Some of you here at Big Blue View were recently enjoying the video clip of Tyler Sash smashing into a cameraman during the NFL Scouting Combine a few months back. So, when I had the opportunity to talk to Sash, drafted in the sixth round by the New York Giants (198th overall) I could not resist asking him about it.
"I told the quarterback, I think it was Yates from North Carolina, ‘throw it,' because I wanted to go get it, I didn't want to have an underthrow. I didn't want to waste a rep, I wanted to show the coaches that I could go get the ball," said Sash, who chuckled good-naturedly when discussing the incident over the phone. "He threw the ball about five yards out of bounds and I just kept running. I wasn't going to stop like the play was over.
"I ran the guy over. I felt bad that I did it, I think everybody thought I was a jerk."
More likely, it showed Sash's determination to make plays -- and probably helped him in the eyes of scouts and general managers around the NFL.
"Sash plays in a pro-style zone defense and should be able to immediately step onto the field for whatever team drafts him. He has good speed and is a sound tackler. He's also shown that he can lead a defense."
From the National Football Post in that same profile:
"He isn't the most athletically gifted safety and needs to mature as a tackler, but he has good instincts, finds the football and knows how to make plays on the ball."
Sash is a 6-foot, 211-pound safety with the size, adequate speed and ball-hawking ability the Giants like in their safeties. GM Jerry Reese was also impressed by Sash's football acumen.
"Height, weight, speed safety, more of a strong safety. Played a high level of comp. Lots of interceptions, I think he had 13 interceptions in his career there," Reese said of Sash during his post-draft press conference. "Smart player, he came in, he can line up the entire defense. He can put everybody on there and tell you what they should do. You love those kinds of guys. We think he will definitely come in and challenge for a spot back in our secondary, back at one of our safety positions."
There might be an opportunity for Sash to compete for immediate playing time in the Giants' secondary. Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips are, of course, entrenched at two of the safety spots. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell relied heavily on a three-safety package a season ago, and the Giants do face the possibility of losing veteran Deon Grant -- that third safety -- to free agency whenever that is allowed to begin.
So, there could be room for the former Iowa Hawkeye to get on the field in a role beyond punt and kickoff coverage.
"I just feel blessed to be a part of their organization and I can't wait to get started," Sash said. "They're a great organization with a great head coach and a very stable program. I'm excited to embrace any role that I have with the team.
"First and foremost whatever they ask of me is what I'm going to try to do to the best of my abilities. If it's playing special teams, any position on the field. I'll do anything they want me to do. I'm just excited to be a part of the team."
Reese was right that Sash had 13 interceptions in three seasons at Iowa. Sash said preparation and knowledge of the game "helps me be in the right spot at the right time."
"I always try to be as prepared as possible. If I'm not prepared being a safety and getting people lined up then those people aren't going to be prepared," said Sash. "You have to be prepared yourself so you can let everybody else know what's going on.
"I think preparing myself each and every week like I did in college and throughout my career will help me a lot in the NFL."
Due to the NFL Lockout, of course, Sash has not worked out with any of the Giants or met any of the coaches yet. The only player he has had contact with is cornerback Terrell Thomas.
"It's a little different for me not being able to be in communication with my coaches. But at the same time I'm using this time to develop my game and to work on the things that I know personally that I need to work on," Sash said. "I can only control what I can do, can't control what the owners are doing or anything else. I can only control trying to get better, and that's what I'm trying to do right now."
Other Rookie Interviews
Big Blue View has now had the opportunity to chat with several of the Giants' rookies. Here are links to the other rookie interviews: