Linebackers coach Jim Herrmann, 08.02.09

A: I think the group as a whole had a great spring. We developed as a unit. I think it took some time for them to get used to me and me to get used to them. I think the one thing about playing linebacker is you have to be able to play all three positions, you have to have interchangeable guys. The one thing I noticed is that I have really smart guys, which is good for me. They are able to go in and out and from position to position. I’m really looking forward to that.

Q: Strength and improvements since the last time you saw them?

A: Coming out of spring, every guy was doing well. The older guys were working on their weaknesses and developing their strengths. Those guys all came into it saying this is what I need to work on. For example, a guy like Bryan Kehl, who in college played all outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage. It’s a different game when you move back off the ball as an outside linebacker and he became more comfortable with that in terms of seeing the game. Gerris Wilkinson is a guy who’s a multi-tasker, can play all of the positions, which helps us a lot. He kept developing that and the overall understanding of the game. Those guys have become more aware of things around them, of what’s happening to them. Then you have Michael Boley who gives you a whole lot of flexibility because of his athletic ability. He can go out and cover a guy. He can walk back into the box. Those are things that we really worked hard on at that position.

Q: Is there an ideal prototype for linebacker in this defense?

A: The player that plays there has to be flexible enough to be able to walk out on a wide receiver and also play inside the box, which is where the big boys play. If you talk about multitasking, that’s one part of that position, that’s what they have to do. All of those guys became very apt at this past spring, which I’m very pleased with.

Q: How difficult is it that your starter at that spot is a guy who you won’t get much of in training camp and get to use until week two?

A: I think that’s true in football, football is a contact sport. It is a collision, there are high collisions. Any time you play a sport like that, you are going to have guys who miss a play or miss a series. I think that the development of every guy is really important, so whoever the next spot is, the expectation is for the position, not the guy. It’s for the position. The guy who plays that position for the New York Giants, I think that’s the biggest thing I can give to my guys. Say "Look, you’re sitting there. You may be the backup, all of a sudden now you’re the starter." The expectations are for that position, not necessarily the guy. You have to go in there and play what that position calls for.

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