Expect A Return To Smart, Aggressive Play At LinebackerGiants LB coach Jim Herrmann is a down-to-earth, dyed-in-the-wool, X's and O's guy who has been coaching linebackers and defense for over quarter of a century. The former Michigan defensive coordinator has his hands full this summer with a half dozen players auditioning for the open MLB position.
Like the other coaches, Herrmann is stressing aggressive play with a focus on creating turnovers.
It all seems very elementary to the soft-spoken Herrmann, who addressed reporters after yesterday's OTA at the TIMEX Performance Center.
What's the key change for whoever steps in at MLB this year?
In terms of the techniques, its playing LB whether you're in the A gap, B gap or C gap, its pretty much the same. You gotta be able to step up, take on blockers, get of blockers, you know - make plays. The techniques of playing for all three of those, especially since our guys are all off the line of scrimmage, is pretty similar.
It's just getting used to thinking "OK, I'm making this call, I gotta make this call. I gotta get everyone lined up." That's always a hard transition for anybody, 'cause normally you're used to getting yourself lined up, getting ready to play. Just like Eli playing quarterback, (the MLB's) gotta make all the calls. Really on defense, there's two - the MLB and the safety - who make all the calls. I think that's the biggest thing.
How is the LB role going to be different in this defense as opposed to the past?
I think really in the run game, its very similar. Its still an "over" defense, still the same run gap hits. You know that's not going to be a whole lot different because we're configured the same way.
Some of the passing game stuff may be a little different where we're doing a couple of different things coverage-wise. Technique-wise its still the same as reacting and driving on the ball. I think they've done a really good job of that. We got our hands on the ball today. Clint (Sintim) got up and got a ball and tipped it up for a pick. The more we can do that the better off we're gonna be.
What are Gerris Wilkinson's skills and advantages?
Gerris has a big, long body. He can move, has great range. Those are some of the attributes he brings to the table. He's a thick body, he can go step up in the hole.
On the players' eagerness to get on the field....
Anytime you transition from one coordinator to the next, I think everybody gets rejuvenated. It's a new boss. Even for us coaches, its a new boss and we're out to put our best foot forward. I think all of our guys are experiencing that excitement right now trying to get better as a player and a team.