The New York Giants were left in desperate circumstances this offseason at the linebacker position. The departures of longtime Giants in middle linebacker Chase Blackburn and strongside backer Michael Boley made this typically neglected unit even more thin than usual, and the current group has much yet to prove.
Enter Dan Connor, who saw the field in spot duty while with the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. Connor picked up 350 snaps down in Big D last season with most of it coming at left inside linebacker, picking up 35 tackles and 17 stops. If you extrapolated this over a full season it would probably come out to near 1,000 snaps and thus drop his -3.6 Pro Football Focus grade lower for the 2012 campaign, but as it stands it ranks middle-of-the-pack at 32 of 53 qualifying linebackers last season.
Now Connor attempts to wrap up the Giants’ middle linebacker role and make the transition from a 3-4 to 4-3 base defensive formation. However, he’ll have to battle Mark Herzlich for the job in training camp. Then there’s also rumors of Desmond Bishop coming to Big Blue after a very nice run at 3-4 inside backer for the Green Bay Packers, grabbing a championship ring of his own in the process.
“The Giants and Jacksonville are the next two that are interested,” Bishop said on SiriusXM NFL Radio Thursday. “Actually, the Niners called but of course, you know, they’re kind of set over there. I appreciate their interest in me regardless. But the Giants, which is a real good situation, and Jacksonville as well.”
If Bishop joins, then Connor could soon be battling just for a spot on the roster.