The New York Giants are sure glad they decided to re-sign safety Stevie Brown this offseason after announcing that Will Hill has been suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season.
It wasn’t exactly clear what New York’s gameplan was going to be with Hill, Brown and Antrel Rolle. Between Hill’s breakout season last year and Brown’s monster 2012 campaign, the Giants were likely going to try and keep all of these three guys on the field together as much as possible. After all, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has had success in the past playing with three safeties.
But Hill’s latest suspension temporarily answers the question. Brown and Rolle will be the two starters for at least the first six games. With Hill sidelined, Brown now has a chance to gain a better grip on the starting spot and prove that his eight-interception season in 2012 was no fluke.
Brown replaced an injured Kenny Phillips back in 2012 and emerged as a force and a ball hawk in the New York secondary. He finished the year with 76 tackles, eight interceptions and 11 pass deflections.
However, Brown tore his ACL in the preseason last year and missed the entire 2013 season. His absence allowed Hill to put his stamp on the defense, as he put together a very impressive season.
Hill showed New York why he was so heavily recruited out of high school and then he showed New York why he didn’t get drafted out of college by once again getting into trouble away from the field. It will be interesting to see how the Giants deal with Hill after his third suspension in as many years. Many speculate that the two will end up parting ways.
It’s unfortunate for New York because a secondary with Rolle, Brown and Hill could have been easily become the team’s strongest unit. The Giants will now have to pray that Brown can shed the rust fairly quickly and find the same groove that made him such a weapon back in 2012. If he does in fact play well, it would be easier for New York to cut ties with Hill.