Though the Giants' offensive acquisitions this offseason have generated the most talk, Big Blue hasn't been stingy bolstering their defense either.
The Giants were in need of a veteran presence in their linebackers room after the departures of Devon Kennard and Jonathan Casillas, and one of GM Dave Gettleman's first moves was to trade for LB Alec Ogletree. At 26, Ogletree has five NFL seasons with the Rams under his belt, where he recently wore the headset as the defense's playcaller.
Ogletree will likely be paired with B.J. Goodson, who wore the headset for the Giants as the MIKE linebacker last season. However, Goodson could only call out plays in limited time due to injuries. This season, though, Goodson is hoping to show the Giants the potential they saw when he was drafted in the fourth round back in 2016.
Working and learning alongside Ogletree might do the trick.
"We're both true MIKE linebackers," Goodson told NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy, "so it's just fun to be out there communicating with him. It's like me having (another) me. I enjoy having him here."
Who will be the playcaller for the Giants this season has yet to be determined. The way Goodson is looking at it right now -- and likely for the rest of the season -- is both him and Ogletree will be one in the same.
"There's two MIKEs with one mic," Goodson said jokingly. "We'll share a lot of the same responsibilities."
One of Ogletree's responsibilities could be helping his counterpart learn new DC James Bettcher's 3-4 scheme. Ogletree transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4 under Rams DC Wade Phillips last season, and he reportedly was slow in doing so. But he should know the fundamentals having played a full season in it.
So far, Goodson likes what he has seen from Bettcher's system.
"I feel great," Goodson said. "It was very frustrating, for the most part, not being able to finish with the guys I started with. But last year was last year. I love what we are doing. I love what Coach Bettch has brought. I don't like to speak in predictions, but I like the direction things are headed."
Ogletree also likes what he sees out of Goodson.
"You can tell he loves ball," Ogletree said. "He definitely has the attributes and the physical part of it, and now it's just about doing a little bit more mental. He's taking the steps day-by-day just like the rest of us, and he's going to be a great linebacker, for sure, in this league."
The pairing of Goodson and Ogletree has the potential to do a lot of damage this season, and the Giants can certainly use that with shotty linebacker play in the past. Bettcher's aggressive play calls could be the exiler Big Blue needs to make their second tier effective again.
"It's definitely aggressive," Goodson said of Bettcher's scheme. "It's a pretty straightforward scheme. It allows us to play fast abd be able to communicate easily as we learn the new verbiage."
Ogletree added: "When you've got guys like that that can match up on the back end and then also rush the passer in the front end, it definitely calls for a great defense and an aggressive style."
The last time the Giants touted two natural MIKE linebackers, it was Antonio Pearce and Jessie Armstead -- both Pro Bowlers. The Giants will hope Ogletree and Goodson can be their new one-two punch.