We have been discussing who will be that player to step into that true nickel role for the New York Giants — especially after Will Hill was recently informed of a four game suspension from the NFL. It may very well not be a safety.
Although many defensive players are reportedly having strong camps, one second-year player is taking advantage of his clear opportunity. Virginia Tech defensive back, Jayron Hosley is coming into 2013 having played in 12 games in 2012 (six as starter), recorded 40 tackles, five passes defensed, a forced fumble and one interception. He played corner as well as nickel/dime. While he has the coaching likes of corners coach, Peter Giunta and safeties coach, Dave Merritt on his side, invaluable advice comes from his veteran DB brothers and new DB-turned-coach: former New York Giant and Super Bowl champion, Sam Madison.
Hosley admitted to Giants.com recently that he made “rookie mistakes” last season,” but also claims he learned from them.
“I would always take the bait and jump on the guy in front of me instead of playing the guy behind me. This year, I kind of saw it coming [a Curtis Painter pass that he recently intercepted] and I was so used to it last year that I just kind of faked like I was going to take the bait and got back into my drop and he threw it right to me. It was kind of one of those things I was anticipating and more prepared for this year knowing what to expect," Hosley said.
He also sees the value in having someone like Sam Madison helping out from a player/coach point-of-view.
“He’s definitely the real deal,” said Hosley, who admittedly grew up a Dolphins fan, watching Madison play for the fish. “He’s definitely a great person. As a coach, he wants you to be professional, be the best you can be, and he cares and really wants to teach you and show you things that helped him. I look at him as a teacher, so as a student, I want to soak it all up and take anything I can from him and apply it to my game.”
One surprising game facet that Jayron is covering during camp is special teams — as a punt returner. While it may seem like much to put on a still-new plate, he doesn’t appear to be overwhelmed. The 2012 third-round draft pick is approaching it in very Giant-like mindset.
“It’s going pretty good. I’m just working on catching the punts right now, and then progressively, they put in different schemes. I think I got a lot better just knowing what the coaches want and just being able to get that done," Hosley said.
Practice the fundamentals, then carry them out — sounds like soon-to-be Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells. On returns: plant, catch, and then run. Keep things simple. Get the guy with the ball. Tackle. Strip, if possible, and recover. Football basics on defense are where Hosley’s head seems to be at — which may very well lead him onto the field much more for the upcoming 2013 season.
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