What had long been a weakness for the Giants? franchise has transformed into a sturdy, if not spectacular unit.? For years, Giants fans had murmured sentiments similar to ?if only we had a secondary, we?d be set.?? Well The Giants have slowly added to their barren secondary to create a deep defensive backfield with considerable upside.

During the 2007 NFL playoffs, something curious happened; former second round pick Corey Webster, who was already a bust in the mind of some fans, suddenly turned into the shut down cornerback the Giants had been missing.? This, coupled with the play of rookie Aaron Ross, seemingly turned the Giants? secondary into a unit that actually put an iota of fear into opposing offensive coordinators.

Although Ross has never regained his rookie form, in part due to nagging injuries, Webster has remained a legitimate starting cornerback.? His performance may have peaked in that 2007 Super Bowl run, but he still gives the Giants a very good cornerstone of their secondary.

Tags: defensive backs, grading, New York Giants, secondary, units
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Happy Birthday, Dad! And now, on to football stuff...

If I went back into the late 80s and transported a fan who was used to watching Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and Harry Carson into present times and made them watch a Giants game last year?well you get where I?m going with this.? For a franchise who used to have such a proud tradition of linebackers, the current landscape of this unit is bordering on ludicrous.

We?ll start with the good.? Michael Boley is not perfect, but he is, at the very least, a nice starting linebacker.? He was a smart, somewhat under-the-radar signing that has not paid huge dividends, but has provided the Giants with their best linebacker over the past couple of years.? Jonathan Goff was thrust into the starting middle linebacker role, and played better than expected in his first full season.? He is strong against the run and a solid overall player.

Tags: giants, grading, linebackers, New York Giants, units
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More than any other unit, the defensive line has defined this Giants team for over a decade.? It was Ernie Accorsi?s belief that you could never have too many pass rushers, a belief also shared by Jerry Reese.

Justin Tuck is the heart of the defense, as he combines tenacious pass rushing abilities with run stopping prowess.? Even though he is featured on a number of television commercials, he still manages to be underrated by the national media.? He is a top five defensive end in the NFL.

Osi Umenyiora has had a roller coaster of a career, although the peaks have certainly outweighed the valleys.? At his best, he can be one of the hardest pass rushers to contain in the league.? He is not as strong against the run as Tuck, but he is not a liability.? After injuries sapped his playmaking abilities, Umenyiora came back strong last season and set the record for forced fumbles.? He has had some run-ins with the Giants? front office and is no longer the fan-favorite he used to be, but he?s still a very talented defensive end.

Tags: defensive line, grading, Justin Tuck, New York Giants, Osi Umenyiora, units
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