New York Giants: Jerry Reese Made It a Priority To Gather Depth on Defense

By Andrew Lecointe
Charles LeClaire — USA Today Sports

The New York Giants ranked next to last in the NFL in defense a year ago, so general manager Jerry Reese went out this offseason and added quality depth at every position on the defensive side of the ball. The Giants didn’t play the run well, so they went out and signed DT Cullen Jenkins and DT Mike Patterson from the Philadelphia Eagles, while using their second and third round draft picks on DTs Johnathan Hankins of Ohio State and Damontre Moore of Texas A&M.

The Giants already have draft bust DTs Marvin Austin and DT Markus Kuhn. Fellow tackle Shaun Rogers was signed last offseason, but missed the entire 2012 season with a blood clot. The Giants re-signed him so he’s back to add even more depth to the interior line. On the edge, the Giants already have DEs Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and newly converted end Mathias Kiwanuka in addition to Moore.

The Giants also have a couple of new faces at the linebacker position. After releasing LB Michael Boley, the Giants signed Dan Connor from the Dallas Cowboys and Aaron Curry from the Oakland Raiders. Curry has a lot to prove since he was drafted fourth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He has been a bust thus far, so he should be motivated to turn his career around in what could be his final opportunity.

The Giants also have LB Keith Rivers, who has been a bust as well since being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the ninth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. This will be his second season with the Giants, and he’s looking to claim one of the starting spots this year. While the Giants have depth at linebacker, the talent level isn’t that high.

The secondary possesses a solid amount of depth at the corner and safety positions. At the corner spots, the Giants have incumbent starters Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara. They also have Jayron Hosley, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross. Thomas is returning from two ACL tears in the past two seasons, so his health is a big question mark. Ross is thrilled to return to the Giants after one uneventful year with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

At the safety spot, the Giants have Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle. However, they also picked up Ryan Mundy from the Pittsburgh Steelers and drafted Cooper Taylor from Richmond. Troubled safety Will Hill and Tyler Sash remain to provide great depth.

All in all, Reese made it a point to provide much needed competition on the defensive side of the ball. Simply put, the Giants did not get the job done last season, so things needed to be shaken up a bit. Now it’s time for head coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to get the right guys out onto the field.

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