New York Giants S Stevie Brown, who’s in his third season in the NFL out of Michigan, is proving to be a keeper. Brown replaced S Kenny Phillips after Phillips was injured in the second half of the Giants’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in late September.
In Brown’s first game as a starter against the Cleveland Browns, he had an interception and a fumble recovery on special teams. He isn’t a ball hawk like Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy Polamalu or Baltimore Ravens S Ed Reed, but Brown has shown the ability to be around the football.
In yesterday’s close win against the Dallas Cowboys, Brown had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. The first interception was a solid read of the quarterback’s eyes as Cowboys QB Tony Romo looked in WR Dez Bryant’s direction the entire play. Brown’s second interception was one Romo needed to force in order to keep the drive alive.
There is no telling when Phillips will return from his injury, but the Giants will have to make a big decision once he is healthy. Last season, the Giants went with a three-safety look at times with S Deon Grant on the field also. Grant is no longer with the Giants, but the three-safety look is a possibility when Phillips returns.
I believe the Giants should bench S Antrel Rolle when Phillips returns. Both Phillips and Brown have shown the ability to keep plays in front of them and make plays when they’re on the field. Rolle has constantly been beaten on passing plays, allowing receivers to get behind him.
Rolle does play the run better than he does the pass. The Giants secondary, as evidenced by yesterday’s game, are not good enough to stop opposing offenses’ passing attacks. They need safeties who can play the pass well, as this league has become a passing league.
I am in favor of a three-safety look with LB Michael Boley and LB Chase Blackburn taking the two linebacker spots. Rolle is good near the box so he can be a third linebacker in a sense. Brown and Phillips are better in the passing game, and they need to be who the Giants rely on to be the last line of defense.