Even though Antrel Rolle is a member of the Giants, GM Jerry Reese will have to add another safety.
The Giants depth chart at safety looks like this: Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips???, and dreck. Right now, we have a known, an unknown, and meager players at the safety position. Rolle was signed because the Giants needed a veteran who can start and be productive in defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s new system. And Wonder stated, “It tells me Phillips is a bigger question mark than before.” Speaking of Phillips, his injury situation is still unknown. He may not play a down in 2010. If Phillips cannot play, this leaves us with unreliable safeties Michael Johnson and C.C. Brown. As a result of their poor play last year, the Giants can ill afford giving them much playing time in 2010. Nevertheless, the Giants will bolster the safety position in the draft because of Fewell, the level of their competition, and Coughlin’s job status.
Rolle said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell suggested that will be the case with him and Phillips.
“I think that’s the way they’re going to look at us because, without a doubt, we’re both interchangeable safeties,” Rolle said. “We’re both are very versatile, we can handle multiple positions and multiple tasks at hand. That will best benefit our secondary back there.”
If Phillps does return, having three safeties with the same skill set is a plus. While Fewell was coaching in Buffalo, he had a similar good problem. At one point last year, Donte Whitner, Jairus Byrd, and George Wilson all played together at the same time. George Wilson exclaimed, “It does wonders for us because we can disguise our man and zone pressures whenever we’re blitzing,” Wilson said. “Our safeties are so interchangeable that we can matchup with just about any skill guy that’s out there and not feel like we’re in a mismatch. That gives our coordinator great confidence to be able to dial up those pressures or man coverages and try to confuse the opposing offenses.”
Despite finishing last season with an 8-8 record, the Giants face teams with high powered passing offenses in 2010. They play six teams who were in the top 10 in passing yards. Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota, and Philadelphia were all in the top ten. With Dallas and Philadelphia being division opponents, HALF of the Giants games will be played against top 10 teams in passing. And they have five opponents who were in the top ten in passing plays greater than 25 yards. Philadelphia, Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota, and Houston were all in the top ten in this category. With Phillips possibly out, and if Antrel Rolle gets injured, the Giants need to add another safety in order to avoid a repeat of last year.
Consequently, Fewell was brought in by Coughlin to help fix this defense as well as stave off a possible termination. Fewell’s strengths as a coach is improving a pass defense and he makes good in game adjustments. Last year, the Giants pass defense foundered and former defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan had difficulty making the necessary in game adjustments. Over the last two years, inexplicably, the entire team especially the defense collapsed. In 2008, the organization characterized the late season slide “a wearing down of the defensive line”. Last year, supposedly injuries is the primary reason for the teams demise. By adding Rolle and a value and need safety with their first round pick, let us hope Fewell is the man who can get this defense back on track.