With Jonathan Goff now with the Washington Redskins, who is the starting middle linebacker for the New York Giants? Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell says that, for now, the job belongs to Chase Blackburn, who was re-signed by the team in early April.
“Chase goes back to that role,” said Fewell. “[Mark] Herzlich will have an opportunity to compete for that role. Greg Jones will have an opportunity to compete for that role. And we are not opposed to putting Keith Rivers – giving him the opportunity to compete for that role, also. So there is going to be competition.”
Earlier in the offseason, General Manager Jerry Reese hinted that linebacker Michael Boley may also have a chance to compete for that role, but Fewell all but dismissed that as a possibility, saying he's better suited for a position he's familiar will.
“Oh yeah, I think Michael Boley has the ability to do that,” said Fewell. “Is that his best position? I don’t think that is his best position in the long run. But, yes, he definitely has the ability to do that.”
One thing that does stand out about the competition at middle linebacker is that the team feels comfortable with Blackburn, Herzlich and Jones. There had been much speculation (primarily amongst the fans) about the latter two and whether or not they had long-term roles with the team. That endorsement by Fewell says, emphatically, yes.
Upon Blackburn's return a year ago, Big Blue's defense turned things around and rode the wave of momentum all the way to their fourth Lombradi Trophy. In the Super Bowl, Blackburn played especially well and came up with a game-changing interception. He may not be a superstar, but he's more than capable of manning that role and doing the job that needs to be done.
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