We are getting near the end of our position-by-position comparison of the Super Bowl-winning 2007 and 2011 New York Giants. Today we have the safeties. After that, special teams and then we are done.
Here are the safeties for both teams by the numbers.
2007 Regular Season
Gibril Wilson -- 92 tackles, 4 interceptions, 7 passes defensed
James Butler -- 61 tackles, 1 interception, 7 passes defensed
Michael Johnson -- 25 tackles, 2 passes defensed
2011 Regular Season
Antrel Rolle -- 100 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensed
Kenny Phillips -- 86 tackles, 4 interceptions, 11 passes defensed
Deon Grant -- 62 tackles, 1 sack, interception, 6 passes defensed
So, I don't know if this your first thought when you looked at the stats, but my first thought when I looked back at the 2007 names was 'The Giants won a Super Bowl with THOSE safeties?'
Gibril Wilson? James Butler? Michael Johnson? We thought Wilson was a good player, and we know that he was good but not great for the Giants. His career pretty much went down the drain once he decided to leave the champs and take big money from the Oakland Raiders.
Butler and Johnson? Only the memory of C.C. Brown makes me shudder less.
Everyone can look at the 2011 group and have some issues. Phillips is good, but maybe not what he would have been without the knee issues that he has suffered. Rolle is good, but probably not as good as he believes he is or his paycheck says he should be. Grant did a great job in a limited role, but he has slowed athletically and he was no more than a box safety who could be effective in a limited area last season.
Yet, comparing 2007 to 2011 there really is no comparison. The 2011 group wins by a landslide.