Who Starts at Linebacker for the New York Giants?
The New York Giants have a lot of strength in numbers when it comes to the linebacker position. They have a number of players who are vying for the three spots. They have a lot of options and a lot of interchangeable parts who can probably play at multiple spots. Here are the three players I see getting the most time.
Michael Boley: Boley in a lot of ways is the key to the Giants defense. He is the best and probably most athletic linebacker they have. When he goes down, the defense just isn’t as good. He’s the guy who can cover the big, athletic tight end or the running back coming out in the flat. When he’s out of the lineup, you can clearly see the holes in the defense.
Chase Blackburn: Blackburn went from a substitute teacher to making an interception in the Super Bowl off Tom Brady. Blackburn made a huge difference in the middle. He knows the system. He’s not exactly the fastest guy in the world, however his awareness makes up for his lack of speed.
Matthias Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka is going to be probably a hybrid linebacker-defensive end which may open up some time for Keith Rivers. He’s probably more of a fit at defensive end then linebacker, however he’s done a solid job at the position. He had 84 tackles which ranked fourth on the team. There had been some rumors about him possibly going in the middle, but he’s probably too big for that spot.
The Giants have a lot more depth at the linebacker position than they did in previous years. They know that the rookies that they brought in as backups can play a little bit so if there is an injury, the next man up can do the job.