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New York Giants Will Use Three Safety Look More Starting This Sunday

November 3rd, 2012 at 8:00 AM
By Casey Sherman

New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has been itching to incorporate the three safety look on defense that helped the Giants win it all last season. However, he felt he lacked the proper personnel to do so. Now with the emergence of Stevie Brown, Fewell feels using three safeties on the field at the same time can help the Giants defense once again.

"Really because Stevie has emerged and come on like this, it gives me more ideas to have the three-safety package," Fewell said. "And now we can go forward with that."

After safety Kenny Phillips went down with a knee injury, Brown stepped in and produced at a high level. Despite beginning the season as a back up, he leads the NFL in takeaways. Three of them, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery, helped the Giants pull out a key victory last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Phillips is expected to return for this Sunday's game against the Steelers, giving Fewell a plethora of talent at safety to play with. Last season, Anrel Rolle was used in the slot, while Deon Grant played in the box with Phillips playing deep. With Brown's production in Phillips' absence, it would've been difficult for Fewell to take Brown off the field, but with this package he doesn't have to.

"Our plans can totally focus on, hey, we have a three-safeties package with three good players in there," Fewell said.

The question does rise, when the Giants are in a two safety formation, will Phillips regain his starting position right away?

"We haven't determined that," Fewell said. "Brown's been playing really well right now. It's hard to unseat him right now. We'll find a way for Kenny to get on the field."

Translating that last quote sounds as if Brown will get the nod, but Fewell will still find a way for Phillips to see the field (most likely in the three safety set).

Phillips is aware of how well Brown is performing and knows he may not become the starter right away. However Phillips is a team player and will do whatever the team needs to succeed.

"He did what he was supposed to do. He took advantage of his opportunity," Phillips said. "It's rare that a guy loses his position to an injury, but it's possible with the way he's been playing. But I'm not worried about it. Whatever role they give me, I'll take it. If I have to back up my backup, I'll do it."

Fortunately, Stevie Brown feels the same as Phillips does in terms of playing time.

"If that's how it goes, that's how it goes," Brown said. "It's a role. I'm just here doing my role. Kenny was the starter and if he continues to be a starter, I'll just go back to doing what I was doing. It's in the coach's hands. I'm just doing whatever I'm asked to do."

The Giants are fortunate to have such professionals in this situation. Both Phillips and Brown have that team-first mentality that help teams like the Giants win championships. The emergence of Stevie Brown will help the Giants on defense immensely so long as the three safety set works as efficiently as it did last season. Fewell is blessed to have players with a team-first attitude that makes his decision much easier.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant, Football, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Stevie Brown

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12 Responses to “New York Giants Will Use Three Safety Look More Starting This Sunday”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    It would be really cool if we go three safeties and it really really works given the overall athleticism. With Phillips out there, maybe Stevie Brown records a 4 INT day!

  2.  Krow says:

    I wanted to mention an interview I heard with Stevie Brown. It was the usual stuff for the most part … loves being on the team etc etc. But a couple things were revealing. He was asked what happened on the other clubs … why didn’t it work out? He said basically that he played rather well, but for some reason was let go. He didn’t know why, and was kind of surprised by it. The other was a statement he made about fitting in. He said that Coach Fewell gives him the freedom to roam … and that how he plays fits with Fewell’s style of defense. Something many of us here have speculated. It also sheds light on Webster’s dilemma … who seems to not fit.

    Here’s hoping Perry finds a way to use all the players and all the talent on the team to the best of their respective abilities.

    •  Dirt says:

      I’m not buying it completely. One of the picks was a sailed ball that found him (and maybe another, I can’t remember right now). One was on a broken play that featured a quarterback 25 yards behind the line of scrimmage and on the sideline, so he really had only one place to defend. He’s recovered two fumbles which are always generally “right place, right time”, and one was a kickoff.

      Yes, he’s had a couple great picks. Yes, my favorite player of the season is Stevie Brown, a grownass man with so much self confidence he goes by Stevie, who makes me yell “Stevieeeeeeeeee” multiple times a game.

      But I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that under Fewell he’s been “unleashed”. Dude’s only made a couple impact plays.

      It is awful strange, though, that he’s got 5 this season and Phillips has 8 in his career. My guess is Phillips is a body guy and Brown is a ball guy. I feel like that first pick Sunday Phillips hammers Bryant while Brown stepped in front. I’m not sure that’s scheme. That’s just like Asante Samuel jumping everything. It’s who he is. Let’s hope it doesn’t buron Brown at the most inopportune time. Because if he miss times that Bryant pick, it’s 6 for Dallas and a completely different game.

      •  jfunk says:

        Don’t forget that one of his earlier picks was also on a blown coverage by Brown. He broke when he shouldn’t have and wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near where he was, which is partially why the ball was thrown right to him.

  3.  Krow says:

    I’m having a little attack of pessimism. See, if we win the next 2 then the Division is basically ours. Could that ever happen? Don’t we always falter when we have the hammer in our hands? Deep down I’m doubting our ability to put this away.

    •  James Stoll says:

      Unfortunately yes. And as I said yesterday, lose tomorrow and all the second half collapses of the past 8 seasons will be front and center for consideration

  4.  Dirt says:

    Also, I didn’t like KP’s comment at all. “I’ll back up my backup.” That’s not a team oriented thing to say.

  5.  Dirt says:

    I’m wondering how the Giants don’t come out flat. Kiwi’s house is ruined by raw sewage. I know you’re rich, but you’ve got to lose focus on something like that. Less film study. Less mental reps. Less worldly enthusiasm.

    I’m hopeful, but this is real life. I just don’t know.

    Although the Knicks hammered fools last night.

    •  James Stoll says:

      I would put it this way: more than any other team in the NFL, you never know what you are going to get week to week from the Giants. They have equal chances of being spectacular and awful. Thus far this year they have played badly or very badly in 4 games (Dallas 2x, Philly and wash), mediocre 2x (Tampa/Cleveland) and great twice (SF/Carolina). The why of it is indiscernible. Injure is, home field, big game the week before; none of it seems to correlate with any given games performance. So Dirt may be right that we come out looking flat tomorrow and maybe that flatness lasts long enough so Eli can’t correct by the 4th Q. But if it does, whether it is storm hangover or just the giants being the giants, we’ll likely never know.

      •  Dirt says:

        I was watching Chris Berman’s 2 Minute Drill last night and he showed two clips from Eli and Coughlin during Super Bowl week last year. They both made comments to the effect of “we just gotta know that we gotta play well in the 4th quarter.”

        How much of their late game heroics is simply practicing what they preach? If playing well in the 4th quarter is all you talk about, it’s all you gonna do. So Killdrive consciously or subconsciously runs plays all game so they can figue out how they can exploit them in the 4th quarter. The result is not running the best plays early. Eli throws risky balls knowing he’s got the 4th quarter to come back. Finish, etc. None of that accommodates “Starting”.

        •  Krow says:

          Hard to argue with success. I think they try to peak at critical moments … the playoffs … late in games … that sort of thing. And I get it … you can’t be going full speed all the time or you’ll burn out.

        •  James Stoll says:

          As the Green Bay Packers used to say in the 60′s: we didn’t lose, we just ran out of time. It is good to have that confidence. It would be better to couple it with playing all 60 minutes

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