Post-2014 Draft, much of the hullabaloo has been about the New York Giants’ healing quarterback Eli Manning and his new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s changing offense. Surprisingly not much has been quipped about Perry Fewell’s top-rated defense of last year as they make their way into the physical part of the offseason.
While several players have been drafted for that defense, most alterations have been made via free agency and, in years past, tend to come again during the season — due to injury. Part of that turnover used to include shifting the scheme too. General Manager Jerry Reese has brought in players that are needs, but are smart, athletic and can play multiple positions (depth factor) to help a defensive backfield that was again plagued with injuries before a meaningful snap. There will be players back there and in the middle (see: linebacker Jon Beason) that should seriously prevent those nasty “communication issues” early on. Health is, of course, the lingering second half of that offseason restoration attempt.
Another commonality back there is leadership. At number one is (and has been) safety Antrel Rolle. While he feels the defensive backs will now be a cohesive strength, the fact that what he believes in is what will be — and it won’t be “simplified” later on.
"The way you keep it from getting complicated is everyone buying into the program at the same time," said Rolle Tuesday evening while at the United Way Gridiron Gala. "And sell that. Whatever the scheme is. That way, Perry doesn't have to mix and gamble and do so many different things to overcompensate for one unit and so forth and so on. But so far, so good. Everyone is buying into the system. We're learning, we're all learning at the same speed so it will be great."
It also sounds as if having everyone start out at the baseline in class will be not only the biggest asset, but one wide learning curve that will be avoided.
"Our energy level as opposed to the last couple years," said Rolle. "We're definitely on a pedestal right now. We're talking about energy level and more importantly how guys seem to be buying in and paying closer attention to detail. Film study, on-field, the competitiveness we have among each other is already insane. It's already a good thing."
The defensive backs have always had that particular way about them, the way they carry themselves — call it loose playing swagger or even blatant Giants Pride. It works, especially with ‘Trel leading them. Looking at No. 26, he too has simplified over the years. He’s altered his demeanor just a bit more towards the head coach Tom Coughlin way since winning a ring. He’s done more positive things with his voice as well as actions and gotten other players to buy into those words and beliefs for the sake of the team. That already is a good thing.
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