Lots of great, optimistic stuff from New York Giants' defensive players and coaches after Monday's OTA.
- Talk about how experienced, quality safeties should make it easier to use multiple coverages and disguise them.
- Talk about how deep and talented the Giants are along the defensive line, and how they will be creative to get their pass rushers on the field as much as possible.
- Talk about how well players who were injured in 2009, like Aaron Ross and Kenny Phillips, are progressing.
- Talk about how much players are looking forward to playing in a Perry Fewell defense.
Reading it all, and writing about it, left me giddy with optimism about the Giants' defensive prospects for the 2010 season.
Then I remembered. We have heard most of this before. Just a year ago, in fact. And we know how that turned out.
- We talked last off-season about how the Giants' defensive line was so deep and talented that the biggest issue would be finding snaps for everybody. We ended up wondering if anybody in that group could stay healthy, could play the run and remembered what a quarterback looked like.
- We spent last off-season hearing players talk about how new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan would be implementing a similar system to what Steve Spagnuolo had run, and that there wouldn't be much of an adjustment. I don't have to remind you how that turned out.
- We heard a lot of things about a unique 5-1-5 package aimed at getting more snaps for all those defensive lineman. And how Sheridan would not be dropping defensive ends into coverage as much as Spags had. Right. Once again, things did not turn out the way we expected.
- We thought Kenny Phillips was on the verge of stardom and Aaron Ross was on his way to becoming a sold NFL cornerback. This year we are just wondering if either of those guys can get healthy and get into the lineup.
I guess what I'm trying to say is all this talk is nice, but that's all it is. Talk. Conjecture. Optimism without proof.
We think we see and hear signs that 2010 will be a better year for the Giants' defense than 2009 was (how could it be worse?). But, we don't know anything yet. And we won't know anything until the games begin in a few months.