One of the questions facing the Giants during training camp — as well as the rest of the season — is how they’ll replace former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who is now the head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
I asked a number of defensive players – including LB Danny Clark, DT Justin Tuck and DE Osi Umenyiora – about what they thought about the defense without their former leader.
Their answers were interesting.
The Giants defenders believe they may have even more of an attacking defense after the departure of Spagnuolo. They think that new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan is inclined to be a more aggressive coach. With all the pressure Spagnuolo brought on offenses, they have reason to think there will be even more fire-zone blitzing and blitz pressure under Sheridan.
The impressive depth of the Giants rotation along the defensive line is part of the equation. But when you really talk blitzing, you’re talking about bringing linebackers and safeties. I think rookie Clint Sintim is going to be in a role where he’s a factor in the pass rush.
Remember, if you’re a fire-zone blitzing team, you like to blitz a linebacker (aka, Sintim) and drop a lineman (Umenyiora) into coverage. I talked to Umenyiora about this, and he had a big smile on his face. As much as he likes to rush the passer, he is also very good at dropping into coverage.
That’s a problem for offenses, because they can’t identify who to block.
Tuck said it best — and I’m paraphrasing — when he said that he will be moved around all over the line, and the opposing offense shouldn’t be able to figure out which four guys are rushing.
– Pat Kirwan