New York Giants notes: Let's talk defense

All New York Giants' fans are anxious to see what changes new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will make to the defensive system the team employs. We know it will be different, but no one knows for sure exactly what it will be.

Fewell, for his part, has yet to offer many hints. Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson offered some conjecture Friday on what the 2010 Giants' defense might actually look like.

The Giants’ defense is going to look different next season. Perry Fewell is taking over as defensive coordinator and he has new philosophies about how he wants his defense to play. Last year, New York struggled a great deal in coverage from the linebacker and safety positions. Injuries are much to blame at safety, but at linebacker, they lacked speed and play-making ability.

In essence, Fewell will play a version of the Tampa 2. In this defense, it is imperative that the entire defense is able to cover a lot of ground. This is true in coverage and in pursuit of the ball carrier in the run game. Fewell wants a lot of bodies around the football. He wants play-makers. He wants speed. All of this was lacking a year ago.

Many have pigeon-holed Alabama’s Rolando McClain in as the Giants’ first-round selection, but I tend to think that Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon will be the more attractive option in the middle of Round 1. The reason is simple: Weatherspoon runs better than McClain. He can get to the football quicker on the perimeter and will be more adept at covering the deep middle of the field in coverage.

The biggest problem with this defensive philosophy is in some cases, size and physicality at the point of attack is compromised for speed. ... Giants’ fans should be in store for some major changes on defense. For the most part, and if the right players are acquired in the draft, I see that as a good thing.

OK, I know the Weatherspoon boosters out there are loving that assessment. It makes sense, but I'm still not buying that the Giants take 'Spoon INSTEAD of Rolando.

Truth is, I just can't wait until this team gets on the field so we can actually see what Fewell comes up with.

In case you didn't know, the SB Nation football writers' two-round mock draft is continuing. Our man 'CJMulrain' has been handling selecting for the Giants. He took Derrick Morgan in the first round, and Friday reeled in UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price with what I consider a tremendous value pick in the second round. If Price is really available at 46, he would be a great get for the Giants. Here is CJ's explanation.

"I was actually debating taking Price in the first round, so to see him still available when the Giants pick in the second was pretty exciting. I considered taking a linebacker or even an offensive lineman or running back here, but ultimately feel like Price is the best available player at a position of need for the Giants. With Morgan and Price in the first two rounds, the Giants will have a really formidable defensive line, and can focus on other areas in later rounds, hoping someone like Sean Lee or Pat Angerer falls to them.

"Price is a first round talent, and I've seen him rated as high as the third best defensive tackle in the draft (not bad in a draft where two DT's will be going in the top three picks). Price will really help solidify the Giants run defense, giving Tuck, Umenyiora, Kiwanuka, and Morgan more leeway to go get the quarterback.
"

More Draft notes

Here are a few other items pertaining to the upcoming NFL draft.

  • In its most recent 'Four Downs' segment Football Outsiders looked at the NFC East. Here is some of what FO said about the Giants.


    The team hasn't drafted a linebacker in the first round since Carl Banks in 1984, a streak that may come to an end this April. Alabama's Rolando McClain is the top middle linebacker in this year's draft class, a prospect who compares closely to 49ers stud Patrick Willis. Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese attended McClain's pro day and came away impressed. At 258 pounds, McClain fits the old-school Giant mold, but does he have the speed to fit in Fewell's scheme? The Giants have an affinity for Big Ten players, and should they pass on McClain (or if he is already gone when the team picks at 15), they could look to add someone like Penn State's Sean Lee or Iowa's Pat Angerer in the middle rounds.

  • The next comment, which I found in Pro Football Weekly, just goes to show you that scouting is an inexact science. Nobody knows for sure what will happen with any player.


    Rolando McClain is a little bit surly. He is not a real trusting guy and he is a biscuit away from 275 (pounds), but when it is time to play, he comes ready. He's kind of thin-waisted for a guy that big and awkwardly built. Someone will jump him in the top 15. I would not do it."

  • In the same vein, Wes Bunting of the National Football Post has a few players he has fallen in love with. And he doesn't care what anyone thinks.
  • This is a couple of days old, but safety Myron Rolle ran a pretty good 40-yard dash of 4.54 at his Pro Day workout. More interesting for me is the team that apparently ran the workout. That would be the New York Giants.
Other notes
  • My Blog Talk Radio co-host Pat Traina has a photo tour of the new Meadowlands Stadium. Yes, I'm jealous. And yes, I am working on getting a tour of my own.
  • Speaking of the stadium, there is apparently no timetable for selling the naming rights.
  • Here is another item that is a couple of days old, but that we have not mentioned. The Giants apparently brought in former Pittsburgh guard/center Darrell Stapleton for a free-agent visit this week. He started for the Steelers two seasons ago and spent last season on injured reserve after having knee surgery. He is just 24 years old. At the least, the guy would be an improvement over Adam Koets.
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