"I have no concerns"
That was the immediate replay from New York Giants safeties coach Dave Merritt when asked about the three young safeties who missed all of 2015 with injuries.
After not making signing any safeties in free agency, it appears as though the plan hasn't changed since before Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, and Mykkele Thompson were lost for the season -- that is to let the three battle it out on the football field and prove who should be the Giants' second and third safeties.
"I'm looking forward to seeing these guys come back. I'm looking forward to seeing the explosiveness, hopefully, out of a guy by the name of Bennett Jackson. Of course, (Nat) Berhe and the calf and the situation that he went through, looking forward to seeing him come back, and Mykkele Thompson," Merritt said. 'I'm just excited to see these guys when they get back here."
Merritt added that he does know more about the safeties' mentalities -- in particular saying that Berhe is even hungrier than last year after an injury he just couldn't quite overcome -- mental capacity, and limitations. However, that is completely different from going through a season against the league's top players.
The Giants do have one safety who started all sixteen games, second round pick Landon Collins. Merritt, and the Giants as a whole, are counting on Collins to take a big leap from his rookie year. It might not be entirely comfortable to think about, but Collins could well be the Giants' veteran presence at safety.
Of his conversations with Collins, Merritt said "I told Landon, ‘It's great that you had the opportunity to play all 16 games. Now you're getting ready for your second year, you need to understand that now, what's going to required of you ... you're going to be the veteran in the room probably.' I know that's kind of hard to say going into your second year, but he and I have talked a lot about how his leadership is going to be important for us. But I expect for Landon to do what he did last year, as far as the production, and more. Some of the interceptions that he wasn't able to come up with, I expect for him to make those next year, and he does as well."