea seemed to make a lot of sense. That is, until you realize why Philips was let go by the Giants in the first place, and why ultimately the Eagles decided to part ways with the once promising young safety.
Phillips who entered the league out of Miami as one of the top defensive players in the draft, has had his career grind to a halt as of late due to chronic knee injuries. Besides financial issues the main reason that Philips is no longer a Giant is simple – he couldn’t pass the team physical. So while bringing back a familiar face may seem like a natural fit, I would not get my hopes up on Phillips returning to the Giants sideline. With the injury to Stevie Brown, it is certainly not out of the question, especially when you consider that Phillips already knows the Giants defensive schemes and personel, but it is far from realistic at this point.
So who will replace Brown in the Giants defensive backfield?
Right now it looks like the answer to that question is former Steeler Ryan Mundy.
Mundy, who will start for the Giants in Stevie Brown’s absence, has experience filling in for an injured starter. In Pittsburgh, he played behind Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. The Giants have been impressed with Mundy’s professionalism — something Antrel Rolle described as a ”militant” approach.
Regardless of the potential that Mundy brings to the safety position, the depth at safety will certainly be tested in the upcoming weeks. Will Hill has to serve a four-game suspension to start the season. Rookie Cooper Taylor has been hampered by a hamstring injury most of camp, and Coughlin said today on a conference call that he wants to see what Taylor can do before dubbing anyone the clear starter. Tyler Sash will also be given every opportunity to continue a solid preseason and become perhaps the third safety when the season starts.