Voters: Dr. Bill Chachkes, Kel Dansby, John Fennelly, Chris Johnson, Dan Orlando (Sports World Report), Rich Resch, Craig Santucci, Dan Stack, Jon Wagner
Michael BoleyVotes received: Johnson (4th place), Chachkes (5th), Dansby (5th), Resch (5th), Stack (5th), Fennelly (6th), Orlando (6th), Wagner (7th), Santucci (9th)
Wagner: There was a vast difference in the way the Giants’ entire defensive unit performed when they had their normal signal caller at linebacker, and when they didn't.
Johnson: Consistent LB. Makes plays from sideline to sideline. Great in coverage.
Stack: The defensive signal caller's value is immeasurable.
Fennelly: Underrated; he is consistent and versatile and would be a lot better if they stuck him at one position and left him there. We may see that this season.
Dansby: He must be the emotional leader of the defense.
Chachkes: He's one of the best linebackers in the NFL, he just needs to stay healthy.
Orlando: Boley has finally turned into what the Giants had been hoping to get when they signed him in 2009. Last season he racked up 74 solo tackles, forced a fumble, and recovered three. With the MLB spot being used less thanks to more complex DB formations; Boley has become the signal caller of the Giants defense. The Giants are pretty deep at OLB, but Boley is currently the foundation of the position.
Resch: I can still recall one game in which professional football commentator Jon Gruden excitedly said "Michael Boley is everywhere!" Gruden proceeded to call Boley's name on a play in which he was not even on the field. Twice. He's that good.
After Antonio Pierce's 2007 season, the Giants went without a great linebacker for a number of years. Although Boley is not a middle linebacker, he was Pierce's replacement as the defense's new signal-caller and de-facto leader of the linebacking core. He was solid in his first two years, but finally blossomed into the pro-bowl caliber linebacker that the team desperately needed. With the second level of the defense once again shored up, the Giants were able to unleash their pass rush on the way to another Lombardi trophy.
The front office has quietly done a very nice job of turning the linebacking core into an area that is no longer a glaring weakness. Boley is the biggest part of that, and when he is not on the field, his absence is noticeable.